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AOIP Sent US Congress a Letter Supporting JOBS Act 4.0

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In order to show their support for the JOBS Act 4.0 legislation, the Association of Online Investment Platforms (AOIP) has written a letter that has been sent to members of Congress.

In the spring of 2022, Republicans serving on the Senate Banking Committee presented a draft law that they referred to as the JOBS Act 4.0. The bill was intended to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the passage of the JOBS Act in 2012. The Jobs Act of 2012 was the piece of legislation that was passed with support from both the Republican and Democratic parties and authorized the practice of investment crowdsourcing online.

A total of three exemptions—Reg A+, Reg CF, and Reg D (506c)—have been developed or revised to make it possible for businesses to solicit financial backing from internet investors. It has been suggested that the JOBS Act of 2012 contributed to the expansion of the economy in other ways as well. The legislation, which was passed into law during the Obama administration and hailed as an example of what both parties might achieve in partnership to promote smaller businesses and the economy in general, was signed into law during that administration. Now, ten years later, the economy is once again faltering, and a new economic impact law that assists entrepreneurs and innovators may be exactly what the country needs to get it back on track.

Until June 3, 2022, comments on the proposed piece of legislation could be submitted (but they will probably accept more).

Senator Pat Toomey, who holds the position of Ranking Member on the Senate Banking Committee, made the following statement in response to the introduction of the JOBS Act 4.0 legislation:

“The JOBS Act helped to revitalize interest in the public markets and spur economic growth, but it is clear significant work remains to be done to give retail investors access to higher returns and ensure American markets remain the deepest and most liquid in the world. The discussion draft we’re releasing today incorporates ideas from entrepreneurs, retail investors, and others, and includes numerous provisions with strong bipartisan support. I look forward to continue working with both Republican and Democrat colleagues on a final product that accelerates economic growth and spurs new job creation across the U.S.”

David Burton, Senior Fellow in Economic Policy at The Heritage Foundation, made the observation around the time that the draft legislation was presented that the JOBS Act of 2012 substantially improved the laws governing entrepreneurial capital formation, which had a positive impact on entrepreneurial activity. Concerning the JOBS Act 4.0, Burton is of the opinion that additional statutory changes would improve the access to capital that entrepreneurs have, and that additional reforms to securities laws could significantly improve the regulatory environment for both entrepreneurs and larger public companies, as well as the returns that investors receive.

In May of this year, Burton provided CI with an in-depth analysis that he had written on the JOBS Act 4.0. He is of the opinion that when the JOBS Act 4.0 is examined in its whole, it can be anticipated to have a beneficial impact that is comparable to that of the original JOBS Act.

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The document, which was signed by Youngro Lee, the President of the AOIP, claims that the comments:

“…have been prepared based on actual, extensive experiences of some of the leading online investment platforms in the US that have successfully utilized existing private securities offering exemptions and deeply understand the difficulties and challenges associated with the current exemptions. We sincerely believe that codifying any of these suggestions would greatly facilitate broader adoption of private securities offering exemptions for the benefit of small businesses and everyday investors.”

According to statements made by Maxwell Rich, Deputy General Counsel, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, Secretary of Republic, and member of AOIP:

“We highly encourage Congress to pass the JOBS Act 4.0, as many of the provisions will further help private companies raise capital, allow investors to further diversify their portfolios and provides paths to liquidity for both, as we enter a fractious economic environment. A decade ago, when Congress first passed the JOBS Act of 2012, the success and viability of expanding access to capital for private companies through forums that allowed broad public (rather than institutional) participation was the great unknown, full of promise and fear regarding investor protection. Now, after six years of experience, this great but slow-moving experiment, one year of which included some necessary and proper liberalizations brought about by the Commission’s Harmonization Release, Congress has the opportunity to further bolster this avenue, which has earned the right by producing the desired results while providing robust consumer protections. Crowdfunding, specifically, and the JOBS Acts rules generally, have led to a democratization of capital formation, but like, democracy, these rules are a living thing which requires continual tweaks and support to realize their fullest potential.”

