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Citi Bank Protests, Mexican Aliens
221: Lehman Brother's Anniversary, Friday Markets Wrap Up
Alright folks as we get into the full swing of Fall things continue to get crazier around the world and in the United States.
If you missed it this week I sent out our Fall 2023 Vest guide covering 10 different vest brands and over 40 different vest models to try on for size. In the post Patagonia controversy environment there’s some great alternatives listed.
Let’s start with a round up of need to know markets information and updates from this week.
Prominent U.S. benchmarks/indices slightly dipped following the release of robust Chinese economic indicators, surpassing expectations, while investors eagerly anticipate U.S. consumer confidence figures out of the US. Crypto has erased some losses from the last two weeks amid elevated inflation and a slew of continued promising news on adoption and institutional ETF applications.
In August, inflation picked up pace for the second consecutive month due to a surge in gasoline prices, and a fundamental gauge of household expenditures increased more than expected, underscoring the ongoing challenge faced by the Federal Reserve in controlling consumer prices.
The bond market has now broken the longest time streak ever with a 10-year yield, 3-month inversion — currently standing at over 200 days (Bloomberg/UW)
Chick-fil-A to expand into the UK, set to open 5 restaurants in 2025 (Dextero)
Speaking at the WEF, the former head of the IMF's China division, Eswar Prasad had the following to say on CBDCs (Central Bank Digital Currencies): CBDCs will be programmable, such that governments will be able to severely restrict how, when, where, on what and by whom they can be spent, including the imposition of expiry dates.
Apple has vowed to update the iPhone 12 in France after concerns over excess radiation
The EU hit Chinese-owned social media platform TikTok with a 345-million-euro fine over child data breaches on Friday (Insiderpaper)
Egypt plans to establish an integrated industrial compound to produce flat steel with investments worth almost $1 billion, the local cabinet says.
Global hedge funds have nearly halved their exposure to China, now at 7.9%. and active funds have followed the same trend with exposure down to 7.4% (Kobeissi Letter)
82.4% of homeowners in the US have a mortgage rate under 5%, according to dat from Redfin (Unusual Whales).
Nearly $900 billion in commercial property loans are maturing this year and next, which will force many landlords to seek out more expensive financing options , according to a new piece from the WSJ
Dollar General, DG 0.00%↑ , has said it expects to incur an additional $100 million loss from retail theft (Unusual Whales)
XRP (Ripple) has hit a 2-week high, after 4 days of nice price action
Today marks the anniversary of the collapse of US bank Lehman Brother’s. You can get 10% Off all Lehman Merch on the ArbitrageAndy store LEHMAN15 at checkout or just use THIS LINK.
The US saw quite a bit of domestic bank turmoil earlier in the year though there have been no new updates on this front after consolidation and buyouts from the larger usual suspects.
Ken Griffin, CEO of Citadel had some thoughts in a CNBC segment this week on the growing trend of the SEC making it harder for companies to go public in the US and the detriment this adds to everyday investors who do not have the ability to invest in early stage start ups and other vehicles reserved for institutional and high net worth investors.
“There are fewer companies publicly traded today than 20 years ago…. some of this is the backdrop that we’ve made this less attractive to the public… the SEC has put into place burdens and costs making going public less attractive to companies…. I think this is a tragic mistake we are making for American investors”
— Ken Griffin/Citadel
It’s not all great news in crypto land — Binance the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange is bogged down in legal woes and continues to see some of it’s top executives leave the company in the last two weeks. This week it included it’s head of APAC and General Counsel.
The SEC has accused Binance of non-cooperation in the ongoing investigation against the crypto exchange, according to a court filing dated Sept. 14 (Martypartymusic Twitter). Check out his Twitter for the full documents and links to the case.
Still there are plenty of bullish catalysts to pay attention to.
Crypto saw some impressive price bumps this week with news breaking of additional ETFs being filed and more adoption updates trickling out of the technology and financial sectors. This week Deutsche Bank — the $800 billion asset manager, announced that it will work with partners to offer Bitcoin custody for institutions.
This comes right after ARK' Invest’s spot ETH ETF application and immediately after Franklin Templeton filed a regulatory Form S-1 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Monday, seeking approval for a spot Bitcoin ETF (BitcoinMagazine).
The signs of a strong coming bull market for crypto fueled by buying from insitutions is looking more promising by the week.
Bitcoin held its ground close to a fortnight peak on Friday, as traders persisted in analyzing the most recent U.S. retail sales data. Meanwhile, Ethereum (ETH) advanced for a fourth consecutive day, maintaining its position above a $1,615 support threshold.
Chainlink ($LINK) has once again been hogging space in breaking crypto news on Twitter and other platforms with several promising developments related to CCIP and institutional adoption. Major Australian bank ANZ executed transactions using Chainlink’s CCIP (Cross Chain Interoperability Protocol).
The development showcased the bank’s capability to transfer funds across both open and private blockchain networks, furthering experiments being conducted to test the efficiency and security of deploying real-world assets on-chain (Blockworks).
