29.01 0.00 (0.00%)
After hours: 5:00PM EDT
|Bid||28.37 x 900|
|Ask||29.06 x 800|
|Day's Range||28.58 - 29.24|
|52 Week Range||21.34 - 36.25|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||1.20|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||35.86|
|Earnings Date||Oct 30, 2019 - Nov 4, 2019|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||0.20 (0.68%)|
|1y Target Est||33.00|
President Trump is doubling down on his defense of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh after the New York Times published a new allegation of sexual misconduct. The president called the allegation a "smear" and demanded the resignation of New York Times staffers involved in the piece, while Democrats say the FBI failed to check out that claim a year ago before Kavanaugh was confirmed. Nancy Cordes reports.
“The View” co-hosts weigh in on new book that reveals more allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, though critics say a New York Times article by its authors left out vital details.
Millions of people around the world are marching today in what’s expected to be the largest climate protest to date, ahead of the UN climate summit this weekend. The global wake-up call is one of several ...
Donald Trump has sought to discredit an unidentified whistleblower from the US intelligence community as “highly partisan”, following allegations that the US president had an alarming conversation with a foreign leader. Mr Trump said on Twitter on Friday that the “radical left Democrats and their fake news partners, headed up again by little Adam Schiff”, a Democratic congressman, were “batting zero for 21” against him.
The New York Times Company’s Board of Directors today declared a regular quarterly dividend of $.05 per share on the Company’s Class A and Class B common stock. The New York Times Company (NYT) is a global media organization dedicated to enhancing society by creating, collecting and distributing high-quality news and information. The Company includes The New York Times, NYTimes.com and related properties.
The “failing New York Times” has been doing a fair amount of succeeding this year in a business sense. President Donald Trump ramped up his criticism of the newspaper in recent days, joining others in criticizing The Times after it published an essay on an upcoming book on Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh that included a crucial omission that resulted in an embarrassing correction.
Between an offensive tweet and a significant revision, the New York Times’ handling of a new sexual misconduct allegation against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh attracted almost as much attention as the accusation itself.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- President Donald Trump would love nothing more than to announce an end to the trade war with China and relief for the country’s farmers, who have been hit especially hard. But history is likely to get in the way for reasons well beyond his control.In the past century, American agriculture sustained two big boom-and-bust cycles. The current downturn features a familiar combination of factors that led to both: First, rising exports fueled growth. Then the government supercharged it. Inevitably, things went bust.The first great boom arrived with the outbreak of World War I. As Europe descended into war – and men left farms to fight – many countries turned to the U.S. for wheat, corn and other crops. Most commodity prices ended up doubling.In 1916, the federal government stoked the fire with the Federal Farm Loan Act, which extended long-term financing to farmers. It proved to be a popular program for an industry seeing nothing but prosperity on the horizon.When the war ended, European nations ramped up their own agricultural production, creating a global glut. Prices fell by half, and the value of farms, which had hit record levels, collapsed. Farmers began defaulting on mortgages over the course of the 1920s.This slow-moving crisis came to a head in the Great Depression, particularly after protectionist tariffs killed what was left of a once-vibrant export market. Farmers went bankrupt en masse, and they helped send President Herbert Hoover packing when they joined the New Deal coalition. Under President Franklin Roosevelt, farmers became the beneficiaries – or the victims, depending on your perspective – of a staggering array of subsidies and price controls.American agriculture eventually recovered, but in the 1970s, the now-familiar ingredients of the boom-and-bust cycle – government aid and export-led growth – returned. But this time it wasn’t war that fueled the farming bonanza. Rather, it was an unusual combination of geopolitical events and tax policies that got things going. The end result was the same.In the early 1970s, President Richard Nixon took the U.S. off the gold standard, setting in motion the transition to a system of flexible exchange rates. The dollar’s value declined precipitously and inflation started to rage out of control. Bad news for the nation’s economy, yes, but good news for its farmers: They could now compete with other big agricultural exporters like Argentina.After a number of other nations sustained crop failures, U.S. farmers began raking it in. They even began exporting massive amounts of grain to the Soviet Union. Between 1970 and 1973 alone, grain exports and farm income – measured in constant dollars – more than doubled.At the same time, the federal government kept many of the price supports and other subsidies in place, making the agricultural sector look like a surefire place to invest money, particularly as inflation eroded the purchasing power of cash. Farmers kept borrowing money to buy land, simply to gather more of an asset that only increased in value.Government tax policies – a combination of investment credits and accelerated depreciation schemes – encouraged farmers to keep expanding. One farmer who kept buying land and equipment was interviewed by the New York Times. Every morning, he “woke up $8,000 richer” thanks to rising property values, he said.It all fell apart. Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker declared war on inflation, slowly increasing the debt burden of farmers. The Soviets invaded Afghanistan, prompting President Jimmy Carter to unleash a grain embargo. As inflation subsided and the dollar rose relative to other currencies, American farmers saw their world collapse.The result was a repeat of the 1920s: foreclosures, bankruptcies of farm equipment dealers and other unpleasantness. Farmers vented their anger in the election of 1980, helping make Carter a one-term president. But the crisis continued to play out over many years. By the end of the 1980s, everyone was talking (or singing) about the plight of the American farmer.The cycle is now repeating itself in the 21st century. This time, it is China rising as the most visible buyer of American crops, particularly soybeans. Yet again, Washington made matters worse.Back in 2005, a new federal program made its debut: the Renewable Fuels Standard. Offering huge incentives, it helped lead to a 10-fold increase in the corn produced for ethanol.The combination set up American farmers for another reckoning. But unlike earlier episodes, responsibility for the snowballing crisis lies with one man: President Trump. His trade war with China has savaged farmers dependent on exports. At the same time, the Environmental Protection Agency began exempting refineries from requirements to add ethanol to gasoline and other fuels.Trump may be the catalyst for the coming crisis, but historical patterns suggest this moment would have come sooner or later, regardless of who was president. For the third time in the past hundred years, the nation’s farmers have been riding a speculative wave driven by exports and government programs. And now it’s coming to an end.That means we’ll be hearing more about farmers’ woes in the coming presidential election. And while the nation's farmers may no longer have the political clout they once did, Trump shouldn't take them for granted. It’s a lesson that Herbert Hoover and Jimmy Carter learned the hard way.To contact the author of this story: Stephen Mihm at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Mike Nizza at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Stephen Mihm, an associate professor of history at the University of Georgia, is a contributor to Bloomberg Opinion.