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Blackstone CEO predicts the energy crisis will worsen inflation and prompt social unrest

Shortage means "it's just going to cost more and it's probably going to cost a lot more," said billionaire Stephen Schwarzman, CEO of Blackstone. The energy shortage is severe enough that it could cause a lot of unhappiness and social unrest, said Blackstone CEO, Stephen Schwarzman. Benchmark US oil futures are around $85 a barrel after surging about 75% year-to-date. Oil could rise to $100 a barrel, said BlackRock chairman Larry Fink. The global energy crisis is severe enough that it could fuel social unrest, said the CEO of asset management company Blackstone on Monday. Stephen Schwarzman was speaking at the Future Investment Initiative conference in Saudi Arabia. Schwarzman, who is also co-founder of the investment firm, said: "We're going to end up with a real shortage of energy. And when you have a shortage, it's just going to cost more and it's probably going to cost a lot more," as reported by Bloomberg and CNN.When that happens, "you're going to get very unhappy people around the world," particularly in the emerging markets, he continued. Oil prices have surged this year on the back of a demand recovery and energy supply crunch.Benchmark US crude oil futures are up 75% year-to-date, around $85 a barrel - and they could gain more, pushing up energy prices and everything else downstream.Larry Fink, the CEO of BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager, also spoke at the conference. He told the audience there was a reasonable chance oil prices would reach $100 a barrel, Bloomberg reported."Inflation, we are in a new regime," he said. "There are many structural reasons for that. Short-term policy related to environmentalism, in terms of restricting the supply of hydrocarbons, has created energy inflation, and we are going to be living with that for some time.""We're not focusing on long-term solutions. We're not trying to change the world on a granular basis," Fink continued. "We have these visions we could go from a brown world, and we could wake up tomorrow there'd be a green world, and that is not going to happen." Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT18 hr. 54 min. ago Related News

A single $6 billion donation from Musk, Bezos, and other billionaires could save a record 42 million people from starvation, World Food Programme director says

Executive Director for the UN World Food Programme David Beasly said 42 million people across the globe are "knocking on famine's door." MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images; Joe Skipper/Reuters 42 million people are "knocking on famine's door," the director of the World Food Programme said. David Beasly is calling on billionaires like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos to donate $6 billion to help. "Billionaires need to step up," Beasly said in an interview with CNN. The director of the UN World Food Programme called on billionaires Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos to donate 0.36% of their net worth to help save 42 million people around the globe who are facing starvation. "The governments are tapped out. This is why and this is when the billionaires need to step up now on a one-time basis. $6 billion to help 42 million people that are literally going to die if we don't reach them," Executive Director for the UN World Food Programme David Beasly said in an interview with CNN on Tuesday. He added: "It's not complicated. I'm not asking them to do this every day, every week, every year."A UN report released in May found that at least 155 million people faced crisis levels of food insecurity in 2020. Beasley said there are currently 42 million people at the direst level of food insecurity that are "knocking on famine's door." "Just help me with them, one time. That's a $6 billion price tag," he said. Beasly said the hunger crisis was a result of "a perfect storm of conflict, climate change, and COVID-19."He said Bezos, the founder of Amazon, had a net worth increase of $64 billion in the past year and he was just asking for 10% of that. He added that last week, Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, had a $6 billion net worth increase in just one day. As of Wednesday, Musk had a net worth of $253.8 billion and Bezos was worth $196.1 billion."The top 400 billionaires in the United States the net worth increase was $1.8 trillion dollars in the past year. All I'm asking for is .36% of your net worth increase," he said. "I'm for people making money but God knows I'm all for you helping people who are in great need right now. The world is in trouble."Beasly offered to take any billionaire on just one trip so he could show them the reality. "We got a vaccine for this, it's called money, food. It's easy." Beasley said. "Billionaires need to step up."Insider has reached out to Amazon and Tesla for comment. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT19 hr. 22 min. ago Related News

Trump lauds "great friend" Jair Bolsonaro, as the Brazilian president has 9 criminal charges recommended against him

Jair Bolsonaro, dubbed the "Trump of the Tropics," has been widely criticized for pushing fake news about the pandemic and obstructing public health mandates. Former US President Donald Trump declared his support for Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Tuesday, describing themselves as "great friends." Andressa Anholete/Getty Images and James Devaney/GC Images Trump declared his support for Brazil's Jair Bolsonaro, who just had criminal charges recommended against him for his pandemic response. A 1,180 page report said Bolsonaro plunged Brazil into danger and caused needless COVID-19 deaths. Bolsonaro, dubbed the "Trump of the Tropics," has regularly exchanged praise with Trump. Former US President Donald Trump announced his endorsement on Tuesday evening of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who just hours before had criminal charges recommended against him by a Brazilian Senate committee for his pandemic response."President Jair Bolsonaro and I have become great friends over the past few years. He fights hard for, and loves, the people of Brazil - just like I do for the people of the United States," wrote Trump in a statement."Brazil is lucky to have a man such as Jair Bolsonaro working for them. He is a great President and will never let the people of his great country down!" On the same day, seven senators of an 11-member Brazilian senate commission voted to recommend nine charges against Bolsonaro, including crimes against humanity and charlatanism.They approved a 1,180-page report, the compiled findings of a six-month inquiry into Bolsonaro and his administration's pandemic handling.It said Bolsonaro had repeatedly promoted dangerous, false claims about COVID-19 and had tried to stop Congress from introducing public health mandates around masks.According to the report, Bolsonaro had "deliberately exposed" Brazilians to the coronavirus in a bid to get the country to reach herd immunity.It added that the Brazilian leader ignored several offers of vaccines from the Butantan Institute, a government-owned biology research center, and failed to act when he was presented with evidence of corruption in a vaccine procurement contract.More than 605,000 people have died in Brazil from COVID-19 - more than in any country except the US."Many of these deaths were preventable," Renan Calheiros, a Brazilian senator and the lead author of the report, told The New York Times. "I am personally convinced that he is responsible for escalating the slaughter."The charges recommended against Bolsonaro may never materialize. The committee doesn't have the power to start a criminal or impeachment proceeding - that's in the hands of Brazil's attorney general, a Bolsonaro ally. But the Senate panel may seek to bring the matter to Brazil's Supreme Court or the International Criminal Court, per NPR.Bolsonaro, who is seeking reelection, responded to the report last week by saying it was a "joke," reported Reuters.He and Trump have regularly exchanged praise for one another. The Brazilian leader has been called the "Trump of the Tropics," and has supported Trump's unproven voter fraud claims.In turn, Trump called Bolsonaro a "major non-NATO ally" and said he was "honored" to have his 2016 US election victory compared to Bolsonaro's in 2019.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT21 hr. 22 min. ago Related News

Tesla CEO Elon Musk may be the first person ever to be worth $300 billion soon

The Tesla CEO is just $13 billion away from the milestone figure. Elon Musk. Britta Pedersen-Pool/Getty Images Tesla CEO Elon Musk could soon become the first person ever to hit a net worth of $300 billion. Musk's current net worth is $287 billion - that's $91 billion more than Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos. Musk's wealth was bolstered by a rally in Tesla shares on Monday. Elon Musk's net worth may soon top $300 billion - which would make him the first person ever to hit the milestone.According to the Bloomberg Billionaire's Index, the Tesla CEO's total net worth stands around $287 billion currently - that's $91 billion more than Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who is worth $196 billion.Musk's wealth was bolstered by $36 billion after a 13% rally in Tesla shares on Monday thanks to the news that Hertz had placed an order for 100,000 Teslas. That was the most significant gain Bloomberg's Billionaire Index has ever recorded in a single day.Musk's net worth is now more than Toyota's $284 billion market cap.He also receives stock options from a pay package that pays out when Tesla reaches certain financial milestones. Monday's surge in share prices increased Musk's wealth by $8 billion, as he had unlocked a new batch of stock, according to Bloomberg.Tesla shares are on a tear this year, gaining about 40% to date, propping up Musk's fortunes.Musk also added $11 billion to his net worth when he sold a stake in his aerospace company SpaceX earlier this month, Bloomberg reported.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT21 hr. 22 min. ago Related News

