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It’s been 27 years since an incumbent U.S. president lost re-election, and judging by the health of the economy and other traditional metrics, Donald Trump looks unlikely to break the trend.

In addition to presiding over sustained growth and low unemployment, Trump enjoys a nation at relative peace, a well-funded campaign and the strong backing of the Republican Party. And yet, as he prepares to formally kick off his 2020 re-election bid with a prime-time speech in Florida, he has reason to be circumspect, Shannon Pettypiece and Mike Dorning report.

Most private forecasters expect the economy to slow entering the election year, as U.S. trade disputes threaten global commerce — hurting core voters like farmers — and the fiscal stimulus from Trump’s 2018 tax cut fades.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into election meddling by Russia, alongside other controversies that have dogged Trump’s administration, are also potential liabilities.

Trump trails six of his Democratic rivals in hypothetical head-to-head contests, a poll showed last week. And no president since 1952 has been re-elected with an approval rating below 48%. Trump has not exceeded 46% in Gallup polls since taking office.

Much hinges on the Democrats. The question is whether they can select a challenger able to attract the funding and support in battleground states needed to deny Trump a second term.

Global Headlines

Iran under pressure | The Pentagon plans to send about 1,000 more troops to the Middle East, even as Trump described as “very minor” the recent attacks on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman that the U.S. has blamed on Iran. The Pentagon also released new photos and a timeline it said bolstered the case that Iran was behind the incidents. Tehran denies any involvement.

Click here to read how Trump’s campaign vow to get the U.S. out of costly foreign entanglements is colliding with the messy reality of commitments in the Middle East.

Trade turmoil | The chairwoman of the world’s biggest bicycle maker delivered an ominous message to China that its days as a global manufacturing hub may be numbered. Giant Manufacturing started rolling production of its U.S.-bound orders back home to Taiwan when Trump made his tariff threats last year, Cindy Wang reports. Trump’s top trade envoy, Robert Lighthizer, is due to appear before Congress this week to account for the trade conflict.

Scottish dilemma | Scots didn’t vote for Brexit and neither did they elect the Conservatives. So the likelihood of a Brexiteer such as Boris Johnson winning the race to succeed Theresa May as Tory leader and prime minister is forcing some hard choices north of the border. As Alan Crawford and Rodney Jefferson report, the sense in Edinburgh is that another referendum on Scottish independence is now inevitable.

As the Conservative field narrows further today, Alex Morales profiles Rory Stewart, the lesser-known candidate suddenly making waves.

Fall from grace | The holding company of the Brazilian construction and energy giant at the center of a massive Latin America graft probe has filed for bankruptcy protection. Odebrecht has struggled since the “Carwash” investigation, which started in 2014 and brought the construction industry to a halt as access to government projects was cut and executives jailed. The political fallout is still reverberating from Ecuador to Mexico, Peru and Brazil.

Waiting game | Democratic Republic of Congo President Felix Tshisekedi still hasn’t named a cabinet five months after taking office, leaving investors in the mineral-rich nation facing endless delays. After a disputed election, Tshisekedi’s protracted talks with his coalition partner have almost paralyzed a nation ranked by the World Bank as one of the most difficult and corrupt places to do business.

What to Watch

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam today apologized for backing a bill to allow extraditions to China, as she seeks to defuse protests that have rocked the city. She declined to resign or withdraw the bill completely — key demands of protest leaders. Rights groups have urged a transparent probe into the death of Mohamed Mursi, the Muslim Brotherhood foot soldier who became Egypt’s first freely elected civilian president. He collapsed during a court hearing over an espionage case, with state-run media saying he suffered a “sudden heart attack.” Chancellor Angela Merkel’s candidate to head the European Commission — Manfred Weber, a German lawmaker in the European parliament — is struggling for momentum, which means she may need to instead focus on getting her preferred person into the European Central Bank’s top job. U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo meets today with European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini in Washington. Mogherini said yesterday the EU will not support Jared Kushner’s Middle East peace plan without a two-state solution included.

And finally…You used to catch only rare glimpses of them in public — a waiter willing to risk jail time might accept them for the right price, street hawkers making offers for them under their breath. Today, U.S. greenbacks are widely used in Venezuela’s supermarkets and bodegas. As Andrew Rosati reports, with the bolivar devalued into irrelevance by Nicolas Maduro’s regime, the cash printed by the gringos he rails against is king. 

 

–With assistance from Karl Maier and Jon Herskovitz.

To contact the author of this story: Kathleen Hunter in London at khunter9@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rosalind Mathieson at rmathieson3@bloomberg.net, Alan Crawford

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FILE PHOTO: Myanmar Buddhist monk Wirathu speaks at a rally against constitution change in Yangon
FILE PHOTO: Myanmar Buddhist monk Wirathu speaks at a rally against constitution change in Yangon, Myanmar, May 5, 2019. REUTERS/Ann Wang/File photo

June 18, 2019

By Thu Thu Aung

YANGON (Reuters) – A Myanmar official on Tuesday told a court that a nationalist Buddhist monk, Wirathu, who has evaded arrest on sedition charges, “incited hatred” against leader Aung San Suu Kyi and her government.

Police issued an arrest warrant for Wirathu last month but he has not been detained and has taunted authorities on social media.

Complainant San Min, an administrator in the city of Yangon, told the court he had been ordered by the office of President Win Myint, a close ally of Suu Kyi, to file a legal complaint against the monk.

