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Biden Picks Powell As “Continuity” Wins Out At Fed; Brainard To Be Vice Chair

Biden Picks Powell As "Continuity" Wins Out At Fed; Brainard To Be Vice Chair

Update (1000ET): More comments from influential lawmakers are pouring in, with Senate liberal and Warren BFF Sherrod Brown becoming the latest to praise Powell…

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Biden Picks Powell As "Continuity" Wins Out At Fed; Brainard To Be Vice Chair

Update (1000ET): More comments from influential lawmakers are pouring in, with Senate liberal and Warren BFF Sherrod Brown becoming the latest to praise Powell for his leadership during the pandemic.

We can't help but wonder how Pocahontas' feels about losing her latest political intraparty fight. She hasn't commented on Powell's renomination, choosing instead to focus her twitter feed Monday morning on something completely unrelated - the price of insulin.

As a reminder, Warren once denounced Powell as "dangerous" during a Congressional hearing meant to update Senators on the economic impact of the CARES Act.

As for the three remaining Fed board positions yet to be announced, the White House has said it plans to unveil those nominations early next month.

* * *

Update (0930ET): As the market opens, the White House is confirming that it plans to have both Brainard and Powell to join President Biden during an announcement set for 1320ET.

It's just the latest sign that Brainard is next in line after Powell mucks up the lift-off in interest rates, leaving Dems to deal with a sudden recession during the middle of the 2022 midterm election races.

Stock indexes, including the Nasdaq and Dow, are hitting new intraday record highs in the wake of the announcement.

* * *

Update (0900ET): The White House has, as expected, nominated Fed Chairman Powell for a second term as chairman of the institution after repeated insinuations that Lael Brainard might be elevated in Powell's stead.

Brainard will instead be vice chair of the Fed, taking the reins from Richard Clarida, the current vice chairman, whose term on the board of governors is set to expire in January.

Markets seem to be liking the news so far, with stock futures jumping pre-open.

Meanwhile, a potentially hawkish tilt to rate-hike odds is being priced in.

Read the full WH statement below:

"While there’s still more to be done, we’ve made remarkable progress over the last 10 months in getting Americans back to work and getting our economy moving again. That success is a testament to the economic agenda I’ve pursued and to the decisive action that the Federal Reserve has taken under Chair Powell and Dr. Brainard to help steer us through the worst downturn in modern American history and put us on the path to recovery. As I’ve said before, we can’t just return to where we were before the pandemic, we need to build our economy back better, and I’m confident that Chair Powell and Dr. Brainard’s focus on keeping inflation low, prices stable, and delivering full employment will make our economy stronger than ever before. Together, they also share my deep belief that urgent action is needed to address the economic risks posed by climate change, and stay ahead of emerging risks in our financial system. Fundamentally, if we want to continue to build on the economic success of this year we need stability and independence at the Federal Reserve - and I have full confidence after their trial by fire over the last 20 months that Chair Powell and Dr. Brainard will provide the strong leadership our country needs."

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sen. Pat Toomey praised Powell in a statement.

"When the pandemic hit in 2020, Chairman Powell acted swiftly and took extraordinary and necessary steps to help stabilize financial markets and the economy. He also worked constructively with those of us developing the CARES Ãct.

"During his tenure, he implemented a number of sensible regulatory reforms that helped spur economic growth while preserving the best capitalized banking system in American history.

"While I have strongly disagreed with Chairman Powell’s decision to continue the Fed’s emergency accommodative monetary policy—long after the economic emergency had passed—Chairman Powell’s recent comments give me confidence that he recognizes the risks of higher and more persistent inflation and is willing to act accordingly to control it. I look forward to supporting his confirmation.

"While I have concerns about regulatory policies that Governor Brainard would support as Vice Chair for Supervision, I look forward to meeting with her to discuss these and other matters."

