December 6-12, 2021

To download the PDF and read the flip-book of this week's issue click HERE. To view the full story, click the title link......»»

Source:  crainsnewyorkCategory: blog~3 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

NASA"s chili pepper experiment broke 2 world records, including one for feeding the most astronauts from a crop grown on the ISS

The chili pepper experiment was the longest in the history of the International Space Station, which took NASA officials by surprise. Astronauts pictured with the first harvest of chili peppers grown aboard the International Space Station.NASA Astronauts aboard the International Space Station harvested chili peppers for the second time.  The plant-growing experiment concluded recently and set two new records in the process. The crop production team did not expect to achieve the records, NASA's Matt Romeyn told Insider. A NASA plant experiment, which consisted of growing and harvesting chili peppers in space, broke a record for feeding the most astronauts from a crop grown in space.The experiment also made history as the longest one to take place on the International Space Station (ISS). It was the second time chili peppers had been grown in space. Insider's Sinéad Baker reported in November that the first time around, the ISS crew used them in tacos, along with fajita beef and vegetables. Matt Romeyn, chief investigator for the pepper experiment, told Insider on Friday that the crop production team at NASA did not expect to achieve the two records.The chili pepper plants were slightly delayed in their harvest compared with their Earth testings, Romeyn said. This meant the experiment on the station could be extended for another 17 days.The pepper seeds at the center of the Plant Habitat-04 experiment (PH-04) grew for four months before they were harvested in October. The schedule "happened to take us beyond the changing-over from the Crew-2 astronauts to the Crew-3 astronauts, allowing a larger number of astronauts to have the chance to sample the peppers," Romeyn said. Romeyn previously spoke to Insider in May about how growing vegetables in space helped keep astronauts healthy. For the more recent experiment, peppers were originally expected to grow for 120 days, Romeyn added. However, they actually ended up growing for 137 days, making it the longest experiment in space. The previous longest experiment was in 2016 when "zinnia flowers" were grown for 90 days, Romeyn told Insider. In a press release, Romeyn further explained the process: "PH-04 pushed the state-of-the-art in space crop production significantly."The experiment involved taking a field cultivar of a Hatch chile pepper from New Mexico, dwarfing it to fit inside the plant habitat, and figuring out how to productively grow the first generally recognized fruiting crop in space. "This was all done over a span of a couple years," he added.  NASA astronaut Megan McArthur.NASATacos seem to be the most popular meal enjoyed among astronauts in space following the harvest of the chili peppers. Astronaut Kayla Barron posted recently on Facebook and Instagram that the crew ate the fresh peppers as part of a taco night. "Thanks to the [pepper emoji], taco night was a huge success. 10/10 would recommend. Props to Mark for handling the prep work … the spice level was no joke," Barron said. According to Romeyn, the peppers were hot. "All indications are some of the fruit was on the spicier side, which is not unexpected, given the unknown effect microgravity could have on the capsaicin levels of peppers," he said. The agency said that following the success of the PH-04 experiment, the next crop that the team at Kennedy Space Center plans to grow include, dwarf tomatoes and testing new types of leafy greens. "We went into this experiment knowing it wouldn't be easy to grow peppers in microgravity, but this experiment was a wildly successful demonstration that we're on the right path for space crop production," Romeyn said.The goal for these experiments is to enable a viable and sustainable crop production for future long-duration missions to the moon and eventually Mars, he added. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Source:  businessinsiderCategory: top~4 hr. 12 min. ago Related News

Dad of a Parkland victim blasts GOP lawmaker who shared a Christmas photo of his family smiling with guns and asking Santa to "please bring ammo"

Rep. Thomas Massie posted the photo days after a shooter opened fire at a high school in Michigan, killing four students. Rep Thomas Massie (R-KY) draws a Ruger LCP handgun from his pocket during a rally in support of the Second Amendment on January 31, 2020 in Frankfort, Kentucky.Bryan Woolston/Getty Images Rep. Thomas Massie posted a holiday photo of his family posing with guns, asking Santa for ammunition. The father of a Parkland victim called it a "very nasty post" and said it was "part of the problem." On Tuesday, a gunman opened fire at a high school in Michigan, killing four students.  The father of a victim in the 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Florida, criticized Republican Rep. Thomas Massie over a pro-gun photo he posted just days after a school shooting in Michigan.Massie, who is from Kentucky, tweeted a photo that showed him and his family smiling and posing with guns in front of a Christmas tree. Alongside the photo Massie wrote "Merry Christmas!" and "ps. Santa, please bring ammo."—Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) December 4, 2021He posted the photo days after a shooting at Oxford High School north of Detroit left four students dead and several others injured, renewing concerns over gun violence and school safety.Manuel Oliver appeared on CNN Saturday to talk about his desire to meet with President Joe Biden about promises he made on gun control. His 17-year-old son, Joaquin, was one of the 17 killed when a former student opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland.CNN host Jim Acosta asked Oliver about Massie's tweet, as it was trending on social media during the interview."That's a huge part of the problem," Oliver said. "I don't know if they're trying to be ironic, funny, or what, but it's the worst taste ever."He also said it was a "very nasty post" and is "something that should teach us who should we elect, and not."—Jim Acosta (@Acosta) December 4, 2021 Oliver and his wife started the Change The Ref, a nonprofit organization aimed at empowering students to ignite change on critical issues.Massie's office did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Source:  businessinsiderCategory: top~4 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

A man who tested positive for Omicron variant says 15 of his friends who joined him at a New York anime convention also have COVID-19

A Minnesota man who attended an NYC anime convention tested positive for the Omicron coronavirus variant. Now 15 of his friends have COVID-19 too. Costumed attendees take a break during Anime NYC at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City on November 20, 2021.Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Images A man who tested positive for the Omicron coronavirus variant says 15 of his friends are also sick. The man and a group of 30 people attended an anime convention in New York City last month. It's unclear if his friends also have the Omicron variant, but health officials are investigating. A Minnesota man who attended an anime convention in New York last month — and later tested positive for the Omicron coronavirus variant — has reportedly told health officials that 15 of his friends have also contracted COVID-19.It's unclear if any of those individuals also caught the Omicron variant, health officials told media outlets. The man was one of the first reported cases of the Omicron variant in the United States, prompting questions of whether the variant spread throughout the convention, which tens of thousands of people attended."It's hard to say that it is a 'superspreader.' Certainly we're concerned about that," Kathy Como-Sabetti, manager of the COVID-19 epidemiology section for the Minnesota Department of Public Health, told The New York Times.Officials in New York and Minnesota and with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are investigating the variant's possible spread and tracing the man's contacts, according to The Washington Post."We don't know if we'll see a lot of Omicron, or we'll see a lot of Delta," Kris Ehresmann, the director of the Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Prevention, and Control Division at the Minnesota Department of Health, told The Post. "But we're likely to see a lot of COVID."The man had attended the late-November convention as part of a group of 30 people from across the United States — half of whom are now sick, he told health officials.Convention organizers noted that it's still unclear where the man contracted the Omicron variant and he may not have even picked it up at the convention at all. Organizers said all event attendees were required to wear masks and have at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine."There have been no other mass cases reported from our event, and we are now way past two weeks" since the convention ended, Kelly Comboni, president of LeftField Media, which organized the convention, told The Times. The Times also reported Saturday that the man had been fully vaccinated and received a booster weeks before attending the convention. His symptoms were mild and he has turned over the names and contact information of some of his friends to health officials, according to The Times.New York officials announced Saturday that three new cases of the Omicron variant have appeared in New York state, bringing the total to eight.Gov. Kathy Hochul has urged calm and said the Omicron cases are "no cause for alarm," though health officials are taking the situation "extremely seriously."Though most reported Omicron cases so far have been mild or asymptomatic, experts have cautioned that hospitalization data is too preliminary to draw conclusions on the variant's severity. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Source:  businessinsiderCategory: top~4 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

Spokesman for Chris Cuomo denies sexual misconduct allegation

Attorney Debra S. Katz told CNN on Wednesday that a former junior colleague at a different network accused Chris Cuomo of sexual misconduct. Chris Cuomo on CNN's "Cuomo Prime Time" on May 20, 2021.CNN Former CNN anchor Chris Cuomo has been accused of sexual misconduct, The New York Times reported. He was fired after revelations that he used media sources to help his brother, ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo. A spokesperson for Chris Cuomo denied the sexual misconduct allegation to The Times. Chris Cuomo, who was fired by CNN on Saturday over revelations that he used his media sources to help his brother, ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo, has also been accused of sexual misconduct, The New York Times reported. The anchor was suspended on November 30 and CNN launched an investigation into his conduct after the New York Attorney General's office released transcripts that showed his involvement in advising his older brother during the politician's sexual harassment scandal."We retained a respected law firm to conduct the review, and have terminated him, effective immediately," CNN said in a statement Saturday evening. "While in the process of that review, additional information has come to light. Despite the termination, we will investigate as appropriate."The Times reported that Debra S. Katz, an employment lawyer, told CNN on Wednesday that a former junior colleague at a different network has accused Cuomo of sexual misconduct. Katz said the allegations were "unrelated to the Gov. Andrew Cuomo matter." She told the Times that the client "came forward because she was disgusted by Chris Cuomo's on-air statements in response to the allegations made against his brother, Gov. Andrew Cuomo."Steven Goldberg, a spokesperson for Cuomo, denied the allegations. —John Koblin (@koblin) December 5, 2021 "If the goal in making these false and unvetted accusations was to see Mr. Cuomo punished by CNN, that may explain his unwarranted termination," Goldberg told The Times.The Times reported that it's unclear if these allegations factored into Cuomo's dismissal.In a statement to Insider, A CNN spokesperson said: "Based on the report we received regarding Chris's conduct with his brother's defense, we had cause to terminate. When new allegations came to us this week, we took them seriously, and saw no reason to delay taking immediate action."CNN did not immediately respond to Insider's requests for comment.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Source:  businessinsiderCategory: top~4 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

The metaverse "is already here" and will give cryptocurrencies the opportunity to make it better, a Solana co-founder says

The metaverse will give cryptocurrencies a chance to wipe out "broken" business models like internet ad platforms, a Solana co-founder said. Anatoly YakovenkoAnatoly Yakovenko The metaverse will give cryptocurrencies a chance to wipe out "broken" business models like internet ad platforms, a Solana co-founder said. Anatoly Yakovenko told Insider in an interview believed crypto could make the metaverse better and change how companies use data. Many high-profile investors believe the metaverse could become a trillion-dollar opportunity. Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell. The metaverse is booming in popularity. Investors are snapping up plots of virtual land and digital luxury items, while companies and sports teams are piling in too. Last week, 4 metaverse projects sold $106 million in virtual land, according to DappRadar.  Sandbox, a gaming platform, racked up $86.56 million in digital land sales, while Decentraland recorded $15.53 million in sales of virtual real estate.While it might feel like this next stage in the evolution of the internet is only just getting started, for Solana co-founder Anatoly Yakovenko, it's already a reality and one that cryptocurrencies can help improve. "The metaverse is already here. It's just kind of in this low fidelity, low resolution state," he told Insider in a recent interview.The metaverse refers to virtual worlds where users can do anything from create and play games, to owning property, buying and selling digital assets, trading cryptocurrencies or even breeding digital animals. Yakovenko co-founded Solana with Raj Gokal in March 2020. The solana protocol is similar to larger rival ethereum, in that it boasts the same decentralized finance capabilities, such as hosting smart contracts, and can also run non-fungible tokens, but it does so at greater speed and lower cost than its bigger competitor.Both Sandbox and Decentraland, two of the more developed metaverses, run on ethereum, for example.Developers in the crypto space are looking for a metaverse that they can own and build a business on. Yakovenko said that developers that understand the nuance of how this all works will build tools for content creators so they can have "their own virtual experiences." "Once that happens, it's not going to be like a single metaverse Sandbox, it is going to be a bunch of small ones that all kind of work together and a bunch of experiences," Yakovenko said. He believes one of the big advantages of having more activity take place within the metaverse is the virtual world won't present the same kind of challenges with handling user data and privacy as social media platforms or search engines face right now.It also could offer cryptocurrencies the chance to break some of Big Tech's hold on that space, Yakovenko said. "I think the opportunity for crypto is to make (the metaverse) better in the sense that the kind of business models that exist on the web right now are broken,"  he said."Companies that control the market that steal your data, sell it to advertisers, feed you information that you don't want and try to force you to consume it, that loop sucks," he added.The likes of Sandbox, Decentraland and play-to-earn platform Axie Infinity have their own crypto tokens that users need to purchase virtual items or that they can receive as rewards. Decentraland's mana token has gained over 16,000% this year, while Sandbox's sand token has risen around 5,400% and Axie's axs token has gained over 25,000%. Many high-profile investors, like digital asset manager Grayscale and disruptive technology investor Cathie Wood, believe the metaverse could become a trillion-dollar opportunity. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Source:  businessinsiderCategory: top~4 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

The discovery of a 2000-year-old dagger was a vital clue to revealing a forgotten battle between the Roman Empire"s legions and tribal warriors

The ornate dagger unearthed at the battlefield near a Swiss mountain gorge was found by an amateur archaeologist using a metal detector. A dagger found from 15 BC in Oberhalbstein (Graubünden, Switzerland), before and after restorationsArchäologischen Dienst Graubünden Volunteer archaeologist and dental student Lucas Schmid discovered the silver and brass dagger in 2019.  The discovery with a metal detector led to an excavation of a Roman battlefield.  Further work continues in the Oberhalbstein region of Graubünden, Switzerland. In Switzerland, a volunteer archaeologist using a metal detector uncovered a 2000-year-old dagger. It proved to be a vital clue in the story of a long-forgotten battle between the Roman Empire and tribal warriors. Lucas Schmid was a dental student and a volunteer archaeologist when he uncovered the ancient silver and brass weapon in 2019, The Smithsonian reported. Schmid unearth the dagger in the mountainous Graubünden region of Switzerland, an area believed to be the site of a lost battlefield where Imperial Roman soldiers fought Rhaetian warriors in approximately 15 BC. His discovery sparked an excavation of the area that revealed a trove of ancient military artifacts.A map showing the area of Switzerland where the dagger was uncoveredGoogle Maps/InsiderThe dagger, dated to around 15 BC, is a rare find. Only four of its kind have been found in former Roman territories, the team behind the discovery explained. Schmid's find led to the discovery of hundreds of other ancient artifacts. A new investigation of the site, run by a team from the Archaeological Service of Graubünden, the University of Basel (Switzerland), unearthed spearheads, lead slingshots, parts of shields, coins, and hobnails from Roman soldiers, Live Science report. These objects are now being displayed for the first time by the Archaeological Service of Graubünden (ADG), The Smithsonian reported.A dagger found from 15 BC in Oberhalbstein (Graubünden, Switzerland)Archäologischen Dienst GraubündenTalking to, Schmid said that he didn't think the area had been well-searched and started finding buried metal fragments. "It was clear to me that more artifacts could be expected," he said.Although he said he had a hunch the area would host some fruitful finds, he added: "I did not expect to find such an important item at this rather unlikely place."In his conversation with Live Science, Peter-Andrew Schwarz, an archaeologist at the University of Basel, said that the excavation of the site also recently unearthed a Roman coin minted between 29 BC and 26 BC during the reign of the Emperor Augustus.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Source:  businessinsiderCategory: top~4 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

Natural gas heating costs are rising nationwide: Here’s why and how Kentucky residents can curb the impacts

As temperatures drop, costs to stay warm this winter using natural gas are on the rise. American households using natural gas will pay anywhere from 20–50% more compared to last winter, according to a Winter Fuels Outlook released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), a statistical agency of the U.S. Department of Energy. While a number of factors affect this forecasted increase for natural gas, the EIA primarily attributes it to flat production, increased demand as the economy….....»»

Source:  bizjournalsCategory: top~4 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

RTP startup raises $3M to make sustainable, animal-free products

A startup headquartered in Research Triangle Park has raised $3 million in seed financing as it ramps up its development of animal-free proteins......»»

Source:  bizjournalsCategory: top~4 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

Triangle home sales stall. So why are prices still going up?

The Triangle’s housing market slowdown continued in October, but home prices showed no signs of leveling off......»»

Source:  bizjournalsCategory: top~4 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

Charlotte metro"s growth in home prices tops 20%, two national measures show

Two trackers of U.S. home values put Charlotte's growth above 20% in both September and during the third quarter, although the national trend continues to indicate a cool-down ahead for record-high price gains......»»

Source:  bizjournalsCategory: top~4 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

New NC development has micro-units. Could it help solve the housing shortage? (Gallery)

Nearly all apartments in the building are micro-studio units with an average size of around 500 square feet. “It’s a housing type that is desperately needed in the Triangle," the developer said......»»

Source:  bizjournalsCategory: top~4 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

Four Cabarrus County industrial buildings sell for more than $122M combined

The buildings, which total around 1.25 million square feet, sold for a total of $122.3 million, county real estate records show. They were sold by EQT Exeter to another entity also affiliated with EQT Exeter......»»

Source:  bizjournalsCategory: top~4 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

With 2024 U.S. Open in sight, famed hotel at Pinehurst Resort to get major upgrades (Renderings)

"The Queen of the South" first opened in 1901 and is now set to see some big improvements as Pinehurst continues to gain momentum......»»

Source:  bizjournalsCategory: top~4 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

National attention has Sanford restaurant busy, ready to expand

The restaurant recently received national acclaim and is planning an expansion to a larger space. And the owner says he could open a similar concept elsewhere in N.C. in the future......»»

Source:  bizjournalsCategory: top~4 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

To fill labor shortage, this NC IT firm dangles debt-free college education

As the realities of the labor shortage for technology jobs loom, one Triangle employer is trying a different tactic as it works to fill critical roles......»»

