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Category: topSource: bizjournalsOct 14th, 2021

Democrats are set to unveil a new billionaire"s tax and some of the wealthiest Americans are glad. Here are some of the ultrawealthy who want higher taxes.

The group includes Mark Cuban, George Soros, Ray Dalio, Abigail Disney, members of the Pritzker and Gund families, and a Facebook cofounder. 'Shark Tank' star Mark Cuban Christopher Willard/ABC via Getty Images To pay for Biden's social spending agenda, Democrats are considering a new tax targeting billionaires. Billionaires including Mark Cuban, Marc Benioff, Ray Dalio, and George Soros have publicly called for higher taxes on the wealthy. A wealth tax would make ultrawealthy Americans pay the government a small percentage of their net worth each year. In 2020, Bill Gates' New Year's resolution was to get the federal government to raise taxes on the ultrawealthy - including himself. Now, that wish might come true, as Democrats eye higher taxes on America's billionaires."We've updated our tax system before to keep up with changing times, and we need to do it again, starting with raising taxes on people like me," Gates wrote on his blog at the time.That's exactly what Democrats are planning to propose this week. A plan authored by Sen. Ron Wyden would target the unrealized gains - value that assets like stock accrue - of billionaires every year. It's not quite an outright wealth tax, but it comes close. And it would pay for the social safety net bill Democrats hope to vote on this week that includes expansions to healthcare and childcare for Americans.While Elon Musk ripped the plan on Twitter, other billionaires from Warren Buffett to George Soros have proposed a wealth tax as a way to combat America's growing wealth gap and fund healthcare and education initiatives. In the run-up to the 2020 presidential election, a group of 18 ultrawealthy Americans, including Abigail Disney and members of the Pritzker and Gund families, published an open letter asking presidential candidates to support a moderate wealth tax.Politicians, too, rolled out proposals on this front: A wealth tax like the one proposed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren would make ultrawealthy Americans pay the federal government a small percentage of their net worth each year. Bernie Sanders unveiled a wealth-tax plan that is even more aggressive than Warren's.Inequality exacerbated by the pandemic has more strenuously renewed calls for a wealth tax, as America's billionaires added $2.1 trillion to their fortunes as millions dealt with with pandemic-induced unemployment and poverty. Mounting inequality isn't a new issue: In 2018, income inequality in the US reached its highest level in more than half a century. The ultrawealthy actually paid a smaller portion of their income in taxes than average Americans in 2018, an analysis of tax data by the University of California at Berkeley's Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman found.While the idea of using a wealth tax to solve America's inequality problem has gained traction in recent years, proposals have been hampered by questions over the effectiveness and the constitutionality of such a tax, Business Insider previously reported.Keep reading to learn more about some of the most high-profile billionaires and multimillionaires who have publicly supported raising taxes on the 1%, listed in chronological order. The founder of Jimmy John's says it's "bullshit" that wealthy people are taking out loans to live on that are free of taxes. Irene Jiang / Business Insider Jimmy John Liautaud told The Daily Beast that he knows a lot of people have "accumulated massive, massive wealth" — and then borrow money. As ProPublica reported, taking out loans against large fortunes is one method that the ultra-wealthy employ to reduce how much they owe in taxes, since loans aren't taxed."That's tax free. And I think it's bullshit," Liautaud told the Daily Beast.When it comes to gains for assets, he said: "Warren Buffett or Bill Gates, every year this shit's compounding. I paid more tax than Warren Buffett. And I'm worth 2 billion fucking dollars." Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban proposed taxing the wealthy to offset cutting payroll taxes in a November 2017 tweet. Getty/Michael Kovac —Mark Cuban (@mcuban) November 24, 2017Now best known for his appearances on ABC's "Shark Tank," Cuban built a $4.5 billion fortune through a lifetime of business deals, including the $5.7 billion sale of Broadcast.com, and his ownership of the Dallas Mavericks, Business Insider reported. Bill Gates has said he's paid over $10 billion in taxes over his lifetime - but he doesn't think that's enough. Bill Gates speaks ahead of former U.S. President Barack Obama at the Gates Foundation Inaugural Goalkeepers event on September 20, 2017 in New York City. Yana Paskova/Getty Images "I need to pay higher taxes," Gates said in a 2018 interview with CNN's Fareed Zakaria. "I've paid more taxes, over $10 billion, than anyone else, but the government should require people in my position to pay significantly higher taxes."In a December 30, 2019, post on his blog, Gates Notes, Gates proposed raising the estate tax and removing the cap on the amount of income subject to Medicare taxes. He also suggested closing the carried interest loophole that allows fund managers to pay lower capital gains rates on their incomes and making state and local taxes fairer, Market Insider's Theron Mohamed previously reported."That's why I'm for a tax system in which, if you have more money, you pay a higher percentage in taxes," Gates wrote. "And I think the rich should pay more than they currently do, and that includes Melinda and me." On CNBC's Squawk Box, Warren Buffett said raising billionaires' taxes is the best way to help "a guy who is a wonderful citizen" but "just doesn't have market skills." Bill Pugliano/Getty "The wealthy are definitely undertaxed relative to the general population," Buffett said on CNBC's "Squawk Box" in February 2019. Buffett has suggested that Congress expand income tax credits for low-income Americans, raising taxes on high earners in the process, CNBC reported. Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said he "should be paying higher taxes" at a CNN town hall in February, but called Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's proposed 70% marginal tax rate for millionaires "punitive." Howard Schultz. Owen Hoffmann / Contributor / Getty Images Schultz built a $3.8 billion fortune running the coffee chain, Business Insider previously reported. While Schultz left Starbucks in 2018, he still held onto more than 37.7 million shares — or roughly 3% — of the company's stock. When asked if the wealthy should pay more in taxes on "60 Minutes," billionaire hedge-fund manager Ray Dalio replied: "Of course." Hollis Johnson/Business Insider In the "60 Minutes" segment, Dalio said he thinks the American dream is lost and referred to the wealth gap as a "national emergency." Dalio, 70, founded his hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates, in his apartment in 1975, Business Insider reported. It now has $150 billion in assets under management. Dalio has a net worth of $20 billion, Forbes estimates. Abigail Disney, the granddaughter of The Walt Disney Company cofounder Roy Disney, has made a name for herself as one of the biggest advocates for closing America's wealth gap. Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images The granddaughter of The Walt Disney Co. cofounder Roy Disney has made a name for herself as one of the company's most outspoken critics. The 59-year-old heiress has criticized the salary of Disney CEO Bob Iger and defended Meryl Streep after she called Walt Disney a "bigot," according to CNN Business.Disney has a net worth of $120 million, she said in July 2019. "The internet says I have half a billion dollars and I might have something close to that if I'd been investing aggressively," Disney told the Financial Times.She testified in support of Elizabeth Warren's proposed wealth tax in April 2021, and called out the methods the ultra-wealthy use to evade taxes in a June essay for the Atlantic.Disney was one of 18 ultrawealthy Americas to sign an open letter in June asking presidential candidates to support a moderate wealth tax. The letter isn't the first time that Disney has spoken out about tax reform. Disney criticized the 2017 Republican tax bill in a NowThis video, saying the bill unfairly benefited the wealthy. Heiress Agnes Gund and her daughter Catherine Gund also signed the wealth tax letter. Catherine Gund, left, with her mother, Agnes Gund, and Stanley Whitney Getty Images / Sean Zanni / Contributor In 2015, Forbes estimated that the Gund family had a net worth of $3.4 billion and ranked them among the 100 wealthiest families in America.Agnes Gund, 83, used the fortune she inherited from her father, the president of an Ohio-based bank, to become a philanthropist in arts and social justice, according to The New York Times. Agnes Gund received the National Medal of the Arts in 1997 from President Bill Clinton for her work, which included serving as the president of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.Catherine Gund, 56, is an Emmy-winning film director and producer. Gund founded nonprofit production studio Aubin Pictures in 1996, according to her previous biography on the studio's website. The Gunds weren't the only family who signed the letter together. So did Facebook cofounder Chris Hughes and his husband, political activist Sean Eldridge. Chris Hughes Facebook Page Hughes is a cofounder of Facebook. He left the social network in 2007 to become the online organizer for Barack Obama's first presidential campaign. Despite calling for Facebook to be broken up in May 2019, Hughes had a stake in the company worth $850 million, Newsweek reports. In 2016, Forbes put Hughes' net worth at $430 million.In April 2021, Hughes told CNBC that Americans are "throwing out the idea that markets were ever free" and that it's time for a new capitalism.Eldridge is a political activist and former congressional candidate in New York, according to Vanity Fair. Eldridge was born in Canada. Ian and Liesel Pritzker Simmons signed the letter together. Ian Simmons, Co-Founder and Principal of Blue Haven Initiative, poses at his office in Cambridge, Mass., Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. A handful of billionaires and multimillionaires are making a renewed push for the government to raise their taxes and siphon away some of their holdings. AP Photo/Michael Dwyer "This is really a conservative position about increasing the stability of the economy in the long term and having an efficient source of taxation," Simmons told the Associated Press.Simmons, 44, serves as the cofounder and principal of impact investing firm Blue Haven Initiative alongside his wife and fellow signatory, Liesel Pritzker Simmons, according to the firm's website. Simmons is the heir to a family fortune that stems from the construction of locks on the Erie Canal, according to Forbes.Pritzker Simmons, an heir to the Pritzker family fortune, has a net worth of $600 million, according to a 2013 Forbes article. Simmons, now 35, is also a cofounder and principal of Blue Haven Initiative.As a child, she starred in several big-name Hollywood productions, including "A Little Princess" and "Air Force One," alongside Harrison Ford. In 2002, Forbes reports, she sued her father and the Pritzker family and came away from it with a $500 million payout. Simmons called retired Massachusetts real-estate developer Robert Bowditch and convinced him to sign the letter, too. Shutterstock "Charitable giving by itself simply cannot provide enough money to support public goods and services, such as public education, roads and bridges, clean air," Bowditch told the Associated Press in October 2019. "It has to be done by taxes."Bowditch has previously advocated for raising taxes on the wealthy: In 2010, he signed an open letter to President Obama asking him to allow tax cuts for millionaires to expire, according to a CBS affiliate in Boston. Billionaire financier George Soros signed the letter with his son, Alexander Soros. Manny Carabel/WireImage According to his personal website, Alexander Soros, 35, serves as deputy chair of the Open Society Foundations, a nonprofit founded by his father. George Soros told The New York Times' Andrew Ross Sorkin he supports a wealth tax even though it creates "a moral problem" for him. Yunus Kaymaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images "I am in favor of taxing the rich," George Soros, 89, told The New York Times' Andrew Ross Sorkin in October 2019, "including a wealth tax. A financier makes people suspicious ... and it does create a moral problem for me. As I became so successful, it basically put a self-imposed constraint on me that actually interfered with making money."The philanthropist made his fortune running Quantum Fund, which was once the largest hedge fund in the world. Soros has a net worth of $8.3 billion, Business Insider reported. Investor Nick Hanauer believes a wealth tax would be good for America's economy. Courtesy of Nick Hanauer "A wealth tax would not just be fair — it would be pro-growth," Hanauer wrote in an essay advocating for a wealth tax published on Business Insider. "And don't let the trickle-downers tell you otherwise."Hanauer, 62, was an early investor in Amazon, according to his personal website. Business Insider previously reported that Hanauer is a longtime critic of America's income inequality.Business Insider's Rich Feloni reported that Hanauer has said he's not a billionaire, but that, as both he and his wife have signed The Giving Pledge, their combined net worth at least approaches the $1 billion threshold. Heiress and attorney Molly Munger told the Associated Press that seeing empty Newport Beach mansions from her family's boat on Memorial Day made her consider a wealth tax. Lacy O'Toole/CNBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images "It's just too much to watch that happen at the top and see what is happening at the bottom," Munger told the Associated Press in October 2019. "Isn't it a waste when beautiful homes on the beach are empty for most of the summer?"Munger, 71, is the oldest daughter of Berkshire Hathaway vice chairman Charlie Munger. Munger is a Harvard Law graduate who works as a civil rights attorney in Pasadena, California, according to the Los Angeles Times. In 2012, she advocated for a tax hike in California to boost funding for the state's public schools. Billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad wrote an op-ed in The New York Times in June 2019 advocating for a wealth tax, saying American capitalism "isn't working." AP Broad doesn't believe that his philanthropic work and other policies including a $15 minimum wage, expanding access to health care, and reforming public education are doing enough to help low-income Americans, he wrote in The New York Times."It's time to start talking seriously about a wealth tax," Broad wrote in The Times. "I simply believe it's time for those of us with great wealth to commit to reducing income inequality, starting with the demand to be taxed at a higher rate than everyone else."Broad built a $6.9 billion fortune after cofounding home builder Kaufman & Broad, according to Forbes. Salesforce co-CEO Marc Benioff proposed a wealth tax in an October New York Times essay. Kimberley White/Getty Images "Local efforts — like the tax I supported last year on San Francisco's largest companies to address our city's urgent homelessness crisis — will help," Benioff wrote in The New York Times in October 2019. "Nationally, increasing taxes on high-income individuals like myself would help generate the trillions of dollars that we desperately need to improve education and health care and fight climate change."Benioff built a $6.5 billion fortune after founding software developer Salesforce. Benioff currently serves as the company's CEO. Michael Bloomberg has made raising taxes on the wealthy a key part of his 2020 presidential campaign. FILE PHOTO: Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg addresses a news conference after launching his presidential bid in Norfolk, Virginia Reuters Bloomberg has included promises to support "taxing wealthy people like me" in ads since launching his campaign in November, Bloomberg News reported at the time.As Politico reported, Bloomberg ultimately proposed a 5% surtax for people earning over $5 million annually — as well as an increase to the capital gains rate and corporate tax rate. But Bloomberg said during his campaign that he believes that Warren and Sanders' wealth tax "just doesn't work," he said at campaign stop in Phoenix in November. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 26th, 2021

Democrats are set to unveil a new billionaire"s tax. Here"s a look at the wealthiest Americans who want to pay more.

