Big Misses From Alphabet, Amazon, And Apple Confirm "The Web 2.0 Bubble Is Bursting"

Big Misses From Alphabet, Amazon, And Apple Confirm "The Web 2.0 Bubble Is Bursting" By Dhaval Joshi of BCA Research The Web 2.0 bubble is bursting, with far-reaching consequences. But to understand the consequences, let’s begin with a brief history of the web: how it evolved from the original Web 1.0 to the current Web 2.0, and how it will evolve to the coming Web 3.0. The Web 1.0 Bubble Burst In 2000, The Web 2.0 Bubble Is Bursting Now If you are over the age of 30, you will remember the original Web 1.0 of the 1990s. Web 1.0 was dull. It was like having a massive encyclopaedia at your fingertips – with static, non-interactive, read-only content, whose ownership remained with its creators: typically, the traditional media, and publishing companies. Nevertheless, facilitated by the telecom and tech giants of the time, Web 1.0 expanded the reach of traditional media content to a massive global audience. Thereby was born the Web 1.0 boom, otherwise known as the technology, media, and telecom (TMT) or ‘dot com’ boom. But as in all booms, hopes for a new paradigm of super-growth were shattered, and the Web 1.0 bubble burst in 2000. Then, around 2005, came Web 2.0. The great leap forwards was user-generated content combined with interaction, which became real-time with the introduction of iPhones. First came blogs, then forums, and finally the explosion of social networks such as Facebook and YouTube. However, Web 2.0 also became the web of big data and advertising. Most of the content – whether blogs, videos, or photos – is user-created, but the effective ownership lies with a handful of ‘Web 2.0 oligopolies’ that control or own the networks: Facebook (now Meta), Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google (now Alphabet), collectively called the ‘FAANG’ stocks. The Web 2.0 oligopolies realised that web users produced vast quantities of data about their lifestyles and consumption habits, which the companies could sell to advertisers and marketers. And on that growth model was born the Web 2.0 profit boom, otherwise known as the ‘FAANG’ boom of the 2010s. To visualise this, compare the performance of the US stock market excluding tech, Amazon and Netflix with the European stock market excluding tech, and the difference through the past decade melts away. Proving that the US market’s spectacular outperformance is almost entirely due to the Web 2.0 boom. But now, the Web 2.0 bubble is bursting, because the scandals of privacy protection and content ownership have put paid to the 2010s growth model. Just as in 2000 for the Web 1.0 companies, hopes for a new paradigm of growth for the Web 2.0 oligopolies have been shattered. All of which brings us to Web 3.0. This is still a work in progress, but after the scandals of Web 2.0, we know the key requirements for Web 3.0 – to protect everyone’s data as well as to reward users for content creation and network participation. This means decentralisation, with no third party imposing the rules. Hence, Web 3.0 will almost certainly be blockchain based and incorporate its technology, such as blockchain tokens and smart contracts.  The Web 3.0 boom might be imminent, or it may be some years away. But just as the Web 1.0 bubble burst several years before the Web 2.0 boom was born, the bursting of the Web 2.0 bubble is not premised on the birth of the Web 3.0 boom. To repeat, the Web 2.0 bubble is bursting because the scandals of privacy protection and disenfranchising content creators have shattered the growth model of the Web 2.0 oligopolies. And the bursting of this bubble has long-term consequences, which we will now discuss. Consequence 1: The Duration Of The US Stock Market Has Shortened The first consequence is a technical point but nonetheless of huge importance. The US stock market’s duration has shortened. The duration of an investment is simply the time to the average cashflow that the investment generates. As the growth model of the dominant FAANG stocks has shattered, their expected cashflow profile has been pulled forwards, shortening the duration of the stock market. This is important because the duration of any investment determines its sensitivity to a change in bond yields. The shorter the duration, the smaller is its price change for a given move in the bond yield. The US tech sector’s duration has shortened. On the way up through 2018-21, the valuation tracked the 35-year bond price. But on the way down through 2022, it has not tracked the 35-year bond price. The good news of shortened duration is that, through 2022, the US stock market’s valuation fell far less than it would have done with longer duration. But the bad news is that the US stock market’s valuation will rise less when bond yields plunge. Consequence 2: Healthcare Will Outperform Technology In the decades preceding 2010, profits in the US tech sector trended higher broadly in line with those in its fellow ‘growth sector’ US healthcare. But after 2010, US tech profits pulled away from healthcare. As already explained, this profit acceleration was almost entirely attributable to the Web 2.0 boom. But now that the Web 2.0 bubble is bursting, the profit trends of US tech and healthcare are likely to re-converge, which means that the profits of US healthcare will outperform those of tech. Yet US healthcare is still trading at a 20 percent valuation discount to US tech. The combination of superior profit growth and a cheaper valuation means that healthcare is likely to outperform tech massively as the Web 2.0 bubble fully bursts. Our preferred expression of this in the past year has been to overweight US biotech versus tech. This structural position is already up 30 percent, but there is a lot further to go. Stick with it. Consequence 3: Europe Will Outperform The US Finally, to repeat, European versus US stock market underperformance through the 2010s is almost entirely attributable to the Web 2.0 boom. If we exclude tech, Amazon and Netflix from the US stock market and compare with the European stock market ex tech, Europe’s underperformance melts away. In this regard, the Web 2.0 boom, whose benefit was focused in the US FAANG stocks, was different to the Web 1.0 boom, which had no geographical bias, at least between the US and Europe. The Web 1.0 boom boosted the European market as much as the US market. Hence, until the 2010s there was no structural downtrend in European versus US stock market performance. But now that the Web 2.0 bubble is bursting, Europe’s 2010s disadvantage versus the US will become its 2020s advantage. A European renaissance is about to begin, at least relative to the US. Hence, today we are opening a new position on a structural (over 2 year) time horizon: Tyler Durden Fri, 02/03/2023 - 15:00.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytFeb 3rd, 2023

2022 Greatest Hits: The Most Popular Articles Of The Past Year And A Look Ahead

2022 Greatest Hits: The Most Popular Articles Of The Past Year And A Look Ahead One year ago, when looking at the 20 most popular stories of 2021, we said that the year would be a very tough act to follow as "the sheer breadth of narratives, stories, surprises, plot twists and unexpected developments" made 2021 the most memorable year yet in our brief history, and that it would be an extremely tough act to follow. And yet despite the exceedingly high bar for 2022, not only did the year not disappoint but between the constant news barrage, the regime shifts, narrative volatility, market rollercoasters, oh and the world being on the verge of a nuclear Armageddon for much of the year, the past year was the most action, excitement, and news (including fake news)-packed yet. Where does one even start? While covid - which was the story of 2020 - finally faded away from the front page and the constant barrage of fearmongering coverage (with recent revelations courtesy of Elon Musk's "Twitter Files" showing just how extensively said newsflow was crafted, orchestrated and -y es - censored by the government, while a sudden U-turn by China in its Covid Zero policy prompting a top Chinese research to admit that the "fatality rate from the omicron variant of the virus is in line with the flu"), and the story of 2021 was the scourge of soaring inflation (which contrary to macrotourist predictions that it would prove "transitory" just kept rising, and rising, and rising, until it hit levels not seen since the Volcker galloping inflation days of the 1980s)... ... then the big market story of 2022 was the coordinated central bank crusade to put the inflation genie back into the bottle and to contain soaring prices (which were no longer transitory, especially after Putin launched his "special military operation" in Ukraine which we will discuss shortly)... ... even if it meant crushing the housing market... ... sparking a global recession, or as Goldman calls it a "broad-based but necessary slowdown in global growth"... ... and leaving millions out of work (the BLS still pretends hundreds of thousands of workers are being added to payrolls even though as we all know - as does the Philadelphia Fed - that is a lie, and the real employment number has not changed since March)... ... not to mention triggering the worst bear market in both stocks and bonds since the global financial crisis. Yes, less than a year after the S&P hit a record just above 4800 in January of this year, both global stock and bond markets have cratered, and in a profound shock to an entire generation of "traders" who have never lived through a hiking cycle and rising inflation, for the first time since 2008 no central banks are riding to the market's rescue. Meanwhile, with a drop of more than 20% in 2022 translating into a record $18 trillion wipeout, the MSCI All-Country World Index is on track for its worst performance since the 2008 crisis, amid the Fed's relentless rate hiking campaign. Add bond market losses - because in 2022 everything was sold - and you get a staggering $36 trillion in value vaporized, which in absolute terms is nearly double the damage from the Lehman failure and the global financial crisis. None of this should come as a surprise: the staggering liquidity injections that started in 2020, continued throughout 2021 and extended into the first half of 2022 before gently reversing as QT finally returned; the final tally is that after $3 trillion in emergency liquidity injections in the immediate aftermath of the pandemic to "stabilize the world", the Fed injected another $2 trillion in the subsequent period, most of which in 2021, a year where economists were "puzzled" why inflation was soaring (this, of course, excludes the tens of trillions of monetary stimulus injected by other central banks as well as the boundless fiscal stimulus that was greenlighted with the launch of helicopter money). And then, when a modest $500 billion in Fed balance sheet liquidity was withdrawn... everything crashed. This reminds us of something we said two years ago: "it's almost as if the world's richest asset owners requested the covid pandemic." Well, last year we got confirmation for this rhetorical statement, when we calculated that in the 18 months after the covid pandemic hit, the richest 1% of US society saw their net worth increase by over $30 trillion, which in turn officially made the US into a banana republic where the middle 60% of US households by income - a measure economists use as a definition of the middle class - saw their combined assets drop from 26.7% to 26.6% of national wealth, the lowest in Federal Reserve data, while for the first time the super rich had a bigger share, at 27%. Yes, for the first time ever, the 1% owned more wealth than the entire US middle class, a definition traditionally reserve for kleptocracies and despotic African banana republics. But as the Fed finally ended QE and started draining its balance sheet in 2022, the party ended with a thud, and this tremendous wealth accumulation by the top 1% went into reverse: indeed, just the 500 richest billionaires saw their fortunes collapse by $1.4 trillion with names such as Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Masa Son and Larry Page and Sergey Brin all losing more than a third (in some cases much more) of their net worth. This also reminds us of something else we said a year ago: "this continued can-kicking by the establishment - all of which was made possible by the covid pandemic and lockdowns which served as an all too convenient scapegoat for the unprecedented response that served to propel risk assets (and fiat alternatives such as gold and bitcoin) to all time highs - has come with a price... and an increasingly higher price in fact. As even Bank of America CIO Michael Hartnett admits, Fed's response to the the pandemic "worsened inequality" as the value of financial assets - Wall Street -  relative to economy - Main Street - hit all-time high of 6.3x." In other words, for all its faults, 2022 was a year in which inequality finally reversed - if only a little - and as Michael Hartnett said in one of his final Flow Shows, "Main St finally outperformed Wall St significantly in 2022" as the value of financial assets relative to the economy slumped from 6.3x to 5.4x. Sadly, we doubt that this will cheer anyone up - be it workers - who have seen their real, inflation-adjusted earnings decline for a record 20 consecutive months (or virtually all of Joe BIden's presidency)... ... or investors who have seen crushing losses across all industries, with the exception of the one sector we have been pounding-the-table-on bullish on since the summer of 2020: energy (with our favorite stock, Exxon, blowing away the competition with its nearly triple digit return YTD). There is some good news for jittery bulls looking ahead at 2023: statistics show that two consecutive down years are rare for major equity markets — the S&P 500 index has fallen for two straight years on just four occasions since 1928, and they usually marked market crashes or social cataclysms -  the Great Depression, World War II, the 1970s oil crisis and the bursting of the dot-com bubble. The scary thing though, is that when they do occur, drops in the second year tend to be deeper than in the first. And with Joe Biden at the helm, betting on a second great depression may be prudent. Even if that sounds hyperbolic, when it comes to markets the big question for 2023 is simple: have markets bottomed or is there much more room to fall, in other words, are we facing a hard or soft landing. And speaking of Joe Biden at the helm, another glaring risk factor for 2023 is - of course- nuclear war. Because while the great inflation fight and Biden bear market were the defining features of 2022 from an economic and capital markets standpoint, the biggest event in terms of geopolitical and social importance was the war between Russia and Ukraine. While one could write - pardon the pun - the modern day equivalent of "war and peace" on the causes behind the war in Ukraine, for the sake of brevity we will merely note that a conflict that had been simmering for years if not decades... ... finally got its proverbial spark in February when - encouraged by NATO to join the military alliance in an act that Russia had repeatedly warned would be casus belli against Ukraine - Putin ordered a "special military operation" against Ukraine, sending Russian troops to invade the country because, as he subsequently explained, "if Russia did not do this now, it itself would be invaded by neighboring NATO countries a few years later." And speaking of what else Putin said in the lead up to the Ukraine war, the following snapshots reveal much of the Russian leader's thinking about the biggest geopolitical conflict since World War II. And while the geopolitical implications of the war are staggering and long-reaching, the single most important consequence to the world, and especially Europe, is the threat of persistent energy shortages over the coming years as Russian energy output has been sanctioned and curtailed for the foreseeable future... ... in the process sending energy prices in Europe and elsewhere soaring, and pushing inflation sharply higher. Which is especially ironic, because the same central banks we showed above that are hiking rates like crazy in hopes of containing inflation are doing precisely nothing to address the elephant in the room, namely that inflation is not demand-driven (which the Fed can control by adjusting the price of money) but entirely on the supply-side. And since the Fed can't print oil or gas, all that central banks are doing is executing Vladimir Putin's indirect bidding and pushing the world into a global recession if not all out depression as they hope to crush enough energy demand to lower prices in a world where energy supply is also much lower. What they forget is that this will lead to tens of millions of unemployed people, and while that is not a major issue yet, something tells us that the coming mass layoffs - both in the US and around the globe - and not just in tech but across all industries, will be the story of 2023. One final thing worth mentioning in the context of the Ukraine war is what it means strategically for the future of the world, and here we would argue that some of the best analysis belong to former NY Fed repo guru, Zoltan Pozsar whose periodic dispatches throughout 2022 (all of which are available to professional subscribers), and whose year-end report on the fate of Bretton Woods III, the petrodollar, the petroyuan and petrogold, are all must-read for anyone who hopes to be ahead of the curve in today's rapidly changing world. Away from Inflation and the Ukraine war, the next most important topic in the past year, were the revelations from the Twitter Files, exposed by the social medial company's new owner, Elon Musk, who paid $44 billion so that the world can finally see first hand just how little free speech there really is in the so-called land of the free and the home of the First Amendment, and how countless three-lettered, deep-state alphabet agencies - and the military-industrial complex - will do anything and everything to control both the official discourse and the unofficial narrative to keep their preferred puppets in the White House, and keep those they disapprove of - censored and/or locked up, both literally and metaphorically... or simply designate them "conspiracy theorists." None other than Matt Taibbi wrote the best summary of what the Twitter Files revealed, namely America's stealthy conversion into a crypto-fascist state where some unelected government bureaucrat tells corporations what to do: This last week saw the FBI describe Lee Fang, Michael Shellenberger and me as “conspiracy theorists” whose “sole aim” is to discredit the agency. That statement will look ironic soon, as we spent much of this week learning about other agencies and organizations that can now also be discredited thanks to these files. A group of us spent the last weeks reading thousands of documents. For me a lot of that time was spent learning how Twitter functioned, specifically its relationships with government. How weird is modern-day America? Not long ago, CIA veterans tell me, the information above the “tearline” of a U.S. government intelligence cable would include the station of origin and any other CIA offices copied on the report. I spent much of today looking at exactly similar documents, seemingly written by the same people, except the “offices” copied at the top of their reports weren’t other agency stations, but Twitter’s Silicon Valley colleagues: Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, LinkedIn, even Wikipedia. It turns out these are the new principal intelligence outposts of the American empire. A subplot is these companies seem not to have had much choice in being made key parts of a global surveillance and information control apparatus, although evidence suggests their Quislingian executives were mostly all thrilled to be absorbed. Details on those “Other Government Agencies” soon, probably tomorrow. One happy-ish thought at month’s end: Sometime in the last decade, many people — I was one — began to feel robbed of their sense of normalcy by something we couldn’t define. Increasingly glued to our phones, we saw that the version of the world that was spat out at us from them seemed distorted. The public’s reactions to various news events seemed off-kilter, being either way too intense, not intense enough, or simply unbelievable. You’d read that seemingly everyone in the world was in agreement that a certain thing was true, except it seemed ridiculous to you, which put you in an awkward place with friends, family, others. Should you say something? Are you the crazy one? I can’t have been the only person to have struggled psychologically during this time. This is why these Twitter files have been such a balm. This is the reality they stole from us! It’s repulsive, horrifying, and dystopian, a gruesome history of a world run by anti-people, but I’ll take it any day over the vile and insulting facsimile of truth they’ve been selling. Personally, once I saw that these lurid files could be used as a road map back to something like reality — I wasn’t sure until this week — I relaxed for the first time in probably seven or eight years. Well said Matt, and we say this as one of the first media outlets that was dubbed "conspiracy theorists" by the authorities, long before everyone else joined the club. Oh yes, we've been there: we were suspended for half a year on Twitter for telling the truth about Covid, and then we lost most of our advertisers after the Atlantic Council's weaponized "fact-checkers" put us on every ad agency's black list while anonymous CIA sources at the AP slandered us for being "Kremlin puppets" - which reminds us: for those with the means, desire and willingness to support us, please do so by becoming a premium member: we are now almost entirely reader-funded so your financial assistance will be instrumental to ensure our continued survival into 2023 and beyond. The bottom line, at least for us, is that the past three years have been a stark lesson in how quickly an ad-funded business can disintegrate in this world which resembles the dystopia of 1984 more and more each day, and we have since taken measures. Two years ago, we launched a paid version of our website, which is entirely ad and moderation free, and offers readers a variety of premium content. It wasn't our intention to make this transformation but unfortunately we know which way the wind is blowing and it is only a matter of time before the gatekeepers of online ad spending block us for good. As such, if we are to have any hope in continuing it will come directly from you, our readers. We will keep the free website running for as long as possible, but we are certain that it is only a matter of time before the hammer falls as the censorship bandwagon rolls out much more aggressively in the coming year. Meanwhile, for all those lamenting the relentless coverage of politics in a financial blog, why finance appears to have taken a secondary role, and why the political "narrative" has taken a dominant role for financial analysts, the past three years showed conclusively why that is the case: in a world where markets gyrated, and "rotated" from value stocks to growth and vice versa, purely on speculation of how big the next stimulus out of Washington will be, now that any future big stimulus plans are off the table until at least 2024 thanks to a divided Congress, and the Fed is still planning on hiking until it finally crushing inflation, we would like to remind readers of one of our favorite charts: every financial crisis is the result of Fed tightening, and something always breaks. Which brings us to the simplest forecast about the coming year: 2023 will be the year when something finally breaks. As for more nuanced predictions about the future, as the past three years so vividly showed, when it comes to actual surprises and all true "black swans", it won't be what anyone had expected. And so while many themes, both in the political and financial realm, did get some accelerated closure, dramatic changes in 2022 persisted and new sources of global shocks emerged, and will continue to manifest themselves in often violent and unexpected ways - from the ongoing record polarization in the US political arena, to "populist" upheavals around the developed world, to the gradual transition to a global Universal Basic (i.e., socialized) Income regime, to China deciding that the US is finally weak enough and the time has come to invade Taiwan. As always, we thank all of our readers for making this website - which has never seen one dollar of outside funding (and despite amusing recurring allegations, has certainly never seen a ruble from either Putin or the KGB either, sorry CIA) and has never spent one dollar on marketing - a small (or not so small) part of your daily routine. Which also brings us to another critical topic: that of fake news, and something we - and others who do not comply with the established narrative - have been accused of. While we find the narrative of fake news laughable, after all every single article in this website is backed by facts and links to outside sources, it is clearly a dangerous development, and a very slippery slope that the entire developed world is pushing for what is, when stripped of fancy jargon, internet censorship under the guise of protecting the average person from "dangerous, fake