Source:  bizjournalsCategory: top~4 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

Goldman Senior Executives Are Searching For Ways To Quietly Boost Their Own Pay

Goldman Senior Executives Are Searching For Ways To Quietly Boost Their Own Pay What's good for the gander is good for the geese, right? It seems that way at Goldman Sachs. No sooner do we write about how Goldman Sachs is looking to implement additional paid leave for its rank-and-file employees in order to keep morale up than it was revealed that the company's bosses are also looking at ways of improving their own yacht collection quality of life.  In fact, CEO David Solomon and the top brass at the bank are reportedly "searching for ways to juice their own eight-digit pay packages," Bloomberg reported this week.  Solomon's total stake in the company, including unvested stock, is worth about $180 million already the report says. He made $27.5 million his first full year as CEO and the same the next year, in 2020. Solomon also was given a $50 million bonus plan to be split with another employee in October of this year. That off-cycle bonus came as a result of Goldman's skyrocketing stock price, which is up about 80% since Solomon took over as CEO.  Pat Scanlan, a spokesman for the bank, told Bloomberg: "We have offered co-investment opportunities for our senior executives that align interests with investors. That the board of directors would explore additional opportunities is hardly surprising." One way that Solomon is pushing to boost pay is to expand the allocation of founders' shares in SPAC deals that the bank partakes in. These requests have reportedly "irritated members of the SPAC team", as it pins them against Solomon for a share of the projects that they have worked on. Teams at the bank are reportedly "scrambling to figure out how to structure and disclose the SPAC investment for the NEOs while avoiding the appearance of boosting pay." The optics of bonuses when you're already making tens of millions of dollars per year need to be carefully dealt with. While banks want to raise pay commensurate with other banks in order to retain talent, they have to walk a thin line with public perception. Bloomberg says that the key is to "give the board as much elbow room as possible to grant him more, without making it look like an outsized raise". For example, when Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman surprised the market in 2020 by lowering his pay by about 7% due to the pandemic, it caused Goldman to delay its own decision on executive compensation for months. Top brass at Goldman has also reportedly looked at different ways to increase their share of profits from internal investment vehicles, including whether or not private funds operated by the firm’s merchant bank could pay larger bonuses for senior managers.  Recall, days ago we wrote how Goldman was also seeking to offer new incentives to its "burnt out" employees.  The investment bank is going to now be offering "paid leave for pregnancy loss" and is "expanding the amount of time employees can take for bereavement leave," the report says. Goldman will also be offering unpaid sabbatical for its long time employees and removing a one year waiting period before matching employee 401(k) contributions. Goldman's head of human resources, Bentley de Beyer, told the WSJ: "We wanted to offer a compelling value proposition to current and prospective employees, and wanted to make sure we're leading, not just competing." Tyler Durden Sat, 12/04/2021 - 22:00.....»»

Source:  zerohedgeCategory: blog~6 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

US Companies Are "Hostages" To China

US Companies Are "Hostages" To China Authored by Emel Akan via The Epoch Times, Foreign firms doing business in China should be aware of the costs of transacting with a totalitarian regime that controls everything in society and can easily bend any company to its will. Heads of U.S. corporations don’t dare to criticize the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) even in private settings. They know Big Brother is always watching them. JPMorgan boss Jamie Dimon’s quick apology over a joke he made recently about the country’s communist regime provides a good example of how business leaders fear retribution from Beijing. Clyde Prestowitz, author and strategist on Asia and globalization, explains the true cost of doing business in China in his latest book “The World Turned Upside Down: America, China, and the Struggle for Global Leadership.” He was a presidential advisor and a leader of the first American trade mission to China in 1982. The U.S. companies that are highly coupled with China face all kinds of risks, from intellectual property theft to commercial cyber espionage. But the biggest, most fundamental risk is “the loss of free speech,” Prestowitz says in his book. Dimon is not alone as there are many examples of free-world CEOs and presidents making apologies or backtracking when they anger the Chinese regime. During Hong Kong protests in 2019, for example, Apple pulled from its app store a map application widely used by pro-democracy protestors that showed the location of police patrols and tear gas deployments, citing security reasons. The move was made after Chinese state media piled pressure calling for the app’s removal. Google also sparked controversy when it removed a Hong Kong protest role-playing game from its app store. These are by no means the only apparently self-censorship incidents by U.S tech companies. Apple, for example, removed nearly 55,000 active apps from its app store in China since 2017, according to a New York Times report. They include apps made by minorities oppressed by the regime, including Uyghurs and Tibetans. Over the years, the list of entities that have caved to Beijing’s censorship demands has grown long. The Gap, Disney, Delta Airlines, Medtronic, Marriott, the NBA, and many others have all bowed to the Chinese regime over issues ranging from Taiwan to Uyghurs to Hong Kong. Such actions by U.S. firms, though, have drawn criticism from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, who accuse companies of sacrificing American values for the allure of profits in the world’s second-largest economy. For the CEO of Apple Tim Cook and other U.S. corporate executives navigating the Chinese market, they effectively become “hostages” to the whims of the Chinese regime. “They may be perceived as the heads of American companies, but they fear Beijing far more than they fear Washington,” Prestowitz writes in his book. Since there’s no rule of law in China, they become “captive,” he adds. In Washington, they have lawyers and lobbyists that give them the power to influence or sue the U.S. government. In Beijing, however, they can’t sue the Chinese regime because they know they would lose—the courts in China are controlled by the Communist Party—and would face retaliation from the regime for even trying. Beijing is aware of this leverage and hence can freely use companies as a tool. As I wrote in a previous column, the Chinese Embassy in Washington is pressuring U.S. companies and trade groups that have business interests in China to lobby against a comprehensive China bill that aims to enhance U.S. competitiveness and hold Beijing accountable for its human rights abuses. According to Prestowitz, entities that are under pressure could be giants like Walmart, Apple, General Electric, and FedEx as well as organizations like the U.S.-China Business Council. None of this should come as a surprise. As The Epoch Times readers will know, China exerts significant influence in the United States. It spent more than $67 million on lobbyists last year, a sixfold increase since 2016, according to OpenSecrets. And this is only the tip of the iceberg, as it only covers the overt influence operations that need to be disclosed under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). The FARA, passed in 1938, requires a person who represents a foreign interest to register as a foreign agent. The law, however, falls short in addressing less overt political influence operations conducted through proxies, including corporations, trade associations, and think tanks. Many China hawks in Washington are urging Congress to close this loophole in foreign influence. “It’s really something that must be addressed,” Prestowitz tells me. If heads of corporations have substantial business operations in China, “they should not be allowed to make political donations in the United States,” he said. “When they testify before Congress, they should be compelled to declare that they are testifying as the leaders of Chinese businesses. They should be made to tell the public and the Congress that they in fact, are subject to pressure and influence by the Chinese Communist Party.” Tyler Durden Sat, 12/04/2021 - 22:30.....»»

Source:  zerohedgeCategory: blog~6 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

Putin Denounces Ukraine"s Use Of Turkish Drones In Erdogan Call

Putin Denounces Ukraine's Use Of Turkish Drones In Erdogan Call In a Friday phone call Russian President Vladimir Putin told his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan that Ukraine is using Turkish-made drones against pro-Russia separatists in the war-torn Donbass region. Putin put the Turkish leader on notice over the "destabilizing" activity of the continued drone transfers from Turkey to Ukraine. Putin further denounced the Turkish drone usage as "destructive" and "provocative" behavior on the part of Ukrainian authorities, citing specifically that Turkish-made Bayraktar drones have increasingly turned up in the conflict. Putin is reportedly also angry that the Turkey-to-Ukraine drone and weapons pipeline is still open and going strong, according to new reports. Bayraktar TB2 drone A spokesperson for Erdogan later confirmed that the drone issue was raised, but gave no further details. A follow-up statement from Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, however, rejected the notion that Turkey can be held responsible for the Ukrainian military's deployment of Turkish-made drones. Further at issue is that recent drone sales from Turkey have been found to be much bigger than previously disclosed, outraging the Kremlin: Turkey has sold Ukraine significantly more of the armed drones that drew a rebuke from Russia than previously disclosed, with further deals in the pipeline, Bloomberg reported.  Baykar, an arms manufacturer based in Istanbul, has sold dozens of drones to Ukraine since 2019, together with control stations and missiles, according to several officials and an executive at a Turkish defense company with close government ties. Orders for at least two dozen more drones are under way, the people said, asking not to be named due to the sensitivity of the subject.  As Reuters reviews, Turkish drones have recently become featured in a flair-up of fighting: In October, Russia accused Ukraine of destabilizing the situation after government forces used a Bayraktar TB2 drone to strike a position controlled by Russian-backed separatists. Ukraine used the Bayraktar drone "for one tidy shot" at a gun system, and since then enemy soldiers are afraid of doing duty at such systems as they understand "how this could end," Ukraine's defense minister Oleksii Reznikov said on Friday. We noted in late October that Russia began intensely investigating recent reports of Turkish attack drones being deployed for the first time in Ukraine’s eight-year civil war. The Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) under the command of the Kiev government claimed that the drones were used at that time in combat against ethnic Russian rebels. #Ukraine tests Turkey-made Bayraktar TB2 attack drones in the Sea Breeze-2021 military exercises. The drones are armed with MAM-C guided munitions. — Ali Özkök (@Ozkok_A) June 30, 2021 And the now confirmed Turkish drone deployments mark a dramatic escalation in the smoldering war, as it marks the involvement of NATO member Turkey in the conflict. Up to now, the United States and other NATO states have been supplying lethal weaponry through Kiev to prosecute its war against the breakaway self-declared republics of Donetsk and Luhansk. Over the past year as reports started to surface, Moscow began suggesting it could sever all military level relations and cooperation with Turkey. Turkey, for example, relies on Russia for technical support for the S-400 anti-air missile defense systems supplied a couple years ago.  Tyler Durden Sat, 12/04/2021 - 23:00.....»»

Source:  zerohedgeCategory: blog~6 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

Now Or Never: The Great "Transition" Must Be Imposed

Now Or Never: The Great 'Transition' Must Be Imposed Authored by Alastair Crooke via The Strategic Culture Foundation, A new wave of restrictions, more lockdowns, and – eventually – trillions of dollars in new stimmie cheques may be in prospect... Were you following the news this last week? Vaccine mandates are everywhere: one country, after another, is doubling-down, to try to force, or legally compel, full population vaccination. The mandates are coming because of the massive uptick in Covid – most of all in the places where the experimental mRNA gene therapies were deployed en masse. And (no coincidence), this ‘marker’ has come just as U.S. Covid deaths in 2021 have surpassed those of 2020. This has happened, despite the fact that last year, no Americans were vaccinated (and this year 59% are vaccinated). Clearly no panacea, this mRNA ‘surge’. Of course, the Pharma-Establishment know that the vaccines are no panacea. There are ‘higher interests’ at play here. It is driven rather by fear that the window for implementing its series of ‘transitions’ in the U.S. and Europe is closing. Biden still struggles to move his ‘Go-Big’ social spending plan and green agenda transition through Congress by the midterm election in a year’s time. And the inflation spike may well sink Biden’s Build Back Better agenda (BBB) altogether. Time is short. The midterm elections are but 12 months away, after which the legislative window shuts. The Green ‘transition’ is stuck too (by concerns that moving too fast to renewables is putting power grids at risk and elevating heating costs unduly), and the Pharma establishment will be aware that a new B.1.1.529 variant has made a big jump in evolution with 32 mutations to its spike protein. This makes it “clearly very different” from previous variants, which may drive further waves of infection evading ‘vaccine defences’. Translation: a new wave of restrictions, more lockdowns, and – eventually – trillions of dollars in new stimmie cheques may be in prospect. And what of inflation then, we might ask. It’s a race for the U.S. and Europe, where the pandemic is back in full force across Europe, to push through their re-set agendas, before variants seize up matters with hospitals crowded with the vaccinated and non-vaccinated; with riots in the streets, and mask mandates at Christmas markets (that’s if they open at all). A big reversal was foreshadowed by this week’s news: vaccine mandates and lockdowns, even in highly vaccinated areas, are returning. And people don’t like it. The window for the Re-Set may be fast closing. One observer, noting all the frenetic Élite activity, has asked ‘have we finally reached peak Davos?’. Is the turn to authoritarianism in Europe a sign of desperation as fears grow that the various ‘transitions’ planned under the ‘re-set’ umbrella (financial, climate, vaccine and managerial expert technocracy) may never be implemented? Cut short rather, as spending plans are hobbled by accelerating inflation; as the climate transition fails to find traction amongst poorer states (and at home, too); as technocracy is increasingly discredited by adverse pandemic outcomes; and Modern Monetary Theory hits a wall, because – well, inflation again. Are you paying attention yet? The great ‘transition’ is conceived as a hugely expensive shift towards renewables, and to a new digitalised, roboticised corporatism. It requires Big (inflationary) funding to be voted through, and a huge parallel (inflationary) expenditure on social support to be approved by Congress as well. The social provision is required to mollify all those who subsequently will find themselves without jobs, because of the climate ‘transition’ and the shift to a digitalised corporate sphere. But – unexpectedly for some ‘experts’ – inflation has struck – the highest statistics in 30 years. There are powerful oligarchic interests behind the Re-Set. They do not want to see it go down, nor see the West eclipsed by its ‘competitors’. So it seems that rather than back off, they will go full throttle and try to impose compliance on their electorates: tolerate no dissidence. A 1978 essay “The Power of the Powerless” by then dissident and future Czech President Vaclav Havel begins mockingly that, “A SPECTRE is haunting Eastern Europe: the spectre of what in the West is called ‘dissent’”. “This spectre has not appeared out of thin air. It is a natural and inevitable consequence of the present historical phase of the system it is haunting.” Well, today, as Michael Every of Rabobank notes, “the West has polarisation, mass protests, riots, talk of obligatory vaccinations in Europe, and Yanis Varoufakis arguing capitalism is already dead; and that a techno-feudalism looms”. Now, prompting even greater urgency, are the looming U.S. midterms. Trump’s return (even if confined just to Congress), would cut the legs from under BBB, and ice-up Brussels too. It was however, precisely this tech revolution, to which Varoufakis calls attention, that both re-defined the Democrat constituency, and turned tech oligarchs into billionaires. Through algorithmically creating a magnetism of like-minded content, cascaded out to its customers, it has both smothered intellectual curiosity, and created the ‘un-informed party’, which is the today’s Managerial Class – the party of the credentialed meritocracy; the party, above all, smugly seeing themselves as the coming era’s ‘winners’ – unwilling to risk a look behind the curtain; to put their ‘safe space’ to the test. Perversely, this cadre of professionally-corralled academics, analysts, and central bankers, all insist that they completely believe in their memes: That their techno-approach is both effective, and of benefit to humanity – oblivious to the dissenting views, swirling around them, down in the interstices of the internet. The main function then of such memes today, whether issued by the Pharma Vaccine ‘Command’; the MMT ‘transition’ Command; the energy ‘transition’ Command; or the global managerial technocracy ‘transition’, is to draw a ‘Maginot line’ – a defensive ideological boundary, a “Great Narrative” as it were – between ‘the truth’ as defined by the ruling classes, and with that of any other ‘truth’ that contradicts their narrative. That is to say, it is about compliance. It was well understood that all these transitions would overturn long-standing human ways of life, that are ancient and deeply rooted and trigger dissidence – which is why new forms of social ‘discipline’ would be required. (Incidentally, the EU leadership already refer to their their official mandates as ‘Commands’). Such disciplines are now being trialled in Europe – with the vaccine mandates (even though scientists are telling them that vaccines cannot be the silver bullet for which they yearn). As one high ‘lodge’ member, favouring a form of global governance notes, to make people accept such reforms, you must frighten them. Yes, the collective of ‘transitions’ must have their ‘Big, overarching Narrative’ – however hollow, it rings (i.e. the struggle to defend democracy against authoritarianism). But it is the nature of today’s cultural-meme war that ultimately its content becomes little more than a rhetorical shell, lacking all sincerity at its core. It serves principally, as decoration to a ‘higher order’ project: The preservation of global ‘rules of the road’, framed to reflect U.S. and allied interests, as the base from which the clutch of ‘transitions’ can be raised up into a globally managed order which preserves the Élite’s influence and command of major assets. This politics of crafted, credentialised meme-politics is here to stay, and now is ‘everywhere’. It has long crossed the partisan divide. The wider point here – is that the mechanics of meme-mobilisation is being projected, not just in the western ‘home’ (at a micro-level), but abroad, into American ‘foreign policy’ too (i.e. at the macro-level). And, just as in the domestic arena, where the notion of politics by suasion is lost (with vaccine mandates enforced by water-cannon, and riot police), so too, the notion of foreign policy managed through argument, or diplomacy, has been lost too. Western foreign policy becomes less about geo-strategy, but rather is primordially focussed on the three ‘big iconic issues’ – China, Russia and Iran – that can be given an emotional ‘charge’ in order to profitably mobilise certain identified ‘constituencies’ in the U.S. domestic cultural war. All the various U.S. political strands play this game. The aim is to ‘nudge’ domestic American psyches (and those of their allies) into mobilisation on some issue (such as more protectionism for business against Chinese competition), or alternatively, imagined darkly, in order to de-legitimise an opposition, or to justify failures. These mobilisations are geared to gaining relative domestic partisan advantage, rather than having strategic purpose. When this credentialled meme-war took hold in the U.S., millions of people were already living a reality in which facts no longer mattered at all; where things that never happened officially, happened. And other things that obviously happened never happened: not officially, that is. Or, were “far-right extremist conspiracy theories,” “fake news,” or “disinformation,” or whatever, despite the fact that people knew that they weren’t. Russia and China therefore face a reality in which European and U.S. élites are heading in the opposite direction to epistemological purity and well-founded argument. That is to suggest, the new ‘normal’ is about generating a lot of contradictory realities, not just contradictory ideologies, but actual mutually-exclusive ‘realities’, which could not possibly simultaneously exist … and which are intended to bemuse adversaries – and nudge them off-balance. This is a highly risky game, for it forces a resistance stance on those targeted states – whether they seek it, or not. It underlines that politics is no more about considered strategy: It is about being willing for the U.S. to lose strategically (even militarily), in order to win politically. Which is to say gaining an ephemeral win of having prompted an favourable unconscious psychic response amongst American voters. Russia, China, Iran are but ‘images’ prized mainly for their potential for being loaded with ‘nudge’ emotional-charge in this western cultural war, (of which these states are no part). The result is that these states become antagonists to the American presumption to define a global ‘rules of the road’ to which all must adhere. These countries understand exactly the point of these value and rights-loaded ‘rules’. It is to force compliance on these states to acquiesce to the ‘transitions, or, to suffer isolation, boycott and sanction – in a similar way to the choices being forced on those in the West not wishing to vaccinate (i.e. no jab; no job). This approach reflects an attempt by Team Biden to have it ‘both ways’ with these three ‘Iconic States’: To welcome compliance on ‘transition issues’, but to be adversarial over any dissidence to mounting a rules framework that can raise the ‘transitions’ from the national, to the supra-national plane. But do the U.S. practitioners of meme-politics, absorb and comprehend that the stance by Russia-China – in riposte – is not some same-ilk counter-mobilisation done to ‘make a point’? That their vision does stand at variance with ‘the rules’? Do they see that their ‘red lines’ may indeed be ‘red lines’ literally? Is the West now so meme-addicted, it cannot any longer recognise real national interests? This is key: When the West speaks, it is forever looking over its shoulder, at the domestic, and wider psychic impact when it is ‘making a point’ (such as practicing attacks by nuclear-capable bombers as close to Russia’s borders as they dare). And that when Russia and China say, ‘This is our Red Line’, it is no meme – they really mean it. Tyler Durden Sat, 12/04/2021 - 23:30.....»»

