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   Strategies & Market TrendsThe Financial Collapse of 2001 Unwinding

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To: elmatador who wrote (10281)2/2/2023 5:17:58 AM
From: nicewatch
1 Recommendation   of 11653
The total mktcap loss is now around $100 billion in a week and counting...

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To: nicewatch who wrote (10283)2/2/2023 5:28:43 AM
From: elmatador
1 Recommendation   of 11653
Easy Money. How many more are out there?

Charlie Javices sold the student financial aid startup Frank to JP Morgan. Mike Lynch sold to HP.

UK Home Secretary Priti Patel tonight approved Autonomy founder Mike Lynch's extradition to America to face criminal charges over the multi-billion-dollar sale of his tech biz Draktrace to Hewlett-Packard

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To: elmatador who wrote (10284)2/2/2023 5:58:22 AM
From: nicewatch
2 Recommendations   of 11653
Am sure there are plenty, but an Autonomy, Darktrace, or Frank are garden variety frauds compared to how Adani is shaping up... a takedown of Asia's richest man (on paper) with political connections in a developing country that happens to be the second most populous in the world. That's definitely not an everyday garden variety type of fraud, imo. Maybe the mechanisms are but it's an order of magnitude larger and like you said should make for a good movie! ;-)

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To: elmatador who wrote (10281)2/2/2023 1:16:01 PM
From: nicewatch
2 Recommendations   of 11653
Adani Group: How The World’s 3rd Richest Man Is Pulling The Largest Con In Corporate History

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To: nicewatch who wrote (10286)2/2/2023 10:57:08 PM
From: elmatador
1 Recommendation   of 11653
Thanks. It is interesting to note how the press avoids quoting the dirty dealings
The coverage has been light touch.
It shows how they are intimidated.
How many more are lurking out there?

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From: elmatador2/3/2023 12:33:38 AM
1 Recommendation   of 11653
Google hit by ad sales slump


By Ruiqi Chen, Editor at LinkedIn News
Updated 5 hours ago

Slowing YouTube advertising revenue and sluggish sales growth in other ad businesses led Google's parent company Alphabet to log its first ad sales decline of the pandemic era. Alphabet reported a 1% dip from the year before, to $59 billion. The company's latest quarterly results were also denoted by just its second decline in ad sales since 2004 and its fourth consecutive drop in quarterly profit. Alphabet has sought to rein in costs to mitigate an ad spending slowdown driven by rising interest rates and inflation.

Net income plunged by 34% to $13.6 billion, well short of Wall Street expectations.Alphabet is now planning “significant” work to improve its spending and growth, Alphabet and Google chief financial officer Ruth Porat told investors, just weeks after laying off 12,000 employees due to economic uncertainty.

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From: elmatador2/3/2023 12:38:14 AM
1 Recommendation   of 11653
Meta shares soar on resilient revenue and $40bn in buybacks Mark Zuckerberg promises ‘year of efficiency’ as parent of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp looks to contain costs Late last year Meta, which owns Facebook, announced its biggest headcount reductions, dismissing 11,000 staffers or about 13% of total employees
Hannah Murphy in San Francisco 7 HOURS AGO 85 Print this page Mark

Zuckerberg laid out plans to further wrestle Meta’s costs under control in what he deemed a “year of efficiency” for the social media company, as its shares jumped on better than expected sales, guidance for lower expenses and a new $40bn share buyback.

Meta, which owns Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, reported fourth-quarter revenues of $32.2bn on Wednesday, a 4 per cent decline from the year before, but at the top end of its guidance and slightly above analysts’ estimates.

The company also cut its 2023 expenses outlook by $5bn and announced an additional $40bn for share buybacks.

Meta shares closed 17.6 per cent higher on Thursday. The gain added almost $88bn to its market value, according to Bloomberg data, largely reversing the $89bn hit at its third-quarter results amid investor anxiety over its costly metaverse bet. By midday, shares were up 25 per cent.

The fourth-quarter results present a rosier picture for Meta, which has been squeezed over the past year by the economic slowdown that prompted marketers to cut their spending, along with heightened competition from TikTok and challenges in tailoring and measuring ad campaigns following Apple’s privacy changes.

Still, its profits took a substantial knock in the quarter, which it blamed on a restructuring cost of $4.2bn in the quarter related to facilities consolidation, job cuts and the cancellation of multiple data centres. Net income in the fourth quarter dropped 55 per cent to $4.7bn, compared with consensus estimates for a drop to $6bn.

