UK investigation into Downing Avenue Covid lockdown events finds ‘failures of management’

Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street to make a statement at Parliament on January 31, 2022 in London, England.

Dan Kitwood | News from Getty Images | Getty Images

LONDON – The preliminary findings of an inquiry into Covid-19 lockdown parties at Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s office and home have sharply criticized Downing Street culture.

The 12-page interim report, released in redacted form on the government website on Monday, makes clear that lockdown parties “should not have happened” while others “should not have unfolded as they did”.

In a series of damning conclusions, senior official Sue Gray’s partial findings said there were “faults in leadership and judgment by various parts of No. 10 and the Cabinet Office at different times” and some of the behavior was “difficult to justify.”

It also noted that excessive consumption of alcohol was “at no time appropriate in a professional workplace” and some employees wanted to raise concerns about behaviors they observed but felt unable to do so.

“At least some of the assemblies in question represent a serious failure to live up not only to the high standards expected of those who work at the heart of government, but also to the standards that were expected at that time from the whole of the British public,” says the report.

Gray said it was unable to produce a meaningful report after the Metropolitan Police controversially asked them to provide “minimal clues” about parties they are also investigating.

The Met’s move provoked a backlash from British lawmakers, who accused the police of trying to influence the political process and “whitewashing” the report.

After multiple reports of various gatherings and alleged parties at government buildings, the latest revelation in recent weeks has been that an event was being held during the lockdown to celebrate Johnson’s birthday on June 19, 2020.

Johnson so far resisted demands for his resignation from across the political spectrum, despite public anger over the long and growing list of alleged lockdown violations.

In response to Gray’s interim report, Johnson told lawmakers assembled in the House of Commons that he regretted the way the matter had been handled and accepted that it was time to review the codes of conduct.

“First, I want to apologize,” Johnson said on Monday afternoon. “I’m sorry for the things we just didn’t do right and also for the way this matter was handled.”

Acknowledging that apologizing is not enough, Johnson said he would set up a prime minister’s office with a permanent secretary.

“I understand it and I will fix it,” Johnson said, prompting a chorus of jeers from opposition lawmakers.

Opposition Labor leader Keir Starmer said that “the Prime Minister thought we were all fools by routinely breaking the rules he had laid down”.

“He cheerfully treats what should be a mark of shame as a welcome shield,” Starmer added, noting that Gray’s report shows there are 12 cases that have reached the threshold for a criminal investigation.

The Prime Minister is expected to address all Conservative MPs at a meeting tonight.

What happens next?

Many lawmakers loyal to Johnson, including his closest colleagues, had repeatedly said they would “wait for the results” of Sue Gray’s report before passing judgment on their leader.

Conservative politicians’ oft-repeated phrase has allowed the Prime Minister to buy some time to campaign for support from lawmakers to stave off a no-confidence vote – which will be triggered when 54 Tory MPs send letters of no-confidence to the chairman of the 1922 Committee, one influential group of backbenchers addressing leadership challenges.

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Britain’s Boris Johnson is threatened with a vote of no confidence. Here’s what it takes

It is not known how many letters were sent to the 1922 leader, Graham Brady, as the letters are kept secret, although a number of politicians have publicly stated that they no longer have confidence in Johnson’s leadership.

It will now be closely observed whether the required 54 letters from Brady will be declared after Gray’s results are published. If enough no-confidence letters are received, a vote of confidence would be triggered.

If a majority of Tory MPs voted to support Johnson in the vote, current rules mean that no new vote can be called for another 12 months, although the 1922 Committee is reportedly considering changing that rule to include two votes allow per year.

Should Johnson lose the vote, he would be forced to resign and a Conservative leadership contest would begin. In that case, Johnson would not be admitted as a deposed leader.

Of course, another alternative would be for Johnson to resign of his own accord, but he shows no sign of intending to do so.

Some lawmakers may prefer to wait and see how the Conservative Party fares in local elections in May, allowing them to gauge public anger at Partygate. However, opinion polls have already shown that trust and support for Johnson and his administration have fallen.

party over?

Johnson’s leadership was under immense pressure after weeks of media reports (dating back before Christmas) of several parties and gatherings attended by government employees, including at times Johnson.

