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Pediatric COVID Hospitalizations Plunge As Schools Reopen, Baffling Experts

Pediatric COVID Hospitalizations Plunge As Schools Reopen, Baffling Experts All summer long, Dr. Anthony Fauci, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky and other unelected federal bureaucrats have been warning that COVID cases will explode as soon as teachers and students return to classrooms in person this fall, which is why Dr. Fauci has been one of the loudest voices cheering on politicians like NYC's de Blasio and others who have imposed such mandates on teachers and school employees (which has since been expanded to cover most, if not all, city employees). But just as Pfizer, Moderna and their allies in the federal bureaucracy prepare to declare mRNA vaccines safe for all students between the age of 5 and 11, Bloomberg has just pointed out a remarkable shift: hospitalizations involving US children (already extremely rare compared with the adult population) have fallen sharply as schools reopen. The number of children who have been hospitalized or died in the US due to COVID has remained extremely small: while the number of US minors who have been confirmed positive with COVID has numbered about 5MM since the start of the pandemic, fewer of 700 of those people have died. When it comes to hospitalizations, the difference between infected adults and children is pretty dramatic. Source: USA Today Despite this, many are pushing for children to also be required to get the vaccine as soon as it's approved for their age group (or face the same kind of alienation that their parents are currently being subjected to). The disagreements have turned communities against one another. But while the Big Pharma machine gears up to shove vaccines down the throats of children and their parents, the phenomenon of falling hospital positions simply can't be ignored, even by the MSM, which is quite practiced at that particular skill. Daily pediatric admissions with confirmed Covid have fallen 56% since the end of August to an average of about 0.2 per 100,000, according to Department of Health and Human Services data. Among adults, new admissions fell 54% to 2.1 per 100,000 in the same period, the data show. Here's a visualization for those who prefer to be shown, not told. (Source: Bloomberg) It's no secret that America's school board meetings have transformed into battle grounds used by people either demanding masks be worn by students, and concerned parents who worry the masks will impact that education. Battles over vaccine mandates and whether CRT should be taught in school have also set off battles in communities across the country. In some GOP-led states, schools have dropped their school-related mandates, sometimes under pressure from the governor. The Delta variant and its new sub-variant were supposed to trigger the worst phase of the outbreak yet. Instead, it looks like COVID numbers truly are moving down and staying down, especially in states like Florida, which were once heavily criticized for their lack of mandatory precaution. Alarm bells went off during the spring when tthe CDC saw the percentage of children being hospitalized with COVID rise slightly. However, they eventually figured out that it was merely a factor of falling hospitalization numbers among adults as more Americans became "fully vaccinated". Source: Bloomberg Kid between 12 and 15 didn't have access to the jab until May. But Dr. Fauci has promised to vaccine all children as young as six months old as the end of the year. The question here, however, is who's really benefiting from this vaccine overkill? Big Pharma - certainly. But is America really benefiting? How about the developing world? However, if you think this is the end of the push to vaccine every American with a pulse, there's already a big new scary variant on the horizon to help convince parents to change their minds. Tyler Durden Tue, 10/26/2021 - 19:50.....»»

Category: worldSource: NYTOct 26th, 2021Related News

This Is What It Looks Like When Bears Cry...

This Is What It Looks Like When Bears Cry... Authored by Sven Henrich via NorthmanTrader.com, Bears are crying as markets are again making new highs following the September trend breaks. Yet perhaps they should be rejoicing for crying bears and a backtest of a broken trend is a classic bear set up. That is if the backtest fails and the new highs get rejected. For context: In early October I shared the ‘make bears cry’ scenario: You can see the context of the discussion here: Here now is the updated chart: Go figure. So I submit that this rally so far has really not been a surprise although one could argue it is again all gap, ramp & camp-driven with little organic 2 way price discovery: Which makes the action again very suspect frankly as too many open gaps are begging for filling. Why is the backtest scenario potentially bearish? Because it’s still a broken trend and we’ve seen these type of retests before. Q4 of 2018 on $NDX was such an example: Broken trend, then a back test that produced new highs and everyone got bullish again just before a 20% drawdown in $SPX into December 2018. Back then of course the Fed was tightening and its balance sheet roll off on autopilot, this time around the Fed hasn’t even started yet, although expectations are the Fed will at least finally announce a taper next week. Sell offs in the final quarter of the year are extremely rare, the years 2000 and 2018 really the only examples in recent decades, hence it’s no wonder that everyone again has embraced the bullish narratives no matter how absurd the trading action may be. Fairy tale market cap appreciations out of thin air after all: Today $TSLA has gained $100B in market cap on a $4B revenue order while Elon Musk has added $29B to his personal wealth as a result. Alexa: What part of the cycle are we in? — Sven Henrich (@NorthmanTrader) October 25, 2021 But as long as markets don’t mind valuations don’t matter. For participants have caught on by now that the only time markets truly correct on a quarterly time frame is when QE ends somewhere: Only to start QE again on a quarterly red candle. That is the well established track record. And even if the Fed tapers it’s still running QE into at least the middle of next year. So based on that one could argue the party will keep going no matter the valuations disconnect between fantasy and reality: Highest market valuation ever: $47.23 trillion. Widest disconnect from the economy ever: 207.7% market cap vs GDP. pic.twitter.com/r3CWma5BoA — Sven Henrich (@NorthmanTrader) October 21, 2021 For the only thing that matters at the end of the day is Fed liquidity which again drove the latest rally: Yet the charts keep raising concerns as to the veracity and durability of the latest set of new highs. Consider how weak the data prints are on the MACD histogram on new highs: Usually new highs bring about some positive readings even if these highs are divergent and indicative of a potential intermittent top. These readings here are pitifully weak & negative compared to prior highs. Also of note is the $VIX. Crushed to a pulp in recent days to the lowest levels since February 2020 it nevertheless has been defending its up trend so far: $VIX defending its uptrend while $SPX is backtesting its broken trend? Could make for a powerful rejection story. But for this to be evident we would need to see $SPX show a confirmed and sustained drop below 4550, the September highs, and then evaluate how the price action evolves. On that note, some of you may have noticed I’ve been publishing less public market analysis in recent weeks. This is because I’ve moved my public charts and public commentary to my news letter which you can subscribe to via Twitter for free here: This is where I keep highlighting charts of various asset classes and discuss observations of note. Bears are currently crying, but then they always cry when new highs are made, but many times new highs, in the right circumstances, have set up for some of the best selling opportunities. Time will tell. *  *  * For the latest public analysis please visit NorthmanTrader. To subscribe to our market products please visit Services. Tyler Durden Tue, 10/26/2021 - 20:10.....»»

Category: worldSource: NYTOct 26th, 2021Related News

Robusta Coffee Prices Hit Decade-High As Supply Woes Mount Ahead Of Peak-Demand Season 

Robusta Coffee Prices Hit Decade-High As Supply Woes Mount Ahead Of Peak-Demand Season  Robusta coffee prices soared to decade highs Tuesday spurred by dwindling stockpiles ahead of peak coffee season.  January futures in London rose more than 5% to $2,325 per ton, the highest price level since September 2011. Arabica coffee prices also rose 2.4% in New York.  The tightening supply of robusta, coffee beans generally used for instant coffee, is "making it difficult to get hold of immediate-delivery coffee," Kona Haque, head of research at commodity trader ED&F Man in London, told Bloomberg.  "Winter is coming in Europe, which is peak coffee drinking season – that is the time when the roasters want to be sure their warehouses are suitably supplied with coffee," Haque said. In South America, "you're also finding that much of the robusta crop is being consumed internally, which is inevitable when you have a shortage" of arabica beans. Dwindling supplies of the beans have been due to devastating drought and frosts in Brazil this year. The South American country is the world's largest coffee producer. As for the world's second-largest coffee producer, Vietnam, sky-high container costs and congestion at ports hinder stockpiles' drawdown.  "Cheaper robusta-coffee beans, used widely in instant-coffee beverages such as Nestle SA's Nescafe brands, are sold out in Brazil. After drought and frost ruined crops of the higher-end arabica variety favored by cafes like Starbucks Corp., local roasters are racing for robusta replacements and driving prices to new records each day," Bloomberg recently wrote.  Last month, Nestle SA's CFO Francois-Xavier Roger revealed the company is bracing for cost inflation to worsen into 2022. Spiking commodity prices like robusta and arabica, plus soaring transportation, labor, and packaging costs, will be pushed along to consumers in the form of higher coffee prices.  "If we look at 2021, it was certainly much more about dairy and meat and grains. Next year, it will be more about coffee as well. But once again, the large part cannot be hedged, which has to do with transportation, which has to do with packaging material," Roger told Barclays Global Consumer Staples Conference.  Earlier this year, we warned readers that cheap coffee is no more, and a global deficit is coming. Coffee prices may still have higher to climb.  Tyler Durden Tue, 10/26/2021 - 20:30.....»»

