30.46 +0.16 (0.53%)
Pre-Market: 5:15AM EST
|Bid||30.40 x 3200|
|Ask||30.46 x 4000|
|Day's Range||29.93 - 30.59|
|52 Week Range||26.26 - 45.86|
|Beta (5Y Monthly)||0.56|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||14.77|
|Earnings Date||Feb 6, 2020|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||N/A (N/A)|
|1y Target Est||34.33|
On the economic data side, the biggest U.S. report with the November data on retail sales will be released on Friday. The November data on import prices is also set to be released.
With just less than a year until U.S. Election Day, Twitter is bringing back its Election Labels, which provide information about political candidates -- including which office they're running for and their state and district number. The feature was first launched during the 2018 U.S. midterms, where the labels were seen 100 million times per day by Twitter users in the week before Election Day. In addition, 13% of U.S. election-related conversations on Twitter included a tweet with an Election Label, the company says.
(Bloomberg) -- Sign up to our Brexit Bulletin, follow us @Brexit and subscribe to our podcast.Boris Johnson won an emphatic election victory that redraws the political map of Britain and gives the prime minister the mandate he needs to pull the U.K. out of the European Union next month.The result spectacularly vindicated Johnson’s gamble on a snap election to break the deadlock in Parliament over Brexit, as his Conservatives were set for their biggest majority since 1987 under Margaret Thatcher. The pound rose by the most in almost three years as the scale of the Tory victory became clear.Live Blog: U.K. General ElectionThe outcome was a stark repudiation of the main opposition Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn and his radical program of state intervention, nationalization of key industries and tax rises for the better off. Corbyn announced his intention to resign after a catastrophic run of losses to the Tories in Brexit-supporting districts in northern England and Wales. These areas were considered traditional Labour strongholds and Johnson’s success here was the breakthrough that secured his victory.Elsewhere, Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson, who campaigned to remain in the EU, lost her seat.Having routed political opposition to Brexit across much of the country, Johnson still faces resistance in Scotland, where support for the pro-independence Scottish National Party surged, setting up the prospect of a renewed constitutional standoff over the U.K.’s future.Northern Ireland may also present a thorn in Johnson’s side. Unionist parties lost their majority and nationalist made advances, suggesting that pressure for a referendum on Irish unity may grow.How Brexit would play out in the U.K.’s third general election in four years was never certain even as Johnson held a lead over Labour in polls. What emerged was the biggest shift in British political allegiances for decades as areas that had voted to quit the EU turned away from Labour and toward Johnson and his “Get Brexit Done” mantra.With all but one seat declared, the Conservatives had won 364 of the 650 seats in the House of Commons, a gain of 47, to Labour’s 203 seats, down 59. The results showed the Conservatives taking some districts from Corbyn’s party for the first time ever, compounding Labour’s fourth successive general election defeat.President Donald Trump tweeted his congratulations, again raising the prospect of a “massive new trade deal” after the U.K. leaves the EU.Johnson’s majority gives him the power to get his own way on Brexit, especially if he needs extra time to negotiate with the EU. He has said he will start to push legislation through parliament before the end of the year to meet the current departure date of Jan. 31.Investors responded to what they saw as a possible end to the political gridlock and uncertainty that has hung over British assets for years. The pound was up 1.8% to $1.34 as of 8:57 a.m. in London. The yield on 10-year gilts jumped four basis points to 0.855% and traders scaled back bets for a rate cut from the Bank of England in the coming year. The benchmark FTSE 100 index of stocks, which is heavily comprised of exporters vulnerable to currency appreciation, still managed to jump. The more domestically-focused FTSE 250 at one point soared the most since 2010.After holding his seat west of London, Johnson said the result was “historic” and “a powerful new mandate to get Brexit done.”For an interactive election map, click hereFor Labour, the heavy losses raise questions over its future direction after voters decisively rejected Corbyn and his program. Corbyn plans to remain in place until a successor is chosen but he’s facing pressure to stand aside immediately.“Tonight is an absolute disaster for the Labour Party,” Ian Murray, Labour lawmaker for Edinburgh South, told the BBC. “There has got to be a change of direction. That work either has to start tomorrow or the Labour Party has to reassess what it stands for.”Few people predicted the political earthquake that took place.In England and Wales, voters moved to the Conservatives almost everywhere, but particularly strongly in places that voted to leave the EU. Former industrial areas abandoned Labour for the first time in generations, with mining and steel towns that suffered from mass unemployment under the Conservatives in the 1980s now embracing the party.Scotland, which opposed Brexit in the 2016 referendum, staged a rebellion as the SNP retook seats it lost two years ago. It ended the night with 48 of 59 districts, halving the Tory seat tally, defeating the Liberal Democrat leader and reducing Labour to a solitary district. SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon reiterated her demand for another independence referendum, something Johnson has ruled out.