According to Bloomberg, Powell's renomination was potentially a reward for "helping rescue the US economy from the pandemic." So markets rallied on the notion of a dovish Brainard tilt...and are now rallying on confirmation of Powell. Biden still has three positions on the Fed board left to fill, and two new Fed regional bank presidents to pick, as rate hike odds rise in reaction to the Fed.

* * *

After months of speculation, President Biden is finally expected to announce his pick for who will lead the Fed for its next term as soon as this week, according to a WSJ report published Sunday evening, while Punchbowl News reported Monday morning that the decision could arrive before the end of Monday's session.

And as we have been signaling for months now, it looks like the decision will come down to between whether to renominate Jay Powell for a second four-year term, or to instead elevate Democrat Lael Brainard. WSJ says Biden is ultimately looking for "continuity" when it comes to Fed policy.

Some have described the decision over who will next lead the Fed as the most important move left to make on Biden's near-term agenda (which is saying a lot considering looming battles over polishing off his 'BBB' agenda, as well as raising the debt ceiling, all while the US economy sees an inflationary supernova).

One River Asset Management CIO Eric Peters pointed out over the weekend that Fed Chairman Jay Powell's greatest political value to President Biden is as a political scapegoat should inflation continue to soar during and after the holidays.

"I need to decide," whispered Biden to himself, struggling, unsure.

"Lael is just terrific, no doubt, and her Fed wouldn’t dare cut off my funding," thought the President, old enough to remember bond vigilantes.

"But you can’t help but like Jay, a fine gentleman, a decent human being, and face it, he’s still buying over $100bln of bonds a month with CPI humming hotter than 6%,” thought Joe, having lived through the 1970s inflation. Heck, he was born during WWII and grew up during the post-war financial repression.

"Hard to say we need someone more dovish than Powell,” whispered Biden. But of course, all such considerations were beside the point and Joe knew it deep down.

The only thing that mattered now, was whether it would be better to fire Powell before or after the Democrats lose mid-terms. Because at this point in the cycle, Jay’s greatest political value is in being a scapegoat.

Even the WSJ acknowledged that the decision on the Fed chair position will be "largely political" - despite the fact that the Fed is supposed to be an apolitical institution -  after the WSJ editorial board said last week that Biden had recently met with both candidates. Then again, the market has had plenty of time to digest this fact ever since Sen. Elizabeth Warren demanded that Powell - whom she described as "dangerous - resign during a Congressional hearing earlier this fall. Senior WH officials have reportedly confirmed that the decision will come before Thanksgiving. As for whether Biden will continue President Trump's "tradition" of replacing the Fed chair with a member of his own party, doing so would, in Biden's case, mean replacing Powell with Brainard, like Trump replaced Janet Yellen with Powell.

As for betting markets, curiously, PredictIt betting markets have continued to price in much higher odds of Biden sticking with Powell over Brainard.

Source: PredictIt

And when it comes to why Powell has left his decision on the Fed chair to so late in the year, anonymous sources told WSJ that he and his advisers see little upside in a decision that will inevitably be controversial. The thinking is why rush a 'no-win' situation, which isn't technically due until early next year.

President Biden has left the decision to much later in the year than his recent predecessors, Additionally, Biden has one vacancy to fill on the seven-seat Fed board of governors, with two more slots that can be filled by January.

After all, what would better signal "continuity" than sticking with the guy who's already in there?

Tyler Durden Mon, 11/22/2021 - 09:04

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Spread & Containment

TV Show Mysteriously Deletes Poll After Vast Majority Oppose Mandatory Vaccination

TV Show Mysteriously Deletes Poll After Vast Majority Oppose Mandatory Vaccination

Authored by Paul Joseph Watson via Summit News,

A major morning television show in the UK deleted a Twitter poll asking if vaccines should be made mandatory..

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TV Show Mysteriously Deletes Poll After Vast Majority Oppose Mandatory Vaccination

Authored by Paul Joseph Watson via Summit News,

A major morning television show in the UK deleted a Twitter poll asking if vaccines should be made mandatory after the results showed that 89% of respondents oppose compulsory shots.

