The Race To Break The Russia-China Alliance & The "Ukraine Of The Asia Pacific"

The Race To Break The Russia-China Alliance & The "Ukraine Of The Asia Pacific" Authored by Matthew Ehret, There is a window of opportunity open for the west to recognize the total failure of the unipolar model before the point of no return has passed. It has become commonplace western media and armadas of geopolitical think tankers to paint today’s Russia-China alliance as a matter of either “momentary convenience”, or as a strained partnership between two competing authoritarian regimes with global imperial aspirations. However, if one simply looks at the facts as they are without the filter of “experts” telling you how to interpret reality, it becomes extremely clear that those cynical geopolitical assessments painted by geopolitical opinionators are doing little more than trying to analyze life through lenses that only see dead corpses. It isn’t that such analysts aren’t necessarily concerned with the truth (although more than a few aren’t), but due to their fundamental axioms, their limited minds cannot contemplate a system organized by a non-Hobbesian parameters either past, present or future. It is for this reason that such opinionators cannot understand the nature of the Russian-China alliance nor can they see or understand the stark parallels in the asymmetrical war efforts to destroy either Eurasian power. Due to this intellectual blindness, even among many intelligent experts within the alternative media community, I will take this opportunity to briefly assess some of the key elements of the parallel features of both operations that have been deployed to destroy both Russia and China. We will begin by looking at the color revolutionary tactics, followed by ‘Gladio stay behinds’, military encirclement, biowarfare and finally the use of ‘fifth columns’. Color Revolutionary Tactics Over the past decades, both Russia and China have contended with obsessive efforts to carve up and destabilize their governments utilizing “democracy promoting/anti corruption” organizations tied to western intel have fortunately failed to Balkanize them as seen in the tragic case of Yugoslavia. The late geopolitical guru Zbigniew Brzezinski wrote passionately of his vision of a carved-up Russia in his 1997 Grand Chessboard saying: “A loosely confederated Russia- composed of a European Russia, a Siberian Republic, and a Far Eastern Republic- would find it easier to cultivate closer economic regulations with Europe, with the new states of Central Asia and with East Asia, which would thereby accelerate Russia’s own development.” Over the years, western funded movements in China have arisen calling openly for breaking up China into no less than five ethno-nationalist micro-states called ‘East Turkestan, The Free State of Tibet, Canton and Manchuria.’ Purged multibillionaire deep state operative Guo Wengui (aka: Miles Guo), now operating from New York, has gone so far as to establish an international insurrectionary organization called ‘The New Federal State of China’ with a shiny new flag, constitution and cheesy anthem for the post-CCP China which will undoubtedly happen any day within Guo’s wildest imagination. The leaders of both nations have clearly identified “color revolutionary” tactics as an active form of asymmetrical warfare leading both states to ban a wide spectrum of western-funded NGOs (or if permitted to exist within their territories to be forced to register as ‘foreign agents’). While the color revolution financing king George Soros was banned from China back in 1989, Russia took longer to gain the power and confidence to ban the economic hitman’s Open Society operations which finally occurred in 2015. Gladio-type “stay-behinds” on their borders. The asymmetrical warfare tool basket doesn’t stop at color revolutionary tactics, but relies upon networks of provocateurs and extremists who often find their roots in the non-punishment of virulent war criminals in the wake of WW2. Those second and third generation fascist stay-behinds who were incorporated into western intelligence under the helm of NATO after WW2 remains one of the most uncomfortable and dangerous secrets of the modern age. Weaponized ideological groups carefully groomed by Anglo-American intelligence since WWII and who continued to glorify Nazi-collaborators as “great heroes” played a major role both during the Cold War, and also today’s Banderite-filled age with neo-Nazi battalions driven obsessively to carry out jihad against Russia as their spiritual forefathers had done during WW2. This problem is not isolated to Eastern Europe, but persists in China’s own back yard where the American military colony of Japan still maintains a strong tradition of treating WWII fascist war criminals as heroes (much to China’s chagrin). One of the largest parties occupying 30% of the Japanese parliamentary seats (and headed by former PM Shinzo Abe) is the Nippon Kaigi party which claims openly that “Japan should be applauded for liberating much of East Asia” during WW2. Despite many anti-fascist impulses in Japan seeking to maintain peaceful coexistence with their Eurasian neighbors, the Nippon Kaigi goes so far as to deny that Japan committed any atrocities to the Chinese during WW2 while trying to maintain the thesis that Japan was on the side of justice by working with Hitler. Keep in mind that this is also the same colony (now hosting over 50,000 US troops) which saw former PM Shinzo Abe call publicly for acquiring US-owned nuclear weapons to defend against China one week after Zelensky made that same call on behalf of Ukraine in Munich on February 19th. Full Spectrum Dominance: Atlantic, Arctic and Pacific Like Russia, who has watched “full spectrum dominance” wrap around her perimeter over the course of 20+ years, China has also been looking at ongoing efforts to create a “NATO of the Pacific” termed “the Quad” in her backyard. This toxic idea has been championed by NATO-connected think tanks like the Atlantic Council and CFR for years and grows directly out of Obama’s 2012 ‘Asia Pivot’ strategy which saw a broad extension of missile systems, trident-bearing submarines, provocative “freedom of navigation” exercises, military bases and efforts to impose US-controlled governments hostile to China in the Pacific region. The ABM-aspect of this program (which experts agree can be easily converted from “defensive” into “offensive”) is reflected in the THAAD missile system already stationed in South Korea which currently hosts over 28,000 US troops. Nominally justifying its existence to stop the “North Korean threat”, the reality is that this system has always been aimed at China. Describing the $762 billion National Defense Authorization Act of 2022 which received nearly total bipartisan support, analyst Michael Klare observed: “The gigantic 2022 defense bill — passed with overwhelming support from both parties — provides a detailed blueprint for surrounding China with a potentially suffocating network of U.S. bases, military forces, and increasingly militarized partner states. The goal is to enable Washington to barricade that country’s military inside its own territory and potentially cripple its economy in any future crisis. For China’s leaders, who surely can’t tolerate being encircled in such a fashion, it’s an open invitation to… well, there’s no point in not being blunt… fight their way out of confinement.” Taiwan as Ukraine of the Pacific Obviously within this entire mess, Taiwan (which has been an Anglo-American plaything since 1949) is currently acting like the “Ukraine of the Pacific” with many leading agents operating throughout the government calling openly for US military defense of China’s autonomous province from the “evil commie” mainlanders. Biden himself has pledged that Taiwan can “count on America’s support” were an invasion to break out at any time. These supportive words were backed up with a $750 million deal to provide a Howitzer military system to Taiwan in August 2021, a $100 million deal to supply and upgrade Taiwan’s patriot missile systems on February 8, 2022 and another $95 million missile deal on April 6, 2022. After the second of these three deals, the Taiwanese foreign ministry sounded like it was trying to out-Zelensky Zelensky saying: “In the face of China’s continued military expansion and provocative actions, our country will maintain its national security with a solid defence, and continue to deepen the close security partnership between Taiwan and the United States.” China’s concerns over the vast expansion of US efforts to turn Taiwan into a Pacific Ukraine (including a doubling of military officials in the US embassy compound in the past year) are very real. Biowarfare in the 21st Century Then there is the serious issue of the Pentagon’s bioweapons infrastructure that has demonstrated an ethnic-targeting feature as outlined in the September 2000 PNAC manifesto “Rebuilding Americas Defenses”. In this bone-chilling neocon manifesto, its authors stated that in the 21st century “combat will likely take place in new dimensions: In space, cyber-space and perhaps the world of microbes… advanced forms of biological warfare that can “target” specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool”. Today over 320 Pentagon-run biolabs are scattered strategically around the world with a very active program titled “Jupitr” and “Centaur” located in in South Korea. This later program has caused grave concern to both the Chinese and many Koreans since Obama launched inaugurated the program in 2010 with an executive order that stated “a robust and productive scientific enterprise that utilizes biological select agents and toxins is essential to national security.” This was the same team that brought us the Obama-Lugar partnership that established a vast bio-laboratory infrastructure in Georgia while Obama was still just another Soros-controlled Senator with Presidential ambitions. Work on some of the deadliest toxins in the world has been conducted within the US run biolabs which include work on botulinum, ricin, staphylococcal, anthrax, plague and more. In 2015 the US military was caught illegally shipping samples of live anthrax via FedEx to the US laboratory at the Oran Air base 70 km south of Seoul resulting in civilian protests across the nation although no evidence of any change in policy by the Americans. Japan’s sordid past is again brought back into the story, as Finian Cunningham’s recent Strategic Culture Foundation study on the origins of US bioweapons complex zeroed in on the Military Industrial Complex’s absorption of the genocidal “Unit 731” under the control of Shiro Ishii. Cunningham wrote: “Ishii’s Unit 731 is estimated to have caused up to 500,000 deaths during the war from the use of biological warfare by dropping pathogens from airplanes on Chinese cities in Hunan and Zhejiang provinces. The unit also carried out diabolic forced experiments on Chinese and Russian prisoners of war to study the epidemiology of diseases and vaccines. Inmates were infected with pathogens and subjected to horrible agonizing deaths… Shiro Ishii and his criminal network were never brought to trial following the war despite earnest Soviet requests. Instead, the Americans who occupied mainland Japan granted him and his team of doctors immunity from prosecution in exchange for exclusive access to the biological and chemical warfare experiments. The Pentagon assigned its experts from Fort Detrick, Maryland, to tap the Japanese trove of data.” This list would not be complete without the last consideration… Fifth Columnists in Russia and China Leaders within both nations have been contending for years with World Economic Forum fifth columnists like Anatoly Chubais in Russia and WEF Trustee Jack Ma (and more than a few other Shanghai Clique connected technocrats and billionaires) both inside and outside of China. Some observations on those foreign influences still exerting relevant influence within China via Shanghai as a hotbed for international finance was Emanuel Pastreich who wrote: “Shanghai is riddled with global financial interests, with the head offices (or certainly the major branch) for all major multinational investment banks and multinational corporations located there. Their impact on the Chinese economy remains immense. Shanghai has a history of over a hundred years as a center for global capital with a parasitic relationship to the rest of the nation. It was Shanghai, after all, that offered extraterritoriality to citizens from imperial powers until the 1940s.” Luckily, since the ousting of Soros, many of the worst elements of China’s deep state have been incrementally de-weeded in bursts starting in 1989, then 1997, and the largest robust purge begun in 2012 and continuing to this day. Some of the biggest operatives purged by Xi’s crackdown on corruption include Ma Jian (former Deputy Director of China’s National Security Bureau), Zhang Yue (former legal affairs secretary of Hebei), Bo Zilai (former Communist Party Secretary of Chonqing), Xu Caihou (Vice Chair of China’s Military Commission), and billionaire Pony Ma (to name but a few). There has been an obvious clash between these traitorous forces and genuine patriots in both nations committed to their peoples’ survival in opposition to the religious like commitment to depopulation, cultural mediocrity and global enslavement. Beyond Simply Survival Russia and China’s commitment to survival and cooperation goes far beyond utilitarian concerns as outlined by their February 4th joint statement for Cooperation Entering a New Era which called for the further integration of the EAEU and BRI, military intelligence harmonization under the growing SCO and broader international integration of the multipolar system. Among its many important points, the statement read: “The sides are seeking to advance their work to link the development plans for the Eurasian Economic Union [EAEU] and the Belt and Road Initiative with a view to intensifying practical cooperation between the EAEU and China in various areas and promoting greater interconnectedness between the Asia Pacific and Eurasian regions. The sides reaffirm their focus on building the Greater Eurasian Partnership in parallel and in coordination with the Belt and Road construction to foster the development of regional associations as well as bilateral and multilateral integration processes for the benefit of the peoples on the Eurasian continent.” There is still a window of opportunity open for the west to wake up and recognize the total failure of the unipolar model of imperial governance before the point of no return has passed. Whether or not the moral fitness to conduct this exercise in humility still exists remains to be seen. Tyler Durden Fri, 05/13/2022 - 23:40.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytMay 14th, 2022

Virginia"s Become "Ground Zero" For Backlash Against Critical Race Theory Madness

Virginia's Become 'Ground Zero' For Backlash Against Critical Race Theory Madness Op-Ed authored by Eric Louw via The Epoch Times, The election of a Republican governor in Virginia points to a winning formula in the upcoming mid-terms, a key component of which is empowering parents to fight back against Critical Race Theory’s (CRT) indoctrination of their children. Gov-elect Glenn Youngkin’s victory was unexpected because the Democrats had won the governorship of Virginia for the last 12 years and the Democrat candidate, Terry McAuliffe, was popular. More importantly, it looked like a major demographic shift had forever changed Virginian politics in favour of the Democrats, given the growth of a huge suburban population of Washington D.C. bureaucrats in northern Virginia. For many Republicans, it felt like Virginia’s political game had forever been rigged against them by the arrival of these D.C. immigrants. Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin (R-Va.) speaks during an Early Vote rally in Stafford, Va., Oct. 19, 2021. (Win McNamee/Getty Images) But 2021 showed that even with this northern demographic challenge, Republicans can win Virginia if they can develop a powerful enough message. Youngkin built such messages by exploiting the hubris, arrogance, and incompetence that has characterized the Democrats since Biden moved into the White House. Essentially, he pledged to: support parents in their fight against CRT, fund the police, and cut red tape and tax. So appealing were these pledges that they switched hundreds of thousands of votes from Democrat to Republican, especially independent voters. Youngkin was also helped by Biden showing up to campaign alongside McAuliffe. This served to remind voters of the struggles of Biden’s administration, plus how it has empowered the woke-left’s CRT and police defunding agendas. Additionally, Biden’s appearance also reminded voters that Biden does not look in charge. President Joe Biden speaks during a press conference at the White House in Washington on Nov. 6, 2021. (Samuel Corum/Getty Images) His $3 trillion “remake U.S. plan” is gridlocked in Washington. His migration policies caused chaos on the border. And anti-right-wing security on Washington’s streets only serves to make it look as if he does not even control his own capital. But it would seem the core vote shifter was Youngkin’s standing up for parents’ rights to say no to the CRT bullies and to those teachers who want to indoctrinate students with it. Youngkin correctly read the anti-CRT mood across his state. After all, even in the blue northern suburbs of Loudoun County, some parents mobilized against their schools teaching CRT. And so Youngkin has been rewarded with the governorship because he paid attention to the voices of Virginia parents, telling CRT-activists and woke-teachers: “I am not an oppressor, and I am not going to allow you to teach my children your toxic anti-white racism anymore.” Essentially he produced a swing towards the Republicans in every part of Virginia by promising to ban CRT in Virginia schools. Given the mounting parental backlash against the theory across America, it might be helpful to summarize the CRT worldview and objections to this radicalism.  CRT objects to how mainstream (white) Americans see themselves, their country and their history. CRT has the same objection to history as taught in Canada, Australia, and Europe. Its solution is to teach a new kind of history. Former Australian Prime Minister John Howard called this new history “the black armband view” in which everything before European colonialism was apparently wonderful, and everything since has been evil. CRT argues Europeans invented race and racism to justify colonialism and slavery and effectively invented a new updated version of the old Marxist villain-victim idea. For Marxists, capitalists were villains, and workers were victims. For CRT, whites are villains, and blacks are victims. Both models grow out of the resentments of the unsuccessful, but CRT’s answer is to tear down the successful and what they built. The emergence of parental opposition to CRT in the schools reflects a growing realization that the theory represents a truly existential and revolutionary threat to the American way of life. But CRT goes further than just wanting to deconstruct and reconstruct America and its way of life or take down statues. They demand all white individuals must recognize they are racists, which is built into them through language. They also demand that whites must apologize (and recompense black victims) for white racism, for white privilege, and for oppressing black people. Within CRT logic, whites are apparently always inherently racist and inherently privileged. Blacks are always apparently oppressed and can never be racist. If any white person points to the absurdity of these claims, this is taken a proof such a person is racist and “fragile.” CRT allows no escape from its closed circular argument.   Re-education appears to be the only solution, according to the theory. Whites must be taught to recognize their individual “sickness” and the pathology of their society. Then taught to “be sorry,” to take the knee, and to be co-opted into CRT’s plan to deconstruct existing American society. This re-education will take place in schools, universities and through compulsory staff training workshops. Conveniently, CRT activists have created many jobs for themselves by running these workshops. Apparently, revolution can be profitable for some. CRT is a revolutionary project designed to actively disrupt and break the language we use. It is enmeshed with another left-wing project called the “decolonization” of education and the “decolonization” of society. These projects aim to undo the so-called evil of European colonialism plus deconstruct the work of the apparently evil white men who colonized and built America, Canada, and Australia. Building CRT’s postcolonial world is a project as profoundly revolutionary as was Stalin’s communist project of building the “Soviet Man.” Americans need to become aware of what such a project of re-writing their culture; their history, and their language will mean for them. If Americans want to see what “decolonization” of education and society means, just look at what the African National Congress has done in South Africa. This is a project of erasure that is totalitarian in its vision. What is remarkable is that left-leaning liberals cannot see how Orwellian this CRT re-education project is in the way it wants to replace “bad language” and “bad thinking” with new sanitized “social justice” words and “good thinking.” Similarities can be found with Mao Ze Dong’s Cultural Revolution when communist witch hunts forced people to confess their “guilt.” Youngkin’s victory in Virginia should give us all hope. Let this be the beginning of an alliance of Republican politicians and parents who say they are tired of having their children come home from school brainwashed by CRT. Let the message from Virginia be that enough is enough. Vandals attempt to pull down the statue of Andrew Jackson in Lafayette Square near the White House on June 22, 2020. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images) Tyler Durden Tue, 11/09/2021 - 19:05.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 9th, 2021

