Advertisements


Bullwhip-Effect Reversal Is The Major Downside Growth Risk

Bullwhip-Effect Reversal Is The Major Downside Growth Risk Via blog.VariantPerception.com, The main downside risk today that the market may not fully appreciate is the reversal of the historically large post-Covid bullwhip effect, which pulled forward a lot of future demand. The bullwhip effect started with surging consumer goods demand and led to a huge restocking impulse up the supply chain. The below is an excerpt from our July 19th report. As we highlighted in our July Macro Snapshot: “ISM new orders to inventory ratio has been collapsing, suggesting this is the beginning of the end of the bullwhip effect. The significant build-up of US retailer inventories is set to exert a strong deflationary force on the economy once the bullwhip effect reverses.” Leading relationships for ISM manufacturing are bad and still deteriorating. We are tracking “hard” data to confirm the message from LEIs and the intensity of the industrial slowdown. Absolute USD values of manufacturing new orders and durable goods consumption are still elevated compared to pre-pandemic levels. More timely hard data confirms the industrial slowdown has started. Production at US factories declined in June for a second month owing to higher inventories and total industrial production fell for the first time this year (link). Chemical prices have weakened significantly, signaling falling demand in the face of high prices and weakness in downstream markets. (Ethylene and propylene are key inputs for plastic and household chemical compounds). Retail sales growth has moderated and has closed the divergence with our retail sales LEI. We expect further weakness ahead (left-hand chart). Oil consumption as % of GDP has fallen sharply suggesting US consumer resilience is cracking. *  *  * Get the full picture at variantperception.com Tyler Durden Mon, 08/08/2022 - 07:20.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeAug 8th, 2022Related News

Sunday links: incentives at work

Fund managementThe Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF ($BND) is set to become the biggest bond ETF. (ft.com)Four big trends in the asset management have been in place for a decade. (morningstar.com)Corporate governance only works if shares actually get voted. (etftrends.com)CoinbaseHow Coinbase ($COIN) lost its big lead to FTX and Binance. (nytimes.com)Why the Coinbase ($COIN)-Blackrock ($BLK) agreement is a big deal. (riabiz.com)Coinbase ($COIN) is on the backside of earlier rapid growth. (wsj.com)PolicyWill MacAskill, "Future people count. There could be a lot of them. And we can make their lives better. To help others as much as possible, we must think about the long-term impact of our actions." (nytimes.com)High tech immigration is necessary for rebuilding US manufacturing. (politico.com)How friendships across economic classes affect income mobility. (nature.com)Food banks are reporting increased demand and lower donations. (nytimes.com)1 in 5 Americans don't want children. (theconversation.com)EconomicsPutting the July NFP into some historical perspective. (econbrowser.com)Hospitality has become more efficient during pandemic. (wsj.com)The 3 month-10 year term spread is nearing inversion. (econbrowser.com)An indicator showing slowing, but still positive, growth. (mrzepczynski.blogspot.com)The economic schedule for the coming week. (calculatedriskblog.com)Earlier on Abnormal ReturnsTop clicks this week on the site. (abnormalreturns.com)What you missed in our Saturday linkfest. (abnormalreturns.com)Are you a financial adviser looking for some out-of-the-box thinking? Then check out our weekly e-mail newsletter. (newsletter.abnormalreturns.com)Mixed mediaGoogle search results are getting worse. (reasonablypolymorphic.com)Why sweet corn is getting sweeter. (wsj.com)U.S. e-bike sales are booming. (wsj.com).....»»

Category: blogSource: abnormalreturnsAug 7th, 2022Related News

A Winter Of Anger

A Winter Of Anger Authored Raul Ilargi Meijer via The Automatic Earth blog, It is very simple: if you’d ask most citizens of whichever EU country if they are willing to risk being unable to feed and heat their children in order to support Ukraine and Zelensky, they would say NO. Hell no! But that is what they’re all being pushed towards. Food prices look to at least double from here, after they’ve doubled once already, while energy prices are set to triple or worse. And there’s no logical reason for it. This is not due to some inevitable market mechanism, it’s because the west decided to halt all Russian imports after the latter’s Special Military Operation in Ukraine. All western leaders found that reason enough to cut all, or nearly all, imports from Russia. Gas, oil, fertilizer, food. Essentials. They could have been sitting around a negotiating table, but chose not to. Which only works as long as things remain sort of affordable. And then, it does not. Problem is, they had and have no alternative to the Russian supplies of these goods (and there’s many more). See, this is how we know they don’t make their own decisions. Those are made in Brussels and Davos, and then the “leaders” have to carry out the preconceived programs, and they will. No elected official on his/her own would risk to destroy their own country’s energy or food safety, with elections coming up every few years. But their WEF/Davos connections have changed that “logic”. The WEF makes sure no western leader gets elected who is not a member of their club. There’s only one path to power these days. But these people grossly underestimate the effect that hunger and cold -will- have on their citizens. The first signs of that are visible in the protests of truckers and farmers, but that’s just a start. You just wait till the cold sets in, and the running blackouts, and the hunger. Wait till people have to feed their kids scraps from a bare table in a cold dark home. That’s when you will see who people really are. People in the west are overfed, and lazy, and not too sharp, but wait till their kids, and their families, are truly suffering. They’ve seen the example of the farmers and truckers. Wait for people to see the link between their own lives, and the farmers; then you will see who they really are. “Leaders” like Trudeau and Rutte think they have this under control, that they can make the farmers do what their governments say they must, if need be with assistance from police or even the army. But you cannot send cops and soldiers against your farmers, because 1) they make your food, 2) the people support them, 3) they have a centuries-old democratic right to be farmers, and 4) they don’t take no sh*t for an answer. This goes back 100s of years, much longer than the right of any politician to tell them what to do. The Dutch farmers on Friday told Rutte to prepare for the hardest actions yet, and they’re still not joking. My guess would be this time they will paralyze the country. Not because they are crazy; 10,000 of them would need to close shop if Rutte gets what he wants, and they won’t let that happen. Farmers will not idly stand by while their neighbor is forced out of business. No, they are not crazy. They refuse to talk to Rutte, in a sign a of how much they trust him. He assigned a mediator, from his own political club, and all farmer org’s but one refused to talk to him too. The one that did, found the talk useless. Rutte wants the 10,000 scalps no matter what, but it’s just not going to happen. He is shown the limits of his power. Having been PM for 12 years, that’s a bit of a shock. Obviously, this is all strongly connected to the past 2,5 years of measures and mandates and all. The political class got a taste of power that they did not have before, and got carried away. Well, they went too far this time. One telling number was that of US parents letting their youngest kids be vaxxed: what was it, 0.45%?! And 220 million adult Americans have either never been vaxxed or never boosted. No connection to the farmers? You wait and see. The game is over. People’s patience with their politicians is ending. But the politicians themselves don’t see that; how could they when they censor all discontent and reports from doctors and scientists who don’t follow the “official” line? They’ve lost touch with the very world they’re supposed to represent. All they get to see is the info that is left after their own “norms” have censored the rest. They see only what they like to see. In Europe, the Germans and Dutch will manage to be sort of OK, but only at the expense of poorer EU countries. And that won’t even be their main problem; that problem will be at home; their own farmers will come for them. And their poorest. Countries will leave the EU (and the euro). Hungary first to go?! In Greece, there’s already talk of rolling blackouts this winter, and they get most of their electricity from hydro. Italy is a shambles. How many present “leaders” will still be in place January 1 2023? How about June? After a winter of great discontent? And they’re all telling you that “we” have to win in Ukraine first, and everything will be alright. But “we” have already lost in Ukraine, we did on February 24, and “we” should be talking to, and making peace with, Russia. Why are we not? Because we don’t want food and energy? The folks in Brussels and Davos will not be hungry and cold. But in other EU places they will be. And they will come to balance this thing out. As for the US, I’m scared there too. Energy prices may not get as bad as in Europe, but food will be real bad (and how about housing?!). And there’s this fight between two factions going on, that starts to feel like what went on before the Civil War. I hope I’m wrong, but I feel it everywhere: Overreach. *  *  * Support the Automatic Earth in virustime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon. Tyler Durden Sun, 08/07/2022 - 07:00.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytAug 7th, 2022Related News

How Amazon founder Jeff Bezos spends his $166 billion, from 10,000-year underground clocks to flying to the edge of space

