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  1. #1601  
    RX Senior
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bozzie View Post
    Weekly highlight ...bet today at the local.

    Pats Fins Under 44
    Giants Denver... Under 42.5
    Seattle-3
    Rams-7.5
    4-0


    
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    Welcome to Wall Street Breakfast, our preview of stock market events for investors to watch during the upcoming week. You can also catch this article a day early by subscribing to the Stocks to Watch account for Saturday morning delivery.
    Outlook
    Economic reports in the week ahead
    Investors will get a test next week when the consumer report index report drops on September 15 to give a read on inflation trends in August. The economic calendar also includes updates on manufacturing, jobless claims, consumer sentiment and a high-profile retail sales report. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) hosts a special streaming event next week with all eyes on what new products are on the way from Cupertino. Zoom Video (NASDAQ:ZM), Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW) and Crocs (NASDAQ:CROX) hold special investor events, while Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) will report earnings.


    Earnings
    Earnings spotlight: Monday, September 13th: Oracle (ORCL).
    Earnings spotlight: Tuesday, September 14th: FuelCell Energy (NASDAQ:FCEL).
    Earnings spotlight: Wednesday, September 15th:JinkoSolar (NYSE:JKS).
    Earnings spotlight: Thursday, September 16th:Trip.com (NASDAQ:TCOM).
    Earnings spotlight: Friday, September 17th:Manchester United (NYSE:MANU).

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    IPOs
    IPO watch: A busy week is setting up in the IPO market with Sportradar Group (SRAD), Dutch Bros (BROS), Definitive Healthcare Corp. (DH), Thoughtworks Holding (TWKS), On Holding (ONON), PROCEPT BioRobotics Corp. (PRCT) and ForgeRock (FORG) all set due to debut. Software consultancy firm Thoughtworks Holding could trade with the highest market cap of the group, with the Siemens-backed company aiming for a valuation of over $6B in the U.S. Also next week, watch for IPO lockup periods expire on Olo (NYSE:OLO), Jowell Global (NASDAQ:JWEL), Alzamend Neuro (NASDAQ:ALZN), Sun Country Airlines (NASDAQ:SNCY), Tuya (NYSE:TUYA), Vine Energy (NYSE:VEI), Duckhorn Portfolio (NYSE:NAPA), Molecular Partners (NASDAQ:MOLN), Gain Therapeutics (NASDAQ:GANX), Instil Bio (NASDAQ:TIL), Connect Biopharma (NASDAQ:CNTB), Finch Therapeutics Group (NASDAQ:FNCH) and AFC Gamma (NASDAQ:AFCG).
    M&A
    M&A tidbits: A number of proposed mergers will go to a shareholder vote next week including the Ventas (NYSE:VTR)-New Senior Investment (NYSE:SNR) deal, the Old National Bancorp (NASDAQ:ONB)-First Midwest Bancorp (NASDAQ:FMBI) deal, the United Community Banks (NASDAQ:UCBI)-Aquesta Financial (OTCPK:AQFH) deal and the First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC)-Select Bancorp (NASDAQ:SLCT) deal.
    Dividends
    Dividend watch: The list of companies on watch for a quarterly dividend hike next week include JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) to $1.00 from $0.90, Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ:FITB) to $0.30 from $0.27, Texas Instruments (NASDAQ:TXN) to $1.13 from $1.02, U.S. Bancorp (NYSE:USB) to $0.46 from $0.42, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) to $0.61 from $0.56, Innovative Industrial (NYSE:IIPR) to $1.48 from $1.40, STORE Capital (NYSE:STOR) to $0.38 from $0.36, Philip Morris International (NYSE:PM) to $1.23 to $1.20 and American Tower (NYSE:AMT) to $1.30 from $1.27.
    Healthcare
    FDA watch: The FDA priority review action date on Calliditas Therapeutics' (NASDAQ:CALT) Nefecon for IgA nephropathy arrives on September 15. The FDA holds an Advisory Committee Meeting to discuss Pfizer (NYSE:PFE)-BioNTech's aApplication for a COVID-19 Booster. The FDA is evaluating data submitted by Pfizer-BioNTech in with COVID-19 vaccine booster application and will discuss it with the agency's advisory committee. Also in the FDA sphere of influence, the agency's Advisory Committee meets to discuss the Flourish Pediatric Esophageal Atresia Device from Cook Medical. It is also the estimated FDA action date for Biogen's (NASDAQ:BIIB) SB11, a biosimilar of the anti-VEGF therapy Lucentis (ranibizumab).
    Events
    Corporate events: Crocs (CROX) hosts an investor day event on September 14 that will provide an overview of the company's long-term strategy and key initiatives to deliver sustainable, profitable growth. Roche (OTCQX:RHHBY) holds a Pharma Day event to provide investors an update on its pipeline. Check out Seeking Alpha's Catalyst Watch for a detailed list of specific events to watch.


    Conference schedule: Some of the big conferences to track this week include the Citi Global Technology Conference 2021, the H.C. Wainwright 23rd Annual Global Investment Conference, the Barclays Global Financial Services Conference 2021, the Piper Sandler 2021 Global Technology Virtual Conference, the JPMorgan Gaming, Lodging, Restaurant & Leisure Management Access Forum, the Jefferies Software Conference and the Jefferies Pet Summit 2021.

    SPACs
    SPAC watch: Shareholders vote on a number of SPAC deals next week that could lead to trading starting on the stocks of the combined companies. The SPAC deals going to a vote include Soaring Eagle Acquisition's (NASDAQ:SRNG) combination with Ginkgo Bioworks, Atlas Crest Investment's (NYSE:ACIC) combination with with Archer, TPG Pace Tech Opportunities' (NYSE:PACE) combination with Nerdy, MedTech Acquisition Corp's (NASDAQ:MTAC) combination with Memic Innovative Surgery, D8 Holdings' (NYSE:DEH) combination with Vicarious Surgical, Rotor Acquisition's (NYSE:ROT) combination with Sarcos Robotics and Cerberus Telecom Acquisition's (NYSE:CTAC) combination with KORE. Check out Seeking Alpha's Catalyst Watch for a detailed list of specific events to watch.

    Analysis
    Notable annual meetings: Annual meetings on tap for the week include Conagra Brands (NYSE:CAG) and Deckers Outdoor (NYSE:DECK) on September 15. Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) holds its annual meeting on September 17. Large tech companies in China like Alibaba have been under increasing pressure to promote "common prosperity" through the support of smaller-sized enterprises.
    Stocks
    Barron's mentions: SVB Financial Group (SVB) is singled out this week in the "stodgy world" of banking because of its unusual role as a leading lender to innovative tech start-ups. The stock has displayed a return on equity ahead of other banks in the S&P 500 for the past three years. In the homebuilder sector, value plays are seen with D.R. Horton, M.D.C Holdings and Meritage Homes. The three stocks trade nearly 25% below their five-year average price-to-earnings ratio. In addition, metal fabricator Mayville Engineering Company (NYSE:MEC) is seen as an interesting pick amid the manufacturing reshoring trend.
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  2. #1602  
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    The only thing I saw there was 4-0 NFL.
    Well done.
    How did a generation raised on South Park and Family Guy become sooooo sensitive?
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  3. #1603  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruins4Life View Post
    The only thing I saw there was 4-0 NFL.
    Well done.

    Nice call on ZI 63.00 and change today


    September 13, 2021
    Continue reading the main story
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    Epic Games C.E.O. Tim Sweeney, front, has filed an appeal against a federal court ruling in its case against Apple.Brittany Hosea-Small/Reuters


    A decision that split in Big Tech’s favor

    A federal judge’s split decision on Friday in the high-profile case between Apple and Epic Games, which stopped short of declaring Apple a monopoly but said it was anticompetitive, allowed parties on both sides of the argument to claim victory. The ruling also set off celebrations among developers who said the ruling would allow them to avoid Apple’s 30 percent commission on in-app purchases. Spotify, one of those developers, said it was pleased with the ruling.

    Conversely, so did Apple. That suggests that much of the coverage over the weekend about the ruling representing a meaningful setback to the tech giant, whose shares fell on the news, should be taken with a grain of salt. It’s also telling that Epic filed an appeal against the decision yesterday.

    A quick recap: Epic sued Apple in August last year, after the iPhone maker removed Epic’s popular game Fortnite from its app store. Apple said the developer had broken its rules by steering players to make purchases outside of Apple’s app store, circumventing Apple’s ability to collect a commission on in-app purchases. Epic, in its suit, said Apple violated antitrust laws by forcing developers to use its payment system and forbidding them from telling app users about alternative ways to pay.


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    The judge sided with Apple on questions of monopoly. “While the Court finds that Apple enjoys considerable market share of over 55% and extraordinarily high profit margins, these factors alone do not show antitrust conduct,” Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers wrote. “Success is not illegal.” But she said that Apple’s policy against steering, by forcing developers to withhold information from consumers, was anticompetitive under California state law, and therefore should not be allowed, not just within the state, but anywhere.

    The main strike against Apple is open to interpretation. There is plenty of room for interpretation in the judge’s order on Apple’s steering rules, which said that Apple cannot prohibit developers from “including in their apps and their metadata buttons, external links, or other calls to action that direct customers to purchasing mechanisms, in addition to In-App Purchasing,” the judge’s decision said.

    There is debate about the difference between buttons and links, which could make the effect of the ruling less significant than it seems. If a button, like a shopping cart icon or “pay now” call-out, isn’t the same as a link, then Apple could interpret the ruling as allowing things that look like buttons but don’t take users to external sites when they tap them. This might set up more fights between Apple and developers.

    Legal experts said that the decision was not a road map for future antitrust litigation, but rather another dead end for those who want to rein in tech giants via the courts. It’s more evidence of “how narrow our federal antitrust laws are,” Eleanor Fox, an antitrust law scholar at N.Y.U., told DealBook. “Some people are saying it’s a big win for Epic, but that may not be so.”


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    Apple said that it needs to control the entire App Store ecosystem to ensure privacy and protect consumers from being ripped off, and the judge basically agreed. In fact, Judge Gonzalez Rogers argued that a world where Apple had no ability to protect its commissions would be unfair. “The ruling shows the gap between the popular perception of what is a monopoly and what the law says,” Fox said. And that, in turn, “gives those pushing to change the laws in Congress pretty good ammunition,” she said.

    HERE’S WHAT’S HAPPENING

    Beijing reportedly wants to break up Alipay. As part of the Chinese government’s crackdown on domestic tech giants, The Financial Times reportsthat regulatorsmay order the fintech company, which is part of Jack Ma’s Ant Group, to split off its lending business and turn over user data to a partly state-owned credit scoring joint venture. This follows recent rumblings that state-backed companies would take a stake in Ant Group.

    The stock market looks to rebound from a rough week. Futures are up today, after five days of losses marked the longest consecutive stretch of down days since February. But a growing number of Wall Street strategists warn that more market drops could be ahead.

    Democrats outline tax increases for the richest businesses and individuals. The plan circulating among House Democrats proposes to raise the corporate tax rate to 26.5 percent for companies that report more than $5 million in income, make the top marginal income tax rate for individuals 39.6 percent and hike the capital gains tax rate to 25 percent. The plan is less aggressive than President Biden had earlier proposed, with projected revenue falling short of fully funding the White House’s $3.5 billion spending plans.


    ADVERTISEMENT


    Whirlpool is offering employees $1,000 to be vaccinated, DealBook has learned. The incentive, announced to employees last week, came as Biden ordered OSHA to require companies with more than 100 employees to require that workers be vaccinated or face weekly testing. This morning, the Consumer Brands Association, a trade group, wrote to Biden with a long list of questions its members have about the order, reflecting the confusion among companiesabout how to apply vaccine mandates.

    Kansas City Southern is back together with Canadian Pacific. The railroad operator said yesterday that it deemed a $29 billion takeover offer from Canadian Pacific superior to a higher bid from Canadian National. Canadian National was the preferred suitor until its bid to create the first railroad to connect all of North America hit a regulatory snag, and if it loses out in the bidding war it will receive a $700 million breakup fee.


    A new type of advisory firm

    As companies put more focus on diversity, political engagement and working with a broader range of stakeholders, their consulting needs have changed in turn. Advisers are adapting to meet this demand. Today, Jon Henes, a former restructuring partner at Kirkland & Ellis, is launching C Street Advisory to offer C.E.O.s and boardrooms advice on issues that span business, politics and social justice.


    ADVERTISEMENT


    The firm blends Henes’s experience and relationships at Kirkland with his time as the national finance chair for Kamala Harris’s presidential campaign and a co-finance chair for Ray McGuire’s New York mayoral campaign.

    C Street has four main functions: Corporate advisory, like the work Henes did at Kirkland; diversity, equity and inclusion (also known as D.E.I.); employee recruitment and retention; and communications. C Street will compete with advisory firms like Teneo, among others, that have turned their attention to helping clients navigate the complex social issues facing companies today. “It’s not about just checking boxes, it’s about really helping to build value in corporations,” Henes told DealBook.

    The firm has already hired about 15 people. They include Beth Kojima, a director of special events for McGuire’s mayoral campaign; Melissa Prober, a former deputy general counsel at the Clinton Foundation; Al Tillery, a founding director for Center for the Study of Diversity and Democracy at Northwestern University; and Lisa Hernandez Gioia, who handled communications for Hudson Yards. Board members include Minyon Moore, who previously worked in the Clinton White House, and the prominent entertainment lawyer Matt Johnson.


    “We’ve been a little bit peacetime generals at a time where, actually, we’re in a war again.”

    — Mark Malloch-Brown, president of the Open Society Foundations, which was started by the billionaire investor George Soros and is now the second-largest private charitable foundation in the U.S. The left-leaning foundation is undergoing a restructuring, which includes buyouts for more than 150 employees, as it focuses on fighting the rise in authoritarianism around the world.


    The week ahead

    Price check: Tomorrow, investors will scour the August data for the Consumer Price Index for clues on whether higher inflation is temporary. Some of the recent rises were in categories where prices dropped as lockdown orders took effect last year, such as airline tickets, or for items like cars that have been affected by shortages. Another sign that inflation may be temporary? Prices have also popped in advanced economies around the world — despite vastly different policy approaches in response to the pandemic.

    Poverty report: The Census Bureau will release its annual report on income and poverty in the U.S., also tomorrow. Poverty is expected to have risen only slightly last year, despite the huge increase in unemployment, signaling that government aid helped offset the economic impact of the pandemic.

    New iPhones: Apple is set to unveil its latest line of smartphones at a virtual event tomorrow. (Tuesday is shaping up to be a busy day.) Camera upgrades, improvements in battery life, and other tweaks to iPhones, smart watches, laptops and other products are expected.

    The New York Times

    From the TimesMachine: On this day in 1956, I.B.M. unveiled four computers, which The Times called “think units,” designed to aid factories and offices with accounting and typing. One of the devices, the Ramac, cost $3,200 a month to rent. The electronics company’s president, Thomas J. Watson Jr., said the launch was the “greatest product day” in the history of I.B.M., and in the history of the office equipment industry as a whole.


    Want to share The New York Times with your friends and family? Invite them to enjoy unlimited digital access to our journalism with this special offer.

    THE SPEED READ

    Deals

    • Blackstone’s abandoned $3 billion takeover of Soho China wiped more than 30 percent off the property firm’s share price. (NYT)
    • The consortium looking to buy Sydney Airport raised its bid to $17.4 billion and won permission to conduct due diligence. (Reuters)
    • The credit reporting company TransUnion is reportedly close to a $3.1 billion deal for the information-services company Neustar. (WSJ)

    Policy

    • Ireland, the European Union’s lead data protection regulator, has failed to resolve 98 percent of complaints about privacy abuses. (FT)
    • Salesforce will help relocate employees who wish to leave Texas, after the state passed a restrictive law on abortion. (NBC)
    • Security experts are concerned that a surge in cryptocurrency use in the wake of the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan could hamper efforts to impose sanctions on the group. (WSJ)
    • Corporate America has pledged to fight racism and support Black Americans, but a similar initiative started decades ago in Rochester shows that the promise is difficult to sustain. (NYT)
    • Britain’s labor market is in a logjam, with thousands of job vacancies and plenty of people who are looking for work but lack the skills to match empty positions. (NYT)

    Best of the rest

    • Global airlines are now carrying $340 billion of debt, an increase of nearly 23 percent since 2020. (Bloomberg)
    • “Hear That? It’s Your Voice Being Taken for Profit.” (Times Opinion)
    • Facebook is buying $100 million worth of unpaid invoices from thousands of small businesses owned by women and minorities. (CNBC)
    • Mattel is rebooting He-Man with a new cast of more diverse sidekicks. (NYT)
    • “Why Our Monsters Talk to Michael Wolff.” (NYT)


    Anna Schaverien contributed reporting.

    Thanks for reading! We’ll see you tomorrow.

    We’d like your feedback. Please email thoughts and suggestions to dealbook@nytimes.com.



    Andrew Ross Sorkin, Founder/Editor-at-Large, New York @andrewrsorkin
    Jason Karaian, Editor, London @jkaraian
    Sarah Kessler, Deputy Editor, Chicago @sarahfkessler
    Stephen Gandel, News Editor, New York @stephengandel
    Michael J. de la Merced, Reporter, London @m_delamerced
    Lauren Hirsch, Reporter, New York @LaurenSHirsch
    Ephrat Livni, Reporter, Washington D.C. @el72champs


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  4. #1604  
    F me, F U vinny vegas's Avatar
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    Damn. Missed see your 4-0. Too busy with Member Guest Golf week. Slowly recovering from that.

    congrats on sweep!!
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  5. #1605  
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    4-0 on the NFL is amazing! Nice work!
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  6. #1606  
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    thanks fellas...


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    Top News
    China crackdown continues
    Shutterstock
    Chinese regulators continue to apply pressure on the country's biggest tech companies, this time reportedly looking to split up Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) founder Jack Ma's Alipay. Beijing is pushing for Alipay to create a separate app for its loan business.

    Chinese stocks are coming off a choppy week where the worries about government crackdowns were exacerbated, not least by the vagaries of the actions. Gaming stocks Tencent (OTCPK:TCEHY) and NetEase (NASDAQ:NTES)faced the brunt of the focus the last couple of weeks as Beijing imposed restrictions on online gaming hours for children. Last week, the stocks dropped sharply on a report from the South China Morning Post that regulators were halting approval of online games, only to bounce back some after the paper later clarified the government is just slowing approvals for now.

    Leader Xi Jinping is making these moves to address social inequality and "avoid an existential threat from an outsider of the Chinese Communist Party" that could challenge the hierarchy, Thanos Papasavvas, CIO at ABP Invest, said on Bloomberg TV earlier this month.

    Christopher Wood, global head of equities strategy at Jefferies, says that the moves simply look like Beijing wanting its gaming limit of three hours per week enforced, but that the market reaction shows increasing nervousness in the sector.

    "The problem remains that for many foreign equity investors, given the structuring of their portfolios, the internet sector is the private sector in China for all practical purposes," Wood writes in his latest "GREED & fear" note. (Emphasis added.)

    "In this respect, the issue remains that foreign investors’ recent experience in Chinese equities is very different from investors in the mainland market," he says. "This is because the portfolios of growth orientated foreign investors have traditionally been most exposed, in GREED & fear’s view, to the three sectors most at risk of continuing regulation. That is internet, education and healthcare."

    Tech makes up 38.7% of the MSCI China Index (NASDAQ:MCHI) and 13.6% of the MSCI Emerging Markets Index (NYSEARCA:EEM).

    Retail fervor: While the sector is mostly driven by institutional money, "there is also evidence of late of bargain hunting on the part of American retail investors," looking at the KraneShares CSI China Internet ETF (NYSEARCA:KWEB), tracking the CSI China Overseas Internet Index. "While the ETF’s price has declined by 50% from the peak reached in mid-February, its shares outstanding and market capitalization are up 222% and 64% over the same period to 149m shares and US$7.9bn respectively," Wood says.

    The problem with passive: As big companies get bigger, their outsize influence on indexes could become a vulnerability. "The Chinese regulatory campaign against the internet sector, in terms of changing the rules of the game, is also a salutary reminder that the ultimate problem with passive investing, otherwise known as investor socialism, is that everybody owns the same thing; a trend further exacerbated by the boom in investing in index tracking ETFs," Wood asserts. And the problem isn't confined to China.

    "With the six Big Tech stocks now accounting for 24.7% of the S&P500 market capitalization, the risks are obvious if Washington ever summons the backbone to actually do something about Big Tech as opposed to just talking about it," he adds. The "new head of the Federal Trade Commission, Lina Khan, clearly wants to do something about. But it is quite another question whether she will be allowed to." (1 comment)


    Tech
    iPhone launch
    Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) will host a "California streaming" launch event on September 14 at 10 a.m. PDT and is expected to debut the so-called iPhone 13 lineup, handsets that follow the launch of the first 5G iPhones last year and the resulting supercycle.

    The event will be the "biggest day of the year for hardware," said Loup Ventures analyst Gene Munster in a research note released last week. Munster expects a second launch day in October, with the new models announced at both events "accounting for about 40-50% of the company's revenue over the next 12 months."

    "From an investor’s standpoint, the trajectory of the iPhone business over the next year has less to do about specs and pricing, and more to do with the age of the phone," wrote Munster. "Last year, we estimated the pool of iPhones three years or older to be 420M. That base will drive iPhone revenue growth in FY21 of about 40%, compared to a typical year of low single-digit growth."

    Wall Street is looking for 5% growth and 260 million units for next year, though Munster sees potential upside to that growth rate due to the pool of about 400 million iPhones that are three years or older. (48 comments)


    Financials
    Optimism on financials
    Jefferies equity strategists map out their reasons for going bullish on Financials. With the U.S. yield curve steepening in the past two months and the U.S. breakeven curve flattening from deep inversion, "the market is beginning to recognize that both tapering and the rate cycle are appearing on the horizon," write the strategists led by Global Equity Strategist Sean Darby.

