Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) announced on Monday that it's teaming up with Europe's four largest media-lobbying groups to help rework how news stories are shared and monetized on the continent. The move follows Australia's introduction of a system that requires large tech companies to pay money to news sites that feature media on their platforms. The recently formed coalition will push for similar stipulations to be included in the European Union's upcoming legislation to put tighter regulations on Big Tech.
A new pro-Trump think tank is leading a right-wing charge against Big Tech, urging Republican leaders to legislate to rein in the major platforms.What's happening: Republicans typically are skeptical of intervening in markets. But these groups are pressuring Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to drop that reluctance when it comes to Big Tech.Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with Axios Markets. Subscribe for freeDriving the news: The Center for American Restoration, the new organization stood up by former Trump administration official Russ Vought, is leading a coalition of groups calling for a "proliferation of legislative activity" to reform Big Tech.They argue that the corporate power amassed by tech companies is a greater threat to free speech and democratic ideals than government overreach.The organizations signing on include Jim DeMint's Conservative Partnership Institute, Mike Davis' Internet Accountability Project, and L. Brent Bozell III's Media Research Center.The big picture: The fight between the pro-Trump and traditional free-market factions of the GOP over the right approach to Big Tech is yet another way the Republican policy agenda is splintering. What they're saying: "Conservatives have long been skeptical of government intervention in the free market, and such skepticism remains critical in the fights to come for our movement," the Center for American Restoration wrote in a Wednesday letter to congressional leaders. "But we cannot be blind to the reality that stares us in the face: concentrated corporate power of this nature is as much a threat to the spirit of our Constitution as abuses of its letter by the government itself."Context: Trump and his allies have long complained that tech platforms like Facebook and Twitter censor conservatives, and their anger only deepened with Trump's banishment from the social networks after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. The companies argue they're enforcing rules to protect users from hate speech and misinformation. Of note: As Axios' Ashley Gold notes, some former Trump-era Justice Department officials also are helping push anti- Big Tech messages as part of their new gigs.Alexei Woltornist, who formerly led communications for the DOJ's antitrust division, and Jonathan Bronitsky, who served as former Attorney General William Barr's chief speechwriter, have launched a PR and strategic communications firm called Athos that is partly focusing on Big Tech. One recent project includes landing an anti-Big Tech Newsweek op-ed about building a "second internet."Like this article? Get more from Axios and subscribe to Axios Markets for free.
Boeing Co will pay $6.6 million to U.S. regulators as part of a settlement over quality and safety-oversight lapses going back years, a setback that comes as Boeing wrestles with repairs to flawed 787 Dreamliner jets that could dwarf the cost of the federal penalty. Boeing is beginning painstaking repairs and forensic inspections to fix structural integrity flaws embedded deep inside at least 88 parked 787s built over the last year or so, a third industry source said. The inspections and retrofits could take up to a month per plane and are likely to cost hundreds of millions - if not billions - of dollars, though it depends on the number of planes and defects involved, the person said.
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Charlie Munger, vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and long-time business partner of Warren Buffett, issued a strong condemnation of the businesses he said enabled the recent frenzy of speculative trading by retail investors.
In a blow to Democrats, the Senate parliamentarian ruled the chamber cannot include President Joe Biden's proposed $15-an-hour minimum wage in a $1.9 trillion coronavirus bill the party aims to pass without Republican votes, lawmakers said on Thursday. Democrats and progressives had hoped to include the minimum wage increase in the legislation to help cushion the economic blow of the coronavirus pandemic and better compensate low-wage workers who have spent months on the front lines of the health crisis as essential workers. Biden is "disappointed in the decision," White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement, and "will work with leaders in Congress to determine the best path forward because no one in this country should work full time and live in poverty."
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A medical graduate who had about $440,000 in student debt saw 98% of his loans cancelled by a bankruptcy court in California, according to a recent filing.