The letter elaborates as follows:

“The AOIP hopes that policymakers could strive to make the very best deals accessible to smaller investors and not just the wealthy who have easier routes to investing in private companies. This goal is a bi-partisan mission that seeks to create wealth and success for all while addressing the needs of underserved constituencies. Specifically, and with respect to the JOBS Act 4.0,” adding that; “an innovation-driven economy that creates jobs and boosts wealth for entrepreneurs and investors is only achievable with a robust startup and small business ecosystem.”

Is it possible that the JOBS Act 4.0 will be passed into law?

This upcoming fall, it is anticipated that the law will receive a greater degree of scrutiny. There is reason to believe that politicians on both sides of the aisle will be able to work together to promote smaller businesses and entrepreneurs while also expanding access to investment options for retail investors. It is quite unlikely that any of the law, or even a significant portion of it, will be regarded as problematic.

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The German Yield Curve Inverted To Its Highest Level Since 1992 As Recession Fears Increased

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On Friday, the yield curve for German bonds traded at its steepest inversion level since 1992, which may be an ominous indication for the economy of the country with the largest GDP in Europe.

It came as rates on German 10-year bonds, which are viewed as a benchmark for the currency bloc, climbed on Friday but stayed on course for their third weekly decline in a row despite the fact that they rose. Prices go in the opposite direction of yields.

Late on Thursday, Germany’s yield curve continued to invert, with the difference between the country’s 2-year and 10-year government bond yields falling to -27 basis points (bps) and remaining there on Friday before rebounding to -23 bps. This indicated that the inversion was becoming more severe. According to data provided by Refinitiv, the decline to -27 bps represented the largest disparity since October of 1992.

An inversion is extremely unusual, and many economists believe that it can be used to predict future recessions.

When yields on bonds with longer maturities have a lower rate of return than those on bonds with shorter maturities, this indicates that investors believe the central bank will raise interest rates in the near future before lowering them in the long term in response to slowing growth.

According to Christoph Rieger, head of rates and credit research at Commerzbank, it is a hint that investors anticipate the European Central Bank (ECB) to delay its rate hikes or even decrease them next year. Rieger said this was a sign that investors expect the ECB to do one of these things.

On the other hand, he continued by saying, “I think they’ll continue hiking rates more than the market and many people are forecasting.”

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According to Rieger, the German curve has less predictive value than the American curve does since the German curve takes into account the many economies that are present in the euro zone.

The yield on Germany’s 10-year government bond increased by 8 basis points (bps) to 1.924% on Friday, but it was still on course to decline by more than 9 bps for the week.

The yield on the 2-year note, which is the most sensitive to forecasts regarding future ECB interest rate changes, increased by 5 basis points to 2.156%. It was projected to go up during the course of the coming week, which is a hint that investors anticipate additional rate hikes from the ECB in the near future.

Yields on longer-term bonds across the globe have experienced a precipitous decline this month as investors have become more optimistic that the Federal Reserve may be able to slow the pace at which it is increasing interest rates. This would reduce the amount of pressure being exerted on other central banks.

However, in their 2023 prognosis that was released on Thursday, the analysts at Societe Generale stated that they anticipate the yield on the German 10-year bond to surge back higher and reach 2.5% in the first quarter.

According to what they claimed, even though inflation has reached its highest point in the United States, it has not yet begun to decline in Europe. SocGen projected that the European Central Bank (ECB) would increase interest rates to 3% by May 2023, up from the current rate of 1.5%, and maintain that rate until the end of 2024.

On Friday, the yield on Italy’s 10-year government bond increased by 9 basis points to 3.761%, although it was still on course for its fifth consecutive weekly decline.

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Shares of Nike and Adidas May Perform Well During The World Cup

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While 32 nations compete for the World Cup in Qatar, both Adidas and Nike are keeping their fingers crossed that their stocks will do well.

With FIFA estimating that at least 5 billion people will watch the game, the most prominent soccer competition in the world presents a significant chance for manufacturers of sports gear to sell their jerseys, boots, and other products with teams and individual players.

During the month-long 2018 World Cup, shares of Adidas fell by 6% because the widely favored Germany, which played on an Adidas squad, was eliminated in the group stage. Conversely, France, which played on a Nike team, won the FIFA tournament. During the same time period, Nike’s gain of 4% was higher than the S&P 500’s gain of 1%.

