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Fed Urged To Fire Officials Over “Pandemic Profiteering”

Fed Urged To Fire Officials Over "Pandemic Profiteering"

Two weeks ago, Fed Presidents Robert Kaplan and Eric Rosengren (and to a lesser, though still notable extent, Fed Chair Powell himself) were ‘outed’ for their multi-million-dollar stock

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Fed Urged To Fire Officials Over "Pandemic Profiteering"

Two weeks ago, Fed Presidents Robert Kaplan and Eric Rosengren (and to a lesser, though still notable extent, Fed Chair Powell himself) were 'outed' for their multi-million-dollar stock and bond trades, sparking widespread outrage, bolstering claims that not only is the market rigged and manipulated by the Fed but that it is rigged directly for the benefit of Fed members like Kaplan and Rosengren who - whether they intended or not - benefited monetarily from their own decisions and their inside information that nobody else was privy to..

While none of the transactions appears to violate the Fed's code of conduct, CNBC reported, municipal bonds are an asset class that are far more niche that stocks or ETFs. 

Officials “should be careful to avoid any dealings or other conduct that might convey even an appearance of conflict between their personal interests, the interests of the system, and the public interest," the Fed's code of conduct says.

It was such 'bad optics' that less than two days after the widespread public fury at this grotesque discovery, the presidents of the Federal Reserve banks of Boston and Dallas said they would sell their individual stock holdings by Sept. 30 amid "ethics concerns", and invest the proceeds in diversified index funds or hold them in cash.

While we are sure the Fed officials hoped this would satisfy the ignorant masses... it has not. And as The Wall Street Journal reports, two advocacy groups and a former Fed adviser have said that The Fed should fire at least one (and perhaps both) of the Fed officials over their "pandemic profiteering trading conduct."

Better Markets, a group that pushes for tighter financial regulation; the left-leaning Center for Popular Democracy’s Fed Up campaign; and Andrew Levin, a former top Federal Reserve staff member and now a professor at Dartmouth College, are calling for the Fed to take action against Messrs. Kaplan and Rosengren.

“It’s time for the Fed to do what leaders are supposed to do:  Lead by example,” Better Markets president and chief executive officer Dennis Kelleher wrote in a letter sent to Fed Chairman Jerome Powell Tuesday.

Messrs. Kaplan and Rosengren, both should resign or be fired “for having lost the confidence and trust of the American people and, one would think, the Chairman of the U.S. central bank,” Mr. Kelleher said.

As The Fed is about to shift policy regimes into a taper of its unprecedented fre-money-gasm-machines, Mr. Kelleher added:

“This is no time for the American people to lose confidence and trust in the Fed, which must be above reproach, not set the lowest bar for ethical and legal conduct,”

Some Fed watchers say the trading raises questions about who policy was designed to help.

“There are a lot of reasons that working people are right to wonder if the Fed has their best interests in mind,” said Benjamin Dulchin, campaign director for Fed Up.

“These trades are only the most obvious reason, but it makes it harder for the Fed to do its job,” Mr. Dulchin said, adding if he were Mr. Kaplan or Mr. Rosengren, “I would resign.”

There is, however, one man supportive of Kaplan - his predecessor at the Dallas Fed, Rich Fisher, who shrugged off the million-dollar trades as nothing, noting that in fact, Kaplan was "talking against his own book..."

But, 'Dick', actions speak louder than words eh? And now that he has been shamed into cutting all market exposure, who cares whether he is hawkish or dovish - he's made his!

Source: NorthmanTrader
Tyler Durden Wed, 09/22/2021 - 08:25

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Economics

DAX index forecast ahead of the ECB meeting

European stocks rose on Friday on a surge in technology stocks; still, rising inflation became a concern for investors. European inflation was confirmed at 3.4% YoY in September, and concerns grew that the European Central Bank could change its monetary..

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European stocks rose on Friday on a surge in technology stocks; still, rising inflation became a concern for investors. European inflation was confirmed at 3.4% YoY in September, and concerns grew that the European Central Bank could change its monetary policy.

European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said that ECB would maintain its accommodative policy for as long as necessary, but this could change soon. Germany’s DAX index has advanced again above 15,500 points, but it is still trading below its recent highs.