One gathering in particular captured Johnson when it took place in May 2020, at the height of the first lockdown, when the general public was only allowed to meet one other person from outside their household outdoors.

Johnson admitted before Parliament in early January that he had attended the party – dubbed the ‘bring your own boek’ gathering in Downing Street’s garden, to which around 100 people were reportedly invited.

But he told lawmakers he only attended the party for 25 minutes to thank “groups of staff” for their hard work and that he “implicitly believed this was a work event,” a comment made by opposition politicians was mocked.

The opposition Labor Party was scathing at Johnson’s leadership and his comments on his participation in the party in May 2020, calling for the Prime Minister to resign.

As Johnson offered the nation his “sincere apologies” for attending the event, Labor leader Starmer said Johnson’s explanation for his attendance was “so ridiculous that it is actually offensive to the British public” as he urged Johnson to ” do the right thing and resign.”

City warmth mapping undertaking in NYC finds poor neighborhoods hotter

Poorer neighborhoods are hotter than wealthier ones.

That is the overall result of the New York component of a national project to map urban heat islands. Scientists have long known that urban areas generate heat, but have not yet been able to map it street by street.

On a hot summer day in New York City last July, volunteers swarmed into cars with sensors to track heat and humidity. They traveled from the crowded tenements and truck-lined streets of the South Bronx to the open avenues of Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

The heat trackers told an impressive story. On an afternoon in July, there was at least 7 degrees difference between the South Bronx, one of the poorest neighborhoods in New York City, and the Upper East Side of Manhattan, one of the richest. The difference between the South Bronx and Central Park was even bigger: almost 10 degrees.

This type of heat mapping is becoming increasingly important as climate change causes global temperatures to rise and more people to move to urban areas. According to the United Nations, the proportion of city dwellers will increase from 55% today to 68% by 2050. In addition, as temperatures rise, the overall differences between the hottest and coolest areas increase, exacerbating the class and race divide.

“We get extremely granular data. Street level data. What currently exists is satellite data of where the total of New York City’s streets are, “said Dr. Liv Yoon, researcher at Columbia University’s Earth Institute.

The data can help communities target their financial resources to lower temperatures by building more rooms, adding lighter roofs, leaving more space between buildings and opening more cooling centers during heat waves.

“We want to empower the local citizens and scientists who have participated so that they own the data, because we often hear them go to the authorities and say, ‘We have this problem, but they are often answered with’ You ‘when faced with anecdotes and emotions cannot come to us. We need hard data, “said Yoon.

Heat is the most dangerous natural hazard in cities

Melissa Barber, a native of the Bronx and founder of an activist organization United the South Bronx, has fought for everything from community gardens to redesigning the Bronx waterfront to cool the area. Now she’s working with Yoon, using heat mapping to plead with local officials and property developers to switch.

“As community members who actually fight for justice, social justice and environmental justice, we can now say:“ There is current data that says: ‘We breathe a different air.’ There is current data that says, ‘We see and feel heat differently than anywhere else,’ ”said Barber.

“Areas outlined in historic red certainly have less infrastructure that is conducive to cooling. They have fewer green spaces,” said Yoon, who spoke with CNBC, one of the very few community gardens in the South Bronx – a garden that Barber helped design.

Barber says data will give it more power to transform real estate development in poorer parts of New York City.

“We really need to think about how we shape communities. When we talk about historical injustice and this redlining – there were no parks in this plan. There was no water included in this planning buffers that actually allow us to experience the climate differently did not exist and do not exist for many of our urban communities, “said Barber.

The temperature sensors were provided by Oregon-based CAPA Strategies, a climate data and analysis company that works with the federal government, local communities, and nonprofits.

“It really matters because heat is one of the most insidious killers in cities. It kills more people than any other natural hazard,” said Vivek Shandas, a consultant at CAPA.

Shandas notes that climate change is increasing the stakes and exacerbating the effects of the heat on the local economy, which is now stalling more often due to deadly heat.

“We see a greater heat intensity. We see these heat waves last longer and we see heat waves coming through more often, but we still use a single number to tell us what the temperature is a city or region for, “added Shandas.

