Year 1, Edition: 208 Miami, Thursday, October 24th 2019
Politics: The Trump administration wants to put Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac back into private hands after more than a decade in government control. The path to doing so will likely lead through Wall Street. Before the two mortgage giants can be privatized, they will potentially have to raise billions of dollars from investors, a move that will require big banks to move further into a sticky political issue. Financial firms are already laying the early groundwork (The Wall Street Journal).
The US is lifting sanctions imposed on Turkey nine days ago over its offensive against Kurdish fighters in northern Syria, President Donald Trump says. His decision came after Russia agreed with Turkey to deploy troops to extend a ceasefire along the Syrian border (BBC News).
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has talked a lot about civil rights this week. But when Rep. Joyce Beatty, D-Ohio, asked him for details during a congressional hearing on Wednesday, Zuckerberg did not have many answers (CNBC).
Economy: Negative interest rates have served as an effective policy tool for countries that have implemented them, at least in terms of easing financial conditions, according to a Federal Reserve study. In a recent research paper, San Francisco Fed economist Jens H.E. Christensen looked at the results of five foreign central banks that implemented subzero rates starting in 2012, when the Danish National Bank first went negative. In each case, the move immediately brought government rates down and helped loosen up those economies (CNBC).
Wall Street. Stocks rose slightly on Wednesday as investors digested earnings reports from Caterpillar and Boeing. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed higher 0.2%. The S&P 500 gained 0.3%. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.2% (CNBC).
Asian markets mostly rose in the afternoon today, as latest figures showed that South Korea’s economy continued to slow. Investors, meanwhile, look ahead to the European Central Bank meeting on Thursday. The Shanghai composite closed flat, while the Shenzhen composite declined 0.21%. Japan’s Nikkei 225 jumped 0.55%. In South Korea, the Kospi edged up 0.24%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index bucked the trend, jumping 0.77% in its final hour of trade (CNBC).
CEO Corner: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act but a habit” (Aristotle, Greek philosopher/ CNBC).
World: British police are investigating how the bodies of 39 people wound up in a truck container at an industrial park near London, reviving longstanding concerns about the reach and practices of criminal trafficking gangs (The Wall Street Journal).
Latin America/ Region: Tens of thousands of Chileans marched in Santiago, the capital city, as well as elsewhere in the country on Wednesday. Students and trade union leaders headed the demonstration, which took place even though President Sebastian Pinera announced a series of social reforms in a bid to quell days of violent protests. The first day of the two-day general strike was largely peaceful (DW). The National Institute of Human Rights (NHRI) of Chile reported Wednesday that its count of detainees in Chile after six days of protests amounted to 2,410. The protests have also left at least 18 dead, four of them foreign citizens (Infobae).
Bolivia. The count of the Supreme Electoral Court gave Wednesday night 10.11 points ahead of President Evo Morales over his rival, former President Carlos Mesa, which would allow him to avoid a second round if he keeps the difference. With 98.31% of the minutes computed, Morales obtained 46.82% of the votes while Mesa obtained 36.71% (Infobae).
Companies & Business: The morning after being installed as WeWork’s new chairman, Marcelo Claure told employees in a company wide email that they should expect layoffs as a result of the deal reached with SoftBank. On Tuesday, SoftBank struck an agreement to take control of WeWork, providing $5 billion in new funding. As a result, SoftBank will control approximately 80% of WeWork and Claure, SoftBank’s chief operating officer, will succeed former WeWork CEO Adam Neumann as its executive chairman (CNBC).
Ford Motor operating profit rose 7.5% in the third quarter but the auto maker lowered its target for the full year, marking a setback for CEO Jim Hackett’s bid to revive long-term earnings growth through a broad restructuring. Ford now expects operating income of $6.5 billion to $7 billion for the full year, compared with its previous projection of $7 billion to $7.5 billion (The Wall Street Journal).
Google says it has designed a machine that only needs 200 seconds to solve a problem that would take the world’s fastest supercomputer 10,000 years to solve. Quantum computers can store and process much more information than classical computers by harnessing the powerful forces contained in the field of physics known as quantum mechanics (CNN Mexico).