E Maid Marion

Pity French president Emmanuel Macron who got corona-virus. Since his wife is decades older than him (at high risk) he will have to isolate himself from Madame M. This may be complicated. Unlike his predecessors who visited their mistresses by hopping onto a scooter or official cars accompanied by security men, Macron also must isolate from lady friends and guards.

Today UK major stocks in the FTSE index are down because sterling is up on hopes of a deal on British EU exit. US top stocks of the biggest DJIA companies are less likely to rise than those of small cap S&P 500 or Nasdaq listed firms. Luckily it does not apply to foreign large cap shares and did not hold the DJIA back today.

The unemployment figures and the virus death toll numbers are truly awful. The death toll hit a record 3580 last week bringing the toll to 20.6 mn dead. The jobless number hit a 3 month high with 885,000 new registrations, vs a consensus estimate of only 808,000. The COVID-19 stimulus package in preparation leaves out any funding for troubled cities and states, like mine.

Business newspaper article

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Trump Treasury Secy Steven Mnuchin formally named Switzerland and Vietnam as currency manipulators, pushing down their home money to gain an edge. The irony is that the Trump government's own deficiencies led the dollar to fall as well—but it was not intentional.

Apart from the damage to the integrity of markets it turns out that Robinhood also hurts customers by misrepresenting the payments it imposes on trades while encouraging them to view stock investing as a game. This came with a complaint from Massachusetts yesterday and another from the SEC today. Alas, these issues will hurt the planned IPO of the Sherwood Forest “discount” brokerage.

Yet another possible vaccine source is in play after the US allowed it to proceed, the British-American Tobacco one. BATS's sub, Kentucky Bioprocesses, develops antigen proteins using tobacco plants as bio-factories. Unlike lab vaccines, those grown on tobacco plants take only 6 weeks to mature. They can be shipped out like fags, at room temperature.

India by Abhimanyu Sisodia

*The Narendra Modi government is facing something new—a challenge to its policies-- from farmers. It has a parliamentary majority and bulldozed legislation through without opposition, even contentious matters like denying Kashmir its historic special status and cutting internet access there—even for children at home because of the virus. Earlier it demonetized money leading to hundreds of suicides in 2019. Now the farmers are on the attack although many Indians think this time Modi may be in the right. His new law will let farmers sell directly on the market rather than only via local government bodies called “mandis”, giving a share of prices to local middlemen, which sounds like an improvement.

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William K. 1 month ago Member's comment

Interesting and educational today.