Coronavirus could hit hedge fund titans who earned more than $1B in 2019

Coronavirus scaring homebuyers, but big rebound coming in summer: Million Dollar Listing’s Serhant

‘Million Dollar Listing New York’ star and licensed associate real estate broker Ryan Serhant discusses how people on the market to buy should continue to do so during the coronavirus outbreak.

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Eight hedge fund managers earned more than $1 billion apiece in 2019, according to the Institutional Investor’s Rich List, but have likely seen a slice of that wealth destroyed as the coronavirus pandemic threatens to tip the U.S. into a recession that rivals the 2008 financial crisis.

Christopher Hohn of TCI Fund Management was one of the highest individual earners last year, according to the list, raking in $1.8 billion on the back of a 40.6 percent return, the firm’s best year since 2013. Hohn tied with Jim Simons of Renaissance Technologies, who also earned $1.8 billion.


Citadel’s Ken Griffin nabbed second place on the list, with his fund up more than 20 percent, the highest in six years.

Point72’s Steve Cohen and Appaloosa Management’s David Tepper each made $1.3 billion last year, while Ray Dalio, the founder of Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund, earned $1.1 billion.

The massive incomes for these individuals came before the virus outbreak, which has forced restaurants, airlines, cruise lines, bars and entertainment venues to shutter their doors, began to batter the economy and the financial markets. The Federal Reserve and lawmakers have both taken unprecedented action to try to mitigate the economic fallout, including a $2 trillion stimulus bill, the largest in recent memory.


Markets have somersaulted since the end of last year, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average at one point erasing the majority of its gains since President Trump took office.

The pandemic has hammered the fortunes of some of the wealthiest Americans: The number of millionaires in the U.S. has plummeted from a record-high amid the dual financial and health crises. At the end of 2019, there were an unprecedented 11 million American millionaires, evidence of the historic 11-year economic expansion and the tax cuts and ultra-low interest rates that accompanied it, according to a new study published by research firm Spectrem Group.


The wealthiest people in the world have seen especially dramatic losses: According to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index, the world’s 500 richest people have lost almost $1.3 trillion since the start of the year. That’s close to a 21.6 percent decline in their collective net worth.

Of course, ordinary Americans are likely to experience a more severe fallout from the virus outbreak and will be among the people hit the hardest by an economic slowdown that experts warn could rival the 2008 financial crisis.

Unemployment claims from the period between March 14 and March 21 surged to 3.28 million, the Labor Department said on Thursday, shattering a decades-old record. Economists have warned that jobless claims will likely continue to skyrocket as the economy remains partially shut down.


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Coronavirus recession could torpedo Trump's reelection chances, history shows

America is at war against coronavirus: Retired colonel

Fox News military analyst retired Col. David Hunt says the U.S. military and government must have a more hands-on approach toward combatting coronavirus.

There’s little doubt among economists that the coronavirus pandemic has already dragged the United States into a recession that could rival the 2008 financial crisis, potentially torpedoing President Trump’s re-election odds.

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While it’s still unclear how sharp a downturn would be in the U.S., social distancing, which has led to school cancellations, mandatory work-from-home policies, grounded airplanes, anchored cruise ships and the abrupt closing of shops, restaurants and bars throughout the country, is almost guaranteed to cause a huge slump in consumer spending, which powers about two-thirds of the country’s GDP, indicating it could cause deep economic pain.

The New York Federal Reserve’s reading on business conditions plunged a record 34.4 points to -21.5 in March, which suggested a historic and significant plunge in economic activity across the nation, as stock markets continue to plummet.


"I've spoken, actually, with my son," Trump said recently, referencing 13-year-old Barron Trump. "He says, 'How bad is this?' It's bad. It's bad. But we're going to be hopefully a best case, not a worst case."

