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Top Finance and Hip-Hop News – 8.19.20

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MARKETS

NASDAQ 11,210.84

+ 0.73%

S&P 3,389.79

+ 0.23%

DJIA 27,777.59

– 0.24%

GOLD 2,013.90

+ 0.76%

10-YR 0.669%

– 2.20 bps

OIL 42.59

– 0.70%

*As of market close
  • Markets: It was worth the wait. The S&P finally closed at an all-time high, erasing all of its losses from the pandemic. The index is up more than 54% since hitting a low on March 23.
  • Economy: Feels like the word “homebuilder” has been in every edition of the Brew for the past month, and for good reason—construction of new U.S. homes boomed 22.6% last month. One analyst compared the gains to post-hurricane building activity.

Stock futures rise slightly after the S&P 500 notches new record, Target leads retail shares higher

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/18/stock-market-futures-open-to-close-news.html

U.S. stock futures were higher early Wednesday, a day after the S&P 500 hit its highest level ever and wiped out all the losses from the coronavirus sell-off.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose 47 points, or 0.2%. The moved indicated an opening gain of about 51 points. S&P 500 futures added 0.2%. Nasdaq 100 futures were higher by 0.1%.

Here’s what traders were watching Wednesday morning:

  • Target shares jumped 5% after the retailer reported soaring profit and sales last quarter. Digital sales increased by 197% from a year ago.
  • Lowe’s shares gained 1% after the home improvement retailer reported a 30% surge in second-quarter revenue.
  • Coronavirus cases in the U.S. are trending lower, but officials are cautious as students begin returning to school and college campuses. Some colleges have been forced to change to all online learning because of outbreaks.
  • Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin criticized Democratic leaders as unwilling to discuss a smaller relief package on Tuesday; however, Politico reported House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she is was willing to cut some demands to get an agreement on the bill.

Fauci says he does not see US mandating COVID-19 vaccination for general public

https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/512542-fauci-says-he-does-not-see-us-mandating-covid-19-vaccination-for-general

Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, said Tuesday he doesn’t see the U.S. mandating a COVID-19 vaccine.

“I don’t think you’ll ever see a mandating of vaccine particularly for the general public,” Fauci said during a livestreamed interview with Healthline.

Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, noted that some workplaces, particularly those in health care fields, might prevent employees from coming to work or interacting with patients if they haven’t been vaccinated for the flu.

Schools generally require students be vaccinated for measles and other infectious diseases before they are allowed to attend classes.

But Fauci said he’d “be pretty surprised if you mandated it for any element of the general public.”

There are several vaccine candidates in clinical trials, and some look promising at providing a level of protection against COVID-19.

While no vaccine has been approved yet by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), experts are already grappling with how to convince the American public to get vaccinated.

Vaccine hesitancy has been a public health issue for several years now, especially among parents of young children, partly due to the rise of misinformation on social media.

Polls have also shown people of color are less likely to want to get vaccinated, which experts say could be explained by distrust of a public health infrastructure that has a history of mistreatment and discrimination.

One of the most famous examples of the mistreatment of people of color in the health care system is the Tuskegee syphilis study, in which African American men were told they were getting free health care from the United States Public Health Service. In actuality, they were infected with syphilis and left untreated.

People of color still face racism in health settings and disparities in access to health care in the U.S.

A Gallup poll released earlier this month found 1 in 3 Americans would not get a COVID-19 vaccine available today if it were free and approved by the FDA.

Sixty-seven percent of white Americans said they would get the vaccine, compared to 59 percent of nonwhite Americans. People who lived in rural areas were less likely to say they would get vaccinated than people who lived in small towns, suburbs or large cities.

Asked what the U.S. could do about people who refuse to get vaccinated, Fauci replied: “They have the right to refuse a vaccine. I don’t think you need a contingency plan. If someone refuses the vaccine in the general public, then there’s nothing you can do about that. You cannot force someone to take a vaccine.”

