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Zacks.com featured highlights InnovAge Holding, Spirit AeroSystems Holdings, Tandem Diabetes Care and HCI Group

Zacks.com featured highlights InnovAge Holding, Spirit AeroSystems Holdings, Tandem Diabetes Care and HCI Group.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 23rd, 2022

Futures Rebound From Two-Day Plunge As Yield And Oil Rise

Futures Rebound From Two-Day Plunge As Yield And Oil Rise U.S. index futures edged higher, along with European shares, after the sharpest two-day drop in almost a month, as investors digested Federal Reserve’s hawkish path and were jerked higher by a fleeting moment of Ukraine ceasefire hope when Emini futures initially spiked to session highs on the following Reuters headline: RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER SAYS UKRAINE PRESENTED A NEW DRAFT AGREEMENT TO RUSSIA ON WEDNESDAY - IFX ... only to reverse the entire move two minutes later when the following headline hit: LAVROV: UKRAINE PROPOSALS ON CRIMEA, DONBAS UNACCEPTABLE: IFX Mini hiccup aside, S&P futures were about 0.1% higher at 4,481 while Nasdaq futures gained 0.5% to 14,574, signaling an end to a selloff in the underlying index that erased $850 billion in market value over two days.  Ten-year Treasury yields were flat around 2.61%, the dollar extended its rally to a sixth day, the longest streak in almost 10 months, and oil rebounded from yestereday's IEA reserve release-driven plunge. Markets are showing signs of recovery after a selloff brought on by hawkish Fed minutes in which the central bank laid out a long-awaited plan to shrink their balance sheet by about $95BN per month or more than $1 trillion a year while raising interest rates “expeditiously” to counter the hottest inflation in four decades. “The FOMC minutes gave the clarity that every investors was looking for,” said Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior analyst at Swissquote. “The US 2-10 year spread is back in the positive after having slipped below zero, but the recession threat is real, keeping the investor mood sour as the Fed pulls back support.” “The Fed delivered what most market watchers were looking for, with details around the pace and composition of the balance sheet runoff,” said Janus Henderson global bond PM Jason England. Along with recent hawkish comments from Fed officials, the minutes showed “the Fed has pivoted from a gradual approach to tightening monetary policy to now moving more rapidly toward a neutral stance,” he said. In premarket trading, HP shares were up 13% after Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway bought an 11% stake worth $4.2 billion in the laptop maker valued at more than $4.2 billion. SoFi shares declined 5.1% in premarket after the fintech firm gave new guidance as the U.S. government extended the pause on student-loan payments. Other notable premarket overs include: Levi Strauss & Co. (LEVI US) gains 5.5% in premarket trading after it said revenue during the most recent quarter increased 22% to $1.6 billion. Wells Fargo said comments about a strong first quarter and good momentum in March should help dispel investor concerns, at least in the near term. Wayfair (W US) falls 4.4% in premarket trading after Wells Fargo downgrades to underweight from equal weight in sector note turning more cautious on housing-impacted retailers. SoFi (SOFI US) drops 5.1% in premarket trading as Morgan Stanley cuts its 2022 Ebitda estimate by $42m to $100m after the fintech firm gave new guidance as the U.S. government extended the pause on student-loan payments. Sprinklr’s fourth- quarter results were a positive, though the most impressive point was the software company’s guidance, Barclays analysts led by Raimo Lenschow write in a note. The shares rose 4.7% in postmarket trading on Wednesday. Vapotherm (VAPO US) falls 23% in premarket trading after the respiratory-device company reported preliminary quarterly revenue that fell short of analysts’ estimates and withdrew its annual guidance. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 added 0.7%, boosted by a rally in shares of Atlantia SpA, the billionaire Benettons’ highway and airport group. Atlantia added 10% in Italian trading after a non-binding bid from Global Infrastructure Partners and Brookfield Asset Management Inc. European healthcare and chemical stocks outperformed, while energy and miners declined. IBEX outperformed, adding 1.5%, FTSE 100 lags, dropping 0.1%. Health care, chemicals and travel are the strongest performing sectors. The energy sector was in the red, dragging the U.K.’s benchmark FTSE 100 down, as Shell’s $4-$5BN hit from its withdrawal from Russia weighed on oil producers. The statement from the London-based giant shows that, despite a surge in oil and gas prices, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has upended the supermajors’ plans and left them scrambling to adapt to historic shifts in energy markets. Here are the most notable European premarket movers: Atlantia shares rise as much as 12%, extending yesterday’s gains, after a Bloomberg report that the motorway and airport company could become the target of a bidding war. Electrolux advances as much as 5.8% after announcing a positive non- recurring item of $70.5m in 1Q. Euronav shares gain as much as 12% on news of a potential stock-for-stock combination with Frontline to create a tanker company with a market capitalization of more than $4.2b. Daetwyler shares jump as much as 6% after it announced the acquisition of U.S. electrical connector seals company QSR, with Baader saying the deal may benefit earnings from day one. 888 shares surge as much as 31% after the gambling company announced a share placement to pay for its now-cheaper acquisition of William Hill’s international assets, with analysts reacting positively. Verbio shares surge to a record high after Hauck & Aufhauser lifts its PT on the biodiesel manufacturer by almost 33% ahead of what the broker expects to be “another outstanding quarter.” European basic resources and energy shares decline, lagging all other sectors, as commodity prices start to pull back, with Anglo American, Rio Tinto and Glencore all posting declines. PageGroup and other staffing companies fall after Jefferies lowers EPS estimates across the sector and takes a “more risk-off approach” in note, downgrading PageGroup in the process. Countryside shares sank as the home developer forecast a decline in profit after conducting a review of its business following a dispute with an activist investor. TI Fluid Systems falls as much as 12% after Jefferies downgraded the automotive parts maker to hold from buy, saying conditions faced by the company are among the most difficult in its coverage. Earlier in the session, Asian stocks slid to a three-week low as traders feared a rapid rise in U.S. interest rates and aggressive scale-back of the Federal Reserve’s bond holdings could stymie growth and hurt earnings. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index lost as much as 1.4% on Thursday, with tech shares leading the losses in many countries, after minutes of the Fed’s March meeting showed plans to shrink its balance sheet by more than $1 trillion a year. The fall came after the Asian benchmark slumped 1.5% on Wednesday following similarly hawkish comments from Fed Governor Lael Brainard. Worries that hawkish policy tightening by the Fed may cool the world’s largest economy or even tip it into a recession are hitting equities broadly across Asia. Stocks in China also buckled, even as the state council renewed its pledge to use monetary policy tools at an “appropriate time” and consider other measures to boost consumption, according to the readout from a meeting of the State Council chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday. “The Fed is telling us that the party is over. It is saying it will take away the punch bowl,” said Norihiro Fujito, chief investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities in Tokyo. “This will have a serious impact on all risk assets.” Fujito saw tech shares with rich valuations as the most vulnerable, adding that investors will be trying to seek shelter in utilities and defensive stocks. The MSCI Asia Pacific Information Technology Index fell about 2%.  Benchmarks in Japan and South Korea underperformed other Asian peers, while gauges in Australia and India posted smaller declines on Thursday.   For April, the MSCI Asia is now down more than 2% on top of a slump of almost 7% last quarter -- the most since the first three months of 2020 -- amid concern about the war in Ukraine, higher rates and inflation.  Japanese equities fell by the most in almost four weeks, deepening declines in tandem with U.S. peers amid concerns over the Federal Reserve’s plans to tighten monetary policy. Electronics makers and service providers were the biggest drags the Topix, which dropped 1.6%, in its third day of decline. Tokyo Electron and Fast Retailing were the largest contributors to a 1.7% loss in the Nikkei 225.  Minutes from the latest Federal Reserve meeting showed the U.S. central bank is prepared to raise rates sharply and reduce its balance sheet to cool the economy. Indian stocks dropped with peers across Asia as the weekly expiry of derivative contracts weighed on the market.  The S&P BSE Sensex slipped for a third session, dropping 1% to 59,034.95, its biggest fall since March 21. The NSE Nifty 50 Index slipped 0.9%. HDFC Bank retreated 2.2%, while Reliance Industries declined 1.8%. Seventeen of 30 shares on the Sensex traded lower.  Fifteen of 19 sectoral sub-indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. declined, led by a gauge of oil & gas stocks. The Fed’s plan to prune its near $9 trillion balance sheet, which was swollen by pandemic-era bond purchases, points to more volatility in global markets. Locally, the nation’s central bank will likely raise its inflation outlook to reflect costlier oil while leaving borrowing costs steady in its policy decision on Friday. “U.S. Fed’s hawkish stance has raised concerns of steeper interest rate hikes going ahead,” Kotak Securities analyst Shrikant Chouhan said. He sees volatility in global crude oil prices leading to profit taking in Reliance Industries and other energy stocks. The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.6% to close at 7,442.80, retreating alongside global peers after the Federal Reserve outlined plans to trim its balance sheet by more than $1 trillion a year while raising interest rates. Life360 was the biggest laggard as tech stocks dropped. Magellan Financial was the top performer after its funds under management update showed a slowdown in net outflows. In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index was little changed at 12,075.91 In FX, the Bloomberg dollar spot index is near flat, handing back earlier gains that saw it at a three-week high. RUB leads gains in EMFX. In rates, the treasuries curve extends steepening counter-trend as front-end and belly yields retreat further from Wednesday’s YTD highs while long-end cheapens slightly. Yields richer by up to 3bp across front-end of the curve, steepening 2s10s by ~3bp with 10-year little changed near 2.60%; bunds and gilts keep pace. Bund, Treasury and gilt curves all bull steepen. Meanwhile commodity markets continue to be whipsawed by disruptions sparked by Russia’s war in Ukraine and efforts to curb raw-material costs. WTI crude climbed toward $98 a barrel, paring a slump that was triggered by the International Energy Agency’s decision to deploy 60 million barrels from emergency stockpiles. WTI added 1.4% to trade near $98. Brent rises 1.5% to over $102. Most base metals trade in the red; LME nickel falls 2.3%, underperforming peers. Spot gold is little changed at $1,926/oz. Raw materials could surge by as much 40% -- taking them far into record territory -- should investors boost their allocation to commodities at a time of rising inflation, according to JPMorgan. In crypto, bitcoin is pressured and towards the low-end of a range that continues to drift from the USD 45k mark. Meta (FB) is exploring a virtual currency for the metaverse, according to the FT. U.S. economic data slate includes initial jobless claims (8:30am) and February consumer credit (3pm). Fed speakers scheduled include Bullard (9am) and Bostic (2pm). U.S. session highlights include speech and Q&A by St. Louis Fed’s Bullard --who dissented from March FOMC decision in favor of a bigger rate increase -- at 9am ET.  Other central bank speakers include Bostic and Evans, as well as the BoE’s Pill. We’ll also get the minutes from the ECB’s March meeting, along with remarks from the Fed’s Bullard, Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures little changed at 4,476.75 MXAP down 1.4% to 176.33 MXAPJ down 1.4% to 584.33 Nikkei down 1.7% to 26,888.57 Topix down 1.6% to 1,892.90 Hang Seng Index down 1.2% to 21,808.98 Shanghai Composite down 1.4% to 3,236.70 Sensex down 0.7% to 59,191.33 Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.6% to 7,442.83 Kospi down 1.4% to 2,695.86 Brent Futures little changed at $101.14/bbl Gold spot up 0.1% to $1,928.10 U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 99.69     Top Overnight News from Bloomberg ECB President Christine Lagarde said she tested positive for Covid-19, adding that her symptoms are “reasonably mild” and that there won’t be any impact on the operations of her institution Surging U.S. real yields suggest bond traders believe the Federal Reserve can get a grip on inflation, but are likely to put further pressure on stocks and precious metals German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said the nation has already cut its reliance on Russian coal by at least half in the past month and won’t stand in the way of a European Union ban on imports of the fuel from the country In the days after the Ukraine war began, the ruble’s collapse was a potent symbol of Russia’s newfound financial isolation. Now, the ruble has surged all the way back to where it was before Putin invaded Ukraine Hungary kept its effective key interest rate unchanged at the highest level in the European Union after the forint plunged on the bloc’s announcement that it is triggering a process that may block the country’s aid funds China signaled it will step up monetary stimulus for the economy, acknowledging that domestic and global risks are now bigger than previously expected Bank of Japan board member Asahi Noguchi says it’s vital to continue with monetary easing as it will take some time before the possibility of shrinking stimulus comes into sight. A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks traded lower throughout most of the session as the downbeat mood reverberated from Wall Street. ASX 200 was dragged lower by its tech sector following a similar sectoral performance in the West. Nikkei 225 was hit by losses across its energy, mining and manufacturing names. KOSPI conformed to the global losses whilst Samsung Electronics (-0.3%) failed to benefit from better-thanexpected prelim earnings. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp were choppy and initially swung between gains and losses before stabilising in the red. Samsung Electronics (005930 KS) - Prelim Q1 (KRW) Revenue 77tln (exp. 75.7tln), Operating Profit 14.1tln (exp. 13.3tln), via Reuters Top Asian News Suspected Chinese Hackers Collect Intel From India’s Grid SoftBank Tripled Share Buybacks to $1 Billion in March Thailand Mulls Easing Covid Test Rules for Overseas Visitors Japan to Release 15m Barrels From Oil Reserves: Kyodo European bourses are firmer across the board and back in proximity to post-cash open levels after initial strength waned in choppy price action, Euro Stoxx 50 +0.7%. US futures have been relatively in-fitting with European peers, though the NQ, +0.5%, is the modest outperformer as yields take a breather from their recent surge. China's Shanghai City is to cap the load factor of international flights by foreign airlines at 40% (prev. 75%), according to Reuters sources; effective from April 11th until month-end. Top European News Turkey Transfers Khashoggi Case to Saudi Arabia to Improve Ties Shunned Oil Piling Up Off China as Virus Outbreak Worsens EU Full Ban on Russia Coal to Be Delayed Until Mid-August: Rtrs Yellen Says U.S. Would Use Sanctions If China Invaded Taiwan FX: Greenback sets marginal new YTD best after hawkish FOMC minutes reveal tight call between 25 bp and 50 bp lift-off plus large cap balance sheet reduction, DXY up to 99.823, thus far. Albeit, the DXY has waned from best levels and turns flat ahead of the arrival of US participants as yields continue to pare Euro eyeing option expiries for support ahead of ECB minutes following loss of 1.0900 handle vs Dollar; EUR/USD down below Fib at 1.0895. Aussie unwinds more RBA inspired upside as trade surplus narrows on zero export balance; AUD/USD around 0.7475 vs circa 0.7661 only yesterday. Yen benefits from retreat in yields rather than BoJ rhetoric reaffirming ultra easy policy and merits of a weaker currency, USD/JPY capped below 124.00. Commodities: Crude benchmarks consolidate near WTD lows after reserve release pressure; specifically, near lows of USD 95.43/bbl and USD 100.13/bbl for WTI and Brent. Updates elsewhere have been slim, and focused on China's Shanghai City from a demand-side perspective amidst ongoing Ukraine-Russia developments; albeit, nothing fundamentally new in terms of negotiations. China is to strictly control new production capacity in the oil refining industry, according to the industry ministry Gas flows via Yamal-Europe pipeline resume westward, according to Gascade data. Spot gold/silver are contained and the yellow metal is once again capped by USD 1930/oz and LME Copper has failed to benefit from the equity pickup. US Event Calendar 08:30: April Initial Jobless Claims, est. 200,000, prior 202,000; Continuing Claims, est. 1.3m, prior 1.31m 15:00: Feb. Consumer Credit, est. $18.1b, prior $6.84b Central Bank Speakers 09:00: Fed’s Bullard Discusses the Economy and Monetary Policy 14:00: Fed’s Bostic and Evans Discuss Inclusive Employment 16:05: cancelled: Fed’s Williams Makes Closing Remarks DB's Henry Allen concludes the overnight wrap We might be less than a week into Q2, but based on how markets are performing it’s shaping up to be very similar to Q1 thus far, with yesterday seeing another bond selloff and significant declines for global equities as markets gear up for the fastest monetary tightening we’ve seen in decades. Indeed, it seems to be progressively dawning on investors that this cycle of hikes is going to be very different to the one we saw from 2015, when even at its fastest in 2018, the Fed still only hiked rates by 100bps in a single year. As Jim has written, if we could erase the post-GFC cycle from people’s memory banks, there’s a case that markets would be pricing 300-400bps this year given where inflation is right now, not least given we saw hikes on that scale in the late-80s and from 1994 with inflation at much lower levels than it is at the minute. Given the rapid expected tightening (as well as the negative shock of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine), it’s worth noting that DB Research’s new World Outlook came out on Tuesday, (link here), where we downgraded our global growth forecasts and are now forecasting a US recession by the end of next year as our baseline. We also got a look into the Fed’s outlook yesterday with the release of the March FOMC minutes, where it looks like they would have hiked by 50bps in March were it not for the Russian invasion, and they are ready to entertain 50bps hikes going forward. The markets got the message, and upgraded the probability of a 50bp hike at the next meeting in early May to 85%. The other big takeaway from the minutes were details around QT, which they signalled would start in May, in line with recent Fed speakers. The FOMC noted the balance sheet would rundown at a pace of $60bn Treasuries and $35bn MBS a month once QT hits terminal velocity, which should be by July if the minutes are to be believed. Markets digested the news, with Treasury yields more or less in line with their pre-minute levels into the close after declining modestly in the New York afternoon. With the pace of the runoff now set, the focus will turn to who buys the securities with the Fed stepping away and when the Fed has to stop QT. Alongside the minutes, remarks from a number of officials yesterday helped to reiterate the point that policy will become tighter this year. Philadelphia Fed President Harker said that he expected “a series of deliberate, methodical hikes as the year continues”, whilst on the question of whether to move by 50bps, Richmond Fed President Barkin said that the FOMC “could certainly do that again if it is necessary to prevent inflation expectations from unanchoring”. With all said and done, sovereign bond yields moved up to fresh highs on both sides of the Atlantic, with those on 10yr Treasuries up +5.1bps to 2.598%, which was its highest closing level since 2019, albeit some way beneath its intraday high of 2.656% shortly before noon in London, and this morning they have fallen a further -1.5bps to 2.583%. That increase yesterday was entirely driven by a rise in real yields, which rose +7.3bps to -0.24%, their highest level since March 2020, whilst a rally at the short end of the curve meant the 2s10s slope steepened for a 3rd day running, heading up to 12.2bps by the close. Those declines in shorter-dated yields came as futures actually took out a bit of Fed tightening from 2022, modestly reducing the expected number of additional hikes this year from 220bps in the previous session to 217bps by the close. Over in Europe there were similar moves, with sovereign bond yields reaching fresh highs before paring back some of that increase towards the close. Yields on 10yr bunds (+3.3bps), OATs (+3.1bps) and BTPs (+3.8ps) all closed at multi-year records, although a key difference with US Treasuries were that the rise in European yields yesterday were driven by higher inflation expectations rather than real rates. In fact the 10yr German breakeven hit 2.81%, its highest in the data series that starts back in 2009, whilst the Italian 10yr breakeven hit 2.63%, its highest since 2008. As on Tuesday, the selloff in bonds went hand in hand with further declines in equities, and by the close the S&P 500 (-0.97%) and Europe’s STOXX 600 (-1.53%) had both lost ground as well, with cyclical sectors leading the declines. Tech stocks in particular were an underperformer once again, and the NASDAQ (-2.22%) and the FANG+ index (-3.46%) both struggled again, bringing their declines over the last 2 sessions to -4.43% and -6.63% respectively. Amidst the equity declines, the VIX index of volatility rose +1.1pts yesterday to 22.1pts, taking it up to its highest level in 2 weeks. Overnight in Asia, equities have very much followed that retreat on Wall Street as monetary tightening remained in focus. Among the main indices, the Nikkei (-2.00%) is leading the moves lower, whilst the Kospi (-1.42%), Hang Seng (-1.04%), Shanghai Composite (-0.99%), and the CSI (-0.78%) are also trading in negative territory. Separately, we heard from China’s State Council yesterday that they would use monetary policy at an “appropriate time”, as they acknowledged downward pressures on the economy. Looking forward, stock futures in the US are pointing to further declines today, with contracts on the S&P 500 (-0.37%) and Nasdaq 100 (-0.33%) both lower following those Fed minutes. In terms of the latest on Ukraine, the EU continued to edge towards a fresh sanctions package, although that wasn’t finalised yesterday as had initially been suggested, with Reuters reporting that technical issues needed to be addressed like whether the ban on Russian coal would affect existing contracts. The report said that diplomats were optimistic about achieving a compromise today, so we could potentially see some news on that later, whilst in his speech to the European Parliament yesterday, European Council President Charles Michel also said that “I believe that measures on oil and even on gas will also be needed sooner or later.” Otherwise on sanctions, the US imposed further measures, including full blocking sanctions on Sberbank and Alfa Bank, along with a prohibition on new investment in Russia. The various decisions came amidst a further decline in oil prices yesterday, with Brent crude down -5.22% to $101.07/bbl, its lowest closing level in 3 weeks. That was supported by confirmation that the International Energy Agency would release 60m barrels of crude, on top of the Biden Administration’s release from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Brent has recovered somewhat this morning however, up +1.85% to $102.94/bbl. Turning to the French presidential election, we’re now just 3 days away from the first round on Sunday, and the polls have continued to tighten between President Macron and his main challenger Marine Le Pen. Yesterday’s polls for the second round runoff put Macron ahead of Le Pen by 54%-46% (Ipsos), 53-47% (Opinionway), and 52.5%-47.5% (Ifop), which are all much tighter than the 66%-34% margin in the 2017 election. French assets have continued to underperform against this backdrop, with the CAC 40 equity index (-2.21%) seeing a weaker performance than the broader STOXX 600 (-1.53%) for a 6th consecutive session. On yesterday’s data, the Euro Area PPI reading for February came in at a year-on-year rate of +31.4% (vs. 31.6% expected), which is the fastest pace since the formation of the single currency. Separately, German factory orders contracted by a larger than expected -2.2% in February (vs. -0.3% expected). To the day ahead now, and data releases include German industrial production and Euro Area retail sales for February, along with the weekly initial jobless claims from the US. Meanwhile from central banks, we’ll get the minutes from the ECB’s March meeting, along with remarks from the Fed’s Bullard, Bostic and Evans, as well as the BoE’s Pill. Tyler Durden Thu, 04/07/2022 - 07:49.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeApr 7th, 2022

Futures Slide On Evergrande, Stagflation, Energy Crisis Fears

Futures Slide On Evergrande, Stagflation, Energy Crisis Fears Stock futures ticked lower on Monday, hurt by weakening sentiment in Asia and Europe amid growing worries about economic stagflation, the global energy crisis and renewed fears about property developer China Evergrande whose stock was halted overnight in Hong Kong, while Tesla shares rose after reporting a record number of electric vehicle deliveries. At 715 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 114 points, or 0.33%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 16.25 points, or 0.37%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 73.75 points, or 0.5%. “The global chip and energy shortage is getting worse, the inflation is rising, the recovery may be slowing, and that puts central banks between a rock and a hard place,” Ipek Ozkardeskaya, a senior analyst at Swissquote, wrote in a note. “The best they could do is to do nothing, or to tighten their monetary policy to avoid losing control on the economy.” The most notable overnight event was the suspension of trading in shares of debt-laden Evergrande which unsettled markets further about any fallout from its troubles even as media reports said the company would sell a stake in its property management unit for over $5 billion. Wall Street’s main indexes were battered in September, hit by worries about the U.S. debt ceiling, the fate of a massive infrastructure spending bill and the meltdown of heavily indebted China Evergrande Group. On the second trading day of October, investors took a defensive stance, with a cautious approach to riskier assets as a spreading energy crunch meets concerns over the duration of broader rising prices and the tapering of economic stimulus efforts. Investors also kept close watch on rising U.S. Treasury yields after data last week showed increased consumer spending, accelerated factory activity and elevated inflation growth, which could help push the Federal Reserve towards tightening its accommodative monetary policy sooner than expected. Among individual stocks, Merck & Co. extended its gains from Friday on the results of its experimental Covid pill. The stock climbed 2.6% premarket. 3M shares fell 1.5% after J.P. Morgan cut its rating on the industrial conglomerate’s stock to “neutral” from “overweight”.  Here are some of the other notable premarket movers today: Tesla (TSLA  US) shares climb 2.6% higher in U.S. premarket trading after the electric car maker reported record 3Q deliveries that easily beat estimates Amplify Energy (AMPY US) shares plummet 33% in premarket trading after California beaches in northern Orange County were closed and wetlands contaminated by a huge oil spill caused by a broken pipeline off the coast DHT Holdings (DHT US) shares rose as much as 3.7% in Friday extended trading after the company said it bought 1.23m of its own shares Offerpad Solutions (OPAD US) was down 3.1% Friday postmarket after registering shares for potential sale Adverum Biotechnologies (ADVM US) shares rose as much as 23% in Friday extended trading after co. reported new long-term data from the OPTIC clinical trial of ADVM-022 single, in-office intravitreal injection gene therapy Markets also awaited U.S. Joe Biden’s new plan on China trade strategy, with U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai set for new talks with Beijing later in the day over its failure to keep promises made in a “Phase 1” trade deal struck with former President Donald Trump. Biden's new plan follows a top-to-bottom review of import tariffs and other measures imposed by the Trump administration; reports also said that USTR will today say that China is not complying with the Phase 1 deal. Europe's Stoxx 600 Index trades flat, erasing earlier losses of as much as 0.6%, helped by gains in health care and basic resources shares. The healthcare sub index rose 0.8% after AstraZeneca’s Enhertu got a breakthrough therapy designation while basic resources sub-index up 0.3% as iron ore rallies. Euro Stoxx 50 is down 0.2% having declined as much as 1% at the open. FTSE MIB lags on the recovery; FTSE 100 trades flat. Autos, banks and travel names are the weakest sectors. Here are some of the biggest European movers today: Adler Group shares jump as much as 18%, briefly erasing the previous week’s declines, after the firm said it’s reviewing strategic options that may result in a sale of assets Wm Morrison declines as much as 3.8% after the offer terms from winning bidder CD&R disappointed investors Sainsbury rises as much as 5.9% and Tesco gains 1.7% on speculation that CD&R’s Morrison deal may drive further interest in Britain’s grocery sector at a time when cash-rich buyout funds are stalking undervalued U.K. companies; also, a report says Tesco will announce a share buyback program this week Plus500 gains as much as 6.1% after the contracts-for-difference trading firm says full-year profit will beat market expectations Bewi rises as much as 9.9% after the owner of 50% of building products company Jackon Holding accepted Bewi’s offer BT slumps as much as 7.8% to a six-month low following a Telegraph report that Sky is closing in on a broadband investment deal with Virgin Media O2, raising worries over competition Azelio falls as much as 22% after newspaper Dagens Industri raised questions about orders for the renewable energy equipment developer Aryzta tumbles as much as 13% after results, halting a four-day winning streak Frasers falls as much as 12%, the most since December. Bank of America cut the owner of the Sports Direct retail chain to underperform from buy Asia stocks also declined, with Hong Kong shares a drag, after debt-ridden China Evergrande Group’s trading was suspended while investors also sold health care-related names and appeared wary heading into the final quarter of 2021. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slipped as much as 0.8%. Vaccine maker CanSino Biologics and Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group were the biggest decliners on the measure as Merck & Co. said its experimental Covid-19 antiviral pill cuts the risk of hospitalization and death in half. “Investors will need to take a sell-first ask-later stance given current elevated valuation levels of vaccine stocks,” said Justin Tang, head of Asian research at United First Partners. Also weighing on traders’ minds is the global energy crisis, which has spread to India and is stoking inflation concerns. Speculation about the potential restructuring of China Evergrande Group, which has suspended trading of its Hong Kong shares, is also affecting sentiment at a time liquidity is thinner. The mainland Chinese market is closed through Thursday for Golden Week holidays. Singapore’s benchmark Straits Times Index was among the top-performing gauges in Asia Pacific as the country takes steps toward further reopening. Measures across the cyclicals-heavy Southeast Asian markets also rose, while tech stocks including Alibaba and Meituan took a hit. Asian assets will be sold alongside global peers in the short term, said Tai Hui, chief Asia market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management. “But we think cyclical sectors, especially exporters, should also perform well for the rest of the year, especially as more Asian economies are seeing a rising level of vaccination,” he added. Japanese equities fell for a sixth-straight day, as investor concerns deepened over contagion from China’s real-estate sector woes on the suspension of trading in shares of Evergrande and its property management unit. Electronics makers were the biggest drag on the Topix, which declined 0.6%, capping its worst losing streak since February 2020. Tokyo Electron and Fanuc were the largest contributors to a 1.1% drop in the Nikkei 225. “It’s possible Evergrande news flow is impacting Japan stocks, the issues surrounding the property firm aren’t resolved,” said Mamoru Shimode, chief strategist at Resona Asset Management. “It’s also important to keep in mind markets overall have been in risk-off mood since the latter half of September.” Travel and retail stocks gained, following U.S. peers higher after promising results for Merck’s experimental Covid-19 pill and amid signs of a pick-up in Japanese department-store sales. Meanwhile, Fumio Kishida was appointed prime minister by parliament Monday, and was set to reveal a new cabinet lineup as he seeks to revive support for his ruling party ahead of a general election that could likely come this month. In rates, Treasuries are near session lows, the 10Y TSY pushing on 1.50% cheaper by ~3.5bp on the day and near middle of last week’s 1.44%-1.565% range in early U.S. session after erasing gains that pushed yields to lowest levels in a week. 5s30s curve at ~111.7bp is steeper by nearly 2bp, probing 50-DMA and approaching last week’s high. Gilts led the selloff during European morning as regional stocks recovered from a weak open. Curve steepens, with long-end yields cheaper by around 4bp vs Friday’s close.  Peripheral spreads widen with long end Italy underperforming. Semi-core spreads tighten at the margin. In FX, Bloomberg dollar index is little changed; NOK, CAD and CHF are the best performers in G-10, JPY lags but trading ranges are narrow. Crude futures hold slightly in the red in choppy trade. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was steady and the greenback traded in tight ranges against its Group-of-10 peers. The euro reversed a modest decline to trade above $1.16, while the pound hovered after touching its highest level in nearly a week during the Asia session. Expected volatility is now at the highest in five months. The currency fell to a year-to-date low last week amid concerns over soaring energy prices, falling business confidence and the end of the government’s furlough scheme. The Aussie dollar was flat and option markets aren’t expecting the RBA’s policy decision Tuesday to be an eventful one for spot. The yen inched lower after earlier touching a one-week high when concern over potential contagion from indebted Chinese developer Evergrande weighed on Japanese stocks. In commodities, WTI is down 0.25% near $75.70, Brent just 0.1% lower near $79.20 ahead of today’s OPEC+ virtual gathering. Spot gold drops ~$10 to test Friday’s low near $1,750/oz. Base metals trade well with LME aluminum and zinc rising over 1% to outperform peers. Bitcoin and cryptos dropped after a burst higher late on Sunday, following the China Evergrande suspension even though i) the news appears to be positive and is in relation to the latest asset sale and ii) China has banned trading in cryptos, so it wasn't exactly clear why any mainlanders would be selling to meet margin calls. On today's calendar, we get August factory orders, and the final August durable goods orders, core capital goods orders. We also get more central bank speakers including Fed's Bullard, BoE’s Ramsden, ECB Vice President de Guindos and ECB’s Makhlouf. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures down 0.4% to 4,324.25 STOXX Europe 600 little changed at 453.24 MXAP down 0.5% to 194.02 MXAPJ down 0.3% to 629.26 Nikkei down 1.1% to 28,444.89 Topix down 0.6% to 1,973.92 Hang Seng Index down 2.2% to 24,036.37 Shanghai Composite up 0.9% to 3,568.17 Sensex up 1.1% to 59,391.71 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 1.3% to 7,278.54 Kospi down 1.6% to 3,019.18 Brent Futures little changed at $79.22/bbl Gold spot down 0.5% to $1,752.29 U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 93.96 German 10Y yield rose 1.4 bps to -0.210% Euro up 0.1% to $1.1613 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg China Evergrande Group and its property-services arm were halted in Hong Kong stock trading amid a report that the developer agreed to sell a controlling stake in the unit to raise much- needed cash U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he won’t fall back on immigration to solve the U.K.’s truck driver shortage, as he presented supply chain troubles that have left supermarket shelves bare and gas stations dry as a “period of adjustment” in the wake of Brexit and the pandemic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reset the clock on Saturday, giving lawmakers until Halloween to strike a deal on both the bipartisan $550 billion infrastructure deal and a broader, signature package of social spending, health care and tax measures they must pass with only Democratic votes Germany’s Social Democrats under chancellor-in-waiting Olaf Scholz signaled progress in talks with the Greens on forming a coalition government with the Free Democrats, while Angela Merkel’s bloc kept the door ajar for a conservative-led alliance Japan’s Fumio Kishida was appointed prime minister by parliament Monday, and is set to reveal a new cabinet lineup as he seeks to revive support for his ruling party ahead of a general election that could likely come this month. A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asian equity markets traded mixed as ongoing Evergrande default concerns clouded over the initial optimism following Friday’s rebound on Wall St where all major indices found some reprieve from last week’s downturn, although the S&P 500 still suffered its worst weekly performance since February and US equity futures also failed to hold on to opening gains with this week’s upcoming risk events adding to the cautiousness including the OPEC+ meeting later today, a bout of Asia-Pac central bank policy decisions from Tuesday and Friday’s NFP job data. The ASX 200 (+1.3%) outperformed, with the index unfazed by the absence of key market participants with mainland China away for Golden Week, South Korea closed due to National Foundation Day, and amid the quasi-holiday conditions in Australia as New South Wales observed Labour Day. Nonetheless, the local benchmark was propped up by the top-weighted financials sector with shares in Australia’s largest bank CBA boosted following a AUD 6.0bln off-market buyback and with reopening stocks, especially those in the travel industry, among the biggest gainers. The Nikkei 225 (-1.1%) wiped out its opening advances despite the lack of significant news catalyst for the reversal which was spearheaded by exporter names, while the focus in Japan turned to PM Kishida’s confirmation in parliament and for details of the new Cabinet members. The Hang Seng (-2.2%) was heavily pressured by losses in health and biotech stocks, while property names also suffered amid the current Evergrande fears after a USD 260mln note from Jumbo Fortune Enterprises matured on Sunday which was guaranteed by China Evergrande Group and its unit Tianji Holding Ltd, while there is no grace period for the payment but five days will be allowed for administrative or technical errors. Furthermore, shares of Evergrande, its property services unit and structured products have all been halted which reports circulating that Hopson Development is to acquire a 51% stake in Evergrande Property Services for HKD 40bln. Finally, 10yr JGBs tracked recent upside in T-notes and with support also from the negative mood in Japanese stocks, as well as the BoJ’s presence in the market for over JPY 1tln of JGBs mostly concentrated in 1yr-5yr maturities. Top Asian News Singapore Eyes More Vaccinated Travel Lanes in Cautious Reopen India Farm Protests Gather Momentum After 4 Demonstrators Killed U.S. Natural Gas Jumps Amid Strong Overseas Demand for Fuel Suzuki Takes Japan Finance Reins as Election, Stimulus Loom Major bourses in Europe have adopted somewhat of a mixed picture (Euro Stoxx 50 Unch; Stoxx 600 -0.2%), following on from the broad-based downbeat cash open seen as Europe picked up the baton from APAC. US equity futures see modest losses across the board but have again drifted off worst levels. Nonetheless, the NQ (-0.5%) remains the slight laggard vs its RTY (-0.1%), ES (-0.2%) and YM (-0.4%) counterparts. Sectors are now mixed with a slight defensive tilt, with Healthcare and Food & Beverages among the top gainers, whilst financials bear the brunt of the yield decline on Friday, with Banks at the foot of the bunch. In terms of individual movers, Morrisons (-3.8%) has accepted CD&R’s takeover offer, which has left Fortress empty-handed but has fanned speculation that the group may look towards Sainsbury’s (+5.9%), Tesco (+1.7%) or Marks & Spencer (+1.5%) as potential targets, with the former being the best suitor, according to reports. Elsewhere BT (-7%) plumbed the depths with some citing reports that Sky is to partner with Virgin Media-O2 in a move set to intensify the challenge to BT’s infrastructure builder Openreach. Top European News U.K.’s Fuel Crisis Has at Least a Week to Run as Army Steps In Adler Group Weighs Asset Sales to Cut Debt After Multiple Bids Amazon Rival Noon to Raise $2 Billion From Backers Including PIF Romanian Billionaire Petrescu Dies in Plane Crash Near Milan In FX, the broader Dollar and index remain caged to a tight range, with the latter within a narrow 93.900-94.104 band after last week printing a new YTD peak at 94.504. The Dollar remains on standby as risk events are abundant this coming week, including deliberations on Capitol Hill and Friday’s NFP. In terms of the developments in Washington, congressional leaders set a new unofficial month-end deadline to pass the infrastructure bill, and USD 3.5tln spending package, and House progressives were reported to offer to reduce spending to save the bill and are willing to compromise on the USD 3.5tln amount with limits but rejected moderate Democrat Senator Manchin’s USD 1.5tln offer. Over to the Fed and a story to keep on the radar - Fed’s Clarida (seen as the nucleus of the Fed) reportedly shifted out of a bond fund into a stock fund last year, which occurred a day prior to Fed Chair Powell issuing a statement of potential policy action due to the pandemic. A spokesperson passed this off as “pre-planned” balancing, but a similar situation led to the early resignation of Kaplan and Rosengren. Elsewhere, USTR Tai is to today unveil the China trade policy following a top-to-bottom review of the Trump admin’s tariffs and other measures. The pre-release noted that the US would begin a process to exempt certain products from tariffs on Chinese imports, with the US also seeking a meeting on Phase 1. That being said, officials noted that all tools remain on the table when asked about further tariffs. Net-net, the release was constructive and, as such, provided tailwinds to the CNH, whereby USD/CNH dipped from 6.4560 to a low of 6.4385. AUD, NZD, CAD - The non-US Dollars somewhat vary with the Loonie attached to price action in the oil complex heading into the OPEC+ meeting later today. The NZD outperforms in the G10 bunch, with the AUD on the other side of the spectrum in what is a busy central bank week for the antipodeans. The AUD/NZD cross will likely take some focus as the RBNZ is poised to hike its OCR, whilst the RBA is seen holding policy steady. AUD/NZD has made its way back towards 1.4050 from its 1.0485 overnight high. NZD/USD meanders around 0.6950 (0.6927-53 range) whilst AUD/USD hovers around the 0.7250 mark (where AUD 1bln of OpEx resides), with the 21 DMA at 0.7295 and the 50 at 0.7311. EUR, GBP - Both European majors trade relatively flat in the European morning, but Brexit rhetoric has ramped up with UK Brexit Minister Frost warning the EU that the UK is prepared to trigger Article 16 unless the EU agrees to replace the Northern Ireland Protocol. There were separate reports that ministers will be given a deadline of the end of next month to decide on whether to suspend the Northern Ireland Brexit deal unilaterally, and senior sources warned that unless the EU was prepared to engage in a “serious negotiation” during the coming weeks, the government would have no choice but to suspend the deal by December. EUR/GBP topped its 100 and 21 DMAs (both at 0.8566) after finding a floor at its 100 DMA (0.8546). EUR/USD is back above 1.1600 (vs 1.1588 base) with EUR 1bln options expiring at the figure. GBP/USD hovers mid-range between 1.3534-77. In commodities, WTI and Brent front-month futures have clambered off worst levels but remain tentative ahead of the OPEC+ confab later today (full preview in the Newsquawk Research Suite). In terms of the long and short of it, markets expect OPEC+ to stick to its plan of raising monthly oil output by +400k BPD; albeit, some look for a larger-than-planned hike. Oil journalists have said this morning that despite the noise surrounding a greater-than-planned hike, ministers expect the current plan to be maintained, although drama in the meeting cannot be omitted. Upside during the European session coincided with headlines suggesting “OPEC+ is seen keeping output policy unchanged”, citing sources, although this was poorly phrased as it incorrectly intimates production being unchanged as opposed to plans for the 400k BPD hike being unchanged. Other things to be aware of aside from OPEC, BioNTech CEO expects the virus to likely mutate and that a new vaccine formulation could be required by the middle of next year, according to the FT, whilst the Gulf of Oman has seen cyclone Shaheen hit the area, although exports are not expected to be impacted yet aside from a delay in loadings. WTI Nov resides just under 76/bbl (75.30-76.20 range) whilst Brent Dec hovers sub USD 79.50/bbl (78.75-79.50/bbl range.) Elsewhere, spot gold and silver have been drifting lower in tandem with the rise in yields seen throughout the morning, with the former briefly dipping under USD 1,750/oz whilst spot silver fell under USD 22.40/oz. Turning to base metals, LME copper posts modest gains and remains north of USD 9,000/t, with some dip-buying being cited. US Event Calendar 10am: Aug. Cap Goods Ship Nondef Ex Air, prior 0.7% 10am: Aug. Cap Goods Orders Nondef Ex Air, prior 0.5% 10am: Aug. -Less Transportation, prior 0.2% 10am: Aug. Factory Orders Ex Trans, est. 0.4%, prior 0.8% 10am: Aug. Factory Orders, est. 1.0%, prior 0.4% 10am: Aug. Durable Goods Orders, est. 1.8%, prior 1.8% 10am: Fed’s Bullard Takes Part in Panel Discussion on the Economy DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap It’s certainly an odd financial world at the moment. The negatives are obvious and revolve mostly around delta, weaker than expected growth, the energy crisis, ever higher inflation and tighter central bank policy. The positives are that the base effects with numerous lockdowns imposed in Q4 2020 to at least the start of Q3 2021 mean that it won’t be that difficult for growth to still be numerically healthy for a few more quarters. So once the disappointment of growth not being as high as was hoped at this stage fades we should still be left with decent growth. Famous last words but covid should play less and less part in our lives over the year ahead as vaccines and better treatments (eg Merck antiviral pill news on Friday) become more and more widespread. In addition, stimulus and excess savings remain high and financial conditions are still very loose. While regular readers will know I’ve long been beating the drum on higher inflation and will continue to do so, I’m not convinced that growth is rolling over enough for stagflation to be the best description of the outlook for the next 12 months. However I suppose much depends on how you define it. Whilst on the topic of the energy crisis, the world is full of pictures of the UK population queuing for petrol because of a perceived shortage of HGV drivers. We’ll never know if there was actually a shortage that would have threatened fuel supplies as when the story broke 10 days ago panic set in and we had a fuel run (not as shocking as a bank run but formed from the same cloth) as the population desperately tried to refuel. My wife decided to hold out thinking the situation would resolve itself. However by Saturday night we had 10 miles left in the tank and during the day she had passed 6-7 petrol stations with either no fuel or huge queues. As we were putting the kids to bed she announced that she was getting desperate and stressed about it and was going to go out now as she was worried she wouldn’t be able to take the kids to school this week if she didn’t go out to the local area to try to find petrol. I said she was crazy to go at peak time (partly as I didn’t want to put the kids to bed alone - tough on crutches) and urged her to go very early Sunday morning instead. She ignored me and ventured out on what I thought was a suicide mission. 20 minutes later she was back with a full tank! I’ve no idea how and I won’t ask! I apologised! Outside of all the ongoing energy and stagflation chatter, all roads this week point to payrolls Friday as unless there is a marked deterioration across the whole sweep of labour market indicators within the report, this will likely be the catalyst to cement the November taper barring an exogenous or market shock. Investors will also be increasingly focused on the US debt ceiling deadline, whilst Congress simultaneously grapples with the infrastructure bill and the reconciliation package. Elsewhere on the political scene, coalition negotiations in Germany will be important to look out for, as the parties seek to form a government after the election. Before we look ahead, markets have started the week with a risk-off tone, with Asian equities including the Hang Seng (-2.17%), Kospi (-1.62%), the Nikkei (-0.95%) all moving lower while markets in China remain closed. Stocks pared gains on the news that Evergrande’s trading had been suspended in Hong Kong, with a filing from the Hong Kong Stock Exchange saying that this was “pending the release by the Company of an announcement containing inside information about a major transaction.” Meanwhile Bloomberg reported earlier that Evergrande had guaranteed a dollar note worth $260m with an official due date of Oct 3 by Jumbo Fortune Enterprises, making the effective due date today since maturity was on a Sunday. Elsewhere in Asia, NHK reported that Japan’s incoming Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida, planned to hold a general election on October 31, and looking forward, US equity futures are also pointing lower, with those on the S&P 500 down -0.32%. Looking ahead, the US jobs report will be one of the main macro highlights this week, and follows last month’s release that strongly underwhelmed expectations, with nonfarm payrolls growth of just +235k in August being the slowest since January. So another poor release would not be welcome news even if it did reflect labour shortages. In terms of what to expect this time around, our US economists are forecasting a pickup in September, with nonfarm payrolls growing by +400k, and the unemployment rate ticking down to a post-pandemic low of 5.1%. Remember in the weak report last month, yields rose on the day as markets focused on the wage increases rather than the poor headline number. As we said at the time the bond reaction to last month’s report probably helped signal the end of the extreme positive technicals and short positioning in treasuries. Over the summer strong inflation and decent data couldn’t help treasuries sell off, indicating bullet proof technicals but the period around last month’s release seemed to turn the tide the other way a bit. The other important data release this week will be the global services and composite PMIs out tomorrow, which will give an indication of how the economy has fared into the end of Q3. That said, the flash readings we’ve already had have indicated slowing growth momentum across the major economies, so it will be interesting to see where things progress from here. Turning to the US, negotiations in Congress will be in focus as legislators face the debt ceiling deadline this month (expected to be breached around October 18th according to Treasury Secretary Yellen last week), just as the Democrats are also seeking to pass a $550bn bipartisan infrastructure bill and a reconciliation package. On Saturday, Speaker Pelosi seemed to suggest that the new deadline was October 31st for the bipartisan bill which highlights how much difference there still is between the progressives and moderates on the reconciliation package. Will they eventually find a compromise for a lower amount than the original $3.5tn (maybe around $2tn) that makes nether side happy but gets the legislation through? Staying on the political scene, there’ll also be a focus on coalition negotiations in Germany, where exploratory talks have now begun between the parties. The Greens and the liberal FDP will be key to forming a majority in the new Bundestag, with 210 seats between them, as both the centre-left SPD and the conservative CDU/CSU bloc still hope to lead the next coalition. Initial exploratory talks began with the SPD yesterday, and the FDP have also spoken to the CDU/CSU, with the Greens set to follow tomorrow. On the central bank side it’s a quieter week ahead, with the two G20 policy decisions expected from the Reserve Bank of Australia (tomorrow) and the Reserve Bank of India (Friday). In Australia, our economist is expecting no change in policy and a reaffirmation of their dovish policy outlook. And in India, our economist also expects the MPC to keep all key policy rates unchanged, with our base case remaining for a reverse repo rate liftoff starting from December. The day-by-day calendar is at the end as usual. Back to last week, and global equity markets slid for the third week out of the last four as the S&P 500 fell -2.21%, with a +1.15% increase on Friday not stopping the index from having its worst week since the end of February. The losses were primarily led by growth and technology stocks as the NASDAQ declined -3.20% on the week, while cyclicals such as banks (+1.92%) and energy (+5.78%) stocks outperformed. European equities similarly fell back, as the STOXX 600 ended the week -2.24% lower after Friday’s -0.42% loss came prior to a late US rally. Global sovereign bonds sold off for a sixth straight week, though most of that selling came in the first two days as the global risk-off tone caused investors to search for havens. US 10yr Treasury yields still ended the week up +1.1bps, despite Friday’s -2.6bp decline. Bond yields in Europe moved higher as well, with those on 10yr bunds increasing +0.4bps, to trade at their highest levels since early-July. And 10yr yields on French OATs (+1.2bps) and Italians BTPs (+3.1bps) also rose further. UK gilts underperformed them all with yields increasing +7.7bps. The major driver of the move in global yields was rising inflation expectations with US 10yr breakevens increasing +4.5bps, while 10yr bund and breakevens rose +9.3bps to reach their highest level since 2013 and gilt breakevens (+3.5bps) rose to their highest level since 2008 even though they were much higher mid-week. The US September ISM manufacturing survey rose to 61.1 from 59.9 in the prior month even as supply bottlenecks intensified. This along with strong demand readings from businesses and consumers have led to higher prices which are mostly being passed onto consumers. This was seen in the PCE deflator data from Friday which showed prices rose 4.3% (4.2% expected) y/y with the core reading increasing 3.6% (3.5% expected) y/y. The University of Michigan survey showed respondents’ inflation expectations in a year dropped slightly from the initial reading 4.6% (4.7% initial , 4.8% exp), which was in-line with last month. 5-10yr expectations remain elevated at 3.0%. Overall the sentiment reading of 72.8 (71.0 prior) was better than the initial survey but still was the fifth worst reading in a decade, with only last month and the early months of the pandemic having been lower. Separately, Euro-area inflation reached its highest level since September 2008 on Friday as the headline September CPI print registered at 3.4% y/y (3.3% expected) in September, fuelled by the cost of energy and travel. Meanwhile, in Europe the manufacturing PMI readings were largely in-line with the preliminary readings with the Euro Area print sitting at 58.6 (58.7 prior) with Germany (58.4) and France (55.0) both just under their prior readings. Tyler Durden Mon, 10/04/2021 - 07:55.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytOct 4th, 2021

