Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg ‘survives’ leadership vote

An attempt to make Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg step down as the company’s chairman has failed.

At the company’s annual general meeting on Thursday, shareholders had the opportunity to vote on Mr Zuckerberg’s leadership.

Mr Zuckerberg is both Facebook’s chief executive and the chairman of its board of directors.

He controls about 60% of the voting power and would only have lost if he voted against himself.

Some investors have called for him to step down as chairman as they believe this would help him focus on running the company.

One of those investors is Trillium Asset Management, which owns Facebook shares worth about $ 7m (£5.5m).

“If he can focus on being the CEO, and let somebody else focus on being independent board chair, that would be a much better situation,” Jonas Kron, senior vice-president at Trillium, told the BBC ahead of the vote.

He said Mr Zuckerberg could take inspiration from Google’s Larry Page and Microsoft’s Bill Gates, who are company founders but not chairman of the board.

Despite more than a year of privacy and data protection scandals, Facebook has exceeded estimates for revenue growth and continues to add new members.

At the annual general meeting, Mr Zuckerberg declined to answer a shareholder question about why he would not appoint an independent chairman of the board.

He repeated his view that regulators should set the rules around privacy and content for Facebook to follow.

A small number of demonstrators appeared outside the AGM, arguing that Facebook did not protect its users, particularly people from minority groups. Counter-demonstrators argued that Facebook “censored conservative voices”.

According to the Reuters news agency, some shareholders at the AGM said Facebook was a “hostile work environment” for people with conservative views. Some have asked the company to produce a diversity report reflecting its public policy positions.

‘Too much power’

Facebook’s former security chief Alex Stamos has also called for Mr Zuckerberg to step down as chief executive.

“There’s a legit[imate] argument that he has too much power,” Mr Stamos told the Collision Conference in Canada in May.

Mr Zuckerberg previously defended his leadership of Facebook.

In April, he said: “When you’re building something like Facebook, which is unprecedented in the world, there are things that you’re going to mess up.

“What I think people should hold us accountable for is if we are learning from our mistakes.”

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BBC News – Technology

ForexLive Americas FX news wrap: Mexico tariffs spark fear and a flight to safety

Forex news for North American trade on May 31, 2019:

Markets:

  • Gold up $ 17 to $ 1305
  • WTI crude down $ 3.22 to $ 53.37
  • US 10-year yields down 8.4 bps to 2.13%
  • S&P 500 down 37 points to 2752
  • JPY leads, CAD lags

It got ugly in the bond market after Trump announced escalating tariffs on Mexico related to the border. It was an old fashioned flight to quality with the yen and Swiss franc as the beneficiaries.

USD/JPY finished at the lows of the day in what was a steady bleed lower since rumors of the announcement started. The selling accelerated after reports said trade hawk Lighthizer was against the tariff announcement and that Stephen Miller was behind it. It’s a hint that hardliners increasingly have the President’s ear.

The euro and pound weren’t sure what to do with the news. They climbed initially then were hit by heavy selling into the London fix. However this is starting to look like more of a US problem than a European one and both currencies rebounded to finish near the best levels of the day.

The problem for the dollar is that bonds are now screaming for rate cuts. US 2-year yields looked like a capitulation trade as they sank 14 basis points to 1.92%. In turn, that was a big boost for gold and other safe assets.

The Canadian dollar wasn’t greatly affected by the GDP report. It was soft because of revisions to Jan-Feb but March was strong and forward-looking indications were solid. USD/CAD fell to 13516 from as high as 1.3565, which was a five-month high.

Rest up and get ready for another busy week. Have a great weekend.

Forex news for North American trade on May 31, 2019:

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Trump says it’s time for $100 billion trade deficit with Mexico to end

More on Mexico tariffs

I won’t claim to try to understand Trump but Mexico spent a year negotiating a free trade deal with Trump and they all shook hands on it.

Now Trump is tearing it up before it’s even ratified.

I assume it’s a bluff but it doesn’t send a great message about negotiating in good faith to anyone else who might want a trade deal with the US.

