Archive for Private Equity

The Supreme Court’s decision on Thursday to give states broader authority to collect taxes on e-commerce sales — even if the retailers have no presence in those jurisdictions — knocked the stock prices of many prominent online sellers.

Yet it had a relatively muted effect on the biggest one, Amazon.

Shortly after the 5-4 decision in the case, Quill Corporation v. North Dakota, was released, shares of online retailers fell. Here’s where they were trading on Thursday:

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  • Legislation would increase scrutiny of foreign investment
  •  Funds attracted record amounts, much of it from overseas

U.S. private equity firms are raising record amounts of money in the global market. Congress could derail their gravy train.

In the name of national security, lawmakers are debating a bill that would tighten scrutiny of investments from other countries. An industry group that includes Blackstone Group LPApollo Global Management LLC and Carlyle Group LP is turning up the heat on Capitol Hill to minimize any possible damage…

Private Equity Giants Take On Congress With Billions on the Line

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Marc Mezvinsky, whose children’s grandparents have won the popular vote in U.S. presidential elections three times, is something of a Wall Street seeker. Like many sons of two congresspeople who major in religious studies and philosophy at Stanford, he tried the banking thing out for a while. But eight years at Goldman Sachs has a way of wearing on a guy, and so he decided to give the private equity thing a try. After marrying the daughter of a former president and then-current Secretary of State and future president, however, Mezvinsky decided to strike out on his own in yet another new field, hedge fundsThat didn’t take, either, mostly because he and his partners lost most of their investors’ money, and that West Wing office he had his eye on went to Jared Kushner. So after a few months on the couch with the kids, Mezvinsky chose to reinvent himself one more as a venture capitalist, joining Social Capital as vice chairman, where he would be charged with making Social look less like a VC shop…

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From its now-famously disastrous community banking business to its almost equally-embroiled-in-scandal consumer lending business to its don’t-forget-us-we-can-fuck-up-too investment bank, there’s nary a corner of the sprawling and crumbling edifice that is Wells Fargo that hasn’t been brought low or done something to merit a Congressional hearing. As of March, that includes its two high-net-worth brokerage units, Wealth Brokerage Services and Private Client Group. But, Tim Sloan & co. wonder, why have two businesses making potentially improper investment advice when one would suffice?…

Wells Fargo Wealth Management Businesses Bank’s Latest Gut Renovations

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Entity controlled by George Feldenkreis will acquire shares for $27.50 each; deal valued at $437 million

Perry Ellis International Inc. agreed to go private in a deal valued at $437 million, four months after George Feldenkreis, the founder and former executive chairman, made a bid for the apparel company.

A newly formed entity controlled by Mr. Feldenkreis will acquire the Perry Ellis shares for $27.50 each. The offer represents a premium of 21.6% to the company’s share price Feb. 5, the last day before the proposal from Mr. Feldenkreis…

Perry Ellis Agrees to Go Private After Bid From Former Executive Chairman

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New fund would target technology, consumer and other sectors across Asia-Pacific

U.S. private-equity firm Carlyle Group LP raised $6.55 billion for a new fund aimed at investing across the Asia-Pacific region in technology, consumer and other sectors, many of which are powered by a quickly ascendant middle class.

The Washington firm has closed its fifth Asia buyout fund, which surpassed its target of $5 billion, said X.D. Yang, chairman of Carlyle Asia ex-Japan and co-head of Asia buyout, in an interview. The fund is 68% larger than the firm’s fourth buyout fund, which closed in 2014 at $3.9 billion. That…

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  • Package-delivery company will add 12 767s and 12 777s
  •  New aircraft orders are meant to modernize aging cargo fleet

Boeing Co. landed a deal for 24 cargo aircraft from FedEx Corp. worth $6.6 billion as the revival in the air freight market continues to grow.