10 Best Stocks to Buy Before Recession Begins

In this article, we discuss 10 best stocks to buy before recession begins. If you want to see more stocks in this selection, click 5 Best Stocks to Buy Before Recession Begins.  Between 1929 and 1939, the period famously dubbed the Great Depression, global economies suffered from stock market crashes, sharp declines in output, high […] In this article, we discuss 10 best stocks to buy before recession begins. If you want to see more stocks in this selection, click 5 Best Stocks to Buy Before Recession Begins.  Between 1929 and 1939, the period famously dubbed the Great Depression, global economies suffered from stock market crashes, sharp declines in output, high unemployment, greater poverty, personal and corporate bankruptcies, and falling international trade. The US economy is spiraling towards yet another slowdown. The latest calls of “Poison” Ivy Zelman, the analyst who predicted the 2008 housing crash and the founder of Zelman & Associates, suggest that she expects an 8.8% drop in U.S. home prices between 2022 and 2024. History indicates that this would potentially be one of the three steepest housing price declines on record. The other two sharpest price drops were registered during the Great Depression and the Great Recession. Steve Hanke, a professor of applied economics at Johns Hopkins University, told CNBC at the end of August that the US economy is expected to fall into a recession next year, and the rake hikes will not necessarily be the primary catalyst. He further explained:  “We will have a recession because we’ve had five months of zero M2 growth, money supply growth, and the Fed isn’t even looking at it.”  M2 is an indicator of overall money supply and future inflation, consisting of cash, checking and savings deposits, and money market securities. The money supply has become stagnant in the last few months, which will result in a slowing economy, according to Hanke. He expects “one whopper of a recession in 2023”. He attributed the currently raging inflation to the “unprecedented growth” in money supply during the peak COVID period.  Nouriel Roubini, a New York University professor and the CEO of Roubini Macro Associates, who is also known as Dr. Doom due to his foresight of the 2007 and 2008 housing market crash, is of the view that the US will experience a recession by the end of 2022. He believes that the recession will continue throughout 2023. In 2020, Dr. Doom forecasted that a new “great depression” was set to hit the U.S. during the 2020s, given the increasing debt levels. In July 2022, he predicted a “severe recession and a severe debt and financial crisis” for the US economy.  Some of the best stocks to buy before the next recession starts include Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST), Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT), and ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP).  Niloo / Shutterstock.com Our Methodology  We selected defensive stocks operating in sectors that have historically survived extreme economic downturns. These sectors include energy, home goods, food, pharma, and alcoholic beverages. Strong business fundamentals and positive analyst coverage were important classifiers for shortlisting the following stocks.  We have arranged the list according to the hedge fund sentiment around the securities, which was assessed from Insider Monkey’s Q2 2022 database of about 900 elite hedge funds.  10. Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (NYSE:BUD)   Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 14 Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (NYSE:BUD) is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, selling alcoholic beverages and soft drinks worldwide. The company primarily distributes beer under the Budweiser, Corona, Stella Artois, Bud Light, Castle, and Skol brands, among others. The company beat market estimates on earnings and revenue in the second quarter of 2022, and total sales volume also increased. Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (NYSE:BUD) is one of the best stocks to buy before recession starts, as consumers increase their alcohol and tobacco intake amid stressful unemployment, monetary, and overall macro pressures.  On September 12, Deutsche Bank analyst Mitch Collett raised the price target on Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (NYSE:BUD) to EUR 74 from EUR 73 and maintained a Buy rating on the shares. Similarly, HSBC analyst Carlos Laboy on September 6 upgraded Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (NYSE:BUD) to Buy from Hold with a price target of EUR 65, up from EUR 64, citing valuation for the upgrade. The analyst believes Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (NYSE:BUD)’s revenue and margin pressures will ease into the end of 2022 due to normalizing input prices. According to Insider Monkey’s data, 14 hedge funds were bullish on Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (NYSE:BUD) at the end of June 2022, compared to 20 funds in the last quarter. Ken Fisher’s Fisher Asset Management featured as the leading stakeholder of the company, with more than 9 million shares worth roughly $487 million.  In addition to Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST), Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT), and ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP), Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (NYSE:BUD) is one of the best defensive plays for the upcoming recession. Here is what ClearBridge Investments Large Cap Growth Strategy has to say about Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (NYSE:BUD) in its Q4 2021 investor letter: “To make room for these new names and optimize the growth profile of the Strategy, we exited two additional positions during the quarter. We sold out of Anheuser-Busch InBev as we see too much work ahead for the world’s largest beer maker to re-ignite sales growth post COVID-19. While the company should benefit from a recovery in the on-premise channel, individual country complexities, the hedging of raw materials, and senior management turnover leave us more confident in the Strategy’s other reopening-related holdings.” 9. Unilever PLC (NYSE:UL)   Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 21 Unilever PLC (NYSE:UL) is a London-based fast moving consumer goods company, operating through Beauty & Personal Care, Foods & Refreshment, and Home Care segments. Unilever PLC (NYSE:UL) is one of the best stocks to invest in before the next recession starts, given its defensive nature. Consumers will not stop buying personal care products and food items despite dire economic conditions impacting household budgets.  On August 3, Unilever PLC (NYSE:UL) declared a $0.4343 per share quarterly dividend. The dividend was paid to shareholders on September 1. The company delivers a dividend yield of 4.10% as of September 22, way ahead of the average consumer staples yield of 1.89%.  Deutsche Bank analyst Tom Sykes on July 26 upgraded Unilever PLC (NYSE:UL) to Buy from Hold with an unchanged price target of 4,600 GBp, noting that “commodity headwinds are now turning to tailwinds for 2023”. The analyst believes Unilever PLC (NYSE:UL) has the potential for expanding margins in 2023, while “many companies in the market will be seeing margin declines”. Although he is cautious on the overall consumer outlook, the analyst categorized Unilever PLC (NYSE:UL) as “at least a relative outperformer”. Among the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey, Unilever PLC (NYSE:UL) was part of 21 public stock portfolios at the end of Q2 2022, compared to 23 in the last quarter. Tom Russo’s Gardner Russo & Gardner is the biggest position holder in the company, with approximately 7 million shares valued at $319 million.  Here is what Mayar Capital specifically said about Unilever PLC (NYSE:UL) in its second quarter investor letter: “In 1895 the Lever brothers created a new brand of hand soap. Inspired by the growing demand for hygiene products, the Lifebuoy brand of soaps was launched to ‘make health infectious’. 128 years later the Lifebuoy brand continues as a leading soap brand – albeit without the coal tar-derived ingredients list. In fact, the market research firm Kantar ranked Lifebuoy as the global #3 most chosen FMCG brand in 2020, just below Coca-Cola (KO) and Colgate (CL) – an astonishing fact given the age of the brand. While the brand is largely absent from shelves here in the UK, it is a juggernaut in Asian markets, and is the #1 brand in India. There are two observations about the Lifebuoy story which tell us a lot about Unilever PLC (NYSE:UL), which is currently our largest holding in the Fund. The first is the enduring power of brands in the consumer goods market. According to Kantar’s list of most chosen brands, the top 20 global marques have an average age of 116 years, with over half being founded in the 19th century. Fashions come and go, but there is something special about low-cost consumable goods that advantages strong, time-worn brand names…” (Click here to view full text) 8. Shell plc (NYSE:SHEL)   Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 39 Shell plc (NYSE:SHEL) is a London-based energy and petrochemical company, with presence in Europe, Asia, Oceania, Africa, the United States, and the Americas. The company operates through Integrated Gas, Upstream, Marketing, Chemicals and Products, and Renewables and Energy Solutions segments. Energy stocks are great to load up on before the next recession starts, and while industrial demand may be weaker, the residential demand for gas, electricity, renewables, and petroleum remains robust even when the economy slows.  On September 12, Piper Sandler analyst Ryan Todd raised the price target on Shell plc (NYSE:SHEL) to $80 from $75 and maintained an Overweight rating on the shares. The analyst remains constructive on the integrated oils, noting that almost record-level distillate margins are generating upside in refining estimates and this will likely continue through the winter and into an “equally tight” 2023.  Among the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey, 39 funds reported owning stakes in Shell plc (NYSE:SHEL) at the end of the second quarter of 2022, compared to 37 funds in the last quarter. William B. Gray’s Orbis Investment Management is one of the leading position holders in the company, with 9.13 million shares worth about $478 million.  Here is what Harding Loevner International Equity Fund has to say about Shell plc (NYSE:SHEL) in its Q1 2022 investor letter: “While risks of unforeseen consequences arising from the Ukraine conflict are high, on this front we are cautiously optimistic that China will work hard to maintain its neutrality in a credible way, as it is a huge beneficiary of trade with the rest of the world, especially the rich developed nations. We think it likely that China, along with India, will continue to buy oil and gas from Russia (just as Europe, at least for now, plans to keep its gas pipelines open), and do not expect that fact to alter China’s trade relations with the West much. Nevertheless, we must contemplate that our optimism is misplaced on the importance of membership in the global network of exchange. If our central and optimistic case—admittedly an educated guess—is wrong, then we’d need to greatly modify our views of which companies in our opportunity set will face new barriers to profitable growth, and which might stand to benefit, relatively, from a further receding of globalization. (Global trade, after all, has never matched the peak share of GDP it reached in 2008, before the Global Financial Crisis.) We’d expect such a world to be less efficient, as the cold logic of comparative advantage is demoted as a determinant of which goods or services are produced and where. That would lead to a less prosperous world, since exploiting comparative advantage is a cornerstone of wealth creation. If regional blocs began to raise limits on the movement of capital as well as goods, we’d need to parse which of our multinational companies were at risk of declining sales from increasingly hostile, siloed countries. Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:SHEL) has found its Siberian oil and gas joint venture assets stranded by the combination of sanctions and the public opprobrium of Russia’s actions.” 7. The Kraft Heinz Company (NASDAQ:KHC)   Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 41 The Kraft Heinz Company (NASDAQ:KHC) is a Pennsylvania-based company that manufactures and markets food and beverage products in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and internationally. On September 21, the packaged food sector got a boost from a solid beat-and-raise earnings report from General Mills, Inc. (NYSE:GIS). The Kraft Heinz Company (NASDAQ:KHC) was one of the gainers as well, with the stock rising 3.33%. The company will pay a per share quarterly dividend of $0.40 on September 23.  Stifel analyst Christopher Growe said in a research note on September 19 that The Kraft Heinz Company (NASDAQ:KHC) highlighted the path to higher growth and it is “harnessing the significant improvement in the business operations to support its faster growth”. The analyst, who upgraded the stock recently to factor in a discounted valuation and an appreciation for the expanding growth potential in the company’s portfolio, reiterated a Buy rating and a $43 target price target. The analyst is confident about The Kraft Heinz Company (NASDAQ:KHC) stock moving forward.  According to the second quarter database of Insider Monkey, 41 hedge funds were bullish on The Kraft Heinz Company (NASDAQ:KHC), up from 35 funds in the prior quarter. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway is the leading stakeholder of the company, with 325.6 million shares worth $12.4 billion.  6. Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE:STZ)   Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 44 Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE:STZ) is a New York-based company that produces, imports, and sells beer, wine, and spirits in the United States, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, and Italy. Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE:STZ)’s beer brands include the Corona Extra, Corona Premier, Corona Familiar, Corona Light, Corona Refresca, and Corona Hard Seltzer, among others. The demand for alcohol historically increases in periods of economic turmoil, which makes Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE:STZ) one of the best stocks to buy before recession starts.  JPMorgan analyst Andrea Teixeira on September 15 raised the price target on Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE:STZ) to $287 from $263 and reaffirmed an Overweight rating on the shares ahead of the company’s Q2 results on October 6. The analyst believes the overall beer setup was “largely favorable” in Q2 and that the tailwinds should continue in the future.  According to Insider Monkey’s data, 44 hedge funds reported owning stakes worth $1.3 billion in Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE:STZ) at the end of June 2022, compared to 41 funds in the last quarter worth $982.3 million. Peter Rathjens, Bruce Clarke, and John Campbell’s Arrowstreet Capital is the largest stakeholder of the company, with 1.4 million worth $326 million.  Like Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST), Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT), and ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP), elite hedge funds are piling into Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE:STZ) ahead of the next recession.   Click to continue reading and see 5 Best Stocks to Buy Before Recession Begins.    Suggested articles: 10 Monthly Dividend Stocks with Highest Yields 10 Penny Stocks with High Growth Potential 10 Best ESG Stocks To Buy   Disclosure: None. 10 Best Stocks to Buy Before Recession Begins is originally published on Insider Monkey......»»

Category: topSource: insidermonkeySep 23rd, 2022

Investor Profile: Seth Klarman

In previous “Investor Profiles,” we’ve covered widely known investors like Cathie Wood and Michael Burry. This profile is about Seth Klarman of the Baupost Group, a much more discreet personality, but nonetheless an exceptional investor. Seth Klarman is a billionaire, hedge fund manager, and writer. He is not especially secretive, but he’s definitely not looking […] In previous “Investor Profiles,” we’ve covered widely known investors like Cathie Wood and Michael Burry. This profile is about Seth Klarman of the Baupost Group, a much more discreet personality, but nonetheless an exceptional investor. Seth Klarman is a billionaire, hedge fund manager, and writer. He is not especially secretive, but he’s definitely not looking for the news spotlight either. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Henry Singleton Series in PDF Get the entire 4-part series on Henry Singleton in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q2 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more   As evidence of this, we can look at his hedge fund website, baupost.com A login and password, and that’s it. If you are not already an employee or investor in the fund, that’s all you see. No claim on yearly returns, no strategy description, nada. Either you have a good reason to be there, or go away. Who Is Seth Klarman? Seth Klarman is the co-founder of the hedge fund Baupost Group, straight out of business school in 1982. The group was co-founded with 4 others, including Harvard professor William Poorvu. Baupost is under Seth Klarman’s management to this day. The early career boost is maybe not so surprising considering Seth seems to have had a (very) early interest in commerce and investing, possibly encouraged by his father, an economist. When he was four years old he redecorated his room to match a retail store putting price tags on all of his belongings and gave an oral presentation to his fifth grade class about the logistics of buying a stock. As he grew older, he had a variety of small time business ventures including a paper route, a snow cone stand, a snow shoveling business, and sold stamp-coin collections on the weekends. When he was 10 years old he purchased his first stock. Wikipedia: Seth Klarman Seth Klarman’s private life is discreet, and little is known about it. It seems very much non-flamboyant, the opposite of the “Wolf of Wall Street” style, with few appearances in public events, a stable marriage since 1982, and 3 children. Klarman wrote “Margin of safety” in 1991, a book that was printed in very small numbers but became a cult classic for value investors over time. The book has not been re-published and is hard to find. Surviving paper copies of the book are in very high demand and sell in the second-hand market at prices ranging from $800 to $2,500. According to Klarman, the book was written for professional investors and was intended to be the successor to “Security Analysis” by Benjamin Graham. Source: Goodreads Seth Klarman’s Investing Strategy Seth Klarman is a typically cautious value investor focused on the long term. He has been compared to Warren Buffet. Like Buffett, Klarman based his strategy on the teachings of Benjamin Graham. Klarman emphasizes the margin of safety and seeks out disliked or ignored securities (both bonds and equities). He is also known to keep significant cash in his fund, waiting for the right opportunity to materialize. He dislikes debt and is reluctant to use any leverage, except for real estate deals, where he only uses $1 dollar of leverage on top of every dollar invested. Contrary to some value investors, Seth Klarman pays close attention to market cycles. Today the Baupost group is managing $31B. It has produced an average of 20% annual returns since its inception. Considering the absence of leverage (unlike Berkshire Hathaway, which uses some leverage as well as the float of its insurance companies), this is a remarkable performance. He describes his investing process as spending a lot of time thinking and focusing on medium and long-term trends. Klarman’s Opinions on Current Markets Seth thinks the current stock market is still way too high, and therefore very risky. He is not the kind of investor to ever believe that “this time is different”. This is not a unique opinion: it is a common position among value investors. More interestingly, he also gives us a warning about the bond market, declaring that it is finishing a 35-year-long bull market. In his view, this might create trouble for some financial institutions that have taken too much leverage or placed risky bets on derivatives. Some of his recent declarations could make him look like a perma-bear: he has criticized the Fed’s past interventions, recommend holding a little gold in a portfolio, and worried about inflation’s impact on consumers. I think it would be unfair to classify Klarman as a prophet of doom. Simply put, he is a very seasoned investor with a strong focus on economic cycles. After more than a decade of a very strong boom, it is logical he is wary of one more downturn. This comes from experience and not pessimism, as Klarman was known to be bullish at other times in the market cycle. This probably explains his current positioning, which is quite defensive even by Baupost’s generally conservative standards. Seth Klarman’s Stock Picks Baupost Holdings Seth Klarman and the Baupost Group strategy would be difficult to replicate for an individual investor as it is highly diversified. It currently holds 49 stocks according to its last 13F filling. His current focus seems to be on a small number of sectors: Telecom: Viasat, Liberty Global, Digital Bridge. Tech: Alphabet, Meta, Dropbox, Amazon. Semiconductor: Qorvo, Intel, Micron Technology. Media & Content: Liberty Media, Warner Bros. Finance and Insurance: Willis Tower Watson, Fiserv, SS&C Technologies. Biotech & Healthcare: Encompass Health, Theravance Biopharma. The portfolio has changed a lot over the last few years Baupost used to contain a much higher concentration of energy, consumer discretionary, financial, and real estate stocks. Considering current Klarman’s view on inflation and interest rates, the switch is really not a surprise. Baupost’s Strategy A theme of oligopoly or monopoly runs in the portfolio, with large positions in sector-dominant companies like Alphabet and Intel. Baupost also shows a clear preference for companies with high-value patents and intellectual property rights. This is presumably intentional, as I am sure that Klarman – a known admirer of Buffett – is highly familiar with the idea of the moat. I assume it is also the result of superior returns on invested capital. To me, the holdings paint the picture of a mix of bets on long-term growth and bets on market cycles, with a focus on high-quality companies. For example, semiconductors are in a post-pandemic slump but have enormous potential (our next Stock Spotlight report is focused on the same theme). All-weather high-quality companies like Alphabet and Intel are also prominently featured. I also notice the presence of Theravance Biopharma, a company deeply intertwined with Innoviva, which we discussed in our August Stock Spotlight report. All are in very stable industries, with long-term opportunities for the best companies. Conclusion Seth Klarman is a value investor following a very classical and conservative approach, similar to Graham and Buffett. His emphasis on market timing instead of just great company, Buffett-style, seems to come more from personal inclination than anything. Klarman is much less discussed than Buffett, and this is a shame. His returns are as good as those of the Oracle of Omaha, if not even better. Even when it comes to philanthropy, Klarman should attract more praise. He has donated to education and the fight against antisemitism through the Giving Pledge joined by Buffett, Gates, and many other billionaires. He is also a centrist political activist, having for a long time donated to both Democrats and Republicans. So overall, Seth Klarman can be a great role model for value investors, and it’s always worth checking Baupost’s holdings for ignored, undervalued, or under-appreciated stocks. Article by Jonathan Schramm, FinMasters.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkSep 21st, 2022

Transcript: Albert Wenger

     The transcript from this week’s, MiB: Albert Wenger, Union Square Ventures, 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. ~~~ ANNOUNCER: This is Masters in… Read More The post Transcript: Albert Wenger appeared first on The Big Picture.      The transcript from this week’s, MiB: Albert Wenger, Union Square Ventures, 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. ~~~ ANNOUNCER: This is Masters in Business with Barry Ritholtz on Bloomberg Radio. BARRY RITHOLTZ, HOST, MASTERS IN BUSINESS: This week on the podcast, what can I say, I have yet another extra special guest, Albert Wenger, managing partner at Union Square Ventures. He has a fascinating background in technology and software, and is interested in all sorts of interesting things, ranging from climate change to humanism, to the huge transitions that humans have gone through as a species and what it means to society, investing, scarcity and just the quality of life that we will enjoy as a species. I found this conversation to be really intriguing. If you’re interested in venture capital, in technology, in how to think about early stage investing, well, strap yourself in, this is a great one. With no further ado, my conversation with Union Square Ventures’ Albert Wenger. You have quite a fascinating history. Let’s delve into that, starting with your background. You won a national German competition in computer science in high school. Tell us about that and where that led you. ALBERT WENGER, MANAGING DIRECTOR, UNION SQUARE VENTURES: Well, I fell in love with computers very early on when I was a young teenager. And my parents were super indulgent of this at a time when that was very unusual, and they bought me an early Apple II computer, one of the earliest Apple IIs to be sold in Europe, actually. And I’ve stuck with that, my entire life. I’ve studied computer science as an undergrad and as a graduate student. And I’ve been investing in a lot of computer companies over the years. So it’s been a central to what I do and who I am. RITHOLTZ: So let’s talk about the timing of school. You graduate Harvard in 1990, with an Economics and Computer Science degree, perfect for the explosion of the Internet; a PhD from MIT and Information Technology in ‘96. So when you were leaving school, were you interested in the Internet, or was it more hardware and software? WENGER: No. The web was really exploding while I was at MIT. And I actually finished my PhD in ’99, but I started a company in late ‘96, early ‘97. And I was kind of doing the company and the thesis at the same time, which wasn’t great for either, and also wasn’t great for our marriage. We kind of managed to get through that. But I was really fascinated with the web from when I first discovered it, which was in a computer lab at MIT where I’m trying to do my stats homework. So — RITHOLTZ: So let’s talk a little bit about some of the other companies you either founded or run, the most famous is probably del.icio.us, which ended up getting picked up by Yahoo. Tell us a little bit about — WENGER: It was an early Web 2.0 darling, Joshua Schachter had started. He was working at Morgan Stanley actually full time. He had started this as a side project. And it was kind of this idea that you would share your bookmarks with others, because bookmarks were kind of an indication of something that was actually interesting on the Internet. And Joshua added tags to that, and so you could browse things by tags. And at that time, Union Square Ventures’ Fred and Brad had started the firm, they had just raised the first fund. I had just finished another project I was been working on. And they were like, “Hey, we’re talking to this guy, Joshua, what do you think?” So I met up with Joshua, and they wound up investing, and I wound up to become the president. RITHOLTZ: So you’re president of del.icio.us, you see it through in order to be acquired by Yahoo in the early 2000s. Tell us a little bit about that experience. WENGER: The del.icio.us team was tiny. It was sub 10 people, basically. RITHOLTZ: Wow. WENGER: And it was a very rapidly growing service. I made myself sufficiently unpopular during the acquisition because I insisted on certain things, I’m like, “We’re not doing this. We’re not doing this. We’re not doing this.” At they at the end, they were like, “We want all of you except for this Wenger guy. We don’t want him,” which was perfect for me, mind you, because I didn’t want to relocate out to the West Coast. So I got to just take my marbles and start making angel investments. RITHOLTZ: So is that what led you to Etsy and Tumblr was the del.icio.us acquisition? WENGER: Yeah, exactly. I had a little bit of money and I met Rob Kalin, the founder of Etsy. He had just come back from the West Coast. He had tried to raise money on the West Coast, was unsuccessful with that. And so I wrote an angel check here, and then I brought Union Square Ventures in as the first Series A investor. RITHOLTZ: Is that what led to your transition from entrepreneur to venture capital? WENGER: Well, I was basically hanging out at the USV offices after the sale of del.icio.us and — RITHOLTZ: Just because you had no place else to go. WENGER: Because I knew both Brad and Fred really well, and so it was kind of a natural thing to do. I did these angel investments. I led the Union Square Ventures investment in Etsy, I became a venture partner for that, and then became a GP in the 2008 fund. RITHOLTZ: So Etsy, also Tumblr was another one. And if memory serves, were they acquired by Yahoo? WENGER: They were also acquired by Yahoo. Yes. RITHOLTZ: Okay. So you’re working at a contact list. What was that experience like now not as a president, but as an outside investor? WENGER: It was a very, very lucky landing for Tumblr, because Yahoo really was the only bidder and they were bidding against themselves, but they didn’t really know that. RITHOLTZ: So what eventually led you to say, “You know, I think I could do this venture stuff full time. Let me hang my hat at Union Square Ventures and focus solely on something else.” WENGER: Yeah, that had really been my goal since my own first startup in ’96, ‘97, which was a company called W3Health that ultimately failed. From that experience, I realized that I really loved startups, but then I was never going to be good operator, but I thought I could maybe be a decent investor. RITHOLTZ: Let me make a digression here, and since you’re in front of me, I have to ask this question. So I deal with traders, investors, fund managers, economists down the list, there is no group of people that seem to be prouder of their failures than venture capitalists. Why is that? WENGER: Because it’s an integral part of the business. And if you can’t deal with failure, you can’t be a VOICE, because many of the startups you invest in fail. RITHOLTZ: Statistically, that’s your expectation? WENGER: Yes, absolutely. RITHOLTZ: So it just seems like the healthiest way to think about what is unavoidable, yet so many people within the world of finance, kind of dance around it, try not to deal with it. There’s a little bit of denial. It’s almost like an object of pride, “Look, here are all the companies we invested in that didn’t make it. Look, here are all the great companies we passed on.” It’s almost like a point of pride, this sort of self-awareness. WENGER: Well, it’s also important too, how the venture capital model works overall, right? So the most you can ever lose in venture capital is the amount of equity you’ve put in. RITHOLTZ: Right. WENGER: But the upside is nearly limitless. I mean, it’s what Nassim Taleb calls convex tinkering, right? It’s the perfect example of that. You take many small, relatively small positions, and any one of them can become very, very large. But you also learn a lot from the things that don’t work. You know, sometimes you learn a lot more from that than you learn from the ones that do succeed. RITHOLTZ: Sure. You tend to learn more from losers than winners usually. And then I have to ask the same question, so Union Square Ventures, by definition Union Square is here in New York City. What’s it like being a venture investor on this side of the country, as opposed to what seems to be, you know, the gravitational black hole of venture out in Silicon Valley in California? WENGER: Well, first of all, it’s no longer that. So you know, Sequoia just opened a New York City office. Andreessen Horowitz has people on the ground here. So New York City is now, today, one of the epicenters. When we started, that wasn’t the case. When we started, people were like, “Oh, there’s been no tech company in New York City. There’s been no IPO.” Of course, you know, we were involved with two of the major IPOs. We led the Series A in Etsy. I also led the Series A — we — Union Square Ventures led the Series A in MongoDB, the big New York City-based success story. So it was incredibly healthy, though, because we were never caught up in the “Oh my God FOMO” of we have to have one of these and one of those, and everybody else is investing in the sector. It was always a “Let’s form our own thesis. Let’s figure out what we believe, and then let’s find companies that fit with that.” And we’ve always been extremely competitive in winning deals in the West Coast. In Twilio, I led the Series A, for Union Square Ventures, and there was a, you know, San Francisco-based company. So — RITHOLTZ: Last question on this topic, how different is venture in New York versus California, or is there really no big difference? WENGER: There used to be a noticeable difference between East Coast and West Coast. Today, I think that’s completely erased. RITHOLTZ: Quite interesting. So let’s talk about the thesis-driven venture capital firm, which is how USV describes itself. Tell us what these theses are and how do they drive your investment? WENGER: Yeah. So there’s been an evolution over time. I would say, you know, what we call Thesis 1.0 was that we invest in large networks of engaged users, differentiated by user experience, and those were investments like Twitter and Tumblr. And then we started to focus on companies that had less obvious network effects, so more data behind the scenes, companies like Sift, for example. And then we added to our thesis sort of infrastructure, and infrastructure investments included Twilio and MongoDB, Cloudflare. Stripe. There’s a whole bunch of infrastructure investments, infrastructures for building digital businesses. Our current iteration, what we call Thesis 3.0 is about broadening access to knowledge, capital and well-being by leveraging existing networks and protocols, and building trusted brands. And each part of that thesis actually means something very concrete. So let me just pick one of them, building trusted brands. For us, a lot today is about is your business model fundamentally aligned with your customer or not? The advertising model, as we have learned is not aligned with customers’ interests, right? If you’re YouTube, you want to serve the most engaging video so that you can show more ads. You don’t want to serve the most appropriate video, right? But if you have a subscription model, let’s say like Netflix, you want to show something that somebody actually really truly deeply is going to relate to, so that they stay as subscriber long term. So each part of this thesis means something and we use the sort of high level thesis to then look for very concrete things. So for example, I said broadening access to capital, so we’ve done a lot in lending, like, how can we do better underwriting, better, cheaper, faster loans, for instance, to small businesses, investment, like a company like Funding Circle, or to individuals, like a company like Upgrade, in a way that actually helps people, so where you’re not dragging them into like a debt hole, but you’re actually helping them build up their credit score while you’re giving them — extending their credit. RITHOLTZ: So 3.0 sounds a lot like World After Capital, I’m hearing some very similar themes. WENGER: Absolutely. There’s a strong relationship between some of the ideas in the book and some of the ideas that inform our investing. RITHOLTZ: We’ll circle back to the book in a little bit. Let’s talk about a couple of companies you invested in because I’m picking up a theme there, Meatable, Terra, Living Carbon, Marvel Fusion, Legendary Food, climate sustainability impact investing. WENGER: Yeah. So those are all personal investments, not Union Square Ventures investments. But I made those investments in the run up to us forming a climate thesis, and now a Climate Fund. So those are all investments that go back a few years, when I sort of became really interested in what kind of opportunities come out of the climate crisis. The climate crisis, if we don’t get on top of it, none of the other stuff will matter. None of the money we’ve made will matter. It’s so big. It’s so much bigger than COVID, for example, in ways that I think people still don’t appreciate. And so I made some personal investments first, and then we started talking to our LPs about it. And then during COVID, we raised the first Climate Fund, $160 million Climate Fund. We’re almost done investing that. And so the climate thesis is very simple. We want to invest in companies that either reduce emissions, draw down existing emissions, or help with adaptation. So I’ll give an example of an adaptation investment. We invested in a company out of Australia called FloodMapp. And what they do is they predict where things are going to flood. They also measure the actual flooding. Floods are one of the biggest problems coming out of the climate crisis, and they’re here today. This is not some future problem. And mega floods in Pakistan, a third of Pakistan is underwater as we speak. I don’t think people understand how horrific the devastation there is. RITHOLTZ: It’s the other side of the droughts that are everywhere. It’s what’s dry gets drier, what’s wet gets wetter. WENGER: Absolutely. Talking about emissions reductions, we’ve made investments, for example, in our first ever investment in Africa, in a company called Shift EV. What Shift EV does is it takes existing delivery vans and retrofits them in a space of a couple of hours, from internal combustion engine to electric. RITHOLTZ: A couple of hours? WENGER: A couple of hours. Yes. RITHOLTZ: Because if you want to take an old 911 and convert it to EV, it will take you about a year, assuming if you can get on the list. It’s that backed up for that shift itself. WENGER: So they have completely industrialized this process. RITHOLTZ: That’s amazing. WENGER: You drive a minivan in and a couple of hours later, drives out as an EV. RITHOLTZ: Wow. What do they do with the internal combustion engine and — WENGER: That’s a great question. I need to ask Ellie what they do with that. I don’t know. RITHOLTZ: I mean, it seems like that’s a lot of hardware to just throw away. WENGER: I don’t know. Great question. RITHOLTZ: Really interesting. WENGER: And then I’ll talk about one of the drawdown investments. We’ve invested in a company called Brilliant Planet out of the U.K. What they do is they build ponds in the desert and they pump seawater in, and then they grow algae very, very rapidly, continues algae bloom, and it takes a huge amount of carbon out of the atmosphere. RITHOLTZ: Algae in ponds — WENGER: In the desert. RITHOLTZ: — can move the needle? WENGER: Yes. Absolutely. RITHOLTZ: That’s quite fascinating. Two questions come out of this, one is structural and one is fund based. Let’s do the fund one first. So John Doerr had a climate fund started about 10 years ago at Kleiner Perkins. Some people have said it kind of lagged other similar era venture funds. Was he just early? How do you look at this in terms of not just having a positive impact on the planet but generating a return on investment? WENGER: Yeah. The early green tech funds, they were too early in one sense. But in another sense, they were actually crucial to our having a shot at overcoming the climate crisis. Because if it hadn’t been for the investments, we wouldn’t have gotten on the cost curve, for instance, for solar PV, right? So the reason we have really cheap PV today, the reason we have really relatively cheap batteries today is because of some of the investments that were made back there. And there’s this pattern in the world where every big technological shift starts with a bubble, right? RITHOLTZ: Right. WENGER: So when we had ships, we had the South Sea bubble, right? And when we had railroads, we had the railroad bubble. There was an automotive bubble. There was dot-com bubble, multiple bubbles in crypto. There was a green tech bubble. But, now, it’s a decade-plus later and all the things that they were rightly concerned about are all coming true. And we are now reaping some of the benefit, but we’re also now building on — we’re sort of standing on the shoulders of giants, as it were. RITHOLTZ: And to clarify, I believe that fund doubled over 7 or 10 years, not like it was a sinkhole, but compared to what it could have done, had that money been invested elsewhere, it might have seen better returns. But it wasn’t — I don’t want to make it sound like it was total loss. So the second question is, you’re making seed investments, how does that work if you want to bring one of those seeds to your firm, to Union Square Ventures? And from a public market, that sounds like it’s a compliance and conflict nightmare. You guys approach it differently. WENGER: In our LPA, we can write checks up to $100,000. So we can’t make massive investments in startups. So all of the companies you mentioned have a sub $100,000 investment. And then the only one where I’ve invested more is Marvel Fusion. We can invest more once the fund has passed on something. So if the fund says we’re not doing this, then we can invest. RITHOLTZ: Got it. Interesting. So along those lines, there are some venture firms that don’t really seem to care a lot about valuations and others seem to focus on a little bit. How do you fall in that spectrum? Is valuation significant, or is it, hey, we’re going to make 100 investments and if two or three workout, the valuations are irrelevant? WENGER: No, we’ve definitely always been disciplined on valuation, and we’ve let a number of things go. Sometimes we let them go and they do great, like, “Well, we could have made money if we had invested.” And sometimes you’re very happy at that. Our approach is we’ve always kept our fund sizes small, so we don’t need to be in everything that’s out there. Our latest funds are — our core fund is $250 million. So these aren’t big funds in the scheme of things when you have other firms that raised $3 billion. $8 billion, $15 billion per fund. And as a result, if we think the price is too high, we can just find something else. RITHOLTZ: So let’s talk a little bit about some of those bigger funds, and I guess we’ll hold Softbank off to the side because that was really aberrational. But do you end up when you have lots of $10 billion and $20 billion venture funds, with too much capital chasing to a few good deals? How does this impact the whole ecosystem that’s out there? WENGER: Largely, it’s great for us because we’re early stage investors. So it means there’s lots of money to come in and fund later rounds of the companies we’ve invested in. So we haven’t really spent much of our time worrying about it. And then every once in a while, these firms go. We’re going to go really early and some of them do spread money early. But we find, because we’re thesis-driven and because we are opinionated, on deals that we’re really interested in, we can win those deals. Sometimes they’ll take a small check from somebody else along for the ride, but they know that we work with early stage companies that we roll our sleeves up, that we’re involved, and that we have a thesis. And you know, we take the approach we’d rather disagree with the founder and then not invest than sort of like — be like, “Oh, well, whatever it is you want to do.” Like, we have a thesis as to why we think this is interesting. Let’s talk about this. If it’s aligned, great. And obviously things may change after we’ve invested. We’re not like stubborn, you know. But let’s talk about why we are excited. And if that aligns with you, that’s great. If it doesn’t, let’s go separate ways, right? So we take a kind of — I call it a high alpha approach investing. We’d rather have really upfront conversations about what we like and don’t like than sort of get married as it were. And actually, it’s harder to get rid of VC than it is to get a divorce. So like we think it’s good to have these conversations up front, right? RITHOLTZ: What about follow-up rounds, or some firms that will do a seed round, and then participate in an A or B round? Is that something that Union Square does? WENGER: Well, we reserve a lot of funds for follow-on, and we have a very sort of, I think, sophisticated reserves methodology that we’ve honed over many funds cycles now, where we actually built kind of a Monte Carlo analysis of the portfolio to see how much money we think we need to keep in reserve. But eventually, when the valuations get too high, the rounds get too large, we don’t follow on. We have a separate vehicle called the Opportunity Fund, where we sometimes write bigger checks into late-stage rounds in some of our portfolio companies, but not always. RITHOLTZ: So let’s talk a little bit about this book, “The World After Capital,” starting with what is technological nonlinearity? I liked that phrase. WENGER: The basic idea is that every once in a while in humanity’s history, we invent things that radically change what we, as society, have as a binding constraint on us. So let me make that very concrete. For hundreds of thousands of years, our ancestors were foragers. They were hunter-gatherers. They would go out and find things, and eat berries and kill little squirrels. And then roughly 10,000 years ago, we had a bunch of inventions. We figured out that you could plant seeds, that you could irrigate them, that you could domesticate animals, that you could use the dung from the animals too as a fertilizer. We figured all those things out and we got agriculture. And the constraint shifted from how much food can you find to how much land — arable land do you have. And when that constraint shifted, we changed just about everything, about how humanity lives. Like, we went from being migratory to being sedentary. We went from very flat tribal societies to very hierarchical agrarian societies. We went from being, clearly, like polygamous, polyamorous, whatever you want to call it, to being monogamous-ish. We went from having religions where, you know, everything was a spirit, a tree, a rock, everything had a spirit, and then we went from that to theistic religions where there was some different number of gods. Then fast forward to a couple 100 years ago, we had sort of the enlightenment. With the enlightenment, we had sort of big scientific breakthroughs and we figured out how to dig up stuff out of the ground and burn it and create energy, and make heat and electricity and all those things. And the constraint of it again shifted from, you know, how much land do you have to how much physical capital can you create? How many machines can you build? How many buildings, roads, railroads, et cetera? RITHOLTZ: That’s really interesting. WENGER: And we changed everything yet again. And so now the point of the book is, guess what? We have to change everything yet again, because capitalism, this is why the book is called “The World After Capital,” capital is no longer the binding constraint. Instead, it’s human attention. RITHOLTZ: Human attention, so that’s the third great shift is. So we went from agricultural scarcity to having enough food. WENGER: We went from forager to agrarian, so from food scarcity to land scarcity, then we went from land scarcity to capital scarcity. And now, we’re going from capital scarcity to attentional scarcity. RITHOLTZ: Capital is no longer scarce. So now attention is the new scarcity, which there’s a line in the book that really caught my eye, attention is time plus intentionality. Explain that. WENGER: Yeah. So speed just tells you how fast you’re going. Velocity tells you how fast you’re going towards something, towards some destination. RITHOLTZ: Speed plus direction. WENGER: Speed plus direction is velocity. And the same is true for attention. Time just tells you how much time has elapsed, you know, two hours. Attention is what was your mind and your body doing during those two hours. Were you, you know, just scrolling Twitter, or were you like working on a solution to the climate crisis? RITHOLTZ: So you say something about these transitions that really jarred me. Previous transitions like agriculture emerged over thousands of years and was incredibly violent. Industrial Age lasted over hundreds of years, and also involved lots of violence and bloody revolutions, and two World Wars, which raises the obvious question, what sort of violence is the next transition based on attention scarcity potentially going to involve? WENGER: Well, at the moment, the leading candidate is the climate crisis. We have known about it for literally hundreds of years, actually, and we have refused to do enough about it. And so now, we have entered the state where we’re getting extreme heat events. We’re getting extreme drought events. The food supply is definitely in question. Something that we have taken for granted for many years now. We’ve taken for granted that you can go to the store and buy food. Unless we really course correct very hard, very dramatically, and by dramatically, I mean, the level of government activation that we had in World War II. In World War II, we spend roughly 50% of GDP on the war effort. We need to spend roughly 50% of GDP on the climate crisis for several years sustained in order to actually avert it. RITHOLTZ: So that suggests that you don’t think there’s going to be some technological magic bullet going to appear out of nowhere? WENGER: Well, if you look at World War II, the government went to Ford and said, “We need you to build airplanes, not cars.” And actually, there’s a chart in my book that shows that output of cars dropped. We need to get to a similar point where we’ll say there’s certain things we’re just not going to do for a while because we need to do these other things. There are great technologies. We don’t need to invent some magic bullet that doesn’t exist. We just need to build a lot of what we already know how to build. Like, we need to build a lot of nuclear power plants. We need to build a lot of these ponds in the desert that can draw down carbon. There’s 1001 different things that we need to build. We just need to take our physical capital and point it at that. And when you do that at that scale, incredible things become possible. So, during World War II, Ford Motor Company built a plant, it was called the Willow Run facility. And in Willow Run, they built the B-17 Liberator bomber. Now, that’s a four-engine bomber, with lots of gun turrets to defend against fires. At peak production, they finished — they finished one of these every hour. RITHOLTZ: Amazing. WENGER: They finished a complete airplane every hour. And my point is once we decide to take our attention, and allocate our attention to what the real problem is, we can redirect our physical capital. We have plenty of physical capital. People say, “Oh, you can’t build nuclear power plants fast enough.” That’s if you built them in peacetime mode. If you built them in wartime mode, you could build them very rapidly. RITHOLTZ: So when you say this requires a substantial commitment of capital, let’s put a dollar amount on that. Are you talking — WENGER: Half of GDP. I’m saying half of GDP. RITHOLTZ: So you’re saying $10 trillion? WENGER: Yeah. RITHOLTZ: Just in the U.S. alone? WENGER: Yeah. RITHOLTZ: Now, we just passed a climate bill, arguably, that was a couple of billion dollars, $100 billion maybe over 10 years. And it was like pulling teeth, it was a miracle it just managed to skate through. And that’s a fraction of a trillion dollars. How you’re going to get 10x or 100x? Do things have to get much worse before they get much better? WENGER: Yeah. I mean, there’s a book about the climate crisis called “Ministry for the Future,” by Kim Stanley Robinson. And the book starts with a devastating heat event in India, where tens of millions of people die. I don’t know what it takes. But I can tell you, it’s only going to get worse, it’s going to get a lot worse. And at some point, hopefully, people — enough people will wake up and say, “No, no, we really actually have to get into a wartime footing. RITHOLTZ: So up till now, a huge swath of the population has been asked my grandkids problems, what wakes them up? Is that sort of events? I mean, you see what’s happening in California. You see what’s going on in lots of the United States with droughts. It seems like people are starting to pay attention. WENGER: Oh, absolutely. Yale does an incredible survey of climate attitudes. And it is very clear that even in the U.S., which has been lagging on this, a significant majority of people believe that the climate crisis is real, that is caused by humans, and the government should do something about it. So I actually believe this is going from a kind of a losing proposition for politicians to a winning proposition. And I think politicians need to be much more into it. Most of them still aren’t willing to acknowledge the full extent of this crisis. And the physics of this crisis are extraordinary. So because of all the CO2 we’ve put in the atmosphere, the amount of heat that we’re now trapping that used to radiate out into space, do you know how much heat it is? It is four Hiroshima-sized nuclear bombs every second. RITHOLTZ: It’s insane. I read that in your book and I was like, no, no, he must mean every week. Every second? WENGER: Every second. Now, imagine for a moment you had alien spaceships above Earth, throwing four Hiroshima-sized nuclear bombs into our atmosphere every second. RITHOLTZ: That would put us on a wartime footing? WENGER: And what will we do? Yeah. We would drop everything, right? We would be like, “They’re trying to kill us. We have to get rid of them.” I mean, we made a movie about it called Independence Day. RITHOLTZ: Four nuclear bombs every second? WENGER: Yeah. RITHOLTZ: And it’s just — WENGER: Of every minute of every hour of every day, it’s a mind-boggling amount of heat. RITHOLTZ: So there’s a couple of other things in the book I wanted to touch on. You mentioned alien visitors. We’ll hold off on the Fermi paradox discussion because nobody wants to hear me babble about that. But one of the things I thought was kind of interesting is the transition of the nature of scarcity. You’re right, it changes the way we measure human effort. It makes it more difficult, and we need increasingly more sophisticated ways of providing incentives to sustain unnecessary level of effort. Flash that out a little more. WENGER: So if you think of hunter-gatherers, right, I mean, you can see the results of effort immediately. RITHOLTZ: Right. WENGER: Like, you go to the forest, you either come back with something or not. RITHOLTZ: Right. WENGER: So it’s very easy to create incentives. Like, if you don’t find something, go back hunting and come back with something. RITHOLTZ: Or you’ll go hungry. Right. WENGER: When you go to agriculture, you have these, you need to see, you need to take care of it, and you don’t know how big a harvest you’re going to get. So you need a little more sophisticated incentive, and a lot of those incentives were often provided by a religion. Religion is sort of saying you have to apply yourself to this backbreaking work. This is the work of the Lord, et cetera. And then when we went over to capital, now it gets even more complicated because you might not see results of some effort for many, many years. I actually think when I say more sophisticated incentives, in the book, I talked a lot about just freeing up humans to pursue their interests, to make it so that you can freely allocate attention. And I’m always very inspired by mathematics. Like, you can’t get rich as a working mathematician, basically. I mean, yes, if you wind up going to Wall Street, you can. But if you actually keep working as a mathematician, that’s not a — you know, there’s also no patents. And you know, the only thing math works on recognition by peers, and there’s some prizes. There’s like the famous Fields Medal, and there’s some other prizes. And yet, the amount of math that’s been produced over the last, you know, few decades is just mind-blowing extraordinary. And I believe we need to bring that type of model to many, many more parts of the economy and parts of activity. So in a way, what all of “The World After Capital” is about is how can we shrink all the explicitly incentivized economic activity, where there’s an explicit, okay, you go to work and you get paid a wage kind of thing. And here’s a market transaction, how can we shrink that and make room for things that are super, super important, but cannot have prices, cannot be economically incentivized? Let me give concrete examples of that. Obviously, we’ve talked about the climate crisis. But let’s talk about death from above. Like, every million years or so, the earth gets hit by something very large out of space. That’s very, very bad when it happens. But there’s no market for allocating resources to that. There’s no supply and demand for it. So we, as humanity, need to decide that this is a real problem and we ought to be working on it. RITHOLTZ: Now, aren’t we tracking various large observed asteroids and doing some stuff? WENGER: We are, but the amount of effort we’re putting into this relative to the size of the problem is minuscule. The number of people who sort of truly globally work full time on this is a tiny fraction of the people we actually should have. And we’re also not working sufficiently on like what will we do if we detected one that’s clearly headed for us, right? RITHOLTZ: Well, you send Bruce Willis up and — WENGER: Exactly. Yes. RITHOLTZ: — he takes it, right? WENGER: Yeah, he does. RITHOLTZ: I mean, it’s not unknown. We know the regular major extinction events. There’s a real interesting theory that as the sun goes around the galaxy and passes over and above the galactic plane, that affects the asteroid belt and — WENGER: The famous Oort cloud is where a lot of these objects — yeah. RITHOLTZ: Right, which is full 360 around the — WENGER: Yes. So we know all of this. And here’s the interesting thing. When we went from the agrarian age to the industrial age, we didn’t get rid of agriculture. This agriculture today, right, we all eat food that’s grown in agriculture. But what we did is we shrunk how much human attention is required to do agriculture, and we took it from being like 80% of human attention to like sub 10%. RITHOLTZ: It’s less than 2% in United States. It’s tiny. WENGER: So what I want to do is, let’s do the same with the rest of the economic sphere. I’m not an anti-capitalist. I’m not a degrowth. Person. I’m not suggesting we should get rid of markets. I’m just saying we should compress market-based activity from absorbing much of human attention to absorbing maybe 30% of human attention, and we should free the rest up to work on these incredibly important thing. Some of them are threats, and some of them are opportunities, right, opportunity to cure cancer, opportunity to create incredible wildlife habitats, restore those wildlife habitats, opportunity to travel to space. I mean, all these opportunities that we’re not paying attention to because they’re not — again, they’re not really market price based and can’t be market price based. There’s just no prices for them. RITHOLTZ: So the conclusion of the book had a list of action goals, which was not what I was expecting in a book on venture capital and “The World After Capital;” mindfulness, climate crisis, democracy, decentralization, improving learning, and humanism. Address whichever those you feel like. WENGER: Well, these are all core components of how to have a — hopefully, a transition that’s not a violent transition, right? These are all about how could we get out of the industrial age into the knowledge age without some cataclysmic event, without a world war, without killing billions of people through the climate crisis, right? They’re also all components of what a knowledge age society might look like. Right? So let’s talk about mindfulness for a second. We’re constantly assaulted with new information now. You know, our brains evolved in an environment where when you saw a cat, there was an actual cat. Now, there’s an infinity of cat pictures. So if you don’t work on how you — how much you are in control of your mind, external sources will control your mind. So mindfulness, which is a much abused word, but it has become much more important in a world where we’re constantly assaulted by information flows, right? Let’s talk about humanism for a moment. Humanism is about recognizing that humans are the prime movers on this planet. We are the ones who have brought about the climate crisis. We are the ones who put a theory to solve it, or wind up getting wiped out by it. And it’s about this idea that, you know, with great power comes great responsibility. And so, we are responsible for the whales, not the whales for us. There is — at the moment, because we’re in this transition period already, and because things are going so poorly for so many people in this transition, there’s no a flight back to religion, there’s a flight to populism. And a big part of the book is about, no, there is a secular alternative way of thinking about society that embraces science, that embraces progress, that embraces humans and all types of humans, and that recognizes that we are first and foremost human, and only secondarily are we American, or Russian, or male or female or something else. You know, these are all secondarily. But primarily, we’re humans, and humans are fundamentally different from all the other species on the planet. RITHOLTZ: Quite fascinating. So let’s talk about the current state of the world for venture capitalists. We’ve seen valuations come way down for public companies. They’re pretty reasonably priced these days, about 16 times for the S&P 500. That’s historically, more or less, average. Where do you see the state of the world in early stage valuations? How are they holding up? A year ago, late stage valuations had gone just bonkers. Tell us a little bit about what’s going on today. WENGER: The correction always, basically, is a trickle-down type of correction. It happens very rapidly in the public markets. Then you still get some high-priced private rounds that either were in the works, or they have a lot of structure. In the later stage markets, you know, there’s a headline number. But then nobody talks about all the war in coverage that’s behind the scenes. And then the early stage valuations tend to sort of lag behind all of that. But we’re seeing early stage valuations come down. And as a firm, we’ve always been disciplined on valuations. So we just let a lot of things go where we just thought it was — RITHOLTZ: Are they down off the peak, or are they cheap and attractive? WENGER: The down of the peak, whether they’re cheap or attractive, I think, you know, time will tell. But we are back in a situation where, you know, there are seed deals getting done that’s below $10 million, certainly below $20 million, and you know, seed rounds that have a reasonable size. So you know, for a while we were seeing these $10 million, $20 million, $30 million seed rounds. RITHOLTZ: It sounds pricey. WENGER: Yeah. And that’s not happening anymore. But at Union Square Ventures, we’ve also always tried to basically be at the next era, at the next thesis and evolve our thesis before everybody else gets there. And once everybody else gets there, try and evolve our thesis. And so, for example, in the Climate Fund, we’ve made any number of reasonably priced investments, very reasonably priced. RITHOLTZ: So I always assumed it was tied to the public markets. But sometimes you just don’t realize, when you have a good couple of years in a row in the public markets, like we saw in the 2010, pretty much straight up through 2021, you see that impact and what people are looking for, what sort of deals get done, and valuations generally. WENGER: I always find it relatively surprising how much private early stage valuations are tied to public markets because our holding — RITHOLTZ: That’s the exit, right? WENGER: But our holding periods are 5, 8, 10 years. And so, like, what’s the current public — RITHOLTZ: Right. WENGER: And so there’s a couple of different explanations. One, obviously, is just investor sentiment, right? RITHOLTZ: Right. WENGER: You know, when investors are like bearish because of what they’re seeing in the public markets, they take a bearish attitude towards their own investing. We try — at Union Square Ventures, we try to have a pretty steady pace as one way of contracting our own sort of — you know, whatever our own emotions may be about the public markets. There is, however, another effect that sometimes is underestimated, which is that the people who give money into venture funds, so these are pension funds and endowments, and so forth, they have a certain whip from the public markets, because when they’re feeling flashed on the public markets then their private allocation, you know, as a percentage of their overall portfolio, they have a certain target in mind. Then when the public markets come down a lot, all of a sudden, they’re overallocated, so they want to pull back. So there is a mechanism by which the current public markets transmit into the private markets. There’s a real financial mechanism. There’s a psychological mechanism and a real financial mechanism by which some transmission, some contagion basically happens from the public market into private market. But it doesn’t make very much sense. Like, if people were sort of more cognizant of both that emotional reaction and this mechanism, they’d be like, “Well, yeah, but innovation is happening at some pace. In some area, there’s some innovation and we should be funding that innovation.” RITHOLTZ: So I’m just making notes, investors are irrational. WENGER: Deep and profound insight right here. RITHOLTZ: Right. There you go. WENGER: You’ve never heard this one before. RITHOLTZ: So to put that into a little context, 2020, 2021, very founder-friendly deals. Now, it seems like a little more investor-friendly, a fair assessment or not quite there yet? WENGER: Well, when it comes to founder-friendly versus investor-friendly, there’s a lot more to deal than valuation. There’s all the other terms. And while I believe we will see a correction on valuation that’s pretty significant, I don’t think we’re going to go back to where venture capital was 20 or 30 years ago, that had all these super draconian terms. Certainly, even at the early stage, even at the early stage, there were all these like — there were redemption provisions in the early stage deals. I don’t think that’s going to come back. We are not fans of structure in latest stage deals. Like, just to give a good example, when I was still on the board of Twilio, Twilio had the option of doing a totally clean, no structure round and call it $1,000,000,001. In a highly structured round with like — you know, we’re going to have a full ratchet into an IPO at a $1,000,000,005. And I was — you know, some of the other investors at the table really wanted the $1,000,000,005 number because it’s a big headline number. And I talked to Jeff and I said, “It doesn’t make any sense.” RITHOLTZ: Right. WENGER: You don’t actually know what your deal is until many years. Like, just take the deal where you know what the deal is today and you know what the deal is a year from now, and two years from now, because it’s not going to change based on circumstances. RITHOLTZ: Right. WENGER: And so Jeff took the clean deal, and that enabled Twilio to go public when the IPO window reopened. Whereas at the $1,000,000,005 deal, they wouldn’t have been able to go public. And that worked incredibly well for Twilio to become a public company. RITHOLTZ: Really interesting. So since we’re comparing early stage investments to the public world, lately, everybody has been looking at different sectors the past year. Energy has done well, technology not so much. Within venture, do you see that same sort of segmentation, different sectors have different — WENGER: Well, we were basically the first sort of venture firm to have a dedicated climate fund. And now, many of the venture firms are following suit, either adding a climate pocket to their existing funds, or a climate thesis or, you know, some people call it sustainability fund. Ours is very focused on climate. So for instance, we don’t deal with water waste. It’s strictly about atmospheric carbon. So there’s a lot money rotating into that sector. There’s still healthy sort of activity around Web3. So you know, Web3, there’s still — RITHOLTZ: Crypto, blockchain, all that? WENGER: Yeah. There’s still healthy sort of activity. I do think that certain kind of software companies that had found it very easy to raise money, I think they’re finding it a lot harder, just because people have looked at it and said, “Wow, I think we’ve reached some stage of normalization in this market.” You know, like, not everything in this market is going to be a $50 billion outcome. There’s going to be many, much smaller outcomes, and so we need to adjust accordingly. And also, many of these markets had just too many companies raised venture capital doing basically more or less the same thing. RITHOLTZ: So it was easy to raise money for a fund today, a little more challenging, even if you’re a pretty decent sized VC with a 10, 20-year history. Are they having difficulty going back to their clients saying, “Hey, we’re doing another billion dollars?” WENGER: You know, I think that we will only see a year from now, or two years from now. There were a lot of funds that have put out a lot of money very, very rapidly, and we’ll see just how big the hangover is. But we won’t know that for some time. RITHOLTZ: So some of the folks who give advice to founders like Chamath and Jason, and the crew with the All-In Podcast, they’ve been talking about — preaching really about cutting costs and reducing your burn rate, and get ready for a tough year or two. How do you see this environment? Is that good advice, or do you really have to, you know, go all out and get more funding as opposed to trying to make a more modest burn rate last longer? WENGER: There’s very little one size fits all advice that makes sense. RITHOLTZ: Fair. WENGER: Nonetheless, we held a call early this year for all of our portfolio companies. And we said this really is a big adjustment and it’s not a one or two months’ blip. This is a long-term adjustment. And it was great because we had some CEOs in our portfolio who had managed through the implosion of dot-com bubble, and they spoke about just how difficult the funding environment can get. So generally speaking, we did a lot in ’21 because we saw this coming. To me, the biggest sign of the bubble really was — that we really were reaching the tail end, was all these incubation efforts that were being raised. And I knew this because I had raised money into an incubator in ‘99, towards the end of the dot-com bubble. And I think when investors think, “Oh, I don’t even need the entrepreneur, I can just start the company myself,” that’s kind of when you know that it’s gotten too easy, right? And that’s not going to lie. So in ‘21, we took a lot of liquidity. We sold a lot of things that we were able to sell. And we told all of our portfolio companies to raise money. And so — RITHOLTZ: Last year, this is — WENGER: ‘21. Yeah. Well, it’s best to do things before. RITHOLTZ: Sure. Sure. WENGER: Right? So as a result, we have very few companies in our portfolio that need to raise. We have some, but we have very few. And then, you know, at the beginning of this year, we told everybody who had raised successfully, “You got to make this money lasts much longer than you thought when you raised it.” And so, yes, absolutely. You know, companies were operating with very inefficient growth. Because it was easy to fund inefficient growth, you could be burning $1 million, $2 million, $3 million, $4 million a month. And you know, if you were growing 405%, 50%, 60%, that was good enough. That’s not going to be the case. So you’re either growing very fast, or you have something very compelling, in which case you can raise money, or you are growing, you know, 20%, 30%, but you are growing very, very efficiently, right? So being in the sort of 50% growth, but you’re super inefficient, that’s going to be a really tough place to be. RITHOLTZ: All right, so before I get to my favorite questions, I have two questions I’ve been sitting on sort of from the book and some from your blog continuations that I want to hear where you go with this. And the first one is a quote from the book, “Malthus could not foresee the scientific breakthrough that enabled the Industrial Revolution.” I think you let him off the hook a little too easy. It’s just an abject failure of imagination. And you are in the imagination business. The Malthusians, weren’t these folks just unable to imagine any sort of progress or technological development? WENGER: Well, we have had more progress and more technological development than people were able to imagine. I think, conversely, we’re now in the opposite trap. We can’t imagine that things could get really, really bad. We can’t imagine that the climate crisis could disrupt our food supply to the point where billion people starved. We simply can’t wrap our head around this idea. So I think we’re in the opposite trap at the moment. We’ve been so used to the success of progress, and we’ve so neglected the engines that produce progress, that I think we’re in the opposite trap at the moment. RITHOLTZ: What are the other engines? Is it early stage investing from governments when the project has a 10 and 20-year ROI that the private sector won’t do it? WENGER: It’s foundational research. We’ve not had a true breakthrough in science since quantum mechanics. It’s a hundred years ago. So general relativity and quantum mechanics are hundred years ago. Now, we’ve made some progress in biology. Biology, we’ve had some really good progress. But you know — RITHOLTZ: You’re talking fundamental science not technology. WENGER: Fundamental science. RITHOLTZ: Like, I immediately think of semiconductors was a giant — WENGER: Oh, no, incredible progress. But fundamental science, we’ve not had a true big unlock in a hundred years. Now, I think when we talk about engine of progress, this is also how hard is it to start a business? How many regulations do you have to comply with? How expensive is it to comply with those regulations? We’re also talking about — we’re still subsidizing oil and gas globally, to the tune of trillions of dollars. RITHOLTZ: Yes. Yes. WENGER: Subsidizing oil and gas, it’s crazy. RITHOLTZ: Which by the way, helps to explain why so many people have an incentive to either question the impact, the source or the reality of climate change. WENGER: Yes. RITHOLTZ: There’s forces that work there. WENGER: And so, I believe we’re in this sort of opposite trap today. And you know, people like to make fun of Greta Thunberg. But young kids, young activists understand the severity of the climate crisis in a way — RITHOLTZ: Right. WENGER: — in a way that most adults don’t seem to be willing to accept. RITHOLTZ: Right. I don’t think climate change is going to impact my life. You know, I’m 60. I’m going to run out the clock. WENGER: You’re not. RITHOLTZ: Someone your age — WENGER: The reality is you’re not. You’re not going to escape. You and I are not going to escape this. It’s here, it’s now and it’s only going to get worse. RITHOLTZ: I don’t doubt that for a second, but — WENGER: And here’s the thing, I think — RITHOLTZ: I challenge — WENGER: We could live in this amazing, incredible future. Like, wouldn’t you rather live in a city that has mostly electric or all electric cars in it? Like, the air would be so much better. Wouldn’t you rather live in a world that has huge — like, think of all the Midwest, instead of growing corn to feed cows — RITHOLTZ: Right. WENGER: — super inefficient. If we can grow the meat of the cows in the vast instead, we could have like incredible forests. We could have incredible wildlife areas. Like, we could have this amazing, incredible future. We could have energy reserve. If we build more nuclear power, electricity could basically be almost free. So we have this amazing thing we can go. Instead, we’re headed for this complete disaster and we’re mostly like, “eh.” RITHOLTZ: I think that’s a fair assessment. I think you definitely have that. And I certainly see people my generation, absolutely think it’s not going to impact them or minimum impact, it’s really the grandkids’ problem. WENGER: Yeah. And it’s just — that’s totally, utterly wrong. RITHOLTZ: All right, one other curveball I have to ask you about, which involves Yuval Noah Harari, who says in Sapiens, “All value systems are based on equally valid, subjective narratives, and humans have no privileged position as a species.” You say he’s wrong. Explain. WENGER: Not just wrong, it’s completely dangerous because it opens the door to absolute moral relativism. It’s sort of like, well, if you believe that, then, you know, the ISIS narrative is just as valid, you know, and I just think that’s wrong. And I do think there’s an objective thing, which is humans have knowledge. And by knowledge, I mean, I can read a book today that somebody else wrote in some other part of the world a thousand years ago, right? No other species on the planet has this. I mean, other species have amazing things about them, but none of them has knowledge. And that puts us in a privileged position. By the way, privilege comes with obligation. That’s usually what it used to mean. Today, we think of privilege just it lets you do whatever you want. But it used to mean that you had real obligations, right? And I believe because we have the power of knowledge, we have real obligations to other species. Other species don’t have much of an obligation to us, but we have an obligation to them. RITHOLTZ: And the interesting thing about what you said is not only does no other species have the ability to access anything, anybody has written, anytime in history, pretty much this is the first generation that had access in that way, across — pretty much across the whole board. WENGER: Well, this is the amazing thing about digital technology, right? We could use it to make all the world’s knowledge accessible to everybody in the world. And great things could come from that, right? So there’s some people like Elon Musk and others who are like, “Oh, my God, the population is going to, you know, decrease a lot and that will be bad.” I’m like, no, we have 8 billion people at the moment, peak population. The present trajectory might be 11 billion, although if we don’t get on top of the climate crisis, it will decrease actually rapidly. But we’re making such poor use of it. Why? Because so many people don’t have access to knowledge, don’t have a shot. I always love the story of Ramanujan, the famous mathematician, who used to send a letter to Hardy. And Hardy was like, “We should bring this guy over to England and he would have been a very productive mathematician.” There are Einsteins, and Ramanujans, and Elinor Ostrom, and Marie Curies all around the world today, and we’re not giving them — so we’re vastly undertapping human potential. And we can use digital technology to change that and to give everybody access. And that’s one of the things, one of the great opportunities that we have in this transition to the knowledge age. RITHOLTZ: Quite, quite fascinating. So let me jump to my favorite questions that I ask all of my guests, starting with, tell us what kept you entertained over the past couple of years. What have you been watching or listening to? WENGER: I really don’t watch much. At the moment, the only thing I watch with any kind of regularity Sabine Hossenfelder’s YouTube series called Science Without the Gobbledygook. RITHOLTZ: I’ll take a look at that. I’m a giant fan of YouTube Premium, and I’m always astonished that people I know who are YouTube junkies won’t spring for the 8 bucks a month to pull out commercials and distractions. But YouTube is just an endless rabbit hole. WENGER: Well, YouTube is an example of the best and the worst of the Internet all in one place, right? There’s so much amazing knowledge like Sabine’s videos, Veritasium. I mean, you could learn almost anything from how to fix your dishwasher to how — you know, the theory of general relativity works. At the same time, YouTube is also this place where tons of people, you know, become radicalized or redpilled, or whatever it is, because the algorithm — the algorithm has the wrong objective function, right? Its objective function is engagement. It’s not lifting people up. RITHOLTZ: Tell us about some of your mentors who helped shape your career. WENGER: I was super, super fortunate when I was an early teenager. We talked about this, when I first fell in love with computers. I lived in a relatively small village in Germany. And there was one computer science student there who was maybe 10 years older than I was. And he just spent time with me, and he gave me his books, and he gave me his floppy disks with software, and he helped me sort of understand all this. And I’m forever grateful to (Anstur Guenther), wherever you are in the world. RITHOLTZ: That’s really interesting. Have you spoken to him anytime recently? WENGER: No, because I haven’t been able to find him. Basically, he seems to have disappeared. RITHOLTZ: Well, if you’re listening, reach out to Albert. Tell us — we mentioned a number of books. Tell us about some of your favorite and what you’re reading right now. WENGER: Favorites, I would say David Deutsch, “The Beginning of Infinity” is definitely one of my favorites. RITHOLTZ: I just ordered that because of you. WENGER: I’m reading at the moment, a book by Ada Palmer called “Perhaps the Stars.” It’s the fourth book in a series called the Terra Ignota Series. She’s a professor at the University of Chicago. RITHOLTZ: What sort of advice would you give to a recent college grad who is interested in a career in either entrepreneurship or venture capital? WENGER: Develop a mindfulness practice, you know, whatever works for you, whether that’s yoga, running, for me, it’s conscious breathing. I just think it’s such a superpower not to get hijacked by your emotions. It’s a true superpower. And the more humans can cultivate it, the more we can achieve. RITHOLTZ: That’s really, really intriguing. And our final question, what do you know about the world of venture today that you wish you knew 30 or so years ago when you were first getting started? WENGER: There will always be another bubble. RITHOLTZ: There will always be another bubble. That’s amazing. Just human nature can’t be avoided. WENGER: It can’t be avoided. RITHOLTZ: And what should we do in anticipation of during and after bubbles? WENGER: We should acknowledge that they will come, that they’re part of how we operate, that you can make money before, during and after. RITHOLTZ: There you go. Really, really fascinating stuff. We have been speaking with Albert Wenger. He is managing partner at Union Square Ventures. If you enjoy this conversation, well, be sure to check out any of our previous 400 or so discussions we’ve had over the past eight years. You can find those at iTunes, Spotify, or wherever you get your favorite podcasts from. We love your comments, feedback and suggestions. Write to us at mibpodcast@bloomberg.net. Sign up for my daily reading list at ritholtz.com. Follow me on Twitter @ritholtz. I would be remiss if I did not thank the crack staff that helps put these conversations together each week. Sarah Livesey is my audio engineer. Sean Russo is my head of Research. Paris Wald is my producer. Atika Valbrun is our project manager. I’m Barry Ritholtz. You’ve been listening to Masters in Business on Bloomberg Radio. END   ~~~   The post Transcript: Albert Wenger appeared first on The Big Picture......»»

