Tag Archives: trump


Trump & Co Enable Shareholder Lawsuits Against Cuba; Libertad Act 3.0

Long Live the Libertad Act! Taking aim at the Cuban Government, US President Donald Trump and his Board of Directors, led by Secretary of Treasury Steve Mnuchin and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. announced that US shareholders of companies that were seized and nationalized by Fidel Castro when the now-deceased Cuban ruler first took control of Cuba in 1959 can now sue the Cuban government for losses they sustained. Of the several dozen US companies nationalized by Castro in 1959, shareholders of Vicana Sugar Co., also known as Compania Azucarera Vicana, lost the entirety of their investments and can now seek recourse.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the US will enforce a controversial provision of the decades-old trade embargo on Cuba that will allow US citizens to file lawsuits in US federal court against businesses that operate on property seized by the Cuban government during the revolution — the first administration to do so since the law’s creation in 1996. Pompeo said Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, also known as the Libertad Act, would be implemented in full effective May 2.

Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and Wife Displaying Enlarged Version of Vicana Sugar Co. stock certificate

According to at least two White House sources speaking off the record, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin was influential in guiding President Trump to implement this new tactic after Mnuchin’s wife had purportedly acquired a large cache of stock certificates from an estate that owned the shares and were issued by Vicana Sugar Company months before Fidel Castro nationalized that company in November 1959. The extent of Mnuchin’s holdings is not known, but include many 1000 share certificates with an original ‘par value’ of $3.00 per share.

Formed in 1935, shares in Vicana Sugar Co. were listed on the New York Stock Exchange and traded as high as $6 per share before Castro’s seizure forced the NYSE to de-list the company’s shares. In January 15, 1959, a large block of stock was purchased by a private investor, whose estate is rumored to have since sold most of those share certificates to a trust controlled by Mnunchin. As reported here previously, Mnuchin had also purportedly acquired a cache Estonia Government bonds issued in the 1940’s that became worthless after Russia’s annexation of Estonia. Those Estonia bond certificates soared in value on eBay last year after rumors of US government efforts to coerce Russia to make good on that defaulted debt and outstanding interest owed to bond holders.
Vicana Sugar Co 100 Share certificate-Vicana Sugar Co. aka Compania Azucarera Vicana-

A small number of Vicana Sugar Co share certificates, in both 100 share and 1000 share denominations are listed on eBay and offered at upwards of $700 for each certificate. As evidenced by stamp on share certificate in amount of 1000 shares and par value $3.00 each share (see photo).

In November 1959, the company, along with its land assets, was nationalized by the Cuban Government and shareholders suffered a complete loss, as did investors holding shares in other Cuba-based US companies whose assets were nationalized by the new Cuban regime. In the ensuing years, multiple legal claims were brought in US courts—and affirmed in favor of plaintiffs, yet those court judgments provided for no recourse against the Cuban Government. As reported in April 2019, US President Donald Trump approved the lifting of limits on Americans ability to sue over property confiscated by the Fidel Castro government—opening the door to a prospective new round of legal action that can be brought against Cuban government.

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What’s Next? A GOP-Friendly ETF That Tracks Corporate Friends of Trump. OMG!

GOP-friendly ETF Set to List on BATS BZX; Exchange-Traded Fund with ticker MAGA Will Buy Companies Supportive of Republican Party Agenda

We can’t make this sh*t up..Just when MarketsMuse curators thought we’d seen and heard it all when it comes to new-fangled ETF products, along comes an exchange-traded fund construct that has managed to surprise even our own high-seasoned in-house cynics. The proposed ETF is one with an investment style (or call it a scheme) that is dedicated to “assembling shares in public companies that support the US Republican Party” aka G.O.P. The fund sponsor, Point Bridge Capital of Forth Worth, TX , has dubbed the proposed ETF,  “The Point Bridge GOP Stock Tracker.” Point Bridge execs hope to list the new politically-flavored ETF on the BATS BZX Exchange with the ticker symbol “MAGA” an acronym that stands for the slogan that current US president Donald Trump stole from former President Ronald Reagan i.e. “Make America Great Again.”

