Advertisements



Don"t Believe The Democrats" "Medical Bankruptcy" Narrative

Don't Believe The Democrats' "Medical Bankruptcy" Narrative Authored by Sally C. Pipes via RealClear Health (emphasis ours), Americans collectively have about $140 billion in outstanding medical debts, according to a recent study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association. Alyssa Keown/Battle Creek Enquirer via AP Those hefty bills are driving many people into bankruptcy – at least according to prominent progressives. Left-wing leaders have long stoked fears of "medical bankruptcy" to boost support for government-run, single-payer healthcare. During his last run for president, Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., declared that enormous medical bills force a staggering 500,000 people to declare bankruptcy each year – a fact that, if true, would justify drastic reforms to the healthcare system. But the dystopian portrait painted by Sanders and his allies doesn't reflect reality. Medical bills can certainly be onerous to many families. But they're rarely the sole, or even the main, cause of personal bankruptcies. Sanders based his numbers on a 2019 editorial published by the American Journal of Public Health. The authors conducted a study in which about two-thirds of the 700,000 debtors surveyed said medical expenses contributed "somewhat" or "very much" to their bankruptcy. That's not exactly a direct, causal relationship. A more accurate conclusion would be that medical expenses played a role in families' deteriorating finances. Often, the main cause of bankruptcy isn't a surge in debt – it's a precipitous drop in income. Someone diagnosed with cancer may certainly face burdensome medical bills. But the far bigger threat to one's finances comes from no longer being able to work full-time – or at all – during a treatment regimen. Other research confirms that healthcare bills alone rarely drive people into bankruptcy. A 2018 study in the New England Journal of Medicine analyzed the percentage of people with medical bills who went bankrupt, rather than how many bankruptcy filings included some level of medical debt. The study concluded that medical bankruptcies, specifically those caused by hospitalization, make up just 4% of all bankruptcies. Facts like these haven't slowed the push for single payer. Representative Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, seized upon the JAMA study's $140 billion statistic soon after it was published, tweeting that the solution was Medicare for All. The thinking goes that enrolling most Americans in a fully government-run healthcare system funded by tax dollars – rather than the current mix of public and private money – will prevent people from going bankrupt. But once again, the math doesn't check out. Government-sponsored, single-payer healthcare isn’t "free." It’s funded by enormous, broad-based taxes on businesses and workers alike. Those taxes constrain economic growth and, by definition, leave people with less cash on hand to meet their other financial obligations. Consider Canada, which has a single-payer system revered by American progressives. A family making the average income of 75,300 Canadian dollars – about US$59,700 – pays $6,500 in taxes just to cover its share of the national health insurance tab, according to a September 2021 report from the Fraser Institute, a Canadian think tank. An average family of four pays an estimated $15,039 in healthcare taxes. Those figures are on top of all the other taxes Canadians pay to support everything from education to national defense. Canadians pay a higher share of their total compensation to the government than Americans, according to OECD data. That explains, in part, why Canadians declare bankruptcy at higher rates than their U.S. counterparts. In 2019 – the year before the pandemic and its ensuing flood of stimulus programs caused a marked decrease in bankruptcies in both countries – about 137,000 Canadians sought protection from insolvency, out of a total population of almost 38 million, a rate of 3.6 bankruptcies per 1,000 residents. That same year, slightly more than 770,000 Americans declared bankruptcy, out of a total population of 329 million at the time – a rate of 2.3 bankruptcies per 1,000 residents. Medical bills don't cause nearly as many bankruptcies as progressive lawmakers want people to believe. And single payer certainly wouldn't prevent people from going insolvent. Sally C. Pipes is President, CEO, and Thomas W. Smith Fellow in Healthcare Policy at the Pacific Research Institute. Her latest book is False Premise, False Promise: The Disastrous Reality of Medicare for All (Encounter 2020). Follow her on Twitter @sallypipes. Tyler Durden Sat, 01/22/2022 - 20:20.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYTJan 22nd, 2022Related News

"Smart" Gun Mocked After Demonstration Fail

"Smart" Gun Mocked After Demonstration Fail.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYTJan 22nd, 2022Related News

Majority Of Millennials, Gen Zers Want Limits On Abortion; New Poll Finds

Majority Of Millennials, Gen Zers Want Limits On Abortion; New Poll Finds  Authored by Kristan Hawkins via RealClear Politics (emphasis ours), By the time the midterm elections take place, targeted campaign ads and outreach will have littered the virtual American landscape, as politicians attempt to persuade voters that they have something to offer. In today’s partisan setting, abortion will be one of the issues raised. While the pro-life position once encompassed people of all political persuasions, the two parties today generally stand as polar opposites, making a new poll on the views of almost one-third of the electorate important news for the army of campaign consultants gearing up to make their pitch. AP Photo/Andrew Harnik Far from being pro-abortion/straight-ticket voters without nuance, Millennials and Gen Zers share concerns about the extremes of abortion. They also desire to have a voice and a vote on life, and thoroughly reject the reckless and deadly policy pursued by the Biden administration and its corporate abortion allies on chemical abortion pills, according to a poll taken in early January and reported by Students for Life of America’s Demetree Institute for Pro-Life Advancement. Consider Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that almost 50 years ago stripped abortion policy away from the states, setting up almost limitless abortion and making ordinary political engagement almost impossible. An extraordinary 8 in 10 Millennials and Gen Zers want to vote on abortion policy, up from 66% in 2021, while 3 out of 4 want limits on abortion and 4 in 10 want either no abortion or abortion only for the traditional exceptions – in cases of rape, incest, or when the mother’s life is in danger. On taxpayer-funded abortion, a top policy position of the Democrat-controlled White House, Senate and House, 55% opposed using those resources to pay for abortions worldwide, and 54% support Hyde Amendment protections that limit taxpayer funding of abortion to the exceptions. Education is key in working with these voters, which is the central mission of SFLA’s in-person, 50-state operation. A 10-percentage point shift in Millennial and Gen Z views on Roe, from positive to negative, took place after respondents learned more about its impact. For example, almost 6 in 10 opposed Roe after learning that it allows for abortion through all nine months of pregnancy. All of this means that if Roe becomes a historical footnote and the issue of abortion is returned to the states – possibly through the Dobbs v. Jackson case under consideration now – that’s a positive for most voters. In fact, the poll found that 65% of Millennials and Gen Zers oppose people in power deciding who is fully human and deserving of legal rights. But the biggest news comes from Millennial and Gen Z’s response to cutting-edge policy being discussed at the state level, from chemical abortion pill limits to “heartbeat” legislation. In fact, more than half of Millennials and Gen Zers would support a limit on abortion after a preborn baby’s heartbeat is detected. The poll also shows that the real losers in the abortion policy debate of our day are those pushing no-test, online sale of chemical pills, which can lead to injury, infertility and even death for the women taking them, as well as the obvious termination of the baby’s life. Recently, Biden’s FDA drastically reduced health and safety standards for chemical abortion pills, and the president nominated Dr. Robert Califf to be commissioner of the agency, a role he held during the Obama administration – when he also weakened standards. This appointment will further expose women to the drugs’ risks. Califf joins HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, who took legal action against the FDA during the Trump administration, forcing it to drop health and safety standards for the pills. This is leading to a state-by-state push for health and safety standards. The new poll examined Millennial and Gen Z views on the separate harms women are now exposed to as a result of this deadly shift in policy. The Biden administration supports none of these protections in its new FDA-approved protocols. More than 6 in 10 opposed no-test, online distribution of chemical abortion pills, with strong support for each of the screenings and protocols once in place. More than 6 in 10 support screening for a mother’s blood type, as Rh-negative women (15% of the population) can become sterile if not treated properly; 59% supported an ultrasound exam before selling the pills to prevent death from complication from an ectopic or late-term pregnancy; and 62% supported required follow-up exams so women didn't die from infection. Concern for women in dangerous situations motivated Millennial and Gen Z voters: 65% supported in-person purchase to prevent abusers or sex traffickers from using the drugs against women without their knowledge and consent, while almost 6 in 10 opposed young girls being left alone with an abortion sales team or coercive sexual partner without adult engagement from a judge, parent or guardian. And for politicians looking for a winning issue, consider this: Almost 7 in 10 Millennials and Gen Zers said they are more likely to vote for a politician who supports health and safety standards for chemical abortion. There is common ground to be found on the abortion issue for people of all parties, beginning with putting the opinions and needs of “We the People” over a handful of judges. Once Roe is gone, a long overdue debate will truly begin. Kristan Hawkins is president of Students for Life of America, with more than 1,225 chapters on college and high school  campuses in all 50 states. Follow her @KristanHawkins or subscribe to her podcast, "Explicitly Pro-Life." Tyler Durden Sat, 01/22/2022 - 21:00.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYTJan 22nd, 2022Related News