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- The California Assembly has 61 Democrats and 18 Republicans. The California Senate has 29 Democrats and 11 Republicans. As with everywhere else in the U.S., the two parties are divided on most issues, from regulating the gig economy to limiting gun purchases. But there is one issue on which both Democrats and Republicans in California are aligned: paying, at long last, college athletes.(5)On Monday, a bill that would override the “amateurism” rules of the National Collegiate Athletic Association and give athletes at the major California universities the right to capitalize financially on their name, likeness and image passed the Assembly by a vote of 72-0. Then, on Wednesday, the state senate passed the Fair Pay to Play Act, which allows athletes to market themselves for things like personal sponsorships, endorsements, and video-game licensing, by a margin of 39-0. Not a single dissent! I still can’t quite believe it.There have always been a few lonely voices calling for the athletes who play college football and basketball -- the revenue sports, as they’re called -- to be paid. One such person, believe it or not, was Walter Byers, the man who ran the NCAA from 1951 to 1987. In retirement, he turned against the amateurism rules he had long enforced, describing them (correctly) as the means by which the college sports cartel avoided paying its labor force.Another was Sonny Vaccaro, who did as much as anyone to commercialize college sports; he marketed basketball sneakers for Nike, Adidas and Reebok before quitting to fight the NCAA. His beef was that it was wrong for everyone involved in college sports to be making money except the players.But until recently, those voices went largely unheard. Most people -- even ardent fans -- ignored the question of whether college athletes were being exploited. If they got angry at the NCAA it wasn’t because of its cartel-like nature, or the harshness of its bylaws. It was usually because the school they cheered for was being punished “unfairly” for violating some rule or other. (Fans always think their university is being punished unfairly.)Then, in 2009, the former UCLA basketball star, Ed O’Bannon, sued the NCAA after seeing his avatar in a video game -- and realized that the video game company was paying the NCAA for the rights to his image instead of him. Two years later, Taylor Branch wrote his ground-breaking article in The Atlantic, “The Shame of College Sports.” It included this memorable line: “The tragedy at the heart of college sports is not that some college athlete are getting paid” -- under the table, he meant -- “but that more of them are not.”The coastal elites started paying attention.I jumped in a few month later, after doing some research that convinced me that the exploitation of basketball and football players at big-time college programs was unconscionable. “Frontline” did a documentary about exploited athletes, “Money and March Madness.” Sports columnists began regularly taking the NCAA to task. The issue was rising to the surface.When the O’Bannon case went to trial in June 2014, it was widely covered in the media and the NCAA did not come off well. (Charles Pierce, writing in Grantland, described the NCAA’s arguments as “the threadbare piety in which it wraps its heedless commercialism.”) It ended with both the trial judge and the appeals court agreeing that the NCAA’s rules outlining and defining amateur athletics amounted to an antitrust violation. But sadly, the appeals court bought the NCAA’s argument that amateurism was what differentiated college sports from professional sports, so the remedies it allowed did nothing to overturn the status quo.The unanimous vote in favor of the Fair Pay to Play Act shows just how far we’ve come since then. It’s a little like marriage equality. For years, public opinion moved an inch at a time -- and then all at once, it seemed, two-thirds of the country supported it.California State Senator Nancy Skinner, the sponsor of the bill, is a perfect example of how people have come around. In November 2015, she heard the economist Andy Schwarz speak at a Rotary Club meeting in Oakland. Schwarz has been fighting the NCAA since 2004; he was one of the people who helped gin up the O’Bannon case. He can be absolutely withering about the NCAA cartel.As Skinner listened to him, she later told the New York Times:All of a sudden the light bulb went off. Rather than being the bystander going, “Gosh this is so unfair, how do these people get away with this?” I’m like, “Hey, if I’m in the Senate, can the state do something about it?”She also framed the issue in exactly the way critics like Schwarz and Vaccaro have all these years: “I don’t know of any other industry that can rely on a large set of people’s talent for which they deny them any earnings and all compensation.”The bill embraces what’s called the Olympic model. Olympic athletes aren’t paid directly for competing, but they are allowed to accept money from endorsements, sponsorships, autographs, and the like. Skinner’s bill gives athletes at the big California universities the same ability, overriding NCAA bylaws that forbid such payments. It’s not everything. Athletes who lack the star power to reap endorsement money will still be unable to capture their economic value to a university. But it’s a start.Or perhaps I should say, it might be a start. You see, assuming the bill is signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom, it won’t take effect until 2023. That would give the NCAA and the affected California universities plenty of time to sue to have it overturned.Absurdly, the NCAA says that the bill is “unconstitutional,” because it “would remove that essential element of fairness and equal treatment that forms the bedrock of college sports.” In a letter to Newsom, the NCAA also claimed that if California athletes are allowed “an unrestricted name, image and likeness scheme” it will put every other Division 1 university at a disadvantage.I’m not so sure about that. For one thing, Schwarz has co-founded the Historical Basketball League, an eight team league that will pay college-age basketball players upwards of $150,000 a year before they enter the pros. Its first year of operation will be 2020, and if it’s even mildly successful in drawing top high school players away from college basketball it will put enormous pressure on the NCAA’s amateurism model.For another thing, California is unlikely to be the only state to pass a law similar to the Fair Pay to Play Act. Earlier this year, Washington State considered similar legislation, which will likely go forward now that California has led the way. I imagine by 2023 ten or 15 states might have their own version of the law – at which point the move to give athletes their economic rights, the same rights as any other American, could turn into a stampede.Yes, the winds of change are blowing. What the California bill suggests most of all is that the days when the NCAA could hold back progress are finally coming to an end.