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New York City Snow Drought Might End Tomorrow

New York City Snow Drought Might End Tomorrow New York City's snow drought, the third longest since records began, might end Wednesday morning.  National Weather Service meteorologist Bryan Ramsey said NYC could expect up to 2 inches of snow during the morning commute, but a changeover to a wintry mix and rain could occur at some point when milder air moves into the Northeast.  Wednesday's accumulation could be enough to end the Big Apple's snowless streak. The longest streak of days without 0.1 inches of snow or greater was 332, which ended on Dec. 15, 2020. As of Monday, the city has had 320 days without measurable snowfall, the third longest on record, according to Accuweather.  If tomorrow's weather event only produces a trace or less than 0.1 inches, the metro area could be on pace to hit the snowless record in about two weeks. By late January, NYC should average about 11 inches of snow.  Meanwhile, the heaviest snowfall will blanket northern New York to interior parts of New England, where upwards of a foot more could be dumped through Thursday.  A pattern change for the US is underway. Long-term weather models forecast lower-than-average temperatures from now through early February for the Lower 48.  Cold weather is welcomed after an unseasonably warm January.  Tyler Durden Tue, 01/24/2023 - 18:45.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJan 24th, 2023

Export Grain Shippers Mull Options Amid Limited Barge, Rail Capacity

Export Grain Shippers Mull Options Amid Limited Barge, Rail Capacity By Joanna Marsh of FreightWaves Grain shippers have been scrambling to consider all their export options in the wake of low water levels on the Mississippi River and its tributaries.  “Because of the low water conditions on the river, which is a major conduit for soybean and grain exports, there are a lot of farmers and a lot of agricultural shippers who are asking themselves, ‘What is my plan B? What is my plan C?’” Mike Steenhoek, executive director of the Soy Transportation Coalition, told FreightWaves. “And that answer is going to be different depending on your region of the country and what that market looks like.”  Rail is one option for grain shippers affected by low water levels. (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves) The low water levels have reduced the capacity to ship grain exports via barge, sending those rates to their highest levels in years. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, barge rates for agricultural transport along key points of the U.S. waterway system have fallen for the week of Nov. 8 after experiencing pricing spikes in October. “The barge rates right now are the highest they’ve ever been,” said Max Fisher, chief economist for the National Grain and Feed Association.  When faced with low water levels, grain and soybean shippers are presented with several options. Two of those options include storing their soybeans or grain for longer than they normally would or trucking a portion of them to local livestock markets, according to Steenhoek. Freight rail is also an option, particularly if the agricultural products need to be exported, Steenhoek said.  Indeed, the Association of American Railroads recently noted that grain volumes have increased in October as grain producers seek alternatives to the Pacific Northwest and Gulf Coast. Mexico is also one of the U.S.’s key export markets, according to Steenhoek.  But relying on rail offers its own issues. While rail service has improved over the course of this year, “it’s still not the effective lifeline that we really need it to be right now,” Steenhoek said.  Fisher agreed with that assessment of the ongoing challenges. “What we’re hearing is that grain shippers are not in the clear just yet,” Fisher said. “They’re still experiencing challenges on rail, but they are not as dire as they were earlier in 2022.” Furthermore, a potential rail strike due to an inability to ratify labor contracts between the railroads and two to four unions could prove disastrous for grain shippers. “[A strike] really does come at an unwelcome time because, within certain industries like agriculture, the decisions you’re making today relate in many cases to where you’re going to ship soybeans and grain next month, two months from now,” Steenhoek said. “It’s not like a cupcake shop where you’re asking, ‘How many chocolate cupcakes should I make tomorrow? How many do I think I’ll sell?’ For certain industries, you’ve got to have more of a greater predictability. You operate on more of a long-term demand-and-supply forecast. And so therefore you need to make sure you’ve got a predictable supply chain.” Recent rainfall in the Midwest has helped increase water levels in the last several weeks, although the land is soaking up the precipitation and there is not enough runoff to fill streams and rivers to where water levels are needed to be. As winter approaches, any kind of moisture in the ground becomes frozen, so it doesn’t move to the waterways.  If snow melts quickly enough and the ground is frozen, that runoff water could go to the streams and rivers. But if a region sees sustained cold temperatures, the snow just piles up and it won’t be until early spring to see what impact snow might have on the inland waterways.  “Lack of water is the culprit and abundance of water will be the elixir,” Steenhoek said. “… It is going to require a pretty elongated and sustained amount of rainfall and precipitation [to raise water levels to be suitable enough for navigation].”  Harvest yields for the U.S. are expected to be under historical levels because of hot and dry conditions experienced during the growing season. In a monthly report published Nov. 9, the Department of Agriculture anticipates U.S. exports for corn, soybeans and wheat will be lower in the 2022-23 crop year when compared with previous years. The U.S. crop year runs from Sept. 1 to Aug. 31. Yet even though exports are expected to be down this year because last year’s harvest levels were much higher, the low levels of the inland waterways have not helped shippers, according to Fisher. “There’s also probably more grain going out to the Pacific Northwest by rail than otherwise would be the case because grain companies have to get grain to the foreign markets no matter what,” Fisher said. “In some cases, the market sometimes just demands it, so they’re willing to go ahead and pay a little more freight costs to go ahead and get it there [but] still not offsetting what’s being lost on the river.”  Both large and small companies have been impacted by low levels in the U.S. waterway system, which not only includes the Mississippi River but the Missouri, Illinois and Ohio rivers as well. “It’s going to have a negative [volume] impact in ag services [in] North America,” Juan Luciano, CEO of grain producer ADM (NYSE: ADM), said during the company’s third-quarter 2022 earnings call on Oct. 25. ADM produces grain in both North America and South America. A portion of North American soybean export volumes will likely be lost this season, while the window for the corn exports will probably be extended into the first quarter, Luciano said.  ADM’s South American operations may also be able to export more grains, which should help offset any declines in North America. But Luciano said North American products could see a “pop” in their margins since the scarcity makes the products and destination more naturally valuable. For their part, North American railroads say they are working with customers to ship more grain. “[Kansas City Southern customers] continue to have the same great options they have always had, including direct access to the Gulf of Mexico at multiple locations,” KCS said in a statement to FreightWaves. “Historically, barge freight was the most cost effective option. However, this year, due to drought conditions, shippers have needed alternatives. As a result, KCS has converted some business to rail. “While minimal volumes have been converted, we continue to have conversations with customers. In all cases, KCS is looking for win-win opportunities and solutions for new and existing customers, which in some cases means nontraditional KCS destinations.” In its Q3 2022 earnings call, Canadian railway CN (NYSE: CNI) said it expects to handle some grain volumes that would have otherwise used barge transport in the inland waterway system.  “It’s a great opportunity and we do parallel the [Mississippi] River,” CN Chief Marketing Officer Doug MacDonald said.  CN is working with customers, although the railway also has to be mindful of terminal capacity, according to MacDonald. The railway operates both to western Canadian ports and to New Orleans via a north-south line that originates in Canada and cuts through the U.S. Midwest.  Union Pacific (NYSE: UNP) is also shipping additional grain, but, like CN, the railroad has to be mindful about not overselling capacity, according to comments this week.  “We are in a position to be able to help our customers because of our franchise,” UP President and CEO Lance Fritz said Tuesday at the Stephens Annual Investment Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. “They came to us because we have a wonderful shot from the Great Lakes, from the growing regions down to the Gulf. [But] we have to be careful because with our constrained crew base, there’s limited capacity. And if we wholesale shift to grain, somebody else — who we’ve committed to — is having a bad time. So there’s a lot of moving parts there.” Norfolk Southern (NYSE: NSC) President and CEO Alan Shaw confirmed at the same investor conference that NS has been handling additional grain and that the company has been able to participate in grain export opportunities that weren’t previously available.  Tyler Durden Mon, 11/21/2022 - 10:30.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytNov 21st, 2022

