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Mitt Romney says he isn"t encouraging Liz Cheney to run for president: "She would not become the nominee"

Mitt Romney says he no longer wants to encourage people to run for president, especially Liz Cheney, who he says won't "become the nominee." Rep. Liz Cheney and Sen. Mitt Romney are both prominent members of the Republican party who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump.PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images, Drew Angerer/Getty Images After her Wyoming primary loss, Rep. Liz Cheney may be considering a 2024 presidential bid. Sen. Mitt Romney previously told Insider he "wouldn't be surprised to see her run for president." But on Thursday he told Utah's Desert News he doesn't think she would win the GOP nomination and shouldn't run. After losing her Wyoming primary to Trump-endorsed lawyer Harriet Hageman, Rep. Liz Cheney says she is "thinking about" a 2024 presidential run. Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah told Insider's Oma Seddiq on August 3 that he "wouldn't be surprised to see her run for president." The senator also hosted fundraisers on her behalf before her primary loss.But on Thursday Romney told Desert News on Thursday he wouldn't push her to run."I'm not going to encourage anyone to run for president. I've done that myself, and that's something I'm not doing again. I don't know if she really wants to do that," Romney said. "She would not become the nominee if she were to run. I can't imagine that would occur."—Byron York (@ByronYork) August 19, 2022 Romney also said Trump would most certainly receive the GOP nomination should he announce another presidential bid."I don't think someone who is seen outside the Trump circle would have any realistic chance of becoming the nominee in 2024, barring something I can't foresee at this stage," he told Desert News. "If he doesn't run again, I think it'll be people who either were supporters of his or people who didn't say much about him and then would be open to become the nominee."Cheney, a pro-impeachment Republican and member of the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, has repeatedly challenged Trump and has expressed that she will not be stopping her criticism anytime soon."I salute her courage. You wouldn't call it courage, by the way, if there were no consequence for doing what you think is right. She did what she thought was right. I believe she was right," Romney told Desert News when asked about Cheney facing-off with a Trump-endorsed candidate.Romney also noted that he was "not in collaboration" with Cheney running for president for any reasons other than trying to secure the Republican nomination.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: NYT5 hr. 34 min. ago Related News

After the disaster of office-rental startup Knotel last year, its founder Amol Sarva is now back as a VC with a $100 million fund

Knotel went from a $1.6 billion valuation to bankruptcy last year. Now, its founder Amol Sarva. has reemerged with the launch of a $100 million fund. Amol Sarva's previous startup, Knotel, filed for bankruptcy last year.Knotel The founder of office rental startup Knotel, Amol Sarva, is launching a $100 million fund. Life Extension Ventures will invest in startups focused on "longevity for people and planet." After earning a $1.6 billion valuation, Knotel filed for bankruptcy last year. A year and a half after his proptech startup collapsed, Amol Sarva has resurfaced in Silicon Valley — this time as a VC.The former startup founder announced the launch of his new $100 million fund, Life Extension Ventures. Based in New York, the fund will focus on "longevity for people and planet."Inaki Berenguer, who founded insurance-tech startup CoverWallet as well as Contactive and Pixable, is helming the fund alongside Sarva, who led Knotel from a $1.6 billion valuation straight to bankruptcy.Sarva founded Knotel in 2015 alongside Russian-born entrepreneur Edward Shenderovich. The office-rental startup designed and built custom headquarters for corporations, leasing out the spaces under flexible terms.Early on, Sarva often pitted Knotel against industry incumbent WeWork, even telling Bloomberg in a 2019 interview that his startup would overtake the larger competitor, likening it to Amazon overtaking eBay and Facebook forcing Myspace into obscurity.At first, it seemed like Sarva was right. At its height, Knotel managed nearly 5 million square feet of property, raising $560 million over three years and reaching unicorn status.When the pandemic hit and offices moved to remote work in March 2020, Knotel laid off or furloughed half of its employees and struggled to pay landlords, even while promising investors that profitability was around the corner. However, employees told Insider that issues with the company began long before the pandemic. Knotel's obsession with beating WeWork led to bidding wars, vacant offices, and damaged relationships with landlords and brokers.In January 2021, Knotel filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and announced its intention to sell its business to commercial real estate company and Knotel investor Newmark.          Following Knotel's purchase, Sarva cofounded a slew of startups and venture-focused companies throughout 2021, including venture studio Popular Change, B2B ecommerce platform CornerUp, and commercial real-estate startup Aikito, according to his LinkedIn profile.Life Extension Ventures will invest in longevity-focused startups that expand beyond just health and fitness, according to TechCrunch, which first reported the news. Longevity startup investments hit $40 billion in 2021 and could grow to $600 billion by 2025, according to The Aging Analytics Agency and Bank of America, and the area can include innovations like biotech-oriented disease prevention to organ regeneration.In addition to health and biotech, the fund will also focus on climate-focused startups to support longevity for the plantet.Berenguer has already made multiple longevity-focused investments in recent months that are listed on the fund's website: Particle Health, which uses an API to combine health records and Mable, which uses DNA-personalized medicine to treat migraines.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: NYT5 hr. 34 min. ago Related News

