Jon Stewart Rips Larry Summers Over Take On Economy: "I Think You"re Misdiagnosing The Sickness"

Comedian and political commentator Jon Stewart and former U.S. read more.....»»

Category: blogSource: benzingaMar 18th, 2023

The Looming Reckoning For COVID Tyrants

The Looming Reckoning For COVID Tyrants Authored by William Sullivan via American Thinker, Many of the tyrants who promoted the COVID madness have been begging for amnesty for some time, and we should only expect that their numbers will grow as more evidence surfaces.   But we should make no mistake -- there needs to be a reckoning in the West when it comes to COVID. I used to wonder as a child how extreme fanaticism, such as Nazism, could gain footing among any educated population.  I am now convinced that the internationally coordinated propaganda campaign around COVID that we all recently witnessed for nearly three years makes the Nazis look like amateurs. Please don’t take this as a typical “this thing I don’t like is Nazism” kind of comparison, but rather, think honestly about this for a moment.  It took decades of propaganda to inflame the German people’s hatred of European Jews such that they’d become second-class citizens unworthy of the simplest of rights, such as dining in a public restaurant, and eventually unworthy of even receiving medical care.  In a matter of only two years in the supposedly free West, we had mass swathes of people (or, at least the appearance of mass swathes of people on social media) openly wishing hardship and death upon their countrymen that simply chose not to inject a new, frantically concocted, unproven drug into their bodies to offset a risk that was and is, for the vast majority of people, scarcely more dangerous than the common cold or flu.  Not only did restaurants refuse service to these people as a matter of policy in places like New York City, but these people were fired from their jobs, and hospitals in some places began openly refusing life-saving services to patients if a particular individual had the audacity to not have goosestepped to the local pharmacy for not eins, but swei doses of the new drug. As with the Nazis, it doesn’t matter whether the majority of the population actually agreed with any of that, or whether the incredible visibility of an endless sea of propaganda posters and pamphlet circulars (the modern equivalent of which is Twitter and Facebook’s algorithmic bias) was just falsely presenting to the public that this was the case.  What matters is that the government, media, and corporate powers, in both cases, all acted as one symbiotic organ with a clear purpose and message designed to demonize anyone guilty of wrongthink and punish them for a lack of fealty to the ideological imperative. The truth has only begun coming to light, and already it has all but buried the COVID narrative as it once stood, though a few remaining werewolves are still demanding that we mask up in supermarkets, and there are a few remaining policies which cling to the madness of the past, such as America’s refusing the top tennis player in the world entry into the country based upon his having not been injected with the COVID cartel’s preferred drug.  But those in charge, particularly those who knowingly misled the public to generate unfounded fear and orchestrated what was arguably the greatest and most widespread policymaking calamity in human history, must be held accountable in the biggest, boldest, and most symbolic manner imaginable to assure the world that this will never happen again in the West. What we need in order to assure that outcome is something to rival the Nuremberg Trials in scope and sensationalism.  Nuremberg was selected as the location for those trials because it was there where annual propaganda rallies were held and the sickness of Nazism began.  It was symbolic to have Nazism’s end take place at the site of its beginning.  I’m hopeful that we will one day have the similarly symbolic Milan Trials to prosecute those government officials who orchestrated the lockdowns, school closures, and general human suffering that the West endured after the Lombardy region of Italy, where the city of Milan is located, followed China’s lockdown protocol without the slightest historical precedent suggesting any efficacy of the practice, and the rest of the West simply followed suit (for reasons that the Milan Trials might hopefully reveal). Though China is likely the primary culprit in unleashing COVID upon the world, and it might be perhaps more appropriate to have these trials in Wuhan, it is difficult to imagine ways in which China's ruling Communist Party can be held to account for their obvious role in all of this, outside of an armed conflict in which we are victorious.  The Chinese clearly do not respect the international authority of the United States or other Western powers any more than they respect their own innocent and healthy citizens whom they are willing to incarcerate in their homes en masse by welding the doors to their homes shut, and they are clearly withdrawing from the international dialogue while signaling alliances with the West’s adversaries.  This withdrawal may be occurring less dramatically than Japan’s storming away from the League of Nations in 1933 when the League attempted to hold it accountable for invading Manchuria, but efforts to hold China accountable for the Wuhan virus have been similarly met with Chinese disregard. Here's what is now supported by evidence as the likeliest series of events leading into the Western lockdowns, though only a year ago these would have been the ravings of a conspiracy theorist.  The Chinese government conducted gain-of-function experimentation with bat coronaviruses in an American-funded lab in Wuhan, and this mutated virus either escaped or was purposefully released.  The communist Chinese government subsequently locked down areas affected by the outbreak while hiding the actual ravages of the virus and presented to the world the efficacy of lockdowns and the destruction of one’s own national economy in the interest of public health. That the communist Chinese would do all of this out of desperation in order to jockey for a better economic position on the world stage would have shocked no one, even in early 2020.  But, prior to 2020, we in the West imagined ourselves to be citizens of nations freer than that.  That fantasy crumbled in March of 2020, and Milan, Italy, was where it began. Milan, a city of 1.2 million people, was the European ground zero for COVID lockdowns.  On March 8, 2020, the streets were silent in Milan.  Residents “woke up [that] Sunday to the news that it had been locked down by the Italian government in a bid to contain the coronavirus outbreak.” Initially, it was just 16 million supposedly free citizens on lockdown in the Lombardy region of Italy.  By March 10, it was expanded to all 60 million Italians, becoming the “first democratic nation since World War II to announce a nationwide lockdown.”  By March 14th, Spain was nationally locked down. By the 17th, so was France.  By the 23rd of March, both the U.K. and Germany were under national lockdown.   By April 1st, the majority of European countries were under national lockdown.  And, as we all know, the United States had already begun instituting localized lockdowns (based upon national guidance) so widely that, by mid-April, 300 million Americans (more than 90%) were living under some form of lockdown. What too few know, however, is that the West had flung its citizens into liberty-strangling lockdowns far more readily than even Asia, despite the fact that there had never been any modern evidence that such interventions as lockdowns could contain a respiratory viral outbreak. For example, some very early, more reliable data emerged from South Korea.  By March 27, the Center for Strategic International Studies was heralding its response, which included much coordination of health agencies and ample availability of testing, but the term “lockdown” which was being bandied about with increasing regularity in Western media didn’t appear.  Indeed, as the West was instituting nationalized lockdowns at breakneck speed, South Korea never did more than issuing national recommendations, much like Sweden did at the time, and as did Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore.  In fact, few more than a handful of Asian nations had instituted national lockdowns by April 1, 2020.  By that same date, more than three in four European nations had indiscriminately locked down their entire nations.  This South Korea data was discussed by Dr. David Katz in the New York Times on March 20 of 2020 as an appeal to not commit to lockdowns in the United States. He recognized that reports from South Korea showed that deaths were “mainly clustered among the elderly, those with significant chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease, and those in both groups.”  Prophetically, he warned our nation of the dangers that laid ahead if we remained committed to the lockdown strategy in order to “flatten the curve” as had already, by that time, been prescribed by Dr. Anthony Fauci: A pivot right now from trying to protect all people to focusing on the most vulnerable remains entirely plausible.  With each passing day, however, it becomes more difficult.  The path we are on may well lead to uncontained viral contagion and monumental collateral damage to our society and economy. Indeed, monumental collateral damage has been inflicted upon society and the economy in these past three years, along with the effects of uncontained viral contagion. Thankfully, we’ve reached a point where the former is discussed more commonly than the latter. Lockdowns have been a disaster on a global scale, but there has never been any convincing evidence to substantiate their efficacy in the first place.  The sober, rational people who were saying that at the time were heavily censored by early April 2020, if not erased totally in the interest of promoting preferred digital propaganda of the government, media, and corporate interests.  Why did Western nations commit to this unproven non-pharmaceutical intervention which stole irreplaceable time and experience from our children, destroyed countless small businesses while propping up corporate empires, commanded unprecedented powers for the government while stirring social unrest, and reshaped the balance of power between the citizen and the political class?  Why did they silence people who were speaking the truth?  Did they mean well and just get it wrong, or was there something more nefarious involved? We need answers.  And we demand justice, which can only come from identifying and adequately punishing those involved.  That is the only way to ensure that nothing like the COVID madness we witnessed in 2020-2022 is ever inflicted upon the world again. Tyler Durden Wed, 03/15/2023 - 16:20.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeMar 15th, 2023

SVB: What the worst bank failure since 2008 means for markets, the financial sector and interest rates

Silicon Valley Bank's sudden death has implications for the stock market, the US banking system and the Fed's next move. Here's what could happen. Silicon Valley Bank(Photo by Nikolas Liepins/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images) All eyes are on the US financial sector as shockwaves from Silicon Valley Bank's implosion rips though the banking system.  The California bank's collapse has raised questions about a 2008-style financial crisis and what the Fed's next move would be.  Here's what SVB's sudden demise means for markets, the US banking sector and interest rates.  The stunning collapse of Silicon Valley Bank has sent shockwaves across the whole US financial system.The go-to lender for startups was shut down Friday by regulators and put under the control of the Financial Deposit Insurance Corporation, marking the biggest bank failure since 2008. That capped a turbulent week that saw a botched fundraising attempt by Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and a $1.8 billion loss on its bond holdings, which ultimately triggered an old-fashioned bank run.SVB's meltdown was quickly followed by the implosion of New York-based Signature Bank and a crash in the share prices of regional US lenders including First Republic and Western Alliance. Stock market volatility surged while bond yields plunged on expectations the Federal Reserve will halt its interest-rate increases in view of the risk to financial stability.As ripple effects from SVB's collapse spread across the world of finance, investors are frantically searching for answers to what it all means for the key pillars of the economy - from the stock market to the banking sector and the Federal Reserve's interest-rate policy.Here's everything we know about these critical  questions as of now.How will SVB's collapse affect the banking sector?Silicon Valley Bank's collapse exposed a serious risk many banks face in their business portfolios  – the dependence on uninsured deposits.Thanks to the tech boom over recent years, SVB's deposits ballooned. A bank might normally use such funds for lending, but SVB decided to park the cash in long-dated bonds. That proved a bad bet as a surge in interest rates over the past year saw the debt holdings plunge in value, leaving a gaping hole in the lender's balance sheet.Analysts are worried SVB isn't the only bank that's sitting on billions of dollars of bond losses. William Isaac, the former chairman of the FDIC, has warned of the risk of a string of lender collapses in what could lead to a 1980s-style banking crisis.Such fears have fueled a tumble in the share prices of regional US banks including First Republic, Western Alliance and PacWest Bancorp.However, former Treasury chief Larry Summers took a less pessimistic view, saying SVB's collapse was "unlikely to be a broadly systemic problem." Meanwhile, the CEO of Capra Bank has said SVB's failure could actually boost Americans' confidence in the financial system. Does this raise the risk of another financial crisis?SVB's downfall is a big deal, no doubt. The size of its failure has only been exceeded once in American history – by Washington Mutual when it collapsed in 2008. But as bad as it is, it's unlikely to trigger a repeat of the 2008 global financial crisis that set the stage for the Great Recession, according to analysts. That's because the current financial landscape has evolved a lot since then. Today, the US has more stringent banking regulations meant to protect the industry should it face more turmoil. This includes increased capital requirements, which ensure banks have sufficient reserve levels in times of crisis. While those regulations didn't cover SVB – in part due to a law passed by the Trump administration – they still apply to the 12 largest US banks."SVB isn't Lehman, and 2023 isn't 2008. We probably aren't looking at a systemic financial crisis. And while the government has stepped in to stabilize the situation, taxpayers probably won't be on the hook for large sums of money," Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman wrote in a New York Times column.Mike Coop, chief investment officer for EMEA at Morningstar Investment Management, also suggested that the demise of SVB is unlikely to trigger anything like the financial crisis the world faced 15 years ago.But of course, not everyone agrees. Economist Nouriel Roubini, who earned his nickname, "Dr. Doom" for predicting the 2008 financial crisis, has said SVB's collapse poses the risk of "global contagion," per Newsweek. What does it mean for the stock market?The SVB turmoil spooked the stock market over the past week, with financial shares leading a broader selloff. Wall Street's so-called "fear gauge" - Chicago Board Options Exchange's Volatility Index or VIX - hit a four-month high Monday as a wave of uncertainty engulfed financial markets.However, the market has regained much of its poise since then, as the view that the lender's collapse is unlikely to spiral into a systemic crunch gains credence. The VIX has fallen back and the S&P 500 of US stocks has bounced off Monday's lows.It's still early to say whether the crisis has blown over, but there are those who think this could turn into a positive for the stock market.Threats to financial stability raised by SVB's demise could force the Fed to halt its most aggressive monetary-tightening campaign since the 1980s, or even reverse course, according to some experts.Given that the central bank's interest-rate increases were a key reason for declines in risk assets over the past year, the Fed pivoting away from that policy could be a good thing for stocks. Lower rates tend to cut funding costs for companies, boosting their finances and in turn, their stock-market valuations.Fundstrat's head of research Tom Lee said that while SVB's failure could hit stocks in the near term, US equities could experience double-digit gains this year.How will the SVB fiasco affect the economy?While a 2008-style crisis may be off the table, SVB's downfall could still have implications for the US economy. It could hurt the confidence of investors and depositors. And that could weigh on stocks and subsequently economic performance, given capital-market buoyancy is key to economic growth.Also, increased risk aversion among banks may slow lending, which could also hamper economic activity, analysts have said, per MarketWatch. Still, the mood among experts on US economic prospects remains generally optimistic even after SVB's failure."I will not be surprised to see a few more victims before the dust settles, but there is no particular reason that this turmoil necessarily has to result in a sharp economic hit," chief economist Stephen Stanley of Santander Capital Markets told the outlet. What impact will it have on interest rates?When Jerome Powell warned earlier this month the Fed was prepared to deliver bigger interest-rate increases, policymakers were likely unaware of how vulnerable some US banks were.As of last week, investors were pricing in a 50-basis-point rate hike at the Fed's March 21-22 meeting, but those expectations are fading away in the wake of the SVB debacle. Wall Street banks including Goldman Sachs have already predicted a pause in rate hikes following the developments concerning SVB. "In light of recent stress in the banking system, we no longer expect the FOMC to deliver a rate hike at its March 22 meeting with considerable uncertainty about the path beyond March," Goldman's chief global economist Jan Hatzius said in a note to clients.Market experts including Mohamed El-Erian and Larry McDonald have echoed the view. While El-Erian said the Fed will be forced to surrender its monetary-tightening campaign, McDonald said the central bank could even cut rates by 100 basis points.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMar 14th, 2023