“Wirathu’s speeches can cause disrespect and incite hatred in the people against Aung San Suu Kyi … (and) the government,” San Min said in his complaint.

Wirathu is infamous as a proponent of anti-Muslim rhetoric that has spread as Myanmar has transitioned from full military rule and as social media sites like Facebook have become popular.

He speaks in support of the military and opposes Nobel laureate Suu Kyi and her efforts to amend a 2008 charter that cements the generals’ power.

The sedition charge is related to his criticism of the government, not to his comments on Muslims.

The Western Yangon District Court on Tuesday held the first of several hearings to decide whether Wirathu should be formally declared a fugitive from the law, which requires a judge to rule there is evidence he broke the law.

A video was played of a speech Wirathu gave at a rally in Yangon last month, when he argued broadly against democratic governance and warned Myanmar would “drown in a muddy puddle” if its constitution was amended to reduce the political role of the military.

A transcript of a separate speech Wirathu gave in southern Myanmar in April, submitted to the court, records Wirathu crudely criticizing Suu Kyi’s relationships with foreigners. Suu Kyi married and had two sons with the late British academic Michael Aris.

“Tap, tap, tap go her high heels,” the monk said, according to the transcript, referring to when Suu Kyi meets foreigners.

A Buddhist nationalist group said on Monday that Wirathu’s “positive criticism” of Suu Kyi did not merit legal action.

Some human rights activists have said Wirathu should face action for inciting violence against Muslims, especially the Rohingya minority, rather than for comments critical of a politician.

Buddhist authorities have previously censured Wirathu, but a one-year order banning him from speeches expired this year.

(Reporting by Thu Thu Aung; Writing by Simon Lewis; Editing by Robert Birsel)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Office buildings are pictured in the financial district of Frankfurt
FILE PHOTO: Office buildings are pictured in the financial district of Frankfurt, Germany, September 15, 2018. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski/File Photo

June 18, 2019

BERLIN (Reuters) – The mood among German investors deteriorated sharply in June, a survey showed on Tuesday, with the ZEW institute pointing to recent weak economic data and an escalating trade dispute between China and the United States.

ZEW said its monthly survey showed economic sentiment among investors plunged to -21.1 from -2.1 in May. Economists had expected a drop to -5.9.

The June reading was the lowest level since November 2018 and marked the second consecutive monthly drop.

ZEW President Achim Wambach said the steep drop was linked to greater uncertainty about the global economy and a downturn in data on the German economy at the start of the second quarter.

“The intensification of the conflict between the U.S. and China, the increased risk of a military conflict in the Middle East and the higher probability of a no-deal Brexit are all casting a shade on the global economic outlook,” he added.

A separate gauge measuring investors’ assessment of the economy’s current conditions edged down to 7.8 from 8.2 the previous month. Markets had predicted a slightly lower reading of 6.0.

The weaker-than-expected sentiment survey adds to signs that German economic growth will be meager this year and that an expected rebound in 2020 could be less impressive than forecast.

Germany’s influential Ifo institute earlier on Tuesday cut its 2020 growth forecast to 1.7% from 1.8% previously as it warned that a manufacturing recession was starting to spill over into other sectors.

The government expects the economy to grow by 0.5% this year and 1.5% next.

(Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Michelle Martin)

Source: OANN

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at New York Yankees
Jun 17, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez (24) and starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) shake hands after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

June 18, 2019

Masahiro Tanaka pitched a two-hitter and was backed by two homers, as the New York Yankees opened a 10-game homestand with a 3-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday night.

Tanaka (5-5) turned in a third straight strong start against the Rays, allowing only a leadoff single to Austin Meadows in the fourth and a two-out single to Willy Adames in the fifth. In three starts this season against Tampa Bay, Tanaka has allowed one run on 10 hits and one walk in 22 innings, with 23 strikeouts.

Tanaka struck out 10, walked one, threw 76 of 111 pitches for strikes, faced two above the minimum and produced his 14th career double-digit strikeout game.

DJ LeMahieu and Cameron Maybin went deep for the Yankees, who homered for the 20th straight game. It is the second-longest streak in team history, behind only a 25-game streak from June 1-29, 1941.

Red Sox 2, Twins 0

J.D. Martinez and Xander Bogaerts each went 2-for-4 with an RBI, and Rick Porcello threw seven shutout innings to outduel Jose Berrios and lead Boston past Minnesota in Minneapolis.

It was a season-high sixth straight victory for Boston, which also moved six games above .500 for the first time this season.

Porcello (5-6) allowed four hits and a walk while striking out eight to pick up his first road victory in four decisions. Ryan Brasier pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to earn his seventh save. Berrios (8-3) gave up one run on five hits with 10 strikeouts over eight innings.

Cardinals 5, Marlins 0

Miles Mikolas pitched six scoreless innings, Matt Carpenter and Dexter Fowler slugged home runs, and host St. Louis earned a win over Miami.

Mikolas (5-7), a native Floridian who lost to his hometown Marlins last week, was much better this time around, allowing six hits — all singles — and no walks while striking out four. He combined with three relievers on an eight-hit shutout and ended his personal five-decision losing streak.

Carpenter went 3-for-4 with his 10th homer of the season, a double and two runs, helping the Cardinals improve to 6-2 in their past eight games. The Marlins have dropped nine of their past 11 games.

Rangers 7, Indians 2

Danny Santana belted a two-run homer, and Lance Lynn struck out nine and allowed just one run in seven innings as Texas defeated Cleveland in Arlington, Texas.

