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Here’s What You Missed (3/19/19)

Daniel Chase

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Few people realize that what it means to be a kid, in society, has dramatically changed over the course of the last few years. It’s almost as if we are expecting kids to grow up so fast that we cut their childhoods short. For example, in America, there are pre-schools that parents give arms and legs to attend because, twenty years down the line, students who attended these pre-schools ended up attending Ivy League universities.

We’ve seen, firsthand, with the college scandal all over the news the last couple of weeks, that the majority of these parents cared more about attending elite schools than the kids did. Why can’t we place emphases on things like going outside, having good moral values, treating others with respect? Why do we need children to start thinking about college as soon as they’re born, or ask them what they want to do when they grow up?

Let kids be kids, and here’s what you missed in the news yesterday. 

Welcome To The Space Web

After four years and billions in funding requests, OneWeb launched and deployed the first of six satellites in a planned constellation of hundreds several weeks ago. For those unfamiliar with OneWeb, it is one of few companies, including SpaceX, determined to use thousands of satellites to create a global-internet system for every person on the planet. Per TechCrunch’s profile on the company, OneWeb plans on launching nearly one-thousand satellites to about a 1,100-kilometer low Earth orbit, where these devices “will be able to provide broadband to practically anywhere on Earth.” 

In their pursuit of covering every nook and cranny of the planet with internet, OneWeb has raised nearly $1.5 billion in funding to start mass production of their satellites. Prior to last month’s launch, investors were concerned with the future of the Company and its ability to meet its self-set deadlines. Following the launch, we now know that OneWeb means business. 

“With the recent successful launch of our first six satellites, near-completion of our innovative satellite manufacturing facility with our partner Airbus, progress towards fully securing our ITU priority spectrum position, and the singing of our first customer contracts, OneWeb is moving from the planning and development stage to deployment of our full constellation…”

Adrian Steckel, Chief Executive Officer, OneWeb

Donald Gets Twitter Happy 

Most Americans are aware of the fact that President Donald Trump has a slight inkling towards using Twitter to share his feelings on a multitude of happenings around the White House, or even the country for that matter. Having said that, over the weekend, President Trump broke his personal record for tweets when he birded out twenty-nine different tweets. Contrary to his track record, none of his weekend-tweets were jarring or racist, but more so quantitative and exhaustive. 

“We have a seriously dangerous normalcy bias, where we move on because we desperately want to pretend it’s okay. Trump’s Twitter meltdown today — which shows a deranged and unhinged person — will just be forgotten by Monday afternoon. But the deranged man will still control the nukes…”

Brian Klass, Political Scientist 

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Fed Announces No Rate Cuts, But Sees A Cut In The Future

Joe Samuel

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For the past couple of years, the United States Federal Reserve has been in the middle of a lot of speculation. The trade war between the United States and China has created a clamor for cuts in interest rates.

But on Wednesday, the Fed held the interest rates as they were. Furthermore, the Fed officially announced that no cuts in interest rates were forthcoming in 2019. It’s interesting to note that the markets are betting heavily on a forthcoming rate cut from the Fed. Some even expect the cuts to be formalized in July.

Rate Cut Ahead?

The Fed has ruled out the possibility of any cuts this year (allegedly). But many market watchers believe that a lot depends on how the market conditions evolve over the coming months. The uncertainty regarding the trade war with China is a major problem.

Yet experts believe that if it turns into a prolonged skirmish, then the Fed might reconsider its position. The United States President Donald Trump has led been campaigning for lower rates from the Fed for some time.

After having delivered his statement on Wednesday, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Jerome Powell seemed to imply that rate cuts could not be completely out of the question in 2019.

“Many participants now see the case for a somewhat more accommodative policy has strengthened.”

The decision by the Fed was possibly one of the most-watched events in recent times. Long-term ramifications are the main concern.

Market participants had been calling for multiple cuts. But the Fed voted to keep benchmark rates within the 2.25% and 2.5% range. It was the range that had been back in December when the Fed had controversially raised the interest rates. The voted had been passed 9-1 in favor of holding the rate.

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Trade Talks Fail, What’s Next For The Market?

Jon Phillip

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The trade war between the United States and China has probably been the biggest economic and diplomatic development since the turn of the year. Although the world’s two biggest economies were locked in talks for months over a new trade deal, it all unraveled quickly.

This happened when US President Donald Trump stated that the Chinese went back on their word. He then imposed tariff hikes on Chinese goods last Friday. The tariffs were raised to an astonishing 25% on goods worth $200 billion. Although Trump might believe this might bully the Chinese into submission, many experts believe that might not be the case.

Difficulty in Completing Deal

The President had imposed these tariff hikes right before the Chinese delegation was supposed to show up at Washington. This was for which many had believed was going to be the last round of talks. However, experts now feel that the escalation of tensions between the two countries following the latest developments will make it difficult to reach a deal that could be considered a win for the US. As soon as the tariffs kicked in, Beijing announced that it was looking at countermeasures as well. However, there were no specifics on the nature of these measures.

Last year, the two nations had been embroiled in a damaging retaliatory tariff war and it could lead to a protracted trade war, if the Chinese decided to resort of the same tactics. The Chinese delegation is going to be in Washington this week to engage in another round of talks but it is believed that a binding trade deal is unlikely to be signed.

Is A Trump Win Likely?

One of the biggest reasons why the deal might not be signed anytime soon is perhaps the fact that the US President needs to be able to claim it as a win for himself. The President has staked his personal weight behind a favorable deal for the US. But with every passing day, it is looking increasingly unlikely that it is going to happen.

If that is to happen, then China’s entire way of doing business will need to change. This is starting at intellectual property theft and expands to technology transfers by force from US companies. If those things are not part of the deal, then it would not be the sort of deal that can be claimed as a win for the US. It doesn’t help that today, China came in with its own tariffs. China will raise tariffs on $60 billion in U.S. goods, the Chinese Finance Ministry said Monday.

And in true Trump fashion, the U.S. may not be done retaliating. The U.S. President has threatened to put 25% tariffs on $325 billion in Chinese goods that remain untaxed. The president has signaled he is content leaving the duties in place, arguing they will damage China more than the U.S. What are your thoughts?

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Can 102 Words Really Impact Stock Prices?

Joe Samuel

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In short, the answer is yes.  We’ve witnessed, first hand, this week how just a few words can drastically impact the stock market.  If you’re just tuning in, at the beginning of the first full week of May, U.S. President Donald Trump Tweeted out a 102-word post that ended up triggering a sell-off costing the global markets around $1.36 TRILLION…with a “T”!

The “Trump Tweet” expressed that he would once again increase tariffs on Chinese goods by the end of this week. What followed has been a shock to the global markets with futures pointing at dramatic declines every day this week.  Though some say that the decline are all but a speed bump, it still hasn’t helped the fact that this drop is one of the worst seen all year. People like Kerry Craig of JPMorgan Asset Management think that a trade deal can still be reached.  The expectations, however, have been readjusted to reflect a more long-term time horizon.

Eyes Turn Toward The Second Half Of The Week

Other analysts like Oanda Asia Pacific’s Jeffrey Halley feel that investors are prudently “lightening their loads.” Halley said, “My feeling is that investors are lightening their portfolios as a precaution.”

All eyes are on the second half of this week.  As we reported on May 7th, Vice Premier Liu He, China’s top trade negotiator will be heading to the US to talk trade this week.  

“Liu will be in the U.S. from May 9-10. The invite comes from both the U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.” Regardless of what “will happen,” what has happened thus far has been an emotionally charged & very fragile global market. As this story develops we will continue to follow with more updates.

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