The White House is pushing several stimulus packages to offset potential economic hardship, including an $850 billion relief bill that could contain provisions like a payroll tax cut and aid for hard-hit industries; $8.3 billion in funding for prevention efforts and research; and a House-backed bill that extends paid sick leave to most Americans and provides free testing for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Discussions of stimulus took on new urgency this week as the stock market dropped again, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average shedding nearly 3,000 points on Monday, its second-worst day in history, despite an emergency 100-basis point interest rate cut by the U.S. central bank on Sunday evening.

Trump has long correlated gains in the markets to his economic policies, but as of Wednesday afternoon, the Dow erased the majority of its rally since he took office.


The question, however, remains whether a weak economy will guarantee a Democratic victory at the ballot box in November.

Historically, the economy tops a list of issues that voters consider important during elections. Ahead of the 2018 midterms, for instance, 78 percent of registered voters said they considered the economy to be extremely important, according to Gallup. It was second behind health care.

In 2008, as the collapse of the Lehman Brothers ushered in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, the economic disaster played a pivotal role in the presidential election between Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama.

According to the Pew Research Center, an essentially deadlocked race between the two candidates prior to the Lehman meltdown in mid-September transformed into a solid lead for Obama in the weeks that followed. Public opinion polls from the time found that within a week of the bankruptcy, 30 percent of individuals surveyed said they had a less favorable opinion of McCain, whereas only 20 percent said their view had become more favorable.

President George H. W. Bush likewise faced recession-related challenges in his 1992 re-election bid. In July 1990, a recession began that lasted for eight months, well before the general election between Bush and Democratic challenger Bill Clinton.

Despite that, people's memories of the economic downturn is viewed as a key component in and Clinton's victory.


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Coronavirus crisis could cause unemployment rate to spike, Mnuchin cautions

State unemployment programs could bring money to people losing hours: Jon Hilsenrath

Wall Street Journal senior writer Jon Hilsenrath discusses the state of American employment during the coronavirus and the importance of the government making moves on state unemployment insurance.

The coronavirus crisis stands to do damage to the U.S. economy – and job market – with the potential to send the U.S. unemployment rate much higher.

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FOX Business has learned that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said during a luncheon with Senate Republicans on Tuesday that it was possible the unemployment rate could reach as high as 20 percent if the administration did not take actions to stabilize the economy.

For comparison, in February the unemployment rate was 3.5 percent.

However, that is only one potential scenario, which the White House doesn’t view as likely since it believes it has taken appropriate steps – with additional measures down the pipeline.


“During the meeting with Senate Republicans today, Secretary Mnuchin used several mathematical examples for illustrative purposes, but he never implied this would be the case,” Monica Crowley, assistant secretary for public affairs for the U.S. Department of the Treasury, said in a statement.


However, both the administration and the Federal Reserve have been proactively implementing programs in order to make sure the financial markets function properly and that the consumer can keep spending.

For example, in addition to cutting interest rates to 0 percent over the weekend, the Fed on Tuesday reopened two financial crisis-era programs that are aimed to increase liquidity in markets by boosting lending.

Additionally, the IRS is allowing individuals and businesses owing up to $1 million this tax season to defer payments for 90 days. Businesses, corporations and sole proprietorships owing up to $10 million would be offered the same option.

Mnuchin said that the White House is considering a relief package valued at $1 trillion, which could include direct cash relief for Americans. A source familiar with the matter told FOX Business that those checks could be valued at more than $1,000 – the amount proposed by Republican Utah Sen. Mitt Romney.

A senior administration official told FOX Business that because of these measures, a 20 percent unemployment rate scenario would not likely materialize.


FOX Business’ Blake Burman contributed to this report.

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Space mining could lead to string of human colonies on alien planets

ASTEROID mining could be a catalyst for humans colonising other planets, according to a new study.

The space rocks are desirable targets because they can contain precious metals such as gold, silver and platinum.

After Nasa's budget was increased back in 2018, Texas senator Ted Cruz said: "I’ll make a prediction right now. The first trillionaire will be made in space."