Elvis Andrus ripped a two-run double, and former Indian Shin-Soo Choo and Jeff Mathis each drove in a run for the Rangers, who scored all seven of their runs with two outs.

Francisco Lindor and rookie Oscar Mercado each belted a solo homer for the Indians, who fell for just the fourth time in 12 games.

Braves 12, Mets 3

Ronald Acuna Jr. continued his torrid offensive pace with three more hits, including a leadoff home run, and Atlanta defeated visiting New York.

Acuna was 3-for-5 with his 17th homer and two RBIs and extended his hitting streak to nine games, matching his season best. Acuna, who was 4-for-5 on Sunday, is hitting .409 (18-for-44) with three homers during the streak. He lifted his batting average to .301.

Brian McCann and Ozzie Albies also had three hits and struck back-to-back homers for the Braves in the eighth inning. Atlanta has won 10 of its past 11 games. The Mets have lost four of their past five.

Reds 3, Astros 2

Luis Castillo overcame errant command of the strike zone, and host Cincinnati held on through some tense moments in the latter innings for a victory over Houston.

Castillo (7-1) walked a career-high six batters, but he allowed only two hits and fanned seven while working six-plus innings. Michael Lorenzen got the last two outs for his third save.

The Reds scored all of their runs in the fifth inning, on a two-RBI single from Nick Senzel and an RBI hit from Eugenio Suarez.

Angels 10, Blue Jays 5

Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani each homered and had three RBIs, Felix Pena pitched six-plus innings in relief, and Los Angeles won at Toronto.

Trout had four hits, including a two-run double. Justin Upton and Kole Calhoun also homered for the Angels. Pena (5-1) allowed four runs, six hits and three walks while striking out five.

Cavan Biggio hit two home runs and had three RBIs for Toronto, and Randal Grichuk added a two-run homer.

Giants 3, Dodgers 2

Rookie Tyler Beede gave up just one run over six innings to earn his first major league victory as San Francisco won at Los Angeles.

Brandon Crawford delivered a two-run double in the second inning to help the Giants even the season series against their longtime rivals after 10 games.

Max Muncy hit a second-inning home run for the Dodgers, his 17th long ball of the season and fifth over his past eight games. Chris Taylor added an RBI fielder’s choice in the eighth inning, but Los Angeles lost for the second time in three games.

A’s 3, Orioles 2

Mike Fiers outdueled Andrew Cashner in a battle of veteran right-handers handcuffed by shaky defenses, and host Oakland held on to beat Baltimore.

Fiers combined with Liam Hendriks and Blake Treinen on a three-hitter, helping the A’s turn back the Orioles for the fourth time in five tries this season.

Oakland’s Matt Olson hit an RBI double in the first inning, but Baltimore replied with two unearned runs in the second thanks to a three-base throwing error by A’s third baseman Matt Chapman. Orioles catcher Chance Cisco committed a third-inning throwing error that allowed two runs to score.

Padres 2, Brewers 0

Joey Lucchesi allowed just three hits and three walks over seven scoreless innings as San Diego shut out visiting Milwaukee.

Lucchesi (6-4) had five strikeouts while throwing a season-high 103 pitches. Two of the six Brewers who reached base against Lucchesi were eliminated on double plays. Padres reliever Craig Stammen allowed the Brewers’ other hit, a single in the eighth, and Kirby Yates pitched a perfect ninth for his 25th save.

Manny Machado, playing while appealing a one-game suspension issued for allegedly bumping an umpire Saturday, hit a third-inning homer. The game’s only other run came on a first-inning wild pitch from Jhoulys Chacin (3-8).

Royals 6, Mariners 4

Jorge Soler hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the eighth inning as Kansas City rallied to win at Seattle.

Martin Maldonado homered in the ninth inning for the Royals, who won for just the 10th time in 35 road games this season. They were the last team in the majors to reach double digits in victories away from home.

With two outs in the eighth, Alex Gordon grounded a single into left field against Anthony Bass (1-2). Soler then went deep to right-center field, his 19th home run of the season, for a 5-4 lead.

Phillies at Nationals, ppd.

The scheduled game between Philadelphia and host Washington was rained out. It will be made up as part of a split doubleheader on Wednesday.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Syrian Foreign Minister al-Moualem speaks during a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov in Moscow
FILE PHOTO: Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem speaks during a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow, Russia August 30, 2018. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

June 18, 2019

BEIJING (Reuters) – Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem said on Tuesday that he does not want to see fighting between the Syrian and Turkish militaries.

Moualem made the comment in China during a joint briefing with the Chinese government’s top diplomat State Councillor Wang Yi.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Writing by Michael Martina; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Ships and shipping containers are pictured at the port of Long Beach in Long Beach, California
FILE PHOTO: Ships and shipping containers are pictured at the port of Long Beach in Long Beach, California, U.S., January 30, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Blake

June 17, 2019

By Jonathan Saul

LONDON (Reuters) – A group of leading banks will for the first time include efforts to cut carbon dioxide emissions in their decision making when providing shipping company loans, executives said on Tuesday.

International shipping accounts for 2.2% of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and the U.N.’s International Maritime Organization (IMO), has a long-term goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50% from 2008 levels by 2050.

Working with non-profit organisations the Global Maritime Forum, the Rocky Mountain Institute and London University’s UCL Energy Institute, 11 banks have established a framework to measure the carbon intensity of shipping finance portfolios.

