Transcript: Jack Schwager

     The transcript from this week’s, MiB: Jack Schwager on Trading Wizards, is below. You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Google, Bloomberg, and Acast. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here. ~~~ RITHOLTZ: This week on the… Read More The post Transcript: Jack Schwager appeared first on The Big Picture.      The transcript from this week’s, MiB: Jack Schwager on Trading Wizards, is below. You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Google, Bloomberg, and Acast. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here. ~~~ RITHOLTZ: This week on the podcast I get to welcome back the person who was really part of the inspiration for Masters in Business in the first place. Jack Schwager is the author of a new book, “Unknown Market Wizards: The best traders you’ve never heard of,” but this is the fifth or maybe — even if I include the little book — the sixth book of Market Wizards he’s put out. And when I was a — a young stud on a trading desk back in the 1890’s (sic), Schwager’s book, “Market Wizards,” was — was one of the first books I picked up to learn a little bit about the idea of — of markets. And I found the book to be tremendously formative to me not so much because it said, “buy this, sell that,” but it was very revealing about discipline, and risk management, and mental models, and containing your emotions. And that book really was one of the early books that sent me scampering off to learn more about behavioral economics and — and behavioral finance, not so much because he was channeling Tversky and — and Kahneman or Thaler or any of those folks, but it was pretty clear from the successful traders he was interviewing that consensus was problematic, that examining your motivations was really important, that being aware of — of not only your own emotions, but your own biases, and some of your own cognitive deficits in blind spots was really, really important to individual traders. And, you know, I wouldn’t call “Market Wizards” a behavioral finance book, but it certainly touches on so many of the same issues. I find these books to be absolutely fascinating as he’s put them out over the years. The — the first book really was just a pure interview book, and — and it’s evolved over all these decades. I think the first book was ’86 or ’89, and the most recent book was 2020. He not only gives you a summation at the end of each chapter, each trading wizard of — of their rules and — and what guidelines you can pick up from them, but at the end, he summarizes it with something like 46 trading rules that you can learn from these people. And really, he’s made it easier and easier to consume the information I know what he’s trying to do, he wants to educate people. For me, as a young guy on a trading desk, I found it really helpful to sort of — that journey of — of learning what I was doing wrong and why in order to get better was — was really helpful. But I don’t think people have the patience for that these days. I found the book to be really intriguing, and I think you will also. And if you haven’t read the first one or the second or third or fourth, but go back and read that first trading wizards book. It’s really quite astonishing and has held up over time. You could read it today and it looks like it came out last month. So, with no further ado, my conversation with Jack Schwager. VOICE-OVER: This is Masters in Business with Barry Ritholtz on Bloomberg Radio. RITHOLTZ: My special guest this week is Jack Schwager. He has written five books on Market Wizards. And, in fact, I found his first book — I think it was the 1989 “Market Wizards” book to be enormously useful in my first job as a trader on Wall Street. He is also the founder of FundSeeder, a platform designed to matched undiscovered trading talent with capital worldwide. His most recent book is “Unknown Market Wizards: The best traders you’ve never heard of.” Jack Schwager, welcome back to Bloomberg. SCHWAGER: Hey, good to speak with you again, Barry. RITHOLTZ: Same, same. It’s — it’s been too long. Let’s — let’s start out talking about your first “Market Wizards” book, which I’ve told you before not only was it enormously influential to me when I was a trader, but it was part of the motivation for this Masters in Business format of talking to people who achieved a level of accomplishment and excellence, which leads me just to my first question, what — what made you decide to write that first “Market Wizards” book? SCHWAGER: Yeah, so I had the idea actually for several years. At the time, I was a future — Director of Futures Research Department, which is kind of a full-time job on its own. To do a book, you really have to do like commit to nights, weekends. I had — I had done a — a book before the, you know, “A Complete Guide to the Futures Market,” which was like a 750-page tome. And I didn’t want to do that — anything that — like that again. But I want you to have this idea that, gee, wouldn’t it be fun to go — and I knew some great traders. I said, “Wouldn’t it be fun to just kind of do that as the theme of the book?” But it was just a matter of time, and then I got invited by a — to a lunch by some other publisher who had — who (inaudible) the — get that analytical book I wrote, “Hey, you want to do a bunch of analytical books?” And I said, “No, no interest.” But, you know, I’ve been thinking of this and I said, “OK, why don’t you that?” And so, that was the catalyst. And I — I guess I just need a little push to — to get going because I thought it was a good idea. RITHOLTZ: So — so this is now over three decades that you’ve been sitting down with traders, talking to them about their process, their methodology, and where they’ve gone wrong, and where they’ve achieved success. I can’t help, but notice that the world of the 2020’s, at least the trading world, is so very different than the trading world of the 1980’s. How does that impact the — the sort of conversations you have? And how does that affect the methodologies of these different types of traders? SCHWAGER: Yeah. So, you know, that’s a good point. You’re absolutely right. I mean, there’s been — yeah, enormous, you know, really enormous changes. As — as you well know, you’ve been in the business a while as well. But, you know, from the time I did the ritual “Market Wizards” book, which was the late 80’s and talking to people at that point about their careers really going back to late 60’s, 70’s and into the 80’s, but that — you know, their — you know, their — their trading history, you know, is pre –, you know, pre-PCs. You know, of course, we had the futures and we’re basically dealing with bits now, electronic trading. But the — the big changes is this computerization element. And we went from a world where there — where we didn’t have PCs to where not only everybody has a P.C., which is quite powerful and — and has tremendous amounts of data, but you’re also dealing now — well, actually for decades where you have firms, you have taken quantification to the extreme, might have 100 PhDs in math and physics and so forth, you know, trying to — to work in the markets, you know, from — from — from that angle. So — so the — that’s been, I think, the — the really big change plus the electronic trading — the switch from — from bits to electronic trading. So, you know, how does that change? You know, are they enough? For instance, I end up interviewing mostly discretionary traders. We could talk why that’s true. He has a separate engine if you want, but that tends to be the reality. I mean, they are sub-systematic, but they’re mostly discretionary. It turns out that, for the most part, a lot of the approaches really do fall into the — to the same categories, and there’s still a place for the individual discretionary trader. And I — I would say the biggest surprise I had to do this — this last book on “Market Wizards” was I didn’t expect to find people with track records who like those in the first book, somebody, you know, people like the Kovners and the Jones and so forth. And to my amazement, I — I found people — you know, because — and — and I say that because of this great quantification and all this competition, you know, that now exists. And to my surprise, I — I found people whose records were every bit as good, if not maybe as good as any other they found. So that was my surprise, and it basically speaks as evidence that somehow, despite these enormous changes, it’s still possible for the individual creator to — to — who has talent and has a specific methodology to do his works to do enormously well. RITHOLTZ: Yeah, we’re going to talk about some of the specific traders and some of the eye-popping track records that they’ve amassed later. But you — you mentioned Jones — Paul Tudor Jones. Of all the people I recall from the first book or — or one of the early books, he seems to be the lone standout who continues to be active, who continues to trade, and continues to make money. I mean, he was very early to bitcoin and — and I believe he’s still a holder, you know, 20,000 percent later. What makes Jones standout and be so different from his peers? He’s — he’s much more open-minded than — I don’t know, you — you can — you can compare him to Druckenmiller or Dalio or — he seems to be a 30-something, not a 60-something. SCHWAGER: Well, the thing that that struck me about Jones that was different, I guess, is, you know — and I want to say — yeah, I was about to say less cerebral, but that’s not really fair. I mean, I’m sure he’s quite (inaudible), but he is — he was much more sort of active and — yeah, somebody like a — like a Druckenmiller, I didn’t see him trade. I spent a day with him, but, you know, I kind of picture him, you know, more thoughtfully going through in designing and trades of what he traded. But — but, you know, Paul, I remember sitting in his office that he, you know, screamed, you know, while we’re doing the interview, he’s screaming orders left and right. This is a day where there were, you know, phones down for the bits and, you know, so he’s — he’s — he’s doing these orders. He’s going through the screens. He — he was just very — almost manic in the way he trades. So, I had that — that almost physical image of him, you know, trading more so than anybody I — I guess, that I ever interviewed. There’s one difference. And there are certain things I still remember at that interview. He’s — he’s kind of insistence that, you know, every day he’s — he — he stalks for blank slate. So just because he has the position doesn’t mean that that position is still something to be held. So, you know, he talked about wanting to evaluate every position while I have this. Would I — would I still want — do I still want it today? You know, that type of thing, so this — this — this constant renewing of his analysis and assessment of the market. And I think particularly very much attuned, I think, to — to market action — and I’ve been very aggressive all the way. So, I guess those are some of the ways I — at least from my memory of that interview that I — that he struck me as being a bit different. RITHOLTZ: So — so let’s stick with that first book. I mean, the — the list of people you got to sit down with you for a day is pretty impressive. You mentioned Bruce Kovner. We’re talking to Paul Tudor Jones, Richard Dennis, Ed Seykota, Marty Schwartz, Tom Baldwin, Michael Steinhardt, Druckenmiller, I mean, that’s some … SCHWAGER: Yeah. RITHOLTZ: … murderous row of — of fund managers and traders. SCHWAGER: Yeah, and I — it was. And I was lucky to — I guess I didn’t realize how lucky I was because just about everybody I asked agreed. Now, I had some edge there because I knew some traders personally like Michael — well, Michael Marcus who’s — who’s actually in Chapter 1 in that book is not somebody who would have been known weren’t not for the book, but he — he is one of the greats. And he — you know, so I know him personally. You know, we were friends. I actually took his — my first job on Wall Street was vacated by Michael. He was cleaning out his desk when I came in my first day. We talked a little bit. He was going, in quotes, “off to become a trader and, yeah, leaving his analyst job. And I took his analyst job, but he was in New York for two years before you went out to — to Malibu and, you know — and, you know, well, moved permanently there. But while he was in New York, we used to get together for (inaudible) just every couple of weeks, so we had a relationship. So, he — he agreed to do it. We have — not easily, he’s a shy guy, so it took a bit of convincing, and I had a mutual friend who kind of pushed a little bit. But, you know, then he felt satisfied with — with our interview after I spent a day or two there at this — that was the one — that I did actually while he’s out — out in California. And said, “You know, you should” then he — you know, he said, “You should interview Seykota, and I never heard Seykota, but (inaudible) Seykota was his mentor and somebody who he considered the best trader and he knew. And so, he set that up, and then I flew out to — to Seykota. Kovner I knew because Michael had hired Kovner and so I met him through Michael, and I had actually worked because of Michael. He hired me to be an analyst from — you know, remotely why (inaudible) or commodities are going making all that money. And — and so, you know, I — so there were these — I had a bit of a jump because I do some and trade some. And then some of them recommend other traders, yeah. RITHOLTZ: Interesting, really interesting. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) So — so last question — on — on the early book, some — some of these guys have been trading for decades, and the risks that you run into relates to what one of my colleagues described as the — the paradox of experts. People who are experts have their expertise in the way the world used to be in an earlier version of the world that doesn’t exist. When you look around at — at these traders who’ve been at it for a long time, do they have a difficulty in adapting to the new world? I noticed most of the guys you interviewed for the newest book are fairly young. SCHWAGER: Yeah. So — well, of course, you know, if you go back to the original book, you know, a lot — well, most of them, you know, one of these ones I know continued — continued on for — for decades, you know, like the Kovners and — and the Druckenmillers, and so forth, and did — you know, did quite well, and Joe (inaudible). In the case — you know, but I can’t think of an exception, somebody like — like Richard Dennis who was — who had won in the most incredible stories ever, you know, turning literally a sub $1,000 stake. When he was trading in the MidAm Exchange, he’s (inaudible) contract and, at some point, amassing a couple hundred million dollars that got to be one of the great multiplication pitch (ph) of all time. But — but in — subsequently, years after our interview, had — had — had some — some — had problems and — and never continue — besides not continuing, I think had — had losses probably. So not everybody — you know, not everybody necessarily continued forever, but — but I think the majority, you know, continued — continued to adapt the markets. And — and in Dennis’ case, I think it may be an issue of — of the markets, I think, did change. Trend following back, you know, in Dennis’ hay day, which I would say late 60’s through late 80’s, those were kind of glory days for — for trend following. You — you had — had a couple of things working together first because it was before technical analysis became so popular. RITHOLTZ: Right. SCHWAGER: It was before — most of that period was before a lot of the computerization. So, people who were early on — on trend following kind of didn’t have a lot of competition. And also, you have the inflationary 70’s, the U.S. on the giant trends and futures, currencies, and so forth. So, you know, times were very good. When the times became more difficult or — and many more people, yeah, it was just (inaudible) amount of — (inaudible) increase in the number of people using these — those type of approaches, the approach naturally degraded. So, I think it — that was the issue there and — and could explain why somebody like Dennis didn’t continue the way he did, while some of these more discretionary traders like Kovner and Jones did. RITHOLTZ: My big takeaway from the — the early Dennis chapter was all about training traders the way they raised turtles on farms in Singapore. That — that concept that, hey, you could teach anybody how to trade if they’re disciplined and we’ll follow these sets of rules. I was — I was really impressed with that, and that was — I don’t know 25 years ago. Do you think someone like a — a modern version of Richard Dennis could still train traders the way he did? SCHWAGER: I — I have some skepticism there, and — and that’s developed over the years. I kind of — trouble is you — you train somebody — the person you’re training has to be kind of adoptable and amenable, and be a good fit for whatever the methodology you’re training. And, well, my perspective is that to be successful, the method you use is not (inaudible) being trained by somebody, you have to — has to be a method that’s compatible with who you are and how you’re thinking, what’s comfortable? So, if you are — you know, you’re somebody who, let’s say, doesn’t feel comfortable delegating decisions to a systematic approach, somebody can teach you a system, but it’s going to be very difficult for you to follow because you’re always going to want to be second guessing it or — or jumping the gun or not taking signal. So, it has to be compatible with — with — with what’s — what works for you. And — and I think that’s the problem. I don’t think you necessarily can train everybody. Now, at that time that Dennis did it, you have trend following being a — a very effective methodology. So, if people follow the rules, they could be successful, but I think that’s more the exception than the rule. So, you can’t — you surely can learn from a mentor if the mentor is compatible with — with the methodology that fits who you are. RITHOLTZ: Makes a lot of sense. Jack, I was kind of struck by this book, and I’m curious how did you go about it. Was it — was it different versus your prior wizard books? Did — did your methodology change or did you interview process change? Or was it — you know, you have a — a process and you stuck to it? SCHWAGER: Yeah. No, I’ve had — I’ve had the same methodology from the — from the first “Market Wizards” books, so — and it works, so there’s no — if something works, you know, nobody is going to change it. So, my process — but first of all, the actual — as far as the actual, you know, interviews and — and turning into text, when I do the interview — and this is kind of important — is any — I’m sure you could relate to this very well, Barry. I — I try — I — I do what you do really, which I — which I sense you do is have a conversation. So, I don’t go in with a list of questions. And, you know, I’ve been interviewed by people, and that you can tell they have a list of questions. And no matter what you answer (inaudible), you know, there’s no follow-through and it goes … RITHOLTZ: Right. SCHWAGER: … to the next question, right? And it sells very stiff in board, and it is. So, what I try to do in these things is really just literally have a conversation. And there are times there have been interviews where I literally — it could be two hours before I get the first thing that’s of any value. You don’t have that luxury, but I do. There’s a book, not a live interview. RITHOLTZ: Right. SCHWAGER: But — but that’s — that’s — so that’s very important. And — and I — I do have like a list of questions that I know I want to make sure I hit those topics. And after I spend any number of hours, which could be — which could be as little as a few hours in — in a short interview to — to as much as a day or more, then I’ll just check the list and see if I missed anything. But — so that’s one important thing. And the other part of the process that doesn’t change is just the way the interviews are transformed into text. And there — you know, obviously, I’m doing so much so many hours. You know, you couldn’t — any — a lot of these interviews could be a book-long by themselves. But besides that, if I used everything, it would be deadly boring. So, you — you really — what I’m really trying to do is basically extract out everything that it has — is one of two things. One, as something meaningful to say about trading or two, it’s interesting. You know, so it’s one of those things. So — and that’s the material that — that forms the chapter. And then — and then you do a fixing up of, you know, people. The way people speak doesn’t translate well into … RITHOLTZ: Right. SCHWAGER: … into written text as you — as you well know, I’m sure. And you may talk about the same topic in eight different places, and that’s fine if you’re talking, but it’s not fine if you’re eating. RITHOLTZ: Right. SCHWAGER: So, you know, that’s — that’s the basic process. The difference in this book though was the focus. And in prior books, I guess, they’ve been more — more heavy in well-known professional traders, although not necessarily all the time. There’s always been individual traders as well. And the — the most recent wizard book before this one back in, I guess 2012 or so, was “Hedge Fund Market Wizards,” which you can tell by the name is, you know, obviously not individual traders, right? They’re — they’re traders and organizations. So, this — this one was the exact — was — tended to be the exact opposite. It was literally to try to find those people who are trading in a home office, doing extraordinarily well and nobody knows they exist, nobody knows who they are. And — and so that was a difference in this book. RITHOLTZ: So, one of the differences I suspected when I went into reading this book is all of the subjects of your prior books, all the various traders, you know, you could do a search on them. You could — you could read about them. There’s newspaper articles in the days before Google and certainly since search engine has been around, you can find a ton of stuff on each of the people that you interview. I got the sense from each of the chapters in this book that you had a bunch of — of arrows in your quiver, but you didn’t know, which ones you’re going to use because you’re kind of going in a little — a little in the dark. Is that a fair assessment or am I — am I projecting too much? SCHWAGER: You’re projecting too much because, especially since I was doing these individual traders and, you know, it sounds like there’s a public fund out there or something like that … RITHOLTZ: Right. SCHWAGER: … so I — I had to really, really be careful this time about, well, I (inaudible). But I — I had to get the track records. And — and so I knew — you know, I knew what their track records were before I went in. RITHOLTZ: Right. SCHWAGER: And, you know, I — like I’ll give you one example. One of these traders, I got an email. This is about a year before I did the book, you know, saying something like, you know, “Hey, I’m — you know, this is my name and so — you know, and I turned a few thousand dollars into $50 million, whatever,” you know. So yeah, your initial reaction would be, “Sure,” right? But I’m always — I — I think that — you know, people made claims, they now they even — even don’t have to prove it. So anyway, so look, I’m not planning another book at the time I wasn’t planning to do this book. And I said, “But your story sounds very interesting. And if you can confirm it, you know — you know, it would be sounds like it would be a really good fit. And if I do another book, I’ll get back in touch.” It turns out that nine months later, I do decide to do — to do another book and I get back to them. And — and so, you know, a guy, he started trading back, I think, around 2006 and literally got every monthly stakes (ph) improving 2006 forward. So — so I knew — while the story sounds unbelievable, I knew it was — and I — and I — actually, they were — in this particular case, there were — there are Ameritrade accounts, and I have an Ameritrade account. I — even though with the — with the account, you know, (inaudible) look like. So, there was no — there was no surprise there. I — I kind of knew what I — I knew what his track was. I didn’t know what it’d be like or what he’d have to say or anything like that. That’s always the case, but I knew the track record is real. RITHOLTZ: So — so let’s jump into some of the details of — of various traders starting with the first chapter and pretty much the only person you interviewed who has a — has been trading for — for decades, and that would be someone I follow on Twitter who I’ve always been intrigued by named Peter Brandt. What — what drew you to him as a trader? And what makes him so unique? SCHWAGER: Yeah. So, as you said, Peter has a long career. He actually has — his career is broken into two segments. He — and each one is — I — I forget the exact number is, but that’s … RITHOLTZ: Eleven years apart … SCHWAGER: … (inaudible). Yeah, 11 years apart, but each one — each of the segments is, let’s say, 16, 17 years. So, he’s got over 30 years of trading experience. He went co (ph). He stopped trading totally for 11 years in between because, at the end of the first period (inaudible) and gone out of it, and he just — he just decided didn’t want to do it anymore. And then out of the blue, 11 years later, he decided to do and had a — had a second phase rated very well. So — so again it’s over three decades of, you know, of experience and — and so forth. OK. That’s — that’s part, that’s — that’s beginning. The thing that Peter — and — and I should — I should — I should say that — that Peter actually is a friend. Well, I — I knew him personally. One thing that always struck me about Peter was he just had a lot of what I thought valuable things to say about the markets and trading. And I remember him being on — on a — on another podcast and listening to it. And the questions will be asked and I would mentally answer him, and it was striking how similar his answers were. But it’s not just bad, you know, it’s just — I just really relate it to the way he — he looked at — at markets and risk, and had so many — so much good advice and just — just wisdom that — that — that I felt I wanted to capture. Now, Peter is — you know, in his early 70’s. And I — I literally — and he was kind of a catalyst to do the book. At the time, he was in Colorado as I am, and I (inaudible) thought, well, I’ll say to myself, you know, I knew — I knew if I didn’t have a “Market Wizards” book, I wanted that Peter in it. So, he was going — he was going to be moving. I think, well, I might have say to myself (inaudible). I might as well do his chapter. Now, it turns out (inaudible) that around to — to doing it. He had moved and then I — so I end up flying out, you know, to Arizona anyway. But the — the thing about Peter just — just to capture, I wanted to capture his — his market wisdom, the posterity. It’s probably the most straightforward way I can put it. RITHOLTZ: And it’s notable that several other wizards in the new book reference Brandt’s approach to risk management. Forget stock selection, they are just completely impressed with how disciplined he is and how he manages risk, first and foremost. “The — the stocks — the trades that are working out, we’ll take care of themselves,” he says. It’s ones that don’t work out that — that require all your attention. Somebody else said something that really intrigued me. The — the chapter on Jason Shapiro, the contrarian, I love this quote. “There aren’t good traders you can make money on by doing what they’re doing, but there are terrible traders you can make money on by doing the exact opposite of what they do.” Tell us a little about Jason Shapiro. SCHWAGER: Yeah. So yeah, Jason is the — the contrarian in the book, and that’s his nature. I mean, he — if you beat him, he’s just — he has to be, I would say, he has to be argumentative, but he always has to be on the upside. And he admits freely like he — he goes to a party and — and it’s mostly liberal, so he’ll argue the conservative side. It was mostly conservatives, he’ll argue the liberal side. He’s fine doing that. And his — his premise is that because just no absolute black and white, there’s truth on — on some truth on both sides, and — and people who insist everything is, you know, one side of the other (inaudible) is arguing with. But that his nature is always to be arguing and to be counter, so it’d be natural that he evolves into trading methodology that — that — that’s contrarian. And that’s what .....»»

