Flexibility to work helps attract talent, Morgan Stanley says Buffett targets WFH business opportunities

The Nikkei Asian Review reported on April 11 that Hitachi plans to offer 15,000 employees the option of flexible working hours starting this fiscal year, hoping to attract more talent. The report pointed out that Hitachi employees can choose to work 9 to 10 hours a day from Monday to Thursday (instead of the currently required 7 hours and 45 minutes) in exchange for a day off on Friday; they can also choose to extend their working hours in the first half of the month in exchange for the end of the month. Take a break.

A survey conducted by the University of Reading in November showed that 68% of 500 UK businesses that implemented a four-day work week said it helped recruit talent. In addition, 66% said flexible working hours helped reduce costs.

According to a survey of 10,737 knowledge workers in the US, Australia, France, Germany, Japan and the UK from November 1-30, 2021, Future Forum noted in January that 78% of respondents would like to have a job Flexibility in location was up from 76% in the previous quarter, and the percentage of respondents who wanted flexibility in working hours rose from 93% to 95%.

The survey also showed that half of the respondents said their company has offered flexible working hours, and 42% said business owners have offered flexible working location options.

Before Covid-19, roughly half of the world’s knowledge workers were in the office all day, but in November 2021 the proportion has dropped to 30%.

Morgan Stanley: Buffett bets on hybrid work
CNBC reported on April 8, Morgan Stanley pointed out that Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s investment in HP Inc. is Warren Buffett’s investment in hybrid jobs in the post-pandemic era. bet.

Morgan Stanley previously downgraded HP’s investment rating to “underweight” on the grounds that the general economic environment continues to present uncertainties and the outlook for the hardware industry tends to be conservative.

Berkshire disclosed on April 6 that it had bought nearly 121 million shares of HP Inc., making it the largest shareholder in the well-known PC maker.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) on March 18 put forward 10 recommendations to cut oil use, including “working from home (WFH)” three days a week as far as possible in advanced economies.

Nearly 5-month West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) fell $3.97 on Monday to close at $94.29, the lowest closing level since February 25.

U.S. inflation rises to 8.5% in March, the highest in more than 40 years

Driven by energy and food, U.S. consumer prices surged 8.5 percent in March from a year earlier, the biggest gain in more than 40 years. Inflation has not eased, and Federal Reserve officials have more reason to raise interest rates by 2 yards in May, accelerating the pace of monetary policy tightening.

The U.S. Labor Department announced today that the U.S. consumer price index (CPI) rose 8.5 percent in March, the highest level since December 1981. The data was slightly higher than market expectations of 8.4%, surpassing February’s 7.9%, and the sixth consecutive month that inflation was above 6%.

Excluding volatile energy and food prices, core inflation rose 6.5% annually, in line with market expectations. The figure was up from 6.4% in February and the highest since August 1982.

Compared with February, the CPI rose by 1.2%, and the monthly growth rate was higher than the 0.8% in February; the monthly growth rate of core inflation was 0.3%, which was lower than the market expectation of 0.5%.

The main “culprits” behind the surge in U.S. consumer prices are the same as in previous months, still energy and food.

The Russian military invaded Ukraine aggressively on February 24, which stimulated international oil prices to hit a 14-year high in early March. After the United States and other Western countries released oil reserves, gasoline prices in the United States dropped slightly in recent weeks and are still close to record highs. As the impact of COVID-19 (Coronavirus 2019) on the economy diminishes, private demand has picked up, and the prices of food such as meat, eggs, fruits and vegetables have risen steadily, and it is difficult to cool down food inflation.

Gasoline prices rose 18.3 percent in March, accounting for more than half of the overall increase in the CPI, according to the Labor Department. Fueled by gasoline, energy prices rose 11% month-on-month and 32% year-on-year.

Food prices in March rose 1% month-on-month, with an annual growth rate of 8.8%, the highest since May 1981.

In the past two years, the U.S. economy has gradually emerged from the shadow of COVID-19, private consumption has been booming, and the labor market has recovered. However, due to the chaotic global supply chain, inflation remained high after surging a year ago or so, and the Federal Reserve Board (Fed), which regards price stabilization as one of its missions, had to respond cautiously.

To tame inflation, Fed officials decided in mid-March to raise interest rates by 1 yard (0.25 percentage point) to take the benchmark rate away from the levels that have been approaching zero in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the futures market, investors generally expect that the Fed officials will announce a 2-yard rate hike after the meeting on May 3-4, and more actively promote the normalization of monetary policy.