A prison where the prisoners were in charge

The General Penitentiary of Venezuela was a place where inmates mostly roamed freely. But there was also a rigid, if convoluted, code of conduct. Inmates are seen praying early in the morning. At the time, inmates here have run afoul of La Routina and were awaiting punishment would stay here.Oscar B. Castillo Oscar B. Castillo, a documentary photographer, had extraordinary access to Venezuela's PGV prison during an extended period when it was controlled by inmates. This photo essay was adapted from Castillo's book about the Free Convict hip-hop collective. The book, "Esos Que Saben," was published this month.  One of Venezuela's hottest venues for musicians and sports stars was, for part of the last decade, a maximum-security prison run by its own inmates. "Party at the PGV tonight," local DJs would announce over the radio. Visitors would come from the nearby towns, or all the way from the capital, Caracas, 100 miles away. The PGV, or the General Penitentiary of Venezuela, was a place where inmates mostly roamed freely. The cell blocks had been torn out and there was no "behind bars." But there was also a rigid, if convoluted, code of conduct that was maintained by gangs and an arsenal of heavy weapons. Infractions were met with brutal punishments.Visitors were considered sacred, and off-limits. The PGV was at its best on Visitors' Days — which could run for weeks since there wasn't a formal limit.  Christmas, Mother's Day, or the birthdays of gang leaders who ran the place were always a good excuse to put on concerts, or bring in bouncy castles, clowns, and hot dog carts for visiting kids. As night fell, DJs would be brought in to perform in the penitentiary's central square with electronic music, laser shows, and fireworks. A prisoner dances with a woman during a Visitors' Day event at the PGV.Oscar B. CastilloKids play and jump in one of the several bouncy castles that prisoners set up on Visitor days.Oscar B. CastilloAs a group of Mariachis played songs about maternal love during a Mother's Day celebration at the prison, the mother of an inmate walked onto the stage and joined the performance.Oscar B. CastilloOutside/Inside From the outside, there were vestiges of ordinary prison infrastructure: High fences heavily crowned with barbed wire, control towers, and checkpoints manned by military officers armed with rifles and machine guns. Long lines of relatives, mostly women and kids, carrying large bags of goods and tired expressions on their faces, lined up under the scorching heat to submit to searches — or be made to pay bribes — before being allowed through. But look closer, and you would have seen a thin fence. On one side were guards, employed by the state and confined to the prison's perimeter. On the other side, manning the PGV's entrance, a select group of prisoners held far more powerful guns, and many more of them. Once inside, most inmates — everyone here was an inmate — walked around freely through the maze of corridors, pavilions, and wards. In some areas, shacks and other private dwellings had been erected.  From the alleyways and through the prison's windows, the rugged mountain landscape, which lent the town of San Juan de Los Morros its name, could be seen in the distance — beautiful, but also painful, for how it reminded prisoners of their lost freedom. The PGV first opened in 1948, billed as a model South American prison where prisoners could work the soil, care for animals, and live in the relative open. But starting around 2007, as the institutional structure of Venezuela crumbled and mafia activity and corruption spiraled out of control, prison gangs amassed weapons and drugs and, with it, leverage. After years of continuous abandonment and failed policies, police and soldiers were often interchangable with criminals, and human rights groups documented their abuses.Around 2009, the criminal group called "El Carro" (The Car), under the command of El Principal, had taken over the daily workings of the PGV.  By 2010, many of Venezuela's biggest male prisons were under the effective control of inmates.  The General Penitentiary of Venezuela, known as the PGV.Oscar B. CastilloChristian evangelist prisoners during a prayer visit from Caracas. These prisoners had their own zone at the PGV and were responsible for jobs like cleaning and carrying water. They could not roam around the prison after 7pm.Oscar B. CastilloHéctor, right, playfully points a gun at another inmate.Oscar B. CastilloDrugs laid out on a table for sale.Oscar B. CastilloLa RutinaAt the PGV's entrance was a makeshift market. There, entrepreneurial prisoners filled tables with basic items, like bread and DVDs, or marijuana joints that were artfully arranged to look like a bouquet of flowers. More stands lined the prison's narrow corridors, which reverberated with the rhythms of Salsa and Reggaeton. You might find barbeque meat, or rum or vodka-based cocktails spun in blenders and served with a lime twist. Even in those times when extreme shortages plagued Venezuela, here at the PGV, people could find practically anything they wished to buy. On visitor days, you might see free Venezuelans shopping for toilet paper, flour or cooking oil — basic products that had completely disappeared from supermarkets shelves.All of this happened under the attentive eyes of Los Luceros. Select members of the gangs that ran the PGV, they answered to orders from the Principal. Armed with revolvers, rifles, and even hand grenades, Los Luceros made sure that everything ran smoothly. They also enforced the payment of an obligatory weekly tax, called "La Causa," which officially paid for prison maintenance and security (more weapons), as well as parties and other activities. For inmates, life at the PGV was like walking a tightrope over a pool of sharks. Abiding by an unwritten code known as La Rutina was obligatory, and prisoners lived under the constant threat of ruthless punishment if they stepped outside of it. A minor offense, or the wrong look, might make you into a pariah, or lead to a punishment that could be the last thing seen in this world. Stealing a cigarette could result in a bullet through your hand. On Mondays, in an improvised arena called the Coliseum, dozens of inmates were compelled to settle their debts or other disputes over knife fights. Ordinary words like egg, milk or water — that in Venezuelan slang might carry a vague sexual connotation — were banned because of their potential to offend other inmates. Saying them could get you banished to dirty and trash-filled corners of the prison, far from the markets and the fun.Free Convict For three years, from the beginning of 2014 until Venezuelan authorities finally shut the place down in 2016, I had extraordinary access to the PGV as a Venezuelan documentary photographer. At that point, the PGV had a population of around 5,000 people — more than six times its intended capacity. Most of the inmates were still in legal limbo; many hadn't yet been tried for their alleged offense, or given an exact sentence. It was also extraordinarily violent: In 2014, there were at least 309 homicides in Venezuelan prisons, where some 60,000 prisoners were held, according to the Venezuelan Prisons Observatory. The recording studio that Free Convict group built inside the prison.Oscar B. CastilloAn inmate rides a motorcycle in one of PGV's sports fields. Motorcycles of all sizes from 80cc to 650cc were common inside the jail.Oscar B. CastilloFree Convict's recording studio at the PGV.Oscar B. CastilloI was at the PGV with Free Convict, a Hip Hop collective formed by 12 inmates and to try to understand their lives in all of their  complexities. These men had survived gang life, street violence, drugs, and now this bizarre penitentiary existence. They were now looking to chart a new path for themselves, making rhymes around the themes of non-violence, self-improvement, and redemption. In the early days, Free Convict would gather in a Freestyle circle in the prison's central square. The meetings became bigger and more frequent, and eventually even the PGV's toughest bosses began to show them respect. (It helped that their leader, Ray Martinez, was part of the "El Carro" gang that controlled the prison.) Through the same cracks by which drugs and weapons flowed into the PGV, Free Convict managed to smuggle in  a recording studio, where they recorded a full album and produce music videos. In time, they got to be good enough, and famous enough, to attract collaborators both from inside the prison and beyond its walls. Only in total chaos, as Venezuela was of those years, would a place like the PGV be possible. Out of that anarchic landscape, Free Convict offered the possibility of a different way of life, a fresh start, and an oasis in the midst of madness. HéctorOne of the inmates behind Free Convict was a man named Héctor. Like a few of the others, he had arrived at the PGV as something of a stereotype of the hardened criminal. By the time I met him, he was much more interested in self-reflection and finding redemption. Born in 1992, Héctor came up in the Pinto Salinas neighborhood of Caracas. As a kid, he was a promising basketball player. But his future in the sport was cut short in 2010. His gang was fighting for control of the area, a notorious staging ground for drug distribution, and he got caught in a hail of bullets that nearly killed him and tore up one of his arms at the elbow. Héctor.Oscar B. CastilloBy 2012, the year Héctor was sent to the PGV for being an accomplice to a homicide, his two brothers had been killed. Humberto, the oldest, was gunned down near their home in Pinto Salinas in 2008. Junior, the youngest, died a similar death in 2011. Now, another son seemed to be heading down the same inexorable path.Like most prisoners at the PGV, Héctor depended on his family, outside, to bring him things to sell at the market. In good times, he might make enough to pay La Causa, take care of his needs, and even send some profits home. The best bet for making money was to set up a table selling crack, cocaine, base paste, marijuana and blunts. But even in this environment, where drugs could be sold and consumed out in the open, this line of work could be unpredictable and dangerous. Héctor liked the money; the money was useful to him. But selling drugs brought problems. So Héctor mostly avoided it. At one point, he sold nails, screws, wires, and pieces of wood to inmates — coveted objects that inmates used to build improvised shacks. If he got his hands on some flour, he might set up a stand selling banana cake or Venezuelan arepas.Héctor lies with his mother, whom he calls "La Pucha," during a Visitors day at the PGV. Venezuela's violence has taken a heavy toll on La Pucha, who lost two sons and whose third, Héctor, was locked up for six years.Oscar B. CastilloWhenever possible, he'd hoped to make enough money so his mother, Rosalia Rivero, who worked as a janitor and whom he playfully called "La Pucha," could travel from Caracas for a Visitors Day. On these visits, she would head straight to her son's room, willfully ignoring the strangeness she passed along the way. She was used to seeing drugs and weapons, and she associated both with losing two of her sons, and almost losing a third. At the PGV, she found Héctor a changed man. Héctor was never an angel; nobody in Free Convict was. But now he was searching for something different. Together with the rest of Free Convict, Héctor had resolved to take control of his life, and break the cycle that had put him on the frontlines of the street wars that were tearing apart Venezuela and that nobody had asked for. To do that, Héctor had to sharpen his talent, and believe in himself.Héctor, center, and two other members of Free Convict are seen seated at the highest point of the PGV as they use a drone to record a music video. Once the church bell tower, it became a command post for prison gangs to watch the perimeter of the PGV. Bullet holes testify to the many battles between prisoners and authorities.Oscar B. CastilloBoom!By 2016, the situation in Venezuela had become catastrophic. Inflation was out of control and finding basic items had become nearly impossible. At the PGV, families were barely able to send help. Inmates went from drinking good rum at parties to making their own alcohol, from fermenting banana skin, in plastic Gatorade bottles. Instead of manning tables piled high with drugs, inmates like Héctor scraped together money selling single cigarettes or hot chocolate. La Causa had to be paid first. There was barely any money for food. The beginning of the end of the PGV came in September of 2016. Musicians and sports players had been brought in, along with the usual flood of friends and family from the outside, to celebrate the birthday of the PGV's big boss, Franklin "Viru Viru." Trophies from sports events and portraits of gang bosses, some allegedly killed by police after their release, are displayed in a central area of the PGV.Oscar B. CastilloInmates at the overcrowded PGV sleep on the floor and makeshift hammocks. The prison housed more than 6 times its expected capacity.Oscar B. CastilloThen, suddenly, BOOM, a hand grenade explosion caused the prison's foundation to tremble. Smoke was everywhere. Some people screamed in agony, others ran in all directions. In the confusion, Los Luceros pointed their guns at each other, looking for signs of treason.When the black cloud had cleared, there was a hellish scene of wounded people and dead bodies. Visitors and prisoners alike were among the almost 20 victims. Afterwards, tension and fear were everywhere, and the prison divided into warring factions. Punishment, including murder, was more common, and even more random. Seeing an opening, forces from the state finally stormed the prison. For two weeks, there was fighting, leading to an estimated 80 deaths. There was no water or electricity. Starving inmates killed their pets for food, or consumed whatever drugs they could find to fight off hunger. Tuberculosis was plaguing the prison and infected prisoners were dying daily. When it was finally over, government soldiers emptied the PGV and inmates were sent to other detention centers around the country. Free Convict scrambled to stay in touch, but finding out who had ended up where was almost impossible.Free Convict, which by then was better and more popular than ever, seemed to be dying. Héctor ended up at Tocuyito, another prisoner-controlled prison, where he stayed for another two years.CaracasOne day in 2020 — six years after I began documenting Free Convict at the PGV — I went to a recording studio in Caracas to meet up with the collective. Nearly all of them had been released, and they were trying to keep Free Convict's work alive from the outside. Free in Caracas, there was still so much to navigate. The immediate problem was Héctor. His family hadn't heard from him in three days. At first, the police said they had no record of him being arrested. Now, thanks to pressure from his family, they were saying he had been arrested, and would be released soon. We predicted he'd come to the studio directly, and were waiting for him there. When he finally arrived, fear, rage, and frustration filled his eyes. He told us that he had been in his neighborhood with his cousin, known as "The Cat," when police arrived and shot his cousin dead. They'd then arrested Héctor, who now told us he'd been spared only thanks to a divine intervention.Héctor, in Caracas, is seen with local kids he helps mentor.Oscar B. CastilloMembers of Free Convict and Otro Enfoque, a local NGO, are seen late at night visiting a group of kids living under a bridge in Caracas. The river below receives water from the city's sewers. Free Convict uses their history with crime and incarceration to collaborate on initiatives that inspire crime-prevention, non-violence, and change.Oscar B. CastilloWe couldn't confirm Héctor's story, but there were plenty of others like it. Later that year, the United Nations would call on President Nicolas Maduro to disband various police units that had been behind extrajudicial killings and "crimes against humanity."It was possible that Héctor had actually been spared because, since his release, he'd become relatively well-known both for his work with Free Convict and for his anti-violence and community-building work in prisons, schools, and other areas affected by violence and exclusion. Having overcome so much in an upside-down Venezuela where police forces could turn their guns on civilians and prisoners controlled the prisons, Héctor is a survivor.  After so many close calls with death and so much adversity, he had done so much to rebuild his life and forge a new path. His mistakes were part of who he was, but the actions he had taken in his life because of those mistakes, and his skill in communicating the things he'd learned, made him a valued mentor to so many Caracus youths who were in a desperate search for new paths to walk away from violence.But for all the progress Héctor had made in his life, he was still at the mercy of the arbitrary violence of Venezuela. Together, we all wondered where Héctor was safest: In Caracas, trying to contribute to his community while at the mercy of the arbitrary violence of Venezuela, and possibly at the hands of Venezuelan police, or back under La Rutina. Héctor stands for a portrait while he and other members of Free Convict take a day job cleaning and painting a disco club. Steady jobs that pay well are scarce in Venezuela.Oscar B. CastilloOscar B. Castillo is a documentary photographer and multimedia artist. His book about the PGV, "Esos Que Saben" was published this year and is available for purchase here.  Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: NYT5 hr. 34 min. ago Related News

