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State to have all teacher-vaccine clinics up and running on weekend

The first priority is elementary school personnel, as well as pre-K, special education and English as a second language teachers. An additional survey for early childcare center staff is also being sent out......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsMar 12th, 2021

Corona Wars: Biden"s Battle For Total Control

Corona Wars: Biden's Battle For Total Control Authored by Buck Sexton via AmericanConsequences.com, Biden’s Authoritarian COVID-19 Battle We are entering a new and even more politically toxic phase of the pandemic. The initial promises of the vaccine campaign – it will allow for an end of masking, never be forced upon those who don’t want it, and herd immunity will not require everyone to get the shot – have been abandoned. Not only that, but those at the top of the government and health bureaucracy have adopted a tone that is hostile to anyone who remains hesitant to get a COVID vaccine. The growing spasm over unconstitutional overreach from the Biden team has been building for months. President Joe Biden’s biggest pitch to the American people, other than him immediately abandoning his promise of “unity” across party lines, was to be his handling of the pandemic. Despite the Biden White House’s endless repetition of their “follow the science” mantra, the summer of 2021 was much worse for COVID than any of their so-called experts expected.  Cases over Labor Day weekend across the U.S. were up almost 300% from the same weekend 12 months ago. There were around 40,000 daily cases in the U.S. in mid-September 2020, and there are close to 150,000 new cases a day in the same period of 2021. Crushing our Freedoms This is not “crushing the virus” as Biden promised us. That around 200 million Americans have received at least one vaccine shot, and the virus is spreading even more rapidly now than it was in the same month a year ago, has caused considerable alarm. And with that, the political animus between the vaccinated and unvaccinated has only grown… The Biden White House and the Democrat Party have decided to use the force of government to make that hostility even worse. Of course, the people in charge of our response have found someone to blame: the unvaccinated. “We’ve been patient, but our patience is wearing thin,” Joe Biden said in his recent speech announcing federal mandates. “And your refusal has cost all of us,” he added. The ominous tones were followed with various promises to punish the non-compliant. It didn’t have to be this way… For one thing, less than a year ago President Biden told the country that he didn’t agree with imposing a vaccine mandate. And now, as of September 2021, Biden has completely gone back on that and ordered a series of sweeping mandates that will make all federal and 100 million private-sector employees get the shot or lose their jobs. This is pretty close to the nuclear option of government pandemic countermeasures. It will have enormous ramifications for the future of the country, not just when it comes to public health issues, but to the very core of the Constitution and the relationship between citizen and state. What is the constitutional justification for this? If the federal government can mandate that all private businesses with more than 100 employees must vaccinate their staff (or get them weekly testing, which is meant to be onerous and ruinously expensive), then what can’t Washington, D.C. mandate? What’s the point of the 10th Amendment, and the plenary powers delegated to the states? If for reasons of pure politics, the federal government can, via administrative fiat instead of going through Congress, make such an order on a health matter, could they take similar action about climate change or gun confiscation? In our standard political discourse, polemicists abuse terms like “tyranny” and “authoritarian” – but this has more than a whiff of both. The top-down decision from the Executive Branch of the federal government to use the Labor Department as the implementation arm of a health policy dictatorship shows that, in the era of COVID, the Democrat Party no longer views the separation of powers as any meaningful impediment to its preferred health policies. The Biden Mandate In fact, in his September 9 speech outlining the new plan to get the virus under control, President Biden made clear his intent to steamroll any states’ rights opposition…  If they will not help, if those governors won’t help us beat the pandemic, I’ll use my power as president to get them out of the way. The Department of Education has already begun to take legal action against states undermining protection that local school officials have ordered. Any teacher or school official whose pay is withheld for doing the right thing will have that pay restored by the federal government, 100 percent. I promise you, I will have your back. Get them out of the way, Biden said, in a line that seemed to tell the American people more than he intended about the lack of limits on his power. During the early months of the pandemic in 2020, the same voices who are backing Biden’s authoritarian maneuvers now were claiming that – with stronger legal backing – state governors have extensive plenary powers to deal with health emergencies, including some mandatory quarantine practices. Now that some states – most notably Florida, though Texas has begun to mirror the pro-freedom approach of Governor Ron DeSantis – refuse to do the Biden administration’s bidding on COVID policy, the federal bureaucracy steps in as an unconstitutional super-legislature. On the school masks mandate issue, in particular, the Democrat-Fauciite position has become: We will find a way to have it our way. Biden’s September 9 declaration of COVID total war had no shortage of ire directed toward those who have thus far made the choice not to get the vaccine, one they had been previously told they were legally and ethically entitled to make. That has suddenly changed. Biden made it clear that the unvaxxed are public health enemy No. 1… We still have nearly 80 million Americans who have failed to get the shot. And to make matters worse, there are elected officials actively working to undermine the fight against COVID-19. Instead of encouraging people to get vaccinated and mask up, they are ordering mobile morgues for the unvaccinated dying from COVID in our communities. This is totally unacceptable. As many commentators have pointed out, Biden seemed to be much more agitated with Americans who have chosen not to get a COVID vaccine than he ever was toward the Taliban during his chaotic, incompetent withdrawal plan. This parading of partisan animus is unsettling, to say the least, as it is meant to convey a message to American people (or at least the Biden voters among them) that anyone who is unvaccinated is a reckless, selfish menace to public health. But there’s cognitive dissonance at the heart of this thinking from Biden and his supporters. First of all, when one breaks down the demographic data, the highest proportion of eligible but unvaccinated individuals in America is young Black and Latino males, who have received at least one shot at 43% and 48%, respectively. While there’s certainly a group within those categories of Republicans and Trump voters, the data tells us that most young minority males are not MAGA-hat-wearing, anti-vax Right-wingers… But the Democrat narrative ignores this reality. After months of extraordinary gains, the U.S. stock market is now looking off. Investors worldwide now ask, “Is this the beginning of the end of the most epic stock rally in history?” All eyes are on September 28 for the answers. Here’s the entire story. In fact, the Biden view of vaccine hesitancy is that white male, Right-wing individuals who refuse to get the vaccine are bad people who don’t care about the science. However, racial minorities are an entirely different matter when it comes to vaccine hesitancy. Dr. Fauci, Biden, and the whole COVID apparatus of control constantly make excuses around “access” issues for minorities who choose not to get the shot. We are supposed to ignore the politics of this and the fact that more than 90% of African American voters cast their ballots for Democrats in the 2020 election. There’s also the inexcusable, inexplicable absence of any policy or even mention of naturally acquired immunity. Americans who have had COVID-19, and the most current estimates say that around 100 million of them have beaten the virus, are likely the most immunologically protected of anyone. That Biden, his chief henchman of the biosecurity state Dr. Fauci, and the rest of the control apparatus refuse publicly acknowledging this scientific reality is further evidence of the intense politicization at work. The Power-Drunk Variant People are, understandably, very angry in America about what the country has gone through. We have lost more than 650,000 Americans to the novel coronavirus, and we’ve also lost a tremendous amount of freedom, spent trillions of dollars of public money, and continue to suffer through a period of tremendous anxiety. But instead of trying to unite and heal the country, the most powerful voices in the government and bureaucracy have decided to scapegoat disfavored political groups.  And that, in essence, is where we find ourselves now: the fight over total control. The national response to COVID in America has been an abject failure, based on the promises the experts made and the concessions they demanded of us. Perhaps it was never going to be any different in this country, regardless of the collective response to a highly contagious virus. But we will never be allowed to figure that out, or even have the discussion. There’s too much government power and intellectual vanity at stake for the elites. And so we are forced to get the shot, mask up, “social distance,” and suffer whatever ineffective indignities our government overlords can conjure to pretend they are protecting us from COVID. It will not be enough for them to silence dissent – they will demand everyone participate in and celebrate their new authoritarian health regime. Biden isn’t even trying to hide it anymore. Tyler Durden Thu, 09/23/2021 - 17:00.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytSep 23rd, 2021

NASDAQ Rises More Than 2% for Another Record High

NASDAQ Rises More Than 2% for Another Record High SPECIAL ALERT: Remember, the latest episode of the Zacks Ultimate Strategy Session will be available for viewing no later than this Wednesday, July 8. Kevin Matras, Jeremy Mullin, David Borun and Sheraz Mian will cover the investment landscape from several angles in this informative event. Don’t miss your chance to hear: ▪ David and Jeremy Agree to Disagree on whether the equities markets are outpacing the Main Street recovery ▪ Kevin answers whether stocks can keep going up even though Coronavirus cases are back on the rise in Zacks Mailbag ▪ Sheraz and David choose one portfolio to give feedback for improvement ▪ And much more So be sure to mark your calendar then log on to Zacks.com and bookmark this page. The long, July 4th weekend didn’t cool of this market, as the major indices started the week with gains of more than 1.5% each. The biggest winner (of course) was the NASDAQ on a strong day for tech. The index jumped 2.21% (or about 226 points) to 10,433.65. This marked the third straight session with a closing high. The usual suspects led the way with each of the FAANGs rising by more than 2%. The biggest winners were Amazon (AMZN, +5.77%) and Netflix (NFLX, +3.55%). Microsoft (MSFT) also participated with a 2.15% advance. The Dow rose 1.78% (or nearly 460 points) to 26,287.03, while the S&P increased 1.59% to 3179.72. The latter index and the NASDAQ now have five day winning streaks. Stocks are coming off a short but strong week that saw the NASDAQ improve 4.6%, the S&P advance 4% and the Dow rise 3.2%. Last week was punctuated on Friday with a second straight better-than-expected Government Employment Situation report. The economy added 4.8 million jobs last month and the unemployment rate declined to 11.1%. In addition to the strong day for tech, we also got another positive piece of data for this recovering economy. The ISM services index came in at 57.1 in June, which easily surpassed expectations of just about 50. There was a better-than-expected ISM manufacturing report last week as well. (Remember, anything over 50 in these surveys suggest expansion.) Unfortunately, coronavirus cases continued to rise over the weekend, which means the economic recovery remains uncertain. Despite being concerned about this, the market continues to move higher and may keep that upward trajectory as long as the headlines cooperate.  Today's Portfolio Highlights: ETF Investor: The surge in digital transformation during this pandemic has brought an equal surge in the need for cybersecurity solutions. Neena gained exposure to that space on Monday by adding IShares Cybersecurity and Tech ETF (IHAK), which invests in companies that offer the most exposure to the full value chain of cybersecurity software, hardware and related services. It has more than $77 million in assets. Best of all, IHAK is the cheapest product in the space. This new addition makes ETFMG Prime Cyber Security ETF (HACK) expendable, especially since it’s more expensive and embroiled in a legal battle that may result in a management change later this year. The editor sold HACK today for a gain of 16.7%. Read the full write-up for more on today’s moves.  Surprise Trader: Tomorrow’s quarterly report from Levi Strauss (LEVI) will be a good “heat check” for retail in the upcoming earnings season, according to Dave. Therefore, he added this jeans staple with a 12.5% allocation on Monday. The company has a positive Earnings ESP of 16.17% for the report coming after the bell on Tuesday, which means there’s a good chance that LEVI stretches its consecutive surprise streak to five quarters. The editor also sold Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) before its report because the drugstore company slipped to a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). It still managed a gain of 3% in just a few days. The complete commentary has more on today’s moves.  Technology Innovators: The portfolio is looking toward the future with today’s addition of cloud software company Blackbaud (BLKB). This stock is still well below its pre-crash highs, which means there’s lots of running room to get back to that level. And Brian thinks it will make that run as more parts of the country reopen and the economy attempts to get back to normal. Plus, BLKB is a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and has beaten the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the past four quarters with a nice double-digit average surprise of 11% in that time. Read the full write-up for more on this new pick. TAZR Trader: You can’t expect to backup the high-powered AI machines with the same old-fashioned disks. Something much more innovative is needed, which is where Pure Storage (PSTG) comes in. Kevin calls this company the “cloud architecture of the future” because its solid-state, software-defined storage puts it on the high-speed, high-margin side of the industry. The editor added this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) on Monday with a 7% allocation. He also bought Baidu (BIDU), the AI-focused player in Chinese big data. The stock enters with a 5% position this week and will be added to on any pullbacks. The portfolio sold the underperforming Dropbox (DBX) as well. Read the full write-up for more on all of these moves.  Black Box Trader: Well over half the portfolio was refreshed in this week's adjustment. Of the seven stocks that were sold, three were positive... and were also all double-digit returns! Those positions that left the services today included: • BJ's Wholesale Club (BJ, +35%) • Sportman's Warehouse (SPWH, +18.8%) • Sprouts Farmers Market (SFM, +12.6%) • Phillips 66 (PSX) • Dine Brands Global (DIN) • Williams-Sonoma (WSM) • Aercap Holdings (AER) The new buys that replaced these names are: • Cheniere Energy (LNG) • D.R. Horton (DHI) • Lakeland Industries (LAKE) • Lowe's Cos. (LOW) • Patterson Cos. (PDCO) • Principal Financial Group (PFG) • WillScot Corp. (WSC) Read the Black Box Trader’s Guide to learn more about this computer-driven service designed to take the emotion out of investing. Counterstrike: "Some stocks are getting stretched out a bit, but the S&P is about to breakout. This makes it hard to short hot stocks as they could keep going in sympathy. What we will likely see is a break higher in S&P stocks and the tech start to pull in a bit. With that, the market will diverge, but grind its way higher. "I have to say that when a market moves higher into bad news, I always think that somebody knows something. Perhaps, a vaccine success headline is just around the corner. While we aren’t aware of any good news to come, the market sure thinks there is something to be excited about. "Looking to make a couple moves this week. We will be taking profits in some spots and adding new positions. Make sure to keep an eye out for alerts tomorrow." -- Jeremy Mullin Have a Good Evening, Jim Giaquinto Recommendations from Zacks' Private Portfolios: Believe it or not, this article is not available on the Zacks.com website. The commentary is a partial overview of the daily activity from Zacks' private recommendation services. If you would like to follow our Buy and Sell signals in real time, we've made a special arrangement for readers of this website. Starting today you can see all the recommendations from all of Zacks' portfolios absolutely free for 7 days. Our services cover everything from value stocks and momentum trades to insider buying and positive earnings surprises (which we've predicted with an astonishing 80%+ accuracy). Click here to "test drive" Zacks Ultimate for FREE >>  Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 21st, 2021

"This Is Completely Avoidable" - New York Hospitals Prepare For Staffing Crisis As Vaccination Mandate Forces Mass Firings

"This Is Completely Avoidable" - New York Hospitals Prepare For Staffing Crisis As Vaccination Mandate Forces Mass Firings With President Biden's federal vaccine mandate set to take effect on Monday, health-care systems around the country are suspending elective in-patient surgeries and refusing to accept ICU patients from other hospitals as they brace for potentially hundreds of firings of nurses and other critical staffers, potentially even doctors. According to the NYT, the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo is planning to do all that and more, as it says it may soon fire about 400 employees who have chosen not to get the single job required by the edict (which was pushed through despite being blocked by a federal judge). Similarly, officials at Northwell Health, the state's largest health-care provider, estimate that NWH might be forced to fire thousands of people who have refused to get vaccinated. In an economy with more job openings than workers - 2.2MM more, to be exact - forcing workers to choose between employment and their health or religious compunctions simply isn't a smart idea. Without even a hint of self-awareness, the governor apparently agrees: "What is looming for Monday is completely avoidable, and there’s no excuses,” Ms. Hochul said, pleading for those who have not done so to get vaccinated," Hochul said during a weekend press briefing. But we digress. The situation is less dire in NYC, but there will still be plenty of hospitals left with massive staffing holes after mass-firings. The city's largest private hospital network, NewYork-Presbyterian, has more than 200 employees who may face termination because they haven't received at least one jab. Of course, as we have pointed out in recent posts, health-care workers are only a fraction of the worker who will be impacted by shortages across the economy. In California, nurse shortages have reached crisis levels in California, airlines are seeing flights frequently cancelled due to worker shortages. As of late September, 84% of NY's 450,000 hospital workers and 83% of nursing home workers - which number around 45,400 - remained unvaccinated.  Despite being directly threatened by their superiors, most say they're refusing the jab on religious or health grounds, or because they're allergic to certain ingredients. In an effort to scare workers into compliance, NY Gov. Kathy Hochul has threatened to find "foreign workers" to staff the Empire state's hospitals and care homes (despite the fact that vaccination rates are much lower in most of the world outside the US). She has also threatened to call in the National Guard or order a state of emergency in a plan unveiled over the weekend. NY's teachers are also facing a mandate to either get vaccinated or kiss their jobs goodbye. Roughly 10,000 public school workers, that's compared to 75K teachers and tens of thousands of other employees from custodians to paraprofessioanls. Circling back to hospitals and care homes, institutions like Northwell are being relatively parsimonious with their exemptions for religious and health reasons, But some are getting through . NY's emergency order doesn't stipulate how exactly hospitals and nursing homes should enforce it, and there's a good chance that hospitals serving communities in greater need will be forced to make exceptions. Black and Hispanic New Yorkers have gotten the jab in far lower numbers than white new Yorkers. The NYT points out in its story that some hospitals in the Bronx see unvaccinated rates among doctors and nurses reaching into double-digit territory. At St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx, about 12 percent of the nearly 3,000 employees had not been vaccinated as of midday on Friday, the chief medical officer, Eric Appelbaum, said in an interview. The group includes roughly 3 important doctors, and plenty of badly eed studiws Anecdotally hospitals are reporting a surge in vaccinations among hospital workers who haven't yet been vaccinated. But who knows what to believe. All we know is that we wouldn't want to be having an elective surgery or delivering a baby in NY right now. Tyler Durden Sun, 09/26/2021 - 21:00.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nyt4 hr. 32 min. ago

As Advisory Panel Warned, CDC Director"s Anti-Science Decision Makes Boosters "Available To Anyone Who Wants One"