At the start of the call with investors, an upbeat Zuckerberg said his “management theme for 2023?.?.?.?is the year of efficiency”. He said Meta was now focusing on removing some layers of middle management, cutting low-performing projects and deploying artificial intelligence tools to help its engineers be more productive.

“There’s going to be some more that we can do to improve our productivity, speed and cost structure,” Zuckerberg said. “2022 was a challenging year. But I think we ended up having made good progress on our main priorities and setting ourselves up to deliver better results this year, as long as we keep pushing on efficiency.”

Meta, which had expanded its headcount rapidly since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, has sought to bring down costs as Wall Street has increasingly questioned its lossmaking efforts to build an avatar-filled digital world known as the metaverse.

As with its many other virtual and augmented reality projects, they are not expected to generate returns for many years. In the fourth quarter, revenues from Reality Labs, its metaverse unit, fell to $727mn from $877mn a year ago, while losses were $4.3bn compared with $3.3bn the prior year.

In November, Meta announced its biggest headcount reductions, dismissing 11,000 staffers, or about 13 per cent of total employees. It also introduced other measures such as reducing budgets and employee perks, and shrinking its “real estate footprint”.

On Wednesday, the company forecast revenues for the current quarter of between $26bn-$28.5bn. It also anticipates 2023 expenses in the range of $89bn-$95bn, down from the prior outlook of $94bn-$100bn, because of “slower anticipated growth in payroll expenses and cost of revenue”.

It expects a further $1bn in restructuring charges, down from a previous estimate of $2bn.

On the call with analysts, Zuckerberg said the company’s investment in AI was paying off, allowing it to recommend more relevant short-form video content to users for its so-called Reels feature, as well as helping brands to better automate, target and measure their marketing campaigns.

He also said he hoped Meta would become “a leader” in generative AI, a fast-emerging technology that can be used to produce novel content such as graphics or literature. “You’ll see us launch a number of different things this year,” Zuckerberg said.

Meta’s growing user base also remained a bright spot. Monthly active users on one or more of its apps rose 4 per cent to 3.74bn in the fourth quarter, while user numbers for the Facebook app specifically rose 2 per cent to 2.96bn.

Lloyd Walmsley, analyst at UBS, said in a note that he could “see a path towards double-digit [revenue] growth” come the end of 2023, as well as strong growth in earnings per share. “These results show significant improvement around key overhangs and?.?.?.?shares are under-owned by long-term investors in our view.”

Additional reporting by Nicholas Megaw

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From: elmatador2/3/2023 12:42:45 AM
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Amazon Q4 Revenue Hits $149 Billion, Topping Wall Street Forecasts, as Profit Falls

Expenses in year-end quarter included $640 million charge for severance costs

By Todd Spangler

Amazon’s top-line growth in the last three months of 2022 was far better than investors expected, while its bottom line fell short.

  • The ecommerce kingpin’s fourth-quarter 2022 results handily beat Wall Street sales forecasts.
  • Amazon reported revenue of $149.2 billion billion, up 9% year over year.
  • Net income of $278 million (or 3 cents per share), compared with $14.3 billion a year earlier, was hurt by higher costs, one-time charges and a decline in the value of Amazon’s investment in electric-vehicle maker Rivian.
  • Q4 is historically Amazon’s biggest quarter, encompassing the holiday-shopping season.
  • Amazon’s ad revenue increased 19% for the year-end quarter, hitting a record $11.6 billion in the period. AWS, its cloud-services division, posted a 29% year-over-year increase in revenue, to $80.1 billion, and operating income grew 23% to $22.8 billion.

For Q1, Amazon expects net sales to be between $121 billion and $126 billion, or to grow between 4% and 8% compared with the first quarter of 2022 (in-line with analyst forecasts). “We do expect to see some slower growth rates for the next few quarters,” CFO Brian Olsavsky told reporters Thursday.

Last month Amazon CEO Andy Jassy announced the layoff of 18,000 corporate employees, citing the need to cut costs amid the backdrop of an “uncertain and difficult” economic outlook.
The company incurred $640 million in severance-related expenses in Q4.

The headcount reduction, which includes layoffs Amazon made last fall, represents about 1.2% of the 1.54 million full- and part-time workers the company reported as of Sept. 30, 2022.

For Q4, Amazon’s operating expenses climbed 9.3%, to $146.5 billion.