The Amazon billionaire is one of the richest people on the planet, and spends his money on space company Blue Origin, jets, and Beverly Hills mansions. Getty Images; Jenny Chang-Rodriguez/Insider Jeff Bezos has amassed a $166 billion fortune since founding Amazon in 1994. He's spent his money on charity, unusual ventures, and personal projects like Blue Origin. Bezos stepped down as Amazon CEO in mid-2021 after seeing a pandemic-era surge in wealth. Billionaire Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has become one of the wealthiest and most recognizable figures in the tech world.Recent years have brought him a high-profile divorce, a trip via spaceship to the edge of space, his firm's skyrocketed share price during the pandemic, and his departure from the role as CEO of the company he founded 28 years ago.Nowadays, the 58-year-old is focused on his other endeavors, including his space exploration company Blue Origin that recently flew actor William Shatner to the edge of space as well as The Washington Post, which he bought in 2013. He's also been busy trying to get his $500 million under-construction megayacht past a historic Dutch bridge and enjoys traveling the globe with girlfriend Lauren Sanchez.And, of course, there's what Forbes says is the $166.8 billion fortune he has accumulated over the years. Here's how he spends it, from real estate to travel to his personal projects.Andy Kiersz, Taylor Nicole Rogers, and Hillary Hoffower previously contributed to this reporting.Jeff Bezos founded Amazon, the source of much of his wealth, on July 5, 1994.Bezos in 1994.Paul Souders/Getty ImagesBezos' parents were reportedly shocked that he would give up a cushy Wall Street job in order to sell books over the internet.Source: Bloomberg, "The Everything Store" via Business InsiderBut they eventually came around.Bezos and his parents in 2016.MOLLY RILEY/AFP via Getty ImagesBezos' parents invested about a quarter of a million dollars in the fledgling company, a stake that would be worth as much as $30 billion today.Source: BloombergBezos also received a lot of support from his then-wife MacKenzie.MacKenzie Scott.Evan Agostini/Invision/Associated PressShe negotiated Amazon's first freight contract and did the company's accounting. Per the terms of their 2019 divorce settlement, MacKenzie holds a 4% stake in the company, which forms the majority of her $59 billion fortune.Source: ForbesAmazon made its initial public offering on May 15, 1997.Amazon founder and chair Jeff Bezos unveiling the new Amazon Kindle 2.0 in 2009.Mario Tama/Getty ImagesSince that day, the split-adjusted stock price has increased over 170,000%.Amazon's rise left several early internet competitors in the dust.Yahoo founders David Filo (left) and Jerry Yang in 1999.Eric Sander/Getty ImagesIn the company's first post-IPO shareholder letter, Bezos mentioned strategic partnerships with several peers like America Online, Prodigy, and Yahoo that have either gone out of business entirely or been purchased by competitors in the years since.Source: Business InsiderAmazon has steadily grown over the last two decadesEmployees walk through a lobby at Amazon's headquarters in Seattle.Elaine Thompson/APIt now sells a wide variety of consumer products, electronics, and digital media.Another big growth area was Amazon Web Services.Sopa ImagesAnalysts project that the cloud unit is on track to becoming a $3 trillion company.Source: Business InsiderAmazon has also grown through various acquisitions over time.Ethan Miller/Getty ImagesThe company's 2009 purchase of online shoe retailer Zappos for $1.2 billion stood as Amazon's biggest acquisition for about eight years.Source: Visual CapitalistBut then came Amazon's 2017 $13.7 billion purchase of Whole Foods.A Whole Foods in New York City.Noam Galai/ContributorThe Whole Foods acquisition has dramatically boosted Amazon's push into the grocery world. A 2019 study from OneClickRetail estimates that Amazon had an 18% share of the US online grocery market.Source: Visual Capitalist, Business InsiderAmazon's rise is the primary source of Bezos' fortune.Charles Krupa/APBezos remains Amazon's largest stockholder, owning 11% of the e-commerce giant. According to MacKenzie Bezos' statement on the couple's divorce, Bezos retained 75% of the couple's Amazon stock holdings and the voting power of MacKenzie's shares.Source: Forbes, BloombergBezos has made several investments in other companies.Bezos in 2021.Joe Raedle / Staff via GettyHe's done so on both a personal level and through his venture capital firm Bezos Expeditions.Bezos personally invested in Google in 1998, and his $1 million early investment would likely have made him a billionaire even without his extensive Amazon wealth.Bezos Expeditions has invested in several startups, including blood testing biotech firm Grail, popular software developer website Stack Overflow, and Insider.Business Insider was acquired by Axel Springer in 2015. Jeff Bezos is no longer invested.Source: Visual Capitalist, "The Everything Store" via Business InsiderA notable purchase was The Washington Post in 2013.The Washington Post.SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty ImagesBezos shelled out $250 million for the legacy newspaper. Since Bezos' acquisition, the Post has greatly expanded its digital offerings, and readership has exploded.Source: Business InsiderBezos' wealth is hard to wrap your head around.Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in 2019.MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty ImagesHis wealth is so massive that, according to Business Insider's 2018 calculations when he had a mere $130 billion fortune, spending $88,000 to him was similar to an average American spending $1.Source: Business InsiderHe is also one of the country's biggest landowners.Medina, Washington.Harrison Jacobs/Business InsiderHe and his family own at least five homes across the US.One estate, with two homes on 5.3 acres of land, is located in Medina, Washington, not far from Amazon's Seattle headquarters.Insider's Harrison Jacobs visited Medina in 2017 to get a sense of what the haven for Seattle's mega-wealthy is like. Jacobs got a picture of the outside of Bezos' estate, but tall hedges and a gate blocked any view inside.Source: Business Insider, Business InsiderBezos also owns a Spanish-style mansion in Beverly Hills, California.Bezos in 2019.John Locher/APHe bought that property in 2007 for a reported $24.25 million. He bought another, smaller house right next door a decade later.He also owns a ranch in Van Horn, Texas, which serves as a base for his Blue Origin space exploration company.Source: Business InsiderHe's got sleek pads in Manhattan.Arrows point to his property.Google MapsBezos owns several condos in the historic Century building at 25 Central Park West in Manhattan.In June 2019, the Amazon CEO reportedly dropped about $80 million on another three adjacent apartments in a different building at 212 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. The spread consists of a three-story penthouse and the two units directly below it.Bezos purchased a townhouse in Washington, DC in 2016.Source: Business Insider, Business InsiderThen there's the other Beverly Hills mansion.A view of the driveway.RB/Bauer-Griffin/GC ImagesBezos reportedly spent $165 million on the property, dubbed the Warner Estate. The Wall Street Journal reported the sale in February 2020.Source: The Wall Street JournalAs for ground transportation, he's been fairly frugal.A Honda Accord; not necessarily Bezos'.HondaAs recently as 2013, he was still driving a Honda Accord, according to the book "The Everything Store."Source: "The Everything Store" via Business InsiderHe does own a $65 million Gulfstream G650ER private jet though.A Gulfstream G650ER.AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC ImagesSource: Business InsiderBezos sometimes has a taste for exotic cuisine.Bezos in December 2021.Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for DJThe founder of e-commerce startup Woot recounted a breakfast with Bezos shortly after Amazon acquired the company at which the billionaire ordered octopus.The founder recounted Bezos explaining similarities between Amazon's acquisition of Woot and his offbeat breakfast order. "You're the octopus that I'm having for breakfast," Bezos said. "When I look at the menu, you're the thing I don't understand, the thing I've never had. I must have the breakfast octopus."Source: Business InsiderHe's donated to charity, but not as much as his peers.Warren Buffett and Bill Gates.Kevork Djansezian/Getty ImagesBillionaires like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates have both pledged to donate the majority of their fortunes to charity.Bezos' ex-wife, MacKenzie, did sign Gates' Giving Pledge in May 2019, pledging to donate more than half of her fortune during her lifetime.In a blog post in mid-2020, MacKenzie announced that over the past year she has donated $1.7 billion to 116 organizations that support causes including racial equality, LGBTQ rights, public health, and climate change.Source: Business InsiderBezos has, however, supported Mary's Place.Emma McIntyre/Getty ImagesIt's a Seattle organization that provides shelter and employment training to those who are homeless, and TheDream.US, which supports people who were brought to the US as undocumented immigrants when they were children.According to CNBC, Bezos also donated significant sums to Seattle's Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the University of Washington Foundation, and Princeton University.Source: Business Insider, CNBCBezos also supports more unusual ventures.10000 year clockTake the Long Now Foundation, which seeks to build a giant mechanical "10,000-year clock" underground in West Texas.The clock is intended to be a "symbol for long-term thinking," according to a tweet from Bezos.Source: Business InsiderBezos has a lifelong fascination with NASA.Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos with aviation glasses that belonged to Amelia Earhart.Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesHe's long been inspired by space travel since watching the Apollo moon landings in his childhood. In 2013, Bezos funded and led an expedition to recover one of the rocket engines from the Apollo 12 mission from the floor of the Atlantic Ocean.Source: The Seattle TimesSo it makes sense that he founded Blue Origin.Overhead of the New Glenn rocket from Blue Origin, one of the three heavy-lift launch providers Amazon selected for Project Kuiper (featuring a mock-up of the Amazon logo)Amazon/Business WireThe space exploration company has had several successful test flights of its reusable New Shepard rocket, and is currently developing the larger, mostly reusable New Glenn rocket system, intended to compete with Elon Musk's SpaceX.Source: Business InsiderThe goal is in part to colonize the solar system.William Shatner tells Jeff Bezos about his spaceflight experience in 2021.Blue OriginIn the long term, Bezos intends for Blue Origin to support large-scale human spaceflight.In 2018, Bezos told Matthias Döpfner, CEO of Insider's parent company Axel Springer, that he considers Blue Origin "the most important work [he's] doing."Indeed, Bezos told Döpfner that he plans to spend his entire fortune on space exploration, saying, "I am going to use my financial lottery winnings from Amazon to fund that."Source: Business Insider, Business InsiderHe has pledged $10 billion to fight climate change.Jeff Bezos (right) speaks with brother Mark after they flew on Blue Origin's inaugural flight in 2021.REUTERS/Joe Skipper"I'm committing $10 billion to start and will begin issuing grants this summer," Bezos wrote on Instagram in February 2020. "Earth is the one thing we all have in common — let's protect it, together."⁣⁣⁣Source: Business InsiderBezos also spends plenty of cash in his personal life.Bezos and Sanchez.Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagicHe threw a star-studded birthday bash for girlfriend Lauren Sanchez in December 2019.Source: Business InsiderHe may or may not be the world's richest man.Musk and Bezos.Patrick Pluel/Getty Images; Alex Wong/Getty Images; Hollis Johnson/InsiderWhile Bezos still holds the title of "the world's richest man," per Forbes, Bloomberg's estimates pin him as the second richest man following Elon Musk, who saw his net worth soar after Tesla entered the S&P 500 in December.Source: Forbes, BloombergAnd Bezos is still getting richer.Bezos in 2021.aul Ellis - Pool/Getty ImagesEven as the coronavirus pandemic upended the American economy in March 2020, in August, Bezos hit a wealth milestone no one else has ever reached.Amazon's share price has surged throughout the pandemic as Americans practice social distancing to slow the virus' spread and increasingly turn to Amazon's delivery services for daily necessities, making Bezos the first person in human history with a net worth over $200 billion, per Forbes. It has since dropped to $166.8 billion.Bezos doesn't plan to keep all of what he's added to his net worth so far this year, however. In April 2020, he pledged to donate $100 million to food banks facing shortages due to the economic crisis spurred by the pandemic."My own time now is wholly focused on COVID-19 and how Amazon can best play its role," Bezos wrote in March 2020. "I want you to know that Amazon will continue to do its part, and we won't stop looking for new opportunities to help."Source: InsiderBut that growth has caught regulators' eye.Jeff Bezos testifies before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law in 2020.Mandel Ngan/Pool via REUTERSBut Amazon's continuous growth has drawn increasing scrutiny from lawmakers, culminating in a historic antitrust hearing in front of the House House Antitrust Subcommittee on July 29, where Bezos testified alongside Apple CEO Tim Cook, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai.In prepared testimony released on his blog the day before, Bezos argued that Amazon's size benefits consumers, sellers, and the US economy and that it still faces competition from Walmart, Instacart, and Shopify.Source: Business InsiderHe can still focus on his personal projects though.Jeff Bezos near Van Horn, Texas in 2021.Tony Gutierrez/APBezos stepped down as Amazon CEO in mid-2021 and moved into the role of executive chair of the Amazon Board. He plans to focus on new products and early initiatives."As Exec Chair I will stay engaged in important Amazon initiatives but also have the time and energy I need to focus on the Day 1 Fund, the Bezos Earth Fund, Blue Origin, The Washington Post, and my other passions. I've never had more energy, and this isn't about retiring," Bezos wrote to employees at the time. "I'm super passionate about the impact I think these organizations can have."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderAug 7th, 2022Related News

