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Top Hip-Hop + Finance News for 5.15.20



MARKET UPDATE via @MorningBrew

NASDAQ 8,943.72

+ 0.91%

S&P 2,852.50

+ 1.15%

DJIA 23,625.34

+ 1.62%

GOLD 1,738.10

+ 1.26%

10-YR 0.620%

– 2.90 bps

OIL 27.66

+ 9.37%

*As of market close
  • Markets: Here’s something we haven’t said all that much recently: Shares of major U.S. banks led stocks higher yesterday. The benchmark index for banks had been trailing the S&P by 14 percentage points since the market hit bottom on March 23.
  • More markets: Photos of exasperated traders may return May 26, when the New York Stock Exchange will partially reopen its trading floor.

Global Trade in Question While the Head of the World Trade Organization Steps Down

Uncertainty reigns at the top of the World Trade Organization, President Trump’s grumbling about China, and stocks are wobbling over trade concerns.

No, we didn’t get lazy and copy over a newsletter from last year—these things all happened yesterday. After getting tossed aside while everyone directs their attention to the you-know-what, trade news is back in the spotlight. And none of it is particularly good.

The latest

Yesterday, WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo stepped down from his position more than a year ahead of schedule, citing personal reasons.

  • The WTO is a 25-year-old organization that plays referee for countries that trade with one another.

President Trump has been quite angry with this ref’s performance, arguing that most of the calls on unfair trade practices went China’s way. And he’s got allies on Capitol Hill: lawmakers have introduced two different pieces of legislation that would withdraw the U.S. from the WTO. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) has said the group should be abolished altogether.

Time to talk about the you-know-what

Because it has been absolutely devastating for global trade, which could drop by a record 27% in Q2, a UN organization said this week.

  • The coronavirus has dealt a double whammy to trade flows, slamming both supply and demand.

Meanwhile, the companies whose job it is to move boxes from one port to another are sitting on their butts just like the rest of us. Maersk, the Danish shipping giant, predicts container volumes will fall up to 25% in Q2. “Without a doubt it’s going to be the steepest ever drop in demand within a quarter” CEO Soren Skou said.

Bottom line: After the U.S. and China signed a “phase one” trade deal in January, many analysts hoped 2020 would be a year of relative peace in global trade. But in a few months the coronavirus has caused more disruption to globalization than a trade war did in a year and a half.

Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Steps Down as He is Investigated for Insider Trading

Yesterday, Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) stepped down from his position as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee while a federal investigation into his stock sales continues.

  • On Wednesday, federal investigators took Burr’s cellphone from his Washington, D.C.,-area home, per the LA Times.

What they’re investigating: In late January and early February, Burr was privy to briefings on the threat of the coronavirus pandemic and its potential economic costs. On Feb. 13, he sold shares totaling between $628,000 and $1.7 million.

  • According to the WSJ, the sale saved Burr and his wife at least $250,000 in losses.
  • Burr has denied wrongdoing, said the decision was based only on publicly reported information, and asked for a review by the Senate ethics panel.

Zoom out: This indicates the FBI’s probe into illicit stock trades is escalating. For a search warrant to be executed on a sitting member of Congress, it has to be approved by a senior DOJ official and a judge.

Is the Insurance Industry in Trouble?

The COVID-19 pandemic could cost the insurance industry $200+ billion, according to insurance marketplace Lloyd’s of London. If you’re thinking “good riddance, I haven’t seen a penny,” check out these numbers:

  • $107 billion in underwriting losses
  • $96 billion sapped from investment portfolios (money set aside to cover future claims)

Lloyd’s itself expects to dole out up to $4.3 billion—payouts it says are comparable to losses sustained after 9/11 and a hurricane trio in 2017.

But while Lloyd’s says COVID-19 will be the worst economic disaster for the insurance industry, Axios’s Felix Salmon countered with “Insurers are doing just fine.” His reasoning:

  • COVID-19 losses still haven’t hit “megacat” territory, and 2020 losses are still tracking behind the $144 billion the industry sustained in 2017.
  • The point of insurance is to pay out during bad times.

Plus, many insurance policies explicitly exclude pandemics. And while insurers face mounting claims for canceled events and workers comp, they’re saving in auto policies (less driving → fewer accidents) and health insurance (most elective surgeries are canceled/postponed).

The Unemployment System Has Been In Trouble Now it’s Getting Worst

Almost 3 million U.S. workers filed for unemployment benefits last week, bringing the two-month total since COVID-19 lockdowns began to 36.5 million. If those claims formed a state, they’d be the second largest in the country behind California.