Source:  zerohedgeCategory: blog~6 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

Mitch McConnell would eliminate the filibuster if he was in Democrats" shoes, Jim Acosta says

"If Mitch McConnell were in their shoes, what would he do? Given what we know, would we see him letting the filibuster stand?" Acosta said on Saturday. CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta speaks outside US District Court in Washington, DC, on November 16, 2018.Photo by Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images When he led the Senate, Mitch McConnell broke norms by blocking Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee. McConnell led the vote to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the Court in 2020, reversing course. CNN correspondent Jim Acosta said that Democrats should think like McConnell and end the filibuster. CNN correspondent Jim Acosta said Saturday that Democrats have been out-maneuvered by US Senate Minority Mitch McConnell, an architect of a conservative-leaning Supreme Court that appears open to upholding a 15-week Mississippi abortion ban in a major case that would gut Roe v. Wade."If Mitch McConnell were in their shoes, what would he do?" Acosta said. "Given what we know, would we see him letting the filibuster stand? Is the filibuster more important than election rights and women's rights? Is it more important than the lives of our teenagers, the safety of our schools?"During the segment, Acosta outlined how the electoral college gave Trump the presidency, as well as the opportunity to nominate three Supreme Court justices during his term: Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett.He also recounted McConnell's strategy to pack the court with conservative justices, including his obstruction of President Barack Obama's nominee, Merrick Garland, who would have filled a vacancy on the Supreme Court after the death of former Associate Justice Antonin Scalia. While McConnell insisted that the vacancy could not be filled during an election year, four years later he would lead the vote to nominate Coney Barrett to the court days before the 2020 election."Even though Americans have largely chosen Democrats for the presidency over the last three decades, a new hard-right Supreme Court appears poised to turn back the clock to the 1970s," Acosta said. "This has created the scenario where the minority views on a whole range of hot-button issues could carry the day for a generation."—Acyn (@Acyn) December 4, 2021Acosta also cited Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who warned earlier this week that overturning Roe v. Wade would create a "stench in Washington.""Will this institution survive the stench that this creates in the public perception, that the Constitution and its reading are just political acts? I don't see how it is possible," Sotomayor said. "If people actually believe that it's all political, how will we survive? How will the Court survive?"The court will hand down a decision by next June on the Mississippi case concerning abortion rights. If the justices decide to overturn Roe v. Wade, at least 12 states will immediately impose near-total bans on abortion.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Source:  businessinsiderCategory: top~9 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

Meet Michael Smerconish, a radio host and political commentator who will take over Chris Cuomo"s primetime hour on CNN

While Smerconish will replace Cuomo starting next week, the network has not announced any immediate plans for a permanent replacement. SiriusXM host Michael Smerconish interviews James Carville and Mary Matalin during a broadcast of 'Smerconish Book Club' on SiriusXM's POTUS Channel at SiriusXM Studios on January 09, 2014 in New York City.Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images Michael Smerconish broke away from the Republican party and is now a registered Independent. Smerconish has hosted several TV and radio programs, as well as authored seven novels. Next week, Smerconish will replace Chris Cuomo in CNN's prime time slot. SiriusXM radio host Michael Smerconish is slated to temporarily replace Chris Cuomo on CNN's primetime slot next week, according to Variety.A former Republican who is now a registered Independent, Smerconish has hosted a variety of programs across news mediums, including "The Michael Smerconish Program," a SiriusXM daily talk-radio program, and "Smerconish," a weekly Saturday TV program on CNN, according to his biography. He has also authored seven books, two of which are New York Times bestsellers.Smerconish launched his career in politics at a young age and was appointed at age 29 to serve in the Department of Housing and Urban Development under President George Herbert Walker Bush's administration. He publicly broke with the Republican party to endorse Barack Obama, citing the party's failure to capture al-Qaeda leaders Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri following 9/11."The Bush administration's failure to orchestrate a successful counterterrorism plan — one topped off with justice for Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri — has left me embarrassed of my party and angry. The oft-repeated explanations of the search being nuanced or covering difficult terrain should have worn thin long ago," Smerconish wrote for Salon in 2008.On Saturday, Smerconish was announced as the temporary replacement for Chris Cuomo, who CNN fired earlier in the day for his involvement in attempting to mitigate the sexual harassment scandal that resulted in his brother, Andrew Cuomo, resigning as governor of New York.Chris Cuomo had served as the face of CNN's 9 p.m. EST slot since 2018, according to the Los Angeles Times.The network has not announced any immediate plans for a permanent replacement.Insider has reached out to CNN for comment.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Source:  businessinsiderCategory: top~9 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

SEC Championship between UGA and Alabama sets Mercedes-Benz record

It was the largest attendance for any sporting event at the four-year-old Mercedes-Benz Stadium......»»

Source:  bizjournalsCategory: top~9 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

5 Defensive ETF Bets as Omicron Enters the United States

Let's look at some safe ETF plays that investors can consider keeping in mind the rising concerns emanating from the new omicron variant. The highly mutated new COVID-19 variant, omicron, has finally entered the United States. Dr. Anthony Fauci has confirmed that the first case has been detected in California in a traveler who had arrived from South Africa on Nov 22 and was tested to be positive on Nov 29 (per a CNN report). The new variant is feared to be carrying the combined features of the previous variants and can have high transmissibility and lower vaccine potency.Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell has also adversely impacted market sentiments by mentioning that the central bank will be discussing speeding up the tapering process from the $15 billion-a-month schedule decided previously, per a CNBC article. This move might be taken to control the persistently high inflation levels, given that the U.S. economy is strongly recovering from the pandemic-led slump.Against this backdrop, let’s take a look at some defensive ETF options that investors can consider like Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF VIG, Invesco S&P 500 Low Volatility ETF SPLV, iShares MSCI USA Quality Factor ETF QUAL, SPDR Gold Shares GLD and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF VDC.Commenting over the new variant, Pasi Penttinen, public health emergency response manager at the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, has recently said that “It looks like this particular variant has a very concerning set of mutations especially in the spike protein, which is needed for its transmission properties as well as its protection against the vaccines, so based on the genetic information we are quite concerned about it,” per a CNBC article.Moderna MRNA CEO Stephane Bancel’s comment to the Financial Times on Nov 29, claiming that he anticipates the existing COVID-19 vaccines to prove comparatively less effective against the new strain, has brought about a new wave of concerns (as stated in a CNBC article). The omicron variant has now been reported in the U.K., Israel, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Australia and Hong Kong. Going on, the World Health Organization (WHO) has labeled the variant as a “variant of concern.” At least 70 countries and territories are believed to have put travel restrictions from several African countries to control the outbreak, per a CNN report.Going on, consumers also continue to remain concerned under the rising heat of inflation levels. The latest data from the Conference Board highlights the depleting consumer confidence levels, as the metric just touched the nine-month-low level in November. The Conference Board's measure of consumer confidence index stands at 109.5 in November, down from October’s reading of 111.6. October’s reading was almost in line with the consensus estimate of the metric, coming in at 111, per a Reuters’ poll. The metric continues to be below the pre-pandemic level of 132.6 in February 2020.Defensive ETFs in FocusGiven the current market conditions,we have highlighted some ETFs like:Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETFDividend aristocrats are blue-chip dividend-paying companies with a long history of increasing dividend payments year over year. Moreover, dividend aristocrat funds provide investors with dividend growth opportunities compared to other products in the space but might not necessarily have the highest yields. These products also form a strong portfolio, with a higher scope of capital appreciation as against simple dividend-paying stocks or those with high yields. As a result, these products deliver a nice combination of annual dividend growth and capital-appreciation opportunity and are mostly good for risk-averse long-term investors.Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF is the largest and the most popular ETF in the dividend space, with AUM of $66.09 billion. VIG follows the S&P U.S. Dividend Growers Index. Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF charges 6 basis points (bps) in annual fees (read: Take Shelter in Dividend Aristocrat ETFs as COVID-19 Cases Rise).Invesco S&P 500 Low Volatility ETF Demand for funds with “low volatility” or “minimum volatility” generally increases during tumultuous times. These seemingly-safe products usually do not surge in bull market conditions but offer more protection than the unpredictable ones. Providing more stable cash flow than the overall market, these funds are less cyclical.Invesco S&P 500 Low Volatility ETF provides exposure to stocks with the lowest realized volatility over the past 12 months. The fund is based on the S&P 500 Low Volatility Index and holds 101 securities in its basket. Invesco S&P 500 Low Volatility ETF has AUM of $8.01 billion and charges an expense ratio of 25 bps, as stated in the prospectus (read: Low-Volatility ETFs in Focus on Virus & Fed Taper Worries).iShares MSCI USA Quality Factor ETF Quality stocks are rich in value characteristics with a healthy balance sheet, high return on capital, low volatility and high margins. These stocks also have a track record of stable or increasing sales and earnings growth. Compared to plain vanilla funds, these products help lower volatility and perform rather well during market uncertainty. Further, academic research has proven that high-quality companies constantly provide better risk-adjusted returns than the broader market over the long term.iShares MSCI USA Quality Factor ETF provides exposure to the large- and mid-cap stocks exhibiting positive fundamentals (high return on equity, stable year-over-year earnings growth and low financial leverage) by tracking the MSCI USA Sector Neutral Quality Index. With AUM of $24.79 billion, QUAL charges 0.15% in fees (read: ETF Asset Report of November: S&P 500 Wins).SPDR Gold Shares (GLD)Considering the current scenario, gold prices have been rising. The inflationary backdrop in the United States is favorable for gold as the metal is viewed as a hedge against inflation. The yellow metal has also earned its reputation as a safe haven asset.SPDR Gold Shares is the largest and most popular ETF in the gold space, with AUM of $56.99 billion. GLD reflects the performance of the price of gold bullion, less the Trust's expenses. At launch, each share of SPDR Gold Shares represented about 1/10th of an ounce of gold. The expense ratio is 0.40% (read: Gold ETFs to Gain on Omicron & Inflation? ).Vanguard Consumer Staples ETFThe consumer staples sector is known for its non-cyclical nature and acts as a safe haven during unstable market conditions. Moreover, like utility, consumer staples is considered a stable sector for the long term as its players are likely to offer decent returns. Investors can consider parking their money in the non-cyclical consumer staples sector during an economic recession. This high-quality sector, which is largely defensive, has been found to have a low correlation factor with economic cycles.Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF seeks to track the performance of the MSCI US Investable Market Consumer Staples 25/50 Index. With AUM of $6 billion, VDC has an expense ratio of 10 bps (read: ETFs to Gain on Strong Q3 Walmart Earnings). Want key ETF info delivered straight to your inbox? Zacks’ free Fund Newsletter will brief you on top news and analysis, as well as top-performing ETFs, each week.Get it free >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Moderna, Inc. (MRNA): Free Stock Analysis Report SPDR Gold Shares (GLD): ETF Research Reports Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF (VIG): ETF Research Reports iShares MSCI USA Quality Factor ETF (QUAL): ETF Research Reports Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC): ETF Research Reports Invesco S&P 500 Low Volatility ETF (SPLV): ETF Research Reports To read this article on click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Source:  zacksCategory: top~11 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

MiB: John Doerr, Kleiner Perkins

    This week, we speak with legendary venture capitalist John Doerr, chairman of Kleiner Perkins. His latest book is “Speed & Scale: An Action Plan for Solving Our Climate Crisis Now;” Doerr also authored 2018’s bestselling “Measure What Matters.” Doerr’s firm KPCB operates 32 different venture funds with more than 675 investments. The firm’s… Read More The post MiB: John Doerr, Kleiner Perkins appeared first on The Big Picture.     This week, we speak with legendary venture capitalist John Doerr, chairman of Kleiner Perkins. His latest book is “Speed & Scale: An Action Plan for Solving Our Climate Crisis Now;” Doerr also authored 2018’s bestselling “Measure What Matters.” Doerr’s firm KPCB operates 32 different venture funds with more than 675 investments. The firm’s early-stage investments are a who’s who in the world of technology: Google, Amazon, Twitter, Genentech, EA Sports, Netscape, Slack, Spotify, Ring, Beyond Meat, AOL, Sun, Intuit, Compaq, Sybase Citrix, Verisign, Peleton, and more. (Doerr still holds a 0.4% stake in Alphabet (GOOG) worth about $8 billion dollars). We discuss how he became interested in Climate change and the science and technology opportunities associated with it. He emphasizes this is more than just a charity or do-gooder approach — it is one of the largest venture opportunities he has ever seen in his entire career. Kleiner Perkins set up an initial climate fund with a billion dollars, a decade later, it’s worth over $3 billion. He notes that batteries alone are going to be a $400 billion annual industry for the next 20 years; a larger wave of innovation across the climate change sector will be enormous. He believes Investing & Innovation to be the easy part, the key challenge will be on the politics and policy. The ramification of not getting this right is “Unthinkable.” A list of his favorite books is here; A transcript of our conversation is available here Monday. You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, Bloomberg, and Acast. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here. Be sure to check out our Masters in Business next week with Maureen Farrell, former Wall Street Journal reporter (now with the New York Times), and co-author (with Elliot Brown) of the book “The Cult of We: WeWork, Adam Neumann, and the Great Startup Delusion.”       John Doerr’s Books Speed & Scale: An Action Plan for Solving Our Climate Crisis Now by John Doerr Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs by John Doerr   John Doerr’s Current Reading Under a White Sky: The Nature of the Future by Elizabeth Kolbert How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need by Bill Gates The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz by Erik Larson   The post MiB: John Doerr, Kleiner Perkins appeared first on The Big Picture......»»

Source:  TheBigPictureCategory: blog~11 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

Sixteen companies delivering value to their shareholders

A dividend increase shows a commitment to enhancing total shareholder returns through both strong business performance and returning cash to shareholders. It is a testament to a diligent capital allocation and management framework, and it reinforces our commitment to deliver value for our shareholders. The increase in the dividend highlights the board of directors confidence in the company’s... To read the whole article, please click on the article title above......»»

Source:  dividendgrowthinvestorCategory: blog~11 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

Biden Infrastructure Bill Includes Passive Monitoring Vehicle "Kill Switch" Mandates For Automakers

Biden Infrastructure Bill Includes Passive Monitoring Vehicle "Kill Switch" Mandates For Automakers As if the Biden administration wasn't doing enough to infringe on your civil liberties with lockdowns and vaccine mandates, media reports over the last several days are suggesting that Biden's new infrastructure bill will also include a mandate for auto manufacturers to install "kill switches" into vehicles. Former Rep. Bob Barr, writing for The Daily Caller, calls the measure "disturbingly short on details", but for the fact that the proposed device must “passively monitor the performance of a driver of a motor vehicle to accurately identify whether that driver may be impaired.” Which, of course, is code for some kind of device that is constantly on and monitoring your vehicle - and will likely have the power to shut down your vehicle anytime it wants.  "This is a privacy disaster in the making, and the fact that the provision made it through the Congress reveals — yet again — how little its members care about the privacy of their constituents," The Daily Caller writes.  It appears that in President Biden's future, not only will you not be in charge of your own personal health decisions, but you also won't be in charge of whether or not you can fire up your car, which you bought with your hard-earned money, to drive it somewhere, when you deem fit.  That decision will now "rest in the hands of an algorithm", the report says. Similar monitoring and control devices have faced constitutional opposition, the report notes, "notably with the 5th Amendment’s right to not self-incriminate, and the 6th Amendment’s right to face one’s accuser." Barr concludes: "Unless this regulatory mandate is not quickly removed or defanged by way of an appropriations rider preventing its implementation, the freedom of the open road that individual car ownership brought to the American Dream, will be but another vague memory of an era no longer to be enjoyed by future generations." Tyler Durden Sat, 12/04/2021 - 21:00.....»»