China At The Crossroads

China At The Crossroads Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog, Watch where capital is flowing. That's pretty much all you need to know to predict the future. The word "China" evokes strong emotions, so let's set it aside in favor of a simple syllogism: 1. Certain things matter in all economies. 2. China is an economy. 3. Therefore these certain things matter in China. Four things matter to all economies: 1. The flow of capital and talent in or out of an economy. 2. The productivity of that capital and talent. 3. The availability and cost of energy. 4. The stability of the primary foundation of the majority's wealth. Capital and talent flowing into an economy and being productively invested generates prosperity. Capital and talent squandered on unproductive speculation generates bubbles of phantom wealth that eventually pop, destroying the illusion of wealth. Capital and talent fleeing an economy generates stagnation and collapse. Capital and talent are democratic in the most basic form: both vote with their feet. Dictators can strut around ordering everyone to wear their underwear on the outside of their clothing, but if people can vote with their feet, he soon finds he's talking to himself and a handful of clueless cronies. The cliche is that capital goes where it's well-treated. What does that actually mean? It turns out capital and talent both want what the average citizen / participant in the economy wants: stability and predictability. Every participant wants the rules to be visible and predictable, so they can make decisions about where to invest their capital and talent with some confidence that the rules won't change tomorrow. If everything you've worked for can be taken from you or you're no longer able to sell and deploy your capital and talent elsewhere, then why gamble your capital and talent in such an unstable, unpredictable economy at all? The more restrictions that are applied to keep capital and talent from fleeing, the greater the incentives for capital and talent to flee. Those that can't flee just give up and lay down, doing the minimum to survive. Capital and talent invested in unproductive bridges to nowhere and speculative bubbles generate a brief explosion of illusory wealth. The workers and enterprises building the bridges to nowhere spend their earnings, boosting consumption, and the incoming tide of capital chasing speculative gains boosts the value of the assets being chased. But bridges to nowhere and speculative frenzies don't actually boost the productivity of capital or labor; they are mal-investments that bleed the economy dry behind a flimsy facade of phantom wealth, a facade generated by the enormous tide of capital gushing into the economy. Once the tide recedes as capital votes with its feet, the facade of phantom wealth collapses. When energy is cheap and abundant, all sorts of things become possible. When energy becomes scarce and costly, all sorts of things are no longer financially viable. Economies that only function if energy is cheap and abundant unravel when energy becomes scarce and costly. People want to become wealthier, and they will follow whatever trails are open to them to do so. If the economy is structured to funnel most of the majority's wealth into one asset class, that economy becomes highly dependent on the stability of that asset class for its financial, social and political stability. If, for example, the people's wealth is channeled into real estate to the degree that owning empty flats is considered a form of secure savings as well as a stake in an investment bubble that will never pop, then that economy is extremely vulnerable to the resulting speculative excess collapsing under its own weight. When an asset class owned solely by the super-wealthy collapses under its own weight--for example, fine art--the damage to the economy is limited. But when an asset class that is the primary foundation of the majority's wealth collapses, that is extremely consequential because too much of the economy's capital has been sunk in an unproductive speculative bubble. As strategist Edward Luttwak observed, the funny thing about force is how limited it is in actual efficacy. Forcing capital and talent to stay put doesn't make people productive. It simply forces a choice: find a way to flee or just give up and stop working hard. After all, what's the point? Every economy in which capital and talent can no longer count on predictability is an economy at the crossroads. As Luttwak explained, force is not the same as power, though many confuse the two. Power attracts capital and talent because they're being offered stability and predictability. Force tries to shove instability and unpredictability down everyone's throat and compels then to declare their undying loyalty for instability and unpredictability. But capital and talent vote with their feet. If they can't vote with their feet, they just give up. Any economy in which capital and talent either flee or give up has only one possible end-point: stagnation and collapse. In other words, watch where capital is flowing. That's pretty much all you need to know to predict the future. *  *  * My new book is now available at a 10% discount this month: When You Can't Go On: Burnout, Reckoning and Renewal. If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com. Tyler Durden Fri, 08/05/2022 - 17:40.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytAug 5th, 2022Related News