New York is one of 12 cities participating in this year’s mapping campaign in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The massive image: girls’s style finds an unlikely fashion hero | Pictures

In 1967, Caroline Baker who contributed as secretary Shirley Conran on the Observer, took a job with the fashion editor Molly Parkin at Nova, the iconoclastic women’s magazine. Parkin left soon after Baker’s arrival and Baker took over as she had never done a fashion shoot in her life. In the following years she developed a distinctive look that rebelled against the stereotypes of the industry. “I didn’t want to be this pretty girl, this toy for men,” she writes in the introduction to a new book that celebrates her career. Rebel Stylist: Caroline Baker – The woman who invented street fashion.

Instead of using clothing from design houses, Baker looked elsewhere for the material for their fashion sites, using oversized men’s clothing from thrift stores, fitted with belts and suspenders, army surplus, gauntlets and tights from ballet companies, chef’s clothes, school blazers, hospital gowns and pajamas. Her street style set the tone for punk fashion – Baker later worked with Vivienne Westwood – and the liberated androgyny of the 1980s and beyond.

An inspiration for this look was Charlie Chaplin, “his messy way of dressing”. This image, which is included in the book, was taken from a Nova shoot by photographer Sarah Moon, styled by Baker, not long before Nova’s death in 1975.

Moon was one of the few female fashion photographers at the time, and she and Baker made a series of films together that reinterpreted film nostalgia through a female lens. They went to Brighton to take the Chaplin pictures. “Sarah wanted two young children and an old car … you planned your fashion shoot like a mini movie, ”recalls Baker. Chaplin’s spacious silhouette had both a practical and an aesthetic appeal. “I was always so jealous that men were so lucky to have bags.” She decided women should have them too.

Rebel stylist is published by ACC Art Books (£ 35)

Effectively-traveled chef finds a house in Shelby Park with Roman-style pizza restaurant

A well-traveled chef finds a home in Shelby Park with a Roman-style pizza restaurant

The chef, trained by Bobby Flay, opens a Roman-style pizza restaurant in the Shelby Park neighborhood, building on his childhood roots.

Updated: 8:50 p.m. EST November 19, 2021

Emil David grew up in Pampanga, a province in the Philippines northwest of Manilla. When he was 16, David’s mother lost her business due to a natural disaster and the family moved to Rome, Italy to start over. One of the things David liked most about Rome was the shops and bakeries selling square slices of Roman style pizza. Roman pizza, unlike the more common Neapolitan pizzas, has a thin crust like a flat focaccia and is usually cut into squares. “It was easy to buy these pizzas. You didn’t have to go to a restaurant. I just asked my mother for two euros and then went to a store to buy a slice of it. ”In October, David and his wife Liz opened Square Cut Pizza at 741 E. Oak St., Shelby Park. The couple also run an ice cream parlor called Sugar Room in the same 4,500 square foot space. Square Cut Pizza has an open kitchen, bar and seating for up to 50 people. There is also an outdoor area with seating for 8 to 10 people. To learn more about Square Cut Pizza, visit our media partner Louisville Business First.

Emil David grew up in Pampanga, a province in the Philippines northwest of Manilla. When he was 16, David’s mother lost her business due to a natural disaster and the family moved to Rome, Italy to start over.

One of the things David liked most about Rome was the shops and bakeries that sold square pieces of Roman pizza. Roman pizza, unlike the more common Neapolitan pizza, has a thin crust like a flat focaccia and is usually cut into squares.

“When I was in Rome it was just very comforting,” remembers David, 36. “It was easy to buy these pizzas. You didn’t have to go to a restaurant. I just asked my mother for two euros and then in went to a store to buy a disc. “

In October, David and his wife, Liz, opened Square Cut Pizza at 741 E. Oak St. in the Shelby Park neighborhood. The couple also run an ice cream parlor called Sugar Room in the same 4,500 square foot space.

Square Cut Pizza has an open kitchen, bar and seating for up to 50 people. There is also an outdoor area with seating for 8 to 10 people.

To learn more about Square Cut Pizza, visit our media partner Louisville Business First.