The banks involved in the “Poseidon Principles” initiative, which will set a common baseline to assess whether lending portfolios are in line or behind the adopted climate goals set by the IMO, represent around a fifth or $100 billion of the total global shipping finance portfolio.

The results will be published annually in individual sustainability reports and the data will be obtained by banks from borrowers under existing loan agreements.

Although the IMO agreed stricter energy efficiency targets last month for certain types of ships, environmental campaigners are calling for tougher goals.

“We are helping the shipping industry emerge into the 21st century in a responsible way,” Michael Parker, global head of shipping at Citigroup, told Reuters.

‘HUGE ROLE’

Those involved so far are Citigroup, Societe Generale, DNB, ABN Amro, Amsterdam Trade Bank, Credit Agricole CIB, Danish Ship Finance, Danske Bank, DVB, ING and Nordea.

“Banks have a huge role to play here because there is about $450 billion of senior debt that the world’s shipping banks and Chinese lessors grant to the sector and about 70,000 commercial vessels,” Paul Taylor, global head of shipping & offshore with Societe Generale CIB, said.

Banks will in the longer term be more selective about which ships they include in their lending portfolios, bankers said.

“Will there be companies that will find it difficult to get finance as they have less efficient ships, yes, it will be a consequence of it – but it’s not going to be used to look for those companies and somehow find a way of getting them out,” Citigroup’s Parker said.

Oivind Haraldsen, Danske Bank’s global head of shipping, said more institutions would join the efforts to cut the carbon footprint of the sector.

“All of us have to push – we as banks probably have more power than we are aware,” he said.

(Editing by Alexander Smith)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: The Pfizer logo is seen at their world headquarters in Manhattan, New York, U.S.
FILE PHOTO: The Pfizer logo is seen at their world headquarters in Manhattan, New York, U.S., August 1, 2016. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo

June 17, 2019

By Michael Erman and Tamara Mathias

(Reuters) – Pfizer Inc on Monday said it would buy Array Biopharma Inc for $10.64 billion in cash, a deal it hopes will help make it a leader in colon cancer and build up its pipeline of oncology drugs.

The largest U.S. drugmaker agreed to pay a hefty premium of 62% for Array, which sells the combination treatment Braftovi and Mektovi for melanoma. But those drugs appear poised to become part of a promising triple combination for advanced colorectal cancer.

Pfizer executives said the company began actively pursuing Array last month after it released positive clinical data showing that Braftovi and Mektovi in combination with Eli Lilly and Co’s Erbitux helped reduce the risk of death from colorectal cancer by 48% compared to the standard of care in patients with a gene mutation known as BRAF V600E.

The data “is really a landmark publication in one of the most dismal tumors,” Pfizer research chief Mikael Dolsten said in a phone interview.

“There will be ample opportunities to do combinations and build a whole science platform around colorectal cancer,” said Dolsten, adding that he believes the Array drugs could eventually tackle colon cancer earlier in the disease process.

That is a type of cancer where the class of immunotherapies that include Merck and Co’s blockbuster Keytruda have not been as compelling as Array’s results, Morningstar analyst Damien Conover said.

Braftovi and Mektovi, launched last July for the deadliest form of skin cancer at a price of $22,000 per month, had sales of around $72 million over their first nine months. The company also has revenue from royalty and licensing deals.

Pfizer is paying $48 per share for Array, which rose 55% to $45.95 in midday trading. Pfizer’s shares fell 0.4 percent to $42.59.

(Graphic: Array biopharma shares – https://tmsnrt.rs/2XT8Cv9)

Oncology has become one of the most profitable areas for drug companies as breakthroughs in treatments have improved survival rates and costs for the drugs have surged.

Array is Pfizer’s first major purchase under new Chief Executive Albert Bourla, who took on the role in January. It is also its biggest acquisition since a $14 billion purchase of Medivation in 2016 gave it the prostate cancer drug Xtandi, forecast by analysts to top $1 billion in sales next year.

Bourla and his predecessor Ian Read have been saying for more than a year that the company would eschew transformative deals because of the strength of its pipeline. But in April, Pfizer said it would consider bolt-on deals worth a few billion dollars to complement its pipeline.

Read had previously failed to close megadeals to acquire rivals AstraZeneca and later Allergan.

Pfizer’s growth has slowed in recent years and Bourla has been touting the company’s “15 in 5” plan to launch 15 experimental treatments, each with at least $1 billion annual sales potential, over a five-year period. The company been investing in cancer drugs and gene therapies.

Pfizer said it expects to complete the deal in the second half of 2019.

The transaction is expected to add to earnings beginning 2022, and will reduce adjusted earnings per share by between 4 and 5 cents this year and in 2020, Pfizer said.

Pfizer said it expects to finance the majority of the deal, which has an enterprise value of about $11.4 billion, with debt and the remaining with existing cash.

Pfizer was advised by Guggenheim Securities and Morgan Stanley on the deal. Array’s advisor was Centerview Partners.

(Reporting by Tamara Mathias in Bengaluru and Michael Erman in New York; Editing by Susan Thomas and Bill Berkrot)

Source: OANN

The behind-the-scenes competition for Wall Street money in the 2020 presidential race is reaching a fevered peak this week as no less than nine Democrats are holding New York fund-raisers in a span of nine days, racing ahead of a June 30 filing deadline when they must disclose their latest financial hauls.