“Boris Johnson has a mandate now to take England out of the EU,” Sturgeon said. “He must accept that I have a mandate to offer Scotland the choice of an alternative future.”For Johnson, a convincing majority marks the culmination of an extraordinary rise to power. After he led the pro-Brexit campaign three years ago, Johnson watched as Theresa May tried and repeatedly failed to negotiate an EU divorce agreement the House of Commons would accept. In power, Johnson secured a revised Brexit deal with the EU, but also couldn’t persuade Parliament to rush it into law.That was enough to prompt the premier to trigger an early election -- the next one wasn’t due until 2022 -- in the hope voters would give him the majority he needed. He now has a mandate “not just to get Brexit done,” he said, “but to unite this country and to take it forward and to focus on the priorities of the British people.”Addressing supporters in London on Friday morning, he said he had a “heavy responsibility” after winning support from former Labour heartlands. “We must rise to the challenge,” he said.\--With assistance from Heather Harris, Robert Hutton, Anna Edwards and Alastair Reed.To contact the reporters on this story: Tim Ross in London at firstname.lastname@example.org;Alex Morales in London at email@example.com;Greg Ritchie in London at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Flavia Krause-Jackson at email@example.com, Rosalind Mathieson, Alan CrawfordFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Prime Minister Boris Johnson may be celebrating a stunning election victory, but another leader also scored an emphatic win -- and it’s one that promises to set up a renewed clash over the U.K.’s future.The Scottish National Party took back most of the districts it lost two years ago. Such a dramatic outcome –- winning 48 of the 59 seats available in Scotland -– will galvanize the party in its pursuit of the independence referendum leader Nicola Sturgeon says is necessary after her country opposed leaving the European Union.Johnson, like his predecessor Theresa May, has consistently resisted pressure from the SNP-led administration in Edinburgh for another independence vote. But the last one, when Scots chose to stay in the U.K. in 2014, was before the vote to leave the EU. Sturgeon made stopping Brexit and giving Scotland the right to dictate its own future the cornerstone of her party’s campaign.“Johnson has a mandate for Brexit and Sturgeon has a mandate for Scottish independence,” said Simon Hix, professor of political science at the London School of Economics. “We are heading towards a new constitutional crisis, which won’t be resolved easily in the next few years.”The SNP gained 13 seats, while Johnson’s Conservatives lost seven and Labour lost six to hold a solitary district in a country it dominated for most of the postwar period. The SNP held others with increased majorities and even took the seat of Liberal Democrat Party Leader Jo Swinson.“It shows the divergent paths that Scotland and the rest of the U.K. are on,” Sturgeon told the BBC from Glasgow. “It’s still my plan to submit an official request before the end of the year for a new independence referendum.”In Northern Ireland, pressure is also likely to grow for a referendum on unity with the Republic of Ireland, as nationalists made advances and unionist parties lost their majority.The SNP’s victory was noted elsewhere in Europe, with the head of the separatist administration of Catalonia tweeting his congratulations.BBC Scotland News @BBCScotlandNewsNicola Sturgeon says the SNP’s landslide victory at the general election in Scotland is a ‘mandate for indyref2’ bbc.in/2RNC6KP GE2019 BBCElectionhttp://twitter.com/BBCScotlandNews/statuses/1205386765135237120Sent via Twitter for iPhone.View original tweet.The election painted the opposite picture to 2017, when Theresa May ended up needing the dozen seats the Conservatives won from the SNP to remain in power. The nationalists lost more districts than they expected as then Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson rallied opposition to another vote on leaving the three-centuries-old U.K. Davidson quit this year when Johnson became leader of the party nationally.The result means more SNP supporters will be agitating for Sturgeon to demand an independence vote –- regardless of whether the U.K. government acquiesces to one, a legal requirement. Humza Yousaf, Scotland’s justice minister, said that the referendum in 2014 was the “gold standard” and that Scotland would seek the legal agreement for a repeat vote next year.While polls have typically shown an independence referendum would be too close to call, two recent surveys gave a clear lead for sticking with the U.K. An SNP election victory would make the party’s army of activists more confident they can narrow the gap. Scottish Parliamentary elections are also due in 2021, when the SNP could reinforce its mandate for a referendum.“If Sturgeon wins big again in May 2021, Johnson will be unable to resist a second independence referendum,” said Hix.To contact the reporters on this story: Rodney Jefferson in Edinburgh at firstname.lastname@example.org;Alastair Reed in Edinburgh at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tim Ross at firstname.lastname@example.org, Thomas Penny, Robert HuttonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
How did you go bankrupt, asked a character in an Ernest Hemingway novel. For months, most people in British politics have known his leftwing project was running out of credit. At 9.59pm, there was a chance that Mr Corbyn would be prime minister.
The Conservatives won their biggest majority at Westminster since 1987, delivering an electoral earthquake that left the opposition Labour and Liberal Democrats parties seeking new leaders. Mr Johnson described the result as a “powerful new mandate” to deliver Brexit.
(Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. President Donald Trump signed off on a phase-one trade deal with China, averting the Dec. 15 introduction of a new wave of U.S. tariffs on about $160 billion of consumer goods from the Asian nation, according to people familiar with the matter.The deal presented to Trump by trade advisers Thursday included a promise by the Chinese to buy more U.S. agricultural goods, according to the people. Officials also discussed possible reductions of existing duties on Chinese products, they said. The terms have been agreed but the legal text has not yet been finalized, the people said. A White House spokesperson declined to comment.An announcement is expected Friday Washington time, according to people familiar with the plans.Global stocks hit a record high for the first time since early 2018 and bond yields climbed on optimism over trade. On Thursday, Trump tweeted that the U.S. and China are “VERY close” to signing a “BIG” trade deal, also sending equities higher. The yuan surged the most in a year, rising above 7 per dollar.“They want it, and so do we!” he tweeted five minutes after equity markets opened in New York, sending stocks to new records.The administration has reached out to allies on Capitol Hill and in the business community to issue statements of support once the announcement is made, people said. Before meeting his trade advisers, Trump engaged with members of the Business Roundtable, which represents some of the largest U.S. companies, they said.Trump changed his mind on deals with China before. Negotiators have been working on the terms of the phase-one deal for months after the president announced in October that the two nations had reached an agreement that could be put on paper within weeks.The U.S. has added a 25% duty on about $250 billion of Chinese products and a 15% levy on another $110 billion of its imports over the course of a roughly 20-month trade war. Discussions now are focused on reducing those rates by as much as half, as part of the interim agreement Trump announced almost nine weeks ago.In addition to a significant increase in Chinese agricultural purchases in exchange for tariff relief, officials have also said a phase-one pact would include Chinese commitments to do more to stop intellectual-property theft and an agreement by both sides not to manipulate their currencies.Put off for later discussions are knotty issues such as longstanding U.S. complaints over the vast web of subsidies ranging from cheap electricity to low-cost loans that China has used to build its industrial might.The new duties, which were scheduled to take effect at 12:01 a.m. Washington time on Sunday unless the administration says otherwise, would hit consumer goods from China including smartphones and toys.Even amid the positive signs on trade, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi highlighted the other confrontations between the two sides. On Friday in Beijing, Wang said that U.S. actions had “severely damaged the hard-earned basis for mutual trust” and left the relationship in their “most complex” state since the two sides established ties four decades ago.Before today, Trump’s advisers had sent conflicting signals and stressed that he hadn’t made up his mind on the next steps.The decisions facing Trump over a trade deal highlight one dilemma he confronts going into the 2020 election: Whether to bet on an escalation of hostilities with China and the tariffs he is so fond of or to follow the advice of more market-oriented advisers and business leaders who argue a pause in the escalation would help a slowing U.S. economy bounce back in an election year.What Bloomberg’s Economists Say...“The outcome of U.S.-China trade talks will be a key determinant of the trajectory for 2020 growth. At one extreme, a deal that takes tariffs back to May 2019 levels, and provides certainty that the truce will hold, could deliver a 0.6% boost to global GDP. At the other, a breakdown in talks would mean the trade drag extends into the year ahead.”--Tom Orlik, chief economistFor the full report, click hereThe president’s expected announcement on Thursday was met with immediate criticism from Democrats and even by members of his own party. Republican Senator Marco Rubio, one of the most vocal China hawks in Congress, said the White House should consider the risks of a deal.A near-term pact “would give away the tariff leverage needed for a broader agreement on the issues that matter the most such as subsidies to domestic firms, forced tech transfers & blocking U.S. firms access to key sectors,” he said in a tweet.Democratic lawmakers in a letter on Thursday told the president this point in the negotiations marks a “critical juncture” for the U.S. to secure concessions “on major structural challenges that will only become more difficult to address.”“Your administration must stay strong against the Chinese government if fundamental concessions are not made. Anything short of a meaningful, enforceable and lasting agreement would be severe and unacceptable for the American people,” Senators Chuck Schumer, Ron Wyden and Sherrod Brown said.(Updates with markets in fourth paragraph, Chinese foreign minister lower.)\--With assistance from Justin Sink, Vince Golle and Josh Wingrove.To contact the reporters on this story: Jenny Leonard in Washington at email@example.com;Jennifer Jacobs in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org;Shawn Donnan in Washington at email@example.com;Saleha Mohsin in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Margaret Collins at email@example.com, Brendan Murray, Ana MonteiroFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Jeremy Corbyn announced he would not lead Labour into the next election after losing a swath of seats in the party’s northern heartlands to the Tories amid its most devastating election result in nearly a century. Members of the party’s leftwing leadership tried to blame a combination of Brexit, the mainstream media and disloyal centrist MPs as they struggled to react to the crushing result.
People used to send more seasonal greetings cards in times gone by, but in December 1974, Phil and Joyce Kunz received a particularly bountiful crop. Some were simple offerings of “Happy Christmas” but others contained long letters. Phillip Kunz, a sociologist at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, was not entirely surprised.
(Bloomberg) -- Sign up to our Brexit Bulletin, follow us @Brexit and subscribe to our podcast.Jeremy Corbyn said he will stand down as leader of the U.K.’s opposition Labour Party after a comprehensive rejection of his bid to lead the country.Early results confirmed the exit poll forecast, which suggested Labour would lose 61 seats since the 2017 election, finishing on just 201 MPs, as Boris Johnson’s Conservatives head for a big majority. If correct, it would be Labour’s worst result since 1935.Defeated MPs and senior officials said the leader should go immediately, but Corbyn used a speech at his constituency count to say he wants to stay as leader to oversee a debate about the left-wing party’s future.“I will not lead the party in any future general election campaign,” Corbyn said before adding that there needs to be “a process of reflection” about Labour’s direction. “I will lead the party during that period to ensure that discussion takes place, and we can move on into the future.”That’s a sign that Corbyn and those around him want to try to control Labour’s direction and ensure that his allies have a firm grip on its organization. But anger is so great among critics in the party after Thursday’s result that they may try to force him out sooner.“Corbyn was a disaster on the doorstep. Everyone knew that he couldn’t lead the working class out of a paper bag,” Former Labour cabinet minister Alan Johnson told ITV.For the early part of the night, the Labour leader’s allies stuck to the line that the problem had been Brexit, not Corbyn. “It looks as though all other debate on other issues has been squeezed out by this one issue, Brexit,” Corbyn’s closest ally, Treasury spokesman John McDonnell told Sky News. “People just wanted it over and done with. It put Labour in a very difficult position.”But other MPs said there was a problem with the leader. Ian Murray, who was standing for the party in Edinburgh, said Corbyn’s leadership had come up repeatedly on the doorstep, while Gareth Snell, who said he expected to lose his seat in the former Labour stronghold of Stoke-on-Trent, said it’s time for Corbyn and McDonnell to go.The question among those around the Labour leader will now shift to whether their project, to make the party into an authentically socialist one, can be saved under a new standard bearer.That will depend partly on who is around to stand as Corbyn’s heir. But it will also depend on how Labour’s mass membership, who elect the leader, respond to the defeat.They put Corbyn in the job and defended him from Labour members of parliament who wanted him gone three years ago. Will the shock prompt them to go in a different direction, or will they accept the argument that the ideas were right, they were simply drowned out by Brexit?(Updates with Corbyn in third paragraph.)To contact the reporters on this story: Tim Ross in London at firstname.lastname@example.org;Alex Morales in London at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tim Ross at firstname.lastname@example.org, Thomas PennyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
The good news is that three years of political paralysis is over. The Brexit path is, for good or ill, at last clear; the UK has turned its back on hardline socialism and the country will at last have a stable government with a working majority. The result is an immense personal triumph for Boris Johnson.