The group includes Mark Cuban, George Soros, Ray Dalio, Abigail Disney, members of the Pritzker and Gund families, and a Facebook cofounder. 'Shark Tank' star Mark Cuban Christopher Willard/ABC via Getty Images To pay for Biden's social spending agenda, Democrats are considering a new tax targeting billionaires. Billionaires including Mark Cuban, Marc Benioff, Ray Dalio, and George Soros have publicly called for higher taxes on the wealthy. A wealth tax would make ultrawealthy Americans pay the government a small percentage of their net worth each year. In 2020, Bill Gates' New Year's resolution was to get the federal government to raise taxes on the ultrawealthy - including himself. Now, that wish might come true, as Democrats eye higher taxes on America's billionaires."We've updated our tax system before to keep up with changing times, and we need to do it again, starting with raising taxes on people like me," Gates wrote on his blog at the time.That's exactly what Democrats are planning to propose this week. A plan authored by Sen. Ron Wyden would target the unrealized gains - value that assets like stock accrue - of billionaires every year. It's not quite an outright wealth tax, but it comes close. And it would pay for the social safety net bill Democrats hope to vote on this week that includes expansions to healthcare and childcare for Americans.While Elon Musk ripped the plan on Twitter, other billionaires from Warren Buffett to George Soros have proposed a wealth tax as a way to combat America's growing wealth gap and fund healthcare and education initiatives. In the run-up to the 2020 presidential election, a group of 18 ultrawealthy Americans, including Abigail Disney and members of the Pritzker and Gund families, published an open letter asking presidential candidates to support a moderate wealth tax.Politicians, too, rolled out proposals on this front: A wealth tax like the one proposed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren would make ultrawealthy Americans pay the federal government a small percentage of their net worth each year. Bernie Sanders unveiled a wealth-tax plan that is even more aggressive than Warren's.Inequality exacerbated by the pandemic has more strenuously renewed calls for a wealth tax, as America's billionaires added $2.1 trillion to their fortunes as millions dealt with with pandemic-induced unemployment and poverty. Mounting inequality isn't a new issue: In 2018, income inequality in the US reached its highest level in more than half a century. The ultrawealthy actually paid a smaller portion of their income in taxes than average Americans in 2018, an analysis of tax data by the University of California at Berkeley's Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman found.While the idea of using a wealth tax to solve America's inequality problem has gained traction in recent years, proposals have been hampered by questions over the effectiveness and the constitutionality of such a tax, Business Insider previously reported.Keep reading to learn more about some of the most high-profile billionaires and multimillionaires who have publicly supported raising taxes on the 1%, listed in chronological order. The founder of Jimmy John's says it's "bullshit" that wealthy people are taking out loans to live on that are free of taxes. Irene Jiang / Business Insider Jimmy John Liautaud told The Daily Beast that he knows a lot of people have "accumulated massive, massive wealth" — and then borrow money. As ProPublica reported, taking out loans against large fortunes is one method that the ultra-wealthy employ to reduce how much they owe in taxes, since loans aren't taxed."That's tax free. And I think it's bullshit," Liautaud told the Daily Beast.When it comes to gains for assets, he said: "Warren Buffett or Bill Gates, every year this shit's compounding. I paid more tax than Warren Buffett. And I'm worth 2 billion fucking dollars." Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban proposed taxing the wealthy to offset cutting payroll taxes in a November 2017 tweet. Getty/Michael Kovac —Mark Cuban (@mcuban) November 24, 2017Now best known for his appearances on ABC's "Shark Tank," Cuban built a $4.5 billion fortune through a lifetime of business deals, including the $5.7 billion sale of Broadcast.com, and his ownership of the Dallas Mavericks, Business Insider reported. Bill Gates has said he's paid over $10 billion in taxes over his lifetime - but he doesn't think that's enough. Bill Gates speaks ahead of former U.S. President Barack Obama at the Gates Foundation Inaugural Goalkeepers event on September 20, 2017 in New York City. Yana Paskova/Getty Images "I need to pay higher taxes," Gates said in a 2018 interview with CNN's Fareed Zakaria. "I've paid more taxes, over $10 billion, than anyone else, but the government should require people in my position to pay significantly higher taxes."In a December 30, 2019, post on his blog, Gates Notes, Gates proposed raising the estate tax and removing the cap on the amount of income subject to Medicare taxes. He also suggested closing the carried interest loophole that allows fund managers to pay lower capital gains rates on their incomes and making state and local taxes fairer, Market Insider's Theron Mohamed previously reported."That's why I'm for a tax system in which, if you have more money, you pay a higher percentage in taxes," Gates wrote. "And I think the rich should pay more than they currently do, and that includes Melinda and me." On CNBC's Squawk Box, Warren Buffett said raising billionaires' taxes is the best way to help "a guy who is a wonderful citizen" but "just doesn't have market skills." Bill Pugliano/Getty "The wealthy are definitely undertaxed relative to the general population," Buffett said on CNBC's "Squawk Box" in February 2019. Buffett has suggested that Congress expand income tax credits for low-income Americans, raising taxes on high earners in the process, CNBC reported. Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said he "should be paying higher taxes" at a CNN town hall in February, but called Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's proposed 70% marginal tax rate for millionaires "punitive." Howard Schultz. Owen Hoffmann / Contributor / Getty Images Schultz built a $3.8 billion fortune running the coffee chain, Business Insider previously reported. While Schultz left Starbucks in 2018, he still held onto more than 37.7 million shares — or roughly 3% — of the company's stock. When asked if the wealthy should pay more in taxes on "60 Minutes," billionaire hedge-fund manager Ray Dalio replied: "Of course." Hollis Johnson/Business Insider In the "60 Minutes" segment, Dalio said he thinks the American dream is lost and referred to the wealth gap as a "national emergency." Dalio, 70, founded his hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates, in his apartment in 1975, Business Insider reported. It now has $150 billion in assets under management. Dalio has a net worth of $20 billion, Forbes estimates. Abigail Disney, the granddaughter of The Walt Disney Company cofounder Roy Disney, has made a name for herself as one of the biggest advocates for closing America's wealth gap. Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images The granddaughter of The Walt Disney Co. cofounder Roy Disney has made a name for herself as one of the company's most outspoken critics. The 59-year-old heiress has criticized the salary of Disney CEO Bob Iger and defended Meryl Streep after she called Walt Disney a "bigot," according to CNN Business.Disney has a net worth of $120 million, she said in July 2019. "The internet says I have half a billion dollars and I might have something close to that if I'd been investing aggressively," Disney told the Financial Times.She testified in support of Elizabeth Warren's proposed wealth tax in April 2021, and called out the methods the ultra-wealthy use to evade taxes in a June essay for the Atlantic.Disney was one of 18 ultrawealthy Americas to sign an open letter in June asking presidential candidates to support a moderate wealth tax. The letter isn't the first time that Disney has spoken out about tax reform. Disney criticized the 2017 Republican tax bill in a NowThis video, saying the bill unfairly benefited the wealthy. Heiress Agnes Gund and her daughter Catherine Gund also signed the wealth tax letter. Catherine Gund, left, with her mother, Agnes Gund, and Stanley Whitney Getty Images / Sean Zanni / Contributor In 2015, Forbes estimated that the Gund family had a net worth of $3.4 billion and ranked them among the 100 wealthiest families in America.Agnes Gund, 83, used the fortune she inherited from her father, the president of an Ohio-based bank, to become a philanthropist in arts and social justice, according to The New York Times. Agnes Gund received the National Medal of the Arts in 1997 from President Bill Clinton for her work, which included serving as the president of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.Catherine Gund, 56, is an Emmy-winning film director and producer. Gund founded nonprofit production studio Aubin Pictures in 1996, according to her previous biography on the studio's website. The Gunds weren't the only family who signed the letter together. So did Facebook cofounder Chris Hughes and his husband, political activist Sean Eldridge. Chris Hughes Facebook Page Hughes is a cofounder of Facebook. He left the social network in 2007 to become the online organizer for Barack Obama's first presidential campaign. Despite calling for Facebook to be broken up in May 2019, Hughes had a stake in the company worth $850 million, Newsweek reports. In 2016, Forbes put Hughes' net worth at $430 million.In April 2021, Hughes told CNBC that Americans are "throwing out the idea that markets were ever free" and that it's time for a new capitalism.Eldridge is a political activist and former congressional candidate in New York, according to Vanity Fair. Eldridge was born in Canada. Ian and Liesel Pritzker Simmons signed the letter together. Ian Simmons, Co-Founder and Principal of Blue Haven Initiative, poses at his office in Cambridge, Mass., Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. A handful of billionaires and multimillionaires are making a renewed push for the government to raise their taxes and siphon away some of their holdings. AP Photo/Michael Dwyer "This is really a conservative position about increasing the stability of the economy in the long term and having an efficient source of taxation," Simmons told the Associated Press.Simmons, 44, serves as the cofounder and principal of impact investing firm Blue Haven Initiative alongside his wife and fellow signatory, Liesel Pritzker Simmons, according to the firm's website. Simmons is the heir to a family fortune that stems from the construction of locks on the Erie Canal, according to Forbes.Pritzker Simmons, an heir to the Pritzker family fortune, has a net worth of $600 million, according to a 2013 Forbes article. Simmons, now 35, is also a cofounder and principal of Blue Haven Initiative.As a child, she starred in several big-name Hollywood productions, including "A Little Princess" and "Air Force One," alongside Harrison Ford. In 2002, Forbes reports, she sued her father and the Pritzker family and came away from it with a $500 million payout. Simmons called retired Massachusetts real-estate developer Robert Bowditch and convinced him to sign the letter, too. Shutterstock "Charitable giving by itself simply cannot provide enough money to support public goods and services, such as public education, roads and bridges, clean air," Bowditch told the Associated Press in October 2019. "It has to be done by taxes."Bowditch has previously advocated for raising taxes on the wealthy: In 2010, he signed an open letter to President Obama asking him to allow tax cuts for millionaires to expire, according to a CBS affiliate in Boston. Billionaire financier George Soros signed the letter with his son, Alexander Soros. Manny Carabel/WireImage According to his personal website, Alexander Soros, 35, serves as deputy chair of the Open Society Foundations, a nonprofit founded by his father. George Soros told The New York Times' Andrew Ross Sorkin he supports a wealth tax even though it creates "a moral problem" for him. Yunus Kaymaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images "I am in favor of taxing the rich," George Soros, 89, told The New York Times' Andrew Ross Sorkin in October 2019, "including a wealth tax. A financier makes people suspicious ... and it does create a moral problem for me. As I became so successful, it basically put a self-imposed constraint on me that actually interfered with making money."The philanthropist made his fortune running Quantum Fund, which was once the largest hedge fund in the world. Soros has a net worth of $8.3 billion, Business Insider reported. Investor Nick Hanauer believes a wealth tax would be good for America's economy. Courtesy of Nick Hanauer "A wealth tax would not just be fair — it would be pro-growth," Hanauer wrote in an essay advocating for a wealth tax published on Business Insider. "And don't let the trickle-downers tell you otherwise."Hanauer, 62, was an early investor in Amazon, according to his personal website. Business Insider previously reported that Hanauer is a longtime critic of America's income inequality.Business Insider's Rich Feloni reported that Hanauer has said he's not a billionaire, but that, as both he and his wife have signed The Giving Pledge, their combined net worth at least approaches the $1 billion threshold. Heiress and attorney Molly Munger told the Associated Press that seeing empty Newport Beach mansions from her family's boat on Memorial Day made her consider a wealth tax. Lacy O'Toole/CNBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images "It's just too much to watch that happen at the top and see what is happening at the bottom," Munger told the Associated Press in October 2019. "Isn't it a waste when beautiful homes on the beach are empty for most of the summer?"Munger, 71, is the oldest daughter of Berkshire Hathaway vice chairman Charlie Munger. Munger is a Harvard Law graduate who works as a civil rights attorney in Pasadena, California, according to the Los Angeles Times. In 2012, she advocated for a tax hike in California to boost funding for the state's public schools. Billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad wrote an op-ed in The New York Times in June 2019 advocating for a wealth tax, saying American capitalism "isn't working." AP Broad doesn't believe that his philanthropic work and other policies including a $15 minimum wage, expanding access to health care, and reforming public education are doing enough to help low-income Americans, he wrote in The New York Times."It's time to start talking seriously about a wealth tax," Broad wrote in The Times. "I simply believe it's time for those of us with great wealth to commit to reducing income inequality, starting with the demand to be taxed at a higher rate than everyone else."Broad built a $6.9 billion fortune after cofounding home builder Kaufman & Broad, according to Forbes. Salesforce co-CEO Marc Benioff proposed a wealth tax in an October New York Times essay. Kimberley White/Getty Images "Local efforts — like the tax I supported last year on San Francisco's largest companies to address our city's urgent homelessness crisis — will help," Benioff wrote in The New York Times in October 2019. "Nationally, increasing taxes on high-income individuals like myself would help generate the trillions of dollars that we desperately need to improve education and health care and fight climate change."Benioff built a $6.5 billion fortune after founding software developer Salesforce. Benioff currently serves as the company's CEO. Michael Bloomberg has made raising taxes on the wealthy a key part of his 2020 presidential campaign. FILE PHOTO: Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg addresses a news conference after launching his presidential bid in Norfolk, Virginia Reuters Bloomberg has included promises to support "taxing wealthy people like me" in ads since launching his campaign in November, Bloomberg News reported at the time.As Politico reported, Bloomberg ultimately proposed a 5% surtax for people earning over $5 million annually — as well as an increase to the capital gains rate and corporate tax rate. But Bloomberg said during his campaign that he believes that Warren and Sanders' wealth tax "just doesn't work," he said at campaign stop in Phoenix in November. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 26th, 2021

Workers Are Furious. Their Unions Are Scrambling to Catch Up

James Geiger, a 53-year-old John Deere machinist in Waterloo, Iowa, is fed up with two things. The first is how newer workers are treated by the agricultural machinery manufacturer compared to older ones. After 19 years of service, he says his pay and pension benefits don’t stack up against those of his coworkers hired before… James Geiger, a 53-year-old John Deere machinist in Waterloo, Iowa, is fed up with two things. The first is how newer workers are treated by the agricultural machinery manufacturer compared to older ones. After 19 years of service, he says his pay and pension benefits don’t stack up against those of his coworkers hired before 1997 and he’s often required to work mandatory overtime. As the clock struck midnight on Oct. 14, he and 10,000 other John Deere workers walked out of 14 plants nationwide in protest. The other thing getting under Geiger’s skin is how his union, United Auto Workers (UAW), is handling this moment. After all, it was UAW that agreed to the contract of the two-tiered system back in the 1990s. “We don’t trust the international [union],” says Geiger. “They brought that lousy contract for us to vote on.” [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] Geiger’s frustration with his union is not unique. In recent weeks, as tens of thousands of workers from Colorado to Georgia have gone on strike to demand better pay and work conditions, much of the organizing has been driven by workers themselves. The dynamic has left national and international union leadership scrambling to keep up with their own members’ decisions to strike, their shifting goals, and how to support the social media-driven communications strategies workers are employing. “There is this grassroots push,” says David Madland, senior adviser to the American Worker Project at the Center for American Progress, “and leaders have to catch up.” A year and a half into the COVID-19 pandemic, in which most blue-collar workers risked their health and safety to go to work while their white-collar colleagues largely worked from home, some top union brass and union members are at a disconnect. Union leadership is sometimes so focused on state and federal power structures that they’re missing the tectonic shifts among workers on the ground, labor experts and striking workers say. “There is a danger and a concern that some of the heads of unions tend to be DC-focused. [They are] too interested in, ‘What are the debates on reconciliation? Who’s working with the administration? Are we invited to the meetings in DC?’ Yes, there’s an important role to play there,” argues Faiz Shakir, the founder of advocacy journalism startup More Perfect Union and former Bernie Sanders’ 2020 campaign manager. “But right now, especially at this moment in history, the worker fights are out there around the country.” Read more: U.S. Workers Are Realizing It’s the Perfect Time to Go on Strike The real problem, some say, is that unions are not seizing on this moment to capitalize on workers’ demands. “The international and the local union kept telling us, ‘You guys will never see a [full] pension and never see medical benefits when you retire,’” says Geiger of the UAW. “I always ask, ‘Why not? That’s what we want. Take it to the bargaining table and fight for it.’” After all, the iron is hot. Current labor conditions give U.S. workers extraordinary leverage over their employers: There are 10.4 million open jobs and just 7.7 million people looking for work, according to October figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, while a record-breaking number of people have been voluntarily quitting their jobs. “It’s kind of a perfect storm, and it allows the unions to be more aggressive than they have been for a long time,” says Ruth Milkman, chair of the Labor Studies Department at the City University of New York. Unionized workers are seizing on the opening. Roughly 1,400 employees at four factories for Kellogg’s are striking against a two-tier wage system, in addition to the 10,000 John Deere workers that have walked out over similar frustrations. Over 24,000 Kaiser Permanente health workers voted to authorize a strike in mid-October. IATSE, a union representing roughly 60,000 behind-the-scenes film and television employees, was also on the precipice of a strike earlier this month, before the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers proposed a tentative agreement with more humane work hours. (It is not yet clear IATSE workers will agree to the contract proposal.) And in mid-September, more than 1,000 Nabisco workers across five states exacted pay increases after a five-week strike. Union leadership, meanwhile, has been handed a golden opportunity. This recent surge of labor activity—dubbed “Striketober”—has garnered national headlines, excited rank-and-file laborers, and pushed employers onto their heels. While private-sector union membership remains low, just above 6% nationally, unions are in a position now to agitate, amass wins, and recruit much-needed new membership. But to do so, they may have to update their approach. “In order to have a resurgence,” says Milkman, “you’d have to organize that 94%.” ‘Do not try to package that script’ Rob Eafen, the President of Local 252G at the Memphis Kellogg’s facility, says he and other local union leaders didn’t originally want to strike; they wanted to continue negotiating for a better contract. But ultimately, the will of the workers prevailed. “The movement to strike was a groundswell, from the people,” Eafen says. “We heard the call to strike at all the union meetings that we had, and in conversations with employees in the plant… We had to listen to what the people wanted.” But helping workers facilitate a strike isn’t enough, workers say. Union leadership also has to empower them to extend their message from picket-lines to headlines. In the absence of effective communication strategies from his international union, Geiger says he’s taken it upon himself to talk to tell the world what he and his coworkers at John Deere are fighting for—and why. “We’re told by the union not to talk to the media, to just refer them to the union hall. That’s wrong,” he says. “Talk to the people that are doing the work. That’s where you get the real story.” Jenifer Veloso/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesSigns by a fire during a union workers strike outside the Kellogg plant in Battle Creek, Michigan, U.S., on Friday, Oct. 22, 2021. Permitting striking workers to share their own experiences with the masses can be critical to a modern labor strike’s success, says Shakir. When unions disseminate information about strikes through press releases or carefully edited statements—the safe strategies of yesteryear—they risk suppressing the passion of the people working on the front lines. If you compare grassroots, worker-generated videos with one produced by union leadership, the latter is “going to be canned,” Shakir says. “It’s going to look like talking points. It’s going to look like you set them up to say things,” Shakir says. “I firmly believe in letting [workers] tell you their story. Do not try to package that script.” The Kellogg’s strikes are one example. At the Omaha, Nebraska plant, packing troubleshooter Jeff Jens, 49, is leading the local union’s social media efforts, capitalizing on Facebook and a blog to keep supporters informed about how the strike is going. “There’s been a shift in the labor movement right now in two ways,” says Jens. “One is that power is being recognized by all the unions themselves, but also in the laborers themselves, realizing what their worth and what the power of their voice is.” Read more: Pandemic Fuels Union Interest Among Frontline Workers At the Memphis Kellogg’s plant, the strategy is similar. “Pretty much everyone” at the Kellogg’s plant in Memphis, especially workers in their 20s, 30s and 40s, are using social media to express their personal motivations for striking to garner national support, says Eafen. “Social media is the devil,” he adds, “but it’s been very, very successful.” Liz Shuler, the president of AFL-CIO, the nation’s largest union federation, says national and international unions could do a better job of forging connections between other, tangentially related grassroots movements, like the Sunrise Movement’s climate organizing and Black Lives Matters’ racial equity demonstrations. Collective bargaining can be used to negotiate better pay and working conditions, like John Deere and Kellogg’s employees are striking for, but it can also be used to negotiate employer policies on issues like carbon usage; sexual harassment; and diversity, equity and inclusion. “These are some of the things that folks in our society and our economy care deeply about, but they don’t necessarily see unions as the path forward,” she told TIME in an October interview. “Our challenge is to make that case to more working people outside of unions to see us as the path forward.” Mary Kay Henry, the president of Service Employees International Union and a leader of Fight For $15, a group lobbying for a national $15 minimum wage, also points at the need for union leaders to reach out to other movements. “The union isn’t just about wages, hours and working conditions,” she says. “It’s about everybody’s total life, and us exercising the power of our militancy to change work, but also change society.” ‘That silver tsunami is about to hit us’ That unions’ membership rolls are anemic is hardly news. Union membership has been on the skids for decades, largely as a result of increasing globalization and the rise of right-to-work laws that make forming unions more difficult. In 1983, unions represented roughly one out of five workers; now they represent just one in ten. But it’s about to get a lot worse: current union members tend to skew older. Membership rates are highest among workers ages 45 to 64, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and lowest among the younger crowd. Roughly 13% of workers in the 45-54 and 55-64 age cohorts were members of unions in 2020, versus just 4.4% of workers ages 16-24. “This is the challenge of our time. Something like 10,000 people a day are retiring,” Shuler says, “and that silver tsunami is about to hit us.” That demographic challenge raises the stakes this month, multiple experts say. To prove to workers that membership is worth it—that it pays dividends in the form of better pay, benefits and work conditions—unions have to chalk up real, contractual wins. If union brass fails to provide workers with the support, megaphone, and hardline negotiations now, they risk compromising their ability to recruit more members and unionize more workplaces in the future. After nearly two decades of hard work at John Deere, Geiger says it’s time to throw cautious labor organizing approaches to the wind. “I have no qualms about speaking out against the union, because they can’t fire me,” he says. “They can make my life miserable, but how much more miserable can it get?”.....»»