1 Cop Killed, 2 Critically Wounded In Harlem Shooting

1 Cop Killed, 2 Critically Wounded In Harlem Shooting NYC Mayor Eric Adams is off to a rocky start to his four-year term at Gracie Mansion. Two weeks after 17 were killed (including 8 children, according to the mayor's revised numbers) in a disastrous fire in a Bronx high rise, the deadliest fire the city had seen in decades, Adams is facing a rash of police-involved shootings, including one incident Friday that left one cop dead and two others critically wounded. It's the latest development in a crime wave that has been worsening across the US, with NYC seeing violent crime surge to levels unseen in years. The news was reported Saturday afternoon by the New York Times. The shooting occurred in Harlem, where the officers were responding to a domestic violence call, according to the report. The shooter opened fire on them while inside the apartment. Source: NYT Police initially erroneously said that two cops had died, but later revised the total to 1. The shooter was shot in the head and is in critical condition. The office killed was Jason Rivera, 22, who joined the department in 2020. Police Commission Keechant Sewell addressed the media during a press briefing outside the hospital where the two wounded cops had been taken, the NYT reports. Speaking at a news conference at the hospital where the two officers were taken after being shot, Keechant Sewell, the police commissioner, described Officer Rivera as a “son, husband, officer and friend” who had been “killed because he did what we asked him to do." "I’m struggling to find the words to express the tragedy we are enduring," said Ms. Sewell, her voice rising in anger. Like the man who hired her, Mayor Eric Adams, she began her job overseeing the largest police force in the United States this month. "We’re mourning, and we’re angry," she added. Mayor Adams had been in the Bronx earlier attending a vigil for a baby who had been shot in the face with a stray bullet Wednesday night, another high-profile crime that drew intense media attention. "This was just not an attack on three brave officers," he said. "This was an attack on the City of New York” and “an attack on the children and families of this city," Adams said at the news conference." Even the NYT acknowledged that the stream of major crimes had "tested" Adams' pledge to tackle the resurgent crime problem in the city, a major piece of his successful primary campaign in a city beset by more progressive candidates vying for the spotlight. During the briefing, the NYPD's chief of detectives delivered a breakdown of the incident that led to the fatal shooting. Around 6:30 p.m. on Friday, three officers from the 32nd Precinct answered a 911 call from a woman who said she was fighting with her son. When the officers arrived at the apartment, they were met by the woman and a second son. There was no indication from the 911 call, officials said, that there were weapons in the apartment. The woman told the officers that the son she had been fighting with was in a back bedroom at the end of a long, narrow hallway. As officers Mora and Rivera approached the bedroom, the door swung open and Mr. McNeil began firing. After shooting the two officers, Mr. McNeil tried to leave the apartment and was shot by the third officer, whose name has not been released. Mr. McNeil, 47, was on probation after being arrested in New York on a felony drug charge around 2003, officials said. He also had four arrests in other states, all more than a decade ago. Unfortunately this isn't the only cop shooting to happen recently. Friday's shooting brings the total number of NYPD officers shot since the start of 2022 to 5; 4 were shot, with the first cop shooting taking place just hours into the New Year. Another officer was shot on Tuesday, meaning four cops have now been shot in the span of 72 hours. And progressive DAs want to let more violent criminals out of prison. Tyler Durden Sat, 01/22/2022 - 16:00.....»»

