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World Cup and gold medal champion skier, Lindsay Vonn, is off the competitive race circuit and onto the ruthless world of entrepreneurship.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- The world’s second-largest sovereign wealth fund is playing a dangerous game.China Investment Corp. aims to have as much of 50% of its portfolio in alternative assets by the end of 2022. That means the $941 billion fund is diving deeper into illiquid investments including real estate, infrastructure, hedge funds and private equity just as such trades are becoming increasingly crowded. CIC will also be diminishing its exposure to public markets that have rebounded strongly this year. For all the jitters over weakening global growth and the trade war, U.S. stocks are nudging record highs again and the MSCI World Index has climbed 17% in 2019.It’s little wonder that CIC is seeking ways to juice returns. The Beijing-based fund reported a 2.35% loss on overseas investments for last year as global equity markets tumbled, according to results posted Friday. That was the fourth unprofitable year for the international portfolio since CIC’s creation in 2007, when the fund was carved out of China’s then-ballooning foreign exchange reserves.CIC already has the among the highest proportion of investments allocated to alternative assets among state-owned global money managers, according to data from Sovereign Wealth Research, a unit of IE University in Madrid. At the end of December, the ratio stood at 44%, equal to Australia’s Future Fund. Singapore’s GIC Pte had 19% of assets in alternative investments. The share for Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global, or GPFG, was just 3%. GPFG proposed changes to its mandate last month to allow it to buy stakes in unlisted companies after missing out on investments such as Spotify Technology SA. Norway’s government has repeatedly declined to let the sovereign wealth fund, the world’s biggest, enter the global private equity market because of concerns over transparency and management costs.Every investor would like to get his or her hands on the next hot unicorn in the hope that it will turn into another Facebook Inc. or Amazon.com Inc. once it goes public. That task isn’t getting any easier, though. The presence of behemoths such as SoftBank Group Corp.’s $100 billion Vision Fund (and a second fund of similar size) have made the competition for lucrative investments more intense. And in any case, unicorn IPOs haven’t been doing so well lately, as my colleague Tim Culpan noted earlier this year.Three years ago, CIC had 46% of its overseas portfolio in publicly traded equities and 37% in alternatives. By the end of last year, the roles had reversed, with the share in stocks down to 38%. The fund’s international portfolio accounts for 34% of its assets.The Chinese fund faces hurdles that may impede its goals. CIC has lost key managers over the past two years, undermining the talent pool that’s necessary for successful hedge-fund and private-equity investing. In addition, China’s overseas acquisitions are facing tougher scrutiny amid rising trade tensions with the U.S. Marquee acquisitions such as the $13.8 billion purchase of Blackstone Group LP’s European logistics business Logicor in 2017 are likely to be harder to come by in future.Chairman Peng Chun struck a gloomy tone in the fund’s annual report, noting that “protectionism and unilateralism will continue to spread, geopolitical conflicts will recur, trade tensions will intensify, global economic momentum will weaken” and international capital markets would become plagued with uncertainties.CIC has cited volatility for wanting to reduce its exposure to public equity markets. That overlooks the fact that stocks are at least more liquid and easier to exit. There are also questions over the fund’s timing. In 2012, CIC posted losses after the commodities cycle peaked. Back then, bulking up in fixed income would have been a better bet. This move into alternatives may be another ill-timed wager. To contact the author of this story: Nisha Gopalan at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Matthew Brooker at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Nisha Gopalan is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering deals and banking. She previously worked for the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones as an editor and a reporter.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Global meat consumption has more than doubled since the 1960s, and meat production is set to double again by 2050. In one way, that’s a good thing — proof that rising incomes are supporting higher living standards in developing countries. But Americans, famous for enjoying too much of a good thing, still eat three times as much meat as the global average. For solid self-interested reasons, they and other rich-world diners ought to curb their appetite. Consider this: Livestock are responsible for 12% of man-made greenhouse-gas emissions, more than the entire aviation industry. Most of that comes from just one animal: the humble, gassy cow. On a per-calorie basis, cattle are responsible for vastly more emissions than chickens and pigs, in part because their digestive systems produce methane, a potent greenhouse gas. From a climate-change perspective, serving your family roast beef at dinner is as bad as