    U.S. bank stocks have been treading water during that time as forward earnings revisions have been stable. And before the Delta variant, surveys were indicating a shift to a lending cycle from an impairment phase, they noted. (19 comments)


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    Cryptocurrency
    Bitcoin to $100K?
    The recent eye-catching rally seen in Bitcoin (BTC-USD), which started at $30K level at the end of July, could just be the beginning of an even larger surge to $100K, with Ethereum (ETH-USD) potentially reaching $5K, as both cryptos face increasing demand and diminishing supply, according to the Bloomberg Crypto Outlook, dubbed Onward and Upward. Ether leads Bitcoin on a month-to-month basis, outperforming BTC by almost three-fold year over year.

    Bloomberg's report said Bitcoin "is well on its way to becoming the digital reserve asset in a world going that way," but keep in mind that in order for a world reserve currency to function as "money", it must perform as a medium of exchange, unit of account, and a store of value. (100 comments)


    Healthcare
    Pfizer child vaccine
    Amid surging Delta variant cases in the U.S., COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 5 to 11 could be available as soon as the end of October, The New York Times reports. The timeline is based on the expectation that Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) - BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX) will have enough data from clinical trials to seek emergency use authorization for that age group from FDA towards the end of this month.

    Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a former commissioner of the FDA who also sits on the board of Pfizer said that getting the green light for younger children will require careful and expeditious review of the clinical data. (5 comments)


    Today's Markets
    In Asia, Japan +0.22%. Hong Kong -1.5%. China +0.33%. India -0.27%.
    In Europe, at midday, London +0.55%. Paris +0.55%. Frankfurt +0.84%.
    Futures at 6:20, Dow +0.55%. S&P +0.48%. Nasdaq +0.4%. Crude +0.43% at $70.61. Gold -0.04% at $1791.45. Bitcoin -2.7% at $44631.
    Ten-year Treasury Yield -7 bps to 1.334%

    Today's Economic Calendar
    2:00 PM Treasury Statement

    Companies reporting earnings today »

    What else is happening...
    Dynavax (NASDAQ:DVAX) under pressure after U.K. ends COVID-19 vaccine deal with collaborator Valneva (VALN).

    NXP Semiconductors (NASDAQ:NXPI) picks TCS as a strategic partner to drive IT innovation.

    Outer Banks,' 'Vivo' pace Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) to another easy streaming ratings win.

    Stand fast on Consumer Discretionary, BMO says; REITs still strong.

    U.K. to terminate COVID-19 vaccine supply deal with Valneva (VALN).


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  7. #1607  
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    Global Market Comments
    September 13, 2021
    Fiat Lux
    Featured Trade:(THE MAD HEDGE TRADERS & INVESTORS SUMMIT IS ON FOR SEPTEMBER 14-16),
    (MARKET OUTLOOK FOR THE WEEK AHEAD, or VENTURING INTO THE METAVERSE
    (SPY), (TLT), (VIX),


    The Mad Hedge Traders & Investors Summit is on for September 14-16

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    The Market Outlook for the Week Ahead, or Venturing Into the MetaverseWatch out for the term “Metaverse.”

    It refers to the virtual world where all things exist in a virtual world.

    And here is the great thing about the metaverse. The real world can only grow at an analog rate and is finite. The virtual world can grow at an exponential, viral rate and is infinite.

    Infinite markets with infinite customers? That is something that companies and share prices really like to hear about.

    We’re getting a peek into the Metaverse right now with the movement of many companies to a virtual world triggered by the pandemic. With employees working at home, a headquarters at a PO Box in Montana to meet regulatory minimums, selling digital services to a digital market, these companies effectively exist only in terms of electrons and bytes.

    But suddenly, costs have plunged by 40%, productivity has improved by 40%, and profits have increased tenfold. These are companies you want to own.

    No wonder the stock market is going up almost every day. It’s because companies like this are worth more, a lot more overnight!

    It's how Silicon Valley leaped from having 80 unicorns to 800 in the span of two years. The future is happening fast.

    If you are an old fart who doesn’t want to bother with all this computer mumbo jumbo, invest a few minutes playing Facebook’s (FB) Oculus Riftwith your grandkids. Then sit down and watch the 2018 science fiction/fantasy movie Ready Player One. There is a sequel in the works. The second sequel will be you and me.

    We have now just suffered the worst trading week since February, with the (SPY) off by a mere $8.5, or 1.9%. We may have a shot at another long-awaited 5% correction this week. If we do, I’ll put half my cash in the market. I’ll put the rest in at a 10% correction.

    I highly doubt that stocks will fall by more than that given the massive weight of liquidity in the financial system, even though it’s September. My $475 (SPY) target for end of 2021 still stands and I’m sticking to it. You’re going to have to pry my cold dead fingers off of my forecast.

    The only question is which sectors will lead. My bet is on domestic recovery stocks like banks, brokers, hotels, casinos, airlines, cruise lines, and railroads. Delta peaked two weeks ago and is now falling precipitously, especially in the south.

    That sets up a second post-Covid recovery trade with the same sector leading the first time.

    The way the pandemic ends is that the US gets to 90% immunity, where Covid becomes an annual flu shot. California is already there with 80% of the population vaccinated and 10% getting the disease. Alabama may get there with 60% vaccinations and 30% getting sick. But in a year, the whole country will be at 90%.

    Then, we can get on with the rest of our lives.

    The August Nonfarm Payroll Report Bombs, coming in at only 235,000 versus an expected 720,000, a huge miss. The headline Unemployment Rate fell 0.2% to 5.2%, a new post-pandemic low. Mysteriously, both stocks and bonds hated it. Manufacturing was up 37,000, while Leisure & Hospitality was zero and Retail at -28,000. Education LOST -25,000 during the back-to-school season. Average Hourly Earnings rose an astonishing 0.6% MOM, or 4.3% YOY. The U6 long-term unemployment rate fell to 8.8%. Goodbye taper. A shortage of workers was to blame, but the economic data has been worsening for a while now. Delta is taking a bigger bite than we thought.

    JOLTS comes in at a blockbuster 10.9 million in July, a new record high. This is the number of job openings in the private sector. Anyone who wants a job can get a job. Blame the education gap. The problem is that there is demand for 10.9 million website designers, computer programmers, and internet marketers, and an endless supply of waiters and other restaurant workers.

    The Fed says growth downshifted during the summer, thanks to delta and a worker shortage according to the Beige Book release. We already knew that, and a five-point selloff in bonds is telling us that Covid is declining and growth is back on.

    Europe tapers, cutting back monthly Eurobond purchases 160-170 billion a month. Governor Christine Lagarde believes any inflation is temporary and the time for emergency stimulus is over. Can the Fed be far behind?

    Seven million lose Unemployment Benefits. This should make available more workers whose shortage have been a drag on the economy. Accelerating growth can only be good for stocks.

    El Salvador launches Bitcoin as a national currency, creating a national wallet, and offering every citizen $30 to open an account. Most of the accounts will be accessed via cell phones. The central bank bought 400 bitcoins worth $20 million as part of the rollout. The country’s president is helping to sort out technical glitches. Is Bitcoin the next global currency? Bitcoin dropped 10% on the news.

    Tesla to make its own whips in a dramatic response to a structural global chip shortage that could last years. The news was good for a $30 pop in the stock this morning. Tesla is already one of the world’s largest chip users, and their needs are expected to jump 50-fold in the next ten years. The move justifies a much larger premium for the stock. It’s all about training the neural network.

    Will a Bitcoin ETF approval spike the Market? There are a dozen applications with SEC for the first US-approved crypto ETF. When approved, billions of new cash will pile into Bitcoin off the back of the new improved legitimacy. Buy before the IPO, it’s a classic trading strategy.

    My Ten-Year View

    When we come out the other side of pandemic, we will be perfectly poised to launch into my new American Golden Age, or the next Roaring Twenties. With interest rates still at zero, oil cheap, there will be no reason not to. The Dow Average will rise by 800% to 240,000 or more in the coming decade. The American coming out the other side of the pandemic will be far more efficient and profitable than the old. Dow 240,000 here we come!


    My Mad Hedge Global Trading Dispatch is down 1.09% in September, thanks to a shortage of low-risk/high-return trading opportunities. My 2021 year-to-date performance soared to 77.48%. The Dow Average was up 13.10% so far in 2021.

    That leaves me 60% in cash, 40% in short (TLT), long (SPY) and (DIS). Two of my positions expire in four trading days.

    Although we have maxed out the profits with these two positions, I’ll keep them as there is nothing else to do. I’m keeping positions small as long as we are at extreme overbought conditions. The Volatility Index (VIX) now over $20 shows that an entry point may be near.

    That brings my 12-year total return to 500.03%, some 2.00 times the S&P 500 (SPX) over the same period and a new all-time high. My 12-year average annualized return now stands at a new high of 42.85%, easily the highest in the industry.

    My trailing one-year return popped back to positively eye-popping 115.05%. I truly have to pinch myself when I see numbers like this. I bet many of you are making the biggest money of your long lives.

    We need to keep an eye on the number of US Coronavirus cases at 41 million and rising quickly and deaths topping 670,000, which you can find here.

    The coming week will be slow on the data front.

    On Monday, September 13, at 12:00 noon, US Inflation Expectations are released.

    On Tuesday, September 14, at 8:30 AM, US Core Inflation is published, now the second biggest number of the month.
    On Wednesday, September 15 at 9:15, Industrial Production for July is disclosed. At 9:30 AM, we get the New York Empire State Manufacturing Index for September.
    On Thursday, September 16 at 8:30 AM, Weekly Jobless Claims are announced. We also get Retail Sales for August.
    On Friday, September 17 at 8:30 AM, we learn the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment for September. At 2:00 PM, the Baker Hughes Oil Rig Count is disclosed.

    As for me, one of the great shortcomings of San Francisco is that we only have a theater district with two venues and it is in the Tenderloin, the worst neighborhood in the city, an area beset with homeless, drug addicts, and prostitution.

    I was walking to a parking lot after a show one evening when I passed a doorway. Three men were violently attacking a blond woman. Never one to miss a good fight, I dove in, knocking two unconscious in 15 seconds (thank you Higaona Sensei!). Unfortunately, number three jumped to my side, pulled a knife, and stabbed me.

    The attacker and the woman ran off, leaving me bleeding in a doorway. I drove over the Golden Gate Bridge to Marin General Hospital, bleeding all over the front seat of my car, where they sewed me up nicely and put me on some strong drugs.

    The doctor said, “You shouldn’t be doing this at your age.”

    I responded that “good Samaritans are always rewarded, even if the work is its own reward.”

    Fortunately, I still had my Motorola Flip Phone with me, so I called Singapore from my hospital bed for a market update. I liked what I saw and bought 100 futures contracts on Japan’s Nikkei 225. This was back in 1999 when anything you touched went straight up.

    Then, I passed out.

    An hour later, I woke up, called Singapore again and bought another 100 futures contracts, not remembering the earlier buy. This went on all night long.

    The next morning, I was awoken by a call from my staff who excitedly told me that the overnight position sheets had just come in and I had made 40% on the day.

    Was there some mistake?

    Then I got a somewhat tense call from my broker. I had a margin call. I had also exceeded the exchange limits for a single contract and owned the equivalent of $200 million worth of Nikkei. I told them to sell everything I had at market and go 100% cash.

    That was exactly what they wanted to hear.

    That left me up 60% on the year and it was only May.

    I then called all of the investors in my hedge fund. I told them the good news, that I wouldn’t be doing anymore trades for the fund until I received my performance bonus the following January and was taking off on a long vacation. With a 2%/20% payout in those days, that meant I was owed 14% of the underlying assets of the fund at a very elevated valuation.

    They said that’s great, have fun, by the way, how did you do it?

    I answered, “Great drug selection.” No further questions were asked.

    Then I launched on the mother of all spending sprees.

    I flew to Germany and picked up a new Mercedes S600 V12 Sedan at the factory in Stuttgart for $160,000. I then immediately road-tested it on the Autobahn at 130 mph. I made it to Switzerland in only two hours. After all, my old car needed a new seat.

    Next, I bought all new furniture for the entire house, each kid selecting their own unique style.

    Then, I took the family to Las Vegas where we stayed in the “Rain Man Suite” at the Bellagio Hotel for $10,000 a night, where both the 1988 Rain Man and 2009 The Hangover were filmed.

    I bought everyone in the family black wool Armani suits, plus a couple of Brioni’s for myself at $8,000 a pop. For good measure, I chartered a helicopter for a tour of the Grand Canyon the next day.

    At the end of the year, I sold my hedge fund based on the incredible strength of my recent performance for an enormous premium. I then left the stock market to explore a new natural gas drilling technology I had heard about called “fracking.”

    Four months later, the Dotcom Crash ensued in earnest.

    I still have the scar on my right side, and it always itches just before it rains, which is now almost never. But it was worth it, every inch of it.

    It’s all true, every word of it and I’ll swear to it on a stack of bibles.




    Quote of the Day"The rule of thumb is to do your homework, do your analysis, don't give up prudent risk management for the sake of certain fads. Look for real valuations, and stay true to your time frames," said Marc Chandler, the global head of currency strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman.





    This is not a solicitation to buy or sell securities
    The Mad Hedge Fund Trader is not an Investment advisor
    For full disclosures click here at:

    http://www.madhedgefundtrader.com/disclosures

    The "Diary of a Mad Hedge Fund Trader"(TM)
    and the "Mad Hedge Fund Trader" (TM)
    are protected by the United States Patent and Trademark Office
    The "Diary of the Mad Hedge Fund Trader" (C)
    is protected by the United States Copyright Office

    Futures trading involves a high degree of risk and may not be suita
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  8. #1608  
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    From: Seeking Alpha <account@seekingalpha.com>
    Date: September 14, 2021 at 4:22:21 AM PDT
    To: John Bostock <jebostock@gmail.com>
    Subject: Wall Street Breakfast: iEvent
    Reply-To: wsbfeedback@seekingalpha.com

    
    Read in Browser
    Top News
    iEvent
    Shutterstock
    Investors and techies alike will tune into Apple's (AAPL) "California streaming" launch event today, which starts at 10 a.m. PDT. Industry watchers expect the company to debut its so-called iPhone 13 lineup, handsets that follow the launch of the first 5G iPhones last year and the resulting supercycle. The event will be the "biggest day of the year for hardware," said Loup Ventures analyst Gene Munster in a research note released last week. Munster also expects a second launch day in October, with the new models announced at both events "accounting for about 40-50% of the company's revenue over the next 12 months."

    What to expect: Reports and leaks have suggested the iPhone 13 family will include a faster A15 processor, an improved 5G modem and a smaller display notch. Camera upgrades will be the headline improvements with a video version of Portrait mode, better low-light performance and a new ultrawide lens on the Pro models. The new iPhones are expected to come in the same sizes as the iPhone 12 lineup from last year: 5.4-inch and 6.1-inch base models and 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch Pro models. Pricing could come in a bit higher than the $799 to $1,099 iPhone 12 range if Apple decides to pass on the higher production costs of foundry partner TSMC (TSM) amid the ongoing global semiconductor shortage.

    "From an investor’s standpoint, the trajectory of the iPhone business over the next year has less to do about specs and pricing, and more to do with the age of the phone," continued Munster. "Last year, we estimated the pool of iPhones three years or older to be 420M. That base will drive iPhone revenue growth in FY21 of about 40%, compared to a typical year of low single-digit growth." Wall Street is looking for 5% growth and 260M units for next year, though Munster sees potential upside to that growth rate due to the size of the existing iPhone population. "The larger the upgrade pool, the bigger the potential tailwind."

    Performance: Some anticipate today's event could provide more upside to the largest stock in America, while others see a case of "buy the rumor, sell the news." AAPL shares closed slightly higher on Monday, but remain 5% below a record high set before last week's Epic Games ruling. The company still commands a whopping $2.5T valuation and is worth 6% of the S&P 500 (though its shares have lagged the benchmark index by 6 percentage points in 2021). (61 comments)


    Data
    High CPI
    Another dose of inflation data will be released this morning, which has the potential to set the tone for the market before next week's Fed meeting. While the central bank has maintained that price pressures will be "transitory," the Consumer Price Index today is expected to show a 5% pace for the fourth straight month. Stronger inflation could also pose a problem in passing President Biden's social spending package and its massive $3.5T price tag.

    By the numbers: The CPI is forecast to have risen 0.4% month-over-month in August, translating into a year-over-year basis of 5.4%. That would be the same hot pace seen in July, which was among the fastest rates seen since 2008. Excluding food and energy, today's CPI is expected to rise 0.3%, or 4.2% on an annualized basis.

    "If it's hotter than expected, I think the stock market's going to continue to be soft. I think investors are trying to decide whether there's more to this worry, than not," noted CFRA chief investment strategist Sam Stovall.

    Go deeper: If inflation comes in stronger than anticipated, taper expectations could also shift from November to December. Some analysts have already pushed back their expectations after the August jobs report showed a gain of just 235K, about half a million less than expected. A number of Fed officials still believe the central bank should start paring back its $120B a month bond purchases sooner rather than later, but Fed Chair Jerome Powell wants to see more strong employment reports before making an announcement. (4 comments)


    Sponsored By Northern Trust
    The Tax Policy Resource Center
    Prepare your portfolio and wealth plan for change with research-based insights on the likelihood of proposed tax policy changes and cutting-edge wealth planning strategies for managing complex wealth from The Northern Trust Institute. Ready for Reform?
    Cryptocurrency
    Gensler grilling
    Prepare to see some headlines about crypto regulation today as SEC Chairman Gary Gensler heads before the Senate Banking Committee for a grilling. Lawmakers are expected to show frustration over the lack of supervision in crypto markets and why it has taken so long to support them. He might also have to explain why the SEC seems averse to approving various crypto assets (Bitcoin ETFs?), as well as stablecoins and other digital assets.

    Backdrop: In recent weeks, Gensler seemed to be more vocal about regulation, calling crypto the "Wild West." It's "rife with fraud, scams, and abuse in certain applications. If we don't address these issues, I worry a lot of people will be hurt," the SEC Chair said in a speech at the Aspen Security Forum. He's also called for Congress to magnify the SEC's power in order for it to be effective at managing the $2T digital currency market.

    "We just don't have enough investor protection in crypto finance, issuance, trading, or lending," Gensler said in his prepared testimony. "Frankly, at this time, it's more like the old world of 'buyer beware' that existed before the securities laws were enacted. We can do better." The SEC is also working with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Federal Reserve, Department of Treasury, and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency with respect to investor protection in crypto markets.

    Elsewhere: Speaking of a loose crypto framework and related volatility, Litecoin (LTC-USD) gave up a 20% surgeon Monday following a fake press release sent out by GlobeNewswire. The announcement referenced a partnership with Walmart (WMT), saying the retailer would start letting its customers pay with the cryptocurrency. Walmart spokesman Randy Hargrove confirmed that the PR was not authentic, while the SEC said it does not comment on such matters. (55 comments)



    Infrastructure
    Tax hikes
    House Democrats spelled out a series of proposed tax increases on Monday, attempting to piece together enough votes for a sweeping spending package at the heart of President Biden's economic agenda. Under the proposal, tax increases and enforcement would offset up to $3.5T in spending on the social safety net, like Medicare, childcare and a national paid-leave program. Also known as the "human infrastructure" side of a broader infrastructure proposal, the package would increase renewable energy tax breaks and establish a broader climate change policy.

    What's in the bill? The proposal would increase the top corporate tax rate to 26.5% (from 21%) and the top individual rate to 39.6% (from 37%), respectively. Meanwhile, the top federal rate on capital-gains taxes would be raised to 25% (from 20%), and - added to an existing 3.8% surtax on net investment income - the total tax bite would be 28.8%. The bill would also impose a 3-percentage-point surtax on people making over $5M and provide $78.9B in funding to the IRS to bolster tax enforcement for taxpayers earning more than $400K a year.

    Getting to $3.5T... According to the Joint Committee on Taxation, the plan includes about $1T of tax increases on high-income households and about $1T on corporations. Democrats intend to generate another $120B from tougher tax enforcement and $700B from drug-pricing policy changes. The legislation also assumes another $600B in revenue from faster economic growth.

    Outlook: The release of the tax details was the last major missing piece in the Democratic economic plan and will accelerate lawmakers' negotiations over new spending. Republicans are expected to mount unanimous opposition to the proposal (which would reverse the 2017 tax cuts), while Democrats have few votes to spare in the House and none in the Senate. Just last week, Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.), an influential moderate vote, penned an op-edquestioning the spending package's effect on inflation rates, budget deficits and overall debt levels. (24 comments)


    Today's Markets
    In Asia, Japan +0.6%. Hong Kong -1.2%. China -1.4%. India +0.1%.
    In Europe, at midday, London -0.3%. Paris -0.6%. Frankfurt flat.
    Futures at 6:20, Dow flat. S&P +0.1%. Nasdaq flat. Crude +0.5% at $70.83. Gold -0.3% at $1788.70. Bitcoin +3.1%at $45871.
    Ten-year Treasury Yield +1 bps to 1.34%

    Today's Economic Calendar
    6:00 NFIB Small Business Optimism Index
    8:30 Consumer Price Index
    8:55 Redbook Chain Store Sales

    Companies reporting earnings today »

    What else is happening...
    Natural gas surges nearly 6% as demand stays strong.

    Corpus Christi refineries, terminals brace for tropical storm hit.

    Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) posts soft revenues after ramping up cloud investment.

    Intuit (NASDAQ:INTU) agrees to buy Mailchimp for about $12B.

    Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) jab shows highest vaccine efficacy based on ER visits.