Yes, really.

Good Morning Britain, which often tries to set the news agenda, posted the poll which asked the public, “With Omicron cases doubling every two days, is it time to make vaccines mandatory?”

The last screenshots Twitter users were able to obtain before the poll was wiped showed 89% oppose mandatory vaccinations, with just 11% in favor after a total of over 42,000 votes.

People demanded to know why the poll had been pulled, although it wasn’t exactly hard to guess.

Why did you delete this poll, is it because you were asked? Or because it shows the people don’t support this s**t, this tyrannical future your colleagues seem to want. We see you,” commented one respondent.

“Guess that wasn’t the answer they were looking for,” remarked another.

Good Morning Britain has failed to explain why it removed the poll.

However, it’s unsurprising given that the broadcast has been a vehicle for pushing pro-lockdown messaging since the start of the pandemic.

For most of that time, it was hosted by Piers Morgan, an aggressive proponent of lockdowns, mandatory vaccines and face masks.

The show also regularly features Dr. Hillary Jones, someone who at the start of the pandemic warned that face masks could make the spread of the virus worse, before getting the memo and doing a complete 180.

*  *  *

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Tyler Durden Thu, 12/09/2021 - 03:30

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Science

Life Sciences Expansions Take Off as 2021 Wraps Up

Several life sciences companies and life science-focused real estate firms announced expansion plans as 2021 comes to an end.

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Life Sciences Expansions Take Off as 2021 Wraps Up

Several life sciences companies and life science-focused real estate firms have announced expansion plans as 2021 comes to an end. Here’s a look.

Novavax to Expand Maryland Campus

Novavax, on the cusp of getting its COVID-19 vaccine authorized in numerous countries around the world, is expanding its footprint in Gaithersburg, Md., where it is headquartered. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is expected to authorize the company’s vaccine soon, and so is the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Czechia has already ordered 370,000 doses, with deliveries expected at the beginning of 2022. The company also has a deal with Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies to manufacture millions of doses of the Novavax vaccines at its facilities in Billingham, U.K., with a £400 million investment in expansion.

Four Corners Acquired 150,000-Square-Foot Complex in Belmont, Calif.

Four Corners Properties acquired a 150,000-square-foot office building in Belmont, Calif., called the Shoreway Innovation Center. The seller was Westlake Group. Westlake bought it in 2016 for $61 million. The company plans to expand its use for life sciences, noting that 82% of it is currently leased to a mix of tenants with an average of less than three years lease term remaining.

“Shoreway Innovation Center offers the opportunity to bring office and life sciences space to a market where tenant demand is far outpacing available supply,” said Mike Taquino, executive vice president of CBRE’s Northern California Capital Markets team.

Genentech Leases Building Under Construction in South San Francisco

Source: BioSpace

Boston Properties and Alexandria Real Estate Equities are leasing a building under construction in South San Francisco to Genentech. It will be the first phase of a life sciences campus. The building is at 751 Gateway and is 229,000 square feet. The campus will be called Gateway Commons and is a joint venture between the two real estate firms. They expect initial occupancy toward the end of 2024. Genentech has been headquartered in South San Francisco for forty years, with a large corporate headquarters made up of 4.7 million square feet of five neighborhood hubs. The new site is about one mile’s distance from their main campus.

Mispro Biotech to Open New Facility in North Carolina in Early 2022

Mispro Biotech Services plans to open a new facility in Research Triangle Park (RTP), N.C., in early 2022. Mispro is a leading contract vivarium organization (CVO). The new facility, a full-service vivarium research facility, will be central to one of RTP’s biopark campuses.

“Since we first opened our doors here in 2013, we have seen incredible growth in the RTP cluster,” said Philippe Lamarre, chief executive officer of Mispro. “The time was right to expand into a new facility with more space and modern amenities where we can support the influx of biotechs who are seeking in vivo lab space.”