With millions of dollars on the line, top New York donors are already beginning to pick favorites, and three candidates are generating most of the buzz: former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., Senator Kamala Harris of California and Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind.

It is, at first blush, an unusual grouping, considering that the mayor of New York City (Bill de Blasio), the state’s junior senator (Kirsten Gillibrand) and a neighboring senator with deep ties to New York’s elite (Cory Booker of New Jersey) are all in the race and vying for their money.

Interviews with two dozen top contributors, fund-raisers and political advisers on Wall Street and beyond revealed that while many are still hedging their bets, those who care most about picking a winner are gravitating toward Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris, while donors are swooning over Mr. Buttigieg enough to open their wallets and bundling networks for him. These dynamics raise the prospect of growing financial advantages for some candidates and closed doors for others.

“There is going to be a real income inequality,” Steven Rattner, a Wall Street executive and Democratic donor, said of the coming fund-raising results for the second quarter, which covers April through June. “You are going to see a big separation between the rich and the poor.”

This is an especially important moment for Mr. Biden: He will soon say how much money he has raised since entering the race on April 25 — the first such disclosure of his campaign — and his team knows the reinforcing power of a big haul to cement his status as the Democratic front-runner. The pressure is intense on other candidates to demonstrate momentum among big and small donors alike, with the aim of raising more money in the spring than the winter, when Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Ms. Harris, former Representative Beto O’Rourke of Texas and Mr. Buttigieg took in the most.

Not everyone is chasing Wall Street cash: Two candidates in the top tier of polls, Mr. Sanders and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, have railed against the financial industry and opted against the kind of fancy fund-raisers with catering and $2,800 admission prices that lubricate the donor industry.

Still, in New York, the supply and demand is so strong that there are fund-raisers almost daily from morning until night.

Hamilton E. James, the executive vice chairman of Blackstone and a top fund-raiser, hosted Mr. Buttigieg at his home on Thursday. The short-selling hedge fund manager James Chanos will hold an event for Mr. Biden on Monday. And on Tuesday, Marc Lasry, the hedge fund manager and co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks, is gathering checks for Ms. Harris. Co-hosts of that event include Blair W. Effron, an investment bank co-founder and an influential Democratic financier, and Ray McGuire, vice chairman of Citigroup.

Among those spreading the money around is Brad Karp, the chairman of the Paul, Weiss law firm and a top attorney for Wall Street institutions. He is hosting Mr. Biden for a reception at 9 a.m. on Tuesday; he is a co-host for a “lawyer’s lunch” for Ms. Harris that same day, according to invitations obtained by The New York Times. Mr. Karp, who donated to Ms. Gillibrand and Mr. Booker in the first quarter, did not respond to a request for comment.

The momentum of big money in New York toward Mr. Biden, Mr. Buttigieg and Ms. Harris is mirrored in contributor circles nationally, according to donors and campaign advisers, as well as in poll results: The trio is usually among the top five candidates in early primary states and national surveys.

Kamala Harris, Mr. Biden and Mr. Buttigieg have aimed to blend aggressive large- and small-money operations.

“Those are the three,” said Julianna Smoot, who was national finance director for Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign and remains plugged into the donor community.

Mr. Biden, Mr. Buttigieg and Ms. Harris have aimed to blend aggressive large- and small-money operations, much as Mr. Obama’s campaigns successfully did, though New York’s business-minded donors described different factors pulling them toward each candidate.

They are attracted to Mr. Biden’s ideological moderation and his seeming chances of victory over President Trump in 2020; they are inspired by Mr. Buttigieg’s charisma and intellect; and they are drawn to Ms. Harris’s potential as a possible primary victor even as she now trails in the polls, in addition to her potential to reassemble the kind of winning multiethnic electoral coalition that elected Mr. Obama twice.

“Businesspeople are first of all pragmatists,” said Kathryn Wylde, who heads the Partnership for New York City, a nonprofit whose board includes many of the city’s biggest business leaders. “They’re going to support the most moderate Democrats they think have a chance to win.”

Mr. Biden made explicit at a fund-raiser last Monday in Washington that he does not plan to demonize the financial industry like some rivals have, saying that “Wall Street and significant bankers” can “be positive influences in the country.” (As a senator for Delaware, Mr. Biden was regarded as an ally of financial institutions in the state, such as the credit card industry.)

Donors described various doubts about even their favored candidates: Mr. Biden’s age, say, or Mr. Buttigieg’s inexperience, or whether Ms. Harris’s political skills will play on the biggest stage.

“If you could roll all three of them into a single candidate,” Ms. Smoot said, “you’d have the perfect candidate.”

One of the most surprising developments of the 2020 race is how quickly Mr. Buttigieg, a virtual unknown only a few months ago, has vaulted into competition with Mr. Biden and other leading candidates for top party donors in New York and elsewhere.

Mr. Buttigieg is expected to post among the most robust second-quarter fund-raising figures. Even a donor who recently put together an event for one of Mr. Buttigieg’s rivals said that, these days, “the easiest event to sell out is a Buttigieg event.”

Mr. Buttigieg’s freshness has proved an advantage on the donor circuit: After he leapt in the polls this spring, contributors have jumped at the chance to pay $1,000 or more to size him up in person. A Harvard graduate and veteran of the McKinsey consultancy, Mr. Buttigieg is fluent in the language of elite New York circles, helping him transcend his initial base of donors in the gay community.

“Everyone who has seen him in the flesh thinks he’s fantastic,” said Mr. Rattner, who attended a recent Buttigieg event and has donated to other 2020 candidates.

