The handelot times issue 28
The Handelot Times Volume XXVII
Inflation, Stagflation, Prices go up
Exclusive: Rocketdrop Interview with Jason Haddad, Co-Founder & Managing Partner of RocketDrop LLC
- TSMC to raise its wafer quotes p12
- Tapering, inflation and Covid cases. What to expect from the Fed p20
- For Gamers: Fifa 22 vs PES 2022 p52
- Vasu The Wise(UAE) KEY CHALLENGES - TRADING & DISTRIBUTION (p14)/ The Old Hand(UK) Inflation and Deflation (p58)
- Stagflation - the mistakes not to make p68
- Netflix goes official- Streaming Video Games starting in 2022 p70
Newbridge FX p06, Rocket Drop p07, Riba mundo p10, Novaphone p17, Vitel Mobile p26, Hasia p42, Phonetastic p43, BSC p47, WOWO Distribution China p53
Vitel is hiring in Miami p27
BSC is hiring Sales Account Managers p45
VIP Gold Members 28-41
02. Intro- zmiana!
THE HANDELOT TIMES- The Online B2B Magazine for Electronics Wholesalers
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04-05. Quick Hits
07. Rocket Drop
08-09. Rocketdrop interview
10-11. Riba mundo
12-13. TSMC to raise its wafer quotes_2
14-16. Vasu The Wise_3 KEY CHALLENGES - TRADING & DISTRIBUTION
17. Novaphone - Mobile Phones
18-19. Raw Materials_ the shadow of the “super cycle”
20-21. Tapering, inflation and Covid cases. What to expect from the Fed
22- 25. Here are the new iPhone 13, iPad and Apple Watch
26-27. Vitel We are hiring
28- 41. VIP Gold + services
43. Newbridge FX
44-46. Bitcoin value 2021-2022 a forecast
48-49. Oil in a dive after the OPEC+ agreement
50-52. Coronavirus effects on videogames
54-56. Fifa 22 vs PES 2022
57. Price per Magazine
58-59. The Old Hand Inflation and Deflation
60-62. Video games New Releases 2022_ what to expect
63. Top Products Top Manufacturer Top Brands Top Models
64-65. Xiaomi no 1 in Q2
66-67. Cold inflation_ why Wall Street is worried
68-69. Stagflation_ the mistakes not to make
70-71. Netflix goes official_ streaming video games starting in 2022
04-05. Quick Hits_2
13. Quick hits
Apple, new agreement with developers for the App Store
Apple is on the way to resolving a class action initiated months ago by some App Store developers. With an official press release, the Cupertino giant announced that it has reached an agreement, which will have to be ratified by a US court, to allow companies to apply promotional prices to games and apps, communicating them directly to the end user, without going through the App Store.
The latter will remain the only place from which to withdraw applications, but not the only place to carry out transactions.
In practice, a single software house may decide to apply a discount for the purchase of a video game or a generic application through an alternative payment platform, hosted for example on its website, which does not necessarily refer to the App Store. In this way, the commission that the Apple provides for the revenues due to downloads is cut by 15% or 30% depending on the type. As anticipated, downloading will always take place from the App Store, which will show the purchase already made. On the other hand, the in-app purchase procedures are still linked to the digital store. "From the beginning, the App Store has been an economic miracle; the safest and most reliable place to get apps - said Phil Schiller, Apple's vice president of product marketing - we would like to thank the developers who have worked with us to reach these agreements, for the benefit of all our customers." More than $ 72 billion was spent on the App Store in 2020. Of these, about 30% represented revenue for Apple.
Samsung takes third place in the smartwatch market
Counterpoint Research has published the new report on the smartwatch market, relating to the second quarter of the year. According to analysts, the industry grew 27% in twelve months, with Apple still holding the top spot by number of
In the reference period, however, it is Samsung to obtain the greatest rise, with a + 43% year on year.
The report points to the excellent sales of the Galaxy Watch 3 and Watch Active 2 as the reasons for the success. Currently, Samsung is estimated to hold about 7.6% of the global smartwatch market, still behind Huawei's 9.3% and Apple's 28%. Counterpoint recalls that the Korean giant recently launched the new line of Galaxy Watch 4, the first in its history to abandon the home operating system Tizen OS in favor of Wear OS, developed by Google.
This could push even more consumers to switch to the Galaxy, given the compatibility extended to all the apps present to date on the Play Store related to wearables. For its part, the transition from Wear OS to HarmonyOS could cause Huawei to lose percentage points. Remaining in the niche of the segment, Garmin consolidates its role as a brand loved above all by sportsmen: the company's wearables have grown by more than 60% since 2020, such as to earn the brand fifth place globally (5.8% ), immediately after the fourth place of imoo (6%), manufacturer of smartwatches for children.
Milk Crate Challenge, dangerous challenge removed from TikTok
It is a dangerous challenge that in recent days was depopulated in particular on TikTok, so much so that the social network popular among young people yesterday announced that it had removed hashtags and videos on the subject.
The echo of the Milk Crate Challenge, the challenge to go up and down on plastic milk crates in the shape of a pyramid while remaining balanced, reverberated from the USA and for those who were even tempted, the warning is that it is something dangerous.Viral videos are fun, but a broken neck isn’t, experts warn.
In the challenge, participants are tasked with climbing the stacked milk crates until they reach the top before having to go back down. Many of the attempts result in falls (some of which can be really ruinous) being filmed on video. Rapper Snoop Dogg called the challenge the “bridge of death”. And even some medical experts disagree.
Rajwinder Deu, a professor of orthopedic surgery at John Hopkins University, tells USA Today that because of the height of the milk crates, everything from head to toe is at risk of injury. Torn ligaments, fractured wrists, and even dislocated wrists are just some of the injuries you might experience. In very serious and extreme cases, in which a brain or back injury is sustained, paralysis and death are also potentially possible. “As Covid hospitalizations rise across the country - the Baltimore City Health Department also commented on Twitter - check with your local hospital to see if they have a bed available before trying the #milkcratechallenge”.
More than one billion Internet users in China
The number of internet users in China surpassed one billion in June 2021, according to data from the forty-eighth edition of the "China Statistical Report on Internet Development” released in August.
According to the document, the number of Internet users reached 1.011 billion and the Internet penetration rate in the country reached 71.6% in June.
The Chinese connect to the Net mainly from smartphones, and do so to shop, get information, watch videos, play games or socialize with each other. Obviously there is also space for use for smart working and studying. The report also reveals that growing internet access has helped make China the largest digital company in the world. On the other hand, the Beijing government relies heavily on the web and technological development to strengthen the economy through the growth and evolution of digital.
The plan, according to when published a few days ago by the China Science Daily, provides for China to focus on the best world technologies and promote the integration of the digital one in the real economy, with the aim of applying the new Internet technologies to traditional industrial sectors. and innovations, such as those related to research and development of high-end 6G-related chips and memory devices.
Last May, the Institute of Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences announced that it had discovered a new mechanism for developing ultra-high-speed non-volatile memory devices. Computer memories like these, able to keep information even when they are not powered, offer maximum energy efficiency, data non-volatility, quick access and a low overall cost, and therefore their development has had and will have more and more a key role in electronic innovation.
Fake Green passes, + 257% sellers on Telegram
The number of sellers using Telegram to advertise fake green passes has increased by 257% since March. The cost of purchasing fake vaccination certificates has halved, from $ 200 each in March to just $ 100 today.
These are the latest global data from the IT security company Check Point Software Technologies, a few days after the police blitz that led to the seizure of 32 Telegram channels.
According to experts, there are currently 2500 groups active on Telegram, the following of the groups has increased by 566%, some groups identified have an average of 100,000 followers each, with some even exceeding 450,000 followers. The countries involved in the demand for fake vaccination cards expanded: in March they were mainly the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany, while today Italy also appears among the sellers who market fake certificates on the darknet.
“Right now, fake vaccination certificates are available for purchase in almost any country. Sellers are choosing to do business on Telegram because the platform increases their distribution - explains Oded Vanunu, Head of Products Vulnerabilities Research at Check Point Software Technologies - We believe this growth is also fueled by the rapid spread of the Delta variant and the urgency of vaccinate everyone. I strongly advise people not to rely on these vendors for any reason, as they aim for more than just selling you fake vaccination certificates.”
07. Rocket Drop_1
08-09. Rocketdrop interview
1. Hey Jason, we have known you for quite some time already, but there are still many people that don't. Would you mind introducing yourself?
My name is Jason Haddad, Co-Founder & Managing Partner of RocketDrop. We have been in business for 15 years and specialized in the distribution/wholesale of consumer electronics and more. We ship across the world as well as domestically, here in the USA.
2. RocketDrop has become one of the ''classics'' in our industry with a Ten-year history at your back. How did it all start?
Team and Customers. We have an amazing team who work very hard every day to support our customers. Here at RocketDrop, we all take enormous pride in delivering what we promise, being diligent while consistently exceeding expectations. This is the fabric and culture of RocketDrop. Along the way we have partnered with iconic brands such as Apple and all the major manufacturers, in order to continue to be able to support our end users from beginning to end.
3. It's well known that one of the pillars of success for RocketDrop has been a sharp focus on Customer Satisfaction: what do you think you are doing differently?
Supporting and delivering to our customers is our number one mission. Continuing off the culture of RocketDrop: to deliver what we promise 100% of the time. We set the right expectations and always look to meet those expectations. However, through hard work, most of the time we can exceed expectations. We believe our customers and stakeholders appreciate this consistency in attitude & results.
4. What is your key to success? Why do you think your company has been growing since?
We have an amazing team. We all work so hard. This has allowed us to gain the trust of strong and loyal customers. Along the way, every year we have adapted and will continue to adapt to stay ahead of the market and industry.
5. Since the start of Covid there has been a shortage of many products. How did you manage to maintain such a strong supply chain?
Adapt or die. Thankfully we have a great team who does well in facing adversity. We were committed to diversifying our product line and customers. As a result, we were not only able to maintain, but we also increased our supply chain and the products we carry. This will continue to be a focus for RocketDrop regardless of the year or circumstances.
6. How do you see our industry - B2B consumer electronic wholesale- evolving?
More products. More innovation.