Notre Dame suspends in-person classes after COVID-19 cases surge following off-campus parties

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/notre-dame-covid-cases-off-campus-party-classes-suspended/

The University of Notre Dame abruptly canceled all in-person classes on Tuesday evening and moved to fully online instruction for at least two weeks, the latest college to struggle with reopening their campus amid the highly-contagious pandemic.

On Monday, Notre Dame — one of the country’s wealthiest and most prestigious religious colleges — reported 80 new confirmed coronavirus infections, bringing the school’s total number of cases to 147 since the South Bend, Indiana, campus resumed in-person classes on August 3, according to the university’s website. Monday’s testing data indicate a 19.1% positivity rate, nearly four times the rate that the World Health Organization recommends for states to reopen.

University officials have pinned the surge of infections to an off-campus party, where students didn’t wear masks and social distancing wasn’t practiced. Per university policy, the hosts of the party may have “jeopardize[d] their ability to remain a part of the University community.”

Notre Dame is among a handful of schools finding it difficult to contain the virus while conducting in-person learning. Hundreds of institutions, including Smith College and the entire California State University system, have scrapped in-person learning plans as coronavirus hotspots have emerged across the country. Others, like Brown University and the University of Maryland,  have pushed back start dates. After only being on campus a week, the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill abruptly abandoned in-person classes on Monday, moving all of its undergraduate classes online after 130 students tested positive for the coronavirus in the last week.

As of August 14, nearly a quarter of colleges and universities were conducting their fall semester either primarily or entirely in-person, and 32% of schools were primarily or entirely online, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education.

At Notre Dame, cases could be even higher than what the university has reported. Students told CBS South Bend affiliate WSBT-TV that the school’s COVID-19 testing program has fallen short of promises made earlier in the summer.

Pro sports teams offer up empty arenas for voting in the fall

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/08/18/sports-teams-empty-arenas-voting-397744

Eight major pro sports teams have signed on to a plan to make their home venues available as voting “super centers” in the fall, as election authorities look for large spaces to use for safe in-person voting amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Election Super Centers Project has four NBA teams participating so far — the Indiana Pacers (Indianapolis), Los Angeles Clippers, Milwaukee Bucks and Washington Wizards — as well as the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers, MLB’s Boston Red Sox and the NHL’s New Jersey Devils (Newark) and Washington Capitals (who share an arena and owner with the Wizards). The Golden State Warriors are also in discussions to join the program.

The project, a joint effort of the voting rights group National Vote at Home Institute and the Silver Linings Group, is designed to supplement regular voting and registration sites for the November election. Many of the arenas are usually hosting games, concerts or other mass events in the fall, but with mass gatherings on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic, they are available to ease the burden on polling precincts and give voters a better chance of avoiding long lines and maintaining social distancing protocols.

The effort already has a footprint in the important swing states of Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, and the group hopes to expand to include up to 25 teams and arenas in the coming weeks. The project is also working with George Linardos — the CEO of Learfield IMG College, which works with dozens of college athletic programs and conferences — to bring college venues into the fold, and organizers are beginning talks with large venues outside the sports world as well.

“This is exactly the kind of public-private type partnership that the voting process has always needed,” said Amber McReynolds, a former Colorado elections official who runs NVAHI. “We’ve always needed the support, and I think the pandemic has energized it.”

The project is connecting individual arenas and teams with local election officials to develop plans to open for early voting, hold September voter registration drives and serve as super centers in November. A super center is a location set up to handle a large number of voters from across one jurisdiction, typically a county, where anyone can vote regardless of their usual polling place.

The initiative mirrors another effort by More Than a Vote, a new group started up by NBA superstar LeBron James along with other athletes and entertainers, which has recruited other teams, like the Atlanta Hawks and the Los Angeles Dodgers, to open their now-empty venues as polling places.

 

Yesterday, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said he’s pausing controversial changes to the U.S. Postal Service until after Election Day “to avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail.”

What that means: USPS retail hours will stay the same; mailboxes and mail sorters will stay put; processing facilities will remain open; and overtime will be approved as needed.