Category: worldSource: NYTJan 22nd, 2022Related News

Bulls & Bears Collide In Crypto-Land: Hot-Hands Versus HODLers

Bulls & Bears Collide In Crypto-Land: Hot-Hands Versus HODLers Bears are on the hunt for Bitcoin HODLers profits, whilst supply dynamics approach a new equilibrium, and derivative markets remain heated... Amid the "fear and panic" in the crypto markets, as Bitcoin drops 50% from all-time-highs, Glassnode.com's 'Permabull Nino'  details the current uncertainty that overhangs the Bitcoin market, and the psychology of its participants attempting to regain their footing in the following areas: HODLer profits sitting at key historical levels, and the overall observable investor response Zoomed out supply dynamics and spending behavior among short-term and long-term holders, and what it indicates about investor sentiment in the medium to long term Derivative activity, and what it can imply about shorter term expectations towards Bitcoin price action HODLers Profits Under Siege The Bitcoin price is currently trading down ~50% from the ATH set in November 2021. As the drawdown worsens, an increasingly significant volume of BTC supply has fallen into an unrealized loss. Approximately 5.7 million BTC are now underwater (~30% of circulating supply). As the bears apply pressure to the in-profit cohort of holders, Bitcoin bulls are defending a historically significant level of the Percent of Supply in Profit metric. This magnitude of 'top heavy supply' was defended in two instances in the last few years: May 2020 - July 2020, the quiet recovery period following the extreme move downwards from Covid-related panic. May 2021 - July 2021, the choppy and accumulative period following a historical deleveraging event. The reaction from this level will likely provide insight into the medium term direction of the Bitcoin market. Further weakness may motivate these underwater sellers to finally capitulate, whereas a strong bullish impulse may offer much needed psychological relief, and put more coins back into an unrealized profit. Live Chart We can establish an appreciation of market-wide psychology by observing who is parting ways with their coins, and why and when these spends are taking place. The Percent of Transfer Volume in Profit chart displays the proportion of coins spent on-chain that were last moved at lower prices, as a gauge for macro fear and greed. Percent of Transfer Volume in Profit > 65% signals that a large amount of coins are being spent in profit. This historically occurs during bullish impulses, as holders take advantage of market strength. Percent of Transfer Volume in Profit < 40% signals that on-chain volumes are dominated by coins acquired at higher prices. This historically occurs in market downtrends and especially capitulation events. The sell-off this week saw less than 40% of spent volume in profit, reaching levels that historically coincide with capitulation events. Past instances at this level have preceded a bullish reversal, and a period of general risk-on behaviour. Live Chart The low levels of profitable coin spends is also evident in the Realized Profit chart, which shows the profitability of BTC moved, on a USD basis. In-profit holders are displaying a notable unwillingness to spend coins, with consistent Realized Profit values below $1 Billion/day. In the face of tumultuous and unconvincing price action, this signals that this cohort of holders are patiently waiting for higher prices to spend their respective supply. Climbing realized profits, especially above the $1 Billion level and accompanied by positive price performance, signals demand absorption of coins, and is a metric to watch in the coming weeks. Live Chart Meanwhile, Realized Losses remain elevated and trending higher, as underwater holders spend coins that were acquired near the market top through October and November. On average, daily Realized Loss values are ~$750 Million/day, behavior that is comparable to the May - July 2021 capitulation lows. The consistency of large loss realization events is indicative of uneasiness within the market, however also reflects an estimate of demand inflows to absorb these spent coins. Sustained periods of large realized loss does put the onus on the bulls to prove sufficient demand support. A macro decline in realized loss values would be a more encouraging signal for the bulls, as it provides an early indication of sell-side exhaustion. Live Chart The stalemate at play between price action, Realized Profits, and Realized Losses is visible in the 28-day Market Realized Gradient (MRG), which compares the momentum in Market Cap (speculative value) versus the Realized Cap (real capital inflows). Positive values signal that a bull trend is in tact, and upwards momentum in spot markets is growing. Negative values signal that a bear trend is in play, and momentum favors the bears. Large values signal that Bitcoin is possibly overbought (positive) or oversold (negative), as market valuation deviates from more fundamental capital inflows or outflows, respectively. The MRG trend and values indicate that current market pricing is nearing a point of equilibrium with capital inflows, with a month's long bullish divergence developing. A firm break above zero would signal a bullish reversal is in play, whilst a break down would suggest momentum is accelerating to the downside. Live Workbench Chart Cohorts and Psychology We can also analyse the psychology and spending behaviour of both Short-Term Holders (STH) and Long-Term Holders (LTH) by looking at changes in their respective Realized Caps and supply dynamics. The following metric is calculated as the difference between the daily change of LTH and STH realized caps. Interpretation is as follows: Negative Values (red) signal that the STH Realized Cap is increasing more on a daily basis than the LTH Realized Cap. This occurs during bull runs when long term holders distribute supply into new holders. Positive Values (green) signal that the LTH Realized Cap is increasing more on a daily basis than the STH Realized Cap, which occurs during bearish accumulation markets as STH activity decreases, and unspent coins mature into the LTH cohort. Values currently sit near zero with a general trend to the upside, indicative of a softening of distribution by LTHs, the market reaching a new equilibrium, and a potential reversal into accumulation. Note however, that the process of establishing similar market equilibrium and possible macro bottoms has historically taken several months to resolve. Live Workbench Chart The modest distribution of coins from LTHs to STHs is reflected in the Total Supply Held metric, as the net volume of coins held by the STH cohort has increased in recent months. The supply held by this cohort sits at ~3 Million BTC, a relative historical low, and a level that signifies a transition into a HODLer dominated market. This has been in effect since the May 2021 deleveraging event. Low STH supply levels are typical of bearish trends, as old coins remain dormant, and younger coins are slowly accumulated by high conviction buyers. Live Chart Next we turn to the Realized Cap HODL Waves, which reflects the breakdown of the Realized Cap by coin age, and cost basis. The chart below has been filtered for coins younger than 3 months to further highlight the forces at play within the shorter term holder cohort. Generally speaking, lower values in this metric speak to a bearish trend where old coins are dormant, and young coins are gradually accumulated and taken off market. At present, around 40% of the Realized Cap is held in coins under 3mths old, owned by buyers entering near the market top, or during the present correction. The 1-3m band is expanding and a constructive view would see these coins continue to mature into the 3m+ band, creating a net decline in young coins. A more bearish observation would be if older coins start being spent, causing these bands to swell, and signifying an additional influx of liquid supply that must be absorbed. Live Chart Derivatives Fireworks on the Horizon Amidst downwards pressure in Bitcoin holder profitability but yet favorable medium to long term supply dynamics, futures markets remain a powder keg for short term volatility with Perpetual Futures Open Interest at ~250k BTC - a historically elevated level. Since April 2021, this has paired with large pivots in price action as the risk for a short or long squeeze increases, resolved in market wide deleveraging events. Live Chart Alongside high open interest, funding rates this week moved into negative territory, indicating that shorts were increasingly hungry for leverage. As perpetual swap markets were pushed below spot prices, it does add further bias towards a potential oversupply of short positions in close proximity to the current price. Live Chart In addition to large outstanding open interest, and negative funding rates, trading volume continues to drip lower, currently around $30B per day. This is coincident with levels in December 2020, and reflects a marked reduction from the 2021 bull market highs, hitting well above $70B/day. Should a deleveraging event occur, thinner trading volumes may accentuate the impact. Live Chart As Open Interest continues charging for a big move, funding rates drop, and futures volumes contract, Crypto-Margined Open Interest continues its march downwards versus Cash-Margined Open Interest. With only 40% of Open Interest sitting in Crypto-Margined products and in a convincing downtrend since May 2021, Cash-Margined Futures data becomes increasingly higher signal and worthy of more market participants' attention. Note that this trend is primarily driven by a relative reduction in crypto-margin on Binance, Bybit, Huobi and OKEx exchanges. Live Chart In summary, there is evidence that the market is reaching some form of price and momentum equilibrium, within what is a broader bearish market structure. Bitcoin bears certainly have the upper hand, however modest bullish divergences are appearing across a number of on-chain metrics and indicators. Coupled with elevated future open interest, and a bias that appears to be a short heavy market, a risk of a deleveraging to the upside remains on the table. Tyler Durden Sat, 01/22/2022 - 16:30.....»»

Category: worldSource: NYTJan 22nd, 2022Related News

Saudis Bomb Youth Soccer Field & A Prison In Yemen, Over 200 Killed

Saudis Bomb Youth Soccer Field & A Prison In Yemen, Over 200 Killed.....»»

Category: personnelSource: NYTJan 22nd, 2022Related News

US Embassy In Ukraine Shows Off First Biden "Lethal Aid" Shipments To Arrive

US Embassy In Ukraine Shows Off First Biden "Lethal Aid" Shipments To Arrive.....»»