Futures Slide On Growing Stagflation Fears As Treasury Yields Surge

Futures Slide On Growing Stagflation Fears As Treasury Yields Surge US index futures, European markets and Asian stocks all turned negative during the overnight session, surrendering earlier gains as investors turned increasingly concerned about China's looming slowdown - and outright contraction - amid a global stagflationary energy crunch, which sent 10Y TSY yields just shy of 1.50% this morning following a Goldman upgrade in its Brent price target to $90 late on Sunday. At 745 a.m. ET, S&P 500 e-minis were down 4.75 points, or 0.1% after rising as much as 0.6%, Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 83 points, or 0.54% and Dow e-minis were up 80 points, or 0.23%. The euro slipped as Germany looked set for months of complex coalition talks. While the market appears to have moved beyond the Evergrande default, the debt crisis at China's largest developer festers (with Goldman saying it has no idea how it will end), and data due this week will show a manufacturing recovery in the world’s second-largest economy is faltering faster. A developing energy crisis threatens to crimp global growth further at a time markets are preparing for a tapering of Fed stimulus. The week could see volatile moves as traders scrutinize central bankers’ speeches, including Chair Jerome Powell’s meetings with Congressional panels. “Most bad news comes from China these days,” Ipek Ozkardeskaya, a senior analyst at Swissquote Group Holdings, wrote in a note. “The Evergrande debt crisis, the Chinese energy crackdown on missed targets and the ban on cryptocurrencies have been shaking the markets, along with the Fed’s more hawkish policy stance last week.” Oil majors Exxon Mobil and Chevron Corp rose 1.5% and 1.2% in premarket trade, respectively, tracking crude prices, while big lenders including JPMorgan, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America Corp gained about 0.8%.Giga-cap FAAMG growth names such as Alphabet, Microsoft,, Facebook and Apple all fell between 0.3% and 0.4%, as 10Y yield surged, continuing their selloff from last week, which saw the 10Y rise as high as 1.4958% and just shy of breaching the psychological 1.50% level. While growth names were hit, value names rebounded as another market rotation appears to be in place: industrials 3M Co and Caterpillar Inc, which tend to benefit the most from an economic rebound, also inched higher (although one should obviously be shorting CAT here for its China exposure). Market participants have moved into value and cyclical stocks from tech-heavy growth names after the Federal Reserve last week indicated it could begin unwinding its bond-buying program by as soon as November, and may raise interest rates in 2022. Here are some other notable premarket movers: Gores Guggenheim (GGPI US) shares rise 7.2% in U.S. premarket trading as Polestar agreed to go public with the special purpose acquisition company, in a deal valued at about $20 billion. Naked Brand (NAKD US), one of the stocks caught up in the first retail trading frenzy earlier this year, rises 11% in U.S. premarket trading, extending Friday’s gains. Among other so-called meme stocks in premarket trading: ReWalk Robotics (RWLK) +6.5%, Vinco Ventures (BBIG) +18%, Camber Energy (CEI) +2.9% Pfizer (PFE US) and Opko Health (OPK US) in focus after they said on Friday that the FDA extended the review period for the biologics license application for somatrogon. Opko fell 3.5% in post-market trading. Aspen Group (ASPU) climbed 10% in Friday postmarket trading after board member Douglas Kass buys $172,415 of shares, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission. Seaspine (SPNE US) said spine surgery procedure volumes were curtailed in many areas of the U.S. in 3Q and particularly in August. Tesla (TSLA US) and other electric- vehicle related stocks globally may be active on Monday after Germany’s election, in which the Greens had their best-ever showing and are likely to be part of any governing coalition. Europe likewise drifted lower, with the Stoxx Europe 600 Index erasing earlier gains and turning negative as investors weighed the risk to global growth from the China slowdown and the energy crunch. The benchmark was down 0.1% at last check. Subindexes for technology (-0.9%) and consumer (-0.8%) provide the main drags while value outperformed, with energy +2.4%, banks +2% and insurance +1.3%.  The DAX outperformed up 0.5%, after German election results avoided the worst-case left-wing favorable outcome.  U.S. futures. Rolls-Royce jumped 12% to the highest since March 2020 after the company was selected to provide the powerplant for the B-52 Stratofortress under the Commercial Engine Replacement Program. Here are some of the other biggest European movers today IWG rises as much as 7.5% after a report CEO Mark Dixon is exploring a multibillion-pound breakup of the flexible office-space provider AUTO1 gains as much as 6.1% after JPMorgan analyst Marcus Diebel raised the recommendation to overweight from neutral Cellnex falls as much as 4.3% to a two-month low after the tower firm is cut to sell from neutral at Citi, which says the stock is “priced for perfection in an imperfect industry” European uranium stocks fall with Yellow Cake shares losing as much as 6% and Nac Kazatomprom shares declining as much as 4.7%. Both follow their U.S. peers down following weeks of strong gains as the price of uranium ballooned For those who missed it, Sunday's closely-watched German elections concluded with the race much closer than initially expected: SPD at 25.7%, CDU/CSU at 24.1%, Greens at 14.8%, FDP at 11.5%, AfD at 10.3% Left at 4.9%, the German Federal Returning Officer announced the seat distribution from the preliminary results which were SPD at 206 seats, CDU/CSU at 196. Greens at 118, FDP at 92, AfD at 83, Left at 39 and SSW at 1. As it stands, three potential coalitions are an option, 1) SPD, Greens and FDP (traffic light), 2) CDU/CSU, Greens and FDP (Jamaica), 3) SPD and CDU/CSU (Grand Coalition but led by the SPD). Note, option 3 is seen as the least likely outcome given that the CDU/CSU would be unlikely willing to play the role of a junior partner to the SPD. Therefore, given the importance of the FDP and Greens in forming a coalition for either the SPD or CDU/CSU, leaders of the FDP and Greens have suggested that they might hold their own discussions with each other first before holding talks with either of the two larger parties. Given the political calculus involved in trying to form a coalition, the process is expected to play out over several months. From a markets perspective, the tail risk of the Left party being involved in government has now been removed due to their poor performance and as such, Bunds trade on a firmer footing. Elsewhere, EUR is relatively unfazed due to the inconclusive nature of the result. We will have more on this in a subsequent blog post. Asian stocks fell, reversing an earlier gain, as a drop in the Shanghai Composite spooked investors in the region by stoking concerns about the pace of growth in China’s economy.  The MSCI Asia Pacific Index wiped out an advance of as much as 0.7%, on pace to halt a two-day climb. Consumer discretionary names and materials firms were the biggest contributors to the late afternoon drag. Financials outperformed, helping mitigate drops in other sectors.  “Seeing Shanghai shares extending declines, investors’ sentiment has turned weak, leading to profit-taking on individual stocks or sectors that have been gaining recently,” said Shoichi Arisawa, an analyst at Iwai Cosmo Securities. “The drop in Chinese equities is reminding investors about a potential slowdown in their economy.”  The Shanghai Composite was among the region’s worst performers along with Vietnam’s VN Index. Shares of China’s electricity-intensive businesses tumbled after Beijing curbed power supplies in the country’s manufacturing hubs to cut emissions. The CSI 300 still rose, thanks to gains in heavily weighted Kweichow Moutai and other liquor makers. Asian equities started the day on a positive note as financials jumped, tracking gains in U.S. peers and following a rise in Treasury yields. Resona Holdings was among the top performers after Morgan Stanley raised its view on the stock and Japanese banks. The regional market has been calmer over the past few trading sessions after being whipsawed by concerns over any fallout from China Evergrande Group’s debt troubles. While anxiety lingers, many investors expect China will resolve the distressed property developer’s problems rather than let them spill over into an echo of 2008’s Lehman crisis. Japanese equities closed lower, erasing an earlier gain, as concerns grew over valuations following recent strength in the local market and turmoil in China. Machinery and electronics makers were the biggest drags on the Topix, which fell 0.1%. Daikin and Bandai Namco were the largest contributors to a dip of less than 0.1% in the Nikkei 225. Both gauges had climbed more 0.5% in morning trading. Meanwhile, the Shanghai Composite Index fell as much as 1.5% as industrials tumbled amid a power crunch. “Seeing Shanghai shares extending declines, investors’ sentiment has turned weak, leading to profit-taking on individual stocks or sectors that have been gaining recently,” said Shoichi Arisawa, an analyst at Iwai Cosmo Securities Co. “The drop in Chinese equities is reminding investors about a potential slowdown in their economy. That’s why marine transportation stocks, which are representative of cyclical sectors, fell sharply.” Shares of shippers, which have outperformed this year, fell as investors turned their attention to reopening plays. Travel and retail stocks gained after reports that the government is making final arrangements to lift all the coronavirus state of emergency order in the nation as scheduled at the end of this month. Australia's commodity-heavy stocks advanced as energy, banking shares climb. The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.6% to close at 7,384.20, led by energy stocks. Banks also posted their biggest one-day gain since Aug. 2. Travel stocks were among the top performers after the prime minister said state premiers must not keep borders closed once agreed Covid-19 vaccination targets are reached. NextDC was the worst performer after the company’s CEO sold 1.6 million shares. In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index. In FX, the U.S. dollar was up 0.1%, while the British pound, Australian dollar, and Canadian dollar lead G-10 majors, with the Swedish krona and Swiss franc lagging. •    The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed and the greenback traded mixed versus its Group-of-10 peers o    Volatility curves in the major currencies were inverted last week due to a plethora of central bank meetings and risk-off concerns. They have since normalized as stocks stabilize and traders assess the latest forward guidance on monetary policy •    The yield on two-year U.S. Treasuries touched the highest level since April 2020, as tightening expectations continued to put pressure on front-end rates and ahead of debt sales later Monday •    The pound advanced, with analyst focus on supply chain problems as Prime Minister Boris Johnson considers bringing in army drivers to help. Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey’s speech later will be watched after last week’s hawkish meeting •    Antipodean currencies, as well as the Norwegian krone and the Canadian dollar were among the best Group-of-10 performers amid a rise in commodity prices •    The yen pared losses after falling to its lowest level in six weeks and Japanese stocks paused their rally and amid rising Treasury yields   In rates, treasuries extended their recent drop, led by belly of the curve ahead of this week’s front-loaded auctions, which kick off Monday with 2- and 5-year note sales.  Yields were higher by up to 4bp across belly of the curve, cheapening 2s5s30s spread by 3.2bp on the day; 10-year yields sit around 1.49%, cheaper by 3.5bp and underperforming bunds, gilts by 1.5bp and 0.5bp while the front-end of the curve continues to sell off as rate-hike premium builds -- 2-year yields subsequently hit 0.284%, the highest level since April 2020. 5-year yields top at 0.988%, highest since Feb. 2020 while 2-year yields reach as high as 0.288%; in long- end, 30-year yields breach 2% for the first time since Aug. 13. Auctions conclude Tuesday with 7-year supply. Host of Fed speakers due this week, including three scheduled for Monday. In commodities, Brent futures climbed 1.4% to $79 a barrel, while WTI futures hit $75 a barrel for the first time since July, amid an escalating energy crunch across Europe and now China. Base metals are mixed: LME copper rises 0.4%, LME tin and nickel drop over 2%. Spot gold gives back Asia’s gains to trade flat near $1,750/oz In equities, Stoxx 600 is up 0.6%, led by energy and banks, and FTSE 100 rises 0.4%. Germany’s DAX climbs 1% after German elections showed a narrow victory for social democrats, with the Christian Democrats coming in a close second, according to provisional results. S&P 500 futures climb 0.3%, Dow and Nasdaq contracts hold in the green. In FX, the U.S. dollar is up 0.1%, while the British pound, Australian dollar, and Canadian dollar lead G-10 majors, with the Swedish krona and Swiss franc lagging. Base metals are mixed: LME copper rises 0.4%, LME tin and nickel drop over 2%. Spot gold gives back Asia’s gains to trade flat near $1,750/oz Investors will now watch for a raft of economic indicators, including durable goods orders and the ISM manufacturing index this week to gauge the pace of the recovery, as well as bipartisan talks over raising the $28.4 trillion debt ceiling. The U.S. Congress faces a Sept. 30 deadline to prevent the second partial government shutdown in three years, while a vote on the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill is scheduled for Thursday. On today's calendar we get the latest Euro Area M3 money supply, US preliminary August durable goods orders, core capital goods orders, September Dallas Fed manufacturing activity. We also have a bunch of Fed speakers including Williams, Brainard and Evans. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures down 0.1% to 4,442.50 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.3% to 464.54 MXAP little changed at 200.75 MXAPJ little changed at 642.52 Nikkei little changed at 30,240.06 Topix down 0.1% to 2,087.74 Hang Seng Index little changed at 24,208.78 Shanghai Composite down 0.8% to 3,582.83 Sensex up 0.2% to 60,164.70 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.6% to 7,384.17 Kospi up 0.3% to 3,133.64 German 10Y yield fell 3.1 bps to -0.221% Euro down 0.3% to $1.1689 Brent Futures up 1.2% to $79.04/bbl Gold spot little changed at $1,750.88 U.S. Dollar Index up 0.15% to 93.47 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg House Speaker Nancy Pelosi put the infrastructure bill on the schedule for Monday under pressure from moderates eager to get the bipartisan bill, which has already passed the Senate, enacted. But progressives -- whose votes are likely vital -- are insisting on progress first on the bigger social-spending bill Olaf Scholz of the center-left Social Democrats defeated Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives in an extremely tight German election, setting in motion what could be months of complex coalition talks to decide who will lead Europe’s biggest economy China’s central bank pumped liquidity into the financial system after borrowing costs rose, as lingering risks posed by China Evergrande Group’s debt crisis hurt market sentiment toward its peers as well Global banks are about to get a comprehensive blueprint for how derivatives worth several hundred trillion dollars may be finally disentangled from the London Interbank Offered Rate Economists warned of lower economic growth in China as electricity shortages worsen in the country, forcing businesses to cut back on production Governor Haruhiko Kuroda says it’s necessary for the Bank of Japan to continue with large-scale monetary easing to achieve the bank’s 2% inflation target The quant revolution in fixed income is here at long last, if the latest Invesco Ltd. poll is anything to go by. With the work-from-home era fueling a boom in electronic trading, the majority of investors in a $31 trillion community say they now deploy factor strategies in bond portfolios A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asian equity markets traded somewhat mixed with the region finding encouragement from reopening headlines but with gains capped heading towards month-end, while German election results remained tight and Evergrande uncertainty continued to linger. ASX 200 (+0.6%) was led higher by outperformance in the mining related sectors including energy as oil prices continued to rally amid supply disruptions and views for a stronger recovery in demand with Goldman Sachs lifting its year-end Brent crude forecast from USD 80/bbl to USD 90/bbl. Furthermore, respectable gains in the largest weighted financial sector and details of the reopening roadmap for New South Wales, which state Premier Berijiklian sees beginning on October 11th, further added to the encouragement. Nikkei 225 (Unch) was kept afloat for most of the session after last week’s beneficial currency flows and amid reports that Japan is planning to lift emergency measures in all areas at month-end, although upside was limited ahead of the upcoming LDP leadership race which reports noted are likely to go to a run-off as neither of the two main candidates are likely to achieve a majority although a recent Kyodo poll has Kono nearly there at 47.4% of support vs. nearest contender Kishida at 22.4%. Hang Seng (+0.1%) and Shanghai Comp. (-0.8%) were varied with the mainland choppy amid several moving parts including back-to-back daily liquidity efforts by the PBoC since Sunday and with the recent release of Huawei’s CFO following a deal with US prosecutors. Conversely, Evergrande concerns persisted as Chinese cities reportedly seized its presales to block the potential misuse of funds and its EV unit suffered another double-digit percentage loss after scrapping plans for its STAR Market listing. There were also notable losses to casino names after Macau tightened COVID-19 restrictions ahead of the Golden Week holidays and crypto stocks were hit after China declared crypto activities illegal which resulted in losses to cryptoexchange Huobi which dropped more than 40% in early trade before nursing some of the losses, while there are also concerns of the impact from an ongoing energy crisis in China which prompted the Guangdong to ask people to turn off lights they don't require and use air conditioning less. Finally, 10yr JGBs were flat but have clawed back some of the after-hour losses on Friday with demand sapped overnight amid the mild gains in stocks and lack of BoJ purchases in the market. Elsewhere, T-note futures mildly rebounded off support at 132.00, while Bund futures outperformed the Treasury space amid mild reprieve from this month’s losses and with uncertainty of the composition for the next German coalition. Top Asian News Moody’s Says China to Safeguard Stability Amid Evergrande Issues China’s Tech Tycoons Pledge Allegiance to Xi’s Vision China Power Crunch Hits iPhone, Tesla Production, Nikkei Reports Top Netflix Hit ‘Squid Game’ Sparks Korean Media Stock Surge Bourses in Europe have trimmed the gains seen at the open, albeit the region remains mostly in positive territory (Euro Stoxx 50 +0.4%; Stoxx 600 +0.2%) in the aftermath of the German election and amid the looming month-end. The week also sees several risk events, including the ECB's Sintra Forum, EZ CPI, US PCE and US ISM Manufacturing – not to mention the vote on the bipartisan US infrastructure bill. The mood in Europe contrasts the mixed handover from APAC, whilst US equity futures have also seen more divergence during European trade – with the yield-sensitive NQ (-0.3%) underperforming the cyclically-influenced RTY (+0.4%). There has been no clear catalyst behind the pullback since the Cash open. Delving deeper into Europe, the DAX 40 (+0.6%) outperforms after the tail risk of the Left party being involved in government has now been removed. The SMI (-0.6%) has dipped into the red as defensive sectors remain weak, with the Healthcare sector towards to bottom of the bunch alongside Personal & Household Goods. On the flip side, the strength in the price-driven Oil & Gas and yield-induced Banks have kept the FTSE 100 (+0.2%) in green, although the upside is capped by losses in AstraZeneca (-0.4%) and heavy-weight miners, with the latter a function of declining base metal prices. The continued retreat in global bonds has also hit the Tech sector – which resides as the laggard at the time of writing. In terms of individual movers, Rolls-Royce (+8.5%) trades at the top of the FTSE 100 after winning a USD 1.9bln deal from the US Air Force. IWG (+6.5%) also extended on earlier gains following reports that founder and CEO Dixon is said to be mulling a multibillion-pound break-up of the Co. that would involve splitting it into several distinct companies. Elsewhere, it is worth being cognizant of the current power situation in China as the energy crisis spreads, with Global Times also noting that multiple semiconductor suppliers for Tesla (Unch), Apple (-0.4% pre-market) and Intel (Unch), which have manufacturing plants in the Chinese mainland, recently announced they would suspend their factories' operations to follow local electricity use policies. Top European News U.K. Relaxes Antitrust Rules, May Bring in Army as Pumps Run Dry Magnitude 5.8 Earthquake Hits Greek Island of Crete German Stocks Rally as Chances Wane for Left-Wing Coalition German Landlords Rise as Left’s Weakness Trumps Berlin Poll In FX, the Aussie is holding up relatively well on a couple of supportive factors, including a recovery in commodity prices overnight and the Premier of NSW setting out a timetable to start lifting COVID lockdown and restrictions from October 11 with an end date to completely re-open on December 1. However, Aud/Usd is off best levels against a generally firm Greenback on weakness and underperformance elsewhere having stalled around 0.7290, while the Loonie has also run out of momentum 10 pips or so from 1.2600 alongside WTI above Usd 75/brl. DXY/EUR/CHF - Although the risk backdrop is broadly buoyant and not especially supportive, the Buck is gleaning traction and making gains at the expense of others, like the Euro that is gradually weakening in wake of Sunday’s German election that culminated in narrow victory for the SPD Party over the CDU/CSU alliance, but reliant on the Greens and FDP to form a Government. Eur/Usd has lost 1.1700+ status and is holding a fraction above recent lows in the form of a double bottom at 1.1684, but the Eur/Gbp cross is looking even weaker having breached several technical levels like the 100, 21 and 50 DMAs on the way down through 0.8530. Conversely, Eur/Chf remains firm around 1.0850, and largely due to extended declines in the Franc following last week’s dovish SNB policy review rather than clear signs of intervention via the latest weekly Swiss sight deposit balances. Indeed, Usd/Chf is now approaching 0.9300 again and helping to lift the Dollar index back up towards post-FOMC peaks within a 93.494-206 range in advance of US durable goods data, several Fed speakers, the Dallas Fed manufacturing business index and a double dose of T-note supply (Usd 60 bn 2 year and Usd 61 bn 5 year offerings). GBP/NZD/JPY - As noted above, the Pound is benefiting from Eur/Gbp tailwinds, but also strength in Brent to offset potential upset due to the UK’s energy supply issues, so Cable is also bucking the broad trend and probing 1.3700. However, the Kiwi is clinging to 0.7000 in the face of Aud/Nzd headwinds that are building on a break of 1.0350, while the Yen is striving keep its head afloat of another round number at 111.00 as bond yields rebound and curves resteepen. SCANDI/EM - The Nok is also knocking on a new big figure, but to the upside vs the Eur at 10.0000 following the hawkish Norges Bank hike, while the Cnh and Cny are holding up well compared to fellow EM currencies with loads of liquidity from the PBoC and some underlying support amidst the ongoing mission to crackdown on speculators in the crypto and commodity space. In commodities, WTI and Brent front-month futures kicked the week off on a firmer footing, which saw Brent Nov eclipse the USD 79.50/bbl level (vs low 78.21/bbl) whilst its WTI counterpart hovers north of USD 75/bbl (vs low 74.16/bbl). The complex could be feeling some tailwinds from the supply crunch in Britain – which has lead petrol stations to run dry as demand outpaces the supply. Aside from that, the landscape is little changed in the run-up to the OPEC+ meeting next Monday, whereby ministers are expected to continue the planned output hikes of 400k BPD/m. On that note, there have been reports that some African nations are struggling to pump more oil amid delayed maintenance and low investments, with Angola and Nigeria said to average almost 300k BPD below their quota. On the Iranian front, IAEA said Iran permitted it to service monitoring equipment during September 20th-22nd with the exception of the centrifuge component manufacturing workshop at the Tesa Karaj facility, with no real updates present regarding the nuclear deal talks. In terms of bank commentary, Goldman Sachs raised its year-end Brent crude forecast by USD 10 to USD 90/bbl and stated that Hurricane Ida has more than offset the ramp-up in OPEC+ output since July with non-OPEC+, non-shale output continuing to disappoint, while it added that global oil demand-deficit is greater than expected with a faster than anticipated demand recovery from the Delta variant. Conversely, Citi said in the immediate aftermath of skyrocketing prices, it is logical to be bearish on crude oil and nat gas today and forward curves for later in 2022, while it added that near-term global oil inventories are low and expected to continue declining maybe through Q1 next year. Over to metals, spot gold and silver have fallen victim to the firmer Dollar, with spot gold giving up its overnight gains and meandering around USD 1,750/oz (vs high 1760/oz) while spot silver briefly dipped under USD 22.50/oz (vs high 22.73/oz). Turning to base metals, China announced another round of copper, zinc and aluminium sales from state reserves – with amounts matching the prior sales. LME copper remains within a tight range, but LME tin is the outlier as it gave up the USD 35k mark earlier in the session. Finally, the electricity crunch in China has seen thermal coal prices gain impetus amid tight domestic supply, reduced imports and increased demand. US Event Calendar 8:30am: Aug. Cap Goods Ship Nondef Ex Air, est. 0.5%, prior 0.9% 8:30am: Aug. Cap Goods Orders Nondef Ex Air, est. 0.4%, prior 0.1% 8:30am: Aug. -Less Transportation, est. 0.5%, prior 0.8% 8:30am: Aug. Durable Goods Orders, est. 0.6%, prior -0.1% 10:30am: Sept. Dallas Fed Manf. Activity, est. 11.0, prior 9.0 Central Banks 8am: Fed’s Evans Speaks at Annual NABE Conference 9am: Fed’s Williams Makes Opening Remarks at Conference on... 12pm: Fed’s Williams Discusses the Economic Outlook 12:50pm: Fed’s Brainard Discusses Economic Outlook at NABE Conference DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap Straight to the German elections this morning where unlike the Ryder Cup the race was tight. The centre-left SPD have secured a narrow lead according to provisional results, which give them 25.7% of the vote, ahead of Chancellor Merkel’s CDU/CSU bloc, which are on 24.1%. That’s a bit narrower than the final polls had suggested (Politico’s average put the SPD ahead by 25-22%), but fits with the slight narrowing we’d seen over the final week of the campaign. Behind them, the Greens are in third place, with a record score of 14.8%, which puts them in a key position when it comes to forming a majority in the new Bundestag, and the FDP are in fourth place currently on 11.5%. Although the SPD appear to be in first place the different parties will now enter coalition negotiations to try to form a governing majority. Both Olaf Scholz and the CDU’s Armin Laschet have said that they will seek to form a government, and to do that they’ll be looking to the Greens and the FDP as potential coalition partners, since those are the most realistic options given mutual policy aims. So the critical question will be whether it’s the SPD or the CDU/CSU that can convince these two to join them in coalition. On the one hand, the Greens have a stronger policy overlap with the SPD, and governed with them under Chancellor Schröder from 1998-2005, but the FDP seems more in line with the Conservatives, and were Chancellor Merkel’s junior coalition partner from 2009-13.  So it’s likely that the FDP and the Greens will talk to each other before talking to either of the two biggest parties. For those wanting more information, our research colleagues in Frankfurt have released a post-election update (link here) on the results and what they mean. An important implication of last night’s result is that (at time of writing) it looks as though a more left-wing coalition featuring the SPD, the Greens and Die Linke would not be able for form a majority in the next Bundestag. So the main options left are for the FDP and the Greens to either join the SPD in a “traffic light” coalition or instead join the CDU/CSU in a “Jamaica” coalition. The existing grand coalition of the SPD and the CDU/CSU would actually have a majority as well, but both parties have signalled that they don't intend to continue this. That said, last time in 2017, a grand coalition wasn’t expected after that result, and there were initially attempts to form a Jamaica coalition. But once those talks proved unsuccessful, discussions on another grand coalition began once again. In terms of interesting snippets, this election marks the first time the SPD have won the popular vote since 2002, which is a big turnaround given that the party were consistently polling in third place over the first half of this year. However, it’s also the worst ever result for the CDU/CSU, and also marks the lowest combined share of the vote for the two big parties in post-war Germany, which mirrors the erosion of the traditional big parties we’ve seen elsewhere in continental Europe. Interestingly, the more radical Die Linke and AfD parties on the left and the right respectively actually did worse than in 2017, so German voters have remained anchored in the centre, and there’s been no sign of a populist resurgence. This also marks a record result for the Greens, who’ve gained almost 6 percentage points relative to four years ago, but that’s still some way down on where they were polling earlier in the spring (in the mid-20s), having lost ground in the polls throughout the final weeks of the campaign. Markets in Asia have mostly started the week on a positive note, with the Hang Seng (+0.28%), Nikkei (+0.04%), and the Kospi (+0.25%) all moving higher. That said, the Shanghai Comp is down -1.30%, as materials (-5.91%) and industrials (-4.24%) in the index have significantly underperformed, which comes amidst power curbs in the country. In the US and Europe however, futures are pointing higher, with those on the S&P 500 up +0.37%, and those on the DAX up +0.51%. Moving onto another big current theme, all the talk at the moment is about supply shocks and it’s not inconceivable that things could get very messy on this front over the weeks and months ahead. However, I think the discussion on supply in isolation misses an important component and that is demand. In short we had a pandemic that effectively closed the global economy and interrupted numerous complicated supply chains. The global authorities massively stimulated demand relative to where it would have been in this environment and in some areas have created more demand than there would have been at this stage without Covid. However the supply side has not come back as rapidly. As such you’re left with demand outstripping supply. So I think it’s wrong to talk about a global supply shock in isolation. It’s not as catchy but this is a “demand is much higher than it should be in a pandemic with lockdowns, but supply hasn't been able to fully respond” world. If the authorities hadn’t responded as aggressively we would have plenty of supply for the demand and a lot of deflation. Remember negative oil prices in the early stages of the pandemic. So for me every time you hear the phrase “supply shock” remember the phenomenal demand there is relative to what the steady state might have been. This current “demand > supply” at lower levels of activity than we would have had without covid is going to cause central banks a huge headache over the coming months. Should they tighten due to what is likely to be a prolonged period of higher prices than people thought even a couple of months ago or should they look to the potential demand destruction of higher prices? The risk of a policy error is high and the problem with forward guidance is that markets demand to know now what they might do over the next few months and quarters so it leaves them exposed a little in uncertain times. This problem has crept up fast on markets with an epic shift in sentiment in the rates market after the BoE meeting Thursday lunchtime. I would say they were no more hawkish than the Fed the night before but the difference is that the Fed are still seemingly at least a year from raising rates and a lot can happen in that period whereas the BoE could now raise this year (more likely February). That has focused the minds of global investors, especially as Norway became the first central bank among the G-10 currencies to raise rates on the same day. Towards the end of this note we’ll recap the moves in markets last week including a +15bps climb in US 10yr yields in the last 48 hours of last week. One factor that will greatly influence yields over the week ahead is the ongoing US debt ceiling / government shutdown / infrastructure bill saga that is coming to a head as we hit October on Friday - the day that there could be a partial government shutdown without action by the close on Thursday. It’s a fluid situation. So far the the House of Representatives has passed a measure that would keep the government funded through December 3, but it also includes a debt ceiling suspension, so Republicans are expected to block this in the Senate if it still includes that. The coming week could also see the House of Representatives vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill (c.$550bn) that’s already gone through the Senate, since Speaker Pelosi had previously committed to moderate House Democrats that there’d be a vote on the measure by today. She reaffirmed that yesterday although the timing may slip. However, there remain divisions among House Democrats, with some progressives not willing to support it unless the reconciliation bill also passes. In short we’ve no idea how this get resolved but most think some compromise will be reached before Friday. Pelosi yesterday said it “seems self-evident” that the reconciliation bill won’t reach the $3.5 trillion hoped for by the administration which hints at some compromise. Overall the sentiment has seemingly shifted a little more positively on there being some progress over the weekend. From politics to central banks and following a busy week of policy meetings, there are an array of speakers over the week ahead. One of the biggest highlights will be the ECB’s Forum on Central Banking, which is taking place as an online event on Tuesday and Wednesday, and the final policy panel on Wednesday will include Fed Chair Powell, ECB President Lagarde, BoE Governor Bailey and BoJ Governor Kuroda. Otherwise, Fed Chair Powell will also be testifying before the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday, alongside Treasury Secretary Yellen, and on Monday, ECB President Lagarde will be appearing before the European Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs as part of the regular Monetary Dialogue. There are lots of other Fed speakers this week and they can add nuances to the taper and dot plot debates. Finally on the data front, there’ll be further clues about the state of inflation across the key economies, as the Euro Area flash CPI estimate for September is coming out on Friday. Last month's reading showed that Euro Area inflation rose to +3.0% in August, which was its highest level in nearly a decade. Otherwise, there’s also the manufacturing PMIs from around the world on Friday given it’s the start of the month, along with the ISM reading from the US, and Tuesday will see the release of the Conference Board’s consumer confidence reading for the US as well. For the rest of the week ahead see the day-by-day calendar of events at the end. Back to last week now and the highlight was the big rise in global yields which quickly overshadowed the ongoing Evergrande story. Bonds more than reversed an early week rally as yields rose for a fifth consecutive week. US 10yr Treasury yields ended the week up +8.9bps to finish at 1.451% - its highest level since the start of July and +15bps off the Asian morning lows on Thursday. The move saw the 2y10y yield curve steepen +4.5bps, with the spread reaching its widest point since July as well. However, at the longer end of the curve the 5y30y spread ended the week largely unchanged after a volatile week. It was much flatter shortly following the FOMC and steeper following the BoE. Bond yields in Europe moved higher as well with the central bank moves again being the major impetus especially in the UK. 10yr gilt yields rose +7.9bps to +0.93% and the short end moved even more with the 2yr yield rising +9.4bps to 0.38% as the BoE’s inflation forecast and rhetoric caused investors to pull forward rate hike expectations. Yields on 10yr bunds rose +5.2bps, whilst those on the OATs (+6.3bps) and BTPs (+5.7bps) increased substantially as well, but not to the same extent as their US and UK counterparts. While sovereign debt sold off, global equity markets recovered following two consecutive weeks of declines. Although markets entered the week on the back foot following the Evergrande headlines from last weekend, risk sentiment improved at the end of the week, especially toward cyclical industries. The S&P 500 gained +0.51% last week (+0.15% Friday), nearly recouping the prior week’s loss. The equity move was primarily led by cyclicals as higher bond yields helped US banks (+3.43%) outperform, while higher commodity prices saw the energy (+4.46%) sector gain sharply. Those higher bond yields led to a slight rerating of growth stocks as the tech megacap NYFANG index fell back -0.46% on the week and the NASDAQ underperformed, finishing just better than unchanged (+0.02). Nonetheless, with four trading days left in September the S&P 500 is on track for its third losing month this year, following January and June. European equities rose moderately last week, as the STOXX 600 ended the week +0.31% higher despite Friday’s -0.90% loss. Bourses across the continent outperformed led by particularly strong performances by the IBEX (+1.28%) and CAC 40 (+1.04%). There was limited data from Friday. The Ifo's business climate indicator in Germany fell slightly from the previous month to 98.8 (99.0 expected) from 99.4 on the back a lower current assessment even though business expectations was higher than expected. In Italy, consumer confidence rose to 119.6 (115.8 expected), up just over 3pts from August and at its highest level on record (since 1995). Tyler Durden Mon, 09/27/2021 - 08:09.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytSep 27th, 2021

