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In an exclusive interview with Yahoo Finance on Wednesday, Nextdoor CEO Sarah Friar confirmed her attendance at a meeting with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
(Bloomberg) -- Billionaire George Soros said he will commit $1 billion to start a global university to fight authoritarian governments and climate change, calling them twin challenges that threaten the survival of our civilization.The Open Society University Network will offer an international platform for teaching and research, the 89-year-old said Thursday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The university will be launched through a partnership of the Soros-backed Central European University and Bard College.“As a long-term strategy our best hope lies in access to quality education, specifically an education that reinforces the autonomy of the individual by cultivating critical thinking and emphasizing academic freedom,” Soros said.In his speech and a follow-up question and answer session, Soros covered a wide-range of issues, including the “overheated” U.S. economy, the dominance of Facebook Inc. and the autocratic rule of Xi Jinping, Narendra Modi, Jair Bolsonaro and Donald Trump, who he called a “con man and the ultimate narcissist.”“Taking into account the climate emergency and worldwide unrest, it’s not an exaggeration to say that 2020 and the next few years will determine not only the fate of Xi and Trump, but also the fate of the world,” he said.Soros also once again criticized Facebook for its failure to police the social media network.“There’s nothing to stop them, and I think there is a kind of informal mutual assistance operation or agreement developing between Trump and Facebook,” Soros said. “Facebook will work together to re-elect Trump and Trump will work to protect Facebook.Trump, he said, is responsible for overheating the economy. “An overheated economy can’t be kept boiling for too long,” he said.Soros has hit on these themes in previous Davos speeches. Last year, the philanthropist warned of the “mortal danger” of China’s use of artificial intelligence to repress its citizens under the leadership of Xi, whom he called the most dangerous opponent of democracies.He has also lashed out at social-media giants including Facebook and Google, saying they need to be regulated. Last year he compared them to gambling companies that foster addiction among users and said that they exploit the data they control.Soros has become a lightning rod for his political views and philanthropic efforts. A longtime supporter and financial backer of progressive causes and Democratic politicians, he’s become a target of right-wing activists.Soros closed his hedge fund and converted his firm into a family office. The $25 billion Soros Fund Management now mostly manages money for the Open Society Foundations, a worldwide network of philanthropies.(Adds Facebook remarks in sixth paragraph)\--With assistance from Clea Simos.To contact the reporter on this story: Katherine Burton in New York at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sam Mamudi at email@example.com, Alan Mirabella, Melissa KarshFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Andy Byford, a Briton lionized as New York City’s “Train Daddy,” resigned as chief of the subway agency just two years after taking over the busiest mass-transit system in the U.S.Byford, 55, who started his career in the U.K. and ran Toronto’s transit agency, had been credited with improving subway service and persuading state and city lawmakers to pour billions into a system plagued by service interruptions and equipment breakdowns.New York City Transit, part of the state’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority, has 8 million daily riders. Under Byford, average on-time performance exceeded 80% last year for the first time since 2013. That’s up from 67.1% in 2018.Byford’s departure came after friction with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo over finding billions to revamp signal technology developed almost a century ago, purchase new subway cars and buses and upgrade equipment and station maintenance. The subway chief moved to resign in October, but stayed after being assured that he would retain influence over policy and operations. Byford’s decision Thursday seems final.In a letter to MTA Chief Operating Office Mario Peloquin, Byford said he was quitting because a cost-cutting plan advanced by Cuomo would centralize major decisions on projects, “leaving agency presidents to focus solely on the day-to-day running of service.”‘Train Daddy’Byford was a popular figure, riding the transport he supervised, greeting commuters and inquiring about their experience. Stickers showing his hairless head as the first car of a train, Thomas the Tank Engine style, blossomed around the city with the slogan “Train Daddy loves you very much.”On Thursday, Stephen Mortley, 40, a marketing executive on the 5 train headed toward Brooklyn, said Byford’s departure was disappointing.