Source:  zerohedgeCategory: blog~11 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

Shellenberger: The Real Threat To Banks Isn"t From Climate Change, It"s From Bankers

Shellenberger: The Real Threat To Banks Isn't From Climate Change, It's From Bankers Authored by Michael Shellenberger via substack, Over the last two years, some of the world’s most powerful and influential bankers and investors have argued that climate change poses a grave threat to financial markets and that nations must switch urgently from using fossil fuels to using renewables. In 2019, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco warned that climate change could cause banks to stop lending, towns to lose tax revenue, and home values to decline. Last year, 36 pension fund managers representing $1 trillion in assets said climate change “poses a systemic threat to financial markets and the real economy.” And upon taking office, President Joe Biden warned government agencies that climate change disasters threatened retirement funds, home prices, and the very stability of the financial system. But a major new staff report from the New York Federal Reserve Bank throws cold water on the over-heated rhetoric coming from activist investors, bankers, and politicians. “How Bad Are Weather Disasters for Banks?” asks the title of the report by three economists. “Not very,” they answer in the first sentence of the abstract. The reason is because “weather disasters over the last quarter century had insignificant or small effects on U.S. banks’ performance.” The study looked at FEMA-level disasters between 1995 and 2018, at county-level property damage estimates, and the impact on banking revenue. The New York Fed’s authors only looked at how banks have dealt with disasters in the past, and what they wrote isn’t likely to be the final word on the matter. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and most other scientific bodies predict that many weather events, including hurricanes and floods, which cause the greatest financial damage, are likely to become more extreme in the future, due to climate change. And in February, The New York Times quoted one of six United States Federal Reserve governors saying, “Financial institutions that do not put in place frameworks to measure, monitor and manage climate-related risks could face outsized losses on climate-sensitive assets caused by environmental shifts.” But the Fed economists looked separately at the most extreme 10 percent of all disasters and found that banks impacted not only didn’t suffer, “their income increases significantly with exposure,” and that the improved financial performance of banks hit by disasters wasn’t explained by increased federal disaster (FEMA) aid. In other words, disasters are actually good for banks, since they increase demand for loans. The larger a bank’s exposure to natural disasters, the larger its profits. Happily, the profits made by banks are trivial compared to rising societal resilience to disasters, which can be seen by the fact that the share of GDP spent on natural disasters has actually declined over the last 30 years. While scientists expect hurricanes to become five percent more extreme they also expect them to become 25 percent less frequent, and now, new data show global carbon emissions actually declined over the last decade, and thus there is no longer any serious risk of a significant rise in global temperatures. Banking Against Growth The real risk to banks and the global economy comes from climate policy, not climate change, particularly efforts to make energy more expensive and less reliable through the greater use of renewables, new taxes, and new regulations. “For policymakers,” warned the three economists writing for the New York Fed, “our findings suggest that potential transition risks from climate change warrant more attention than physical disaster risks.” While they may seem like outliers, they are far from alone in expressing their concern. The second half of the quote by the Fed governor about climate change, which was hyped by The New York Times, warned that banks “could face outsized losses” from the “transition to a low-carbon economy.” (My emphasis.) And, now concern is growing among members of Congress about the dangers of over-relying on weather-dependent energy, with some members citing the New York Fed’s report after The Wall Street Journal editorialized about it last week . Proof of the threat to the economy from climate policy is the worst global energy crisis in 50 years. Shareholder activists played a significant role in creating it, according to analysts at Goldman Sachs, Bloomberg, and The Financial Times, by reducing investment in oil and gas production, and causing nations to over-invest in unreliable solar and wind energies, which has driven up energy prices, and contributed significantly to inflation. And yet a crucial Biden Administration nominee for bank regulation has openly said she would like to bankrupt firms that produce oil and gas, the two fuels whose scarcity is causing the global energy crisis. Progressive academic, Saule Omarova, nominated by Biden, said recently that “we want [oil and gas firms] to go bankrupt” and that “the way we basically get rid of these carbon financiers is we starve them of their source of capital. Biden nominee Saule Omarova said she wants to bankrupt energy companies Omarova is not an outlier. The Biden Administration’s Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) is advocating 30 new climate regulations that should be imposed on banking. Many analysts believe the US Securities and Exchange Commission will require new regulations. The goal is to radically alter how America’s banks lend money, the energy sector, and the economy as a whole. And former Bank of England chief, Mark Carney, co-chair of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero, has organized $130 trillion in investment and said recently that his investors should expect to make higher, not lower, returns than the market. How? In the exact same way Omarova predicted: by bankrupting some companies, and financing other ones, through government regulations and subsidies. Former Bank of England head Mark Carney Carney created the Glasgow Financial Alliance, or GFANZ, with Michael Bloomberg, and they did so under the official seal of the United Nations. “Carney said the alliance will put global finance on a trajectory that ultimately leaves high-carbon assets facing a much bleaker future,” wrote a reporter with Bloomberg. “He also said investors in such products will see the value of their holdings sink.” What’s going on, exactly? How is it that some of the world’s most powerful bankers, and the politicians they finance, came to support policies that threaten the stability of electrical grids, energy supplies, and thus the global economy itself? The Unseen Order Three of the largest donors to climate change causes are billionaire financial titans Michael Bloomberg, George Soros, and Tom Steyer, all of whom have significant investments in both renewables and fossil fuels. Tom Steyer, Michael Bloomberg, and George Soros Soros is worth $8 billion and recently made large investments in natural gas firms (EQT) and electric vehicles (Fisker), Bloomberg has a net worth of around $70 billion and has large investments in natural gas and renewables, and much of Steyer’s wealth derives from investments in all three main fossil fuels—coal, oil, and natural gas — as well as renewables. All three men finance climate activists and politicians, including President Biden, who then seek policies — from $500 billion for renewables and electric vehicles over the next decade to federal control over state energy systems to banking regulations to bankrupt oil and gas companies — which would benefit each of them personally. Bloomberg gave over $100 million to Sierra Club to lobby to shut down coal plants after he had taken a large stake in its replacement, natural gas, and operates one of the largest news media companies in the world, which publishes articles and sends emails nearly every day reporting that climate change threatens the economy, and that solar panels and wind turbines are the only cost-effective solution. Soros donates heavily to Center for American Progress, whose founder, John Podesta, was chief of staff to Bill Clinton, campaign chairman for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, and who currently runs policy at the Biden White House. So too does Steyer, who funds the climate activist organization founded by New Yorker author Bill McKibben,, which reported revenues of nearly $20 million in 2018. The most influential environmental organization among Democrats and the Biden Administration is the Natural Resources Defense Council, NRDC, which advocated for federal control of state energy markets, the $500 billion for electric cars and renewables, and international carbon markets that would be controlled by the bankers and financiers who also donate to it. In the 1990s, NRDC helped energy trading company Enron to distribute hundreds of thousands of dollars to environmental groups. “On environmental stewardship, our experience is that you can trust Enron,” said NRDC’s Ralph Cavanagh in 1997, even though Enron executives at the time were defrauding investors of billions of dollars in an epic criminal conspiracy, which in 2001 bankrupted the company. From 2009 to 2011, NRDC advocated for and helped write complex cap-and-trade climate legislation that would have created and allowed some of their donors to take advantage of a carbon-trading market worth upwards of $1 trillion. NRDC created and invested $66 million of its own money in a BlackRock stock fund that invested heavily in natural gas companies, and in 2014 disclosed that it had millions invested in renewable funds. Former NRDC head, Gina McCarthey, now heads up Biden’s climate policy team, and Biden’s top economic advisor, Brian Deese, last worked at BlackRock, and almost certainly will return at the end of the Biden Administration. Money buys influence. In 2019, McKibben called Steyer a “climate champ” when Steyer announced he was running for president, adding that Steyer’s “just-released climate policy is damned good!” And in 2020, McKibben wrote an article called, “How Banks Could Bail Us Out of the Climate Crisis,” for The New Yorker, which repeated the claim that extreme weather created by climate change threatens financial interests, and that the way to prevent it is to divert public and private money away from reliable energy sources toward weather-dependent ones. Forms filed to the Internal Revenue Service by Steyer’s philanthropic organization, the TomKat Charitable Trust, show that it gave McKibben’s climate activist group,, $250,000 in 2012, 2014, and 2015, and may have given money to in 2013, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020, as well, because thanked either Steyer’s philanthropy, TomKat Foundation, or his organization, NextGen America, in each of its annual reports since 2013. At the same time, McKibben’s motivations are plainly spiritual. He claims that various natural disasters are caused by humans, that climate change literally threatens life on Earth, and is thus “greatest challenge humans have ever faced,” a statement so unhinged from reality, considering declining deaths from disasters, declining carbon emissions, and the total absence of any science for such a claim, that it must be considered religious. McKibben first book about climate change, The End of Nature, explicitly expressed his spiritual views, arguing that, through capitalist industrialization, humankind had lost its connection to nature. “We can no longer imagine that we are part of something larger than ourselves,” he wrote in The End of Nature. “That is what this all boils down to.” Indeed, for William James, the belief in “an unseen order” that we must adjust ourselves to, in order to avoid future punishment, is a defining feature of religion. Climate change is punishment for our sins against nature — that’s the basic narrative pushed by journalists, climate activists, and their banker sponsors, for 30 years. It has a supernatural element: the belief that natural disasters are getting worse, killing millions, and threatening the economy, when in reality they are getting better, killing fewer, and costing less. And it offers redemption: to avoid punishment we must align our behavior with the unseen order, namely, a new economy controlled by the U.N., bankers, and climate activists. Unfortunately, as is increasingly obvious, the unseen order is parasitical and destructive. When Nuclear Leads, the Bankers Will Follow The unseen order of bankers, climate activists, and the news media is so powerful that it is difficult to imagine how it could ever be challenged. The financial might of the climate lobby covers the wealth not only of billionaires Soros, Steyer, and Bloomberg, but also $130 trillion in investment funds, including many of the world’s largest pension funds, such as the one belonging to California public employees. The climate lobby’s political power is equally awesome, covering the entirety of the Democratic Party and a significant portion of the Republican Party, and most center-Left parties in Europe. Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emanuel Macron, and U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm And all of that is sustained by cultural power, which has led many elites to view climate change as the world’s number one issue, has convinced half of all humans that climate change will make our species extinct, and has served as the apocalyptic foundation for Woke religion. But serious cracks in the foundation are growing. The global energy crisis has revealed for many around the world the limits of unreliable renewables, with European governments having to subsidize energy to avoid public backlash, President Biden and other heads of state opening up emergency petroleum reserves, and all nations begging OPEC to produce more energy. The blackouts and rising unreliability of electricity in California, along with the work of the pro-nuclear movement over the last 6 years, has resulted in a growing number of Democrats supporting nuclear energy. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm last week publicly urged California Governor Gavin Newsom not to close California’s Diablo Canyon nuclear plant, the signature nuclear plant Environmental Progress has been trying to save since 2016. Democratic support in particular for nuclear is growing. And alternative media including Substack, podcasts, and social media platforms are increasingly providing a counterweight to the mainstream news media, exposing a huge number of issues that the media got wrong in recent years, and amplifying alternative voices. Nowhere is the change occurring faster than in Europe, where energy shortages are affecting heating, cooking, and electricity supplies in ways that undermine the legitimacy of the banker-led climate efforts. In Britain, private energy companies have gone bankrupt, forcing the government to bail them out. For-profit energy companies, like banks, ultimately depend on taxpayers, who are also voters. Outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who led her nation’s exit from nuclear energy, acknowledged that Germany had been defeated in its anti-nuclear energy advocacy at the European Union level, and that nuclear would finally be recognized as low-carbon. And French president Emanuel Macron, under pressure from the political right as voters look to elections next year, gave a passionate speech in favor of nuclear energy last month, announcing $35 billion for new reactors. As the world returns to nuclear, policymakers, media elites, and climate advocates will be increasingly confronted with the question of why consumers and taxpayers will benefit from a global carbon trading scheme and more weather-dependent renewables, particularly at a time of declining global emissions from the continuing transition from coal to natural gas, reduced deforestation, and increased reforestation. Simply building more nuclear power plants means there is no climate change justification for weather-dependent renewables, which actually require greater use of natural gas, in order to deal with the high amount of unreliability. Nuclear power goes with slow and patient capital. The obvious funders of a nuclear expansion in the West would be the pension funds, which need the secure return on investment that major construction and infrastructure projects provide, and which unreliable renewables, as the energy crisis shows, do not. And though the news media is currently ignoring the New York Fed’s report, reporters will not be able to continue spreading misinformation about climate change indefinitely. Increasingly, they, and thus policymakers and the public, will be forced to confront facts inconvenient to their narrative, including that humans are adapting remarkably well to climate change, that renewables make energy unreliable and expensive, and that only nuclear can achieve sustainability goals of reduced emissions, material throughput, and land use. As people ask, “How Bad Are Weather Disasters?”, not just for banks, but for all of us, the answer will increasingly come back, “Not very.” *  *  * Michael Shellenberger is a Time Magazine "Hero of the Environment,"Green Book Award winner, and the founder and president of Environmental Progress. He is author of just launched book San Fransicko (Harper Collins) and the best-selling book, Apocalypse Never (Harper Collins June 30, 2020). Subscribe To Michael's substack here Donate to Environmental Progress Tyler Durden Sat, 12/04/2021 - 21:30.....»»

Source:  zerohedgeCategory: blog~11 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

CNN Fires Chris Cuomo

CNN has fired anchor Chris Cuomo following the revelations of in-depth details on how the prime time anchor assisted his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, when the latter was facing a growing controversy over sexual harassment accusations. read more.....»»

Source:  benzingaCategory: blog~12 hr. 12 min. ago Related News

The Finance Research Crisis Is All Too Human

Gaming the system to get published, or just misled by inherent fallibility? Academics with market-beating strategies may be wrong far too much of the time. Be skeptical......»»

Source:  washpostCategory: top~12 hr. 12 min. ago Related News

Obituary For Russiagate

Obituary For Russiagate.....»»

Source:  nytCategory: world~12 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

"Never Seen Anything Like It": Los Angeles Residents Stunned As Violent Crimes Creep Into Wealthier Communities

'Never Seen Anything Like It': Los Angeles Residents Stunned As Violent Crimes Creep Into Wealthier Communities After two years of rising crime in Los Angeles, residents of upscale neighborhoods are finally starting to freak out after a spate of 'flash mob' lootings at high-end retail stores have been accompanied with a disturbing increase in violent crimes committed in the suburbs, according to the LA Times. Private security officers guard the Beverly Hills home where Jacqueline Avant, the wife of music producer Clarence Avant, was shot and killed Wednesday. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)   Crews of burglars publicly smashing their way into Los Angeles’ most exclusive stores. Robbers following their victims, including a star of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” and a BET host, to their residences. And this week, the fatal shooting of 81-year-old Jacqueline Avant, an admired philanthropist and wife of music legend Clarence Avant, in her Beverly Hills home. ...these incidents have sparked a national conversation and led to local concern about both the crimes themselves and where the outrage over the violence will lead. "The fact that this has happened, her being shot and killed in her own home, after giving, sharing, and caring for 81 years has shaken the laws of the Universe," said Oprah Winfrey, expressing grief over Avant's killing via Twitter. "The world is upside down." The Times notes that while overall crime rates within Los Angeles remain far below the notoriously violent 1990s, much of it has been concentrated in poor communities - so it receives virtually no attention. Now that crime has "crept up in wealthier enclaves and thrust its way to the center of public discourse" across the city. Turning point? In 2020, polls showed that California voters largely supported criminal justice reform, as well as rolling back tough sentencing laws to reduce prison populations without nary a thought to how it might affect the crime rate. Now, those concerned about crime and blame liberal policies for its rise are growing more vocal. For others, it's been a serious wake-up call. "I have never seen anything like it," said Dominick DeLuca, owner of the Brooklyn Projects skateboard shop on Melrose Avenue where burglaries and robberies have seen a sharp enough spike in recent months that he's now carrying a gun to work. "In the last two years, I have been broken into three times." On Thursday, Mayor Eric Garcetti and LAPD Chief Michael Moore advocated for locking offenders up, and questioned several pandemic-related policies that put nonviolent arrestees back on the street without bail. Moore said arrests had been made in several high-profile “smash-and-grab” burglaries but lamented that the suspects had all been released pending trial. Garcetti said warehousing criminals in jails without rehabilitating them is not a solution, but neither is ceding the streets to repeat offenders. Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. George Gascón, whose progressive policies around prosecution and sentencing many blame for the uptick in crime, was notably absent at the press conference but said through his office that he is working closely with law enforcement partners to hold perpetrators accountable for such brazen crimes. -LA Times According to LAPD data through Nov. 27, property crime is up 2.6% YoY, but is down 6t.6% from 2019, while robberies are up 3.9% YoY and down 13.6% from 2019. Burglaries are down 8.4% from last year and 7.7% from 2019. Car thefts, meanwhile, are up nearly 53% vs. 2019. The difference? Rich people are now getting hit, so officials are officially concerned. What's more, violent crime is way up - with homicides jumping 46.7% and shootings up 51.4% vs. 2019. As of the end of last month, there were 359 homicides year-to-date, compared with 355 in all of 2020. That said 2008 was LA's deadliest year with 384 homicides. Read the rest of the report here. Tyler Durden Sat, 12/04/2021 - 20:00.....»»

Source:  nytCategory: personnel~12 hr. 44 min. ago Related News

Leveraged Bitcoin Traders Flushed Out In Epic Overnight Crash

Leveraged Bitcoin Traders Flushed Out In Epic Overnight Crash.....»»

Source:  nytCategory: smallbiz~13 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

Steve Cohen"s Point 72 Venture Fund Is Backing A 24 Hour Equities Exchange

Steve Cohen's Point 72 Venture Fund Is Backing A 24 Hour Equities Exchange Steven Cohen’s Point72 Ventures is getting behind the idea of 24 hour a day stock trading. The venture arm of Point72 is leading a $14.25 million funding round for a company called "24 Exchange", which was founded in 2018 and has already launched FX and crypto trading platforms, according to the WSJ. It is now seeking approval from the SEC to become an around the clock exchange.  The company believes that traders who are used to trading currencies and Bitcoin, which trades all the time, want the same experience for equity markets.  The obvious downside to such a venture, in addition to needing regulatory approval, would be poor liquidity during off hours. But Point 72 seems to think that "24-hour equities trading has a large potential market, including nonprofessionals trading from home and overseas investors with an appetite for U.S. stocks," the WSJ reported. Point72 Ventures partner Pete Casella commented: “When you look at the growth of equities trading over the last couple of years, a lot of that has been the increased role of retail. These are people with day jobs, so they want to trade at night and on weekends.” The company plans on completing its applications to the SEC by the end of December, Dmitri Galinov, founder and chief executive of 24 Exchange, said.  This means it'll likely be "well into" 2022 before the SEC renders a decision.  24 Exchange has U.S. offices in Stamford, CT and Miami, and is incorporated in Bermuda.  Point 72 ventures has also invested in fintech startups like Acorns and Say Technologies.  Tyler Durden Sat, 12/04/2021 - 18:00.....»»

Source:  nytCategory: smallbiz~13 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

Co-Opted By Wall Street: Bitcoin"s Biggest Risk?

