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Paradigm Shift? Aussie Cop Quits, Refuses To Enforce COVID Tyranny, Says "Majority" Of Cops Feel The Same

Paradigm Shift? Aussie Cop Quits, Refuses To Enforce COVID Tyranny, Says "Majority" Of Cops Feel The Same Authored by Matt Agorist via The Free Thought Project, A female officer with Victoria Police, who served for 16 years, has resigned in protest against the use of police to enforce Covid-19 rules, saying in an interview that a “great majority” of her colleagues shared her sentiments. Acting Senior Sergeant Krystle Mitchell has appeared on The Discernible Interviews channel on YouTube on Friday, wearing her dark-blue uniform and revealing that she had been “troubled” by how police resources have been applied during the pandemic by state authorities. Victoria Police has been tasked with making sure that people in one of Australia’s most populous states abide by the lockdown restrictions, and with curbing illegal protests against the health rules and vaccination mandates, which often turn violent, resulting in numerous arrests and accusations of police brutality. Melbourne, Victoria’s capital city, holds the world record for longest lockdown. Mitchell, who had been working with the gender equality and inclusion command, said that “all of my friends that are police officers that are working the front line and are suffering every day enforcing CHO (Chief Health Officer) directions, that certainly the great majority don’t believe in and don’t want to enforce.” The law enforcers were “scaring people in the community,” and she herself felt uneasy when encountering officers in the street while off-duty and wearing civilian clothes, she confessed. Some rough behavior by the police during the pandemic might be partially explained by the enforcement approach taken by Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews, Mitchell suggested.  “I think that the reason, or the issue, in why perhaps police [are] feeling more emboldened to act the way they are in relation to these harsher actions is because of the messaging that comes from Dan [Andrews],” who tells the law enforcers what to do “on a daily basis,” she said. “The consequences of me being here today, is that I will be resigning from Victoria Police, effective the end of this interview because the consequences of me coming out publicly would be dismissal,” Mitchell announced. I can’t remedy in my soul any more the way in which my organization, that I love to work for, is being used and the damage that it’s causing in the reputation of Victoria Police and .. to the community. Victoria Police confirmed that Mitchell used to be one of their officers, but stressed that her comments in no way reflected the views of the whole force. “Victoria Police cannot pick and choose what laws it enforces,” it said in a statement on Saturday, adding that the police “looks forward to the easing of restrictions and the eventual return to pre-COVID life,” just like ordinary residents do. As for Mitchell, she would be the subject of a professional standards command investigation over her revelations, according to the statement. Several instances of police brutality in the state of Victoria went viral in September at the height of the protests against Covid-19 restrictions in Melbourne. One of the viral clips that caused outrage featured police violently tossing an elderly woman to the ground and pepper-spraying her. In another incident, an officer was filmed slamming a demonstrator onto the pavement, allegedly rendering him unconscious. Tyler Durden Wed, 10/13/2021 - 22:05.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeOct 13th, 2021

OANDA – Maintaining Continuity At The Fed, Stocks Rally, Us Data, Stronger Dollar As Yields Rise, OPEC+ Plays Hardball, Gold Hurt, Bitcoin Struggles

Despite rising pressure from progressive Democrats for a switch at the head of the Fed, President Biden decided that he doesn’t want to change horses in midstream. US stocks are rising as continuity at the Fed remains. Financials surge following Biden’s decision to renominate Fed Chair Powell as financial markets price in more rate hikes […] Despite rising pressure from progressive Democrats for a switch at the head of the Fed, President Biden decided that he doesn’t want to change horses in midstream. US stocks are rising as continuity at the Fed remains. Financials surge following Biden’s decision to renominate Fed Chair Powell as financial markets price in more rate hikes and since Lael Brainard got the second top post and not Vice Chair for Supervision. This does not signal the banks are in the clear as they could see an even tougher regulator announced shortly. 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 Walter Schloss Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Walter Schloss 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); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more US Data The housing market refuses to cool after existing home sales in October jumped to a 9-month high.  Existing home sales increased 0.8% in October from September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.34 million homes. Home sales prices are 13.1% more expensive from a year ago and inventories remain tight. The Chicago Fed National Activity Index dramatically improved from -0.18 to 0.76, with 61 of the 85 monthly individual indicators showing positive movements. The Fed regional surveys have mostly shown the economy got its groove back from the Delta variant and optimism should be high that economic activity will remain strong, but also that pricing pressures are far from peaking. FX The dollar popped alongside short-end Treasury yields after reports the White House is planning to stick with Fed Chair Powell. The dollar is seeing strong flows as US stocks attract foreign investors, rate hike expectations move forward, and as the latest COVID surge across Europe diminished prospects of a strong first half of the year for the eurozone. Oil Crude prices did an about-face after OPEC+ hinted they could adjust their output increase plan if the US is successful in getting many countries to tap their respective strategic petroleum reserves. Earlier, oil prices were declining as the energy market was bracing for a larger-than-expected release of global strategic petroleum reserves and as Germany struggled with the latest surge of COVID.  Japan and India are looking to join the Americans and Chinese in tackling the recent surge in oil prices that has happened throughout the majority of the year. OPEC+ is pushing back on this coordinated effort which is being led by the US to thwart surging energy costs as the global economic recovery stumbles to runaway inflation fears. WTI crude will remain a volatile trade, but much of the downward move has already happened. An official US SPR announcement could happen as early as tomorrow and energy traders will look to see if that marks the bottom of the recent pullback. Gold Gold is getting punished as stocks hit fresh record highs and the dollar soars after President Biden selected Jerome Powell for a second term as Fed Chair. Gold’s weakness is noticeable and conveniently right when ETF investors finally decided they needed inflation-hedges. The move higher with real yields has accelerated some of gold’s weakness, but it is way too early for investors thinking this is the beginning of a sustained trend. Gold has massive support around the $1800 level and with a shortened trading week, it could consolidate between $1800 and $1850 leading up to the December 15th FOMC policy meeting. Faster tapering and a rate hike already being priced in for the June policy meeting has been kryptonite for gold. This is not the end of the gold trade, but there could be further short-term pain. Bitcoin Bitcoin is under pressure as the dollar and US equities rally following President Biden’s decision to stick with Jerome Powell to run the Fed.  The Biden administration has also won over more nations in delivering a coordinated effort to tackle surging energy prices. Today was not a good day for inflation hedges and that is why both Bitcoin and gold prices are falling sharply. Bitcoin was ripe for a pullback and it might not be over yet before traders confidently feel a bottom has been made. Article By Edward Moya, OANDA Updated on Nov 22, 2021, 4:34 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkNov 22nd, 2021

The Impact Of Conversational Technologies On Ecommerce

One of the biggest consumer behaviour changes within ecommerce has been the large-scale shift to using conversational commerce technologies. Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Conversational Commerce Technologies That Consumers Are Using Spurned on by the pandemic, modern shoppers have become accustomed to yelling out their shopping list items to a Voice Assistant, […] One of the biggest consumer behaviour changes within ecommerce has been the large-scale shift to using conversational commerce technologies. 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); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Conversational Commerce Technologies That Consumers Are Using Spurned on by the pandemic, modern shoppers have become accustomed to yelling out their shopping list items to a Voice Assistant, as well as sending messages through a Live Chat or Chatbot box in the corner of a website for customer service. So much so that by 2025 the voice and chat industry is expected to be valued at $290 billion. This figure comes as no surprise. In 2020, more than 2 billion people shopped online with sales shooting to over 4.2 trillion dollars. With consumers being mainly home-based and relying on online businesses for their essential purchases, these conversational commerce technologies have proven to be ideal for the circumstances. Their ease of use has shown that even new users are able to quickly learn and start implementing them into their shopping routines. We look at some of these Conversational Commerce technologies below in more detail. Screaming Out For Voice Assistants Most of us have either seen or used a Voice Assistant with the popular ones being Amazon Alexa, Google Home, or Apple’s Siri - they’re even on smartwatches. Voice Assistants will use search engine answers to respond to basic questions users ask them, or access core databases and apps to find information for more complex requests. In a short amount of time, Voice Assistants use has exploded - 27% of the online population currently uses voice search. By 2024, there’s expected to be over 8 billion devices globally - outnumbering the global population! This is to be expected considering they’re popular with all ages, and used on a daily basis. According to PWC, the age group that most frequently uses Voice Assistants are between 25-49 - 65% use them daily. Gen Z aren’t too far behind - 59% use a Voice Assistant every day, and 31% stated they’d be using Voice Search to purchase products on Black Friday. What are the main uses people use Voice Assistants for? Bing’s report on Voice Assistants states that the main requests are around ‘looking for a quick fact’ (68%) and ‘asking for directions’ (65%). However the majority of the uses are around purchasing, with the most frequent ones being ‘searching for a product’ (52%) and ‘searching for a business’ (47%). We can expect these purchasing uses to increase soon, especially as Amazon prioritises their exclusive Black Friday deals through their smart devices. Optimizing a Website for Voice Search With Voice Search becoming such a standard part of daily life, it’s important for a website to be optimized for the types of queries people ask their speakers. Here are a few points to consider: Keep Content Conversational Writing content as you’d speak it is a great way to engage your readers as well as prepare an answer for a Voice Assistant. Check out search results answer boxes to get an idea of how to structure a response to a voice query. Look at Long-Tail Keywords Unsurprisingly, questions asked to Voice Assistants are often longer than typed search queries. Longer search phrases are known as Long-Tail Keywords, which help to target Voice Search questions. Check out if there are any longer phrases related to your content and be sure to appropriately include them into your content. Prioritize Mobile Google has stated multiple times that it prioritizes mobile performance as that’s where most users access the internet, and the same applies for Voice Search as 27% of mobile owners use the Voice Assistant feature. Ensure your website is mobile friendly, a good place to start is to make sure Page Experience/Core Web Vitals metrics are scoring well. Customer Service Tech: Live Chat Vs. Chatbots The other side of the Conversational Commerce coin is the new onsite technologies associated with customer service - known as Live Chat and Chatbots. The fundamental difference between the two is that Live Chat is manned by one or several members of staff who respond to user queries when they’r/e online. It’s a great way of getting an accurate and tailored response to a question, whether it’s asking about something general or following up on something more specific like tracking an order. The downside is that there might be a delay in response if the Live Chat staff are based in a different time zone to the person asking the question. Chatbots are similar, but work through programmed AI using a set of inputted answers to respond to questions. The benefit is that they’re able to provide an answer whenever, they’re cheaper due to not using staff, and are more scalable to handle more consumer’s questions. However, the answers won’t be as tailored, so it may feel like a less personalized response to a user. So which is right for an online business? When choosing to implement one of these technologies, it’s important to research the type of questions your business receives more frequently from customers. If they are more general and less specific, a Chatbot is ideal. Many large businesses such as British Airways and Starbucks use them to handle customer questions. Consumers are now accustomed to speaking with AI on a daily basis, so they often understand the limitations they may have. If your business is dealing with more complex questions around product details, availability and/or orders, it may be wiser to use Live Chat and employ staff to man it. Live Chat is generally preferred by customers as the responses are quick and more tailored to their needs. For more information and advice on conversational commerce technologies, check out Website Builder Expert’s new infographic guide below: Updated on Nov 16, 2021, 12:35 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkNov 16th, 2021

The Market Is Signaling That A Scenario Of Sharply Rising Real Rates Is Untenable

The Market Is Signaling That A Scenario Of Sharply Rising Real Rates Is Untenable By Eric Peters, CIO of One River Asset Management; read this post after first reading "The Most Important Question For The Market Is Identifying The Driver Behind Record Low Negative Real Rates" Un-Orthodoxy "Rising inflation and growing government debt may not seem like the natural ingredients to lower longer-term real yields,” explained Marcel, our Head of Research, our investment team thinking through the opportunities that arise when the vast majority of people dismiss perplexing market movements as being illogical when in fact, they may reflect a paradigm shift. “Yet here we are – longer-term real yields set a historic low last week. It is not that the market has given up the idea of orthodoxy. To the contrary, inflation is imposing orthodoxy on people’s behavior. Despite low interest rates, high asset prices, and record job openings, consumers believe it is the worst time to buy a car ever and the least attractive time to purchase a home since 1982. Demand is strong. Supply is constrained. Prices gains are required to ration demand. This is orthodoxy, just not the variety we are accustomed to.” “But where is the bond market orthodoxy?” asked Marcel. “It is tempting to blame it on the Fed. After all, the Fed has been the dominant buyer of government bonds for the past 18 months, and asset purchases are set to end next June. But the issues are far more dynamic than linear demand-and-supply accounting. Take the last cycle of Fed quantitative tightening. Bank reserves held at the Fed peaked in 2014 with 5y5y real interest rates nearly 2.00%. Those excess reserves were cut in half through 2019 under the direction of policy. With the Fed no longer reinvesting bond maturities, the market had to absorb another $1.3trln of bond supply over that period. And 5y5y real yields collapsed to 0%, despite lower unemployment and substantial fiscal stimulus. Excessive global capital and the thirst for yield had a lot do with those outcomes and they remain strong today.” “Norway’s central bank cut policy rates rapidly to the zero lower boundary during the pandemic,” continued Marcel. “It was the first developed central bank to reverse course with a rate hike in August. Longer-term yields rose very slightly as rate hikes were brought forward. But mostly, the curve flattened a lot. 30-year swap yields fell below 10-year rates in Norway, to the most inverted on record. Market forces drove Norway terminal rates lower with the earlier rate hike. These patterns are also evident in the UK. The hawkish pivot from the Bank of England did not lead to a bond market risk premium. Instead, before the first-rate hike occurred the market discounted the peak in policy rates in 2023, with an easing cycle thereafter. It is not driven by policy guidance.” “The market is signaling something much deeper – the scenario of sharply rising real interest rates is untenable. A material rise in real rates risks a severe, negative impact on broader risk assets. The bond market is telling us this would just bring a rush of capital back to low-risk government bonds. The bigger problem is that fiscal policy sees it as an opportunity. Negative real interest rates are being treated as an invitation to expand mandates and increase spending policies. The orthodoxy that is overwhelming the consumer is not even close to being on the radar of policy officials. The intersection of longer-term fiscal trends and the history of excessive debt remind us that policy orthodoxy is really the only answer in the end. It also predicts a very long period of negative real interest rates.” “The US Congressional Budget Office runs a longer-term projection based on current policy, which includes a gentle normalization in real government bond yields. On those projections, Federal debt is more than 200% of GDP in 2051 with an annual budget deficit of 13% of GDP and rising. The debt interest expense, at 9% of GDP, is substantially greater than spending on social security and Medicare. It is not a plausible outcome. Spending will have to be slower and interest expenses lower. The history of fiscal cycles since 1875, documented by the IMF in 2012, provides the same lesson. How did countries absolve themselves of high government debt? A mix of financial repression and fiscal austerity. Governments used their ‘inflation dividend’ to run budgetary surpluses and real interest rates stayed negative for decades. Austerity comes before higher real rates, not after, and that isn’t near today's policy deliberations. Get used to negative real rates. It’s normal.” Tyler Durden Mon, 11/15/2021 - 08:23.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 15th, 2021

Market Consolidation In The Second Week Of November

In his Daily Market Notes report to investors, while commenting on market consolidation, Louis Navellier wrote: Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more 20% From Here I think that at the end of January, we’re going to be 18% to 20% higher than we are today. That’s a bold statement. But we’ve got a lot […] In his Daily Market Notes report to investors, while commenting on market consolidation, Louis Navellier wrote: 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 Walter Schloss Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Walter Schloss 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); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more 20% From Here I think that at the end of January, we're going to be 18% to 20% higher than we are today. That's a bold statement. But we’ve got a lot of earnings coming out, seasonal strength and an accommodative Fed. Happy Holidays It looks like we're going into this holiday shopping season very optimistically.  Personal income has been up every month except September and September dropped because the extended unemployment benefits disappeared. But personal income is very high. And when you put money in people's pockets, they spend it. If sections of the store are empty, they’ll find something else to buy. So we have a lot of optimism as we go towards the end of the new year. And there's also a lot of political optimism, too, because we have the Virginia election and other elections around the country, and there's clearly a shift underway. And I know the House passed infrastructure bill, but that didn't have a lot of the other things that they were going to attach that was offending some or worrying some voters. It's just time to be happy. Consolidation In The Second Week Of November I mentioned last week that we can get some consolidation in the second week of November, and I stand by that but melt-up is what's going on under the surface.  There's clearly a lot of money pouring in the market still, and earnings season isn't quite over yet.  Still, I’m actually a little sick to my stomach because I know when we go up this much this quickly that it cannot last forever and there’s going to be a retreat. I want investors to pinch themselves. It's not always going to be this good, but I feel it is going to be very good going into January. A lot of us that observe the markets are just in shock with what the Fed did last week. We were anticipating that they would curtail their quantitative easing by up to $30 billion a month. They only decided to do $15 billion a month. That was a huge surprise. And then Powell refused to address raising interest rates. The Fed still seems to be obsessed with trying to create more jobs. There are 4 million jobs missing since the pandemic. But the labor force participation rate is down because some people chose to retire and many working moms decided to stay at home with their kids. So it's very interesting, but it's clear the Fed wants to replace these 4 million jobs because that's their mandate. But the economy became more productive as a result of the pandemic and technological change was accelerated. And that's one of the reasons for the earnings explosion. We're more productive. We're not stuck on freeways, we're not flying around as much as we used to. So the fact that we have a dovish FOMC statement is one reason the market is so firm right now. The other reason the markets are so firm is the ten-year treasury yields under one and a half percent. We've had a bulge in intermediate yields, but the ten-year yield all of a sudden didn't about-face and started dropping again. And that's just causing money to pour into the market. It's as simple as that and no one anticipated it. GDP Rising The other thing that's going on is that we're getting very strong economic forecasts for the fourth quarter. The Atlanta Fed, which can miss the broadside of the barn from time to time — they certainly missed it on the third-quarter GDP — but the Atlanta of Feds are at eight and a half percent GDP growth. I mean, that's nuts and it means we're about to hit the strongest pace of growth in over a year. Heard & Notable The vast majority of lost jobs are service-sector jobs, with the leisure and hospitality industry alone accounting for 1.38 million of the total 3.75 million lost service sector jobs. At the other end of the spectrum jobs lost in utilities, transportation, and warehousing and the financial sector have largely been recovered. Source: Statista Updated on Nov 8, 2021, 4:28 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkNov 9th, 2021

Rabobank: Our System Can Fall Apart If Every Peasant Quits The Physical Economy And Starts Trading Crypto

