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Rising GDP + Rising Yields = A Major Sign Of “Uh-Oh”

Rising GDP + Rising Yields = A Major Sign Of "Uh-Oh"

Authored by Matthew Piepenburg via GoldSwitzerland.com,

Have you heard the good news?

The…

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Rising GDP + Rising Yields = A Major Sign Of "Uh-Oh"

Authored by Matthew Piepenburg via GoldSwitzerland.com,

Have you heard the good news?

The Atlanta Fed GDPNow estimates a 5.9% growth in real GDP for Q3 2023. In nominal terms, we can even boast of an 8.9% surge.

What fantastic news! Growth! Productivity!

This must mean we can all breath a collective sigh of relief as Powell continues his valiant war against inflation as GDP rises, right?

I can almost hear the champagne bottles popping from the Eccles Building to the Bezos-owned Washington Post.

The financial wizards have saved us once again, right?

Wrong.

Oh, so, so, so, so WRONG.

Why?

Debt-Driven Growth is Not Growth, but a Slow Death Trap

As usual, the answer lies in math, history and, of course, THE BOND MARKET.

For years and years, I have tried to make one point (and indicator) almost reflexively clear, namely: The Bond Market Is the Thing.

This is because the bond market reflects debt forces, the most cancerous of all market killers once they metastasize from the acceptable to the fantastical, and the cheap to the unaffordable.

Today, we stare upon the greatest national and global debt bubble in history.

And the cost of that debt is getting higher, not lower.

This should be the key theme of every conversation, but instead, our citizens are arguing over gender neutral bathrooms and exciting politicos (opportunists) scurrying for power like donkeys fighting for hay.

Far better, in my opinion, if the people understood boring things like sovereign bonds

In particular, they just need to consider and understand yields on Uncle Sam’s IOU (with particular emphasis on his 10-Year UST), which tells us the market’s measurement of the cost of debt.

And given that debt is the sole (rotten) wind beneath the wings of the post-08 American dream, when those yields rise like approaching shark fins, we all need to pause and think deeply, realistically and, hence differently from the consensus pablum which currently passes for financial reporting.

The Open Secret Hiding in Plain Sight (Ignored Shark Fins…)

As Luke Gromen has been warning for quite some time, and as my partner, Egon von Greyerz, has been arguing/expecting for even longer, we are now seeing rising yields on the 10Y UST while inflation rates (intentionally misreported) continue to fall—temporarily.

Folks, this is worth understanding. It’s not hard to do. But it’s critical.

That is, we need to understand how scary it is to see GDP rising alongside 10Y Treasury yields.

So, let’s dig in.

Debt-Based Growth is the Oxymoron of, Well…Morons

GDP is rising because government deficit spending (on everything from yet another preventable yet losing war in the Ukraine to stimmy checks for migrants [“asylum seekers”?] pouring through Texas) is rising well beyond sustainable levels.

Near-term, spending always leads to growth. But when that spending is done on a maxed-out national credit card, the short-term growth (i.e., GDPNow forecasts above) come at a comical, yet serious price.

Stated otherwise, spending, even deficit spending, has quick benefits; the debt consequences, and economic pains, however, take longer to show their economic (moronic) effects.

But when they do, the sickening results are as mathematical as they are historical.

A Tale of the Drunk & Stupid

If one, for example, were to hand a college frat boy his rich uncle’s credit card and permit him unlimited credit, that frat boy would undoubtedly throw the kind of seductive campus parties which would ensure his popularity along side many, many weekends of extravagant bacchanalia and a campus filled with smiling, drunk undergrads.

Soon, the frat house would construct its own elaborate bar, with weekly transports of unlimited beer kegs, a billiards room adorned with flat-screen TVs and 24-hour ESPN.

Others, even from universities miles way, would embark upon a joyous pilgrimage, crowding their Friday-night gatherings with shouts of awe and cries for more vodka shots.

The fun would seemingly never end.