Futures Flat As Crushing 37bps Curve Inversion Screams Recession

Futures Flat As Crushing 37bps Curve Inversion Screams Recession US futures are mixed on Thursday, first trading in the red, then turning green before moving unchanged, as investors shrugged off growth warnings from the bond market while Taiwan war fears faded further despite drills launched by China overnight. Oil bounced back from the lowest level in almost six months. Contracts on the S&P 500 were flat while Nasdaq futures were modestly green, suggesting the tech-heavy Nasdaq will extend an advance of 19% from its June 16 low on the back of a massive CTA, buyback and retail-driven buying frenzy. In premarket trading, Alibaba gained 3.4% after reporting revenue for the first quarter that beat the average analyst estimate. Adjusted earnings per American depositary receipt also topped expectations. Altice USA shares jumped 5% after the cable television provider reported second-quarter results and announced it received inquiries for its Suddenlink assets. US-listed Chinese tech stocks including JD.com, Pinduoduo and Baidu rise in premarket trading Thursday as Alibaba shares jump 3.9% after reporting better-than-expected revenue in the first quarter. Here are some other notable premarket movers: AMTD Idea (AMTD) shares slump 11.5% putting the Hong-Kong based financial services firm on track to slump for a second straight day after a wild 237% jump earlier this week. Eli Lilly (LLY) falls 2% after the company cut its adjusted earnings per share forecast for the full year. Equinox Gold Corp. (EQX) slides 2.5% after reporting second quarter results that missed consensus analyst estimates for revenue and posted a loss per share, and announced a CEO change. Fastly Inc. (FSLY) shares are down 7% after the infrastructure software company reported second quarter revenue that beat expectations. Gannett Co. Inc. (GCI) shares plunge 5% after the company lowered its full-year revenue and Ebitda outlook, citing “current economic conditions.”. Kohl’s Corp. (KSS) was downgraded to market perform from outperform at Cowen, with analyst Oliver Chen saying a “weakening and inflationary consumer backdrop” could drive EPS downside. Shares decline 3%. Pacific Biosciences (PACB) 2Q results look broadly in line but guidance has been cut significantly, albeit this is not a major surprise, analysts say. Shares down 4% in US premarket trading. Revolve Group Inc. (RVLV) shares are down 13% after the e-commerce fashion company reported quarterly net sales and earnings per share that fell short of analysts’ expectations. Skillz (SKLZ) shares tumble 11.6% after the mobile games platform operator cut its full-year guidance for revenue, with Citi noting that revenue and user metrics disappointed. Under Armour (UAA) is downgraded to neutral from outperform at Baird, which says its view of the athletic-wear retailer’s near-term prospects has “deteriorated materially” over the past two quarters, and faces further pressure from an uncertain macroeconomic environment. The stock declines 0.5% in premarkettrading. Yellow Corp. (YELL) shares jump 37% after the logistics company reported earnings per share for the second quarter that beat the average analyst estimate. So far US stocks have proven resilient to heightened bond market anxiety and an inverted Treasury yield curve flashing warnings on economic risks, as the S&P 500 climbs back toward the highest level in two months ignoring the screaming recession warning from the 2s10s curve which is now 37bps inverted. But a global wave of monetary tightening risks upending those gains. The Bank of England unleashed its first half-point hike since 1995 in an effort to control inflation, joining some 70 other institutions around the world moving rates up in outsized steps. “There’s an intense tug-of-war happening in the economy and markets,” said Dan Suzuki, deputy chief investment officer at Richard Bernstein Advisors. “On one side, you have a narrative that reasonable growth is going to support continued inflation pressure and keep the Fed hiking. The other narrative is that slowing growth is going to ease inflation and allow the Fed to stop hiking.” Meanwhile, US-China tension remains among the uncertainties clouding the outlook. Taiwan braced for the Chinese military to start firing in exercises being held around the island in response to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit. Here are the latest headlines surrounding Taiwan/Pelosi: China's Taiwan Affairs Office said the Taiwan issue is not a regional issue but is a China internal affairs issue, while it added that punishment of pro-Taiwan independence diehards and external forces is reasonable and lawful. Taiwan's Defence Ministry said unidentified aircraft which were likely drones, flew above Kinmen Islands on Wednesday night, while the military fired flares to drive away the aircraft, according to Reuters. Taiwan's Defence Ministry said troops will continue to reinforce alertness level and are carrying out daily training as usual, while the military will react appropriately to an enemy situation and safeguard national security and sovereignty, according to Reuters. ASEAN Foreign Ministers are concerned about international and regional volatility and are concerned volatility could lead to a miscalculation, serious confrontation, open conflicts, and unpredictable consequences among major powers, according to Reuters. US House Speaker Pelosi plans to visit an inter-Korean border area jointly controlled by the American-led UN Command and North Korea, according to a South Korean official cited by Reuters. China's PLA has added an additional zone for its military exercise encircling Taiwan starting Thursday, exercises have been extended until Monday at 10:00, via dwnews' Yang citing Taiwan's port authority. Now seven zones around Taiwan. Gains in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index were led by retailers, leisure and technology firms, alongside an advance in shares of Chinese tech companies.  Among individual stock moves, Glencore Plc shares fell as much as 2% as its capital return plans overshadowed solid first-half results. Ubisoft shares surged as much as 21% after Tencent reached out to Ubisoft’s founding Guillemot family and expressed interest in increasing its stake, according to Reuters. Here are the most notable European movers: Rolls-Royce drops as much as 12% in London. Jefferies highlights that 1H adjusted Ebit came in 24% below consensus, is disappointed Civil margin “once stripped of a number of one-offs, remains well below breakeven.” SES shares drop as much as 10%, the most intraday since April 2020, as some analysts raised doubts about a potential combination with Intelsat after the FT reported deal talks between the two companies. Ambu falls as much as 16%, the most intraday since May 6, after the company slashed its organic revenue forecast for the full year and said it will cut about 200 jobs from its global workforce. Lufthansa gains as much as 7.4% after the airline forecast a “significant increase” in earnings in the third quarter compared to the second and provided a clearer outlook for full-year profit, predicting adjusted Ebit of more than EU500m. Next shares climb as much as 3.2% after the UK apparel retailer reported better-than-expected 2Q sales and raised its profit outlook for the year. Adidas shares gain as much as 4.4% after the German sportswear company reported 2Q results that were largely in line with expectations, following last week’s profit warning. Merck KGaA shares rise as much as 1.7% after the German pharmaceutical group’s 2Q report showed stable growth for its Life Science division despite abating Covid-19 tailwinds, with Jefferies saying it sends a “positive message” for the rest of 2022. Earlier in the session, Asian stocks rebounded as easing tensions over Taiwan and overnight gains on the Nasdaq fueled a rally in Chinese tech shares ahead of key earnings reports. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 0.5%, set for its first gain in three sessions. Alibaba, which is scheduled to release earnings later Thursday, and e-commerce peers Meituan and JD.com helped boost the Hang Seng Tech Index as much as 3.4%, most in more than a month. Other benchmarks in Hong Kong and South Korea’s tech-heavy Kosdaq were among the region’s outperformers.  “Hong Kong stock markets are getting re-rated after seeing the risk-off mood due to Taiwan tensions, as there were no military conflicts,” said Xuehua Cui, a China equity analyst at Meritz Securities in Seoul.  US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi left Taiwan after reaffirming US support for the democratically elected government in Taipei. China responded with trade curbs and military drills.  Elsewhere in Asia, the main Philippine index reached its highest since June 10 on foreign inflows. Asia’s key stock benchmark has rebounded from its July low, but its recent recovery has been lagging behind US peers amid a property crisis in China and heightened geopolitical risks. Japanese equities erased earlier gains and slipped as Toyota announced first-quarter earnings that missed estimates and as investors continue to evaluate corporate earnings both domestically and abroad.  The Topix Index was virtually unchanged at 1,930.73 with Toyota Motor leading declines as of market close Tokyo time, while the Nikkei advanced 0.7% to 27,932.20. Toyota Motor shares dropped during market hours as the automaker reported disappointing first quarter earnings and kept its conservative outlook for the current year. Out of 2,170 shares in the index, 1,198 rose and 849 fell, while 123 were unchanged. “Toyota Motor’s financial results confirmed that the impact of high raw material and fuel prices was strong enough to offset the effects of the weak yen,” said Shuji Hosoi, an analyst at Daiwa Securities. “The fact that the company didn’t change its full-year operating income forecast negatively impacted the markets, which had been expecting an upward revision.” India’s Sensex index snapped a six-session rally, dragged by Reliance Industries and leading lenders, on risk-aversion ahead of a monetary-policy announcement on Friday.  The S&P BSE Sensex fell 0.1% to 58,298.80, in Mumbai, after paring decline of as much as 1.3% in the session. The NSE Nifty 50 Index was flat. Both gauges posted early gains and appeared headed for their longest winning streaks since October 2021, but reversed course.  “The sudden drop in indexes is most likely led by ‘basket selling’ from foreign portfolio investors ahead of the central bank’s rate decision on Friday,” said Abhay Agarwal, a fund manager at Piper Serica Advisors. “Stocks have gained for six straight sessions and investors may want to reap gains ahead of a major policy event.” Reliance Industries fell 1.3%, while State Bank of India and Axis Bank led declines among lenders.  Economists expect the Reserve Bank of India to raise rates for a third consecutive time on Friday but remain divided on the level of the hike aimed at fighting inflation and supporting a weakening currency.  Of 30 shares in the Sensex index, 17 rose and 13 fell. Both of India’s equity benchmarks had gained least 5.5% in previous six sessions driven by $1.7 billion of net purchases by foreigners since the end of June amid signs that inflationary pressures are cooling.  Eight of the 19 sector sub-indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. declined on Thursday. A measure of telecom stocks was the worst performer among the sectoral measures. In FX,  the dollar consolidated as traders awaited US payrolls data due later in the day for clues on the pace of future Federal Reserve rate hikes. Sterling tumbled after the BOE delivered its biggest rate hike in 27 years, pushing rates up by 50bps, however it also warned of a devastating stagflation, hiking its inflation forecast to 13.3% in October even as it predicted a harrowing 5-quarter long recession. In rates, Treasuries were moderately cheaper across the curve - which continues to invert deeply with the 2s10s now -37bps, the biggest yield curve inversion since 2000 as traders increased wagers on Federal Reserve rate hikes ahead of Friday’s US jobs data - as US stock futures added to Wednesday’s gains.  The US 10-year yield dropping to 2.70% as Federal Reserve officials indicated they were resolute on aggressive hikes to cool inflation, dashing market hopes they were ready to embark on a shallower rate path. Treasuries offered little initial reaction to Bank of England decision to hike rates 50bp in an 8-1 vote while warning of a 5 quarter-long recession. Front-end yields cheaper by ~2bp on the day, flattening 2s10s and 5s30s spreads by ~1.5bp and ~0.5bp; 10-year yields around 2.71% trade cheaper by 5bp vs bunds.  European long-end bonds nudged higher. In the UK, focus is on the Bank of England’s rate decision, with a majority of economists anticipating a 50-basis-point hike. In commodities, oil drifted 0.2% lower to trade at the $90 level as investors weighed weaker US gasoline demand and rising inventories against a token supply increase from OPEC+. Spot gold rises roughly $20 to trade near $1,787/oz. Base metals are mixed; LME lead falls 1.1% while LME zinc gains 1.2%. Bitcoin slips back below the USD 23k mark but remains in relative proximity to the level in a tight range. Looking to the day ahead now and we have US June trade balance and Initial Jobless Claims, Germany June factory orders, July construction PMI, UK July new car registrations, construction PMI, Canada June building permits and international merchandise trade. Earnings will include Alibaba, Eli Lilly, Toyota, ICE, ConocoPhillips, Bayer, Glencore, Cigna, Rolls-Royce, adidas, Cheniere, DBS, Apollo, Lyft, Expedia, Deutsche Lufthansa, Warner Bros Discovery, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, DoorDash, Atlassian, Amgen, Block, EOG, Kellogg and AMC. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures little changed at 4,153.75 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.2% to 439.32 MXAP up 0.4% to 159.68 MXAPJ up 0.6% to 521.36 Nikkei up 0.7% to 27,932.20 Topix little changed at 1,930.73 Hang Seng Index up 2.1% to 20,174.04 Shanghai Composite up 0.8% to 3,189.04 Sensex down 0.6% to 57,993.23 Australia S&P/ASX 200 little changed at 6,974.93 Kospi up 0.5% to 2,473.11 German 10Y yield little changed at 0.89% Euro up 0.1% to $1.0178 Brent Futures little changed at $96.78/bbl Brent Futures little changed at $96.75/bbl Gold spot up 0.4% to $1,773.19 U.S. Dollar Index down 0.13% to 106.37 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg China’s military fired missiles into the sea on Thursday in live-fire military exercises around the island in response to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit, even as Taipei played down the impact on flights and shipping. The Bank of England on Thursday is expected to push through the biggest interest-rate increase in 27 years despite growing risks of a recession. European stocks edged higher on Thursday as investors continued to weigh the path of corporate earnings, while attention turned to the Bank of England’s policy decision later in the day. The dollar is close to a 20-year high, despite talk of its inevitable demise. While reluctant to add another article that ends up in traders’ trash cans, current pricing is extreme. Asia’s emerging economies are drawing on large foreign exchange reserves to help prop up their currencies rather than going all-out with interest-rate hikes. A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks were firmer as the positive momentum rolled over from global peers. ASX 200 was kept afloat by tech after similar outperformance of the sector stateside. Nikkei 225 briefly reclaimed the 28k level amid recent JPY weakness and as the earnings deluge continued. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp conformed to the heightened risk appetite with firm gains in tech including Alibaba ahead of its earnings and with Hong Kong set to provide HKD 2k in consumption vouchers from Sunday. Top Asian News   China’s Yiwu city will conduct mass testing and China's Sanya city is on lockdown amid a COVID flare-up, according to state media. China Cancels Japan Meeting Over G-7 Criticism of Taiwan Drills SoftBank Raises $22 Billion Through Alibaba Derivatives: FT China State-Backed Builder’s Dollar Bonds Slump as Worries Mount Tiger Global Fund Halves Stake in India Food Platform Zomato Additional Share Sales Break Asia’s Usual Summer Lull: ECM Watch Li Ka-shing’s CK to Sell AMTD Stake After Unit Soars 14,000% European bourses are firmer across the board, Euro Stoxx 50 +0.9%, with the general tone constructive though the FTSE 100 lags pre-BoE amid GBP strength. Stateside, US futures have lifted from initial rangebound action, ES +0.3%, with specific newsflow limited pre-data/Fed speak Top European News Next Raises Profit Outlook as Hot Spell Spurs Fashion Buying French Tech Startup Back Market Said to Start Early IPO Prep Goldman, Bernstein Strategists Say Stocks Rally Can Fizzle Out European Retailers Outperform, Fueled by Zalando Relief Rally Czech Finance Minister Attending Central Bank’s Rate Meeting Credit Agricole’s Investment Bank Drives Earnings Beat FX DXY remains subdued in early European trade following a relatively contained APAC session; fresh session lows are seen heading into the US entrance. GBP/USD and EUR/USD are currently buoyed, but seemingly more as a function of the Dollar with the former gearing up for the BoE. A mixed session thus far for the non-US Dollars, with the Antipodeans leading the charge whilst the Loonie remained suppressed by crude prices. JPY resides as the current G10 laggard with recent Fed rhetoric fuelling a retracement of last week’s USD/JPY downside. Fixed Income Core consolidation after recent rampant upward move, knife-edge BoE looms; Bund Sep'22 towards mid-point of a +100 tick range. USTs are following suit with the yield curve flattening modestly but generally quite contained ahead of Mester (2022 voter, Hawk) who has provided commentary recently. Pre-BoE Gilts are supported, but in narrower parameters than EGB peers, as participants look for clarity on the 25/50bp debate as pricing implies a 90% chance of 50bp and circa. 150bp total by end-2022. Commodities Crude consolidates and moves with broader sentiment post-OPEC & pre-JCPOA. Currently, benchmarks are firmer by circa. USD 1.00bbl and towards the top-end of relatively/comparably narrow ranges. Saudi Arabia OSPs (Sep) vs Oman/Dubai average: Arab Light to Asia at USD +9.80/bbl (exp. 9.80-11.10/bbl), according to Reuters sources. Spot gold is bid and benefitting from a USD pullback that has sent the yellow-metal above the 50-DMA at best; base metals somewhat mixed. US Event Calendar 07:30: July Challenger Job Cuts YoY, prior 58.8% 08:30: June Trade Balance, est. -$80b, prior -$85.5b 08:30: July Initial Jobless Claims, est. 260,000, prior 256,000; Continuing Claims, est. 1.38m, prior 1.36m DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap One thing we can say for sure is that August hasn’t been dull so far and we’ve only had three days. This is all before the biggest BoE hike for 27 years (50bps) likely today, and then US payrolls tomorrow. Indeed, there have been some remarkable ranges in treasuries so far in the three days of August. In just over 24 hours from mid-afternoon London time on Tuesday, 2yr US yields moved from 2.83% to 3.18%, 5yrs from 2.58% to 2.96% and 10yrs from 2.52% to 2.83%. These all marked the high points as the three closed at 3.07% (+1.4bps on the day), 2.83% (-2.4bps) and 2.71% (-4.5bps) respectively, 11bps to 13bps off their intra-day highs immediately after a strong US services ISM yesterday. This led to a big curve flattening as 2s10s closed c.6bps lower at -36bps. This morning in Asia, treasury yields are pretty much unchanged. If that wasn’t enough, the Nasdaq 100 (+2.73%) surged to finish the day at a level last seen on May 4th leaving a strong S&P 500 (+1.59%) slightly behind. The narratives at the moment are struggling to be consistent though as equities have recently rallied on weaker growth that has been seen as helping to limit how far the Fed can hike. However yesterday equities rallied on stronger economic data regardless of the potential Fed impact. Discretionary (+2.52%), IT (+2.69%) and communications stocks (+2.48%) were the major drivers of the S&P. The broad rally lifted 79% of benchmark’s members with energy (-2.97%) being the only sector to close in the red as oil plummeted. Speaking of which, although the OPEC+ agreed to increase its September output by 100k bpd, way below the July and August increases north of 600k, crude’s short-lived almost +3% gain unwound fairly quickly, with both WTI (-3.87%) and Brent (-3.60%) weaker on lower US gasoline demand as consumers seem to be driving less. Oil is very slightly higher in Asia. In terms of earnings, Moderna (+16%), PayPal (+9.25%) and CVS (+6.3%) were among top performers in the S&P 500 after a combination of upbeat results and perhaps more importantly buy back announcements. Another interesting snippet from this earnings season came when Bloomberg reported that Meta is looking for a potential debut in bond markets. News of debt sales by Apple and Intel already came through earlier this week as well, supporting narratives of resilience in corporate debt markets. Dissecting the data, just before the ISM services was released, we got a slight upward revision for the US services PMI (47.3 vs 47.0) but the real surprise was the ISM services index itself. The print showed an unexpected expansion from 55.3 in June to 56.7 last month, the highest since April, while the median Bloomberg estimate stood at 53.5. The employment index also improved to 49.1 from 47.4 and business activity and new orders indicators were the highest since January, while prices paid plunged from 80.1 to 72.3. Another strong reading came from June factory orders that increased +2.0% (vs +1.2% expected), up from May’s revised reading of +1.8% (from +1.6% previously). This data dovetailed with comments from a list of Fed speakers over the last 24 hours, including Bullard, Daly, Barkin and Kashkari, all saying that the central bank is not close to finishing its work and markets shouldn’t expect a quick reversal to cuts. This all supports our view that the US isn’t in recession yet. As we’ve said many times before we think it’s almost inevitable it does go into one within say 12 months but that we still might need the lagged impact of an aggressive (but necessary) series of rate hikes first to get us there. The risks to this view in terms of an earlier recession would probably be due to a sudden self fulfilling loss of confidence as everyone talks about imminent recession risk, or if financial conditions dramatically collapse. To be fair the latter was very worrying by mid-June but we’ve seen a tremendous loosening since. Over to Asia and the strong gains in US equities are echoing in Asia with all the key markets trading higher. As I type, the Hang Seng (+1.78%) is leading the way across the region helped by gains in Chinese technology companies with shares of Alibaba climbing around +5.0% ahead of its earnings results later today. Elsewhere, the Nikkei (+0.54%), and the Kospi (+0.36%) are trading higher in early trade. Over in Mainland China, the Shanghai Composite (+0.15%) and the CSI (+0.40%) are both trading in the green. Outside of Asia, stock futures in the US are pausing for breath with contracts on the S&P 500 (-0.10%) and NASDAQ 100 (-0.20%) moving slightly lower. Early morning data showed that Australia’s trade balance swelled to a record high of A$17.67bn in June (v/s A$14.0bn expected) from A$15.97bn in May driven by strong prices of key exports from grains to metals and gold. Elsewhere, although Pelosi left Taiwan yesterday without incident, remember that China will start 4 days of military drills today around the island. So be prepared for headlines to come through. Back to yesterday and European shares rallied but missed the main part of the US climb with the STOXX 600 closing with a +0.51% advance for the day after a steady march higher throughout the session. It was an across-the-board rally led by IT (+2.78%), financials (+1.60%) and discretionary (+1.52%) stocks. The few sectors in the red - utilities (-0.94%), healthcare (-0.92%) and communications (-0.35%) - were left behind by a risk-on mood. Speaking of European utilities, it is a sector that has faced challenges not only amid the Russian gas story but also the extreme heat in Europe. Our European economists cover implications of the drought-driven low water levels for the German economy here. As a reminder, it was an important topic back in 2018 but today’s situation with gas supplies reinforces its effect given coal plants’ reliance on waterways for supplies. Linked in, yesterday’s announcement by Uniper about potentially limiting output at a coal plant in Germany sent gas futures in New York up by almost +10%, with contracts holding on to a +7.71% gain by the close of US markets. Other companies depend on water traffic too and water-intensive industries are likely to get affected as well. Earlier this week EDF has warned about potential further nuclear power cuts as river water, used for plant cooling, becomes too warm. Expect this to be an increasingly pertinent and market-moving issue across industries. Diving back into market movements, the bullish sentiment in European stocks was strong enough to overpower surging yields. In Germany the belly of the curve surged, with 5y yields (+7.6bps) racing ahead of both the front end (+6.9bps) and the 10y (+5.6bps) that was mainly upheld by higher breakevens (+6.1bps). While a similar story was seen in France (OATs +3.4bps), Italy stood out with an across the curve decline in yields. 2s10s still flattened as the 2y yield (-1.5ps) fell by less than the 10y (-4.1bps). We should note that US yields rallied 7-8bps after Europe closed. Central banks and yields will be in focus today as well since today’s BoE’s meeting will likely be top of the list in terms of events for European markets and our UK economists expect the Bank to hike by +50bps (taking the Bank Rate to 1.75%). Their full preview is here. This hike would imply the largest single Bank Rate increase since 1995 and come amid the 9.4% CPI print for June, a 40-year high. They also updated their growth outlook for the country yesterday (link here) and now expect the economy to contract in Q4-22 and Q1-23 in a short and mild technical recession. Gilts behaved similar to other European bond markets yesterday, with the 2y yield (+7.1bps) rising by more than the 10y (+4.4bps) but both lagging the 5y (+9.0bps). Staying with Europe and briefly returning to yesterday’s other data releases, Germany’s exports accelerated to +4.5% in June, way ahead of the +1.0% median estimate on Bloomberg’s and May’s revised +1.3% (from -0.5% previously). Imports came in softer than expected, however, slowing to just +0.2% (+1.3% expected). Elsewhere, Eurozone’s retail sales contracted -3.7% yoy in June, missing estimates of -1.7%. The PPI accelerated to a monthly gain of +1.1% in June relative to the prior +0.5% (revised from +0.7%). To the day ahead now and we have US June trade balance, Germany June factory orders, July construction PMI, UK July new car registrations, construction PMI, Canada June building permits and international merchandise trade. Earnings will include Alibaba, Eli Lilly, Toyota, ICE, ConocoPhillips, Bayer, Glencore, Cigna, Rolls-Royce, adidas, Cheniere, DBS, Apollo, Lyft, Expedia, Deutsche Lufthansa, Warner Bros Discovery, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, DoorDash, Atlassian, Amgen, Block, EOG, Kellogg and AMC. Tyler Durden Thu, 08/04/2022 - 08:25.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytAug 4th, 2022