As Advisory Panel Warned, CDC Director's Anti-Science Decision Makes Boosters 'Available To Anyone Who Wants One' Now that CDC chief Dr. Rochelle Walensky - possibly working on behalf of her political puppet masters - has overridden her agency's advisory panel to expand the eligibility for Pfizer booster jabs to high-risk workers (a group that ACIP, the advisory panel, had decided to exclude given a paucity of efficacy and safety data), many employers are confused about whether the new guidance applies to them - and whether they might be left in a difficult situation with employees who didn't get the first two vaccines. At the end of the day, the big worry is that hundreds of thousands of shots allocated for workers might simply go unused, left to expire while dozens of poorer countries would be overjoyed to have them. According to the Hill, chaotic and at times contradictory messaging from federal health officials has culminated in a confusing set of recommendations about who should, and shouldn't receive booster jabs, and why? Panel members initially said they had excluded approving jabs on an employment basis because there wasn't enough evidence those people were losing protection. That decision was clearly a disappointment to the Biden Administration, which is possibly why Dr. Walensky interceded. The depth of Dr. Walsensky's contradiction of the science can be found in the exact wording of her decree: Starting immediately, anyone between the ages of 18 and 64 who is at increased risk of COVID-19 "exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting" can get a third dose. Legal experts told the Hill that those words are so vague, practically anyone could qualify. Already, many local level officials appear to be leaning toward simply giving boosters to anyone who asks. "There's going to be confusion. If we are going to create guidelines that are essentially making the vaccine available to almost everyone, the simplest solution is, make it available to everyone," said Celine Gounder, an infectious disease specialist and epidemiologist at NYU and Bellevue Hospital. "The best public health programs are the ones that are simple and easy to understand and clear, and the more complexity you build into it, the more difficult it is to roll out." That statement above about not creating obstacles to the third shot - that's coming from a scientist who doubted whether they were even necessary. Gounder, who advised the Biden transition team on COVID-19, has been critical of the administration's fervent push for boosters, and said the evidence for a third dose based on occupation was mixed at best. "You have to step back and ask the question, why is it that we're vaccinating people in high risk settings? Is it because they as individuals are at high risk, or is it because it would be disruptive to the workplace," Gounder said. As far as the dramatic conclusion to what was supposed to be a 'staid' scientific process - the CDC director overruling her advisory panel on the issue of occupancy-based eligibility in a late night statement - that should be enough to alert Americans that something strange is happening. Despite the panel's claims, Dr. Walensky took to the White House press briefing on Friday to claim that she did not "overrule" the advisory committee and that she had listened to both sides on the issue of whether to approve boosters by occupational risk. Amusingly, the assiduously pro-Democratic the Washington Post was willing to dismiss this usurpation of "the science" as simply another communications breakdown from the doddering Dems. “Everyone is kind of confused,” he said. The current discontent has deep roots. In April, Pfizer chief executive Albert Bourla said a third coronavirus dose was “likely” to be needed. In late July, Pfizer-BioNTech announced that their vaccine’s efficacy waned over time. Data from Israel confirmed a drop. Then, last month, as the delta variant of the coronavirus surged and the World Health Organization decried the distribution of third shots in wealthy countries while poor countries were lacking first doses, President Biden announced that most Americans could begin getting boosters of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines Sept. 20 — subject to the government’s regulatory processes, which unfolded in recent days and focused only on Pfizer. Regulators already allowed third shots for the immunocompromised who have received Pfizer or Moderna shots but have not yet made recommendations for all recipients of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. The deluge of phone calls about booster shots to Primary Health clinics in Southwestern Idaho began weeks ago. On Friday morning, the group’s Garden City clinic, where Maddie Morris fields inquiries, saw an increase in calls, mostly from senior citizens. “The calls seem pretty nonstop,” the customer service representative said. “It seems like a lot of people are anxious to get a booster.” Doctors say confusion clouds patients’ willingness to receive boosters. In Idaho, the problem coincides with the primary health-care system’s struggle to meet the demands of the latest covid-19 crush, which earlier this month plunged the state into crisis standards of care — essentially the rationing of health care as demand overwhelms resources. Unfortunately for them, it looks like the whole thing is back-firing... Maybe they'll think twice next time around (though we doubt it, since 'next time' is literally happening in the coming weeks when they do this all again with Moderna). Tyler Durden Sun, 09/26/2021 - 13:30.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nyt11 hr. 4 min. ago

Central Bank Digital Currencies: A Future of Surveillance And Control

Central Bank Digital Currencies: A Future of Surveillance And Control Submitted by Ronan Manly, BullionStar.com One of the most potentially far-reaching trends in the financial landscape right now is the imminent roll-out of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs), and the parallel attacks which central bankers are waging on private digital currencies and tokens as they tee up the launch of their CBDCs. First some clarifications. While the majority of central bank issued currencies (fiat currencies) in existence around the world are already in digital form, a fiat currency held in digital form is not the same as a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). What is a CBDC? A CBDC generally refers to electronic or virtual central bank (fiat) money that is created in the form of digital tokens or account balances which are digital claims on the central bank. CBDCs will be issued by central banks and will be legal tender. Many CBDCs that are being researched and developed employ Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), with the recording of transactions on a blockchain.  However unlike private cryptocurrencies which use a permissionless and open design, CBDCs that use DLT will use permissioned variants (deciding who has access to the network and who can view and update records in the ledger). See here for a discussion of permissionless vs permissioned blockchains. CBDCs - The antithesis to decentralized private cryptocurrencies and tokens Critically, as the name suggests, CBDCs will be centralized and governed by the issuing authority (i.e. a central bank). So, in their design and structure, CBDCs can be viewed as the very antithesis to decentralized private cryptocurrencies and tokens. Central banks have already working on two types of CBDCs, ‘wholesale’ digital tokens that would have access restricted to banks and financial entities to be used for activities like interbank payments and wholesale market transactions, and ‘general purpose’ (retail) CBDC for the general public to be used in retail transactions. It is this ‘general purpose’ CBDC which most people are referring to when they discuss central bank digital currencies, and it is these ‘general purpose’ CBDCs that will be most important to watch when  central banks and governments begin to attempt their roll-outs to distribute CBDCs to billions of people across the world either through account-based CBDCs or ‘digital cash’ tokens. As you can guess, account-based CBDCs will be tied to user identities and Digital IDs, and straight off the bat they allow for total surveillance by the State and torpedo any chance of anonymity. For this reason, they are already a favourite among central banks. Given that CBDCs will be centralized ledgers and can be programmable, the ‘digital cash’ token option is not much better in terms of privacy and freedom. The Bank for International Settlements - The Dark Tower of Basel Many central banks will probably opt for a hybrid model of both account-based and token based digital cash. As an example, Canada, the one time liberal democracy, perhaps illustrates the account-based vs token based choices best, where Canada’s central bank, the Bank of Canada, in it’s design documentation for CBDCs shows that at the end of the day, it's about surveillance and control, saying that: “anonymous token-based options would be allowable for smaller payments, while account-based access would be required for larger purchases.” Central banks are also experimenting with various models for distribution of CBDCs to the masses, including using private commercial banks and payment providers who will intermediate on the central banks’ behalf, and also direct distribution of payments by a central bank to a population. Either way, you can see that CBDCs greatly facilitate the statists to advance their Orwellian plans for Universal Basic Income (UBI) and dependency on the state.    Accelerating rollout CBDCs are not just a buzzword or a hazy innovation that may appear sometime in the distant future. They are actively being developed now, and in widespread fashion. In January 2020, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) issued the results of a survey on CBDCs that it had conducted in the second half of 2019, and to which 66 central banks had responded. Strikingly, 10% of central bank respondents (which represented a fifth of the world’s population) said that they were likely to issue a ‘general purpose’ CBDC (for the general public) in the near future (within the next 3 years). Another 20% of central bank respondents said they would likely issue a ‘general purpose’ CBDC in the medium term (within 6 years). In August 2020, the BIS published a comprehensive working paper on CBDCs titled “Rise of the central bank digital currencies: drivers, approaches and technologies” one part of which analysed the BIS database of central banker speeches and found that between December 2013 and May 2020, there had been 138 central banker speeches mentioning CBDCs, with a dramatic increase in CBDC related speeches since 2016, a timeframe which coincided with central banks launching research projects on CBDCs. The same BIS report also highlighted that, (totally coincidentally) the Covid-19 'pandemic'  "accelerated work on CBDCs in some jurisdictions."  BIS slide on CBDC global project status - August 2021. Source. Fast forward to right now, and on the website of the globalist Atlantic Council (headquartered in Washington D.C.), there is an interesting Central Bank Digital Currency Tracker which lists all the countries that have either launched or piloted a CBDC or are developing or researching a CBDC. Here we find that 5 central banks have already launched a CBDC, 14 have a CBDC in pilot, 16 have a CBDC in development, and another 32 central banks are at the research stage with their CBDC. That makes 67 central banks (countries in total). While the 5 currency areas that have already launched a CBDC are all islands in the Caribbean, the central banks at the pilot stage include heavy weights such as China, South Korea, Thailand, Saudi Arabia and Sweden.   Those at the development stage include the central banks of Canada, Russia, Brazil, Turkey, France and Nigeria. Those at the research stage include the central banks of the US, UK, Australia, Norway, India, Pakistan and Indonesia. So as you can see, this is not some theoretical issue. Centrally controlled digital currencies are coming down the pipe in a big way, and some will be appearing, if not imminently, then very soon. And given the ease with which governments have imposed lockdowns and restrictions on their compliant populations during 2020 and 2021, it is not hard to envisage that these same pliable masses will be easily influenced to embrace CBDCs as being in their 'best interests'. BIS Switzerland - The Usual Suspect    In fact, one third of the entire BIS annual report 2021 is focused on CBDCs in a section titled “CBDCs: an opportunity for the monetary system”. Here, the BIS predictably trumpets the benefits of introducing central bank issued centralized digital currencies while at the same time attempting to undermine private cryptocurrencies. The BIS wording reveals the fact that central banks are in panic over the competitive threat of private cryptos and have accelerated the development of CBDCs partially due to this fear, with the BIS stating that: “Central bank interest in CBDCs comes at a critical time. Several recent developments have placed a number of potential innovations involving digital currencies high on the agenda. The first of these is the growing attention received by Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies; the second is the debate on stablecoins; and the third is the entry of large technology firms (big techs) into payment services and financial services more generally.” The BIS then attempts to dismiss each of these 3 threats: Cryptocurrencies, claims the BIS “are speculative assets rather than money, and in many cases are used to facilitate money laundering, ransomware attacks and other financial crimes”. Bitcoin comes in for some special mention with the BIS saying that “Bitcoin in particular has few redeeming public interest attributes when also considering its wasteful energy footprint’. Stablecoins, says the BIS “attempt to import credibility by being backed by real currencies” that are “ultimately only an appendage to the conventional monetary system and not a game changer.” The entry of large tech firms that dominate social networks, search, messaging, and e-commerce into the realm of financial services and payments provision infrastructure seems to especially bother the BIS, and it spins it’s criticism into the argument that although these platforms have large network affects, this creates “further concentration” in the market for payments. The irony is not lost on the fact that it’s the BIS, as the central bank of central banks and one of the most concentrated power centres in the world, that is criticizing others’ “concentration” of power.   Throughout this CBDC pitch, the BIS report refers at numerous points that digital currencies should be “in the public interest”, which really means that digital currencies should be controlled by the BIS and its central bank members, as well as perpetuate their centralized monetary power structure. The BIS even has the gall to claim that CBDCs should respect privacy rights, when in fact the whole architecture, rationale and design of central bank digital currencies will allow central banks and national authorities to invade totally on privacy rights.  But sometimes the BIS let's it's guard down, and reveals it's authoritarian plans for CBDCs. A case in point is a recent interview with Agustín Carstens general manager of the BIS, where he chillingly said:  "We don’t know who’s using a $100 bill today and we don’t know who’s using a 1,000 peso bill today. The key difference with the CBDC is the central bank will have absolute control on the rules and regulations that will determine the use of that expression of central bank liability, and also we will have the technology to enforce that.” See video segment below for Carstens' remarks: Singing from the Same Song Sheet With the BIS is Basel Switzerland as the conductor and orchestrator, it's not surprising that central bank governors and country heads are now singing from the same song sheet, the song being ‘private digital currencies bad, central bank digital currencies good’. Earlier this month (September 2021) at a banking conference in Stockholm, the governor of Sweden’s central bank (Riksbank), Stefan Ingves, commented that ‘private money usually collapses sooner or later’, while conveniently failing to mention the hundreds of government and central bank issued paper currencies that have collapsed throughout history due to overprinting, depreciation and hyperinflation. Nor did Ingves mention Voltaire’s famous quote that “Paper money eventually returns to its intrinsic value - zero”. Ingves, whose country is one of the leaders in promoting a cashless society, also took a derogatory swipe at Bitcoin saying “sure, you can get rich by trading in bitcoin, but it’s comparable to trading in stamps.” All the while the Riksbank is pushing ahead with it’s central bank digital currency, called the e-krona, a CBDC which uses distributed ledger technology, and which the Swedish central bank is currently testing in conjunction with Handelsbanken, one of Sweden’s largest retail banks. In the same week as Ingves’s comments in Sweden, the governor of Mexico’s central bank, Alejandro Diaz de Leon, was also taking a shot at private cryptocurrencies and for good measure he also put the boot into precious metals. Diaz de Leon said that Bitcoin is more like a method of barter than ‘evolved’ fiat money, and continued “in our times, money has evolved to be fiat money issued by central banks. Bitcoin is more like a dimension of precious metals than daily legal tender.” That comment, which attacks two birds with one stone (crypto and precious metals), will definitely please his central bank governor colleagues at thee BIS, and may even earn Diaz de Leon a nomination as the next BIS general manager, to succeed his fellow countryman Agustín Carstens.    Speaking of the BIS, Benoit Coeure, head of the BIS Innovation Hub, also gave a WEF style speech about CBDCs in early September, acknowledging the convenient catalyst of the covid 'pandemic', and the accelerated development of CBDCs by central banks:  "the world is not returning to the old normal. Payments are a case in point. The pandemic has accelerated a longer-running move to digital .... the world's central banks are stepping up efforts to prepare the ground for digital cash – central bank digital currency (CBDC): "A CBDC's goal is ultimately to preserve the best elements of our current systems while still allowing a safe space for tomorrow's innovation. To do so, central banks have to act while the current system is still in place – and to act now." Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, also recently joined in the attack on private digital currencies, while simultaneously promoting Turkey’s CBDC. At an event on 18 September, the Turkish president stated that:  “we have absolutely no intention of embracing cryptocurrencies” “on the contrary, we have a separate war, a separate fight against them. We would never lend support to [cryptocurrencies]. Because we will move forward with our own currency that has its own identity.” PBOC SAYS ALL CRYPTO-RELATED TRANSACTIONS ARE ILLEGAL So the digital yuan is a complete disaster eh? — zerohedge (@zerohedge) September 24, 2021 China: Digital Yuan - An Ominous Blueprint  A huge red flag over CBDCs and user privacy is that these central bank digital currencies are programmable, as details on China’s ‘Digital Yuan’ already show. For example, the Digital Yuan can be programmed to be activated on a certain date, programmed to expire on a certain date, programmed to be only valid for certain purchases, and ominously, programmed to be only available to citizens who meet certain pre-conditions. As a potential blueprint for other CBDCs, people across the world need to sit up and take notice, because the issuing authorities of these CBDCs coming down the pipe can therefore decide who gets access to CBDCs, what they can transact using those currencies, and how long the purchasing power remains valid. Central Banks can thus influence and control the behaviour of the recipients of this centralised digital cash,  as well as exclude those who they want to penalize or who don’t comply with the State's rules or parameters. And right on cue as this article was just published, Chinese authorities have now announced (on 24 September)  a total ban on all cryptocurrency transactions. Except of course, it's upcoming authoritarian Digital Yuan.    The future according to WEF's Klaus Schwab and his Elite private banker handlers Conclusion - Slavery or Monetary Freedom Although central banks will claim that they are introducing CBDCs for reasons such as improving payments efficiency, boosting financial inclusion for the unbanked and tackling illicit transactions, their real motivations, as always, are for surveillance and control. Surveillance of a population via complete visibility into financial transaction flow and user identities, and centralized control of the money supply within a cashless financial system. Think China’s social credit system on a global dystopian scale, where vax passes evolve into digital IDs and digital IDs link to CBDC issuance and use. In fact, the entire coercion around implementing vaccine passports and digital IDs looks to be a pre-planned stepping stone for the roll-out of central bank digital currencies and global social credit systems. The timing of the accelerated emergence of CBDCs may partially be an attempt by central banks to outflank the numerous private cryptocurrencies, tokens and decentralized finance ecosystems that have emerged and that are a threat to the power of the centralized banking system at whose apex sits the BIS. But it would be naïve to think that central banks that knew in advance about the initiation of a‘WEF’ global technocratic and corpocratic takeover that would begin in 2020, are not now orchestrating the rollout of CBDCs as part of a long-term global agenda, that agenda being the global socialist Agenda 2030, and a future in which, according to the Davos World Economic Forum (WEF) “You’ll own nothing. And you’ll be happy”. BIS and central bank attacks against private cryptocurrencies are to be expected. After all, the same central banks and the BIS have waged a very long war against physical gold and silver. And precious metals have been money since 4000 B.C.. With the launch of CBDCs by central banks and their elitist private banking controllers, that war looks set to intensify. So, do you want a future of monetary freedom, or a future of perpetual slavery to central banker CBDCs?  If you want monetary freedom, then ownership of physical precious metals and private and anonymous digital currencies are now some of the only ways to counter and protect against the ominous CBDC plans which the BIS and its central bank members are intent with imminently rolling out. *  *  * This article originally appeared on the BullionStar.com website under the same title "Central Bank Digital Currencies – A Future of Surveillance and Control" Tyler Durden Sun, 09/26/2021 - 15:00.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nyt11 hr. 4 min. ago