The True Feasibility Of Moving Away From Fossil Fuels

The True Feasibility Of Moving Away From Fossil Fuels Authored by Gail Tverberg via Our Finite World blog, One of the great misconceptions of our time is the belief that we can move away from fossil fuels if we make suitable choices on fuels. In one view, we can make the transition to a low-energy economy powered by wind, water, and solar. In other versions, we might include some other energy sources, such as biofuels or nuclear, but the story is not very different. The problem is the same regardless of what lower bound a person chooses: our economy is way too dependent on consuming an amount of energy that grows with each added human participant in the economy. This added energy is necessary because each person needs food, transportation, housing, and clothing, all of which are dependent upon energy consumption. The economy operates under the laws of physics, and history shows disturbing outcomes if energy consumption per capita declines. There are a number of issues: The impact of alternative energy sources is smaller than commonly believed. When countries have reduced their energy consumption per capita by significant amounts, the results have been very unsatisfactory. Energy consumption plays a bigger role in our lives than most of us imagine. It seems likely that fossil fuels will leave us before we can leave them. The timing of when fossil fuels will leave us seems to depend on when central banks lose their ability to stimulate the economy through lower interest rates. If fossil fuels leave us, the result could be the collapse of financial systems and governments. [1] Wind, water and solar provide only a small share of energy consumption today; any transition to the use of renewables alone would have huge repercussions. According to BP 2018 Statistical Review of World Energy data, wind, water and solar only accounted for 9.4% 0f total energy consumption in 2017. Figure 1. Wind, Water and Solar as a percentage of total energy consumption, based on BP 2018 Statistical Review of World Energy. Even if we make the assumption that these types of energy consumption will continue to achieve the same percentage increases as they have achieved in the last 10 years, it will still take 20 more years for wind, water, and solar to reach 20% of total energy consumption. Thus, even in 20 years, the world would need to reduce energy consumption by 80% in order to operate the economy on wind, water and solar alone. To get down to today’s level of energy production provided by wind, water and solar, we would need to reduce energy consumption by 90%. [2] Venezuela’s example (Figure 1, above) illustrates that even if a country has an above average contribution of renewables, plus significant oil reserves, it can still have major problems. One point people miss is that having a large share of renewables doesn’t necessarily mean that the lights will stay on. A major issue is the need for long distance transmission lines to transport the renewable electricity from where it is generated to where it is to be used. These lines must constantly be maintained. Maintenance of electrical transmission lines has been an issue in both Venezuela’s electrical outages and in California’s recent fires attributed to the utility PG&E. There is also the issue of variability of wind, water and solar energy. (Note the year-to-year variability indicated in the Venezuela line in Figure 1.) A country cannot really depend on its full amount of wind, water, and solar unless it has a truly huge amount of electrical storage: enough to last from season-to-season and year-to-year. Alternatively, an extraordinarily large quantity of long-distance transmission lines, plus the ability to maintain these lines for the long term, would seem to be required. [3] When individual countries have experienced cutbacks in their energy consumption per capita, the effects have generally been extremely disruptive, even with cutbacks far more modest than the target level of 80% to 90% that we would need to get off fossil fuels.  Notice that in these analyses, we are looking at “energy consumption per capita.” This calculation takes the total consumption of all kinds of energy (including oil, coal, natural gas, biofuels, nuclear, hydroelectric, and renewables) and divides it by the population. Energy consumption per capita depends to a significant extent on what citizens within a given economy can afford. It also depends on the extent of industrialization of an economy. If a major portion of industrial jobs are sent to China and India and only service jobs are retained, energy consumption per capita can be expected to fall. This happens partly because local companies no longer need to use as many energy products. Additionally, workers find mostly service jobs available; these jobs pay enough less that workers must cut back on buying goods such as homes and cars, reducing their energy consumption. Example 1. Spain and Greece Between 2007-2014 Figure 2. Greece and Spain energy consumption per capita. Energy data is from BP 2018 Statistical Review of World Energy; population estimates are UN 2017 population estimates. The period between 2007 and 2014 was a period when oil prices tended to be very high. Both Greece and Spain are very dependent on oil because of their sizable tourist industries. Higher oil prices made the tourism services these countries sold more expensive for their consumers. In both countries, energy consumption per capita started falling in 2008 and continued to fall until 2014, when oil prices began falling. Spain’s energy consumption per capita fell by 18% between 2007 and 2014; Greece’s fell by 24% over the same period. Both Greece and Spain experienced high unemployment rates, and both have needed debt bailouts to keep their financial systems operating. Austerity measures were forced on Greece. The effects on the economies of these countries were severe. Regarding Spain, Wikipedia has a section called, “2008 to 2014 Spanish financial crisis,” suggesting that the loss of energy consumption per capita was highly correlated with the country’s financial crisis. Example 2: France and the UK, 2004 – 2017 Both France and the UK have experienced falling energy consumption per capita since 2004, as oil production dropped (UK) and as industrialization was shifted to countries with a cheaper total cost of labor and fuel. Immigrant labor was added, as well, to better compete with the cost structures of the countries that France and the UK were competing against. With the new mix of workers and jobs, the quantity of goods and services that these workers could afford (per capita) has been falling. Figure 3. France and UK energy consumption per capita. Energy data is from BP 2018 Statistical Review of World Energy; population estimates are UN 2017 population estimates. Comparing 2017 to 2004, energy consumption per capita is down 16% for France and 25% in the UK. Many UK citizens have been very unhappy, wanting to leave the European Union. France recently has been experiencing “Yellow Vest” protests, at least partly related to an increase in carbon taxes. Higher carbon taxes would make energy-based goods and services less affordable. This would likely reduce France’s energy consumption per capita even further. French citizens with their protests are clearly not happy about how they are being affected by these changes. Example 3: Syria (2006-2016) and Yemen (2009-2016) Both Syria and Yemen are examples of formerly oil-exporting countries that are far past their peak production. Declining energy consumption per capita has been forced on both countries because, with their oil exports falling, the countries can no longer afford to use as much energy as they did in the past for previous uses, such as irrigation. If less irrigation is used, food production and jobs are lost. (Syria and Yemen) Figure 4. Syria and Yemen energy consumption per capita. Energy consumption data from US Energy Information Administration; population estimates are UN 2017 estimates. Between Yemen’s peak year in energy consumption per capita (2009) and the last year shown (2016), its energy consumption per capita dropped by 66%. Yemen has been named by the United Nations as the country with the “world’s worst humanitarian crisis.” Yemen cannot provide adequate food and water for its citizens. Yemen is involved in a civil war that others have entered into as well. I would describe the war as being at least partly a resource war. The situation with Syria is similar. Syria’s energy consumption per capita declined 55% between its peak year (2006) and the last year available (2016). Syria is also involved in a civil war that has been entered into by others. Here again, the issue seems to be inadequate resources per capita; war participants are to some extent fighting over the limited resources that are available. Example 4: Venezuela (2008-2017) Figure 5. Energy consumption per capita for Venezuela, based on BP 2018 Statistical Review of World Energy data and UN 2017 population estimates. Between 2008 and 2017, energy consumption per capita in Venezuela declined by 23%. This is a little less than the decreases experienced by the UK and Greece during their periods of decline. Even with this level of decline, Venezuela has been having difficulty providing adequate services to its citizens. There have been reports of empty supermarket shelves. Venezuela has not been able to maintain its electrical system properly, leading to many outages. [4] Most people are surprised to learn that energy is required for every part of the economy. When adequate energy is not available, an economy is likely to first shrink back in recession; eventually, it may collapse entirely. Physics tells us that energy consumption in a thermodynamically open system enables all kinds of “complexity.” Energy consumption enables specialization and hierarchical organizations. For example, growing energy consumption enables the organizations and supply lines needed to manufacture computers and other high-tech goods. Of course, energy consumption also enables what we think of as typical energy uses: the transportation of goods, the smelting of metals, the heating and air-conditioning of buildings, and the construction of roads. Energy is even required to allow pixels to appear on a computer screen. Pre-humans learned to control fire over one million years ago. The burning of biomass was a tool that could be used for many purposes, including keeping warm in colder climates, frightening away predators, and creating better tools. Perhaps its most