Bomb Cyclone To Unleash Atmospheric River Over Northern California

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

Category: worldSource: nytOct 23rd, 2021

Luongo: Energy Subsidies, Bitcoin, & The Socialist Takeover That Isn"t

Luongo: Energy Subsidies, Bitcoin, & The Socialist Takeover That Isn't Authored by Tom Luongo via Gold, Goats, 'n Guns blog, “When you subsidize something, you get more of it." - RON PAUL I have a friend who once described Bitcoin to me as an organism which feeds on electricity subsidies. Bitcoin searches out the lowest cost of electricity available and consumes as much of it as it can to produce profit for the miners, since electricity costs are their biggest costs. This is partly why China, for years, attracted the lion’s share of Bitcoin mining. Miners could co-locate next to hydroelectric power plants in China and suck up every extra available cheap and subsidized kilowatt-hour. This is the essence of the free market. It finds inefficiencies and exploits them as capital flows to where it is treated best. It may be ‘predatory’ from the central planners’ point of view, but they opened themselves up to this effect the moment they intervened by subsidizing the market in the first place. Bitcoin exposed a structural weakness in China’s electricity grid this summer which was under massive stress thanks to drought conditions there dimming the output of its hydroelectric generators. This is partly why Chairman Xi Jinping took the aggressive steps to kick the Bitcoin miners out of China this summer. He could see the real costs of electricity rising as coal, oil and natural gas prices skyrocketed but, because of rate subsidies to end-users, revenue to power generating companies was flat. It served him in other strategic ways, like kicking out the flow of Bitcoin within the Chinese economy, cutting down would-be mining company financial oligarchs and ultimately lessening competition for the Digital Yuan. The response from the Socialist is always the same, however. Today Russia is getting blamed for gas prices in Europe. Price gouging in a crisis a moral failure, not the original wealth transfer (itself a theft) from one group of people to another, which is what an electrical subsidy is. They see this as a market failure because to them the greater good is served by subsidizing certain aspects of the economy to achieve political and/or social goals. And, in some ways, they may be correct, but you’ll never know it because there can be no rational calculation of the costs versus the benefits, c.f. Mises’ critique of Socialism from 1921. You see, the market is neutral. It doesn’t have a perspective other than expressing the very human response of seeing an arbitrage opportunity and exploiting it. Rather than being a failure of the free market, Bitcoin miners seeking out and exposing the unsustainability of electricity subsidies is a massive success of market principles. It is firmly rooted in actual human behavior rather than some fantastical one created by a central committee and the force of the gun. China kicking out the Bitcoin miners only forestalled the day of reckoning for its energy industry because their presence was a symptom of a deeper problem not the source of the problem itself. Today, four months later China is now rationing electricity to force demand down. Rather than let market forces raise the prices, divert capital away from energy intensive (and possibly uneconomic) activity and give accurate signals to producers and consumers, China will do the authoritarian thing to blame the people and take away a basic function of a first world society. This is a simple, yet dramatic, example of what’s fundamentally wrong with the world we live in today. China isn’t the only one guilty of this. Subsidies like these are everywhere and they do nothing except create pricing dislocations which attract massive amounts of capital creating economic bubbles in price. If you’re wondering where this headline could come from: Zerohedge answers it with the pullquote. In fact, it is the Austrian School critique of these subsidies which is its core competency; to explain in real terms why government intervention in a market ultimately subsidizes overinvestment in one activity at the expense of another. Capital at any given moment is finite. That means there is competition for it ceteris paribus. That competition means that if better profits can be made mining Bitcoin in China rather than building a new road or gas pipeline, then that’s what will happen. We can create more capital but that requires time, ingenuity and labor. Capital compounds at a pretty linear rate and all we do with things like deficit spending is pull forward capital from the future to subsidize production in the present. Today we produce far more electricity than we use. It’s estimated that as much as 30% of global electricity goes to ground. Bitcoin uses up less than 0.5% of that wasted electricity. It’s actually performing a major market function to blow apart these layers of bureaucratic insanity by preying on a fraction of this over-production. Since prices are set at the margin, small demand or supply shocks can create massive spikes or drops in price if the market is operating at peak capacity. If you really stop to think about it, it’s quite astounding that the world’s economic system is this vulnerable to this basic application of free market principles. Today Bitcoin mining is co-locating next to the cheapest electricity produced on the planet, next to volcanos and nuclear power plants. It’s coming to America in a big, big way where it will further expose rural electrical subsidies here in the U.S. just like it did in China. But, for now, this organism is healthy, strong and in no danger of dying from the heavy hand of inept socialists. French Fried Grid Lines What prompted this article was my reading with a certain perverse glee that France is dealing with the same problem China has but in a different way. They are now suspending a planned tax hike in electricity tariffs because prices to the French consumer are spiking thanks to rising gas, oil and coal prices that its nuclear power infrastructure can’t overcome. Even if France fully passed on the input cost rises to the consumer, the tariffs the government charges for using electricity are another form of subsidy, not to the electricity generator, but to government itself. Why was France considering raising taxes on electricity during a global energy price spike? Because its government spends too much money, doing what…? …regulating its economy, which it has done an objectively miserable job of. So, to subsidize its bloated and now openly tyrannical government France wanted to squeeze its citizens for more money to keep that arrangement in place: to fund The Davos Crowd’s mandates about COVID-9/11 vaccines, restrictions on travel, blasting protestors with water cannons… you know, protecting and serving the public. But with massive protests around the country and the people’s falling confidence and patience with its government, France had to back off lest this latest tax hike enflame passions there even more six months out from a Presidential election. In typical central planner Newspeak they called the simple act of not raising taxes, the ultimate form of government aggression, ‘price protection.’ It’s patently absurd for them to frame it this way when the last thing the French government actually does is protect its people, except those that work for it, from, well, anything. He {French Prime Minister Jean Castex} said any new natgas tariffs following Friday’s scheduled 12.6% hike would be postponed until prices decrease in late March/April, adding that it will shield 5 million households who are on floating-rate contracts. Castex said the French government would lower taxes on power prices, capping the scheduled increase in residential electricity tariffs at 4% in February. In the midst of an energy price crisis the French government, in a blatant pander to voters for the 2022 election, not only scrapped raising taxes but also further subsidized lower income households, encouraging them to use even more electricity and worsening the government’s fiscal position. Someone has to pay to move those electrons around just not those that might vote to re-elect Emmanuel Macron. These are decisions not made with any long-term economic benefits in mind, but rather the most crass short-term political consequences trying to put a band-aid on a government-inflicted wound on the people themselves. “The government is good at one thing. It knows how to break your legs, and then hand you a crutch and say, ‘See if it weren’t for the government, you wouldn’t be able to walk.” - HARRY BROWNE Capital Gone Walkabout Meanwhile, Germany is now running out of coal, as a major coal power plant there had to shut down because it ran out. German utility Steag halted its coal-fired power plant Bergkamen-A after it ran out of hard coal supplies amid an energy crunch globally and logistics challenges domestically, the company told Bloomberg on Friday. “We are short of hard coal,” Steag spokesman Daniel Muhlenfeld told Bloomberg via email. Germany has been the poster child for Europe’s Quixotic quest for carbon-neutrality. What it’s wound up with is windmills not spinning (and the birds chirped in excitement), solar panels covered in snow when the cloud cover clears and gas prices never before seen in history, at over $1200 per thousand cubic meters. Oil prices keep trying to fall and new conflicts and controls keep trying to push the price higher, be it from OPEC+ members trying to subsidize their national governments, or the U.S. actively pushing supply off the market to subsidize its LNG exports. But, none of the price rise is because we’re running out but because supply is being artificially restricted by central planners wanting to create a false reality. How does anyone expect the mighty German industrial economy to absorb these costs without some kind of output slowdown? The answer is no one. In fact, if you think through the situation, it’s clear Davos is happy about this because this puts downward pressure on growth, starving out Germany’s powerful industrial and middle class, who stand confused as to the cause, if the results of the election there are any indication. Because those people produce wealth. Growing wealth to those of limited understanding is problematic. If the world is finite, they argue, growth must be finite. That’s only true, however, at any single point on the timeline of our understanding of the universe. Tomorrow we’ll figure out some new thing, some new efficiency, material or overcome some obstacle we didn’t have time for yesterday. We’ll take our surplus time we earned as profit today and deploy it to fix some other problem tomorrow, opening up new pathways for growth. But this type of growth, where it isn’t directed by oligarchs and governments who stand in front of them, is somehow evil or unsustainable. Yeah, for them. For the past fifty years they’ve been telling us peak oil would end modern civilization and yet, absent their manipulations of energy markets through lockdowns, wars, currency manipulation and regulation, the real price of oil has risen just 12% over the past fifty years, when indexed for inflation, which they manipulate to the downside to sustain their power. One could easily argue that today’s price shocks aren’t any more sustainable than any other commodity whose supply and demand fundamentals are driven by politics more than they are the markets themselves. Remove those obstacles and I bet we’ll see oil production subsidies driven out of the market the same way that bitcoin drove China and France to ‘protect consumers’ from electricity subsidies. We had to invent a new word to describe the fight over energy, geopolitics, because of our adherence to the socialists’ maleducation on basic human behavior. We also had to invent a new definition of inflation in the age of money unmoored from the stored energy of gold and other hard assets, based on prices not the supply of money. Instead of basing our money on our past work, tokenized by gold, they gave us a money based on what we will produce for them, debt. What I didn’t show in the above graph is the stability of oil in real terms before we entered this era. All Malthusian arguments about the end of cheap energy are themselves indefensible and unsustainable and yet that is all we are ever told is coming. They deny the Marginal Revolution (1871-74) in economics, which negated all of Marx’s complaints about capitalism before his death (1883), and yet his idiotic ideas fuel the unquenchable thirst for power of midwit oligarchs and the envy of their socialist useful idiots. When someone is lying to you, you really owe it to yourself to ask why. Davos has broken the world supply chain for energy for the sole purpose of proving a point that history itself has already debunked, Facebook be damned. They do this, nominally, in the name of sustainability, arguing the wastefulness of capitalism is the end state of it. But, as I’ve already shown with bitcoin and electricity, oil and money printing, it is the over-production of something through subsidization that creates unsustainable waste and malinvestment which eventually has to be liquidated in a rational system. But instead of bowing to the rational, ending that system of privilege for them, they make the monetary system ever more irrational to the point of absurdity. Last year, Paul Krugman was calling the $1 trillion coin “an accounting gimmick” that “wouldn’t even fool anyone”, now he’s all in on the illegal power grab with a New York Times column headlined, “Biden Should Ignore the Debt Limit and Mint a $1 Trillion Coin”. That only took a little over a year.   The End of Socialism This brings me to the final point of this essay. They are losing. They are losing not because they aren’t powerful or aren’t making our lives miserable but because their system of subsidy, which produces unearned wealth (or rent) for them is failing rapidly. They embarked on this Great Reset solely for the purpose of defaulting on their socialist promises made by buying off present generations with the labor of future generations. We call this in modern parlance debt. Now that the debt is unpayable and the future liabilities of their governments overwhelming everything they have unleashed a torrent of policies around the world to starve, freeze and kill off entire generations of taxpayers who they can’t afford to bribe anymore. COVID-9/11, no matter how you look at it, as a political operation has shortened lifespans in the U.S. by 18 months in 2020, according to the CDC. What will those numbers look like in 2021? This is a radical contraction which lifted trillions of unfunded liabilities in Social Security and Medicare payments from future U.S. governments. And they call libertarians heartless? Draw your own conclusions from this but I think you know what it means. Davos is purposefully shrinking the division of labor in order to prove the Marxist critique of capitalism correct when it has done nothing but lift billions out of poverty which the Malthusian central planners told us a century ago then was unsustainable. Central planners aren’t rational. They are simply tyrants who prey on the fear and weakness of people grown soft through abundance. Because in their mind sustainability is only measured by the continuity of their power over society not the actual economics of that society. The instability, chaos and conflict come from their inability to accept that someone else may have a better solution to society’s problems than they do. And what truly keeps them up at night is the gnawing feeling that the best system is the one where no one person or group of people could ever manage a system as complex and dynamic as seven-plus billion people acting in their own self-interest creating a spontaneous and self-correcting order which doesn’t need their help. When I look out today and see bills in the U.S. Congress to deny unvaccinated people from flying or children from getting an education all I see is a failing system of energy distribution and subsidy trying to protect itself from the ravages of its own stupidity. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again here, power doesn’t prove you’re smart, it simply makes you stupid. Bitcoin, among other technologies, is slowly eating away at these unsustainable markets while the socialists in China, France and yes, Washington D.C. scramble to keep the central planners’ dream alive of a world where they control access to everything you need to live your most productive life. They are scared to death of a private banking system that doesn’t need them or a division of labor that coordinates production where their toll booths can’t collect. To them we are just livestock to be farmed, batteries to be discharged and liabilities on their balance sheets to be written down. Energy isn’t scarce, it is abundant. Human energy, that is. Oil is finite. So is gas. So is coal. But until we properly price its costs, we’ll never figure out what’s the best replacement for them and at what point in time that change should occur. Between now and then it will be a long, cold winter. “I know you’re out there. I can feel you now. I know that you’re afraid. You’re afraid of us. You’re afraid of change. I don’t know the future. I didn’t come here to tell you how this is going to end. I came here to tell you how it’s going to begin. I’m going to hang up this phone, and then I’m going to show these people what you don’t want them to see. I’m going to show them a world without you, a world without rules and controls, without borders or boundaries, a world where anything is possible. Where we go from there, is a choice I leave to you.”. - NEO, THE MATRIX *  *  * Join my Patreon if you want to subsidize the truth BTC: 3GSkAe8PhENyMWQb7orjtnJK9VX8mMf7ZfBCH: qq9pvwq26d8fjfk0f6k5mmnn09vzkmeh3sffxd6rytDCR: DsV2x4kJ4gWCPSpHmS4czbLz2fJNqms78oELTC: MWWdCHbMmn1yuyMSZX55ENJnQo8DXCFg5kDASH: XjWQKXJuxYzaNV6WMC4zhuQ43uBw8mN4VaWAVES: 3PF58yzAghxPJad5rM44ZpH5fUZJug4kBSaETH: 0x1dd2e6cddb02e3839700b33e9dd45859344c9edcDGB: SXygreEdaAWESbgW6mG15dgfH6qVUE5FSE Tyler Durden Sun, 10/03/2021 - 13:32.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeOct 3rd, 2021

Key Events This Extremely Busy Week: "One For The Record Books"