30 Facts You Need To Know: A COVID Cribsheet

30 Facts You Need To Know: A COVID Cribsheet Authored by Kit Knightly via Off-Guardian.org, You asked for it, so we made it. A collection of all the arguments you’ll ever need. We get a lot of e-mails and private messages along these lines “do you have a source for X?” or “can you point me to mask studies?” or “I know I saw a graph for mortality, but I can’t find it anymore”. And we understand, it’s been a long 18 months, and there are so many statistics and numbers to try and keep straight in your head. So, to deal with all these requests, we decided to make a bullet-pointed and sourced list for all the key points. A one-stop-shop. Here are key facts and sources about the alleged “pandemic”, that will help you get a grasp on what has happened to the world since January 2020, and help you enlighten any of your friends who might be still trapped in the New Normal fog: “Covid deaths” – Lockdowns – PCR Tests – “asymptomatic infection” – Ventilators – Masks – Vaccines – Deception & Foreknowledge *  *  * PART I: “COVID DEATHS” & MORTALITY 1. The survival rate of “Covid” is over 99%. Government medical experts went out of their way to underline, from the beginning of the pandemic, that the vast majority of the population are not in any danger from Covid. Almost all studies on the infection-fatality ratio (IFR) of Covid have returned results between 0.04% and 0.5%. Meaning Covid’s survival rate is at least 99.5%. * 2. There has been NO unusual excess mortality. The press has called 2020 the UK’s “deadliest year since world war two”, but this is misleading because it ignores the massive increase in the population since that time. A more reasonable statistical measure of mortality is Age-Standardised Mortality Rate (ASMR): By this measure, 2020 isn’t even the worst year for mortality since 2000, In fact since 1943 only 9 years have been better than 2020. Similarly, in the US the ASMR for 2020 is only at 2004 levels: For a detailed breakdown of how Covid affected mortality across Western Europe and the US click here. What increases in mortality we have seen could be attributable to non-Covid causes [facts 7, 9 & 19]. * 3. “Covid death” counts are artificially inflated. Countries around the globe have been defining a “Covid death” as a “death by any cause within 28/30/60 days of a positive test”. Healthcare officials from Italy, Germany, the UK, US, Northern Ireland and others have all admitted to this practice: Removing any distinction between dying of Covid, and dying of something else after testing positive for Covid will naturally lead to over-counting of “Covid deaths”. British pathologist Dr John Lee was warning of this “substantial over-estimate” as early as last spring. Other mainstream sources have reported it, too. Considering the huge percentage of “asymptomatic” Covid infections [14], the well-known prevalence of serious comorbidities [fact 4] and the potential for false-positive tests [fact 18], this renders the Covid death numbers an extremely unreliable statistic. * 4. The vast majority of covid deaths have serious comorbidities. In March 2020, the Italian government published statistics showing 99.2% of their “Covid deaths” had at least one serious comorbidity. These included cancer, heart disease, dementia, Alzheimer’s, kidney failure and diabetes (among others). Over 50% of them had three or more serious pre-existing conditions. This pattern has held up in all other countries over the course of the “pandemic”. An October 2020 FOIA request to the UK’s ONS revealed less than 10% of the official “Covid death” count at that time had Covid as the sole cause of death. * 5. Average age of “Covid death” is greater than the average life expectancy. The average age of a “Covid death” in the UK is 82.5 years. In Italy it’s 86. Germany, 83. Switzerland, 86. Canada, 86. The US, 78, Australia, 82. In almost all cases the median age of a “Covid death” is higher than the national life expectancy. As such, for most of the world, the “pandemic” has had little-to-no impact on life expectancy. Contrast this with the Spanish flu, which saw a 28% drop in life expectancy in the US in just over a year. [source] * 6. Covid mortality exactly mirrors the natural mortality curve. Statistical studies from the UK and India have shown that the curve for “Covid death” follows the curve for expected mortality almost exactly: The risk of death “from Covid” follows, almost exactly, your background risk of death in general. The small increase for some of the older age groups can be accounted for by other factors.[facts 7, 9 & 19] * 7. There has been a massive increase in the use of “unlawful” DNRs. Watchdogs and government agencies have reported huge increases in the use of Do Not Resuscitate Orders (DNRs) over the last twenty months. In the US, hospitals considered “universal DNRs” for any patient who tested positive for Covid, and whistleblowing nurses have admitted the DNR system was abused in New York. In the UK there was an “unprecdented” rise in “illegal” DNRs for disabled people, GP surgeries sent out letters to non-terminal patients recommending they sign DNR orders, whilst other doctors signed “blanket DNRs” for entire nursing homes. A study done by Sheffield Univerisity found over one-third of all “suspected” Covid patients had a DNR attached to their file within 24 hours of hospital admission. Blanket use of coerced or illegal DNR orders could account for any increases in mortality in 2020/21.[Facts 2 & 6] *  *  * PART II: LOCKDOWNS 8. Lockdowns do not prevent the spread of disease. There is little to no evidence lockdowns have any impact on limiting “Covid deaths”. If you compare regions that locked down to regions that did not, you can see no pattern at all. “Covid deaths” in Florida (no lockdown) vs California (lockdown) “Covid deaths” in Sweden (no lockdown) vs UK (lockdown) * 9. Lockdowns kill people. There is strong evidence that lockdowns – through social, economic and other public health damage – are deadlier than the “virus”. Dr David Nabarro, World Health Organization special envoy for Covid-19 described lockdowns as a “global catastrophe” in October 2020: We in the World Health Organization do not advocate lockdowns as the primary means of control of the virus[…] it seems we may have a doubling of world poverty by next year. We may well have at least a doubling of child malnutrition […] This is a terrible, ghastly global catastrophe.” A UN report from April 2020 warned of 100,000s of children being killed by the economic impact of lockdowns, while tens of millions more face possible poverty and famine. Unemployment, poverty, suicide, alcoholism, drug use and other social/mental health crises are spiking all over the world. While missed and delayed surgeries and screenings are going to see increased mortality from heart disease, cancer et al. in the near future. The impact of lockdown would account for the small increases in excess mortality [Facts 2 & 6] * 10. Hospitals were never unusually over-burdened. the main argument used to defend lockdowns is that “flattening the curve” would prevent a rapid influx of cases and protect healthcare systems from collapse. But most healthcare systems were never close to collapse at all. In March 2020 it was reported that hospitals in Spain and Italy were over-flowing with patients, but this happens every flu season. In 2017 Spanish hospitals were at 200% capacity, and 2015 saw patients sleeping in corridors. A paper JAMA paper from March 2020 found that Italian hospitals “typically run at 85-90% capacity in the winter months”. In the UK, the NHS is regularly stretched to breaking point over the winter. As part of their Covid policy, the NHS announced in Spring of 2020 that they would be “re-organizing hospital capacity in new ways to treat Covid and non-Covid patients separately” and that “as result hospitals will experience capacity pressures at lower overall occupancy rates than would previously have been the case.” This means they removed thousands of beds. During an alleged deadly pandemic, they reduced the maximum occupancy of hospitals. Despite this, the NHS never felt pressure beyond your typical flu season, and at times actually had 4x more empty beds than normal. In both the UK and US millions were spent on temporary emergency hospitals that were never used. *  *  * PART III: PCR TESTS 11. PCR tests were not designed to diagnose illness. The Reverse-Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test is described in the media as the “gold standard” for Covid diagnosis. But the Nobel Prize-winning inventor of the process never intended it to be used as a diagnostic tool, and said so publicly: PCR is just a process that allows you to make a whole lot of something out of something. It doesn’t tell you that you are sick, or that the thing that you ended up with was going to hurt you or anything like that.” * 12. PCR Tests have a history of being inaccurate and unreliable. The “gold standard” PCR tests for Covid are known to produce a lot of false-positive results, by reacting to DNA material that is not specific to Sars-Cov-2. A Chinese study found the same patient could get two different results from the same test on the same day. In Germany, tests are known to have reacted to common cold viruses. A 2006 study found PCR tests for one virus responded to other viruses too. In 2007, a reliance on PCR tests resulted in an “outbreak” of Whooping Cough that never actually existed. Some tests in the US even reacted to the negative control sample. The late President of Tanzania, John Magufuli, submitted samples goat, pawpaw and motor oil for PCR testing, all came back positive for the virus. As early as February of 2020 experts were admitting the test was unreliable. Dr Wang Cheng, president of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences told Chinese state television “The accuracy of the tests is only 30-50%”. The Australian government’s own website claimed “There is limited evidence available to assess the accuracy and clinical utility of available COVID-19 tests.” And a Portuguese court ruled that PCR tests were “unreliable” and should not be used for diagnosis. You can read detailed breakdowns of the failings of PCR tests here, here and here. * 13. The CT values of the PCR tests are too high. PCR tests are run in cycles, the number of cycles you use to get your result is known as your “cycle threshold” or CT value. Kary Mullis said: “If you have to go more than 40 cycles[…]there is something seriously wrong with your PCR.” The MIQE PCR guidelines agree, stating: “[CT] values higher than 40 are suspect because of the implied low efficiency and generally should not be reported,” Dr Fauci himself even admitted anything over 35 cycles is almost never culturable. Dr Juliet Morrison, virologist at the University of California, Riverside, told the New York Times: Any test with a cycle threshold above 35 is too sensitive…I’m shocked that people would think that 40 [cycles] could represent a positive…A more reasonable cutoff would be 30 to 35″. In the same article Dr Michael Mina, of the Harvard School of Public Health, said the limit should be 30, and the author goes on to point out that reducing the CT from 40 to 30 would have reduced “covid cases” in some states by as much as 90%. The CDC’s own data suggests no sample over 33 cycles could be cultured, and Germany’s Robert Koch Institute says nothing over 30 cycles is likely to be infectious. Despite this, it is known almost all the labs in the US are running their tests at least 37 cycles and sometimes as high as 45. The NHS “standard operating procedure” for PCR tests rules set the limit at 40 cycles. Based on what we know about the CT values, the majority of PCR test results are at best questionable. * 14. The World Health Organization (Twice) Admitted PCR tests produced false positives. In December 2020 WHO put out a briefing memo on the PCR process instructing labs to be wary of high CT values causing false positive results: when specimens return a high Ct value, it means that many cycles were required to detect virus. In some circumstances, the distinction between background noise and actual presence of the target virus is difficult to ascertain. Then, in January 2021, the WHO released another memo, this time warning that “asymptomatic” positive PCR tests should be re-tested because they might be false positives: Where test results do not correspond with the clinical presentation, a new specimen should be taken and retested using the same or different NAT technology. * 15. The scientific basis for Covid tests is questionable. The genome of the Sars-Cov-2 virus was supposedly sequenced by Chinese scientists in December 2019, then published on January 10th 2020. Less than two weeks later, German virologists (Christian Drosten et al.) had allegedly used the genome to create assays for PCR tests. They wrote a paper, Detection of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) by real-time RT-PCR, which was submitted for publication on January 21st 2020, and then accepted on January 22nd. Meaning the paper was allegedly “peer-reviewed” in less than 24 hours. A process that typically takes weeks. Since then, a consortium of over forty life scientists has petitioned for the withdrawal of the paper, writing a lengthy report detailing 10 major errors in the paper’s methodology. They have also requested the release of the journal’s peer-review report, to prove the paper really did pass through the peer-review process. The journal has yet to comply. The Corman-Drosten assays are the root of every Covid PCR test in the world. If the paper is questionable, every PCR test is also questionable. *  *  * PART IV: “ASYMPTOMATIC INFECTION” 16. The majority of Covid infections are “asymptomatic”. From as early as March 2020, studies done in Italy were suggesting 50-75% of positive Covid tests had no symptoms. Another UK study from August 2020 found as much as 86% of “Covid patients” experienced no viral symptoms at all. It is literally impossible to tell the difference between an “asymptomatic case” and a false-positive test result. * 17. There is very little evidence supporting the alleged danger of “asymptomatic transmission”. In June 2020, Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, head of the WHO’s emerging diseases and zoonosis unit, said: From the data we have, it still seems to be rare that an asymptomatic person actually transmits onward to a secondary individual,” A meta-analysis of Covid studies, published by Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in December 2020, found that asymptomatic carriers had a less than 1% chance of infecting people within their household. Another study, done on influenza in 2009, found: …limited evidence to suggest the importance of [asymptomatic] transmission. The role of asymptomatic or presymptomatic influenza-infected individuals in disease transmission may have been overestimated…” Given the known flaws of the PCR tests, many “asymptomatic cases” may be false positives.[fact 14] *  *  * PART V: VENTILATORS 18. Ventilation is NOT a treatment for respiratory viruses. Mechanical ventilation is not, and never has been, recommended treatment for respiratory infection of any kind. In the early days of the pandemic, many doctors came forward questioning the use of ventilators to treat “Covid”. Writing in The Spectator, Dr Matt Strauss stated: Ventilators do not cure any disease. They can fill your lungs with air when you find yourself unable to do so yourself. They are associated with lung diseases in the public’s consciousness, but this is not in fact their most common or most appropriate application. German Pulmonologist Dr Thomas Voshaar, chairman of Association of Pneumatological Clinics said: When we read the first studies and reports from China and Italy, we immediately asked ourselves why intubation was so common there. This contradicted our clinical experience with viral pneumonia. Despite this, the WHO, CDC, ECDC and NHS all “recommended” Covid patients be ventilated instead of using non-invasive methods. This was not a medical policy designed to best treat the patients, but rather to reduce the hypothetical spread of Covid by preventing patients from exhaling aerosol droplets. * 19. Ventilators killed people. Putting someone who is suffering from influenza, pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or any other condition which restricts breathing or affects the lungs, will not alleviate any of those symptoms. In fact, it will almost certainly make it worse, and will kill many of them. Intubation tubes are a source of potential a infection known as “ventilator-associated pneumonia”, which studies show affects up to 28% of all people put on ventilators, and kills 20-55% of those infected. Mechanical ventilation is also damaging to the physical structure of the lungs, resulting in “ventilator-induced lung injury”, which can dramatically impact quality of life, and even result in death. Experts estimate 40-50% of ventilated patients die, regardless of their disease. Around the world, between 66 and 86% of all “Covid patients” put on ventilators died. According to the “undercover nurse”, ventilators were being used so improperly in New York, they were destroying patients’ lungs: This policy was negligence at best, and potentially deliberate murder at worst. This misuse of ventilators could account for any increase in mortality in 2020/21 [Facts 2 & 6] *  *  * PART VI: MASKS 20. Masks don’t work. At least a dozen scientific studies have shown that masks do nothing to stop the spread of respiratory viruses. One meta-analysis published by the CDC in May 2020 found “no significant reduction in influenza transmission with the use of face masks”. Another study with over 8000 subjects found masks “did not seem to be effective against laboratory-confirmed viral respiratory infections nor against clinical respiratory infection.” There are literally too many to quote them all, but you can read them: [1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10] Or read a summary by SPR here. While some studies have been done claiming to show mask do work for Covid, they are all seriously flawed. One relied on self-reported surveys as data. Another was so badly designed a panel of experts demand it be withdrawn. A third was withdrawn after its predictions proved entirely incorrect. The WHO commissioned their own meta-analysis in the Lancet, but that study looked only at N95 masks and only in hospitals. [For full run down on the bad data in this study click here.] Aside from scientific evidence, there’s plenty of real-world evidence that masks do nothing to halt the spread of disease. For example, North Dakota and South Dakota had near-identical case figures, despite one having a mask-mandate and the other not: In Kansas, counties without mask mandates actually had fewer Covid “cases” than counties with mask mandates. And despite masks being very common in Japan, they had their worst flu outbreak in decades in 2019. * 21. Masks are bad for your health. Wearing a mask for long periods, wearing the same mask more than once, and other aspects of cloth masks can be bad for your health. A long study on the detrimental effects of mask-wearing was recently published by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health Dr. James Meehan reported in August 2020 he was seeing increases in bacterial pneumonia, fungal infections, facial rashes . Masks are also known to contain plastic microfibers, which damage the lungs when inhaled and may be potentially carcinogenic. Childen wearing masks encourages mouth-breathing, which results in facial deformities. People around the world have passed out due to CO2 poisoning while wearing their masks, and some children in China even suffered sudden cardiac arrest. * 22. Masks are bad for the planet. Millions upon millions of disposable masks have been used per month for over a year. A report from the UN found the Covid19 pandemic will likely result in plastic waste more than doubling in the next few years., and the vast majority of that is face masks. The report goes on to warn these masks (and other medical waste) will clog sewage and irrigation systems, which will have knock on effects on public health, irrigation and agriculture. A study from the University of Swansea found “heavy metals and plastic fibres were released when throw-away masks were submerged in water.” These materials are toxic to both people and wildlife. *  *  * PART VII: VACCINES 23. Covid “vaccines” are totally unprecedented. Before 2020 no successful vaccine against a human coronavirus had ever been developed. Since then we have allegedly made 20 of them in 18 months. Scientists have been trying to develop a SARS and MERS vaccine for years with little success. Some of the failed SARS vaccines actually caused hypersensitivity to the SARS virus. Meaning that vaccinated mice could potentially get the disease more severely than unvaccinated mice. Another attempt caused liver damage in ferrets. While traditional vaccines work by exposing the body to a weakened strain of the microorganism responsible for causing the disease, these new Covid vaccines are mRNA vaccines. mRNA (messenger ribonucleic acid) vaccines theoretically work by injecting viral mRNA into the body, where it replicates inside your cells and encourages your body to recognise, and make antigens for, the “spike proteins” of the virus. They have been the subject of research since the 1990s, but before 2020 no mRNA vaccine was ever approved for use. * 24. Vaccines do not confer immunity or prevent transmission. It is readily admitted that Covid “vaccines” do not confer immunity from infection and do not prevent you from passing the disease onto others. Indeed, an article in the British Medical Journal highlighted that the vaccine studies were not designed to even try and assess if the “vaccines” limited transmission. The vaccine manufacturers themselves, upon releasing the untested mRNA gene therapies, were quite clear their product’s “efficacy” was based on “reducing the severity of symptoms”. * 25. The vaccines were rushed and have unknown longterm effects. Vaccine development is a slow, laborious process. Usually, from development through testing and finally being approved for public use takes many years. The various vaccines for Covid were all developed and approved in less than a year. Obviously there can be no long-term safety data on chemicals which are less than a year old. Pfizer even admit this is true in the leaked supply contract between the pharmaceutical giant, and the government of Albania: the long-term effects and efficacy of the Vaccine are not currently known and that there may be adverse effects of the Vaccine that are not currently known Further, none of the vaccines have been subject to proper trials. Many of them skipped early-stage trials entirely, and the late-stage human trials have either not been peer-reviewed, have not released their data, will not finish until 2023 or were abandoned after “severe adverse effects”. * 26. Vaccine manufacturers have been granted legal indemnity should they cause harm. The USA’s Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP) grants immunity until at least 2024. The EU’s product licensing law does the same, and there are reports of confidential liability clauses in the contracts the EU signed with vaccine manufacturers. The UK went even further, granting permanent legal indemnity to the government, and any employees thereof, for any harm done when a patient is being treated for Covid19 or “suspected Covid19”. Again, the leaked Albanian contract suggests that Pfizer, at least, made this indemnity a standard demand of supplying Covid vaccines: Purchaser hereby agrees to indemnify, defend and hold harmless Pfizer […] from and against any and all suits, claims, actions, demands, losses, damages, liabilities, settlements, penalties, fines, costs and expenses *  *  * PART VIII: DECEPTION & FOREKNOWLEDGE 27. The EU was preparing “vaccine passports” at least a YEAR before the pandemic began. Proposed COVID countermeasures, presented to the public as improvised emergency measures, have existed since before the emergence of the disease. Two EU documents published in 2018, the “2018 State of Vaccine Confidence” and a technical report titled “Designing and implementing an immunisation information system” discussed the plausibility of an EU-wide vaccination monitoring system. These documents were combined into the 2019 “Vaccination Roadmap”, which (among other things) established a “feasibility study” on vaccine passports to begin in 2019 and finish in 2021: This report’s final conclusions were released to the public in September 2019, just a month before Event 201 (below). * 28. A “training exercise” predicted the pandemic just weeks before it started. In October 2019 the World Economic Forum and Johns Hopkins University held Event 201. This was a training exercise based on a zoonotic coronavirus starting a worldwide pandemic. The exercise was sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and GAVI the vaccine alliance. The exercise published its findings and recommendations in November 2019 as a “call to action”. One month later, China recorded their first case of “Covid”. * 29. Since the beginning of 2020, the Flu has “disappeared”. In the United States, since Februart 2020, influenza cases have allegedly dropped by over 98%. It’s not just the US either, globally flu has apparently almost completely disappeared. Meanwhile, a new disease called “Covid”, which has identical symptoms and a similar mortality rate to influenza, is supposedly sweeping the globe. * 30. The elite have made fortunes during the pandemic. Since the beginning of lockdown the wealthiest people have become significantly wealthier. Forbes reported that 40 new billionaires have been created “fighting the coronavirus”, with 9 of them being vaccine manufacturers. Business Insider reported that “billionaires saw their net worth increase by half a trillion dollars” by October 2020. Clearly that number will be even bigger by now. *  *  * These are the vital facts of the pandemic, presented here as a resource to help formulate and support your arguments with friends or strangers. Thanks to all the researchers who have collated and collected this information over the last twenty months, especially Swiss Policy Research. Tyler Durden Sun, 09/26/2021 - 07:00.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nyt18 hr. 4 min. ago