That wasn't the first time that prediction had been made as scientists have had their sights set on the wealth that asteroids could bring for years.

There are around 9,000 asteroids that fly near Earth regularly and mining their resources could prove to be very useful for our planet.

A recent study released by market research firm Report Linker revealed that the technology created to mine these asteroids could improve spaceflight capabilities and the tech necessary for living on other planets.

The study stated: "Asteroid mining or space mining could help start the colonization of planets where finding water would be imperative.

"Also, the water can be broken down into hydrogen (used as fuel) and oxygen (air to breathe) and water is used to help grow food, as well as protective shield from the harsh rays from the space such as UV, infrared and others."

The study also claimed that asteroid mining tech could become a good defence against any dangerous asteroids heading for Earth.

Nasa is eyeing up a nearby asteroid that contains enough gold to make everyone on Earth a billionaire.

Psyche 16 is nestled between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter and is made of solid metal.

As well as gold, the mysterious object is loaded with heaps of platinum, iron and nikel.

In total, it's estimated that Psyche's various metals are worth a gargantuan £8,000 quadrillion.

That means if we carried it back to Earth, it would destroy commodity prices and cause the world's economy – worth £59.5trillion – to collapse.

What's the difference between an asteroid, meteor and comet?

Here's what you need to know, according to Nasa…

  • Asteroid: An asteroid is a small rocky body that orbits the Sun. Most are found in the asteroid belt (between Mars and Jupiter) but they can be found anywhere (including in a path that can impact Earth)
  • Meteoroid: When two asteroids hit each other, the small chunks that break off are called meteoroids
  • Meteor: If a meteoroid enters the Earth's atmosphere, it begins to vapourise and then becomes a meteor. On Earth, it'll look like a streak of light in the sky, because the rock is burning up
  • Meteorite: If a meteoroid doesn't vapourise completely and survives the trip through Earth's atmosphere, it can land on the Earth. At that point, it becomes a meteorite
  • Comet: Like asteroids, a comet orbits the Sun. However rather than being made mostly of rock, a comet contains lots of ice and gas, which can result in amazing tails forming behind them (thanks to the ice and dust vapourising)


In other space news, Elon Musk will be sending three ‘space tourists’ on a 10-day holiday to the International Space Station next year.

Lettuce has been successfully grown in space.

And, the most detailed panorama ever snapped from the surface of Mars has been unveiled by Nasa.

What are your thoughts on space mining? Let us know in the comments…

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Michigan primary winner could foreshadow nominee, but Trump still appeals to rank and file

Biden wins Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi primaries

FOX Business’ Connell McShane breaks down the numbers on ‘Super Tuesday 2.0’ as primary results come in. Then, Fox News’ Matt Finn talks to voters on the ground in Detroit, Michigan.

Then-2016 presidential candidate Bernie Sanders won Michigan's Democratic primary in March 2016, earning 49.8 percent of the vote compared to former candidate Hillary Clinton's 48.3 percent.

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Then-candidate Donald Trump won only 36.5 percent of the Republican primary vote in March but ended up winning the state's final vote in November 2016.

“Michigan is obviously a very important state today, there's a lot of delegates up there, and we certainly very much want to win this debate. But, I think, let's not say what you have to win,” the Vermont senator told reporters Tuesday in Dearborn, Michigan.

The east side of Detroit. (iStock)

Tuesday's race between Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden, who holds more than 50 percent of the vote with 10 percent of precincts reporting, is expected to foreshadow the Democratic nominee as two extremely different Democratic candidates enter the ring of Michigan's working class.

Sanders, Biden and Trump are trying to appeal to voters who are looking for blue-collar job security and fair wages ahead of the 2020 presidential election. Michigan is the largest of six states voting Tuesday.

Many voters, however, are already wondering whether Trump can again win the state that signaled his nationwide victory nearly four years ago because he still appears to have the favor of Michigan's working class in regard to social views like the Second Amendment and abortion.