Until, that is, the credit card bill came and the rich Uncle was tapped out.

At that point, the frat house’s growth story devolves into a comical escapade of the drunk and the stupid, which effectively describes the profiles and policies of our so-called financial elite.

The DC Frat House

When GDP spikes on the tailwind of deficit spending, the Fed starts to suffer from the beer-goggle effect of blindness to reality.

It then feels even more pressure (or drunken confidence) to raise short-term interest rates, which also sends the USD higher in the near-term but just about everything else (i.e., stocks, bonds, real estate and tax receipts) lower.

This means the risk of a market implosion in a setting of rising GDP increases exponentially, which is precisely what we saw near the end of 2018 when Powell tried to tighten the Fed’s balance sheet and raise rates at the same time.

Net result?

Markets tanked by Christmas, and as the new year rolled in, the Fed was bailing out the repo markets to the tune of hundreds of billions/week and printing inflationary money quicker than Nolan Ryan’s fastball.

Ignored Patterns, Ignorant Polices

But this otherwise ignored pattern, like a fast-ball, is pretty easy to track. The more the Fed hikes rates, the fatter and more expensive are Uncle Sam’s deficits as GDP rises on drunken (deficit) spending.

This leads to a mathematical case of “fiscal dominance,” which even the St. Louis Fed confessed in June (and of which I recently explained here)—namely, the ironic scenario in which the war on inflation (fought with rising rates) actually causes more inflation.

Why?

Because rising rates don’t just stimulate a GDP frat party (as per above), but they make America’s debt costs (interest expenses) skyrocket into the trillion/year category, which can then only be paid by a Fed mouse-clicker, which is the inevitable inflationary consequence of Powell’s deflationary “higher-for-longer” policy.

Stated otherwise, Powell, like Robert E. Lee, Napoleon, Paulus, Westmorland and Zelensky, is fighting a losing war.

Or for you film buffs who recall Maverick “writing checks [his] body can’t cash,” America is issuing IOUs its Treasury Dept. can’t pay—unless, of course, it prints a lot more fake/fiat money.

And those IOUs (i.e., USTs) are rising at a sickening rate, which means bond prices (which move inversely to supply) will fall and yields (which move inversely to price) will rise.

Read that last sentence again. It’s our bond market (and nightmare) in a nutshell.

And when yields on US 10Y USTs rise, the interest expense on Uncle Sam’s $33T bar tab becomes a bayonet wound to the economy and the market.

Horribly, Horrible Bad News

Thus, when we see GDP growth rising at the same time UST supplies (and hence yields) are climbing at a rate not seen in 55 years, this is not good news—it’s horribly, horribly bad news.

Not only are rates rising along side GDP, but our deficits are growing even deeper and hence this vicious circle of debt just gets deadlier and darker.

And this means the need to cover those deficits by printing trillions out of thin air becomes clearer and clearer, which means inflation is no longer a debate, but as fatally foreseeable as Pickett’s failed charge at Gettysburg.

We Need a Bigger Boat

In the coming months, or early into 2024, Egon and I foresee rising US sovereign bond yields and rising rates which will be near-term deflationary for risk assets and disturbing for Main Street economies no longer able to re-finance their way out of a national debt trap.

At some point thereafter, the cost of those debts will demand a monetary response (money printing to the moon) which will be, by definition, inflationary for regular Joes and no help to mean-reverting markets.

In short: We not only see inflation ahead, but stagflation to boot.

In such a setting, the USD, like the stern of the Titanic, will go from rising, and then temporarily pausing, to sinking fast to the bottom.

Again, the bond market is the thing.

Those yields matter. They are the approaching shark fins racing toward our shores which no one wishes to see.