Mr. Buttigieg has hired a full-time professional New York fund-raiser, even though there may be limits to his New York fund-raising: Regulatory rules prevent certain Wall Street employees with public pension business from donating to city or state officials, like a sitting mayor. So far, Mr. Biden has not hired a full-time New York fund-raiser.

Mr. Biden could get a boost in New York from Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who is expected to introduce the former vice president at Monday’s event, if he eventually lines up his formidable fund-raising muscle behind Mr. Biden. Mr. Cuomo has raised more than $100 million for his own campaigns; several of Mr. Biden’s co-hosts are longtime Cuomo backers.

Though Ms. Gillibrand is the home-state senator, most of the talk about her in New York donor circles has been how little talk there is about her. Some New York donors said they donated to Ms. Gillibrand, but only out of loyalty or obligation.

“I don’t think she’s gotten much traction in New York State. I think everybody loves her as a senator but is not excited about her being president,” said Mitch Draizin, a former fund-raiser for Mr. Obama, who made his money in the financial industry and is supporting Mr. Biden.

Before Mr. Biden and Mr. Buttigieg gained momentum, Ms. Gillibrand and Mr. Booker had raised the most money in New York ($1.3 million and $1.2 million, respectively) from those who gave at least $200 in the first quarter.

But their edge over Ms. Harris (who raised $911,000 in New York in the first quarter) was small compared with Ms. Harris’s dominance in California. There, she raised $4.3 million last quarter; no other Democrat raised $900,000, records show.

Mr. Booker, a fixture on the New York donor circuit for nearly two decades, has some key backers, including Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey, a Goldman Sachs alum, and Donald Sussman, the billionaire hedge funder who is a top Democratic financier. Mr. Sussman’s daughter Carolyn Tisch Blodgett is hosting a fund-raiser for Mr. Booker on Wednesday; he had another Wall Street-linked event last week.

But Mr. Booker and Ms. Gillibrand are suffering in part from their low standing in the polls. Wall Street titans, in particular, have made their money wagering on winners.

Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado, for instance, is often mentioned as a favorite of New York’s donor class, and he has Jill Straus, a connected New York fund-raising consultant, helping him. Gov. Steve Bullock of Montana has impressed, too. Few described taking them seriously, even as some contributed to them.

Another candidate with a foothold in the finance sector is Mr. O’Rourke, who was hosted on Wednesday at the New York home of Mark Gallogly, a major Wall Street fund-raiser.

David Adelman, who co-hosted that event and is an attorney who represents the financial industry, said he felt a “generational pull” and found Mr. O’Rourke inspiring: “It is important to rotate the crops.”

Mr. Buttigieg’s rise appears to have come, in particular, at Mr. O’Rourke expense as a fresh-faced alternative to Mr. Biden. In a sign of how New York’s money circle extends beyond the finance sector, both Mr. Buttigieg and Mr. O’Rourke recently made time for private sit-downs with Anna Wintour, the editor in chief of Vogue and the artistic director of Condé Nast, a prominent Democratic fund-raiser.

As for Mr. de Blasio, he has openly shunned the financial sector throughout his mayoralty and has made the concentration of wealth in the “wrong hands” a central part of his 2020 message.

Mr. de Blasio has begun calling many of the same New York donors he has leaned on to fund his past municipal campaigns, according to people familiar with his activity. About two weeks before his 2020 launch, Mr. de Blasio also attended the closed-door meeting of the executive committee meeting of the Partnership for New York City.

New York donors are still giving to Mr. de Blasio, Ms. Gillibrand and Mr. Booker. After all, if they lose, they will still be in City Hall or the United States Senate.

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The behind-the-scenes competition for Wall Street money in the 2020 presidential race is reaching a fevered peak this week as no less than nine Democrats are holding New York fund-raisers in a span of nine days, racing ahead of a June 30 filing deadline when they must disclose their latest financial hauls.

With millions of dollars on the line, top New York donors are already beginning to pick favorites, and three candidates are generating most of the buzz: former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., Senator Kamala Harris of California and Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind.

It is, at first blush, an unusual grouping, considering that the mayor of New York City (Bill de Blasio), the state’s junior senator (Kirsten Gillibrand) and a neighboring senator with deep ties to New York’s elite (Cory Booker of New Jersey) are all in the race and vying for their money.

Interviews with two dozen top contributors, fund-raisers and political advisers on Wall Street and beyond revealed that while many are still hedging their bets, those who care most about picking a winner are gravitating toward Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris, while donors are swooning over Mr. Buttigieg enough to open their wallets and bundling networks for him. These dynamics raise the prospect of growing financial advantages for some candidates and closed doors for others.

“There is going to be a real income inequality,” Steven Rattner, a Wall Street executive and Democratic donor, said of the coming fund-raising results for the second quarter, which covers April through June. “You are going to see a big separation between the rich and the poor.”

This is an especially important moment for Mr. Biden: He will soon say how much money he has raised since entering the race on April 25 — the first such disclosure of his campaign — and his team knows the reinforcing power of a big haul to cement his status as the Democratic front-runner. The pressure is intense on other candidates to demonstrate momentum among big and small donors alike, with the aim of raising more money in the spring than the winter, when Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Ms. Harris, former Representative Beto O’Rourke of Texas and Mr. Buttigieg took in the most.