Category: worldSource: NYTOct 26th, 2021Related News

Biden"s "Come On, Man" Defense Will Not Fly On Religious Freedom

Biden's "Come On, Man" Defense Will Not Fly On Religious Freedom Authored by Jonathan Turley, Below is my column on the President’s dismissal of any objections to the Covid vaccine and his call for mass firings of first responders who remain defiant. The comments reflect a growing call for states and the federal government to reject any religious exemptions for vaccination. Here is the column: “Come on, man,” seems to be President Biden’s signature response to any uncomfortable question. The phrase is meant to be both dismissive and conclusive in ending inquiries, frequently used to counter reporters before often walking away. Indeed, it is so often repeated that it appears on T-Shirts or coffee mugs and in remixes. This week, however, it was not the pesky press but freedom itself that got hit with a version of the comeback. When asked during a CNN town hall program about those still objecting to taking COVID vaccines, Biden mocked them and their claimed rights with “Come on, ‘freedom.’ ” He then called for any police officers, firefighters, medical personnel or other first responders to be fired en masse if they refuse to be vaccinated. Biden’s response to the question was applauded by the CNN audience, as if to say “Freedomm Ptff, that is so last century.” And he reduced any vaccine refusals to claiming “I have the freedom to kill you with my COVID.” He is not alone in such rhetoric. Chicago’s Mayor Lori Lightfoot declared that police officers refusing to take vaccines are insurrectionists. The problem is that the courts already recognize some religious exemption arguments. Those arguments are based on both the constitutional protection of religious values but also laws like Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. §2000e-2(a), which declares unlawful any “employment practice for an employer … to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because of such individual’s … religion.” The federal government also is subject to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which prohibits the government and other covered entities like the District of Columbia from “substantially burden[ing]” a person’s exercise of religion. Under RFRA, there is no “Come on, man,” defense. Instead, the federal government must show that the burden imposed furthers a “compelling governmental interest” and is “the least restrictive means” of furthering that interest. There is a move in many states to refuse to allow such exemptions, but courts have pushed back. In New York, the state is appealing a preliminary injunction against its refusal to allow religious exemptions to its vaccine mandate. A lower court found the governor’s mandate “has effectively foreclosed the pathway to seeking a religious accommodation that is guaranteed under Title VII.” Likewise, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals this month affirmed such a preliminary injunction against Western Michigan University. The university allowed students to ask for individual exemptions but failed to grant religious exemptions under its discretionary policy. The issue reached the Supreme Court this week when health workers challenged a similar law in Maine allowing for medical but not religious exemptions. Justice Stephen Breyer rejected an emergency motion but too much has been made over that order, which was not based on the merits of the claim. The appellate court was already expediting review of the case, and the dismissal was “without prejudice.” The health care workers can refile if circumstances change or if the appellate court rules against them.  They also can refile if the lower court has not reached a decision by Oct. 29, when the vaccine requirement is scheduled to go into effect. Previously in the term, Justice Amy Coney Barrett similarly declined to grant a request for emergency relief on behalf of eight students at Indiana University against a vaccine mandate. That mandate previously was upheld by conservative judge Frank Easterbrook, who wrote for an unanimous Seventh Circuit panel that “each university may decide what is necessary to keep other students safe in a congregate setting.” He cited the Supreme Court’s 1905 ruling in Jacobson v. Massachusetts, upholding a state small pox vaccine mandate. However, there was one major difference in Klaassen v. Trustees of Indiana University: Indiana University allows for medical or religious exemptions. Various commentators and activists are pushing states to follow the lead of New York and refuse to recognize any religious objections to vaccines. This week, Jessica Levinson, a clinical professor of law at Loyola Marymount Law School in Los Angeles, wrote a column for MSNBC entitled “Covid Vaccine Religious Exemptions Should Not Exist.” Professor Levinson, however, refutes an argument not made in these cases. Courts have long rejected the notion that “each person would be in charge of which laws she wanted to comply with and when.” In 1990, it was Justice Antonin Scalia, a conservative icon, who wrote the opinion rejecting the use of peyote under religious claims. Levinson quotes the Supreme Court from an 1879 case, asking: “Suppose one believed that human sacrifices were a necessary part of religious worship; would it be seriously contended that the civil government under which he lived could not interfere to prevent a sacrifice?” It was a curious choice of support. The question was asked in Reynolds vs. United States, one of the most religiously intolerant opinions in Supreme Court history. Most people would recoil from the prejudice that comes out of the case, which denounces the Mormon church for adopting a practice “almost exclusively a feature of the life of Asiatic and of African people.” Ironically, Reynolds defended Western and Christian morality against non-Christian values. Professor Levinson is correct, of course, that religious claims are balanced against the interests of the state in public health cases. That, however, is precisely what these litigants are seeking to raise. Most states allow for such exemptions while many private employers impose alternative measures, like daily testing or remote-working conditions. States like Maine and New York offer no recognition, let alone accommodation, for religious objections to the Covid vaccine. Again, religious objections can be recognized as valid but still fail to overcome countervailing arguments or simple accommodations. In Boston, for example, a Muslim objected to the flu vaccine in 2011 due to the use of pork ingredients; the hospital prevailed because it offered a vaccine free of such ingredients. Moreover, even if there are exemptions to vaccines, it does not mean people cannot face other limitations, like remote learning or workplace conditions. The point is simple: Just as religious individuals do not have the absolute right to refuse any obligation as citizens, governments do not have an absolute right to impose any obligations on citizens. Vaccines seem to have become the latest battleground for our age of rage; there is little willingness to recognize countervailing arguments or values. People who object to vaccines are deemed “insurrectionists,” while raising religious freedoms is now likened to claiming “the freedom to kill you with my COVID.” It is the same dismissive response that is often given to objections under other rights like free speech: Those are just abstractions. As Biden said in an earlier call for greater censorship, free speech is “killing people,” so come on, man. The categorical rejection of any religious-exemption case runs against the grain of the Constitution as well as federal statutes. If the Justice Department goes into court with the president’s dismissive position, it could find itself on the wrong side of the next “Come on, man,” moment. Tyler Durden Tue, 10/26/2021 - 18:10.....»»

Category: worldSource: NYTOct 26th, 2021Related News

China Braces For Another Major COVID Flareup By Forcing Jabs On Children As Young As 3

China Braces For Another Major COVID Flareup By Forcing Jabs On Children As Young As 3 The notion - oft-repeated in western media - that China has successfully managed to bring COVID to heel using the tools unique to an authoritarian state couldn't be further from the truth. Earlier this month, leaked CCP documents revealed that China's leadership has commanded local officials to be on alert for another large-scale COVID outbreak, before ordering them to complete two tasks: One is to build central isolation sites, with local authorities required by the end of October to create facilities of not less than 20 rooms per 10,000 people. The second: the scale of each isolation site must be more than 100 rooms. But that's not all. As outbreaks continue to flare up across the world's most populous country, Beijing has warned that local officials should prepare for COVID outbreaks flaring up in certain areas to get even worse in the coming days, and that the virus might spread to affect more cities in towns across China. In an attempt to get ahead of the next major COVID wave (potentially driven by the delta variant or its "sub-variant" delta-plus) local media reports cited by Bloomberg attest that China has started giving COVID jabs to children as young as three, despite the fact that China has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, with 75% of its 1.4 billion people already vaccinated. Multiple places across China are rolling out vaccines to children aged between three and 11, according to reports in local media. The shots, developed by homegrown drugmakers Sinovac Biotech Ltd and state-owned Sinopharm, have already been administered to those aged 12 and above, with the country green-lighting their use in those aged over three in June. Compare this to the US, where President Biden (guided by his top advisor, Dr. Anthony Fauci) is pushing for FDA approval of jabs for children as young as 5 (recent data showed jabs are "safe" for children between ages of 5 and 11) by the end of the year (despite the fact that serious infections involving young, healthy children are extremely rare). But China's decision to expand its vaccination program (with its own home-made vaccines that just aren't as effective as their foreign peers) comes as the CCP braces for another even more deadly round of COVID infections. The moves come as China tries to quash what has become a 'whack-a-mole' series of flareups across its vast territory, with flareups of the virus coming more frequently than they did before delta arrived. Beijing remains committed to its "zero-tolerance" COVID strategy, which has kept its borders closed and heavy handed quarantines in place even as its peers roll back most of their COVID limitations. In other words, let this be a warning: China has always been a step ahead when it comes to managing the virus that they unleashed upon the world. If they're taking these types of precautions, they're more than likely doing it for a reason. Tyler Durden Tue, 10/26/2021 - 18:30.....»»

Category: worldSource: NYTOct 26th, 2021Related News

Texas Governor Signs Bill Requiring Student Athletes Play On Teams Matching Birth Sex

Texas Governor Signs Bill Requiring Student Athletes Play On Teams Matching Birth Sex Authored by Zachary Stieber via The Epoch Times, The governor of Texas on Monday signed a law that bars student athletes from playing on sports teams that do not match the sex listed on their birth certificate. The bill is aimed at restoring rights granted to women under Title IX, its authors say. Texas House Bill 25 (pdf) bars most interscholastic athletic teams from letting students compete in competitions “that is designated for the biological sex opposite to the student ’s biological sex as correctly stated on” their official birth certificate. The bill “protects girl’s safety and their right to equal access to athletic opportunities,” state Rep. Valoree Swanson, one of its authors, said during a House session earlier this month. The University Interscholastic League in 2016 passed a rule with widespread support requiring students compete on teams designated for their biological sexes as stated on their birth certificates. The bill codifies the rule while stating that certificates are only valid if they are from “at or near” the time of a student’s birth. Critics claim that the legislation discriminates against students who believe they’re a different sex than their birth sex. “Transgender and nonbinary youth are already at higher risk for poor mental health and suicide because of bullying, discrimination, and rejection. This misguided legislation will only make matters worse,” Amit Paley, CEO and executive director of The Trevor Project, said in a statement. The bill was passed 76–61 in the state House and 19–12 in the state Senate. Abbott, a Republican, did not comment on Monday on the bill, the 10th such piece of legislation passed in the United States. Last week, he said that the legislature “passed legislation to protect the integrity of Texas high school sports.” Tyler Durden Tue, 10/26/2021 - 18:50.....»»

Category: worldSource: NYTOct 26th, 2021Related News

Israel Holds Largest-Ever Military Drill With Participation Of An Arab Gulf Nation

Israel Holds Largest-Ever Military Drill With Participation Of An Arab Gulf Nation For the first time in history, Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are conducting joint military drills this week which includes air force exercises, following the Abraham Accords Peace Agreement between the two countries brokered by the Trump administration in September 2020. Before the signing of the historic peace deal at the Trump White House, no Arab Gulf country had so much as diplomatic relations with Israel, but now an influential Gulf state within the GCC alliance is engaged in military exercises with the Jewish state. Image source: IDF The "Blue Flag" drills are being held over southern Israel's Ovda airbase, which is in the Negev Desert about 60km north of Eilat and also include multiple other countries, namely the United States, United Kingdom, France, and Germany. Some 70 fighter jets and 1,500 military personnel will participate in what the chief of Israeli air force operations Amir Lazar is calling the largest-ever international aerial drills held in Israel. Crucially it comes after weeks of Israeli leaders confirming that the country's military and intelligence have resumed "practicing" for war against Iran. Israeli media last week described "intense" drills aimed at conducting strikes on the Islamic Republic's nuclear facilities. However, given the participation of UAE and European allies, Israel has been quick to deny that this week's exercises in the Negev are focused on Iran: Amir Lazar, chief of Israeli air force operations, told reporters at the southern Ovda airbase the drills "don’t focus on Iran", but army officials have said Iran remains Israel’s top strategic threat and at the center of much of its military planning. The defense chief added this important caveat: Lazar said the visit, set for Tuesday, was "very significant" as "someday" the nations participating in the drill would be “working together” to counter the Iranian threat. Indeed the Saudi-UAE-Kuwait Gulf alliance has long quietly cooperated with Israel on intelligence operations especially connected with the decade-long war in Syria, where Assad was seen as a central power in the so-called Iran axis which includes Hezbollah. Yet more recently the Iranians and Saudis have held surprisingly positive talks in efforts at defusing proxy wars in places like Yemen, Iraq, and Syria. Tyler Durden Tue, 10/26/2021 - 19:10.....»»