Rabobank: Our System Can Fall Apart If Every Peasant Quits The Physical Economy And Starts Trading Crypto By Michael Every of Rabobank Revising Views and Economic Gravity Friday’s US payrolls report for once proved somewhat interesting – and also underlined just how pointless a release it is via backwards revisions that dramatically shift perceptions of what the labour market is (or isn’t) doing. Headline jobs growth was 531K vs. 450K forecast, and September was revised up to 312K from 194K, and August up from 366K to 483K. The unemployment rate dropped to 4.6%, but it’s not clear if that means anything given the BLS are evidently making this all up more than usual due to Covid distortions and via birth/death models - are new businesses really opening post-pandemic, and in the face of a supply-chain crisis, the way they would in a normal post-recession cycle? One other data distortion that needs pointing out is a recent survey suggesting 4% of workers, concentrated most in low-wage areas, have quit their jobs on the back of crypto earnings. This sounds ludicrous. It is also possible. Indeed, as I was saying again in a recent discussion, one does not have to expect revolution to believe our current system isn’t sustainable: it can just as easily fall apart if every ‘peasant’ quits the physical economy and trades crypto. Another is that the White House’s national vaccine mandate is already being blocked by a US court: we can argue over the efficacy of vaccinating children until its constitutionality is clarified. (How many 5-year-olds were in ICUs during Covid?) Pfizer is also now to produce a Covid treatment pill not called ‘Iver-Me-ctin-too’ because it has one key difference: this one does not get you banned from social media if mentioned. So, recovery at last? Over to you, Mother Nature. Friday night also saw passage of the $1.2 trillion ($550bn of new money) infrastructure bill, which most Progressives, with Republican help, finally allowed on the White House pinkie-swear the same will happen for the $1.75 trillion Build Back Better (BBB) bill. However, this does little to address supply-chain or growth concerns today - indeed, Matt Stoller points out most of the cash will flow to monopolists yet again. Moreover, it remains to be seen if Progressives have squandered their resistance for a pocketful of mumbles. Such are promises from senators who could now block BBB having gotten what they want. Given Fed tapering is still with us, one can take the view the labor market is bouncing, Covid has been vici-ed, and US fiscal stimulus looms, and so bond yields should be rising as well as equities - until that hurts equities. More so if one thinks the labor market is shrinking as workers of the world unite to use the digital means and memes of production to avoid having to work at all. Yet, as our Rates Strategy Team has to keep patiently reminding, US QE tapering means lower, not higher yields, as it takes away demand from a financialized, not real economy; the stimulus outlook is arguably less positive than before the infrastructure bill passed; and while some of the proletariat may have become kulaks/click-aks, and others think offering financial advice to Elon Musk over Twitter gives them power (let’s see if he sells $21bn in stock), the majority face higher inflation, e.g., global food prices at a fresh 10-year high. As such, the 96% who are not click-aks face lower real wages, and so the economy will ultimately stall. Indeed, post payrolls we saw US bond yields decline, and the curve flatten, with 10s back at 1.47% at the time of writing. Meanwhile, China may also see big backwards revisions with future implications. Not to data, where Sunday showed a larger-than-expected rise in exports (27.1% y/y) and smaller-than-expected in imports (20.6%). Rather, through Thursday it is the CCP’s Sixth Plenum. As Bloomberg puts it: “Between each party congress, the Communist Party's Central Committee meets seven times in meetings called plenums that cover different topics…the agenda is top secret and only revealed in a communique afterward….It's the final chance for horse trading before big decisions are made at the following year's congress.” This plenum may see Xi Jinping pass an ‘Historical Resolution’, a landmark statement on CCP history and policy direction, and only the third ever if so. The first under Mao in 1945 cemented centralisation of the economy; the second under Deng in 1981 revised that view and cemented a shift to opening up; the third would cement ‘Common Prosperity’ in place - and addressing the Mao and Deng eras is possible via a resolution on: “the major achievements and historical experiences of the party’s 100 years”. The New York Times states: “While ostensibly about historical issues, the Central Committee’s resolution --practically holy writ for officials-- will shape China’s politics and society for decades to come.” Wall Street will of course call it all “regulatory changes”, if it even notices what happened. The UK, in-between sleaze allegations, is also forging a new policy course. As the EU warns of severe consequences if London triggers Article 16 and starts a trade war, Foreign Secretary Truss, visiting ASEAN for the week, is openly stating that the UK’s new economic and international relations focus is Asia, underlining that ‘by 2050 it is Indonesia, not Germany, that will be the world’s fourth-largest economy’. Overall, one looks around and cannot help but hum a certain song from the musical ‘Wicked’: Something has changed within me; Something is not the sameI'm through with playing by the rules of someone else's game Too late for second-guessing; Too late to go back to sleep It's time to trust my instincts, close my eyes and leap! It's time to try; Defying economic gravity I think I'll try; Defying economic gravity Kiss me goodbye; I'm defying economic gravity And you won't bring me down… Unlimited (unlimited); My future is (future is) unlimited (unlimited) And I've just had a vision; Almost like a prophecy I know it sounds truly crazy; And true, the vision's hazy But I swear, someday I'll be... Flying so high! (defying economic gravity); Kiss me goodbye! (defying economic gravity) So if you care to find me; Look to the western sky! As someone told me lately, "Everyone deserves the chance to fly!" I'm defying economic gravity! And you won't bring me down, bring me down, bring me down! Unfortunately, we are all walking an increasing narrow, not a Broadway. Tyler Durden Mon, 11/08/2021 - 10:10.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytNov 8th, 2021

3 tips for new managers to lead successfully without prior experience

It's up to managers to get to know their reportees individually, establish clear team goals, and offer and invite regular feedback. If there's a relationship issue, such as people blaming each other, it's up to the manager to find middle ground. fizkes/Getty Images Newly-appointed managers may feel lacking in leadership experience and training. It's up to managers to get to know their reportees individually as well as establish clear team goals. A manager should also regularly give and receive feedback to keep everyone on the same page. Making the leap from individual contributor to manager can be fraught: for the new manager, their direct reports, and the organization as a whole.New managers tend to rise into their position based on past success. But few have the experience or training to effectively manage a high-performing team.This is a huge problem for organizations large and small, according Steve King, an adjunct professor of executive education at Kellogg and former executive vice president of human resources at Hewitt Associates, where he oversaw HR for the firm's 25,000 associates."Senior executives count on frontline managers to make things happen," King said. After all, the vast majority of a firm's employees report into frontline or middle managers, not those at the top of the organization. Yet, executives often overlook frontline managers' need for clear guidance and direction about change efforts.Leaders often mistakenly presume that managers are already trained and proficient at rolling out changes with their teams - and that the benefits of the changes they are proposing are self-evident - so there is little need to explain or clarify things to managers and teams.In King's view, new managers need to master three critical skills to succeed in their roles.1. Know what kind of team you are leadingFrontline managers need to understand whether their team is comprised primarily of individual contributors or whether it is highly collaborative. And then, they need to set goals accordingly."For example, a wrestling team and a football team have a very different kind of team dynamics," King said. "They're both teams; they just need to be managed differently."Some sales leaders set revenue goals for each salesperson and offer financial incentives for their individual efforts. Others set team revenue goals and reward the team when they collectively hit their target. Neither approach is inherently more effective, but the team approach drives greater collaboration.Early in the pandemic, teams comprised of individual contributors were more nimble than highly collaborative teams because they had already established processes to work independently, come together as a group, and share information. Interdependent teams that relied on face-to-face interactions had to establish new ways to collaborate.But individualized teams require special attention, too. Many frontline managers fail to articulate what King calls "metagoals," or the shared goals among individual contributors. If individual contributors don't see their work in the context of the company's larger goals, it's easy for conflict to arise. It may also be a sign that the team … isn't really a team.King recalls a manager tasked with coordinating three groups to work together on a project. After a lot of pushback from the groups, the manager realized they had failed to define their common goal. This led to a robust conversation where all the parties concluded that there was no common goal."In the end, the groups needed to act independently on three different goals," King said. "They were, in fact, three separate teams. We're trained to think 'one organization, one goal,' but that isn't always true."2. Know how establish clear goalsThe promotion from individual contributor to manager often comes with a reality check: Managing teams means dealing with tough interpersonal dynamics, from trust issues to personality clashes to competing ambitions."Many managers mistake these conflicts for personality clashes," King said. "But more often than not, what presents as a relationship problem - people blaming one another, bad group dynamics in meetings - is the result of the manager failing to clarify the team's goals."Managers also have to ensure that team members understand the process for achieving these goals - and especially which team members are empowered to make which decisions. By clearly stating which team members can decide on a course of action ahead of time, managers preempt disagreements.Say, for example, two team members are tasked with handling a company's marketing initiative. If both people think they have the right to make decisions about the tone of the outreach emails, their manager has set up a situation where conflict can easily arise. Being clear about who holds the "decision right" will decrease the likelihood of conflict.King stresses that such alignment is especially key when the team's goals shift. Managers should explicitly state what has changed and the ways these changes will impact the team, as well as individuals."Teams have learned this lesson as we've grappled with Covid," King said. "Supply-chain issues have prompted changes in goals, which has meant changes in work processes and team-performance expectations."For example, if a revenue target shifts from $500,000 to $300,000, the manager can say, "'We have a new goal here. Let's talk as a group about how we're going to achieve it and what roles everyone is going to play in getting that done.'"With goals in flux and work processes being revisited, frontline managers need to dedicate time to identifying any stressors that might bubble up under the surface and disrupt team dynamics.3. Teams need feedback, tooAs customary as it is for managers to set clear, appropriate goals for their team members, those same managers often fail to provide regular, clear feedback to the team as a group. This is a missed opportunity for ensuring and advancing broader company goals - and for coaching the team on how it can achieve those goals.King recommends bringing your team members together quarterly to give them feedback on areas including how they are progressing toward their goals, how well they are handling changes to work processes, or how they might have more successfully collaborated on a project."When I managed teams, I used those moments to let team members share their feedback on team performance as well as feedback to me about my management of the team," King said. "The same parameters about giving good feedback apply to groups as to individuals: Be clear, concise, and specific with your comments. And make sure to come prepared with examples and plans for improvement."Incorporating team feedback into routines is a straightforward way for managers to improve their effectiveness and keep their teams engaged. At a time of high employee turnover, keeping your team on the same page can help prevent the frustrations that may lead to individuals heading for the exits."Frontline managers are the foot soldiers of talent management in organizations," King said. "When managers get team management right, it's to both employees' and the organization's benefit."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 6th, 2021

How Accessible Is the American Dream for the Disabled?

Home-buying can be a frustrating experience for buyers. It can be even more discouraging when clients feel like an agent doesn’t understand their needs. Real estate professionals suggest this may be the case for thousands—even millions—of people looking to enter the buyer’s market with some form of disability. With 61 million adults—roughly 1 in 4—living […] The post How Accessible Is the American Dream for the Disabled? appeared first on RISMedia. Home-buying can be a frustrating experience for buyers. It can be even more discouraging when clients feel like an agent doesn’t understand their needs. Real estate professionals suggest this may be the case for thousands—even millions—of people looking to enter the buyer’s market with some form of disability. With 61 million adults—roughly 1 in 4—living with a physical or cognitive disability in the United States, based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, real estate  professionals indicate this is an underserved demographic in the market. “The vast majority of real estate agents don’t understand physical or mental and cognitive disability in a way that optimizes the service level to the client,” says California-based agent Stephen Beard of Keller Williams Oakland. That was a realization he encountered firsthand nearly two decades ago when looking for his first home. Beard, who has cerebral palsy and uses a cane for balance, remembers advocating for himself because the buyer’s agents weren’t knowledgeable about accessibility needs. Since launching his real estate career 17 years ago, Beard has leveraged his experience and knowledge of the accessibility issues in real estate to serve disabled clients and their families. Changing Perceptions Jackie Roth is an associate broker with Corcoran Real Estate in New York. For the past 16 years, she says she hasn’t let the fact that she is deaf define her in life as well as her real estate profession. Instead, she uses her background to help others work with and advocate for the deaf. “Change needs to start within the brokerage community, and oftentimes the change comes with being human,” Roth says. “The real estate community as a whole needs to be willing to put in the work to create a pathway for communication so people of all backgrounds can work together seamlessly.” While she suggests that formal courses focused on serving people with disabilities would be helpful, Roth says more education is needed across the industry to provide better service. She also notes that sensitivity and patience are essential. “The best thing a broker can do for their client if they are disabled is to allow them the extra time to communicate,” Roth says. “The relationship between broker and client succeeds when a level of comfort is established, and the client feels comfortable communicating their needs. Especially when a big decision such as buying a home is at stake.” Beard echoes similar sentiments, adding that he tries to make himself available to help colleagues and inquiring agents better understand the demographic of buyers. He also hosts a new weekly podcast, Accessible Housing Matters, where he speaks with experts in accessible architecture and development and disability advocacy. Jeff Shelton, broker and co-founder of Florida-based Hughes Shelton Group with Compass, says there needs to be a larger conversation around raising awareness and advocating for people with disabilities, especially when it comes to housing. “Sometimes I just don’t think people think about others who aren’t like themselves,” says Shelton. He is also the former chairman of the advisory board of Best Buddies, a volunteer movement dedicated to creating opportunities for integrated employment, leadership development, and inclusive living for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Shelton points to his autistic nephew as the inspiration for his interest and involvement in Best Buddies. In his experience, Shelton suggests that people with disabilities aren’t “given a lot of respect or a lot of consideration” in the general purview of the real estate industry. “I definitely think it’s underserved because the products are just not there,” he says. “If you are someone in a wheelchair, you are limited in the number of homes that you are going to look at.” He attributes that partially to home building standards not requiring construction/development of homes to consider accessibility needs from the beginning. In a past transaction, Shelton explains that he had a client who used a wheelchair that needed to compromise their expectations for a home location because of Florida building regulations regarding Floodplains. “This client wanted to look at new construction and to be in a particular area of town,” Shelton says. “Unfortunately, that wasn’t an option for them because there were no ramps for them to get into the house, and that is not a code requirement that builders must do,” Understanding Accessibility Needs Pushing the needle forward between real estate professionals and their ability to offer quality service to disabled buyers will take a concerted effort to change the perceptions associated with the demographic. “We need to stop treating people as if because they are disabled that they are medically deficient or less than,” Beard says, adding that there also should be more significant efforts to understand the nuances to accessibility needs. Beard notes that he and his team conduct a detailed needs assessment of all their new clients dealing with a disability to help determine what they’ll need out of a home. Another impediment to improving service for people with disabilities has been a disparity in data entry services for information about properties to help people find homes that meet their needs. That’s a challenge that Washington-based broker Barry Long says he and his partner Tom Minty have been tackling. As a real estate broker for Marketplace Sotheby’s International Realty and a former Accessibility Specialist, and a voting member of the Washington Building Code Council, Long says he has leveraged his expertise to change the paradigm of buying or selling a home for people with disabilities. “All real estate is a series of data points,” says Long. When he started his real estate career six years ago, he noticed that multiple listing services were missing a standardized set of data points with accessibility in mind to help brokers list properties appropriately. That was the impetus of Long launching Able Environments in 2017 with Minty, a broker with John L. Scott Real Estate. The real estate business created the language and search criteria local REALTORS® use to buy and sell accessible homes. “One of the things it’s doing is it’s allowing a buyer to weed out a bunch of the houses that just couldn’t work for them,” Long says. Long also admits that eliminating stigmas attached to accessibility features and their impact on a listing presents another challenge in real estate. Contrary to perceptions, Long asserts that accessibility doesn’t have to be a detriment to a home. “It can be cool and super luxurious if you do it right,” he says. “It doesn’t have to be this stale, ugly devaluation of the home because it was an afterthought. We’re now finding that people are coming in with remodeled homes, and they are stunning, and they are totally accessible.” Long says sellers can list that accessibility as a value-add component versus a devaluation of the home with the data points. Since developing the accessibility language and having it integrated into its local MLS—the Northwest MLS—Long indicates that adoption has been ticking up in the past three years. “What that means is that REALTORS® have used our form or checked the accessibility boxes saying that a home has some accessibility features,” says Long. “There are now close to 10,000 homes with accessibility features that are out there that if they go back on the market, somebody looking for them will be able to find them.” Long notes he also submitted that same taxonomy and accessibility language to the Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO), which was approved for use in MLSs nationwide. Jordan Grice is RISMedia’s associate online editor. Email him your real estate news to jgrice@rismedia.com. The post How Accessible Is the American Dream for the Disabled? appeared first on RISMedia......»»