Not everyone is chasing Wall Street cash: Two candidates in the top tier of polls, Mr. Sanders and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, have railed against the financial industry and opted against the kind of fancy fund-raisers with catering and $2,800 admission prices that lubricate the donor industry.

Still, in New York, the supply and demand is so strong that there are fund-raisers almost daily from morning until night.

Hamilton E. James, the executive vice chairman of Blackstone and a top fund-raiser, hosted Mr. Buttigieg at his home on Thursday. The short-selling hedge fund manager James Chanos will hold an event for Mr. Biden on Monday. And on Tuesday, Marc Lasry, the hedge fund manager and co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks, is gathering checks for Ms. Harris. Co-hosts of that event include Blair W. Effron, an investment bank co-founder and an influential Democratic financier, and Ray McGuire, vice chairman of Citigroup.

Among those spreading the money around is Brad Karp, the chairman of the Paul, Weiss law firm and a top attorney for Wall Street institutions. He is hosting Mr. Biden for a reception at 9 a.m. on Tuesday; he is a co-host for a “lawyer’s lunch” for Ms. Harris that same day, according to invitations obtained by The New York Times. Mr. Karp, who donated to Ms. Gillibrand and Mr. Booker in the first quarter, did not respond to a request for comment.

The momentum of big money in New York toward Mr. Biden, Mr. Buttigieg and Ms. Harris is mirrored in contributor circles nationally, according to donors and campaign advisers, as well as in poll results: The trio is usually among the top five candidates in early primary states and national surveys.

Kamala Harris, Mr. Biden and Mr. Buttigieg have aimed to blend aggressive large- and small-money operations.

“Those are the three,” said Julianna Smoot, who was national finance director for Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign and remains plugged into the donor community.

Mr. Biden, Mr. Buttigieg and Ms. Harris have aimed to blend aggressive large- and small-money operations, much as Mr. Obama’s campaigns successfully did, though New York’s business-minded donors described different factors pulling them toward each candidate.

They are attracted to Mr. Biden’s ideological moderation and his seeming chances of victory over President Trump in 2020; they are inspired by Mr. Buttigieg’s charisma and intellect; and they are drawn to Ms. Harris’s potential as a possible primary victor even as she now trails in the polls, in addition to her potential to reassemble the kind of winning multiethnic electoral coalition that elected Mr. Obama twice.

“Businesspeople are first of all pragmatists,” said Kathryn Wylde, who heads the Partnership for New York City, a nonprofit whose board includes many of the city’s biggest business leaders. “They’re going to support the most moderate Democrats they think have a chance to win.”

Mr. Biden made explicit at a fund-raiser last Monday in Washington that he does not plan to demonize the financial industry like some rivals have, saying that “Wall Street and significant bankers” can “be positive influences in the country.” (As a senator for Delaware, Mr. Biden was regarded as an ally of financial institutions in the state, such as the credit card industry.)

Donors described various doubts about even their favored candidates: Mr. Biden’s age, say, or Mr. Buttigieg’s inexperience, or whether Ms. Harris’s political skills will play on the biggest stage.

“If you could roll all three of them into a single candidate,” Ms. Smoot said, “you’d have the perfect candidate.”

One of the most surprising developments of the 2020 race is how quickly Mr. Buttigieg, a virtual unknown only a few months ago, has vaulted into competition with Mr. Biden and other leading candidates for top party donors in New York and elsewhere.

Mr. Buttigieg is expected to post among the most robust second-quarter fund-raising figures. Even a donor who recently put together an event for one of Mr. Buttigieg’s rivals said that, these days, “the easiest event to sell out is a Buttigieg event.”

Mr. Buttigieg’s freshness has proved an advantage on the donor circuit: After he leapt in the polls this spring, contributors have jumped at the chance to pay $1,000 or more to size him up in person. A Harvard graduate and veteran of the McKinsey consultancy, Mr. Buttigieg is fluent in the language of elite New York circles, helping him transcend his initial base of donors in the gay community.

“Everyone who has seen him in the flesh thinks he’s fantastic,” said Mr. Rattner, who attended a recent Buttigieg event and has donated to other 2020 candidates.

Mr. Buttigieg has hired a full-time professional New York fund-raiser, even though there may be limits to his New York fund-raising: Regulatory rules prevent certain Wall Street employees with public pension business from donating to city or state officials, like a sitting mayor. So far, Mr. Biden has not hired a full-time New York fund-raiser.

Mr. Biden could get a boost in New York from Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who is expected to introduce the former vice president at Monday’s event, if he eventually lines up his formidable fund-raising muscle behind Mr. Biden. Mr. Cuomo has raised more than $100 million for his own campaigns; several of Mr. Biden’s co-hosts are longtime Cuomo backers.

Though Ms. Gillibrand is the home-state senator, most of the talk about her in New York donor circles has been how little talk there is about her. Some New York donors said they donated to Ms. Gillibrand, but only out of loyalty or obligation.

“I don’t think she’s gotten much traction in New York State. I think everybody loves her as a senator but is not excited about her being president,” said Mitch Draizin, a former fund-raiser for Mr. Obama, who made his money in the financial industry and is supporting Mr. Biden.

Before Mr. Biden and Mr. Buttigieg gained momentum, Ms. Gillibrand and Mr. Booker had raised the most money in New York ($1.3 million and $1.2 million, respectively) from those who gave at least $200 in the first quarter.

But their edge over Ms. Harris (who raised $911,000 in New York in the first quarter) was small compared with Ms. Harris’s dominance in California. There, she raised $4.3 million last quarter; no other Democrat raised $900,000, records show.