Category: blogSource: TheBigPictureOct 4th, 2021

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

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

Category: smallbizSource: nyt22 hr. 22 min. ago

How millions of hearing aids are made inside one of the world"s largest manufacturers

Hearing aids are becoming more customized and advanced. We visited one of the world's largest manufacturers to see how the industry is transforming. Hearing aids can be customized, connect to phones, and translate foreign languages in real time. Starkey is one of the largest hearing-aid manufacturers in the world developing these technologies. We went inside the company's headquarters in Minnesota to see how the industry is transforming. Hearing aids can be customized, connect to phones, and translate foreign languages in real time. We went inside one of the largest hearing-aid manufacturers in the world to see how the industry is transforming.The following is a transcript of the video.Narrator: A squirt of silicone is the start of a hearing aid. The device is designed by machine and finalized by hand. But it's no longer just used for basic hearing. This customized aid can connect to your phone, isolate voices, and even translate another language in real time.Paul Neu: Did we take out the garbage tonight?Employee: Si, claro, Paulo.Narrator: We visited one of the world's largest hearing-aid manufacturers to learn more. 38 to 48 million Americans have some degree of hearing loss. That's about the population of Canada or Spain. Right now, only about 20% of adults in the US who need a hearing aid actually have one. And believe it or not, there's only one traditional hearing-aid manufacturer that's US-owned and operated. Starkey was founded in 1967. Since then, it's produced tens of millions of these devices.Brandon Sawalich: Starkey has over 5,000 employees. We do business in over 100 countries, and we change people's lives through better hearing.Narrator: It's a big business that begins with the tiniest of measurements. Inside Starkey's headquarters, a silicone impression of the ear goes through a 3D scanner that captures all of its unique dimensions. The machine prints out an acrylic shell, which holds all of the electronic components. And a special software helps the technician determine how to create the smallest, most comfortable hearing aid for that patient's ear and prescription. Since the final customized product is assembled by hand, the whole process can take up to four days. For Chef Paul Neu, some of the features of his Starkey hearing aid have been essential for his work in the kitchen.Paul: I can answer my phone while I'm cutting fish. I don't have to touch anything. I don't have to stop what I'm doing to actually talk to people.Narrator: Chef Paul got his first hearing aids 14 years ago.Paul: It almost was like you were in a Chuck E. Cheese, where there's so many lights, bells, whistles going on.Narrator: But high costs are part of the reason why many adults haven't gotten them. Right now, a set of hearing aids in the US could cost anywhere from $700 to $10,000.Barbara Kelley: So, the device is about one-third of the cost, but then you have the services, which you really need.Narrator: There are also limited options.Nicholas Reed: There really only are five major hearing-aid companies in the world, and they're very highly integrated, in that you might hear many different brand names of hearing aids, but it's really five companies controlling the whole thing.Narrator: During the pandemic, the hearing-aid industry saw an unexpected surge.Nicholas: I think when you have something like universal masking, so many more people realize how much they rely actually on subconscious lip reading.Narrator: And the industry is also going through another big change. Legislation for over-the-counter hearing aids passed in 2017. Tech companies like Bose and Apple are entering the market. But Starkey points out that these over-the-counter devices will only be for those with mild to moderate hearing loss and that most Americans will still need personalized fittings and expert care. The number of people with hearing loss in the US is expected to nearly double by 2060 as the population of elderly people grows. And studies have shown that when left untreated, it has much more dire consequences on overall health.Paul: You strain so much in hearing that actually I was physically shaking, and I couldn't figure out why. And then I got the hearing aids, and then everything just stopped. The stress level to hear was just gone.Narrator: As the industry opens up, the hope is that any barriers to addressing hearing loss will fall and that these devices will become more accessible for everyone. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytDec 3rd, 2021

Waters Corporation CEO, Udit Batra, outlines how the pandemic has affected his leadership style

An engineer at heart, Udit Batra has a three-step approach for excelling in his role as President & CEO of Waters Corporation. In this episode, Udit explains how the pandemic affected his leadership style, how he successfully navigated the largest merger in the life science tools industry, and the power of listening with compassion. Powered by PNC Bank. Subscribe to C-Speak so you never miss an episode. Click here to listen on iTunes, Spotify and Stitcher. Click here to download a transcript….....»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsDec 3rd, 2021

Tesla"s solar panel business has been hit by the supply chain crisis, causing project delays: report

Tesla doesn't expect more solar panels till January, Electrek added, citing a source familiar with the issue. Workers installing a Tesla Solar Roof on a home in the SunHouse at Easton Park community.Brookfield Residential Tesla has told customers that their solar panel installation timeline may be extended, Electrek reported. The company attributes the delay to supply chain issues, per Electrek. A energy shortage in China has crimped production of polysilicon — a key material in solar panels. Tesla is having problems getting solar panels, leading to project delays for some customers, Electrek reported.The news website, which covers transportation and sustainable energy, cited Tesla's emails to customers attributing the delay to supply chain issues."Due to supply chain delays, your installation timeline may be extended. These delays are broadly impacting the U.S. solar industry and are outside Tesla's control," the company said in their email, per Electrek. Tesla Solar also said it does not have a firm timeline on when the delays will end, reported the outlet which focuses on electric transportation and the green ecosystem.Tesla doesn't expect more solar panels till next month, Electrek added, citing a source familiar with the issue.The company did not respond immediately to Insider's request for comment.Last month, Tesla emailed the company's solar employees to inform them of delays to solar installations, according to Eletrek.Globally, the solar industry is facing a number of issues including soaring shipping freight rates, and higher input costs including those for labor. An energy shortage in key producer China has also led to a shortage in polysilicon — a basic material in solar panel manufacturing.Tesla's energy generation and storage business contributes just about 6% to the company's overall revenue in the third quarter of this year, according to the company's October investor presentation. Tesla's auto business contributed 88% according to the same report. However, CEO Elon Musk said Tesla Energy will "be rougly the same size as Tesla Automotive" in the longterm, according to a transcript of an earnings call in July 2020.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytDec 3rd, 2021

Exxon Mobil CEO: Latest Spending Plan Puts Earnings Goal ‘Back On Track’

Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC exclusive interview with Exxon Mobil Corp (NYSE:XOM) Chairman & CEO Darren Woods on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” (M-F 9AM – 11AM ET) today, Wednesday, December 1st. Following is a link to video on Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Exxon Mobil CEO: Latest […] Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC exclusive interview with Exxon Mobil Corp (NYSE:XOM) Chairman & CEO Darren Woods on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” (M-F 9AM – 11AM ET) today, Wednesday, December 1st. Following is a link to video on 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 input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Henry Singleton Series in PDF Get the entire 4-part series on Henry Singleton in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Exxon Mobil CEO: Latest Spending Plan Puts Earnings Goal 'Back On Track' DAVID FABER: Welcome back to “Squawk on the Street.” I’m David Faber on the Houston campus of Exxon Mobil joined now by the company's Chairman and CEO, Darren Woods. A nice background behind you, by the way, I'm told Darren it’s the drilling fluids analysis that's going on. There's some people actually working on that. Important part of the business, figuring out new fluids that will actually help obviously optimize the drilling process, not what we're here to talk about today though but very glad that we could join you. We are here to talk about the release out this morning in which, you know, you codify many of the targets that you shared to a certain extent during your last quarter. So, what is different about today in terms of why people should think about these numbers again if they already sort of saw you talk about them a few weeks back? DARREN WOODS: Well, let me just extend my welcome. Glad to have you here, David, and glad to share the view of the lab and some of the discussions and things that we're doing there. With respect to the release today, what we did and our third quarter earnings call in October is we had just had a preliminary review with the board, shared some of the perspective of the things the board was looking at as part of our plan. In November, we finalize that plan and in this release, basically puts in a lot more detail behind the initial numbers that we shared in October. And it's a plan frankly that we’re very, very proud of. If you think back in 2018, we set some fairly aggressive targets like for 2025 to double earnings and cash flow. Pandemic got in the way of that and obviously set those plans back. This plan basically achieves doubling the earnings by 2025 back on track, nearly doubles cash flow and by 2027 basically double earnings and cash flow very soundly so very proud of the progress that we've made despite the setback of the pandemic. FABER: Yeah, a lot of focus is also going to be on the $15 billion number, again, a number that we had seen previously, but a bit more detail behind it as well. You know, you're talking about 15 billion on greenhouse gas emission reduction products over the next six years. There are those who want to know what's the return going to look like on that expenditure and how are you going to go about spending it? WOODS: Yeah, so it's a mix and what we've tried to do here, and I think one of the things that board has brought to this year's plan in the discussion is challenge us to take a lead in how Exxon Mobil can help society address this challenge of reducing emissions. That portfolio, $15 billion, includes projects that today generate good returns with existing policy. There are other aspects of that portfolio where we are developing projects, seeding projects, large scale projects, in anticipation of policy and trying to develop those projects in a way that can inform policymakers to help them think about how best to shape policy— FABER: So, what would be an example of that Darren? WOODS: So, the Houston hub that we proposed is a great example of that where we've got 11 companies collaborating to make a significant step change in emissions 50 million tons per annum by 2030, 100 million tons per annum by 2040, very high concentrations of CO2 and do that at a cost which is cheaper than essentially any other programs or initiatives that the government is currently funding. So that's a great example but it needs some policy to help support that project. FABER: What’s the policy then? WOODS: So, you need, you need policy, which frankly, the infrastructure bill has helped with to regulate pore space and allow access to pore space. We're going to need infrastructure and pipeline, we need some additional 45Q, some additional incentives for carbon reduction that's being considered in the Build Back Better legislation, so I think there's the, you know, the, the policy makers are receptive to the ideas and the constructs that we're trying to put together to table opportunities, make significant reductions in a cost-effective way. FABER: So, if you see those policy changes that you're talking about, is it possible that you will choose to increase that number or is that number going to be what your shareholders should expect for the next six years? WOODS: If you look at that number, last year, we've more than quadrupled it and it's really a function of the organization focusing and finding the opportunities around the world. We're working with governments around the world. So, I would expect that if those policies come into play and provide the necessary incentives to drive that investment, you'd see that investment level go up. Absolutely. FABER: And you talked about the use in the hub, and you talked about, you know, carbon capture obviously. There’s a lot of carbon that comes out of there. But we're not in a technological place where we can actually suck it out of the air in an efficient way and just store it somewhere or are we? WOODS: No, that's the holy grail if you think about if you could leave the existing infrastructure in place which is very efficient today and find a way to extract CO2 out of the air cost effectively, that's the holy grail because you get your cake and you eat it too. There are a lot of people working on that technology and I think we will make advances there, but I would say you need to spend money on that technology have some breakthroughs there and you also need to develop a broader set of portfolios because as you know, predicting when you're going to have a breakthrough and the magnitude of that breakthrough is often challenging so you better have a portfolio of opportunities that you're pursuing. But I think direct air captures is an important technology. FABER: You do, you know, when you talk about carbon capture which is becoming an important component of your product portfolio for lack of a better term, I mean, you say, unique capability that Exxon Mobil has. You talk about leveraging your advantage in science and technology. Give our viewers some sense as to what you're talking about when you say that. What is it about Exxon Mobil that gives you the confidence that that's where you should be focused and that that's where you can distinguish yourself, as you say, in terms of being sort of unique? WOODS: So, if you go back and look at our history over 135 years, I mean, our job has been to discover and develop hydrocarbon and then to transform that hydrocarbon into products that consumers need and to manage the impact of that hydrocarbon. What we're talking about with carbon capture is just a variation on that theme of managing carbon and managing hydrocarbon molecules. And so today, we're the largest sequester of carbon in the world today, we've captured more anthropogenic CO2 than any other entity in the world and, so we've got a lot of experience in that space. It's going to require large scale projects, which we have an expertise in. It’s going to be needed all around the world where we have the relationships with governments and had done that work in the past, requires technology and advances in technology which is where we spend a lot of money and it requires an understanding of how to integrate those projects into existing facilities which obviously, we have a very large facility footprint. So, there's a lot of aspects of what we do today that lend itself and support what we can do tomorrow with carbon capture and the beauty of carbon capture hydrogen and biofuels, all those lower emissions investment opportunities draw on the same sets of skills and capabilities, and in fact, are competitive advantages. So as the world transitions and we have this uncertainty as to exactly when it's going to happen, we have the optionality and the flexibility to shift from the traditional investments in what we're leveraging are those skills to the alternative investments and we can pace that as the world transitions and as we work with governments, and if that accelerates faster, we can ship those resources faster. If it slows down, we can keep those resources balanced. FABER: What’s your guess right now, you know, based on what you see right now and our ability to actually combat climate change, come to some sort of agreement by the way within our own country, not to mention with nations around the world, what's your best guess in terms of how that shift is going to take place and when? WOODS: You know, I think it's hard to predict and that is not, in fact, very different than what the price of crude or any of our other products can be very difficult to predict so the plan is to basically build an optionality, so you're prepared irrespective of what direction that goes in. It's challenging to put that policy in place. The fact of the matter is today, the alternatives to replacing the existing energy system are expensive, and consumers will have to pay for that. We're working hard to bring that cost down. I think that's the best solution is to invest in the technology, provide alternatives that don't require consumers to give up the standards that they’ve become accustomed to and don't require them to spend a lot of money. I think that's the work that has to happen, and how quickly that technology evolves to get those costs down will help drive the pace of the transition. FABER: But people are going to have to potentially be willing to spend more is what I hear you saying. WOODS: I think, you know, there will be a cost for moving to what is today a very efficient to a new alternative. The more that we do that cost will come down obviously and the better the technology becomes that that cost will come down but that there will be a transition cost. No doubt about it. FABER: You know, speaking of that transition of course, we're focused on Europe to a certain extent this winter because the wind hasn’t been blowing quite as hard in the North Sea, the sun doesn't always shine and there has been a transition that has taken place more, more so than here certainly in terms of power generation. Are you concerned at all about what you see in Europe and potentially what they're facing? WOODS: Yeah, no, I think, it's I am concerned and it is this, I think when you're moving from if you think about today's global energy system, it has developed over decades and billions of people around the world depend on it to support their modern living and so as you transition out of that, which has to happen to get the emissions down which I think is the right objective, you gotta be very thoughtful about how you do that because if you, if you don't have the same availability and reliability, that will translate into people going without energy, which is absolutely critical to their standards of living and obviously in the wintertime, it becomes very important with heat so we're going to have a challenge I think. It's going to be a function of how, how cold it gets and what the demand looks like. It's been compounded not just by the transition in the investments and the alternatives, but coming out of the pandemic, the industry saw a tremendous impact from that pandemic and a loss of revenue and prices being as low as they were and so investments had to pull back. The industry didn't have the money to make the investments that has in a depleting business has really constrained supply. Now the demand is picking back up again. So, there’s a number of dynamics there are influencing that, we got to get our, we got to get through that, frankly. FABER: Well, speaking of rising prices, I did want to get your response to President Biden a few weeks back when he asked the Federal Trade Commission to examine oil and gas companies and their role in rising gasoline prices. There seem to be this idea that there's potentially illegal conduct. What's your response? WOODS: I think, you know, if you go back in time in history, every time we see the supply and demand balances get tightened, prices rise. You see similar types of investigations. I think you're gonna find there's nothing, there's no there there. I mean, frankly, this is a commodity market. The prices are set by the amount of supply that's out there and by the amount of demand. If you restrict that supply and you don't do anything about demand, I promise you prices will go up. FABER: Can you give us any prediction on oil prices? WOODS: I can't do that, David. I wish I could. FABER: And finally though, how about cost reduction? You've taken four and a half billion out in costs since I think 18 or maybe 19, you have a $6 billion target, are you going to be able to exceed that? WOODS: Absolutely. I think, I've been very proud of the organization. The changes that we made starting in 2018, 2019, where we changed how the organization was configured and moved to value change that allowed us to really focus the organization in becoming more efficient, both from a capital deployment standpoint, if you look at the, the earnings and cash flow growth that I talked about, we're doing that with a lot less capital than we had before in large part because of the productivity we're getting out but it's also allowing us to significantly reduce our expenses and I expect to beat $6 billion easily. FABER: Alright, we'll hold you to that. WOODS: Okay. FABER: And look forward to future interview, as well when we discuss it. Darren, thank you for taking time. Appreciate it. WOODS: Thank you David. Thanks for coming down. FABER: Sure thing. Darren Woods, Chairman and CEO of Exxon Mobil. Carl, back over to you. Updated on Dec 1, 2021, 11:22 am (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkDec 1st, 2021

Union Pacific cuts full-year outlook for volume growth and productivity, says crew availability is "stressed"

Shares of Union Pacific Corp. slipped 0.1% in morning trading Wednesday, after the rail and freight transportation services company lowered its 2021 guidance for volume growth, productivity and operating ratio improvement. The company said it now expects full-year volume growth of 4% over last year, compared with previous guidance provided on Oct. 21 of "closer to 5%." Productivity guidance was lowered to "approximately $250 million" from $350 million, and operating ratio improvement guidance was cut to "around 150 basis points" from "the neighborhood of 175 basis points." The lowered outlook comes as Chief Financial Officer Jennifer Hamann highlighted at the Stephens Annual Investor Conference the challenges faced in 2021, including Winter Storm Uri, the Northern California wildfires and supply chain disruptions. "Our freight car velocity and freight car terminal dwell trail last year's metrics and have lowered our trip plan compliance measures, which we know directly impacts our customers," Hamann said, according to a FactSet transcript. "Our crew availability is stressed due to the impact of COVID and the vaccine mandate and the just general sluggishness in our service product," she added. The stock has gained 8.6% over the past three months, while the Dow Jones Transportation Average has climbed 8.5% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has slipped 1.7%.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit for more information on this news......»»

Category: topSource: marketwatchDec 1st, 2021

The Perfect Con Job

The Perfect Con Job Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via, One of the most famous examples of smart people being sucked into a bubble and losing a packet as a result is Isaac Newton’s forays in and out of the 1720 South Sea Bubble that is estimated to have sucked in 80–90% of the entire pool of investors in England. Some have claimed that Newton did not buy early in 1711, sell in April 1720 for a nice profit and then sink the majority of his substantial fortune in the bubble as it peaked in summer, then suffering heavy losses as the bubble popped in September, but evidence supports this chain of events. Newton “bought the dip” on the way up and then added to his position as the mania rolled over, making his final fatal purchase as a “buy the dip” just before the “last chance to exit” spike — which is precisely the point the current bubble has finally reached, when everyone is all in and “buying the dip” to increase the profits that everyone agrees are essentially guaranteed because the Fed. Not Even a Genius Can See a Bubble Isaac Newton was a very smart man. Newton was not just smart and wealthy, but he was financially sophisticated and a very successful investor who favored financial instruments such as bonds over land. He was the ultimate experienced, savvy investor who would not be bamboozled by specious math. The problem is, alas, smart people are still humans, and humans run with the herd when the herd is minting money. The Herd Is in for a Rude Awakening Absurdly farfetched claims are gussied up with “mathiness” and narratives that are powerfully simplistic, with just enough common-sense credibility to enliven the excessive greed that lies dormant but ready in every human heart. Despite Newton’s tremendous intelligence and experience, he fell victim to the bubble along with the vast herd of credulous greedy punters. Newton died a wealthy man in 1727, so his bubble misadventure did not ruin him, though it did lop a huge chunk off his net worth. Many in the herd, then and now, won’t be as fortunate. In fact, right now they’re being set up for a massive fall. And the financially intelligent could make fortunes as a result. Let me explain… An Opportunity to Scoop up Mega-Millions An extraordinary opportunity to scoop up mega-millions in profits has arisen, and grabbing all this free money makes perfect financial sense. Now the question is: Will those who have the means to grab the dough have the guts to do so? Here’s the opportunity: Retail punters (those who attempt to make fast profits from an investment regardless of its underlying fundamentals) have gone wild for call options, churning $2.6 trillion in mostly short-term calls — bets on gains now, not later. This expansion of retail options exposure is unprecedented not just in its volume but in its concentration in short-term bets (options that expire in a few days) and in mega-cap tech companies that are commanding rich premiums for options. The options market is like every other market only more so. The price of an option — a bet that a stock, ETF or index will go up or down before the option expires — is sensitive to the volatility of the underlying equity, the demand of other punters for options and the premium being demanded for time: The further out the expiration date, the higher the cost of the option. Anyone with 100 shares of the underlying equity can write/originate an option. Each option controls 100 shares, so a call option that is listed at $1 costs the buyer of the call $100. This is very sweet leverage if the market goes your way. You get all the gains of the 100 shares for a cost considerably less than buying the 100 shares outright. No wonder retail punters are going crazy for this cheap leverage to maximize gains in “can’t lose” trades. There’s a Catch But options have one funny trait: They can expire worthless and the punter loses the entire bet. Each option has an expiration date and a strike price — the price of the underlying equity that’s the pivot point for the bet. Calls gain value if the equity’s price moves above the strike price and puts gain value if the equity’s price falls below the strike price. The entity that sold the option gets to keep the money if it expires without any value. Here’s an example: Let’s say you have 100 shares of Engulf & Devour and you sell me a call for $500 at a strike price of $100. If Engulf & Devour closes below $100 at expiration, you keep the $500 as pure profit and I lose the entire bet. Now, it would be extraordinarily profitable to sell a huge number of calls — bets on a move higher — and then pull the rug out by crashing the market just as all those options expire. It would be criminally foolish not to crash the market and scoop up all that free money. Here’s what makes the opportunity so extraordinary… All Bulls, No Bears The options universe is extremely lopsided. Bearish bets have dried up as the market has melted higher month after month; short bets are at record lows and the put-call ratio reflects the same capitulation of bears and bulls’ supreme confidence in near-term gains. This means a crash will cost very little in terms of puts gaining value because there are so few puts out there to reap enormous gains as the vast majority of call options will expire worthless, leaving those who wrote the calls immensely wealthier. In previous eras with lower retail option volume and a less lopsided options market, it wouldn’t be worth the trouble to flash-crash the market to scoop up retail calls. But a trillion here and a trillion there and pretty soon you’re talking real money. Buyers of “can’t lose” calls may be unaware that the tail can wag the dog. Mega-cap tech companies appear invulnerable to declines, but they are now the 800-pound gorillas in all the indexes (Dow 30, S&P 500, Nasdaq) and a boatload of ETFs. So triggering a mass sell-off in an index play such as SPY will trigger a sell-off in all the components of that index, including the invulnerable mega-cap tech names. Mass Exodus The opportunity here is amplified by the dominance of computer trading algorithms. Once a crash begins, the algos will trend-follow and liquidate exposure to lower risk. This sets up a self-reinforcing chain of selling as every drop triggers more sell programs. Volumes are so low that it won’t take that big of a leveraged sell order to start the rug-pull. Add up the extraordinary size of retail options bets, the lopsided bullish bias in calls and the short duration of the calls and you have an unprecedented opportunity to scoop mega-millions of dollars by doing a rug-pull of the market via selling leveraged index instruments. Retail call buyers are basically begging the big players to take their money via a flash crash, and the players would be insanely incompetent not to take the money lying on the table. The Perfect Con It has all the moving parts of a perfect con: Convince the retail punters that they can’t lose by buying calls, jack up the premium they’re paying to own that beautiful leverage for a few days or weeks, lead them on with little rallies, “proving” they can’t lose and encouraging them to buy more high-priced calls, crush volatility to show the futility of buying puts and persuade the punters they have no need for any hedge, as the market can only loft higher because the Fed, etc. Then bang, pull the rug out and crash the market limit down for a few days. It’s a gorgeous setup, literally picture-perfect. It makes perfect financial sense to crash the market and no sense to reward the retail options marks by pushing it higher. Let’s see who gets to be the Road Runner and who ends up as Wile E. Coyote. Tyler Durden Tue, 11/30/2021 - 21:05.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 30th, 2021