“In the short term, we face an uncertain economy, but we remain quite optimistic about the long-term opportunities for Amazon,” Jassy said in a statement. “When you also factor in our investments and innovation in several other broad customer experiences (e.g. streaming entertainment, customer-first healthcare, broadband satellite connectivity for more communities globally), there’s additional reason to feel optimistic about what the future holds.”

Jassy joined the Q4 earnings call Thursday — a first for the exec — who took over the CEO role from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos in mid-2021. Jassy told analysts he planned to join Amazon’s earnings calls from time to time. “Being maniacally focused on the customer experience is always going to be a top priority for us,” while Amazon also works to “streamline” costs, he said.

On the call, Jassy touted the “remarkable value” of Prime, currently priced at $139/year (or $14.99/month) in the U.S., especially relative to rival streaming services that cost $14-$15 monthly, evidently referring to Netflix and HBO Max. “If you think about the value of Prime, which is less than what I just mentioned, where you get the entertainment content on the Prime Video side” — plus free shipping benefits, Amazon Music, gaming and other perks — “that is remarkable value that you just don’t find elsewhere,” he said. “And as we continue to make the service better and better and fully featured, we see people continuing to spend more at Amazon across our various businesses.”

The company’s Q4 2022 decline in net income comes after Amazon posted a profit gain of nearly $12 billion from its investment in Rivian in the year-ago period. Fourth quarter 2022 net income included a pre-tax valuation loss of $2.3 billion from the Rivian investment. In addition, the company recorded $2.7 billion of charges in the most recent quarter, including the $640 million for severance payments, impairments of property and equipment and operating leases, and changes in estimates related to self-insurance liabilities.

Analyst consensus estimates were for $145.42 billion in revenue and earnings of 17 cents per share, according to Refinitiv data.

On the Prime Video front, Amazon boasted that Season 1 of “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” was the most-watched original series worldwide, attracting more than 100 million viewers and generating more than 24 billion minutes streamed. The first season of the pricey fantasy show — with an estimated production budget of $450 million — also drove more Prime signups worldwide during its launch window than any previous Prime Video content, according to Amazon.

Amazon’s exclusive streaming of the “Thursday Night Football” games for the 2022 season yielded the youngest median age of any NFL broadcast package since 2013 — with viewership up 11% from the prior season among the coveted 18-34 demo, according to Nielsen. In a historic milestone, Prime Video also became the first streamer to place on Variety’s Top 100 Primetime Telecasts of 2022, with four of the “TNF” telecasts making the list.

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To: elmatador who wrote (10287)2/3/2023 5:44:29 AM
From: nicewatch
1 Recommendation   of 11653
On a smaller scale I am sure many all over the world. On an Adani scale... I think that's a lot harder to guess but it has to be greater than one? Didn't have time to read the entire report but just skimming through it's clear Adani has threatened reporters, tried to have some imprisoned, and who knows maybe has had some "offed".

Just look at what happens in countries like Mexico when a journalist reports on the corruption of politicians, bureaucrats, law enforcement and military bought and paid for by the cartels. There was a story a few weeks ago, where a reporter was murdered the day after a story published exposing a local politician as being on the payroll of a cartel. What's the expression they use, silver or lead? Oy vey.

Two Adani stocks made their first decent bounce attempt, after crashing again following their opens. On these links there is a simple small chart, click the 5D and 1M tabs for the best time perspective since the sh!t hit the fan. Let's see how long it lasts. - this one shows no bounce and based on on 1 month chart appears to have been trading locked limit down since the report hit. - same as Adani power for the past two days, locked limit down.

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From: Elroy Jetson2/3/2023 8:38:32 AM
   of 11653
The Risks of Russia’s Growing Dependence on the Yuan

One of the biggest problems Russia is currently facing is managing its foreign trade transactions. The country’s main banks have been cut off from SWIFT; the number of transborder transaction channels has decreased drastically; and it has become much harder to conduct transactions in dollars and euros. The government is being forced to look for new ways to arrange payment for Russian imports and exports.

The authorities and businesses have tried switching to national currency transactions, barter deals, cash payments, and other schemes, but were unable to find a comprehensive solution in 2022. Efforts have now clearly shifted to cryptocurrencies and yuan payments, which means the Russian economy will grow increasingly dependent on the Chinese currency, with all the risks such a shift entails.