Chinese national banks and Australia's Macquarie Group are quietly filling some of the multi-billion-dollar hole in Asian oil financing after the withdrawal of traditional European lenders, hurt by a raft of defaults and fraud allegations. Established financiers still taking on oil transactions, such as France's BNP Paribas and Singapore's OCBC, have raised compliance standards and are shying away from higher-risk small traders and refiners, according to interviews with over a dozen trading and banking executives. Beijing-controlled Bank of China, ICBC Standard and Agricultural Bank of China are among the few institutions that are expanding credit in the sector, mostly as customers activate dormant lending facilities set up previously but left unused as they were viewed as too expensive or restrictive.
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Charlie Munger: It's 'absolute insanity' to think owning 100 stocks instead of five makes you a better investor
Munger says the argument for diversification should be called 'diworsification.'
(Bloomberg) -- Li Ka-shing, Hong Kong’s richest property tycoon, is planning to raise funds for dealmaking by listing a special purpose acquisition company in the U.S., people with knowledge of the matter said.A company backed by Li’s family is working with advisers on the potential SPAC initial public offering, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. They are considering seeking around $400 million, though the exact terms haven’t been finalized, the people said.The blank-check company could file registration documents with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as soon as this week, the people said.Li is lionized by the public in Hong Kong, where he’s been nicknamed “Superman” for his investing prowess. The 92-year-old businessman became famous for his well-timed bets on everything from real estate to social media as he built a corporate empire spanning 50 countries.His family controls CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd., a $29 billion conglomerate that owns one of the world’s biggest port operators and has telecommunications, retail and infrastructure operations across Asia and Europe. They also run CK Asset Holdings Ltd., which is one of Hong Kong’s largest developers and also has investments in hotels, utilities and aircraft leasing. Both companies are now led by Li’s elder son, Victor.Li’s younger son, Richard, has already raised about $900 million via two U.S.-listed SPACs with tech mogul Peter Thiel. Richard is considering setting up a third blank-check company, Bloomberg News reported last week.No final decisions have been made, and details of the transaction could change, the people said. Representatives for Li didn’t immediately respond to emailed queries.(Adds details about Richard Li’s SPAC plans in sixth paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
A London court ruled on Thursday that billionaire Indian diamond magnate Nirav Modi could be extradited to his home country to face charges of fraud, money laundering and interfering with an investigation. Modi, whose diamonds have been worn by the likes of Kate Winslet and Dakota Johnson, was arrested in Britain in March 2019 and has been in custody since then, appearing at court hearings by video-link from Wandsworth Prison. He faces several sets of charges relating to an alleged large-scale fraud at the Punjab National Bank, to the laundering of the proceeds of that fraud, and to alleged intimidation of witnesses and disappearance of evidence.
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Stock market news live updates: Stocks drop, Nasdaq posts worst session since October as tech rout deepens
Stocks traded lower as a rapid rise in Treasury yields spooked equity investors.
GameStop Corp shares rallied on Thursday, finishing with double-digit gains despite a sharp retreat from session highs and leading a surprise resurgence of so-called "stonks" championed online by passionate retail investors. GameStop shares, which doubled their value on Wednesday, hit $160 at Thursday's open before being halted after several minutes of trading and fell to around $129 before the second halt. Other "stonks" or "meme stocks" popular on sites such as Reddit's WallStreetBets also saw their rallies fade.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Tuesday ordered immediate inspections of 777s with Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engines before further flights, after an engine failed on a United Airlines 777 on Saturday. The planemaker and the FAA had been discussing potential fixes for about two years, following an earlier incident in 2018, according to the Journal.
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Golden Globes scandal: We should not allow awards show to continue if 'rigged,' says Color of Change president
The L.A. Times’ recent bombshell investigation of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the non-profit organization that selects Golden Globe winners, revealed allegations of corruption.