(Bloomberg) -- Mexico’s Senate passed changes to a new Nafta replacement free-trade deal with the U.S. and Canada after the governments of the three nations completed months of negotiations.The Senate voted 107 to 1 to approve the changes. It only needed to debate the latest adjustments, because the original agreement was ratified 114 to 4 in June, with broad support from President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s Morena party and the next two biggest blocs.The move makes Mexico the first country to approve the revised deal with stronger labor protections announced on Tuesday by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and backed by the largest American labor federation. Pelosi said she hopes for a vote before Congress recesses Dec. 20. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate will vote after President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, sometime in early 2020. Canada’s parliament is poised to take it up sometime next year.“In Mexico, we have already complied: the Executive signed and the Senate ratified the USMCA,” Lopez Obrador said in a Twitter post and video from his seat on a commercial flight returning from a day trip to the northern state of Sonora. “Now it’s up to the congresses of the United States and Canada to do the same. It’s good news.”On the back of the positive USMCA news this week and President Donald Trump signing off on a phase-one trade deal with China, the peso has strengthened 1.4% and briefly climbed to stronger than 19 per dollar, the best level since the end of July.U.S. House Democrats this week embraced the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement after securing key revisions and signaled they could vote on the deal next week, putting Trump closer to a political win as he heads into the 2020 election.Read more: New Nafta Leaves Winners and Losers Across North AmericaPelosi praised the changes her House Democrats were able to negotiate, saying the revised deal is better for American workers. She said the new version of the accord, known as the USMCA, will be a model for other trade agreements going forward.Trump welcomed the finalized overhaul of the North American Free Trade Agreement, which has been languishing for more than a year and could resolve some of the uncertainty weighing on the economy as he heads into his re-election campaign. But it is also a win for House Democrats who are eager to prove that they can do more than investigate and impeach Trump.Representatives from Canada, Mexico and the Trump administration met in Mexico City on Tuesday and signed the amendments to the trade agreement.(Adds comment from Lopez Obrador in fourth pargraph)To contact the reporter on this story: Eric Martin in Mexico City at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Walter Brandimarte at firstname.lastname@example.org, Robert JamesonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Surging gold prices in India are keeping customs officials on their toes.Illegal inflows have jumped after the Indian government increased import taxes in July and prices surged to record highs in September. Customs officials have arrested people for attempting to smuggle in gold by concealing it in bags, clothes and their rectums. On one flight alone, officials caught 30 passengers trying to smuggle in 7.5 kilograms (16.5 pounds) of gold into Chennai.“The propensity to smuggle now is very high because every time you increase the tax rate, you give that much more incentive to smugglers,” P.R. Somasundaram, managing director for the region at the World Gold Council, said in an interview. “So it will continue like this unless measures are taken by not just the government but also the trade which shares an equal responsibility to obliterate the grey market.”Gold in India touched a record high of 39,885 rupees ($563) per 10 grams in early September on higher import taxes and as the U.S-China trade conflict and looser monetary policy boosted global benchmark spot prices. While bullion has since retreated from the all-time high, it’s still up 20% this year.Smuggled inflows of gold may jump 30% to 40% this year to 140 tons and rise more in 2020, N. Anantha Padmanaban, chairman of the All India Gem and Jewellery Domestic Council, said. It could also constitute a bigger percentage of India’s demand as official imports decline, rising to as much as 14% this year from 12% a year earlier, according to the WGC.A previous spate of smuggling occurred after India, which imports almost all of its gold, increased the tax three times in 2013 to control a record current-account deficit. Illegal inflows peaked at 225 tons in 2014 as smugglers attempted to bring in bullion, including via planes and trains.In just the two months of September and October this year, nearly 40% more gold was seized than the same period in 2018 from airports, railway stations and border states, data on the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence’s website showed. Data on the website is available only for the last four months of 2018, limiting year-on-year comparisons.There has been a jump in the smuggling of gold into India from China, Taiwanand Hong Kong, the DRI said. The trend suggests smuggling syndicates are using e-commerce platforms and couriers to smuggle gold into India by hiding it inhousehold and white goods, it said.“The higher import tax has led to not only the people who regularly smuggle gold to smuggle in the metal but it has encouraged even the lay man to go abroad and get some gold for their own consumption or to make money out of it,” All India Gem and Jewellery Domestic Council’s Padmanaban said by phone.Bullion is also increasingly being smuggled in from countries bordering India, including Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, China and Bangladesh.“The government needs to bring down the customs duty and also allow jewelers to be a part of the gold monetization scheme so that the idle gold with people comes into the market and we can cut down on imports,” Padmanaban said.