Musk does not join the board of directors, will he make a “hostile merger” Twitter?

Recently, Tesla CEO Elon Musk became the largest shareholder of the well-known social media Twitter and is expected to take the board of directors, driving Twitter’s stock price soaring. But Twitter CEO Parag Agarawal later confirmed that Musk would not join the board, a move that analysts pointed out gave Musk an opportunity to hostile takeover Twitter, which could lead to further volatility in Twitter’s stock.

CNBC, The Wall Street Journal and other foreign media reported that Twitter submitted a document to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on the 5th that it plans to appoint Musk to the board of directors for a term until 2024. According to the agreement between the two parties, Musk agreed to acquire no more than 14.9% of Twitter’s outstanding shares during his tenure as a director of Twitter.

The report pointed out that Musk’s decision not to join Twitter’s board means that his stake is no longer capped at 14.9%. In this case, many analysts believe that Musk can try to fight for the company’s operating rights by continuing to buy shares of Twitter.

The so-called “hostile merger” means that the acquirer, without the consent of the board of directors of the target company, uses a large amount of funds to obtain a controlling stake, and then achieves the ultimate goal of becoming an operator.

Don Bilson, a research consultant at Gordon Haskett Research Advisors, said Agarawal’s announcement on Twitter that Musk would not be joining the board and warning employees of “distractions ahead” in a statement was unusual.

Twitter’s regulatory documents submitted to the SEC show that Musk acquired a total of 73,486,938 shares of Twitter for $2.89 billion, holding a 9.2% passive stake in Twitter and becoming Twitter’s largest external shareholder.

After the news was exposed, Twitter’s stock price soared 27.12% on April 4, the largest single-day increase since its IPO, and rose again by 2.02% on the 5th. The latest closing price on the 11th was $47.01.

It is worth noting that Twitter does not have a dual-class stock structure like Google parent company Alphabet or Meta Platforms (formerly Facebook), that is, stocks with high voting rights have more decision-making power. Therefore, Twitter must adopt “poison pills” (poison pills), selling shares to the company’s original shareholders at a discount, raising the cost of the acquirer, in order to counter the hostile mergers.

Bitcoin breaks $40,000, and the market is extremely fearful that $30,000 will be probed in June

Bitcoin fell below the $40,000 round-point level with tech stocks for the first time since March 16. Arthur Hayes, co-founder of cryptocurrency exchange BitMEX, predicts that Bitcoin could hit $30,000 by the end of June.

Business Insiders and MarketWatch reported that Hayes said on his blog on the 11th that the trend of Bitcoin has always been closely related to large technology stocks, and there is a risk of a sharp decline in the future, because the technology industry is once again faced with rising nominal interest rates, reduced global fiat currency liquidity, and economic growth. Slow down the pressure.

The chart shown by Hayes shows that from the perspective of 10-day, 30-day and 90-day periods, Bitcoin is closely linked with the Nasdaq 100 index, and the short-term (10-day) correlation is even higher.

As long as the 10-day correlation remains high, investment positions in cryptocurrencies need to be conservative, Hayes said. He predicts that Bitcoin may drop to $30,000 by the end of the second quarter of this year (in June). Hayes said that the Fed has no plans to expand its balance sheet in the near future, which means that it is difficult for the stock market to reach new highs. He believes that the Russian-Ukrainian war will push up the price of raw materials, which will hit the global economy.

Charlie Erith, CEO of cryptocurrency investment agency ByteTree, said that as long as Bitcoin holds its fair value of $38,000, it is unlikely to crash in the short term. However, below this hurdle, the situation becomes quite pessimistic.

According to CoinDesk quotations, as of 10:51 a.m. Taipei time on the 12th, bitcoin was at $39,479.39, down 5.67% from 24 hours ago; it has fallen 14.45% year-to-date.

According to Alternative.me data, when Bitcoin was quoted at $39,666 on the 12th, the Bitcoin Fear and Greed Index (Bitcoin Fear and Greed Index) followed to 20 points, reaching the “extreme fear” level.

Without truckers delivering goods, Shanghai blockade will repeat supply chain nightmare

Under the implementation of the zero-clearing policy, Shanghai has been blocked for nearly a month. Since the factory cannot deliver goods, the cargo carrier has cut prices to strive for export goods, so that the immediate ocean freight rate has dropped. This is a signal before the supply chain chaos two years ago. The market is worried that if Shanghai once Unblocking, these delayed orders will again cause congestion in all aspects of logistics, and ocean freight rates may soar again.