Hal Lambert, Point Bridge Capital

According the Point Bridge Capital website, firm founder Hal Lambert has over 20 years of investment experience and leads investment advisory for the firm. Prior to launching Point Bridge Capital, Lambert was a Director at Credit Suisse advising and managing client assets in excess of $1 billion. He advises pension plans, family offices, foundations, and ultra-high-net-worth individuals.

Before joining Credit Suisse, Hal was a Portfolio Manager at J.P. Morgan, where he headed discretionary portfolio management for the Southwest Region, advising all regional clients – individuals, foundations and endowments – on overall investment strategy. He managed a U.S. Core Equity strategy with total assets under management of over $1 billion, as well as a long/short strategy. After JP Morgan was acquired by Chase, Hal helped open the Denver office and headed discretionary portfolio management for the Mountain Region. .

According to a Wednesday filing last week with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the Point Bridge GOP Stock Tracker ETF will specifically track the performance of an index of stocks meeting the following criteria:

“Companies whose employees and political action committees (PACs) are highly supportive of Republican candidates for election to the United States Congress, the Vice Presidency, or the Presidency and party-affiliated federal committees or groups that are subject to federal campaign contribution limits.”

To select its constituents, the fund’s underlying index starts with an initial universe of S&P 500 companies and then whittles it down based on factors like campaign donations made during recent elections. The fund’s sponsors did not indicate whether the fund will also be short-selling public companies that have been on the receiving end of so-called President Trump’s twitter diatribes. MarketsMuse attempted to contact Point Bridge senior executive Hal Lambert to pose that very question, but unlike Mr. Trump, a Point Bridge spokesperson (or someone who says they are the spokesperson, but refused to provide their name) stated, “We are in a quiet period and any comment would violate the SEC rules.” Maybe they should reach out to the Tweeter-in-Chief and request amnesty from SEC rules??

While this marks the first ETF to specifically track partisan interests, there are plenty of other funds embodying Trump’s political spirit. They include the Global X US Infrastructure Development, which started trading on March 18, and the WisdomTree Global ex-Mexico Equity Fund, which hit the market on February 10.

The Point Bridge GOP ETF has an expected inception date of September 7, according to Bloomberg data.

If you’ve got a hot insider tip, a bright idea, or if you’d like to get visibility for your brand through MarketsMuse via subliminal content marketing, advertorial, blatant shout-out, spotlight article, news release etc., please reach out to our Senior Editor via cmo@marketsmuse.com.

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Fortune CEOs Take Unequivocal Stand; This BD Bids On

Taking a Unequivocal Stand is Easier for Fortune CEOs than for POTUS–so it seems. Fortune 500 CEOs who have taken exception to erratic and equivocal statements made by the current sitting president of the United States have been systematically subjected to ‘assault by Twitter’ by the country’s CEO-in-Chief. In turn, their company’s share prices have suffered from sell-offs, as investors fear the “wrath of Trump” will extend to federal government actions intended to harm those companies who have failed to heed Mr. Trump’s so-called “lectures.” Attacks and Counter-Attacks via Twitter has become a contact sport, all thanks to “POTUS.”

Within the context of Wall Street firms, “un-biased and conflict-free” are two phrases that agency-only broker-dealers advance on a continuous basis. These phrases connote their conforming to a fiduciary posture that is intended to protect the interests of their client above all else. When it comes to political discourse, most broker-dealers are loathe to insert themselves in a political fracas, yet other BDs are run by folks whose moral compass overrides their need to keep quiet, regardless of the risk that a regulatory agency such as the SEC or FTC (overseen by Congress) will , at the urging of Mr. Trump, exact some type of revenge for challenging the current president. Courtesy of BrokerDealer.com Editorial Section, MarketsMuse editors join those who are taking the high road, and in that effort, we’re re-distributing a piece that profiles a unique broker-dealer’s viewpoint expressed via trading desk commentary and distributed to their Fortune treasury clients and the leading Wall Street ‘book-runners’. We’ll defer to our readers to click on links leading back to the minority broker-dealer in question. Hint-the firm is the oldest minority broker-dealer owned/operated by Service-Disabled Veterans.