Carl Paladino, a contentious New York Republican running for Congress, is violating federal law by not disclosing his personal finances

Paladino, who's self-funded 99% of his campaign's coffer, has yet to file a financial disclosure detailing his personal finances as required by law. Carl Paladino speaks before a rally for then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at JetSmart Aviation Services on Sunday, April 10, 2016, in Rochester, New York.Mike Groll/AP GOP congressional candidate Carl Paladino hasn't filed a mandatory personal financial disclosure. Paladino is wealthy Western New York real estate developer who's routinely courted controversy. Early voting for the NY-23 primary election began on August 13. Election Day is August 23. Carl Paladino, a Donald Trump-boosting Republican running to represent New York's 23rd Congressional District, is violating a federal conflict-of-interest and transparency law by not disclosing details about his own finances, an Insider review of congressional financial filings indicates.Paladino — endorsed by third-ranking House Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York — is running against the chair of the New York Republican Party, Nick Langworthy, in the district's open GOP primary. His late disclosure means that voters cannot review details about the ostensibly wealthy real estate developer's income, investments, employment, and debts.A congressional candidate could face an investigation or fine if he or she "knowingly and willfully falsifies a statement or fails to file a statement" in accordance with US House guidance, although officials rarely pursue such investigations.Paladino's campaign did not respond to Insider's repeated requests for comment.The campaign did, however, tell the Buffalo News earlier this month that Paladino hasn't filed his financial disclosures because the Clerk of the House of Representatives "failed to supply this campaign with login credentials." The campaign further noted that the clerk extended the filing period and that the disclosure was "in the process of being filed."Records maintained by the Clerk of the House of Representatives do not, however, indicate Paladino officially requested an extension or received one. (Representatives for the clerk's office did not respond to an inquiry.) Federal law, meanwhile, requires all candidates to submit their personal financial disclosures within 30 days of an election no matter what.And in the event a candidate cannot or does not want to use Congress' electronic filing system, they have the option to mail paper disclosures to the US House — there are also no congressional records of Paladino doing so.Now with less than a week until Election Day, Paladino has still yet to file his disclosure and early voting has already begun — voters were allowed to begin casting their ballots on August 13.'Suspicious'Dylan Hedtler-Gaudette, the government affairs manager at the nonpartisan Project on Government Oversight, told Insider that it's "unfair to the potential future constituents and the voters to not have that information before they're casting their vote."It's a little bit suspicious," Hedtler-Gaudette added, "that the one thing that could potentially contain some interesting information is the one thing that they seem to not be able to do."The House Ethics Committee, the party that would be tasked with investigating Paladino's violation, frequently overlooks STOCK Act infractions.The committee is even more handicapped as of late after ranking member Rep. Jackie Walorski died in a car accident on August 3. The committee typically does not vote without having a full committee of 10 members.Langworthy, Paladino's opponent, submitted his 2021 annual personal financial disclosure in July. The disclosure shows that he invests in several mutual funds and the SPDR S&P 500.Candidates running for a House office are required to file financial disclosures with the House after raising or spending $5,000 in cash, according to federal law and guidelines from the House Ethics Committee. Paladino crossed that threshold weeks ago.Paladino formally declared his run for office in June 2022, shortly after Republican Rep. Chris Jacobs announced he would not seek re-election.Paladino's turbulent career in politics includes a 2010 run for New York state governor that he badly lost in the general election.In 2016, while serving on the Buffalo School Board, he made sexist and racist remarks about then-first lady Michelle Obama. He later apologized. Fellow board members pressured him to resign, but he refused.New York's education commissioner ultimately removed Paladino from office in 2017 for, as the New York Times reported at the time, revealing confidential information about collective bargaining negotiations with the city's teachers union. Paladino is primarily self-funding his congressional campaign. The chairman of a real estate development company, Paladino has loaned his campaign $1.5 million, or 99% of the campaign's total money raised.Paladino is a long-time supporter of Trump, although Trump has not yet endorsed a candidate in New York's 23rd District — a decidedly red district that will almost certainly elect the winner of Paladino-Langworthy in November's general election.A push to ban congressional stock tradingMembers of Congress and congressional candidates — Republicans and Democrats alike — have routinely violated Insider's "Conflicted Congress" project found 70 members of Congress in violation of the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012 with late or missing disclosures.In the wake of the investigation, Congress has begun debating whether to ban lawmakers and their spouses from buying, selling, or holding individual stocks. House Democrats have suggested they'll hold a vote on the issue in September, though a vote has yet to be scheduled.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: NYT5 hr. 34 min. ago Related News