Key Events This Extremely Busy Week: "One For The Record Books" As BofA rates strategist Ralf Preusser writes in his weekly preview, "this week is one for the record book. We have not seen these three major central bank decisions (Fed, BoE, ECB); and key data releases (US ISM, payrolls, and the employment cost index, as well as Euro Area inflation, GDP, and confidence data) in the same week before. Not to mention in combination with month-end flow, which given the incidence of supply in Europe should be sizeable in both EUR and GBP." DB's Jim Reid agrees writing that this week is set to be action packed for scheduled activity: "The main highlight is of course the FOMC conclusion (Wednesday), but the ECB and the BoE (both Thursday) will also likely hike. However, there's plenty of other events on the macro calendar, including the US jobs report on Friday, the flash CPI release from France and Germany (tomorrow), the Euro Area aggregate (Wednesday), regional and Euro Area Q4 GDP (tomorrow), global manufacturing (Wednesday) and services (Friday) PMIs/ISMs, China’s equivalents (tomorrow and Wednesday), US JOLTS (Wednesday), and US ECI (tomorrow)." If that’s not enough, 12% of the S&P 500 by market cap report within a few moments of each other on Thursday night after the bell with Apple, Alphabet and Amazon the highlights in a busy week for earnings. Overall, a whopping 35% of S&P earnings by sector are set to report this week. Going back to central banks, at the time of writing, the Fed is priced to deliver 26 bp, the ECB 50 bp, and the BoE 46 bp. BofA expects both the Fed and the ECB to deliver what is priced in, and sees a 25 bp hike from the BoE – marginally more likely than before after new lows in the PMIs – but risks are clearly skewed towards 50 bp. DB's Reid adds that with a downshift to a 25bps Fed hike already priced in for Wednesday, the meeting will be all about what the Fed tone implies for further meetings. DB still think there'll be two more 25bps hikes after this one partly as the Fed won’t want to see financial conditions ease too much as a result of being too dovish. Assuming central banks deliver on forwards, the key focus for the market will be the accompanying messages. The Fed’s message will likely be strongly influenced by critical data prints between now and Wednesday: PCE, ECI, ISM, JOLTS. And that message in turn risks looking dated already by the end of the week with ISM Services and NFP prints to come, also. Our economists remain hawkish relative to market pricing, expecting a terminal FF target range of 5.00-5.25% and the first cut not until Mar-2024, for which forwards price 100 bp more cuts than our colleagues expect. The last big and very important data point for the Fed before their meeting will be tomorrow’s Q4 ECI release (consensus 1.1% vs. +1.2% previously). Chair Powell is very focused on the relationship between core services ex-shelter inflation and wage pressures, with ECI near the top of their dashboard. JOLTS (Wednesday) is similarly important and may get a reference in the press conference. Staying with labor markets, although Friday's employment report will come after the FOMC, it will as ever be a lightening rod for the market. For the headline, consensus is at +185k vs. +223K last month, and 3.6% for unemployment (DB also at 3.6%, vs. 3.5% last month). All eyes also on average hourly earnings and importantly the work week length which was soft last month hinting at a small crack in the labor market. With regards to the ECB (Thursday), most economists expect another +50bps hike that would take the deposit rate to 2.50%. They also emphasize the importance of communicating expectations for the March meeting since core and underlying inflation remain sticky. The team sees further +50bps and +25bps hikes in March and May, respectively, and a terminal rate of 3.25%. For the BoE decision that same day, DB economists differ with BofA and see another +50bps (vs 25bps) hike that will take the Bank Rate to 4%. That will potentially be the last 'forceful' hike in this tightening cycle. Although their view is that services and wages data warrant such a move, the risks are tilted to the downside. They continue to call for a 4.5% terminal rate as inflation pressures remain resilient. European markets have lots of data to run through ahead of those decisions, with Eurozone Q4 GDP, inflation and labor market data all released early this week. Most of the key data will be out tomorrow, including Q4 GDP data for Germany, France, Italy and the Eurozone as well as CPI reports for Germany and France. Eurozone aggregates for the CPI and unemployment rate are released on Wednesday. DB economists expect Eurozone HICP to decline to 8.4% in January (vs 9.2% yoy in December) and continue falling to c.3.5% in Q4 this year. Core inflation is seen staying in a 5.0-5.5% range throughout first half of this year. Finally, let's not forget about earnings, although that's impossible with a whopping 107 S&P companies reporting, including Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, Meta, Ford, AMD, Amgen, Qualcomm, Starbucks and dozens more. Source: Earnings Whispers Courtesy of DB, here is a day-by-day calendar of events Monday January 30 Data: US January Dallas Fed manufacturing activity, UK January Lloyds business barometer, Japan December jobless rate, retail sales, industrial production, Italy December PPI, Eurozone January economic, industrial and services confidence Central banks: ECB's Villeroy speaks Earnings: Sumitomo Mitsui Financial, NXP Semiconductors, Ryanair Other: IMF's world economic outlook update Tuesday January 31 Data: US Q4 employment cost index, January Conference Board consumer confidence, MNI Chicago PMI, Dallas Fed services activity, November FHFA house price index, China January PMIs, December industrial profits, UK December consumer credit, mortgage approvals, M4, Japan January consumer confidence index, December housing starts, Italy Q4 GDP, December unemployment rate, hourly wages, Germany Q4 GDP, January CPI, unemployment change, France Q4 GDP, January CPI, December PPI, consumer spending, Eurozone Q4 GDP, Canada November GDP Central banks: Euro Area bank lending survey Earnings: Samsung Electronics, Exxon Mobil, Pfizer, McDonald's, UPS, Amgen, Caterpillar, AMD, Stryker, Mondelez, UBS, Moody's, GM, MSCI, Electronic Arts, Spotify, Snap Wednesday February 1 Data: US January ISM manufacturing index, total vehicle sales, ADP report, December JOLTS report job openings, construction spending, China Caixin manufacturing PMI, Japan January monetary base, Italy January CPI, manufacturing PMI, new car registrations, budget balance, Eurozone January CPI, December unemployment rate, Canada January manufacturing PMI Central banks: Fed decision Earnings: SK Hynix, Novo Nordisk, Meta, Orsted, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Novartis, T-Mobile, Altria, Boston Scientific, GSK, BBVA, Peloton Thursday February 2 Data: US Q4 unit labor costs, nonfarm productivity, December factory orders, initial jobless claims, Germany December trade balance, France December budget balance, Canada December building permits Central banks: ECB, BoE decision Earnings: Apple, Alphabet, Amazon.com, Sony, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial, Mizuho Financial, Eli Lilly, Merck, Roche, Shell, Bristol-Myers Squibb, ConocoPhillips, QUALCOMM, Honeywell, Starbucks, Gilead Sciences, Estee Lauder, JD.com, ICE, Banco Santander, Ford, Ferrari, Infineon Friday February 3 Data: US January jobs report, change in nonfarm payrolls, unemployment rate, labor force participation rate, average hourly earnings, ISM services, China Caixin services PMI, UK January official reserves changes, Italy January services PMI, France December manufacturing and industrial production, Eurozone December PPI Central banks: ECB Survey of Professional Forecasters Earnings: Sanofi, Regeneron, Intesa Sanpaolo * * * Finally, looking at just the US, Goldman writes that the key economic data releases this week are the employment cost index on Tuesday, JOLTS job openings and ISM manufacturing on Wednesday, and the employment situation report on Friday. The February FOMC meeting is on Wednesday. The post-meeting statement will be released at 2:00 PM ET, followed by Chair Powell’s press conference at 2:30 PM. Monday, January 30 10:30 AM Dallas Fed manufacturing index, January (consensus -15.5, last -18.8) Tuesday, January 31 08:30 AM Employment cost index, Q4 (GS +1.1%, consensus +1.1%, prior +1.2%): We estimate that the employment cost index (ECI) rose 1.1% in Q4 (qoq sa), which would boost the year-on-year rate by one tenth to 5.1%. Our forecast reflects sequential slowing in the private wages ex-incentives category following net softer readings of production and nonsupervisory average hourly earnings and the Atlanta Fed wage tracker. However, we expect another strong reading for the benefits category as firms expand health insurance and supplemental pay programs in order to attract and retain talent. 09:00 AM FHFA house price index, November (consensus -0.5%, last flat) 09:00 AM S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index, November (GS -0.6%, consensus -0.7%, last -0.5%): We estimate that the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index declined 0.6% in November, following a 0.5% decline in October. 09:45 AM Chicago PMI, January (GS 45.1, consensus 45.3, last 45.1): We estimate that the Chicago PMI was unchanged at 45.1 in January, reflecting weaker industrial activity in the US and a continued drag from the covid wave in China. 10:00 AM Conference Board consumer confidence, January (GS 109.5, consensus 109.0, last 108.3): We estimate that the Conference Board consumer confidence index increased to 109.5 in January. Wednesday, February 1 08:15 AM ADP employment report, January (GS +190k, consensus +170k, last +235k): We estimate a 190k rise in ADP payroll employment in January, reflecting strength in Big Data indicators. 09:45 AM S&P Global US manufacturing PMI, January final (consensus 46.8, last 46.8) 10:00 AM Construction spending, December (GS +0.2%, consensus flat, last +0.2%): We estimate construction spending increased 0.2% in December. 10:00 AM ISM manufacturing index, January (GS 48.0, consensus 48.0, last 48.4): We estimate that the ISM manufacturing index declined 0.4pt to 48.0 in January, reflecting weaker industrial activity in the US and a continued drag from the covid wave in China. Our GS manufacturing tracker declined 1.3pt to 47.0. 10:00 AM JOLTS job openings, December (GS 10,350k, consensus 10,300k, last 10,458k): We estimate that JOLTS job openings declined to 10,350k in December. 02:00 PM FOMC statement, January 31 – February 1 meeting: The key question for the February meeting is what the FOMC will signal about further hikes this year. As discussed on our FOMC preview, we expect two additional 25bp hikes in March and May, but fewer might be needed if weak business confidence depresses hiring and investment, or more might be needed if the economy reaccelerates as the impact of past policy tightening fades. Fed officials appear to also expect about two more hikes and will likely tone down the reference to “ongoing” hikes being appropriate in the FOMC statement. 05:00 PM Lightweight motor vehicle sales, January (GS 15.8mn, consensus 14.4mn, last 13.3mn) Thursday, February 2 08:30 AM Nonfarm productivity, Q4 preliminary (GS +2.5%, consensus +2.4%, last +0.8%); Unit labor costs, Q4 preliminary (GS +1.5%, consensus +1.5%, last +2.4%): We estimate nonfarm productivity growth of +2.5% in Q4 (qoq saar) and unit labor cost—compensation per hour divided by output per hour—growth of +1.5%. 08:30 AM Initial jobless claims, week ended January 28 (GS 190k, consensus 200k, last 186k); Continuing jobless claims, week ended January 21 (consensus 1,684k, last 1,675k): We estimate initial jobless claims increased to 190k in the week ended January 28. 10:00 AM Factory orders, December (GS +2.5%, consensus +2.4%, last -1.8%); Durable goods orders, December final (last +5.6%); Durable goods orders ex-transportation, December final (last -0.8%); Core capital goods orders, December final (last -0.2%); Core capital goods shipments, December final (last -0.4%): We estimate that factory orders increased 2.5% in December following a 1.8% decrease in November. Durable goods orders increased 5.6% in the December advance report, reflecting a $15.5bn increase in nondefense aircraft orders, while core capital goods orders decreased 0.2%. Friday, February 3 08:30 AM Nonfarm payroll employment, January (GS +300k, consensus +185k, last +223k); Private payroll employment, January (GS +250k, consensus +185k, last +220k); Average hourly earnings (mom), January (GS +0.4%, consensus +0.3%, last +0.3%); Average hourly earnings (yoy), January (GS +4.4%, consensus +4.3%, last +4.6%); Unemployment rate, January (GS 3.5%, consensus 3.6%, last 3.5%); Labor force participation rate, January (GS 62.3%, consensus 62.3%, last 62.3%): We estimate nonfarm payrolls rose by 300k in January (mom sa). Our well-above-consensus forecast reflects the elevated level of labor demand, the strong recent payroll trend, a 36k boost from the return of striking education workers, strength in Big Data employment indicators, and a boost from favorable seasonal factors that are spuriously fitting to last winter’s Omicron wave. Jobless claims remain extremely low, and while corporate layoff announcements have increased in recent months, only 15% of California layoff filings since December had been implemented by the January payroll period. We estimate the unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.5%, reflecting a rise in household employment offset by flat-to-up labor force participation rate (we estimate unchanged on a rounded basis at 62.3%). We estimate a 0.4% increase in average hourly earnings (mom sa), reflecting a 0.05pp boost from start-of-year wage hikes and neutral calendar effects. 09:45 AM S&P Global US services PMI, January final (consensus n.a., last 46.2) 10:00 AM ISM services index, January (GS 51.0, consensus 50.5, last 49.2): We estimate that the ISM services index rebounded by 1.8pt to 51.0 in January, reflecting the rise in our survey tracker (+1.0pt to 51.1). Source: DB, Goldman, BofA Tyler Durden Mon, 01/30/2023 - 09:35.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nyt5 hr. 19 min. ago

The US Army has been dredging the Mississippi River 24/7 for 6 months. The drought crisis that grounded barges and unearthed fossils may finally be over.

Drought along the Mississippi River may finally ease in February, ending a months-long spree of constantly vacuuming the river bottom for barges. The US Army Corps of Engineers flushes the water jets of a dredge's suction head.USACE The US Army Corps of Engineers has been dredging the Mississippi River 24/7 since July. Drought along the Mississippi has dropped water levels to lows that haven't been seen in a decade. The drought may finally ease in February, ending the need to constantly vacuum the river bottom. The Mississippi River drought was big news when barges got stranded, receding waters revealed new historic artifacts, and river traffic briefly ground to a standstill in October.But the drought didn't end when the channel reopened.Barges have only been able to transport goods down the historically shallow Mississippi because the US Army Corps of Engineers has been constantly vacuuming the bottom of the river."There was a few months of pretty intense management," Lou Dell'Orco, chief of operations and readiness at the USACE St. Louis district, told Insider.USACE maintains a nine-foot-deep channel down the Mississippi River, so that ships and barges can travel freely.A barge tows cargo down the Mississippi River, in Vicksburg, Mississippi during a historic drought.Rogelio V. Solis/AP PhotoTo keep that channel open, Dell'Orco had to bring in extra dredges from other districts.At some points, three vessels were operating 24/7, traveling to chokepoints in the St. Louis area, dropping their suction tubes to the bottom of the river, inhaling material from the riverbed, and transporting it through tubes to designated disposal sites — like "a giant vacuum cleaner," in Dell'Orco's words."Our dredge can fill up an Olympic-sized pool about every hour," he said.It's normal for USACE to keep one dredge at work 24/7 throughout the season, but not two or three, Dell'Orco said.The Dredge Potter, owned and operated by the St. Louis District US Army Corps of Engineers.USACEA four-day break during a cold snap around Christmas gave crews time to do minor maintenance on the vessels. One of the dredges left the district around that time, and the second one left St. Louis last week, Dell'Orco said.More rain and snow have improved conditions on the river, and it looks like the end of the crisis is on the horizon."Commerce is moving with no restrictions relative to drought," Deb Calhoun, senior vice president at the Waterways Council, a group that advocates for modern waterway infrastructure, told Insider in an email. "We will be watching for high water next, which is something that normally happens around this time of year."Dell'Orco expects his teams can stop dredging by the end of January.Drought damage control by the numbers: 3 dredges sucking up the river bottom 24/7The Dredge Potter submerges its suction head and shoots water jets to stir up the sand and gravel on the bottom of the river, which is then vacuumed up and moved through 800 feet of pipe to be discharged somewhere outside the channel.USACESince July, the St. Louis district has dredged about 9 million cubic yards of material from the bottom of the river in about 70 locations, Dell'Orco said. In a normal year, they would only dredge 3 million to 4 million cubic yards.That's more than 2,700 Olympic swimming pools of material removed from the river bottom, compared to just 1,000 Olympic swimming pools in a normal season.This year the dredging season has also stretched at least 100 days longer than normal, Dell'Orco added.He estimates that it costs about $6.5 million to operate two dredges for a month. Throw in a third dredge, and he said USACE is looking at $10 million per month.Climate change could make droughts like this year's more commonA US Army Corps of Engineers dredging vessel powers south down the Mississippi River at the height of the drought.Jeff Roberson/AP PhotoThe last time the Mississippi dropped to such extreme lows and required this much management was in 2012.No research has directly linked these particular drought events to climate change. But scientists are confident that rising temperatures will amplify droughts across much of the US.In this case, a summer of record heat waves baked away some of the river's water, and then a flash drought struck the Ohio and Missouri river valleys, robbing the Mississippi of the snowpack that usually feeds it.It's unclear how climate change will affect the Mississippi River in the long term, AccuWeather meteorologist Paul Pastelok previously told Insider. But it's possible that the river's drought cycle accelerates.Instead of every 10 to 15 years, for example, drought could strike the river every five to 10 years.Forecast maps show the Mississippi's drought may end soonMuch of the Mississippi River basin is still classified in a drought, including the lower regions that help farmers transport grain for export, according to the US Drought Monitor.That could end in the next few weeks, though. Forecasts from the National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center offer hope that drought will alleviate across much of the Mississippi River basin in February.The National Weather Service predicts the likely removal of drought in much of the Mississippi River basin in February.NWS Climate Prediction CenterAbove-average precipitation across the northern Midwest could help replenish the river throughout the month. That's when Calhoun and Dell'Orco will be on the lookout for flooding.A rough forecast of precipitation across the US for the month of February 2023.National Weather Service Climate Prediction CenterAfter that, forecasts show there could be no drought conditions across the Mississippi River basin for the first time in months.The National Weather Service's outlook forecasts a likelihood of no drought in most of the Mississippi River basin into spring.NWS Climate Prediction CenterThat would give Dell'Orco's team time to do maintenance on their vessel before the dredging season begins again in July."It's really a shorter maintenance season. You've got March through the middle of June to to get it ready to go," Dell'Orco said.That shouldn't be a problem, he added. But still, "it's a 90-year-old vessel. It needs a lot of TLC."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytJan 25th, 2023

Flood-Damaged Cars From California Likely To Hit Used Market Soon

Flood-Damaged Cars From California Likely To Hit Used Market Soon Authored by Jack Phillips via The Epoch Times, Recent storms that hammered California have dumped years’ worth of rain on the state, causing widespread flooding, and has prompted warnings that flood-damaged vehicles may hit the used car market soon. In California, 32 trillion gallons of rain and snow fell since Christmas. The water washed out roads, knocked out power, and created mudslides by soaking wildfire-charred hills. It caused damage in 41 of the state’s 58 counties. At least 21 people have died, officials say. After recent flooding hit the Los Angeles area this week, Ivan Drury, director of insights for Edmunds, said that cars that have suffered water damage could be quite unsafe even if they don’t appear so on the surface. “Number one, your electrical system: you’ve got so much electronics on a car, now more so than ever. Technology systems prevent you from getting into an accident, and now you are in more danger,” he told the Los Angeles Times late last week. “And there’s the vehicle physically deteriorating over time.” Drury emphasized that smelling the vehicle is critical. “You had better get your face close to carpet,” he said. “That gross, musty smell,” he added, “that’s a big red flag.” Consumers should take caution when purchasing a used car that was registered in a state or city where there has been recent flooding, Drury said. Kenneth Potiker, owner of San Bernardino-based Riteway Auto Dismantlers, told the paper that he expects to see recently flooded California vehicles to appear at car auctions in the coming weeks. “I’ll buy a few, I’m sure—but I stay away from a lot,” he said, adding that it’s difficult to tell the extent of the damage. But he warned potential buyers that they should avoid such cars.  “I would tell them not to buy a car like that—that would be the best advice,” he said. “If it floods inside a car, water damage is one of the worst types of damage.” Insurance companies say that many flooded vehicles often get totaled, meaning that the cost of the repair work is equal or greater to the value of the car. According to the Insurance Information Institute, some flood-damaged cars are issued a salvage title, which can alert people and companies to possible damage. “By definition, a flood vehicle has been completely or partially submerged in water to the extent that its body, engine, transmission or other mechanical component parts have been damaged,” it says. “If the vehicle is so damaged that it is no longer operable, the driver’s insurance company settles the claim by buying the vehicle and selling it as a ‘salvage’ at an auto auction.” But the Institute warns that “dishonest and unscrupulous car dealers” can then purchase the vehicles, clean them, but it leaves “hidden flood damage.” Those dealers then take the cars to states that weren’t impacted by the storm before selling them as used cars to unsuspecting buyers. A woman waits for her husband at their front porch to be rescued from their flooded home in Brentwood, Calif., on Monday, Jan. 16, 2023. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group via AP) And those “dishonest dealers will not disclose the damage on the vehicle’s title as they are required, which is a crime called ‘title washing,'” says the Institute. “The vehicles are then sold with the hidden damage.” “It’s very easy for a professional to clean up a vehicle and make it look new, when, in fact, the electronics and computers are in really bad shape,” Jack Gillis, chairman of the board of directors for the nonprofit Center for Auto Safety, told KOMO News. “This can present a safety hazard.” After Hurricane Ian hammered Florida last year, vehicle data company Carfax warned consumers about purchasing used vehicles that may have water damage. At the time, it estimated that more than 350,000 vehicles might have been damaged by Ian’s flooding. “We are seeing these flooded cars show up all around the country, putting unsuspecting buyers at risk,” Emilie Voss, a Carfax spokeswoman, said in a statement last year about Ian’s aftermath. “Cosmetically these cars might look great, but if you don’t know what to look for, it’s nearly impossible to tell they are literally rotting from the inside out.” From Dec. 26 to Jan. 17, California was deluged by 11.47 inches of rain and snow on average across the state, according to the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center, with some reports of up to 15 feet of snow in the highest elevations of the Sierra Nevada. Late last week, meanwhile, President Joe Biden toured a California beach town to survey damage that was done by the recent storms. California has been hit by nine atmospheric rivers since late December. The storms have relented in recent days. Forecasters say that a dry period will envelop much of the state for the time being. Tyler Durden Tue, 01/24/2023 - 18:25.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJan 24th, 2023

The famous Alaska Railroad turns 100 this year. Here"s what it"s like to ride to North America"s northernmost train station