important use was to permit food to be cooked, because cooking increases food’s nutritional availability. Cooked food seems to have been important in allowing the brains of humans to grow bigger at the same time that teeth, jaws and guts could shrink compared to those of ancestors. Humans today need to be able to continue to cook part of their food to have a reasonable chance of survival. Any kind of governmental organization requires energy. Having a single leader takes the least energy, especially if the leader can continue to perform his non-leadership duties. Any kind of added governmental service (such as roads or schools) requires energy. Having elected leaders who vote on decisions takes more energy than having a king with a few high-level aides. Having multiple layers of government takes energy. Each new intergovernmental organization requires energy to fly its officials around and implement its programs. International trade clearly requires energy consumption. In fact, pretty much every activity of businesses requires energy consumption. Needless to say, the study of science or of medicine requires energy consumption, because without significant energy consumption to leverage human energy, nearly every person must be a subsistence level farmer, with little time to study or to take time off from farming to write (or even read) books. Of course, manufacturing medicines and test tubes requires energy, as does creating sterile environments. We think of the many parts of the economy as requiring money, but it is really the physical goods and services that money can buy, and the energy that makes these goods and services possible, that are important. These goods and services depend to a very large extent on the supply of energy being consumed at a given point in time–for example, the amount of electricity being delivered to customers and the amount of gasoline and diesel being sold. Supply chains are very dependent on each part of the system being available when needed. If one part is missing, long delays and eventually collapse can occur. [5] If the supply of energy to an economy is reduced for any reason, the result tends to be very disruptive, as shown in the examples given in Section [3], above. When an economy doesn’t have enough energy, its self-organizing feature starts eliminating pieces of the economic system that it cannot support. The financial system tends to be very vulnerable because without adequate economic growth, it becomes very difficult for borrowers to repay debt with interest. This was part of the problem that Greece and Spain had in the period when their energy consumption per capita declined. A person wonders what would have happened to these countries without bailouts from the European Union and others. Another part that is very vulnerable is governmental organizations, especially the higher layers of government that were added last. In 1991, the Soviet Union’s central government was lost, leaving the governments of the 15 republics that were part of the Soviet Union. As energy consumption per capita declines, the European Union would seem to be very vulnerable. Other international organizations, such as the World Trade Organization and the International Monetary Fund, would seem to be vulnerable, as well. The electrical system is very complex. It seems to be easily disrupted if there is a material decrease in energy consumption per capita because maintenance of the system becomes difficult. If energy consumption per capita falls dramatically, many changes that don’t seem directly energy-related can be expected. For example, the roles of men and women are likely to change. Without modern medical care, women will likely need to become the mothers of several children in order that an average of two can survive long enough to raise their own children. Men will be valued for the heavy manual labor that they can perform. Today’s view of the equality of the sexes is likely to disappear because sex differences will become much more important in a low-energy world. Needless to say, other aspects of a low-energy economy might be very different as well. For example, one very low-energy type of economic system is a “gift economy.” In such an economy, the status of each individual is determined by the amount that that person can give away. Anything a person obtains must automatically be shared with the local group or the individual will be expelled from the group. In an economy with very low complexity, this kind of economy seems to work. A gift economy doesn’t require money or debt! [6] Most people assume that moving away from fossil fuels is something we can choose to do with whatever timing we would like. I would argue that we are not in charge of the process. Instead, fossil fuels will leave us when we lose the ability to reduce interest rates sufficiently to keep oil and other fossil fuel prices high enough for energy producers. Something that may seem strange to those who do not follow the issue is the fact that oil (and other energy prices) seem to be very much influenced by interest rates and the level of debt. In general, the lower the interest rate, the more affordable high-priced goods such as factories, homes, and automobiles become, and the higher commodity prices of all kinds can be. “Demand” increases with falling interest rates, causing energy prices of all types to rise.   Figure 6.   The cost of extracting oil is less important in determining oil prices than a person might expect. Instead, prices seem to be determined by what end products consumers (in the aggregate) can afford. In general, the more debt that individual citizens, businesses and governments can obtain, the higher that oil and other energy prices can rise. Of course, if interest rates start rising (instead of falling), there is a significant chance of a debt bubble popping, as defaults rise and asset prices decline. Interest rates have been generally falling since 1981 (Figure 7). This is the direction needed to support ever-higher energy prices. Figure 7. Chart of 3-month and 10-year interest rates, prepared by the FRED, using data through March 27, 2019. The danger now is that interest rates are approaching the lowest level that they can possibly reach. We need lower interest rates to support the higher prices that oil producers require, as their costs rise because of depletion. In fact, if we compare Figures 7 and 8, the Federal Reserve has been supporting higher oil and other energy prices with falling interest rates practically the whole time since oil prices rose above the inflation adjusted level of $20 per barrel! Figure 8. Historical inflation adjusted prices oil, based on data from 2018 BP Statistical Review of World Energy, with the low price period for oil highlighted. Once the Federal Reserve and other central banks lose their ability to cut interest rates further to support the need for ever-rising oil prices, the danger is that oil and other commodity prices will fall too low for producers. The situation is likely to look like the second half of 2008 in Figure 6. The difference, as we reach limits on how low interest rates can fall, is that it will no longer be possible to stimulate the economy to get energy and other commodity prices back up to an acceptable level for producers. [7] Once we hit the “no more stimulus impasse,” fossil fuels will begin leaving us because prices will fall too low for companies extracting these fuels. They will be forced to leave because they cannot make an adequate profit. One example of an oil producer whose production was affected by an extended period of low prices is the Soviet Union (or USSR). Figure 9. Oil production of the former Soviet Union together with oil prices in 2017 US$. All amounts from 2018 BP Statistical Review of World Energy. The US substantially raised interest rates in 1980-1981 (Figure 7). This led to a sharp reduction in oil prices, as the higher interest rates cut back investment of many kinds, around the world. Given the low price of oil, the Soviet Union reduced new investment in new fields. This slowdown in investment first reduced the rate of growth in oil production, and eventually led to a decline in production in 1988 (Figure 9). When oil prices rose again, production did also. Figure 10. Energy consumption per capita for the former Soviet Union, based on BP 2018 Statistical Review of World Energy data and UN 2017 population estimates. The Soviet Union’s energy consumption per capita reached its highest level in 1988 and began declining in 1989. The central government of the Soviet Union did not collapse until late 1991, as the economy was increasingly affected by falling oil export revenue. Some of the changes that occurred as the economy simplified itself were the loss of the central government, the loss of a large share of industry, and a great deal of job loss. Energy consumption per capita dropped by 36% between 1988 and 1998. It has never regained its former level. Venezuela is another example of an oil exporter that, in theory, could export more oil, if oil prices were higher. It is interesting to note that Venezuela’s highest energy consumption per capita occurred in 2008, when oil prices were high. We are now getting a chance to observe what the collapse in Venezuela looks like on a day- by-day basis. Figure 5, above, shows Venezuela’s energy consumption per capita pattern through 2017. Low oil prices since 2014 have particularly adversely affected the country. [8] Conclusion: We can’t know exactly what is ahead, but it is clear that moving away from fossil fuels will be far more destructive of our current economy than nearly everyone expects.  It is very easy to make optimistic forecasts about the future if a person doesn’t carefully examine what the data and the science seem to be telling us. Most researchers come from narrow academic backgrounds that do not seek out insights from other fields, so they tend not to understand the background story. A second issue is the desire for a “happy ever after” ending to our current energy predicament. If a researcher is creating an economic model without understanding the underlying principles, why not offer an outcome that citizens will like? Such a solution can help politicians get re-elected and can help researchers get grants for more research. We should be examining the situation more closely than most people have considered. The fact that interest rates cannot drop much further is particularly concerning. Tyler Durden Tue, 10/26/2021 - 22:10.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT22 hr. 38 min. ago Related News