The package-hauler plans to add 12 of Boeing’s medium-size 767 freighters and 12 of the larger 777 cargo aircraft to its order book, the Chicago-based planemaker said in a statement Tuesday. FedEx is already the largest customer for both aircraft models…

Boeing Lands $6.6 Billion FedEx Deal

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  • Trump orders fresh tariffs on Chinese goods; China hits back
  •  Euro weakens with pound as dollar rallies along with yen

U.S. stocks fell, though major indexes traded well off session lows as a flare up in trade tensions eased to a simmer. Treasuries rose with the dollar.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average notched a sixth straight loss in its longest slump in more than a year, and the S&P 500 equaled its biggest drop in three weeks. The declines came after steep losses in Asia and Europe sparked by renewed concern the U.S. and China are headed for a full-blown trade war. Neither side escalated attacks Tuesday after President Donald Trump threatened fresh tariffs and China promised to retaliate in kind…

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Billionaire Howard Marks said the rise of index funds and computer-driven trading are reducing the role of people in the markets but creating room for a select few money managers to excel.

In a 17-page memo Monday, the co-chairman of investment firm Oaktree Capital Group LLC analyzed the effects of three industry trends: the increased use of passive, quantitative and artificial intelligence strategies in investing. On the first, Marks, 72, sees money continuing to flow into index products including exchange-traded funds. That has benefits such as reduced fees, trading costs and errors for investors, but a few active managers will outperform and remain in demand, he wrote…

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  • Stock fund outflows so far this year only exceeded by 2008
  •  Philippine, Thai central banks will meet this week on policy

A falling tide lowers all boats, it seems. Amid an exodus from emerging markets, investors are pulling out of even Asian economies with solid prospects for growth and debt financing.

Overseas funds are pulling out of six major Asian emerging equity markets at a pace unseen since the global financial crisis of 2008 — withdrawing $19 billion from India, Indonesia, the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand so far this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg…

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For Google, a half a billion dollars is a drop in the bucket. But that money could have an outsize impact on the American tech giant’s ability to re-enter China.

Google said Monday that it would invest $550 million in JD.com, one of China’s biggest e-commerce companies. The investment was a reminder that China, with all its promise, has been largely closed off to American tech giants, thanks to government censorship and fierce competition from homegrown rivals like Alibaba…

Google’s JD.com Deal Shows Silicon Valley Still Wants In on China

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  • Global wealth reached $201.9 trillion on equities, soft dollar
  •  Fastest growth in Asia, where fortunes increased 19% last year

The rich are getting a lot richer and doing so a lot faster.

Personal wealth around the globe reached $201.9 trillion last year, a 12 percent gain from 2016 and the strongest annual pace in the past five years, Boston Consulting Group said in a report released Thursday. Booming equity markets swelled fortunes, and investors outside the U.S. got an exchange-rate bonus as most major currencies strengthened against the greenback…

Millionaires Now Own Half of World’s Personal Wealth

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‘Brutal’ rally in dollar-priced crude hammers governments, strains consumers from U.K. to Brazil

For Americans, rising oil prices are threatening $3-a-gallon gasoline and pushing up prices for plane tickets. In many other parts of the world, today’s crude rally is more painful—sparking protests, gas lines and emergency subsidies to quell unrest.

That is because many consumers outside the U.S. face a double whammy when—like now—the dollar gets stronger at the same time that oil prices rise. While petroleum is produced all over the globe, when it is sold to refiners and other buyers it is almost always priced in dollars…

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Masayoshi Son, the founder of the Japanese technology giant SoftBank, has seen the future — and he wants to buy a slice of it.

Mr. Son believes that, not long from now, our lives will be dominated by robots, artificial intelligence and other advanced technologies. He wants to invest in the companies that will build that future through his company’s nearly $100 billion Vision Fund…

SoftBank Wants to Build the Future. Here Are Some New Bets It Could Make.

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As Rupert Murdoch considers a response to Comcast Corp.’s $35-a-sharecash proposal for 21st Century Fox Inc.’s entertainment assets, it’s worth noting that Walt Disney Co.’s offer has strengthened with its share price.

Shares in Disney, which agreed on its deal with Fox in December, rose more than 2 percent in New York on Thursday, to about $108.75.

Rising Share Price Strengthens Disney’s Bid for Fox Assets

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WASHINGTON — A federal judge on Tuesday approved the blockbuster merger between AT&T and Time Warner, rebuffing the government’s effort to stop the $85.4 billion deal, in a decision that is expected to unleash a wave of corporate takeovers.