During the quarterly conference call that Adidas held on November 9, the company stated that it anticipates World Cup-related revenues of approximately 400 euros ($415 million), which would equate to approximately 2% of additional yearly revenue.

A request for Nike to comment on the significance of the World Cup to the company’s sales was not immediately met with a response from the company.

The excitement surrounding the World Cup and team jerseys can provide a halo effect that drives sales of other kinds of merchandise, according to Tom Nikic, an analyst at Wedbush. This is true even though soccer-related merchandise only accounts for a small portion of both Adidas and Nike’s overall businesses.

“Do people in Germany buy a new set of shoes whenever they purchase a World Cup jersey? Or, if a team that is sponsored by Adidas ends up winning the whole thing, does the excitement that comes along with winning the World Cup cause people to buy more shirts than they normally would have? That’s where you’ll find some differences in approach, “Nikic remarked.

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As a result of the fact that Nike is supplying World Cup jerseys to 13 teams, including Brazil, France, and the United States, the company has surpassed Adidas as the market leader in this particular category. A total of seven teams, including soccer powerhouses Germany, Spain, and Argentina, will be wearing jerseys manufactured by Adidas.

Puma is providing jerseys for six of the teams, while New Balance and other firms are providing jerseys for the remaining teams.

After day four of the World Cup, teams wearing Nike have gained a total of 15 points, while teams wearing Adidas have accumulated a total of 11 points.

Shares of Nike have increased by more than 1 percent so far throughout the tournament, while those of Adidas and Puma have both decreased by more than 3 percent.

Nike teams Brazil and France are presently favored as the most likely to win the 2022 Cup, according to current betting odds.

Change in percentage during cup at the time of this writing.

Nike Inc 0.6% 1.2%

Adidas AG 1.1% -3.8%

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Puma SE -0.2% -3.5%

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Alibaba And Other Chinese Stocks Soar While Ignoring This Big Risk

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This month, Chinese technology stocks such as Alibaba BABA +3.30%  at the time of this writing, and others looked to have stopped their precipitous decline that had been going on for the past two years. Investors who are betting on a recovery may be missing the risk that is posed by China’s “zero Covid” policy and the extent to which these stocks are likely to continue to suffer.

Alibaba (ticker: BABA), along with the rest of the Chinese stocks technology sector, found itself on the wrong side of regulators in both Beijing and Washington in 2021, which resulted in a loss of about half of the company’s worth. The picture did not clear up much in 2022, with China’s rigorous rules to limit Covid-19 bringing in the lowest revenue growth the business has ever seen on record for the company.

The value of the market has been eroded steadily as a result of this. However, at the beginning of November, it appeared that things were about to take a turn for the better, as there were rumors that China was about to relax its laws around Covid-19, which were at least partially supported by material actions to relieve the pressure of limitations. The stock of Alibaba, which is representative of the entire technology industry and its sensitivity to expansion in the world’s second-largest economy, has seen a remarkable increase of 24 percent over the course of the past month. In comparison, the S&P 500 index has increased by 6% since the beginning of the year. After suffering through a difficult period over the past two years, it’s likely that investors are becoming overly enthusiastic too quickly.

We applaud recent efforts made by China to relax some of the stringent limitations that it has imposed. However, are investors  looking to purchase stocks expecting a release from lockdowns more sooner than what is reasonable?

Mark Haefele, the chief investment officer of UBS Global Wealth Management, stated in a recent note that “a meaningful reopening, which we define as a permanent end to snap lockdowns and other domestic mobility curbs, is most likely to take place in [the third quarter of 2023].” “A meaningful reopening” is defined as “an end to snap lockdowns and other domestic mobility curbs.” Although the end of the year 2023 is still quite a ways off, markets do function by factoring in events that take place over a longer time horizon. Between now and then, there are at least two important questions that remain: how terrible the Covid-19 situation continues to be in China, and what the recent consolidation of power by President Xi Jinping implies for a progressive policy on the coronavirus.

On Thursday, investors were given a jarring reminder of the first uncertainty as a result of China’s National Health Commission reporting more than 31,000 new cases of Covid-19. This is the biggest daily number reported since the start of the epidemic. Despite this, Alibaba stock was able to stage a comeback, sending the Hong Kong-listed shares 1.3% higher.

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