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CEOs of consumer-facing brands have been careful to align their companies in partisan Trump era politics. Here are some of the business leaders who have thrown dollars behind the President.
Much has been made about the loss of two of its most popular shows, but over time, losses such as these will become less important.
(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly lashed out at technology giants and their leaders, announced on Friday evening that he would be dining with Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook.“Having dinner tonight with Tim Cook of Apple,” Trump, who is staying at his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey, wrote on Twitter. “They will be spending vast sums of money in the U.S. Great!”He did not elaborate, and Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the meeting.Heads of other major technology companies, including Amazon.com Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Facebook Inc. have not fared as well in the president’s tweets and public remarks.He and his political allies have made unsupported claims that social media companies muzzle conservative views. Trump has assailed Amazon for edging out brick-and-mortar retailers and criticized its founder Jeff Bezos, who owns the Washington Post.Pressure on tech companies is increasing in Washington as congressional Republicans examine accusations of bias against conservatives; Democrats in the House conduct an antitrust inquiry and officials at the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission divvy up oversight of Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon.Earlier this week, FTC Chairman Joe Simons said in an interview that he wouldn’t let Trump’s complaints about the size and political inclinations of large technology platforms affect his agency’s decisions.Cook visited the White House in June to discuss the Trump administration’s efforts to develop job training programs that meet the changing demands of U.S. employers. The meeting was part of the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board, a working group that includes many corporate leaders. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Trump’s daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump unveiled the initiative earlier this year.\--With assistance from Alistair Barr.To contact the reporter on this story: John Harney in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Kevin Whitelaw at email@example.com, John HarneyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. Argentina was downgraded deeper into junk territory by two of the three biggest ratings companies as markets brace for a possible default after the populist opposition won a landslide victory in Sunday’s primary election.Fitch Ratings cut Argentina’s long-term issuer rating by three notches to CCC from B, putting the South American nation on par with Zambia and the Republic of Congo. S&P lowered the country’s sovereign rating to B- from B and slapped a negative outlook on it.The move caps a traumatic week for Argentina that saw the peso fall to a record, the benchmark equity gauge suffer one of the worst daily routs in 70 years and the yield on the nation’s century bonds spike to an all-time high. S&P cited Argentina’s “vulnerable financial profile” and the slump in asset prices following the primary.“Uncertainty continues on the private sector’s predisposition to roll over government debt and hold pesos while depreciation stresses the government’s high financing needs,” S&P analyst Lisa Schineller wrote in a statement accompanying the downgrade.As of March 31, Argentina had $33.7 billion in foreign-currency debt payments due by year-end, the vast majority in short-term Treasury bills, or Letes, according to the latest debt report by the Finance Ministry.Fitch’s said the deterioration in the macroeconomic environment “increases the likelihood of a sovereign default or restructuring of some kind.”Argentine bonds had started to recover from the worst of this week’s rout. The average spread on sovereign bonds tightened 80 basis points today, after earlier narrowing 128 bps, according to a JPMorgan index.Past PopulismOpposition candidate Alberto Fernandez trounced President Mauricio Macri in the primary, giving him a seemingly unassailable lead ahead of October’s presidential election. Investors fear that victory for Fernandez will mark a return to the populist policies of the past and a likely default.Moody’s Investors Service already rates the nation’s notes at five levels below investment grade.Fearful Argentines Pull Dollars From Banks After Election ShockThis week’s slump in assets resulted in large losses for some of the world’s biggest money managers, who piled into Argentine assets in a search for yield.It may already be too late for Argentina to avoid a default, according to Siobhan Morden, a New York-based strategist at Amherst Pierpont Securities. She said the weakening peso will push debt ratios even higher.Rising DebtFitch said it expects Argentina’s federal government debt to climb to around 95% of gross domestic product this year, without even factoring in the risk of a further slide in the currency. Meantime, South America’s second-largest economy will probably contract 2.5% by year-end, Martinez said.Financing pressures could intensify in 2020 when the sovereign will need to turn to the market to finance a fiscal deficit and some $20 billion in debt maturities as the nation’s disbursements from the International Monetary Fund run dry, according to Fitch.“Both roll-over and fresh financing could be difficult if local and external borrowing conditions do not improve markedly from current stressed levels,” Martinez said.(Updates with downgrade by S&P Global.)\--With assistance from Aline Oyamada and Justin Villamil.To contact the reporters on this story: Ben Bartenstein in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org;Sydney Maki in New York at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Julia Leite at firstname.lastname@example.org, Philip Sanders, Alec D.B. McCabeFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
As both Nvidia and AMD compete to create the next best AI and cloud computing GPUs, the tech is only going to proliferate in performance and both companies stand to gain.