Co-Opted By Wall Street: Bitcoin's Biggest Risk? Authored by Rob Price via, As bitcoin gains mainstream acceptance from centralized financial institutions, will Wall Street come to ruin what is most powerful about the asset? Bitcoin’s potential is immense — an independent global reserve asset, the foundation of a more ethical financial system, uncorrupted by centralized financial overlords. But what is the risk that bitcoin could become co-opted and corrupted by those centralized financial overlords? What if bitcoin loses its independence? What if bitcoin merely becomes another speculative Wall Street plaything? TLDR: Wall Street’s growing importance is unavoidable as bitcoin goes mainstream, but correlations will not rise indefinitely and bitcoin’s independence remains in the hands of everyday users like me and you. HOW BITCOIN’S TECHNICAL SECURITY ADVANCED IN 2021 The great bitcoin mining migration of 2021 further decentralized bitcoin mining, which enhanced its security and reduced the possibility of a technical attack on the network itself. Furthermore, bitcoin showed in 2017 that it is resistant to change. A group of miners and merchants alienated themselves from the community because they ignored the community and pushed for an increase to the blocksize. So, Bitcoin is technically secure and unlikely to change its underlying principles. The network is decentralized and principles enshrined. Users have vehemently defended those principles. However, technical risks are not the only risks to bitcoin. WHAT IF BITCOIN BECOMES BITCOINTM, A WALL STREET PLAYTHING? Ben Hunt outlined some of these softer, more philosophical fears around Bitcoin in his very thought-provoking article “In Praise Of Bitcoin,” in which he wrote about the prospect of BitcoinTM emerging: “What is Bitcoin!TM in abstracted form? It’s a securitization or representation of Bitcoin ownership that promises the price appreciation of Bitcoin without the hassle of Bitcoin ownership. It’s a casino chip that represents the price of Bitcoin. Michael Saylor, for example, is only too happy to sell you a MicroStrategy casino chip. Or maybe you’d prefer to play on the Canadian crypto ETF felt? Or try your luck at the wheel of a Morgan Stanley private fund?” This is a much more insidious risk than a technical attack or government regulation, in my opinion, and it warrants reflection. S&P 500 CORRELATION VS. BITCOIN RISING AGAIN: SHOULD WE BE WORRIED? I recently noticed that the one-year rolling correlation between bitcoin and the S&P 500 reached its highest levels on record, according to a chart accessed via Glassnode. This shows that there is a growing relationship between Wall Street and bitcoin, which could be a signal that our worst fears are coming to fruition. Should we be worried? Source: Glassnode and Sound Money CENTRAL BANK POLICY DOMINATES ALL ASSET CLASSES From a technical perspective, different asset classes can be driven by the same factors, even if the assets are fundamentally different in nature. For example, inflation can drive gold and equities higher simultaneously but it can also generate divergent outcomes under different circumstances. It is no surprise that bitcoin and equity markets are both being driven higher by excessively loose monetary policy, which debases the value of fiat currencies. Many other asset classes are caught in the same theme, including property and bonds. A rising trend in correlations does not imply that the trend will remain intact indefinitely. But it could… WHAT COULD CAUSE A RISING CORRELATION TO BECOME A PERMANENT FEATURE? If Wall Street creates numerous financial products and trade in these products starts to dominate relative to actual users of the technology, the rising correlation between the S&P 500 and bitcoin could become a permanent feature. What if regulators force users to comply with numerous KYC and AML measures, reducing its censorship-resistant qualities and rendering it less independent? A couple of responses to each scenario: 1) INSTITUTIONALIZATION IS INEVITABLE BUT THAT DOES NOT IMPLY WALL STREET MUST DOMINATE Take a look at the holders of bitcoin today: More than 35% of coins have not moved in at least two years, according to data from Glassnode, which is a strong indication of long-term investment behavior. Some percentage of these holders could be institutional investors. But the fact that they are not trading the asset implies that, for one, they do not view the asset as a speculative plaything and secondly, that they choose to expose themselves to the vagaries and eccentricities of this alternative monetary network for the long haul, i.e., they are investing on bitcoin’s terms, not Wall Street’s. Source: Glassnode and Sound Money Bitcoin has no central bank to enter the market during periods of turmoil. The buyers of last resort are everyday bitcoiners who believe in the project and store their long-term wealth in the asset. It's these bitcoiners who create the price floors during price crashes. On-chain research via Glassnode shows that the number of addresses with balances less than 1 bitcoin continues to rise in 2021, giving an indication that smaller holders remain a very important dynamic in the market. By contrast, the growth in the number of addresses with balances great than 100 bitcoin has been negative throughout 2021, also per data accessed on Glassnode. Source: Glassnode and Sound Money Conclusion: Yes, Wall Street is becoming important for bitcoin, but that does not imply Wall Street dominates bitcoin. 2) PRIVACY IS CRITICAL AND AVAILABLE TO THOSE WHO NEED IT I would like to remind readers that privacy is a human right and is required by all to live fulfilling human lives. You would not want someone peering into your bedroom every morning! Not only is the right to privacy enshrined in the constitution of numerous countries but also in Article 12 of the UN's “Declaration Of Human Rights” (UDHR), from 1948. The desire for privacy does not imply tax evasion or criminal activity. Numerous people require privacy to live due to targeted, government-mandated, financial exclusion. There are more obvious examples in autocratic governments like China, Venezuela and Afghanistan, but there are also more nuanced examples in the countries regarded as the “free world.” Increasingly stringent financial, travel, property and speech restrictions imposed in 2020 and 2021 implies that the number of people who may be forced into privacy will increase. Thankfully, numerous users across cryptocurrency markets remain focused on privacy, using techniques to protect their human rights, including privacy-focused altcoins and mixing services to protect fungibility . Conclusion: While greater government oversight of cryptocurrency is inevitable, greater privacy is also available to those who are willing to put in the effort to get it. Moreover, developers continue to work on technical upgrades which enhance privacy, like Taproot in bitcoin. CONCLUSIONS I am worried about bitcoin being co-opted by traditional financial markets and a rising correlation between bitcoin and the S&P 500 accentuates my fear. Practically speaking, a rising correlation between bitcoin and the S&P500 indicates less diversification potential for traditional investors investing into bitcoin. I do not think it will dramatically alter people's allocation decisions (0.4 is still a pretty low correlation), but it could because the optimal risk-adjusted portfolio could advocate for a slightly lower allocation based on mean-variance optimizations. However, a rising correlation should not be extrapolated higher indefinitely into the future. The reasons for the correlation, its persistence and its breakdown should be assessed. Ultimately, it is unsurprising that extreme central bank policies are driving all financial markets in 2021. If central banks were to remove their stimulus, even if only temporarily, it would have a negative impact on risk assets, including equity, like the S&P 500 and bitcoin. Investors should never get complacent about this tighter monetary policy risk despite the incredibly low probability that central banks will be able to implement prudent policies with higher real interest rates for any length of time. Despite all my worries about large players dominating bitcoin and government oversight negating the censorship resistant characteristics of bitcoin, grassroots bitcoiners continue to grow and access to privacy-preserving techniques is increasing. I continue to encourage all holders of bitcoin to use the technology. You may hold the asset as an investment and may not want to touch it for many years to come — that's great! But get a little bit of bitcoin in a wallet, send it to your friend and realize the value of decentralized, borderless value transfer and storage so that we continue to advocate for this independent system maintained by individuals, not institutions. Tyler Durden Sat, 12/04/2021 - 18:30.....»»

Source:  nytCategory: smallbiz~13 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

Dark Winter Looms For Pennsylvanians As Power Bills Set To Soar 

Dark Winter Looms For Pennsylvanians As Power Bills Set To Soar  Power prices in some parts of Pennsylvania are set to jump as much as 50% beginning this month, according to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC). "Most Pennsylvania regulated electric utilities are adjusting the price they charge for the generation portion of customers' bills on December 1 for non-shopping customers, also known as the 'Price to Compare' (PTC). The PTC averages 40% to 60% of the customer's total utility bill. However, this percent varies by the utility and by the level of individual customer usage," PUC said in a press release. PUC lists power increases for residential customers. The most significant increase comes from Pike County Light & Power, which serves nearly 5,000 customers, is expected to raise power prices by 50%. The second highest is PPL Corporation, serving about 1.4 million customers in central and eastern parts of the state, which is expected to raise power prices by 26%.  Citizens' Electric, up from 6.9777 cents to 7.9476 cents per kWh (13.9%); Duquesne Light, up from 7.41 cents to 7.98 cents per kWh (7.7%); Met-Ed, up from 7.114 cents to 7.414 cents per kWh (4.2%); PECO, up from 6.597 cents to 7.021 cents per kWh (6.4%); Penelec, down from 6.761 cents to 6.507 cents per kWh (3.8%); Penn Power, down from 7.657 cents to 7.593 cents per kWh (less than 1%); PPL, up from 7.544 cents to 9.502 cents per kWh (26%); Pike County Light & Power, up from 6.5234 cents to 9.796 cents per kWh (50.2%); Wellsboro Electric, up from 7.2596 cents to 7.5051 cents per kWh (3.4%); and West Penn Power, up from 5.447 cents to 5.698 cents per kWh (4.6%); A PUC spokesperson told Fox News that rising energy prices are due to "market forces."  Many Pennsylvanians will be in for a sticker shock this winter as the Northern Hemisphere winter approaches. Customers are already stretched thin with soaring food, fuel, and shelter inflation. It's a good thing Fed Chairman Jerome Powell told Congress on Tuesday that he would "retire" the "transitory" narrative to explain the inflationary environment that continues to crush the working poor.  We noted last week that Americans, already preparing for one of the darkest cold seasons in years, have been panic buying cords of firewood and stoves as they seek alternative methods to heat their homes to mitigate soaring power prices.  Persistent inflation this winter will continue to increase discontent for President Biden and could be favorable for Republicans ahead of midterm next year.  Tyler Durden Sat, 12/04/2021 - 19:00.....»»

Source:  nytCategory: smallbiz~13 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

Sound Money Is A Prerequisite To Peace, Prosperity, And Freedom

Sound Money Is A Prerequisite To Peace, Prosperity, And Freedom Authored by Patrick Barron via The Mises Institute, There are many good recommendations promoted by Austrian school economists for improving the economy. Although we enjoy successes periodically, most--such as deregulating trucking and airline pricing--involve eliminating previous government interventions. These successes are to be celebrated, of course. But no one can deny that government intervention into the economy has continued, despite these occasional success stories. The reason Big Government has continued to grow is that it controls money production. Not only does government grow in terms of spending, regulations, and interventions everywhere (both internally and overseas), but it threatens our very freedoms. In other words, government's control of money is diametrically opposed to peace, prosperity, and freedom and eventually will destroy our republican democracy. For this reason, returning to sound money--i.e., money that is created by the private market, is part and parcel of the market, and is controlled by no one--should be goal number one for every lover of peace, prosperity, and freedom. Nothing less than the survival of our western-style way of life is at stake. Here are a few examples of how unsound money progresses and masks its destructive power. One, unsound money allows government to confiscate resources at will. For example, in 2020 America's bloated military spent as much as the next eleven nations of the world combined. Of course, military spending went up in 2021 and will continue to increase in 2022. America's annual budget deficit is projected to be somewhere between $1.84 trillion and $3.4 trillion, depending upon whether you ask the Biden administration or the Congressional Budget Office. All of this money is created out of thin air. Americans' taxes will not increase enough to cover even a fraction of the Biden estimate, and there is no appetite in the bond market for more American debt. Therefore, the Fed will monetize the new debt onto its balance sheet. The resulting increase in base money will cause the prices of most goods and services to rise. This impoverishment of the American people through the hidden tax of inflation is possible only because money is completely fiat; i.e., produced out of nothing except the government's printing press and computer terminals. Two, unsound money masks the destructive power of government market interventions. An example is former President Trump's tariffs on Chinese goods. According to a friend of mine, the data is irrefutable that the tariffs worked. Well, as Mark Twain said, there's lies, damned lies, and statistics. What really is irrefutable is the economic law of opportunity cost; i.e., that choosing one thing means the giving up of another. Another is individual preference. The very fact that people must not be allowed to purchase Chinese goods means that they valued those goods to a higher extent than American goods. The reason does not have to be financial. There's always service, availability, quality, etc. So preventing Americans from buying Chinese goods means less satisfaction for Americans. This is just one example. Another is keeping zombie companies in business through artificially lower interest rates means that capital is misallocated to less productive uses. There's a whole panoply of labor laws that artificially raises the cost of American labor, reduces American productivity, and lowers business income. Some workers are priced out of the market through minimum wage and mandatory benefit packages. Business has less capital to invest for expansion. New business starts are discouraged. There's something there for everyone! The destruction is masked by monetarily inflated GDP numbers, artificially suppressed Consumer Price Index (CPI) statistics, increased unemployment payments, and other government programs and manipulated data. Three, and most importantly, Americans' freedom is threatened. Government can print enough money to buy unlimited enforcers of its rules. More IRS agents. More agents for enforcing arbitrary rules of the Occupational, Safety, and Health Administration (OSHA). More agents for enforcing new environmental regulations and laws arbitrarily established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). More Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) agents. Perhaps even agents to confiscate guns. Conclusion Returning to limited government, creating a more free market order, having a less intrusive government, etc. requires sound money. Sound money is not a guarantee of a free society, but a free society is impossible without sound money. I conclude with these quotes from The Quotable Mises. The last quote is especially pertinent to the point of this brief essay. (Emphases are mine.) The gold standard alone makes the determination of money’s purchasing power independent of the ambitions and machinations of governments, of dictators, of political parties, and of pressure groups. The gold standard alone is what the nineteenth-century freedom-loving leaders (who championed representative government, civil liberties, and prosperity for all) called “sound money.” All those intent upon sabotaging the evolution toward welfare, peace, freedom, and democracy loathed the gold standard, and not only on account of its economic significance. In their eyes the gold standard was the labarum, the symbol, of all those doctrines and policies they wanted to destroy. The classical or orthodox gold standard alone is a truly effective check on the power of the government to inflate the currency. Without such a check all other constitutional safeguards can be rendered vain. I do not want to close on a pessimistic note. Therefore, I offer this final quote from Ludwig von Mises, ever the optimist and ever the gentleman: "Every nation, whether rich or poor, powerful or feeble, can at any hour once again adopt the gold standard." Tyler Durden Sat, 12/04/2021 - 19:30.....»»

Source:  nytCategory: smallbiz~13 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

How more than $402 million in taxpayer money got locked away in a forgotten government fund — and lawmakers won"t spend it or return it

Republicans, Democrats, charities, and special-interest groups all have different designs for the languishing money. A pool of more than $402 million contributed by taxpayers is waiting for Congress to decide how best to use it.DigitalStorm via Getty Images The money is supposed to publicly fund presidential campaigns. But it doesn't. Republicans and Democrats in Congress can't agree on what to do with the ever-growing pot. Charities told Insider the money could do great good for suffering Americans. See more stories on Insider's business page. Holed away in a government account is a massive cash stash most anyone — from depleted federal programs to coronavirus-throttled charitable causes — would love to tap.But it sits idle and untouched.The intended beneficiaries of the taxpayer-fueled Presidential Election Campaign Fund — presidential candidates — don't want it, as they're soured by its restrictions on their election fundraising and spending.Other prospective recipients, meanwhile, can't have it.Congress is what's preventing this. Conservatives would prefer to disband the fund and repurpose its money. Many Democrats want the money to seed a reimagined public campaign-finance program contained within a broader "democracy-reform" agenda that's hamstrung on Capitol Hill. Neither side will budge.Meanwhile, the Presidential Election Campaign Fund's pot had topped more than $402.5 million as of October 31 — a record amount during the fund's nearly 50-year history, according to US Treasury records reviewed by Insider. The fund grew by about 1.14 million in October alone, according to federal records.If current trends continue, the fund will continue to grow each month by six- or seven-figures thanks to the financial heft generated by American taxpayers who check that little box on their annual tax return that directs $3 to the fund.'Help people and communities recover'In a year when lawmakers are measuring economic relief and infrastructure bills in the trillions of dollars, a few hundred million deserted federal greenbacks may seem comparatively paltry.But some charitable organizations that serve people often possess next to nothing. Several nonprofit leaders told Insider that Congress could use the Presidential Election Campaign Fund money to immediately ease suffering."The best possible use of $400 million would be to provide funds for charities to help people and communities recover," Steve Taylor, United Way Worldwide's senior vice president and counsel for public policy, said, citing a looming eviction crisis, a burdened childcare system, education challenges, and mental-health needs among urgent pandemic-era problems. "Charities are leading the way in addressing these problems, and $400 million in new funding would be a game changer."While the federal government has directed significant funding toward its COVID-19 response, the pandemic is far from over, and people around the world will endure its aftereffects for a long while, said Judy Monroe, the president and CEO of the CDC Foundation, an independent nonprofit that supports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's health-protection work."Additional federal funds that are not actively being utilized could, as deemed appropriate by Congress, be repurposed and brought to bear to address critical needs from COVID-19 to health inequities to strengthening the nation's public-health system to be prepared for the next, inevitable outbreak," Monroe told Insider.Erika Cotton Boyce, a Habitat for Humanity spokesperson, declined to speak specifically about the Presidential Election Campaign Fund but broadly said Congress should "find resources to fund critical programs that will address housing supply and housing affordability, especially homeownership programs for low-income families."Congress has various mechanisms for directing public funding to nonprofit entities. A bill introduced this year by Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat, hopes to further help charitable nonprofits "provide services to meet the increasing demand in community needs caused by the coronavirus pandemic, preserve and create jobs in the nonprofit sector, reduce unemployment, and promote economic recovery."Sen. Joni Ernst, a Republican of Iowa, wants the money sent to the US Treasury's general fund and used to help reduce the federal budget deficit.Andrew Harnik-Pool/Getty ImagesDebt reduction, pediatric care, Alzheimer's researchSome lawmakers and special-interest advocates have other designs on the $400 million.During the 2019-20 congressional session, two Republican lawmakers sponsored similar bills that attempted to kill the Presidential Election Campaign Fund.Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma sought to transfer the campaign fund's cash balance to a pediatric-research initiative administered by the National Institutes of Health.Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa, meanwhile, wanted the money sent to the US Treasury's general fund and used to help reduce the federal budget deficit.Neither bill received a hearing, let alone a vote.In September, Ernst tried again with a similar bill that so far has garnered little support.That's a shame, said Joshua Sewell, a senior policy analyst at the nonpartisan Taxpayers for Common Sense who deemed the campaign fund "a vestige of a bygone era." He recommended its money be used to help pay down the country's national debt, which stood at more than $28.5 trillion as of June, according to the Treasury Department. Bradley Smith, a former Federal Election Commission chairman who now leads the nonprofit Institute for Free Speech, said Congress should repeal the law establishing the fund and direct its money to the Treasury's general fund.  Cole plans to reintroduce a new bill targeting the presidential fund, he told Insider. And he's open to broadening where the $400 million might go."If the money were to be redirected somewhere other than pediatric-disease research, Alzheimer's research would certainly be a worthy cause," Cole said.Resist and reformCongressional Democrats this year made voting, ethics, and campaign-finance reform a chief priority, which is enshrined in bills known as HR 1 and S 1 — colloquially, the "For the People Act of 2021."A historically robust public financing system for federal elections is part of the For the People Act.But Senate Republicans filibustered the For the People Act, effectively killing it. Democrats then floated a similar, but slimmed-down bill called the "Freedom to Vote Act," which does not include strong public financing language.Supporters of publicly funded campaigns say this is no time to give up — or to give away $400 million that's already earmarked and available for the public financing of elections.The For the People Act "represents the boldest democracy reform since Watergate, and any funds currently available for the old system should be used for the new system of federal citizen-funded elections, which must pass so we can get big money out of politics," Beth Rotman, the director of money in politics and ethics for Common Cause, said prior to the bill's stall-out."Getting rid of the money at this point would send the wrong signal," said Meredith McGehee, the former executive director of the nonprofit group Issue One, a self-described "crosspartisan movement for political reform."The pro-Democrat organization End Citizens United, which takes its name from the Supreme Court's 2010 decision that unleashed gushers of new political money into elections, also backed keeping the cash in place."The existing presidential system was designed following Watergate for anti-corruption purposes," the group's spokesperson Bawadden Sayed said, "and we would be supportive of potentially using it for future anti-corruption purposes."Former President Barack Obama campaigns for Joe Biden in Atlanta on November 2.Elijah Nouvelage/AFP via Getty ImagesThanks, Obama?Public presidential-campaign funding wasn't always so derelict.From the late 1970s to the late '90s, the Presidential Election Campaign Fund enjoyed a heyday, distributing eight or nine figures of public money to candidates each election cycle.Supporters lauded the program as an elixir to big-money politics and a defense against corruption. Candidates from both parties routinely opted to use it. Doing so allowed them to spend less time fundraising and more time campaigning.And since both sides participated, neither side engaged in the kind of political money arms races emblematic of contemporary presidential elections.But the détente wouldn't last. Citing financial advantages, George W. Bush rejected public matching funds during the 2000 Republican presidential primary. Both Bush and eventual Democratic nominee John Kerry declined public funding in their 2004 presidential primaries. Come 2008, Democrat Barack Obama rendered the Presidential Election Campaign Fund functionally obsolete by becoming the first major-party presidential candidate in post-Watergate politics to reject public funding during a general presidential election. Obama even broke a campaign promise to do so — he previously said he'd use public funding. The future president knew he could privately raise and spend hundreds of millions of dollars more than the public program would afford him. Republican presidential nominee John McCain accepted public money — and lost.No Democratic or Republican presidential nominee has since used public funding. Only a smattering of minor-party and longshot Democratic-primary candidates have patronized the Presidential Election Campaign Fund, who drew about $3 million combined since the 2012 race.The fund didn't distribute a single dollar to any presidential candidate during the 2020 presidential election.It last provided funding to presidential nominating conventions in 2012, as Congress two years later passed, and Obama signed, a law that axed public funding of conventions.Congress siphoned tens of millions of dollars from the presidential fund that otherwise would have gone to party conventions to a pediatric-research fund — the same one that Cole, the Oklahoma congressman, wants to fill with the account's full balance.Until that or any other repurposing decision comes down, the FEC continues to spend taxpayer resources keeping the Presidential Election Campaign Fund alive.The agency's audit division has administrative, oversight, and enforcement responsibilities over the program, Judith Ingram, an FEC spokesperson, said. The independent, bipartisan FEC, which regulates and enforces the nation's campaign-finance laws, employs about 300 people. Its projected 2022 budget is about $76.5 million, meaning the balance of the Presidential Election Campaign Fund could theoretically fund the agency for a full five years.This article was originally published on July 13, 2021, and has since been updated to include new financial data and legislative developments.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Source:  businessinsiderCategory: top~13 hr. 44 min. ago Related News