Category: realestateSource: rismediaNov 5th, 2021

The Controlled Demolition Of The EU

The Controlled Demolition Of The EU Authored by Marco Rocco via The Strategic Culture Foundation, Draghi represents the forced continuity wanted by the Paris-Berlin axis for the EU: the Italians wanted to leave in 2020, the solution was the former head of the ECB as Prime Minister. How long will it last, with galloping inflation and Poland as anti-EU? The EU is under attack, 360 degrees, from a variety of fronts. From the west, with the Brexit. From the south, with the Euro-weak countries in which people dream of leaving the euro, clearly crippled – perhaps I should say “looted” – by the so-called “expansive austerity” (an oxymoron) of Franco-German matrix. And now also from the northeast, with Poland put in check and fined by the EU for the sole fault of wanting to continue to “be Poland”. Above all, the galloping inflation, exogenous in origin, which in a few months will no longer be able to be contained even in Latin countries, which today are still silently experiencing governmental manipulation of consumer price indexes (I imagine that social peace will not last long; see the report on prices for September 2021 published by the MISE/Italian Ministry of Economic Development, with prices in general vertical ascent – very often even in double digits – but with inflation “only” at 2.9%, totally absurd). The above clearly points to an ongoing paradigm shift. That is, the EU engineered to live on devaluation with the Euro (much weaker than the hypothetical German mark), or with the hidden aim of transferring wealth from the Europeripheral countries to the center of the Empire, is finally in the priority need – on the core Europe side – to tame inflation before being able to export thanks to an artificially devalued currency. It is in fact clear that a country, or rather a “political continent”, without raw materials like Old Europe, is obliged to contain first of all the costs of production if it wants to hope to survive without destroying the social base on which its power is based, e.g. when inflation bites. That is to say, being tempted – on the German side – to mimic, today, with a new mark yet to come, the wise Switzerland and its franc, which has been rising steadily for months precisely in order to counter international inflationary pressures. And therefore, prospectively leaving the EU to its rubble, rubble on which Paris will certainly throw itself like a vulture, first of all on the Italian ones. All the more so if, in this context, the USA and the FED are anticipating – as is clearly happening – the events by making the dollar rise in an anti-inflationary capacity (but also having abundant raw materials in place, above all oil, a situation not unlike the times of the attack on Nixon, see De Gaulle’s provocation on the convertibility of dollars into gold and the subsequent Watergate scandal, ed.) Now then, in addition to the centrifugal drives within the EU, i.e. having as a driver the national interests of Southern Europe, mainly Italy, perfectly legitimate interests, a macro-economic context is also generating that will lead us to the epilogue expected to the title, due to inflation and related monetary policies: the controlled demolition of the EU based on the euro. It should be remembered, for example, that Rome has seen in recent years a massive reduction in its own welfare (e.g. in terms of wages); to this is added – TODAY – interest from the center of the Empire in a paradigm shift, the first time in almost 25 years. In addition, here is Poland’s recent response to the diktats of Brussels aimed at ceding superfunds (i.e. its own welfare) to EU interference; Poland clearly supported by the USA, see the so-called “Trump Base”, i.e. the US military installation in Poland recently inaugurated by the States on Polish soil. A brutal response to say the least: in this context the Polish government has announced that the largest fine imposed by the EU to a country that gravitates in its sphere of continental influence, will not be paid anyway. On the contrary Warsaw foresees a progressive enlargement of its armed forces, always with American support, a constant Anglo-Polish collaboration since the times of Brezinsky, Sikorsky and marriages in the heart of the US corporate with Polish soul (J&J above all). * * * In all this we must not underestimate the reaction of Berlin, as always upset when its plans do not follow the expected trajectory: although it has not been properly emphasized by the EU media always too pro-German, as to the Reich themes, the German move that will lead to chaos (come) is materializing before our eyes, see the incredible announcement of the German Defense Minister of military intervention in the Baltic even with the nuclear threat as anti-Russian, ie with weapons that Germans theoretically would not have (…). This exudes desperation (never forget that the German system, then survived in various ways the post WWII purges, is the same that laid the foundations for the atomic military industry 80 years ago, ed). Clearly, the US power factor remains in the background, ready to be activated if necessary to defend the stars and stripes interests. To date, however, the situation remains extremely fluid. We can however fix some stakes, as of now, to understand how we arrived to such a EUrocentric debacle, that is where we are today. And perhaps try to hypothesize some future developments. First of all, Draghi represents the real factor of continuity wanted by the EU to dampen the centrifugal pressures aimed at leaving this EU: too many people forget that only a few months ago, in 2020, the majority of Italians publicly expressed their support for an exit from the Union, as reported not without a vein of ill-concealed terror by the website german-foreign-policy.com only last year. Accomplice to the fall of Trump, instead, Draghi arrived to stop the Italian diaspora, after the media canonization of Draghi at the Rimini meeting last year, preparatory to his landing at Palazzo Chigi, thanks to the activism of the leader of the Milanese “Compagnia delle Opere” (the German Bernhard Scholz), a religious-ethical entity contiguous to Communion and Liberation and perhaps even reminiscent of the activism in German protection of Cardinal Ildefonso Schuster 75 years ago. Clearly an attempt to postpone the plan to deflagrate the EU via dollarization of Italian debt, as winked at by Giuseppe Conte in last year’s Eurogroup, behind US impetus (“…if we don’t go it alone,” said the Italian prime minister at the time, making Angela Merkel’s entourage excited). * * * In this context, it is essential to understand the genesis of Mario Draghi, a character who is grafted in a groove that is Anglo but intrinsically pro-EU. Noting that we are dealing with the area that we can roughly define as the “Cameronian world”, i.e. that pro-EU British elite that is behind the genesis, in the Peninsula, of both the 5 Star Movement and the Regeni case (no small detail, the wife of the former British Prime Minister – a Countess Astor – had a primary Christian education, ed). That is, Draghi is supported by a political-elitist area of Anglo matrix that has always been close in its interests to Paris, as German containment (to represent less summarily the address of this, let’s say, pro-European current based in the Perfect Albion, one could go back to the “Scots Guards” of Mary Stuart in the French capital, who were also in defense of Joan of Arc, ed.) Hence the natural closeness of the world that orbits around the current Italian Prime Minister towards what France represents, today especially given the expected turn of Berlin towards a more German set-up (Goethe himself depicted the printing of money as mephistophelian, diabolical, as it created inflation). Unfortunately, the above does not augur well for future Franco-Italian relations, which will certainly be to Rome’s disadvantage; a relationship that the two neighboring countries will necessarily develop from here on, that is, during the period of German meditation on what to do with the current EU, thanks to the subjugation of the Roman political class to interests that are more French than Italian. Hence the expectation of a new Franco-Italian strategic macro-agreement signed by Draghi soon, I repeat, to French advantage. Wages on EU, from 1990 to 2020: “Italy is the only European country where wages have decreased compared to 1990” – Openpolis on OECD data – at LINK In this context, with inflation now out of control, with economic growth actually close to recession if netted with the correct GDP deflator, Italian BTPs fell below a very important technical level, 150 points, only last Friday. At the end of the game, however, it will always be the Peninsula to act as a watershed in the fate of the EU, with its expected collapse of public finances, in the long term, i.e. with the markets very skeptical about the possibility of repaying the huge debt in euro (…): for your information, today the Italian GDP without undeclared activity exceeds 180% of GDP. And with a number of pensions paid by the State equal to about the same of the employees: it is not a question of Italian implosion by remaining in the euro, only of when. Finally, here creeps the Green agenda, always with Italy as center of gravity, to be saved with money borrowed from the same Italian citizens but in the name of the EU (the Recovery Fund is in lagrghissima part a loan, guaranteed in fact by the assets of Italian families), that is the total value of the PNRR of about 200 billion euros – paid in 3-4 years – of which the Recovery Fund, only about 30 billion euros are lost! In addition to the madness of mass vaccinations in Italy, now with a target of 90% vaccinated and with the de facto obligation of universal vaccination, under penalty of the impossibility of working. Even in this context we simply observe that there is a huge and obvious correlation now between vaccination madness in selected countries and technical failure, in fact, of their local pension systems (on all, Italy, France, Israel, Austria with its minimum retirement age still below 60 years on average, ed). * * * In conclusion, it is easy to expect a controlled demolition of the EU, starting with German and pro-German drives aimed at shielding themselves from international inflationary pressures by returning to a surrogate of the new mark, stronger than the euro. At the same time, the centrifugal drives within the EU, undeniable e.g. on the Italian side if you want to ensure a minimum of future prosperity to their people, will be concentrated in the Europeripheral countries, i.e. where the state welfare institutions are practically bankrupt. Only to end in an inevitable contingency of, let’s say, reduced monetary union, in which Paris – once Germany crosses the Rubicon of the return to a stronger currency – will play the card of a “Euro-CFA” with Italy as a wingman; or rather, a Euro Med (or better yet, French Euro) in which the African countries of the CFA franc are replaced by Italy and perhaps Greece. In this context, the only addendum that does not add up are the 100 US military bases in Italy, of which at least 4-5 are nuclear, together with the largest US weapons depot outside the US borders. It is not to be excluded, therefore, a renewed next American activism aimed – encore – to neutralize threats to its strategic interests; we believe that this effort will not be too dissimilar from what was the American intervention in Indochina or more properly in the Suez Canal (these facts led to an implosion of the residual French and veteran-European colonial network in the world, ed). Tyler Durden Fri, 11/05/2021 - 02:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 5th, 2021

This week"s elections show how the tables have turned on Biden and Democrats without Trump on the ballot

Pollsters and strategists from both parties offered six takeaways - and warning signs - for Democrats following Tuesday's elections. Virginia Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin arrives to speak at his election night party in Chantilly, Va., on November 3, 2021. AP Photo/Andrew Harnik Republicans celebrated Glenn Youngkin's victory in VA and the neck-and-neck status of NJ's gubernatorial race. Strategists say the results show Republicans can run on issues like the economy and education. Democrats may no longer be able to win by making it just about Trump. On Tuesday night, Glenn Youngkin became the first Republican to win a gubernatorial election in Virginia in more than a decade. And in New Jersey, Democratic incumbent Gov. Phil Murphy barely eked out a victory against Republican challenger Jack Ciattarelli, beating him by less than one point after a neck-and-neck race. The results in two states that President Joe Biden won last November by 10 and 16 percentage points, respectively, are forcing Democrats to take a hard look in the mirror as the party gears up for a potentially bruising midterm election cycle.It's not about Trump anymoreThe 2020 presidential election was largely viewed as a referendum on then-President Donald Trump. The country was grappling with a raging pandemic and an unstable economy, as well as a president who for months peddled nonsense conspiracy theories about widespread voter fraud and election malfeasance. For many who went to the ballot box in November 2020, the choice wasn't so much a vote for Biden as one against Trump. That was evidenced by Republican gains in down-ballot races and in state legislatures across the country, even as Trump lost the national popular vote by more than seven million.Now, the dynamic has shifted.Biden's popularity has plummeted in recent months. His approval rating is currently 42.9%, according to FiveThirtyEight, and his disapproval rating is at 50.7%. That's a higher disapproval rating than almost every other president since the start of modern polling, with the exception of Trump, whose disapproval rating was nearly six percentage-points higher at the same point in his first term.Youngkin's victory in Virginia was "not an embrace of the Republicans, it was a rejection of the Democrats," said the veteran Republican pollster Frank Luntz. Virginia has become a blue state in recent years, and for Republicans "to reverse that," Luntz continued, "is the voter saying to the Democrats in Washington who are not that far away, 'Enough already, stop.'"Republicans can win by shedding Trump's 'baggage'Trump on Tuesday night credited himself for Youngkin's win, thanking "MAGA voters" for propelling him to victory and mocking Democrat Terry McAuliffe for losing by making his campaign all about Trump.But a closer look at Youngkin's campaign shows he walked a fine line between casting himself as his own man while working to keep Trump's support.Youngkin "really moderated on economic issues," Sean McElwee, the co-founder of the left-leaning polling shop Data for Progress, told Insider. "He didn't talk about cuts to education, he talked about more funding for education and sort of softening the edges of the culture war issue so that a suburban voter didn't even know the hard-right versions of the Critical Race Theory scares."Over in New Jersey, Ciattarelli also campaigned as a moderate Republican, voicing his support for Roe v. Wade and for undocumented immigrants obtaining driver's licenses.If the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, Ciattarelli said during the campaign that "we will codify it here in New Jersey.""I support a woman's right to choose," he added, though he said he opposes the Reproductive Freedom Act pending in the state legislature and that he believes it's too extreme.And while he criticized Murphy's position on COVID-19 vaccine mandates, Ciattarelli also underscored that he's not in the same camp as more hardline Republicans."I'm not where Phil Murphy is" on COVID-19 measures, "but I'm certainly not where [Florida Gov.] Ron DeSantis is," Ciattarelli said in a recent interview with the USA Today Network New Jersey Editorial Board.It's the economy, stupidBoth Democratic and Republican strategists and pollsters agreed that voters are very concerned about economic conditions under Biden. Voters are dissatisfied with a range of issues, including inflation, the supply chain, and wages. "What's going to matter in 2022 is really where the economy is," Jeff Horwitt, a Democratic pollster with Hart Research Associates, told Insider. "When it comes to independents in the middle, 2022 and 2024 are really going to be about economic conditions and if they don't improve that's going to be a real challenge for Democrats." Voters also appear to have uncoupled the COVID-19 pandemic from the economy, which hurts Democrats as the party holding the presidency and an exceedingly slim majority in Congress. Voters don't necessarily believe the economy will improve as the pandemic recedes."People definitely think Biden and the Democrats do a better job on COVID, but it's not linked as much to their overall assessments of performance, and it's not linked as much to the economy," Celinda Lake, a veteran Democratic pollster who advised Biden's campaign, told Insider. "COVID and the economy are not as tied and people feel like I want to get the economy going no matter what is happening on COVID." Democrats need to get more doneBiden kicked his presidency off with a strong start, shepherding through the passage of the landmark $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which delivered much-needed coronavirus aid to Americans, businesses, and state and local governments.But since then, the Biden administration has struggled to produce tangible results and the president has faced sharp criticism on both domestic and foreign policy. The White House came under harsh scrutiny for its botched withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, and Biden was also criticized for his confusing messaging on COVID-19 restrictions and vaccine mandates.McElwee called Tuesday's Democratic losses "bruising," adding, "My big takeaway is that we should fucking do something about it. We should pass laws that make peoples' lives better and then we should tell them that we're passing laws to make their lives better."Jesse Ferguson, a Democratic strategist and former senior communications aide to Hillary Clinton, echoed that view, telling Insider, "People are deeply cynical about anything a politician says they're going to do. So Democrats need to be able to show results of what they've done by being in power, not just tell people about what they want to do."Facilitating access to the ballot box benefits both partiesVirginia Democrats took significant steps to expand voting access heading into this year's election, leading to historically high turnout - on both sides. As The Guardian's Sam Levine noted, they repealed voter ID requirements, implemented automatic voter registration and no-excuse mail-in voting, extended the deadline to receive ballots past Election Day, and used executive action to circumvent a lifetime ban on voting for those convicted of felonies.This year's turnout in Virginia exceeded that of 2017 - another off-year election cycle - and Republicans made monumental gains this time around. But this election proved that higher turnout doesn't automatically benefit Democrats. Turnout in both Virginia and New Jersey was much higher among red, rather than blue, voters. "It used to be that non-voters were much more Democratic than the overall electorate and so higher turnout benefited Democrats," said one Democratic pollster, who requested anonymity to speak candidly. "My estimate was that in 2020, non-voters as a group were actually more Republican than voters overall, by about two points." That pollster attributes the shift in non-voters' behavior to Democrats' plummeting popularity among working-class voters, including people of color."This election, not even having Trump on the ballot, I think points to a much clearer general dynamic, which is that Democrats do a lot worse with working class people than they used to … and they also do substantially worse with non-white voters than they used to," he said. Republicans leaned into the culture wars - and the voters listenedBoth Republican and Democratic pollsters agreed that the GOP strategy of playing up the culture wars went in their favor."One of the central lessons from last night is that the culture war issues are animating the middle right now," said the GOP strategist Matt Mackowiak. "And Republicans spoke to those issues in ways that voters in the middle were receptive to. You've gotta be strategic and disciplined and Youngkin certainly was." Ferguson said he expects Republicans to double down on a "divisive agenda as they go towards the midterms because they've got nothing else to sell.""A year and half ago they decided not to have a party platform," he added, likely referring to the Republican Party's decision not to renew its platform heading into the 2020 election and simply adopting its 2016 platform. "Their only resort is these divisive cultural issues," Ferguson said. "Those issues can work if voters don't see a better alternative. But if Democrats are actually delivering on something and Republicans are more focused on dividing people against each other that can become a real vulnerability for them in the midterms."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 4th, 2021

Meet the typical Gen Xer, America"s "forgotten middle child" who earns more than everyone else but has the most debt at $136,000

