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tv   Bloomberg Markets  Bloomberg  February 17, 2021 1:00pm-2:00pm EST

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rolling power cuts for the second day in a row. the operator of the texas electric grid says it could be days before another power plants are up and running. on tuesday night, outages spread arkansas, louisiana and mississippi. total u.s. oil production has plunged by the most ever because of that unprecedented cold blast. traders say crude output is down by about one third. america's biggest oilfield, the permian basin, production has plunged 65%. president biden plans to recalibrate relations with saudi arabia emil emphasized ties with king salman. it is the latest sign the administration is taking a different track from donald trump. the administration will downgrade relations with crown prince mohammed bin salman, the country's defective ruler. the u.s. put a holding key weapons sales to the saudi's. fox news reports rush limbaugh is dead. the conservative talk show host
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had stage four lung cancer. he told his listeners a year ago he was receiving treatment for the disease. the show began in 1988. he played a consequential role in conservative politics. among the most influential media fixtures in u.s. history, he's considered polarizing by some and an icon by others. rush limbaugh was 70 years old. global news, 24 hours a day, on air and on bloomberg quicktake, powered by more than 2700 journalists and analysts in more than 120 countries. i am mark crumpton. this is bloomberg. ♪ >> it is 1:00 p.m. in new york. i am matt miller and welcome to
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"bloomberg markets. these are the top stories from around the world. we are following 13 apps, confirming the covid pauses over. activists are fully funded, helping and moving portfolios. what is ahead for 2021? we will ask jim rossman. the deep-freeze that has forced the shutdown of u.s. refineries, oil wells and meat plants is leaving more than 3 million customers without electricity in the u.s.. it may keep parts of texas in the dark for several days. we will give you the latest. the big coin boom continues -- bitcoin boom continues. we will talk with antoni trenchev, he predicted $50,000 for bitcoin last january when it was only trading for $7,000. we will see where he things it is heading next.
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a quick look at the markets. a little bit of a pullback, a pause in terms of the ride. we said yesterday the longest winning streak we had seen for global stocks in 17 years. that has come to an end. equity indexes pulling back a little bit. here is the s&p 500. down about 15 points. 3917. we are about 82 points away from 4000. retailing index up almost 1% after a huge surprise on retail spending. turns out americans who got $600 checks when out and spent them as quickly as possible. it will be interesting to see if they do the same with $1400 remainders. crude trading higher. brent trading over $64 a barrel. at the bottom you see bitcoin up
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another 6% today. $51,390. hedge funds fourth-quarter holdings disclosures, the so-called 13s filings. sonali, what did we learn? sonali: hedge funds were hot on technology. a lot of that was because market value, big tech names. microsoft was beloved by the tiger cubs we love to watch, the proteges of julian robertson. we saw some selling out of some old school popular tech names through this crisis. zoom, a lot of people selling out. calendar year -- palantir. a more conservative type investor. pension funds selling at a big technology named. today we have jim rossman, thank
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you for joining us. you are looking at a much broader set of shareholders. what are you looking at? jim: thank you for having me on. we look at over 65 -- we focus on those traditional activist shareholders. we look at occasional activists. we look at market-leading, smart hedge funds and see where they are putting their money to work. we saw the technology by. we are seeing buying in consumer and health care and real estate. why? a lot of those sectors are sifting through winners and losers from the covid crisis. i think in 2021 we will see a lot of focus on who got it right, who wasted the crisis.