Take a step back

While the number of new claims has technically dropped six weeks running, weekly totals are still near record highs. Unemployment insurance was built as a safety net, but even with emergency aid it wasn’t prepared for this.

How it works:

  • Unemployment programs are joint ventures between the federal government (which sets guidelines) and states (which set the rules).
  • Employers pay state and federal unemployment insurance taxes, and states give out the benefits to unemployed workers.

Zoom out: State unemployment insurance programs were left in tatters after the Great Recession, when a sudden spike in long-term unemployment depleted trust funds and forced many to borrow from the federal government. Heading into the COVID-19 crisis, most states had never fully recovered.

So where does that leave us? Read more here.

Is Automatic Aid from the Government a Good Idea?

Economists Want to Put Stimulus on Autopilot. Congress Has Other Ideas. The idea is to link government aid to certain indicators, like the jobless rate, so it shrinks or grows without further action by politicians.

Is this a good idea or not? When there is an economic crisis, you want a government response that is scaled accordingly. But you don’t know in advance just how long a crisis will last or how severe it will be.

Economists have a crisp-sounding solution: Calibrate government help, such as unemployment insurance and aid to state governments, so that it rises automatically when the economy is weak and falls as the economy returns to health. The unemployment rate or other economic indicators can serve as triggers. The concept of automatic stabilizers is embraced by many centrist and left-of-center technocrats, including the last two leaders of the Federal Reserve.

Congress has had little interest in this over the years — instead choosing to pass ad hoc packages that may or may not have been aligned with the magnitude of trouble the economy was facing at that moment.

Read more

Restaurants are Adding COVID-19 Surcharges to Their Prices and People Don’t Like it!

People are furious at restaurants adding COVID-19 surcharges, as food prices skyrocket and businesses struggle

  • Restaurants are adding COVID-19 surcharges to combat rising meat prices during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • However, after facing backlash, some restaurants have been forced to remove the surcharges, with many raising menu prices instead.
  • Fresh meat prices were up 8.1% at the end of April, with experts saying they could rise by up to 20% in the coming weeks. 

Click here to read more

Millions of Bailout Money is Giving to a Major Trump Donor! Foul Play or Business as Usual?

Trump donor’s private jet company reportedly gets $27 million bailout — the largest of any other private jet company


  • Clay Lacy Aviation, a private jet company, received a $27 million bailout from the federal government, according to a report from CNBC.
  • The funds are a grant from the CARES Act and won’t need to be repaid, the report said.
  • The company’s founder, Clay Lacy, donated the maximum amount to the Trump campaign in 2016 and gave $47,300 to the Republican National Committee the same year, according to OpenSecrets.
  • The company itself gave $5,000 in 2018 to a Republican PAC.
  • The Treasury Department told Business Insider that political affiliation has “absolutely no bearing” on funding. Clay Lacy Aviation did not respond to a request for comment.

Click here to read the full article

‘Love & Hip Hop’ Star Accused Of Using Federal Loan On A Rolls-Royce Wraith, Jewelry & Child Support

Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta star Mo Fayne is facing federal charges of bank fraud.

A press release from the United States Department of Justice on Wednesday (May 13) accuses the reality star, real name Maurice Fayne, of deceitfully obtaining a small business loan meant for COVID-19 relief. Instead of using the loan for its intended purpose, the feds allege that Mo used the Paycheck Protection Program loan money to buy jewelry and pay off personal debts.

Per the report, Fayne submitted a PPP loan application for a company named Flame Trucking back in April, claiming 107 employees and a $1.5 million average monthly payroll. Within days of being approved for just over $2 million, Fayne is accused of using more than $1.5 million of it on a Rolex Presidential watch, a diamond bracelet, a diamond ring, a 2019 Rolls-Royce Wraith and $40,000 in back child support, among other things.

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

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Top Finance and Hip-Hop News – 6.3.20




NASDAQ 9,608.37

+ 0.59%

S&P 3,080.82

+ 0.82%

DJIA 25,742.65

+ 1.05%

GOLD 1,733.90

– 0.94%

10-YR 0.685%

+ 2.50 bps

OIL 36.93

+ 4.20%

*As of market close
  • Markets: It’s not quite baseball, but we’ll take it—IPO season restarts today. Warner Music Group will bat leadoff in a busy week that also includes the IPO of marketing data company ZoomInfo.
  • Energy: Oil continued to gain ahead of a virtual meeting between OPEC and friends

Minneapolis Police Department to undergo civil rights investigation

The Minnesota Department of Human Rights is launching a civil rights investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department, the state’s governor announced Tuesday.