Instead, we get to watch another billionaire running for office bare his naked chest (and hidden will to power) for the camera…

But as warned already, these shark fins matter, and we are most certainly gonna need a bigger boat

Tyler Durden Tue, 09/05/2023 - 06:30

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Four burning questions about the future of the $16.5B Novo-Catalent deal

To build or to buy? That’s a classic question for pharma boardrooms, and Novo Nordisk is going with both.
Beyond spending billions of dollars to expand…

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To build or to buy? That’s a classic question for pharma boardrooms, and Novo Nordisk is going with both.

Beyond spending billions of dollars to expand its own production capacity for its weight loss drugs, the Danish drugmaker said Monday it will pay $11 billion to acquire three manufacturing plants from Catalent. It’s part of a broader $16.5 billion deal with Novo Holdings, the investment arm of the pharma’s parent group, which agreed to acquire the contract manufacturer and take it private.

It’s a big deal for all parties, with potential ripple effects across the biotech ecosystem. Here’s a look at some of the most pressing questions to watch after Monday’s announcement.

Why did Novo do this?

Novo Holdings isn’t the most obvious buyer for Catalent, particularly after last year’s on-and-off M&A interest from the serial acquirer Danaher. But the deal could benefit both Novo Holdings and Novo Nordisk.

Novo Nordisk’s biggest challenge has been simply making enough of the weight loss drug Wegovy and diabetes therapy Ozempic. On last week’s earnings call, Novo Nordisk CEO Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen said the company isn’t constrained by capital in its efforts to boost manufacturing. Rather, the main challenge is the limited amount of capabilities out there, he said.

“Most pharmaceutical companies in the world would be shopping among the same manufacturers,” he said. “There’s not an unlimited amount of machinery and people to build it.”

While Novo was already one of Catalent’s major customers, the manufacturer has been hamstrung by its own balance sheet. With roughly $5 billion in debt on its books, it’s had to juggle paying down debt with sufficiently investing in its facilities. That’s been particularly challenging in keeping pace with soaring demand for GLP-1 drugs.

Novo, on the other hand, has the balance sheet to funnel as much money as needed into the plants in Italy, Belgium, and Indiana. It’s also struggled to make enough of its popular GLP-1 drugs to meet their soaring demand, with documented shortages of both Ozempic and Wegovy.

The impact won’t be immediate. The parties expect the deal to close near the end of 2024. Novo Nordisk said it expects the three new sites to “gradually increase Novo Nordisk’s filling capacity from 2026 and onwards.”

As for the rest of Catalent — nearly 50 other sites employing thousands of workers — Novo Holdings will take control. The group previously acquired Altasciences in 2021 and Ritedose in 2022, so the Catalent deal builds on a core investing interest in biopharma services, Novo Holdings CEO Kasim Kutay told Endpoints News.

Kasim Kutay

When asked about possible site closures or layoffs, Kutay said the team hasn’t thought about that.

“That’s not our track record. Our track record is to invest in quality businesses and help them grow,” he said. “There’s always stuff to do with any asset you own, but we haven’t bought this company to do some of the stuff you’re talking about.”

What does it mean for Catalent’s customers? 

Until the deal closes, Catalent will operate as a standalone business. After it closes, Novo Nordisk said it will honor its customer obligations at the three sites, a spokesperson said. But they didn’t answer a question about what happens when those contracts expire.

The wrinkle is the long-term future of the three plants that Novo Nordisk is paying for. Those sites don’t exclusively pump out Wegovy, but that could be the logical long-term aim for the Danish drugmaker.

The ideal scenario is that pricing and timelines remain the same for customers, said Nicole Paulk, CEO of the gene therapy startup Siren Biotechnology.

Nicole Paulk

“The name of the group that you’re going to send your check to is now going to be Novo Holdings instead of Catalent, but otherwise everything remains the same,” Paulk told Endpoints. “That’s the best-case scenario.”

In a worst case, Paulk said she feared the new owners could wind up closing sites or laying off Catalent groups. That could create some uncertainty for customers looking for a long-term manufacturing partner.

Are shareholders and regulators happy? 