Stretching 470 miles from Southern Alaska to the northern wilderness, the Alaska Railroad is considered one of the most scenic train rides in the US. Conductor and clerk welcome passengers aboard an Alaska Railroad train.John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images The Alaska Railroad was completed three decades before Alaska became a state. It stretches from Seward to Fairbanks, the northernmost passenger train station in North America. With its glass dome and views, it's considered one of the most scenic train rides in the US. Known as the "backbone of the Last Frontier," the Alaska Railroad rolls its way from the coastal communities of Southern Alaska, 470 miles into the state's wilderness. This year, it's turning 100 years old.An Alaska Railroad train in spring.Glenn Aronwits/Alaska RailroadThe railroad has been around longer than Alaska has been a state. President Warren G. Harding celebrated the completion of the Alaska Railroad's main track in July of 1923, driving a "golden spike" in the ground at Nenana.President Warren Harding driving the last spike on Alaskan Railroad at Tanana River.Library of CongressToday, the route carries both freight and passengers, being one of the few mixed trains in the US.Conductor and clerk welcome passengers aboard an Alaska Railroad train.John Greim/LightRocket via Getty ImagesA ride in "Adventure class" during high season costs up to $199 from Seward, where the railroad begins, to Anchorage. Going north from there will run you another $269 for 12 hours of travel.Adventure class seating on an Alaska Railroad train.Glenn Aronwits/Alaska RailroadFor a more luxurious experience, passengers can upgrade to the "Goldstar service," which comes with an upper-deck seat under a glass dome ceiling and meals in the dining car. These tickets run $489 from Anchorage to Fairbanks, including three meals, from May to September.GoldStar service seating on an Alaska Railroad train.Glenn Aronwits/Alaska RailroadAmong the breathtaking views is Denali, North America's tallest peak at 20,310 feet above sea level.Denali Mountain, Alaska.Sherri Cassel/iStock/Getty Images PlusThe menu includes local delicacies, like reindeer sausages and reindeer bolognese sauce, according to charmed passengers' reports.Elk sausages for breakfast included in the Alaska Railroad's GoldStar service.Glenn Aronwits/Alaska RailroadSpeaking of elks and moose, the animals are a common sight from the trains' passengers' windows and in between the tracks. To keep them off the tracks, Alaska Railroad uses a pilot car in front of the train. Employees also shoot shotgun shells to scare them away.Moose walking between railway tracks in Alaska.Dieter Hopf/imageBROKER via Getty ImagesIn the winter, only two lines run: The Hurricane Turn, from Anchorage to Hurricane, and the Aurora, from Anchorage to Fairbanks. Those trains operate with flagstop service, in which passengers can wave the train down to stop from almost any spot along the tracks and hop on, allowing people to reach otherwise inaccessible areas.Alaska Railroad's Aurora Winter Train.Justin Low/Alaska RailroadHeavy snowfall can make crossing Alaska during winter quite a feat, even for trains. In January, an avalanche caused the derailment of two locomotives of a freight train. It took more than two days for the railroad's workers to get the track back in business.An avalanche clean-up on the Alaska Railroad's track.Alaska RailroadRotary snow plows, which kind of look like the sandworms in director Denis Villeneuve's adaptation of Dune, are among the many ways the Alaska Railroads fights its way through heavy snowfall. Plows like these have been used since the 1890s.Historic Alaska Railroad's snow blower.Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty ImagesAlaska's economic development is closely tied to railroads. Anchorage, its largest city, got its start in 1914 as the railroad's headquarters, which is still housed there.Alaska Railroad Corporation building in Anchorage, Alaska.John Greim/LightRocket via Getty ImagesAlaska Railroad's trains travel all the way north to Fairbanks, which is considered the northernmost passenger train station in North America.Fairbanks Alaska train station in winter.sarkophoto/iStock/Getty Images PlusTo get to Denali National Park, trains cross a scenic bridge spanning Hurricane Gulch. It was built using more than 100,000 rivets, is 915 feet long, and 296 feet high.Alaska Railroad's Denali Star Train on the Hurricane Gulch Bridge.John Combs/Alaska RailroadThanks to their awe-inducing views — of 3,000-foot mountains towering over the ocean, wildlife, and backcountry wilderness — Alaska Railroad's trains are regularly included among the most beautiful train rides in America, alongside Amtrak's Coast Starlight from Seattle to Los Angeles and the Grand Canyon Railway.Alaska Railroad's Discovery Train at sunset.Ian Merculieff/Alaska RailroadRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 24th, 2023

California Drought Eases As Reservoir Levels Rise And Snowpack Booms

California Drought Eases As Reservoir Levels Rise And Snowpack Booms California has experienced water shortages in recent years due to a combination of factors, including drought and increased demand. A parade of storms has eased a historic water crisis, replenishing reservoirs and increasing snowpack.  The latest data from the official website of the State of California shows 97% of major reservoir levels are at normal levels for this time of year. This is great news following last summer when reservoir levels were dangerously low.  Here's a map of the major reservoirs. Most are at average levels, except for a few.  Nearly a month of storms has also boosted the state's vital snowpack in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. State data shows statewide snowpack levels are 126% above average levels for this time of year. We recently pointed out snowpack levels were at their highest in four decades.  Only a small portion of California remained in extreme drought. The heavy rains and snow have eased drought conditions.  The storms were part of a moisture conveyor belt over the Pacific Ocean called atmospheric rivers. This resulted in one of the wettest California winters on record.  Much of California's water comes from reservoirs and snowpacks. The deluge of storms has prevented the price of water trading on the Nasdaq Veles California Water Index from topping new highs. The contract currently trades at $1,020 an acre-foot, about 20% lower from the top of $1,282 recorded in September of last year.  The rain and snow have been "very exciting," Andrew Schwartz, lead scientist at the University of California, Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Lab, told CNN, though he remained "cautiously optimistic" for this summer.  Tyler Durden Sun, 01/22/2023 - 22:00.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytJan 22nd, 2023

The Dangerous Fantasy Of Scotland"s Net-Zero Energy Transition

The Dangerous Fantasy Of Scotland's Net-Zero Energy Transition Authored by Richard Lyon via DailySceptic.org, Suppose that Scotland’s CO2 emissions fell tomorrow to zero, i.e., that, at midnight, the country ceased to exist. Then according to the “Model for the Assessment of Greenhouse Gas Induced Climate Change” (MAGICC), based on the latest IPCC climate models, the reduction in the Earth’s temperature in 2100 would be…undetectable. Motivated by the moral necessity and urgency of this goal, the Scottish Government is proposing a novel energy policy – its “Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan”. This article reviews its major themes and their implications, and considers briefly the probability of success of the Scottish Government implementing it. In 2022, due to an insufficient quantity of wind and sun, Scotland’s current collection of wind and solar energy-scavenging devices failed to generate about 70% of their nameplate capacity. Recent exhaustive statistical and econometric analysis of wind generation in Scotland by Edinburgh University shows that it is uneconomic and destined for taxpayer bailout. Under the Scottish Government’s novel energy strategy, wind and solar energy-scavenging devices are to be greatly expanded. Hydrogen, an energy carrier that squanders in waste-heat a gigawatt of power generation for every gigawatt it carries, is elevated in the Scottish Government’s understanding of energy to the category of a fuel, and also greatly expanded. Hydrocarbon and nuclear – actual fuels – provide the energy to manufacture and endlessly replace wind turbines and solar panels. They also, in Scotland, provide the power sources that run under all conditions to ensure continuity of energy supply during Scotland’s frequent sunless and windless conditions. These are to be discontinued. Like all advanced economies, Scotland cannot tolerate even a small measure of power supply fluctuation. Without firm dispatchable thermal standby generation capacity to smooth supply fluctuation, the eventual daily around 40GW amplitude power fluctuation resulting from the proposed expansion of weather-dependent electrical generation must be adapted for use in some other way. This will be provided by some form of 180-plus day, grid-scale electricity storage – a technical challenge for which no precedent exists, and therefore no cost estimate is available. Grid scale battery storage technology doesn’t exist. The Scottish Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan imagines that it will be developed. Converting surplus energy to hydrogen for storage and use at grid scale is unprecedented, and fraught with risk. Fifty per cent of the proposed new intermittent generation capacity, installed at a capital cost of around £26 billion, is to be wasted in the conversion process. Hydrogen embrittles pipework, renders conventional valves ineffective and, unlike domestic gas, self-ignites under catastrophic decompression. Quantifying the risks of transporting it in bulk on Scottish roads and deploying it as a substitute for domestic gas in Scotland’s densely populated housing estates might be an exciting 10-year research project at the U.K. Government’s Spadeadam industrial hazard testing facility (“the remoteness of the area is key to their operations” – Wikipedia). But, informed by what the Scottish Government claims is the need for “the fastest possible” transition, it prefers to bypass thorough safety testing, and to impose live hydrogen trials on Scotland’s citizens. Hydrocarbon gas is to be phased out of Scottish homes from 2030. Energy densities in energy storage sites located next to Scotland’s towns and cities required by the Scottish Government’s reckless abandonment of thermal standby generation capacity will be measured in millions of tonnes of TNT – a risk for which 12-foot thick reinforced concrete containment domes are installed around nuclear facilities to manage. These risks are entirely unrecognised by Scotland’s current planning processes (or citizens). The cost of adaptive storage, the cost of the new transmission and distribution infrastructure required by dramatically increased electrification of Scotland’s relatively sparsely populated areas, and the cost of Carbon Capture, are not factored into current estimates of Levelised Cost of Electricity (LCOE). These are vast. Grid-scale battery storage, for example, has an implied cost measured in trillions of pounds, and drives LCOE from £50/MWh to over £600/MWh. Apparently unaware of the role of nuclear and gas in maintaining continuity of supply, and the prohibitive cost of electricity storage as a substitute, the Scottish Government confidently demands that the U.K. Government “break the link between the price of electricity and the cost of gas to help realise the benefits of the low costs [sic] of renewable electricity”. The policy proposal cites a number of other benefits that it thinks will accrue in addition to the negligible reduction in the Earth’s temperature. Electric vehicles can’t plough snow or fields, harvest corn, empty buckets, excavate ore, raise wind-turbine masts, or perform any other economic task for which ‘grunt’ is required. Notwithstanding, from 2030, diesel and petrol engines will be prohibited. Car kilometers are to be “reduced” – possibly by fining us if we travel from our home more than a permitted distance. A child in the Democratic Republic of Congo mining the cobalt needed for the Scottish Government’s Just Transition to ‘clean energy’ The Scottish Government will impose catastrophic environmental damage on the non-OECD countries where millions of tonnes of toxic water and ores are processed to manufacture the EV batteries it is mandating. It will overlook the human rights violations endemic to China’s ‘clean energy industry’. These will have the benefit of promoting what it calls “A Just Transition” – supposedly, a socialist framework for ensuring “a fairer, greener future for all”. Our security of supply is to be further enhanced by transferring energy generation from domestically produced oil and gas to mechanically unreliable, weather-dependent energy-scavenging devices containing millions of points of failure that are contingent on the supply of rare resources controlled by China – which the U.S. states it will declare war on if it invades Taiwan. These weather-dependent energy-scavenging devices require oil for, amongst many other things, the manufacture of their exotic advanced materials. A leading energy consultancy records the collapse in 2020 to an 80-year low of replacement oil discovery volumes, and estimates that Western oil firms now have around 15 years of remaining economic oil reserves. It is under these circumstances that the Scottish Government is further enhancing the security of Scotland’s energy supply by discontinuing onshore and offshore conventional and unconventional oil and gas exploration. To reinforce this enhancement, noting “the damage done by the deindustrialisation of central belt communities in the 1980s”, the Scottish Government is irreversibly disbanding the North East’s oil and gas industry communities and, with them, their 50 years of institutional knowledge of oil and gas operations. These will be replaced with communities based on livelihoods sustained by a “clean energy industry”. The growth of this imaginary industry has been funded with the imaginary capital (a.k.a. “quantitative easing”) excreted in the response – ironically – to the energy contraction that triggered the ongoing 2008 Great Financial Crash. During this time, U.K. national debt has risen from 60% to over 100% of Gross Domestic Product, exceeded only by the public sector pension deficit (a proxy for the replacement of real industries in the global economy by imaginary ones), which has risen to more than £2 trillion. As evidence of the sustainability of the policy of funding imaginary industries through the indefinite expansion of imaginary capital (for which, like much of this policy, no precedent exists in human history), the Scottish Government informs us that it has already allocated £5 billion of its record budget deficit to what it refers to as “the Net Zero Economy”. Winter excess death in the UK’s cold Northern European climate is already around 25,000 a year. Any prolonged interruption of winter energy supply created by the failure of this policy, or further escalation of cost, will plausibly result in the deaths of thousands more of our most vulnerable fellow citizens. The magnitude and uncertainty of the implied costs, coupled to the scale of the energy contraction that this policy deliberately seeks to accelerate, could trigger the collapse of our financial system. Irreversible impairment of either our energy or financial systems would have a catastrophic impact on the welfare of Scotland’s citizens. Yet few have expressed any desire, much less informed consent, for risk on the scale proposed for such little benefit. Yet the project, representing a scope of unprecedented scale, cost, pace and technical uncertainty, will be overseen by a Government that is currently struggling to procure two relatively modest ferries for less than the cost that other governments can procure 34 ferries – again, ironically due in large part to cost overruns associated with the attempt to employ novel technologies to reduce CO2 emissions. As evidence of the extent to which the Scottish Government and its advisers have become unmoored from physical reality by the climate catastrophe hypothesis, it’s a document that is fascinating to read, and alarming to contemplate. After reflecting on it, you may care to offer your feedback, either to the department that compiled it, or your political representative, or on social media. Tyler Durden Sun, 01/22/2023 - 07:35.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJan 22nd, 2023

The Mainstream Media Admits That We Are Facing "The Worst Food Crisis In Modern History"

The Mainstream Media Admits That We Are Facing "The Worst Food Crisis In Modern History" Authored by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog, People on the other side of the planet are dropping dead from starvation right now, but most people don’t even realize that this is happening.  Unfortunately, most people just assume that everything is fine and dandy.  If you are one of those people that believe that everything is just wonderful, I would encourage you to pay close attention to the details that I am about to share with you.  Global hunger is rapidly spreading, and that is because global food supplies have been getting tighter and tighter.  If current trends continue, we could potentially be facing a nightmare scenario before this calendar year is over. Pakistan is not one of the poorest nations in the world, but the lack of affordable food is starting to cause panic inside that country.  The following comes from Time Magazine… Last Saturday in Mirpur Khas, a city in Pakistan’s Sindh province, hundreds of people lined up for hours outside a park to buy subsidized wheat flour, offered for 65 rupees a kilogram instead of the current, inflated rate of about 140 to 160 rupees. When a few trucks arrived, the crowd surged forward, leaving several injured. One man, Harsingh Kolhi, who was there to bring a five kg bag of flour home for his wife and children, was crushed and killed in the chaos. We are seeing similar things happen all over the planet. Just because you still may have enough food to eat doesn’t mean that everybody else is okay. In fact, things have already gotten so bad that even CNN is admitting that we are facing “the worst food crisis in modern history”… Yet the world is still in the grips of the worst food crisis in modern history, as Russia’s war in Ukraine shakes global agricultural systems already grappling with the effects of extreme weather and the pandemic. Market conditions may have improved in recent months, but experts do not expect imminent relief. That means more pain for vulnerable communities already struggling with hunger. It also boosts the risk of starvation and famine in countries such as Somalia, which is contending with what the United Nations describes as a “catastrophic” food emergency. Sadly, it isn’t just in Somalia where the food crisis has reached “catastrophic” proportions. According to Reuters, the entire continent is now dealing with the worst food crisis that Africa “has ever seen”… Across Africa, from east to west, people are experiencing a food crisis that is bigger and more complex than the continent has ever seen, say diplomats and humanitarian workers. Please go back and read that statement again. Do you remember all those years when Sally Struthers was begging us to feed the starving children in Africa? Well, the truth is that conditions are now far worse than when she was making those commercials. At one hospital in Somalia, grieving mothers are regularly bringing in very young children that have literally starved to death… “Sometimes mothers bring us dead children,” said Farhia Moahmud Jama, head nurse at the paediatric emergency unit. “And they don’t know they’re dead.” Weakened by hunger, camp residents are vulnerable to disease and people are dying due to a lack of food, said Nadifa Hussein Mohamed, who managed the camp where Isak’s family initially stayed. “Maybe the whole world is hungry and donors are bankrupt, I don’t know,” she said. “But we’re calling out for help, and we do not see relief.” UN officials are doing what they can to help, but the truth is that they are being absolutely overwhelmed by the scope of this crisis. Over the past 12 months, the number of Africans that are dealing with “acute food insecurity” has absolutely exploded… The number of East Africans experiencing acute food insecurity – when a lack of food puts lives or livelihoods in immediate danger – has spiked by 60% in just the last year, and by nearly 40% in West Africa, according to the World Food Programme (WFP). Sadly, a lot of Americans are simply not going to care about what is going on over there as long as we have enough food over here. Of course food supplies continue to get tighter on our side of the planet as well. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, our corn harvest this year was the smallest in 15 years… Last year was a bad year for corn — the latest US Department of Agriculture (USDA) report shows drought conditions and extreme weather wreaked havoc on croplands. USDA unexpectedly slashed its outlook for domestic corn production amid a severe drought across the western farm belt. Farmers in Nebraska, Kansas, and Texas were forced to abandon drought-plagued fields. The agency estimated farmers harvested 79.2 million acres, a decline of 1.6 million acres versus the previous estimate — the smallest acres harvest since 2008. That wouldn’t be so bad if our population was still the same size that it was back in 2008. Other harvests have been extremely disappointing too, and that is one of the factors that has been steadily driving up food prices. At this point, the average U.S. household is spending 72 more dollars on food per month than it was at this same time a year ago… As inflation continues to decimate the budgets of American families, the December report from Moody’s Analytics showed that families are spending an estimated $72 more on food per month than they were a year ago. That figure is pulled out of a report that says the typical US household is shelling out $371 on goods and services more than they were a year ago. In particular, the price of eggs has gone completely nuts. I recently came across an article about one small business owner that is now paying three times as much for eggs as she once did… It just seems like the cost of everything is going up these days and that includes egg prices, which are affecting local businesses. “We used to buy 15 dozen eggs from Sam’s for 23 dollars. They are now 68 dollars,” said Cindy Gutierrez, the owner of Creative Cakes. “Now it’s about 63-ish for 15 dozen and it’s also hard to get 15 dozen,” said Caitlyn Wallace, the owner of Catie Pies. The prices for eggs have surged three times their original price. According to the consumer price index, egg prices increased by 10% in October 2022 and that increase has continued to rise. This is causing a domino effect for restaurants, businesses, and bakeries who use eggs. Economic conditions are changing so rapidly now, and nothing will ever be quite the same again. As we move forward, the widespread use of “beetleburgers” is one of the “solutions” that the global elite are starting to push… Beetleburgers could soon be helping to feed the world, according to new research. The creepy crawlers’ larvae — better known as mealworms — could act as a meat alternative to alleviate hunger worldwide. The process uses a fraction of the land and water and emits a smaller carbon footprint in comparison of traditional farming. To make this a reality, French biotech company Ynsect is planning a global network of insect farms, including nurseries and slaughterhouses. A pilot plant has already been been set up at Dole in the Bourgogne-Franche-Comte region of France. Doesn’t that sound yummy? Of course these “beetleburgers” will just be a drop in the bucket. No matter what the global elite try, they will not be able to stop “the worst food crisis in modern history” from getting a whole lot worse. So I would encourage you to stock up while you still can. Global food supplies are getting a little bit tighter with each passing day, and I have a feeling that 2023 will have lots of “unexpected surprises” for all of us. *  *  * It is finally here! Michael’s new book entitled “End Times” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon. Tyler Durden Sat, 01/21/2023 - 08:10.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJan 21st, 2023