(1) The more common term, of course, is “student athlete,” but I avoid it at all costs. It is an Orwellian phrase, devised by the NCAA in the 1950s to avoid having to pay workers’ compensation to injured football players.To contact the author of this story: Joe Nocera at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Timothy L. O'Brien at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Joe Nocera is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering business. He has written business columns for Esquire, GQ and the New York Times, and is the former editorial director of Fortune. His latest project is the Bloomberg-Wondery podcast "The Shrink Next Door."For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Donald Trump’s presidential helicopter will set down at Under Armour’s global headquarters in downtown Baltimore on Thursday, two years after the sports-apparel giant’s Chief Executive Officer Kevin Plank came under fire from some of the brand’s top pitchmen for praising the president.After arriving on Marine One, Trump will make the short drive to the Inner Harbor hotel where he is expected to address a gathering of Republican lawmakers. It will be Trump’s first trip to the city since he attacked Baltimore as a “rat and rodent infested mess” earlier this summer.Top Under Armor endorsers – including Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry and actor Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson – criticized Plank in 2017 after the mogul said the president was “pro-business” and a “real asset” in a CNBC interview. Plank later took out a full-page newspaper ad asserting that that his comments “did not accurately reflect” his intent and that his company opposed the administration’s executive order banning travel from a set of Muslim-majority countries.Local groups in Baltimore were planning to protest the president’s visit amid anger over his comments earlier this summer. Over a series of days, Trump suggested without evidence that political leaders in Baltimore were corrupt and had stolen billions in federal dollars. He also described the city as “disgusting,” and claimed “no human being would want to live there.”Diane Pelkey, Under Armour’s senior vice president of global communications, said allowing Marine One to land was a “a consistent courtesy we have provided for public officials since 2014, as part of our longstanding relationship with the U.S. Secret Service and Baltimore City Police Department.” The White House didn’t immediately comment on the selection of the landing site.Harris Seeks to Find Her Lane in Third Debate (4:30 p.m.)Kamala Harris will seek to affirmatively define her lane in the Democratic presidential primary at the Thursday debate in Houston, an adviser said hours before it began.The adviser, who discussed strategy on condition of anonymity, said Harris plans to set herself apart from her main rivals by suggesting she’s a unifier but one who doesn’t long for the past or engage in divisive ideological battles.The preview is a tacit acknowledgment of one of Harris’s struggles. After a strong first debate late June, the California Democrat has had a rough summer and fallen to a distant fourth place in the polls amid questions about what her political philosophy is. She has sought to court ultra-progressive voters as well as moderates in the primary. -- Sahil KapurWarren Asks Amazon to Drop Contractors (12:18 p.m.)Elizabeth Warren is calling out Amazon.com Inc. for “ignoring labor laws and fostering work conditions that are detrimental to the safety and basic humanity of its workers.”The presidential candidate and Massachusetts senator on Thursday demanded that Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos drop contractors that violate labor laws and enforce safety standards to protect delivery drivers and the general public.“Amazon’s pursuit of larger profit margins, increasingly unsustainable delivery expectations, and methods to avoid regulatory and legal oversight are alarming,” Warren said in a letter co-signed by Democratic Senators Richard Blumenthal and Sherrod Brown. The letter cited news reports, including a joint investigation by ProPublica and New York Times, that said Amazon contractors were involved in more than 60 accidents since June 2015, causing multiple deaths.Warren asked Bezos to respond with details on Amazon’s policy on third-party drivers as well as whether the e-commerce giant has tried to thwart creation of a union. Warren last year, along with Bernie Sanders, criticized Bezos after reports of anti-union efforts at the company’s Whole Foods chain.“Amazon is proud of our strong safety and labor compliance record across our transportation network of employees and contractors, and we continue to drive improvements that benefit our transportation providers, our customers and the public,” Amazon said in a statement. -- Kim ChipmanTrump Tries to Upstage Debate With Banner, Ads (8:13 a.m.)Donald Trump is making sure he gets his say in Houston on Thursday.The president’s re-election campaign plans to deploy an aerial banner and full page ads in the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News ahead of the third Democratic primary debate at Texas Southern University.The ads will contrast Democrats’ “disastrous plans for America with President Trump’s clear record of accomplishments,” according to a campaign release.The newspaper ads take on some of the Democrats’ positions on private health insurance, the fossil fuel industry, and regulation.The 4,800 square feet air-banner will read: “SOCIALISM WILL KILL HOUSTON’S ECONOMY! VOTE TRUMP 2020.” -- Kathleen HunterCOMING UPTen candidates will face off in the third Democratic debate tonight in Houston. It’ll be the first time Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren share a debate stage. Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Julian Castro, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O’Rourke, Bernie Sanders and Andrew Yang will also participate.Elizabeth Warren will appear Saturday at the Massachusetts Democratic Convention in Springfield.Biden will speak Sunday at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, to commemorate the 56th anniversary of a bombing that killed four girls and injured 22 other people.On Monday, Biden, Sanders, Klobuchar, Tulsi Gabbard, Buttigieg and Bill DeBlasio will attend the Galivants Ferry Stump in South Carolina.Also on Monday, Warren will speak at a rally in New York City’s Washington Square Park.Many candidates will appear at the LGBTQ Presidential Forum in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Friday. Contenders who have confirmed they will attend are: Biden, Booker, Buttigieg, Castro, Gabbard, Harris, Klobuchar, Joe Sestak, Warren and Marianne Williamson.(Adds Under Armour comment in last paragraph of Under Armour item.)