Biden, who won 10 states and secured a slim delegate lead on Super Tuesday and is up by a whopping 24 percentage points, came under fire Tuesday for getting in a disagreement with a Michigan voter who accused Biden of not standing up for Americans' Second Amendment rights, calling the voter "full of s–t" and "a horse's a–."

Others wonder if Sanders, who is lagging just behind Biden in primary states, can appeal to more moderate voters with his strong socialist policy ideas.

Trump has visited Michigan several times as president and points to a strong national economy as proof he kept his promises to restore the state’s lost jobs.

Manufacturing jobs in Michigan grew from 616,800 when Trump took office to 628,900 last December, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But some counties that Trump won have experienced job losses, and the state faces the prospect of further downturns as coronavirus reverberates through the economy.

Sanders and Biden are therefore expected to garner some more trust from union leaders across the state.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., walks the picket line with striking United Auto Workers union members at the General Motors Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant on Sept. 25, 2019, in Detroit, Michigan. (Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

However, Monroe County Democratic Chairman Matt Vitiote said there is a chance that even those "union households who voted for Trump and voted against their own economic interests" in 2016 "may do that again."

Monroe County, located near the Michigan-Ohio border, twice supported Barack Obama but voted for Trump in 2016.

Sanders said at a rally Sunday in Grand Rapids that he is "more than aware that Trump in 2016 won the state of Michigan by a small vote," but he does "believe the people of Michigan aren’t going to make that mistake again."


Voters involved in the manufacturing industry who have been disappointed by Trump's trade war with China and resulting tariff complications are also expected to seek refuge by siding wither Sanders or Biden.

Additionally, Sanders has made a strong effort to bring attention to Flint's lack of access to clean water.

Flint, Michigan, has a population of around 100,000 people with 40.1 percent living below the poverty line. (NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Some voters are under the impression that Biden does not have the same spark as Trump and Sanders to win over voters, which is why most early polls suggest Sanders as the winner among younger voters.

"There’s not a lot of energy, not enough energy, I would say, even for the primary," Michigan state Rep. Sherry Gay-Dagnogo, a Democrat, said.


"I think sometimes we just wait for something magical to happen, opposed to making sure that there are financial resources in the community to get people out," she added later.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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'COVID-19 outbreak could help agri exports'

Ministry marks 21 products wherein India can grab part of China’s market share

In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Centre has identified 21 agricultural products, including honey, potatoes, grapes, soya beans and groundnuts, in which Indian exports could benefit from trade restrictions against Chinese goods.

The total value of China’s global exports of these products amounted to $5488.6 million in 2018. India exported $4,445.9 million worth of these commodities in the same period and could now have a chance to grab part of China’s market share.

Also read | Viral economies: On coronavirus impact

“There may be opportunities for Indian exporters of agri-items, in case some countries impose restrictions on Chinese goods in response to outbreak of COVID-19. Opportunities may arise in case of other countries imposing import restriction on these tariff lines,” said an analysis of the impact of the virus outbreak on India’s agricultural trade, prepared by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare. The report was submitted to the Finance Ministry last week, as part of a wider exercise to analyse the disruptions in global supply chains due to the COVID-19 crisis and chart a government response. Supply shortages and trade restrictions have already had a harsh impact on China’s total exports, which dropped more than 17% in January and February, in comparison to the previous year. Chinese imports fell 4% in the same period.

“There are 21 agri tariff lines where China’s global exports and India’s global exports are more than $25 million and where India is price and volume-wise competitive and capable to provide an alternative,” said the Agriculture Ministry analysis, seen by The Hindu.

Some of these products include natural honey, onions and shallots, chillis, potatoes, vegetables, guavas, mangoes, grapes, tamarinds, cashew apples, lychees, black fermented tea, spices, groundnuts, soyabeans, paddy, sesamum seeds, vegetable seeds for sowing and plants used in perfumery or pharmacy. Major markets which currently buy these products from China include Vietnam, USA, Japan, U.K., Philippines, Malaysia, Russia and Korea.

