This weekend reminds us what presidential greatness is all about
- In a very different way, Theodore Roosevelt refashioned the presidency at the turn of the 20th century into an instrument capable of shaping national debate and playing a visible role as the top public representative of the country.
- Roosevelt would lead the country through a Great Depression, which left 25% of the workforce unemployed, and then a world war against totalitarianism.
- Barack Obama's election in November 2008 was a great night for the nation despite all the opposition that he would encounter and the disappointments that some Democrats expressed once he was in office.
- His ability to figure out how, as an African-American, to make the case for his election in a nation still haunted by the legacy of slavery and the continued reality of racism, permanently changed the expectations of what was possible in elections.
Fact-checking Trump's speech declaring a national emergency
- It's unclear what exactly Trump is claiming here regarding "big drug loads," but the majority of hard narcotics seized at the border are coming through ports of entry, not between them as the President continues to claim.
- The majority of hard narcotics seized by Customs and Border Protection come through ports of entry either in packages, cargo or with people who attempt to enter the US legally.
- For example, the majority of the heroin on the southern border flows into the US through privately owned vehicles at legal ports of entry, followed by tractor-trailers, where the heroin is co-mingled with legal goods, according to the DEA's 2018 annual drug threat assessment.
- In the short term, US consumers and companies will most likely end up bearing the cost of the tariffs.
Term Sheet -- Friday, February 15
- There’s been a lot of talk and interest around Opportunity Zones, a new capital gains exemption for people who make long-term investments in underserved communities.
- Though some potential opportunity funds froze during the government shutdown, Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group says it was hardly affected by the lack of regulatory clarity.
- While the fund is still waiting for more details from Washington regarding equity and loan investments in the 8,700 or so Opportunity Zones that offer tax breaks to new investors, Goldman Sachs has been able to go ahead on real estate calls.
- Anadu added that most of the Opportunity Zone investments weren’t in the works before the legislation came to light, though it’s been able to source many deals because it was already on the ground in many of these neighborhoods.
- Polina Marinova produces Term Sheet, and Lucinda Shen compiles the IPO news.
S&P says housing biggest risk for banks as Fitch downgrades NAB
- The main risk facing banks is the housing downturn and not the banking royal commission, which will make lenders cautious but have no lasting impact on reputations or funding costs, credit experts say.
- S&P said its ratings remain unchanged and it expected the royal commission to have no impact on major bank access to wholesale funding or the cost of funding, although they will be more conservative approving home loan applications.
- More broadly, the royal commission had cast doubts on Australian bank governance and reputation, but over the long term "we don't see it posing any lasting damage to the franchise[s] or funding costs," Mr Jain said.
- Fitch Ratings said last week that while the banking system faced short-term challenges in addressing shortcomings in culture and governance that led the misconduct exposed by Hayne, the scrutiny "should result in a sounder financial system longer term, helping to support banks' credit profiles".
Amazon's abrupt escape from New York won't hurt its business one bit, say analysts
- Amazon's decision to cancel a major office expansion into New York is a stunning about-face for the tech giant, but the change of plans is unlikely to have any serious impact on the company's $230 billion business engine, say analysts.
- Analysts believe the decision will not change the near or long term outlook on Amazon.
- By building a headquarters in northern Virginia near Washington, DC, Amazon is likely working to boost its presence in federal circles and snag a $10 billion cloud contract with the Pentagon called the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract, Daniel Ives, managing director of equity research at Wedbush Securities, said.
- Overall, analysts don't expect this decision to change Amazon's business strategy, nor will it have major effects on its stock in the long term.
Cloudflare beats patent troll
- We’re happy to report that on Wednesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued an opinion affirming a lower court decision dismissing the case brought by Blackbird Tech.
- In addition to vigorously opposing this case in court, we created and sponsored Project Jengo to push back against the incentives that empower patent trolls like Blackbird Tech.
- Yesterday, just three business days after that hearing, the court affirmed the lower court’s decision in summary fashion, which means they didn’t even write about the claims or arguments, they just said “Affirmed” (see below).
- Even though we were able to win this case early in the legal process and keep our costs as low as possible, it’s possible we spent more money resolving this matter than Blackbird would have been able to collect from us after trial.
Historic Retail Sales Drop Rocks Dow Jones While Bitcoin Price Continues Slow Bleed
- A historically-abysmal decline in consumer spending crushed the US stock market on Thursday, causing the Dow to open to triple-digit losses just hours after it looked like the index would continue its mid-week rally.
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average (blue), S&P 500 (red), and Nasdaq (orange) all opened to hefty losses.
- Rumors had also circulated in some quarters that the negotiators had agreed to extend the current round of trade talks – which are currently taking place in Beijing and feature participation from both US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin – but Global Times editor-in-chief Hu Xijin said that these reports were unfounded.
- The cryptocurrency market continued to slouch into the red on Thursday, extending the slow bleed that has slowly chipped away at the bitcoin price rally that occurred last Friday.
'Heated Debates' and 'Mutual Respect:' 17 VC Founding Partners on the Keys to a Better Partnership
- Well, turns out there is at least one thing (that we thought of).
- We asked a number of venture investment firm co-founders to weigh in on what they think makes for a great business partnership.
- In other words, how on earth have you been able to stand each other all day every day for so long?
- This article originally ran in Term Sheet, Fortune’s newsletter about deals and dealmakers.
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Drinking two or more diet beverages a day linked to high risk of stroke
- After controlling for lifestyle factors, the study found that women who consumed two or more artificially sweetened beverages each day were 31% more likely to have a clot-based stroke, 29% more likely to have heart disease and 16% more likely to die from any cause than women who drank diet beverages less than once a week or not at all.
- They found that small-artery occlusion, a common type of stroke caused by blockage of the smallest arteries inside the brain, was nearly 2½ times more common in women who had no heart disease or diabetes but were heavy consumers of diet drinks.
- The American Heart Association issued an advisory last year saying that short term use of low-calorie and artificially sweetened drinks to replace sugary ones "may be an effective strategy" to promote weight loss in adults, but not children.
Climate disasters cost the world $650 billion over 3 years — Americans are bearing the brunt: Morgan Stanley
- Climate-related disasters have cost the world $650 billion over the last three years, and North America is shouldering most of the burden, according to a new report from Morgan Stanley.
- While both governments and corporations are taking steps to mitigate the impacts of climate change, Morgan Stanley says companies need to strongly consider preparing for a world gripped by more frequent and intense weather events, rising sea levels, changes to agriculture and the spread of infectious disease.
- Morgan Stanley says climate-related disasters like hurricanes and wildfires have cost North America $415 billion, or two-thirds of the global total.
- In the near term, Morgan Stanley sees climate change posing risk of negative disruptions to a dozen sectors, from agriculture to oil and gas production.
- Drilling down, the four main vectors that Morgan Stanley identifies — sea-level rise, weather events, changes in agriculture and infectious disease — will impact sectors in different ways.