A Special Editorial from BrokerDealer.com: Most Fortune CEOs, as well as leaders of Investment Banks and Broker-Dealers (aka BD) are typically loathe to take a political stand. For the former, making pronouncements that will raise the ire of the current president are likely to be met by “injury by twitter,” or worse still, federal agency scrutiny of the company, which could prove devastating for public company shareholders. For the universe of corporate leaders with a conscience and also recognized thought-leaders, only a few have yet to prove unequivocal when reacting to the equivocal comment made by President Trump when framing his first view of what US Attorney General Sessions labeled as a”domestic terror event.” We’re referring to the white supremacist rally that led to 3 deaths and multiple injuries in Charlottesville, VA this past weekend.

For investment banks and broker-dealers, let’s face it-politics and business mix best with each other when done over cocktails or discrete ‘off-site’ meetings to discuss new capital market initiatives, deal issuance and/or asset management mandates. After all, most traditional broker-dealers eschew taking a political stand that opposes the federal government administration, simply out of fear that the long lips of the current WH CEO will whisper to administration-appointed SEC bureaucrats with a message akin to ‘the right industry regulator might want to make this [firm] go away..” Most, but not all is the catchphrase that compels a re-distribution of a capital markets desk commentary that focuses on fixed income markets and along with a smidgen of geopolitical observations and delivered to a captive group of leading Fortune 500 corporate treasurers, as well as a select group of sell-side syndicate desk ‘book-runners’.

Sponsored by Prospectus.com. Our team of capital markets experts and securities lawyers specialize in preliminary offering prospectus, secondary offering prospectus and full menu of financial offering memorandum document preparation. More information via this link

Here’s the extract of the day’s piece, titled “Risk On, Risk Off, US-NOKO Tensions Subside; Ugly Heads of Racism Take Top Headline…”

Investment Grade Corporate Debt New Issue Re-Cap – A View About Charlottesville and the Aftermath

Risk was clearly back on in the financial markets today, as U.S./NOKO tensions fell to the wayside.  Unfortunately prejudice and racism reared their ugly heads in the Charlottesville, Virginia riot over the weekend.  On Monday, Fortune 500 thought leaders Ken Frazier, CEO of Merck & C0., Brian Krzanich, CEO of Intel, and Kevin Plank, CEO of Under Armour each took a stand by protesting the ‘equivocal’ comments made by President Trump in his first response to the domestic terrorism acts in Charlottesville, which were advanced by self-proclaimed alt-right and white supremacist neo-Nazis.  Mischler Financial Group  stands with every corporate executive (and every duly-elected or duly-appointed government official) who stays true to genuinely right-minded beliefs and applauds their respective organization’s dedication to doing right by doing good. In case you missed the memo, many of America’s Fortune corporations adhere to this same notion and advance their commitment via proactive Diversity & Inclusion initiatives.


For those corporate executives who may have spent all of their undergrad time in finance and accounting classes, and for those who are perhaps not as familiar as they could be i.e. American History (let’s not forget to mention world history, too!), racism and bigotry are diseases that spew hatefulness and cannot be allowed in a free and democratic society. The incendiary and incite-full actions for which the various white supremacist and KKK groups are notorious for, are NOT protected by “First Amendment rights.* These are cancers that cannot be discounted or condoned via equivocal platitudes; simple right-mindedness demands they be eradicated.

(*Think Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr i.e. Schenck v United States and also re-visit Brandenburg v. Ohio)


To the above point, one need only re-read the Constitution and the Bill of Rights to appreciate that D&I is part and parcel to our country’s DNA. It is also part of the cultural foundation of many Fortune 500 corporations, including Intel, including Merck, including Under Armour and including many others! D&I infers respect for and appreciation of differences in ethnicity, gender, age, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, education, and religion. But it’s more than this. We all bring with us diverse perspectives, work experiences, life styles and cultures and we presumably all share a disdain for anyone and any group that attempts to dismantle, disrupt and or destroy. Kudos to Mssrs. Frazier, Krzanich and Plank for putting themselves in harm’s way and risk of “injury by Twitter” for being true leaders and staying true to their convictions and their constituents.