Charlotte Bennett, an Andrew Cuomo accuser, calls on CNN to fire Chris Cuomo: "His behavior is reprehensible, unprofessional and inexcusable"

"Anything short of firing Chris Cuomo reflects a network lacking both morals and a backbone," Bennett said following new transcript revelations. CNN host Chris Cuomo.Donald Bowers/Getty Images Charlotte Bennett called on CNN to fire Chris Cuomo on Tuesday. Bennett accused former NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo of sexually harassing her when she worked for him. She said "anything short of firing Chris Cuomo" shows CNN lacks "both morals and a backbone." One of former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's accusers, Charlotte Bennett, called on CNN to fire his brother in a Tuesday statement.Bennett spoke out following Monday's revelations about the extent of Chris Cuomo's involvement in combatting the sexual harassment investigations that ultimately led to his brother's resignation."Anything short of firing Chris Cuomo reflects a network lacking both morals and a backbone," she wrote in a statement she posted to Twitter.In newly released transcripts from New York Attorney General Tish James, Chris told Cuomo's staff in text messages that he had "a lead on the wedding girl," referring to Anna Ruch, who accused the former governor of making an unwanted advance at a wedding.The text message exhibits included in Monday's document dump also showed Chris saying he would use his media sources to find out if there were any other accusers coming forward; the New York AG found instances of sexual misconduct from the former governor among 11 women."Yesterday, we learned just how far Chris Cuomo was willing to go to discredit, silence and smear women, like me, who came forward to report Governor Cuomo's sexual misconduct," Bennett writes. "In addition to scouring the internet for personal information about me, he reached out to his professional network with the hope of intercepting additional allegations against his brother, Governor Cuomo."—Charlotte Bennett (@_char_bennett_) November 30, 2021 She went on to say CNN "need not investigate his behavior — the investigation is over, and yesterday we received answers: Just like his older brother, Chris Cuomo used his time, network and resources to help smear victims, dig up opposition research, and belittle our credible allegations.""His behavior is reprehensible, unprofessional and inexcusable," Bennett added.A spokesperson for CNN did not immediately return Insider's request for comment.Later on Monday, the network promised a "thorough review" of the transcripts involving their 9 p.m. anchor.Chris did not address any of the transcripts or calls for his ouster during his show Monday night.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 30th, 2021

Taibbi: Will Twitter Become An Ocean Of Suck?

Taibbi: Will Twitter Become An Ocean Of Suck? Authored by Matt Taibbi via TK News, Jack Dorsey, the extend-o-bearded CEO who co-founded Twitter and whose fame grew with that of his increasingly powerful platform during the Trump years, resigned yesterday. His departure is the latest plot point in a long-developing Internet tragicomedy, which has seen what was supposed to be a historically democratizing technological tool transformed into a dystopian force for censorship and control. The departure of Dorsey, the rare CEO who not only has a conscience but appears to consult it more than once every few years, is bad news for those who already had complaints about the company, which during his tenure came to occupy a central role in what’s left of American intellectual culture. not sure anyone has heard but, I resigned from Twitter — jack⚡️ (@jack) November 29, 2021 Twitter under Dorsey suffered from working too well. Specifically, society responded to Donald Trump’s Tweet-driven 2016 presidential campaign as if it revealed a defect in the platform that needed fixing when actually Trump’s election was proof that Twitter was working much as intended. Our political establishment just wasn’t looking for that sort of functionality. The original concept of Twitter was egalitarian, flattening, and iconoclastic: “To give everyone the power to create and share ideas, instantly, without barriers.” That mantra fit with then-CEO Dick Costolo’s 2010 claim that “We’re the free speech wing of the free speech party.” Prior to 2016, elite mouthpieces bragged about acting as gatekeepers to political power. Someone like then-ABC writer Mark Halperin could write boastful pieces about how a “Gang of 500” in Washington really decided the presidency. These were “campaign consultants, strategists, pollsters, pundits, and journalists who make up the modern-day political establishment,” as the New Yorker put it. When political debates were held, a handful of analysts on television told you who won. We, reporters, told you who was “electable” and who wasn’t, and people mostly listened, even if “electability” was a crock that mostly measured levels of corporate donor approval. Then came 2016. Trump didn’t get the big Republican donor money (it went to Jeb Bush), he didn’t get the support of his party’s bureaucracy (which at various times pulled out stops to try to “derail” his candidacy for the nomination), and even conservative media locked arms against him early in the race (the National Review published an unprecedented “Conservatives Against Trump” mega-piece featuring a slew of famed mouthpieces, who aimed to forestall the “crisis for conservatism” Trump’s presence threatened). Trump throughout his political career benefited from free corporate media coverage, but by the time of his first nomination, he had universally negative editorial treatment in mainstream media and even serious detractors on stations like Fox. Once, that would have been fatal to a politician, which is why Nate Cohn could write with confidence in the New York Times that Trump had “just about no chance” to win the Republican nomination in 2016 — because, he said without embarrassment, it is “the party elites who traditionally decide nomination contests.” Such commentators didn’t figure on the power of the Internet, and especially Twitter. Trump didn’t need the news media to amplify his message. He was expressing himself in a way that defied contextualization, on a Twitter account that essentially became the country’s most-followed media network. Between January 2015 and January 2016, Trump’s number of followers doubled, but beyond that, the average number of retweets went from 79 to 2,201, which as Politico noted, meant that his power of dissemination increased by a factor of 28 in that single year. Twitter’s unique ability to exponentially increase the messaging force of a single individual had never been dealt with by institutional America before. One of the first things I wrote about Trump was about his unique knack for the platform: Trump will someday be in the Twitter Hall of Fame. His fortune-cookie mind – restless, confrontational, completely lacking the shame/fact filter, monosyllabic, and rarely asleep when it should be – is perfectly engineered for the medium. Whether he was being dumb or smart, petty or cutting, incoherent or inscrutable, Trump had a way of expressing himself that automatically gave his tweets superior reach to news stories about his tweets. This put him permanently ahead of the news cycle. Even just misspelling a basketball star’s name while stepping over a few racial decorum lines created fractal-like ripples of unpredictable headlines: With this power, a politician was now able to communicate directly with voters, and even the collective displeasure of the entire self-described political establishment could not stuff that genie back in the bottle. Moreover, Twitter itself now decided things like who won debates. Pundits were often reduced to reporting the platform’s mood, in place of the previous practice of telling populations how to feel. People will focus on the fact that it was bad bad Donald Trump who got elected that year, but that was really incidental. The real problem Trump represented for elite America had less to do with his political beliefs than the unapproved manner of his rise. Twitter, seen as a co-conspirator in this evil, became a target of establishment reprisal after Trump’s win. To read the rest of the report, click here and subscribe. Tyler Durden Tue, 11/30/2021 - 09:35.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 30th, 2021

Victim Hopes For Justice In Ghislaine Maxwell Trial

Victim Hopes For Justice In Ghislaine Maxwell Trial Authored by Charlotte Cuthbertson via The Epoch Times, Jeffrey Epstein molested her and she didn’t tell a soul for 17 years. Teresa Helm was 22, and she had already patched her life back together after being sexually abused by a close family member, starting at age 8. “I really suffered in silence,” Helm told The Epoch Times’ “Insight” magazine. As a child, she had told her mother about the abuse in the hope that she’d make it stop. Instead, her mother told her not to tell anyone, and it continued for 3 1/2 years. “I just didn’t get help, even though I kept asking for it. And so after what happened with Jeffrey, I suffered in silence, just like I had always kind of done,” she said. In 2002, Helm had moved to California from Ohio and was attending a massage therapy school, positive of a bright future. It became even more exciting when a fellow student, a year ahead of her, approached her about an opportunity for a traveling massage therapist job. Helm was interested and was connected with another young woman, whom she subsequently met at Santa Monica to discuss the potential job. “We looked similar, we were at a similar age, so I connected with her,” Helm said. “I never felt like anything she was saying to me wasn’t legitimate, or I never felt fearful.” Teresa Helm at age 21. (Courtesy of Teresa Helm) Helm said the woman painted a phenomenal picture of what life would be like as “Miss Maxwell’s” personal traveling massage therapist—private jets, top chefs, access to the best education all over the world. “So I’d say that she did her job very well. Because in an hour or so of walking around the boardwalk, I was like, ‘Wow. This is really great. I’m so lucky, this is meant to be.'” Wanting to grasp the incredible opportunity, Helm told the woman she was interested, and was informed that she’d need to fly to New York City and meet Maxwell for the final interview. Two weeks later, Helm’s travel to New York City had been arranged—flights, driver, an Upper East Side apartment to stay in, a gift basket waiting. “I go meet with Miss Maxwell. I was expecting to give a massage because that’s what the interview was pertaining to. And everything with Ghislaine Maxwell was legitimate and pleasant, and she was very polite. Her home was stunning,” Helm said. “I was super impressed with her because she’s this very well-spoken woman, and she’s clearly successful because of her beautiful home, and she has photos on the wall of ex-president Bill Clinton. And I’m thinking: ‘Wow, she’s really something special, she’s worked hard. She’s accomplished a lot in her life.'” Helm spent a couple of hours in the home before Maxwell told her she was next going to meet up with Maxwell’s partner, Jeffrey. It was the first time Helm had heard of a partner, but nothing had indicated she should feel alarmed or that she was in any kind of danger. Any red flags, she realized in hindsight, had been easily normalized and explained away. Even when Maxwell told her to “give Jeffrey whatever he wants” during his massage because he “always gets what he wants,” Helm thought Maxwell clearly must mean, “Do a good job, because he’s had a lot of professional massages.” “Because of my trust with [Maxwell]—she was able to create that trusting bond within me in a matter of hours—I literally walked myself to the man of the house who was going to assault me,” Helm said. “I took myself there, because those three women did their job perfectly well and I didn’t suspect a darn thing. When I look back at the fact that three women set me up to be assaulted, it’s just disgusting. It’s a different level of betrayal.” Helm said Epstein sexually assaulted her in his office during the interview and threatened her as she ran out of the house, her world shaking and head spinning. Shocked to the core and full of shame, Helm returned to California the following day. (Photo and illustration by The Epoch Times) “The shame was overwhelming, it was paralyzing,” she recalled. “I was just so ashamed to say anything.” Her life spiraled down, and three months later she broke her lease, dropped out of school, and returned to Ohio. For the next five years, Helm fell into a destructive pattern. But just weeks before her 28th birthday, she found out she was pregnant, and life shifted again—this time toward the positive. “That’s what really saved my life and turned my life around,” she said. “It was the first time I really valued myself. It was like that sense of purpose. And knowing that I was going to protect my child the way that I was never protected. “Then after having him, I was so honored to be his mom. And then it really actually dug up, it was like, almost hatred toward my mom and Jeffrey. That first year of my son’s life was a lot of emotional processing for me. And I just wanted to kind of remove myself from the world and just be a mom. And that’s what I did.” Helm’s son has just turned 14, and she also has a daughter who is 7. She is the full-time caregiver for both. ‘The World Shifted’ Helm, who had moved to Florida, was folding laundry one Thursday evening in July 2019 when she went online and saw a headline about Epstein after he’d been arrested for sex trafficking. She clicked the link to open the article and came face-to-face with her abuser. In that instant, she realized “Jeffrey” was Epstein. Stunned, she sat down and googled Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein. “It was life changing, just in that moment. It was like retraumatization, No. 1. No. 2, it was like the world shifted and changed all over again. It’s been different ever since that moment, like the world changed yet again, in that moment and it has not gone back. Nor will it,” Helm said. “Because I didn’t know there were others. I didn’t know that this was this huge thing with these people.” The following day, after a regular yoga class, Helm sat in her car and sobbed as the emotions swirled. She decided it was time to break her silence. The opportunity to speak out presented itself quickly. Epstein was found dead in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center on Aug. 10, 2019, one month after his arrest. A medical examiner ruled it a suicide by hanging nine days later. The New York judge, Richard Berman, would be forced to dismiss the charges against Epstein—which included the sex trafficking of dozens of minors from as early as 1995—but not before he allowed survivors to speak. Twenty-three women spoke in the courthouse on Aug. 27 about being sexually abused by Epstein, either in person or through a lawyer. “I’m coming forward because it is time to bring light to that darkness, and it’s time to replace that darkness with light,” Helm said that day. She had only decided that morning to speak out and use her name publicly. Another survivor, “Jane Doe 9,” said she was 15 when she met Epstein, in 2004. “I flew on Jeffrey Epstein’s plane to Zorro Ranch, where I was sexually molested by him for many hours.” she said through a lawyer. “What I remember most vividly was him explaining to me how beneficial the experience was for me and how much he was helping me to grow. Yikes.” Epstein’s Zorro Ranch is in New Mexico. He also owned multimillion dollar properties in New York, Florida, and France, and his own islands in the Caribbean, Little St. James Island and Great St. James Island. Epstein has been linked with a veritable who’s who of the fashion and political worlds. Attorney Gloria Allred (R) and her client Teala Davies, who claims to have been a victim of sexual abuse by Jeffrey Epstein when she was a minor, at a press conference to announce a lawsuit against Epstein’s estate, in New York on Nov. 21, 2019. (TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images) Chauntae Davies also spoke in the courtroom. She said she was recruited by Maxwell while doing a massage apprenticeship. “Upon my first meeting her, I wouldn’t know I had been recruited until many years later, when I would read it in a headline,” Davies said. She said Maxwell and Epstein took her in, sent her to school, and gave her a job. “They flew me around the world, introduced me to a world I had only dreamt of and made me feel as though I had become a part of their family—another thing I was desperately searching for,” Davies said. “But on my third or fourth time meeting them, they brought me to Jeffrey’s island for the first time.” Davies said a knock on her door late at night indicated that Epstein was ready for another massage, so she hesitantly went to his villa. As Epstein began his assault on her, Davies said she told him, “No, please stop.” “But that just seemed to excite him more. He continued to rape me, and when he was finished, he hopped off and went to the shower.” Davies said she ran out of the villa, cried herself to sleep, and then spent two weeks in a Los Angeles hospital throwing up from a neurological disorder that manifests into violent vomiting attacks, largely triggered by stress. “Jeffrey’s abuse would continue for the next three years, and I allowed it to continue because I had been taken advantage of my entire life and had been conditioned to just accept it.” A protestor holds up a sign of Jeffrey Epstein in front of the federal courthouse in New York City on July 8, 2019. (Stephanie Keith/Getty Images) Maxwell on Trial Helm had finally broken her silence, and it was a watershed moment. She didn’t get to see Epstein face his charges, but she’s eager to be in court to see Maxwell face hers. FBI agents arrested Maxwell at her New Hampshire estate on July 2, 2020. She has been in a Brooklyn jail since. Bail has been denied several times, with Judge Alison Nathan ruling that she is a flight risk. The trial was originally set for July, but was delayed until Nov. 29 and is expected to last six weeks. Jury selection began on Nov. 16. Maxwell is charged with sex trafficking children, perjury, and the enticement of minors while she was a close associate of Epstein, according to a superseding indictment filed in the Southern District of New York on March 29. “In particular, from at least in or about 1994, up to and including at least in or about 2004, Maxwell assisted, facilitated, and contributed to Jeffrey Epstein’s abuse of minor girls by, among other things, helping Epstein to recruit, groom, and ultimately abuse victims known to Maxwell and Epstein to be under the age of 18,” the indictment alleges. “Moreover, in an effort to conceal her crimes, Maxwell repeatedly lied when questioned about her conduct, including in relation to some of the minor victims described herein, when providing testimony under oath in 2016.” Virginia Giuffre (formerly Virginia Roberts), one of Epstein’s most well-known accusers, claimed in a 2016 deposition that she was directed by Maxwell to have sex with a number of rich and powerful men, including “foreign presidents,” a “well-known” prime minister, and “other world leaders.” None of the men Giuffre named in the documents have been charged, and all have denied the claims. A court officer stands outside a Manhattan courthouse where media have gathered for the arraignment hearing of Ghislaine Maxwell in New York City on July 14, 2020. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images) Maxwell, often described as a British socialite, maintains her innocence on all charges and in a 2016 deposition claimed she had no idea Epstein abused young girls. During the deposition, Maxwell was asked: “Did Jeffrey Epstein have a scheme to recruit underage girls for sexual massages? If you know.” She replied: “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” according to the transcript. “I never saw any inappropriate underage activities with Jeffrey ever.” Maxwell acknowledged that former President Bill Clinton traveled on Epstein’s plane, but denied introducing Britain’s Prince Andrew to underage sex partners. “I’m ready for this trial to start,” Helm said. “I really aim to be there and look at her right in her face, and equally as important is for her to see me.” Helm isn’t named in the indictment and won’t be testifying, but that doesn’t matter. “I’m hopeful that there will be justice in this, that she will finally be held accountable and finally be sentenced for crimes that she has committed and for the lives that she has just willingly stepped in and ruined. This is a woman that changed the entire trajectory of my life and not for the better.” Helm said she hopes Maxwell is found guilty on all charges and receives the maximum penalties. “I don’t think for a moment that she deserves to be on the outside of a jail cell,” she said. “I and other girls, we’re on the outside of these bars, and yet we haven’t fully regained our freedom back. So I hope she gets the maximum sentence. She doesn’t deserve any less than that.” Helm said she often gets asked if she thinks Epstein’s death means Maxwell is now a scapegoat and is being punished for his crimes. “No, I do not. She knew what she was doing. She didn’t think twice about doing it. She did it countless times. She did it … very masterfully, very successfully,” she said. “You don’t help facilitate and run and orchestrate one of the largest sex trafficking rings on this globe, on this earth, without knowing what you’re doing and intentionally doing it.” An exterior view of the Metropolitan Detention Center in New York City on July 14, 2020. (Arturo Holmes/Getty Images) The indictment alleges that Maxwell befriended some of Epstein’s minor victims prior to their abuse, including by asking the victims about their lives, their schools, and their families. Other times, Maxwell and Epstein would take the victim shopping or to the movies, or pay travel or education expenses. “Having developed a rapport with a victim, Maxwell would try to normalize sexual abuse for a minor victim by, among other things, discussing sexual topics, undressing in front of the victim, being present when a minor victim was undressed, and/or being present for sex acts involving the minor victim and Epstein,” the court document states. The indictment goes on to say that in order to “maintain and increase his supply of victims,” Epstein, Maxwell, and other Epstein employees also paid certain victims to recruit additional girls to be similarly abused by Epstein. Helm said she has tried to understand what would cause a woman such as Ghislaine to intentionally set girls up to be forever traumatized. She said she has read how Ghislaine lost her father, whom she was very close to, and met Epstein not long afterwards. Helm said she lost her own father unexpectedly almost seven years ago. “I still to this very day miss him incredibly, and I am not out there hurting people,” she said. “There’s no grievance, or there’s no tragedy that justifies you turning around becoming literally a monster.” Maxwell’s lawyers didn’t respond to a request for comment by Insight. Epstein avoided criminal charges for years, raising questions about being protected by the rich and powerful. In September 2007, he entered into a nonprosecution agreement that gave him immunity against prosecution for numerous federal sex crimes in the Southern District of Florida. As part of the deal, in 2008, Epstein ultimately pled guilty to state charges of procuring a minor for prostitution and was registered as a sex offender. He spent 13 months in jail but was granted work release for 12 hours a day, six days a week. The Grooming Process Grooming and recruitment are critical steps in the sex trafficking industry. “If you don’t have a successful grooming process, you don’t have the abuse, because it just doesn’t make it that far,” Helm said. Jennifer Hill, assistant executive director of the Children’s Assessment Center in Houston, said her organization sees 5,000 children a year who’ve been sexually abused, both by family members or through trafficking. And that’s just the children who have spoken up. “I think most people never, ever tell. And that’s what’s tragic,” she said. Hill said it’s hard to discern how many children don’t report abuse, but statistics show that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused before they’re 18. Common events—the divorce of parents, a breakup, bullying, or the death of a family member—can all make a child vulnerable. Many trafficked children come from the foster care system. But sexual abuse is the most common source of vulnerability for sex-trafficked children—70 to 90 percent of these children have a history of sexual abuse, according to anti-trafficking organization Path2Freedom. Hill said the grooming and recruitment process takes different forms, but involves getting access to the intended victim and gaining their trust so that eventually they’ll be willing to listen to that person, and that person has some control over their behavior. For children, it can include buying gifts, listening to their problems, or helping them in some way. These days, a lot of grooming occurs online through messaging apps or social media and gaming platforms. Post-abuse, children can be threatened to stay silent. Hill said she hopes the Maxwell trial will spur other victims of trafficking and sexual abuse to come forward. As a former prosecutor of child sex abuse cases, she said a lot of abusers are teachers or trusted adults in the community, which can be intimidating for victims. Her organization conducts awareness trainings for law enforcement, medical professionals, mental health professionals, teachers, and the community on recognizing and reporting trafficking. Helm said so many lessons can be taken from the Maxwell case, “like the fact that it can be a woman.” “That woman groomed me precisely well, beautifully. And that grooming process is so crucial for parents to identify that this is what’s happening to their children. Or for a child to think I think this might be happening to me. Because that grooming process is such a transfer of power [and] a gatekeeper to the abuse.” During 2019, the National Human Trafficking hotline received reports of 11,500 human trafficking cases, representing more than 22,000 victims. California, Texas, and Florida are identified as the worst three states for human trafficking. In Texas alone, more than 79,000 children are being trafficked for sex, according to a study by the University of Texas at Austin. “There’s not one single zip code in this nation, not one that is exempt from trafficking,” Helm said. “It happens in the wealthiest of the wealthiest, to the most impoverished, and everything in between. It has exploded online.” A residence belonging to Jeffrey Epstein on East 71st St. on the Upper East Side of Manhattan in New York City on July 8, 2019. (Kevin Hagen/Getty Images) The Threat Online Fifty-five percent of domestic sex-trafficking survivors who entered the life in 2015 or later met their trafficker for the first time using a mobile app, website, or text, said Tammy Toney-Butler, an anti-human trafficking consultant for Path2Freedom. Predators ramped up their sexual enticement of minors and the posting of child sexual abuse material as schools closed and kids worked online from home in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). The number of reports of online child sexual abuse materials reported to the NCMEC during the first six months of 2020 surged 90 percent to more than 12 million, the center reported. Reports of predators enticing minors went up 93 percent to more than 13,200. Facebook was used for most (59 percent) of the online recruitment in active sex trafficking cases in 2020, according to the Human Trafficking Institute’s annual trafficking report. That makes Facebook “by far the most frequently referenced website or app in public sources connected with these prosecutions, which was also true in 2019,” the report found. In June, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that Facebook could be held liable if sex traffickers use the platform to prey on children, arguing the social media website isn’t a “lawless no-man’s-land.” The ruling was made following three Houston-area lawsuits involving teenage trafficking victims who alleged that they met their abusers through Facebook’s messaging service. Prosecutors also said that Facebook was negligent by not doing more to block sex traffickers from using the site. The court said the victims can move forward with their lawsuits against Facebook. They claimed that the company violated the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, which was approved in 2009. Toney-Butler said the income traffickers can make from one victim can be close to $400,000 a year, and survivors have reported being forced to have sex more than 20 times a day while being six to seven months pregnant. And once a woman is over 18, she’s often seen by society as “a drug-addicted prostitute” rather than a victim of sex trafficking, she said. A child, after being pulled into sex trafficking, “only lives for seven years before they succumb to the environment,” Toney-Butler said. Suicide, drug overdose, and violence are often the killers. Teresa Helm (R) with three other sex-trafficking survivors, (L–R) Cathy Hoffman, Sabrina Lopez, and Nissi Hamilton, in Houston on April 24. (Kathleen O. Ryan) The Future Now 41, Helm is hopeful. Aside from looking after her children, she’s a fierce advocate and mentor to other survivors and a consultant to organizations and politicians to ensure laws and programs are victim-centered. “Helping others is the ultimate payback. That I didn’t completely break forever. I’ve been broken and I have repaired myself stronger,” she said. She referred to the old Japanese art form called kintsukuroi, or “to repair with gold,” which is the practice of repairing broken ceramics with gold, making them stronger and more beautiful than before. “And I definitely kind of view myself as that, in the fact that I can turn around and leverage this pain into purpose and help others—that’s the ultimate thing for me, to be able to be strong enough to go out and help others, help them change their lives, help them recover their lives and recover their power.” For Help The National Human Trafficking Hotline is confidential, toll-free, and available 24/7 in more than 200 languages. Call: 1-888-373-7888 Text: “Help” or “Info” to 233733 Chat: Tyler Durden Mon, 11/29/2021 - 23:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 30th, 2021