“Byford had so much in the pipeline that we wanted and he was on the cusp of doing,” Mortley said. “We could see the trains getting better. It’s an unfortunate clash of egos for him to quit and I blame both the governor and Byford because it shows no concern for the common man.”Despite his popularity among straphangers, there was one important figure he failed to win over: Cuomo. The governor has had a fraught relationship with the agency he oversees, taking credit for improvements like the opening of the long-awaited Second Avenue line, but ducking criticism as the overall system decayed.DisagreementsOn Thursday, Cuomo said Byford “was a good man,” but the two disagreed over centralizing operations. Cuomo wants to consolidate construction projects throughout the MTA, which would diminish Byford’s power over timetables for subway construction and maintenance. The governor objected to Byford’s seven-year time frame to overhaul the signaling system, saying the job could be done faster.“The MTA has to find economies of scale, it has to find efficiency and that’s what it’s trying to do,” Cuomo said at a Manhattan news conference. “They have to do a better job on construction.”Byford’s arrival in January 2018 came after a “summer of hell” marked by daily breakdowns, delays, track fires and equipment failures that cost the city economy millions of dollars in lost employee work time. In 2020, the system’s ricketiness persists, but full-out commuting meltdowns are rarer.“Andy was instrumental in moving the system forward,” MTA Chairman Patrick Foye said in a statement.Subway SignalsReinvent Albany, a government watchdog group, blamed the resignation on the governor.“We view Byford’s resignation as a very bad sign for the MTA and NYC Transit, which we believe have been politicized by Governor Cuomo,” said Rachael Fauss, a spokeswoman. “Byford is widely known to have chafed at the politicization of the MTA under Governor Cuomo, whose penchant for secretiveness, message control and top-down directives conflicted with Byford’s philosophy of building trust through consultation, personal accountability and transparency.”Fauss said the two disagreed over Cuomo’s demand that the MTA depend on a new radar-like wireless technology for subway signaling, which she characterized as an untested technology.Byford and Cuomo also clashed over the governor’s insistence upon a quick and inexpensive fix for a damaged East River tunnel linking Manhattan and Brooklyn. Byford had favored an 18-month closing, requiring transformational adaptation of local streets for bicycles and buses. Cuomo prevailed.“There are very few people in government who could communicate a plan of action,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer. “He was beloved and respected by the workers and the riding public. It’s a loss to New York City.”Byford’s leadership was praised by Danny Pearlstein, policy and communications director for the Riders Alliance, an advocacy group. He said it’s up to Cuomo to maintain Byford’s momentum.“Management will come and go, but the governor is responsible to keep a team in place that will build on Byford’s success,” Pearlstein said. “Riders will keep holding the governor accountable.”(Updates with quote from Byford resignation letter in fifth paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Henry Goldman in New York at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Flynn McRoberts at email@example.com, Stephen MerelmanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- A handful of local technology startups gathered to ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange Thursday, celebrating the city’s evolution as an international tech hub in recent years.“Ten years ago, tech in New York was people who would meet in Central Park and play soccer and now tech in New York is ringing the bell in the stock exchange,” said Serkan Piantino, co-founder and chief executive officer of Spell, an artificial intelligence company in New York.New York’s tech industry accounted for 333,000 jobs as of 2019, and counts more than 9,000 startups, according to Tech:NYC’s annual report. In addition to home-grown companies, the giants of Silicon Valley are increasingly expanding in the Big Apple. Alphabet Inc.’s Google, which already has more than 8,000 employees in New York could surpass 14,000 by 2028, while Facebook Inc. intends to double its headcount in the city. Many of the biggest tech companies are gobbling up real estate in Manhattan, seeking to tap the city’s highly skilled and diverse workforce.@TechNYC celebrates tech startups in NYC https://t.co/CBrUHdTsaJ— NYSE (@NYSE) January 23, 2020 Companies find that they can recruit people in New York for many different disciplines that are becoming fundamental to the industry, such as artificial intelligence, data science, and computer vision, said Ro Gupta, CEO of Carmera Inc., which makes real-time maps for autonomous driving.It’s that kind of growth and opportunity that has made the tech industry in New York “incredibly bullish” about its future, said Julie Samuels, executive director of Tech:NYC, a network of more than 800 tech companies in the city. However, it’s becoming harder to hire mid-level and senior employees in the industry, according to a 2019 survey by Tech:NYC and Accenture Plc.Tech has become a part of the city’s identity, said Aaron Block, co-founder of MetaProp NYC LLC, a venture capital firm focused on