Category: personnelSource: NYTJan 22nd, 2022Related News

The Three Types of US-Led Regime Change

The Three Types of US-Led Regime Change Authored by Joe Lauria via Consortium News, Throughout the long, documented history of the United States illegally overthrowing governments of foreign lands to build a global empire there has emerged three ways Washington broadly carries out "regime change." From Above. If the targeted leader has been democratically elected and enjoys popular support, the CIA has worked with elite groups, such as the military, to overthrow him (sometimes through assassination).  Among several examples is the first CIA-backed coup d’état, on March 30, 1949,  just 18 months after the agency’s founding, when Syrian Army Colonel Husni al-Za’im overthrew the elected president, Shukri al-Quwatli.  The CIA in 1954 toppled the elected President Jacobo Árbenz of Guatemala, who was replaced with a military dictator. In 1961, just three days before the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy, who favored his release, Congolese President Patrice Lumumba was assassinated with CIA assistance, bringing military strongman Mobutu Sese Seko to power.  In 1973, the US backed Chilean General Augusto Pinochet to overthrow and kill the democratically-elected, socialist President Salvador Allende, setting up a military dictatorship, one of many U.S.-installed military dictatorships of that era in Latin America under Operation Condor.  Chilean presidential palace during U.S.-backed coup, Sept. 11, 1973. (Library of the Chilean National Congress/Wikipedia) From Below. If the targeted government faces genuine popular unrest, the U.S. will foment and organize it to topple the leader, elected or otherwise. 1958-59 anti-communist protests in Kerala, India, locally supported by the Congress Party and the Catholic Church, were funded by the CIA, leading to the removal of the elected communist government. The 1953 coup in Iran that overthrew the democratically-elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh was a combination of bottom-up CIA (and MI-6)-backed street protests, and top-down conservative clergy and military to destroy democracy and return a monarch to the throne. The US-backed Ukrainian coup of 2014 is the latest example of the US working with genuine popular dissent to help organize and steer the overthrow, in this case, of an OSCE-certified elected president.  Through Military Intervention.  If a coup is not feasible, the US turns to indirect or direct military intervention. One of earliest examples was the US expeditionary force that invaded Russia in 1918 during the civil war in an attempt to help overthrow the new Bolshevik government.  More recently, in 1983 the U.S. military invaded Grenada to overthrow a Marxist president; in 1989 the U.S. invaded Panama to overthrow former CIA asset Manuela Noriega. Another hybrid operation was the US bombing of Serbia in 1999 and the State Department funding of the opposition group Otpor!, which led to the ouster of Slobodan Milosevic. The most prominent recent examples of direct military invasion to overthrow governments are the U.S.-led invasions of Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003. Indirect military intervention through proxies to overthrow governments happened in the 1980s Contra war against Nicaragua; and the 2011 to present jihadist war to overthrow the Syrian government.  Tanks in the streets of Teheran, 1953. (Public domain/Wikipedia.) Not From Thin Air Economic sanctions are commonly imposed by the US in advance to "soften up" the target. In non-military interventions, the US does not create regime change out of whole cloth:  it works with pre-existing dissent, whether in the population or in the military or another elite group. It will harness it, fund it, train it and organize it, but not create it.   In other words, in regime change that doesn’t involve invasion and occupation, it is not a question of either US involvement or genuine dissent. It is almost always both. And sometimes a cigar is just a cigar: there are legitimate revolts that are not taken over by the US because the uprisings are against US clients’ and Washington’s interests: for instance, the 2010 uprising in Bahrain. In such cases the US will support crushing dissent (as it is ready to do at home as well).  Kazakhstan Last week, Consortium News ran two pieces on the uprisings in Kazakhstan. The first, by Craig Murray, made the argument that the CIA was not involved and that the uprising was genuine, given the country’s economic inequality and increases in fuel prices that were quickly reversed. Murray is a former British ambassador to neighboring Uzbekistan and knows Central Asia. There is no doubt that inequality, the fuel price hikes and decades of authoritarian rule fueled the protests. But by its very covert nature, it is close to impossible to know what the CIA is up to anywhere in the world until declassification of documents usually decades later, or if a whistleblower or leak emerges earlier.  Anyway, the CIA did not need to be directly involved. It’s been known since at least a 1991 Washington Post article that the CIA is ostensibly no longer required for regime change. After the 1975 Church Committee revelations of its crimes and corruption, the CIA, facing a public backlash, resorted to new methods. The establishment of the U.S. National Endowment of Democracy in 1983 does openly what the CIA once did secretly, the Post argued. "The old era of [CIA] covert action is dead," Post columnist David Ignatius declared.  "The world doesn’t run in secret anymore. We are now living in the Age of Overt Action. … the triumph of overt action [is] a network of overt operatives who during the last 10 years have quietly been changing the rules of international politics. They have been doing in public what the CIA used to do in private — providing money and moral support for pro-democracy groups, training resistance fighters, working to subvert communist rule. And, in contrast to many of the CIA’s superannuated Cold Warriors, who tended to get tangled in their webs of secrecy, these overt operatives have been immensely successful." But as CN founder Robert Parry explained in an 2015 article republished today on Consortium News, the CIA had a direct hand in the establishment of the NED, even in the writing of the Congressional legislation that authorized the U.S. Agency for International Development to fund it with U.S. government money. The continued hand of the CIA was to be hidden in the "Age of Overt Action."  The NED in Kazakhstan Since Kazakhstan’s independence in 1990 after the breakup of the Soviet Union the country has been run by one man, Nursultan Nazarbayev. Though he formally stepped down in 2019 in favor of his hand-picked successor, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Nazarbayev is still the power behind the throne. Nursultan, the new capital city, was named after him in 2019. Protestors setting up a yurt in Aktobe on Jan. 4. (Esetok/Wikipedia) Kazakhstan’s political system has few democratic features. Not that that matters much to the United States. In its long history of overthrowing governments abroad, the US has toppled dictators just as readily as elected democrats. It is immaterial. What matters is whether leaders are furthering or standing in the way of US interests. The lack of democracy was of no interest either to former President Bill Clinton and former Prime Minister Tony Blair, who both cozied up to Nazarbayev for lucrative paydays. London and other Western centers have little problem taking investments from undemocratic Kazakh elites. The lack of democracy in Kazakhstan could be useful to Washington. The population’s rage at being suppressed politically and economically is the kind of raw material needed to drive a coup from the bottom up.  In 2020, the NED spent $1,082,991 on 20 programs in Kazakhstan.  One was $50,000 to "promote freedom of peaceful assembly" through "strategic litigation to support activists facing repression." Another, for $65,000 was to "promote civic engagement among youth in Kazakhstan." Genuine Kazakh Revolt This money was poured into a country with pre-existing tensions that exploded from Jan. 2 to Jan. 11, leaving 227 people dead, 9,900 arrested and vast sections of city centers looted and destroyed. At the start the government tried to quell the protests by again capping fuel prices, the government resigned and Nazarbayev stepped down as chairman of the national security council. It didn’t work. Shoot to kill orders were issued against the rioters.  Ultimately, Russian troops as part of the Collective Security Treaty Organization mission restored order. In a news analysis on Jan. 6, The New York Times Eastern Europe bureau chief made an unattributed, editorial comment: "And once Russian troops arrive, they seldom, if ever, go home."  Normally the corporate media are fed such lines by unnamed US officials. In this case the US government line seemed to work in reverse. The next day U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, "One lesson of recent history is that once Russians are in your house, it’s sometimes very difficult to get them to leave." Moscow reacted furiously, pointing out that the US should examine its history of the invasions of Vietnam and Iraq. "If Antony Blinken loves history lessons so much, then he should take the following into account: when Americans are in your house, it can be difficult to stay alive and not be robbed or raped," the foreign ministry said. The Russian and other CSTO troops left Kazakhstan on Wednesday.  US Interests in Kazakhstan  Installing a government hostile to Russia and China, which both border Kazakhstan, would be advantageous to the US It could disrupt China’s Silk Roads initiative through the country and the U.S. could put a military base in Kazakhstan. Since April the US has been trying to find a Central Asian country for a base to further the encircling pressure on Russia. There are also oil and gas deposits beckoning. Despite these interests, the second article that Consortium News ran last week advised the U.S. stay out of Kazakhstan.  Saying there was no evidence of U.S. involvement with the protests, Anatol Lieven wrote:  "If the Kazakh government collapses or is gravely weakened, it would be very surprising if hard line elements in Washington did not see this as an opportunity to use Kazakhstan as a base to undermine Chinese rule in Sinkiang — even if (as in Syria) this led them into de facto alliance with Islamist extremist forces. For America to use Kazakhstan in this way would be both a crime and a blunder, that would recall the worst aspects of U.S. policy in Africa, Asia, and Central America during the Cold War. It would in fact cast America in the role in which American commentators like to cast Russia — that of a cynical troublemaker, absolutely indifferent to the consequences of its actions for unfortunate populations on the ground." Circumstantial Evidence of the Causes  Was in fact the US not involved in the uprising, as Lieven maintains? According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, "The events in Kazakhstan are not the first and far from the last attempt to interfere in the internal affairs of our states from the outside." He told other CSTO leaders on Jan. 10: "The measures taken by the CSTO made it clear that we would not let anyone destabilize the situation at our home and implement so-called 'color revolution' scenarios." Putin speaking with other CSTO leaders, Jan. 10. (Kremlin pool) Putin also said, "Elements of force and information support of protests were actively used, and well-organized and well-controlled groups of militants were also used … including those who had obviously been trained in terrorist camps abroad." The possible presence of jihadists followed reports that a Kazakh policemen had been beheaded. The Kazakh government had a slightly different take, according to long-time Moscow correspondent Fred Weir, writing in the Christian Science Monitor:  "Kazakh leaders have offered a different explanation, pointing to high-ranking internal traitors who utilized the pretext of price increases to trigger protests, then unleashed specially trained armed units in an attempt to stage a coup d’état. At least one top former official, the recently dismissed head of the security services, Karim Masimov, has been arrested and charged with plotting against the state. Other experts note that no movement has claimed responsibility for the uprising, and no set of unified demands or discernible leaders have emerged from the turmoil. That highly unusual circumstance is hard to square with an organized rebellion, Galym Ageleulov, head of the independent human rights group Liberty, told the Monitor from Almaty on Monday. ‘I think what happened was that a peaceful civil meeting of people who are tired of authoritarian government got used by elites in their internal struggles,’ he says. ‘It was a spontaneous upsurge without leaders because there is no permitted legal opposition, and civil activism is not able to grow.’ … ‘All the elements are there: socioeconomic tensions, elements of outside interference, and a half-completed transfer of power’ from the aging autocrat Mr. Nazarbayev to his chosen successor, Mr. Tokayev, [Fyodor Lukyanov, a leading Russian foreign policy analyst] says. “’It is well known that some groups behind Nazarbayev were not happy with his choice. There is a feeling among many observers that it was not a purely spontaneous outburst.’" Normally in regime change operations, the US has a leader in exile ready to be installed. Mukhtar Ablyazov, leader of the Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan, is in exile in Paris. He says he has not accepted Western money, asked for Western sanctions, which have not come, and egged on what he called the revolution unfolding in his country. He claimed Russia was "occupying" Kazakhstan, only to see the uprising end and Russian troops leave.  The beheadings, the organized nature of the uprising, the seizing of the airport, the NED funding, and the leader in exile are all circumstantial evidence of possible U.S. involvement. Many commenters on social media and on this site took the view that if it walks like a duck, it must be a U.S.-backed coup.  But journalism needs to be held to a higher standard of proof. CN rightly criticizes corporate media for repeating unnamed U.S. intelligence officials without skepticism. Skepticism must also be applied when the US is accused of being involved in a coup. Circumstantial evidence is not enough.  Even in an "Age of Overt Action" a smoking gun is needed, usually arriving with the declassification of documents that has proved the history of U.S. regime change.      In 2014 in Ukraine, there was also the circumstantial evidence of NED involvement. Then U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland told the U.S.-Ukrainian Foundation on Dec. 13, 2013, that Washington had spent $5 billion over a decade to support Ukraine’s "European aspirations," in other words to pull it away from Russia. But there was also a smoking gun. It came in the form of the leaked telephone call between Nuland and the then US ambassador to Ukraine in which they discussed who the new Ukrainian leader would be, weeks before the coup occurred. In Kazakhstan, despite the circumstantial evidence, there is no smoking gun so far. Therefore the question of whether there was direct and decisive U.S. involvement in the Kazakh uprising must remain inconclusive. Tyler Durden Sat, 01/22/2022 - 15:30.....»»

