Trump teases 'big news' from Pennsylvania

President Donald J. Trump (White House photo)

President Trump on Monday announced “big news” is coming from Pennsylvania after his legal time filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court in a case challenging the outcome of the 2020 election.

“Big news coming out of Pennsylvania,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Very big illegal ballot drop that cannot be accounted for. Rigged Election!”

The president offered no further information.

At a public hearing held by Pennsylvania lawmakers and President Trump’s campaign on Nov. 25, a witness drew gasps when he described “spikes” in the vote count the evening of the election in which Joe Biden gained 570,000 votes to the president’s 3,200.

Meanwhile, a U.S. Postal Service contractor, Jesse Morgan, has claimed his trailer full of from 144,000 to 288,000 completed mail-in ballots disappeared after he delivered them from New York state to a Lancaster, Pennsylvania, depot.

The overnight spikes in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh reported at the November hearing came after Trump held a lead of some 700,000 votes. The official count ended with a Biden lead of some 80,000.

Trump called in to the meeting of the Pennsylvania Senate Majority Policy Committee on “election issues and irregularities,” declaring he “won this election by a lot, we got 74 million votes.”

The witness explained to the president’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani that normally “you would see a smooth curve going up,” recording the ongoing vote count.

Consequently, he said, a “big spike” would be a “prime indicator of fraudulent voting.”

“And that’s 604,000 votes in 90 minutes? Is that right?” Giuliani asked the witness.

“Correct. This is 337,000 votes in that period of time,” he said.

Giuliani then asked, “When you look at this curve with all of these spikes, can you calculate how much of a vote that accounted for Biden and how much for Trump?”

“Close to 600,000 … I think our figures were about 570-some-odd-thousand,” the witnessed replied.

“And how much for Trump?” Giuliani followed up.

“I think it was a little over 3,200,” he said, drawing gasps and laughter.

Trump’s campaign on Sunday filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court seeking to reverse three cases decided by the Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court alleging the state “illegally changed” laws governing mail-in ballots.

The complaint contends the change in laws violated Article II of the Constitution and the Bush v. Gore ruling in the 2000 presidential election.

The campaign wants to give the Republican-majority Pennsylvania Legislature the authority to vacate Joe Biden’s Electoral College electors and select their own.

In a separate case, Pennsylvania Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly filed a petition to the Supreme Court last week that contends the Pennsylvania Supreme Court wrongly dismissed his case.

The U.S. Supreme Court previously rejected Kelly’s request for an emergency order blocking Pennsylvania from certifying the 2020 election results.

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Source: WND Politics, Trump teases ‘big news’ from Pennsylvania

Senate Candidates Duel in Georgia Race as GOP Voters’ Anger Persists Over Presidential Election – The New York Times

  1. Senate Candidates Duel in Georgia Race as GOP Voters’ Anger Persists Over Presidential Election  The New York Times
  2. Pollsters disappear in Georgia with Senate on the line  POLITICO
  3. Trump Drives A Wedge Among Georgia Republicans, Risking A Larger GOP Split  NPR
  4. Ron Insana: If Democrats stage an upset win in Georgia, it may not be the market head wind you think  CNBC
  5. Georgia’s millionaire senators won’t drain the swamp. They are the swamp  The Guardian
  6. View Full Coverage on Google News



Source: Google News, Senate Candidates Duel in Georgia Race as GOP Voters’ Anger Persists Over Presidential Election – The New York Times

SoftBank launches blank-check company to raise $525 million

December 21, 2020

(Reuters) -SoftBank Group Corp on Monday filed to raise $525 million through a blank-check company as the Vision Fund’s managers join the craze for the listing vehicles.

The company, SVF Investment Corp, is sponsored by SoftBank Investment Advisers, which runs the $100 billion fund, and said it could invest in a new or existing portfolio company.

The launch of the special purpose acquisition (SPAC) marks an appeal to investors after earlier efforts to raise capital for a second Vision Fund floundered following missteps.

“Our SPAC will bridge SoftBank’s private and public investing strategies by enabling us to partner with a fast-growing, IPO-ready technology company,” the company said.

The group cited sectors such as artificial intelligence and robotics as possibilities, in line with its broader investing thesis.

A record number of companies are using such vehicles to bypass the traditional IPO, with portfolio company OpenDoor listing on Monday via a SPAC.

SoftBank is “agnostic” on routes to market for its portfolio and is following market trends, a person familiar with the fund said, with another investment, Slack, choosing a direct listing.

The launch comes as the group, buoyed by the sell-down of assets, uses cash reserves to take positions in listed companies.