The investigation will look into practices of the department for the last 10 years.

According to a release from Gov. Tim Walz’s office, the investigation will look to see if Minneapolis Police have engaged in systemic discriminatory practices targeting people of color.

Bank of America pledges $1 billion to address racial, economic inequality

Bank of America Corp on Tuesday pledged $1 billion to help communities across the country address economic and racial inequality, the first big bank to vow monetary support following violent protests after the death of an unarmed black man at the hands of police in Minneapolis.

One-Third of America’s Record Unemployment Payout Hasn’t Arrived

Almost one-third of unemployment benefits estimated to be owed to the millions of Americans who lost their jobs as a result of the coronavirus slump haven’t been paid yet, as flagship policies struggle to cope with the unprecedented wave of layoffs.

The Treasury disbursed $146 billion in unemployment benefits in the three months through May, according to data published Monday — more than in the whole of 2009, when jobless rates peaked after the financial crisis.

But even that historic figure falls short of a total bill that should have reached about $214 billion for the period, according to Bloomberg calculations based on weekly unemployment filings and the average size of those claims.

Joe Biden sweeps all seven presidential primaries

Joe Biden has scored a clean sweep of the seven states conducting Democratic presidential primaries on Tuesday, not at all a surprise given that the presumptive Democratic nominee has no active opposition.

Yet the delegate haul is important to Biden’s goal of gaining enough delegates to claim the Democratic nomination before the party’s summer convention. Tuesday’s results may leave Biden just short of the 1,991 delegates he needs, but primaries next week in Georgia and West Virginia could put him over the top.

Of Tuesday’s elections, Pennsylvania’s could add the most delegates to Biden’s count. He also won contests in Maryland, Indiana, Rhode Island, New Mexico, Montana and South Dakota.

Also choosing a nominee Tuesday are voters in the District of Columbia.

Those results are pending.

JAY-Z Takes Out Full-Page Newspaper Ads Across the U.S. in Dedication to George Floyd

JAY-Z and the Roc Nation family have taken out multiple full-page ads in newspapers across the United States in honor of George Floyd, whose death while in Minneapolis police custody has sparked nationwide protests over racial injustice.

The ad, which was shared on Roc Nation’s social media pages, quotes a passage from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s 1965 address in Selma, Alabama.

“Only way we can really achieve freedom is to somehow hunker the fear of death. But if a man has not discovered something that he will die for, he isn’t fit to live,” the ad reads. “Deep down in our nonviolent creed is the conviction — that there are some things so dear, so things so precious, so things so eternally true, that they are worth dying for.”

“A man dies when he refuses to stand up for that which is right,” it continues. “A man dies when he refuses to stand up for justice. A man dies when he refuses to take a stand for that which is true. So we’re going to stand up amid horses. We’re going to stand up right here, amid the billy-clubs. We’re going to stand up right here amid police dogs, if they have them. We’re going to stand up amid tear gas!”

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Top Finance and Hip-Hop News – 6.1.20




NASDAQ 9,489.87

+ 5.76%

S&P 3,044.31

– 5.77%

DJIA 25,383.11

– 11.06%

GOLD 1,743.00

+ 14.67%

10-YR 0.666%

– 125.40 bps

OIL 35.32

– 42.30%

*As of market close
  • Markets: U.S. stocks are leaving global equities in the dust, the WSJ reports. The S&P is down 5.8% for the year, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index is down 19% and the Stoxx Europe 600 is down 16%.

Global stocks rise as investors shrug off US-China tensions

Hong Kong stocks are on pace for their best day since March as investors shrug off the Trump administration’s intention to end a special economic and trading relationship with the Asian financial hub. There are also signs in the region that China’s economy is continuing to recover from the worst of the coronavirus pandemic — though activity elsewhere in Asia remains grim.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index (HSI) rose more than 3%. It was the first opportunity investors there had to react to US President Donald Trump’s announcement last week that Washington would “begin the process of eliminating policy exemptions that give Hong Kong different and special treatment” from mainland China.

Grief and anger over George Floyd’s death spark protests demanding change in week since video went viral

Protests continued through the weekend over the death of George Floyd.

Demonstrations began in Minneapolis and spread like wildfire across the US — Los Angeles, Atlanta, Washington, DC, Miami, New York City and Chicago are just some of the cities who saw crowds.