real estate technology. “It’s great to see New York embrace this in a way that is going to continue to fuel the growth of the industry locally,” Block said.To contact the reporter on this story: Nikitha Sattiraju in New York at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Molly Schuetz at email@example.comFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Bitcoin traders appear to be heeding a warning of a demand slowdown ahead of China’s lunar New Year.The largest cryptocurrency slumped as much as 4% to $8,281, while altcoins such as Ethereum Classic tumbled more than 11% to $8.18 in New York trading.Arthur Hayes, co-founder and chief executive officer of BitMex, a cryptocurrency exchange, predicted in a post on Twitter late Wednesday that it’s time for “volatility and volumes to nose dive.”Cryptocurrencies have been under pressure this week. The price of Bitcoin has dropped more than 6% since Friday, while the Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index -- which tracks some of the major digital currencies -- has slumped about 5.7%.“Bitcoin and the entire crypto space are under pressure as uncertainty over regulatory scrutiny is expected to intensify and investor skepticism grows for the short-term outlook for risky assets,” said Ed Moya, a market analyst with OANDA. Investors “saw central banks unite and begin a review on digital currencies, fading optimism that a Bitcoin ETF will occur, and amid the China coronavirus worries, a flight-to-safety to the bond markets and not cryptocurrencies.”Twenty of the top 50 crypto exchanges are based in the Asia-Pacific region and accounted for about 40% of Bitcoin transactions in the first half of last year, according to data from Chainalysis. Within the region, the most exchanges are in China, the research firm found.A number of technical indicators are flashing sell signals. Earlier this week, for instance, a measure of upward and downward movements of successive closing prices flashed a sell signal, the first such sign since Bitcoin’s peak in June of last year. Should Bitcoin’s price drop further, the GTI Vera Convergence-Divergence indicator could also generate such a signal.\--With assistance from Kenneth Sexton.To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Vildana Hajric in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org;Claire Ballentine in New York at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jeremy Herron at firstname.lastname@example.org, Dave Liedtka, Randall JensenFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
The top stories here are Apple's ITP vulnerability, Amazon's motion to stop work under the JEDI contract, Amazon's soaring music subs and the UK digital tax.
Quarterly earnings results from Comcast, Southwest, American Airlines, and more. And a look at why Pure Storage, Inc. (PSTG) is a Zacks Rank 1 (Strong Buy) stock right now, as it trades under $20 a share...
(Bloomberg) -- Legendary investor Bill Miller’s hedge fund jumped 120% last year -- and he says it’s because he didn’t stray from his top names.“In the fourth quarter, we did our favorite thing to do in markets: nothing,” Miller wrote in an investor letter dated Jan. 15. “No new names and no elimination of holdings from the portfolio. This doesn’t happen as often as it probably should.”The performance stands in contrast to the industry. Hedge funds on average rose 9.2% last year, according to Bloomberg Hedge Fund Indices, while the S&P Index 500 jumped 29% in that period. Miller’s gain marks a turnaround for 2018 when the fund slid about 34% as markets plunged.The veteran stock-picker’s Miller Value Partners 1 surged 60% in the fourth quarter alone, according to the letter seen by Bloomberg. The fund, which has about $220 million in assets, uses one-to-three times leverage on its investments.Among the fund’s top contributors to the gains were security system company ADT Inc., Flexion Therapeutics Inc. and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. Other holdings included furniture retailer RH and Amazon.com Inc.Miller, who focuses on beaten-down securities that trade at a large discount to their intrinsic value, predicts the bull market will continue, though “stocks will not move in a straight line higher.” He declined to comment beyond the letter.Miller gained fame beating the S&P 500 for 15 straight years when he ran the Legg Mason Value Trust. He stumbled during the financial crisis, losing 55% in 2008 and triggering redemptions.His Miller Opportunity Trust, a mutual fund with $1.7 billion in assets, was up about 34% last year and rose about 19% in the fourth quarter.(Updates with Miller declining to comment in sixth paragraph)To contact the reporter on this story: Melissa Karsh in New York at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sam Mamudi at firstname.lastname@example.org, Alan MirabellaFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Amazon (AMZN) possesses the right combination of the two key ingredients for a likely earnings beat in its upcoming report. Get prepared with the key expectations.
eBay (EBAY) has an impressive earnings surprise history and currently possesses the right combination of the two key ingredients for a likely beat in its next quarterly report.