7. And What role do you think RocketDrop will play in the future?
RocketDrop will continue to deliver to their customers , both domestically and internationally. We will strengthen our relationships with our Manufacturers which in turn will strengthen our relationships with our customers. Along the way we will continue to have our ears and our touch on the industry to be able to deliver up to date needs and demand. We want to continue to be the first to deliver new products in a timely and efficient manner. We’ll continue to do that. RocketDrop is and will continue to be a one-stop shop for any customer looking for the latest consumer electronics (and more) at competitive market prices and quantity.
8. It seems that finally the FED will increase interest rates. If history says something is that capital access will be impacted. When it comes to capital allocation, what's your strategy and goals?
RocketDrop will continue to self-finance all operations as well as expand our access to capital. Since inception, every year, we have invested heavily back into the company to streamline operations and further support our customers. We will continue to do this in the future and for years to come. This will allow us for more capital allocation internally. Simultaneously RocketDrop, although well capitalized, will continue to seek capital raises when and if the time or the opportunity permit.
9. Finally, a classic one in the Handelot Times interview as we like to support entrepreneurs. First of all, would you agree that they have it harder than it was in the past? And what advice would you give to our newest generation?
No, I wouldn’t agree that they have it harder than it was in the past. I believe all entrepreneurs - when they embark on their business journey - have to face challenging paths. In business, there are always and constantly obstacles and challenges that are impactful and material. Whether it’s in the past, present, or future - those obstacles will always be a challenge for anyone who starts a new business. In today’s age, young entrepreneurs have more resources and tools – they should continue to tap into those tools and maximize the ROI on those on a daily basis.
My advice is simple: build a good team, work very hard, lead by example, never give up and remember persistence beats resistance.
10-11. Riba mundo_2
12-13. TSMC to raise its wafer quotes_2
2. TSMC to raise its wafer quotes
Big trouble from Taiwan, Tsmc raises chip prices by up to 20%. Microchips, in fact, are not only unavailable, but also increasingly expensive. The world's largest manufacturer, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (Tsmc, with 31% market share globally) would be planning price increases around 10% for more advanced semiconductors and around 20% for less sophisticated ones, used in the automotive sector. This was reported by sources in the Wall Street Journal.
The automotive sector
The supply of semiconductors has become an increasingly important factor for major technology and automotive companies, as chips continue to be difficult to find. The chip shortage triggered by the Covid pandemic is bringing many industrial sectors, such as electronics and automotive, to their knees. For example, major global automakers have often been forced to slow or even halt car production for weeks, see General Motors, Toyota, and Volkswagen.
The good news is that rising prices may actually help alleviate some of the supply problems for TSMC, by reducing some of the demand that has caused shortages in some parts. It must also finance a three-year investment plan worth 100 billion dollars, with which it aims to expand production, in the face of current shortages, and to develop more powerful chips.
Growth is expected to accelerate to $ 630 per car over the next five years, with a CAGR of nearly 10%. In this regard, Equita analysts believe that the 2021 estimates of the auto sector are to be filed.
What about the final customer?
Still, the increases should also be applied to large customers (one of the largest is Apple) towards the end of the year or from 2022. The Taiwanese company, with a letter sent in March by the CEO C.C. Wei, has already communicated to customers that it will no longer offer discounts even on the most important orders, as it has had to endure a sharp increase in the cost of raw materials. It also needs to fund a $ 100 billion investment plan over three years, which aims to expand production, in the face of current shortages, and develop more powerful chips.
Europe at gates
In Europe, meanwhile, the issue of chip shortages continues to cause concern. The crisis is in fact having an impact on the local manufacturing industry, hindering the recovery of the sector and pushing the EU to review its procurement strategy. Car manufacturers stand out among the most affected industries, since chips are now fundamental to every system, from that for a vehicle's battery to on-board computer functions. In fact, several European companies in the sector have recently reduced or stopped production due to the lack of guarantee of supplies of fundamental components.
At the end of April 2021, the German carmaker Daimler reduced the working hours of its employees and temporarily halted production at its Bremen and Rastatt plants due to slowdowns in the delivery of the chips. Subsequently, Audi also partially halted production at its Neckarsulm site.
Anyways, as part of its digital initiative for the years to come, the European Commission has announced its goal of doubling semiconductor manufacturing capacity to at least 20% of world market share by 2030. This is an important step to address the current slowdowns considering that semiconductors will also be needed for 5G and 6G, autonomous driving, for Industry 4.0, for the Green Deal, as well as for future computing applications decentralized data.
The main goal, at this point, is to strengthen cooperation between member states and increase investment along the supply chain value of semiconductors on equipment and materials, advanced design and manufacturing and packaging, where possible through recovery and resilience funds.
This agreement will pave the way for the launch of an industrial alliance and a collective approach can help EU to leverage its existing strengths and embrace new opportunities as advanced processor chips play an increasingly important role for the industrial strategy and digital sovereignty of Europe.
14-16. Vasu The Wise_3 KEY CHALLENGES - TRADING & DISTRIBUTION
KEY CHALLENGES FACED BY TRADING & DISTRIBUTION
By now the world has been inundated with the term VUCA and every industry has its share of it. The Trading and Distribution industry know it well - COVID 19 apart - just like the Ever-Given container ship getting stuck in the Suez Canal and throwing the entire world in to a tizzy!
In these times there are entities who have made a fortune and, on the other hand, there are some who have shut shops.
Still, the industry platform is remaining the same for all, as well as the VUCA factor are remaining same for all… that’s why it is very interesting to see and compare extremes, while there are still a vast majority on either side of the bell curve.
Interestingly, the key challenges that the Trading & Distribution industry is facing now are not new, while the intensities have varied dramatically. And so, those who saw it coming and realigned could survive and turn the “situation” into a life-time opportunity.
In this article, I will deliberate on Inventory management and the rise of e-commerce and its impact. In my next article, I will deliberate upon disintermediation and shifts in customer mindsets and the need for change.
#1 Inventory Management
Conventional approaches will certainly fail and if you are not developing a different approach to dealing with inventory, then you are building a recipe for loss (in some unfortunate cases, severe loss). Remember, the inventory does not accumulate by itself. Every organization creates it.
Not all inventory piles up beyond control. Many instances are created in the blind corner of the warehouse. Yes, like you have blind corners while driving your car, there as blind corners in the business as well, especially when we don’t take that extra effort to check properly while we navigate our business.
First of all, inventory management itself sounds to me like an oxymoron. It may sound surprising to many people as well. If you ask a question to yourself - “What would you like to manage: your sales or the inventor?” - an intelligent answer will certainly be “Sales”. This is the SHIFT that is required.
Inventory is just the arithmetic outcome of your procurement minus the Sales. So, what you really must manage is the Sales aka Sales Speed. Yes Sales Speed. You can calibrate your sales speed in line with demand / supply situations and plan procurement accordingly.
Clinically, there are two ways to make the salespeople sell:
• 1. Create a holistic rewards program to impact selling behavior.
• 2. Automate! One way of doing this is using proactive sales BOTs. The beauty of using a BOT as an automation tool is that you can that can minimize the sales team (leading to Savings) and at the same time ramping up your organizational selling capability, by using the BOT to generate leads. Moreover, the BOT can even operate at times when human agents can’t, meaning a higher level of optimized sales.
Another area that needs focus is Reporting. You have obviously heard of ABC analysis. But this archaic report doesn’t trigger actions in humans. We have implemented narrative based reporting wherein if B (quantity or value or both) is more A + C, we termed it a “belly issue” and mobilized the organization towards trimming the belly. Similarly, if C is a very long list of very small and tiny quantities, the effort of selling is going to be quite high and invariable it will be a heavily loss-making sale. Both the scenarios have been created collectively by the sales team. Awareness is the key. Driving action through narrative (Local slang is also ok 😊) will yield results
In all, what I am driving is changing the way of seeing inventory, the way of dealing with inventory to drive efficiency and profitability.
#2 Adapting to E Commerce
With the shift towards online/e-commerce, trading companies will also have to scale up to another challenge: Customer Service. This is because a lot of customers are expecting the same level of service as B2C companies.
Well, customers are the pivot point of change for any industry!
Surely, there cannot exist a dilemma between whether one should create and manage their own e- commerce setup or fall in line with the global and local major e-commerce players. Both are essential!
With exceptions, majority of the traders are yet to align with the science of dealing with e-commerce majors. Many decisions taken by e-commerce players are machine and algorithm driven.
I can understand the difficulty among the trading community as they are not used to dealing with a dynamic and fast changing customer viz., an e-commerce player.
Here is where the trading & distribution community must orient themselves towards new ways of working. The SHIFT has already taken place and it is data driven.
Sooner or later lives and businesses are going to be driven only by actionable intelligence derived from data. Ans this Shift calls for the community to get trained on orienting themselves towards data – both in terms of actions that they take as well as on past performance.
Remaining immune to data is not an option anymore!
More inputs on disintermediation, changing customer demands and change management will be covered in part 2 of this article (in the upcoming issue).
17. Novaphone - Mobile Phones 1
18-19. Raw Materials_ the shadow of the “super cycle”_2
10. Raw Materials: the shadow of the “super cycle”
It's a digital world, of course. We are in an economy that tends to dematerialize. The fact is that the prices of raw materials, the most physical and concrete, are booming. After suffering for part of 2020, starting with oil which even ended in negative territory on a famous 20 April, the recovery was extraordinary: the Dow Jones Commodity Index (which is an investment tool) scored 496.46 points on May 14, 2020 and rose to 886.82 on May 14, 2021, a change of more than 78% in 12 months. So much so that now we wonder if we have not entered a bullish “Supercycle" of raw materials, that is, in a long period in which prices remain decidedly above their historical trend. The latest Commodity Supercycle hit a record high in 2011.
The question is not insignificant: at stake are not only the higher production costs for companies but also the shortage of raw materials which in some sectors is already stopping production.
While the situation is good for mining and trading companies, it is worrying for many others. Also because the increases are not classic, traditional, given only by an imbalance between supply and demand. There are particular bottlenecks and shortages: the shortage of semiconductors has blocked production in several auto manufacturers and the consultancy AlixPartners predicts that due to the shortage of chips the sector will produce 3.9 million fewer vehicles this year, with a loss of revenue of 110 billion dollars.
The “Supercycle” of commodity prices: the metal boom
If in the Supercycle of over ten years ago, the voracity of the rapidly growing Chinese economy and large construction and infrastructure programs was at the basis of the price boom, this time the reasons for the surge are more complex. And it is even more difficult to predict whether the boom will be short-lived or will really take on the characteristics of a new Supercycle. “Opinions differ on this - says Gianclaudio Torlizzi, general manager of the consulting company T-Commodity - I would say that it is appropriate to make some distinction. As far as metals are concerned, we are likely facing a bullish Supercycle. Prices in this case benefit from policies to combat climate change. Which involve extensive use of metals, such as nickel, copper, for electric motors. In parallel there are closures of highly polluting plants, therefore a smaller supply of processed metals”.