CNN fires Chris Cuomo over his involvement in his brother Andrew"s sexual harassment scandal

New transcripts released by New York's attorney general brought more pressure on the younger Cuomo to face consequences for his involvement. Chris Cuomo.Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Turner CNN has fired the anchor Chris Cuomo, the news network announced Saturday evening. The younger Cuomo became ensnared in his brother Andrew's scandals before he resigned as NY governor. New transcripts from his deposition in the sexual harassment investigation showed his involvement was deeper than previously reported. CNN has fired Chris Cuomo amid revelations that the anchor used his media sources to help his brother, ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo, fight sexual harassment allegations.The news network suspended Chris and announced an investigation into his conduct on November 30, shortly after the New York Attorney General's office released transcripts showing the extent of Chris' efforts to defend his brother."We retained a respected law firm to conduct the review, and have terminated him, effective immediately," CNN said in a statement Saturday evening. "While in the process of that review, additional information has come to light. Despite the termination, we will investigate as appropriate."The network did not detail what new information had surfaced.In a statement of his own on Saturday, Chris said CNN's decision was "disappointing.""This is not how I want my time at CNN to end but I have already told you why and how I helped my brother," the statement said. "So let me now say as disappointing as this is, I could not be more proud of the team at Cuomo Prime Time and the work we did as CNN's #1 show in the most competitive time slot." Chris had previously apologized for coaching his brother through the sexual harassment scandal and effectively recused himself from covering one of the year's most explosive political stories.But the newly released transcripts indicated that Chris gone so far as to use his media sources to dig up information about a woman who accused his brother of sexual harassment.For instance, Chris wrote in one text message that he had "a lead on the wedding girl," referring to an accuser named Anna Ruch.Before Andrew resigned as governor in August, Ruch was the subject of a New York Times exposé from March detailing unwanted advances she said he made on her at a wedding.In a statement to Insider on November 29, a CNN spokesperson defended the anchor and denied that he dictated any of his brother's statements."The claim that Chris dictated his brother's statements is false," a representative for Warner Media told Insider in a statement. "There is no evidence of this in the exhibits or transcript. If you carefully read through the text messages in the exhibit, any mention of a statement was in response to it being made public."A graduate of The Albany Academy, Yale University, and the Fordham University School of Law, Cuomo started out appearing as a guest on cable and TV networks before landing his first full-time gig in the industry as a correspondent for Fox News. He was also the co-anchor of "Good Morning America" on ABC from 2006 until 2009.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Source:  businessinsiderCategory: top~13 hr. 44 min. ago Related News

Benzinga"s Bulls And Bears Of The Past Week: Ford, Zillow, Salesforce, Meta And More

Benzinga has examined the prospects for many investor favorite stocks over the past week. Last week's bullish calls included Chinese electric vehicle makers and a big three automaker. read more.....»»

Source:  benzingaCategory: blog~14 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

If You Had $1,000 Right Now, Would You Buy The Dip In Ethereum Classic, Shiba Inu, Litecoin Or Dogecoin?

Every week, Benzinga conducts a survey to collect sentiment on what traders are most excited about, interested in or thinking about as they manage and build their personal portfolios. read more.....»»

Source:  benzingaCategory: blog~14 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

Bitcoin Spikes Below $43K, Michaël van de Poppe Says Bitcoin Price Can Now Stabilize

On Saturday, the price of Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC)  spiked below $43,000, marking the biggest single-day drop since May, when it went down below $33,000.  read more.....»»

Source:  benzingaCategory: blog~14 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

If You Had $1,000 Right Now, Would You Buy The Dip In GameStop Or AMC?

Every week, Benzinga conducts a survey to collect sentiment on what traders are most excited about, interested in or thinking about as they manage and build their personal portfolios. A number of retail investor favorite, high short interest stocks were trading lower this week in sympathy with the broader market. read more.....»»

Source:  benzingaCategory: blog~14 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

CNN Fires Chris Cuomo Following Recent Suspension

CNN Fires Chris Cuomo Following Recent Suspension.....»»

Source:  nytCategory: world~15 hr. 12 min. ago Related News

Special Counsel Durham Found The E-Mails Fusion GPS Tried To Hide

Special Counsel Durham Found The E-Mails Fusion GPS Tried To Hide Authored by Techno Fog via The Reactionary, Back in May, we reported on the fight brewing in a DC federal court, where Fusion GPS and Glenn Simpson were trying to keep secret their internal correspondence and records relating to their role in pushing the Alfa Bank/Trump hoax. New court filings indicate Fusion GPS and Glenn Simpson improperly failed to disclose some of their most damning e-mails. Overview For background, the fight arises out of a lawsuit – Fridman, et al. (Alfa Bank) v. Bean LLC a/k/a Fusion GPS, and Glenn Simpson, where the owners of Alfa Bank have sued Fusion GPS and Simpson for falsely accusing “the Plaintiffs—and Alfa (“Alfa”), a consortium in which the Plaintiffs are investors—of criminal conduct and alleged cooperation with the ‘Kremlin’ to influence the 2016 presidential election.” The case was filed in October 2017. Litigation has been ongoing for over four years – with Alfa Bank still fighting to obtain written discovery from Fusion GPS that is material to its case. Our previous report had to do with that very discovery dispute. Back in May, Alfa Bank “filed a motion to compel, asking the Court to require Fusion GPS and Glenn Simpson to produce nearly 500 critically important documents improperly withheld as privileged.” (More background here.) These documents included e-mail correspondence within Fusion GPS regarding the “Alfa Playbook” and showed the early development of the Fusion GPS/Simpson work on Trump/Russia. One would assume this entails the early or emerging thought process of the “intelligence” group as they sought to falsely accuse the Trump campaign of colluding with Russia. In a later post from July 2021, we observed that records indicated Fusion GPS had been in contact with Michael Sussmann of Perkins Coie regarding Alfa Bank. More communications Fusion GPS is trying to keep secret. What nobody realized at the time, however, was the importance of these communications. Michael Sussmann – the DNC/Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer – would later face false statement charges and be basically accused of being part of a conspiracy to defraud the federal government with respect to the Trump/Alfa Bank allegations. The Latest Developments Today, the attorneys for Alfa Bank filed this their “Supplement to Plaintiffs’ Second Motion to Compel Defendants to Produce Documents Improperly Withheld as Privileged.” The motion was filed to inform the court that Fusion GPS and Glenn Simpson (and/or their attorneys) “possess numerous documents responsive to Plaintiffs’ RFPs [requests for production] that [Fusion/Simpson] neither produced nor included in their privilege log.” [Brief interlude: generally, the parties request and exchange documents in a federal civil case like this. A party can avoid producing documents where they claim a privilege – they just need to typically submit a “privilege log” to the other side. This doesn’t mean the privilege will ultimately prevail.] What does the latest filing by Alfa Bank reveal? Fusion GPS/Glenn Simpson (or their attorneys) failed to submit in the privilege log certain communications ultimately uncovered by Special Counsel John Durham. I’ll let the Alfa Bank motion explain: In other words, Fusion GPS/Simpson deliberately withheld the disclosure of these e-mails in their privilege log. The very e-mails that very likely point to a conspiracy to push the Alfa Bank/Trump hoax by Perkins Coie, Glenn Simpson, and Rodney Joffe (“Tech Executive-1” listed in the Sussmann complaint), et al. Once Alfa Bank discovered their misconduct, Fusion GPS/Simpson were quick to list these e-mails in their latest privilege log. An example: This is a serious non-disclosure by Fusion and Simpson (or their attorneys). The consequences could include sanctions (such as reimbursing Alfa Bank for having to file various motions to compel). Or the court could determine this to be an abuse of the discovery process and outright force Fusion GPS/Simpson to produce all e-mails they are currently withholding relating to Alfa Bank and Perkins Coie. From the outset of this dispute, we believed Fusion GPS and Glenn Simpson would be forced to produce to Alfa Bank nearly all e-mails it possesses relating to the Alfa Bank hoax. These latest developments reinforce that belief - and the belief that they’re fighting to keep secret e-mails that are extremely important to understand their role in deceiving the public in the Trump/Russia hoax. Tyler Durden Sat, 12/04/2021 - 13:37.....»»

Source:  nytCategory: personnel~15 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

Russia Scrambles Jets After US Spy Plane Dangerously Close To Passenger Flight From Israel

Russia Scrambles Jets After US Spy Plane Dangerously Close To Passenger Flight From Israel A passenger flight from Tel Aviv, Israel to Moscow, Russia was forced to rapidly change altitude to avoid a possible collision with a US spy plane over the Black Sea, Reuters reports Saturday based on Russia's Interfax news agency. The incident in question reportedly occurred the day prior. Reuters only identified that the incident was caused by a reconnaissance plane being present in the area, though stopped short of identifying which nation it belonged to. Russian media reports say it was a US spy plane, specifically citing "one of the two US spy planes that were spotted near Russian borders on the day." Russia's military later released video of its fighter jets intercepting what appears to be a US spy plane, such as has been seen in many other similar encounters over the Black Sea. Media reports further described the incident as due to the spy plane's "chaotic" and "dangerous" tactics.  "The Interfax source said air traffic control told the passenger plane to lower its course by 500 meters (1,640 feet)," Reuters said. "The news reports did not say which airline was operating the passenger plane, but Flightradar24 data showed that an Aeroflot flight from Tel Aviv to Moscow on Friday reduced its altitude for a short stretch over the Black Sea." Russia's defense ministry (MoD) subsequently said Su-27 and Su-30 fighters were scrambled to escort the US spy planes away from coming near Russian airspace.  The US aircraft were identified in the MoD statement as a Boeing RC-135V Rivet Joint and a Bombardier CL-600 Artemis, according to Russian media reports. Some outlets are claiming the spy plane and civilian plane came to within 20 meters of one another, but official sources have yet to confirm these reports. Reuters in its report noted additionally the "incident happened on Friday when a spy plane crossed a civilian flight path." Tyler Durden Sat, 12/04/2021 - 14:00.....»»

Source:  nytCategory: personnel~15 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

An FDA Official Demanded Google Censor A YouTube Video The Agency Didn"t Like

An FDA Official Demanded Google Censor A YouTube Video The Agency Didn"t Like.....»»

Source:  nytCategory: personnel~15 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

Elon Musk Says A SpaceX Bankruptcy Is "Not Impossible"

Elon Musk Says A SpaceX Bankruptcy Is "Not Impossible" Remember when Elon Musk joked about the potential for Tesla going bankrupt on April Fool's Day several years ago, right before the company's stock mysteriously rose ten-fold in the span of less than two years? Perhaps he is hoping for a repeat with SpaceX, because Musk is now openly discussing the probability of SpaceX going bankrupt, saying the scenario is "not impossible". Musk made the comment on Twitter, when discussing production problems earlier this week.   "If a severe global recession were to dry up capital availability / liquidity while SpaceX was losing billions on Starlink & Starship, then bankruptcy, while still unlikely, is not impossible," Musk wrote.  If a severe global recession were to dry up capital availability / liquidity while SpaceX was losing billions on Starlink & Starship, then bankruptcy, while still unlikely, is not impossible. GM & Chrysler went BK last recession. “Only the paranoid survive.” – Grove — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 30, 2021 Musk was responding to a report citing an alleged email from Musk to SpaceX employees, wherein Musk voiced "grave concerns about the Raptor engine used by its Starship craft," RT reported.  The leaked email reportedly says: “Unfortunately, the Raptor production crisis is much worse than it had seemed a few weeks ago...will need all hands on deck to recover from what is, quite frankly, a disaster.” Musk did not confirm or deny that the email was authentic. The email also apparently addressed the removal of SpaceX’s vice president of propulsion, Will Heltsley, from his job "due to a lack of progress". When asked later in the week how the "Raptor thing" was going, Musk responded, "It's getting fixed". By the way, are there SpaceX listed call options yet? Tyler Durden Sat, 12/04/2021 - 15:00.....»»

Source:  nytCategory: personnel~15 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

Kremlin Says Biden-Putin Talks Will Take Place Tuesday

Kremlin Says Biden-Putin Talks Will Take Place Tuesday.....»»

Source:  nytCategory: personnel~15 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

U.S. Ship Logjam Worsens As Biden"s Attempt To Save Christmas Fails

U.S. Ship Logjam Worsens As Biden's Attempt To Save Christmas Fails President Biden told Americans that the supply chain is in "very strong shape" ahead of Christmas. Speaking from the White House Wednesday, Biden said his administration has partnered with the private sector to "ensure the store shelves are stocked." But new shipping data shows snarled supply chains are worsening, and it could take months to untangle them.  New shipping data from the busiest U.S. port complex, Los Angeles and Long Beach, California, shows 96 container ships idled offshore, waiting to unload cargo. FreightWaves' Greg Miller described a new queuing system for vessels as pure optics, which reduces the number of ships offshore of Los Angeles/Long Beach. He said ships are being placed in holding patterns further out into the ocean where they're out of sight and out of mind -- to prevent attention-grabbing aerial imagery of container ship logjams. The new queuing system has divided vessels into a couple of categories: 40 ships anchored within 40 miles of the ports and 56 outside that perimeter. With the line continuing to get longer at the U.S.' largest containerized ports, the Biden miracle to save Christmas appears to be failing.   What's also worsening are wait times. It now takes 21 days, or three weeks, for a vessel to enter the twin ports, that's up from seven in August.  Biden's effort to reduce dwell times is not working, even after he announced a new directive for the twin ports in mid-October to operate on a 24/7 basis. We noted at the time, in a piece titled "Here's The Truth Behind Biden's 24/7 Port Operations Pledge," that the move would not save Christmas.  There's even more confirmation that disputes the president's claim supply chains are easing. FreightWaves' Clarissa Hawes said, "we are drowning on the landside by long lines and staffing issues at the terminals." She said a flawed appointment system and other efficiency issues for drayage truckers continue to plague the twin ports.  Biden's attempt to save Christmas appears to be failing. There's still time to call in the National Guard. At least now the administration can blame the new Omicron COVID-19 variant on why some store shelves are still bare.  Tyler Durden Sat, 12/04/2021 - 16:00.....»»

Source:  nytCategory: personnel~15 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

When Fiat Currency Stops Being Money

When Fiat Currency Stops Being Money Authored by Daniel Lacalle via The Mises Institute, Most emerging and developed market currencies have devalued significantly relative to the United States dollar in 2021 despite the Federal Reserve’s aggressive monetary policy. Furthermore, emerging economies that have benefitted from rising commodity prices have also seen their currencies weaken despite strong exports. As such, inflation in developing economies is much higher than the already elevated figures posted in the United States and the eurozone. The main reason behind this is a global currency debasement problem that is making citizens poorer. Most central banks globally are implementing the same expansionary policies of the European Central Bank and the Federal Reserve System but the results are disproportionately hurting the poor as inflation rises, particularly in essential goods and services, while fiscal and monetary imbalances are increasing. Many emerging economies have implemented a very dangerous policy of boosting twin deficits—fiscal and trade deficits—under the misguided idea that it will accelerate growth. Now growth and recovery estimates are coming down but monetary imbalances remain. Therefore, most currencies are falling relative to the US dollar. The policies implemented by global central banks are as aggressive or even more so than those of the Federal Reserve but without the global demand that the US dollar enjoys. If global nations with sovereign currencies continue to play this dangerous game, local and international demand for their currency will evaporate and dependence on the US dollar will rise. More importantly, if the Federal Reserve continues to put its global reserve status to the test, all fiat currencies may suffer a loss of confidence and a move to other alternatives. If the private sector does not accept this currency as a unit of measure, a generalized means of payment, and a store of value backed by reserves and demand from the mentioned private sector, the currency becomes worthless and ceases to be money. Ultimately, it becomes useless paper. Examples of state currencies that are neither a store of value nor a generally accepted means of payment are many. From the sucre in Ecuador, which disappeared, to the Argentine peso or the Venezuela bolivar, the examples in history are innumerable. In Cuba inflation is now estimated at 6,900 percent due to the lack of demand for a worthless currency with no real demand or reserves to back it. Once this sort of thing happens, the state does not create money, it simply issues a means of payment—the currency—using the credibility of private sector demand to issue its promissory note. Like a debt issuer who loses repayment credibility, the value of this promise fades if the currency does not have private backing. More importantly, the value of the currency and its use is not decided by the government. It is decided by the last private sector agent who accepts the promise of payment because they assume that it will maintain its value and its acceptance as a medium of payment. As such, when a government creates many more of these increasingly worthless promissory notes, far outstripping the real local and international demand, the effect is the same as a massive default. The government is simply impoverishing the citizens, who are forced to use the currency, and destroying the credibility of the value of the government’s promissory notes. When a state creates a currency without real reserve backing or demand, it destroys money. When the government issues currency—promises of payment—that are neither a store of value nor a generally accepted means of payment nor a unit of measure, it not only does not create money, it destroys it by sinking the purchasing power of the poor captive citizens, who are forced to accept its notes and little pieces of paper (government officials, pensioners, etc.). This is what we are seeing in many nations all over the world, a massive salary and savings slash created by government intervention on the monetary balance to its own benefit. Governments benefit from inflation because they pay their debt in a currency of diminishing value and they impose a cut to the price they pay for wages and the services of the sectors that provide service to the issuer of currency. Even in developed nations with relatively stable currencies, inflation is a big benefit for governments that collect higher revenues from the money-based taxes (wage, profit, and sales taxes) … and a big negative for savers and real wages. Some say that workers may benefit because wages will rise in tandem with inflation. This is simply incorrect. Wages, at best, may rise with the consumer price index, which is a very weak measure of inflation and is a basket created by government bodies to lower real inflation in an average of combined goods and services. However, even if you consider the consumer price index, the vast majority of workers do not even see a rise in wages that compensates for the index rise. That is why median real wages are falling in the United States. Those who say that the state can always “create money and spend it”—and only has to create the money it needs to finance the public sector because it will be accepted by the rest of the economic agents—should be obliged to receive their salaries in Argentine pesos and enjoy the experience. Tyler Durden Sat, 12/04/2021 - 16:30.....»»