\--With assistance from Kathleen Miller, Kathleen Hunter, Ben Brody, Kim Chipman and Sahil Kapur.To contact the reporters on this story: Jordan Fabian in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org;Justin Sink in Washington at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Wendy Benjaminson at firstname.lastname@example.org, Max BerleyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- AT&T Inc.’s WarnerMedia reached a production deal with superstar director J.J. Abrams, locking in one of Hollywood’s hottest filmmakers as it prepares to do battle with streaming services from Netflix Inc. and Walt Disney Co.Abrams, whose film credits include recent versions of “Star Wars” and “Star Trek,” will create original TV shows, movies and games for the studio through 2024, according to a statement Thursday. Financial terms weren’t revealed.The signing highlights the increasingly fierce competition for talent among Hollywood’s biggest media companies, including newer players like Netflix and Amazon.com Inc. Last year, WarnerMedia signed Greg Berlanti, producer of shows like “Riverdale” and “The Flash,” with a contract topping $300 million.The New York Times said in June that Abrams was likely to get a $500 million deal. But the contract was ultimately worth closer to $250 million, the Hollywood Reporter said on Thursday.The WarnerMedia pact builds on a TV relationship with Warner Bros. that began in 2006. But Abrams’s production company, Bad Robot, will honor its existing obligations to Paramount Pictures.Talent BattleOver the past couple years, Netflix has managed to cinch deals with top TV producers including Ryan Murphy and Shonda Rhimes. That’s given leverage to big-name filmmakers and showrunners, especially as studios need more content than ever.Hollywood’s legacy companies are pushing into streaming to survive in an age when traditional pay-TV customers are canceling service for cheaper online alternatives. WarnerMedia, Disney and Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal all offer or plan to offer paid streaming services.Abrams has directed some of Hollywood’s highest-profile films, including “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” which took in $2.07 billion in worldwide ticket sales. His next “Star Wars” movie, “The Rise of Skywalker,” is due in theaters on Dec. 20.To contact the reporter on this story: Lucas Shaw in Los Angeles at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Turner at firstname.lastname@example.orgFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. Huawei Technologies Co., after having practically shut down its Washington operation, last month added a trio of well-connected lobbyists to a swelling corps of influencers.It has sent executives to schmooze journalists and even started using Twitter to persuade the Trump administration not to ruin its business.But it may be an unwinnable fight.“Huawei is mistrusted by intelligence community careerists, congressional Democrats and Republicans, and many (but not all) American tech companies,” Bruce Mehlman, former assistant secretary of commerce for technology policy, said in an email. “They have a much larger problem than just the Trump administration.”The White House has been pushing allies to cut ties with the Chinese company over allegations its networking gear poses an espionage risk. The campaign has had mixed success but Vice President Mike Pence last week urged Iceland not to use Huawei gear and recently signed a security agreement with Poland that could block the company from the Eastern European nation.At home, the Trump administration banned U.S. companies from doing business with the Chinese technology giant. Lawmakers who last year blocked government agencies from buying Huawei gear are considering more legislation aimed at the company that Senator Ted Cruz called “a state spy agency masquerading as a technology company.”The company isn’t giving up trying to win friends and influence people in Washington. In March, it registered Washington lobbyists with Congress for the first time since 2012. Those hired include Samir Jain, a Jones Day partner who was a cybersecurity official under Democratic President Barack Obama.Huawei also has engaged the law firms Sidley Austin LLP and Steptoe & Johnson, and Michael Esposito, who on his firm’s website is described as part of the senior leadership of the Republican National Committee.On Aug. 30, three lobbyists from Squire Patton Boggs registered to work for Huawei. They include Edward Newberry, who once was deemed a “King of K Street” in a New York Times article, according to the law firm. Jack Deschauer, a former director of Senate affairs for the secretary of defense and Jeff Turner, an expert on U.S. scrutiny of foreign companies, also registered. None of the three returned a telephone call seeking comment.The company has also hired Boston-based Racepoint Global Inc. and WPP’s BCW LLC.Racepoint, with a two-year agreement signed in September 2018, is to provide “ongoing public relations support” including advice on strategy and social media, according to a foreign-agent disclosure filing with the Justice Department. Racepoint won’t have direct contact with government officials, the firm said in the filing.BCW in March registered its agreement to provide advice to Huawei, with a budget not to exceed $160,000 and work to include media outreach and opinion research “to be billed at crisis rates,” according to the filing. In an August filing, BCW said its relation with Huawei had ended. Catherine Sullivan, a BCW spokeswoman, declined to take questions about the relationship.Huawei has deployed Tim Danks, a vice president with the company since 2009, and Andy Purdy, its chief U.S. security officer in the U.S. Purdy joined Huawei in 2012. Earlier he helped establish the Department of Homeland Security’s cybersecurity office and served as its leader for two years ending in 2006.“We’d like to engage,” Danks said in an interview with Bloomberg reporters and editors. “The U.S. government hasn’t been very forthcoming.”In a Bloomberg TV interview Aug. 29, Danks said, “We believe that there is a way forward. We’re hoping that with further engagement with the U.S. government that we’ll be able to find a solution to the current situation.”Days after Danks spoke, Trump renewed his criticism of Huawei, calling it “a big concern of our military, of our intelligence agencies.” Earlier his administration had moved to bar the gearmaker from American markets and deny it key U.S. parts. U.S. officials say Huawei gear could be used for spying by Beijing -- an allegation rejected by the company.“The administration has pretty much made is position clear,” said James Lewis, director of the technology policy program at the Center for Strategic & International Studies in Washington. “How are you going to to talk them out of that?”As the company has become a focal point for U.S.