Sunday night more than two dozen cities deployed curfews and governors activated National Guard troops to keep the crowds home. Most protests were peaceful, but many of them took a violent turn.

  • There have been about 4,000 people arrested across the US since Tuesday, according to a CNN tally.
  • Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced the Minnesota Attorney General’s office will be taking the lead on Derek Chauvin’s case, the officer seen pressing a knee on Floyd’s neck.
  • Derek Chauvin, who was initially expected in court Monday, will make his first court appearance June 8. He’s been charged with with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Nike releases ‘Don’t Do It’ ad addressing racism in America

Nike released an ad Friday night imploring viewers not to “pretend there’s not a problem in America” while protests occurred in cities nationwide following the death in Minnesota of George Floyd after a white officer pressed a knee into his neck while taking him into custody.

The simple video shared on Twitter contains lettering that begins, “For Once, Don’t Do It… Don’t pretend there’s not a problem in America… Don’t turn your back on racism.” It had more than 35,000 retweets and two million views as of Saturday morning.

CNN’s Don Lemon Calls Out Drake, Diddy & More Celebrities To Do More For Protestors

Don Lemon used his platform this weekend to call out Hollywood leaders, musicians and stars for inaction following nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

“What about Hollywood? Strangely quiet,” the CNN Tonight host said as he spoke to Rev. William Barber as protests took place in Los Angeles, Washington D.C., New York and countless other cities across the country.

Lemon noted that stars had tweeted and texted him saying they enjoyed his work on television but had been silent in regards to being active.

Lemon’s speech was a continuation of his earlier monologue when he called on millionaires, billionaires, civic leaders and stars to lend their support to the individuals on the ground in protests across the country.

Killer Mike, T.I., Rihanna and others in the Hip Hop community have spoken up about Floyd’s death and the subsequent protests. J. Cole was on the ground in Fayetteville, North Carolina, walking and speaking with protestors.

Hacktivist Group Anonymous Bug Chicago Police Scanners To Play N.W.A’s ‘Fuck Tha Police’

After announcing their return to social media on Saturday (May 30), hacktivist group Anonymous set their targets on the Minneapolis Police Department for their “many crimes” and the Chicago Police Department. According to various reports on social media, the group allegedly hacked the radio frequencies of the Chicago PD and played N.W.A‘s “Fuck tha Police” for at least two minutes.

Trump postpones the G-7 summit and seeks to add countries to the invitation list

President Donald Trump said on Saturday he would postpone a Group of Seven summit he had hoped to hold next month until September or later and expand the list of invitees to include Australia, Russia, South Korea and India.

Speaking to reporters on Air Force One during his return to Washington from Cape Canaveral in Florida, Trump said the G7, which groups the world’s most advanced economies, was a “very outdated group of countries” in its current format.

Kirk Franklin & Fred Hammond in Verzuz battle

In light of recent civil unrest following the police killing of unarmed black man George Floyd at the hand of Minneapolis police, the creators of Verzuz, Timbaland and Swizz Beatz, felt the culture could use some inspiration provided through their growing music platform.

This Verzuz between 16-time Grammy-award winner Kirk Franklin and gospel super producer Fred Hammond was a celebration. Sunday’s (May 31) edition brought two GOATs of gospel to meet up in once place, an at-home studio, to ensure a seamless worship experience. Bishop T.D. Jakes even opened the celebration with a special prayer for peace, comfort and justice at this time.

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Top Finance and Hip-Hop News 5.29.20




NASDAQ 9,368.99

– 0.46%

S&P 3,029.73

– 0.21%

DJIA 25,400.64

– 0.58%

GOLD 1,732.20

+ 0.31%

10-YR 0.695%

+ 0.80 bps

OIL 33.63

+ 2.50%

*As of market close
  • Jobs: 2.1 million more Americans filed jobless claims last week. However, the number of continuing claims, or claims being collected for two weeks or more, fell. That suggests firms are rehiring employees as states allow businesses to reopen.
  • Markets: A bona fide rally was so close we could smell it. But stocks slumped just before the close yesterday after President Trump announced he’ll hold a press conference on China today, which may ratchet up tensions.

People are accidentally throwing out their stimulus payments — because they look like junk mail

Some Americans may be throwing their long-awaited stimulus payments in the trash, by mistake. That’s because, starting last week, the Treasury Department and the IRS started sending out economic impact payments in regular white envelopes that could be confused for junk mail.