SoftBank’s SPAC intends to have its units listed on the Nasdaq under the ticker “SVFAU” with Class A ordinary shares under “SVFA”.

Each unit of the company, consisting of one Class A ordinary share and one-fourth of a redeemable warrant, is priced at $10.

SoftBank said its IPO pricing is an estimate solely for calculating the SEC registration fee.

Citigroup, Deutsche Bank Securities and Cantor are underwriters to the IPO.

(Reporting by Chavi Mehta in Bengaluru and Sam Nussey in Tokyo; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri and Sam Holmes)

U.S. opens probe into whether VW vehicles infringe Jaguar Land Rover patents

December 21, 2020

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) said on Monday it is opening in investigation into whether Volkswagen AG infringed on patents held by Jaguar Land Rover.

In November, Jaguar Land Rover filed a complaint with the ITC seeking to prevent the import of some VW Porsche, Lamborghini and Audi models with “certain vehicle control systems” that allegedly infringe on its patents. A Volkswagen spokesman did not immediately respond to a request to comment.

The models include the Lamborghini Urus, Porsche Cayenne and Audi’s Q8, Q7, Q5, A6 Allroad, and e-tron vehicles and VW Tiguan. The ITC said it has made no decision on the merits.

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris campaigns for Democrats in Georgia

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris made a campaign stop in Columbus, Georgia, on Monday for a rally on behalf of Democratic Senate candidates Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, Harris urged Georgia residents to vote in the runoff, which will determine which party controls the U.S. Senate. Atlanta Journal-Constitution political reporter Greg Bluestein joins CBSN’s “Red and Blue” anchor Tanya Rivero with the latest on early voting in the state.

Source: CBS, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris campaigns for Democrats in Georgia

The Year in Space Travel – The Wall Street Journal

  1. The Year in Space Travel  The Wall Street Journal
  2. SpaceX celebrates five years of rocket landings with a record streak of success  Teslarati
  3. SpaceX Just Launched a Classified Spy Satellite Into Orbit | Mashable  Mashable
  4. SpaceX Saves At Least $30 Million In 2020 By Ramping Up Reusability  Wccftech
  5. NRO partners with SpaceX for final launch of 2020  C4ISRNet
  6. View Full Coverage on Google News



Source: Google News, The Year in Space Travel – The Wall Street Journal

Former Overstock.com CEO says he took part in chaotic White House meeting on Friday – Salt Lake Tribune

  1. Former Overstock.com CEO says he took part in chaotic White House meeting on Friday  Salt Lake Tribune
  2. Twitter now puts label on Trump’s tweets that Biden is now president every time he mentions election fraud  PennLive
  3. Trump, House lawmakers plot futile effort to block Biden win  Associated Press
  4. Editorial: Trump is damaging democracy, shirking his duty  Houston Chronicle
  5. Are the worst days of the Trump presidency still ahead?  The Week
  6. View Full Coverage on Google News



Source: Google News, Former Overstock.com CEO says he took part in chaotic White House meeting on Friday – Salt Lake Tribune

Ivanka Trump campaigns in Georgia, but makes no mention of her father's election fraud claims – Yahoo News

  1. Ivanka Trump campaigns in Georgia, but makes no mention of her father’s election fraud claims  Yahoo News
  2. Pollsters disappear in Georgia with Senate on the line  POLITICO
  3. I’m a Republican and I had no idea how bad Trump would turn out to be | Letters  nj.com
  4. Georgia’s millionaire senators won’t drain the swamp. They are the swamp  The Guardian
  5. Donald Trump Jr.: Vote Loeffler and Perdue – Georgia, here’s what’s at stake in Jan. 5 runoff elections  Fox News
  6. View Full Coverage on Google News



Source: Google News, Ivanka Trump campaigns in Georgia, but makes no mention of her father’s election fraud claims – Yahoo News

SIFMA Issues Paper To Assist With Planning For Negative Rates In The US

SIFMA Issues Paper To Assist With Planning For Negative Rates In The US

If one listens to the Fed, or looks at market-implied odds of subzero rates…

… the US will – unlike Europe or Japan – avoid the devastating central bank experiment that is negative interest rates, which not only does not encourage inflation but in fact ensures even greater savings, even less spending…

… even more disinflation and even greater bank losses as yield curves pancake.

Yet is there more than meets the eye here, and behind the optimistic facade of the imminent reflation trade, are the biggest US financial institutions quietly preparing for negative rates?