Even before the war, Russia’s central bank aimed to reduce the country’s dependence on Western currencies, particularly the U.S. dollar. The invasion and subsequent sanctions have forced Russian financial officials to accelerate those efforts: in the third quarter of 2022, the proportion of foreign currency in the Russian banking system fell to an all-time low of 15%. In nine months, the share of dollar and euro transactions on the Russian market declined from 52% to 34% and from 35% to 19% respectively. They have been replaced by ruble and yuan payments, which have seen respective increases of 12.3% to 32.4% and 0.4% to 14%. The yuan’s share in stock market trading has also skyrocketed: from 3%to 33%.

From Jan. 13 to Feb. 6, the Finance Ministry plans to sell foreign currency worth 54.5 billion rubles by tapping into its 3.1-trillion-ruble reserves of yuan liquid assets, which make up over 40% of distributable liquid assets in the National Wealth Fund. It’s still an insignificant sum, which amounts to less than 3% of Russia’s yuan circulation in the last three months. Nevertheless, it will mean reduced volatility for the ruble.

The Finance Ministry also revised the structure of the National Wealth Fund currency component at the end of 2022, doubling its yuan share to 60%. Any surplus oil and gas revenues in 2023 will be accumulated in yuan. The de-dollarization of the economy, which the Russian authorities are so proud of, essentially translates into “yuanization.” Russia is drifting toward a yuan currency zone, swapping its dollar dependence for reliance on the yuan.

This is hardly a reliable substitution: now Russian reserves and payments will be influenced by the policies of the Chinese Communist Party and the People’s Bank of China. Should relations between the two countries deteriorate, Russia may face reserve losses and payment disruptions.

It’s believed that the yuan can’t become a full-fledged reserve currency because of the current restrictions on capital transactions in China. It constitutes just 3% of global currency reserves, overshadowed by the dollar (60%) and the euro (20%). But Russia’s growing dependence on the yuan is helping the Chinese authorities to make it into an international reserve currency. Last October, Russia became the fourth largest offshore trading center for yuan, though back in April it wasn’t even in the top fifteen for offshore yuan users.

Russian politicians often mistakenly claim that the yuan’s international expansion foreshadows the dollar’s collapse. In fact, higher yuan internationalization means that the Chinese government needs more dollar reserves. The Chinese authorities need the U.S. currency to support the yuan’s stability on offshore markets, primarily in Hong Kong. Accordingly, the yuan’s strength as a reserve currency doesn’t weaken the dollar; rather, the two currencies complement each other. This means that Beijing can’t really help Moscow in its crusade against the dollar.

Russian-Chinese cooperation on cryptocurrencies will also intensify. Right now, Russia is just testing cryptocurrency payments for foreign trade transactions, but the central bank plans to develop a model for transborder payments using the digital ruble (a central bank digital currency, or CBDC) this year. There are two options on the table: bilateral agreements on integrating CBDC platforms, or connecting the country to a unified integrated platform.

The first option has a more specific focus, on using the digital ruble to make transborder payments. In this case, international agreements could impose limitations on the payments’ purpose and amount. Under the second option, the platform would have common standards and communications protocols, and that’s what less CBDC-advanced states will adhere to. This second option is quite risky, as foreign fiat-currency-pegged CBDC may attract countries with unstable inflation and currency exchange rates.

Whichever option Russia chooses, China is the only possible partner. The country’s digital transactions through the Alipay and WeChat Pay platforms reached 166.1 trillion yuan ($23.8 trillion) in 2019. In addition, China has been testing the CBDC E-CNY prototype as the third form of money to be used inside the country. As of the fall of 2022, about 140 million Chinese people had E-CNY digital wallets, and their transactions exceeded 62 billion yuan ($9 billion). As the more technologically advanced party, Beijing is likely to establish its own rules for the platform, relegating Moscow to a less important position.

Russian leaders like to emphasize the unprecedented strategic cooperation between the two countries. Yet in reality, this cooperation makes Moscow increasingly dependent on Beijing.

Russia offers a fairly liquid market for Chinese goods, and Western sanctions have made Beijing Russia’s main trade partner. Chinese companies are joining parallel import programs, trying to replace the Western companies that have left the Russian market. Of the 14 brands on the Russian automobile market, 11 are Chinese, for example. Chinese products accounted for 40% of Russian imports of goods at the end of 2020, and only North Korea is more dependent on Chinese imports now than Russia. In addition, the Chinese UnionPay system is the only way Russians can use bank cards overseas.

Contrary to Moscow’s expectations, China has failed to help Russia circumvent sanctions. While not joining the sanctions against, Beijing has complied with them. In the future, Russia’s economic dependence on China will only grow, meaning the Kremlin will be forced to reckon with China’s geoeconomic interests, often to its own detriment.

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