\--With assistance from Ganesh Nagarajan and Shruti Srivastava.To contact the reporter on this story: Swansy Afonso in Mumbai at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Phoebe Sedgman at firstname.lastname@example.org, Alpana SarmaFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Critics have their knives out for the proposed $47 million settlement of most of the civil suits filed against Harvey Weinstein and his defunct production company by women accusing him of sexual assault or other forms of misconduct. The settlement includes $25 million for the accusers, most of whom will receive about $500,000 each, although a few will get more.Nobody’s happy. The head of victims-rights group Time’s Up called the deal “a symptom of a problematic, broken system that privileges powerful abusers at the expense of survivors.” A lawyer for one of the accusers, searching for a way to express his fury at the additional $12 million allocated for the defense of Weinstein and the company’s directors, found an unlikely metaphor: “The agreement is akin to the United States giving military aid to Iran so that it could attack Israel.” And if you want to see fury and pain more colorfully expressed, just take a peek at metoo on Twitter these last few days.(1)I’m not about to defend Harvey Weinstein. If only a small fraction of the allegations against him are true, the man is the definition of a monster. But while it’s easy to understand why people are so angry and bewildered, we should take a moment to add a bit of legal context.Let’s begin with some hard facts. Except in the movies, civil suits hardly ever go to trial. An estimated 97% or more are settled, dropped, or dismissed. A well-regarded 2008 study found that the majority of civil plaintiffs who reject a proposed settlement wound up worse off by going to trial — either because the jury awarded damages of less than the settlement amount or because the jury ruled for the defendant.Experienced trial lawyers understand the risks of turning down a settlement; good lawyers make sure their clients understand them, too. Some of Weinstein’s accusers are refusing to participate — among the holdouts is the actress Ashley Judd, who is suing him for defamation — but one can expect that nearly all the plaintiffs will throw in the towel, and for the same reason: They think the proposed settlement is the best they’re likely to get, and they prefer not to press on and risk getting less ... or nothing.Here the risk of getting nothing may be particularly high. Plaintiffs who opt in must waive further legal claims against Weinstein, the Weinstein Company, or its board of directors. Those who opt out will henceforth be proceeding against a bankrupt company and a likely soon-to-be-bankrupt Weinstein. In other words, the plaintiffs who continue to litigate are unlikely to collect very much.Part of the challenge for those who opt out is that the insurance companies will have abandoned the field. The point of the settlement is to make clear the limits of the insurers’ obligations to Weinstein and the company. For better or worse, an insurance company has no duty to those the insured has harmed. Except in a handful of jurisdictions, it’s hornbook contract law that you can sue the person who hurts you but not that person’s insurer.Anger about the $12 million going to pay lawyers for both Weinstein and the directors is understandable but misguided. Typical “directors and officers” policies will pay the insured’s legal fees up to the policy limit, with exclusions for certain transgressions. The lawyers’ fees appear to be a settlement of a dispute over how much of the litigation cost the insurers will cover. The $12 million set aside for this purpose would not otherwise be going to compensate Weinstein’s victims.As to the fact that Weinstein admits no wrongdoing, that, alas, is necessary to the settlement, if only because any statement of fault on his part would be admissible should criminal or other civil litigation arise out of the settled incidents. That we might all agree that he’s a monster is here beside the point. The problem is that if civil defendants, in order to settle their cases, had to admit their wrongs, every case would instead be litigated, and the waiting list for courtroom time would be decades long.If news reports are accurate, the settlement is not much different from the one proposed over the summer. Maybe that was the moment for anger, back when there was time to renegotiate. Now it’s a fait accompli. Yes, there was talk last year of a much larger fund for Weinstein’s victims — perhaps as much as $90 million. But that proposal was to be funded by a sale of the Weinstein Company to investors; when that deal collapsed, so did the fund.Where does that leave Weinstein’s accusers? Probably in a space of unimaginable pain. Most will take the settlement, understanding that this is probably the best they can get. Others will fight on in court, less I suspect in the hope of uncovering some hidden assets than for the satisfaction of watching their attacker squirm on the witness stand and assert his Fifth Amendment rights.Public justice, however, will have to await the outcome of Weinstein’s forthcoming trial on criminal charges — a trial that could prove to be the first of several. Yes, the Twitterverse is full of worry that the rich and famous never go to prison, at least for sexual assault. But Bill Cosby, who is likely much richer than Harvey Weinstein, is serving a 3 to 10 year sentence for that very crime, and just this week his appeal was rejected.(1) A number of critics have pointed out on social media that the proposed $25 million settlement is less than Weinstein himself received last year when he sold his townhouse in the West Village.To contact the author of this story: Stephen L. Carter at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Sarah Green Carmichael at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Stephen L. Carter is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is a professor of law at Yale University and was a clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. His novels include “The Emperor of Ocean Park,” and his latest nonfiction book is “Invisible: The Forgotten Story of the Black Woman Lawyer Who Took Down America's Most Powerful Mobster.” For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Savvy dealmaking or mortgaging the future?In certain nerdy baseball circles, it is a question that’s been asked about the Washington Nationals for years now because of its prolific use of deferred money in structuring multi-year player contracts. After the team re-signed World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg earlier this week to what was, briefly, the richest deal ever for a pitcher, it’s come to the fore yet again.On its face, Strasburg’s seven-year, $245 million deal works out to $35 million a year -- just a million dollars less per year than the record-shattering, nine-year, $324 million contract that Gerrit Cole signed with the New York