Tesla Car Stalls And Catches Fire With Driver Trapped Inside

The owner of a Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) vehicle suffered a major scare when, on his way to a golf course in Vancouver, Canada, his six-month-old Model Y stalled at an intersection, locked the doors with him inside, and began to smoke. The incident has gone viral on social media. Incident A scary episode that left […] The owner of a Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) vehicle suffered a major scare when, on his way to a golf course in Vancouver, Canada, his six-month-old Model Y stalled at an intersection, locked the doors with him inside, and began to smoke. The incident has gone viral on social media. Incident A scary episode that left no fatalities involving a Tesla car took place in Vancouver, Canada, and was recorded by a passerby at the scene who uploaded it to social media. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Henry Singleton Series in PDF Get the entire 4-part series on Henry Singleton in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q1 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more In the video, the driver narrates the scene: “I swear to God, suddenly my car turned off. It just said ‘error error error.’ Then all of a sudden the battery started smoking. I got out of my car and called the fire department [...]. I'm not kidding.” The driver was able to break the car window and escape the flames. Normally the doors of the Tesla Model Y open automatically with the push of a button, but in this case, the system allegedly did not work as it should at the time. The incident is similar to one that happened in July 2021 when a driver was trapped in a Model S Plaid that caught fire. A photo of the incident depicting the car engulfed in flames also became viral, with the driver’s lawyer urging Tesla to launch an investigation. Hurdles Tesla incidents have triggered several measures by the leading manufacturer. The brand itself recently called 54,0000 vehicles for review due to a possible failure of the autopilot, which apparently would not correctly interpret the stop signals. This system in question allows the car to drive itself, albeit with human supervision, to the destination set in its navigation system. Recently, a Model S on autopilot crashed and killed three people, while the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is investigating 30 similar incidents. A documentary by The New York Times explores the hurdles that Tesla has faced in its race to develop Level 4 and 5 autonomous driving —fully autonomous— featuring interviews with several workers who assert that Elon Musk’s vision does not correspond with the technical reality. Updated on May 27, 2022, 3:42 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//"; 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: valuewalk10 hr. 45 min. ago

AR giant Magic Leap"s top executives break down their key advantages over rivals like Microsoft and Meta

Magic Leap's CTO said the firm is not "trying to create this whole alternative universe or world that people are going to live in" with its AR gear. Peggy Johnson is the CEO of Magic Leap.Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images Magic Leap executives laid out why the AR company has an edge over rivals Meta and Microsoft. The CTO and CFO say they're catering to the business world, not trying to create an "alternative universe." The Magic Leap 2 launched in March, joining the race alongside Meta's Oculus and Microsoft's HoloLens. Magic Leap's top two executives believe their augmented reality firm has a significant leg up on competitors like Microsoft and Meta, formerly known as Facebook.In an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the CEO Peggy Johnson and CTO Julie Larson said their products have a unique proposition compared to rivals: a broader purpose, without gimmicks."We are also focused on really working on a tool for work, we are not going into trying to create this whole alternative universe or world that people are going to live in," Larson said, adding that Magic Leap is working towards producing tools to solve problems for people.Larson, the CTO, said another differential is approaching products from the high-end while waiting for things like battery life to catch up."So we are starting out with all the learning you can get here and bringing it down," Larson said. "Other folks are starting lower and bringing it up, which I believe is a lot harder."Johnson, meanwhile, owed Magic Leaps' edge over the competition to color fidelity, image quality, text legibility, and other factors."It's an industry-leading field of view in augmented reality, and it produces the most immersive AR device out there — and that sets us apart from a lot of the devices you see on the market today," Johnson said.The CEO said its competitors' products are merely heads-up displays that are suited for a smaller number of use cases — not in real workplace settings, like in hospitals and factories."Those sorts of things are where Magic Leap really stands apart and excels," Johnson said.Magic Leap was founded in 2010 and has since become a big player in the AR industry. Its Magic Leap 2 goggles were released in March and feature dimming capabilities as well as an improved field of view in a bid to appeal to the enterprise market. The company announced a major pivot in mid-2020 toward catering to the business world.Meta has also been striving to compete in the AR and VR game, having acquired startup Oculus in 2014. The company said in January that it was killing off the Oculus name — the Oculus Quest headsets will soon be called the Meta Quest.Mark Zuckerberg has since tried to force the concept of the metaverse into the mainstream, changing the name of Facebook's parent company to Meta, named so to reflect the company's goal of working toward the metaverse.And Microsoft has used its HoloLens headset to push into the mixed-reality world. But as Insider's Ashley Stewart reported in February, internal turmoil and canceled projects have disrupted plans for the company's metaverse vision.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nyt18 hr. 30 min. ago

Booze, burgers and Brian Kemp: Georgia Republicans revel in the incumbent governor"s resounding win over Trump-endorsed David Perdue

"I'm pro-life. And I'm a girl that likes to carry her gun. And he protects that," one voter told Insider of her decision to vote for Kemp over Perdue. Brian Kemp supporter Jeff Michael kicks up his heels May 24 during an election night victory party in Atlanta, Georgia.Warren Rojas/Insider Brian Kemp fans lived it up Tuesday night following his decisive primary win against David Perdue. They enjoyed booze, burgers and a much-needed break from campaigning. "There's clearly a mandate with conservatives right now," one Kemp admirer told Insider. ATLANTA, Georgia — Beers flowed like water and cheesy bite-sized sliders disappeared by the handful Tuesday night as attendees at Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp's primary election watch party took some time to savor his commanding victory over Trump-backed candidate David Perdue.  "I'm grreaaaat! How are you?" one woman, who looked wound up enough to jump out of her skin, greeted another at the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame where Kemp was holding his primary watch party Tuesday night. One little boy handed out Kemp buttons and stickers to everyone he came in contact with. "Future governor of Georgia, right here!" a cocktail-sipping partygoer announced to no one in particular as the precocious paraphernalia pusher disappeared into the crowd. "I think there's clearly a mandate with conservatives right now," Alpharetta, Georgia resident Eamon Keegan, 36, said of Kemp's much stronger hand leading into the general election this fall. Kemp easily overcame a challenge from Perdue, a former US senator who had entered the race in December on the urging of a vengeance-seeking Trump. The former president and his allies have continued to blame Kemp for Trump's 2020 election loss in Georgia and had hoped Perdue would unseat the incumbent governor and faceoff against Democratic voting rights activist Stacey Abrams in November.  But Kemp's runaway win over Perdue was called less than half an hour after the polls closed in Georgia. It was an unsurprising win and his fans had come already ready to celebrate.Suit-clad gents juggled Kemp-branded tumblers full of Napa Valley chardonnay in one hand and succulent pulled pork sliders in the other, working overtime to try and keep errant barbecue sauce from ruining their designer dress shirts. Newton County resident Tammy Cartledge, 53, said Kemp got her vote in 2018 and again this year by standing up for what she believes in. "I'm pro-life. And I'm a girl that likes to carry her gun," Cartledge told Insider. "And he protects that."Jill Fuentes, a 32-year-old Atlanta resident said she voted against Kemp in 2018, backing Abrams in their previous contest. But Fuentes, a Black woman, and small business owner said Kemp won her over by fighting to reopen the state during the pandemic.  "Gov. Kemp is really focused on the real issues that Georgia is facing and not the politics," Fuentes said, adding that "I love the fact that he is building a coalition behind him."'Thank you for everything'Brian Kemp supporters sign a commemorative poster at the Georgia governor's primary victory party May 24 in Atlanta, Georgia.Warren Rojas/InsiderOn Monday night, in a last-minute push for votes, Perdue held a tele-rally with Trump, who cast the former senator as better suited to unite Republicans and defeat Abrams in November. Meanwhile, at about the same time Trump's former vice president —and now political rival — turned up in Georgia to campaign for Kemp, in what would look like a proxy war between the ex-commander-in-chief and his one-time top deputy.Tuesday's win for Kemp is in essence a win for Pence. And Perdue's defeat is an embarrassing loss for Trump, adding to other failures among his endorsees to clinch victories.Perdue quickly conceded, saying he had called and congratulated Kemp on his win and offered his full support. "Everything I said about Brian Kemp was true, but here's the other thing I said was true; he's a much better choice than Stacey Abrams," Perdue told his supporters from his primary night camp in Atlanta. "We're going to get behind our governor...we're going to do everything we can to make damn sure Stacey Abrams doesn't take over this state." Back at the Kemp party, Atlanta resident Jeff Michael, 56, was sipping a cold drink and chatting up strangers when Insider approached.  Michael said he appreciated Kemp's steady leadership and the tax relief he's provided.  As the night progressed, a Kemp poster staff had placed outside the main ballroom filled up with personal messages. "Thank you for everything." "Keep putting Georgia 1st." And "You Rock!" were just some of the notes well-wishers scribbled to their favorite candidate on a night that felt like a Georgian lovefest. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytMay 25th, 2022

Georgia Republicans voting for Brian Kemp are sympathetic to Trump"s grievances but say it wasn"t the governor"s fault the former president lost in 2020

Insider talked with dozens of Republicans across Georgia in the days leading up to Tuesday's primary where voters will pick between Brian Kemp and David Perdue to run against Democrat Stacey Abrams. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp walks onstage for a campaign event attended by former Vice President Mike Pence at the Cobb County International Airport on May 23, 2022 in Kennesaw, Georgia.Joe Raedle/Getty Images Georgia Republicans are voting now to either back Gov. Brian Kemp or Trump-endorsed David Perdue. Trump has railed against Kemp for not going along with his false claims of 2020 election fraud. Some voters say sticking with Kemp makes more sense to them than making waves to satisfy Trump's demands. ATLANTA, Georgia — Republicans voting for Brian Kemp in today's GOP primary are openly defying Donald Trump's orders to boot their incumbent governor for not complying with the former president's campaign to overturn Georgia's 2020 election results.Over the last few days, Insider has spoken with dozens of Republicans across Georgia leading up to Tuesday's primary where Kemp who has the backing of former Vice President Mike Pence is up against Trump-endorsed former Sen. David Perdue.While many of the voters who talked with Insider would have wished Trump had won the 2020 elections, they said they've since realized there was little Kemp could have done to save the day and that he shouldn't be punished on Tuesday for that.And although the Republican voters across the state said they appreciated what Trump accomplished during his single term in office, they were willing to break with him by putting Kemp back up for reelection this fall because they're mostly happy about how things are going in Georgia. "He's not coming in and disrupting," Augusta resident James Carroll, 30, said of Kemp's strategy. "We're going in the right direction as a state. We don't need to change that." While she self-identified as a "big Trump supporter," Richmond County resident Kathy Price, 78, said she and her husband, Larry Price, 75, simply trusted Kemp more than Trump-endorsed challenger David Perdue."He's from Georgia. He's a small business owner. He's conservative," Price said of Kemp's qualifications, adding that, "He comes across as being real honest and a righteous person."Trump and Perdue have gone after Kemp for properly certifying Joe Biden's win in 2020, portraying him as disloyal and weak for refusing to go along with Trump's baseless election fraud claims.  Kemp has pushed back, without directly attacking Trump, by touting the election reforms he signed into law in 2021, and standing behind the multiple 2020 recounts and audits he oversaw alongside Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger. For pro-Kemp Republicans, his ability to fend off the attacks from Trump's team and others during his first term in office means he's a battle-tested leader they can trust. David Gault, a 62-year-old Cobb County resident, said Kemp has mostly been a great leader. Where he fell short, Gault said, is convincing MAGA world that "I did everything I could, legally" about the 2020 presidential race. "Most of the voters in this state don't even understand that if there's an election issue, it's between the secretary of state and the judiciary," Gault said of the wonky civics issues involved. He added that Kemp "has limited powers" when it comes to inserting himself into local elections —  and rightly so. Gault warns people still holding on to those grievances and wishing for Kemp to meddle in local elections that it could backfire on them."If he does it now if there's a Democratic governor and something happens, what are they going to do?" Gault said. "But It's hard to communicate that to many people who are just upset about maybe Donald Trump not becoming president."In Marietta, Georgia,  63-year-old Patricia Hein said she's learned that Kemp didn't have the authority to fulfill Trump's find-the-votes wishes anyway. "He was not able to tell Raffensberger what to do because of the Georgia constitution. So was it really the governor's fault?" Hein told Insider. Cobb County resident Wendy Reffitt, 62, said one of the things she most respects about Kemp is that he's stood his ground against all kinds of attackers. "I feel like he has done what he feels is best to do, no matter how he is pressured to do so otherwise," she told Insider, adding that Kemp has proven to her that he "really does care about the people of Georgia. Not just one group."Tuesday's vote will demonstrate whether enough Trump fans have forgiven Kemp for 2020. If they have, he'll likely avoid a runoff in June and head through to an anticipated rematch with presumed Democratic nominee Stacey Abrams in November. Those still holding a grudge, however, could throw off the general election if they stay home this fall as Trump is predicting. Kemp sounds like he's aware he's not every Republican's dream candidate. But he's betting things will get better after the bitter primary finally ends. "It's my belief that all Republicans, after Tuesday, are going to unite to beat Joe Biden and the Democrats in November," he told reporters over the weekend.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 24th, 2022