Smart Home Technology For Your Investment Property

Do you have a rental property? Are you looking for ways to make it more attractive to tenants who might have many options in your community, city, or state? One way to do so is by offering more value for the rent they pay — and you can achieve this with smart home technology. According to […] Do you have a rental property? Are you looking for ways to make it more attractive to tenants who might have many options in your community, city, or state? One way to do so is by offering more value for the rent they pay — and you can achieve this with smart home technology. According to one survey, up to 57.4 million households in the United States are actively using smart home devices this year. This is up 6.7% compared to 2021, when the tally of households actively using smart home technology was 53.8 million. 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 .af-body.af-standards 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   If you want to make your rental property a more attractive option for tenants, include smart home technology. Keep reading to see some smart home options worth considering. Smart Home Technology Investment Options Smart Thermostat If your tenants pay for utilities, they'll be interested in units with smart thermostats. If they are away for large chunks of the day, they can set their smart thermostats so that the temperature isn't higher or lower than it needs to be. When they're away at work during the winter, they can program the smart thermostat so that the temperature isn't any warmer than it needs to be. It'll be possible to program it so that the temperature rises when they return from work. Energy Star notes that people can save about $50 annually using their smart thermostats. That might not sound like a whole lot. But with inflation driving up the cost of living, every saving opportunity counts. The tenants for your rental unit will appreciate being able to save money. Video Doorbell Another smart home technology to consider for your rental unit is a video doorbell. Occupants will have an extra layer of security since they'll be able to check who is at the door without having to walk to the door physically. Whether they're in bed, in the living room, in the kitchen, or away from the rental unit, they'll be able to check who is at the door. A video doorbell can also deter would-be crooks from burglary attempts. Thieves prefer easy targets, so seeing a video doorbell that can capture them in the act is enough to dissuade most bad actors. Equipping your rental unit with a video camera could appeal to tenants. They'll feel safer, which could be enough to differentiate your rental property from other properties. Smart Home Security System It's always been a good idea to install a sound home security system. But a smart home security system is another matter entirely. Such a setup will include various physical electronic components that work together to safeguard your rental property. It can consist of the following: Smart security cameras Motion sensors that detect motion and send notifications if motion is detected Glass break sensors that will send alerts if glass is broken Entry sensors to detect whenever someone enters or leaves the rental unit An alarm to warn of any potential danger and potentially frighten off crooks Smart Wireless Camera It's essential to remember that wireless cameras can come as part of a complete home security system or as a stand-alone option without the alarm, the keypad, and other components. Sometimes wireless cameras can simply be about providing peace of mind for tenants. So, if they want to check the house's perimeter without going outside at night, they can do so via wireless cameras. All they'll need is access to their computer, tablet, or laptop. Another reason to consider installing wireless cameras is if your tenants have pets. If your tenants are out and about, they might take comfort in being able to check in on their pets. Wireless cameras ensure that they can check in from wherever they are. Furthermore, installing wireless cameras without all the other components will be a more cost-effective option. Voice-Controlled Smart Speaker Did you know that the worldwide smart speaker market is expected to grow to $6.5 billion this year and, according to IMARC Group, could skyrocket to $27.5 billion by 2028? According to the research firm, smart speakers refer to wireless, internet-enabled devices that are equipped with integrated voice assistants that help people with everyday tasks. Perhaps you've already used one. They have voice recognition technology, so they decipher and respond to voice commands. For instance, if you have the Amazon Echo Dot voice-controlled smart speaker with the Alexa voice assistant, you can ask something like the following: "Alexa, what's the forecast for tomorrow?" The voice assistant will then respond with the weather forecast for your area. But voice assistants don't just provide weather updates, as useful as that can be. They can also play music, stream live news, set alarms, answer questions, read e-books, set reminders and timers, and more. You can also use a voice-controlled smart speaker, according to IMARC, for GPS navigation and even to control smart home devices. So, the use cases are many. Consider voice-controlled smart speakers if you want to offer tenants a tool that will offer convenience and functionality. They're relatively inexpensive and do provide value. All you need is internet access to offer tenants the benefits of voice-control smart speakers. Smart Smoke Detector Whether it's your primary residence or a rental property, you'll want to protect your investment. One way you can do so is by installing smart smoke alarms. It's certainly a good idea to install them in your rental units. When smart smoke alarms detect smoke or carbon monoxide, they can send alerts to your tenants' smartphones. Tenants will also be able to control smart smoke alarms remotely. It can be a game-changer by providing an extra layer of security for tenants and their pets, if you allow pets in your investment properties. Safety should be a priority. And tools like smart smoke detectors can help protect your tenants and your rental properties as well. Smart Plug Another smart feature for your rental properties is a smart plug. When you install smart plugs in your rental units, you'll transform the way tenants interact with their appliances, even if they're someplace other than home. Smart plugs are plugged into regular electrical outlets. They're then controlled by apps that tenants can use to control their appliances or anything else plugged into the smart plug. So, if they have a standing lamp plugged into one, they can have it automatically switch itself on at night or off in the morning. That's not only about convenience; it's also about saving money. Smart plugs can help tenants be more responsible about their energy consumption. They can choose when and how long appliances or plug-in lamps are on. If tenants are responsible for their own utilities, then offering smart plugs will be an even more appreciated feature. If you are responsible, then you'll do the saving. But when you consider how cost-effective smart plugs are, you'll realize they're worth buying. Smart Lightbulb Smart bulbs are easy to install. In fact, you can install them the same way you would install any traditional lightbulb. So, it's one of the more cost-effective smart home upgrades you can pursue for your rental properties. If you do some research, you'll find that smart bulbs can last for 25,000+ hours of use. That's a long time by any stretch of the imagination. This means your tenants will save money over the long run if you install smart bulbs. These options are also better for the environment since they don't have mercury, as do fluorescent bulbs. If you can save money while doing the best thing for the environment, that's a win-win. Just keep in mind that tenants will need to download an app to use smart bulbs. Once they have it on their smartphones or tablets, they'll be able to operate the smart bulbs whether they're at home or on the road.   Smart Garage Opener If you rent out a home with a garage, there's a good chance that a garage opener is already in place. But is it a smart garage opener? If it's not, it's worth upgrading to get the features that come with a smart garage opener. A smart garage opener won't just open and close your garage door. Instead, the unit will send activity alerts directly to your tenant's smartphone. The tenant will also be able to determine who can have access to the garage. A smart garage opener can also alert your tenant if the garage door is inadvertently left open. That can be a game-changer since leaving a garage door open by mistake can lead to problems like theft or even worse. And That's Not All… It's possible to get many other features as part of a smart home security system. Your tenants can keep tabs on what's going on inside and outside their rental units no matter where they are. They can set things up so they're alerted if there's a problem. If a service provider monitors the system, then the authorities can be dispatched as required. These are some of the things you do to make your investment property more attractive to renters. If you want more tips on how to offer people what they want as a property owner, consult with a property manager experienced at helping property owners to find suitable tenants. The right property manager can improve the investment property ownership experience with smart home technology. You'll get help with necessary maintenance and repairs, updating your rental property so it's competitive in the rental market, finding suitable tenants, and more. Article by Deanna Ritchie, ReadWrite.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkJan 19th, 2023