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there is a lot of deferred decisions around operations, capital allocations, winter dividends coming back, and frankly business portfolios. there were a lot of decisions deferred on separating assets that are no longer core. matt: we see this globally. countries have received even more support. companies have seen even more support than those in the u.s. the problem with zombies is a real one. why do you think the u.s. is the center of activity for activists? jim: the opportunities in the u.s. are just significant. we are still undergoing massive transformation because of the impacts of covid. u.s. companies have deep supply chains abroad globally. they have also in many cases diversify their portfolios to
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take advantage of globalism. what we see now is a potential reversal of a lot of those strategies. technology has accelerated the development. the work at home culture has accelerated trends. u.s. companies that were heavily invested in certain areas, certain supply chain geographies are now recalibrating. activists are out on the front foot looking at opportunities. the other new think we are seeing coming is the rise of esg. it has been a popular topic in europe for many years. esg is now firmly planted on u.s. soil. the attack on exxon in december by engine number 1, followed by, the value act church of england. who knows will come next in that situation. esg theme are on
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american shores. we will see he was doing esg well and he was doing poorly. -- and who is doing poorly. sonali: exxon is a perfect example. what is the next shoe to drop? more oil companies getting agitated by activist investors or will bc it was somebody who doesn't have enough people of color or women on their board and the social aspect of this? jim: i think you are right. we will see some attacks the focus on the 's'and others will focus on the board 'g', and the environment. i'm looking for oil and gas, transport, heavy industry, steel, chemicals. those are all the areas. it may be there is a standalone attack on strategy combined with that e or s theme. or s on its own.
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asset managers, there is twice as much capital dedicated to esg themes for fund that have a filter on theirs investment strategy. there is no umpire right now. there is no referee determining who really is focused on esg or doing it for fundraising purposes. what are public companies know is they are in the crosshairs and they are all spending time trying to understand esg right now. matt: i want to ask with you think about the hunt for yield, investors pushed so far out of the risk spectrum they are now willing to hand anyone hundreds of millions of dollars for blank check backs. does it offer opportunity for
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activists? jim: i think is an opportunity for activists in two ways. number one, there is a ton of capital looking at this opportunity right now. that means activists can raise their own back funds. will they become spactivists, but it frees up capital. there are now hundreds of spacs, hundreds of billions of dollars. this is a major disruption of the ipo market. we will see a whole new generation of companies coming public. low they be ready? we don't know -- will they be ready? we don't know. if they fail, they are opportunities for activists. activists are watching this back market closely -- the spac market closely. sonali: that's interesting because presumably this all
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means more money for activist hedge funds this year. jim: i think 2021 will be a banner year for activists. they were smart last year. many hedged well as covid increased. they pursued other strategies. they took their time. they paused. when the market came back in the fourth quarter the redeployed capital. if you think about it, going public, how assets move either from private hands, venture capital hands or assets sitting inside public companies go public, activists will be waiting to take advantage. they realize there is a lot of inefficiency. this is not an institutionalized market. this is early days. a lot of companies will go public through spac's and have not been vetted through the traditional process.
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activists will be studying the market closely. year we talked about the lack of companies wanted to go public. it feels like that is in the middle of a reversal right now. matt: thank you so much for joining us. i'm glad we got to spend some time with you. jim rossman. sonali, i have to think he was well. you brought jim to the program. i hope we can get him back in the future. jump traders are shifting from old habits. -- junk traders are shifting from old habits. the tide may be turning. we will discuss that with chris concannon next. this is bloomberg. ♪
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matt: this is "bloomberg markets ." we will talk now about electronic trading taking off in the junk bond market where close-knit relationships have long been the keyway of doing business. market access high-yield trading jumped more than 50% last month from a year earlier to a record $1.9 billion in average daily volume. chris concannon joins us now to talk about this. i want to say it's a revolution. that is a sensationalist and me. at the very least, it's an evolution. what you think you are seeing in this industry? chris: thanks for having me. it is great to be on the show. you are right. it is an evolution. a multi-year change in the
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market dynamics. market access is at the center of that change in electronic trading. in 2020, a 17% market share of the high-yield market, the junk bond market. we see high levels of electronic trading adoption across the entire fixed income market both here in the u.s. and globally. matt: is junk bond a term people don't like to use? it doesn't even have pejorative feel for me since i've been saying that for so long. is that a different market now? since the covid pandemic, during the lockdowns and they start to ease? chris: it is slightly different than during the crisis of the pandemic, march of 2020, where we saw high levels of trading activity.