driving about 100 miles in the average car.Cattle don’t just produce gas; they also take up a lot of space. In Brazil, for example, swaths of the Amazon have been cut down to make room for cattle ranches, releasing huge amounts of trapped carbon. The pace of destruction has gotten worse under President Jair Bolsonaro, who has called himself “Captain Chainsaw.” But Brazil is hardly the only culprit: More than a quarter of the earth’s ice-free land has been set aside for grazing.In fact, thanks to climate change, the world’s system of beef production is on course to destroy itself. A warming planet is already threatening the world’s food supply. After decades of steady decline, global hunger has begun inching up over the past five years — not coincidentally, the hottest five years on record. If the global temperature rises by 2 degrees Celsius, scientists predict global wheat output will fall by 10 percent, with months-long heat waves damaging crops that feed humans and animals alike. Heat stress will reduce meat and milk yields and could kill off thousands of cattle. Pastoralists in the developing world would be particularly vulnerable.Curbing meat consumption voluntarily seems a better bet than letting the industry self-destruct after years of contributing to climate change. Most climate scientists agree that eating less meat would help to avert a worst-case scenario. But how much less? If all the world swore off meat, it would cut global emissions by 8 gigatons a year — roughly the same as shutting down 2,000 coal-fired power plants. But if you’re not cut out for veganism, just eating less meat would help. Adopting the Mediterranean diet, which includes poultry but limits red meat, would have about the same impact as driving 70 fewer miles each week. (It would also thrill your doctor.)Or you could join the “Meatless Mondays” movement, now active in 40 countries. Despite some backlash from American agribusiness and politicians (this issue is red meat to culture warriors), dozens of U.S. schools, businesses and hospitals — plus thousands of families — have committed to going vegetarian one day a week. The effects add up: Skipping a single quarter-pound hamburger can save more than 400 gallons of water and the energy it takes to power a smartphone for six months. Do it every week for a year, and the greenhouse-gas savings are equivalent to biking 1,000 miles instead of driving.Not everyone can or should go meatless, of course. And spontaneous voluntary action alone won’t suffice. Lawmakers need to take the initiative, by reining in meat subsidies and encouraging sustainable agricultural practices, and perhaps by rewriting their dietary guidelines as the Netherlands and Sweden have done.In the meantime, if you’re fortunate enough to live in a wealthy country with abundant protein, try taking a meat hiatus. Your children — and their children — will thank you.\--Editors: Tracy Walsh, Clive Crook.To contact the senior editor responsible for Bloomberg Opinion’s editorials: David Shipley at email@example.com, .Editorials are written by the Bloomberg Opinion editorial board.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
The campaign, “Brazil by Brazil”, by the Calia Y2 Propaganda e Marketing agency, launched on Friday as the UN General Assembly got under way in New York. Brazil has had some of the world’s most stringent environmental regulations in place for decades, and many large farmers are engaged in sustainable practices to reduce environmental degradation.
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(Bloomberg) -- Tens of thousands of people around the world demonstrated to demand action on climate change as a global movement backed by 16-year-old environmental activist Greta Thunberg got under way Friday.Students skipped school and workers walked off jobs to participate in the rallies. In a central Sydney park, protesters held up homemade signs with slogans such as “You’re Burning our Future” and “There Is No Planet B.” In Berlin, demonstrators gathered by the landmark Brandenburg Gate, just a few steps from where Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government hammered out a 54 billion-euro ($60 billion) climate-protection package.Thousands gathered in New York, Toronto, Johannesburg, Warsaw and many more cities around the globe -- eager to add their voices to a movement fueled by youthful angst about rising temperatures.“This is about the future of our planet,” said Laura Lazzarin, an Italian national living in Berlin who joined demonstrators near the Brandenburg Gate. “We can’t go on like this, and politicians must realize that.”GlobalClimateStrike in London are urging political leaders to take action on the climate crisis CoveringClimateNow pic.twitter.com/2uCxa7jBLp— Bloomberg TicToc (@tictoc) September 20, 2019 Protesters joining the Global Climate Strike movement want governments to treat global warming as an emergency, slash subsidies for fossil fuels, and switch economies to 100% renewable energy as soon as possible. They’re part of a worldwide series of demonstrations that organizers say will take place in 150 countries on Friday and on Sept. 27.