April 20, 2021
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Top Story
The prospect of higher taxes on top earners in New York City has prompted some hedge fund managers to relocate to Florida, where they benefit from a nil-rate of income tax, with other managers reportedly considering such a move. The proposed tax rate for millionaires of between 13.5% and 14.8% would give New York City the highest combined state and local rates in the country.
Full Story: Bloomberg (4/17) 
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Industry Update
The continued rise of equities markets, widening market breadth and influx of retail investors have contributed to a sharp decline in short-selling bets. "Short selling of what were historically the 'go-to' shorts has slowed dramatically and not been replaced by 'new' shorts," a team of Morgan Stanley analysts told clients.
Full Story: Bloomberg (4/19) 
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President Joe Biden said ahead of a second bipartisan discussion with lawmakers on his infrastructure plan he was "prepared to compromise, prepared to see what we can do, what we get together on." Republican lawmakers have said they want a more modest package than the $2 trillion-plus proposal from Biden.
Full Story: CNBC (4/19),  Reuters (4/19) 
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Banks including Citigroup are making it a key part of their strategy to cater more to ultra-wealthy individuals, with Bank of America and Morgan Stanley noting significant increases in the account balances of such clients over the past year. "Demand for advice is surging," said Andy Sieg, president of Bank of America's Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, who expects to see more requests for high-net-worth wealth-management services.
Full Story: Bloomberg (4/19) 
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Morgan Stanley is conducting a three-part bond offering worth about $6 billion, sources say, following in the footsteps of other big banks. The unsecured bonds reportedly are fixed-to-floating-rate notes.
Full Story: Bloomberg (4/19) 
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New York Focus
The East Side Coastal Resiliency Project, a $1.45 billion effort to safeguard lower Manhattan against flooding, is underway, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said. The project will elevate 2.4 miles of park land and incorporate vegetation and berms as protective features.
Full Story: WABC-TV (New York City) (4/15),  Bloomberg (4/15) 
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A small bar called La Noxe with seating for only 10 to 12 customers has opened between street level and the subway platform in the 28th Street subway station in Chelsea. The speakeasy boasts a long and growing waitlist.
Full Story: NBC News (4/17) 
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Career Development
Empathy is only growing in importance at work, with managers increasingly working apart from their reports and employees expecting more support from their bosses with work and life matters, write Gartner HR experts Brian Kropp, Alexia Cambon and Sara Clark. They focus on the challenge facing midsize companies, whose managers retain individual workloads and don't have access to large learning budgets that big corporations possess.
Full Story: Harvard Business Review (tiered subscription model) (4/15) 
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People & Personalities
Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler has hired four senior staffers, including the AFL-CIO's Heather Slavkin Corzo as policy director. Gensler's priorities are expected to include environmental, social and governance issues, special-purpose acquisition companies and the mainstreaming of cryptocurrencies.
Full Story: The Wall Street Journal (4/19),  The New York Times (4/19),  ThinkAdvisor (free registration) (4/19) 
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John Morton, a partner with climate change advisory and investment firm Pollination Group, will head the US Treasury's "climate hub," where he will support efforts to reduce carbon emissions, the department said. Some climate activists were disappointed the job did not go to a regulator who would press financial institutions to back green investments.
Full Story: Reuters (4/19) 
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Financial Products
First Trust brought to Cboe Global Markets two defined-outcome exchange-traded funds linked to the performance of the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust. The FT Cboe Vest US Equity Buffer ETF - April caps gains at 12% and protects against losses up to 10%, while the FT Cboe Vest US Equity Deep Buffer ETF - April caps gains at 7.5% and protects against losses from 5% to 30%.
Full Story: ETF (4/19) 
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CFA Society New York News
This event will feature a wide-ranging discussion on several topics, including the effect of continued negative rates in a rising yield environment, as well as a look at international economic priorities during the ongoing recovery period and a handful of important secondary effects. Tune in to explore the ramifications of changing policy benchmarks in a post-coronavirus world.
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This boot camp is an intensive, instructor-led training program where trainees learn financial and valuation modeling in Excel using an intuitive, step-by-step approach. Participants will use real case studies to build financial models from scratch the way it is done at financial institutions. The program is a synthesis of Excel modeling, navigating through various financial reports and the application of Accounting, Corporate Finance and Valuation courses. Members get a 20% discount.
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April prepares her green traffic light and the world thinks Go.
Christopher Morley,
writer, editor, journalist
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