information." It's also why we are preparing for the next onslaught against independent thought and why we had no choice but to roll out a premium version of this website. In addition to the other themes noted above, we expect the crackdown on free speech to only accelerate in the coming year - Elon Musk's Twitter Files revelations notwithstanding, especially as the following list of Top 20 articles for 2022 reveals, many of the most popular articles in the past year were precisely those which the conventional media would not touch with a ten foot pole, both out of fear of repercussions and because the MSM has now become a PR agency for either a political party or some unelected, deep state bureaucrat, which in turn allowed the alternative media to continue to flourish in an information vacuum (in less than a decade, Elon Musk's $44 billion purchase of Twitter will seem like one of the century's biggest bargains) and take significant market share from the established outlets by covering topics which established media outlets refuse to do, in the process earning itself the derogatory "fake news" condemnation. We are grateful that our readers - who hit a new record high in 2022 - have realized that it is incumbent upon them to decide what is, and isn't "fake news." * * * And so, before we get into the details of what has now become an annual tradition for the last day of the year, those who wish to jog down memory lane, can refresh our most popular articles for every year during our no longer that brief, almost 14-year existence, starting with 2009 and continuing with 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021. So without further ado, here are the articles that you, our readers, found to be the most engaging, interesting and popular based on the number of hits, during the past year. In 20th spot with just over 510,000 views, was one of the seminal market strategy reports of 2022 by the man who has become the most prescient and accurate voice on Wall Street, former NY Fed repo guru Zoltan Pozsar, whose periodic pieces previewing the post-war world - one where Bretton Woods III makes a stunning comeback, where the petrodollar dies, and is replaced by the Petroyuan - have become must-read staple fare for Wall Street professionals. In "Wall Street Stunned By Zoltan Pozsar's Latest Prediction Of What Comes Next", Zoltan offered his first post-Ukraine war glimpse of the coming "Bretton Woods III" world, "a new monetary order centered around commodity-based currencies in the East that will likely weaken the Eurodollar system and also contribute to inflationary forces in the West." Subsequent events, including the growing proximity of Russia, China and various other non-G7 nations, coupled with stubborn inflation, have gone a long way to proving Zoltan's thesis. The only thing that's missing is the overhaul of the world reserve currency. In 19th spot, some 526,000 learned that amid the relentless crackdown against free speech by a regime which Elon Musk's Twitter Files have definitively revealed is borderline fascist (as in real fascism, not that clownish farce which antifa thugs pretend to crusade against) Zero Hedge was among the first websites to be targeted by the CIA when that deep state mouthpiece, the Associated Press, said that "intelligence officials accused a conservative financial news website [Zero Hedge] with a significant American readership of amplifying Kremlin propaganda." As we explained in "Now We've Done It: We Pissed Off The CIA" - the 19th most viewed article of 2022 - we have done no such thing but as the AP also revealed, the real motive behind the hit piece is that "Zero Hedge has been sharply critical of Biden and posted stories about allegations of wrongdoing by his son Hunter." Of course, only a few weeks later we would learn that reports of wrongdoing by "his son Hunter" as unveiled in the infamously censored laptop story fiasco, were indeed accurate (despite dozens of "former intel officials" saying it is Russian disinfo) but since only "Kremlin propaganda" sites dare to attack Joe Biden while the MSM keeps deathly silent, nobody in the so-called "free press" bothered to mention it. Incidentally, since the CIA did a full background check on us and republishing some pro-Russian blogs was the best they could find, we are confident that  On the other hand, since being designated a pro-Russian operation meant that we have been blacklisted by most advertisers, we are increasingly reliant on you, dear readers (and not Vladimir Putin) for support, and we would be extremely grateful to everyone who can sign up for our premium product to support us into 2023 and onward. In 18th spot, and suitably right below our little tete-a-tete with the CIA, was the disclosure of a huge trove of corruption Hunter Biden's "laptop from hell." In April, with over 568,000 page views, readers learned that "450GB Of 'Deleted' Hunter Biden Laptop Material To Be Released Within Weeks." The ultimate result was the long overdue confirmation by the mainstream press (NYT and WaPo) that the Biden notebook was indeed real (again, despite dozens of "former intel officials" saying it is Russian disinfo) but since the state-corporatist apparatus had already achieved its goal, and suppressed and censored the original NYPost reporting just ahead of the 2020 presidential election and Biden had been elected president, few cared (just a few months later, thanks to Elon Musk and the Twitter files would we learn just how deep the censorship hole went, and that it involved not only the US government, the Democratic Party, the FBI, but also the biggest tech and media companies, all working together to censor anything that they found politically unpalatable). Yes, 2022 was also a midterm year, and with more than 617,000 views, was our snapshot of what happened on Nov 8 when in a carbon copy of 2020 it initially seemed like Republicans would sweep Congress as we described in the 17th most popular article of 2022, "Election Night Results: FL "Catastrophic" For Dems, Vance Takes OH, Fetterman Tops Oz"... but it was not meant to be and as the mail-in votes crawled in days and weeks later, the GOP lead not only fizzled (despite a jarring loss among Florida Hispanics), but in the end Democrats kept the Senate. Ultimately the result was anticlimatic, and with Congress divided for the next two years, governance will be secondary to what the Fed will do, which in our humble view, will be the big story of 2023. For all the political, market and central bank trials and tribulations of 2022, one could make the argument that the biggest story of the past year was Elon Musk's whimsical takeover of twitter, which started off amicably enough as laid out in the 16th most popular article of 2022 (with more than 627,000 page views) "Buffett Says "Musk Is Winning...It's America" As TWTR Board Ponders Poison Pill", then turned ugly and hostile, transitioned into a case of buyer's remorse with Musk suing to back out of the deal only to find out he can't, and culminated with the release of the shocking Twitter Files, Musk's stunning expose of the dirt and secrets of how the world's most popular news outlet had effectively become a subsidiary not only of the Democratic party but also of the FBI, CIA and various other deep state alphabet agencies, validating once again countless "conspiracy theories" and confirming once and for all that any outlet that still dares to oppose the official party line is the biggest enemy of the deep state. And speaking of the deep state, we had a glaring reminder in September why one should be very careful when crossing the US secret police FBI when pro-Trump celeb pillow entrepreneur Mike Lindell was intercepted by the Feds during a hunting trip and had his cell phone seized as described in "FBI Tracks Down Mike Lindell On Hunting Trip, Surrounds His Car And Seizes Cell Phone". That this happened to one of the most vocal critics of the 2020 election just two months before the midterms, was surely a coincidence, as over 625,000 readers obviously concluded. 2022 was not a good year for markets, and certainly wasn't good for retail investors whose torrid gains from the meme stock mania of 2021 melted down almost as fast as the Fed hiked rates (very fast). But not everyone was a loser, and one story stood out: that of 20-year-old student Jake Freeman (who together with his uncle) bought up a substantial, 6.2% stake in soon-to-be-broke retailer Bed Bath and Beyond, and piggybacking on the antics of one Ryan Cohen, quietly cashed out after making a massive $110 million by piggybacking on one of the most vicious short/gamma squeezes in recent history. The "Surreal Story Of A 20-Year-Old Student Who Acquired 6% Of Bed Bath & Beyond, And Made $110 Million In 3 Weeks" was the 14th most read article of 2022. The 13th most read story of 2022 with over 668,000 reads was the bizarre interlude involving superstar-trader and outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband, Paul, and his bizarre attack by a "right wing" progressive as described in "Paul Pelosi Undergoing Brain Surgery Following 'Brutal' Attack; Suspect Identified." While authorities have struggled to craft a narrative that the attacker, nudist transient David Depape of Berkeley, was a pro-Trumper and the attack was politically motivated, the evidence has indicated that he suffered from serious mental illness and drug addiction and lacked any coherent political ideology; some have even claimed that there was a sexual relationship between him and Pelosi, a theory that could be easily disproven if only the police would release the bodycam footage from the moment of the arrest. Unfortunately, San Fran PD has vowed to keep it confidential. Depape's trial is set to be 2023's business, so expect more fireworks. 2022 was also a year in which Europeans realized how brutally expensive electricity can be when the biggest commodity, nat gas and oil supplier to Europe, Russia, is suddenly cut off. And judging by the 668,500 people who read "How In The Name Of God": Shocked Europeans Post Astronomical Energy Bills As 'Terrifying Winter' Approaches" and made it into the 12th most popular article of the year, the staggering number were also news to our audience: indeed, the fact that Geraldine Dolan, who owns the Poppyfields cafe in Athlone, Ireland, and was charged nearly €10,000 for just over two months of energy usage, was shocking to everyone. To be sure, there were countless other such stories out of Europe and with the Russia-Ukraine war unlikely to end any time soon, Europe's commodity hyperinflation will only continue. Adding insult to injury, Europe is on a fast track to a brutal recession, but the ECB remains stuck in tightening mode, perhaps because it somehow believes that higher rates will ease energy supplies. Alas that won't happen and instead the big question for 2023 will be whether Europe is merely hit with a recession or if instead the ECB's actions escalates the local malaise into a full-blown depression. Earlier we said that one of the most prophetic voices on Wall Street in 2022 (and prior) was that of Zoltan Pozsar, who laid out his theory of a Bretton Woods III regime in the days immediately following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Well, just one month later we saw the first tentative steps toward just such a paradigm shift when in April the Russian central bank offered to buy gold from domestic commercial banks at a fixed price of 5000 rubles per gram; by doing so the Bank of Russia both linked the ruble to gold and, since gold trades in US dollars, set a floor price for the ruble in terms of the US dollar. We described this in "A Paradigm Shift Western Media Hasn't Grasped Yet" - Russian Ruble Relaunched, Linked To Gold & Commodities", an article red 670,000 times making it the 11th most popular of the year. This concept of "petrogold" was also the subject of extensive discussion by Pozsar who dedicated one of his most recent widely-read notes to the topic; if indeed we are witnessing the transition to a Bretton Woods 3 regime, 2023 will see a lot of fireworks in the monetary system as the dollar's reserve status is challenged by eastern commodity producers. The 10th most popular article of 2022, with 686K views was a reminder of just how much "the settled science" can change: as described in "You Murderous Hypocrites": Outrage Ensues After The Atlantic Suggests 'Amnesty' For Pandemic Authoritarians, many were shocked when after pushing for economy-crushing lockdowns, seeking to block children from going to school (and stunting their development), and even calling for the incarceration or worse of mask, vaccine and booster holdouts, the liberal left - realizing that it was completely wrong about everything to do with covid, a virus with a 99% survival rate - suddenly and politely was hoping to "declare a pandemic amnesty." Brown Professor Emily Oster - a huge lockdown proponent, who now pleads from mercy from the once-shunned - wrote "we need to forgive one another for what we did and said when we were in the dark about COVID. Let’s acknowledge that we made complicated choices in the face of deep uncertainty, and then try to work together to build back and move forward." The response from those who lost their small business, wealth, or worse, a family member (who died alone or from complications from the experimental gene therapy known as "vaccines" and "boosters") was clear and unanimous; as for those seeking preemptive pardons from the coming tribunals, their plea was clear: “We didn't know! We were just following orders."  And from one covid post we segue into another, only this time the focus is not on the disease but rather the consequences of mandatory vaccines: over 730K readers were shocked in February when a former finance professional discovered a surge in "excess mortality", or unexplained deaths among otherwise healthy young adults, yet not linked directly to covid (thus leaving vaccines as the possible cause of death), as we showed in "Long Funeral Homes, Short Life Insurers? Ex-Blackrock Fund Manager Discovers Disturbing Trends In Mortality." This wasn't the first time we had heart of a surge in excess mortality: a month earlier it was the CEO of insurance company OneAmerica to observe that the death rate for those aged 18-64 had soared by 40% over pre-pandemic levels (this was another post that received a lot of clicks). While the science is clearly not settled here - on either covid or the vaccines - the emerging trend is ominous: at this rate the excess deaths associated with covid (and its vaccines) will soon surpass the deaths directly linked to covid. And anyone who dares to bring this up will be branded a racist, a white supremacists, or a fascist, or all three. One of the defining features of 2022 was the record surge in the price of food. And while much of this inflation could be attributed to the trillions in helicopter money injected over the past three years, as well as the snarled supply chains due to the war in Ukraine, a mystery emerged when one after another US food processing plant mysteriously burned down. And with almost 800,000 page views, a majority of our readers wanted to know why "Another US Food Processing Plant Erupts In Flames", making it the 8th most read post of the year. While so far no crime has been alleged, the fact that over 100 "accidental fires" (as listed here) have taken place across America's food facilities since the start of 2021, impairing the US supply chain, remains one of the biggest mysteries of the year. While some will argue that runaway inflation was the event of 2022, we will counter that the defining moment was the war between Ukraine and Russia, which broke out in February after what the Kremlin said was a long-running NATO attempt to corner Russia (by pushing Ukraine to seek membership in the military alliance), forcing it to either launch an invasion now, or wait several years and be invaded by all the neighboring NATO countries. Still, many were shocked when Putin ultimately gave the order to launch the "special military operations", as most had Russia to merely posture. But it was not meant to be and nearly 840K readers followed the world-changing events on February 2 when "Putin Orders "Special Military Operation" In Ukraine's Breakaway Regions." The war continues to this day with no prospects of peace or even a ceasefire. And from one geopolitical hotspot we go to another, namely China and Taiwan, which many expect will be the next major military theater at some time in the near future when Beijing finally invades the "Republic of China" and officially brings it back into the fold. Thing here got extra hot in early August when Democrat Nancy Pelosi decided to make an unexpected trip to the semiconductor-heavy island, sparking an unprecedented diplomatic escalation, with many speculating that China could simply fire at Nancy's unsanctioned airplane. In the end, however, as nearly 950,000 found out, the situation fizzled as "China Summoned US Ambassador Overnight, Says Washington "Must Pay The Price"." Since then Pelosi's political career has officially ended, and while China has not yet invaded Taiwan, it is only a matter of time before it does. While Covid may have been a 2021 story, that was also the year when nobody was allowed to talk about the Chinese pandemic. Things changed in 2022 when liberal censorship finally crashed under its own weight, and long overdue discussions of Covid became mainstream. nowhere more so than on Twitter where Elon Musk fired all those responsible for silencing the debate over the past three years, and of course, the show of the always outspoken Joe Rogan, where mRNA inventor Robert Malone, gave a fascinating interview to Joe Rogan which aired on New Year's Eve 2022 and which took the world by storm in the first days of the new year. It certainly made over 908,000 readers click on "COVID, Ivermectin, And 'Mass Formation Psychosis': Dr. Robert Malone Gives Blistering Interview To Joe Rogan." The doctor, who had been suspended by both LInkedIn and Twitter, for the crime of promoting "vaccine hesitancy" argued that if the risks of vaccines are not discussed, informed consent is not possible. As Malone concluded "Informed consent is not only not happening, it's being actively blocked." Luckily, now that Elon Musk has made it possible to discuss covid - and so much more - on twitter without fears of immediate suspension, there is again hope that not only is informed consent once again possible, but that the wheels of true justice are starting to steamroll liberal censorship. A tragic and bizarre interlude took place in early July when "Former Japanese PM Abe Shot Dead During Speech, "Frustrated" Assassin Arrested", a shocking development which captured the attention of some 927,000 readers.  While some expected the assassination to be a Archduke Ferdinand moment, coming at a time of soaring inflation around the globe and potentially catalyzing grassroots anger at the ruling class, the episode remained isolated as it did not have political motives and instead the killer, Yamagami, said that he killed the former PM in relation to a grudge he held against the Unification Church, to which Abe and his family had political ties, over his mother's bankruptcy in 2002. That's the good news. The bad news is that with the fabric of society close to tearing across most developed nations, it is only a matter of time before we do get a real Archduke 2.0 moment. Just days after Rogan's interview with Malone (see above), another covid-linked "surprise" emerged when Projected Veritas leaked military documents hidden on a classified system showing how EcoHealth Alliance approached DARPA in March 2018, seeking funding to conduct illegal gain of function research of bat borne coronaviruses. But while US infatuation with creating viral bioweapons is hardly new (instead it merely outsourced it to biolabs in China), one of the discoveries revealed in "Ivermectin 'Works Throughout All Phases' Of COVID According To Leaked Military Documents" - the third most popular post of 2022 with 929K page views, is that the infamous "horse paste" Ivermectin was defined by Darpa as a "curative" which works throughout all phases of the illness because it both inhibits viral replication and modulates the immune response. Of course, had that been made public, it would have prevented Pfizer and Moderna from making tens of billions in revenue from selling mRNA-based therapies (not vaccines) whose potentially deadly side effects we are only now learning about (as the 9th most popular post of 2022 noted above confirms). The fake news apparatus was busy spinning in overtime this past year (and every other year), and not only when it comes to covid, inflation, unemployment, the recession, but also - or rather especially - the Ukraine fog of propaganda war. A striking example was the explosion of both pipelines connecting Russia to Europe, Nord Stream I and II, which quickly escalated into a fingerpointing exercise of accusations, with Europe blaming Putin for blowing up the pipelines (even though said pipelines exclusively benefit the Kremlin which spent billions building them in the recent past), while the Kremlin said it was the US' fault. This we learned in "EU Chief Calls Nord Stream Attack "Sabotage", Warns Of "Strongest Possible Response", which was also the 2nd most read article of the year with just over 1,050,000 page views. In the end, there was no "response" at all. Why? Because as it emerged just two months later in that most deep state of outlets, the Washington Post, "Evidence In Nord Stream Sabotage Doesn't Point To Russia." In other words, it points to the US, just as professor Jeffrey Sachs dared to suggest on Bloomberg, leading to shock and awe at the pro-Biden media outlet. The lesson here, inasmuch as there is one, is that the perpetrators of every false flag operation always emerge - it may take time, but the outcome is inevitable, and "shockingly", the culprit almost always is one particular nation... Finally, the most read article of 2022 with nearly 1.1 million page views, was "White House Says Russian Forces 20 Miles Outside Ukraine's Capital." It cemented that as least as far as ZH readers were concerned, the biggest event of the year was the war in Ukraine, an event which has set in motion forces which will redefine the layout of the world over the next century (and, if Zoltan Pozsar is right, will lead to the demise of the US dollar as a reserve currency and culminate with China surpassing the US as the world's biggest superpower). Incidentally, while Russian forces may have been 20 miles outside of Kiev, they were repelled and even though the war could have ended nearly a year ago and the world would have returned to some semblance of normalcy, it was not meant to be, and the war still goes on with little hope that it will end any time soon. And with all that behind us, and as we wave goodbye to another bizarre, exciting, surreal year, what lies in store for 2023, and the next decade? We don't know: as frequent and not so frequent readers are aware, we do not pretend to be able to predict the future and we don't try, despite repeat baseless allegations that we constantly predict the collapse of civilization: we leave the predicting to the "smartest people in the room" who year after year have been consistently wrong about everything, and never more so than in 2022 (when the entire world realized just how clueless the Fed had been when it called the most crushing and persistent inflation in two generations "transitory"), which destroyed the reputation of central banks, of economists, of conventional media and the professional "polling" and "strategist" class forever, not to mention all those "scientists" who made a mockery of both the scientific method and the "expert class" with their catastrophically bungled response to the covid pandemic. We merely observe, find what is unexpected, entertaining, amusing, surprising or grotesque in an increasingly bizarre, sad, and increasingly crazy world, and then just write about it. We do know, however, that with central banks now desperate to contain inflation and undo 13 years of central bank mistakes - after all it is the trillions and trillions in monetary stimulus, the helicopter money, the MMT, and the endless deficit funding by central banks that made the current runaway inflation possible, the current attempt to do something impossible and stuff 13 years of toothpaste back into the tube, will be a catastrophic failure. We are confident, however, that in the end it will be the very final backstoppers of the status quo regime, the central banking emperors of the New Normal, who will eventually be revealed as fully naked. When that happens and what happens after is anyone's guess. But, as we have promised - and delivered - every year for the past 14, we will be there to document every aspect of it. Finally, and as always, we wish all our readers the best of luck in 2023, with much success in trading and every other avenue of life. We bid farewell to 2022 with our traditional and unwavering year-end promise: Zero Hedge will be there each and every day - usually with a cynical smile (and with the CIA clearly on our ass now) - helping readers expose, unravel and comprehend the fallacy, fiction, fraud and farce that defines every aspect of our increasingly broken economic, political and financial system. Tyler Durden Sat, 12/31/2022 - 11:05.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytDec 31st, 2022