Category: topSource: timeOct 25th, 2021

Buy "Floki": A cryptocurrency inspired by Elon Musk"s dog is making an ad push in London

"Missed Doge? Get Floki" is splashed on ads across London for the Floki Inu token. There's no indication Elon Musk is involved, the FT reported. The Floki Inu cryptocurrency in animated form. The Floki Inu website The Floki Inu coin, inspired by Elon Musk's dog, is being advertised in London in an "aggressive" marketing push, the FT reported. The "FLOKI" campaign is in part aimed at legitimizing the coin and attracting "A-list influencers." There's no indication the Tesla chief is involved in the Floki Inu project. A cryptocurrency inspired by Elon Musk's dog is at the center of an advertising campaign throughout the UK transportation system, even as regulators take a critical stance on crypto ads, according to a Financial Times report. "Missed Doge? Get Floki" is the tagline splashed on ads for the Floki Inu token placed at Underground stations, trains, and buses across London, with the campaign funded by a 4% marketing fee on buyers.The head of marketing for the coin, which trades as "FLOKI," said the aim of the branding campaign is to "legitimize" the coin and instill confidence in prospective buyers."You get a lot of scam artists in this game," the group's head of marketing who identified himself by the alias Sabre told the FT in a report published Wednesday. There is no indication Elon Musk is involved with the project, and he didn't respond to the FT's request for comment. Floki Inu didn't respond to the FT's request for comment about who is controlling the project. But it says it's the only crypto project officially partnered with the Million Gardens Movement, a group that works with a non-profit run by Kimbal Musk, Elon Musk's younger brother and a Tesla board member, to address food insecurity.The token was launched on the ethereum blockchain and also runs on the Binance Smart Chain. On Wednesday, it was trading up nearly 1% at $0.00006076, according to CoinGecko.The Floki Inu website said the coin represents a "movement" and will have three utility projects: an NFT gaming metaverse called Valhalla, an NFT and merchandise marketplace called FlokiPlaces, and a content/education platform known as Floki Inuversity. It's also contracted to spend nearly $1.5 million in marketing for "very targeted and aggressive" campaigns for FLOKI to be listed on high-level exchanges and to "onboard A-list influencers," according to the website.An ad campaign was set for Los Angeles, and there were plans to market the coin in China, Japan, and Russia, the FT said.But the direct marketing of coins to the UK public could intensify the focus of regulators on crypto ads, the report added. The country's Financial Conduct Authority has "repeatedly warned about the risks of holding speculative tokens," said Charles Randell, the FCA's chair, in a speech last month. Tokens aren't regulated by the FCA nor are they covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. "If you buy them, you should be prepared to lose all your money," he warned. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider11 hr. 27 min. ago

Futures Slip From All Time High Amid Fresh China, Growth, Valuation Concerns

Futures Slip From All Time High Amid Fresh China, Growth, Valuation Concerns One day after US equity futures hit an all time high, rising to a record 4,590, risk sentiment has reversed and overnight index futures fluctuated and stocks in Europe retreated from a near-record on Wednesday after a flare up in U.S.-China tensions, signs of further regulatory crackdowns from Beijing, a decline in commodity prices, renewed concerns about economic growth and a rise in short-dated U.S. Treasury yields doused the equity market rally on Wednesday. At 7:45 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 27 points, or 0.07%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 2.50 points, or -0.06%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 15.5 points, or 0.09%. Bonds and the dollar gained and bitcoin stumbled. The overnight losses started earlier in Asia, where tech stocks suffered hefty falls after China’s internet watchdog said it planned stricter registration rules for younger net users, while Chinese tech shares slid on concerns about more scrutiny from Washington after the U.S. banned China Telecom’s American business. U.S. futures also turned negative as the bullish mood over Tuesday’s forecast-beating results from Google owner Alphabet and Microsoft started to wane. Shares of energy firms including Exxon and Chevron tracked lower oil prices, while major lenders such as Bank of America slipped on a flattening U.S. yield curve. Microsoft Corp rose 2.1% in premarket trading after it forecast a strong end to the calendar year, thanks to its booming cloud business. Twitter gained 1.4% after the social networking site’s quarterly revenue grew 37% and avoided the brunt of Apple Inc’s privacy changes on advertising that hobbled its rivals. Google owner Alphabet also reported record quarterly profit for the third straight quarter on a surge in ad sales. However, its shares were down 0.6% after rising nearly 59% so far this year. Here are some of the biggest movers today: Microsoft (MSFT US) shares gain 2.2% in premarket after first- quarter results that analysts said were very strong across the board, showing scale and justifying the valuation of the software giant. Alphabet (GOOGL US) rises 1.3% after 3Q earnings earned a mostly positive reception from analysts, with at least three raising their price targets on the Google parent. Twitter (TWTR US) adds 2% amid resilient third-quarter sales at the social media company as it weathers Apple’s new limits on consumer data collection. Enphase Energy (ENPH US) gains 13% after its 3Q results and 4Q forecasts beat estimates. Analysts await more clarity on supply chain constraints. Robinhood (HOOD US) slumps 12% as some analysts cut price targets after the retail brokerage reported 3Q revenue that missed estimates and flagged further weakness in 4Q. Visa (V US) falls 2.4% as analysts flag a disappointing outlook from the payments company. Texas Instruments (TXN US) declined 4% after a forecast that may disappoint some investors who are concerned about a potential slowdown in demand for electronic components. Watch peers for a readacross. Angion (ANGN US) plunges 55% after company said a kidney transplant drug failed to meet primary end points in a phase three trial. European partner Vifor (VIFN SW) slips 6%. “While some prominent earnings misses have clouded the picture, the reality is that on aggregate, the reporting season so far has been very solid,” said Max Kettner, a multi-assets strategist at HCBC Holdings Plc. “Everyone, literally everyone, in the market right now is worried about supply-chain constraints, higher input costs and the like, so headwinds from this side are now very well reflected in near-term earnings expectations.” Concern over more tension between Beijing and Washington also weighed on markets after the U.S. Federal Communications Commission voted to revoke the authorization for China Telecom’s U.S. subsidiary to operate in the United States after nearly two decades, citing national security. “We have good U.S. data in earnings which is very reassuring but valuation is very stretched in both the value as well as the growth sector,” said Sebastien Galy, senior macro strategist at Nordea Asset Management. “And people are also getting a bit hesitant and are a bit worried because the amount of money that is going through will slow down with the Fed slowly starting to taper - but that is not necessarily a bad thing.” MSCI’s global equity benchmark hovered close to Monday’s seven-week high and is on track for the best month in almost a year. However, European stocks softened, led by a 1.6% drop in mining and resource firms in the Stoxx Europe 600 index as prices of raw materials including aluminum and iron ore fell along with crude oil. Germany’s DAX underperformed after Europe’s biggest economy cut its 2021 growth forecast, citing the lingering effects of the pandemic and a supply squeeze. Bund yields dropped along with those on other European bonds. Bank shares also slipped, with Deutsche Bank down more than 5% despite forecast-beating earnings. Europe's Stoxx 600 dropped about 0.3%, weighed down the most by miners and energy firms. FTSE 100 and DAX both down similar amounts. Here are some of Wednesday’s major earnings and corporate news from Europe Deutsche Bank AG dropped more than 6% after disappointing earnings, while Banco Santander SA declined despite a bullish outlook. Heineken NV fell after reporting a drop in demand for beer. BASF SE slipped after flagging dwindling returns on its core suite of chemical products as sputtering global supply catches up with demand. GlaxoSmithKline Plc rose after improving its profit outlook. Dutch semiconductor equipment maker ASM International NV advanced after revenue forecasts beat analyst estimates. Puma SE gained after raising full-year profit forecasts. Temenos AG surged as much as 16% after Bloomberg reported EQT AB is exploring an acquisition of the Swiss banking software specialist. Earlier in the session, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index was down 0.4% in late afternoon trading, paring an earlier drop of 0.7%, with Tencent, Alibaba and Meituan the biggest drags. Asian equities fell as risk-off sentiment fueled by renewed concerns over Evergrande’s debt woes and an escalation in China-U.S. tensions drove losses in Chinese tech giants. Benchmarks in Hong China and China led declines around the region. The Hang Seng Tech Index plunged as much as 3.9%, the most in over five weeks after Washington moved to ban U.S. business by China Telecom, following previous similar measures against Chinese tech firms including Huawei. Meanwhile, Secretary of State Antony Blinken called for a greater role by Taiwan in the United Nations, raising objections from Beijing. Chinese tech stocks have been rattled this year by a crackdown amid President Xi Jinping’s “common prosperity” campaign. There had been signs of a rebound recently, however, as the government signaled it would limit its restrictions. Investor confidence in beaten-down Chinese tech stocks hasn’t been fully restored “so they rush to dump those stocks at any negative news and signs of flow reversal,” said Castor Pang, head of research at Core Pacific-Yamaichi International Hong Kong. “This round of tech rebound has peaked,” he added. Key equity gauges also fell more than 0.5% in Indonesia and South Korea, while Vietnam’s benchmark climbed more than 2%. Japanese equities fell, though they closed off intraday lows, as electronics makers and telecommunications providers drove losses. Auto and chemical makers provided support for the Topix which closed down 0.2%, paring an earlier drop of as much as 0.7%. The Nikkei 225 closed little changed, with a gain in Fast Retailing offsetting a drop in SoftBank Group. Asian stocks were broadly lower, as the U.S. moved to ban China Telecom and amid renewed concern over Evergrande’s debt woes. Meanwhile, Japan Exchange Group said Tokyo Stock Exchange will extend the trading day by 30 minutes in the second half of the fiscal year ending March 2025.  In rates, the 10Y yield is down 1.2bp at 1.595%, trailing steeper declines for U.K. and German counterparts, which outperform by ~3bp as money markets trim expectations for BOE and ECB rate hikes. Long-end Treasuries continued to outperform vs front-end ahead of 5- and 7-year auctions Wednesday and Thursday, as well as month-end rebalancing expected to favor bonds over equities. Long-end yields are lower on the day by ~2bp, front-end yields higher by similar amounts, following selloff in Australia front-end bonds after strong 3Q CPI numbers. 5s30s curve breached 82bp for first time in a year. Gilts flatten further ahead of a revised gilt remit that is expected to report a GBP33b reduction. U.K. 10-year yield falls 5bps to 1.06%, the lowest since Oct. 14, outperforming bunds by ~1bp. In FX, the Japanese yen strengthened ~0.5% against the U.S. dollar, leading G-10 majors and followed by the Swiss franc. All other G-10 peers are red against the dollar, which is up about 0.06%. The fading risk sentiment meanwhile pushed up the safe-haven Japanese yen which rose 0.4% against the U.S. dollar though the greenback in turn held just off a one-week high versus a currency basket. The euro kept gravitating toward the $1.16 handle as overnight plays in the common currency as well as the loonie took the spotlight before the monetary policy meetings by the Bank of Canada and the ECB. The three-month Euro benchmark funding rate fell to -0.556%, matching the record low set on Jan. 6, as excess liquidity hovers near an all-time high seen earlier this month. The pound slipped and the Gilt curve bull-flattened ahead of the U.K. government’s budget announcement. The U.K. is expected to trim gilt sales to GBP33b, according to a Bloomberg survey of analysts at primary dealers. Commodity currencies, led by the krone, fell and the Australian dollar erased an Asia-session gain in European hours. The Aussie earlier rallied while Australian 3-year yield surged as much as 24bps to briefly top 1% after core inflation accelerated back inside RBA’s target, and taking its game of chicken with the bond market to new heights. Kiwi trailed most G-10 peers following a record trade deficit. The Offshore Chinese renminbi fell against the U.S. dollar amid heightened U.S.-China tensions. Currency and bond traders were looking to a slew of central bank meetings over the coming week for guidance. Canada is first up at 1400 GMT on Wednesday while the European Central Bank meets on Thursday, when the Bank of Japan also concludes its two-day meeting. The Fed has all but confirmed it will soon start to whittle back its asset purchases, though has said that shouldn’t signal that rate hikes are imminent. Nevertheless, Fed funds futures are priced for a lift-off in the second half of next year. “We updated our Fed call to show a hike in Q4 2022 and four hikes in 2023,” analysts at NatWest said in a note. “The inflation overshoot has been persistent,” they said. “There is (only) so much the Fed can tolerate before reacting ... it feels inevitable that that conversation will be brought up more and more as we go into next year.” Commodities are in the red. Brent crude down about 1.3% back to $85 a barrel, while WTI slips 1.7% to $83. Base metals drop. LME aluminium, copper, and nickel decline the most. Spot gold down $5 to trade around $1,787/oz.  The crypto space tumbled sharply shortly after the European close, pushing Bitcoin below $59,000 and wiping out much of the ETF launch gains. No changes are expected from Tokyo, but traders are expecting the ECB to push back on market inflation forecasts and are looking for hawkish clues from the Bank of Canada as prices put pressure on rates. Policymakers are facing a steady drip of evidence that there is no let-up from pressure on consumer prices. The latest came from Australia, where data showed core inflation hit a six-year high last quarter, raising the possibility of sooner-than-planned rate increases. The Australian dollar jumped after the data but soon pared the gains. Looking at today's busy calendar, we will get preliminary September wholesale inventories, durable goods orders and core capital goods orders from the US. In Europe, Germany November GfK consumer confidence, France October consumer confidence and Euro Area September M3 money supply are due. In central banks, monetary policy decisions from the Bank of Canada and Central Bank of Brazil will be released. On the corporate earnings front, companies reporting include Thermo Fisher Scientific, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Boeing, General Motors, Santander and Ford. Elsewhere, the UK government announces Autumn Budget and Spending Review. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures little changed at 4,569.75 STOXX Europe 600 down 0.3% to 474.38 MXAP down 0.4% to 199.65 MXAPJ down 0.8% to 656.34 Nikkei little changed at 29,098.24 Topix down 0.2% to 2,013.81 Hang Seng Index down 1.6% to 25,628.74 Shanghai Composite down 1.0% to 3,562.31 Sensex up 0.2% to 61,468.43 Australia S&P/ASX 200 little changed at 7,448.71 Kospi down 0.8% to 3,025.49 German 10Y yield fell 4 bps to -0.157% Euro little changed at $1.1593 Brent Futures down 1.1% to $85.46/bbl Gold spot down 0.5% to $1,784.14 U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 93.98 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg Chinese authorities told billionaire Hui Ka Yan to use his personal wealth to alleviate China Evergrande Group’s deepening debt crisis, according to people familiar with the matter Germany cut its 2021 growth outlook to 2.6% -- compared with a prediction of 3.5% published at the end of April -- reflecting a scarcity in some raw materials and rising energy prices, particularly for gas, Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said Wednesday in an interview with ARD television China plans to limit the price miners sell thermal coal for as it seeks to ease a power crunch that’s prompted electricity rationing and even caused a blackout in a major city last month The SNB stressed that in light of the highly valued currency and the degree of economic slack, expansive monetary policy needs to be maintained, according to an account of President Thomas Jordan’s meeting with Swiss govt Sweden’s National Debt Office is reducing its bond borrowing in both kronor and foreign currency because central government finances are recovering faster than expected from the pandemic, according to a statement A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asian markets adopted a downside bias as sentiment waned following the mild gains on Wall Street, in which the S&P 500 and DJIA eked out record closes after easing off best levels. The US close also saw earnings from behemoths Microsoft, Alphabet and AMD - the former rose 2% after blockbuster metrics, whilst the latter two dipped after-market. Meanwhile, Twitter shares rose almost 4% after hours as the Co. highlighted the lower-than-expected Q3 impact from Apple’s privacy-related iOS changes. On the flipside, Robinhood slumped over 8% after reporting a steep decline in crypto activity. It’s also worth noting that Berkshire Hathaway Class A shares - the world’s most expensive shares - are quoted +51% after-market (+USD 223,614.00/shr); reasoning currently unclear. Overnight, US equity futures resumed trade flat before a mild divergence became evident between the NQ and RTY, whilst European equity futures' losses were slightly more pronounced. Back to APAC, the ASX 200 (+0.1%) was buoyed by its tech sector amid the post-Microsoft tailwinds from the US, but the sector configuration then turned defensive, whilst Woolworths slumped some 4% after earnings and dragged the Consumer Staples sector with it. The Nikkei 225 (-0.1%) saw losses across most sectors, with Retail, Insurance and Banks towards the bottom. The KOSPI (-0.8%) conformed to the downbeat mood, whilst Hyundai shares were also pressured amid its chip-related commentary. The Hang Seng (-1.6%) and Shanghai Comp (-1.0%) declined despite another substantial CNY 200bln PBoC liquidity injection for a net CNY 100bln. The Hang Seng accelerated losses in the first half-hour of trade with Alibaba, Tencent and Xiaomi among the laggards. Meanwhile. PAX Technology slumped 45% after the FBI raided the Co's Florida officers amid suspicion PAX’s systems may have been involved in cyberattacks on US and EU organizations. Finally, 10yr JGBs were lower amid spillover selling from T-notes and Bund futures, whilst the Aussie 3yr yield topped 1.00% for the first time since 2019 as the trimmed and weighted Australian CPI metrics moved into the RBA's target zone. Top Asian News China Agrees Plan to Cap Key Coal Price to Ease Energy Crisis China Tech Stocks Slump as Tensions With U.S. Spook Investors Top Court Orders Probe Of India’s Alleged Pegasus Use Tokyo Stock Exchange to Extend Trading Day by 30 Minutes European equities (Stoxx 600 -0.3%) are trading moderately lower in a session which has been heavy on earnings and light on macro developments. The APAC session saw more pronounced losses in Chinese bourses (Shanghai Comp -1%, Hang Seng -1.8%) compared to peers despite ongoing liquidity efforts by the PBoC with Hong Kong stocks hampered by losses in Alibaba, Tencent and Xiaomi. Stateside, performance across US index futures were initially firmer before following European peers lower with more recent downside coinciding with the US Senate Finance Committee Chairman unveiling a tax proposal focused on unrealised gains of assets held by billionaires and impose a 23.8% capital gains rate on tradable assets such as stocks; ES -0.1%. The US close saw earnings from behemoths Microsoft, Alphabet and AMD - the former rose 2% after blockbuster metrics, whilst the latter two dipped after-market. Meanwhile, Twitter shares rose almost 4% after hours as the Co. highlighted the lower-than-expected Q3 impact from Apple’s privacy-related iOS changes. On the flipside, Robinhood slumped over 8% after reporting a steep decline in crypto activity. In the pre-market, upcoming earnings highlights include McDonalds, Boeing, GM, Bristol Myers and FTSE 100-listed GSK. Back to Europe, sectors are mostly lower with Basic Resources and Oil & Gas names at the foot of the leaderboard amid performance in underlying commodity prices. Banking names are also trading on a softer footing following earnings from Deutsche Bank (-5.4%) which saw the Co. report a decline in trading revenues whilst managing to make a profit for the 5th consecutive quarter. Spanish heavyweight Santander (-2.5%) is also acting as a drag on the sector despite reporting a net profit above expectations for Q3 with some desks highlighting softer performance for its US operations. Elsewhere, Sodexo (+5.6%) is the best performer in the Stoxx 600 after strong FY results, whilst Puma (+3.2%) trades on a firmer footing after reporting a beat on Q3 earnings and raising guidance. To the downside, BASF (-1.0%) shares are seen lower despite exceeding expectations for earnings with the Co. cautioning that the impact from higher Nat Gas prices in the first nine months of the year amounted to EUR 600mln costs and a significant increase in costs is expected following the October price hike. Top European News Deutsche Bank Falls; Results Fail to Provide Fresh Catalyst BASF Points to Chemical Price Surge Easing as Supply Increases SNB’s Jordan Stressed Need for Loose Policy in Govt Meeting U.K.’s Sunak Set to Cut Tax on Domestic Flights: The Independent In FX, nearly, but not quite for the index in terms of turning full circle on Tuesday and matching the prior week high as it fell just shy at 94.024 vs 94.174 on October 18, while also narrowly missing 94.000 on a ‘closing’ basis with a last price of 93.956. Moreover, month end rebalancing factors are moderately bearish for the Greenback against G10 rivals, and especially vs the Yen that has a relatively large 1.6 standard deviation and appears to be playing out in the headline pair and Jpy crosses on spot October 29. Indeed, Usd/Jpy has recoiled further from yesterday’s peak circa 114.31 to sub-113.60 before taking cues from the BoJ tomorrow and Japanese retail sales in the run up, but decent option expiry interest between 113.55-50 (1.8 bn) may underpin and support the DXY by default within a narrow 94.008-819 band. More immediately for the Buck in particular and peers indirectly, US durable goods, advance trade, wholesale and retail inventories. CHF/AUD - Also firmer vs their US counterpart, as the Franc clambers back above 0.9200 irrespective of a deterioration in Swiss investor sentiment and the growing chance that the SNB could be prompted to respond to a retreat in Eur/Chf from 1.0700+ to 1.0637 or so. Elsewhere, the Aussie has pared some of its post-core inflation inspired gains, but is holding close to 0.7500 and still outpacing its Antipodean neighbour as Aud/Nzd hovers around 1.0500. NZD/CAD/GBP - A downturn in overall risk sentiment and the aforementioned cross headwinds are weighing on the Kiwi that has slipped under 0.7150 vs its US namesake, and it’s a similar tale for Sterling that failed to retain 1.3800+ status or breach 0.8400 against the Euro before the latest reports about France preparing retaliatory measures against the UK over the fishing rights dispute. On top of that, Eur/Gbp tides are turning into month end and the usual RHS flows seen into and around fixings, while the Pound may also be acknowledging a pull-back in Brent prices in advance of the Budget, like the Loonie in respect of WTI ahead of the BoC, with Usd/Cad back above 1.2400 compared to 1.2350 at one stage on Tuesday and a tad lower in the prior session. Note, the break-even via implied volatility indicates a 58 pip move on the policy meeting that comes with a new MPR and press conference from Governor Macklem. EUR - Notwithstanding several gyrations and deviations of late, the Euro seems largely anchored to the 1.1600 mark vs the Dollar and yet more option expiries at the strike (1.5 bn today) may well be a contributing factor as the clock continues to tick down Thursday’s ECB convene that is seen as a dead rubber event in passing ahead of the big one in December - check out the Research Suite for a preview and other global Central Bank confabs scheduled this week. SCANDI/EM - Hardly a surprise to see the Nok recoil alongside crude prices, but the Sek is holding up relatively well in wake of an uptick in Swedish household lending and a big swing in trade balance from deficit to surplus. Conversely, the Try’s stoic revival mission has been derailed to an extent by dip in Turkish economic confidence offsetting a narrower trade shortfall, the Rub and Mxn are also feeling the adverse effects of oil’s retracement, the Zar is tracking Gold’s reversal through 200 and 100 DMAs, and the Cny/Cnh have been ruffled by the latest US-China angst, this time on the telecoms front. Last, but not least, the Brl anticipates a minimum 100 bp SELIC rate hike from the BCB, if not 125 bp as some hawkish forecasts suggest. In commodities, a softer start to the session for WTI and Brent seemingly stemming from the cautiously downbeat tone portrayed by broader risk and continuing to take impetus from last night’s Private Inventory report. For reference, the benchmarks are currently lower in excess of USD 1/bbl and WTI Dec’21 has been within touching distance of the USD 83.00/bbl figure, though is yet to test the level. Returning to yesterday’s crude report which printed an above consensus build of 2.318M for the headline print while the gasoline and distillate components were unexpectedly bearish, posting modest builds against expected sizeable draws. Looking ahead, the EIA release is expected to post a headline build. Aside from this, crude specific newsflow has been limited ahead of next week’s OPEC+ gathering though Iran remains on the radar given the latest release of constructive commentary on nuclear discussions. Albeit, we are still awaiting details on a return to full Vienna discussions. Moving to metals, spot gold and silver are softer on the session in a continuation of action seen around this time during yesterday’s session; metals pressured in wake of a choppy, but ultimately firmer, dollar. Elsewhere, China has reportedly agreed to set a price cap for thermal coal sales and comes as part of the ongoing crackdown by China on the commodity which spurred Zhengzhou thermal coal futures to hit limit-down overnight. US Event Calendar 8:30am: Sept. Durable Goods Orders, est. -1.1%, prior 1.8%; 8:30am: Durables Less Transportation, est. 0.4%, prior 0.3% Sept. Cap Goods Orders Nondef Ex Air, est. 0.5%, prior 0.6% Cap Goods Ship Nondef Ex Air, est. 0.5%, prior 0.8% 8:30am: Sept. Retail Inventories MoM, est. 0.2%, prior 0.1%; Wholesale Inventories MoM, est. 1.0%, prior 1.2% 8:30am: Sept. Advance Goods Trade Balance, est. -$88.3b, prior -$87.6b, revised -$88.2b DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap It’s day 42 out of 42 on crutches without any weight bearing on my left leg. Over that period I’ve been hopping, crawling, sliding, and using the crutches as a pole vault amongst other various forms of self transportation. So sadly today is the last day I get waited on. When I wake up tomorrow I’ll try to walk again and fend for myself. Equities threw away their crutches a couple of weeks ago and haven’t looked back. US Earnings have helped and while they aren’t as good as the headline beats suggest, due to big unwinding of reserves for loan loss provisions at the banks, they are notably better than some of the stagflationary gloom stories that dominated in the weeks ahead of this season. A reminder that our equity guys did their state of play on earnings a couple of days back here. Big tech was always going to be the swing factor between a slightly better than normal level of beats and a more aggressive one. Last night Alphabet, Microsoft, and Twitter all reported after hour. Alphabet and Microsoft beat on both sales and earnings, while Twitter’s revenue just missed expectations but traded higher after hours. Of the 41 S&P 500 companies that reported yesterday, 33 beat estimates. For the earnings season to date, 166 S&P companies have reported, with 139 beating earnings estimates. Prior to this, markets continued to stay in their “new normal” of record or cyclical high equity prices and multi-year breakeven highs. Positive surprises for earnings on both sides of the Atlantic helped yesterday as did strong US consumer confidence numbers. Starting with the US, along with strong earnings, a number of positive surprises in an array of economic data yesterday did just enough to push the S&P 500 (+0.18%) and the DJIA (+0.04%) to new record highs, while the Nasdaq (+0.06%) fell short of beating its record set on September 30th. The FAANG Index lagged on the day, dropping -0.33%, but managed new all-time highs intraday. On the other side of the Atlantic, European equities notched solid gains as well, with most major European markets finishing well in the green territory, lifting the STOXX 600 by +0.75% - a fraction below its record high. All index sectors but energy (-0.29%) finished higher on the back of strong earnings early in the session, particularly from UBS and Novartis. Taking a closer look at the aforementioned economic data, October US consumer confidence came in at 113.8 versus 108.0 expected, while the Richmond Fed Manufacturing index rose to 12, beating expectations of 5. In housing, new home sales for September (800k) surpassed estimates (756k) by a decent margin, whereas the August FHFA House Price Index came in at +1.0% versus +1.5% expected. There were further signs of a tight US jobs market as the labour market differential in the Conference Board index improved to 45.0, the best reading since 2000. Similar to Monday, breakevens climbed as real yields fell in the US and Germany. Nominal 10-year Treasuries were -2.3bps lower, while breakevens increased +2.6bps to 2.69%, still just a hair beneath all-time highs for the series. 10-year bunds declined -0.3bps while the breakeven widened +3.0bps. Breakevens took a breather in the UK, narrowing -8.6bps, whilst 10-year gilts were -3.0 bps lower. In Asia, most major indices are down this morning. The Nikkei 225 (-0.61%), KOSPI (-0.92%), Hang Seng (-1.58%) and Shanghai Composite (-0.92%) are all trading lower. Sentiment soured after the real estate saga continued with Chinese authorities asking companies to get ready to repay offshore bonds, while also urging Evergrande’s founder to employ his own wealth to aid the struggling developer. Additionally, in geopolitics, the US Federal Communications Commission banned China Telecom (Americas) Corp. from operating in the US on the back of national security concerns. Data releases from Asia continued to support the inflationary narrative amid rising commodity prices as we saw a +16.3% YoY growth in China’s industrial profits in September, up from +10.1% a month earlier. Meanwhile, Australia’s trimmed mean CPI (+2.1%) came in above expectations (+1.8%), sending the 3y yield higher by +14.5bps. The S&P 500 mini futures (0.00%) is broadly unchanged with the 10y Treasury at 1.622 (+1.4bps). In commodities, oil futures were mostly mixed yesterday, but both WTI (+1.06%) and Brent (+0.48%) managed to rise by the European close, as Saudi Aramco said earlier in the session that oil output capacity is declining rapidly across the world. On the other hand, European weather forecasts that pointed at lower temperatures starting next week did little to propel natural gas prices, which declined both in the region (-0.33%) and in the US (-0.27%). Briefly taking a look at the virus news, The FDA’s vaccines advisory committee voted 17-0 to back jabs for kids ages 5-11. The dose for the younger cohort amounts to one third of the current one given to those over the age of 12, which means that it could be more quickly distributed if the demand is there. The agency will give its final ruling soon, which is expected to follow the panel’s recommendation, and then the shots could be distributed within weeks to schools, pediatricians, and pharmacies. Elsewhere, Singapore will allow fully vaccinated travelers from Australia and Switzerland to enter without quarantine from November 8. In terms of upcoming data releases today, we will get preliminary September wholesale inventories, durable goods orders and core capital goods orders from the US. In Europe, Germany November GfK consumer confidence, France October consumer confidence and Euro Area September M3 money supply are due. In central banks, monetary policy decisions from the Bank of Canada and Central Bank of Brazil will be released. On the corporate earnings front, companies reporting include Thermo Fisher Scientific, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Boeing, General Motors, Santander and Ford. Elsewhere, the UK government announces Autumn Budget and Spending Review. Tyler Durden Wed, 10/27/2021 - 07:53.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedge14 hr. 27 min. ago