Currently in mid-life, Gen X is juggling it all: kids, their parents, work, and money. It's no wonder they're so stressed and want stability. Gen X is often overlooked. FG Trade/getty Images Gen X may best be known as America's "middle child" or the "forgotten generation." In the midlife stage, they earn more money but also have more debt than other generation. They're also dealing with stress as they juggle working with caregiving. If you haven't heard much about Gen X, it's because they're known as "the forgotten generation."Born between 1965 and 1980, Gen X has fallen to the wayside of the media darlings they're bookended by - millennials and baby boomers. But Gen Xers are part of a resilient generation that's expected to outnumber boomers in 2028. They came of age as "latchkey kids" and, as adults, experienced three recessions and a technological transformation from the dot-com boom to social media. Now turning ages 41 to 56 this year, America's "middle child" is in the middle of it all - mid-age and mid-career, juggling jobs with taking care of both children and aging parents.This life stage means that Gen X is in their prime working and earning years, with the typical Gen X-led household earning more than any other generation. But it also means a lot of stress. It's a prime time for buying big ticket items, like cars and houses, and with larger than average households, Gen X spends the most on consumer goods and services. It's left them juggling more debt than other generations and unprepared for retirement.Because of how they grew up and their midlife commitments, most Xers feel confident in their ability to withstand crises and in their desire for a stable life.Here's what life looks like for the typical Xer. Sandwiched between millennials and boomers, Gen Xers are America's forgotten generation. Although smaller, they're just as significant. valentinrussanov/Getty Images The Pew Research Center dubbed Gen X America's "middle child" back in 2014 since they're bookended by larger, very different generations. Millennials are the largest generation in the US based on Pew's definition of which Americans belong to each generation, with 72.1 million members, whereas boomers are numbered at 71.6 million. There are only 65.2 million Gen Xers."Gen Xers are a low-slung, straight-line bridge between two noisy behemoths," Pew stated.As the media shines a spotlight on the larger two generations, Gen X often gets left in the dark. In a 2018 post for Forbes, Angela Woo, a Gen Xer, called it "the forgotten generation." "Here we sit in this powerful time with money, resources, and influence, and we still aren't in the mainstream conversation," she wrote. "We've watched the culture interest shift from boomers to millennials like we're a flyover state." The term Generation X itself was popularized in Douglas Coupland's 1991 novel, "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture." Universal Pictures Coupland's book focuses on characters born after 1960 who don't identify with the baby boom.In the context of 2021, it bears similarities to the attitudes of Gen Zers about the labor shortage and the "Great Resignation." Coupland's three antiheroes all quit their jobs in their hometowns in a quest for a more meaningful existence. Unlike Gen Z, though, they subsist afterward on "low-pay, low-prestige, low-benefit, no-future jobs in the service industry" while pondering their uncertain futures.Underemployed and overeducated, Coupland's Gen X archetype became a staple of '90s culture, appearing again, for example, in Ben Stiller's 1994 film "Reality Bites," starring Gen X icon Winona Ryder.But the phrase actually dates back much further, to a 1964 UK paperback named "Generation X" coauthored by Jane Deverson and Charles Hamblett. Its quotes from British teenagers eerily foreshadow the attitudes of the generation that came of age in the 1980s. The rebellious attitude is there in, for instance, teens saying "religion is for old people who have given up living." Also, in his pre-New Wave days, the punk rocker Billy Idol named his band "Generation X;" it lasted from 1976 to 1981. Neil Howe and William Strauss, who coined the term "millennial" in their 1992 work "Generations," called Gen Xers by the moniker "13ers," as in the unlucky 13th generation born since the American Revolution, but that didn't catch on in the same way. Their life experiences, which include beginning careers during the dot-com boom and living through three recessions, have made the typical Xer risk-averse and cynical. Noam Galai/Getty Images As Insider Xer Rebecca Knight wrote, "In the way that millennials love avocado toast and boomers are self-absorbed, Gen X is a group for whom cynicism is a love language."Xers, she said, were raised in the shadow of an economic downturn and in the era of "stranger danger." They've also been shaped by three recessions: the dot-com bubble, the financial crisis, and the pandemic."They had their own brand of trauma, whether it be the recession or being latchkey kids who were left in front of the television or the fact that they were unable to get the kinds of jobs and career paths that their parents enjoyed because the economy had run out of steam," Larry Samuel, the founder of Age Friendly Consulting, told Knight.Gen X's trademark cynicism and risk aversion has deep roots, Jason Dorsey, who runs the Center for Generational Kinetics, a research firm in Austin, Texas, also told Knight."Gen X came of age when all kinds of commitments and promises were broken," he said. "Gen X saw their parents get laid off and all kinds of benefits get cut. Gen X is skeptical of whether or not Social Security will provide for their needs — or if it will even exist by the time they retire. There's a lot going on with this generation because of what they experienced growing up."The culture of Gen X took cynicism mainstream as early as the late 1980s, when Winona Ryder deconstructed the high-school movie in "Heathers." In the 1990s, Gen X culture glorified an attitude of skepticism, as with Richard Linklater's film "Slacker," and the alternative-rock boom led by Nirvana and other Seattle-based bands. The typical Xer was hit hardest during the Great Recession wealthwise, but has also recovered the best. SolStock/Getty Images Housing is a key way to build wealth, and Gen X homeowners suffered the most in home equity during the Great Recession, according to a Pew analysis of Fed data. But while the generation was disproportionately impacted, their wealth rebounded more than other generations as the economy recovered.Pew attributes this to several reasons: Gen X's home equity has doubled since 2010, their financial assets had a stronger recovery, and they're still in their prime earning years. But some Xers felt they were still recovering from the financial crisis when the pandemic hit, per a 2020 poll by TD Ameritrade.  In the COVID recession, the typical Xer is struggling. Many lost at least some income during the pandemic. Oleg Golovnev/EyeEm Large numbers of Xers have lost income either partially or entirely during the pandemic. It explains why many have been struggling to keep up with routine household bills. US Census Bureau data from December showed that nearly 13 million Xers found it "very difficult" to pay bills.   But the typical Gen X household earns more than any other generational household does - $106,173. That's because they're in their prime working and earning years. MoMo Productions/Getty Images That refers to median income before taxes, per the Bureau of Labor Statistic's 2019 Consumer Expenditure Survey (the most recent data available) . The typical boomer household earns the second most at $86,251, while the typical millennial household earns $79,514.Still of prime working age, Xers are in their peak earning years, which enables them to save and boost their wealth. Gen X also has an above-average number of earners in their family, according to Insider Intelligence. And they have a net worth of $168,600. Morsa Images/Getty Images That's for a household led by someone in the 45-to-54 age bracket, per the Fed's 2019 Survey of Consumer Finances (the most recent data available). While that only accounts for a portion of Xers, this age bracket still makes up the majority of the generation.This number exceeds the overall household income median of $121,700, but falls short of the figures for boomers — $212,500 for 55-to-64 year-olds and $266,400 for 65-to-74 year-olds. Further data from the Federal Reserve Board for the third quarter of 2020 showed Xers hold 26.8% of total US household wealth, barely half the 53.2% held by boomers. That said, boomers have had more time to accumulate wealth. And Gen X still has more money than younger generations will have for years to come, according to Insider Intelligence. This all means they have money to spend, and they do. The typical Xer drops an above-average amount of money in consumer categories, which reflects their large household size. Hero Images/Getty An Xer household's average annual expenditures totals $76,788, compared to the $63,036 total households spend. But they're careful spenders — half reported cutting back on discretionary spending during the pandemic, and they're always on the lookout for discounts.Gen X is at a life stage where people can't help but spend substantial amounts, and they also have more members in their household — 3.1, compared to the standard US household of 2.5 members, according to Census data.  It partly explains why Gen X has more debt than any other generation, which sits at an average of $136,869. DreamPictures/Getty Images In 2016, that average debt load was $124,972, according to a LendingTree report that analyzed over 140,000 credit reports for the four oldest generations. But over the next three years, Gen X increased their average debt burdens by nearly $12,000, equivalent to 10%.Separately, an Insider and Morning Consult survey from 2019 found that more than half of Gen X has credit card debt. An Experian report from the same year found that the generation carries higher average balances than any other generation across all major debt categories except for personal loans.Half of Gen X is "caught in the middle of heavy-debt years," the report states. It found that total average debt balances peak at age 44 and remain that way until age 48, when debt balances begin to shrink.Gen X is currently in a life stage when people buy houses and cars, and some even still have student debt. Kristi Rodriguez, senior vice president of the Nationwide Retirement Institute at Nationwide Financial, told Insider Intelligence that some Xer parents are handling student debt for their kids, while others went back to school during the financial crisis to change their career path.Pew noted that while debt signals access to credit and indicates financial security, Xers' debt is heavier than that of the generations before them — especially without higher assets to offset it.  It's no wonder, then, that the typical Xer is generally pretty stressed about their finances, particularly when it comes to credit card debt. Miami Beach, Tropical Beach Cafe credit card scanner. Photo by Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images Of the 54.5% of Gen Xers who carry credit card debt, 64.3% are stressed about it, per the Insider and Morning Consult survey. More than half of Xer respondents said that they were stressed "some" or "a lot" of the time when it comes to any type of debt, whether it be credit card, personal loan, or student loan debts.The stress has given some members of the generation a negative outlook on their finances. When asked how they would rate their financial health, slightly more than 41% of Gen X said it's not very good or not good at all.   Financial stress may also stem from the fact that the typical Xer is a caregiver to either their children, their parents, or both. NurPhoto/Getty Images According Pew, 47% of adults in their 40s and 50s have a parent over age 65  and are either raising a young child or providing financial support to a child over age 18.Gen X caregivers are typically employed, with most saying caregiving has had at least one impact on their work, according to AARP and the National Alliance for Caregiving. It's also impacting their finances more so than older caregivers — many said they've stopped saving, dipped into savings, or taken on more debt.Caregiving was an especially burdensome task during the pandemic, as parents had to homeschool children during remote learning and worry about their aging parents, who are in the high-risk group for coronavirus. Gen X is so busy trying to do it all that they haven't had much time to prepare for retirement. The typical Gen X household has about $64,000 saved for it - not nothing, but not enough to generate a lot of income. Marko Geber/Getty Images This median retirement savings is according to The Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies (TCRS) in the last quarter of 2019, which found that 41% of Xers are afraid of outliving their money. Only one-quarter of Xers reported having $250,000 or more in retirement accounts.The pandemic hasn't helped. Three in ten Xers have said the pandemic has had a severe impact on planning for retirement.An April 2020 supplement to the TCRS poll found more than a quarter of the generation weren't saving for their retirement at the time. And a Morning Consult poll the following August found that only one-third of Xers rated their saving for retirement as "on track," per Insider Intelligence. Many also raided their retirement accounts to cover expenses when the pandemic first hit.Lack of retirement planning has a lot to do with budgeting, but Rodriguez said it's also about Gen X's lack of time."They are truly in the middle of their prime working years," she said of Gen Z. "They're trying to take care of their adult children and sometimes younger children. They're also taking care of individuals older than them." Because they're in the middle of all these middle-age commitments, the typical Xer prefers stability and the status quo. They feel their upbringing has made them able to weather the pandemic better than any other generation. Lucy Lambriex/Getty Images Gen X were the among the least likely to have moved during the pandemic, the least likely to have lost a job, and the best at adapting their current jobs to remote work.While some millennials embraced the YOLO economy and boomers rushed to exit the workforce during the pandemic, Xers decided to stay put, according to Insider's Knight."Gen Xers aren't making many seize-the-day decisions post-pandemic because of our stage of life and constraints," she wrote. "We have kids firmly ensconced in schools, spouses or partners who also work, aging parents to care for, and home equity that's needed for looming college-tuition payments."While some are moving, switching jobs, or going back to school, she added, the majority see post-pandemic life as business as usual. Megan Gerhardt, professor of leadership and management at Miami University, told Knight millennials and boomers have more freedom and flexibility during their current life stages.In an opinion piece for NBC News, she wrote that Gen X is best equipped for the pandemic for three reasons: They've had experience riding out historic crises; weren't raised with the overscheduled life of millennials, which has left millennials feeling directionless in a pandemic; and are well-incentivized to stay home to serve as a role model for the parents and children they're caring for.Alison Huff, an Xer who lives in Ohio with her husband, two kids, and elderly mother, told Knight she wouldn't dream of moving or scaling back. "I sound like an old fogey, but I want stability," she said.  Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 4th, 2021

5 reasons Democrats should be worried about 2022 after their devastating losses in Virginia

Democrats are no longer dominating the suburban areas that swung their way under Donald Trump and can't make every race a referendum on him. Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin of Virginia tossing a signed basketball to supporters at an election-night party in Chantilly, Virginia, early Wednesday. AP Photo/Andrew Harnik Democrats suffered a trio of devastating losses Tuesday in Virginia's elections. Republicans also prevailed in other under-the-radar elections in blue and swing states. Here are five reasons for Democratic concern heading into the 2022 midterms. Virginia Democrats took a shellacking Tuesday as Republicans flipped control of the top three statewide offices and are on track to take away Democrats' majority in the House of Delegates.With President Joe Biden in the White House and the party controlling both chambers of Congress, Democrats faced an uphill battle. Voters tend to feel dissatisfied with their current leadership or their own personal fortunes and have historically turned on the party in power.But the results in Virginia and in New Jersey, where Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy and the Republican Jack Ciattarelli were neck and neck as of Wednesday evening, are indicative of even more structural warning signs for Democrats.1. Democrats don't have the suburbs on lockRepublican Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin, Lt. Gov.-elect Winsome Sears, and Attorney General-elect Jason Miyares' paths to victory in Virginia relied on winning back white and suburban voters who recently turned away from the GOP.In his race against the Democrat Terry McAuliffe, Youngkin flipped at least eight counties and cities that Biden carried in the 2020 presidential election, including the affluent Richmond-area suburbs in Chesterfield County and the fast-growing Caroline County. Voters in Midlothian, Virginia, on Tuesday. Midlothian is located in Chesterfield County, a key Richmond suburb that supported Youngkin over Terry McAuliffe. AP Photo/Steve Helber Republicans also handily won parts of the Virginia Beach and Norfolk areas, including Virginia Beach, James City, and Chesapeake City, the second-largest city in the state, that have all trended blue in recent elections.Youngkin also put a dent in Democrats' margins in more reliably blue suburban areas like Loudoun County, which gained national attention as the center of high-profile battles over education policy and how racism is taught in schools. McAuliffe carried the northern Virginia county by just under 10 points, 55% to 45%, over Youngkin. This marked a major shift from Biden's 25-point win over Donald Trump in the county in 2020.2. Democrats continue to lose among rural and blue-collar votersRural areas getting redder while suburbs got bluer was a major storyline of Trump-era elections. And the continued erosion of Democratic support in rural areas while non-Trump Republican candidates forge new paths in suburbs presents a worrying math problem for Democrats entering 2022.Beyond gaining ground in the suburbs, a question that lingered into Election Day was whether Youngkin would succeed in winning over enough reliably Republican voters in rural parts of the state to outpace McAuliffe's dominance in blue counties and cities.Compared with the 2017 governor's race between the Democrat Ralph Northam and the Republican Ed Gillespie, the southwestern corner of the state saw both higher turnout and larger margins for Youngkin and other Republicans, with McAuliffe too getting lower margins than Northam. And while Democrats aren't likely to mount a big rural revival anytime soon, those margins have an impact in competitive elections.In New Jersey too, Ciattarelli appears to have flipped three South Jersey counties that Biden carried in 2020 and is substantially outperforming Trump's 2020 margins in Republican-leaning areas of the state.-Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) November 3, 20213. Democrats can't bank on making every race a referendum on TrumpBoth McAuliffe and Murphy went all in on painting their opponents as better-polished versions of Trump, hoping that voters' disdain for Trump would translate down the ballot.But Youngkin and Ciattarelli overperformed expectations by deploying the well-worn playbook of a Republican businessman turned politician running as a check on Democratic dominance in blue states.Youngkin put enough distance between himself and Trump both stylistically and in his policy positions so as not to alienate diehard Trump supporters, Biden voters, or independents - all of whom he needed to win statewide. Youngkin and former President Donald Trump. Getty Images And more important, he, unlike McAuliffe, successfully controlled the narrative of the race by making education and schools, particularly how much control parents have over their kids' schools curriculum and policies, a key mobilizing issue for voters.By the end of the campaign, surveyed voters said education was the most important issue to them while COVID-19 and abortion, issues where McAuliffe dominated, fell to the wayside.Ciattarelli, meanwhile, branded himself as a "Main Street businessman," adopting a moderate stance on hot-button issues like abortion and immigration while also hammering Murphy's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and highlighting New Jersey-specific issues like lowering property taxes.4. Republicans now have a clear road map to do well in blue and swing statesWhile Biden's big win over Trump in the presidential race got most of the attention in 2020, downballot Republicans proved themselves able to shed Trump's baggage, picking up about a dozen seats in the US House and flipping more than 80 seats in state legislatures.And elsewhere in the Northeast on Tuesday night, Republicans furthered that trend and secured more under-the-radar but notable downballot wins.Republicans flipped back control of four seats in the Virginia House of Delegates and could flip as many as four more, which would give them back control of the chamber after two years of Democratic dominance.GOP candidates also won a competitive election for district attorney in New York's Nassau County and two big judicial elections, including a key state Supreme Court race, in Pennsylvania on Tuesday.Those races were, of course, influenced by all kinds of state and local factors as well as the quality of the candidates. But they show how Democrats can't rely on a divisive figure at the top of the ticket to obscure structural headwinds they face. President Joe Biden spoke at a campaign event for McAuliffe at Lubber Run Park in Arlington, Virginia, on July 23. AP Photo/Andrew Harnik 5. Negative polarization means Biden's poor approval is more of a drag on downballot DemocratsOver the past decade or so, the phenomenon of negative polarization, in which voters are more motivated by disdain toward the opposing party than affinity toward their own, has increasingly shaped American voter behavior and the outcome of elections.This is manifested in Americans holding increasingly negative views of the other party and its voters and record-low levels of voters splitting their tickets between one party at the presidential level and downballot races.Negative polarization gave Democrats a huge downballot boost in the Trump years, as dissatisfaction with Trump particularly among white and college-educated voters delivered Democrats big wins in the 2018 midterms.But now the shoe is on the other foot and Democrats find themselves stumbling over Biden's dismal approvals and the large percentage of Americans who see the country as going in the wrong direction.To the extent that national politics did impact the results of the Virginia and New Jersey races, Biden's historically paltry approval ratings were more of a drag on Democrats than Trump's unpopularity was on Republicans.In Virginia, Youngkin won 51% of the vote, improving on Trump's 2020 vote share in the commonwealth by over 6 percentage points, while McAuliffe received 49% of the vote, underperforming Biden's 2020 vote share also by 6 points.And while more votes remain to be counted in the New Jersey governor's race, the same pattern is playing out in the Garden State, with Murphy so far underperforming Biden's 2020 vote share and Ciattarelli outperforming Trump.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 4th, 2021