Meta Quieter on Election Misinformation as Midterms Loom

Facebook owner Meta is quietly curtailing some of the safeguards designed to thwart voting misinformation in U.S. elections. WASHINGTON — Facebook owner Meta is quietly curtailing some of the safeguards designed to thwart voting misinformation or foreign interference in U.S. elections as the November midterm vote approaches. It’s a sharp departure from the social media giant’s multibillion-dollar efforts to enhance the accuracy of posts about U.S. elections and regain trust from lawmakers and the public after their outrage over learning the company had exploited people’s data and allowed falsehoods to overrun its site during the 2016 campaign. The pivot is raising alarm about Meta’s priorities and about how some might exploit the world’s most popular social media platforms to spread misleading claims, launch fake accounts and rile up partisan extremists. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] More from TIME “They’re not talking about it,” said former Facebook policy director Katie Harbath, now the CEO of the tech and policy firm Anchor Change. “Best case scenario: They’re still doing a lot behind the scenes. Worst case scenario: They pull back, and we don’t know how that’s going to manifest itself for the midterms on the platforms.” Read More: Facebook Accused of ‘Whitewashing’ Long-Awaited Human Rights Report on India Since last year, Meta has shut down an examination into how falsehoods are amplified in political ads on Facebook by indefinitely banishing the researchers from the site. CrowdTangle, the online tool that the company offered to hundreds of newsrooms and researchers so they could identify trending posts and misinformation across Facebook or Instagram, is now inoperable on some days. Public communication about the company’s response to election misinformation has gone decidedly quiet. Between 2018 and 2020, the company released more than 30 statements that laid out specifics about how it would stifle U.S. election misinformation, prevent foreign adversaries from running ads or posts around the vote and subdue divisive hate speech. Top executives hosted question and answer sessions with reporters about new policies. CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote Facebook posts promising to take down false voting information and authored opinion articles calling for more regulations to tackle foreign interference in U.S. elections via social media. Read More: Human Rights Groups Call on Facebook to Drop ‘Racist’ Attempt to Silence Whistleblower But this year Meta has only released a one-page document outlining plans for the fall elections, even as potential threats to the vote remain clear. Several Republican candidates are pushing false claims about the U.S. election across social media. In addition, Russia and China continue to wage aggressive social media propaganda campaigns aimed at further political divides among American audiences. Meta says that elections remain a priority and that policies developed in recent years around election misinformation or foreign interference are now hard-wired into company operations. “With every election, we incorporate what we’ve learned into new processes and have established channels to share information with the government and our industry partners,” Meta spokesman Tom Reynolds said. He declined to say how many employees would be on the project to protect U.S. elections full time this year. Read More: Frances Haugen Calls for ‘Solidarity’ With Facebook Content Moderators in Conversation with Whistleblower Daniel Motaung During the 2018 election cycle, the company offered tours and photos and produced head counts for its election response war room. But The New York Times reported the number of Meta employees working on this year’s election had been cut from 300 to 60, a figure Meta disputes. Reynolds said Meta will pull hundreds of employees who work across 40 of the company’s other teams to monitor the upcoming vote alongside the election team, with its unspecified number of workers. The company is continuing many initiatives it developed to limit election misinformation, such as a fact-checking program started in 2016 that enlists the help of news outlets to investigate the veracity of popular falsehoods spreading on Facebook or Instagram. The Associated Press is part of Meta’s fact-checking program. This month, Meta also rolled out a new feature for political ads that allows the public to search for details about how advertisers target people based on their interests across Facebook and Instagram. Read More: BeReal Won’t Save Us From Social Media—Yet Yet, Meta has stifled other efforts to identify election misinformation on its sites. It has stopped making improvements to CrowdTangle, a website it offered to newsrooms around the world that provides insights about trending social media posts. Journalists, fact-checkers and researchers used the website to analyze Facebook content, including tracing popular misinformation and who is responsible for it. That tool is now “dying,” former CrowdTangle CEO Brandon Silverman, who left Meta last year, told the Senate Judiciary Committee this spring. Silverman told the AP that CrowdTangle had been working on upgrades that would make it easier to search the text of internet memes, which can often be used to spread half-truths and escape the oversight of fact-checkers, for example. “There’s no real shortage of ways you can organize this data to make it useful for a lot of different parts of the fact-checking community, newsrooms and broader civil society,” Silverman said. Read More: Column: We’re Dangerously Close to Giving Big Tech Control Of Our Thoughts Not everyone at Meta agreed with that transparent approach, Silverman said. The company has not rolled out any new updates or features to CrowdTangle in more than a year, and it has experienced hourslong outages in recent months. Meta also shut down efforts to investigate how misinformation travels through political ads. The company indefinitely revoked access to Facebook for a pair of New York University researchers who they said collected unauthorized data from the platform. The move came hours after NYU professor Laura Edelson said she shared plans with the company to investigate the spread of disinformation on the platform around the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, which is now the subject of a House investigation. “What we found, when we looked closely, is that their systems were probably dangerous for a lot of their users,” Edelson said. Privately, former and current Meta employees say exposing those dangers around the American elections have created public and political backlash for the company. Republicans routinely accuse Facebook of unfairly censoring conservatives, some of whom have been kicked off for breaking the company’s rules. Democrats, meanwhile, regularly complain the tech company hasn’t gone far enough to curb disinformation. “It’s something that’s so politically fraught, they’re more trying to shy away from it than jump in head first.” said Harbath, the former Facebook policy director. “They just see it as a big old pile of headaches.” Meanwhile, the possibility of regulation in the U.S. no longer looms over the company, with lawmakers failing to reach any consensus over what oversight the multibillion-dollar company should be subjected to. Free from that threat, Meta’s leaders have devoted the company’s time, money and resources to a new project in recent months. Zuckerberg dived into this massive rebranding and reorganization of Facebook last October, when he changed the company’s name to Meta Platforms Inc. He plans to spend years and billions of dollars evolving his social media platforms into a nascent virtual reality construct called the “metaverse” — sort of like the internet brought to life, rendered in 3D. His public Facebook page posts now focus on product announcements, hailing artificial intelligence, and photos of him enjoying life. News about election preparedness is announced in company blog posts not written by him. In one of Zuckerberg’s posts last October, after an ex-Facebook employee leaked internal documents showing how the platform magnifies hate and misinformation, he defended the company. He also reminded his followers that he had pushed Congress to modernize regulations around elections for the digital age. “I know it’s frustrating to see the good work we do get mischaracterized, especially for those of you who are making important contributions across safety, integrity, research and product,” he wrote on Oct. 5. “But I believe that over the long term if we keep trying to do what’s right and delivering experiences that improve people’s lives, it will be better for our community and our business.” It was the last time he discussed the Menlo Park, California-based company’s election work in a public Facebook post. Associated Press technology writer Barbara Ortutay contributed to this report......»»

Category: topSource: timeAug 5th, 2022Related News

Friday links: undeserved assets

MarketsCrude oil prices are down to February levels. (axios.com)Why the crypto market is smaller than reported. (wsj.com)StartupsY Combinator is shrinking it new class of startups. (techcrunch.com)Startups are turning to the debt markets while the IPO window is shut. (theinformation.com)CompaniesApple's ($AAPL) cash hoard has come down over time. (marketwatch.com)Amazon ($AMZN) is buying iRobot ($IRBT). (techcrunch.com)FinanceKKR ($KKR) wants to win more IPO business. (wsj.com)The CFTC is looking to close down prediction market PredictIt. (rajivsethi.substack.com)What would a tax on stock buybacks mean? (marginalrevolution.com)StuffThe value of NFL franchises just keeps going up. (sportico.com)Boatsetter is Airbnb ($ABNB) for boats. (news.crunchbase.com)On the bear market in luxury watches. (wsj.com)EconomySam Ro, "The U.S. labor market continues to be very strong." (tker.co)At 3.5%, the unemployment rate is at its lowest level since 1969. (calculatedriskblog.com)There are really no signs of weakness in the employment market. (bonddad.blogspot.com)Earlier on Abnormal ReturnsPodcast links: long time horizons. (abnormalreturns.com)What you missed in our Thursday linkfest. (abnormalreturns.com)Longform links: restaurant problems. (abnormalreturns.com)Are you a financial adviser looking for some out-of-the-box thinking? Then check out our weekly e-mail newsletter. (newsletter.abnormalreturns.com)Mixed mediaThe best books of 2022, so far, including "True Story: What Reality TV Says About Us" by Danielle J. Lindemann. (esquire.com)Have we reached 'peak Substack newsletter'? (vox.com)Want to be a better writer? Write more. (wggtb.substack.com).....»»