    ViacomCBS (NASDAQ:VIAC) confirms Robbins to lead restructured Paramount Pictures.

    Restaurant-tech company Toast (TOST) seeks $16B valuation in IPO.

    Uber (NYSE:UBER) drivers are employees, not gig workers, rules Dutch Court.

    Virgin Galactic (NYSE:SPCE) delays first commercial research space mission.

    Bitcoin (BTC-USD) could reach $100K; Ether (ETH-USD) to $5K? - Bloomberg Crypto Outlook.

    Seeking Alpha’s Wall Street Breakfast Podcast

    Seeking Alpha's Wall Street Breakfast podcast brings you all the news you need to know for your market day. Released by 8:00 AM ET each morning, it is a quick listen that you can put on as you get ready to start your working day.

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  9. #1609  
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    Global Market Comments
    September 14, 2021
    Fiat Lux
    Featured Trade:(THE MAD HEDGE TRADERS & INVESTORS SUMMIT IS ON FOR SEPTEMBER 14-16),
    (REMEMBERING 9/11)

    The Mad Hedge Traders & Investors Summit is on for September 14-16.A collection of the 27 best traders and managers in the world, or eight a day, each giving an educational webinar. Back-to-back one-hour presentations are followed by an interactive Q&A. It’s a smorgasbord of trading strategies, so pick the one that is right for you. Covering all stocks, bonds, commodities, foreign exchange, precious metals, and real estate. It’s the best look at the rest of 2021’s money-making opportunities you will get anywhere. Oh, and we’ll be giving away $100,000 in prizes too. To view the schedule and speakers and register NOW, click here.




    Remembering 9/11With the 20th anniversary of 9/11 just passed, I want to forward the message circulating among past-and-present Morgan Stanley staffers, myself included:
    As a firm headquartered in New York City, this is always a sobering time for us. For us, we remember those who died and the heroism of many that saved thousands of lives.

    At Morgan Stanley, Richard “Rick” Rescorla was our hero.

    Rick was retired United States Army veteran of British birth and served in Vietnam. He was the World Trade Center Security Chief for Morgan Stanley and in 1992 he warned the Port Authority about the possibility of a truck bomb attack on the pillars in the basement parking garage but was ignored.

    When terrorists used this method in the 1993 attack, Rick was instrumental in evacuating the building and was the last man out.

    Rescorla was supposed to be on vacation on September 11, 2001. However, he covered the shift of a coworker so they could go on vacation.

    At 8:46 am, AA Flight 11 struck WTC1. The Port Authority directed everyone to stay put. Rick ignored them and began his evacuation plan, extracting 2,700 employees from World Trade Center 2 and 1,000 employees in World Trade Center 5.

    WTC2 was hit at 9:03 am. Rescorla reminded everyone to “…be proud to be an American…everyone will be talking to you tomorrow”, and sang God Bless America and other patriotic songs over his bullhorn to help evacuees stay calm as they left the building.

    The heroism of Rick Rescorla resulted in thousands of people arriving safely at home that day.

    Thirteen Morgan Stanley employees didn’t make it out and Rick was one of them. After he had successfully evacuated the vast majority of Morgan Stanley employees out of the burning tower, he returned to the building to rescue others still inside.

    When one of his colleagues told him he too had to evacuate, Rescorla replied, “As soon as I make sure everyone else is out”. He was last seen on the 10th floor, moving upward, shortly before WTC2’s collapse.

    This 9/11, please join me in remembering those that died and all the families affected by this remorseless attack as well as expressing gratitude for all those who survived and for the heroes…one being Rick Rescorla.



    Quote of the Day"If we live in a period of uncertainty long enough, it becomes the norm," said Drew Matus, an economist at UBS.





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  10. #1610  
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    The Delta wave has finally definitively begun to turn down, but it remains to be seen exactly what the trajectory will look like going forward. In the UK, where the Delta wave hit significantly earlier, cases spiked, then plunged and then posted a second, smaller uptick that, only now, seems to be rolling over. Cases in Israel are off the peak but remain quite high, especially compared to the near-zero levels enjoyed before the wave hit in July. So, while there is great hope on the horizon, it is not yet clear what the post-Delta-wave landscape will be.

    There are several really interesting research findings to explore today, but before doing so, let’s review the latest data.

    The weekly data for new cases mark the official turn in the Delta wave. There were 1.075 million cases last week (Monday to Sunday), down from 1.120 million the prior week. Daily tallies are consistently running below week-ago readings. The comparisons will be skewed during the early part of this week due to the Labor Day holiday, which changed the reporting patterns for a few days. Monday’s new case tally, at 109K, was about 10K lower than the figure for 2 Mondays ago. The positive rate of testing also sank, from 8.7% to 7.6% last week.

    The deaths figures continue to rise given their lagged nature. There were almost 12K deaths reported last week, up from 11.5K the week before. The Wall Street Journal had an interesting story today on COVID deaths today. CDC data show that deaths among those 55 and under are running pretty close to the peak levels in February while deaths in older cohorts are down substantially. The difference between then and now, of course, is that most of the adults in the country are now vaccinated, and the Delta wave remains one that is hitting mostly the unvaccinated (and older people are vaccinated at an extremely high rate).

    Once again, hospitalizations turned pretty much at the same time as cases, which is not intuitive but has been a consistent pattern during the pandemic. Based on the data that I compile from state dashboards, the national peak occurred on August 31, at just under 100K. The overall numbers did not move much last week, as some states were posting big declines while others were rising rapidly. The balance is shifting. There are still a minority of states on a consistent uptrend. The Mid-Atlantic region feels like a hotbed right now. OH, PA, WV, and NY are all still trending higher. The area just to the south, which had been also moving higher, appears to be turning. KY, VA, and the Carolinas are close to peaking, and TN has begun to roll over. OK and GA have joined their Southern neighbors in moving substantially off their highs. The Midwest is still more up than down but is rising much more slowly and appears to be getting close to a turn. Meanwhile, the Big 3 continue to drop. FL in particular has been posting huge daily declines and is already down by more than a third. LA is down by close to half from the peak.

    Just to use the December-January spike as a template, because this surge in hospitalizations has been second only to that period in magnitude, the Bell Curve shape remains a good visual to think of. Or, if you’d rather, a roller coaster track. After the peak is reached, the declines are slow at first, then pick up speed. In January, the first 7 days after the peak saw a decrease in hospitalizations of 2K, then 8K the next 7 days, then 15K, then 16K, then 15K, then 13K (percentages drops were still accelerating, but levels were falling to much smaller ranges). In the current wave, the decline in hospitalizations in the first 7 days after the peak was less than 1K, then the next seven days will be about 5K or 6K. The falls should accelerate from here.

    A study by researchers based in Boston shined some extra light on the hospitalization data. I have focused on these data since the early days of the pandemic as the best gauge, given flaws in the cases and deaths figures. However, there is much that we can’t glean from the overall tallies. One particular limitation that I have pointed out is that the hospitalizations numbers are hospitalizationswith COVID, not hospitalizations because of COVID. For most hospitals, one of the first things that happens when someone is admitted, for whatever reason, is a COVID test, and there must be thousands who have very mild or asymptomatic cases that are only detected because they went into the hospital for something entirely different. A second cloud for these data is that they do not offer granularity on how sick patients are. In the early days of the pandemic, the bulk of patients were in ICUs, on ventilators, etc. The average severity these days is less. The research paper published this week delves into these questions. The authors looked at data from the VA hospital system encompassing almost 48K admissions for 38.5K unique patients with a laboratory-confirmed case of COVID. Prior to vaccinations, 64.0% of COVID admissions resulted in moderate-to-severe illness. After the vaccinations began, the rate of moderate-to-severe illness dropped to 52.0%. So, the severity of hospitalized cases fell substantially. Moreover, the cutoff date used for pre/post-vaccinations was January 21, when the first patient in the cohort was fully vaccinated, so the results might show even greater differences if a later break point had been used.

    This is not entirely surprising to me, as the Delta wave, while bad, has not seemed to be nearly as much of a health care crisis as the winter surge, even as the hospitalizations figures shot up to nearly 100K. The study reveals that hospitals were admitting far more patients who had mild cases on a precautionary basis and/or that COVID diagnoses came for people admitted for entirely different reasons. This was especially true among those who were vaccinated. Of the 52.0% rate after January 21, the rate of more serious illness for the unvaccinated was 55.0% vs. only 42.6% for those who were vaccinated. The study concludes that “with widespread vaccination, the current definition of COVID-19 hospitalizations includes progressively more mild or incidental diagnoses, for example, cases identified prior to surgery or prior to discharge, rather than hospitalizations due to severe COVID-19.” The authors cite a separate study conducted of pediatric COVID hospitalizations that found that 41% of the admissions were for reasons other than the COVID diagnosis. The authors of the VA study found a similar rate for their much larger (and older) cohort.

    At the end of the day, I still find the hospitalizations quite useful. In particular, even if the stated level exaggerates the actual incidence of severe COVID, which I have suspected for over a year, it is still helpful to know whether hospitalizations are rising or falling and what the general level is compared to 1 month ago, 3 months ago, etc.

    Moving on to vaccinations, the pace continues to slow incrementally but to proceed at an impressive clip given how few people are left to jab. 179 million people are now fully vaccinated, 54% of the total population and 63% of the eligible (12 and over) population. 74% of the eligible population has gotten at least 1 dose. Just to level set again, there are around 260 million adults in the U.S., and 196 million of them (76%) have taken at least one dose. That leaves 64 million who are unvaccinated. Of that group, somewhere between one-third and half have probably already had a significant case of COVID. So, the ranks of unprotected adults are probably somewhere in the 30 to 40 million range, i.e., between 10% and 15% of the adult population. Moreover, the weekly pace has been running in the 2½ million vicinity for new people getting their first dose, and new cases are roughly one million a week, a disproportionate percentage of which are unvaccinated. You can understand why, barring a variant that defeats the vaccines, Dr. Gottlieb and others think that we are probably approaching the point where COVID becomes endemic (background noise like the flu) rather than a pandemic.

    The Delta wave has been scary for that remaining minority. CDC data released Friday show that the unvaccinated are almost 5 times more likely to be infected than the vaccinated, 10 times more likely to be hospitalized, and 11 times more likely to die. The study examined over 32,000 COVID cases across nine states, beginning in June, i.e., after the Delta variant became the dominant strain. The vaccine effectiveness against hospitalization worked out to about 85%, not much different than similar CDC research found prior to Delta. Anecdotally, the chief medical officer of one of the largest hospitals in Florida said that about 90% of her hospital’s recent COVID patients are unvaccinated, and many of those who are vaccinated have compromised immune systems.

    A study by the UK’s Office of National Statistics found 640 deaths among fully vaccinated individuals out of over 50,000 deaths overall, or 1.2% of the total. Even of those 640, some were people infected before their second dose had fully kicked in. Only 256 were considered true “breakthrough” deaths, where the positive test came more than 14 days after the second dose. The average age of those breakthrough deaths was 84, and more than three-quarters of them were classified as “clinically extremely vulnerable,” meaning that they were already suffering from serious chronic illness, and 13% were immunocompromised. Similar to the CDC research, the study found no significant difference between the death rate among the vaccinated before and after Delta. A similar study from Germany found that vaccines reduced the risk of hospitalization for those 60 and older by 94%.

    In short, all of the evidence suggests that the vaccines are still working, even against Delta, and that the bulk of the risk from COVID falls on the unvaccinated.

    Dr. Gottlieb predicted over the weekend on Face the Nation that Pfizer’s vaccine would be approved by the FDA for emergency use for children ages 5 to 11 as soon as the end of next month. He noted that Pfizer should have all the data needed to file for authorization before the end of September (he is on the Board of Pfizer) and that the FDA has said it will take weeks, not months, to sift through the data and make a decision.

    In the meantime, the next item on the FDA’s agenda is approving Pfizer’s vaccine as a booster. The FDA Advisory Committee meets Friday to discuss the issue and provide a recommendation to the agency, and Dr. Gottlieb noted that the FDA has said that it is prepared to act “very quickly.” Given that President Biden had publicly promised a booster campaign would begin September 20, there will be immense political pressure on the FDA to get something out by then. Gottlieb added that J&J has issued good data on boosters and may be next to be approved. Politico reports that there is rising tension between the White House and the CDC, as the CDC Director is seen as dragging her feet. CDC officials counter that the White House’s timetable was always too ambitious, and that the agency has not completed studies needed to green-light boosters to a broad audience. They are also still waiting on more data from Moderna and J&J.

    Meanwhile, the science is apparently not so settled on boosters. A global group of prominent researchers, including two (former) members of the FDA Vaccines Research Department and a handful of WHO experts, posted a piece in the medical journal Lancet arguing that we should hold off on boosters for now, except for specific groups like the immunocompromised for whom the initial vaccine dose(s) did not spark sufficient protection. They argue that the current evidence does not show a sufficient reduction in the protection offered by initial vaccines to justify boosters, walking through a number of studies indicating such as well as detailing numerous potential biases in the sort of observational studies that are being cited as supporting the need for boosters. In light of the risks, including the incidence of side effects, they assert that the risk-benefit calculus is not favorable unless the benefits are clear and compelling, which these experts argue they are not. The final argument is that available doses would be better used to immunize the unvaccinated rather than offering a precious scare resource (vaccine doses) to people who are already largely protected from severe illness. They do allow that as time passes, the effectiveness of initial vaccinations may wane sufficiently to warrant boosters at some point, or that future variants will severely reduce the effectiveness of existing vaccines, in which case they support creating variant-specific shots (as is done for annual flu vaccines).

    I found the arguments made in the piece persuasive (I am in no hurry to get another shot), but I find the politics of this intriguing. The political team in the Administration and the public health officials in the White House (such as Dr. Fauci) have been banging the gong for boosters and, as laid out previously and above, if anything, getting ahead of the CDC and FDA on this issue. Then, suddenly, with President Biden’s deadline data looming in roughly a week, a paper is posted making the case against boosters. Also, remember that two senior FDA staffers resigned two weeks ago over the Administration’s push for boosters. Those two are among the authors of the paper. It seems like the rank-and-file are in open rebellion. I am curious to see how all of this plays out.

    Turning to policy, we are finally getting to the nitty-gritty of crafting the $3.5 trillion package. The House Ways and Means Committee released specific legislation, a first pass at the details of their elements of the package. The corporate income tax top marginal rate is pegged at 26.5%, up from the current 21% but less than President Biden’s 28% proposal. Similarly, the top marginal rate on capital gains income goes up from 20% to 25% (it’s actually 3.8 percentage points higher due to the Obamacare surtax) but is not raised as much as President Biden wanted (all the way to the top regular income tax rate). The regular income tax rate would be pushed from 37% to 39.6%, reversing the cut enacted in 2017. Meanwhile, in the Senate, Senators Manchin and Sanders sparred over the weekend on the Sunday talk shows, with Manchin again calling for a “pause” and saying that he would not agree to anything more than $1.5 trillion. Clearly, there are a lot of opinions within the Democratic caucus, and it is not going to be easy to craft a deal that every Democratic Senator and nearly all Democratic Representatives can agree to. Moreover, time is short, as the self-imposed deadline in the House is September 27, when Speaker Pelosi promised a vote on the separate infrastructure bill. I would imagine that there are far more than 4 or 5 (the margin of the House Democratic majority) moderate House Democrats who are not anxious to sign off on $3.5 trillion in revenue raisers by September 27, only to find out in October that the Senate is paring the size of the package back to $1.5 trillion to keep Sens. Manchin and Sinema on board. That might not go over well with their constituents next November.

    Finally, on the economy, the CFO of 3M gave a presentation this week and what he had to say needs to be conveyed at next week’s FOMC meeting. He noted that chip shortages are likely to plague auto production well into 2022. He stated that the cost of raw materials is a major issue for the firm, impacting the estimate of EPS, even though they have raised their prices. He believes that input cost inflation is a more severe problem than expected and will last longer than previously expected. The popular media is ready to take today’s CPI report as a signal that inflation is over, but the details of the release suggest otherwise, as I discussed extensively in the recap piece this morning.

    In addition to input cost hikes, another major issue for goods producers is logistics snags. At last count, the number of ships waiting to offload at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach had swelled to a record 55, up from 40 two weeks earlier. Ships are waiting 8½ days on average to offload. These are the goods that stores are hoping to have on the shelves for the Christmas shopping season, but there are growing concerns that the selection will be limited in December.

    Meanwhile, Amazon’s hunt for labor continues. Last week, I noted that they will now pay college tuition for workers. Today, the firm reported that it has raised its average wage by another $1 per hour to $18. It is looking to hire 125,000 delivery and warehouse workers as the Christmas season approaches. Last week, UPS announced that it is prepared to hand out jobs within 30 minutes of receiving an application (I guess that’s ample time to check for a pulse, which is probably the top qualification for a job these days given how tight the labor market is), as it looks to add 100,000 workers for the Holiday season.

    The CFO of Marriott International noted that her firm has seen a rise in the applicant pool for jobs in recent weeks. She attributed this development to the expiration of supplemental benefits and “more stable” family situations, which I take to mean the start of in-person school. In any case, I am convinced that payroll growth is going to be robust in the fall.

    Going from the anecdotal to a broad survey, Manpower surveys nearly 45,000 employers across 43 countries on a quarterly basis. They found that 69%, a 15-year high, reported difficulty filling openings. The survey of U.S. employers found that 32% expect to add workers in the next three months vs. 3% who plan to cut. The seasonally adjusted index of +25 matched the highest reading in the history of the survey going back to 1982 (the previous reading at this level was in Q3 2000). The Q3 figure was also up 7 points from the prior quarter. Regionally, hiring sentiment was the strongest ever in the Northeast and best in 20 years in the South. By industry, not surprisingly, the broadest hiring plans were in leisure and hospitality, +50. In order, wholesale and retail trade, transportation and utilities, manufacturing, and construction were the next strongest. The lowest sector, financial activities, was still a solid +17.




    Stephen Stanley
    Chief Economist
    Amherst Pierpont





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  11. #1611  
    RX Senior
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    Global Market Comments
    September 15, 2021
    Fiat Lux

    Featured Trade:
    (IS USA, INC. A SHORT?)
    (TESTIMONIAL)



    Is USA Inc. a Short?What would happen if I recommended a stock that had no profits, was losing $3 trillion a year and had a net worth of negative $44 trillion?

    Chances are, you would cancel your subscription to the Mad Hedge Fund Trader, demand a refund, unfriend me from your Facebook account, and delete me from your Twitter network.

    Yet, that is precisely what my former colleague at Morgan Stanley did a few years ago, technology guru Mary Meeker.

    Now a partner at venture capital giant Kleiner Perkins, Mary has brought her formidable analytical talents to bear on analyzing the United States of America as a stand-alone corporation.

    The bottom line: the challenges are so great they would daunt the best turnaround expert. The good news is that our problems are not hopeless or unsolvable.

    The US government was a miniscule affair until the Great Depression and WWII when it exploded in size. Since 1965 when Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” began, GDP rose 2.7 times, while entitlement spending leaped 11.1 times.

    If current trends continue, the Congressional Budget Office says that entitlements and interest payments will exceed all federal revenues by 2025.

    Of course, the biggest problem is with healthcare spending, which will see no solution until healthcare costs are somehow capped. Despite spending more than any other nation, we get one of the worst results, with lagging quality of life, life spans, and infant mortality.

    Some 28% of Medicare spending is devoted to a recipient’s final four months of life. Somewhere, there are emergency room cardiologists making a fortune off of this. A night in an American hospital costs 500% more than in any other country.

    Social Security is an easier fix. Since it started in 1935, life expectancy has risen by 26% to 78, while the retirement age is up only 3% to 66. Any reforms have to involve raising the retirement age to at least 70 and means testing recipients. If you make $1 billion a year, you don’t need a monthly social security check.

    The solutions to our other problems are simple but require political suicide for those making the case.

    For example, you could eliminate all tax deductions, including those for home mortgage deductions, charitable contributions, IRA contributions, dependents, and medical expenses, and raise $1 trillion a year. That would only make a dent in our current $3 trillion a year budget deficit.

    Mary reminds us that government spending on technology laid the foundations of our modern economy. If the old DARPANET had not been funded during the sixties, Google, Yahoo, eBay, Facebook, Cisco, and Oracle would be missing today. Tech generates about 50% of all the profits in the US today.

    Global Positioning Systems (GPS) were also invented by and is still run by the government and has been another great wellspring of profits. (I got to use it during the 1980s while flying across Greenland when it was still top secret. The Air Force base that ran it was called “Sob Story”).

    There are a few gaping holes in Mary’s “thought experiment”. I doubt she knows that the Treasury Department carries the value of America’s gold reserves, the world’s largest at 8,965 tons worth $832 billion, at only $34 an ounce, versus an actual current market price of $1,861. By the way, the stash has only been seen once in 50 years.

    Nor is she aware that our ten aircraft carriers are valued at $1 each, against an actual cost of $10 billion each in today’s dollars. And what is Yosemite worth on the open market, or Yellowstone, or the Grand Canyon? These all render her net worth calculations meaningless.

    No, the USA is not a short. In fact, it is a long term scream long. The arguments as to why show up in the Diary of a Mad Hedge Fund Traderevery day of the year. During the publishing run of this letter, I have seen the Dow Average soar from 600 to 30,000.

    How could I think otherwise?

    Mary expounds at length on her analysis, which you can buy in a book entitled USA Inc. at Amazon by clicking here.

    Worth More Than a Dollar?



    TestimonialThanks to both of you for taking the time to answer me back. I am going to hang in there.

    I like your newsletter because the unbiased perspectives you share and the way in which you look at market opportunities in a realistic, factual manner. I am just hoping to turn that advantage into profit and learn.


