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It was pounding rain outside my bedroom when my co-founder bursted through the door in a panic. He didn’t wait for my reaction to explain his ever pressing fear. 

“One of our investor leads is on the phone and he’s about to walk away. He said we were too aggressive! How do we save this?

I responded immediately: “What did we do? We asked way too much on the valuation, right?”

“I bid him up on price too much and he is just threatening to walk away. He is not even picking up the phone. He just periodically texts me now. It’s very scary.”

“Give it some time,” I responded. “Then, let him get in touch with you on his schedule. Make him want to come to you.” 

Although my co-founder and I quickly closed this particular deal in a matter of days, it shows how entrepreneurs can take a too far with investors and easily screw up a potential investment. 

The pandemic has historically upended the market. According to Techcrunch, anecdotal evidence indicates the venture market has either frozen in place

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More than 2.1 million Americans filed initial unemployment claims last week, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. That brings the total jobless claims since mid-March to a staggering 40.8 million.

The latest batch of 2.1 million claims are down from the 2.4 million the week prior. While the number of weekly jobless claims has dropped eight consecutive weeks since topping out at 6.9 million in April, it still marks 10 straight weeks with claims topping 2 million. Prior to the shutdown of shops, offices and businesses across the country, weekly U.S. unemployment claims had averaged 218,000.

Another week with unemployment claims topping 2.1 million means the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 14.7% official unemployment rate appears even more out of touch with the real jobless rate. Since mid-April—the period covered by the BLS unemployment rate—another 14.3 million Americans have claimed unemployment benefits. When those 14.3 million are added to the already 23.1 million unemployed Americans in the latest jobs reports, it brings the total jobless over 37.4 million. That would be a real unemployment rate …

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Good morning. David Meyer here in Berlin, covering for Alan.

This is not the geopolitical worst of times, but neither is it the best. Right now there are a number of reasons to be looking in China’s direction with a degree of unease.

The most urgent issue is the approval by Chinese lawmakers of an expansion of the country’s national security law to Hong Kong. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has already claimed that Hong Kong no longer merits its special trade status as far as the U.S. is concerned. The new law is likely to trigger more official pushback from the Trump administration, and the question now is whether multinationals will continue to use Hong Kong as a regional base. The Hang Seng fell around 1% on the news.

This all spells further trouble for U.S.-China diplomatic and trade relations—the commitments made in the two countries’ “phase one” trade deal are already looking rickety to say the least, and accusations about the origins of COVID-19 are festering on both sides.

But we can also add into the mix the …

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Good morning, Bull Sheeters. How’s this for a matchup? The pessimism around China-Hong Kong tensions and U.S. jobless claims is facing off against investor euphoria over stimulus packages. So far the bulls have the upper hand.

There’s plenty of green on the screens.

Let’s see where investors are putting their cash.

Markets update


  • The Asian indices are mostly higher in afternoon trade.
  • The Nikkei is up more than 2% after the Japanese government approved what some are calling the “world’s biggest” coronavirus stimulus package (in GDP terms).
  • Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is that lone patch of red in Asia. It was down at the start of the trading session after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a Tweet Hong Kong is no longer considered fully autonomous, throwing its special trading status into question.
  • The Hang Seng then fell further, down as much as 1.2%, after the legislature in Beijing approved, as expected, the new national security law that’s tailor-made for Hong Kong.


  • European bourses climbed out