We’ve covered this joint initiative in Arb Letter before between SWIFT (The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) and major financial banks and insitutions across the globe.
Other large names included in these ongoing tests and initiatives include: BNP Paribas, BNY Mellon, Citi, Clearstream, Euroclear, Lloyds Banking Group, SIX Digital Exchange (SDX), and The Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC), in addition to ANZ or the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (Blockworks).
Additionally — SushiSwap has recently integrated Chainlink CCIP in order to help facilitate and power cross-chain swaps and airdrops.
With a move reminiscent of Occupy Wall Street climate protestors gathered outside the Citi offices in manhattan this week to protest climate change.
More than twelve activists were taken into custody outside the headquarters of Citi and Citibank after calling for an end to their financial support for the hazardous fossil fuel industry. 1000+ Citi employees were wrapped around the offices unable to get into their building because the climate psychos were causing so much chaos at the doors.
Gurner Group chief executive Tim Gurner, 40, a millionaire property developer, took extreme criticism this week when he went on some bizzare elitist rant about how people need to feel more pain for things to return to normal.
When referring to Australian workers — sometimes known as Tradies, Gurner said the following:
“They have been paid a lot to do not too much in the last few years. And we need to see that change. I think the problem that we’ve had is that we have people who decided they didn’t really want to work so much anymore through Covid. We need to remind people that they work for the employer, not the other way around… We need to see unemployment rise, unemployment has to jump 40-50 percent. In my view, we need to see pain in the economy. I mean, there’s been a systematic change where employees feel the employer is extremely lucky to have them as opposed to the other way around.”
Talk about out of touch.
This week North Korea’s leader met with Vladimir Putin, Hunter Biden was indicted on Federal gun charges, and the manhunt for the convicted killer in Pennsylvania wrapped up after two weeks of searching.
Italy and other European countries continue to see an elevated number of illegal immigrants and refugees flooding across their borders. The US is seeing increased numbers of illegals cross over the border as well with many more caravans on the way from LATAM.
Another group of all single adult men from predominantly African countries crossed illegally into Lukeville, AZ today and then surrendered to Border Patrol. Like the European crossings and arrivals you’ll notice the caravans are generally devoid of any women or children. Men from Senegal, Mauritania, Sudan, Ghana and other countries were apprehended this week (@billmegulin_ on Twitter).
Immigration should continue to be a key political issue in the coming US election and elections abroad as communities and countries struggle to find ways to accomodate the influx of illegal migrants.
Earlier this morning more than 1,000 additional African migrants arrived in over30 boats from Tunisia to the small island of Lampedusa, Italy
Protestors have started to march to the Seattle Police Dept’s West Precinct. They are demanding “justice” for Jaahnavi Kandula, who was struck and killed by a police officer in a crosswalk this in January (Choeshow Twitter)
Ukrainian President Zelensky is expected to visit Washington DC as Congress debates whether or not to approve another $24 billion in aid for Ukraine
Cocaine is now set to become Colombia’s main export in 2023 overtaking oil, according to Bloomberg.
Senator Josh Hawley has introduced a bill to cap credit card interest rates at 18% (Unusual Whales)
United Auto workers have a begun a strike this week — nearly 13,000 Workers have walked off their jobs at 'Big Three' US auto plants (Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis.)
Ukraine has liberated Donetsk Oblast's village of Andriivka, located south of Bakhmut, the General Staff of Ukraine's Armed Forces reported on Sept. 15 (Kyiv Independant)
On this day in 2008 the notorious Lehman Brothers filed for Bankruptcy
Kim Jong Un visited Russian leader Vladimir Putin this week in Russia, touring a fighter jet plant - “Korea is our neighbor. One way or another, we must build good neighborly relations with our neighbors,” Putin said at a press conference on Friday (CNN)
El Chapo’s wife has been freed from prison after two years of holding, she claimed she didn’t know he was involved in drug’s or criminal activity
The United States is far behind China and Russia on hypersonic weapons, which have the ability to evade common air defense systems - WSJ
The last 3 men charged with plotting to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer were found not guilty on all counts this morning — you know, the plot that we now know the FBI completely facilitated and egged on.
Hunter Biden indicted
Well folks — it finally happened. As the political partisanship in the US intensifies ahead of the 2024 election trail, it seems Hunter may not get of free from all of his highly scrutinized transgressions.
Hunter Biden has been indicted on three counts related to his 2018 purchase of a handgun in which he lied about not being a drug addict on the federal license form.
Hunter’s been dodging accountability for a range of illicit activities for quite awhile now and while this comes pretty late — it’s good to see there’s at least some effort to implement the rule of law without political bias.
Still, I am skeptical this amounts to anything substantial in the end and given the way things are trending rom a public opinion and sentiment standpoint we should be a little apprehensive to think this is going to be a thorough and proper process. Is Hunter a move to save face? Is he a sacrificial lamb?