How, where, and when to get your COVID-19 booster shot

The FDA and CDC recommended Pfizer booster shots for some groups, including elderly people, this week. Jamilette Mota, 17, receives her Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine from nurse Josselyn Solano at a mobile clinic in Los Angeles, on April 20. Al Seib/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images The FDA and CDC recommended this week that people 65 years and older and others at high risk of severe COVID-19 get Pfizer booster shots at least 6 months after their second dose. Here's a rundown of how, where, and when to get a booster based on your eligibility. See more stories on Insider's business page. Booster shots are here - for some Americans, at least.US regulators published their recommendations this week as to who should get a third dose of Pfizer's vaccine. But there were slight differences between the guidelines from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).The FDA authorized Pfizer boosters on Wednesday for people 65 years and older and others at high risk of severe COVID-19. That includes people who are more likely to get sick because of their health status, as well those who are at high risk of exposure to the virus due to where they live and work - such as healthcare workers, teachers and daycare staff, grocery store workers, and residents of homeless shelters or prisons.Then on Thursday, the CDC recommended Pfizer boosters for people 65 years and older, nursing home residents, and people ages 50 to 64 with underlying medical conditions. The agency said younger adults with underlying medical conditions or those at increased risk of COVID-19 exposure because of their job or living arrangement could consider a booster.Here's a rundown of how, where, and when to get a third shot based on your eligibility.Who should get a booster shot, and when?The FDA authorized a third dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine last month for people with severely weakened immune systems - including people receiving cancer treatment, those with advanced HIV infections, or organ transplant patients. Third doses are necessary for this group, since immunocompromised people don't develop the same protection from two shots as others do.Scientists also agree that elderly people - those 65 years and older - require boosters, since their immunity from vaccines tends to wane more quickly than average.But there's less consensus when it comes to the rest of the population.An independent group of advisors to the CDC out forth its own guidance on Thursday, which recommend Pfizer boosters for nursing home residents, people 65 and older, and all adults with underlying medical conditions. But they do not suggest the shot for healthcare workers, teachers, or prisoners.Scientists do agree, however, that nobody needs a booster until at least six months after their second dose. Pfizer's data suggests that its vaccine is highly protective against symptomatic COVID-19 for at least six months. The third dose may help maintain that protection when given 6 to 12 months out. How do you book a booster appointment?Roughly 80,000 vaccination locations will offer boosters across the country, according to Jeff Zients, the White House coronavirus response coordinator. For the most part, the shots are available at the same locations where people got their first and second doses - including pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens. Many states have closed their large clinics and drive-through sites, though. Just like the first vaccines, booster shots are free."It will be easy. Just show your vaccination card, and you'll get a booster," President Joe Biden said last month. "No other ID, no insurance, no state residency requirement."Both Walgreens and CVS are asking people to confirm that they meet either the FDA or CDC's eligibility requirements, though the pharmacies don't require specific documentation. CVS said boosters will be available at 6,000 of its pharmacies and clinics starting Friday.Walgreens said people can book appointments over the phone or online starting Saturday. Eligible people can either bring their COVID-19 vaccine card to the appointment or provide evidence of their last two vaccine doses and receive a new card. (People who lost their cards can typically retrieve their record by contacting their state health department or the site where they got vaccinated.)What about those who got J&J?People who got the Johnson & Johnson shot will likely need second shots in the future, even though the company has said its jab offers "strong" protection against Delta and other variants of concern.This week, J&J announced that a second dose of its vaccine led to 94% protection against moderate to severe COVID-19.Some health experts who got the J&J shot, however, have "topped off" with a shot from Moderna or Pfizer, even though that approach goes against the recommendations.But do we really need boosters?For most people, there's no need to run to the pharmacy for a booster right away. Vaccines are still highly effective in preventing severe disease, hospitalization, and death."The real problem in this country is not that we need to boost the vaccinated - it's that we need to vaccinate the un-vaccinated," Dr. Paul Offit, who sits on the FDA's vaccine advisory committee, told Insider. "That's the problem. Until we do that, we're going to suffer in this country."The World Health Organization also opposes any move to offer boosters to the general public while so many people in the world remain unvaccinated."It's too soon, really. There isn't enough evidence from enough countries around the world to suggest that the vaccines are indeed failing," Soumya Swaminathan, the WHO's chief scientist, said at a Physicians for Human Rights panel on Monday."The main goal of the vaccines is to prevent severe disease and death," she added. "The main goal is not to prevent infection."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 24th, 2021