Green Energy: A Bubble In Unrealistic Expectations

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

Category: worldSource: nytOct 26th, 2021

Mark Zuckerberg opposed pushing Spanish-language voting information on WhatsApp because he thought it would look partisan

Zuckerberg's opposition to the WhatsApp proposal was exposed as part of a major leak of internal Facebook documents to a consortium of news outlets. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (left) and former Facebook employee Frances Haugen. Matt McClain-Pool/Getty Images/Andrew Harnik/AP Mark Zuckerberg objected to pushing a Spanish-language voting resource on WhatsApp in 2020. The Facebook CEO argued that sending millions of WhatsApp users voting resources would look partisan. Zuckerberg's opposition to the effort was exposed as part of a major leak of internal Facebook documents. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg opposed pushing a Spanish-language version of Facebook's "voting information center" on WhatsApp, arguing that it wouldn't be "politically neutral," The Washington Post reported on Monday. Last year, employees at WhatsApp, the massively popular messaging app owned by Facebook, proposed sending a chat bot or link to millions of WhatsApp users to help provide accurate information about how to register to vote, become a poll worker, or request an absentee ballot. But Zuckerberg said the effort would make the company look partisan, according to an anonymous source who spoke with the Post and internal documents provided to a consortium of 17 news organizations by Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen. Instead, WhatsApp, which has more than 2 billion users, allowed users to flag election misinformation or access factual information about voting by messaging a chat bot. The tech giant launched its "voting information center" on both Facebook and Instagram in August 2020 and described the digital center as "a one-stop shop to give people in the US the tools and information they need to make their voices heard at the ballot box." The company celebrated the effort as "the largest voting information campaign in American history" and said it aimed to register 4 million people to vote. While President Joe Biden won 59% of the country's Hispanic voters in 2020, former President Donald Trump made notable gains in Latino communities. Trump won 38% of Hispanic voters overall - 13 points more than congressional Republicans won in the 2018 midterms. The ex-president won 28% of Latino voters in 2016 after campaigning heavily on his aggressive anti-immigration proposals. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 25th, 2021

Obama mocked GOP New Jersey gubernatorial nominee Jack Ciattarelli for attending a "Stop the Steal" rally

"Apparently Phil's opponent says he didn't know it was a rally to overturn the results of the last election," Obama said. "He didn't know it? Come on!" Former President Barack Obama and Gov. Phil Murphy, right, host an early vote rally at Weequahic Park in Newark, N.J., on October 23, 2021. AP Photo/Stefan Jeremiah Former President Obama mocked the New Jersey GOP gubernatorial nominee for attending a 'Stop the Steal' rally. Obama poked at Jack Ciattarelli, who said he unknowingly attended a pro-Trump rally last November. The former president came to Newark on Saturday to stump for Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy. Former President Barack Obama on Saturday poked at New Jersey Republican gubernatorial nominee Jack Ciattarelli for attending a rally to overturn the 2020 presidential election results last year and said that the former state lawmaker won't be "a champion of democracy."Obama mocked Ciattarelli in Newark as he stumped for Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy, who is running for reelection to a second term in the Garden State. It was the former president's second campaign appearance of the day after his visit to Virginia to campaign for former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who's seeking a second nonconsecutive term in office.The former president made light of Ciattarelli's acknowledgment during a recent gubernatorial debate that he went to a November 2020 pro-Trump rally in Bedminster, New Jersey, which is also the home of the ex-Republican president's golf club."Apparently Phil's opponent says he didn't know it was a rally to overturn the results of the last election," Obama said at the weekend rally. "He didn't know it? Come on!""When you're standing in front of a sign that says 'Stop the Steal' and there's a guy in the crowd waving a Confederate flag, you know this isn't a neighborhood barbecue. You know it's not a League of Women Voters rally. Come on! Come on, man! That's not what New Jersey needs," he added.During the debate, Ciattarelli contended that he attended the rally thinking it was focused on 2021, adding that he didn't observe any offensive signs while he was present at the event. He also stated that President Joe Biden is the duly elected commander in chief and distanced himself from former President Donald Trump's rhetoric challenging the 2020 election.Obama used the event Saturday to boost Murphy and push back at GOP voting challenges, emphasizing the importance of getting out the vote next month, especially in an off-year election when turnout is often less robust than in midterm and presidential elections."Democracy is not supposed to work where if you lose, you just ignore it and pretend it didn't happen, and our democracy is what makes America great," Obama said during his speech.Obama told the crowd to exercise their right to vote after mentioning the election reform bills that have been continuously blocked by Senate Republicans this year."Don't boo! Vote! Booing doesn't do anything ... Go out there and vote!" he said.The former president asked the crowd to repudiate "politics of meanness.""That's the path to ruin," he said. "The good news is, there's another path."Murphy, highlighting the Democratic-leaning nature of the state, told the crowd that if like-minded supporters cast ballots, it will be a good election night."Our team shows up, we win," the governor said.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 24th, 2021