Laura Gunter, president of NCBIO, representing the life sciences industry in North Carolina, noted, “Mispro has become a cornerstone of the Triangle ecosystem as contract research and support companies are finding increased favor. Biotechs of all sizes and therapeutic disciplines are focusing more on their core competencies, which is opening the door to innovation like Mispro’s contract vivarium option. We are pleased to see their decision to expand here and support more North Carolina companies.”

BioSpace source:

https://www.biospace.com/article/life-science-companies-announce-expansion-plans-as-they-wrap-up-2021

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Government

Over 170 companies delisted from major U.S. stock exchanges in 12 months

  Over the years, United States-based exchanges have remained an attractive destination for most companies aiming to go public. With businesses jostling to join the trading platforms, the exchanges have also delisted a significant number of companies….

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Over the years, United States-based exchanges have remained an attractive destination for most companies aiming to go public. With businesses jostling to join the trading platforms, the exchanges have also delisted a significant number of companies.

According to data acquired by Finbold, a total of 179 companies have been delisted from the major United States exchanges between 2020 and 2021. In 2021, the number of companies on Nasdaq and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) stands at 6,000, dropping 2.89% from last year’s figure of 6,179. In 2019, the listed companies stood at 5,454.

NYSE recorded the highest delisting with companies on the platform, dropping 15.28% year-over-year from 2,873 to 2,434. Elsewhere, Nasdaq listed companies grew 7.86% from 3,306 to 3,566. Data on the number of listed companies on NASDAQ and NYSE is provided by The World Federation of Exchanges.

The delisting of the companies is potentially guided by basic factors such as violating listing regulations and failing to meet minimum financial standards like the inability to maintain a minimum share price, financial ratios, and sales levels. Additionally, some companies might opt for voluntary delisting motivated by the desire to trade on other exchanges.

Furthermore, the delisting on U.S. major exchanges might be due to the emergence of new alternative markets, especially in Asia. China and Hong Kong markets have become more appealing, with regulators making local listings more attractive. Over the years, exchanges in the region have strived to emerge as key players amid dominance by U.S. equity markets. As per a previous report, the U.S. controls 56% of the global stock market value.

A significant portion of the delisted companies also stems from the regulatory perspective pitting U.S. agencies and their Chinese counterparts. For instance, China Mobile Ltd, China Unicom, and China Telecom Corp announced their delisting from NYSE, citing investment restrictions dating from 2020.

Worth noting is that the delisting of firms was initiated due to strict measures put in place by the Trump administration. The current administration has left the regulations in place while proposing additional regulations. For instance, a recent regulation update by the Securities Exchange Commission requiring US-listed Chinese companies to disclose their ownership structure has led to the exit of cab-hailing company Didi from the NYSE.

Impact of pandemic on the listing of companies

The delisting also comes in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic that resulted in economic turmoil. With the shutdown of the economy, most companies entered into bankruptcies as the stock market crashed to historical lows.

Lower stock prices translate to less wealth for businesses, pension funds, and individual investors, and listed companies could not get the much-needed funding for their normal operations.

At the same time, the focus on more companies going public over the last year can be highlighted by firms on the Nasdaq exchange. Worth noting is that in 2020, there was tremendous growth in special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs), mainly driven by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. With the uncertainty of raising money through the traditional means, SPACs found a perfect role to inject more funds into capital-starving companies to go public.

From the data, foreign companies listing in the United States have grown steadily, with the business aiming to leverage the benefits of operating in the country. Notably, listing on U.S. exchanges guarantees companies liquidity and high potential to raise capital. Furthermore, listing on either NYSE or Nasdaq comes with the needed credibility to attract more investors. The companies are generally viewed as a home for established, respected, and successful global companies.

In general, over the past year, factors like the pandemic have altered the face of stock exchanges to some point threatening the continued dominance of major U.S. exchanges. Tensions between the US and China are contributing to the crisis which will eventually impact the number of listed companies.

 

Courtesy of Finbold.

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