Category: blogSource: TheBigPictureSep 20th, 2022

Top 10 Stock Picks of Roberto Mignone’s Bridger Management

In this article, we discuss the top 10 stock picks of Roberto Mignone’s Bridger Management. If you want to skip our detailed analysis of Mignone’s history, investment philosophy, and hedge fund performance, go directly to Top 5 Stock Picks of Roberto Mignone’s Bridger Management. Roberto Mignone established Bridger Management in the year 2000. He pursued […] In this article, we discuss the top 10 stock picks of Roberto Mignone’s Bridger Management. If you want to skip our detailed analysis of Mignone’s history, investment philosophy, and hedge fund performance, go directly to Top 5 Stock Picks of Roberto Mignone’s Bridger Management. Roberto Mignone established Bridger Management in the year 2000. He pursued his MBA at the Harvard University Graduate School of Business Administration after receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Classics from Harvard College. Before starting his own investment company, Mignone was one of the founding partners of Blue Ridge Capital in 1996, together with John Griffin. Blake Goodner, a junior analyst in healthcare, chose to help Mignone after he left Blue Ridge Capital to launch his hedge fund. This could be a contributing element as to why the fund decided to invest approximately 35% of the money in its portfolio in the healthcare industry, second only to the financial sector, which accounted for 49% of the portfolio’s value. Even further back, Mignone had worked for Julian Robertson’s Tiger Management, earning the prestigious title of “tiger cub”. Currently, he is the managing partner at Bridger Management. Bridger Management, a multi-billion dollar investment management firm with offices in New York, focuses on long-term equity strategies. The company’s main investment objective is to produce long-term, risk-adjusted capital growth, frequently through making investments in equities, securities, and other products with a stock market connection. Bridger Management has focused on the healthcare sector since its establishment and amassed a large amount of research information to back its investments. The hedge fund also invests in communications, consumer goods, and financial services firms. As of Q2 2022, Bridger Management holds a 13F portfolio valued at $443.62 million, down from $609.73 million in the previous quarter. Some of the hedge fund’s notable holdings in the second quarter included Charter Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:CHTR), Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), and Centene Corporation (NYSE:CNC). Our Methodology Let’s start our list of the top 10 stocks selected by Roberto Mignone’s Bridger Management with this economic outlook in mind. These equities were selected from Mignone’s Q2 portfolio. Using a comprehensive database of 895 elite hedge funds monitored by Insider Monkey in the second quarter of 2022, the popularity of each firm among hedge funds was calculated. Top Stock Picks of Roberto Mignone’s Bridger Management 10. BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. (NASDAQ:BMRN) Bridger Management’s Stake Value: $17,220,000   Percentage of Bridger Management’s 13F Portfolio: 3.88%   Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 59 BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. (NASDAQ:BMRN), which is situated in San Rafael, California, creates medications to treat rare genetic diseases and conditions, including Duchenne muscular dystrophy and haemophilia. Bridger Management acquired a new position in BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. (NASDAQ:BMRN) during the second quarter of 2022, owning 207,800 shares worth $17.22 million. Among the hedge funds being tracked by Insider Monkey, Julian Baker and Felix Baker’s Baker Bros. Advisors is the most significant shareholder of BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. (NASDAQ:BMRN), with a $631.51 million stake in the company. On August 9, Christopher Raymond, an analyst at Piper Sandler, boosted his price objective on BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. (NASDAQ:BMRN) from $125 to $128 while maintaining an ‘Overweight’ rating. Fund managers added to their BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. (NASDAQ:BMRN) holdings in the second quarter. Insider Monkey’s data shows that 59 elite hedge funds held stakes in the company at the end of the second quarter, up from 56 funds a quarter earlier. Along with Charter Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:CHTR), Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), and Centene Corporation (NYSE:CNC), BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. (NASDAQ:BMRN) is one of the stocks that Bridger Management is monitoring. 9. Uber Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:UBER) Bridger Management’s Stake Value: $20,323,000   Percentage of Bridger Management’s 13F Portfolio: 4.58%   Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 129 Uber Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:UBER) is a company that creates and runs proprietary technology applications in the United States, Canada, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Asia Pacific. Uber Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:UBER) stated on September 1 that it will collaborate with financial technology firm Moove to raise the number of electric vehicles in London by 10,000 over the ensuing few years. On August 3, MKM Partners analyst Rohit Kulkarni reaffirmed a ‘Buy’ recommendation on Uber Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:UBER) while increasing his price objective to $40 from $32. The company’s Q2 witnessed another clean beat, and the Q3 bookings prediction was once more above consensus expectations, according to the analyst’s research note to investors. Uber Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:UBER) was in 129 hedge fund portfolios at the end of the second quarter of 2022. There were 144 hedge funds in our database with UBER at the end of the previous quarter. In the second quarter, Bridger Management reduced its stake in Uber Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:UBER) by 3%, and its position is now worth about $20.32 million. Ken Fisher’s Fisher Asset Management is the most significant stakeholder of Uber Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:UBER), with 24.48 million shares worth $500.83 million. ClearBridge Investments mentioned Uber Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:UBER) in its Q3 2021 investor letter. Here’s what the fund said: “We have also been looking for multiyear secular trends outside of the IT and Internet sectors to help us maintain a portfolio that can perform well in markets with varied sector or factor leadership. In particular, electrification of the global economy and the transition to electric vehicles (EVs) are areas where we continue to add exposure. We are investing in the brains behind EVs through NXP in the control center and Aptiv for safety features. Global rideshare leader Uber will also be a key player in the transition from internal combustion engines to EVs.” 8. Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ:VRTX) Bridger Management’s Stake Value: $20,591,000   Percentage of Bridger Management’s 13F Portfolio: 4.64%   Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 45 Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ:VRTX) is a biotechnology company that conducts research and markets cystic fibrosis medications. The business boosted its 2022 revenue projection in its Q2 2022 report, which Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ:VRTX) published on August 4. The biotech now expects full-year sales of $8.6 billion-$8.8 billion, up from $8.4 billion-$8.6 billion. After Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ:VRTX)’s Q2 results beat and revised expectations, Piper Sandler analyst Do Kim increased his price objective on the company to $288 from $256 on August 16 while retaining a ‘Neutral’ rating on the shares. Overall, 45 hedge funds were bullish on Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ:VRTX) at the end of June 2022, holding collective stakes amounting to approximately $2.27 billion. In the second quarter of 2022, Bridger Management held 73,072 shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ:VRTX) worth over $20.59 million, representing 4.64% of the firm’s total portfolio. As of June 30, Renaissance Technologies owned 1.76 million shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ:VRTX) and is the company’s largest shareholder. On September 2, the FDA approved the use of Orkambi, a medication created by Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ:VRTX), to treat children between the ages of 12 and 24 months who have cystic fibrosis (CF). The FDA had previously advised using Orkambi for CF patients with two copies of the F508del mutation who were two years of age or older. Baron Funds, an asset management firm, mentioned Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ:VRTX) in its second quarter 2022 investor letter. Here is what the fund said: “Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated is a leader in the treatment of cystic fibrosis, a fatal lifelong disease that Vertex has made major steps towards curing. Shares increased mostly due to underlying business fundamentals that include strong free cash flow generation and a pipeline that is finally starting to add value. We expect Vertex’s kidney disease program and updates to treat Type 1 diabetes to drive future upside.” 7. Alcon Inc. (NYSE:ALC) Bridger Management’s Stake Value: $21,884,000   Percentage of Bridger Management’s 13F Portfolio: 4.93%   Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 26 Alcon Inc. (NYSE:ALC) develops, manufactures, and markets products for treating eye disorders and diseases, such as surgical instruments, eye drops, and consumer vision care products. Alcon Inc. (NYSE:ALC) and Aerie Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:AERI) announced they had signed a legally binding merger agreement on August 23. As a result, Alcon would acquire Aerie for around $770 million. Yigal Nochomovitz, a Citi analyst, downgraded Aerie Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:AERI) on August 29 from ‘Buy’ to ‘Neutral’ with a price objective of $15.25, up from $14, highlighting the company’s upcoming acquisition by Alcon Inc. (NYSE:ALC). 26 hedge funds were long Alcon Inc. (NYSE:ALC) at the end of the second quarter, up from 24 in the preceding quarter. The total value of Q2 hedge fund holdings stood at $982.28 million. Nicolai Tangen’s Ako Capital, with 4.69 million shares worth $327.65 million, is the most significant stakeholder of Alcon Inc. (NYSE:ALC). Bridger Management first invested in Alcon Inc. (NYSE:ALC) in the second quarter of 2019. The hedge fund cut its stake in Alcon Inc. (NYSE:ALC) by 40,100 shares in the second quarter, reducing its total stake size by 12%. However, Roberto Mignone’s Bridger Management still holds 313,115 shares of Alcon Inc. (NYSE:ALC), worth more than $21.88 million. 6. Clarivate Plc (NYSE:CLVT) Bridger Management’s Stake Value: $22,749,000   Percentage of Bridger Management’s 13F Portfolio: 5.12%   Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 31 Clarivate Plc (NYSE:CLVT) provides trustworthy analytics and insights to quicken the pace of innovation. The company’s products include Life Science, Web of Science, Cortellis, Derwent, CompuMark, MarkMonitor, and Techstreet. With about 116.67 million shares valued at $1.62 billion, Leonard Green & Partners is the biggest shareholder of Clarivate Plc (NYSE:CLVT). According to its 13F filing for the second quarter of 2022, Bridger Management held over 1.64 million shares of Clarivate Plc (NYSE:CLVT), amounting to $22.75 million and representing 5.12% of the fund’s 13F portfolio. However, the hedge fund cut its stake in the firm by 11% during Q2. On July 12, Wells Fargo analyst Seth Weber initiated coverage of Clarivate Plc (NYSE:CLVT), assigning the stock an ‘Overweight’ rating and a $20 price target. In addition, 31 hedge funds reported having bullish bets on Clarivate Plc (NYSE:CLVT) as of the end of the second quarter, with combined stakes valued at $3.38 billion. Clarivate Plc (NYSE:CLVT) is a significant stock in Bridger Management’s portfolio, along with Charter Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:CHTR), Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), and Centene Corporation (NYSE:CNC). Baron Funds, mentioned Clarivate (NYSE:CLVT) in its Q1 2022 investor letter. Here’s is what the fund said: “We reduced our stake in Clarivate Plc (NYSE:CLVT), an information services company focused on the scientific and academic markets, after the company reported particularly disappointing fourth quarter earnings results.”       Click to continue reading and see Top 5 Stock Picks of Roberto Mignone’s Bridger Management.   Suggested articles: Top 10 Stock Picks of Barry Ritholtz and Josh Brown Top 10 Stock Picks of Teresa Barger’s Cartica Management   Disclosure: None. Top 10 Stock Picks of Roberto Mignone’s Bridger Management is originally published on Insider Monkey......»»

Category: topSource: insidermonkeySep 15th, 2022

32 fast-paced books you can finish reading in one day

From essays in book form to novellas and YA novels, these quick reads are perfect for commutes, beach days, or just hitting your Goodreads goal. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Amazon; Alyssa Powell/Insider Finishing a book in a day can be so satisfying. These recommendations are short books or fast-paced reads. They include self-help books, thrillers, and romances. Whether you're an avid reader or reserve reading for a cozy vacation chair, finishing a whole book in a day is so satisfying. It's exciting to get lost in the pages of a fascinating memoir, a heartfelt romance, or a gripping thriller that simply won't let our attention go until the true killer is revealed. These quick reads are either short books or fast-paced — usually read within a day or even a single sitting. We've also included the audiobooks for these titles because they're great for day-long road trip listening or a long hike. On most audiobook platforms, including Audible and Libro.fm, you can increase the listening speed to finish them even faster. From moving memoirs to heartbreaking romances, here are 32 quick reads you can finish in a day.32 books you can read in one day:NonfictionSuspenseYoung AdultRomanceFictionNonfictionAn essay that calls for actionAmazon"We Should All Be Feminists" by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $9Adapted from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's TEDx Talk, this essay in novel form is a unique definition of feminism in the 21st century, calling for inclusion amongst women using personal experience to demonstrate why we should all be feminists. Adichie's writing is smart and rousing — a sharp look at the gender hierarchy we've created and a call to engage in necessary solutions. Length: 64 pages; 51-minute audiobookNote: the Audible version of this title is also available from the Amazon purchasing page.A must-read for every 20-somethingAmazon"The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter—And How to Make the Most of Them Now" by Dr. Meg Jay, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $12.19Dr. Meg Jay is a psychologist who drew from nearly 20 years of work to demonstrate that our 20s are not a second adolescence, but the most defining decade of adulthood. This book argues that our 20s are not to be trivialized, that we change and develop rapidly because of our jobs, relationships, social networks, and evolving identities. In her book, Dr. Jay takes many of the complaints about life in our 20s and offers practical guides to make the most of the 10 years that may define the rest of our lives.Length: 272 pages; 7-hour and 11-minute audiobook A short book for the personality quiz fanAmazon"Reading People: How Seeing the World through the Lens of Personality Changes Everything" by Anne Bogel, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $10.99Written by Anne Bogel, a popular blogger, "Reading People'' looks at a collection of popular personality frameworks (like Enneagrams or Myers-Briggs) and how each one contributes to the insights we gain about ourselves and the people around us. Bogel includes practical applications and personal stories that can help us understand the personalities of those closest to us and how they influence productivity, parenting, and work habits. I found a lot of truly useful takeaways from this book, which helped me learn about my own behaviors but also adjust how to support and communicate with my friends better.Length: 224 pages; 4-hour and 33-minute audiobookNote: the Audible version of this title is also available from the Amazon purchasing page.An eye-opening look at modern feminismAmazon"Hood Feminism" by Mikki Kendall, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $10.71This book takes a close look at the imperfections of modern feminism — a movement that has been taken over by middle-class white women and often failed to meet the basic needs of people who need the most help. With powerful anecdotes and sharp statistics, Mikki Kendall, a prominent activist, examines how feminism, as we know it, has ignored basic problems of survival such as food insecurity, quality education, and medical care and instead focused on increasing privilege for a select few. It also demonstrates how the movement has largely left behind women of different races, classes, sexual orientations, and abilities — as well as provides steps on what we can do to make feminism work for all women.Length: 288 pages; 6-hour and 57-minute audiobook Note: the Audible version of this title is also available from the Amazon purchasing page.A brief memoir with an important messageAmazon"I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made For Whiteness" by Austin Channing Brown, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $11.53In America, white society has fallen in love with the idea of "diversity" but forgotten what it means to not only "allow" differences but celebrate what makes people diverse. Austin Channing Brown uses her own life — even her own name — to demonstrate that this world only permits diversity when it doesn't make white people uncomfortable. This is her journey to celebrating Blackness, but also a call to genuinely value Black people by addressing racial hostility in our schools, workplaces, and neighborhoods. Length: 192 pages; 3-hour and 54-minute audiobookNote: the Audible version of this title is also available from the Amazon purchasing page.A quick read that started a cleaning revolutionAmazon"The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up" by Marie Kondo, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $8.32This is a perfect read to grab on the day you're procrastinating on your spring cleaning, one that will have you excited to get started on organization. Marie Kondo's writing style and effective decluttering techniques have sparked a revolution, calling us to create tidy homes by keeping only items that "spark joy." This book details the methods of decluttering and the psychology behind it all, demonstrating how a clear home leads to a clear mind.Length: 224 pages; 4-hour and 50-minute audiobookNote: the Audible version of this title is also available from the Amazon purchasing page.A story that began as a "Humans of New York" featureAmazon"Tanqueray" by Stephanie Johnson and Brandon Stanton, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $16.88In 2019, Tanqueray, one of the most well-known burlesque dancers in New York City, once again captured the attention of millions when she was featured on "Humans of New York." "Tanqueray" is the captivating story of Stephanie Johnson's experiences in 1970s New York City, including personal photos and stories that weren't included in her "Humans of New York" series. Length: 192 pages; 3-hour and 17-minute audiobookSuspenseA classic murder mysteryAmazon"And Then There Were None" by Agatha Christie, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $7.99In each room of the mansion where 10 strangers are gathered, there hangs a famous nursery rhyme, describing 10 people dwindinglng down to none. When the guests realize they're being murdered as described in the rhyme, they have to figure out who is orchestrating it all and why, before there are none of them left. Agatha Christie is an iconic murder mystery novelist and if you haven't read one of her books, this is the perfect place to start. It's an intense "whodunnit" that's fun to read as you gather clues to solve the puzzle before you reach the final page.Length: 300 pages; 6-hour audiobook Note: the Audible version of this title is also available from the Amazon purchasing page.A shocking summer thrillerAmazon"We Were Liars" by E. Lockhart, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $5.98"We Were Liars" is the type of fast-paced thriller where you have no idea what you're looking for until the twist smacks you in the face. It takes place amongst wealthy and seemingly perfect families on Martha's Vineyard. During the summer she turns 15, Cadence struggles with memory loss from a head injury. Her mother sends her on trip with her father around Europe, rather than with all her cousins on the island as they usually spend every summer. After two summers away from the island, Cadence returns to find so much has changed, and no one will answer all her questions. This story unravels quickly, with lies and secrets nearly pouring out of every page.Length: 320 pages; 6-hour and 27-minute audiobookNote: the Audible version of this title is also available from the Amazon purchasing page.A Stephen King horror novellaAmazon"Elevation" by Stephen King, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $8.99Known for his long and horrifying novels, Stephen King manages to pack his signature creepy storytelling into his second-shortest novel, "Elevation." In the town of Castle Rock, Scott Carey has been steadily losing weight (and experiencing a couple of other odd things) but doesn't want to be poked and prodded by doctors. He's also engaged in a mini-battle with his neighbors — a lesbian couple whose dog keeps pooping on his lawn. As Scott begins to understand the prejudice the women face, an alliance forms. This is a refreshing and reinvigorating novel, one that draws you in with Stephen King's style and keeps you hooked with his signature twists.Length: 160 pages; 3-hour and 46-minute audiobookNote: the Audible version of this title is also available from the Amazon purchasing page.A gripping, twisty thrillerAmazon"Layla" by Colleen Hoover, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $8.97When an unexpected attack lands Layla in the hospital, she's fortunately able to physically recover — but is left with emotional and mental trauma. Leeds, her partner, is struggling to reconnect with the woman he fell in love with, but has an idea to reignite their relationship with Layla by escaping to the bed-and-breakfast where they first met. Their trip takes an unexpected turn when Layla proves unpredictable and Leeds finds solace in another guest with a curious set of problems. Colleen Hoover novels are notorious single-sitting reads — the tension is so high that you can't possibly put it down until everything is resolved.Length: 303 pages; 8-hour and 10-minute audiobook Note: the Audible version of this title is also available from the Amazon purchasing page.A fast-paced BookTok favoriteAmazon"Verity" by Colleen Hoover, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $11.26Colleen Hoover is known for her suspenseful romances but this thriller takes "page-turner" to a whole new level. I finished this gripping story in an afternoon, completely engrossed in this story which follows Lowen, who is brought to Verity's home to finish her highly anticipated book series. While browsing notes in her office, Lowen finds a startling autobiographical manuscript that seems to be filled with horrifying confessions.  Length: 336 pages; 8-hour and 10-minute audiobookYoung AdultA slam-poetry novelAmazon"The Poet X" by Elizabeth Acevedo, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $7.85This quick read follows Xiomara, who feels unheard in her Harlem neighborhood and finds slam poetry as a way to understand her mother and her place in the world. While Xiomara is used to using her fists to communicate, she finds she has much more to say, and getting her words out proves powerful and therapeutic. I strongly recommend listening to this as an audiobook, as the cadence of the poetry read by the author is unparalleled in power and emotion.Length: 384 pages; 3-hour and 30-minute audiobook Note: the Audible version of this title is also available from the Amazon purchasing page.A beautiful book that will pull at your heart stringsAmazon"A Monster Calls" by Patrick Ness, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $8.49When Siobhan Dowd's passing from cancer prevented her from writing this idea, Patrick Ness was able to make it come to life. This short fantasy follows Conor, a 13-year-old boy who's had the same nightmare ever since his mom started treatment. One night, he wakes and finds a monster outside his bedroom window, albeit a different, wilder, and more dangerous creature than the one from his nightmares. This is an undeniable tear-jerker of a novel, one that demands to be read in one sitting as the magic stays with you long after you've closed the book.Length: 237 pages; 3-hour and 59-minute audiobook Note: the Audible version of this title is also available from the Amazon purchasing page.A powerful and relevant YA storyAmazon"Dear Martin" by Nic Stone, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $6.98This book and its sequel, "Dear Justyce," are both super short reads, so even if you have to take a few breaks, you can still read them in a day. The first installment is about Justyce McAllister, a future Ivy League student who was recently put in handcuffs and is now being treated differently by his classmates and teachers, all before a horrible incident changes his life. To deal with it all, he turns to the teachings of Martin Luther King, Jr. and starts writing letters to him. The book deals with police brutality and racism in a way that's deeply revealing about the disproportionate weight Black youth carry in America.Length: 240 pages; 4-hour and 32-minute audiobook Note: the Audible version of this title is also available from the Amazon purchasing page.A YA with complex charactersAmazon"What To Say Next" by Julie Buxbaum, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $6.98While this audiobook is a teeny bit longer than others on this list, I read the print version and absolutely flew through it. This story follows Kit and David, two teenagers who find connection with each other when they need it most. David is a teen with autism, feeling isolated in a school that has dubbed him "weird." Kit is relatively popular but struggling to move on from the car accident that killed her father. When Kit decides to sit with David at lunch one day, their quirky and loving friendship begins to bloom. I devoured this book so quickly, I was that invested in the perfectly flawed characters (and their happiness).Length: 320 pages; 9-hour and 4-minute audiobook Note: the Audible version of this title is also available from the Amazon purchasing page.A harrowing Holocaust-era readAmazon"The Boy In The Striped Pajamas" by John Boyne, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $8.64In 1942, Bruno returns home from school to find that his family is moving far away from all his friends. With nothing to do, Bruno decides to explore and finds a tall fence that stretches as far as he can see, with a boy his age on the other side. This harrowing Holocaust-era novel is middle grade, but the message -inside is one for everyone to hold close. It's a short but memorable story about the best and worst of humanity.Length: 215 pages; 4-hour and 57-minute audiobookNote: the Audible version of this title is also available from the Amazon purchasing page.A short novel that gets deepAmazon"Highly Illogical Behavior" by John Corey Whaley, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $10.22This is one of the best YA books I've read that gently yet accurately encapsulates mental health problems. Solomon is an agoraphobic teen who hasn't left his house in three years. Lisa, who is trying to get into a psychology program after high school, learns about Solomon and is determined to cure him so she can write about it for her college applications. When the experiment develops into a friendship, the truth behind their meeting still lingers and threatens to ruin the mutual trust they've built. On the psychological side, this book is deeply fascinating while humanizing the often off-putting stigma around mental illness.Length: 256 pages; 6-hour and 17-minute audiobook Note: the Audible version of this title is also available from the Amazon purchasing page.A devastating and quick readAmazon"They Both Die at the End" by Adam Silvera, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $8.37This young adult book may seem long but the pages practically turn themselves — there's even a BookTok challenge where readers encourage each other to read it in one sitting. The story follows two boys, Mateo and Rufus, who each get a call from Death-Cast, letting them know they will die today. Through an app called Last Friend, Mateo and Rufus find each other and set out to live a lifetime in a single day.Length: 416 pages; 8-hour and 29-minute audiobookRomanceA moving and clever love storyAmazon"In Five Years" by Rebecca Serle, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $10.03When asked where she sees herself in five years, Dannie Kohan is sure of her answer — until she mysteriously wakes up for just a few hours, five years into the future, with a completely different life than she imagined. When she returns to her current life, freshly engaged with a brand-new job offer, the hours feel like a strange dream that she's determined to shake. I spent a summer afternoon listening to this book, so drawn to how the story unraveled.Length: 288 pages; 6-hour and 44-minute audiobookNote: the Audible version of this title is also available from the Amazon purchasing page.A page-turning, dramatic novelAmazon"The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo" by Taylor Jenkins Reid, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $9.42This is the longest book on the list because, despite its page count, this book truly demands to be read in one day. I didn't want to do anything besides learn Evelyn Hugo's entire life story — it was like binging a great TV series in one sitting. Evelyn Hugo, a reclusive former Hollywood movie star, is finally ready to tell her life story — but only to one little-known journalist. After making her way to LA in the 1950s, Evelyn led a glamorous and headlining life, starring in huge movies, becoming a household name, and marrying seven men along the way — all without explanation to the tabloids. It's all finally revealed in this novel, juicer and more engrossing than you could ever imagine.Length: 400 pages; 12-hour and 10-minute audiobook Note: the Audible version of this title is also available from the Amazon purchasing page.An irresistible queer romanceAmazon"When Katie Met Cassidy" by Camille Perri, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $11.32"When Katie Met Cassidy" is a fun, queer romance that takes place in New York City and reads as easily as watching a rom-com on Netflix. When Katie meets Cassidy, she's just been dumped by her fiancé and after a chance meeting, they end up together in a dimly lit lesbian dive bar. The story is full of chemistry between the two and exploration into tight-knit communities, self-identity, and accepting the love we truly deserve.Length: 288 pages; 6-hour and 21-minute audiobookNote: the Audible version of this title is also available from the Amazon purchasing page.A novella that mixes love and science fictionAmazon"This Is How You Lose The Time War" by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $14.87Part-science fiction and part romance, "This Is How You Lose the Time War" is an award-winning novella about time-traveling rivals. In the midst of a war, two time-travelers on separate missions to secure the best future for their factions find themselves entangled in an unlikely correspondence, leading to a romance that could change the past and the future. This book is lyrical prose with an epic plot line that soars across a fast story, co-written by two renowned sci-fi writers.Length: 224 pages; 4-hour and 16-minute audiobook Note: the Audible version of this title is also available from the Amazon purchasing page.A novella from a popular romance writerAmazon"Below Zero" by Ali Hazelwood, available on Amazon and Libro from $2.99Readers love Ali Hazelwood's bestselling romance "The Love Hypothesis," but if you're looking for a shorter read, she's also written a series of STEM-themed novellas. "Below Zero" follows Hannah, a NASA aerospace engineer, on a mission to the Arctic where a storm and a terrible fall leave her fate in the hands of Ian — a gorgeous and brilliant scientist who tried to stop her expedition and possibly ruin her career. Length: 139 pages; 3-hour and 43-minute audiobookFictionA story that's both heartbreaking and heart-warmingAmazon"The Death of Vivek Oji" by Akwaeke Emezi, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $12.79One afternoon in Nigeria, Vivek's mother opens the front door to find her child's body on the front step, wrapped in fabric. The novel is the family's attempt to understand a son they never truly knew, one with a gentle spirit and bright heart. But there is a second, hidden story beneath the one we begin reading — one that reveals itself slowly until all the pieces fit seamlessly together. I personally can't recommend this book enough, it is a masterpiece of being one's self in an escalating crisis and the honoring of love above all else.Length: 256 pages; 7-hour and 38-minute audiobookNote: the Audible version of this title is also available from the Amazon purchasing page.A deep narrative about choiceAmazon"Red At The Bone" by Jacqueline Woodson, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $11.95This book tackles so many important issues in so few pages. It spans multiple generations, centered around an unexpected teenage pregnancy and a traditional coming-of-age ceremony which highlights the successes and costs of ambitions despite adversity. "Red At The Bone" is a novel of family legacy, but also education, parenthood, loss, class, sexual desire, and orientation — a poignant story that will have you clinging to every last page.  Length: 224 pages; 3-hour and 52-minute audiobook Note: the Audible version of this title is also available from the Amazon purchasing page.A comedy about heartbreakAmazon"Heartburn" by Nora Ephron, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $10.59Though this quick read is about the break up of a marriage, it's known for its hilarity in the face of anguish. Rachel is seven months pregnant when she finds that her husband, Mark, is in love with another woman. While the comedy is its own consolation, so are the recipes Rachel loves to share while intermittently wishing Mark dead. As a bonus, the audiobook is narrated by Meryl Streep, if you need any more reason to pick it up.Length: 179 pages; 5-hour and 30-minute audiobook Note: the Audible version of this title is also available from the Amazon purchasing page.A hopeful story about refugeesAmazon"Exit West" by Mohsin Hamid, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $9.89This is an ethereal and borderline magical book about immigration and refugees in a violent world. Nadia and Saeed's love story blooms in a country on the brink of a civil war, bombs and bullets bookending their days with fear when they begin to hear the whispers about doors. Doors that can take them from their homeland to somewhere safe, though alien and riddled with its own challenges. It's an incredibly intimate story, one that steals your heart within the first few pages. Length: 256 pages; 4-hour and 42-minute audiobook Note: the Audible version of this title is also available from the Amazon purchasing page.A pop-culture classicAmazon"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" by Douglas Adams, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $7.43After a series of outrageous events including the announcement that his best friend is an alien, Arthur finds himself navigating an unknown and hostile universe with only "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" in hand with the advice "DON'T PANIC" helpfully inscribed on the front. This has become a pop-culture classic, playing with time, physics, and the universe in a read that always feels like it ends too soon.Length: 208 pages; 5-hour and 51-minute audiobookNote: the Audible version of this title is also available from the Amazon purchasing page.A novel about breaking bordersAmazon"Infinite Country" by Patricia Engel, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $12.99Elena and Mauro are undocumented and living in the United States, having overstayed their tourist visa so their children could be raised in a safer country than violence-stricken Columbia. When Mauro is deported, Elena finds herself taking care of three children and running out of choices. This is another book that will absolutely steal your heart, a story that could not possibly be more relevant and is so real, it's hard to believe it isn't true. It's a stunning and profound look at the broken system of immigration, necessary when we refuse to hear others' stories and see them as human beings, more than simply "illegal."Length: 205 pages; 4-hour and 58-minute audiobookNote: the Audible version of this title is also available from the Amazon purchasing page.The original satire that spurred a cult-classic movieAmazon"Fight Club" by Chuck Palahnuik, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $9.99Everyone's heard the famous line "The first rule of fight club is you do not talk about fight club," but even if you've seen the cult-classic film, the book is its own exciting and fast-paced experience. This is a pretty dark and twisty novel where the narrator leaves his job after meeting Tyler, a powerfully captivating young man who runs a secret late-night boxing club in the basement of bars in New York City. "Fight Club" really is a wild ride of a book, a modern and tragic satire of American consumerism and masculinity.Length: 224 pages; 5-hour and 34-minute audiobook Note: the Audible version of this title is also available from the Amazon purchasing page.A moving piece of literary fictionAmazon"The Swimmers" by Julie Otsuka, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $15.99Alice is one of the regular, recreational swimmers at the local pool who is displaced when a crack appears, forced away from her routine and her fellow swimmers. Narrated by Alice's daughter, this intimate literary fiction is about Alice's encroaching dementia and how, without the routine of the pool, she begins to slip into childhood memories of internment camps and chaos. Length: 144 pages; 4-hour and 5-minute audiobookRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytSep 14th, 2022

Back to Camp Kotok!

  I am away this week for my annual sojourn to Maine, a trip I have been making since 2007. Light posting this week, but here is my 2019 write-up for Businessweek. Enjoy!     Talking Rates in the Maine Woods With Economists Over Good Wine Taking place right before the Jackson Hole Economic Symposium,… Read More The post Back to Camp Kotok! appeared first on The Big Picture.   I am away this week for my annual sojourn to Maine, a trip I have been making since 2007. Light posting this week, but here is my 2019 write-up for Businessweek. Enjoy!     Talking Rates in the Maine Woods With Economists Over Good Wine Taking place right before the Jackson Hole Economic Symposium, the gathering is a chance for money managers, traders, and economists to discuss crucial issues without restraint. Businessweek, August 27, 2019   Let’s get this out of the way upfront: There is no such entity as the “Shadow Kansas City Federal Reserve Board.” This isn’t a “The first rule of Fight Club” situation. No one denies that a gathering of money managers, bond traders, and economists has been taking place at Leen’s Lodge in Grand Lake Stream, Maine, for several decades. It’s just that most of the conversations are off the record or governed by the Chatham House Rule, which doesn’t allow identification of speakers without their permission. Many attendees have an affiliation with the Federal Reserve, as current or former employees, but aren’t authorized to speak on the Fed’s behalf. The long weekend in Maine takes place shortly before the Jackson Hole Economic Symposium, an event dating to 1982, held in Wyoming and hosted by the Kansas City Federal Reserve. Hence, the gathering became known in some circles as the “Shadow Kansas City Federal Reserve Board” because of the Fed affiliation of many attendees, more than a few of whom head off to Jackson Hole right after the gathering. The group makes no claim to any official imprimatur. Instead, “Camp Kotok,” as it has become known—after David Kotok, chairman and cofounder of Cumberland Advisors, who began holding the meetings more than 20 years ago—has fishing and drinking and hiking and shooting and smoking of cigars in the pristine wilds of Maine, all of which may be great fun, but it’s hardly the reason to gather each year. The main draw is the opportunity to discuss and debate the big issues of monetary policy, economics, and finance, with a like-minded group of serious policy wonks and high-profile money managers, away from the usual routines of the office. At dinner the dining room represents about $2 trillion in capital, not counting attendees from various governments and central banks from around the world. In the past, discussion topics ranged far and wide; but this year, the focus was all Fed all the time: whether it should cut rates and by how much; if the inverted yield curve is signaling a recession; whether negative bond rates from Japan and Europe would make their way here. Perhaps the most passionate discussions were on the independence of the Federal Reserve in the face of unceasing pressure from President Trump. Almost all attendees related similar anecdotes about presidential pressure on the Federal Reserve. Harry Truman famously called the entire Federal Open Market Committee to lunch at the White House, warning, “If you don’t cut rates, you are doing Stalin’s bidding.” Lyndon Johnson invited Fed Chairman William McChesney Martin to his ranch in Texas. LBJ threw Martin against the wall, saying, “Boys are dying in Vietnam, and Bill Martin doesn’t care.” Ronald Reagan’s chief of staff, Jim Baker, invited Fed Chairman Paul Volcker to the president’s library, adjacent to the Oval Office in the White House. With Reagan sitting next to him, Baker told Volcker, “The president is ordering you not to raise interest rates before the election.” In each of these examples, pressure from the U.S. president was private, personal—and mostly effective. The very concept of a public dispute between a president and his own appointed Fed chair was unthinkable. Not only because it might roil the markets, but simply because adults don’t behave that way. Alas, those were simpler times, decades before presidential tweeting was a thing. Before public bullying and harassment campaigns, there was direct and personal persuasion. The record suggests it was an effective way for presidents to influence monetary policy. Attendees at Camp Kotok repeatedly noted the current approach was not only unseemly but also had not ever been effective. The president calling out his hand-selected FOMC chair to an audience of 60 million-plus Twitter followers doesn’t seem to be having the desired result. At the Jackson Hole gathering, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s  speech was a refresher on the history of monetary policy in the post-world war era. The section on current circumstances gave little comfort to a president apparently concerned about a possible recession and its potential effects on his reelection chances. Powell appears to have figured out three important things: 1. In the current era of low rates, low inflation, and modest economic expansion, the Fed’s rate policy is having little to no impact on stimulating the broader economy. Consumers have been buying big-ticket items such as houses and cars, regardless of modest increase in rates we’ve seen the past two years; we are still at historically low and accommodative levels. It’s noteworthy that corporations have been borrowing large sums of capital not to invest and hire, but to buy back their own shares. Lowering rates won’t change that behavior; if anything, it will only encourage more of it. 2. The Fed cannot offset an ill-advised trade war. The economy is having the expected textbook reaction to tariffs, treating them as an unnecessary tax on consumer spending, both here and abroad. If there was any expectation on the part of the occupants of the White House that this would cause the Fed to blink and cut rates, they appear to have been mistaken. “While monetary policy is a powerful tool that works to support consumer spending, business investment, and public confidence, it cannot provide a settled rule book for international trade,” Powell said. 3. Perhaps No. 2 above occurred because of the following: Powell seems to have deduced that Trump can’t fire him—at least, not without causing a constitutional crisis. This last conclusion allows the chairman to focus on protecting his institution from undue pressure from the president. Simply stated, the Fed believes cutting rates is not the panacea the president believes it to be. Therefore the Fed would rather wait to cut rates when it would be much more effective—in a mild recession—than risk an increase in inflation from an even more accommodative stance than we’re in at present. ~~~ To be invited to Camp Kotok, you must check three boxes: First, a group member must nominate you as someone capable of adding to the conversation. Original ideas, thoughtful disagreement, and intelligent variant perspectives are all welcome. Second, you must get the thumbs-up from Kotok. Third, the rules mandate that each attendee brings a case of wine. The group contains some serious oenophiles, and you’d best bring your A-game. Lots of thought goes into the wine selection—along with 20-year-old Scotch whisky, rare tequila, and the occasional brandy. This year I brought two cases of a delightful Spanish albariño from Ramón Bilbao; it was a cheap (so two cases) and unexpected delicious treat. It made a surprisingly good impression in the face of overrepresented—and overpriced—Napa Valley cabernets. Most evenings there is a featured discussion before dinner. Senators, governors, and representatives have made appearances. Every Saturday night there’s robust debate. The topics include currency issues, the latest crises, and economic philosophy. The theme of this year’s Jackson Hole Economic Symposium was Challenges for Monetary Policy. So it was no coincidence that the debate, in Maine this year, ably moderated by Jim Bianco of Bianco Research LLC, was on Modern Monetary Theory, also called MMT. The surprising consensus was that whether it comes from the political Left or Right, MMT is inevitable. Expect future infrastructure projects, Medicare for all, and/or tax cuts to be funded by bonds authorized by Congress, issued by the Treasury, and purchased by the Federal Reserve. The group takeaway was as simple as it was snarky: “Free money! Whatever could possibly go wrong with that?!” One cannot gather 50 economists and their ilk and not expect forecasting to occur. All participants answer 25 questions on where they think various prices and economic indicators will be one year hence. The stock market, unemployment, bond yields, gold, gross domestic product, yen, euro, inflation, oil, and other questions are not only discussed and forecast but gambled upon at $5 per prediction. I usually do pretty well, and this year I won $52. (Ties change the payouts.) Sizable side bets occur, and some people have been known to make rather large and ill-advised wagers under the influence of alcohol. I have done that, too, but thankfully, the rules preclude me from going into details. There is a stable core of about 35 to 40 people, with a few newbies showing up each year to shake things up. Not everyone gets invited back. My slot opened up a dozen years ago when a Chicago currency trader decided to stand up in his canoe, flipping it over, sending everyone and everything on board into the lake. My own tenure almost came to a premature end when I left a wet towel on a radiator to dry; it instead smoldered. Camp Kotok lore is that I almost burned down the cabin, and bank analyst Josh Rosner led a mock prosecution that evening to have me tossed out for my recklessness and negligence. My defense: This was no accident; I was trying to murder Rosner and his snoring bunkmate and fellow bank analyst Christopher Whalen, so the rest of us could get a night’s sleep. That this argument carried the day gives you some sense of the gallows humor of the dismal set who gather—and why I still get an annual invitation. For a few years, electronic media were present in large numbers (including Bloomberg Radio and TV). One Friday evening, on Aug. 5, 2011, a television truck was accidentally still present—it couldn’t exit the narrow parking area because a car with a missing set of keys blocked the way—when Standard & Poor’s unexpectedly downgraded the credit quality of the U.S. It was a television producer’s dream, a huge news event scoop, with a live TV feed and a few dozen tipsy economists happy to chat about it, alcohol-induced buzz be damned. These were the first people to share their views with the world about what the downgrade meant. The consensus that it mattered much less than people feared was borne out by the subsequent course of history. This year the concerns were focused on the many conundrums of monetary policy. The inverted yield curve—when short-term bonds pay a higher yield than the rates paid on longer-term bonds—is worrying, and the main question being debated was whether it was foreshadowing a recession or a sign that interest rates are still too low. Yet the U.S. has the highest rates in the developed world, which is not ideal, in several economists’ view. The risk is a “giant flow of currency to the U.S.” to capture that yield, and an “overvalued dollar that is way too strong.” Negative interest rates were even more worrying to the group. The entire economic system, it was pointed out, is based on positive interest rates. And if rates flip negative in the U.S., as they already have in Germany and Japan, no one knows what will happen.     Photos and videos here ~~~     Source: Talking Rates in the Maine Woods With Economists Over Good Wine Barry Ritholtz Businessweek, August 27, 2019   The post Back to Camp Kotok! appeared first on The Big Picture......»»