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many of the large banks were challenged in the high-yield market. they were protecting their balance sheets. the ability to provide liquidity was certainly degraded during that time. on our platform we run and all to all market. all market participants can provide liquidity to the other market participants. we saw a huge jump in our market share as a result of that all to all market. if you look at it, the equities in futures markets have all to all market solutions. the bond market was really a dealer to client market solution. it is our all to all market that is going market share in the high-yield market where we are close to 50% of our volume is an all to all anonymous electronic solution. matt: this used to be a market
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where i would go to my dad's squash club and meet somebody at the bar. he knows a guy who was doing a deal. i know somebody with funding. it is not like that anymore. do you think the market -- spreads tighten as a result of the electronic all to all access? chris: absolutely. the savings are platform created for clients was record saving in 2020. we saved our institutional clients $1.1 billion on our platform as a result of that all to all electronic solution. to put that in perspective, our company only earned $687 million in 2020. very few companies on the planet can say they saved more money for their clients than they actually charged them. matt: do you think the pickup,
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the incredible pickup in volume is a pandemic blip or a change that is here to stay? is it sticky? chris: i think it is very sticky. what we have seen in other markets that went through that evolutionary change to electronic trading is there typically comes with it a higher velocity in the market. as you narrow spreads and use electronic trading, trading participants can trade more. there are traits of the participants refused to do and wider spreads. now they can use trading strategies that did not exist in the market before. we see higher velocity in the market and higher turnover when you see a growth in the adoption of electronic trading. i should add the growth of the etf market for fixed-income products in the etf's is also a driving -- driving the electronic adoption of the
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corporate bond market. that growth is also participating in the evolution of our markets. matt: chris, i think it's a fascinating change an important one to the industry. jim rossman --chris concannon, markettaxess talking about the big shift to electronic trading. bloomberg lp, the parent of bloomberg news competes with market access to offer fixed-income trading data and information to the financial services industry. this is bloomberg. so you're a small business, or a big one. you were thriving, but then... oh. ah. okay. plan, pivot. how do you bounce back? you don't, you bounce forward, with serious and reliable internet. powered by the largest gig speed network in america.
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but is it secure? sure it's secure. and even if the power goes down, your connection doesn't. so how do i do this? you don't do this. we do this, together. bounce forward, with comcast business.
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matt: welcome back to "bloomberg markets." i am matt miller. , earlier today -- earlier today
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ford announced it will overhaul its business in europe where did not sell a fully electric vehicle last year. it is now bowing to go completely electric -- vowing to go completely electric by the end of the decade. francine lacqua and i asked about this ev goal. >> in 2026, all passenger vehicles will be emissions-free capable. investing $1 billion in the simply plants and electrification centers. matt: we're looking at pictures of it rolling down the highway. i would guess that is in
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california where you have a testing center. stuart, we have seen you working more with the porsche people. heelys the volkswagen platform in this new plant as well. are you able to cut costs substantially by partnering up with vw? stuart: we are pleased with our emerging alliance with volkswagen. we will use the volkswagen platform for our first domestically produced vehicle in europe. we have our own electrified platform, the great mustang built off the ford platform there. we are also partnering with volkswagen on commercial vehicles where we will lead with the ford platform. it allows us to scale in the earlier days of elective occasion. scale is important as we make these vehicles accessible to
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customers. we are pleased with the progress of that alliance. francine it is no secret apple is working on a driverless car, probably electric as well. can you really compete with apple? stuart: absolutely. apple does not produce any cars today. we produce many. we announced we are partnering with google. the digital experience is going to be more important as we move forward as cars electrified. having a partner like google will allow us to differentiate. matt: that was ours was of interview with stuart rally. franny wants a self-driving electric car. i want to pilot my own. i am actually getting lucky. you would think the industry is going the other way. on february 3, ford introduced
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its new f-150 raptor, a huge pickup truck with extra disc suspension for going over big bumps in the baja. it is a turbo powered 3.5 liter v-6. it needs to go up against the ram, a supercharged 6.2 liter v-8. the best thing coming out now is a jeep wrangler with a naturally aspirated 6.4 liter v-8. if you like big engines and you want here engines naturally loan with air -- blown with air, your luck. it is not all over. how the warming arctic helped to drive the deep-freeze moving over taxes. -- texas. this is bloomberg. ♪
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mark: i am mark crumpton. president biden's first speech to a joint session of congress
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probably will not happen until march. that would make it the latest debut presidential speech to lawmakers in decades. officials don't expect president biden to lay out his economic plan until after the coronavirus relief package passes. united states and japan reportedly have agreed to extend their agreement on troop funding for a year. the deal will keep japan's share of the cost of posting u.s. forces at about $1.9 billion a year. former president trump demanded a fourfold increase in financial support. the u.k. is holding back its plan for evaluating the economic impact of new trade deals that were prepared before boris johnson signed the post-brexit agreement with the european union. the u.k. said it will not publish an impact assessment even though it has done similar assessments for other major agreements. global news, 24 hours a day, on air and on bloomberg quicktake, powered by more than 2700 journalists and analysts in more than 120 countries.