Category: worldSource: NYTOct 26th, 2021Related News

Green Energy: A Bubble In Unrealistic Expectations

Green Energy: A Bubble In Unrealistic Expectations Authored by David Hay via Everegreen Gavekal blog, “You see what is happening in Europe. There is hysteria and some confusion in the markets. Why?…Some people are speculating on climate change issues, some people are underestimating some things, some are starting to cut back on investments in the extractive industries. There needs to be a smooth transition.” - Vladimir Putin (someone with whom this author rarely agrees) “By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of its citizens.” – John Maynard Keynes (an interesting observation for all the modern day Keynesians to consider given their support of current inflationary US policies, including energy-related) Introduction This week’s EVA provides another sneak preview into David Hay’s book-in-process, “Bubble 3.0” discussing what he thinks is the crucial topic of “greenflation.”  This is a term he coined referring to the rising price for metals and minerals that are essential for solar and wind power, electric cars, and other renewable technologies. It also centers on the reality that as global policymakers have turned against the fossil fuel industry, energy producers are for the first time in history not responding to dramatically higher prices by increasing production.  Consequently, there is a difficult tradeoff that arises as the world pushes harder to combat climate change, driving up energy costs to painful levels, especially for lower income individuals.  What we are currently seeing in Europe is a vivid example of this dilemma.  While it may be the case that governments welcome higher oil and natural gas prices to discourage their use, energy consumers are likely to have a much different reaction. Summary BlackRock’s CEO recently admitted that, despite what many are opining, the green energy transition is nearly certain to be inflationary. Even though it’s early in the year, energy prices are already experiencing unprecedented spikes in Europe and Asia, but most Americans are unaware of the severity. To that point, many British residents being faced with the fact that they may need to ration heat and could be faced with the chilling reality that lives could be lost if this winter is as cold as forecasters are predicting. Because of the huge increase in energy prices, inflation in the eurozone recently hit a 13-year high, heavily driven by natural gas prices on the Continent that are the equivalent of $200 oil. It used to be that the cure for extreme prices was extreme prices, but these days I’m not so sure.  Oil and gas producers are very wary of making long-term investments to develop new resources given the hostility to their industry and shareholder pressure to minimize outlays. I expect global supply to peak sometime next year and a major supply deficit looks inevitable as global demand returns to normal. In Norway, almost 2/3 of all new vehicle sales are of the electric variety (EVs) – a huge increase in just over a decade. Meanwhile, in the US, it’s only about 2%. Still, given Norway’s penchant for the plug-in auto, the demand for oil has not declined. China, despite being the largest market by far for electric vehicles, is still projected to consume an enormous and rising amount of oil in the future. About 70% of China’s electricity is generated by coal, which has major environmental ramifications in regards to electric vehicles. Because of enormous energy demand in China this year, coal prices have experienced a massive boom. Its usage was up 15% in the first half of this year, and the Chinese government has instructed power providers to obtain all baseload energy sources, regardless of cost.  The massive migration to electric vehicles – and the fact that they use six times the amount of critical minerals as their gasoline-powered counterparts –means demand for these precious resources is expected to skyrocket. This extreme need for rare minerals, combined with rapid demand growth, is a recipe for a major spike in prices. Massively expanding the US electrical grid has several daunting challenges– chief among them the fact that the American public is extremely reluctant to have new transmission lines installed in their area. The state of California continues to blaze the trail for green energy in terms of both scope and speed. How the rest of the country responds to their aggressive take on renewables remains to be seen. It appears we are entering a very odd reality: governments are expending resources they do not have on weakly concentrated energy. And the result may be very detrimental for today’s modern economy. If the trend in energy continues, what looks nearly certain to be the Third Energy crisis of the last half-century may linger for years.  Green energy: A bubble in unrealistic expectations? As I have written in past EVAs, it amazes me how little of the intense inflation debate in 2021 centered on the inflationary implications of the Green Energy transition.  Perhaps it is because there is a built-in assumption that using more renewables should lower energy costs since the sun and the wind provide “free power”.  However, we will soon see that’s not the case, at least not anytime soon; in fact, it’s my contention that it will likely be the opposite for years to come and I’ve got some powerful company.  Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock, a very pro-ESG* organization, is one of the few members of Wall Street’s elite who admitted this in the summer of 2021.  The story, however, received minimal press coverage and was quickly forgotten (though, obviously, not be me!).  This EVA will outline myriad reasons why I think Mr. Fink was telling it like it is…despite the political heat that could bring down upon him.  First, though, I will avoid any discussion of whether humanity is the leading cause of global warming.  For purposes of this analysis, let’s make the high-odds assumption that for now a high-speed green energy transition will continue to occur.  (For those who would like a well-researched and clearly articulated overview of the climate debate, I highly recommend the book “Unsettled”; it’s by a former top energy expert and scientist from the Obama administration, Dr. Steven Koonin.) The reason I italicized “for now” is that in my view it’s extremely probable that voters in many Western countries are going to become highly retaliatory toward energy policies that are already creating extreme hardship.  Even though it’s only early autumn as I write these words, energy prices are experiencing unprecedented increases in Europe.  Because it’s “over there”, most Americans are only vaguely aware of the severity of the situation.  But the facts are shocking…  Presently, natural gas is going for $29 per million British Thermal Units (BTUs) in Europe, a quadruple compared to the same time in 2020, versus “just” $5 in the US, which is a mere doubling.  As a consequence, wholesale energy cost in Great Britain rose an unheard of 60% even before summer ended.  Reportedly, nine UK energy companies are on the brink of failure at this time due to their inability to fully pass on the enormous cost increases.  As a result, the British government is reportedly on the verge of nationalizing some of these entities—supposedly, temporarily—to prevent them from collapsing.  (CNBC reported on Wednesday that UK natural gas prices are now up 800% this year; in the US, nat gas rose 20% on Tuesday alone, before giving back a bit more than half of that the next day.) Serious food shortages are expected after exorbitant natural gas costs forced most of England’s commercial production of CO2 to shut down.  (CO2 is used both for stunning animals prior to slaughter and also in food packaging.)  Additionally, ballistic natural gas prices have forced the closure of two big US fertilizer plants due to a potential shortfall of ammonium nitrate of which “nat gas” is a key feedstock.  *ESG stands for Environmental, Social, Governance; in 2021, Blackrock’s assets under management approximated $9 ½ trillion, about one-third of the total US federal debt. With the winter of 2021 approaching, British households are being told they may need to ration heat.  There are even growing concerns about the widespread loss of life if this winter turns out to be a cold one, as 2020 was in Europe.  Weather forecasters are indicating that’s a distinct possibility.   In Spain, consumers are paying 40% more for electricity compared to the prior year.  The Spanish government has begun resorting to price controls to soften the impact of these rapidly escalating costs. (The history of price controls is that they often exacerbate shortages.) Naturally, spiking power prices hit the poorest hardest, which is typical of inflation whether it is of the energy variety or of generalized price increases.  Due to these massive energy price increases, eurozone inflation recently hit a 13-year high, heavily driven by natural gas prices that are the equivalent of $200 per barrel oil.  This is consistent with what I warned about in several EVAs earlier this year and I think there is much more of this looming in the years to come. In Asia, which also had a brutally cold winter in 2020 – 2021, there are severe energy shortages being disclosed, as well.  China has instructed its power providers to secure all the coal they can in preparation for a repeat of frigid conditions and acute deficits even before winter arrives.  The government has also instructed its energy distributors to acquire all the liquified natural gas (LNG) they can, regardless of cost.  LNG recently hit $35 per million British Thermal Units in Asia, up sevenfold in the past year.  China is also rationing power to its heavy industries, further exacerbating the worldwide shortages of almost everything, with notable inflationary implications. In India, where burning coal provides about 70% of electricity generation (as it does in China), utilities are being urged to import coal even though that country has the world’s fourth largest coal reserves.  Several Indian power plants are close to exhausting their coal supplies as power usage rips higher. Normally, I’d say that the cure for such extreme prices, was extreme prices—to slightly paraphrase the old axiom.  But these days, I’m not so sure; in fact, I’m downright dubious.  After all, the enormously influential International Energy Agency has recommended no new fossil fuel development after 2021—“no new”, as in zero.  It’s because of pressure such as this that, even though US natural gas prices have done a Virgin Galactic to $5 this year, the natural gas drilling rig count has stayed flat.  The last time prices were this high there were three times as many working rigs.  It is the same story with oil production.  Most Americans don’t seem to realize it but the US has provided 90% of the planet’s petroleum output growth over the past decade.  In other words, without America’s extraordinary shale oil production boom—which raised total oil output from around 5 million barrels per day in 2008 to 13 million barrels per day in 2019—the world long ago would have had an acute shortage.  (Excluding the Covid-wracked year of 2020, oil demand grows every year—strictly as a function of the developing world, including China, by the way.) Unquestionably, US oil companies could substantially increase output, particularly in the Permian Basin, arguably (but not much) the most prolific oil-producing region in the world.  However, with the Fed being pressured by Congress to punish banks that lend to any fossil fuel operator, and the overall extreme hostility toward domestic energy producers, why would they?  There is also tremendous pressure from Wall Street on these companies to be ESG compliant.  This means reducing their carbon footprint.  That’s tough to do while expanding their volume of oil and gas.  Further, investors, whether on Wall Street or on London’s equivalent, Lombard Street, or in pretty much any Western financial center, are against US energy companies increasing production.  They would much rather see them buy back stock and pay out lush dividends.  The companies are embracing that message.  One leading oil and gas company CEO publicly mused to the effect that buying back his own shares at the prevailing extremely depressed valuations was a much better use of capital than drilling for oil—even at $75 a barrel. As reported by Morgan Stanley, in the summer of 2021, an US institutional broker conceded that of his 400 clients, only one would consider investing in an energy company!  Consequently, the fact that the industry is so detested means that its shares are stunningly undervalued.  How stunningly?  A myriad of US oil and gas producers are trading at free cash flow* yields of 10% to 15% and, in some cases, as high as 25%. In Europe, where the same pressures apply, one of its biggest energy companies is generating a 16% free cash flow yield.  Moreover, that is based up an estimate of $60 per barrel oil, not the prevailing price of $80 on the Continent. *Free cash flow is the excess of gross cash flow over and above the capital spending needed to sustain a business.  Many market professionals consider it more meaningful than earnings.  Therefore, due to the intense antipathy toward Western energy producers they aren’t very inclined to explore for new resources.  Another much overlooked fact about the ultra-critical US shale industry that, as noted, has been nearly the only source of worldwide output growth for the past 13 years, is its rapid decline nature.  Most oil wells see their production taper off at just 4% or 5% per year.  