Category: personnelSource: NYTJan 22nd, 2022Related News

Rickards: Bad News, I"m Afraid

Rickards: Bad News, I'm Afraid Authored by James Rickards via DailyReckoning.com, The breakdown of global supply chains is well-known by now. Whether it’s finding groceries in your supermarket, buying a new car or buying appliances like dishwashers and refrigerators, goods are scarce. Also, deliveries take forever and choices are limited. Many people wonder why the problem isn’t going away. Here’s the answer: The supply chain is a complex dynamic system. When any complex system collapses, you can look for specific causes but that’s usually a waste of time. Systems collapse internally because they are too large and too interconnected and require too many energy inputs to keep going. Any specific cause is more likely to be a symptom than a true cause. It’s frustrating, but that’s the answer. Most Americans’ first encounter with the supply chain meltdown was in the spring of 2020 during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic. Shoppers noticed that items like hand sanitizer and paper goods at Costco and other big-box stores were cleaned out. It seemed that Americans who were locked down and quarantined at the time were hoarding these products because they had no idea when they would be allowed to venture out again. The shortages were real, but were limited to specific products. The other aisles at Costco were stocked and so were all the other stores around (at least those that were allowed to remain open). Now It’s Everything But it’s not just Costco this time. It’s every supermarket, convenience store and other retail outlet from coast to coast. And it’s not just cleaning products and paper goods. Your local supermarket might have bare shelves for eggs, peanut butter, milk and other staples. It’s not a case of being stocked out of all goods all the time. Your store is like a box of Cracker Jack – you never know what’s inside. Many items are available, but many are not. It’s a case of stockouts of certain goods from time to time. But you can be sure that something will be missing and some of the shelves will be bare. Still, there’s a narrative around that the crisis is temporary, that steps are being taken to alleviate shortages and backlogs and things will soon be back to normal. The narrative blames the shortages on the pandemic and the number of workers home with COVID. It says that things will clear up when the virus is under control. That’s the narrative, but it’s not the reality. The evidence is that the supply chain crisis is just getting started. It’ll be with us for years and have huge negative economic effects. All Connected and All Collapsing at Once No one doubts that the pandemic, especially the Omicron variant, has had a major impact and has caused millions to fall ill and miss work. It’s also likely that the missing employees due to illness are part of the reason shelves are not fully stocked. But they are not a prime cause of the supply chain chaos. Even if stores were fully staffed, there would still be shortages and delays due to everything from a shortage of truck drivers, late container cargo shipments from Asia, manufacturing delays due to lack of inputs, energy shortages and many other impediments. That’s the point. The supply chain is collapsing at every stage due to bottlenecks at every other stage. Commodity inputs are scarce, partly due to energy shortages at mines. Manufacturing is behind due to lack of commodity inputs. Deliveries are behind due to manufacturing delays. And finally, shelves are bare due to nondelivery of orders and a worker shortage. It’s all connected and it’s all collapsing at once. So don’t believe the happy talk about a “temporary” supply chain crisis. I’ll say it again: The crisis will last for years with predictable negative effects on economic growth. The “Factory to the World” Is Closing Down One major concern is China. China is currently pursuing a COVID Zero policy. This means that China has zero tolerance for even a single case of COVID. If COVID appears, China will isolate the individual, do a massive track-and-trace operation and then forcibly remove entire neighborhoods to quarantine camps outside the city limits for mandatory lockdowns of 14 days or more. If more than a few cases are detected, China will follow the same procedure but on a much larger scale. They will relocate hundreds of thousands of people if needed and shut down entire cities. This has already happened in Xi’an, a city of 1.5 million people and a major manufacturing center. A new lockdown just arose in Henan province, which is the center of Chinese electronics production. China has also locked down the port of Ningbo, which is the second largest port in China after Shanghai, and one of the largest in the world. China has also required that crews on arriving vessels must be confined to the vessel and are not allowed onshore for normal rest and recreation. Since these crews often spend six months or more at sea, vessel operators are starting to schedule trips that avoid China. That means that even when goods are produced, they cannot necessarily be shipped because of a shortage of vessels and crews. The situation is getting worse, not better, and will deteriorate even more as we move toward the Beijing Olympics and the Lunar New Year holidays in China. In effect, the “factory to the world” has decided to shut down the factory, or at least large parts of it for months to come. This will continue to impact the U.S., which Americans are not accustomed to or prepared for. Forced Labor Americans associate bare shelves with Third World countries or perhaps East Germany during the Cold War. That last time Americans have had to deal with shortages on this scale were the gas crises of the 1970s and rationing during World War II. Importantly, the phenomenon is not limited to the United States – it’s a global event. And it’s leading to extreme government measures. Take a look at Australia. As in the U.S., Australia has large numbers of unemployed workers. They receive benefit payments similar to welfare and unemployment from an agency called Centrelink. Well, the government has now declared that unemployed benefit recipients must work several hours per week to restock supermarket shelves in order to keep their Centrelink benefits. So, social benefits are being used to draft forced labor to deal with a supply chain problem. Australia has become a kind of prison camp based on government dictates concerning the virus. It’s a good example of how COVID has empowered governments to dictate every aspect of citizens’ lives. This won’t be the last government mandate in Australia or here. And there’s a powerful lesson to be learned here: Once governments get a taste of neo-fascism, they always want more. That’s true even in a liberal democracy like Australia. We’re seeing similar phenomena play out in western European democracies as well. A Race Against Time The other thing we can be sure of is that these mandates will slow the economy and destroy wealth. The bad news for investors, again, is that this situation will persist for years. It’s not easy to correct and definitely not something that can be corrected quickly. In markets, this will play out as higher costs, lower earnings and ultimately lower stock prices. With markets still close to all-time highs, this could be a good time to lighten up on stocks before the supply chain reality catches up with the stock market bubble. When it does, it won’t be pretty. Tyler Durden Sat, 01/22/2022 - 12:30.....»»