-Chinese tensions, some have regarded it as bargaining chip in sensitive trade negotiations. China and the U.S. on Sept. 5 announced that face-to-face negotiations aimed at ending their tariff war will be held in Washington in the coming weeks, amid skepticism on both sides that progress can be made.Even as Danks and Purdy propose ways to end the standoff with the U.S., Huawei elsewhere has veered to defiance. The company in a tweet last week cast his visit as part of a political agenda that will disrupt Europe’s adoption of fast 5G mobile technology, and cited “U.S. pressure against China and Huawei.”Trump’s export restrictions stand to cut off vital supplies, from Qualcomm Inc. chipsets to Google’s Android operating software.The crisis may be deepening: Google confirmed the upcoming Huawei flagship smartphone won’t have licensed Google apps, a minus for consumers wanting access to the search giant’s proprietary maps and other features. Sales outside China could be slashed in half, Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Charles Shum said in a Sept. 4 note. Huawei’s sales in China, where consumers have had no access to Google services since 2009, won’t be affected.Danks and Purdy, the Huawei executives, in the Aug. 28 interview suggested that security concerns could be met by applying uniform standards to all companies involved in telecommunications networks.Huawei executives reject the notion that the company may do the bidding of China’s spy agencies by relaying traffic that flows through its network gear. “We couldn’t comply. We don’t have access to that data,” Danks said.The Trump administration has delayed implementation of its Huawei restrictions. Purdy said that if Huawei reaches an agreement with the administration, “We’re hoping we can continue to serve our small rural carriers.”The company’s founder and chief executive officer, Ren Zhengfei, in an interview with the New York Times published Tuesday, proposed negotiations with the U.S.Ren’s daughter, Meng Wanzhou, is in Canada awaiting extradition proceedings after her arrest last year at the behest of the U.S. government, on charges related to trade sanctions.The Trump administration was right to move against Huawei, and shouldn’t ease restrictions as part of trade talks, billionaire investor George Soros said in a Sept. 9 opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal.While the largest U.S. carriers have spurned Huawei gear over security concerns, smaller operators have purchased it, citing low prices and good reliability. Some of them cite a lack of public evidence pinpointing the alleged security risk, and suspect the entire dispute is tied to leverage in the trade talks.“We’re kind of in the middle,” said Jim Kail, president of LHTC Broadband, which serves rural communities in Pennsylvania.“We’re not going to jeopardize our national security just for a buck. But there’s no proof of it,” Kail said. “We’re going to continue using it until somebody tells us differently.”The idea of a uniform standard echoes proposals from European countries that are loath to annoy China by singling out its leading technology company, said Lewis, of the Center for Strategic & International Studies in Washington.“It depends where you set the standards,” Lewis said in an interview. “If you set them high, it makes it hard to buy Huawei gear. If you set them low, it makes it easy to buy Huawei.”Equipment from the Shenzhen-based company is not secure, in part because equipment can take in software updates that create vulnerabilities, even after being judged to be benign when installed, Lewis said.The Huawei executives said it’s a “misconception” to think that complex networks can be manipulated remotely.\--With assistance from Bill Allison.To contact the reporter on this story: Todd Shields in Washington at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jon Morgan at firstname.lastname@example.org, Elizabeth WassermanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- The Athletic, a sports-news upstart that relies on reader subscriptions, is making its first major foray into ad-supported content.The company is introducing a daily podcast later this month called “The Lead,” working with Wondery LLC to produce the show from Los Angeles. It is the first daily podcast for the Athletic and the first to be published entirely outside the site’s paywall. Wondery is a veteran podcast producer best known for true-crime programs such as “Dirty John.”The idea is to mimic the success of “The Daily,” a New York Times podcast that leads the industry in U.S. listeners. Hosted by Kavitha Davidson and Anders Kelto, “The Lead” will take a similar approach of focusing on one major story each day.“There hasn’t been, up until now, a daily in-depth sports podcast that does for sports what ‘The Daily’ has done for general news,” Hernan Lopez, founder and chief executive officer of Wondery, said in an interview.In each episode, Davidson and Kelto will talk with reporters from the Athletic about a story they are covering in their written work. The first episode will address next week’s NFL game between the New Orleans Saints and the Los Angeles Rams, a rematch of last season’s NFC championship game, which included one of the worst blown calls in league history.On LocationThe show will be distributed on Apple, Spotify and other major podcast platforms on weekdays beginning Monday.“They have more reporters in the places where the story is happening than anybody else,” said Lopez, who will be announcing the launch of “The Lead” at a podcast industry conference in San Francisco on Wednesday.Though the podcast will feature ads, the main idea is to get the Athletic in front of more people.“For us, it’s really about finding potential subscribers,” said Alex Mather, co-founder and CEO of the Athletic.Mather and his co-founder Adam Hansmann started the site on the premise that sports fans would pay to read original reporting about their favorite teams. It began in Chicago in 2016 and now has more than 400 reporters and editors covering more than 270 teams in nearly 50 cities in the U.S. and Canada, as well as the English Premier League.Venture BackingIn August, Mather said the site had more than 600,000 subscribers. The company has raised more than $90 million in venture capital and has yet to turn a profit.The absence of advertising has been a selling point for the Athletic since its founding. “The Lead” will include as many as three ads in each 20-minute show, but podcast listeners have grown accustomed to that approach.“It generally is a part of free podcasts and we’re comfortable with that,” Mather said. Athletic readers, he said, can rest assured that this is not the beginning of ad creep on the site. “We may experiment with advertising on free products, but our subscription product is absolutely sacrosanct.”The Athletic first ventured into podcasts in April of this year and now produces 85. Most run on a schedule of one free episode per week, plus an additional episode for subscribers only. Up until “The Lead,” only one of its podcasts -- a weekly show about the Cincinnati Bengals that had advertisers before it became part of the Athletic platform -- included ads.The Athletic and Wondery will split revenue from “The Lead” evenly, after subtracting Wondery’s production costs. The 20th Century Fox movie “Ad Astra” is slated to be the first advertiser.To contact the reporter on this story: Ira Boudway in New York at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Nick Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org, John J. Edwards IIIFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- What do you do when your job places you at the start of a revolution that's about to change business, the economy — indeed, all of society? If you are a tech journalist like Kara Swisher, this week's guest on Masters in Business, you build an unrivaled source list of A-list C-suite executives, and you ask them tough questions about their businesses. That is how Swisher, founder of Recode, has spent the past few decades. Writing about