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i am mark crumpton. this is bloomberg. ♪ amanda: welcome to "bloomberg markets." matt: we are excited to bring you a bloomberg audience top stories we are following from around the world. kicking it off at the role of climate change in the u.s. power crisis. millions remain without electricity. the situation seems to be getting worse. more in this week's bloomberg green segment. staying green, we will speak to the ceo of higher wellness about
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the cannabis company's growth in the recent reddit retail frenzy in the pot sector. the cryptocurrency fever continues. bitcoin topping $51,000. we will speak with antoni trenchev, cofounder of the largest crypto lender. amanda: we are seeing a little bit of a selloff across markets and is not broad-based. subgroups not in lockstep. energy remains one that is showing strength,. as does give indications when you look at the leadership stocks, you can see a mixed picture. apple is down and amazon is up. a little bit of discrimination going on in terms of what is propelling investors. shopify at the bottom of your screen. at times the most valuable company in canada.
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reporting earnings that were certainly good-looking on every metric but warning next year may not be as strong. you can see a selloff. we are watching the price of west texas move higher as we see the cold snap across texas continue to cripple the grid and continue to create blackouts. it is leaving many texans in the dark. one of the concerns is the extent to which this sort of extreme weather is likely to be with us in one form or another. when we don't like to link weather with climate change, we no longer term changes in the climate can have an effect on the weather. jillian goodman, thank you for being with us. let's start with the link. americans love to say it's an arctic storm from canada. this one is really from the arctic. you can argue there are extreme
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weather patterns coming because of climate change. jillian: that's exactly right. this one did indeed come down from the north. we saw a sudden stratospheric warming event that caused a weakening of the polar vortex. basically the polar vortex keeps the cold in the north. when that weakens cold air spills south. attribution science is still a rather young field. is advancing rapidly. we can say these events have been happening more frequently as the world has been warming and more generally climate is very interconnected. as temperatures change around the world and in the arctic, which is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world, everything else gets more volatile. matt: this is exactly what happened in the dennis quaid film "the day after tomorrow." they predicted this in 2004 to
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some extent. the interesting thing is we are hearing from a lot of texans that green energy is somehow to blame for this. how did that narrative get kicked off? jillian: we see that a lot in broad-based energy failures. the same thing happened during the fires in california last summer. i can't say for sure. we can say this is a pattern. the thing in texas is it was not just wind turbines. gas plants failed. oil rigs failed due to a broad failure to protect against occurrences such as this. this happened in january. this was very simple -- predicable. matt: great to have you on, if only briefly.
