According to reports, a wealthy Democratic donor is trying to bend the ear of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to focus attention on beating Bernie Sanders before they try to beat President Donald Trump. Bernard Schwartz. the CEO of BLS Investments Has donated over $885K to house majority pack and donated over $3 million to Democratic candidates in the 2018 midterms. Schwartz wants both Pelosi and Schumer to endorse a candidate now that is not Bernie Sanders, so they can help stop the surging Sanders who he says will destroy the Democratic Party and can’t beat President Trump anyway. Typically the leaders of the party not in the White House waits until the primary is over and then supports the candidate, but Schwartz somehow things that Bloomberg or Biden could win the nomination taking it away from the frontrunner Sanders if they made an early endorsement. According to reports, the two leaders have not responded to him yet. Bernie Sanders won handily in Nevada comma and super Tuesday is only a week away with Sanders leading by strong margins in the 2 largest states that participate in super Tuesday, California and Texas. At this rate he would be very close to the nomination after super Tuesday, and Schwartz feels strongly that he needs to be stopped. And he’s willing to put his money where his mouth is.  This has to be watched closely because many people think the recent sell off has as much to do with Sanders leading as it does with COVID-19. 

Starbucks Going Meatless 

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Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) Announced it will start selling a Beyond Meat (NASDAQ: BYND) breakfast sandwich at its Canadian stores. Shares of BYND rose 2.3% while shares of SBUX fell 1.85%, keeping pace with the regular market. This is definitely a bigger win for Beyond Meat than it is for Starbucks, as the competition heats up between Tyson Foods (NYSE: TSN) meatless products and the impossible burger, in the race to sign deals with major food chains. Starbucks stock prices falling 19% since reaching a high of $99.72 in July of 2019. They can certainly use a win along with something to boost same store sales, and the “fake health” of simply switching from a breakfast sandwich with an animal product patty, to a breakfast sandwich with a plant-based animals product substitute could be just the revenue boost it needs. It did wonders for Dunkin Brands (NASDAQ:DNKN) who released a Beyond Meat breakfast Sandwich last year and saw sales that were more than double Dunkin’s original forecast, and customers were buying it during all times of the day — not just typical breakfast hours.

Hong Kong Helicopter Money

The 2020- 2021 budget for Hong Kong was released yesterday with a special provision in section 34 thru 37 titled Cash Payout. The government is going to make a one-time cash payment to every permanent Hong Kong adult resident in the amount of $10,000 Hong Kong dollars which is about $1280 US dollars. This type of action rarely taken in global monetary policy is referred to as “helicopter money” which essentially means the central government is giving back taxpayers their own money to put back into the economy, in order to try and avoid an economic downturn. Which begs the question as to why governments would take the money in the first place, if they weren’t able to use it wisely and reinvest it back in communities in a way that stimulates the economy, but that’s another conversation. This is going to be seen by markets as a preemptive panic by the Hong Kong government after months and months of protest that slowed the already slowing economy, and now the inevitable additional slowing that comes from restricted travel and business due to the coronavirus.  This will be an interesting modern-day experiment, not only because it could become another tool that central banks use around the world, but certainly advocates of lower taxes in the first place will take this opportunity to point out that when people have more of their own money to spend, economies in general do better. 

Former Fed Chair Yellen Says Virus-Recession is possible

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Former fed chair Janet Yellen said at an event Wednesday in Michigan that the coronavirus could lead to recession in the United States. “We could see a significant impact on Europe, which has been weak to start with, and it’s just conceivable that it could throw the United States into a recession,” Yellen said. “If it doesn’t hit in a substantial way in the United States, that’s less likely. We had a pretty solid outlook before this happened — and there is some risk, but basically I think the U.S. outlook looks pretty good.” The global economy had taken a slight downturn, especially in China and Europe where the trade war hit harder than expected, but things were back on the upswing when the virus outbreak struck. “Market participants will look to the Fed to provide some support,” Yellen said. “In most developed countries, interest rates are really low — and they are very low in the United States, but higher than they are in most other developed economies. And the Fed does have some scope — it’s not a cure-all. But it will provide a little bit of support to consumer spending and to the U.S. economy and for financial markets. And, of course, if it becomes very serious, fiscal policy could play a more active role too.” Markets are now pricing in and over 50% of three rate cuts by the US Federal Reserve in 2020. 

Oh Joe

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With the South Carolina Democratic primary coming up on Feb 29th, Joe Biden was doing a typical television interview that candidates do, speaking with CBS News’ Margaret Brennan on ‘Face the Nation’ and he told her that he never said South Carolina was his ‘firewall’. No I’m not really sure what they mean by firewall, but I do know that Joe did say exactly that. According to the polls it shouldn’t matter much because a recent poll by The Hill has Biden leading by 18 points over businessman Tom Steyer and by 22 points over Bernie Sanders. That kind of a win or rather a blowout should go a long way to re-energizing his campaign, but Joe needs to start remembering the things that Joe says. 22 days ago, February 2, on NBC News Joe said, “I think I’ll do well in Nevada. And I think I have a real firewall in South Carolina. And then we go into the Super Tuesday states that have a significant number of minorities and African Americans,” where “I think I’m gonna do fine. So, I don’t think that this is like it has been in the past, that if you haven’t won the first two that you’re done.” He actually used the word firewall, so does he know what it means? Because I don’t. But at least I know that he said it.