The Dark Side Of The Internet

Superinvestor Warren Buffett called it “the number-one problem with mankind.” JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon said, “it may be the biggest threat to the US financial system.” And Bob Dudley, the former CEO of oil giant BP, told investors it’s what “keeps me awake at night.” These guys have millions or billions of dollars… so you […] Superinvestor Warren Buffett called it “the number-one problem with mankind.” JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon said, “it may be the biggest threat to the US financial system.” And Bob Dudley, the former CEO of oil giant BP, told investors it’s what “keeps me awake at night.” These guys have millions or billions of dollars… so you might assume they’re worried about direct threats to their wealth like inflation, runaway government spending, or the plunge markets have taken lately. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Charlie Munger 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); Q1 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Believe it or not… they’re talking about the grave threat of cyberattacks. As I’ll show you today, cyberattacks are skyrocketing. And the industry tasked with stopping them is growing faster—and more consistently—than almost any other industry out there. It’s the perfect industry to bet on now, while stocks are down… knowing it practically must come back stronger than ever when the storm in markets passes. Today, I’ll share an easy one-click way to play it. But first, let’s talk about the dark side of the internet… How The Internet Changed Our Lives Think about how the internet changed our lives over the past 30 years… In 1990, less than 1% of Americans had browsed the World Wide Web. Online shopping wasn’t a thing. If you wanted a question answered, you opened an encyclopedia. Meeting people online was considered strange and dangerous. Folks are now buying groceries and selling their homes on their smartphones. And did you know four in 10 Americans met their partner online? Even our homes are plugged into the web through devices like Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Nest. The internet is the most transformative tech of the past century. But the internet isn’t perfect. It created a tradeoff between privacy and convenience. Need a new coffee maker? Press a few buttons, and it’ll show up in a brown box on your front porch tomorrow morning. But we forfeit a little privacy for this convenience. Now your name, address, and credit card details are in some company’s database. And the problem is… bad guys regularly break into databases and steal your info. In fact, everyone from the IRS to the NSA to defense giant Lockheed Martin to Google has been hacked in the past couple years. By doing virtually anything online, you expose your personal details. That makes it possible for hackers to steal your money, access your secrets, and, if they’re determined to do so, potentially destroy your reputation. But hackers aren’t just targeting people… NotPetya Ransomware Virus Remember the NotPetya ransomware virus a few years ago? In short, ransomware is a type of cyberattack where hackers freeze a victim’s files, then demand money to unlock them. NotPetya crippled 30,000 computers and 7,500 servers belonging to drug giant Merck. It also hit FedEx, shipping giant Maersk, advertising firm WPP, and hundreds of other companies. It was the most destructive cyberattack ever, with damages topping $10 billion. NotPetya showed a few lines of malicious code can bring multibillion-dollar companies to their knees. And hackers aren’t just stealing digital data anymore. They’ve gone “big game hunting” by attacking real-world infrastructure. Last May, hackers shut down the Colonial Pipeline, which supplies 45% of the East Coast’s fuel. For days, two-thirds of gas stations in South Carolina were empty. A month later, cybercriminals pulled the plug on JBS, the world’s biggest meat processor. JBS, which produces 20% of all US beef, had to pay an $11 million ransom to get their systems back online. And did you hear about the attack on a water treatment plant near Tampa, Florida? Hackers broke into its systems and altered the levels of lye (sodium hydroxide) in the drinking water. Luckily an operator noticed the chemical levels changing and shut off the pipes. And the cost of cleaning up a cyberattack is soaring… Breaches now cost an average of $4.2 million, according to a new IBM report. When you get hacked, you must hire expensive cybersecurity experts to find and fix the problem. And you might need to rip out and replace all your computer systems. The total cost of cybercrime runs into the trillions. Why Money Is Pouring Into Cybersecurity This is why money is pouring into cybersecurity… Cybersecurity companies protect companies, governments, and other organizations from hacks and other forms of cybercrime. The service they provide is critical to our modern digital world. Top research firm Gartner expects cybersecurity spending will soon hit $200 billion per year. Cybersecurity spending has grown steadily by 10–15% per year without much notice. When you achieve this year in, year out for two decades running… you soon have a HUGE market. And we’re only getting started. Robust cybersecurity used to be a “nice to have.” Now you can’t run a business without it. Every Fortune 500 company employs a chief security officer. No cost is too high when it comes to protecting your computer systems. CEO Brian Moynihan said Bank of America has an “unlimited” cybersecurity budget. Microsoft is quadrupling its cybersecurity spending to $20 billion over the next five years. Google just announced it will invest $10+ billion to safeguard its networks. And the US government will plow $19 billion into cybersecurity this year alone. Cybersecurity is a never-ending arms race… Hackers are always inventing new ways to attack. Firms must constantly develop new tools and—spend billions of dollars—to stay a step ahead. This all but guarantees cybersecurity spending will keep marching higher. Turmoil in the cyber insurance industry is also adding fuel to the fire… The market for insuring yourself against hacks grew from zilch to $15 billion/year over the past decade. And the cost of cyber insurance is going through the roof. Research from consulting firm Marsh shows US cyber insurance premiums jumped by 130% in the fourth quarter of 2021. What’s going on? Cyber-insurers make money when you take out insurance and avoid getting hacked. But everyone is getting hacked right now. Victims are turning to insurers to cover the costs. And insurers are racking up billions of dollars in losses. Many cyber-insurers have exited the market. Many companies can no longer get cyber coverage. Instead, they’re spending record sums of money on security to avoid getting hacked to begin with. An easy, one-click way to play this is to invest in an ETF like the First Trust Nasdaq Cybersecurity ETF (NASDAQ:CIBR), which invests in a basket of cybersecurity stocks. 3 Breakthrough Stocks Set to Double Your Money in 2022 Get our latest report where we reveal our three favorite stocks that can hand you 100% gains as they disrupt whole industries. Get your free copy here. Article by Stephen McBride, Mauldin Economics Updated on May 24, 2022, 1:00 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//"; 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: valuewalkMay 24th, 2022

"I have "Donald Trump" tattooed on my rear end!" Ted Cruz mocks Republicans while stumping for Mo Brooks in Alabama

"I support the strongest conservative who can win," Cruz said, appearing to break with Trump – who rescinded his support of Brooks in March, saying the congressman "went woke." Texas Sen. Ted Cruz took aim at GOP primary candidates who were self-professed Trump diehards but had, in his opinion, no record to back the claim up.Alex Brandon/AP Ted Cruz showed up to stump for his GOP colleague Mo Brooks in Alabama on Monday. In his speech, Cruz mocked Republican primary candidates for professing "their allegiance" to Trump. 'I love Donald Trump! No, no, no, I love Donald Trump even more. No, no, I have Donald Trump tattooed on my rear end!" Cruz joked. While campaigning for congressman Mo Brooks in Alabama, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz appeared to mock other members of the GOP who have professed their "allegiance" to Trump in their primary races. Cruz showed up at a town hall event with Brooks on Monday, coming out strongly in support of the congressman in Brooks' Alabama Senate primary race. "Here's my philosophy when it comes to Republican primaries. I support the strongest conservative who can win," Cruz said. "We're not tilting at windmills. We're fighting to save the country." "Have you noticed in a Republican primary that every candidate in the primary comes before you and beats their chest?" Cruz said."They say, 'I'm the most conservative soul that ever lived!' Just once, I'd love to see a Republican primary candidate stand up and say, you know, 'I'm a moderate establishment squish. I stand for nothing whatsoever,'" Cruz added. "That would at least be refreshingly candid and honest if they said that." "And when it comes to Donald Trump, every Republican candidate on earth professes their allegiance to President Trump: 'I love Donald Trump! No, no, no, I love Donald Trump even more. No, no, I have Donald Trump tattooed on my rear end!'" Cruz joked.  He criticized these Republicans for not "(walking) the walk" while lauding Brooks for, in his opinion, having the "strongest conservative record in the Alabama primary." Brooks thanked Cruz for his support, tweeting: "Senator Cruz's message was clear: our country is at stake, and if you want a proven conservative warrior fighting for you in the Senate, there's one choice, Mo Brooks. I'd be honored to have your vote tomorrow." Cruz's strong support of Brooks came just days after former President Donald Trump once again slammed Brooks on his social media platform, Truth Social. Trump wrote a post on Sunday, citing an article by the Alabama Political Reporter that said Brooks' campaign mailers were still bearing Trump's rescinded endorsement months after it was withdrawn. "CAN'T DO THAT MO!" Trump wrote in response to the article.  Cruz throwing his weight behind Brooks also significantly diverges from Trump's established stance on the congressman. In contrast, the former president appeared to have bailed on Brooks entirely when he rescinded his endorsement in March, saying the congressman "went woke" on the 2020 election for encouraging voters to look forward toward the next election rather than back at the 2020 election. The pulling of the endorsement in March came after close to a week of what seemed like mulling on Trump's part on whether or not to back Brooks while the congressman slumped in the polls. A week before pulling the endorsement, Trump called Brooks "disappointing" and wondered if the former congressman had "changed.""When I endorsed Mo Brooks, he took a 44-point lead and was unstoppable. He then hired campaign staff who 'brilliantly' convinced him to 'stop talking about the 2020 election.' He listened to them. Then, according to the polls, Mo's 44-point lead totally evaporated," Trump said in his statement pulling his endorsement, once again referencing baseless claims that the election was stolen from him in favor of President Joe Biden. Until the endorsement was pulled, Brooks had been known as a staunch Trump ally.Brooks is now surging in the polls in Alabama months after Trump rescinded his endorsement — and amid a series of high-profile Trump endorsement flops. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 23rd, 2022

The Mike Pence-Donald Trump proxy war takes center stage Monday night as they rally for rival camps in the Georgia Republican primary

While Pence stumps for Brian Kemp in Georgia, Trump will be holding a tele-rally as a last-minute push for his preferred candidate, David Perdue who's trailing in the polls. Donald Trump and Mike Pence at a Make America Great Again rally at Cherry Capital Airport in Traverse City, Michigan on November 2, 2020.PhoPhoto by Brendan Smialowski / AFP via Getty Images Trump and Pence fell out after the ex-VP certified the Electoral College votes on January 6, 2021. Now the two men are backing rival camps in the Georgia gubernatorial race, in a sort-of proxy war. On Monday, Pence will stump for Brian Kemp as Trump holds a tele-rally for a trailing David Perdue. Donald Trump and Mike Pence will find themselves dueling in a virtual boxing ring on Monday night in Georgia where the winner — and loser — will be decided the next day.The former president and his ex-vice president have picked opposing camps in the Georgia gubernatorial race in what appears to be the pinnacle of their proxy war since the two men fell out after the January 6, 2021, Capitol attack and Pence's decision to certify Joe Biden's electoral win.Pence will be stumping for the incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp Monday night in Kennesaw, Georgia, while Trump holds a tele-rally for his preferred candidate, former Sen. David Perdue. Both events will happen the night before Georgians head to the polls on Tuesday to determine which Republican will challenge likely Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams in November.For Pence, campaigning against the Trump-backed candidate on his home turf marks the former vice president's boldest break yet with his old boss. The latest polls show Kemp ahead of Perdue by about 30 points. That would put Pence in the more-likely winning camp and Trump on the losing side. And Trump hates to lose.Pence joins a long list of high-profile Republicans such as Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie who have crisscrossed Georgia in recent days to drum up support for Kemp.Perdue, who lost his Senate reelection bid in a January 2021 runoff election, entered the 2022 gubernatorial race in December at the urging of Trump, who's been seeking revenge against Kemp for defying him by refusing to overturn Georgia's 2020 presidential election results. Neither Pence nor Kemp's teams immediately responded to Insider's request for comment about the Monday night campaign event. Insider has also reached out to Perdue's team.—David Perdue (@DavidPerdueGA) May 23, 2022 In his last-minute salvo in his bid to defeat Kemp, Perdue has attempted to cast himself as the guy to beat Abrams in November."Abrams doesn't care about Georgia. She wants to live in the White House. It's up to us to make sure that NEVER happens," Perdue tweeted Monday morning, hours before his virtual rally with Trump.At a campaign event in Augusta, Georgia over the weekend, he said Kemp has "divided the party" and would not be able to unite the pro-and anti-Trump factions to defeat Abrams."So I'm very concerned that he's gonna have a hard time pulling us together again in November," Perdue told supporters about his rival.Perdue supporters are threatening to sit out the November elections if their candidate loses the primary rather than vote for Kemp, who they still hold responsible for Trump's 2020 loss in Georgia. Trump's team did not respond to a request for comment on the tele-rally, which comes days after news reports that he was backing away from Perdue as polls showed the candidate losing.Meanwhile, Kemp is already anticipating that pro-Trump Republicans could try to challenge his primary win after the Tuesday vote. He's trying to get ahead of it by assuring voters that any "mechanical" issues that might have marred the 2020 election have already been solved through a bill he signed into law last year."That's why we have the laws and the constitution that we have when it comes to elections," Kemp told Insider May 19 in Georgia of the electoral changes he's overseen since taking office in 2018.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 23rd, 2022

Neither of them is running, but it"s still Pence versus Trump on Monday night as they take rival sides ahead of a big Georgia GOP primary

While Pence stumps for Brian Kemp in Georgia, Trump will be holding a tele-rally as a last-minute push for his preferred candidate, David Perdue who's trailing in the polls. Donald Trump and Mike Pence at a Make America Great Again rally at Cherry Capital Airport in Traverse City, Michigan on November 2, 2020.PhoPhoto by Brendan Smialowski / AFP via Getty Images Trump and Pence fell out after the ex-VP certified the Electoral College votes on January 6, 2021. Now the two men are backing rival camps in the Georgia gubernatorial race, in a sort-of proxy war. On Monday, Pence will stump for Brian Kemp as Trump holds a tele-rally for a trailing David Perdue. Donald Trump and Mike Pence will find themselves dueling in a virtual boxing ring on Monday night in Georgia where the winner — and loser — will be decided the next day.The former president and his ex-vice president have picked opposing camps in the Georgia gubernatorial race in what appears to be the pinnacle of their proxy war since the two men fell out after the January 6, 2021, Capitol attack and Pence's decision to certify Joe Biden's electoral win.Pence will be stumping for the incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp Monday night in Kennesaw, Georgia, while Trump holds a tele-rally for his preferred candidate, former Sen. David Perdue. Both events will happen the night before Georgians head to the polls on Tuesday to determine which Republican will challenge likely Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams in November.For Pence, campaigning against the Trump-backed candidate on his home turf marks the former vice president's boldest break yet with his old boss. The latest polls show Kemp ahead of Perdue by about 30 points. That would put Pence in the more-likely winning camp and Trump on the losing side. And Trump hates to lose.Pence joins a long list of high-profile Republicans such as Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie who have crisscrossed Georgia in recent days to drum up support for Kemp.Perdue, who lost his Senate reelection bid in a January 2021 runoff election, entered the 2022 gubernatorial race in December at the urging of Trump, who's been seeking revenge against Kemp for defying him by refusing to overturn Georgia's 2020 presidential election results. Neither Pence nor Kemp's teams immediately responded to Insider's request for comment about the Monday night campaign event. Insider has also reached out to Perdue's team.—David Perdue (@DavidPerdueGA) May 23, 2022 In his last-minute salvo in his bid to defeat Kemp, Perdue has attempted to cast himself as the guy to beat Abrams in November."Abrams doesn't care about Georgia. She wants to live in the White House. It's up to us to make sure that NEVER happens," Perdue tweeted Monday morning, hours before his virtual rally with Trump.At a campaign event in Augusta, Georgia over the weekend, he said Kemp has "divided the party" and would not be able to unite the pro-and anti-Trump factions to defeat Abrams."So I'm very concerned that he's gonna have a hard time pulling us together again in November," Perdue told supporters about his rival.Perdue supporters are threatening to sit out the November elections if their candidate loses the primary rather than vote for Kemp, who they still hold responsible for Trump's 2020 loss in Georgia. Trump's team did not respond to a request for comment on the tele-rally, which comes days after news reports that he was backing away from Perdue as polls showed the candidate losing.Meanwhile, Kemp is already anticipating that pro-Trump Republicans could try to challenge his primary win after the Tuesday vote. He's trying to get ahead of it by assuring voters that any "mechanical" issues that might have marred the 2020 election have already been solved through a bill he signed into law last year."That's why we have the laws and the constitution that we have when it comes to elections," Kemp told Insider May 19 in Georgia of the electoral changes he's overseen since taking office in 2018.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 23rd, 2022

Mike Pence is swooping into Georgia ahead of Tuesday"s GOP primary to help Gov. Brian Kemp defeat Trump-endorsed David Perdue

Pence's planned appearance will almost certainly amplify attacks on him by Trump and his team as they have done since the then-vice president oversaw the counting of the 2020 electoral college votes just hours after the January 6 Capitol attack. Former US Vice President Mike Pence speaks during the Advancing Freedom Lecture Series at Stanford University on February 17, 2022 in Stanford, California.Justin Sullivan/Getty Images Mike Pence is stumping for Gov. Brian Kemp on the eve of Georgia's primary election. Trump's competing tele-rally with David Perdue is a last-ditch attempt to engage MAGA world. The dueling events highlight the opposing camps trying to assert control over the modern GOP. ATLANTA, Georgia — Mike Pence's planned appearance Monday at a primary eve rally for Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp will cap a coordinated effort by Republican officials trying to wrest back control of the party from the twice-impeached former president they once served. Campaigning against Trump-backed gubernatorial hopeful David Perdue on his home turf marks the former vice president's boldest break yet with his old boss Donald Trump. Pence joins a parade of GOP leaders — including Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, and former New Jersey governor Chris Christie — who have visited Georgia in recent days to help Kemp overcome the revenge campaign Trump launched against him for certifying Joe Biden's win in 2020. "Brian Kemp is one of the most successful conservative governors in America," Pence said when he announced on May 13 the plan to campaign for Kemp. "Brian Kemp is my friend, a man dedicated to faith, family and the people of Georgia. I am proud to offer my full support for four more years of Brian Kemp as governor of the great state of Georgia!"Recent polls show that Perdue who Trump talked into challenging Kemp, is trailing Kemp by 30 points ahead of Tuesday's GOP primary.  Pence's planned appearance will almost certainly amplify attacks on him by Trump and his team as they have done since the then-vice president presided over the counting of the 2020 electoral college votes just hours after the January 6, 2021, Capitol attack where the violent pro-Trump mob chanted "Hang Mike Pence!" Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich characterized Pence as a political has-been and ingrate whose "political career was salvaged" by joining Trump's 2016 ticket. "Now, desperate to chase his lost relevance, Pence is parachuting into races, hoping someone is paying attention," The New York Times reported of Trumpworld's latest jab at Pence. The Perdue camp has also scheduled a tele-rally with Trump on Monday night to counterprogram Kemp's in-person event in Kennesaw, Georgia, bucking reports that the former president had abandoned his preferred candidate for the Georgia gubernatorial race. —David Perdue (@DavidPerdueGA) May 21, 2022 Perdue has surrounded himself with other Trump-endorsed candidates during the closing weekend of this primary battle. He stumped with 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin — who is now running for the House — at an event in Savannah, Georgia. He also attended a biker happy hour with fellow Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene in Plainville, Georgia. The pro-Kemp pop-ins have been months in the making, Ducey and others told The Washington Post reporters of their plans to nullify Trump's "personal vendetta tour." Kemp has embraced the support of Pence even as he looks favored to win the primary and once again go against Democrat Stacey Abrams in November. "We could not be more grateful for his friendship to our family and state, and we look forward to welcoming him back to the campaign trail in Georgia!" Kemp said early this month in the announcement of the rally with Pence.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytMay 23rd, 2022