The judge, Richard J. Leon of United States District Court in Washington, said the Justice Department had not proved that the telecom company’s acquisition of Time Warner would lead to fewer choices for consumers and higher prices for television and internet services…

AT&T Wins Approval for $85.4 Billion Time Warner Deal in Defeat for Justice Dept.

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  • Argentine peso extends losses as central bank keeps mum
  •  Macri may be challenged to reach IMF’s fiscal targets

Argentina is struggling to stop the peso’s plunge just a week after obtaining the biggest loan in the history of the International Monetary Fund.

Traders are desperate for policy makers to lay out a strategy to curb the volatility, and complain that all they’re getting in response is disjointed and unpredictable policy. The rout deepened Thursday as the currency tumbled more than 6 percent against the dollar to a record low, extending its decline since the end of April to almost 27 percent…

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  • Clause gives baseball team a buyback option in event of sale
  •  Comcast bid $65 billion for Fox’s assets, including YES

The New York Yankees are considering buying back the YES Network, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The Yankees ceded control of the regional sports network four years ago to Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox Inc., which increased its stake to 80 percent from 49 percent. That agreement included a clause that gives the baseball team the right to buy back the network in the event Fox puts it up for sale, said the person, who asked to be anonymous because the deal terms are private…

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Tesla, the electric car company defined by the moonshot mentality of its chief executive, Elon Musk, has started to act with apparent caution.

Out of a desire to show some profits, Tesla said on Tuesday it was laying off around 9 percent of its work force. The announcement came a month after Tesla said it was reducing its forecasts for capital expenditures, a move that would conserve some cash…

Tesla Is Coming to Its Financial Senses. That Has Its Own Risks.

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  • Rating company expects central bank to tighten in near term
  •  Economic growth accelerated to 7.4% in first quarter

Vietnam mustn’t sacrifice stability for high-speed growth if it’s to become an investment-grade economy, warned Fitch Ratings.

The rating company wants evidence that macroeconomic stability is more entrenched before considering further upgrades for Vietnam, said Stephen Schwartz, head of sovereign ratings in Asia Pacific for Fitch, which last month lifted the nation’s credit score to BB. Fitch is also monitoring efforts to address the economy’s structural weaknesses, including the reform of state-owned enterprises and management of non-performing loans…

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Think the run-up in Tesla Inc. shares is about done? Elon Musk doesn’t seem to think so.

The CEO shelled out $24.9 million to buy 72,500 more shares on Tuesday, according to a regulatory filing. The purchase followed a roughly 13 percent jump for the stock since its chief executive bought $9.85 million worth of shares on May 7

Musk Bets Tesla Rally Has Legs With $24.9 Million Stock Purchase

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  • Firm’s return on sale of AniCura stake was more than 10-fold
  •  Fidelio has no time limit, no short-term return requirements

Swedish investment firm Fidelio Capital just scored a more than 10-fold return when it sold its stake in AniCura after seven years of careful nurturing of the animal hospitals and clinics provider.

Backed by funding from Katarina Martinson, the daughter of Swedish billionaire investor and Industrivarden AB Chairman Fredrik Lundberg, Fidelio makes investments with a longer-term outlook than traditional private equity firms, according to Founder and Chief Executive Officer Gabriel Fitzgerald. While private-equity firms typically have an investment horizon of 5-10 years, Fidelio has no time constraints…

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  • From jobs to dots, Powell offered new details on key ideas
  •  The Fed chair made clear that some big questions are mysteries

Jerome Powell gave Federal Reserve-watchers some meaningful answers on Wednesday. He also left them scratching their heads over ever-bigger questions.

The Federal Open Market Committee closed out its June meeting by raising interest rates and suggesting it’ll hike twice more this year, and the Fed chairman announced that he’ll soon start giving press conferences every — rather than every other — policy meeting…

Powell Solves Some Fed Policy Mysteries, Plot Thickens on Others

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  • Unemployment falling, inflation rising faster than projected
  •  Powell announces press conferences after every FOMC meeting

Federal Reserve officials raised interest rates for the second time this year and upgraded their forecast to four total increases in 2018, as unemployment falls and inflation overshoots their target faster than previously projected.