Futures Slide Alongside Cryptocurrencies Amid China Crackdown

Futures Slide Alongside Cryptocurrencies Amid China Crackdown US futures and European stocks fell amid ongoing nerves over the Evergrande default, while cryptocurrency-linked stocks tumbled after the Chinese central bank said such transactions are illegal. Sovereign bond yields fluctuated after an earlier selloff fueled by the prospect of tighter monetary policy. At 745am ET, S&P 500 e-minis were down 19.5 points, or 0.43%, Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 88.75 points, or 0.58% and Dow e-minis were down 112 points, or 0.33%. In the biggest overnight news, Evergrande offshore creditors remain in limbo and still haven't received their coupon payment effectively starting the 30-day grace period, while also in China, the State Planner issued a notice on the crackdown of cryptocurrency mining, will strictly prohibit financing for new crypto mining projects and strengthen energy consumption controls of new crypto mining projects. Subsequently, the PBoC issued a notice to further prevent and dispose of the risks from speculating on cryptocurrencies, to strengthen monitoring of risks from crypto trading and such activities are illegal. The news sent the crypto space tumbling as much as 8% while cryptocurrency-exposed stocks slumped in U.S. premarket trading. Marathon Digital (MARA) drops 6.5%, Bit Digital (BTBT) declines 4.7%, Riot Blockchain (RIOT) -5.9%, Coinbase -2.8%. Big banks including JPMorgan, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America Corp slipped about 0.5%, while oil majors Exxon Mobil and Chevron Corp were down 0.4% and 0.3%, respectively, in premarket trading.Mega-cap FAAMG tech giants fell between 0.5% and 0.6%. Nike shed 4.6% after the sportswear maker cut its fiscal 2022 sales expectations and warned of delays during the holiday shopping season. Several analysts lowered their price targets on the maker of sports apparel and sneakers after the company cut its FY revenue growth guidance to mid-single- digits. Here are some of the biggest U.S. movers today: Helbiz (HLBZ) falls 10% after the micromobility company filed with the SEC for the sale of as many as 11m shares by stockholders. Focus Universal (FCUV), an online marketing company that’s been a favorite of retail traders, surged 26% in premarket trading after the stock was cited on Stocktwits in recent days. Vail Resorts (MTN) falls 2.7% in postmarket trading after its full-year forecasts for Ebitda and net income missed at the midpoint. GlycoMimetics (GLYC) jumps 15% postmarket after announcing that efficacy and safety data from a Phase 1/2 study of uproleselan in patients with acute myeloid leukemia were published in the journal Blood on Sept. 16. VTV Therapeutics (VTVT) surges 30% after company says its HPP737 psoriasis treatment showed favorable safety and tolerability profile in a multiple ascending dose study. Fears about a sooner-than-expected tapering amid signs of stalling U.S. economic growth and concerns over a spillover from China Evergrande’s default had rattled investors in September, putting the benchmark S&P 500 index on course to snap a seven-month winning streak. Elaine Stokes, a portfolio manager at Loomis Sayles & Co., told Bloomberg Television, adding that “what they did is tell us that they feel really good about the economy.” While the bond selloff vindicated Treasury bears who argue yields are too low to reflect fundamentals, others see limits to how high they can go. “We’d expected bond yields to go higher, given the macro situation where growth is still very strong,” Sylvia Sheng, global multi-asset strategist with JPMorgan Asset Management, said on Bloomberg Television. “But we do stress that is a modest view, because we think that upside to yields is still limited from here given that central banks including the Fed are still buying bonds.” Still, Wall Street’s main indexes rallied in the past two session and are set for small weekly gains. European equities dipped at the open but trade off worst levels, with the Euro Stoxx 50 sliding as much as 1.1% before climbing off the lows. France's CAC underperformed at the margin. Retail, financial services are the weakest performers. EQT AB, Europe’s biggest listed private equity firm, fell as much as 8.1% after Sweden’s financial watchdog opened an investigation into suspected market abuse. Here are some of the other biggest European movers today: SMCP shares surge as much as 9.9%, advancing for a 9th session in 10, amid continued hopes the financial troubles of its top shareholder will ultimately lead to a sale TeamViewer climbs much as 4.2% after Bankhaus Metzler initiated coverage with a buy rating, citing the company’s above-market growth AstraZeneca gains as much as 3.6% after its Lynparza drug met the primary endpoint in a prostate cancer trial Darktrace drops as much as 9.2%, paring the stock’s rally over the past few weeks, as a technical pattern triggered a sell signal Adidas and Puma fall as much as 4% and 2.9%, respectively, after U.S. rival Nike’s “large cut” to FY sales guidance, which Jefferies said would “likely hurt” shares of European peers Earlier in the session, Asian stocks rose for a second day, led by rallies in Japan and Taiwan, following U.S. peers higher amid optimism over the Federal Reserve’s bullish economic outlook and fading concerns over widespread contagion from Evergrande. Stocks were muted in China and Hong Kong. India’s S&P BSE Sensex topped the 60,000 level for the first time on Friday on optimism that speedier vaccinations will improve demand for businesses in Asia’s third-largest economy. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained as much as 0.7%, with TSMC and Sony the biggest boosts. That trimmed the regional benchmark’s loss for the week to about 1%. Japan’s Nikkei 225 climbed 2.1%, reopening after a holiday, pushing its advance for September to 7.7%, the best among major global gauges. The Asian regional benchmark pared its gain as Hong Kong stocks fell sharply in late afternoon trading amid continued uncertainty, with Evergrande giving no sign of making an interest payment that was due Thursday. Among key upcoming events is the leadership election for Japan’s ruling party next week, which will likely determine the country’s next prime minister. “Investor concerns over the Evergrande issue have retreated a bit for now,” said Hajime Sakai, chief fund manager at Mito Securities Co. in Tokyo. “But investors will have to keep downside risk in the corner of their minds.” Indian stocks rose, pushing the Sensex above 60,000 for the first time ever. Key gauges fell in Singapore, Malaysia and Australia, while the Thai market was closed for a holiday. Treasuries are higher as U.S. trading day begins after rebounding from weekly lows reached during Asia session, adding to Thursday’s losses. The 10-year yield was down 1bp at ~1.42%, just above the 100-DMA breached on Thursday for the first time in three months; it climbed to 1.449% during Asia session, highest since July 6, and remains 5.2bp higher on the week, its fifth straight weekly increase. Several Fed speakers are slated, first since Wednesday’s FOMC commentary set forth a possible taper timeline.  Bunds and gilts recover off cheapest levels, curves bear steepening. USTs bull steepen, richening 1.5bps from the 10y point out. Peripheral spreads are wider. BTP spreads widen 2-3bps to Bunds. In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index climbed back from a one-week low as concern about possible contagion from Evergrande added to buying of the greenback based on the Federal Reserve tapering timeline signaled on Wednesday. NZD, AUD and CAD sit at the bottom of the G-10 scoreboard. ZAR and TRY are the weakest in EM FX. The pound fell after its rally on Thursday as investors looked ahead to BOE Governor Andrew Bailey’s sPeech next week about a possible interest-rate hike. Traders are betting that in a contest to raise borrowing costs first, the Bank of England will be the runaway winner over the Federal Reserve. The New Zealand and Aussie dollars led declines among Group-of-10 peers. The euro was trading flat, with a week full of events failing “to generate any clear directional move,” said ING analysts Francesco Pesole and Chris Turner. German IFO sentiment indeces will “provide extra indications about the area’s sentiment as  businesses faced a combination of delta variant concerns and lingering supply disruptions”. The Norwegian krone is the best performing currency among G10 peers this week, with Thursday’s announcement from the Norges Bank offering support In commodities, crude futures hold a narrow range up around best levels for the week. WTI stalls near $73.40, Brent near $77.50. Spot gold extends Asia’s gains, adding $12 on the session to trade near $1,755/oz. Base metals are mixed, LME nickel and aluminum drop ~1%, LME tin outperforms with a 2.8% rally. Bitcoin dips after the PBOC says all crypto-related transactions are illegal. Looking to the day ahead now, we’ll hear from Fed Chair Powell, Vice Chair Clarida and the Fed’s Mester, Bowman, George and Bostic, as well as the ECB’s Lane and Elderson, and the BoE’s Tenreyro. Finally, a summit of the Quad Leaders will be held at the White House, including President Biden, and the Prime Ministers of Australia, India and Japan. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures down 0.3% to 4,423.50 STOXX Europe 600 down 0.7% to 464.18 German 10Y yield fell 8.5 bps to -0.236% Euro little changed at $1.1737 MXAP up 0.4% to 201.25 MXAPJ down 0.5% to 643.20 Nikkei up 2.1% to 30,248.81 Topix up 2.3% to 2,090.75 Hang Seng Index down 1.3% to 24,192.16 Shanghai Composite down 0.8% to 3,613.07 Sensex up 0.2% to 60,031.83 Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.4% to 7,342.60 Kospi little changed at 3,125.24 Brent Futures up 0.4% to $77.57/bbl Gold spot up 0.7% to $1,755.38 U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 93.14 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg China Evergrande Group’s unusual silence about a dollar-bond interest payment that was due Thursday has put a focus on what might happen during a 30-day grace period. The Reserve Bank of Australia’s inflation target is increasingly out of step with international counterparts and fails to account for structural changes in the country’s economy over the past 30 years, Westpac Banking Corp.’s Bill Evans said. With central banks from Washington to London this week signaling more alarm over faster inflation, the ultra-stimulative path of the euro zone and some of its neighbors appears lonelier than ever. China’s central bank continued to pump liquidity into the financial system on Friday as policy makers sought to avoid contagion stemming from China Evergrande Group spreading to domestic markets. A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asian equity markets traded mixed with the region failing to fully sustain the impetus from the positive performance across global counterparts after the silence from Evergrande and lack of coupon payments for its offshore bonds, stirred uncertainty for the company. ASX 200 (-0.4%) was negative as underperformance in mining names and real estate overshadowed the advances in tech and resilience in financials from the higher yield environment. Nikkei 225 (+2.1%) was the biggest gainer overnight as it played catch up to the prior day’s recovery on return from the Autumnal Equinox holiday in Japan and with exporters cheering the recent risk-conducive currency flows, while KOSPI (-0.1%) was lacklustre amid the record daily COVID-19 infections and after North Korea deemed that it was premature to declare that the Korean War was over. Hang Seng (-1.2%) and Shanghai Comp. (-0.8%) were indecisive after further liquidity efforts by the PBoC were offset by concerns surrounding Evergrande after the Co. failed to make coupon payments due yesterday for offshore bonds but has a 30-day grace period with the Co. remaining quiet on the issue. Finally, 10yr JGBs were lower on spillover selling from global counterparts including the declines in T-notes as the US 10yr yield breached 1.40% for the first time since early-July with the pressure in bonds also stemming from across the Atlantic following a more hawkish BoE, while the presence of the BoJ in the market today for over JPY 1.3tln of government bonds with 1yr-10yr maturities did very little to spur prices. Top Asian News Rivals for Prime Minister Battle on Social Media: Japan Election Asian Stocks Rise for Second Day, Led by Gains in Japan, Taiwan Hong Kong Stocks Still Wagged by Evergrande Tail Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Tech Index Extends Decline to More Than 2% European equities (Stoxx 600 -0.9%) are trading on the back foot in the final trading session of the week amid further advances in global bond yields and a mixed APAC handover. Overnight, saw gains for the Nikkei 225 of 2.1% with the index aided by favourable currency flows, whilst Chinese markets lagged (Shanghai Comp. -0.8%, Hang Seng -1.6%) with further liquidity efforts by the PBoC offset by concerns surrounding Evergrande after the Co. failed to make coupon payments due yesterday for offshore bonds. As context, despite the losses in Europe today, the Stoxx 600 is still higher by some 1.2% on the week. Stateside, futures are also on a softer footing with the ES down by 0.4% ahead of a busy Fed speaker schedule. Back to Europe, sectors are lower across the board with Retail and Personal & Household Goods lagging peers. The former has been hampered by losses in Adidas (-3.0%) following after hours earnings from Nike (-4.2% pre-market) which saw the Co. cut its revenue guidance amid supply chain woes. AstraZeneca (+2.1%) sits at the top of the FTSE 100 after announcing that the Lynparza PROpel trial met its primary endpoint. Daimler’s (+0.1%) Mercedes-Benz has announced that it will take a 33% stake in a battery cell manufacturing JV with Total and Stellantis. EQT (-6.5%) sits at the foot of the Stoxx 600 after the Swedish FSA announced it will open an investigation into the Co. Top European News EQT Investigated by Sweden’s FSA Over Suspected Market Abuse Gazprom Says Claims of Gas Under-supply to Europe Are ‘Absurd’ German Sept. Ifo Business Confidence 98.8; Est. 99 German Business Index at Five-Month Low in Pre-Election Verdict In FX, the rot seems to have stopped for the Buck in terms of its sharp and marked fall from grace amidst post-FOMC reflection and re-positioning in the financial markets on Thursday. Indeed, the Dollar index has regained some poise to hover above the 93.000 level having recoiled from 93.526 to 92.977 over the course of yesterday’s hectic session that saw the DXY register a marginal new w-t-d high and low at either end of the spectrum. Pre-weekend short covering and consolidation may be giving the Greenback a lift, while the risk backdrop is also less upbeat ahead of a raft of Fed speakers flanking US new home sales data. Elsewhere, the Euro remains relatively sidelined and contained against the Buck with little independent inspiration from the latest German Ifo survey as the business climate deteriorated broadly in line with consensus and current conditions were worse than forecast, but business expectations were better than anticipated. Hence, Eur/Usd is still stuck in a rut and only briefly/fractionally outside 1.1750-00 parameters for the entire week, thus far, as hefty option expiry interest continues to keep the headline pair in check. However, there is significantly less support or gravitational pull at the round number today compared to Thursday as ‘only’ 1.3 bn rolls off vs 4.1 bn, and any upside breach could be capped by 1.1 bn between 1.1765-85. CAD/NZD/AUD - Some payback for the non-US Dollars following their revival, with the Loonie waning from 1.2650+ peaks ahead of Canadian budget balances, though still underpinned by crude as WTI hovers around Usd 73.50/brl and not far from decent option expiries (from 1.2655-50 and 1.2625-30 in 1.4 bn each). Similarly, the Kiwi has faded after climbing to within single digits of 0.7100 in wake of NZ trade data overnight revealing a much wider deficit as exports slowed and imports rose, while the Aussie loses grip of the 0.7300 handle and skirts 1.1 bn option expiries at 0.7275. CHF/GBP/JPY - The Franc is fairly flat and restrained following a dovish SNB policy review that left in lagging somewhat yesterday, with Usd/Chf and Eur/Chf straddling 0.9250 and 1.0850 respectively, in contrast to Sterling that is paring some hawkish BoE momentum, as Cable retreats to retest bids circa 1.3700 and Eur/Gbp bounces from sub-0.8550. Elsewhere, the Yen has not been able to fend off further downside through 110.00 even though Japanese participants have returned to the fray after the Autumn Equinox holiday and reports suggest some COVID-19 restrictions may be lifted in 13 prefectures on a trial basis. SCANDI/EM/PM/CRYPTO - A slight change in the pecking order in Scandi-land as the Nok loses some post-Norges Bank hike impetus and the Sek unwinds a bit of its underperformance, but EM currencies are bearing the brunt of the aforementioned downturn in risk sentiment and firmer Usd, with the Zar hit harder than other as Gold is clings to Usd 1750/oz and Try down to deeper post-CBRT rate cut lows after mixed manufacturing sentiment and cap u readings. Meanwhile, Bitcoin is being shackled by the latest Chinese crackdown on mining and efforts to limit risks from what it describes as unlawful speculative crypto currency trading. In commodities, WTI and Brent are set the conclude the week in the green with gains in excess of 2% for WTI at the time of writing; in-spite of the pressure seen in the complex on Monday and the first-half of Tuesday, where a sub USD 69.50/bbl low was printed. Fresh newsflow has, once again, been limited for the complex and continues to focus on the gas situation. More broadly, no update as of yet on the Evergrande interest payment and by all accounts we appear to have entered the 30-day grace period for this and, assuming catalysts remain slim, updates on this will may well dictate the state-of-play. Schedule wise, the session ahead eyes significant amounts of central bank commentary but from a crude perspective the weekly Baker Hughes rig count will draw attention. On the weather front, Storm Sam has been upgraded to a Hurricane and is expected to rapidly intensify but currently remains someway into the mid-Atlantic. Moving to metals, LME copper is pivoting the unchanged mark after a mixed APAC lead while attention is on Glencore’s CSA copper mine, which it has received an offer for; the site in 2020 produced circa. 46k/T of copper which is typically exported to Asia smelters. Elsewhere, spot gold and silver are firmer but have been very contained and remain well-within overnight ranges thus far. Which sees the yellow metal holding just above the USD 1750/oz mark after a brief foray below the level after the US-close. US Event Calendar 10am: Aug. New Home Sales MoM, est. 1.0%, prior 1.0% 10am: Aug. New Home Sales, est. 715,000, prior 708,000 Central Bank Speakers 8:45am: Fed’s Mester Discusses the Economic Outlook 10am: Powell, Clarida and Bowman Host Fed Listens Event 10:05am: Fed’s George Discusses Economic Outlook 12pm: Fed’s Bostic Discusses Equitable Community Development DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap WFH today is a bonus as it’s time for the annual ritual at home where the latest, sleekest, shiniest iPhone model arrives in the post and i sheepishly try to justify to my wife when I get home why I need an incremental upgrade. This year to save me from the Spanish Inquisition I’m going to intercept the courier and keep quiet. Problem is that such speed at intercepting the delivery will be logistically challenging as I remain on crutches (5 weeks to go) and can’t grip properly with my left hand due to an ongoing trapped nerve. I’m very glad I’m not a racehorse. Although hopefully I can be put out to pasture in front of the Ryder Cup this weekend. The big news of the last 24 hours has been a galloping global yield rise worthy of the finest thoroughbred. A hawkish Fed meeting, with the dots increasing and the end of QE potentially accelerated, didn’t quite have the ability to move markets but the global dam finally broke yesterday with Norway being the highest profile developed country to raise rates this cycle (expected), but more importantly a Bank of England meeting that saw the market reappraise rate hikes. Looking at the specific moves, yields on 10yr Treasuries were up +13.0bps to 1.430% in their biggest daily increase since 25 February, as both higher real rates (+7.9bps) and inflation breakevens (+4.9bps) drove the advance. US 10yr yields had been trading in a c.10bp range for the last month before breaking out higher, though they have been trending higher since dropping as far as 1.17% back in early-August. US 30yr yields rose +13.2bps, which was the biggest one day move in long dated yields since March 17 2020, which was at the onset of the pandemic and just days after the Fed announced it would be starting the current round of QE. The large selloff in US bonds saw the yield curve steepen and the long-end give back roughly half of the FOMC flattening from the day before. The 5y30y curve steepened 3.4bps for a two day move of -3.3bps. However the 2y10y curve steepened +10.5bps, completely reversing the prior day’s flattening (-4.2bps) and leaving the spread at 116bp, the steepest level since first week of July. 10yr gilt yields saw nearly as strong a move (+10.8bps) with those on shorter-dated 2yr gilts (+10.7bps) hitting their highest level (0.386%) since the pandemic began.That came on the back of the BoE’s latest policy decision, which pointed in a hawkish direction, building on the comment in the August statement that “some modest tightening of monetary policy over the forecast period is likely to be necessary” by saying that “some developments during the intervening period appear to have strengthened that case”. The statement pointed out that the rise in gas prices since August represented an upside risks to their inflation projections from next April, and the MPC’s vote also saw 2 members (up from 1 in August) vote to dial back QE. See DB’s Sanjay Raja’s revised rate hike forecasts here. We now expect a 15bps hike in February. The generalised move saw yields in other European countries rise as well, with those on 10yr bunds (+6.6bps), OATs (+6.5bps) and BTPs (+5.7bps) all seeing big moves higher with 10yr bunds seeing their biggest climb since late-February and back to early-July levels as -0.258%. The yield rise didn’t stop equity indices recovering further from Monday’s rout, with the S&P 500 up +1.21% as the index marked its best performance in over 2 months, and its best 2-day performance since May. Despite the mood at the end of the weekend, the S&P now starts Friday in positive territory for the week. The rally yesterday was led by cyclicals for a second straight day with higher commodity prices driving outsized gains for energy (+3.41%) and materials (+1.39%) stocks, and the aforementioned higher yields causing banks (+3.37%) and diversified financials (+2.35%) to outperform. The reopening trade was the other main beneficiary as airlines rose +2.99% and consumer services, which include hotel and cruiseline companies, gained +1.92%. In Europe, the STOXX 600 (+0.93%) witnessed a similarly strong performance, with index led by banks (+2.16%). As a testament to the breadth of yesterday’s rally, the travel and leisure sector (+0.04%) was the worst performing sector on this side of the Atlantic even while registering a small gain and lagging its US counterparts. Before we get onto some of yesterday’s other events, it’s worth noting that this is actually the last EMR before the German election on Sunday, which has long been signposted as one of the more interesting macro events on the 2021 calendar, the results of which will play a key role in not just domestic, but also EU policy. And with Chancellor Merkel stepping down after four terms in office, this means that the country will soon be under new management irrespective of who forms a government afterwards. It’s been a volatile campaign in many respects, with Chancellor Merkel’s CDU/CSU, the Greens and the centre-left SPD all having been in the lead at various points over the last six months. But for the last month Politico’s Poll of Polls has shown the SPD consistently ahead, with their tracker currently putting them on 25%, ahead of the CDU/CSU on 22% and the Greens on 16%. However the latest poll from Forschungsgruppe Wahlen yesterday suggested a tighter race with the SPD at 25, the CDU/CSU at 23% and the Greens at 16.5%. If the actual results are in line with the recent averages, it would certainly mark a sea change in German politics, as it would be the first time that the SPD have won the popular vote since the 2002 election. Furthermore, it would be the CDU/CSU’s worst ever result, and mark the first time in post-war Germany that the two main parties have failed to win a majority of the vote between them, which mirrors the erosion of the traditional big parties in the rest of continental Europe. For the Greens, 15% would be their best ever score, and exceed the 9% they got back in 2017 that left them in 6th place, but it would also be a disappointment relative to their high hopes back in the spring, when they were briefly polling in the mid-20s after Annalena Baerbock was selected as their Chancellor candidate. In terms of when to expect results, the polls close at 17:00 London time, with initial exit polls released immediately afterwards. However, unlike the UK, where a new majority government can immediately come to power the day after the election, the use of proportional representation in Germany means that it could potentially be weeks or months before a new government is formed. Indeed, after the last election in September 2017, it wasn’t until March 2018 that the new grand coalition between the CDU/CSU and the SPD took office, after attempts to reach a “Jamaica” coalition between the CDU/CSU, the FDP and the Greens was unsuccessful. In the meantime, the existing government will act as a caretaker administration. On the policy implications, it will of course depend on what sort of government is actually formed, but our research colleagues in Frankfurt have produced a comprehensive slidepack (link here) running through what the different parties want across a range of policies, and what the likely coalitions would mean for Germany. They also put out another note yesterday (link here) where they point out that there’s still much to play for, with the SPD’s lead inside the margin of error and with an unusually high share of yet undecided voters. Moving on to Asia and markets are mostly higher with the Nikkei (+2.04%), CSI (+0.53%) and India’s Nifty (+0.52%) up while the Hang Seng (-0.03%), Shanghai Comp (-0.07%) and Kospi (-0.10%) have all made small moves lower. Meanwhile, the Evergrande group missed its dollar bond coupon payment yesterday and so far there has been no communication from the group on this. They have a 30-day grace period to make the payment before any event of default can be declared. This follows instructions from China’s Financial regulators yesterday in which they urged the group to take all measures possible to avoid a near-term default on dollar bonds while focusing on completing unfinished properties and repaying individual investors. Yields on Australia and New Zealand’s 10y sovereign bonds are up +14.5bps and +11.3bps respectively this morning after yesterday’s move from their western counterparts. Yields on 10y USTs are also up a further +1.1bps to 1.443%. Elsewhere, futures on the S&P 500 are up +0.04% while those on the Stoxx 50 are down -0.10%. In terms of overnight data, Japan’s August CPI printed at -0.4% yoy (vs. -0.3% yoy expected) while core was unchanged in line with expectations. We also received Japan’s flash PMIs with the services reading at 47.4 (vs. 42.9 last month) while the manufacturing reading came in at 51.2 (vs. 52.7 last month). In pandemic related news, Jiji reported that Japan is planning to conduct trials of easing Covid restrictions, with 13 prefectures indicating they’d like to participate. This is likely contributing to the outperformance of the Nikkei this morning. Back to yesterday now, and one of the main highlights came from the flash PMIs, which showed a continued deceleration in growth momentum across Europe and the US, and also underwhelmed relative to expectations. Running through the headline numbers, the Euro Area composite PMI fell to 56.1 (vs. 58.5 expected), which is the lowest figure since April, as both the manufacturing (58.7 vs 60.3 expected) and services (56.3 vs. 58.5 expected) came in beneath expectations. Over in the US, the composite PMI fell to 54.5 in its 4th consecutive decline, as the index hit its lowest level in a year, while the UK’s composite PMI at 54.1 (vs. 54.6 expected) was the lowest since February when the country was still in a nationwide lockdown. Risk assets seemed unperturbed by the readings, and commodities actually took another leg higher as they rebounded from their losses at the start of the week. The Bloomberg Commodity Spot index rose +1.12% as Brent crude oil (+1.39%) closed at $77.25/bbl, which marked its highest closing level since late 2018, while WTI (+1.07%) rose to $73.30/bbl, so still a bit beneath its recent peak in July. However that is a decent rebound of roughly $11/bbl since its recent low just over a month ago. Elsewhere, gold (-1.44%) took a knock amidst the sharp move higher in yields, while European natural gas prices subsidised for a third day running, with futures now down -8.5% from their intraday peak on Tuesday, although they’re still up by +71.3% since the start of August. US negotiations regarding the upcoming funding bill and raising the debt ceiling are ongoing, with House Speaker Pelosi saying that the former, also called a continuing resolution, will pass “both houses by September 30,” and fund the government through the first part of the fiscal year, starting October 1. Treasury Secretary Yellen has said the US will likely breach the debt ceiling sometime in the next month if Congress does not increase the level, and because Republicans are unwilling to vote to raise the ceiling, Democrats will have to use the once-a-fiscal-year tool of budget reconciliation to do so. However Democrats, are also using that process for the $3.5 trillion dollar economic plan that makes up the bulk of the Biden agenda, and have not been able to get full party support yet. During a joint press conference with Speaker Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Schumer said that Democrats have a “framework” to pay for the Biden Economic agenda, which would imply that the broad outline of a deal was reached between the House, Senate and the White House. However, no specifics were mentioned yesterday. With Democrats looking to vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill early next week, negotiations today and this weekend on the potential reconciliation package will be vital. Looking at yesterday’s other data, the weekly initial jobless claims from the US for the week through September 18 unexpectedly rose to 351k (vs. 320k expected), which is the second week running they’ve come in above expectations. Separately, the Chicago Fed’s national activity index fell to 0.29 in August (vs. 0.50 expected), and the Kansas City Fed’s manufacturing activity index also fell more than expected to 22 in September (vs. 25 expected). To the day ahead now, and data highlights include the Ifo’s business climate indicator from Germany for September, along with Italian consumer confidence for September and US new home sales for August. From central banks, we’ll hear from Fed Chair Powell, Vice Chair Clarida and the Fed’s Mester, Bowman, George and Bostic, as well as the ECB’s Lane and Elderson, and the BoE’s Tenreyro. Finally, a summit of the Quad Leaders will be held at the White House, including President Biden, and the Prime Ministers of Australia, India and Japan. Tyler Durden Fri, 09/24/2021 - 08:12.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeSep 24th, 2021

North Carolina Hospital System Suspends Hundreds Of Employees After COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate

North Carolina Hospital System Suspends Hundreds Of Employees After COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate Authored by Jack Phillips via The Epoch Times, A North Carolina health care system said it suspended hundreds of its employees after the firm implemented a COVID-19 vaccine mandate, adding that workers who refuse to get vaccinated after five days will be fired. “Beginning this week, approximately 375 team members—across 15 hospitals, 800 clinics and hundreds of outpatient facilities—have been confirmed to be non-compliant and are not able to report to work,” stated a press release from Novant Health, which is based in North Carolina but operates in other states. “They will have an opportunity to comply over a five day, unpaid suspension period,” the release said. “If a team member remains non-compliant after this suspension period, he or she will have their employment with Novant Health terminated.” The firm then claimed that about 98.5 percent of its workforce are compliant with the policy, meaning they have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Workers who started a two-dose vaccine series have until Oct. 15 to get the second shot, Novant said. Employees who have an exemption are required to get weekly COVID-19 testing, as well as wear N95 masks and eye protection, it added. In a similar move, 125 workers with Indiana University Health, the biggest hospital system in the state, parted ways with the company, according to a news release issued last week. Those workers, it said, did not comply with the firm’s vaccine mandate. “Indiana University Health has put the safety and well-being of patients and team members first by requiring employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Sept. 1,” the company said in a Sept. 16 statement. “After a two-week unpaid suspension period ending Sept. 14, a total of 125 employees, the equivalent of 61 full-time employees, chose not to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and have left the organization.” It comes as President Joe Biden on Sept. 9 announced he would direct the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to penalize companies with 100 or more employees if they do not comply with his administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate. Under the mandate, details of which have not been released, private-sector workers would have to either get the COVID-19 vaccine or submit to weekly testing. The president also said he would mandate that all health care workers who are employed at facilities that receive Medicaid or Medicare funding get vaccinated. Republican leaders, as well as some union bosses, have criticized Biden for the announcement and said it’s tantamount to federal overreach. Some governors and state attorneys general have threatened to file lawsuits against the mandate. What happened to "heroes!"? Tyler Durden Thu, 09/23/2021 - 18:20.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytSep 23rd, 2021

10 Things in Politics: New emails reveal Hunter Biden wanted $2M for Libya deal: exclusive

And the FDA authorized COVID-19 booster shots for older adults and people considered at high risk. Welcome back to 10 Things in Politics. Sign up here to receive this newsletter. Plus, download Insider's app for news on the go - click here for iOS and here for Android. Send tips to bgriffiths@insider.com.Here's what we're talking about:Emails reveal Hunter Biden asked for $2 million plus 'success fees' to help unfreeze Libyan assetsFDA authorizes Pfizer-BioNTech booster shots for older adults and others at high riskBiden tries to cool Democratic infighting as his agenda hangs in the balanceWith Phil Rosen. Hunter Biden. Teresa Kroeger/Getty Images for World Food Program USA; Samantha Lee/Insider 1. EXCLUSIVE: Insider obtained emails indicating that Hunter Biden asked for a $2 million annual retainer plus "success fees" to help unfreeze Libyan assets during the Obama administration. The communications offer "a window into the mechanics of Beltway influence peddling and the stock that was put in Biden's political connections," as my colleague writes.Here's a look at Insider's latest scoop:Background: The Obama administration froze up to $15 billion in assets during Muammar Gaddafi's rule. In 2015, long after Gaddafi's ouster and death, two Democratic donors with business in the Persian Gulf pitched Hunter Biden about joining their cause.The two donors were frank in discussing Hunter Biden's connections: "Since he travels with dad he is connected everywhere in Europe and Asia where M.Q. [Gaddafi, also spelled Qaddafi] and LIA [Libya Investment Authority] had money frozen. He said he has access to highest level in PRC [China], he can help there," Sam Jauhari, one donor, wrote in January 2015 to Mohammed al-Rahbani, another donor.Nothing appears to have come from the conversations: The White House declined to provide a statement to Insider. An attorney for al-Rahbani said his client "knows to a certainty that he never spoke to and has no recollection of talking about Hunter Biden."Read more about how the emails show how influence peddling works in Washington.2. FDA authorizes booster shots for older adults and others at high risk: The Food and Drug Administration authorized booster doses of Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine starting six months after the second dose for older adults and others considered at high risk of falling ill. The FDA decision caps more than a month of messy debate over the US vaccination drive. Here's what still needs to happen including CDC approval, which could happen this week.3. Democrats are working feverishly to avoid a shutdown: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has yet to tell his fellow Democrats what the party's plan B will be to avoid a government shutdown at the end of the month, Politico reports. Top Senate Republicans have made clear they plan not to support a House-passed bill meant to avert a shutdown and avoid a debt default. Should Democrats elect to do something different, they'll have to move quickly to get it passed in time.Former GOP Treasury secretaries couldn't get Mitch McConnell to budge: The former Treasury secretaries Henry Paulson and Steven Mnuchin met with the Senate minority leader to attempt to resolve the debt-ceiling standoff, The Washington Post reports. But they failed to persuade McConnell to change his stance.Tensions are starting to boil over: "We always do this," Sen. Jon Tester, a Democrat from Montana, told Politico of the stalemate, calling it "a ridiculous exercise" and adding that he couldn't "even compare it to anything I do on the farm that's this stupid."4. Biden tries to cool Democratic infighting: Biden met separately with lawmakers from both wings of the Democratic Party to nudge them away from destroying his domestic agenda in the coming days over a series of disagreements, The Washington Post reports. Centrist Democrats are emphatic that Speaker Nancy Pelosi's earlier promise means the House will vote by Monday on a Senate-passed bipartisan infrastructure bill. Progressive lawmakers, though, don't want to pass the bill until the Senate moves forward on a separate $3.5 trillion plan that would drastically change the safety net. But the White House huddles ended without any new agreements, leaving no certainty that party leaders wouldn't avoid the embarrassment of lawmakers opposing the leader of their party. Democratic Rep. Karen Bass of California, Democratic Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, and Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina. Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images 5. Policing talks have collapsed: Sen. Cory Booker, a Democrat from New Jersey, said there was still "too wide a gulf" and significant differences remained between the two major parties. Negotiations on a sweeping federal bill began last year following the killing of George Floyd. Sen. Tim Scott, a Republican from South Carolina who is his party's lead negotiator in the talks, blamed Democrats for the failure to reach a deal. One of the key sticking points was always whether lawmakers would change the way officers should be held liable for wrongdoing, particularly the issue of so-called qualified immunity. More on the collapse and what Democrats are calling on Biden to do by himself.6. Bush seeking to boost Rep. Liz Cheney's reelection: Former President George W. Bush, in what would be his first event for the midterm cycle, plans to hold a fundraiser for Cheney in Dallas next month. The announcement comes just two weeks after former President Donald Trump endorsed Cheney's GOP primary opponent, Harriet Hageman. Trump has aggressively attacked Cheney, especially after the Wyoming lawmaker voted to impeach him following the Capitol insurrection. More on the long-running feud between the past two GOP presidents.7. James Mattis testifies that he came to doubt Theranos' claims: Mattis, a former defense secretary, testified that he and other Theranos board members were taken aback by issues with the company's technology, The Wall Street Journal reports. "There came a point when I didn't know what to believe about Theranos anymore," Mattis said while on the stand ​​​​during the Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes' fraud trial. More on Mattis' testimony, including his disclosure that he invested $85,000 in Theranos.8. France is starting to cool off following its submarine snub: France's US ambassador is set to return to his post following his dramatic departure after the US and the UK announced a submarine deal with Australia that cut out the French. The White House and French President Emmanuel Macron released a joint statement announcing the move after a call between the two leaders. Biden and Macron are now set to meet in Europe to further hash things out.9. Texas gov. praises state troopers for erecting a "steel barrier" of vehicles along the border: Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday praised border officials and state troopers for positioning miles of police vehicles to deter Haitian migrants from crossing into Texas. Abbott, a Republican, laced into Biden, arguing that the president wasn't doing enough to secure the border. The latest on the situation.10. You can get into every US national park free on Saturday: Entry is free for National Public Lands Day, one of six days this year when national parks open at no entry costs to visitors. You can go look around, hike, and hang out, but the waiver won't cover fees for camping, boat launches, or special tours. Here's everything you need to know for your trip.Today's trivia question: The first memorial built on the Ellipse, an area near the White House, honors the only two American officials thought to be killed in which tragedy? Email your guess and a suggested question to me at bgriffiths@insider.com.Yesterday's answer: The famed director Alfred Hitchcock's iconic movie "North by Northwest" required Cary Grant to be secretly filmed on the UN grounds.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 23rd, 2021

Industry Reels out West As Drought Wreaks Havoc on Summer Real Estate Markets

Jennifer Fortune is as bullish on Lake Tahoe real estate as anybody. She’s been serving buyers and sellers in the pristine neighborhoods of the southern region of the lake for a decade. As an agent with Chase International, she is active on both sides of the California-Nevada state line, and she’s enjoyed the weather-related ebbs […] The post Industry Reels out West As Drought Wreaks Havoc on Summer Real Estate Markets appeared first on RISMedia. Jennifer Fortune is as bullish on Lake Tahoe real estate as anybody. She’s been serving buyers and sellers in the pristine neighborhoods of the southern region of the lake for a decade. As an agent with Chase International, she is active on both sides of the California-Nevada state line, and she’s enjoyed the weather-related ebbs and flows of the local market on a mostly upward trajectory—until this summer. With the siege of the 219,267-acre Caldor Fire, which as of mid-September has yet to be contained, Fortune’s confidence and that of the hundreds of agents across the American West who’ve made a living in heavy forest communities—some, like Lake Tahoe, are world-renowned for their scenic beauty and gorgeous estates—is beginning to wane in the face of such devastation. Currently, more than 100 separate wildfires are raging from as far east as Minnesota. According to Cal Fire, the emergency management authority for California, which has, by far, the most wildfires, 3,285 structures have been damaged or destroyed this year with at least three fatalities and the scorching of more than 2.24 million acres in California, alone. The Caldor Fire by Lake Tahoe has crushed the summer home-buying season, which usually climaxes around Labor Day weekend, and forced the evacuation of thousands, including Fortune. “I don’t see how it cannot have an impact on the market,” Fortune says on her 13th day of evacuation. “We’ll recover, but this has to have an impact.” Even in areas where there isn’t an immediate danger, the roads are closed, the forests are inaccessible and the air quality is poor. Fortune indicated some have come back, but most who planned on buying or selling are delaying their plans. Fortune expects the full impact of these fires will not be known for weeks or maybe months, and then it will all be up to the winter ski season. If it’s a snowy winter, that could bring in skiers and support the economy as well as reduce the risk of another dry summer next year. Dryness and winds are the biggest triggers for forest fires. However, there are major issues that have to play out before then—mainly insurance. In California, there is a state-mandated moratorium preventing insurance companies from canceling or non-renewing policies in Siskiyou, Lassen and Plumas Counties for a full year. People who want to buy can’t get a new policy and existing ones have gone through the roof—up 80% over the past two years in some cases, Fortune says. Sabrina R. Belleci, a broker/owner with RE/MAX North Lake, has been active in the Lake Tahoe region for 12 years. She’s been through several of these multi-season drought cycles in that time, but she suggests the current state of the markets is much more complicated due to COVID-19. “COVID is stretching out the seasons,” Belleci says. “Normally, it starts to slow in the fall, but I think it will be okay. People are relocating and getting out of California and the higher income-tax states. There is still quite a bit of demand.” The trend aligns with Fortune’s thesis that an underlying demand for the Lake Tahoe lifestyle will eventually resurface. It’s just not clear how long that will take. If it’s just a brief market correction, that actually may be easy for the market to withstand since it was running so hot prior to the fires, fueled by new remote workers from all over the U.S. who became untethered from their office jobs on account of the pandemic. Most expect that greater trend to remain even if to a lesser extent post-COVID. Still, a quick rebound in Lake Tahoe is probably not in the cards due to the sheer amount of clean-up to perform and institutional hurdles to clear. The first wave is trickling in with bargain-seekers looking to take advantage of the soft market and snap up a few of the waterfront trophy properties, Fortune says. “The only buyers are people thinking they’re going to get deals,” Fortune says. “On the lake, a couple things went quickly, including a condo in three days for $2.5 million on the Nevada side. The desirable properties will hold up.” Then, the Nevada side will likely rebound first due to the insurance situation, Belleci says, citing some of the higher-rated fire districts which reduce insurance premiums. The timing on this, though, is anyone’s guess. Plus, reconstruction efforts could be unusually slow due to a shortage of materials and labor as well as logistical and accessibility challenges. “No one is cancelling as much as they’re just delaying,” Fortune says. “The longer it takes, the more it could increase inventory in the mid- to long-term. It’s always changing, but I think we’re definitely in for a change. I think prices will drop.” In the meantime, one group that is not waiting for the market to recover is the local bear population. Fortune’s home county, in which 700 residents lost their homes to the Caldor Fire, has also seen a barrage of bear break-ins after the evacuation. At least 70 have been reported, Fortune says. Upon being displaced by the fire, these hungry animals stumble upon vacant homes which, in some cases, have fully-stacked refrigerators. “There’s tons of bear damage,” Fortune says. “People have to come home after being evacuated and then they have to clean up.” Forty miles to the north, Broker Karen Degney of Realty ONE Group in Reno, Nevada, has been dealing with the effects of the Dixie Fire, which is four times larger than Caldor—1,329 structures have been destroyed, including 736 single and multifamily homes. She said its massive smoke plume has reached the Rockies, slowing the local real estate market and giving some clients buyer’s remorse. “I’ve had more than one person bring it up,” she says. “One who was closing escrow said, ‘We wish we would have known about these fires, and maybe we wouldn’t have bought here.’” Degney expects the fires from this summer to produce a ripple effect around Nevada and California. Those displaced by the Dixie and Caldor fires could move to the remaining large population centers: Carson City, Reno and what’s left of Southern Lake Tahoe. There is also a lot of back-and-forth as many local Nevadans split time in California’s Bay Area and Sacramento. That trend could be disrupted in the short-term as well, Degney says. Degney says she talks to her clients at length about the drought and subsequent fire crisis to try to put the disaster into context and relieve their concerns. “I tell them this stuff is happening nationwide,” she says. “We are in a drought, but we are in a drought on the whole West Coast. This isn’t normal. It’s extraordinary and the rest of the time it’s wonderful.” Andrew King is a contributing editor to RISMedia. The post Industry Reels out West As Drought Wreaks Havoc on Summer Real Estate Markets appeared first on RISMedia......»»

Category: realestateSource: rismediaSep 21st, 2021

NASDAQ Soars 3% as Tech Rebounds to Begin March

NASDAQ Soars 3% as Tech Rebounds to Begin March The first session of March 2021 provided us with a fresh start after the second-half of February was ruined by fears of rapidly rising rates. The major indices all surged on Monday by 2% or more amid steadier bond yields and a new covid vaccine. The beleaguered NASDAQ easily led the way with a surge of 3.01% (or nearly 400 points) to 13,588.83, which was the tech-heavy index’s best performance of the year so far. The upswing recovered more than half of last week’s 5.2% plunge. As you might expect, it was an especially strong day for the FAANGs. Apple (AAPL) jumped nearly 5.4% and Facebook (FB) advanced 2.8%, while Netflix (NFLX) and Alphabet (GOOG) were each up about 2.2%. The S&P also took advantage of the tech rebound and surged 2.38% to 3901.82, while the Dow managed to rise 1.95% (or more than 600 points) to 31,535.51. Stocks are coming off a tough week that saw the indices decline by approximately 2% or more. However, February was still positive for them all, showing the reversal of fortune from an outstanding first half of the month to a more paranoid second half. The 10-year Treasury yield remained below 1.5% for a second straight session. Investors got concerned last Thursday when it moved past 1.6%, but it seems to have steadied for now. This new calm facilitated today’s tech rebound. Meanwhile, the FDA cleared Johnson & Johnson’s (JNJ) covid vaccine for emergency use authorization over the weekend. This single-dose treatment marks the third weapon against this pandemic, which could significantly increase the speed by which the country gets back to normal. Also this weekend, the Biden Administration’s $1.9 trillion stimulus plan passed the House. This bill includes direct checks of $1400 to Americans and hundreds of billions of dollars in relief to state governments, among other measures. It now moves on to the Senate. The big earnings news on Monday came after the bell from stay-home staple Zoom (ZM), which easily beat fourth-quarter expectations on both the top and bottom lines. Shares were up 9.7% in the session and have climbed over 8.5% after hours, as of this writing. As this better-than-expected earnings season winds down, we’ll be getting some major retail reports the rest of this week. Perhaps the biggest comes tomorrow when Target (TGT) goes to the plate before the bell. Today's Portfolio Highlights: Insider Trader: Get ready for a lot more action in this portfolio as the insiders are really making moves right now. For her first buy of March, Tracey picked up Trinseo (TSE), a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) global materials company that’s into things like plastics, latex binders and synthetic rubber. Shares are up more than 200% in the past year, and yet a director bought 5,000 shares last week. It’s very bullish to see insiders add shares on an upswing, since it suggests they see even more improvement moving forward. Such optimism seems warranted for TSE, which is a global economic recovery play that expects to see “significant earnings improvement’ in 2021. The editor added TSE today with a 7.5% allocation after losing her patience with NVIDIA (NVDA) and selling the innovative chipmaker for a 6.5% profit in about five months. Read the full write-up for a lot more on today’s action. Blockchain Innovators: The two best performers among all ZU names in this sharply higher session came from this portfolio. The biggest winner on Monday was ZK International (ZKIN, +23.8%), while the runner up was Cleanspark (CLSK, +18.9%). Black Box Trader: The portfolio swapped out three positions in this week’s adjustment. The stocks that were short-covered on Monday include: • Tronox (TROX, +8.6%) • XPO Logistics (XPO) • Camping World (CWH) The new buys that replaced these names were: • Deutsche Bank (DB) • Owens & Minor (OMI) • Toll Brothers (TOL) Read the Black Box Trader’s Guide to learn more about this computer-driven service. Counterstrike: “One of the reasons we saw the bullish sentiment was the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has finally gotten the go ahead. This one-shot vaccine is a difference maker as J&J has the ability to scale better than the others. This allows us to flood the streets with vaccine, which means everyone should be able to get a shot over the next few months.   “The other reason for the market optimism was the risk from last week doesn’t seem to be an issue thanks to the Reserve Bank of Australia. In what seemed to be a panic response to last week, the RBA doubled down on bond purchases last night. This set the tone for government bonds as it was a reminder that the central banks are in full control and simply won’t stop. “Looking to add to the stocks above over the next couple days. Also, we should have some new positions. This market is impossible to short so we aren’t looking that direction any longer.” – Jeremy Mullin All the Best, Jim Giaquinto Recommendations from Zacks' Private Portfolios: Believe it or not, this article is not available on the Zacks.com website. The commentary is a partial overview of the daily activity from Zacks' private recommendation services. If you would like to follow our Buy and Sell signals in real time, we've made a special arrangement for readers of this website. Starting today you can see all the recommendations from all of Zacks' portfolios absolutely free for 7 days. Our services cover everything from value stocks and momentum trades to insider buying and positive earnings surprises (which we've predicted with an astonishing 80%+ accuracy). Click here to "test drive" Zacks Ultimate for FREE >>  Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 21st, 2021