Inflation, labor and delta variant hit restaurant homeowners, Goldman Sachs information finds

Restaurants across the county have been looking forward to the economy reopening in recent months as Covid vaccines continued to spread and pent-up consumer demand was felt.

But headwinds from supply chain interruptions to labor shortages and rising costs hit the industry as the contagious Delta variant tarnishes hopes of a return to normal.

Small business owners in the food, restaurant and hospitality sectors are more concerned than most about the ongoing disruption of the pandemic, according to new data from Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Business Voices program. The data shows that 84% of owners in these sectors are concerned about the impact of rising Covid-19 infection rates on businesses, compared to 75% of the entire small business population.

Almost all of them saw an increase in operating costs, with 93% believing that inflationary pressures have increased since June, negatively affecting finances.

The data subset of 117 food, restaurant and hospitality owners came from a broader survey of 1,145 participants in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program earlier this month.

The numbers underscore the continuing pressures restaurants face even in an economy recovering from the worst of the damage caused by the coronavirus. While the introduction of vaccines and looser public health restrictions have brought the industry closer to normal, challenges remain as restaurant owners look to fall.

Ruby Bugarin, who runs Margaritas and Pepe restaurants in the greater Los Angeles area, said both the availability of goods and the higher cost hit her business. Products like crabs are harder to find, the cost of chicken and pork has increased by more than $ 1 a pound, and the prices of other goods have increased.

“In the past two or three weeks, the price of avocados has gone from about $ 40 a box to $ 85 a box. So that’s more than double, ”said Bugarin, a member of the Small Business Voices program. “We can’t do the same to our customers – we raise prices once or twice a year.”

Labor costs are also rising in her two restaurants with a total of 63 employees. Bugarin said she would like to add a chef or two at each location, but instead pays overtime weekly to her current staff.

Restaurant, hospitality and hospitality owners like Bugarin are also more affected by work problems than in the wider small business community. The data shows that 79% of these business owners say the challenges for employees have worsened since the pandemic, compared with 64% overall.

Recent data from the National Federation of Independent Business underscores the labor law issues that weigh on the optimism of small businesses. The vacancies in August were above the historic 48-year average for the second month in a row.

“In June, despite inflation and despite labor challenges, 67% of small businesses said they believed the US is on the right track,” said Joe Wall, national director of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Voices. “That number is now 38%. The delta variant is sure to be the # 1 issue in terms of sentiment change, and then you pile on it, inflation dynamics and the challenges facing the workforce.”

With the pandemic taxing restaurant operators, Goldman’s data shows that nearly 40% of food and hospitality companies say they expect they’ll need to take out a loan or line of credit for their business this fall or winter. This corresponds to 29% of the companies as a whole.

The Small Business Administration recently announced a revision of the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program for businesses. The credit limit will be increased to $ 2 million and recipients will be allowed to use the funds to prepay business debts, which allows restaurants to use the money on business debts and more.

“At a time when small business restaurants still have extreme working capital needs, these changes will improve the prospects for thousands of operators and improve the economic prospects for communities large and small,” said Sean Kennedy, executive vice president of public policy at the National Restaurant Association said in a statement. The group worked with the SBA on the new small business terms.

Beyond these changes, small business and restaurant owners and advocates have urged lawmakers to top up the $ 28.6 billion restaurant revitalization fund. It granted grants to the industry but was quickly exhausted due to high demand.

“We were able to distribute it to over 100,000 companies across the country, but demand was 2.5 times as much,” SBA administrator Isabel Guzman told CNBC about the RRF last month. “There are still restaurants, food and beverage companies that need support. We know they have been hardest hit, and will often be the last to reopen in communities, but they define so many of our main streets.I can’t say exactly what the actions of Congress will be, but the SBA would be ready to take these Manage programs quickly, efficiently and fairly. “

48% of Younger Folks Say They Are Spending Extra Cash in 2021, Finds New Knowledge From Clutch | State Information

WASHINGTON, August 26, 2021 / PRNewswire / – Nearly half of people between 18 and 34 (48%) say their spending increased in 2021, according to a new survey from Clutch, the leading B2B rating and review platform.