US stocks fall to break 4-week win streak as Fed officials signal more hawkish rate hikes

The market ended with losing week with more than $2 trillion worth of options expiring. The Fed's Thomas Barkin spoke in Maryland Friday. US stocks fell Friday, leaving the S&P 500 down for the week.  The index snapped four weeks of weekly gains with more than $2 trillion worth of options expiring.  Fed officials are voicing support for more aggressive rate hikes.  US stocks dropped Friday, ending a weekly run of wins for the S&P 500 as Federal Reserve officials backed the continuation of aggressive rate hikes to bring down high inflation. Stocks fell as more than $2 trillion worth of options tied to the S&P 500, single stocks, and other indexes were expiring. The moves left the S&P 500 down for the first week after four weeks of advances. Bank of America said Friday stocks were in the midst of a "classic" bear-market rally and the lows haven't been seen yet. Risk aversion set in as Federal Reserve officials lent support toward potential more big rate increases to cool down consumer prices. "We're committed to returning inflation to our 2% target and we'll do what it takes to get there," Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond President Thomas Barkin said during an event in Maryland on Friday, according to Bloomberg.Here's where US indexes stood at 4:00 p.m. on Friday:  S&P 500: 4,228.48, down 1.29% Dow Jones Industrial Average: 33,706.74, down 0.86% (292.30 points)Nasdaq Composite: 12,705.21, down 2.01% Earlier Friday, the US Dollar Index climbed to a fresh one-month high following hawkish comments St. Louis Fed President James Bullard who said Thursday said he'd look to raise interest rates by 75 basis points in September.San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly on Thursday said rate hikes of 50 basis points or 75 basis points next month would be "reasonable" and suggested the Fed could keep raising rates into 2023.Fed Chairman Jerome Powell will speak next Friday at the central bank's Economic Policy Symposium in Wyoming. The Fed has raised rates by a hefty 75 basis points at its previous two meetings. The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee's next monetary policy meeting is scheduled for September 20-21. Around the markets, Occidental Petroleum jumped after Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway won regulatory approval to purchase up to 50% of the oil company's common stock. General Motors shares rose after the automaker said it will resume paying a quarterly dividend, which it suspended as the COVID-19 pandemic was unfolding. It will also restart share repurchases, with the board increasing its buyback capacity to $5 billion. Bed Bath & Beyond plunged after Ryan Cohen, the retailer's second-largest shareholder, dumped his entire stake for a $68 million profit. Other speculative parts of financial markets were under pressure, with bitcoin sliding under $22,000. Middle Eastern states like Saudi Arabia will land a $1.3 trillion windfall from soaring oil prices, according to the IMF. Meanwhile, Myanmar is buying Russian oil, calling it "high-quality" and cheap. Oil prices fell but pared losses. West Texas Intermediate crude slipped 0.1% to $90.41 per barrel. Brent crude, the international benchmark, shed 0.3% to $96.34. Gold lost 0.6% at $1,760.10 per ounce. The 10-year Treasury yield rose 10 basis points to 2.98%. Bitcoin fell 8.8% to $21,352.12.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: NYT5 hr. 34 min. ago Related News

7 useful Zoom features you might not know about

Zoom offers numerous useful features in its video conferencing app that you might not know about, including a vanishing pen. A 3D printed Zoom logoReuters Zoom offers numerous useful features in its video conferencing app that you might not know about.  You can create a temporary name and profile picture, and you can use a vanishing pen to draw on shared screens. Here are seven of the most useful tips and tricks for getting the most out of Zoom.  Video calling has become commonplace in our modern remote work culture, and few video-conference apps are more popular than Zoom. Most office workers have become familiar with Zoom in the last couple of years, and while it's easy to use, that doesn't mean there aren't a slew of surprising features hiding under its surface. Here are seven of the top features in Zoom you might not know about. Add a profile pictureIf you spend a lot of time in Zoom meetings, you might prefer to have a profile picture than be represented by your initials in a generic account icon. It's easy to apply a custom profile picture from the Zoom website. Click Profile in the navigation pane on the left, and you should see your name with a blank account picture. Click the picture — you should see a pencil icon appear in it when you hover — and upload your account photo. You can add (or replace) or profile picture from the Zoom website.Dave Johnson/InsiderZoom also lets you use a custom profile photo for a particular meeting. You can change your photo each time a meeting starts, or just as needed for a specific meeting. After the meeting starts, click Participants in the toolbar at the bottom of the window and then, in the pane that opens on the right, find your name. Click the three-dot menu beside your name and click Edit Profile Picture. Click Change Picture, choose a new image, and then click Save. When the meeting ends, your profile photo will revert to your default image.  Change your backgroundSome people enjoy showing off their home office in the background while on a Zoom call, but you might prefer to disguise your clutter by changing your background. Zoom uses a green screen-like technology to let you replace the real world with a fake background. Before the call starts, click your account icon at the top right of the Zoom window and then, in the drop-down menu, choose Settings. In the Background & Effects tab of the Settings window, you can choose a preset background, blur your actual background, or upload an image to use as a background. To upload your own, click the plus sign to the right of the virtual backgrounds and choose Add image. You can replace your cluttered home office with a fake background with just a few clicks.Dave Johnson/InsiderQuick tip: You can change your background after the call starts, too. Just right-click your video and click Choose Virtual Background. Use breakout roomsBreakout rooms are a handy way to let small groups collaborate within the framework of a larger meeting. If you're the host, you can send people off to work in breakout rooms. The rooms are easy to configure — within a meeting, click Breakout Rooms in the toolbar at the bottom of the video window (it's usually in the overflow, though, so you probably need to click More and then click Breakout Rooms). You can let Zoom assign people to rooms randomly, let the attendees choose their own rooms, or you can manually put people in rooms as you see fit. Once configured, you can broadcast messages to all the rooms at once and close the rooms, bringing them back to the main meeting whenever you like. Customize your nameNot happy with how your name appears in Zoom meetings? You can fix that — either permanently, or each time you enter a meeting. To permanently change the way your name appears in Zoom meetings, open the Zoom webpage in a browser and sign into your account, if necessary. In the navigation pane on the left, click Profile, and then find your name and photo (if you use one) near the top of the page. Click Edit, adjust your name, and then click Save. Zoom also lets you change your name just for the Zoom call you currently happen to be in. After the call begins, click Participants in the toolbar at the bottom of the window and then, in the pane that opens on the right, find your name. Click the three-dot menu beside your name and click Rename. Adjust your name and then click Change. If you choose to rename yourself in a meeting, that name change only applies to that particular meeting.Dave Johnson/InsiderDraw with a vanishing penWhen you share your screen, you might sometimes want to clarify details or add annotations with a pen or marker, but it's often more trouble than it's worth as the screen fills up with your lines and squiggles, and you need to erase what you've done. There's an easier way: Zoom includes a vanishing pen whose ink fades after a few seconds, so the screen is never cluttered. Finding the tool can be a challenge, though, because Zoom packs multiple options into each drawing tool cubby. Here's what to do: After you share your screen, click Annotate in the toolbar at the top of the screen. In the drawing toolbar, move the mouse over Spotlight, which is in the fifth spot from the left. You should see three tools pop out — choose the one on the right. This is the Vanishing Pen. Now you can draw and anything you do will fade away after a few seconds. The Vanishing Pen is hiding in the same tool cubby as the Spotlight tool.Dave Johnson/InsiderPut everyone in the same room with immersive viewBeing in a Zoom meeting usually feels like you're in a workplace version of Hollywood Squares, but Zoom has another option for you. The service's immersive view lets you arrange everyone in the call in a single virtual room, which can be a fun alternative to the usual grid. If you're the host, click View at the top right of the video window and then choose Immersive. Pick the background image you want to place everyone in and then click Start. Mute your audio by defaultThe last thing you want when you're in a Zoom meeting is to interrupt the flow with a barking dog or crying baby. You can tell Zoom to always start meeting with your microphone muted so you don't have to do it manually. Before the call starts, click your account icon at the top right of the Zoom window and then, in the dropdown menu, choose Settings. In the navigation pane on the left, click Audio, and then scroll down to the bottom of the page. Click the checkbox for Mute my microphone when joining a meeting.  You can start every Zoom meeting with your microphone muted.Dave Johnson/InsiderRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: NYT5 hr. 34 min. ago Related News