Category: dealsSource: NYTJan 22nd, 2022Related News

Fear And Panic As Bitcoin Crashes 50% From All Time High

Fear And Panic As Bitcoin Crashes 50% From All Time High Just two months after cryptos hit an all time high amid widespread euphoria that the newly launched bitcoin ETF would lead to even more substantial upside, the two largest tokens have lost half of their value, with the broader crypto sector suffering more than $1 trillion in losses amid an accelerating liquidation panic that the Fed's tightening cycle will lead to another crypto winter.  Such is the volatility in the sector where, as Bloomberg put it overnight, there has been just one constant recently: "decline after decline after decline." Of course, for veteran hodlers, Bloomberg hyperbole seems trivial in a world where 80% drawdowns are the norm and the current drop may have a ways to go before it hits a bottom, before a new all time high is hit. Where Bloomberg is right however, is that superlatives for the latest carnage have been easy to come by: Friday’s decline led to the liquidation of more than $1.1 billion in crypto futures positions and overall more than $1 trillion in market value has been destroyed since the last peak. In other words, "the meltdown is pouring salt on an already-deep wound." After the latest furious puke that pushed Bitcoin RSI's indicator to the most oversold level since the covid crash in March of 2020... ... Bitcoin, which lost more than 12% on Friday, saw its price drop just above $34,000 with Ethereum sliding as low as $2,400, as the two largest digital assets now trade at a 50% discount from their all time highs and are back to levels last seen in late July, early August. Other digital currencies have suffered just as much, if not more, most meme coins mired in similar drawdowns. While the selling has been relentless for the past two months, it accelerated in the past three weeks, after the latest Fed minutes - published in early January - showed its intention to not only hike rates but to accelerate the unwind of its balance sheet, which has sent all "bubble baskets" plunging, with bitcoin getting hit especially hard amid the carnage. And while there have been much larger percentage drawdowns for both Bitcoin and the aggregate market, according to Bespoke,  this marks the second-largest ever decline in dollar terms for both. “It gives an idea of the scale of value destruction that percentage declines can mask,” wrote Bespoke analysts in a note. “Crypto is, of course, vulnerable to these sorts of selloffs given its naturally higher volatility historically, but given how large market caps have gotten, the volatility is worth thinking about both in raw dollar terms as well as in percentage terms.” Another fact that Bloomberg gets right, is that over the past year, cryptos have transformed from relatively uncorrelated assets providing diversification during market turbulence, into what is effectively a high beta stock. This is easily seen in the following chart showing the 60d correlation between cryptos and stocks. One can thank institutional adoption for that, because the same institutions that are now facing margin calls on their tech holdings, are also dumping cryptos to provide much needed liquidity. “Crypto is reacting to the same kind of dynamics that are weighing on risk-assets globally,” said Stephane Ouellette, chief executive and co-founder of institutional crypto-platform FRNT Financial. “Unfortunately for some of the mature projects like BTC, there is so much cross-correlation within the crypto asset class it’s almost a certainty that it falls, at least temporarily in a broader alt-coin valuation contraction.” Antoni Trenchev,, co-founder of Nexo, cites Bitcoin’s correlation to the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100, which right now is near the highest in a decade. “Bitcoin is being battered by a wave of risk-off sentiment. For further cues, keep an eye on traditional markets,” he said. “Fear and unease among investors is palpable.” According to  Art Hogan, chief market strategist at National Securities, it’s useful to think of cryptocurrencies as living in the same space as other speculative sectors, including special-purpose acquisition companies and electric-vehicle makers. “When we’re in an environment where all of those riskier assets are selling off, crypto is going to find itself doing the same,” Hogan said. “When the Nasdaq 100 or any of the other more-speculative, rapid-growth, momentum-type asset classes start to gain some traction, so will cryptocurrencies.” Unfortunately for Bitcoin longs, one place where the token's correlation is especially high is that to such market naplam as Cathie Wood’s sinking ARK Innovation ETF, a pandemic poster-child of speculative risk-taking. That correlation stands at around 60% year-to-date, versus about 14% for the price of gold, according to Katie Stockton, founder and managing partner of Fairlead Strategies, a research firm focused on technical analysis. It’s “reminding us to categorize Bitcoin and altcoins as risk assets rather than safe havens,” she said. Perhaps unaware what "hodling" means, data from Coinglass shows that more than 342,000 traders had their positions closed over the past 24 hours, with liquidations totaling roughly $1.1 billion. “Digital-currency markets in total have been challenged this month,” said Jonathan Padilla, co-founder of Snickerdoodle Labs, a blockchain company focused on data privacy. “There’s definitely some pain there.” Though liquidations have spiked, the numbers are rather muted when compared to previous declines, according to Noelle Acheson, head of market insights at Genesis Global Trading. Acheson points out that Bitcoin’s one-week skew, which compares the cost of bearish options to bullish ones, spiked to almost 15% on Wednesday compared to an average of about 6% in the past seven days. “This flagged a jump in bearish sentiment, in line with overall market jitters given the current macro uncertainty,” she said. Amid the pain, some of bitcoin's most faithful are professing patience... HODLing #Bitcoin is painful. If you survive the journey, you will truly know what HODL means. — Dan Held (@danheld) January 21, 2022 ... while others are starting to wonder out loud at what point the battering might end. Famed crypto investor and (former?) billionaire Mike Novogratz mused on Twitter that “this will be a year where people realize being an investor is a difficult job.” 2600 $Eth would be the next support. Hoping and thinking it holds. Unfortunately Russel has like 14 percent more to go before it bottoms. Won’t be a straight line down. This will be a year where people realize being an investor is a difficult job. — Mike Novogratz (@novogratz) January 21, 2022 Unfortunately for Novogratz, 2600 did not hold and Eth is now trading below 2,400. Still, many point out that like on all previous occasions when cryptos crashed, they eventually rebounded to new all time highs. At some point, sellers will become exhausted and the market could see some capitulation soon, said Matt Maley, chief market strategist for Miller Tabak + Co. “When that happens, the institutions will come back in in a meaningful way,” he said. “Once the asset class becomes more washed-out, they’ll have a lot more confidence to come back in and buy them. They know that cryptos are not going away, so they’ll have to move back into them before long.” But it's not just central bank tightening fears and liquidation technicals that have depressed cryptos: one can also throw in a relentless news cycle, where just in recent days, regulators from Russia, the U.K., Singapore and Spain all announced interventions that could undermine crypto companies looking to grow in those regions. Meanwhile, the Biden administration is preparing to release an initial government-wide strategy for digital assets as soon as next month and task federal agencies with assessing the risks and opportunities that they pose, Bloomberg reported late on Friday. Testing the resilience and patience of the faithful, so far the sharp drop below the psychological level of $40,000 has failed to serve as an upward inflection point. Crypto proponents say heavy liquidations often serve to cut out the froth in easy-win asset speculation, helping to solidify new bottoms in the market. Ultimately, the real support will come from none other than the Fed, which will soon realize that it is hiking into a slowing economy... Tightening into a slowdown… Déjà vu? pic.twitter.com/pczXzMVSxb — Julien Bittel, CFA (@BittelJulien) January 22, 2022 ... and will be forced to be far more dovish during this week's FOMC meeting, a reversal which should serve to send risk assets sharply higher. “Fear and unease among investors is palpable,” Nexo's Trenchev,said. “If we see a bigger selloff in equities, expect the Fed to verbally intervene to calm nerves and that’s when Bitcoin and other cryptos will bounce.” In other words, the more the Fed tightens - or the more the Fed scares markets into believing it will tighten - the bigger the market selloff, and the worse the economic slowdown, until eventually Powell will be forced to ease, a key point brought up by  Bank of America CIO Michael Hartnett yesterday. Incidentally, it also means that the faster markets crash, the faster the Fed panics, and is forced to stabilize stocks because even if the new and improved Powell Put is well below previous levels, the Fed can't risk a market crash just to appease Biden's demands for an inflationary slowdown so Democrats aren't destroyed in the midterms. And incidentally, this weekend's ongoing selloff in cryptos means that while stocks are currently mercifully not trading, Monday should be another bloodbath, as Jim Bianco reminds us. The BTC/SPX correlation is "significant" Or as @jeffdorsman says, crypto is a 24/7 VIX. See the table, as of this writing, Crypto is down another 10% since Friday's NYSE Close. If this hold, no-coiners have about 36 more hours to gloat before it is their turn. pic.twitter.com/JpWeMJZbAf — Jim Bianco biancoresearch.eth (@biancoresearch) January 22, 2022 One thing is certain: several more 2% drops in the Nasdaq, and Powell - who two years ago crossed the Fed's final rubicon and bought corporate bonds to halt a catastrophic collapse - will be making emergency phone calls to put an end to the carnage. As such, a continuation of the meltdown may just be the best thing that the bitcoin faithful can hope for. Tyler Durden Sat, 01/22/2022 - 13:04.....»»