The pandemic was a wild ride for Catalent’s stock, with shares surging from about $40 to $140 and then crashing back to earth. The $63.50 share price for the takeover is a happy ending depending on the investor.

On that point, the investing giant Elliott Investment Management is satisfied. Marc Steinberg, a partner at Elliott, called the agreement “an outstanding outcome” that “clearly maximizes value for Catalent stockholders” in a statement.

Elliott helped kick off a strategic review last August that culminated in the sale agreement. Compared to Catalent’s stock price before that review started, the deal pays a nearly 40% premium.

Alessandro Maselli

But this is hardly a victory lap for CEO Alessandro Maselli, who took over in July 2022 when Catalent’s stock price was north of $100. Novo’s takeover is a tacit acknowledgment that Maselli could never fully right the ship, as operational problems plagued the company throughout 2023 while it was limited by its debt.

Additional regulatory filings in the next few weeks could give insight into just how competitive the sale process was. William Blair analysts said they don’t expect a competing bidder “given the organic investments already being pursued at other leading CDMOs and the breadth and scale of Catalent’s operations.”

The Blair analysts also noted the companies likely “expect to spend some time educating relevant government agencies” about the deal, given the lengthy closing timeline. Given Novo Nordisk’s ascent — it’s now one of Europe’s most valuable companies — paired with the limited number of large contract manufacturers, antitrust regulators could be interested in taking a close look.

Are Catalent’s problems finally a thing of the past?

Catalent ran into a mix of financial and operational problems over the past year that played no small part in attracting the interest of an activist like Elliott.

Now with a deal in place, how quickly can Novo rectify those problems? Some of the challenges were driven by the demands of being a publicly traded company, like failing to meet investors’ revenue expectations or even filing earnings reports on time.

But Catalent also struggled with its business at times, with a range of manufacturing delays, inspection reports and occasionally writing down acquisitions that didn’t pan out. Novo’s deep pockets will go a long way to a turnaround, but only the future will tell if all these issues are fixed.

Kutay said his team is excited by the opportunity and was satisfied with the due diligence it did on the company.

“We believe we’re buying a strong company with a good management team and good prospects,” Kutay said. “If that wasn’t the case, I don’t think we’d be here.”

Amber Tong and Reynald Castañeda contributed reporting.

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Petrina Kamya, Ph.D., Head of AI Platforms at Insilico Medicine, presents at BIO CEO & Investor Conference

Petrina Kamya, PhD, Head of AI Platforms and President of Insilico Medicine Canada, will present at the BIO CEO & Investor Conference happening Feb….

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Petrina Kamya, PhD, Head of AI Platforms and President of Insilico Medicine Canada, will present at the BIO CEO & Investor Conference happening Feb. 26-27 at the New York Marriott Marquis in New York City. Dr. Kamya will speak as part of the panel “AI within Biopharma: Separating Value from Hype,” on Feb. 27, 1pm ET along with Michael Nally, CEO of Generate: Biomedicines and Liz Schwarzbach, PhD, CBO of BigHat Biosciences.

Credit: Insilico Medicine

Petrina Kamya, PhD, Head of AI Platforms and President of Insilico Medicine Canada, will present at the BIO CEO & Investor Conference happening Feb. 26-27 at the New York Marriott Marquis in New York City. Dr. Kamya will speak as part of the panel “AI within Biopharma: Separating Value from Hype,” on Feb. 27, 1pm ET along with Michael Nally, CEO of Generate: Biomedicines and Liz Schwarzbach, PhD, CBO of BigHat Biosciences.

The session will look at how the latest artificial intelligence (AI) tools – including generative AI and large language models – are currently being used to advance the discovery and design of new drugs, and which technologies are still in development. 

The BIO CEO & Investor Conference brings together over 1,000 attendees and more than 700 companies across industry and institutional investment to discuss the future investment landscape of biotechnology. Sessions focus on topics such as therapeutic advancements, market outlook, and policy priorities.