Clutch surveyed Americans to see if they were spending more or less than they did in 2020. The data shows that consumers are generally spending more than they did a year ago and that middle-aged people are used to shopping online.

After a year of saving, young Americans are ready to open their wallets, which experts attribute to the improved economic environment and a reduction in COVID-related restrictions.

Some experts say that young people are particularly likely to spend more on travel expenses before some COVID restrictions are reintroduced.

“There is ongoing concern that we could face another lockdown in our area, especially as the weather turns cooler,” said Barker. “Millennials try to use this time to see as many new places as possible.”

Middle-aged people who spend more money online

Half of 35 to 54 year olds (50%) say their online spending increased in 2021. By comparison, only 43% of people between 18 and 34 and 37% of those aged 55 and over reported higher online spending that year.

Experts say the reduced in-person commerce during COVID-19 has made middle-aged consumers more comfortable shopping online.

“Before the pandemic, most middle-aged people did their shopping and grocery shopping in person,” said Cindy Corpis, CEO of SearchPeopleFree, a software development company. “But there has been a shift towards online shopping since the pandemic.”

Corpis believes the increase in online shopping by middle-aged consumers is a strong sign of the future of e-commerce.

“When the highest income age group begins to migrate to online shopping, sales and profits for e-commerce stores will soon increase significantly,” said Corpis.

If you have any questions about the survey or comments on the findings, please contact Anna Peck at

Clutch is the leading rating and review platform for IT, marketing and business service providers. Over half a million service buyers and sellers use the Clutch platform every month, and the user base is growing at over 50% annually. Clutch was named one of the 500 Fastest Growing Companies in the US by Inc. Magazine and was listed as a Top 50 Startup by LinkedIn.

FDA finds poor circumstances at Baltimore plant that ruined J&J doses

The Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday a facility in Baltimore that ruined millions of Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine doses was unsanitary and unsuitable for making the shots.

The FDA asked Emergent BioSolutions, which operates the facility, to temporarily suspend production of materials for Covid-19 vaccines earlier this month as the U.S. agency initiated an inspection.

“The company has not adequately trained personnel involved in manufacturing operations, quality control sampling, weighing and dispensing, and engineering operations to prevent drug cross-contamination,” FDA investigators wrote in the report.

The eight-day inspection earlier this month revealed a number of alarming quality issues throughout the facility.

In one 13 page reportInspectors wrote that the facility used to manufacture the vaccine “was not kept in a clean and hygienic condition” and was “not of the appropriate size, design and location to facilitate cleaning, maintenance and proper operation “.

FDA inspectors said paint was peeling in multiple places and walls were damaged, which could affect the facility’s “ability to adequately clean and disinfect.” They also found that when handling waste or materials used to make vaccines, employees did not follow standard operating procedures to ensure they were not contaminated.

The facility has not been approved by the FDA to manufacture or distribute Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine, and none of the doses manufactured at this facility have been marketed for use in the United States. Emergent has agreed to cease production of materials until the issues identified by the FDA are resolved, the agency said.

In a statement, J&J said it had “stepped up its oversight of drug manufacturing at the Emergent BioSolutions Bayview facility, including additional controls and personnel, to ensure that the quality standards of our company and the US Food & Drug Administration ( FDA) are complied with. “”

“Johnson & Johnson will exercise its regulatory authority to ensure that all FDA observations are promptly and fully considered,” it said.

Emergent said it is determined to work with the FDA and J&J to resolve the issues.

“While we are never satisfied with defects in our production facilities or processes, these can be corrected and we will take quick action to correct them,” it said in a statement.

Robert Califf, former FDA commissioner under the Obama administration, said that while the problems at the Baltimore plant appear “troubling”, manufacturing issues are emerging and one reason FDA oversight is so important.

“Supply chain and manufacturing are really complicated issues, but that’s why you need an FDA and inspections, and it’s the shared responsibility of the FDA and the companies themselves,” he told CNBC in a telephone interview.