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jillian goodman from bloomberg green to talk about the latest on what we know about texas. what caused it and what's happening. we will dig into the bitcoin boom coming up with antoni trenchev, cofounder of nexo. i spoke with this guy over a year ago when bitcoin was just $7,000. he told me it will hit $50,000 by the end of the year. a lot of people thought he was insane. now a lot of people are going to want to listen. this is bloomberg. ♪
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amanda: this is "bloomberg markets." it was matt miller who conducted an interview about a year ago
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with a guest to said bitcoin was going to $50,000. at the time that seemed bonkers. even though it was already at $7,000 and that seemed bonkers. now for has surpassed that level. the doubters are definitely in a dwindling camp when it comes to bitcoin and its value. matt: they remain. i started covering bitcoin over 10 years ago. people thought $1000 was just that nutso target. when he hit $1000, i went for two weeks living in only bitcoin. i did not spend dollars and it worked out pretty well. it came up that price. then he went to $20,000 in 2017. people thought the world had lost its senses. came back down and that is when he told me around $7,000 it would hit $50,000. now it has. antoni trenchev, cofounder and
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managing partner of nexo. you have $5 billion of assets under management. you have a big bitcoin lending business. the interesting thing is you have to admit it's at least a rubber bubble. there is a lot of volatility. it has been historically in bitcoin. isn't it difficult to run a business with that kind of volatility? antoni: not in the past year at the least. it is the best asset of any significant timeline, whether it is one year or five years or 10 years. it is a matter of having the right perspective when investing in bitcoin. that is how we build out our business. very conservatively. we end a ratio -- lend at 50%. amanda: i will keep myself in
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the doubters camp, to out myself. my concern with bitcoin is it's impossible to know how to value it other than what the next guy is willing to pay for it, which always gives you pause. the counterargument is that is the same as gold. jp morgan call on bitcoin's $146,000. jp morgan call was predicated on the idea bitcoin would trade like gold. do you think you will go there and be treated the same way gold has been treated? antoni: i think bitcoin is a better version of gold. it has the necessary characteristics. scarcity, a finite amount with elon musk taking us. there is a bunch of gold on mars. we might see inflationary pressures on gold. i think bitcoin is actually a better version because next time
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you travel to europe, try bringing $1 million in gold versus the same amount in bitcoin. it is much better in so many ways. i think we are going to see outflows from gold into crypto. it is a totally new asset class like we have never seen before and it is here to stay. matt: i will push back a little bit against that. i was thinking the other day when this arctic frost came down from the great concavity and shut down texas, you would rather have golden bitcoin. especially if the cell phone network goes down. you will not be able to buy anything with your ones and zeros unless you remember them off the top of your head. isn't there a situation or argument to be made for gold
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when it really -- when push really comes to shove and you have to grab your bug out bag? antoni: i am a gold bug and have been for the better part of the decade. you have to consider the counterargument. if you invested a dollar in gold a year ago, you have about a t $1.70. in bitcoin you have about $25 million right now. amanda: the other side of the argument, and i know where matt is going, it is gold coins see you can go buy things. that is called the end of the world trade and only works once. why do we need digital currencies other than the digital currencies we have? i have not touched the paper dollar bill and i don't know how long. everything that he was digital. it happens to be the one my
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central bank manages in my bank manages for me. what is the purpose of cryptocurrency except for use on the dark web, fraudulent activity, all the reasons people like it? antoni: the number one choice for moneylenders -- money launderers is the dollar. there was no beating around the bush on that fact. more importantly we need crypto, in particular bitcoin and 3000 other cryptocurrencies we are not a super excited about. precisely your central bank can not print at will. is something we have seen being done on a massive scale last year. close to $8 trillion has been printed. you can feel the creeping inflation. it is palpable everywhere. i was in london and i paid for the exact same meal i paid as a
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student in years ago twice the pound value. it is obvious in this inflationary, macro money printing environment people will be searching for alternatives. bitcoin is our generation's gold. the next generation should be the main driver at the economic cycle and are taking an interest in bitcoin in particular. matt: that's a good point on the dollar. hitmen, drug dealers, evil dictators have been paid more in dollars and any other currency. the inflation argument, i wonder if that can bite you back. if we start to see retail spending off the hook today. if we see the fed get worried, does that mean bitcoin -- does the air get let out? antoni: we could see a correction of 50%.
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that would not have an effect on the long-term bull market of bitcoin. $30,000 was a month ago and now it's almost -- it is really taking the right time horizon. you have to have some because of its potential and the way it has performed historically. the market cap is above $1 trillion. you don't put your kids college funds all at once in bitcoin because there are some inherent dangers. right now are not super excited about a particular price level like last time when i told you $50,000. i am watching now and the feeling it's giving me, how was reacting at $75,000 which is the next logical stop.