86 thoughtful gifts for every kind of mom

If you're looking for a thoughtful gift for Mom, we put together a list for all budgets and interests. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Tiny Tags; Urban OutfittersFinding the perfect holiday gifts for a mom — be it for your own mother, grandmother, mother-in-law, aunt, or a new parent on your list —  can be tricky. She might claim she doesn't want anything or have very specific tastes, so finding a thoughtful gift might require some extra thought.  Even if they don't give you much to go off of directly, the key to shopping for moms is simply to pay attention to their likes (and dislikes). Whether she's a minimalist, bookworm, foodie, nature lover, techie, or fitness fanatic, we've rounded up a selection of gifts below, guaranteed to bring a smile to every mom's face.  A luxury set of maternity essentialsHatchHatch To Hospital X Jenni Kayne, available at Hatch, $398Best for: The expectant motherExpecting mamas with no clue what they should be packing for the hospital will love this pre-made kit designed by maternity brand, Hatch in collaboration with California lifestyle brand, Jenni Kayne. The limited-edition box is a bundle of joy all its own, as it consists of luxury essentials that will help make Mom feel supported but pampered, too, including a matching nightgown, robe, and cozy cashmere socks.A subscription specifically for petite clothingShort StoryShort Story Petite Styling Subscription Box, available at Short Story, from $50Best for: The petite fashionistaIf the mom on your list is a fashionista standing at or under 5'4", a Short Story Subscription is the perfect gift. Each box is curated by a professional stylist tapped into petite fashion and caters to the subscriber's preferences and needs. From tops to dresses to accessories, outfits are handpicked and boast brand names from Vince Camuto to Blank NYC, because no one should have to sacrifice style to accommodate their height.A silky slipNordstromLUNYA Washable Silk Slipdress Nightgown, available at Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, and LUNYA, $198                                         Best for: The slip loverDo you know what pairs exceptionally well with holiday cheer? Anything cozy. Enter this silky slipdress from LUNYA that is breathable, thermoregulating, and machine washable. It comes in three colors (Immersed Black, Meditative Grey, and Otium Tan) and is designed to be a bit oversized for optimal comfort.A personalized gold bar necklaceTiny TagsTiny Tags Gold Skinny Bar Necklace, available at Tiny Tags, from $145Best for: The minimalistThis Skinny Bar Necklace from Tiny Tags is about to be their new favorite accessory. Available in either yellow, white, or rose gold, and three length options (choker, STD, or 18 inches), the necklace is a personalized accessory that can fit up to 25 characters of text. Whether you engrave the piece with the names of their children, birthdates, or a sweet quote, the sentiment is sure to warm their heart.A crossbody phone case and walletCrystal Cox/InsiderKimberly Leather Crossbody, available at Bandolier, $128Best for: The mom who hates bulky bagsIf all they need is something to store their phone and wallet, this stylish crossbody case was invented for them. It accommodates a wide range of smartphones and features card slots and a snap pocket to keep their essentials all in one tiny, easy-to-access place.The gift of comfortable loungewearTommy JohnWomen's loungewear and sleepwear, available at Tommy John, $48Tommy John E-Gift Card, available at Tommy John, from $25Best for: The mom who loves to loungeThe Insider Reviews team is positively smitten with Tommy John's loungewear and underwear — so much so, we named the latter one of the best women's underwear brands in our buying guide, so you can be sure Mom will love it too.A diamond charm of her initialsMejuriDiamond Letter Charm, available at Mejuri, $225Best for: The mom who loves personalized giftsQuite a few mothers rock necklaces with their initials — or, sometimes, even their children's or spouse's. It's sweet and sentimental, but also really chic, especially when the charms are these diamond ones from Mejuri. Pair it with one of Mejuri's dainty chains so it's ready to wear or let Mom add the charms onto one of her own necklaces. You can also browse more jewelry gifts for mom here.An ultra-comfy loungewear set that's one of Oprah's Favorite ThingsSpanxAirEssentials Wide Leg Pant, available at Spanx, $118AirEssentials Half Zip, available at Spanx, $118This AirEssentials set from Spanx is one of the comfiest sets we've ever tested. Sally Kaplan, the executive editor of Insider Reviews, says it's her go-to travel outfit and all-around favorite sweatsuit. The material is lightweight and buttery, not too hot but not too light, and the pieces are easy to mix and match with other wardrobe staples.The pants are available in petite, regular, and tall sizes, and each set comes in a few neutral colors. The sweatshirts come in several styles — a cropped pullover, regular pullover, and half-zip — and if you don't think the wide leg pant isn't quite right for your giftee, you can also buy a tapered jogger-style pant in the same material for $110.Popular leggings with a no-slip fitVuoriDaily Legging, available at Vuori, $89Best for: The mom who prioritizes comfortVuori is well-known for its super-soft fabrics and flattering cuts, and the Daily Leggings are just another example. This style looks like a pair of joggers but fits like a pair of leggings. The high waistband and drawstring allow for a snug feel while the brand's smoothing technology gives an airbrushed appearance.Read more about the Daily Legging here.A pair of cozy, eco-friendly slip-on shoesAllbirdsWomen's Wool Lounger Fluffs, available at Allbirds, $89Best for: The mom who loves sneakersKeep mom looking cool and feeling comfy every time she leaves the house with these slip-on sneakers. Made with cozy soft merino wool inside and out, these shearling shoes are ideal for cool fall days running errands or meeting up with friends for lunch. The best part: The entire shoe is machine washable.A luxurious bathrobeParachuteClassic Bathrobe, available at Parachute, $109Best for: The mom who takes self-care seriouslyA plush bathrobe will make every shower feel like a trip to the spa. Parachute's soft Turkish cotton robe comes in four great colors: white, mineral, blush, and stone. This cozy gift for Mom will become her go-to pick. Read our full review of the Parachute Classic Bathrobe here.A pendant necklaceSet & StonesSet & Stones Cheyenne Mama Necklace, available at Nordstrom, $232Best for: The proud mamaYour mom will want to keep this pendant necklace very close to her heart. It'll sit lightly around her neck and be a subtle reminder of her special bond with you. If this is quite her style, you can browse more jewelry gifts for mom here.A roomy work bag with tons of pocketsDagne DoverDagne Dover Allyn Tote, available at Dagne Dover, from $340Best for: The mom who's picky about bagsDagne Dover's Allyn Tote is a sophisticated and spacious work bag with a padded laptop sleeve, water bottle holder, and other thoughtful interior pockets that will keep Mom organized and always ready to go. A comfortable, ethical sandalNisoloGo-To Flatform Sandal, available at Nisolo, $117Best for: The mom in search for a good summer sandalNisolo is known for its ethically and sustainably made footwear. The aptly named Go-To Flatform Sandal is a basic summer staple that can be dressed up or dressed down — a practical wardrobe necessity.  Pearl hoop earringsMejuriMejuri Pearl Hoops, available at Mejuri, $78Best for: The mom who loves minimalist jewelryGet your mom a beautiful pair of earrings or a necklace with her zodiac sign that she can wear every day. Mejuri is a favorite jewelry startup of ours, so your Mom will likely enjoy this Canadian company's delicate jewelry, too. You can also browse more jewelry gifts for mom here.Read our full review of Mejuri here.A pair of sunglasses to block the sun in styleGlassesUSACheck out GlassesUSA's selection of sunglasses, from $29Best for: The mom who loves the sunSunglasses are spring and summer essentials and a perfect gift for Mom. GlassesUSA carries a wide variety of popular brands, including Ray-Ban, Oakley, Muse, Prada, and more. If you want a pair for yourself too, you can buy one and get one free with the code BOGOFREE at checkout.Read our full review of GlassesUSA here.A gold square watch to keep track of timeNordstromMVMT Signature Square Bracelet Watch, available at Nordstrom and Macy's, from $102.40Best for: The mom who hates using her phone for a watchThis elegant square watch bears a minimalist and luxurious design that elevates any look. The gold watch is so impossible to miss that she'll now be on time for every occasion with it as a reminder.A beautiful scarf with her birth-month flowerUncommon GoodsBirth Month Flower Scarf, available at Uncommon Goods, $48Best for: The mom who likes sentimental giftsGive her something beautiful to wear that will remind her how thoughtful you are every time she wraps it. This scarf is patterned with the flower of her birth month, a nice touch of under-the-radar personalization.A chic purse that can turn into a backpackSenreveAlunna, available at Senreve, from $595Best for: The mom who hates lugging stuff on her shoulderA purse is an obvious gift for Mom if she has an eye for handbags, but you can mix things up by giving her one that's both a purse and a backpack. The Alunna by Senreve is versatile and stylish, and it can be worn on her back, hand, over the shoulder, or across the body. Plus, it can organize all of Mom's essentials with its two interior pockets and exterior cardholder.Luxe slippers with a cozy cashmere blendMargauxSlippers, available at Margaux, $248Best for: The mom who refuses to walk barefoot on hardwood floorsMade from a soft wool-cashmere blend and cushiony foam padding, Margaux slippers feel like stepping into a cloud. Mom will enjoy wearing any of the three styles — Slide, Ballet, or Cozy — around the house.A leather wallet that can be monogrammed with Mom's initialsLeatherologyKlyde Continental Wallet, available at Leatherology, from $140Best for: The mom with the wallet that's falling apartA sophisticated leather wallet instantly elevates a busy mother's everyday style and keeps her organized when she's constantly moving from place to place. You can get this leather wallet from Leatherology in 11 colors and three different personalization options. A personalized T-shirtKnown SupplyPersonalized Women's Fitted Crew, available at Known Supply, $32Best for: The new mom beaming with prideYou can personalize this comfortable Pima cotton tee with "mom" or "mama" — or any other name that's under nine characters — in cute, loopy cursive. A crossbody bag with a hand-painted monogramClare V.Midi Sac, avaliable at Claire V., starting at $335Best for: The practical yet stylish momThis leather crossbody bag comes in tons of colors and is great for travel and daytime outings — for an extra $50, you can customize it with a gold foil or hand-painted monogram. A passport cover and luggage tagLeatherologyDeluxe Passport Cover + Luggage Tag Set, available at Leatherology, starting at $75Best for: The mom who travels more than you doMom might be planning her next trip out of town, and what better travel accessory to have than a personalized passport cover and luggage tag? She'll be less likely to lose her passport or suitcase thanks to these colorful accessories that also sport her initials. A dish purely for melting cheeseAmazonEmile Henry Cheese Baker, available at Amazon and Emily Henry USA, from $50Best for: The cheese loverAs far as we're concerned, cheese lovers and entertainers need this stunning glazed baker from Emile Henry. It's both a heavy-duty pot and a stylish serving dish that melts and keeps cheese melted for deliciously decadent dips and fondue. Don't be surprised when night outs become nights in, because who needs takeout when there's ooey, gooey cheese to enjoy? An impressive electric kettleWalmartBeautiful by Drew Barrymore 1.7L One-Touch Electric Kettle, available at Walmart, $39.96Best for: The tea drinkerWhile there's nothing quite like a stovetop-boiled cup of tea, electric kettles are also beloved by tea drinkers for their speed and efficiency. This programmable model from Beautiful by Drew Barrymore, for example, can boil up to seven cups of water in under seven minutes. What's more, the touch-activated appliance features four preset options for white, green, oolong, and black teas, to ensure every cup is brewed to perfection. It also comes in six beautiful colors, including Merlot and Sage Green, so you can easily match the kettle to their kitchen decor.A box of beautiful holiday chocolatesCompartésCompartés Holiday Chocolate Truffles, available at Compartés, $39.95Best for: The chocolgate loverIf they have a sweet tooth, Compartés Holiday Truffles are sure to curb their craving. But this is no average box of chocolates; each treat boasts a uniquely festive flavor, from gingerbread and decadent butter pecan to pumpkin, sticky toffee, and more. You won't be just gifting them dessert; you'll be gifting an experience any candy connoisseur won't want to miss this season.A gift card to buy whatever food they're cravingGoldbellyGoldbelly Gift Card, available at Goldbelly, from $25Best for: The homesick foodieIf your mom has a favorite city or place that she misses (or just craves a food she can't easily get where she is), a Goldbelly gift card goes a long way. Goldbelly is one of our favorite services when it comes to delivering regional meals, meal kits, and desserts, be it Maine lobster rolls, Southern BBQ, or NYC bagels. A delicious treat from Milk BarMilk Bar/Alyssa Powell/InsiderMilk Bar Treats, available at Milk Bar, from $27Best for: The mom with the sweet toothMilk bar cakes topped our list of the All-Time Best things we've tested and these treats will definitely satisfy Mom's sweet tooth. Choose from a limited-edition Strawberry Shortcake Cake, the bestselling B'Day Truffles, and plenty more. We break down how to shop for Milk Bar online, here. Read our full review of Milk Bar.A cocktail maker that mixes drinks in secondsBartesianBartesian Premium Cocktail and Margarita Machine, available at Amazon and Williams Sonoma, from $299.99Best for: The bartender momSummer's almost here, which, for some moms, means it's time to break out refreshing cocktails. This cocktail maker will make Mom's life a whole lot easier, since all she has to do is pop in a cocktail capsule, choose her preferred strength, and press mix. She'll be sipping a margarita, cosmopolitan, or gin martini in seconds.Read our full review of the Bartesian Premium Cocktail and Margarita Machine here.  A wooden gift crate with 2 pounds of cheese insideMurray's CheeseMurray's Cheese Greatest Hits Gift Box, available at Murray's Cheese, $108Best for: The mom who *always* says yes to cheese on her pastaCheese lovers will find a lot to like in this wooden gift crate (yes, crate) from Murray's Cheese, which includes two mouthwatering pounds of English cheddar, brie, cave-aged Gruyere, and one-year-aged Manchego along with snacks to pair with each cheese: spiced cherry preserves, sea salt crackers, and Marcona almonds.For more of the best from Murray's Cheese, check out our guide to the best cheeses you can buy online.Read our review of Murray's Cheese gift boxes.A cookbook focused entirely on vegetablesMilk StreetMilk Street Vegetables Cookbook, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $26.35Best for: The vegetarian chef If your mom is a vegetarian (or just trying to do more Meatless Mondays), this cookbook takes inspiration from the many ways in which vegetables are celebrated by different cultures around the world.A Le Creuset dutch ovenAmazonLe Creuset Round Dutch Oven, available at Williams-Sonoma and Crate & Barrel, from $260Best for: The mom with chipped potsAt $160, this Le Creuset dutch oven might be the most expensive piece of cookware in Mom's kitchen, but it'll also be the most used. It comes in tons of colors, so you can choose Mom's favorite. We've even ranked it as the best overall in our guide to the best dutch ovens. It's one of the best products we've ever tested.Read our full review of the Le Creuset Round Dutch Oven here.A cutting board in the shape of the state Mom calls homeAmazonTotally Bamboo State Cutting & Serving Board, available at Amazon and Totally Bamboo, from $14.99Best for: The mom full of state prideAvailable for all 50 states as well British Columbia, Puerto Rico, Long Island, and Ontario, this uniquely shaped cutting and serving board doubles as kitchen decor. An indoor herb garden that requires zero effortClick & GrowSmart Garden 3 Indoor Gardening Kit, available at Click & Grow and Amazon, $74.96Best for: The mom who loves a fresh garnishEvery chef knows that cooking with fresh ingredients like basil can make a big difference. The Click & Grow Smart Garden is a self-watering system that allows even the most amateur gardeners to quickly and effortlessly grow herbs and vegetables. We tried it and were impressed with how well it worked, as well as the truly effortless process. Read our full review of the Click & Grow Smart Garden 3 Indoor Gardening Kit here.A tasty baking cookbookAmazon"Dessert Person" by Claire Saffitz, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $21.11Best for: The mom who bakes all the timeFor the mom who adores baking, this dessert cookbook has plenty of baking recipes to satisfy the family's sweet tooth. It offers recipes and guidance on how to bake sweet and savory treats whether it's a caramelized honey pumpkin pie or English muffins.  If she already has it, here are some of the best baking books recommended by professional bakers.A water bottle that solves all pain pointsHydro Flask/Alyssa Powell/InsiderHydro Flask Wide Mouth Water Bottle (32 oz), available at REI and Amazon, from $37.92Best for: The mom who needs to hydrateHydro Flask water bottles are one of the All-Time Best products we've ever tested and have a cult following for a number of reasons: The double-walled vacuum seal keeps hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold for hours on end, many products come with a lifetime warranty, and the bright colors add a bit of fun to something that's otherwise thought of as ordinary. You can hear more about why we love this water bottle in our guide to the best travel mugs. A delicious wine-mimic for healthy nights offJukes CordialitiesJukes 6, available at Jukes Cordialities, $55Best for: The sober momIf mom loves vino, she'll love this tasty non-alcoholic substitute for nights where she's craving a glass but wants to stay sober. Created by a British wine critic, Jukes Cordialities are thoughtful and complex — the closest to the real stuff we've tried.We personally love the full red mimic, Jukes 6, which is deep and spicy like a glass of Rioja, and pairs well with food in the same way wine does — all without the buzz and with the added health benefits of organic apple cider vinegar (the base).A voice-assisted remote for all Mom's streaming needsAmazonFire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote, available at Amazon and Target, from $24.99Best for: The mom who watches everythingShe can access hundreds of streaming services, including Hulu, Netflix, Disney Plus, HBO Max, and more, with this affordable entertainment hub. Plus, Amazon Prime members get unlimited access to thousands of movies and TV episodes with Amazon Prime Video. This model supports up to 4K Ultra HD. You can read more in our guide to the best streaming devices.The Amazon EchoAmazonAmazon Echo (4th Generation), available at Amazon and Target,  $59.99Best for: The mom who wants some hands-off helpThere's an ever-so-slight learning curve in figuring out what Amazon's Alexa can and can't do, but once that's passed, the Echo can forecast the weather, read an audiobook, order a pizza, tell jokes, or any number of things Mom should find charming. Read our full review of the Amazon Echo (4th Generation) here.A step tracker to keep her movingFitbitFitbit Charge 5, available at Best Buy and Amazon, $99.95Best for: The fitness enthusiastIf your mom's looking to stay on top of their health, we highly recommend gifting a very practical Fitbit. The Charge is one of our top picks for covering all the basics — counting steps, tracking sleep, 24/7 heart rate monitoring, tracking 20 different exercises — without breaking the bank, and all with an easy-to-read display and sleek design on the wrist.(If she'd want smartphone notifications on her wrist, too, we recommend the Versa 2, which has a bigger display but is still reasonably priced.)Alexa-enabled glassesAmazonEcho Frames Smart Glasses, available at Amazon, $269.99Best for: The mom who wants the glasses of the futureIf your mom loves tech, they'll think these smart glasses are from the future. Amazon's Echo Frames allow for open-ear audio, hands-free calling, and access to thousands of Alexa's skills.Read our full review of the Amazon Echo Frames.A cuter way to send mom "love you" messagesUncommon GoodsLovebox Spinning Heart Messenger, available at Uncommon Goods, from $30Best for: The mom who loves being reminded of how much you love herMoms love nothing more than being randomly told their kids love them, and this creative box lets you do it in a way more special than just a text. When you send a message, the heart on the box will spin and she can open it up to read the digital display of your loving words.A digital picture frame for remembering the good timesAuraCarver Digital Picture Frame, available at Aura, $149Best for: The mom who can't decide on one photo to frameIt's hard to find a mom who isn't obsessed with taking photos and displaying them all around the house. But instead of buying tons of picture frames, she can show off all her family photos using this digital picture frame. You can upload an unlimited amount of pictures to the Aura app, connect the frame to Wi-Fi, and she's all set. Read our full review of Aura here.A waterproof Kindle PaperwhiteAmazonAmazon Kindle Paperwhite, available at Amazon, $129.99Best for: The avid readerIf your mom's tired of lugging around heavy hardcovers, the Kindle Paperwhite is an extremely thoughtful and practical gift. The latest version is waterproof, too, which is a huge bonus.Read our full review of the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite here.A rejuvenating, at-home foot massagerRENPHORENPHO Foot Massager Machine, available at Amazon and Walmart, from $102.38Best for: The mom who loves an at-home spa dayTreat her to a spa day any (and every) day she wants with this at-home foot massager. It's a full-service Shiatsu device that offers kneading, compression, and heat therapy. We love that it encompasses your ankles too for extra relief, all of which is why it's our top pick.An alarm clock that uses light to wake her up gentlyAmazonPhilips Light Alarm Clock, available at Amazon and Philips, from $99.95Best for: The mom who struggles waking up in the morningJust because Mom has to wake up before the sun rises doesn't mean they have to awaken to the blaring of an obnoxious alarm clock.Philips makes a lovely alarm clock that gradually lights up to mimic the sunrise. The light alarm clock also displays the time and has customizable sounds, so Mom can wake up feeling rested and ready for the day. You can find out why we recommend this alarm clock in our guide to the best sunrise alarm clocks. Read our full review of the Philips Wake-Up Light.A mini massage gunTherabodyTheragun Mini, available at Therabody and Amazon, from $149Best for: The mom who's always working outIf she's achy from regular exercise or a pulled muscle, every type of person will see benefit from using a massage gun. We love the Theragun Mini because it'll work out kinks and aches anywhere you place it with a powerful motor and easy-to-hold grip.A soothing, interactive sand sculptureBest BuyHoMedics Drift Sandscape, available at Best Buy, Walmart, and Bed Bath & Beyond, from $319.99 Best for: The mom who appreciates sand artWhether they're a new or seasoned mama, anything that can serve as an element of calm in their chaos is going to be appreciated. We love the HoMedics Drift Sandscape because it does exactly that, but subtly, and it doubles as decor. The shifting sand, illuminated with soft LED lighting, changes shape based on the movements of the metal sphere, and just watching these shapely creations come to life can promote a sense of relaxation and calm they may not have even realized they needed. Plus, the sculpture is small enough that it can fit on a side table or desk, and is automated via a smartphone app. Fresh flowers every monthBloomsyBoxBloomsyBox Subscription, available at BloomsyBox, from $44.99 per monthKeep the bouquets coming with a subscription to BloomsyBox. With options from monthly to weekly deliveries, the BloomsyBox flower subscription service ships gorgeously crafted collections of stems from eco-friendly farms straight to your lucky recipient's door. From roses to more exotic, tropical blooms, the plant-loving mom on your list will look forward to displaying their new arrangement each month.A fresh flower bouquetUrbanStemsFresh flower bouquets, available at UrbanStems, from $35Best for: The mom who loves the classicsWe've ordered bouquets from UrbanStems and it offers gorgeous flower arrangements, potted plants, and even dried bouquets, and they're delivered quickly, too. A bouquet of flowers is a classic gift for Mom that she'll love on any given day. Its bouquets are one of the best things we've ever tested. Read our full review of UrbanStems.A candle for your favorite spot togetherHomesick, Rachael Schultz/InsiderMemory Candles, available at Homesick and Amazon, from $21.28Best for: The mom who loves reminiscing Whether your best memories are childhood ski trips, your annual beach vacation, or just baking in the kitchen together, share the sentiment with mom. Homesick makes a deliciously-scented candle for nearly every memory — and if that doesn't work, it also has a candle for every state and city, astrology sign, and even one that simply says, "Thank you, Mom."Soft, crisp sheets and beddingBrooklinenBrooklinen Queen Classic Hardcore Sheet Bundle, available at Brooklinen, $195.71Brooklinen Queen Luxe Hardcore Sheet Bundle, available at Brooklinen, $272.25Best for: The mom who needs to be comfierBrooklinen's luxe sheets are the ones we always recommend to friends, family, and readers, for their affordable price, sophisticated look, and comfort.The Hardcore Sheet Bundles have everything she needs to completely makeover your mom's bed — and stay nice and cozy all year long. Each bundle includes a flat sheet, fitted sheet, duvet cover, and four pillowcases. Brooklinen also sells comforters, pillows, candles, and blankets. This is another item that features in our list of the All-Time Best products we've tested.Read our full review of Brooklinen sheets here.A custom map posterGrafomap InstagramCustom Map Poster, available at Grafomap, from $19Best for: The mom who misses her favorite placeGrafomap is a website that lets you design map posters of any place in the world. You can make one of your mom's hometown, college town, favorite travel destination, or the place she got engaged or married — you're only limited by your imagination.Read our full review of the Grafomap Custom Map Poster here.A hardcover photo book for any mother figureArtifact UprisingHardcover Photo Book, available at Artifact Uprising, starting at $61.20Best for: The mom with 17 old photo albumsHonor any mother figure with a custom hardcover photo album that commemorates their best life moments. You can tie in her life story with a display-worthy dust jacket that puts her front and center. Choose from 11 fabric binding colors to complement her bookshelf or coffee table.A cute potted plant instead of flowersThe SillShop The Sill's selection of plants, starting at $20Best for: The mom who prefers long-lasting plantsThe Sill is a relatively new startup that's making the process of choosing and buying house plants much easier. This gift set is just one of many options you can choose from — you can even shop based on which plants are pet-safe. Read our full review of The Sill here.A weighted blanket to help her sleep betterBearabyBearaby 15-pound Cotton Napper, available at Bearaby, $249Best for: The mom who cherishes being cozyMade of soft organic cotton just like her favorite T-shirt, this weighted blanket can help Mom fall asleep faster and its buttery softness is perfect for wrapping up in. We ranked it as the best weighted throw blanket in our guide to the best weighted blankets. A jewelry holderCatbirdSwan Ring Holder, available at Catbird, $38Best for: The mom who always loses her ringsThis ornate swan is a subtle jewelry holder that'll dress up any bathroom countertop or nightstand.A personalized photo calendar for her deskArtifact UprisingWalnut Desktop Photo Calendar, available at Artifact Uprising, starting at $35Best for: The mom who loves physical calendarsA desk calendar can add a decorative touch to her desk, but one that displays photos of family makes for an even better gift for Mom. She'll love glancing at her calendar and being reminded of her favorite memories with you.A coffee table book for the mom who loves photographyAmazon"Women: The National Geographic Image Collection," available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $26.49Best for: The mom who loves a good coffee table bookYou can't go wrong with a coffee table book gift for Mom, and this one is a true standout. The photography is sure to be top-notch, since National Geographic created this book. Moms often serve as constant sources of inspiration, so why not pass along this book of powerful women?A postpartum self-care kitHonestHonest Mama Beyond the Bump Kit, available at Honest, $55.95Best for: The new mom in need of a breakIf the mom on your list is new to the parenting life, treat her to the Honest Company's Beyond the Bump Kit that will give her body the TLC it deserves. The four-piece set includes body oil and lotion, bath salts, and nipple balm, all of which have been formulated to soothe and support the body in this crucial time of healing.A skincare regimen that worksSephoraThe Outset Daily Essentials Starter Set, available at Sephora and The Outset, from $25Best for: The mom who wants to nail down a skincare routineTo make the self-care practice a bit easier to implement into their daily routine, surprise them with this essentials kit from The Outset. The skincare brand was founded by Scarlett Johansson and is one of the best celebrity beauty brands on the market by far. The set includes a trifecta of basic products that make up a complete regimen (a gentle micellar cleanser, a firming prep serum, and a daily moisturizer). Though only three simple steps, regular use is sure to offer quality results.A sampler of eco-friendly cleansersUltaBanila Co. Clean it Zero Pink Wonderland Cleansing Balm Mini Set, available at Ulta, $12Best for: The mom in search of a good cleanserArguably, one of the worst and most tedious parts of a nightly skincare regimen is taking off makeup. Wipes aren't super effective, plus they're not great for the environment. Banila Co.'s Clean it Zero set is perfect for the eco-conscious mom on your list who loves getting all dolled up but loathes getting un-ready at the end of the day. Whether they're dealing with acne or dryness, there's a formula in this set to remedy it. A comfier lactation setFourth PhaseFourth Phase Mylk Box, available at Fourth Phase, $88Best for: The mom currently breastfeedingFor new moms who've decided to breastfeed their children, Mylk Box by Fourth Phase can offer some support in this stage of motherhood. The lactation-supporting kit includes MylkBlend lactation tea, a hot and cold compress enhanced with lavender and flaxseed, a Rose Quartz GuaSha stone to massage the breast area and release milk engorgement, and a coconut oil-based salve for dry nipples. It's everything breastfeeding mamas need to stay lactating, and, even more importantly, stay comfortable through the process.A robust bath bomb setLushLUSH USA Sleepy Bus Gift Set, available at LUSH USA, $50Best for: The bath loverMoms require optimal rest to be the superhumans that they are, so if you're stuck on what to gift the mom on your list, you can't go wrong with treating them to the tools they need to clock in some quality snooze time. This aromatic gift set from LUSH includes six items meticulously crafted to promote high-quality sleep, including three bath bombs, one bubble bar, a shower gel, and a body lotion formulated with ingredients sure to lull them to sleep.A fancy candle setOtherland/Alyssa Powell/InsiderOtherland Candles The Threesome, available at Otherland, $89Best for: The mom who loves quality candlesCandles make any home smell great, and this fancy candle set from Otherland will look gorgeous in any room in her house. It includes three coconut and soy wax blend candles in beautiful glass vessels. Each candle burns for 55 hours — that's a lot of time that your mom can spend enjoying this gift. We named candles by Otherland one of the All-Time Best products we've tested.Read our full review of Otherland candles here.Laneige Lip Sleeping MaskAmazonLaneige Lip Sleeping Mask, available at Amazon and Walmart, from $12.99Best for: The mom with chapped lipsIf Mom is always complaining of rough or chapped lips in the winter, introduce her to her new favorite product: Laneige's lip sleeping mask. All she has to do is apply it at night before going to bed, and she'll wake up with smoother, softer lips.A silk pillowcase to upgrade her beauty sleepAmazonSlip Silk Queen Pillowcase, available at Amazon and Anthropologie, from $62.30Best for: The mom who appreciates luxuryUpgrade Mom's beauty sleep with a pillowcase or two from Slip. Not only do silk pillowcases look and feel luxurious, but because they're made of a material that's not too absorbent, they're great for keeping skin and hair moisturized. A face mask set for at-home spa daysfreshMini Loves Mini Masks Set, available at Walmart, $49.99Best for: The mom who never passes on a face maskMoms need time to themselves, too, and these face mask minis will have her and her skin feeling rejuvenated. She can kick back and relax with one of the black tea masks, the clay mask, the rose mask, or even the sugar exfoliator.A two-in-one hair dryer brush for easy at-home blowoutsAmazonRevlon 1 Step 2-in-1 Hair Dryer Volumizer Styling Brush, available at Amazon and Target, from $32.49Best for: The mom who wants a salon blowout at homeIf your mom has been eyeing the $600 Dyson Airwrap, this is a more affordable alternative that produces similarly easy blowouts at home. It's our favorite blow dryer brush if you're on a budget.A luxurious facial treatment deviceZIIPZIIP GX Series, available at ZIIP Beauty, $495Best for: The mom who cares about her skinSwitch up her facial appointments with the ZIIP experience that beautifully improves your skin beyond your imagination with every use. The ZIIP devices employ energy from tiny electrical currents with a conductive gel to sculpt and tighten the skin for a radiant glow. The weighted sleep mask that's the ticket to instant sleepAnthropologieNodpod Weighted Eye Mask, available at Anthropologie and Nordstrom, from $23.80Best for: The mom who prioritizes beauty sleepMove over, weighted blankets. These eye masks have gentle weights with just the right amount of pressure to lull her to sleep. The four equally weighted pods let her rest easy no matter her sleep position. A floral fragrance with a pear and white freesia scentJo MaloneEnglish Pear & Freesia Cologne, available at Jo Malone and Macy's, from $155Best for: The mom who collects perfumeIf she prefers a light yet luscious fragrance, this Jo Malone perfume makes for a lovely layer. This floral perfume accentuates her style with a smell of autumn from the freshness of the pear and freesias along with the subtle woodsy scents.A subscription to a great workoutThe Sculpt SocietyThe Sculpt Society Subscription, available at The Sculpt Society, $19.99/MonthBest for: The fitness fanAdult responsibilities can make it hard to find the time (let alone the motivation) to exercise. Add motherhood into the mix, and it can feel almost near impossible. For the fitness enthusiast on your list, there's The Sculpt Society, an app and workout regimen founded by celebrity trainer, Meagan Roup. Exercises within the program include a mix of strength training circuits and dance cardio, so there's something for everyone, and routines are customizable, so they can follow along with a class that best speaks to their body's needs on a given day.An adorable reading lightUrban OutfittersIcon Book Light, available at Urban Outfitters, $20Best for: The night readerIf the mom you're shopping for is big on night reading, this adorable clip-on light can help her stay cozy without needing to turn on additional lamps. It comes in three styles — a cute cloud, flower, or frog — and just needs separate batteries.A calming meditation subscriptionHeadspaceHeadspace Subscription, available at Headspace, $69.99/YearBest for: The mom who needs to clear her headMom or not, taking care of our mental health is an act of self-care that should not be skipped, and the Headspace app is an excellent gift for moms to help them stay on top of it. The app includes a library of guided meditations that cater to a variety of needs, like general mindfulness, stress relief, and better sleep.A 101 online course on starting motherhoodPsyched MommyPsyched Mommy Keeping Mommy in Mind Course, available at Psyched Mommy, $79Best for: The mom in search of guidanceMotherhood is magical, but it's also life-altering, and many mothers feel as though they don't have the tools to stay healthy and grounded in all aspects of life outside of caring for their child. This course from Psyched Mommy would make an excellent gift for a new parent or mom-to-be who's obsessed with self-improvement and being prepared for anything and everything. It's split into seven modules that cover the essentials (i.e. how to make sure they're getting enough sleep and ways to better improve their communication with their partner) and, hopefully, leave them better equipped for this beautifully complicated season of life. A pass to access almost all the National ParksREIAmerica the Beautiful Pass, available at REI, $79.99Best for: The road trip loverFor the mom who loves nature and road trips, it's hard to find a better gift than an annual pass to most of the US's national parks. It provides free admission to a car of up to four people to all participating parks and overall makes it so much easier to park-hop. It's the best nudge to get your mom to finally plan that Zion and Bryce Canyon vacation.A vibrating foam rollerCrystal Cox/InsiderVibrating Pliability Roller, available at TB12, $160Best for: The mom in need of a good stretchIf she's very physically active, a foam roller is a nice gift to aid in her workout recovery and soreness. This one is our favorite because it has four levels of vibration, a pattern that targets muscle groups, and a durable exterior. But, if your budget doesn't fit a $160 foam roller, never fear — we like some under-$50 options too. A 'book of the month' membershipBook of the MonthBook of the Month Membership, available at Book of the Month, from $49.99 for 3 monthsBest for: The book loverIf she loves to read and isn't ready to go 100% digital, a Book of the Month membership is the perfect gift. This gift subscription gets Mom her pick of the best new books for $12.50-$15 a month, depending on the length of subscription you choose to give. She can also request extra books if she reads more than one book a month. You can learn more about Book of the Month here.A yoga mat for the fitness enthusiastMandukaProLite Yoga Mat, available at Manduka and Amazon, $95Best for: The yoga enthusiastFor the mom who starts every morning with yoga, this mat has just the right amount of padding, is made of eco-friendly materials, and has a no-slip grip texture. It has even earned the title of best yoga mat overall in our guide to the best yoga mats.A year-long MasterClass membership to learn new thingsMasterClassAnnual Membership, available at MasterClass, $180/yearBest for: The lifelong studentMasterClass, unlike many competitors, follows a format that feels like a one-sided conversation with your favorite icons rather than a traditional academic setting. You can get into the supplementary reading materials or just listen to their insight while running errands. An Unlimited Membership grants access to all the site's online courses for the year.Some popular courses include Neil deGrasse Tyson on Scientific Thinking and Communication, Malcolm Gladwell on Writing, Shonda Rhimes on Writing for Television, and Bob Iger on Business Strategy and Leadership.Read our full review of MasterClass here.A jigsaw puzzle featuring a family photoZazzleMemorable Family Jigsaw Puzzle, available at Zazzle, starting at $23.96Best for: The mom who loves a good puzzleIf your mom loves puzzles (and has finished practically all of them), this custom one featuring a cherished family photo will earn a spot on the wall when it's done.A daily planner for the busy momAmazonPanda Planner Daily Planner, available at Amazon and Panda, from $19.97 Best for: The journalerEven the most organized mom could use the help of a trusty planner. This one from Panda Planner has monthly, weekly, and daily sections for all of her needs. She'll have her schedule, tasks, goals, and projects all in one place. We like the layout of this planner so much that we include it in our guide to the best planners.A DNA test kit23andme23andMe Health + Ancestry DNA Test, available at 23andMe, $129Best for: The mom interested in her family treeThis genetic test kit from 23andMe is a unique and cool gift idea for any mom who's interested in learning more about her family history.A personalized video message from her favorite celebrityCameoPersonalized video message, available at Cameo, from $1Best for: The celeb-obsessed momWhen trying to think of a unique gift for Mom, one that might not immediately come to mind is Cameo. The online service has tons of famous people she might want a personalized video message from, like her favorite actor from "The Office." Whether it's for her birthday, Mother's Day, or a different milestone, there's something for everyone on Cameo, with all types of categories and price points to choose from.Read more about Cameo and how to use Cameo. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 12th, 2022