Yankees Tuesday. (Cole, 29, ostensibly got two more years and $1 million more a year because he’s two years younger, and one could argue, better.)But the Lerner family, which owns the Nationals, won’t actually be paying the 31-year-old righty nearly as much over the life of his contract. A whopping $80 million, equal to one-third of the contract’s total value, won’t be paid until 2027. And that IOU, which will be paid in three annual installments after the actual contract ends, only accrues interest at a paltry rate of 1% a year.Effectively, that means the Nationals have locked Strasburg up for $23.6 million a year -- a hefty hometown discount to Cole’s $36 million-a-year deal -- for the next seven years, based on figures compiled by Cot’s Baseball Contracts.Of course, plenty of other teams have deferred contracts on their books -- Bobby Bonilla day is an annual holiday for baseball junkies for good reason -- but when it comes to creative financing, few organizations anywhere in professional sports come close to pushing the envelope like the Nationals.In 2015, Max Scherzer, the team’s other ace, deferred nearly half of his seven-year, $210 million contract at 0% interest. Pitcher Patrick Corbin’s contract and former second-baseman Daniel Murphy also agreed to zero-interest, deferred deals. Moreover, former star third-baseman Ryan Zimmerman has a personal-services contract -- a practice that has since been banned by Major League Baseball -- that will pay him a total of $10 million over five years once he hangs up his cleats.And that doesn’t include deals that were rejected. The team reportedly offered outfielder Bryce Harper a $300 million deal that would have deferred a third of that and stretched out the payments until the former MVP hits age 60.The Nationals have been mum on the issue, but it’s not hard to see why it would make sense, according to Marc Edelman, a law professor at the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College, who consults extensively on legal and business issues in sports.By persuading players to take less money upfront, it gives the reigning World Series champs more financial flexibility to keep their team together and win now. (For the purposes of the competitive balance tax, baseball’s version of a soft salary cap, deferred payments without interest can provide relief.)And as the value of sports franchises grow and revenues from television broadcasting rights increase, pushing out fixed obligations into the future could be a smart move. For players, whose careers are relatively short, deferred compensation creates a de facto retirement savings plan they can dip into once their playing days end. And agents benefit from the arrangement because it’s the nominal values that typically set market prices.“If the interest rate is really only 0 or 1%, that would seem to be a bit surprising based on the time value of money, but presumptively the person negotiating the contract understands this and they’re negotiating that interest rate cost into the value of the contract,” Edelman said.The strategy isn’t without risk, though. Backloading so many contracts, of course, could eventually hamstring the Nationals once they need to start replacing their current crop of All-Stars and hamper their ability to compete for the best players in free agency in the future.For example, the Nationals will owe Scherzer and Strasburg a combined $41.7 million in each of 2027 and 2028. Neither ace is currently under contract for those years. Both pitchers were represented by superstar agent Scott Boras in their negotiations.The 2001 World Series champion Arizona Diamondbacks are an example of how the strategy could go wrong, according to Brett Albert, a faculty lecturer at the Isenberg School of Management at University of Massachusetts, Amherst.“The early 2000s, Diamondbacks were really aggressive about deferring salaries for players like Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling,” he said. “They won a World Series, but the revenue streams never materialized like they anticipated they would and they had to subsequently gut their roster.”Albert says the decision to defer liabilities into the future comes down to an ownership group’s tolerance for risk. Lucrative TV deals and revenue sharing agreements mean there’s a lot of room for error, but a recession, for example, could always make tickets at the ballpark harder to sell.For his part, Cole decided that money is more valuable in the present. He reportedly turned down an eight-year, $300 million dollar offer from the Los Angeles Dodgers. That deal had a higher average annual value, but also featured deferrals.To contact the reporter on this story: Brandon Kochkodin in New York at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Joe Weisenthal at firstname.lastname@example.org, Michael Tsang, Larry ReibsteinFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Donald Trump supporters were left aghast — shocked! — last week when Professor Pamela Karlan had the nerve to wise crack about the president’s young son, Barron, during the impeachment hearing. After all, he’s just a kid. Greta Thunberg is also just a kid, but that didn’t stop Trump from roasting her on Twitter.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Why is the nation's financial industry concentrated in just a few very costly cities?The latest actions by the Charles Schwab Corp. suggest there's less reason than there once was amid the squeeze the industry has been feeling since the Great Recession ended. In Schwab's case -- amid slow economic growth, low interest rates and continued pressure on trading commissions -- the discount brokerage firm slashed its fees, said it would buy a main rival and move its headquarters from high-cost San Francisco to more-affordable Dallas. It may not be the last to make such a move.No matter what part of the financial services or banking ecosystems you look at, revenues are harder to come by today than they were 10 or 20 years ago. Trading commissions have fallen, with online brokerages ushering in zero commissions. Bid-ask spreads for market makers have narrowed. Management fees for mutual funds and hedge funds continue to shrink. Mutual funds are losing market share to low-cost exchange-traded funds. Net interest margins for banks have been compressed by both low interest rates and a flatter yield curve. The Volcker rule restricted some of the more lucrative activities banks can do. Higher capital requirements have reduced the profitability of the banks. Loan growth has