About those changes

DeJoy took over USPS in June and enacted some budget-balancing measures to right the ship at the struggling agency. Those measures included…

  • Eliminating overtime pay
  • Leaving mail at distribution centers until the next day if couriers are running late
  • An effort to encourage early retirements for non-union workers
  • Reassigning or displacing 23 execs, a move that centralized power around DeJoy and sidelined decades of institutional knowledge, per the WaPo.

Yesterday, DeJoy specified that initiatives on pause “predate [his] arrival.” He did not say whether recently removed or decommissioned mailboxes and sorters will be returned.

Zoom out: USPS changes have big implications for the many businesses that rely on its services. DeJoy might find himself on Santa’s naughty list after securing approval last week to hike commercial package rates during the busy holiday season (so are FedEx and UPS).

The other concern is democracy

DeJoy said USPS will get “standby resources” ready for unexpected demand this fall, and reiterated yesterday that USPS is “ready today to handle whatever volume of election mail it receives.”

  • But USPS didn’t exactly inspire confidence after warning states it can’t guarantee mail-in ballots will be delivered on time.

At least 14 state attorneys general have sued, saying DeJoy stepped outside his authority and should have gotten approval from the Postal Regulatory Commission. Some Democrats are also asking for a probe into his holdings in USPS competitors and contractors.

Looking ahead…Congress is in for a bundle of DeJoy in the coming days when the USPS chief chats finances with House and Senate committees. Expect USPS to get more mentions throughout this week’s Democratic convention.

Citi Does an Oopsi

If you’re embarrassed about dropping the ball at work…find comfort in not being the employees at Citi who accidentally sent about $900 million to a group of Revlon lenders last week.

Wait, what? Citi was serving as the “administrative agent” between Revlon, the embattled cosmetics company, and its (very angry) creditors. But Citi mistakenly paid those lenders much, much more than it meant to…like, 100x the amount it intended.

  • Reports say Citi is explaining to federal regulators how it made such a colossal gaffe, and on Monday the bank sued Brigade Capital Management, a hedge fund that won’t give some of the money back.

According to court documents, Brigade is arguing the $176 million it received from Citi was intended to pay off Revlon’s entire balance. Citi says of course not—it was just an interest payment that was supposed to total $1.5 million. It called Brigade’s actions “unconscionable.”

Zoom out: The Economic Times calls it “one of the biggest screw-ups on Wall Street in ages.”

 

Common Launches New Self-Help Series

https://allhiphop.com/news/common-launches-new-self-help-series-PmqkwlNVm0OSJ0gk56PB-w

Rapper Common is venturing into the world of self-help as the host of a new wellness series.

The star has unveiled the series “Com&Well” on his YouTube channel in order to offer fans self care and mental health wellness advice.

The six-episode series, which is filmed in his home using conferencing sites like Skype and Zoom, features conversations with his personal health and wellness teams. The star will also detail his own wellness practices, including his work-outs and hobbies.

I believe deeply that the more at peace you are with yourself, the more love and compassion you are able to put out into the world,” Common said in a statement. “Now more than ever the world needs love and mindfulness towards one another. The black community needs love, the brown community needs love. Really, we all need it. I created Com&Well to share the self-care knowledge and tools I’ve had access to and live by with my community.”

The show will debut today (August 18th).

Ash Exantus aka Ash Cash is one of the nation’s top personal finance experts. Dubbed as the Hip-Hop Financial Motivator, he uses a culturally responsive approach in teaching financial literacy. He is also a speaker, and bestselling author of six books. Ash has established himself as a thought leader and trusted voice with Corporate America, Colleges, Churches, and Community based organizations. Ash is best known for helping people maximize their full potentials by giving them the inspiration, tools, and resources needed to live their best lives. For more info on Ash please visit www.IamAshCash.com

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Podcasts

Top Finance and Hip-Hop News – 9.16.20

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MARKETS

NASDAQ 11,190.32

+ 1.21%

S&P 3,401.13

+ 0.52%

DJIA 27,994.42 UNCH
GOLD 1,961.30

– 0.12%

10-YR 0.675%

– 0.40 bps

OIL 38.25

+ 2.66%

*As of market close
  • Nation: Louisville will pay a $12 million settlement to the family of Breonna Taylor, who was killed by police in a botched raid earlier this year.
  • Economy: Fed Chair Jerome Powell isn’t expected to announce any change in interest rates today, but his presser this afternoon will still be a must-watch. It’s the first time the central bank has met under the new inflation framework it announced last month.