Davos Highlights: David Solomon, David Rubenstein, Albert Bourla And Much More

Following are excerpts from the unofficial transcripts of CNBC interviews which aired on CNBC’s “Worldwide Exchange” (M-F, 5AM-6AM), “Squawk Box” (M-F, 6AM-9AM ET), “Squawk on the Street” (M-F, 9AM-11AM) and “TechCheck” (M-F, 11AM-12PM) today, Wednesday, January 18th for Davos 2023 in Davos, Switzerland. Interview with Pfizer Chairman & CEO Albert Bourla Bourla On China And […] Following are excerpts from the unofficial transcripts of CNBC interviews which aired on CNBC’s “Worldwide Exchange” (M-F, 5AM-6AM), “Squawk Box” (M-F, 6AM-9AM ET), “Squawk on the Street” (M-F, 9AM-11AM) and “TechCheck” (M-F, 11AM-12PM) today, Wednesday, January 18th for Davos 2023 in Davos, Switzerland. Interview with Pfizer Chairman & CEO Albert Bourla Bourla On China And Vaccines ALBERT BOURLA: Everybody has their own healthcare priorities and how they want to be able to control it. They have their own, apparently they have their own vaccines, they rely on Chinese vaccines and as far as I know, they didn’t ask for western vaccines, but they did ask for treatments from the west. 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 .af-body.af-standards 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   Bourla On CDC Investigation BOURLA: What the CDC said was they saw a signal in one small little database and as a result, they triggered a very comprehensive review of all the databases in existence and they discovered nothing. Bourla On Pfizer Vaccine Safety BOURLA: Irrelevant from conspiracy or not, we have a team that constantly does this. They are collaborating with major scientific institutions and they are doing with them and alone ourselves digging into databases and we constantly review and analyze data. It’s not a signal, although we have distributed billions of doses. Bourla On Covid Strains BOURLA: Every time a strain comes up, we treat it like it would be a suspicious strain. We start working on it. Once we discover there is, we start working on it to see if we’ll overcome protection of the vaccine. Possibility, immediately we develop a kind of vaccine just in case the authorities will ask us to do it. Bourla On RSV Vaccine BOURLA: For us, we submit it. So we’re going to get it whenever the FDA will provide this approval. We have priority review because of the strong data and the disease doesn’t have any vaccine right now. Interview with Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman Friedman On Interest Rate Environment ADENA FRIEDMAN: I think there's still a lot of unknowns that people want to see have a little more certainty around most notably the interest rate environment and what I think we should expect is within the first three to four months, we'll have a pretty known interest rate environment. Friedman On Recession Concerns FRIEDMAN: I'd like to think that we don't actually have to plan for a recession. And it's not it's not an absolute certainty that it's going to happen. But what people really want is a known environment, right. So they want to understand their cost of capital as a company. We want to understand that in terms of underwriting investments, as an investor, you need to understand that in terms of you to model investment, and then understand what your hurdle rate is, in terms of your investment return versus your cost of capital. If we can get to that point where we have a known interest rate environment, even if inflation is still a little elevated, I think we can operate in that environment for a long time. That will allow investors to make decisions on companies to make capital allocation decisions. And I think we're gonna end up hopefully, even you know, starting a recession, but even if we live in one for a little while, we'll know the environment and that it creates a better environment for investors Friendman On The Cost Of Growth FRIEDMAN: This notion of growth at all costs is gone for some period for the foreseeable future. I, the cost of capital is real. So, money costs money and so access to capital is going to have some sort of consequence. That'll make it so companies are making more discerning investment choices in terms of how to grow and expand their business. They're going to be focused on cash flow a little bit more, I think probably a lot more. And then I think investors are going to underwrite companies that can show profitable growth or a clear path to profitability. And in that in that environment, that's a nice sustainable way for us to manage for a while and a much more sustainable market environment as well. Friedman On Digital Transformation FRIEDMAN: The digital transformation of the economy is something that's going to happen. It's happening. It's an unstoppable force. I think companies will continue to focus on that making their use of their data much more strategic, being able to leverage their infrastructure much more efficiently. And frankly, with the labor environment, they're trying to do more with less. So they want that technology, that technological transformation is real. I think that's one of the threes, right? That's the one that's going to go into three and then they're gonna have to look at what what growth pillars are really painful and as like we have three key growth pillars and we're continuing to be very bullish on us. But we have to make sure we're very efficient internally to be to have the benefit to be an investment Friedman On Blockchain And Crypto FRIEDMAN: I think that the blockchain technology continues to be something that could have really interesting, you know, for in finance but when you look at cryptocurrencies that that particular ecosystem went through a massive reckoning. And I like to say that way you kind of saw what would happen in the framework, that there was no regulation, right? It's just, you have to think about regulation is actually helping create sustainable high integrity, trusted markets. I also think about the crypto world we had, it's lost trust, it's lost the confidence of investors. So what's gonna happen next, I don't think it's gonna die. I think, frankly, there are going to be there certain cryptocurrencies that have real utility. More adults want to come into the room. And it is time for, it's time for some really trusted players to come into the space. However, the regulatory environment needs to be clarified. Interview with Accenture CEO Julie Sweet Sweet On Shaping The Economy JULIE SWEET: For us, working with emerging technologies, being ahead of the curve is what we do, and what is most interesting about this work is that because we’re doing it with not-for-profits, governments and companies, we’re actually shaping the technology at scale, and that’s, you can’t put a price on that. Sweet On Metaverse Use Cases SWEET: Consumers want to do it. 55% all say they want to do it in the next 12 months. Industrial metaverse – huge. Enterprise metaverse – I’ve already got 150,000 people going through it to onboard. First diversity fair in the metaverse starting next month. The use cases are enormous. Interview With NYSE President Lynn Martin Martin On Pipeline LYNN MARTIN: The pipeline is strong. The pipeline’s never been stronger. The power of the public market currency has never resonated more than it’s currently resonating. However, as you know and as you report on every day, we’re in a period of deep uncertainty, and that’s being reflected by the market. Market doesn’t like uncertainty. So what that’s caused is CEOs of companies looking to go public have postponed their plans, and they’re just waiting for the market volatility to abate. Martin On Coming To Market MARTIN: We’re excited about the pipeline. We’re excited about the amount of innovation that’s coming to market. We’re just really looking forward to the time when the market volatility could abate just a bit so some of these amazing companies could come public. Martin On Crypto MARTIN: I’ve long said that crypto is a market in need of regulation. We need to know what the regulatory guideposts are. We need to know what a framework is to bring this asset class under the more traditional structures that have served volatile markets, volatile periods well, and that’s more the centrally traded, centrally cleared types of frameworks. Interview with EY Global Chairman & CEO Carmine Di Sibio Di Sibo On Market Optimism CARMINE DI SIBIO: I think people are starting to think that maybe the major markets in the world are getting inflation under control. Maybe with China opening in terms of COVID, there'll be more physical interaction between individuals which will be helpful in terms of any kind of relationships, in particular on the business side. Interview With Cisco Chairman & CEO Chuck Robbins Robbins On US And China CHUCK ROBBINS: I think it’s more important from a global stability perspective more so than it is about whether I invest in China or not. I think we need the U.S. and China to find a way to compete and disagree but do it in a way that it works for the global economy. Robbins On Recession ROBBINS: Somebody asked me last night, what are you hearing from all of your peers? And I said, well publicly everybody’s being asked are we going to have a recession, and most people are saying, yeah we’re going to have a mild one. Beyond that we’re not really talking about it. And I think most people are generally over the mid-term and long-term very optimistic, and hopefully it turns out to be like Davos. If everybody’s talking about a recession, it won’t be as bad because we’re just going to be wrong. Robbins On Companies Investing ROBBINS: The pandemic taught the C-suite executives and government leaders around the world really up close and personal the power of this technology and what it can do, and I think they’re now understanding. Whether it’s connecting industrial systems to the internet or changing the way you interact with your customers, companies are investing. Interview with Georgia Governor Brian Kemp Kemp On Being In Davos BRIAN KEMP: I'm here selling our great state. I mean, we have so many good things going on in our economy. We've had two record years in a row with job growth and investment. Our mid-year numbers that I got while I was on the way out here are set to break last year's record if you take out in the Rivian and Hyundai deals which you don't get those maybe once in a decade if you're lucky if that. So we're still doing incredible even in this environment. Kemp On EV Legislation KEMP: Well when the legislation passed, it treated our Georgia based companies unfairly. You know, it helped because we're, you know, I think a right to work say I believe the legislation the way it was drawn up and passed was designed to help the union base workforce in other states. You know, we made that aware to our US senators. Before the legislation passed, we worked with the White House and them since to get some changes so that just every company that's building electric vehicles in the United States is treated fairly. That's all we're asking for. It's unfortunate that was not the case when the legislation passed and we continue to urge them to fix it. Interview with Goldman Sachs Chairman & CEO David Solomon Solomon On Consumer Business DAVID SOLOMON: We probably took on more than we should’ve, too much too quickly. But I think we now have a very good deposits business. We’re working on our cards platform, and I think the partnership with Apple is going to pay meaningful dividends for the firm over time. We have this acquisition of GreenSky. We think it’s a good business and so we’re going to give people a clearer view, there’s more transparency around how they can contribute. Solomon On Executing Goldman’s Strategy SOLOMON: We’re focused on executing our strategy. We’ve made a lot of progress over the last few years. We’ve got more to do, but I think the firm is incredibly well-positioned. And we have a business mix that’s very sensitive to capital markets activity and asset prices. We’re trying to evolve that, but we still have a distance to go and we’re working on it. Solomon On Job Cuts SOLOMON: During the pandemic for 2 and a half years, we stopped our normal process of reviewing underperformers for 2 and a half years. The environment’s changed, and we made the difficult decision and it’s kind of a reset, and I think it was the right decision, and it positions us very well as we go forward as we see the environment forward. So I hate the fact that we had to do it, but given how we’ve grown the firm and the headcount, it was the right decision to do. Solomon On Views Of Soft Landing SOLOMON: I think the sentiment is softening a little bit and the view the chance of a softer landing both in the U.S. and Europe is actually increasing. Our economists, you know, our economics team has been pretty soft landing over the last 6 months. I was more in a position because I was talking to CEOs who have been more cautious that I was more uncertain. But I see CEOs softening a little bit. Solomon On Dealmaking SOLOMON: Dealmaking has slowed a little bit, but I point you to our M&A revenues in the 4th quarter and the relative performance of our M&A franchise. We’re still seeing good performance in our M&A franchise, but it’s off the peak. Interview with Liberty Global CEO Michael Fries Fries On Broadband In The Pandemic MICHAEL FRIES: In the broadband business, the pandemic wasn't that bad to us, right? Nobody was disconnecting internet or mobile during the pandemic, they were actually looking for faster speeds and more connectivity. So we kind of did pretty well during the pandemic period. And I think, you know, we're an essential service and that's been positive. Fries On Cable TV Business FRIES: I think the pay TV business or the cable TV business traditionally has done better in Europe, principally, because streamers came later. And I think the broadcasters in Europe are actually pretty strong. Fries On Fixed Wireless FRIES: US cable guys have started selling horizons mobile product and they're having to get to four or 5 million customers, each still small. In Europe, one out of every two broadband subscribers takes a mobile product from us, I think in the US, it's 20%. So we're highly converged and we're approaching each home and each business with a fixed and mobile proposition and with equal, equal weight and equal dependence fixed wireless, which is trying to provide 5G access to the rural markets. Not as big an issue here because Europe is dense and urban. Interview with Guggenheim Partners CIO Anne Walsh Walsh On Being Ahead Of Market Peers ANNE WALSH: We’re a little ahead of our market peers in terms of our viewpoint. Our market peers are sort of anticipating a recession maybe at the end of 2023, maybe into 2024. But we think that this quantitative tightening, which is both a combination of rate hikes, which we anticipate the Fed will continue. Certainly the market has priced in 2 25-basis-point rate hikes this year still. And of course the addition of the quantitative tightening coming from the reduction of the balance sheet will also help to drive down prices further. So all this is sort of feeding into our narrative for this year. Walsh On Time To Reposition WALSH: I think this is a time to reposition portfolios. As a long time fixed income manager, there’s one thing the Fed has done for us, and they put the income back in fixed income. So right now, there’s a very good time to be in investment-grade fixed income relative to equities. Equities haven’t repriced yet, and as we go through a recessionary timeline, we will see that. But certainly right now, the fixed income story is a good one. Interview with Carlyle Group Co-Founder & Co-Chairman David Rubenstein Rubenstein On Inflation Concerns DAVID RUBENSTEIN: I think the Fed has telegraphed that it's likely to do 25 basis points at its February meeting, and they haven’t telegraphed it but it’s probable that they'll do maybe 25 in March and then I think they'll pause for a while and see what the impact is. And hopefully by the end of the year, they might be able to do the reverse and actually begin to lower rates. That's the hope. Rubenstein On The Best Time To Invest RUBENSTEIN: In my own view is that the best time to invest is when there's some uncertainty or when the economy is seen to be a little bit nervous in terms of where it's going. That's the best time to invest. It’s not when the markets are going this way. RUBENSTEIN: It's a good time to invest now because I think the markets are not going to see another 20% drop in public prices. I think that's probably past us. I think we're probably coming back to the point where people are gonna feel very comfortable investing at least in my view. I think prices between the sellers and buyers are still a big gap and because the sellers are are afraid that— ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: They're holding on. RUBENSTEIN: Right and the buyers don’t want to look stupid by buying now but there's too big a gap and it's that is a bigger problem than anything else right now. Rubenstein On Congress RUBENSTEIN: I do think that in terms of fiscal policy, Congress is not likely to default in my view, they will go right up to the end. And then at the end, somebody will plank and I think that's probably a good thing. The markets are not going to want to have a default. We've never had a default. I think that's not a good thing. And I think we shouldn't be playing chicken but I think— Rubenstein On China RUBENSTEIN: When you change your government policy, you can't do it overnight so quickly. All of a sudden, it looks like you were making a mistake before. So you evolve. And I think the Chinese government is now evolving from a complete Covid shutdown to the kind of more different different Covid policy. I think they would like a better relationship with the United States and they are astounded that we think they're going to invade Taiwan sometime soon. They just don't think that's in the cards for them. So I don't think they are against having a better relationship. The real problem, I think, is the US doesn't have a situation where we can get into a better relationship with China without causing all the Republicans to be upset with Biden and vice versa. Interview With Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi Khosrowshahi On Consumer Spend DARA KHOSROWSHAHI: Consumer spend remains strong and a lot of people are thinking about, oh, there’s a recession coming, etc., there’s demand weakness. We obviously haven’t announced our results, but generally I’d say across the world the consumer stays strong, and we’re a consumer company in terms of demand. Khosrowshahi On Uber Drivers KHOSROWSHAHI: We need more drivers. We are now the single largest source of work in the world. There are 5 million drivers. Not gig work. Work in the world. There are 5 million drivers on our platform, and we could add another 500,000 drivers tomorrow and they would have work, so we absolutely need to add drivers. Khosrowshahi On Inflation KHOSROWSHAHI: At the same time, 70-80% of drivers who are joining the platform are saying that one of the reasons they’re joining the platform is because of inflation. It is because of cost of living and earning on Uber is helping them buy their groceries or otherwise continue to live their lives. Khosrowshahi On Volatility In Earnings KHOSROWSHAHI: There’s volatility in the earnings. You have good days, you have bad days, there are good situations, etc. And if we can remove some of that volatility, which means benefits, minimum earning standards, etc., we can actually make driving more attractive. Interview With Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel Bancel On RSV Vaccine STEPHANE BANCEL: So pre-Covid in 2019 if you look at the respiratory viruses that drove specialization in the US and around the world, RSV was number two. It's not very well known. It used to be not tested. And because there's no vaccine, nobody really talks about it. There's a flu vaccine, of course, as you know, and so as we just looked at the impact on the world, hospitalization and death, we need to find a solution. And so we deployed the mRNA technology and actually if you look at one of the amazing things about this technology is we started with Phase I for the RSV vaccine in January 2021, just after the COVID-19 vaccine was approved and here we are just 24 months after, we are now seeing Phase III positive data. Bancel On How Covid Is Handled BANCEL: I think governments and industry have to work together. We're, of course, the scientific and academic community to figure out how do we educate people? How do we share the real-world evidence? Bancel On Combining Vaccines BANCEL: We're trying to combine them so we currently have in the clinic Covid booster and flu booster in one dose. Covid booster, flu booster and RSV also in one dose because I agree with you when we talk to consumers, people don't even remember now did I get a Covid shot this winter or the flu shot? Think about when you had third one- for people who are 50 or 60 years old. Interview with Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker Pritzker On Crime J.B. PRITZKER: Crime is coming down gradually in the city and across the state. It’s going to take a little while. These things don’t come down immediately. But it’s getting better. Pritzker On Jobs And Business PRITZKER: We’re in a much better fiscal situation in the state and a much better position to help businesses. It has not been a high tax state. 4.95% individual income tax is not a high rate. We’re not raising that rate. The rate has remained steady. And we’re attracting jobs and business to the state. Interview With Coca-Cola Chairman & CEO James Quincey Quincey On China JAMES QUINCEY: What matters to our business is the mobility of consumers in the country. Obviously there’s an increase in mobility so that’s going to be good for us. Chinese New Year is a couple of weeks away so we’re going to have to wait and see how that all plays out. We typically don’t know how the end of the year start from the beginning of the year has gone in China until we get past Chinese New Year because it’s such a big occasion for them and with the reopening it’s a little confused so we’ll see. The trajectory of them reopening I’m sure will be very like the U.S. and the European reopens. Quincey On Consumer Stress QUINCEY: Cleary there’s consumer stress you cannot go on long when inflation runs ahead of wages without consumer stress. That happened in the U.S., happened in Europe. Our focus has been we’re going to past on the cost increases come through, whether from services or commodities or other inputs. Of course, we try and adapt our packaging strategy to give the consumers the price point that works for their pocketbook.   Quincey On Commodity QUINCEY: We’ve seen commodity pressure slightly reduce. Obviously, we’re a large corporation, large system so we hedge forward so sometimes commodities come up and then come down but the underlying price is still higher today than it was necessarily before. Quincey On Inflation QUINCEY: The inflation has moved to the service sector, to the wage sector and so some costs are slowing down and some are ramping up if you like, but overall, I think everyone’s expectation is that the inflation pressure will soften if only we’re going to start comparing to the high numbers from last year. Quincey On Having The Right Portfolio For Consumers QUINCEY: The number one thing about us is there is no silver bullet. What’s really working for us is having the right portfolio for the consumer and backing it up with the market and innovation. Interview With Mastercard CEO Michael Miebach Miebach On Consumer Resilience MICHAEL MIEBACH: The consumer has been resilient so that’s the headline. And if you peel the onion a bit, what you generally see is depending on the country, the inflation is clearly a trend that is global, but the impact on the consumer has been different country by country depending on policy reactions. Miebach On Credit Delinquencies MIEBACH: If you look across the industry, we talked to our financial services partners, banks and the like, we are still finding our way back to pre-crisis delinquency levels on the long-range normal so it’s still in below average territory. Miebach On How Inflation Is Affecting Business MIEBACH: Medium, short-term, moderate inflation has been good for our business because it raises the overall volume but this is, this is the kind of impact on a business you don’t really want as you look at having a sound economy. Miebach On China MIEBACH: Northeast Asia has been shut and now it’s starting to really gain a lot of momentum. So I think we should all look forward with optimism on what that will do for a global economy. We have seen the last few years, wherever travel restrictions have been removed, people just travel they go and they go out and we expect the same thing here and it’s going to be big volume. Miebach On Blockchain MIEBACH: We have been bullish on blockchain technology and what it can solve so that’s really where our investments went, where we went out to the market to partner with banks and so forth and see how we can further optimize cross-border payments, make them cheaper, more effective, things like that. That’s where our focus was, so the noise that we have, unfortunate noise in the crypto winter, and those are things that we are staying close to to make sure that we protect Mastercard holders there. But, it’s really the focus on technology and what can it do......»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkJan 19th, 2023

I run a 5-star Davos hotel. We rely on Red Bull and chocolate to keep morale up during the World Economic Forum.

Hans-Rudolf Ruetti runs a 24-hour operation at the Grandhotel Belvédère hotel in Davos where Bill Gates and other world leaders stay during WEF. Hans-Rudolf Ruetti manages the Steigenberger Icon Grandhotel Belvédère in Davos, Switzerland.Courtesy of Hans-Rudolf Ruetti Hans-Rudolf Ruetti manages the Grandhotel Belvédère, where the most important WEF participants stay. Ruetti said his staff stays onsite and gets about three to four hours of sleep each day.  He said guests have specific requirements and it's tough, but his team loves working during the WEF. This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Hans-Rudolf Ruetti, a 62-year-old hotelier with 30 years of experience from Davos, Switzerland, about preparing the Steigenberger Grandhotel Belvédère for guests at the World Economic Forum. It's been edited for length and clarity. For more than 50 years, what's now known as the World Economic Forum (WEF) has taken place in Davos, and every year, the Grandhotel Belvédère has hosted WEF guests. Bill Clinton stayed at this hotel at some point. Angela Merkel, Michael Dell, Bill Gates — you name it, they've been here. I became the general manager of the Grandhotel Belvédère in November 2021, so I've only seen the 2022 WEF, which was moved from January to May. This year, the WEF is expecting nearly 3,000 participants. Last year's forum didn't have quite the same energy, so we're happy to have the real Economic Forum back after such a long break. Besides the assembly itself, there are many side events taking place around Davos. This is why there's a lot of construction going on around both the city and the hotel. Luckily, we don't have much snow right now, and that makes it easier to prepare. Construction taking place around the Grandhotel Belvédère.Courtesy of Hans-Rudolf RuettiIn preparation for the WEF, we closed the hotel to the publicThe hotel is now exclusively open for all the important guests coming from around the world to attend the WEF from January 2 until January 28.  We emptied almost half of the hotel in order to set up for all of the events and prepare for the guests. During the WEF, no one will have access to the hotel without their badge. We have X-ray machines and metal detectors, and each and every person has to go through these to enter the building. It's almost like an airport. Davos itself is like a military zone, where you have limited access and everything is cordoned off. There are several security checkpoints that visitors have to pass through to get to the main street in Davos. That area, about 300 or 400 meters, is strictly blocked off, and you're not allowed to enter unless you have a badge.Of course, there are a lot of police officers inside and outside of Davos, plus we have thousands of security people and army members making sure this event is safe and secure. To accommodate the WEF and its events, we've increased our staff by about 150% We've added an additional 150 employees — and that doesn't include about 100 construction workers around the hotel. It looks like a very busy construction site, but you'll see the same thing all along the main road in Davos. There's a huge three-story pavilion that was built just for the forum to host the press and employees of the WEF. I don't even know how many people can fit in it. The press and media center in Davos.Courtesy of Hans-Rudolf RuettiAt the hotel, we built two temporary two-floor pavilions. There are several events being put on by important guests, and this is always a challenging task when it comes to safety and security. Companies like McKinsey and PricewaterhouseCoopers are holding events like the famous night caps where powerful people meet. We also built an additional three kitchens from where we can deliver food exclusively for hotel guests and events hosted here by the forum participants. The food isn't necessarily fancier, but it takes on a totally different dimension because we have events where there are a few hundred guests invited. These companies organize and pay for the food that will be served. Food is more expensive than usual at the hotel because of the investments we've made — building pavilions and additional offices. We have a huge cost that we have to make up for, but the price depends on whether it's breakfast, lunch, or dinner and the location it's being served at. I run a 24-hour operation during the WEF The day starts at 6 a.m. with breakfast meetings, followed by lunches and more meetings, then dinners and nightcaps that can go until 3 or 4 the next morning. Then everything starts all over again. It's a huge operation. As a result, we have very limited time slots for when we can have goods or foods delivered. So if we don't have something in stock and it has to be delivered, it becomes a real nightmare. There's so much traffic.It takes five minutes to walk from the hotel to the conference center — Davos Congress, where the forum takes place — but if you take a limousine (as many guests do), it can easily take 45 minutes. It's also winter and below 0 degrees Celsius, so understandably guests want to sit in the comfort of a limousine. Each guest has specific needs and specific setup requirements, which means everything needs to be changed in a very short timeframe — this is very challenging.WEF participants expect that everything is in place when they arrive. There are so many different dietary and special requirements for each guest. Last year, when the conference was in May, the forum was a little more down-to-earth, so people wouldn't ask for crazy things and there was maybe less exclusivity when it came to food and beverages. A French public-relations company manages our room inventory on behalf of the WEF, selling the rooms to companies and individual guests for us, so we don't really know who's staying at our hotel until the very last moment. The rooms are probably 50% more expensive during this time, but individual prices depend on the type of room. There's also a five-day minimum length of stay. (Editor's note: Regular room prices at the Steigenberger Icon Grandhotel Belvédère typically range from $325 to $670 a night.) Most of our staff is excited for the WEF It's so interesting to see all of these people — actors, musicians, politicians, business people, people you'd have never dreamed of coming across. It's really an interesting melting pot. So whoever comes to work here very much looks forward to coming back and joining our team each year, but it's tough work. All of the staff members stay on-site. Otherwise, it would be impossible to get everything done. We have a staff house, but we've placed additional beds in each and every room. We have up to six staff members sleeping in a room. The staff hardly gets any sleep, maybe three or four hours a night. A lot of chocolate bars and Redbull help to keep morale up. I get to see the employees with big eyes, and when they finish their work day, they say, "I met him, I met her, I've met Angelina Jolie!" Just imagine, you work 16, 17, 18 hours, but you don't get tired because you're so excited about it all. People don't really get tired until the moment they're done working, then within seconds, they fall asleep. But when you're within the process of all that work, you don't have time to think about it. The jobs can be competitive and it's a lot of hiring, but Deutsche Hospitality, which owns the Steigenberger franchise, including this hotel, is a large hospitality group, so we get some staff from our other hotels. During the WEF, our staff makes an hourly wage that's about 25 to 35% more than their normal salary.The WEF is also an important part of the hotel's yearly incomeJanuary is a quiet period of the year for most hotels, so it makes it easier to get employees here to Davos because they need the work. I don't want to talk about specific figures, but the WEF is important to us and to many other companies in Davos.There really isn't anything we at the hotel don't like about the WEF. Just imagine, you have the most important people in the entire world — from politicians to business people and entertainers — you have them all here. Normally, you see them in the newspaper or on TV, but here, they're all just around the corner. Do they change the world by meeting here? Maybe they don't. But it's important for them to talk to one another. Even if it's not monumental, I believe it's important for people to talk to each other in this more relaxed atmosphere.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytJan 18th, 2023