47 sentimental gifts that show your love for Grandma

If you want to get Grandma something special, these practical, personalized, and thoughtful gifts will bring a smile to her face. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.If you want to get Grandma something special, these practical, personalized, and thoughtful gifts will bring a smile to her face.LaSenada/Etsy; AmazonWith years of wisdom and advice under her belt, the best home-cooked meals, and so much love to share with her family, you know you can always count on Grandma. That fact is why, no matter the occasion, your grandma deserves only the best. Even if she says the only thing she wants to celebrate her birthday, Mother's Day, or anniversary is quality time spent with family, we've rounded up a host of thoughtful gifts big and small that grandma will be excited to receive. From practical presents, like slip-on shoes to keep her feet comfortable, to ones that tap into her sentimental side (think: framed photos and custom keepsakes), this list has it all. So, get ready to pay it forward to the woman who has spent her whole life doting on you. We can't make any promises, but you may even get bumped up to #1 grandchild. Here are 47 of the best gifts for grandma in 2022:A candle that smells like her kitchenHomesickGrandma's Kitchen Homesick Candle, available at Amazon, $38Best for: The grandma who always has a candle lit Even when there is not a fresh apple pie baking in the oven, her kitchen will smell like there is with this Homesick Candle. Homesick creates unique candle combinations that capture the spirit of places, occasions, and memories. With notes of butter, apple, cinnamon, and sugar cookie, this one is sure to transport you back to days watching grandma teach you old family recipes.A stylish pouch to organize her bits and bobsShopbopStoney Clover Lane Color Block "Stuff" Small Pouch, available at Shopbop, $138Best for: The grandma who has a bag like Mary Poppins Whether it's a butterscotch candy, a napkin, or some chapstick that you need, chances are grandma has something for you in her bag. If your grandma is known for carrying a whole aisle's worth of goodies in her purse, this cute pouch will help her stay organized. It's embroidered with the word "Stuff" in funky, bold lettering, so she can really fill this with whatever her heart desires.An electric kettle that'll make teatime even easierAmazonCosori Electric Kettle, available at Amazon, $27.99Best for: The grandma who always has a pot of tea on This electric kettle heats water in an instant. It may not have the charm of a traditional stovetop kettle, but what it lacks in aesthetic appeal it more than makes up for in ease of use and safety – no open flames required!A splurge-worthy nightgown to sleep inNordstromEberjey Gisele Jersey Knit Sleep Shirt, available at Nordstrom, $98Best for: The sleeping beauty Eberjey's buttery-soft sleepwear makes getting ready for bed something worth talking about. While pricey, you can be sure this nightgown will become an essential in your grandma's sleepwear and loungewear rotation. If you love the idea, but want to spend a little less, Target also has a very similar option for a fraction of the price. A custom print of her flockPaperAmorCo/EtsyGrandma's Flock Print, available at Etsy, from $15.35Best for: The grandma who loves showing off her family She's the matriarch. The leader of the pack. And, she's beyond proud of it! This custom print shows off grandma's love of family in a sweet, unique way. Personalize it with names and as many ducklings as your flock has. Cookie cutters to spice up her baking endeavorsWilliams SonomaValentine's Day Stainless Steel Impression Cookie Cutters, set of 6, available at Williams Sonoma, $14.95Best for: The grandma whose secret ingredient is love Grandma's house and freshly baked cookies go together like peanut butter and jelly. These Valentine's Day cookie cutters are a simple way to make her already-delicious cookie recipes even sweeter.A favorite memory, framedAnthropologieZoe Frame, available at Anthropologie, $24-$64Best for: The sentimental grandmaAn easy way to become the favorite grandchild: print out a picture of you and your grandma, frame it, and gift it. Even if her home is already filled with family photos, you can be sure she'll always make room for more. A mini donut makerWilliams SonomaDash Mini Donut Maker, available at Amazon, $23.99Best for: Grandmas with a sweet tooth For the grandma who loves to bake, a mini donut maker is a kid-friendly way for her to make donuts with her grandchildren. A pillow of her favorite furry family memberUncommon GoodsDog Face Pillow, available at Uncommon Goods, $25Best for: The grandma who is obsessed with her dogThis small, decorative pillow is hook-sewn by hand for a furry look that resembles her favorite furball. She'll love putting it on display, and chances are her dog will love lounging on it too. A tote bag for all of her tennis essentialsMark & GrahamSporty Stripe Tennis Tote, available at Mark & Graham, $199Best for: The grandma who spends her days on the court This tote bag has a vintage feel and a thoughtful design, with spacious compartments for her tennis balls, water bottles, some sunscreen, and other essentials, plus a designated space to hold (and protect) her racquet. You can even add a monogram for that perfect, personalized touch. A lightweight, convenient KindleAmazonAll-new Kindle Paperwhite, available at Amazon, $140Best for: Readers who are always looking to try something newThe latest version of the Kindle Paperwhite is the thinnest and lightest yet, plus it's waterproof and has a longer-lasting battery. Grandma can read a good book anywhere now — and carry a whole library around with her.An iPad to keep family closeAntonio Villas-Boas/Insider10.2 inch iPad, available at Apple, $329Best for: The grandma who wants a quasi-laptop on the go iPads sit at the perfect intersection of a smartphone and a laptop, making them the ideal gift for grandmas to be able to keep in touch with family, get work done, or engage on the go. They're relatively affordable when compared to a laptop and can be used essentially anywhere. Coffee tailor-made for their tastesThe Counter by TradeCoffee Subscription, available at Trade Coffee, $15.75Best for: The coffee-loving grandma Coffee may be polarizing, but those who love it really love it. Trade coffee is our top pick for the best coffee subscription because of its wide variety and easy customization. Learn more about Trade Coffee here. Supportive gardening glovesAmazonBionic Women's Relief Grip Gardening Gloves, available at Amazon, $29.62Best for: The grandma with a green thumbGardening is a rewarding hobby, but it can be tough on your hands. A pair of sturdy gardening gloves can help grandma get back into the garden. We particularly like this supportive pair designed by an orthopedic hand surgeon or a $3 pair of rubber gloves that landscapers swear by.  A family tree blanketUncommon GoodsFabric of Our Family Blanket, available at Uncommon Goods, $145Best for: The sentimental grandmaA creative alternative to a family tree, this blanket can be customized with names, initials, or symbols that represent you and your grandma's family. A set of luxurious sheetsBrooklinenLuxe Core Sheet Set (Queen), available at Brooklinen, $152.15Best for: The grandma who prioritizes comfort This is one of our favorite sets of sheets and on our list of the all-time best products we've ever tested. Treat your grandma to the best night of sleep in the Luxe Core Sheet Set from Brooklinen. A fun twist on a calendarAmazonThe New York Times Crossword 2022 Calendar, available at Amazon, $5.42Best for: The New York Times daily crossword fiend "The New York Times" daily crossword puzzles are iconic, and there's a good chance that Grandma looks forward to them each morning. This calendar has a new crossword for each day of the year, and the answers can be found right on the back.A set of monogrammed wine glassesMark and GrahamAcrylic Stemless Wine Glass Set of Four, available at Mark and Graham, $49Best for: Wine lovers A set of stemless wine glasses is an excellent gift for the grandma who loves a good glass of Cabernet. A video from her favorite celebrityCameoPersonalized video message, available at Cameo, prices varyBest for: The pop-culture-obsessedCameo is home to a database of celebrities, influencers, and athletes — so it's very likely that someone Grandma admires will be available. Cameo even has a designated Mother's Day page with discounts for certain stars.Read our full review of Cameo here.A comfortable weighted blanketAmazonLuna Adult Weighted Blanket, available at Amazon, from $69.99Best for: Those who love a night of deep sleepIf she'd appreciate better, deeper sleep or a way to combat some anxiety, we'd recommend a weighted blanket. While research is still limited, recent studies show positive indications that weighted blankets can help reduce insomnia and ease anxiety. Our staff consistently ranks weighted blankets as one of the most impactful sleep upgrades we've made — and Luna is our top-rated budget pick. It's breathable, machine-washable, Oeko-Tex Certified, and a great quality item for the price.A custom watercolor print of the family homeletterfestWatercolor House Sketch, available at Etsy, from $82.90Best for: An art lover with a nostalgic heartWhether you commission a watercolor print of the family home or a building she loves, your grandma will enjoy this thoughtful gift. A eucalyptus gift set from Dr Teal'sTargetDr Teal's Eucalyptus Bath and Body Gift Set, available at Bed Bath & Beyond, $9.99Best for: The grandma who loves a trip to the spa For an at-home spa experience, Dr. Teal's eucalyptus gift set — complete with body wash, soaking salts, and bubble bath — is the perfect gift for relaxation. A DNA kit to learn more about your family history togetherAmazonAncestryDNA kit, available at Ancestry, $59Best for: Grandmas interested in their heritageCurious about family history? This AncestryDNA test tells you more about your genetic ethnicity — and opens up rich conversations about family heritage and personal stories. We like Ancestry because it surveys an extensive population and links you with relatives.A set of tea samplersUncommon GoodsTea Drop Sampler, available at Uncommon Goods, $34Best for: Tea loversLess traditional than a set of bagged tea, these tea drops are compact tea leaves that dissolve in boiling water.A meaningful braceletLaSenada/EtsyGrandma Bracelet, available at Etsy, $13.20Best for: Grandmas who wear their heart on their sleeve (or their wrist)When it comes to grandparents, it can be difficult to find gifts that provide meaning without feeling cheesy. This bracelet and its message strike this delicate balance well, and she'll be especially proud to wear it.A recipe box for old favoritesAmazonJot & Mark Recipe Card Box, available at Amazon, $29.99Best for: The scrapbooker Handwritten recipes are pieces of family history. Maybe your grandma keeps them all in her head or has a paper collection, but either way, a beautiful recipe card box will keep the delicious family legacy organized and intact. A personalized cutting board with a handwritten family recipeEtsyEngraved Cutting Board, available at Etsy, $49Best for: The grandma who loves a family recipeIf your family has cherished recipes, preserve one in your loved ones' handwriting on an engraved cutting board that's as sentimental as it is practical. This takes from two to three weeks to arrive, so order in advance. A customizable gift boxGreetablPersonalized Greetabl box, prices varyBest for: The grandma who already has everythingChoose a cute box design, personalize it with photos and a message, and fill it with a small gift like candy or a candle to surprise the grandma who insists she already has everything she wants.A cushion that provides back support whenever she needs itAmazonThe Purple Back Cushion, available at Purple, $47Best for: The traveler that believes comfort is key Purple Cushions feature the same Hyper-Elastic Polymer material used in its supportive, adaptive mattresses, so she can be comfortable whether sitting in a car, plane, or stadium. Unlike other pillows that might simply absorb weight, this one provides active support.A warm burst of fresh flowersUrban StemsUrbanStems Bouquet, from $45Best for: The grandma who loves classic flowersA floral bouquet is a timeless gift, and a great way to show grandma you're thinking of her from far away. UrbanStems is the best flower delivery service we tested — gorgeous bouquets arrived unharmed and fresh from Boston to rural Colorado. Since this service has gifts for as low as $45 and offers same-day delivery in some cities, it's on our list of the 100 best products we've ever tested. Comfortable, long-lasting compression socksBombas Women's Compression Socks, available at Bombas, from $28Best for: The grandma who values comfort (and giving back)Bombas makes some of our all-time favorite socks; they're soft and designed for next-level support, but they also last forever. We'd recommend any pairs from them, but compression socks may be especially thoughtful if your grandmother has ever mentioned swelling or achy legs.A subscription-free way to watch live TVAmazonFire TV Recast DVR, available at Amazon, $229.99Best for: The recent cord cutterSo you've convinced her to cut the cord, but she might still miss watching her favorite daytime shows as they happen. Amazon's Fire TV Recast works with an HD antenna and Fire TV device to bring her live shows and events without the commitment of monthly fees.The next-in-command cookware after her trusty cast ironHexCladHybrid 8-inch Pan, available at Hexclad, $90Best for: The home chef She may have avoided nonstick so far, but the Hexclad 8-inch pan is a great introduction to the material. It's dishwasher safe, compatible with every stovetop, and near-indestructible according to our tests, which is why it made our list of Insider's top 100 products. The proprietary diamond-dust construction makes the pan nonstick without the use of PFOAs or Teflon. A set of uniquely-flavored chocolate barsFood52Raaka 8-Bar Organic Chocolate Gift Box, available at Food52, from $30Best for: The chocolate lover This set of organic chocolate bars comes with flavors she's probably never tried before, like cabernet sauvignon, green tea crunch, ginger snap, and more. Plus, the box has a booklet that lets her go behind the scenes and see how Raaka sources and creates its single-origin chocolate bars. If she has a serious sweet tooth, we have plenty of chocolate suggestions for her from subscriptions to bonbons. A cozy, lightweight robeParachuteCloud Cotton Robe, available at Parachute, $109Best for: The grandma who loves the spaThis robe is lightweight, fluffy, and soft. It's the perfect piece to make days spent lounging at home feel a little more comfortable. A yearlong subscription to online courses taught by celebritiesMasterClassAnnual MasterClass membership, $180Best for: A lifelong learnerMasterClass has over 80 classes taught by celebrities and industry leaders in subjects that range from cooking to architecture. With a subscription, she'll have access to all of them for a year. She can keep busy, learn something new, and have something to pick up the phone and call you about whenever she'd like. If you're interested, grab yourself a membership and take a class with her!A luxurious yet affordable candle setOtherland/Alyssa Powell/InsiderThreesome Candle Set, available at Otherland, $89Best for: The grandma who loves a look of a candle as much as the smell The same candle from a designer brand might cost twice as much, but we all know Grandma would never want you spending that much on a single candle. The brand is on the list of Insider's top 100 products because Otherland provides reasonably priced alternatives that are still sophisticated and formulated with clean ingredients. Choose from soothing scents like rosebud, peony blossom, and pear water to build a set.A box filled with her favorite foodGoldbellyA box of gourmet food with Goldbelly, prices varyBest for: The grandma who misses food from their hometown Whether it's New York pizza, New England seafood, or cannolis from a famous bakery, Goldbelly carries delicious gourmet food gifts from eateries all over the United States. A Goldbelly box makes a great gift if she loves food. Just add a personal note and you have a thoughtful gift that fills her belly and soul. A subscription to the biggest book club in the countryBook of the Month Instagram3-Month Book of the Month subscription, $50Best for: The decision-averse readerBook of the Month offers five new book choices a month, and they're always top-quality picks. The biggest struggle of being a Book of the Month member is deciding which one to read.A pair of new glassesZenniZenni Gift Card, from $25Best for: The grandma with a penchant for fashion Give her a gift card from this affordable and stylish glasses brand so she can pick out a new pair of frames for herself. Frames start at less than $10, and they'll be on their way straight to her front door after she enters her prescription information online.A comfortable slip-on shoeAllbirdsWool Loungers, available at Allbirds, $105Best for: The active grandma The soft, cushioned, and lightweight Loungers are made for the grandma who's always on her feet and needs to be comfortable. We loved wearing them.A versatile, thoughtfully designed bagLo and SonsCatalina Deluxe Tote, available at Lo & Sons, from $102.50Best for: The weekend travelerA common problem — finding a bag that doesn't hurt your back — inspired the founding of travel bag company Lo & Sons, so you know these totes will be comfortable for your grandma to carry. The canvas bag has a bunch of different organizational features, including a bottom pocket just for shoes and an expandable main compartment. Prints of your favorite moments together and a pretty stand to display themartifact uprisingBrass Easel & Prints, available at Artifact Uprising, $59Best for: The one who loves to brag about their familyThe sleek brass display is a little different from the usual photo frame, and it weathers nicely over time. The set includes 12 prints printed on weighty, matte paper.A pure silk sleep mask to help her fall asleep and stay asleepNordstromSlip "Slipsilk" Pure Silk Sleep Mask, available at Nordstrom, $50Best for: The grandma who craves luxury shut-eyeSlip's 100% pure Mulberry silk sleep mask is lightweight, super soft, and makes something as simple as going to bed feel luxurious. A subtle, personal necklaceAurateMini Gold Letter Charm Pendant, available at Aurate, $250Best for: The grandma with a taste for simplicity No need to get excessive or gimmicky with the Grandma gear — pretty and simple convey thoughtfulness even better, in our opinion. A Fitbit fitness trackerFitbit InstagramFitbit Inspire 2, available at Best Buy, $69.95Best for: The grandma who's always walking aroundThis tracker is more affordable than Fitbit's other models, but still gives her all the necessary info to keep tabs on her fitness and health. She can monitor her calorie burn, heart rate, sleep patterns, walking and biking activity, and other important stats.A handmade stoneware sewing stationUncommon GoodsSewing Station, available at Uncommon Goods, $60Best for: The family seamstressPlastic sewing supply storage boxes may work, but this sturdy clay sewing station will actually get her excited to sit down with her tools.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytAug 25th, 2022

Record Number Of Homebuyers Walk Away From Contracts As Builders Reel Amid Glut Of Unsold Houses