Breonna Taylor settlement is among largest payouts linked to a police shooting

https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/16/us/police-shooting-lawsuits-breonna-taylor-settlement/index.html

The $12 million settlement with Breonna Taylor’s family is a historic move for Louisville, Kentucky, but across America it’s the latest financial repercussion in a police misconduct case.

More than six months after Taylor was killed inside her apartment as police officers executed a “no-knock” search warrant, the city is poised to pay its highest-ever settlement, a city spokeswoman told CNN.

The city previously paid $8.5 million for the wrongful conviction of Edwin Chandler, who served nine years in prison for a 1993 murder before he was exonerated, CNN affiliate WLKY reported.

Cities across the country have previously reached monetary agreements following high-profile police shootings. Cleveland agreed to pay $6 million to the family of Tamir Rice and New York City agreed to pay Eric Garner‘s family $5.9 million.

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who has represented the families of several police brutality victims — including George Floyd and Jacob Blake — said he believes Taylor’s settlement is one of the largest amounts ever paid out for a Black woman killed by police in the US.

While it’s unclear where the payout to Taylor’s family stands among all police misconduct lawsuits in the nation, here are other large payments that stemmed from police shootings in recent years:

Netflix Orders 10 Episodes of Animated ‘Good Times’ Series Co-Produced By Steph Curry

https://www.blacknews.com/news/netflix-orders-10-episodes-good-times-animated-series-steph-curry/

Netflix has given a 10-episode, straight-to-series order to a new animated take on Norman Lear’s classic sitcom “Good Times.” Carl Jones, whose credits include animated series “The Boondocks” and “Black Dynamite,” as well as TBS’ Tracy Morgan star “The Last O.G.,” will create, showrun and executive produce the project.

The new animated series will follow “the Evans family as they navigate today’s world and contemporary social issues. Just as the original did years ago, ‘Good Times’ strives to remind us that with the love of our family, we can keep our heads above water.

Lear and his Act III Productions company are partnering with basketball star Steph Curry and his production company, Unanimous Media, as well as Seth MacFarlane and his shingle Fuzzy Door, to develop the show.

The original “Good Times” aired for six seasons on CBS, from 1974 to 1979, and was created by Eric Monte and Mike Evans, and developed by Lear. It was a spin-off of “Maude,” which in turn was a spin-off of Lear and Bud Yorkin’s “All in the Family.”

LIL NAS X TAKING HIS ‘OLD TOWN ROAD’ ACT TO CHILDREN’S BOOKS

https://hiphopdx.com/news/id.57909/title.lil-nas-x-taking-his-old-town-road-act-to-childrens-books

Lil Nas X can now call himself an author. The “Old Town Road” hitmaker has penned a children’s book titled C Is For Country, which is scheduled to be released in January 2021.

“I’m dropping the best kids book of all time soon!” he wrote on Instagram. “C IS FOR COUNTRY, out January 5, 2021 from @randomhousekids. I can’t wait to share it with you all. You can pre-order it right now at the link in my bio.”

C Is For Country is being published by Random House Kids, a division of the Penguin Random House company. Artist Theodore Taylor III is handling the book’s illustrations.

According to Random House, the book tells the story of “Panini the pony on a joyous journey through the alphabet from sunup to sundown.” The main character gets its name from Lil Nas X’s second multi-platinum selling hit.