The so-called “dot plot” released Wednesday showed eight Fed policy makers expected four or more quarter-point rate increases for the full year, compared with seven officials during the previous forecast round in March. The number viewing three or fewer hikes as appropriate fell to seven from eight. The median estimate implied three increases in 2019 to put the rate above the level where officials see policy neither stimulating nor restraining the economy…

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Jerome H. Powell, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, made comments on Wednesday that are likely to go down well with supporters of President Trump’s increasingly belligerent trade policies…

As a Trade War With China Looms, the Fed’s Powell Did Not Sound Worried

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  • Cable giant took step after AT&T got clearance for Time Warner
  •  Disney under pressure to improve its $52.4 billion offer

Your move, Disney.

After Comcast Corp. made a $65 billion bid on Wednesday for 21st Century Fox Inc.’s entertainment assets — the same holdings that Walt Disney Co. had agreed to buy for about $52.4 billion — the Mouse House is under pressure to respond…

Disney Under Gun to Respond After Comcast’s $65 Billion Fox Bid

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“U.S. support for the Sunni camp was made clear by the fact that Trump made Riyadh his first foreign stop as president, by his willingness to sell the Saudis $110 billion in military equipment, and by his repeated criticisms of Iran during his speech.  Why the United States would want to tilt toward either side in the Sunni-Shiite divide is mystifying.

These two sects have been at odds for centuries, with no signs of a detente. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the world’s most dangerous terrorist organization, is Sunni. The same goes for al-Qaeda, the group founded by Osama bin Laden that brought down the World Trade Center on 9/11.”…

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  • S&P 500 closes up 0.9% as U.S. CPI below estimates; oil steady
  •  10-year Treasury yield back below 3%; pound declines

Asian stocks rallied after their U.S. counterparts gained amid relief the latest reading on American inflation suggested less need for the Federal Reserve to accelerate monetary tightening. The dollar steadied after dropping the most since March.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index is heading for its best week since February thanks to easing investor concerns that higher U.S. yields and a stronger dollar would spur broad contagion. Equity benchmarks advanced across most of the region, with Japan’s Topix heading for its highest close in 10 weeks. Malaysian assets trading offshore began to stabilize after the shock election win for the opposition. Ten-year Treasury yields held below 3 percent…

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  • U.S. bank seeks 51% stake as CEO Dimon aims for full control
  •  UBS, Nomura submitted similar applications in recent weeks

JPMorgan Brokering (Hong Kong) Ltd. is seeking permission to take a 51 percent stake in a local entity, China Securities Regulatory Commission spokeswoman Gao Li said in a statement late Thursday. The regulator will review the application “efficiently” in accordance with the law and regulations, the statement said…

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Sam Walton, who opened the first Walmart store in Rogers, Ark., in 1962, considered himself a natural merchant. “I could sell,’’ he once wrote.

Now the giant retailer he created must prove that it can also successfully buy.

Walmart on Wednesday announced a $16 billion deal to purchase 77 percent of the Indian e-commerce service Flipkart as part of its strategy to capture a piece of a fast-growing and increasingly tech-savvy market. The Flipkart deal, one of the largest and riskiest in Walmart’s history, follows a pattern of purchases over the past 18 months that includes a men’s clothing brand and a delivery start-up…

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  • Insurer’s shares price at $20, short of $24-$27 range
  •  Offering still tops Pagseguro Digital, iQiyi listings

Axa Equitable Holdings Inc., encompassing the American operations for French insurance giant Axa SA, fell almost $1 billion short of its targeted share sale in what was still the biggest U.S. initial public offering of the year.

Axa Equitable Holdings raised $2.75 billion, selling 137.25 million shares for $20 each. That was short of its targeted range of $24 to $27 apiece. The proceeds from the listing will help its French parent company fund its biggest-ever acquisition: a $15.3 billion takeover of XL Group Ltd.

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The job of New York attorney general over the past two decades has proved to be a launching pad for aspiring politicians who used their legal authority to go after Wall Street hucksters, corrupt politicians and real estate scofflaws.