The Four Phases Of Hyperinflation, According To The IMF

The Four Phases Of Hyperinflation, According To The IMF Authored by Mark Jeftovic via, Inflation is much more than a monetary phenomenon; it rips at the very core of social cohesion. Secular high inflation is one of the worst possible experiences a population can face. We are now heading for what looks like global high inflation across all currencies, with multiple episodes of hyperinflation. It will be unprecedented. The Four Phases of Hyperinflation Hyperinflations are generally defined as periods in which the monthly inflation rate exceeds 50%. In this 2018 paper, the IMF breaks hyperinflationary episodes out into four phases which comprise two stages: Phase One: is “the rise”. The IMF also calls this “the extraordinary acceleration phase” which is the lead-up to the hyperinflation. IMF actually terms it “the path toward hyperinflation”, but given that they define that as an annual inflation rate of greater than 50% but under 500%, an uncredentialed, non-economist observer might describe that as already being hyperinflation. “The average duration of the first phase is 8-9 years with an annual average inflation of 125 percent” Phase Two: is the actual hyperinflation proper. Wheelbarrows of money, burning banknotes in the oven (or more tragically, sticking your head in there). In one well storied example from Weimar Germany, an emigre fighting to retrieve his savings from a German bank was finally paid out – via a cheque mailed to him in America. The stamp on the envelope cost more than the value on the cheque made out to him. Over the eighteen 20th century hyperinflations covered in the IMF paper, the average inflation rate here, according to the IMF study was 2,912% and the median duration was four years – this “explosive” phase is usually over in about two years. Venezuela, isn’t in the graph because their hyperinflation took place in the 2000’s. It is noted therein, that the inflation rate there hit 488,865%. As we’ve covered in the premium letter, Venezuela has undergone three currency devaluations over the 14 years, knocking about half a dozen zeros off their banknotes each time (via the July 2021 issue of TCC): Venezuela is launching their Digital Bolivar CBDC in tandem with a currency redenomination that took effect Oct 1st. They knocked six zeros off of their banknotes in an effort to get in front of the hyperinflation which has ravaged the economy for years. This is the third currency redenomination for Venezuela in 13 years. In 2018 they knocked five zeros off the currency and in 2008 they took away three zeroes. Maybe this is another indicator of hyperinflation? When the time between redenominations shrinks while the number of zeroes removed increases…. (The prior two devaluations also coincided with the launching of a Central Bank Digital Currency). Phases Three and Four are the second stage of a hyper inflationary event: “disinflation” – where the annual inflation rate plummets to somewhere between 50% and 500% and lasts another six years on average – and finally the “stabilization” phase, where inflation remains under 50% per year for at least three years. The case for a “Phase Zero” of Hyperinflation: I would argue that there is a Phase Zero: where the future inflationary path becomes baked in by unsustainable debt. While policy makers are still able to talk with a straight face as if there is an alternative, the path to inflation is assured.  We’ve been in Phase Zero for over 50 years, since the Nixon shock of 1971. We are at the edges of the Phase Zero to One transition now. Back in the 1940s during WWII, public debt to GDP quickly jumped from 40% to over 100%. But, this actually understates the scale of what happened. Debt went from $43 billion to $258 billion, which was a 500% increase in five years. — Lyn Alden (@LynAldenContact) February 25, 2023 Phase zero could probably be defined as the moment a currency becomes fiat. We notice from Lyn Alden’s chart, of US debt-to-GDP above, that after the World War II spending binge, the ratio actually declined. Over the Leave-It-To-Beaver and Hippies era, it came down to below the level it was before the war. Then came the Nixon Shock in the early 70’s, when the last vestiges of gold convertibility were suspended (“temporarily”). Since then, the global monetary system has been irrevocably committed to an inflationary path.  In this James Lavish Twitter thread, various participants look at how the interest due on America’s debt has entered the territory where it is cannibalizing the budget expenditures. When you have to borrow more, at higher interest rates, this is what happens. It’s really simple. And scary. — James Lavish (@jameslavish) February 20, 2023 Seen in this light, it’s no surprise that central banks around the world are already backing off the interest rate hikes (Canada has already said they’re on hold, and the only thing the US is meaningfully tapering is the size of the rate hikes). [ Insert: In previous editions of the letter it was always reiterated that the Fed will continue hiking “until something breaks” in the credit markets / banking system. Given the startling and rapid collapse of the Silicon Valley Bank over the past couple days, we may be getting there ] If the Fed slows down hikes, they have to normalize higher inflation. The folks over at Zerohedge once predicted that when it becomes clear that the Fed can’t control money supply, they would start dropping “leaks” that the hallowed “target inflation rate” would be raised.  Right now that’s 2%, pretty well across all civilized nations. That’s the golden rate at which governments can embezzle wealth from the economy and the peasants will let them get away with it. But to get inflation down to that level, according to this Obama-era advisor, that would mean in excess of 6% unemployment for two years. The Fed wants “demand destruction” (which means people lose their jobs or their business) – but not too much demand destruction.  Apparently 6% for 2 years is too much, so the level of embezzlement will have to be raised. It’s not like we’re talking hyper-inflationary numbers, yet – right?  But raising a target inflation rate from 2% to 3% is a 50% hike in the rate of theft.  Fear not, the corporate press is always there with a solution. In this case it’s the Wall Street Journal suggesting you could skip breakfast “Several breakfast staples saw sharp price increases due to a perfect storm of bad weather and disease outbreaks—and continued effects from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.” This reminds me of the infamous Bloomberg piece on how to make ends meet on a measly $300,000 / year… advice included that you get rid of your car, switch from eating meat to lentils… and euthanizing your dog. This all jives with our core premise that the ESG movement is so widely endorsed by “woke” capitalists because it provides cover for the reality that we are in an unsustainable debt bubble and monetary expansion – and that the rabble has to ratchet down their living standards to cope.  We can look at weaker economies to see what the future looks like: Lebanon just did a currency devaluation – reducing the official exchange rate by 90%, overnight. This came after a spat of bank robberies, where citizens were sticking up banks to get their own money out. Now they’re burning them down. In Lebanon people are burning down financial institutions and politicians' homes to reclaim their own money which has been frozen by the banks. Keep in mind with CBDC the financial establishment has the ability to freeze your money with a push on a button..... — Richard (@ricwe123) February 19, 2023 On January 31st, Lebanese citizens went to bed thinking the official exchange rate on the Lebanese pound was around 1500 to 1 USD, (whether or not they could actually get at their money, that was the rate).  When they awoke the next morning, the official exchange rate had been set to 15,000 Lebanese pounds to 1 USD. The black market rate was even worse, coming in around 64,000.  In Bitcoin terms, the collapse was even more pronounced: The fiat system is collapsing, weaker currencies first – but anything not backed by something tangible is headed for the dumpster of history.  In prior high inflation or hyperinflationary events, people could always seek refuge in other currencies or adopt some kind of “notgeld” (emergency money). But in this chapter, it’s every currency, across all political affiliations, and jeopardizing every incumbent power structure. (Which is why it seems like the world is sleepwalking into another world war, if we’re not already in the early innings of one.) It may seem like being on alert for hyperinflation here in the West is bonkers, but we’re already seeing massive fissures in the financial system opening up from normalizing interest rates to %4.57, well below even the official rate of inflation – and that hallowed “Fed Taper” still hasn’t even gotten going yet… It probably never will. Banking crises are here (we’ve had two in under a week, if you count the Elizabeth Warren-led rat-fucking of Silvergate), and former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers went on Bloomberg to say this “won’t be a source of systemic risk”. It remains to be seen if that utterance gets filed next to “sub-prime is contained”.  If we squeak through this crisis, we buy some time but only forestall the inevitable destruction the global financial system, which explains the incessant drive toward CBDCs, but that could all be too late, given the rate of collapse. This morning I woke up to see USDC had de-pegged to as low as 0.82, and while it looks like it will probably re-peg in due course (I sent a note about that to my premium list earlier today), it reinforces my core tenet that volatility aside, the only thing I really trust to be around for the foreseeable future, (and that I can move in an instant during a financial collapse) …is Bitcoin. *  *  * Jump on the Bombthrower mailing list to get these posts as they come out. Today’s article was largely an excerpt from The Bitcoin Capitalist month end letter. Sign up today for our trial offer. Follow me on Nostr, Twitter, or Gettr. Tyler Durden Sun, 03/12/2023 - 13:00.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytMar 12th, 2023

"We"re Trapped In A Regime Of Grind-Up/Gap Down Where The Index Doesn"t Sustain A Directional Trend"