(Bloomberg) -- Bernie Sanders and Jamie Dimon don’t seem like they’re going to agree anytime soon.The Vermont senator lashed out at the JPMorgan Chase & Co. chief on Twitter after Dimon criticized socialism in an op-ed published earlier this week in Time magazine. The interaction was reminiscent of a knock by Sanders in June after Dimon made similar comments.Dimon said socialism would be a disaster for the country and said capitalism needs to be modified to better serve society. He repeated the points Wednesday in a CNBC interview in which he declined to talk about individual candidates. The Vermont lawmaker, a 2020 presidential contender who calls himself a socialist, shot back.“That’s funny. Jamie Dimon seemed fine with corporate socialism when his bank got a $416 billion bailout from American taxpayers,” he wrote on Twitter Wednesday.Dimon has previously said JPMorgan, which expanded during the crisis by acquiring collapsing rivals, didn’t need a bailout to survive. In 2012, he told the Senate his firm temporarily accepted $25 billion from a Treasury Department program because “we were asked to” so weaker rivals could tap it without being singled out.Sanders jumped seven percentage points in a CNN poll released Wednesday and now is neck-and-neck with Joe Biden to lead the Democrats vying for the party’s presidential nomination. A new poll shows him as the top pick for New Hampshire voters after support for the senator nearly doubled over the past month. Sanders, who is from neighboring Vermont, jumped from fourth to first in the WBUR poll out Thursday.(Disclaimer: Michael Bloomberg is also seeking the Democratic presidential nomination. He is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.)To contact the reporter on this story: Michelle F. Davis in New York at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael J. Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org, Alan GoldsteinFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Days to Brexit: 8(Bloomberg) -- Sign up here to get the Brexit Bulletin in your inbox every weekday.What’s Happening? The Withdrawal Agreement Bill received royal assent, making Brexit on Jan. 31 a matter of U.K. law.Seventeen words brought an end to the British side of this phase of the Brexit saga. In a statement to the House of Commons, Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans delivered the news to listening lawmakers: “Her Majesty has signified her royal assent to the following act: European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020.”Royal assent brings to a close the crisis that paralyzed U.K. politics after the country voted to leave the European Union in June 2016. Former Prime Minister Theresa May failed to get her version of the deal through the House of Commons after reaching an agreement with the EU in November 2018. Her successor, Boris Johnson, succeeded only after winning a large majority in last month’s general election.With the U.K. due to slip out of the EU at 11 p.m. London time next Friday, all that remains is for the European Parliament to rubber-stamp the deal. That was due to move a step closer on Thursday afternoon via a vote of the assembly’s constitutional affairs committee, a group of the parliament’s most influential members. The panel was expected to nod the deal through.The full EU parliament, which officially has a veto over the deal, will vote on Jan. 29. It will almost certainly follow the committee’s lead. The U.K. is scheduled to leave the EU two days later.Beyond BrexitClimate activist Greta Thunberg should go back to school and study economics, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said at the World Economic Forum in Davos. These billionaires made their fortunes by trying to stop climate change. The £200 million ($262 million) London mansion bought by Cheung Cheung Kie earlier this month isn’t even his most valuable property.Brexit in BriefRule Makers | U.K. financiers are asking the government to revamp regulations to attract global business after Brexit. Watchdogs should have the power “to make the U.K. a better place to do business” through a new mandate to support London’s financial hub against rivals, according to the International Regulatory Strategy Group, a panel backed by the City of London.Diverging Views | Speaking at Davos on Thursday morning, U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid tried to reassure business over Britain’s post-Brexit ties with the EU. “We won’t diverge just for the sake of it,” he said. That’s despite telling the Financial Times last week that “there will not be alignment” with EU rules after Brexit.Off-Piste? | Did Javid speak out of turn at Davos when he said that talks for a U.K.-EU trade deal will take priority over any agreement with the U.S.? Today’s Bloomberg Westminster podcast discusses his motivations.Time Is Tight | The clock is ticking for the EU and the U.K. to hammer out a trade deal by the end of the year, according to Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. “It’s an awfully short amount of time so I hope that coming next summer, June, July, that Boris Johnson will at least contemplate extending, if necessary, this transition phase,” Rutte said in a Bloomberg TV interview in Davos. “I’m Still Here” | Steve Bray, otherwise known as the “Stop Brexit Guy” was a fixture outside Westminster during the height of the U.K.’s Brexit tension, often disrupting live TV interviews. On Thursday he took his protest to Brussels, joining a small rally outside the European Parliament, the Brussels Times reports. “I came to Brussels just to visit this parliament,” the Times reported him as saying. “I’m still here because I still care.”Want to keep up with Brexit?You can follow us @Brexit on Twitter, and listen to Bloomberg Westminster every weekday. It’s live at midday on Bloomberg Radio and is available as a podcast too. Share the Brexit Bulletin: Colleagues, friends and family can sign up here. For full EU coverage, try the Brussels Edition.For even more: Subscribe to Bloomberg All Access for our unmatched global news coverage and two in-depth daily newsletters, The Bloomberg Open and The Bloomberg Close.To contact the authors of this story: Thomas Penny in London at email@example.comIan Wishart in Brussels at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Adam Blenford at email@example.com, Chris KayFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.