Ukrainian spies snuck into Russia ahead of the invasion and found a lot of drunk Russian troops had traded supplies for alcohol: report

In many respects, the invasion has been humiliating for the Russian military, which has suffered massive troop and equipment losses. Russian veteran border servicemen pose for a photo with a Soviet sculpture in a fountain of Gorky Park, marking the Border Guards Day, May 28, 2022, in Moscow, Russia.Getty Images Ukrainian spies slipped into Russia ahead of the invasion and saw drunk Russian troops, the Washington Post reported. The troops reportedly traded fuel and other supplies for alcohol, leaving vehicles stranded. The Post's report details how intelligence failures saw Russia's war plans in Ukraine to fall flat.  In the days leading up to Russia's invasion of Ukraine in late February, Ukrainian spies were sent into Russia to conduct surveillance on the Russian military and encountered "a lot" of drunk soldiers, according to a new Washington Post report.The Russian troops had apparently traded fuel and other supplies for alcohol. "A lot of them were drunk," a Ukrainian official who saw reports from the spies told the Post.Their observations, which also included tank formations without crews or maintainers, suggested that Russia was unprepared for war and reportedly fueled some degree of disbelief among some officials in Ukraine that Russia would actually attempt an invasion. In many ways, as has since been demonstrated, Russia wasn't ready, but it moved forward anyway.The Post's report, which relies heavily on a trove of sensitive materials gathered by Ukrainian officials and other security services, offers intricate details on Russian intelligence failures ahead of the war.Russia began laying the groundwork for an invasion years ago, according to the report, and cultivated a significant network of agents in Ukraine with the ultimate goal of toppling the government and subjugating the former Soviet republic. Prior to the invasion, it was widely believed that if Russia did launch a military incursion it would be able to defeat Ukrainian forces in a matter of days, but that's now how the conflict has played out.The Russian military failed to take Kyiv, as the Ukrainian military put up a much stiffer resistance than many expected. The fight has now lasted nearly six months, with Russia making only incremental progress as the conflict has morphed into a grinding war of attrition. In many respects, the invasion has been humiliating for the Russian military, which has suffered massive troop and equipment losses.Russia's primary spy agency, the FSB, bears much of the responsibility for the failed war plans and the overconfidence that catalyzed the Russian military's ambitious objectives, according to the Post's report. The FSB, for example, reportedly offered the Kremlin misleadingly positive assessments that suggested Ukrainians would welcome Russia with open arms."There was plenty of wishful thinking," a senior Western security official told the Post, adding that the FSB had the sense "there would be flowers strewn in their path." The FSB apparently thought that a rapid assault would quickly bring down the Ukrainian government. But, according to the Post report, FSB officers ultimately ended up retreating from Kyiv alongside Russian troops. Previous reports suggested that Putin received bad intel because his advisors are "too afraid" to give him negative assessments. Individuals who have angered or displeased the Russian leader have at times ended up dying in violent or mysterious ways, while others have landed in prison. "We believe that Putin is being misinformed by his advisors about how badly the Russian military is performing and how the Russian economy is being crippled by sanctions because his senior advisors are too afraid to tell him the truth," a US official said in late March."Putin," the official said, "didn't even know his military was using and losing conscripts in Ukraine, showing a clear breakdown in the flow of accurate information to the Russian president."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: NYT5 hr. 34 min. ago Related News

The Squeeze Is Over: Goldman Prime Sees A Flood Of New Hedge Fund Shorts

The Squeeze Is Over: Goldman Prime Sees A Flood Of New Hedge Fund Shorts The bear market rally from the mid-June lows was triggered by three key drivers: gradual bullish reversal by the systematic crowd, accelerating buybacks, and a sudden retail frenzy back into the market. But the real catalyst for the meltup was the "apocalyptic" bearish positioning by institutional and hedge fund investors, who were forced to FOMO chase the "most hated rally" higher, accelerating the meltup as they did. This unprecedented bearish bias prompted none other than Michael Hartnett to correctly turn bullish in mid-July citing "Record Pessimism", "Full Investor Capitulation." But far more remarkable was Hartnett's bearish reversal earlier this week, when the BofA chief investment officer correctly timed the spoos peak to within half a tick, urging clients (and ZH readers) to short at 4,328 (which was also the 200DMA). This is what happened then. Well, there's a reason why we call Hartnett (unlike so many of his broken record competitors) Wall Steet's most accurate analyst. But while we hope that readers saved some cash (or made a profit) by timing the bear-market top (for now), it appears that another batch of investors also decided to start shorting... again. According to Goldman Prime, after 4 weeks of relentless short covering unwinds, hedge funds are starting to play more bearish offense, layering new shorts as the GS prime book saw the largest notional net selling in three weeks (1-Year Z score -0.7), driven by short sales outpacing long buys 3 to 1. Here are some more details from the note available to pro subscribers: Overall gross trading activity saw the largest 1-day increase since 6/16 (when SPX fell to YTD lows). While one day does not make a trend, yesterday's activity suggests hedge funds could be starting to play a bit more offense following four straight weeks of risk unwinds. Macro Products (Index and ETF combined) saw the largest notional net selling since mid-July driven entirely by short sales.  US-listed ETF shorts rose +2.0%, the largest 1-day increase in more than two months:  Large Cap Equity, Technology, and Small Cap Equity ETFs were among the most shorted. Single Stocks saw little net activity overall, but flows were risk-on with long buys offset by roughly the same notional amount of short sales.  Consumer Discretionary (short covers), Financials (long buys), and Health Care (long buys) were the most notionally net bought sectors; Comm Svcs (long sales), Info Tech (short sales), and Industrials (short sales) were the most notionally net sold. JPMorgan agree, and in a note from the bank's prime brokerage, writes that following a massive burst of short covering from mid-June, it has suddenly stopped in the past 2 days... oddly around the time Hartnett said to resume shorting. And now that a bunch of potentially bearish events are on deck, we expect the shorting to only accelerate over the next two weeks, at least until through the Jackson Hole symposium next weekend, and the next batch of data on CPI and employment in early September. “Hedge funds may view the June-to-August rally as too far, too fast, and now are licking their chops for another round of downside,” said Mike Bailey, director of research at wealth management firm FBB Capital Partners. “Tactically, markets look a bit feeble at the moment, as investors price in good inflation and Fed news.” Ironically, so hated was this bear market rally, that the new round of shorting takes place even as the previous bearish bets have not been fully unwound, and according to Morgan Stanley there are still a lot of bearish positions outstanding: the bank's data show that in the cash market, while $50 billion has been covered since June, the net amount of added shorts remains elevated, sitting at $165 billion this year. Short interest among single stocks stands in the 84th percentile of a one-year range. “The short base in US equities is still not cleaned up though,” Morgan Stanley wrote in a note. “With short leverage still high, there is more potential for hedge fund short covering.” “Nobody trusts the rally,” said Benjamin Dunn, president of Alpha Theory Advisors. “We could be in for a period of weakness, but by the same token, a lot of people who want to sell have already sold,” he added. “That’s been the problem the last several months in this market. It’s nothing but positioning, almost nothing fundamental.” Still, as Bloomberg notes, shorts unwinding amplified the market upside during the summer lull, but all the caution suggests that the downside risk is likely limited, and as we noted last night... And they're back: "HFs pressing shorts again... US equities saw the largest 1-day increase in gross trading flow since 6/16 driven by short sales" - GS here we go again — zerohedge (@zerohedge) August 19, 2022 ... it sets the stage for the next short covering squeeze the moment the market views Powell's next comments as "pivotish." Tyler Durden Fri, 08/19/2022 - 14:19.....»»