C Is For Country is recommended for children ages 3-7 and can be pre-ordered here. The initial release includes hardcover copies, e-books and audiobook downloads.

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Podcasts

Top Finance & Hip-Hop News – 9.10.20

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MARKETS

NASDAQ 11,141.56

+ 2.71%

S&P 3,399.06

+ 2.02%

DJIA 27,940.67

+ 1.60%

GOLD 1,957.10

+ 0.72%

10-YR 0.697%

+ 1.90 bps

OIL 38.02

+ 3.43%

*As of market close
  • Markets: Stocks had a big bounce-back day after a few steep sell-offs.
  • Jobs: U.S. employers posted 6.6 million job openings in July, more than the 6 million in June but less than the 7.2 million a year ago. The numbers continue to reflect a grind-it-out recovery for the job market.

Trump told Bob Woodward he knew in February that COVID-19 was ‘deadly stuff’ but wanted to ‘play it down’

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/trump-told-bob-woodward-he-knew-february-covid-19-was-n1239658

President Donald Trump acknowledged the dangers of the coronavirus pandemic in a February interview with journalist Bob Woodward and acknowledged downplaying the threat in an interview a month later, according to an account of Woodward’s new book.

“I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down because I don’t want to create a panic,” Trump said in a March 19 call with Woodward, according to an audio clip posted Wednesday on The Washington Post’s website. The newspaper obtained a copy of the book, “Rage,” which is scheduled to be released next week.

In the same interview, Trump acknowledged that the disease was more deadly than he previously thought.

“Now it’s turning out it’s not just old people, Bob. But just today, and yesterday, some startling facts came out. It’s not just old, older,” Trump said, according to an audio clip, and then added, “young people, too, plenty of young people.”

Trump is locked in a difficult re-election battle against Democratic nominee Joe Biden, with his poll numbers sagging as he continues to get low marks from voters for how he handled the response to the virus.

Trump, speaking to reporters Wednesday afternoon, said he’d been trying to avoid “panic” and was showing “leadership.”

“We have to show calm,” he said. “Certainly I’m not going to drive this country or the world into a frenzy. We want to show confidence. We have to show strength.”

He sidestepped a question about whether lives could have been saved if he had been more forthright about the dangers posed by the virus.

“I think if we didn’t do what we did, we’d have had millions die,” Trump said.

Of his approach, Trump said, “We don’t want to go around screaming, ‘Look at this, look at this.'”

Biden noted Wednesday that over 190,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus and called Trump’s words “beyond despicable.”

“It was a life-and-death betrayal of the American people,” Biden said.

Woodward’s book is based on 18 on-the-record phone calls he had with Trump from December to July. Woodward, a highly respected veteran journalist who is an associate editor of The Post, also attributes details about the internal workings of the White House to a series of interviews with unnamed aides.

Woodward details that Trump was briefed on the virus in January.

“This is deadly stuff,” Trump told Woodward in a Feb. 7 phone call.

“You just breathe the air and that’s how it’s passed,” Trump told Woodward, according to The Post. “And so that’s a very tricky one. That’s a very delicate one. It’s also more deadly than even your strenuous flu.”

The book says Trump was given dire warnings in January about the virus that would lead to a worldwide pandemic in March.

“This will be the biggest national security threat you face in your presidency,” national security adviser Robert O’Brien told Trump on Jan. 28, according to the book. “This is going to be the roughest thing you face.”

Trump blocked some Chinese nationals from coming into the country in the days after the briefing, but he continued to play down the danger posed by the virus and repeatedly compared it to the flu.

“We only have five people. Hopefully, everything’s going to be great,” Trump said Jan. 30. A few days later, he said, “We pretty much shut it down coming in from China.”

Despite the early warning about the virus’s deadliness and its ability to be transmitted through the air, Trump continued to hold packed political rallies throughout February and told reporters at the White House on Feb. 27: “This is a flu. This is like a flu.”