"We can"t afford to be tired": Obama hits campaign trail to boost Terry McAuliffe in Virginia governor"s race

"I know a lot of people are tired of politics right now," the former president said. "We don't have time to be tired. What is required is sustained effort." Former President Barack Obama waves to the crowd alongside former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe during a campaign rally on the main campus of Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond on October 23, 2021. AP Photo/Steve Helber Former President Obama on Saturday campaigned for Terry McAuliffe at a Virginia gubernatorial rally. While speaking in Richmond, Obama laid out the consequences of the competitive race in stark terms. "We're at a turning point right now both here and in America and around the world," he said. Former President Barack Obama on Saturday rallied Virginians to support former Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe in next month's gubernatorial election, describing the highly competitive race as a critical referendum on the future of the state.Obama appeared with McAuliffe at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, telling the crowd of roughly 2,000 people that the upcoming election has larger implications than they might realize."We're at a turning point right now both here and in America and around the world," the former president said. "There's a mood out there. We see it. There's a politics of meanness and division and conflict ... of tribalism and cynicism. That's one path.""But the good news is there's another path, where we pull together ... and that's the choice we face," he added.Democrats - who have won every statewide election in Virginia since 2012, which included Obama's successful reelection campaign - are hoping to send McAuliffe back to the Executive Mansion and retain the majority in the state House of Delegates that they secured in the 2019 elections.McAuliffe, who served as governor from 2014 to 2018 after cultivating a national figure as a Democratic Party power broker - including a stint as chairman of the Democratic National Committee - will face Republican and former private equity executive Glenn Youngkin.Obama repeatedly blasted Youngkin - who is locked in a close race with McAuliffe less than two weeks before the general election - calling him out for his support of former President Donald Trump, who remains an unpopular figure in Virginia.The former president sought to tie Youngkin to the more radical elements of the Republican Party, especially in the wake of conservative activists pledging allegiance to a US flag that was reportedly "carried" at the Jan. 6 Capitol riot at a GOP rally earlier this month.Youngkin did not attend the event and later said it was "weird and wrong" for activists to partake in such a ritual, but Democrats pounced, especially as the Republican continues to call for an audit of voting machines in the Commonwealth and pledged to assemble an "election integrity task force" if elected, which Democrats contend only feeds into Trump's debunked theories that the 2020 presidential election was "stolen" from him.Republicans, who overwhelmingly approve of Trump, have largely embraced the former president's viewpoint that Biden did not legitimately win the election."What are you willing to stand up for? When are you willing to say no to your own supporters? What are you willing to say? There are some things that are more important than getting elected," Obama said. "And maybe American democracy is one of those things."The Democrat went on to say that he understood the unrest among the electorate - especially as the country continues to fight the coronavirus - but issued a clear warning for Virginia voters."I know a lot of people are tired of politics right now," the former president said. "We don't have time to be tired. What is required is sustained effort. ... We can't afford to be tired.""Our democracy is what makes America great. It's what makes us the shining city on the hill, this extraordinary experiment in self-government. Protecting and preserving that shouldn't be a partisan issue. It didn't used to be," he added.While Virginia backed Biden over Trump by a 54%-44% margin last November, the president's approval rating has slumped in the state, and McAuliffe has sought to push Democrats to craft a legislative deal to get their stalled multitrillion-dollar reconciliation bill back on track for passage.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 24th, 2021

Trump has "still not forgiven" Kevin McCarthy for suggesting his censure after the January 6 riot, report says

According to The Washington Post, the relationship between former President Donald Trump and Kevin McCarthy "remains hot and cold." President Donald Trump and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) step off Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews, Md., after returning from Cape Canaveral, Fla., on May 30, 2020. Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images Trump still views McCarthy warily months after leaving office, The Washington Post reported. He has "still not forgiven" the GOP lawmaker for floating a censure resolution after January 6, per the report. The two Republicans have tried to forge a continued partnership to boost the party in 2022. The relationship between former President Donald Trump and House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy "remains hot and cold," with the former president leaking reports of personal visits by the California Republican while also "privately bad-mouthing" him, Trump aides told The Washington Post.When former President Donald Trump was still in the White House, GOP House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy worked in tandem with the conservative administration to enact like-minded legislation in Congress.Immediately after the 2020 presidential election, McCarthy vigorously defended Trump's push to challenge the election results."What we need in the presidential race is to make sure every legal vote is counted, every recount is completed, and every legal challenge should be heard," he said on the Fox News show "Sunday Morning Features" last November.However, in the aftermath of the January 6 Capitol riot and with Trump facing a second impeachment trial, McCarthy said the next week that the then-president "bears responsibility" for the siege."I believe impeaching the president in such a short time frame would be a mistake ... that doesn't mean the president is free from fault," he said at the time. "The president bears responsibility for Wednesday's attack on Congress by mob rioters."The GOP leader suggested the possibility of a censure resolution, which several Republican members introduced in the House earlier this year.However, on January 21, McCarthy backtracked and said that Trump did not initiate the insurrection."I don't believe he provoked it if you listen to what he said at the rally," he said at the time.Later that month, the GOP leader - who is working feverishly to become House Speaker in 2022 - traveled to the Mar-a-Lago club in Florida to meet with the former president.However, a bit of tension remained, with some in Trumpworld reportedly continuing to view McCarthy with caution, according to a previous Insider report.Trump's aides reportedly told The Post that the former president "has learned to be wary" of McCarthy's divergent interests, even as they work to regain congressional majorities in 2022 - and with the former president's own potential 2024 campaign up in the air.And the former president has not forgotten about McCarthy's proposed censure resolution related to the insurrection."He'll never get over that," a Trump advisor told The Post. "It's really their main disagreement."McCarthy has also continued to support some of the Republicans who backed Trump's impeachment for "incitement of insurrection," which has attracted the ire of the former president, according to the report.The former president has made retribution against the 10 House Republicans who voted for his second impeachment a huge part of his 2022 plank. He has also endorsed primary challengers running against Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington and Fred Upton of Michigan.Last month, pro-impeachment GOP Rep. Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio announced that he would not seek reelection next year.Trump crowed over the announcement in a statement: "1 down, 9 to go!" However, amid the talk of dissension, Trump pushed back against the narrative that he has anything other than a productive alliance with McCarthy."I have a great relationship with Kevin," the former president said in a statement to Post.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 23rd, 2021

Biden Finally Admits Dems Don"t Have The Votes To Raise Corporate Taxes For "Build Back Better" Agenda

Biden Finally Admits Dems Don't Have The Votes To Raise Corporate Taxes For 'Build Back Better' Agenda After weeks of negotiations at the White House and on Capitol Hill, it appears the Democrats are hardly any closer to passing President Biden's "Build Back Better" agenda (which, remember, has been split into two bills, a "bipartisan" infrastructure bill and another to finance a massive expansion of the social safety net). To make matters worse (for America, not the Democrats), the Washington Press Corp reported last night that Democratic moderate Kyrsten Sinema, who has helped to plunge Biden's agenda deeper into chaos, won't support tax increases on corporations, wealthy individuals or capitol gains. Remember, President Biden and the Democratic leadership promised that their multi-trillion plan for what is effectively a state-managed redistribution of wealth in the economy is supposed to be paid for (for the most part, at least) with tax hikes. Republicans have unanimously opposed this. We have long suspected that this "commitment" to offset increased spending with tax hikes would ultimately ring hollow, and the other day, Biden seemed to imply that they had abandoned plans to raise taxes on corporations and wealthy individuals. When asked about a corporate tax hike, Sen. Joe Manchin said this week that "they're going to pay their fair share'. Goldman's top political analyst shared his latest thoughts on how the plan might be funded - or not - in a note to clients yesterday. But for the first time, President Biden faced the American public and effectively admitted as much, saying during a CNN town hall meeting in Baltimore that he doesn’t think there are enough Democratic votes to raise tax rates as part of his deal - whether those tax hikes be on wealthy individuals, or corporations. As Axios put it, Biden's comment that the Dems are effectively jettisoning their hopes to hike corporate taxes was "the most important headline" of the night. Does that mean the Dems will simply give up, or try for a much more modest plan that might win some GOP support? Of course not: Biden said last night that he believes they'll reach a deal on the overall legislative package anyway - they'll just need to also commit to trillions of dollars in additional spending, debt and money printing. "I don’t think we’re going to be able to get the vote," Biden said in response to a question about individual and corporate rates. "Look, when you’re in the United States Senate and you’re president of the United States and you have 50 Democrats, everyone is the president." Many have scoffed that Sen. Joe Manchin, due to his status as a key swing vote, is effectively as powerful as the president. Now, Biden is admitting it in a joke. And you know what they say about jokes. A White House official later told Bloomberg that Biden was only referring to corporate tax-rate increases, not potential hikes on the wealthy, or financial transactions, or whatever else. At this point, there have been reports that Sen. Sinema has committed to a broad tax hike outline, but what exactly these tax hikes look like is unclear. As BBG put it, "the specifics of what she would support weren’t immediately clear." Despite progressives' attempts to push back, the headline number for the Dems' social safety net expansion bill has reportedly shrunk to $2 trillion, from $3.5 trillion. Biden also acknowledged that two provisions of his agenda have been vastly curtailed or eliminated: one is an initiative to provide paid family leave, which would be slashed to just four weeks from 12, and a proposal to make community college free. Biden said he would push for increasing Pell grants for lower-income college students instead. Thanks to the trillions in post-COVID spending, inflation in the US is already accelerating at its fastest rate in decades, and it's not just the US: prices are rising around the world. But what's the danger of the Dems' passing another massive spending package without enough tax hikes to offset it? Well, as Paul Tudor Jones said the other day, inflation is already "the single biggest threat to our society". In all likelihood, the Dems already understand this: but if they don't pass some kind of spending package, what will they have to campaign on ahead of next November's midterms? Tyler Durden Fri, 10/22/2021 - 10:20.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytOct 22nd, 2021

10 Things in Politics: Dem donors snipe over 2024

And Alec Baldwin fatally shot a person with a prop gun on a movie set. 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:Buttigieg's 2020 donors are talking 2024. They aren't happy with Kamala Harris' performance and think a contingency plan should be ready in case Biden backs out.​​Investigators say Democratic lawmaker's stock trades most likely violated federal lawAlec Baldwin fatally shot a person on a movie set with a prop gun, authorities sayWith Phil Rosen. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Kamala Harris could face off in 2024 if Joe Biden doesn't run. Win McNamee and Drew Angerer/Getty Images 1. ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL: Some Democrats are already sharpening their 2024 elbows. Officially, President Joe Biden, who is already the oldest US president to be sworn in and would be 82 years old by January 2025, is still flirting with a reelection campaign. Unofficially, top donors to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg are already trashing Vice President Kamala Harris' chances.Insider has some exclusive details on what's being said at informal dinners:"There's no map in the universe that exists in which Kamala Harris could possibly win a national election," a Democratic strategist who was informed by people who attended the dinners told Insider of the tone of the room.Still, some of Buttigieg's top supporters don't expect a challenge: If Biden doesn't run, Harris is clearly the party's heir apparent. "In their estimation, it would take the masses gathering to push him to do it, meaning the donors of the world, the political elites," the strategist said of Buttigieg supporters' feelings.More than two dozen Buttigieg donors have been attending the dinners: They've been held in traditional Democratic money-raising hubs including Washington, Wall Street, and Silicon Valley. Most of the attendees were "bundlers," meaning they gathered large donations for Buttigieg and later Biden from other megadonors. Buttigieg himself has long cut off contact with the group.Read more about how Democrats are gaming out 2024 with and without Biden running for reelection.2. Key moments from Biden's town hall: Biden gave an unusually candid assessment of where things stood with his massive social-spending plan, telling viewers during a CNN town hall that he'd been forced to drop his plans for free community college and probably wouldn't be able to raise the corporate tax rate, The Washington Post reports. Asked about his infamous profane statement about how big a deal Obamacare was, Biden said his economic plan would actually be a "bigger darn deal" than Obama's signature law. More from Biden on where talks stand. Biden and Sen. Joe Manchin. Nina Riggio/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images; Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images Some key highlights:An audience of two: Biden went out of his way to try to avoid criticizing the centrist Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, whose votes he cannot lose. "Joe's not a bad guy - he's a friend," Biden said of Manchin. "She's smart as the devil," he added later of Sinema.But there was some prodding: Biden said he's trying to sway Manchin on a compromise for the major climate-related proposals in the legislation, saying, "There's a lot of things Joe is open to my convincing him." Biden also said he opposed Manchin's pursuit of a work requirement for the expanded child tax credit. As for Sinema, Biden said "where she's not supportive is she says she will not raise a single penny in taxes on the corporate side and/or on wealthy people." (The White House later clarified that Biden was talking only about raising the corporate tax rate of 21%, which was lowered by the GOP's 2017 tax overhaul.)The Taiwan tango: Biden pledged that the US would come to Taiwan's defense if China attacked the self-governing island, which it's long claimed as its own, the BBC reports. Historically, the US has been intentionally vague on what it would do if Beijing attacked Taiwan. The White House later said Biden was "not announcing any change in our policy." More on the eyebrow-raising comments.3. House votes to hold Steve Bannon in criminal contempt: Lawmakers voted to hold Bannon in contempt after he defied a subpoena from the January 6 select committee, calling on him to provide documents and testimony in connection to his actions before, during, and after the insurrection. The Justice Department will now make the final decision on whether to bring charges against him. Just nine House Republicans broke with their party to support holding Bannon in contempt.4. CDC head expands booster-shot availability: An influential advisory committee to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention unanimously voted to recommend booster shots for some Moderna vaccine recipients and all Johnson & Johnson vaccine recipients. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky then gave the final OK, meaning shots can now start going into millions of more arms. Here's how to know whether you should get a COVID-19 booster shot.5. ​​Investigators say Democratic lawmaker's stock trades probably violated federal law: Investigators found "substantial reason to believe" Democratic Rep. Tom Malinowski of New Jersey violated federal laws designed to promote transparency and defend against conflicts of interest. The House Ethics Committee will further examine whether Malinowski failed to properly disclose dozens of personal stock trades he made during 2019 and 2020, which Insider first reported in March. Forty-three lawmakers have violated a law meant to stop insider trading.6. White House warns of national security threats related to the climate crisis: The Biden administration sounded a dire warning over the knock-on effects of the climate crisis. US intelligence agencies and the Pentagon prepared the 37-report, which warns of increasingly severe weather events that could directly or indirectly worsen tensions between nations and spur unprecedented mass migration. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said understanding climate change was necessary to help "deter war."7. Alec Baldwin killed a person on a movie set with a prop gun: Baldwin discharged a prop firearm that killed one person and injured another on the set of the movie "Rust" at Bonanza Creek Ranch near Santa Fe, New Mexico, on Thursday, authorities said. The film's director of photography, Halyna Hutchins, 42, died after being transported to a local hospital. The film's director, Joel Souza, 48, is believed to have left the hospital after being treated. Journalists with the Santa Fe New Mexican saw Baldwin looking distraught late Thursday. Here's what else we know.8. FBI says it found Brian Laundrie's remains: Authorities confirmed that Laundrie's remains were found in the Florida reserve where he was reported missing last month. A comparison of dental records confirmed his identity. Laundrie was the sole person of interest in the killing of his fiancée, Gabby Petito, during a road trip. More on the news. YouTube; Francois G. Durand/Getty Images; Samantha Lee/Insider 9. ​​YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki built a $1 trillion video empire by not being like Facebook: While other Big Tech firms have fallen under scrutiny time and again, YouTube has managed to avoid pitfalls and stave off controversy. Now, some insiders say a reckoning is coming. The pressure is on for Google's fastest-growing business.10. Ransomware gang strikes Halloween giant: The largest candy-corn manufacturer in the US was hacked by a ransomware gang. Fortunately, Ferrara Candy - which produces Sweet Tarts, Nerds, and Brach's Candy Corn - doesn't expect the hack to affect the availability of its Halloween candy. Company-wide hacks have become more common during the coronavirus pandemic - apparently not even candy makers are safe.Today's trivia question: Speaking of Manchin, which college football coach is lifelong friends with the senator? Email your answer and a suggested question to me at bgriffiths@insider.com.Yesterday's answer: Woodrow Wilson is the only president to be buried at the National Cathedral. He's also the only president to be buried in Washington, DC.That's all for now, have a great weekend!Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 22nd, 2021

H&M is partnering with a building materials company to achieve its sustainability goals. Here"s a look at how they work together.