Source:  nytCategory: personnel~15 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

​​​​​​​Wall Street Firms Tell Employees To "Dress Down" As Violent Crime Rages 

​​​​​​​Wall Street Firms Tell Employees To "Dress Down" As Violent Crime Rages  As New York City political elites brag about their "urban utopia," reality shows it's nothing like that. Rather a dystopia as defunding the police and other progressive policies have resulted in a surge of violent crime. The city saw its most significant year-over-year increase in shootings and homicides in more than half a century between 2019 and 2020. Violent crime continues to plague the city today, as top Wall Street firms tell their employees to "dress down" to avoid being targeted.  Outgoing Mayor Bill de Blasio's progressive policies doomed the city as successor, Mayor-elect Eric Adams, a former police officer and Brooklyn Borough President, is expected to deal with soaring violent crime.  At the Bank of America Tower in Midtown Manhattan, senior executives have told employees to "dress down" to avoid being targeted by thieves, according to NYPost, who quoted one bank employee who spoke with On The Money. Execs told employees to avoid wearing the bank's insignia on clothing as they commute to work.  Employees have been extra cautious about potential attacks after someone recently spotted a man wielding a knife near the office building. Bank of America is not the only financial firm in Midtown and Lower Manhattan to advise employees about surging crime and how they need to take precautions to avoid becoming a victim.  Citibank has offered employees private shuttles to avoid public transportation as violent crime becomes a significant problem. The city reported a 15% increase in felony assaults in November, compared with the same period last year. Another Wall Street source told On The Money the fear of being targeted on the commute home has "been a topic of conversation on the floor frequently over the last few months." "Some people I work with have been accosted … I'd say it's becoming frequent, if not common," the source said. "There's probably a dozen incidents that I saw, or have been involved in," the person said — mostly verbal, but some physical, the person said. According to Kastle Systems today, whose electronic access systems secure office buildings in the metro area, only 28% of NYC employees are back in the office compared with 35% last month. The decline is due to the spread of the new COVID-19 variant.  Rising violent crime in the metro area could be the golden opportunity for some employees who've returned to the office but want to return to remote working status. Their excuse is that commuting to work is a life-or-death situation.  It's not just Wall Street bankers frightened about being targeted. College students are on alert after a Columbia University student was stabbed to death on Thursday.  Columbia University Student Dies in Stabbing Near Campus New York is back.... 1970s New York — zerohedge (@zerohedge) December 3, 2021 NYC is becoming a liberal hellhole where violent crime will only worsen under progressive policies. For bankers who want to dress down, try incorporating the 'homeless' clothing line sold by elite clothing brands (Gucci makes $900 pair of sneakers that look like someone pulled them out of a garbage can).  Tyler Durden Sat, 12/04/2021 - 17:00.....»»

Source:  nytCategory: personnel~15 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

: Stressed about market volatility and want to change your investments? Do these 5 tasks instead

During a downturn is not usually the best time to make changes to your investment portfolio.....»»

Source:  marketwatchCategory: top~15 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

International Living: These are the top 3 places to invest in real estate today

Investing in overseas real estate means you can have the life you want and live in and own homes that make money......»»

Source:  marketwatchCategory: top~15 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

Outside the Box: The quick and easy way to lose your life savings

There are an endless number of companies and people intent on separating us from our money.....»»

Source:  marketwatchCategory: top~15 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

Routing Number for Wells Fargo : Everything You Need To Know

Routing Number for Wells Fargo : Everything You Need To Know.....»»

Source:  valuewalkCategory: blog~15 hr. 44 min. ago Related News

Wisconsin"s governor vetoed 5 Republican anti-abortion bills in a single day after conservative Supreme Court justices seemed willing to overturn Roe v. Wade

"I will veto any legislation that turns back the clock on reproductive rights in this state—and that's a promise," Gov. Tony Evers said. Protesters, demonstrators and activists gather in front of the U.S. Supreme Court as the justices hear arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health, a case about a Mississippi law that bans most abortions after 15 weeks, on December 01, 2021.Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, vetoed five anti-abortion bills on Friday. The bills had been supported and passed by the Republican-led state legislature. The vetoes came just two days after the conservative US Supreme Court justices heard arguments in a case that could overturn Roe v. Wade. Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers on Friday vetoed five separate pieces of anti-abortion legislation passed by the state's GOP-led state legislature. "I've said it before, and I'll say it again today: as long as I'm governor, I will veto any legislation that turns back the clock on reproductive rights in this state—and that's a promise," Evers, a Democrat who has served as governor since 2019, said Friday in a tweet.Republicans in the state legislature do not hold the votes to overturn Evers' vetoes, according to a report from the Associated Press.One of the bills, which Evers previously vetoed in 2019, would impose criminal penalties — up to six years in prison — should an abortion provider fail to provide critical medical care in the case an aborted fetus is born alive. This is extremely rare, according to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There were 143 of these cases nationwide between 2003 and 2014, according to the CDC, and doctors say the bill sets out to solve a problem that doesn't exist, since they're already ethically and legally required to care for any babies born under such circumstances, according to the AP.—Governor Tony Evers (@GovEvers) December 3, 2021 Evers also rejected a bill that would require medical providers to provide information to parents of fetuses or embryos that test positive for a congenital condition, the AP reported. Another bill that Evers rejected would've prohibited a pregnant person from seeking an abortion on the basis of sex, race, or national origin.Another vetoed bill would've reduced state funding to abortion providers by prohibiting the state from classifying them as a Medicaid provider, and Evers vetoed an additional bill that would've required an abortion provider tell a patient it was possible to reverse a medication-induced abortion after taking the first dose, according to the report.According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, such claims are not supported by science and are "unethical." The numerous vetoes in Wisconsin came Friday, just two days after the US Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case that could overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision that has safeguarded abortion access in the US for decades. The case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, focuses on a 2018 Mississippi law banning abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, Insider's Oma Seddiq reported. The conservative justices on the court appeared open to throwing out Roe v. Wade during oral arguments Wednesday.With a conservative majority on the court secured under former President Donald Trump, Republican-led state legislatures across the US this year targeted abortion access. An all-out ban on abortion after six weeks in Texas was allowed to take effect in September after the Supreme Court declined to stop it.The Texas law incentivizes Texans to sue fellow other residents involved in abortion care performed after 6 weeks of pregnancy, and it does not include exceptions for rape or incest, as Insider previously reported. Other states, including Ohio, have proposed similar measures.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Source:  businessinsiderCategory: top~15 hr. 44 min. ago Related News

Trump"s digital media venture says it has lined up $1 billion from investors for his forthcoming social media platform, TRUTH Social

Trump said in a statement on Saturday that the investment will put his company "in a stronger position to fight back against the tyranny of Big Tech." Former President Donald Trump.Sean Rayford/Getty Images Donald Trump's new media venture and its SPAC partner says they have $1 billion in capital pledged by institutional investors. The funding will support his forthcoming social media site, TRUTH Social, slated to launch in 2022.  "America is ready for TRUTH Social, a platform that will not discriminate on the basis of political ideology," Trump said in a statement.  Former President Donald Trump's forthcoming digital media platform and its SPAC partner says they have entered into subscription agreements to raise an estimated $1 billion from investors. Trump Media & Technology Group Corp. (TMTG) and Digital World Acquisition Corp. (DWAC), a special purpose acquisition company, announced on Saturday that the two companies reached a deal to fund Trump's new social media website, TRUTH Social. TMTG has formerly described aspirations for the site and accompanying app to serve as "a conservative media universe" with "non-woke content." The deal — which sources first told Reuters was in progress earlier this week — will provide estimated proceeds of $1.25 billion to TRUTH Social, according to a press release. While the identity of the investors remains unknown, the funding will function as "PIPE" investments, or private investments in public equity.Trump said in a statement on Saturday that the investment will put his company "in a stronger position to fight back against the tyranny of Big Tech." "$1 billion sends an important message to Big Tech that censorship and political discrimination must end," Trump said in a statement. "America is ready for TRUTH Social, a platform that will not discriminate on the basis of political ideology." TMTG said in October that the site and accompanying app is expected to launch in early 2022, following an invite-only beta trial in November. However, CNBC reported on Wednesday that TRUTH Social may have missed its November deadline, as the company has yet to make an official announcement of a beta rollout.In a pitch deck for TRUTH Social, TMTG stated that it aimed to "create a media powerhouse to rival the liberal media consortium and fight back against the 'Big Tech' companies of Silicon Valley who have used their unilateral power to silence opposing voices in America." Trump's announcement of the platform came after the former president was permanently banned from several major social media sites for policy violations earlier this year, including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Source:  businessinsiderCategory: top~15 hr. 44 min. ago Related News

Colorado restaurant group is the latest to add surcharges to bills to offset inflation

To offset additional costs such as increasing wages and adding COVID protocols, restaurants have been adding fees to make ends meet. FRED TANNEAU/AFP/GettyImages More restaurants are adding fees and surcharges to customers' bills as the pandemic and supply chain crisis stretches on. To offset additional costs such as increasing wages and COVID protocols, restaurants are using fees to try and make ends meet. Choice Restaurant Concepts, a restaurant group in Colorado Springs, Colorado, blames inflation for having to add a new surcharge at its five area eating establishments. As the coronavirus pandemic stretches on, more restaurants are adding surcharges and fees at the bottom of their bills, passing on rising costs to consumers when dining out.Typically, restaurateurs get their income from pre-tax and tip meal totals which cover the costs of operating their business. To offset additional costs such as increasing wages, adding COVID protocols, rising costs caused by the pandemic, some restaurants have been adding fees to try to make ends meet.Choice Restaurant Concepts, a restaurant group in Colorado Springs, Colorado, blames inflation for having to add a new surcharge at its five area eating establishments."Rather than raise prices throughout the company, we decided to charge a 5% fee to off set the current cost differences," Choice Restaurant Concepts states on their website. "The reason that we chose this route was because it allows YOU the consumer to hold us accountable for when we remove it."The restaurant group promised their customers that the surcharge caused by the "temporary inflated economy" will not be a long-term solution and hope to have it removed sometime in 2022, according to the statement.The group's general manager, Travis Blaney, said the company is prepared to adjust the inflation surcharge as they go, according to local Colorado news station KRDO. In a majority of US states, it is legal for businesses to add on surcharges, but they must be disclosed to consumers.  Diners who encounter a COVID-19-related surcharge or fee that wasn't properly disclosed can ask for the charge to be removed or can file a complaint with a local regulator.Restaurant customers have expressed they are selective about which surcharges they will pay, and can feel as though they're being blindsided with extra fees after their meal, an October article from OpenTable found.The skyrocketing cost of food due to supply chain bottlenecks has caused some restaurants across the US to implement fees and surcharges or completely remove menu items that are too expensive to prepare. Restaurant owner Douglas Kim of Jeju Noodle Bar in New York City told Grub Street that he had to take a popular chicken wing appetizer off the menu when the cost of wings increased in August to $5 per pound."It's a lose-lose situation," Kim said. "If I sell chicken wings for $24, people will think I'm crazy."Kim also added a 5 percent surcharge to his menu to help with additional costs, according to Grub Street.Restauranteur Geoff Tracy of Washington DC's Chef Geoff's Restaurant Group has chosen not to add a surcharge because it can be confusing to the customer, he told DC-area radio station WTOP.However, Tracy plans on raising menu prices at his restaurants in 2022, he said."Ultimately, the consumer has to accept the fact that prices are going up because the cost of the products we are selling them is going up," Tracy told WTOP.The general consensus amongst experts is that for these pandemic-era charges and fees to succeed, restaurants need to be transparent and communicate additional costs with their customers.  Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Source:  businessinsiderCategory: top~15 hr. 44 min. ago Related News

Saturday links: efficiency and capacity

On Saturdays we catch up with the non-finance related items that we didn’t get to earlier in the week. You can check... AutosNissan is investing big to make the switch to EVs. ( magnetic roads could be used to charge EVs in transit. ( U.S. is the world's biggest contributor to plastic waste. ( Arctic precipitation will switch from snow to rain over time. ( transportation departments are slowly coming to terms with the effects of climate change on infrastructure. ( policy doesn't work any more in the U.S. ( Bradford pear tree is just awful. ( are planning to drill into Antarctic ice to obtain a record of Earth's climate stretching back 1.5 million years. ( have found a 'dog-sized dinosaur species that had a unique slashing tail weapon.' ( barnacles know about whales. ( have found a piece of jewelry from 41,500 years ago. ( 13-year-old in England just found a bronze age axe. ( and Kate McKay, "Challenging cognitive distortions is a skill that takes practice to develop." ( people gravitate toward puzzles when we are depressed. ( the difference between detachment and non-attachment. ( tricks to help tamp down on imposter syndrome. ( we fall for scams. ( are the new pandas. ( it might be better for older dogs to eat just once a day. ( Americans are smoking pot. What are the health effects? ( the use of hemp to create sustainable building materials. ( Vermont became a hub for saffron. ( learned from eating in nearly 8000 Chinese restaurants. ( younger Americans are less interested in sports that previous generations. ( at sporting events is not back to pre-pandemic levels. ( football coaches start making $10 million a year it may be time to rethink the college athletics model. ( in amateur boxing is associated with a greater risk of dementia later in life. ( 100 best songs of 2021 including "Be Sweet" by Japanese Breakfast. ( 50 best albums of 2021 including 'Dark in Here' by The Mountain Goats. ( showsThe best TV shows of 2021 including 'White Lotus.' ( critics' best shows of 2021 including 'Succession.' ( 30 best shows of 2021 including 'Only Murders in the Building.' ( 14 best shows of 2021 including 'Hacks.' ( 10 best movies of 2021 including 'The Power of the Dog.' ( Cowen's favorite movies of 2021 including 'The Dig.' ( 25 best movies of 2021 including 'CODA.' ( 21 most underrated movies of 2021 including 'Test Pattern.' ( on Abnormal ReturnsCoronavirus links: the case for boosters. ( you missed in our Friday linkfest. ( links: the new world of work. ( ESG links: emissions incentives. ( you a financial adviser looking for some out-of-the-box thinking? Then check out our weekly e-mail newsletter. ( mediaSmall businesses are having to make big bets on inventory this holiday season. ( distillers are cheering the removal of EU tariffs. ( are purging their closets amidst the pandemic. (»»

Source:  abnormalreturnsCategory: blog~16 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

EV Week In Review: Industry Sinks With Broader Market, Musk Hints At Earnings Call Appearance, Nio"s Deliveries Rebound, Toyota Teams Up With Buffett-Backed BYD

EV stocks were swathed in a sea of red in the week ending Dec. 3, with the Omicron variant threat and fears concerning a potential delisting of Chinese EV makers responsible for much of the weakness. The sell-off in the U.S.-listed Chinese EV stocks came despite the companies churning out encouraging November delivery numbers. read more.....»»

Source:  benzingaCategory: blog~16 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

Forget Naysayers, Cathie Wood"s ARK Invest Bulks Up On DocuSign After Friday"s Bloodbath

Shares of San Francisco-based DocuSign, Inc. read more.....»»

Source:  benzingaCategory: blog~16 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

Mark Zuckerberg"s Sister Randi Says Dogecoin Killer Shiba Inu Has Become Mainstream

In a recent video Randi Zuckerberg, the sister of Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Meta Platforms Inc (NASDAQ: FB), pointed out the sudden flourishing of meme coins in the crypto market.  read more.....»»

Source:  benzingaCategory: blog~16 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

10 Weirdest Beatles Covers Of All Time

Ever since the three-part documentary "The Beatles: Get Back" premiered on The Walt Disney Co.'s (NYSE: DIS) Disney+ streaming service, there has been an intense new focus on the Fab Four, with fans absorbing never-before-seen footage of the band in recording sessions and in their legendary final read more.....»»

Source:  benzingaCategory: blog~16 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

Someone Just Sent $802M In Bitcoin To An Anonymous Wallet

What happened: $802,588,853 worth of Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC) was just moved between 2 anonymous cryptocurrency wallets in a single transaction. This mysterious person's bitcoin wallet address has been identified as: bc1qxz25z5z3rw7a8thk8exaarce74qyx77cjw6h8s read more.....»»

Source:  benzingaCategory: blog~16 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

Crypto Whale Just Moved $56M Worth Of Ethereum (ETH) Off Gemini

What happened: An Ethereum (CRYPTO: ETH) whale sent $56,847,363 worth of Ethereum off Gemini today. The ETH address associated with this transaction has been identified as: 0xea3ec2a08fee18ff4798c2d4725ded433d94151d read more.....»»

Source:  benzingaCategory: blog~16 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT Sold For 90 ETH

The Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) is an exclusive community for holders of the ape and mutant themed NFT collections on Ethereum's blockchain. Commonly referred to as the Bored Apes, only 10,000 generative art pieces will ever be in existence. read more.....»»

Source:  benzingaCategory: blog~16 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

3 Reasons Why Bitcoin And Rest Of The Crypto Bunch Are In A Freefall

It was a "bloody Saturday" for Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC) and the altcoins, with selling continuing unabated cutting across the cryptoverse. read more.....»»

