(Bloomberg) -- Thanks to vagaries of the accounting world, Donald Trump’s administration had a chance in the final weeks of the presidential race to cancel more than $200 billion of student loans with no immediate hit to the Department of Education’s massive portfolio. Yet it didn’t do it.Now, perhaps Joe Biden will.For years, bean counters at the department have been writing down the value of its $1.4 trillion portfolio of student debt as they adopted ever-more-pessimistic views of how much borrowers will repay. In September, the analysts made their biggest adjustment yet, valuing loans at just 82 cents on every dollar owed, down from 104 cents in 2015, records show. The debt is now worth $258 billion less than the amount outstanding.Had officials under Education Secretary Betsy DeVos decided to identify some of the borrowers least likely to repay, and then forgiven those debts, it wouldn’t have put a major dent in the remaining portfolio’s value. Such losses were, theoretically, already reflected anyway.By Wall Street standards, the government’s loan writedowns are gigantic, amounting to $98 billion in September alone. While they have gone virtually unnoticed in the political realm so far, they are almost sure to attract attention now, as consumer advocates urge Biden’s new administration to ease the burden on young professionals and jump-start the pandemic-stricken economy.Some are starting to ask: If the government doesn’t expect to collect hundreds of billions of dollars from borrowers, why not try to erase it now?“Betsy DeVos has already decided that a bunch of this debt is not going to be paid back,” said Mike Pierce, director of policy at the nonprofit Student Borrower Protection Center and a former official at the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. “That makes it much easier for the Biden administration to justify canceling.”The Education Department didn’t respond to messages seeking comment both before and after the change in administration.Loans or RentShortly after his inauguration as U.S. president on Wednesday, Biden asked the department to extend his predecessor’s pandemic policy of waiving interest and to continue letting borrowers skip monthly payments on government-owned student loans until at least the end of September. About 24 million borrowers have stopped payments, department data show.Biden has expressed sympathy for borrowers but suggested he’s reluctant to wipe away debt without an act of Congress. In November, he said student-loan burdens are “holding people up. They’re in real trouble. They’re having to make choices between paying their student loan and paying their rent.”While Wall Street often values its debt holdings based on the prices they would fetch in the market, the government’s markdowns mainly reflect “amounts not expected to be recovered.” From a valuation perspective, that means there wouldn’t be much immediate difference between forgiving doomed loans and waiting for borrowers to turn out their empty pockets.Still, there’s the issue of moral hazard: If authorities offer relief to struggling borrowers, it could create an incentive for others to stop repaying too, causing more of the portfolio to sour.Rush for ReliefMuch of the gap between what is owed and what the government reckons will be repaid stems from loan programs that cap monthly payments relative to borrowers’ incomes. Income-based repayment plans promise the possibility of loan forgiveness after two decades of steady payment, or one decade for public-service workers. As annual borrower defaults climbed past 1 million, Barack Obama’s administration made the repayment plans increasingly generous. Enrollment has tripled since 2014.The anticipated cost of income-based plans has risen, too. The Education Department recently realized borrowers in the plans were earning “substantially” less than it had forecast. So the government cut its projections of borrowers’ future income by 35%, boosting the estimated tab to be forgiven in later years.“There already is significant loan forgiveness,” said Constantine Yannelis, who researches student debt and teaches finance at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. “We’re just talking about moving it up or giving it to borrowers who wouldn’t qualify for it under current rules.”Yannelis said he recently found that debt owed by lower-income borrowers had a lower present value to the federal government than debt owed by high-income borrowers.Rising OddsAcross-the-board loan cancellations make little sense, but the government has all the information it needs to target forgiveness, said Adam Looney, a finance professor at the University of Utah whose research on student loans dates to his time as a tax official at the U.S. Treasury Department. In fact, he said, the Education Department’s own valuation reflects a belief the government will eventually cancel large amounts owed by people earning little or at least too little relative to their debts.Forgiving loans could encourage future students to over-borrow on the hope that their debts will be wiped away, advisers to the federal consumer bureau warned in a report this month. And that could, in turn, remove some of the pressure on colleges to lower their costs.But there is a growing expectation in the public anyway that relief is coming. In a December survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, respondents estimated there is a 39% chance -- more than ever in five years of polling -- that the federal government will cancel some amount of student loans over the next year.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