    I don’t like financial advisors as they open your account, offer canned advice, and disappear after they take your money. I want to have the independent skills needed to manage my own wealth, as I grow old.

    I don’t expect that to happen overnight or without advice, but I am hoping that your newsletter is something above par not just in appearance, but in results.

    Time will tell.


    Thank you again for returning my emails. That says a lot.

    Best,
    Ryan
    Hammond, New York


    Quote of the Day“I don’t know what’s going to happen next quarter and I don’t care,” said Jamie Diamond, CEO of JP Morgan Chase Bank.



    This is not a solicitation to buy or sell securities
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  12. #1612  
    RX Senior
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    Global Market Comments
    September 16, 2021
    Fiat Lux

    Featured Trade:
    (TRADING FOR THE NON-TRADER),
    (ROM), (UXI), (UCC), (UYG)



    Trading for the Non-TraderI like to start out my day by calling readers on the US east coast and Europe, asking how they like the service, how I can improve the service, and what topics they would like me to write about.
    After all, at 5:00 AM Pacific time, they are the only ones around.
    You’d be amazed at how many great ideas I pick up this way especially when I speak to industry specialists or other hedge fund managers.
    Even the 25-year-old day trader operating out of his mother’s garage has been known to educate me about something.
    So when I talked with a gentleman from Tennessee this morning, I heard a common complaint. Naturally, I was reminded of my former girlfriend, Cybil, who owns a mansion on top of the levee in nearby Memphis overlooking the great Mississippi River.
    As much as he loved the service, he didn’t have the time or the inclination to execute my market-beating Trade Alerts.
    I said “Don’t worry. There is an easier way to do this.”
    Only about a quarter of my followers actually execute my Trade Alerts. The rest rely on my research to correctly guide them in the management of the IRAs, 401Ks, pension funds, or other retirement assets.
    There is also another, easier way to use the Trade Alert service. Think of it as “Trade Alert light.” Do the following.
    1) Only focus on the four best of the S&P 500’s 101 sectors. I have listed the ticker symbols below.
    2) Wait for the chart technicals to line up. Bullish long-term “Golden crosses” are setting up for several sectors.
    3) Use a macroeconomic tailwind, like the ramp-up from a -31% GDP growth rate to +31% we are currently seeing.
    4) Shoot for a microeconomic sweet spot, companies, and sectors that enjoy special attention.
    5) Increase risk when the calendar is in your favor such as from November to May.
    6) Use a modest amount of leverage in the lowest risk bets but not much. 2:1 will do.
    7) Scale in, buying a few shares every day on down days. Don’t hold out for an absolute bottom. You will never get it.
    The goal of this exercise is to focus your exposure on a small part of the market with the greatest probability of earning a profit at the best time of the year. This is what grown-up hedge funds do all day long.
    Sounds like a plan. Now, what do we buy?
    (ROM) – ProShares Ultra Technology 2X Fund – Gives you a double exposure to what will be the top performing sector of the market for the next six months, and probably the rest of your life. Click here for details and largest holdings.
    (UXI) – ProShares Ultra Industrial Fund 2X – Is finally rebounding off the back of a dollar that will slow down its ascent once the first interest rate hike is behind us. Onshoring and incredibly cheap valuations are other big tailwinds here. For details and largest holdings, click here.
    (UCC) – ProShares Ultra Consumer Services 2X Fund – Is a sweet spot for the economy, as tight-fisted consumers finally start to spend their gasoline savings now that it no longer appears to be a temporary windfall. This is also a great play on a housing market that is on fire. It contains favorites like Home Depot (HD) and Walt Disney (DIS) which we know and love. For details and largest holdings, click here.
    (UYG) – ProShares Ultra Financials 2X Fund – Yes, after six years of false starts, interest rates are finally going up, with a December rate hike by the Fed a certainty. My friend, Janet, is handing out her Christmas presents early this year. This instantly feeds into wider profit margins for financials of every stripe. For details and largest holdings, click here.
    Of course, you’ll need to keep reading my letter to confirm that the financial markets are proceeding according to the script. You will also have to read the Trade Alerts as we include a ton of deep research in the Updates.
    You can then unload your quasi-trading book with hefty profits in the spring just when markets are peaking out. “Sell in May and Go Away?” I bet it works better than ever in 2021.












    For Those Who Invest at Their Leisure


    Quote of the Day"The less prudent you find the actions of others, the more prudent you need to act yourself," said Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffett.



    This is not a solicitation to buy or sell securities
    The Mad Hedge Fund Trader is not an Investment advisor
    For full disclosures click here at:

    http://www.madhedgefundtrader.com/disclosures

    The "Diary of a Mad Hedge Fund Trader"(TM)
    and the "Mad Hedge Fund Trader" (TM)
    are protected by the United States Patent and Trademark Office
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    is protected by the United States Copyright Office




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  13. #1613  
    RX Senior
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    Read in Browser
    Top News
    The new moonshot technologies
    Shutterstock
    BofA Global Research released a 152-page research report identifying 14 “radical technologies that could change our lives and accelerate the impact of global megatrends.” The technologies have a $330B market size today that could grow to $6.4T by the 2030s, strategists led by Haim Israel say. “These moonshots could transform and disrupt multiple industries, contributing to the next big cycle of technology-driven growth.” Israel says. The 14 are:
    • 6G: “The next generation of telecom networks will be needed in less than a decade as data continues to grow exponentially and 5G reaches its upper limit capacity.”
    • Brain Computer Interfaces: “As we reach a point where humans are unable to keep up with computers and AI, brain computer interfaces could help ‘level up’ humans with computers. Shorter term, brain computer interfaces hold solutions for paralyzed individuals and promise a new wave of innovation in gaming.”
    • Emotional Artificial Intelligence: Also “known as 'Affective Computing' and 'Cognitive Computing' (it) is designed to capture, analyze and respond to human emotions and simulate human thoughts. EAI can potentially collect, analyze and respond to completely new varieties of data and situations and predict or simulate human thought, leading people to take action.”
    • Synthetic Biology: “At its core, 'synbio', as the field is commonly referred to, takes advantage of the vast diversity of nature to make biomolecules that traditional chemistry cannot.”
    • Immortality: “Traditionally, aging has not been viewed as a disease that can be treated but this is changing. Actors in this space are increasingly looking to tackle the hallmark of aging via pathways such as genomic instability, telomere attrition, mitochondrial dysfunction, and cellular senescence among others.”
    • Bionic humans: “This could be invasive (e.g. implants) or non-invasive (e.g. exoskeleton). Biohacking is also an associated field which is essentially applying DIY biology to boost oneself e.g. RFID chip in hand for contactless payments.”
    • eVTOL: “Electrical vertical take-off and landing vehicles that could provide an alternative mobility transportation solution to outdated infrastructure and overly stressed roads in urban settings.”
    • Wireless Electricity: “As the IoT takes off, automating and creating near continuous charging solutions could provide convenience for consumers, while solving charging problems for the rollout of EVs and secure electricity supplies for remote communities.”
    • Holograms: “A technology capable of creating a simulated environment through light imagery projections that will allow everyone to come together in one virtual room, without having to leave their physical location.”
    • Metaverse: “A future iteration of the Internet, made up of persistent, shared, 3D-shared spaces linked into a virtual universe. It could comprise countless persistent virtual worlds that interoperate with one another, as well as the physical world and transforming markets such as gaming, retail, entertainment etc.”
    • Nextgen Batteries: “Whilst lithium batteries are the major EV technology, this does not necessarily need to stay true with alternatives such as solid state, vanadium flow, sodium ion etc provide promising additional attributes.”
    • OceanTech: “It seeks to answer: ‘How do we increase sustainability of the ocean economy while harnessing its benefits?’ Solutions could include ocean energy, land based aquaculture, and precision fishing using AI.”
    • Green Mining: “Transitioning away from a carbon-intensive economy will mean moving to a metal-intensive one. Green mining solutions like deep-sea mining, agromining, mining of wastewater and asteroid mining could provide less polluting and destructive solutions as the green economy’s thirst for metals grows.”
    • Carbon Capture and Storage: “All current zero-carbon pathways require some form of CO2 removal. CCS, alongside other geoengineering solutions, could act as part of the solution with long-term permanent removal of CO2 vs afforestation.”

    Lower lifespan: The lifespan of S&P 500 (SP500)(NYSEARCA:SPY) incumbents is shortening and by 2027 components could last just 12 years before being replaced, BofA says. For Next Tech to succeed, first the innovation must have the potential to be economical, then it must solve a key problem or improve quality of life, and finally, there must be government support in some way. Risks to the 14 ideas include the tech not being commercially scalable, prohibitive costs outweighing the benefits and regulation limiting applicability.


    Energy
    Energy crunch
    An electricity cable mishap has raised the real possibility of electricity blackouts in the U.K. if there are any more problems with the grid this winter. A major cable that supplied power from France has been shut down due to a Wednesday fire and will be offline until March.

    “If anything goes wrong, we might not have anything left in the back pocket,” Tom Edwards, consultant at Cornwall Insight, which advises the government and utilities, told Bloomberg. “If a nuke trips offline or something else big, that could cause issues because we might not have anything to replace it.”

    Electricity prices in the U.K. surged 19% yesterday to 475 pounds ($655.50) per megawatt hour. (9 comments)


    U.S. Natgas surge
    U.S. natural gas futures closed at another seven-year high, as soaring global gas prices keep demand for U.S. exports high and Gulf of Mexico production recovers slowly from Hurricane Ida more than two weeks ago.

    Front-month futures (NG1:COM) settled +3.8% to $5.460/MMBtu, their highest close since February 2014 for the third day in a row. (42 comments)


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    M&A
    Goldman and GreenSky
    GreenSky (NASDAQ:GSKY) shares shot up 50% after the online lender agreed to be acquired by Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) for $2.24B, in a transaction that bolsters the Wall Street bank's presence on Main Street. GreenSky stockholders will get 0.03 share of Goldman stock for each GSKY share they hold.

    GreenSky works through retailers like Home Depot and independent doctors and dentists to arrange loans for such things as cosmetic surgery or construction products. It has a network of more than 10,000 merchants. The business will complement Goldman's Marcus consumer banking platform, positioning it for further growth, Goldman said. (5 comments)


    Tech
    Cisco sales
    Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) said that it expects half of its sales will likely come from software and recurring revenue as it continues shifting into new areas beyond its long-time core networking products.

    Scott Herron, the company's chief financial officer, gave an assessment of Cisco's business at a virtual meeting with Wall Street analysts on Wednesday.

    Herron said an ongoing worldwide shortage in computing parts such as memory chips and power supply units will result in some pressure on the company's hardware profit margins. Still, Herron said Cisco sees that part of its business continues to grow. (1 comment)


    Healthcare
    Drug price negotiation
    The House Ways and Means Committee late this afternoon approved a portion of the Democrats' $3.5T spending package that includes a provision for prescription drug price negotiation by HHS, The Hill reports. The provision would also cap price increases on some drugs at the inflation rate. (43 comments)

    Today's Markets
    In Asia, Japan -0.62%. Hong Kong -1.46%. China -1.34%. India +0.76%.
    In Europe, at midday, London +0.47%. Paris +1.06%. Frankfurt +0.48%.
    Futures at 6:20, Dow -0.07%. S&P -0.12%. Nasdaq -0.24%. Crude -0.1% at $72.52. Gold -0.9% at $1778.45. Bitcoin +1.7% at $47964.
    Ten-year Treasury Yield +1.3 bps at 1.317%

    Today's Economic Calendar
    8:30 Initial Jobless Claims
    8:30 Philly Fed Business Outlook
    8:30 Retail Sales
    10:00 Business Inventories
    10:30 EIA Natural Gas Inventory
    4:00 PM Treasury International Capital
    4:30 PM Fed Balance Sheet

    Companies reporting earnings today »

    What else is happening...
    China Evergrande (OTCPK:EGRNF) woes raise worries for real estate, finance sectors in China.

    Uranium hits nine-year highs as Sprott (OTCPK:SRUUF)resumes purchases.

    Sibanye Stillwater (NYSE:SBSW) buys 50% stake in Nevada lithium project for $490M.

    KKR-backed ForgeRock (NYSE:FORG) prices 11M-share IPO above range at $25.

    Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) rises 3% after reiterating FY22 bookings despite Battlefield launch delay.

    Callaway Golf (NYSE:ELY) jumps to four-week high as volume soars.

    Narrower drug pricing bill introduced in House by centrist Democrats.

    Boeing's (NYSE:BA) latest delivery totals suggest risk to full-year targets, analyst says.


    Seeking Alpha

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  14. #1614  
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    September 17, 2021

    Good morning. (Was this newsletter forwarded to you? Sign up here.)


    Mark Zuckerberg faces up to Facebook’s faults.Pete Marovich for The New York Times


    Facebook’s internal affairs

    This week, The Wall Street Journal published a bombshell investigation about how Facebook responds to the flaws in its platform. The four-part report, which is largely based on internal documents, suggests that the company often plays down what it knows about these problems. According to The Journal, at least some of the documents have been turned over to the S.E.C. and Congress by a whistle-blower.

    A Facebook spokesman responded to the investigation in a tweet: “As the Wall Street Journal itself makes clear, we have a team of experts who help us uncover patterns of harmful behavior so we can disrupt it. We’ve got arguably more experts and resources dedicated to this work than any other consumer technology company in the world.”

    Among the investigation’s findings:

    Facebook exempts high-profile users from some rules. The system, called “XCheck,” allows at least 5.8 million V.I.P. users to avoid Facebook’s normal enforcement process. The company told its Oversight Board that the system was used in “a small number of decisions.”

    Instagram’s own research shows risks to teenagers’ mental health. The service, which is owned by Facebook, has been studying its effect on young users for three years. “We make body image issues worse for one in three teen girls,” read one slide in an internal presentation, according to The Journal. Senators Richard Blumenthal and Marsha Blackburn said that they would launch an inquiry into the research, which Instagram defended in a blog post.


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    Facebook knows its algorithm rewards outrage. In 2018, the company made changes to its algorithm that it said would encourage interactions among families and friends. But internal research found that publishers and political parties responded by creating content that produced a lot of discussion — often because it was sensational and divisive. “Misinformation, toxicity, and violent content are inordinately prevalent among reshares,” researchers wrote in an internal memo.

    Facebook has been slow to stop drug cartels and human traffickers from using its platform. Internal documents reviewed by The Journal revealed that Facebook employees had flagged criminal use of the platform in some countries but received a weak response from the company.

    HERE’S WHAT’S HAPPENING

    A former World Bank leader is in hot water. An investigation by the bank’s ethics committee found that Kristalina Georgieva, the bank’s former chief, and other top officials pressured staff to raise China’s standing in a 2018 report so as not to anger the country. Georgieva, who now runs the I.M.F., denied accusations that she had acted inappropriately.

    Italy makes showing a health pass a requirement to go to work. The country will require some 23 million people to show proof that they have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, or have recently recovered from Covid, or else take a virus test every two days. Workers who do not comply can be suspended from their jobs and fined.


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    Retail sales unexpectedly rise, but reveal an uneven pace of recovery. The 0.7 percent gain in August, which came after a 1.8 percent decline in July, was driven by a rise in spending on clothing, electronics, furniture and home goods. But sales at bars and restaurants fell, after a rise in the previous month.

    The Fed is re-examining its rules on trading by officials. The move follows an outcry over disclosures that the presidents of the Boston and Dallas regional Fed banks bought and sold stocks and real estate-tied assets last year. The transactions complied with Fed guidelines, but involved securities that could be affected by the central bank’s decisions.

    The House calls oil executives in for questioning about misinformation. The House oversight committee has summoned executives from Exxon, Chevron, BP and Shell, as well as related industry groups, to testify next month about their parts in spreading disinformation about the role of fossil fuels in global warming.


    Goldman’s new office

    This week, Goldman Sachs planted its flag far from any of the world’s major financial centers. It opened a new office in Birmingham, Britain’s second-largest city. So far, about 100 people have been hired or moved there.


    ADVERTISEMENT


    The Times’s Eshe Nelson spoke to Richard Gnodde, the head of Goldman Sachs International, at the office’s opening about Goldman’s future in Britain after Brexit and how the investment bank’s return-to-office plans were progressing. The conversation was condensed and edited for clarity.

    Post-Brexit agreements between Britain and the E.U. aren’t forthcoming, so British regulators are reviewing a lot of their financial rules. Is there anything you want to see changed?

    Where we would want change is redundant, unnecessary regulation, which pushes up our cost of production because we are filing reports that no one ever looks at.

    There’s a set of rules that right now is identical given that we were all joined up 12 months ago. If, on the margin, either side starts tinkering with those rules so there’s just a marginal difference, but no real benefit, we can’t then apply one set of processes across the board. Let’s not make changes for changes’ sake.

    Do you expect to move more staff out of London?

    We are done with the work that we needed to do for Brexit. But our teams will continue to evolve. And so there will be movement from here into Europe.

    Are you planning more acquisitions in Europe?

    To the extent that we saw further interesting acquisition opportunities across the asset management space, we’d be interested in that. And something potentially in the consumer space.

    You removed social distancing in your British offices, returned them to full occupancy and encouraged staff to return. Did you feel something was lost when most people were working from home?

    Every year we bring a lot of people into the firm. And how do you integrate, how do you train those people? Memories fade. The office is our center of gravity, absolutely crystal clear. People should be spending the majority of their time in the office, but around that there can be flexibility.


    “It was beyond a small matter of negligence. It was complete and thorough.”

    — William Galvin, the Massachusetts secretary of the commonwealth, on MassMutual’s lack of supervision of Keith Gill, the insurer’s former employee who became famous as the meme-stock trader known as “Roaring Kitty.” In a settlement with the state, MassMutual will pay a $4 million fine for failing to adequately oversee Gill, a registered securities broker who had carried out trades on behalf of other people not affiliated with the insurer without its approval.


    Setting sail with Bain and Virgin

    Virgin Voyages, a joint venture between Bain Capital and Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, made its U.S. debut this week, more than a year later than scheduled. DealBook spoke with Ryan Cotton, the head of the consumer and retail group at Bain, about the venture and the prospects for the cruise industry, which has been upended by the pandemic.

    Branson has wanted to start a cruise line for about 25 years, Cotton said. (He still has his original sketches.) Seven years ago, he got serious about it and brought in Bain to help with financing a Virgin-branded cruise ship. The idea was to bring to cruises the same sensibility that Branson brought to his airlines: younger and slightly edgy. (There is a tattoo parlor onboard.)

    The venture’s first ship, the Scarlet Lady, has been cruising around Britain this summer on short trips open only to British residents. It was originally supposed to begin operations from the U.S. early last year, just as everything shut down. Some cruise ships were hit hard by Covid outbreaks early in the pandemic, which decimated the industry. But demand among aficionados has proved resilient, giving cruise lines hope.

    “The Covid situation has not gone the way any of us expected,” Cotton said. But the vaccine rollout has given the new venture confidence in going ahead with a soft launch of the adult-only cruises in the U.S. Ships are for the vaccinated only, and travelers need to be tested before they board. Onboard precautions include grab-and-go food options, capacity restrictions and an air ionization system.


    Your feelings on handshakes

    Last week, we wrote about a survey that suggested the majority of people aren’t ready to shake hands again — and may never feel comfortable doing it. We asked readers how the pandemic had changed your approach to greetings, and here’s what some of you said:

    “The handshake is outdated. Its origin was to affirm that neither party was armed — hardly a cordial way to start a business meeting. If that’s the pretext of the meeting, you really do have a lot to cover!” — Ed in Connecticut

    “I feel that the pandemic has put to bed the hug that many men greet women with. I hope the pandemic brings back a more subtle version of a contactless Regency bow, which can both acknowledge and dismiss without a word said.” — Elizabeth in New York

    “A verbal greeting alone feels cold, especially in professional greetings. A bow doesn’t seem to fit here. The elbow bump is just awkward. I’m ready to take up a new ‘greeting custom’ and it would be helpful if we could have some agreement on a sanitary replacement for the sometimes damp, other times weirdly limp, and nearly always germy handshake.” — Jennifer in California


    Want to share The New York Times with your friends and family? Invite them to enjoy unlimited digital access to our journalism with this special offer.

    THE SPEED READ

    Deals

    • JPMorgan Chase is opening its first overseas retail operation in its history, launching a digital-only lender in Britain next week. (FT)
    • Japan’s Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group is reportedly considering a sale of its U.S. banking arm, which has about 300 branches. (Bloomberg)
    • A Canadian government pension plan committed extra funds to the forthcoming listing of the satellite company Planet Labs via a SPAC merger. (PE Hub)
    • Private equity has played a part in a record 30 percent of global transactions so far this year. (Bloomberg)

    Policy

    • Germany has boomed under Angela Merkel’s leadership, but when she leaves office this month there are signs that the economic success won’t last. (NYT)
    • New Jersey is divesting from Ben & Jerry’s parent company, Unilever, over the ice cream maker’s decision to stop selling in Israeli-occupied territories. (NYT)
    • Google and Apple removed a tactical-voting app created by the jailed Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny from their local app stores. (NYT)
    • France’s foreign minister said that Australia’s decision to scrap a submarine deal with the country in favor of a new agreement with the U.S. and Britain was a “knife in the back.” (NYT)

    Best of the rest

    • Piers Morgan will return to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. as host of a TV show on its new British channel, talkTV. (NYT)
    • The World Economic Forum will return to Davos next year after a pandemic-enforced cancellation this year. (Bloomberg)
    • “Oops, I Accidentally Created a Mini SPAC Meme Stock.” (Bloomberg Opinion)
    • The father of the C.E.O. of Carvana, the online car dealer, has sold $3.6 billion in company stock over the past year. (WSJ)
    • A team of researchers built a room that wirelessly charges your smartphone as soon as you walk in. (Fast Company)


    Anna Schaverien contributed reporting.