Futures Jump After Biden Says Trump"s China Tariffs Under Consideration

Futures Jump After Biden Says Trump's China Tariffs Under Consideration US stock futures advanced for a second day after staging a furious rally late on Friday having slumped into a bear market just hours earlier, after President Joe Biden said China tariffs imposed by the Trump administration were under consideration, although concerns about hawkish central banks and record Covid cases in Beijing continued to weigh on the sentiment.  Contracts on the S&P 500 were up 1% by 7:15 a.m. in New York, trimming earlier gains of as much as 1.4% following remarks from Christine Lagarde that the European Central Bank is likely to start raising interest rates in July and exit sub-zero territory by the end of September which sent the euro sharply higher and hit the USD. Meanwhile, Beijing and Tianjin continue to ramp up Covid restrictions as cases climbed. Nasdaq futures also jumped, rising 1.1%. Europe rose 0.6% while Asian stocks closed mostly in the green, with Nikkei +1% and Hang Seng -1.2%. The dollar and Treasuries retreated, while bitcoin jumped to $30,500 as the crypto rout appears over. Traders interpreted Biden’s comments that he’ll discuss the US tariffs on Chinese imports with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen when he returns from his Asia trip as a signal there could be a reversal of some Trump-imposed measures, sparking a risk-on rally.  “Today’s appetite for risk has been sparked by the US President’s announcement that trade tariffs imposed on China by the previous Trump administration will be discussed,” said Pierre Veyret, a technical analyst at ActivTrades. “Investors see this as a possible de-escalation of the trade war between the two economic superpowers, and this has revived trading optimism towards riskier assets.” Among the notable movers in premarket trading, VMware surged 19% after Bloomberg News reported that Broadcom is in talks to acquire cloud-computing company; Broadcom fell 3.5% in premarket trading. Here are some other notable premarket movers: Software stocks, such as Oracle (ORCL US), Splunk (SPLK US), ServiceNow (NOW US), Check Point Software Technologies (CHKP US), are in focus after the report on Broadcom and VMware setting up for a blockbuster tech deal. Antiviral and vaccine stocks rise in US premarket trading amid spreading cases of the monkeypox virus. SIGA Technologies (SIGA US) jumps 39%; Emergent BioSolutions (EBS US) rises 15%, Chimerix (CMRX US) gains 15%, Inovio Pharmaceuticals (INO US) +13% Dow (DOW US) shares fall as much as 1.3% premarket after Piper Sandler downgraded the chemicals maker to neutral from overweight, along with peer LyondellBasell (LYB US), amid industry concerns. TG Therapeutics (TGTX US) shares are down 3.3% premarket after falling 11% on Friday, when BofA started coverage on the biotech company with an underperform rating and $5 price target. Upwork (UPWK US) could be in focus as RBC Capital Markets analyst Brad Erickson initiates coverage of the stock with a sector perform recommendation, saying some near-term negatives for the online recruitment services firm are well discounted. US stocks have been roiled in the past two months by concerns the Fed's tightening will push the economy into a recession. A late-session rebound lifted the market from the session’s lows on Friday, though the S&P 500 still capped a seventh straight week of losses - the longest since 2001 - and briefly dipped into bear market territory, while the Dow dropped for 8 consecutive weeks, the longest stretch since 1923! “As we have seen time and time again recently, any attempted rallies appear to be short-lived with the backdrop of macroeconomic uncertainty, and any bullish breakouts have failed to endure with overall market sentiment biased toward the bears,” said Victoria Scholar, head of investment at Interactive Investor. The string of weekly losses has seen the S&P 500’s forward price-to-earnings ratio drop to 16.4, near the lowest since April 2020. This is below the average level of 17.04 times seen over the past decade, making the case for bargain hunters to step in. Separately, Biden said the US military would intervene to defend Taiwan in any attack from China, comments that appeared to break from the longstanding US policy of “strategic ambiguity” before they were walked back by White House officials. Meanwhile, his administration announced that a dozen Indo-Pacific countries will join the US in a sweeping economic initiative designed to counter China’s influence in the region. Minutes of the most recent Fed rate-setting meeting will give markets insight this week into the central bank’s tightening path. St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said the Fed should front-load an aggressive series of rate hikes to push rates to 3.5% at year’s end, which if successful would push down inflation and could lead to easing in 2023 or 2024 In Europe, the Stoxx 50 rose 0.3%. The FTSE 100 outperformed, adding 0.9%, FTSE MIB lags, dropping 1.1%. Energy, miners and travel are the strongest performing sectors. European energy shares vie with the basic resources sector to be the best-performing group in the Stoxx Europe 600 benchmark on Monday as oil stocks rise with crude prices, while Siemens Gamesa rallies after Siemens Energy made a takeover offer. Shell rises 1.7%, BP +2.4%, TotalEnergies +2.1%. Elsewgere, the Stoxx Europe Basic Resources sub-index rallies to the highest level since May 5 to lead gains in the wider regional benchmark on Monday as metals rise amid better demand outlook. Aluminum, copper and iron ore extended rebound after China cut borrowing rates last week, dollar weakened and as investors weighed outlook for lockdown relief in Shanghai. The euro rose to its highest level in four weeks and most of the region’s bonds fell after European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said the ECB is likely to start raising interest rates in July and exit sub-zero territory by the end of September. Here are the most notable European movers: Siemens Gamesa shares gain as much as 6.7% after Siemens Energy made an offer to acquire the shares in the wind-turbine maker it does not own. Kingfisher shares advance as much as 4.9% after the B&Q owner reported 1Q sales that beat estimates and announced plans for a further GBP300m share buyback. Deutsche EuroShop shares jump as much as 44% after Oaktree and CURA offered to acquire the German retail property company in a deal valuing it at around EU1.39b. Moonpig Group gains as much as 14% as Jefferies analysts say its plan to buy Smartbox Group UK is a good use of the online greeting card company’s strong cash generation. Kainos Group shares jump as much as 25%, as Canaccord Genuity raises the stock’s rating to buy from hold following FY results, saying cost-inflation headwinds are priced in. Intertek shares fall as much as 5.3%, with Stifel cutting its rating on the company to hold from buy, saying none of the key elements of its positive thesis are still intact. Leoni shares drop as much as 7.3% after the wiring systems manufacturer said it was in advanced talks on further financing. Earlier in the session, Asian stocks were mixed as traders assessed Chinese authorities’ efforts to support the economy amid ongoing concerns over its Covid situation. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was up 0.4%, supported by healthcare and industrials, after paring an early gain of as much as 0.7%. Japanese stocks outperformed and US index futures advanced.  Chinese shares slid after Beijing reported a record number of coronavirus cases, reviving concerns about lockdowns. Covid concerns offset any positive impact from last Friday’s greater-than-expected reduction in a key interest rate for long-term loans in an effort to counter weak demand. Investors may be turning more upbeat on Asian stocks, with the regional benchmark beating global peers last week by the most in more the two years, snapping a streak of six weekly losses. Still, the region faces the same worries about inflation and rising US interest rates that have been rattling markets around the world this year. “The energy crisis in the EU and policy tightening in the US, combined with China’s economic soft patch” are potential headwinds for Asian equities and may lead to “weak external demand for more export-oriented economies like Taiwan and Korea,” Soo Hai Lim, head of Asia ex-China equities at Barings, wrote in a note. Japanese equities climbed as US President Joe Biden’s comments during his visit to the country lifted market sentiment. Biden said a recession in the US isn’t inevitable, and reaffirmed close ties between the two countries. He also said China tariffs imposed by the Trump administration were under consideration, helping to lift regional stocks.  The Topix Index rose 0.9% to 1,894.57 as of market close, while the Nikkei advanced 1% to 27,001.52. Tokio Marine Holdings contributed the most to the Topix Index, increasing 7.6%. Out of 2,171 shares in the index, 1,681 rose and 415 fell, while 75 were unchanged. Defense stocks also got a boost after Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said President Biden supports Japan’s plan for an increase in its defense budget Stocks in India mostly declined after the central bank chief said the Reserve Bank is taking coordinated action with the country’s government to tackle inflation and a few interest rate hikes will be in store in coming months. His comments came soon after the government unveiled measures that will cost the exchequer $26 billion and will probably force the government to issue more debt to bridge the yawning budget deficit. The S&P BSE Sensex ended flat at 54,288.61 in Mumbai after giving up an advance of as much as 1.1%. The NSE Nifty 50 Index dropped 0.3%, its third decline in four sessions. Gauges of mid-sized and small stocks also plunged 0.3% and 0.6%, respectively. Out of the 30 stocks in the Sensex index, 20 advanced while 10 ended lower, with Tata Steel being the biggest drag. Eleven of 19 sector sub-indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. declined, led by metal stocks. Steel stocks plunged after the new rules imposed tariffs on export of some products. Auto and capital stocks were the best performers.  Investors remain wary of the policy decisions the central bank could take in the near-term to tackle in rising inflation, according to Arafat Saiyed, an analyst with Reliance Securities. “Changes in oil prices and amendments to import and export duties might play a role in assessing the market’s trajectory.” In rates, Treasuries dropped as investors debate the Federal Reserve’s tightening path amid mounting worries about an economic slowdown. US bonds were cheaper by 3bp-5bp across the curve with belly leading declines, underperforming vs front- and long-end, following weakness in bunds. 10-year yield around 2.83%, higher by ~5bp on day, and keeping pace with most European bond markets; belly-led losses cheapen 2s5s30s fly by ~1.5bp on the day. US IG credit issuance slate empty so far; $20b-$25b is expected this week, concentrated on Monday and Tuesday. European fixed income faded an initial push higher after Lagarde’s comments while money markets up rate-hike bets. Bund futures briefly trade above 154 before reversing, cash curve bear-flattens with the belly cheapening ~6bps. Peripheral spreads tighten to Germany, 10y Bund/BTP spreads holds above 200bps. In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell as the greenback traded weaker against all of its Group-of-10 peers. The euro jumped to a session high of $1.0635 and bunds reversed an advance after ECB President Christine Lagarde said the central bank is likely to start raising interest rates in July and exit sub-zero territory by the end of September. The EUR was also bolstered by Germany IFO business confidence index rising to 93.0 in May vs estimate 91.4. The Aussie and kiwi were among the pest G-10 performers as they benefitted from Biden’s comments about the tariffs on China. Aussie was also supported after the Labor Party won the weekend election and is increasingly hopeful of gaining enough seats to form a majority government.  The pound advanced against the dollar, touching the highest level since May 5, amid broad-based greenback weakness. While asking prices rose to a new record for the fourth-straight month, there are signs the housing market is slowing, according to Rightmove. Yen steadied after gains last week as traders sought clues on the global economy. Japanese government bonds were mostly higher. The purchasing power of the yen fell to a fresh half-century low last month. In commodities, WTI rose 1.1% to trade just below $112. Most base metals are in the green; LME aluminum rises 1.4%, outperforming peers. LME nickel lags, dropping 4.2%. Spot gold climbs roughly $18 to trade around $1,865/oz Looking at today's calendar, at 830am we get the April Chicago Fed Nat Activity Index (est. 0.50, prior 0.44). CB speakers include the Fed's Bostic, ECB's Holzmann, Nagel and Villeroy and BoE's Bailey. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 0.6% to 3,922.50 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.6% to 433.69 MXAP up 0.4% to 165.23 MXAPJ little changed at 539.33 Nikkei up 1.0% to 27,001.52 Topix up 0.9% to 1,894.57 Hang Seng Index down 1.2% to 20,470.06 Shanghai Composite little changed at 3,146.86 Sensex up 0.4% to 54,556.08 Australia S&P/ASX 200 little changed at 7,148.89 Kospi up 0.3% to 2,647.38 German 10Y yield little changed at 0.97% Euro up 0.5% to $1.0622 Brent Futures up 0.9% to $113.61/bbl Gold spot up 0.7% to $1,859.91 U.S. Dollar Index down 0.63% to 102.50 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg President Joe Biden said the US military would intervene to defend Taiwan in any attack from China, some of his strongest language yet seeking to deter Beijing from an invasion The Biden administration announced that a dozen Indo-Pacific countries will join the US in a sweeping economic initiative designed to counter China’s influence in the region, even as questions remain about its effectiveness The US Treasury Department is expected to tighten sanctions this week on Russia, threatening about $1 billion owed to bondholders for the rest of this year and putting the country once again on the edge of default The ECB is poised to get the power to oversee so-called transition plans by 2025, in which lenders map out their path to a carbon-neutral future. Yet several national officials who sit on the ECB’s supervisory board are skeptical that climate risks merit new rules to address them, and some are wary that the initiative exceeds the central bank’s mandate Russia is considering a plan to ease a key control on capital flows which has helped drive the ruble to the highest levels in four years as the rally is now threatening to hurt budget revenues and exporters Natural gas prices in Europe fell as much as 5.6% to the lowest level since the start of the war in Ukraine, as storage levels across the continent rise to near-normal levels As the biggest selloff in decades shook the world’s bond markets this year, some extraordinarily long-dated debt went into free fall, tumbling even more than Wall Street’s usual models predicted. To Jessica James, a managing director with Commerzbank AG in London, it wasn’t a surprise. In fact, it was validation A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk APAC stocks were mixed as momentum waned due to China's COVID woes and record Beijing infections. ASX 200 was just about kept afloat before ebbing lower after initial strength in mining names and the smooth change of government in Australia. Nikkei 225 advanced at the open with Tokyo said to be planning to revive its travel subsidy plan for residents. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp were pressured by ongoing COVID concerns after Beijing extended its halt of dining in services and in-person classes for the whole city, as well as reporting a fresh record of daily COVID infections, while Shanghai restored its cross-district public transport on Sunday but ordered supermarkets and shops in the central Jingan district to shut and for residents to stay home until at least Tuesday Top Asian News Beijing reported 83 new symptomatic cases and 16 new asymptomatic cases for May 22nd with the city's total new cases at a new record, according to Bloomberg. It was also reported that thousands of Beijing residents were relocated to quarantine hotels due to a handful of infections, according to the BBC. Beijing is mulling easing its hotel quarantine requirement to one week in a hotel and one week at home from a previous hotel requirement of ten days and one week at home for international travellers, according to SCMP. Shanghai reported 570 new asymptomatic cases, 52 asymptomatic cases, 3 new COVID-related deaths and zero cases outside of quarantine, according to Reuters. Shanghai’s central district of Jingan will require all supermarkets and shops to close, while residents will be required to stay at home and conduct mass testing from May 22nd-24th, according to Reuters. China NHC Official says the COVID situation, overall, is showing a steady declining trend. Japanese PM Kishida said it is very disappointing that China is unilaterally developing areas in the East China Sea when borders are not yet set which Japan cannot accept, while it has lodged a complaint against China through diplomatic channels, according to Reuters. Japanese PM Kishida told US President Biden that they must achieve a free and open Indo-Pacific together, while President Biden said the US is fully committed to Japan's defence and that the IPEF will increase cooperation with other nations and deliver benefits to people in the region, according to Reuters. US-South Korea joint statement noted they agreed to discuss widening the scope and scale of joint military exercises and the US reiterated its commitment to defending South Korea with nuclear, conventional and missile defence, as well as reaffirmed its commitment to deploy strategic military assets in a timely and coordinated manner as necessary. The sides also condemned North Korea’s missile tests as a grave threat and agreed to relaunch a high-level extended deterrence strategy and consultation group at the earliest date, while they noted the path to dialogue with North Korea remains open and called for a resumption of negotiations, according to Reuters. US President Biden said the US-South Korea alliance has never been stronger and more vibrant. President Biden added they are ready to strengthen the joint defence posture to counter North Korea and are ready to work toward the complete denuclearisation of North Korea, while he offered vaccines to North Korea and said he would meet with North Korean leader Kim if he is serious, according to Reuters. South Korean President Yoon said North Korea is advancing nuclear capabilities and that US President Biden shares grave concerns regarding North Korea’s nuclear capabilities, while Yoon said they discussed the timing of possible deployment of fighter jets and bombers, according to Reuters. European bourses are mixed/modestly-firmer, Euro Stoxx 50 +0.3%, as the initial upside momentum waned amid fresh China COVID updates and hawkish ECB commentary. Note, the FTSE MIB is the noted underperformer this morning, -1.0%, amid multiple large-cap names trading ex-divided. Stateside, futures are firmer but similarly off best levels, ES +0.5%, with recent/familiar themes very much in focus ahead of a thin US-specific docket. XPeng (XPEV) Q1 2022 (USD): EPS -0.32 (exp. -0.30), Revenue 1.176bln (exp. 1.16bln); Vehicle Deliveries 34.56k, +159% YY. -2.8% in pre-market JPMorgan (JPM) has reaffirmed its adjusted expenses guidance; credit outlook remains positive; sees FY22 NII USD 56bln (prev. USD 53bln) Top European News EU’s infectious-disease agency is to recommend member states prepare strategies for possible vaccination programmes to counter increasing monkeypox cases, according to FT. It was also reported that Austria confirmed its first case of monkeypox and that Switzerland also confirmed its first case of monkeypox in the canton of Bern, according to Reuters. EU policymakers are reportedly renewing efforts to push for real-time databases of stock and bond trading information as they believe that a 'consolidated tape' will make EU exchanges more attractive for investors, according to FT. EU Commission has proposed maintaining EU borrowing limits suspension next year amid the war in Ukraine; expects to reinstate limits in 2024; Germany supports the suspension. Fixed Income Bunds and Eurozone peers underperform as ECB President Lagarde signals end of negative rates by September. 10 year German bond nearer 153.00 having topped 154.00, Gilts around 1/4 point below par after trading flat at best and T-note shy of 120-00 within 120-03+/119-21+ range. EU NG issuance covered 1.38 times and Austria announces leads for 2049 Green syndication. In FX Euro joins Kiwi at the top of G10 ranks as President Lagarde chimes with end of NIRP by Q3 guidance, EUR/USD sets fresh May peak near 1.0690. Bulk of NZIER shadow board believe RBNZ will deliver another 50bp hike on Wednesday, NZD/USD hovers comfortably above 0.6450 in the run up to NZ Q1 retail sales. DXY in danger of losing 102.000+ status as Euro revival boosts other index components. Aussie up with price of iron ore and extended Yuan recovery gains with change of PM and Government regime taken in stride; AUD/USD probes 0.7100, USD/CNH not far from Fib support sub-6.6500, USD/CNY a tad lower. Sterling eyes 1.2600 awaiting BoE Governor Bailey at a PM panel discussion, Loonie and Nokkie glean traction via firm WTI and Brent, USD/CAD under 1.2800, EUR/NOK beneath 10.3000. Lira languishing after CBRT survey showing higher end 2022 forecasts for Turkish CPI, current account deficit and USD/TRY circa 17.5690 vs just shy of 16.0000 at present. Commodities WTI and Brent are firmer and in-proximity to session highs amid USD action offsetting the earlier drift with risk sentiment/China's mixed COVID stance. Currently, the benchmarks are just off highs of USD 111.96/bbl and USD 114.34/bbl respectively, vs lows of 109.50 and 111.97 respectively. Saudi Arabia signalled it will stand by Russia as a member of OPEC+ amid mounting pressure from sanctions, according to FT. Iraq’s government aims to set up a new oil company in the Kurdistan region and expects to enter service contracts with local oil firms, according to Reuters. Iran’s Oil Minister agreed to revive the pipeline laying project to pump Iranian gas to Oman which was stalled for nearly two decades, according to IRNA. Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said Iran’s leadership has matters under review regarding “the Iranian nuclear file” and said that pumping additional quantities of Iranian oil to the market will help stabilise crude prices and lower inflation, according to Al Jazeera TV. India cut its excise duty on petrol by INR 8/litre and diesel by INR 6/litre which will result in a revenue loss of about INR 1tln for the government, while Indian Finance Minister Sitharaman announced subsidies on cooking gas cylinders, as well as cuts to custom duties on raw materials and intermediaries for plastic products, according to Reuters. Indian oil minister says oil remaining at USD 110/bbl could lead to bigger threats than inflation, via CNBC TV18. Central Banks ECB's Lagarde says based on the current outlook, we are likely to be in a position to exit negative interest rates by the end of the third quarter; against the backdrop of the evidence I presented above, I expect net purchases under the APP to end very early in the third quarter. This would allow us a rate lift-off at our meeting in July, in line with our forward guidance. The next stage of normalisation would need to be guided by the evolution of the medium-term inflation outlook. If we see inflation stabilising at 2% over the medium term, a progressive further normalisation of interest rates towards the neutral rate will be appropriate. ECB President Lagarde indicated that July is likely for a rate increase as she noted that they will follow the path of stopping net asset purchases and then hike interest rates sometime after that which could be a few weeks, according to Bloomberg. Bundesbank Monthly Report: German GDP is likely to increase modestly in Q2 from current standpoint. Click here for more detail. RBI Governor Das says, broadly, they want to increase rates in the next few meetings, at least at the next one; cannot give a number on inflation at present, the next MPC may be the time to do so. CBRT Survey (May), end-2022 Forecasts: CPI 57.92% (prev. 46.44%), GDP Growth 3.3% (prev. 3.2%), USD/TRY 17.5682 (prev. 16.8481), Current Account Balance USD -34.34bln (prev. USD -27.5bln). US Event Calendar 08:30: April Chicago Fed Nat Activity Index, est. 0.50, prior 0.44 12:00: Fed’s Bostic Discusses the Economic Outlook 19:30: Fed’s George Gives Speech at Agricultural Symposium DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap After a stressful couple of hours in front of the football yesterday afternoon, there's not too much the market can throw at me this week to raise the heart rate any higher than it was for the brief moments that I thought Liverpool were going to win the Premier League from a very unlikely set of final day circumstances. However it is the hope that kills you and at least we have the Champions League final on Saturday to look forward to now. There will be a lot of market water to flow under the bridge before that. This all follows a fascinating end to last week with the S&P 500 in bear market territory as Europe went home for the weekend after the index had fallen -20.6% from its peak going into the last couple of hours of another brutal week. However a sharp late rally sent the index from c.-2.3% on the day to close +0.01%. There was no catalyst but traders clearly didn’t want to go home for the weekend as lightly positioned as they were. Regardless, this was the first time we’ve seen seven successive weekly declines in the index since the fallout from the dotcom bubble bursting in 2001. Watch out for my CoTD on this later. If you’re not on my daily CoTD and want to be, please send an email to to get added. For what it's worth the Dow saw the first successive 8 weekly decline since 1923 which really brings home the state of the current sell-off. After having a high conviction recession call all year for 2023, I can't say I have high conviction in the near-term. I don't expect that we will fall into recession imminently in the US or Europe and if that's the case then markets are likely to eventually stabilise and rally back. However if we do see a H2 2022 recession then this sell-off will likely end up at the more severe end of the historical recessionary sell-offs given the very high starting valuations (see Binky Chadha's excellent strategy piece here for more on this). However if I'm right that a 2023 recession is unavoidable then however much we rally back this year we'll be below current levels for equities in 12-18 months' time in my view. Given that my H2 2023 HY credit spread forecast is +850bp then that backs this point up. Longer-term if we do get a recession and inflation proves sticky over that period then equities are going to have a long period of mean reversion of valuations and it will be a difficult few years ahead. So the path of equities in my opinion depends on the recession timing and what inflation does when we hit that recession. Moving from pontificating about the next few years to now looking at what's coming up this week. The global preliminary PMIs for May tomorrow will be front and centre for investors following the growth concerns that have roiled markets of late. Central banks will also remain in focus as we will get the latest FOMC meeting minutes (Wednesday) and the US April PCE, the Fed's preferred inflation proxy, on Friday. An array of global industrial activity data will be another theme to watch. Consumer sentiment will be in focus too, with a number of confidence measures from Europe and personal income and spending data from the US (Friday). Corporates reporting results will include spending bellwethers Macy's and Costco. After last week’s retail earnings bloodbath (e.g. Walmart and Target) these will get added attention. On the Fed, the minutes may be a bit stale now but it’ll still be interesting to see the insight around the biases of 50bps vs 25/75bps hikes after the next couple of meetings. Thoughts on QT will also be devoured. Staying with the US, for the personal income and spending numbers on Friday, our US economists expect the two indicators to slow to +0.2% and +0.6% in April, respectively. The Fed’s preferred inflation gauge, the PCE, will be another important metric released the same day and DB’s economics team expects the April core reading to stay at +0.3%. Other US data will include April new home sales tomorrow and April durable goods orders on Wednesday. A number of manufacturing and business activity indicators are in store, too. Regional Fed indicators throughout the week will include an April gauge of national activity from the Chicago Fed (today) and May manufacturing indices from the Richmond Fed (tomorrow) and the Kansas City Fed (Thursday). In Europe, the May IFO business climate indicator for Germany will be out today, followed by a manufacturing confidence gauge for France (tomorrow) and Italy (Thursday). China's industrial profits are due on Friday. This week will also feature a number of important summits. Among them will be the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos that has now started and will run until next Thursday. It'll be the first in-person meeting since the pandemic began and geopolitics will likely be in focus. Meanwhile, President Biden will travel to Asia for the first time as US president and attend a Quad summit in Tokyo tomorrow. Details on the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework are expected. Finally, NATO Parliamentary Assembly’s 2022 Spring Session will be held in Vilnius from next Friday to May 30th. In corporate earnings, investors will be closely watching Macy's, Costco and Dollar General after this week's slump in Walmart and Target. Amid the carnage in tech, several companies that were propelled by the pandemic will be in focus too, with reporters including NVIDIA, Snowflake (Wednesday) and Zoom (today). Other notable corporates releasing earnings will be Lenovo, Alibaba, Baidu (Thursday) and XPeng (Monday). Overnight in Asia, equity markets are weak but US futures continue to bounce back. The Hang Seng (-1.75%) is the largest underperformer amid a fresh sell-off in Chinese listed tech stocks. Additionally, stocks in mainland China are also weak with the Shanghai Composite (-0.47%) and CSI (-0.99%) lower as Beijing reported record number of fresh Covid-19 cases, renewing concerns about a lockdown. Elsewhere, the Nikkei (+0.50%) is up in early trade while the Kospi (+0.02%) is flat. S&P 500 (+0.80%), NASDAQ 100 (+1.03%) and DAX (+0.96%) futures are all edging higher though and 10yr USTs are around +3.5bps higher. A quick review of last week’s markets now. Growth fears gripped markets while global central bankers retrenched their expectations for a strong dose of monetary tightening this year to combat inflation. The headline was the S&P 500 fell for the seventh straight week for the first time since after the tech bubble burst in 2001, tumbling -3.05% (+0.01% Friday), after back-and-forth price action which included an ignominious -4% decline on Wednesday, the worst daily performance in nearly two years. The index is now -18.68% from its YTD highs, narrowly avoiding a -20% bear market after a late rally to end the week, after dipping into intraday on Friday. Without one discreet driver, an amalgamation of worse-than-expected domestic data, fears about global growth prospects, and poor earnings from domestic retail giants that called into question the vitality of the American consumer soured sentiment. Indeed, on the latter point, consumer staples (-8.63%) and discretionary (-7.44%) were by far the largest underperformers on the week. European stocks managed to fare better, with the STOXX 600 falling -0.55% (+0.73% Friday) and the DAX losing just -0.33% (+0.72% Friday). The growth fears drove longer-dated sovereign bond yields over the week, with 10yr Treasuries falling -13.7bps (-5.6bps Friday). Meanwhile, the front end of the curve was relatively anchored, with 2yr yields basically unchanged over the week (-2.7bps Friday), and the amount of Fed hikes priced in through 2022 edging +3bps higher over the week to 2.75%, bringing 2s10s back below 20bps for the first time since early May. Chair Powell reiterated his commitment to bring inflation back to target, suggesting that getting policy rates to neutral did not constitute a stopping point if the Fed did not have “clear and convincing” evidence that inflation was falling. In Europe the front end was also weaker than the back end as Dutch central bank Governor Knot became the first General Council member to countenance +50bp hikes. 10yr yields didn't rally as much as in the US, closing the week at -0.4bps (-0.5bps Friday). The spectre of faster ECB tightening and slowing global growth drove 10yr BTPs to underperform, widening +15.2bps (+10.2bps Friday) to 205bps against bund equivalents. Gilts underperformed other sovereign bonds, with 10yr benchmarks selling off +14.9bps (+2.8bps Friday) and 2yr yields increasing +25.8bps (+1.6bps Friday). This came as UK CPI hit a 40yr high of 9.0% in April even if it slightly missed forecasts for the first time in seven months. Oil proved resilient to the growth fears rumbling through markets, with both brent crude (+0.90%, +0.46% Friday) and WTI futures (+2.48%, +0.91% Friday) posting modest gains over the week. Tyler Durden Mon, 05/23/2022 - 07:49.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeMay 23rd, 2022