In general, for all raw materials, Torlizzi still sees sustained prices. In particular, the fiscal stimulus of the Biden administration in the United States (almost six trillion dollars) gives a strong reflationary push to the economy. "It is a change of regime - he argues -. Both the White House and the Fed want prices to rise. As a result, markets look at commodities with different eyes than before. So much so that the increases started already in the second quarter of 2020, when the American central bank actually started monetizing the debt".
Construction and steel prices restart
In addition, infrastructure programs in the United States and Europe suggest a high demand for raw materials, especially those needed to produce steel for construction. In addition to the macroeconomic reasons, there is also the fact that the lockdowns linked to the pandemic have kept the production of raw materials flat or down; but at the same time some consumer products have accelerated sales, in particular of products requested by people who were locked in the house, such as washing machines and computers. The supply chains have entered into crisis. In semiconductors - for which there is a global shortage that will probably go on for a long time and affect the auto sector, the computer sector and several others - we saw that - the situation is similar.
Naturally, in the price boom, the choices of the largest manufacturing in the world, the Chinese one, do not fail to weigh. China has absorbed four million tons of copper. If we consider that in general 200 tons are enough to move the price, the extent of this intervention is evident. It is that China has used the past few months to store raw materials with the aim of not making its industry short of supplies. In fact, Beijing is following a policy that we could define as autarchic in the sense that it discourages the export of its raw materials while continuing to support the export of finished products. To get the size of how much the Asian giant weighs: half of the steel used in the world is consumed in China.
Protectionisms, lockdowns, bottlenecks
The result of this intertwining of forces that add up protectionism, lockdown queues, physical and political bottlenecks that hold back world trade and geopolitics in tension is that the prices of a bit of everything have risen: copper, nickel, lithium, palladium , ferrous minerals, aluminum, timber, agricultural products, feed. In April, the World Bank predicted that commodity prices “will remain around current levels throughout the year.” In a note in early May, however, the Goldman Sachs bank predicted a price increase of another 13.5% in the next six months.
The new balance of the economy
Much will depend on the duration of the closures related to the pandemic and the progress of government stimulus and investment policies. Structural changes in the economy - the race towards digital and green infrastructures - and geopolitical conflicts, however, pose a question mark on the trend in commodity prices, which could remain high until a new equilibrium is reached. Maybe it's a new economy Supercycle.
20-21. Tapering, inflation and Covid cases. What to expect from the Fed_2
12. Tapering, inflation and Covid cases.
What to expect from the Fed?
Tapering could begin by the end of the year. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, in his speech at the Jackson Hole symposium, did not disappoint analysts' expectations, providing some indications on the reduction in purchases of securities and mortgages, now equal to 120 million dollars a month.
In his speech at the meeting of central bankers in Jackson Hole, in fact, the Fed chairman remains vague about the exact timing of the tapering (September or November?), which is expected within the year, while for now the rates will remain unchanged - “The Delta variant creates short-term risks but the prospects for the US economy are good”.
Thus, no precise date. “We said we would continue asset purchases at current speed until further substantial progress towards the goals of maximum employment and price stability. I believe that such progress has been made for inflation. There is also clear progress towards maximum employment. If the economy evolves as expected, it will be appropriate to start reducing the speed of asset purchases this year”, Powell said, noting however that tapering “is not a direct signal of a near increase in interest rates.”
What is tapering? And why are we hearing about it so much?
The term tapering indicates the slowdown by the central bank in the rate of purchase of assets (mainly government bonds) on the secondary market. Tapering is therefore the monetary policy that is adapted to slow down an expansionary policy (also called quantitative easing), until it is completely concluded.
In other words, with quantitative easing central banks adopt expansive monetary policies that result in the purchase of government bonds on the secondary market, the purpose of which is to support the prices of the securities and, at the same time, inject new liquidity into the economic and financial system.
When central banks decide that the time has come to stop the stimulus then, they define a program of gradual reduction of purchases until it stops altogether. This restrictive monetary policy program is called tapering.
Central banks can use a variety of policies to stimulate growth, but these maneuvers cannot last “forever”.
If the stimulus does not end, it could trigger an overheating of the economy with an excessive growth of inflation. On the other hand, if the stimulus suddenly ceases, the real risk is that we can send the economy into recession, canceling all the effort made up to that moment.
Is Tapering necessary?
Any decision will be considered with extreme caution in the coming weeks, given that a too early departure could be "very harmful”, Powell stressed. Words that suggest a possible start in November, as predicted by many analysts, but the timing could be affected by the pressure of the hawks, who instead would like to start with the reduction already after the meeting scheduled for 21-22 September.
Powell's words pushed Wall Street and the European stock exchanges higher, while the euro-dollar exchange rate stood at 1.1801. The yield of the ten-year T-Bond is 1.334%.
Speaking of inflation, the Fed chairman does not hide “his concern”, but says he is optimistic, pointing out that the rise in prices is temporary and the value will return to its 2% target. The pandemic, on the other hand, remains "a threat to growth and the Delta variant creates short-term risks”, but “the prospects are good for continuous progress towards maximum employment”.
The central banker explained that the US economy has made “clear progress” but “weaknesses” in the labor market remain: in this context, an inopportune and untimely move in monetary policy could “slow down economic activity”.
As we have seen, tapering, but in general all restrictive monetary and economic policies are as necessary as expansionary ones to guarantee stability to the system in the medium / long term. At present, if inflation expectations - which central banks assume are only temporary - prove to be wrong, the risk is that the economy could destabilize due to excessive growth.
Today, therefore, we should worry more about a possible delay in intervention by central banks than about restrictive policies to be adopted.
The question today is mostly linked to the question of “timing” and not on how to intervene. In such an uncertain context, how did you decide to operate? Better to stay away from the stock markets? Or benefit from the ongoing economic recovery?
Let’s wait and see what happens in the near economic (and not only that) future.
22- 25. Here are the new iPhone 13, iPad and Apple Watch_4
Here are the new iPhone 13, iPad and Apple Watch:
all the news of the Apple event of September 14th
As Apple has accustomed us for two years now, the presentation of new products takes place exclusively online. Below are all the details and prices of the long-awaited new launches, from the iPhone 13 to the new Apple Watch Series 7, from the new “traditional" iPad to the smaller iPad Mini.
New iPhone 13, 13 Mini, Pro and Pro Max. The new iPad and iPad Mini. And the new Apple Watch Series 7. Here are all the main news of the Apple autumn event, which traditionally dictates the rules for pre-Christmas purchases, called “California Streaming” and all California-themed, from music to settings, to celebrate the state in which the company of the “bitten apple” is based. Here are all the news and prices of Apple gadgets presented today (September 14 2021).
Here are the new iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Mini
The main and most awaited novelty, as always, concerns the iPhone, and as scheduled (and like last year) Apple presents four new models:
• the iPhone 13
• the smaller iPhone 13 Mini
• the 13 Pro model
• the plus model 13 Pro Max, the most powerful ever.
iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Mini have been redesigned inside and out, they explain, and have become more durable and greener.
The shape is very similar to that of the iPhone 12 although the dual rear camera system now has a “diagonal” alignment.
6.1-inch display for the 'normal' version and 5.4 for the Mini, they have the Ceramic Shield for resistance to scratches and drops and the IP68 certification against water and splashes.
The screen is a Super Retina XDR which guarantees better contrasts and better brightness. The chip is the new A15 Bionic: it is a fast chip that offers improvements to the entire system, thanks to 15 billion transistors and a new 6-core CPU that improves performance, machine learning capabilities and speech recognition.
Artificial intelligence is also the protagonist of the camera system: the photos, explained by Apple, will appear brighter thanks to a new 12-megapixel wide-angle main sensor. In addition, the Cinematic Mode is introduced: a Cinema mode that thanks to artificial intelligence improves photos and videos thanks to depth effects and automatic changes in focus.
Also new is the image stabilization system (the same introduced on the iPhone 12 Pro Max) which stabilizes the sensor instead of the lens ensuring greater clarity in photos and videos. The connectivity sector has also been improved, with more 5G bands that will allow you to use iPhone 13 with 5G connectivity in over sixty countries around the world.
Five colors (pink, blue, midnight, galaxy and red), pre-orders from September 17th and availability starting from the 24th of this month.
Starting prices: 939 euros for the iPhone 13 and 839 for the iPhone 13 Mini.
IPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max
All the insights from the innovation and technology column
"This is the most pro iPhone ever”, promises Tim Cook from the stage. And so also this year Apple presents the two flagship versions of the iPhone, the 13 and the 13 Pro Max.
The best performing iPhone has a more advanced camera system and has a longer battery life. Three rear cameras (one telephoto, one ultra-wide and one wide-angle) that have been optimized to work with iOS 15 and are based on the new ISP processor of the A15 Bionic chip.
Also in this case there is an advanced image stabilization technology while the night shooting mode arrives on all lenses.
Among other novelties, macro photography arrives: the new ultra-wide-angle sensor, in fact, can (also) take photos with a close focal distance (for example food, flowers, fabrics). Photo Styles also arrive, allowing users to bring their own preferences to each image, thus applying the same adjustments to different parts of the photo.
Also on these iPhones there is the Cinema mode while the other novelty is called ProRes: it is a professional video codec that offers greater color fidelity with less compression. News also on the display which is a Super Retina XDR with ProMotion technology: for the first time on the iPhone this technology allows an update of the screen from 10Hz up to 120Hz for increasingly fluid images and scrolls while respecting the battery. Four colors: graphite, gold, silver and Sierra Blue, the version with 1 terabyte of storage space also arrives for the first time.
Pre-orders will start on September 17 while all products will be available from 24.
For the European Countries iPhone 13 Pro has a starting price of € 1,189 while the price of the iPhone 13 Pro Max starts at € 1,289.
The new 9th generation iPad
The new 9th generation iPad (it's the cheapest iPad, suitable for most of the normal operations we perform every day) has an A13 Bionic chip with Neural Engine and is announced 20 percent faster than the previous version (here the our review).