NVIDIA (NVDA) stock soared 6% in today’s trading session as its Q2 earnings for fiscal 2020 beat estimates. However, its guidance missed estimates.
(Bloomberg) -- Intercontinental Exchange Inc., the parent of the New York Stock Exchange, won an approval that clears the way for its Bakkt unit to allow investors to buy derivatives that pay out with Bitcoins for the first time.The New York State Department of Financial Services on Friday granted a charter to Bakkt Trust Co. to hold custody of customers’ tokens. The futures had already gotten a green light from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission under a self-certification process. The first contracts will be offered Sept. 23.“We believe that the availability of a benchmark that can be referenced globally will create confidence in the true price of Bitcoin,” Kelly Loeffler, Bakkt’s chief executive officer, said in a telephone interview. “It’s an important step in creating more trust.”Despite its status of the world’s most valuable cryptocurrency, Bitcoin is known for wild price swings that some say are the result of manipulation. Digital tokens trade on platforms that face far less regulatory scrutiny than exchanges for stocks or derivatives. Many of the venues are also located outside the U.S.According to Loeffler, the fragmented nature of Bitcoin trading means that there’s a lack of confidence of prices. She said that ICE’s futures contracts will lead to a new one-year price curve for Bitcoin that traders can use to express views on the cryptocurrency as they would with other asset classes.Some of the brokerages who already work with ICE to trade futures have agreed to also handle the crypto contracts, according to Bakkt.ICE has said its ultimate goal is to create an ecosystem that would encourage pension funds, endowments and other institutions to invest more money in cryptocurrencies, and make it much easier for consumers to buy products with the cryptocurrency. The venture, announced to much fanfare in August 2018, has lined up big-name backers, including Starbucks Inc. and Microsoft Inc.The goal is to have Bakkt serve as backbone of digital payment infrastructure at retailers starting in 2020, Loeffler said.Bakkt had faced months of delays amid skepticism from the CFTC officials around how clients’ tokens would be stored, and thus safeguarded from possible theft and manipulation, according to people familiar with the matter. The concerns prompted ICE to seek the license from New York.While ICE’s Bakkt futures won’t be the first Bitcoin futures to be listed on a major U.S. derivatives exchange, they could be the most significant for the burgeoning crypto industry. CME Group Inc. and Cboe Global Markets Inc. launched contracts in December 2017 that pay out in U.S. dollars on expiration, not actual Bitcoin. The Cboe no longer offers them.When Bakkt’s one-day and one-month contracts expire they would pay out in Bitcoin tokens instead of U.S. dollars. The futures will be exchange-traded on ICE Futures U.S. and cleared on ICE Clear US, which are federally regulated by the CFTC.Bitcoin erased losses of as much as 6% to trade little changed at about $10,400 after the announcement. The largest cryptocurrency has dropped about 13% this week. It traded around $7,400 when the the venture was first announced.(Adds comments from Bakkt CEO in fourth and fifth paragraphs.)\--With assistance from Olga Kharif.To contact the reporter on this story: Ben Bain in Washington at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jeremy Herron at firstname.lastname@example.org, Dave Liedtka, Gregory MottFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Two years ago, 10 sailors died when the U.S. Navy’s guided missile destroyer USS John S. McCain collided with a chemical tanker off Singapore. An investigation has determined that insufficient training and inadequate operating procedures were to blame, and both factors were related to a new touch-screen-based helm control system. The Navy has decided to revert its destroyers back to entirely physical throttles and helm controls.It’s worth exploring the Navy’s rationale for installing touch-screens (“Just because you can doesn’t mean you should,” says Rear Admiral Bill Galinis), as well as its rationale for getting rid of them:Galinis said that bridge design is something that shipbuilders have a lot of say in, as it’s not covered by any particular specification that the Navy requires builders to follow. As a result of innovation and a desire to incorporate new technology, “we got away from the physical throttles, and that was probably the number-one feedback from the fleet – they said, just give us the throttles that we can use.”There are lessons here — including a prescient one from 50 years ago — for other, more mundane transport-control interfaces as well.Large, interactive touch-screens are becoming increasingly prevalent in passenger cars; in the case of Tesla, they’re the only control interface. They’re lovely to look at, but as the Navy’s experience suggests, they might be more confusing than physical controls. That confusion isn’t academic, either: Distracted driving is an increasingly dangerous problem. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 10% of all fatal crashes from 2012 to 2017 involved distracted drivers. Mobile phones are a major cause of distraction, as we’d expect, but they’re an even bigger problem for younger drivers.Almost 50 years ago, robotics professor Masahiro Mori wrote an extraordinary essay, “The Uncanny Valley,” on people’s reactions to robots as they became more and more humanlike. As Mori said, our affinity for robots rises as they more closely resemble humans. That affinity plunges, becoming negative and finally rising again once a robot reaches the (possibly unattainable) full likeness of a human being.Something similar is at work in our current touch-screen-filled vehicles. To an extent, adding more screen real estate give us more information, and with it more safety — until it begins to provide an overwhelming amount of information and an overly complex set of choices for visual navigation. And moving from one information-rich interface to another is increasingly difficult, as another Navy rear admiral said in reviewing the John S. McCain collision:When you look at a screen, where do you find heading? Is it in the same place, or do you have to hunt every time you go to a different screen? So the more commonality we can drive into these kind of human-machine interfaces, the better it is for the operator to quickly pick up what the situational awareness is, whatever aspect he’s looking at, whether it’s helm control, radar pictures, whatever. So we’re trying to drive that.There are two ways our in-car screens could evolve. The first is that, for safety’s sake, they’ll move back down the curve, so to speak, and be less ambiguous and more full of knobs and dials and physical throttles. That’s the Navy’s new approach. The second, though, is that we won’t go back, at least in passenger applications, to a more tactile interface of specific controls. We’re probably going to get more screens, with more information. Maybe the only way out of this valley is to shift the interface completely to voice or, in the very long run, to obviate the issue by having cars drive themselves. That could be how we navigate this uncanny valley of vehicle interfaces — the removal of any need to control the vehicle at all, and the chance to fill our cars’ screens with pure entertainment. Weekend readingA greener energy industry is testing investors’ ability to adapt. One coal CEO says “make money while you can” in an industry that is in terminal decline. The venture capital arm of Royal Dutch Shell Plc has invested in Corvus Energy, a maritime and offshore battery systems company. America’s obsession with beef is killing leather. A look at how Phoenix comes alive at night, and how other cities might too in a hotter world. An exploration of how extreme climate change has arrived in America. The Anthropocene is a joke. On a geological time scale, human civilization is an event, not an epoch. Three years of misery inside Google, the happiest company in tech. Here’s what happens when Apple Inc. locks you out of its walled garden after fraud suspicions. Machine vision can spot unknown links between classic artworks. When Midwest startups sell, their hometown schools often lose. A programmer in California got a “NULL” vanity license plate in the hopes that the word would not compute in a database of traffic offenders. Instead, he was fined $12,049. Robert Ballard, discoverer of the Titanic, is exploring a startling clue that may help him find Amelia Earhart’s plane. Bugatti’s one-off La Voiture Noire debuted at the Pebble Beach Concours D’Elegance. It’s already been sold, for $18.68 million. Bloomberg Businessweek’s Peter Coy looks back on the 40 years since the magazine declared “ the death of equities.” Get Sparklines delivered to your inbox. Sign up here. And subscribe to Bloomberg All Access and get much, much more. You’ll receive our unmatched global news coverage and two in-depth daily newsletters, the Bloomberg Open and the Bloomberg Close.To contact the author of this story: Nathaniel Bullard at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Brooke Sample at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Nathaniel Bullard is a BloombergNEF energy analyst, covering technology and business model innovation and system-wide resource transitions.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Google publicly disclosed its acquisition of homework helper app Socratic inan announcement this week, detailing the added support for the company's AItechnology and its relaunch on iOS
The market fell on August 14 when China threatened to retaliate against US tariffs. This news hit semiconductor stocks, which depend on China for revenue.
Netflix will spend $15 billion on content this year alone—up from $12 billion last year. Some analysts started to sound the alarm about Netflix’s spending.