‘Won’t affect us’

The Agriculture Ministry has also said that the impact of the virus outbreak on import of agri items from China “may not affect us to an extent that may lead to any crisis”. India imported agriculture items worth $109.74 million from China in 2018-19, with seven products, including kidney beans, bamboo, cassia, fresh grapes, live plants and plums and sloes, accounting for 84% of that.

“The import of these items are likely to get impacted in case of supply disruption occurs in wake of COVID-19. However, it may be noted that out of the top seven items, only two items – bamboo and kidney beans – are imported in bulk from China in the sense that they respectively represent 35.5% and 41.2% import from China out of India’s total imports from the world,” the analysis stated. In the case of those two items, India is still striving for self-sufficiency through the Bamboo Mission and the National Food Security Mission.

With regard to Indian exports to China, two items — cotton linter and mango pulp — may get impacted, as they are used as raw material by China for further processing and then export. Apart from these two, most major items are used for domestic consumption in China and may not be too badly hit, said the Ministry analysis. India exported agricultural items worth $191 million to China during 2018-19, including capsicum, isabgol and cumin seeds.

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You could be fined £2,500 and lose your driving licence for sleeping in your car after a big night out – The Sun

SLEEPING in your car after a big night out might seem like a good idea at the time.

But you could be hit with a hefty fine and even lose your licence if you're caught napping in the backseat while over the legal limit.

Driving under the influence is a serious offence that can have deadly implications for not only you, but your passengers, pedestrians and other motorists.

Even if you had no intention of driving and dozed off in your parked car after some drinks, you can find yourself in hot water with police.

Being in charge of a vehicle while above the legal limit attracts a maximum fine of £2,500 and could even see you disqualified from driving.

Under the Road Traffic Act 1988, a motorist can be found guilty of the offence if they are "in charge of a motor vehicle on a road or other public place after consuming so much alcohol that the proportion of it in his breath, blood or urine exceeds the prescribed limit".

In more serious cases, you could face up to three months' imprisonment.

Being "in charge" of the vehicle isn't clearly defined in law, so your circumstances will play a role in your case.

If police think there was a likelihood of you driving, they can charge you with the offence.

And factors like where you're sitting in the car, if the engine is on and the location of your keys can impact on whether you're found guilty.

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Coronavirus Could Cost Airlines $113 Billion in Revenue

  • IATA predicts 2020 global revenue losses up to $113 billion
  • Airlines struggle to fill seats, cancel flights to save money

Millennials may have killed many industries, but airlines have only the coronavirus outbreak to blame for their suffering. Let's face it, no one wants to get on a plane and touch those trays these days. Companies have reduced business trips, events all around the world have been canceled and governments are issuing travel advisories. Airlines are cutting flights to stem losses and waiving cancellation fees for new bookings to fill more seats. United Airlines, which has the biggest international exposure among U.S. airlines, even canceled its investor day meant to take place today. British airline Flybe has just collapsed. 

Today the global airline trade association International Air Transport Association (IATA) significantly increased its estimate for revenue losses this year due to COVID-19 to $63-$113 billion from the $29.3 billion it predicted in Feb. Its previous analysis was based on a scenario that would see the impact largely confined to markets associated with China, but things turned out very different. Worst hit will still be East Asian and South East Asian airlines (see chart below), and the industry in the U.S. and Canada is expected to lose $21.1 billion in revenue. January saw the lowest monthly increase in demand since Europe's volcanic ash cloud crisis in April 2010.

"Airlines are experiencing double-digit declines in demand, and on many routes traffic has collapsed. Aircraft are being parked and employees are being asked to take unpaid leave," said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO. "In this emergency, governments need to consider the maintenance of air transport links in their response. Suspension of the 80/20 slot use rule, and relief on airport fees at airports where demand has disappeared are two important steps that can help ensure that airlines are positioned to provide support during the crisis and eventually in the recovery."