On March 9, weeks after he told Woodward that the coronavirus was more than five times deadlier than the flu, Trump tweeted: “So last year 37,000 Americans died from the common Flu. It averages between 27,000 and 70,000 per year. Nothing is shut down, life & the economy go on. At this moment there are 546 confirmed cases of CoronaVirus, with 22 deaths. Think about that!”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calf., slammed the president Wednesday in an interview on MSNBC, saying his “downplaying” cost lives.

The “denial about the threat is responsible for many of the deaths and infections that we have today, not all of them, but many of them, could have been prevented,” Pelosi told Andrea Mitchell.

The book also sheds further light on how much distrust some of Trump’s top officials had in the president.

Woodward recounted a conversation — which he attributed to unnamed sources — between Dan Coats, then the director of national intelligence, and James Mattis, who was the defense secretary at the time, in which Mattis told Coats, “The president has no moral compass.”

Coats agreed, according to the book.

“To him, a lie is not a lie. It’s just what he thinks. He doesn’t know the difference between the truth and a lie,” Coats is quoted by Woodward as saying.

According to the book, Trump — who came under fire last week for having reportedly referred to dead U.S. service members as “losers” and “suckers” — had little regard for his own generals.

In a conversation with trade adviser Peter Navarro, Trump complained: “My fucking generals are a bunch of pussies. They care more about their alliances than they do about trade deals.” The sources for that account were not named.

Navarro told reporters later Wednesday that Woodward had put “words in my mouth” that he had never said for his last book. “I don’t believe a word of what Bob Woodward says,” Navarro added.

Woodward also drew some criticism on social media, as well, where some complained that he should have spoken up about Trump’s comments much earlier. Woodward told The Associated Press that he was initially skeptical that Trump wasn’t being truthful.

CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD LAUNCHES BLACK EFFECT PODCAST NETWORK WITH IHEARTMEDIA

https://hiphopdx.com/news/id.57794/title.charlamagne-tha-god-launches-black-effect-podcast-network-with-iheartmedia

Charlamagne Tha God is hoping he has the next media empire on his hands. On Wednesday (September 9), the brash radio personality in partnership with iHeartMedia announced the launch of the Black Effect Podcast Network. The groundbreaking media network is slated to host 18 podcasts starting this fall.

The replay of his nationally-syndicated radio morning show The Breakfast Club will find a new home with the Black Effect Podcast Network. Charlamagne looks to “amplify, elevate, and empower” Black voices in the community he believes deserve to be heard on a larger scale and put in positions to succeed.

Talent joining the first Black-curated podcast network includes TV host Eboni Williams, activist Tamika Mallory and actress Jess Hilarious. There are also established podcasts already onboard such as former NBA players Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson’s All The Smoke, N.O.R.E.’s Drink Champs, and The 85 South Show with DC Young Fly.

“Blackness has an immediate, culture-shifting effect on everything,” Charlamagne Tha God revealed in a statement. “Blackness controls the cool. Blackness is the culture, but Black Voices are not monolithic. The only way to appreciate the diversity of thought and experiences in Black culture is to build a platform for those voices to be heard.”

He continued, “Our goal is to shift the narrative from Black creators signing transactional deals, to instead forming legacy partnerships that build generational wealth while allowing each creative to have an equitable stake in their future. As a long-time partner of iHeart, it’s an honor to make history with them.”

CARDI B HIRED PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR TO ARREST TEEN ‘TRUMP SUPPORTER’ WHO LEAKED HER ADDRESS

https://hiphopdx.com/news/id.57805/title.cardi-b-hired-private-investigator-to-arrest-teen-trump-supporter-who-leaked-her-address

Cardi B often finds herself the target of Trump supporting trolls due to her outspoken stance on politics. Normally, the Bronx-bred firecracker is able to turn a blind eye but as she said in a recent Instagram Live post, she wasn’t able to look past the person who shared her home address online.

“They be making fun of me,” she said. “I ignore them. I don’t give a fuck. Let me tell you something. Shit gets so intense that a Trump supporter posted my address and encouraged people to dox my home, to put my house on fire. I literally hired a private investigator and serve them with a warrant and arrest this boy. This boy was a fucking teenager. His parents were shook.”