Kudos also to the many Fortune executives who have raised their own voices to advocate on behalf of right mindedness, and to those corporate executives such as Jamie Dimon, CEO of Citigroup, who have opted not to resign their volunteer roles serving on “Presidential Councils” in protest to seemingly wrong-headed rhetoric. One can hope they have chosen to remain in their roles so that they can be that much more proactive in their WH-appointed roles and/or similar presidential councils in which they serve as volunteers. These are jobs these business leaders have [presumably] accepted to better the country, not to help advance any political platform or political agenda. How the US Secretary of the Treasury or the Director of the National Economic Council can square the so-called ‘equivocal’ views expressed by the CEO-In-Chief vs. their own cultural beliefs will likely be subject to ongoing self-reflection, external speculation and spirited debate. These are smart folks and optimism demands these administration officials be given the benefit of the doubt, just as it is incumbent on any/every corporate leader to serve as role models for employees, customers and clients; just as right-minded parents do for their own children.


Today’s VIX closed 3 bps tighter versus Friday’s close. Also a reminder that tomorrow is August 15th – “mid-August” – that’s when North Korea’s illustrious “bad boy” proclaimed that he’d have his master plan ready to bomb Guam developed by.  One week from today on Monday, August 21st begin joint U.S-South Korean military exercises referred to as Ulchi-Freedom Guardian. The exercise began in our Bicentennial year of 1976. North Korea has annually perceived the joint exercise as “preparation for war.” It is the world’s largest computerized command control implementation. Up to 80,000 American and South Korean troops have participated in this exercise in the recent past.  The game will go on for two weeks before concluding on Thursday August 31st.  Enjoy the show Mr. Jong-Un. You’ll have front row seats though I recommend binoculars. Here’s lookin’ at you kid!  To continue reading the day’s debt market commentary, click here

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circus at hofstra

Circus Comes To Town-Global Macro Guru Heads to Hofstra

MarketsMuse inhouse political pundits are headed to Hempstead, NY, home of Hofstra University where the Circus Comes to Town disguised as the first tranche of 2016 US Presidential debates. While our inhouse politicos battle the LIE rush hour traffic in effort to get a ring-side seat for the Ringling Bros Bake-Off circus, our curators pass the ball for pre-debate color courtesy of global macro guru Neil Azous, principal of macro think tank Rareview Macro and publisher of Sight Beyond Sight.  Below extract first appeared in yesterday’s weekend edition of FinAlternatives.com


neil azous-global-macro
Neil Azous, Rareview Macro

Humble in Hofstra…One Debate an Election Can Make
by Neil Azous

Tonight’s U.S. Presidential debate, infamously coined the “Humbling in Hofstra” by Mark Cuban, has the potential to reshape the world. Unlike the adage “one stock a market does not make,” our view is that “one debate an election can make.”

At the top-down investment level, this event will dictate asset prices over the next 72 hours more than any other catalyst. For the reasons we will layout below, our bias is to be short risk assets or hedged going into the event.

Additionally, the event will kick-off a greater rebalancing exercise at the sector, industry, and single stock level which might take a few weeks to find an equilibrium.

The Debate Setup

Firstly, this is an advertiser’s dream as over 100 million people are expected to tune in, the largest ever for a US Presidential debate.

The debate will run from 9 to 10:30 p.m. ET at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York.

Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Generation Y, can watch the debate on C-SPAN, Fox, ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC.

It will also be streamed live on various social networks. That way, the millennials who cut-the-cord from networks have an opportunity to follow along as well.

Secondly, it is important to recognize the extreme view that non-US citizens take on Donald. J. Trump. They view Trump in a similar vein as the Dear Leader in North Korea – that is, highly concerned over the prospects of his ascent on the world stage and having access to weapons of mass destruction.

The key point here is that if there is going to be a change in viewpoints on Trump, it will be for the better, as it cannot get much worse internationally.

Finally, the political strategists, already bruised from being wrong on Trump for 18 months, are struggling to pinpoint what a win or loss looks like for either candidate in advance of tomorrow night’s debate.

As evidenced by the widespread views expressed on the various Sunday morning talk shows this morning, they are all soul-searching at the moment.

The conclusion, especially after a surprise ‘Brexit’ outcome, is that paid forecasters, political strategists, media persona, and politicians are worthless in shaping sentiment and helping investors construct their portfolios.

Our View

Allow us to put one simple view forward.

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