Shanghai, a city of 25 million people and one of China’s largest manufacturing and export hubs, is currently under an indefinite city-wide lockdown, and while China has not closed ports as it did during the 2021 Covid-19 pandemic, due to inland quarantine measures This has led to the closure of some factories and a severe shortage of truck drivers to transport goods from factories to warehouses to ports.

Truck drivers are an important part of China’s supply chain, transporting raw materials from coastal ports to factories farther inland. Foreign media reports pointed out that some drivers in China are now reluctant to go to Shanghai because they are worried that they will be quarantined. Similarly, other cities are also reluctant to allow Shanghai truck drivers to come in, which has caused the factory to export goods that cannot be shipped smoothly.

Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) has informed customers that the port is experiencing significant congestion due to the impact of the epidemic prevention measures in Shanghai, including the lack of available trucking restricting unloading capacity, and the insufficient supply of reefer container plugs, sometimes not at all, if Without an available power source, MSC will not be able to unload reefer containers at designated ports.

From the start of Shanghai’s lockdown on March 12 to April 8, container shipping rates fell 5% to $9,280 per container. Some routes saw even steeper declines, such as between Europe and China, which saw a 9% drop. Another data released on April 8 showed that from March 12 to April 4, the volume of goods shipped by sea from Shanghai fell by 26%, while the volume of truck cargo carrying goods leaving the port at the same time fell by 19%. With so little cargo, shipping lines are preparing to announce empty ships from Asia in the next few weeks.

The number of ships waiting to berth at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach has also dropped sharply over the past few weeks, with an average berthing delay of less than two days, a sharp departure from the heavy traffic jams at the end of last year and the beginning of the year, but the chief executive of supply chain freight platform Shifl warned that when When China lifts the blockade, there could be a new wave of congestion at U.S. West Coast ports.

The timing of a return to normal business in China by then may be inopportune, and if it coincides with docker contract negotiations, port operations at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have traditionally been shut down and ship queues are extended, potentially putting more pressure on freight rates. A Bloomberg interview with Citi analysts noted that Shanghai’s truck driver shortage and warehouse closures also affected nearby Zhejiang and Jiangsu, major manufacturing hubs that account for about a third of China’s total exports Seriously affect regional supply chains, especially Taiwan, Vietnam, and South Korea.

The logistics industry has foreseen that when factories reopen in the future, there will be a lot of cargo to be shipped, Chinese ports will not have enough containers, and prices will rise, once again disrupting the global supply chain that has only just recovered slightly.

Chinese game version numbers are restarted, 45 games are approved, and Baidu is listed

According to the Economic News Agency, China will start to regulate the game industry in 2021. In order to prevent teenagers from indulging in online games, it will limit the time of games and suspend the approval of game version numbers. After a lapse of more than 8 months, China restarted the distribution of game version numbers. On the 11th, the State Press and Publication Administration of China announced a list of a new batch of Chinese-made game version numbers. The version number distribution involves 45 games. The approval time is shown as April 8. However, none of Tencent and NetEase’s games have been included in this batch list.

Among the 45 games approved this time, 5 are client games (computer games) and one Switch console game, and the remaining 39 are mobile games (mobile games), including “Party Star” by Xinxin Company, Chuangmeng Tiandi’s “Be Careful” and Baidu’s “Attack Rabbit”; as well as the computer game “Jianwang 3 Origins” developed by Xishanju, a subsidiary of Kingsoft, the mobile game “Youth Three Kingdoms: Pocket Battle” by Youzu Network, and Sanqi Mutual Entertainment The “Dream Voyage” of “Dream Voyage”, as well as the games of Zhongqingbao are also on the list.

Inspired by the news of the restart of the game version number, the game industry index stocks rose more. As of the noon closing of A shares, Glacier Network, Dasheng Culture, and Youzu Network temporarily closed their daily limit, Zhongqingbao rose by more than 6%, and Sanqi Interactive Entertainment fell nearly 6%. In terms of Hong Kong stocks, as of around 11:30, Bilibili rose more than 7%, Xinxin company rose more than 6%, NetEase and Tencent rose more than 2%, and Baidu fell more than 1%.