Germany’s recovery from the pandemic has been strong so far, and the country will release the preliminary estimates of its October Inflation data and its Q3 GDP next week.

Results from many big companies provided a strong start to third-quarter earnings, and investors’ focus will remain on the third-quarter earnings season because many companies have yet to publish their reports.

Next week, Deutsche Bank, Volkswagen,  Linde, MTU Aero Engines, and Daimler are among the companies scheduled to report quarterly results.

According to the German Economic Ministry, the outlook for the industry remains positive, but the world’s supply chains crisis represents a serious problem for Germany because of its dependence on exports.

The German economy is particularly vulnerable to shortages of key parts and raw materials, and more than 40% of companies reported they had lost sales because of supply problems.

Many big companies scaled back production of some of their most profitable models, while Opel announced last month that it would shut down a factory in Eisenach until the beginning of 2022.

It is important to say that nearly half of Germany’s economic output depends on exports of cars, machine tools, and other goods, while the semiconductor shortage throttling global car production suggests more pain for the automotive industry.

Despite this, the German Economic Ministry reported that it expected this effect to be temporary while the German central bank expects that the German economy could grow 3.7% this year. The German Economic Ministry added:

Healthy order books give us reason to expect strong recovery impulses from industry, and thanks to that strong overall economic growth

The European Central Bank recently reported that exports from Eurozone would have been at least 7% higher in the first half of the year if not for supply bottlenecks. The European Central Bank will announce its decision on monetary policy next Thursday, which could significantly influence on DAX index in the near term.

15,000 points represent support

Data source: tradingview.com

DAX index has advanced again above 15,500 points, and if the price jumps above 15,800 points, the next target could be at 16,000 points.

On the other side, if the price falls below strong support that stands at 15,000 points, it would be a strong “sell” signal, and the next target could be around 14,500 points.

Summary

The European Central Bank will announce its decision on monetary policy next Thursday, which could significantly influence on DAX index in the near term. DAX index has advanced again above 15,500 points, and if the price jumps above 15,800 points, the next target could be at 16,000 points.

The post DAX index forecast ahead of the ECB meeting appeared first on Invezz.

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Poland Will Not Be “Blackmailed” Into Accepting European Union Laws, PM Morawiecki Says

Poland Will Not Be "Blackmailed" Into Accepting European Union Laws, PM Morawiecki Says

Authored by Naveen Athrappully via The Epoch Times,

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Thursday that his country will not bow to the Europe

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Poland Will Not Be "Blackmailed" Into Accepting European Union Laws, PM Morawiecki Says

Authored by Naveen Athrappully via The Epoch Times,

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Thursday that his country will not bow to the European Union’s “blackmail” on deciding legal frameworks of member states, but is open to constructive dialogue.

Arriving at a summit of the 27-member bloc, Morawiecki said that Poland “was as faithful to the rule of law as others and as the EU institutions are.” He added,

“Some EU institutions assume the right to decide on issues to which they have not been entitled to decide. They assume competencies which have not been handed over to them in the treaties.”

Morawiecki said that EU laws maintain supremacy over national laws on matters transferred to the EU. “We don’t agree to the constantly broadening range of competencies but we will, of course, talk about it.”

On Oct. 7, Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal ruled that some elements of EU law were incompatible with the country’s constitution. This ruling, criticized by Brussels, essentially gave national law primacy over that of the EU.

“It has to be clear: You are a member of a club, you have to abide by the rules of the club. And the most important rule of the club is that the European law is over national law,” the EU’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, told Reuters.

Since the nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party took over power in 2015, the ideological conflicts have incrementally increased.

European Parliament President David Sassoli said the Polish tribunal’s ruling challenged “the legal bedrock of our Union,” and that, “never before has the Union been called into question so radically.”

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen laid out three options as a response.

The first option, “infringement,” is where the commission legally challenges the verdict of the Polish court.

The second option, which is active currently, involves the withholding of funds. Warsaw will not be able to access the 36 billion euros ($42 billion) of COVID-19 pandemic recovery grants. This could lead to a further blockage of around 70 billion euros ($81 billion) set aside for development projects in the 2021-2027 budget.