Category: blogSource: TheBigPictureAug 12th, 2022

Solar Stocks Shine Brightly After Passage Of Clean Energy Bill

There have been plenty of sunny days lately for solar giant Enphase Energy (NASDAQ:ENPH), which has posted outsized earnings growth recently. Below are its returns: 1 month: +34.36% 3 months: +93.22% Year-to-date: +58.97% 1 year: +56.73% California-based Enphase designs, manufactures and sells home energy systems for the solar photovoltaic industry in the U.S. and internationally. […] There have been plenty of sunny days lately for solar giant Enphase Energy (NASDAQ:ENPH), which has posted outsized earnings growth recently. Below are its returns: 1 month: +34.36% 3 months: +93.22% Year-to-date: +58.97% 1 year: +56.73% California-based Enphase designs, manufactures and sells home energy systems for the solar photovoltaic industry in the U.S. and internationally. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Henry Singleton Series in PDF Get the entire 4-part series on Henry Singleton in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q2 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more   Find A Qualified Financial Advisor Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn't have to be hard. SmartAsset's free tool matches you with up to 3 fiduciary financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests. If you're ready to be matched with local advisors that can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now. This is a stock with nearly all the hallmarks of a leader. For example, it went public in 2012, so is within the 15-year post-IPO window when stocks are likely to post some of their biggest gains. In addition, it’s notched double-or triple-digit earnings and revenue gains in each of the past seven quarters. The company has turned a profit in each of the past four years, and analysts see earnings growing this year and next. In late July, Enphase reported earnings of $0.69 per share, handily beating views of $0.54 per share. Revenue came in at $530.20 million, well ahead of expectations for $506.57 million. According to MarketBeat earnings data, Enphase beat both earnings and revenue views in each quarter since February 2019.  Optimism From Clean Energy Bill Solar stocks as a group got a huge boost from the U.S. Senate’s passage of a bill that would funnel hundreds of billions of dollars into clean-energy projects. For example, the iShares Global Clean Energy ETF (NYSEARCA:ICLN), of which Enphase is the largest holding, has been in rally mode recently, outpacing the S&P 500.  The ETF tracks an index composed of global equities in the clean energy sector, making it as good a proxy as any for the sub-industy as a whole.  The ETF’s recent returns are as follows: 1 month: 13.01% 3 months: 30.29% Year-to-date: 7.46% In addition to Enphase, heavily-weighted solar holdings within this ETF include Solaredge Technologies (NASDAQ:SEDG) and First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR). Solaredge, which is in the business of designing, developing and selling solar photovoltaic systems throughout the world, recently bump its head on resistance just below its January 2021 high of $377. That relative inertia comes despite an increase in earnings growth in 2021, with more growth expected this year and next. However, part of the problem is a series of earnings and revenue misses. Solaredge missed analysts’ income expectations in three of the past four quarters.  In the most recent quarter, the company reported earnings of $0.95 per share on revenue of $727.8 million. Analysts had been calling for SolarEdge to report net income of $0.88 per share on revenue of $731 million. After the recent revenue miss, the stock gapped down 19%.  Nonetheless, Wall Street rates the stock a “moderate buy,” according to MarketBeat analyst data. The consensus price target is $358.79, representing a 10.83% upside. That doesn’t seem unattainable in the next 12 to 18 months, particularly if the broad market rallies and/or solar stocks really do get a boost from the clean energy bill.  First Solar Beats Expectations  Meanwhile, First Solar is in strong rally mode, rocketing more than 45% last month and more than 16% so far in August. Since reporting earnings on July 28, First Solar is up 49%.  Among highlights from the release: Net sales of $621 million Net income per share of $0.52 Earnings guidance was lowered due to legacy systems business asset impairment in Chile, as well as Japanese Yen devaluation The company manufactures thin-film solar panels. While its results marked year-over-year declines, investors were cheered by better-than-expected results.  Here again, the clean-energy bill is cause for optimism about the company’s prospects. Since the bill was passed, four analysts either upgraded their rating on First Solar, or boosted the price target, according to data compiled by MarketBeat.  While it’s always tempting to jump onboard a stock that’s staging a big rally, it’s important to understand that uptrends end, or, more frequently, take a breather before resuming. Give yourself a system of some type, whether it’s a price target, a stop or a moving average indicator, to evaluate whether it’s time to buy, sell or hold. Otherwise, you’re just guessing, even if a sector or industry is currently in favor, as we currently see with solar power.  Article by Kate Stalter, MarketBeat Updated on Aug 11, 2022, 5:40 pm.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkAug 12th, 2022

Taibbi: The Financial Bubble Era Comes Full Circle

Taibbi: The Financial Bubble Era Comes Full Circle Authored by Matt Taibbi via TK News (emphasis ours), Subscribers have noticed that it’s been quiet on this site for a while. This is because I spent much of the last month researching the #CryptoCrash, and the last week and a half engaged in an increasingly maddening search for a civilized and respectful way to write about one particular actor: Circle Internet Financial, makers of USDC, at $55 billion the second-biggest stablecoin in the world. I’m giving up the hunt for “civilized and respectful.” That dog lived a long life, but it now must be taken out and shot. I’ve dealt with many frustrating institutions, from Bank of America to the press office of the FSB, but none produced such headaches. They’re the mother of all black boxes, and God help anyone invested in them. Circle Internet Financial CEO Jeremy Allaire Trouble started with one question. On April 12, Circle announced it had raised $400 million with investments from BlackRock, Fidelity, Marshall Wace and Fin Capital, noting BlackRock and Circle had entered into a “broader strategic partnership” that would include “exploring capital market applications for USDC” that would “drive the next evolution of Circle’s growth.” This would involve the establishment of a new, BlackRock-managed, government money market fund, the Circle Reserve Fund, through which BlackRock would become “a primary asset manager of USDC cash reserves.” Sources called with concerns. The fund’s registration statement says “shares are only available for purchase by Circle Internet Financial, LLC.” Not only is this unusual — one legal expert I spoke with said he’d “never seen such a fund… available for sale solely to a single entity” — but it raised a potentially troublesome issue for USDC holders. If Circle is to be the sole counterparty to a reserve fund, that would mean reserves would belong to the company, not its users. This could raise the same issue that recently dogged its partner, the digital exchange Coinbase, when it revealed in an SEC filing that “In the event of a bankruptcy, the crypto assets we hold in custody on behalf of our customers could be subject to bankruptcy proceedings and such customers could be treated as our general unsecured creditors.” The firm insisted “your funds are safe with Coinbase,” but as noted in another story coming out today, the damage was done, and the news triggered market mayhem. Coinbase isn’t the same kind of company as Circle, but the issue of bankruptcy remoteness is relevant to both. It’s at the core of the whole dilemma of the cryptocurrency markets. Certainly the question of who actually owns and controls reserve assets exists, or seems to exist. Here Circle is unlike some competitors, whose user agreements specifically spell out that reserves are, say, “fully backed by US dollars held by Paxos Trust Company, LLC,” or “custodied pursuant to the Custody Agreement entered into by and between you and Gemini Trust Company, LLC.” Those describe trust agreements, which are truly bankruptcy remote. Circle’s BlackRock fund suggested a different arrangement. Also, the new fund would be “permitted to invest up to one-third of its total assets in reverse repurchase agreements.” Would Circle be making use of that provision? After 2008, we learned some firms really hated being boring old depository banks, because regulators didn’t allow them to do anything really risky with giant sums of customer cash they held that could easily earn huge returns at scale. It’s like walking into a casino with a trillion dollars in chips and being barred from all the really fun tables. This is how the so-called “London Whale” episode took place. A wing of JP Morgan Chase called the Chief Investment Office, whose ostensible purpose was to reduce risk at the company, started to make enormous returns of $400 million or more on trades its officers didn’t feel were directional bets at all, but hedges. The company felt these trades were only sort of risky. “We believed that what we were doing at the time was consistent with [American accounting practices],” is how one executive later described their attitude. Then those “hedges” turned into giant suckholes of loss, and instead of unwinding them, the bank doubled down, and next thing you knew, they had a $12 billion bomb crater and Elizabeth Warren was screaming at an eye-rolling Jamie Dimon on television. After 2008, remember, Chase had the reputation of being Wall Street’s “good bank,” or at least the non-stupid one, with the New York Times even describing Dimon as Barack Obama’s “favorite banker.” But the London Whale episode revealed the company’s extreme impatience with the idea that they owed it to anybody, either regulators or depositors, to refrain from engaging in certain types of risky behavior. This impatience was written all over executives’ faces at subsequent Senate hearings. The big tell, always, is when finance executives start giving what one analyst described to me as “nuanced answers to yes and no questions.” In the Whale episode, Michigan Senator Carl Levin had to ask repeatedly if the bank had lied when it said in a public conference call that the chief banking regulator, the OCC, was getting data about those infamous trades on a “regular and recurring basis.” Chase Vice Chairman Douglas Braunstein kept talking around the question, first saying “I believed it to be a true statement at the time” that the bank was being “fully transparent” with regulators, then hedging again and again and again, before finally conceding, “They did not get the detailed positions regularly.” Getting back to Circle, I reached out with simple questions. Do USDC holders bear bankruptcy risk, or not? Will they be making money lending their reserves or not? The firm at first was solicitous and seemed anxious to educate about their company structure. Then the answers became contradictory. Then they became “nuanced.” Finally there was so much spin, the company’s name began to make unpleasantly ironic sense. For instance, Circle “is not a trust,” but believes it holds funds in trust; USDC both is and is not a virtual currency (it may be a “stored value product”); and in the unlikely event of a bankruptcy, USDC holders would be “shielded from Circle creditors,” although nothing is bullet-proof and of course there’s risk. How are USDC holders shielded from Circle creditors and “separated from a bankruptcy estate”? According to the firm, customers first of all are guarded “per the protections afforded under state money transmission laws.” Without being cheeky, this is a little like saying the DMV is making sure you’re driving safely. Moreover, Circle is only regulated in the states where Circle has licenses, and the firm has obtained licenses only in those states were licenses are required (what happens to USDC holders in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Wyoming, for instance?). Beyond that, by their own public admission, “not all states in which we are licensed regulate virtual currency activity as money transmission.” Regarding the BlackRock fund’s provision allowing them to borrow up to a third of the reserves, I learned that government money market funds typically do not borrow, but also that the company would enjoy access to the Fed and its repo borrowing program. The dealbreaker came after reading Circle’s User Agreement, which contains the following passage: Circle is not a fiduciary, and Circle does not provide any trust or fiduciary services to any User in the course of such User visiting, accessing, or using the Circle website or services.  I had reason to be surprised to learn that Circle is not a fiduciary and does not provide any trust or fiduciary services. When I expressed that surprise to a Circle spokesperson, recalling certain recent communications involving the exact word, “fiduciary,” their response was: The paragraph cited from the Circle Account User Agreement refers to Circle’s custody of supported digital assets in a Circle-hosted wallet, and does not relate to USDC reserves management. Answers don’t get much more “nuanced” than this. The company was now saying Circle is not a fiduciary, and does not provide any trust or fiduciary services to anyone visiting, accessing, or using the Circle website or services, unless those services involve the company’s management of USDC reserves. In that case, the firm does believe it has a fiduciary responsibility with respect to reserve funds, as required by state law, ostensibly in those states where Circle both has a license and virtual currency is regulated as money transmission. Asked where exactly its reserves are right now, the company replied: As we have shared publicly, the cash portion of the reserve is held with a number of banking partners, including Silvergate Bank, Signature Bank and New York Community Bank. The US Treasury bills are purchased by BlackRock, and are held in custody at BNYMellon. We have not published a detailed breakdown of how much cash is held with which bank partner. We are working with many leading banks to onboard them and add them to our group of partners.   This is a non-answer. Circle discloses where some of its reserves are, but not all, and not how much of what is where. Now, Circle separately features a Yield program, which offers guaranteed returns. These were never as high as Terra’s preposterous and obviously Ponzoid 20% guaranteed returns, which quickly attracted $60 billion that vanished even more quickly, but the program exists nonetheless, at one time offering 12-month yields as high as 10.75%. In the time it’s taken to write this piece the guaranteed return has dropped from 6% to 1% to 0.5%. In characteristic fashion, Circle’s web page on the subject contains both the incorrect statement, “Circle Yield’s interest rates offer superior returns compared to traditional fixed-income investments” like 1 month CDs and 8-week T-bills — this is no longer true — and the correct statement, “In comparison to traditional fixed-income investments, products like Circle Yield can offer superior returns.” The company maintains that the program is relatively small, that there “is currently less than $300M in loan volume outstanding for the Circle Yield program,” and “no ‘exposure,’ as we are over-collateralized at 125%.” (It is “over-collateralized” by plummeting Bitcoin). All the same, the company began this past Tuesday, July 5 to allow customers with active loans to withdraw funds from Circle Yield before the conclusion of those loans, with no penalty, until August 2, 2022 at 11:59PM ET. Asked why they did this, the firm said: There is currently much uncertainty in the digital asset lending and borrowing markets. Circle Yield is a regulated, 125% overcollareralized, fixed-term product, offered to businesses only, and has performed as designed during these turbulent times, with borrower margin calls being met in a timely fashion to sustain the 125% overcollaterlization. However, we recognize that our customers might wish to withdraw their assets entirely from these markets at this extraordinary time… We have made a one-time change to the legal product structure to enable all our customers to withdraw their funds if they so wish during this time of uncertainty. Make of that what you will. Meanwhile, the firm also believes federal bankruptcy laws should protect USDC holders, but this belief depends on the notion, which Circle states for the record, that “USDC reserves are held in segregated accounts for the benefit of USDC holders, not Circle,” and “USDC reserve funds are held for the benefit of USDC token holders,” because “Circle does not and will not use USDC holders’ money to run its business or pay its debts.” If Circle does not and will not use USDC holders’ money to run its business, how is it projecting to earn $438 million in revenues from its USDC reserves this year, and over $2.188 billion next year? Again, is USDC a utility-like product content to earn little caring for giant piles of money, or more like a profiteering financial firm that earns money creatively leveraging up its assets? This raises another question that first came up last year. If Circle is holding its reserves in segregated accounts strictly for the benefit of customers, why was it, at least at one time, keeping a not-insignificant portion of its reserves in commercial paper and instruments like Yankee CDs? Last summer, after Allaire announced plans to go public via a $4.5 billion SPAC deal, Coinbase said that all of its USDC holdings were “backed by a dollar in a bank account.” As Bloomberg wrote, the promise “was important for the stablecoin, which unlike Bitcoin has a set price and can be redeemed by users for regular currency.” However, after being contacted in August by Bloomberg reporter Joe Light, Coinbase president Emilie Choi began issuing a series of amended statements on Twitter, for instance: “We know that a lot of customers get USDC on Coinbase, and we previously said that every USDC is ‘backed by a dollar in a bank account.’ Our language could have been clearer here.” Circle then said that it had been backed entirely by cash until March, 2021, when it began to buy U.S. Treasuries to “accommodate the coin’s rapid growth,” as Bloomberg wrote. In fact, the very first time that Circle made a major disclosure in describing its reserve assets, releasing in July of 2021 an attestation by what one former regulator chucklingly called a “grownup” auditor Grant Thornton, it turned out only 61% of its reserves were in cash, with a surprisingly high amount held in riskier or less liquid investments like corporate bonds and commercial paper: A spokesperson for the company also said that, as the news outlet put it, “the coin’s reserves moved to a broader portfolio of investments in May 2021.” In other words, by a seemingly extraordinary coincidence, Circle only branched out into riskier investments in the exact month before its first major audit-like disclosure, and just before Bloomberg ran a story saying that the “backed by a dollar in a bank account” representation was “not true.” The response was brutal. “You can’t market a product with falsities,” Columbia Law School lecturer Lev Menand told Light. Such companies “say trust us and that’s all well and good until there’s a problem,” was how Georgetown professor Adam Levitin put it. Circle from there began to make new gestures toward transparency, publishing regular attestations from Grant Thornton, each of which appeared to show moves away from riskier holdings and toward cash and short-term treasuries. For example, in July, 2021, Grant Thornton attested that 47% of the assets backing USDC were cash and cash equivalents, while 16% were in corporate bonds, and 8% were in commercial paper. Within a month the auditor was saying 100% of Circle’s reserves were “cash and cash equivalents,” although “Circle Internet Financial, LLC’s management is responsible for its assertions.” Then in early December, when Allaire testified before congress, he said (emphasis mine): The dollar-denominated reserves backing USDC are held conservatively in the care, custody and control of the U.S. regulated banking system. These are strictly held in cash and short-duration U.S. treasuries and we have consistently reported on the status of these reserves and their sufficiency to meet demands for USDC outstanding with third party attestations from a leading global accounting firm. Strictly speaking, this wasn’t true. Circle had indeed reported on its reserves, but hadn’t done so in detail until that spring of 2021, when it announced a sudden move into riskier investments. The Grant Thornton attestations soon after began dropping the detailed breakdowns from its reports, and moreover tweaked its language from saying reserve accounts were “correctly stated” to “fairly stated.” These reports include the curious lines, “Circle Internet Financial LLC’s management is responsible for its assertion,” and “Individuals who acquire and utilize USDC tokens and other crypto assets are responsible for informing themselves of the general risks and uncertainties.” The firm in its most recent “report” used the word “opinion” four times and “audit” zero times. Grant Thornton did not respond to requests for clarification as to whether or not they consider these reports audits, though the company, Circle, considers itself audited. Circle’s rep has always been as the good crypto, not a target of armies of short-sellers like Tether. As far back as 2018, it made news by ostensibly seeking to become the “first cryptocurrency company to obtain a banking license,” and the company over the years has emphasized that it is “focused on providing even greater transparency, quality and scale for USDC reserves,” because “trust and transparency are our ultimate goals.” Four years after it first declared its intention to be the first coin with a bank license we’re still reading headlines like, “Circle Will Apply for U.S. Crypto Bank Charter in ‘Near Future,’” in the hopes now of becoming the fourth stablecoin to get licensed. The company does not believe current law allows it to become a bank, but similar companies didn’t seem to have had a problem. None of this has dented Circle’s momentum or reputation. In fact, in mid-February, Circle and its partner, Bob Diamond’s Concord Acquisition Corporation, announced they were doubling the size of their SPAC (click here for a TK video refresher on what a SPAC is). The February agreement set the value of the new Concord-Circle deal at a whopping $9 billion, with a big chunk of that value, they said, coming from the booming success of USDC in the marketplace: The new agreement… reflects improvements in Circle’s financial outlook and competitive position – particularly the growth and market share of USDC, one of the fastest growing dollar digital currencies. USDC’s circulation has more than doubled… reaching $52.5 billion as of February 16, 2022. Diamond is perhaps best known for bringing American-style huge CEO compensation to Europe, and for stepping down as Barclays chief after Britain levied a then-record $92.7 million fine for manipulating the LIBOR interest rate benchmark. Less-well-remembered is his role in the largest bankruptcy in history, Lehman Brothers, an episode I wrote about in The Divide. After Barclays acquired the shipwrecked firm for pennies in September of 2008, the bank’s creditors sued, claiming Barclays absconded with between $4 and $7.6 billion in funds owed to them through a variety of schemes. The creditors mostly lost that case, which was eventually settled for $1.28 billion. This is relevant because the question of whether or not USDC reserves are truly bankruptcy remote is central to this story. Asked about this, Circle replied, “We are delighted by the support and involvement of all of our shareholders.” Meanwhile, the players from the Circle side have their own history. Jeremy Allaire and at least one other future Circle officer were accused in 2002 of making misleadingly positive statements about a failing product called Spectra while selling “over $53,000,000.00” of stock in their company, Allaire Corporation, in the first three quarters of 2000. In August of 2000, Allaire was asked about an annual goal of 100% growth, and reportedly said, “We definitely think that is achievable.” A month later, the company announced a substantial third quarter loss, and its share price dropped 40% in three days, prompting the action. Massachusetts District Judge William Young used remarkably strong language to reject a motion to dismiss the suit, saying, “It is difficult to conceive of a complaint pled with more particularity than the one presented,” and “in many respects, if this complaint is not specific enough, no complaint is.” He added: Essentially, the Plaintiffs invested in a company which promised to build the best mousetrap ever. When it was done, the mousetrap was ugly, did not catch mice, and, as word got out, people stopped buying. The case was eventually settled for $12 million, without an admission of wrongdoing. In conversations with former regulators, some raised a question as to whether or not the Allaire Corporation case might prevent Circle officers from ever obtaining a banking license, given that charters are only given to persons of “good character and responsibility.” Opinions on the matter were very mixed. However, it was certainly not a non-issue. “Any case involving alleged fraud will be a matter of great concern to the banking regulators,” said former FDIC General Counsel Mike Krimminger. “If there were a settlement with no admission of guilt, there might be explanation that could be acceptable to regulators, but it will still be a real concern that could be fatal to an application.” In any case, when asked this week why that old story shouldn’t make investors in a different, newer mousetrap nervous, a Circle spokesperson replied: The case settled without any finding of wrongdoing… The defendants disputed the factual allegations, and as with the vast majority of securities class actions, the case settled. The factual allegations were never tested in court, and there is really nothing more to say about this 20 year old case. In 2008, when reporters and investigators began pulling at the threads of terms like “fully hedged” or “triple-A tranche,” they often found there was almost no way to stop pulling, even if they wanted to. In fact, by the time people stopped pulling, the entire global financial system was basically a pile of string. It may very well be that the same experience awaits anyone who pulls at threads like “100% backed” or “secure wallet” or other such catch-phrases from any one of dozens of crypto companies. In other words, these issues may not be unique to Circle. But make no mistake: this is the definition of an “opaque ledger.” If every crypto company will struggle this badly to answer basic questions like Where’s your money? or What’s your risk?, the storm hasn’t even started yet. * * * TK News by Matt Taibbi is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber. Tyler Durden Sat, 07/09/2022 - 19:30.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytJul 9th, 2022

The Next Chapter For Rowan Street

Rowan Street Capital commentary for the month of July 2022. Dear Partners, This year we celebrated 7 years since the founding of Rowan Street Capital. In our 2020 year-end letter we shared our story with you and the evolution of our investment approach. Investing is a journey filled with many ups and downs and countless […] Rowan Street Capital commentary for the month of July 2022. Dear Partners, This year we celebrated 7 years since the founding of Rowan Street Capital. In our 2020 year-end letter we shared our story with you and the evolution of our investment approach. Investing is a journey filled with many ups and downs and countless lessons. As they say, investing cannot be taught, it has to be experienced. On Wall Street and in today’s world of information overload, you are constantly bombarded with new ideas that constantly appear “sexier” than what you already know well or the stock is going up much faster than the stocks in your portfolio. If you really think about it, you only need a few best ideas, few extraordinary businesses in your life. The key is to stick with them as long as they remain extraordinary. This is truly the path to extraordinary wealth! And no one knows this better than Charlie — below is one of my favorite videos of him where he explains this simple concept: if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Charlie Munger in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues. (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q1 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more The difficult part here, of course, is saying NO to almost all other ideas because they distract from your best ideas and detract from your process of compounding. Here too, though, there is quite a balancing act. You want to be able to say NO in order to keep your focus on your best ideas, but at the same time you want to be open-minded to learning about new businesses and developments and expanding that circle of competence over time. Unfortunately, this simple realization came to me after many years of investing. About five years ago, we decided to refocus our efforts into just owning a few extraordinary businesses that are run by talented, passionate and honest managers, who are also business owners. Just like rare diamonds or truly special and unique pieces of art, extraordinary businesses and management teams are very rare, and once you find them and understand their magic, you tend to hold on to them. Selling one just because it doubled in price over the course of a year or two does not make much sense; neither does it make sense to sell just because the stock price is dropping. First, you have to pay the capital gains tax. Second, the likelihood of finding another gem that is as good as the one you already own, and finding one that is selling for a reasonable price (true gems are never without a huge fan base) is relatively low. Third, we found that it takes quite a bit of time to truly get to know the management and understand “the magic” of the company. Getting to know companies is very similar to getting to know people. They may give you a great first impression, but it takes a while before you get to know the true person deep down inside. It is very rare to like something just as much or even more after you have owned it for 3 years. That’s why we always say that conviction is a lot like love and trust, it can only be built over time. Which pond do we fish in for extraordinary businesses? We found that they can be absolutely anywhere, in any industry, geographical location and come in any size. What we discovered in our 20+ years of investing, is that extraordinary businesses are always built by extraordinary people. These people are super rare! They possess special qualities, personality traits and a winner‘s mentality. They are passionate entrepreneurs that are absolutely obsessive in their belief and their devotion to their vision for the company that they are building, and they are constantly building and evolving, they never rest on their laurels. Let me give you a few examples. A couple of years ago, I read a book called “The Airbnb Story”. Here are a two quotes from this great book that help illustrate what I’m talking about: Brian Chesky’s (Founder/CEO) fanatical belief in and devotion to what he sees as Airbnb’s higher purpose seem to be the things that drive him more than anything else. He believes in home sharing “down to his toes” and he talks about the company’s mission, “belonging anywhere,” relentlessly, not as a CEO talking up the tagline that sells the product his company makes, but as the reason he was truly put on this earth! Really, honestly. I have seen so many different founders—literally, thousands. And I can tell the opportunists from the believers. It’s way beyond money or even fame for him. For that reason, Chesky may not be cut out for just any CEO role. He’s the kind of leader who leads people to do things that he himself believes in. You could not hire him as the CEO of some random company. Warren Buffett sensed this, too. “He feels it all the way through. I think he would be doing what he’s doing if he didn’t get paid a dime for it.” This kind of mentality and passion drives a unique and special energy, which is contagious. It turns employees into believers and attracts the right people, talents and resources into the company. It instills the certain kind of a “winners DNA” that runs deep in the company's founding roots. This stuff is very intangible and a lot of times you cannot see this in a company's financials or by running a screen on your Bloomberg terminal. Humans have a tendency to want to quantify everything that is meaningful. But so much of whats meaningful is based on human spirit and is unquantifiable. That is why long-term investing is more of an Art rather than Science. Let me give you another example. The mentality of a passionate Founder/CEO drives a completely different thought process and decision-making that makes all the difference. This is a quote by Brian Armstrong, Founder and CEO of Coinbase: “I can speak with some authority and say we are not going to do that because this is not why I started the company — I don't have to give any other justification. Rather than the professional CEO that comes in that is accountable to Wall Street and quarterly earnings may start thinking about the company differently. One of the most scarce things in companies today is risk tolerance. For example, take Tesla vs. Waymo. Tesla launched self-driving cars while Google didn’t. The reason is the founder-CEO (Elon Musk) said that I care enough about the mission that we are ready and we are gonna go for it. Whether a professional CEO is thinking about his/her career trajectory, the founder CEO doesn’t care about the next job and only cares about the mission.” The following quote is from one of my favorite books “100 Baggers” written Christopher Meyer, which drives the same point home: “People (owner-operators) running these companies are in control, so when we experience a drawdown like 2008, that’s precisely when they are going to deploy cash because opportunities are so rich and thats when you want to be spending money. Compare this behavior to agent-operated companies. They loathe spending cash or taking on debt in a highly volatile environment. An agent-operator is so fearful about how that will be perceived by the public and the board and how it may impact his/her career prospects. If you study all the great Founders/CEOs like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, Warren Buffet, Larry Ellison, Brian Chesky, Reed Hastings, Marc Banioff, Jim Walton and Phil Knight, just to name a few, you will find many similarities in how they ran their businesses and in how they make decisions. What also distinguishes them is they remained majority shareholders (owners) of their companies throughout their careers. While every single founder listed above has experienced their company stock dropping 50% and much more on several occasions, they continued to hold on to every single share — that is what true business owners do, they continue to own and compound their wealth over time. In contrast to agent-operators (hired CEOs) that usually own less that 1% of company stock and consistently sell for “financial planning“ purposes. One question that we always get… Since 2017, you have been heavily invested in digital platforms and in growth-oriented innovative and disruptive firms. At the same time, you look for durable competitive advantages in companies and are looking to own them for the next 5-10+ years. Technology is a rapidly evolving space and it's very hard to predict who gets disrupted, who survives and who gets to be the winner. Why not stay with the safer, predictable companies like you did in the early days? Well, the world has changed quite a bit from the one 50-60 years ago when Warren Buffett was starting to build his empire. The enduring moats of the 20th century were the widely-known brands like Coca-Cola, American Express, See’s Candies, Wrigley’s or low-cost producers like Geico, Walmart, Costco. These businesses were highly predictable. Like Warren Buffett once said: “The internet is not going to change how people chew gum.” Well, who could have predicted that the internet disrupted traditional retailing and drove exponential growth in e-commerce, which hugely affected the traffic in the check-out lines where most chewing gum sales occurred. We live in the 21st century of disruptive innovation and digital transformation. Change is the driving force for creative destruction and value creation! Thus, we need to spend more and more time understanding change and the people behind it rather than trying to find businesses that are unlikely to change over the next 5-10+ years. We also believe that the very definition of technology and the “tech sector” as Wall Street likes to coin it does not make sense anymore. Every single industry out there is being disrupted and if you are not a technologically-focused company, you are guaranteed to be out of business sooner or later. The pandemic of 2020-21 actually was a preview of what’s coming. Traditionally “safe” dividends and predictable “earnings” are no longer safe and predictable! Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) disrupted the traditional retail model (was not profitable until 2016 because it heavily reinvested its gross profits into widening its economic moat) Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) disrupted Hollywood, Cable TV and movie theatres (cash flow negative until 2020; reinvested $92 billion over past 10 yrs into content) Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Facebook (NASDAQ:META) disrupted the advertising industry, traditional media (newspapers, TV) Airbnb (NASDAQ:ABNB) disrupted the hotel and hospitality industry Spotify (NYSE:SPOT) disrupted the music industry and brought it back to life via streaming Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) disrupted the auto and transportation industry Uber (NYSE:UBER) and Lyft (NASDAQ:LYFT) disrupted the traditional taxi industry Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) disrupted everything (the way we spend our time, conduct business, travel, communicate) Zoom (NASDAQ:ZM), Slack (NYSE:CRM) and Snowflake (NYSE:SNOW) disrupting the way we work These are just a few examples of many disruptions going on right now. We cannot stop them, we can only embrace them, study them and be a part of them! Who We Are It is common knowledge that the average return in the U.S. equity asset category over the last century has been in the neighborhood of 9-10%. It just so happens that this figure correlates with the rate of return on the owner’s capital of the typical U.S. company. We posited from this observation that our return on an asset would therefore approximate the return on the owner’s capital, absent any distributions, and assuming a constant valuation. And since our stated goal is to compound our partners' capital at double-digit returns over time, we needed to identify this group of superior businesses, which earn double-digit rates of return on their owner’s capital. We have identified that investing in a few “extraordinary” businesses, as we define them, is the BEST way to achieve our goal. And to tie this back to our earlier discussion, extraordinary businesses are always built by extraordinary, passionate and almost fanatical people. These people are winners, missionaries and exhibit true passion for their vision of what they are building, and they believe in that with every cell in their body. Over many years, as we refined our investment philosophy, we found that our sole focus should be on identifying and partnering with these visionary CEOs and best entrepreneurs in the world, preferably in the earlier-to-mid stages of their careers. We are not venture investors and never just bet on pure ideas and vision. We like to bet on entrepreneurs that have already proven their abilities to execute against all odds. We like to see evidence of the strong competitive advantages forming. We focus all our efforts and energy on winners — companies that either are already #1 or have strong potential in becoming #1 in their respective industries. We found that this particular style and approach to investing fits who we are the best, and thus will create the most value for our investors over time. The process of identifying these requires intense multi-year research effort that dives deep into the DNA and the culture of the company, understanding the roots of the Founder/CEO, their motivations and mentality and the true source of their drive. These things are very intangible, but we believe they tell us the story that no financial statements could. By any means, this doesn’t mean that we don’t pay attention to numbers. We definitely do, but numbers to us are simply a longer-term confirmation that our original thesis is correct and that the management is executing against their strategy, and are in-fact, doing exactly what they promised. The next Chapter for Rowan Street To summarize, over the next 10+ years we will focus every bit of our time and energy on being true long-term business partners with the most extraordinary entrepreneurs in the world, who have already proven their ability to execute against their vision and strategy. We have been transitioning the Rowan portfolio to this strategy over the past 4 years. In our top 4 positions in the fund (Spotify, Meta, Trade Desk, Topicus) we have identified these “extraordinary” businesses that we talked about, and we believe they are run by some of the most passionate and missionary Founder CEOs in the world: Daniel Ek, Spotify (NYSE:SPOT) Founder and CEO Visionary entrepreneur who set out to reimagine the music industry and to provide a better way for both artists and consumers to benefit from the digital transformation of the music industry. He beat Apple, Amazon, Pandora to become the largest music streaming platform. Daniel owns 17% of the company, and his co-founder Martin Lorentzon owns 11%. When Spotify went public in 2018, they were a music-streaming company, but they have evolved dramatically over the last four years. Daniel Ek’s ambitions did not stop at music, as Spotify is focused on building the global audio infrastructure of the Internet. They are continuing to expand and build on the strong foundation in music, applying their learnings and leveraging their leading 420 million user base to move into new verticals like podcasting and audiobooks, ultimately broadening their value proposition. As a result, they are building a more resilient business. For example, in three years, Spotify has gone from basically zero to being the market leader in podcasting — a business that we believe will enable a large influx of high-margin revenue through advertising and direct monetization. Just as video content is a trillion-dollar opportunity, we view audio through a similar lens. Spotify has the potential to become the Google of audio. We believe Spotify is one of the most relevant digital platforms in existence today, as it has transformed itself to a fully-fledged platform where artists and creators can create, engage, and earn. A platform fueled by subscription, advertising and creator service models, applied to music, podcasts, audiobooks and more. At a current market value of just $20 billion, we think Wall Street is not appreciating the true long-term potential of the Spotify Machine. Mark Zuckerberg, Founder and CEO of Meta (NASDAQ:META) Mark does not need an introduction. We started buying Facebook shares back in 2018 when the stock was very depressed as Facebook was dealing with a long ‘dirty-laundry’ list of challenges. We were convinced that Facebook remains an extraordinary business with incredible moat (2.9B users), and they still have tons of opportunities to profitably reinvest their capital. We have been very impressed with how Zuck & Co. handled a long list of challenges over the past few years and managed to keep growing and innovating! There are not many CEOs in the world that are more committed to the long term vision of his company than Zuck. We encourage you to read his recent Founders Letter where Mark has outlined his vision (next chapter for the internet and next chapter for his company) — its hugely inspiring. Jeff Green, Founder/CEO of Trade Desk (NASDAQ:TTD) Jeff has been on a mission to make data-driven advertising as ubiquitous as electronic trading in equities ever since he founded the Trade Desk in 2009. Since day one, his goal was to create a platform where advertisers could value media inventory through data-driven decisions. With the ability to buy and sell advertising inventory electronically or programmatically, advertisers could use data to make better decisions on what, when, and whom to show an ad impression. Jeff owns 10% of the company. Jeff has built Trade Desk into a leader in ad tech, with a record of $6.2 billion spend on the platform in 2021, up 6x since 2016. Revenues are estimated to hit $1.6 billion in 2022, up almost 8x since 2016. Total Specific Solutions (TSS) was an operating group of Constellation Software (CSU:TSX) that was spun out in early-2020. Mark Leonard started Constellation Software (CSU) in 1995. Since then, he’s been on a 27-year acquisition bender of vertical market software (VMS) companies. Today, CSU is a collection of independently managed VMS businesses across dozens of verticals: hospitality, education, healthcare, banking, marine management, libraries, transportation, publishing, utilities, logistics, construction, retail… and the list goes on. Mark Leonard is one of the best compounders of capital in history. CSU stock is up 10,168% since it went public in 2006, which translates to 34% annual return. There are few public equities that can match this track record. The newly formed entity is called Topicus (CVE: TOI), which trades on the Canadian exchange. Topicus, operating in European markets, is effectively a carbon copy of CSU, with a nearly identical decentralized organizational structure, decentralized M&A process, sticky customers, and strong reputation as a perpetual owner of VMS businesses. Even the board of directors has meaningful overlap. In summary, all four entrepreneurs we discussed above have proven their ability to execute against all odds and they have built exceptional companies that are the leaders in their respective industries. Given a long-term investment horizon that we employ, we believe these leaders will continue to create significant shareholder value, and we expect to see significant appreciation in their stock prices over the next 3-5 years. New Position We have taken advantage of the recent downturn in the market to add another position to the fund that is consistent with our goal of partnering with the world’s most extraordinary businesses and entrepreneurs. Tobias Lutke, Shopify (NYSE:SHOP) Founder and CEO When Tobias Lütke opened an online snowboarding store in 2004, he realized how painfully cumbersome e-commerce software was. So he decided to create Shopify — a platform that made it easy for anyone to open up an online store. Tobi has built Shopify into one of the most popular e-commerce platforms in the world, with $175 billion in GMV (Gross Merchandise Value) and $4.6 billion in revenues in 2021. SHOP went public in 2015, when revenues were just lightly above $200 million, and the stock is up 1,233% since its IPO. Shopify stock peaked in November 2021 (traded at astronomical 47x sales), which coincided with peak enthusiasm for the tech-driven, “stay-home” stocks. Since then, the stock is down almost 80% and is currently trading at just 6x 2023E sales. We believe that Mr. Markeat is oferring us an exceptional value, at current price levels, for an exceptional company led by a very talented, visionary founder/CEO Why? Just like the entrepreneurs that we look to partner with, we are deeply passionate about what we do and where we are looking to take Rowan Street over the next 10-20 years. Building a fund like Rowan Street has been my dream ever since I read “The Warren Buffett Way” by Robert Hagstrom back when I was still in college. I believe with every cell in my body that the past 7 years since we started the fund has been a set-up for what’s coming. The experience and the lessons we had learned have given us a laser sharp focus. We know exactly where we are looking to “steer this ship.” This is not just a job to us. This is our life’s purpose — doing what we do at Rowan Street gets us out of bed in the morning. Our goal is to be the best, to establish one of the best and longest track records in the 21st century. And this journey and the achievement of this very audacious goal will not be possible without the trust of our like-minded and patient partners. This ties back to our original vision, which we outlined in our very first letter: “Our vision is to build something special at Rowan Street Capital, LLC where our partners can visualize themselves as part owners of a business they expect to stay with for a long time, just like they would if they owned a rental property or a farm in partnership with members of their family. The goal is to build a portfolio of great companies that will compound our partners’ family wealth at double digit rates of return over a long-term holding period.“ Power of Compounding vs. Human Nature John Maynard Keynes laid out his understanding of the quirky, contrarian nature of investing: “It’s the one sphere of life and activity where victory, security and success is always to the minority, and never to the majority. When you find everyone agreeing with you, change your mind. When I can persuade the board of my insurance company to buy a share, that, I am learning from experience, is the right moment for selling it.” As we write this letter today, the world is full of fear. Investor sentiment is extremely bearish fueled by the endless macroeconomic worries of rapidly rising inflation, increasing interest rates, the “looming recession”, the war, etc. This is in contrast to just 12 months ago, when the world was full of greed and speculative gambling behavior. Just a year ago, everyone was desperately trying to get rid of cash. That was the number one enemy and it was burning a hole in everyone’s pockets. The conventional wisdom was that inflation was going to destroy your cash and you have to desperately deploy your cash into any other asset (stocks, real estate, crypto) no matter what the asking price was. “Just get rid of it!” Now that the irrational, “bubble-like” valuations have come down significantly for almost all asset classes, having cash on the sidelines to take advantage of the newly created opportunities doesn’t seem so bad. Now, conventional wisdom is to sell your rapidly declining stocks and go to cash because that is the “prudent” thing to do in order to protect yourself and your net worth. Well, the conventional wisdom is long on convention and short on wisdom. Past couple of years have given us a perfect example of why more investors do not reap the benefits of compounding. The reason has surprisingly little to do with recessions, depressions, wars, financial crises, political crises, rising interest rates, inflation, stagflation, a global pandemic, or most adverse macroeconomic events. It is not adverse macro events that derail compounding, it is investors’ reactions to them. Majority of investors spend a lot of their time and energy on what we believe to be counterproductive behavior: trying to time the market (trying to sell before the next recession, trying to buy just before the next bull market), “repositioning” portfolios based on what is supposed to do better in the new paradigm (e.g. sell tech and buy energy and commodities), dumping stocks during a downturn, which deprives oneself of the means to eventually recover. This is precisely why compounding over the long term is so challenging and rare: it demands rational, grounded behavior that runs counter to human nature. Well, this is not our game to play! We believe that long-term wealth creation is about investing in great businesses with great people and compounding capital over the long term. So, despite wars, pandemics, recessions, inflations, etc…, it’s those investors that just continue to buy and own great businesses that generate excellent returns. We believe the proven secret to successful investing is simple: stay invested in great businesses and do not get too excited or fearful about the market gyrations that happen every day, and just keep with it. ”To make money in stocks you must have the vision to see them, the courage to buy them, and the patience to hold them. Patience is the rarest of the three.” — Thomas Phelps We have observed that all returns in life, whether its investing and wealth, health, relationships, or knowledge, come from compound interest. Thus, we believe in playing the long-term game with long-term people — this is where the Rowan Street train is going. We truly appreciate all of you that are on board, that trust us, and believe in our vision, and we hope that this ride will create plenty of wealth and satisfaction for all our partners! Office in New York City On a separate note, I have recently relocated to New York City. Joe is still based in Bellevue, WA. We have not opened an office here yet, but something we are considering down the line. Please feel free to reach out if you are visiting NYC this summer. Would be happy to grab a coffee or lunch. Best regards, Alex and Joe Updated on Jul 7, 2022, 9:11 am (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkJul 7th, 2022

Escobar: Behind The Tin Curtain - BRICS+ Vs NATO/G7

Escobar: Behind The Tin Curtain - BRICS+ Vs NATO/G7 Authored by Pepe Escobar via The Cradle, The west is nostalgically caught up with outdated 'containment' policies, this time against Global South integration. Unfortunately for them, the rest of the world is moving on, together. Once upon a time, there existed an Iron Curtain which divided the continent of Europe. Coined by former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, the term was in reference to the then-Soviet Union’s efforts to create a physical and ideological boundary with the west. The latter, for its part, pursued a policy of containment against the spread and influence of communism. Fast forward to the contemporary era of techno-feudalism, and there now exists what should be called a Tin Curtain, fabricated by the fearful, clueless, collective west, via G7 and NATO: this time, to essentially contain the integration of the Global South. BRICS against G7 The most recent and significant example of this integration has been the coming out of BRICS+ at last week’s online summit hosted by Beijing. This went far beyond establishing the lineaments of a ‘new G8,’ let alone an alternative to the G7. Just look at the interlocutors of the five historical BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa): we find a microcosm of the Global South, encompassing Southeast Asia, Central Asia, West Asia, Africa and South America – truly putting the “Global” in the Global South. Revealingly, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s clear messages during the Beijing summit, in sharp contrast to G7 propaganda, were actually addressed to the whole Global South: Russia will fulfill its obligations to supply energy and fertilizers. Russia expects a good grain harvest – and to supply up to 50 million tons to world markets. Russia will ensure passage of grain ships into international waters even as Kiev mined Ukrainian ports. The negative situation on Ukrainian grain is artificially inflated. The sharp increase in inflation around the world is the result of the irresponsibility of G7 countries, not Operation Z in Ukraine. The imbalance of world relations has been brewing for a long time and has become an inevitable result of the erosion of international law. An alternative system Putin also directly addressed one of the key themes that the BRICS have been discussing in depth since the 2000s — the design and implementation of an international reserve currency. “The Russian Financial Messaging System is open for connection with banks of the BRICS countries.” “The Russian MIR payment system is expanding its presence. We are exploring the possibility of creating an international reserve currency based on the basket of BRICS currencies,” the Russian leader said. This is inevitable after the hysterical western sanctions post-Operation Z; the total de-dollarization imposed upon Moscow; and increasing trade between BRICS nations. For instance, by 2030, a quarter of the planet’s oil demand will come from China and India, with Russia as the major supplier. The “RIC” in BRICS simply cannot risk being locked out of a G7-dominated financial system. Even tightrope-walking India is starting to catch the drift. Who speaks for the ‘international community?’ At its current stage, BRICS represent 40 percent of world population, 25 percent of the global economy, 18 percent of world trade, and contribute over 50 percent for world economic growth. All indicators are on the way up. Sergey Storchak, CEO of Russian bank VEG, framed it quite diplomatically: “If the voices of emerging markets are not being heard in the coming years, we need to think very seriously about setting up a parallel regional system, or maybe a global system.” A “parallel regional system” is already being actively discussed between the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU) and China, coordinated by Minister of Integration and Macroeconomics Sergey Glazyev, who has recently authored a stunning manifesto amplifying his ideas about world economic sovereignty. Developing the ‘developing world’ What happens in the trans-Eurasian financial front will proceed in parallel with a so far little known Chinese development strategy: the Global Development Initiative (GDI), announced by President Xi Jinping at the UN General Assembly last year. GDI can be seen as a support mechanism of the overarching strategy – which remains the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), consisting of economic corridors interlinking Eurasia all the way to its western peninsula, Europe. At the High-level Dialogue on Global Development, part of the BRICS summit, the Global South learned a little more about the GDI, an organization set up in 2015. In a nutshell, the GDI aims to turbo-charge international development cooperation by supplementing financing to a plethora of bodies, for instance the South-South Cooperation Fund, the International Development Association (IDA), the Asian Development Fund (ADF), and the Global Environment Facility (GEF). Priorities include “poverty reduction, food security, COVID-19 response and vaccines,” industrialization, and digital infrastructure. Subsequently, a Friends of the GDI group was established in early 2022 and has already attracted over 50 nations. BRI and GDI should be advancing in tandem, even as Xi himself made it clear during the BRICS summit that “some countries are politicizing and marginalizing the developmental agenda by building up walls and slapping crippling sanctions on others.” Then again, sustainable development is not exactly the G7’s cup of tea, much less NATO’s. Seven against the world The avowed top aim of the G7 summit in Schloss Elmau at the Bavarian Alps is to “project unity” – as in the stalwarts of the collective west (Japan included) united in sustainable and indefinite “support” for the irretrievably failed Ukrainian state. That’s part of the “struggle against Putin’s imperialism,” but then there’s also “the fight against hunger and poverty, health crisis and climate change,” as German chancellor Scholz told the Bundestag. In Bavaria, Scholz pushed for a Marshall Plan for Ukraine – a ludicrous concept considering Kiev and its environs might as well be reduced to a puny rump state by the end of 2022. The notion that the G7 may work to “prevent a catastrophic famine,” according to Scholz, reaches a paroxysm of ludicrousness, as the looming famine is a direct consequence of the G7-imposed sanctions hysteria. The fact that Berlin invited India, Indonesia, South Africa and Senegal as add-ons to the G7, served as additional comic relief. The Tin Curtain is up It would be futile to expect from the astonishing collection of mediocrities “united” in Bavaria, under de facto leader of the European Commission (EC), Fuehrer Ursula von der Leyen, any substantial analysis about the breakdown of global supply chains and the reasons that forced Moscow to reduce gas flows to Europe. Instead, they blamed Putin and Xi. Welcome to the Tin Curtain – a 21st century reinvention of the Intermarium from the Baltic to the Black Sea, masterminded by the Empire of Lies, complete with western Ukraine absorbed by Poland, the Three Baltic Midgets: Bulgaria, Romania, Slovenia, Czechia and even NATO-aspiring Sweden and Finland, all of whom will be protected from “the Russian threat.” An EU out of control The role of the EU, lording over Germany, France and Italy inside the G7 is particularly instructive, especially now that Britain is back to the status of an inconsequential island-state. As many as 60 European ‘directives’ are issued every year. They must be imperatively transposed into internal law of each EU member-state. In most cases, there’s no debate whatsoever. Then there are more than 10,000 European ‘rulings,’ where ‘experts’ at the European Commission (EC) in Brussels issue ‘recommendations’ to every government, straight out of the neoliberal canon, regarding their expenses, their income and ‘reforms’ (on health care, education, pensions) that must be obeyed. Thus elections in every single EU member-nation are absolutely meaningless. Heads of national governments – Macron, Scholz, Draghi – are mere executants. No democratic debate is allowed: ‘democracy,’ as with ‘EU values,’ are nothing than smokescreens. The real government is exercised by a bunch of apparatchiks chosen by compromise between executive powers, acting in a supremely opaque manner. The EC is totally outside of any sort of control. That’s how a stunning mediocrity like Ursula von der Leyen – previously the worst Minister of Defense of modern Germany – was catapulted upwards to become the current EC Fuhrer, dictating their foreign, energy and even economic policy. What do they stand for? From the perspective of the west, the Tin Curtain, for all its ominous Cold War 2.0 overtones, is merely a starter before the main course: hardcore confrontation across Asia-Pacific – renamed “Indo-Pacific” – a carbon copy of the Ukraine racket designed to contain China’s BRI and GDI. As a countercoup, it’s enlightening to observe how the Chinese foreign ministry now highlights in detail the contrast between BRICS – and BRICS+ – and the imperial AUKUS/Quad/IPEF combo. BRICS stand for de facto multilateralism; focus on global development; cooperation for economic recovery; and improving global governance. The US-concocted racket on the other hand, stands for Cold War mentality; exploiting developing countries; ganging up to contain China; and an America-first policy that enshrines the monopolistic “rules-based international order.” It would be misguided to expect those G7 luminaries gathered in Bavaria to understand the absurdity of imposing a price cap on Russian oil and gas exports, for instance. Were that to really happen, Moscow will have no problems fully cutting energy supply to the G7. And if other nations are excluded, the price of the oil and gas they import would drastically increase. BRICS paving the way forward So no wonder the future is ominous. In a stunning interview to Belarus state TV, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov summarized how “the west fears honest competition.” Hence, the apex of cancel culture, and “suppression of everything that contradicts in some way the neoliberal vision and arrangement of the world.” Lavrov also summarized the roadmap ahead, for the benefit of the whole Global South: “We don’t need a new G8. We already have structures…primarily in Eurasia. The EAEU is actively promoting integration processes with the PRC, aligning China’s Belt and Road Initiative with the Eurasian integration plans. Members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations are taking a close look at these plans. A number of them are signing free trade zone agreements with the EAEU. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization is also part of these processes… There is one more structure beyond the geographic borders of Eurasia.” “It is BRICS. This association is relying less and less on the Western style of doing business, and on Western rules for international currency, financial and trade institutions. They prefer more equitable methods that do not make any processes depend on the dominant role of the dollar or some other currency. The G20 fully represents BRICS and five more countries that share the positions of BRICS, while the G7 and its supporters are on the other side of the barricades.” ... “This is a serious balance. The G20 may deteriorate if the West uses it for fanning up confrontation. The structures I mentioned (SCO, BRICS, ASEAN, EAEU and CIS) rely on consensus, mutual respect and a balance of interests, rather than a demand to accept unipolar world realities.” Tin Curtain? More like Torn Curtain. Tyler Durden Wed, 06/29/2022 - 00:05.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytJun 29th, 2022

Jan. 6 live updates: Trump rattles off a dozen livid social media posts as ex-aide gives explosive testimony to Jan. 6 panel