Many see a crisis brewing, but Warren Buffett sees a bargain. Filings reveal Berkshire Hathaway bought nearly 1 million Delta Airlines shares worth $45 million last week.

Because we love Google Trends we looked at worldwide searches for "how to cancel flight" since 2004, and this is what we saw.

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You could be fined £1,000 if your catalytic converter is stolen – as mechanics install metal cages to combat thieves – The Sun

UK DRIVERS are being targeted by brazen thieves looking to cash in on valuable car parts.

But Brits are now fighting back against the heartless attacks in a bid to stop them being hit with hefty fines.

Mechanics across the country are now installing wire cages under cars to stop thieves pinching catalytic converters.

In some cases, drivers are having to fork out more than £200 to get them fitted to their car.

The catalytic converter is part of your car's exhaust system, and works to convert the toxic gases your motor produces into less harmful substances to be emitted.

Criminals are targeting the vital part as it contains a number of valuable metals, making it a prized possession for illegal scrap dealers.

Drivers who fall victim to the theft might not even know the part has been stolen as the car can still run without it.

But if you don't have a converter fitted, your car will produce emissions above the permitted standard, making it illegal to drive on the road.

Police can fine £1,000 if the catalytic converter is missing, regardless if you didn't know about it.

One customer was left with a £2,800 bill after his catalytic converter was pinched.

He said: "This is a big problem according to the police, insurance company and the garage that fitted the cage.

"My car insurance excess was £700, hire car £250 and cage fitted £220.

"All in that has cost me £1170.

"Thankfully insurance covered a lot of this, but I’m still down in money."

Recent figures reveal the number of catalytic converter thefts in the UK have increased by 600 per cent in the last year.

London was a hotspot for criminals targeting the valuable part, with almost 3,000 incidents reported to police.

Other regions where it is rife include Kent, Cambridgeshire. Nottinghamshire and West Yorkshire.

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You could be fined £5,000 and invalidate your insurance by wearing cheap sunglasses to block out the winter glare

UK DRIVERS may be tempted to dig out their cheap sunglasses when confronted with glare off the road this winter.

But many Brits risk hefty fines and invalidating their insurance by wearing the wrong kind of eye wear.

Recent research from Hippo Motor Finance has revealed some motorists are being denied insurance pay-outs for wearing sunglasses which are too dark, meaning their vision is impaired.

Wearing inappropriate eye wear can put other road users and pedestrians in harm's way, especially if your vision is blurred or compromised in any way.

Under the Highway Code, drivers in poor visibility or at night "should not use tinted glasses, lenses or visors if they restrict your vision".

Large frames or tiny fashion glasses can also be a problem for drivers as they may affect your field of vision and how you react to certain obstacles.

Driving without due care and attention, or careless driving, carries a £100 on-the-spot fine and up to three penalty points on your licence.

But if you were to contest the charge in court , you could face an unlimited fine, up to nine penalty points and even a court-imposed driving ban – although for the majority of motorists, the fine won't exceed £5,000.

Motorist can even be hit with hefty penalties if they choose to wear sunglasses when driving at night.

Sunglasses come in four categories depending on the amount of light they filter out.

The average pair falls into category two, which transmit anywhere from 18 to 43 per cent light – and are the recommended lens for daytime driving.

While others are too dark and can see drivers fined.

Drivers can also be charged with careless driving if they choose to not wear any sunglasses at all during bright conditions.

Tom Preston, managing director at Hippo Motor Finance, said: "It can be tempting to keep a cheap pair of sunglasses in your car for when the sun finally makes an appearance.

"However, drivers need to remember that these sunglasses should aid driving, rather than impair it further.

"Ensuring that the tint is not too dark and that normal glasses wearers have an appropriate prescription pair is the best way to ensure regulations are met – and motorists are safe on the roads."

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