This Year"s Thanksgiving Dinner Will Be The Most Expensive In History

This Year's Thanksgiving Dinner Will Be The Most Expensive In History Thanksgiving Day, an annual national holiday in the US, began as a way to celebrate the harvest and other blessings of the past year. Nowadays people celebrate the holiday with massive feasts and watch football. But one thing consumers won't be giving thanks to this year is soaring food inflation that could make Thanksgiving 2021 one of the most expensive on record. "When you go to the grocery store and it feels more expensive, that's because it is," Veronica Nigh, senior economist at the American Farm Bureau Federation, told CBS News. She said food prices in 2021 jumped 3.7% versus a 20-year average of 2.4%. Turkeys and all the trimmings will cost 4% to 5% more this year than a year ago. Rising food prices have been an ongoing issue since the beginning of the pandemic, as disrupted supply chains and adverse weather conditions around the world have made supplies of crops dwindle. Global food prices are at fresh decade highs and have begun to hit the wallets of consumers.  September's Consumer Price Index for food was up 4.6% from a year ago. Prices for meat, poultry, fish, and eggs were up the most, soaring more than 10%. The rise in food prices has spooked the Biden administration.  Several factors contribute to food inflation, including supply chain snarls, higher transportation costs, and labor shortages. Next year, food inflation may rise further as fertilizer prices jump.  "Agriculture is like everybody else — it's impacted by the supply restraints we've seen," Nigh said. She said 10% of food costs only come from farming, while the rest (90%) are trucking, wages, distribution, and warehousing.  Besides soaring food costs, consumers may experience widespread supply chain challenges that could make certain food items critical for Turkey Day harder or impossible to find because of shortages. Dr. Krishnakumar S. Davey, president of IRI Client Engagement, published a note explaining IRI's basket of availability, demand, price, and promotion for Thanksgiving is "recording significant out-of-stock rates on several Thanksgiving-related grocery categories at this time." According to Consumer Reports, there is some good news: "turkeys in all sizes will be in abundance."  But there's a dark side to Thanksgiving this year, that is, an income-inequality story which means the top 10% of Americans will be spending more while the working-poor might skip the holiday entirely due to affordability issues.  Tyler Durden Tue, 10/26/2021 - 22:30.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT22 hr. 38 min. ago Related News

Walmart Recalls Aromatherapy Spray Due To Presence Of Rare And Deadly Bacteria

Walmart Recalls Aromatherapy Spray Due To Presence Of Rare And Deadly Bacteria The next time a new pandemic is needed to trigger trillions more in QE, a perfect delivery mechanism is already available. Walmart has voluntarily recalled 3,900 bottles of an aromatherapy spray sold in 55 stores across 18 states after it identified a "rare and dangerous" bacteria in the product that has now been linked to four illnesses and two deaths, abc news reports. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Friday that it had identified the bacteria Burkholderia pseudomallei in the aromatherapy spray. The bacteria in question is a soil-dwelling bacterium endemic in tropical and subtropical regions worldwide, particularly in Thailand and northern Australia, which infects humans and other animals and causes the disease melioidosis. According to Nature, "the high associated mortality rate, wide availability in the environment in endemic areas, intrinsic resistance to many antibiotics and the potential for aerosol spread has made this organism a potential bioterror agent." The spray, “Better Homes & Gardens Lavender & Chamomile Essential Oil Infused Aromatherapy Room Spray with Gemstones," and manufactured by Flora Classique, was found Oct. 6 in the home of a Georgia resident who became ill with melioidosis in late July, according to the CDC. Walmart has recalled its Better Homes & Gardens Lavender & Chamomile Essential Oil Infused Aromatherapy Room Spray with Gemstones after two people died from a bacterial infection The CDC said it will continue to test the bacteria in the bottle to potentially match the bacteria identified in the four patients. The symptoms of melioidosis are similar to that of a cold or flu, according to the CDC. In other words, similar to those of covid. The contaminated spray was sold at about 55 Walmart stores and on Walmart’s websites between February and Oct. 21. Walmart has pulled the remaining bottles of this spray and related products from the shelves and its websites. "Our hearts go out to the families that have been impacted by this situation," Inger Damon, director of the CDC’s Division of High-Consequence Pathogens and Pathology, said in a statement. "We at CDC have been very concerned to see these serious related illness spread across time and geography. That is why our scientists have continued to work tirelessly to try to find the potential source for the melioidosis infections in these patients. We hope this work can help protect other people who may have used this spray." The Consumer Product Safety Commission and Walmart issued a recall for the lavender and chamomile room spray along with five other scents in the same product line. In addition to emailing customers who purchased the product online, emailed more than 2,000 customers who purchased the product at one of its stores; sending letters to another 263 customers with no email address on record and placing calls to a number of others with no available email or physical address. The CDC will continue to investigate whether other related aromatherapy scents and brands may pose a risk. Tyler Durden Tue, 10/26/2021 - 22:45.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT22 hr. 38 min. ago Related News