The House select committee is investigating the Capitol riot and the role Donald Trump and his allies played in trying to overturn the 2020 election. Lawmakers listen as an image of a Trump campaign donation banner is shown behind them during a House January 6 committee hearing.Susan Walsh/AP The House committee investigating the Capitol riot held a surprise hearing on Tuesday. Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide under former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, testified. Hutchinson said that Trump knew supporters were armed and even tried to get to the Capitol himself. Trump rattles off a dozen livid social media posts as ex-aide gives explosive testimony to Jan. 6 panelA trailer for a documentary that centers on Trump and January 6 was released by Discovery Plus.Seth Herald/Getty ImagesFormer President Donald Trump on Tuesday unleashed a dozen social media posts in the wake of the testimony of a former top White House aide before the January 6 committee, calling the staffer a "total phony," "third rate social climber' and suggesting she was a "whacko" because of her handwriting."There is no cross examination of this so-called witness. This is a Kangaroo Court!" Trump wrote on his social media platform.In another post, he said that her "body language is that of a total bull…. artist. Fantasy Land!"Read MoreA former Trump White House chief of staff says the latest January 6 hearing provided 'stunning' new evidence of potential criminalityWASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 05: U.S. President Donald Trump (R) and Acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney (L) listen to comments during a luncheon with representatives of the United Nations Security Council, in the Cabinet Room at the White House on December 5, 2019 in Washington, DC.Mark Wilson/Getty ImagesTuesday's congressional hearing on the insurrection was a "very, very bad day" for the former president, former Trump White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said.The hearing featured a former White House aide testifying that Donald Trump knew some protesters were armed before they marched to the US Capitol — and that his own top advisors asked for pardons after the January 6 riot."A stunning 2 hours," Mulvaney, a onetime Trump loyalist, posted on Twitter following the testimony of Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to Mark Meadows, who succeeded Mulvaney as Trump's White House chief of staff.Keep ReadingA Capitol Police officer injured on January 6 said 'our own president set us up'US Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell wipes his eye as he watches a video being displayed during a House select committee hearing on the Jan. 6 attack on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 27, 2021.Jim Bourg/Pool via APA US Capitol Police officer injured during the January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol told HuffPost's Igor Bobic "our own president set us up" during the sixth public hearing of the House commitee investigating the Capitol riot. Sgt. Aquilino Gonell, an Army veteran who was in the room during Tuesday's hearing, testified before Congress last year about the injuries he suffered while defending the Capitol. Gonell underwent surgery and was moved to desk duty as a result of the injuries he sustained to his foot and shoulder while being physically attacked by rioters during the Capitol siege."I just feel betrayed," Gonell told Bobic on Tuesday. "The president should be doing everything possible to help us and he didn't do it. He wanted to lead the mob and wanted to lead the crowd himself ... he wanted to be a tyrant." Read MoreCongressman says Trump sent police to the Capitol to be 'potentially slaughtered'Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as people try to storm the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.Brent Stirton/Getty ImagesDemocratic Rep. Ruben Gallego said US Capitol cops were 'sent to be potentially slaughtered' on January 6 after a former White House staffer gave stunning testimony that former President Donald Trump knew that protesters were armed and heading to the Capitol. "If it wasn't because of this brave 25-year-old woman, we wouldn't even know what was happening," the Arizona lawmaker told reporters at the hearing on Thursday, referring to Cassidy Hutchinson. "This is a very sad moment in our country right now."Read Full StoryFormer top White House aide says Trump's attacks on Pence 'disgusted' herFormer Trump White House aide Cassidy HutchinsonJacquelyn Martin/APFormer top Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson said ex-President Donald Trump's attacks on then-Vice President Mike Pence during the Capitol riot "disgusted" her."I remember feeling frustrated, disappointed, and really, it felt personal, I was really sad," she testified when asked for her reaction to Trump's praise of the rioters on January 6, 2021. "As an American, I was disgusted. It was unpatriotic, it was un-American. We were watching the Capitol building get defaced over a lie." Read Full StoryLiz Cheney shares evidence of witness tampering at Jan. 6 hearingUS Representative Liz CheneyPhoto by OLIVIER DOULIERY/POOL/AFP via Getty ImagesJanuary 6 panel vice chair and GOP Rep. Liz Cheney shared two messages purportedly received by witnesses before their testimony that she said are signs of witness tampering.Cheney shared two messages that she said witnesses had received ahead of their depositions. The witnesses, who Cheney didn't name, subsequently shared the messages with the committee.In one, a witness received a phone call: "[A person] let me know you have your deposition tomorrow. He wants me to let you know that he's thinking about you. He knows you're loyal, and you're going to do the right thing when you go in for your deposition," the caller allegedly said.Witness tampering is a federal crime.Read MoreEx-White House aide said she wanted Mark Meadows to 'snap out of it' during Capitol riotFormer White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.AP Photo/Andrew HarnikTrump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows' former top aide testified that she wanted him to "snap out it" and pay attention to the chaos unfolding at the Capitol building on January 6, 2021.During her testimony before the January 6 committee, Cassidy Hutchinson said she saw Meadows on his couch on his phone as rioters stormed the Capitol building and fought with police.Hutchinson said she asked Meadows: "The rioters are getting really close. Have you talked with the president?"Meadows allegedly replied: "No, he wants to be alone right now."Read Full StoryRudy Giuliani and Mark Meadows both sought pardons from TrumpRudy Guiliani and Mark MeadowsGetty ImagesDonald Trump's lawyer and ex-mayor Rudy Giuliani as well as the president's Chief of Staff Mark Meadows both sought pardons after the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021.That's according to explosive testimony from Meadows' aide during a House hearing investigating the insurrection.Read Full Story Trump threw dishes and flipped tablecloths 'several times' while at the White House: former aideCassidy Hutchinson, a former top aide to Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, testifies before the January 6 committee in Washington, DC, on June 28, 2022.Brandon Bell/Getty ImagesFormer President Donald Trump's temper flared "several times" in the White House, a former top aide says, recounting how he threw dishes and flipped tablecloths in the White House dining room."There were several times throughout my tenure with the chief of staff that I was aware of him [Trump] either throwing dishes or flipping the tablecloth to let all the contents of the table go onto the floor and likely break or go everywhere," said former aide Cassidy Hutchinson.After one outburst, Hutchinson said she had to wipe ketchup off the wall.KEEP READINGFox News host: Trump throwing his lunch isn't 'wholly out of character'Fox News host Martha MacCallum downplayed new revelations about former President Donald Trump's violent outbursts while he attempted to overturn the 2020 election.Former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson testified that Trump threw a plate in the White House dining room after he found out former Attorney General Bill Barr publicly said there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud, leaving "ketchup dripping down the wall."MacCallum said the alleged outburst didn't sound "wholly out of character," even as a Fox News colleague called the revelations "stunning."Read Full StoryDonald Trump says he 'hardly' knows the former top aide who gave damning testimony against himDonald TrumpChet Strange/Getty ImagesFormer President Donald Trump called the ex-White House aide who gave damning testimony about his actions on January 6 "bad news" and said he "hardly" knew her."I hardly know who this person, Cassidy Hutchinson, is, other than I heard very negative things about her (a total phony and "leaker") ...," Trump wrote in part on his social media platform, Truth.Read Full StoryMike Flynn pleaded the 5th when asked whether the violence on January 6 was justifiedFormer National Security Advisor Michael Flynn at a campaign event in Brunswick, Ohio on April 21, 2022.Dustin Franz/Getty ImagesMike Flynn, a former 3-star general and Trump's national security advisor, waited over a minute before pleading the Fifth Amendment when asked if violence during the Capitol riot was justified.During a House panel on the insurrection, committee vice chair Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming aired a clip of Flynn appearing to struggle with the question.Flynn also refused to say whether he supported the peaceful transition of power.Read MoreTrump threw his lunch at the wall after Barr said there wasn't widespread voter fraud: ex-aideCassidy Hutchinson, a top former aide to Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, testifies during the sixth hearing by the House Select Committee on the January 6th insurrection in the Cannon House Office Building on June 28, 2022 in Washington, DC.Andrew Harnik-Pool/Getty ImagesA former top White House aide testified that ex-President Donald Trump threw his lunch at a wall after then-Attorney General Bill Barr told him there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud."There was ketchup dripping down the wall and there was a shattered porcelain plate on the floor," Cassidy Hutchinson testified on Tuesday before a House panel investigating the Captiol riot on January 6, 2021.Read Full StoryTrump said Mike Pence 'deserves it' as Capitol rioters chanted that he should be hung: ex-aideDonald Trump and former US Vice President Mike Pence in the Brady Briefing Room at the White House on April 2, 2020, in Washington, DC.MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty ImagesFormer President Donald Trump defended Capitol rioters who were chanting to hang Vice President Mike Pence during the Capitol riot, a top White House aide testified."Mike deserves it," Trump allegedly said, according to testimony from ex-aide Cassidy Hutchinson.Donald Trump also said that the rioters storming the Capitol building "weren't doing anything wrong." Read Full StoryEx-aide says top GOP Rep. Kevin McCarthy warned White House officials that Trump shouldn't go to the Capitol on January 6President Donald Trump (R) speaks as he joined by House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) (L) in the Rose Garden of the White House on January 4, 2019 in Washington, DC.Alex Wong/Getty ImagesFormer White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson testified that top House Republican Kevin McCarthy called White House advisors on January 6, 2021, warning that then-president Donald Trump should not come to the US Capitol.Hutchinson told a House panel that she got a call from McCarthy after Trump's speech on the Ellipse that day. McCarthy wasn't convinced that Trump wasn't planning to make his way to the Capitol building."Well, he just said it on stage, Cassidy. Figure it out. Don't come up here," she testified he said in the call.Read Full StoryTrump lunged at his driver and demanded to be taken to the Capitol on January 6.Former President Donald Trump.AP Photo/Joe MaioranaFormer President Donald Trump lunged at his driver and tried to grab the steering wheel on January 6, 2021, as he demanded to be taken to the Capitol building as his supporters were marching away from his speech that morning, a former aide testified.Cassidy Hutchinson, a former top aide to the then-White House chief of staff, told a House panel investigating the Capitol riot that a Secret Service agent relayed the story of what happened to her.Hutchinson said that Trump "said something to the effect of 'I'm the effing president, take me up to the Capitol now.' "Read Full StoryTrump knew the January 6 crowd was armed, but said 'they're not here to hurt me,' aide testifiesDonald TrumpSeth Herald/Getty ImagesA former White House aide said Donald Trump knew that his supporters were armed on January 6 hours before they stormed the Capitol building."I don't fucking care that they have weapons. They're not here to hurt me," Trump said the morning of the insurrection at the US Capitol, according to former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson.Hutchinson said Trump was incensed that there were gaps in the crowd of his speech on January 6.Read Full StoryTrump was 'fucking furious' armed supporters couldn't get to his speech: former aideFormer White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson.Brandon Bell/Getty ImagesAn ex-White House aide testified that President Donald Trump was "fucking furious" that people in the MAGA crowd weren't able to get to his speech on January 6, 2021 because they were carrying weapons.Trump was insistent that security remove the metal detectors outside the White House so more people with weapons could get into the grounds, former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson told the House panel investigating the insurrection.She also quoted the president as saying: "Take the fucking mags away. Let my people in. They can march to the Capitol from here."READ FULL STORY Feds seized John Eastman's phoneJohn Eastman testifies before the House Ways and Means Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 4, 2013.Charles Dharapak/APAnother big development emerged Monday in the widening federal criminal probe into Donald Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.This one involves federal agents who seized the phone of John Eastman, a conservative lawyer who advised Trump during his failed bid to stop the inauguration of Joe Biden. Eastman made the feds' move public in a filing with a New Mexico federal court, seeking the return of property from the government.According to his filing, FBI agents acting on behalf of DOJ's internal watchdog stopped Eastman as he was leaving a restaurant in New Mexico on June 22, taking his phone.Read Full StoryCassidy Hutchinson in the spotlightCassidy Hutchinson’s testimony is shown during the fifth January 6 committee hearing on June 23, 2022.Demetrius Freeman-Pool/Getty ImagesCassidy Hutchinson is the surprise lead witness for Tuesday's sixth hearing of the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection.The former top aide under then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows is a direct witness to many of the events and discussions of interest to the panel.She's given the committee several important pieces of information, including the six GOP House members who sought pardons from Trump and that the president told Meadows he agreed with rioters demands to "hang" Vice President Mike Pence.Read Full Story Select committee announces surprise hearing.January 6 committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi speaks to reporters following the committee’s fifth hearing on June 23, 2022.Brandon Bell/Getty ImagesThe Jan. 6 select committee announced it would hold a sixth hearing to start Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET during the congressional recess and despite previous statements that it would hold its next hearings in July.A committee advisory said it would present "recently obtained evidence" and feature witnesses, whom it did not name.Read Full StoryKamala Harris said she commended her vice presidential predecessor Mike Pence for 'courage' in certifying Biden as president despite Trump's pressureVice President Kamala Harris.Al Drago-Pool/Getty ImagesVice President Kamala Harris said Monday that she commended former Vice President Mike Pence for certifying Joe Biden as president on January 6 despite him facing tremendous pressure by former President Donald Trump to overturn the election. "I think that he did his job that day," Harris said in a CNN interview after reporter Dana Bash asked her whether her opinion of Pence had changed. "And I commend him for that because clearly it was under extraordinary circumstances that he should have not had to face. And I commend him for having the courage to do his job."This month the House Select Committee probing the January 6 Capitol attack has detailed how Trump tried to push Pence not to recognize Biden's victory in the days leading up to January 6, 2021. Trump wanted Pence to "send back" slates of electors for Biden back to their states in order to overturn his election loss. But Pence put out an open letter saying he didn't have the authority to take such actions, and his role in the certification process was largely ceremonial.Read Full StoryKevin McCarthy says it's 'all good' between him and Trump as the former president fumes about the lack of Republicans on the Jan. 6 committee: 'The right decision was the decision I made'Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and President Donald Trump.Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times/POOL/Getty ImagesHouse Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said on Monday that everything is good between him and Donald Trump as the former president publicly questions whether it was wise to keep more Republicans off of the House January 6 committee."The right decision was the decision I made," McCarthy told Fox News' Dana Perino. "If other people change their opinion, read the rules and I think they'll come back to the same conclusion." The former president and McCarthy have talked recently, according to the top House Republican. When Perino asked if things were "all good?" McCarthy responded, "Oh, all good. Yes."McCarthy repeated his long-held defense of the decision, arguing that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would have only selected Republicans that would have fit her views. The California Republican then named three of the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump as examples of people Pelosi would have supported.Read Full StoryHow to watch the House January 6 committee hearings on the Capitol attackVideo featuring former President Donald Trump’s White House senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner is played during a hearing by the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol in the Cannon House Office Building on June 13, 2022 in Washington, DC. Stepien, who was scheduled to testify in person, was unable to attend due to a family emergency. The bipartisan committee, which has been gathering evidence for almost a year related to the January 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol, will present its findings in a series of televised hearings. On January 6, 2021, supporters of former President Donald Trump attacked the U.S. Capitol Building during an attempt to disrupt a congressional vote to confirm the electoral college win for President Joe Biden.Photo by Alex Wong/Getty ImagesThe House Select Committee Investigating the January 6 Insurrection at the US Capitol is bringing to light its findings from a year's worth of work with a series of public hearings this summer. The select committee, formed in May 2021, has nine members, seven Democrats, including Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson, and two Republicans, Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger. Its members and staff have spent the past year conducting hundreds of closed-door interviews, poring over hundreds of thousands of documents, and parsing phone and email records to reconstruct how President Donald Trump and his allies sought to overturn his 2020 election loss before a mob of pro-Trump rioters breached the US Capitol in an effort to stop the final certification of the 2020 election. Five public hearings, including one in primetime, have already taken place, and one more hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, June 28. Read Full StoryJanuary 6 hearing takeaways: Pardon pleas, more Bill Barr, and a riveting account of how Trump turned to the Justice Department and a loyal lawyer to 'help legitimize his lies'TheBill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)Spanning more than two hours in the late afternoon, the House January 6 committee's fifth public hearing captured the drama that unfolded inside the Justice Department and White House as Trump looked to some of the country's most senior and important law enforcement officials to help him remain in power.READ FULL STORYMatt Gaetz 'personally' pushed for a pardon from Trump 'from the beginning of time up until today, for any and all things,' Trump officials testifyRepublican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida at the White House on May 8, 2020.Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty ImagesThe January 6 committee aired a series of video testimonies from former Trump administration officials detailing which Republican members of Congress sought pardons from former President Donald Trump at the end of his term as he and his allies exhausted different avenues to stay in power.Most prominently featured: Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida.According to various officials who spoke with the committee, Gaetz began pushing for a pardon well before other Republicans who were involved in the attempt to overturn the 2020 election."Mr. Gaetz was personally pushing for a pardon, and he was doing so since early December," said Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, in testimony aired by the committee on Thursday.READ FULL STORYFox News cut away from the Jan. 6 hearing minutes before testimony by Trump aides about GOP lawmakers who sought pardonsPlaque at the entrance to Fox News headquarters in New YorkErik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty ImagesJust as former Department of Justice Officials were detailing how they threatened to resign en masse if former President Donald Trump went ahead with his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, Fox News cut away to air its previously scheduled talk show, "The Five."CNN and MSNBC aired the hearings in full, which ended with Rep. Adam Kinzinger listing six GOP lawmakers whom Trump aides testified sought pardons in the administration's final weeks.Other than the first of the five hearings so far, Fox News has carried the proceedings without commercial breaks, save for recesses during the proceedings.READ FULL STORYDOJ officials threatened to resign if Jeffrey Clark was appointed Attorney GeneralJeff ClarkYuri Gripas-Pool/Getty ImagesTop officials at the US Department of Justice threatened to resign if former President Donald Trump succeeded in making loyalist Jeff Clark the acting Attorney General, per testimony before the January 6 committee on Thursday.Richard Donoghue, former acting deputy attorney general, said that the pledge to resign was made on a phone call in the wake of reports that Trump was considering installing Clark, who at the time was promoting unfounded conspiracy theories about the 2020 election."They would resign en masse if the president made that change," Donoghue told the committee. "All without hesitation said they would resign."At least six GOP members of Congress sought pardons after January 6, 2021, per testimony from a former White House aideRep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., joined from left by Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, and Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., speaks at a news conference about the treatment of people being held in the District of Columbia jail who are charged with crimes in the Jan. 6 insurrection, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021.J. Scott Applewhite/APCassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, testified Wednesday before the January 6 House panel that at least six House members asked the White House for a pardon following the Capitol siege.According to Hutchinson, Republican Reps. Matt Gaetz of Florida, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Mo Brooks of Alabama, Andy Biggs of Arizona, Louie Gohmert of Texas, and Scott Perry of Pennsylvania requested pardons.The former White House aide added that GOP Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio asked for an "update on whether the White House is going to pardon members of Congress" but did not personally ask for one.Keep Reading Trump suggested sending letter to states alleging 2020 election fraud, a former acting Attorney General Jeff Rosen testifiedFormer acting Attorney General Jeff Rosen has already testified about Trump's efforts to pressure DOJ.Yuri Gripas-Pool/Getty ImagesFormer acting Attorney General Jeff Rosen said on Thursday that then-President Donald Trump suggested that the Justice Department send letters to state legislatures in Georgia and other states alleging that there was voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election despite knowing there was no such evidence.Rosen told lawmakers on the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection that during Trump's final days in office, the former president and his campaign suggested several strategies for the Justice Department to overturn the presidential election results. These tactics included filing a lawsuit with the Supreme Court, making public statements, and holding a press conference."The Justice Department declined all of those requests that I was just referencing because we did not think they were appropriate based on the facts and the law, as we understood," Rosen said.Read MoreA former Trump DOJ official testified that former President Donald Trump urged him and other officials to 'just say the election was corrupt'Notes from Richard Donoghue displayed at the January 6 committee's hearing on June 23, 2022.Screenshot / C-SPANThe January 6 committee on Thursday displayed scans of notes taken by Richard Donoghue, then the acting deputy attorney general serving out the final days of the Trump administration.One note, displayed as Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois led the committee's questioning, included an apparent plea from then-President Donald Trump to "just say the election was corrupt" and "leave the rest to me and the [Republican] congressmen."Read Full StoryBill Barr says he's 'not sure we would have had a transition at all' to Biden if DOJ hadn't investigated Trump's baseless voter fraud claimsFormer Attorney General Bill Barr and former President Donald TrumpDrew Angerer/Getty ImagesFormer Attorney General William Barr said he was "not sure we would have had a transition at all" if the Justice Department had not investigated Donald Trump's claims of widespread voter fraud and found them baseless.In a closed-door deposition, Barr suggested to the House committee investigating the January 6 attack that Trump might not have left office voluntarily if DOJ had not proactively examined the election fraud claims ahead of Joe Biden's inauguration. Read Full Story'You would be committing a felony'Eric Herschmann spoke to the Jan. 6 committee on Thursday.Senate Television via APFormer White House attorney Eric Herschmann told the committee that he brutally mocked a plan from a Trump loyalist to hijack control of the Justice Department in a last-ditch effort to overturn the 2020 election."And when he finished discussing what he planned on doing, I said, 'good, fucking, excuse me, f-ing, a-hole, congratulations you just admitted that your first step or act you would take as attorney general would be committing a felony and violating rule 6c," Herschmann told the panel, per an excerpt of his previously private deposition that was released on Thursday.Read Full Story  Fast times in the CapitolActor Sean Penn and DC Metropolitan Police Department officer Daniel Hodges at the January 6 committee hearing on Capitol Hill on June 23, 2022.AP Photo/Jacquelyn MartinSean Penn is in the House.The actor and well known Hollywood activist made an unexpected appearance at the fifth hearing of the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection. "I'm just here to observe — just another citizen," Penn told a CNN reporter. "I think we all saw what happened on January 6 and now we're looking to see if justice comes on the other side of it."Read Full StoryLiz Cheney is mailing instructions to Democrats on how to change parties and vote for her in Wyoming's GOP primaryU.S. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) Vice Chairwoman of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol, delivers remarks during a hearing on the January 6th investigation on June 9, 2022.Win McNamee/Getty ImagesAs Rep. Liz Cheney faces a tough reelection battle in Wyoming, she's turning to Democrats in her home state to help her chances in the August 16 Republican primary.Cheney's campaign has mailed instructions to Wyoming Democrats on how to change their party affiliation to vote for the incumbent congresswoman, The New York Times reported on Thursday. Under Wyoming law, voters must be registered as a Democrat or a Republican in order to vote in that party's primary election. Read Full StoryFeds search home of former top Trump DOJ officialJeff ClarkYuri Gripas-Pool/Getty ImagesWe've got a major development that surfaced Thursday into what appears to be a widening federal investigation into Donald Trump's bid to overturn the 2020 presidential election.Federal investigators on Wednesday searched the Northern Virginia home of Jeff Clark, a former top Justice Department official who became the go-to Trump ally trying to push DOJ into backing the then-president's baseless claims about voter fraud.ABC News first reported this, and a DOJ spokesperson has since confirmed to Insider's Ryan Barber that law enforcement activity did indeed happen in the Washington DC suburb where Clark lives. The spokesperson wouldn't comment on the nature of the activity or about any specific individuals.Expect to hear Clark's name a couple times or more during Thursday's House select committee hearing as the panel examines Trump's efforts to use DOJ in his bid to stop Joe Biden from being sworn in as the country's 46th president.Read Full Story#unprecedentedA trailer for a documentary that centers on Trump and January 6 was released by Discovery Plus.Seth Herald/Getty ImagesHere's something that doesn't show up on the internet very often: a 30-second trailer for a new three-part documentary taking people behind the scenes of Donald Trump's presidency and the January 6 insurrection.But that's exactly what landed online late Wednesday via Discovery+, which shows footage of the new series titled "Unprecedented." The clip features Trump and his adult children Ivanka, Donald Trump Jr., and Eric Trump and closes with the ex-president himself agreeing to discuss the riot at the US Capitol. —discovery+ (@discoveryplus) June 23, 2022House January 6 investigators have the documentary footage too, courtesy of a subpoena that Politico reported about. And Trump allies were apparently in the dark about the filming, with one texting Rolling Stone: "what the fuck is this?"Read Full Story Hearings to resume at 3 p.m. ET Thursday with testimony expected from former DOJ officialsFormer Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen.Yuri Gripas-Pool/Getty ImagesThe January 6 commission's fifth hearing is expected to start at 3 p.m. Thursday, with testimony expected from former Trump-administration Justice Department officials. They are:Jeffrey Rosen, former acting attorney generalRichard Donoghue, former acting deputy attorney generalSteven Engel, former assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal CounselRosen served as acting attorney general in the final weeks of Trump's presidency. He previously told the committee how he came under persistent pressure from Trump to have the DOJ back Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 election, as Insider's C. Ryan Barber reported.Toward the end of his presidency, Trump considered ousting Rosen and installing Jeffrey Clark, a supporter of the bogus voter-fraud claims, in his place, but ultimately decided not to after officials threatened to resign if he went through.Analysis: Trump shot himself in the foot by opposing a bipartisan Jan. 6 commission because now he has no allies to defend him in scathing public hearingsLawmakers listen as an image of a Trump campaign donation banner is shown behind them during a House January 6 committee hearing.Susan Walsh/APAs the House's January 6 committee lays out in devastating detail Donald Trump's effort to overturn his defeat in the 2020 election, the former president is turning his anger on House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Trump has complained about McCarthy's decision to boycott the panel, with the former president telling the Punchbowl newsletter on Wednesday: "Republicans don't have a voice. They don't even have anything to say."But Trump has no one but himself to blame for the situation, one of his Republican critics pointed out, as he was the one who opposed the formation of a bipartisan commission equally split between Republicans and Democrats to investigate the riot. Read Full StoryTrump is hate-watching every Jan. 6 hearing and almost screams at the TV because he feels nobody is defending him, report saysDonald TrumpJoe Raedle/Getty ImagesFormer President Donald Trump is hate-watching the January 6 committee hearings, incensed because he believes nobody is defending him, according to The Washington Post.Trump is at "the point of about to scream at the TV" as he tunes in to each hearing, one unnamed close advisor told the paper. Another in his circle, also unnamed, told the paper that Trump continually complains that "there's no one to defend me" at the hearings, which have attracted huge amounts of media coverage.Per The Post, Trump's anger centers on House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who boycotted the committee at its formation, passing up the chance to put pro-Trump figures on the panel.Read Full StoryDOJ issued subpoenas to alleged fake Trump electors and a Trump campaign official, reports sayA general view shows a House January 6 committee hearing on Capitol Hill on June 9, 2022.Mandel Ngan/POOL/AFP via Getty ImagesThe Justice Department expanded its investigation into the Capitol riot after issuing subpoenas to a would-be Trump elector in Georgia and a Trump campaign official who worked in Arizona and New Mexico, The Washington Post and The New York Times reported Wednesday.Arizona, Georgia, and New Mexico are among the seven battleground states where a failed effort to overturn the election took place by appointing pro-Trump electors.The news comes after Rep. Adam Schiff said the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection obtained evidence that former President Donald Trump was involved in the aforementioned scheme.Read Full StoryTrump aides didn't know someone was filming Trump on January 6 until the House committee got the footage: reportsPresident Donald Trump listens as Jared Kushner speaks in the Oval Office of the White House on September 11, 2020.Andrew Harnik/AP PhotoAides to Donald Trump had no idea a documentary maker filmed the former president on January 6, 2021, until the House committee investigating that day subpoenaed the footage, reports said. The existence of the footage by UK documentarian Alex Holder was first reported by Politico on Tuesday.The outlet said that Holder complied with the House committee request and handed over several months of footage of Trump up to and including January 6. The New York Times reported that many top Trump advisors were surprised by news of the project, which was known to only a small circle of close Trump aides.Read Full StoryIvanka Trump claimed to believe Trump's false voter-fraud theories but later told Jan. 6 panel she didn't, report saysIvanka Trump.Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesIvanka Trump claimed to believe former President Donald Trump's false voter-fraud theories in a December 2020 interview, directly contradicting her testimony to congressional investigators earlier this year, a new report says.In April 2022, Trump had told the House committee investigating the Capitol riot that she had "accepted" former Attorney General Bill Barr's assessment that Donald Trump's claims of election fraud were wrong.But according to The New York Times, Ivanka Trump told the documentary filmmaker Alex Holder on December 10, 2020 — nine days after Barr made the assessment that supposedly swayed her — that she supported her father's efforts to challenge the 2020 election results.She said Trump should "continue to fight" the 2020 election results because Americans were questioning the "sanctity of our elections."Read Full StoryElection worker testifies that conspiracy theorists tried to citizen's arrest her grandmother after lies from Trump, GiulianiWandrea "Shaye" Moss, a former Georgia election worker, is comforted by her mother Ruby Freeman, right, during the House January 6 committee's hearing.AP Photo/Jacquelyn MartinA Georgia election worker testified that her grandmother faced a citizen's arrest by a group of election deniers who tried pushing their way into her house due to election lies told by former President Donald Trump and former personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani.Wandrea "Shaye" Moss, an election worker in Fulton County, Georgia, told lawmakers during a January 6 select committee hearing that she and her mother Ruby Freeman, who worked as a short-term election worker in 2020, were among the workers counting ballots at State Farm Arena in Atlanta. When Giuliani and Trump accused those workers of orchestrating election fraud, Moss said her family faced death threats and were pushed out of town, living in Airbnbs for two months around January 6 at the FBI's recommendation.Moss said she endured racist harassment as well, adding that a group of people influenced by the election conspiracies showed up to her grandmother's house and tried to perform a citizen's arrest.Read Full StoryWhere's Pat Cipollone?Former White House Counsel Pat CipolloneAlex Wong/Getty ImagesPaging Pat Cipollone.The former White House counsel under then-President Donald Trump is now front and center as a top witness the House committee investigating the January 6 insurrection still wants to hear from.That's according to Rep. Liz Cheney, who publicly called Tuesday for Cipollone to testify about evidence the committee has collected showing that he "tried to do what was right" as  Trump pushed to overturn the 2020 election.Cheney also noted that the House panel is also "certain" Trump doesn't want Cipollone to testify. His previous job as Trump's top White House attorney could complicate the matter, though as Insider's Ryan Barber points out in his story, Bill Barr did participate in its investigation.Read Full StorySexualized texts, a break-in and doxxingsGeorgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger is sworn in to testify on Tuesday before the House select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.Jacquelyn Martin/AP PhotoTuesday's House select committee featured jaw-dropping testimony from election officials who detailed the threats they faced after refusing to go along with then President Donald Trump's bid to overturn the 2020 election results.One big dose of it came from Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who explained how he received texts from all over the US and eventually his wife became a target of harassment too. "My wife started getting the texts and hers typically came in as sexualized texts, which were disgusting," Raffensperger said during his testimony before the January 6 committee. "You have to understand that Trish and I met in high school and we have been married over 40 years now. They started going after her I think to probably put pressure on me: 'Why don't you just quit and walk away?'" Raffensperger also testified about Trump supporters who broke into the home of his daughter-in-law, a widow with two children. And he said his phone and email were doxxed, meaning that someone had posted the number and email publicly so that people would message him. Read Full StoryDeath threatsWandrea ArShaye “Shaye” Moss, a former Georgia election worker, is sworn in before January 6 committee on June 21, 2022.Kevin Dietsch/Getty ImagesA Black former Georgia election worker delivered stark testimony on Tuesday about the racist and deadly threats that came when President Donald Trump publicly attacked her and her mother amid his drive to overturn the 2020 election results.Insider's Bryan Metzger has more on the remarks from Wandrea ArShaye "Shaye" Moss, a veteran election official in Fulton County who ended up on the receiving end of myriad threats after Rudy Giuliani specifically named her and her mom when speaking to the Georgia state Senate."They included threats, a lot of threats wishing death upon me," Moss said. "Telling me that, you know, I'll be in jail with my mother, and saying things like, 'Be glad it's 2020 and not 1920.'" Read Full Story'We were just kind of useful idiots'Former President Donald Trump speaks during a rally in Delaware, Ohio, on April 23, 2022.Drew Angerer/Getty Images"We were just kind of useful idiots, or rubes at that point."That's a quote from former Donald Trump 2020 campaign staffer Robert Sinner describing to the House January 6 investigators his displeasure with a scheme to overturn now-President Joe Biden's 2020 victory in Georgia.Sinner's remarks were broadcast in a video recording shown during Tuesday's select committee hearing, Insider's John Dorman reports.Read Full Story Suspicious package found outside House hearing roomThe House panel investigating the January 6 insurrection.Photo by Jabin Botsford-Pool/Getty ImagesThe House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection kept on going Tuesday despite a suspicious package being found right outside the hearing room where the panel was meeting.Insider's Lauren Frias reported that the US Capitol Police officials did issue an all-clear about an hour after first sending out its alert. The police advised staff and visitors on the premises to stay away from the area during the incident. A Fox News producer tweeted that the package appeared to be an unattended backpack on top of a walker outside of the House building.Read Full Story'Do not give that to him'Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and former Vice President Mike Pence.Drew Angerer and Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty ImagesGOP Sen. Ron Johnson sought to deliver a slate of "alternate" electors to then-Vice President Mike Pence ahead of the counting of votes during a Joint Session of Congress on January 6, 2021.That's according to a series of eye-catching text messages first displayed by the January 6 committee on Tuesday, Insider's Bryan Metzger reported."Johnson needs to hand something to VPOTUS please advise," Sean Riley, Johnson's chief of staff, wrote of the materials that were related to "alternate" electors from two contested Midwestern states that Democratic nominee Joe Biden had narrowly carried: Michigan and Wisconsin. "What is it?" replied Chris Hodgson, a legislative aide to Pence."Alternate slate of elector for MI and WI because archivist didn't receive them," Riley replied."Do not give that to him," Hodgson replied.Read Full StoryRudy admitted to not having election fraud evidenceRudy Giuliani, former lawyer for President Donald Trump.William B. Plowman/NBC/NBC Newswire/NBCUniversal via Getty ImagesRudy Giuliani admitted to not having any evidence of election fraud after the 2020 presidential election despite repeatedly claiming he did, according to the Republican speaker of the Arizona state House."My recollection, he said, 'We've got lots of theories, we just don't have the evidence,'" Russell "Rusty" Bowers, the Arizona official, said in describing a conversation with then-President Donald Trump's personal attorney.Bowers, a Trump supporter, was testifying on Tuesday before the House January 6 select committee to recount his interactions with Giuliani and the Trump legal team surrounding the events of the last presidential election.He called the Trump team "a tragic parody" and compared them to the 1971 comedy "The Gang Who Couldn't Shoot Straight."Read Full Story A very real threat to the 2022 midtermsCouy Griffin, a central figure in a New Mexico county's refusal to certify recent election results based on debunked conspiracy theories about voting machines, has avoided more jail time for joining the mob that attacked the US Capitol.AP Photo/Gemunu AmarasingheThe House select committee's January 6 hearings have spotlighted the very real threat to future US elections, including the midterms coming up this November.That's the big takeaway from a story by Insider's Grace Panetta published Tuesday that looks at how a court had to intercede after New Mexico county commission initially refused to certify results from the state's June 7 primary."The election denial movement pushed by Trump and his allies that spurred so many to attack the Capitol on January 6 has now fanned out to county commissions, town halls, and polling places around the country, presenting wholly novel burdens on election officials and new threats to the health of American democracy," Grace wrote.Read Full StoryTrump is ready to abandon attorney John Eastman after he was criticized in committee hearings, report saysJohn Eastman at a pro-Trump rally on January 6, 2021.Jim Bourg/ReutersFormer President Donald Trump sees no reason to defend the conservative attorney John Eastman, Rolling Stone reported.The decision the outlet relayed came in light of the heavy scrutiny of Eastman in the Congressional Jan. 6 committee hearings, which detailed his role helping Trump try to overturn the 2020 election.Eastman wrote a memo detailing a last-ditch plan for Vice President Mike Pence to block Joe Biden's certification as president on January 6, 2021, at the Congressional proceeding which was interrupted by the Capitol riot.Citing two sources close to Trump, the outlet reported that the committee's focus on Eastman in its public hearings had bothered Trump, and that Trump has started distancing himself from the attorney.READ FULL STORYFull list of witness testifying on June 21Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers is among those scheduled to testify in the committee's June 21 hearing.AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, FileInsider's Warren Rojas has a roster of those scheduled to appear in the committee's public hearings. See the full list below.Read Full StoryJan. 6 committee subpoenas filmmaker who interviewed Trump before and after the riotTrump speaks to supporters from the Ellipse near the White House on January 6, 2021, in Washington, DC.Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty ImagesThe January 6 committee sent a subpoena to Alex Holder, a documentary filmmaker who interviewed Trump before and after the Capitol riot, Politico's Playbook newsletter reported Tuesday.The existence of this footage had never been reported before, and Holder is expected to fully cooperate with the panel, Playbook reported.Holder also spent several months interviewing members of Trump's family, including his children Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, and Eric Trump, and his son-in-law Jared Kushner, Playbook reported.The subpoena asked Holder to provide any raw footage he might have from the Capitol riot and interviews with Trump, his family, and former Vice President Mike Pence, as well as any footage he has of discussions about voter fraud in the 2020 election.Trump boasts he's been impeached twice and screams 'nothing matters!' amid ongoing January 6 hearingsFormer President Donald Trump gives the keynote address at the Faith and Freedom Coalition during their annual conference on June 17, 2022, in Nashville, Tennessee.Seth Herald/Getty ImagesFormer President Donald Trump on Friday bragged that he was impeached twice, while recycling his false claims about the 2020 election and attacking former Vice President Mike Pence and former Attorney General William Barr.Delivering a speech to the Faith and Freedom Coalition in Nashville, the former president said Pence didn't have the courage to embrace his effort to overturn the election and mocked Barr for being "afraid" of getting impeached."What's wrong with being impeached? I got impeached twice and my poll numbers went up," Trump said.Read Full StoryGinni Thomas says she 'can't wait' to talk to Jan. 6 committee after it asks for interview over her efforts to overturn 2020 electionGinni ThomasChip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesGinni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, said she "can't wait' to talk to the House January 6 commission after it asked to interview her over her efforts to overturn the 2020 election."I can't wait to clear up misconceptions. I look forward to talking to them," Thomas told the right-wing news site The Daily Caller. She did not say what those misconceptions might be.Her comments come after the House Select Committee investigating the Capitol riot announced that it had requested an interview with her. Rep. Bennie Thompson, the committee's chairman, said the panel wanted to talk to her "soon," Axios reported.Thomas faces scrutiny over her connections to former President Donald Trump's attempts to overturn the 2020 election. Read Full StoryEven on the day of the Capitol riot, Rudy Giuliani was still doubtful if Mike Pence had the power to overturn the election, says ex-Trump lawyerRudy Giuliani.Jacquelyn Martin/APEric Herschmann, a former Trump White House lawyer, revealed on Thursday that even on the morning of the Capitol riot, Rudy Giuliani was still debating whether then-Vice President Mike Pence had the power to overturn the votes in the 2020 election. Herschmann's testimony was aired on Thursday during the third of six public hearings organized by the January 6 committee investigating the Capitol riot. Thursday's session centered on the pressure exerted by the Trump camp in a bid to get Pence to overturn the vote.Herschmann said he received a call "out of the blue" from Giuliani on the morning of January 6, 2021, concerning what Pence's role would be that day."And, you know, he was asking me my view and analysis and then the practical implications of it," Herschmann said, who described the call as an "intellectual discussion." "And when we finished, he said, like, 'I believe that, you know, you're probably right.'" Read Full StoryMike Pence's former lawyer said he warned Trump's camp that overturning votes would lead to the 2020 election being 'decided in the streets'Then-US President Donald Trump arrives with then- Vice President Mike Pence for a "Make America Great Again" rally in Michigan on November 2, 2020.PhoPhoto by Brendan Smialowski / AFP via Getty ImagesA lawyer for former Vice President Mike Pence said that he strongly disagreed with conservative lawyer John Eastman about the Trump camp's plan to overturn the 2020 election result and warned Eastman that it might lead to violence in the streets.Testifying on Thursday before the January 6 panel investigating the Capitol riot, Greg Jacob said he had spoken to Eastman on January 5, 2021. During their conversation, Jacob said he expressed his "vociferous disagreement" with the plan for Pence to overturn the electoral vote on behalf of former President Donald Trump and send the votes back to their respective states. "Among other things, if the courts did not step in to resolve this, there was nobody else to resolve it," Jacob testified. Read Full StoryDemocracy on the brinkPeople arrive before a hearing of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 16, 2022.Drew Angerer/Pool Photo via APAmerican democracy was on the brink like no time ever before.That's the lede paragraph from Insider's Grace Panetta in her story that sums up the biggest takeaways from Thursday's historic and marathon third public hearing of the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the US Capitol.Grace writes that the two lead witnesses, Greg Jacob and Michael Luttig, were steeped in legal expertise and constitutional scholarship as they explained at a granular and methodical level why neither the Electoral Count Act nor the 12th Amendment permitted then-Vice President Mike Pence to unilaterally reject Electoral College votes for President-elect Joe Biden.Then-President Donald Trump and one of his personal legal advisors, John Eastman, were pushing the vice president to do exactly that in a break with all of US history. Read Full StoryMAGA world a "clear and present danger to American democracy"Michael Luttig, a retired federal judge who was an adviser to former Vice President Mike Pence, looks at Greg Jacob, former counsel to Vice President Mike Pence, as he testifies before the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 16, 2022.J. Scott Applewhite/AP PhotoFormer President Donald Trump and his supporters remain a "clear and present danger to American democracy."Those were the startling words of Michael Luttig, a retired federal judge who has long been championed by Republicans. He made them near the end of Thursday's marathon House select committee hearing into the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the US Capitol.Luttig, who advised then-Vice President Mike Pence about his ceremonial role on January 6, also went on to say Trump world is being more than blunt about its plans to manipulate the results of the next election for the White House. "The former president and his allies are executing that blueprint for 2024 in open and plain view of the American public," Luttig testified, per Insider's Warren Rojas. Read Full Story'1 more relatively minor violation' of election law...please?Former Trump legal adviser John EastmanAP Photo/Susan WalshIt's perhaps one of the biggest bombshells to come out of Thursday's House select committee hearing on the Capitol insurrection: a Trump lawyer putting in writing a request to break the law.The no-no came from John Eastman, who sent an email at 11:44 p.m. on the night of January 6, 2021, repeated his demand that Vice President Mike Pence halt the proceedings to certify the 2020 election and send it back to the states for a period of 10 days."So now that the precedent has been set that the Electoral Count Act is not quite so sacrosanct as was previously claimed, I implore you to consider one more relatively minor violation and adjourn for 10 days to allow the legislatures to finish their investigations, as well as to allow a full forensic audit of the massive amount of illegal activity that has occurred here," Eastman wrote to Pence lawyer Greg Jacob.Insider's Jake Lahut writes that the Eastman email was sent after Jacob and the then-vice president's staff and family, had been sheltering in place in a secure location during the riot.Read Full StoryEastman asked Giuliani to be added to Trump's pardon listJohn Eastman appeared onstage with Rudy Giuliani at the pro-Trump rally that preceded the January 6 attack on the Capitol.Jim Bourg/ReutersThe House panel investigating the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the Capitol made some news on Thursday by disclosing evidence that conservative lawyer John Eastman wanted to get added to lame-duck President Donald Trump's pardon list.Eastman was pushing to overturn the 2020 election, and as Insider's Oma Seddiq reports, his efforts prompted an email to personal Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani. "I've decided I should be on the pardon list, if that is still in the works," Eastman wrote  to Giuliani, according to Rep. Pete Aguilar, a lawmaker on the January 6 panel who read the email during Thursday's hearing. Eastman ultimately did not receive a pardon. Read Full StoryAides say Trump called Pence 'P-word' and 'wimp' on Jan. 6 callTrump and Pence at a White House event on July 13, 2020.AP Photo/Evan VucciThe language got pretty profane in the White House on the morning of January 6, 2021, Insider's Bryan Metzger reports.That's according to former aides who testified to the House select committee investigating the Capitol insurrection about a call then-President Donald Trump made to Mike Pence, his vice president."I remember hearing the word 'wimp'. Either he called him a wimp — I don't remember if he said, 'you are a wimp, you'll be a wimp' — wimp is the word I remember," said Nicholas Luna, a former assistant to Trump.Julie Radford, who served as Ivanka Trump's chief of staff, told the committee that Ivanka told her that the president "just had an upsetting conversation with the Vice President" in which he called Pence "the P-word."Read Full Story'Secret' MAGA back channel Jan. 6 investigators are teasing is also Oath Keepers' legal defenseStewart Rhodes, founder of the citizen militia group known as the Oath Keepers speaks during a rally outside the White House in Washington, on June 25, 2017.Susan Walsh/APThe House January 6 investigators keep on teasing how there'll soon be upcoming testimony that reveals secret coordination between Trumpworld and extremist groups.But as Insider's Laura Italiano points out in a new story, the Oath Keepers have long boasted of such a back channel.In fact, leader and founder Elmer Stewart Rhodes and other members of the pro-Trump militia are staking their seditious-conspiracy defense case on these yet-described communications with rally organizers.Read Full StoryCruz wanted the ex-judge testifying against Trump as a SCOTUS justiceRepublican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and retired Judge Michael Luttig.AP Photos/Manuel Balce Ceneta and Susan WalshThere's an interesting twist to the retired conservative federal Judge Michael Luttig testifying as a key witness in Thursday's January 6 committee hearing.Insider's Bryan Metzger dug up video from the 2016 GOP presidential primary debates showing Luttig was once named by Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas as an ideal Supreme Court nominee.—bryan metzger (@metzgov) June 16, 2022 Bryan writes that it was "yet another example of just how much former President Donald Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results has divided the conservative legal world."Read Full Story   DOJ: House's 'failure' to share transcripts hurting Jan. 6 investigationsTrump supporters clash with police and security forces as people try to storm the Capitol on January 6, 2021 in Washington.Brent Stirton/Getty ImagesMore public tension is emerging between the Justice Department and the House panel investigating the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the US Capitol.Insider's Ryan Barber has the details on a new letter sent Wednesday from the top US attorney in Washington DC to the House panel. There, the DOJ official says that the House panel has complicated criminal cases with its 'failure' to turn over interview transcripts to prosecutions.DOJ is looking for access to more than 1,000 interviews the congressional panel has conducted during its months-long examination of the Capitol attack and former President Donald Trump's effort to overturn the 2020 election.Read Full StoryJudge Luttig: If Pence tossed valid electoral votes it would have been 'a revolution'Michael Luttig, a retired federal judge who was an adviser to former Vice President Mike Pence, testifies Thursday to the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.AP Photo/Susan WalshSome really powerful testimony to start Thursday's January 6 select committee hearing from former federal judge J. Michael Luttig.In his opening remarks, he told the panel investigating the insurrection at the US Capitol that Vice President Mike Pence overturning the 2020 election would've pushed the country into 'the first constitutional crisis since the founding of the republic.'"That declaration of Donald Trump as the next president would have launched America into what I believe would have been tantamount to a revolution within a constitutional crisis in America which in my view would have been the first constitutional crisis since the founding of the Republic," Luttig told lawmakers during a hearing Thursday. Read Full StoryFormer Pence counsel says 'the law is not a plaything' for presidentsVice President Mike PenceScott J. Applewhite/APMike Pence's former counsel Greg Jacob is a lead witness in Thursday's third public hearing for the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol.In his written statement submitted before the hearing, Jacob called serving the vice president "the honor of a lifetime," while also warning that the rule of law is "not a plaything" for political leaders to bend per their whim."The law is not a plaything for presidents or judges to use to remake the world in their preferred image," he wrote. "Our Constitution and our laws form the strong edifice within which our heartfelt policy disagreements are to be debated and decided."Insider's Grace Panetta has more on Jacob's testimony and spells out why he was a key figure in rebuffing the intense pressure campaign and efforts to compel Pence to obstruct or meddle with the count. Read Full StoryJanuary 6 committee says it will 'soon' seek interview with Ginni ThomasConservative activist Ginni Thomas and January 6 committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi.AP Photos/Susan Walsh and J. Scott ApplewhiteConservative activist Ginni Thomas, the wife of conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, should be expecting an interview request soon from the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol."We think it's time that we, at some point, invite her to come talk to the committee," Rep. Bennie Thompson, the Democratic chair of the panel, told Axios' Andrew Solender. He added that the invitation would come "soon."Thomas has recently come under scrutiny for her role in seeking to overturn the 2020 election, including emailing Trump lawyer John Eastman and pressuring 29 state legislators in Arizona to overturn the state's 2020 election results.Read Full Story  Meet the former Trump attorney starring in the January 6 hearingEric Herschmann, former White House attorney, speaks with the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol on June 13, 2022.(House Select Committee via APAnyone remember Eric Herschmann? The White House attorney burst into the national spotlight defending President Donald Trump during his first Senate impeachment trial way back in the early pre-pandemic days of 2020.Now he's back, but for a very different reason.That's the story that Oma Seddiq just delivered for Insider readers ahead of Thursday's House January 6 hearing profiling Herschmann. He's been in the news as video clips make the rounds of his testimony where he talks about warning Trump and his allies after the presidential election that there was no proof the race was rigged and stolen, and their efforts may be illegal. In addition to his colorful language, Herschmann has drawn notice because he gave his deposition in a room with a baseball bat hanging on the wall and the word "JUSTICE" inscribed on it in bold, white letters. Observers also have noted a large painting behind him of a panda, by the artist Rob Pruitt, is similar to one that appeared in the 2015 erotic drama "50 Shades of Grey."Read Full StoryNick Quested explains how it felt to testify before the January 6 committeeBritish filmmaker Nick Queste.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 28th, 2022

Jan. 6 live updates: Trump defended Capitol rioters chanting to hang Pence, ex-aide testifies