But with shale, that decline rate is 80% after only two years.  (Because of the collapse in exploration activities in 2020 due to Covid, there are far fewer new wells coming on-line; thus, the production base is made up of older wells with slower decline rates but it is still a much steeper cliff than with traditional wells.)  As a result, the US, the world’s most important swing producer, has to come up with about 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) of new output just to stay even.  (This was formerly about a 3 million bpd number due to both the factor mentioned above and the 2 million bpd drop in total US oil production, from 13 million bpd to around 11 million bpd since 2019).  Please recall that total US oil production in 2008 was only around 5 million bpd.  Thus, 1.5 million barrels per day is a lot of oil and requires considerable drilling and exploration activities.  Again, this is merely to stay steady-state, much less grow.  The foregoing is why I wrote on multiple occasions in EVAs during 2020, when the futures price for oil went below zero*, that crude would have a spectacular price recovery later that year and, especially, in 2021.  In my view, to go out on my familiar creaky limb, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!  With supply extremely challenged for the above reasons and demand marching back, I believe 2022 could see $100 crude, possibly even higher.  *Physical oil, or real vs paper traded, bottomed in the upper teens when the futures contract for delivery in April, 2020, went deeply negative.  Mike Rothman of Cornerstone Analytics has one of the best oil price forecasting records on Wall Street.  Like me, he was vehemently bullish on oil after the Covid crash in the spring of 2020 (admittedly, his well-reasoned optimism was a key factor in my up-beat outlook).  Here’s what he wrote late this summer:  “Our forecast for ’22 looks to see global oil production capacity exhausted late in the year and our balance suggests OPEC (and OPEC + participants) will face pressures to completely remove any quotas.”  My expectation is that global supply will likely max out sometime next year, barring a powerful negative growth shock (like a Covid variant even more vaccine resistant than Delta).  A significant supply deficit looks inevitable as global demand recovers and exceeds its pre-Covid level.  This is a view also shared by Goldman Sachs and Raymond James, among others; hence, my forecast of triple-digit prices next year.  Raymond James pointed out that in June the oil market was undersupplied by 2.5 mill bpd.  Meanwhile, global petroleum demand was rapidly rising with expectations of nearly pre-Covid consumption by year-end.  Mike Rothman ran this chart in a webcast on 9/10/2021 revealing how far below the seven-year average oil inventories had fallen.  This supply deficit is very likely to become more acute as the calendar flips to 2022. In fact, despite oil prices pushing toward $80, total US crude output now projected to actually decline this year.  This is an unprecedented development.  However, as the very pro-renewables Financial Times (the UK’s equivalent of the Wall Street Journal) explained in an August 11th, 2021, article:  “Energy companies are in a bind.  The old solution would be to invest more in raising gas production.  But with most developed countries adopting plans to be ‘net zero’ on carbon emissions by 2050 or earlier, the appetite for throwing billions at long-term gas projects is diminished.” The author, David Sheppard, went on to opine: “In the oil industry there are those who think a period of plus $100-a-barrel oil is on the horizon, as companies scale back investments in future supplies, while demand is expected to keep rising for most of this decade at a minimum.”  (Emphasis mine)  To which I say, precisely!  Thus, if he’s right about rising demand, as I believe he is, there is quite a collision looming between that reality and the high probability of long-term constrained supplies.  One of the most relevant and fascinating Wall Street research reports I read as I was researching the topic of what I have been referring to as “Greenflation” is from Morgan Stanley.  Its title asked the provocative question:  “With 64% of New Cars Now Electric, Why is Norway Still Using so Much Oil?”  While almost two-thirds of Norway’s new vehicle sales are EVs, a remarkable market share gain in just over a decade, the number in the US is an ultra-modest 2%.   Yet, per the Morgan Stanley piece, despite this extraordinary push into EVs, oil consumption in Norway has been stubbornly stable.  Coincidentally, that’s been the experience of the overall developed world over the past 10 years, as well; petroleum consumption has largely flatlined.  Where demand hasn’t gone horizontal is in the developing world which includes China.  As you can see from the following Cornerstone Analytics chart, China’s oil demand has vaulted by about 6 million barrels per day (bpd) since 2010 while its domestic crude output has, if anything, slightly contracted. Another coincidence is that this 6 million bpd surge in China’s appetite for oil, almost exactly matched the increase in US oil production.  Once again, think where oil prices would be today without America’s shale oil boom. This is unlikely to change over the next decade.  By 2031, there are an estimated one billion Asian consumers moving up into the middle class.  History is clear that more income means more energy consumption.  Unquestionably, renewables will provide much of that power but oil and natural gas are just as unquestionably going to play a critical role.  Underscoring that point, despite the exponential growth of renewables over the last 10 years, every fossil fuel category has seen increased usage.  Thus, even if China gets up to Norway’s 64% EV market share of new car sales over the next decade, its oil usage is likely to continue to swell.  Please be aware that China has become the world’s largest market for EVs—by far.  Despite that, the above chart vividly displays an immense increase in oil demand.  Here’s a similar factoid that I ran in our December 4th EVA, “Totally Toxic”, in which I made a strong bullish case for energy stocks (the main energy ETF is up 35% from then, by the way):  “(There was) a study by the UN and the US government based on the Model for the Assessment of Greenhouse Gasses Induced Climate Change (MAGICC).  The model predicted that ‘the complete elimination of all fossil fuels in the US immediately would only restrict any increase in world temperature by less than one tenth of one degree Celsius by 2050, and by less than one fifth of one degree Celsius by 2100.’  Say again?  If the world’s biggest carbon emitter on a per capita basis causes minimal improvement by going cold turkey on fossil fuels, are we making the right moves by allocating tens of trillions of dollars that we don’t have toward the currently in-vogue green energy solutions?” China's voracious power appetite increase has been true with all of its energy sources.  On the environmentally-friendly front, that includes renewables; on the environmentally-unfriendly side, it also includes coal.  In 2020, China added three times more coal-based power generation than all other countries combined.  This was the equivalent of an additional coal planet each week.  Globally, there was a reduction last year of 17 gigawatts in coal-fired power output; in China, the increase was 29.8 gigawatts, far more than offsetting the rest of the world’s progress in reducing the dirtiest energy source.  (A gigawatt can power a city with a population of roughly 700,000.) Overall, 70% of China’s electricity is coal-generated. This has significant environmental implications as far as electric vehicles (EVs) are concerned.  Because EVs are charged off a grid that is primarily coal- powered, carbon emissions actually rise as the number of such vehicles proliferate. As you can see in the following charts from Reuters’ energy expert John Kemp, Asia’s coal-fired generation has risen drastically in the last 20 years, even as it has receded in the rest of the world.  (The flattening recently is almost certainly due to Covid, with a sharp upward resumption nearly a given.) The worst part is that burning coal not only emits CO2—which is not a pollutant and is essential for life—it also releases vast quantities of nitrous oxide (N20), especially on the scale of coal usage seen in Asia today. N20 is unquestionably a pollutant and a greenhouse gas that is hundreds of times more potent than CO2.  (An interesting footnote is that over the last 550 million years, there have been very few times when the CO2 level has been as low, or lower, than it is today.)  Some scientists believe that one reason for the shrinkage of Arctic sea ice in recent decades is due to the prevailing winds blowing black carbon soot over from Asia.  This is a separate issue from N20 which is a colorless gas.  As the black soot covers the snow and ice fields in Northern Canada, they become more absorbent of the sun’s radiation, thus causing increased melting.  (Source:  “Weathering Climate Change” by Hugh Ross) Due to exploding energy needs in China this year, coal prices have experienced an unprecedented surge.  Despite this stunning rise, Chinese authorities have instructed its power providers to obtain coal, and other baseload energy sources, such as liquified natural gas (LNG), regardless of cost.  Notwithstanding how pricey coal has become, its usage in China was up 15% in the first half of this year vs the first half of 2019 (which was obviously not Covid impacted). Despite the polluting impact of heavy coal utilization, China is unlikely to turn away from it due to its high energy density (unlike renewables), its low cost (usually) and its abundance within its own borders (though its demand is so great that it still needs to import vast amounts).  Regarding oil, as we saw in last week’s final image, it is currently importing roughly 11 million barrels per day (bpd) to satisfy its 15 million bpd consumption (about 15% of total global demand).  In other words, crude imports amount to almost three-quarter of its needs.  At $80 oil, this totals $880 million per day or approximately $320 billion per year.  Imagine what China’s trade surplus would look like without its oil import bill! Ironically, given the current hostility between the world’s superpowers, China has an affinity for US oil because of its light and easy-to-refine nature.  China’s refineries tend to be low-grade and unable to efficiently process heavier grades of crude, unlike the US refining complex which is highly sophisticated and prefers heavy oil such as from Canada and Venezuela—back when the latter actually produced oil. Thus, China favors EVs because they can be de facto coal-powered, lessening its dangerous reliance on imported oil.  It also likes them due to the fact it controls 80% of the lithium ion battery supply and 60% of the planet’s rare earth minerals, both of which are essential to power EVs.     However, even for China, mining enough lithium, cobalt, nickel, copper, aluminum and the other essential minerals/metals to meet the ambitious goals of largely electrifying new vehicle volumes is going to be extremely daunting.  This is in addition to mass construction of wind farms and enormously expanded solar panel manufacturing. As one of the planet’s leading energy authorities Daniel Yergin writes: “With the move to electric cars, demand for critical minerals will skyrocket (lithium up 4300%, cobalt and nickel up 2500%), with an electric vehicle using 6 times more minerals than a conventional car and a wind turbine using 9 times more minerals than a gas-fueled power plant.  The resources needed for the ‘mineral-intensive energy system’ of the future are also highly concentrated in relatively few countries. Whereas the top 3 oil producers in the world are responsible for about 30 percent of total liquids production, the top 3 lithium producers control more than 80% of supply. China controls 60% of rare earths output needed for wind towers; the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 70% of the cobalt required for EV batteries.” As many have noted, the environmental impact of immensely ramping up the mining of these materials is undoubtedly going to be severe.  Michael Shellenberger, a life-long environmental activist, has been particularly vociferous in his condemnation of the dominant view that only renewables can solve the global energy needs.  He’s especially critical of how his fellow environmentalists resorted to repetitive deception, in his view, to undercut nuclear power in past decades.  By leaving nuke energy out of the solution set, he foresees a disastrous impact on the planet due to the massive scale (he’d opine, impossibly massive) of resource mining that needs to occur.  (His book, “Apocalypse Never”, is also one I highly recommend; like Dr. Koonin, he hails from the left end of the political spectrum.) Putting aside the environmental ravages of developing rare earth minerals, when you have such high and rapidly rising demand colliding with limited supply, prices are likely to go vertical.  This will be another inflationary “forcing”, a favorite term of climate scientists, caused by the Great Green Energy Transition. Moreover, EVs are very semiconductor intensive.  With semis already in seriously short supply, this is going to make a gnarly situation even gnarlier.  It’s logical to expect that there will be recurring shortages of chips over the next decade for this reason alone (not to mention the acute need for semis as the “internet of things” moves into primetime).  In several of the newsletters I’ve written in recent years, I’ve pointed out the present vulnerability of the US electric grid.  