Western Announces Third Quarter 2021 Results

Adjusted EBITDA of $66.3 million on Revenue of $352.9 million TSX: WEF VANCOUVER, BC, Nov. 3, 2021 /PRNewswire/ - Western Forest Products Inc. (TSX:WEF) ("Western" or the "Company") reported adjusted EBITDA of $66.3 million in the third quarter of 2021. Western leveraged its flexible manufacturing platform to capitalize on improving specialty lumber markets and partially offset the impacts of North American commodity lumber price declines, difficult log harvest conditions and temporary logistics delays. Net income in the third quarter of 2021 was $42.2 million ($0.12 per diluted share), as compared to net income of $11.5 million ($0.03 per diluted share) for the third quarter of 2020 and net income of $78.3 million ($0.21 per diluted share) in the second quarter of 2021. Third Quarter Highlights: Delivered record third quarter adjusted EBITDA of $66.3 million and net income of $42.2 million Realized average lumber price of $1,553 per thousand board feet, despite a significant decline in commodity lumber prices Successfully transitioned to a sustainability-linked credit facility and extended the maturity to 2025 Completed the sale of the Somass sawmill assets for $5.3 million Returned $33.8 million to shareholders via dividends and share repurchases Grew liquidity to $384.4 million to support growth strategy and balanced capital allocation Western's third quarter adjusted EBITDA was $66.3 million, as compared to adjusted EBITDA of $33.7 million in the third quarter of 2020 and $120.4 million reported in the second quarter of 2021. Operating income prior to restructuring and other items was $53.5 million, compared to income of $19.0 million in the third quarter of 2020, and $105.7 million of income reported in the second quarter of 2021. (millions of Canadian dollars except per share amounts and where otherwise noted) Q32021 Q32020 Q22021 YTD2021 YTD2020 Revenue $ 352.9 $ 290.6 $ 414.4 $ 1,089.8 $ 646.0 Export tax expense 6.2 11.0 10.8 25.2 22.6 Adjusted EBITDA 66.3 33.7 120.4 249.7 45.7 Adjusted EBITDA margin 19% 12% 29% 23% 7% Operating income prior to restructuring and other items $ 53.5 $ 19.0 $ 105.7 $ 208.0 $ 5.2 Net income (loss) 42.2 11.5 78.3 174.3 (1.0) Earnings (loss) per share, basic and diluted 0.12 0.03 0.21 0.47 - Net cash (debt), end of period 143.1 (119.4) 97.7 Liquidity, end of period 384.4 127.9 341.1 "In the third quarter we successfully pivoted lumber shipments to export markets, mitigating the impacts of North American commodity pricing volatility on our business", said Don Demens, President and Chief Executive Officer. "I am pleased that our flexible operating platform and specialty product focus continues to deliver stability in revenue and earnings." Summary of Third Quarter 2021 Results Adjusted EBITDA for the third quarter of 2021 was $66.3 million, as compared to adjusted EBITDA of $33.7 million in the same period last year. We successfully leveraged our flexible operating platform, directing shipments to relatively strong export lumber markets, which helped offset the impacts of North American lumber market volatility. In addition, we directed export-grade logs to our sawmills to overcome log supply challenges caused by weather-related harvest curtailments and permit delays. Third quarter operating income prior to restructuring and other items was $53.5 million in 2021, as compared to operating income prior to restructuring and other items of $19.0 million in the same period last year. Increased shipment volume and higher average realized pricing drove significantly improved operating income prior to restructuring and other items compared to the third quarter of 2020. We continue to strictly enforce enhanced health and safety protocols and follow public health guidance to protect our employees, contractors, and communities from the novel Coronavirus pandemic ("COVID-19"). Our operations have not been significantly impacted by COVID-19 to-date, but we continue to monitor its influence on market conditions. Our near-term focus remains on ensuring the health and safety of our employees, maintaining financial flexibility, and servicing our customers.  Sales After reaching record levels in May 2021, North American commodity lumber prices declined through most of the third quarter. In contrast to weak North America commodity lumber pricing, demand and pricing for lumber in Japan improved while demand for lumber in China remained stable. We took advantage of these market conditions to redirect lumber production and shipments from North America to export markets. Lumber revenue rose 44% compared to the third quarter of last year, due to increased lumber shipments and significantly improved prices across all product segments. Sales volumes increased by 17%, led by increases of 49% and 47% in Japan and commodity lumber shipments, respectively, while Niche shipments were relatively flat. Limited cedar log availability constrained cedar lumber production and shipments, as compared to the same period last year. Our average realized lumber price was $1,553 per thousand board feet, an increase of 23% from the third quarter of 2020 as we capitalized on higher pricing across all product segments, including achieving record pricing in Japan. These factors more than offset the effect of a weaker sales mix and the 6% appreciation of the Canadian to US dollar exchange rate from the comparative period.  Log revenue was $41.0 million in the third quarter of 2021, a decline of 44% from the same period in the prior year. Timberlands operating curtailments through the second and third quarter of 2021 limited log harvest and sales volumes. We redirected export-grade log supply to our sawmills to ensure an uninterrupted fibre supply in support of lumber production. Average realized log price increased by 16% from the same period last year as improved pricing offset a weaker log sales mix. By-product revenue was $12.1 million, an increase of $3.8 million as compared to the same period last year. Chip price realizations improved as a result of significantly higher NBSK pulp price. Operations Lumber production of 175 million board feet was 9% lower than the third quarter last year, due to log supply related operating curtailments. We harvested 690,000 cubic metres of logs from our coastal operations in British Columbia ("BC") in the third quarter of 2021, as compared to 1,138,000 cubic metres in the third quarter last year. Third quarter log production was significantly impacted by prolonged operating curtailments in 2021, as extreme fire conditions persisted through the summer. Excluding stumpage, timberlands operating costs improved over the comparative period, as operating curtailments in 2021 resulted in the partial deferral of road building and reduced helicopter logging volumes. Improved log and lumber pricing drove a doubling of stumpage fees applied to our business in the third quarter harvest of 2021, but lower harvest volumes limited the increase in stumpage expense to 22% from the same period last year. BC coastal saw log purchases were 227,000 cubic metres, a decrease of 3% from the same period last year. Saw log supply remains tight as an extended fire season negatively impacted harvest volumes as compared to the same period last year. Third quarter freight expense remained flat as compared to the same period last year despite an increase in lumber shipments. The reduction in freight expense associated with not shipping logs to export markets offset incremental costs arising from increased lumber shipments and higher freight rates. Adjusted EBITDA and operating income included $6.2 million of countervailing duty ("CV") and anti-dumping duty ("AD") expense in the third quarter of 2021, as compared to $11.0 million in the same period of 2020. The reduction in duty rates from 20.23% to 8.99%, and a stronger Canadian to US Dollar exchange rate, more than offset the impact of increased US-destined lumber sales volumes and higher lumber pricing on which duty was applied. Selling and Administration Expense Third quarter selling and administration expense was $13.6 million in 2021 as compared to $10.4 million in the third quarter last year. Strong financial results and share price appreciation in the third quarter of 2021 had an incremental compensation expense impact of $2.1 million over the comparative quarter of 2020. This comparative increase was comprised of an additional $0.5 million performance-based incentive compensation, and $1.6 million on the vesting of incentive plans and mark-to-market expense on long-term compensation liabilities. Other Income We recognized other income of $4.0 million attributable to gains on the sale of the Somass Division assets and other non-core properties, as compared to an expense of $0.6 million in the same period of 2020.   Finance Costs Finance costs were reduced to $0.4 million as compared to $2.0 million in the third quarter last year due to a significant reduction in average outstanding debt balance. In the third quarter of 2021, the Company repaid a $1.9 million long-term equipment loan. Income Taxes We used our remaining non-capital Canadian tax loss carryforwards during the first quarter of 2021, which will result in cash taxes payable for the tax year ending December 31, 2021. Accordingly, current income tax expense of $13.6 million and a deferred income tax expense of $0.4 million were recognized in net income in the third quarter of 2021. Income tax expense increased by $9.6 million from the third quarter of 2020, driven by strong operating earnings. Net Income Net income for the third quarter of 2021 was $42.2 million, as compared to net income of $11.5 million for the same period last year. Significantly improved net income resulted from strong operating performance and continued strong product pricing. Summary of Year to Date 2021 Results Adjusted EBITDA for the first nine months of 2021 was $249.7 million, as compared to $45.7 million for the same period last year. We leveraged our flexible operating platform to pursue the highest margin opportunities and deliver record adjusted EBITDA. In the first half of 2021, we directed production to North American commodity lumber markets to take advantage of unprecedented pricing. Our North American commodity lumber focus led to improved recovery, while increasing secondary processing and related costs. With the steep decline in North American prices through the third quarter of 2021, we redirected production and grew export lumber shipments to Japan and China. Operating income prior to restructuring and other items was $208.0 million, as compared to $5.2 million for the same period last year, as a result of strong operating performance. Comparative results were significantly impacted by the restart of operations after the lengthy United Steelworkers Local 1-1937 strike (the "Strike"), which had curtailed the majority of our BC-based operations through February 2020, and by the impacts of COVID-19. Sales Lumber revenue for the first nine months of 2021 was $929.5 million, 93% higher than the same period last year due to a combination of a 19% increase in realized pricing and 62% increase in shipment volumes. During the first half of 2021, we capitalized on record North American commodity pricing by increasing commodity shipments by 140% compared to the same nine month period last year. As North American commodity prices began to decline late in the second quarter of 2021, we redirected commodity shipments to relatively stronger export markets. Comparative period revenue and shipments were negatively impacted by the Strike, which ended in February 2020. Improved lumber pricing led to a 19% increase in average lumber price realization as compared to the first nine months of 2020. Our flexible operating platform allowed us to capitalize on changing market conditions, transitioning production and shipments from North American markets to improved export lumber markets. Price realizations were negatively impacted by an 8% appreciation in the average Canadian to US dollar exchange rate year-over-year.  Log revenue was $120.4 million in the first nine months of 2021, a decrease of 18% from the same period last year, despite a 25% increase in average realized log price. Operating curtailments and permitting delays reduced harvesting production in the first nine months of 2021. We redirected export and certain domestic logs to our sawmills to support lumber production to capitalize on strong lumber markets. The comparative period was impacted by a weaker log sales mix caused by Strike-related log degradation, and the impact of COVID-19 on global markets. By-product revenue grew to $39.9 million, as compared to $18.4 million in the same period last year. Increased lumber production drove higher chip production and shipments as compared to the first nine months of 2020, which was impacted by lower production during the Strike. Operations Lumber production in the first nine months of 2021 was 581 million board feet, 47% higher than the same period last year. The comparative period production was negatively impacted by the Strike. We achieved higher lumber production in 2021 through increased operating hours and improved production efficiency. The shift to increased North American commodity lumber production in the first half of 2021 contributed to higher production volumes and improved recovery. Production and recovery benefits associated with higher North American commodity production were partially offset by increased levels of processing required to manufacture North American commodity products. Third quarter lumber production in 2021 was impacted by lower recovery associated with export lumber production, and temporary operating curtailments due to constrained log supply. Log production for the first nine months of 2021 was 2,390,000 cubic metres, a decrease ...Full story available on Benzinga.com.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaNov 3rd, 2021

Western Announces Third Quarter 2021 Results

Adjusted EBITDA of $66.3 million on Revenue of $352.9 million TSX: WEF VANCOUVER, BC, Nov. 3, 2021 /CNW/ - Western Forest Products Inc. (TSX:WEF) ("Western" or the "Company") reported adjusted EBITDA of $66.3 million in the third quarter of 2021. Western leveraged its flexible manufacturing platform to capitalize on improving specialty lumber markets and partially offset the impacts of North American commodity lumber price declines, difficult log harvest conditions and temporary logistics delays. Net income in the third quarter of 2021 was $42.2 million ($0.12 per diluted share), as compared to net income of $11.5 million ($0.03 per diluted share) for the third quarter of 2020 and net income of $78.3 million ($0.21 per diluted share) in the second quarter of 2021. Third Quarter Highlights: Delivered record third quarter adjusted EBITDA of $66.3 million and net income of $42.2 million Realized average lumber price of $1,553 per thousand board feet, despite a significant decline in commodity lumber prices Successfully transitioned to a sustainability-linked credit facility and extended the maturity to 2025 Completed the sale of the Somass sawmill assets for $5.3 million Returned $33.8 million to shareholders via dividends and share repurchases Grew liquidity to $384.4 million to support growth strategy and balanced capital allocation Western's third quarter adjusted EBITDA was $66.3 million, as compared to adjusted EBITDA of $33.7 million in the third quarter of 2020 and $120.4 million reported in the second quarter of 2021. Operating income prior to restructuring and other items was $53.5 million, compared to income of $19.0 million in the third quarter of 2020, and $105.7 million of income reported in the second quarter of 2021. (millions of Canadian dollars except per share amounts and where otherwise noted) Q32021 Q32020 Q22021 YTD2021 YTD2020 Revenue $ 352.9 $ 290.6 $ 414.4 $ 1,089.8 $ 646.0 Export tax expense 6.2 11.0 10.8 25.2 22.6 Adjusted EBITDA 66.3 33.7 120.4 249.7 45.7 Adjusted EBITDA margin 19% 12% 29% 23% 7% Operating income prior to restructuring and other items $ 53.5 $ 19.0 $ 105.7 $ 208.0 $ 5.2 Net income (loss) 42.2 11.5 78.3 174.3 (1.0) Earnings (loss) per share, basic and diluted 0.12 0.03 0.21 0.47 - Net cash (debt), end of period 143.1 (119.4) 97.7 Liquidity, end of period 384.4 127.9 341.1 "In the third quarter we successfully pivoted lumber shipments to export markets, mitigating the impacts of North American commodity pricing volatility on our business", said Don Demens, President and Chief Executive Officer. "I am pleased that our flexible operating platform and specialty product focus continues to deliver stability in revenue and earnings." Summary of Third Quarter 2021 Results Adjusted EBITDA for the third quarter of 2021 was $66.3 million, as compared to adjusted EBITDA of $33.7 million in the same period last year. We successfully leveraged our flexible operating platform, directing shipments to relatively strong export lumber markets, which helped offset the impacts of North American lumber market volatility. In addition, we directed export-grade logs to our sawmills to overcome log supply challenges caused by weather-related harvest curtailments and permit delays. Third quarter operating income prior to restructuring and other items was $53.5 million in 2021, as compared to operating income prior to restructuring and other items of $19.0 million in the same period last year. Increased shipment volume and higher average realized pricing drove significantly improved operating income prior to restructuring and other items compared to the third quarter of 2020. We continue to strictly enforce enhanced health and safety protocols and follow public health guidance to protect our employees, contractors, and communities from the novel Coronavirus pandemic ("COVID-19"). Our operations have not been significantly impacted by COVID-19 to-date, but we continue to monitor its influence on market conditions. Our near-term focus remains on ensuring the health and safety of our employees, maintaining financial flexibility, and servicing our customers.  Sales After reaching record levels in May 2021, North American commodity lumber prices declined through most of the third quarter. In contrast to weak North America commodity lumber pricing, demand and pricing for lumber in Japan improved while demand for lumber in China remained stable. We took advantage of these market conditions to redirect lumber production and shipments from North America to export markets. Lumber revenue rose 44% compared to the third quarter of last year, due to increased lumber shipments and significantly improved prices across all product segments. Sales volumes increased by 17%, led by increases of 49% and 47% in Japan and commodity lumber shipments, respectively, while Niche shipments were relatively flat. Limited cedar log availability constrained cedar lumber production and shipments, as compared to the same period last year. Our average realized lumber price was $1,553 per thousand board feet, an increase of 23% from the third quarter of 2020 as we capitalized on higher pricing across all product segments, including achieving record pricing in Japan. These factors more than offset the effect of a weaker sales mix and the 6% appreciation of the Canadian to US dollar exchange rate from the comparative period.  Log revenue was $41.0 million in the third quarter of 2021, a decline of 44% from the same period in the prior year. Timberlands operating curtailments through the second and third quarter of 2021 limited log harvest and sales volumes. We redirected export-grade log supply to our sawmills to ensure an uninterrupted fibre supply in support of lumber production. Average realized log price increased by 16% from the same period last year as improved pricing offset a weaker log sales mix. By-product revenue was $12.1 million, an increase of $3.8 million as compared to the same period last year. Chip price realizations improved as a result of significantly higher NBSK pulp price. Operations Lumber production of 175 million board feet was 9% lower than the third quarter last year, due to log supply related operating curtailments. We harvested 690,000 cubic metres of logs from our coastal operations in British Columbia ("BC") in the third quarter of 2021, as compared to 1,138,000 cubic metres in the third quarter last year. Third quarter log production was significantly impacted by prolonged operating curtailments in 2021, as extreme fire conditions persisted through the summer. Excluding stumpage, timberlands operating costs improved over the comparative period, as operating curtailments in 2021 resulted in the partial deferral of road building and reduced helicopter logging volumes. Improved log and lumber pricing drove a doubling of stumpage fees applied to our business in the third quarter harvest of 2021, but lower harvest volumes limited the increase in stumpage expense to 22% from the same period last year. BC coastal saw log purchases were 227,000 cubic metres, a decrease of 3% from the same period last year. Saw log supply remains tight as an extended fire season negatively impacted harvest volumes as compared to the same period last year. Third quarter freight expense remained flat as compared to the same period last year despite an increase in lumber shipments. The reduction in freight expense associated with not shipping logs to export markets offset incremental costs arising from increased lumber shipments and higher freight rates. Adjusted EBITDA and operating income included $6.2 million of countervailing duty ("CV") and anti-dumping duty ("AD") expense in the third quarter of 2021, as compared to $11.0 million in the same period of 2020. The reduction in duty rates from 20.23% to 8.99%, and a stronger Canadian to US Dollar exchange rate, more than offset the impact of increased US-destined lumber sales volumes and higher lumber pricing on which duty was applied. Selling and Administration Expense Third quarter selling and administration expense was $13.6 million in 2021 as compared to $10.4 million in the third quarter last year. Strong financial results and share price appreciation in the third quarter of 2021 had an incremental compensation expense impact of $2.1 million over the comparative quarter of 2020. This comparative increase was comprised of an additional $0.5 million performance-based incentive compensation, and $1.6 million on the vesting of incentive plans and mark-to-market expense on long-term compensation liabilities. Other Income We recognized other income of $4.0 million attributable to gains on the sale of the Somass Division assets and other non-core properties, as compared to an expense of $0.6 million in the same period of 2020.   Finance Costs Finance costs were reduced to $0.4 million as compared to $2.0 million in the third quarter last year due to a significant reduction in average outstanding debt balance. In the third quarter of 2021, the Company repaid a $1.9 million long-term equipment loan. Income Taxes We used our remaining non-capital Canadian tax loss carryforwards during the first quarter of 2021, which will result in cash taxes payable for the tax year ending December 31, 2021. Accordingly, current income tax expense of $13.6 million and a deferred income tax expense of $0.4 million were recognized in net income in the third quarter of 2021. Income tax expense increased by $9.6 million from the third quarter of 2020, driven by strong operating earnings. Net Income Net income for the third quarter of 2021 was $42.2 million, as compared to net income of $11.5 million for the same period last year. Significantly improved net income resulted from strong operating performance and continued strong product pricing. Summary of Year to Date 2021 Results Adjusted EBITDA for the first nine months of 2021 was $249.7 million, as compared to $45.7 million for the same period last year. We leveraged our flexible operating platform to pursue the highest margin opportunities and deliver record adjusted EBITDA. In the first half of 2021, we directed production to North American commodity lumber markets to take advantage of unprecedented pricing. Our North American commodity lumber focus led to improved recovery, while increasing secondary processing and related costs. With the steep decline in North American prices through the third quarter of 2021, we redirected production and grew export lumber shipments to Japan and China. Operating income prior to restructuring and other items was $208.0 million, as compared to $5.2 million for the same period last year, as a result of strong operating performance. Comparative results were significantly impacted by the restart of operations after the lengthy United Steelworkers Local 1-1937 strike (the "Strike"), which had curtailed the majority of our BC-based operations through February 2020, and by the impacts of COVID-19. Sales Lumber revenue for the first nine months of 2021 was $929.5 million, 93% higher than the same period last year due to a combination of a 19% increase in realized pricing and 62% increase in shipment volumes. During the first half of 2021, we capitalized on record North American commodity pricing by increasing commodity shipments by 140% compared to the same nine month period last year. As North American commodity prices began to decline late in the second quarter of 2021, we redirected commodity shipments to relatively stronger export markets. Comparative period revenue and shipments were negatively impacted by the Strike, which ended in February 2020. Improved lumber pricing led to a 19% increase in average lumber price realization as compared to the first nine months of 2020. Our flexible operating platform allowed us to capitalize on changing market conditions, transitioning production and shipments from North American markets to improved export lumber markets. Price realizations were negatively impacted by an 8% appreciation in the average Canadian to US dollar exchange rate year-over-year.  Log revenue was $120.4 million in the first nine months of 2021, a decrease of 18% from the same period last year, despite a 25% increase in average realized log price. Operating curtailments and permitting delays reduced harvesting production in the first nine months of 2021. We redirected export and certain domestic logs to our sawmills to support lumber production to capitalize on strong lumber markets. The comparative period was impacted by a weaker log sales mix caused by Strike-related log degradation, and the impact of COVID-19 on global markets. By-product revenue grew to $39.9 million, as compared to $18.4 million in the same period last year. Increased lumber production drove higher chip production and shipments as compared to the first nine months of 2020, which was impacted by lower production during the Strike. Operations Lumber production in the first nine months of 2021 was 581 million board feet, 47% higher than the same period last year. The comparative period production was negatively impacted by the Strike. We achieved higher lumber production in 2021 through increased operating hours and improved production efficiency. The shift to increased North American commodity lumber production in the first half of 2021 contributed to higher production volumes and improved recovery. Production and recovery benefits associated with higher North American commodity production were partially offset by increased levels of processing required to manufacture North American commodity products. Third quarter lumber production in 2021 was impacted by lower recovery associated with export lumber production, and temporary operating curtailments due to constrained log supply. Log production for the first nine months of 2021 was 2,390,000 cubic metres, a decrease of 5% over the same period last year. Unfavourable ...Full story available on Benzinga.com.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaNov 3rd, 2021

