celebrate!

The Morristown Area Chamber of Commerce will welcome two new businesses this week:

9 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22, The Pest Authority will host a Ribbon Cutting at 1000 W. Main St.

3 p.m. Friday, January 24, Lovin Cup Coffee will host a Grand Opening Ribbon Cutting and Open House at 400 East Economy (behind No Way Jose’s restaurant). Hours for the open house are 3 to 6 p.m.

upward trading

(AP)-Major U.S. stock indexes edged higher in afternoon trading Friday as solid earnings from banks helped extend momentum from the previous day’s rally.

Investors were also digesting the latest government housing data which showed a December surge in new home construction. The news sent homebuilder shares broadly higher.

The latest bright sign on the economy follows Thursday’s solid retail sales report, which revealed consumers are still spending at a healthy pace.

Communications companies rose. Google parent company Alphabet climbed again, a day after becoming the latest tech giant to cross the $1 trillion valuation mark, joining Apple and Microsoft. Comcast rose 1.4% after its NBCUniversal unit launched a video streaming service, Peacock.

dish this

(AP)Pressure is building for DirecTV, owned by AT&T, to stand up to Venezuela’s government censors. In December, officials from the State Department met in Washington with executives from AT&T to urge them to help pull the plug on Maduro’s propaganda machine, according to five people familiar with the discussion.

The meeting followed months of outreach to AT&T by Venezuela’s opposition, according to the five individuals. Under a plan being promoted with the Trump administration, DirecTV, Venezuela’s largest pay TV operator, would restore to its lineup a half dozen international news channels, including CNN and BBC, that local regulators have banned in recent years, according to the five individuals.

The strategy harkens back to a Cold War playbook of leveraging information to fight anti-U.S. propaganda and undermine authoritarian rule.

financial warfare

In 2018, America’s Treasury put legal measures in place that prevented Rusal, a strategically important Russian aluminium firm, from freely accessing the dollar-based financial system—with devastating effect. Overnight it was unable to deal with many counterparties. Western clearing houses refused to settle its debt securities. The price of its bonds collapsed (the restrictions were later lifted). America now has over 30 active financial- and trade-sanctions programmes …

The new age of international monetary experimentation features the de-dollarisation of assets, trade workarounds using local currencies and swaps, and new bank-to-bank payment mechanisms and digital currencies. In June the Chinese and Russian presidents said they would expand settlement of bilateral trade in their own currencies.

On the sidelines of a recent summit, leaders from Iran, Malaysia, Turkey and Qatar proposed using cryptocurrencies, national currencies, gold and barter for trade. Such activity marks an “inflection point”, says Tom Keatinge of rusi, a think-tank. Countries that used merely to gripe about America’s financial might are now pushing back.

From an article in The Economist newsletter, Jan. 18 edition.

goat knowledge

J! Archive is a fan-created compilation of more than 380,000 clues from “Jeopardy!” After the show’s “greatest of all time” tournament, it’s a terrific way to test your knowledge against past champions, according to NYT London newsroom editor Richard Pérez-Peña, who is a former contestant.

From The New York Times, Thursday briefing.