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(Bloomberg) -- A recently refinanced mortgage for a building in Manhattan may show how Donald Trump is able to deal with his upcoming debt maturities, albeit at a higher cost.Investors Bank agreed to extend the mortgage on Trump Park Avenue, a condo building at the corner of 59th Street, by a year to 2021, according to his latest financial disclosure, released hours after he left office.The interest rate increased 25 basis points to 3.5%. It’s at least the second time the due date has been pushed out since the $23 million loan was originated in 2010, records show. It’s now estimated to be less than $10 million.Michael Cohen, Trump’s former attorney and fixer, owns a unit there, and other owners have included former baseball star Alex Rodriguez. When Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner lived in the building, Rupert Murdoch and his then-wife Wendi Deng reportedly were among their neighbors, Deng said in 2010.It has since lost some of its cachet. Seven of eight units listed for sale last year on StreetEasy failed to sell. Most were then listed for rent. A one-bedroom condo on the ninth floor that was listed for $2.1 million in 2019 could be rented for $3,600 a month as of last week. The Trump Organization developed the building and still owns more than a dozen of the units, which form collateral for the mortgage.Brian Doran, general counsel at Investors Bank’s parent company, declined to comment.Doral ResortThe Trump Organization has almost $600 million of estimated debt coming due within the next four years. These include loans tied to Trump Tower in New York and the Doral Golf Resort outside Miami, where revenues dropped to $44 million last year from $77 million a year earlier.With longtime lender Deutsche Bank AG refusing to work with the former president, and corporations distancing themselves from the family business, that has raised questions over how easily the debt can be refinanced.Trump’s business would be far from alone in changing loan terms during the pandemic. There’s been a significant increase over the past year in commercial mortgage modifications, particularly in New York City, as Covid-19 wrecked property valuations, halted foreclosures and evictions, and allowed millions of people to temporarily stop paying rent.More than 10% of all commercial mortgages that have been bundled into securities have requested some kind of relief from creditors during the pandemic, said Manus Clancy, a senior managing director at data provider Trepp LLC. Most of those debtors were hotels and retail businesses, he said. Residential property owners have yet to face similar levels of distress.Representatives of the Trump Organization didn’t respond to a request for comment.The mortgage on his Park Avenue building was one of a few loans that came due during Trump’s first term. Three mortgages were paid off in 2017, while the due date on a loan for his Seven Springs estate in Mount Kisco, New York, was extended to 2029 from 2019. The rate on that mortgage increased to 4.5% from 4%.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
BlackRock Inc. said Thursday that it will raise its dividend by 14%. The investment management's new quarterly dividend of $4.13 a share, up from $3.63 a share, will be payable March 23 to shareholders of record on March 5. The stock slipped 0.1% in afternoon trading. At current prices, the new annual dividend rate implies a dividend yield of 2.23%, compared with the dividend yield for the SPDR Financial Select Sector ETF of 1.95% and the implied yield for the S&P 500 of 1.48%, according to FactSet. BlackRock's stock has gained 16.7% over the past three months, while the financial ETF has rallied 24.1% and the S&P 500 has advanced 12.1%.
Shares of Bionano Genomics Inc. gained 10.3% in premarket trading on Friday following a week of heavy trading on the stock. The company's stock price has tripled since the start of the year, closing at $8.27 on Jan. 21, compared to $3.08 on Dec. 31. According to Maxim Group's Jason McCarthy, the increased investor interest in Bionano stems from two years of work to raise awareness of its Saphyr optical genome mapping system and a five-day virtual symposium in January that focused on the technology. "Awareness, adoption, and messaging in 2019 and 2020 culminated with a cytogenetics symposium that has opened the eyes of the genomics world to Saphyr, in our view," he wrote. The Saphyr technology is allowed for research-use only in the U.S. The company launched two public offerings in the last week; the first raised $101.8 million in gross proceeds, the second aims to raise $200 million. The company lost nearly [l:$30 million on sales of $4.5 million|https://www.marketwatch.com/story/bionano-genomics-to-sell-more-shares-stock-falls-2021-01-19?mod=mw_quote_news|NEW] in the first nine months of 2020. Bionano's stock has soared 583.4% over the past, with most of the rally occurring in January. The S&P 500 is up 16.0% over the past 12 months.