Lessons from Our Origin Story

  To hear an audio spoken word version of this post, click here.     I took my boss to lunch on a Wednesday before Friday the 13th. I was about to drop a bomb after the weekend; I liked him enough to share some things he should know prior to — Surprise! — 20% of… Read More The post Lessons from Our Origin Story appeared first on The Big Picture.   To hear an audio spoken word version of this post, click here.     I took my boss to lunch on a Wednesday before Friday the 13th. I was about to drop a bomb after the weekend; I liked him enough to share some things he should know prior to — Surprise! — 20% of the firm’s AUM walking out the door with my crew the next Monday. Over steak salad at the Strip House, I explained why he needed to take control of his firm’s future. His partner was standing in the way of his success, with too many examples to list. The portfolio was in the green in 2008 despite the S&P500 crashing 38% — until that other partner loaded up on Wells Fargo cause “it looked cheap.” What should have been a career year was instead proof the firm lacked process, internal controls, and proper management. I felt comfortable being (dangerously) blunt because my team had been busy the prior 6 months: Josh, Kris, Michael, and I had taken the steps necessary to launch RWM. Our still-secret exit was inevitable, and I wanted it to be on good terms. My then boss was a well-regarded technician whose methodology incorporated both Technicals (price action, relative strength, rate of change) and Fundamentals (earnings, revenue, debt). He developed a screening tool to apply this approach, generating a stock ranking system scaled 0-100. My job was to run this division, build out the software tool/website, and attract institutional clients. A buddy who managed >$100m for the Thundering Herd loved the tool. He overlaid our rankings with his firm’s analyst research/price target list. The results were impressive, showing alpha of ~300 basis points annually. I knew BAML’s CIO and showed her the real-life trading results. “Wait, you can use our research to make clients more money?” To get on their platform (as a fund or subscription) required a comprehensive white paper. Total cost: ~$30,000; potential upside was 100X. I was excited, as was my boss . . . until his partner refused to spend the money. It was one of many last straws. Less than a year later, RWM launched. I tend to find fascination even in things that go horribly wrong. Failures can be more instructive than successes because there is less of an element of random luck involved. Two partners with a 50/50 control equal a dysfunctional firm.1 They disagreed on decisions big and small, leading to stasis. In any dynamic and fast-moving industry, stalemate is a death sentence. Rather than bore you with those stories, I’d rather share the lessons I learned from that experience: 1. Capital Required: You can get away with bootstrapping yourself on the cheap when you are a small start-up, but at a certain point in your growth trajectory, it takes money to build a firm. We launched RWM with Josh & I supplying the initial capital; we funded growth by reinvesting profits in the firm (as opposed to taking big salaries/distributions). Yes, it does take money, but we have been fortunate to go into this with enough savings to make it work on our own. Do not underestimate how important those initial dollars are to getting off the ground. Office space costs money, Lawyers cost money, everything costs money! You must have enough of it to ensure you are around long enough to focus on your clients, the markets and running the business. If you are constantly raising operating expenses or stressed about cash flow, you simply won’t have enough bandwith to serve your clients properly. 2. Control: We never sold an interest to outside investors; we were founder-owned and managed from day one. Today, we are partner-employee-owned. There are no 3rd parties dictating terms to us (“Sell more high commission variable annuities!”). We embraced the fiduciary side and never looked back. I believe this philosophy is incredibly valuable to our clients. I was surprised to learn mid-pandemic of firms that had ceded control to outside investors – leading to layoffs, poor product offerings, and revenue-maximizing. I would argue this came at the  at the expense of client service and those fiduciary obligations that are a core of our belief system. So while sufficient capital matters, it should not come at the expense of controlling your own destiny. 3. Ensemble Advantages: Everyone one of us has diverse work experiences, skillsets, and perspectives. Putting those to best use meant as we grew, the founding team was able to each gravitate towards doing what we indiviudally did best. Dividing oversight and management was crucial to improving our professional performance. This approach has allowed us to focus on our strongest and highest value work. A team approach also means having faith in your partners and employees, delegating authority to them, and trusting their judgment. Giving people clear goals, the tools to do their jobs, and enough space to pursue those objectives as they thought best has been a core strength. The net result is each of us is more productive, creative, and valuable to the firm. 4. Press Your Advantages: During the post-GFC era, it was clear that prospective clients were: a) Unhappy with their existing brokers/advisors; b) finding us on their own, and c) Asking us help on issues we had shown expertise in. These were a powerful force leading us to deeper understanding about how the RIA world should work, and what we had to do to push it in that direction. We found countless ways those three steps were uniquely advantageous to us. We continued to tack into what was working, and tried out new things that were adjacent. Our moat (for lack of a better word) was contained within that model, and we continually pressed that advantage forward. 5. Be Willing to Fail: If you are not failing, then you are not taking chances, experimenting with new innovations, or venturing outside of your comfort zone. Some firms can get away with this for years, but eventually, newer entrants will eat their lunch. You must adapt, change your mind, admit error, and reverse yourself. The key is quantifying the metrics of success or failure, understanding the costs involved, and having a stop loss where you can declare the experiment over; then, you move on. Faster/cheaper/smarter/better eventually comes for all business models. You may not be driving towards those qualities, but someone else is, and they will eventually take your market share. This week was the 8th anniversary of RWM’s launch. This time of year usually leads me to think about the circumstances surrounding our beginning. We were lucky in terms of timing within the market cycle, our reputation around the GFC, how we exited via not burning bridges on the way out. I probably have dozens of other lessons I could write up as well. But these 5 stand out to me. But mostly, I am filled with gratitude for this team, my partners, and our clients. There is a lot more building to come; I am very excited about the future we are creating . . .       See also: Announcing: Ritholtz Wealth Management (September 16, 2013) How I Met Barry (September 9, 2018) 5 Years On . . . (September 17, 2018) 10 Things I Have Learned Launching RWM (September 16, 2019)     _________   1. This sort of arrangement is a terrible idea, one I strongly suggest avoiding, but if you absolutely must, then have a mutually agreed upon 3rd party to be a tiebreaker. Businesses that exist in a constant state of stalemate/stasis soon calcify and die.       click for audio   The post Lessons from Our Origin Story appeared first on The Big Picture......»»

Category: blogSource: TheBigPictureSep 21st, 2021

Facebook

  Elizabeth Holmes said she was too pretty to go to jail. Needless to say, Holmes is on trial as we speak, blaming her heinous behavior on her old boyfriend Sunny Balwani, claiming abuse and ultimately PTSD as she attends Burning Man and galivants around San Francisco as if she had not a care in… Read More The post Facebook appeared first on The Big Picture.   Elizabeth Holmes said she was too pretty to go to jail. Needless to say, Holmes is on trial as we speak, blaming her heinous behavior on her old boyfriend Sunny Balwani, claiming abuse and ultimately PTSD as she attends Burning Man and galivants around San Francisco as if she had not a care in the world. If you think you know everything about this story, you probably don’t. Start by reading John Carreyrou’s book “Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup.” The most memorable part of the book for me is when attorney David Boies, who heretofore had an impeccable image, comes in with a team to threaten Carreyrou at the “Wall Street Journal.” But Carreyrou and the WSJ stand their ground. And now the WSJ is investigating Facebook. You’ve probably seen the headlines. Carreyrou single-handedly brought down Theranos, will the WSJ series have an impact on Facebook? Definitely, although how much is yet to be seen. So if you’re into nonfiction, after reading “Bad Blood” be sure to read “Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man’s Fight for Justice” an account of finance in Russia and so much more. As a matter of fact the Magnitsky Act, which Bill Browder, author of “Red Notice,” fomented, is in the news seemingly every day. Both of these books are easily read. As a matter of fact, you’ll have a hard time putting them down. If this were a class, they’d be assigned reading. But before you read those books I would first make you listen to Roger McNamee on Kurt Andersen’s podcast: How Business Models Have Shaped Big Tech. I know Roger, I’ve even done a podcast with him myself, but in this hour he details the history and landscape of Silicon Valley, as well as the history of government intervention against bad actors and monopolies so well it’s like a master class. Bottom line… Roger thought tech was a tool for good. Isn’t that what Steve Jobs famously claimed, that he was just making tools? And McNamee was the first to blow the whistle on Facebook in the last election cycle, 2016, and he even wrote a book about Facebook, “Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe,” but his message still has not gotten traction outside a small coterie of thinkers. That’s where the WSJ comes in. But start with McNamee first. When Roger puts it all in context, talks about how the government regulated meat to the benefit of the public, broke up the phone company, you’ll start to see a way through this mess. Bottom line… Facebook and Google are on both sides of the transaction, they both host and sell, and he says they must do only one or the other. And they colluded to control online advertising. This has been well documented in the news, but it’s not flashy enough to gain ubiquity, despite state attorneys general suing the company. But there is one smoking gun after another, evidence, it’s not just a theory. But wait, there’s more! McNamee delineates the difference between the boomers and the millennials. The boomers grew up in an era where it was about the common good. The millennials grew up in an era where it was all about the individual, every person for him or herself, the common good be damned. Think about this, the Reagan revolution has paid dividends, and so many are not positive, the culture was changed, and too many people bought in. So Roger posits when Mark Zuckerberg makes heinous choices to benefit Facebook he thinks he’s doing a good thing, he doesn’t know any better. And now the details are coming out in the WSJ. But staying with McNamee… Roger says how when they broke up the phone company, it stimulated advancement. That if you break up Google you’ll end up with fifty new companies. If you break up Facebook you’ll end up with a hundred. As for innovation, these evil twins are only trying to maintain their audience/customers, there’s no real advancement being made, it’s like a case study for the dearly departed Clayton Christensen, the old companies waiting to be disrupted. So McNamee lays out a blueprint to go forward. And acknowledges that government is always behind, but that does not mean the government shouldn’t flex its muscles. But going back to the WSJ series on Facebook, the quote in today’s paper is priceless: “A now-former executive questioned the idea of overhauling Instagram to avoid social comparison. ‘People use Instagram because it’s a competition,’ the former executive said. ‘That’s the fun part.’” I’d provide a link1 but either you subscribe to the WSJ or you don’t, you’re either in the loop or you’re not. You can gather misinformation on social media, most especially Facebook, or you can go to the source, but the source costs money and Americans are cheap, even worse, they oftentimes can’t even understand what is proffered. I posit a significant segment of the population won’t even follow and grasp what McNamee says, even though it’s far from boring, they just don’t have the education to be able to analyze, to comprehend, many just believe a man in the sky will save them. So the above quote is from the second WSJ installment on Facebook. Turns out the Facebook-owned company Instagram is wreaking havoc on the self-image of today’s young women. They just can’t live up to the images online. Almost nobody can unless it’s your full-time job and you’re willing to starve yourself and get plastic surgery. Instagram is for bragging, and too many end up feeling like a loser. But that’s not as bad as tomorrow’s segment, which went live on the WSJ site this morning: “Facebook Tried to Make Its Platform a Healthier Place. It Got Angrier Instead; Internal memos show how a big 2018 change rewarded outrage and that CEO Mark Zuckerberg resisted proposed fixes.” 2 Turns out the execs are not in control of the platform, they keep saying they’re putting on band-aids when they’re not, or they do so with unintended negative results. The goal is just to keep people on the platform, that can’t be sacrificed, that metric is king. So despite having studies detailing the deleterious results of Facebook’s platforms the company ignores them. Even worse, it says they’re taking action when they’re not. It’s obfuscation all the time. Zuck testifies in Congress, he keeps saying he’ll provide backup and then does not. And then he just goes on wrecking the world. You see Zuck is the most powerful person in the world, but this doesn’t sit right with elected officials and titans of old school industry. Rupert Murdoch has taught us the power is in the ink, the press. And in truth, Zuckerberg has got a stranglehold on the press, his sites are where people go for information, and his goal is to raise your emotions so you’ll stay connected and participate. Like, respond, forward, it’s gold to Facebook but lead for our society. In the first WSJ installment on Facebook3 it is revealed that the company has a whitelist. That if you’re famous, in the public eye, have enough followers, they give you a pass, no matter what you post. Because they’re scared you’ll fight back and the company might not look good. And the truth is they don’t have enough people to police behavior and the algorithm is far from perfect, which is why the hoi polloi are constantly complaining that they post innocuous stuff on Facebook and Instagram and it gets taken down and they might even get blocked while a whole tier of society gets a free pass. Once again, Zuck was confronted with this, what did he do? HE LIED! Newsom won yesterday. You’ll see all these learned lessons in the media today. I’m not sure I believe all of them. Bottom line, California is a Democratic state, and the only reason Schwarzenegger won was that he was famous, a celebrity, a movie star, and in the last fifteen plus years the state has moved even further left. So is California a harbinger for the 2022 elections? I would certainly hope so, but I don’t believe it, look at how many votes Trump actually got last November, they far exceeded what all the pundits prognosticated. And where is this cult’s word spread? Online. ON FACEBOOK AND INSTAGRAM! And for TikTok, the WSJ says there’s a distinct difference: “‘Social comparison is worse on Instagram,’ states Facebook’s deep dive into teen girl body-image issues in 2020, noting that TikTok, a short-video app, is grounded in performance, while users on Snapchat, a rival photo and video-sharing app, are sheltered by jokey filters that ‘keep the focus on the face.’ In contrast, Instagram focuses heavily on the body and lifestyle.” So what is going to happen? Roger McNamee posits a way out, so maybe we can have hope, but Zuckerberg has so much power… As for Theranos, I highly recommend the podcast “The Dropout, Elizabeth Holmes on trial.” You can ignore the previous season. Just start with the August 31st episode “Where Have You Been, Elizabeth Holmes.” But listen to Roger McNamee first. And know this is the story of our day. I mean who is going to listen to musicians when superstar Nicky Minaj says she heard from a cousin in Trinidad that his friend got Covid-19 and his testicles swelled and he ended up impotent. Of course, Fauci and every reputable outlet denied this could possibly happen, but none of them have the reach of Ms. Minaj, who has 22.6 million followers on Twitter and 157 million on Instagram, talk about the power of the image over the written word… Used to be the titans of the “Billboard” chart were educated and smart, no longer, which is why they can only move the uneducated rearguard, anybody with a brain ignores them. But don’t ignore the news. And get it from the source, not handed down via a game of telephone, like Nicki Minaj, like so many do on Facebook. In the eighties celebrity gossip culture and top-tier culture merged, this has been the story of the past few decades, but it’s no longer the truth, if for no other reason than we’re no longer sure who the stars are anymore. The movie stars have been revealed to be two-dimensional and out of touch and everybody at home believes they’re a star so you end up with an elite running the world and…those following music and gossip aren’t even members, they have no impact. Hell, look at the music business in Britain. They believed Boris Johnson was in their corner, but not only did Brexit make touring the Continent light years more difficult, time-consuming, and expensive, despite this now coming to light the government still hasn’t negotiated a reasonable settlement. And why would the government listen to the music business anyway, when oldsters like Eric Clapton are issuing falsehoods and the stars of the chart are mostly television nitwits? We are in a fight for democracy. But even more, we’re in a fight for society, for culture, for the state of mind. Turns out these social media outlets are killing our world, they’re beyond the control of our elected officials. And why should they take action, when a healthy part of the population won’t get the vaccine and keep talking about it on social media platforms, raining down coin for their owners? Think about it.   _______ 1. Facebook Knows Instagram Is Toxic for Teen Girls, Company Documents Show, By Georgia Wells, Jeff Horwitz and Deepa Seetharaman, WSJ, Sept. 14, 2021. 2. Facebook Tried to Make Its Platform a Healthier Place. It Got Angrier Instead, By Keach Hagey and Jeff Horwitz, WSJ,  Sept. 15, 2021. 3. Facebook Says Its Rules Apply to All. Company Documents Reveal a Secret Elite That’s Exempt, by Jeff Horwitz, WSJ, Sept. 13, 2021.     ~~~ Visit the archive: — Listen to the podcast: — @Lefsetz — Subscribe to the LefsetzLetter The post Facebook appeared first on The Big Picture......»»