At the beginning of this month the Biden administration appointed J&J to manage the Baltimore facility after US officials learned that Emergent, a contract manufacturer, made vaccines for J&J and J&J AstraZeneca, Ingredients mixed for the two shots. Officials also stopped production of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The stoppage in the production of new materials is the most recent setback for J&J. Last week the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did advised states to stop temporarily J & J’s use of the vaccine “out of caution” after six women developed a rare but potentially life-threatening bleeding disorder in which one was dead and one in critical condition. A key CDC panel is due to meet on Friday to make a recommendation on how to use the vaccine.

The FDA said Wednesday that its actions at the Baltimore facility had nothing to do with the ongoing evaluation of the coagulation cases.

Helen Mirren finds shiny facet throughout the pandemic | Ap-entertainment

LONDON (AP) – Helen Mirren has found the good side of the pandemic.

To work from home? “Much more convenient,” she said. She bought a ring light for zooms and balanced her laptop on two dictionaries. “I love it … I hope elements of our quarantine lockdown will stay with us.”

She enjoys slow dinners with her husband, director Taylor Hackford. They have lived together in the mountains near Lake Tahoe, California for much of last year.

“It gave me the opportunity to be with my husband in a completely normal way, which was fantastic. It’s actually the first time in all of our 30 years together that we have sat at the table every night and.” had dinner together. Usually we get on planes and fly here, there. So it was fabulous just to be a normal person. “

The 75-year-old British star is a sponsor of the documentary My Beautiful Stutter, which focuses on the work of the New York City-based nonprofit group SAY: The stuttering association for the youth.

The Discovery + film follows five children who have been bullied for the way they speak, and shows how the charity helps them with their confidence. The kids meet others who stutter, and much of the documentary explores their time at Camp SAY.

Mirren was introduced to the charity by friend Kelli O’Hara and has been an attorney and ambassador for the SAY fundraising gala in New York for years.

“I’ve known people who, as we say in England, stammer or stutter, actor friends of mine, who stutter pretty badly outside of the stage and can walk on stage and play Shakespeare absolutely fluently. And I’ve always been pretty surprised, or moved, or affected by it, ”said Mirren.

SAY founder Taro Alexander called the film, directed by Ryan Gielen, a “beautiful representation” of the group’s work.

Mirren has since started acting under the COVID-19 protocols again, but said social distancing and face-covering film productions “just aren’t as fun” as they used to be.

“You have a focus puller, if you met him on the street you wouldn’t recognize him, even though this is someone you worked with every day,” she said. “So this sense of community, I’m really looking forward to getting back into my job.”

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed in any way without permission.

Investigation Finds That Lady Scouts Troop Chief Stole Cookie Cash

PATASKALA, Ohio – An investigation by the Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has led to indictments against a Girl Scout troop leader for allegedly stealing an estimated $ 12,500 from cookie sales and event fees.

Jill Gauthier, 49, was recently charged with theft, a fourth-degree crime, by a Licking County grand jury.

“She was literally hand caught in the cookie jar – an adult-sized jar that was supposed to carry adult-sized break in a place with lockable doors and barred windows,” Yost said. “How many boxes of thin mints does your troop have to sell to make up for their betrayal?”

An investigation by Yost’s Charitable Law Department and the Pataskala Police Department found that Gauthier had deposited cookie money and event fees collected by the troop members’ parents into personal bank accounts for about five years.

The parents were concerned about Gauthier’s use of the funds and alerted the authorities. Gauthier, the only person who had access to the funds, allegedly used the money on personal purchases.

Investigators submitted their findings to the Licking County Attorney’s Office, who presented the case to a grand jury. Gauthier is expected back in court on May 5th.

Cathie Wooden’s ARK Finds Positive aspects and Ache in Cash-Dropping Corporations

More than half of the companies in Cathie Wood’s five popular publicly traded funds at ARK Investment Management LLC were unprofitable over the past year. Analysts believe this will increase the volatility of these funds in the months ahead.

According to an analysis by Dow Jones Market Data, 85 of the 165 stocks in ARK’s actively managed ETFs caused net losses in recent fiscal years. That made the money particularly prone to dramatic fluctuations when investors turned their backs on growth stocks in favor of stocks that shine when the economy thrives.