“As we deal with devastating climate breakdown and hurtle towards dangerous tipping points, young people are calling on millions of us across the planet to disrupt business as usual by joining the global climate strikes,” according to a statement on the organizers’ website.The movement has taken hold in Europe, where climate has been catapulted to the top of the political agenda. The European Union should walk away from fossil fuels, the bloc’s energy chief told Bloomberg TV this week after a record spike in oil prices. A total of 93% of Europeans see global warming as a serious problem, according to a recent survey by the European Commission.In front of the Brandenburg Gate, three protesters dressed in black stood on top of melting ice blocks with nooses around their necks as hundreds of people gathered around them, carrying home-made placards, blowing whistles and chanting “We are here, we are loud, because you’re stealing our future.”In Paris demonstrators -- a large number of whom were students -- marched from Place de la Nation, carrying placards with slogans like “our house is on fire” and “time to act.”In Poland, home to 33 of the EU’s 50 most polluted cities, more than 60 climate protests were held Friday. At the biggest gathering in Warsaw, more than a thousand demonstrators called for the government to curb its dependence on coal, which is burned to produce more than 80% of the country’s electricity.PrayforAmazon. We should stop buying the beef that's being imported from Brazil to Hong Kong."Climate activists gathered in Hong Kong, demanding world leaders to address global warming ClimateStrike GlobalClimateStrike pic.twitter.com/xfA2Gk0llB— Bloomberg TicToc (@tictoc) September 20, 2019 “The government is doing too little and this needs to be changed,” said Dionizy Debski, a high school student from Warsaw.Click here for TicToc’s ongoing coverage of the global climate protestsThe movement -- inspired by the braided Swedish teenager Thunberg who started weekly school walkouts last year -- has gone global, drawing parallels with other protests like the Civil Rights struggle and anti-apartheid demonstrations.Friday’s protests come ahead of United Nations events, including the first Youth Climate Summit on Saturday and the Climate Action Summit of government, corporate and other leaders on Sept. 23 in New York. Thunberg, who founded the “Fridays for Future” protest group, captured media attention by sailing across the Atlantic to address the youth event, rather than traveling by plane -- doing her bit to cap emissions.The climate campaign has spurred some companies into action. Germany’s Volkswagen AG, the world’s biggest automaker, pledged to make more electric cars and become climate-neutral by 2050.Amazon.com Inc. Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos vowed Thursday to wean his company off fossil fuels by 2030. He also announced the formation of a new organization -- the Climate Pledge -- amid a steady drumbeat of criticism from activists and his own employees over Amazon’s dependence on fossil fuels.GlobalClimateStrike rally.Protesters are urging leaders to address global warming and put an end to the age of fossil fuels CoveringClimateNow pic.twitter.com/jGfAI7Bnse— Bloomberg TicToc (@tictoc) September 20, 2019 Despite that pledge, Amazon employees around the world walked off the job on Friday, in offices from Poland to South Africa and Ireland.In Seattle, hundreds of workers, joined by colleagues from Google and other tech companies, rallied in front of the biospheres at the heart of Amazon’s headquarters.Weston Fribley, an employee and organizer of Amazon Employees for Climate Justice, said Bezos’s pledge was “just the beginning.” The plans, he said, “must be implemented.” He also repeated the group’s call for Amazon to end its sales to fossil fuel companies.On Thursday, Alphabet Inc. Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai made his own announcement, saying Google had agreed to buy 1.6 gigawatts of wind and solar power, describing it as a record purchase of renewable energy by a single company.Google Makes Biggest Clean Energy Purchase Ever by a CompanyIn Australia, the campaign has the backing of high-profile business leaders such as the billionaire co-founder of enterprise software company Atlassian Corp., Mike Cannon-Brookes. Atlassian was among hundreds of Australian employers, including law firm Slater & Gordon Ltd. and real-estate portal Domain Holdings Australia Ltd., that allowed workers to take time off to attend the rallies.The call to action has resonated across Europe, which has suffered from increasing bouts of drought and wildfires, and in Australia -- the world’s driest inhabited continent that derives the bulk of its energy from burning coal.For all the support the campaign is deriving, however, there are pockets of opposition. In Germany, the far-right AfD party slammed the government’s climate measures, citing escalating costs. Merkel’s government is “mercilessly squeezing its citizens for an ideology,” its co-leader Alice Weidel said in a Twitter post.(Updates with Amazon workers protest.)\--With assistance from Maciej Martewicz, Helene Fouquet and Matt Day.To contact the reporters on this story: Bruce Einhorn in Hong Kong at firstname.lastname@example.org;Thuy Ong in Sydney at email@example.com;Stefan Nicola in Berlin at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Chad Thomas at email@example.com, Vidya Root, Eric PfannerFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
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Some prominent market personalities, such as Leon Cooperman, chair and CEO of Omega Advisors, feel that the Fed's rate cut decision was unnecessary.