"We're Trapped In A Regime Of Grind-Up/Gap Down Where The Index Doesn't Sustain A Directional Trend" By Tony Pasquariello, head of Goldman Hedge Fund coverage Don’t bury the lead: the US economy is proving to be a lot more durable than many market participants expected just a couple of months ago. If there was a cohesive takeaway from this week’s data set -- notably retail sales, homebuilder sentiment and jobless claims -- it’s consistent with that headline: as we pass the point of peak FCI drag, the flow of news has generally been breaking to the stronger side (with a pronounced skew towards the hard data).   With that, however, comes an element of complexity: the inflation data this week was a bit tricky; so too was the sequence of Fed commentary. In turn, day-by-day and brick-by-brick, the terminal rate is pushing higher ... in a manner that generally wasn’t intimidating for the stock market ... until it was (specific to the high velocity / long duration parts of the market, which lost their immunity to higher rates as the week wore on).   With that level set, here’s how I’d unpack things: CPI was non-traumatic and broadly consistent with the disinflation narrative -- though not without some underlying tensions -- and PPI certainly delivered an unexpected pinch. Retail sales were strikingly strong, full stop. Jobless claims continue to print sub-200k, illustrative of what you know: the American labor market is rock solid. Fedspeak clearly tilted towards the need to do more, as both Mester and Bullard made the market re-think the near-term distributions of policy (while they are both hawks and non-voters, as we saw on Thursday, the market didn’t discriminate).   To this point in the email, the moral of the story is clear: the US economy is impressively strong and the Fed has more wood to chop. Given all of this, the most significant move across the macro landscape took place in the most important asset of them all -- US interest rates -- which featured a notable break higher in yields (see chart 12 below) as implied cuts quickly bleed out of the strip (witness SFRZ3 is over 75 bps higher in yield vs just one month ago). Within that environment, our franchise equity flows remain robust, if very uneven; here’s the sequence: two weeks ago, GS Prime Brokerage reported the largest short covering in eight years ... last week saw the biggest selling by hedge funds in seven weeks, as those index shorts were reset ... and this week was a tale of two cities, as meaningful demand early in the week (very notably in tech) then gave way to aggressive selling. Furthermore, the shine may be coming off some of those non-dollar trades ... while Europe continues to generally impress (more on this below), note that EM and Asian markets had a tough week (after a scorching start, that makes three in a row for China). In the end, neither the bulls nor the bear really won the week (S&P -28 bps), but there are many folks who want to believe there’s not much gas left in the tank ... on the logic that the YTD rally has been driven by low quality, if fleeting leadership (that’s a polite way to put it) and non-fundamental buyers who won’t stay in the fight (e.g. the CTA community is now running max long). Where do I come out? Fundamentally, while the US economy is admirably durable, I worry that expansion of the P/E multiple amidst ongoing earnings downgrades feels untenable (related: see chart 9 below for a level set on margin expansion, or the lack thereof) ... particularly if we’re settling in for a higher-for-longer tightening cycle where several more 25’s come down.    Tactically, while I believe that the general thrust of money flow is still supportive (stock buybacks, specifically, should offer ongoing ballast to the market), given the rapid shift in fast money positioning and sentiment, I don’t necessarily love the short-term technicals (this is good: link). So, in terms of price action from here, I think this week only added weight to the view that we’re still entrapped in a regime of grind-up / gap-down where the index doesn’t sustain a large directional trend. Here’s what I find interesting about all this: while so much has fundamentally changed versus six months ago, the tactics of navigating S&P really haven’t ... sell rips and buy dips (for a clever way to prosecute this view, GBM colleague Matt Fleury has a Dec ’23 expiry double no touch idea that passes the common sense test).   What follows from here are some additional thoughts on a few of the big variables in the game, and a set of charts that may provoke a certain reaction: 1. Inflation and the Fed: for those keeping score at home, that’s seven consecutive months of a lower headline on CPI.  We went into this print knowing, to some extent, the market had already made up its mind on inflation -- just have a look at those forward breakevens -- and there wasn’t enough to reverse that narrative.  Now, while I’m not smart enough to pick a fight with the TIPS market, I also wouldn’t spin CPI as overly tame (I’m looking at you, shelter) ... Again, PPI was an unexpected pinch ... and, I’d humbly posit that the Fed is still missing their mark by over 2x. Finally, if they want to achieve their objectives, we need to see payrolls below 100k, not above 500k.   2. The formal house view: in light of the stronger growth and firmer inflation news, we are adding a 25 bps rate hike in June to our Fed forecast ... for a peak funds rate of 5.25-5.50%.  3. NDX: it’s been noted that that January saw the best start to a year for NDX since ... 2001.  Apropos of nothing -- this is simply some market trivia for the aficionados, it’s not my expectation of where we're headed, but those were my formative years, so I can’t resist -- note the following monthly returns back in that era: Oct ’00 -8% ... Nov ’00 -24% ... Dec ’00 -7% ... Jan +11% ... Feb -26% ... Mar -18% ... Apr +18%.  For a bit more on this ever-interesting index, see chart 10 below. 4. Japan: Speaking of markets I have a soft spot for, say what of Ueda?  To my eye, he appears more balanced and less ideological than what came before.  For the official take from someone who would know: “we envisage a possibility that Prof Ueda may initially focus on a gradual retreat from YCC, paying due attention not to cause a large shock to the economy, before resetting to a more traditional policy framework based around controlling the short-term policy rate ... our baseline scenario remains that the BOJ's next step is to shorten the target duration of YCC to 5 years from the current 10 years in Q2” (link).   5. Europe: the equity market is off to its best start to a year since 1975 ... SX5E has avoided back-to-back down days so far in 2023 ... and the CAC index made an all-time high on Thursday.  I confess I don’t really know what to do with all of this -- put me in the camp of don’t-chase-it, but don’t-fight-it.  6. The podcast: this week features Allison Nathan from GIR.  Topics include where the market could be wrong, $100 crude oil, the US debt cap and desert island. 7. The hedge fund industry, bullish: an updated, benchmark piece on the state of affairs in hedge fund land: link.  I know I’m partisan, but if there’s one thing I’d flag here, it’s the improving prospects for HF returns in a higher rate environment: our historical analysis shows that when risk-free rates are < 4%, HFs have annualized at 7.4%; when risk-free rates are > 4%, returns rise to 16.5%. 8. In a way, the post-COVID normalization of the US economy feels like a well-worn story at this point.  when I look at this chart, however, it’s hard for me to think we’re beyond all of the oddities and contaminants and dichotomies.  this is the gap between the hard and soft measures of the US economy (link): 9. Profit margins have peaked ... I repeat, margins have peaked ... and they are expected to revert back to pre-pandemic levels (link): 10. NDX is trading on a 24 forward P/E (on ’23 EPS), which is bang in line with the average level of the past seven years.   that doesn’t necessarily inspire me ... nor does the recent dislocation from US real rates (blue line, inverted for fit): 11. Jumping off that last point, US 10-year note yields have broken above the down channel off the October highs: 12. U-6, the broadest measure of US unemployment, over the past 25 years.  this provokes a few responses: (1) don’t lose sight of the big picture, we haven’t seen a labor market tighter than this in a very long time; (2) note how long it took to recover the pre-GFC lows; (3) there’s a lot to like about re-shoring, while also wondering where the labor capacity will come from: 13. Finally, the AI theme has been a central one over recent weeks ... I give credit to GBM colleague Lou Miller for some exceptional work on this story (link) ... here’s how the global AI horse race is setting up ... China (blue) and Korea (red) are a step ahead of the US (green) and the global basket (orange): More in the full note available to pro subs. Tyler Durden Sat, 02/18/2023 - 19:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeFeb 18th, 2023

Speculation In Growth Stocks – Happy Days Are Here Again

Dear fellow investors,  A 1930 movie made in the mania toward the end of the Roaring Twenties called Happy Days are Here Again started with this opening stanza: So long sad times Go long bad times We are rid of you at last Howdy gay times Cloudy gray times You are now a thing of […] Dear fellow investors,  A 1930 movie made in the mania toward the end of the Roaring Twenties called Happy Days are Here Again started with this opening stanza: So long sad times Go long bad times We are rid of you at last Howdy gay times Cloudy gray times You are now a thing of the past if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Henry Singleton Series in PDF Get the entire 4-part series on Henry Singleton in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q4 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more   Anyone who has raised children knows that when sins are punished by parents, the last thing those parents want to see is the bad behaviors repeated in the aftermath. This is exactly what the stock market has done so far in the year 2023. The same patterns we saw in the mania which peaked in late 2021 are showing themselves again. Speculation in the most expensive and aggressive highly-priced growth stocks. In an article titled “FOMO Options Bets Sweep During Stock Rally,” writers Eric Wallerstein and Gunjan Banerji point out that option traders are “riding this year’s rally en masse, favoring bets on technology stocks to capture quick gains.” They are buying options in the stocks which fell the most last year and literally ripped the guts out of growth managers. Here are the statistics of the unruly behavior of the children which haven’t been punished enough to learn the lessons in a bear market. “More than 40 million call-option contracts changed hands in a single day in early February—the highest level on record and nearly topping 2022’s daily average volume for puts and calls combined. That propelled overall activity above 68 million contracts, also a record.” Happy days are here again The skies above are clear again So let’s sing a song of cheer again Happy days are here again The most aggressive stocks, which got their clocks cleaned last year, seem to have “skies above (that) are clear again” in the first 45 days of this year. Here is the list of the five best performing stocks in the Nasdaq 100 ETF QQQ: Four are former glam tech stars of the last five years, so “let’s sing a song of cheer.” Happy days are here again Your cares and troubles are gone There’ll be no more from now on The most aggressive equity managers seem to have the same amount of courage in public that they had during the woogie period from 2015-2021. It appears that the unruly children have not been spanked enough and from a historical basis, this is indicative of a bear market rally. There were seven rallies of over 10% in the 2000-2003 bear market which crucified tech investors and caused tech to be dead money for ten years. Household equity ownership is nowhere near levels that would indicate a floor for stock prices.   While the Federal Reserve Board tightens credit to mitigate inflation, the Federal Government continues to practice massive fiscal stimulus in the ironically named “Inflation Reduction Act.” Can the Federal Reserve Board overcome the massive demand caused by the millennial age households emerging as home buyers, car buyers, child bearers and necessity spenders? Can tight credit overcome the largest deficit spending under two administrations done to get us through the pandemic? Will we have the sickness of persistent inflation the next decade as a byproduct of the pandemic cure? Happy days are here again The skies above are clear again So let’s sing a song of cheer again Happy times, happy nights Happy days are here again Stock market history argues that the next bull market in stocks will emerge when all the sinful behaviors of the last financial euphoria have been cleansed from the system. It will be marked by stock market failure and there will be no urge to recreate the woogie-like euphoria of the prior period. We believe success in common stock investments will come from companies which benefit from persistent inflation and a relatively strong economy led by 92 million Americans aged 25-45 years old. Is it different this time? Warm regards, William Smead The information contained in this missive represents Smead Capital Management’s opinions, and should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice and are subject to change. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Bill Smead, CIO, wrote this article. It should not be assumed that investing in any securities mentioned above will or will not be profitable. Portfolio composition is subject to change at any time and references to specific securities, industries and sectors in this letter are not recommendations to purchase or sell any particular security. Current and future portfolio holdings are subject to risk. In preparing this document, SCM has relied upon and assumed, without independent verification, the accuracy and completeness of all information available from public sources. A list of all recommendations made by Smead Capital Management within the past twelve-month period is available upon request. ©2023 Smead Capital Management, Inc. All rights reserved. This Missive and others are available at Article by Smead Capital Management.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkFeb 14th, 2023

Netanyahu rips Israel"s Supreme Court as "most activist court on the planet," doubles down on judicial reforms

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to protests against his proposed judicial reforms, which he believes will boost the Israeli economy and strengthen democracy......»»

Category: topSource: foxnewsFeb 1st, 2023

GOP Senator rips Biden over his "blame game" on energy: Taking credit "where no credit is due"

Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., joins 'Varney & Co.' to discuss Biden's energy policies and how they are 'hurting' the country's economy......»»

Category: topSource: foxnewsFeb 1st, 2023

The Fed"s Game Of Chicken With The Stock Market

The Fed's Game Of Chicken With The Stock Market Via Global Macro Monitor, The following chart suggests the stock market still has an outsized influence on the economy.  In theory, the market capitalization to GDP ratio should be a mean reverting time series.   We don’t know for certain, but we suspect there is still way too much liquidity/money, however loosely defined, in the system.  Markets don’t rip as they did in January with tight money.    If the Fed downshifts too much, the stock market rips, and financial conditions will ease bigly.  Consequently, inflation will turn up from a much higher base.    Godspeed, Jay Powell! Tyler Durden Wed, 02/01/2023 - 10:45.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeFeb 1st, 2023

Sunday links: market reversals

StrategySix things that don't change in financial markets including the attraction of 'shiny objects.' ( its both the best (and worst) time for individual investors. ( a lot went right for Big Tech in 2022. ( about everything went right for the NFL in 2022. ( has done serious damage to Elon Musk's aura of invincibility. ( managementBlackrock ($BLK) is taking heat from both sides of the political spectrum when it comes to its ESG stance. ( plans are a lifeline for mutual funds. ( standout ETFs from 2022 not from the big three including the Schwab US Dividend Equity ETF ($SCHD). ( financeBig, expensive pickup trucks are a drag on American finances. ( sellers are getting a temporary reprieve from the IRS. ( items in the SECURE Act 2.0 including delayed RMDs. ( case against Flexible Savings Accounts. ( Covid rips through China, Apple's ($AAPL) supply chain is at-risk. ('s experience with Omicron will tell us a lot about its lethality. ( a number on the Ukrainian children removed to Russia. ( Ukrainians in Kherson surreptitiously worked to oppose Russia's rule. ( Ukraine's civilians are dealing with electricity outages. ( or not, Russia's infrastructure is falling apart. ( amended Electoral Count Act looks to prevent another January 6th. ( the Child Tax Credit, despite widespread support, didn't get renewed. ( didn’t the IRS do more to vet Trump’s finances? ( shows minorities are more likely to be stopped for speeding. ( gun insurance mandates help reduce gun deaths? ( kind of landing is the U.S. economy going to have? ( amplitude of this Fed tightening cycle is notable. ( kept spending through the holiday season. ( look at the global economy at year-end. ( (limited) economic schedule for the coming week. ( on Abnormal ReturnsTop clicks this week on the site. ( you missed in our Saturday linkfest. ( market shocks affect our perceptions of risk. ( you a financial adviser looking for some out-of-the-box thinking? Then check out our weekly e-mail newsletter. ( newsNine things that went right in 2022 including the successful Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART). ( USPS had a better year in 2022. ( activity in the U.S. continues to decline. ( signs that gun violence is ebbing in the U.S. (»»