Miller: The Slippery Semantics Of Anthony Fauci

Miller: The Slippery Semantics Of Anthony Fauci Authored by Stephen L. Miller via Spectator World (emphasis ours), I do not have any accounting of what the Chinese may have done, and I’m fully in favor of any further investigation of what went on in China. However, I will repeat again: the NIH and NIAID categorically has not funded ‘gain-of-function’ research to be conducted in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”  That was Dr Anthony Fauci during a May 2021 congressional hearing. It kicked off a months-long national media effort to frame questions around gain-of-function research and US-taxpayer-funded virus manipulation as a Royal Rumble between Fauci and Senator Rand Paul. When he testifies or sits for friendly network interviews, Fauci depends on semantics. He relies on the naivety of the interviewer and the audience, employing terminology and definitions he believes only he understands. But like the ponytailed Chad in Good Will Hunting attempting to flex his big brain, Fauci’s arguments fall apart in front of the initiated. Last week, Lawrence Tabak, the principal deputy director of the NIH, sent a letter to Congress saying that EcoHealth Alliance failed to report certain aspects of the experimental work it had been conducting in China on bats and bat-borne viruses. Tabak pledged that the NIH and Fauci’s NIAID would take administrative action, but not much more than that. So Fauci’s absolutist answer from May has proven to be false. At the very least, the doctor needs to answer directly why he chose to deflect questions on gain-of-function research, something his own agency is claiming it had no idea was happening. How could have Fauci have denied back in May something so “categorically” if EcoHealth Alliance, run by Fauci ally Peter Daszak, had failed to report the full extent of their experiments? When Fauci sat for a cozy Sunday interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, he once again deployed his semantic game on the interviewer. Stephanopoulos framed the revealing letter from Tabak as “critics pouncing”: “Some critics and analysts have seized on that to say you and others have misled the public about US funding of this so-called gain-of-function research. The NIH says that’s false.” Fauci addressed Senator Rand Paul directly by responding, “The framework under which we have guidance about the conduct of research that we fund, the funding at the Wuhan Institute was to be able to determine what is out there in the environment, in bat viruses in China. And the research was very strictly under what we call a framework of oversight of the type of research.” Fauci then went on to say “And under those conditions which we have explained very, very clearly, does not constitute research of gain-of-function of concern.” In his answer, Fauci hedges by admitting that there was US funding directed to the Wuhan Institute, but, now, that funding did not directly fund “gain-of-function of concern.” “Of concern” is the new caveat Fauci has added to get around answering the question. He had never used the terminology “gain-of-function of concern” in prior interviews or testimony. He just slipped it in there because hardly anyone notices. Furthermore he knows that the general public and most of the press has no idea what “of concern” means. We know that gain-of-function research was happening in Wuhan and we know Fauci categorically denied US involvement in it. So now he’s attempting to sneak one by the audience and change the terminology, on what the definition of “gain-of-function of concern” means. So what does it mean? It all comes down to intent. “Of concern” is the term used to differentiate studying and manipulating viruses in the scientific environments as a purposeful method to produce bioweapons. Fauci said as much in 2012 when he testified that his department worked with the Defense Department on such experiments. What Fauci is seeking to do is tweak the argument with semantics and write off his critics and the critics of gain-of-function as people accusing Fauci and the Wuhan Institute of developing bioweapons. No one has done so. It’s a game: “Sure we funded gain-of-function, but how dare you insinuate we funded bioweapon research, you kook!” These are not the actions of a medical professional, with a serious interest in a transparent inquiry into the origins of the virus that has led to the deaths of 16 million people worldwide, including 750,000 Americans. These are the games a bureaucrat plays when they are attempting to cover their own ass, their career and their life’s work. Pulling this thread leads to one place: more discovery, more leaks and more gleam off Fauci’s armor in the media. How much more damning information needs to come out before he retires? *  *  * Stephen L. Miller is a contributing editor to The Spectator. Tyler Durden Tue, 10/26/2021 - 22:50.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT22 hr. 38 min. ago Related News

Is $1 Million Enough For Retirement In America?

Is $1 Million Enough For Retirement In America? The average American needs their retirement savings to last them 14 to 17 years. With this in mind, Visual Capitalist's Carmen Ang asks (and answers below), is $1 million in savings enough for the average retiree? Ultimately, it depends on where you live, since the average cost of living varies across the country. This graphic, using data compiled by GOBankingRates.com shows how many years $1 million in retirement savings lasts in the top 50 most populated U.S. cities. Editor’s note: As one user rightly pointed out, this analysis doesn’t take into account interest earned on the $1 million. With that in consideration, the above calculations could be seen as very conservative figures. How Long $1 Million Would Last in 50 Cities To compile this data, GOBankingRates calculated the average expenditures of people aged 65 or older in each city, using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and cost-of-living indices from Sperling’s Best Places. That figure was then reduced to account for average Social Security income. Then, GOBankingRates divided the one million by each city’s final figure to calculate how many years $1 million would last in each place. Perhaps unsurprisingly, San Francisco, California came in as the most expensive city on the list. $1 million in retirement savings lasts approximately eight years in San Francisco, which is about half the time that the typical American needs their retirement funds to last. A big factor in San Francisco’s high cost of living is its housing costs. According to Sperlings Best Places, housing in San Francisco is almost 6x more expensive than the national average and 3.6x more expensive than in the overall state of California. Four of the top five most expensive cities on the list are in California, with New York City being the only outlier. NYC is the third most expensive city on the ranking, with $1 million expected to last a retiree about 12.7 years. On the other end of the spectrum, $1 million in retirement would last 45.3 years in Memphis, Tennessee. That’s about 37 years longer than it would last in San Francisco. In Memphis, housing costs are about 2.7x lower than the national average, with other expenses like groceries, health, and utilities well below the national average as well. Retirement, Who? Regardless of where you live, it’s helpful to start planning for retirement sooner rather than later. But according to a recent survey, only 41% of women and 58% of men are actively saving for retirement. However, for some, COVID-19 has been the financial wake-up call they needed to start planning for the future. In fact, in the same survey, 70% of respondents claimed the pandemic has “caused them to pay more attention to their long-term finances.” This is good news, considering that people are living longer than they used to, meaning their funds need to last longer in general (or people need to retire later in life). Although, as the data in this graphic suggests, where you live will greatly influence how much you actually need. Tyler Durden Tue, 10/26/2021 - 23:10.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT22 hr. 38 min. ago Related News

Oil Prices Will Remain High For Years To Come

Oil Prices Will Remain High For Years To Come By Tsvetana Paraskova of OilPrice.com, Six years after former BP chief executive Bob Dudley said that “the industry needs to prepare for lower for longer,” a growing number of major investment banks now expect “higher for longer” oil prices.  Rebounding global oil consumption amid tight supply—contrary to some forecasts last year that indicate demand may have peaked or was close to its peak—as well as years of underinvestment in new supply following the 2015 crash, have prompted Wall Street banks to raise significantly their projections for oil prices in the short and medium term.   Oil prices have hit multi-year highs in recent days, with WTI Crude at its highest since 2014 and Brent Crude at the highest level since October 2018.  Even after the latest rally, prices still have headroom to rise further, many major investment banks believe.  Goldman Sachs, for example, sees Brent hitting $90 per barrel at the end of this year, up from $80 expected earlier. The key driver of Goldman’s higher forecast is global oil demand recovery amid still a weaker supply response from non-OPEC+ oil producers.  The investment bank also sees sustained higher oil prices in the coming years.   Fundamentals warrant higher oil prices, and the bank’s forecast for the next several years is $85 a barrel, Damien Courvalin, Head of Energy Research & Senior Commodity Strategist at Goldman Sachs, told CNBC earlier this month. Oil demand will set record highs next year and the year after that, and we need to see a ramp-up in investment, he said.  “We’re facing potential multi-year deficits and the risk of significantly higher prices,” Courvalin told CNBC.  RBC Capital Markets is also bullish on oil prices in the medium term.  “We maintain the view that we have held all year - that the oil market remains in the early days of a multi-year, structurally strong cycle,” RBC analyst Michael Tran said in a note in mid-October carried by Reuters. Last week, Morgan Stanley raised its long-term oil price outlook up by $10 per barrel to $70. BNP Paribas expects oil prices at nearly $80 a barrel in 2023, Bloomberg notes.  UBS expects oil prices “to remain well supported into next year,” with the market staying tight at least until the first quarter of 2022, due to the lowest inventories in OECD since 2015, only gradual easing of the OPEC+ cuts, and oil demand hitting 100 million barrels per day (bpd) in December 2021.  “While demand is expected to increase as well next year, additional OPEC+ and US production should result in a balanced oil market. With more OPEC+ members struggling to increase production in line with the group’s plans, its additions in 2022 will likely be only a fraction of the currently intended 3.76mbpd increase, which should prevent an oversupplied market, in our view,” Giovanni Staunovo, Dominic Schnider, and Wayne Gordon wrote on Friday.  “So bearing all of this in mind, we now expect Brent to trade at USD 90/bbl in December and March, before leveling off to USD 85/bbl for the rest of 2022,” UBS’s analysts added.  Beyond 2022, oil prices are likely to remain structurally higher as oil demand will continue to rise while new supply would lag consumption growth, primarily due to five years of underinvestment and the pressure on oil majors to cut emissions and investments in new supply, analysts say.  Global annual upstream spending needs to increase by as much as 54 percent to $542 billion if the oil market is to avert the next supply shortage shock, Moody’s said earlier this month. “Our analysis demonstrates that upstream companies will need to increase their spending considerably for the medium term to fully replace reserves and avoid declines in future production,” Moody’s Vice President Sajjad Alam said.   The oil industry is “massively underinvesting” in supply to meet growing demand, which is set to return to pre-COVID levels as soon as the end of 2021 or early 2022, Greg Hill, president of U.S. oil producer Hess Corp, said at the end of September. Last year, global upstream investment sank to a 15-year low of $350 billion, according to estimates by Wood Mackenzie from earlier this year.  Tyler Durden Tue, 10/26/2021 - 21:30.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYTOct 26th, 2021Related News