(Bloomberg) -- Ever since Amazon.com Inc. bought Whole Foods in 2017 for $13.7 billion, shoppers and investors alike have wondered how the e-commerce giant would integrate the upscale grocer into its sprawling online operation. Now, after two years of tinkering, Amazon is betting big on quick delivery from Whole Foods.In August, the company began a pilot project in select cities including Denver and Portland, Oregon. Mining the purchase histories of Whole Foods shoppers who use their Prime memberships for discounts, Amazon zeroed in on items they buy routinely in physical stores. Then, the company began suggesting the same products on its main website with an enticement: free two-hour delivery. Previously, Prime subscribers looking for speedy grocery delivery needed to download a separate Prime Now app, which limited use of the service. Amazon is betting that offering the service on the main site will pull in more shoppers. The Prime Now app had only 1.8 million monthly average users in August, according to monitoring firm App Annie. Amazon’s website draws more than 200 million unique monthly visitors while its primary shopping app attracts 125 million users on average each month.As it has done before, Amazon wants to change shopping habits—in this case getting consumers more comfortable buying perishable products like bananas and yogurt online. That’s crucial if Amazon is to take on Walmart Inc. in the $840 billion U.S. grocery market.Encouraged by what it calls “very positive” customer feedback, the company has quickly extended the service to almost 30 cities, including Los Angeles, Houston and Detroit. “Most grocery customers buy the same things over and over again,” an Amazon spokeswoman said in an e-mail after Bloomberg asked about the program. “The past purchases feature enables customers to quickly add favorite products to their cart.”The industry is grappling with how best to mesh physical and online grocery stores, a topic that drew 3,000 executives to the GroceryShop conference in Las Vegas in mid-September for panels on delivery, the future of stores and consumer behavior.Despite trying upend the grocery market for more than a decade, Amazon remains a tiny player. Walmart and its Sam’s Club capture 25% of all grocery spending in the U.S., according to Morgan Stanley, compared with 2% for Amazon and Whole Foods. Walmart has more than 4,500 U.S. stores, about 10 times the number of Whole Foods locations.Meanwhile, competition is intensifying. Walmart and Target Corp. are both investing in delivery options as well as in-store pickup of online orders, all geared toward time-strapped customers looking to simplify their errands. Walmart this month announced it was expanding its $98 annual grocery delivery service to 1,400 cities, undercutting Amazon Prime's $119 annual fee.Persuading shoppers to buy fresh food online isn’t Amazon’s sole challenge. Getting groceries to customers quickly is another. Offering two-hour delivery requires Amazon to show shoppers only products that are close to them, which isn’t easy because the 25-year-old website was designed to let anyone with an internet connection buy a product anywhere in the world. For that reason, Amazon launched its two-hour delivery service Prime Now in 2015 as a separate app detached from the main website, according to a personal familiar with the matter. That enabled Amazon to get the service up and running more quickly but limited participation because users had to download a new app. Moreover, Prime Now has offered a narrow selection of convenience store-style staples. The expanded service could help solve those challenges. Shoppers in cities where the option is available see a Whole Foods storefront on Amazon’s website. The storefront offers visitors discounts to entice them to try fast delivery of perishables and shows them previous purchases they made in stores. An optional filter lets them limit their search to what’s on the shelf in nearby Whole Foods locations in case they’d rather pick up the order themselves. “Amazon has been critiqued for not making full use of the Whole Foods acquisition, and this is about to change that,” says Juozas Kaziukenas, founder of New York e-commerce research firm Marketplace Pulse. “Having local stores act as two-hour delivery hubs is exactly why Amazon acquired the company.”(Updates with Prime Now app data. )\--With assistance from Matthew Boyle.To contact the author of this story: Spencer Soper in Seattle at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Robin Ajello at email@example.com, Andrew PollackFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Amazon placed a bulk order for 100,000 electric delivery vans from Rivian. Amazon plans to phase out its current diesel vehicles in a systematic manner.
Western Digital's (WDC) focus to ensure its products deliver high quality storage solutions across all emerging data-driven technologies bodes well. Also, ongoing expansion of product portfolio bodes well for the top line.