Transcript: Steve Fradkin

     The transcript from this week’s, MiB: Steve Fradkin Northern Trust, is below. You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, Bloomberg, and Acast. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here. ~~~ RITHOLTZ: This week on the podcast… Read More The post Transcript: Steve Fradkin appeared first on The Big Picture.      The transcript from this week’s, MiB: Steve Fradkin Northern Trust, is below. You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, Bloomberg, and Acast. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here. ~~~ RITHOLTZ: This week on the podcast I have a special guest. His name is Steve Fradkin, and he runs one of the larger pools of assets that you probably had no idea about. He is the President of Northern Trust Wealth Management. They run over $350 billion in client assets. They serve some of the wealthiest families in America. One in five wealthy families actually has assets with Northern Trust. They have something like 20 percent of the Forbes 400, just a very interesting perspective on how to manage through periods of uncertainty, changing tax laws, rising inflation. Also, it’s really interesting perspectives. It’s less about predicting the future, Steve tells us, then thinking in terms of planning and probabilities. And I think that was really interesting advice. He — he is about as knowledgeable as anybody is going to get in the – both wealth management business and ultra-high net worth management business. I found the conversation really intriguing, and I think you will also. So, with no further ado, my interview of Steve Fradkin of Northern Trust. VOICE-OVER: This is Masters in Business with Barry Ritholtz on Bloomberg Radio. RITHOLTZ: My special guest this week is Steve Fradkin. He is the President of Northern Trust Wealth Management. Running about $355 billion in assets, they serve about one in five of the wealthiest families in America. Previously, Steve ran the Corporate and Institutional Services. He was Head of International Business for Northern Trust, as well as the firm’s Chief Financial Officer. Steve Fradkin, welcome to Bloomberg. FIRRMA Thank you, Barry. Great to be here. RITHOLTZ: So, you spent your entire career at Northern Trust having joined in — in 1985. How do you make the leap from really CFO to President which, to me, I think of President I think of someone who’s running like a CEO, running a — a division? What were the challenges of that transition? FRADKIN: Well, it’s a great question and, you know, careers are mysterious experiences. The — the bigger mystery really, Barry, was the move to CFO. So I joined Northern Trust as a youngster, didn’t know what I wanted to do, worked my way through a variety of entry-level jobs, ultimately culminating at that point in running our growing international business, and loving it, traveling the world to clients in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, South America, you know, really fun and interesting stuff, and was asked, at that point, to serve as CFO, which was the unnatural job. Was not a controller, was not a treasurer, and so serving as CFO of a large public company was — shall we say traumatic when they asked. But did that for six years, including through the global financial crisis. And it was, at that point, I went back to doing what I normally do, which is running businesses. I ran our Corporate and Institutional Services business, and then after that Wealth Management. So — so it wasn’t so much going from CFO to wealth management as it was ending up as CFO, if you will, by accident from my point of view. RITHOLTZ: Really interesting. So — so you guys had a pretty good year in 2020. How did that carry over to this year? Is it just more of the same? What were the big success stories relative to all those challenges we soar last year? Well, you know, it’s — it’s really an interesting phenomenon, and it shows you the – in some ways, the unpredictability of what can happen. You know, if you think about COVID-19 and its impact in 2020, and if I said to you, you know, look here’s what’s going to happen, we’re — we’re going to go as a society not just Northern Trust from, you know, we all come in and we work and so forth and so on. And one day, on about the same day worldwide, everyone’s going to start working from home facetiously. What — what do you think is going to happen to the markets? I think most people have said, well, first of all, it could never happen that way. It’s not going to be true that people in Sydney, and London, and New York, and Sao Paulo are all going to be, you know, as much as one can working from home. That’s just impossible. And second of all is that where to happen on a sustained basis. Well, gee, you know, the economy is going to crater because no baseball games, no concerts, no – you know, less use of restaurants, et cetera, et cetera. I don’t think people would have said, you know, the markets would do as well as they’ve done. So look, it’s been an incredible journey. Northern Trust has navigated exceptionally well through it last year and continues to perform well today. And there are a variety of factors in that. But each and every day has been a navigation because we’re still not out of the pandemic and we’re still operating in a hybrid mode. And, you know, balancing safety of our partners, our — our employees, and the needs of our clients is a — a daily — a juggling act that we’re still working through and I suspect will be working through for a while longer here. RITHOLTZ: We’re going to talk a little more about how you guys manage doing the pandemic in a bit, but I want to stay with the success of Northern Trust. You’re one of the biggest ultra-high net worth investment managers. But relative to your size, you guys kind of fly under the radar. Why is that? FRADKIN: Well, you know, it’s — it’s an interesting question, Barry. The – so in terms of size, we’re in the top 20 banks in the country as measured by our balance sheet. But really the — the better marker of our size is the assets that we manage and the assets that we administer for clients. And we’re a very quiet company. We don’t do lots of big acquisitions. We do the same thing today that we’ve been doing since 1889, serving the same clientele, and so we’re a very focused institution. A little over half our profits come from the provision of services to wealthy families in America and around the world. And the other half come from essentially providing the same services, but to large global institutional investors, serving wealth funds, pension funds and the like. And so, we’re a quiet company that has been extraordinarily successful and consistently so for many, many years. So, we’re proud of what we’ve got, but we — we — we — we fly under the radar scream — screen intentionally to just keep a low profile and stay focused on our clients. RITHOLTZ: And — and that would make sense given the nature of your clients who are less Instagram stars and more quiet wealth. Is that a — is that a fair way to describe it? FRADKIN: Yeah. Today, we serve little over 30 percent of the Forbes 400 wealthiest Americans and, obviously, many other affluent families. And interestingly, Barry, you know, sometimes people think of Northern Trust in its wealth management business as focusing on — or serving multigenerational well-healed, you know, families. And that’s true, we certainly serve many of those. But there are many entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley, in New York, in Miami, in Dallas, in — all over the country and all over the world. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned in being here is that wealth is created in a lot of mysterious ways. And so, your — your reference to Instagram and so forth, I would say our clients are definitely low profile, but where they create their wealth emanates from every segment of the economy. It’s really a — a fascinating part of the privilege of being in this — this kind of role. RITHOLTZ: Let’s stay with that because I was just involved in a conversation recently about the amount of wealth that has been created over the past couple of decades. Wherever you look, especially in the United States, it seems that people are coming up with new ideas, new technologies, new just even business processes that if you go back to the 90’s, I don’t think people could have imagined the sort of things that are generating the massive amounts of wealth that we’ve seen. And — and I’m not even talking about NFTs or things like that, I mean, businesses with clients that are just doing tens of millions of dollars of — of revenue a year. FRADKIN: Well, I think the — the fascinating thing that I think we see is that wealth can be created in a lot of different ways. And I — and I think you’re right that as the world has sped up, the wealth creation has sped up, too. You know, to caricature it, it used to be you would start a business in your garage in Louisiana and, overtime, you would, you know, build a vacuum cleaner, whatever it happened to be. And you would start selling it from a store and, you know, it would — you know, you — you’d have a second store. And — and the next thing you know, you have a — a — a big business that you never envisioned having, and you could sell that company and — and create tremendous amount of wealth. Today, that phenomenon still absolutely happens, but it also happens with the power of the Internet that the pace at which companies in some industries can grow and accelerate has — has really multiplied. So, wealth creation, in some instances, is still a slow laborious step-by-step process. But in others, I don’t want to say it’s overnight, but it happens a lot faster with digitalization in the — the pace at which the world moves today. So, we — we see both phenomena, and that’s part of the fun and excitement of the American economy. And this certainly happens elsewhere in the world as well. RITHOLTZ: Quite interesting. So, let’s talk about how you guys had to operate during the lockdown. You mentioned this earlier. What were you doing when, you know, it became clear the country was shutting down in March of 2020? FRADKIN: It’s a great question, Barry. Well, we started like many other institutions with the safety of our clients and the safety of our employees. And it all happened relatively quickly in terms of shutting down offices to the bare minimum, getting people home, and making sure that they could function effectively from home. And if you go back to — and — and, by the way, we have 20,000 employees worldwide, so we were doing the same thing in Manila, in the Philippines as we were doing in London, as we were doing in Dublin, as we were doing in Houston, as we were doing in Las Vegas. And so I want you to think about the operational, and logistical, and infrastructural needs of pretty much all at the same time trying to get people out of the office, enable them to function effectively from home, still be able to serve our clients, and all the family and other issues that people were wrestling with. So, I would say the beginning of the pandemic was stressful. You know, we were working 24/7 trying to make sure that technology worked and people could still get cash and all those things. It has gotten to a much better, you know, I’ll call it normalcy in a strange sort of way. But the early days of the pandemic were — were challenging. We navigated through well, but it’s certainly not something that anyone had anticipated. RITHOLTZ: Really quite interesting. So, I’m assuming you guys have your offices, more or less, reopened. What are you going to do going forward? Is it going to be a hybrid model or is everyone back in the office or people working from home? FRADKIN: Our offices are open and — and really to different extents in different geographies, you know, which makes sense. The — the infection rates, hospitalization rates, all the metrics that we track are very different in different cities and countries around the globe. You know, in terms of where it goes in the future, I think the future of work and how people work is forever changed. You know, we always had a pretty flexible workforce and the ability to work from home and, you know, people’s — people’s lives and — personal lives and business lives had crossed over long ago that, as an employer, we had to be flexible. I think that’s going to be even more so coming out of the pandemic. People have gotten used to it. The technology has gotten better. Client expectations are different. And so, I think we will be in a — you know, what we — what we think of today as a hybrid model will be a normal model tomorrow. And that doesn’t mean everyone will work from home, but it certainly means a lot more flexibility for employees to inevitably juggle the — the conflicting needs of family and work life. And we’re well prepared for that. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) RITHOLTZ: So as investors, COVID was pretty much an exogenous shock. It — it came out the left field. How did the whole COVID crash and recovery compare to past crises, whether it’s 9/11 or dot-com implosion or the great financial crisis? How do you — how do you wrap your head around this one compared to ones from — from recent past? FRADKIN: You know, it’s — it’s a great question. And I think, Barry, my perspective would be that we often call events like the COVID-19 pandemic tail events or once in a lifetime events. And in some ways, they are and, in some ways, they aren’t. If — if I think about it through the prism of my career experience, we had the crash of October 1987. We’ve seen the collapses of things like Enron and WorldCom. We’ve seen September 11th. We’ve seen Bear Stearns go down. We had the global financial crisis of 2008 and, of course, the pandemic. And each time we call it a tail event, but at some point, we have to admit that there are a lot of tails. So, I want to take you back just to compare and contrast COVID-19 with 2008. I’ll give you this example. I want you to imagine it’s the end of 2007, and you’re presenting the 2008 plan for Northern Trust to our board. And you go to the board and you say, “Look, we expect our revenues to do this and our expenses to do that, and so forth and so on.” And one of the board members raises his or her hand and he says — he or she says, “Barry, that’s — that’s terrific. Sounds like a great plan for 2008.” But I — I — I just want to get your perspective. What happens if Bear Stearns collapses, Freddie, Fannie, Washington Mutual, Wachovia, Merrill Lynch, you know, et cetera, et cetera, Lehman? You know, the whole thing collapses in 2008. How will we perform? I think you’d — you know, I — I think if you had been CFO at that time, you would have said, “Well, you know, that’s just — that’s never going to happen,” but it did. And Northern Trust navigated through that exceptionally well. Not unscarred, but exceptionally well. If you take — if you fast forward from that paradigm to COVID-19, it’s very similar. You know, if — if we had been talking to our board the year before and put forward our plan, I think our board would have said, “Well, okay, you know, that sounds like a great plan. What happens if there’s a global pandemic in every office from which we operate is going to be shut down or substantially shut down? Everyone’s got to work from home on the same day globally.” And, by the way, it’s going to be for a year and a half or more. I’m quite confident you or we would have said, well, that — you know, that’s just not — you know, I don’t know what we’ll do. That’s not going to happen, but it did. And so, I think the — the lesson from these crises is that while they’re different every time, they happen a lot. And so, we have to think about our approach to business, our approach to research, our approach to preparing for the unanticipatable. And as I say, each — each of your examples, September 11th, and COVID, and 2008 are different, but they were all — they all featured substantial disruption, substantial unanticipatable disruption. And at Northern Trust and every other company around the world, you have to be prepared to be agile and adapt quickly. And — and that’s what we’ve been able to do pretty consistently over our 130 plus years of experience. RITHOLTZ: So, given that history and the fact that a big chunk of your clients are ultra-high net worth, how do you think about managing assets compared to what — I don’t know, let’s use the phrase “mass affluent,” that typical approach. Is this more about preserving wealth and it is striking at rich. These folks are, after all, already fairly wealthy. How does this specific demographic change and challenge the way you manage assets for them? FRADKIN: Well, I think, look, wherever one sits on the spectrum of wealth, they generally want to optimize their returns over time. And people have different risk preferences as you would expect. So to caricature it, if you come from nothing and you’ve done exceptionally well financially, you may — not always, but you may have a predisposition to have a stronger defensive component to your portfolio because you don’t want to end up back where you were. You know what it’s like not to have money, you have it, and you want to be defensive. On the other hand, there are people who whether they came from nothing or not, they’ve had tremendous success. They’ve seen the power of capitalism, and they want to not only do as well as they can, but keep going. So, we see things through the eyes of our clients across the continuum. What I would say is people in the ultra net — ultra-high net worth space, at least from my point of view, it’s not so much about they’re more defensive or more offensive. They have more flexibility for choice. They can be defensive because they’ve, you know, so to speak, got more than enough or they can lean in and be more aggressive because they have a bigger cushion than the rest of us. And our clientele is all ends of that spectrum. There’s no — the — the — the notion that some people have, well, once someone’s made a certain amount of money they’re — they’re just trying to preserve it. There are certainly clients that — that exhibit that behavior, but there are an equal number who want to optimize it and aren’t in a completely defensive mindset. So, it depends on the personality type. RITHOLTZ: Very interesting. One of the clichés of the industry is three generations from, you know, short tales to short tales, referring that generational wealth very often gets — I don’t want to say wasted, but frittered away irresponsibly or recklessly. Some people take too much risk. How do you manage around that? Do you — do you ever have families coming to you and say, “Hey, we want to leave money to the next generation, but we want to make sure they get it and that it’s not just, you know, Ferraris and — and weekends in Vegas.” FRADKIN: Yes, all the time. Again, every family is different. Every client is different but, you know, one thing to — one thing that I think is a little bit unfair in — in — not by you, but in the characterization that you refer to is this notion, well, you know, by the third generation it is, you know, frittered away. I think you — you have to remember a couple things. First, when — when we say it’s frittered away, the comparison point is often to someone who did the extraordinary. So if I started from nothing and created $1 billion — $1 billion of wealth, it’s a little unfair to say my kids or my grandkids, you know, they’re not as smart as I am because, you know, they didn’t do it, too. You know, People who have created extraordinary wealth have done so, by definition, it’s — it’s extraordinary, and it’s not reasonable. Even if you have bright, talented, you know, high-functioning kids, it’s not reasonable to assume that each generation is just going to — you know, mom made $1 billion. Mom’s kid made $2 billion and — and mom’s grandkid made — made $4 billion. You know, it’s — mathematically, that’s not a reasonable probability. That’s sad. There is definitely an art to optimizing wealth through the generations. And, of course, it starts in the home and how you raise kids and values and, you know, what you demand of them or not. But a lot of our clients do a great job of trying to steward their wealth, trying to educate their kids, trying to make use of family governance to — to help everyone understand how things work for the family. And so, each client is different, but as with most things, the more you put into it, the more you’re likely to get out of it. And for those who believe it’s an important responsibility to steward that wealth, pass it to future generations, educate those generations, make them or trying to help them be important members of society, they tend to get better outcomes than the rest of us. It’s a — it’s a very — it’s, you know, raising kids and money are two challenging vectors, but we see some great examples of people stewarding wealth through multiple generations not just the — the founder, so to speak. RITHOLTZ: Quite interesting. Let’s talk a little bit about what you call Goals Driven Wealth Management. Start out with what — what exactly is that. FRADKIN: Sure. Goals Driven Wealth Management at Northern Trust is the framework that — that we’ve devised to build personalized wealth plans for clients and it focuses on helping them achieve their individual goals with confidence. It provides a big picture of their wealth and transparent steps on how to manage and optimize wealth over time. So, Barry, one way to think about it is — and I’m being a little bit facetious, but just to make the point, it used to be in this industry that the starting point for how money might be managed was a function of your outlook on the market. You think equities are going to go up, et cetera, so you allocate more to equities. Goals Driven Wealth Management comes at investing through a different lens. The starting point is not so much our call on the markets though that will be important at some point. Our starting point in Goals Driven is what are you and your family trying to accomplish. Once we understand what you’re trying to accomplish and the assets you need to accomplish it, we can, in effect, back in to how to deploy those assets — in stocks, bonds, other asset classes — to give you the best probability of achieving your life goals over time. So, it’s really just a different starting point for how to think about creating an asset allocation that is most effective for you and your family. RITHOLTZ: So, let’s talk about that framework. And again, the question comes back, how different is it for the ultra-high net worth than for the merely wealthy or — or is there a lot of overlapping between the two different types of planning? FRADKIN: The process is really the same no matter where you are on the wealth spectrum. You and your family have goals, and whether you have $1 million, $100 million, $1 billion, $10 billion or whatever the number is, you have something you want to achieve over time. You plan to live to age 90 or 100. This is what you need to live in the style to which you want to be accustomed, and we do a variety of work to figure out, first of all, are you asset-sufficient, meaning under reasonable scenarios, do I have enough if I steward it effectively to live my life the way I want to live it over time? And that happens whether you have, you know — again, whatever the number is, $500,000 or $10 million. The difference, Barry, comes in with the flexibility and options that you have as you create more wealth. So, the starting point is the same: understand your goals, understand your needs, and let’s figure out an asset allocation to give you the best chance to get there. What becomes different for people in the ultra-high net worth space relative to the rest of us is that they can take advantage of more planning techniques. They can take advantage of more techniques to optimize philanthropy. They can take advantage of gifting to future generations and so forth, and so the process is the same. But as you accumulate more money, in general, you have more flexibility on some other things you can do. The ultra-high net worth also have more investment optionality. They have the ability to invest in asset classes like private equity hedge fund and so forth where they may have to trade off some liquidity for a period of time. Those of us who are lower on the spectrum may not be able to endure that in a down market. Those who have more wealth can — can oftentimes weather that storm more. So, the process is the same, but you get more flexibility as your wealth grows. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) RITHOLTZ: We’re going to talk more of about alternative investments in a little bit. I want to stick with a couple of interesting things I read in some Northern Trust research. One of the things that I kind of knew, but I didn’t realize it was this intense was the number of clients you see relocating to new states. It’s been a record volume. Some of that is pandemic related, some of it predates the pandemic. How does that challenge the planning process? How different is it from state-to-state when it comes to things like tax planning? You mentioned trust. You mentioned philanthropic issues. What happens when somebody picks up from one state and relocates to another state? FRADKIN: Yeah, it’s an interesting question. Look, clients relocating has always been with us. If you look at Northern Trust history, we are headquartered in Chicago in the middle of the United States. It’s cold here in the winter, lovely city, but it does get rather cold at wintertime. And often times, as people age and, you know, their kids finish school and so forth, they opt for better environments in the wintertime, so they may want to be in Florida or Arizona or Texas or California. So, one phenomenon we’ve always seen is migration from state-to-state. That phenomenon is also impacted by state tax rates, by state tax considerations. And so, both, because of the pandemic and for tax reasons and lifestyle reasons, were continuing to see movement across state lines. And so, you know, I think the — the message to urban planners is taxes do matter to people. It’s not necessarily the only factor, but even affluent people will think through where do they want to be, where do they want to live, what environment to they want to be in, and what’s the tax impact for their clients. And that phenomenon is — is alive and well. It’s always been there, but it — it does seem to be important as different states consider different policies, if you will. People — residents make their choices, and so it’s — it’s — it’s a phenomenon that’s very much at the front of mind for many of our clients. RITHOLTZ: Interesting. You mentioned taxes. There was a new administration came to town this year, and the expectations are there will be some sort of change in tax policy, potentially including increases in capital gains and increases in estate taxes and, in some cases, fairly substantial increases. How do you plan around that? And since nothing is known for certain in advance what an administration is — is going to do, how do you make decisions in — in the face of that uncertainty? FRADKIN: Yeah, I think our starting point on behalf of our clients is to prepare rather than predict. So, let me give you an example that — that you referred to. The newly proposed tax law change would change the lifetime gift and estate tax exemption amount from $11.7 million down to $5 million. And what this means for people that built up substantial wealth is that if the proposal goes forward as — as offered, you have until the end of this year if you want to make a gift to your heirs of — if you can afford to and if you want to, make a gift of $11.7 million. And again, I can’t tell you whether this will happen. But if we just think about the financial impact here, if you have enough capacity to do that and you choose to do it, you can take $11.7 million out of your estate today, get it to your kids, grandkids, whoever it happens to be tax-free as opposed to, on January 1st, if the law goes forward only as — as offered, you can only do $5 million. And what that means is the difference between — sorry to get, you know, numbers all over — but the difference between 11.7 and five, which is $6.7 million will be taxed, you know, when you die at a — at a high rate. And so we have literally thousands of clients all across the country and each one we’re working with individually to evaluate what’s their financial circumstance, what do they want to do, do they want to make the gift. And by the way, this — this — this tax law change may or may not happen, so people have to make a choice without knowing for sure whether it’s going to happen. I think the bottom line though is people are looking at this carefully. They’re studying it and they’re trying to prepare and make judgments about what might happen and what’s best for their individual circumstance. But tax law changes matter and — and we are in the business of helping our clients figure out what’s the best choice for them with the information that we have. RITHOLTZ: Quite, quite interesting. So, we talked a little bit about alternatives earlier. Let’s address that a bit. There seems to be a growing appetite for all manner of — of alternative investments given that stocks and bonds are all a little bit pricey. Let’s start with private equity. What — what sort of demand is there from your clients for private equity. And — and how do you guys respond to the question of potentially better returns in exchange for far less liquidity? FRADKIN: Sure. Look, investment has become much more granular over the decades and again, just to be facetious, you know, large-cap stocks versus high quality bonds, you know, 40 years ago. Today, clients think in terms of small-cap, mid-cap, large-cap, value, international, emerging markets, private equity, and thousands of flavors of private equity; hedge fund the same thing. So, in the quest for optimizing returns, clients and their professional money managers, Northern Trust included, have searched for different asset classes to combine together to give people the best chance to — to achieve their objectives. Private equity clearly has been in the aggregate — there are winners and losers in private equity, but has been a asset class that has done well for many. There are tradeoffs with private equity, particularly in terms of liquidity. But I would say amongst our clientele, the appetite for private equity and private equity, as a more normalized asset class, continues to grow. It’s not the right asset class for every client, but for clients who have the capacity, the risk tolerance and so forth, it — it definitely can play an important role in a client’s portfolio. And increasingly, we’re seeing more use of private equity today than we did say 10 years ago. RITHOLTZ: What about venture capital or hedge funds, two totally different entities from both each other in private equity, what’s the demand like for those products? FRADKIN: Demand exists for venture capital and for hedge funds as well. Again, the devil is in the detail, not all hedge funds are created equally. The — the — the fees that they charge, the performance that they’ve delivered can differ substantially, but there is again this same notion of I want to diversify my portfolio. I want a — a range of options and so-called alternative investments. Whether you call it private equity, venture capital, hedge funds seem to continue to be growing in appeal to our clientele. RITHOLTZ: What about crypto and things like blockchain and Ethereum? There seems to be a lot of real interest in the space. Are — are you finding your client bases crypto-curious? FRADKIN: I would say the demand for crypto is more muted amongst our clientele than some of what you read in the public press. And that doesn’t mean we have examples of clients who have invested in crypto and done exceptionally well in a right time. But I would say, in general, if I had to caricature it, I would say that crypto is still an evolving asset class that is misunderstood by many. And I think most are treating it carefully. And the ones that are making crypto investments are viewing it more as a — more as a roll of the dice than a rational analytical view of what crypto is trading at today and what it’s going to trade it tomorrow. They view it as a bit of a roll the dice. They may jump in a little bit, but they understand that what goes up can also go down. So, I would say amongst our clientele overall, crypto is still not widely in use. RITHOLTZ: So, we mentioned briefly the market is certainly pricier than it was five or 10 years ago. How do you manage around stocks and bonds neither of which are inexpensive? FRADKIN: Yeah, look, I think for many of our clients, the market does go up, the market got does go down. And one of the great features of our — the goals-driven methodology that we use for clients is that we build a portfolio such that after a lot of analytical work to evaluate their goals and so forth that enables them to endure and not have to sell in a down market. We — we create something that’s called a portfolio reserve. I would liken it to the moat around your castle. Some people like a wide deep moat, some people need a narrower and less deep mode, but think of that as a high-quality fixed income. If the stock market goes down, your — your bonds are still fine. You can still pay your mortgage. Life is good. You can wait until the market goes up or — or returns to normal. So, the one thing we know on behalf of our clients is markets go up and down, and so you have to plan and prepare for that. And so, it’s very difficult to know. You know, again using the COVID-19 example, I think they’re a lot of people who might have argued the markets are going to crash, you know, everyone’s working from home and we can’t get the essentials, and people don’t want to go to the grocery store, and yet the market went up dramatically. So, we try and take a long-stewarded view and help our clients plan and prepare themselves so that when the market does go down, they can get through and — and not have to take adverse steps and sell in dire circumstance. And that’s been very helpful for our clients. RITHOLTZ: So, in terms of forward return expectations, does that — and historically low-bond yields, high equity prices tend to suggest low returns going forward, does that work its way into the planning process or is that really more of an academic theory? FRADKIN: No, it absolutely works its way into the planning process because our starting point is what needs does a client have over the near-term for financial resources. We — we got to make sure they can buy their groceries, and pay their mortgage, and we have to deploy assets against those goals. But once, in working with a client, we figured out the right mix of assets to — to enable them to — to afford those goals over a reasonable period of time, we then have to deploy the rest of the portfolio toward so-called risk assets, equities, private equity, hedge funds, venture — whatever the asset class. And in so doing, we have to bring our judgment about risk and return expectations for each of those asset classes. So, our view of asset classes and what they’re likely to bring over the relatively short-term is still an important part of the process. RITHOLTZ: So, what do you tell investors who say, “You know, I’m really not happy with my muni bond portfolio. It’s barely thrown off two or 2.5 percent.” Investors are always seen to be looking for more yield. How do you respond to that group of clients? FRADKIN: Yeah, I think it — my — our response is really you have to remember what you’re trying to do with that muni bond portfolio. No one is saying it’s a great high returning asset class, but that’s not its role. Its role is to be — I’m making this up, Barry, but generally, the role of that muni bond portfolio is to provide you with certainty, security, confidence, and not have to worry about the other part of your portfolio, let’s just call that equities gyrating up and down. So, of course, people want their muni bonds or their high-quality fixed income to return as much as it can, and it’s our job to try and help people achieve that. But I think you always have to come back to what role is this trying to play. And for most clients, it’s trying to play a role of stability, and reliability, and consistency, and that’s the paramount feature. And in providing that consistency and — and stability and predictability, they give up a little bit of return on that asset class, but they’re trying to get that elsewhere with their equities, private equity, and so forth. So, you had — you had discussed previously, hey, you know, it’s up to us to make the most of a low rate environment. What does that mean? Get — how does one make the most of a low rate environment? FRADKIN: Well, I think, you know, low — low rates create — low interest rates create challenges and opportunities. Maybe two simple ways to think about it are, one, on the challenge side, if you’re living on a fixed income as assets reprice to — and you’re reliant on bonds — your bonds to provide income, the lower rates make the yield on those bonds lower, and so that’s bad from, you know, how much cash flow I have to — to fill my needs. The flipside to that is that when rates are very low, if you want to, if it’s appropriate, if it’s thoughtfully done, you can use credit rather than liquidating stocks to — you know, if you want to buy a new toy, so to speak, a boat, whatever it happens to be, one way to do that is to sell stocks in your portfolio and buy the — you know, whatever it is you want to buy. Another way is to let those stocks keep working on your behalf and, because rates are so low, take advantage of credit. Take a loan, buy that boat and — or whatever it happens to be and pay it back over time. So low interest rates, you know, how can have different conflicting phenomenon, opportunities on the credit side and headwinds on the bond investment site. RITHOLTZ: So — so how do you incorporate all this inflation chatter to — to your planning? We’ve started to see rates tick up the 10-year as — as recording this just about 1.5 percent. And I know there’s an irony in saying that rates are all the way up to 1.5 percent, which historically is incredibly low. How do you figure inflation into your modeling and — and thinking about the future? FRADKIN: Yeah, well, we use multi-scenario modeling. The — the reality is no one knows and so you have to, you know, the — the prognosticators will — will have a view. Some — some believe inflation is here and is going to continue. Others argue it’s so-called transitory. And the truth is we don’t know. We’ll — we’ll find that out tomorrow, so to speak. And so as we work through planning with our clients, we generally are running multiple scenarios, low inflation, medium inflation, high inflation. And we’re trying — as we — as we help clients make decisions, we’re trying to make the best judgment we can at a given point in time. But that’s why you — you really have to — be you have to plan for multiple scenarios and bring agility to your process because we don’t know whether the stock market is going up or down. We don’t know whether inflation will be higher or lower. We have a view. We can have probabilities. But as we’ve seen, whether it was with 2008 or COVID, we — everyone can be wrong. And so, you have to plan and adapt and leave yourself a buffer for when you are wrong, and hopefully it’s not — not catastrophic. RITHOLTZ: So, I know I only have you for a little bit of time. Let me jump to my favorite questions that I ask all of my guests, starting with tell us what you’re streaming these days, what’s keeping you entertained at home, either on Netflix or Amazon Prime or — or wherever. FRADKIN: Well, I’ve — I’ve been working hard so I — I can’t say I’ve — I’ve made great use of Netflix. But what I have just started and this will show you, Barry, how far behind I am is I’ve just started Ted Lasso. So I’m behind the rest of the world, but that’s what I’m on right now. RITHOLTZ: All right. Well, well, you’ll — I could tell you this much, you will enjoy it and — and enjoy catching up with us. What about mentors? Who helped to shape your career? FRADKIN: You know, I’ve had a lot of mentors at Northern Trust over the years, people who were senior to me and people who weren’t, but I learned from everyone. I think when I think about mentors, for me, it’s less about people with whom I work and maybe it’s my interest in history. But I try and learn from people who have overcome insurmountable odds, the Mahatma Gandhis, the Martin Luther Kings, the Winston Churchills, the Vaclav Havels, the Abraham Lincoln. And there’s so much wisdom that I see in people like that because they really faced incredible circumstances and worked through them generally to good outcomes. And so there — those great thinkers are probably the people I’ve learned the most from as I wouldn’t call them mentors to me, but I’ve certainly read about all of them and — and learned a lot from each of them. RITHOLTZ: Let’s talk about books. What are you reading right now and what — what are some of your favorites? FRADKIN: You know, I think in keeping with that theme of mentors over periods of time that interest me, I’ve really enjoyed “The Splendid and the Vile” by Eric Larson, which is about Churchill and the blitz of World War II. And — and again, it — it helps you — it helps me to see just how dire the circumstances were and what he and others had to navigate through. The other book that I’ve dusted off recently, I read some time ago, but I think in view of the pandemic, it seemed interesting to me was “The Hot Zone” by Richard Preston, which has nothing to do with the pandemic, but there are parallels to what we’re dealing with, and it was sort of a gripping — a gripping book if you have time for a good read. RITHOLTZ: Sounds interesting. What sort of advice would you give to a recent college grad who is interested in a career in either investment management or finance? FRADKIN: Yeah, I think, Barry, I’d offer a — a — a couple of themes on this. And I — I don’t know that I narrowed these themes to an interest in investments or finance, although I think they do overlap. But I’d start by saying, it probably be easiest place to get my view there would be to go to YouTube and I — I gave a commencement address at the University of Illinois Chicago and tried to formulate those themes for — for young people. But a — but a few that come to mind at least through my lens are comfort is the enemy of accomplishment. If you want to be the best you can be, you can never be satisfied with where you are. You’ve got to push, push, push and make yourself better each and every day in everything you touch. I think a couple of the other themes that would come to me would be in — in the same vein, we see this in Northern Trust all the time. Excellence is not a part-time job. For people who want to be excellent, who want to do the best job for our clients and our shareholders, you can’t be excellent only when it’s convenient, only when you want to do it or only when you feel like it. You’ve — you’ve got to — excellence is an all-in phenomenon. And then probably the — the — the last thing that comes to my mind is persevere beyond your accomplishments. It’s not what you did yesterday, it’s — you can be proud of what you’ve accomplished. But again, you want to be better going forward. And so be proud of who you are, be proud of your grades, and your — your school, and your degrees, and all that sort of stuff, but those are what you did, you know, two years ago, five years ago, 10 years ago whatever it happens to be, keep pushing forward to be the best you can be. So, persevere beyond your accomplishments. RITHOLTZ: And our final question, what do you know about the world of investing today you wish you knew 35 years ago when you were first starting with Northern Trust? FRADKIN: That is a long list, Barry, but I think what I would say is you don’t have to be right on everything and sometimes being right is more about luck and timing than it is about specific analytical acumen. Uninspiring choices in a bull market can turn out just fine, and well-reasoned ideas in a down market can turn out to be not so good. So, get the direction right more often than not and you’ll be just fine. RITHOLTZ: Really good advice. Thank you, Steve, for being so generous with your time. We’ve been speaking with Steve Fradkin. He is the President of Northern Trust Wealth Management. If you enjoy this conversation, well, be sure and check out any of the other 388 prior discussions we’ve had over the past seven years. You can find those wherever you normally find your favorite podcast, iTunes, Spotify, wherever. We love your comments, feedback, and suggestions. Write to us at You can sign up for my daily suggested reading list at Check out my regular column at Follow me on Twitter @ritholtz. I would be remiss if I did not thank the crack that helps put these conversations together each week. Paris Wald is my Producer. Michael Batnick is my Head of Research. Atika Valbrun is our Project Manager. I’m Barry Ritholtz. You’ve been listening to Masters in Business on Bloomberg Radio.   ~~~   The post Transcript: Steve Fradkin appeared first on The Big Picture......»»