    Thanks for reading! We’ll see you tomorrow.

    We’d like your feedback. Please email thoughts and suggestions to dealbook@nytimes.com.



    Andrew Ross Sorkin, Founder/Editor-at-Large, New York @andrewrsorkin
    Jason Karaian, Editor, London @jkaraian
    Sarah Kessler, Deputy Editor, Chicago @sarahfkessler
    Stephen Gandel, News Editor, New York @stephengandel
    Michael J. de la Merced, Reporter, London @m_delamerced
    Lauren Hirsch, Reporter, New York @LaurenSHirsch
    Ephrat Livni, Reporter, Washington D.C. @el72champs

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  15. #1615  
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    Top News
    Fed ethics review
    Shutterstock
    The Federal Reserve is examining its ethics rules for financial holdings after two Fed presidents came under fire for some of their recent transactions. Those dealings were widely panned for the potential conflict of interest at a time when the Fed is already in the spotlight over unprecedented pandemic market interventions that critics say led to elevated stock prices and benefited richer Americans. The appearance of self-dealing could also prove problematic for an institution tasked with oversight of U.S. employment, inflation, interest rates and liquidity markets.

    Backdrop: Last week, disclosures filed by the Fed's 12 regional presidents revealed some had actively traded stocks in 2020 that may have been susceptible to rising Treasury yields due to their high valuations. Robert Kaplan, a Fed voting member on rates last year, made several million-dollar-plus stock trades, while Eric Rosengren faced scrutiny over equity transactions tied to real estate, an industry he had been commenting on and was impacted by the pandemic (other presidents also held million-dollar financial positions). Since then, Kaplan and Rosengren have said they would offload all their stocks, but Senator Elizabeth Warren pushed further, saying regional Fed banks should adopt rulesthat would prevent their leaders from any trading activity.

    "Fed Chairman Jay Powell has directed staff to take a fresh and comprehensive look at the rules to identify ways to tighten those standards and will make changes as appropriate to the Fed's code of conduct," said a spokesman from the central bank. "The trust of the American people is essential for the Federal Reserve to effectively carry out our important mission."

    The pandemic and subsequent recession amplified the Fed's power in 2020, giving it a leading role in the U.S. economic recovery. It also magnified the Fed's influence in financial markets as the central bank cut its short-term benchmark interest rate to zero in March 2020, and moved deeper into its purchases of corporate debt, even buying bonds of industry stalwarts like Apple (AAPL), Verizon (VZ), Visa (V) and Home Depot (HD). It has since purchased trillions of dollars in Treasurys and MBSs to hold down longer-term rates, which has made stocks a more attractive investment.

    How far will it go? Under current rules, Fed officials cannot invest in banks since many of them are supervised by the Fed. They are also prohibited from making trades during the 10-day blackout period before each FOMC meeting and are not supposed to hold a security for less than 30 days. The Fed's overall structure is also complex, with the 12 regional banks chartered as private organizations, but are overseen by the Fed's Board of Governors in Washington. While regional banks have their own codes of conduct, they are largely identical to the rules that govern the Fed's board, which have similar guidelines on investing and trading as other government agencies. (7 comments)


    Automotive
    500-mile club
    Sending shares of the startup automaker up 6% on Thursday, the EPA awarded Lucid Motors' (LCID) Air Dream Edition with an official rating of 520 miles of range on a single charge. At that level, the EV would beat Tesla's (TSLA) Model S Long Range by more than 100 miles, the previous record for how far a car could go on a single charge. Lucid is still feeling the investor love this morning, with the stock up another 5% premarket to $22.34.

    Thought bubble: The electric car industry is still in its infancy and how far an EV can go before they have to be plugged is a crucial factor for any vehicle's success. A battery can take hours to be fully charged, depending on the car and charger.

    "Crucially, this landmark has been achieved by Lucid’s world-leading in-house EV technology, not by simply installing an oversize battery pack," said Lucid CEO Peter Rawlinson, a former Tesla engineer. He credits aerodynamics, motor efficiency and other components for being the first to the 500-mile club.

    Outlook: Tesla is still one of the market leaders in EVs, producing around two-thirds of electric vehicles sold in the U.S. Lucid's cars also occupy a luxury niche, with the Air Dream Edition starting at $169K before federal and state incentives. Lucid hopes to eventually offer more affordable versions of the Air, like one that will sell for about $77K, and the company is also working on an SUV. (96 comments)


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    Trending
    Macau meltdown
    The latest crackdown in China is still making headlines, with Macau now in the regulatory crosshairs of the CCP. The largest gambling market in the world has historically operated as a special administrative region, meaning it was at least an arm's length away from Beijing. But the area known for casino gambling is also plagued with money laundering and loan-sharking, triggering a fresh look from the Chinese government.

    Market movement: Casino stocks like Wynn Resorts (WYNN), Melco Resorts & Entertainment (MLCO), Las Vegas Sands (LVS) and MGM Resorts (MGM) suffered big losses on Wednesday and Thursday on word of increased government supervision. Any step in that direction could also raise concerns on how the gaming license renewal process will shake out. The latest development adds to existing concerns about Macau's pandemic recovery on the heels of a COVID-19 outbreak in Fujian.

    Look to Vegas? "We have a favorable view of the LV Strip, as we envision a strong recovery there, with near-term leisure/transient demand bridging the gap to a return of convention/group business starting in 2H21 and picking up steam into 2022-2023. For LV Strip stocks (MGM, CZR), we could envision today's solid leisure/transient demand combining with a gradual group recovery to drive a prolonged beat/raise cycle into 2023," Wells Fargo wrote in a research note. J.P. Morgan also said it prefersdomestic regional/Las Vegas Locals casino operators like Boyd Gaming (BYD) and Red Rock Resorts (RRR) in the near term for their positive fundamental profile, growth trajectory, strong free cash flow, and potentially increased capital return. (37 comments)


    Consumer
    Supply chain troubles
    Supply chain issues have been roiling the globe since the coronavirus pandemic began last year and retailers are still facing challenges with volatile production, COVID business restrictions and shortages of numerous goods. A great example of this can be seen in Vietnam, where many manufacturers had moved production during the trade war years of the Trump era to diversify and avoid tariffs. However, Vietnamese authorities this week announced an extension of restrictions in Ho Chi Minh City, the country's business hub and COVID outbreak epicenter, sending shockwaves down the supply chain.

    Snapshot: Factory shutdowns in Vietnam led Wall Street research firm BTIG to downgradeNike (NYSE:NKE) shares last week, while high-end furniture chain RH (NYSE:RH) had to delay the launch of its contemporary furniture collection until next spring. Some companies have even gone as far as to announce they are bringing production back to China, like footwear producer Designer Brands (NYSE:DBI), which said six years of supply chain work was undone in six days. "When you think about the amount of effort everyone was putting into getting out of China, and now one of the only places where you can get the goods is China," CEO Roger Rawlins declared. "It really is crazy, the roller coaster everyone has been on here."

    Commodity prices and trading have also been a hot topic given the constraints seen in Vietnam. The nation is the No.2 coffee producer in the world, but is battling its worst COVID outbreak since the start of the pandemic. In August, Vietnamese coffee exports fell 8.7% from July to 111,697 tons, continuing a downward trend seen since January. As a result, benchmark arabica coffee futures (KC1:COM) have jumped by nearly 47% this year, a price that has also been affected by waves of frost and drought in No.1 producer Brazil. Coffee prices could stay "relatively high" through 2022 due to the constrained supply, according to Fitch Solutions.

    Future supply chain? In a twist of irony, China formally applied to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership on Thursday. The initial 11-nation Asia-Pacific trade pact (originally known as TPP) was crafted under the Obama administration to "let America, not China, lead the way on global trade." President Trump pulled out of the deal in 2017, calling it a "job killer," while President Biden has said the pact needs to be renegotiated before he would consider joining CPTPP.


    Today's Markets
    In Asia, Japan +0.6%. Hong Kong +1%. China +0.2%. India -0.2%.
    In Europe, at midday, London -0.2%. Paris -0.2%. Frankfurt -0.2%.
    Futures at 6:20, Dow -0.2%. S&P -0.3%. Nasdaq -0.3%. Crude -0.9% at $71.94. Gold +0.4% at $1764. Bitcoin -0.8% at $47485.
    Ten-year Treasury Yield unchanged at 1.34%

    Today's Economic Calendar
    10:00 Consumer Sentiment
    1:00 PM Baker-Hughes Rig Count

    Companies reporting earnings today »

    What else is happening...
    Invesco (IVZ) in merger talks with State Street (STT) asset management biz.

    AMD (AMD) eyes making chips based on Arm architecture.

    Seattle to require COVID vaccinations, testing for indoor activities.

    Newly published study on COVID-19 boosters reignites benefits debate.

    Big Oil called by House panel to testify on climate disinformation.

    Gold sinks in metal's sharpest daily drop in nearly six weeks.

    GM (GM) extends Bolt production halt due to battery pack shortage.

    Sports betting revenue could soar to $40B if all states get on board.

    U.S. miners blast proposal in Congress to set royalties on federal lands.

    Evercore finds favorites in surprisingly strong retail sales report.

    Seeking Alpha
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  16. #1616  
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    Week two NFL entertainment

    Dallas- LAC over 55
    Titans +6.5
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    Global Market Comments
    September 17, 2021
    Fiat Lux

    Featured Trade:
    (WHY TECHNICAL ANALYSIS IS A DISASTER)
    (THE COOLEST TOMBSTONE CONTEST)
    (SJB), (JNK), (HYG)



    Why Technical Analysis is a DisasterI recently heard an amazing piece of information from a client.
    Fidelity recently conducted a study to identify their best-performing clients.
    They neatly fell into two groups: people who forgot they had an account at Fidelity, and dead people.

    Who do these two groups do so well? Because the NEVER sell, catching the entire bull move, devoid of capital gains taxes and transaction costs.

    It all underlines the futility of trading the markets without true professional guidance, something many aspire to but few actually accomplish.


    Of the many hundreds of online newsletters and trade mentoring services, I only know of three which actually make money for clients.

    Those would be mine and two others, and I’m not talking about who the other two are.

    It is an industry filled with professional marketers, charlatans, and conmen.

    Let me point out a few harsh lessons learned from this most recent summer meltdown and the rip-your-face-off rally that followed.

    We are now transitioning from a “Sell in May” to a “Buy in November” posture.

    The next six months are ones of historical seasonal market strength (click here for the misty origins of this trend.)

    The big lesson learned this summer was the utter uselessness of technical analyses. Usually, these guys are right only 50% of the time. This year, they missed the boat entirely.

    When the S&P 500 (SPY) was meandering in a narrow range, and the Volatility Index (VIX) hugged the $24 neighborhood, they said this would continue for the rest of the year.

    It didn’t.

    The biggest losers?

    Algorithms, which used the decisive break of the (SPY) $330 level in September to go heavily short.

    If you did, you lost your shirt. The market just shed a couple more points, reversed, and then kept going, and going, and going up.

    This is why technical analysis is utterly useless as an investment strategy. How many hedge funds use a pure technical strategy and a stand-alone basis?

    Absolutely none as it doesn’t make any money.

    At best, it is just one of 100 tools you need to trade the market effectively. The shorter the time frame, the more accurate it becomes.

    On an intraday basis, technical analysis is actually quite useful. But I doubt few of you engage in this hopeless persuasion.

    Leave it for the kids.

    This is why I advise portfolio managers and financial advisors to use technical analysis as a means of timing order executions, and nothing more.

    Most professionals agree with me.

    Technical analysis derives from humans’ preference for looking at pictures instead of engaging in abstract mental processes. A picture is worth 1,000 words, and probably a lot more.

    This is why technical analysis appeals to so many young people entering the market for the first time.

    Buy a book for $5 on Amazon, and you can become a Master of the Universe.

    Who can resist that?

    The problem is that high-frequency traders also bought that same book from Amazon a long time ago and have designed algorithms to frustrate every move of the technical analyst.

    Sorry to be the buzz kill, but that is my take on technical analysis.

    I have a much better solution than forgetting you have a trading account, or dying.

    Take Cunard’s round-the-world cruise (click here).

    I have been sailing with Cunard since the 1970s when the original Queen Elizabeth was still afloat.

    I’ve lost count of how many Transatlantic voyages I have taken across the pond.

    For a mere $19,999 you can spend 122 days circumnavigating the globe with Cunard from Southampton, England in their cheapest inside cabin.

    That includes all the food you can eat for four months.

    On the way, you can visit such exotic destinations as Bora Bora, The Seychelles, Reunion, and Moorea.

    Not a bad deal.

    By the time you get home, you will probably earn enough in your investment account to pay for the entire trip.

    Hope you enjoyed your cruise.


    Correction? What Correction?



    The Coolest Tombstone ContestTo prove that The Diary of a Mad Hedge Fund Trader only deals with the highest quality, top drawer clientele, I want to share the picture below sent in by a subscriber.



    Quote of the Day“I’d rather wear out than rust out,” said country music singer Dolly Parton, now 74.



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  17. #1617  
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    Live the Vegas comments.



    Read in Browser
    Top News
    Shutterstock
    Stocks touched their lowest levels in four weeks Friday as inflation fears took hold and a range of Chinese economic indicators pointed to a pullback. The University of Michigan’s preliminary sentiment index edged up, but buying conditions in the U.S. for household durables, homes and motor vehicles all fell to the lowest in decades last month due to complaints about high prices. Meanwhile, the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield jumped to a two-month high of 1.38%. The jittery mood was demonstrated by this week's $45 billion in capital outflows from money market funds, the largest outflow of the year. For the week, the S&P 500 slipped 0.6%, the Nasdaq Composite closed down 0.5% and the Dow Jones average fell just 0.1%. The weekly drop in the Dow was the third in the row, which has not happened since September of 2020.
    Economy
    Tax hikes
    House Democrats spelled out a series of proposed tax increases on Monday, attempting to piece together enough votes for a sweeping spending package at the heart of President Biden's economic agenda. Under the proposal, tax increases and enforcement would offset up to $3.5T in spending on the social safety net, like Medicare, childcare and a national paid-leave program. Also known as the "human infrastructure" side of a broader infrastructure proposal, the package would increase renewable energy tax breaks and establish a broader climate change policy.

    What's in the bill? The proposal would increase the top corporate tax rate to 26.5% (from 21%) and the top individual rate to 39.6% (from 37%), respectively. Meanwhile, the top federal rate on capital-gains taxes would be raised to 25% (from 20%), and - added to an existing 3.8% surtax on net investment income - the total tax bite would be 28.8%. The bill would also impose a 3-percentage-point surtax on people making over $5M and provide $78.9B in funding to the IRS to bolster tax enforcement for taxpayers earning more than $400K a year.

    Getting to $3.5T... According to the Joint Committee on Taxation, the plan includes about $1T of tax increases on high-income households and about $1T on corporations. Democrats intend to generate another $120B from tougher tax enforcement and $700B from drug-pricing policy changes. The legislation also assumes another $600B in revenue from faster economic growth.

    Outlook: The release of the tax details was the last major missing piece in the Democratic economic plan and will accelerate lawmakers' negotiations over new spending. Republicans are expected to mount unanimous opposition to the proposal (which would reverse the 2017 tax cuts), while Democrats have few votes to spare in the House and none in the Senate. Just last week, Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.), an influential moderate vote, penned an op-edquestioning the spending package's effect on inflation rates, budget deficits and overall debt levels. (187 comments)

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    Tech
    iEvent
    Looking to fuel growth this holiday season, Apple (AAPL) hosted its "California streaming" fall hardware event on Tuesday, introducing its new iPhone 13 lineup, the Watch Series 7 and two iPad refreshes. Shares of Apple, as well as supplier stocks, dipped about 1% during the show, while AT&T (T) was quick out of the gate to offer promotions like free new iPhone Pros for some users. As the dust settled, Wedbush's Dan Ives called the 1TB iPhone 13 a "potential game changer," while Satori Fund's Dan Niles said he was shorting Apple in the wake of its product announcements.

    iPhone 13: The lineup will consist of four models, two base and two Pro, with the same sizes as last year's iPhone 12 family. Entry-level models include the 5.4-inch iPhone 13 Mini and 6.1-inch iPhone 13 priced at $699 and $799, respectively, with 128GB, 256GB and 512GB storage configurations. As expected, the primary iPhone 13 upgrades are a bigger battery, camera improvements and the faster A15 Bionic processor, which Apple said offers "the fastest CPU in any smartphone, up to 50% faster than the leading competitor." At the top of the price range, the iPhone 13 Pro will get 1 terabyte of storage for $1,499, while the 1TB Pro Max will have a price tag of $1,599.

    iPad: The new base model (starting at $329) will include the A13 Bionic processor, offering "three times faster performance than the average Chromebook and six times faster than the bestselling Android tablet." The base model also inherits ultrawide camera and Center Stage tracking, while featuring a powerful neural engine that will better support functions like Live Text. Apple separately updated its iPad Mini ($499) for the first time since early 2019, gaining 5G support, new color options, rounded corners, better CPU, and a screen size of 8.3 inches (from 7.9 inches). iPad sales have experienced a resurgence during the pandemic due to remote learning, streaming TV/movies and videogames.

    Watch Series 7: The device, which was reportedly delayed by production issues, was announced at the event on schedule, but availability will be "later this fall" for $399. The main upgrade was the display size, with the smaller Watch model moving from 40-millimeters to 41-millimeters and the larger from 44-millimeters to 45-millimeters. The wearables also offer 18 hours of battery life, the same as the Watch Series 6 from last year. (109 comments)

    Space
    New era of flight
    The first all-civilian mission to orbit Earth blasted off on Wednesday night at 8:02 p.m. ET. SpaceX (SPACE) powered the expedition, known as Inspiration4, using one of its Dragon capsules atop a reusable Falcon 9 rocket. While the civilian mission is part of a charity initiative to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, it's being sized up as a coming-of-age moment for an commercial spaceflight market which hopes to send many more people to space and even deeper into the solar system.

    Bigger picture: Inspiration4 will be commanded by Shift4 Payments (NYSE:FOUR) CEO and accomplished pilot Jared Isaacman. The crew of four are spending three days in orbit and are performing a number of medical experiments like gathering data about their "movement, sleep, heart rate and rhythm, and blood oxygen saturation levels." That information will be crucial for coming missions as more astronauts blast into the heavens (only 600 people have been to space in history).

    The latest endeavor supported by SpaceX will go well beyond the International Space Station at a height of 360 miles above Earth. That compares to the recent flights of Virgin Galactic's (NYSE:SPCE) Richard Branson (50 miles up) and Blue Origin's (BORGN) Jeff Bezos (65 miles up), who squabbled over the definition of space during their suborbital flights in July. "We'd like to see aircraft like - airline, like - operations from a human spaceflight perspective, and so this chance to have our first commercial all-civilian flight is awesome," said Benji Reed, SpaceX director of human spaceflight.

    Snapshot: Interest in space has been growing at an exponential rate, especially in the public markets. Many space companies have already closed SPAC deals to go public this year, including Redwire (NYSE:RDW), AST SpaceMobile (NASDAQ:ASTS), Astra (NASDAQ:ASTR), Spire Global (NYSE:SPIR), Momentus (NASDAQ:MNTS) and Rocket Lab (NASDAQ:RKLB). Last month, satellite launch company Virgin Orbit announced another merger with SPAC NextGen Acquisition Corp. II (NASDAQ:NGCA), while Cathy Wood launched the ARK Space Exploration ETF (BATS:ARKX) earlier this year.

    Funding the industry: From 2000 to 2018, space startups drew $22.6B in investment, but that number has jumped rapidly over the last few years, according to a report from BryceTech. Space startups saw $6.5B of inflows in 2019, while 2020 brought in about $7.6B in investment (around 6% came from going public via SPACs). In fact, 342 investors invested in over 120 upstarts last year, with nine companies bringing in 80% of the total funding.

    Outlook: Congress has restricted the FAA from regulating the safety of commercial space flights since 2004 to help the sector develop without heavy compliance costs. The policy has been extended several times over the years and now runs until 2023. Crews today fly under a regime known as "informed consent," meaning potential astronauts take on similar risks to skydivers and bungee jumpers. Companies are fighting for share in a space market that will triple in size to more than $1T in annual sales by 2040, according to Morgan Stanley, whose forecast assumes rapid developments in space tourism, moon landings and satellite broadband Internet. (51 comments)

    On The Move
    Macau meltdown
    The latest crackdown in China made numerous headlines this week, with Macau now in the regulatory crosshairs of the CCP. The largest gambling market in the world has historically operated as a special administrative region, meaning it was at least an arm's length away from Beijing. But the area known for casino gambling is also plagued with money laundering and loan-sharking, triggering a fresh look from the Chinese government.

    Market movement: Casino stocks like Wynn Resorts (WYNN), Melco Resorts & Entertainment (MLCO), Las Vegas Sands (LVS) and MGM Resorts (MGM) suffered big losses on Wednesday and Thursday on word of increased government supervision. Any step in that direction could also raise concerns on how the gaming license renewal process will shake out. The latest development adds to existing concerns about Macau's pandemic recovery on the heels of a COVID-19 outbreak in Fujian.