Category: blogSource: abnormalreturnsAug 5th, 2022Related News

Soviet-era "Hurricane" rocket artillery is being used by both sides fighting in Ukraine

The BM-27 Uragan was developed during the Cold War, and Ukraine and Russia are both still using it on the battlefield. An Uragan-M truck-mounted artillery unit in a Victory Day military parade in Minsk, Belarus, May 9, 2020.Natalia FedosenkobackslashTASS via Getty Images The BM-27 Uragan is one of many artillery systems used in Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Despite the BM-27's age, the system has seen significant use by both Ukraine and Russia. Russia's "Hurricane" serving both Ukraine and Russia: the BM-27 Uragan – The BM-27 Uragan is but one example of the many artillery systems that have seen use in Russia's 2022 invasion of Ukraine.Despite its age, the system has seen significant use in various stages of the war by both Ukraine and Russia, adding to its long service history.What is the BM-27 Uragan?The tail section of a 220mm rocket launched from a BM-27 Uragan multiple rocket launcher in the cemetery of Mykolaiv in southern Ukraine on March 21, 2022.BULENT KILIC/AFP via Getty ImagesKnown alternatively by its Russian designation as the 9P140, Russia's BM-27 Uragan (which is the Russian word for "hurricane") is produced by Russia's NPO Splav, which also produces Russia's other multiple-launch rocket systems (MLRS).The Uragan system is made up of 16 220mm rocket tubes mounted on an 8×8 wheeled ZiL-135 variant "transport-loading" vehicle. In its basic form, the Uragan has a range of 35 to 40 kilometers and can launch high-explosive and cluster rockets designed to distribute a variety of types of mines.Development of the UraganUkrainian troops fire a BM-21 Grad multiple rocket launch system near the town of Lysychansk in the Luhansk region, June 12, 2022.REUTERS/Gleb GaranichDevelopment of the Uragan began at the height of the Cold War to create a replacement for the aging BM-21 Grad MLRS. Both the Uragan and Grad can trace their "heritage" back to the Soviet Union's BM-13 Katyusha MLRS of Second World War fame, which German troops dubbed as "Stalin's Organ."Full-scale development on the Uragan was launched in 1969, and the first prototype example of the model was built in 1972. In 1975, the BM-27 was accepted into Soviet service, which later saw the system inherited by many post-Soviet militaries, including those of Russia and Ukraine.Given the age of the Uragan, both Russia and Ukraine have endeavored to modernize their fleets of BM-27s. Known as the BM-27M, the modernized version of the Uragan includes improvements to the system's range (which now reportedly reaches up to 120 kilometers according to Russian sources), the capability to fire 300mm rockets in addition to the default 220mm, improved navigation technology, and a more powerful engine inside of the "transport-loading" vehicle.Ukraine also made efforts to modernize its collection of Uragans, which includes improvements to the systems' range and digitalization of its fire-control systems as well.Service in Russia's invasion of UkraineA Russian BM-27 Uragan MLRS, covered with improvised metal armor, in Ukraine's Chernihiv region in March 2022.Ukrainian Ministry of Defese/www.mil.gov.uaEmployed by both the Russian and Ukrainian armed forces, the BM-27 Uragan potentially even saw service with Russian-backed separatists in Donbas as early as the first months of fighting between Ukrainian forces and the aforementioned separatists as well as elements of the Russian military in 2014.Russian Uragans have featured heavily in Moscow's ongoing artillery war in Donbas and have been used to strike civilian targets behind Ukrainian lines. According to the open-source intelligence blog Oryx, which has a running count of confirmed Russian equipment losses, Russia has lost 18 examples of the BM-27 Uragan in Ukraine, which have either been destroyed by Ukrainian forces or captured.On the other hand, while it is not inconceivable that Ukraine could have lost examples of its Uragans in battle, no such losses have been reported.Despite the long service history of BM-27 Uragans in Russian and Soviet service, the system will likely remain in Russia's arsenal for years to come due to Moscow's extended modernization of the system. While Ukraine is forced to rely on any artillery systems it can maintain or get its hands on to offset Russia's raw numbers advantage in artillery, it is likely to phase out its use of the Uragan after active fighting winds down between Russia and Ukraine, as Soviet-legacy artillery munitions become increasingly hard to acquire as time goes on.Regardless, the Uragan will continue to take an active role on both sides of Russia's invasion of Ukraine for the rest of the conflict.Wesley Culp is a research fellow at the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress. He regularly writes on Russian and Eurasian leadership and national security topics and has been published in The Hill as well as in the Diplomatic Courier. He can be found on Twitter @WesleyJCulp.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytAug 5th, 2022Related News

Podcast links: long time horizons

Fridays are all about podcast links here at Abnormal Returns. You can check out last week’s links including a look at the... BusinessZack Fuss talks with Christian Bellinger about the business of luxury giant LVMH. (joincolossus.com)Howard Lindzon talks with Will Ahmed, founder and CEO of WHOOP. (howardlindzon.com)Barry Ritholtz talks with Hannah Elliott discuss how EVs are changing driving. (ritholtz.com)Derek Thompson talks with Ted Gioia on why old music is seemingly pushing aside new music. (open.spotify.com)Whitney Cummings talks Twitter ($TWTR) with its former CEO Dick Costolo. (youtube.com)FinancePatrick O'Shaughnessy talks with Will Thorndike about the power of long holding periods. (joincolossus.com)Meb Faber talks with Dwight Anderson, Founder of Ospraie Management, a firm that actively invests in commodity markets and basic industries worldwide. (mebfaber.com)Jeff Malec talks comodities and trend following with Tim Pickering who is the Founder, President, and CIO of Auspice Capital Advisors. (youtube.com)Tim Ranzetta talks the Fed and more with Kyla Scanlon. (ngpf.org)Non-financeRuss Roberts talks with Gerd Gigerenzer author of "How to Stay Smart in a Smart World." (econtalk.org)Jordan Harbinger talks with Johann Hari, author of "Stolen Focus: Why You Can’t Pay Attention—And How to Think Deeply Again." (jordanharbinger.com)Jonathan Fields talks with Steve Magness author of "Do Hard Things: Why We Get Resilience Wrong and the Surprising Science of Real Toughness." (goodlifeproject.com)Tim Ferriss talks with Will MacAskill author of "What We Owe the Future." (tim.blog)Dr. Laurie Santos on what we have learned about happiness from the pandemic. (pushkin.fm).....»»

Category: blogSource: abnormalreturnsAug 5th, 2022Related News

Jobs data could fuel recession fears and signal a pivot in sentiment. This is what you should watch for.

Today's labor market data could cement recession fears or tame concerns. The reading will have huge implications for outlook for investors. Happy Jobs Day, market watchers. Today's report will be a pivotal data point in the recession conversation, second only to the upcoming consumer inflation reading due out next Wednesday. I'm Phil Rosen, sitting on the edge of my seat for 8:30 a.m. ET when July's nonfarm payrolls report comes out.This morning's announcement will bring more clarity as to whether the US is in fact in an actual recession, following last week's data that revealed that the economy has met the technical definition of the term. And that, my friends, holds serious implications for sentiment across the world.Buckle up.If this was forwarded to you, sign up here.Grocery shopping in Rosemead, California on April 21, 2022.Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images1. Last week's reading of two consecutive GDP contractions sparked a semantic debate on what constitutes a recession.Officially, only the National Bureau of Economic Research can declare a downturn, although sometimes it does so months after the fact. Notably, the GDP marker has preceded every NBER-defined recession for the past 74 years. And that's accompanied by a yield curve that's been inverted for a month. The flip-flopping of the 2-year and 10-year Treasury notes is another widely-used recession indicator that preceded the downturns in 1990, 2000, and 2008, and tells us investors lack confidence in the economy and expect heightened risk of a recession in the near term. Still, some commentators have pointed to a strong labor market as reason to quell fears. Today's data could be a make or break moment in the debate.July's nonfarm payroll report may show the labor market is losing momentum, which would deflate the idea that strong jobs data is holding off a recession. Expectations are for the US to have added 250,000 jobs in July. June data showed employers added 372,000 jobs. While the Fed points to inflation as the biggest threat to the economy, critics have said policymakers are sacrificing employment for high prices. That trade-off could be a case of the medicine being worse than the disease. Stimulus aid has mostly run out for Americans, and many are now tapping their savings to keep spending. Notably, to Goldman Sachs, higher unemployment poses the "first and foremost" risk to an economic recovery. You can catch up-to-the-minute updates on today's jobs data with Insider's live blog.In other news:A trader works on the trading floor on the last day of trading before Christmas at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., December 23, 2021.Andrew Kelly/Reuters2. US futures are mixed ahead of key jobs data, while oil claws back some gains. Plus, Tesla shareholders have given the greenlight for a stock split based on a preliminary vote count. Here is your morning wrap.3. On the docket: Allianz, London Stock Exchange, Suncor Energy, and more, all reporting.4. These recession-proof stocks look cheap given their track record in weathering economic downturns, according to Morningstar. The research firm highlighted a batch of companies that they expect to still deliver returns amid turmoil. See the list of 10 names here.5. A top strategist warned that the US central bank is likely to stay hawkish and keep an aggressive pace of rate hikes. As a result, stocks and policymakers have become dangerously misaligned. In Michael Every's own words: Either the Fed or the market is going to "melt like an ice cream cone."6. Saudi Arabia is on track for its first budget surplus in almost a decade thanks to big oil revenues. The Kingdom's surplus jumped to $21 billion in the second quarter, a 35% increase compared to the prior three months, according to the finance ministry. Revenues skyrocketed even as Saudi Arabia ramped up spending. 7. The rebound in stocks since June looks more like a new bull market than a bear rally. That's according to Ned Davis Research, which is basing its optimistic outlook on several technical indicators that are pointing to upside ahead. Get the full details here.8. A veteran fund manager and author laid out why tech stocks are actually much cheaper than they appear. "Either we're overdue a dot-com bust, or the metrics used to calculate prices are wrong," Adam Seessel said. He explained the best strategy to figure out what they are really worth.9. BlackRock warned of three behavioral flaws that can torment investors in the new era of volatility. When money is at stake, people make irrational decisions with money. Analysts from the world's largest money manager shared how to overcome those shortcomings and succeed in today's market.Madison Hoff/Insider10. Job openings tumbled to 10.7 million from 11.3 million in June, and that suggests the labor market is badly out of whack. Today's jobs report will provide more details into the state of the economy. Here's what to know about the numbers in the chart.Keep up with the latest markets news throughout your day by checking out The Refresh from Insider, a dynamic audio news brief from the Insider newsroom. Listen here.Curated by Phil Rosen in New York. (Feedback or tips? Email prosen@insider.com or tweet @philrosenn).Edited by Max Adams (@maxradams) in New York. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytAug 5th, 2022Related News