(Bloomberg) -- After weeks of grumbling, the world’s biggest bond market spoke loud and clear Thursday -- growth and inflation are moving higher. The message wreaked havoc across risk assets.Benchmark 10-year Treasury yields catapulted to the highest in more than a year at over 1.6% and traders yanked forward their opinion of how soon the Federal Reserve will be forced to tighten policy. Equities tumbled, as higher borrowing costs put pressure on soaring valuations. Even Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen felt the sting, with record low demand for a fresh round of government debt.Speculation is building that a year of emergency stimulus is not only working, but has left some areas of the economy at risk of one day overheating. Locked in the same patterns for months by the Covid-19 crisis, markets now appear to have begun a long-awaited process of repricing themselves, as trillions of dollars of federal spending and positive vaccine results boost odds developed countries will heal faster than central bankers expected.“The economy is already recovering and a lot of people think that this stimulus proposed is much more than what’s needed,” said John Carey, portfolio manager at Amundi Asset Management U.S. “You put too many coals on the fire and we build the fire to a very intense level. People start to think the Fed won’t be able to keep rates where they are.”After holding at historically low levels since April, the jump in Treasury yields -- even if it bespeaks economic health -- is inevitably a jarring spectacle for traders, forcing them to reconsider positions in multiple markets. Megacap tech names -- previously the bull market’s darlings -- led the plunge on Thursday, with the Nasdaq 100 sinking almost 4% as the rise in rates made it harder to justify valuations that are higher than any time since the dot-com bubble.Lofty bond yields even overwhelmed areas of equities that tend to benefit from higher rates. The KBW Bank Index -- which climbed to its highest level since 2007 on Wednesday -- dropped by 2.7% amid the carnage. Energy and utility shares in the S&P 500 also fell at least 1%.Currency markets were jolted as well. The Bloomberg Dollar Index rallied 0.7% Thursday, the most since September, while historically volatile emerging market currencies slid. The South African rand, Turkish lira and Mexican peso led the drop in emerging markets, falling at least 2%.The impact of lockstep moves in bonds and stocks can be seen in sophisticated portfolio strategies such as risk parity, which try to balance exposure across assets, according to Wells Fargo Investment Institute. The $1.2 billion The RPAR Risk Parity exchange-traded fund (ticker RPAR) dropped as much as 2.7% -- its biggest decline since March 18, 2020, in the height of the pandemic rout.“Right now those rates are increasing at a pace that may be unsettling to strategies such as risk parity, and the fixed income volatility is spilling over into other assets,” said Sameer Samana, Wells Fargo Investment Institute’s senior global market strategist. “Until the speed at which rates are rising slows, we may need to mentally prepare ourselves for more days like this.”Breakeven inflation rates -- bond trader projections for where they see annual consumer price inflation averaging over the decade -- are at multiyear peaks. At about 2.2%, it is up sharply from last year, when it fell as low as 0.47% in March.“We are in uncharted territory where we are likely to experience a global economic rebound with a global surge in inflation never experienced before,” said Bryce Doty, portfolio manager at Sit Fixed Income Advisors. “No one knows how it will play out.”While the U.S. unemployment rate clocks in at a still-elevated 6.3%, that’s below the 6.5% level that policymakers had forecast last June. A string of economic data as kept Citigroup Inc.’s Economic Surprise Index in solidly positive territory since last June, including retail and housing reports that have handily topped forecasts.For now, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell and his colleagues insist their best course of action is to hold interest rates low to ensure the recovery takes hold. Powell told the Senate Banking Committee Tuesday that the recent run-up in bond yields that has unsettled the stock market “a statement of confidence” in a robust economic outlook.On Thursday, as bond yields were exploding, Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic said “the economy can run pretty hot without seeing significant spikes in inflation.”While that may be true, financial markets are relentlessly forward looking -- and see the risks that come with a potential overheating. For now, the most obvious manifestation of that is the bond-market selloff, with investment firms including BlackRock Inc.’s research arm and Aberdeen Standard Investments retreating from government debt.“When the bond market wants to run, it’s going to run much faster than any central banker, and that again is on full display,” said Peter Boockvar, chief investment officer for Bleakley Advisory Group. “Also, be careful what you wish for. Don’t spend all your waking hours trying to artificially suppress interest rates and then root for higher inflation because when the market thinks that inflation will come, it will run you over.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
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Stock futures steadied on Thursday after a selloff during the regular trading day.