Biomason's cement-like tiles have the lowest carbon footprint on the market, and H&M Group is aiming to get them into its stores by 2022. Insider H&M aims to be climate positive by 2040. Kevin Frayer/Getty Images H&M group is aiming to use 100% sustainable materials by 2030 and be climate positive by 2040. To get there, it's partnering with Biomason, a company that uses biology to grow cement tiles. The tiles are being tested in offices and projected to be in public locations by 2022. This article is part of a series called "Partners for a Sustainable Future," profiling innovative alliances that are driving real progress in sustainability. For all the environmental flack that fast fashion gets, H&M Group has set some aggressive sustainability goals for its family of brands. These include using 100% recycled or other sustainably sourced materials by 2030 and having a climate-positive supply chain - one that creates an overall positive impact on the climate - by 2040. Mattias Bodin, the lead of H&M Group's Circular Innovation Lab. Courtesy of H&M Group "That includes not only the materials and products that we sell to customers but also all the material that we use to facilitate our businesses, such as store interiors, packaging, etc.," Mattias Bodin, the lead of H&M Group's Circular Innovation Lab, told Insider.The challenge? Many of the solutions they're going to need don't exist yet or haven't scaled to the commercial level a major retailer would need. That's why, among other strategies, H&M Group is doubling down on partnerships with innovative companies around the world to develop a portfolio of more sustainable materials. A snapshot of H&M Group's sustainability strategy. Courtesy of H&M Group "We want to lead the industry toward a systemic change - a new way to produce and enjoy fashion - and that's not really something that one company can achieve on its own, so we need to work in partnerships," Bodin said.One such agreement is with North Carolina-based company Biomason, which uses biology to grow cement bricks and tiles. Traditional cement production releases carbon as a byproduct and accounts for 8% of global CO2 emissions. Meanwhile, Biomason's first commercially available product, bioLITH tiles, has the lowest carbon footprint on the market while exceeding the performance of traditional materials. Their work could have a massive impact in constructing buildings in a more sustainable way.Stakeholders from both companies shared how other companies can negotiate partnerships that benefit each other - and the world at large.Align on where you are and where you want to be Biomason's bioLITH tiles. Biomason H&M Group first learned about Biomason at a sustainable materials conference back in 2019. They were immediately impressed by how much the bioLITH tiles looked like the existing materials used in H&M Group stores. Ginger Dosier, Biomason's CEO and president. Courtesy of Biomason It was clear that they were aesthetically aligned, but Biomason's CEO and president Ginger Krieg Dosier said in order to figure out whether they would be good partners, it was critical to ensure they were also aligned on their vision for the technology.For instance, H&M Group was interested in creating tiles that were larger and thinner than Biomason's original prototype. "It's important to be really direct about what they're asking for and be able to quickly suss out whether that's possible. And then the next meetings are really about how you can partner together to develop this in a tandem way," Dosier said.She also suggested not over-promising what you'll be able to achieve. "It's critical to be transparent about where you are in the technology development based on what they're asking so that you're enabling them to join you on that journey of figuring this out," Dosier said. "That to me is what a true partner is. It's different from a customer relationship."Test and develop together Biomason's bioLITH tile installed in H&M Group's headquarters for testing. Biomason Even though both parties were excited about the potential partnership, the larger deal wasn't inked immediately. Instead, H&M Group opted to run several tests of the product, first in the workshop of their Circular Innovation Lab and then on the floors of their headquarters. "This step-by-step approach helps us gain momentum and gain knowledge," Bodin said, allowing them to see how the material performed against needs like durability and stain resistance.This process also helped Biomason better understand what their products need to deliver in practice, rather than doing R&D in a vacuum. "These products have to perform beyond sustainability and beyond aesthetics: They need to perform in an environment where they have heavy use. Working with H&M in this way - sending them prototypes and getting iterative feedback - accelerates our ability to make that happen," Dosier said. Even now that the joint development partnership is official, the teams are continuing to refine and iterate together before hopefully starting to test the tiles in public locations in 2022.All in all, these kinds of partnerships are an exciting way for innovative companies to see other potential applications for their technology and find opportunities to push the boundaries of what they can do. "We're always looking for partners who look beyond where we are today to join us in developing the next use case," Dosier said. Make the relationship two-sided"One of the missions with our Circular Innovation Lab is to find new materials and startups, but also to support those startups and entrepreneurs in moving toward commercialization. It's a two-way street: We need them, they need us," Bodin said.Part of that means providing benefits outside of money alone. "It's really important to look into what you can really offer each other. There's a piece of cofunding, surely, but there might be many other things that we can offer that perhaps we take for granted but could really add value for the partner," Bodin said. Bodin pointed out how H&M Group's supply-chain connections, publicity, and marketing power can really benefit the smaller companies they're partnering with.Another major - and perhaps surprising - term that H&M Group believes in is not asking for any exclusivity in their partnership agreements. Even if these partners were to work with H&M's competitors, Bodin isn't worried: "We might be competing on one level, but when it comes to creating a sustainable future, that's not really where we're competing."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 21st, 2021

10 Things in Politics: The real reason behind America"s supply crunch

And Biden is ready to slash his massive $3.5 trillion economic plan. 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:America is running out of everything because Americans are buying so much stuffBiden is ready to slash his massive $3.5 trillion economic planThe wealthiest Americans now own almost all of the stock marketWith Phil Rosen. Container ships at the congested Port of Los Angeles. Mike Blake/Reuters 1. THE ECONOMY: Americans are buying everything they can get their hands on. This double-edged economic sword is a boon for the post-pandemic economy, but it has also overwhelmed the global supply chain responsible for actually getting it into your hands. It's also why the ubiquitous coverage of shortages isn't telling the full story.Here's how America's buying binge breaks down:The US has imported an immense amount of stuff in the last eight months: This might seem odd considering the inventory to sales ratio - a key metric tracked by the Census Bureau that compares how much stuff sellers have on hand to how much stuff consumers are buying - is at a 10-year low. But the Port of Los Angeles reported a 30% uptick in incoming cargo in the first nine months of 2021 and similar activity is surging at other busy ports.So what's really happening?: Lots of imports and even more spending have driven the inventory to sales ratio down because businesses imported a lot of stuff, and then Americans bought it. "Spending might have been higher if not for shortages of items consumers are eager to purchase," Jack Kleinhenz, the NRF's chief economist said last week, illustrating that some think the buying binge could be even larger.Let's be clear: There are outright shortages of some items. One of the biggest shortages is in the semiconductor supply, which could lag behind for years to come. Insider But the binge isn't lifting up everything: There's still a pandemic damper on services spending, which fell faster and has been much slower to recover than for goods: People want to buy for the home and life events. (You can see the divergence very clearly in the data in the chart above.)More on how officials are trying to adjust to this demand surge.2. Biden is ready to slash his massive economic plan: The president is leaning toward scaling down his $3.5 trillion economic plan to somewhere from $1.75 trillion to $1.9 trillion, The Washington Post reports. Biden's movement on the overall price tag comes as both the White House and top congressional Democrats hope to finish negotiations by the end of the week. Some progressive lawmakers maintain that they can still accomplish all their goals even with a smaller price tag. Read more about what's on the chopping block to make room for such large cuts.3. Wealthiest Americans now own almost all of the stock market: The top 10% of Americans now own a record-high 89% of household stocks, CNBC reports. According to Federal Reserve data, the top 1% hold 54% of corporate equities and mutual-fund shares. This is just the latest data point showing how the richest Americans' fortunes have grown throughout the pandemic.Dueling stats: More than 100 new billionaires were minted during the pandemic. Meanwhile, the bottom 90% of Americans saw their share of gains shrink, holding just about 11% of stocks, Fed data showed. Insider 4. Lawmakers vote to hold Steve Bannon in contempt: Members of the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection unanimously approve to hold Bannon in criminal contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with subpoenas related to the probe. The full House could vote on the matter as soon as this week, per The Post. Bannon is not the only Trump ally who has refused to cooperate so far.5. Facebook is rebranding: CEO Mark Zuckerberg will discuss changing the name of the social network at Facebook's annual Connect conference on October 28, but the company's new identity could be announced before then, The Verge reports. The new name will focus on Facebook as a "metaverse" company and rebrand its current namesake app as just one of its offerings. More on the rebranding effort, which comes as Facebook is increasingly under fire from lawmakers and regulators.6. Businesses eagerly await details of Biden's vaccine mandate: "More than six weeks after promising a new vaccination-or-testing rule covering the millions of Americans at companies with 100 or more workers, Biden's most aggressive move yet to combat the COVID-19 pandemic is almost ready to see the light of day," the Associated Press reports. Some business groups worry that the proposed threshold of 100 employees or more could cause workers to flock to small businesses. Here's where things stand as companies await the final policy.7. GOP lawmaker indicted over lying to the FBI: Rep. Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska faces federal charges over potential campaign finance violations associated with foreign donations to his campaign. Fortenberry is one of several lawmakers who investigators said received illegal contributions from the Lebanese-Nigerian billionaire Gilbert Chagoury. Before the indictment came down, Fortenberry vowed to "fight" what he called a "bogus charge." More on the news.8. Haitian gang demands $17 million in ransom for the release of Christian missionaries: A group of mostly-American Christian missionaries was kidnapped last Saturday in Haiti, officials say, with each one being ransomed at $1 million each. The White House said that the FBI was working to help secure the group's release. According to a Haitian activist, the asking price is unusually high.9. Colin Powell blasted Trump in his final interview: The former secretary of state, who died Monday, accused Trump of trying to "overturn the government" in a stinging interview before his death. "Trump refuses to acknowledge that he wasn't reelected," Powell told Bob Woodward. Meanwhile, Trump disparaged Powell amid an outpouring of tributes from every other living former president. Rich Fury/VF20/Getty Images for Vanity Fair 10. The artist formerly known as Kanye West: He has legally changed his name to Ye, the Los Angeles Superior Court confirmed to Rolling Stone. The 44-year-old rapper filed for a name change in August and now it's set in stone. More on the change. Today's trivia question: Today marks the start of the "Saturday Night Massacre" following the firing of Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox. Who also led a high-profile probe involving a sitting president and also attended St. Paul's School, the same board schooling as Cox? Email your answer and a suggested question to me at bgriffiths@insider.com.Yesterday's answer: Ellsworth Bunker, a seasoned diplomat who advised four diplomats and served as ambassador to South Vietnam during six years of the Vietnam War, is one of only two Americans to be a two-time recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Colin Powell is the second.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 20th, 2021

Nearly Half of US Investors Say Clean Energy is Next Dotcom Crash Waiting to Happen

New survey reveals that over 70% of investors are disappointed with clean energy’s performance this year, and 13% will sell their clean energy investments less than a year into Biden’s presidency Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Similarities Between The Clean Energy Sector And The Dotcom Crash New York, NY, October 18, 2021 […] New survey reveals that over 70% of investors are disappointed with clean energy’s performance this year, and 13% will sell their clean energy investments less than a year into Biden’s presidency if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Walter Schloss Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Walter Schloss in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues. (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Similarities Between The Clean Energy Sector And The Dotcom Crash New York, NY, October 18, 2021 – Almost half (46 percent) of U.S. investors see similarities between today’s clean energy sector and the dotcom crash of 2000, Investing.com has revealed today in newly released data. According to a survey of more than 1,200 respondents, 70 percent of investors are disappointed with clean energy’s performance under President Joe Biden — including 41 percent who said the investments have “fallen significantly short” of their expectations. Thirteen percent confirmed that they will sell their clean energy investments now, less than a year into Biden’s presidency. The survey results come amid clean energy’s relative underperformance in the market compared to the lofty expectations which were set at the onset of the Biden administration. More than 40 percent of respondents said that investors are jumping on the clean energy bandwagon too early. Thirty one percent attributed the sector’s underperformance to Biden’s failure to live up to his campaign promises, and 29 percent cited supply chain issues associated with the reopening of the economy following the COVID-19 lockdown. More than 90 percent expressed that clean energy stocks’ performance are connected to government policy, including 46 percent who described that connection as “strong.” “The underperformance of many clean energy stocks this year comes as investors book some profits, following the sector’s significant gains throughout 2020,” said Jesse Cohen, senior analyst at Investing.com. “As the trade became progressively more crowded in Q1 of this year, the smart money - which poured into the sector even before Biden was elected - headed for the exits.” Investments In Clean Energy Stocks Or ETFs Of the survey respondents, 45 percent identified as having investments in clean energy stocks or ETFs. One in five of those invested introduced clean energy into their portfolios after Biden was elected president, while about 1 in 4 specifically made these investments due to their perceptions surrounding the sector’s growth potential under Biden. As it turns out, Biden was not the only public figure driving the investments, with 28 percent of respondents saying Tesla chief Elon Musk played a role in their decisions at least to some extent. Not surprisingly, then, Tesla stock was part of the portfolios for nearly 40 percent of clean energy investors in the survey, with nearly 35 percent investing in Pacific Ethanol as well as roughly 30 percent in Plug Power and Nio. The most popular ETFs for clean energy investors, meanwhile, were iShares Global Clean Energy (34 percent), Invesco Solar (23 percent), and First Trust Nasdaq Clean Edge Green Energy Index Fund (20 percent). “Companies involved in the low-carbon energy industry, such as solar panel manufacturers and wind-turbine makers, as well as firms working throughout the EV supply chain, stand to benefit the most from the ongoing shift to alternative energy,” Cohen added. “Some of the names which are likely to outperform in the months ahead include NextEra Energy, which is the largest electric utility in the U.S., in addition to companies such as First Solar, SolarEdge Technologies, Plug Power, and Sunrun. Looking elsewhere, in Europe, Denmark’s Vestas Wind Systems, the world’s largest wind-turbine manufacturer, and Italian utility Enel should also do well.” Among those who have avoided clean energy investments, almost 30 percent did so due to skepticism over the sector’s potential in the market regardless of who is serving as U.S. president, while 22 percent were driven away from the investments specifically because they believe Biden’s policies will not have a positive impact on the sector. Twenty eight percent of respondents said the performance of clean energy stocks in 2021 has reinforced their stance against these investments — although nearly half (47 percent) said this year’s events have made no impact on their outlook. Moving forward, the survey found that there is at least some optimism regarding clean energy investments. Nearly 70 percent of investors anticipated some degree of growth in the sector’s value in the coming year, although 29 percent predicted that value would increase by less than 10 percent. About 14 percent expect a stagnant year in which the sector will remain at its current value. The full story is on Investing.com. Methodology: This survey was conducted on October 4-6, 2021 based on online polling with 1,229 U.S. adults from Investing.com's user database. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points. Updated on Oct 19, 2021, 4:32 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkOct 19th, 2021

Trump says his fixation on the 2020 election could be "a problem" or "an asset" in 2022: book

Trump said he didn't urge Republicans to vote in the Georgia Senate runoff because he was "angry with what happened there." He lost the state to Biden. Former President Donald Trump speaks at a rally in Wellington, Ohio, on June 26, 2021. Stephen Zenner/AFP/Getty Images Trump acknowledged that his focus on 2020 may have cost the GOP the Senate and could hurt the party in 2022. "It could be a problem," Trump said before tacking on that "it could be an asset." Republicans largely view Trump's focus on the 2020 presidential election as a potential liability. Former President Donald Trump says his focus on the outcome of the 2020 election - and belief that he could be somehow reinstated as the legitimate president - could be either benefit or hurt Republicans heading into the 2022 midterm elections.That's according to David Drucker, who interviewed the former president at Mar-a-Lago in May for his new book, "In Trump's Shadow: The Battle for 2024 and the Future of the GOP," published on Tuesday."It could be a problem," Trump said of his fixation on the 2020 election, before insisting that it also "could be an asset."Trump also acknowledged that he may have contributed to the Republican Party losing control of the Senate by making baseless claims about the results of the presidential election ahead of Georgia's January 5 runoff elections, when Sens. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff narrowly defeated two Republican incumbents."They didn't want to vote, because they knew they got screwed in the presidential election," Trump said of Georgia Republican voters, continuing to sow doubt in his approximately 12,000-vote loss in the presidential election, which was confirmed by two statewide recounts. Drucker then posed a counterfactual to Trump: what if he had more aggressively urged Republicans to vote in the runoff?"I don't know," Trump replied. "I did two rallies - very successful rallies. I did say a version of that, but not as strongly as you said, because I was angry with what happened there."The former president also said the 2020 election, rather than upcoming elections in 2022 or 2024, was the "single biggest thing."Trump's comments to Drucker align with statements he's been making in recent weeks.On October 15, Trump spoke at the National Republican Senatorial Committee's retreat in Palm Beach, Florida, where he continued to push false claims about the 2020 election, The Washington Post reported. Insider's Kimberly Leonard reported from the retreat that Republicans were worried about Trump hurting the GOP's chances of reclaiming the Senate and House by doubling down on his 2020 election loss. The former president also claimed that Republicans would not vote in upcoming elections if the 2020 election wasn't "solved.""It is the single most important thing for Republicans to do," Trump said.-Liz Harrington (@realLizUSA) October 13, 2021At least some Republicans are uneasy with Trump's focus on the last election.Rep. Tom Emmer of Minnesota, the chairman of House Republicans' campaign arm, reportedly distanced himself from Trump's statement in a call with reporters, describing Trump as a "private citizen" who is "entitled to his opinion." "Right now, if the party focuses on Afghanistan, inflation, the border, crime - we are going to win big," Rep. Don Bacon of Nebraska told The Post. "If the party wants to make it about the election is rigged, we will lose. Independent voters don't respond well to that. If we keep the focus right, I think we're going to win big in 2022."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 19th, 2021

Trump says his son Donald Jr. "couldn"t be beaten" if he ran for office in "certain places": book