How Democrats" beefed-up IRS could hurt low-income Americans

Democrats and President Biden want to provide the IRS with another $80 billion in funding to crack down on tax cheats, but Republicans warn it could hurt low-income workers. The newest health care and climate spending bill from Democrats includes an $80 billion boost to the Internal Revenue Service that is intended to help the agency crack down on wealthy tax cheats. However, Republican critics say that a bigger IRS could ultimately hurt lower-income Americans. Providing the IRS with an influx of funding has been a top priority for President Biden. It has emerged as one of the most prominent financiers of the Inflation Reduction Act that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., unveiled last week. The Democrats projected that enhancing IRS funding could add an extra $124 billion in federal revenue over the next decade by hiring more tax enforcers who can limit tax evasion by rich individuals and corporations. Roughly $1 trillion in federal taxes goes unpaid yearly because of errors, fraud and a lack of resources to adequately enforce collections, according to an estimate from IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig last year. But GOP lawmakers have sounded the alarm over the proposal, warning that it could have serious ramifications for lower-income workers. DEMOCRATS' MINIMUM CORPORATE TAX WOULD HIT THESE INDUSTRIES THE HARDEST That's because the IRS disproportionately targets low-income Americans when it conducts tax audits each year. In fact, households with less than $25,000 in earnings are five times as likely to be audited by the agency than everyone else, according to a recent analysis of tax data from fiscal year 2021 by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University. The reason for that is a rise in what is known as "correspondence audits," meaning the IRS conducts reviews of tax returns via letters or phone calls rather than more complex face-to-face audits. Just a fraction — 100,000 of the 659,000 audits in 2021 – were conducted in person. According to the Syracuse study, more than half of the correspondence audits initiated by the IRS last year — 54% — involved low-income workers with gross receipts of less than $25,000 who claimed the earned income tax credit, an anti-poverty measure.  Even taxpayers with a total positive income that ranged from $200,000 to $1 million had one-third the odds of being audited by the IRS compared to the lowest-income wage earners. About 9 million taxpayers reported these high-income levels in 2021, but fewer than 40,000 of their returns were audited, or roughly 4.5 out of every 1,000. That contrasts sharply with lower-income Americans, who faced an audit rate of 13 out of every 1,000. STRATEGISTS, TAX EXPERTS WEIGH IMPLICATIONS OF MANCHIN-BACKED BILL ON MIDTERM ELECTIONS The discrepancy is primarily due to high-income taxpayers having complex investments that can easily shroud the gaps between taxes owed and paid vs. taxes reported and paid. "Barring an unlikely significant change in the composition of IRS enforcement, the stepped-up IRS enforcement would subject taxpayers across the income spectrum to more scrutiny and greater audit risk," the right-wing Heritage Foundation said in a recent blog post. The Heritage Foundation noted that most IRS individual audit examinations target taxpayers reporting less than $50,000 of adjusted gross income. Although that group earns considerably less income than others, it faced recommended tax adjustments from the IRS of about $3.4 billion in fiscal year 2010. That compares to about $3.7 billion for those Americans reporting more than $50,000. The IRS has maintained that it will not increase audits on households earning less than $400,000 if the $80 billion in funding is approved. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ON FOX BUSINESS "These resources are absolutely not about increasing audit scrutiny on small businesses or middle-income Americans," Retting, the IRS commissioner, wrote in a letter to lawmakers on Thursday. "As we have been planning, our investment of these enforcement resources is designed around Treasury’s directive that audit rates will not rise relative to recent years for households making under $400,000.".....»»

Category: topSource: foxnewsAug 5th, 2022Related News

Facebook To Shut Down Live Shopping Feature For Retailers

Facebook To Shut Down Live Shopping Feature For Retailers By ChainStoreAge Live shopping events on Facebook are going to do a disappearing act. The social media network said it is shutting down its live shopping feature and shifting its focus to Reels. The company announced the news in a blog post in which it said that, starting on October 1, “you will no longer be able to host any new or scheduled Live Shopping events on Facebook.”  The company noted that Facebook Live will still be available to broadcast live events, but “you won’t be able to create product playlists or tag products in your Facebook Live videos.” Facebook launched livestream video shopping some two years ago. The feature was designed to give creators and brands an interactive way to sell items, connect with viewers and reach new customers. The company has since expanded the feature with new options. Last summer, for example, it launched a new promotion called Live Shopping Fridays,” which featured beauty and fashion brands such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Clinique and Sephora. In announcing its decision to scale back live shopping, Facebook cited consumers changing habits. “As consumers’ viewing behaviors are shifting to short-form video, we are shifting our focus to Reels on Facebook and Instagram, Meta’s short-form video product,” the company stated. Tyler Durden Thu, 08/04/2022 - 19:00.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytAug 4th, 2022Related News

Juan Williams’ Wide-Angled View of Ferguson, MO“Banks Do Not Commit Misconduct, Bankers Do”Juan Williams’ Wide-Angled View of Ferguson, MO

The Department of Justice is soon expected to announce a $17 billion settlement with Bank of America. Is this justice? I will defer in writing my own commentary this morning because the words and details on this topic provided by Dean Starkman qualify as a Sense on Cents Instant Classic: There’s a much deeper problem […] The post “Banks Do Not Commit Misconduct, Bankers Do” first appeared on Sense on Cents. The Department of Justice is soon expected to announce a $17 billion settlement with Bank of America. Is this justice? I will defer in writing my own commentary this morning because the words and details on this topic provided by Dean Starkman qualify as a Sense on Cents Instant Classic: There’s a much deeper problem here, however, and one that has received far less attention: Not only has the Department of Jus­tice (DOJ) failed to build any criminal cases for financial-crisis misdeeds, but it’s also now settling with these banks without even filing civil complaints. A complaint is the cornerstone of civil litigation, the foundation for even routine lawsuits. One of its primary benefits—and of adversarial legal proceedings generally—is that a complaint can bring huge amounts of previously undisclosed information into the public record. In these mortgage securities cases, the Justice Department had not only an obligation but an opportunity: to show the country what it found, to deter future misconduct, to complete the story of the financial crisis in humanizing, clarifying, searing detail. And to do all that, the department didn’t need to do anything special. Just what lawyers normally do. Instead, by imposing a fine without documenting the underlying abuses, the Justice Department has permitted the banks, for a price, to bury their sins. . . .  New York’s superintendent of financial services, Benjamin M. Lawsky, made the following observation: “In order to deter future offenses, it is important to remember that banks do not commit misconduct—bankers do.” After reading Starkman’s piece is there any doubt that the Department of Justice is a misnomer? The fines imposed by DOJ on Wall Street banks are anything but justice. I could not possibly more highly recommend, Wrecking An Economy Never Means Having To Say You’re Sorry Navigate accordingly. Larry Doyle Please order a hard copy or Kindle version of my book, In Bed with Wall Street: The Conspiracy Crippling Our Global Economy. For those reading this via syndicated outlet or by e-mail or another delivery, please visit the blog to comment on this piece of ‘sense on cents.’ Please subscribe to all my work via e-mail.The post “Banks Do Not Commit Misconduct, Bankers Do” first appeared on Sense on Cents......»»

Category: blogSource: senseoncentsAug 4th, 2022Related News

Disney World floods after Florida hit with severe thunderstorms, video shows

Severe weather in Florida has brought flooding and lightning to Walt Disney World attractions. Video on social media shows flooded grounds and heavy rainfall. Walt Disney World parkgoers' magical experiences have reportedly been impacted by severe thunderstorms this week.  Videos and pictures posted to social media showed what appeared to be water damage, lightning from the storms and flooding.  In a TikTok shared with FOX Business by user DisneyWorldTom, the grounds of EPCOT by its Test Track attraction were virtually underwater.  In recent weeks, Disney World customers have reportedly been forced to take cover due to torrential downpours in the area. DISNEY SLAMMED BY TWITTER AFTER FACING ACCUSATIONS OF USING AK-47 IN TRAILER FOR NEW 'STAR WARS' PREQUEL "Inside the Magic," a blog, said Tuesday that some guests had been "evacuated from the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover" due to storms. Disney World did not immediately respond to FOX Business' request for comment.  GET FOX BUSINESS ON THE GO BY CLICKING HERE FOX 35 reported that more storms were expected in Central Florida on Thursday, with the weather for Disney World feeling hot and humid. A few stray storms could develop in the late afternoon.  CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ON FOX BUSINESS.....»»