Improved the photographic sector, both rear and front, with a 12 megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera that gains the Center Stage functionality, which we had seen on the iPad Pro: during the (increasingly frequent) video calls it always keeps who is talking (whether it is a person or group) in the center of the frame. The new iPad has a 10.2-inch True Tone display and will come with the new iPad OS 15 operating system with many improvements all focused on productivity and multitasking.
Two colors (space gray and silver), two versions (with Wi-Fi connectivity and also with cellular connectivity): starting price 389 euros, available from 24 September.
The iPad Mini
Not just the traditional iPad: Apple also unveiled the new iPad Mini, Apple's "smallest and most practical” iPad. The new version features an 8.3-inch Liquid Retina display, with thin edges that are inspired by the design of the iPhone. On board we find an A15 Bionic chip, a battery that promises to be more durable and a 12 megapixel rear camera with Focus Pixels technology and aperture with larger aperture for clear images.
Another novelty is the arrival of the Touch ID for biometric recognition on the power button (as for the iPad Air). Four colors (pink, galaxy, purple, space gray), two versions (with Wi-Fi and even cellular connectivity): starting price 559 euros, available from 24 September.
The new Apple Watch
AirPods Max, the test of Apple's wireless over-ear headphones
“Bigger and better", that's how the new generation of Apple Watch Series 7 is defined.
The shape has also been redefined, with more rounded corners, while the watch becomes even more resistant to water, dust but above all to shocks. With a larger screen, they explain from Apple, it is easier to read emails or messages but above all to enter text: in fact, a new extended keyboard arrives. At the moment while we write, Apple does not leak information on availability in Europe. What we do know is that the US starting price will be $ 399.
A new “pandemic style” work out: Fitness+
Not only Cupertino has unveiled its new iPhone 13, Apple Watch Series 7, iPad and iPad mini to the general public, but it has also announced the release date of iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 and some new Fitness + features.
The subscription service will include starting from September 27 some interesting news, some of which were aimed at winter sports, such as skiing and snowboarding, in order to encourage athletes of all levels to increase strength, improve balance and develop resistence. But to this is also added the new function dedicated to pilates, so as to allow users to have more and more options available to maintain and improve strength and flexibility. Most Pilates in Fitness + workouts can be done with a simple mat, while others will require the use of an elastic band.
Continuing, the new Guided Meditation feature was shown, very useful for reducing everyday stress with an exercise program that helps those who use it to improve their lifestyle. In support of this discipline there will also be video and audio, so you can practice it in any place and time.
The last feature to report is Group workouts with SharePlay, coming this fall, which will support a maximum of 32 people at the same time. During these moments, users will be able to share their sports session with their friends by sending a simple message or by starting a call on FaceTime via iPhone, iPad or AppleTV with AirPlay.
To conclude this series of announcements, it was announced that the service will be made available during the year in 15 new countries, including Europe, and will boast six different languages, although it is not specified whether ours will be included.
26-27. Vitel_2 We are hiring
28- 41. VIP Gold + services_14
43. Newbridge FX_1
44-46. Bitcoin value 2021-2022 a forecast_3
8. Bitcoin value 2021-2022: a forecast
Bitcoins are back above $ 50,000 for the first time in three months (August 2021). The most popular cryptocurrency marks an increase of 3.47% on Asian markets around 13:00 local time, to 50,316.87 dollars, to its highest levels since mid-May, when the downward trend for a series of problems including China's crackdown on cryptocurrencies and Tesla boss Elon Musk's decision to stop accepting it for electric car purchases over fears of the environmental impact of digital currency “mining" production.
Leaving aside the sensationalisms and recent news, however, what could be a lasting and calculable trend of bitcoins, especially in anticipation of important global issues such as the imminent (already reality?) inflation?
What are the Bitcoin predictions?
When it comes to estimates on the price of BTC, but the speech always applies to all cryptocurrencies, the conditional is always a must given that crypto-assets are very volatile and therefore sudden changes in the direction of the prices can always be possible. Having said that, we can talk about Bitcoin 2021-2022 forecasts. The starting point for addressing this topic is represented by the trend of the Bitcoin price in real time. In April 2021, Bitcoin reached $ 63,000, a new historical record. Subsequently there was a rebound, we could say physiological, which brought Bitcoin back to touching $ 30,000.
We can see that in any case, the BTC has not returned to the levels of 2020, but the support at $ 30,000 has held up and today the judgment of experts on where the value of Bitcoin could go at the end of 2021 are many and include positive forecasts - in fact, we are experiencing the $ 50,000 as we write.
Bitcoin predictions: Anthony Pompliano's opinions
According to Anthony Pompliano, co-founder of Morgan Creek Digital, demand for Bitcoin has clearly beaten supply in recent months. This is happening because of the May halving. Furthermore, according to the investor, the current macroeconomic context is pushing up the value of Bitcoin.
It is clear - the manager added - that low interest rates but also money creation and the 2 percent target set by the Federal Reserve for average inflation, push many retail investors to buy Bitcoin.
In light of these elements, Pompliano sees the price of Bitcoin at $ 100,000 by the end of 2021: “iIf we continue to witness the arrival of more and more buyers large [...] if the sale were to exceed the critical mass and suddenly become a sort of consensus trade, it would not surprise me to see an even higher figure of 100,000 dollars”.
Anthony Pompliano's opinions on the Bitcoin 2021 forecasts are therefore very positive even if it is the manager himself who urges caution. According to the co-founder of Morgan Creek Digital, there are two potential risks in relation to Bitcoin that doers should take into due consideration.
The first risk is defined by the analyst as the result of a “self-inflicted injury” that would occur when a bug in the code or something like that were to be introduced. The second risk, on the other hand, is of a geopolitical type and would be triggered when we were to witness a truly aggressive coordinated intervention by various nation-states. The risks that can affect the positive Bitcoin 2021 forecasts are there (this is undeniable) but the probabilities that these unexpected events may occur remain low.
Bitcoin: utility as a key factor in pricing
According to the President and Founder of the Bitcoin Association, Jimmy Nguyen, the real utility of Bitcoin will be a key factor in determining prices next year. The concept of “real utility” will not be determined in an arbitrary way but rather through applications that exploit the advantages of the blockchain and the public register both in terms of data and in terms of microtransactions.
In the predictions theorized by the Bitcoin Association there are also improved interfaces and user experiences capable of allowing faster access to digital currencies than what happens today.
According to Nguyen, the use of BTC will spread to all those sectors that process and monetize important data such as health care, games but also digital marketing, supply chain and Internet of things
2021, therefore, as a turning point for Bitcoin. In fact, today the value of BTC is mainly based on speculation but now the time is ripe for a change of pace. Such a scenario would spell the end of Bitcoin as a store of value. A decidedly counter-current perspective compared to the dominant vulgate according to which Bitcoin is by its nature a store of value.
Furthermore, the President and founder of the Bitcoin Association believes that the growing interest of institutions in Bitcoin will help consolidate the primacy of real utility in determining the price of BTC. Will it really be like this? If this scenario were to be realized, the history of Bitcoin would never be the same and perhaps even that of humanity would begin to change.
Bitcoin predictions 2021: views of Raoul Pal
Even more optimistic are Raoul Pal's forecasts on the value of Bitcoin in 2021. The base scenario of the CEO of Global Macro Investor and Real Vision sees Bitcoin at $ 150,000 by November 2021, that is to say one year from now. However, it cannot be excluded that, due to the large amount of institutional capital that is directed on the BTC market, the value of the most important cryptocurrency may even reach $ 250,000!
Pal recalled that most of the new Bitcoin offering is currently being absorbed by Paypal, Square and Grayscale. The decline in supply, in the face of robust demand, has pushed the value of Bitcoin higher.
According to Pal, there has never been a market with such an imbalance between supply and demand and obviously all this plays in favor of the price of Bitcoin.
Thinking in terms of Bitcoin forecasts, Pal believes that, despite the arrival of the covid19 vaccine, governments, to support the economic recovery, will be forced to launch strong monetary stimuli and this kind of policies will lead to an inevitable devaluation of currencies. fiat. Precisely this process together with a context characterized by low interest rates will lead the price of Bitcoin to new highs.
Bitcoin predictions 2021: what Paul Tudor Jones' fractals say
According to a fractal that was devised by Paul Tudor Jones, the price of Bitcoin would be just at the beginning of a prolonged rally which, in the long term, could translate into exponential growth to be exploited to trade CFDs using an authorized broker.
There are two reasons why Bitcoin could also replicate the gold boom of the 1970s. First, BTC boasts a fixed supply that cannot expand. Thanks to this strength, Bitcoin is configured as an interesting asset to safeguard against inflation risks. Furthermore, Bitcoin has the same characteristics that make gold a safe haven asset. As for the question of supply, it is not only a good that is characterized by scarcity but it is the only good in the world that has a deterministic and fixed offer. For this reason, Bitcoin will never suffer the potential supply shocks that gold might face in the future.
It is precisely this characteristic that pushes investors to say that BTC can be a more effective safe haven than gold. This parallelism pushes many to consider a BTC rally (here) definitely probable.
Bitcoin price will go towards ... infinity
As we spare you the opinions of other experts in global finance and cryptocurrencies, for which Bitcoins could reach $ 400,000 in value by the end of 2021 (!!!), we can’t help but wander… what if the price of Bitcoin was destined to go into infinity?
To launch this provocation was the CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Kraken who on Bloomberg's microphones stated that Bitcoin could very soon rise to an infinite value so that ... humanity itself could stop evaluating it in dollars.
Regarding the dollar, Jesse Powell used very strong words stating that this national currency has just 50 years of domination but is already showing the first signs of weakness and for this reason it cannot be excluded that people, very soon, may start measuring the value of things in Bitcoin.
Do the Kraken CEO's estimates seem completely unbearable to you? Time to time, and perhaps it is also worth remembering that the opinion that BTC will soon be able to surpass gold has a very broad consensus on social networks and beyond. As Cointelegraph recalled, the latest to express trust in Bitcoin was billionaire and former Bitcoin skeptic Mark Cuban who, in a response to SchiffGold.com CEO Peter Schiff, said that the gold ... is dead. Will it really be like this?
Bitcoin price prediction 2021: conclusions
And here we are at the end of this long excursus on Bitcoin 2021- 2022 forecasts. There are many opinions in circulation and, contrary to what one might think, the various opinions are not so much in conflict with each other.