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and the overall exuberance of the market participants. this will tell us where bitcoin is going next. amanda: when you made that $50,000 call you said by the end of the year. what is your timeframe on $75,000? antoni: i have not brought mike crypto crystal ball. i think we are accelerating towards $75,000 right now. it is really going to be a question of how it reacts. ultimately i think we are going to go much higher. $100,000 is realistic in the next 12 to 18 months. it is not going to be as smooth a ride as last year's production. a lot of people are calling it last -- right now. last time it was just me and matt considering the scenarios. the markets never do what
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everyone is expecting. i caution against that. matt: we will get our $100,000 packs ready. even if you are a doubter. antoni: absolutely. amanda: maybe it will be 100,000 canadian dollars. antoni trenchev, ceo of nexo. one place seeing speculation as the cannabis group. next up, the ceo of air wellness about this recent reddit frenzy in pot stocks. this is bloomberg. ♪
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amanda: welcome back to "bloomberg markets." if you have been watching all
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the trading driven by social networks like reddit, you have noticed pot stocks appear to be the latest target. did haven watching pot stocks longer, they do travel up and down in double-digit percentage moves. this is a super volatile group. here are the options of big names. deleted teflon stomach to manage the ride. -- you do need a teflon stomach. matt: they soared at first. everyone wanted to buy joints and would be able to legally some of them. then they came back down. i guess people thought valuations got ahead of themselves or the passing federal law was not on its way anytime soon. america is maybe a little more conservative. it does not look like it is ever coming in europe. amanda: right. how long before the federal regulation in america? we want to welcome jon sandelman
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of ayr wellness. let's start with a picture of the regulatory environment, one of the big headaches of managing a pot company. you have different treatment of medicinal versus recreational. do you think you will get a coherent lens on this in america anytime soon? jon: while i don't necessarily think we will get a coherent, comprehensive piece of legislation which will take a business that is legal in the state by federally illegal and get 20/20 clarity. i think we will get aspects of the bill that will make it easier for the industry to be able to bank itself and finance itself. it also tracks a host of investors that have been previously precluded from buying
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into this fast-paced, fast-growing cpg business, which will be welcomed by the existing investors and the cannabis companies as a whole. matt: what are you focused on at ayr? there is of course the medical need for marijuana. if you look at it narrowly, it is not as big as the recreational market. a lot of my friends who are recreational users have a medical card but they don't really medically need it. they just want to get high. how big is the market and how fast is a growing right now? jon: the medical or use for the overall market? matt: the overall market. how big is the overall market now? a friend of mine was shopping at a supermarket in denver. on the back of the receipt he
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had a coupon for a pre-rolled joint. it seems like acceptance is insane in some places, or as he don't see it through another cities. jon: let's start with the questions. the reason why -- of a previous hedge fund manager. i started focusing on cannabis three and a half years ago. one of the reasons i found it so attractive, there are few products that, as we say, we are at the cross-section of wellness and wonder. we do believe cannabis is nature's medicine. we do believe that people like to use cannabis recreationally. we do believe they are very few consumer products out there that appeal to both sets, both needs. that is what makes it such an
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inciting -- exciting investment. in the short term it was medical. previously it was all focused on medical. then the focus became adult use and recreational. yet i think over the longer-term, once this is federally legal, i can see the medical being larger than the recreational. but that will come with federal legalization and broad acceptance. amanda: we don't have a ton of time but i want to ask you about the volatility we have seen. the retail investor base may be the interest in the cannabis stocks. your stock has not been super volatile. do you think volatility is unwelcome for the whole space? jon: i think volatile stocks make investors nervous and make retail investors nervous. what we saw is what you said in
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the beginning. there was cannabis 1.0. this momentum trading, very enthusiastic trading. we have seen markets like that and mark is correct. now we are and cannabis 2.0. there is a different group of investors, more longer-term players. i think with the safe bank act, which we hope will pass this year, u.s. institutions will enter the marketplace and we will see more stability in share prices. matt: jon, fascinating stuff. i hope we can get you into the office soon. jon sandelman. from amanda and myself, this is bloomberg. ♪ ♪
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♪ mark: i am mark crumpton. united nations secretary general antonio guterres criticize the
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global distribution of covid-19 vaccines. he told a high level member of the security council that 130 countries have not received a single dose and declared that "at this critical moment, vaccine equity is the biggest test before the global community." >> the covid-19 vaccines are generating hope, but at this critical moment, vaccine equity is the biggest model test before the global community. we must ensure that everybody everywhere can be vaccinated as soon as possible. mark: secretary-general gutierrez called for an emerging global vaccination plan to bring together those with the power to ensure fair vaccine distribution, scientists, vaccine producers, and those who can fund the effort. 10 countries have administered 75% of all vaccinations. president


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