Greenlight Capital hedge fund manager and notorious value investor David Einhorn just released his annual letter to investors, which revealed a record quarter for Einhorn to close out a difficult 2020.Finishing Strong: Greenlight took a massive hit from a large short position in Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) in 2020, but Greenlight finished strong with a 25% gain in the fourth quarter. Despite the disastrous Tesla short position, Einhorn was able to salvage a 5.2% overall gain for the fund for the year.The Greenlight letter disclosed several new long positions heading into 2021, including Fubotv Inc (NYSE: FUBO), Danimer Scientific Inc (NYSE: DNMR) and Neubase Therapeutics Inc (NYSE: NBSE), according to Bloomberg. All three stocks were trading higher by more than 10% on Thursday.Einhorn said the Tesla short position was Greenlight's biggest loser in 2020, although he reportedly adjusted the position prior to Tesla's inclusion in the S&P 500.Related Link: Q3 13F Roundup: How Buffett, Einhorn, Ackman And Others Adjusted Their PortfoliosEinhorn's Recent Struggles: Greenlight has significantly underperformed the S&P 500 in recent years as growth stocks have soared and value stocks have lagged. Greenlight reported a 14% net gain in 2019 following a 38% net loss in 2018, its worst year since the fund's inception in 1996.Einhorn gained mainstream notoriety on Wall Street back in 2007 when he disclosed a short position in Lehman Brothers prior to the bank's collapse in 2008. However, he had drawn a lot of criticism in recent years for his persistent short position in Tesla and his often heated public communications with Tesla CEO Elon Musk."TSLA cars are not a fad; if they were, TSLA would sell many more than it does. The fad is in owning TSLA stock," Einhorn said in the letter.As of the end of the third quarter, Greenlight's three largest long positions were Green Brick Partners Inc (NYSE: GRBK), Brighthouse Financial Inc (NASDAQ: BHF) and Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: AAWW).Benzinga's Take: Economist John Maynard Keynes famously said "the market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent," and Einhorn's performance in recent years highlight just how much of a toll a single short position can take on an entire portfolio when the stock in question gets caught in a potential market bubble. Short positions can result in unlimited theoretical losses, whereas standard long positions are capped at just 100% downside.Image credit: PokerListings, YouTubeSee more from Benzinga * Click here for options trades from Benzinga * Why This Enphase Energy Analyst Is Bullish Following Tesla-Driven Sell-Off * Here's How Americans Are Spending Their Stimulus Payments(C) 2021 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
Q: When the inheritor of a Roth IRA receives the funds, is it true that the distributions would not be taxed? It would be unusual for any taxes to be due on an RMD from an inherited Roth IRA. The only portion of an inherited IRA that could be subject to tax is earnings.