5 reasons why Democrats should be worried about 2022 after their devastating losses in Virginia

Democrats are no longer dominating the suburban areas that swung their way under Trump and can't make every race a referendum on the former president. Virginia Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin tosses a signed basketball to supporters at an election night party in Chantilly, Va., early Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021, after he defeated Democrat Terry McAuliffe. AP Photo/Andrew Harnik Democrats suffered a trio of devastating losses in Virginia's Tuesday elections. Republicans also prevailed in other under-the-radar elections in blue and swing states. Here are five reasons Democrats should be concerned heading into the 2022 midterms. Virginia Democrats took a shellacking on Tuesday as Republicans flipped control of the top three statewide offices and are on track to take away Democrats' majority in the House of Delegates. With President Joe Biden in the White House and the party controlling both chambers of Congress, Democrats faced an uphill battle going into the midterm election. Voters tend to feel dissatisfied with their current leadership or their own personal fortunes and have historically turned on the party in power. But the results in Virginia and in New Jersey, where Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy and Republican Jack Ciattrelli are neck-and-neck as of Wednesday evening, are indicative of even more structural warning signs for Democrats. 1. Democrats don't have the suburbs on lockRepublican Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin, Lieutenant Governor-elect Winsome Sears, and Attorney General-Elect Jason Miyares' paths to victory in Virginia relied on winning back white and suburban voters who recently turned away from the GOP. In his race against Democrat Terry McAuliffe, Youngkin flipped at least eight counties and cities that Biden carried in the 2020 presidential election, including the affluent Richmond-area suburbs in Chesterfield County and fast-growing Caroline County. Voters in Midlothian, Va., hold their ballots as they vote in the Virginia gubernatorial election on November 2, 2021. Midlothian is located in Chesterfield County, a key Richmond suburb that supported Republican Glenn Youngkin over Terry McAuliffe. AP Photo/Steve Helber Republicans also handily won parts of the Virginia Beach and Norfolk areas, including Virginia Beach, James City, and Chesapeake City, the second-largest city in the state, that have all trended blue in recent elections. Youngkin also put a dent in Democrats' margins in more reliably-blue suburban areas like Loudoun County, which gained national attention as the center of high-profile battles over education policy and how racism is taught in schools. McAuliffe carried the northern Virginia county by just under 10 points, 55% to 45%, over Youngkin. This marked a major shift from Biden's 25-point win over former President Donald Trump in the county in 2020. 2. Democrats continue to lose among rural and blue-collar voters Rural areas getting redder while suburbs got bluer was a major storyline of Trump-era elections. And the continued erosion of Democratic support in rural areas while non-Trump Republican candidates forge new paths in suburbs presents a worrying math problem for Democrats going into 2022. Beyond gaining ground in the suburbs, an open question that lingered into Election Day was whether Youngkin would succeed in winning over enough reliably Republican voters in rural parts of the state to outpace Democrat Terry McAuliffe's dominance in blue counties and cities. Compared to the 2017 governor's race between Gov. Ralph Northam and Ed Gillespie, the Southwestern corner of the state saw both higher turnout and larger margins for Youngkin and other Republicans, with McAuliffe too getting lower margins than Northam. And while Democrats aren't likely to mount a big rural revival anytime soon, those margins have an impact in competitive elections. In New Jersey too, Ciattrelli appears to have flipped three South Jersey counties that Biden carried in 2020 and is substantially outperforming Trump's 2020 margins in Republican-leaning areas of the state. -Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) November 3, 20213. Democrats can't bank on making every race a referendum on TrumpBoth McAuliffe and Murphy went all-in on painting their opponents as better-polished versions of Trump in button-down shirts, hoping that voters' disdain for Trump would translate down the ballot. But Youngkin and Ciattrelli overperformed expectations by deploying the well-worn playbook of a Republican businessman-turned-politician running as a check on Democratic dominance in blue states. Youngkin put enough distance between himself and Trump both stylistically and in his policy positions so as not to alienate diehard Trump supporters, Biden voters or independents - all of whom he needed to win statewide. GOP gubernatorial candidate Gregg Youngkin (L), Former President Donald Trump (R). Getty Images And more importantly, he, unlike McAuliffe, successfully controlled the narrative of the race by making education and schools, particularly how much control parents have over their kids' schools curriculum and policies, a key mobilizing issue for voters.By the end of the campaign, surveyed voters said education was the most important issue to them while COVID-19 and abortion, issues where McAuliffe dominated, fell to the wayside. Ciattrelli, meanwhile, branded himself as a "main street businessman," adopting a moderate stance on hot-button issues like abortion and immigration while also hammering Murphy's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and highlighting New Jersey-specific issues like lowering property taxes. 4. Republicans now have a clear roadmap to do well in blue and swing statesWhile Biden's big win over Trump in the presidential race got most of the attention in 2020, downballot Republicans proved themselves able to shed Trump's baggage, picking up around a dozen seats in the US House and flipping over 80 seats in state legislatures. And elsewhere in the Northeast on Tuesday night, Republicans furthered that trend and secured more under-the-radar but notable downballot wins. Republicans flipped back control of four seats in the Virginia House of Delegates and could flip as many as four more, which would give them back control of the chamber after two years of Democratic dominance. GOP candidates also won a competitive district attorney election in Nassau County, New York, and two big judicial elections, including a key state Supreme Court race, in Pennsylvania on Tuesday. Those races were, of course, influenced by all kinds of state and local factors as well as the quality of the candidates. But they show how Democrats can't rely on a divisive figure at the top of the ticket to obscure structural headwinds they face. Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate and former Gov. Terry McAuliffe listens as President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign event for McAuliffe at Lubber Run Park in Arlington, Va., on July 23, 2021. AP Photo/Andrew Harnik 5. Negative polarization means Biden's poor approval is more of a drag on down-ballot DemocratsOver the past decade or so, the phenomenon of negative polarization, where voters are more motivated by disdain towards the opposing party than affinity towards their own, has increasingly shaped American voter behavior and the outcome of elections. This is manifested in Americans holding increasingly negative views of the other party and its voters and record-low levels of voters splitting their tickets between one party at the presidential level and down-ballot races.Negative polarization gave Democrats a huge down-ballot boost in the Trump years, as dissatisfaction with Trump particularly among white and college-educated voters delivered Democrats big wins in the 2018 midterms.But now the shoe is on the other foot and Democrats find themselves stumbling over Biden's dismal approvals and the large percentage of Americans who see the country as going in the wrong direction. To the extent that national politics did impact the results of the Virginia and New Jersey races, Biden's historically paltry approval ratings were more of a drag on Democrats than Trump's unpopularity was on Republicans. In Virginia, Youngkin won 51% of the vote, improving on Trump's 2020 vote share in the commonwealth by over 6 percentage points, while McAuliffe received 49% of the vote, underperforming Biden's 2020 vote share also by 6 points.And while more votes remain to be counted in the New Jersey governor's race, the same pattern is playing out in the Garden State, with Murphy so far underperforming Biden's 2020 vote share and Ciattrelli outperforming Trump. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 3rd, 2021

Futures Flat Ahead Of Historic Taper Announcement, China Warns Of "Downward Pressure" On Economy