the internet, technology and Silicon Valley, she penned several books, won a Gerald Loeb Award for her reporting, hosts the Recode Decode and Pivot podcasts, and publishes at Vox/Recode.In our conversation, she said that none of this was part of her original plan. Swisher studied international affairs at Georgetown University as an undergraduate, expecting to follow her father into military service. Disappointed she could not join the armed forces because she is gay, she instead went to Columbia University’s School of Journalism to fight very different battles. Today that manifests in her weekly op-ed column for the New York Times, where she holds the technology masters of the universe accountable for their bad business decisions or personal behavior.Swisher observes that the impact of money on Silicon Valley has skewed how its denizens see not just the world, but also themselves. She notes that Silicon Valley practices what she calls libertarianism lite — an intellectually “arrested development” approach to corporate responsibility.Her favorite books are here; a transcript of our conversation is available here.You can stream/download the full conversation, including the podcast extras, on Apple iTunes, Overcast, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Bloomberg and Stitcher. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here.Next week, we speak with Sir John Browne, chief executive officer of BP Plc from 1995 and 2007, and author of numerous books, including, most recently, "Make, Think, Imagine: Engineering the Future of Civilisation.”To contact the author of this story: Barry Ritholtz at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Greiff at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Barry Ritholtz is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is chairman and chief investment officer of Ritholtz Wealth Management, and was previously chief market strategist at Maxim Group. He is the author of “Bailout Nation.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- One of the unloveliest ideas in economics goes by the name “value of a statistical life” — VSL for short. In the U.S. government, the current value of a human life is about $10 million.That means that if a highway safety regulation would save 10 lives, it is worth $100 million — a figure that must be weighed against the regulation’s cost.Because the government’s decisions often depend on the outcome of cost-benefit analysis, the VSL is important. It helps determine whether and when people will be protected from dirty air, dangerous workplaces, unsafe drinking water and unhealthy food.A lot of people rebel against the idea of assigning a monetary value to a human life. In a provocative new book, the New York Times editorial writer Binyamin Appelbaum associates that idea with an assortment of others that he abhors, and through which economists have (in his view) contributed to rise of intolerable inequality.Some of Appelbaum’s charges might be right, but he’s wrong about VSL. Any government is inevitably going to assign monetary values to mortality risks. Doing that need not promote inequality in any way. Actually it can combat inequality — and increase safety in the process.Consider a concrete problem, loosely based on a long-standing debate about the regulation of arsenic in drinking water.Suppose that the Environmental Protection Agency is considering three possible regulations. The first, and the least aggressive, would save 30 lives per year. The second would save 40 lives per year. The third, and the most aggressive, would save 50 lives per year.Not surprisingly, the first would be the least expensive, costing $240 million per year. The second would cost $800 million per year. The third would cost $2 billion per year.Would you support some kind of regulation? If so, which option would you choose?Whatever your answer is, you’re inevitably assigning some kind of monetary value to lives saved. If you choose the least expensive approach, you’re saying that it’s worthwhile to spend $8 million per life saved — but not $20 million or more. If you choose the most expensive approach, you’re saying that you’re willing to mandate an expenditure of $40 million per life saved.How should we figure out which number is right? To understand current practice, it’s crucial to see that the government isn’t really assigning a monetary value to human lives. It’s instead trying to assign a monetary value to statistical risks.The current figure of $10 million comes from a variety of economic studies appearing to show that in actual markets, workers and consumers generally demand, and are paid, about $100 to face a death risk of 1 in 100,000, or $1,000 to face a death risk of 1 in 10,000. Economists tend to prefer actual markets and to be suspicious of surveys, on the grounds that people’s answers to hypothetical questions are unreliable. But if you ask people how much they would pay to eliminate a risk of 1 in 100,000, you shouldn’t be surprised if the average comes in around $100.Sure, it’s possible to raise questions about evidence of these kinds. Do workers and consumers even know when they’re facing a death risk of 1 in 100,000? Isn’t their bargaining power limited? And why shouldn’t companies, imposing mortality risks on people, pay out a lot more than workers and consumers are able to obtain in the marketplace?These are legitimate questions. But to see why the current approach isn’t at all crazy, return to the case of arsenic. When a drinking-water regulation is imposed, its cost is likely to show up on people’s water bills. If you require people to spend $200 to eliminate a risk of 1 in 100,000, it is not at all clear that you are helping them. Maybe they want to spend that money on something else. After all, there are a lot of 1-in-100,000 risks out there.If you ask people to spend $200 on each of those risks, you will probably be diverting their money from higher-priority items. And if you require large expenditures on low-probability risks, you’ll be hurting poor people in particular — if only because they don’t have a lot of money to spend. Here is the key point: Government doesn’t do poor people a favor, or promote equality, if it forces them to pay a lot more for safety than they’re willing to pay.To be sure, you might think it’s terribly unfair if consumers end up paying the cost of cleaner drinking water. If public officials can find a way to charge the water companies without hurting consumers, it might be a lot better. But as a practical matter, finding that way might be impossible. And if you do end up charging the water companies, you might hurt their employees — ensuring that they suffer from reduced wages or fewer jobs.Critics of VSL, including Appelbaum, want more redistribution of resources from those at the top to those at the bottom. On that score, they’re right. But trying to proceed without a VSL is not a sensible way of getting there.Trade-offs are inevitable, which means that a VSL is inevitable too. If you care about economic inequality, you can’t wish them away.To contact the author of this story: Cass R. Sunstein at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Jonathan Landman at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Cass R. Sunstein is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is the author of “The Cost-Benefit Revolution” and a co-author of “Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- In 2017, the CIA reportedly pulled “one of its highest-level covert sources” out of Russia, fearing for the safety of the spy who apparently played a major role in shaping the U.S. intelligence community’s views of Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.If Russian media have correctly figured out the asset’s identity — and there are good reasons to believe they have — the ability of the U.S. government to understand what’s going on inside the Kremlin is pretty weak. That doesn’t mean, however, that U.S. intelligence is flying blind when it comes to Russian plots and schemes.CNN reported Monday that the U.S. evacuated the agent from Russia in 2017, in part out of concern that President Donald Trump could, in his freewheeling style, somehow lead the Russians to discover the spy’s identity. According to the New York Times, it was this asset who “was instrumental to the C.I.A.’s most explosive conclusion about Russia’s interference campaign: that President Vladimir V. Putin ordered and orchestrated it himself.” His exfiltration “effectively blinded American intelligence officials to the view from inside Russia as they sought clues about Kremlin interference in the 2018 midterm elections and next year’s presidential contest.”After the U.S. reports came out, an anonymous, well-informed Russian Telegram channel, The Ruthless PR Guy, reported that the asset was Kremlin official Oleg Smolenkov. On Tuesday morning, the Moscow daily Kommersant published a story confirming that it was him based on anonymous sources and some pretty convincing circumstantial evidence. Smolenkov, his wife and three children went on vacation to Montenegro on June 14, 2017, and disappeared without a trace. A murder investigation initiated in Moscow got nowhere. Kommersant found a notice in the Washington Post saying a couple named Oleg and Antonina Smolenkov (the wife has the same name as the missing official’s) bought a house in Stafford, Virginia, in June 2018. It also discovered a record of a deed on a Stafford property in Oleg Smolenkov’s name. On Tuesday, an NBC correspondent apparently visited the property, although the resulting story didn’t mention Smolenkov’s name or the Stafford location. It did say that, once the reporter rang the doorbell, two young men came racing up in an SUV and started asking questions about the purpose of his visit, introducing themselves only as friends of the owner.If indeed the CIA extracted Smolenkov from Russia, one might question why he continued to use his real name. But the timing of the Smolenkovs’ disappearance and their apparent re-emergence in Virginia, watched over by anonymous “friends,” suggest he could be the mole in question. When Smolenkov’s disappearance was first reported in Russia, he was described as an official at the President’s Administrative Directorate, which is basically the Kremlin housekeeping service that handles property management, organizes official visits and does other technical work. On Tuesday, the directorate denied that Smolenkov had worked there. Indeed, it’s more likely that Smolenkov had hitched his wagon to the star of Yuri Ushakov, a senior diplomat who now serves as Putin’s foreign policy aide.Smolenkov worked as a lowly second secretary at the Russian embassy in Washington when Ushakov was ambassador between 1998 and 2008. Upon returning to Moscow, Ushakov worked as deputy chief of staff for the prime minister. Those were the years — 2008 through 2012 — when Putin took the prime minister’s job under President Dmitri Medvedev to observe the constitutional ban on serving as president for more than two terms in a row. In 2010, while Smolenkov was a rank-and-file employee on the Russian government’s staff — one of numerous advisers under Ushakov — he received a lofty civil service rank equivalent to a major general or rear admiral.It’s likely that Smolenkov followed Ushakov to the Kremlin, where the diplomat moved after Putin returned as president in 2012. Ushakov, 72, is certainly an important official who helps Putin work on his official foreign policy agenda and prepares him for major summits and visits. He is, however, a career diplomat with no trace of intelligence affiliation or tell-tale gaps on his bio. If Putin planned a major intelligence operation to disrupt the U.S. 2016 election, none of these plans would have gone through Ushakov, and he probably wouldn’t be privy to any of them.In 2018, Special Counsel Robert Mueller produced a surprisingly detailed indictment of specific Russian military intelligence officers who allegedly hacked U.S. Democrats’ computer networks and disseminated the stolen material. Data on the names, ranks and specific activities of the Russian officers wouldn’t have landed anywhere near Ushakov’s desk, and there would be no obvious way for an Ushakov aide like Smolenkov to obtain it in the line of his normal work. It’s not clear how the U.S. obtained that information — the most surprisingly specific trove of data to emerge in the course of all the Russian interference investigations — but it wasn’t through the putative Ushakov channel.A midlevel official working for Putin’s foreign policy aide likely would have known that Putin was favorably disposed toward candidate Trump. But then, one would have gotten that impression simply from watching Moscow’s propaganda channels. If Smolenkov was a spy, he could have delivered important insights about Russia’s foreign policy thinking and planning to U.S. intelligence. But if he was the source for the U.S. intelligence community’s certainty that Putin personally orchestrated a covert interference campaign, that certainty rests on a weak foundation. Smolenkov served the wrong boss in the Kremlin to get reliable information about such ventures.Putin has reasons to celebrate if the New York Times report that the high-level spy’s evacuation “blinded” the CIA to Russian plans for further election meddling and the identification of Smolenkov as that spy are both correct. In that case, the Kremlin isn’t infiltrated by U.S. agents to any significant degree, and it wasn’t even while the prized asset was still toiling undiscovered. I think, however, that no champagne bottles will pop open: The disclosures about Russia’s military intelligence operation were potentially more damaging, which could indicate the U.S. has better assets on the ground than reports suggest.To contact the author of this story: Leonid Bershidsky at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephanie Baker at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Leonid Bershidsky is Bloomberg Opinion's Europe columnist. He was the founding editor of the Russian business daily Vedomosti and founded the opinion website Slon.ru.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Donald Trump has pushed back on suggestions that he has personally profited from US taxpayer dollars, after House Democrats launched a probe into Mike Pence’s recent stay at the president's golf resort in Ireland. House Democrats on Friday questioned whether the arrangement had violated the emoluments clauses of the US constitution, which prohibit government officials, including the president, from personally profiting from domestic or foreign governments. Jerrold Nadler, chairman of the House judiciary committee, and Steve Cohen, a Democratic congressman from Tennessee, said potential violations of the emoluments clauses “are of grave concern to the [judiciary] committee as it considers whether to recommend articles of impeachment”.