    Look to Vegas? "We have a favorable view of the LV Strip, as we envision a strong recovery there, with near-term leisure/transient demand bridging the gap to a return of convention/group business starting in 2H21 and picking up steam into 2022-2023. For LV Strip stocks (MGM, CZR), we could envision today's solid leisure/transient demand combining with a gradual group recovery to drive a prolonged beat/raise cycle into 2023," Wells Fargo wrote in a research note. J.P. Morgan also said it prefersdomestic regional/Las Vegas Locals casino operators like Boyd Gaming (BYD) and Red Rock Resorts (RRR) in the near term for their positive fundamental profile, growth trajectory, strong free cash flow, and potentially increased capital return. (37 comments)

    Central Banking
    Fed ethics review
    The Federal Reserve announced plans to examine its ethics rules for financial holdings after two regional presidents came under fire for some of their recent transactions. Those dealings were widely panned for the potential conflict of interest at a time when the Fed is already in the spotlight over unprecedented pandemic market interventions that critics say led to elevated stock prices and benefited richer Americans. The appearance of self-dealing could also prove problematic for an institution tasked with oversight of U.S. employment, inflation, interest rates and liquidity markets.

    Backdrop: Last week, disclosures filed by the Fed's 12 regional presidents revealed some had actively traded stocks in 2020 that may have been susceptible to rising Treasury yields due to their high valuations. Robert Kaplan, a Fed voting member on rates last year, made several million-dollar-plus stock trades, while Eric Rosengren faced scrutiny over equity transactions tied to real estate, an industry he had been commenting on and was impacted by the pandemic (other presidents also held million-dollar financial positions). Since then, Kaplan and Rosengren have said they would offload all their stocks, but Senator Elizabeth Warren pushed further, saying regional Fed banks should adopt rulesthat would prevent their leaders from any trading activity.

    "Fed Chairman Jay Powell has directed staff to take a fresh and comprehensive look at the rules to identify ways to tighten those standards and will make changes as appropriate to the Fed's code of conduct," said a spokesman from the central bank. "The trust of the American people is essential for the Federal Reserve to effectively carry out our important mission."

    The pandemic and subsequent recession amplified the Fed's power in 2020, giving it a leading role in the U.S. economic recovery. It also magnified the Fed's influence in financial markets as the central bank cut its short-term benchmark interest rate to zero in March 2020, and moved deeper into its purchases of corporate debt, even buying bonds of industry stalwarts like Apple (AAPL), Verizon (VZ), Visa (V) and Home Depot (HD). It has since purchased trillions of dollars in Treasurys and MBSs to hold down longer-term rates, which has made stocks a more attractive investment.

    How far will it go? Under current rules, Fed officials cannot invest in banks since many of them are supervised by the Fed. They are also prohibited from making trades during the 10-day blackout period before each FOMC meeting and are not supposed to hold a security for less than 30 days. The Fed's overall structure is also complex, with the 12 regional banks chartered as private organizations, but are overseen by the Fed's Board of Governors in Washington. While regional banks have their own codes of conduct, they are largely identical to the rules that govern the Fed's board, which have similar guidelines on investing and trading as other government agencies. (15 comments)

    U.S. Indices
    Dow -0.1% to 34,585. S&P 500 -0.6% to 4,433. Nasdaq -0.5% to 15,044. Russell 2000 +0.3% to 2,234. CBOE Volatility Index -0.7%to 20.81.

    S&P 500 Sectors
    Consumer Staples -0.9%. Utilities -3.1%. Financials -0.1%. Telecom -1.2%. Healthcare -0.2%. Industrials -1.6%. Information Technology -0.7%. Materials -3.2%. Energy +3.3%. Consumer Discretionary +0.5%.

    World Indices
    London -0.9% to 6,964. France -1.4% to 6,570. Germany -0.8% to 15,490. Japan +0.4% to 30,500. China -2.4% to 3,614. Hong Kong -4.9% to 24,921. India +1.2% to 59,016.

    Commodities and Bonds
    Crude Oil WTI +3.2% to $71.97/bbl. Gold -2.1% to $1,754./oz. Natural Gas +2.5% to 5.061. Ten-Year Treasury Yield -0.2% to 132.83.

    Forex and Cryptos
    EUR/USD -0.76%. USD/JPY +0.06%. GBP/USD -0.74%. Bitcoin +6.2%. Litecoin +1.9%. Ethereum +5.2%. Ripple -0.2%.

    Top Stock Gainers
    Corvus Pharma Com (NASDAQ:CRVS)+115%. Greenidge Generation Hldgs Inc (NASDAQ:GREE) +89%. Atyr Pharma Inc (NASDAQ:LIFE) +88%. Leap Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:LPTX) +82%. Helbiz Inc (NASDAQ:HLBZ) +61%.

    Top Stock Losers
    Protagonist Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:PTGX) -61%. Mimedx Group Inc (NASDAQ:MDXG) -60%. Virpax Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:VRPX) -51%. Tcr2 Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:TCRR)-45%. Valneva Se ADR (NASDAQ:VALN)-42%.

    Where will the markets be headed next week? Current trends and ideas? Add your thoughts to the comments section.
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  18. #1618  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bozzie View Post
    Week two NFL entertainment

    Dallas- LAC over 55
    Titans +6.5
    Carolina +3.5
    Pittsburgh -6.5
    2-2 Meh... but still a fun day.

    Read in Browser
    Welcome to Wall Street Breakfast, our preview of stock market events for investors to watch during the upcoming week. You can also catch this article a day early by subscribing to the Stocks to Watch account for Saturday morning delivery.
    Outlook
    Economic reports in the week ahead
    The Federal Reserve meeting is the big marquee event in the week ahead. The sharpest focus will be on the language from the policy-making committee on when it sees it as an appropriate time to start reducing the pace of asset purchases. A majority of economists expect the first change in bond purchases to take place in December. Economic reports of interest next week include updates on housing starts, existing home sales, new home sales and the latest PMI prints. In D.C., the House is expected to vote on the debt ceiling next week and the bipartisan infrastructure bill on September 27. On the earnings calendar, there are potentially sector-rattling reports due in from FedEx (NYSE:FDX) and Nike (NYSE:NKE), while the conference calendar is headlined by the Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference with AT&T (NYSE:T), Disney (NYSE:DIS) and Peloton Interactive (NASDAQ:PTON) all in the house. Another big week is setting up for the IPO market and digital financial platform MoneyLion may start trading after its SPAC deal with Fusion Acquisition (NYSE:FUSE) closes.

    Earnings
    Earnings spotlight: Monday, September 20th: Lennar (NYSE:LEN).

    Earnings spotlight: Tuesday, September 21st: AutoZone (NYSE:AZO), Cracker Barrel (NASDAQ:CBRL), Aurora Cannabis (NASDAQ:ACB), FedEx (FDX), Adobe (NASDAQ:ADBE) and Stitch Fix (NASDAQ:SFIX).

    Earnings spotlight: Wednesday, September 22nd: General Mills (NYSE:GIS), Blackberry (NYSE:BB) and KB Home (NYSE:KBH).

    Earnings spotlight: Thursday, September 23rd: Carnival (NYSE:CCL), Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI), Rite Aid (NYSE:RAD), Costco (NASDAQ:COST) and Nike (NKE).

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    IPOs
    IPO watch: Another busy week is on tap for the IPO market. IPOs expected to start trading on September 22 include a.k.a. Brands Holdings (AKA), Freshworks (FRSH), VersaBank (OTCPK:VRRKF) and Toast (TOST). IPOs expected to start to trading on September 23 include Argo Blockchain (ARBK), Brilliant Earth Group (BRLT), Knowlton Development (KDC), Remitly (RELY), Sovos Brands (SOVO) and Steling Check Corp. (STER). The IPO lockup period expires on a long list of stocks including DigitalOcean (NYSE:DOCN), ACV Auctions (NASDAQ:ACVA), Diversey (NASDAQ:DSEY), Olink Holding (NASDAQ:OLK), Cricut (NASDAQ:CRCT), Vizio Holding (NYSE:VZIO), SEMrush (NYSE:SEMR), ThredUp (NASDAQ:TDUP) and Lava Therapeutics (NASDAQ:LVTX).
    Dividends
    Dividend watch: The list of companies on watch for a quarterly dividend hike next week include Accenture (NYSE:ACN) to $0.95 from $0.88, Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT) to $2.80 from $2.60, Progress Software (NASDAQ:PRGS) to $0.185 from $0.175, Idacorp (NYSE:IDA) to $0.75 from $0.71 and General Mills (GIS) to $0.53 from $0.51.
    Analysis
    FDA watch: The FDA action date on Incyte Corporation's (NASDAQ:INCY) Ruxolitinib is set for September 22 and for Verrica Pharmaceuticals' (NASDAQ:VRCA) VP-102 on September 23.

    FedEx earnings preview: FedEx (FDX) delivers its earnings report in an update that could have far-reaching implications across transportation, shipping and logistics stocks. FDX will update its annual guidance with the most current supply chain and labor issues factored in. The stock with the tightest share price correlation with FedEx (FDX) is XPO Logistics (NYSE:XPO).

    Events
    Corporate events: Boston Scientific Corporation (NYSE:BSX) conducts a meeting on September 22 with the investor community to review its financial goals and long-term growth strategies. On the same day, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) holds its Surface event with some product announcements anticipated. Shares of MSFT have gained during Surface events in the past when surprise product reveals were fired off. Sprout Social (NASDAQ:SPT) and Salesforce.com(NYSE:CRM) also have intriguing investor events scheduled. In the SPAC world, Fusion Acquisition Corp. (FUSE) holds a shareholder meeting to vote on the business combination with MoneyLion.

    Conference schedule: Another busy week of conferences is on tap including the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2021 Global Real Estate Virtual Conference, the Oppenheimer Fall Healthcare Life Sciences & MedTech Conference, the JPMorgan All Stars Conference, the Sidoti Fall 2021 Virtual Small Cap Investor Conference, the D.A. Davidson Virtual Conference, the Wells Fargo 4th Annual Consumer Conference, the Raymond James Defense and Government Services Conference and the Bernstein Strategic Decisions Conference. The Goldman Sachs 30th Annual Communacopia Conference could be the most intriguing of the bunch with a wide range of companies set to present including Warner Music Group (NASDAQ:WMG), News Corp (NASDAQ:NWS), Snap (NYSE:SNAP), Disney (DIS), T-Mobile US (NASDAQ:TMUS), AT&T (T), Hasbro (NASDAQ:HAS) and Peloton Interactive (PTON).

    Notable annual meetings: Darden Restaurants (DRI) holds its annual meeting on September 22, while Freshpet (NASDAQ:FRPT) and Lamb Wesson (NYSE:LW) hold annual meetings on September 23. SilverCorp Metals (NYSE:SVM) follows with an annual meeting on September 24.

    Stocks
    Stock splits: The Raymond James (NYSE:RJF) 3-for-2 stock split becomes effective on September 20.

    Barron's mentions: The intersection of the cryptocurrency revolution and the old banking system is broken down in the cover story with companies like Visa (NYSE:V) and JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) working to integrate cryptos and stablecoins into their systems to capture fees on services at the same time the technologies threaten their revenue streams and important access to data. Some of the banking veterans warn in the piece that weaker cryptocurrencies could evaporate if put to the test of a financial crisis. There is also a threat seen for the bigger cryptos like Bitcoin (BTC-USD) or Ethereum (ETH-USD) if the tax man comes calling. The big miners also get a big writeup this week. Mining stocks are said to offer a cheap play on growth with price-earnings ratios in the single digits. Global giants Anglo American (OTCQX:NGLOY), BHP Group (NYSE:BHP), Glencore (OTCPK:GLNCY), Vale (NYSE:VALE) and Rio Tinto (NYSE:RIO) are all seen as intriguing picks.

    Sources: EDGAR, Bloomberg, CNBC, Reuters, Renaissance Capital

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  19. #1619  
    RX Senior
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    September 20, 2021
    Continue reading the main story
    SUPPORTED BY


    Good morning. (Was this newsletter forwarded to you? Sign up here.)


    Behind the columns at the Treasury Department, a revolving door.Stefani Reynolds for The New York Times


    Taxing times

    There’s a well-oiled revolving door between the largest accounting firms in the U.S. and the Treasury Department, The Times’s Jesse Drucker and Danny Hakim report. The cycling of professionals between the public and private sectors is nothing new, but the ability of the biggest tax advisers to embed their employees inside the government’s most important tax policy jobs has largely escaped public scrutiny.

    Here’s how it works:

    • Executives at the biggest accounting firms encourage their top tax lawyers to do stints at the Treasury.
    • While at the Treasury, these legal professionals help write rules — like one that allowed restaurants to claim a tax break intended for manufacturers by claiming they were “manufacturing” cheesecake slices out of whole cheesecakes — that allow their former corporate clients to reduce their tax bills.
    • The same professionals, sometimes just months after helping write new rules, are welcomed back to their former employers in more senior positions with higher pay.

    By the numbers: During the past four presidential administrations, there have been at least 35 people, including five of the past six heads of the Treasury’s tax policy office, who left jobs at a top accounting firm to take a tax policy position in the government, only to return to their previous employers at a later date. About half of those returning individuals were made partners, a position that can pay as much as $1 million a year, according to public records reviewed by The Times and interviews with current and former government and industry officials.

    Government agencies rely on expertise from the private sector to understand the real-world effects of the tax code. Federal rules prohibit government officials from working on many matters in which they have financial interests, like having an unwritten agreement to return to their prior firm.


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    (Accounting firms aren’t the only ones taking advantage of Washington’s revolving door. As DealBook recently reported, crypto firms have been aggressively hiring former regulators to bolster their lobbying operations.)

    Deloitte, PwC, RSM and other accounting firms declined to comment on The Times’s investigation. Eric Sloan, a former senior tax lawyer at Deloitte, said that he saw nothing wrong with telling junior employees that stints in government would earn them big financial rewards when they returned to private practice. Tax professionals may also want to join the government to make changes that they genuinely believe are in the public interest.

    The accounting industry’s back-and-forth arrangements get results. The taxes that corporations pay, as a percentage of G.D.P., have been shrinking for years. This share now sits near a 50-year low, and some former industry veterans say that the personnel flow between the private and public sectors has played a part.

    “Administering the law is complicated, and corporate America distributes huge paychecks to revolving-door experts to give them the edge,” Jeff Hauser of the Revolving Door Project, part of the liberal-leaning Center for Economic and Policy Research, told DealBook. Paying government officials more would slow the door’s swing, he said: “The public is best off when government employees see the public interest and their personal interest as one and the same.”


    HERE’S WHAT’S HAPPENING

    Global markets shudder as Evergrande, a heavily indebted Chinese property developer, faces deadlines. The beleaguered company owes $300 billion to creditors, including tens of thousands of its own staff, making it China’s most indebted company. With some interest payments due this week, fears abound that a default could ripple through the financial system.


    ADVERTISEMENT


    President Biden kicks off a global vaccination push. He will use a U.N. General Assembly meeting this week to urge other countries to distribute doses of coronavirus vaccines to nations in desperate need. Separately, Pfizer and BioNTech announcedthat their coronavirus shots have been shown to be safe and effective in children ages 5 to 11.

    Facebook responds to allegations that it has failed to address the ill effects of its platform. In a blog postresponding to The Wall Street Journal’s series about the tech giant’s shortcomings, Nick Clegg, Facebook’s head of public affairs, pointed out that the company itself had produced the research that allowed others to look at the social network more critically. Clegg said Facebook understood its “significant responsibility.”

    Nabisco workers end a weekslong strike. The union representing the snack maker’s employees in five states said over the weekend that members had overwhelmingly approved a new four-year contract. The agreement includes hourly wage increases and a higher company match to pension contributions.

    Streaming services triumph at the Emmys. Netflix won two of the top awards, with “The Crown” taking the best drama prize and the chess-prodigy odyssey “The Queen’s Gambit” claiming the title of best limited series. “Ted Lasso,” of Apple TV+, won for best comedy series.


    ADVERTISEMENT




    The irony of stablecoins

    Stablecoins are cryptocurrencies whose values are pegged to assets like gold or the dollar, which is meant to make them less volatile. Stablecoins may also be the most ironically named innovation in the cryptocurrency industry in the eyes of regulators in Washington. But they are no laughing matter.


    ADVERTISEMENT


    Despite their name, stablecoins may wobble dangerously. Officials in Washington are worried that firms issuing these cryptocurrencies are not holding adequate reserves. If a critical mass of stablecoin holders want to convert their tokens simultaneously, that could lead to a kind of modern-day bank run. The use of stablecoins has grown so explosively in the past year, from virtual nonexistence not long ago to a more than $120 billion market, that regulators are increasingly nervous. The issuer of the most popular stablecoin, Tether, this year settled an investigation with the New York attorney general over financial mismanagement.

    Are stablecoins a threat to the wider financial system?Federal regulators fear that without fast action and strict oversight of this corner of the crypto world, they might be. In a report due this fall, the Treasury Department may direct the Financial Stability Oversight Council to review whether this kind of cryptocurrency, or its issuers, should be deemed “systemically important.” The designation would allow for strict federal regulation to address issues beyond reserve levels, such as consumer and data protections, technological resilience and financial crime prevention. As it stands, stablecoins are modestly regulated through a patchwork of state banking and money transmission rules.

    Stablecoins are critical to crypto’s continued growth. They underpin many of the trading, lending and borrowing services on crypto exchanges, as well as the burgeoning alternative financial services on the blockchain that is touted as the future of payments. Stablecoins could also perform the function of a government-issued digital dollar, which is under consideration by the Fed. Jay Powell, the Fed chair, has suggested a U.S. central bank digital currency could undercut the entire cryptocurrency sector. “I think that’s one of the stronger arguments in its favor,” he told Congress.


    “Failing to raise the debt limit would produce widespread economic catastrophe.”

    — Janet Yellen, the Treasury secretary, in an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal urging Congress to act as the U.S. approaches its borrowing limit. Yellen noted that lawmakers have altered the country’s debt ceiling about 80 times since 1960, and argued that they must do so again in the next few weeks, or “the federal government will be unable to pay its bills.”


    The week ahead

    A call on booster shots: Last month, President Biden announced a plan to offer a third Covid-19 vaccine shot to most Americans as early as this week. But the plan was in flux as scientists debated whether booster shots were necessary. On Friday, advisers to the F.D.A. unanimously recommended a booster shot limited to Pfizer vaccine recipients who are 65 or older or at high risk of severe Covid infections. Although the F.D.A. is not required to follow its advisers’ recommendations, it typically does. The agency is expected to make a decision in the coming days.

    Taper talk: The Fed gathers this week to discuss monetary policy, and this meeting could be an important one. Many economists expect the central bank to reveal details about how and when it plans to begin winding down its bond-buying program, one of several policies it created to reduce the economic impact of the pandemic. The Fed will also release new economic projections, which will signal how much and how quickly it expects high inflation to fade.

    Unanswered questions: After a streak of record highs, the stock market has looked more indecisive of late. That’s understandable, given big questions that are likely to be answered in the coming weeks, including whether the Fed will begin pulling back its economic support and whether Congress will raise the federal borrowing limit, not to mention the wait for the final details of an infrastructure spending package — and how it will be funded.

    The New York Times

    From the TimesMachine: On this day 148 years ago, The Times reported that “Wall Street was the liveliest place in New York” as the early days of what is known as the Financial Panic of 1873took hold. The New York Stock Exchange was forced to suspend trading for the first time in its history and the crash precipitated a depression that lasted for six years.


    Want to share The New York Times with your friends and family? Invite them to enjoy unlimited digital access to our journalism with this special offer.

    THE SPEED READ

    Deals

    • Tech giants have been on an acquisition spree this year, spending at least $264 billion buying up smaller rivals. (FT)
    • SoftBank and Tencent joined an investment round for Cars24, the Indian used-car seller, doubling its valuation, to $2 billion, in less than a year. (FT)
    • U.S. companies have sold a record $786 billion of junk-rated bonds and loans so far this year. (WSJ)
    • Hong Kong’s stock exchange is courting SPACs, but its rules for listing the blank-check vehicles are much stricter than those of other venues. (Bloomberg)

    Policy

    • Elon Musk pledged $50 million (in a tweet, naturally) for the fund-raiser linked to the Inspiration4 mission that took four civilians into space. The SpaceX chief also mocked President Biden for not acknowledging his firm’s successful mission. (CNN, CNBC)
    • The U.S. transportation regulator is concerned that Tesla is pushing out self-driving software updates before fixing basic safety issues. (WSJ)
    • Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain plans to press Jeff Bezos on Amazon’s tax payments during his trip to New York. (Guardian)
    • A surge in natural gas prices will push up inflation across the U.S. and Europe, economists warn. (WSJ, FT)
    • Climate-focused investment funds may be undermining the fight against global warming. (FT)

    Best of the rest

    • The designer of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “Tax the Rich” dress owes back taxes. (NY Post)
    • Pandemic supply chain problems are hurting the most vulnerable communities by disrupting food banks and clothes drives. (NYT)
    • The parent company of TikTok is introducing a usage cap of 40 minutes a day for Chinese children under 14. (WSJ)
    • Meeting goals on hiring working-class staff requires asking delicate questions and carefully interpreting the answers. (Bloomberg Opinion)
    • “How Car Rentals Explain the 2021 Economy” (NYT)


    Anna Schaverien contributed reporting.

    Thanks for reading! We’ll see you tomorrow.

    We’d like your feedback. Please email thoughts and suggestions to dealbook@nytimes.com.



    Andrew Ross Sorkin, Founder/Editor-at-Large, New York @andrewrsorkin
    Jason Karaian, Editor, London @jkaraian
    Sarah Kessler, Deputy Editor, Chicago @sarahfkessler
    Stephen Gandel, News Editor, New York @stephengandel
    Michael J. de la Merced, Reporter, London @m_delamerced
    Lauren Hirsch, Reporter, New York @LaurenSHirsch
    Ephrat Livni, Reporter, Washington D.C. @el72champs

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  20. #1620  
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    Global Market Comments
    September 20, 2021
    Fiat Lux

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    The Market Outlook for the Week Ahead, or The Battle of the 50-DayThe next long-term driver of financial markets will be rising interest rates.

    It’s not a matter of if, but when. Is it this month, or next month? One way or the other it’s coming.