There’s been a palpable and marked shift in the way some media outlets have been covering the Biden family in the last two weeks. First by Washington Post writer David Ignatius, who put out a piece this week titled, “ President Biden should not run again in 2024” that highlighted concerns about his age and his acuity.
“Biden’s age isn’t just a Fox News trope; it’s been the subject of dinner-table conversations across America this summer. Who is the best person to stop Trump? That was the question when Biden decided to run in 2019, and it’s still the essential test of a Democratic nominee today”
CNN this week also took shots at Biden in an uncharacteristic segment — outlining a number of his lies and embellishments in the past weeks including his claim that he had witnessed a bridge collapse in Pittsburgh (that he showed up to 6 hours after collapse) and he repeated a story about conversation he had with an Amtrak worker that was already deceased.
He claimed he had been arrested during a civil rights protest (in which he was actually taken home), and he also claimed that he had been in NYC the day after 9/11 — which is not true.
It’s interesting to see the left turn on Biden, especially the media, who historically have been his number one champion. This, along with the indictment of Hunter on federal gun charges paints an interesting picture for the Democratic party as we near the coming pivotal months before the 2024 presidential election.
This week UFO enthusiasts were hyped to see yet another government backed “reveal” of proof of alien life.
The Mexican government revealed several alleged alien corpses during a live event in the country’s Congress.
Journalist Jaime Maussan, who claimed, under oath, that the mummified specimens are not part of “our terrestrial evolution”, with almost a third of their DNA remaining “unknown”, reported local Mexican media.
In July, a former US intelligence officer created a media firestorm when he told a congressional committee that he “absolutely” believes the government is currently in possession of unidentified anomalous phenomena — as well as remains of their alien operators and pilots.
“My testimony is based on information I’ve been given by individuals with a longstanding track record of legitimacy and service to this country — many of whom also shared compelling evidence in the form of photography, official documentation and classified oral testimony,” David Grusch told lawmakers in DC last month.
According to a new recent NASA report, there are still unidentified objects in our skies that might pose a threat to US airspace — though so far the organization has failed to make any definitive conclusions, instead discounting former UFO sightings as mistakes or anomalies including the famous one of a fast moving craft off the coast of California seen by US Navy pilots (Insider Paper)
I remain highly skeptical of these “releases” and I think it’s pretty funny how the majority of the populace is simply “meh” about the continued developments that most would think would be highly alarming.
To me it’s a testimony to how little trust remains between citizens and their governments post covid. We’ve been lied to so many times and about things of such magnitude that even proof of aliens (allegedly) doesn’t really elicit a reaction. The timing is curious as well coinciding almost to the to the same day that Hunter Biden indictment news is coming out.
You’ll notice a similar pattern of Chinese Spy Balloons, Alien disclosures, whistleblower testimonies, Hawaii wild fires, and other major distractions coming out at the same time that major developments occur on the political front in the US — developments that should in theory lead to arrests, indictments, and legal action but frequently do not and are not covered by the press.
This will continue into 2024 and ramp up as the election approaches.
More Domestic Disasters
The saga of train derailments and industrial disasters in the US continued this week, this time with a series of rail cars in North Platte, Nebraska going up in flames.
Many regulatory bodies and hazardous materials response teams converged at the Union Pacific Railroad tracks in North Platte, Nebraska, following a series of railcars igniting and detonating, that emitted dense and perilous noxious fumes into the local atmosphere.
Allegedly one of the containers became engulfed in flames contained a dangerous substance known as perchloric acid.
While I have touched on it before the main concern here — outside simple coincidence (which I think is far fetched at the moment due to the frequency of these events) is intentional subversion and sabotage of US industrial and transportation assets. Breaking down these systems overtime erodes confidence in our transportation systems and harms local environments. I’ve recommended the book Unrestricted Warfare: China's Master Plan to Destroy America and would point to it again for a better understanding of what these events could possibly be rooted in.
Nowadays if you’re trying to break down a country (like the US) — it’s not as simple as invading it, you need to work in clever and sometimes unseen ways to create chaos, disorganization, stow dissent in populaces, and wear down key infrastructure to weaken your enemy from within. That or you could just spark a global pandemic with a man made bioweapon under the guise of a Pangolin created disease that irreparably damages the fiber of the entire macroeconomic system and allows for tyrants to rule your social and political lives, altering election proceses, supply chains, and businesses endlessly.
But we’ll save that rant for another day.
Maybe it’s all just chance.
I will see premium subscribers early next week for the top business and life goals I will be working towards during the Fall and Winter of 2023. This will be a comprehensive outline of online business, day job, and personal objectives i am hoping to reach before 2023 ends. If you’re looking to get started on additional forms of income, get into better shape, or figure out how to land that new job that’s a major upgrade from your current one subscribe to receive.
Have a great weekend. I will be hitting the gun range, the gym, and betting on the Florida Gators to beat Tennessee while sending some absurd parlays on the Florida State game.
See yall next week.