Category: topSource: foxnewsAug 4th, 2022Related News

Thursday links: methodical implementation

MarketsMichael Batnick, "Maybe we aren’t in a recession, but there’s certainly a lot of pain out there. And a lot of pessimism. If everyone feels like we’re in a recession, why does it matter what the data says?" (theirrelevantinvestor.com)The stock market is seemingly pricing in a shallow recession. (ritholtz.com)StrategyJack Raines, "The market doesn't care about your obsession." (youngmoney.co)Why its often better not to know what a company does. (onveston.substack.com)CompaniesBig companies, like Pepsico ($PEP), are not cutting back on capex. (wsj.com)MicroStrategy ($MSTR) is no giving up on its big Bitcoin bet. (wsj.com)Photo-focused Instagram competitors are seeing an influx of users. (axios.com)StreamingWhy users should be worried about the pullback at HBO Max is here. (theverge.com)Netflix ($NFLX) is starting from scratch on ads. (wsj.com)ETFsNo one really needs single-stock ETFs. (wapo.st)Given political risk, is it even possible to properly index emerging market equities? (institutionalinvestor.com)GlobalLike the U.S., Japan is trying to boost its domestic semiconductor business. (nytimes.com)The Rhine is just about shut to commercial traffic. (bloomberg.com)More signs that global supply chains are easing. (tker.co)EconomyInitial jobless claims continue to trend higher. (bonddad.blogspot.com)Still no sign of weakness in heavy truck sales. (calculatedriskblog.com)Contrary to recession talk, economic conditions were still positive in July. (econbrowser.com)Conor Sen, "We could be facing a downturn where most workers get a little bit poorer rather than several million losing their jobs." (bloomberg.com)Earlier on Abnormal ReturnsLongform links: restaurant problems. (abnormalreturns.com)What you missed in our Wednesday linkfest. (abnormalreturns.com)Personal finance links: a sense of purpose. (abnormalreturns.com)Are you a financial adviser looking for some out-of-the-box thinking? Then check out our weekly e-mail newsletter. (newsletter.abnormalreturns.com)Mixed mediaHow to apply the 80/20 rule to your life. (artofmanliness.com)The best career advice is to be yourself. (ryanholiday.net)Why 'doing nothing' is so hard for us. (theatlantic.com).....»»

Category: blogSource: abnormalreturnsAug 4th, 2022Related News

Don"t Look Now, But China Just Locked Down A Million Wuhan Residents Again

Don't Look Now, But China Just Locked Down A Million Wuhan Residents Again Submitted by QTR's Fringe Finance Back in April I wrote about the state of Shanghai’s latest round of lockdowns, asking whether or not something fucky was afoot (more than usual) across the pond in China. Since then, I had just assumed that things were returning back to normal and that the Winter’s lockdowns were an aberration. But it isn’t looking that way. In fact, China’s latest actions only do more to raise my “fringe” suspicions. As recent as this week, parts of Wuhan (and its 1 million residents) are being forced to lock down yet again because - wait for it - four cases of asymptomatic Covid were found amongst hundreds of thousands of screenings that the province provides daily. China has been continuing its “Covid Zero” response strategy, which is makes so little sense and is so inefficient, vain, costly and fruitless that I can’t believe it’s not a product of Democrats here in the U.S. The gist of the policy has been described as a "control and maximum suppression" strategy that uses “contact tracing, mass testing, border quarantine, lockdowns, and mitigation software” - also known as the George Orwell Special - to try and track and prevent cases. While this might be doable for small islands or villages off the beaten path of a couple thousands people, the idea that it is going to be implemented to stop a virus no one can see, with success, for a country of 1.4 billion people, is ludicrous. “The successful containment effort builds confidence in China, based on experience and knowledge gained, that future waves of COVID-19 can be stopped, if not prevented. Case identification and management, coupled with identification and quarantine of close contacts, is a strategy that works,” the Chinese CDC argued, advocating for their intense lockdowns, back in 2020. According to the Center for Strategic & International Studies, the reason for China choosing to shut down the way they have is that “so much of China’s population is immunologically naïve that the losses might exceed a million deaths if China reopens before proper protective measures have been introduced.” Color me not surprised that China has chosen the most intense possible way to lock down its residents and exercise control of them - but with omicron now making its way through the country, it seems like a futile effort. When does it end? Will China be subject to these “snap” lockdowns forever? I’m sure their government wouldn’t mind that… Today’s blog post is free because I believe the content to be too important to keep behind a paywall. If you enjoy my work, would like to support it and have the means, you can be a free or paid subscriber here: Subscribe now And while this reasoning for China’s lockdowns may prove correct, I can’t help but look at the other side of the coin, as I did back in April. We know that the virus is going to eventually become endemic and we know that China’s lockdowns are extremely costly for the global economy. We also know that China is currently in a position where putting pressure on the global economy may not be the worst idea in the world for them - after all, they are trying to institute their own reserve currency with other BRIC nations, and one way to force pain onto the West is to disrupt the supply of everyday goods. Namely, I was worried that China’s absolutely insane reaction to this virus was for one of two possible “fringe” reasons: They knew something about the virus that the rest of the world didn’t They were purposely trying to cauterize their supply chain for reasons that had nothing to do with Covid While the question of on-purpose lockdowns for supply chain reasons sounds like a conspiracy theory by itself, when taken in context with the facts that: China is creating its own global reserve currency China has spent a decade de-dollarizing with Russia China appears ready to re-take Taiwan China may be stockpiling far more gold than people think China continues spying on the U.S. …it all of a sudden doesn’t seem like it would be out of the canon of their potential plans to usurp the U.S. as a global super power. And lockdowns do have a profound effect on the rest of the world’s ability to get products. Here’s the effect on shipping from the beginning of this year: This, in turn, lead to additional backlogs at ports and higher shipping costs, as Bloomberg points out: And the extremely interesting kicker is that lead times are only crushed for the U.S., as we desperately wait for China’s imports to go about our daily lives. In China, you can see that the impact on manufacturing delivery times has hardly budged after the initial set of Covid lockdowns: In layman’s terms, this means that if they wanted to, and if they were locking down for reasons other than Covid, China could, in theory, still provide its own people with what it needs domestically, while making other countries around the world suffer. I can’t help but continue to keep this angle in mind as headlines about new lockdowns in China make their way across my desk. And while my contentions may be proven to be conspiracy theory (hey, we exist on the Fringe for a reason), you can’t say that they aren’t at least worth considering and watching closely. There is no doubt to me that we are entering into a new era with China and Russia - one that feels like it could be the beginning of a new Cold War, wherein the West and BRIC nations diverge further from each other to create a new, bifurcated global economy and hierarchy. In fact, I wrote months ago that the U.S. should take note of this, acknowledge it, make slight concessions and try to take action to create world peace. If you were China, why wouldn’t you take this time to try and expand your empire? The U.S. is mired in recession, the President has one of the lowest approval ratings in history, economically the Central Bank has been put into a crunch, division amidst the country is at highs and economic “sanctions” we just tried to put on Russia did little, if anything, to damage the ruble. It’s prime time for China to take the boldest of actions, in my opinion - which is why I don’t have any issue carefully scrutinizing their lockdowns through my conspiratorial lens. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments. Today’s blog post is free because I believe the content to be too important to keep behind a paywall. If you enjoy my work, would like to support it and have the means, you can share, or become a free or paid subscriber here: Share | Subscribe now Tyler Durden Thu, 08/04/2022 - 10:43.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytAug 4th, 2022Related News

European energy customers should shoulder high costs to encourage consumption changes, IMF says