The third option would be the implementation of Article 7 of the EU treaty which suspends member states of certain rights, including the right to vote on EU decisions.

Morawiecki, however, maintained his country’s stance under repeated criticism in the tense debate on Tuesday. This led to the idea of Poland exiting the bloc which the prime minister dismissed. He said that there were no plans for a “Polexit” as there is considerable support among the Polish for remaining within the EU.

A majority of European countries, including Ireland, France, Sweden, Finland, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands were critical of Poland, barring staunch ally Hungary. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has not been a supporter of excessive European Union interference in the laws and decisions of member states.

“Poland is one of the best European countries. There is no need for any sanctions, it’s ridiculous,” Orban said.

Dutch Foreign Minister Ben Knapen implied the issue will soon need to be addressed.

“The time for talking is never over, but it doesn’t mean that you cannot take action in the meantime,”  Knapen said. “It’s going to come soon.”

Outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for finding “ways of coming back together,” and warned against isolating Poland, the largest ex-communist EU country of 38 million people.

Tyler Durden Sat, 10/23/2021 - 09:20

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Should I invest in Coca-Cola shares after a positive view from Morgan Stanley?

The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) shares have weakened from their recent highs above $57, registered in August 2021, and the current price stands at $54.45. Coca-Cola declared a $0.42 per share quarterly dividend last week, and Morgan Stanley continues…

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The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) shares have weakened from their recent highs above $57, registered in August 2021, and the current price stands at $54.45. Coca-Cola declared a $0.42 per share quarterly dividend last week, and Morgan Stanley continues to have a positive view on KO shares.

Morgan Stanley has a positive view

Coca-Cola continues to improve its position in the market, and the board of directors declared a $0.42/quarterly share dividend last week, which will be payable on December 15.

Coca-Cola reported better than expected second-quarter results in July; total revenue has increased by 42% Y/Y to $10.1 billion, which was more than expected, while the GAAP EPS was $0.61 (beats by $0.05).

Through the second quarter, volume trends steadily improved each month, driven by the recovery in markets from the pandemic, and the company’s management expects another EPS beat in Q3.

Coca-Cola expects to deliver organic revenue growth for the 2021 fiscal year of 12% to 14% and comparable EPS growth of 13% to 15% compared with the previous year.

According to the latest news, Molson Coors has signed an exclusive agreement with Coca-Cola to manufacture, market, and distribute Topo Chico Hard Seltzer in Canada. The product is scheduled to launch in the summer of 2022, less than two years after the successful launch in the United States.

Topo Chico Hard Seltzer has garnered a 2.4% share of the U.S. market, and this deal will certainly help Coca-Cola to expand its revenue base further.

Last month, Coca-Cola introduced a new global brand platform called Real Magic with a new campaign, “One Coke Away From Each Other.” This is the first new global platform since 2016, and the company’s stability in a variety of market conditions has revealed its true staying power.

Morgan Stanley has a positive view on KO shares with a price target of $65, representing 20% upside potential. Dara Mohsenian, an analyst from Morgan Stanley, added:

The outlook for Coca-Cola remains positive; we see some headwinds from the recent increase in global COVID cases and slightly lower our FY21 topline forecasts, but remain above consensus in 22/23. We expect a return to outsized sales growth vs. peers post COVID, with improved execution and higher margins.

Technically looking, Coca-Cola shares could advance above the current price levels, but this company is not undervalued with a market capitalization of $234 billion. The book value per share is around $5, and Coca-Cola trades at more than seventeen times TTM EBITDA.

$60 represents strong resistance

Data source: tradingview.com

Coca-Cola shares have weakened from their recent highs above $57, and if the price falls below $50 support, the next target could be at $45. On the other side, if the price jumps above the strong resistance that stands at $60, the next target could be at $65 or even above.

Summary

Coca-Cola shares have weakened from their recent highs above $57, but Morgan Stanley continues to have a positive view on KO shares with a price target of $65. Coca-Cola continues to improve its position in the market, but this company is not undervalued with a market capitalization of $234 billion.

The post Should I invest in Coca-Cola shares after a positive view from Morgan Stanley? appeared first on Invezz.

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