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Bolsonaro eyes dividend tax, debt forgiveness as Brazil crackdown turns to economy By Reuters

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© Reuters. Brazil’s President and re-election candidate Jair Bolsonaro and House Speaker Arthur Lira attend a meeting with elected parliamentarians and conservatives who support Bolsonaro at Alvorada Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, October 6, 2022. REUTERS/A

Written by Ricardo Brito and Bernardo Karam

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Right-wing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Thursday announced a debt forgiveness for some consumers and a dividend tax to pay for welfare, shifting the focus of his re-election campaign to the economy as polls tighten.

His left-wing rival, former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, has also proposed a debt relief program for Brazilian consumers.

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Recent opinion polls show Bolsonaro slashing Lula’s lead since last week after the president performed stronger than expected in the first round of voting on Sunday.

The two will face off in a run-off on October 30.

Bolsonaro told lawmakers in Brasilia that he and the speaker of the House of Representatives agreed to tax dividends for Brazilians earning more than 400,000 reais ($77,000) in order to extend a more generous welfare program that ends in December.

He and Lola pledged to continue the R$600 monthly payments to the poorest Brazilians next year, but did not detail how they would pay for it. Both candidates are looking to change the budget rules in Brazil, without giving details.

Bolsonaro added that the state’s federal economic bank Caixa will waive 90% of its debts to about 4 million people and 400,000 businesses. Lula had included such a proposal in his presidential program after co-hosted with rival Ciro Gomez, who endorsed Lula after failing to go to the run-off.

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About 68 million Brazilians were blacklisted by credit rating agencies in August due to overdue debt, according to credit agency Serrasa.

Caixa CEO Daniela Marquez said in a press conference on Thursday that the bank expects to restructure about 1 billion reais ($192.3 million) of credits overdue for more than a year that the bank has already booked as losses.

Marquez said Caixa has been conducting similar debt restructuring campaigns since 2017.

Separately, Lula received written endorsement from many of the economists who helped stabilize the economy in the 1990s when the country was ruled by the Brazilian Social Democratic Party, a traditional rival of Lula’s Workers’ Party.

Armenio Fraga, Edmar Pasha, Pedro Malan, and Bricio Arreda wrote that they were voting for Lula and expecting a “responsible handling of the economy” from the former president.

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A poll released Thursday by PoderData pollsters showed Lula with 48% of voter support, compared to 44% for Bolsonaro. The same polling company last week showed Lula winning a second round of voting with 51% to 39% of the total vote.

PoderData was one of several polling companies criticized for underestimating Bolsonaro’s support in the first round of voting, which Lula won by 5 percentage points less than expected.

(1 dollar = 5.20 riyals)

(1 dollar = 5.2001 riyals)

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MicroStrategy is at its lowest level since 2020 after the sales were revealed

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(Bloomberg) — Shares of MicroStrategy touched their lowest level since August 2020 after the enterprise software company, which in recent years has been known as the largest buyer of bitcoin, revealed its first sale of the token.

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The stock fell 1.1 percent to $136.63 on Thursday, down 75 percent this year. Bitcoin rose less than 1% to around $16,590 and is believed to have fallen 64% since the start of the year.

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In a filing on Wednesday, MicroStrategy said it acquired approximately 2,395 Bitcoin between the beginning of November and December 21 through its subsidiary MacroStrategy, and paid out approximately $42.8 million in cash. It then sold 704 of the tokens on Dec. 22 for a total of about $11.8 million, citing tax purposes, before buying another 810 of them two days later.

Matt Malley, chief market strategist for Miller Tabak + Co. Step down as CEO. This news means they don’t seem to want to do that anytime soon.”

Overall, MicroStrategy held about 132,500 bitcoins worth over $4 billion USD as of December 27th. The company paid an average purchase price of $30,397 per bitcoin.

“Given MicroStrategy’s $2.4 billion in leverage, we believe the company may have a lot of leverage over Bitcoin, and may face some liquidity risk,” Jefferies analyst Brent Thiel wrote in a note on Wednesday. Thill has an “underperform” rating on the stock and a price target of $110.

Over the years of the pandemic, MicroStrategy has become well known for its Bitcoin takeovers, largely led by Saylor. Earlier this year, Saylor stepped down from that role and now serves as CEO at the company and continues to lead its bitcoin strategy.

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MicroStrategy was trading around $120 before Saylor first announced the company’s Bitcoin purchases in 2020. The stock reached an all-time high of $1,315 in February 2021.

(Updates to include the stock’s closing price in the second paragraph.)

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Bankman-Fried May File Petition in New York Federal Court Next Week Before Judge Louis Kaplan By Cointelegraph

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Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried is set to appear in court on the afternoon of January 3 to enter a lawsuit over two counts of wire fraud and six counts of conspiracy against him related to the collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, according to Reuters. mentioned on December 28, citing court records. Bankman-Fried will appear before District Judge Lewis Kaplan in Manhattan.

Judge Kaplan was appointed to hear the case on December 27 after the original judge in the case, Ronnie Abrams, Resigned herself because of connections between FTX and the law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell, where her husband is a partner. The company provided advisory services to FTX in 2021.