Meet Alexander Govor, the Russian businessman who just bought hundreds of McDonald"s restaurants after the fast-food chain"s exit from the country

Govor made his money in mining and oil refining before getting into fast food. Alexander Nemenov/Getty Images McDonald's is selling its Russian restaurants to Alexander Govor for an undisclosed sum. Govor agreed to keep current employees on payroll for at least two years. Govor made his money in mining and oil refining before getting into fast food.  McDonald's is leaving Russia and selling its restaurants in the country two months after closing the locations in March amid conflict with Ukraine.McDonald's in Tver, Russia.FotograFFF/ShutterstockSource: Insider, InsiderThe global burger giant, which had over 800 locations in Russia, announced that it would sell its restaurants to Russian businessman Alexander Govor.AP Photo/Misha JaparidzeSource: InsiderGorov will rebrand the restaurants under a new name. Neither McDonald's or Govor disclosed the price of the deal.Bernard Bisson/Sygma via Getty ImagesGovor has been a McDonald's franchisee since 2015, when he agreed to open 20 restaurants through his business GiD LLC.APSource: ReutersGovor became only the second Russian McDonald's franchisee, because the chain focused on opening its own restaurants and operated about 500 at the time of the deal.Photo by Konstantin Zavrazhin/Getty ImagesSource: ReutersGovor is from Novokuznetsk, an industrial city in southwestern Siberia.ReutersSource: Financial TimesGovor grew his wealth in the coal business as co-owner of the coal mining company Yuzhkuzbassugol, located in his hometown of Novokuznetsk.Christian Thiele/picture alliance via Getty ImagesSource: BloombergThe Russian businessman bought the mine together with multinational manufacturing and mining company Evraz during liberalization in the 1990s under President Boris Yeltsin.Christian Thiele/picture alliance via Getty ImagesSource: Bloomberg, New York TimesA Russian oversight committee temporarily shut down the mining company in 2007 after explosions at Yuzhkuzbassugol's mines led to over 100 worker deaths.Dima Korotayev/Epsilon/Getty ImagesSource: New York TimesThen Evraz, which is owned in part by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, bought out Govor from the company.Former Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich.Clive Mason/Getty ImagesGovor got into the oil business next, investing money from the sale of the mines into the Yaisky Oil Refinery in 2013.ReutersSource: BloombergHe still partially owns the refinery through his company NefteKhimService, which is described on its website as a "construction investor and business owner."ReutersSource: Financial Times, NefteKhimServiceGovor is also reportedly the founder of Sibirskaya Milyona, a company that owns cattle farms and produces milk and sausages.John P Kelly/Getty ImagesSource: Financial TimesGovor is a "local businessman, patron of the arts, and enthusiastic collector," according to a press release from a concrete company from 2018.Cold frosty February weather in Siberia in the North-East of Russia. Anadyr, Chukotka Autonomous region, Russia.Andrei Stepanov / Getty ImagesSource: PenetronThe release credits Govor with donating his collection of 40 vintage vehicles to a museum in Novokuznetsk.Ben Pruchnie/Getty ImagesIn 2021, Govor participated in a car race put on by the museum, and came in second, according to a press release from NefteKhimService.Business InsiderSource: NefteKhimServiceGovor agreed to employ and continue paying the roughly 60,000 Russian McDonald's employees for two years.Photo by Semen Vasileyev/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)The new owner also agreed to keep corporate employees on the payroll and continue paying suppliers and landlords, according to a statement from McDonald's.Photo by Semen Vasileyev/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)Do you have a story to share about a retail or restaurant chain? Email this reporter at the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 22nd, 2022

From burgers to breakfast cereal, some key ingredients are being hit by food export bans — industry experts tell us what might be next

Countries are increasingly imposing food export bans and its amping up prices worldwide. Experts say these prices won't die down any time soon. Getty Images Food prices are soaring from export bans and it's affecting everything from burgers to cereal.  Commodities including wheat, sugar, and cooking oils have become fewer to find.  "Prices are real high and they don't seem to be going down any soon," an industry expert said.  Heatwaves, poor harvests, supply-chain bottlenecks and disruption from war in Ukraine have sent food prices soaring this year. In response, a number of countries around the world have imposed export bans in order to protect their own national food supply, which has only added to the problem.Export bans have affected food products from wheat and beef to palm oil, as countries scramble to protect domestic prices and maintain food security. And the scenario has been even more complicated by COVID-19-induced supply chain disruptions and environmental factors such as droughts last year. "There is a myriad of problems, none of which would resolve themselves in any great hurry," Marc Ostwald, chief economist at ADM Investor Services International, a UK-based multi-asset brokerage firm, told Insider. It's not the first time the world has suffered from an agricultural commodity price shock. Food inflation was a problem from 2007 to 2008 in the aftermath of the global financial crisis, where countries like Ukraine and other major grain exporters banned supplies to defend domestic prices. India and Vietnam, the biggest exporters of rice, also restricted imports to fight soaring food prices. A similar situation is playing out now, where Ukraine again has halted wheat exports, in part because war will almost certainly disrupt the planting of the new crop this year. Indonesia has placed a blanket ban on the export of palm oil, and Argentina has blocked certain beef cuts. These bans only stand to worsen a cost-of-living crisis, where people face surging food price inflation and rising utility bills, after a series of sanctions on Russian energy exports. "We're at a point where prices are real high, and they don't seem to be going down any soon. As long as prices are high, there's going to be a temptation for some countries to try to help their consumers by keeping prices low," Joseph Glauber, a researcher at the International Food Policy Research Institute told Insider. Experts also at IFPRI point out that more food export bans "tend to be contagious, as other exporting countries follow suit and implement their own bans," suggesting further measures may be on the horizon.Here are the key agricultural exports that have been restricted in the last year and what it's meant for food prices. Industry experts also tell Insider what commodities could be banned next. Bloomberg/Business InsiderWheatAndy Sacks/Getty ImagesProblems are piling up in the wheat market as major producers including Russia, Ukraine, India, and Kazakhstan have banned exports. Russia, which is the world's largest exporter, had already introduced quotas and new taxes on exports in 2021 prior to its war with Ukraine, in an effort to cool down domestic food inflation. After invading Ukraine however, the Kremlin placed additional wheat export bans on ex-Soviet countries. The measures were put in place "to protect the domestic food market in the face of external constraints," the government said, per Reuters. The world's second-largest producer, India, is the latest country to make the same move. Earlier this month, India said it would stop wheat exports to protect its food security as a result of the war and high inflation. The announcement caused wheat prices to soar by 4.36% in a day to $12.28 a bushel, topping their highest since mid-March. "India's actions set a precedent: the world's largest democracy has instituted a ban, a practice much more associated with more authoritarian governments," Cullen Hendrix of the Peterson Institute for International Economics told Insider.He added: "The demonstration effect on other democracies may be large, especially if markets are buffeted by more bad news like lower-than-anticipated harvests in other major exporting countries." Palm OilWorkers harvesting oil palm fruits in Malaysia.Giles Clarke/Getty ImagesIndonesia, the world's biggest exporter of edible-oils, banned the shipping of palm oil as the country grapples with a shortage of cooking oil.The ban was also enacted as a way to tame domestic prices of its staple cooking oil down.After Indonesia imposed the ban, prices initially shot by 7% but later eased after it was reported Indonesia was only banning bulk and packaged RBD palm olein - a more processed type of oil. Palm oil prices have risen by more than 50% so far in 2022, far outstripping gains in other major ingredients.In a most recent development, however, Bloomberg among other outlets reported that Indonesia lifted its ban on palm oil exports in light of improvements in domestic supply and prices. Sunflower oilA supermarket shelf in Spain is seen half stocked with sunflower oil.Paco Freire/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images)Alongside wheat, Russia also capped the export of sunflower seeds between April and August. It also imposed an export quota on sunflower oil to calm prices at home, per Reuters. Ukraine and Russia are the world's largest producers of sunflower oil, with Ukraine accounting for about 50% of the sunflower oil trade in the world, according to Glauber. "This set of measures will eliminate the possibility of shortages, as well as sharp increases in the cost of raw materials and socially important products in Russia," the ministry on March 31, per the outlet. Sunflower oil has risen by nearly 68% in 2022, and has risen 50% since the end of March alone. Soybean oilPhoto by STR/AFP via Getty ImageThe oil crop industry has had no break, with Argentina also suspending export sales of soybean meal and soybean oil. The step from the world's top exporter of soy oil and meal came after weeks of drought in the country. "The ghost of the productive disaster of 2018 is surrounding 2021/22 soy," the Rosario grains exchange said in February, per Reuters."There's new bad news for Argentina concerning the weather. 'La Nina' has gained ground and it's impact will not be diminished, like we thought up to just some days ago," the exchange added. During a "La Niña" weather pattern, temperatures in the southern third of the US usually rise, meaning the region is vulnerable to droughts. With the onset of soy oil and meal export bans, Reuters reported that US soy meal futures rose by more than 2.2% while soy oil futures fell by 1.26%. Soybean oil, which is used in cooking and even some industrial applications, is the second-most used vegetable oil after palm oil. Soybean oil futures have gained nearly 60% so far this year.  BeefPhoto by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty ImagesAway from oils, Argentina imposed a ban on the export of seven beef cuts until 2023, per Bloomberg. The country is the fifth-largest beef exporter, tallying about 6% of the world's beef exports, according to the USDA.The restrictive measures came with the intent to cool down local prices for local consumers after inflation hit 50.9% in 2021.While live cattle futures have risen 12% in the last year, the price consumers pay for their burger patties has risen more quickly. According to the USDA, the retail price of ground beef has risen by 20% in the last 12 months.SugarPhoto by Melissa Erichsen/picture alliance via Getty ImagesA number of countries have also frozen exports of sugar in recent months. This includes Russia, Algeria, Kosovo, and Ukraine. "People are suddenly becoming aware that their food security is not what they thought it was," ADM's Ostwald said.The price of sugar has gained around 30% in the last 12 months, adding to pressure on food manufacturers and consumers.Maize...Corn could be a commodity hit by export bans in the future.Photo credit should read CFOTO/Future Publishing via Getty ImagesSpeaking to Glauber, there may be more commodities that could be restricted in the future, including corn. "The maize market certainly has been disrupted by the fact that right now, Ukraine can't export any maize," Glauber said, as a result of military operations in the country from its war with Russia. Hendrix echoed similar sentiments. He said: "If additional products were to become a concern, it would likely be substitutes for those basic staples being caught by the current bans or restrictions, including wheat, sunflower and palm oils, and the like. These would be things like corn and other vegetable oils." The broader picture, according to ADM's Ostwald, is focusing on improving aging infrastructure in the agricultural industry. "We've had a technology boom and we've used it in the wrong places," he said. He added: "We've got ageing infrastructure everywhere, we've been complacent about supply-chains, and if we'd actually be thinking ahead above all, at government levels, we wouldn't have a lot of these problems." Corn prices have risen by just 10% in the last year, a far cry from the 41% rise in the cost of wheat or the near-75% gain in palm oil. But they're still at their highest in a decade. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 21st, 2022

Victor Davis Hanson: Is Biden"s "Success" Our Mess?