Category: worldSource: NYT7 hr. 6 min. ago Related News

How The US Made Inflation Worse

How The US Made Inflation Worse Via Global Macro Monitor, Not a bad primer video from CNBC on the Fed’s policy mistakes, which we all are now, literally, paying for. I would add that monetary policy is a black box, mainly because we can’t define the money supply, much less measure it.  Using your brokerage account to write checks to pay for gas and groceries, for example, shouldn’t it be counted as part of the money supply?  Ditto for crypto, among others Money Quotes: The two following money quotes from the video above could have been lifted straight from the Global Macro Monitor. “If we were actually measuring inflation in a consistent manner, the peaks in the seventies and eighties are actually much more similar to the peak today than we would have initially thought.” See our post,  Today’s Inflation Rate And Nolan Ryan’s Fastball “So I think at this point the Fed has to stick to its guns, even if that means taking speculators down.  And that really is what has scared the Fed in the past.  The Federal Reserve is supposed to make monetary policy in the whole of the public interest, not just that of investors. And this going to be a test of which they have not really had to take since 1981.” We have written many posts on this issue, but see this one, in particular, The New “Supply-Side Economics” Fueling Asset Bubbles Exogenous vs. Endogenous Money Supply  No distinction either between exogenous money (created by the Fed) and endogenous money created by the private sector.  The Fed tries, and we stress, tries to control the endogenous money supply by interest rates and the exogenous money supply by its balance sheet. Endogenous money is primarily created by leverage and is most likely easier to bring inflation down as assets deflate and credit slows. The current inflation we are experiencing was mainly driven by exogenous money – Fed printing- and is much harder to break until quantitative tightening really begins to bite.  Think middle of 2023. So, realize, folks, if asset prices are increasing, such as stocks, with a 10 percent inflation rate, it is inflationary. The Fed has a tiger by the tail, mainly of its own doing, by allowing monetary policy to be, in the words of my good friend, Professor Constantin Gurdgiev, “hijacked by Goldman Sachs and Black Rock.”  Let’s throw in Jim Cramer just for fun. The body politic gets it is unfair, and we see the political angst played out in today’s society. Even a monkey will revolt against unfairness and inequality. Tyler Durden Fri, 08/19/2022 - 14:40.....»»

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Labor Action Hits London Tube As UK Transportation Network Grinds To Halt

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US Approves Of Ukraine Striking Crimea

US Approves Of Ukraine Striking Crimea.....»»

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Alec Baldwin Says Killing Woman Took "Years Off" His Life

Alec Baldwin Says Killing Woman Took "Years Off" His Life.....»»

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Occidental Soars After Filing Shows Buffett Seeking 50% Stake

Occidental Soars After Filing Shows Buffett Seeking 50% Stake A filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) shows that Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway applied for authorization to grow its stake in Occidental Petroleum from around 20% (last filing) to 50%... On July 11, 2022, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (Applicant) filed an application pursuant to section 203(a)(2) of the Federal Power Act (FPA)  requesting authorization for Applicant to acquire in secondary market transactions up to 50% of the common stock of Occidental Petroleum Corporation (Occidental) (Proposed Transaction). FERC's response allowed Buffett to proceed: After consideration, it is concluded that the Proposed Transaction is consistent with the public interest and is authorized... This sent the stock soaring, up almost 10% and up over 20% since we tweeted his interest in buying the dip... So it seems Buffett is betting against Biden with this massive energy stake? *  *  * Full filing below: Tyler Durden Fri, 08/19/2022 - 13:34.....»»

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FBI Raid Targeted Docs Trump Collected To "Exonerate" Himself From Russiagate Hoax; Report

FBI Raid Targeted Docs Trump Collected To "Exonerate" Himself From Russiagate Hoax; Report.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT7 hr. 34 min. ago Related News

As US Announces New $800M Ukraine Arms Package, Here"s The Total List Since War"s Start

As US Announces New $800M Ukraine Arms Package, Here's The Total List Since War's Start In a Thursday CNN interview Ukrainian Defense Minister Andriy Zagorodnyuk described a stalemated battlefield situation with Russia, while also urging more Western arms to be urgently sent. "The war is in a situation where the Russians cannot move anywhere further because of the weapons the West provided us. We managed now to make them stop," Zagorodnyuk said. "But unfortunately at the same time we don’t have enough weapons for a proper, serious, fully-fledged counter-offensive," he added. Yet a battlefield stalemate is where things can get dangerous fast, as is the case with the ongoing standoff at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. As we detailed earlier President Putin has warned his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron in a Friday phone call that Ukraine forces' "systematic shelling" risks a "large-scale catastrophe" at the Zaporizhzhia plant, based on his words in the Kremlin call readout.  But the West still appears to be holding out hope that ramped up arms shipments, including increasingly heavier and longer-range weapons, can tip the scales against the superior and larger Russian forces. This is at least the logic in Washington, despite little evidence the unprecedented defense aid packages have significantly halted or dented the Russian offensive.  Politico reports Friday: "The U.S. will announce a new military aid package for Ukraine on Friday, two people familiar with the announcement told Politico, with another $800 million in weapons and ammunition." This means the total so far in pledged defense packages (excluding other types of US aid) has just sailed north of $9 billion, according to the below figures. AFP/Getty Images "A third person said the next package will include Excalibur precision-guided munitions, which would further help Ukraine hit far-away Russian targets during the war’s artillery-heavy phase," the report continues. The package is to include additional HIMARS, or the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, as well as Howitzers.  Russia is already warning that the possibility of a direct clash with NATO or the US is now higher than ever, also as on Thursday the defense ministry sent hypersonic missiles to be stationed in Kaliningrad, to be on 'ready' by three MiG fighter jets. Tensions with Ukraine's Western backers are also boiling because of recent explosions at Russian bases deep inside Crimea, leading to speculation of long-range attack capability by Ukraine. Politico speaks to the potential symbolism and timing of the new impending aid: "The tranche comes just days before Ukraine’s independence day on Aug. 24, which one DoD official suggested could also bring a fresh American show of support," it notes. Source: Ukraine Support Tracker via the Kiel Institute for the World Economy * * * Below is a timeline of all publicly disclosed major weapons shipments or funding packages going back to February 24, compiled by the thinktank, Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft: August 8 The Pentagon announced that it will send $1 billion worth of security assistance to Ukraine via presidential drawdown, including: HIMARS ammunition (This is an acronym for High Mobility Artillery Rocket System. These mobile missile launchers can fire a wide range of munitions, including rocket artillery and short-range ballistic missiles.) Artillery ammunition Javelin missiles and other anti-armor weapons August 1 The Pentagon announced an additional $550 million of security aid via presidential drawdown, including: HIMARS ammunition Artillery ammunition July 22 The Pentagon announced that it will send $270 million of military aid to Ukraine, with $175 million authorized via presidential drawdown and the other $95 million coming via USAI funds. This included: Four additional HIMARS  HIMARS ammunition Four Command Post vehicles (These can be used as a tactical operations center or an armored ambulance, among other things.) Tank gun ammunition Phoenix Ghost drones (These are a type of “loitering munition,” or a weapon that can wait in the air for extended periods of time before attacking a target. This was created by the United States for use in Ukraine.) July 8 The Pentagon announced an additional $400 million of military assistance via presidential drawdown, including: Four additional HIMARS HIMARS ammunition Artillery ammunition July 1 The Pentagon announced that it will send $820 million of security aid, with $50 million authorized via presidential drawdown and the remaining $770 million coming via USAI funds. This included: HIMARS ammunition Two National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS) (This system launches missiles to defend against various types of aircraft, including drones.) Artillery ammunition June 23 The Pentagon announced an additional $450 million in military assistance via presidential drawdown, including: Four HIMARS Artillery ammunition Grenade launchers Patrol boats June 15 The Pentagon announced an additional $1 billion in lethal aid, with $350 million authorized via presidential drawdown and $650 million coming from USAI funds. This included: Howitzers (This is a popular long-range artillery weapon.) Artillery ammunition  HIMARS ammunition Two Harpoon coastal defense systems (These launch missiles that fly just above the surface of the water to attack planes and ships.) June 1 The Pentagon announced an additional $700 million in military assistance via presidential drawdown, including: HIMARS ammunition Javelin missiles and other anti-armor weapons Artillery ammunition Four Mi-17 helicopters (These can be used for transport or combat.) May 19 The Pentagon announced $100 million in lethal aid via presidential drawdown, including: Howitzers On the same day, Congress passed a $40 billion aid package for Ukraine, roughly half of which was earmarked for military assistance. May 6 The Pentagon announced $150 million in military aid via presidential drawdown, including: Artillery ammunition April 21 DoD announced $800 million in further aid via presidential drawdown, including: Howitzers Artillery ammunition Phoenix Ghost drones April 13 The Pentagon announced that it will send an additional $800 million in military assistance via presidential drawdown, including: Howitzers Artillery ammunition Switchblade drones (This is another form of loitering munition.) Javelin missiles and other anti-armor weapons Armored personnel carriers 11 Mi-17 helicopters Various types of explosives April 6 The Pentagon announced an addition $100 million in aid via presidential drawdown, including: Javelin anti-armor systems April 1 DoD announced that it will send $300 million in lethal aid using USAI funds, including: Laser-guided rocket systems Switchblade drones Puma surveillance drones Anti-drone systems  Armored vehicles March 16 The Pentagon announced that it will send $800 million worth of military aid via presidential drawdown. The exact contents of this package are unclear, but it likely included Mi-17 helicopters, Javelin missiles, and Stinger anti-aircraft missiles. March 12 The White House announced that it will send $200 million in lethal aid via presidential drawdown, including: Javelin missiles  Stinger missiles March 10 Congress approved $13.6 billion in aid to Ukraine, roughly half of which was earmarked for military assistance. February 25 The White House announced that it will send $350 million in military aid via presidential drawdown, including: Anti-armor weapons Small arms Tyler Durden Fri, 08/19/2022 - 14:04.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT7 hr. 34 min. ago Related News