Regardless of the various targets indicated, there is a minimum common denominator between the various analyzes: everyone agrees in indicating the relationship between supply and demand, in the monetary policies followed by central banks and in the different perception by investors, the reasons why the price of Bitcoin in 2021 will only grow.
48-49. Oil in a dive after the OPEC+ agreement_2
11. Oil in a dive after the OPEC+ agreement,
the risk of stagflation is frightening
Oil sinks below $ 70 a barrel, a victim together with the stock exchanges of sharp falls after the weekend in which Opec Plus put the pieces back together, decreeing a gradual increase in production in the coming months
The agreements reached by the coalition, which could lead to the total elimination of the cuts by September 2022, however, only partially weigh on the market, conditioned by a climate of general and growing pessimism.
The resurgence of Covid infections in many areas of the world is leading to new closures, with a probable impact on oil demand and production activities. And investors are worried that the global economy may be entering a phase of stagflation: a surge in consumer prices - largely linked to tensions on raw materials and logistics - accompanied by a slowdown in growth.
On the OPEC+ front, the coalition, at least for now, seems to have made peace with the United Arab Emirates. And the agreement approved in a lightning summit on Sunday 18 paves the way for an increase in supply that risks being excessive compared to oil needs, especially if the economic recovery were to stop.
The prices per barrel, negative since the beginning of the session, weighed down the falls in parallel with the share prices, losing about 6%. Brent has also slipped below the psychological threshold of 70 dollars, while the WTI has sank below 68 dollars.
Possible relapses still uncertain
Analysts are actually divided on the possible effects - bullish or vice versa bearish - of the decisions of Opec Plus. The agreement reached on Sunday 18, just in time to anticipate the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha, has cleared the field of many uncertainties and averted the danger of a breakdown in the coalition, which in theory could have provoked a price war.
On the other hand, there is the risk that a new excess of supply will emerge on the horizon, to which producers should respond by calling into question the agreements they have just laboriously reached
The dispute with Abu Dhabi - which had caused the summit at the beginning of July to fail, even leading to its “cancellation” - at the moment seems to have been resolved, thanks to skillful mediation conducted by Saudi Arabia and probably also by Russia: that the Emirati minister Suhail Al-Mazrouei thanked both at the end of the meeting, professing loyalty to the coalition that his government seemed on the point of abandoning.
“The Emirates will remain a loyal member of the Opec Plus alliance”, said Al-Mazrouei. “This is a strong group and we will always work within this group doing our best to achieve equilibrium in the oil market and to help everyone”.
“Opec Pus is here to stay”, Saudi Minister of Energy, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, echoed him. “We are back with full strength and determination”. No details on how the negotiation developed: "It is an art whose secrets we keep to ourselves,” said Abdulaziz.
The result seems to have made everyone agree, at least for now, given that some countries have contented themselves with promises: this is the case of Nigeria and Algeria, which have submitted a request for a revision of production quotas, but only obtaining the commitment of the group to examine it in the near future.
Almost full victory for the Arab Emirates
The Arab Emirates, on the other hand, took home an almost full victory, obtaining a higher basis on which to calculate the production cuts: 3.5 million barrels per day, less than the 3.8 mbg they had asked for, but more than the current one level of 3.2 mbg, considered too penalizing following the development of the fields.
In addition to Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia and Russia will also have a new base - and therefore license to produce more - (both will rise from 11 to 11.5 mbg). And surprisingly, Iraq and Kuwait also received an increase of 150,000 bg each.
All the new reference quotas will come into force starting from May 2022. The agreement with the Emirates has in fact also released the extension until December next year of the pact on Opec Plus cuts, which would otherwise have expired in April, with a free all of which risked collapsing the price of the barrel.
It has also received the green light for the program for the gradual reopening of the taps, with production increases from 400 thousand bg per month that will begin in August and will continue in principle also in 2022: in this way the group - which in 2020 at the peak of pandemic had applied a maxi-cut of 9.7 mbg - it would return to full production in September next year. In theory, of course. Because Opec Plus has kept the door open to react to any unforeseen events.
The final okay to the production increases in 2022 will come in December, when the group reserved the right to take stock of the situation on the market. And before then there will be other opportunities to change course, if necessary, because the summits will continue to be held on a monthly basis.
50-52. Coronavirus effects on videogames_3
7. Coronavirus effects on videogames
2020 was undoubtedly a unique year in the recent history of humanity, which in fact changed or changed our way of life forever. In this context, some economic sectors have and are still struggling, while others are paradoxically more prosperous than before.
This mechanism is fueled by the fact that people have been forced into their homes for some time: among these activities obviously all the delivery services (ecommerce, grocery shopping and food at home, and so on) and home entertainment stand out. The video game sector, as a good exponent of the latter category, has experienced an unprecedented year, mainly because many people, given the impossibility of other entertainment outside the home, have invested much more money in buying video games.
Record numbers, uncertain future
The game industry last year had a turnover more than North American cinema and sports combined, and if it seems strange to you the second term of comparison, once represented by music, you must take into account that in the great change in cultural consumption of the last fifteen / twenty years, the American sports market has far surpassed the music market, with the NFL alone making nearly half of the world's music revenues in the same period in a year.
Obviously, however, 2020 was a difficult year for both cinema and sport, given the almost total impossibility of carrying out “in presence” events in stadiums and cinemas, but it is still a huge milestone to have exceeded the revenues of two industries combined. We are talking about a turnover of approximately 180 billion dollars, of which 91% (!!) are the result of digital sales, and the percentage includes the PC, console and mobile markets. For completeness of information, it is good to add that the latter obviously accounts for 100% of digital sales, while PC 98%, so all in all the interesting figure is 72% of the console market, which represents a real record, given the historical link between console users and physical media.
Also considering the launch of the new consoles, traditionally a sales driver for software, 2020 was the perfect storm for the gaming market turnover. In the face of a record year, the industry has, however, had to deal, like any other economic sector, with the effects of the pandemic. Unlike other sectors, however, these effects will be noticed more over the next few months / years than now, given that we must always consider that the video game industry is always “behind" a year and a half or two compared to the rest of the world. If a studio is shut down, production is interrupted, or key developers change shirts, the effects tend to be noticeable sometime later.
It has already happened in the past and we have already experienced it during the great global economic crisis that began in 2008. At first, even at that time, users did not realize that the crisis was also affecting developers and, indeed, the video game sector it has always been considered “crisis proof”. The games continued to go out normally, but many studios of all sizes, due to the economic situation, had to close their doors in the following years due to a wave that had hit, but slightly later: crack was emblematic of THQ, which at the end of 2012 was forced to sell off all its IPs and went bankrupt, before closing its doors in 2013. The global crisis was not the only cause, of course, but it played a fundamental role.
Is it really a “crisis-proof” industry?
There are three aspects that have already happened and that will slow down the industry in the near future, substantially reducing the stocks available on the market. The first is represented by the difficulties of production and distribution of the new consoles: the launch of PlayStation has undoubtedly been a success with about 4.5 million consoles sold, but obviously the results are lower than what could have been achieved.
Sony has not directly pointed to the difficulties of manufacturing the console at Covid, but it is obvious that part of the problem for all the big tech companies is that their hardware is produced and assembled in China, and even if the production chain has not stopped, it has certainly been slowed down by the spread of the virus, especially as regards logistics. At the moment Sony is in the enviable, but not too enviable, situation of having millions of potential customers who have not been able to buy the console for almost six months. This scarce hardware availability is slowing down the spread of its software and also, secondarily, the opportunities for launching so-called “system sellers”.
The second thing that was noticed in 2020 was the absence of the events in attendance: last year no GDC, no E3 and no Gamescom. This certainly represented an obvious inconvenience for journalists and users, since the events were converted into digital versions almost always not up to par with their physical and often botched counterparts. Above all, however, in a crucial year with the new consoles coming out impossible (or almost impossible) to test before the launch, it represented a very serious problem for small and medium developers. Although it may not seem like it, given it is a highly technological sector, the game industry is based on people and human relationships, and giving up the dozens of business events around the globe was a big sacrifice that could also have marked the future of more than a few titles and developers.
Normally, in fact, during these events, developers have the opportunity to meet publishers and distributors, where it is also possible to submit a pitch, or present their games to obtain funds. How big and how deep is yet to be understood, but we will realize this over the end of 2021 and the course of 2022, and we are probably already realizing it now.
Finally, the third and most obvious of the problems that, alas, has already caused various publishers and developers to change strategic plans, is smart working. Fortunately for devs, in principle, video games can also be “played” from home, but clearly everything is more complicated in proportion to the size of the team and the game being developed. Converting a team of even just 30 people, out of the blue, from face-to-face to remote work is not easy at all, partly because video games are the result of team efforts, and organizing remotely is much less efficient. a bit because sometimes there are technical problems to face, perhaps trivial but which are not so obvious. To give an example, there is the question of specific hardware: if we can all have a PC at home, it is not so easy to have a development console; similarly, there is also the issue of data security which is always crucial in a company that produces video games. Working from home means implementing something that is unthinkable for some companies, i.e. taking out of the studio (or having virtual doors open to the studio) assets and source code of the game which, however protected it is, inevitably means exposing yourself to considerable risks. (just think about what happened to CD Project Red).
To all this must be added those “minor” but fundamental activities, which are almost impossible to carry out without creating small gatherings such as, for example, motion capture sessions. Some companies during the months of the pandemic professed security, reassuring players (and investors) that smart working was not a problem, and it is certainly true in some cases, as it is true that other companies, such as Square Enix, have testified that a quite different reality: in October 2020, some time after the worst period of the pandemic, via Yosuke Matsuda, it stated that work on new video games has been completely frozen. Reality is probably somewhere in between in many cases, but world game development is certainly not going at its usual speed.
It is quite evident that there is already a certain shortage of titles in the first two quarters of 2021 and if we look back it is exactly one year ago that the problems began. It is plausible, therefore, that titles with a medium / long development cycle began to have problems last year and are now further behind than expected, and therefore not at all ready to come out in the originally planned windows. Last year we saw incredible things, in a negative sense, during the summer shows: little content, games clearly not ready and sometimes without trailers “up to par”.
Let's not worry too much, however: many experts stated that in 2022 everything will return (approximately) as before in terms of quantity and quality, because it is likely that video game production will complete the adaptation process in the last part of 2021 to its new condition and will start to to return to production rates comparable to the past, perhaps leaving humanity itself earlier from the tragedy of the pandemic, which in any case we hope will happen soon.