Category: blogSource: TheBigPictureNov 29th, 2021

Albert Bourla: Pfizer Could Have A New Vaccine Against Omicron Covid Variant In Less Than 100 Days

Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC interview with Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” (M-F, 6AM-9AM ET) today, Monday, November 29th. Following is a link to video on Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Pfizer Could Have A New Vaccine Against Omicron Covid Variant […] Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC interview with Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” (M-F, 6AM-9AM ET) today, Monday, November 29th. Following is a link to video on .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 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 Ray Dalio Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Ray Dalio in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Pfizer Could Have A New Vaccine Against Omicron Covid Variant In Less Than 100 Days, CEO Albert Bourla Says MEG TIRRELL: Well Andrew, thanks so much. Albert Borla, the CEO of Pfizer joins us now. Albert, it’s really great to have you on with us this morning and I want to start by asking you about PAXLOVID, your Covid anti-viral drug that's, that's in development. I learned this morning you guys now anticipate you can make 80 million courses up from the projected 50 million you'd expected just a few weeks ago. Tell us about that ability to increase that manufacturing in your expectation of how well this should hold up against Omicron. ALBERT BOURLA: Yeah, thank you. Yes, that's true. We are right now clearly can commit 80 million doses. It is thanks to, you have seen our manufacturing machine really at work and they just can make it and I'm very, very pleased that we are in this situation. Now, when it comes to Omicron and how the treatments should last. First of all, let me take a step back. I think Omicron is of concern for several reasons, right. But there are a lot of unknown things right now and keep in mind that we have been preparing for something like that for months. And what is the playbook the playbook is to understand a little bit better and then within weeks, I think we will know most of the information that needs to be known but every day we learn more, then to protect and then to treat. And to understand the virus, I think we need, the key questions are the questions that we are discussing all day today I mean, what is the clinical manifestation? Is it more severe? Is it less? Is it going to be spreading faster or not? The second is are the vaccines going to protect against this new virus given it has mutations in the spike and this is where most of the vaccines are working. And the third is are the treatments going to be protected. On the third one, that needs to be seen but the good news in when it comes to our treatment, it is that it was designed with that in mind. It was designed with, with, with the fact that most mutations are coming in the spikes or the mechanism of actions that they’re having is not related to the spike. So that gives me very, very high level of confidence that the treatment will not be affected, our oral treatment will not be affected by this virus. When it comes to the vaccine, remains to be seen. I don't think that the result will be the vaccines don't protect. I think the results could be, which we don't know yet, that the vaccines protect less, which means that if the vaccines protect less, it is that if we need to create a new vaccine. Already, we started Friday. Friday, we made our first DNA template which is the first part of the manufacturing of the development process of a new vaccine, and we have made multiple times clear that we will be able to have a vaccine in less than 100 days. In fact, we have already two vaccines built in less than 100 days. We build one for Delta, that we did not use because the current vaccine is very effective against Delta and we built one for Beta which also we didn’t have to use so we will build one at risk right now for Omicron that will be used only in case we need it if we see that the current one doesn't work. TIRRELL: So, you say on Friday, you started building that new template for an Omicron specific vaccine if needed. Tell us about the tests that your scientists and your, your partner's at BioNTech and others are running right now to understand how well the current vaccines will hold up both with the two-dose primary series and then also with a booster. BOURLA: Yes, we are going to test this new virus how serum from people that weren't vaccinated either with the two doses of our current vaccine or with the three doses of our current vaccine or with vaccines that we have made from Delta or Beta respond and then based on information on that, we will see if and what is needed to be done in terms of developing or not the new vaccine. Also, we have a very high surveillance system keep in mind, right, both in South Africa but also, you know, that in Israel, they are likely the healthcare authority that they have the most reliable data right now and we are monitoring to see also in real time when that will happen. Keep in mind that I'm quite confident because we got the dose right with our vaccine. We from, from the first moment right so we have 30 micrograms that were the two doses were very good and we didn't have to reduce the dose for the third one. So, it's full dose that we are giving for the, for the boosters already so that should provide very high protection levels. But as I said, in I don't think, I don't know if it will be equally effective at 95 plus percent against the Omicron. But I don't think, I will be very surprised if we are very, very, very low. And as I said if it is low enough, within 95 days basically, we will have a new vaccine. And keep in mind— TIRRELL: And what is your expectation— BOURLA: It's a game changer right now because it's not the same situation. It's not the same situation. When you have a treatment that instead of 10 people going to hospital, only one will go to the hospital. Instead of people dying, basically no one dies. So, it's very, very, very different story now. TIRRELL: Because of the, the antiviral treatment. Are you getting more incoming inquiries than you already were from governments around the world about the antiviral drug because of the fears around Omicron? BOURLA: I think that it's not because of the fears against Omicron. Basically, there is no government that they didn't call after we, the results of the study were, were announced that 90% efficacy and they are all right now placing orders for that. BECKY QUICK: The antiviral pill, PAXLOVID. I mean I think so many people have been looking at this as such a great beacon of hope, especially for people who are immunocompromised because if it's not working with the vaccine, you want to make sure that you can take it if you do get this if your immune system is not working, but I read something in STAT today that concerned me. I have someone who I love who's dealing with cancer and I know that this is the same for a lot of our viewers too. Those are the people who we've been so worried about and so protective of and trying to make sure that they don't get it. I read something in STAT today though that PAXLOVID can actually react to cancer treatments so if you are a cancer patient and you are going through some sort of treatment, PAXLOVID because it's a protease inhibitor can actually interact with some of those. Is that the case? And can you tell us more about that? BOURLA: Frankly, in my case, the first time I hear that. I'm going to look at it but— QUICK: I just read it this morning in STAT and they're a pretty reliable publication but if you haven't heard of it, that makes me feel a little better too. BOURLA: Yeah, but they are very reliable and we need to see. I don't exclude that this is the case, but I haven't heard it before. QUICK: Okay, thanks. JOE KERNEN: Hey Albert, is there anything that we don't know that you know about another target for some type of therapeutic that would go into some type of maybe cocktail like we've seen in dealing with previous viruses. We're talking about the protease inhibitor. I'm wondering how quickly you could see a mutation around that it seems like it's highly conserved. There's no reason to think that that this new variant, that that protease inhibitor would be any different than the one in Delta or the original COVID but are you at this point, you have other targets that you're working on that you just haven't told us about at this point that the that might be used in a combination with, with what looks to be very promising already? BOURLA: That's a very, very good question and as I said, we designed that the current one with that in mind so that we'll be able not to develop resistance when the virus mutates, because as you know, all so far, the mutations that we have seen in variants of concerns are in the spike and this antiviral has nothing to do with the spike. It works in a very different mechanism and in fact, the mechanism that it works which is inhibits the protease in the virus is such that this protease, it is very vital for the virus to survive so it's very difficult for the virus to create a mutation that doesn't need this protease and so that the drug will not work. So, I'm very, very, very confident that this drug works for all known mutations, including the Omicron one, but we are working on follow up drugs for the eventual case that maybe a resistance is developed. KERNEN: So, are there other things that other targets, there's polymerase, I mean, I don't know it's a very small genome, obviously, there's not a lot of different proteins that are that are coded for in COVID. But it’s, there would be something else I figure you could use for some type of cocktail. Is there anything else that you're not telling us about that Pfizer researchers are working on, Albert? BOURLA: Nothing that will be announced in let's say next week, but we are already working with and this is, you need to know, a standard practice when we're doing antivirus. Already, we are working on second and third generations. ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: Albert, wanted to also separately just ask you about cost and cost of the antiviral. We've talked about it before, but if in fact, the antiviral pills become the, you know, a critical component of this especially if the vaccines don't have the same kind of efficacy, could you see pricing come down? Would you, would you consider rethinking the pricing? Because as we know, you know, a vaccine might be $20, $30. This antiviral pills could be, you know, 10 times, 10, more than 10 times that I think we're talking about $600 or $700. BOURLA: Yes, you're right. But you know, we went out with the pricing to all the governments that takes that into consideration. You need to know the price of this antiviral despite the very, very high efficacy. It is almost 1/3 of what the prices of the antibiotics out there are. So, it's, it's really, very cost effective right now for the system given the hospitalizations that will be avoided. And keep in mind that in we waive the patents completely for the low-income countries, so there should not be price or intellectual property for anyone to make. KERNEN: So Albert, if you do sort of adapt your vaccine all the time and we can do it quickly and you're able to do that sort of in a flu vaccine type fashion to the new variants from COVID, do you foresee that this would be, would you call it a booster? We'd get another booster every year or would be a modified booster that that would provide a better antigenic response than, than the original vaccine? Do you see this happening every year? We either get a booster, regular booster of the same vaccine or a slightly different vaccine every year to deal with what we're seeing with these mutations? Is that, is that what you foresee? It's almost like a, I mean for Pfizer, you'd be selling these things every year. Not that you want to do that, I'm sure you're not hoping for that but almost like an annuity for Pfizer. BOURLA: I did make a projection months ago that the most likely scenario, it is that we will need after the third dose annual revaccinations against COVID for multiple reasons because of the immunity that will be waning, because of the virus that I'm sure will be maintained around the world for the years to come and also because of the need of variants that will emerge. I'm more confident right now that this will be the case than I was when I made the projection. I think we are going to have an annual revaccination. I don't know how we're going to call it but will be an annual revaccination and that should be able to keep us really safe. TIRRELL: Albert, just trying to take a step back and sort of a big picture view of things. As you learned about this variant emerging and the information that exists about it, as limited as it is, what is your level of concern about it at this point? BOURLA: With Omicron you mean? TIRRELL: Yes. BOURLA: Look, I'm concerned. But as I said, we have been preparing for that. We have to start with a treatment, if things goes wrong, right, and we can’t provide protection, which I don't think will be the case, we have a treatment that will work against this virus that can be taken home. You don't need to go to the hospital, that’s one. Secondly, we have done it twice. We were able to create in 95 days a new vaccine tailormade to new variants. We will, we started already making for the third time, which is this one. So, if the current dose which is very likely that three doses from the current vaccine will keep us well protected, but I repeat, three doses of the current vaccine will keep us well protected. But if we find out this is not enough, before the virus starts emerging in those places, in let's say, in more places in the world than becoming the big one, we should be able to have one developed. The third, manufacturing. We have been working for that, with that in mind, this is the playbook. How can we switch manufacturing of a new vaccine to so that we will not lose volume capacity and we have been reached the level almost overnight so we will be able to switch our manufacturing capacity and the line that was producing before the old vaccine. Within two days, we'll start producing the new vaccine with no loss of volume and I repeat, we have reached the capacity of a billion doses third quarter. Already this quarter, we made a billion doses so next year, it is almost in the pocket 4 billion doses that we can make. If there is a need for a new one, we will make almost 4 billion doses of the new one so with that in mind that availability will not be an issue, that the efficacy is very high, that there are treatments around. No, I am optimistic, we have been preparing for that and we are going to, to win this battle as well. TIRRELL: Alright, some optimism is what we need. Albert, thank you so much for being with us this morning and we hope to have you back soon as we get more information about the vaccines in this variant. Thanks again. BOURLA: Stay well. Updated on Nov 29, 2021, 10:54 am (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkNov 29th, 2021