(Bloomberg) -- Mexico’s Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador ratcheted up his attacks against credit-rating companies on Friday, saying he hopes they act more objectively and noting that Mexico pays them as much as $300 million a year.While the Mexican president promised at his regular morning news conference to respect decisions made by the firms, he called on them to be “more cautious in their analysis, more professional, more objective, that they leave their ideological leanings off to the side.”Lopez Obrador’s clashes with ratings companies flared in June, when the peso dropped by as much as 1% after Fitch cut the nation’s credit rating and Moody’s reduced its outlook on the same day. The next day, Fitch slashed to junk bonds sold by Petroleos Mexicanos SA, the debt-burdened state oil company.The Mexican leader didn’t name the companies, which include Moody’s Investors Service, S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings. Spokesmen for the firms didn’t respond to requests for comment.The firms have said Mexico’s major threats include Lopez Obrador’s own policies, pointing to an economic slowdown and the lack of a coherent plan to rescue debt-burdened Pemex that are putting pressure on Mexico’s finances.On Friday, Lopez Obrador pushed back. Under his predecessor, Enrique Pena Nieto, “debt was growing and production was falling, and even so, they raised Pemex’s rating,” Lopez Obrador said with a chuckle.To contact the reporters on this story: Justin Villamil in Mexico City at email@example.com;Cyntia Barrera Diaz in Mexico City at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Julia Leite at email@example.com, Alec D.B. McCabe, Philip SandersFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Dozens of Android adware apps disguised as photo-editing apps and games havebeen caught serving ads that would take over users' screens as part of afraudulent money-making scheme
(Bloomberg) -- Shopify Inc.’s scorching rally and Lightspeed POS Inc.’s successful trading debut this year are throwing the spotlight on who might be the next Canadian tech star to go public.A total of C$1 billion ($751 million) was invested in 142 venture capital deals in the first quarter, up 48% from a year earlier, according to the Canadian Venture & Private Equity Association. More than half of that was in tech and increasingly from U.S. investors.Here’s what the founders of some of Canada’s hottest tech firms are saying about the future of their companies, and the potential for initial public offerings:ClearbancClearbanc offers $10,000 to $10 million to startups to help fund their marketing campaigns on Facebook, Google and the like in return for a flat fee and a share of revenue.The Toronto-based investment firm, founded in 2015, raised $300 million in new funding led by Highland Capital Partners of the U.S., the largest disclosed VC-financing this year in Canada. That brings total funding to $420 million.Clearbanc plans to offer $1 billion in financing this year and is interested in funding parts of a business that could turn into a repeatable revenue stream--infrastructure, shipping and sales commissions.It’s expanding outside the U.S. and Canada, where there’s a less developed venture ecosystem and “banks are more conservative,” according to co-founder and chief executive officer, Andrew D’Souza.“We think that the fundamentals of the business, the market opportunity, justifies a large standalone business,” D’Souza said about the possibility of an IPO.WattpadWattpad Corp. may no longer be a startup but its ambitions just keep growing. Founded as a mobile-reading app, 12-year-old Wattpad now calls itself a “multi-platform entertainment company.”The Toronto-based company has provided content for one of the most re-watched movies on Netflix (“The Kissing Booth”), a Hulu series (“Light as a Feather”), and this year a Hollywood feature film (“After”), all through Wattpad Studios, launched in 2016.Last week it inked a deal with Penguin Random House in the U.K. to turn its online content, mainly created and read by young women, into books. That follows the launch of its own publishing imprint, Wattpad Books, in the U.S. in April.The company uses data from more than 80 million monthly active users to identify the best stories across its platform and turn them into content. It has launched a paid, ad-free version as well as exclusive content for a fee.Wattpad has raised $117.8 million from investors including OMERS Ventures, Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s capital arm, and August Capital Corp, and is generating revenue in “eight figures,” according to co-founder and chief executive, Allen Lau.As for an IPO, it’s “not what we spend time focusing on,” Lau said. “Our focus right now is on movies and TV shows, with our partners.”VidyardVidyard Inc. wants to be the YouTube of business videos. Its software allows companies to create personalized videos to engage with customers and use data from their viewing habits to analyze that engagement.Companies are expected to spend $103 billion annually in video-ad marketing by 2023, according to Forrester Research.Vidyard counts 1,200 businesses in over 170 countries as its customers, including enterprise customers such as Honeywell International Inc., LinkedIn and Citibank.“In terms of the next two to three years, we’re just focused on consistent, hockey-stick style growth,” says Devon Galloway, co-founder and chief technology officer at Kitchener, Ontario-based Vidyard.The company has raised $60 million to date from investors including OMERS Ventures, Inovia Capital and the venture capital arm of Salesforce Inc.Galloway said if Vidyard continues to grow as well as it has an IPO would certainly be on its path.WealthsimpleWealthsimple Inc., wishes to replace banks as a customer’s primary financial relationship, according to founder and CEO Michael Katchen.“We want to be a firm that demystifies money,” Katchen said in an interview in Bloomberg’s Toronto office. The investment-services company has more than C$5 billion in assets under management and 175,000 customers in Canada, the U.S. and U.K.The robo-adviser favored by millennials, is also targeting wealthier Canadians and has branched out into commission-free stock trading and savings products. Mortgages, life insurance and checking accounts could be next, Katchen said.Founded in 2014, WealthSimple is not yet profitable, but its backers are patient, Katchen said. These include Power Financial Corp., an investment arm run by the Desmarais family and Allianz SE.Katchen said he’s interested in an IPO but it’s still “a few years away.”(Updates with Clearbanc’s financing plan)To contact the reporter on this story: Simran Jagdev in Toronto at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jacqueline Thorpe at email@example.com;David Scanlan at firstname.lastname@example.orgFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.