Velocity"s Back And It"s Taking Inflation With It

Velocity's Back And It's Taking Inflation With It By Simon White, Bloomberg Markets Live analyst and reporter Rising velocity will keep inflation persistently elevated and at risk of becoming unanchored, leaving longer-term yields looking structurally too low. Central bankers should be careful what they wish for. After years of trying to arrest the fall in the velocity of money, it is finally on the rise again. Velocity is little talked about these days, but in the first throes of the financial crisis it was the center of attention. Defined here as the ratio of GDP to M2 money, velocity continued to fall no matter what the Fed threw at it in the fevered months and years after the GFC That’s a major problem when you’re trying to resuscitate demand. Velocity is in essence the average number of times each dollar is spent in the economy, so its inexorable decline meant that, despite the Fed creating trillions of new dollars, total demand was still falling as each dollar was being spent fewer times. The problem was not causal. Demand was collapsing as households and businesses were in the midst of a major retrenchment in the aftermath of the financial crisis. Risk appetite was rock-bottom and the main providers of credit to the economy -- banks -- were pulling back from lending in order to rebuild their balance sheets, or just stay alive. The Fed was running up the down escalator as it created ever more reserves only for them to be hoarded by banks, firms and households. That’s why the Fed was unable to create sustainable inflation despite expanding its balance sheet to unprecedented levels. But the times they are a-changing. Velocity is related to rates, and falling rates through much of the 2010s meant it fell too. But now that rates are rising, there is a greater incentive for savers to decrease money balances and hold higher-yielding assets, which means a higher velocity of money. Velocity today is rising faster than it has done since 2010 and is set to keep advancing. This explains why inflation -- even though it is very likely to fall in the coming months -- will remain persistently elevated above its long-term average and continue to be susceptible to flaring even higher later in the cycle. Elevated inflation is the spark that lights the fire, and velocity is what fuels it. Rising velocity without high inflation is not normally a problem, but when inflation also starts rising it creates more demand for money and thus velocity rises, with a feedback loop developing. We are on the cusp of that today. We can now see how the trillions of dollars of hitherto largely idle reserves at the Fed could rapidly become very inflationary. Prices rise, requiring more money to pay for the rising nominal cost of goods and services. Ultimately this means greater demand for reserves, i.e. the velocity of reserves increases, which soon translates into a rise in the velocity of broader money measures too. More inflation ensues. Wash, rinse, repeat. Even people without much money are experiencing an inflationary-driven increase in demand for it, which is manifesting itself through a rise in bank loans. Rising velocity typically precedes accelerating growth in commercial and industrial loans by about three quarters (C&I loans are a good proxy for loans overall given the stringent lending standards generally attached to them). Demand for C&I loans is also rising, but banks are tightening their standards for such loans. This is unusual as demand for loans normally falls when standards are being tightened, suggesting demand for loans -- to cover inflation-driven rises in costs -- is overwhelming the tighter loan standards. More loans means more money, which banks can conjure out of thin air, meaning yet more inflation potential. QT is an attempt to mitigate the inflationary potential of Fed reserves by curtailing velocity. The reduction in reserves should lead to an even greater fall in demand, meaning velocity should fall. Rate increases, on the other hand, are supposed to work on the demand channel as they can only affect the price of reserves while leaving the volume unchanged. QE was supposed to work in reverse to QT, causing velocity to rise as demand increased more than the increase in money. We know it failed to achieve that aim. If something fails one way, it’s prudent to assume it might not work in the opposite direction either. Rising velocity will keep the inflation embers alive for some time yet. Tyler Durden Fri, 08/19/2022 - 11:03.....»»

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Apple Discloses New Security Flaw That Can Allow Attackers To Take "Complete Control" Over iPhones, iPads, & iMacs

Apple Discloses New Security Flaw That Can Allow Attackers To Take "Complete Control" Over iPhones, iPads, & iMacs Apple has disclosed what are being called "serious" security vulnerabilities with iPhones, iPads and iMacs this week. The vulnerabilities are so significant, they can potentially allow attackers to "take complete control of the devices", according to Sky.  In a non-descript statement on Thursday, Apple said it was "aware of a report that this issue may have been actively exploited". Everyone that owns the affected devices, which include iPhones after the 6S, new iPads and any Mac running OS Monterey, is being encouraged to update their software as soon as possible. The hack even affects some older iPod models. Remember iPods? Apple said on its website that means a malicious application "may be able to execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges", which is computer lingo for taking full control over your computer, discovering your Anthony Weiner-style photo collection and (even worse) altering your recipe for chicken francese.  Rachel Tobac, the CEO of SocialProof Security, told The Guardian the flaw gives “full admin access to the device” so that anyone can “execute any code as if they are you, the user”. She said that "activists or journalists who might be the targets of sophisticated nation-state spying" should be the most concerned about the flaw.  A second flaw could be exploited if a vulnerable device accessed or processed "maliciously crafted web content [that] may lead to arbitrary code execution", according to Sky, citing TechCrunch. Apple was mum on further details for the time being, but we will continue keeping a close eye on the story. Tyler Durden Fri, 08/19/2022 - 11:14.....»»

Category: dealsSource: NYT9 hr. 47 min. ago Related News

Stocks Extend Losses, Yields Spike After "Recession" Comments From Fed"s Barkin

Stocks Extend Losses, Yields Spike After "Recession" Comments From Fed's Barkin Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond President Thomas Barkin says “getting inflation under control is going to be necessary to set up what we have the potential to do in the economy.” Barkin warned that "The Fed must curb inflation even if this causes a recession," adding that The Fed "needs to raise rates into restrictive territory." “I’ve convinced myself that not getting inflation under control is inconsistent with a thriving economy” Barkin further added that “I’ve been supportive of front-loading." The Richmond Fed president's comments echoe'd ECB's Schnabel's words of warning that "even if we entered a recession, it’s quite unlikely that inflationary pressures will abate by themselves," Schnabel said. "The growth slowdown is then probably not sufficient to dampen inflation." It appears the world's central bankers are rapidly realizing that a recession is needed to tamp down inflation... and in fact even that may not do the trick - this is a supply issue, not a demand issue. Translation: we need a depression to 'fight' Putin! This prompted further weakness in stocks with Nasdaq down 2%... And yields spiking higher with 10Y inching closer to 3.00%... ...erasing all the price gains from the ECB/US-weak-data bond rally. Is the scene being set for Powell to steal the jam out of the 'Fed Pivot' bulls' donut next week in J-Hole? Tyler Durden Fri, 08/19/2022 - 11:19.....»»