(Bloomberg) -- Intel Corp. shares tumbled after the incoming chief executive officer pledged to regain the company’s lead in chip manufacturing, countering growing calls from some investors to shed that part of its business.“I am confident that the majority of our 2023 products will be manufactured internally,” Pat Gelsinger said on a conference call to discuss financial results. “At the same time, given the breadth of our portfolio, it’s likely that we will expand our use of external foundries for certain technologies and products.”He plans to provide more details after officially taking over the CEO role Feb. 15, however Gelsinger was clear that Intel is sticking with its once-mighty manufacturing operation.“We’re not just interested in closing gaps,” he told analysts on a conference call Thursday. “We’re interested in resuming that position as the unquestioned leader in process technology.”Keeping production in-house may be bad for Intel because its manufacturing technology has fallen behind Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., which makes chips for many of Intel’s rivals. If the U.S. company can’t catch up, its products will become less competitive and it could lose sales and market share.Intel shares fell 5.7%% at 9:36 a.m. in New York on Friday. They have declined about 6% over the last 12 months compared with a 16% increase in the S&P 500.Activist Dan Loeb has suggested the company consider spinning off its manufacturing business. Other investors have been waiting to see if Intel will outsource more production.“Where investors are going to be disappointed is that some were expecting some sort of larger announcement of a strategic partnership with TSMC,” said Edward Jones & Co. analyst Logan Purk.TSMC recently announced capital spending of as much as $28 billion for 2021 to maintain its lead. Purk said Intel would have to increase its own spending massively to try to catch the Asian company.TSMC dropped 3.6%, the most since March 23. Shares of some Intel suppliers also dropped, with Screen Holdings Co. down 3.7% and Tokyo Electron Ltd. declined 1.6%.Read More: Intel Probes Potential Unauthorized Access to Earnings ReportGelsinger is taking the reins of a company in the midst of its worst crisis in at least a decade. It has been the largest chipmaker for most of the past 30 years, dominating the $400 billion industry by making the best designs in its own cutting-edge factories. Most other U.S. chip companies shut or sold plants and tapped other firms to make the components. Intel held out, arguing that doing both improved each side of its operations and created better semiconductors.That strategy has crumbled in recent years as Intel struggled to introduce new production techniques on time. It is now lagging behind TSMC and Samsung Electronics Co., which make chips for Intel competitors, such as Advanced Micro Devices Inc., and big Intel customers including Amazon.com Inc. and Apple Inc.AMD shares rallied in extended trading while Gelsinger discussed his goal of improving Intel’s in-house manufacturing.Intel’s quarterly results, released before the market closed on Thursday, initially sent the shares higher. A hacker accessed sensitive information from Intel’s website, prompting the company to report the numbers earlier than planned.Revenue in the period ending in March will be about $17.5 billion, the Santa Clara, California-based company said. This excludes the memory chip division Intel is selling. Analysts were looking for $16.2 billion on average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.Intel sees strong demand for laptops through the first half of the year, Chief Financial Officer George Davis said in an interview. Earnings in the second part of the year will partly depend on whether corporations increase spending on new hardware, he added.“The question is will we see support from enterprise,” he said. “They’ve been very quiet.”Intel’s personal computer chip division had revenue of $10.9 billion in the fourth quarter. Analysts expected $9.72 billion. Its higher-margin data center unit generated sales of $6.1 billion. Wall Street was looking for $5.37 billion.In Intel’s data center business, revenue from cloud service providers fell 15% from a year earlier. Enterprise and government sales slumped 25%. Volumes and average selling prices declined. Owners of large data centers are working their way through unused stockpiles of chips.In its PC business, Intel reported a 30% surge in laptop chip sales, even as average selling prices declined 15%.Fourth-quarter profit, excluding some items, was $1.52 a share on $20 billion of revenue, down 1% from a year earlier. Analysts had estimated $1.11 a share on revenue of $17.5 billion.Intel’s gross margin, the percentage of revenue remaining after deducting the cost of production, was 56.8%. This is a key indicator of the strength of its manufacturing and product pricing. Intel has historically delivered margins of about 60%.(Updates with shares in sixth paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
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Shares of Climate Change Crisis Real Impact I Acquisition Corp. soared 48.3% in premarket trading Friday, after special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) announced a deal in which EVgo Services LLC will go public. EVgo, which boasts being the "nation's largest electric vehicle (EV) public fast charging network," said its expects $575 million in proceeds from the merger deal, values the combined company at $2.6 billion. After the deal closes, which is expected to occur in the second quarter of 2021, the combined company will be named EVgo Inc. and the stock will trade under the ticker symbol "EVGO." EVgo said it has has more than 800 charging locations in 67 metropolitan markets across 34 states. "Time is precious for all of us, so a public fast charging option with an expanding footprint like EVgo is essential to meet the rapidly growing needs of EV drivers of all types," said EVgo Chief Executive Cathy Zoi. The SPAC's stock, which went public on Nov. 20, has rallied 24.6% year to date through Thursday, while the Renaissance IPO ETF has gained 8.4% and the S&P 500 has tacked on 2.6%.
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