Mitch McConnell rips the Biden child tax credit as a "monthly welfare deposit"

"This is basically a check in the mail," Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida told Insider of the monthly direct payments that most families qualify for. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images McConnell derided the Biden child tax credit as a new form of welfare assistance. Most families earning below $150,000 qualify for up to $300 monthly checks, depending on the kid's age. Early research indicates the credit has helped cut poverty rates without discouraging work. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell assailed the expanded child tax credit payments on Tuesday, deriding the Democratic measure as welfare assistance."Their next reckless spending spree proposes to double down on Democrats' new monthly welfare deposits that can flow directly to people who are here illegally," he said in a floor speech on Tuesday, referring to the Democratic party-line safety net bill and apparently unauthorized immigrants.Republicans have struggled to counterprogram against the child tax credit payments, HuffPost reported in July, since direct payments are broadly popular with the public. The beefed-up child tax credit payments were a key part of President Joe Biden's stimulus law which passed in March without any Republican votes. Most families earning under $150,000 annually qualify for up to $300 monthly payments per child, depending on their age.Some GOP senators are starting to line up behind McConnell. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, a close McConnell ally, told Insider that "it is" welfare, adding: "In particular, it doesn't discriminate between citizens and non-citizens.""This is basically a check in the mail," Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida told Insider in a brief interview, adding that he favored linking the assistance to payroll tax liability, so people continue working.Others were more careful. Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah unveiled a plan earlier this year to send monthly checks to families, a measure aimed at replacing the child tax credit, along with other safety net programs, so it didn't add to the deficit. Rubio and Sen. Mike Lee of Utah slammed Romney's proposal as "welfare" earlier this year."I can't comment on what [McConnell] said," Romney told Insider.Democrats and Biden want to extend the child tax credit in their social spending bill, though the length of the renewal remains in flux. Senior Democrats strongly criticized a Biden suggestion for it to last one year.Early research indicates the first month of payments in July kept 3 million children out of poverty and helped feed 2 million kids in July. A recent analysis from researchers at the Center on Poverty and Social Policy at Columbia University, Barnard College, and Bocconi University found "very small" impacts from the payments on employment.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYTOct 26th, 2021Related News

Visualizing The World"s Biggest Real Estate Bubbles In 2021

Visualizing The World's Biggest Real Estate Bubbles In 2021 Identifying real estate bubbles is a tricky business. After all, as Visual Capitalist's Nick Routley notes, even though many of us “know a bubble when we see it”, we don’t have tangible proof of a bubble until it actually bursts. And by then, it’s too late. The map above, based on data from the Real Estate Bubble Index by UBS, serves as an early warning system, evaluating 25 global cities and scoring them based on their bubble risk. Reading the Signs Bubbles are hard to distinguish in real-time as investors must judge whether a market’s pricing accurately reflects what will happen in the future. Even so, there are some signs to watch out for. As one example, a decoupling of prices from local incomes and rents is a common red flag. As well, imbalances in the real economy, such as excessive construction activity and lending can signal a bubble in the making. With this in mind, which global markets are exhibiting the most bubble risk? The Geography of Real Estate Bubbles Europe is home to a number of cities that have extreme bubble risk, with Frankfurt topping the list this year. Germany’s financial hub has seen real home prices rise by 10% per year on average since 2016—the highest rate of all cities evaluated. Two Canadian cities also find themselves in bubble territory: Toronto and Vancouver. In the former, nearly 30% of purchases in 2021 went to buyers with multiple properties, showing that real estate investment is alive and well. Despite efforts to cool down these hot urban markets, Canadian markets have rebounded and continued their march upward. In fact, over the past three decades, residential home prices in Canada grew at the fastest rates in the G7. Despite civil unrest and unease over new policies, Hong Kong still has the second highest score in this index. Meanwhile, Dubai is listed as “undervalued” and is the only city in the index with a negative score. Residential prices have trended down for the past six years and are now down nearly 40% from 2014 levels. Note: The Real Estate Bubble Index does not currently include cities in Mainland China. Trending Ever Upward Overheated markets are nothing new, though the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the dynamic of real estate markets. For years, house price appreciation in city centers was all but guaranteed as construction boomed and people were eager to live an urban lifestyle. Remote work options and office downsizing is changing the value equation for many, and as a result, housing prices in non-urban areas increased faster than in cities for the first time since the 1990s. Even so, these changing priorities haven’t deflated the real estate market in the world’s global cities. Below are growth rates for 2021 so far, and how that compares to the last five years. Overall, prices have been trending upward almost everywhere. All but four of the cities above—Milan, Paris, New York, and San Francisco—have had positive growth year-on-year. Even as real estate bubbles continue to grow, there is an element of uncertainty. Debt-to-income ratios continue to rise, and lending standards, which were relaxed during the pandemic, are tightening once again. Add in the societal shifts occurring right now, and predicting the future of these markets becomes more difficult. In the short term, we may see what UBS calls “the era of urban outperformance” come to an end. Tyler Durden Sat, 10/23/2021 - 22:00.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYTOct 23rd, 2021Related News

India Deploys Advanced Anti-Aircraft Guns In High Altitude Border Standoff With China

India Deploys Advanced Anti-Aircraft Guns In High Altitude Border Standoff With China.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYTOct 23rd, 2021Related News

Chinese & Russian Warships Still Circling Japan As "Counterweight" To US "Destabilization" In Region

Chinese & Russian Warships Still Circling Japan As 'Counterweight' To US "Destabilization" In Region After their provocative sail through of the Tsugaru Strait on Monday, a narrow chokepoint waterway through Japan, a large group of Chinese PLA and Russian warships have continued encircling Japan during an Indo-Pacific patrol mission that's gone into the weekend. Russian media cited the country's defense ministry as follows on Saturday: "Russian and Chinese navy vessels have completed their first joint patrol mission in the Pacific Ocean, covering a distance of over 1,700 nautical miles (around 3,100km) in a week." It included at least ten warships, with Russia's military releasing some stunning footage of the large naval group. Though irking and alarming Tokyo, also given this is the closest that such a joint Russia-China naval patrol has come to Japan's coast (though Tsugaru is considered an international waters transit point), the Japanese Navy after closely monitoring their movements later said there's as yet been no violation of Japan's territorial waters.  Chinese state media hailed the joint patrol mission as a crucial counterweight to the US presence and Washington's "destabilization" of the region.  For example, in state-run Global Times: The Chinese-Russian joint naval flotilla that transited the Tsugaru Strait days ago has since sailed along the east side of Japan's main island to its south, almost making a circle around the island country, in a move Chinese experts said on Friday can bring balance to regional stability at a time when the US, Japan and other Western forces have been colluding to destabilize the Asia-Pacific region. Joint China Russian fleet currently conducting Freedom of Navigation Patrol around Japanese Islands after military drills in Sea of Japan pic.twitter.com/zZyhfvTdYF — Carl Zha (@CarlZha) October 22, 2021 Here's more from GT, suggesting Beijing and Moscow are sending a loud and clear message to the continued heightened presence of the US in the region: Encircling Japan, particularly sailing to the east side of Japan, is of significance because many key military installations are located on that side, including the US Navy base in Yokosuka, a Chinese military expert who requested for anonymity told the Global Times on Friday. Many US military provocations on China in places like the Taiwan Straits and the South China Sea were launched from these bases, the expert said, noting that the joint patrol by Chinese and Russian vessels could be seen as a warning to the US and Japan, which have been rallying up to confront China and Russia, serve the goals of US hegemony and undermine regional peace and stability. Indeed it appears this exercise was designed to show the "reach" of these two military superpowers' navies in cooperation, at a moment the two countries are growing increasingly close in terms of strategically coordinating to oppose Washington aims, particularly in the East. Tyler Durden Sat, 10/23/2021 - 16:00.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYTOct 23rd, 2021Related News