Insilico Medicine is a leading, clinical stage AI-driven drug discovery company that has raised over $400m in investments since it was founded in 2014. Dr. Kamya leads the development of the Company’s end-to-end generative AI platform, Pharma.AI from Insilico’s AI R&D Center in Montreal. Using modern machine learning techniques in the context of chemistry and biology, the platform has driven the discovery and design of 30+ new therapies, with five in clinical stages – for cancer, fibrosis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and COVID-19. The Company’s lead drug, for the chronic, rare lung condition idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, is the first AI-designed drug for an AI-discovered target to reach Phase II clinical trials with patients. Nine of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies have used Insilico’s AI platform to advance their programs, and the Company has a number of major strategic licensing deals around its AI-designed therapeutic assets, including with Sanofi, Exelixis and Menarini. 

 

About Insilico Medicine

Insilico Medicine, a global clinical stage biotechnology company powered by generative AI, is connecting biology, chemistry, and clinical trials analysis using next-generation AI systems. The company has developed AI platforms that utilize deep generative models, reinforcement learning, transformers, and other modern machine learning techniques for novel target discovery and the generation of novel molecular structures with desired properties. Insilico Medicine is developing breakthrough solutions to discover and develop innovative drugs for cancer, fibrosis, immunity, central nervous system diseases, infectious diseases, autoimmune diseases, and aging-related diseases. www.insilico.com 


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Another country is getting ready to launch a visa for digital nomads

Early reports are saying Japan will soon have a digital nomad visa for high-earning foreigners.

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Over the last decade, the explosion of remote work that came as a result of improved technology and the pandemic has allowed an increasing number of people to become digital nomads. 

When looked at more broadly as anyone not required to come into a fixed office but instead moves between different locations such as the home and the coffee shop, the latest estimate shows that there were more than 35 million such workers in the world by the end of 2023 while over half of those come from the United States.

Related: There is a new list of cities that are best for digital nomads

While remote work has also allowed many to move to cheaper places and travel around the world while still bringing in income, working outside of one's home country requires either dual citizenship or work authorization — the global shift toward remote work has pushed many countries to launch specific digital nomad visas to boost their economies and bring in new residents.

Japan is a very popular destination for U.S. tourists. 

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This popular vacation destination will soon have a nomad visa

Spain, Portugal, Indonesia, Malaysia, Costa Rica, Brazil, Latvia and Malta are some of the countries currently offering specific visas for foreigners who want to live there while bringing in income from abroad.

More Travel:

With the exception of a few, Asian countries generally have stricter immigration laws and were much slower to launch these types of visas that some of the countries with weaker economies had as far back as 2015. As first reported by the Japan Times, the country's Immigration Services Agency ended up making the leap toward a visa for those who can earn more than ¥10 million ($68,300 USD) with income from another country.

The Japanese government has not yet worked out the specifics of how long the visa will be valid for or how much it will cost — public comment on the proposal is being accepted throughout next week. 

That said, early reports say the visa will be shorter than the typical digital nomad option that allows foreigners to live in a country for several years. The visa will reportedly be valid for six months or slightly longer but still no more than a year — along with the ability to work, this allows some to stay beyond the 90-day tourist period typically afforded to those from countries with visa-free agreements.

'Not be given a residence card of residence certificate'

While one will be able to reapply for the visa after the time runs out, this can only be done by exiting the country and being away for six months before coming back again — becoming a permanent resident on the pathway to citizenship is an entirely different process with much more strict requirements.

"Those living in Japan with the digital nomad visa will not be given a residence card or a residence certificate, which provide access to certain government benefits," reports the news outlet. "The visa cannot be renewed and must be reapplied for, with this only possible six months after leaving the countr

The visa will reportedly start in March and also allow holders to bring their spouses and families with them. To start using the visa, holders will also need to purchase private health insurance from their home country while taxes on any money one earns will also need to be paid through one's home country.

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