Earlier this week, Cardi got into it with conservative pundit Candace Owens who called the Grammy Award-winning rapper “dumb and illiterate.” During the same IG Live stream, Cardi made it clear she wanted to use her massive platform to influence people to vote for Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

“It’s not a secret I use my platform to encourage people to vote,” she said. “I love politics… Today, Candace Owens said some real nasty things about me. Just like I can make millions of people pop their pussy… I can make millions of people go vote.”

Owens accused Biden of pandering to the Black community after he sat down for an interview with Cardi, but she hit back and shared an Instagram photo on Monday (September 7) of what she believes pandering really looks like.

“This what PANDERING looks like,” she wrote alongside a photo of Trump. “I will never praise no politician not even Obama, FDR or Bernie ONLY THE LORD !This is how Trump panders with black people while Candice concerns how Joe panders with me.”

Cardi’s interview with Biden  took place via Zoom last month. After sharing her views on topics such as healthcare, police brutality and college eduction, Biden praised the multi-platinum artist.

“One of the things that I admire about you is that you keep talking about what I call equity — just decency, fairness, treating people with respect,” he told her. “John Lewis used to say the vote is the most powerful nonviolent tool you have. Use the power to change for the change you want.

“Thank you for your willingness to help. I’ll make mistakes as president, but I’ll admit to the mistakes I make, and you’re never going to have to wonder whether I’ll keep my word. Just check me out; I’ve never broken my word on anything I said I was going to do. Never in my life.”

Are You Taking The Board Challenge?

A new initiative launched yesterday to change the look of American boardrooms—specifically, to make them look less white.

The Board Challenge, a project of Altimeter Capital, Valence, and theBoardlist, is challenging U.S. firms to add a Black director to their boards within 12 months.

  • 17 companies, including Zillow and Nextdoor, have taken the pledge.
  • Another 27 members with at least one Black board member (United Airlines, Nordstrom among them) are working with the project to advance diversity efforts.

Why it’s an issue: 9% of Fortune 500 board members are Black men and women, while 66% are white men and 18% are white women, according to theBoardlist—and Black representation on boards hasn’t budged in the last few years.

Some states, like California most recently, have introduced legislation that would require, not just “challenge,” publicly held companies to appoint at least one director from an underrepresented community by the end of 2021.

Zoom out: It’s notoriously difficult for newcomers to find a seat in the boardroom. 72% of directors have previous board experience and half are current or ex-CEOs, per Heidrick & Struggles.

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Podcasts

Top Finance and Hip-Hop News – 9.9.20

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MARKETS YTD PERFORMANCE

NASDAQ 10,853.55

+ 20.96%

S&P 3,340.97

+ 3.41%

DJIA 27,665.64

– 3.06%

GOLD 1,948.10

+ 28.16%

10-YR 0.671%

– 124.90 bps

OIL 37.39

– 38.92%

*As of market close
  • Economy: The U.S., England, and Japan will all announce interest rate decisions this week. Investors aren’t expecting any major changes in their outlooks.
  • Nation: Historic wildfires have killed at least 33 people across California, Oregon, and Washington. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown blamed the fires on “decades of mismanagement” and climate change.

TikTok will partner with Oracle in the United States after Microsoft loses bid

https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/13/tech/microsoft-tiktok-bytedance/index.html

TikTok and Oracle will become business partners in the United States — a deal meant to satisfy the Trump administration’s national security concerns, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Talk of a sale began as President Donald Trump issued executive orders last month seeking to ban TikTok and requiring that its US operations be spun off from its Beijing-based parent company, ByteDance.

The exact nature of the agreement between TikTok and Oracle (ORCL) remains unclear, but it was not described as an outright sale. The news about Oracle came just after Microsoft announced that it will not buy TikTok’s US operations from ByteDance.