All Records Shattered After 1.7 Million Illegal Immigrants Arrested At Southern Border

All Records Shattered After 1.7 Million Illegal Immigrants Arrested At Southern Border By Charlotte Cuthbertson of The Epoch Times, Border Patrol agents apprehended a total of 1,666,167 illegal immigrants along the southwest border in fiscal 2021 - breaking all records since 1925 after the agency was formed (when 22,199 illegal aliens were arrested). An additional 294,352 were stopped after trying to enter at a port of entry without legal papers, bringing the total to almost 2 million (1,956,519) for fiscal 2021, according to new Customs and Border Protection (CBP) statistics. The CBP doesn’t officially release the number of “gotaways”—illegal aliens who are detected by Border Patrol, but evade capture. However, former CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan told a congressional Republican roundtable on Oct. 20 that the gotaway number hit at least 400,000 illegal aliens this year. The Biden administration has faced growing criticism for the crisis at the southern border, which started to ramp up a year ago in tandem with election rhetoric. However, the number of illegal crossings shot up once Biden took office and promptly dismantled many of President Donald Trump’s border security measures. In January, Biden paused deportations, stopped border wall construction, halted the Remain in Mexico program, repurposed Immigration and Customs Enforcement priorities, and reversed the ban on travel from terror-prone countries. In December 2020, Trump’s last full month in office, Border Patrol agents arrested almost 74,000 illegal immigrants on the southern border. By July, that had almost tripled to 213,500. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is expelling most single adults under the Title 42 health directive policy issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in March 2020 that calls for immediate expulsion of all illegal immigrants and non-essential travelers. However, under Biden, the DHS stopped applying Title 42 to any unaccompanied children, most family units, and some adults. Tyler Durden Sat, 10/23/2021 - 12:30.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYTOct 23rd, 2021Related News

Poland Will Not Be "Blackmailed" Into Accepting European Union Laws, PM Morawiecki Says

Poland Will Not Be "Blackmailed" Into Accepting European Union Laws, PM Morawiecki Says Authored by Naveen Athrappully via The Epoch Times, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Thursday that his country will not bow to the European Union’s “blackmail” on deciding legal frameworks of member states, but is open to constructive dialogue. Arriving at a summit of the 27-member bloc, Morawiecki said that Poland “was as faithful to the rule of law as others and as the EU institutions are.” He added, “Some EU institutions assume the right to decide on issues to which they have not been entitled to decide. They assume competencies which have not been handed over to them in the treaties.” Morawiecki said that EU laws maintain supremacy over national laws on matters transferred to the EU. “We don’t agree to the constantly broadening range of competencies but we will, of course, talk about it.” On Oct. 7, Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal ruled that some elements of EU law were incompatible with the country’s constitution. This ruling, criticized by Brussels, essentially gave national law primacy over that of the EU. “It has to be clear: You are a member of a club, you have to abide by the rules of the club. And the most important rule of the club is that the European law is over national law,” the EU’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, told Reuters. Since the nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party took over power in 2015, the ideological conflicts have incrementally increased. European Parliament President David Sassoli said the Polish tribunal’s ruling challenged “the legal bedrock of our Union,” and that, “never before has the Union been called into question so radically.” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen laid out three options as a response. The first option, “infringement,” is where the commission legally challenges the verdict of the Polish court. The second option, which is active currently, involves the withholding of funds. Warsaw will not be able to access the 36 billion euros ($42 billion) of COVID-19 pandemic recovery grants. This could lead to a further blockage of around 70 billion euros ($81 billion) set aside for development projects in the 2021-2027 budget. The third option would be the implementation of Article 7 of the EU treaty which suspends member states of certain rights, including the right to vote on EU decisions. Morawiecki, however, maintained his country’s stance under repeated criticism in the tense debate on Tuesday. This led to the idea of Poland exiting the bloc which the prime minister dismissed. He said that there were no plans for a “Polexit” as there is considerable support among the Polish for remaining within the EU. A majority of European countries, including Ireland, France, Sweden, Finland, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands were critical of Poland, barring staunch ally Hungary. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has not been a supporter of excessive European Union interference in the laws and decisions of member states. “Poland is one of the best European countries. There is no need for any sanctions, it’s ridiculous,” Orban said. Dutch Foreign Minister Ben Knapen implied the issue will soon need to be addressed. “The time for talking is never over, but it doesn’t mean that you cannot take action in the meantime,”  Knapen said. “It’s going to come soon.” Outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for finding “ways of coming back together,” and warned against isolating Poland, the largest ex-communist EU country of 38 million people. Tyler Durden Sat, 10/23/2021 - 09:20.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYTOct 23rd, 2021Related News

Hawkish Powell Hits Stocks; Bitcoin Flat As Breakevens, Bond Yields & Bullion Bounce