From Trump’s twitter:

90% of the Drugs coming into the United States come through Mexico & our Southern Border. 80,000 people died last year, 1,000,000 people ruined. This has gone on for many years & nothing has been done about it. We have a 100 Billion Dollar Trade Deficit with Mexico. It’s time!

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Trump to impose new tariffs on all Mexican goods over migrant crisis

Trump imposing new tariffs on Mexican goods

Washington — Faulting the Mexican government for not doing enough to curb an unprecedented flow of Central American families heading toward the U.S., President Trump announced the U.S. will impose new tariffs on all goods imported from Mexico in an effort to pressure the government to take action.

In a statement from the White House on Thursday evening, Mr. Trump said a 5% tariff on imports will take effect June 10 and increase five percentage points every first of the month until October, when the levy would reach 25%.

“Tariffs will permanently remain at the 25 percent level unless and until Mexico substantially stops the illegal inflow of aliens coming through its territory,” he added.

The president said the tariffs would be lifted “if the illegal migration crisis is alleviated through effective actions taken by Mexico,” which will “be determined in our sole discretion and judgment.”

The move represents Mr. Trump’s latest effort to curtail the large-scale migration of families and unaccompanied children from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras to the U.S.-Mexico border, where border officials have been overwhelmed in recent months.

“Mexico’s passive cooperation in allowing this mass incursion constitutes an emergency and extraordinary threat to the national security and economy of the United States,” the president wrote in statement late Thursday.

Mr. Trump also said companies that relocate to the U.S. from Mexico would not be affected by the tariffs.

Immigrant father accused of being in a gang reunites with his children

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador responded in a public letter he posted on Twitter Thursday in which he alluded to the U.S. as a nation of immigrants. “The Statue of Liberty is not an empty symbol,” he wrote.

López Obrador added that he will send his foreign relations secretary to Washington on Friday. 

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China official PMIs released – confirm the earlier leak

Official PMIs, private survey PMIs will follow up in coming days 

The data is here from earlier, when it leaked early:

All confirmed now:

Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), 49.4

  • expected 49.9, prior was 50.1

Non -manufacturing (services) Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), 54.3

  • expected 54.3, prior was 54.3

Composite Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), 53.3

  • prior was 53.4

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Man who set himself on fire outside White House dies

A man who set himself on fire outside the White House on Wednesday afternoon has died from his injuries, the U.S. Park Police confirmed. Park Police and U.S. Secret Service responded to reports of a man who reportedly lit himself on fire on the White House Ellipse. Police later identified the man as Arnav Gupta of Bethesda, Maryland.

A spokesman for the Washington, D.C., fire department said first responders managed to extinguish the fire. Officials were trying to determine what kind of accelerant the man used to start the fire.

Sgt. Eduardo Delgado, a spokesman for the Park Police, said investigators do not know the man’s motive at the time. Graphic videos on social media showed Gupta walking across the Ellipse engulfed in flames until first responders arrived to the scene. 

gettyimages-1152466970-594x594.jpg
Emergency personnel respond to a man that set himself on fire on the Ellipse near 15th and Constitution Avenue on May 29, 2019 in Washington, D.C. Getty

The Ellipse is a 52-acre park south of the main White House complex that is open to the public. In April, a man was hospitalized after lighting his jacket on fire outside the White House, causing a brief lockdown. The man in that incident sustained non-life-threatening injuries, the Secret Service said at the time.

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Turkish lira firms after Trump-Erdogan phone call

Turkish lira firms after Trump-Erdogan phone call Turkish lira firms after Trump-Erdogan phone call

ANKARA (Reuters) – firmed nearly 1% on Thursday on expectations that ties with Washington will improve after the two presidents discussed Ankara’s purchase of Russian S-400 missile defense systems during a call.

The lira was down as much as 14% this year due in part to growing friction between the NATO allies and the risk that delivery of the Russian-made surface-to-air weapon would trigger U.S. sanctions. Washington says the S-400s would compromise its F-35 fighter jets.