Moderna CEO: Could Take Weeks For More Clarity On Omicron Covid Variant

Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC interview with Moderna Inc (NASDAQ:MRNA) CEO Stephane Bancel on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” (M-F, 6AM-9AM ET) today, Monday, November 29th. Following is a link to video on Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel: Could Take Weeks For More Clarity On Omicron […] Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC interview with Moderna Inc (NASDAQ:MRNA) CEO Stephane Bancel on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” (M-F, 6AM-9AM ET) today, Monday, November 29th. Following is a link to video on 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 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 Walter Schloss Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Walter Schloss in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues. (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel: Could Take Weeks For More Clarity On Omicron Covid Variant MEG TIRRELL: Hey Joe, Stephane Bancel joins us now. Stephane, thanks for being with us this morning. I think the whole world wants to hear from you and what you're doing on Omicron. But let's start first with the level of alarm or concern that you feel about this variant given what we know about it right now. STEPHANE BANCEL: Good morning, Meg. Thank you so much for having us. So, let me maybe start to tell you what I think we know about the virus. Clearly, it has been reported a lot of mutations, mutation in the spike protein, the one that is important for the vaccine. Just to remind people, there were very few mutations on the spike of the Beta or the Delta virus variants and I think it was a big surprise to the science community. I don't believe many people could have predicted such a big jump in evolution in one variant. What we also know is that it's taking over Delta in South Africa very quickly. It took around four months for Delta to take over Beta. It seems that in just a couple of weeks for this new variant to take over Delta so that's something to keep in mind. And we also know that it's in many countries already. What I think we should move on is what do we believe? We believe this virus is highly infectious. We need to get more data to confirm this, but it seems to be much more infectious than Delta which of course is problematic. And we also believe that it's only present in most countries. I think what happened with the planes coming from South Africa to Poland over the weekend is a good example. I believe that most countries that have direct flights from South Africa in the last seven to 10 days have already cases in that country that they might not be aware of. And then the last piece is what we not know yet, but we don't know. There are two key things that we don't know yet and we're gonna find out in the coming weeks. One is vaccine efficacy, what is the impact all these new variants on the vaccine efficacy, and we should know that in around two weeks. Given the large number of mutation, it is highly possible that the efficacy of the vaccine, all of them, is going down but we need to wait for the data to know if this is true and how much is it going down. The second piece that we don't know that we need to keep probably an open mind is the virulence of the virus, how much disease of the people. I believe this will take two to six weeks to really know and I think we need to be cautious that it could be more virulent, it could be as virulent, or it could be less virulent and I think today it's really impossible to know. I think the piece we should be cautious is I don't believe that what's going to happen in the coming week or two in South Africa will be predicting the true virulence of the variant and I think that's because if you think about it in South Africa, you have less than 5% of population over 60 years of age, and you don't have a lot of comorbidity and so it's not because it's going to look not very virulent in South Africa, that it will not be virulent in Europe or in America or in the north. TIRRELL: Well, going back to that question of course about the vaccines. You know, what we saw from the Beta variant which also arose in South Africa is that there was in what Dr. Fauci likes to call a diminution of the protection from the vaccines, but it still seemed like the vaccines could provide protection against severe disease. What's your expectation for that dynamic with Omicron? What diminution we might see based on the mutations that are understood and the effect that there will still be on severe disease from the vaccines? BANCEL: Yes, I think this really is the big question, Meg, is if you look at the new virus it does with Delta mutation, it does with Beta mutation, and many more on the spike up to 32 mutations. So we anticipate that there will be a loss of vaccine efficacy to prevent disease. What is important for people to remember is that unlike an antibody treatment, the vaccines provide you not one or two antibodies, but a soup of antibodies and so some antibodies will still be protective neutralizing antibodies even if you have a mutation and that's a piece that’s really hard to handicap what we did in the last few days to analyze the virus, you know, on computers and doing, you know, 3D modeling and so on. It’s tough to know how we going to lose no 5x, are we going to lose 8x of the antibody levels. These grids will be patient and see the data scientists have been working since middle of next week before Thanksgiving weekend and working through the whole weekend. Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, nonstop because we know it really matters. What is important I think to know is that Moderna we have a free line of defense strategy and I'm not aware of any company that has so many tools to help and respond if vaccine efficacy drops and the virulence is, is higher or same. One is as we know, we've lowered the dose of a booster of our current vaccine and so we have a lot of safety data showing that we could go back to 100 microgram dose and to double the dose of the current vaccine, which should provide better protection than the third dose booster of 50 micrograms. So that's first line of defense actionable right away. The second line of defense— JOE KERNEN: Yeah, sorry, we've been just kicking around a couple of the things that maybe you can clear up for us. When you're designing your messenger RNA vaccine it, are surface proteins the only target you could use the spike protein because they do seem to mutate a lot. Is there any way you could use messenger RNA to I don't know to code for some other part of the virus, something that's more conserved, or does it have to be something that that the antibody sees right on the surface of the virus right away? Is that the only target you can use for a messenger RNA vaccine? BANCEL: It’s a great question, Joe. In the past, we looked at several targets on the, on the surface of the virus and really the spike is the one that has always given us the best response in terms of efficacy of a vaccine and protection against disease. It is true that it is mutating but we really believe it is still the best target to provide protection. KERNEN: Is the, the other question that I had was in terms of safety. You get these small changes random it appears in the spike protein and maybe it makes it more infectious, maybe it doesn't, I don't know. But is there a risk in just assuming that since we've been through the safety trials for the original messenger RNA vaccine, if there's slight changes in the base pairs that that you're talking about in the spike protein, could it make it much more dangerous to the immune system in terms of long-term side effects, or can we assume from the safety studies that we already did that you change a few things to adapt to these new variants and it's going to be the same or do we have to go all the way back through all those safety regimen again? BANCEL: So, I think there's two sides to your question, what we believe from a science standpoint and what the regulator needs to see. From a science standpoint, we believe that changing a few builds won't change the safety of a product, we use the same chemical to bond, the same liquid around it, in the same machine. So, it'd be very comfortable having my loved ones getting a vaccine modified by just changing a few base builds in the spike in clinical studies. That's what I believe. Now, what a regulator will require in terms of change or not, I think we depend on what's happening in the community and the risk. I could see a world where if a virulence is less, the regulator asked us to do a full study of a new construct. But if the virulence is very bad, it's a massive public health from a risk benefit trader, the regulator might be comfortable allowing us to go straight to when you construct. BECKY QUICK: Stephane, very quickly, I just wanna go back to something you said. You said that you think countries that have had flights that came from South Africa and I'm guessing you mean any of those eight countries in South Africa, not the official South Africa country, that you think any country having flights coming from the last seven to 10 days from those countries very likely already has this new variant there, even if they haven't detected it yet. If that's the case, how effective are these lockdowns or these potential moves at this point to try and stop it? BANCEL: Yeah, so exactly Becky, I believe that any country that had direct flights from South Africa in the last seven to 10 days, you're now quickly that new variant to cover locally from the data we have seen, as that case exported to that country or imported of the virus. I think the, the measures that are being taken in a lot of countries can slow down the progress of the virus when we figure out the efficacy of the vaccine impact, when we figure out virulence and I think those actions can save a lot of lives down the road. ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: Hey Stephane, I’m— QUICK: So just a follow up real quickly, Andrew I'm sorry, I'll get out of the way in just a second. But just a follow up if you have a lockdown, you've got Israel and Japan that are doing total lockdown, other countries that are saying you can't come unless you're a citizen of that country. Does it matter? Does COVID check your passport to see if you're a citizen of that country? BANCEL: Of course it does not. So, I think the piece is testing, testing, testing. I think what Holland did by testing all the people who landed on that plane was the right thing to do. And as you can see, between people who took the plane with a negative COVID test and people who’ve arrived, you had around 10% of the plane that was COVID positive and that's happening everywhere on most flights. That’s why we need to be very cautious. SORKIN: Stephane, as you know, one of the, the great critiques of the world of pharmaceuticals right now and those making vaccines is that, is that we're not getting enough of them to folks as quickly as we should. Part of the issue in South Africa was there wasn't enough uptake. But I wanted to understand from you if you were king for the day, and you had unlimited funds, if the US government were to say we will, we will send you a check for $100 billion right this second, how quickly if a new version of the vaccine needs to be produced, manufactured and distributed, how you would do it and how you would do it differently? BANCEL: So, the challenge is that the manufacturing capacity is what takes times to change drastically. I think today if you look at just the two amounted players, we are on track together to make around 7 billion doses of vaccine for 2022. We could of course increase that if required but if you look at just the number of people who don't want the vaccine around the planet, I think with 7 billion doses, we covering most people who want a vaccine with, with a single dose booster. In terms of timelines, I think as we've said there are 60 to 90 days to get a new virus vaccines already made and actually approved by the regulators. The question is how quickly can manufacturing and when do you decide to switch because today we're making the current vaccine because many countries still want it because that's the only protection available and when do you make that decision so we are getting ready to make the decision as soon as we have the data in the next week or two. TIRRELL: And Stephane, just going back to all the different things that you're looking at as potential solutions for Omicron. I mean, you mentioned looking at the 100-microgram dose booster, that's the full dose rather than the half, seeing if that potentially provides enough protection on its own and then presumably, you've got that ready to go. You also have multi variant booster candidates that target parts of Beta and Delta that you say may potentially work and then you're also working that Omicron specific potential update to the vaccine. When do you think you'll know which one of those is the right solution? Are you working on all of them in parallel? When will we know what the right way to treat this is? BANCEL: So first Meg, yes, we are working on the three solutions at the same time because those have different timelines of when they could be actionable. The higher dose could be done right away but it will be months before the Omicron specific variant is ready to ship in massive quantities. And I think the big pivot is going to be the vaccine efficacy impact when we learn that in a week or two, depending on how much it drop, we might decide on the one hand to start getting a higher dose of a current vaccine around the world to better protect people, maybe people at very high risk the elderly, immunocompromised should need a fourth dose, question mark. And then in the meantime, rolling them into balance. So, I think those are just different timelines and just depending how bad the vaccine efficacy is impacted, we'll have to use one or the other strategy or maybe the three of them because they might just come one after the other. KERNEN: Hey Stephane, I wonder what your thinking is on, on people that have seen the entire virus. In other words, people that had COVID and so they got their antibodies were generated, the antigen was the entire virus itself, not just the spike protein. Would they have an advantage in terms of Omicron? Or because it's a different spike protein, would it be like that like their bodies seeing something entirely new as well and then they'd be defenseless, not defenseless, but maybe that the Omicron can get around the, the natural immunity a person had from, from getting COVID the first time around? Do you know? BANCEL: We don't know. I think it's a really interesting question, Joe. I think the question depends on when were they infected naturally because what we've seen so far is people who get vaccinated get higher level of antibody than people who get naturally infected. But as you say, people who get naturally infected get a much broader repertoire of antibodies, and that tradeoff between diminishing antibodies and the breadth of the antibodies is really hard to not even if it's a new variant, but it's highly possible but we don't know. TIRRELL: And Stephane, just thinking about the, the solutions to this, this issue. There have been calls from scientists in South Africa for, you know, if vaccines are needed to be updated or we need a higher booster dose or any of those solutions, there've been calls to prioritize that region of the world to try to stem the problem at its source. Is that possible to do? And of course, we've heard from Dr. Scott Gottlieb yesterday on “Face the Nation” saying that there is a resistance to accepting more vaccines in some of those countries because it's difficult to distribute them. The uptake in some places is, is low. What issues are you seeing there? BANCEL: Well actually, it’s exactly the same issues that Dr. Scott Gottlieb described. We have right now between 50 and 70 million doses of a vaccine in our warehouse unfortunately, ready to ship that are either custom issues or people in some countries have too many vaccines right now, and not enough people who want to get vaccinated or not enough medical workers to inject those. So, I think the world has changed drastically from what it was at three months ago, where there was not enough vaccine. Now already believe there is there's too much vaccine, which is a good thing for a planet but the issue is really the last mile. TIRRELL: Stephane Bancel, we really appreciate you being with us to help us understand how you're thinking through all of this and we hope to stay in touch with you as you learn more. Thanks again. BANCEL: Thank you. Updated on Nov 29, 2021, 11:57 am (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkNov 29th, 2021

Jack Dorsey has stepped down as Twitter CEO

The founder has been replaced as chief executive by CTO Parag Agrawal, who has been with the company for more than a decade. MARCO BELLO/AFP via Getty Images Jack Dorsey has stepped down from his role as CEO of Twitter, the company said Monday. Twitter CTO Parag Agrawal has replaced Dorsey as CEO of the social media giant. Dorsey, who founded the company, became Twitter CEO in 2006. Jack Dorsey has stepped down as Twitter CEO, the company said Monday.CTO Parag Agrawal is Dorsey's successor, Twitter said. Agrawal has been with Twitter for more than a decade and has been its CTO since 2017.Dorsey will remain a member of the Board until 2022."I've decided to leave Twitter because I believe the company is ready to move on from its founders," Dorsey said in a press release. "My trust in Parag as Twitter's CEO is deep. His work over the past 10 years has been transformational. I'm deeply grateful for his skill, heart, and soul. It's his time to lead."CNBC first reported the news Monday, citing unnamed sources. Shares of the social network jumped as much as 10% in early trading following CNBC's report before retreating. Twitter's stock has largely underperformed benchmark indexes over the past year. Dorsey became CEO of Twitter in 2006 before being booted in 2008. He became CEO again in 2015 when he stood up his digital payments company, Square, which is now worth more than double Twitter. Investor Elliott Management sought to replace Dorsey in early 2020, citing his dual-CEO roles at Twitter and Square as a potential risk, but nothing ever materialized from the threat.Dorsey, alongside some of his Silicon Valley peers, has navigated the so-called techlash of the early 2000's and appeared before Congress multiple times to talk Section 230, an internet law that shields tech platforms from being liable for the content they post online, and address disproven theories of anti-conservative bias on the platform. Dorsey is known in the tech world for his eyebrow-raising eating habits, signature beard, and advocacy for bitcoin."I love Twitter," Dorsey tweeted in the early morning hours of Sunday. —jack⚡️ (@jack) November 28, 2021 Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 29th, 2021

Moderna"s stock shoots up again on hopes of a "brand new" omicron vaccine by early next year

Shares of Moderna Inc. shot up 10.1% in premarket trading Monday, after soaring 20.7% in the previous session, on hopes for the quick development of an omicron-specific COVID-19 booster vaccine. The biotechnology company's stock rallied on Friday after the company said it will "rapidly advance" a booster vaccine candidate. On Sunday, Moderna Medical Director Dr. Paul Burton said on the BBC's "Andrew Marr Show" said it should be known "in the next couple of weeks" about the ability of the current vaccine to provide protection against the omicron variant. "If we have to make a brand new vaccine I think that's going to be early 2022 before that's really going to be available in large quantities," Burton said, according to a BBC transcript. The stock has dropped 13.8% over the past three months through Friday, but has rocketed 215.5% year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 1.9% the past three months and rallied 22.3% this year.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit for more information on this news......»»

Category: topSource: marketwatchNov 29th, 2021

Jack Dorsey is expected to step down as Twitter CEO, reports say

Sources told CNBC, Bloomberg, and Reuters that Dorsey is expected to exit his role as chief executive of the social media company. MARCO BELLO/AFP via Getty Images Jack Dorsey is expected to step down from his role as CEO of Twitter, CNBC reports. Shares of the social media company jumped more than 10% in early trading following the news. Dorsey became Twitter CEO in 2006. Jack Dorsey is expected to step down as the CEO of Twitter, CNBC reported Monday, citing unnamed sources. Bloomberg News and Reuters also reported on his planned exit, citing sources familiar with the situation who said a successor had already been chosen by the company's board of directors. Twitter did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.Shares of the social network jumped as much as 10% in early trading following CNBC's report before retreating slightly. Twitter's stock has largely underperformed benchmark indexes over the past year. Dorsey became CEO of Twitter in 2006 before being booted in 2008. He became CEO again in 2015 when he stood up his digital payments company, Square, which is now worth more than double Twitter. Twitter investor Elliott Management sought to replace Dorsey in early 2020, citing his dual-CEO roles at Twitter and Square as a potential risk, but nothing ever materialized from the threat.Dorsey, alongside some of his Silicon Valley peers, has navigated the so-called techlash of the early 2000's and appeared before Congress multiple times to talk Section 230, an internet law that shields tech platforms from being liable for the content they post online, and address disproven theories of anti-conservative bias on the platform. Dorsey is known in the tech world for his eyebrow-raising eating habits, signature beard, and advocacy for bitcoin."I love Twitter," Dorsey tweeted in the early morning hours of Sunday. —jack⚡️ (@jack) November 28, 2021 Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 29th, 2021

The wild life of billionaire Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who eats one meal a day, evangelizes about bitcoin, and had to defend his company in front of Congress