been anemic since the financial crisis. And increasingly, private companies are looking to do direct listings on stock markets rather than initial public offerings, threatening bank underwriting fees.And at the same time that revenues have been pressured, the costs of operating in coastal urban hubs where the finance industry has traditionally been clustered continue to rise. Although conservatives might snicker and chalk it up to the higher taxes in coastal finance centers, the bigger story has been the concentration of the technology industry and the young, highly paid knowledge workers they hire. In the first decade of the 2000s, when the credit and housing booms were roaring, the tech industry played second fiddle to finance when it came to urban employment. Even San Francisco was relatively tech-free until Twitter set up shop in the latter half of the decade. Rents, although high, were manageable for many workers with good financial industry jobs.That's no longer the case. With tech on a tear, young college-educated workers have, in turn, clustered in a handful of cities to gain access to more job opportunities. This dynamic has driven up rents in New York and San Francisco, posing stiff competition for financial companies looking to hire workers with the same types of skills prized by tech firms. The mediocre post-recession environment in finance has also meant banking and investment firms often find themselves outbid for talent.For the financial industry, that means if you can't beat 'em, retreat to cheaper pastures. That helps explain why Goldman Sachs has expanded in Salt Lake City; AllianceBernstein is planning to move its headquarters from New York to Nashville, Tennessee; and BlackRock is opening an "innovation center" in Atlanta. Perhaps the most significant announcement was made by JPMorgan Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon in October, when he said that he expects Texas to eventually overtake New York as the state with more of the bank's employees than any other.As with the shifts in the manufacturing industry, these changes take place over years and decades, but it's likely that the trend of decentralization will continue. Although Schwab is a high-profile financial firm moving its headquarters out of San Francisco, a much bigger one -- Wells Fargo -- remains based there. But for how long? The scandal-plagued bank recently hired a new chief executive, but he plans to remain in New York rather than move to the West Coast. The bank has five times as many job postings on its website in Charlotte, North Carolina, thanks to its acquisition of Wachovia, as it does in San Francisco. It wouldn't be a surprise if -- as part of its long-term repositioning strategy -- a headquarters relocation is part of the mix.It's been a bit more than a decade since the financial crisis, and banks and financial-services firms have had enough time to dust themselves off and adjust to the new environment for the industry. If the 2000s were defined by the bust, and the 2010s were a period of recovery and sluggish growth, then maybe the 2020s will be when the industry consolidates and finally lowers costs by shifting to cheaper cities.To contact the author of this story: Conor Sen 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.Conor Sen is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is a portfolio manager for New River Investments in Atlanta and has been a contributor to the Atlantic and Business Insider.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Explore what’s moving the global economy in the new season of the Stephanomics podcast. Subscribe via Apple Podcast, Spotify or Pocket Cast.Christine Lagarde said the euro zone’s economic slowdown is showing signs of bottoming out, in comments after her first policy meeting as president of the European Central Bank that suggested further interest-rate cuts are unlikely any time soon.“There are some initial signs of stabilization in the growth slowdown and of a mild increase in underlying inflation,” she told reporters on Thursday. “The risks surrounding the euro-area growth outlook, related to geopolitical factors, rising protectionism and vulnerabilities in emerging markets, remain tilted to the downside, but have become somewhat less pronounced.”The euro jumped as high as $1.1154 before paring gains to trade up 0.1% at $1.1141 at 3:21 p.m. Frankfurt time.Still, the president unveiled updated economic forecasts that showed a muted outlook for now. Growth will be 1.1% next year -- a slight revision lower -- and 1.4% in 2021, the bank predicted. The first outlook for 2022 showed an expansion of 1.4%. Inflation that year is seen at 1.6% -- still below the goal of just under 2%.The Governing Council earlier held its deposit rate at a record-low minus 0.5%, and bond purchases at 20 billion euros ($22 billion) a month, sticking to a controversial package unveiled in September.Yet pressed on whether it’ll need to take further action, Lagarde said that “we are very aware of the side effects” of negative rates, and called on governments to help out with fiscal stimulus and structural reforms. “It would be very welcome to have other policies join the monetary policy in order to support the reduction of slack.”Strategic ReviewShe also reiterated her pledge to undertake the central bank’s first strategic review since 2003, saying it is “overdue” and should be started in January, to be completed before the end of the year.While a key part of the assessment will be whether the inflation goal needs to be adjusted, it will be “comprehensive,” Lagarde said. It’ll include consultation with members of the European Parliament, the academic community and representatives of civil society, with no “preconceived landing zone.”Read more: Lagarde’s Voila! Shows Ownership of ECB With Her Own StyleIt will address challenges including climate change, technology, and rising inequality, and Lagarde expressed disappointment that the European Union was unable to agree this week on a set of standards for defining green investments. That would have been “extremely helpful” for the ECB to contribute to combating global warming, she said -- issuing a “call to find an agreement.”Her ambitious plans have worried some ECB officials though, who fear being diverted from their primary mandate of restoring price stability. Inflation has averaged just 1.2% so far in 2019, despite years of unprecedented and often contentious stimulus.While some economic indicators have suggested lately that the bloc’s slowdown might be easing, Germany remains embroiled in its worst manufacturing slump in a decade, and the U.S.