Yet, it will be essential not just to keep it from breaking down under its current load; it must be drastically enhanced, a Herculean task. For one thing, it is excruciatingly hard to install new power lines. As J.P. Morgan’s Michael Cembalest has written: “Grid expansion can be a hornet’s nest of cost, complexity and NIMBYism*, particularly in the US.”  The grid’s frailty, even under today’s demands (i.e., much less than what lies ahead as millions of EVs plug into it) is particularly obvious in California.  However, severe winter weather in 2021 exposed the grid weakness even in energy-rich Texas, which also has a generally welcoming attitude toward infrastructure upgrading and expansion. Yet it’s the Golden State, home to 40 million Americans and the fifth largest economy in the world, if it was its own country (which it occasionally acts like it wants to be), that is leading the charge to EVs and seeking to eliminate internal combustion engines (ICEs) as quickly as possible.  Even now, blackouts and brownouts are becoming increasingly common.  Seemingly convinced it must be a role model for the planet, it’s trying desperately to reduce its emissions, which are less than 1%, of the global total, at the expense of rendering its energy system more similar to a developing country.  In addition to very high electricity costs per kilowatt hour (its mild climate helps offset those), it also has gasoline prices that are 77% above the national average.  *NIMBY stands for Not In My Back Yard. While California has been a magnet for millions seeking a better life for 150 years, the cost of living is turning the tide the other way.  Unreliable and increasingly expensive energy is likely to intensify that trend.  Combined with home prices that are more than double the US median–$800,000!–California is no longer the land of milk and honey, unless, to slightly paraphrase Woody Guthrie about LA, even back in the 1940s, you’ve got a whole lot of scratch.  More and more people, seem to be scratching California off their list of livable venues.  Voters in the reliably blue state of California may become extremely restive, particularly as they look to Asia and see new coal plants being built at a fever pitch.  The data will become clear that as America keeps decarbonizing–as it has done for 30 years mostly due to the displacement of coal by gas in the US electrical system—Asia will continue to go the other way.  (By the way, electricity represents the largest share of CO2 emission at roughly 25%.)  California has always seemed to lead social trends in this country, as it is doing again with its green energy transition.  The objective is noble though, extremely ambitious, especially the timeline.  As it brings its power paradigm to the rest of America, especially its frail grid, it will be interesting to see how voters react in other states as the cost of power leaps higher and its dependability heads lower.  It’s reasonable to speculate we may be on the verge of witnessing the Californication of the US energy system.  Lest you think I’m being hyperbolic, please be aware the IEA (International Energy Agency) has estimated it will cost the planet $5 trillion per year to achieve Net Zero emissions.  This is compared to global GDP of roughly $85 trillion. According to BloombergNEF, the price tag over 30 years, could be as high as $173 trillion.  Frankly, based on the history of gigantic cost overruns on most government-sponsored major infrastructure projects, I’m inclined to take the over—way over—on these estimates. Moreover, energy consulting firm T2 and Associates, has guesstimated electrifying just the US to the extent necessary to eliminate the direct consumption of fuel (i.e., gasoline, natural gas, coal, etc.) would cost between $18 trillion and $29 trillion.  Again, taking into account how these ambitious efforts have played out in the past, I suspect $29 trillion is light.  Regardless, even $18 trillion is a stunner, despite the reality we have all gotten numb to numbers with trillions attached to them.  For perspective, the total, already terrifying, level of US federal debt is $28 trillion. Regardless, as noted last week, the probabilities of the Great Green Energy Transition happening are extremely high.  Relatedly, I believe the likelihood of the Great Greenflation is right up there with them.  As Gavekal’s Didier Darcet wrote in mid-August:  ““Nowadays, and this is a great first in history, governments will commit considerable financial resources they do not have in the extraction of very weakly concentrated energy.” ( i.e., less efficient)  “The bet is very risky, and if it fails, what next?  The modern economy would not withstand expensive energy, or worse, lack of energy.”  While I agree this an historical first, it’s definitely not great (with apologies for all the “greats”).  This is particularly not great for keeping inflation subdued, as well as for attempting to break out of the growth quagmire the Western world has been in for the last two decades.  What we are seeing in Europe right now is an extremely cautionary case study in just how disastrous the war on fossil fuels can be (shortly we will see who or what has been a behind-the-scenes participant in this conflict). Essentially, I believe, as I’ve written in past EVAs, we are entering the third energy crisis of the last 50 years.  If I’m right, it will be characterized by recurring bouts of triple-digit oil prices in the years to come.  Along with Richard Nixon taking the US off the gold standard in 1971, the high inflation of the 1970s was caused by the first two energy crises (the 1973 Arab Oil Embargo and the 1979 Iranian Revolution).  If I’m correct about this being the third, it’s coming at a most inopportune time with the US in hyper-MMT* mode. Frankly, I believe many in the corridors of power would like to see oil trade into the $100s, and natural gas into the teens, as it will help catalyze the shift to renewable energy.  But consumers are likely to have a much different reaction—potentially, a violently different reaction, as I noted last week.  The experience of the Yellow Vest protests in France (referring to the color of the vest protestors wore), are instructive in this regard.  France is a generally left-leaning country.  Despite that, a proposed fuel surtax in November 2018 to fund a renewable energy transition triggered such widespread civil unrest that French president Emmanuel Macron rescinded it the following month. *MMT stands for Modern Monetary Theory.  It holds that a government, like the US, which issues debt in its own currency can spend without concern about budgetary constraints.  If there are not enough buyers of its bonds at acceptable interest rates, that nation’s central bank (the Fed, in our case) simply acquires them with money it creates from its digital printing press.  This is what is happening today in the US.  Many economists consider this highly inflationary. The sharp and politically uncomfortable rise in US gas pump prices this summer caused the Biden administration to plead with OPEC to lift its volume quotas.  The ironic implication of that exhortation was glaringly obvious, as was the inefficiency and pollution consequences of shipping oil thousands of miles across the Atlantic.  (Oil tankers are a significant source of emissions.)  This is as opposed to utilizing domestic oil output, as well as crude from Canada (which is actually generally better suited to the US refining complex).  Beyond the pollution aspect, imported oil obviously worsens America’s massive trade deficit (which would be far more massive without the six million barrels per day of domestic oil volumes that the shale revolution has provided) and costs our nation high-paying jobs. Further, one of my other big fears is that the West is engaging in unilateral energy disarmament.  Russia and China are likely the major beneficiaries of this dangerous scenario.  Per my earlier comment about a stealth combatant in the war on fossil fuels, it may surprise you that a past NATO Secretary General* has accused Russian intelligence of avidly supporting the anti-fracking movements in Western Europe.  Russian TV has railed against fracking for years, even comparing it to pedophilia (certainly, a most bizarre analogy!).  The success of the anti-fracking movement on the Continent has essentially prevented a European version of America’s shale miracles (the UK has the potential to be a major shale gas producer).  Consequently, the European Union’s domestic natural gas production has been in a rapid decline phase for years.  Banning fracking has, of course, made Europe heavily reliant on Russian gas shipments with more than 40% of its supplies coming from Russia. This is in graphic contrast to the shale output boom in the US that has not only made us natural gas self-sufficient but also an export powerhouse of liquified natural gas (LNG).  In 2011, the Nord Stream system of pipelines running under the Baltic Sea from northern Russia began delivering gas west from northern Russia to the German coastal city of Greifswald.  For years, the Russians sought to build a parallel system with the inventive name of Nord Stream 2.  The US government opposed its approval on security grounds but the Biden administration has dropped its opposition.  It now appears Nord Stream 2 will happen, leaving Europe even more exposed to Russian coercion.  Is it possible the Russian government and the Chinese Communist Party have been secretly and aggressively supporting the anti-fossil fuel movements in America?  In my mind, it seems not only possible but probable.  In fact, I believe it is naïve not to come that conclusion.  After all, wouldn’t it be in both of their geopolitical interests to see the US once again caught in a cycle of debilitating inflation, ensnared by the twin traps of MMT and the third energy crisis? *Per former NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasumssen:  Russia has “engaged actively with so-called non-governmental organizations—environmental organizations working against shale gas—to maintain Europe’s dependence on imported Russian gas”. Along these lines, I was shocked to listen to a recent podcast by the New Yorker magazine on the topic of “intelligent sabotage”.  This segment was an interview between the magazine’s David Remnick and a Swedish professor, Adreas Malm.  Mr. Malm is the author of a new book with the literally explosive title “How To Blow Up A Pipeline”.   Just as it sounds, he advocates detonating pipelines to inhibit fossil fuel distribution.  Mr. Remnick was clearly sympathetic to his guest but he did ask him about the impact on the poor of driving energy prices up drastically which would be the obvious ramification if his sabotage recommendations were widely followed.  Mr. Malm’s reaction was a verbal shrug of the shoulders and words to the effect that this was the price to pay to save the planet. Frankly, I am appalled that the venerable New Yorker would provide a platform for such a radical and unlawful suggestion.  In an era when people are de-platformed for often innocuous comments, it’s incredible to me this was posted and has not been pulled down.  In my mind, this reflects just how tolerant the media is of attacks on the fossil fuel industry, regardless of the deleterious impact on consumers and the global economy. Surely, there is a far better way of coping with the harmful aspects of fossil fuel-based energy than this scorched earth (literally, in the case of Mr. Malm) approach, which includes efforts to block new pipelines, shut existing ones, and severely restrict US energy production.  In America’s case, the result will be forcing us to unnecessarily and increasingly rely on overseas imports.  (For example, per the Wall Street Journal, drilling permits on federal land have crashed to 171 in August from 671 in April.  Further, the contentious $3.5 trillion “infrastructure” plan would raise royalties and fees high enough on US energy producers that it would render them globally uncompetitive.) Such actions would only aggravate what is already a severe energy shock, one that may be worse than the 1970s twin energy crises.  America has it easy compared to Europe, though, given current US policy trends, we might be in their same heavily listing energy boat soon. Solutions include fast-tracking small modular nuclear plants; encouraging the further switch from burning coal to natural gas (a trend that is, unfortunately, going the other way now, as noted above); utilizing and enhancing carbon and methane capture at the point of emission (including improving tail pipe effluent-reduction technology); enhancing pipeline integrity to inhibit methane leaks; among many other mitigation techniques that recognize the reality the global economy will be reliant on fossil fuels for many years, if not decades, to come.  If the climate change movement fails to recognize the essential nature of fossil fuels, it will almost certainly trigger a backlash that will undermine the positive change it is trying to bring about.  This is similar to what it did via its relentless assault on nuclear power which produced a frenzy of coal plant construction in the 1980s and 1990s.  On this point, it’s interesting to see how quickly Europe is re-embracing coal power to alleviate the energy poverty and rationing occurring over there right now - even before winter sets in.  When the choice is between supporting climate change initiatives on one hand and being able to heat your home and provide for your family on the other, is there really any doubt about which option the majority of voters will select? Tyler Durden Tue, 10/26/2021 - 19:30.....»»