"I'm not sure they want it. If you don't want it, it's going to be very tough," Trump told author David Drucker of his children's political aspirations. Donald Trump Jr. looks on as his father, former President Donald Trump, speaks prior to the fight between Evander Holyfield and Vitor Belfort in Florida in September 2021. Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images Former President Trump says he'd support his son Donald Trump Jr. if he runs for office someday. "There are certain places where he couldn't be beaten," Trump told journalist David Drucker. Donald Jr. served as his father's most prominent surrogate and built key relationships of his own. Former President Donald Trump said he'd throw his support behind his son, Donald Trump Jr., should he choose to run for public office in the future."I would help him," Trump told Washington Examiner's David Drucker in an interview for his new book, "In Trump's Shadow: The Battle for 2024 and the Future of the GOP," which came out on Tuesday."There are certain places where he couldn't be beaten," the former president added, without mentioning specifics.Donald Jr. played a prominent role by fundraising and campaigning for his father during the 2020 presidential election. Since the defeat, Trump's eldest son has amplified lies that the race was plagued by widespread voter fraud, a claim that has been repeatedly disproven by state and federal officials.Donald Jr. has also been his father's most prominent surrogate on the campaign trail for down-ballot Republican candidates, putting in time and resources into campaigning and building relationships with GOP politicians and powerful donors around the country.He "raised money on the stodgy rubber chicken circuit, joined business-themed roundtables, ginned up the grass roots at MAGA rallies and mini- MAGA meetups, and was the guest of honor at pigeon shoots," Drucker wrote.Republican insiders have gushed about Donald Jr.'s ability to connect with voters and he's even been floated as a GOP presidential primary contender in straw polls, finishing first in some surveys, according to Drucker's reporting. Donald Jr. is "someone who, in a lot of ways, embodied MAGA even before there was a MAGA-someone who was a bomb thrower even before it became cool," a source in Trump's circle told Drucker eight months before the 2020 election. Donald Jr. also helped serve as a conduit of sorts to smooth over rocky relations between Trump and down-ballot Republicans, including helping secure a Trump endorsement for former Nevada Sen. Dean Heller, who had previously denounced the former president's comments on women and certain ethnic minorities. "Junior and I had one thing in common and I think that's what kept us together," Heller told Drucker in 2020. "We both loved to hunt."Through his years of fundraising work, Donald Jr. has also amassed a goldmine of incredibly valuable donor and voter data that could be put towards a future campaign, according to Drucker. When asked by Fox News about a 2024 run, Donald Jr. said in July that he hasn't "personally thought about it.""Who knows. The reality with that job is you also have to want to do the day job," Donald Jr. said. "It's not just about the campaigning. I love being in that fight, I love fighting for the things that are out there that I believe in as a conservative."Trump told Drucker that if his adult children want to follow in his footsteps, "You've got to want to do this." "I think they would have a great future if they wanted it. I'm not sure they want it. If you don't want it, it's going to be very tough," Trump said. Donald Jr. has not announced any political ambitions as of yet, but he's spent time blasting the Biden administration on social media and attending conservative and GOP events, such as the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in February.Since leaving office, Trump has also elevated Donald Jr. as one of his chief political advisors, according to a CNN report in April. The former president has teased a 2024 run since leaving office, but has stopped short of making any formal announcement. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytOct 19th, 2021

Trump admits he didn"t go all-out to push Republicans to vote in the Georgia Senate runoffs because he was "angry" over losing the election, book says

"They didn't want to vote, because they knew they got screwed in the presidential election," Trump said of Georgia's Republican voters. President Donald Trump headlined a campaign rally in Valdosta, Ga., for Sens. David Perdue, left, and Kelly Loeffler, right. Spencer Platt/Getty Images Donald Trump admits he could have done more to boost voter turnout in the critical 2021 Georgia Senate runoffs. Trump told reporter David Drucker he didn't do more because he was "angry" over the election outcome. Analyses of voter data show a significant drop-off in turnout among conservative voters in the runoffs. Former President Donald Trump admitted he could have done more to boost voter turnout in the critical 2021 Georgia Senate runoffs for incumbent GOP Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, but didn't because he was "angry" over losing the 2020 presidential election. Trump discussed his role in the January 5 runoffs in an interview for Washington Examiner reporter and author David Drucker's new book, "In Trump's Shadow: The Battle for 2024 and the Future of the GOP," published on Tuesday. "They didn't want to vote, because they knew they got screwed in the presidential election," Trump told Drucker of Georgia Republicans, acknowledging that depressed GOP turnout cost Republicans control of the Senate. Drucker then asked Trump what he think could have happened if the then-president had instead said that, "despite some irregularities that deserved looking into, the state's voting system was reliable" and urged his supporters to vote."I don't know," Trump said. "I did two very successful rallies - very successful rallies. I did say a version of that, but not as strongly as you said, because I was very angry with what happened there." Following the Republican losses in Georgia, which handed Senate control to Democrats, Trump insisted he wasn't to blame. Instead, he repeatedly pointed fingers at Georgia's GOP governor, Brian Kemp, for refusing to overturn his state's election results and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for refusing to support $2,000 stimulus checks as part of the December 2020 COVID-19 relief bill. Two full recounts in Georgia confirmed that Trump lost the presidential election in Georgia by about 12,000 votes, but the former president has continued to aggressively spread the lie that the election was rigged. Trump went on to tell Drucker that his fixation on the 2020 results "could be a problem" or "could be an asset" going into the 2022 midterm elections. But the available evidence from the Georgia runoffs, where two Democrats, Sens. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, unseated their Republican opponents, points to the former. Analyses of verified voter file data and precinct-level results show that low turnout among Republicans and Trump supporters are to blame for Perdue and Loeffler's losses.An analysis from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution found that over half of the 752,000 voters who voted in the presidential election but sat out the runoffs were white and disproportionately hailed from strongly Republican rural areas that backed Trump in 2020, particularly in Northwest and Southeast Georgia. By contrast, the areas with the least amount of voter drop-off between the presidential and runoff elections tended to be more nonwhite and Democratic-leaning, like the rapidly blue-trending Atlanta metro area and predominantly Black regions of Southwest Georgia. The 228,000 new voters who cast ballots for the first time in the runoffs were also predominately younger and nonwhite, constituencies that are disproportionately left-leaning. Another report from Georgia Public Broadcasting found that Georgia precincts that backed Trump in 2020 saw a drop-off of 310,000 voters compared to a 220,000 vote dropoff in precincts that backed President Joe Biden.The Trump team's legal efforts to overturn his election loss included infighting and power struggles between White House lawyers and Rudy Giuliani. Pro-Trump lawyers like Sidney Powell and Lin Wood also spread disinformation and conspiracy theories and told Republicans not to vote, contributing to the lower turnout. Perdue, who had asked the Trump team to spend more time campaigning in Georgia before the election that forced him into a runoff, appealed to the White House to try and stop Trump from stop pushing allegations of fraud, according to Wall Street Journal reporter Michael Bender's book "Frankly We Did Win This Election." But Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and then-White House advisor, told Perdue he was out of luck. "Once Donald put Rudy in charge, it guaranteed this was going to be a clown show," Kushner told Perdue, according to the book, adding: "I can't help you."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytOct 19th, 2021

Quinn: Living In A Potemkin World

Quinn: Living In A Potemkin World Authored by Jim Quinn via The Burning Platform blog, “Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.” ― George Orwell, 1984 “Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it.” ― George Orwell, 1984 I never thought I would experience the dystopian “fictional” nightmare Orwell laid out in his 1949 novel. Seventy-two years later and his warning about a totalitarian society, where mass surveillance, repressive measures against dissenters, mind control through government indoctrination and propaganda designed to convince the masses lies are truth, fake is real and the narrative can be manipulated to achieve the desired outcome of those in power, have come to fruition. Everything is fake. I don’t believe anything I’m told by the government, the media, medical “experts”, politicians, military leadership, bankers, corporate executives, religious leaders, financial professionals, and anyone selling themselves as an authority on any subject matter. We are truly living in times of mass deception, mass delusion, and mass willful ignorance. The term Potemkin Village comes from stories of a phony movable village built by Grigory Potemkin in the late 1700’s to impress his former lover, Catherine II, during her journey to Crimea in 1787. He supposedly erected fake villages along the banks of the Dnieper River, as her vessel sailed by, to impress her with the progress he was making on her behalf. After she passed, he would have the village disassembled and then reassembled further along downstream. I guess this was an early version of fake news, though I am sure there were also plenty of falsities and propaganda in the newspapers of the time. But, in our current day, oppressors have taken lies, falsities, miss-truths, and propaganda to heights never conceived by Edward Bernays, George Orwell or Joseph Stalin. Any semblance of a Constitutional Republic given to us by Franklin and his courageous fellow revolutionaries has dissipated, as decades of delusion, debt, decadence, and degeneracy have sapped any trace of revolutionary spirit, desire for freedom, love of liberty, or aspirations of self-reliance and self-responsibility among the masses. When you step back and observe how we got to this point in history, you realize it wasn’t a mistake, but a plan by those who control the levers of power, with a goal of accumulating immense riches and total dominion over those they consider nothing more than disposable chess pieces in their game of building a new world order. We are nothing more than parasites to these tyrannical power-hungry satanical fiends. They have proven they will use any means necessary to achieve their evil ends. The last two years have pulled back the curtain to reveal the oligarch globalist bloodsuckers who have been draining the lifeblood from our nation. The enemies have been exposed by their lies and misdeeds. For most of the past century the ruling class has been able to implement their methodical pillaging operation utilizing Huxley’s “soft” dystopian methods versus Orwell’s “hard” dystopian techniques. Huxley, who at one time was Orwell’s French teacher in high school, wrote a letter to Orwell shortly after the publication of 1984 where he put forth his vision of the future: “Within the next generation I believe that the world’s rulers will discover that infant conditioning and narco-hypnosis are more efficient, as instruments of government, than clubs and prisons, and that the lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging and kicking them into obedience.” As contemporaries, Huxley (Brave New World – 1931), Bernays (Propaganda – 1928), and Orwell (1984 – 1949) all agreed those wielding the power of government, whether seen or unseen, use propaganda techniques to mold the minds of the masses in ways conducive to keeping them in power. Huxley and Bernays believed people could be controlled through mind manipulation, materialism, entertainment, and pharmaceuticals. Orwell, in the wake of 65 million deaths in the space of seven years, and the Soviet totalitarianism in Russia, foresaw a future with a boot stomping on a human face forever. From 1950 until 2000, Huxley and Bernays’ view held sway, as Americans were enthralled by consumption, sports, movies, technology, and the miracle of living far above their means through plentiful debt provided by Wall Street bankers and their Federal Reserve lackeys. We were so distracted by amusing ourselves, we allowed oligarchs and their highly compensated apparatchiks in government, the media, the military, and the corporate world to hijack and ransack our country for their enrichment. Neil Postman in his 1985 book Amusing Ourselves to Death compares and contrasts Orwell and Huxley’s views of dystopian tyranny: “What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny “failed to take into account man’s almost infinite appetite for distractions.” In 1984, Huxley added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we hate will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we love will ruin us.” Since 9/11 the tables have turned. The implementation of the pre-written Patriot Act and initiation of the surveillance state, as revealed by Snowden and Greenwald, has ushered in a new Orwellian era where a truncheon to the skull and boot on the face supplements the endless technological distractions and incessant propaganda spewed by the legacy media networks and rising social media censorship cabal. There has clearly been a coalescing of the government, Surveillance state, media, military, Big Tech, Big Pharma, and Big Business to seize the power, control and wealth of the planet and put it in the hands of the few. The Build Back Better marketing campaign, with the goal of a new world order, controlled by oligarchs like Gates, Soros, Bezos, Schwab, Zuckerberg, and Bloomberg, is not a wild-eyed conspiracy theory. It is a work in progress. The level of brazen dishonesty and blatant criminality among those who portray themselves as leaders and experts in our debauched society has reached astronomical levels over the last two years. There are no trustworthy politicians. No trustworthy corporate executives. No trustworthy military leaders. No trustworthy scientists or academics. They have all been captured and are financially beholden to those controlling the purse strings. It’s always about the money and power that comes from having money. If you are paid handsomely to lie, you will lie. The truth is meaningless to those who seek power and control. Suppression of the truth is more financially rewarding to those seeking world domination. This entire engineered pandemic scheme has exposed this fact. A virus, released accidentally or purposely from a Chinese bio-weapon lab, funded by Anthony Fauci, was weaponized and marketed as the greatest threat to mankind in world history, as a means to cover-up a financial system ready to implode, unseat a president through fraudulent mail-in ballots, enrich the wealthiest men on the planet, test how far totalitarian measures could be pushed, and roll out of an experimental gene altering therapy that may or may not be part of a bigger population culling operation promoted by Gates, Schwab and the rest of the Davos crowd. What we do know is this virus only kills very old, very sick, and very obese people. It’s a virus with the largest marketing campaign in world history, paid for with your tax dollars. With a 99.7% survival rate, there should have never been lockdowns, school closures, mandatory masking, vaccine mandates, or elevating criminal mass murderers like Fauci to sainthood status. The elderly in nursing homes and hospitals should have been protected. Instead, they were slaughtered by Democrat governors putting infected patients into their midst. Safe and effective early treatment with ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine would have saved hundreds of thousands of lives, but the corrupt medical “experts” were bribed by Big Pharma to push these untested, ineffective, dangerous vaccines on a fearful public with promises of a cure. More lies. The “vaccines” do not keep you from catching covid, spreading covid, being hospitalized with covid, or dying from covid. In other words, it is a complete and utter failure. When you then see Fauci, Biden, Walensky and their Hollywood marketing machine demanding vaccine mandates and vaccine passports to entitle you to basic human rights, you realize this has never been about your health or the good of society. This dementia ridden joke, play acting as president, is doing the bidding of the invisible government, as documented by Bernays, in implementing a social credit system styled after the communist China totalitarians they admire. The un-vaxxed will soon be treated like the Uyghurs in China, placed in internment camps until we see the light, unless we start to fight back NOW. The WEF cadre of captured politicians positioned in countries across the planet have been activated to implement the Build Back Better plot to achieve their goal of a new world order controlled by tyrannical oligarchs and their highly compensated bureaucrat servants. They have been testing their totalitarian methods in countries with smaller populations (New Zealand, Australia) to see how far they can push their citizens before they push back. When the protests begin to get violent, they back off and pretend to reduce restrictions, then re-institute the lockdowns and restraints on freedom after hyping some new variant. As Bernays claimed, those in control of society know how to psychologically manipulate and mold the minds of the masses through the use of fear, greed, rewards, pain, threats and lies. We have entered one of the most dangerous periods in world history, as this engineered crisis is being commandeered by sociopathic totalitarians to implement their warped demented plans to destroy the existing societal structures and economic systems in order to build back better under a centralized communistic authoritarian techno-gulag configuration designed to benefit the few at the top, while keeping a boot on the face of humanity forever. When you understand their end goal, much of the seemingly incomprehensible decisions being made by Biden and his handlers come into clearer focus. It is difficult to step back and try to observe the current state of affairs in an impartial manner when those manipulating the narrative are intent on creating conflict, emotional reactions, anger, and outrage. Pitting us against each other and distracted by daily concocted outrage porn spewed by the completely captured corporate media outlets, allows the oligarchy (billionaires, bankers, politicians, mega-corps, Deep State) to continue their plunder and pillage crusade unhindered and undetected. They are counting on their decades long social indoctrination program, known as the public school system, to keep the masses from thinking, questioning, or recognizing they are being screwed over the people they believe are looking out for their best interests. Not only are the dark forces currently ruling the earth not telling the truth, but they have a far greater power in keeping silent about the truth and suppressing it when it rears its ugly head. The truth would set us free, so it is vital for the totalitarian propagandists to keep it from being heard or seen by the masses. Huxley realized during the last Fourth Turning that if you controlled the narrative and suppressed the truth, you could influence opinion much more effectively. “Great is truth, but still greater, from a practical point of view, is silence about truth. By simply not mentioning certain subjects… totalitarian propagandists have influenced opinion much more effectively than they could have by the most eloquent denunciations.” – Aldous Huxley The current batch of autocratic techno-propagandists have tools which make this truth suppression far easier than it was in the 1930’s and 1940’s. With six mega-corporations dominating the mainstream media outlets, they easily coordinate their messaging and can jointly ignore anything which undermines their predetermined narrative. The examples of ignoring, silencing, or censoring the truth over the last two years could fill hundreds of pages, but a few examples will suffice to make the point. In September 2019, the financial system began to shudder and quake, with overnight repo rates of 10% indicating tremendous strain. The MSM kept silent as the Fed reversed their tightening and resumed QE to infinity. The press has never questioned the trillions created out of thin air by the Fed to prop up this debt bloated carcass, even as the economy surpassed the GDP before this engineered scamdemic. Why doesn’t 60 Minutes do an expose on why the Fed continues to keep interest rates at 0% when inflation is raging in excess of 10%? Complete silence on issues which hurt the average person the most. The entire Russiagate Deep State coup against Trump was built on lies, misinformation and suppression of facts by the compliant co-conspirators in the media. Obama, Hillary, Comey, Biden, Brennan, Clapper and a myriad of other traitorous filth conspired against a sitting president and the media kept silent about the facts. The most blatant example of a complete cover-up of the truth by the MSM and the Silicon Valley social media censorship police was, and still is, crackhead Hunter Biden’s laptop during the final days of the presidential campaign. There is unequivocal proof Hunter Biden and the Big Guy were shaking down foreign governments for cash, influence peddling, and threatening foreign leaders who dared to look into their slimy traitorous dealings. All of the left-wing media outlets either ignored the story or called it Russian disinformation, because they had to get Biden elected. Twitter and Facebook censored and banned anyone putting forth the facts of this story. Then issued fake apologies afterward. But that was just the beginning. The halt to vote tabulations in the middle of the night in all the swing states, with Trump significantly ahead, was not reported by the press. Fake stories about burst pipes were promulgated. Vote counting irregularities and truckloads of missing ballots didn’t happen if the media didn’t say they happened. Video surveillance of fake ballots being added to the counts was not shown by the media outlets. The Washington Post and NY Times just applied the same language about conspiracy theories and the most secure election ever to override the substantial factual evidence showing massive voter fraud in the key swing states. Whenever evidence was presented on social media platforms, the person was banned, and their evidence disappeared. Zuckerberg needed to make sure the $420,000 he spent to swing the election to Biden was not wasted. By not reporting on the Arizona audit results, the huge irregularities found never happened. Right? Since the installation of Trojan Horse Joe, the level of silence, suppression and censorship of the truth has reached new heights. Of course, the worst attack on democracy since Pearl Harbor, and far worse than 9/11, was the armed selfie insurrection of January 6, during which no one was armed except the black cop who murdered an unarmed white woman. The media, who gleefully exposes every detail of a cop’s life when they immobilize a drug addled black criminal resisting arrest who died of an overdose, seemed completely uninterested in even trying to identify the cop who murdered Ashli Babbitt. Silence benefited Biden as they spun the false narrative about the Capitol being attacked and Capitol police being murdered. Pelosi and her sidekicks “Shit My Pants” Nadler, “Crying” Chuck Schumer, “Fartman” “Fang Fang Banging” Swallwell, and “Bug Eyes” Schiff tried their darndest to elevate this milling about by idiots dressed in buffalo regale, FBI plants, and ANTIFA CNN correspondents to an insurrection, but were laughed at and ridiculed by anyone with eyes. Only the couple thousand people in the country, who still watch MSNBC and CNN, believed them. These boobs, along with their FBI “undercover” domestic terrorists, were further discredited and ridiculed when they attempted to lure normal Americans into another trap at the J6 rally but failed miserably. These are the same people trying to make you believe the border is secure, and hundreds of thousands of third world parasites are not being shipped into swing states across the country. Just pretend it isn’t happening, don’t report on the invasion, and in the minds of the ignorant masses, it isn’t happening. In Part Two of this article, I will document the never-ending blizzard of lies used to create enough fear and panic in the world from this pandemic of ignorance to initiate the globalist Great Reset agenda and how we need to fight back now before it is too late. *  *  * The corrupt establishment will do anything to suppress sites like the Burning Platform from revealing the truth. The corporate media does this by demonetizing sites like mine by blackballing the site from advertising revenue. If you get value from this site, please keep it running with a donation. Tyler Durden Mon, 10/18/2021 - 16:30.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeOct 18th, 2021