Record Number Of Homebuyers Walk Away From Contracts As Builders Reel Amid Glut Of Unsold Houses Between cratering homebuilder and homerbuyer confidence... ... record low home affordability... ... a record number of new listing with price cuts (amid the collapse in demand). ... plunging housing starts... ... and so on, as the recent surge in mortgage rates has effectively pushed the housing market into a recession, which is now so widespread that 63,000 home-purchase agreements were called off in July, equal to 16% of homes that went under contract that month. According to Redfin, that's the highest percentage on record, and only the brief spike during the covid crash - which the promptly reversed - was worse. It’s up from a revised rate of 15% one month earlier and 12.5% one year earlier. The housing market is slowing as higher mortgage rates sideline many prospective homebuyers. With competition declining, the house hunters who are still in the market are enjoying newfound bargaining power, a striking contrast from just a few months ago, when buyers often had to pull out every stop in order to win. Today’s buyers are more likely to utilize contract contingencies that allow them to back out without financial penalty if something goes wrong. And with an increasing number of homes to choose from, they’re also more likely to call a deal off if a seller refuses to bring the price down or make requested repairs—a situation that has become increasingly common given that sellers are still adjusting to the cooling market. “Homes are sitting on the market longer now, so buyers realize they have more options and more room to negotiate. They’re asking for repairs, concessions and contingencies, and if sellers say no, they’re backing out and moving on because they’re confident they can find something better,” said Heather Kruayai, a Redfin real estate agent in Jacksonville, FL. “Buyers are also skittish because they’re afraid a potential recession could cause home prices to drop. They don’t want to end up in a situation where they purchase a home and it’s worth $200,000 less in two years, so some are opting to wait in hopes of buying when prices are lower.” Alexis Malin, another Redfin agent in Jacksonville, warns that there’s no guarantee buyers will be able to find better deals in the future. Annual home-price growth has started to slow—to 8% today from 17% a year ago—but prices are still on the rise and Redfin economists don’t expect them to crash. “Some buyers who are backing out of deals have this mindset that the market is crashing and they’ll be able to get a home for $100,000 less in six months. That’s not necessarily the case,” she said. “Homes in many parts of Florida are still selling for a pretty penny, so I warn my buyers that the grass might not actually be greener on the other side.” Some buyers may also be backing out due to 5%-plus mortgage rates. Those who started their search months ago, when rates were closer to 3%, may be realizing the type of home they wanted before is now out of budget since monthly mortgage payments have soared nearly 40% year over year. “Home-purchase cancellations may begin to taper off as sellers get used to a slower-paced market,” said Redfin Deputy Chief Economist Taylor Marr. “Sellers have already begun to lower their prices after putting their homes on the market. They’ll likely start pricing their properties lower from the get-go and become increasingly open to negotiations.” And just to confirm how bad the US housing market is, even the morbidly slow rating agency Fitch Ratings said the likelihood of a severe downturn in US housing has increased (although since rating agencies are never allowed to rock the boat, it said that its rating case scenario provides for a more moderate pullback that includes a mid-single-digit decline in housing activity in 2023, and further pressure in 2024.) Fitch also notes that although it recently affirmed the ratings and Stable Outlooks for our US homebuilder portfolio, "ratings could face pressure under a more pronounced downturn scenario that would likely include housing activity falling roughly 30%, or more, over a multi-year period and 10% to 15% declines in home prices." * *  * The biggest losers from the latest housing crash aren't sellers however, but rather homebuilders, who are suddenly finding themselves with a glut of unsold houses. As Bloomberg notes, with this year’s surge in mortgage rates tossing buyers to the sidelines, the waitlists for new houses are gone  and new-home sellers - such as Kevin Brown, who works just south of Houston, are on the front lines of a massive shift. While Brown used to have back-to-back appointments, buyers now just trickle in to his Saratoga Homes sales office. Meanwhile, he’s got 55 houses under construction and five that are complete, all without deals. “There’s a bit of pressure on us,” Brown said. “Builders have got to hit goals and make their profit, and they don’t like inventory just sitting on the ground.” An abrupt halt to the pandemic housing boom has left builders that started construction months ago scrambling to adapt. The US supply of new homes relative to sales in June was the highest since the midst of the last crash in 2010. And by early July, buyer traffic to homebuilder websites and sales offices had plunged to the lowest level for the month since 2012, according to a survey of builder sentiment from the National Association of Home Builders. New Homes sales signs line a road near Rosharon, Texas/BBG The new-home pile up underscores a broader shift that’s wreaking havoc in the market. A national housing shortage contributed to years of bidding wars and desperation among buyers who bid up prices to record levels for fear of missing out. But this year’s surge in borrowing costs has now pushed affordability to a breaking point and eased some of the scarcity. At the same time, the stage is set for longer-term supply constraints as builders pull back. A decade of underbuilding and a bulging population of young people aging into homeownership threatens to prolong the affordability squeeze. “Despite the fact that there aren’t enough housing units in the country, builders are not willing to take the gamble that’s required to build them,” said Jerry Howard, chief executive officer of the homebuilders group. “They’re afraid that, in a recessionary environment, they won’t be able to sell them.” In June, 824,000 single-family homes were under construction in the US, more than at any time since October 2006, according to an NAHB analysis of government data. Unsold inventory has ballooned in part because of supply-chain disruptions and labor constraints that created bottlenecks in the production pipeline. Now, with the economy entering a recession, or already in one, builders are cutting back on starts, trying to avoid having too many completed homes sitting empty. They’re also applying for fewer building permits, which for single-family homes fell in June to a two-year low, according to data from the government. Not every market is cooling fast. But the change is stark in the pandemic boomtowns where builders piled in to meet demand for out-of-state arrivals, who often bid up prices beyond the reach of locals. “It has become a very competitive market for builders where they are trying to offload any standing inventory,” said Ali Wolf, chief economist for Zonda, which tracks new-home production. “We may see a period where supply may actually exceed demand for a while in some of the markets that were the most feverish over the past two years.” Boise, Idaho, is one of those areas where a pandemic bubble is bursting. Remote workers arrived from pricier states such as California, seeking open spaces and fewer virus restrictions. But now Covid restlessness is giving way to fears that the Federal Reserve’s cure for inflation — higher rates — will tip the US into a recession. Idaho’s biggest builder, CBH Homes, has had about a third of buyers cancel contracts in the past few months, nearly twice the level at the start of the year, according to Corey Barton, the company’s president. He’s got 200 unsold finished homes, compared with 75 at the end of last year, and said he’ll probably surpass the 350 he was left with after the last crash 15 years ago. In a sense the inventory was there all along — it was just hidden, he says. Builders had been deliberately holding back houses, waiting until they were a couple months from completion before releasing them for sale. That’s because they couldn’t build fast enough to meet sky-high demand. By waiting, they could charge the current market price as materials costs climbed. But now, the market is getting flooded with listings, Barton said. Homes are finishing or are getting listed earlier in the construction process. Meanwhile, CBH has cut starts by about half. Subcontractors involved in the early stages of construction, digging out basements or pouring foundations are already feeling it, he said. “The movement from out of state caused a false market,” Barton said. “We have to accept things for the way they are. It’s going to get tough.” Builders of new homes find themselves in an especially trick spot, because while most traditional sellers can afford to wait or even postpone a sale if conditions deteriorate, builders will have to discount until they find the market-clearing price, said Benjamin Keys, a real estate professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. “The homebuilders have an understandable incentive to pull back right now and Americans need more affordable housing,” Keys said. At Saratoga Homes’s Glendale Lakes sales office, marketing director Christina Nuon said she’s making cold calls to agents and hosting happy hour events to boost sales. The company has a menu of incentives to bring down costs for its entry-level buyers, from $12,000 toward closing costs to a subsidized 30-year mortgage rate of just under 4%. “Buying down rates, it’s kind of going to be our incentive probably from now on out,” Nuon said. “Just because that’s the only way we can help buyers. We can’t reduce the price any lower.”   Brown, the sales consultant, says the incentives have helped put a dent in inventory: “I am trying to find one buyer at a time,” he said, “and not get overwhelmed by what I have coming up.” He worries that at the end of a potential recession, continued underbuilding will help keep prices elevated. Tyler Durden Tue, 08/16/2022 - 18:55.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytAug 16th, 2022

Ferguson: Omicron Sounds The Death Knell For Globalization 2.0

Ferguson: Omicron Sounds The Death Knell For Globalization 2.0 Authored by Niall Ferguson, op-ed via, On top of an intensifying cold war between the U.S. and China and other seismic changes, the rapid spread of Covid-19’s newest variant could finish off our most recent phase of global integration. “Somewhere out there,” I wrote here two weeks ago, “may lurk what I grimly call the ‘omega variant’ of SARS-CoV-2: vaccine-evading, even more contagious than delta, equally or more deadly. According to the medical scientists I read and talk to … the probability of this nightmare scenario is very low, but it is not zero.” Indeed. Little did I know, but even as I wrote those words something that appears to fit this description was spreading rapidly in South Africa’s Gauteng province: not the omega variant, but the omicron variant. As I write today, major uncertainties remain, but what we know so far is not good. People are emotionally predisposed to look on the bright side — we are all sick of this pandemic and want it to be over — so it pains me to write this. Nevertheless, I’ll stick to my policy of applying history to the best available data, even if it means telling you what you really don’t want to hear. First the data: South African cases were up 39% on Friday, to 16,055. The test positivity rate rose from 22.4% to 24.3%, suggesting that the true case number is rising even faster. A Lancet paper suggests that Omicron is likely by far the most transmissible variant yet. There are three possible explanations for this: A higher intrinsic reproduction number (R0), An advantage in “immune escape” to reinfect recovered people or evade vaccines, or Both of the above. An important preprint published on Dec. 2 pointed to immune escape. South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases has individualized data on all its 2.7 million confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the pandemic. From these, it identified 35,670 suspected reinfections. (Reinfection is defined as an individual testing positive for Covid-19 twice, at least 90 days apart.) Since mid-November, the daily number of reinfections in South Africa has jumped far faster than in any previous wave. In November, the hazard ratio was 2.39 for reinfection versus primary infection, meaning that recovered individuals were getting Covid at more than twice the rate of people who had never had Covid before. And this was when omicron made up less than a quarter of confirmed cases. By contrast, the same study found no statistically significant evidence that the beta and delta variants were capable of reinfection. And, crucially, at least some of these new infections are leading to serious illness. On Thursday, the number of Gauteng patients in intensive care for Covid almost doubled from 63 to 106. Data from a private hospital network in South Africa that has over 240 patients hospitalized with Covid indicate that 32% of the hospitalized patients were fully vaccinated. Note that around three-quarters of the vaccinated in South Africa received the Pfizer Inc.-BioNTech SE vaccine. The rest got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Yet these are not the data that worried me the most last week. Those had to do with children. Between Nov. 14 and 28, 455 people were admitted to hospital with Covid-19 in Tshwane metro area, one of the largest hospital systems in Gauteng. Seventy (15%) of those hospitalized were under the age of five; 117 (25%) were under 20. And this is not just a story of precautionary hospitalizations. Twenty of the 70 hospitalized toddlers progressed to “severe” Covid. Up until Oct. 23, before experts estimate omicron began circulating, under-fives represented only 1.8% of cumulative Covid hospital admissions in South Africa. As of Nov. 29, 10% of those now hospitalized in Tshwane were under the age of two. If this trend holds as omicron spreads to advanced economies — and it is spreading very fast, confirming omicron’s high transmissibility — the market impact could be much bigger than is currently priced in. Unlike with the delta wave, many schools would return to hybrid instruction, parents would withdraw from the labor force to provide childcare and consumption patterns would again shift away from retail, hospitality and face-to-face services. Hospital systems would also face shortages of pediatric intensive care beds, which have not been much needed in prior Covid waves. South Africa’s top medical advisor Waasila Jassat noted on Dec. 3 that hospitalizations on average are less severe than in previous waves and hospital stays are shorter. But she also noted a “sharp” increase in hospital admissions of under-fives. Children under 10 represent 11% of all hospital admissions reported since Dec. 1. Here’s what we don’t know yet. We do not know how far prior infection and vaccination will protect against severe disease and death in northern hemisphere countries, where adult vaccination rates are much higher than in South Africa (just 24%). And we do not know if omicron will prove as aggressive toward children in those countries, especially the very young children we have not previously contemplated vaccinating. (Because South Africa has limited testing capacity, we do not know the total number of under-fives infected with omicron in Gauteng, so we do not know what percentage of children are falling sick.) We may not know these things for another week, possibly longer. So panic is not yet warranted. Nor, however, is wishful thinking. It may prove a huge wave of mild illness, signaling the final phase of the transition from pandemic to endemic. But we don’t know that yet. Now the history. First, it makes all the difference in the world whether or not children fall gravely ill in a pandemic. Covid has so far spared the very young to an extent rarely seen in the recorded history of respiratory disease pandemics. (The exception seems to be the 1889-90 “Russian flu,” which modern researchers suspect was in fact a coronavirus pandemic.) The great influenza pandemics of 1918-19 and 1957-58 killed the very young as well as the very old. The former also carried off young adults in the prime of life. The latter caused significant excess mortality among teenagers. Up until this point, Covid was the social Darwinist disease: It disproportionately killed the old, the sick and the gullible (the vulnerable people who allowed themselves to be persuaded that the vaccine was more dangerous than the virus). A hundred years ago, many experts would have hailed such a disease for the same reasons they promoted eugenics. We think differently now. However, emotionally and rationally, we still dread the deaths of children much more than the old, the sick and the foolish. The moment children become seriously ill — as has already happened in Gauteng — the nature of the pandemic fundamentally alters. Risk aversion will be far higher in the Ferguson family, for example, if its youngest members are vulnerable for the first time. The second historical point is that this may be how our age of globalization ends — in a very different way from its first incarnation just over a century ago. The first age of globalization, from the 1860s until 1914, ended with a bang, not a whimper, with the outbreak of World War I. Within a remarkably short space of time, that conflict halted trade, capital flows and migration between the combatant empires. Moreover, the war and its economic aftershocks strengthened and ultimately empowered new political movements, notably Bolshevism and fascism, that fundamentally repudiated free trade and free capital movements in favor of state control of the economy and autarky. By 1933, the outlook for liberal economic policies seemed so utterly hopeless that, in a lecture he gave in Dublin, even John Maynard Keynes threw in the towel and embraced economic self-sufficiency. Now, there is an argument (made by my Bloomberg colleague and occasional editor James Gibney) that the pandemic will not kill globalization. I am not so sure. Defined too broadly, to include any kind cross-border interaction, the word loses its usefulness. Yes, there were all kinds of “transnational networks in science, health, entertainment,” as well as increasingly ambitious international agencies between the wars. But the fact that (for example) the Pan European movement was founded by Richard von Coudenhove-Kalergi in the 1920s does not mean that the subsequent decades were a triumph of European integration. There was a great deal of international cooperation and cross-border activity between 1939 and 1945, too. That does not mean that the 1940s were a time of globalization. For the word to be meaningful, globalization must refer to relatively higher volumes of trade, capital flows, migration flows and perhaps also cultural integration on a global scale.   On that basis, globalization peaked — or maybe “maxed out” would be more accurate — in around 2007. Calculate it how you like: Whether the ratio of global exports to GDP, the ratio of gross foreign assets to GDP, global or national migrant flows in relation to total population, they all tell the same story of a sustained rise of globalization hitting a peak around 14 years ago. The economic historian Alan M. Taylor has long argued that we should measure globalization by looking at current account imbalances, which tell us when a lot of trade and lending are happening. On that basis, too, globalization peaked in 2007. Even Before Covid, Trade and Lending Were Trending Down Source: Our World in Data from Maurice Obstfeld and Alan M. Taylor, "Global Capital Markets: Integration, Crisis, and Growth," Japan–US Center UFJ Bank Monographs on International Financial Markets; and International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database. Note: The data shown is the average absolute current account balance (as a percentage of GDP) for 15 countries in five-year blocks. The countries in the sample are Argentina, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, U.K., U.S.. Since the financial crisis of 2008-9, however, the volume of world trade has flatlined relative to the volume of industrial production. The U.S. current account deficit peaked in the third quarter of 2006 at -6.3% of GDP. The latest read? -3.3%. The same story emerges when one turns to migration. The foreign-born share of the U.S. population rose rapidly from its nadir in 1970 (4.7%) to a peak of 13.7% in 2019. But the rate of growth clearly slowed after 2012. It remains below its historic peak of 14.7%, back in 1890. Data for net migration similarly point to peaks prior to the financial crisis. Net emigration from South Asia peaked in 2007, for example. So did net immigration to the United Kingdom. Not-So-Open Borders Source: United Nations Population Division What about cultural globalization? My guess is that peaked in 2012, which was the last year that imported films earned more at the Chinese box office than domestic productions. The highest-grossing movie in the history of the People’s Republic is this year’s “Battle of Lake Changjin,” a Korean War drama in which heroic Chinese troops take on the might of the U.S. Army—and win. (Watch the trailer. Then tell me globalization is going to be fine.) What has caused globalization to recede? Let me offer a six-part answer. First, global economic convergence. This may come as a surprise. An influential story over the past two decades was Branco Milanovic’s thesis that globalization had increased inequality. In particular, Milanovic argued in 2016 that “large real income gains [had] been made by people around the median of the global income distribution and by those in the global top 1%. However, there [had] been an absence of real income growth for people around the 80-85th percentiles of the global distribution.” He illustrated this argument with a famous “elephant chart” of cumulative income growth between 1988 and 2008 at each percentile of the global income distribution. On closer inspection, the elephant was a statistical artifact. Strip out the data for Japan, the former Soviet Union and China, and the elephant vanishes. The story Milanovic’s chart told was of the decline of ex-Soviet and Japanese middle-class incomes following the collapse of the USSR and the bursting of Tokyo’s bubble in 1989-90, and the surge of Chinese middle-class incomes, especially after China’s entry into the World Trade Organization in 2001. The real story of globalization turns out to be a sustained reduction in global inequality as Chinese incomes caught up rapidly with those in the rest of the world, combined with big increases in national inequality as the “one percent” in some (not all) countries got a whole lot richer. At the heart of globalization was what Moritz Schularick and I called “Chimerica”—the symbiosis between the Chinese and American economies that allowed American capital to take advantage of low-cost Chinese labor (offshoring or outsourcing), American borrowers to take advantage of abundant Chinese savings, and American consumers to take advantage of cheap Chinese manufactures. It could not last. In 2003 Chinese unit labor costs were around a third of those in the U.S. By 2018 the two were essentially on a par. In that sense, the glory days of globalization were bound to be numbered. For as Chinese incomes rose, the rationale for relocating production to China was bound to become weaker. Secondly, and at the same time, new technologies — robotics, three-dimensional printing, artificial intelligence — were rapidly reducing the importance of human labor in manufacturing. With the surge of online commerce and digital services, globalization entered a new phase in which data rather than goods and people crossed borders, even if the Great Firewall of China partly cordoned off China’s internet from the rest of the world’s. Chimerica, as Schularick and I argued back in 2007, was in many ways a chimera — a monstrous creature with the potential to precipitate a crisis, not least by artificially depressing U.S. interest rates and inflating a real estate bubble. When that crisis struck in 2008-9, it was the third blow to globalization. For those who suffered the heaviest losses in the United States and elsewhere, it was not illogical to blame free trade and immigration. A 2015 study by the McKinsey Global Institute showed clearly that people in the U.S., U.K. and France who saw themselves as “not advancing and not hopeful about the future” were much more likely than more optimistic groups to blame “legal immigrants,” “the influx of foreign goods and services,” and “cheaper foreign labor” for, respectively, “ruining the culture and cohesiveness in our society,” “leading to domestic job losses” and “creating unfair competition to domestic businesses.” The only surprising thing was that these feelings took as long as seven years to manifest themselves as an organized political backlash against globalization, in the form of Britain’s vote to exit the European Union and America’s vote for Donald Trump. Dani Rodrik’s famous trilemma — which postulated that you could have any two of globalization, democracy and sovereignty — was emphatically answered in 2016: Voters chose democracy and sovereignty over globalization. This was the fourth strike against “the globalists,” a term invented by the populists to give globalization a more easily hateable human face. The financial crisis and the populist backlash didn’t sound the death knell for globalization. They merely dialed it back — hence the plateau in trade relative to manufacturing and the modest decline (not collapse) of international capital flows and migration. The fifth blow was the outbreak of Cold War II, which should probably be dated from Vice President Mike Pence’s October 2018 Hudson Institute speech, the first time the Trump administration had taken its anti-Chinese policy beyond the confines of the president’s quixotic trade war (which only modestly reduced the bilateral U.S.-Chinese trade deficit). Not everyone has come to terms with this new cold war. Joseph Nye (and the administration of President Joe Biden) would still like to believe that the U.S. and China are frenemies engaged in “coopetition.” But Hal Brands and John Lewis Gaddis, John Mearsheimer and Matt Turpin have all come round to my view that this is a cold war — not identical to the last one, but as similar to it as World War II was to World War I. The only question worth debating is whether or not, as in 1950, cold war turns hot. There is no Thucydidean law that says this is inevitable, as Graham Allison has shown. But I agree with Mearsheimer: The risk of a hot war in Cold War II may actually be higher than in Cold War I. Nothing would kill globalization faster than the outbreak of a superpower war over Taiwan. (And “The Battle of Lake Changjin” is blatantly psyching Chinese cinemagoers up for such a conflict.) The decoupling of the U.S. and Chinese economies would almost certainly have continued even if the sixth blow — the Covid pandemic — had not struck. It has been astounding how little the Biden administration has changed of its predecessor’s China strategy. However, the pandemic has delivered the coup de grace — “a brutal end to the second age of globalization,” as Nicholas Eberstadt put it last year. True, the volume of merchandise trade has recovered even more rapidly in 2021 than the World Trade Organization anticipated back in March. But the emergence of a new, contagious and lethal coronavirus has caused a collapse of international travel and tourism. The number of passengers carried by the global airline industry plunged by 60% in 2020. It will be not much better than 50% of its pre-pandemic level this year. International tourist arrivals are down by even more this year than last year — close to 80% below their 2019 level. In Asia, international tourism has all but ceased to exist this year. Meanwhile, both the U.S. and the Chinese governments keep devising new ways to discourage their nationals from investing in the rival superpower. Didi Global Inc., the Chinese Uber, just announced it is delisting its shares from the New York Stock Exchange. And the pressure mounts on Wall Street financiers — as Bridgewater Associates founder Ray Dalio discovered last week — to wind up their “long China” trade and stop turning a blind eye to genocide in Xinjiang and other human rights abuses. Next up: the campaign to boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. Strikingly, a growing number of Western sports stars and organizations such as the Women’s Tennis Association are already willing to defy Beijing — in the case of the WTA by suspending tournaments in China in response to the disappearance of the tennis star Peng Shuai, who accused a senior Communist Party official of sexually assaulting her. China’s leaders should be even more worried by a recent Chicago Council of World Affairs poll, which showed that just over half of Americans (52%) favor using U.S. troops to defend Taiwan if China invades the island — the highest share ever recorded in surveys dating back to 1982. Last month I asked a leading American lawmaker how he explained the marked growth in public hostility toward the Chinese government. His answer was simple: “People blame China for Covid.” And not without reason, as Matt Ridley’s new book “Viral” makes clear. For the avoidance of doubt, I do not foresee as complete a collapse of globalization as happened after 1914. Globalization 2.0 seems to be going out with a whimper — or perhaps a persistent cough — rather than with a bang. Income convergence and technological change were bound to reduce its utility. Having overshot by 2007, globalization settled at a lower level after the financial crisis and was less damaged by populist policies like tariffs than might have been anticipated. But the advent of Cold War II and Covid-19 struck two severe blows. How far globalization is rolled back depends on how far the two phenomena persist or worsen. Maybe — let us pray — the alarming data from Gauteng will not imply a major new wave of illness and death in the wider world. Maybe the omicron variant will not, after all, be that nightmare variant I have feared: more infectious, more lethal, vaccine-evading, not ageist. But omicron is only the 15th letter in the Greek alphabet. In all of Africa only 7.3% of the population are fully vaccinated and there are countless immunocompromised individuals with HIV. Even if omicron turns out to be, like delta, a variant we can live with, there is still some non-zero chance that at some point we get my “omega variant.” In that scenario, the pandemic does not oblige us, weary as we are of it, by ending, but recurs in a succession of waves extending for years. One begins to wonder if China will ever lift its stringent restrictions on foreign visitors. Under such circumstances, I see little chance of Cold War II reaching the détente phase earlier than Cold War I.   In addition to applying history, I have come to believe that we should also apply science fiction, on the principle that its authors are professionally incentivized to envision plausibly the impact of social, technological and other changes on the future. (Fact: an Italian sci-film called “Omicron,” in which an alien takes over a human body, was released in 1963.) No living author is better at this kind of thing than Neal Stephenson, whose “Snow Crash” coined the word “metaverse,” and whom I got to know — appropriately via Zoom — through my friends at the Santa Fe Institute. When Stephenson and I met for a late-night Scotch at a bar in Seattle a few weeks back, we swiftly found common ground. Never have I seen a longer list of wines and spirits: We could have scrolled down on the iPad the server handed us for an hour and still not reached the end. Eventually, we found the malt whisky. And immediately we agreed: Laphroaig — the standard 10-year-old version. Stephenson’s latest novel is “Termination Shock.” Buy it. You will be catapulted into a future Texas of intolerable heat, man-eating hogs, and other nightmares, the effect of which will be to make your present circumstances seem quite tolerable. Part of Stephenson’s genius is his use of the throwaway detail. “RVs,” he writes, were “already at a premium because of Covid-19, Covid-23 and Covid-27.” It’s not really part of the plot, but it stopped my eyeballs in their tracks. And remember: He predicted the metaverse. In 1992. Tyler Durden Mon, 12/06/2021 - 05:00.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytDec 6th, 2021