Category: blogSource: abnormalreturnsDec 25th, 2022

Biden mocks Trump"s "major announcement" on NFT "trading cards" by touting his administration"s recent wins

"I had some MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENTS the last couple of weeks, too," Biden tweeted, using his predecessor's all-caps style. President Joe Biden, left, and former President Donald Trump, right, in a composite image.Getty Images Former president Donald Trump used Truth Social to tease what he called a "MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT." It turns out he's selling NFT "trading cards" featuring himself for $99 each. President Joe Biden mocked Trump by tweeting he has had some "MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENTS," too. President Joe Biden mocked what his predecessor billed as a "MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT!" on Thursday with one of his own, releasing a checklist of his administration's recent accomplishments. Shortly after Donald Trump announced that he's selling NFT "trading cards" for $99 each, Biden tweeted, "I had some MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENTS the last couple of weeks, too…"He listed the easing of inflation, signing the Respect for Marriage Act, bringing home WNBA star Brittney Griner from Russian custody, lower gas prices and "10,000 new high-paying jobs in Arizona."—Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) December 15, 2022 It's not the first time Biden has made fun of Trump on Twitter.On the day Trump announced his 2024 presidential bid, Biden tweeted a video of Trump talking about infrastructure reform — and of Biden signing infrastructure legislation. "The difference between talking and delivering," Biden tweeted.Writing "Donald Trump failed America," Biden also released another video that day criticizing Trump on jobs, health care, the economy, and for "coddling extremists."Trump's big announcement came a day after he teased it on Truth Social, leaving people to speculate about whether he would announce a 2024 running mate.Instead, the former president released a cartoon image of himself dressed as a superhero and announced on Truth Social that his "limited edition" digital trading card NFTs "feature amazing ART of my Life & Career!" He directed customers to a new website to purchase the cards and explained that they're "very much like a baseball card, but hopefully much more exciting." He introduces himself in a video on the website as "hopefully your favorite president of all time, better than Lincoln, better than Washington." The "artwork" displayed in the video portrays his likeness on Mount Rushmore, holding a torch near the Statue of Liberty, riding an elephant or shooting laser beams from his eyes as he rips open his shirt to reveal a superhero body.Each card comes with a chance to win prizes, such as dinner with Trump or golf at one of his "beautiful" courses. "This makes a great Christmas gift," he says.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytDec 15th, 2022

California invested an enormous amount of money into getting EVs on the road, but practically nothing when it comes to dealing with the waste: "It"s totally like the Wild West."

California has been a leader in EV adoption, but does not have a battery recycling plant, nor tried-and-true recycling programs to deal with the fallout. An electric car charging station.Stock Photo/Getty Images California has been a leader in electric vehicle adoption.  But the state doesn't have a system to figure out what to do with the hundreds of thousands of battery packs that will be retiring.  A startup company focused on repurposing and battery diagnostics is buying the state much-needed time. California's push for electric vehicles is leading to an impending environmental issue: a pileup of toxic batteries. California has been a leader in EV adoption since 2012, when Gov. Jerry Brown issued an executive order calling for 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles on California roads by 2025. Now, some of the batteries from those early vehicles are heading to the scrapheap, and the state has nowhere to put them.EVs do not release carbon dioxide when they run, but the dismantling of the lithium-ion batteries results in environmental impacts. An EV battery weighs thousands of pounds and is sensitive — cutting into the wrong place or too deep into a battery cell can result in the battery combusting and releasing toxic fumes.The difficulty in disposing of the EV batteries represents a clash between the state's lofty ambitions to have a carbon-free economy and the bind California has put itself in by enacting some of the toughest regulations against toxic waste. Breaking down and disposing of the batteries is a highly toxic process and under current laws it's difficult to create an in-state disposal operation. If left unattended, the batteries are susceptible to fire. "It's not a problem yet," Daniel Sperling, automotive member of the California Air Resources Board, told Insider. "But we need to invest in facilities now."  "It's totally like the Wild West," said Zora Chung, co-founder of ReJoule, Inc., a startup project based in Signal Hill that is exploring repurposing used batteries from EVs. In a few years, the state will need to have a system to figure out what to do with the hundreds of thousands of battery packs that will be retiring. However, there are no EV battery recycling plants that exist in California, nor tried-and-true recycling programs in place to deal with the fallout. "I don't know actually what happens at this point," Chung told Insider. "I just know that the few that do get collected, they either are stored to figure out if they can be repurposed or if they go straight to recycling." Getting batteries on the road, but no way to get them off itEnd-of-life batteries are stockpiled for resale, or get shipped out of state or out of the country, where the actual recycling happens. "It's incredibly hard to get permits done here," Chung said. "You need a huge amount of land. They also generate toxic waste. So it's just not easy to do."  In January, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a $10 billion proposal to go oil-free and end the sale of new gas cars by 2035. In 2021, EV sales in California set a new record of 176,357 vehicles, an increase of 74% from the previous year. Their share of total registrations jumped to 9.5% from 6.2% in the prior year.In the fourth quarter of 2021, California became the first state where cumulative sales of plug-in electric vehicles exceeded 1 million. As of October 2022, they accounted for nearly 18% of the state's new car sales, compared to 6% of the country's. California also has more than 1.13 million zero-emission vehicles registered across the state.Currently, California accounts for more than 40% of the nation's EVs. Tesla, Ford, GM Motors, Rivian and Lucid Motors are among the top electric car manufacturers in the country. Electric vehicle assembly at Lucid Motors plant in Casa Grande, Arizona.Caitlin O'Hara/ReutersBut in its rush to go electric, the state never allocated sufficient funding to determine what happens once those batteries expire. The state is only just starting to scramble for solutions.In 2019, the California Energy Commission created the Lithium-ion Car Battery Recycling Advisory Group in response to Assembly Bill 2832, which required the advisory group to submit policy recommendations to the legislature aimed at ensuring that as close to 100% as possible of lithium-ion batteries in the state are reused or recycled at end-of-life in a safe and cost-effective manner. But unlike the European Union that is developing a battery passport system to track batteries from cradle to grave, or in Asia, where the OEM has the ownership of batteries, the US doesn't have a system to track batteries. "That's why recycling rates are kind of unknown," Jessica Dunn, a senior analyst at the Union of Concerned Scientists and a co-author of the advisory group's policy recommendations, told Insider. "We think they're high, but that's unknown. And for us to really have access to this information, there needs to be some kind of tracking of not only batteries that are retiring, but those that are being repurposed." A lack of policyMeg Slattery, a Ph.D. student at UC Davis and a co-author of the policy recommendations, said the information they rely on is more anecdotal, which may serve to misinform experts as well as the public. "On the one hand, we think the recycling rates are high, but I'm kind of relying on car companies saying that," Slattery told Insider. "And then on the other hand, I think without that information, people throw around the statistic that only 5% of car batteries are recycled, but that's referring to a statistic about consumer electronics. So I think there's also information going the other way that's leading people to be more alarmed about batteries not getting recycled than I think corresponds to the situation." And while both she and Dunn agree that the heightened interest and recent funding going into the battery recycling and reuse front on the federal level is a step in the right direction, policies that establish a streamlined recycling process, as well as clear ownership and collection responsibilities, need to happen in tandem. "Funding research and development and demonstration, but also tackling it with an extended producer responsibility among other regulations, that's not something we've really seen at all from the federal government," Dunn said.They feel overall optimistic about the situation, Slattery said, but quite a lot is happening in the absence of policy."If there's no requirement, you're sort of relying on the batteries being profitable to recycle in order for it to happen," she said. "For example, damaged batteries are much more expensive to ship. And so that could throw off the economics, whereas if there were clear requirements, it removes that uncertainty."A ticking timebombThe policy recommendations from the Lithium-ion Car Battery Recycling Advisory Group — submitted to the legislature in March — will require new legislation and/or regulatory changes, said Lance Klug, a spokesman for CalRecycle.Once legislation is in place, regulations would be required to implement the statute.The Energy Commission is looking at the reuse of batteries as a potential solution to combat the pressing issue. The policy recommendation report states the lifespan of repurposed batteries can be extended by 10 years or longer. Nick Lapis, a spokesman for Californians Against Waste, an environmental advocacy organization that advocates for stronger environmental laws and more recycling at the state and local level, said the organization is in support of the end-of-life batteries being used for various things like grid scale and home energy storage."We definitely want to reuse them as much as possible," he said. "But at some point, they are going to reach the end of their lives and the recycling needs to happen."A problem with that, however, is that an environmental bill takes years to pass, Lapis told Insider. Then should the state loosen its restrictions on toxic waste plant permits? It's complicated, he said."We don't want to sacrifice the public health and safety of communities just to recycle something," he said. "And so it's not like we want to make it easier."On the flipside, Lapis believes the government should take some steps to speed up the permitting process. They can give businesses more certainty or give them answers faster, he said. Slattery believes now is the time to do something before end-of-life batteries become a huge issue. "I do think everybody does want the batteries to be as sustainable as possible and have this be an opportunity to do something right," she said.  In July 2020, the Energy Commission awarded $10.8 million to four projects that will explore repurposing used batteries from EVs: Repurpose Energy, Smartville, San Diego State University and ReJoule. ReJoule recently launched a state-funded pilot project to adapt the used batteries for solar storage. Currently, the company has used batteries deployed at the American Museum of Ceramic Art in Pomona, where solar panels feed electricity into the used battery storage units. Charging station for electric and hybrid cars using solar panels to generate electricity to charge car batteries.Stock Photo/Getty ImagesIf successful, the project could extend the life of an EV battery by a decade or more. The company is also set to launch a project focused on battery diagnostics aimed at diagnosing a battery pack before it's removed from the car. This will enable people to analyze whether the battery is suitable for a second life, without the dangers of taking it apart.  One of the benefits of having the state of health be easily readable in some capacity is that it makes the whole system more efficient, Slattery said. That's because whoever is handling the vehicle knows immediately whether it should be sent to a repurposing facility or straight to a recycling facility. "You don't necessarily need to have a third party that checks the state of health and before it gets shipped even farther away," she said. "And knowing the state of health is super important if we're going to repurpose batteries." The cost to ship and recycle battery packs from passenger vehicles costs upwards of a thousand dollars per pack, according to ReJoule. The cost increases for larger commercial vehicles or transit vehicles, like buses. Chung said the consequences of the high cost is starting to show. "We're already starting to see some of these pile up at customer sites," she said.Getting one data point for one battery normally takes between six to 10 hours, depending on the battery and also the protocol used. This is separate from UL 1974, which is the only test standard that exists on repurposing batteries, which outlines a test procedure that takes about 40 hours non stop. "Imagine if it just took you one full work week to qualify one used battery," Chung said. "Really not feasible."Without the need for installing costly machinery, ReJoule's patent-pending technology can assess a battery's state of health in minutes, rather than hours. The technology, which requires far less training, is portable, too. This means that ReJoule's technology can travel wherever batteries are found, slashing the greenhouse gas emissions and overall cost of the grading process while completely obviating the need for premature recycling of a battery with a decade or more of useful life remaining.  "We're not the doctor, we're not necessarily going to heal a sickness," Chung said. "But we can identify it so that the necessary accommodation could be made."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 11th, 2022

Gold will hit $3,000 an ounce and the dollar will surge 50% against the Japanese yen. Here are the 10 outrageous 2023 predictions from one European bank