This is a question that bears asking, after this morning the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) issued a white paper to assist market participants with planning for the potential of a negative interest-rate policy in the US. The paper, titled “U.S. Negative Interest Rates Policy Checklist,” is co-authored by Sifma and Ernst & Young LLP

“While Sifma is not forecasting a U.S. negative interest rates policy, near term, our members do consider the need to prepare for such a possibility,” Sifma’s Charles DeSimone said in a press release accompanying the report. “While the probability is low, the impact would be high.”

And while Sifma – which is the biggest industry trade group representing securities firms, banks, and asset management companies – may not be forecasting negative rates, it was explicit enough in its intro to make it clear that NIRP remains a distinct possibility for the US:

The potential impact of a negative interest rate (NIR) policy in the US continues to be discussed by market participants. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome H. Powell has previously stated that the US does not see negative interest rates as an appropriate policy response to economic disruption caused by the pandemic. However, the uncertainty of US economic recovery and the current 0% to 0.25% monetary policy target range for the federal funds rate continues to lead market participants to consider the future possibility of an NIR policy in the US.

Then, in a moment of bizarre absurdity, next to a photo of a jenga tower that is about to collapse (think The Big Short), the paper describes how certain capital markets products may be impacted in the event of negative interest rates in the US, followed by a checklist of considerations that can be used by firms seeking to mobilize negative interest readiness programs within their institutions. The checklist is structured across the following key themes: US NIR program governance and mobilization; financial exposure analysis; contract and counterparty customer analysis; portfolio strategies and profitability; technology and operations; finance, tax and accounting; and regulatory and policy considerations.

While we have discussed the myriad negative consequences that would result from NIRP previously, the paper did recap some of the potential horror stories that it now appears may be coming to the US (because otherwise, this paper would never have been published):

  • NIR could result in derivative product floating rate payments (inclusive of any spread) becoming negative. For products such as swaps, this could result in one party having to pay (or receive) on both legs (i.e., the fixed leg and the absolute value of the floating leg)… Further, derivative trade capture and pricing models may need significant enhancements to account for negative payments, forward curves and negative strikes, and other models such as prepayment models and market risk, counterparty risk and margin models may need enhancements to handle negative rates. The impacts to third parties such as central clearing parties and exchanges will also need to be understood and addressed.
  • Given that the repo rate is typically set based on a market benchmark interest rate, there is potential that repo rates could go negative if the US were to adopt an NIR policy. There is precedence of repo rates falling into negative territory in the US, but the driver historically has been high market demand of certain collateral (i.e., repo special issue trading). So, while operations and technology systems may have been tested and workarounds created for such events, additional challenges may arise if those solutions are not scalable or cannot handle large volumes of negative rate repos, as would be expected in an NIR environment.
  • In a negative rate environment, clients could experience a negative yield on sweep balances, while additional management fees or expenses would further reduce incentives for investors to hold excess cash in such sweep products. Customers may chase yield and avoid sweep products with negative interest rates by moving funds to free credit balances, other sweep vehicles or products with a higher risk profile.

Read the full paper here.

Tyler Durden
Mon, 12/21/2020 – 18:40

Source: Zero Hedge, SIFMA Issues Paper To Assist With Planning For Negative Rates In The US

Google's behavioural undertaking for proposed FitBit deal rejected by ACCC – ZDNet

  1. Google’s behavioural undertaking for proposed FitBit deal rejected by ACCC  ZDNet
  2. Fitbit Versa 3 review: The third time is the charm  Android Central
  3. Australian regulator rejects Google’s undertaking over Fitbit competition concerns  HT Tech
  4. Get £20 off Fitbit Versa 3 plus free Google Nest Mini by Christmas  Tech Advisor
  5. Google undertaking for Fitbit buy fails to gain ACCC support  iTnews
  6. View Full Coverage on Google News



Source: Google News, Google’s behavioural undertaking for proposed FitBit deal rejected by ACCC – ZDNet

Meghan Markle, Prince Harry team up with World Central Kitchen – TODAY

  1. Meghan Markle, Prince Harry team up with World Central Kitchen  TODAY
  2. Meghan Markle and Prince Harry step out in Beverly Hills  Page Six
  3. Meghan Markle Bundles Up for Rare Public Outing With Prince Harry in Beverly Hills  E! NEWS
  4. The Only 6 Meghan Markle Outfits We Got To See In 2020  HuffPost
  5. Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s Christmas Card Is “On Its Way” FYI!  Yahoo Lifestyle
  6. View Full Coverage on Google News



Source: Google News, Meghan Markle, Prince Harry team up with World Central Kitchen – TODAY