While some people have already received their payments as direct deposits or paper checks in the mail, almost 4 million people — including those for whom the agency does not have bank accounts on file — will be getting their stimulus payments in the form of prepaid debit cards. The only problem is that the debit cards come in envelopes that say “Money Network Cardholder Services” and do not bear any federal markings.


JAY-Z & Roc Nation Attorney Files New Lawsuit In Pursuit Of Mississippi Prison Reform

JAY-Z and Roc Nation have been vocal in their efforts for prison reform. Earlier this year, they began the fight for reform at Mississippi’s Parchman Penitentiary.

Now, the lawyer hired by Hov’s company to spearhead the battle has filed an additional suit in the matter, independent of Roc Nation but in the same fight.

On Wednesday (May 27), TMZ reported Roc Nation attorney Alex Spiro has filed suit against Centene, the parent company of the healthcare provider used at Parchman. This marks the third suit in the matter from Spiro this year, which is on behalf of a Centene shareholder who’s outraged 40 inmates have died in the Mississippi prison system — including Parchman — since December.

In the suit, the unnamed shareholder alleges the healthcare provider, Centurion, is a liability because of their poor care of the inmates and says it’s leading to lawsuits and potential stock market losses. The suit cites poor mental health treatment and lack of testing for illnesses (particularly during COVID-19) as just some of the examples.

Coronavirus: Bucks owner says the NBA could meet ‘early next week’ to vote on how to restart the season

While nothing is official yet, there is hope that the NBA will be back at some point this summer in some capacity. Over the last two weeks, the league has reportedly zeroed in on playing the remainder of the 2019-20 season at Walt Disney World in Orlando. There are several options are on the table for resuming play, including bringing 20-24 teams to Florida for a truncated regular season and the playoffs, staging a World Cup-style playoffs where teams would be grouped together in the first round or advancing straight to the playoffs with just 16 teams competing.

  • Amazon will offer full-time jobs to 125,000 temporary workers it hired during the pandemic.
  • The Premier League will restart on June 17. Now Liverpool can claim their rightful title.
  • Delta and American Airlines are preparing to cut a significant portion of their workforces through layoffs and voluntary exits.
  • Investment-grade corporate debt sales have topped $1 trillion so far this year. In 2019, it took until November to reach that figure.
  • Nordstrom said quarterly sales dropped nearly 40%.

Minneapolis police station torched amid George Floyd protest

Protesters torched a Minneapolis police station Thursday that the department was forced to abandon as three days of violent protests spread to nearby St. Paul and angry demonstrations flared across the U.S over the death of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who pleaded for air as a white police officer kneeled on his neck.

A police spokesman confirmed late Thursday that staff had evacuated the 3rd Precinct station, the focus of many of the protests. Protesters were seen entering the building, where fire alarms blared and sprinklers ran as blazes were set.

Late Thursday, President Donald Trump blasted the “total lack of leadership” in Minneapolis. “Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” he said on Twitter.

The Solution via @ShabazzBailey

First off what happened to this man is a tragedy! And the aftermath is even more saddening. I prefer to keep my thoughts to myself but people need to understand the right way how to prevent this from happening again. I asked Ash Cash about this two days ago but I wanted to elaborate more

First off, as a whole, if you feel that police brutality in your county is unacceptable than the first plan of action is to unite and form a super PAC. With this super PAC, you buy municipal bonds and use your economical influence to select electives who will have your super PAC’s best interests. By buying a county’s debt you then gain control. If enough entities buy municipal bonds you could bankrupt a city/county. The goal is to own nothing but control everything
Secondly, more people in our communities need to have life insurance. You better bet your bottom dollar that if a bunch of people had polices on them died because of police brutality, and other crimes as a whole these insurance companies would you their influence and start lobbying to start changing a lot of the activity in these areas. You have to remember money influences laws

Thirdly,  look up law enforcement liability insurance. You can look on the travelers insurance website as a reference. Each individual police officer carries mandated insurance. So when you get pulled over, it’s almost pointless to ask for a police officer badge number and report him to the Entity he/she works for. The correct way is getting the information and filing a complaint with their insurance carrier. So now think of it like this, when we get into a car accident and someone files a complaint against our policy enough times eventually what happens? They drop us from our policy and it’s extremely hard to find another insurance carrier. So if enough ppl filed complaints against a particular law enforcement entities insurance policy what then happens ??? It’s the same thing
Never underestimate the power of economics

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