The New York Times Company announced today that Joichi Ito has resigned from its Board of Directors, effective immediately.
The departure of Ms Rudd, one of the most senior moderate Europhiles in the Tory government, came just two days after the resignation of Jo Johnson, the brother of the prime minister. Ms Rudd said she no longer believed that leaving the EU with a deal was the government’s main objective — despite Mr Johnson having claimed that a no-deal scenario was only “a million to one”.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- What do you get if you combine $90 million of venture capital funding, 430 sports writers and more than just a splash of Silicon Valley bravura?The answer might just be a model for how to make money in digital news. Subscription-based sports website The Athletic has encountered plenty of skepticism since its foundation three years ago by two veterans of fitness app Strava. But it continues to grow readership apace and attract investment and writers alike.Wariness is understandable: the subscription-based sports news website is hiring hundreds of good journalists on generous salaries, sometimes more than $120,000, to write thoughtful stories. It extended coverage to England’s Premier League soccer last month, adding almost 60 journalists. Surely there’s a hitch?Reverse engineering the firm’s finances suggests that it’s not far off profitability, and has a path to a sustainable business. Indeed, it’s likely to be just about covering its current costs if The Athletic hits its target of one million subscribers by year end. That’s an ambitious goal, given that the New York Times still only has 3.8 million subscribers. But between July and August the Athletic sprinted toward the finish line, adding 100,000 subscribers. Three years since its founding, it has attracted a total of 600,000 paying readers.The website’s approach points at how, after two decades of turmoil, the news business is slowly inching towards business models that work by focusing on high quality, specialized content that readers are willing to pay for.In an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek last month, the company said subscribers paid fees averaging $64 a year. Yes, that’s more than the cost of a $60 one-off annual subscription, but that’s because some people are paying by the month, often at a much higher rate than if they signed up for a year. Based on that average revenue per user (ARPU), The Athletic has a sales run rate of about $38 million. If it reaches its full-year subscriber target and that ARPU isn’t too heavily diluted by introductory discounts, sales will hit $64 million.I estimate the website’s annual costs to be a little over $60 million. Right now, that suggests a deficit of at least $20 million. While my calculations might be slightly out, it’s still a decent yardstick to indicate that by year end, it’ll be close to profitability. And the company does have the buffer of $90 million of venture capital money, including cash from Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund. Slowly, we seem to be reaching the consensus that the best way to make money from written journalism is simply to get readers to pay for it. The past 12 months have been a brutal one for publications funded by online advertising: the U.S. news business cut the most roles in the first five months of the year since the 2009 recession, with BuzzFeed, Vice Media and Verizon Communications Inc. all firing staff.Publications that specialize in a particular subject and charge a subscription fee are a bright spot. At one end are those providing professional information for a significant sum. An annual subscription to the Financial Times will set you back 207 pounds ($254). Tech business site The Information charges between $399 and $749. Ion Investment Group meanwhile agreed to pay 1.4 billion pounds this year for the group that owns Mergermarket and Debtwire – providers of financial news and data.At the other end are the likes of The Athletic, with a coverage area too broad to be quite considered a niche, but which can attract a large audience happy to pay a smaller fee. The pollster Gallup estimates that 59% of Americans are interested in sports. That equates to some 169 million U.S. adults. So far, The Athletic has signed up just 0.4% of them as subscribers.A word of caution to The Athletic and its co-founders: don’t be greedy. Chief Executive Officer Alex Mather generated warranted opprobrium when he told the New York Times in 2017 that the he would “wait every local paper out and let them continuously bleed, until we are the last ones standing.” It’s the sort of line that resonates well when pitching prospective VC investors, but plays poorly elsewhere.The same goes for aligning the pace of growth with spending. Cautionary tales abound, and the losers are most likely to be the journalists ultimately deemed superfluous when money has been spent too quickly. At a certain point, the company will have to generate a profit. If it expands too quickly and hires too many, then has to shrink, the journalists will be the first to suffer by losing their jobs.To contact the author of this story: Alex Webb at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephanie Baker at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Alex Webb is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Europe's technology, media and communications industries. He previously covered Apple and other technology companies for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
New York Times (NYT) reported earnings 30 days ago. What's next for the stock? We take a look at earnings estimates for some clues.