The House select committee is investigating the Capitol riot and the role Donald Trump and his allies played in trying to overturn the 2020 election. Lawmakers listen as an image of a Trump campaign donation banner is shown behind them during a House January 6 committee hearing.Susan Walsh/AP The House committee investigating the Capitol riot is holding a surprise hearing at 1 p.m. ET Tuesday. Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide under former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, is testifying. Rudy Giuliani and Mark Meadows both wanted pardons after the Capitol riot, she said. Rudy Giuliani and Mark Meadows both sought pardons from TrumpRudy Guiliani and Mark MeadowsGetty ImagesDonald Trump's lawyer and ex-mayor Rudy Giuliani as well as the president's Chief of Staff Mark Meadows both sought pardons after the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021.That's according to explosive testimony from Meadows' aide during a House hearing investigating the insurrection.Read Full Story Trump threw dishes and flipped tablecloths 'several times' while at the White House: former aideCassidy Hutchinson, a former top aide to Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, testifies before the January 6 committee in Washington, DC, on June 28, 2022.Brandon Bell/Getty ImagesFormer President Donald Trump's temper flared "several times" in the White House, a former top aide says, recounting how he threw dishes and flipped tablecloths in the White House dining room."There were several times throughout my tenure with the chief of staff that I was aware of him [Trump] either throwing dishes or flipping the tablecloth to let all the contents of the table go onto the floor and likely break or go everywhere," said former aide Cassidy Hutchinson.After one outburst, Hutchinson said she had to wipe ketchup off the wall.KEEP READINGDonald Trump says he 'hardly' knows the former top aide who gave damning testimony against himDonald TrumpChet Strange/Getty ImagesFormer President Donald Trump called the ex-White House aide who gave damning testimony about his actions on January 6 "bad news" and said he "hardly" knew her."I hardly know who this person, Cassidy Hutchinson, is, other than I heard very negative things about her (a total phony and "leaker") ...," Trump wrote in part on his social media platform, Truth.Read Full StoryMike Flynn pleaded the 5th when asked whether the violence on January 6 was justifiedFormer National Security Advisor Michael Flynn at a campaign event in Brunswick, Ohio on April 21, 2022.Dustin Franz/Getty ImagesMike Flynn, a former 3-star general and Trump's national security advisor, waited over a minute before pleading the Fifth Amendment when asked if violence during the Capitol riot was justified.During a House panel on the insurrection, committee vice chair Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming aired a clip of Flynn appearing to struggle with the question.Flynn also refused to say whether he supported the peaceful transition of power.Read MoreTrump threw his lunch at the wall after Barr said there wasn't widespread voter fraud: ex-aideCassidy Hutchinson, a top former aide to Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, testifies during the sixth hearing by the House Select Committee on the January 6th insurrection in the Cannon House Office Building on June 28, 2022 in Washington, DC.Andrew Harnik-Pool/Getty ImagesA former top White House aide testified that ex-President Donald Trump threw his lunch at a wall after then-Attorney General Bill Barr told him there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud."There was ketchup dripping down the wall and there was a shattered porcelain plate on the floor," Cassidy Hutchinson testified on Tuesday before a House panel investigating the Captiol riot on January 6, 2021.Read Full StoryTrump said Mike Pence 'deserves it' as Capitol rioters chanted that he should be hung: ex-aideDonald Trump and former US Vice President Mike Pence in the Brady Briefing Room at the White House on April 2, 2020, in Washington, DC.MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty ImagesFormer President Donald Trump defended Capitol rioters who were chanting to hang Vice President Mike Pence during the Capitol riot, a top White House aide testified."Mike deserves it," Trump allegedly said, according to testimony from ex-aide Cassidy Hutchinson.Donald Trump also said that the rioters storming the Capitol building "weren't doing anything wrong." Read Full StoryEx-aide says top GOP Rep. Kevin McCarthy warned White House officials that Trump shouldn't go to the Capitol on January 6President Donald Trump (R) speaks as he joined by House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) (L) in the Rose Garden of the White House on January 4, 2019 in Washington, DC.Alex Wong/Getty ImagesFormer White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson testified that top House Republican Kevin McCarthy called White House advisors on January 6, 2021, warning that then-president Donald Trump should not come to the US Capitol.Hutchinson told a House panel that she got a call from McCarthy after Trump's speech on the Ellipse that day. McCarthy wasn't convinced that Trump wasn't planning to make his way to the Capitol building."Well, he just said it on stage, Cassidy. Figure it out. Don't come up here," she testified he said in the call.Read Full StoryTrump lunged at his driver and demanded to be taken to the Capitol on January 6.Former President Donald Trump.AP Photo/Joe MaioranaFormer President Donald Trump lunged at his driver and tried to grab the steering wheel on January 6, 2021, as he demanded to be taken to the Capitol building as his supporters were marching away from his speech that morning, a former aide testified.Cassidy Hutchinson, a former top aide to the then-White House chief of staff, told a House panel investigating the Capitol riot that a Secret Service agent relayed the story of what happened to her.Hutchinson said that Trump "said something to the effect of 'I'm the effing president, take me up to the Capitol now.' "Read Full StoryTrump knew the January 6 crowd was armed, but said 'they're not here to hurt me,' aide testifiesDonald TrumpSeth Herald/Getty ImagesA former White House aide said Donald Trump knew that his supporters were armed on January 6 hours before they stormed the Capitol building."I don't fucking care that they have weapons. They're not here to hurt me," Trump said the morning of the insurrection at the US Capitol, according to former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson.Hutchinson said Trump was incensed that there were gaps in the crowd of his speech on January 6.Read Full StoryTrump was 'fucking furious' armed supporters couldn't get to his speech: former aideFormer White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson.Brandon Bell/Getty ImagesAn ex-White House aide testified that President Donald Trump was "fucking furious" that people in the MAGA crowd weren't able to get to his speech on January 6, 2021 because they were carrying weapons.Trump was insistent that security remove the metal detectors outside the White House so more people with weapons could get into the grounds, former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson told the House panel investigating the insurrection.She also quoted the president as saying: "Take the fucking mags away. Let my people in. They can march to the Capitol from here."READ FULL STORY Feds seized John Eastman's phoneJohn Eastman testifies before the House Ways and Means Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 4, 2013.Charles Dharapak/APAnother big development emerged Monday in the widening federal criminal probe into Donald Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.This one involves federal agents who seized the phone of John Eastman, a conservative lawyer who advised Trump during his failed bid to stop the inauguration of Joe Biden. Eastman made the feds' move public in a filing with a New Mexico federal court, seeking the return of property from the government.According to his filing, FBI agents acting on behalf of DOJ's internal watchdog stopped Eastman as he was leaving a restaurant in New Mexico on June 22, taking his phone.Read Full StoryCassidy Hutchinson in the spotlightCassidy Hutchinson’s testimony is shown during the fifth January 6 committee hearing on June 23, 2022.Demetrius Freeman-Pool/Getty ImagesCassidy Hutchinson is the surprise lead witness for Tuesday's sixth hearing of the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection.The former top aide under then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows is a direct witness to many of the events and discussions of interest to the panel.She's given the committee several important pieces of information, including the six GOP House members who sought pardons from Trump and that the president told Meadows he agreed with rioters demands to "hang" Vice President Mike Pence.Read Full Story Select committee announces surprise hearing.January 6 committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi speaks to reporters following the committee’s fifth hearing on June 23, 2022.Brandon Bell/Getty ImagesThe Jan. 6 select committee announced it would hold a sixth hearing to start Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET during the congressional recess and despite previous statements that it would hold its next hearings in July.A committee advisory said it would present "recently obtained evidence" and feature witnesses, whom it did not name.Read Full StoryKamala Harris said she commended her vice presidential predecessor Mike Pence for 'courage' in certifying Biden as president despite Trump's pressureVice President Kamala Harris.Al Drago-Pool/Getty ImagesVice President Kamala Harris said Monday that she commended former Vice President Mike Pence for certifying Joe Biden as president on January 6 despite him facing tremendous pressure by former President Donald Trump to overturn the election. "I think that he did his job that day," Harris said in a CNN interview after reporter Dana Bash asked her whether her opinion of Pence had changed. "And I commend him for that because clearly it was under extraordinary circumstances that he should have not had to face. And I commend him for having the courage to do his job."This month the House Select Committee probing the January 6 Capitol attack has detailed how Trump tried to push Pence not to recognize Biden's victory in the days leading up to January 6, 2021. Trump wanted Pence to "send back" slates of electors for Biden back to their states in order to overturn his election loss. But Pence put out an open letter saying he didn't have the authority to take such actions, and his role in the certification process was largely ceremonial.Read Full StoryKevin McCarthy says it's 'all good' between him and Trump as the former president fumes about the lack of Republicans on the Jan. 6 committee: 'The right decision was the decision I made'Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and President Donald Trump.Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times/POOL/Getty ImagesHouse Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said on Monday that everything is good between him and Donald Trump as the former president publicly questions whether it was wise to keep more Republicans off of the House January 6 committee."The right decision was the decision I made," McCarthy told Fox News' Dana Perino. "If other people change their opinion, read the rules and I think they'll come back to the same conclusion." The former president and McCarthy have talked recently, according to the top House Republican. When Perino asked if things were "all good?" McCarthy responded, "Oh, all good. Yes."McCarthy repeated his long-held defense of the decision, arguing that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would have only selected Republicans that would have fit her views. The California Republican then named three of the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump as examples of people Pelosi would have supported.Read Full StoryHow to watch the House January 6 committee hearings on the Capitol attackVideo featuring former President Donald Trump’s White House senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner is played during a hearing by the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol in the Cannon House Office Building on June 13, 2022 in Washington, DC. Stepien, who was scheduled to testify in person, was unable to attend due to a family emergency. The bipartisan committee, which has been gathering evidence for almost a year related to the January 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol, will present its findings in a series of televised hearings. On January 6, 2021, supporters of former President Donald Trump attacked the U.S. Capitol Building during an attempt to disrupt a congressional vote to confirm the electoral college win for President Joe Biden.Photo by Alex Wong/Getty ImagesThe House Select Committee Investigating the January 6 Insurrection at the US Capitol is bringing to light its findings from a year's worth of work with a series of public hearings this summer. The select committee, formed in May 2021, has nine members, seven Democrats, including Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson, and two Republicans, Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger. Its members and staff have spent the past year conducting hundreds of closed-door interviews, poring over hundreds of thousands of documents, and parsing phone and email records to reconstruct how President Donald Trump and his allies sought to overturn his 2020 election loss before a mob of pro-Trump rioters breached the US Capitol in an effort to stop the final certification of the 2020 election. Five public hearings, including one in primetime, have already taken place, and one more hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, June 28. Read Full StoryJanuary 6 hearing takeaways: Pardon pleas, more Bill Barr, and a riveting account of how Trump turned to the Justice Department and a loyal lawyer to 'help legitimize his lies'TheBill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)Spanning more than two hours in the late afternoon, the House January 6 committee's fifth public hearing captured the drama that unfolded inside the Justice Department and White House as Trump looked to some of the country's most senior and important law enforcement officials to help him remain in power.READ FULL STORYMatt Gaetz 'personally' pushed for a pardon from Trump 'from the beginning of time up until today, for any and all things,' Trump officials testifyRepublican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida at the White House on May 8, 2020.Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty ImagesThe January 6 committee aired a series of video testimonies from former Trump administration officials detailing which Republican members of Congress sought pardons from former President Donald Trump at the end of his term as he and his allies exhausted different avenues to stay in power.Most prominently featured: Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida.According to various officials who spoke with the committee, Gaetz began pushing for a pardon well before other Republicans who were involved in the attempt to overturn the 2020 election."Mr. Gaetz was personally pushing for a pardon, and he was doing so since early December," said Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, in testimony aired by the committee on Thursday.READ FULL STORYFox News cut away from the Jan. 6 hearing minutes before testimony by Trump aides about GOP lawmakers who sought pardonsPlaque at the entrance to Fox News headquarters in New YorkErik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty ImagesJust as former Department of Justice Officials were detailing how they threatened to resign en masse if former President Donald Trump went ahead with his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, Fox News cut away to air its previously scheduled talk show, "The Five."CNN and MSNBC aired the hearings in full, which ended with Rep. Adam Kinzinger listing six GOP lawmakers whom Trump aides testified sought pardons in the administration's final weeks.Other than the first of the five hearings so far, Fox News has carried the proceedings without commercial breaks, save for recesses during the proceedings.READ FULL STORYDOJ officials threatened to resign if Jeffrey Clark was appointed Attorney GeneralJeff ClarkYuri Gripas-Pool/Getty ImagesTop officials at the US Department of Justice threatened to resign if former President Donald Trump succeeded in making loyalist Jeff Clark the acting Attorney General, per testimony before the January 6 committee on Thursday.Richard Donoghue, former acting deputy attorney general, said that the pledge to resign was made on a phone call in the wake of reports that Trump was considering installing Clark, who at the time was promoting unfounded conspiracy theories about the 2020 election."They would resign en masse if the president made that change," Donoghue told the committee. "All without hesitation said they would resign."At least six GOP members of Congress sought pardons after January 6, 2021, per testimony from a former White House aideRep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., joined from left by Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, and Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., speaks at a news conference about the treatment of people being held in the District of Columbia jail who are charged with crimes in the Jan. 6 insurrection, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021.J. Scott Applewhite/APCassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, testified Wednesday before the January 6 House panel that at least six House members asked the White House for a pardon following the Capitol siege.According to Hutchinson, Republican Reps. Matt Gaetz of Florida, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Mo Brooks of Alabama, Andy Biggs of Arizona, Louie Gohmert of Texas, and Scott Perry of Pennsylvania requested pardons.The former White House aide added that GOP Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio asked for an "update on whether the White House is going to pardon members of Congress" but did not personally ask for one.Keep Reading Trump suggested sending letter to states alleging 2020 election fraud, a former acting Attorney General Jeff Rosen testifiedFormer acting Attorney General Jeff Rosen has already testified about Trump's efforts to pressure DOJ.Yuri Gripas-Pool/Getty ImagesFormer acting Attorney General Jeff Rosen said on Thursday that then-President Donald Trump suggested that the Justice Department send letters to state legislatures in Georgia and other states alleging that there was voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election despite knowing there was no such evidence.Rosen told lawmakers on the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection that during Trump's final days in office, the former president and his campaign suggested several strategies for the Justice Department to overturn the presidential election results. These tactics included filing a lawsuit with the Supreme Court, making public statements, and holding a press conference."The Justice Department declined all of those requests that I was just referencing because we did not think they were appropriate based on the facts and the law, as we understood," Rosen said.Read MoreA former Trump DOJ official testified that former President Donald Trump urged him and other officials to 'just say the election was corrupt'Notes from Richard Donoghue displayed at the January 6 committee's hearing on June 23, 2022.Screenshot / C-SPANThe January 6 committee on Thursday displayed scans of notes taken by Richard Donoghue, then the acting deputy attorney general serving out the final days of the Trump administration.One note, displayed as Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois led the committee's questioning, included an apparent plea from then-President Donald Trump to "just say the election was corrupt" and "leave the rest to me and the [Republican] congressmen."Read Full StoryBill Barr says he's 'not sure we would have had a transition at all' to Biden if DOJ hadn't investigated Trump's baseless voter fraud claimsFormer Attorney General Bill Barr and former President Donald TrumpDrew Angerer/Getty ImagesFormer Attorney General William Barr said he was "not sure we would have had a transition at all" if the Justice Department had not investigated Donald Trump's claims of widespread voter fraud and found them baseless.In a closed-door deposition, Barr suggested to the House committee investigating the January 6 attack that Trump might not have left office voluntarily if DOJ had not proactively examined the election fraud claims ahead of Joe Biden's inauguration. Read Full Story'You would be committing a felony'Eric Herschmann spoke to the Jan. 6 committee on Thursday.Senate Television via APFormer White House attorney Eric Herschmann told the committee that he brutally mocked a plan from a Trump loyalist to hijack control of the Justice Department in a last-ditch effort to overturn the 2020 election."And when he finished discussing what he planned on doing, I said, 'good, fucking, excuse me, f-ing, a-hole, congratulations you just admitted that your first step or act you would take as attorney general would be committing a felony and violating rule 6c," Herschmann told the panel, per an excerpt of his previously private deposition that was released on Thursday.Read Full Story  Fast times in the CapitolActor Sean Penn and DC Metropolitan Police Department officer Daniel Hodges at the January 6 committee hearing on Capitol Hill on June 23, 2022.AP Photo/Jacquelyn MartinSean Penn is in the House.The actor and well known Hollywood activist made an unexpected appearance at the fifth hearing of the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection. "I'm just here to observe — just another citizen," Penn told a CNN reporter. "I think we all saw what happened on January 6 and now we're looking to see if justice comes on the other side of it."Read Full StoryLiz Cheney is mailing instructions to Democrats on how to change parties and vote for her in Wyoming's GOP primaryU.S. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) Vice Chairwoman of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol, delivers remarks during a hearing on the January 6th investigation on June 9, 2022.Win McNamee/Getty ImagesAs Rep. Liz Cheney faces a tough reelection battle in Wyoming, she's turning to Democrats in her home state to help her chances in the August 16 Republican primary.Cheney's campaign has mailed instructions to Wyoming Democrats on how to change their party affiliation to vote for the incumbent congresswoman, The New York Times reported on Thursday. Under Wyoming law, voters must be registered as a Democrat or a Republican in order to vote in that party's primary election. Read Full StoryFeds search home of former top Trump DOJ officialJeff ClarkYuri Gripas-Pool/Getty ImagesWe've got a major development that surfaced Thursday into what appears to be a widening federal investigation into Donald Trump's bid to overturn the 2020 presidential election.Federal investigators on Wednesday searched the Northern Virginia home of Jeff Clark, a former top Justice Department official who became the go-to Trump ally trying to push DOJ into backing the then-president's baseless claims about voter fraud.ABC News first reported this, and a DOJ spokesperson has since confirmed to Insider's Ryan Barber that law enforcement activity did indeed happen in the Washington DC suburb where Clark lives. The spokesperson wouldn't comment on the nature of the activity or about any specific individuals.Expect to hear Clark's name a couple times or more during Thursday's House select committee hearing as the panel examines Trump's efforts to use DOJ in his bid to stop Joe Biden from being sworn in as the country's 46th president.Read Full Story#unprecedentedA trailer for a documentary that centers on Trump and January 6 was released by Discovery Plus.Seth Herald/Getty ImagesHere's something that doesn't show up on the internet very often: a 30-second trailer for a new three-part documentary taking people behind the scenes of Donald Trump's presidency and the January 6 insurrection.But that's exactly what landed online late Wednesday via Discovery+, which shows footage of the new series titled "Unprecedented." The clip features Trump and his adult children Ivanka, Donald Trump Jr., and Eric Trump and closes with the ex-president himself agreeing to discuss the riot at the US Capitol. —discovery+ (@discoveryplus) June 23, 2022House January 6 investigators have the documentary footage too, courtesy of a subpoena that Politico reported about. And Trump allies were apparently in the dark about the filming, with one texting Rolling Stone: "what the fuck is this?"Read Full Story Hearings to resume at 3 p.m. ET Thursday with testimony expected from former DOJ officialsFormer Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen.Yuri Gripas-Pool/Getty ImagesThe January 6 commission's fifth hearing is expected to start at 3 p.m. Thursday, with testimony expected from former Trump-administration Justice Department officials. They are:Jeffrey Rosen, former acting attorney generalRichard Donoghue, former acting deputy attorney generalSteven Engel, former assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal CounselRosen served as acting attorney general in the final weeks of Trump's presidency. He previously told the committee how he came under persistent pressure from Trump to have the DOJ back Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 election, as Insider's C. Ryan Barber reported.Toward the end of his presidency, Trump considered ousting Rosen and installing Jeffrey Clark, a supporter of the bogus voter-fraud claims, in his place, but ultimately decided not to after officials threatened to resign if he went through.Analysis: Trump shot himself in the foot by opposing a bipartisan Jan. 6 commission because now he has no allies to defend him in scathing public hearingsLawmakers listen as an image of a Trump campaign donation banner is shown behind them during a House January 6 committee hearing.Susan Walsh/APAs the House's January 6 committee lays out in devastating detail Donald Trump's effort to overturn his defeat in the 2020 election, the former president is turning his anger on House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Trump has complained about McCarthy's decision to boycott the panel, with the former president telling the Punchbowl newsletter on Wednesday: "Republicans don't have a voice. They don't even have anything to say."But Trump has no one but himself to blame for the situation, one of his Republican critics pointed out, as he was the one who opposed the formation of a bipartisan commission equally split between Republicans and Democrats to investigate the riot. Read Full StoryTrump is hate-watching every Jan. 6 hearing and almost screams at the TV because he feels nobody is defending him, report saysDonald TrumpJoe Raedle/Getty ImagesFormer President Donald Trump is hate-watching the January 6 committee hearings, incensed because he believes nobody is defending him, according to The Washington Post.Trump is at "the point of about to scream at the TV" as he tunes in to each hearing, one unnamed close advisor told the paper. Another in his circle, also unnamed, told the paper that Trump continually complains that "there's no one to defend me" at the hearings, which have attracted huge amounts of media coverage.Per The Post, Trump's anger centers on House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who boycotted the committee at its formation, passing up the chance to put pro-Trump figures on the panel.Read Full StoryDOJ issued subpoenas to alleged fake Trump electors and a Trump campaign official, reports sayA general view shows a House January 6 committee hearing on Capitol Hill on June 9, 2022.Mandel Ngan/POOL/AFP via Getty ImagesThe Justice Department expanded its investigation into the Capitol riot after issuing subpoenas to a would-be Trump elector in Georgia and a Trump campaign official who worked in Arizona and New Mexico, The Washington Post and The New York Times reported Wednesday.Arizona, Georgia, and New Mexico are among the seven battleground states where a failed effort to overturn the election took place by appointing pro-Trump electors.The news comes after Rep. Adam Schiff said the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection obtained evidence that former President Donald Trump was involved in the aforementioned scheme.Read Full StoryTrump aides didn't know someone was filming Trump on January 6 until the House committee got the footage: reportsPresident Donald Trump listens as Jared Kushner speaks in the Oval Office of the White House on September 11, 2020.Andrew Harnik/AP PhotoAides to Donald Trump had no idea a documentary maker filmed the former president on January 6, 2021, until the House committee investigating that day subpoenaed the footage, reports said. The existence of the footage by UK documentarian Alex Holder was first reported by Politico on Tuesday.The outlet said that Holder complied with the House committee request and handed over several months of footage of Trump up to and including January 6. The New York Times reported that many top Trump advisors were surprised by news of the project, which was known to only a small circle of close Trump aides.Read Full StoryIvanka Trump claimed to believe Trump's false voter-fraud theories but later told Jan. 6 panel she didn't, report saysIvanka Trump.Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesIvanka Trump claimed to believe former President Donald Trump's false voter-fraud theories in a December 2020 interview, directly contradicting her testimony to congressional investigators earlier this year, a new report says.In April 2022, Trump had told the House committee investigating the Capitol riot that she had "accepted" former Attorney General Bill Barr's assessment that Donald Trump's claims of election fraud were wrong.But according to The New York Times, Ivanka Trump told the documentary filmmaker Alex Holder on December 10, 2020 — nine days after Barr made the assessment that supposedly swayed her — that she supported her father's efforts to challenge the 2020 election results.She said Trump should "continue to fight" the 2020 election results because Americans were questioning the "sanctity of our elections."Read Full StoryElection worker testifies that conspiracy theorists tried to citizen's arrest her grandmother after lies from Trump, GiulianiWandrea "Shaye" Moss, a former Georgia election worker, is comforted by her mother Ruby Freeman, right, during the House January 6 committee's hearing.AP Photo/Jacquelyn MartinA Georgia election worker testified that her grandmother faced a citizen's arrest by a group of election deniers who tried pushing their way into her house due to election lies told by former President Donald Trump and former personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani.Wandrea "Shaye" Moss, an election worker in Fulton County, Georgia, told lawmakers during a January 6 select committee hearing that she and her mother Ruby Freeman, who worked as a short-term election worker in 2020, were among the workers counting ballots at State Farm Arena in Atlanta. When Giuliani and Trump accused those workers of orchestrating election fraud, Moss said her family faced death threats and were pushed out of town, living in Airbnbs for two months around January 6 at the FBI's recommendation.Moss said she endured racist harassment as well, adding that a group of people influenced by the election conspiracies showed up to her grandmother's house and tried to perform a citizen's arrest.Read Full StoryWhere's Pat Cipollone?Former White House Counsel Pat CipolloneAlex Wong/Getty ImagesPaging Pat Cipollone.The former White House counsel under then-President Donald Trump is now front and center as a top witness the House committee investigating the January 6 insurrection still wants to hear from.That's according to Rep. Liz Cheney, who publicly called Tuesday for Cipollone to testify about evidence the committee has collected showing that he "tried to do what was right" as  Trump pushed to overturn the 2020 election.Cheney also noted that the House panel is also "certain" Trump doesn't want Cipollone to testify. His previous job as Trump's top White House attorney could complicate the matter, though as Insider's Ryan Barber points out in his story, Bill Barr did participate in its investigation.Read Full StorySexualized texts, a break-in and doxxingsGeorgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger is sworn in to testify on Tuesday before the House select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.Jacquelyn Martin/AP PhotoTuesday's House select committee featured jaw-dropping testimony from election officials who detailed the threats they faced after refusing to go along with then President Donald Trump's bid to overturn the 2020 election results.One big dose of it came from Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who explained how he received texts from all over the US and eventually his wife became a target of harassment too. "My wife started getting the texts and hers typically came in as sexualized texts, which were disgusting," Raffensperger said during his testimony before the January 6 committee. "You have to understand that Trish and I met in high school and we have been married over 40 years now. They started going after her I think to probably put pressure on me: 'Why don't you just quit and walk away?'" Raffensperger also testified about Trump supporters who broke into the home of his daughter-in-law, a widow with two children. And he said his phone and email were doxxed, meaning that someone had posted the number and email publicly so that people would message him. Read Full StoryDeath threatsWandrea ArShaye “Shaye” Moss, a former Georgia election worker, is sworn in before January 6 committee on June 21, 2022.Kevin Dietsch/Getty ImagesA Black former Georgia election worker delivered stark testimony on Tuesday about the racist and deadly threats that came when President Donald Trump publicly attacked her and her mother amid his drive to overturn the 2020 election results.Insider's Bryan Metzger has more on the remarks from Wandrea ArShaye "Shaye" Moss, a veteran election official in Fulton County who ended up on the receiving end of myriad threats after Rudy Giuliani specifically named her and her mom when speaking to the Georgia state Senate."They included threats, a lot of threats wishing death upon me," Moss said. "Telling me that, you know, I'll be in jail with my mother, and saying things like, 'Be glad it's 2020 and not 1920.'" Read Full Story'We were just kind of useful idiots'Former President Donald Trump speaks during a rally in Delaware, Ohio, on April 23, 2022.Drew Angerer/Getty Images"We were just kind of useful idiots, or rubes at that point."That's a quote from former Donald Trump 2020 campaign staffer Robert Sinner describing to the House January 6 investigators his displeasure with a scheme to overturn now-President Joe Biden's 2020 victory in Georgia.Sinner's remarks were broadcast in a video recording shown during Tuesday's select committee hearing, Insider's John Dorman reports.Read Full Story Suspicious package found outside House hearing roomThe House panel investigating the January 6 insurrection.Photo by Jabin Botsford-Pool/Getty ImagesThe House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection kept on going Tuesday despite a suspicious package being found right outside the hearing room where the panel was meeting.Insider's Lauren Frias reported that the US Capitol Police officials did issue an all-clear about an hour after first sending out its alert. The police advised staff and visitors on the premises to stay away from the area during the incident. A Fox News producer tweeted that the package appeared to be an unattended backpack on top of a walker outside of the House building.Read Full Story'Do not give that to him'Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and former Vice President Mike Pence.Drew Angerer and Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty ImagesGOP Sen. Ron Johnson sought to deliver a slate of "alternate" electors to then-Vice President Mike Pence ahead of the counting of votes during a Joint Session of Congress on January 6, 2021.That's according to a series of eye-catching text messages first displayed by the January 6 committee on Tuesday, Insider's Bryan Metzger reported."Johnson needs to hand something to VPOTUS please advise," Sean Riley, Johnson's chief of staff, wrote of the materials that were related to "alternate" electors from two contested Midwestern states that Democratic nominee Joe Biden had narrowly carried: Michigan and Wisconsin. "What is it?" replied Chris Hodgson, a legislative aide to Pence."Alternate slate of elector for MI and WI because archivist didn't receive them," Riley replied."Do not give that to him," Hodgson replied.Read Full StoryRudy admitted to not having election fraud evidenceRudy Giuliani, former lawyer for President Donald Trump.William B. Plowman/NBC/NBC Newswire/NBCUniversal via Getty ImagesRudy Giuliani admitted to not having any evidence of election fraud after the 2020 presidential election despite repeatedly claiming he did, according to the Republican speaker of the Arizona state House."My recollection, he said, 'We've got lots of theories, we just don't have the evidence,'" Russell "Rusty" Bowers, the Arizona official, said in describing a conversation with then-President Donald Trump's personal attorney.Bowers, a Trump supporter, was testifying on Tuesday before the House January 6 select committee to recount his interactions with Giuliani and the Trump legal team surrounding the events of the last presidential election.He called the Trump team "a tragic parody" and compared them to the 1971 comedy "The Gang Who Couldn't Shoot Straight."Read Full Story A very real threat to the 2022 midtermsCouy Griffin, a central figure in a New Mexico county's refusal to certify recent election results based on debunked conspiracy theories about voting machines, has avoided more jail time for joining the mob that attacked the US Capitol.AP Photo/Gemunu AmarasingheThe House select committee's January 6 hearings have spotlighted the very real threat to future US elections, including the midterms coming up this November.That's the big takeaway from a story by Insider's Grace Panetta published Tuesday that looks at how a court had to intercede after New Mexico county commission initially refused to certify results from the state's June 7 primary."The election denial movement pushed by Trump and his allies that spurred so many to attack the Capitol on January 6 has now fanned out to county commissions, town halls, and polling places around the country, presenting wholly novel burdens on election officials and new threats to the health of American democracy," Grace wrote.Read Full StoryTrump is ready to abandon attorney John Eastman after he was criticized in committee hearings, report saysJohn Eastman at a pro-Trump rally on January 6, 2021.Jim Bourg/ReutersFormer President Donald Trump sees no reason to defend the conservative attorney John Eastman, Rolling Stone reported.The decision the outlet relayed came in light of the heavy scrutiny of Eastman in the Congressional Jan. 6 committee hearings, which detailed his role helping Trump try to overturn the 2020 election.Eastman wrote a memo detailing a last-ditch plan for Vice President Mike Pence to block Joe Biden's certification as president on January 6, 2021, at the Congressional proceeding which was interrupted by the Capitol riot.Citing two sources close to Trump, the outlet reported that the committee's focus on Eastman in its public hearings had bothered Trump, and that Trump has started distancing himself from the attorney.READ FULL STORYFull list of witness testifying on June 21Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers is among those scheduled to testify in the committee's June 21 hearing.AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, FileInsider's Warren Rojas has a roster of those scheduled to appear in the committee's public hearings. See the full list below.Read Full StoryJan. 6 committee subpoenas filmmaker who interviewed Trump before and after the riotTrump speaks to supporters from the Ellipse near the White House on January 6, 2021, in Washington, DC.Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty ImagesThe January 6 committee sent a subpoena to Alex Holder, a documentary filmmaker who interviewed Trump before and after the Capitol riot, Politico's Playbook newsletter reported Tuesday.The existence of this footage had never been reported before, and Holder is expected to fully cooperate with the panel, Playbook reported.Holder also spent several months interviewing members of Trump's family, including his children Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, and Eric Trump, and his son-in-law Jared Kushner, Playbook reported.The subpoena asked Holder to provide any raw footage he might have from the Capitol riot and interviews with Trump, his family, and former Vice President Mike Pence, as well as any footage he has of discussions about voter fraud in the 2020 election.Trump boasts he's been impeached twice and screams 'nothing matters!' amid ongoing January 6 hearingsFormer President Donald Trump gives the keynote address at the Faith and Freedom Coalition during their annual conference on June 17, 2022, in Nashville, Tennessee.Seth Herald/Getty ImagesFormer President Donald Trump on Friday bragged that he was impeached twice, while recycling his false claims about the 2020 election and attacking former Vice President Mike Pence and former Attorney General William Barr.Delivering a speech to the Faith and Freedom Coalition in Nashville, the former president said Pence didn't have the courage to embrace his effort to overturn the election and mocked Barr for being "afraid" of getting impeached."What's wrong with being impeached? I got impeached twice and my poll numbers went up," Trump said.Read Full StoryGinni Thomas says she 'can't wait' to talk to Jan. 6 committee after it asks for interview over her efforts to overturn 2020 electionGinni ThomasChip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesGinni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, said she "can't wait' to talk to the House January 6 commission after it asked to interview her over her efforts to overturn the 2020 election."I can't wait to clear up misconceptions. I look forward to talking to them," Thomas told the right-wing news site The Daily Caller. She did not say what those misconceptions might be.Her comments come after the House Select Committee investigating the Capitol riot announced that it had requested an interview with her. Rep. Bennie Thompson, the committee's chairman, said the panel wanted to talk to her "soon," Axios reported.Thomas faces scrutiny over her connections to former President Donald Trump's attempts to overturn the 2020 election. Read Full StoryEven on the day of the Capitol riot, Rudy Giuliani was still doubtful if Mike Pence had the power to overturn the election, says ex-Trump lawyerRudy Giuliani.Jacquelyn Martin/APEric Herschmann, a former Trump White House lawyer, revealed on Thursday that even on the morning of the Capitol riot, Rudy Giuliani was still debating whether then-Vice President Mike Pence had the power to overturn the votes in the 2020 election. Herschmann's testimony was aired on Thursday during the third of six public hearings organized by the January 6 committee investigating the Capitol riot. Thursday's session centered on the pressure exerted by the Trump camp in a bid to get Pence to overturn the vote.Herschmann said he received a call "out of the blue" from Giuliani on the morning of January 6, 2021, concerning what Pence's role would be that day."And, you know, he was asking me my view and analysis and then the practical implications of it," Herschmann said, who described the call as an "intellectual discussion." "And when we finished, he said, like, 'I believe that, you know, you're probably right.'" Read Full StoryMike Pence's former lawyer said he warned Trump's camp that overturning votes would lead to the 2020 election being 'decided in the streets'Then-US President Donald Trump arrives with then- Vice President Mike Pence for a "Make America Great Again" rally in Michigan on November 2, 2020.PhoPhoto by Brendan Smialowski / AFP via Getty ImagesA lawyer for former Vice President Mike Pence said that he strongly disagreed with conservative lawyer John Eastman about the Trump camp's plan to overturn the 2020 election result and warned Eastman that it might lead to violence in the streets.Testifying on Thursday before the January 6 panel investigating the Capitol riot, Greg Jacob said he had spoken to Eastman on January 5, 2021. During their conversation, Jacob said he expressed his "vociferous disagreement" with the plan for Pence to overturn the electoral vote on behalf of former President Donald Trump and send the votes back to their respective states. "Among other things, if the courts did not step in to resolve this, there was nobody else to resolve it," Jacob testified. Read Full StoryDemocracy on the brinkPeople arrive before a hearing of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 16, 2022.Drew Angerer/Pool Photo via APAmerican democracy was on the brink like no time ever before.That's the lede paragraph from Insider's Grace Panetta in her story that sums up the biggest takeaways from Thursday's historic and marathon third public hearing of the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the US Capitol.Grace writes that the two lead witnesses, Greg Jacob and Michael Luttig, were steeped in legal expertise and constitutional scholarship as they explained at a granular and methodical level why neither the Electoral Count Act nor the 12th Amendment permitted then-Vice President Mike Pence to unilaterally reject Electoral College votes for President-elect Joe Biden.Then-President Donald Trump and one of his personal legal advisors, John Eastman, were pushing the vice president to do exactly that in a break with all of US history. Read Full StoryMAGA world a "clear and present danger to American democracy"Michael Luttig, a retired federal judge who was an adviser to former Vice President Mike Pence, looks at Greg Jacob, former counsel to Vice President Mike Pence, as he testifies before the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 16, 2022.J. Scott Applewhite/AP PhotoFormer President Donald Trump and his supporters remain a "clear and present danger to American democracy."Those were the startling words of Michael Luttig, a retired federal judge who has long been championed by Republicans. He made them near the end of Thursday's marathon House select committee hearing into the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the US Capitol.Luttig, who advised then-Vice President Mike Pence about his ceremonial role on January 6, also went on to say Trump world is being more than blunt about its plans to manipulate the results of the next election for the White House. "The former president and his allies are executing that blueprint for 2024 in open and plain view of the American public," Luttig testified, per Insider's Warren Rojas. Read Full Story'1 more relatively minor violation' of election law...please?Former Trump legal adviser John EastmanAP Photo/Susan WalshIt's perhaps one of the biggest bombshells to come out of Thursday's House select committee hearing on the Capitol insurrection: a Trump lawyer putting in writing a request to break the law.The no-no came from John Eastman, who sent an email at 11:44 p.m. on the night of January 6, 2021, repeated his demand that Vice President Mike Pence halt the proceedings to certify the 2020 election and send it back to the states for a period of 10 days."So now that the precedent has been set that the Electoral Count Act is not quite so sacrosanct as was previously claimed, I implore you to consider one more relatively minor violation and adjourn for 10 days to allow the legislatures to finish their investigations, as well as to allow a full forensic audit of the massive amount of illegal activity that has occurred here," Eastman wrote to Pence lawyer Greg Jacob.Insider's Jake Lahut writes that the Eastman email was sent after Jacob and the then-vice president's staff and family, had been sheltering in place in a secure location during the riot.Read Full StoryEastman asked Giuliani to be added to Trump's pardon listJohn Eastman appeared onstage with Rudy Giuliani at the pro-Trump rally that preceded the January 6 attack on the Capitol.Jim Bourg/ReutersThe House panel investigating the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the Capitol made some news on Thursday by disclosing evidence that conservative lawyer John Eastman wanted to get added to lame-duck President Donald Trump's pardon list.Eastman was pushing to overturn the 2020 election, and as Insider's Oma Seddiq reports, his efforts prompted an email to personal Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani. "I've decided I should be on the pardon list, if that is still in the works," Eastman wrote  to Giuliani, according to Rep. Pete Aguilar, a lawmaker on the January 6 panel who read the email during Thursday's hearing. Eastman ultimately did not receive a pardon. Read Full StoryAides say Trump called Pence 'P-word' and 'wimp' on Jan. 6 callTrump and Pence at a White House event on July 13, 2020.AP Photo/Evan VucciThe language got pretty profane in the White House on the morning of January 6, 2021, Insider's Bryan Metzger reports.That's according to former aides who testified to the House select committee investigating the Capitol insurrection about a call then-President Donald Trump made to Mike Pence, his vice president."I remember hearing the word 'wimp'. Either he called him a wimp — I don't remember if he said, 'you are a wimp, you'll be a wimp' — wimp is the word I remember," said Nicholas Luna, a former assistant to Trump.Julie Radford, who served as Ivanka Trump's chief of staff, told the committee that Ivanka told her that the president "just had an upsetting conversation with the Vice President" in which he called Pence "the P-word."Read Full Story'Secret' MAGA back channel Jan. 6 investigators are teasing is also Oath Keepers' legal defenseStewart Rhodes, founder of the citizen militia group known as the Oath Keepers speaks during a rally outside the White House in Washington, on June 25, 2017.Susan Walsh/APThe House January 6 investigators keep on teasing how there'll soon be upcoming testimony that reveals secret coordination between Trumpworld and extremist groups.But as Insider's Laura Italiano points out in a new story, the Oath Keepers have long boasted of such a back channel.In fact, leader and founder Elmer Stewart Rhodes and other members of the pro-Trump militia are staking their seditious-conspiracy defense case on these yet-described communications with rally organizers.Read Full StoryCruz wanted the ex-judge testifying against Trump as a SCOTUS justiceRepublican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and retired Judge Michael Luttig.AP Photos/Manuel Balce Ceneta and Susan WalshThere's an interesting twist to the retired conservative federal Judge Michael Luttig testifying as a key witness in Thursday's January 6 committee hearing.Insider's Bryan Metzger dug up video from the 2016 GOP presidential primary debates showing Luttig was once named by Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas as an ideal Supreme Court nominee.—bryan metzger (@metzgov) June 16, 2022 Bryan writes that it was "yet another example of just how much former President Donald Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results has divided the conservative legal world."Read Full Story   DOJ: House's 'failure' to share transcripts hurting Jan. 6 investigationsTrump supporters clash with police and security forces as people try to storm the Capitol on January 6, 2021 in Washington.Brent Stirton/Getty ImagesMore public tension is emerging between the Justice Department and the House panel investigating the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the US Capitol.Insider's Ryan Barber has the details on a new letter sent Wednesday from the top US attorney in Washington DC to the House panel. There, the DOJ official says that the House panel has complicated criminal cases with its 'failure' to turn over interview transcripts to prosecutions.DOJ is looking for access to more than 1,000 interviews the congressional panel has conducted during its months-long examination of the Capitol attack and former President Donald Trump's effort to overturn the 2020 election.Read Full StoryJudge Luttig: If Pence tossed valid electoral votes it would have been 'a revolution'Michael Luttig, a retired federal judge who was an adviser to former Vice President Mike Pence, testifies Thursday to the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.AP Photo/Susan WalshSome really powerful testimony to start Thursday's January 6 select committee hearing from former federal judge J. Michael Luttig.In his opening remarks, he told the panel investigating the insurrection at the US Capitol that Vice President Mike Pence overturning the 2020 election would've pushed the country into 'the first constitutional crisis since the founding of the republic.'"That declaration of Donald Trump as the next president would have launched America into what I believe would have been tantamount to a revolution within a constitutional crisis in America which in my view would have been the first constitutional crisis since the founding of the Republic," Luttig told lawmakers during a hearing Thursday. Read Full StoryFormer Pence counsel says 'the law is not a plaything' for presidentsVice President Mike PenceScott J. Applewhite/APMike Pence's former counsel Greg Jacob is a lead witness in Thursday's third public hearing for the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol.In his written statement submitted before the hearing, Jacob called serving the vice president "the honor of a lifetime," while also warning that the rule of law is "not a plaything" for political leaders to bend per their whim."The law is not a plaything for presidents or judges to use to remake the world in their preferred image," he wrote. "Our Constitution and our laws form the strong edifice within which our heartfelt policy disagreements are to be debated and decided."Insider's Grace Panetta has more on Jacob's testimony and spells out why he was a key figure in rebuffing the intense pressure campaign and efforts to compel Pence to obstruct or meddle with the count. Read Full StoryJanuary 6 committee says it will 'soon' seek interview with Ginni ThomasConservative activist Ginni Thomas and January 6 committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi.AP Photos/Susan Walsh and J. Scott ApplewhiteConservative activist Ginni Thomas, the wife of conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, should be expecting an interview request soon from the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol."We think it's time that we, at some point, invite her to come talk to the committee," Rep. Bennie Thompson, the Democratic chair of the panel, told Axios' Andrew Solender. He added that the invitation would come "soon."Thomas has recently come under scrutiny for her role in seeking to overturn the 2020 election, including emailing Trump lawyer John Eastman and pressuring 29 state legislators in Arizona to overturn the state's 2020 election results.Read Full Story  Meet the former Trump attorney starring in the January 6 hearingEric Herschmann, former White House attorney, speaks with the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol on June 13, 2022.(House Select Committee via APAnyone remember Eric Herschmann? The White House attorney burst into the national spotlight defending President Donald Trump during his first Senate impeachment trial way back in the early pre-pandemic days of 2020.Now he's back, but for a very different reason.That's the story that Oma Seddiq just delivered for Insider readers ahead of Thursday's House January 6 hearing profiling Herschmann. He's been in the news as video clips make the rounds of his testimony where he talks about warning Trump and his allies after the presidential election that there was no proof the race was rigged and stolen, and their efforts may be illegal. In addition to his colorful language, Herschmann has drawn notice because he gave his deposition in a room with a baseball bat hanging on the wall and the word "JUSTICE" inscribed on it in bold, white letters. Observers also have noted a large painting behind him of a panda, by the artist Rob Pruitt, is similar to one that appeared in the 2015 erotic drama "50 Shades of Grey."Read Full StoryNick Quested explains how it felt to testify before the January 6 committeeBritish filmmaker Nick Queste.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 28th, 2022

Jan. 6 live updates: Trump knew the January 6 crowd was armed but still wanted metal detectors removed, former White House aide testifies