"Catastrophic" Property Sales Mean China"s Worst Case Scenario Is Now In Play

"Catastrophic" Property Sales Mean China's Worst Case Scenario Is Now In Play No matter how the Evergrande drama plays out - whether it culminates with an uncontrolled, chaotic default and/or distressed asset sale liquidation, a controlled restructuring where bondholders get some compensation, or with Beijing blinking and bailing out the core pillar of China's housing market - remember that Evergrande is just a symptom of the trends that have whipsawed China's property market in the past year, which has seen significant contraction as a result of Beijing policies seeking to tighten financial conditions as part of Xi's new "common prosperity" drive which among other things, seeks to make housing much more affordable to everyone, not just the richest. As such, any contagion from the ongoing turmoil sweeping China's heavily indebted property sector will impact not the banks, which are all state-owned entities and whose exposure to insolvent developers can easily be patched up by the state, but the property sector itself, which as Goldman recently calculated is worth $62 trillion making it the world's largest asset class, contributes a mind-boggling 29% of Chinese GDP (compared to 6.2% in the US) and represents 62% of household wealth. It's also why we said that for Beijing the focus is not so much about Evegrande, but about preserving confidence in the property sector. Remember: for China this is not about Evergrande, it's about preserving confidence in the property sector — zerohedge (@zerohedge) September 22, 2021 But first, a quick update on Evergrande, which - to nobody's surprise - we learned today is expected to default on its offshore bond payment obligations imminently according to investment bank Moelis, which is advising a group of the cash-strapped developer’s bondholders. Evergrande, which is facing one of the country’s largest defaults as it wrestles with more than $300 billion of debt, has already missed coupon payments on dollar bonds twice last month. The missed payments, worth a combined $131 million, have left global investors wondering if they will have to swallow large losses when 30-day grace periods end for coupons that were due on Sept. 23 and Sept. 29. A separate group of creditors to Jumbo Fortune Enterprises who are advised by White & Case, are also waiting for a $260 million bond principal repayment, after a bond guaranteed by Evergrande matured last Friday, and unlike the offshore bonds, does not have a 30 day grace period (although five business days 'would be allowed' if the failure to pay were due to administrative or technical error). The Jumbo Fortune payment is being closely watched because of the risks of cross-default for the real estate giant’s other dollar bonds; it would also be the firm’s first major miss on maturing notes instead of just coupon payments since regulators urged the developer to avoid a near-term default. And with the five business days up as of today, and with a payment yet to be made, it appears that this weekend we will get news of a declaration of involuntary default from the creditor group which will set in motion the Evegrande default dominoes. With that background in mind, let's move on to the truly chilling latest developments: it now appears that China does not need Evergrande to officially default to unleash a property crisis - one has already arrived. Recall that in September, sketched out Goldman's three scenarios on China's housing sector - a base case, a severe scenario and a third "hard landing." While readers can find the full details here, we focus on the worst case, "Scenario 3", which Goldman summarized as follows: In the third and most bearish scenario, land sales and housing starts fall 30% and property sales, house prices and completions drop 10% from 2021 to 2022. The tightening in financial conditions doubles that in the second scenario. Note that in this scenario, the tightening is of the same magnitude as the tightening in Goldman's China Financial Conditions Index (FCI) from November 2017 to June 2018 when domestic credit tightening and the US-China trade war rattled the financial market significantly. Quantifying this dire scenario, Goldman envisions a China where new property starts tumble 30%, completions drop 10% alongside sales volumes and ASPs. If this scenario comes to pass it would also wipe out at least 4% of China's 2022 GDP, potentially resulting in full-year contraction at the second largest economy in the world, an outcome that would have catastrophic implications for the rest of the world. And with Goldman's warning that such a scenario would lead to a tightening in financial conditions similar to what happened "from November 2017 to June 2018 when domestic credit tightening and the US-China trade war rattled the financial market significantly" and one can therefore see that while contagion from an Evergrande default may skip China's banks, it would have no less dire consequences for global markets and economies. With that preamble in mind, we bring readers' attention to a little noticed report in Shanghai Securities News, citing China Real Estate Information Corp. research (link), which revealed that more than 90% of China’s top 100 property developers’ sales declined in September by an average of 36% from the same period last year. According to the report: Sept. sales totaled 759.6b yuan ($118BN), down 36.2% from September 2020 and 17.7% lower from the same period in 2019, deepening a downward spiral that started in July Among companies, 60% of developers saw sales decrease by more than 30% y/y in Sept. Beijing, Shenzhen and Guangzhou saw transaction volume of residential properties decline 30% y/y, while Shanghai fell 45% We had to do a double take when we saw this because these are absolutely terrifying numbers and are, to put it bluntly, scarier than Goldman's "worst case scenario"; what's worse this sudden collapse in China's property market is taking place before Evergrande has even defaulted, an event which would lead to a glacial freeze in the property market as potential buyers hold off expecting liquidation firesales from the property giant in hopes of getting bargains. The problem is that in addition to being the world's largest asset, China's property market is also the world's largest ponzi scheme, and without constant inflow of new capital it would implode, especially when factoring in the 90 million vacant apartment which just sit inert and which would promptly be dumped by anxious owners, flooding the market with excess inventory and sending prices crashing. It didn't take long for the market to notice what is going on and otherwise healthy property developers, which are in far better financial health than Evergrande, promptly collapsed: China Jinmao Holdings plunged as much as 10%, China Overseas Grand Oceans Group tumbled -7.9%, Sunac -3.7%, Country Garden Holdings -3%, Agile Group -2.8%, and so on. But keep in mind that all of the above presupposes just one major default, that of Evergrande. Alas, it's going to be far, far worse because in a reflexive toxic spiral, one property values fall, the entire property sector will collapse, leading to an epic bursting of a housing bubble that is order of magnitude greater than the US housing market was in 2007/2008. As Bloomberg writes, Chinese property firms "may face a wave of defaults" next year if China Evergrande Group’s deepening debt crisis shuts access to a key source of funding and conditions don’t ease for heavily indebted borrowers. As we have documented extensively in the past month, there’s growing alarm that the liquidity crisis at Evergrande will spill over to other developers as President Xi maintains measures to cool the property market while maintaining China's "three red lines" rules on property sector leverage (a new report from the FT today found that no less than half of China's 30 top developers were in breach of at least one of said lines). Fears of contagion risks intensified this week after a surprise default by Fantasia Holdings Group spurred a dramatic selloff in the offshore market. That sent yields on China dollar junk bonds to 17.5%, the highest in about a decade, while Evergrande’s dollar bond prices sank to a record low. After plunging 80%, Evergrande's HK-traded stock remains halted. Distressed debt veteran Michel Lowy said in a Bloomberg TV interview that the nation’s developers are facing a “triple whammy” with dwindling access to offshore financing, “catastrophic” September pre-sales and a limited onshore banking market. Translation: both organic (i.e., operation) and external sources of cash have dried up. That could spark a “large wave of defaults” if the offshore market remains shut for riskier borrowers going into next year, said Lowy, chief executive officer of his alternative asset manager SC Lowy. For dollar bonds - which in the coming Evegrande default will be at the very bottom of the pre-petition claims waterfall leaving them with negligible recoveries at best - the risk is that the increase in yields becomes indiscriminate and makes it impossible for developers to refinance maturing debt, triggering a succession of missed payments across the industry. If they end up being locked out from the market and unable to rollover coming maturities, and with operating cash flow drying up, the only recourse is the dreaded liquidation firesale which would be the pin that bursts China's housing bubble. "Ultimately it’s a liquidity game," said Lowy. “How many months can you survive until at some point the central government will relent and start releasing liquidity pressures on developers?” And while much has been written about the turmoil in China's dollar, or offshore bond market, the distress is starting to spread to the onshore bond market too. As Bloomberg notes, signs of strain in China’s $12 trillion domestic credit market after months of resilience may add to borrowers’ refinancing pressures. Stress levels rose in both the local and offshore bond markets in September, Bloomberg’s China Credit Tracker showed. Take yuan-denominated bonds sold by Xiamen Yuzhou Grand Future Real Estate Development Co., Yango Group Co. and Aoyuan Corp. Group all of which plunged to record lows Friday while two local bonds from a Fantasia Holdings Group unit were briefly halted following sharp declines. Yango denied social media reports that one of its housing projects had been halted indefinitely, and said that it had sufficient cash to repay debt. And while Bloomberg still has its onshore credit stress indicator at a positively bubbly level 3 (vs 2 in August), expect this to get much, much worse as the property sector implosion accelerates. As for the offshore bond credit stress indicator, well at least it can't get any worse. Needless to say, once the "stress level" in China's far bigger, $12 trillion onshore bond market approaches levels currently at the offshore, property-dominated market, all bets are off. Yet what makes the situation especially dire is that while Beijing would eagerly step in to bailout every insolvent bank and corporations until a few years ago, the one time when China's economy desperately needs a bailout from the state is when Xi decided to be silent. Authorities have been allowing defaults to rise in recent years in order to curb moral hazard and encourage better pricing of risk in its debt markets. Property firms’ missed payments made up 36% of the record 175 billion yuan in onshore corporate bond defaults this year. Yet if Xi allows the entire $62 trillion Chinese property sector to sink, the outcome will be orders of magnitude more dire than Lehman. “It’s very difficult to see a solution right now,” said Hao Hong, head of research and chief strategist at BoCom International, who agrees that the Evergrande crisis could drag on. China’s Evergrande strategy would be to “let as many people bear the cost as possible,” to lessen the pain for any one individual, Hong said. However, if the broader population loses faith in what is China's biggest asset while the market waits for a resolution - something the latest sales data confirm is already taking place - then the consequences will be catastrophic. So while some observers have compared Evergrande’s woes to the epic collapse of Lehman, the truth is that the coming default is just the trigger event whose downstream effects could pull down the entire Chinese house of cards, something the latest housing data show is already in play. Because at the end of the day, no Ponzi scheme can continue if the participants lose faith in a favorable outcome, and at $62 trillion China's housing sector is not only the world's largest assets, it is also the world's biggest Ponzi scheme. Which is why other experts have said this isn’t a Lehman Brothers moment— it could be far worse, if one views China’s gargantuan real estate sector as rotten to the core. Which it is. Appendix: Those seeking more information on China's property sector, we recommend reading a recent fascinating report from Nomura titled "China: Beijing's Volcker Moment" available to professional subs in the usual place. Tyler Durden Sun, 10/10/2021 - 10:11.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytOct 10th, 2021

Here"s what it was like at the New York Stock Exchange the day Silicon Valley Bank collapsed, according to Wall Street"s most famous trader

On the morning SVB failed, Peter Tuchman downed four espresso shots and geared up for what would be a historic day on the trading floor. Trader Peter Tuchman has been at the New York Stock Exchange for almost 38 years.AP Photo/Richard Drew Peter Tuchman has been at the New York Stock Exchange for almost 38 years and is the most-photographed trader on Wall Street. Stocks plunged last week on concerns of contagion from the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank. "We've never seen the volatility that we're seeing here. The intraday madness," Tuchman said. On the morning of the largest bank failure since 2008, Peter Tuchman had four shots of espresso, two glasses of orange juice, and geared up for his day. Immediately, stocks were down that morning. The S&P 500 was having its worst week of the year. Markets were going haywire shortly after the opening bell. Tuchman, a stock broker with nearly 38 years of experience on the trading floor is the most-photographed trader on Wall Street, and he's seen his share of volatility. He's weathered the stock market crash of 1987, the bursting of the dot-com bubble, the financial crisis of 2008, and the COVID-19 sell-off of 2020.On March 10, when Silicon Valley Bank collapsed, "shit was really hitting the fan," he told Insider.Tuchman describes the New York Stock Exchange as "the delta of all information," and the "ultimate pricing mechanism" for the world's markets, and on that Friday, investors and news outlets were calling him even more than usual for a pulse check. Hedge funds, large institutions, wealthy individual investors and customers with "skin in the game" were reaching out to Tuchman and other brokers on the floor, asking: "What's going on? How much is for sale? How much is to buy? Where are we at?" he said. "We are the eyes and ears of publicly-traded companies.""It's important that within the world of liquidity and volatility that there's a human being at the point of execution, making decisions, not a machine, not a robot, not an algo," he said. Panic rattled Wall Street and equities plummeted on concerns about what's next to fall under the weight of the Federal Reserve's rising interest rates, along with contagion from SVB, which serviced more than 50% of all venture-backed companies in the US and whose fall marked the biggest calamity since the last financial crisis. Bank shares led the plunge on Friday, posting their worst week since 2020. The decline in markets was fueled by fear hitting SVB peers like Western Alliance Bancorp and Signature Bank, which both shed over 20% on the day. Like SVB, Signature would go on to be taken over by the FDIC that weekend. "We've never seen the volatility that we're seeing here. The intraday madness." Tuchman said about the last few years in financial markets. "Things that used to take generations to happen, now can happen between lunch and your coffee break, right? We can be in a bear market at 11 in the morning, and by three o'clock we're in a bull market."He added: "Well, that's insane. That used to take 20 years to happen. Now, it happens over lunch."Tuchman didn't eat lunch on Friday, but he typically doesn't anyway.Tuchman said when Silicon Valley Bank collapsed last week "shit was really hitting the fan."ReutersOn the floor, Tuchman got a sense that "something serious is happening" when multiple stocks halted trading at once. It's a pricing mechanism called "limit up, limit down," which is done temporarily to mitigate extraordinary volatility when price declines in individual securities reach levels that may exhaust market liquidity. In Tuchman's words: "We give everybody a chance to figure out what they want to do because nobody is advantaged from stocks going up 30 points and down 40 points. It's just not rational."He added: "It gives everyone a minute to calm down, see where the bodies are buried, and then make a decision going forward."Less than one minute after the opening on Friday at 9:30 a.m., First Republic Bank, another SVB peer, halted trading for six minutes. The stock paused 12 others times that day. Western Alliance followed suit, pausing 20 times intraday, according to historical data from the New York Stock Exchange."We do trade a lot of the contagion stocks so suddenly [we] are noticing the market is selling [them] off radically," he added. Monitors cover nearly every nook and cranny of the trading floor. Fast-talking brokers are hunched over their screens, taking calls, while digesting the barrage of headlines to dissecting what's moving markets. "We are surrounded by all the information that make up the market. I watch at every given second what's going on with all that information," he said, gesturing at the hundreds of monitors around us. "You're seeing everything in real time."There's always a volatility somewhere, Tuchman says, but that's part of the job. There was a sense that more trouble was brewing as traders left for the weekend. The government didn't announce that it would backstop losses for SVB and Signature Bank depositors until Sunday evening, leaving investors in the lurch over what would happen next."Markets don't like unknowns and anxiety," he said. "We didn't know a lot more than we knew. That's when you have fear in the market and that's why we had the massive sell-off on Friday."He added: "I call it a perfect storm. You've got a lack of information and transparency and clarity. You've got a weekend coming up. You've got a looming Fed meeting. You've got the world trying to come out of a pandemic. You've got a massive interest rate raising environment. You've got a tech sector under fire. You've got retail sales here. All eyes are on the market."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytMar 18th, 2023

Peter Schiff: The Latest Bank Bailout Is Another Nail In Capitalism"s Coffin

Peter Schiff: The Latest Bank Bailout Is Another Nail In Capitalism's Coffin Via, On June 14, 2022, Peter Schiff appeared on Ingraham Angle, and he said, “Thanks to the Federal Reserve, everybody has so much debt that we can’t afford to pay an interest rate high enough to fight inflation. But it is going to be high enough to cause a massive recession and another financial crisis that’s worse than the one we had in 2008.” On March 13, 2023, Peter was on Ingraham Angle again, this time to talk about the beginning of that financial crisis. In the wake of the failure of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, the Federal Reserve and the US government came to the rescue, quicking putting together a bailout that includes a promise to protect all of the banks’ depositors, along with a Fed program that will offer loans of up to one year in length to banks pledging US Treasuries, agency debt and mortgage-backed securities, and other qualifying assets as collateral. Banks will be able to borrow against their assets “at par” (face value). Ingraham started the interview by referencing Citadel founder Ken Griffin who said the rescue package shows American capitalism is breaking down before our eyes. Peter responded that American capitalism broke down a long time ago and the latest bailout effort is just another nail in that coffin. The reason we are now having another financial crisis – and it would already be a lot worse if we hadn’t made the mistake of backstopping all these insolvent banks – but the reason they got insolvent was because of the government. The Federal Reserve kept interest rates at zero for 12 years. There was quantitative easing. And during that time, banks, and pretty much everybody else, loaded up on low-yielding debt. But in order to keep interest rates that low, the Federal Reserve had to create massive inflation. They called it quantitative easing, and the adverse consequences really started to show up last year when we had these big elevated increases in the CPI.” With price inflation becoming such a burden on Americans, the Fed was forced to raise interest rates to fight inflation. That pricked the bubble it had inflated. Now, all of these institutions are insolvent at higher interest rates. We have a bigger debt crisis now than the one we had in 2008, which was also caused by the artificially low interest rates that followed the bursting of the NASDAQ bubble when the Fed kept interest rates at 1%. That inflated the housing bubble. But this time, zero percent inflated a much bigger bubble, which is why we are now having a much bigger financial crisis.” Peter emphasized that none of this would have happened if we had stayed with a free market. The free market would have purged the economy from all these excesses a long time ago, and instead of having a bubble, we would have had a genuine recovery with real prosperity instead of the phony prosperity that we’ve enjoyed. And now the chickens have come home to roost.” Economist and former Treasury secretary Larry Summers said the problems with Silicon Valley Bank didn’t have much to do with interest rates. He said it was “a failure of risk management.” So, what was it? Interest rates? Or poor risk management? Peter said it was both. But the low interest rates are what led to all the excessive risk-taking. And so did the moral hazard of the 2008-2009 bailouts. Wall Street learned the lesson that you can gamble and if you win you keep the profits. If you lose, the government bails you out. So, that was part of the reason for the risk-taking.” Peter also pointed out that banking regulations encouraged financial institutions to load up on Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities because of the favorable way they’re treated for accounting purposes. They don’t have to take any haircuts. They don’t have to mark them the market. And so, it’s government policy that caused all this. But none of it would have happened had we not had the zero percent interest rates or the quantitative easing.” And Peter emphasized that unfortunately, inflation is about to go through the roof. When President Biden said nobody is going to have to pay for these bailouts, he’s wrong. We’re all going to pay through inflation. Because the Federal Reserve is financing it by printing money. And so the price of everything is going to go up. In fact, bank deposits are more at risk now than ever before because inflation is going to destroy the value of everybody’s savings.” Tyler Durden Wed, 03/15/2023 - 10:45.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytMar 15th, 2023

Billionaire investor Ray Dalio says the Silicon Valley Bank failure marks a "canary in the coal mine" that will have repercussions beyond the VC world

The current phase of the economic cycle could see more firms forced to sell assets at a loss, precisely the factor that sparked the fall of SVB. Ray Dalio.Eoin Noonan/Web Summit via Getty Images Ray Dalio said the Silicon Valley Bank failure is a "canary in the coal mine" for what's to come.  Dalio wrote Tuesday that this is part of the classic "bubble-bursting part" of the short-term debt cycle.  He explained how it fits into broader historical trends and debt cycles. Billionaire investing veteran Ray Dalio said the Silicon Valley Bank failure marks a "canary in the coal mine" moment that will spark steep repercussions across the financial world. In his newsletter Tuesday, the Bridgewater Associates founder called the bank turmoil a "very classic event in the very classic bubble-bursting part of the short-term debt cycle."Regulators shut down Silicon Valley Bank on Friday, with Signature Bank closed down two days later. The cycle lasts roughly seven years, Dalio explained. In the current phase, inflation and curtailed credit growth catalyze a debt contraction, according to Dalio, and that causes contagion until the Federal Reserve returns to a policy of easy money."Based on my understanding of this dynamic and what is now happening (which line up), this bank failure is a 'canary in the coal mine' early-sign dynamic that will have knock-on effects in the venture world and well beyond it," Dalio wrote. He said history illustrates that it's usually the case for lenders and banks to emerge from an extended period of low interest rates and easy credit holding leveraged assets long, and then for those assets to lose value. Given that the Fed has hiked interest rates more than 1,700% over the last year—and could continue to do s0—more dominoes are poised to fall, in Dalio's view.Citing previous trends, the hedge fund founder said it's likely that more firms will be forced to sell assets at low prices for big losses, and that will cause further decreases in lending volumes. "Looking ahead, it's likely that it won't be long before the problems pick up, which will eventually lead the Fed and bank regulators to act in a protective way," Dalio maintained. "So I think we are approaching the turning point from the strong tightening phase into the contraction phase of the short-term credit/debt cycle."In response to the fall of SVB, rating agency Moody's on Tuesday downgraded its outlook for the US banking system, citing the rapid deterioration of the conditions facing the sector. "Pandemic-related fiscal stimulus along with more than a decade of ultralow interest rates and quantitative easing resulted in significant excess deposit creation in the US banking sector," Moody's strategists said. "This has given rise to asset-liability management challenges, with some banks having invested excess deposits in longer-dated fixed-income securities that have lost value during the rapid rise in US interest rates." Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMar 14th, 2023

Two big Silicon Valley banks failed when the easy money ran out - and that could be just the start.