Victor Davis Hanson: Is Biden's "Success" Our Mess? Authored by Victor Davis Hanson, If an administration deliberately wished to cause havoc on the border, to ensure fuel was nearly unaffordable, to create a crime wave, to spark 1970s hyperinflation, and to rekindle racial tensions, what would it have done differently than what President Joe Biden has done? So is Biden malicious, incompetent, or a wannabe left-wing ideologue? When pressed about inflation and fuel price hikes, Biden either blames someone or something else, gets mad at the questioner, or claims former President Donald Trump did it. His administration apparently believes things are going well and according to plan. When polls disagree, his team either believes the American people are brainwashed or that they themselves have not supplied sufficient propaganda. So they never pivot or compromise, but rededicate themselves to continued failure. Why? Apparently, what most in the country see as disasters, Biden envisions as success. Take the border - or rather its disappearance. Never in U.S. history has an administration simply canceled immigration laws, opened the border, and welcomed in millions of illegal aliens. All arrive illegally, and without audit, or vaccinations and tests in times of a pandemic. Cartels now import lethal drugs at will into the United States. We have no idea how many terrorists walk across the border each day. Almost all the entering millions who break the law are poor, without high school diplomas or English skills, and in dire need of massive federal and state housing, food, education, legal, and health subsidies. Do the leftists in Washington believe that millions of dependent new residents will look to the Left for decades of support and soon find ways to reciprocate with fealty at the polls? Is that why Democrats brag in unapologetic tribalist fashion about changing the demography of the electorate? Former President Barack Obama's energy secretary-designate Steven Chu once gaffed in the 2008 campaign when he openly wished that U.S. gas prices would reach European levels. In truth, the Left has always believed the only way to achieve their objectives of discouraging driving, forcing middle-class Americans onto trains and buses, and persuading them to live in urban high-rises rather than drive carbon-spewing cars from spacious suburban ranch-style homes was to encourage high fuel prices. Is that agenda why Biden, during the current energy crisis, simply canceled new federal oil and gas leases? As diesel hits $7 a gallon in California, why else did he refuse to finish the Keystone XL pipeline or reopen Alaskan oil fields? Inflation continues officially to exceed 8% per annum. Most consumers feel it is double that when they pay for food, fuel, building materials, houses, or rent - the essential stuff of life. What did the Biden Administration expect would follow from keeping real interest rates at near zero, while printing trillions of dollars at the moment supplies were short and demand was spiking? Or did it think inflation more fairly "spreads the wealth"? Does it prompt new necessary attacks on "corporate greed?" Does it demand more federal intervention and socialist policies? If inflation is "bad" for most, it may not seem so to this left-wing administration. Violent crime is on its way to 1970s levels. The combination of defunding the police, radical city and county prosecutors who don't charge or lock up criminals, and emptying jails and prisons have ignited a national crime wave. The Biden Administration shrugs. It offers no new federal help to fund more police or charge freed criminals under applicable federal statutes. Does it think it is more socially just to let criminals free than incarcerate them? Does it buy into "critical legal theory" that laws do not reflect ancient ideas of right and wrong, but instead are "constructed" by the privileged to oppress the already oppressed? Is what Americans see as dangerous crime something the Biden zealots applaud as tough social karma? Americans are tired of the new woke tribalism. Judging individuals on the basis of their race, gender, or superficial appearance is amoral, and contrary to the entire civil rights movement, and the U.S. Constitution. It destroys any idea of meritocracy and divides the country artificially into supposed victims and victimizers. But do the Biden people see it that way? Or do they promote racial tensions and tribalism, as welcome revolutionary fervor? In that regard, the Bidenites promote identity politics as a good way to stir up the pot, to demonize supposed oppressors and deify the oppressed - all as a way of retaining political power. For the Left, living in a socialist nation controlled by an elite is far preferable to living in a free and prosperous one answerable only to the people. The public believes the Biden Administration has failed America, with disastrous results due either to its incompetence, belligerence, or left-wing zealotry. But Biden and his delusional team seem delighted with what they have wrought. In sum, what Americans see as an abject catastrophe, they cheer on as a stunning and planned success. Tyler Durden Fri, 05/20/2022 - 22:20.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytMay 21st, 2022

Giant Container Ships Are Ruining Everything

Giant Container Ships Are Ruining Everything By Rachel Premack of FreightWaves I hate big boats, and so should you... In 2006, Maersk stunned the global shipping community with the introduction of Emma Maersk, a container ship that could carry nearly 15,000 twenty-foot equivalent units. (TEUs translate to about half of a standard forty-foot shipping container.)  Emma Maersk set off an “arms race” with its introduction. Ocean carriers ordered bigger and bigger ships, believing that they could reach economies of scale if they could jam all their shipments into one big boat instead of a few small ones. Today, we’ve appeared to reach peak Big Boat Era. The Emma Maersk is now wimpy next to 2022’s true megaships. The largest container ships to be delivered this year have a maximum capacity of 24,000 TEUs. (This class of ship is named — I am not making this up — the “Ever Alot.” The Evergreen shipping company, the very same that blocked the Suez Canal last year, ordered the record-breaking ship.) Each year brings a new, larger-than-ever megaship. The largest ship class of a given year has increased by 50% from 2012 to today, or nearly sixfold from 1981 to today.  We are living in the Big Boat Era. Massive container ships have helped wreak serious chaos on global trade. I spoke with four experts this week to learn how megaships are the sneaky reason for much of our ongoing shipping crisis.  Here are the three reasons I hate big boats: 1. They underpin the global shipping oligopoly. Global shipping is dominated by a few giant firms. But it wasn’t always this way. In the 1970s, there were so many ocean carriers that no single company controlled the industry. Since then, the market has consolidated into just a few large firms.  Up to 60 of the 100 largest ocean carriers have vanished from the 2000s to today, thanks to a wave of bankruptcies and acquisitions. The top 10 largest ocean carriers in 2000 commanded 51% of the market; today, they dominate 80% of it, according to a White House fact sheet. All of these companies are based outside the U.S.  Smaller ocean carriers began forming alliances with each other in order to compete with larger carriers, said Campbell University professor Sal Mercogliano. Megashippers decided to copy the strategy. Today, the largest ocean carriers are organized into three major container shipping alliances: 2M, The Alliance and Ocean Alliance. To ship something from, say, China to Los Angeles, you book space on a container ship operated by one of these alliances. Each company shares space on the container ship with other members of the alliance. But these alliances may cancel — or have “blank sailings” — if demand has slumped.  This system has been great for the carriers’ own financial performance. Some claim this consolidation and the alliance system lead to inflated rates. The Loadstar, a global logistics publication, reported on April 22 that the 2M alliance was blanking at least three Asia-North Europe sailings. New Chinese COVID lockdowns were one reason for the cancellation, but Loadstar also pointed to 2M’s desire to “halt the slide in rates” amid a slump in volume from China. More canceled sailings mean less capacity for cargo, and likely higher rates. The cost to move a container ship was steady and low for much of the 2010s, then exploded from 2020 onward. Now, rates are somewhat softening. Container ships have been steadily increasing in size since they were created in 1956. But it wasn’t until the 2000s that the Big Boat Era truly began, Mercogliano said. Ocean carriers believed they could reach economies of scale if they built giant ships. The idea was to put all of your cargo on one massive ship instead of two or three smaller ones.  Such megaships were expensive. Emma Maersk, for example, cost an estimated $145 million. But banks were happy to provide the cash, said Capt. John Konrad, CEO of maritime website gCaptain.  Konrad told FreightWaves that ocean carriers are ideal lending targets. If an ocean carrier defaults on its loan, you can simply repossess any of its ships. And, conveniently, many receive hefty subsidies or other support from the governments of the countries they’re based in. Before the financial crisis, banks were happy to provide massive loans to ocean liners to build the megaships of their dreams.  Then 2008 happened. As Mercogliano said, “The freight dried up.”  Big ocean liners were stuck with massive ships and not much to put on them. Many went bankrupt, and the ones that remained formed alliances.  “Firms started to say, ‘Well, these ships are tremendous investments and there’s too much money on the line,’” said University of Vermont professor Richard Sicotte. “‘Let’s share the capacity among different companies, who would ostensibly be our rivals.’” Through the 2010s, consolidation accelerated. Eight large carriers, including No. 6 largest ocean carrier Hanjin, either went bankrupt or were acquired by other large firms. The ‘cartel’ no one noticed? Crucially, this lack of competition didn’t bother anyone through the 2010s, when ocean rates were absurdly low and carriers were barely turning a profit (if at all). Alliances and consolidation were the only way to make the economics work. Bizarrely, companies continued to build even larger megaships, still chasing those economies of scale while sinking them further into debt.  “Because so few of them were left, they formed these alliances to stop underbidding each other,” Mercogliano said. “The U.S., EU, China, everyone signed off on the idea that these are not cartels. They are not trusts. The reason we did it is because we all benefited from it: We love cheap freight. It cost nothing to move goods across the Pacific.” That all changed in 2021, when carriers were raking in cash.  The Biden administration called these shipping companies a “cartel.” Some importers have recently claimed that ocean carriers have price gouged them and failed to fill their contracts amid sky-high ocean rates. On the other hand, FreightWaves’ own Greg Miller recently argued that competition among ocean liners increased as rates spiked.  Whether or not these carriers are price fixing is hardly something we can settle in today’s newsletter, but what we can agree on is that this consolidation — driven by the inability of individual companies to fill their own megaships — probably wouldn’t be so stark without those big darn ships. 2. They cause port congestion. The more obvious reason that big ships are helping cause our ongoing supply chain chaos is that they’re literally too big to fit into most ports. Even the Suez Canal struggled to accommodate one of these megaships, causing the crucial global conduit to be clogged for days last year.  Matt Stoller, who is the director of research at the American Economic Liberties Project, told FreightWaves these megaships are great for moving lots of cargo across oceans. The problem is once you get to your destination. Ocean carriers (and the financial institutions that bankroll them) aren’t paying for updated ports, increased dredging, new warehouses, highways and so on to accommodate these ships. That cost is getting off-loaded to the public, Stoller said.  Indeed, as Mercogliano pointed out, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey spent a whopping $1.7 billion to raise its Bayonne Bridge to accommodate the shipping scions’ new megaships — a cost that was paid by taxpayers, not ocean carriers or shippers.   A relatively uncrowded Port of Houston. Can’t it always be like this? One complex is remarkably adept at accommodating those ships: the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. As a result, it claims 40% of all U.S. seaborne imports. Before the U.S. saw historic imports in 2020 and onward, this system worked well enough. But over the past year, it’s been remarkably backed up, causing unprecedented supply chain crunches as importers struggled to offload their containers and load empty ones back on to make the trip back to Asia.  If these ships were not so giant, we likely wouldn’t see this kind of congestion. Ocean carriers could bring their normal-sized ships to other ports around the U.S. Stoller pushed for more competition among ocean carriers, which would perhaps mean more diverse types of ships.  “We have a lot of ports in this country but we don’t have enough ocean carrier firms,” Stoller said. “The ocean carrier firms’ boats are too big for most ports.” 3. They’re quietly the reason for the ocean carriers’ financial struggles. By engaging in the megaships “arms race,” ocean carriers really just played themselves.  One 2016 study by business advisory firm AlixPartners pointed out “the irony of megaships.” In 2016 and 2017, global ocean carrier capacity increased by 4.5% and 5.6%, respectively. But demand only upticked by 1% to 3% those years. The panic to build bigger and bigger ships resulted in depressed rates: Ironically, says the study, the resulting overcapacity — and corresponding negative effect on profits — is in part the result of the industry’s drive in recent years to correct its chronic supply-and-demand imbalance by building these more efficient but mammoth ships. Months after that report, the No. 6 largest container shipping company went bankrupt. Hanjin, which had ordered more and more megaships before its insolvency, was in $10.5 billion of debt.  By continually flooding the market with capacity, ocean carriers drove down their own shipping rates. That left them with crushing debt and no way to pay it back. COVID and the influx of trade helped many carriers pay off their massive liabilities, but the good times will eventually run out for these companies. Praise be! The megaship’s choke hold on our oceans appears to be loosening. Brilliantly, ocean carriers seem to be reading my mind and hastening the end of the Big Boat Era. Of the thousands of container ships in the pipeline for these next few years, the biggest category is ships ranging from 3,000 to 7,999 TEUs, according to a recent report from Clarkson Research.  As for deliveries scheduled or already made from this year to 2025, 53 are ships with a capacity of 17,000 TEUs or larger, compared to 230 ships with a capacity of 12,000 to 16,999 TEUs.  The Big Boat Era may finally be going away. Perhaps I shouldn’t speak so soon. One 2016 article in the Financial Times, covering a Drewry Shipping Consultants study, claimed that if ships reached 24,000 TEUs, the costs of running such a ship would overtake the profit made from being able to hold so many containers. That would mean losses for the ocean carrier. And yet, dear reader, shipping magnates have gone ahead with the 24,000-TEU ships: At least a dozen may be sailing as you read this. (Or perhaps, they’re waiting outside of the Port of Long Beach to be unloaded.)  Tyler Durden Fri, 05/20/2022 - 17:03.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytMay 20th, 2022

The 15 best Apple Arcade games that make a subscription worthwhile

Apple Arcade offers some of the best mobile games for $4.99 per month. Here are 15 games you should check out. Apple Arcade has a vast and expanding catalog of compelling games.Future Publishing/Getty Images Apple Arcade offers some of the best mobile games for $4.99 per month for iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and Mac. Games in Apple Arcade don't have ads or in-game purchases.  Here are 15 of the best games to check out if you are new to Apple Arcade. If you're in the market for new gameplay on your Apple devices, an Apple Arcade subscription is likely a worthwhile investment. What is Apple Arcade?Apple Arcade is a gaming subscription service that, for $4.99 a month, gives Apple users access to hundreds of curated, high-quality game titles, none of which have ads or additional purchases. You might consider Apple Arcade the antidote to typical mobile games, many of which lean into in-game ads, in-game purchases, and rudimentary gameplay. Apple Arcade isn't limited just to iPhone and iPad users, either; games can also be played on Apple TV and the Mac. In addition, the subscription can be shared between up to six people via Apple's Family Sharing feature. Here are 15 of the best games currently available with a subscription to Apple Arcade. Mini MotorwaysSort of like SimCity but focused exclusively on building roads, Mini Motorways challenges you to keep traffic moving as a city expands. You'll need to accommodate increasing color-coded traffic by laying down streets, bridges, traffic lights, and highways to turn a small town into a  metropolis. Somehow soothing and nail-biting at the same time. Build roads and manage traffic in Mini Motorways.Dave Johnson/InsiderMutazioneIf you're looking for a game that is more thoughtful than the typical arcade shooter or RPG adventure, Mutazione might be just what the doctor ordered. A charming, slow-paced 2D point-and-click adventure, it's heavy on dialog and story and light on action. You follow the adventure of a teenage girl who visits her sick grandfather, and interacts with a surreal cast of local characters to complete quests and unravel a mystery.Sneaky SasquatchSneaky Sasquatch reimagines Yogi Bear as Bigfoot, and you play the titular character as you dash around the great outdoors, hiding from humans while simultaneously stealing their food and performing simple quests. You can walk, run, hide in tents, break into homes to use the kitchen, drive golf carts to get around faster, and more. It's a fun and relaxing open-ended game that's like playing a goofy wildlife-themed version of Grand Theft Auto. Play out wacky Yogi Bear adventures as Bigfoot in Sneaky Sasquatch.Dave Johnson/InsiderWhat The Golf?Technically a golf title in perhaps the strictest sense, you don't have to love golf to enjoy this surreal title. What The Golf? may take place on the links and use familiar golfing mechanics to aim and power your shot, but it devolves into an acid trip universe of madness from there, with a crazy assortment of objects you need to get onto the green and an endless array of virtual gags that always one-up the craziness of the previous hole. You won't play it every day, but it's fun to pull out every once in a while when you need a break from reality. Oregon TrailThis is the official Oregon Trail game, a modern refresh of the famous educational title from the 1970s and onward. The Apple Arcade version has beautifully updated graphics, 15 playable adventures and a half-dozen new quests based on actual historical events. If you played the game as a kid, this version will feel familiar, but still has enough novelty to be entertaining. But the real joy should come from introducing it to your kids so they can experience history in the palm of their hands. Sayonara Wild HeartsSayonara Wild Hearts is a psychedelic techno rhythm-based arcade game in which you catch hearts while riding your skateboard, motorcycle or magical deer across astral highways. It's narrated by Queen Latifah and features a Tarot-themed plot, though that's not as important as the gorgeous visuals and addictive gameplay. Collect hearts and tarot cards as you race through mystic vistas in Sayonara Wild Hearts.Dave Johnson/InsiderCat Quest IIImagine a classic fantasy-world role-playing game populated with cats — that's Cat Quest in a nutshell. There are lands to explore, treasure chests to open, dogs to do combat with, and more. The game is utterly charming, packed with traditional hack-and-slash adventure with a dollop of kitty adorableness. You can play in story or arcade mode, solo or cooperative. Manifold GardenReminiscent of Portal, Manifold Garden is an addictive puzzle game that challenges you to solve elaborate puzzles. You can move, look, move objects, pull levers, and even manipulate gravity — you can choose which surface in a room is the floor, for example, by walking to a wall and resetting gravity. The game has a distinct M.C. Escher vibe, enhanced not just by the geometry of the spaces, but also by the ever-shifting logic you need to employ to solve the ever more challenging puzzles. Cut the Rope RemasteredA true classic mobile game, Cut the Rope has been re-released in eye-popping 3D. Like Angry Birds, Cut the Rope is built on a simple game mechanic — in this case, cut ropes with a swipe of the screen to release candy into the mouth of a waiting hungry creature. There's a puzzle in each challenge, as you try to maximize the number of stars you hit as the candy falls. Always a good way to kill a few minutes between meetings, this game belongs on everyone's phone.Some games are classics for a reason, like the charming puzzler Cut the Rope.Dave Johnson/InsiderAssemble With CareOne of the most entertaining puzzle games on any platform, Assemble With Care is a charming title that is more than it at first seems. You're tasked with fixing an assortment of gadgets — phones, watches, a music box, and so on — in a colorful animated interface. But the game has lovely narration which adds an extra layer of depth to every repair you perform, and the European setting is quaint and exotic at the same time. Perhaps the game's best attribute is its simplicity. None of the puzzles are especially hard, which means it's a nice diversion when you don't want to think hard enough to play Cut the Rope or Manifold Garden.FantasianWant to step inside an anime? Fantasian is perhaps the best of the Japanese RPGs you can play on your phone. The graphics are gorgeous, built from more than 150 real-world physical dioramas that were painstakingly photographed and enhanced to become the setting for the game. You play a hero with amnesia who slowly learns who he is as he quests with his robot cohorts and battles all manner of bad guys, but that's secondary to the hack-and-slash combat and delicious visuals. Galaga Wars+It's hard to exaggerate the impact that Galaga had on the early arcade game industry, and Galaga Wars+ brings the endless waves of insect-themed aliens to the smaller screen. The action is intense, the graphics are superb, and the gameplay is mindless (in a good way). And while there are a lot of similar mobile games out there, because this one is an Apple Arcade title, it doesn't demand in-page purchases to advance.Fight endless waves of insectoid aliens in Galaga Wars+.Dave Johnson/InsiderThe Pinball WizardWhile some pinball games pride themselves on photorealistic accuracy, The Pinball Wizard goes another way. And it borrows its name from The Who for a very good reason; your pinball machine is actually a dungeon, and the game requires you to fling an actual wizard around to do battle with monsters while you also collect coins and keys. There's a lot going on here, but it's also a fun and virtually endearing, low-stress arcade game that doesn't demand a lot from you aside from timing the bumpers properly. Really Bad Chess+A philosophical cousin to What The Golf?, Really Bad Chess starts the board with a random assortment of pieces. Rather than the traditional starting line, you might have four rooks, three queens or a handful of knights. The graphics aren't remarkable — it would be great if the top-down visuals didn't look like they came from a black and white newspaper in 1975, but this is the game for anyone with a passing interest in the game and a desire to know, "What if I had a whole front line of knights instead of pawns?" The game looks very flat but the chess scenarios are a blast in Really Bad Chess+.Dave Johnson/InsiderOverlandIf you're looking for a game that's a bit more serious — with a decidedly darker theme — then Overland might be just the ticket. This turn-based rogue-like adventure puts you in a post-apocalyptic wasteland where virtually every decision you make is life or death for your character. You can twist and turn the 3D environment to see it from every angle, inspect your surroundings, and take your car westward. The game is surprisingly tense, with a horror movie sense of urgency at every turn.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 20th, 2022

NATO beer with "taste of security" and "hint of freedom" released in Finland to mark move to join alliance

Finland and Sweden formally applied to join NATO this week. The moves were prompted by Russia's unprovoked war in Ukraine. Olaf Brewing Company in Savonlinna, eastern Finland, has brewed a special beer in honor of the Nordic country's NATO aspirations.Soila Puurtinen/Getty Images A Finnish brewery just released a NATO-themed beer to mark the country's moves to join the alliance. The brewery's CEO told the AP that the beer has "a taste of security, with a hint of freedom." Russia's war in Ukraine prompted Finland and Sweden to apply to join NATO.  A brewery in Finland has released a NATO-themed beer in celebration of the Scandinavian country's move to join the alliance, the Associated Press reported.The beer, brewed by Olaf Brewing Company, is called the OTAN lager. The name plays off of a Finnish expression for "I'll have a beer" and the French abbreviation for NATO ("OTAN"), the AP said. CEO Petteri Vanttinen told the AP that the beer has "a taste of security, with a hint of freedom," and that he was inspired to brew it by "worries over the war in Ukraine." The beer's can depicts a medieval night holding a beer and wearing armor that features the NATO symbol.Nato-branded OTAN beer cans produced by the Olaf Brewing Company are pictured in Savonlinna, eastern Finland, on May 17, 2022Photo by SOILA PUURTINEN/LEHTIKUVA/AFP via Getty ImagesFinland and its next-door neighbor Sweden formally applied for NATO membership on Wednesday, marking a historic break from decades of neutrality. The leaders of both Nordic countries have said that Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine prompted their rapid, dramatic shift toward joining the 73-year-old alliance.President Joe Biden endorsed Finland and Sweden's NATO bids at the White House on Thursday as he hosted Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson."In the face of aggression, NATO has not grown weaker or more divided. It has grown stronger, more united," Biden said from the Rose Garden alongside the two leaders, adding, "With Finland and Sweden's decision to request membership in NATO, it'll be enhanced for all time."Russian President Vladimir Putin has railed against NATO expansion for years, and in the lead-up to the war, he demanded that the West agree to ban Ukraine from ever joining the alliance. But NATO remained adamant that its open-door policy was non-negotiable. Instead of weakening NATO and preventing further expansion, Putin's war in Ukraine is poised to see the alliance bolster its ranks. The impending additions of Finland, which shares an 830-mile border with Russia, and neighboring Sweden to NATO is one of the many ways in which the conflict has backfired on the Kremlin. NATO enlargement requires unanimous agreement from all current members. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has expressed opposition to Finland and Sweden joining, but he has also hinted that he wants concessions on certain issues in order to offer his support.Finland's president addressed Turkey's concerns in remarks at the White House on Thursday. "Finland has always had proud and good bilateral relations to Turkey," Niinistö said. "As NATO allies, we will commit to Turkey's security, just as Turkey will commit to our security.""We are open to discussing all the concerns Turkey may have concerning our membership in an open and constructive manner," the Finnish leader went on to say.National security advisor Jake Sullivan on Wednesday told reporters that the White House is "confident that at the end of the day, Finland and Sweden will have an effective and efficient accession process." Sullivan said that Turkey's "concerns can be addressed."NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg on Thursday also expressed confidence Finland and Sweden would be welcomed into the alliance, despite Turkey's objections. "We are in close contact with Finland, Sweden and Turkey. We are addressing the concerns that Turkey has expressed," Stoltenberg told reporters during a visit to Copenhagen, per Reuters. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 19th, 2022

Progressive Democrats are claiming victory in 3 key House primaries and the establishment"s knives are out