    Which means you should be rearranging your portfolio right now big time.

    In a rising interest rate regime seven big things will happen:

    1) Bonds (TLT) will collapse.
    2) Domestic recovery and commodity stocks (FCX) will soar.
    3) Technology stocks (QQQ) will move sideways to down 10%
    4) The US dollar (UUP) craters
    5) Foreign stock markets (EEM) do better than American ones.
    6) Bitcoin (BLOK), (MSTR) and other cryptocurrencies go through the roof.
    7) Residential real estate keeps appreciate, but at a slower rate.

    These trends will continue for six months, or until long-term interest rates hit an interim peak, such as at 2.00%.

    The delta variant gave us a secondary recession. Its demise will give us a secondary recovery, and the same sectors will prosper as with the first. According to the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine, this is happening right now.

    The only caution here is that long-term investors should probably keep their technology stocks. Once rates hit the next interest rate peak again, it will be off to the races for tech once again. In the long term, tech always comes back, and tech always wins.

    Of course, the major event of the coming week will be the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee meeting where interest rates are decided and the press conference with Jay Powell that follows.

    Interest rates won’t move. It’s the press conference that is crucial, where we gain insights into the taper. What’s different this time is that the European Central Bank has already begun their taper with an economy far weaker than ours. Will Jay take the cue?

    Far and away, the most reliable indicator for “BUY” timing since the presidential election has been the 50-day moving average for the S&P 500. Increasing stock weightings there and you were golden.

    The problem now is that we have not seen the index close below the 50-day for two consecutive days for a record 221 days. This has not happened for 31 years.

    We all know the reasons: Record low-interest rates making cash trash, seven years of quantitative easing, and a global liquidity glut. Exploding equity in homes and stock portfolios helps too. Still, 31 years is a long time to be this bullish.

    I saw all this coming a mile off.

    Since the election, I have relentlessly pursued this market with a super aggressive 100% weighting. Then I started paring back risk in June. In July and August, I cut back further to the bone, running minuscule 20% long weightings against a few shorts.

    And this is how you manage your risk control.

    When markets are rigged in your favor and the lunch is free, you bet the ranch. When they aren’t, you cower on the sidelines and watch others take insane risks.

    But who am I to know? I’ve only been doing this for 51 years, and 58 years if you count the (IBM) shares I bought with my paperboy earnings.

    Antitrust Comes Home to Roost at Apple, sending the stock down $9 in two days. A judge ruled that Apple will no longer be allowed to prohibit developers from providing links or other communications that direct users away from Apple in-app purchasing. Apple typically takes a 15% to 30% cut of gross sales. It’s a slap on the wrist, as Apple’s main revenue stream is still from iPhones. The judge ruled in favor of Apple on nine of ten other issues. It creates massive new opportunities for hundreds of other Silicon Valley start-ups. Still, if you were looking for an excuse to take profits, this is it. Buy (AAPL) on dips.


    Tesla to get EV Tax Credit Restored in a new overhaul of alternative energy subsidies. Both Tesla (TSLA) and General Motors (GM) lost their $7,500 per car subsidies when sales topped 200,000. GM will get an extra $5,000 discount for union-made cars. Tesla is ferociously non-union. Maybe this explains the 36% rally since May. It should help (TSLA) get reach its million-vehicle target for 2021 if it can get enough chips. Buy (TSLA) on dips.

    China Inflation Hits 13 Year High, up 9.5% YOY. Soaring commodity and coal prices are the issue. Coal is up 57% YOY, reflecting an energy shortage during the covid economic rebound. It predicts a hot CPI for the US on Tuesday.

    The Consumer Price Index rose by 5.3% YOY and up 0.3% in August. It was a seven-month low, with delta clearly a drag. Food and energy came in lighter than expected. Prices for used cars, air tickets, and insurance fell. Stocks loved it, rising triple digits, and bond prices halved losses. St next week’s FOMC we’ll see how Jay really feels.
    House Looking at a Top 26.5% Corporate Tax Rate, well up from the current 21% but not as high as the 28% that was feared. Capital gains would rise from 20% to 25%. The goal is to raise $2.5 trillion to get the $3.5 trillion spending package into law. It’s all a trial balloon for what might be possible. Stocks loved it.

    Amazon to Hire 125,000 and boost wages to $18 an hour. They are also paying $3,000 signing bonuses and taking pay up to $22.50 in prime areas like New York and California. It’s all part of a strategy to make (AMZN) the “best employer in the world”. Buy (AMZN) on dips as its dominance on online commerce grows.

    China Destroys Casino Stocks, threatening to increase oversight of their Macao operations. The concern is that China will pull the gaming licenses of foreign companies when they come up for renewal in June. Buy (WYNN) and (LVS) on the dip.

    Weekly Jobless Claims Come in at 332,000, a new post-pandemic low. The previous week was revised down even lower, to 312,000. The end of pandemic unemployment benefits is no doubt a factor, driving people off of their couches and back to the salt mines. Is this the light at the end of the tunnel?

    Bitcoin Charts are Showing a Golden Cross, which usually presages upside breakouts in the cryptocurrency. A golden cross is where the 50-day moving average pierces the 200-day to the upside. This is crucial because technicals are more important in crypto than in any other financial instrument. In the meantime, (AMC) has started accepting Bitcoin for online movie ticket purchases. Buy (MSTR) on dips.

    My Ten-Year View

    When we come out the other side of the pandemic, we will be perfectly poised to launch into my new American Golden Age, or the next Roaring Twenties. With interest rates still at zero, oil cheap, there will be no reason not to. The Dow Average will rise by 800% to 240,000 or more in the coming decade. The American coming out the other side of the pandemic will be far more efficient and profitable than the old. Dow 240,000 here we come!


    My Mad Hedge Global Trading Dispatch saw a modest +1.10% loss so far in September following a blockbuster 9.36% profit in August. My 2021 year-to-date performance soared to 77.47%. The Dow Average is up 13.02% so far in 2021.

    That leaves me 70% in cash, 10% short in the (TLT), and 20% long in the (SPY) and (DIS). Both of our September option positions expired at max profits.

    I’m keeping positions small as long as we are at extreme overbought conditions. However, a Volatility Index (VIX) above $20 shows there may be a light at the end of the tunnel.

    That brings my 12-year total return to 500.02%, some 2.00 times the S&P 500 (SPX) over the same period. My 12-year average annualized return now stands at an unbelievable 42.86%, easily the highest in the industry.

    My trailing one-year return popped back to positively eye-popping 109.26%. I truly have to pinch myself when I see numbers like this. I bet many of you are making the biggest money of your long lives.

    We need to keep an eye on the number of US Coronavirus cases at 42 million and rising quickly and deaths topping 673,000, which you can find here.

    The coming week will be all about the Fed meeting on Wednesday.

    On Monday, September 20, at 11:00 AM, the NAHB National Housing Market Index for September is out.

    On Tuesday, September 21 at 9:30 AM, Housing Starts for August are printed.
    On Wednesday, September 22 at 11:00 AM, Existing Home Sales for August are announced. At 2:00 PM, the Fed interest rate decision is released and an important press conference about taper issues follows.
    On Thursday, September 23 at 8:30 AM, Weekly Jobless Claims are announced.
    On Friday, September 24 at 8:30 AM, we learn US Durable Goods for August. At 2:00 PM, the Baker Hughes Oil Rig Count is disclosed.

    As for me, with the shocking re-emergence of Nazis on America's political scene, memories are flooding back to me of some of the most amazing experiences in my life.

    I have been warning my long-term readers for years now that this story was coming. The right time is now here to write it.
    I know the Nazis well.
    During the civil rights movement of the 1960s, I frequently hitchhiked through the Deep South to learn what was actually happening.
    It was not usual for me to catch a nighttime ride with a neo-Nazi on his way to a cross burning at a nearby Ku Klux Klan meeting, always with an uneducated blue-collar worker who needed a haircut.
    In fact, being a card-carrying white kid, I was often invited to come along.
    I had a stock answer: "No thanks, I'm going to another Klan meeting further down the road."
    That opened my driver up to expound at length on his movement's bizarre philosophy.
    What I heard was chilling.
    During 1968 and 1969, I worked in West Berlin at the Sarotti Chocolate factory in order to perfect my German. On the first day at work, they let you eat all you want for free.
    After that, you get so sick that you never wanted to touch the stuff again. Some 50 years later and I still can’t eat their chocolate with sweetened alcohol on the inside.
    My co-worker there was named Jendro, who had been captured by the Russians at Stalingrad and was one of the 5% of prisoners who made it home alive in 1955. His stories were incredible and my problems pale in comparison.
    Answering an ad on a local bulletin board, I found myself living with a Nazi family near the company's Tempelhof factory.
    There was one thing about Nazis you needed to know during the 1960s: They loved Americans.
    After all, it was we who saved them from certain annihilation by the teeming Bolshevik hoards from the east.
    The American postwar occupation, while unpopular, was gentle by comparison. It turned out that everyone loved Hershey bars.
    As a result, I got free room and board for two summers at the expense of having to listen to some very politically incorrect theories about race. I remember the hot homemade apple strudel like it was yesterday.
    Let me tell you another thing about Nazis. Once a Nazi, always a Nazi. Just because they lost the war didn't mean they dropped their extreme beliefs.
    Fast-forward 30 years, and I was a wealthy hedge fund manager with money to burn, looking for adventure with a history bent during the 1990s.
    I was mountain climbing in the Bavarian Alps with a friend, not far from Garmisch-Partenkirchen, when I learned that Leni Riefenstahl lived nearby, then in her 90s.
    Attending the USC film school with a young kid named Steven Spielberg decades earlier, I knew that Riefenstahl was a legend in the filmmaking community.
    She produced such icons as Olympia, about the 1932 Berlin Olympics, and The Triumph of the Will, about the Nuremberg Nazi rallies. It is said that Donald Trump borrowed many of these techniques during his successful 2016 presidential run.
    It was rumored that Riefenstahl was also the onetime girlfriend of Adolph Hitler.
    I needed a ruse to meet her since surviving members of the Third Reich tend to be very private people, so I tracked down one of her black and white photos of Nubian warriors, which she took during her rehabilitation period in the 1960s.
    It was my goal to get her to sign it.
    Some well-placed intermediaries managed to pull off a meeting with the notoriously reclusive Riefenstahl, and I managed to score a half-hour tea.
    I presented the African photograph and she seemed grateful that I was interested in her work. She signed it quickly with a flourish.
    I then gently grilled her on what it was like to live in Germany in the 1930s. What I learned was fascinating.
    But when I asked about her relationship with The Fuhrer, she flashed, "That is nothing but Zionist propaganda."
    Spoken like a true Nazi.
    The interview ended abruptly.
    I took my signed photograph home, framed it, hung it on my office wall for a few years. Then I donated it to a silent auction at my kids' high school.
    Nobody bid on it.
    The photo ended up in storage at my home, and when it was time to make space, it went to Goodwill.
    I obtained a nice high appraisal for the work of art and then took a generous tax deduction for the donation, of course.
    It is now more than a half-century since my first contact with the Nazis, and all of the WWII veterans are gone. Talking about it to kids today, you might as well be discussing the Revolutionary war.
    By the way, the torchlight parade we saw in Charlottesville, VA in 2017 was obviously lifted from The Triumph of the Will, except that they didn't use tiki poolside torches in Germany in the 1930s.

    Leni Riefenstahl
    Olympia
    Former Paperboy

    Quote of the Day
    "Risk control is the best route to loss avoidance. Risk avoidance, on the other hand, is likely to lead to return avoidance as well." said Howard Marks, founder of distressed debt giant, Oaktree Capital Management.
    This is not a solicitation to buy or sell securities
    The Mad Hedge Fund Trader is not an Investment advisor
    For full disclosures click here at:

    http://www.madhedgefundtrader.com/disclosures

    The "Diary of a Mad Hedge Fund Trader"(TM)
    and the "Mad Hedge Fund Trader" (TM)
    are protected by the United States Patent and Trademark Office
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    is protected by the United States Copyright Office


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  21. #1621  
    RX Senior
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Arlington, VA
    Posts
    8,742
    Boz, I went to the Alabama/UF game over the weekend. Great time - but too bad Florida shit the bed in the 1st quarter. Florida played a lot tougher than I expected and The Swamp was rocking! My first home UF game in 13 years.

    I added some AAPL yesterday & S&P 500 index fund. I'm probably going to sell some of my losers and take the L though before things get out of whack w/ this whack administration.
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  22. #1622  
    RX Senior
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Oregon Coast
    Posts
    5,004
    Great game..I watched the second half....I was pulling for yea.
    Tough day yesterday...20 days now till word on AVDL's next step.
    It's been great summer here had a lot of friends out to the coast for golf fishing and a few good parties.

    Glad you're well pal.!





    September 21, 2021

    Good morning. (Was this newsletter forwarded to you? Sign up here.)


    “What to make of this?”Andrew Kelly/Reuters


    Evergrande is only part of the story

    The global stock market drop yesterday — the S&P 500 recorded its biggest one-day plunge since May — was seemingly induced by the troubled Chinese real estate firm Evergrande. And when a single, large, teetering firm with extensive debt rattles the entire market, some reach for the “L” word: Lehman Brothers.

    With markets regaining ground today, worries that one firm’s collapse could lead to a full-blown financial crisis appear to have waned. But Evergrande’s travails are far from over, and there are plenty of other concerns hanging over the market. First, about that Chinese property developer with $300 billion in debt …

    What would an Evergrande default look like? The impact of the developer’s potential collapse — it doesn’t seem to have the cash for interest payments due this week — depends on how China’s leadership responds. Although Beijing hasn’t moved conclusively toward a bailout, it has ways to stop a financial disaster, namely by controlling banks and the flow of money in and out of the country. The authorities can also manage news coverage and quell any public unrest.

    On top of Evergrande, a number of other Chinese property developers also appear “highly distressed,” said Jenny Zeng of AllianceBernstein. Goldman Sachs strategists estimate that an Evergrande collapse could cut China’s G.D.P. by $350 billion in the next year. But for now, the global repercussions of Evergrande’s troubles aren’t considered on the same scale as those that followed Lehman’s collapse, even if some of the debt owed by Chinese developers is held by foreign firms, who could get burned if the cash isn’t there.


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    Investors have plenty of other concerns, as shown by the rout yesterday in U.S. stocks that had little connection to the Chinese economy. Those worries include the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus, which continues to weigh on activity (but may be turning a corner); the end of pandemic emergency spending programs; the fraught negotiations over trillions of dollars in new spending; the looming fight over the government debt limit; and a potential start in the reduction of monetary stimulus by the Fed, to name a few.

    More sell-offs like Monday’s could imperil a busy I.P.O. pipeline, although the blockbuster debut of Universal Music today — more on that below — may give others confidence to go ahead with their plans to list. And some market watchers say they think the trouble will mostly be contained to China, which could lead to money flowing out of the country and into other markets. “The continued regulatory issues and other concerns coming out of China will over the next year just drive more investment dollars into U.S. tech stocks,” wrote Daniel Ives of Wedbush in a research note after yesterday’s market close.


    ADVERTISEMENT


    HERE’S WHAT’S HAPPENING

    The U.S. prepares to lift its travel ban on foreign tourists. Starting in November, the Biden administration will lift restrictions for fully vaccinated travelers from 33 countries, including members of the E.U., Britain, China and India. The White House was under increasing pressure to halt the 18-month ban, which had squeezed the tourism industry and separated families across borders.

    Justin Trudeau remains Canada’s prime minister, but his attempt to gain a majority by calling an early election appeared to fail, according to unofficial results of yesterday’s vote. He is set to continue leading a minority government, with his party’s seat count in Parliament little changed. Trudeau’s move was intended to capitalize on high approval ratings for his handling of the pandemic, but many voters apparently saw political opportunism instead.

    Shell sells off a big oil field. A $9.5 billion deal will transfer Shell’s 225,000-acre site in the Permian Basin, the biggest American field, to ConocoPhillips. It’s the latest sign that Shell is accelerating its push toward producing cleaner energy, responding to concerns about climate change from investors and other stakeholders. Proceeds from the sale will be distributed to shareholders and will also help fund the company’s “energy transition,” Shell said.

    Investment firms in the U.S. fret about the fine print of the Democrats’ carried-interest plans. The tax break for private-equity managers and firms wasn’t eliminated, as first proposed, by lawmakers as part of their $3.5 trillion spending package. But tweaks to the practice in the bill are more restrictive than the industry initially thought, especially on minimum holding periods before the tax break kicks in, Bloomberg reports.


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    Steven Mnuchin raises $2.5 billion for his new private equity firm. The former Treasury secretary in the Trump administration is getting some of the money from sovereign wealth funds in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, where he traveled extensively while in government.


    Universal Music goes solo

    Vivendi spun off Universal Music on the Amsterdam stock exchange today, and investors liked the sound of it: Shares jumped around 40 percent at the open, valuing the record label at more than $50 billion. Universal is by far the world’s largest music company, holding a 31 percent market share and boasting a roster of major stars, including Taylor Swift, Drake and Billie Eilish.

    The successful debut of a player in a once unloved industry, defying a jittery market, could change the tune for others in the wider entertainment world.


    The music industry had been all but written off not that long ago, with digital downloads (and piracy) eroding lucrative physical sales. But Universal, led by the power broker Lucian Grainge, leaned in to the trends and made big bets on streaming, social media and other areas:


    The bets have paid off: Universal Music has averaged double-digit growth in sales and profits over the past two years, and expects this to continue in 2021. The company now generates nearly 70 percent of its revenue from streaming and publishing.

    There was some drama in the spinoff process, mostly coming from Bill Ackman. The billionaire’s hedge fund, Pershing Square, is a 10 percent investor in Universal Music, though not in the way he originally hoped. His plan to invest in Universal via his SPAC fell through when the S.E.C. took issue with its structure — his logic, however, was validated by the big pop in the company’s value. (That’s good for Pershing Square’s hedge fund investors, but not for its SPAC shareholders.) Other major investors in Universal Music include the Chinese gaming firm Tencent (20 percent) and the French billionaire Vincent Bolloré (18 percent).

    China is a part of Universal’s growth plan and is one of the reasons that the label brought in Tencent as an investor. The risks of doing business in the country have become more stark lately, and the authorities there have made clear that Tencent is under scrutiny in a broader tech crackdown. In 2019, Universal Music was contacted by Chinese officials investigating market competition in the music industry.


    “I’d heard that seeing the Earth from space changes one’s point of view of the world, but I was not prepared for just how much that was true.”

    — Jeff Bezos, announcing plans to spend $1 billion on environmental conservation projects, part of his $10 billion Bezos Earth Fund. The Amazon founder took a brief trip to space in July on a mission run by his rocket company, Blue Origin.


    The S.E.C. scores a victory in crypto battle

    The cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase quietly backed down in its recent feud with the S.E.C., dropping contentious plans for an interest-generating financial product called Lend. Not long ago, Coinbase made a big fuss about the agency’s threat to sue if it introduced the product, which would have been based on stablecoins.

    Coinbase did not mention the S.E.C. in its retreat. Lend would have allowed customers to earn up to 4 percent interest on USD Coin, a stablecoin tied to the dollar that Coinbase created with the payments company Circle. When it first heard about the S.E.C.’s qualms — the agency, unlike Coinbase, considered Lend a security — Coinbase’s chief, Brian Armstrong, called out the agency for “sketchy” behavior in a long tweet thread. But there was no explanation for its decision to pull the Lend product. “We continue our work to seek regulatory clarity for the crypto industry as a whole,” Coinbase said in a one-paragraph blog update. It declined a request for comment.

    There are many reasons not to fight a federal agency. But one possible explanation for Coinbase opting not to call extra regulatory attention to itself may be because all eyes in Washington’s policymaking circles seem to be now turning to crypto. Officials at several agencies, including the S.E.C., have been convening to consider new rules for crypto, probably starting with stablecoins, in which Coinbase is deeply invested.


    Want to share The New York Times with your friends and family? Invite them to enjoy unlimited digital access to our journalism with this special offer.

    THE SPEED READ

    Deals

    • WeWork’s shares are set to begin trading in October. (Bloomberg)
    • Brookfield, a Canadian asset manager, made a $7 billion takeover bid for the Australian energy group AusNet. (FT)
    • SoftBank led an investment round in Sorare, a fantasy sports start-up with a side business in N.F.T.s, at a $4.3 billion valuation. (FT)
    • A consortium led by the automaker Volkswagen offered $3.4 billion to acquire the car rental company Europcar. (Reuters)

    Policy

    • How the F.T.C. chief, Lina Khan, spends her days. (WaPo)
    • After allegations about workplace misconduct, the S.E.C. is investigating the video game maker Activision Blizzard. (NYT)
    • “Uber Risks Death by a Thousand Court Cases.” (Politico)
    • Twitter settled a 2016 class action lawsuit that accused it of publishing misleading user growth numbers by paying more than $800 million. (NYT)

    Best of the rest

    • Johnson & Johnson claims that an extra shot of its vaccine substantially raises protection against Covid, based on a clinical trial. (NYT)
    • For the first time, the world has more than 3,000 billionaires. (Insider)
    • Online shopping is about to become more expensive, with FedEx and UPS raising shipping rates. (WSJ)
    • As the Washington Post beefs up its editing team, The Daily News gets an “as needed” editor in chief. (NYT)
    • Restaurants struggling to recruit workers are doing away with the tipped minimum wage, currently $2.13 per hour. (NYT)


    Anna Schaverien contributed reporting.

    Thanks for reading! We’ll see you tomorrow.

    We’d like your feedback. Please email thoughts and suggestions to dealbook@nytimes.com.