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Elon Musk Reacts To Border Crisis, Says Lacking Media Attention "Strange"

Elon Musk Reacts To Border Crisis, Says Lacking Media Attention 'Strange' Authored by Gary Bai via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours), Tesla CEO Elon Musk is reacting to the recording-breaking number of illegal immigrants walking through the Southern border. The world’s richest person was replying to reporting from Fox News’s Bill Melugin, who posted on Twitter drone footage of a group of hundreds of illegal immigrants crossing the Southern border at Eagle Pass, Texas, into the United States. In his post, Melugin cited Customs and Border Protection (CBP) statistics showing border agents to have encountered 400,000 illegal immigrants so far in the Del Rio sector in Fiscal Year 2022 (since October 2021), a number that is already more than double the total number of encounters from Fiscal Year 2021. This number does not include “get-aways”—illegal crossers who evaded apprehension. 400k from one border crossing in less than a year? — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 14, 2022 Strange that this receives very little attention in the media — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 14, 2022 “Strange that this receives very little attention in the media,” Musk wrote in response to Melugin on Aug. 14. Musk, a self-portrayed political moderate and a design engineer by trade, has shared his perspective with his 100 million-plus following on a wide range of issues beyond cars and rockets. The billionaire’s comments on the border crisis, for example, were the latest in his series of criticism of the current administration and the Democratic Party in general; others include his comments on the influence of labor unions on the Democratic party, the Spygate collusion scandal involving Clinton-affiliated Democrats, and the Biden White House’s alleged sidelining of Tesla’s role in the electric vehicle market. The Bigger Picture The backstory to the exchange between Musk and Melugin features an ever increasing surge in illegal immigration, overextended Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) resources, and an administration that actively strives to undo Trump-era “America First” immigration policies. Eagle Pass is only one of the regions along the Southwest border where hundreds of illegal immigrants pour into the United States. From the beginning of Fiscal Year 2022 on Oct. 1, 2021, to early August this year, border patrol agents apprehended 1.8 million illegal crossers. That’s more than the population of Phoenix, Arizona, the fifth-most populous city in the country, and about 40 percent higher than the total number of apprehensions in the previous fiscal year. BORDER: Border Patrol agents organize hundreds of illegal immigrants who have streamed across the border from Mexico near Eagle Pass, Texas, on May 20. pic.twitter.com/ftZyyhfTc0 — Charlotte Cuthbertson (@charlottecuthbo) May 21, 2022 The head of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), meanwhile, insists that the border is secure, while the Biden administration is kept busy by legal disputes with border states on key Trump migration policies. One of the policies that the Biden administration began pulling back—following a Supreme Court decision that ruled in its favor—was the “Remain in Mexico” policy, which required non-Mexican migrants seeking asylum in the United States to wait in Mexico for processing. Meanwhile, the Biden administration will continue to enforce the Trump-era immigration and public health policy known as Title 42, a policy instated as a COVID-19 countermeasure that allowed the United States to quickly expel migrants who unlawfully entered the United States and bypassed health screening in the process. A judge blocked the Biden administration’s attempt to lift Title 42 in May. A Border Patrol agent organizes a large group of illegal immigrants near Eagle Pass, Texas, on May 20, 2022. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times) Another legal battle that will be consequential to border security will play out in the Supreme Court in the fourth quarter of this year, when the highest court will hear a case on whether Biden’s immigration enforcement guidelines constitute executive agency overreach. In July, the Supreme Court allowed a federal judge in Texas to block the Biden administration’s immigration guidelines that, according to the border states’ prosecutors, limit the ability of border agents to detain and deport illegal aliens. “The Biden Admin’s border record is an absolute failure,” Chad Wolf, former Acting DHS Secretary under the Trump Administration, wrote on Twitter on Aug. 17, following reports of anonymous CBP sources saying that a record-setting 2 million illegal crossers were apprehended since the beginning of Fiscal Year 2022. “I encourage Republicans next year to enact strong oversight in this area – specifically how DHS leadership executed an intentional plan to endanger migrants and American communities by refusing to enforce the law,” Wolf wrote. Tyler Durden Fri, 08/19/2022 - 11:35.....»»

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Putin Warns Macron "Large-Scale Catastrophe" Looms At Ukraine Nuclear Plant

Putin Warns Macron "Large-Scale Catastrophe" Looms At Ukraine Nuclear Plant French President Emmanuel Macron and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin held a phone call Friday where the focus was ensuring the avoidance of disaster at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in southern Ukraine. For weeks the site has emerged as the single most concerning hotspot in the conflict, given the possibility of nuclear accident. Over the past week tit-for-tat accusations between Russian and Ukrainian forces have intensified amid warnings of "another Chernobyl" if the standoff doesn't deescalate. Russia, which has about 500 of its troops occupying the nuclear power plant, the largest in Europe, has blamed Ukrainian forces for repeat shelling of the sensitive facility. Putin in Friday's call warned Macron about the potential for "large-scale catastrophe" at the plant, blaming Kiev for the continued shelling and the deterioration of safe operations.  The two leaders have talked dozens of times since the war began. AFP via Getty Images According to the call readout from the Kremlin side via Reuters: Putin said shelling of the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in southern Ukraine, which he blamed on Kyiv, created the risk of "large-scale catastrophe". Both presidents agree on the need to send a team from the International Atomic Energy Agency to the plant. According to the Kremlin, Putin told Macron about continuing obstacles to supplying Russian food and fertilizer products to world markets. The day prior, IAEA chief Rafael Grossi said he's ready to lead an inspection team there, after an urgent call the inspect the complex was issued by Thursday's trilateral meeting of President Zelensky, Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Secretary-General António Guterres in Lviv, Ukraine.  Ukraine for its part has charged Russian forces with using the plant which supplies broad swathes of Europe with power as "nuclear blackmail". But following the Macron call, Putin confirmed readiness to facilitate an urgent IAEA mission. Zelensky has stated outright that anything that happens there will automatically be viewed as Moscow's fault. He also in Saturday statements indicated his forces won't stop attempting to liberate it from Russian troops: "Every Russian soldier who either shoots at the plant, or shoots using the plant as cover, must understand that he becomes a special target for our intelligence agents, for our special services, for our army," Zelenskiy said in a video address on Saturday night. It's clear that the plant has already been hit and partially damaged by shelling this month. Concern for potential contamination has raised such that international monitors have begun modeling various disaster scenarios: In case a nuclear disaster at Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant occurred on Aug 15-18, this is how the released airborne radioactive contaminants would probably get dispersed - Ukrainian hydrometeorological institute pic.twitter.com/1dQLcCtt1u — Myroslava Petsa (@myroslavapetsa) August 18, 2022 Bloomberg has given the latest damage update Friday as follows: "Already only two of six reactors at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant are operating, potentially leaving Ukraine’s electricity grid facing collapse this winter, with the crisis spilling into neighboring European Union energy markets." "Europe’s biggest atomic-energy station, Zaporizhzhia has in recent weeks been hit by shelling, with Ukraine and Russia blaming each other," the report continues. "Explosions wrecked infrastructure and cables critical for cooling atomic reactions and transmitting power." The Kremlin has meanwhile alleged that Ukraine is planning a "false flag provocation" at Zaporizhzhia, even specifying something is being planned for Friday. There are unconfirmed reports being circulated that the Russian military even told local plant workers who are keeping it running to stay home Friday. Tyler Durden Fri, 08/19/2022 - 11:50.....»»

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