It was a strategy laid out by former Gov. Eliot Spitzer and by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who had both held the role. And Eric T. Schneiderman showed no reservation in following a similar playbook when he went after the big banks for mortgage abuses and the ride-hailing company Uber for its use of customer data…

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  • Japanese drugmaker secures $31 billion bridge loan from banks
  •  CEO Weber says deal transforms company, giving it global reach

Chief Executive Officer Christophe Weber capped a drawn-out pursuit of the U.K.-listed company with an acquisition he described as transformational that will give Takeda wider reach into the world’s biggest drug market and strengthen its global pipeline for lucrative drugs that treat rare diseases…

Takeda Moves to Join Pharma Giants With $62 Billion Shire Deal

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Billionaire Albert Frere’s Groupe Bruxelles Lambert SA selected Goldman Sachs’s international unit to sell its 6.6 percent stake in Burberry for about 498 million pounds ($673 million). While the investment bank bought the shares at a discount of more than 4 percent to Tuesday’s closing price, the stock fell on the news and dropped as much as 7.8 percent in London. That left the firm holding shares at a paper loss, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the bank’s position isn’t public…

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May
08

Private Equity Going Public?

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The fact that more public companies are being acquired by large global private equity firms is neither shocking nor problematic, at least according to the titans of private equity.

It’s hardly surprising that boards of formerly public companies elect to give private equity a chance, said Jonathan Sokoloff, managing partner of Leonard Green & Partners…

Private Equity Going Public?

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  • At least three co-founders are on brink of 10-figure fortunes
  •  Chairman Lei Jun may end up as China’s fourth-richest person

Eight years later, Lei Jun and the seven other Xiaomi co-founders have created a company that wants to challenge the global industry dominance of Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. It’s also targeting an initial public offering that’s expected to be the largest since 2014, and which could create five new billionaires…

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  • Park Avenue unit is $9 million collateral as taxi loans swoon
  •  Deal with Sterling National suggests financial pressure

The transaction, outlined in public filings this week, indicates the financial pressure on Cohen is hitting close to home as federal prosecutors delve into a broad range of his business activities, including a hush payment to a porn actress…

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  • Ashkenazy, Kingdom Holding are said to exercise option
  •  Investors Shahal Khan and Kamran Hakim previously struck deal

Ashkenazy and Kingdom have less than two weeks to come up with a deposit and proof of funds for the total or their deal will be canceled, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the details of the deal are private. A cancellation would reinstate the earlier agreement, signed by Shahal Khan and Kamran Hakim, the person said…

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If the employees of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and all its subsidiaries were packed into one city, the population would be about the same as Tampa, Florida.

The inhabitants of this fictional town—call it Buffettville, after the company’s longtime leader, Warren Buffett—would be its own economic microcosm. There’d be airplane pilots, train conductors, garment workers, welders, insurance adjusters, chemists and car salesmen, to name just a few professions. Every year, as the conglomerate buys companies in the real world, more factories and offices would pop up in Buffettville, adding to its population…

As Warren Buffett’s Empire Expands, Many Jobs Disappear

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Investments called private placements are among the fastest growing in finance, outpacing the public stock market. They are frequently populated by brokers with red flags in their record

Ray Kay, who works as a financial adviser in Beverly Hills, Calif., advertised on the radio a purportedly low-risk, high-income investment.

There were a few points Mr. Kay omitted. He used to be called Raymond L. Kotrozo. Under that name, he was barred from the securities industry for allegedly running a fraud, according to public records, and later fined $5,000 for breaking that ban…

A Private-Market Deal Gone Bad: Sketchy Brokers, Bilked Seniors and a Cosmetologist

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COPENHAGEN — At first blush, Margrethe Vestager’s decision to investigate Apple’s planned acquisition of the music-identification app Shazam seems fairly minor, at least by her standards. As Europe’s competition commissioner, Ms. Vestager is known for aggressively pursuing big cases against Silicon Valley giants, and the Shazam deal is a smallish one, by most estimates valued at far less than $1 billion.

But what interests Ms. Vestager about the transaction is not the amount of money at stake, but the amount of data. In a rapidly expanding information economy, she believes the control of data is a new regulatory frontier…

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A funny thing happened on the way to impeaching Donald Trump. After two-years of investigations by a highly politicized FBI and a Special Counsel stacked with Clinton supporters, Robert Mueller’s probe has resulted in the resignation of National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, the arrests of Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, and the indictment of 13 Russian nationals on allegations of hacking the 2016 election – along with the raid of Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen.