IMF says European governments should target financial aid to lower-income households as broad-based support delays needed changes in energy use. Machines unload coal from a barge destined for the coal-fired Kraftwerk Mehrum power station near Peine, GermanySean Gallup/Getty Images European governments should consider only targeted efforts to aid households dealing with soaring energy costs, said the IMF.  Costs for oil and natural gas and other energy sources have surged in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.  Broad-based financial support "delays the needed adjustment to the energy shock,' the institution said.  European households are contending with soaring energy costs,  but regional governments should only shield the most financially vulnerable in an effort to spur energy savings, said the  International Monetary Fund. Countries including Germany, Spain, and France have enacted various aid plans to help residents cope with high energy costs which picked up substantially after major oil producer Russia invaded Ukraine in late February. Global oil prices have doubled, coal prices have nearly quadrupled and European natural gas prices have jumped almost seven-fold since early last year, the IMF said in a blog post published Wednesday. "Policy," however, "should shift from broad-based support such as price controls to targeted relief such as transfers to lower-income households who suffer the most from higher energy bills," the Washington-based institution said. "Suppressing the pass-through to retail prices simply delays the needed adjustment to the energy shock by reducing incentives for households and businesses to conserve energy and enhance efficiency. It keeps global energy demand and prices higher than they would otherwise be."The average European household will see living costs rise about 7% this year relative to what the IMF had anticipated in early 2021, reflecting the direct effect of higher energy prices as well as their pass-through to other goods and services. Governments providing financial cushions to households are denting their economies'  limited fiscal space and in many countries, the cost will exceed 1.5% of economic output this year, largely from broad price-suppressing measures.Fully offsetting cost of living increases for the bottom 20% of households would cost governments 0.4% of gross domestic product average for 2022, the IMF said, adding that it would cost 0.9% of GDP to fully compensate the bottom 40%."Some governments are also supporting businesses. This is appropriate only if a short-lived price surge would cause otherwise viable firms to fail," the IMF said. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytAug 4th, 2022Related News

Coinbase will help BlackRock"s top clients gain exposure to the cryptocurrency market in a new partnership

The partnership will initially be limited to bitcoin exposure, according to a Coinbase blog post. Shares of the exchange jumped as much as 21% early Thursday. Patrick Fallon/Getty Images BlackRock is partnering with Coinbase to give the asset manager's client greater exposure to crypto.  Coinbase will help BlackRock's Aladdin clients trade bitcoin and access its crypto exchange.  Bitcoin is down 51% from the start of the year.  Coinbase is partnering with BlackRock to help some of the asset manager's top clients gain greater exposure to cryptocurrencies. The world's largest asset manager tapped Coinbase in a move that marks its largest push yet into the crypto market. Coinbase will connect clients using Aladdin, BlackRock's investment arm, with Coinbase Prime. The partnership will initially be limited to helping clients gain exposure to bitcoin, according to a Coinbase blog post. The company added that the rollout will continue in phases to eventually integrate stocks, bonds, financing, and trading. Shares of Coinbase jumped as much as 21% to $98 in early Thursday trading. BlackRock's move to partner with the largest crypto trading platform in the US comes at a difficult time for digital assets, with some of the largest cryptos losing billions in value since the start of the year. Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, has shed 51% from January, a far cry from its November 2021 all-time high of $69,000. And Coinbase is facing headwinds of its own. The company is currently being investigated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission for allegedly allowing customers to trade unregistered securities. Coinbase is down 68% from thr start of 2022 as the broader crypto selloff and rising inflation batter the digital asset sector.  Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytAug 4th, 2022Related News

Government refuses to release documents on response to Dominic Cummings"s breach of revolving door rules

In July 2021, Lord Pickles, chair of ACOBA, told the Cabinet Office that Dominic Cummings had breached the rules. Officials have still not responded. Dominic Cummings and Boris JohnsonGetty ACOBA chair Lord Eric Pickles said in July 2021 that Dominic Cummings had broken the rules. Ministers have sent letters to Pickles about subsequent rule breaches by others, but not about Cummings. The Cabinet Office is refusing to release records on the government's response to Pickles's letter. The government is refusing to disclose records on its work on responding to a letter sent in July 2021 from the chair of the revolving door watchdog about a breach of the rules by Boris Johnson's former senior adviser, Dominic Cummings.ACOBA chair Lord Eric Pickles wrote to Michael Gove – Cummings's old boss – in July 2021 informing him that Cummings had broken the government's business appointment rules, which are supposed to limit how former ministers, civil servants and special advisors can use their experience and knowledge from time in government to personally profit afterwards.Pickles said Cummings failed to seek ACOBA's advice before offering consultancy services on his paid-for blog Substack, and that Cummings had not responded to a letter requesting an explanation for the breach. Insider first revealed ACOBA's probe into Cummings's post-government business activities.More than a year on, the government is yet to respond to Pickles's letter about Cummings's breach of the rules, despite responding to two other letters about breaches by former ministers Steve Brine and Lord Philip Hammond.In April 2022, Insider made a freedom of information request for records held by minister Lord Nicholas True and his office relating to the breach, seeking documents on work being done to respond to the letter.After several months of consideration, the Cabinet Office has refused to disclose the records, saying ministers and civil servants need a "safe space" to discuss issues with the business appointment rules, and that "they need to be able to undertake rigorous and candid assessments of the potential outcomes of applying the Business Appointment Rules".Alistair Carmichael, a Liberal Democrat MP and spokesperson on constitutional reform, asked Cabinet Office minister Michael Ellis in early June when ACOBA might expect a response. Ellis pledged to "look into the matter", but is yet to provide further detail. Carmichael told Insider it "should be a point of shame" that details had been withheld for more than year, but there was "little shame left in Boris Johnson's government."He added: "Cummings' time in Number 10 – and indeed the wider Johnson government of these past three years – has been marked by attempts to erode institutional norms and accountability. Now is the time for a course correction – starting with answers to ACOBA and the wider public."George Havenhand, senior legal researcher at campaigning group Spotlight on Corruption, called for a reform of the process to address the "hugely problematic status quo".He said: "This case raises serious questions about [the government's] commitment to anything other than secrecy by default and the hugely problematic status quo."Steve Goodrich, head of research and investigations at Transparency International UK, said it was "deeply concerning" that such details were being kept "under lock and key". "ACOBA and its recommendations are frequently ignored, making clear it is not fit for purpose," he added. "The sooner it is replaced by a body with real teeth, the sooner the 'revolving door' between public office and private employment can be fixed."An ACOBA spokesperson referred Insider's query to the Cabinet Office. The Cabinet Office declined to comment.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytAug 4th, 2022Related News

A major student-loan lender "assumes" Biden will keep debt payments paused until January 2023

SoFi CEO Anthony Noto previously lobbied Congress to resume student-loan payments, but he's expecting Biden to extend the pause through next year. President Joe Biden.Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images Major student-loan refinancing company SoFi expects student-loan payments to remain paused through 2023. Its CFO expressed that assumption during an early August earnings call. SoFi has previously lobbied Congress to resume student-loan payments.  A major private lender might not want President Joe Biden to keep extending the student-loan payment pause — but thinks it'll happen anyway.On Tuesday, SoFi — one of the largest student-loan refinancing companies — held its second quarter earnings call to discuss how the company is faring two years into the pandemic. SoFi CEO Anthony Noto said during the call that the second quarter results "demonstrate the continued resilience of both our team and business and our ability to deliver another quarter of record revenue," but when it comes to the student-loan segment, there's still uncertainty following the over-two-year pandemic pause on payments.Borrowers and lenders alike are awaiting guidance from Biden on whether payments will resume as scheduled after August 31, and while there is speculation of another possible extension following the Education Department directing loan companies to halt messaging surrounding repayment, the president has yet to give the final word. But SoFi anticipates borrowers will have another six months of relief."Our outlook also assumes the federal student loan payment moratorium will last until January 2023, which would result in a late Q4 2022 benefit based on the trend experienced in 2021," SoFi CFO Chris Lapointe said during the call.SoFi was among several lenders that were lobbying Congress in March to resume student-loan payments. They argued that another payment pause extension would be "unnecessary" because borrowers were doing better financially than they were at the start of the pandemic, and Noto also wrote in a separate blog post that borrowers are "paralyzed with uncertainty" and Biden should put the "affluent and capable" borrowers back into repayment."If the government needlessly extends the broad moratorium for a fourth time, not only will it add to the country's inflation woes and unnecessarily give to the wealthy who are willing and able to repay their debts, but it will severely disrupt people's ability to make long-term financial plans," he wrote.Scott Buchanan, the executive director of the Student Loan Servicing Alliance — a trade group that represents federal student-loan servicers — previously told Insider that at this point, loan companies are preparing to restart payments on September 1 because they have not been told otherwise."We need to be communicating with borrowers. We should have been doing that a month ago," Buchanan said. "And that needs to happen. At this point, until the White House gives any different guidance, payments resume on September 1."Regardless, advocates and Democratic lawmakers are pushing for Biden to extend the pause and cancel student debt, as he is reportedly considering $10,000 in relief for borrowers making under $150,000 a year. At the end of July, 107 Democratic lawmakers wrote to Biden requesting another extension because "gas prices are still high, and many borrowers still have to pay exorbitant amounts each week in order to commute to their jobs.""Resuming student loan payments would force millions of borrowers to choose between paying their federal student loans or putting a roof over their heads, food on the table, or paying for childcare and health care—while costs continue to rise and while yet another COVID-19 variant increases hospitalizations nationwide," they wrote.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytAug 4th, 2022Related News