Weiss: We Got Here Because Of Cowardice, We Get Out With Courage

Weiss: We Got Here Because Of Cowardice, We Get Out With Courage Authored by Bari Weiss via Commentary.org, A lot of people want to convince you that you need a Ph.D. or a law degree or dozens of hours of free time to read dense texts about critical theory to understand the woke movement and its worldview. You do not. You simply need to believe your own eyes and ears.  Let me offer the briefest overview of the core beliefs of the Woke Revolution, which are abundantly clear to anyone willing to look past the hashtags and the jargon. It begins by stipulating that the forces of justice and progress are in a war against backwardness and tyranny. And in a war, the normal rules of the game must be suspended. Indeed, this ideology would argue that those rules are not just obstacles to justice, but tools of oppression. They are the master’s tools.  And the master’s tools cannot dismantle the master’s house. So the tools themselves are not just replaced but repudiated. And in so doing, persuasion—the purpose of argument—is replaced with public shaming. Moral complexity is replaced with moral certainty. Facts are replaced with feelings. Ideas are replaced with identity. Forgiveness is replaced with punishment. Debate is replaced with de-platforming. Diversity is replaced with homogeneity of thought. Inclusion, with exclusion. In this ideology, speech is violence. But violence, when carried out by the right people in pursuit of a just cause, is not violence at all. In this ideology, bullying is wrong, unless you are bullying the right people, in which case it’s very, very good. In this ideology, education is not about teaching people how to think, it’s about reeducating them in what to think. In this ideology, the need to feel safe trumps the need to speak truthfully.  In this ideology, if you do not tweet the right tweet or share the right slogan, your whole life can be ruined. Just ask Tiffany Riley, a Vermont school principal who was fired—fired—because she said she supports black lives but not the organization Black Lives Matter. In this ideology, the past cannot be understood on its own terms, but must be judged through the morals and mores of the present. It is why statues of Grant and Washington are being torn down. And it is why William Peris, a UCLA lecturer and an Air Force veteran, was investigated for reading Martin Luther King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” out loud in class. In this ideology, intentions don’t matter. That is why Emmanuel Cafferty, a Hispanic utility worker at San Diego Gas and Electric, was fired for making what someone said he thought was a white-supremacist hand gesture—when in fact he was cracking his knuckles out of his car window. In this ideology, the equality of opportunity is replaced with equality of outcome as a measure of fairness. If everyone doesn’t finish the race at the same time, the course must have been defective. Thus, the argument to get rid of the SAT. Or the admissions tests for public schools like Stuyvesant in New York or Lowell in San Francisco.  In this ideology, you are guilty for the sins of your fathers. In other words: You are not you. You are only a mere avatar of your race or your religion or your class. That is why third-graders in Cupertino, California, were asked to rate themselves in terms of their power and privilege. In third grade.  In this system, we are all placed neatly on a spectrum of “privileged” to “oppressed.” We are ranked somewhere on this spectrum in different categories: race, gender, sexual orientation, and class. Then we are given an overall score, based on the sum of these rankings. Having privilege means that your character and your ideas are tainted. This is why, one high-schooler in New York tells me, students in his school are told, “If you are white and male, you are second in line to speak.” This is considered a normal and necessary redistribution of power. Racism has been redefined. It is no longer about discrimination based on the color of someone’s skin. Racism is any system that allows for disparate outcomes between racial groups. If disparity is present, as the high priest of this ideology, Ibram X. Kendi, has explained, racism is present. According to this totalizing new view, we are all either racist or anti-racist. To be a Good Person and not a Bad Person, you must be an “anti-racist.” There is no neutrality. There is no such thing as “not racist.”  Most important: In this revolution, skeptics of any part of this radical ideology are recast as heretics. Those who do not abide by every single aspect of its creed are tarnished as bigots, subjected to boycotts and their work to political litmus tests. The Enlightenment, as the critic Edward Rothstein has put it, has been replaced by the exorcism.  What we call “cancel culture” is really the justice system of this revolution. And the goal of the cancellations is not merely to punish the person being cancelled. The goal is to send a message to everyone else: Step out of line and you are next.  It has worked. A recent CATO study found that 62 percent of Americans are afraid to voice their true views. Nearly a quarter of American academics endorse ousting a colleague for having a wrong opinion about hot-button issues such as immigration or gender differences. And nearly 70 percent of students favor reporting professors if the professor says something that students find offensive, according to a Challey Institute for Global Innovation survey. Why are so many, especially so many young people, drawn to this ideology? It’s not because they are dumb. Or because they are snowflakes, or whatever Fox talking points would have you believe. All of this has taken place against the backdrop of major changes in American life—the tearing apart of our social fabric; the loss of religion and the decline of civic organizations; the opioid crisis; the collapse of American industries; the rise of big tech; successive financial crises; a toxic public discourse; crushing student debt. An epidemic of loneliness. A crisis of meaning. A pandemic of distrust. It has taken place against the backdrop of the American dream’s decline into what feels like a punchline, the inequalities of our supposedly fair, liberal meritocracy clearly rigged in favor of some people and against others. And so on. “I became converted because I was ripe for it and lived in a disintegrating society thrusting for faith.” That was Arthur Koestler writing in 1949 about his love affair with Communism. The same might be said of this new revolutionary faith. And like other religions at their inception, this one has lit on fire the souls of true believers, eager to burn down anything or anyone that stands in its way.  If you have ever tried to build something, even something small, you know how hard it is. It takes time. It takes tremendous effort. But tearing things down? That’s quick work.  The Woke Revolution has been exceptionally effective. It has successfully captured the most important sense-making institutions of American life: our newspapers. Our magazines. Our Hollywood studios. Our publishing houses. Many of our tech companies. And, increasingly, corporate America.  Just as in China under Chairman Mao, the seeds of our own cultural revolution can be traced to the academy, the first of our institutions to be overtaken by it. And our schools—public, private, parochial—are increasingly the recruiting grounds for this ideological army.  A few stories are worth recounting: David Peterson is an art professor at Skidmore College in upstate New York. He stood accused in the fevered summer of 2020 of “engaging in hateful conduct that threatens Black Skidmore students.” What was that hateful conduct? David and his wife, Andrea, went to watch a rally for police officers. “Given the painful events that continue to unfold across this nation, I guess we just felt compelled to see first-hand how all of this was playing out in our own community,” he told the Skidmore student newspaper. David and his wife stayed for 20 minutes on the edge of the event. They held no signs, participated in no chants. They just watched. Then they left for dinner. For the crime of listening, David Peterson’s class was boycotted. A sign appeared on his classroom door: “STOP. By entering this class you are crossing a campus-wide picket line and breaking the boycott against Professor David Peterson. This is not a safe environment for marginalized students.” Then the university opened an investigation into accusations of bias in the classroom. Across the country from Skidmore, at the University of Southern California, a man named Greg Patton is a professor of business communication. In 2020, Patton was teaching a class on “filler words”—such as “um” and “like” and so forth for his master’s-level course on communication for management. It turns out that the Chinese word for “like” sounds like the n-word. Students wrote the school’s staff and administration accusing their professor of “negligence and disregard.” They added: “We are burdened to fight with our existence in society, in the workplace, and in America. We should not be made to fight for our sense of peace and mental well-being” at school. In a normal, reality-based world, there is only one response to such a claim: You misheard. But that was not the response. This was: “It is simply unacceptable for faculty to use words in class that can marginalize, hurt and harm the psychological safety of our students,” the dean, Geoffrey Garrett wrote. “Understandably, this caused great pain and upset among students, and for that I am deeply sorry.”  This rot hasn’t been contained to higher education. At a mandatory training earlier this year in the San Diego Unified School District, Bettina Love, an education professor who believes that children learn better from teachers of the same race, accused white teachers of “spirit murdering black and brown children” and urged them to undergo “antiracist therapy for White educators.”  San Francisco’s public schools didn’t manage to open their schools during the pandemic, but the board decided to rename 44 schools—including those named for George Washington and John Muir—before suspending the plan. Meantime, one of the board members declared merit “racist” and “Trumpian.”  A recent educational program for sixth to eighth grade teachers called “a pathway to equitable math instruction”—funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation—was recently sent to Oregon teachers by the state’s Department of Education. The program’s literature informs teachers that white supremacy shows up in math instruction when “rigor is expressed only in difficulty,” and “contrived word problems are valued over the math in students’ lived experiences.”  Serious education is the antidote to such ignorance. Frederick Douglass said, “Education means emancipation. It means light and liberty. It means the uplifting of the soul of man into the glorious light of truth, the light only by which men can be free.” Soaring words that feel as if they are a report from a distant galaxy. Education is increasingly where debate, dissent, and discovery go to die. It’s also very bad for kids.  For those deemed “privileged,” it creates a hostile environment where kids are too intimidated to participate. For those deemed “oppressed,” it inculcates an extraordinarily pessimistic view of the world, where students are trained to perceive malice and bigotry in everything they see. They are denied the dignity of equal standards and expectations. They are denied the belief in their own agency and ability to succeed. As Zaid Jilani had put it: “You cannot have power without responsibility. Denying minorities responsibility for their own actions, both good and bad, will only deny us the power we rightly deserve.” How did we get here? There are a lot of factors that are relevant to the answer: institutional decay; the tech revolution and the monopolies it created; the arrogance of our elites; poverty; the death of trust. And all of these must be examined, because without them we would have neither the far right nor the cultural revolutionaries now clamoring at America’s gates.  But there is one word we should linger on, because every moment of radical victory turned on it. The word is cowardice. The revolution has been met with almost no resistance by those who have the title CEO or leader or president or principal in front of their names. The refusal of the adults in the room to speak the truth, their refusal to say no to efforts to undermine the mission of their institutions, their fear of being called a bad name and that fear trumping their responsibility—that is how we got here. Allan Bloom had the radicals of the 1960s in mind when he wrote that “a few students discovered that pompous teachers who catechized them about academic freedom could, with a little shove, be made into dancing bears.” Now, a half-century later, those dancing bears hold named chairs at every important elite, sense-making institution in the country.  As Douglas Murray has put it: “The problem is not that the sacrificial victim is selected. The problem is that the people who destroy his reputation are permitted to do so by the complicity, silence and slinking away of everybody else.” Each surely thought: These protestors have some merit! This institution, this university, this school, hasn’t lived up to all of its principles at all times! We have been racist! We have been sexist! We haven’t always been enlightened! I’ll give a bit and we’ll find a way to compromise. This turned out to be as naive as Robespierre thinking that he could avoid the guillotine.  Think about each of the anecdotes I’ve shared here and all the rest you already know. All that had to change for the entire story to turn out differently was for the person in charge, the person tasked with being a steward for the newspaper or the magazine or the college or the school district or the private high school or the kindergarten, to say: No. If cowardice is the thing that has allowed for all of this, the force that stops this cultural revolution can also be summed up by one word: courage. And courage often comes from people you would not expect. Consider Maud Maron. Maron is a lifelong liberal who has always walked the walk. She was an escort for Planned Parenthood; a law-school research assistant to Kathleen Cleaver, the former Black Panther; and a poll watcher for John Kerry in Pennsylvania during the 2004 presidential election. In 2016, she was a regular contributor to Bernie Sanders’s campaign. Maron dedicated her career to Legal Aid: “For me, being a public defender is more than a job,” she told me. “It’s who I am.” But things took a turn when, this past year, Maron spoke out passionately and publicly about the illiberalism that has gripped the New York City public schools attended by her four children.  “I am very open about what I stand for,” she told me. “I am pro-integration. I am pro-diversity. And also I reject the narrative that white parents are to blame for the failures of our school system. I object to the mayor’s proposal to get rid of specialized admissions tests to schools like Stuyvesant. And I believe that racial essentialism is racist and should not be taught in school.” What followed this apparent thought crime was a 21st-century witch hunt. Maron was smeared publicly by her colleagues. They called her “racist, and openly so.” They said, “We’re ashamed that she works for the Legal Aid Society.”  Most people would have walked away and quietly found a new job. Not Maud Maron. This summer, she filed suit against the organization, claiming that she was forced out of Legal Aid because of her political views and her race, a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.  “The reason they went after me is that I have a different point of view,” she said. “These ideologues have tried to ruin my name and my career, and they are going after other good people. Not enough people stand up and say: It is totally wrong to do this to a person. And this is not going to stop unless people stand up to it.” That’s courage. Courage also looks like Paul Rossi, the math teacher at Grace Church High School in New York who raised questions about this ideology at a mandatory, whites-only student and faculty Zoom meeting. A few days later, all the school’s advisers were required to read a public reprimand of his conduct out loud to every student in the school. Unwilling to disavow his beliefs, Rossi blew the whistle: “I know that by attaching my name to this I’m risking not only my current job but my career as an educator, since most schools, both public and private, are now captive to this backward ideology. But witnessing the harmful impact it has on children, I can’t stay silent.” That’s courage.  Courage is Xi Van Fleet, a Virginia mom who endured Mao’s Cultural Revolution as a child and spoke up to the Loudoun County School Board at a public meeting in June. “You are training our children to loathe our country and our history,” she said in front of the school board. “Growing up in Mao’s China, all of this feels very familiar…. The only difference is that they used class instead of race.” Gordon Klein, a professor at UCLA, recently filed suit against his own university. Why? A student asked him to grade black students with “greater leniency.” He refused, given that such a racial preference would violate UCLA’s anti-discrimination policies (and maybe even the law). But the people in charge of UCLA’s Anderson School launched a racial-discrimination complaint into him. They denounced him, banned him from campus, appointed a monitor to look at his emails, and suspended him. He eventually was reinstated—because he had done absolutely nothing wrong—but not before his reputation and career were severely damaged. “I don’t want to see anyone else’s life destroyed as they attempted to do to me,” Klein told me. “Few have the intestinal fortitude to fight cancel culture. I do. This is about sending a message to every petty tyrant out there.” Courage is Peter Boghossian. He recently resigned his post at Portland State University, writing in a letter to his provost: “The university transformed a bastion of free inquiry into a social justice factory whose only inputs were race, gender and victimhood and whose only output was grievance and division…. I feel morally obligated to make this choice. For ten years, I have taught my students the importance of living by your principles. One of mine is to defend our system of liberal education from those who seek to destroy it. Who would I be if I didn’t?” Who would I be if I didn’t? George Orwell said that “the further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” In an age of lies, telling the truth is high risk. It comes with a cost. But it is our moral obligation. It is our duty to resist the crowd in this age of mob thinking. It is our duty to think freely in an age of conformity. It is our duty to speak truth in an age of lies.  This bravery isn’t the last or only step in opposing this revolution—it’s just the first. After that must come honest assessments of why America was vulnerable to start with, and an aggressive commitment to rebuilding the economy and society in ways that once again offer life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to the greatest number of Americans. But let’s start with a little courage. Courage means, first off, the unqualified rejection of lies. Do not speak untruths, either about yourself or anyone else, no matter the comfort offered by the mob. And do not genially accept the lies told to you. If possible, be vocal in rejecting claims you know to be false. Courage can be contagious, and your example may serve as a means of transmission. When you’re told that traits such as industriousness and punctuality are the legacy of white supremacy, don’t hesitate to reject it. When you’re told that statues of figures such as Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass are offensive, explain that they are national heroes. When you’re told that “nothing has changed” in this country for minorities, don’t dishonor the memory of civil-rights pioneers by agreeing. And when you’re told that America was founded in order to perpetuate slavery, don’t take part in rewriting the country’s history. America is imperfect. I always knew it, as we all do—and the past few years have rocked my faith like no others in my lifetime. But America and we Americans are far from irredeemable.  The motto of Frederick Douglass’s anti-slavery paper, the North Star—“The Right is of no Sex—Truth is of no Color—God is the Father of us all, and all we are brethren”—must remain all of ours. We can still feel the pull of that electric cord Lincoln talked about 163 years ago—the one “in that Declaration that links the hearts of patriotic and liberty-loving men together, that will link those patriotic hearts as long as the love of freedom exists in the minds of men throughout the world.” Every day I hear from people who are living in fear in the freest society humankind has ever known. Dissidents in a democracy, practicing doublespeak. That is what is happening right now. What happens five, 10, 20 years from now if we don’t speak up and defend the ideas that have made all of our lives possible? Liberty. Equality. Freedom. Dignity. These are ideas worth fighting for. Tyler Durden Sun, 10/17/2021 - 23:05.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytOct 18th, 2021