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Democracies will increasingly have to choose between raising wages and redistributing income or maintaining free trade and capital flows. Because they are likely to choose the former, the world may face a long-term reversal of globalization.

Investment-driven growth can broadly occur in the form of one of two models, each with a different way of treating wages and household income. One model, which I will call the high-wage model, incorporates and encourages high wages as the engine behind growth and productivity gains. I will call the other model the high-savings model. In this model, growth seems to be driven mainly by growth in savings, which provides the cheap capital that drives investment, which in turn drives productivity gains…

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The leaders of Xerox, who looked to be on their way out just two days ago, may not be going anywhere just yet.

The embattled office equipment company said late Thursday that a settlement it reached earlier this week with unhappy shareholders would not go into effect because a key deadline had been missed. That settlement had called for the replacement of Jeff Jacobson, the company’s chief executive, and a majority of its board of directors…

Xerox Executives Stay Put as Settlement With Carl Icahn Expires

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With the Iran Deal looking increasingly fragile, front-month WTI futures have just traded above $70 for the first time since Nov 2014.

$70 just happens to be the 50% retracement from the Aug 2013 highs to the Feb 2016 lows…

WTI Tops $70 For First Time Since Nov 2014 As Iran Deal Deadline Looms

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The nation’s largest bank is also an adorably lame wannabe early adopter dad who “just loves tech” so it came as something less than a surprise to learn that JPMorgan went and pulled ‘An Uber’ in a bold move to bolster it’s machine learning division…

The largest U.S. bank by assets said Thursday that Carnegie Mellon University’s head of machine learning will join JPMorgan in a new role, head of artificial-intelligence research.
In the position, Manuela Veloso, who is also a professor at Carnegie Mellon, will build on the bank’s existing work applying machine learning technology, according to an internal memo reviewed by The Wall Street Journal…

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  • Ezra Chowaiki pleads guilty to fraud for cheating collectors
  •  Prosecutors said he duped clients out of millions of dollars

A Manhattan art dealer pleaded guilty to using paintings by Wassily Kandinsky and other renowned artists as bait to defraud collectors and investors out of millions of dollars.

Ezra Chowaiki, who was the face of Chowaiki & Co. Fine Art Ltd. on Park Avenue before its bankruptcy filing in November, entered his plea Thursday in federal court in Manhattan. He agreed to forfeit $16 million and 25 works of art, including paintings by Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall and Edgar Degas…
Manhattan Art Dealer Faces Federal Prison Over Investor Scam
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Stocks took a big dip lower today, but managed to recover quite a bit of that this afternoon.

There may have been some relief from the lack of screaming headlines from the first day of the US-China trade talks.

Gold and silver gained a bit as the US Dollar gave up some of that short term overbought condition as Noted yesterday.

Tomorrow will be the Non-Farm Payrolls report. The economic calendar with the specific forecasts is included below.

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  • HDFC Bank to add up to 150 private bankers to 250-strong team
  •  Advises clients to steer clear of India’s stressed assets

India’s clampdown on unaccounted cash has sent a flood of money into the private banking industry, prompting a major lender to embark on a hiring binge for wealth managers.

HDFC Bank Ltd. — the most preferred wealth manager in India among high net worth clients surveyed by Euromoney — plans to add as many as 150 relationship managers by the end of 2020 to the current 250, said Rakesh Singh, group head of private banking. He started hiring at a faster pace last year, when he added about 50…
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Ricky Sandler‘s hedge fund firm Eminence Capital has filed a 13G with the SEC regarding shares of Formula One (FWONK).  Per the filing, Eminence now owns 5.4% of the company with over 10.86 million shares.

This is up from the 8.58 million shares they owned at the end of 2017.  The filing was made due to activity on March 19th…

Eminence Capital Boosts Formula One Position

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Hennes & Mauritz AB Chairman Stefan Persson may be single-handedly propping up shares in the Swedish fashion retailer.