Insider's Phil Rosen breaks down the collapse of two banks in three days and what Wall Street experts are saying about the turmoil. Phew. Hey there. Senior reporter Phil Rosen here. Before we jump into the newsletter, the Silicon Valley Bank saga is continuing to unfold, so let's quickly break down the latest.The big story this morning: HSBC has bought the UK arm of collapsed SVB in a last-minute deal for 1 British pound, or $1.21. The UK government and the Bank of England facilitated the private sale, British Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said on Twitter: "Deposits will be protected, with no taxpayer support".Also, if you haven't heard, Signature Bank yesterday became the third bank to fail in the past week, after Silvergate shut down its bank voluntarily.The Treasury, Federal Reserve, and FDIC made a joint statement Sunday evening, effectively saying that all depositors for SVB and Signature Bank would be made whole, and that a new facility, the Bank Term Funding Program, would be created to provide liquidity for firms under stress. "No losses associated with the resolution of Silicon Valley Bank will be borne by the taxpayer," policymakers added.Meanwhile, as the two banks fell under regulatory control, First Republic issued a message to clients aimed at calming nerves, saying it still had strong liquidity. In any case, some folks on Wall Street have been telling me that we can chalk up much of the turmoil to our departure from the easy-money era. More than a decade of near-zero interest rates allowed companies to borrow money freely, and as far as repercussions go, what we've seen so far could mark only the tip of the iceberg.If this was forwarded to you, sign up here. Download Insider's app here.AP Images1. The fall of SVB and Signature bank means the Fed's aggressive interest-rate hiking regime has now taken sizable casualties. The tumult is a byproduct of the central bank's 1,700% increase in rates that took place in less than a year, and it could mean more once-stable institutions could be turned inside out in the coming months. "When you raise interest rates quickly, after 15 years of overstimulating the economy with near-zero rates, to not imagine that there's not leverage in every pocket of society that will be stressed is a naive imagining," Lundy Wright of Weiss Multi-Strategy Advisors told me. This new rate cycle delivers a "perfect storm," according to Deutsche Bank analysts, who told clients last week that SVB epitomizes all the risks worth fretting over in the shifting policy era.In a Sunday note to clients, Goldman Sachs' research team pulled back their Fed policy forecast in response to this weekend's bank failures. "In light of recent stress in the banking system," the analysts wrote, "we no longer expect the FOMC to deliver a rate hike at its March 22 meeting with considerable uncertainty about the path beyond March."In any case, the risk of contagion may not be all that high, as my colleague Matthew Fox writes, given that banks have become extremely well-capitalized since the Great Financial Crisis. And according to Tut Fuller, chief executive and founder of Capra Bank, if policymakers stick to their word and protect depositors like they said they would, people will have their faith restored. "I'm hopeful that the government's approach of stepping in and protecting depositors, but not bailing out failed executives and boards of directors, actually builds confidence," Fuller told me close to midnight last night. "We need to protect the consumers and businesses who thought their money was safe and hold poor leadership accountable."Here's Deutsche Bank again: "What do you get when you see one of the biggest hiking cycles on record, alongside one of the most inverted yield curves in history, at the same time as seeing one of the biggest tech bubbles bursting in history, coupled with runaway growth in private markets?"The answer looks something like what transpired this weekend. What's been the most surprising thing to you about the collapse of two banks in three days? Tweet me (@philrosenn) or email me ( to let me know. In other news:Lucky-photographer/Shutterstock2. Stocks on Wall Street battle for direction as SVB's failure ignites fears for banks. Shares in First Republic Bank fell as much as 60% premarket after the US lender tapped the backstop for a $70 billion to shore up liquidity. Here are the latest market moves. 3. Earnings on deck: Carlsberg, Getty Images Holdings, and more, all reporting. 4. Morgan Stanley recommended this batch of stocks to profit on an investing strategy that produces positive returns 100% of the time. Here's the approach the strategists laid out — including the 19 names they like now.5. A $15 billion venture capital firm had warned its startups of Silicon Valley Bank's red flags months ago. Greenoaks Capital Partners told clients in an email back in November that SVB, as well as other firms, could see problems in a high-interest-rate environment, Bloomberg reported. Those clients pulled over $1 billion in funds out of the bank ahead of the turmoil. 6. Investing veteran Jeremy Grantham said the stock market bubble is still deflating. The market won't bottom until 2024, and investors shouldn't be fooled by any rallies that materialize, the GMO co-founder said. He blasted the Fed's monetary policy as a 36-year-long "horror show."7. The bank crisis will force the Fed to slash rates by 100 basis points to prevent contagion. That's according to market guru Larry McDonald. He said it was the Fed that effectively caused the dramatic bank run last week.8. This real estate investor owns over 1,250 units. He was able to retire at age 36 through leveraging the cash flow from his properties. Here are the five pillars that he says drive wealth — and how investors can combine them to compound their income and reach financial freedom.9. An investing expert who says "cash is king" doesn't think it's time to get into the stock market right now. Lauren Simmons recommends instead putting your money into Treasuries, CDs, and high-yield savings accounts because that's how you can be best prepared to jump on new opportunities after a recession.Markets Insider10. Bitcoin and other risk-assets stumbled amid bank fears. The crypto industry is navigating fresh pain as Silvergate prepares to wind down and other financial firms face snags. Bitcoin dropped below $20,000 last week, but is now back above $22,000. Here's what caused Friday's drop. Curated by Phil Rosen in New York. Feedback or tips? Tweet @philrosenn or email by Max Adams (@maxradams) in New York and Hallam Bullock (@hallam_bullock) in London.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMar 13th, 2023

More than 85% of Silicon Valley’s Bank’s Deposits Were Not Insured. Here’s What That Means for Customers

“It’s like a Lehman Brothers moment for Silicon Valley,” says one Silicon Valley startup founder whose company has millions of dollars tied up in SVB Silicon Valley Bank was aptly named: It held the funds of hundreds of U.S. tech companies and was a crucial player in the valley’s economy. But on Friday, it became the second largest bank failure in U.S. history after a rapid run on its deposits. Some $175 billion in customer accounts were taken over by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which is now tasked with returning money to the bank’s customers. But more than 85% of the bank’s deposits were uninsured, according to estimates in a recent regulatory filing. That’s because FDIC deposit insurance is meant for everyday bank customers and maxes out at $250,000. Many Silicon Valley startups had millions, or even hundreds of millions of dollars deposited at the bank—money they used to run their companies and pay employees. Right now, nobody’s sure how much of that cash is left. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] The tech sector was already wading through a harsh macroeconomic climate, with layoffs abounding and stock prices sinking precipitously. Silicon Valley Bank’s downfall is likely to exacerbate those problems—and could threaten the wider economy. “It’s like a Lehman Brothers moment for Silicon Valley,” says one Silicon Valley startup founder whose company has millions of dollars tied up in SVB. “It feels like something that never should have happened, because it’s such a trustworthy entity.” The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because they are worried about losing customers over their ties to SVB. Bad bets SVB was founded in 1983 and is headquartered in Santa Clara, which sits right in the middle of Silicon Valley. The bank was the 16th-largest in the country, and has long prided itself in its close relationship with tech entrepreneurs, calling itself the “financial partner of the innovation economy.” The bank claimed at the end of 2022 that “nearly half” of all U.S. venture-backed startups used its services. But Wednesday, SVB announced that it faced a liquidity squeeze, and that it was holding an emergency fundraiser and selling off U.S. government bonds at a loss to shore up its position. This announcement caused widespread panic across the Valley, with many companies scrambling to withdraw their money before it was too late. As fears spread, investors pulled out of bank stocks on a larger scale, with the four largest U.S. banks losing some $52 billion in market value on Thursday. Many tech leaders urged companies that banked with SVB not to panic or withdraw their money. But the risk for these startups was too high, and a self-fulfilling bank run ensued. SVB’s stock price fell by 60% on Thursday, and trading was halted on Friday morning. By midday, the FDIC had taken control of the bank. The only bank failure larger than this one in American history was Washington Mutual, which had roughly $300 billion in customer deposits before the 2008 financial crisis. Most banks, by nature, use their customer deposits to make loans, and then make money off the spread, which allows them to earn income and their customers to earn interest. But financial institutions are currently facing a changing economic climate, in which the free-money era of ultra-low interest rates has ended as the Federal Reserve tries to rein in inflation by making it more expensive to borrow. Some savvy-seeming investments that banks made two years ago have since turned sour, says John Rizzo, senior vice president, public affairs at the D.C.-based firm Clyde Group. This was a big part of SVB’s problem: $91 billion worth of Treasuries (a usually safe investment) that the bank bought with customers’ deposits, had lost some $15 billion in value due to interest rate hikes. (Rizzo also pointed to the struggles of the crypto-focused Silvergate Bank, which announced that it would shut down operations this week.) “When interest rates rise and the money is tighter, you tend to find out who’s made bad bets,” he says. “You can see the bubble bursting in some of these risk assets, and over the last couple weeks, we’ve been finding out which financial institutions were overexposed to them.” Chasing Insurance SBV’s failure is having immediate ripple effects in Silicon Valley. The aforementioned startup founder said that they began banking with SVB right at their company’s founding several years ago, “because it seemed like the de facto standard.” “It’s been around for 40 years,” they said. “It was a really well-trusted entity that everyone seemed to store money on.” The founder’s company held all of its assets, which were worth millions of dollars, in SVB. When the panic began on Wednesday, the founder began to mull over pulling their money out, but said that the process of creating a brand-new business bank account would have taken several days. The FDIC said that customers will have full access to their insured deposits up to $250,000 this coming Monday. But $250,000 is “chump change” compared to what most tech companies stashed in SBV, the founder says. They estimate that “hundreds if not thousands of companies” have millions of dollars tied up with the bank. “The FDIC insurance is designed to give the everyday depositor confidence that in a run, they can get their money back,” Rizzo says. “But as we’re finding out, that creates a significant problem if you’re well over the threshold.” The founder says that their company is in a better position than many others: because the company generates revenue and their team is only about 30 people, they will be able to make payroll for the next few months. After that, they’re not so sure. “We don’t know if we’re going to have to lay off or furlough employees. We don’t know if we’re ever going to get the money beyond the insured amount,” they said. And many start-ups in Silicon Valley don’t generate revenue at all, instead relying on fundraising rounds from venture-capital firms. “Let’s say you’re a high flying startup who banked with SVB, raised $100 million, burns a million dollars a month, and has no revenue,” the founder says. “You’re actually f—ed.” The founder says a common sentiment they’ve heard from other tech entrepreneurs is that “people are hoping for someone, whether it be the government or a bigger bank, will bail out the rest of the depositors.” Some financial veterans, including former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, have begun calling on the government to ensure that depositors are made whole, even if their accounts exceed $250,000. SVB’s failure sent tremors across the banking system. Similarly-sized institutions, including First Republic Bank, Signature Bank, and PacWest Bancorp, all suffered double-digit stock dips. The founder says that SVB’s failure could fundamentally change the way money flows in Silicon Valley, with people perhaps becoming more hesitant to trust smaller institutions. “People will be much more cautious, and that’s a bad thing,” they say. “It may be that more money gets aggregated into the hands of the biggest players.”.....»»

Category: topSource: timeMar 13th, 2023

SVB"s collapse is what happens when an "everything bubble" finally bursts

Central bankers spent the last decade inflating up an "everything bubble." As that era comes to an end, SVB is just the latest casualty. Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images; iStock; Rebecca Zisser/Insider The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank is a result of a massive market bubble finally popping.  Wall Street commentators agree the Fed has had a hand in the chaos via its aggressive rate hikes.  "It is not a stretch to say that this episode is emblematic of the higher-for-longer rate regime," Deutsche Bank analysts said. The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank is the natural result of the "everything bubble" that's engulfed markets in the last decade finally bursting. And now that a new rate environment is upon us, the market should expect more of these chaotic episodes. The tech-focused bank's spectacular downfall stunned investors this week. SVB's stock plunged over 80% and the firm's losses wiped out $55 billion from Wall Street's top four banks in a day, before the bank was eventually shut down by regulators on Friday."What do you get when you see one of the biggest hiking cycles on record, alongside one of the most inverted yield curves in history, at the same time as seeing one of the biggest tech bubbles bursting in history, coupled with runaway growth in private markets," Deutsche Bank analysts wrote Friday.They continued: "The answer is that you get nights like yesterday where SVB Financial Group closed 60.41% lower on the day, wiping out $9.6 billion in market value. It is not a stretch to say that this episode is emblematic of the higher-for-longer rate regime we appear to be at the start of."SVB's steep losses on its bond portfolio — the announcement of which kicked off its decline in the middle of last week — were a direct result of the Fed's aggressive rate hikes over the last year, as its holdings of longer-term Treasuries and mortgage securities cratered in value with rising interest rates.It marked the conclusion of a so-called everything bubble that central bankers help blow up by keeping rates artificially low, pumping the market full of liquidity, and generally making conditions so favorable for asset prices that they seemed like a can't-lose investing proposition.SVB is merely the latest casualty of that era coming to an abrupt end, and it illustrates the problems for investors and firms that saw huge success in an unprecedented period of loose financial conditions. As rates rise, and less risky investments start offering attractive yields, more and more money is going to be pulled from things like high-growth tech stocks, crypto, and privately held start-ups. So to recap: the Fed both inflated this bubble and now wants to pop it. This week, legendary investor Jeremy Grantham slammed the central bank for creating bubbles with its policy, calling its influence over markets a 36-year-long "horror show.""They've engaged in policies that drive up the prices of assets, other things being even, and create spectacular overpriced bubbles. They then break because that's what bubbles have to do. They simply break off their extreme overpricing, and we pay a very tough price," Grantham said in a recent interview with Bloomberg's What Goes Up podcast.Other Wall Street commentators have also slammed the Fed's aggressive response to inflation, warning that an epic stock market crash is now a given as the huge bubble the central bank itself created looks poised to burst. The risk of a crash is higher after Fed Chair Powell this week signaled steeper rate hikes into 2023, according to Mohamed El-Erian, and stocks could crash as much as 20%-30% over the next few months, according to Morgan Stanley strategists and markets guru Larry McDonald."We'll have to see how this story develops but something always breaks hard during or after a Fed hiking cycle. Is this another mini wobble on this front or the start of something bigger? Tough to tell but I would be stunned if there weren't many more casualties of this boom-and-bust cycle. Don't forget, we haven't been in recession yet," Deutsche analysts warned.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytMar 12th, 2023

Founders Fund, Other VCs Advise Companies To Pull Cash From SVB

Founders Fund, Other VCs Advise Companies To Pull Cash From SVB Update (1730ET): SVB must have seriously upset someone... Founders Fund, the venture capital fund co-founded by Peter Thiel, has reportedly advised companies to pull money from Silicon Valley Bank.. The firm told portfolio companies that there was no downside to removing their money from the bank, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. Additionally, Bloomberg reports that Garry Tan, the president and CEO of Y Combinator, warned its network of startups that solvency risk is real and implied they should consider limiting their exposure to the lender. “We have no specific knowledge of what’s happening at SVB,” Tan wrote in a post viewed by Bloomberg News.  “But anytime you hear problems of solvency in any bank, and it can be deemed credible, you should take it seriously and prioritize the interests of your startup by not exposing yourself to more than $250K of exposure there.” He added, “Your startup dies when you run out of money for whatever reason.” Venture firm Tribe Capital has advised its portfolio companies to move some, if not all, of their balances from SVB.  “What’s important to understand is that banks all have leverage and they use deposits, so almost by definition any bank with a business model is dead if everyone moves,” Tribe co-founder Arjun Sethi told portfolio companies in communication reviewed by Bloomberg. “Since risk is non-zero and the cost it tiny, better to diversify your risk if not all,” he added. An email thread of more than 1,000 founders from Andreessen Horowitz was abuzz with the news Thursday, with many encouraging each other to pull cash from the bank. SIVB shares down further after hours (-70%), back below $80... A cunning plan perhaps -  numerous VC icons potentially ganging up to crush a midsize bank  - which could be systemic. What better way to force Powell back into QE to 'save the world'?   *  *  * Update (1500ET): As the day wore on and SIVB shares collapsed (and fear spread contagiously across other banks and asset-classes), The Information reports that Silicon Valley Bank CEO Greg Becker on Thursday told top venture capitalists in Silicon Valley to “stay calm” amid concerns around a capital crunch that wiped nearly $10 billion off the bank’s market valuation. “I would ask everyone to stay calm and to support us just like we supported you during the challenging times,” he said. On a call, Becker said that “calls started coming and started panic.” He added that the bank has “ample liquidity to support our clients with one exception: If everyone is telling each other SVB is in trouble that would be a challenge.” Haven't we heard that kind of reassurance before? *  *  * Is the bursting of the tech bubble finally spilling over to the financial system? One day after the biggest crypto-focused bank, Silvergate Capital, announced plans to unwind and liquidate after a deposit run effectively killed its core business model, this morning its far larger peer - the parent company of the venerable Silicon Valley Bank, SVB Financial Group - saw its shares plunge the most in more than two decades after the company took "steps to bolster its financial position" that included not only a highly dilutive stock offering but also a panicked asset sale that sparked fears of a liquidity crisis at one of the biggest and original providers of funding to the Venture Capital industry. The Santa Clara-based company’s shares sank by as much as 60% on Thursday, their biggest decline in the company's history since going public in 1987. The slump in the shares to their lowest level since May 2020, came after SVB i) announced a stock offering, ii) sold substantially all of the available-for-sale securities in its portfolio and iii) updated its forecast for the year to include a sharper decline in net interest income. Put in context, this 60% plunge smashes SIVB back to its lowest since 2016... “While we view these actions combined with a weaker guide as a clear negative, we do not believe that SIVB is in a liquidity crisis, especially following the significant proceeds” from its sale of securities, Wedbush analyst David Chiaverini wrote as he cut his price target for the company to $200 from $250. Others clearly disagreed and dumped the stock at a pace not seen in a quarter century. The bank also said it had sold about $21 billion of securities from its portfolio (with a plan to reinvest the proceeds but don't hold your breath) which will result in an after-tax loss of $1.8 billion for the first quarter. And the cherry on top was SVB's announcement of equity offerings for $1.25 billion of its common stock and $500 million of securities that represent convertible preferred shares. Additionally, General Atlantic committed to purchase $500 million of common stock, taking the total amount being raised to about $2.25 billion. It wasn't immediately clear whether the SIVB liquidity crisis is a function of assets, i.e., loans collateralized by toxic early stage investments that have turned sour... or liabilities, i.e., a good old-fashioned deposit bank run. “The improved cash liquidity, profitability and financial flexibility resulting from the actions we announced today will bolster our financial position and our ability to support clients through sustained market pressures,” the company said in a letter to stakeholders but judging by the stock reaction, nobody believed it. Multiple analysts have pointed to the high deposit outflows as the catalyst for the liquidity sale, which stoked fears for the banking industry as a whole. Truist analyst Brandon King says “the increase in balance sheet asset sensitivity should lower the left tail risk to higher interest rates” but expects material value per share dilution from the proposed capital raise.” “The proceeds from the sale are expected to be reinvested into short duration US treasuries along and hedged with receive floating swaps” KBW analyst Christopher McGratty says SVB Financial will exit 2023 on a notable lower earnings run rate due (NII and share count), and “it’s possible that 2024E is in the $16.00-$18.00/share range” pending the price of the capital raise SVB Financial sold $21B of securities to better manage liquidity, in light of accelerated deposit outflows For the broader sector, “balance sheet management for the group is unquestionably front and center” and it’s possible that banks with “more volatile/flightly deposits” could trade lower on this news. Namely, SBNY and PACW Evercore ISI analyst John Pancari: “We favor SIVB’s strategy to shore up liquidity and reposition the balance sheet for increased asset sensitivity, particularly in lieu of the Fed’s more hawkish recent tone” Management’s updated outlook reveals incrementally weaker deposit dynamics – an output of more resilient than expected client cash burn trends, and the likely catalyst of the move Jefferies analyst Casey Haire says the balance sheet restructuring and capital raise will boost net interest income and nudge capital ratios higher... ...but also reveal that SVB Financial’s ecosystem is still challenged due to higher for longer interest rates and a surprise pick-up in client cash burn Also notes the updated 2023 guidance that implies EPS of ~$15 against consensus of $19 Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Herman Chan notes the sale “comes as a surprise considering the bank’s ability to source off-balance-sheet client funds for deposit funding” To ease the hit, SVB will raise $2.25 billion through common stock, depositary shares and a sale of shares to General Atlantic In an earlier note, Chan notes that “SVB is sitting on a $15 billion unrealized loss position in its $91 billion held-to-maturity securities portfolio” $SIVB $SIVBP You can see $15.1 billion of unrealized losses on the HTM vs. $1.3 at 2021. This is all MBS and its toasted more now than at 12/31/22. Average yield on this book is a mere ~190 bps. They can't sell this. They are frozen. — Lake Cornelia Research Management (@CorneliaLake) March 9, 2023 As Lake Cornelia Research Management goes on to note, the market implications of this situation are far and wide.   We have a $210+ billion balance sheet (which was a mere 86 billion 2 years ago) that could well have an unwind.  It is not a stretch at all to argue that on a current mark to market basis that equity is negative to the tune of of billions (you can be insolvent but liquid and survive as a bank).  The hit to the startup eco-system of an impaired or vanquished $SIVB would be substantial.   Beyond the negative duration risk we highlighted (asset side locked at sub 200 bps vs. liability side could increase to 200+), the simple mark to market on the HTM and the $88 billion of HTM and $70 billion of loans is likely far greater than the realized losses on the AFS securities sold at a $1.8 billion loss.  The asset growth since 2020 is crazy.  Total assets for $SIVB are 50% of $BSC at time of $JPM bid.   We do not believe it would be crazy to see $SIVB at $50 or lower per share when this is all done.  The negative earnings loop, and associated balance sheet pressure, of higher deposit rates plus potential for fleeing private bank clients is a dark scenario.  There are many scenarios where they will need to raise more capital (dilution to existing holders) and this may not have fixed the situation.      We have rarely seen a situation where buying a bank when it is down 40% on the day to be a good entry...these things can unwind far quicker than people realize.  People with facilities with $SIVB may well call them / draw which would further stress liquidity.  Just haircutting by 10% the value of the 21-22 growth of held loans and HTM securities alone would be a $5+ billion hit to book equity (which is ~$20 billion post these transactions).  The GA concurrent PIPE we think was the wrong investor.  If there was ever a situation to bring in an "Elliot" / "Baupost" / $GS "Prop Desk" it was this one.  The balance sheet needs to be seen as credible and diligenced.  The earnings and conference call transcripts are farcical; the CEO talks about the VC funding environment and IPO pipeline as opposed to any questions on the balance sheet position.  If this plays out adversely, it will be another sad case of a storied franchise that had a great moat..and then woke up during the $ARKK boom and decided to blow it all on a $140+ billion balance sheet growth splurge on a mortgage and loan book yielding a blended ~3.25% with massive correlation risk...which ran right into rising interest rates.    Seeing the preferred stock trade down 15% today should be eye opening to many.  It is at $16.60.  This is distress debt mafia stuff.  Par is $25 for reference.   Lot of digging to do and all the above could well be wrong.  Many / most people far smarter than I am on fins (and other things).  The point is we don't think this is over and there are a lot of second and third order implications. Tyler Durden Thu, 03/09/2023 - 17:27.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytMar 9th, 2023

Silicon Valley Bank, At Center Of Venture Capital Bubble, Suffers Record 47% Crash Amid Sudden Liquidity Crisis