The House select committee is investigating the Capitol riot and the role Donald Trump and his allies played in trying to overturn the 2020 election. Lawmakers listen as an image of a Trump campaign donation banner is shown behind them during a House January 6 committee hearing.Susan Walsh/AP The House committee investigating the Capitol riot is holding a surprise hearing at 1 p.m. ET Tuesday. Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide under former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, is testifying. Trump knew the MAGA crowd on January 6 was armed, Hutchinson testified on Tuesday.  Trump was 'fucking furious' armed supporters couldn't get to his speech: former aideFormer White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson.Brandon Bell/Getty ImagesAn ex-White House aide testified that President Donald Trump was "fucking furious" that people in the MAGA crowd weren't able to get to his speech on January 6, 2021 because they were carrying weapons."I don't fucking care that they have weapons. They're not here to hurt me," Trump said the morning of the insurrection at the US Capitol, according to former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson.Trump was also insistent that security remove the metal detectors outside the White House so more people with weapons could get into the grounds, Hutchinson told the House panel investigating the insurrection. She also quoted the president as saying: "Take the fucking mags away. Let my people in. They can march to the Capitol from here."READ FULL STORY Feds seized John Eastman's phoneJohn Eastman testifies before the House Ways and Means Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 4, 2013.Charles Dharapak/APAnother big development emerged Monday in the widening federal criminal probe into Donald Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.This one involves federal agents who seized the phone of John Eastman, a conservative lawyer who advised Trump during his failed bid to stop the inauguration of Joe Biden. Eastman made the feds' move public in a filing with a New Mexico federal court, seeking the return of property from the government.According to his filing, FBI agents acting on behalf of DOJ's internal watchdog stopped Eastman as he was leaving a restaurant in New Mexico on June 22, taking his phone.Read Full StoryCassidy Hutchinson in the spotlightCassidy Hutchinson’s testimony is shown during the fifth January 6 committee hearing on June 23, 2022.Demetrius Freeman-Pool/Getty ImagesCassidy Hutchinson is the surprise lead witness for Tuesday's sixth hearing of the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection.The former top aide under then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows is a direct witness to many of the events and discussions of interest to the panel.She's given the committee several important pieces of information, including the six GOP House members who sought pardons from Trump and that the president told Meadows he agreed with rioters demands to "hang" Vice President Mike Pence.Read Full Story Select committee announces surprise hearing.January 6 committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi speaks to reporters following the committee’s fifth hearing on June 23, 2022.Brandon Bell/Getty ImagesThe Jan. 6 select committee announced it would hold a sixth hearing to start Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET during the congressional recess and despite previous statements that it would hold its next hearings in July.A committee advisory said it would present "recently obtained evidence" and feature witnesses, whom it did not name.Read Full StoryKamala Harris said she commended her vice presidential predecessor Mike Pence for 'courage' in certifying Biden as president despite Trump's pressureVice President Kamala Harris.Al Drago-Pool/Getty ImagesVice President Kamala Harris said Monday that she commended former Vice President Mike Pence for certifying Joe Biden as president on January 6 despite him facing tremendous pressure by former President Donald Trump to overturn the election. "I think that he did his job that day," Harris said in a CNN interview after reporter Dana Bash asked her whether her opinion of Pence had changed. "And I commend him for that because clearly it was under extraordinary circumstances that he should have not had to face. And I commend him for having the courage to do his job."This month the House Select Committee probing the January 6 Capitol attack has detailed how Trump tried to push Pence not to recognize Biden's victory in the days leading up to January 6, 2021. Trump wanted Pence to "send back" slates of electors for Biden back to their states in order to overturn his election loss. But Pence put out an open letter saying he didn't have the authority to take such actions, and his role in the certification process was largely ceremonial.Read Full StoryKevin McCarthy says it's 'all good' between him and Trump as the former president fumes about the lack of Republicans on the Jan. 6 committee: 'The right decision was the decision I made'Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and President Donald Trump.Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times/POOL/Getty ImagesHouse Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said on Monday that everything is good between him and Donald Trump as the former president publicly questions whether it was wise to keep more Republicans off of the House January 6 committee."The right decision was the decision I made," McCarthy told Fox News' Dana Perino. "If other people change their opinion, read the rules and I think they'll come back to the same conclusion." The former president and McCarthy have talked recently, according to the top House Republican. When Perino asked if things were "all good?" McCarthy responded, "Oh, all good. Yes."McCarthy repeated his long-held defense of the decision, arguing that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would have only selected Republicans that would have fit her views. The California Republican then named three of the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump as examples of people Pelosi would have supported.Read Full StoryHow to watch the House January 6 committee hearings on the Capitol attackVideo featuring former President Donald Trump’s White House senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner is played during a hearing by the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol in the Cannon House Office Building on June 13, 2022 in Washington, DC. Stepien, who was scheduled to testify in person, was unable to attend due to a family emergency. The bipartisan committee, which has been gathering evidence for almost a year related to the January 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol, will present its findings in a series of televised hearings. On January 6, 2021, supporters of former President Donald Trump attacked the U.S. Capitol Building during an attempt to disrupt a congressional vote to confirm the electoral college win for President Joe Biden.Photo by Alex Wong/Getty ImagesThe House Select Committee Investigating the January 6 Insurrection at the US Capitol is bringing to light its findings from a year's worth of work with a series of public hearings this summer. The select committee, formed in May 2021, has nine members, seven Democrats, including Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson, and two Republicans, Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger. Its members and staff have spent the past year conducting hundreds of closed-door interviews, poring over hundreds of thousands of documents, and parsing phone and email records to reconstruct how President Donald Trump and his allies sought to overturn his 2020 election loss before a mob of pro-Trump rioters breached the US Capitol in an effort to stop the final certification of the 2020 election. Five public hearings, including one in primetime, have already taken place, and one more hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, June 28. Read Full StoryJanuary 6 hearing takeaways: Pardon pleas, more Bill Barr, and a riveting account of how Trump turned to the Justice Department and a loyal lawyer to 'help legitimize his lies'TheBill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)Spanning more than two hours in the late afternoon, the House January 6 committee's fifth public hearing captured the drama that unfolded inside the Justice Department and White House as Trump looked to some of the country's most senior and important law enforcement officials to help him remain in power.READ FULL STORYMatt Gaetz 'personally' pushed for a pardon from Trump 'from the beginning of time up until today, for any and all things,' Trump officials testifyRepublican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida at the White House on May 8, 2020.Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty ImagesThe January 6 committee aired a series of video testimonies from former Trump administration officials detailing which Republican members of Congress sought pardons from former President Donald Trump at the end of his term as he and his allies exhausted different avenues to stay in power.Most prominently featured: Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida.According to various officials who spoke with the committee, Gaetz began pushing for a pardon well before other Republicans who were involved in the attempt to overturn the 2020 election."Mr. Gaetz was personally pushing for a pardon, and he was doing so since early December," said Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, in testimony aired by the committee on Thursday.READ FULL STORYFox News cut away from the Jan. 6 hearing minutes before testimony by Trump aides about GOP lawmakers who sought pardonsPlaque at the entrance to Fox News headquarters in New YorkErik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty ImagesJust as former Department of Justice Officials were detailing how they threatened to resign en masse if former President Donald Trump went ahead with his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, Fox News cut away to air its previously scheduled talk show, "The Five."CNN and MSNBC aired the hearings in full, which ended with Rep. Adam Kinzinger listing six GOP lawmakers whom Trump aides testified sought pardons in the administration's final weeks.Other than the first of the five hearings so far, Fox News has carried the proceedings without commercial breaks, save for recesses during the proceedings.READ FULL STORYDOJ officials threatened to resign if Jeffrey Clark was appointed Attorney GeneralJeff ClarkYuri Gripas-Pool/Getty ImagesTop officials at the US Department of Justice threatened to resign if former President Donald Trump succeeded in making loyalist Jeff Clark the acting Attorney General, per testimony before the January 6 committee on Thursday.Richard Donoghue, former acting deputy attorney general, said that the pledge to resign was made on a phone call in the wake of reports that Trump was considering installing Clark, who at the time was promoting unfounded conspiracy theories about the 2020 election."They would resign en masse if the president made that change," Donoghue told the committee. "All without hesitation said they would resign."At least six GOP members of Congress sought pardons after January 6, 2021, per testimony from a former White House aideRep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., joined from left by Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, and Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., speaks at a news conference about the treatment of people being held in the District of Columbia jail who are charged with crimes in the Jan. 6 insurrection, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021.J. Scott Applewhite/APCassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, testified Wednesday before the January 6 House panel that at least six House members asked the White House for a pardon following the Capitol siege.According to Hutchinson, Republican Reps. Matt Gaetz of Florida, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Mo Brooks of Alabama, Andy Biggs of Arizona, Louie Gohmert of Texas, and Scott Perry of Pennsylvania requested pardons.The former White House aide added that GOP Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio asked for an "update on whether the White House is going to pardon members of Congress" but did not personally ask for one.Keep Reading Trump suggested sending letter to states alleging 2020 election fraud, a former acting Attorney General Jeff Rosen testifiedFormer acting Attorney General Jeff Rosen has already testified about Trump's efforts to pressure DOJ.Yuri Gripas-Pool/Getty ImagesFormer acting Attorney General Jeff Rosen said on Thursday that then-President Donald Trump suggested that the Justice Department send letters to state legislatures in Georgia and other states alleging that there was voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election despite knowing there was no such evidence.Rosen told lawmakers on the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection that during Trump's final days in office, the former president and his campaign suggested several strategies for the Justice Department to overturn the presidential election results. These tactics included filing a lawsuit with the Supreme Court, making public statements, and holding a press conference."The Justice Department declined all of those requests that I was just referencing because we did not think they were appropriate based on the facts and the law, as we understood," Rosen said.Read MoreA former Trump DOJ official testified that former President Donald Trump urged him and other officials to 'just say the election was corrupt'Notes from Richard Donoghue displayed at the January 6 committee's hearing on June 23, 2022.Screenshot / C-SPANThe January 6 committee on Thursday displayed scans of notes taken by Richard Donoghue, then the acting deputy attorney general serving out the final days of the Trump administration.One note, displayed as Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois led the committee's questioning, included an apparent plea from then-President Donald Trump to "just say the election was corrupt" and "leave the rest to me and the [Republican] congressmen."Read Full StoryBill Barr says he's 'not sure we would have had a transition at all' to Biden if DOJ hadn't investigated Trump's baseless voter fraud claimsFormer Attorney General Bill Barr and former President Donald TrumpDrew Angerer/Getty ImagesFormer Attorney General William Barr said he was "not sure we would have had a transition at all" if the Justice Department had not investigated Donald Trump's claims of widespread voter fraud and found them baseless.In a closed-door deposition, Barr suggested to the House committee investigating the January 6 attack that Trump might not have left office voluntarily if DOJ had not proactively examined the election fraud claims ahead of Joe Biden's inauguration. Read Full Story'You would be committing a felony'Eric Herschmann spoke to the Jan. 6 committee on Thursday.Senate Television via APFormer White House attorney Eric Herschmann told the committee that he brutally mocked a plan from a Trump loyalist to hijack control of the Justice Department in a last-ditch effort to overturn the 2020 election."And when he finished discussing what he planned on doing, I said, 'good, fucking, excuse me, f-ing, a-hole, congratulations you just admitted that your first step or act you would take as attorney general would be committing a felony and violating rule 6c," Herschmann told the panel, per an excerpt of his previously private deposition that was released on Thursday.Read Full Story  Fast times in the CapitolActor Sean Penn and DC Metropolitan Police Department officer Daniel Hodges at the January 6 committee hearing on Capitol Hill on June 23, 2022.AP Photo/Jacquelyn MartinSean Penn is in the House.The actor and well known Hollywood activist made an unexpected appearance at the fifth hearing of the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection. "I'm just here to observe — just another citizen," Penn told a CNN reporter. "I think we all saw what happened on January 6 and now we're looking to see if justice comes on the other side of it."Read Full StoryLiz Cheney is mailing instructions to Democrats on how to change parties and vote for her in Wyoming's GOP primaryU.S. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) Vice Chairwoman of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol, delivers remarks during a hearing on the January 6th investigation on June 9, 2022.Win McNamee/Getty ImagesAs Rep. Liz Cheney faces a tough reelection battle in Wyoming, she's turning to Democrats in her home state to help her chances in the August 16 Republican primary.Cheney's campaign has mailed instructions to Wyoming Democrats on how to change their party affiliation to vote for the incumbent congresswoman, The New York Times reported on Thursday. Under Wyoming law, voters must be registered as a Democrat or a Republican in order to vote in that party's primary election. Read Full StoryFeds search home of former top Trump DOJ officialJeff ClarkYuri Gripas-Pool/Getty ImagesWe've got a major development that surfaced Thursday into what appears to be a widening federal investigation into Donald Trump's bid to overturn the 2020 presidential election.Federal investigators on Wednesday searched the Northern Virginia home of Jeff Clark, a former top Justice Department official who became the go-to Trump ally trying to push DOJ into backing the then-president's baseless claims about voter fraud.ABC News first reported this, and a DOJ spokesperson has since confirmed to Insider's Ryan Barber that law enforcement activity did indeed happen in the Washington DC suburb where Clark lives. The spokesperson wouldn't comment on the nature of the activity or about any specific individuals.Expect to hear Clark's name a couple times or more during Thursday's House select committee hearing as the panel examines Trump's efforts to use DOJ in his bid to stop Joe Biden from being sworn in as the country's 46th president.Read Full Story#unprecedentedA trailer for a documentary that centers on Trump and January 6 was released by Discovery Plus.Seth Herald/Getty ImagesHere's something that doesn't show up on the internet very often: a 30-second trailer for a new three-part documentary taking people behind the scenes of Donald Trump's presidency and the January 6 insurrection.But that's exactly what landed online late Wednesday via Discovery+, which shows footage of the new series titled "Unprecedented." The clip features Trump and his adult children Ivanka, Donald Trump Jr., and Eric Trump and closes with the ex-president himself agreeing to discuss the riot at the US Capitol. —discovery+ (@discoveryplus) June 23, 2022House January 6 investigators have the documentary footage too, courtesy of a subpoena that Politico reported about. And Trump allies were apparently in the dark about the filming, with one texting Rolling Stone: "what the fuck is this?"Read Full Story Hearings to resume at 3 p.m. ET Thursday with testimony expected from former DOJ officialsFormer Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen.Yuri Gripas-Pool/Getty ImagesThe January 6 commission's fifth hearing is expected to start at 3 p.m. Thursday, with testimony expected from former Trump-administration Justice Department officials. They are:Jeffrey Rosen, former acting attorney generalRichard Donoghue, former acting deputy attorney generalSteven Engel, former assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal CounselRosen served as acting attorney general in the final weeks of Trump's presidency. He previously told the committee how he came under persistent pressure from Trump to have the DOJ back Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 election, as Insider's C. Ryan Barber reported.Toward the end of his presidency, Trump considered ousting Rosen and installing Jeffrey Clark, a supporter of the bogus voter-fraud claims, in his place, but ultimately decided not to after officials threatened to resign if he went through.Analysis: Trump shot himself in the foot by opposing a bipartisan Jan. 6 commission because now he has no allies to defend him in scathing public hearingsLawmakers listen as an image of a Trump campaign donation banner is shown behind them during a House January 6 committee hearing.Susan Walsh/APAs the House's January 6 committee lays out in devastating detail Donald Trump's effort to overturn his defeat in the 2020 election, the former president is turning his anger on House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Trump has complained about McCarthy's decision to boycott the panel, with the former president telling the Punchbowl newsletter on Wednesday: "Republicans don't have a voice. They don't even have anything to say."But Trump has no one but himself to blame for the situation, one of his Republican critics pointed out, as he was the one who opposed the formation of a bipartisan commission equally split between Republicans and Democrats to investigate the riot. Read Full StoryTrump is hate-watching every Jan. 6 hearing and almost screams at the TV because he feels nobody is defending him, report saysDonald TrumpJoe Raedle/Getty ImagesFormer President Donald Trump is hate-watching the January 6 committee hearings, incensed because he believes nobody is defending him, according to The Washington Post.Trump is at "the point of about to scream at the TV" as he tunes in to each hearing, one unnamed close advisor told the paper. Another in his circle, also unnamed, told the paper that Trump continually complains that "there's no one to defend me" at the hearings, which have attracted huge amounts of media coverage.Per The Post, Trump's anger centers on House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who boycotted the committee at its formation, passing up the chance to put pro-Trump figures on the panel.Read Full StoryDOJ issued subpoenas to alleged fake Trump electors and a Trump campaign official, reports sayA general view shows a House January 6 committee hearing on Capitol Hill on June 9, 2022.Mandel Ngan/POOL/AFP via Getty ImagesThe Justice Department expanded its investigation into the Capitol riot after issuing subpoenas to a would-be Trump elector in Georgia and a Trump campaign official who worked in Arizona and New Mexico, The Washington Post and The New York Times reported Wednesday.Arizona, Georgia, and New Mexico are among the seven battleground states where a failed effort to overturn the election took place by appointing pro-Trump electors.The news comes after Rep. Adam Schiff said the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection obtained evidence that former President Donald Trump was involved in the aforementioned scheme.Read Full StoryTrump aides didn't know someone was filming Trump on January 6 until the House committee got the footage: reportsPresident Donald Trump listens as Jared Kushner speaks in the Oval Office of the White House on September 11, 2020.Andrew Harnik/AP PhotoAides to Donald Trump had no idea a documentary maker filmed the former president on January 6, 2021, until the House committee investigating that day subpoenaed the footage, reports said. The existence of the footage by UK documentarian Alex Holder was first reported by Politico on Tuesday.The outlet said that Holder complied with the House committee request and handed over several months of footage of Trump up to and including January 6. The New York Times reported that many top Trump advisors were surprised by news of the project, which was known to only a small circle of close Trump aides.Read Full StoryIvanka Trump claimed to believe Trump's false voter-fraud theories but later told Jan. 6 panel she didn't, report saysIvanka Trump.Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesIvanka Trump claimed to believe former President Donald Trump's false voter-fraud theories in a December 2020 interview, directly contradicting her testimony to congressional investigators earlier this year, a new report says.In April 2022, Trump had told the House committee investigating the Capitol riot that she had "accepted" former Attorney General Bill Barr's assessment that Donald Trump's claims of election fraud were wrong.But according to The New York Times, Ivanka Trump told the documentary filmmaker Alex Holder on December 10, 2020 — nine days after Barr made the assessment that supposedly swayed her — that she supported her father's efforts to challenge the 2020 election results.She said Trump should "continue to fight" the 2020 election results because Americans were questioning the "sanctity of our elections."Read Full StoryElection worker testifies that conspiracy theorists tried to citizen's arrest her grandmother after lies from Trump, GiulianiWandrea "Shaye" Moss, a former Georgia election worker, is comforted by her mother Ruby Freeman, right, during the House January 6 committee's hearing.AP Photo/Jacquelyn MartinA Georgia election worker testified that her grandmother faced a citizen's arrest by a group of election deniers who tried pushing their way into her house due to election lies told by former President Donald Trump and former personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani.Wandrea "Shaye" Moss, an election worker in Fulton County, Georgia, told lawmakers during a January 6 select committee hearing that she and her mother Ruby Freeman, who worked as a short-term election worker in 2020, were among the workers counting ballots at State Farm Arena in Atlanta. When Giuliani and Trump accused those workers of orchestrating election fraud, Moss said her family faced death threats and were pushed out of town, living in Airbnbs for two months around January 6 at the FBI's recommendation.Moss said she endured racist harassment as well, adding that a group of people influenced by the election conspiracies showed up to her grandmother's house and tried to perform a citizen's arrest.Read Full StoryWhere's Pat Cipollone?Former White House Counsel Pat CipolloneAlex Wong/Getty ImagesPaging Pat Cipollone.The former White House counsel under then-President Donald Trump is now front and center as a top witness the House committee investigating the January 6 insurrection still wants to hear from.That's according to Rep. Liz Cheney, who publicly called Tuesday for Cipollone to testify about evidence the committee has collected showing that he "tried to do what was right" as  Trump pushed to overturn the 2020 election.Cheney also noted that the House panel is also "certain" Trump doesn't want Cipollone to testify. His previous job as Trump's top White House attorney could complicate the matter, though as Insider's Ryan Barber points out in his story, Bill Barr did participate in its investigation.Read Full StorySexualized texts, a break-in and doxxingsGeorgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger is sworn in to testify on Tuesday before the House select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.Jacquelyn Martin/AP PhotoTuesday's House select committee featured jaw-dropping testimony from election officials who detailed the threats they faced after refusing to go along with then President Donald Trump's bid to overturn the 2020 election results.One big dose of it came from Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who explained how he received texts from all over the US and eventually his wife became a target of harassment too. "My wife started getting the texts and hers typically came in as sexualized texts, which were disgusting," Raffensperger said during his testimony before the January 6 committee. "You have to understand that Trish and I met in high school and we have been married over 40 years now. They started going after her I think to probably put pressure on me: 'Why don't you just quit and walk away?'" Raffensperger also testified about Trump supporters who broke into the home of his daughter-in-law, a widow with two children. And he said his phone and email were doxxed, meaning that someone had posted the number and email publicly so that people would message him. Read Full StoryDeath threatsWandrea ArShaye “Shaye” Moss, a former Georgia election worker, is sworn in before January 6 committee on June 21, 2022.Kevin Dietsch/Getty ImagesA Black former Georgia election worker delivered stark testimony on Tuesday about the racist and deadly threats that came when President Donald Trump publicly attacked her and her mother amid his drive to overturn the 2020 election results.Insider's Bryan Metzger has more on the remarks from Wandrea ArShaye "Shaye" Moss, a veteran election official in Fulton County who ended up on the receiving end of myriad threats after Rudy Giuliani specifically named her and her mom when speaking to the Georgia state Senate."They included threats, a lot of threats wishing death upon me," Moss said. "Telling me that, you know, I'll be in jail with my mother, and saying things like, 'Be glad it's 2020 and not 1920.'" Read Full Story'We were just kind of useful idiots'Former President Donald Trump speaks during a rally in Delaware, Ohio, on April 23, 2022.Drew Angerer/Getty Images"We were just kind of useful idiots, or rubes at that point."That's a quote from former Donald Trump 2020 campaign staffer Robert Sinner describing to the House January 6 investigators his displeasure with a scheme to overturn now-President Joe Biden's 2020 victory in Georgia.Sinner's remarks were broadcast in a video recording shown during Tuesday's select committee hearing, Insider's John Dorman reports.Read Full Story Suspicious package found outside House hearing roomThe House panel investigating the January 6 insurrection.Photo by Jabin Botsford-Pool/Getty ImagesThe House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection kept on going Tuesday despite a suspicious package being found right outside the hearing room where the panel was meeting.Insider's Lauren Frias reported that the US Capitol Police officials did issue an all-clear about an hour after first sending out its alert. The police advised staff and visitors on the premises to stay away from the area during the incident. A Fox News producer tweeted that the package appeared to be an unattended backpack on top of a walker outside of the House building.Read Full Story'Do not give that to him'Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and former Vice President Mike Pence.Drew Angerer and Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty ImagesGOP Sen. Ron Johnson sought to deliver a slate of "alternate" electors to then-Vice President Mike Pence ahead of the counting of votes during a Joint Session of Congress on January 6, 2021.That's according to a series of eye-catching text messages first displayed by the January 6 committee on Tuesday, Insider's Bryan Metzger reported."Johnson needs to hand something to VPOTUS please advise," Sean Riley, Johnson's chief of staff, wrote of the materials that were related to "alternate" electors from two contested Midwestern states that Democratic nominee Joe Biden had narrowly carried: Michigan and Wisconsin. "What is it?" replied Chris Hodgson, a legislative aide to Pence."Alternate slate of elector for MI and WI because archivist didn't receive them," Riley replied."Do not give that to him," Hodgson replied.Read Full StoryRudy admitted to not having election fraud evidenceRudy Giuliani, former lawyer for President Donald Trump.William B. Plowman/NBC/NBC Newswire/NBCUniversal via Getty ImagesRudy Giuliani admitted to not having any evidence of election fraud after the 2020 presidential election despite repeatedly claiming he did, according to the Republican speaker of the Arizona state House."My recollection, he said, 'We've got lots of theories, we just don't have the evidence,'" Russell "Rusty" Bowers, the Arizona official, said in describing a conversation with then-President Donald Trump's personal attorney.Bowers, a Trump supporter, was testifying on Tuesday before the House January 6 select committee to recount his interactions with Giuliani and the Trump legal team surrounding the events of the last presidential election.He called the Trump team "a tragic parody" and compared them to the 1971 comedy "The Gang Who Couldn't Shoot Straight."Read Full Story A very real threat to the 2022 midtermsCouy Griffin, a central figure in a New Mexico county's refusal to certify recent election results based on debunked conspiracy theories about voting machines, has avoided more jail time for joining the mob that attacked the US Capitol.AP Photo/Gemunu AmarasingheThe House select committee's January 6 hearings have spotlighted the very real threat to future US elections, including the midterms coming up this November.That's the big takeaway from a story by Insider's Grace Panetta published Tuesday that looks at how a court had to intercede after New Mexico county commission initially refused to certify results from the state's June 7 primary."The election denial movement pushed by Trump and his allies that spurred so many to attack the Capitol on January 6 has now fanned out to county commissions, town halls, and polling places around the country, presenting wholly novel burdens on election officials and new threats to the health of American democracy," Grace wrote.Read Full StoryTrump is ready to abandon attorney John Eastman after he was criticized in committee hearings, report saysJohn Eastman at a pro-Trump rally on January 6, 2021.Jim Bourg/ReutersFormer President Donald Trump sees no reason to defend the conservative attorney John Eastman, Rolling Stone reported.The decision the outlet relayed came in light of the heavy scrutiny of Eastman in the Congressional Jan. 6 committee hearings, which detailed his role helping Trump try to overturn the 2020 election.Eastman wrote a memo detailing a last-ditch plan for Vice President Mike Pence to block Joe Biden's certification as president on January 6, 2021, at the Congressional proceeding which was interrupted by the Capitol riot.Citing two sources close to Trump, the outlet reported that the committee's focus on Eastman in its public hearings had bothered Trump, and that Trump has started distancing himself from the attorney.READ FULL STORYFull list of witness testifying on June 21Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers is among those scheduled to testify in the committee's June 21 hearing.AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, FileInsider's Warren Rojas has a roster of those scheduled to appear in the committee's public hearings. See the full list below.Read Full StoryJan. 6 committee subpoenas filmmaker who interviewed Trump before and after the riotTrump speaks to supporters from the Ellipse near the White House on January 6, 2021, in Washington, DC.Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty ImagesThe January 6 committee sent a subpoena to Alex Holder, a documentary filmmaker who interviewed Trump before and after the Capitol riot, Politico's Playbook newsletter reported Tuesday.The existence of this footage had never been reported before, and Holder is expected to fully cooperate with the panel, Playbook reported.Holder also spent several months interviewing members of Trump's family, including his children Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, and Eric Trump, and his son-in-law Jared Kushner, Playbook reported.The subpoena asked Holder to provide any raw footage he might have from the Capitol riot and interviews with Trump, his family, and former Vice President Mike Pence, as well as any footage he has of discussions about voter fraud in the 2020 election.Trump boasts he's been impeached twice and screams 'nothing matters!' amid ongoing January 6 hearingsFormer President Donald Trump gives the keynote address at the Faith and Freedom Coalition during their annual conference on June 17, 2022, in Nashville, Tennessee.Seth Herald/Getty ImagesFormer President Donald Trump on Friday bragged that he was impeached twice, while recycling his false claims about the 2020 election and attacking former Vice President Mike Pence and former Attorney General William Barr.Delivering a speech to the Faith and Freedom Coalition in Nashville, the former president said Pence didn't have the courage to embrace his effort to overturn the election and mocked Barr for being "afraid" of getting impeached."What's wrong with being impeached? I got impeached twice and my poll numbers went up," Trump said.Read Full StoryGinni Thomas says she 'can't wait' to talk to Jan. 6 committee after it asks for interview over her efforts to overturn 2020 electionGinni ThomasChip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesGinni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, said she "can't wait' to talk to the House January 6 commission after it asked to interview her over her efforts to overturn the 2020 election."I can't wait to clear up misconceptions. I look forward to talking to them," Thomas told the right-wing news site The Daily Caller. She did not say what those misconceptions might be.Her comments come after the House Select Committee investigating the Capitol riot announced that it had requested an interview with her. Rep. Bennie Thompson, the committee's chairman, said the panel wanted to talk to her "soon," Axios reported.Thomas faces scrutiny over her connections to former President Donald Trump's attempts to overturn the 2020 election. Read Full StoryEven on the day of the Capitol riot, Rudy Giuliani was still doubtful if Mike Pence had the power to overturn the election, says ex-Trump lawyerRudy Giuliani.Jacquelyn Martin/APEric Herschmann, a former Trump White House lawyer, revealed on Thursday that even on the morning of the Capitol riot, Rudy Giuliani was still debating whether then-Vice President Mike Pence had the power to overturn the votes in the 2020 election. Herschmann's testimony was aired on Thursday during the third of six public hearings organized by the January 6 committee investigating the Capitol riot. Thursday's session centered on the pressure exerted by the Trump camp in a bid to get Pence to overturn the vote.Herschmann said he received a call "out of the blue" from Giuliani on the morning of January 6, 2021, concerning what Pence's role would be that day."And, you know, he was asking me my view and analysis and then the practical implications of it," Herschmann said, who described the call as an "intellectual discussion." "And when we finished, he said, like, 'I believe that, you know, you're probably right.'" Read Full StoryMike Pence's former lawyer said he warned Trump's camp that overturning votes would lead to the 2020 election being 'decided in the streets'Then-US President Donald Trump arrives with then- Vice President Mike Pence for a "Make America Great Again" rally in Michigan on November 2, 2020.PhoPhoto by Brendan Smialowski / AFP via Getty ImagesA lawyer for former Vice President Mike Pence said that he strongly disagreed with conservative lawyer John Eastman about the Trump camp's plan to overturn the 2020 election result and warned Eastman that it might lead to violence in the streets.Testifying on Thursday before the January 6 panel investigating the Capitol riot, Greg Jacob said he had spoken to Eastman on January 5, 2021. During their conversation, Jacob said he expressed his "vociferous disagreement" with the plan for Pence to overturn the electoral vote on behalf of former President Donald Trump and send the votes back to their respective states. "Among other things, if the courts did not step in to resolve this, there was nobody else to resolve it," Jacob testified. Read Full StoryDemocracy on the brinkPeople arrive before a hearing of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 16, 2022.Drew Angerer/Pool Photo via APAmerican democracy was on the brink like no time ever before.That's the lede paragraph from Insider's Grace Panetta in her story that sums up the biggest takeaways from Thursday's historic and marathon third public hearing of the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the US Capitol.Grace writes that the two lead witnesses, Greg Jacob and Michael Luttig, were steeped in legal expertise and constitutional scholarship as they explained at a granular and methodical level why neither the Electoral Count Act nor the 12th Amendment permitted then-Vice President Mike Pence to unilaterally reject Electoral College votes for President-elect Joe Biden.Then-President Donald Trump and one of his personal legal advisors, John Eastman, were pushing the vice president to do exactly that in a break with all of US history. Read Full StoryMAGA world a "clear and present danger to American democracy"Michael Luttig, a retired federal judge who was an adviser to former Vice President Mike Pence, looks at Greg Jacob, former counsel to Vice President Mike Pence, as he testifies before the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 16, 2022.J. Scott Applewhite/AP PhotoFormer President Donald Trump and his supporters remain a "clear and present danger to American democracy."Those were the startling words of Michael Luttig, a retired federal judge who has long been championed by Republicans. He made them near the end of Thursday's marathon House select committee hearing into the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the US Capitol.Luttig, who advised then-Vice President Mike Pence about his ceremonial role on January 6, also went on to say Trump world is being more than blunt about its plans to manipulate the results of the next election for the White House. "The former president and his allies are executing that blueprint for 2024 in open and plain view of the American public," Luttig testified, per Insider's Warren Rojas. Read Full Story'1 more relatively minor violation' of election law...please?Former Trump legal adviser John EastmanAP Photo/Susan WalshIt's perhaps one of the biggest bombshells to come out of Thursday's House select committee hearing on the Capitol insurrection: a Trump lawyer putting in writing a request to break the law.The no-no came from John Eastman, who sent an email at 11:44 p.m. on the night of January 6, 2021, repeated his demand that Vice President Mike Pence halt the proceedings to certify the 2020 election and send it back to the states for a period of 10 days."So now that the precedent has been set that the Electoral Count Act is not quite so sacrosanct as was previously claimed, I implore you to consider one more relatively minor violation and adjourn for 10 days to allow the legislatures to finish their investigations, as well as to allow a full forensic audit of the massive amount of illegal activity that has occurred here," Eastman wrote to Pence lawyer Greg Jacob.Insider's Jake Lahut writes that the Eastman email was sent after Jacob and the then-vice president's staff and family, had been sheltering in place in a secure location during the riot.Read Full StoryEastman asked Giuliani to be added to Trump's pardon listJohn Eastman appeared onstage with Rudy Giuliani at the pro-Trump rally that preceded the January 6 attack on the Capitol.Jim Bourg/ReutersThe House panel investigating the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the Capitol made some news on Thursday by disclosing evidence that conservative lawyer John Eastman wanted to get added to lame-duck President Donald Trump's pardon list.Eastman was pushing to overturn the 2020 election, and as Insider's Oma Seddiq reports, his efforts prompted an email to personal Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani. "I've decided I should be on the pardon list, if that is still in the works," Eastman wrote  to Giuliani, according to Rep. Pete Aguilar, a lawmaker on the January 6 panel who read the email during Thursday's hearing. Eastman ultimately did not receive a pardon. Read Full StoryAides say Trump called Pence 'P-word' and 'wimp' on Jan. 6 callTrump and Pence at a White House event on July 13, 2020.AP Photo/Evan VucciThe language got pretty profane in the White House on the morning of January 6, 2021, Insider's Bryan Metzger reports.That's according to former aides who testified to the House select committee investigating the Capitol insurrection about a call then-President Donald Trump made to Mike Pence, his vice president."I remember hearing the word 'wimp'. Either he called him a wimp — I don't remember if he said, 'you are a wimp, you'll be a wimp' — wimp is the word I remember," said Nicholas Luna, a former assistant to Trump.Julie Radford, who served as Ivanka Trump's chief of staff, told the committee that Ivanka told her that the president "just had an upsetting conversation with the Vice President" in which he called Pence "the P-word."Read Full Story'Secret' MAGA back channel Jan. 6 investigators are teasing is also Oath Keepers' legal defenseStewart Rhodes, founder of the citizen militia group known as the Oath Keepers speaks during a rally outside the White House in Washington, on June 25, 2017.Susan Walsh/APThe House January 6 investigators keep on teasing how there'll soon be upcoming testimony that reveals secret coordination between Trumpworld and extremist groups.But as Insider's Laura Italiano points out in a new story, the Oath Keepers have long boasted of such a back channel.In fact, leader and founder Elmer Stewart Rhodes and other members of the pro-Trump militia are staking their seditious-conspiracy defense case on these yet-described communications with rally organizers.Read Full StoryCruz wanted the ex-judge testifying against Trump as a SCOTUS justiceRepublican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and retired Judge Michael Luttig.AP Photos/Manuel Balce Ceneta and Susan WalshThere's an interesting twist to the retired conservative federal Judge Michael Luttig testifying as a key witness in Thursday's January 6 committee hearing.Insider's Bryan Metzger dug up video from the 2016 GOP presidential primary debates showing Luttig was once named by Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas as an ideal Supreme Court nominee.—bryan metzger (@metzgov) June 16, 2022 Bryan writes that it was "yet another example of just how much former President Donald Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results has divided the conservative legal world."Read Full Story   DOJ: House's 'failure' to share transcripts hurting Jan. 6 investigationsTrump supporters clash with police and security forces as people try to storm the Capitol on January 6, 2021 in Washington.Brent Stirton/Getty ImagesMore public tension is emerging between the Justice Department and the House panel investigating the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the US Capitol.Insider's Ryan Barber has the details on a new letter sent Wednesday from the top US attorney in Washington DC to the House panel. There, the DOJ official says that the House panel has complicated criminal cases with its 'failure' to turn over interview transcripts to prosecutions.DOJ is looking for access to more than 1,000 interviews the congressional panel has conducted during its months-long examination of the Capitol attack and former President Donald Trump's effort to overturn the 2020 election.Read Full StoryJudge Luttig: If Pence tossed valid electoral votes it would have been 'a revolution'Michael Luttig, a retired federal judge who was an adviser to former Vice President Mike Pence, testifies Thursday to the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.AP Photo/Susan WalshSome really powerful testimony to start Thursday's January 6 select committee hearing from former federal judge J. Michael Luttig.In his opening remarks, he told the panel investigating the insurrection at the US Capitol that Vice President Mike Pence overturning the 2020 election would've pushed the country into 'the first constitutional crisis since the founding of the republic.'"That declaration of Donald Trump as the next president would have launched America into what I believe would have been tantamount to a revolution within a constitutional crisis in America which in my view would have been the first constitutional crisis since the founding of the Republic," Luttig told lawmakers during a hearing Thursday. Read Full StoryFormer Pence counsel says 'the law is not a plaything' for presidentsVice President Mike PenceScott J. Applewhite/APMike Pence's former counsel Greg Jacob is a lead witness in Thursday's third public hearing for the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol.In his written statement submitted before the hearing, Jacob called serving the vice president "the honor of a lifetime," while also warning that the rule of law is "not a plaything" for political leaders to bend per their whim."The law is not a plaything for presidents or judges to use to remake the world in their preferred image," he wrote. "Our Constitution and our laws form the strong edifice within which our heartfelt policy disagreements are to be debated and decided."Insider's Grace Panetta has more on Jacob's testimony and spells out why he was a key figure in rebuffing the intense pressure campaign and efforts to compel Pence to obstruct or meddle with the count. Read Full StoryJanuary 6 committee says it will 'soon' seek interview with Ginni ThomasConservative activist Ginni Thomas and January 6 committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi.AP Photos/Susan Walsh and J. Scott ApplewhiteConservative activist Ginni Thomas, the wife of conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, should be expecting an interview request soon from the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol."We think it's time that we, at some point, invite her to come talk to the committee," Rep. Bennie Thompson, the Democratic chair of the panel, told Axios' Andrew Solender. He added that the invitation would come "soon."Thomas has recently come under scrutiny for her role in seeking to overturn the 2020 election, including emailing Trump lawyer John Eastman and pressuring 29 state legislators in Arizona to overturn the state's 2020 election results.Read Full Story  Meet the former Trump attorney starring in the January 6 hearingEric Herschmann, former White House attorney, speaks with the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol on June 13, 2022.(House Select Committee via APAnyone remember Eric Herschmann? The White House attorney burst into the national spotlight defending President Donald Trump during his first Senate impeachment trial way back in the early pre-pandemic days of 2020.Now he's back, but for a very different reason.That's the story that Oma Seddiq just delivered for Insider readers ahead of Thursday's House January 6 hearing profiling Herschmann. He's been in the news as video clips make the rounds of his testimony where he talks about warning Trump and his allies after the presidential election that there was no proof the race was rigged and stolen, and their efforts may be illegal. In addition to his colorful language, Herschmann has drawn notice because he gave his deposition in a room with a baseball bat hanging on the wall and the word "JUSTICE" inscribed on it in bold, white letters. Observers also have noted a large painting behind him of a panda, by the artist Rob Pruitt, is similar to one that appeared in the 2015 erotic drama "50 Shades of Grey."Read Full StoryNick Quested explains how it felt to testify before the January 6 committeeBritish filmmaker Nick Queste.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 28th, 2022

Futures, Commodities Jump After China Cuts Quarantine

Futures, Commodities Jump After China Cuts Quarantine US stock futures rebounded from Monday's modest losses and traded near session highs after China reduced quarantine times for inbound travelers by half - to seven days of centralized quarantine and three days of health monitoring at home -  the biggest shift yet in a Covid-19 policy that has left the world’s second-largest economy isolated as it continues to try and eliminate the virus. The move, which fueled optimism about stronger economic growth and boosted appetite for both commodities and risk assets, sent S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq 100 contracts higher by 0.6% each at 7:15 a.m. in New York, setting up heavyweight technology stocks for a rebound. Mining and energy shares led gains in Europe’s Stoxx 600 and an Asian equity index erased losses to climb for a fourth session. 10Y TSY yields extended their move higher rising to 3.25% or about +5bps on the session, while the dollar and bitcoin were flat, and oil and commodity-linked currencies strengthened. In premarket trading, the biggest mover was Kezar Life Sciences which soared 85% after reporting positive results for its lupus drug. On the other end, Robinhood shares fell 3.2%, paring a rally yesterday sparked by news that FTX is exploring whether to buy the company. In a statement, FTX head Sam Bankman-Fried said he is excited about the firm’s business prospects, but “there are no active M&A conversations with Robinhood." Here are some of the other most notable premarket movers" Playtika (PLTK US) shares rallied 11% in premarket trading after a report that private equity firm Joffre Capital agreed to acquire a majority stake in the gaming company from a Chinese investment group for $21 a share. Nike (NKE US) shares fell 2.3% in US premarket trading, with analysts reducing their price targets after the company gave a downbeat forecast for gross margin and said it was being cautious in its outlook for the China market. Spirit Airlines (SAVE US) shares rise as much as 5% in US premarket trading after JetBlue boosted its all-cash bid in response to an increased offer by rival suitor Frontier in the days before a crucial shareholder vote. Snowflake (SNOW US) rises 3.3% in US premarket trading after Jefferies upgraded the stock to buy from hold, saying its valuation is now “back to reality” and offers a good entry point given the software firm’s long-term targets. Sutro Biopharma (STRO US) shares rise 34% in US premarket trading after the company and Astellas said they will collaborate to advance development of immunostimulatory antibody-drug conjugates, which are a modality for treating tumors and designed to boost anti-cancer activity. State Street (STT US) shares could be in focus after Deutsche Bank downgraded the stock to hold, while lowering EPS estimates and price targets across interest rate sensitive coverage of trust banks and online brokers. US bank stocks may be volatile during Tuesday’s trading session after the lenders announced a wave of dividend increases following last week’s successful stress test results. Stock rallies have proved fleeting this year as higher borrowing costs to fight inflation restrain economic activity in a range of nations. European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde affirmed plans for an initial quarter-point increase in interest rates in July, but said policy makers are ready to step up action to tackle record inflation if warranted. Some analysts also argue still-bullish earnings estimates are too optimistic. Earnings revisions are a risk with the US economy set to slow next year, though China emerging from Covid strictures could act as a global buffer, according to Lorraine Tan, Morningstar director of equity research. “You got a US slowdown in 2023 in terms of growth, but you have China hopefully coming out of its lockdowns,” Tan said on Bloomberg Radio. In Europe, stocks are well bid with most European indexes up over 1%. Euro Stoxx 50 rose as much as 1.2% before drifting off the highs. Miners, energy and auto names outperform. The Stoxx 600 Basic Resources sub-index rises as much as 3.5% led by heavyweights Rio Tinto and Anglo American, as well as Polish copper producer KGHM and Finnish forestry companies Stora Enso and UPM- Kymmene. Iron ore and copper reversed losses after China eased its quarantine rules for new arrivals, while oil gained for a third session amid risks of supply disruptions. Iron ore in Singapore rose more than 4% after being firmly lower earlier in the session, while copper and other base metals also turned higher. Here are the biggest European movers: Luxury stocks climb boosted by an easing of Covid-19 quarantine rules in the key market of China. LVMH shares rise as much as 2.5%, Richemont +3.1%, Kering +3%, Moncler +3% Energy and mining stocks are the best-performing groups in the rising Stoxx Europe 600 index amid commodity gains. Shell shares rise as much as 3.8%, TotalEnergies +2.7%, BP +3.4%, Rio Tinto +4.6%, Glencore +3.9% Banco Santander shares rise as much as 1.8% after a report that the Spanish bank has hired Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs for its bid to buy Mexico’s Banamex. GN Store Nord shares gain as much as 4.2% after Nordea resumes coverage on the hearing devices company with a buy rating. Swedish Match shares rise as much as 4% as Philip Morris International’s offer document regarding its bid for the company has been approved and registered by the Swedish FSA. Wise shares decline as much as 15%, erasing earlier gains after the fintech firm reported full- year earnings. Citi said the results were “mixed,” with strong revenue growth being offset by lower profitability. UK water stocks decline as JPMorgan says it is turning cautious on the sector on the view that future regulated returns could surprise to the downside, in a note cutting Severn Trent to underweight. Severn Trent shares fall as much as 6%, Pennon -7.7%, United Utilities -2.3% Akzo Nobel falls as much as 4.5% in Amsterdam trading after the paint maker announced the appointment of former Sulzer leader Greg Poux-Guillaumeas chief executive officer, succeeding Thierry Vanlancker. Danske Bank shares fall as much as 4%, as JPMorgan cut its rating on the stock to underweight, saying in a note that risks related to Swedish property will likely create some “speed bumps” for Nordic banks though should be manageable. In the Bavarian Alps, limiting Russia’s profits from rising energy prices that fuel its war in Ukraine have been among the main topics of discussion at a Group of Seven summit. G-7 leaders agreed that they want ministers to urgently discuss and evaluate how the prices of Russian oil and gas can be curbed. Earlier in the session, Asian stocks erased earlier losses as China’s move to ease quarantine rules for inbound travelers bolstered sentiment. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose as much as 0.6% after falling by a similar magnitude. The benchmark is set for a fourth day of gains, led by the energy and utilities sectors. BHP and Toyota contributed the most to the gauge’s advance, while China’s technology firms were among the biggest losers as a plan by Tencent’s major backer to further cut its stake fueled concern of more profit-taking following a strong rally.   A move by Beijing to cut quarantine times for inbound travelers by half is helping cement gains which have made Chinese shares the world’s best-performing major equity market this month. The nation’s stocks are approaching a bull market even as their recent rise pushes them to overbought levels. Still, the threat of a sharp slowdown in the world’s largest economy may pose a threat to the outlook. “US recession risk is still there and I think that’ll obviously have impact on global sectors,” Lorraine Tan, director of equity research at Morningstar, said on Bloomberg TV. “Even if we do get some China recovery in 2023, which could be a buffer for this region, it’s not going to offset the US or global recession.”  Most stock benchmarks in the region finished higher following China’s move to ease its travel rules. Main equity measures in Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea and Australia rose while those in Taiwan and India fell. Overall, Asian stocks are on course to complete a monthly decline of about 4%.    Meanwhile, the People’s Bank of China pledged to keep monetary policy supportive to help the nation’s economy. It signaled that stimulus would likely focus on boosting credit rather than lowering interest rates. Japanese stocks gained as investors adjusted positions heading into the end of the quarter.  The Topix Index rose 1.1% to 1,907.38 as of the market close in Tokyo, while the Nikkei 225 advanced 0.7% to 27,049.47. Toyota Motor contributed most to the Topix’s gain, increasing 2.2%. Out of 2,170 shares in the index, 1,736 rose and 374 fell, while 60 were unchanged. “As the end of the April-June quarter approaches, there is a tendency for institutional investors to rebalance,” said Norihiro Fujito, chief investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley. “It will be easier to buy into cheap stocks, which is a factor that will support the market in terms of supply and demand.” India’s benchmark stock gauge ended flat after trading lower for most of the session as investors booked some profits after a three-day rally.  The S&P BSE Sensex closed little changed at 53,177.45 in Mumbai, while the NSE Nifty 50 Index gained 0.1%.  Six of the the 19 sector sub-gauges compiled by BSE Ltd. dropped, led by consumer durables companies, while oil & gas firms were top performers.  ICICI Bank was among the prominent decliners on the Sensex, falling 1%. Out of 30 shares in the Sensex index, 17 rose and 13 fell. In rates, fixed income sold off as treasuries remained under pressure with the 10Y yield rising as high as 3.26%, following steeper declines for euro-zone and UK bond markets for second straight day and after two ugly US auctions on Monday. Yields across the curve are higher by 2bp-5bp led by the 7-year ahead of the $40 billion auction. In Europe, several 10-year yields are 10bp higher on the day after comments by an ECB official spurred money markets to price in more policy tightening. WI 7Y yield at around 3.32% exceeds 7-year auction stops since March 2010 and compares with 2.777% last month. Monday’s 5-year auction drew a yield more than 3bp higher than its yield in pre-auction trading just before the bidding deadline, a sign dealers underestimated demand. Traders attributed the poor results to factors including short base eroded by last week’s rally, recently elevated market volatility discouraging market-making, and sub-par participation during what is a popular vacation week in the US. Focal points for US session include 7-year note auction at 1pm ET; a 5-year auction Monday produced notably weak demand metrics. The belly of the German curve underperformed as markets focus  on hawkish comments from ECB officials: 5y bobl yields rose 10 bps near 1.46%, red pack euribors dropped 10-13 ticks and ECB-dated OIS rates priced in 163 basis points of tightening by year end. In FX, Bloomberg dollar spot index is near flat as the greenback reversed earlier losses versus all of its Group-of-10 peers apart from the yen while commodity currencies were the best performers. The euro rose above $1.06 before paring gains after ECB Governing Council member Martins Kazaks said the central bank should consider a first rate hike of more than a quarter-point if there are signs that high inflation readings are feeding expectations. Money markets ECB raised tightening wagers after his remarks. ECB President Lagarde later affirmed plans for an initial quarter-point increase in interest rates in July but said policy makers are ready to step up action to tackle record inflation if warranted. The ECB is likely to drain cash from the banking system to offset any bond purchases made to restrain borrowing costs for indebted euro-area members, Reuters reported, citing two sources it didn’t identify. Elsewhere, the pound drifted against the dollar and euro after underperforming Monday, with focus on quarter-end flows, lingering Brexit risks and the UK economic outlook. Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon due to speak later on how she plans to hold a second referendum on Scottish independence by the end of next year. The yen gave up an Asia session gain versus the dollar as US equity futures reversed losses. The Australian dollar rose after China cut its mandatory quarantine period to 10 days from three weeks for inbound visitors in its latest Covid-19 guidance. JPY was the weakest in G-10, drifting below 136 to the USD. In commodities, oil rose for a third day with global output threats compounding already red-hot markets for physical supplies and as broader financial sentiment improved. Brent crude breached $117 a barrel on Tuesday, but some of the most notable moves in recent days have been in more specialist market gauges. A contract known as the Dated-to-Frontline swap -- an indicator of the strength in the key North Sea market underpinning much of the world’s crude pricing -- hit a record of more than $5 a barrel. The rally comes amid growing supply outages in Libya and Ecuador, exacerbating ongoing market tightness. Oil prices also rose Tuesday as broader sentiment was boosted by China’s move to cut in half the time new arrivals must spend in isolation, the biggest shift yet in its pandemic policy. Meanwhile, the G-7 tasked ministers to urgently discuss an oil price cap on Russia.  Finally, the prospect of additional supply from two of OPEC’s key producers also looks limited. On Monday Reuters reported that French President Emmanuel Macron told his US counterpart Joe Biden that the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia are already pumping almost as much as they can. In the battered metals space, LME nickel rose 2.7%, outperforming peers and leading broad-based gains in the base-metals complex. Spot gold rises roughly $3 to trade near $1,826/oz Looking to the day ahead now, data releases include the FHFA house price index for April, the advance goods trade balance and preliminary wholesale inventories for May, as well as the Conference Board’s consumer confidence for June and the Richmond Fed’s manufacturing index. From central banks, we’ll hear from ECB President Lagarde, the ECB’s Lane, Elderson and Panetta, the Fed’s Daly, and BoE Deputy Governor Cunliffe. Finally, NATO leaders will be meeting in Madrid. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 0.5% to 3,922.50 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.6% to 417.65 MXAP up 0.4% to 162.36 MXAPJ up 0.4% to 539.85 Nikkei up 0.7% to 27,049.47 Topix up 1.1% to 1,907.38 Hang Seng Index up 0.9% to 22,418.97 Shanghai Composite up 0.9% to 3,409.21 Sensex down 0.3% to 52,990.39 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.9% to 6,763.64 Kospi up 0.8% to 2,422.09 German 10Y yield little changed at 1.62% Euro little changed at $1.0587 Brent Futures up 1.4% to $116.65/bbl Gold spot up 0.3% to $1,828.78 U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 103.89 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg In Tokyo’s financial circles, the trade is known as the widow- maker. The bet is simple: that the Bank of Japan, under growing pressure to stabilize the yen as it sinks to a 24-year low, will have to abandon its 0.25% cap on benchmark bond yields and let them soar, just as they already have in the US, Canada, Europe and across much of the developing world Bank of Italy Governor Ignazio Visco may leave his post in October, paving the way for the appointment of a high profile executive close to Premier Mario Draghi, daily Il Foglio reported NATO is set to label China a “systemic challenge” when it outlines its new policy guidelines this week, while also highlighting Beijing’s deepening partnership with Russia, according to people familiar with the matter The PBOC pledged to keep monetary policy supportive to aid the economy’s recovery, while signaling that stimulus would likely focus on boosting credit rather than lowering interest rates A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks were mixed with the region partially shrugging off the lacklustre handover from the US. ASX 200 was kept afloat with energy leading the gains amongst the commodity-related sectors. Nikkei 225 swung between gains and losses with upside capped by resistance above the 27K level. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp. were pressured amid weakness in tech and lingering default concerns as Sunac plans discussions on extending a CNY bond and with Evergrande facing a wind-up petition. Top Asian News China is to cut quarantine time for international travellers, according to state media cited by Reuters. Shanghai Disneyland (DIS) will reopen on June 30th, according to Reuters. PBoC injected CNY 110bln via 7-day reverse repos with the rate at 2.10% for a CNY 100bln net daily injection. China's state planner official said China faces new challenges in stabilising jobs and prices due to COVID and risks from the Ukraine crisis, while the NDRC added they will not resort to flood-like stimulus but will roll out tools in its policy reserve in a timely way to cope with challenges, according to Reuters. China's state planner NDRC says China is to cut gasoline and diesel retail prices by CNY 320/tonne and CNY 310/tonne respectively from June 29th. BoJ may have been saddled with as much as JPY 600bln in unrealised losses on its JGB holdings earlier this month, as a widening gap between domestic and overseas monetary policy pushed yields higher and prices lower, according to Nikkei. European bourses are firmer as sentiment picked up heading into the cash open amid encouraging Chinese COVID headlines. Sectors are mostly in the green with no clear theme. Base metals and Energy reside as the current winners and commodities feel a boost from China’s COVID updates. Stateside, US equity futures saw a leg higher in tandem with global counterparts, with the RTY narrowly outperforming. Twitter (TWTR) in recent weeks provided Tesla (TSLA) CEO Musk with historical tweet data and access to its so-called fire hose of tweets, according to WSJ sources. Top European News UK lawmakers voted 295-221 to support the Northern Ireland Protocol bill in the first of many parliamentary tests it will face during the months ahead, according to Reuters. Scotland's First Minister Sturgeon will set out a plan today for holding a second Scottish Independence Referendum, according to BBC News. ECB’s Kazaks Says Worth Looking at Larger Rate Hike in July G-7 Latest: Leaders Want Urgent Evaluation of Energy Price Caps Ex- UBS Staffer Wants Payout for Exposing $10 Billion Swiss Stash SocGen Blames Clifford Chance in $483 Million Gold Suit GSK’s £40 Billion Consumer Arm Picks Citi, UBS as Brokers Russian Industry Faces Code Crisis as Critical Software Pulled ECB ECB's Lagarde said inflation in the euro area is undesirably high and it is projected to stay that way for some time to comeFragmentation tool, via the ECB. ECB's Kazaks said 25bps in July and 50bps in September is the base case, via Bloomberg TV. Kazaks said it is worth looking at a 50bps hike in July and front-loading hikes might be reasonable. Fragmentation risks should not stand in the way of monetary policy normalisation. If necessary, the ECB will come up with tools to address fragmentation. ECB's Wunsch said he is comfortable with a 50bps hike in September; adds that 200bps of hikes are needed relatively fast, and anti-fragmentation tool should have no limits if market moves are unwarranted, via Reuters. Bank of Italy said Governor Visco's resignation is not on the table, according to a spokesperson cited by Reuters. Fixed Income Bond reversal continues amidst buoyant risk sentiment, hawkish ECB commentary and supply. Bunds lose two more big figures between 146.80 peak and 144.85 trough, Gilts down to 112.06 from 112.86 at best and 10 year T-note retreats within 117-01/116-14 range FX DXY regroups on spot month end as yields rally and rebalancing factors offer support - index within 103.750-104.020 range vs Monday's 103.660 low. Euro continues to encounter resistance above 1.0600 via 55 DMA (1.0614 today); Yen undermined by latest bond retreat and renewed risk appetite - Usd/Jpy eyes 136.00 from low 135.00 area and close to 134.50 yesterday. Aussie breaches technical and psychological resistance with encouragement from China lifting or easing more Covid restrictions - Aud/Usd through 10 DMA at 0.6954. Loonie and Norwegian Krona boosted by firm rebound in oil as France fans supply concerns due to limited Saudi and UAE production capacity - Usd/Cad sub-1.2850 and Eur/Nok under 10.3500. Yuan receives another PBoC liquidity boost to compliment positive developments on the pandemic front, but Rand hampered by latest power cut warning issued by SA’s Eskom Commodities WTI and Brent futures were bolstered in early European hours amid encouragement seen from China's loosening of COVID restrictions. Spot gold is uneventful, around USD 1,825/oz in what has been a sideways session for the bullion since the reopening overnight. Base metals are posting broad gains across the complex - with LME copper back above USD 8,500/t amid China-related optimism. US Event Calendar 08:30: May Advance Goods Trade Balance, est. -$105b, prior -$105.9b, revised -$106.7b 08:30: May Wholesale Inventories MoM, est. 2.1%, prior 2.2% May Retail Inventories MoM, est. 1.6%, prior 0.7% 09:00: April S&P CS Composite-20 YoY, est. 21.15%, prior 21.17% 09:00: April S&P/CS 20 City MoM SA, est. 1.95%, prior 2.42% 09:00: April FHFA House Price Index MoM, est. 1.4%, prior 1.5% 10:00: June Conf. Board Consumer Confidenc, est. 100.0, prior 106.4 Conf. Board Expectations, prior 77.5; Present Situation, prior 149.6 10:00: June Richmond Fed Index, est. -5, prior -9 DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap It's been a landmark night in our household as last night was the first time the 4-year-old twins slept without night nappies. So my task this morning after I send this to the publishers is to leave for the office before they all wake up so that any accidents are not my responsibility. Its hopefully the end of a near 7-year stretch of nappies being constantly around in their many different guises and states of unpleasantness. Maybe give it another 30-40 years and they'll be back. Talking of unpleasantness, as we near the end of what’s generally been an awful H1 for markets, yesterday saw the relief rally from last week stall out, with another bond selloff and an equity performance that fluctuated between gains and losses before the S&P 500 (-0.30%) ended in negative territory. In terms of the specific moves, sovereign bonds lost ground on both sides of the Atlantic, with yields on 10yr Treasuries up by +7.0bps following their -9.6bps decline from the previous week. That advance was led by real rates (+9.6bps), which look to have been supported by some decent second-tier data releases from the US during May yesterday. The preliminary reading for US durable goods orders surprised on the upside with a +0.7% gain (vs. +0.1% expected). Core capital goods orders also surprised on the upside with a +0.8% advance (vs. +0.2% expected). And pending home sales were unexpectedly up by +0.7% (vs. -4.0% expected). Collectively that gave investors a bit more confidence that growth was still in decent shape last month, which is something that will also offer the Fed more space to continue their campaign of rate hikes into H2. This morning 10yr USTs yields have eased -2.45 bps to 3.17% while 2yr yields (-4 bps) have also moved lower to 3.08%, as we go to press. Staying at the front end, when it comes to those rate hikes, if you look at Fed funds futures they show that investors are still only expecting them to continue for another 9 months, with the peak rate in March or April 2023 before markets are pricing in at least a full 25bps rate cut by end-2023 from that point. I pointed out in my chart of the day yesterday (link here) that the median time historically from the last hike of the cycle to the first cut was only 4 months, and last time it was only 7 months between the final hike in December 2018 and the next cut in July 2019. So it wouldn’t be historically unusual if Fed funds did follow that pattern whether that fits my view or not. Over in Europe yesterday there was an even more aggressive rise in yields, with those on 10yr bunds (+10.9bps), OATs (+11.0bps) and BTPs (+9.1bps) all rising on the day as they bounced back from their even larger declines over the previous week. That came as investors pared back their bets on a more dovish ECB that they’d made following the more negative tone last week, and the rate priced in by the December ECB meeting rose by +8.5bps on the day. For equities, the major indices generally fluctuated between gains and losses through the day. The S&P 500 followed that pattern and ultimately fell -0.30%, which follows its best daily performance in over 2 years on Friday Quarter-end rebalancing flows seem set to drive markets back-and-forth price this week. Even with the decline yesterday, the index is +6.36% higher since its closing low less than a couple of weeks ago. And over in Europe, the STOXX 600 (+0.52%) posted a decent advance, although that masked regional divergences, including losses for the CAC 40 (-0.43%) and the FTSE MIB (-0.86%). Energy stocks strongly outperformed in the index, supported by a further rise in oil prices that left both Brent crude (+1.74%) and WTI (+1.81%) higher on the day. G7 ministers reportedly agreed to explore a cap on Russian gas and oil exports, with the official mandate expected to be announced today, but it would take time for any mechanism to be developed. The impact on global oil supply is not clear: if Russia retaliates supply could go down, if this enables other third parties to import more Russian oil supply could go up. Elsewhere, political unrest in Libya and Ecuador could simultaneously hit oil supply. In early Asian trading, oil prices continue to move higher, with Brent futures up +1.13% at $116.39/bbl and WTI futures gaining +1% to just above the $110/bbl level. Asian equity markets are struggling a bit this morning. The Hang Seng (-1.00%) is the largest underperformer amid a weakening in Chinese tech stocks whilst the Nikkei (-0.15%), Shanghai Composite (-0.15%) and CSI (-0.19%) are trading in negative territory in early trade. Elsewhere, the Kospi (-0.05%) is just below the flatline. US stock futures are slipping with contracts on the S&P 500 (-0.12%) and NASDAQ 100 (-0.18%) both slightly lower. In central bank news, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) Governor Yi Gang pledged to provide additional monetary support to the economy to recover from Covid outbreaks and lockdowns and other stresses. In a rare interview conducted in English, the central bank chief did caution though that the real interest rate is low thereby indicating limited room for large-scale monetary easing. Turning to geopolitical developments, the G7 summit continued in Germany yesterday, and in a statement it said they would “further intensify our economic measures against Russia”. Separately, NATO announced that it will increase the number of high readiness forces to over 300,000, with the alliance’s leaders set to gather in Madrid from today. And we’re also expecting a new round of nuclear talks with Iran to take place at some point this week, something Henry mentioned in his latest Mapping Markets out yesterday (link here), which if successful could in time pave the way for Iranian oil to return to the global market. Finally, whilst there were some decent May data releases from the US, the Dallas Fed’s manufacturing activity index for June fell to a 2-year low of -17.7 (vs. -6.5 expected). To the day ahead now, and data releases include Germany’s GfK consumer confidence for July, French consumer confidence for June, whilst in the US there’s the FHFA house price index for April, the advance goods trade balance and preliminary wholesale inventories for May, as well as the Conference Board’s consumer confidence for June and the Richmond Fed’s manufacturing index. From central banks, we’ll hear from ECB President Lagarde, the ECB’s Lane, Elderson and Panetta, the Fed’s Daly, and BoE Deputy Governor Cunliffe. Finally, NATO leaders will be meeting in Madrid. Tyler Durden Tue, 06/28/2022 - 08:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJun 28th, 2022