“We are confident our proposal would have been good for TikTok’s users, while protecting national security interests,” Microsoft (MSFT) said in a blog post Sunday. “To do this, we would have made significant changes to ensure the service met the highest standards for security, privacy, online safety, and combatting disinformation, and we made these principles clear in our August statement.”

ByteDance has not responded to a request for comment. TikTok declined to comment.

Oracle did not respond to a request for comment.

Trump and other US politicians have said the app poses a threat to national security. TikTok has denied the allegation.

The agreement with Oracle comes days before a ban on TikTok in the United States was scheduled to go into effect. After September 20, the Commerce Department is expected to clarify which types of business dealings involving TikTok will be prohibited in the country, according to an executive order Trump signed August 6.

It’s not clear whether TikTok’s partnership with Oracle would allow the short-form video app to avert that ban. The scope and language of the order, along with Trump’s own off-the-cuff remarks about TikTok, have led to confusion about how a ban would be implemented. In another executive order, Trump said TikTok had until November 12 to find a buyer.

Separately, a TikTok employee has challenged the looming ban in federal court and is seeking a judicial decision to suspend the August 6 executive order. A hearing to consider the plea is scheduled for Tuesday. TikTok has also sued the Trump administration over one of the orders, calling it “heavily politicized.”

Multiple analysts had described Microsoft’s pursuit of TikTok as a potential “coup” for the Washington state-based firm — an opportunity to scoop up one of the world’s fastest growing social media platforms at a time when TikTok may be desperate to make a deal.

A deal could have also included an American retail giant: Walmart (WMT) was also participating in negotiations with Microsoft over a potential deal. The retailer had said it was interested in how TikTok could have bolstered its access to consumers.

Walmart on Sunday told CNN Business that it “continues to have an interest in a TikTok investment and continues discussions with ByteDance leadership and other interested parties.”

“We know that any approved deal must satisfy all regulatory and national security concerns,” the company said in a statement.

19 families buy nearly 97 acres of land in Georgia to create a city safe for Black people

https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/12/us/freedom-black-cooperative-toomsboro/index.html

“Welcome to Freedom!” exclaims real estate agent Ashley Scott as she surveys the nearly 97 acres of land that she and a group of 19 Black families purchased in August.

“I’m hoping that it will be a thriving safe haven for people of color, for Black families in particular,” Scott says.

The land sits just East of Macon in rural Wilkinson County, Georgia. Scott and her friend, investor and entrepreneur Renee Walters, didn’t initially plan on buying a large plot of land, but they had a vision that was clear — to create a safe space for their Black families.

“Being able to create a community that is thriving, that is safe, that has agriculture and commercial businesses that are supporting one another and that dollars circulating in our community, that is our vision.”

Dave East Accuses Delta Of Hiring Racist Trump Supporters As Flight Attendants

https://allhiphop.com/news/dave-east-accuses-delta-of-hiring-racist-trump-supporters-as-flight-attendants-0S0Pn5zQuUu-3uSH17FPBQ

After being kicked off of a Delta flight, Harlem rapper Dave East is calling out the airlines for practicing bigoted behavior.

Dave took to his social media to post a video of the incident claiming that the crew racially profiled him. They didn’t think that he belonged in first-class.

No details are shared but what is captured in his three-minute recording of the aftermath as a gang of police officers lined up outside of the plane door, in the corridor connecting the plane to the terminal, next to the very polite captain.

His team is seen trying to rationalize with what looks to be an attendant and other passengers even tried to defend Nas’ protegé.

He wrote on his IG, “RACISM… @delta Fucc Delta! Racist Ain’t Even The Word! This Jamaican Man Defending me and He dont even know me!!!! He watched the racist harassment!!!! Delta Airlines Y’all Need To Stop Hiring these racist, stupid, ignorant TRUMP supporters that get nervous when they see a PERSON OF COLOR in first class!!! B##ch just ask me what I want to drink and keep it pushing!!!! S##t got me Hot”

There is no word from Delta Airlines or Dave’s camp about the resolve.

 

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