54-56. Fifa 22 vs PES 2022_3
5. Fifa 22 vs PES 2022
Fifa 22 or PES 2022, which is better? The challenge between EA Sport and Konami is renewed for the best football game of the year.
The release of the new Fifa and PES, which will now be called eFootball, is not that far off, and trailers and rumors are already leaking out that can influence the balance towards one or the other video game.
Here is a useful guide on PES 2022 and Fifa 22 compared to help you get an idea of which one is better this year and which one should buy. All the news announced so far, the differences and info on gaming platforms, licenses, teams, players, gameplay, release date and prices.
Fifa 22 vs PES 2022: release dates
Let's start with the key question: when do Fifa 22 and PES 2022 come out?
As for Fifa 22 there is already a date: EA Sport has announced that the new title will be officially released on October 1, 2021, but already now it is possible to pre-order it on the official site for PlayStation, Xbox, PC and Stadia, also obtaining several bonuses.
The release of PES 2022 (official name eFootball) is scheduled for next autumn. Last year PES was released on September 15th, while two years ago on September 10th. Historically Konami anticipated Fifa sales by releasing its game two weeks earlier than its rival.
Also for PES 2022 we can expect a release around mid-September and earlier than Fifa.
The news of FIFA 22 and PES 2022
Curiosity is growing about what will be the news of Fifa 22 and PES 2022. Until a few days ago the information was extremely few, but close to the Euro 2020 final EA Sport has spilled the beans, releasing the official trailer of Fifa 22.
The main novelty will concern the introduction of a new latest generation technology, called HyperMotion Technology, which will allow you to have a more engaging and realistic gaming experience. This new discovery is the result of various motion capture sessions that took place in the field that allowed the creation of extremely realistic animations. Huge changes will also affect the machine learning algorithm that will allow you to write new animations in real time, transforming the movements of the players during the game.
EA Sports announced that it has also worked on goalkeepers with the aim of replicating the positioning style of the strongest goalkeepers in reality. New tactics for the attack phase will also debut in this edition of Fifa 22 that will allow greater control over the construction of the action.
Konami to keep up with Fifa 22 has decided to base its video game on the Unreal Engine in order to guarantee fluid, realistic and natural animations. To discover the gameplay instead we will have to wait for August, but we expect news for local matches and challenges between various console generations. From next winter, the Android and iPhone mobile versions will also be added. Also confirmed the fact that it will be cross generation, that is, it will be available both for the latest generation consoles, so Playstation 5 and Xbox Series S / X, both for PS4 and Xbox One
This element puts PES 2022 slightly ahead of Fifa 22 which will instead come out with two versions, one dedicated to the next-gen and one to the old-gen.
Fifa 22 will be released on:
• Xbox Series X | S
• Xbox One
• Google Stadia,
• Nintendo Switch (with Legacy Edition)
PES 2022 instead should be available for:
• PlayStation 4
• PlayStation 5
• Xbox One
• Xbox Series X | S
Prices and pre-orders
We come now to the price. How much will Fifa 22 cost? WHAT ABOUT PES 2022?
EFootball will be released completely free of charge (free-to-play) on all consoles, PCs and mobile devices. Konami will periodically add new content and game modes, some of which will be purchasable individually, thus giving players the opportunity to build their own gaming experience. In fact, Konami's goal seems to be to increase its user base and consequently also the microtransactions within the game.
As can be easily expected, FIFA will also be released this year in different versions. In addition to the classic Standard Edition, which contains everything you need to jump into the awaited sport on October 1st, an Ultimate Edition will also be marketed. This edition, in addition to containing various contents yet to be announced, will allow for a free upgrade from PS4 to PS5 and from Xbox One to Xbox Series X and will allow you to play FIFA 22 four days in advance, ie from next September 27th. By pre-ordering the game from GameStop you will also be able to get a rich preorder bonus, consisting of a Team Player of the Week 1 item, Kylian Mbappè loan, a FUT Ambassador of your choice on loan and a local talent for the Career mode.
As for the release and price, it is already available in preorder on the official stores, giving the possibility to access even some excluded bonuses. Here's how much it costs.
FIFA 22 Standard Edition, price of 69.99 euros on old-gen and 79.99 on next-gen:
• TOTW 1 Player Object;
• Kylian Mbabbé Loan Item: For 5 FUT matches;
• Choice Loan FUT Ambassador: Alaba, Foden or Son for 3 FUT matches;
• Local talent Career mode.
FIFA 22 Ultimate Edition, price of 99.99 euros on all platforms:
• Limited-time offer, expiring on 11 August: FUT Heroes Player Item;
• Player object To keep an eye on;
• 4 days early access (therefore from 27 September);
• Dual Entitlement - free update for PlayStation 5 consoles
• 4,600 FIFA Points;
• Team of the Week 1 Player Item;
• Kylian Mbappé object on loan;
• Choice Loan FUT Ambassador;
• Local talent Career mode.
57. Price per Magazine 1
58-59. The Old Hand Inflation and Deflation_2
Inflation and Deflation
In the last few months, when you went to your local drug store to pick up that important bottle of wine or filled your car up at local gas station, did you notice that the prices have been creeping up? Well, they have, and not just in one country: it seems, in fact, a global practice. This is what we call “Inflation”.
Only during the month of June 2021 in America, consumer price inflation rose to 5.4%, and for the same period in the UK it rose to 2.5% - which was also higher than predicted.
On a regular basis, Inflation normally occurs in a growth market. We anticipated with the onslaught of the Covid Pandemic that the world market growth would be in decline for some years to come. However, this does not seem to be the case.
Then, not only have we had to endure the heartache of Covid but now we find that inflation is attacking us everywhere. The thought of not having to endure inflation based on the fact that the Pandemic would possibly stunt growth and prevent inflation was a little hope in the overwhelming and devastating effects of Covid, but now it seems not to be the case.
It has been a very strange 18 months indeed. We all know that where there exist losers there are always winners: after all, we ourselves often profit from that exact scenario.
We have seen billionaires, like Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, nearly triple their personal wealth, while at the same time we have seen airlines, retailers, the arts and leisure industries completely obliterated. Countries have supported their people and businesses with huge handouts from Governments’ spending, which of course the very same Governments are borrowing from the central banks, whilst a very few organizations and corporations have maintained maximum growth with huge profits.
As I see it from a layman’s position, this current climate inflation makes no sense at all. Services seem to have eroded away, the health services are on their knees, travel is almost impossible and there is a general underlying feeling of restriction and apprehension. Still, according to the experts, we are booming!
I always say: if it makes no sense, then there is no reasonable sense to be made out of it. So keep searching until you find the truth.
Now, I normally am an advocate for positive thinking combined with positive energy. I see no harm whatsoever of announcing to the world that everything is great, everyone’s economies are great, and we are all on the upward slope to that all important recovery. If I could truly believe this, then I would be elated. Unfortunately, from where I am sitting, I just don’t see it around me or my life. I don’t see it around other people’s lives or within their businesses. I don’t see it within our businesses, our trade.
In fact, I only see common people panic buying property and gold to secure their wealth, I see people struggling to pay their everyday bills, which incidentally are constantly rising but I haven’t yet seen this growth in the economy which I am been told by the government.
Maybe I am looking in the wrong place, may be this the reason I can’t see it.
It seems to me that we dwell in a world driven by corporate entities and huge corporate organizations which are all linked and intertwined one another. This amazing growth that we are told it does exists, then: it’s only isolated from most people on the basis that it is ran and controlled by a few. This is possibly the reason why I don’t see or feel this enthusiasm. Because we don’t belong to that world of few.
Did you know that the worlds 2200 billionaires have more wealth than 4.6 billion people? Did you also know that just 8 men own the same wealth as half of the world’s population?
Did you also know that there are less than 5 wealth management companies in the world that manage nearly 100% of the world’s wealth?
This is probably why I’m not feeling it.
The fact that the economies are booming, inflation is rising due to growth… I’m not feeling it because it really does not affect me, or you, in a positive way. It just makes it harder for us to live, financially and emotionally. Particularly when we are bombarded everyday with the restrictions of a Pandemic but at the same time we are told that we are economically booming.
I am convinced that in the very near future all the governments of the world will implement a virtual digital currency. This has already been launched as a pilot by the CBDC, this is all the Central Banks in Australia, Malaysia, Singapore and South Africa and will completely remove the necessity for banks to deal with intermediaries.
The pilot will end in early 2022 at which point this will be rolled out internationally. This means that you as a consumer will deal directly with the Central Bank. It also means that every single transaction that occurs will be specifically recorded and monitored, and cash will no longer exist in our lives in any way. Although you may not think so now, what will follow with legislative implementation will have a negative effect on everyone’s life and freedom.
So, I find it really hard to listen to the politicians telling me that the economy is on the mend. I don’t believe them. I suppose it all depends on who’s economy they are referring to. My own or theirs?
We are built for business, for trade, we are traders, and we will always do deal where there is a deal to be done, but my feelings about these guys are that they just don’t want us to do a deal. They want it for all for themselves. If we are not careful, they will get their wishes.
Keep The Faith
The Old Hand
60-62. Video games New Releases 2022_ what to expect_3
4. Video games New Releases Q1 2022: what to expect
Gone are the times when there was certainty about the trend of the videogame market during the year. The big releases are no longer concentrated only in the Christmas period, as evidenced by the period of fire represented by the first quarter of 2022, with February playing the lion's share with many high-caliber games. At one time the beginning of the year was considered as a time to cool down, after the holiday period that historically has always been the one in which all the major blockbusters came out.
For some years the situation has changed because many publishers have started to prefer more strategic locations for games, trying to find spaces as pristine as possible for productions that need more breathing space. Then came the Covid-19 pandemic to further upset the plans and make any sensible planning of outputs based on market needs practically impossible.
A law that continues to be followed very strictly, however, is that of the fiscal year: there are no strategies or pandemics that hold in this case, if a game is functional to the annual budget of the company, it must be released within the term of the year relating to financial movements, usually 31 March. For this series of reasons, a truly significant amount of releases were concentrated in the first quarter of 2022, rather outside of any standard logic on the organization of market launches. At the expense will be the wallets of the most hardened players, as well as the social life of the latter, who in the first months of next year will find themselves spending some time locked in the house and in front of the screen.
Let's see why.
January 2022: let’s start with a bang!