Category: worldSource: NYTOct 26th, 2021Related News

Kyrsten Sinema voices support for minimum corporate tax, breathing life into key funding source for Biden"s agenda

A higher corporate tax, which Sinema reportedly opposed in recent weeks, would raise hundreds of billions needed for Biden's social spending plan. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., arrives for a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee markup in Dirksen Building on Wednesday, October 6, 2021. Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images Kyrsten Sinema backed a minimum corporate tax on Tuesday, giving new life to Biden's spending plans. The proposal would tax large firms' profits at 15% and is estimated to raise between $300 billion and $400 billion. Democrats are scrambling to finalize new tax proposals as they near an October 31 deadline for their infrastructure proposal. After weeks of haggling over President Joe Biden's spending ambitions, Senate Democrats might have reached a breakthrough on Tuesday afternoon.Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona threw her support behind a minimum corporate tax rate, a key source of funding as Democrats scramble to pass a major spending package that is funded through tax increases.Biden's plan is expected to cost between $1.5 trillion and $2 trillion, and Sinema has emerged as a key holdout, along with fellow centrist Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, particularly on tax policy. The minimum that Sinema supports is 15%, which is below the technical minimum of 21% established in President Donald Trump's tax reform, but is designed to prevent some large corporate firms from paying nothing through legal loopholes."This proposal represents a commonsense step toward ensuring that highly profitable corporations - which sometimes can avoid the current corporate tax rate - pay a reasonable corporate tax on their profits," Sinema wrote on Twitter, adding that she looks forward to "continuing discussions with the White House and colleagues" on the matter.Senate Democrats had rolled out this minimum corporate tax proposal earlier on Tuesday. Penned by Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Angus King, and Ron Wyden, the plan targets roughly 200 companies that report more than $1 billion in profits. The measure is forecasted to raise "hundreds of billions in revenue over 10 years," according to the document detailing the proposal. King told Politico's Burgess Everett that the tax would raise between $300 billion and $400 billion.The plan aims to collect taxes from companies that dodge most of the 21% corporate tax rate. Companies including Amazon, Nike, and FedEx have avoided paying federal taxes for years through a collection of loopholes, tax breaks, and rebates, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.Sinema's support gives Democrats a key avenue to raise funds for their social-spending plan. The Arizona senator previously said she wouldn't back efforts to raise taxes on corporations and individuals, effectively cutting off many of the ways Democrats could pay for their package. This minimum corporate tax is all but certain to be included in the final plan, since Joe Manchin is also "behind" it, Sen. Warren told Politico's Everett on Tuesday.The minimum corporate tax is set to join a spate of new pay-fors as Democrats rush to finalize the package. Party members had originally aimed to raise taxes on multimillionaires, large corporations, and investors. Sinema's opposition to such measures forced the party to look elsewhere for tax revenue, and recent negotiations suggest the party will continue to target the country's richest individuals.Sinema has not disclosed whether she supports the "Billionaires' Income Tax" proposal being drafted by Wyden. That tax is set to target unrealized gains on assets, or in other words wealth increases on paper that haven't been sold yet. Currently, assets like stocks and bonds are only taxed when an owner sells them.House Speaker Nancy Pelosi backed the proposal on Sunday, telling CNN the final package will "probably have a wealth tax," referring to Wyden's proposal, although Wyden himself has clarified that it is technically an income tax and not a tax that targets wealth per se.The minimum corporate tax and Wyden's billionaires' tax are unlikely to fully offset the package's entire price tag. But with Democrats rushing to finalize a plan before November, Sinema's support marks critical progress for the ambitious package.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

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NIH Director Shredded Over Risky Research In Wuhan After CNN Interview Goes Sideways

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Category: worldSource: NYTOct 26th, 2021Related News

No Significant Change In COVID-19 Hospitalization Outcomes During Delta Surge: CDC Study

No Significant Change In COVID-19 Hospitalization Outcomes During Delta Surge: CDC Study Authored by Isabel van Brugen via The Epoch Times, The highly transmissible Delta variant of COVID-19 does not appear to cause more severe disease among fully vaccinated or unvaccinated hospitalized patients, compared to earlier forms of the virus, according to preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The CDC study, released on Oct. 22, analyzed some 7,600 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, in the months of July and August, when the Delta variant became predominant in the United States. Researchers found that compared to earlier months, there was no significant change in hospitalized COVID-19 patients’ outcomes. Specifically, although adult hospitalizations surged during the Delta wave, compared to the six months prior, the proportion of patients with COVID-19 who were admitted to an ICU, received invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV), or died during their hospitalization did not significantly change during this period, the data suggests. The research however shows that adults aged 18 to 49, many of whom were unvaccinated, accounted for a larger proportion of hospitalized patients compared with the pre-Delta period—35.8 percent of hospitalizations compared to 24.7 percent from the previous six months. Roughly 71 percent of COVID-19–associated hospitalizations during the Delta wave were in unvaccinated adults, the researchers said, adding that the lower vaccination coverage in the 18 to 49 demographic likely contributed to the increase in hospitalized patients during the Delta period.  The Delta variant of the CCP virus grew in prevalence in the country from 1.8 percent on May 1 to over 85 percent on July 10. It is now the dominant strain around the globe and has been reported in at least 187 out of 194 World Health Organization member countries, the organization earlier this month. “Although this variant is more transmissible, this study did not find significantly higher proportions of hospitalizations with ICU admission, receipt of IMV, or in-hospital death in nonpregnant hospitalized adults,” the CDC study states. They acknowledged a number of limitations, including that during spikes in COVID-19 cases during the Delta wave, the clinical thresholds for hospitalization and ICU admission might have shifted and could therefore have potentially obscured trends in increased severity.  The researchers also noted that some patients could also have been hospitalized but not tested for the virus, and the data could potentially change including cases from the summer months who do not yet have a discharge disposition. A separate preprint study published on medRxiv on Oct. 6 suggests that children also do not get any sicker from the Delta variant than they did from earlier strains. Researchers compared two groups of school-age children with COVID-19: 694 infected with the Alpha variant between late December 2020 and early May 2021, and 706 infected with Delta between late May and early July.  In both groups, very few children needed to be hospitalized and long periods of illness were uncommon. In both groups, half of the children were sick for no more than five days. “Our data suggest that clinical characteristics of COVID-19 due to the Delta variant in children are broadly similar to COVID-19 due to other variants,” the researchers concluded, echoing remarks from CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky in September that although more children are getting infected with the virus, studies show that there has not been an increased disease severity in children. “More children have COVID-19 because there is more disease in the community,” Walensky said of the Delta-driven wave in a statement. Tyler Durden Tue, 10/26/2021 - 14:30.....»»