Category: dealsSource: NYTJan 22nd, 2022Related News

Oil Traders Will "Break The Fed" And "Make Jerome Powell Cry Uncle"

Oil Traders Will "Break The Fed" And "Make Jerome Powell Cry Uncle" Submitted by QTR's Fringe Finance This is Part 2 of an interview with Harris Kupperman, founder of Praetorian Capital, a hedge fund focused on using macro trends to guide stock selection. Mr. Kupperman is also the chief adventurer at Adventures in Capitalism, a website that details his investments and travels. Part 1 of this interview will be found here. Harris is one of my favorite Twitter follows and I find his opinions - especially on macro and commodities - to be extremely resourceful. I’m certain my readers will find the same. I was excited to get the chance to ask him about anything I wanted, which I did last week. Q; What one sector of the equities market would you dive into now if you had to pick only one - and why? It’s not an equity, but if there was one asset to focus on, it would be long-dated OTM oil futures options. They’re the purest way to get long inflation and they’re mispriced compared to the potential upside. All sorts of right-tail assets seem mispriced, but the IV on oil futures options seem particularly mispriced as it is so cheap compared to the parabolic upside potential. In terms of equities themselves, I think offshore oil services are about to really inflect. With Brent at $86, demand for offshore production will come back in a major way. Especially because many Western governments are making it so painful to explore and produce oil domestically. As a result, the incremental supply will come from places that need the oil revenue—much of this will be offshore. Meanwhile, much of this offshore equipment trades at tiny fractions of replacement cost. At the top of the cycle, these companies often trade for a few times replacement cost. I think we’re about to a surprising move in the price of oil, and these equities are the fulcrum security in the oil sector—but since most have restructured in bankruptcy, they have clean balance sheets and minimal risk if I’m wrong and the sector doesn’t inflect. Oil is about to surprise people—offshore hasn’t moved yet. That’s where I’d be focusing my time, but buying the 2025, $100 strike oil call just seems like a more elegant way to play this with a lot less operational risk and a whole lot greater upside potential.   What's your broader view on markets in 2022? Will they stabilize? Full on crash? Rotation from growth to value? I think the market will have a lot of volatility, but sort of go nowhere. Instead, I expect a huge sector rotation from Ponzi and high-multiple growth to industrials and commodities. A lot of these “old economy” businesses trade at low single-digit multiples on cash flow and fractions of replacement cost. They’ve been ignored for years, they’ve cut costs, consolidated and not invested much in capacity. We’re at the part of the cycle where they finally earn huge returns. That’s where you want to be. Meanwhile, as the Fed raises rates and tightens liquidity, the high-multiple stuff will get bludgeoned. It’s amazing how many multi-billion market cap stocks are down 75% from the highs last year, yet they still seem ludicrously expensive. This will eventually get corrected and corrected with a lot more pain. What fiat currencies do you prefer to own, assuming you have to own one? And why? I think crypto has had its bubble. It now needs to consolidate. There’s far too much speculative interest for me. I sold out of my Bitcoin last spring for a 6x from where I bought it in 2020. Longer term, I’m quite partial to Monero and own a few. It’s what everyone thinks Bitcoin is, while Bitcoin is actually something VERY different. The privacy aspect, along with negligible transaction costs will make Monero viable. It’s out of consensus, but adoption continues to accelerate. During the coming wash-out in risk assets, I intend to pick up some more Monero. Is the Fed still firmly in control of the bond market. Is there any chance "bond vigilantes" take over at some point? Oil traders are the new bond vigilantes. They’ll be the ones that break the Fed and force JPOW to cry uncle. The Fed hasn’t lost control yet, but when oil breaks $100, they’ll go into panic mode. I worry that they’ll eventually crush everything with a CUSIP while trying to stop oil from going parabolic. Naturally, they’ll fail at this because they have little to do with the price of oil, but that won’t stop them from trying. What's one lesson you've learned in your investing career that you want to pass on and think is important in 2022? Leverage is dangerous. We’re entering a much more volatile period. I think the overall market will continue going much higher because they’ll keep stimulating, but there will be periods where they panic and stop stimulating. Equities can literally trade at any price. Make sure that on these sharp and steep pullbacks, you aren’t the one forced to sell at the lows. Instead, you want to be the one who buys when others get margin calls. Play with less leverage, keep extra liquidity and expect that there will be huge opportunities coming up. What's your outlook on how the world thinks about Covid in the coming year? Covid is a bad cold that has evolved into a mental disorder. You really need to separate the two. Left alone, Covid the virus will evolve to be less dangerous to humans. Unfortunately, governments like to tinker and convince voters that they’re doing something useful. Vaccinating a huge percentage of the population, with multiple boosters, is likely to change how the virus would naturally evolve. We’re already seeing this with Omicron. The triple vax’d are more susceptible than the double vax’d, and the unvax’d are almost immune to it. This is an adjusted evolutionary path and governments should be terrified of the data. This is a warning that is getting ignored. Most scientists have always known that vaccinating against a coronavirus is a mistake—it’s the reason that they don’t vaccinate livestock against coronaviruses. They’ve already tried that and know it doesn’t work, with the added risk that the virus can evolve to be more dangerous. What we should have done is gone for herd immunity, protected the at-risk, and gotten on with life. Unfortunately, Covid has evolved into this mental disorder where people walk around with cloth diapers on their faces and scrub their hands with alcohol all day. There’s this whole neurosis to it, with people lecturing others on if they’re going through the motions correctly. Governments have been quick to realize that a large portion of the population is mentally unstable and easily manipulated. They’ve prayed upon this to gain power and tell these people that their mental disorder is now normal. Eventually, most people will get bored of role-playing “pandemic,” and they’ll push back against government-created inconveniences. We’ll return to sanity, while a lunatic fringe will continue with their new neuroses. I finally believe we’re now past peak-stupid, but I’ve thought that a few times and then governments have once again tried to flex their powers and scare people into acting insane. Fortunately, people are starting to wake up to all of this. In another few quarters, Covid, the mental disorder, will hopefully mostly be over with—though we’ll have the residual question about long-term health risks from these experimental mRNA vaccines—which is still quite a wild-card. You have to remember that governments are just a collection of politicians trying to guess which way the mob is trending. As the mob adjusts, the smarter politicians will follow the voters and hopefully this thing ends. Here in Florida, no one has worn a mask in 18-months, yet you have these tourists with 2 masks on at the beach. It’s quite hilarious. But then after a few days in Florida, they attune culturally and no longer fear germs as much. This process will happen everywhere as people realize that this is all just a bad cold. They’ll see others going on with their lives without dying. People will adjust and the more astute politicians will try to stay in front of this trend. Until then, we just have to wait it out and watch this crazy psychological experiment unfold... Part 1 of this interview can be found here.  Now read: Capitalism And Common Sense Will End Vaccine Mandates In 2022 Oil Is Now "Out Of OPEC's Hands" And Is "Going Higher" Short The Whole F*cking Vaccine Thing -- ZeroHedge readers always get 20% off a subscription to my blog using this link: GET 20% OFF FOR LIFE DISCLAIMER:  All content is Harris Kupperman’s opinion. I own physical silver, GLD, GDX, GDXJ, PAAS, PSLV and a number of other metals/miners/gold/silver equities as well as numerous companies with exposure to oil and uranium. Readers should assume Harris also has positions in all trends/equities/etc. mentioned in this interview - as do I. We will likely stand to benefit if prices of commodities rise and/or our prognostications come true. None of this is a solicitation to buy or sell securities. It is only a look into personal opinions and personal portfolios. Positions can change immediately as soon as I publish this, with or without notice. These are not the opinions of any of my employers, partners, or associates. I get shit wrong a lot. I’m not a financial advisor, I hold no licenses or registrations and am not qualified to give advice on anything, let alone finance or medicine. Talk to your doctor, talk to your financial advisor or your therapist. You are on your own. Do not make decisions based on my blog. I exist on the fringe. Tyler Durden Sat, 01/22/2022 - 13:30.....»»

