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Jul 22, 2019

Shares Update I Lannett stock up 40% with no news released; short interest stands at 74% of float

Sarah Toy

Shares of generic-drug manufacturer Lannett Company Inc. LCI, +41.97% shot up 40% in Monday afternoon trade. The company has not released any news that would account for the stock move, a spokesman for the company said. However, Lannet stock's short interest stood at at 20.66 million shares at the end of June, equal to 74.3% of the company's public float of 27.8 million shares. Ihor Dusaniwsky,managing director for predictive analytics at S3 Partners, a company that tracks short interest, said the move was not caused by a short squeeze, although it could trigger one if the stock keeps rallying. Short positions were down about $128,000 year-to-date, through Friday. "Shorts have taken a good stomach punch today, they're down $46.2 million," he said. "They are definitely a candidate for a short squeeze after today." Shares of Lannett have gained 67.9% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 SPX, +0.29% has gained 19.2%.

Source: MarketWatch

Opinion | Uncertainty clouds the path forward for Afghanistan

By David Ignatius David Ignatius Columnist covering foreign affairs Email Bio Follow

U.S. troops patrol at an Afghan National Army base in Logar province, Afghanistan, in August 2018. (Omar Sobhani/Reuters)
At the military headquarters here where commanders oversee America’s longest war, an official explains in one sentence the U.S.-led coalition’s bottom-line objective: “Peace is a situation where we can leave, and we don’t have to come back.”
But how will the United States move toward this endgame, as U.S. special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad nears conclusion of his secret peace negotiations with the Taliban jihadists that America has been fighting for 18 years? Afghan President Ashraf Ghani is said to have complained late last week that a draft of Khalilzad’s agreement contains “mere promises”from the Taliban and major concessions by the United States, according to a knowledgeable Afghan source who talked recently with Ghani.
Ghani is particularly concerned, according to this Afghan source, about a U.S. pledge to release 13,000 Taliban prisoners, a reference to the Taliban as an “emirate,” a deal for “safe passage” of American troops but not Afghan forces, and other measures that in Ghani’s view would diminish the sovereignty and authority of the current Afghan government. He also fears that presidential elections scheduled for September will be shelved.
A visit here shows there aren’t clear answers yet to the questions about transition that vex Ghani and others who want a stable Afghanistan. When officials try to describe the future, many begin with the word “uncertainty.” Nearly everyone supports peace, but none of the half-dozen U.S., Afghan and European officials I spoke with is sure just how it would work.
Army Gen. Austin “Scott” Miller, who commands U.S. forces here, says he’s focused on preventing Afghanistan from again becoming a sanctuary for terrorists who could strike the United States and its allies. “The outcome in Afghanistan should be about safeguarding the national interests of the U.S. and our allies” by protecting their homelands, he explained in an interview.
The hidden danger is that if the Taliban does accept a peace pact with the United States, die-hard jihadists will move to the black flag of the Islamic State’s Afghan affiliate, which has built a base in the territory it calls “Khorasan.” A U.S. intelligence analyst who focuses on “ISIS-K,” as it’s known, says the group is recruiting operatives who can cross borders, reach “seam cities” such as Tehran, Baku and Istanbul, and then operate in the West.
The strange dynamics of the ISIS-K fight became clear over the past two years in Jowzjan province, along the northern border, and Ghor province, in the northwest, the intelligence analyst says. Recruiters appealed to disaffected Taliban fighters, and ISIS-K was gaining ground, with about 350 supporters in Jowzjan and 200 in Ghor. But then it faced an unlikely double whammy: U.S. counterterrorism forces struck the top leadership, and mainstream Taliban fighters cleaned up the rest.
The growth of ISIS-K, and its dual threat to the United States and the Taliban, raises an intriguing possibility. Could the United States and the Taliban quietly cooperate against a common enemy, after a peace deal? Khalilzad’s draft agreement is said to contain language about the “elimination” of ISIS-K. This shared interest could provide a rationale for the United States to maintain a residual counterterrorism presence in Afghanistan, even after withdrawing its main force.
It would be a neat double-cushion shot, but analysts are cautious. “Can the Taliban existentially make the leap to letting us stay?” asks one official. “Their self-definition is that they exist to get out the Americans and their hirelings.” If the mainline Taliban did agree to this counterterrorism presence, would that cause more hard-liners to defect to ISIS-K?
The best hope for Afghanistan might be the simple fact that the nation is exhausted by war, and the younger generation is sick of the warlords and thieves who wrecked the country and profited from its misery. “Even if these talks fall apart, they have engraved ‘peace’ as the only way forward. Even the warlords are recalculating,” says one Western official who advises the U.S.-led coalition.
A glimpse of what the future might look like came in an interview with Nasrat Rahimi, the 31-year-old spokesman for the Interior Ministry. He deplored a new attack that killed eight people outside Kabul University. The ministry blamed the Taliban for the attack, though the group denied responsibility. “People hate this,” he said. “The only hope that my generation has is to see the end of the 40 years of war.”
Afghanistan’s modern history is a caution against optimism. “You can always default to the negative in Afghanistan,” says the Western official. But Khalilzad has pressed ahead, and he seems near a breakthrough agreement, whatever its defects.
The United States has spent so much blood and treasure here that the one unforgivable mistake would be to leave without a clear counterterrorism strategy to prevent our ever having to return.