Futures Flat Ahead Of Historic Taper Announcement, China Warns Of "Downward Pressure" On Economy US stock futures were flat ahead of today's Fed meeting, where the central bank is widely expected to announce the reduction of asset purchases with a majority of analysts expecting the Fed reducing its monthly purchases of Treasuries by $10 billion and mortgage- backed securities by $5 billion. Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 0.1% while S&P 500 and Dow Jones futures were little changed. Oil fell as the U.S. ramped up pressure on OPEC+ to boost supplies (which will bear zero results). The two-year Treasury yield was steady, while the 30-year rate shed two basis points. European stocks struggled for direction and the dollar fell less than 0.1%.   Despite turmoil in the bond market which sent the MOVE (or bond VIX) index to post-covid highs... ... stocks remain complacent and are likely not under stress “because we all think we know what will come out from today’s meeting: a gradual start of the tapering of the bond purchases program,” said Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior analyst at Swissquote. A "taper announcement will likely be seamless, what may be less seamless is the rate discussion," she wrote in a note.  In recent weeks, policy makers have come under pressure to reassess their assessment of inflation being transitory, with bond and currency markets pricing in faster-than-expected rate hikes. “The big question will be whether they will signal anything about when the rate hikes will start,” Jeanette Garretty, chief economist at Robertson Stephens Wealth Management, said on Bloomberg Television. “I think they are going to try and avoid that.” Wall Street has also largely shrugged off concerns around rising price pressures and mixed economic growth, boosted by a stellar third-quarter earnings season and an upbeat commentary about growth going forward. In fact, there is absolutely nothing that can dent the ongoing market meltup which according to Morgan Stanley will continue until just around Thanksgiving. "Anything suggesting that the Fed is confident to keep withdrawing monetary policy support following a start today may allow equity investors to buy more," said Charalambos Pissouros, head of research at JFD group. "After all, they may have already digested the idea that interest rates will start rising at some point soon." Meanwhile, Chinese equities drifted lower after what Bloomberg called was a "dour warning" from Premier Li who cautioned about “downward pressure” for the economy. Hang Seng falls as much as 1.2% after tech shares resume slide. Here are some of the most notable premarket moves: Lyft rose after its third-quarter results showed a continued improvement in key metrics for the ride-sharing company. Zillow dropped as the decision to shut its home-flipping business raised questions about its ability to deliver growth. Shale oil producer Devon Energy rose 4.8% in premarket trading on topping earnings estimates as oil prices hit multi-year highs. Mondelez International added 1.9% after the Oreo maker raised its annual sales forecast, helped by price increases and strong demand from emerging markets. T-Mobile gained 3.4% after the U.S. wireless carrier beat third-quarter estimates for adding monthly bill paying phone subscribers. Activision Blizzard tumbled 12.0% after the videogame publisher delayed the launch of two much-awaited titles, as its co-leader Jen Oneal decided to step down from her role On the economic data front, October readings on ADP private payrolls, IHS Markit composite PMI and ISM non-manufacturing activity is due later in the day. Meanwhile, European stocks were flat as losses in energy stocks offset gains in basic resources shares.  Italy's FTSE MIB outperforms, rising as much as 0.3% while Spain's IBEX underperforms. Oil & gas, retail and utilities are the weakest Stoxx 600 sectors; miners and autos outperform. Asia’s equity benchmark was little changed as traders await the outcome of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s policy meeting, with an announcement expected on tapering amid concerns about elevated inflation. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index traded in a narrow range, with Alibaba Group, AIA Group and Samsung Electronics the biggest drags and Tencent among the winners. South Korea’s Kospi tumbled 1.3% on mounting selling by foreign funds. Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng Index declined for a seventh day, extending its longest losing streak since July. The earnings season has failed to boost Asian shares, with the regional benchmark down more than 10% from a February peak as supply-chain and inflation worries persist. Traders will focus on the Fed’s policy move on Wednesday for cues at a time volatility in the bond market has heightened. “U.S. monetary policy has a very direct impact on the Asian market, especially with their plethora of dirty U.S. dollar pegs,” Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at Oanda, wrote in a note. Philippine stocks were among the top gainers, advancing for a second day after local Covid-19 cases fell to fewest since March. Stocks in Australia also rose after the country’s central bank scrapped a bond-yield target on Tuesday and said there’s still some time to go for rate hikes. Iron ore’s rebound on Wednesday also bolstered the mining sector. Japan’s equity market was closed for a holiday. Chinese stocks dripped after Premier Li Keqiang said China’s economy faces new downward pressures and has to cut taxes and fees to address the problems faced by small and medium-sized companies. Li did not specify the extent of the new “downward pressure” or its cause, but the phrase is generally used by Chinese officials to refer to a slowing economy. He has used the phrase before, including several times in 2019. The economy needs “cross-cyclical adjustments” to continue in a proper range, Li said during a visit to China’s top market regulator, state broadcaster CCTV reported. That phrase is associated with a more conservative fiscal and monetary approach that focuses more on the long-term outlook instead of immediate economic performance. “There are no obvious growth drivers now, so the government is looking for one,” said Bruce Pang, head of macro and strategy research at China Renaissance Securities Hong Kong Ltd. “Small businesses’ investment can provide a source of healthier, longer-term growth, compared with government or property investment.” In rates, 10-year Treasury note futures are at the top of Tuesday’s range, gaining over Asia session while eurodollar futures are up 1-2 ticks in red and green packs as shares declined in China and Hong Kong ahead of today’s FOMC decision and after Premier Li’s warning of downward pressures to the economy. Treasury 10-year yields richer by 1.8bp on the day, flattening 2s10s spread with front-end yields unchanged -- bunds and gilts trade slightly cheaper vs. Treasuries. Cash Treasuries resumed trading in London after being closed in Tokyo for a Japanese holiday --curve has flattened with long-end yields richer by as much as 2bp. Focus on U.S. session includes ADP employment and durable goods data, refunding announcement before 2pm ET Fed rate decision. In Europe, Bunds bull flattened, helped in part by dovish comments from ECB’s Lagarde and Muller while peripheral spreads tightened with 10y Bund/BTP narrowing 3bps near 120bps. In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index inched lower as the dollar fell versus most of its Group-of-10 peers and Treasury yields fell by up to 3 basis points, led by the long end of the curve. The euro gradually climbed toward the $1.16 handle while European government bonds yields fell and curves flattened. New Zealand’s dollar was among the top G-10 performers, and rose from a two- week low after the unemployment rate dropped more than economists predicted; the Kiwi and Aussie were also boosted by leveraged short covering. The pound inched up from a three-week low against the dollar before a speech by Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey. Hedging the pound on an overnight basis is the costliest since March as traders focus on the upcoming meetings by the Federal Reserve and the BOE. In commodities, crude futures extend Asia’s softness; WTI drops over 2%, stalling near $82, Brent drops a similar magnitude to trade near $83. Spot gold drifts around Asia’s worst levels near $1,783/oz. Most base metals are up over 1% with LME aluminum and tin outperforming Looking at the day ahead the highlight will be the aforementioned Fed's policy decision along with Chair Powell’s subsequent press conference. Other central bank speakers include ECB President Lagarde, alongside the ECB’s Elderson, Centeno, de Cos and Villeroy. Data releases include the final October services and composite PMIs from the UK and the US, and other US data includes the ISM services index for October, the ADP’s report of private payrolls for October and factory orders for September. Finally, earnings today include Qualcomm, Booking Holdings, Fox Corp and Marriott International. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures little changed at 4,622.00 STOXX Europe 600 little changed at 479.79 MXAP little changed at 197.87 MXAPJ little changed at 645.10 Nikkei down 0.4% to 29,520.90 Topix down 0.6% to 2,031.67 Hang Seng Index down 0.3% to 25,024.75 Shanghai Composite down 0.2% to 3,498.54 Sensex little changed at 59,993.78 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.9% to 7,392.73 Kospi down 1.3% to 2,975.71 German 10Y yield little changed at -0.18% Euro little changed at $1.1587 Brent Futures down 1.8% to $83.23/bbl Gold spot down 0.3% to $1,782.83 U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 94.05 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg The Federal Reserve is widely expected to announce the reduction of asset purchases at the conclusion of its policy meeting Wednesday, which Chair Jerome Powell will likely say is not a step toward raising interest rates any time soon Traders have had a mixed view for most of this year about when emerging-Asia central banks will begin to normalize policy. Suddenly though, they are rushing to price in rate-hike bets across the region. The hawkish shift is most evident in South Korea and India, where markets are now anticipating at least a quarter-point increase in the next three months, while they are also building in Malaysia and Thailand over a two-year horizon China’s economy faces new downward pressures and has to cut taxes and fees to address the problems faced by small and medium-sized companies, according to the country’s Premier Li Keqiang More provinces in China are fighting Covid-19 than at any time since the deadly pathogen first emerged in Wuhan in 2019 The likelihood that elevated inflation will become entrenched is increasing, according to European Central Bank Governing Council member Bostjan Vasle A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asian equity markets traded mixed despite another encouraging handover from Wall Street where all major indices notched fresh record closing highs for the third consecutive day, and the DJIA breached the 36k level amid a slew of earnings and absence of any significant catalysts to derail the recent uptrend. Gains in APAC were also capped by holiday-thinned conditions with Japan away for Culture Day and as the FOMC announcement draws closer (full Newsquawk preview available in the Research Suite). The ASX 200 (+0.9%) outperformed amid a resurgence in the top-weighted financials sector as AMP shares were boosted after it announced to divest a 19.1% stake in Resolution Life Australasia for AUD 524mln and with CBA also higher as Australia’s largest bank is to offer customers the ability to conduct crypto transactions via its app. Conversely, the KOSPI (-1.3%) lagged after its automakers posted weak October sales stateside and following comments from South Korean PM Lee that they cannot afford additional cash handouts right now, while there was also attention on Kakao Pay which more than doubled from the IPO price on its debut. The Hang Seng (-0.3%) and Shanghai Comp. (-0.2%) were lacklustre and failed to benefit from the improvement in Chinese Caixin Services and Composite PMI data, amid ongoing concerns related to the energy crunch and with tech subdued after Yahoo pulled out of China due to a challenging business and legal environment. Furthermore, reports also noted that the Chinese version of Fortnite will close in mid-November, while a slightly firmer PBoC liquidity operation failed to spur Chinese markets as its efforts still resulted in a substantial net drain. Aussie yields continued to soften after the RBA affirmed its dovish tone at yesterday’s meeting and with the central bank also present in the market today for AUD 800mln in semi-government bonds which is in line with its regular weekly purchases, while a softer b/c at the 10yr Australian bond auction failed to unnerve domestic bonds and T-notes futures were steady overnight amid the looming FOMC. Top Asian News State Bank of India Profit Tops Estimates on Lower Provisions Chinese Copper Smelters Boost Exports to Ease Historic Squeeze China’s PBOC Says Digital Yuan Users Have Surged to 140 Million Malaysia Holds Rates on Recovery, ‘Benign’ Inflation Outlook European majors have adopted a similarly mixed performance (Euro Stoxx 50 -0.1%; Stoxx 600 Unch) as seen during the APAC session, as markets and participants count down to the FOMC policy decision, with the BoE and NFPs also on the docket for the rest of the week. US equity futures are also mixed but have been drifting mildly higher in European trade thus far, vs a flat overnight session. Back to Europe, there isn’t anything major to report in terms of under/outperformers among European majors, although Spain’s IBEX (-0.7%) lags in the periphery amidst losses in sector heavyweights. Sectors in Europe are mixed with no overarching theme. Basic Resources top the charts in a slight reversal of yesterday’s underperformance and amid a bounce in base metal prices. Travel & Leisure is propped up by Deutsche Lufthansa (+5.0%) post-earnings. Oil & Gas names are pressured by the decline across the crude complex in the run-up to tomorrow’s OPEC+ confab, whilst Banks are lacklustre as yields lose ground. In terms of individual movers, Vestas Wind System (-9.0%) is at the bottom of the Stoxx 600 after cutting guidance. BMW (+0.4%) is choppy after-earnings which saw EBIT top forecasts and targets confirmed, although the group noted that the rise in raw material prices have also had an impact on earnings, but they do not expect short-term magnesium shortage to affect production. Finally, Pandora (+0.8%) reported improvements on their metrics but warned that APAC performance, including China, remains weak and heavily impacted by COVID-19, with China expected to remain a drag on performance for the remainder of the year. Top European News BMW Muscles Through Chip Shortage With Profit Jump Nexans Drops as Morgan Stanley Says 3Q Results Were Weak Russia’s Biggest Alcohol Retailer Seeks $1.3 Billion in IPO LSE Boss Expects London Will Keep EU Clearing Role Post-Brexit In FX, far from all change, but the Kiwi has reclaimed 0.7100+ status against the Greenback and a firmer grasp of the handle in wake of significantly stronger than expected NZ labour market metrics via Q3’s HLFS update overnight, including jobs growth coming in five times higher than forecast and the unemployment rate falling sharply irrespective of a rise in participation. Nzd/Usd is hovering around 0.7135 and the Aud/Nzd cross is under 1.0450 even though the Aussie has regained some composure after its post-RBA relapse to retest 0.7450, albeit with assistance from the Buck’s broad pull-back rather than mixed PMIs and much weaker than anticipated building approvals. Indeed, the Franc has also rebounded from circa 0.9150 with no independent incentive and cognisant that the SNB will be monitoring moves as Eur/Chf meanders within its 1.0604-1.0548 w-t-d range. DXY/JPY/EUR/GBP/CAD - The Dollar index has drifted back down from a fractional new high compared to Tuesday’s best between 94.144-93.970 parameters vs a 94.136-93.818 range yesterday, and for little apparent reason aside from pre-FOMC tinkering and fine-tuning of positions it seems. Nevertheless, DXY components are mostly taking advantage of the situation, albeit in typically tight ranges seen on a Fed day, with the Yen holding above 114.00 on Japanese Culture Day, the Euro just under 1.1600 and amidst more decent option expiry interest (1.1 bn from 1.1585 to the round number), Sterling still trying to retain 1.3600+ status and also close to a fairly big option expiry (821 mn at the 1.3615 strike) and the Loonie striving to contain declines beneath 1.2400 against the backdrop of retreating oil prices. Note, some upside in the Pound via upgrades to UK services and composite PMIs, but limited and Eur/Gbp remains over 0.8500 in advance of the showdown between Britain and France on fishing tomorrow when the BoE also delivers its eagerly anticipated November policy verdict. SCANDI/EM - Not much adverse reaction to a slowdown in Sweden’s services PMI for the Sek, while the Nok is taking the latest downturn in Brent crude largely in stride on the eve of the Norges Bank meeting that is widely seen cementing rate hike guidance for next month. However, scant respite or solace for the Try from sub-consensus Turkish CPI as the near 20% y/y print means more divergence relative to the CBRT’s 1 week repo, and PPI accelerated again to heighten the build up of pipeline price pressures. Conversely, the Cnh and Cny are nudging back above 6.4000 after an encouraging Chinese Caixin services PMI and the Zar is on a firm footing awaiting results of SA local elections. RBNZ said the financial system is well placed to support economic recovery despite uncertainty and risks, while the more recent Delta outbreak is creating stress for some industries and regions, particularly in Auckland. RBNZ also noted that with the risk of global inflation heightened, already stretched asset prices are facing headwinds from rising global interest rates and that supply chain bottlenecks and inflation are adding to stresses in some sectors. Furthermore, they intend to increase the minimum CFR requirement to its previous level of 75% on 1st January 2022, subject to no significant worsening in economic condition, while capital requirements for banks are to progressively increase from 1st July 2022 and it is encouraging to see them increasing ahead of these requirements. (Newswires) In commodities, WTI and Brent front month futures are softer and in proximity to USD 82/bbl and USD 83/bbl respectively with losses today also potentially a function of the downbeat China COVID updates seen overnight. As a reminder, China's most recent COVID-19 outbreak is reportedly the most widespread since Wuhan with infection in 19 of 31 provinces, according to a major newswires article. It was also reported that around half the flights to and from Beijing city’s two airports were cancelled Tuesday, according to aviation industry data site VariFlight. Further, yesterday’s Private Inventory data was also bearish, printing a larger-than-expected build of 3.6mln bbl vs exp. +2.2mln, ahead of today’s DoEs which will take place 1hr earlier for those in Europe. Looking ahead to tomorrow’s OPEC+, markets expect a continuation of the current plan to ease output curbs by 400k BPD/m. Outside calls have been getting louder for the producers to open the taps more than planned amid inflationary feed-through to consumers and company margins, although ministers, including de-factor heads Saudi and Russia, have been putting weight behind current plans, with no pushback seen from members within OPEC+ thus far. Further, the COVID situation in China is deteriorating, hence ministers will likely express a cautious approach. Elsewhere, spot gold and silver are flat within overnight ranges, as is usually the case before FOMC. Base metals are staging a recovery with LME copper back above USD 9,500/t, whilst Chinese thermal coal futures rose some 10% following 10 days of declines US Event Calendar 8:15am: Oct. ADP Employment Change, est. 400,000, prior 568,000 9:45am: Oct. Markit US Services PMI, est. 58.2, prior 58.2 Oct. Markit US Composite PMI, prior 57.3 10am: Sept. Durable Goods Orders, est. -0.4%, prior -0.4% Sept. -Less Transportation, est. 0.4%, prior 0.4% Sept. Cap Goods Orders Nondef Ex Air, prior 0.8% Sept. Cap Goods Ship Nondef Ex Air, prior 1.4% 10am: Sept. Factory Orders, est. 0.1%, prior 1.2% Sept. Factory Orders Ex Trans, est. 0%, prior 0.5% 10am: Oct. ISM Services Index, est. 62.0, prior 61.9 2pm: FOMC Rate Decision DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap So after much anticipation we’ve finally arrived at the Fed’s decision day, where it’s widely anticipated (including by DB’s US economists) that they’ll announce a tapering in their asset purchases. Such a move has been increasingly anticipated over recent months, not least with the repeated upgrades to inflation forecasts over the course of 2021, and the FOMC themselves flagged this at their September meeting, where their statement said that “if progress continues broadly as expected … a moderation in the pace of asset purchases may soon be warranted.” In terms of what our economists are expecting, their view is that the Fed will announce monthly reductions of $10bn and $5bn in the pace of Treasury and MBS purchases respectively, with the first cut to purchases coming in mid-November. They see this bringing the latest round of QE to an end in June 2022, though this would also offer some flexibility to respond to any changes in the economic environment over the coming eight months should they arise. On the question of rate hikes, they think lift-off won’t take place until December 2022, but don’t see Chair Powell actively pushing back on current market pricing (a full hike nearly priced in by mid-year 22) given the elevated uncertainty about the outlook, particularly on inflation. You can see more details in their preview here. Of course since the Fed’s last meeting, many inflationary pressures have only grown, particularly given the fresh surge in energy prices that’s taken WTI oil up to $83/bbl, having been at just $72/bbl at the time of their September meeting. In turn, this has taken market expectations of future inflation up as well, with the 10yr breakeven now standing at 2.52%, up from 2.28% following Powell’s September press conference. And market pricing has also shifted significantly since the last meeting, with investors having gone from expecting less than one full hike by the December 2022 meeting to more than two. Ahead of all that, global risk assets continued to perform strongly and a number of major indices climbed to fresh all-time highs yesterday. The S&P 500 (+0.37%), the NASDAQ (+0.34%), the Dow Jones (+0.39%) and Europe’s STOXX 600 (+0.14%) all hit new records, whilst France’s CAC 40 (+049%) exceeded its previous closing peak made all the way back in 2000. Positive earnings news helped bolster those indices, with 27 of 29 S&P 500 reporters beating earnings estimates during trading, and 16 of 20 after-hours reporters beating earnings estimates. This included Pfizer during the day, which raised its full-year forecasts on the back of strong vaccine demand and noted it had the capacity to produce as much as 4 billion shots next year. However, the big winner yesterday (the biggest in the small-cap Russell 2000 yesterday) was Avis Budget Group (+108.31%) even if its performance actually marked a fall from its intraday high when the share price had more than tripled. Those moves occurred after Avis posted strong earnings driven by better-than-expected demand. Their CEO said they’d add more electric cars, whilst the stock also got attention on the WallStreetBets forum on Reddit, which readers may recall was behind some big moves at the start of the year in various "meme stocks” like GameStop. The banner day added $8.5bn to its market cap, which helped it leap frog fellow meme stock AMC to become the second biggest company in the Russell 2000 from third slot yesterday. In other such popular retail stocks, Tesla retreated -3.03% after Elon Musk cast some doubt the previous evening over the recently announced deal to sell 100,000 cars to rental car company Hertz. That said, the automaker has still added over $300 billion in market cap over the last month. Sovereign bonds were another asset class that put in a decent performance ahead of the Fed, with yields falling throughout the curve across a range of countries following the relatively dovish tone vs heightened expectations from the RBA yesterday morning. By the close, those on 10yr Treasuries were down -1.4bps to 1.54%, whilst their counterparts in Europe saw even steeper declines, including those on 10yr bunds (-6.3bps), OATs (-8.5bps) and BTPs (-14.1bps). BTPs were the biggest story and the move seemed to coincide with a reappraisal of ECB hike expectations, as pricing through December 2022 declined -6.5 bps, down from c.20 bps of expected tightening priced as of Monday. So a big decline. In Asia, the Shanghai Composite (-0.57%), the Hang Seng (-0.93%) and the KOSPI (-1.23%) are all trading lower. Japan’s markets are closed due to the Culture Day, meaning also that cash treasuries are not trading in the region. In data releases, the Caixin Services PMI for China rose to 53.8 versus 53.1 expected. However, Premier Li’s remarks about new “downward pressure” on China’s economy and latest COVID outbreak, which is now the most widespread since the first emergence of the virus, are weighing down on the sentiment. Meanwhile, China and Hong Kong are discussing reopening of the shared border. The S&P 500 futures (-0.01%) is pretty flat this morning. Aussie yields are again lower especially at the front end with the infamous April 24 bond around -7bps as we type. As we go to print the Associated Press have called the Virginia as a victory for the GOP Youngkin with New Jersey equivalent also looking likely to go to the GOP. So a big blow to the Democrats. Of those, Virginia was being more closely watched. As recently as the Obama years it was a fiercely contested battleground, but it’s trended Democratic over the last few cycles, with Biden’s 10 point margin of victory last year well exceeding his 4.4 point margin nationally. So this will not be good news for the Dems ahead of next year’s mid-terms. It will also increase the odds of legislative and fiscal gridlock after that - although the latter has been increasingly expected. Staying with US Politics, President Biden indicated in a news conference that he was getting closer to announcing whether or not he would re-nominate Fed Chair Powell for another term as head of the central bank, or if he would appoint a new Chair. He said an announcement will come “fairly quickly”. In terms of the latest on the pandemic, the US CDC’s advisory committee on immunization practices met and backed the Pfizer vaccine for 5-11 year olds, joining the FDA who gave the vaccine the green light for the same age group. There wasn’t much in the way of data releases yesterday, though we did get the final manufacturing PMIs from Europe, where the Euro Area PMI for October was revised down two-tenths from the flash estimate to 58.3. Germany also saw a downward revision to 57.8 (vs. flash 58.2), but Italy outperformed expectations with a 61.1 reading (vs. 59.6 expected). To the day ahead now, and the highlight will be the aforementioned policy decision from the Fed, along with Chair Powell’s subsequent press conference. Other central bank speakers include ECB President Lagarde, alongside the ECB’s Elderson, Centeno, de Cos and Villeroy. Data releases include the final October services and composite PMIs from the UK and the US, and other US data includes the ISM services index for October, the ADP’s report of private payrolls for October and factory orders for September. Finally, earnings today include Qualcomm, Booking Holdings, Fox Corp and Marriott International. Tyler Durden Wed, 11/03/2021 - 08:13.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 3rd, 2021

Republican Youngkin Wins VA Governor Race

Republican Youngkin Wins VA Governor Race With over 99% of the votes counted (and with a record turnout of over 3 million), Republican newcomer Glenn Youngkin holds a 2 point lead over former Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe. Matt Walsh is pretty clear on who's to blame (to thank) for this Republican victory (notably McAuliffe won Loudon 55-44, but @Redistrict forecast that he would need a 14pts lead to support a state-wide win)...   I want to thank the Loudoun County school board. None of this would have been possible without you. Tonight’s result was your handiwork. Congratulations! — Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) November 3, 2021 And Donald Trump, Jr has some thoughts for President Biden... When Biden wakes up tomorrow afternoon, somebody’s gonna have to tell him he’s now officially presiding over the collapse of the Democrat party — Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) November 3, 2021 MSNBC is taking it well... MSNBC is taking it well pic.twitter.com/is7yAd4L2M — Benny (@bennyjohnson) November 3, 2021 *  *  * Update (2030ET): In a somewhat stunning - yet completely predictable - turn of events, Fairfax County - the largest and most prosperous in the state - has reportedly missed its self-imposed deadline to count early ballots. Terry McAuliffe’s campaign says Fairfax County will not meet their self-imposed deadline of 8pm to count early votes. A portion of the early votes in Fairfax County need to be rescanned and there is no set timeline for that yet. His staff says that could delay the results. Breaking: Fairfax County, Virginia has announced that they are *RE-SCANNING* ballots and will be releasing their vote totals later tonight. — Kyle Becker (@kylenabecker) November 2, 2021 The problem was reportedly with a thumb drive of the early ballots... Fairfax County is rescanning roughly 20,000 ballots from early voting sites after there was a technical issue with a thumb drive the votes are stored on, according to a Fairfax County official. Official says there is a paper trail of votes cast and are working on it now@wusa9 — Kolbie Satterfield (@KolbieReports) November 3, 2021 This is not good for 'faith in democracy'... Regardless of cause, delayed results from Fairfax County - the pivotal county in the commonwealth of Virginia - is REALLY BAD for public trust. — Ian Haworth (@ighaworth) November 3, 2021 *  *  * Update (2000ET): Voter turnout is reportedly very strong, on track to break 3 million votes, exceeding the 2017 record:   Based on local turnout reports, VA is on track to break 3 million votes, which would surpass gubernatorial record of 2.6M set in 2017. Not clear which side that benefits, but this isn't a scenario in which turnout in blue areas is falling through the floor. #VAGOV — Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) November 2, 2021 Notably, Virginia tends to punish the president’s party. In the last 12 Virginia gubernatorial elections, the president’s party has won only once. Obviously, a Youngkin win would be a boost for Republican prospects to take control of both chambers of Congress.  *  *  * Today is the last day for Virginians to vote in what has become an unexpectedly close race for governor between former Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe and newcomer Republican candidate, Glenn Youngkin - who has gained considerable ground in recent days. Political watchers across the country are keeping tabs on this year's race as a proxy for the political mood, as the outcome may offer insight into what might be ahead for both parties in the 2022 midterm elections. From the beginning, Democrats expected McAuliffe to coast into the Governor's mansion in a state which saw Biden beat Trump by 10 points in the last election - yet Youngkin has gained massive ground after focusing on parents' anger over schools - which includes pandemic mandates and critical race theory. McAuliffe, meanwhile, said during a debate with Youngkin "I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach," a decidedly poor move. McAuliffe’s campaign has faltered amid anecdotal accounts of an apathetic Democratic voter base. Biden’s standing in the commonwealth is mediocre, with his approval rating in the low 40s in several polls. The upshot is that Youngkin appears to have the momentum going into Election Day on Tuesday. The level of enthusiasm at recent campaign events has been tangibly greater for Youngkin, even in the Democratic-leaning Northern Virginia suburbs. -The Hill Meanwhile, the University of Virginia's Center for Politics has shifted its opinion of the race from "leans Democratic" to "leans Republican."  “Youngkin has the enthusiasm, the environment, the history, and perhaps even the issues (given his focus on education and its increasing salience in polling). McAuliffe has the state’s Democratic lean in his favor. However, we do feel we owe it to readers to push this race one way or the other and not just move it to a Toss-Up rating at the end. So we’re moving from Leans Democratic to Leans Republican.” PredictIt has Youngkin with a significant lead. The shift comes after McAuliffe spent considerable time pressing his Democratic colleagues on Capitol Hill to pass two major bills in order to show that Democrats are able to capitalize on their slim majority in Congress - yet fighting within the party has resulted in a political quagmire. And as the New York Post notes, what's going on in Virginia may be part of a 30-year political epicycle in which a Democrat wins the White House and then 'lurches left' - causing a backlash that reverberates to off-year elections in Virginia and New Jersey. In 1993 it was Bill Clinton, who ran for office as a “new kind of Democrat,” promising to “end welfare as we know it” and pledging not to raise taxes on the middle class. Instead Clinton moved left, dumping his welfare reform promise in favor of an unpopular nationalized health care scheme that a Democratic Congress never even put to a vote, raising taxes on the middle class, and promoting the boutique liberal cause of gays in the military (though ultimately settling for the muddle of “don’t ask, don’t tell”). Republicans swept the governors’ races in Virginia and New Jersey in 1993 and made large gains in both state legislatures, previewing the GOP landslides in the House and Senate in 1994, when Republicans gained 54 seats in the House for their first House majority in 40 years, and eight seats in the Senate that also gave the GOP a majority. Clinton immediately tacked to the center and remained there for the rest of his presidency. The pattern repeated itself in 2009 following Barack Obama's sharp left turn from the vague platform of "hope and change," leading to Republicans to once again capture the governorships of Virginia and New Jersey that year. A win for Youngkin would be a massive boost to Republicans nationwide - and would add to President Biden's woes which include failing approval ratings, supply chain issues, inflation, and absolute chaos trying to get his legislative agenda passed. As The Hill's Niall Stanage notes, "Even a narrow win for Democrats in Virginia would likely not be enough to calm the party’s nerves as it looks towards next year’s midterm elections — and beyond, to the 2024 presidential election where they fear the specter of Trump will be resurrected."   Tyler Durden Tue, 11/02/2021 - 20:45.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 3rd, 2021