We cannot speak of February alone without framing the situation of the entire first quarter of 2022, which appears exceptional even taken in its entirety. In January 2022, one of the most coveted games of recent years is expected, said without fear of exaggeration: Elden Ring will arrive on January 21, ending a wait that has dominated at least the last two years for the gamer community. The new action RPG by From Software is obviously the heir of the Souls but it also comes with a remarkable innovative charge, being the first game of this type declined in the form of an open world by the Japanese team, plus with the support of a guy as random as George RR Martin to writing. This would be enough to fill a monthly lineup, but this is not the case, as another insured best seller is arriving just a week later.
Just seven days away, when everyone is still immersed in the world of Elden Ring, Nintendo will be placing its 90's piece with Pokémon Legends: Arceus, set for January 28, 2021 on Nintendo Switch.
Pokémon Legends: Arceus will be an atomic bomb on the market in 2022
This is also one of those titles that can solve an entire quarter on their own, also considering how long fans will be able to continue playing it. Curiously, even in this case it is an unprecedented open world digression on the classic structure, which makes it a game that is very much awaited by a huge community, because it represents a first important innovation in a series that has always been very conservative.
It is not over here, because always within January 2021, but still without a precise date, Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Extraction should also arrive. Although the exact date is not yet known, Ubisoft has postponed the game this month: even shooter enthusiasts will have their headline to buy at the beginning of the year.
February 2022: traffic jam
We now come to the month that is triggering the most curiosity, especially following the recent updates of Gamescom 2021: February 2022 and its jam of releases, currently all concentrated in the second half of the month. What made it rather surprising is that all of the release dates that surfaced for this period were announced within practically a couple of hours during the German (virtual) fair, which generated this overcrowding effect. Leading the charge will be The King of Fighters XV, the new fighting game of the historic SNK series that will arrive on the market on February 17, 2022: this is a somewhat niche game, but it cannot be said that it is a lesser title, considering the history that it carries with it and the importance it holds within its own genre of reference.
The name of the highest caliber is expected to arrive just the day after: February 18, 2022 will be the turn of Horizon Forbidden West, one of the most anticipated games ever that has finally been moved to 2022 amid general dismay (but not too much, considering that the move was widely expected).
This maneuver by Sony seems to leave PS5's end of 2021 completely uncovered, which will cross the autumn and Christmas period practically without any exclusive first party.
A few days later, Sifu will also arrive, a minor title, but not at all superfluous, being one of the most prominent indies on PS5 and PC, coming from the authors of Absolver and out on February 22, 2021.
Destiny 2: The Queen of Whispers is also scheduled to arrive on the same day, a new maxi-expansion of the Bungie MMO that will surely keep the large community that gravitates around the title busy for a long time.
March 2022: surprises and uncertainties
Let's remember that we are still in August 2021, so many titles have to be announced and others will have a definite release only in the coming months, which makes the already huge list of games aiming for the first quarter of 2022 absolutely not definitive. Many titles could therefore materialize again between January and March, given that the generic "Q1 2022” still features a large number of projects still in full development, which could fuel this congestion of winter releases. Among the certainties of March there is one of the biggest surprises that emerged during Gamescom 2021, or Marvel's Midnight Sun, a new turn-based strategy developed by Firaxis that aims to stage something truly new: a strategic RPG on Marvel super-heroes from the authors of XCOM, something that could be very interesting indeed. Another certainty of March is WWE 2K22, which should not suffer further postponements and remains a game that is particularly awaited by a specific community.
The other title with a certain release in March is Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous, which will not be the classic videogame blockbuster but is a game with a considerable thickness finally arriving on consoles.
However, the unknowns are really many and could have a significant weight in the economy of the entire quarter in question. Among the major games that point to the first quarter of 2022 is Tiny Tina's: Wonderlands, the new spin-off based on the world of Borderlands could easily place itself in March, considering the fact that nothing is known about it yet. In the same period, the cooperative campaign of Halo Infinite should also arrive, which for many players can have an importance comparable to the release of the game, set for December 8, considering how much the mode is expected by fans.
The list of indies currently planned in this period is also rich, including Salt and Sacrifice, Stray and Exomecha, in addition to the mysteries that hover for 'early 2022' among which Ghostwire: Tokyo, among others, still remains.
Next winter appears decidedly overcrowded for video game lovers, who will find themselves with a considerable amount of titles to manage in a relatively short period of time. All this, of course, without considering the possible delays that could change the calendar again: we are always in an emergency situation regarding the organization of work on products of this type, so it would not be surprising if various games currently planned for the first quarter of 2022, also resulting from previous postponements, were further postponed.
63. Top Products Top Manufacturer Top Brands Top Models_1
64-65. Xiaomi no 1 in Q2_2
1. Xiaomi no 1 in Q2
The unstoppable Xiaomi surpasses Samsung: it is the first smartphone manufacturer in Europe.
Having dominated the smartphone market in India, Xiaomi has overtaken Samsung to take the number one position in the global smartphone market for the first time. The Chinese giant, after a profitable run in June 2021, became the world's first smartphone brand by beating big tech giants like Apple and Samsung.
In fact, the rise of Xiaomi does not stop: after overtaking Apple to become the second best-selling smartphone brand in the world, the Chinese manufacturer has officially conquered Europe. According to a report published by Strategy Analytics, in fact, in the second quarter of 2021 it managed for the first time to overtake the giant Samsung in terms of the number of units shipped to the Old Continent: 12.7 million against 12 million; in terms of market share, a difference of 1.3% (25.3% against 24%). And it could only be the beginning. The trend compared to the same period of 2020, on the other hand, is clear: Xiaomi has shipped 67.1% more smartphones, Samsung 7% less.
On the crest of the wave
In July 2021, we saw Xiaomi overtake Apple to become the second largest smartphone maker in the world. However, at the time, Samsung was still in the number one position in terms of smartphone sales in the global market.
Although Samsung dominated the global market at the time, Xiaomi was able to beat the Korean giant in regional markets like India, thanks to the massive popularity of the Mi 11 series. The Chinese giant managed to capitalize on the growing demand for phones in India, which recorded the highest smartphone shipments ever during the first half of 2021, despite the COVID-19 crisis.
However, the biggest breakthrough for Xiaomi came after Huawei's decline in the Chinese market. Furthermore, Samsung has been affected by the COVID-19 situation in Vietnam, where the Korean giant produces many of its smartphones. This has led to a decrease in supply for Samsung in the global market.
Hence, by taking advantage of these opportunities, Xiaomi has managed to increase offline sales in lower tier cities. Following this, the company managed to acquire a market share of 17.1%, thanks to the increase in sales of Redmi 9, Redmi Note 9 and Redmi K40 series models, according to Counterpoint Senior Analyst Varun Mishra. It is also important to remember that Xiaomi achieved this feat without being present in the United States.
At the base of the exploit of Lei Jun's brand, moreover, its ability to ride the wave of a market that, after a 2020 conditioned by Covid-19, has shown an overall growth of 14%, for a total of devices delivered of just over 50 million. “Xiaomi has enjoyed great success in Russia, Ukraine, Spain, Italy and beyond - explained Boris Metodiev, associate director of Strategy Analytics - and found customers eager to buy his series of Mi and Redmi smartphones, rich in functionality and value”.
According to the executive director of Strategy Analytics Neil Mawston, the decline of Samsung is due to the new 5G models of the Galaxy series which are doing well, still facing growing competition from Apple in the high end and that of Chinese suppliers (including Xiaomi, ed) in the low range, while failed to exploit the disappearance of Huawei in Europe.
Oppo and Realme Boom
This being the case, it is clear that today, more than ever, it is the value for money that makes the difference. It is therefore not surprising the dizzying growth that, immediately behind Apple third in the rankings (9.6 million units shipped, + 15.7% on 2020), marked the last 12 months of two other representatives of the Dragon such as Oppo and Realme. The first capable of registering a flattering + 180% (2.8 million smartphones delivered), the second even ten times as much: + 1.800% (1.9 million), a sign of the success of the new 8 Series. All other brands in the sector, on the other hand, do not exceed 22.2% of the market. That speaks - and probably will continue to speak - more and more Mandarin.
What is Samsung doing?
The Korean giant does not seem to resign itself to second place and it’s ready to use the secret weapon: the new foldable laptops of the group. On August 11, 2021, Samsung streamed its Unpacked event, unveiling its brand new range of smartphones and accessories: Galaxy Z Fold3 and Galaxy Flip3 smartphones and
the new Galaxy Watch4 and Galaxy Buds2 wearables. During the show, Samsung showed everything there is to know about these products, their amazing new features and new color range.
It remains to be seen if with these brilliant and foldable innovations, Samsung will be able to recover the place it has occupied for a long time in the world market of smartphones.
In the future, if the Vietnam crisis continues further, Samsung will likely remain in second position, while Xiaomi will continue to gain market share. However, that could change once Samsung breaks free from ongoing supply constraints.
66-67. Cold inflation_ why Wall Street is worried_2
9. Cold inflation: why Wall Street is worried
Not few on Wall Street have got the idea of stagflation in their heads, that is, of stalled economic growth and rising inflation. From what they understood it is not clear: perhaps they saw the Treasury yield nailed to just above 1.6%, while consumer prices flew 4.2%, well beyond expectations.
Perhaps someone really fears that the US economy, now at peak with estimates of GDP growing by 10% in the second quarter, will slow down dangerously in the coming months. Perhaps it is just one of those impromptu sensations that often seize the operators who often miss the sense of the limit. The fact is that a bit of disturbance is perceived on Wall Street and for some arcane reason the index no longer grows with the boldness of recent months: 20 days without a new record begin to worry.
The shadow of stagflation
In reality, the alleged fear of stagflation is more in the rash statements of some investor than in the facts. Bank of America analysts register the curious sensation, but refuse to give it weight and in their monthly survey note that fears of subdued growth, coupled with those of high inflation, are shared by just 8% of the 592 large managers. However, the signs of an initial and perhaps momentary unease can be glimpsed in the latest survey by BofA.
Expectations of a stronger-than-expected economy remain high (expressed by 84% of respondents), but the percentage is slightly down from the peak in March. Similarly, the feeling that it could slow the growth of corporate profits in the next 12 months is beginning to take shape with the percentage of optimists falling to 78% from the peak of 84% in April.
