Wednesday, September 18

ByKevin Sheekey

Programming Note: Stay on top of the news all day at my “live edition” of my newsletter at  

Global Tide Turns Against Vaping: E-Cigarettes Banned in India, Juul Sales Halted in China (Bloomberg)

The Narendra Modi-led government announced an executive order Wednesday banning the sale and production of all e-cigarettes in India, echoing growing concerns worldwide over health risks associated with the smokeless nicotine devices popular with teenagers.

Bulletin: Trump Names Hostage Envoy Robert C. O’Brien as Fourth National Security Adviser (Washington Post)

O’Brien’s recent appearance in Stockholm to monitor the trial of American rapper A$AP Rocky drew guffaws as critics assailed Trump for what they viewed as an inappropriate intervention in an allied nation’s legal matters.

Israel Election.

Climate Today.

Trump vs. California: Trump EPA to Revoke California’s Landmark Emissions Standards (Axios AM – Mike Allen)

In what could be the biggest fight in environmental law since the Clean Power Plan, the effort could snuff out any hope automakers had of avoiding a bitter legal fight between the administration and California.

The landscape on California issues would shift overnight if a Democrat wins the White House in 2020 — but Trump rightly sees the state as unwinnable.

Today in Climate Finance.

Wall Street’s New Battleground Is $136 Billion Green-Bond Market (Bloomberg)

Banks are racing to keep up with demand for securities aimed to curbing carbon emissions.

Climate Finance Leadership Initiative (CFLI) Unveils New Report to Catalyze Global Financial System to Combat Climate Change (Bloomberg press release)

“More and more business leaders recognize that economic growth and climate action are not two competing ideas – they go hand in hand. And the solutions presented in this report provide a roadmap for both reducing emissions and strengthening economies,” said Michael Bloomberg, who founded the CFLI in his role as UN Special Envoy on Climate Change.

“As we work with cities to increase the pipeline of investment ready projects, the solutions put forth by the CFLI in their report will ensure that private finance is ready to meet them,” said Christiana Figueres, Former Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and Vice-Chair Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy.

The CFLI is comprised of seven major institutions: Allianz Global Investors, AXA, Enel, Goldman Sachs, Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF), HSBC, and Macquarie. Read more here.

Today in Gun Safety.

With Harrowing Ads, Gun Safety Groups Push a Scarier Reality (New York Times)

Going back to school means worrying about what to wear, deciding what classes to take and, increasingly, knowing what to do if someone appears on campus with a gun.

This reality in American classrooms is reflected in a harrowing ad being released on Wednesday from Sandy Hook Promise, a gun safety advocacy group created after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in 2012.

Groups opposing the gun lobby have begun to ramp up their marketing activity. Everytown for Gun Safety, an organization funded in part by former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York, recently pledged to spend at least $2.5 million supporting gun control policies in Virginia before the election next year.

Last month, as part of a $350,000 campaign, Everytown released television ads pressuring four Republican senators, including Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Marco Rubio of Florida, to support background check legislation.

Financial News.

Fed Injects Liquidity Into Markets as Key Rate Busts Through Cap (Bloomberg)

The Fed dose of cash Wednesday follows a $53.2 billion liquidity injection Tuesday, the first in a decade and an attempt to restore order within the underpinnings of U.S. markets.

The move highlighted how the Fed was losing control over short-term lending, one of its key tools for implementing monetary policy.

It also indicated Wall Street is struggling to absorb record sales of Treasury debt to fund a swelling U.S. budget deficit. The U.S. government has made matters worse over the past year by adding a record amount of new debt, and that will likely only increase as the deficit swells past $1 trillion.

Big News: Bloomberg Gets Into the Equity Benchmark Business (Barron’s)

The flagship Bloomberg U.S. Large Cap Index (ticker: B500) is an S&P 500-like index that tracks the 500 U.S. stocks with the largest market capitalization.

Unlike the S&P 500, which is maintained by a committee of market professionals that have some discretion in selecting stocks, the construction of the Bloomberg Large Cap Index is purely quantitative and rule-based. Some of the components of the Bloomberg index, such as NXP Semiconductors (NXPI), Tesla (TSLA), and Lululemon Athletica (LULU), aren’t included in the S&P 500, even though they’ve made the cut in terms of market cap.

Read Bloomberg’s official press release here.

Tech in NYC.

How New York City Became Silicon Valley’s Biggest Rival (NY1 News)

A deep pool of talented workers, drawn by all New York has to offer, is helping to fuel growth.

The most recent boom can be traced to the 2008 financial crisis, when Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration made a big push for tech to diversify the economy. A centerpiece of the Bloomberg effort: building an engineering school.

“I think something important happened when the city put Cornell Tech on Roosevelt Island,” says Julie Samuels, executive director of Tech:NYC. “It was that New York City sent a message that we are serious about tech.”

Dim Sum section.

Hutong: A New Destination for Dim Sum and Culinary Discipline (New York Times)

From the Times’ review, out today: Only one or two other restaurants in town can plausibly claim to make dim sum that rivals Hutong’s.

There is real skill in the kitchen at Hutong. You see it most clearly in the dim sum, but much of the other cooking evinces the kind of discipline, precision and technical mastery that has rarely been seen in this city over the past few decades, to the dismay of eaters who know what Chinese food is capable of.

Hutong is located on the east side of the courtyard at Bloomberg’s global headquarters at 731 Lexington Ave in New York.

Best of late night.

On Elizabeth Warren’s campaign rally in New York City’s Washington Square Park that her campaign says drew 20,000 supporters:

“Twenty-thousand! Only 3,000 of which were there to score weed.”
— Stephen Colbert

“Following her rally in New York last night, Senator Elizabeth Warren spent four hours taking selfies with supporters. Meanwhile, Bernie took one selfie that lasted four hours because the camera was accidentally set to video.”
— Seth Meyers

“Warren was so popular, the only way police could get everyone to leave was by saying, ‘Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.”
— Jimmy Fallon

For more best of late night from the New York Times, click here.

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