Analysts believe that last year was a severe winter for the Chinese game industry. Under the dual pressure of the suspension of version number issuance and the protection policy for minors, the valuation of games has fallen to the lowest level for many years. With the restart of the version number, many analysts He said that in the medium and long term, the inflection point of the game industry’s valuation repair has come, and the future development of the game industry should be explored in a more high-tech direction. However, some analysts pointed out that as the tightening of the number of game version numbers issued has become the norm, it will guide game companies to improve the quality of games, which is also an important way to promote the industry’s high-quality development.

Kunshan extends closure and control, legal person: PCB factory may increase transportation costs and delay shipments

The epidemic situation in China is severe. Kunshan, a major Taiwanese business town near Shanghai, extended the closure and control for 4 days to April 12, and required enterprises to be fully closed for management. The legal person believes that printed circuit board manufacturers may face increased transportation costs, some shipment delays, and foundries are also affected by logistics, but the overall impact on the production side of Taiwanese factories has little effect.

Kunshan upgraded its epidemic prevention measures on the evening of April 1, announcing multiple rounds of nucleic acid testing across the city, requiring companies to take turns to reduce production, work from home, and control external traffic; on the evening of the 5th, it announced that it would further upgrade epidemic prevention and control measures from the 6th to the 8th. Businesses must be in full lockdown, followed by an extension of four days to April 12.

Kunshan is an important production center for components such as printed circuit boards (PCB), electronic foundries, and panels. Many Taiwanese companies have settled in the area. The outside world is worried that the closure and control may affect the shipment of 3C products, and even impact the global electronics supply chain.

According to the legal person analysis, in addition to the production impact of the PCB manufacturers located in Kunshan, due to the controlled logistics, the transportation costs will be slightly increased and some shipments will be delayed. Influence.

According to the legal person’s estimation, Xinxing’s subsidiary Kunshan Dingxin, which mainly produces PCB and HDI in Kunshan, and Xinxing Tongtai, a subsidiary that mainly produces flexible boards, account for about 20% to 25% of the production capacity; Taiguang Kunshan’s production capacity accounts for about 20% to 25%. 30% to 40%; Nandian Kunshan’s production capacity accounts for about 40%, mainly producing PCB and BT carrier boards.

The legal person pointed out that the production lines of electronic assembly plants Pegatron, Wistron and Compal in Kunshan are operating normally, but the logistics are affected. Overall, the Kunshan lockdown has little impact on the production side of Taiwanese factories, but it is still necessary to pay attention to the negative impact of the lockdown on logistics and demand.

The copper foil substrate and environmentally friendly substrate factory Taiguang announced today that its subsidiary Taiguang Electronic Materials (Kunshan) Co., Ltd. cooperated with the local government to prevent the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) epidemic, and temporarily extended the suspension until April 12. Normal operations resumed after notification by the local government.

Guanghua-KY, a car interior parts factory, pointed out that its subsidiary Xiangyang Guangjia has flexibly adjusted its production plan in response to the impact of stricter epidemic control and logistics blockades in Shanghai, Wuxi, and Kunshan for its major customers. At present, sufficient raw material inventory has been prepared to meet the production needs of customers after the resumption of work.

The board factory MSI announced on the 8th that the subsidiary Weimob Electronics (Kunshan) cooperated with the local government to implement closed management requirements for the epidemic. It will suspend work from the 8th, and the exact resumption time will be notified by the government; it will keep close contact with customers and suppliers to adjust Production and shipping time, and continue to evaluate the impact of the local epidemic on financial business.

Intel Pat Gelsinger Equity Award 73% linked to performance, over 50% for philanthropy

Recently, foreign media have reported on the salary of Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger during his one-year tenure, and made a detailed comparison with the salary of Su Zifeng, chairman and CEO of rival AMD. In this regard, Intel also provided relevant information to explain Pat Gelsinger’s salary status, and said that Pat Gelsinger also spent a large portion of his salary on public welfare undertakings.

Previously, foreign media said that after joining Intel in February 2021, Pat Gelsinger’s salary was as high as 178.6 million US dollars (about NT$5.1 billion). Among them, stock awards accounted for nearly 79%, especially the one-time employee stock awards amounted to US$110 million. In response to such reports, a note in Intel’s 2022 proxy statement stated that Pat Gelsinger’s compensation reflects the experience and seniority of a world-class technology industry veteran, as well as the scale of his mission to lead Intel, and his departure from his previous job. remuneration waived.

In addition, more than 94% of Pat Gelsinger’s total compensation is equity-based, creating consistency in shareholder benefits and linking the company’s successful path to transformation, and 73% of Pat Gelsinger’s equity awards are performance-based. As a result, Pat Gelsinger will not be able to earn a significant portion of his salary without creating a high level of long-term value for Intel.