In April alone, the billionaire acquired about 18.2 million shares in Stockholm-based H&M for 2.46 billion kronor ($278 million), bringing the value of purchases since the beginning of last year to 13.4 billion kronor…
One Man May Be Propping Up Shares in H&M
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  • Backyard serves as site of cannabis industry matchmaking event
  •  Gathering tied to the Milken Institute Global Conference

At one of the many after-parties surrounding the Milken Institute Global Conference, Jim Belushi charmed a crowd of diners with jokes and harmonica playing. But the actor and comedian wasn’t there as the entertainment: He was on a mission to promote marijuana.

Belushi’s $38.5 million Los Angeles mansion was the setting Tuesday night for Green Table Global’s latest exclusive dinner, where about 150 people mingled in the expansive backyard. Green Table hosts events to bring together wealthy investors and cannabis entrepreneurs…
Jim Belushi Hosts Pot Party for Investors at His L.A. Mansion
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The BAD stage of inflation has officially hit.

As I have noted previous, inflation enters the financial system in stages. The first stage involves a jump in prices paid by producers. This means that those firms responsible for manufacturing goods and services, suddenly see a sharp spike in the cost of basic materials they use to build/ manufacture.

That process began in early 2016 and accelerated throughout 201 into this year…

The Financial System is Moving into an Inflationary Setup… Is Your Portfolio?

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United States Treasury Secretary and famed non-economist Steven Mnuchin flew home to Los Angeles the other day in order to spend time around a different group of people who have no idea how he got successful, and also for an appearance at The Milken Industry Global Conference.

The Warlock of Washington clearly felt at home in a room of bold-name financial types, and appears to have gotten so relaxed that he ended up reinforcing the notion that he’s an adorably unqualified political shill having a real fun time running the Treasury Department. Sitting in Beverly Hills and staring out at a sea of people who know infinitely more about him than what’s happening in the macroeconomy and aren’t hemmed in by their willing emotional servitude to a mental autocrat who uses the DJIA to measure part of his self-worth, Mnuchin attempted to pooh-pooh market fears by just, like, saying “Me no worried.”…

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The single biggest issue… the one that 99% of investors continue to ignore when it comes to investing or making forecasts… is the fact that Central Bank rigged the entire financial system post-2009.

They did this by cornering the sovereign bond market.

Because sovereign bonds are the bedrock of the current fiat, debt-based financial system (the risk-free rate of return against which all risk is valued), when Central Banks did this, they literally created a bubble in Everything…

How to Invest In an Everything Bubble

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Yes, it is May Day, time to think about workers and socialism, while Vladimir Putin gets himself inaugurated for another term as President of Russia, with military vehicles parading In Red Square like they used to for the glory of the workers, but today for the glory of President Putin.

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Richard Jenrette, who co-founded the investment bank Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette in 1959, spent four decades on Wall Street. When he died last week from complications of cancer at the age of 89, he left behind on his desk 24 rules to succeed — in finance, and in life. The list, titled “What I Learned,” was shared Sunday at an intimate memorial service for family and local friends in Charleston, South Carolina. Here’s what it said:

Legendary Investment Banker Richard Jenrette Left These 24 Rules for Success

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  • StanChart is among lenders competing in $292 billion business
  • Banks are securing funding in anticipation of loan growth

Competition in Hong Kong’s $292 billion time-deposit business is intensifying as a surge in short-term borrowing costs forces banks to seek other avenues of funding…

Banks Scrambling for Hong Kong Deposits Push Rates as High as 3%

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  • Sees potential $50 billion stock buying by trend followers
  • It ‘is not correct’ that ‘there is no one to buy equities’

An “upside-down” market may bode well for U.S. stocks, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co…

JPMorgan Says Unusual Market Could Mean ‘Buy in May’

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Thanks to some hard work from the folks over at the [previously] non-partisan Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, the American public is now aware that Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has spent $1 million of taxpayer money by refusing to fly commercial.

Based on what CREW has found by FOIA’ing and then suing to obtain Mnuchin’s travel records, it seems that Mnooks has pulled every possible bureaucratic lever available to him to avoid getting on anything other than a private government plane while traveling for business or pleasure in his 15 months running Treasury.  Mnuchin’s travel has eviscerated modern norms of travel expenses for any federal employee who is not the president and reflects an almost pathological refusal to not get exactly what he wants…

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