French And German Power Prices Soar As Cold Sweeps Europe

French And German Power Prices Soar As Cold Sweeps Europe Update (0713ET):  After a mild start to the year, cold weather sweeping across western Germany, France, and the UK led to a surge in electricity prices on Tuesday.  French day-ahead power prices jumped to 135 euros a megawatt-hour, a 42% increase versus the rolling two-week average. The cause of the price spike is a surge in heating demand and delays in restarting nuclear plants.  Day-ahead prices in Germany, Europe's largest economy, increased as much as 16% Tuesday. "Cold is expected to grip areas from the mid-continent to west, including in western Germany, France and the UK where average departures from normal range anywhere between 2-6 degrees Celsius below normal," Matthew Dross, a meteorologist at Maxar Technologies, told Bloomberg.  Dross said the cold spell "will increase heating demand for those regions to above normal levels."  Despite colder weather and increasing heating demand, Dutch front-month natural gas futures, Europe's benchmark, slid as much as 7.3% after rising 4.6%. Prices have clawed back some losses after tagging 16-month lows.  Mild temperatures are expected to return next week, denting demand once more. Morgan Stanley recently wrote that Europe's NatGas consumption in the year to October could be as low as 16% below the five-year average.  "Even if it makes gas-fired power plants increasingly competitive with coal-fired power plants, it does not lead to an increase in gas demand for power generation because" other cheaper power generation sources will be used first, Engie SA's EnergyScan wrote in a note.  *   *   *  Record warmth spread across Europe in the first half of January. Temperatures in the energy-stricken continent felt more like spring as several metropolitan areas recorded the warmest temperatures on record. Now a pattern shift is underway as parts of northwest Europe brace for a cold snap starting Monday.  The latest runs for global weather models, including GFS Operational and ECMWF Operational, show what appears to be a downward shift in temperatures for northwest Europe. Average temps are expected to average in the low 30s degrees Fahrenheit this week, below 5,10, and 30-year averages.  GFS and ECMWF models show temperatures in London could decline to the low 30s by tomorrow -- well below average for this time of year.  A similar cold spell in Paris is slated for early this week.  As well as colder temperatures in Berlin.  Freezing temperatures across northwest Europe for the second half of the month will push up heating demand.   Mild temperatures curbed heating demand and allowed for injections into natural gas storage at a time when supplies should be drawing. But that could change with the return of winter.  The return of freezing conditions did very little to boost EU nature gas prices, which fell to the lowest level since September 2021 as the supply outlook remained robust.  "There currently appears to be no end to the losses on the European gas market," analysts at trading firm Energi Danmark A/S wrote in a note. They added:  "The panic-like situation from last year has been replaced by confidence that Europe will get through this winter without any supply issues." Still, some are warning winter isn't over: #natgas Weather models are cooling by the day. European snow cover is forecast over half of Europe including Greece, Italy, Turkey, even Lebanon and North Africa reaching 3 foot of snow. #natgas pic.twitter.com/L5hjnXWgbW — Heinrich Leopold (@LeopoldHeinrich) January 16, 2023 forecast #polarvortex pic.twitter.com/2rqHLgNv9N — PV-Forecast (@PvForecast) January 16, 2023 #natgas To the astonishment of weather forecasters models (Jan17,23,31) are becoming colder and colder in Europe. This is exactly what the weakening of the polar vortex suggests. This will intensify as an historic strong vortex has accumulated a record amount of arctic cold air. pic.twitter.com/jI9txxPD8n — Heinrich Leopold (@LeopoldHeinrich) January 15, 2023 Tyler Durden Tue, 01/17/2023 - 07:13.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJan 17th, 2023

Winter Returns To Northwest Europe This Week

Winter Returns To Northwest Europe This Week Record warmth spread across Europe in the first half of January. Temperatures in the energy-stricken continent felt more like spring as several metropolitan areas recorded the warmest temperatures on record. Now a pattern shift is underway as parts of northwest Europe brace for a cold snap starting Monday.  The latest runs for global weather models, including GFS Operational and ECMWF Operational, show what appears to be a downward shift in temperatures for northwest Europe. Average temps are expected to average in the low 30s degrees Fahrenheit this week, below 5,10, and 30-year averages.  GFS and ECMWF models show temperatures in London could decline to the low 30s by tomorrow -- well below average for this time of year.  A similar cold spell in Paris is slated for early this week.  As well as colder temperatures in Berlin.  Freezing temperatures across northwest Europe for the second half of the month will push up heating demand.   Mild temperatures curbed heating demand and allowed for injections into natural gas storage at a time when supplies should be drawing. But that could change with the return of winter.  The return of freezing conditions did very little to boost EU nature gas prices, which fell to the lowest level since September 2021 as the supply outlook remained robust.  "There currently appears to be no end to the losses on the European gas market," analysts at trading firm Energi Danmark A/S wrote in a note. They added:  "The panic-like situation from last year has been replaced by confidence that Europe will get through this winter without any supply issues." Still, some are warning winter isn't over: #natgas Weather models are cooling by the day. European snow cover is forecast over half of Europe including Greece, Italy, Turkey, even Lebanon and North Africa reaching 3 foot of snow. #natgas pic.twitter.com/L5hjnXWgbW — Heinrich Leopold (@LeopoldHeinrich) January 16, 2023 forecast #polarvortex pic.twitter.com/2rqHLgNv9N — PV-Forecast (@PvForecast) January 16, 2023 #natgas To the astonishment of weather forecasters models (Jan17,23,31) are becoming colder and colder in Europe. This is exactly what the weakening of the polar vortex suggests. This will intensify as an historic strong vortex has accumulated a record amount of arctic cold air. pic.twitter.com/jI9txxPD8n — Heinrich Leopold (@LeopoldHeinrich) January 15, 2023 Tyler Durden Tue, 01/17/2023 - 02:45.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytJan 17th, 2023

Five things you need to know today, and a city"s embrace of Martin Luther King Jr.

Good morning, everyone. The Business Journal’s offices are closed today, but here is an abbreviated version of the five things you need to know in Boston business news today. We’ll be back in full swing in this space tomorrow. ‘The Embrace’ unveiled  Unless you’ve been trapped under a large piece of living room furniture for the past couple of weeks, you know the 22-foot-high sculpture called “The Embrace” has now been installed and unveiled on Boston Common. Scroll down for more,….....»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsJan 16th, 2023

I manage a Davos hotel where Bill Gates and other leaders stay for the World Economic Forum. We barely sleep and live off Red Bull, but we love it.

Hans-Rudolf Ruetti manages the Grandhotel Belvédère hotel in Davos and said he runs a 24-hour operation during WEF. Hans-Rudolf Ruetti manages the Steigenberger Icon Grandhotel Belvédère in Davos, Switzerland.Courtesy of Hans-Rudolf Ruetti Hans-Rudolf Ruetti manages the Grandhotel Belvédère, where the most important WEF participants stay. Ruetti said his staff stays onsite and gets about three to four hours of sleep each day.  He said guests have specific requirements and it's tough, but his team loves working during the WEF. This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Hans-Rudolf Ruetti, a 62-year-old hotelier with 30 years of experience from Davos, Switzerland, about preparing the Steigenberger Grandhotel Belvédère for guests at the World Economic Forum. It's been edited for length and clarity. For more than 50 years, what's now known as the World Economic Forum (WEF) has taken place in Davos, and every year, the Grandhotel Belvédère has hosted WEF guests. Bill Clinton stayed at this hotel at some point. Angela Merkel, Michael Dell, Bill Gates — you name it, they've been here. I became the general manager of the Grandhotel Belvédère in November 2021, so I've only seen the 2022 WEF, which was moved from January to May. This year, the WEF is expecting nearly 3,000 participants. Last year's forum didn't have quite the same energy, so we're happy to have the real Economic Forum back after such a long break. Besides the assembly itself, there are many side events taking place around Davos. This is why there's a lot of construction going on around both the city and the hotel. Luckily, we don't have much snow right now, and that makes it easier to prepare. Construction taking place around the Grandhotel Belvédère.Courtesy of Hans-Rudolf RuettiIn preparation for the WEF, we closed the hotel to the publicThe hotel is now exclusively open for all the important guests coming from around the world to attend the WEF from January 2 until January 28.  We emptied almost half of the hotel in order to set up for all of the events and prepare for the guests. During the WEF, no one will have access to the hotel without their badge. We have X-ray machines and metal detectors, and each and every person has to go through these to enter the building. It's almost like an airport. Davos itself is like a military zone, where you have limited access and everything is cordoned off. There are several security checkpoints that visitors have to pass through to get to the main street in Davos. That area, about 300 or 400 meters, is strictly blocked off, and you're not allowed to enter unless you have a badge.Of course, there are a lot of police officers inside and outside of Davos, plus we have thousands of security people and army members making sure this event is safe and secure. To accommodate the WEF and its events, we've increased our staff by about 150% We've added an additional 150 employees — and that doesn't include about 100 construction workers around the hotel. It looks like a very busy construction site, but you'll see the same thing all along the main road in Davos. There's a huge three-story pavilion that was built just for the forum to host the press and employees of the WEF. I don't even know how many people can fit in it. The press and media center in Davos.Courtesy of Hans-Rudolf RuettiAt the hotel, we built two temporary two-floor pavilions. There are several events being put on by important guests, and this is always a challenging task when it comes to safety and security. Companies like McKinsey and PricewaterhouseCoopers are holding events like the famous night caps where powerful people meet. We also built an additional three kitchens from where we can deliver food exclusively for hotel guests and events hosted here by the forum participants. The food isn't necessarily fancier, but it takes on a totally different dimension because we have events where there are a few hundred guests invited. These companies organize and pay for the food that will be served. Food is more expensive than usual at the hotel because of the investments we've made — building pavilions and additional offices. We have a huge cost that we have to make up for, but the price depends on whether it's breakfast, lunch, or dinner and the location it's being served at. I run a 24-hour operation during the WEF The day starts at 6 a.m. with breakfast meetings, followed by lunches and more meetings, then dinners and nightcaps that can go until 3 or 4 the next morning. Then everything starts all over again. It's a huge operation. As a result, we have very limited time slots for when we can have goods or foods delivered. So if we don't have something in stock and it has to be delivered, it becomes a real nightmare. There's so much traffic.It takes five minutes to walk from the hotel to the conference center — Davos Congress, where the forum takes place — but if you take a limousine (as many guests do), it can easily take 45 minutes. It's also winter and below 0 degrees Celsius, so understandably guests want to sit in the comfort of a limousine. Each guest has specific needs and specific setup requirements, which means everything needs to be changed in a very short timeframe — this is very challenging.WEF participants expect that everything is in place when they arrive. There are so many different dietary and special requirements for each guest. Last year, when the conference was in May, the forum was a little more down-to-earth, so people wouldn't ask for crazy things and there was maybe less exclusivity when it came to food and beverages. A French public-relations company manages our room inventory on behalf of the WEF, selling the rooms to companies and individual guests for us, so we don't really know who's staying at our hotel until the very last moment. The rooms are probably 50% more expensive during this time, but individual prices depend on the type of room. There's also a five-day minimum length of stay. (Editor's note: Regular room prices at the Steigenberger Icon Grandhotel Belvédère typically range from $325 to $670 a night.) Most of our staff is excited for the WEF It's so interesting to see all of these people — actors, musicians, politicians, business people, people you'd have never dreamed of coming across. It's really an interesting melting pot. So whoever comes to work here very much looks forward to coming back and joining our team each year, but it's tough work. All of the staff members stay on-site. Otherwise, it would be impossible to get everything done. We have a staff house, but we've placed additional beds in each and every room. We have up to six staff members sleeping in a room. The staff hardly gets any sleep, maybe three or four hours a night. A lot of chocolate bars and Redbull help to keep morale up. I get to see the employees with big eyes, and when they finish their work day, they say, "I met him, I met her, I've met Angelina Jolie!" Just imagine, you work 16, 17, 18 hours, but you don't get tired because you're so excited about it all. People don't really get tired until the moment they're done working, then within seconds, they fall asleep. But when you're within the process of all that work, you don't have time to think about it. The jobs can be competitive and it's a lot of hiring, but Deutsche Hospitality, which owns the Steigenberger franchise, including this hotel, is a large hospitality group, so we get some staff from our other hotels. During the WEF, our staff makes an hourly wage that's about 25 to 35% more than their normal salary.The WEF is also an important part of the hotel's yearly incomeJanuary is a quiet period of the year for most hotels, so it makes it easier to get employees here to Davos because they need the work. I don't want to talk about specific figures, but the WEF is important to us and to many other companies in Davos.There really isn't anything we at the hotel don't like about the WEF. Just imagine, you have the most important people in the entire world — from politicians to business people and entertainers — you have them all here. Normally, you see them in the newspaper or on TV, but here, they're all just around the corner. Do they change the world by meeting here? Maybe they don't. But it's important for them to talk to one another. Even if it's not monumental, I believe it's important for people to talk to each other in this more relaxed atmosphere.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytJan 16th, 2023

Heavy Storms Help California To Almost Eliminate Extreme Drought From State

Heavy Storms Help California To Almost Eliminate Extreme Drought From State Authored by Naveen Anthrapully via The Epoch Times, California, which has been reeling under the grip of drought, has received respite due to the multiple storms that hit the state and elsewhere in the past weeks, helping it deal with drought conditions in several regions and filling up many of the smaller reservoirs. “A long-term drought, dating back to the 2019–2020 winter, continues across California, the Great Basin, and parts of the Pacific Northwest,” according to the National Drought Summary on Jan. 10. “However, the intense precipitation in California the past few weeks—particularly late December and early January—has significantly reduced drought intensity in California. Most of the state saw a 1-category improvement this week.” According to the Jan. 12th drought map for California, regions classified as facing extreme drought conditions, dubbed “D3,” have almost disappeared from the interior areas of the state. In just a single week, the portion of the state facing D3 conditions declined from 27.1 percent to 0.32 percent. Regions classified as facing severe drought, D2, fell from 71.14 percent to 46 percent during this period. During the past couple of weeks, 24.5 trillion gallons of water fell in California owing to a series of atmospheric river storms. Since Dec. 26, 2022, seven atmospheric rivers have dumped up to 30 inches of rain in some regions of the state. Filling Up Reservoirs The heavy rains have resulted in small reservoirs getting filled in several communities across California. In, for example, the Marin Municipal Water District, in the north of the state, all seven reservoirs recently hit 100 percent capacity. Four of the 10 reservoirs owned by the Santa Clara Valley Water District are also full. Seven reservoirs run by the East Bay Municipal Utility District are 84 percent full. However, the largest reservoirs are not yet full, officials warn, because drought conditions in the state are not yet over. The Oroville reservoir up north in Butte County, the second-largest reservoir in California, is only 49 percent full, which is 90 percent of its historical average. Shasta Lake is only 44 percent full, which is 77 percent of its historical average. “The sum of the state’s six largest reservoir stores increased from 5 million as of Nov. 30, 2022, to 7.3 million as of Jan. 10, 2023 (from 54 percent of long-term average to 74 percent of long-term average),” the National Drought Summary said. “Only one of the six largest reservoirs is near its long-term average, and three of them hold only 43–61 percent of their long-term averages as of Jan. 10.” Drought Conditions Elsewhere A study published in the journal Nature last year found that the past 22 years have been the driest period in the American Southwest’s last 1,200 years. To completely get rid of drought conditions in the region, multiple seasons of precipitation at 120–200 percent of the normal levels are estimated to be needed. The current storm conditions are not, however, a guarantee that California’s drought conditions would end soon. In December 2021, the conditions were very wet, which raised hopes that the drought was ending. However, the months of January, February, and March ended up being the driest in California’s recorded history. The same happened in 2013, when a wet December was followed by a very dry January and February. Though big snow totals are welcome, there is still a “long way to go before the critical April 1 total,” said Sean de Guzman, manager of the snow surveys and water supply forecasting unit at the California Department of Water Resources, according to a news release on Jan. 31. “It’s always great to be above average this early in the season, but we must be resilient and remember what happened last year. If January through March of 2023 turns out to be similar to last year, we would still end the water year in severe drought with only half of an average year’s snowpack,” he said. Tyler Durden Sat, 01/14/2023 - 16:30.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytJan 14th, 2023

Mammoth Mountain Closes Because Of Too Much Snow

Mammoth Mountain Closes Because Of Too Much Snow 'Global warming' alarmist spewed nothing but climate doom last summer about how the world would imminently burn if no 'government' actions were taken. The folks operating Mammoth Mountain in the Eastern Sierra might be perplexed about that assumption considering they've had to shutter operations this week because of too much snow.  A moisture conveyor belt of atmospheric rivers for nearly three weeks has pounded lower elevations of California with record amounts of rain. As for higher elevations, such as the area where Mammoth is located, feet of snow buried the region.  "Due to continued intense snowfall, very difficult road conditions, and extensive avalanche mitigation work, Main Lodge will be closed tomorrow," Mammoth posted on Facebook earlier this week.  Another update said that even more snow had paralyzed the resort from conducting full operations.  And again, another update detailing the same.  Yesterday, Mammoth said the "mega-storm" dumped "6 to 7.5 FEET of snow in the last few days." It indicated only a partial reopening of the mountain and to "expect delays in all lift openings."  Last night, Mammoth posted a video showing how badly the mountain got hit. Some lifts still appear to be inoperable.  Last year, Mammoth received about 223 inches of snowfall during winter. So far this season, 328 inches have fallen, surpassing last year's total by more than 100 inches with still a few months left in the season.  Usually, ski resorts close down because there is not enough snow. Certainly not in Mammoth's case.   Tyler Durden Thu, 01/12/2023 - 09:45.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytJan 12th, 2023