As for Pat Gelsinger’s salary, he also said that as a philanthropist, Pat Gelsinger also donated more than 50% of his total income to various charities around the world, including building schools in Africa and building churches in the West Coast Bay Area of ​​the United States. and serving the community.

J.P. Morgan CEO: Blockchain and DeFi are not scams

J.P.Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon praised blockchain and decentralized finance not as a scam, but as a real way to make money, stressing that J.P.Morgan is at the forefront of this innovative technology.

Blockchain and Decentralized Finance (DeFi) are still new to many, but established financial institutions have been studying the field for quite some time, and now J.P.Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon is confident enough to speak to investors, pointing out Both technologies are real.

Decentralized finance and blockchain are real, he said in his annual shareholder letter, and the new technology can lead the way in public or private investment, whether it is licensed by the government or not.

J.P.Morgan has indeed spent a lot of effort in the blockchain. They have used the Liink blockchain internally, which can connect complex transaction information with banks and quickly complete authentication. At the same time, they also used the cryptocurrency JPM Coin to peg the US dollar exchange rate for US dollar transfers.

Liink is not only an experimental project, in fact, 39 countries have joined this blockchain network, and 25 large banks have signed up to join this network, just because it can quickly transfer a large number of complex and require security authentication. News. JPM Coin can help their customers save a lot of handling fees when sending money across borders.

“We believe that blockchain can be used in more use cases, improving or replacing existing contracts, data ownership and various other transaction optimizations.” Jamie Dimon said in the letter, but the current problem with blockchain is still procedures. The fee is too expensive or the processing speed is too slow.

Interestingly, J.P. Morgan and Jamie Dimon’s attitude towards cryptocurrencies has shifted dramatically over the past year. In May 2021 Dimon advised investors to stay away from cryptocurrencies; in October last year he called bitcoin “worthless.” But this year, they have launched cryptocurrency-related investment products, and last week, J.P. Morgan even put the long-term price target of Bitcoin at $150,000.

In any case, if cryptocurrencies want to gain the participation of more banks and financial institutions, they must first have a complete regulatory framework and supervision mechanism. Major cryptocurrency exchanges, including Binance, have continuously expressed their willingness to cooperate with supervision, but Most government departments seem to have deliberately slowed down to respond, which also limits the agency’s ability to enter the market.

Dow Jones transportation stocks are gnawed by bears, Bianco: Fed will force the rich to stop spending

Jim Bianco, founder of Bianco Research, warned that aggressive interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve to fight inflation would cost all financial assets.

CNBC reported that Bianco turned bearish on the stock market by the end of 2021, citing inflation risk as the main reason. In an interview on the 7th, he blamed the Fed for waiting too long to end the ultra-loose monetary policy driven by the epidemic.

Bianco said last year central bankers decided that inflation was only temporary and would be well contained, arguably one of the worst forecasts in Fed history. The Fed, which began slowly raising interest rates a year ago, is now stuck in ultra-aggressive monetary policy.

Bianco worries about the cost the Fed will have to pay to catch up with inflation. He said the Fed does not want to cause a hard landing for the economy, but wants to keep prices down to keep inflation down and is ready to keep raising interest rates until inflation cools. The way to get there is to try to slow demand.

Bianco believes that the only solution for the Fed is to quickly raise interest rates to force the wealthy to stop spending.

The bond market has begun to react to the Fed’s bold move. Bianco recently tweeted that the bond market is facing an epic carnage, and that total bond returns are not only the ugliest performance we’ve had since we started, but perhaps the worst of our lives.

Bianco believes that while the Fed does not want to destroy the market or cause a recession, if they are determined to control inflation, they are very likely to make mistakes.

Another indicator flashes recession warning signs
Barron’s and Business Insider reported on the 6th that the Dow Jones Transportation Average pulled back more than 20% from its previous high (18,246.512 points) in November 2021 on April 6, falling into a bear market.

The Dow Jones Transportation Average tracks about 20 airline, rail and trucking stocks, which some investors see as a measure of the health of the economy, arguing that if planes, trains and trucks are all very active, the economy must be doing well.

The Dow Jones Transportation Average has been in bear markets in 2020, 2018, 2016, and one of those years the economy did fall into recession. The phenomenon of 2018 is also related to the Fed, when the “taper tantrum” occurred, and investors began to worry that the Fed would slow down the pace of bond purchases.