Hawkish Powell Hits Stocks; Bitcoin Flat As Breakevens, Bond Yields & Bullion Bounce A very mixed week across the asset-classes. Hawkish Powell: rate-hike expectations surged higher but stocks gained, crude rallied but copper tumbled. Growth and Value stocks basically ended the week up around the same amount (while Cyclicals modestly outperformed Defensives). Perhaps most notably, rates vol and stock vol expectations are dramatically decoupled from one another. Inflation: Breakevens soared to record highs... globally, bullion bounced but bitcoin ended the week unchanged and bonds only modestly higher in yield. Source: Bloomberg We do not that the long-end of the curve notably outperformed today (flattening the curve significantly) after Powell's comments, in a clear signal from the market that it's expecting a Policy error... Source: Bloomberg Arguably, as Goldman details below, the market could be morphing back from a 'stagflation' narrative to a 'reflation' narrative... Heading into the week, the ‘stagflation’ narrative was continuing despite the fact that the S&P 500 had already bounced off of its late-September bottom and was heading back towards an all-time high.  And as we exit the week, the inflation debate seems to be evolving into a ‘the Fed will hike earlier’ narrative, with yields on 2-year Notes spiking to 0.50% — a level last seen in the first days of the pandemic way back on March 18, 2020.  Praveen Korapaty writes in last Friday’s note, “Front-end pressures mount,” that markets appear to have returned to a paradigm of simultaneously bringing forward and/or accelerating hike pricing and taking down terminal rate assumptions. Bond investors appear to be increasingly thinking that the rise in inflation that we have been observing will translate into an earlier Fed funds rate hike. And yields on 10-year Treasuries also briefly touched 1.70% this week, suggesting that bond investors are actually also feeling fine about longer-term growth.  And this better feeling is also being reflected in stock prices with the S&P 500 breaking up above 4500 and hitting a new all-time high this week.  So, the ‘stagflation’ narrative seems to be morphing back into a ‘reflation’ narrative — something similar to what we were experiencing when the economy first ‘reopened’ last spring. Digging into each asset class, stocks ended the week higher overall (despite today's Powell-driven dip that sent Nasdaq down around 1% today)... The S&P and Dow closed at record weekly closing highs... In Canada, the S&P/TSX Composite is up 13 straight days to a new record high - the longest winning streak since 1985... Source: Bloomberg Rather interestingly, this week saw "get out and party" recovery stocks underperform the "stay at home and sulk" stocks... Source: Bloomberg Cyclicals modestly outperformed Defensives on the week... Source: Bloomberg Growth barely outperformed Value on the week... Source: Bloomberg TSLA topped FB in terms of market cap again today (to become the 5th biggest company in the S&P) as Musk's carmaker surged to new record highs above $900... Source: Bloomberg But the week's biggest gainer was Trump's "TRUTH" SPAC which ended up over 800% (though at one point it was up over 1600%)... Source: Bloomberg VIX traded down to a 14 handle this morning - the lowest since before the pandemic lockdowns began... Treasury yields ended the week higher, but the long-end notably outperformed... Source: Bloomberg The yield curve ended the week notably flatter (after a wild ride midweek back to last week's highs)... Source: Bloomberg Policy Error? The flattening started with the June taper chatter... Source: Bloomberg Inflation Breakevens soared to record highs today (US 5Y topped 3.0%) across the globe today... Source: Bloomberg The dollar ended the week lower, chopping around at one-month-lows... Source: Bloomberg Cryptos had a wild ride for the week with Bitcoin reaching new record highs after BITO's launch before fading back to unchanged on the week today (Ethereum modestly outperformed on the week)... Source: Bloomberg Bitcoin ended the week just above $60k, well off the $67k record high... Source: Bloomberg The newly launched Bitcoin (futures) ETF (BITO) ended below its opening level... Bitcoin Futures were well bid as BITO launched but the premium over spot has faded since... Source: Bloomberg Commodities were very mixed with copper clubbed and silver soaring (gold and crude also rallied)... Source: Bloomberg Rather interestingly, the huge divergence between copper and silver occurred at a key resistance level (around 20 ounces of silver to buy copper) Source: Bloomberg Finally, we note Mizuho's warning of the impact of today's more hawkish speech from Fed chair Powell. Our view that the divergence of equity implied vol (at pre-pandemic lows) from rates implied vol (rising to the highs of the year in most markets) is unsustainable, is showing tentative signs of turning. Source: Bloomberg The sharp move lower in Nasdaq futures and widening of CDS indices is a warning shot, we feel, of how risk assets would break down if the Fed was to try to stamp out inflation at such an early point in the cycle as mid 2022. Commodities relative to stocks are starting to flash some red alerts... Regime Change The recent commodity outperformance vs. the Nasdaq (9% in 8 days) is one of the most significant stretches in twelve years. On par with readings in 2008 and the dot-com bubble. pic.twitter.com/nNm1rUsuNT — The Bear Traps Report (@BearTrapsReport) October 5, 2021 And if one needed an excuse to buy some protection against that whiplash reality check for stocks, VIX is at a critically cheap level relative to VXV... Source: Bloomberg That has not tended to end well for stocks. Tyler Durden Fri, 10/22/2021 - 16:01.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYTOct 22nd, 2021Related News

A Big "Thank You" From The Global Oligarchy

A Big 'Thank You' From The Global Oligarchy Authored by Rob Slane via TheBlogMire.com, Dear People, We are now almost two years into our great transition, and although there’s still a very long way to go, we wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for your help in allowing the project to run so smooth thus far, and to encourage you to allow us to continue making progress. We must begin by saying how very pleased we have been by the levels of restraint shown. Given the nature of the plan, we naturally factored in the potential for high levels of civil unrest, but we have been surprised — pleasantly surprised it must be said — by the general absence of turmoil. Yes, there have been a few outbreaks of late, and they have meant we needed to take appropriate steps — for the good of humanity — to ensure that such disquiet is not broadcast around the world. But by and large you have got on with your thing — whatever things it is that you do — which has allowed us to get on with the important business of the day, largely unhindered and with extraordinarily little fuss. Even more pleasing than the restraint, however, has been the exceptional levels of compliance and acceptance of restrictions which — speaking candidly — we had some reason to doubt we’d be able to pull off, such were their nature. Indeed, when we ordered your governments to implement the mass quarantining of millions of healthy people for the first time in history; the wearing of bits of cloth over your faces; and the entire human race to be injected with a new technology gene therapy which had never even been used in a vaccine, nor had any long-term safety trials, there was a real possibility that you’d smell a rat and simply refuse to comply. But thanks to our colleagues in the behavioural science teams across the world, and to you for so placidly and willingly going along with their messaging, it has all gone off far smoother than we could ever have imagined. Of course, this has not been true of all of you. There have indeed been some misguided attempts to push back against our important agenda, and this might have been problematic had such troublemakers been given a platform. However, given the nature of our position and status, it was of course little trouble for us to silence the most egregious violators, denying them the ability to air their views, which most of you will hopefully agree was justified in the interests of serving the good of humanity. As for the more bog standard offenders, most of this was taken care of by the majority of you, who helpfully took up the cause on our behalf, refusing to listen to these “conspiracy theorists” and “anti-vaxxers”, and hearteningly taking all your news and views from our official and trusted media outlets. This is not without irony, however. Though it has been an important part of our plan that so many of you use our pejorative labels to describe those who claim the last two years has been about something other than the official narrative we have set out, the truth is that throughout the transition we’ve been at pains to be as open and honest with you about our plans as we were able. Very little has been done in secret. From the outset, and long before anyone had so much as a needle in their arm, Bill was telling you that the plan was to jab every human on the planet. Then of course Klaus made it clear that this was a one-off window of opportunity to reset everything in the way we’ve been hoping to do for many years. He even kindly went on to drop a few more clues when he talked about your future being a fusion of your digital, physical, and biological selves. Klaus’s marketing team even put out that thing about you owning nothing but being happy. Of course the bit about being happy was added as a bit of light-hearted banter, but the point is this: we’ve been entirely open about our plans, and nobody can say they weren’t told. Nowhere has this been seen more clearly than when we got the whole crew across the globe using the same phrase — Build Back Better. And so it has been a genuine source of amusement for us that when people have pointed to all this as evidence of some sort of agenda to destroy the existing socioeconomic order and replace it with a Transhumanist Technocracy replete with a Social Credit ID System, they have been scoffed at and called Tinfoil Hat Wearing Nutjobs, as if they’d based their opinion on the Conspiracist’s Gazette, rather than the World Economic Forum or Bank of International Settlements. Most amusing! As we look to the future, however, we must ask that you continue to be patient. A transition of this size and scope clearly cannot be done overnight, and there are lots of moving parts which will need to run in some form or other for a number of years. Thankfully, years of mass priming on the climate stuff should take care of that. We will of course require that every one of you take all the Covid booster shots offered to you over the coming years, and whilst our hope is that you will avail yourselves of this important part of our plans without the need for coercion, I’m sure most of you will agree that those who refuse or resist - the Anti-Vaxxers - will only have themselves to blame when we are forced to deny them access to all the basic essentials of life, since the good of humanity is at stake, is it not? We would also ask that you spare a thought for us. Although the last couple of years has gone far more smoothly than we could ever have imagined, it has nonetheless been a stressful time planning each next move and wondering whether the majority might start asking awkward questions and taking steps to thwart the agenda we have committed the planet to. Many sleeplessness nights have been had. Many a day of uncertainty. As has been observed of the movers and shakers of the world down the ages, “ours is a high and lonely destiny”. But we press on, as we must. For the good of humanity. Best wishes, The Global Oligarchy P.S. Those who read this and conclude that we really are attempting the most audacious reordering of the world that has ever been seen, remember: that’s just nothing but a Conspiracy Theory. Stay safe! Tyler Durden Fri, 10/22/2021 - 16:20.....»»

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