The money men who helped Robert Kennedy Jr.’s political development
In the year As the 2024 race heats up, President Biden faces a constant thorn in his side: Democratic dynasty leader Robert Kennedy Jr., who both espouses different ideologies and boasts surprisingly durable poll numbers.
The Times reported that Mr. Kennedy was gaining support from a variety of political outsiders. But perhaps the most powerful foundation is a group of financial and tech moguls, including Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, who have given it money and something more important: exposure.
Kennedy speaks to many of their needs. This includes things like cryptocurrencies – he has spoken at industry conferences and accepts campaign donations in Bitcoin. Mr. Kennedy has hosted some popular podcasts, talking with celebrity hosts like Joe Rogan and the venture capitalists behind the show “All-In.”
And in endorsing Mr. Kennedy, Mr. Dorsey (who is also a major Bitcoin booster) cited the candidate’s criticism of government censorship.
But Mr. Kennedy’s most powerful image is perhaps his idiom. In particular, the desire to develop institutional thinking on issues such as the benefits of vaccines. (This prompted YouTube to remove the Kennedy interview because it promoted vaccine misinformation.)
“I think he’s a low-intellectual, Democratic version of Donald Trump, so he’s going to attract libertarian, anti-‘woke,’ social liberals as a dissenting voice,” said Robert Nelson, an investor at Archie Venture Partners. Health news.
Well-heeled fans gave him money and airtime. Figures including Elon Musk and the investor David Sachs have pushed for a public debate between Mr Kennedy and the vaccine researcher Peter Hoetz, with Mr Rogan criticizing the candidate’s decision to air baseless conspiracy theories on the show.
Mr. Sachs and his fellow “All-In” collaborators, Jason Kalakanis and Chamath Palihapitia, had Kennedy on their podcast, “willing to engage in lively debate” and praised him for “breaking down all these institutions of power.” Mr. Sachs, who along with Mr. Musk also interviewed Mr. Kennedy at the Twitter Space event, and Mr. Palihapitiya He held a fundraiser For him this month, according to CNBC, he collected $ 500,000.
Meanwhile, entrepreneur Mark Gorton helped create a Kennedy-focused PAC whose leaders raised at least $5.7 million. And CNBC reports that investor Omed Malik plans to host a $6,600-a-kind fundraiser for Kennedy in the Hamptons next month.
Here’s what’s happening
Smoke from Canadian wildfires threatens US cities again. After white smog blanketed Midwestern cities like Chicago, New York City and other places in the Northeast faced a return to hazardous air quality. Mayors warned residents to be cautious, saying there could be further disruptions to outdoor activities and businesses.
The Kremlin moves to take over the territory of the Wagner Group. Russian officials have told leaders in countries such as Syria and the Central African Republic where the mercenary group operates that Moscow is beginning its operations there. Meanwhile, a senior Russian general with prior knowledge of the Wagner Group’s short-lived rebellion has reportedly been arrested.
Nvidia has warned against further US restrictions on AI chip exports. The semiconductor giant’s CFO said further steps to limit sales of chips made to China for artificial intelligence systems could cost US companies lasting opportunities in a large market. Nvidia shares fell yesterday after The Wall Street Journal reported that the White House was discussing new export rules.
Aspartame is declared “probably carcinogenic.” The World Health Organization will say next month that one of the world’s most popular artificial sweeteners can cause cancer, Reuters reports. Aspartame is used in countless products, including diet sodas, chewing gum, and candies.
The fate of Microsoft’s big case may soon be decided.
Yesterday was a big day when three key players testified in the FTC’s effort to take control of Microsoft’s $70 billion video game titan Activision Blizzard: Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO; Bobby Kotick, Activist Leader; And Jim Ryan, who runs Sony’s PlayStation division (and gave video evidence).
If the presiding judge agrees to delay the transaction, as the FTC is requesting, the Microsoft deal will likely die. If she doesn’t, the agency can file an objection.
Mr Nadella and Mr Kotick said the takeover would not hurt consumers. The Microsoft boss reiterated that flagship titles such as Call of Duty will not be limited to the Xbox platform. “If it were up to me, I’d like to get rid of all the ‘exclusives on consoles,'” Mr Nadella said – and blamed Sony for having that business model.