- USA TODAY
Critics say Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus is excessive but supporters say it's just the right medicine for an unprecedented downturn
(Bloomberg) -- New Zealand’s government will require the central bank to take account of rampant house prices when it sets interest rates, a change that may restrict its ability to run loose monetary policy.The Reserve Bank’s remit will be amended so that the bank considers “the impact on housing when making monetary and financial policy decisions,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said in a statement Thursday in Wellington. The New Zealand dollar jumped to its highest since 2017 as investors ramped up bets on higher interest rates.The government is under political pressure to cool an overheating housing market, which has been fueled by record-low borrowing costs after the RBNZ responded to the coronavirus pandemic by slashing its cash rate and embarking on quantitative easing. Governor Adrian Orr pushed back against Robertson’s proposal when it was first made last year, saying that forcing the bank to consider house prices when setting rates could lead to below-target employment and inflation.“The more objectives you’ve got, the more complicated it can be to meet all those objectives,” said Nick Tuffley, chief economist at ASB Bank in Auckland. “Inflation and employment is what they will focus on, but they have to think harder about how their decisions impact on the housing market.”The kiwi dollar jumped about a third of a U.S. cent to 74.55 cents, its highest since August 2017. Bond yields and swap rates also rose on news of the changed remit, which comes into force on March 1. Investors are now pricing a 30% chance of a rate hike in November, even though the RBNZ yesterday sought to damp bets on tighter policy and said it could cut rates further if needed.Robertson ‘In Charge’“The market is saying no more rate cuts, so push the kiwi higher,” said Jason Wong, currency strategist at Bank of New Zealand in Wellington. “The RBNZ has shown its independence by saying ‘we don’t like this measure,’ but they are going to have to live with it because the finance minister’s in charge.”Robertson said today that the RBNZ’s objectives and mandate remain the same, which is to maintain price stability, support full employment and promote a sound and stable financial system.But a change to the Monetary Policy Committee’s remit will force it to “assess the effect of its monetary policy decisions on the government’s policy.” A clause has been added stating that the government’s policy “is to support more sustainable house prices, including by dampening investor demand for existing housing stock, which would improve affordability for first-home buyers.”“The committee retains autonomy over whether and how its decisions take account of potential housing consequences, but it will need to explain regularly how it has sought to assess the impacts on housing outcomes,” Robertson said.Robertson also issued a direction under the Reserve Bank Act requiring the bank to have regard to government policy on housing in relation to its financial policy functions.In a statement Thursday, the RBNZ said it “welcomes the direction it has received today from the Minister of Finance.” It said changes to financial stability policy are “in tune with our recent advice.”The bank acknowledged the change to its monetary policy remit but noted its targets “remain unchanged.”“The adjustments increase the focus on understanding and communicating the impact of the bank’s decisions on house price sustainability,” Orr said in the statement. “We have a long-standing commitment to transparency about our policy actions and approaches, and this will continue.”Soaring house prices have raised concerns that first-time buyers are being locked out of the market. Much of the surge has been attributed to investors taking advantage of low interest rates.The RBNZ, which predicts prices will rise 22% in the year through June, is reinstating mortgage lending restrictions and will tighten them further for investors from May 1.Orr in December recommended that the bank be required to address the issue of rapid house-price inflation via financial policy, and requested it be allowed to add debt-to-income ratios to its macro-prudential toolkit.Robertson said today he has asked the RBNZ to provide advice on interest-only mortgages and debt-to-income ratios. He would want the latter to apply only to investors, he said.“Today’s announcement is just the first step as the government considers broader advice about how to cool the housing market,” Robertson said. “We know the rapid increases we have seen in recent months are not sustainable, which has meant many first-home buyers are struggling to access the market. We’ll be making further announcements in the coming weeks on other policy responses.”(Includes chart)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
- Associated Press
All the groceries spoiled and the water was out for days. Then Melissa Rogers, a believer in the Texas gospel that government should know its place, woke up to a $6,000 energy bill before the snow and ice even melted. Now, the emerging response to a winter catastrophe that caused one of the worst power outages in U.S. history is not the usual one in Texas: demands for more regulation.
The mini electric vehicle being made by China's biggest carmaker is now outselling Tesla two to one.
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QuantumScape founder Jagdeep Singh chats with Yahoo Finance Live on what his company has on tap this year.