28 historical fiction books that will whisk you away to a different world

Explore the best historical fiction books, from new releases to recent classics like "Pachinko" and "Where the Crawdads Sing." Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Some of the best historical fiction books of all time include "The Vanishing Half," "Pachinko," "The Nightingale," "Where the Crawdads Sing," and "The Underground Railroad."Amazon; Rachel Mendelson/Insider Historical fiction books transport us through time. They captivate readers and illuminate an important moment in history. Our recommendations range from historical fiction classics to new releases. Books can transport us across galaxies and mythical lands. With historical fiction books in particular, we can be taken through time by characters who illuminate real events and stories that demand to be told. Our favorite historical fiction novels may highlight the trials of refugees in the early 1900s or a familial tale that stretches generations, but they all use compelling characters and memorable plots to bring the past to life.  To create this list of recommendations, we looked at readers' favorite historical fiction books of all time, from new titles on bestseller lists to classics that are still receiving rave reviews on Goodreads. So whether you want to explore 12th-century England or a Pulitzer Prize-winning story about the underground railroad, here are some of the best historical fiction books to read in 2022.The 28 best historical fiction books of all time:A historical fiction book about books, World War II, and murderAmazon"The Diamond Eye" by Kate Quinn, available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $16.19Known for her bestseller "The Rose Code," Quinn's latest historical fiction read is about a bookworm name Mila Pavlichenko who becomes World War II's deadliest sniper when she's pulled from her life and thrust onto the battlefield. Torn once again from her world after her 300th kill, Mila is sent on a goodwill tour in America where an old foe and a new enemy bring the battlefield and haunting demons across the world for the deadliest battle of Mila's life. A historical fiction read that serves as a lens for forced sterilizationBookshop"Take My Hand" by Dolen Perkins-Valdez, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $18.90Civil Townsend is fresh out of nursing school in 1973 when her new job at the local family planning clinic introduces her to the Williams sisters who, at ages 11 and 13, have their lives irrevocably changed forever. Based on the true horror of forced sterilization of poor Black people and the case of Mary Alice and Minnie Lee Relf, "Take My Hand" is a moving and gripping novel that not only illuminates real events but highlights the importance of even one voice in the face of injustice. A historical fiction story within a storyAmazon"Trust" by Hernan Diaz, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $25.20All of New York seems to have read "Bonds," a 1938 novel about the mysterious wealth of Benjamin and Helen Rask in the 1920s, though this isn't the only version of the story. A book within a book, "Trust" tells a story where fact is interwoven with fiction, allowing the reader to unravel the truth as money, power, and what the characters want to believe about themselves manipulates the truth.A historical fiction book about separated and reconnected siblingsAmazon"We Measure the Earth with Our Bodies" by Tsering Yangzom Lama, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $24.30Lhamo and Tenkyi are sisters who have just survived a perilous journey across the Himalayas to a refugee camp on the border of Nepal as China invaded Tibet in 1959, though the trip left them orphaned. Decades later, the sisters are separated but connected through Lhamo's daughter, who finds a statue in a collector's vault that was once from her mother's village, carved in the image of a nameless saint and known for vanishing and reappearing in times of need.A historical fiction critique on sexism in the science industryAmazon"Lessons in Chemistry" by Bonnie Garmus, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $18.48In 1960s California, Elizabeth Zott's career as a chemist in a male-dominated science industry takes a sharp turn when she finds herself the star of America's favorite cooking show. With an unusual and revolutionary approach to cooking, Elizabeth isn't just teaching women a new way to cook — she's teaching them how to defy the status quo in this delightful and hilarious new historical fiction read.  A historical fiction story that's part coming-of-age and part murder mysteryAmazon"Where The Crawdads Sing" by Delia Owens, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $9.98 In this coming-of-age story driven by the mystery of a possible murder, Kya Clark is a young woman with only one day of schooling who's been surviving alone in the marsh since she was seven, earning herself the nickname "Marsh Girl." When a popular boy is found dead, Kya is an immediate suspect. This novel shows both the beauty of the natural world and the violence of pain, shifting between Kya's resilient life on the marsh and the tantalizing murder mystery. A multi-generational historical fiction story of a Korean family's migration to JapanAmazon"Pachinko" by Min Jin Lee, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.99 This National Book Award finalist takes place in the early 1900s Korea where readers meet Sunja, a teenage girl who falls in love with a wealthy stranger who promises her the world. When she discovers that he's married and she's pregnant, Sunja must instead accept a proposal from a minister on his way to Japan, rejecting the powerful father of her son in the process. This read contains a lot of fascinating history and follows four generations of a Korean family through Japanese colonization, war, and the divide of North and South Korea.A historical fiction book about women’s bravery during World War IIAmazon"The Nightingale" by Kristin Hannah, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $8.18"The Nightingale" takes place in France and begins just before the Nazi invasion in 1939. It's the story of unbreakable resolve and an untold perspective of World War II, following two sisters as one trying to keep her daughter safe as a German captain claims her home, while the other risks her life by joining the resistance. Despite being over 400 pages, it's a fast read that brought me to tears on more than one occasion and is my personal favorite historical fiction book.An intertwining historical fiction tale of twin sistersAmazon"The Vanishing Half" by Brit Bennett, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $18.65 "The Vanishing Half" is a historical fiction novel about twin sisters who grew up to live very different lives. At 16, the Vignes twins run away together from their small, Black town to later separate and become starkly different women whose fates still manage to intersect through their children. Years later, one sister once again lives in their hometown with her daughter, while the other lives with her white husband, quietly passing as a white woman. Told from the 1950s to the 1990s, this is a generational story of identity, community, and family that was widely considered one of the best books of 2020.An award-winning historical fiction classicAmazon"Beloved" by Toni Morrison, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $9.31 Winner of the 1988 Pulitzer Prize, Toni Morrison's "Beloved" is a devastating and unflinching story of slavery and survival. Sethe was born a slave and escaped to Ohio. Yet, 18 years later, she's still tormented by her memories of the farm and the ones she left behind. Now, her home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, whose tombstone is engraved with only "Beloved." This story is an emotional and brutal tale of the complex legacy of slavery.A historical fiction read about love and relationships between womenAmazon"Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" by Lisa See, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $13.19With flowing prose that easily transports readers to 19th century China, Lisa See shows how the power of friendship can help us endure life's greatest challenges. Lily and Snow Flower were paired as emotional matches when they were seven years old, communicating with each other in "nu shu" or women's writing, a secret code women used to communicate despite seclusion. Through the years, Lily and Snow Flower share their hopes, dreams, and accomplishments through messages sent on fans, outlining the agony of foot-binding, the joys of motherhood, and their thoughts on their arranged marriages.A Holocaust historical fiction novel with an original narratorAmazon"The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $6.99 Set in 1939 Nazi Germany, Liesel is a foster girl living outside of Munich who begins to steal books after finding "The Gravedigger's Handbook" partially buried by her brother's grave. As she falls in love with reading, the country around her descends deeper into war. When her foster family hides a Jewish man in their basement, Liesel's understanding of the death and danger surrounding her grows as her exterior world shrinks. Narrated by Death, this is an intense and emotional World War II story as Liesel steals books from wherever she can — including Nazi book burnings.A heart-racing historical fiction story about escaping slaveryAmazon"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $10.25 Cora is an enslaved young girl in Georgia, an outcast who knows she must escape before she reaches womanhood and faces even greater horrors. When Cora and her new friend decide to flee through the Underground Railroad, they soon find they're being hunted. The pair travels from state to state, risking their lives for the chance of freedom. Colson Whitehead's ability to instill in readers the terror that Cora feelsis astounding, making it no surprise this extraordinary title won the National Book Award in 2016 and the Pulitzer Prize in 2017.A heartbreaking historical fiction book about friendshipAmazon"The Kite Runner" by Khaled Hosseini, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $10.50 Set in Afghanistan from 1963-2001, this book tells the story of Amir, a wealthy young boy, and his best friend Hassan, the son of his father's servant. Like brothers, the boys spend their days flying kites to escape the difficulties of their lives, until a devastating act changes their relationship forever. This is a moving tale of friendship, guilt, and redemption that follows the real-world histories of military intervention and the rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan while keeping the relationships between Amir, his father, and Hassan in the foreground.A lyrical historical fiction bookAmazon"The Water Dancer" by Ta-Nehisi Coates, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $12.31 "The Water Dancer" is a historical fiction novel that combines elements of magical realism in an engaging and moving story of memory, family, and slavery. Hiram Walker is the enslaved Black son of a plantation owner who has the ability to remember everything except his mother, taken and sold by his father when Hiram was only nine. After Hiram has a near-death experience, he decides he must escape the plantation and rescue his family in this dramatic and heart-racing journey. A historical fiction novel about an empowered henna artistAmazon"The Henna Artist" by Alka Joshiavailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $13.98 "The Henna Artist" is an immersive read that tells the stories of many women in Jaipur in the 1950s. At only 17, Lakshmi is the most highly sought-after henna artist in Jaipur, having recently escaped her abusive marriage. While creating beautiful henna for her wealthy clients, she becomes a confidant to many women, offering wise advice while avoiding gossip. One day, Lakshmi is confronted by her husband, who brings her a young sister she didn't know she had. With her secure and independent life in jeopardy, Lakshmi must care for her teenage sister on her journey to a life she never knew she wanted.  A familial historical fiction book that spans centuriesAmazon"Homegoing" by Yaa Ghasi, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $8.82 "Homegoing" is a multi-generational story that spans 300 years and is beloved by readers for the unforgettable forces that shape families on opposite sides of the world. In 18th century Ghana, two half-sisters are born in different villages, each unaware of the other's existence. One is married off into wealth, while the other is imprisoned in the dungeons of her sister's castle, soon sold into the slave trade and raised in American slavery. This tale of legacy follows the descendents of each sister through centuries of colonization, migration, and war. A queer historical fiction book set in UruguayAmazon"Cantoras" by Caroline De Robertis, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $15.29In 1977, Uruguay was ruled by an authoritarian military dictatorship under which homosexuality was not just a crime, but punishable by unspeakable means. Despite the dangers, five cantoras (women who sing) find each other through a friendship that blooms to love, family, and freedom. This novel is a passionate celebration of the safety and sanctuary of found families that begins with a trip to an isolated cape. A lyrical, Indigenous historical fiction novelAmazon"Where the Dead Sit Talking" by Brandon Hobson, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $13.69 "Where the Dead Sit Talking" is an emotional and authentic coming-of-age story featuring Sequoyah, who is placed in foster care after his single mother is jailed on drug charges. Set in 1980s Oklahoma, Sequoyah is a 15-year-old Cherokee boy and a survivor of childhood trauma and abuse. He quickly bonds with another Indigenous foster girl named Rosemary, sharing their past pains and precarious present in this award-winning, profound novel of suffering and strength.A historical fiction story of love and redemptionAmazon"The Color Purple" by Alice Walker, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.99The winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, this historical fiction book is about Celie and Nettie, two sisters who were separated as girls yet connect through letters spanning 20 years. This book brings to light the extent of abuse women of color have often faced and been expected to quietly endure — a devastating and emotional read about the resiliency of the human spirit and the persistent bond of sisterhood.A historical fiction story about spiritual growthAmazon"The Samurai's Garden" by Gail Tsukiyama, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $10.19This historical fiction book is about the emotional and spiritual journey of a young Chinese painter named Stephen, set against the backdrop of the Japanese invasion of China in the late 1930s. When Stephen is sent to his family's coastal home to recover from tuberculosis, he meets four new people, including Matsu — a samurai of the soul who's dedicated himself to living a generous and nurturing life and helps Stephen gain physical, mental, and spiritual strength as the novel progresses.A historical fiction novel that follows a family over 200 yearsAmazon"The House of the Spirits" by Isabel Allendeavailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $12.79 Spanning three generations of a family in Chile, "The House of the Spirits" incorporates magical realism into an epic narrative that weaves joy, love, and fate through a history of rich culture and political unrest. Beginning just after World War I, this novel follows the women of the Trueba family whose gifts, triumphs, and tragedies are reflected in each generation of beautiful and meticulously crafted characters.An engrossing historical fiction journey in 12th century EnglandAmazon"The Pillars of the Earth" by Ken Follett, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $7Ken Follett is most well-known as a bestselling thriller writer, so it's no surprise this hugely popular historical fiction novel has all the suspense, passion, and intricacies for which he's revered. Set in 12th century England, this medieval story of morality, betrayal, and love is about a monk who is driven to build a Gothic cathedral so great it will dawn a new age. Told with vivid detail, "The Pillars of the Earth" brings an incredible cast of characters and their hardships to life.A historical fiction novel interwoven with magical realismAmazon"The Night Tiger" by Yangsze Choo, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $13.59 "The Night Tiger" is a historical fiction read that incorporates elements of magical realism, ancient superstition, and mystery to create a lush and exhilarating coming-of-age story set in 1930s Malaysia. Rin is a young Chinese houseboy and Ji Lin is an apprentice dressmaker, their paths unlikely to cross until their journeys intertwine over a severed finger. Rin has 49 days to reunite his master's missing finger with his body, lest his soul roams the earth. One night, Ji Lin's dance partner leaves her a severed finger. Convinced it's bad luck, she sets out to return it to its owner.A historical fiction retelling of Indigenous heroesAmazon"A Novel About the Navajo Marines of World War Two" by Joseph Bruchac, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $6.73 The Navajo Code Talkers were an instrumental group of native men who used their language to code messages during World War II, saving countless American lives. In this fictionalized retelling, Ned Begay is a teenage Navajo boy who becomes a code talker through rigorous Marine Corps training, fighting through some of the war's most brutal battles. While the novel highlights the discrimination the Navajo men faced, the story is also a celebration of Navajo culture and the code-talker heroes of World War II.An emotionally trying historical fiction bookAmazon"The Darkest Child" by Delores Phillips, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $10.99 Set in 1958 Georgia, Tangy Mae is 13 years old and one of 10 children, the darkest-skinned of her siblings and dubbed the ugliest by her light-skinned mother. The siblings all suffer horrific emotional and physical abuse by their mother, so when Tangy Mae is offered a spot in a nearby high school looking to assemble its first integrated class, she knows how life-changing yet impossible escaping her mother may prove to be.A historical fiction read that begins in a remote village in ChinaAmazon"The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane" by Lisa See, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $12.91 Li-yan is raised in a remote mountain village where the lives of those in the community revolve around tradition, ritual, and tea farming. When a stranger arrives in the first automobile the villagers have ever seen, it dawns a modern awakening for the community and some begin to reject its customs and traditions. When Li-yan has a child out of wedlock, she brings the baby to an orphanage and leaves her village in search of an education and city life while her daughter is raised in California by her adoptive parents in this story of heritage, familial bonds, and sacrifice.A vibrant historical fiction story set during the Civil WarAmazon"Gone with the Wind" by Margaret Mitchell, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $3.95This classic historical fiction novel was originally published in 1936 but is set in Georgia in 1861 during the Civil War. The story focuses on Scarlett O'Hara, the spoiled daughter of a wealthy plantation owner whose life is forever changed by the Civil War. This is an intense book that captures the depth of transformation during the war, known for the manipulative and selfish ways of the unlikeable main character. "Gone with the Wind" won a Pulitzer Prize in 1937 and is widely considered a great American novel.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 31st, 2022

Market Rout Extends With Futures Tumbling To Verge Of Bear Market

Market Rout Extends With Futures Tumbling To Verge Of Bear Market US stock futures slumped again, extending yesterday’s brutal selloff that erased $1.5 trillion in market value on concerns about everything from slowing growth, to Chinese lockdowns, to soaring inflation and tightening monetary policy. Contracts on the S&P 500 were down 1.2% 7:30 a.m. in New York, having earlier dropped to 3,856, one point away sliding 20% from January's all time highs, and triggering a bear market. The underlying index tumbled 4% on Wednesday, the most since June 2020, as consumer shares cratered after Target slashed its profit forecast due to a surge in costs. Nasdaq 100 futures were down 1.2%. 10Y TSY Yields slumped about 7bps, dropping to 2.833, while the dollar also dropped after yesterday's surge; bitcoin was flat around $29K. The retail rout continued on Thursday: shares of US retailers again tumbled in premarket trading amid growing worries over the impact of rising inflation and the ability of companies to pass on higher costs to consumers; with Bath & Body Works becoming the latest retailer to cut its guidance. Major technology and internet stocks were also down, pointing to further losses in major technology and internet stocks a day after the tech-heavy Nasdaq slumped to its lowest since November 2020. Apple (AAPL US) -1.2%, Microsoft (MSFT US) -1.2%, Meta Platforms (FB US) -1.1%, Netflix (NFLX US) -0.9% and Nvidia (NVDA US) -2.2% in premarket trading. US rail stocks may be in focus as Citi cuts ratings on Norfolk Southern (NSC US), Union Pacific (UNP US) and US Xpress Enterprises (USX US) to neutral from buy, while lowering 2023 estimates “across the board.”Here are some other notable movers: Cisco Systems (CSCO US) plunged 13% in premarket trading after the network-gear maker spooked investors with a warning that Chinese lockdowns and other supply disruptions would wipe out sales growth in the current quarter. Shares of networking equipment makers drop after Cisco cuts outlook, with Broadcom (AVGO US) -3.6% and Juniper Networks (JNPR US) -5.9% in premarket trading. Synopsys (SNPS US) rises 3.8% in premarket trading after the supplier of software used to design semiconductors boosted its profit and revenue guidance for the full year. Target (TGT US) shares fall 2.2% in premarket trading, Walmart (WMT US) -0.3%; Kohl’s (KSS US) is in focus after two senior executives depart Under Armour (UAA US) shares dropped as much as 6% in US premarket trading, with analysts saying that the departure of the sportswear maker’s CEO Patrik Frisk is a surprise and adds uncertainty. Bath & Body Works’s (BBWI US) outlook cut was a little greater than expected, though analysts noted that it was due to higher costs and investment. The company’s shares fell almost 4% in premarket trading. United Wholesale Mortgage (UWMC US) will struggle to main its 1Q earnings level in coming quarters, Piper Sandler says in a note downgrading the stock to underweight from neutral. Shares drop as much as 7% in US premarket trading. The S&P 500 is on track for its longest weekly losing streak since 2001 as traders flee risk assets over fears that the Federal Reserve will push the economy into a recession as it tries to curb inflation. The benchmark is close to falling into a bear market, after dropping 18% from a record high in January. "The US selloff was rather orderly and the market isn’t oversold, yet. That tells us that we are likely not at the bottom yet,” said Joachim Klement, head of strategy, accounting and sustainability at Liberum Capital. “Consumer sentiment remains depressed and we are seeing consumers retrenching on some discretionary spending.”  Speaking on Tuesday in his most hawkish remarks to date, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said the US central bank will keep raising interest rates until there is “clear and convincing” evidence that inflation is in retreat. JPMorgan's Marko Kolanovic, meanwhile, said - what else - that things can get better for US stocks. “There will be no recession this year, some summer increase in consumer activity on the back of reopening, China increasing monetary and fiscal measures,” he said.  Bolstering his opinion is a conviction that US inflation has probably peaked, or is about to do so, paving the way for a pullback in price pressures that will eventually allow the Federal Reserve to moderate the pace of monetary tightening.  "Since we are pricing in a growth scare but not yet a recession, we could see further downside in the coming weeks, but we are starting to price in a very negative picture already, suggesting we should, at some point, be closer to the bottom,” said Esty Dwek, chief investment officer at Flowbank SA. US stock investors are pricing in stronger odds of a recession than are evident from positive macroeconomic indicators, according to Goldman Sachs strategists. "A recession is not inevitable,” Goldman strategists led by David J. Kostin wrote in a note. “Rotations within the US equity market indicate that investors are pricing elevated odds of a downturn compared with the strength of recent economic data.” Bets that robust earnings can help investors weather this year’s turbulence were thrown in doubt after US consumer titans signaled growing impact of high inflation on margins and consumer spending. Meanwhile, Federal Reserve officials reaffirmed that tighter monetary policy lies ahead, and investors fretted over stagflation risks. “We are pricing in a growth scare,” Lori Calvasina, the head of US equity strategy at RBC Capital Markets, told Bloomberg TV. “There is a lot of uncertainty in this market right now about whether or not that recession is going to come through or if it’s going to be another near-death experience.” There was some more good news on the China covid lockdown front: Shanghai Vice Mayor said Shanghai port throughput recovered to around 90% of the levels a year ago and that Shanghai will expand work resumption in areas with no COVID risk in early June. Furthermore, Shanghai is to gradually restore inter-district public transport from May 22nd and will require residents to show negative PCR tests taken within 48 hours before using public transport, while an economy official said Shanghai will reduce rents for small and medium-sized enterprises by more than CNY 10bln and the city extended CNY 72.3bln of loans to over 10,000 firms since March, according to Reuters. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 retreated 1.8%, after sliding more than 2% earlier, with all industry sectors in the red and personal care and financial services leading the decline as Wednesday’s retailer trouble in the U.S. spills over into Europe. FTSE 100 lags regional peers, dropping 2%. Here are some of the biggest European movers today: HomeServe shares jump as much as 12% after Brookfield agrees to buy the home emergency and repair services company for GBP4.1b. Societe Generale shares rise as much as 1.5%, as it was raised to outperform from market perform at KBW, with the broker saying the sale of Russian activities removes a key overhang for the bank and should result in a re-rating. Generali shares rose as much as 1.4% after 1Q profit beats analyst estimates as EU136m impairments on Russian investments were more than offset by higher operating income. PGNiG shares rise as much as 6.2% after reporting 1Q results that, according to analysts, support Polish gas company’s outlook. Nestle shares drop as much as 5.3% after Bernstein downgraded the stock to market perform from outperform, saying the shares will “struggle” if market sentiment improves and investors exit havens. Royal Mail shares fall as much as 14% after the postal group’s FY results slightly missed estimates and analysts said its outlook is “disappointing.” National Grid shares fall as much as 2.5%, erasing gains from yesterday’s record high, after the utility company reported full-year results. Earlier in the session, shares of Asian retailers follow their US counterparts lower after Target became the second big retailer in two days to trim its profit forecast. Australia: JB Hi-Fi retreats 6.6%, Wesfarmers -7.8%, Harvey Norman -5.5%, Woolworths -5.6% South Korea: E-Mart - 3.4%; apparel makers Hansae -9.4%, F&F -4.2%, Youngone -8.2% Japan: Fast Retailing - 3.1%, MatsukiyoCocokara -1.4%, Ryohin Keikaku -1.7%, Nitori -3% Singapore: Grocery chain operator Sheng Siong slips as much as 1.3% Hong Kong: Sun Art Retail down as much as 4.1% In China, Tencent Holdings Ltd. plunged 6.6% after warning it will take time for Beijing to act on promises to prop up the Chinese tech sector. Cisco Systems Inc. slid in extended US trading on a disappointing revenue outlook. Japan's Nikkei 225 suffered firm losses amid reports the ruling coalition is considering increasing the corporate tax rate and after several data releases in which Machinery Orders topped estimates but Exports missed as China-bound exports declined by the fastest pace since March 2020. Indian stocks declined to a ten-month low, tracking a sell-off across Asia, on concerns the US Fed’s hawkish stance on inflation may cool economic activity and hurt consumer demand.  The S&P BSE Sensex plunged 2.6% to 52,792.23, its lowest level since July 30, in Mumbai, while the NSE Nifty 50 Index slipped 2.7% to 15,809.40  Software exporter Infosys Ltd. fell 5.4% to a 11-month low and was the biggest drag on the Sensex, which had 27 of 30 member stocks trading lower. All 19 sector indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. declined, led by S&P BSE Information Technology index, that dropped the most in over two years.   “Deteriorating macro sentiment such as soaring inflation, recession fears, and the prospect of the Federal Reserve getting even more hawkish will continue to keep benchmarks on the edge,” Prashanth Tapse, an analyst at Mehta Equities Ltd., wrote in a note.  In earnings, of the 36 Nifty 50 firms that have announced results so far, 21 have either met or exceeded analyst estimates, while 15 have missed forecasts. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 index fell 1.7% to close at 7,064.50, tumbling with global shares as concerns over inflation, interest-rate hikes and Ukraine piled up. All sectors dropped, except for health. Consumer shares were among the worst performers, following their US peers lower after Target became the second big retailer in two days to trim its profit forecast. Aristocrat rose after it released its 1H results and unveiled buyback plans. In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.5% to 11,206.93 And in emerging markets, Sri Lanka fell into default for the first time in its history as the government struggles to halt an economic meltdown that prompted mass protests and a political crisis. An index of developing-nation stocks slumped more than 2%. In FX, the Bloomberg dollar spot index declines, with all G-10 majors rising against the greenback. CHF is the strongest G-10 performer with USD/CHF snapping lower on to a 0.97 handle and EUR/CHF slumping below 1.03. The Swiss franc diverged from Japanese yen and dollar after hawkish comments from SNB’s Thomas Jordan Wednesday, which assured traders CHF rates could follow EUR higher. Options trades may also be behind the latest move in the spot market. In rates, Treasury yields dropped about seven basis points as investors sought insurance against further declines in risk assets. Treasury yields richer by up to 6bp across belly of the curve, richening the 2s5s30s fly by 2.2bp on the day; 10-year yields around 2.83% with German 10-year outperforming by 2.5bps. Treasuries extended Wednesday’s rally as stocks resume slide with S&P 500 futures dropping under 3,900 to lowest level in a year; on the curve, the belly led the advance while bunds outperform in a more aggressive bull-flattening move as European stocks tumble. US session highlights include 10-year TIPS reopening at 1pm ET. Flurry of block trades during London session follows a spate of trades Wednesday; five blocks worth a combined cash-equivalent $1.2m/DV01 between 3:38am and 5:35am similarly entailed price action consistent with sales. Most European bonds also gained, with the yield on German 10-year securities falling more than basis points.  German yield curve bull-flattens: 30-year yield drops ~9bps before stalling near 1.05% which has acted as support for much of May so far. The Dollar issuance slate empty so far; eight borrowers priced $8.5b Wednesday, and new issue activity is expected to be muted during remainder of the week. Three-month dollar Libor +2.69bp to 1.50486%. Economic data slate includes May Philadelphia Fed business outlook and initial jobless claims (8:30am), April existing homes sales and leading index (10am). In commodities, crude oil extended declines, while most industrial metals were in the red as global growth fears damped the demand outlook. WTI reverses Asia’s gains, dropping back below $110 but holding above Wednesday’s lows. Spot gold is comparatively quiet, holding above $1,810/oz. Most base metals trade in the green; LME tin rises 2.1%, outperforming peers while copper held near a seven-month low and zinc extended losses. Bitcoin is modestly softer in a relatively contained range that lies just shy of the USD 30k mark. Crypto exchange FTX to start rollout of new stock-trading service on Thursday, WSJ reports; will not accept payment for order flow on stock trades. Looking to the day ahead now, and data releases from the US include the weekly initial jobless claims, along with April’s existing home sales and the Philadelphia Fed’s business outlook survey for May. Central bank speakers include ECB Vice President de Guindos, the ECB’s Holzmann and the Fed’s Kashkari. Finally, the ECB will be publishing the minutes from their April meeting. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures down 1.1% to 3,879.25 STOXX Europe 600 down 1.7% to 426.41 MXAP down 1.8% to 161.60 MXAPJ down 2.2% to 527.30 Nikkei down 1.9% to 26,402.84 Topix down 1.3% to 1,860.08 Hang Seng Index down 2.5% to 20,120.68 Shanghai Composite up 0.4% to 3,096.97 Sensex down 2.4% to 52,926.71 Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 1.6% to 7,064.46 Kospi down 1.3% to 2,592.34 Gold spot down 0.1% to $1,814.49 U.S. Dollar Index down 0.28% to 103.52 German 10Y yield little changed at 0.96% Euro up 0.3% to $1.0496 Brent Futures down 0.1% to $109.00/bbl Top Overnight News from Bloomberg President Joe Biden is set to meet on Thursday with Finland’s President Sauli Niinisto and Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson at the White House to discuss the Nordic nations’ NATO bids. China’s top diplomat again warned the US over its increased support for Taiwan, showing the island democracy remains a major sticking point between the world’s biggest economies as Beijing sent more military aircraft toward the island Sri Lanka fell into default for the first time in its history as the government struggles to halt an economic meltdown that prompted mass protests and a political crisis The yuan’s outlook is finally looking more balanced after a 6.5% dive versus its major trading partner currencies since March. A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks were pressured on spillover selling after the worst day on Wall St in almost two years. ASX 200 was led lower by consumer staples following the retailer woes stateside and mixed Australian jobs data. Nikkei 225 suffered firm losses amid reports the ruling coalition is considering increasing the corporate tax rate and after several data releases in which Machinery Orders topped estimates but Exports missed as China-bound exports declined by the fastest pace since March 2020. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp initially weakened with the Hong Kong benchmark dragged lower by heavy losses in tech after Tencent’s profit declined by more than 50% and with the mainland pressured as Beijing conducts a fresh round of mass COVID testing, although the mainland bourse recovered most of its losses after Shanghai announced a further gradual easing of restrictions. Xiaomi (1810 HK) Q1 adj. net profit CNY 2.859bln (vs 6.069bln Y/Y), Q1 revenue CNY 73.4bln (vs. 76.9bln Y/Y); global smartphone shipments -10.5% Y/Y at 38.5mln units. Top Asian News Shanghai Vice Mayor said Shanghai port throughput recovered to around 90% of the levels a year ago and that Shanghai will expand work resumption in areas with no COVID risk in early June. Furthermore, Shanghai is to gradually restore inter-district public transport from May 22nd and will require residents to show negative PCR tests taken within 48 hours before using public transport, while an economy official said Shanghai will reduce rents for small and medium-sized enterprises by more than CNY 10bln and the city extended CNY 72.3bln of loans to over 10,000 firms since March, according to Reuters. Japanese MOF official said China's COVID curbs are among the factors that caused a decline in China-bound exports from Japan which fell by the fastest pace since March 2020, while Japan's April imports reached the largest amount on record, according to Reuters. Japan's ruling coalition is reportedly considering increasing the corporate tax rate, according to Jiji. New Zealand sees 2021/22 OBEGAL at NZD -18.98bln (prev. forecast -20.44bln), 2021/22 net debt at 36.9% of GDP (prev. forecast 37.6%) and Cash Balance at NZD -31.78bln (prev. forecast -34.10bln), while Finance Minister Robertson said the economy is expected to be robust in the near term and they see a return to OBEGAL surplus in 2024/25, according to Reuters. European bourses are pressured across the board in a broader risk-off moves after yesterday's Wall St. sell off, as European players look past the brief respite seen overnight on Shanghai's reopening; Euro Stoxx 50 -2.3%. Stateside, the magnitude of the downside is somewhat more contained given newsflow has been limited since Wednesday's downside commenced, ES -1.2%. Top European News EU is reportedly considering a targeted trade war on troublesome Brexiteer MPs and Tory ministers to force UK PM Johnson to do a U-turn on the Northern Ireland protocol, according to The Telegraph. Top UK Economist Defends BOE’s Handling of Inflation Crisis EasyJet Bookings Pick Up Ahead of Uncertain Summer Season Apax-Owned Rodenstock Acquires Spanish Rival Indo European Gas Slips With LNG Imports Helping Boost Stockpiles In FX Franc resurgence and re-emergence as a safe haven currency continues; USD/CHF touches 0.9750 vs 1.0060+ peak on Monday, EUR/CHF sub-1.0250 vs circa 1.0500 at one stage only yesterday. Dollar loses momentum as US Treasury yields retreat further and curve re-flattens amidst ongoing risk rout, DXY ducks under 103.500 after peaking just shy of 104.000 on Wednesday. Kiwi and Aussie find positives via fiscal and fundamental factors to evade aversion; NZD/USD back above 0.6300 after NZ budget and AUD/USD hovering around 0.7000 post- Aussie jobs data. Yen retains underlying bid irrespective of mixed Japanese data, USD/JPY below 128.00 again. Euro firmer beyond EUR/CHF cross ahead of ECB minutes and Sterling off UK inflation data lows awaiting retail sales on Friday, EUR/USD retains sight of 1.0500 and Cable near 1.2400. Rand meandering ahead of SARB in anticipation of 50 bp rate hike, USD/ZAR around 16.0000, irrespective of Gold taking firmer hold of USD 1800/oz handle. Fixed Income Debt resumes safe-haven rally as market mood continues to sour. Bunds top 154.00, Gilts get close to 120.00 and 10 year T-note even nearer the same psychological level. BTPs lag amidst the ongoing aversion to risk, while OATs and Bonos reflect on somewhat mixed auction results. Commodities WTI and Brent are pressured in-fitting with broader sentiment as initial resilience on demand-side positives re. China/COVID were overpowered by the risk move. However, the benchmarks are around USD 1.00/bbl off lows of USD 104.36/bbl and USD 106.76/bbl respectively, following reports that China is discussing the purchase of Russian crude. China is said to be in talks with Russia to purchase oil for strategic reserves, according to Bloomberg sources; detailed on terms and volume reportedly not decided yet Qatar Energy was reportedly selling July Al-Shaheen crude at premiums of USD 5.80-6.40/bbl above Dubai quotes which is the highest in 2 months, according to Reuters sources. Spot gold is bid as it draws haven allure, with the yellow metal marginally surpassing USD 1830/oz. US Event Calendar 08:30: May Initial Jobless Claims, est. 200,000, prior 203,000; Continuing Claims, est. 1.32m, prior 1.34m 08:30: May Philadelphia Fed Business Outl, est. 15.0, prior 17.6 10:00: April Existing Home Sales MoM, est. -2.2%, prior -2.7%; Home Resales with Condos, est. 5.64m, prior 5.77m 10:00: April Leading Index, est. 0%, prior 0.3% DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap Today is my last day at work this week before I head up to Cambridge tomorrow for my Masters’ graduation. Before you send in a flood of congratulations though, I didn’t actually do any work for this qualification, with not even a single hour of revision. Now at this point you’re probably thinking I’m either a genius or guilty of some serious academic malpractice. I’m hoping the former. But the truth is that I’m benefiting from a quirky tradition that somehow means Cambridge, Oxford and Dublin will upgrade your Bachelors into a Masters after a few years. With the wedding two months away, it appears as though I’m losing all my bachelor status at once. Markets seem ready for a holiday too after the last 24 hours, with the selloff resuming at pace after the brief respite on Tuesday. In fact it was nothing short of a rout with the S&P 500 ending the day down -4.04%, marking its worst daily performance since June 2020, and leaving the index at a fresh one-year low. There wasn’t a single catalyst behind the slump, but weak housing data out of the US along with Target’s move to cut its profit outlook helped feed investor concern that the consumer might not be in as strong a position as previously thought. And that’s on top of all the other worries of late that the global economy is heading in a stagflationary direction amidst various supply-chain issues, alongside the prospect that tighter central bank policy is going to further dent growth and risks tipping various economies into recession. In terms of the specific moves, the S&P 500 gradually tumbled as the day went on, with its -4.04% decline more than reversing its +2.02% bounceback on Tuesday. The decline was an incredibly broad-based one, with just 8 constituents in the index ending the day higher, which is the lowest number since November. That earnings report we mentioned at the top meant that Target (-24.93%) saw the worst performance in the entire S&P 500, after saying they now expected their full-year operating income margin rate to be around 6%. That follows a disappointing report from Walmart the previous day, and meant that consumer staples (-6.38%) and consumer discretionary (-6.60%) were the worst-performing sectors in the S&P yesterday. The latest declines also mean that the S&P is back on track for a 7th consecutive weekly decline, having shed -2.49% since the start of the week, and S&P 500 futures are only up by +0.18% this morning. If the S&P 500 does see a 7th week in negative territory, then that would be the longest run of weekly declines for the index since 2001. Other indices lost ground too given the risk-off move, with the Dow Jones (-3.57%), the NASDAQ (-4.73%), and the small-cap Russell 2000 (-3.56%) all experiencing sizeable declines of their own. European indices had a better performance after closing before the worst of the US declines, and the STOXX 600 was “only” down -1.14% to just remain in positive territory for the week. With recessionary concerns back in focus, sovereign bonds rallied on both sides of the Atlantic as investors sought out safe havens. Yields on 10yr US Treasuries fell by -10.2bps to 2.88%, with the decline mostly led by a -9.6bps move lower in real yields, and nominal yields are only back up +2.5bps this morning. The yield curve also continued to flatten and the 2s10s slope (-6.9ps) fell to its lowest in over two weeks, at 21.0bps, although it’s been over 6 weeks now since the curve last traded in inversion territory. We did get some Fedspeak but to be honest there weren’t any major headlines relative to what we already knew, with Chicago Fed President Evans saying it was “quite likely” the Fed would be at a neutral setting by year-end, whilst Philadelphia Fed President Harker was making the case for more gradual rate hikes after the next few 50bp hikes are delivered. More important for the outlook was the release of various housing data yesterday, where housing starts fell to an annualised rate of 1.724m in April (vs. 1.756m expected), and that was from a downwardly revised 1.728m in March. That comes against the backdrop of rising mortgage rates, and the MBA reported that mortgage purchase applications fell -11.9% in the week ending May 13, leaving them at their lowest levels since May 2020 when the numbers were still recovering from the pandemic slump. Over in Europe, sovereign bond curves also became flatter as investors became increasingly aggressive on the near-term ECB rate path. Indeed the amount of ECB rate hikes priced in by the December meeting hit a fresh high of 108bps, or equivalent to at least four rate hikes of 25bps by year-end. That came amidst further ECB speakers over the last 24 hours, including Finnish central bank governor Rehn, who had already endorsed a July hike and said yesterday that the initial hike was “likely to take place in the summer”. Furthermore, he said that it seemed “necessary that in our policy rates we move relatively quickly out of negative territory”. We also heard from Estonian central bank governor Muller, who also endorsed a July hike and said he “wouldn’t be surprised” if the deposit rate were in positive territory by year-end. However, Spanish central bank governor De Cos said that rate hikes should be gradual as he called for APP purchases to end at the start of Q3, with rate hikes to follow shortly afterwards. Those growing expectations of tighter policy saw shorter-dated yields move higher in Europe once again, with 2yr German yields hitting their highest level since 2011 despite only a marginal +0.1bps move to 0.36%. However, the broader risk-off tone meant it was a different story for their longer-dated counterparts, and yields on 10yr bunds (-1.6bps) and OATs (-2.2bps) both moved lower on the day. Peripheral spreads widened as well, whilst iTraxx Crossover neared its recent highs with a +26.2bps move to 468bps. In terms of the fight against inflation, there was a potential boost on the trade side yesterday as US Treasury Secretary Yellen confirmed ahead of a meeting of G7 finance ministers and central bank governments that the she favoured removing some tariffs on goods that are not considered strategic. Separately the risk-off move also saw oil prices move lower for a 2nd day running yesterday, with Brent crude down -2.52%, although it’s since taken back a decent chunk of that loss this morning with a +1.51% move higher to $110.76/bbl. Over in Asia, equity markets have tracked those steep overnight losses on Wall Street to move sharply lower this morning. Among the key indices, the Hang Seng (-2.25%) is the largest underperformer amidst a broad weakness in tech stocks as the Hang Seng Tech index fell by an even larger -3.40%. Mainland Chinese stocks have performed relatively better however, even if the Shanghai Composite (-0.08%) and CSI (-0.25%) have both moved slightly lower, while the Nikkei (-1.91%) and the Kospi (-1.29%) have seen more substantial losses. Finally there was some important employment data out of Australia this morning ahead of their election on Saturday, with the unemployment rate falling to its lowest since 1974, at 3.9%. The employment gain was a bit softer than expected with just a +4.0k gain (vs. +30.0k expected), but that included a +92.4k gain in full-time employment, offset by a -88.4k decline in part-time employment. Elsewhere on the data side, there were fresh signs of inflationary pressure in the UK after CPI inflation rose to a 40-year high of +9.0% in April. But in spite of the 40-year high, that was actually slightly beneath the +9.1% reading expected by the consensus, which marked the first time in over 6 months that the reading hasn’t been higher than expected. Gilts outperformed following the release as it was also beneath the BoE’s staff projection of +9.1%, and 10yr gilt yields closed down -1.6bps on the day, whilst sterling underperformed the other major currencies leave it -1.28% weaker against the US Dollar. To the day ahead now, and data releases from the US include the weekly initial jobless claims, along with April’s existing home sales and the Philadelphia Fed’s business outlook survey for May. Central bank speakers include ECB Vice President de Guindos, the ECB’s Holzmann and the Fed’s Kashkari. Finally, the ECB will be publishing the minutes from their April meeting. Tyler Durden Thu, 05/19/2022 - 08:02.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytMay 19th, 2022

Warren Buffett"s Berkshire Hathaway bet on Citigroup, loaded up on Chevron, and dumped Verizon. Here are 5 key takeaways from its Q1 portfolio update.

Berkshire sold the last of its Wells Fargo shares, more than quadrupled its Activision Blizzard stake, and placed a fresh wager on Paramount Global. Warren Buffett.Reuters Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway bet big on Citigroup and Chevron last quarter. The investor's company exited Wells Fargo, and virtually eliminated its Verizon stake. Here are five key takeaways from Berkshire's first-quarter portfolio update. Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway placed billion-dollar wagers on several companies, ramped up some positions and slashed others, exited a historic holding, and even dabbled in merger arbitrage in the first quarter.Here are 5 key takeaways from Berkshire's latest portfolio update:1. Switching banksBerkshire revealed a new stake in Citigroup valued at $2.9 billion, as well as a $390 million bet on Ally Financial. On the other hand, it sold the last of its Wells Fargo shares; it once commanded a $29 billion stake in the bank, and counted it among its five largest holdings.Buffett and his team have overhauled their financial holdings during the pandemic. For example, they exited JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs in the summer of 2020, and piled $2.1 billion into Bank of America in the space of 12 days around the same time, cementing the bank's place as Berkshire's number-two holding after Apple.The Berkshire chief explained last year that he felt his company was overexposed to banks when the pandemic hit, and while the US government would bail out the banks if the financial system froze, it was up to Berkshire to take care of itself.Berkshire's new bet on Citigroup could indicate that Buffett is bullish on certain banks once again.2. Betting on oilBerkshire roughly quadrupled its Chevron stake last quarter, raising it from 38 million shares to 159 million. The energy company's stock surged 39% in the period, helping to boost the value of Berkshire's position by almost six-fold to $26 billion.Buffett's company also invested north of $7 billion in Occidental Petroleum last quarter, and boosted its position by another 5% this quarter. Meanwhile, shares of the oil-and-gas group are up 106% this year. The upshot is that Berkshire's stake is now worth about $9.8 billion.Buffett and his team may be bullish on energy stocks because they expect fuel prices to stay high, driven by a combination of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, pandemic-driven disruptions to global supply chains, rebounding demand, and rampant inflation.3. Playing an old gameBerkshire more than quadrupled its Activision Blizzard stake to over 64 million shares, worth $5.2 billion at the end of March.Buffett revealed during his recent shareholders' meeting that he had purchased a bunch of Activision Blizzard shares, as he determined they were trading at too large a discount to Microsoft's agreed offer of $95 for the company.The investor may well have added to the position in recent weeks. He said during the annual meeting on April 30 that Berkshire owned 9.5% of Activision Blizzard, whereas it only owned 8.2% at the end of March.Buffett also joked that his business partner, Charlie Munger, often wonders why he's "fooling around with this stuff." The Berkshire CEO attributed his behavior to being an "old fire horse," or someone who keeps up an old habit.4. Getting outBerkshire built a massive stake in Verizon in the second half of 2020. It owned $8.3 billion of the stock at the end of last year, making the telecoms group one of its 10 largest holdings. However, Buffett's company sold more than 99% of that position last quarter.Similarly, Berkshire built stakes valued at more than $2 billion in each of AbbVie, Merck, and Bristol Myers Squibb in the second half of 2020. It dumped Merck in the third quarter of last year, and exited the other two pharmaceutical companies last quarter.Buffett may have had second thoughts about his pharma holdings. He appeared to describe them last year as "so-so" stocks that he didn't know a great deal about, and wasn't too comfortable owning. As for Verizon, he may have decided the energy sector had brighter prospects than the telecoms industry.5. Embracing mediaBerkshire built a $2.6 billion stake in Paramount Global — formerly known as ViacomCBS — last quarter. The media behemoth owns Paramount Pictures, a film-and-TV studio; CBS Entertainment, which owns the CBS and CW television networks; cable-TV networks including MTV, Nickelodeon, and Showtime; and the Paramount+ streaming service.Buffett and his team have a long history of media investments, ranging from The Washington Post Company to The Buffalo News, to an early bet on Disney. However, Buffett said in a CNBC interview in 1996 that he largely avoids betting on media giants such as Viacom and CBS, as he's unsure which ones will emerge as winners of a fast-changing industry in a decade's time.It's unclear why Buffett, or perhaps one of his deputies, decided to bet on Paramount last quarter. Hopefully, it becomes clear in the coming months.Read more: We interviewed the CEOs of 4 of Warren Buffett's most iconic businesses. Here are their 16 best quotes about the investor, Berkshire Hathaway's ownership, and navigating the pandemic and inflation.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 17th, 2022

"Traditional" Vs "Disruptive" Portfolio Construction & Why It Matters So Much!

"Traditional" Vs "Disruptive" Portfolio Construction & Why It Matters So Much! Authored by Peter Tchir via Academy Securities, Most of the time, Wall Street tends to focus on big institutional flows. For years that was probably okay, but that led to horrible decisions during the pandemic. Retail flows were a crucial driver of markets, and we are at an inflection point where retail will be a big determinant of what happens next! This expands on the “non virtuous” cycle work we first presented in Bad to the Bone. It will also clarify some thoughts on crypto as a leading indicator of stocks that we touched on in Friday morning’s email. Sorry, Not Sorry This portfolio construction analysis: Will be overly simplified. Will annoy you at times. Will make you smile at times (hopefully). Will, after further consideration, help you understand some market dynamics that are at play and could trigger the next big move (and why I’m concerned that is to the downside). “Traditional” vs “Disruptive” Portfolio Construction Let’s use “traditional” to mean the sort of investor that existed well before COVID. Maybe an investor that would have been the “norm” for individual investors, circa 2017. Let’s then imagine a class of investor that is “disruptive” by nature and was doing well pre-COVID, but flourished during COVID. I did warn you that it would be simplistic and some parts would likely anger you, but let’s just run with this as the two main ways that retail is constructing portfolios and once you think about it, probably does cover the vast majority of retail investors. The Traditional Investors’ “Conundrum” TINA forced even conservative investors into more risk than they would traditionally take. The fear of not having enough money for their potential lifespan forced them into equities. Equities were no longer the pariah of conservative investors and they remained significant components well into retirement. That worked great, but there really was no alternative. I expect this group is already “de-risking.” They can decrease risk for similar expected returns. The S&P 500 expected dividend yield is up to about 1.6%, though the recent increase from 1.4% in March and 1.3% at the end of December is by stocks dropping in price (the S&P 500 is down 15.6%) rather than by dividend growth. At the same time, the 10-year Treasury yield has risen from 1.5% to almost 3%. You can plow money into corporate credit to pick up additional current income and even the money market funds are back to paying some interest. Fear of rising rates has caused big bond fund ETF outflows. The Muni market, mostly reflective of retail, has been a seemingly never-ending series of BWIC after BWIC (bid wanted in competition). But, if you felt you needed to own dividend stocks to get income and those stocks are down hard and their yields now pale in comparison to Treasuries, do you start de-risking? The “will I have enough” comes down to total return and carry. For whatever reason, and I’m not sure of the reason, the “will I have enough” investors seem to focus on yield more than anything and seem far more willing to take bond losses on a mark to market basis than they do on stocks. Ok, I cannot fully blame them, but there is this strange detachment from total return vs income, at least when I get more involved in that space. I would not be surprised if these investors, while generally de-risking, weren’t adding some “hot sauce” to their portfolios. Taking some flyers on disruptive stocks and other assets that they “missed” during the crisis, but can now buy at “bargain” prices (or at least much cheaper than their peak prices). While it will be gradual, I think this “de-risking” is occurring and will continue to occur as “traditional” investors go back to their roots and take on more “traditional” portfolios containing fewer equities and more bonds. The Disruptive Investors’ Problem #1 - Crypto While traditional investors face a conundrum, the disruptive investors face a real problem. Bitcoin is at its lowest levels since December 2020. Anyone who added bitcoin during that timeframe is now underwater. Making the situation more perilous (and why I’m currently so bearish crypto) is that: Adoption and interest are waning. When the average person sees something go up 10% a week and their media streams are filled with people calling for ever-increasing price targets, an asset class gets a lot of attention. When something stumbles and continues to stumble, even after a very successful run, the “told you so” crowd gets a lot more airtime. In December we wrote that TINA, BOGO, and FOMO’s Engines Are Stuttering. That thesis continues to play out and is worth a read. We had a strong “use case”– Russia invading Ukraine. Currency restrictions. Sanctions. But, after a brief post invasion pop, crypto has renewed its descent. That likely discourages new investors. When “stable” coins become “unstable.” This is the extent of my current knowledge, but here is my best take. Stable coins act as an “intermediate” step where people transacting in the crypto universe can remain in the crypto space without taking the market volatility of the cryptocurrencies. Terra (Luna), usually referred to as UST, was a $20 billion market cap algo based stable coin. I will be honest, I’m not sure what an algo based stable coin is, and I’m not about to find out, because it apparently went “poof.” Tether, known as USDT (notice how Q Macro Strategy Peter Tchir “Traditional” vs “Disruptive” Portfolio Construction & Why It Matters So Much! May 15, 2022 3 everything about crypto is meant to sound or look like a currency - great marketing), is worth $80 billion and is “supposedly” backed by some sort of assets. That at least I understand. I can relate to something being backed by something. There have been repeated questions about what is actually backing it, but those have been met by repeated assertions that it is in fact backed by assets. Tether (which was trading below $1) has rebounded since Thursday. I don’t know, but if you’ve gotten to this point and haven’t invested in crypto but are thinking about starting now, I’d love an explanation (btw, “stable coins” is another brilliant marketing moniker – there really is a trend here). I’m digging deeper into this whole area, but I don’t see how it is anything but a red flag. China is trying to crack down on crypto use. One way is enforcement and the other way (no idea how they’d do it but always in the back of my mind) is the fact that you don’t have to worry about money outside of the system if you figure out a way to drive it to zero. I’m told its impossible, but I’ll leave it as low probability rather than impossible. The U.S. and Western Europe will impose regulations. Mostly for tax purposes, but increasingly to ensure that less can occur outside the system. I strongly believe that the NSA helped track some well publicized ransomware payments and helped get that returned. One, it tells me what a big, powerful entity can do if they focus on the space (assuming my “guess” is correct) which makes me think back to the China point. Two, ransomware as a “use” case may be dropping. I’m extremely bearish crypto here. I understand that the “maxis” (bitcoin maximalists, who loath crypto other than bitcoin) point to many of the problems listed above as a reason to view bitcoin as a “flight to safety” play in crypto, but I don’t buy into it. This is not the time, nor the place, but all you have to do is scroll through Twitter and you will find people with 100s of thousands of followers who say things just blatantly and factually incorrect. I’m not arguing about those who say it is going to $1 million, or those who tout that it is an inflation hedge, or those who say it is going to zero (and pound their chests on every drop, despite being wrong for the past few years), just people who state things as “facts” that are not in fact, facts. How many people are being “influenced” by the influencers? I think a high number and that scares me for the longer-term viability of the product (given everything else mentioned), but more importantly, leads me to believe the price drop could be larger than many expect. I didn’t even delve into the “alt” coins or NFTs, which are bigger disasters waiting to happen (if it hasn’t already happened). That was the “play” money part of their portfolio and that for many is gone (along with interest in penny stocks). The Disruptive Investors’ Problem #2 – Disruptive Stocks I’m not even going to include the cannabis related stocks because it makes the chart too complex, is piling on, and isn’t 100% related to my thesis, but probably could be. ARKK, at one point in early 2021, had outperformed the S&P 500 (SPY) by 194%! And the S&P’s gains were not shabby! It had even blown away the returns of the Nasdaq 100 (QQQ). Now, in a “stunning” reversal, its returns since the start of 2018 are now lower than either of those! As mentioned before, I do think more people are betting on a rebound (ARKK and TQQQ - 3x leveraged QQQ - have been getting extreme inflows), but some part of the disruptive investor must be nervous that they aren’t diversified at all? The Disruptive Investors’ Problem #3 – Cash Equivalents? Maybe I am wrong in what these investors considered “safe” assets. Ways to park their money. Maybe, they didn’t view giant tech as a cash holding/easy to access and was certain to go higher. I may be wrong on that, but we have seen some of those companies turn over recently. What if I’m right? What if the “disruptive investor” suddenly realizes that their portfolio should look a lot more like the traditional investor’s portfolio? I think it might be difficult to distinguish between capitulation and a rebalancing from “disruptive” to “traditional,” but I’d argue that we have been seeing signs of that and it is unlikely to be over. The End of “Gambling” Nation? David Portnoy, the president of Barstool Sports (@stoolpresidente on Twitter) has gone from calling markets and competing with Cramer for social media’s most vocal stock “analyst” to mostly focusing on one-bite pizza reviews and sports, which he does extremely well! DKNG down from $70 to $12, PENN down from $135 to $31, HOOD down from $70 to $11, and COIN down from $350 to $68 (though it almost broke $40 on Friday) all benefitted from this “gambling” mentality we saw during COVID. Maybe HOOD and COIN were experiencing “investing,” but I don’t think it is a leap of faith to consider at least some of it “gambling” or at least having the mentality of a “gambler” rather than an investor (you cannot convince me otherwise on weekly options on single stocks). These are all tied together and all represent a dramatic shift in “disruptive” behavior. TQQQ I am going to come back to TQQQ for a moment. It closed on Friday with a market cap of about $13 billion with 414 million shares outstanding. On April first, it had 321 million shares outstanding, so people have added about 100 million shares to this ETF in the last 6 weeks. TQQQ has dropped from $58 to $32 during that time. People are adding almost every day. There is very little capitulation (actually no capitulation). SQQQ - the 3x inverse - has fewer shares now than it did in January despite rallying from $29 to $52 over that time period. The aforementioned ARKK has by far the most shares outstanding in its history (though a much smaller total market cap). But I digress, so back to TQQQ. TQQQ had a market cap of $13 billion on Friday. QQQ closed at $302 (TQQQ doesn’t actually buy QQQ, but let’s pretend it does, since that simplifies the math). On Monday, TQQQ has to be set up to deliver 3x the daily percentage change in the Nasdaq 100 (QQQ is our proxy). So, let’s assume that TQQQ borrows $26 billion to buy $39 billion of QQQ (129 million shares). That means that whatever happens on Monday, TQQQ will have made or lost 3x the daily percentage change. For example, if QQQ went up 3% on Monday, it would close at $311.06 (using $302 as starting price). The shares held by TQQQ would be worth $40.17 billion, which after they repaid the loan would be worth $14.17 billion (or 9% higher than the $13 billion TQQQ started the day at). But this is where it gets interesting! As we went into Monday’s close, QQQ would need to be prepared to match 3 times the daily percentage change. Even at the elevated price of QQQ, TQQQ would need to hold 136.6 million shares going into Tuesday (instead of the 129 million shares it already had). So, TQQQ would have a buy order in at the close on 7.5 million shares of QQQ or $2.3 billion! The daily rebalancing of a 3x leveraged fund creates additional buys on up days and additional sells on down days! It tends to make moves even bigger than they would be otherwise. Think about that, a fund that is “only” $13 billion needing to buy as much as $2.3 billion if we get a 3% move (which seems the norm) and there were no inflows! This is the exact sort of mechanism that caused the inverse VIX ETFs to explode, though by their nature they actually had much higher leverage because of the way the underlying share count was calculated, but that should be a sobering reminder. The reverse also happens and TQQQ will have to sell into the close on down days, but so far, that has been largely offset by fund inflows! What if the fund inflows stop? My Fear My biggest fear is a shift from “disruptive” portfolios to “traditional” portfolios. The riskiest portion has been hard for many (NFT, Alt Coins, etc.) The “core” investment, other disruptive stocks, bitcoin, etc., has been hit hard. The companies they are working for may have gone from upping pay to suddenly being focused on costs, making salary less certain going forward. The thing that they viewed as the “piggy” bank is suddenly under pressure as well. These things occurring force a large unwind. Unfortunately, some of the “safe” stocks have come to represent huge portions of the indices, which would quickly spread losses. Could we have TQQQ “go poof” like the VIX ETNs? No, the leverage isn’t there. Could we have a limit down day as outflows combine with rebalancing and other selling to hit broad markets? I do not see why not. Could this happen if crypto rebounds? I doubt it, in fact, I think crypto would need to be the catalyst for more of the moves we have seen, but if crypto goes down and stays down (given its poor liquidity), we see a very ugly day in risk assets. Bottom Line I think we could see the Fed soften its stance now that Powell is being confirmed. That would help risk assets, but I’m far more concerned that Thursday’s crypto led selling pressure was only a taste of what is to come. I don’t know the timing, but puts for the next month seem worth it. I will also be watching to see if there is any “profit” taking on the recent bounces in the crypto and disruptive stocks. On Treasuries, we will get TIC data on Monday that shows what China, the Saudis, and other countries did with their Treasury holdings in March (I suspect that they reduced their exposure and that will explain some of the relative performance of Treasuries versus the debt of other countries). I don’t see liquidity improving in the coming weeks as we are at best halfway through people rethinking about risk and reward and adjusting their portfolios accordingly (hedge funds, large asset managers, traditional, and disruptive investors included). Maybe this was all just a crazy way to think about markets, how they are intertwined, and what is happening, but it explains a lot and highlights some serious and plausible risks! As much as I think tone at the Fed will change, I’m more nervous than bullish (again) – ugh! Tyler Durden Sun, 05/15/2022 - 12:15.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytMay 15th, 2022