Interagency Statement on Risk-Focused Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering Supervision

2-3 minutes

July 22, 2019

Bank Secrecy Act

Interagency Statement on Risk-Focused Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering Supervision

Printable Format:

FIL-43-2019 - PDF (PDF Help)


The FDIC, along with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the National Credit Union Administration, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network is issuing a joint statement on risk-focused Bank Secrecy Act/anti-money laundering supervision.
Statement of Applicability to Institutions: This Financial Institution Letter applies to FDIC-supervised banks and savings associations.


  • The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, along with the other federal depository institution regulators and the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued a joint statement to clarify their risk-focused approach to examinations of banks' Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-money laundering (BSA/AML) compliance programs.
  • This statement is intended to improve transparency into the risk-focused approach used for planning and performing BSA/AML examinations and does not establish new requirements.
  • Banks structure their compliance programs to be risk-based and to identify and report potential money laundering, terrorist financing, and other illicit financial activity. A well-developed risk assessment is part of sound risk management.
  • Federal banking agencies tailor BSA/AML examination plans and procedures based on the unique risk profile of each bank.
  • The extent of examination activities necessary to evaluate a bank's BSA/AML compliance program generally depends on the risk profile of the bank and the quality of processes implemented by the bank to identify, measure, monitor, and control risk and to report potential money laundering, terrorist financing, and other illicit financial activity.
Source: FDIC

Jul 18, 2019

Breaking News | Trump likely to tap Scalia’s son for Labor chief


Donald Trump
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
President Donald Trump is likely to nominate Eugene Scalia, son of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, to be the next Labor secretary, according to three sources familiar with the plans.
The younger Scalia, a partner at the law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, is a management-side attorney who in 2006 argued on behalf of Wal-Mart against a Maryland law that would have required the retail giant to spend more health care money on its employees.
Story Continued Below
Scalia‘s expected nomination comes about a week after Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta was forced to resign over a lenient 2008 plea agreement for wealthy sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. He will be replaced Friday by his deputy, Patrick Pizzella, who many Republicans had expected to get a formal nomination.

Source: Politico

Economics Education | Greenback Definition

Reviewed by James Chen

What is a Greenback?

A greenback is a slang term for U.S. paper dollars. Greenbacks got their name from their color. In the mid-1800s, the Continental Congress did not have taxing authority. The "greenback" was a negative term because they did not have secure financial backing authority and banks were reluctant to give customers the full value of the dollar.

Understanding Greenbacks

It took half a century to get all foreign coins and competing state currencies out of circulation, but by the early 1800s, the U.S. was ready to try the paper money experiment again. Bank notes had been in circulation for a while, but because banks issued more notes than they had coins to cover, these notes often traded at less than face value.
In the 1860s, the U.S. created over $400 million in legal tender to finance its war against itself. The government had earlier issued bonds to raise capital. However, the war's timeline depleted its finances. The idea of issuing paper money was opposed by bankers because it would bring the federal government into markets and could potentially translate to its bankruptcy, if the war failed to go in its favor. To prevent such an eventuality, the paper money's value depended on the health of individual banks issuing the currency.
They were called greenbacks simply because the backs were printed in green. The government backed this currency and stated that it could be used to pay back public and private debts. However, despite the government backing, they were not exchangeable for gold or silver.

Key Takeaways

  • Greenbacks, or U.S. dollars, were first created to finance the civil war and were called as such because their backs were printed in green.
  • Their value against gold depreciated during the war but recovered after the war ended.

Demand Notes vs. Paper Notes

Greenbacks came in two forms; demand notes and U.S. paper notes. Demand notes were issued in 1861 and 1862 to pay for salaries and other government expenses during the civil war. In February of 1862, the Legal Tender Act saw the government issue paper notes, which would eventually become the official currency of the U.S. as demand notes were phased out.
During this period the value fluctuated according to the North's success or failure at certain stages in the war. However, due to the size of the issue - $400 million - the value of greenbacks against gold steadily declined. According to H. W. Brand's book "Greenback Planet: How the Dollar Conquered the World and Threatened Civilization as We Know It," the value of the greenback had a temporary recovery in value after the battle of Gettysburg before plummeting to a value of 258 greenback to 100 gold (its lowest point) in 1864. When the war ended in 1865 the value of the greenback recovered to 150 greenback to 100 gold.
Greenbacks are reported to have funded 15% of the war's costs. But the rise in their value also increased the cost of everyday goods and supplies. Inflation was 14% in 1862 and 25% in 1863 and 1864.
Today, the term greenback is an anecdotal term used by foreign exchange traders for the U.S. dollar.

Source: Investopedia