Silicon Valley Bank, At Center Of Venture Capital Bubble, Suffers Record 47% Crash Amid Sudden Liquidity Crisis Is the bursting of the tech bubble finally spilling over to the financial system? One day after the biggest crypto-focused bank, Silvergate Capital, announced plans to unwind and liquidate after a deposit run effectively killed its core business model, this morning its far larger peer - the parent company of the venerable Silicon Valley Bank, SVB Financial Group - saw its shares plunge the most in more than two decades after the company took "steps to bolster its financial position" that included not only a highly dilutive stock offering but also a panicked asset sale that sparked fears of a liquidity crisis at one of the biggest and original providers of funding to the Venture Capital industry. The Santa Clara-based company’s shares sank by as much as 47% on Thursday, their biggest decline in the company's history since going public in 1987. The slump in the shares to their lowest level since May 2020, came after SVB i) announced a stock offering, ii) sold substantially all of the available-for-sale securities in its portfolio and iii) updated its forecast for the year to include a sharper decline in net interest income. “While we view these actions combined with a weaker guide as a clear negative, we do not believe that SIVB is in a liquidity crisis, especially following the significant proceeds” from its sale of securities, Wedbush analyst David Chiaverini wrote as he cut his price target for the company to $200 from $250. Others clearly disagreed and dumped the stock at a pace not seen in a quarter century. The bank also said it had sold about $21 billion of securities from its portfolio (with a plan to reinvest the proceeds but don't hold your breath) which will result in an after-tax loss of $1.8 billion for the first quarter. And the cherry on top was SVB's announcement of equity offerings for $1.25 billion of its common stock and $500 million of securities that represent convertible preferred shares. Additionally, General Atlantic committed to purchase $500 million of common stock, taking the total amount being raised to about $2.25 billion. It wasn't immediately clear whether the SIVB liquidity crisis is a function of assets, i.e., loans collateralized by toxic early stage investments that have turned sour... or liabilities, i.e., a good old-fashioned deposit bank run. “The improved cash liquidity, profitability and financial flexibility resulting from the actions we announced today will bolster our financial position and our ability to support clients through sustained market pressures,” the company said in a letter to stakeholders but judging by the stock reaction, nobody believed it. Tyler Durden Thu, 03/09/2023 - 12:59.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytMar 9th, 2023

How A Country Goes Bankrupt... In 10 Steps

How A Country Goes Bankrupt... In 10 Steps Authored by John Rubino via Substack, The past few decades of unnaturally easy money have created a world of “moral hazard” in which a ridiculous number of people borrowed far more than they should have. Now, with money getting tighter, not just businesses and individuals but some governments are staring at the “suddenly” part of that old saying about bankruptcy. Japan is the poster child for this slow walk towards – then quick rush over – a financial cliff. Here’s how it works for a government, in 10 steps. Step 1: Build up massive debt. A bursting real estate bubble in the 1990s confronted the Japanese government with a choice between accepting a brutal recession in which most of that debt was eliminated through default, or simply bailing out all the zombie banks and construction companies and hoping for the best. They chose bailouts, and federal debt rose from 40% of GDP in 1991 to 100% of GDP by 2000.  Step 2: Lower interest rates to minimize interest expense. Paying 6% on debt equaling 100% of GDP would be ruinously expensive, so the Bank of Japan pushed interest rates down as debt rose, thus keeping the government’s interest cost at tolerable levels. Step 3: Continue to borrow at virtually no cost. While interest rates fell, the zombie companies soaking up public funds were joined by a growing number of retirees who began drawing on japan’s versions of Social Security and Medicare. Government spending, as a result, continued to rise and deficits kept growing, further intensifying the pressure to lower interest rates. The BoJ began buying bonds with newly-created yen to force interest rates down to zero and even below (meaning that the remaining private sector buyers of Japanese government paper actually paid for the privilege). Since the government now earned money by borrowing, there seemed to be no reason to stop, and debt soared to the current 262% of GDP, which might be the highest figure ever recorded by a major government. Step 4: Experience sudden, sharp inflation. In 2022, all that new currency finally caused the inflation that critics of easy money had been predicting. Japan’s official cost of living is now rising at a 4% annual rate, making the real yield on a zero-percent government bond -4%. Step 5: Experience a plunging currency. With most other central banks tightening to combat inflation, the BoJ kept buying bonds to keep its interest rates low. Investors noticed this yield differential and stopped buying yen-denominated paper, sending the yen’s exchange rate down sharply versus the US dollar. Step 6: Reluctantly allow interest rates to rise. Also in 2022, the BoJ realized that unless it wanted to buy all the paper the government was issuing, it would have to let interest rates rise a bit. Which they very quickly did, from 0% to .25% and then .5%. Step 7: Get swamped by interest expense. Now all the debt issued or rolled over by Japan’s government carries a cost. Let’s say the average yield rises to the current 0.5%. On debt equaling 260% of GDP, interest expense equals 1.3% of GDP, a crushing burden that adds to already massive deficits, raising overall debt and therefore interest expense going forward.  Now For The “Suddenly” Part All of the above has either happened or is happening. The next steps are scheduled for the near future:   Step 8: Desperately try to lower rates. Recognizing that soaring interest expense spells national bankruptcy, the BoJ tries to stop and reverse the trend by buying even more government debt with ever larger amounts of newly created yen. But the world’s other central banks are much slower to ease, so the gap between yields on Japanese paper and that of, for instance, the US and Germany, continues to widen. Step 9: Watch impotently as the yen craters. With government debt rising parabolically and no one other than the BoJ willing to buy the resulting tsunami of paper, Japan enters the realm of full-on Modern Monetary Theory, where the government just finances itself with newly created currency. The rest of the world, recognizing the inflationary implications, dumps the yen and the currency’s exchange rate goes into free fall. A falling currency raises the cost of imports, which increases inflation, which weakens the yen further, putting upward pressure on interest rates, and so on, in what headline writers call a “death spiral”. Step 10: Game over. Japan is forced into an official devaluation/currency reset which limits its ability to spend and inflate going forward. Everyone who trusted the government and held the old currency is impoverished while those who recognized the scam and converted cash and government bonds into real assets are enriched. It’s a familiar story. But this time it’s happening to a serious country. Questions The possibility of a major country going off a financial cliff raises questions about how widespread the effects might be and how US investors might prepare. And of course: “How do we short Japan”? That discussion is coming in a separate post next week. *  *  * Subscribe to John Rubino's Substack to survive and thrive in the coming crisis Tyler Durden Tue, 03/07/2023 - 06:30.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeMar 7th, 2023

Pink-slip parties of the dot-com bust helped laid-off tech workers land new jobs — and need to make a comeback

Allison Hemming, the originator of the concept, spoke to Insider about tech hiring, Gen Z's social mores, and the power of glow-in-the-dark bracelets. More than 120,000 tech workers have lost jobs this year, according to Images Allison Hemming started "pink-slip parties" in the early aughts after the dotcom bust. The events helped laid-off tech pros network and land new jobs. Hemming, the CEO of The Hired Guns, a tech-recruiting agency, says they should make a comeback. Gather round, ye laid-off Gen Zers and millennials, and put down your phones. For this is a tale about how people of yore — Gen Xers and younger baby boomers — found reemployment after getting the ax.Our story begins with the bursting of the dot-com bubble in 2001: Internet euphoria faded, venture capital dried up, and stocks slumped. Back then, like now, tech workers lost their jobs en masse.One of those laid-off employees was Allison Hemming, a plucky New Yorker with a side hustle as a tech-talent scout. One spring evening, Hemming planned a get-together with some friends who'd also lost jobs. At a bar in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood, they commiserated, laughed, drank, and talked shop. The gathering was both cathartic and productive.It also sparked an idea. Hemming began running regular meetups for laid-off tech workers — misery loves company, after all — giving them an opportunity to network and meet prospective hiring managers. Voila, the "pink-slip party" was born. (Note to readers born after the invention of the iPod: A pink slip is a notice of termination.)Will the latest tech layoffs spur a return of pink-slip parties? Bloomberg raised the question late last year, citing Big Tech's worker purge. And since then, layoffs have crept upwards: More than 120,000 tech workers have lost jobs since the start of 2023, according to There's perhaps no one better to pose that question to than the originator of the concept. Insider recently caught up with Hemming, who today is the CEO of The Hired Guns, a tech-recruiting agency, to get her thoughts on everything from the current hiring landscape to Gen Z's social and professional mores to the importance of glow-in-the-dark bracelets at networking events.This transcript has been edited for clarity."Pink-slip parties" make getting laid off seem sort of fun. Or is that romanticizing the idea?The parties were fun! We had live music and stand-up comedy, and there was a real esprit de corps. Sounds like a "good-vibes only" atmosphere. As much as the parties were lovely and fun, they were also compassionate. When the turn happened, it happened quickly. There was an element of schadenfreude from people outside of tech — there was a feeling that we were getting our comeuppance.So we were really about trying to help people find new jobs to feed their families. If you'd been laid off, you got a hot-pink glow bracelet. Hiring managers got green bracelets, and you got a blue bracelet if you were there in solidarity. In the early days, some pink-slippers told me they didn't want recruiters there. I said, "No, you want them there. Trust me." A lot of people got hired out of those parties. Do the recent tech layoffs at Amazon, Salesforce, Google and Meta give you a feeling of déjà vu? No. The industry is totally different. Back then, tech was its own little bubble. Now tech is everywhere, and overall, the layoffs are small relative to the sector. The tech workers losing their jobs today have a nice runway because a lot of big nontech companies are still hiring. They view these layoffs as an opportunity to upgrade their tech-talent pools and go after people they wouldn't otherwise have had access to. Do you think there's a role for pink-slip parties to play today? Yes. I look at what's happening at Musk's Twitter, and I think, "They could use a pink-slip party." But more importantly, I think Gen Zs and millennials would benefit from them. And they'd make the parties their own, which is as it should be. But I'm willing to help, so call me. Let's mix in the old-schoolers with the new-schoolers!But would such a shindig translate for younger generations who perhaps might be more comfortable networking online? Absolutely. Gen Z and younger millennials want camaraderie and togetherness. Of all workers, they feel most vulnerable at this moment. Many of them have worked remotely during the pandemic, and they've missed out on critical networking and mentoring relationships.In my recruiting practice, I'm seeing that this group wants to be back in the office or work hybrid. They want to be with people and to be in the room where it happens.Could there even be an equivalent online pink-slip party?Nobody's found one yet. The live experience is what made these parties special. During the pandemic, we tried every machination of Zoom and people still craved being together. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytMar 2nd, 2023

The Fed"s own economists are warning of a 19.5% housing correction and more rate hikes could set off a "domino effect"

Insider's Phil Rosen breaks down the latest Dallas Fed report that warns of a potential steep slide in US home prices. Happy hump day, team. I'm senior reporter Phil Rosen, writing to you just blocks away from where Goldman Sachs held their second-ever investor day on Tuesday. If you're not familiar with investor days, it's basically when a company gives an update on where they stand and where they're going. Goldman's first one was in 2020 — but a lot has changed since then. For more on that, I recommended reading my colleague Dan DeFrancesco's excellent 10 Things on Wall Street newsletter. While my newsletter keeps you up to date on what's moving markets, Dan keeps tabs on what's happening inside the most powerful financial firms in the world. I read it everyday — you can sign up here.And for today, let's see why the Fed's own economists are warning of a nearly 20% housing correction. If this was forwarded to you, sign up here. Download Insider's app here.David McNew/Getty1. Tuesday's Case-Shiller data told us that home prices slipped 0.3% in December compared to November, marking the sixth straight month of declines.While they are still higher than they were one year ago, prices are now 4.4% lower than when they peaked last June. That, and the pace of annual increases slowed to 5.8% from 7.6% in the prior month. The three cities that saw the steepest price declines on a seasonally-adjusted, month-over-month basis included Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Portland. "The prospect of stable, or higher, interest rates means that mortgage financing remains a headwind for home prices, while economic weakness, including the possibility of a recession, may also constrain potential buyers," said Craig J. Lazzara, managing director at S&P DJI.More troubling than the data release, though, is a new report from Dallas Federal Reserve economists. They argued US home prices would have to tumble nearly 20% to bring the housing market back to fundamentals — and additional Fed rate hikes could lead to an even worse housing correction. The authors pointed to the steep growth of price-to-rent ratios, among other factors, as reason to believe "the bubble hypothesis merits attention."Remember, over the last year, the Fed's aggressive rate-hiking cycle pushed mortgage rates to 7% in October. They pulled back near 6% in early February, but are rebounding again and tighter central bank policy threatens to bring them even higher.In any case, that could still have worldwide repercussions. Here's how the Fed researchers put it:"The possibility of a domino effect, where investors pull out of international housing seeking safety and liquidity elsewhere, also raises concerns of spillovers beyond Germany or the US to the global economy."Have you entered or exited the housing market in the last year? What was your experience like? Tweet me (@philrosenn) or email me ( to let me know. In other news:Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images2. US stock futures rise early Wednesday, after Wall Street closed out a losing February for stocks. Meanwhile, hopes for the global economic recovery rose after China's manufacturing activity grew at the fastest pace in over a decade. Here are the latest market moves.3. On the docket: Okta, Budweiser, Celsius, all reporting.4. These four charts explain the troubling state of the housing market right now. Goldman Sachs strategists broke down which areas of the US are seeing supply outpace demand — and then broke down which four cities could soon see the steepest price declines.5. Interest rates suggest the stock market is wildly overvalued. That's according to JPMorgan's Marko Kolanovic, who pointed out that history implies that the S&P 500 multiple is about 2.5x overvalued. It's more evidence to the bank on why they are underweight on equities to start 2023. 6. Binance used customer funds for its own purposes in a move similar to the now-imploded FTX. Forbes reported that the crypto exchange transferred $1.8 billion in stablecoin collateral to hedge funds. A spokesperson told Insider that Binance has "never invested or otherwise deployed user assets without consent under the terms of specific products."7. Cathie Wood doesn't think markets should fear inflation or the bursting of the tech bubble. The Ark Invest chief said in an interview with CNBC that high prices will continue to fall, and she shrugged off the possibility of a dot-com style bust. She broke down her bullish stance that goes against many Wall Street banks. 8. This top-1% fund manager shared a batch of stocks that offer a "margin of safety" from a possible credit shock. Here are the 13 beaten-down names that he's most bullish on.9. Strategists at Goldman Sachs shared 12 stocks that "smart money" hedge funds are snapping up. This year's micro-driven market is expected to favor esteemed stock pickers, so tracking top firms' purchases can help you keep up. Get the full list.Markets Insider10. Crude oil prices just capped off their fourth losing month in a row. The Fed's interest rate hikes have been weighing on benchmark prices, but many analysts expect prices to tick higher in March as Russia slashes its oil output.Curated by Phil Rosen in New York. Feedback or tips? Tweet @philrosenn or email by Jason Ma in Los Angeles and Hallam Bullock (@hallam_bullock) in London.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMar 1st, 2023

Is Freshpet Ready For A Fresh Rally?

Freshpet had a strong quarter and is on the path to profitability. Guidance was below consensus, but the market may have been expecting the worse news. Institutions and analysts are buying the stock and supporting the price action near the current low. 5 stocks we like better than Freshpet After years of suffering through the […] Freshpet had a strong quarter and is on the path to profitability. Guidance was below consensus, but the market may have been expecting the worse news. Institutions and analysts are buying the stock and supporting the price action near the current low. 5 stocks we like better than Freshpet After years of suffering through the pandemic bubble and its bursting, the supply chain, and the demand issues it caused, Freshpet (NASDAQ:FRPT) looks ready to start a fresh rally. The company has been working hard to expand its operational capabilities over the last year, and those efforts are now paying off. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Henry Singleton Series in PDF Get the entire 4-part series on Henry Singleton in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q4 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more   Find A Qualified Financial Advisor Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn't have to be hard. SmartAsset's free tool matches you with up to 3 fiduciary financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests. If you're ready to be matched with local advisors that can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now. Not only can investors expect start-up costs to ease but for increased volume and the earnings leverage that will come with it. This means Freshpet could start reporting GAAP profitability very soon, and that has the stock set up for a reversal. The price action in Freshpet has corrected from the lofty highs near $180 to a more reasonable valuation near $60. The latest price action suggests a Head & Shoulders Reversal is in play, and the Q4 results and guidance for 2023 are consistent with this move. The analysts have yet to speak up,’s analyst tracking tools have not picked up any post-release commentary yet, but the sell-side action over the past year is telling. The analysts have lowered the consensus price target by more than 50%, but it has held firm over the last 3 months while the Moderate Buy rating has firmed. The current consensus target is about $77.65, equal to a 27% upside for the stock, and the institutions are buying too. The institutions have netted over $0.60 billion in the last 12 months, worth about 20% of the stock. They hold about 90% of the company, and there is also a short interest to consider. The short interest in Freshpet was running near 12.0% ahead of the Q3 release and may provide fuel to support the price action. The Q4 results were not game-changing but showed progress on the company’s goals. reports the off-exchange short-interest, including dark pools, is running above 40%, which puts the stock in position for a squeeze given a suitable catalyst. Freshpet Beats And Guides Strong For 2023 Freshpet had a good quarter despite the headwinds of inflation, rising labor costs, and issues with quality. The company reported $165.8 million in net revenue for a gain of 43% over last year that, beat the consensus by 950 basis points. The gains in revenue were driven by pricing actions intended to offset inflation, velocity (brand momentum), and distribution gains versus last year. To put the strength into perspective, this is the 5th consecutive year for double-digit revenue growth in Q4 and the 5th consecutive year that growth has accelerated. The margin was positively affected by the top-line strength at all levels. While gross profit shrank on a YOY basis, it exceeded expectations and resulted in earnings improvement compared to last year. The mitigating factors within the margin shrinkage are that start-up costs will ease and quality issues should be controlled now that the Ennis Kitchen is up and running. Regarding adjusted EBITDA, earnings are up 147% compared to last year, and the net loss shrank by 69% to only $2.9 million. This is primarily due to a reduced SG&A attributed to lower ad-spend and leverage, which will only improve in the coming quarters. The guidance is the only area of weakness but still strong, considering it could be worse. The company expects revenue to run near $750 million for 2023, slightly below the $754 consensus estimate. The revenue miss is slim and offsets by the earnings outlook. Adjusted EBITDA Is expected to more than double, and the top-line estimate could be cautious so earnings could easily outpace the guidance. The Technical Outlook: A Reversal From Down To...? Shares of Freshpet are set up for a reversal, but investors may be disappointed with the outcome. The stock is in a reversal, but the post-release action is a little mixed, so this may be a reversal from down to sideways and not down to up.   The hurdle that needs to be crossed is the $70 level. If the market can get above there a more sustained recovery may follow. If not, this stock may wallow at the current levels until more information is available. dsdsa Should you invest $1,000 in Freshpet right now? Before you consider Freshpet, you'll want to hear this. MarketBeat keeps track of Wall Street's top-rated and best performing research analysts and the stocks they recommend to their clients on a daily basis. MarketBeat has identified the five stocks that top analysts are quietly whispering to their clients to buy now before the broader market catches on... and Freshpet wasn't on the list. While Freshpet currently has a "Moderate Buy" rating among analysts, top-rated analysts believe these five stocks are better buys. Article by Thomas Hughes, MarketBeat.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkFeb 28th, 2023

Ark Invest"s Cathie Wood says markets are wrong to fear inflation and the bursting of the tech bubble

Inflation is on its way down, and tech and growth stocks are not facing the possibility of a dot-com style bust, Cathie Wood said. David Swanson/Reuters Investors are wrong to fear high inflation and rising rates, according to Ark Invest's Cathie Wood. Wood has said deflation is a bigger problem, as prices are steadily falling. Though investors are skeptical of the boom in tech stocks, Woods said it wasn't a repeat of the dot-com era. Markets are wrong to fear rising inflation and the bursting of the tech bubble, according to Cathie Wood.In an interview with CNBC this week, the Ark Invest founder said she had never seen markets "this dislocated," referring to the recent sell-off in stocks as investors prepare themselves for additional rate hikes from the Federal Reserve. On Friday, the S&P 500 finished off its worst week of 2023 as the Personal Consumption Expenditures index, the Fed's preferred inflation measure, jumped 0.6% last month, higher than economists' expectations.Central bankers have been battling inflation and have raised interest rates 450 basis-points to cool down the economy, a move that sent the S&P 500 down 20% last year. Fed officials have warned more rate hikes are coming in 2023. An overly aggressive Fed could spark a recession, Wall Street commentators have been warning in recent months. But it's wrong to fear inflation and higher rates, Woods said, pointing to the steady decline in inflation from the highs of 2022, when price jumped at the fastest pace in 41 years."We do think inflation is coming down now. It always seems like it could come down faster, but we do believe it's on its way down," she added. "This reminds me of early in my career in the early 80s. It was the same thing, but those who bet on lower inflation and interest rates long term were the winners."Wood has been bullish on the economy despite ominous warnings from other Wall Street commentators. Last year, she said deflation was becoming a bigger problem than inflation, and has gone on multiple tech and growth stock buying sprees in 2023 as the market rebounded. While investors have fled high growth tech names amid the Fed's rate hike cycle, the moment is not reminiscent of the dot-com bubble, Wood argued. She noted that most of the innovations driving the market have been developed after 2001, where costs are now lower and products are more advanced."If we're right, the benchmarks, which represent the traditional world order, are going to be disintermediated, disrupted, by the most massive innovation period in history," she said, expressing her bullishness on the sector.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderFeb 28th, 2023

Billionaire Grant Cardone says he and other real estate investors will "save the day" and prevent a home price crash

Higher mortgage rates reduced demand for housing by real-estate investors but they're sensing an opportunity to return to the market. Investor purchases of US homes fell significantly last quarter, according to Redfin.Steve Pfost/ Getty Images High home prices and mortgage rates have sparked a downturn in US real estate. As housing activity fades, some analysts fear a housing crash is on the horizon. Grant Cardone, a billionaire real estate manager, says investors will prevent that from happening. Rapid home-price growth and soaring mortgage rates led to a dramatic downturn in housing demand throughout 2022, leading experts to speculate that the entire US real estate market could implode.While the housing slump is escalating this year, there's a brighter future ahead, billionaire real estate fund manager Grant Cardone told Benzinga, as published by Yahoo Finance. People like him, he said, will re-enter the market before it enters crash territory."Investors will step in to pick up single-family homes at lower prices with less competition," Cardone said in a statement, according to Benzinga. "That being said, there will be no housing crash. Investors, like myself, will save the day and step in to buy the homes."In 2022, surging inflation and a series of Federal Reserve interest hikes dampened demand in housing by regular buyers and big investors who were snapping up homes by the thousands. Indeed, data from real estate brokerage Redfin shows that investor purchases of American homes fell a record 45.8% year-over-year last quarter — surpassing the decline seen in 2008 as a housing bubble was bursting.However, there may be some relief on the horizon with 30-year mortgage rates holding below last year's peak of 7.08%, and by at least one prediction, heading all the way down to 5.20% in 2023."It's possible that investors will start to wade back into the market this year given that mortgage rates have ticked down from their 2022 high — especially if home prices show signs of bottoming," Sheharyar Bokhari, a senior economist with Redfin, said in a  report last week. With housing affordability at a record low, home sales and prices have begun to retreat nationwide, especially in pandemic boomtowns like Austin, Texas, Phoenix, and Bozeman, Montana. Each of those places saw an influx of remote workers, robust population growth and unprecedented home price appreciation during the pandemic.As the real estate market softens, strategists at Goldman Sachs projected various markets, including Austin and Phoenix, will likely see peak-to-trough home declines of more than 25%. As home prices decline, that could draw investors back into the market, per Cardone.It's a likely scenario as institutional real-estate investors have earmarked as much as $110 billion to purchase or build single-family-rental homes in the coming years, according to an estimate from real-estate-research and investment-banking firm Zelman & Associates.The sum — which could add almost 400,000 homes to the existing inventory of roughly 700,000 single-family properties controlled by corporate landlords such as Pretium and Invitation Homes — is the largest ever amassed by US real estate investors. The investors have been so aggressive with their purchases they've been accused by consumer groups and local lawmakers of boosting costs for regular homebuyers.Single family homes may be a new frontier for the billionaire known for authoring books such as How to create wealth investing in real estate.According to Cardone Capital's website, its real estate portfolio consists of 11,903 apartment units across 36 multifamily properties along with over 500,000 square feet of commercial office space.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytFeb 20th, 2023