The UK voting to undo Brexit and at least one country banning all meat products are also on Saxo Bank's list of wild predictions for 2023. Reuters / Krishnendu Halder Gold surging to $3,000 an ounce is part of Saxo Bank's list of 10 Outrageous Predictions for 2023.  The Danish bank's annual list also foresees Japan setting a floor of 200 yen to temporarily halt a surging US dollar.  The UK holding an UnBrexit referendum also made the bank's cut.  Gold soaring by almost 70% and the Japanese yen sinking further against the US dollar as the world craters into a global war economy are among the wild predictions for 2023 by Saxo Bank. Central banks "stumbling" on their inflation mandates and the Federal Reserve pushing on with aggressive rate hikes contribute to the backdrop of the 10 Outrageous Predictions list put out each year by the Danish bank. "This year's Outrageous Predictions argue that any belief in a return to the disinflationary pre-pandemic dynamic is impossible because we have entered into a global war economy, with every major power across the world now scrambling to shore up their national security on all fronts; whether in an actual military sense, or due to profound supply-chain, energy and even financial insecurities that have been laid bare by the pandemic experience and Russia's invasion of Ukraine," Steen Jakobsen, chief investment officer at Saxo, said in a statement. Russia's war against Ukraine may mark one year from its start in late February unless a cease-fire is reached and Saxo said this year's predictions were inspired by the similarities between Europe today and the state of the war-hit continent in the early 20th century. Among Saxo's 10 Outrageous Predictions (in Insider's order): 1. Gold rockets to $3,000 an ounce The precious metal  "finally finds its footing" in 2023 after rough 2022 during which the so-called inflation hedge couldn't rally even as inflation hit record highs worldwide. Saxo predicted 2023 as the year the market discovers that inflation will continue to burn hot for the foreseeable future, driving gold to $3,000 an ounce. That would mark a 69% jump from Monday's price at around $1,778 an ounce. "Fed policy tightening and quantitative tightening drives a new snag in US Treasury markets that forces new sneaky 'measures' to contain Treasury market volatility that really amounts to new de facto quantitative easing," said Saxo.Meanwhile, China fully ditching its zero-COVID through touting an effective treatment and perhaps a new vaccine would drive gold and other commodity prices sharply higher and send inflation surging. "Under-owned gold rips higher on the sea-change reset in forward real interest rate implications of this new backdrop, it said. Gold could slice through the double top near $2,075 "as if it wasn't there," it said. 2. Japan pegs the USDJPY currency pair to 200 yen to sort out its financial systemThe dollar exchanging hands at 200 yen would represent a climb of about 47% from Monday's level of more than 136 yen. "As 2022 rolls into 2023, the pressure on the JPY and the Japanese financial system mounts again on the global liquidity crisis set in motion by the vicious Fed policy tightening and higher US treasury yields," said Saxo. In the prediction, the Bank of Japan and Japan's Ministry of Finance deal with the situation by slowing and then halting currency intervention after burning through more than half of central bank reserves. With the dollar soaring beyond 180 and inflation levels scorching, officials declare a temporary floor of 200 yen in the USDJPY to allow for a reset of the Japanese financial system. "That reset includes the BoJ moving to explicitly monetise all of its debt holdings, erasing them from existence. QE with monetization is extended to further lower the burden of Japan's public debt, but with a pre-set taper plan over the next 18 months," said Saxo. The reset "puts Japan back on a stable path and establishes a tempting crisis-response model for a similar crisis inevitably set to hit Europe and even the US eventually," said Saxo, adding that the yen would also move considerably lower by the end of 2023.  3. A country agrees to ban all meat production by 2030Saxo said to meet the target of net-zero emissions by 2050, one report estimates that meat consumption must be reduced to 24 kilograms per person per year, compared with the current OECD average of around 70 kg. In 2023, "at least one country looking to front-run others in marking out its lead in the race for most aggressive climate policy, moves to heavily tax meat on a rising scale beginning in 2025."4. UK holds UnBrexit referendumThis prediction foresees the Labour government taking power in the third quarter, promising an UnBrexit referendum for November 1, 2023, and a ReJoin movement vote wins.Market impact: after a weak performance in early 2022, the UK's pound sterling recovers 10% versus the euro and 15 % versus the Swiss franc on the anticipated boost to the London financial services sector.5. Widespread price controls are introduced to cap official inflationSaxo said: "In 2023, expect broadening price and even wage controls, maybe even something like a new National Board for Prices and Incomes being established in the UK and the US.6. OPEC+ and Chindia walk out of the IMF, agree to trade with new reserve assetChindia is a reference to China and India, and in this prediction, Saxo  sees the two countries and the oil cartel "recognising the ongoing weaponisation of the USD by the US government." In this scenario, non-US allied countries move away from the USD and the IMF to create an international clearing union (ICU) and a new reserve asset called the Bancor with the currency code KEY. Market impact: Non-aligned central banks vastly cut their USD reserves, US Treasury yields soar and the USD falls 25 percent versus a basket of currencies trading with the new KEY asset.7. Billionaire coalition creates trillion-dollar Manhattan Project for energy8. French President Emmanuel Macron resigns9. Foundation of the EU Armed Forces established 10. Tax haven ban which kills private equityRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 6th, 2022

Oil industry exec rips Biden"s "willy-nilly" energy policy, warns of another "major" crisis in next few weeks

American Petroleum Institute President and CEO Mike Sommers discusses the Biden administration's controversial energy policy and its impact on the economy......»»

Category: topSource: foxnewsDec 2nd, 2022

Larry Kudlow: "More welfare without work" is the "radical Democratic battle cry"

FOX Business host Larry Kudlow rips Congress's plan to pass the omnibus spending bill in the lame-duck session and warns of the effect it would have on the economy on 'Kudlow.'.....»»

Category: topSource: foxnewsDec 1st, 2022

Watch Live: Fed Chair Powell Sees Terminal Rate "Somewhat Higher", Needs "Substantially More Evidence" On Inflation