-China trade war and Brexit have continued to weigh on growth. Lagarde said the latest signs are that U.S.-China talks are “heading in a better direction.”The key message was that while price stability is the core mandate, Lagarde -- who formerly ran the International Monetary Fund and is the first ECB leader never to have worked at a central bank -- wants to do much more. The review will “explore each and every corner” of the institution’s operations to “better respond to serving euro-area citizens” as well as delivering on the price-stability mandate.\--With assistance from Jana Randow, Zoe Schneeweiss, Fergal O'Brien, Craig Stirling, Brian Swint, Jeannette Neumann, Carolynn Look, David Goodman, Jill Ward and Catherine Bosley.To contact the reporters on this story: Paul Gordon in Frankfurt at email@example.com;Piotr Skolimowski in Frankfurt at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Paul Gordon at email@example.com, Jana Randow, Iain RogersFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Explore what’s moving the global economy in the new season of the Stephanomics podcast. Subscribe via Apple Podcast, Spotify or Pocket Cast.Swiss National Bank President Thomas Jordan unleashed a staunch defense of negative interest rates, insisting the controversial policy is the only way to keep the franc in check and help the economy.As Switzerland approaches the five-year anniversary of its minus 0.75% deposit rate, the lowest in the world, Jordan’s remarks at Thursday’s monetary policy press conference were dominated by subzero rates. Pushing back against critics, he said ending it would spark the worst of scenarios -- a “marked and rapid” currency appreciation, along with deflation and weaker economic growth.Jordan has long been unwavering in this view, but his latest comments follow increasingly vocal opposition from the financial sector to what is effectively a charge on deposits. In the neighboring euro zone, some officials give the impression of losing faith in the measure, while Sweden’s central bank is poised to end its experiment with the policy.Lenders in Switzerland and elsewhere say margins are under pressure. The Swiss Bankers Association has argued negative rates are no longer necessary, and a survey by UBS Group AG found that even export-oriented firms believed the policy was doing more harm than good.Jordan spoke after the SNB left interest rates unchanged and reiterated its threat to intervene in currency markets if needed. He acknowledged the “challenges” of its subzero policy, but offered no sign he’s about to change tack anytime soon.“We monitor the impact of negative interest precisely, and we take the side effects seriously. However, we remain convinced that the benefits it brings Switzerland as a whole clearly outweigh the costs. The negative interest rate and the willingness to intervene are currently the best instruments.”The SNB’s latest forecasts bear out his concerns. Similar to their peers, Swiss policy makers have struggled to stoke price pressures, though their situation is complicated by the currency. They’ve long described the franc as “highly valued,” a key phrase they repeated on Thursday.In the latest projections, inflation is seen at just 0.1% in 2020 and only slightly faster, at 0.5%, the following year.Economic growth is expected to pick up in 2020, though Jordan noted the “downside risks” in the global economy.The franc has gained more than 3% against the euro this year because of increased global risks and the European Central Bank monetary easing in September. It’s been relatively steady recently, though a further appreciation remains a risk.That would be a big a headache for manufacturers, who have suffered a drop in foreign orders as a result of the trade war and the upheaval among German carmakers.“Negative interest remains central to our monetary policy to this day,” Jordan said. “If we were to dispense with it, Swiss interest rates would increase compared to those of other countries, Swiss franc investments would be markedly more attractive, and we would have to expect a marked and rapid appreciation in our currency.”\--With assistance from Jana Randow, Harumi Ichikura, Lukas Strobl, Zoe Schneeweiss, Daniel Schaefer and Brian Swint.To contact the reporters on this story: Catherine Bosley in Zurich at firstname.lastname@example.org;Jan Dahinten in Zurich at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Fergal O'Brien at firstname.lastname@example.org, Craig Stirling, Paul GordonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTR) is seeking to develop a decentralized standard for social media, the company’s chief executive officer Jack Dorsey announced on Wednesday. Dorsey said that centralized standards are facing limitations in solving modern-day challenges facing social media, including abuse and false information.
The animating ingredient of the great power contest between the US and China is the global race for digital primacy. whether to allow the Chinese communications company Huawei to supply equipment for the new 5G networks that will underpin critical national infrastructure. One way for others to think about the issue is to ask whether Beijing would allow their companies to embed such technology in China’s national systems.
When Gary Cohn was chief economics adviser to US President Donald Trump in 2017 and 2018 he was an unabashed (and seemingly uncritical) cheerleader for the American economy. Consider his remarks at a US Securities and Exchange Commission event last week. Mr Cohn started by pointing out that, in America, “the consumer part of the economy looks pretty good.” Quite so: the so-called “consumer comfort” index (a sentiment and financial indicators indicator) has been running above 60 per cent, a near historic high.
NEW YORK, NY / ACCESSWIRE / December 11, 2019 / The Law Offices of Vincent Wong announce that class actions have commenced on behalf of certain shareholders in the following companies. The filed complaint alleges that defendants engaged in a scheme to deceive the market and a course of conduct that artificially inflated Twitter's common share price and operated as a fraud or deceit on purchasers of Twitter common stock by misrepresenting the Company's operating condition and future business prospects. The scheme was perpetrated by making positive statements about Twitter's business while defendants knew, or disregarded with deliberate recklessness, certain adverse facts.