Jack Dorsey is expected to announce he is stepping down as CEO of Twitter, unnamed sources told CNBC. Jack Dorsey onstage at a bitcoin convention on June 4, 2021 in Miami, Florida.Joe Raedle/Getty Images Jack Dorsey cofounded Twitter in 2006, and the company has made him a billionaire. He is famous for his unusual life of luxury, including a daily fasting routine and regular ice baths. CNBC reported on Monday that Dorsey is expected to step down as CEO of Twitter, citing unnamed sources. Visit Business Insider's home page for more stories. From fighting armies of bots to quashing rumors about sending his beard hair to rapper Azealia Banks, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey leads an unusual life of luxury.Dorsey has had a turbulent career in Silicon Valley. After cofounding Twitter on March 21 2006, he was booted as the company's CEO two years later, but returned in 2015 having set up his second company, Square.Since then, he has led the company through the techlash that has engulfed social media companies, testifying before Congress multiple times.CNBC reported Monday that Dorsey is expected to announce he's stepping down as CEO, citing unnamed sources.Dorsey has provoked his fair share of controversy and criticism, extolling fasting and ice baths as part of his daily routine. His existence is not entirely spartan, however. Like some other billionaires, he owns a stunning house, dates models, and drives fast cars.Scroll on to read more about the fabulous life of Jack Dorsey.Rebecca Borison and Madeline Stone contributed reporting to an earlier version of this story.Dorsey began programming while attending Bishop DuBourg High School in St. Louis.VineAt age 15, Dorsey wrote dispatch software that is still used by some taxi companies.Source: Bio. When he wasn't checking out specialty electronics stores or running a fantasy football league for his friends, Dorsey frequently attended punk-rock concerts. @jackThese days Dorsey doesn't favour the spiky hairdo.Source: The Wall Street JournalLike many of his fellow tech billionaires, Dorsey never graduated college.edyson / FlickrHe briefly attended the Missouri University of Science and Technology and transferred to New York University before calling it quits.Source: Bio.In 2000, Dorsey built a simple prototype that let him update his friends on his life via BlackBerry and email messaging.joi / FlickrNobody else really seemed interested, so he put away the idea for a bit.Source: The Unofficial Stanford BlogFun fact: Jack Dorsey is also a licensed masseur.Getty Images/Bill PuglianoHe got his license in about 2002, before exploding onto the tech scene.Sources: The Wall Street JournalHe got a job at a podcasting company called Odeo, where he met his future Twitter cofounders.Jack Dorsey, Biz Stone and Evan Williams took home the prize in the blogging category at SXSW in 2007.Flickr via Scott Beale/LaughingSquidOdeo went out of business in 2006, so Dorsey returned to his messaging idea, and Twitter was born.On March 21, 2006, Dorsey posted the first tweet.Jack Dorsey's first tweet.Twitter/@jackDorsey kept his Twitter handle simple, "@jack."Dorsey and his cofounders, Evan Williams and Biz Stone, bought the Twitter domain name for roughly $7,000.Khalid Mohammed / AP ImagesDorsey took out his nose ring to look the part of a CEO. He was 30 years old.A year later, Dorsey was already less hands-on at Twitter. Evan Williams and Jack Dorsey.Wikimedia CommonsBy 2008, Williams had taken over as CEO, and Dorsey transitioned to chairman of Twitter's board. Dorsey immediately got started on new projects. He invested in Foursquare and launched a payments startup called Square that lets small-business owners accept credit card payments through a smartphone attachment.Sources: Twitter and Bio.In 2011, Dorsey got the chance to interview US President Barack Obama in the first Twitter Town Hall.President Obama talks to the audience next to Jack Dorsey during his first ever Twitter Town Hall.ReutersDorsey had to remind Obama to keep his replies under 140 characters, Twitter's limit at the time.Source: TwitterTwitter went public in November 2013, and within hours Dorsey was a billionaire.APIn 2014 Forbes pegged Dorsey's net worth at $2.2 billion. On the day it was reported he was expected to resign, Bloomberg's Billionaires Index calculated his net worth at $12.3 billion.Source: Bio. and ForbesIt was revealed in a 2019 filing that Dorsey earned just $1.40 for his job as Twitter CEO the previous year.Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey, who doesn't earn anything from his primary day job.David Becker / GettyThe $1.40 salary actually represented a pay rise for Dorsey, who in previous years had refused any payment at all.He's far from the only Silicon Valley mogul to take a measly salary - Mark Zuckerberg makes $1 a year as CEO of Facebook.Source: Business Insider He might have been worth more had he not given back 10% of his stock to Square.Jack Dorsey with Hollywood producer Brian Grazer, Veronica Smiley, and Kate Greer at the annual Allen and Co. conference at the Sun Valley, Idaho Resort in 2013.ReutersThis helped Square employees, giving them more equity and stock options. It was also helpful in acquiring online food-delivery startup Caviar.Sources: Business Insider and CaviarWith his newfound wealth, he bought a BMW 3 Series, but reportedly didn't drive it often.Alex Davies / Business Insider"Now he's able to say, like, 'The BMW is the only car I drive, because it's the best automotive engineering on the planet,' or whatever," Twitter cofounder Biz Stone told The New Yorker in 2013.Source: The New YorkerHe also reportedly paid $9.9 million for this seaside house on El Camino Del Mar in the exclusive Seacliff neighborhood of San Francisco.The Real Estalker via Sotheby'sThe house has a view of the Golden Gate Bridge, which Dorsey views as a marvel of design.Source: Business InsiderBefore the pandemic, Dorsey said he worked from home one day a week.Jack Dorsey's home setup.Twitter/@jackIn an interview with journalist Kara Swisher conducted over Twitter, Dorsey said he worked every Tuesday out of his kitchen.He also told Kara Swisher that Elon Musk is his favorite Twitter user.Elon Musk is a prolific tweeter.PewDiePie/YouTubeDorsey said Musk's tweets are, "focused on solving existential problems and sharing his thinking openly."He added that he enjoys all the "ups and downs" that come with Musk's sometimes unpredictable use of the site. Musk himself replied, tweeting his thanks and "Twitter rocks!" followed by a string of random emojis.Source: Business InsiderFacebook CEO and rival Mark Zuckerberg once served Jack Dorsey a goat he killed himself.Gene KimDorsey told Rolling Stone about the meal, which took place in 2011. Dorsey said the goat was served cold, and that he personally stuck to salad.Source: Rolling StoneHis eating habits have raised eyebrows.Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for WIRED25Appearing on a podcast run by a health guru who previously said that vaccines caused autism, Dorsey said he eats one meal a day and fasts all weekend. He said the first time he tried fasting it made him feel like he was hallucinating."It was a weird state to be in. But as I did it the next two times, it just became so apparent to me how much of our days are centered around meals and how — the experience I had was when I was fasting for much longer, how time really slowed down," he said.The comments drew fierce criticism from many who said Dorsey was normalizing eating disorders.In a later interview with Wired, Dorsey said he eats seven meals a week, "just dinner."Sources: Business Insider, The New StatesmanIn the early days of Twitter, Dorsey aspired to be a fashion designer.Cindy Ord / Getty Images, Franck MichelDorsey would regularly don leather jackets and slim suits by Prada and Hermès, as well as Dior Homme reverse-collar dress shirts, a sort of stylish take on the popped collar.More recently he favors edgier outfits, including the classic black turtleneck favored by Silicon Valley luminaries like Steve Jobs.Sources: CBS News and The Wall Street JournalHe also re-introduced the nose-ring and grew a beard.GettyDorsey seems to care less about looking the part of a traditional CEO these days.Singer Azealia Banks claimed to have been sent clippings of Dorsey's beard hair to fashion into a protective amulet, although Dorsey denied this happened.Azealia Banks.GettyIn 2016, Banks posted on her now-deleted Twitter account that Dorsey sent her his hair, "in an envelope." Dorsey later told the HuffPo that the beard-posting incident never happened.Sources: Business Insider and HuffPoDorsey frequently travels the world and shares his photos with his 6 million Twitter followers.Jack Dorsey meeting Japanese Prime Minister Sinzo Abe.Twitter/@JPN_PMOOn his travels, Dorsey meets heads of state, including Japan's former Prime Minister Shinzō Abe.Source: TwitterTweets about his vacation in Myanmar also provoked an outcry.Bagan, Myanmar.Shutterstock/Martin M303Dorsey tweeted glowingly about a vacation he took to Myanmar for his birthday in December 2018. "If you're willing to travel a bit, go to Myanmar," he said.This came at the height of the Rohingya crisis, and Dorsey was attacked for his blithe promotion of the country — especially since social media platforms were accused of having been complicit in fuelling hatred towards the Rohingya.Source: Business InsiderHowever, Dorsey says he doesn't care about "looking bad."FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Trump welcomes South Korea’s President Moon to the White House in WashingtonReutersIn a bizarre Huffington Post interview in 2019, Dorsey was asked whether Donald Trump — an avid tweeter — could be removed from the platform if he called on his followers to murder a journalist. Dorsey gave a vague answer which drew sharp criticism.Following the interview's publication, Dorsey said he doesn't care about "looking bad.""I care about being open about how we're thinking and about what we see," he added.In September 2018, Jack Dorsey was grilled by lawmakers alongside Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Jack Dorsey are sworn-in for a Senate Intelligence Committee.Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesDorsey and Sandberg were asked about election interference on Twitter and Facebook as well as alleged anti-conservative bias in social media companies.Source: Business InsiderDuring the hearing, Dorsey shared a snapshot of his spiking heart rate on Twitter.AP Photo/Jose Luis MaganaDorsey was in the hot seat for several hours. His heart rate peaked at 109 beats per minute.Source: Business InsiderDorsey testified before Congress once again on October 28, 2020.Jack Dorsey tuning into the hearing with the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation/Handout via REUTERSDorsey appeared via videoconference at the Senate hearing on Section 230, a part of US law that protects internet companies from legal liability for user-generated content, as well as giving them broad authority to decide how to moderate their own platforms.In prepared testimony ahead of the hearing, Dorsey said stripping back Section 230 would "collapse how we communicate on the Internet," and suggested ways for tech companies to make their moderation processes more transparent. During the hearing, Dorsey once again faced accusations of anti-conservative biasJack Dorsey appearing virtually at the hearing.Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty ImagesThe accusations from Republican lawmakers focused on the way Twitter enforces its policies, particularly the way it has labelled tweets from President Trump compared to other world leaders.Dorsey took the brunt of questions from lawmakers, even though he appeared alongside Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Google CEO Sundar Pichai.Source: ProtocolDuring the hearing, the length of Dorsey's beard drew fascination from pundits.Dorsey had to address accusations of censorship.Greg Nash/Pool via REUTERSSome users referred to Dorsey's facial hair as his "quarantine beard," while others said it made him look like a wizard.—rat king (@MikeIsaac) October 28, 2020—Taylor Hatmaker (@tayhatmaker) October 28, 2020"Jack Dorsey's beard is literally breaking Twitter's own face detection," posted cybersecurity blogging account @Swiftonsecurity.—SwiftOnSecurity (@SwiftOnSecurity) October 28, 2020 Dorsey also addressed the way Twitter dealt with a dubiously sourced New York Post story about Hunter Biden.Jack Dorsey appearing on-screen at the hearing.Greg Nash/Pool via REUTERS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAYWhen the New York Post published a report about Hunter Biden on October 14 that threw up red flags about sourcing, Twitter blocked users from sharing URLs citing its "hacked materials" policy.Dorsey subsequently apologized publicly, saying it was wrong of Twitter to block URLs.—jack (@jack) October 16, 2020During the Senate hearing, Sen. Ted Cruz accused Twitter of taking the "unilateral decision to censor" the Post.Dorsey said the Post's Twitter account would remain locked until it deleted its original tweet, but that updated policies meant it could tweet the same story again without getting blocked.Source: Business InsiderDorsey had to appear before another hearing on November 17 2020 — this time about how Twitter handled content moderation around the 2020 presidential election.U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee via REUTERS/File PhotoDorsey was summoned alongside Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg by Republicans who were displeased with how the platforms had dealt with then-President Donald Trump's social media accounts. Both CEOs defended their companies, saying they are politically neutral.When he's not in Washington, Dorsey regularly hops in and out of ice baths and saunas.This is not Dorsey's sauna.ShutterstockDorsey said in the "Tales of the Crypt" podcast that he started using ice baths and saunas in the evenings around 2016.He will alternately sit in his barrel sauna for 15 minutes and then switch to an ice bath for three. He repeats this routine three times, before finishing it off with a one-minute ice bath.He also likes to take an icy dip in the mornings to wake him up.Source: CNBCDorsey's dating life has sparked intrigue. In 2018, he was reported to be dating Sports Illustrated model Raven Lyn Corneil.Sports Illustrated Swimsuit / YouTube / GettyPage Six reported in September 2018 that the pair were spotted together at the Harper's Bazaar Icons party during New York Fashion Week. Page Six also reported that Dorsey's exes included actress Lily Cole and ballet dancer Sofiane Sylve.Source: Page SixHe's a big believer in cryptocurrency, frequently tweeting about its virtues.Teresa Kroeger/Getty ImagesIn particular, Dorsey is a fan of Bitcoin, which he described in early 2019 as "resilient" and "principled." He told the "Tales of the Crypt" podcast in March that year that he was maxing out the $10,000 weekly spending limit on Square's Cash App buying up Bitcoin.In October 2020 he slammed Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong for forbidding employee activism at the company, saying cryptocurrency is itself a form of activism.—jack (@jack) September 30, 2020 Source: Business Insider, Business Insider and CNBC Dorsey said Square is launching a new bitcoin business.Square CEO Jack Dorsey speaks at the Bitcoin 2021 Convention, a crypto-currency conference held on June 4, 2021 in Miami, Florida.Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesDorsey announced the new venture in a tweet on July 15, 2021 and said its name was "TBD." It wasn't clear whether that was its actual name, or Dorsey hasn't decided on a name yet.—jack (@jack) July 15, 2021 Dorsey said he hopes bitcoin can help bring about "world peace."Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on stage at the Bitcoin 2021 Convention, a crypto-currency conference in Miami.Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesDorsey appeared alongside Elon Musk and Ark Invest CEO Cathie Wood during a panel called "The B Word" on July 2021. He said he loves the bitcoin community because it's "weird as hell.""It's the only reason that I have a career — because I learned so much from people like who are building bitcoin today," Dorsey said.At the end of 2019 Dorsey said he would move to Africa for at least three months in 2020.AP Photo/Francois MoriDorsey's announcement followed a tour of Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, and South Africa. "Africa will define the future (especially the bitcoin one!). Not sure where yet, but I'll be living here for 3-6 months mid 2020," he tweeted. Dorsey then came under threat of being ousted as Twitter CEO by activist investor Elliott Management.Paul Singer, founder and president of Elliott Management.REUTERS/Mike Blake/File PhotoBoth Bloomberg and CNBC reported in late February 2020 that major Twitter investor Elliott Management — led by Paul Singer — was seeking to replace Dorsey. Reasons given included the fact that Dorsey splits his time between two firms by acting as CEO to both Twitter and financial tech firm Square, as well as his planned move to Africa.Source: Business InsiderTesla CEO and frequent Twitter user Elon Musk weighed in on the news, throwing his support behind Dorsey.Tesla CEO Elon Musk.REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke"Just want to say that I support @jack as Twitter CEO," Musk tweeted, adding that Dorsey has a good heart, using the heart emoji.Source: Business InsiderDorsey managed to strike a truce with Elliott Management.AP Photo/Jose Luis MaganaTwitter announced on March 9, 2020 that it had reached a deal with Elliott Management which would leave Jack Dorsey in place as CEO.The deal included a $1 billion investment from private equity firm Silver Lake, and partners from both Elliott Management and Silver Lake joined Twitter's board.Patrick Pichette, lead independent director of Twitter's board, said he was "confident we are on the right path with Jack's leadership," but added that a new temporary committee would be formed to instruct the board's evaluation of Twitter's leadership.In April 2020, Dorsey announced that he was forming a new charity fund that would help in global relief efforts amid the coronavirus pandemic.Dorsey.Matt Crossick/PA Images via Getty ImagesDorsey said he would pour $1 billion of his own Square equity into the fund, or roughly 28% of his total wealth at the time. The fund, dubbed Start Small LLC, would first focus on helping in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, he said.The CEO said he would be making all transactions on behalf of the fund public in a spreadsheet.In July 2020, hackers compromised 130 Twitter accounts in a bitcoin scam.TwitterThe accounts of high-profile verified accounts belonging to Bill Gates, Kim Kardashian West, and others were hacked, with attackers tweeting out posts asking users to send payment in bitcoin to fraudulent cryptocurrency addresses.As a solution, Twitter temporarily blocked all verified accounts — those with blue check marks on their profiles — but the damage was done.  Elon Musk said he personally contacted Dorsey following the hack.Elon Musk (left) and Dorsey.Susan Walsh/AP; Getty ImagesDuring a July 2020 interview with The New York Times, Musk said he had immediately called Dorsey after he learned about the hack."Within a few minutes of the post coming up, I immediately got texts from a bunch of people I know, then I immediately called Jack so probably within less than five minutes my account was locked," said Musk.Source: The New York TimesIn March 2021 Dorsey put his first-ever tweet up for auction.Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO, and Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO, off camera, testify during a Senate (Select) Intelligence Committee hearing in Dirksen Building where they testified on the influence of foreign operations on social media on September 5, 2018Tom Williams/CQ Roll CallAs the craze for Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) gathered momentum, Dorsey announced he was auctioning his first tweet for charity. It was bought for $2.9 million by Hakan Estavi, chief executive at at Bridge Oracle. Dorsey said proceeds from the auction would go to Give Directly's Africa response.CNBC reported on November 29 that Dorsey is expected to step down as CEO of Twitter.Jack Dorsey co-founder and chairman of Twitter and co-founder and CEO of Square.Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesAn undisclosed number of sources told CNBC's David Faber Dorsey is expected to announce he will step down as CEO, CNBC reported Monday.Twitter did not immediately respond when contacted by Insider for comment.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 29th, 2021