Watch Live: Fed Chair Powell Sees Terminal Rate "Somewhat Higher", Needs "Substantially More Evidence" On Inflation Watch Powell speak live at The Brookings Institute here: (due to start at 1330ET): “It will take substantially more evidence to give comfort that inflation is actually declining. By any standard, inflation remains much too high.” Highlights from Powell's prepared remarks: Dovish: *POWELL: TIME FOR MODERATING HIKE PACE MAY COME AS SOON AS DEC. Hawkish: *POWELL SAYS FED WILL NEED RESTRICTIVE POLICY FOR `SOME TIME’ *POWELL: RATE PEAK LIKELY `SOMEWHAT HIGHER’ THAN SEPT. FORECASTS *POWELL: CONSIDERABLE UNCERTAINTY OVER WHERE RATES WILL PEAK *POWELL: WILL REQUIRE SUSTAINED PERIOD OF SLOWER DEMAND GROWTH *POWELL: NEED `SUBSTANTIALLY MORE EVIDENCE’ OF INFLATION FALLING *POWELL: HISTORY CAUTIONS AGAINST PREMATURELY LOOSENING POLICY Full Remarks below: Today I will offer a progress report on the Federal Open Market Committee's (FOMC) efforts to restore price stability to the U.S. economy for the benefit of the American people. The report must begin by acknowledging the reality that inflation remains far too high. My colleagues and I are acutely aware that high inflation is imposing significant hardship, straining budgets and shrinking what paychecks will buy. This is especially painful for those least able to meet the higher costs of essentials like food, housing, and transportation. Price stability is the responsibility of the Federal Reserve and serves as the bedrock of our economy. Without price stability, the economy does not work for anyone. In particular, without price stability, we will not achieve a sustained period of strong labor market conditions that benefit all. We currently estimate that 12-month personal consumption expenditures (PCE) inflation through October ran at 6.0 percent (figure 1).1 While October inflation data received so far showed a welcome surprise to the downside, these are a single month's data, which followed upside surprises over the previous two months. As figure 1 makes clear, down months in the data have often been followed by renewed increases. It will take substantially more evidence to give comfort that inflation is actually declining. By any standard, inflation remains much too high. For purposes of this discussion, I will focus my comments on core PCE inflation, which omits the food and energy inflation components, which have been lower recently but are quite volatile. Our inflation goal is for total inflation, of course, as food and energy prices matter a great deal for household budgets. But core inflation often gives a more accurate indicator of where overall inflation is headed. Twelve-month core PCE inflation stands at 5.0 percent in our October estimate, approximately where it stood last December when policy tightening was in its early stages. Over 2022, core inflation rose a few tenths above 5 percent and fell a few tenths below, but it mainly moved sideways. So when will inflation come down? I could answer this question by pointing to the inflation forecasts of private-sector forecasters or of FOMC participants, which broadly show a significant decline over the next year. But forecasts have been predicting just such a decline for more than a year, while inflation has moved stubbornly sideways. The truth is that the path ahead for inflation remains highly uncertain. For now, let's put aside the forecasts and look instead to the macroeconomic conditions we think we need to see to bring inflation down to 2 percent over time. For starters, we need to raise interest rates to a level that is sufficiently restrictive to return inflation to 2 percent. There is considerable uncertainty about what rate will be sufficient, although there is no doubt that we have made substantial progress, raising our target range for the federal funds rate by 3.75 percentage points since March. As our last postmeeting statement indicates, we anticipate that ongoing increases will be appropriate. It seems to me likely that the ultimate level of rates will need to be somewhat higher than thought at the time of the September meeting and Summary of Economic Projections. I will return to policy at the end of my comments, but for now, I will simply say that we have more ground to cover. We are tightening the stance of policy in order to slow growth in aggregate demand. Slowing demand growth should allow supply to catch up with demand and restore the balance that will yield stable prices over time. Restoring that balance is likely to require a sustained period of below-trend growth. Last year, the ongoing reopening of the economy boosted real gross domestic product (GDP) growth to a very strong 5.7 percent. This year, GDP was roughly flat through the first three quarters, and indicators point to modest growth this quarter, which seems likely to bring the year in with very modest growth overall. Several factors contributed to this slowing growth, including the waning effects of reopening and of pandemic fiscal support, the global implications of Russia's war against Ukraine, and our policy actions, which tightened financial conditions and are affecting economic activity, particularly in interest-sensitive sectors such as housing. We can say that demand growth has slowed, and we expect that this growth will need to remain at a slower pace for a sustained period. Despite the tighter policy and slower growth over the past year, we have not seen clear progress on slowing inflation. To assess what it will take to get inflation down, it is useful to break core inflation into three component categories: core goods inflation, housing services inflation, and inflation in core services other than housing (figure 2). Core goods inflation has moved down from very high levels over the course of 2022, while housing services inflation has risen rapidly. Inflation in core services ex housing has fluctuated but shown no clear trend. I will discuss each of these items in turn. Early in the pandemic, goods prices began rising rapidly, as abnormally strong demand was met by pandemic-hampered supply. Reports from businesses and many indicators suggest that supply chain issues are now easing. Both fuel and nonfuel import prices have fallen in recent months, and indicators of prices paid by manufacturers have moved down. While 12-month core goods inflation remains elevated at 4.6 percent, it has fallen nearly 3 percentage points from earlier in the year. It is far too early to declare goods inflation vanquished, but if current trends continue, goods prices should begin to exert downward pressure on overall inflation in coming months. Housing services inflation measures the rise in the price of all rents and the rise in the rental-equivalent cost of owner-occupied housing. Unlike goods inflation, housing services inflation has continued to rise and now stands at 7.1 percent over the past 12 months. Housing inflation tends to lag other prices around inflation turning points, however, because of the slow rate at which the stock of rental leases turns over.2 The market rate on new leases is a timelier indicator of where overall housing inflation will go over the next year or so. Measures of 12-month inflation in new leases rose to nearly 20 percent during the pandemic but have been falling sharply since about midyear (figure 3). As figure 3 shows, however, overall housing services inflation has continued to rise as existing leases turn over and jump in price to catch up with the higher level of rents for new leases. This is likely to continue well into next year. But as long as new lease inflation keeps falling, we would expect housing services inflation to begin falling sometime next year. Indeed, a decline in this inflation underlies most forecasts of declining inflation. Finally, we come to core services other than housing. This spending category covers a wide range of services from health care and education to haircuts and hospitality. This is the largest of our three categories, constituting more than half of the core PCE index. Thus, this may be the most important category for understanding the future evolution of core inflation. Because wages make up the largest cost in delivering these services, the labor market holds the key to understanding inflation in this category. In the labor market, demand for workers far exceeds the supply of available workers, and nominal wages have been growing at a pace well above what would be consistent with 2 percent inflation over time.3 Thus, another condition we are looking for is the restoration of balance between supply and demand in the labor market. Signs of elevated labor market tightness emerged suddenly in mid-2021. The unemployment rate at the time was much higher than the 3.5 percent that had prevailed without major signs of tightness before the pandemic. Employment was still millions below its level on the eve of the pandemic. Looking back, we can see that a significant and persistent labor supply shortfall opened up during the pandemic—a shortfall that appears unlikely to fully close anytime soon. Comparing the current labor force with the Congressional Budget Office's pre-pandemic forecast of labor force growth reveals a current labor force shortfall of roughly 3-1/2 million people (figure 4, left panel).4 This shortfall reflects both lower-than-expected population growth and a lower labor force participation rate (figure 4, right panel). Participation dropped sharply at the onset of the pandemic because of many factors, including sickness, caregiving, and fear of infection. Many forecasters expected that participation would move back up fairly quickly as the pandemic faded. And for workers in their prime working years, it mostly has. Overall participation, however, remains well below pre-pandemic trends. Some of the participation gap reflects workers who are still out of the labor force because they are sick with COVID-19 or continue to suffer lingering symptoms from previous COVID infections ("long COVID").5 But recent research by Fed economists finds that the participation gap is now mostly due to excess retirements—that is, retirements in excess of what would have been expected from population aging alone.6 These excess retirements might now account for more than 2 million of the 3‑1/2 million shortfall in the labor force.7 What explains these excess retirements? Health issues have surely played a role, as COVID has posed a particularly large threat to the lives and health of the elderly.8 In addition, many older workers lost their jobs in the early stages of the pandemic, when layoffs were historically high. The cost of finding new employment may have appeared particularly large for these workers, given pandemic-related disruptions to the work environment and health concerns.9 Also, gains in the stock market and rising house prices in the first two years of the pandemic contributed to an increase in wealth that likely facilitated early retirement for some people. The data so far do not suggest that excess retirements are likely to unwind because of retirees returning to the labor force. Older workers are still retiring at higher rates, and retirees do not appear to be returning to the labor force in sufficient numbers to meaningfully reduce the total number of excess retirees.10 The second factor contributing to the labor supply shortfall is slower growth in the working-age population. The combination of a plunge in net immigration and a surge in deaths during the pandemic probably accounts for about 1-1/2 million missing workers.11 Policies to support labor supply are not the domain of the Fed: Our tools work principally on demand. Without advocating any particular policy, however, I will say that policies to support labor force participation could, over time, bring benefits to the workers who join the labor force and support overall economic growth. Such policies would take time to implement and have their effects, however. For the near term, a moderation of labor demand growth will be required to restore balance to the labor market. Currently, the unemployment rate is at 3.7 percent, near 50-year lows, and job openings exceed available workers by about 4 million—that is about 1.7 job openings for every person looking for work (figure 5). So far, we have seen only tentative signs of moderation of labor demand. With slower GDP growth this year, job gains have stepped down from more than 450,000 per month over the first seven months of the year to about 290,000 per month over the past three months. But this job growth remains far in excess of the pace needed to accommodate population growth over time—about 100,000 per month by many estimates. Job openings have fallen by about 1.5 million this year but remain higher than at any time before the pandemic. Wage growth, too, shows only tentative signs of returning to balance. Some measures of wage growth have ticked down recently (figure 6). But the declines are very modest so far relative to earlier increases and still leave wage growth well above levels consistent with 2 percent inflation over time. To be clear, strong wage growth is a good thing. But for wage growth to be sustainable, it needs to be consistent with 2 percent inflation. Let's sum up this review of economic conditions that we think we need to see to bring inflation down to 2 percent. Growth in economic activity has slowed to well below its longer-run trend, and this needs to be sustained. Bottlenecks in goods production are easing and goods price inflation appears to be easing as well, and this, too, must continue. Housing services inflation will probably keep rising well into next year, but if inflation on new leases continues to fall, we will likely see housing services inflation begin to fall later next year. Finally, the labor market, which is especially important for inflation in core services ex housing, shows only tentative signs of rebalancing, and wage growth remains well above levels that would be consistent with 2 percent inflation over time. Despite some promising developments, we have a long way to go in restoring price stability. Returning to monetary policy, my FOMC colleagues and I are strongly committed to restoring price stability. After our November meeting, we noted that we anticipated that ongoing rate increases will be appropriate in order to attain a policy stance that is sufficiently restrictive to move inflation down to 2 percent over time. Monetary policy affects the economy and inflation with uncertain lags, and the full effects of our rapid tightening so far are yet to be felt. Thus, it makes sense to moderate the pace of our rate increases as we approach the level of restraint that will be sufficient to bring inflation down. The time for moderating the pace of rate increases may come as soon as the December meeting. Given our progress in tightening policy, the timing of that moderation is far less significant than the questions of how much further we will need to raise rates to control inflation, and the length of time it will be necessary to hold policy at a restrictive level. It is likely that restoring price stability will require holding policy at a restrictive level for some time. History cautions strongly against prematurely loosening policy. We will stay the course until the job is done. 1. Throughout this discussion, PCE data for October are estimates based on the October consumer price index and producer price index data. Return to text 2. Rental lease data are also the main input into the measurement of owner-occupied housing prices. Return to text 3. The pace of wage inflation affects all sectors of the economy, but wages are a particularly large share of costs in core services ex housing and, thus, particularly important for inflation in this category. Return to text 4. See Congressional Budget Office (2020). To account for the effect of population controls on the level of the labor force, the shortfall is calculated by appending the Congressional Budget Office's January 2020 projected labor force growth over the years 2020–22 onto the level of the labor force in 2019:Q4 that is adjusted for population controls. Return to text 5. Recent research suggests that long COVID may be keeping 280,000 to 680,000 individuals aged 16 to 64 out of the labor force (Sheiner and Salwati, 2022), and long COVID may explain why the percentage of those aged 18 to 64 not in the labor force due to a disability has stalled over the past two years rather than continuing its pre-pandemic decline (see also Price, 2022). Return to text 6. See Montes, Smith, and Dajon (2022). Return to text 7. This analysis adjusts for population controls to the Current Population Survey. This adjustment is important, because while the unadjusted data show a marked decline in the retired share in January 2022, this drop is entirely an artifact of new population controls introduced in January. A proper assessment of the effects of retirements since the start of the pandemic needs to adjust the historical data for the effects of these population controls. See Montes, Smith, and Dajon (2022). Return to text 8. For example, see Goda and Soltas (2022). Return to text 9. Displaced workers aged 65 and over had markedly lower reemployment rates and markedly higher rates of labor force exit than did similarly aged displaced workers in the years just before the pandemic. See Bureau of Labor Statistics (2022). Return to text 10. Among those 55 and over, transitions into retirement are currently well above the average rate in the three years before the pandemic (after adjusting for population controls). At the same time, retirees are returning to the labor force at a rate similar to that before the pandemic. Return to text 11. First, due primarily to COVID, mortality over the past few years has far exceeded what had been expected before the pandemic. This channel accounts for about 400,000 of the labor force shortfall. Total deaths due to COVID are much larger—about 1 million people. However, the effect on the labor force is smaller than this because COVID deaths have mostly been among older people, who participate in the labor force at lower rates than younger people. Second, due, at least in part, to pandemic-related restrictions on entry into the United States, total immigration has slowed substantially since the start of the pandemic, lowering the labor force by about 1 million people relative to pre-pandemic trends. While lawful, nonpermanent immigration (for example, H-1B and H-2B visa holders) has bounced back considerably since earlier in the pandemic, these categories of immigration are generally still below 2019 levels. Meanwhile, lawful permanent immigration (that is, new green card holders) is also somewhat lower than in 2019 and well below levels that prevailed earlier in the 2010s. Regarding undocumented immigration, while migrant encounters at the U.S.–Mexico border have been high lately, some estimates suggest the number of undocumented immigrants in the United States is not much different than in 2019. (For data on legal immigration, see U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 2022; for data on border encounters, see U.S. Customs and Border Protection, 2022; for estimates of the number of undocumented immigrants, see Camarota and Zeigler, 2022.). Return to text   *  *  * When we previewed Jay Powell's speech yesterday, we explained both why the market has been so nervous heading into (PTSD from his Jackson Hole market mauling) as well as why the blackout period that follows Powell's speech and lasts through the middle of December will be far more important for the market over the next two weeks. Looking at today's jitteryness, the market is clearly still on edge, so below we share two Powell previews as of this morning, one from Goldman bankers, the other from JPMorgan. We start with JPMorgan trader Andrew Tyler who has a neutral view of what to expect from the Fed chair today: While Equities saw a lift on Weds following Fed Minutes, this week have multiple Fed speakers, none more important that Powell’s speech Weds at 1.30pm.  Should the market be bracing for a repeat of Jackson Hole? When Powell gave his Jackson Hole speech Fed Funds were 2.25% - 2.50% and now they are 3.75% - 4.00%; but financial conditions have loosened considerably following the tightening that we experienced in Sept and Oct, though the financial conditions index is tighter (higher) now than in August. While mortgage rates have come off their highs, the 6.78% rate compares to 5.89% during Jackson Hole. Given that background, it is unclear what more Powell could say that we have not heard from recent Fed speakers: (i) terminal rate 4.75% - 5.25% seems to be an acceptable place to pause; (ii) once at that ~5% level, data will determine the next moves. Currently, the market is pricing in a 5% terminal rate, and it feels unlikely that the bond market would have a material repricing ahead of Friday’s NFP, the Dec 12 CPI print, and Dec 13 Fed announcement. For reference, the Monday of Powell’s Jackson Hole speech, the terminal rate expectation was 3.74% and the Monday following, the terminal rate moved to 3.84%; and the 10Y yield moved from 3.01% to 3.10% over the same period. The SPX fell 3.4% the day of the speech, NDX was -4.1%, RTY was -3.3%. The market feels less offsides now with a higher-for-longer view becoming consensus, so moves of that magnitude do not appear to be very likely. Our tactical view is that Equity market moves are likely lower from here given the number of clients who want to sell stock around the 4,000 level in the SPX; many clients feel the 3700 – 3900 range is appropriate absent a material change in the data (e.g., NFP under 100k or CPI falls another 50bps, or more). While a Fed pivot is currently off the table, investors looking for a pause are unlikely to find that support from Powell this week. So while JPM notes that its clients are generally bearish, there is nothing in what Powell will say that could precipitate a selloff. Not surprisingly, Goldman agrees, and as Goldman's Michael Nocerino notes the market has "somewhat de-risked heading into the event after Fed Speakers this week dropped the hawkish tone on the market" James Bullard said markets are underestimating the chances that the FOMC will need to be more aggressive next year, adding tightening may go into 2024; John Williams said "there's still more work to do" to get inflation down; Loretta Mester told the FT that the central bank isn't near a pause. Here is some additional color from Goldman trader Mike Cahill, who says that Powell's speech is important for two reasons. : First, the focus on the labor market is critical for assessing the how Powell views the Committee’s task ahead. Does he think it is likely the Fed can cool the labor market without a significant rise in the unemployment rate? And why did the September projections show such a sharp fall in inflation with only a modest rise in unemployment? Second, this is a chance for Powell to comment on the substantial easing in financial conditions since the CPI print. Lower inflation is a better fundamental reason for the market to price less tightening, but our FCI has unwound half the tightening since Powell’s JH speech and is now essentially flat since June. Is he ok with this? Vast majority of FCI tightening has been pre June versus 80% of rate hikes. But we think FCI is how policy translates to the economy (the change and not the level). The easing in FCI now means that the FCI drag to growth peaks this quarter and is now roughly flat as of middle of the year – see 2nd chart below. Overall we think that FC will need to act as a restraint to the economy throughout 2023 to achieve a soft landing. Finally, here is an extended preview excepted from Jan Hatzius at Goldman's research desk (full note available to pro subscribers in the usual place). At 1:30pm ET today, Chair Powell will deliver prepared remarks on “then economic outlook, inflation, and the labor market.” Since the October CPI print, our financial conditions index (FCI) has eased substantially, which has reduced our estimate of the drag from financial conditions on next year’s growth by 0.4-0.5pp. The key question for markets is therefore to what degree he will try to push back against the recent FCI easing by striking a hawkish tone. Powell is likely to hint that the FOMC will slow the pace of rate hikes at then December meeting but push back against the recent easing in financial conditions with two hawkish counterpoints. First, Powell is likely to suggest that the FOMC will need to raise the funds rate to a higher peak than it projected at the September meeting, echoing his remarks at the November press conference and following similar comments from several other FOMC members over the last few weeks. Second, he is likely to reiterate that inflation remains too high and the labor market remains extremely tight. At the November press conference, he acknowledged that job growth had slowed and that job openings had started to decline, but stressed that the labor market remained “out of balance” and noted that the participation rate had been “little changed since the beginning of the year.” That said, the fact that financial conditions are meaningfully tighter today than when he pushed back against easing financial conditions in his Jackson Hole speech should reduce the impetus for an overly hawkish message in today’s speech While Powell will likely try to avoid a further counterproductive easing in financial  conditions by signaling that the FOMC will keep hiking well into 2023, recent data have shown encouraging signs that labor-market rebalancing is underway, and the reasons to expect lower future inflation have continued to strengthen. Our jobs-workers gap has closed 45% of the distance between its March peak and the level we think is necessary to restore balance to the labor market, recent indicators of wage growth have softened on net, and alternative web-based measures of rent growth for new tenants have decelerated substantially. The recent news on inflation has also been encouraging. Core CPI inflation slowed in October and we expect core PCE inflation to decelerate to 0.25% (m/m) in Thursday’s release (vs. 0.45% in September). In addition, the reasons to expect lower future inflation have strengthened further. First, leading indicators of core goods prices — especially the supplier deliveries and prices paid components of the ISM as well as used car auction prices—have declined sharply. Second, asking rents on new leases slowed further in October, and data from Apartment List indicate that asking rents declined 0.2% in November. While Powell endorsed the official CPI/PCE rental components as the best measures of housing inflation for monetary policy purposes, he did note that the committee is “considering that we also know that at some point you’ll see rents coming down” because of the signal from the alternative measures. We continue to expect the FOMC to slow the pace of rate hikes to 50bp inn December and to 25bp in February, March, and May, raising the funds rate to a peak of 5-5.25%. More in the full reports available to pro subs. Tyler Durden Wed, 11/30/2022 - 13:20.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytNov 30th, 2022