Progressives claim victory in three key House races, which have yet to be called. Wins could give progressives much-needed momentum in the primaries. Summer Lee, a candidate for the US House in Pennsylvania, speaks at a rally.AP Photo/Rebecca Droke Progressive Democrats had a good night in Tuesday's primaries after losses earlier this year. Progressives are poised to win three important House primaries in Oregon and Pennsylvania. But a flood of outside spending to defeat them shows the stark divisions within the Democratic Party. Progressive Democrats caught a much-needed break on Tuesday night, after coming up short in an earlier spate of elections this cycle. The progressive left is claiming victory in three key House races in Oregon and Pennsylvania, though votes are still being tallied. Should their candidates prevail, it would give them momentum heading into a busy summer of primary elections, in which Democrats from across the party's ideological spectrum are fighting to ensure their side has the upper hand.The Democrats that surged ahead on Tuesday night "were unashamed in defining that they are progressive," said Kristal Knight, a Democratic strategist who's worked with candidates and political groups across the party's spectrum. "That has been something that has won many voters over, saying, 'This is where I stand, this is what I believe in, and this is the kind of Democrat I am.'"In Pennsylvania, state Rep. Summer Lee appears poised to defeat her more centrist opponent, Steve Irwin, to win the Democratic nomination for a seat representing the Pittsburgh area. The race has not yet been called, but Lee leads Irwin by 47% to 41% as of Wednesday morning. Progressives also celebrated John Fetterman's victory in the Pennsylvania Senate primary, though the candidate has tried to eschew labels like "progressive" or "centrist" on the trail.Decision Desk HQ results for the Democratic congressional primary in Pennsylvania's 12th DistrictInsider/DDHQMeanwhile in Oregon's 5th district, incumbent Rep. Kurt Schrader, a member of the centrist Blue Dog Democrats in Congress, trails progressive challenger Jamie McLeod-Skinner by about 20 percentage points.McLeod-Skinner ran a campaign that painted Schrader, a 13-year veteran of the House, as an out-of-touch establishment figure who had held up key parts of the Democrats' agenda. She won despite an infusion of support for Schrader from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and President Joe Biden himself.Decision Desk HQ results for the Democratic primary in Oregon's 6th DistrictInsider/DDHQOver in Oregon's 6th district, Decision Desk HQ and Insider are projecting state Rep. Andrea Salinas will win against well-funded political novice Carrick Flynn, who'd benefitted from the largesse of a cryptocurrency billionaire. Flynn also won support from the Democrats' House Majority PAC, effectively anointing him the establishment's preferred candidate. Meanwhile, Salinas had the support of Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, one of the standard bearers of the progressive movement. "I saw the power last night," said Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, who won his primary on Tuesday. "Voters said you better go out there and take on the special interests.""Democratic voters sent a clear message last night: we're done with putting people in Congress who sabotage our whole agenda," said progressive organizer Kai Newkirk, who singled out Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema for their votes against Biden's agenda items."Democrats want our representatives to at least be actual Democrats," Newkirk continued. "And the strong progressive credentials of Summer Lee, Fetterman, and McLeod-Skinner show there is real hunger among most Democrats for representatives who will fight to actually get big things done that make a real difference on the huge issues facing our democracy, our planet, and working class people."Jamie McLeod Skinner is running for Congress in Oregon's 5th district.AP Photo/Andrew Selsky, FileBut taken as a whole Tuesday night's primaries revealed a much deeper fissure within the Democratic Party.Earlier in May, incumbent Rep. Shontel Brown defeated former Bernie Sanders advisor Nina Turner for the second time in what had been billed as a showdown between centrist and progressive Democrats.Moderate Democrats succeeded in House races in Kentucky and North Carolina on Tuesday. And not everyone was thrilled at progressives' gains this week."It's just a shame, it really is," Manchin, a conservative West Virginia Democrat, told CNN of Schrader's loss. "Kurt is a good man. A really good man.""It's a really sad scenario when you lose people that are willing to work, to find solutions and not just retreat back to their corners," Manchin continued. "And that's why people are losing confidence in us being able to solve problems here in Congress."The progressives who performed well in Tuesday's primaries had to contend with millions of PAC dollars spent against them — and in support of Democratic candidates who identified as more centrist.Sen. Bernie Sanders, who endorsed Lee in Pennsylvania, praised her campaign and railed against the sheer amount of outside money that was spent to try to derail her.One PAC, the United Democracy Project, spent nearly $2 million to attack Lee and bolster Irwin in the final weeks of the race, the Washington Post reported. "Summer ran a brilliant campaign, a really strong campaign," Sanders told reporters at the Capitol. "I think without that super PAC money she probably would have won by 20 points. It was just a huge flood of money."Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., left, addresses the crowd as he endorses Pa. state Rep. Summer Lee.Rebecca Droke/AP PhotoOregon's 6th district became a textbook case of excessive political spending. It was the third most expensive House primary in the country to date, thanks to nearly $11 million in donations to Flynn that POLITICO traced back to cryptocurrency CEO Sam Bankman-Fried."What we know for certain is, there is infighting within the party," Knight told Insider. She did not see the party settling the issue anytime soon, but rather predicted the debate would continue to play out at the ballot box all year."Even in other races that will continue to pop up over the summer, these will be the defining questions for the Democrats," Knight continued. "Which side do you want to be on? Which side is going to be able to beat a Republican in November? And which side is going to vote with the President's agenda?"Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 19th, 2022

Are Putin And Xi "Gray Champions"? Part 1

Are Putin And Xi 'Gray Champions'? Part 1 Authored by Jim Quinn via The Burning Platform blog, “Long, long may it be, ere he comes again! His hour is one of darkness, and adversity, and peril. But should domestic tyranny oppress us, or the invader’s step pollute our soil, still may the Gray Champion come”  - Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Gray Champion “Who is this gray patriarch? That stately form, combining the leader and the saint…could only belong to some old champion of the righteous cause, whom the oppressor’s drum had summoned from his grave.”  - Nathaniel Hawthorne There is a misunderstanding regarding the Gray Champion of this Fourth Turning. The misunderstanding revolves around thinking there is only one Gray Champion, they are hugely popular, always do the right thing, and are universally admired for their leadership traits. Nothing could be further from the truth. In previous Fourth Turnings, there have always been multiple Gray Champions, often at war with each other, who were not popular or necessarily good men. What they always are is single-minded, tenacious, ruthless, and intent on winning at any cost. Their followers are inspired, and their enemies despise them. There is no middle ground when it comes to opinions about Gray Champions. They generally don’t fight the battles, but shape the strategy, inspire the troops, or mobilize the citizenry to action. The Awakening Prophet Generation firebrands during the American Revolution included Sam Adams and Ben Franklin. Adams organized and led the Boston Tea Party, lighting the fuse of revolution. Franklin provided the wisdom and guidance for the younger firebrands like John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. These Prophet Generation leaders were the inspirational lightning rods for a revolution where failure meant the gallows for them and their fellow rebels. This nation wouldn’t exist without the leadership of Adams and Franklin. Gray Champions during the Civil War Fourth Turning included Abraham Lincoln, William Tecumseh Sherman, Jefferson Davis, and Robert E. Lee. These four Transcendental Prophet Generation men were the driving force during the four-years of slaughter, where 700,000 men (10% of male population between the ages of 18 and 60) were killed in a brutal war of brother versus brother. The War Between the States certainly marked an hour of darkness, adversity, and peril. Lincoln rose from obscurity to lead the northern states in a scorched earth effort to suppress the Confederate states, greatly expanding the reach of the Federal government, instituting a mandatory draft, introducing an income tax, suspending the right to habeas corpus, and flaunting the Constitution when he deemed necessary. He did this without a mandate from the people, as he won the presidency in 1860 with only 39.8% of the popular vote, in a four-man race. He was determined to win the war at any cost. And his personal cost was bullet to the head and death before victory. Sherman was a take no prisoners general who implemented a new and far more violent form of war. He conducted war against soldiers and civilians alike, believing he could destroy the will of the enemy by using his terrible swift sword and wreaking destruction upon every city he passed through during his march to the sea. Ultimately, Grant and Sherman’s strategy of wearing down their opponents through superior manpower and armaments worked. Sherman is despised to this day by Southerners. Jefferson Davis had been a U.S. Senator prior to becoming president of the Confederate States of America. Just as the founding fathers would have been hung for treason if they had failed, Davis risked the same fate and ultimately spent a couple years in a federal prison after his defeat. His personality deficiencies and inability to convince Britain to support the Confederate cause, were a major factor in the South’s defeat. Meanwhile, the inspirational leadership of Robert E. Lee is probably the single biggest factor in the Confederacy lasting as long as it did. His daring, strategic brilliance, inspiring presence on the battlefield and tenaciousness won many improbable victories and even in defeat he escaped annihilation by his sheer guile and determination. It takes a certain type of man to give an order that will surely result in the deaths of thousands as he did on the 3rd day at Gettysburg, and Pickett made his fateful charge. At Antietam and Gettysburg his opponents could have destroyed his army and ended the war, but they were psychologically unable to do so, fearing Lee was setting a trap for them. His honorable surrender at Appomattox set a tone of reconciliation that helped bring the country back together as well as it could be done at that time. Lee is still considered an icon in the South, and the destruction of his statues by the low IQ ignorant BLM terrorists and their corrupt Democrat politician cucks is a disgrace to a great man and our rich history. The Great Depression/World War II Fourth Turning saw the Missionary Prophet Generation produce another four historical figures who will never be forgotten: Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Douglas MacArthur, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin. It is reasonable to say these men had immense egos, were ruthless in achieving their objectives, were more hated then loved, fought against all odds, committed criminal acts, and ultimately cooperated enough to attain victory in World War II. Roosevelt changed the country from rural to urban, implemented his New Deal that began the social welfare state, tried to stack the Supreme Court, and imprisoned Japanese citizens for being Japanese. FDR accumulated such dictatorial power during his four terms in office, Congress implemented a two-term limit on all future presidents. MacArthur disobeyed orders from his superiors when he decided his path was better. But his strategy in the Pacific proved effective and his humane reign while overseeing the occupation of Japan from 1945 until 1951 paved the way for democracy and stability in Asia. Churchill had many more failures than successes during his life in the military, government office and politics, before ascending to prime minister at a point of maximum peril for the UK. A lesser man probably would have sued for peace, as his troops were cornered at Dunkirk and bombs obliterated London on a nightly basis. His inspirational speeches kept the spirits of his people up, and once Hitler turned his attention towards Russia, Churchill was able to focus on prodding FDR for help and angling to get the U.S. into the war. Churchill was cruel and ruthless when it came to fighting the war. He, along with FDR, decided firebombing Dresden and other German cities was a valid tactic in winning the war. Lying to allies in order to achieve his aims was a common occurrence by Churchill, but he also saw Stalin for who he really was, and immediately realized the Soviets would not be allies after the war was won. His own people booted him out of office at the war’s end, showing he wasn’t loved. Essentially, Churchill oversaw the last days of the British Empire. Despite being a psychopath who murdered and starved in excess of 1 million of his citizens during the 1930s, Joseph Stalin was a Gray Champion during the last Fourth Turning. He was a dictator who bore the brunt of Hitler’s armed forces and ultimately repelled the Germans and had his armies take Berlin. Generals who failed were executed. His sheer willpower and unwillingness to admit defeat were essential to achieving victory in World War II. He bullied and prodded his allies – FDR and Churchill – to open a second front and provide him with tanks and arms to defeat the Germans. He never considered himself a friend of the UK or US. They were useful pawns to help him achieve victory. He was an evil man running a despotic regime who became an immediate enemy upon victory in 1945. He is the ultimate example of a Gray Champion not being a noble, moral, well-liked person. Anyone with a true grasp of history would acknowledge all these men had monumental personality defects, huge egos, a determination to win by any means necessary (including breaking the law and flaunting the Constitution), and ability to mobilize forces to accomplish their goals. Their names and deeds are in the history books. Hundreds of biographies have been written about each, trying to capture their true essence. But one thing is certain. They fought for what they believed, shaped the future of their countries, didn’t back down from taking responsibility and making tough decisions, and sent millions to their deaths by their actions. Gray Champions are not wallflowers, quiet, or unassuming. They lead. They are willing to act, make decisions and fail or succeed on their own merits. When the Prophet archetype arrives at old age, it heralds a new constellation of generations, which happens every 80 years – marking the arrival of another Fourth Turning. As we are propelled through the fourteenth year of this Fourth Turning, Gray Champions have arrived on the scene and are propelling us towards a frightful climax, which will happen within the next several years. The intensification is being driven by these figures, who will ultimately be judged in history books based upon their success or failure in leading their nations through this Crisis period. Anyone who can’t see the world being pushed towards the brink of world war and on the verge of economic collapse, is either willfully ignorant, too dumbed down and distracted by their electronic bread and circuses, or just focused on profiting from war, chaos, and destruction. Neil Howe, one of the authors of The Fourth Turning, made a statement in January 2021 which clarified for me those who currently fit the mold of a Gray Champion. “Gray champions are made, not born. The persona of a gray champion is to focus on one big thing, not 17 little things.” As this Fourth Turning was ignited by the 2008 financial collapse, brought about by Wall Street bankers, Ben Bernanke and his central banker co-conspirators, corrupt politicians, and feckless government apparatchiks, I was trying to seek out the Gray Champion who would lead the country through this Crisis. I realize now, my view was too narrow. There seems to be multiple Gray Champions with differing agendas, often at conflict with the agendas of other Gray Champions and leading the world into a global conflict. Their one commonality is they are all Boomer Generation Prophets, with a single-minded ambition to lead their followers down the path they are sure will attain success for themselves and their followers. But we know for sure, some will lose and possibly all will lose if one or more is reckless enough to initiate nuclear Armageddon. With his improbable 2016 election I thought Trump might be the single Gray Champion, acting as a lightning rod for the conflict which always arises during a Fourth Turning. I now realize there are several Prophet Generation leaders who are leading competing factions both domestically and internationally. Even though Trump was removed from office in an ultimately successful Deep State coup in 2020, he continues to have a huge following, drawing massive crowds at rallies, and giving every indication he intends to run for president again in 2024. There is a major segment of the population which will follow him anywhere he leads. He most certainly is a Gray Champion, whose Deep State sanctioned adversary Hillary Clinton, also fits the mold of Gray Champion – albeit an evil she-devil Gray Champion intent on destroying what remains of civil society in America while instigating Russia into a world war. As a main figure in the plot to overthrow the man who defeated her in 2016, she continues to throw bombs and insinuate she might run again in 2024, as the dementia ridden pathetic shell of a corrupt politician Biden will be lucky to live until 2024 and the low IQ cackling hyena of a vice president will be cast aside by the Deep State as unelectable. Clinton has ratcheted up the war rhetoric and will always have the left-wing pussy hat wearing lunatic fringe as her base. She is a dangerous, vile human being, but so was Stalin. Being a malevolent hateful shrew does not disqualify you from being a Gray Champion during a Fourth Turning. She will attempt to rally her malicious forces of wickedness, with the full support of her Deep State puppet-masters and lapdog compliant corporate legacy media, to accelerate our downward spiral into a techno-communist, globally controlled, dystopian hellscape. This Fourth Turning will not end well if she and her globalist billionaire cronies emerge victorious. Another globalist billionaire, who cavorted with and did business with convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, did not appear on my radar as a Gray Champion until he, Klaus Schwab, Fauci, Big Pharma, and the bought off medical industrial complex, created a worldwide pandemic using a Wuhan lab produced flu with a 99.7% survival rate. Bill Gates, a software geek who fancies himself a medical expert, used his immense wealth to push for the mandatory injection of an untested, unproven, dangerous, DNA altering gene therapy created by criminal pharmaceutical firms, into the bodies of everyone on earth. Gates has funded the vaccine propaganda campaign and funnels millions to the mainstream media to push falsehoods about the safety and effectiveness of these toxic concoctions. He has inexplicably bought up farmland, while promoting bugs as a future food source for the unwashed masses. He is a major player in the Great Reset Build Back Better WEF demonic plan to enslave the masses in poverty in a techno-gulag where we will own nothing and told to be happy, or else. He and his fellow pedophile satanic billionaire cultists will own everything and be really happy. His investments in vaccines, farmland, and the media most certainly makes his motivations suspect. His immediate negative reaction to Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter reveals his authoritarian censorship principles and belief he and his small cohort of wealthy totalitarian oligarchs should be the arbiters of truth and gatekeepers of what the plebs can say on social media. Suppression of those voicing dissent from the approved State narrative is essential for Gates and his ilk in propagandizing the ignorant masses. The first amendment and the Constitution are nothing more than annoyances to men like Gates who can buy and sell the world to implement their warped agenda. Like Clinton, if this Gray Champion succeeds, the people of this world will never recover their liberties and freedoms. This brings us to two men who weren’t in my thought process during the first thirteen years of this Crisis as potential Gray Champions. I suffer the same myopia as many others, viewing the world through the lens of living within the American Empire. Of course, America is no longer the shining city on the hill, if it ever was. We have been an empire since 1945, forged in war and sustained through currency dominance, intimidation, and bribing others to do as they are told. It seems both Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping are from the Boomer Prophet Generation and may be playing the dominant roles in the denouement of this increasingly violent Fourth Turning. As I’ve stated previously, there are no unequivocal good guys who can be counted upon to do what is in your best interest. These Gray Champions have immense egos, grand visions of worldly achievements and often a lack of self-awareness. They all believe their actions are morally right and guided by a higher authority. Living within the echo chamber of a declining empire drowning in debt and flailing about wildly as its last vestiges of military and economic domination crumble, makes it difficult to understand how the rest of the world views the big bully on the block getting his comeuppance. Those pulling the strings behind the scenes, who installed a doddering, decrepit gaffe machine in the oval office as their Trojan horse, anticipated using this pliable dupe to initiate the final destruction of a nation originally built on agreed upon community standards, a strong work ethic, thrift, religious freedom, self-reliance, and a spirit of independence and freedom. I don’t think they anticipated the pathetic weakness displayed by this ancient fossil, which has empowered Putin and Xi to take advantage of his frailty and intellectual decline. The question must be asked. Would Putin have invaded Ukraine if Trump was still president? Putin, as the evil Hitler demagogue character, portrayed by the Deep State controlled mass media mouthpieces, is entirely false. The characterization of Putin’s Operation Z as unprovoked and initiated as part of his plan to take over Eastern Europe is a canard, and the U.S. military and political operatives know it. Putin didn’t invade on a whim. His intelligence agency showed him proof the Ukraine was going to launch a NATO backed offensive against the Russian backed rebels in Donbas. Putin called their bluff and derailed their plans. This entire Ukrainian charade, where Pelosi, Schiff, Boris Johnson, Trudeau, Bono and now Jill Biden drop into a “dangerous hot war zone” for photo ops and a virtue signaling meetings with the U.S. puppet president B level actor/comedian Zelensky is a propaganda farce. I’m waiting for a “We Are the World” concert to break out at any moment. The entire narrative surrounding the conflict in the Ukraine, pushed by Biden, Soros, NATO, and their obedient media lackeys, is knowingly fabricated and built upon misinformation. The CIA Soros funded coup against the democratically elected president in 2014 set this entire farce in motion. No Ukrainians were being killed before the U.S. coup. Now we are using the Ukrainian people as cannon fodder in our proxy war against Russia. Putin has also uncovered the secret biological weapons labs the U.S. has been funding in the Ukraine. No wonder the extreme reaction by Biden, Nuland, and the rest of his neo-con lackeys. It has been U.S. and NATO provocation which has forced Putin’s hand since the 2014 coup. His annexation of Crimea and military support for Russian friendly rebels in Donbas were reactions to the blatant U.S. incitement in their sphere of influence. NATO, completely under the control of the U.S. Empire, has steadily pushed eastward towards Russia since agreeing in 1990 to not do so. The U.S. purposely told Zelensky to act as if the Ukraine was going to seek NATO membership. Zelensky and his Ukraine Nazi forces have been bombing Russian speaking civilians since 2014 and were planning a major offensive in Donbas which Putin pre-empted with his attack. It has been the U.S. led NATO and Ukraine instigating Putin. They continue to do so, with Finland and Sweden being incentivized to join NATO by the U.S.  “Not an inch of NATO’s present military jurisdiction will spread in an eastern direction.”  - Memorandum of conversation between Mikhail Gorbachev and James Baker in Moscow, Feb 9, 1990 Vladimir Putin, a serious man, rising to the highest levels of the KGB, tenacious in accomplishing his agenda, and a nationalist at heart, cannot be intimidated by the likes of a feeble-minded pervert like Biden or any of the EU lackeys taking their orders from the U.S. Empire. Do you think he will be cowed by empty threats from a babbling Biden, cackling Kamala, effeminate Blinken, or gay pride promoting Austin? The U.S. propaganda machine continuously flogs the narrative of Ukraine winning, while Russians commit atrocities. Both are blatant falsities. As a Gray Champion, Putin understands victory goes to the one who refuses to back down or admit defeat when facing adversity. In Part 2 of this article, I will examine the traits of Putin and Xi which will make them the dominant Gray Champions during the final years of this Fourth Turning, and possibly the final years of modern life on this planet. *  *  * 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, 05/16/2022 - 16:25.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeMay 16th, 2022