    Andrew Ross Sorkin, Founder/Editor-at-Large, New York @andrewrsorkin
    Jason Karaian, Editor, London @jkaraian
    Sarah Kessler, Deputy Editor, Chicago @sarahfkessler
    Stephen Gandel, News Editor, New York @stephengandel
    Michael J. de la Merced, Reporter, London @m_delamerced
    Lauren Hirsch, Reporter, New York @LaurenSHirsch
    Ephrat Livni, Reporter, Washington D.C. @el72champs


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  23. #1623  
    RX Senior
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Oregon Coast
    Posts
    5,004


    Global Market Comments
    September 21, 2021
    Fiat Lux

    Featured Trade:
    (WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO THE GREAT DEPRESSION DEBT?),
    ($TNX), (TLT), (TBT)



    Whatever Happened to the Great Depression Debt?When I was a little kid during the early 1950s, my grandfather used to endlessly rail against Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

    The WWI veteran, who was mustard gassed in the trenches of France and was a lifetime, died in the wool Republican, said the former president was a dictator and a traitor to his class, who trampled the constitution with complete disregard.

    Republican presidential candidates Hoover, Landon, and Dewey would have done much better jobs.

    What was worse, FDR had run up such enormous debts during the Great Depression that, not only would my life be ruined, so would my children’s lives.

    As a six-year-old, this disturbed me deeply, as it appeared that just out of diapers, my life was already going to be dull, brutish, and pointless.

    Grandpa continued his ranting until a three-pack-a-day Lucky Strike non-filter habit finally killed him in 1977.

    He insisted until the day he died that there was no definitive proof that cigarettes caused lung cancer, even though during his war, they referred to them as “coffin nails.”

    He was stubborn as a mule to the end. And you wonder whom I got it from?

    What my grandfather’s comments did do was spark in me a lifetime interest in the government bond market, not only ours, but everyone else’s around the world.

    So, what ever happened to the despised, future destroying Roosevelt debt?

    In short, it went to money heaven.

    And here I like to use the old movie analogy. Remember, when someone walked into a diner in those old black and white flicks? Check out the prices on the menu on the wall. It says “Coffee: 5 cents, Hamburgers: 10 cents, Steak: 50 cents.”

    That is where the Roosevelt debt went.

    By the time the 20 and 30-year Treasury bonds issued in the 1930s came due, WWII, Korea, and Vietnam happened, and the great inflation that followed.

    The purchasing power of the dollar cratered, falling roughly 90%. Coffee is now $1.00, a hamburger at McDonald’s is $5.00, and a cheap steak at Outback costs $12.00.

    The government, in effect, only had to pay back 10 cents on the dollar in terms of current purchasing power on whatever it borrowed in the thirties.

    Who paid for this free lunch?

    Bond owners, who received minimal and often negative real, inflation-adjusted returns on fixed-income investments for three decades.

    In the end, it was the risk avoiders who picked up the tab. This is why bonds became known as “certificates of confiscation” during the seventies and eighties.

    This is not a new thing. About 300 years ago, governments figured out there was easy money to be had by issuing paper money, borrowing massively, stimulating the local economy, creating inflation, and then repaying the debt in devalued future paper money.

    This is one of the main reasons why we have governments, and why they have grown so big. Unsurprisingly, France was the first, followed by England and every other major country.

    Ever wonder how the new, impoverished United States paid for the Revolutionary War?

    It issued paper money by the bale, which dropped in purchasing power by two-thirds by the end of the conflict in 1783. The British helped too, by flooding the country with counterfeit paper Continental money.

    Bondholders can expect to receive a long series of rude awakenings sometime in the future.

    No wonder Bill Gross, the former head of bond giant, PIMCO, says he will get ashes in his stocking for Christmas next year.

    The scary thing is that eventually, we will enter a new 30-year bear market for bonds that lasts all the way to 2049. However, after last month’s frenetic spike up in bond prices, and down in bond yields, that is looking more like a 2022 than a 2019 position.

    This is certainly what the demographics are saying, which predicts an inflationary blow-off in decades to come that could take short-term Treasury yields to a nosebleed 12% high once more.

    That scenario has the leveraged short Treasury bond ETF (TBT), which has just cratered down to $23, double to $46, and then soaring all the way to $200.

    If you wonder how yields could get that high in a decade, consider one important fact.

    The largest buyers of American bonds for the past three decades have been Japan and China. Between them, they have soaked up over $2 trillion worth of our debt, some 12% of the total outstanding.

    Unfortunately, both countries have already entered very negative demographic pyramids, which will forestall any future large purchases of foreign bonds. They are going to need the money at home to care for burgeoning populations of old-age pensioners.

    So who becomes the buyer of last resort? No one, unless the Federal Reserve comes back with QE IV, V, and VI. QE IV, in fact, has already started.

    There is a lesson to be learned today from the demise of the Roosevelt debt.

    It tells us that the government should be borrowing as much as it can right now with the longest maturity possible at these ultra-low interest rates and spending it all.

    With real, inflation-adjusted 10-year Treasury bonds now posting negative yields, they have a free pass to do so.

    In effect, the government never has to pay back the money. But they dohave the ability to reap immediate benefits, such as through stimulating the economy with greatly increased infrastructure spending.

    Heaven knows we need it.

    If I were king of the world, I would borrow $5 trillion tomorrow and disburse it only in areas that create domestic US jobs. Not a penny should go to new social programs. Long-term capital investments should be the sole target.

    Here is my shopping list:

    $1 trillion – new Interstate freeway system
    $1 trillion – additional infrastructure repairs and maintenance
    $1 trillion – conversion of our energy system to solar
    $1 trillion – construction of a rural broadband network
    $1 trillion – investment in R&D for everything

    The projects above would create 5 million new jobs quickly. Who would pay for all of this in terms of lost purchasing power? Today’s investors in government bonds, half of whom are foreigners, principally the Chinese and Japanese. Notice that I am not committing a single dollar in spending on any walls.
    How did my life turn out? Was it ruined, as my grandfather predicted?

    Actually, I did pretty well for myself, as did the rest of my generation, the baby boomers.

    My kids did OK too. One son just got a $1 million, two-year package at a new tech startup and he is only 30. Another is deeply involved in the tech industry, and my oldest daughter is working on a Ph.D. at the University of California. My two youngest girls became the first-ever female eagle scouts.

    Not too shabby.

    Grandpa was always a better historian than a forecaster. But he did have the last laugh. He made a fortune in real estate, betting correctly on the inflation that always follows big borrowing binges.

    You know the five acres that sits under the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas today? That’s the land he bought, in 1945 for $500. He sold it 32 years later for $10 million.

    Not too shabby either.


    30 Years of 30-Year Bond Yields
    Not Too Shabby for $500

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  24. #1624  
    RX Senior
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    September 22, 2021

    Good morning. (Was this newsletter forwarded to you? Sign up here.)


    Have you seen the good news?Dado Ruvic/Reuters


    No more apologies

    Whether on privacy, misinformation, hate speech or changes to its News Feed, Facebook has been embroiled in controversy for most of its existence. Its playbook, no matter the perceived misstep, has remained relatively consistent: Apologize and promise to do better.

    In January, though, the company’s executives decided to be more aggressive. That has included using its own powerful information-spreading algorithms to respond to criticism, The Times’s Ryan Mac and Sheera Frenkel report. This is part of a multipronged effort to change the narrative about the company by distancing the founder Mark Zuckerberg from scandals, reducing outsiders’ access to internal data, burying a potentially negative report about its content and increasing its own advertising to showcase its brand.

    One of the most visible actions is code-named “Project Amplify.” The initiative promotes positive stories about Facebook on users’ feeds. These articles, like one about ​​“Facebook’s Latest Innovations for 2021,” are displayed with a Facebook logo and in some cases written by Facebook itself. A Facebook spokesman said that Project Amplify was “similar to corporate responsibility initiatives people see in other technology and consumer products.”


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    Facebook has also cut back on apologies in recent months.Its executives have said, for example, that the storming of the U.S. Capitol had little to do with Facebook and that misinformation on the platform was not the reason for missed vaccination goals. “They’re realizing that no one else is going to come to their defense, so they need to do it and say it themselves,” said Katie Harbath, a former Facebook public policy director.

    The company may find it hard to go on the offensive. On Sunday, Facebook responded to an investigative series by The Wall Street Journal, which reported that the company knew more about the harms caused by its platform than it had acknowledged in public. In a blog post, Facebook called the paper’s reporting a mischaracterization of the facts. Late yesterday, the Facebook Oversight Board announced it would review Facebook’s special treatment of V.I.P. users in enforcement actions, one of the policies surfaced by the report.

    HERE’S WHAT’S HAPPENING

    The House approves a bill raising the debt limit. The legislation would lift the federal debt limit until the end of 2022, fund the government through early December and provide money for Afghan refugees and natural disaster recovery. The measure now heads to the Senate, where Republicans have warned they will block any increase to the debt ceiling. Government funding lapses next week, and the Treasury Department could reach the limits of its borrowing authority next month.

    China’s Evergrande says it can repay at least some of its debts, noting in a filing today that a $36 million interest payment due this week was “settled through negotiations.” But the cash-crunched property developer, which owes creditors $300 billion, could miss other payments this week, with prospects for a bailout unclear. Hedge funds have been buying Evergrande’s bonds and hiring advisers in an attempt to make money off the company’s potential collapse.


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    The Fed updates its bond-buying plans. The U.S. central bank, which wraps up its latest policy meeting today, is expected to signal that it will soon slow its bond-buying program, a first step in reducing its emergency pandemic support. The Fed chair, Jay Powell, is also likely to face questions about the personal stock and bond trading of top central bank officials, after calling for a review of those trades last week.

    Google spends $2.1 billion on a Manhattan office building.It’s one of the highest prices paid for an office building in the U.S. in recent years, and a psychological boost for New York City’s commercial property market, which is struggling with record-high vacancy rates. The tech giant has 12,000 employees in the city, and plans to hire 2,000 more.

    The Treasury Department targets cryptocurrency’s role in ransomware attacks. As part of a series of actions to prevent cybercrime, the department placed sanctions on Suex, a crypto exchange based in Russia that it said facilitated payments in multiple attacks. In 2020, ransomware payments topped $400 million, four times larger than the year before, according to officials.


    The D.O.J. takes aim at “de facto merger” of airlines

    The Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit yesterdayagainst American Airlines and JetBlue, arguing that a growing alliance between the two carriers hurts consumers. In bringing the suit, officials called the cooperation a “de facto merger” between the carriers in the New York and Boston markets. Attorneys general in six states and the District of Columbia joined the action. The airlines said they planned to fight the suit in court.


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    It’s the latest effort by the Biden administration to limit corporate power through antitrust actions. The airline industry’s troubles during the pandemic, which crushed carriers’ revenue, didn’t appear to factor into the decision to sue. “Neither airline is failing; they received billions of dollars in subsidies from American taxpayers over the course of the pandemic,” the charge noted, underlining that playing the failing-firm card would not lower the antitrust standards set by the White House. (Propping up the industry with more than $50 billion in grants was itself contentious.)

    “American has relentlessly pursued a strategy of industry consolidation,” the suit said. “Unable to combine with foreign airlines through formal mergers, American has instead pursued consolidation through a series of international joint ventures.” American is the world’s largest airline and it, along with Delta, United and Southwest, controls over 80 percent of domestic U.S. air travel. JetBlue’s reputation for challenging bigger rivals, forcing them to lower their fares from hubs like Boston, is a “critical source of competition” eliminated by its partnership with American, according to Richard Powers, an acting assistant attorney general in the Justice Department’s antitrust division.

    The government’s move could dash any plans for future airline deals. Shares of one of the last remaining targets of a takeover that might pass muster, Alaska Airlines, closed more than 1 percent down yesterday and dropped a bit more in after-hours trading.

    In other news, the Justice Department is investigating Zoom’s $15 billion deal to buy Five9, citing potential risks to national security.


    Seen and heard

    ► “My generation was promised colonies on the moon. Instead we got Facebook.”

    — Peter Thiel, a venture capitalist and an early investor in Facebook, told employees of the social media company in what was supposed to be a motivational speech but turned into a critique of the company, according to “The Contrarian,” a new book about Thiel out this week.

    ► “We’ve found that eliminating pre-employment testing for cannabis allows us to expand our applicant pool.”

    — Beth Galetti, the head of human resources at Amazon, which announced yesterday that it was lobbying the federal government to legalize marijuana.

    ► “The future of gender equality hangs in the balance, putting our families, communities, businesses and economy at risk.”

    — More than 50 companies, including Yelp and Lyft, signed a group letter saying that a new law in Texas that severely restricts abortions made it hard to do business in the state.


    Exclusive: A big change at Change.org

    Change.org, the tech company known for hosting online petitions and fund-raisers, will announce today that it’s transferring its ownership to a nonprofit foundation. As part of the change, more than 90 percent of the company’s investors are donating their equity, including Reid Hoffman, Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Ray Dalio and Arianna Huffington. (Hoffman, Change.org’s largest individual investor, made a $30 million investment in 2017.)

    Change.org’s C.E.O., Ben Rattray, will become the executive chairman of the Change.org Foundation, while the former chief product officer, Nick Allardice, will become C.E.O.

    Change.org was already registered as a B Corp, a designation for businesses that focus on social and environmental goals, in addition to financial ones. It will stay as such, and the new structure will allow the organization to focus on Change.org’s mission exclusively, Rattray said. That means it can make new investments that might take longer to play out, like election-focused products between election seasons and initiatives in new markets like Asia. Change.org has been evaluating its corporate governance structure for the past 18 months.

    Change.org generates about $70 million annually and is “fully covering” its expenses, Rattray said. The company makes money in two main ways: promoted petitions, where users can pay to get their campaigns highlighted, and monthly subscriptions. Rattray said a “slight majority” of revenue comes from petitions. Change.org won’t be looking for philanthropic donations for its current platform, though it is possible that it will run separate philanthropic projects in the future.


    Want to share The New York Times with your friends and family? Invite them to enjoy unlimited digital access to our journalism with this special offer.

    THE SPEED READ

    Deals

    • Toast, the restaurant technology vendor, priced its I.P.O. above its recently raised range, valuing the company at $20 billion. (CNBC)
    • Netflix bought the Roald Dahl Story Company, acquiring the full catalog of works by the author of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “Matilda.” (Deadline)
    • The sports betting firm DraftKings made an offer of more than $20 billion to acquire the gambling company Entain. (Reuters)
    • JPMorgan Chase has acquired Frank, a platform that helps college students with financial planning. (Reuters)
    • SoftBank is among the investors in the former Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin’s $2.5 billion private equity fund. (FT)

    Policy

    • President Xi Jinping of China told the U.N. General Assembly that his country won’t help build any more coal plants abroad. (NYT)
    • The Secret Service, the F.B.I. and the Defense Department all bought surveillance drones from DJI, a Chinese company the Pentagon deemed a security threat. (Axios)
    • More than 30 companies, including Amazon and UPS, joined a coalition founded by the Chobani C.E.O., Hamdi Ulukaya, to hire and train Afghan refugees in the U.S. (AP)
    • Rohit Chopra’s nomination to lead the C.F.P.B. moved out of committee, where it has been stuck for months, and he now faces a full Senate vote. (WSJ)
    • “Republicans, Don’t Skip Out on America’s Bills,” writes Michael Bloomberg. (Bloomberg Opinion)

    Best of the rest

    • One of the junior bankers at Goldman Sachs who created a widely circulated slide deck about brutal working conditions is the son of the vice chairman of TPG, a major Goldman client. (Bloomberg)
    • “Forever C.E.O.s” are dominating Wall Street. (FT)
    • Six workers who didn’t have the option to work from home during the pandemic share their stories. (NYT)
    • John and Jenny Paulson are divorcing after more than 20 years of marriage, the latest split of a couple with a multibillion-dollar fortune. (NY Post)
    • “Apple iPhone 13 Review: The Most Incremental Upgrade Ever” (NYT)

    Will international freight make a comeback, or is the era of cheap mobility over? Join The Times tomorrow, Sept. 23, at 1:30 p.m. Eastern, as our climate reporter Brad Plumer is joined by experts from FedEx, Ikea and more to explore the ways in which business models are changing as people, goods and data move toward a net-zero world. R.S.V.P. here.


    Anna Schaverien contributed reporting.

    Thanks for reading! We’ll see you tomorrow.

    We’d like your feedback. Please email thoughts and suggestions to dealbook@nytimes.com.



    Andrew Ross Sorkin, Founder/Editor-at-Large, New York @andrewrsorkin
    Jason Karaian, Editor, London @jkaraian
    Sarah Kessler, Deputy Editor, Chicago @sarahfkessler
    Stephen Gandel, News Editor, New York @stephengandel
    Michael J. de la Merced, Reporter, London @m_delamerced
    Lauren Hirsch, Reporter, New York @LaurenSHirsch
    Ephrat Livni, Reporter, Washington D.C. @el72champs


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  25. #1625  
    RX Senior
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    Global Market Comments
    September 22, 2021
    Fiat Lux

    Featured Trade:
    (THE GOVERNMENT’S WAR ON MONEY)
    (TESTIMONIAL)



    The Government’s War on MoneyWhen I lived as a student in West Berlin during the 1960s, I had a nice little side business.

    I organized weekend walking tours through the Berlin Wall at Checkpoint Charlie to visit East Berlin for other American students too afraid to go alone.

    To pay for it, I smuggled in my boots Ostmarks, the currency of East Germany, which I could buy at a 75% discount to the official price in West Berlin. I then covered lunch, museum visits, the opera, and all my other bills very cheaply, booking a nice profit on the day.

    That would be much more difficult to pull off today as governments around the world have launched a war on cash that will not end until its ultimate demise.

    The truth is, governments hate cash.

    This became clearly apparent when the government of India withdrew from circulation its two largest banknotes in 2019. Some 50% of Indian GDP is thought to take place in the underground economy in cash only.

    The move caused a financial panic as consumers sold gold (GLD) and other hard assets to meet bills because they were unable to settle accounts with the large denomination notes they had hoarded.

    As we move towards an all-electronic economy, the few remaining purposes where cash is essential are largely illegal.

    Waitresses, babysitters, and bookies don’t report income to the IRS. Nor do drug dealers or hookers.

    As for the now all-digital financial industry, the IRS already knows so much about me they can even recite my inside leg measurement. From 2021, they will also know about all of my Bitcoin and Ethereum transactions.

    This is a big deal because 18 states have legalized marijuana.

    Since banks are still banned from handling pot proceeds, this booming business has to take place entirely in cash. Tales about dealers making their runs with gym bags full of $100 bills are rampant.

    The IRS estimates that $460 billion in tax revenue is lost every year through unreported income which is largely earned in cash.

    Some half of the entire US paper money supply is held by foreigners where it is used to evade taxes, bribe foreign officials, and finance terrorism.

    The US government’s war on cash is not a new thing. In 1929, it cut the size of US banknotes by one-third to save money on the cost of high-grade paper.

    In 1970, the US Treasury banned the circulation of the $10,000, $5,000, $1,000, and $500 bills to halt mafia money laundering. Since then, the IRS has been the biggest beneficiary of the move.

    Large denomination US bills are now solely the domain of collectors.

    The US government would love to get out of the cash business entirely as it is so expensive to run. It spends about $737.4 million a year just to print American $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100 notes.

    Paper dollar bills which are actually made of 75% cotton and 25% linen are completely worn out and have to be returned in only 18 months.

    Coins are even a bigger loser. It costs more than two cents to make a penny.

    Since the advent of color printers, counterfeiting has exploded. North Korea runs almost its entire economy on fake $100 bills which are said to be the best in the world. Only a handful of specialists at the US Treasury can identify them under a high-powered microscope. No felt pens here.

    Today, some 80% of the entire $19.4 trillion M1 notes and coins in circulation in America are in the form of $100 dollar bills. That works out to $58.8 million per person.

    Where has all that money gone?

    The US is now considering eliminating even this convenient denomination. While $1 million in $100s can fit into a tote bag, that quantity of $10 bills would weigh 220 pounds, a quantity much more difficult to sneak around.

    An all-electronic economy would certainly pose some privacy problems as it would leave a massive paper trail on everything you do.

    When you get audited by the IRS, the first thing they do is obtain your past three years of bank and credit card records detailing your every transaction. If the inspection goes criminal, they go back six years.

    State authorities will pursue phone records to establish your physical presence to verify residency. So how long did you really spend in tax-free Florida last year?

    It would also pare back illegal immigration as this is another industry that runs entirely on cash. Once here, undocumented workers are often paid in cash in restaurants and on construction sites.

    There is truly no place to hide.

    Other countries are already well ahead in the war of cash. In Belgium, some 93% of all financial transactions take place electronically.

    Sweden has also been pushing hard on this front, taking the M1 money supply there down by 27% over the past two years.

    Many small businesses there now post signs saying they don’t accept cash to prevent the spread of Covid-19. The goal is to move to an all-electronic economy.

    The preferences of Millennials are also moving us towards the cashless economy.

    Have you ever been in line at Starbucks and noticed that the kid in front of you just paid $5 for a cup of coffee with his credit card? Or maybe he swiped his Apple Pay account on his iPhone? The last time I handed them a ten-dollar bill they said, “Oh, dinosaur money.”

    Whatever that means, it is clear that hard cash is about to become extinct, just like the Brontosaurus and the Tyrannosaurus Rex.


    Before

    After





    TestimonialThe confidence you have given me to enter the USD:JPY spot positions have returned me in excess of $1,500,000 in the last few weeks.
    I'll be in California next year.
    Can't wait to catch up. Dinner is on me, both times!
    I know you said you aren’t retiring until you’re well into your seventies. Why so soon?
    You're welcome to use this as a testimonial.
    Cheers!
    Peter,
    Australia



    Quote of the Day"Sometimes we stare so long at a door that is closing that we see too late the one that is open," said Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone.



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