Category: blogSource: TheBigPictureSep 21st, 2021

"F**K The Jab, Long Live Australia" - 20,000 Shut Down Melbourne Highway In Massive Lockdown Protest

"F**K The Jab, Long Live Australia" - 20,000 Shut Down Melbourne Highway In Massive Lockdown Protest Anti-lockdown protests have become more common in Australia since the latest round of "snap" lockdowns began two months ago. Initially, those lockdowns were supposed to last a week. But months later, with tensions running high, millions of Australians are fed up with the government's lockdowns and vaccine requirements. And although Aussie health authorities have at the very least acknowledged that their "COVIDZero" approach isn't actually feasible, frustrations among the Australian people are running high (perhaps intensified by the country's latest diplomatic faux pas, which angered France and made PM Scott Morrison look like he stabbed President Macron in the back). On Tuesday in Melbourne, authorities were forced to confront this blazing public anger as protesters executed an "extremely dangerous maneuver" by marching onto a busy freeway and blocking traffic in a tactic that some Americans might remember from last summer's BLM protests inspired by the killing of George Floyd. Right now in Melbourne, Australia the most severe clash to date between workers and the state over mandated jabs as thousands of unionized construction tradesmen take the streets. Victoria Premier Dan Andrews has shut down all construction for two weeks pic.twitter.com/lnM7yi2puS — Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) September 21, 2021 Thousands converged on the city for a second consecutive day on Tuesday, with shocking footage capturing dozens moving onto the West Gate Freeway into the path of cars. Traffic on the freeway, which is the busiest stretch of highway in Australia, was forced to a standstill in both directions as police tried to disperse the crowd. Footage circulating on social media showed protesters tossing glass bottles and flares toward police, while some approached officers with their hands up, chanting "you serve us". One was heard shouting "this is our bridge". They’re being warned. pic.twitter.com/qzi4XE5P0l — Paul Dowsley (@paul_dowsley) September 21, 2021 The police responded by deploying tear gas and firing off rubber bullets. They were filmed telling protesters to move on via loudspeakers around the area. In response, a huge chorus of men could be heard shouting, “everyday” in response, implying they would show up every day until their demands were met. "F*ck the Jab!" God Bless Australia! Thousands of angry protesters attempted to shutdown a highway in Melbourne, as police struggled to get a grip on the massive demonstration - using rubber bullets and tear gas. State Premier Dan Andrews condemned the "terrible behavior" as pic.twitter.com/Io4sCH3wZ4 — Supergran6 (@Supergranagain) September 21, 2021 Organizers of the event, who mostly relied on the messaging app Telegram, said the "Victorian Workers Rally For Freedom" said the rallies would continue until victory had been won. "Bring your friends and family in support. Wear work gear. Bring food and drinks," they instructed attendees on Telegram. Elsewhere, mounted police were filmed in the city as an announcement telling protesters to move on played over a speaker. The government in Victoria estimated more than 20K people joined the protest on Tuesday following the announcement of a two-week industry shutdown on Monday night. Many of those who participated were union members and tradesmen responding to the government's latest business shutdown. Tyler Durden Tue, 09/21/2021 - 08:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeSep 21st, 2021

10 Things in Politics: Showdown looms to keep the government open

And Justin Trudeau is projected to remain Canada's prime minister. Welcome back to 10 Things in Politics. Sign up here to receive this newsletter. Plus, download Insider's app for news on the go - click here for iOS and here for Android. Send tips to bgriffiths@insider.com or tweet me at @BrentGriffiths.Here's what we're talking about:Mitch McConnell says GOP will vote for US to default on its debtJustin Trudeau projected to remain prime minister of CanadaDHS investigating 'extremely troubling' images of border agents on horseback chasing migrantsWith Phil Rosen. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Alex Wong/Getty Images; Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images 1. SHOWDOWN ON CAPITOL HILL: The White House and congressional Democrats are playing hardball. With two key deadlines looming, top leaders say they will combine legislation that would avoid a government shutdown next month and suspension of the debt limit, the latter of which would avoid the federal government defaulting on its bills. Their move essentially dares Republicans to vote to tank the US economy by blocking the forthcoming bill. For now, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell isn't backing down.Here's a look at where things stand:Top Republicans have long warned they won't raise the debt ceiling: McConnell repeated his opposition to such a move - which amounts to allowing the government to pay its existing bills - even if it meant shutting down the government. He has called for Democrats to raise the debt ceiling on their own through a special budget process. But Democrats don't want to do that, per The Washington Post, because it would require taking a politically difficult vote.Democrats say this is hypocrisy: They note that the national debt grew nearly $8 trillion under President Donald Trump - chiefly on the back of GOP tax cuts and bipartisan emergency coronavirus-related spending packages. Republicans supported raising the debt ceiling three times during the Trump administration.Time is running out: The government is expected to run out of money October 1. It's more difficult to predict when the government would default on its debt, but Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has told lawmakers that time-buying measures her department had taken would run out in early October as well.Yes, you've seen this movie before: President Joe Biden and McConnell played major parts in it too. Spurred on by the tea-party movement, Republicans sought to use raising the debt ceiling as a political cudgel against the Obama White House in 2011. The two sides eventually reached a deal that liberals continue to loathe, but the process of going to the brink came at the cost of an embarrassing credit downgrade.Read more about where things stand as deadlines loom for lawmakers.2. Legal experts are poking holes in a Trump-era special prosecutor's case against a Clinton campaign lawyer: The special counsel John Durham's indictment of Michael Sussmann, a cybersecurity lawyer at a firm with deep Democratic ties, marked his first overt sign of activity in months. Legal experts aren't impressed. They see the case against Sussmann as unusually - even remarkably - thin. It's likely to face significant hurdles at trial. One of the issues is that the charge rests on the testimony of a single witness. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. DAVE CHAN/AFP via Getty Images 3. Justin Trudeau is expected to remain prime minister: Trudeau's decision to force a Canadian snap election is projected to yield mixed results, handing the prime minister a third term but without his party retaking a majority in Parliament. Some said Trudeau's decision to call a federal election early was a bid to retake the majority. More on the Canadian election results.4. DHS says it's investigating "extremely troubling" images at the border: Federal officials pledged to formally look into photos and videos of agents on horses pushing back against migrants at the US-Mexico border, the Associated Press reports. Amid concerns that some of the agents appeared to be brandishing whips, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told reporters the straps were long reins to help control the agents' horses. The White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, called the footage "horrific." Top officials say the US has deported more than 6,000 Haitians and other migrants from a Texas border town, vowing swift action for people who cross the US border illegally.Drone videos show thousands of Haitian migrants trying to enter the US: Insider 5. Texas doctor sued in the first major test of the state's abortion ban: An Arkansas man is suing a doctor who recently performed an abortion in Texas after six weeks of pregnancy, an act now considered illegal under a new state law. Dr. Alan Braid of San Antonio wrote an op-ed article in The Washington Post explaining his decision to defy the law. Oscar Stilley, a former lawyer disbarred on charges of tax evasion and conspiracy in 2010, filed the suit after reading a news report about Braid's article. ​​The lawsuit presents the first publicized legal challenge to Texas' new abortion restrictions.At least one antiabortion group isn't happy: Texas Right to Life, an antiabortion group, slammed "self-serving legal stunts," telling The Post that Braid's article was written to gin up lackluster challenges. Stilley told the paper he was not against abortion.6. Pfizer says its shot is safe and likely to be effective for children: The drugmaker and its partner BioNTech said their COVID-19 vaccine generated a promising immune response in a trial in kids ages 5 to 11. The companies said they planned to submit their data to the Food and Drug Administration "as soon as possible." That could make their COVID-19 shot the first authorized for use in younger children.7. More Americans have died of COVID-19 than died in the 1918 flu pandemic: "Despite all the scientific and medical advances of the past 103 years, the Covid-19 pandemic has now killed more Americans than the 1918 flu pandemic did," CNN wrote. More than 675,000 people are estimated to have died from COVID-19. Here are some of the major differences between the pandemics.8. FBI declares the home of Brian Laundrie's parents a crime scene: Authorities began searching the Florida home of Laundrie's parents just one day after a body believed to be that of Laundrie's fiancée, Gabby Petito, was found. Authorities continue to search for Laundrie, who disappeared in recent days. The latest on the case.Related: Here is a timeline of Gabby Petito's trip that ended in his disappearance9. Dow falls over 600 points over China-related worries: Stocks cratered Monday amid fears about the extent of a debt crisis for China's second-largest property developer. Anxiety about congressional action over the debt ceiling didn't help matters either. Evergrande, the Chinese company, is highly leveraged and is facing a $7 billion crunch over the next year. Here's everything you need to know about why Wall Street is worried about a Chinese real-estate company. Screenshot/TikTok - @emilyzugay 10. Major brands and companies are embracing a TikTok creator's mock logos: Emily Zugay, a 24-year-old pet-portrait artist from southeastern Wisconsin, told Insider in an email that she used Adobe Illustrator to make "repulsive but believable" designs so that "even folks who don't know basic design principles would know that they are downright awful." Take a look at the designs used by TikTok, NASCAR, Tinder, and Tampax.Today's trivia question: Benedict Arnold committed treason on this day in 1780. Before his treachery, he played a major role in the American Revolution's turning point. There's even a monument dedicated to his service during the Battles of Saratoga, though it does not directly name him. What does the monument depict? Email your guess and a suggested question to me at bgriffiths@insider.com.Yesterday's answer: The USS Constitution is the oldest commissioned ship in the US Navy - that's because naval officers and crew members still serve aboard the vessel first launched in 1797. Six ships were commissioned largely because of French aggression that led to the Quasi-War.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytSep 21st, 2021

Longer-term prospects: Bigger state, higher taxes

New York City is in danger of running out of swabs for Covid-19 tests and should only test ho… patients, the city health department said in a memo to health care providers over the weekend. “As the... To view the full story, click the title link......»»

Category: blogSource: crainsnewyorkApr 15th, 2020

Liz Cheney said "I was wrong" for opposing same-sex marriage and that she has since reconciled with her sister

Cheney denounced same-sex marriage in 2013 and was condemned by her sister, who was married to a woman. Rep. Liz Cheney (R) AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite Rep. Liz Cheney sad she was wrong when she condemned gay marriage in 2013 while running for Senate. The comments prompted a denouncement from her sister, Mary Cheney, who is married to a woman. Cheney said on "60 Minutes" Sunday that she was wrong and she and her sister have reconciled. See more stories on Insider's business page. Rep. Liz Cheney said she was wrong when she condemned same sex marriage in 2013 in remarks that led to a public feud with her sister, who is married to a woman.In an interview with "60 Minutes" that aired Sunday, correspondent Lesley Stahl pointed out that Cheney's father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, came out in favor of same-sex marriage at the time. She asked Cheney, a Republican from Wyoming, how she defends her decision to come out against it."I was wrong. I was wrong. I love my sister very much. I love her family very much," Cheney said. "It's a very personal issue, and very personal for my family. I believe that my dad was right. And my sister and I have had that conversation."She added: "We need to work against discrimination of all kinds in our country, in our state. We were at, at an event a few nights ago and, and there was a young woman who said, she doesn't feel safe sometimes because she's transgender. And nobody should feel unsafe. Freedom means freedom for everybody."-60 Minutes (@60Minutes) September 26, 2021 Cheney was running for Senate in Wyoming in 2013 when she said she opposed same-sex marriage. At the time, Mary Cheney, Cheney's sister, had been with her wife since 1992 and married to her since 2012.Mary Cheney denounced her sister and said she was treating her family like "second class citizens."In a post on Sunday, Mary Cheney said she loves her sister and is "so proud of her.""It took a ton of courage to admit that she was wrong back in 2013 when she opposed marriage equality. That is something few politicians would ever do," she wrote in a Facebook post. "I have nothing but respect and admiration for the strength of character she continues to show on a daily basis.""And as her sister - I have one more thing that I just have to say. I told you so," she added.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nyt3 hr. 48 min. ago

As Biden Releases 12K Haitians Into US, Thousands More Arrive In Panama For Northbound Trek

As Biden Releases 12K Haitians Into US, Thousands More Arrive In Panama For Northbound Trek Thousands of Haitian migrants have somehow made it to Panama, and have passed through the treacherous jungles of the Darien Gap on their way north to the United States, according to Reuters. According to the report which cites two Panamanian government sources, between 3,500 and 4,000 migrants are passing through 'migration reception stations' in Darien and Chiriqui, according to one source - an official with Panama's security ministry. But wait, there's more: Meanwhile, some 16,000 migrants are stuck in the northern Colombian beach town of Necocli, awaiting their turn on limited boat transport toward the Darien Gap, where smugglers guide groups through one of the most dangerous and impassable regions of Latin America. read more Colombia and Panama agreed last month that 500 migrants could cross per day, but local officials have repeatedly urged them to raise the quota, saying it is far too low to keep pace with the up to 1,500 migrants who arrive in town daily. -Reuters Meanwhile, the Biden administration has released around 12,000 Haitians into the United States - unvaccinated, while school children are forced to wear masks and unvaccinated Americans are losing their jobs because... science. More from Jack Phillips via The Epoch Times, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said Sunday that a significant number of Haitian illegal immigrants who had amassed along the U.S.-Mexico border last week are being released into the United States. About 12,400 out of 17,000 Haitians are having their cases heard by immigration courts, Mayorkas said, adding that about 5,000 are being processed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Only approximately 3,000 are in detention, he said. “Approximately, I think it’s about ten thousand or so, twelve thousand,” Mayorkas told “Fox News Sunday” when he was asked about the number of Haitian illegal aliens who have been released into the interior of the United States. The number could rise as 5,000 more cases are processed, he remarked further. Mayorkas added that the figure of those being released “could be even higher” and added that the “number that are returned could be even higher.” Striking a defensive tone, Mayorkas said, “What we do is we follow the law as Congress has passed it.” “Legislative reform is needed,” he said, adding that the U.S. “immigration system is broken.” The Department of Justice in 2017 previously estimated that about 43 percent of illegal aliens released into the U.S. miss their immigration court hearings. When asked about what will happen to the 12,000 who were released in the past week, Mayorkas said that “it is our intention to remove” those aliens. “We have enforcement guidelines in place that provide that individuals who are recent border crossers who do not show up for their hearings are enforcement priorities, and will be removed,” Mayorkas said. Last week, more than 15,000 Haitians congregated underneath a bridge in Del Rio, Texas, and essentially constructed a shantytown before numerous local officials sounded the alarm that a humanitarian crisis was brewing. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas updates reporters on the effort to resettle vulnerable Afghans in the United States, in Washington on Sept. 3, 2021. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo) DHS officials, including Mayorkas, on Sept. 24 said that the encampment under the bridge was cleared out. A day later, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said that the Texas border crossing will be partially reopened. The agency also said it is planning to continue flights to Haiti throughout the weekend, ignoring criticism from Democratic lawmakers and some progressive groups. The number of people at the Del Rio encampment peaked last weekend as migrants driven by confusion over the Biden administration’s policies and misinformation on social media converged at the border crossing. While Mayorkas and other White House officials have asserted that the border is closed, Republicans have said that the administration’s decisions to rescind a number of Trump-era immigrant orders have triggered a surge of illegal immigration. All the while, Mayorkas and other senior officials have dedicated a significant amount of time in news conferences condemning some Border Patrol agents who were seen on horseback near Haitians who illegally crossed the border. The photographer who shot those pictures last week said that the agents were not whipping the migrants, as some officials and Democratic lawmakers had claimed. “Some of the Haitian men started running, trying to go around the horses,” photographer Paul Ratje told local station KTSM, explaining the situation on the ground. “I’ve never seen them whip anyone,” he said, referring to the agents. “He was swinging it, but it can be misconstrued when you’re looking at the picture.” Tyler Durden Sun, 09/26/2021 - 16:00.....»»

Category: worldSource: nyt10 hr. 32 min. ago

New York won"t extend unemployment benefits to healthcare workers fired over COVID-19 vaccine mandate

The state's vaccine mandate for healthcare workers goes into effect on Monday, potentially causing staffing shortages at some healthcare facilities as thousands of people are not eligible to work. Clinicians work on intubating a COVID-19 patient in the ICU at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital in Lake Charles, Louisiana on August 10, 2021. Mario Tama/Getty Images New York will not extend unemployment benefits to most unvaccinated healthcare workers who are fired over the vaccine mandate. The mandate goes into effect Monday, making it necessary for healthcare workers in New York to be vaccinated against COVID-19. New York Governor Kathy Hochul is ready to call in the National Guard in case of shortages of healthcare workers caused by the mandate. See more stories on Insider's business page. Healthcare workers who refuse the COVID-19 vaccine and are fired for failing to comply with a new state law will not be able to collect unemployment benefits unless they present a doctor-approved request for medical accommodation, according to the New York Department of Labor.New York's new vaccine mandate, which goes into effect Monday, makes it necessary for workers in New York's hospitals and nursing homes to have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Employees working at in home care, hospice, and adult care facilities need to be vaccinated by October 7. The mandate also applies to all out-of-state and contract medical staff who practice in New York."Workers in a healthcare facility, nursing home, or school who voluntarily quit or are terminated for refusing an employer-mandated vaccination" are not eligible for unemployment insurance because the employer has a "compelling interest" for its employees to be vaccinated, according to the New York Department of Labor website.New York Governor Kathy Hochul has said she is prepared to call in medically trained National Guard members and workers outside New York to aid with a potential shortage of healthcare workers once the mandate takes effect and some people are no longer eligible to come to work.As of Wednesday, 84% of healthcare workers in New York were fully vaccinated against coronavirus. As of Thursday, 81% of staff at all adult care facilities and 77% of all staff at nursing home facilities in New York State were fully vaccinated.The mandate comes at a time where many US hospitals are experiencing staffing shortages. With an influx of patients because of the Delta variant and fewer nurses due to burnout and difficult working conditions, many healthcare facilities are understaffed. However, a nursing shortage has been looming for years, only accelerated by the pandemic as fear of contracting COVID-19 worsened working conditions. Hochul can declare a state of emergency to allow health care professionals licensed in other states or countries, recent graduates, retired, and formerly practicing health care professionals to practice in New York. "I am monitoring the staffing situation closely, and we have a plan to increase our health care workforce and help alleviate the burdens on our hospitals and other health care facilities," Hochul said in a statement. "I commend all of the health care workers who have stepped up to get themselves vaccinated, and I urge all remaining health care workers who are unvaccinated to do so now so they can continue providing care."Expanded Coverage Module: The coronavirus pandemicRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider13 hr. 48 min. ago