Category: worldSource: NYTOct 26th, 2021Related News

Hillary Clinton Calls For Vaccine Mandate....In The UK

Hillary Clinton Calls For Vaccine Mandate....In The UK American leaders have a centuries-old tradition of trying to impose their way of life on foreign rivals and allies alike. Typically, this type of bullying behavior backfires in the Americans' face. And now, as the US prepares to lift travel restrictions while the CDC prepares to force all Americans to accept another booster jab in order to retain their "fully vaccinated" status (despite the risks to younger healthy patients). But in the latest sign that - despite the fact that Hillary Clinton's historic loss to Donald Trump, which happened nearly 5 years ago, should have essentially left her exiled from the public stage - the former Secretary of State isn't going anywhere (as her ambition to be president morphs into what some might call a delusion), the former Democratic Presidential Candidate had the gall to appear on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show over the weekend to chide British PM Boris Johnson for his handling of the pandemic, and demanding that he impose "mandatory" vaccines on all Britons, while requiring vaccine passports for all travelers - allegedly to sidestep another lockdown in the UK. “I do think it is imperative that the prime minister do what he can to stop the rise in Covid in the UK. He doesn’t need to shut the society down but he does need to mandate vaccines,” she said. PM Johnson has been doing the opposite recently (in coordination with the leaders of the other nations that belong to the UK) by loosening restrictions in recent months on business movement and even travel. Yet, after a notable dip in infection rates, the rate of spread has started to accelerate once again as the seasons change. While they remain well below their peak from late last year, deaths in the UK have also started to creep back. The former New York senator, who failed twice to ascend to the presidency, advocated for the UK to take up the stringent controls seen in her adopted home state, noting that “all of the big health systems” and hospitals in New York have mandated vaccines. Clinton unsympathetically referenced an instance in which Northwell Health, the largest healthcare provider in the state of New York, which employs over 76,000 people, fired 1,400 workers earlier this month for refusing to get vaccinated on orders from now-disgraced former Gov. Andrew Cuomo. It's possible the UK could emulate the Empire State, since Johnson has already mandated jabs for home-care workers, and soon might expand that to all frontline NHS employees in the country. However, Johnson faces substantial resistance from within his Conservative Party to a more restrictive health pass system that would effectively cut the unvaccinated - even those who have chosen not to get the jab on the advice of their doctor - off from society. However, similar vaccine passport schemes have been implemented in Wales and Scotland - just not England. , Prime Minister Boris Johnson has shied away from enacting the scheme — which has already been put into place by the local devolved governments in Scotland and Wales — in England or nationwide. Tyler Durden Tue, 10/26/2021 - 14:50.....»»

Category: worldSource: NYTOct 26th, 2021Related News

Huge Short Squeeze Leads To Stellar 2Y Auction

Huge Short Squeeze Leads To Stellar 2Y Auction Amid growing concerns that today's 2Y auction could be a disaster as a result of the recent push wider in short-dated yields, yesterday we noted that demand to borrow 2022-2024 maturities spiked since last week, while investor demand to get hold of cash securities to be short either outright or against futures has made specified collaterals more expensive, and the decline in those financing rates has trickled into the general collateral market. In other words, everyone wanted to be short bonds but few had actual physical locate to short against. Which brings us into today's 2Y auction when the tenor was trading super special in repo, suggesting there would be major squeeze come the auction. That's precisely what happened because contrary to fears of a disappointing auction, demand for 2Y paper was absolutely stellar (if for all the wrong reasons). The $60BN sale of two year paper stopped at a high yield of 0.481%, which stopped through the When Issued 0.43% by 0.2bps. Still it was sharply higher than last month's 0.310% and the highest since Feb 2020. The bid to cover surged to 2.68 from 2.28 in September and was the highest since May as bidder lined up to buy cash bonds so they could then short them. Internals were also solid with Indirects surging from 45.32% to 58.14% which was also well above the six-auction average of 45.32%. And with Directs taking down 22.30% Dealers were left holding just 19.55%, one of the lowest on record. In short, today's 2Y auction was stellar but not because traders wanted the exposure outright but because they were so extremely short into the auction, they desperately needed a cash deliverable. Tyler Durden Tue, 10/26/2021 - 13:17.....»»

Category: worldSource: NYTOct 26th, 2021Related News

"Tell Biden We Are Coming": "Mother Of All Caravans" Headed Towards Texas

"Tell Biden We Are Coming": 'Mother Of All Caravans' Headed Towards Texas Texas is bracing for a surge of approximately 3,000 migrants - including some 250 children - making the northward trek from Central America through Mexico. While most of the group is from Central America, they are joined by South Americans, Africans and Haitians. Photo: Reuters The latest caravan, known as "Madre Caravana" or "Mother Caravan," is stopped along a highway in Huehuetán, a city in the southern state of Chiapas as the weather topped 89 degrees, according to the Daily Mail. In response, a unit of 1,000 state police officers and Texas Rangers have been deployed to areas along the state's 1,241 miles of border with Mexico, and is preparing to repel the influx of migrants. Last month, Texas state law enforcement agents were able to prevent approximately 15,000 mostly-Haitian migrants from crossing the US-Mexico border. "The Texas Department of Public Safety [DPS] is committed to securing our southern border under the direction of Texas Governor Greg Abbott and has deployed around one-thousand Troopers, Special Agents and Texas Rangers as part of Operation Lone Star (OLS)," as spokesperson told the Daily Mail on Monday. "While the department does not discuss operational specifics, we continue to monitor the situation as it unfolds in order to make real-time decisions and will adjust operations as necessary." A U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB) spokesperson told DailyMail.com that the agency 'plans for all possible scenarios based off information on the operations of smugglers or movements of migrants.  'Our posture and response are based on comprehensive analysis, and not on any single report.  'CBP stands ready to address any potential increase in migrant encounters as we work to ensure safety and security of our borders, while managing a fair and orderly immigration system.'  The caravan initially drew its members by distributing a QR code via text message October 15. -Daily Mail One Salvadorian migrant interviewed by Fox News told the network: "Tell Biden we are coming." At least 147,000 illegal immigrants were registered in southern Mexico between January and August of this year, according to the Mail, which notes that this is triple the amount reported during the same period in 2020. Tyler Durden Tue, 10/26/2021 - 13:30.....»»

Category: worldSource: NYTOct 26th, 2021Related News

Deleted UK Government Report Celebrates How Public Loves To "Conform"

Deleted UK Government Report Celebrates How Public Loves To "Conform".....»»

Category: worldSource: NYTOct 24th, 2021Related News

Worldcoin Offers Free Crypto To Scan Your Eyeballs 

Worldcoin Offers Free Crypto To Scan Your Eyeballs  What's the best way to build a biometric database? Well, you can steal fingerprints, faces, irises, and voice scans of millions of Americans, like US intelligence agencies, have done, or you can go the more ethical route and give people free cryptocurrency for their unique biometric data.   That's precisely what several Silicon Valley entrepreneurs are doing with their new start-up, Worldcoin, using orb-shaped devices to scan people's eyes in exchange for free cryptocurrency.  This is very weird.  It gets even weirder.  Worldcoin, founded by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, Alex Blania, and Max Novendstern, have already convinced 100,000 people and growing that their irises, a ring-shaped membrane located behind the cornea of the eye, which no two are alike, are worth a Worldcoin coin.  "Cryptocurrency is a very powerful thing," Blania, Worldcoin's CEO, told CNBC. And it could be the golden ticket to amass a global database of irises with the promise to give people a free Worldcoin coin built on Ethereum. In a separate interview, Blania told TechCrunch that the coin is part of a more significant effort to build a more equitable global economy driven by cryptocurrencies, AI, and the internet.  "[Worldcoin] started with a discussion that universal basic income will eventually be something that is very important to the world, and in general, getting access to the internet economy will be much more important than is obvious at this point," she said.  While the intentions of Worldcoin sound great, to solve some of the worst wealth inequality the world has ever seen, primarily because of central banks and their unorthodox monetary injections, the question that remains is what Worldcoin will do with a database of irises?  It's important to note that there are eight body parts other than fingerprints that make an individual unique. One of them is the iris.  With enough people driven into poverty because of COVID over the last 19 months, handing out free crypto might be the easiest way to build a biometric database. Then what? Sell it off to a government or spy agency? Tyler Durden Sun, 10/24/2021 - 07:35.....»»

Category: worldSource: NYTOct 24th, 2021Related News

With A Record 79 Container Ships Waiting Off The SoCal Coast, A Scary Supply-Chain Solution Emerges