In spite of Tech stocks rebound this weekAll five of ARK’s ETFs are down at least 18% from their mid-February highs, trailing the Nasdaq Composite, which is down 7.3% from the February 12 record.

Performance of the holdings of the five actively managed ETFs from ARK

The pain was greatest with stocks of unprofitable companies in ARK’s funds. According to a DJMD analysis of ARK’s holdings and FactSet data, these stocks fell an average of 23% over the past month, while profitable stocks fell 10% over the same period.

“These stocks are inherently riskier than the broader market,” said Ben Johnson, director of global ETF research at Morningstar.

A spokeswoman for ARK declined to comment. However, Ms. Wood has chosen television and YouTube to reassure her investors and stresses that the company continues to stick to its strategy.

“We’re as excited as always about everything we’re doing. The past few weeks have done nothing but increase the returns we expect from each of our stocks as they have fallen, ”Ms. Wood said in a video posted on YouTube last week and over Has received 700,000 views.

ARK’s high profile positions include streaming companies

year Inc.,

Home sales website

Zillow group Inc.

and music service

Spotify technology TO,

None of them made a profit in their most recent annual reports. The stocks of these and many other unprofitable companies include several ARK funds.

Teladoc health Inc.,

For example, four of the five ETFs have a combined position worth $ 2.3 billion. The virtual medical service provider has reported losses every year since it went public in 2015, including a loss of $ 485 million last year.

Of the 56 stocks in the flagship innovation fund, 36 did not generate any profits in the last few financial years, according to an analysis of company holdings. ARK’s Genomics Fund, which is down 5.4% so far this year, has even more exposure to unprofitable companies. 43 of its 57 holdings reported losses last year. In the three other ARK funds, at least around a quarter of the companies represented achieved no results in the past year.

Investors have long relied on valuation metrics like price-to-earnings ratio to gauge a stock’s prospects. However, such metrics are irrelevant for companies that are not making a profit. Instead, ARK relies on a mix of fantasy and discounted cash flow models, based on near zero interest rates, to justify the high valuations of stocks that have great potential to grow and enter their respective industries, such as cash and cash equivalents

alphabet Inc.’s

Search dominance and Facebook Inc.’s moat around social media.


Do you think ARK’s funds will continue to be vulnerable to further losses and outflows? Why or why not? Join the following conversation.

Many of ARK’s “disruptive” stocks became gangbusters in 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic. The innovation ETF has risen by more than 150% in the past year alone and has tripled since its debut in 2014. A flurry of investor inflows followed, allowing ARK to place even bigger bets on the next wave of revolutionary companies.

Another potential problem with ARK investors is the high concentration of funds. For example, the company has a 15% stake in two of its $ 156 million funds in a biomedical products company

Cerus Corp.

The company has not been profitable in more than a decade, most recently recording an annual loss of nearly $ 60 million.

The more an investor owns a particular stock, the harder it is to add or sell stocks without changing prices. Morningstar released the numbers, noting that it would take more than 52 trading days for the ARK to sell its Cerus shares to get out of the position entirely to avoid a material shift in the share price to the detriment of its own investors.

Cerus’ shares are down 17% over the past month. According to, a website that tracks ARK’s trading activity and tracks ARK’s trading activity, the redemptions appear to have resulted in ARK’s funds losing more than 2 million shares between February 22nd and March 9th possibly exacerbating the decline in Cerus.

“That is the primary concern in portfolio management,” said Saumen Chattopadhyay, chief investment officer at asset management firm Carson Group, regarding the concentration. “If the bubble bursts, such funds can be made up.”

ARK doesn’t change its approach. Executives, including Ms. Wood, said volatility is hitting the market and their funds will be short-lived. Over the past few weeks, the company has been selling more liquid stocks to buy stocks of companies it claims to have higher convictions about, including smaller, harder-to-trade, and in some cases, unprofitable stocks. These purchases include Roku and

908 devices Inc.,

a chemical analysis company valued at just over $ 1 billion.

Ms. Wood said on her video last week that the funds had no trading or liquidity issues.

“We’re not in a bubble,” she added.

Write to Michael Wursthorn

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