VA Governor Race Called For Republican Youngkin

VA Governor Race Called For Republican Youngkin With over 70% of the votes counted, Decision Desk has called the race for Republican newcomer Glenn Youngkin who holds a 9 pts lead over Democratic Terry McAuliffe. Additionally @Redistrict has called the race for Youngkin... I've seen enough: Glenn Youngkin (R) defeats Terry McAuliffe (D) in the Virginia governor's race. #VAGOV — Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) November 3, 2021 Matt Walsh is pretty clear on who's to blame (to thank) for this Republican victory (notably McAuliffe won Loudon 55-44, but @Redistrict forecast that he would need a 14pts lead to support a state-wide win)... I want to thank the Loudoun County school board. None of this would have been possible without you. Tonight’s result was your handiwork. Congratulations! — Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) November 3, 2021 And Donald Trump, Jr has some thoughts for President Biden... When Biden wakes up tomorrow afternoon, somebody’s gonna have to tell him he’s now officially presiding over the collapse of the Democrat party — Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) November 3, 2021 MSNBC is taking it well... MSNBC is taking it well pic.twitter.com/is7yAd4L2M — Benny (@bennyjohnson) November 3, 2021 *  *  * Update (2030ET): In a somewhat stunning - yet completely predictable - turn of events, Fairfax County - the largest and most prosperous in the state - has reportedly missed its self-imposed deadline to count early ballots. Terry McAuliffe’s campaign says Fairfax County will not meet their self-imposed deadline of 8pm to count early votes. A portion of the early votes in Fairfax County need to be rescanned and there is no set timeline for that yet. His staff says that could delay the results. Breaking: Fairfax County, Virginia has announced that they are *RE-SCANNING* ballots and will be releasing their vote totals later tonight. — Kyle Becker (@kylenabecker) November 2, 2021 The problem was reportedly with a thumb drive of the early ballots... Fairfax County is rescanning roughly 20,000 ballots from early voting sites after there was a technical issue with a thumb drive the votes are stored on, according to a Fairfax County official. Official says there is a paper trail of votes cast and are working on it now@wusa9 — Kolbie Satterfield (@KolbieReports) November 3, 2021 This is not good for 'faith in democracy'... Regardless of cause, delayed results from Fairfax County - the pivotal county in the commonwealth of Virginia - is REALLY BAD for public trust. — Ian Haworth (@ighaworth) November 3, 2021 *  *  * Update (2000ET): Voter turnout is reportedly very strong, on track to break 3 million votes, exceeding the 2017 record:   Based on local turnout reports, VA is on track to break 3 million votes, which would surpass gubernatorial record of 2.6M set in 2017. Not clear which side that benefits, but this isn't a scenario in which turnout in blue areas is falling through the floor. #VAGOV — Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) November 2, 2021 Notably, Virginia tends to punish the president’s party. In the last 12 Virginia gubernatorial elections, the president’s party has won only once. Obviously, a Youngkin win would be a boost for Republican prospects to take control of both chambers of Congress.  *  *  * Today is the last day for Virginians to vote in what has become an unexpectedly close race for governor between former Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe and newcomer Republican candidate, Glenn Youngkin - who has gained considerable ground in recent days. Political watchers across the country are keeping tabs on this year's race as a proxy for the political mood, as the outcome may offer insight into what might be ahead for both parties in the 2022 midterm elections. From the beginning, Democrats expected McAuliffe to coast into the Governor's mansion in a state which saw Biden beat Trump by 10 points in the last election - yet Youngkin has gained massive ground after focusing on parents' anger over schools - which includes pandemic mandates and critical race theory. McAuliffe, meanwhile, said during a debate with Youngkin "I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach," a decidedly poor move. McAuliffe’s campaign has faltered amid anecdotal accounts of an apathetic Democratic voter base. Biden’s standing in the commonwealth is mediocre, with his approval rating in the low 40s in several polls. The upshot is that Youngkin appears to have the momentum going into Election Day on Tuesday. The level of enthusiasm at recent campaign events has been tangibly greater for Youngkin, even in the Democratic-leaning Northern Virginia suburbs. -The Hill Meanwhile, the University of Virginia's Center for Politics has shifted its opinion of the race from "leans Democratic" to "leans Republican."  “Youngkin has the enthusiasm, the environment, the history, and perhaps even the issues (given his focus on education and its increasing salience in polling). McAuliffe has the state’s Democratic lean in his favor. However, we do feel we owe it to readers to push this race one way or the other and not just move it to a Toss-Up rating at the end. So we’re moving from Leans Democratic to Leans Republican.” PredictIt has Youngkin with a significant lead. The shift comes after McAuliffe spent considerable time pressing his Democratic colleagues on Capitol Hill to pass two major bills in order to show that Democrats are able to capitalize on their slim majority in Congress - yet fighting within the party has resulted in a political quagmire. And as the New York Post notes, what's going on in Virginia may be part of a 30-year political epicycle in which a Democrat wins the White House and then 'lurches left' - causing a backlash that reverberates to off-year elections in Virginia and New Jersey. In 1993 it was Bill Clinton, who ran for office as a “new kind of Democrat,” promising to “end welfare as we know it” and pledging not to raise taxes on the middle class. Instead Clinton moved left, dumping his welfare reform promise in favor of an unpopular nationalized health care scheme that a Democratic Congress never even put to a vote, raising taxes on the middle class, and promoting the boutique liberal cause of gays in the military (though ultimately settling for the muddle of “don’t ask, don’t tell”). Republicans swept the governors’ races in Virginia and New Jersey in 1993 and made large gains in both state legislatures, previewing the GOP landslides in the House and Senate in 1994, when Republicans gained 54 seats in the House for their first House majority in 40 years, and eight seats in the Senate that also gave the GOP a majority. Clinton immediately tacked to the center and remained there for the rest of his presidency. The pattern repeated itself in 2009 following Barack Obama's sharp left turn from the vague platform of "hope and change," leading to Republicans to once again capture the governorships of Virginia and New Jersey that year. A win for Youngkin would be a massive boost to Republicans nationwide - and would add to President Biden's woes which include failing approval ratings, supply chain issues, inflation, and absolute chaos trying to get his legislative agenda passed. As The Hill's Niall Stanage notes, "Even a narrow win for Democrats in Virginia would likely not be enough to calm the party’s nerves as it looks towards next year’s midterm elections — and beyond, to the 2024 presidential election where they fear the specter of Trump will be resurrected."   Tyler Durden Tue, 11/02/2021 - 20:45.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytNov 2nd, 2021

Millions Of Federal Contractors Get More Flexibility Over Vaxx Mandate Enforcement, White House Waffles

Millions Of Federal Contractors Get More Flexibility Over Vaxx Mandate Enforcement, White House Waffles Authored by Jack Phillips via The Epoch Times, New guidance released by the White House on Nov. 1 suggests that federal contractors will have significant leeway in enforcing President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate. Federal contractors such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, United Airlines, IBM, UPS, and many more employ a significant number of Americans. The new guidance, released on the Safer Federal Workforce website, provides flexibility for those companies to determine how to enforce the mandate. “A covered contractor should determine the appropriate means of enforcement with respect to its employee at a covered contractor workplace who refuses to be vaccinated and has not been provided, or does not have a pending request for, an accommodation,” according to the guidelines. On Sept. 9, Biden announced mandates for federal workers, federal contractors, and most health care staff - differing from the forthcoming mandate for businesses with 100 or more employees stipulating that workers either get the vaccine or submit to weekly testing. Federal contractors have no option to be tested, and the only way by which workers can opt out is by seeking a medical or religious exemption. “Covered contractors are expected to comply with all requirements set forth in their contract,” the White House said. “Where covered contractors are working in good faith and encounter challenges with compliance with COVID-19 workplace safety protocols, the agency contracting officer should work with them to address these challenges. “If a covered contractor is not taking steps to comply, significant actions, such as termination of the contract, should be taken.” And a federal agency “may determine that a covered contractor employee who refuses to be vaccinated in accordance with a contractual requirement pursuant to [Biden’s executive order] will be denied entry to a Federal workplace, consistent with the agency’s workplace safety protocols,” it said. For workers who don’t want to get the vaccine, “a limited period of counseling and education, followed by additional disciplinary measures” may be necessary, according to the White House. “Removal occurs only after continued noncompliance.” The guidance also lays out requirements for federal employees and contractors to provide proof of vaccination and says “an attestation of vaccination by the covered contractor employee is not an acceptable substitute for documentation of proof of vaccination.” Under the guidance, a covered contractor is responsible for considering requests from employees for religious exemptions from vaccination. If a federal agency is considered a “joint employer” then the agency and contractor should review and consider what, if any, accommodation they should offer. The guidance says it is promulgated pursuant to federal law and supersedes any contrary state or local law or ordinance. It came after the head of a trade association suggested that some companies might terminate their contracts with the federal government ahead of a Dec. 8 deadline. Trucks fill up on gas at the One9 truck stop in Wildwood, Ga., on Oct. 20, 2021. (Jackson Elliott/The Epoch Times) Bill Sullivan, a vice president with the American Trucking Associations (ATA), suggested in an interview over the weekend that some firms likely won’t follow the mandate and will instead just drop their contracts with the government, saying that the potential loss of workers would be too great. Should those companies scrap their agreements, it will be harder for the federal government to move military vehicles, transport the National Guard, and transport food to troops around the United States. “I am confident but with heavy heart recognize a vaccine mandate will mean less capacity for the government as a customer of freight,” Sullivan told Politico on Oct. 31. “It has the potential to seriously impact military readiness,” he said of the COVID-19 vaccine mandate announced by Biden on Sept. 9. The Biden administration, he said, is using a one-size-fits-all strategy to mandate vaccines for Americans and suggested that officials didn’t think of all the possible scenarios that could have emerged. “I feel like the president has tried to be beautifully simple like this could apply to everybody, and by doing that, there will be an impact,” Sullivan told the outlet. Previously, the American Trucking Associations, the Cargo Air Association, and other trade groups have issued letters making ominous predictions about fallout associated with the vaccine mandate. They warned that the already stretched-thin supply chain would be subject to further strain as some workers will be laid off or will simply quit over the mandate. Other than mandating vaccinations for federal contractors and workers, the president also announced he would direct the Labor Department to create a rule mandating vaccines or regular testing for businesses with 100 or more workers, potentially affecting as many as 80 million private-sector employees. White House officials have expressed confidence that workers—when faced with the mandate—would instead opt in. Last week, COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients told reporters at a news conference that after United Airlines and Tyson Foods announced their respective vaccine mandates, it pushed both companies’ vaccination rates to more than 90 percent. Zients also offered some reassurance last week that the mandate shouldn’t disrupt services as the holiday season approaches. “These processes play out across weeks, not days,” Zients said about a week ago. “And so, to be clear, we’re creating flexibility within the system. We’re offering people multiple opportunities to get vaccinated. There is not a cliff here.” But Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo signaled the White House won’t delay its plans around vaccine mandates. In an interview on Oct. 31 with CBS News, Raimondo said that a delay “would be a big mistake” and again stressed that the only way the U.S. economy will recover is by having every worker get vaccinated. Over the recent weekend, 10 attorneys general in Republican-led states filed a legal complaint against the Biden administration’s federal contractor mandate, arguing that the move is tantamount to a “power grab” and would imperil the U.S. economy. White House and ATA officials didn’t respond to a request for comment by press time. Tyler Durden Tue, 11/02/2021 - 17:45.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytNov 2nd, 2021

Virginia Governor Race Tight Going Into Tuesday Election

Virginia Governor Race Tight Going Into Tuesday Election Today is the last day for Virginians to vote in what has become an unexpectedly close race for governor between former Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe and newcomer Republican candidate, Glenn Youngkin - who has gained considerable ground in recent days. Political watchers across the country are keeping tabs on this year's race as a proxy for the political mood, as the outcome may offer insight into what might be ahead for both parties in the 2022 midterm elections. From the beginning, Democrats expected McAuliffe to coast into the Governor's mansion in a state which saw Biden beat Trump by 10 points in the last election - yet Youngkin has gained massive ground after focusing on parents' anger over schools - which includes pandemic mandates and critical race theory. McAuliffe, meanwhile, said during a debate with Youngkin "I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach," a decidedly poor move. McAuliffe’s campaign has faltered amid anecdotal accounts of an apathetic Democratic voter base. Biden’s standing in the commonwealth is mediocre, with his approval rating in the low 40s in several polls. The upshot is that Youngkin appears to have the momentum going into Election Day on Tuesday. The level of enthusiasm at recent campaign events has been tangibly greater for Youngkin, even in the Democratic-leaning Northern Virginia suburbs. -The Hill Meanwhile, the University of Virginia's Center for Politics has shifted its opinion of the race from "leans Democratic" to "leans Republican."  “Youngkin has the enthusiasm, the environment, the history, and perhaps even the issues (given his focus on education and its increasing salience in polling). McAuliffe has the state’s Democratic lean in his favor. However, we do feel we owe it to readers to push this race one way or the other and not just move it to a Toss-Up rating at the end. So we’re moving from Leans Democratic to Leans Republican.” PredictIt has Youngkin with a significant lead. The shift comes after McAuliffe spent considerable time pressing his Democratic colleagues on Capitol Hill to pass two major bills in order to show that Democrats are able to capitalize on their slim majority in Congress - yet fighting within the party has resulted in a political quagmire. And as the New York Post notes, what's going on in Virginia may be part of a 30-year political epicycle in which a Democrat wins the White House and then 'lurches left' - causing a backlash that reverberates to off-year elections in Virginia and New Jersey. In 1993 it was Bill Clinton, who ran for office as a “new kind of Democrat,” promising to “end welfare as we know it” and pledging not to raise taxes on the middle class. Instead Clinton moved left, dumping his welfare reform promise in favor of an unpopular nationalized health care scheme that a Democratic Congress never even put to a vote, raising taxes on the middle class, and promoting the boutique liberal cause of gays in the military (though ultimately settling for the muddle of “don’t ask, don’t tell”). Republicans swept the governors’ races in Virginia and New Jersey in 1993 and made large gains in both state legislatures, previewing the GOP landslides in the House and Senate in 1994, when Republicans gained 54 seats in the House for their first House majority in 40 years, and eight seats in the Senate that also gave the GOP a majority. Clinton immediately tacked to the center and remained there for the rest of his presidency. The pattern repeated itself in 2009 following Barack Obama's sharp left turn from the vague platform of "hope and change," leading to Republicans to once again capture the governorships of Virginia and New Jersey that year. A win for Youngkin would be a massive boost to Republicans nationwide - and would add to President Biden's woes which include failing approval ratings, supply chain issues, inflation, and absolute chaos trying to get his legislative agenda passed. As The Hill's Niall Stanage notes, "Even a narrow win for Democrats in Virginia would likely not be enough to calm the party’s nerves as it looks towards next year’s midterm elections — and beyond, to the 2024 presidential election where they fear the specter of Trump will be resurrected."   Tyler Durden Tue, 11/02/2021 - 11:26.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 2nd, 2021

Marco Rubio says big business is "cooperating with Marxism" and is led by people who are the "product of decades of anti-American indoctrination"

Sen. Marco Rubio's blistering rhetoric against US business tycoons is a break from his previous pro-business and anti-tax stances. Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida on May 26, 2021. Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call/Getty Images Sen. Rubio delivered a speech on "American Marxism" at a nationalist conference in Orlando. Rubio said that corporate leaders were "the product of decades of anti-American indoctrination." He also claimed that China was turning American corporations into lobbyists for the Chinese. Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida took aim at big business on Monday, excoriating corporate leaders for being the "product of decades of anti-American indoctrination at our elite universities" and insufficiently patriotic while arguing that corporate leaders were not an ally in the "fight against socialism."It's just the latest in Rubio's rhetorical war on the spectre of socialism; in September, he said that a multi-trillion dollar social spending bill central to President Joe Biden's agenda was "Marxism."Rubio made the remarks at the National Conservatism conference in Orlando, a gathering of right-wing activists and intellectuals who promote a nationalist brand of conservatism." Other speakers at the conference include Sens. Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz, Ohio Senate candidate and "Hillbilly Elegy" author J.D. Vance, and tech billionaire Peter Thiel.Rubio had to address the conference remotely after his flight was cancelled.According to Rubio's prepared remarks provided by his office, the senator said that Biden was trying to "Build Back Socialist" and that his agenda was supported by just 8% of Americans who "believe America is a systemically racist country, with a shameful history and an oppressive free-enterprise capitalist economy."Rubio invoked his Cuban exile heritage and the effects of communism in his ancestral country, saying that by "making everything political," America's universities, tech companies, corporations, media, and sports and entertainment industries were employing "tactics used by Marxists to take over countless nations and societies all over the world."Hawley, for his part, said at the conference on Sunday that those same entities were waging an assault on traditional masculinity.Rubio also decried corporate leaders for identifying as "citizens of the world.""They are the product of decades of anti-American indoctrination at our elite universities and they feel no obligation to America or its national interest," the Florida senator said of America's corporate leaders. "I'm not here to tell you big business is the enemy. But I'm here to tell you big business is not our ally in the fight against socialism."He also sounded an economically populist note, saying that American corporations had become disloyal to the nation in their pursuit of profit."Most dangerous of all, the Chinese Communist Party figured out a way to use our own corporations against us," Rubio said. "Inviting them in as partners, stealing their know-how and secrets, turning them into lobbyists in Washington on behalf of their agenda, and ultimately standing up their own companies to replace ours."Rubio's blistering rhetoric against big business is a marked shift from his 2016 campaign, when he largely fell within the pro-business paradigm that has characterized Republican politics for decades. The Florida Republican launched his 2015 campaign by pledging to reform the tax code and reduce regulations in order to "create millions of better-paying modern jobs."He later voted for the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which slashed the corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21%."They come running for help to conservatives when the left threatens to raise their taxes," Rubio said of corporations. "But on most days they are eager culture warriors who have mastered the art of wrapping 'wokeness' in the language of free market capitalism."Rubio's remarks are also part of a broader trend on the right in which Republicans, including former President Donald Trump, have sought to paint Democrats as socialist, Marxists, and communists as a rhetorical strategy.-NatConTalk (@NatConTalk) November 1, 2021 The senator also used his remarks to tout a bill he introduced last month to "fight back against woke corporations" that would require corporate directors to prove that corporate initiatives that Rubio describes as "woke" are in the best interest of shareholders."The real fight isn't about the tax rate on billionaires," Rubio said. "The real fight is about a small, radical, but incredibly powerful minority that wants to... erase our culture and traditions, throw away our values, and walk away from a free enterprise economy that is still the envy of the world."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 1st, 2021