During Wednesday’s call, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan reiterated to U.S. President Donald Trump a proposal to set up a working group to assess the impact of the S-400s. The two also agreed to meet on the sidelines of a G-20 summit in Japan at the end of June.

The lira stood at 5.9650 at 0838 GMT, firming nearly 0.85% from Wednesday’s close of 6.0155. Earlier, it firmed as much as 5.9625, its strongest in more than two weeks.

Turkey’s dollar-denominated sovereign bonds also surged, with the 2030 issue up 0.9 cents on the dollar, its most in two weeks, according to Tradeweb data. The 2045 issue climbed 0.7 cents.

The call between the leaders sparked hopes that there may be a deal regarding the missile defense system and remove the threat of sanctions on Turkey, said Jason Tuvey, senior emerging markets economist at Capital Economics.

“The default remains that Turkey will take delivery of the S-400s from Russia. So, investors will need to see some further steps over the coming weeks to feel more confident that tensions are de-escalating,” he said.

The lira also firmed earlier this week after Defence Minister Hulusi Akar’s comments that the system may not make in time for the scheduled delivery in June sparked optimism among investors, despite his saying that they will be delivered in coming months.

Separately, the central bank’s net reserves stood at $ 26.52 billion as of May 24, data showed on Thursday, rising from $ 24.88 billion a week earlier.

Turkey’s main share index BIST100 rose 2.02%, while the main banking index was up 3.1%.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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Vietnam central bank says not pursuing ‘unhealthy competitive advantage’ in trade

© Reuters. A Vietnamese flag flies atop the State Bank building in central Hanoi © Reuters. A Vietnamese flag flies atop the State Bank building in central Hanoi

By Khanh Vu

HANOI (Reuters) – The State Bank of Vietnam, the central bank, said on Thursday it is not pursuing an “unhealthy competitive advantage” in international trade after the Trump administration raised concern over currency practices this week.

The U.S. Treasury Department, in a semi-annual report to Congress, said it reviewed the policies of an expanded set of 21 major U.S. trading partners and found that nine required close attention due to currency practices, including Vietnam.

“The State Bank of Vietnam will coordinate with relevant agencies to discuss and address the issue raised by the U.S. Treasury in a cooperative manner,” the central bank said.

The central bank said it would pursue a flexible foreign exchange rate “in accordance with domestic and international market conditions”.

The United States is Vietnam’s largest export market and the Southeast Asian country is seeing an ever-widening trade surplus, which rose to $ 13.47 billion in the first four months of this year from $ 10.19 billion a year earlier.

Last week, the central bank said it was ready to pump U.S. dollars into the market to stabilize the dong currency’s exchange rate, as it had come under pressure due to fallout from the U.S.-China trade war.

Vietnam’s dong has weakened 0.97 percent this year and has fallen 2.7 percent from a year earlier, according to Refinitiv Eikon data. The dong was quoted at 23,416/23,418 to the dollar on Thursday.

ING Bank said in a note on Wednesday that Vietnam was at risk of being labeled a currency manipulator because of its trade surplus with the United States, a highly positive current account balance (+5.4% of GDP) and the fact that its central bank had been quite active in terms of net foreign exchange purchases.

“If this happens, the impact on the dong isn’t very easy to prefigure. But in the long term, it’s fair to believe the currency may face upside pressure against the USD, in particular, if the negotiations that follow prompt a change in currency intervention practices,” ING said.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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What can Long-term Value Investors Learn from Traders?

While its a little quiet here during Asia a spot with some interesting reading.

Its a pretty quick read, broken into bullet points (so even traders can read it 😉 ) 

A taste:

  • While I believe that the success rate in trading is less than that in long-term value investing (and this belief is debatable), I also feel that good traders are far more detached than value investors.
  • What do I mean by “detached?” By the term detached I mean the willingness to be objective about the situation. This means first acknowledging that all trading is probabilistic and there are no sure things and what should work often doesn’t. The same, by the way, is true about investing.
  • Recognition of this reality makes it easier for a trader to quickly change his mind when evidence tells him that he is wrong.

Agree, disagree? Comments welcome!

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