With A Record 79 Container Ships Waiting Off The SoCal Coast, A Scary Supply-Chain Solution Emerges As we discussed yesterday, when looking at the recent dip in sky high container shipping rates, there was some fleeting hope that Southern California port congestion had turned the corner. The number of container ships waiting offshore dipped to the low 60s and high 50s from a record high of 73 on Sept. 19, trans-Pacific spot rates plateaued, the Biden administration unveiled aspirations for 24/7 port ops, and electricity shortages curbed Chinese factory output. Alas, it was not meant to be, and despite the very serious jawboning coming out of the White House, the time ships are stuck waiting offshore continues to lengthen. There are simply too many vessels arriving with too much cargo for terminals, trucks, trains and warehouses to handle, and according to the Marine Exchange of Southern California, 79 container ships were waiting off Los Angeles and Long Beach on Thursday, yet another all-time record. In light of this record parking lot that has formed outside of LA... Container ships off LA/LB on Friday morning. Map: MarineTraffic ... it is hardly a surprise that container dwell times have steadily increased over the summer and now into the Fall, increasing to an average of 5.9 days in September - up nearly 2.5 days since the April low of 3.6 days, according to Goldman Sachs. Goldman also notes that the proportion of containers that have been dwelling for longer than five days were 32.8% of total containers in September - up from 13.1% in the spring and 21.2% in September 2020 when dwell time began to accelerate as consumer demand returned. While it is obvious, it is important to note that higher dwell times at the ports and terminals lead to less overall supply chain efficiency and can impact volume throughput. For example, JBHT recently reported during their 3Q21 earnings call that congestion led to lower container turn efficiency to 1.62 from the end of 2Q21. Chassis also saw accelerated street dwell times in the most recent week (week 40) in the Port of L.A. and Long Beach. August (Weeks 37-39) averaged a street dwell time of 7 days before increasing to 9.0 days in Week 40 for 20 ft. chassis. 40/45 ft. chassis similarly jumped in mid-October to 10 days from the 8.5 day average over the previous three weeks. It's not all bad news: in recent weeks, rails have seen an opposite trend as fluidity has continued to improve in their networks starting at the ports, decreasing their average dwell time to 5.5 days in September from 11.8 day high in June. As a result of the surge in client interest in supply chain issues on the West Coast, Goldman recently introduced the PMI Manufacturing Suppliers’ delivery times index from IHS Markit to its supply chain congestion tracker. Purchasing managers respond to IHS Markit’s PMI surveys indicating if it is taking their suppliers more or less time to provide inputs to their manufacturing. Above 50 indicates that supply delivery times are faster and below indicates that delivery is slower. Manufacturers have reported significant increases in delivery times, with the current index level in September at 16.6 - down significantly from July 2020 of 47.2. On an inverted basis, the index has increased 62% YoY in September reflecting the large increase in supplier delays On a roll, Goldman then makes another patently obvious observation, noting that congestion at the ports ultimately leads to higher rates in ocean freight, and it can also have an impact to air and truck rates as well. To be sure, as noted above, while prices have started to abate from record levels in mid-September in ocean freight (don't get your hopes up - this is entirely due to another temporary lockdown in Chinese supply chains, a result of the reduction in manufacturing due to China's ongoing power crunch and energy crisis), they still increased +350% YoY in the week ending October 15. Prices will remain elevated until congestion abates or demand normalizes; it is unclear when either of these will happen. More ominously, as of October 18, airfreight from Hong Kong to North America was $10.45 per Kg, up +97% YoY from $5.31. Goldman's bottom line is that the data the bank tracks for supply chain congestion lines up with company commentaries during conferences in August and at the start of this current 3Q21 earnings season. In the short term, the bank continues to expect the increase in congestion to benefit asset light and freight forwarders from increased rates and the need to facilitate moves that asset based providers do not have the capacity to handle (translation: it will negatively impact everyone else who is reliant on Just In Time supply chains). Moreover, overall supply chain tightness should help keep truckload rates elevated, and the parcel sector could see ongoing benefit from shippers forced to use air capacity if unable to gain ocean container capacity. Of course, this being Goldman, the bank has to end on a positive note, and in its forecast writes that while ports reflect congestion in the short term, "we do expect some slight easing as we pass peak season shipping in late October for the holiday season and more abatement as we pass Chinese New Year in early 2022." The bank also expects the abatement in congestion to positively benefit the rails as well as intermodal participants (such as JB Hunt) as fluidity improves and congestion related costs and service issues begin to abate. Alas, unlike Goldman, we don't see any easing in the short- to medium-term, for several reasons. First, there is no catalyst on the horizon that will lead to both a reduction in demand for goods (over services) over the next 6 months especially with winter coming. Second, the downstream chaos in the supply chain alone means that everything has to align perfectly for the blockages to be resolved. However, that won't happen because between the continued labor shortages, the lack of infrastructure to resume smooth operations, and a supply pipeline that it snarled on both ends (Chinese energy crisis, US labor crisis), the chaos will continue indefinitely. This is a key point made recently by Citi's Matt King in his latest must read presentation (available to pro subs), asking if the economy is like a "double pendulum" where a "slightly harder push changes the system behavior entirely." It gets worse though: so far the supply chain bottlenecks have not materialized in any tangible shortages at the retail level where rising prices have successfully offset rising demand (with a few notable exceptions). However, if and when the supply crisis hits a tipping point and photos of empty shelves once again flood the media, there will be a surge to hoard similar to what we saw in March 2020 as the panicked population buys first and asks questions later, at which point the chaos in the system will once again spill over. Or, as King puts it, "the desire to buy is inversely proportional to the stock available." Which leaves us with the painful conclusion: if we want a return to the previous supply-chain equilibrium, the system needs to do more than just ramp up supply: it also needs to squash demand or the wild gyrations will continue. That means inducing another artificial recession to cripple demand, something which we doubt the Democrats controlling the 78-year-old in the White House will be able to stomach. Tyler Durden Sat, 10/23/2021 - 16:30.....»»

Category: worldSource: NYTOct 23rd, 2021Related News

Bomb Cyclone To Unleash Atmospheric River Over Northern California

Bomb Cyclone To Unleash Atmospheric River Over Northern California A "bomb cyclone" will unleash an atmospheric river Saturday night into Sunday across Northern California.  "By Saturday night, a rapidly intensifying Pacific cyclone directing a powerful atmospheric river squarely at the West Coast delivers a fire hose of rich subtropical moisture into California," the Weather Prediction Center (WPC) said Friday.  These two simultaneous weather phenomenons will result in the season's first snow event in the Sierras and torrential rains for the coastline and valleys across central and Northern California.  "You might hear this term referencing the Sunday-Monday storm coming our way. A bomb cyclone is simply a storm that gets very strong very quickly. It drops at least 24 mb (a unit of pressure) in 24 hours. The lower the pressure, the stronger the storm," said Sacramento-based KTXL's Adam Epstein.  In Northern California, rainfall estimates through the end of the weekend are around 2-4 inches. In San Francisco, estimates are upwards of 3 inches.  WPC warns that some areas could receive 8-10 inches. ⚠️A HIGH Risk of Excessive Rainfall is in effect for portions of Northern California tomorrow. A strong atmospheric river will produce rainfall of 8-10 inches in the region, leading to significant and life-threatening flash floods and mudslides, particularly over burn scar areas. pic.twitter.com/FvACBTpNID — NWS Weather Prediction Center (@NWSWPC) October 23, 2021 The rare level 5 atmospheric river event could be enough rain to alleviate drought-stricken areas ravaged by wildfires.  "An atmospheric river marked as a category 4 or a 5 is capable of producing remarkable rainfall totals over three or more days, likely to exceed 10% to 15% of a typical year's precipitation in some locations," said Marty Ralph, director of the Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes at the University of California San Diego. In higher elevations, wet snow across the Sierras could amount to 1-3 feet.  SEVERE STORMS: Tens of millions of Americans across the west are bracing for heavy rain, mudslides and more than a foot of snow. Here’s what you need to know: pic.twitter.com/AZqN0qCUTZ — CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) October 23, 2021 The news gets better for Northern California and the Pacific Northwest as WPC has declared La Niña conditions, which means wetter than average conditions will ease areas plagued by drought. As for Southern and Central California, La Niña means a drier than average winter.  Tyler Durden Sat, 10/23/2021 - 13:00.....»»

Category: worldSource: NYTOct 23rd, 2021Related News

The Epitome Of Financial Repression In 2 Charts

The Epitome Of Financial Repression In 2 Charts Authored by Bryce Coward via Knowledge Leaders Capital blog, By now investors are quite aware of the consequences of financial repression via negative real interest rate policies. Since interest rates on “risk free” government debt are too low to even compensate for inflation, it pushes investors out the risk spectrum in an effort to achieve a positive rate of return after inflation. So, it should come as no surprise that yield spreads between risky assets like corporate debt and US Treasury bonds would narrow in a financial repression. Interestingly, though, we may have reached the point where the link between corporate fundamentals and corporate credit spreads is broken, and that the overriding factor in pricing credit risk is the level of real interest rates. For example, as the first chart below shows, the debt service ratio (interest expense as a percent of sales) for the US non-financial sector reached an all-time high in 2020 and has only improved marginally since then, despite the dramatic fall in the level of interest rates since 2018. At the same time, the spread between investment grade corporate yields and the 10 year US Treasury yield has narrowed to nearly an all-time low. Typically, there is at least a directional relationship between the corporate debt service ratio and credit spreads. As the second chart shows, though, the overriding factor in the level of credit spreads has in recent years been the level of real interest rates, proxied here by 10 year TIPS yields. Since TIPS yields remain near all-time lows, we suppose it “makes sense”, in a convoluted way, that credit spreads are pricing an absurdly low level of credit risk. If this isn’t the epitome of a negative real interest rate policy, we don’t know what is. Tyler Durden Sat, 10/23/2021 - 13:30.....»»

Category: worldSource: NYTOct 23rd, 2021Related News

"Digital Boilers" Powered By Bitcoin Mining Rigs To Supply North Vancouver With Heat 

"Digital Boilers" Powered By Bitcoin Mining Rigs To Supply North Vancouver With Heat  Mining cryptocurrency is an energy-intensive industry. The main by-product of high-powered computers verifying Bitcoin, Etherum, and or Ripple transactions on the blockchain is an excessive amount of heat that often goes to waste. However, one company is set to heat buildings in the Canadian city of North Vancouver through mining rigs attached to "digital boilers."  Cleantech cryptocurrency miner MintGreen partnered with Lonsdale Energy Corp. to supply heat to buildings in North Vancouver, according to a press release. MintGreen's digital boilers use immersion technology that captures 96% of the heat generated from mining rigs and is fed to water utilities as energy, then distributed to 100 buildings in the downtown district.  "Being partners with MintGreen on this project is very exciting for Lonsdale Energy, in that it's an innovative and cost-competitive project, and it reinforces the journey Lonsdale Energy is on to support the City's ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets," Lonsdale Energy CEO, Karsten Veng, said.  Lonsdale Energy expects to begin supplying heat to the businesses district in 2022 under a long-term contractual agreement. Its arrangement with North Vancouver will prevent 20,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases per megawatt from escaping into the atmosphere. "The complex issue of climate change requires innovative solutions, and Lonsdale Energy, with the City of North Vancouver, is showing tremendous leadership in environmental stewardship," Colin Sullivan, MintGreen's CEO, said.  The boilers will mine cryptocurrency 365 days a year. The city expects that the pilot program could be an example for other municipalities tackling climate change-related issues.  About 97% of the electricity in British Columbia is through hydroelectric generation. Using the energy multiple times reduces waste.   Using heat from bitcoin mining rigs is not new and has been happening worldwide on a smaller scale. From Russians heating their homes with mining rigs to miners heating greenhouses in Quebec during winters, there have been innovative solutions to repurpose this heat. Now it's being done on a large scale.  Tyler Durden Sat, 10/23/2021 - 09:55.....»»

Category: worldSource: NYTOct 23rd, 2021Related News