A President Betrayed by Bureaucrats: Scott Atlas Exposes The Real COVID Disaster

A President Betrayed by Bureaucrats: Scott Atlas Exposes The Real COVID Disaster Authored by Jeffrey Tucker via The Brownstone Institute, I’m a voracious reader of Covid books but nothing could have prepared me for Scott Atlas’s A Plague Upon Our House, a full and mind-blowing account of the famed scientist’s personal experience with the Covid era and a luridly detailed account of his time at the White House. The book is hot fire, from page one to the last, and will permanently affect your view of not only this pandemic and the policy response but also the workings of public health in general.  Atlas’s book has exposed a scandal for the ages. It is enormously valuable because it fully blows up what seems to be an emerging fake story involving a supposedly Covid-denying president who did nothing vs. heroic scientists in the White House who urged compulsory mitigating measures consistent with prevailing scientific opinion. Not one word of that is true. Atlas’s book, I hope, makes it impossible to tell such tall tales without embarrassment.  Anyone who tells you this fictional story (including Deborah Birx) deserves to have this highly credible treatise tossed in his direction. The book is about the war between real science (and genuine public health), with Atlas as the voice for reason both before and during his time in the White House, vs. the enactment of brutal policies that never stood any chance of controlling the virus while causing tremendous damage to the people, to human liberty, to children in particular, but also to billions of people around the world.  For the reader, the author is our proxy, a reasonable and blunt man trapped in a world of lies, duplicity, backstabbing, opportunism, and fake science. He did his best but could not prevail against a powerful machine that cares nothing for facts, much less outcomes.  If you have heretofore believed that science drives pandemic public policy, this book will shock you. Atlas’s recounting of the unbearably poor thinking on the part of government-based “infectious disease experts” will make your jaw drop (thinking, for example, of Birx’s off-the-cuff theorizing about the relationship between masking and controlling case spreads).  Throughout the book, Atlas points to the enormous cost of the machinery of lockdowns, the preferred method of Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx: missed cancer screenings, missed surgeries, nearly two years of educational losses, bankrupted small business, depression and drug overdoses, overall citizen demoralization, violations of religious freedom, all while public health massively neglected the actual at-risk population in long-term care facilities. Essentially, they were willing to dismantle everything we called civilization in the name of bludgeoning one pathogen without regard to the consequences.  The fake science of population-wide “models” drove policy instead of following the known information about risk profiles. “The one unusual feature of this virus was the fact that children had an extraordinarily low risk,” writes Atlas. “Yet this positive and reassuring news was never emphasized. Instead, with total disregard of the evidence of selective risk consistent with other respiratory viruses, public health officials recommended draconian isolation of everyone.” “Restrictions on liberty were also destructive by inflaming class distinctions with their differential impact,” he writes, “exposing essential workers, sacrificing low-income families and kids, destroying single-parent homes, and eviscerating small businesses, while at the same time large companies were bailed out, elites worked from home with barely an interruption, and the ultra-rich got richer, leveraging their bully pulpit to demonize and cancel those who challenged their preferred policy options.” In the midst of continued chaos, in August 2020, Atlas was called by Trump to help, not as a political appointee, not as a PR man for Trump, not as a DC fixer but as the only person who in nearly a year of unfolding catastrophe had a health-policy focus. He made it clear from the outset that he would only say what he believed to be true; Trump agreed that this was precisely what he wanted and needed. Trump got an earful and gradually came around to a more rational view than that which caused him to wreck the American economy and society with his own hands and against his own instincts.  In Task Force meetings, Atlas was the only person who showed up with studies and on-the-ground information as opposed to mere charts of infections easily downloadable from popular websites. “A bigger surprise was that Fauci did not present scientific research on the pandemic to the group that I witnessed. Likewise, I never heard him speak about his own critical analysis of any published research studies. This was stunning to me. Aside from intermittent status updates about clinical trial enrollments, Fauci served the Task Force by offering an occasional comment or update on vaccine trial participant totals, mostly when the VP would turn to him and ask.” When Atlas spoke up, it was almost always to contradict Fauci/Birx but he received no backing during meetings, only to have many people in attendance later congratulate him for speaking out. Still, he did, by virtue of private meetings, have a convert in Trump himself, but by then it was too late: not even Trump could prevail against the wicked machine he had permissioned into operation.  It’s a Mr. Smith Goes to Washington story but applied to matters of public health. From the outset of this disease panic, policy came to be dictated by two government bureaucrats (Fauci and Birx) who, for some reason, were confident in their control over media, bureaucracies, and White House messaging, despite every attempt by the president, Atlas, and a few others to get them to pay attention to the actual science about which Fauci/Birx knew and care little.  When Atlas would raise doubts about Birx, Jared Kushner would repeatedly assure him that “she is 100% MAGA.” Yet we know for certain that this is not true. We know from a different book on the subject that she only took the position with the anticipation that Trump would lose the presidency in the November election. That’s hardly a surprise; it’s the bias expected from a career bureaucrat working for a deep-state institution. Fortunately, we now have this book to set the record straight. It gives every reader an inside look at the workings of a system that wrecked our lives. If the book finally declines to offer an explanation for the hell that was visited upon us – every day we still ask the question why? – it does provide an accounting of the who, when, where, and what. Tragically, too many scientists, media figures, and intellectuals in general went along. Atlas’s account shows exactly what they signed up to defend, and it’s not pretty.  The cliche that kept coming to mind as I read is “breath of fresh air.” That metaphor describes the book perfectly: blessed relief from relentless propaganda. Imagine yourself trapped in an elevator with stultifying air in a building that is on fire and the smoke gradually seeps in from above. Someone is in there with you and he keeps assuring you that everything is fine, when it is obviously not.  That’s a pretty good description of how I felt from March 12, 2020 and onward. That was the day that President Trump spoke to the nation and announced that there would be no more travel from Europe. The tone in his voice was spooky. It was obvious that more was coming. He had clearly fallen sway to extremely bad advice, perhaps he was willing to push lockdowns as a plan to deal with a respiratory virus that was already widespread in the US from perhaps 5 to 6 months earlier.  It was the day that the darkness descended. A day later (March 13), the HHS distributed its lockdown plans for the nation. That weekend, Trump met for many hours with Anthony Fauci, Deborah Birx, son-in-law Jared Kushner, and only a few others. He came around to the idea of shutting down the American economy for two weeks. He presided over the calamitous March 16, 2020, press conference, at which Trump promised to beat the virus through general lockdowns.  Of course he had no power to do that directly but he could urge it to happen, all under the completely delusional promise that doing so would solve the virus problem. Two weeks later, the same gang persuaded him to extend the lockdowns.  Trump went along with the advice because it was the only advice he was fed at the time. They made it appear that the only choice that Trump had – if he wanted to beat the virus – was to wage war on his own policies that were pushing for a stronger, healthier economy. After surviving two impeachment attempts, and beating back years of hate from a nearly united media afflicted by severe derangement syndrome, Trump was finally hornswoggled.  Atlas writes: “On this highly important criterion of presidential management—taking responsibility to fully take charge of policy coming from the White House—I believe the president made a massive error in judgment. Against his own gut feeling, he delegated authority to medical bureaucrats, and then he failed to correct that mistake.” The truly tragic fact that both Republicans and Democrats do not want spoken about is that this whole calamity is that did indeed begin with Trump’s decision. On this point, Atlas writes: Yes, the president initially had gone along with the lockdowns proposed by Fauci and Birx, the “fifteen days to slow the spread,” even though he had serious misgivings. But I still believe the reason that he kept repeating his one question—“Do you agree with the initial shutdown?”—whenever he asked questions about the pandemic was precisely because he still had misgivings about it. Large parts of the narrative are devoted to explaining precisely how and to what extent Trump had been betrayed. “They had convinced him to do exactly the opposite of what he would naturally do in any other circumstance,” Atlas writes, that is  “to disregard his own common sense and allow grossly incorrect policy advice to prevail…. This president, widely known for his signature “You’re fired!” declaration, was misled by his closest political intimates. All for fear of what was inevitable anyway—skewering from an already hostile media. And on top of that tragic misjudgment, the election was lost anyway. So much for political strategists.” There are so many valuable parts to the story that I cannot possibly recount them all. The language is brilliant, e.g. he calls the media “the most despicable group of unprincipled liars one could ever imagine.” He proves that assertion in page after page of shocking lies and distortions, mostly driven by political goals.  I was particularly struck by his chapter on testing, mainly because that whole racket mystified me throughout. From the outset, the CDC bungled the testing part of the pandemic story, attempting to keep the tests and process centralized in DC at the very time when the entire nation was in panic. Once that was finally fixed, months too late, mass and indiscriminate PCR testing became the desiderata of success within the White House. The problem was not just with the testing method: “Fragments of dead virus hang around and can generate a positive test for many weeks or months, even though one is not generally contagious after two weeks. Moreover, PCR is extremely sensitive. It detects minute quantities of virus that do not transmit infection…. Even the New York Times wrote in August that 90 percent or more of positive PCR tests falsely implied that someone was contagious. Sadly, during my entire time at the White House, this crucial fact would never even be addressed by anyone other than me at the Task Force meetings, let alone because for any public recommendation, even after I distributed data proving this critical point.” The other problem is the wide assumption that more testing (however inaccurate) of whomever, whenever was always better. This model of maximizing tests seemed like a leftover from the HIV/AIDS crisis in which tracing was mostly useless in practice but at least made some sense in theory. For a widespread and mostly wild respiratory disease transmitted the way a cold virus is transmitted, this method was hopeless from the beginning. It became nothing but make work for tracing bureaucrats and testing enterprises that in the end only provided a fake metric of “success” that served to spread public panic.  Early on, Fauci had clearly said that there was no reason to get tested if you had no symptoms. Later, that common-sense outlook was thrown out the window and replaced with an agenda to test as many people as possible regardless of risk and regardless of symptoms. The resulting data enabled Fauci/Birx to keep everyone in a constant state of alarm. More test positivity to them implied only one thing: more lockdowns. Businesses needed to close harder, we all needed to mask harder, schools needed to stay closed longer, and travel needed to be ever more restricted. That assumption became so entrenched that not even the president’s own wishes (which had changed from Spring to Summer) made any difference.  Atlas’s first job, then, was to challenge this whole indiscriminate testing agenda. To his mind, testing needed to be about more than accumulating endless amounts of data, much of it without meaning; instead, testing should be directed toward a public-health goal. The people who needed tests were the vulnerable populations, particularly those in nursing homes, with the goal of saving lives among those who were actually threatened with severe outcomes. This push to test, contact trace, and quarantine anyone and everyone regardless of known risk was a huge distraction, and also caused huge disruption in schooling and enterprise.  To fix it meant changing the CDC guidelines. Atlas’s story of attempting to do that is eye-opening. He wrestled with every manner of bureaucrat and managed to get new guidelines written, only to find that they had been mysteriously reverted to the old guidelines one week later. He caught the “error” and insisted that his version prevail. Once they were issued by the CDC, the national press was all over it, with the story that the White House was pressuring the scientists at the CDC in terrible ways. After a week-long media storm, the guidelines changed yet again. All of Atlas’s work was made null.  Talk about discouraging! It was also Atlas’s first full experience in dealing with deep-state machinations. It was this way throughout the lockdown period, a machinery in place to implement, encourage, and enforce endless restrictions but no one person in particular was there to take responsibility for the policies or the outcomes, even as the ostensible head of state (Trump) was on record both publicly and privately opposing the policies that no one could seem to stop.  As an example of this, Atlas tells the story of bringing some massively important scientists to the White House to speak with Trump: Martin Kulldorff, Jay Bhattacharya, Joseph Ladapo, and Cody Meissner. People around the president thought the idea was great. But somehow the meeting kept being delayed. Again and again. When it finally went ahead, the schedulers only allowed for 5 minutes. But once they met with Trump himself, the president had other ideas and prolonged the meeting for an hour and a half, asking the scientists all kinds of questions about viruses, policy, the initial lockdowns, the risks to individuals, and so on.  The president was so impressed with their views and knowledge – what a dramatic change that must have been for him – that he invited filming to be done plus pictures to be taken. He wanted to make it a big public splash. It never happened. Literally. White House press somehow got the message that this meeting never happened. The first anyone will have known about it other than White House employees is from Atlas’s book.  Two months later, Atlas was instrumental in bringing in not only two of those scientists but also the famed Sunetra Gupta of Oxford. They met with the HHS secretary but this meeting too was buried in the press. No dissent was allowed. The bureaucrats were in charge, regardless of the wishes of the president.  Another case in point was during Trump’s own bout with Covid in early October. Atlas was nearly sure that he would be fine but he was forbidden from talking to the press. The entire White House communications office was frozen for four days, with no one speaking to the press. This was against Trump’s own wishes. This left the media to speculate that he was on his deathbed, so when he came back to the White House and announced that Covid is not to be feared, it was a shock to the nation. From my own point of view, this was truly Trump’s finest moment. To learn of the internal machinations happening behind the scenes is pretty shocking.  I can’t possibly cover the wealth of material in this book, and I expect this brief review to be one of several that I write. I do have a few disagreements. First, I think the author is too uncritical toward Operation Warp Speed and doesn’t really address how the vaccines were wildly oversold, to say nothing of growing concerns about safety, which were not addressed in the trials. Second, he seems to approve of Trump’s March 12th travel restrictions, which struck me as brutal and pointless, and the real beginning of the unfolding disaster. Third, Atlas inadvertently seems to perpetuate the distortion that Trump recommended ingesting bleach during a press conference. I know that this was all over the papers. But I’ve read the transcript of that press conference several times and find nothing like this. Trump actually makes clear that he was speaking about cleaning surfaces. This might be yet another case of outright media lies.  All that aside, this book reveals everything about the insanity of 2020 and 2021, years in which good sense, good science, historical precedent, human rights, and concerns for human liberty were all thrown into the trash, not just in the US but all over the world. Atlas summarizes the big picture: “in considering all the surprising events that unfolded in this past year, two in particular stand out. I have been shocked at the enormous power of government officials to unilaterally decree a sudden and severe shutdown of society—to simply close businesses and schools by edict, restrict personal movements, mandate behavior, regulate interactions with our family members, and eliminate our most basic freedoms, without any defined end and with little accountability.” Atlas is correct that “the management of this pandemic has left a stain on many of America’s once noble institutions, including our elite universities, research institutes and journals, and public health agencies. Earning it back will not be easy.”  Internationally, we have Sweden as an example of a country that (mostly) kept its sanity. Domestically, we have South Dakota as an example of a place that stayed open, preserving freedom throughout. And thanks in large part to Atlas’s behind-the-scenes work, we have the example of Florida, whose governor did care about the actual science and ended up preserving freedom in the state even as the elderly population there experienced the greatest possible protection from the virus.  We all owe Atlas an enormous debt of gratitude, for it was he who persuaded the Florida governor to choose the path of focussed protection as advocated by the Great Barrington Declaration, which Atlas cites as the “single document that will go down as one of the most important publications in the pandemic, as it lent undeniable credibility to focused protection and provided courage to thousands of additional medical scientists and public health leaders to come forward.” Atlas experienced the slings, arrows, and worse. The media and the bureaucrats tried to shut him up, shut him down, and body bag him professionally and personally. Cancelled, meaning removed from the roster of functional, dignified human beings. Even colleagues at Stanford University joined in the lynch mob, much to their disgrace. And yet this book is that of a man who has prevailed against them. In that sense, this book is easily the most crucial first-person account we have so far. It is gripping, revealing, devastating for the lockdowners and their vaccine-mandating successors, and a true classic that will stand the test of time. It’s simply not possible to write the history of this disaster without a close examination of this erudite first-hand account.  Tyler Durden Sun, 11/28/2021 - 12:30.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 28th, 2021

MiB: Steve Fradkin Northern Trust

     This week, we speak with Steven Fradkin, president of Northern Trust’s wealth management business unit, which has $355 billion in assets under management. Fradkin was previously chief financial officer and head of international business at Northern Trust, among other roles. He has been a member of the corporation’s management committee since 2004.… Read More The post MiB: Steve Fradkin Northern Trust appeared first on The Big Picture.      This week, we speak with Steven Fradkin, president of Northern Trust’s wealth management business unit, which has $355 billion in assets under management. Fradkin was previously chief financial officer and head of international business at Northern Trust, among other roles. He has been a member of the corporation’s management committee since 2004. Fradkin explains how tail events play a major role in the performance of investing firms, planning and probabilities play into the wealth planning process. To succeed in navigating though disruption you must be agile and capable of adjusting quickly. It helps if clients have robust portfolios that can withstand regular drawdowns and the occasional crashes. We also discuss how for UHNW clients this past year, tax planning was an issue for clients who chose to relocate during the pandemic lockdown. A list of his favorite books is here; A transcript of our conversation is available here Monday. You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, Bloomberg, and Acast. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here. Be sure to check out our Masters in Business next week with John Doerr, venture capitalist at Kleiner Perkins. Doerrr has backed some of the most successful tech start-ups, including Compaq, Netscape, Symantec, Sun Microsystems,, Intuit, Macromedia, and Google (He is stilla substantial shareholder in Alphabet). Doerr is also the author of the best selling Measure What Matters; his latest book is Speed & Scale: An Action Plan for Solving Our Climate Crisis Now.       The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz by Erik Larson The Hot Zone: A Terrifying True Story by Richard Preston The post MiB: Steve Fradkin Northern Trust appeared first on The Big Picture......»»

Category: blogSource: TheBigPictureNov 27th, 2021

Autodesk, Inc. Announces Fiscal 2022 Third Quarter Results

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 23, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADSK) today reported financial results for the third quarter of fiscal 2022. All growth rates are compared to the third quarter of fiscal 2021, unless otherwise noted. A reconciliation of GAAP to non-GAAP results is provided in the accompanying tables. For definitions, please view the Glossary of Terms later in this document. Third Quarter Fiscal 2022 Financial Highlights Total revenue increased 18 percent to $1,126 million; GAAP operating margin was 17 percent, down 1 percentage point; Non-GAAP operating margin was up 2 percentage points to 32 percent; GAAP diluted EPS was $0.61; Non-GAAP diluted EPS was $1.33; Cash flow from operating activities was $270 million; free cash flow was $257 million. "Our customers continue to embrace and prioritize digital transformation to drive growth, efficiency and  sustainability, generating strong demand for Autodesk's platform," said Andrew Anagnost, Autodesk president and CEO. "We are rapidly innovating and optimizing our business to enable more customers to experience our ecosystem, and realize the opportunities ahead." "Demand was robust in Q3, driving strong new subscriptions growth and renewal rates. We expect it to remain so in Q4," said Debbie Clifford, Autodesk CFO. "However, supply chain disruption and resulting inflationary pressures, a global labor shortage, and the ebb and flow of COVID, are impacting the pace of our recovery and outlook." Additional Financial Details Total billings increased 16 percent to $1,168 million. Total revenue was $1,126 million, an increase of 18 percent as reported, and 17 percent on a constant currency basis. Recurring revenue represents 97 percent of total. Design revenue was $994 million, an increase of 17 percent as reported, and 15 percent on a constant currency basis. On a sequential basis, Design revenue increased 5 percent as reported and on a constant currency basis. Make revenue was $94 million, an increase of 23 percent as reported and on a constant currency basis. On a sequential basis, Make revenue increased 5 percent as reported and on a constant currency basis. Subscription plan revenue was $1,071 million, an increase of 21 percent as reported, and 19 percent on a constant currency basis. On a sequential basis, subscription plan revenue increased 5 percent as reported and on a constant currency basis. Maintenance plan revenue was $18 million, a decrease of 56 percent as reported and on a constant currency basis. On a sequential basis, maintenance plan revenue increased 4 percent as reported, and 1 percent on a constant currency basis. Net revenue retention rate remained within the range of 100 to 110 percent. GAAP operating income was $193 million, compared to $168 million in the third quarter last year. GAAP operating margin was 17 percent, down 1 percentage point. Total non-GAAP operating income was $365 million, compared to $287 million in the third quarter last year. Non-GAAP operating margin was 32 percent, up 2 percentage points compared to the third quarter last year. GAAP diluted net income per share was $0.61, compared to $0.59 in the third quarter last year. Non-GAAP diluted net income per share was $1.33, compared to $1.04 in the third quarter last year. Deferred revenue increased 14 percent to $3.34 billion. Unbilled deferred revenue was $888 million, an increase of $239 million compared to the third quarter of last year. Remaining performance obligations (RPO) increased 18 percent to $4.23 billion. Current RPO increased 21 percent to $2.88 billion. Cash flow from operating activities was $270 million, a decrease of $91 million compared to the third quarter last year. Free cash flow was $257 million, a decrease of $83 million compared to the third quarter last year. Third Quarter Fiscal 2022 Business Highlights Net Revenue by Geographic Area Three Months Ended October 31, 2021 Three Months Ended October 31, 2020 Change compared to prior fiscal year Constant currency change compared to prior fiscal year (In millions, except percentages) $ % % Net Revenue: Americas U.S. $ 383.2 $ 328.5 $ 54.7 17 % * Other Americas 78.7 64.4 14.3 22 % * Total Americas 461.9 392.9 69.0 18 % 17 % EMEA 433.2 364.3 68.9 19 % 16 % APAC 230.7 195.2 35.5 18 % 17 % Total Net Revenue $ 1,125.8 $ 952.4 $ 173.4 18 % 17 % Emerging Economies $ 139.7 $ 114.9 $ 24.8 22 % 20 % ____________________  *  Constant currency data not provided at this level.   Net Revenue by Product Family Our product offerings are focused in four primary product families: Architecture, Engineering and Construction ("AEC"), AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT, Manufacturing ("MFG"), and Media and Entertainment ("M&E"). Three Months Ended October 31, 2021 Three Months Ended October 31, 2020 Change compared to prior fiscal year (In millions, except percentages) $ % AEC $ 511.1 $ 419.4 $ 91.7 22 % AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT 318.4 278.8 39.6 14 % MFG 225.0 194.1 30.9 16 % M&E 63.0 54.0 9.0 17 % Other 8.3 6.1 2.2 36 % $ 1,125.8 $ 952.4 $ 173.4 18 % Business Outlook The following are forward-looking statements based on current expectations and assumptions, and involve risks and uncertainties, some of which are set forth below under "Safe Harbor Statement."  Autodesk's business outlook for the fourth quarter and full-year fiscal 2022 takes into consideration the current economic environment and foreign exchange currency rate environment. A reconciliation between the fourth quarter and fiscal 2022 GAAP and non-GAAP estimates is provided below or in the tables following this press release. Fourth Quarter Fiscal 2022 Q4 FY22 Guidance Metrics Q4 FY22 (ending January 31, 2022) Revenue (in millions) $1,185 - $1,200 EPS GAAP $0.71 - $0.77 EPS non-GAAP (1) $1.41 - $1.47 _______________ (1) Non-GAAP earnings per diluted share excludes $0.62 related to stock-based compensation expense, $0.11 for the amortization of purchased intangibles, $0.02 for acquisition-related costs, partially offset by ($0.05) related to GAAP-only tax benefit.   Full Year Fiscal 2022 FY22 Guidance Metrics FY22 (ending January 31, 2022) Billings (in millions) (1) $4,740 - $4,800 Up 14% - 16% Revenue (in millions) (2) $4,360 - $4,375 Up Approx. 15% GAAP operating margin Approx. 15% Non-GAAP operating margin (3) Approx. 31% EPS GAAP $2.54 - $2.60 EPS non-GAAP (4) $4.98 - $5.04 Free cash flow (in millions) (5) $1,420 - $1,460 _______________ (1) Excluding the approximately $45 million impact of foreign currency exchange rates and hedge gains/losses, billings guidance would be $4,695 - $4,755 million. (2) Excluding the approximately $55 million impact of foreign currency exchange rates and hedge gains/losses, revenue guidance would be $4,305 - $4,320 million. (3) Non-GAAP operating margin excludes approximately 13% related to stock-based compensation expense, approximately 2% for the amortization of purchased intangibles, and 1% related to acquisition-related costs. (4) Non-GAAP earnings per diluted share excludes $2.48 related to stock-based compensation expense, $0.41 for the amortization of purchased intangibles, $0.12 related to acquisition-related costs, partially offset by ($0.06) related to gains on strategic investments and dispositions, and ($0.51) related to a GAAP-only tax benefit. (5) Free cash flow is cash flow from operating activities less approximately $65 million of capital expenditures. The fourth quarter and full-year fiscal 2022 outlook assume a projected annual effective tax rate of 16 percent for GAAP and non-GAAP results, respectively. Shifts in geographic profitability continue to impact the annual effective tax rate due to significant differences in tax rates in various jurisdictions. Therefore, assumptions for the annual effective tax rate are evaluated regularly and may change based on the projected geographic mix of earnings. Earnings Conference Call and Webcast Autodesk will host its third quarter conference call today at 5 p.m. ET. The live broadcast can be accessed at A transcript of the opening commentary will also be available following the conference call.  A replay of the broadcast will be available at 7 p.m. ET at This replay will be maintained on Autodesk's website for at least 12 months. Investor Presentation Details An investor presentation, excel financials and other supplemental materials providing additional information can be found at To help better understand our financial performance, we use several key performance metrics including billings, recurring revenue and net revenue retention rate ("NR3"). These metrics are key performance metrics and should be viewed independently of revenue and deferred revenue. These metrics are not intended to be combined with those items. We use these metrics to monitor the strength of our recurring business. We believe these metrics are useful to investors because they can help in monitoring the long-term health of our business. Our determination and presentation of these metrics may differ from that of other companies. The presentation of these metrics is meant to be considered in addition to, not as a substitute for or in isolation from, our financial measures prepared in accordance with GAAP. Glossary of Terms Billings: Total revenue plus the net change in deferred revenue from the beginning to the end of the period. Cloud Service Offerings: Represents individual term-based offerings deployed through web browser technologies or in a hybrid software and cloud configuration. Cloud service offerings that are bundled with other product offerings are not captured as a separate cloud service offering. Constant Currency (CC) Growth Rates: We attempt to represent the changes in the underlying business operations by eliminating fluctuations caused by changes in foreign currency exchange rates as well as eliminating hedge gains or losses recorded within the current and comparative periods. We calculate constant currency growth rates by (i) applying the applicable prior period exchange rates to current period results and (ii) excluding any gains or losses from foreign currency hedge contracts that are reported in the current and comparative periods. Design Business: Represents the combination of maintenance, product subscriptions, and all EBAs. Main products include, but are not limited to, AutoCAD, AutoCAD LT, Industry Collections, Revit, Inventor, Maya and 3ds Max. Certain products, such as our computer aided manufacturing solutions, incorporate both Design and Make functionality and are classified as Design. Enterprise Business Agreements (EBAs): Represents programs providing enterprise customers with token-based access to a broad pool of Autodesk products over a defined contract term. Free Cash Flow: Cash flow from operating activities minus capital expenditures. Industry Collections: Autodesk Industry Collections are a combination of products and services that target a specific user objective and support a set of workflows for that objective. Our Industry Collections consist of: Autodesk Architecture, Engineering and Construction Collection, Autodesk Product Design & Manufacturing Collection, and Autodesk Media and Entertainment Collection. Maintenance Plan: Our maintenance plans provide our customers with a cost effective and predictable budgetary option to obtain the productivity benefits of our new releases and enhancements when and if released during the term of their contracts. Under our maintenance plans, customers are eligible to receive unspecified upgrades when and if available, and technical support. We recognize maintenance revenue over the term of the agreements, generally one year.    Make Business: Represents certain cloud-based product subscriptions. Main products include, but are not limited to, Assemble, Autodesk Build, BuildingConnected, Fusion 360 and Shotgrid. Certain products, such as Fusion 360, incorporate both Design and Make functionality and are classified as Make. Net Revenue Retention Rate (NR3): Measures the year-over-year change in subscription and maintenance revenue for the population of customers that existed one year ago ("base customers").  Net revenue retention rate is calculated by dividing the current quarter subscription and maintenance revenue related to base customers by the total corresponding quarter subscription and maintenance revenue from one year ago. Subscription and maintenance revenue is based on USD reported revenue, and fluctuations caused by changes in foreign currency exchange rates and hedge gains or losses have not been eliminated. Subscription and maintenance revenue related to acquired companies, one year after acquisition, has been captured as existing customers until such data conforms to the calculation methodology. This may cause variability in the comparison. Other Revenue: Consists of revenue from consulting, training, and other products and services, and is recognized as the products are delivered and services are performed.  Product Subscription: Provides customers a flexible, cost-effective way to access and manage 3D design, engineering, and entertainment software tools. Our product subscriptions currently represent a hybrid of desktop and cloud functionality, which provides a device-independent, collaborative design workflow for designers and their stakeholders.  Recurring Revenue: Consists of the revenue for the period from our traditional maintenance plans and revenue ...Full story available on»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaNov 23rd, 2021