Month: June 2020

How Can Influencers Stay Relevant Amid Global Concerns?

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As recent as this past February, influencers’ social media pages were full of imagery of global fashion weeks, giving eager followers behind-the-scenes looks and glimpses into exclusive after parties. Today, these same social media pages look quite different, reflecting instead on a longer period spent at home that spotlighted family members rather than designers or celebrity insiders.

Since becoming a staple in the fashion industry, influencers have also been a continued access point for brands to reach wide audiences. And early reports stated that although influencer marketing would change during the pandemic it could prove to be extremely powerful amid the crisis. According to Influence Central, since the onset of COVID-19, 64 percent of consumers are doing all clothing and apparel shopping online and thus causing direct impact on how brands and the influencers they work with will engage followers and drive shopper marketing.

“The influencers aren’t the only player that should be pivoting strategy in this post-COVID-19 environment,” said Stacy DeBroff, chief executive officer of Influence Central. “From a marketing perspective, fashion brands need to shift from traditional advertising and catalogue marketing to invest in social media marketing and influencer engagements. This creates a new type of opportunity for brands collaborating with fashion influencers in social media campaigns. Social media platforms from Instagram to Pinterest have introduced myriad ways to shop from online pictures and influencer content. With online products accessible, consumers have an avenue to purchase themselves in the moment and

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Big business, political strategy and corporate involvement in US state politics

<span class="caption">Protesters rally to have Colorado's then-incoming governor put an up-to-nine-month moratorium on oil and gas development.</span> <span class="attribution"><a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images">Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images</a></span>
Protesters rally to have Colorado’s then-incoming governor put an up-to-nine-month moratorium on oil and gas development. Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Political spending by corporations is big business.

As one corporate executive with experience in business-government relations says, “A company that is dependent on government that does not donate to politicians is engaging in corporate malpractice.”

Our research group heard that statement during a series of interviews with industry insiders that we conducted for a study on corporate political strategy and involvement in U.S state politics.

In the 2018 election cycle, for example, private interests spent US$500 million on campaign contributions to U.S. federal election candidates and nearly $7 billion to lobby federal officials.

As shown by campaign finance monitor the Center for Responsive Politics, those firms most affected by government regulation spend more. The operations of Facebook, for example, could be heavily affected by government legislation, whether from laws concerning net neutrality, data privacy, censorship or the company’s classification as a platform or publisher. Facebook spent over $2 million in contributions and $24 million in lobbying during the same period.

This kind of political spending is also common across state governments. From Alaska to Alabama, firms spend huge sums of money to influence policymaking because they depend on their local business environments, resources and regulations.

For example, after Citizens United, a landmark 2010 U.S. Supreme Court decision that freed corporations (as well as nonprofits, unions and other associations) to spend

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To His Own Surprise, Crypto Volume Pumper’s Business Is Still Thriving

Eleven months ago, Alexey Andryunin was sure his business was not long for this world. 

A 22-year-old math student from Moscow, Andryunin built a business inflating trade volumes in little-known crypto tokens issued during the 2017 initial coin offering (ICO) craze. In a head-turning interview CoinDesk published last July, Andryunin candidly described the underworld of micro-cap tokens and exchanges surviving on artificial volumes ginned up by paid “market makers” (a traditional finance term used loosely in this context.)

At the time, Andryunin thought his business was heading to a decline: ICOs were moribund, the token market was shrinking and a new wave of regulatory attention was about to scour the shadier corners of the crypto space. 

Related: BitMEX Owner HDR Appoints Former Bank of China Exec to Board

He now says he was mistaken. Business is growing again as token promoters pay him to pump their projects so they’ll be accepted on crypto exchanges. It doesn’t hurt that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a rise in investors looking for the next crypto opportunity.

“We were about to switch to big data analysis, but we didn’t have a moment to start there [because] the crypto market suddenly turned around to us,” he told CoinDesk recently. 

In addition to inflating volumes, his firm is providing all kinds of services to token projects. It will code apps when the founders of the projects have nothing but an idea, Andryunin said – for a price.

Flashback: For $15K, He’ll Fake Your Exchange Volume

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5 Russian and Asian Energy Stocks With High Profitability, Business Predictability

In light of Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE:CHK) filing for bankruptcy protection over the weekend and strong economic data from Asian and European markets, five energy companies that have shown high profitability and business predictability are Yantai Jereh Oilfield Services Group Co. Ltd. (SZSE:002353), Shaanxi Yanchang Petroleum Chemical Engineering Co. (SHSE:600248), China Aviation Oil Corp. (SGX:G92), PJSC Lukoil (MIC:LKOH) and Pryce Corp. (PHS:PPC) according to the All-in-One Screener, a Premium feature of GuruFocus.

Chesapeake files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

On Sunday, Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy announced in a press release that it voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 protection to facilitate a comprehensive balance sheet restructuring, including the elimination of $7 billion in long-term debt. The company secured $925 million in debtor-in-possession financing per the restructuring support agreement terms.


Chesapeake also agreed to the principal terms of $2.5 billion in exit financing, which includes a new revolving credit facility of $1.75 billion and a term loan of $750 million. Shares tumbled over 7% following the announcement.


Crude oil prices soar on strong Asian and European economic data

On Monday, crude oil prices surged on the heels of strong Asian and European economic data, with Brent crude prices up 1.8% to $41.76 per barrel and West Texas Intermediate crude prices up 3.1% to $39.70 per barrel. CNBC reported that overall sentiment in the eurozone improved from 75.7 in June from 67.5 in May according to European Commission data, while industrial company profits in China rose in

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