Texas rep rips Biden’s ‘cruel economy,’ vows to uncover "greatest theft of American tax dollars in US history"

Rep. Kevin Brady criticized the Biden administration for the unprecedented government spending that has fueled the U.S. economy's 40-year-high inflation......»»

Category: topSource: foxnewsNov 10th, 2022

Economist slams White House for "context-less" tweets

Fox News contributor and economist Brian Brenberg rips White House tweets as "context-less," and says it's the reason why "nobody believes them on the economy.".....»»

Category: topSource: foxnewsNov 3rd, 2022

COVID-19: A Universe Of Questions In A Time Of Universal Deceit

COVID-19: A Universe Of Questions In A Time Of Universal Deceit Authored by Michael Bryant via, "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act" -George Orwell As we approach the third year of the ‘Covid Crisis’, the once unassailable Covid Story – reported and repeated by politicians, public health mandarins and all mainstream media – has been replaced by contradictions and inconsistencies. The original Covid Story narrated by health ‘experts’ and government officials told of a particularly virulent pathogen which besieged the planet in 2020 and spread like wildfire– terrorizing, infecting, and killing people en masse.  It was the story of a “pandemic level event” in which people were told to stay indoors, entire sectors of society were forced to shut down and humans were told to do everything possible to avoid contact with one another.  It was a story of closed down schools, closed down businesses, closed down churches and soon-to-be overwhelmed hospitals. In later chapters the Covid Story morphed from ironclad truths, “Follow the science”, to ever changing definitions, “The science evolves.” Countless aspects of the “official” narrative changed overnight. Gradually the tale became fraught with pages of questionable statistics and ever shifting storylines. What was one to make of all of these contradictions and ministerial mutations?  Did today’s story make sense with yesterday’s? Will tomorrow’s make sense with today’s? Soon the only certainty within the Covid narrative became its uncertainty– the moment the Covid story “you thought you knew” was on solid footing the sands shifted yet again. Attempting to make sense of the Covid conundrum soon required navigating a complex labyrinth of deceits, manipulations, obfuscations and concealments. Separating fact from fiction became more challenging each day. While most persisted with the media storyline and government edicts, some began to take notice of the numerous anomalies and started asking questions. The most glaring question was simply: “Why was no one allowed to ask questions?” Once this Pandora’s Box opened, a stream of questions came tumbling out.  Why wasn’t the media asking any questions? How were they all operating in lockstep? Were we alerted to this “pandemic-level event” by our direct observations and experiences?  Were we surrounded by sick people, in our homes, neighborhoods and workplaces who were succumbing to a quick-spreading and dangerous virus? If we were truly in a pandemic of biblical proportions would there be so much discussion of the epidemiological minutiae? Bit by bit as most of the accepted narrative began to unravel, questioning the “official story” became more than a revolutionary act it became an obligation. If you have to be persuaded, reminded, pressured, lied to, incentivized, coerced, bullied, socially shamed, guilt-tripped, threatened, punished and criminalized. If all of this is considered necessary to gain your compliance — you can be absolutely certain that what is being promoted is not in your best interest. Ian Watson To sell the Covid Story a mass marketing campaign rife with its own nomenclature was launched. The constant drumbeat of the Covid battle cry became inescapable resembling  military grade propaganda rather than public health messaging. Were these Covid watch words and rallying cries intended to serve public health or were they designed merely to be obeyed? Where did these ideas and phrases come from?  Why did the media and government relentlessly stoke public fear and anxiety? Why were millions spent on behavioral management teams? How did the phrase “the new normal” emerge within the first weeks of the pandemic? Was sustained psychological manipulation utilized to create fear and coerce the public? Were Covid symptoms genuinely unique or were we being conditioned to believe there was a new disease? Were statistics about Covid deaths being manipulated to create the perception of a crisis? Were lockdowns about protection or social control? Did lockdowns reduce deaths or cause increased mortality? Was there ever any evidence for ”asymptomatic spread”  or was this overstated to frighten the public? How did we go from “two weeks to flatten the curve” to permanent emergency “laws? "Hospitals and doctors are getting rich off a sickened mass population." - Steven Magee, Hypoxia, Mental Illness & Chronic Fatigue One of the earliest Covid Campaign methods used to alert the public to the coming storm of dire illness centered on the belief that hospitals were going to be overwhelmed by a cascade of the Covid infected. “Two weeks to flatten the curve” became a national rallying cry. The public was flooded with stories of overflowing hospital corridors and swamped ICU’s. Makeshift hospitals were swiftly constructed to take in the excess casualties. The unquestioning media amplified these stories creating a climate of widespread panic and hysteria. Was any of this true?     Were US hospitals really overwhelmed? What does the data say? Were NYC hospitals overwhelmed in Spring 2020? Was Elmhurst hospital, the ‘epicenter of the epicenter’, overflowing in Spring 2020? Were ICUs flooded with patients? Were US hospitals busier in 2020 than they were in 2019? Are hospitals regularly overrun during cold and flu season? "Fear is a market. To instill fear in people also has advantages. Not only in terms of drug use. Anxiety-driven people are easier to rule." - Gerd Gogerenzer, Director Emeritus, Max Planck Institute for Educational Research As the pandemic picked up speed, the “Covid death toll” became a daily marker hammered home by media bullhorns and mortality scoreboards. Ghastly tales of the “first wave” of Covid fatalities were plastered all over media channels in lockstep. Harrowing tales of overflowing morgues and refrigerated trucks filled with Covid cadavers saturated the evening news. While a simpler explanation for these trucks was readily available, a compliant and complicit media plugged its ears and continued to manufacture mass hysteria.  Again all questions that might sow seeds of skepticism were kept away from public discussion.  But was this advertised death march verifiable or was this yet another feature of the Covid fear campaign? Were Covid death counts and death certificates accurate or were Covid deaths artificially inflated? What was the average age of Covid deaths and how did that compare with normal life expectancy? What percentage of Covid deaths were from people who already had multiple comorbidities? Were the photos of coffins from Bergamo, Italy, in March 2020, used to terrify the world, authentic? Why did CNN report that a 7-year-old Georgia boy died from Covid when he drowned in a bathtub after a seizure. How many Covid deaths due to “intentional and unintentional injury, poisoning and other adverse events” were placed in the CDC COVID death count? Why were 14,369 injury deaths, 1,265 deaths due to falls,  drowning deaths and suicides listed in the Covid-19 death count? Why did the CDC change recording methods exclusively for Covid deaths and did this inflate Covid fatality numbers? "One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth." - Carl Sagan As the purported wreckage of the “first wave” subsided and the body count failed to add up to the predicted totals, the narrative abruptly shifted. “The Covid Death” was replaced by “The Covid Case” as the main vector of fear. What defined a “Covid Case” generally seemed up for grabs. “Case” definitions ranged from anyone “suspected of having Covid” to those who were ‘positive’ as established through PCR testing. Nowhere in the media could one find an inquiring reporter who would question what it meant to be a “probable case.” Even as the PCR became a regular feature of daily life never was the soundness of its usage as a diagnostic tool examined by any mainstream source.  Were these case counts and the methods used situated on solid scientific ground? Was Covid-19 a novel virus? How did the peer-review process of the critical publication about the Covid PCR tests only take one day?  Were Covid PCR test results accurate? Were Covid case counts and diagnoses accurate? Were PCR tests used deceptively to invent Covid “cases?” Why was the definition of a Covid “case” altered? "Big Pharma needs sick people to prosper. Patients, not healthy people, are their customers. If everybody was cured of a particular illness or disease, pharmaceutical companies would lose 100% of their profits on the products they sell for that ailment. What all this means is because modern medicine is so heavily intertwined with the financial profits culture, it’s a sickness industry more than it is a health industry." - James Morcan Once it was firmly established in the public’s mind that a pathogenic menace was lurking just outside their door a non-stop barrage of messaging, gaslighting and coercion kicked in from all angles.  The entire world was repeatedly informed that the only salvation for the human species was a genetically engineered experimental medical product concocted at “Warp Speed” by giant Pharmaceutical companies. This and only this medication could save humanity from catastrophe. Like many other facets of the Covid Story, the tale of Big Pharma and their magical potions unraveled upon further scrutiny. Multiple questions arose: If Big Pharma is truly in the business of public health what is their historical record towards safeguarding public health? What is Pfizer’s previous track record of fraud and corruption? Has Big Pharma captured the FDA and the political and regulatory processes? Does Big Pharma control the CDC? Does Big Pharma influence clinical trials? Were Pfizer’s clinical trials for Covid vaccines properly run  trials? Why did the FDA try to conceal Covid vaccine trial data for 75 years? What did the trial data reveal? Why has the FDA refused to make its vaccine safety monitoring public? How did the CDC decide the Pfizer clinical trials proved a ‘safe and effective’ vaccine? "I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it is for or against. I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole." - Malcolm X When the mass rollout of the experimental Covid vaccines was launched, a compulsory campaign silencing all voices who dare question the vaccine imperative was set in motion. Even so, some voices of apprehension slipped through the cracks. Many of these voices were some of the most renowned medical practitioners in their field.  Why were their voices not allowed into the mainstream conversations?  Why were thousands of dissenting physicians censored and silenced? Why were doctors who spoke out about early treatment vilified and censored? Were the Covid vaccines necessary, effective or safe? Would the Covid Vaccines stop hospitalizations or deaths? Was evidence of harm and serious adverse events from the clinical trials covered up? Why did the media maintain silence about potential dangers of the Covid vaccine? Were people given proper informed consent for the Covid vaccines? What did multiple studies as early as 2020 say about the Covid vaccines and microvascular injury? Why weren’t independent scientists allowed to examine the mRNA vaccine vials? Was there a connection between heart inflammation and the Covid vaccines? Why were kids targeted for vaccination when it was known they were at zero risk from the disease in question? Were there doctors calling for a halt to the Covid vaccine program? Ultimately a comprehensive and complete reckoning with the ‘Covid Story’ is not possible without a thorough examination of the policies which unfolded in hospitals and nursing homes and the catastrophic consequences. While hospital workers were feted as heroes, reports began to leak out hinting that what actually occurred inside these medical institutions was contrary to the sustained media narrative. As more stories surfaced, suspicions escalated that this too was part of the Covid mythology. Questions concerning treatments in hospitals and nursing homes emerged and allegations about monied interests materialized.  Were hospitals incentivized to manufacture Covid patients? What were the Covid hospital treatment protocols? Were hospitals incentivized to put Covid patients on ventilators and to use Remdesivir? Did these incentives and protocols endanger people? "Silence in the face of evil is itself evil." - Dietrich Bonhoeffer In the early chapters of the Covid Story, perhaps no other storyline trapped our imaginations and pulled on our heartstrings quite like the “Saving Grandma” shibboleth. We were told that “Covid-19” targeted the old and the sick and multiple reports from across the globe revealed a consistent pattern of how ghastly situations in long-term care facilities unfolded.  As more information on this piece of the sordid Covid puzzle surfaced more questions came to light. Did thousands of elderly die because of Covid or was the management of their end-of-life treatment withdrawn actively putting them in a situation that ensured their death? What did they mean when they said “taking care of the elderly?” How did they “take care of the elderly in Canada?” In the UK? In France? In Maryland?In Massachusetts?In Washington DC? In Mississippi? In NewYork? In New Jersey? In Minnesota? In Indiana? In Louisiana? In Michigan? In Rhode Island? Were conditions for high death rates at Care Homes created on purpose? "I live in the Managerial Age, in a world of “Admin.” The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid “dens of crime” that Dickens loved to paint. It is not done even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried, and minuted) in clean, carpeted, warmed and well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voices." - C.S. Lewis All intricate stories require a cast of characters and the Covid Chronicle was no different. Neil Ferguson and Christian Drosten played significant supporting roles behind the scenes while others, like Anthony Fauci and Bill Gates, took center stage. As we moved through the Covid narrative we “came to know” these personalities through the portraits painted by a uniformly deferential media.  Were these images of our Covid cast of characters accurate depictions? How much about them did we really know? What did Neil Ferguson’s original computer models predict about Covid deaths and what was his well documented track record? How did his calamitous and inaccurate predictions play such a central role in determining government policy? Who is Christian Drosten and how did he develop the now famous Covid PCR test?  Who is The Real Anthony Fauci? What role did Anthony Fauci play in the HIV/AIDS crisis? Given that Bill Gates has no medical training, why did he play such a central role in determining government policy?  How did Bill Gates  know in 2019  that vaccines would be “one of the best buys” in 2020?  How did Bill Gates use medical investments to turn $10 billion into $200 billion? Why did the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation invest $55 million in the shares of BioNTech in August of 2019?  "They failed to see that globalisation was merely a tactic to prise power from nation states towards international conglomerates. Once the power was siphoned from the people and democratic control was circumvented, the ability to assert global governance without any democratic restraint was available." -James Tunney Finally, to understand the totality of the Covid Story it’s necessary to understand how the public health industry is inextricably linked to global financial markets and operates based on the demands of those financial conglomerates. Manufactured pandemics are now considered one of the biggest investment opportunities to increase the wealth of billionaires and consolidate their power.  The medical industry is no longer a system whose primary focus is to serve the health and well-being of the public. It is a system whose primary function is as a financial instrument for investors. The present-day policies that define the medical industry are designed to serve socioeconomic and political agendas which benefit these same financial elites. Was the entire ‘Covid Crisis’ a genuine health emergency or was it an agenda rooted in fear to enrich the pockets of Big Pharma and their monied investors. Here again the mainstream media remain dutifully silent, refusing to ask the most basic of questions: Who owns Big Pharma?  Is it a coincidence that the Covid Public Health Emergency created over 500 new billionaires and coincided with one of the largest upwards transfers of wealth in human history? Why were Big Banks being bailed out during the Covid era while small businesses were being pushed out? How did workers around the world lose $3.7 trillion in the pandemic while billionaires around the world gained $3.9 trillion in the pandemic? Is it possible to “follow the science” if the science is controlled by money? What did the Head of the IMF say about the fate of the world’s economy and vaccines? What is the “Great Reset?”  What is the Great Reset? What are Central Bank Digital Currencies? After a deeper dive into the Covid Hall of Mirrors one wonders if even a single strand of the story withstands scrutiny. Three years on and the wreckage from the fusillade of Covid policies continue to pile up. With every passing day more holes appear in the official narrative and more admissions come to light as officials scurry to avoid accountability. As the dust settles in the aftermath of the Covid carnage we are left asking one final question:  “Was the entirety of the Covid Story a lie?” Tyler Durden Mon, 10/31/2022 - 23:45.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 1st, 2022