Mr. Kotick agreed: “If you take the game off one stage, you’re going to have a riot.” (That said, Mr. Ryan testified that he was worried about PlayStation receiving “spoiled” versions of Call of Duty if the deal went through.)
But the testimony shows that Microsoft is not averse to diversity. The company’s head of games, Phil Spencer, admitted that the company is in discussions about removing other Activision games from the PlayStation.
The FTC sought to highlight the contradictions in the Microsoft case. Mr. Nadella boasted about the latest Xbox console sales figures, while Mr. Spencer said the platform was “not a strong business” and the agency’s lawyers said Mr. Nadella had told investors the new cloud gaming business was “one of the biggest bets of value” even though Mr. Nadella downplayed that market’s importance in court.
A A decision is expected on Monday. At points, Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley seemed skeptical of the FTC’s claims. Historically, the FTC has dropped its opposition to a deal if it loses an injunction request.
If that happens, Microsoft’s final hurdle will be an appeal of the British regulator’s decision to block the transaction — perhaps an even more uphill battle.
Central banks have warned against inflation
Two big themes emerged at this week’s central bankers’ meeting in Portugal: With inflation rising sharply, policymakers have yet to raise interest rates, and it’s not yet clear how much higher.
A significant batch of data on inflation is due tomorrow. The Commerce Department will publish its personal consumption expenditures (PCE) report at 8:30 a.m. Eastern, a few hours after the release of the Eurozone’s first consumer price report.
Both reports are expected to show that inflation is slowing. But those rates are still 2 percent above policymakers. Fed Chairman Jay Powell said yesterday that “core” inflation – excluding energy and food prices – probably won’t reach that level until 2025.
That is forcing the Fed’s hand on interest rates.. Mr Powell added that the Fed could raise rates at successive meetings – and keep them at a “restrictive” level for some time. “We’re a long way from that,” he said of the cuts, adding, “That’s not what we’re thinking about right now.”
This morning the futures market seems to be getting that message, betting on more prices this year and pushing back its forecast of a decline well into 2024.
Good news: Powell and his allies, including Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey, say a strong labor market is protecting their country from recession – for now.
What to see tomorrow: Economists forecast that “headline” PCE came in at 3.8 percent in May, the lowest reading in two years. But “core” PCE is expected to tell a different story, hitting 4.7 percent. A potential bright spot: Some economists expect used car prices and rentals to begin declining this summer.
Inflation is rising in Europe. The CPI data is expected to show an increase of 5.7 percent from a year ago. ECB president Christine Lagarde has warned that inflation is starting to take root in all levels of the economy. The remedy for that: further interest rate hikes are in the cards.
1 trillion dollars
– of Dropping the price of discounts In the first half of 2023 compared to the same period last year, according to Bloomberg. This makes it one of the worst times for deals in a decade, as a slump in mergers, acquisitions and IPOs coupled with high inflation, financial pressures and geopolitical tensions dampen activity.
How strong are the country’s banks?
Months after the collapse of a Silicon Valley bank sparked panic among America’s smallest lenders, the Fed yesterday gave the nation’s biggest banks a clean bill of health. But regulators have warned that their recently completed stress tests are only one way to assess stability and that other risks may still pose a threat.
The tests were found: The nation’s 23 largest banks could withstand a 40 percent drop in commercial real estate prices — now a major threat to lenders — and $541 billion in losses. They can also deal with high unemployment and falling home prices.
Although the tests began in March before SVB’s problems, regulators examined whether eight banks in business could withstand a sudden shock in the markets for stocks, bonds and other financial instruments.
Bankers were watching the tests closely. A strong result means lenders can buy more stock or pay more dividends as their capital requirements are reduced.
Banks are expected to unveil new capital requirements and changes to investor fees tomorrow.
But regulators cautioned that stress tests are not the final word on banks’ health. “This stress test is just one way to measure that strength,” said Michael Barr, the Fed’s top banking regulator.
Regulators are still updating the rules. In addition to tightening regulation, authorities are expected to tighten capital requirements, including for small lenders. That said, SVB has passed despite challenges this year, notes The Financial Times.
In other banking news: Bank of America is sitting on more than $100 billion in paper losses related to bad bond trading, far more than its rivals.
The speed is read
Top news publishers, including The New York Times Company, are discussing forming alliances to combat the damage artificial intelligence is wreaking on their industry. (WSJ)
“How easy is it to fool AI-detection tools?” (NYT)
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