Consistent with this scenario, investors would in fact be reducing their exposure to the highest-growth stocks, such as technology, in favor of those of banks, insurance companies, basic consumption and commodities. For now it would be only a hinted repositioning, typical, according to BofA, of the final stages of an economic cycle. And it is precisely this consideration that now makes its analysts pessimistic. “In a condition of growing euphoria, of high valuations, of stimulus (fiscal and monetary) at the peak, we believe that the good news has already been highly priced by the market,” writes Savita Subramanian, head of equities for the American bank.
As a result, Wall Street may only weaken in the coming months with the S & P500 down 8% to 3,800 points. Ed Yardeni disagrees. It is true that the market is overvalued, he says, but not in a “so insane” way as in 2000; moreover, it will take months for the Fed to begin reducing quantitative easing and even longer months before raising interest rates. Meanwhile, the economy will continue to grow and inflation to rise, although not at the pace seen in April. The conclusion is a scholarship that “will immediately reach 4,500 points”. It is difficult to say whether Yardeni's or BofA's analysis is more correct: the second, observing how anomalous the present economic cycle (more violent and shorter) is after an exogenous recession, seems more rational to us. But the first, in a market conditioned by the cumbersome presence of many small investors who are very little rational, is more in keeping with the spirit of the moment.
After all, what is reasonable in the prices of a stock like Tesla, valued a thousand times the profits, with a capitalization that had touched 850 billion, equal to those of Toyota, Volkswagen, Daimler, Bmw, Honda, Ford and GM put together? Or in the evaluation of Dogecoin (70 billion), a cryptocurrency born for fun, like Monopoly money?
It goes without saying that the discriminating factor remains the policy of the Fed, the real director of financial markets and, together with government subsidies and public spending, also the engine of economic cycles. If the flare-up of inflation in April is temporary, why bother? Jerome Powell and associates, with their reassuring statements, have succeeded perfectly in their intent to convince the markets that the surge in consumer prices is only a passing phenomenon and rates will therefore remain flat for a long time.
Indeed, that 4.2% jump in consumer prices in April, largely caused by transient factors, could be repeated in May, but not in the following months, as both BofA and Goldman Sachs observe. For the latter, inflation could be just over 2% next year. But both banks warn that the risks of inflation exceeding the targets set by the Fed should not be underestimated.
At the moment it can only be noted that real yields on ten-year government bonds are in the USA at the lows of the last 50 years (currently at -2.55%) and negative (-1.7%) are also in the Eurozone. Those who are buying Treasuries may not have much confidence in the strength of the economic recovery next year; or, more likely, it places dogmatic faith in the benevolence of the Fed: which, as the market estimates, will not start reducing bond purchases (Qe) before March 2022 (Morgan Stanley) and will only start raising rates after the spring 2023 (BofA). If all goes well, of course.
68-69. Stagflation_ the mistakes not to make_2
3. Stagflation: the mistakes not to make
Stagnation plus inflation. A deadly combination for world economies. As usual, the alarm is raised by the financial detectors of the United States. The term stagflation, in fact, means that nominal and conceptual agglutination with which the situation is given a name for which prices increase and there is however stagnation.
At the moment this is just an alarm. But it was given. The insistence of the flat rates that they detect. They come down. And they do it very quickly. And this is how investors fear the surge in inflation.
The fear is due to the fact that, if the incoming phenomenon is confirmed, we will have to think about policies to reduce the mass of circulating money. The consequence is the restriction of the demand for goods and services. This is still the cause of the decline in the desire for business. The economy is decreasing and in a phase of recovery from the great depression due to the pandemic this is a phenomenon to be avoided.
Markets slowing down
The markets appear disoriented, while the investor must know how to position his portfolio, keeping in mind a couple of considerations to avoid misjudgment.
For a year, equity markets have been on autopilot, extraordinarily expansive fiscal and monetary policies, an end to the pandemic within reach and a very strong economic recovery, have created the conditions for a steady, inexorable and seemingly endless rally. However, something seems to have jammed in the mechanism of the rise.
Fiscal and monetary policies have become a little more uncertain, Biden's fiscal plan encounters some obstacles in Congress, the FED starts talking about reducing the purchase of securities, the so-called 'tapering' and the ECB also begins to discuss when to end the one-off purchase program that expires in March 2022. Global growth shows air pockets here and there, while inflation reaches levels not seen for some time. The Delta variant of the virus finally casts a shadow over the summer reopening and the upcoming cold season.
The markets seem at times disoriented and there are even those who speak of the risks of stagflation or deflation for next year.
Stagflation: a closer look
The term stagflation was born in the 1970s, after the first oil shock of 1973-74. It indicates the simultaneous presence of a productive activity that does not grow (stagnation) and a persistent increase in prices (inflation). Until then, the coexistence of these two phenomena was difficult to explain for economists, who considered the growth of prices a form of evil necessary to support the development of the economy. This situation is well delineated in the so-called “Phillips curve”, which showed a positive relationship between the increase in wages and prices and the level of employment and production.
In fact, periods of stagnation in economic activity were traditionally characterized by the fall in prices (deflation), due to the drop in demand over supply. Subsequently, the phenomenon of inflation has, on the other hand, become increasingly independent of the economic cycle, given the importance assumed by the oligopolistic energy and raw materials markets, together with the scarcely competitive service sectors.
The “green” issue
The environmental transition involves massive investments to produce green energy: we need new technologies and new products that do not use fossil energy sources. If the cars are all fully electric, industries will also have to use clean energy, including steel mills, cement plants and fertilizer factories.
To support these investments, everything will cost enormously more: from electric cars to steel produced with electricity from green sources, from travel by train to those by ship. That's where inflation will come from.
And since wages will remain firm, as companies will be grappling with the investments necessary to adapt the plants in order to reduce CO2 emissions, there will be no increase in production: it will remain at previous production levels, but at enormous costs, higher also for businesses. And companies, of course, will not be able to do anything other than pass on the higher costs on the prices of goods: this is how the perverse cycle between stagnation of production and rising prices will turn.
States will also put their tax burden on it, increasing excise taxes on fossil fuels to make them cheaper than the significantly higher prices of new energy sources: even here, it will be a hellish mechanism. The use of a traditional car must be harassed, by significantly increasing taxes on diesel fuel and petrol, to artificially make the electric car cheaper, the use of which will obviously be much more expensive than current levels.
Production will have to respect a series of sustainability constraints and prices will soar: the economy will not grow in real terms, also because growing shares of consumer income will be absorbed by environmental taxes, which will be increased to encourage the transition.
Is this the chaos that awaits us?
Two mistakes are to be avoided
According to economics strategists all across the globe, the first is to think that nothing has changed and that we should continue to buy even small losses. No, something DO has changed as central banks and markets focus on 2022 and try to understand what the world will be like after the current blaze of economic growth and inflation is over. There are doubts and uncertainties and it is legitimate to think that we will navigate on sight, without autopilot and with fewer safety nets.
The second mistake is to think that the ground on which we rest is particularly fragile and that the artificial nature of the recovery is about to bring out all its weaknesses, causing a heavy fall in the stock markets. That's not true either. The recovery is solid, and 2022 in broad terms is already set as a year of growth of 3-4% in America and 2-3% in Europe, while inflation next year will be 2-3%. in America and close to 2% in Europe.
In concrete terms, those who invest must prepare for a slowdown in the trend rate of the share rise and a volatility also favored by seasonal factors. However, a prolonged and marked trend reversal should not be expected. Those who have a good equity exposure should therefore avoid the temptation to increase it too much on correction, in order not to run the risk of getting scared and selling if the correction is deeper. Only this, nothing more. The rise is not over, but to enjoy the fruits well, we must avoid becoming greedy.
70-71. Netflix goes official_ streaming video games starting in 2022_2
6. Netflix goes official:
streaming video games starting in 2022
After a series of rumors and hires focused on gaming, Netflix has formalized its debut in the video game sector. The platform has in fact launched, for now only in Poland, an integration to the on-demand streaming service within the Android app.
The Giant has confirmed its intention to expand into the world of gaming during a July’s meeting with investors, stating that starting from 2022 it will start the production of games (presumably originals) that can be used at no additional cost by all subscribers to the service.
Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft have dominated the gaming market for decades, but in recent years cloud gaming has begun to appeal to more and more players, and Netflix certainly has the finances and ambitions to establish itself in this sector as well. The streaming giant, however, does not seem willing to immediately push on the accelerator, but rather to focus on the same slow and constant growth that has led it to become a leader in the film and TV series sector.
“We see the world of video games as a new category in which we could expand,” Netflix said in the last letter to investors, “and for this we intend to follow an expansion path similar to that adopted with movies, animation and TV series. [...] We are very satisfied with our range of offers for original films and series, but after ten years of continuous growth, we believe the time has come to understand how much our members are interested in video games”. In the letter, the streaming giant also confirms that initially the video games produced will be mainly for mobile devices, and that some could be linked to the big Netflix IPs (Stranger Things, Black Mirror etc.).
The first titles available, in fact, are already the two Stranger Things games.
Customers in Poland can try the service on Android with Stranger Things 1984 and Stranger Things 3, already included in the periodic subscription. Whit this move, the company confirmed to be at the beginning but working hard to deliver the best possible experience over the next few months with its ad-free, in-app purchase approach to play.
However, these are not exclusive video games, as they are already present on the Android digital store. In recent weeks there has been talk of an alleged agreement between Netflix and PlayStation, for the inclusion in the video game service of famous titles from the Sony console, although at the moment there is nothing official. In July, Reed Hastings' company hired a former executive from EA and Oculus to lead the group's gaming division, confirming an interest in extending entertainment to mobile. However, this isn't the first time Netflix has flirted with games. The streaming app offers interactive episodes of Black Mirror, Minecraft and Carmen Sandiego, where the user can decide how to continue the story.
As can be seen from the screens, the app allows you to redeem the titles for free, which obviously will be downloaded via the Play Store: once the procedure is finished, you can then play without advertising and without having to make in-app purchases. The available titles will appear, from time to time, in the customer’s personal home page feed, just like movies and TV series on Netflix. When we select a game, the app will allow us to learn more and press a button to download it. The app will then direct us to the Google Play Store to download it (therefore not a real integration into the Netflix app).
Alternatively, we will be able to find the games directly on Google Play and, after downloading the relevant app, we will be asked to log in with our Netflix credentials before we can start playing the title for free.
Netflix has therefore placed its first piece of a mosaic that aims to guarantee a level gaming offer: we will see what the future holds. For the moment, we are facing a first regional test, which we imagine will soon follow others: however at the moment we still have no official information on this. We will have to wait.