Hedge Fund CIO: "An Utterly Extraordinary Period Is Ending: Macron Knows This, So Does Xi"

Hedge Fund CIO: "An Utterly Extraordinary Period Is Ending: Macron Knows This, So Does Xi" By Eric Peters, CIO of One River Asset Management “The North American economy is making choices for the sake of attractiveness, which I respect, but they create a double standard,” said Emmanuel Macron, a nervous sickness rising, his Gallic hope for Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity slipping away. “In addition, they allow state aid going to up to 80% on some sectors while it’s banned here -- you get a double standard,” added France’s President. “It comes down to the sincerity of transatlantic trade.” But of course, trade is neither sincere nor insincere. Trade is trade. Or at least, free trade is free trade. It is an arrangement between two parties to exchange one thing for another at a mutually agreed upon price -- this is how markets clear. Macron called out both the US and Norway for making “the real super-profits” from their energy exports, benefitting from “geopolitical war unearned income.” And no doubt, this is true. In times of rising conflict, nations that control strategically vital assets profit in outsized ways. France controls few. The US controls many. But since the last world war, America’s global security guarantee leveled the playing field to allow nations with few or even no strategically vital assets to nevertheless prosper, participating in ever-deepening globalization, specialization, integration. This period was an historical anomaly, utterly extraordinary. And it is ending. Macron knows this. As does Xi Jinping, with insufficient domestic energy to power his economy, too little home-grown food to feed his people, and now facing new restrictions on strategically vital American technology exports. In fact, every leader on the planet knows this now. Even those who desperately cling to the hope that this is not so, are quietly putting in place contingencies if they are wrong. This new operating environment is entirely foreign to any investor alive today. So, we must unanchor ourselves from a past that is no longer and proceed with open minds. Tyler Durden Mon, 10/24/2022 - 07:20.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytOct 24th, 2022

Remote workers are powering through and working while sick &mdash; and it"s bad for them and their companies

If you're working from home, why take a sick day? Experts say it could impact work culture by setting the wrong precedent for your team. Ergin Yalcin/Getty Images When some remote workers get sick, they decide to log on for work anyway. Research says workers think they'll feel guilty if they take off; they feel more guilty for working. But the urge to log on ties to how managers are adjusting to remote work, and a lack of sick leave. Working from home has many benefits. Taking sick days isn't one of them.That's why it took Jake Sedlacek three years of working from home to have a realization: When he got sick, he didn't have to work through it."Taking the day off and making sure you're actually recovered and then doing a great job the next day is way better than doing a week or two weeks of work at 50%, because you're not catching up on sleep or you're feeling bad," Sedlacek, a 27-year-old product manager, said.Sedlacek, who's based near Chicago, loves remote work. But a big challenge is achieving work-life balance, one that supportive bosses have to guide. Even though he wasn't told to, he said he used to find himself working more hours — just because his office was his house. And he was working through being sick, even at companies where he had unlimited PTO.Sedlacek isn't alone in that. When Michelle, a 41-year-old accountant, had a mild cold a few months back, she didn't take the day off; she didn't feel the need to. Michelle verified her identity with Insider, but asked that we don't print her last name for privacy reasons.In previous jobs, she had to show up in person, even when she was sick. "My only option was to go to the office while I was sick and then have people hear me coughing and sneezing and not happy about it, but who else is gonna do my work? I have to meet this deadline," she said. Michelle, who's been working remotely from Texas since 2018, loves her current job, and doesn't feel the same deadline pressures. She can also avoid getting others sick by working from home.She said her company would be fine with her taking days off for being sick. But she feels that she hasn't had a bad enough illness to merit it."I do think working at home when you're sick is way easier than going to the office because you can sleep in, you don't have to wear makeup, you can wear comfortable clothes, you can take a break as often as you need it," Michelle said.Paradoxically, some Americans' takeaway from a once-in-a-lifetime deadly pandemic is to work while sick. It's an outgrowth of the ways that the pandemic warped many peoples' relationships with work. Sick days have become a kind of no-man's land for a certain type of remote worker: It's up to them whether to take it, and people working from home just aren't. In a country that has made sick time a privilege, bosses have to step up to fill that void and assure workers it's OK to take time off. Workers need to feel comfortable deciding to take time off, and feel comfortable articulating those boundaries. It's not always the case that both of these conditions are met.People feel guilty for taking sick days — but then tend to feel even worse if they don'tWork from home brought perks like no commutes, the ability to exercise in the middle of the day, or do laundry — but some workers, as Insider's Aki Ito reports, work harder and longer to make up for those perks. That's not an inherent issue with working remotely, but rather one that stems from a lack of guardrails and a lack of management intervention. Guilt, in part, drives the temptation to not call out sick. That's according to research from Prisca Brosi and Fabiola H. Gerpott, professors at Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg, Germany; and WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management, a leading German business school, respectively, who study organizations and leadership."We do find that people tend to work from home despite being ill, because they expect that they will actually feel less guilty," Gerpott said. "They think about it, and wonder, 'Oh, if I will continue working, maybe then I can take a little bit of work away from my colleagues, then they don't have to do it.'"The problem is, Gerpott said, that "human beings are very bad at predicting how they will actually feel." Instead, workers feel more guilty — because they couldn't help their colleagues or themselves very well. There is one silver lining from the pandemic: People aren't going into work with symptoms anymore and spreading illness. They're just staying at home. And, the researchers said, the hurdle of deciding whether to work while sick is lower — because now you can just default to working from home while sick. But there's a negative cycle, since the more you push yourself, the less you recover, and the less you're able to engage with the tasks at hand.To build a culture of taking sick time when needed, bosses need to lead by example. "If your leader tells you you can just not work, but you see that your leader always works whenever they are ill, that puts pressure onto others," Gerpott said.Workers might call in 'silent sick,' but it's bad for them and workplace cultureThere's one important part of the sick-days equation: Whether you actually have any. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, around a fifth of civilian workers did not have access to paid leave as of March 2021. But the more money you made, the more likely you were to have access to paid leave. For instance, 95% of the top 10% of earners had access to paid sick leave, while just about a third of the bottom 10% could call off and get paid. In-person, low-wage workers have said their bosses and companies have pressured them to come in while ill. Paid sick leave — or a lack thereof — is a key issue for workers. Rail workers in the US were prepared to strike and pummel the economy over a contract that did not even include unpaid sick days.People protest against a new paid-sick-leave policy outside of Jacobi Medical Center on April 17, 2020, in the Bronx borough of New York City.David Dee Delgado/Getty ImagesSimilarly to "quiet-quitting," the feeling that paid sick days are a special perk can lead to what Brosi calls "silent sickness.""It seems like, oh, people are actually less sick, but obviously this is probably not what is happening," Brosi said. Instead, they're at home and "they are still sick and they just don't officially mention that."Michelle, for example, had to do the calculus of whether she felt bad enough to completely call out, or just be "silent sick." She said she's more likely to use her unlimited PTO to run an errand or to go to an appointment. Another increasingly common use of sick time: Taking a mental-health day, which, as Bloomberg reported, can be considered a qualifying illness for protected leave.But Brosi said that if you're using just a day or two of sick time to help shield against burnout or larger issues, "you're trading basically your short-term illness against your long-term."At the end of the day, the rise of "silent sickness" is a management problem, Brosi said. When workers with unlimited time off and flexible schedules are still logging on, it shows a cultural issue — especially among workers who enjoy their jobs. For Michelle, it's all about creating a new equation. Sedlacek, who now takes the time when he needs it, is a lot less stressed. He thinks that the urge to keep plugging comes "from the older work culture of 'just work through anything.'""It's much more about, OK, we need to think about our working cultures, and how we manage these cultures," Brosi said.In Sedlacek's case, one of the things that made a difference was working for a company that would restrict workers' access to systems while they were on vacation if they knew those workers would be tempted to log on. He said it's "probably a hundred times easier" to make healthy boundaries if your company proactively encourages them. In his current role, management has made it clear that people shouldn't work on weekends or into the nights. "We're shifting into that culture now where people feel comfortable saying 'Hey, I need a mental-health day,' or 'Hey, I need a sick day,' and it's OK," Sedlacek said. "It's not like, 'Oh they're lazy.' It's like, 'Oh, they're actually gonna take care of themselves and still do a good job because they're able to.'"Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytOct 23rd, 2022