Source:  benzingaCategory: blog~16 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

Elon Musk"s Wealth Declines By $15B As Tech Stocks Plunge

The stock market saw an overall plunge on Friday after a discouraging November jobs report coupled with Covid Omicron variant concerns.  Technology stocks were among the most notable losers on Friday as Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) fell 6.4%.  read more.....»»

Source:  benzingaCategory: blog~16 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

After Kraken Listing, Robinhood Under Pressure To Add Shiba Inu: Will The Trading App Yield?

Meme cryptocurrency Shiba Inu (CRYPTO: SHIB) has a loyal following, which does not think twice about springing to support the dog-themed meme currency. read more.....»»

Source:  benzingaCategory: blog~16 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

Activision Blizzard lays off ‘Call of Duty’ contractors

About a third of Raven Software's quality assurance testers have been informed they are laid off......»»

Source:  washpostCategory: top~16 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

Laster Tech January-September shipments meet 50-60% of orders due to component shortage

LED automotive lighting module maker Laster Tech had shipments in the first three quarters of 2021 fulfilling only 50-60% of the corresponding orders due to the short supply of semiconductor components, according to the company......»»

Source:  digitimesCategory: top~17 hr. 43 min. ago Related News

TSEC raises US$22 million via private placement

Solar cell and PV module maker TSEC has raised funds of NT$615.0 million (US$22.04 million) through issuing 25.895 million preferred shares at NT$23.75 per share for private placement, with the Taiwan government's National Development Fund subscribing for 31.71% of the preferred shares and a new shareholder of TSEC 68.29%, according to TSEC......»»

Source:  digitimesCategory: top~17 hr. 43 min. ago Related News

Micron seeking 28nm process capacity support from UMC

Micron Technology's recently-unveiled deal with pure-play foundry United Microelectronics (UMC) is to secure sufficient 28nm fab capacity for its eMMC device controller suppliers, such as Phison Electronics, according to industry sources......»»

Source:  digitimesCategory: top~17 hr. 43 min. ago Related News

SiFive unveils new RISC-V processor P650

SiFive has announced the availability of its P650 processor, a new addition to its Performance family, which it said is expected to be the fastest licensable RISC-V processor IP core in the market. The SiFive Performance P650 will enable RISC-V designs for performance-demanding application processor markets from data center to edge, automotive, compute, mobile and more, it added......»»

Source:  digitimesCategory: top~17 hr. 43 min. ago Related News

PCB maker TLB to build factory in Vietnam in 2022

South Korean PCB maker is setting up a subsidiary in Vietnam this year and building its first manufacturing facility outside Korea, according to The Elec......»»

Source:  digitimesCategory: top~17 hr. 43 min. ago Related News

FCCL maker Taiflex to invest over NT$2 billion in capacity expansion

Taiwan's FCCL specialist Taiflex Scientific has disclosed plans to invest more than NT$2 billion (US$72 million) in expanding production capacities at its plants in China and Taiwan over the next two years......»»

Source:  digitimesCategory: top~17 hr. 43 min. ago Related News

ASE obtains major orders for new Qualcomm mobile SoC

Taiwan's leading backend house ASE Technology and its affiliate Siliconware Precision Industries (SPIL) have obtained major orders for processing Qualcomm's just-unveiled flagship mobile SoC, according to industry sources......»»

Source:  digitimesCategory: top~17 hr. 43 min. ago Related News

Supply chain braces for impacts from China"s dual carbon goal

Countries around the world have all set their goals for a more sustainable future with fewer carbon emissions. Denmark, Sweden, France, the UK, Hungary, and New Zealand have set their carbon neutrality goals in law and are aiming to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to net-zero between 2045 and 2050......»»

Source:  digitimesCategory: top~17 hr. 43 min. ago Related News

Qualcomm to diversify foundry sources for flagship SoCs

Unsatisfactory manufacturing yield rates for Samsung's 4nm process technology are prompting Qualcomm to diversify its foundry sources for high-end Snapdragon SoCs, industry sources believe......»»

Source:  digitimesCategory: top~17 hr. 43 min. ago Related News

Vehicle-as-a-service platform optimizes fleet management and EV adoption: Interview with Autofleet

The rise of "mobility-as-a-service" or "vehicle-as-a-service," such as car rental services, car sharing, or ridesharing services, not only provides people with more alternative ways of commuting but also drives the transformation of fleet management companies and operators to optimize the fleet operation and EV adoption......»»

Source:  digitimesCategory: top~17 hr. 43 min. ago Related News

Intel executives soon to visit TSMC for 3nm

High-level executives of Intel will pay a visit to Taiwan in mid-December and meet TSMC to discuss the US vendor's demanded 3nm chip capacity, according to industry sources......»»

Source:  digitimesCategory: top~17 hr. 43 min. ago Related News

MTS maker Ko Ja sees strong demand for commercial, gaming notebooks in 2022

Demand for notebooks, particularly business and gaming models, will remain robust in 2022, and the overall notebook market is expected to register a slight growth, according to Ko Ja, a Taiwan-based maker of membrane touch switches (MTS) mainly used in notebook keyboards......»»

Source:  digitimesCategory: top~17 hr. 43 min. ago Related News

Industry watch: What I have learned from Acer founder Stan Shih

Acer founder Stan Shih founder has been engaged in the IT industry for 50 years. That's not easy. He deserves our respect not because he is a senior industrial leader but because he has been always optimistic and enthusiastic. I often ask for his advice which always tends to be positive thinking. Rarely have I heard him say, "No chance"!.....»»

Source:  digitimesCategory: top~17 hr. 43 min. ago Related News

Qisda expects medical care revenues to grow 30% in 2022

Qisda expects 2021 sales from medical care products made by affiliated BenQ Group and outside partners to increase 37% on year and to rise another 30% in 2022 thanks to new clients and products to be launched, according to company vice president Harry Yang for Medical Devices and Products Group......»»

Source:  digitimesCategory: top~17 hr. 43 min. ago Related News

AUO Display Plus showcasing smart medical care solutions at Healthcare Expo Taiwan 2021

AUO Display Plus, a subsidiary of AUO specializing in commercial and industrial display solutions, is showcasing eight smart medical care solutions applied to surgical operation theaters, medical inspection and medical care management with medical display technology as a core at the Healthcare Expo Taiwan 2021 taking place in Taipei during December 2-5......»»

Source:  digitimesCategory: top~17 hr. 43 min. ago Related News

Taiwan ranked largest semiconductor equipment market in 3Q21

Worldwide semiconductor equipment billings increased 8% sequentially and a robust 38% on year to US$26.8 billion in the third quarter of 2021, according to SEMI. The quarter also marked the fifth consecutive quarter of record-high billings......»»

Source:  digitimesCategory: top~17 hr. 43 min. ago Related News

Japan investments in Vietnam surge 90% in first ten months of 2021

In the first ten months of 2021, Japanese firms invested a total of US$3.4 billion in Vietnam, 90% higher than the amount of the same period of the previous year, according to Vietnamnet. Up to 150 investment projects by Japanese firms were approved in Vietnam during the period. Registered capital skyrocketed by nearly US$2 billion to US$2.43 billion......»»

Source:  digitimesCategory: top~17 hr. 43 min. ago Related News

Asustek ranks as most valuable brand in Taiwan

Taiwan-based PC vendor Asustek Computer is the most valuable brand in the country this year as it takes top place in the 2021 Best Taiwan Global Brands survey conducted by the Taiwan Institution for Economic Research commissioned by the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA)......»»

Source:  digitimesCategory: top~17 hr. 43 min. ago Related News

Highlights of the day: Chipmakers having growing demand for foundry services

Qualcomm, seeing Samsung 4nm process' weak yield rate, is likely to diversify its foundry sources for high-end Snapdragon SoCs to several different foundries, while Intel is set to visit TSMC in Taiwan to strive for any available 3nm capacity from the foundry. Micron is also seeking more 28nm foundry support from UMC for its eMMC device controller suppliers......»»

Source:  digitimesCategory: top~17 hr. 43 min. ago Related News

Addionics 3D-structured battery may achieve 2x higher energy capacity

The range and charging time of batteries are the major concerns of electric vehicle users and a critical bottleneck for the EV industry. The Israel-based startup, Addionics, is developing a 3D-structured battery that could solve all pains......»»

Source:  digitimesCategory: top~17 hr. 43 min. ago Related News

Food Delivery and Ride Hailing Apps Will Have to Shell Out Billions Under an E.U. Plan

As many as 4.1 million people working for the apps could be reclassified as employees, costing the sector billions more a year As many as 4.1 million people working through food delivery and ride-hailing apps could be reclassified as employees under a forthcoming European Union plan meant to improve gig workers’ labor rights. The draft proposal, seen by Bloomberg News, could cost the sector up to 4.5 billion euros ($5.1 billion) more a year, the EU estimates. It would likely give millions more workers for companies like Uber Technologies Inc., Deliveroo PLC and Bolt Technology OU access to minimum-wage and legal protections. Another 3.8 million workers would receive confirmation they are self-employed. Shares in Deliveroo fell as much as 5.6% in early trading on Friday, while Delivery Hero SE fell 2.7%. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] Digital platforms are pushing against the commission’s proposal, which they claim would lead to massive job losses. Earlier this year, Spain classified food delivery workers as couriers, prompting Deliveroo to pull out of the country and other food delivery apps to reduce their operations. In a risk assessment, the European Commission wrote that it wasn’t possible to calculate potential job losses and that the rule changes may “negatively affect” workers’ flexibility. The rules are also likely to increase the cost of delivery and rider apps, as the EU executive noted that “consumers may be faced” with part of the platforms’ increased costs. The bloc’s executive arm said the proposals were assessed to be the most effective way to improve conditions for workers and help them access social protections. Member states could see some 4 billion euros in increased tax and social security contributions annually. Under the proposed rules, which are expected to be made public next week, any worker whose job is controlled by a digital platform can presume that they are an employee regardless of what they are called in their contract. Digital platforms would have the legal obligation to prove that the worker isn’t an employee. The rules would affect operations that meet two of five criteria: determining pay for workers, setting appearance and conduct standards, supervising the quality of work, restricting the ability to accept or refuse tasks, or limiting the ability to build a client base. The commission will present its proposal next week and will still need to garner support from EU countries and the European Parliament before becoming law......»»

Source:  timeCategory: top~17 hr. 43 min. ago Related News

Brand Report: Canadian Real Estate Prices Expected to Rise 9.2% in 2022

RE/MAX is anticipating steady price growth across the Canadian real estate market in 2022, with inter-provincial migration continuing to be a key driver of housing activity in many regions, based on surveys of RE/MAX brokers and agents, as reflected in the 2022 Canadian Housing Market Outlook Report. Key findings: Migration between provinces expected to continue […] The post Brand Report: Canadian Real Estate Prices Expected to Rise 9.2% in 2022 appeared first on RISMedia. RE/MAX is anticipating steady price growth across the Canadian real estate market in 2022, with inter-provincial migration continuing to be a key driver of housing activity in many regions, based on surveys of RE/MAX brokers and agents, as reflected in the 2022 Canadian Housing Market Outlook Report. Key findings: Migration between provinces expected to continue in 2022, potentially impacting local Canadian real estate conditions, according to 53% of RE/MAX brokers (20 out of 38) Forty-nine percent of Canadians believe the housing market will remain steady in 2022 and view real estate as one of the best investment options over the next year Some of the highest outlooks are anticipated for Atlantic Canada, with Moncton and Halifax projecting average residential sales prices to increase by 20% and 16%, respectively, in 2022 Ninety-five percent of regions (36 out of 38) surveyed are likely to remain seller’s markets in 2022 The ongoing housing supply shortage is likely to continue, putting upward pressure on prices. As a result of these factors, RE/MAX Canada estimates a 9.2% increase in average residential sales prices across the country. “Based on feedback from our brokers and agents, the inter-provincial relocation trend that we began to see in the summer of 2020 still remains very strong and is expected to continue into 2022,” said Christopher Alexander, president, RE/MAX Canada, for the report. “Less-dense cities and neighborhoods offer buyers the prospect of greater affordability, along with livability factors such as more space. In order for these regions to retain these appealing qualities and their relative market balance, housing supply needs to be added. Without more homes and in the face of rising demand, there’s potential for conditions in these regions to shift further.” Despite the global pandemic, many Canadians still feel confident in the real estate market. According to a Leger survey conducted on behalf of RE/MAX Canada, 49% of respondents believe Canadian real estate will remain one of their best investment options in 2022 (59% of homeowners vs. 34% non-homeowners which included renters, those not looking buy, and those currently looking to purchase). Additionally, 49% of respondents are confident the Canadian real estate market will remain steady next year. “Canadians recognize the value and investment potential in their homes. However, market challenges such as rising prices and limited supply have impacted local markets from coast-to-coast, causing angst this past year among those looking to get into the market and those hoping to move up in it,” said Elton Ash, executive vice president, RE/MAX Canada, in the report. “Despite this, it’s encouraging to see that many are feeling confident in the housing market in 2022 and view Canadian real estate as a solid investment.” For more information, please visit The post Brand Report: Canadian Real Estate Prices Expected to Rise 9.2% in 2022 appeared first on RISMedia......»»

Source:  rismediaCategory: realestate~17 hr. 43 min. ago Related News

New Mortgages Fall, Sparking Fears of Market Slowdown

A significant drop in mortgage originations for the second consecutive quarter has industry insiders worried, as borrowers appear to be shying away from both refinance and new purchase lending in what is traditionally a peak season, according to a new report from ATTOM Data Solutions. After dropping 3% in the second quarter of 2021, new […] The post New Mortgages Fall, Sparking Fears of Market Slowdown appeared first on RISMedia. A significant drop in mortgage originations for the second consecutive quarter has industry insiders worried, as borrowers appear to be shying away from both refinance and new purchase lending in what is traditionally a peak season, according to a new report from ATTOM Data Solutions. After dropping 3% in the second quarter of 2021, new mortgage originations fell an alarming 8% overall in Q3 this year. This is the first time in more than two years the industry has seen consecutive quarterly decreases, and this marks the largest single quarter drop in a year. It was also the first time in two decades that mortgages have fallen in both Q2 and Q3 during a single year, which are usually the most popular times to buy a home. “It’s still too early to say if the trends point to major shifts in lending patterns or the broader housing market boom,” said Todd Teta, chief product officer at ATTOM, in a statement. “But the drop-off is significant, especially for home-buying, which could suggest an impending housing market slowdown.” New Borrows Dissipate Perhaps most dramatic was the drop-off in new purchase loans. While refinance loans declined 13%, that was in line with a 15% decline in Q2; this shows that many savvy homeowners have already taken advantage of staggeringly low interest rates. New mortgage originations were actually up significantly in Q2—22% over Q1 of 2021 and a 52% increase over the second quarter of last year. In Q3 of this year, however, new mortgages actually fell 2% from last quarter—still up 17% from Q3 of 2020 but a dramatic reversal of trends so far this year as a red-hot market for homes had consumers scrambling for loans. Teta added the second consecutive quarter with a drop in refinances seemed to confirm many analysts’ conclusions that homeowners no longer have the “voracious appetite” they did early in 2021 to lower their rate—though even that remains uncertain. “We will be watching the lending trends extra closely in the coming months,” he said. The Numbers The total dollar volume of loans also fell this quarter according to the ATTOM data, down 6% from last quarter to $1.15 trillion. Refinances also shrank as an overall proportion of loans, down to 55% from 59% last quarter. The number of home equity loans were up overall 2% this quarter, after rising more than 17% last quarter. This is the first time since 2019 the industry has seen two consecutive quarterly increases in home equity originations. The median down payment amount continued to rise, reaching another high point dating back to 2005. Borrowers put an average of $27,000 down on their homes, up almost 6% from last quarter and 41% over Q3 2020. Jesse Williams is RISMedia’s associate online editor. Email him your real estate news ideas to The post New Mortgages Fall, Sparking Fears of Market Slowdown appeared first on RISMedia......»»

Source:  rismediaCategory: realestate~17 hr. 43 min. ago Related News

Headliners Week of 11/28 – 12/4

RISMedia Vice President of Online Editorial Beth McGuire delivers this week's Headliners, a video recap of the week's top stories in real estate. The post Headliners Week of 11/28 – 12/4 appeared first on RISMedia. News Catch Up on This Week's Biggest Stories /wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Headliners_120421_OPT.mp4 RISMedia Vice President of Online Editorial Beth McGuire delivers this week's Headliners, a video recap of the week's top stories in real estate. Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Read This Week's Top Stories Permanent Living Transforms Resort Towns, Vacation Homes By Jesse Williams  December 2, 2021 They say if you love what you do, you won’t work a day in your life. But what if you... Read more Year-End Outlook: Price Growth to Cool as Affordability Challenges Persist By Jordan Grice  December 2, 2021 Editor’s Note: RISMedia’s Year-End Outlook series provides an in-depth analysis of the housing market’s leading indicators for economic health, and... Read more Shorewest, REALTORS® Celebrates 75 Years of Relationship Building By Liz Dominguez  November 29, 2021 Organizations that have been part of the fold of real estate for several decades understand how the tides change, bringing... 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Previous Headliners Headliners Week of 11/14 – 11/20 By Brit Owen December 3, 2021 RISMedia Executive Editor Maria Patterson delivers this week's Headliners, a video recap of the week's top stories in real estate.... Read more Headliners Week of 10/31 – 11/6 By Brit Owen November 6, 2021 RISMedia Associate Online Editor Jesse Williams breaks down this week in news for ‘Headliners.’ In focus: Zillow drops out of... Read more Headliners Week of 10/24 – 10/30 By Brit Owen October 30, 2021 RISMedia Associate Online Editor Jordan Grice delivers this week’s ‘Headliners,’ a video recap of the week’s top stories in real... Read more Headliners Week of 10/17 – 10/23 By Kevin Kirwan October 29, 2021 RISMedia Managing Editor Paige Tepping delivers this week’s ‘Headliners,’ a video recap of the week’s top stories in real estate.... Read more Headliners Week of 10/10 – 10/16 By Kevin Kirwan October 22, 2021 RISMedia Content Editor Paige Brown delivers this week’s ‘Headliners,’ a video recap of the week’s top stories in real estate.... Read more Headliners Week of 9/26 – 10/2 By Kevin Kirwan October 30, 2021 RISMedia Senior Online Editor Liz Dominguez delivers this week's Headliners, which provides an overview of the week's most significant market... Read more Headliners Week of 10/3 – 10/9 By Kevin Kirwan November 5, 2021 RISMedia Blog/Social Media Editor Jameson Doris, delivers this week’s ‘Headliners,’ a video recap of the week’s top stories in real... Read more var jnews_module_241099_3_61ab6d6d66034 = 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The post Headliners Week of 11/28 – 12/4 appeared first on RISMedia......»»

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