Mr. Booker, a fixture on the New York donor circuit for nearly two decades, has some key backers, including Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey, a Goldman Sachs alum, and Donald Sussman, the billionaire hedge funder who is a top Democratic financier. Mr. Sussman’s daughter Carolyn Tisch Blodgett is hosting a fund-raiser for Mr. Booker on Wednesday; he had another Wall Street-linked event last week.

But Mr. Booker and Ms. Gillibrand are suffering in part from their low standing in the polls. Wall Street titans, in particular, have made their money wagering on winners.

Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado, for instance, is often mentioned as a favorite of New York’s donor class, and he has Jill Straus, a connected New York fund-raising consultant, helping him. Gov. Steve Bullock of Montana has impressed, too. Few described taking them seriously, even as some contributed to them.

Another candidate with a foothold in the finance sector is Mr. O’Rourke, who was hosted on Wednesday at the New York home of Mark Gallogly, a major Wall Street fund-raiser.

David Adelman, who co-hosted that event and is an attorney who represents the financial industry, said he felt a “generational pull” and found Mr. O’Rourke inspiring: “It is important to rotate the crops.”

Mr. Buttigieg’s rise appears to have come, in particular, at Mr. O’Rourke expense as a fresh-faced alternative to Mr. Biden. In a sign of how New York’s money circle extends beyond the finance sector, both Mr. Buttigieg and Mr. O’Rourke recently made time for private sit-downs with Anna Wintour, the editor in chief of Vogue and the artistic director of Condé Nast, a prominent Democratic fund-raiser.

As for Mr. de Blasio, he has openly shunned the financial sector throughout his mayoralty and has made the concentration of wealth in the “wrong hands” a central part of his 2020 message.

Mr. de Blasio has begun calling many of the same New York donors he has leaned on to fund his past municipal campaigns, according to people familiar with his activity. About two weeks before his 2020 launch, Mr. de Blasio also attended the closed-door meeting of the executive committee meeting of the Partnership for New York City.

New York donors are still giving to Mr. de Blasio, Ms. Gillibrand and Mr. Booker. After all, if they lose, they will still be in City Hall or the United States Senate.

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FILE PHOTO: Boris Johnson, leadership candidate for Britain's Conservative Prime Minister, leaves home in London
FILE PHOTO: Boris Johnson, leadership candidate for Britain’s Conservative Prime Minister, leaves home in London, Britain, June 15, 2019. REUTERS/Toby Melville

June 17, 2019

By Guy Faulconbridge and Elizabeth Piper

LONDON (Reuters) – Boris Johnson got a boost in his bid to replace British Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday when one of his former rivals backed him and said he was almost certain to win the contest.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who dropped out of the race on Friday after winning 20 votes in the first ballot of Conservative lawmakers, said Johnson was the best candidate to lead the party.

“Boris has run a disciplined campaign and is almost certainly going to be our next prime minister,” Hancock said in an article in The Times newspaper. “My view is that we need to start coming together sooner rather than later.”

The Times said Hancock was a strong contender to be Britain’s next finance minister if Johnson wins the race to replace May.

The Brexit crisis could deepen under a new British leader as Johnson, the face of the official campaign to leave the European Union in the 2016 referendum, has promised to lead the United Kingdom out of the EU with or without a deal.

The British parliament has indicated it will try to stop a no-deal Brexit, which investors warn could roil markets and shock the world economy, while the EU has said it will not renegotiate the Withdrawal Agreement that May agreed.

Johnson, the favorite to replace May, won the support of 114 Conservative Party lawmakers in the first round of the leadership contest. A total of 313 lawmakers voted.

His closest rivals were: Jeremy Hunt, the foreign minister, who won 43 votes; Michael Gove, environment minister, with 37 votes and Dominic Raab, former Brexit minister, on 27 votes.

“Boris is the front-runner,” Gove told BBC radio. “But we need to make sure that he is tested.” Johnson has so far kept a low profile during the leadership race and did not take part in a candidates’ debate on Sunday.

BREXIT CRISIS?

The second round of voting will be on Tuesday with the result due around 1700 GMT. Any candidate with 32 votes or fewer is eliminated. If all candidates have more than 32 votes, the one with the fewest is eliminated.

If Johnson does win the top job and does go for a no-deal Brexit, a constitutional crisis could be on the horizon if parliament tries to block such a departure.

Raab has said parliament could be suspended if necessary, a possibility he refused to rule out on Sunday in a debate with other contenders.

But the speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, said it was fantasy to think that the lower house of parliament could be pushed aside.

“It’s a joke!” Bercow told French newspaper Le Figaro. “The idea that the British parliament can be pushed aside when such a crucial decision is to be made is fantasy.”

But Bercow, whose comments were reported in French, cautioned that the default outcome if no agreement had been ratified and no extension is negotiated was that Britain would leave without a deal to smooth the transition.

“In other words: we will not be able to prevent a hard Brexit,” Bercow said.

The current deadline to leave the EU is Oct. 31.

The likelihood of a no-deal exit has jumped in the past month, according to economists in a Reuters poll.

British companies look set to cut their investment by the most in 10 years in 2019 as the Brexit crisis drags on, a survey showed.

(Writing by Guy Faulconbridge; Additional reporting by Richard Lough in Paris; editing by William Schomberg and Janet Lawrence)

Source: OANN


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