Category: dealsSource: NYTJan 22nd, 2022Related News

US To Close Borders To Unvaccinated Canadian, Mexican Truckers On Saturday

US To Close Borders To Unvaccinated Canadian, Mexican Truckers On Saturday By Nate Tabak of FreightWaves, The U.S. will close its borders to unvaccinated and partially vaccinated Canadian and Mexican truck drivers on Saturday, the Department of Homeland Security said on Thursday. “These updated travel requirements reflect the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to protecting public health while safely facilitating the cross-border trade and travel that is critical to our economy,” Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement.  The restrictions, which apply to all foreign essential workers, had been expected since U.S. officials announced them in October. They follow a similar rule that took effect at the Canadian border last Saturday. NEW: Beginning Saturday, January 22, DHS will require non-U.S. individuals seeking to enter the U.S, via land ports of entry and ferry terminals at the U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada borders to be fully vaccinated for #COVID19 and provide related proof of vaccination. — Homeland Security (@DHSgov) January 20, 2022 The border COVID-19 vaccine mandates are coming into force despite pushback from the truck industry. The impact will be felt most acutely for the U.S.-Canada freight market, where around 160,000 truckers regularly cross the border — 75% of whom are Canadian. Already capacity has tightened significantly, with huge price increases in the spot market. It adds to existing pressures, including COVID-19 itself, which left many fleets operating below full strength.  “The supply chain is already fragile — so it puts all of us in a precarious situation,” Dan Einwechter, CEO of Canadian trucking and logistics firm Challenger Motor Freight, told FreightWaves. The Canadian Trucking Alliance and American Trucking Alliance have projected that 10%-15% of drivers may leave cross-border trucking as a result of the mandates, and exacerbate existing supply chain issues. On Monday, several dozen Canadian truckers protested near the U.S. border in Emerson, Manitoba. Tyler Durden Sat, 01/22/2022 - 11:30.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYTJan 22nd, 2022Related News

Kiev "Now In The Crosshairs" As Russia Moves Fighter Jets & S-400 Missiles Into Belarus: Pentagon

Kiev "Now In The Crosshairs" As Russia Moves Fighter Jets & S-400 Missiles Into Belarus: Pentagon The Pentagon and US intelligence is said to be watching Ukraine's northern neighbor Belarus very closely, given Moscow's recent statements confirming it is currently moving more S-400 missile systems into the allied country.  "Russia is moving two divisions of its S-400 Triumph air-defense systems, designed to take down enemy warplanes, into neighboring Belarus to take part in military exercises, the Ministry of Defense confirmed on Friday," Russian state sources report. S-400 missiles are reportedly being transported to Belarus all the way from Russia's far east. While it comes as tensions are on edge, as the world's eyes are watching the Russia-Ukraine border, the transfer of major military hardware to Minsk is said to be part of preparations for joint Belarus-Russian war drills set to run February 10 through 20. The exercises will in part be aimed at "reinforcing the state border." This is also likely intended as a response to this week's White House-ordered "lethal aid" delivery to Ukraine's military. The UK has also been flying in repeat plane-loads of weaponry, most likely including anti-tank missiles. According to Pentagon officials cited in Fox News, there's concern that Russia can much more easily target Kiev if it wants, given all its military assets in Belarus: Advanced Russian fighter jets have now arrived in Belarus, north of Ukraine.  The Pentagon is concerned that Ukraine's capital is "now in the crosshairs," another official added. But Russia has repeatedly sought to assure the West that there are no "invasion plans" - as has been the charge over the last two months.  Russian fighter jets arriving in Belarus, north of Ukraine. U.S. officials concerned Ukraine's capital “now in the crosshairs.”pic.twitter.com/5RhuUkFmfN — Lucas Tomlinson (@LucasFoxNews) January 22, 2022 But both sides are now accusing the other over the potential for a provocation which could quickly result in a shooting war on the ground. Likely any conflict should it erupt would center in Donbass, in Ukraine's east. Tyler Durden Sat, 01/22/2022 - 12:00.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYTJan 22nd, 2022Related News

Biden says Texas synagogue hostage taker bought his gun "on the street"

The FBI identified the suspect in the Congregation Beth Israel hostage situation as 44-year-old British national Malik Faisal Akram. US President Joe Biden speaks about the hostage incident at a synagogue in Texas as he arrives with US First Lady Jill Biden (R) to pack food boxes while volunteering in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr., Day of Service, at Philabundance, a hunger relief organization, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, January 16, 2022.SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images Biden said the man who took four people hostage at a Texas synagogue bought his gun off the street.  The FBI identified the suspect as 44-year-old British national, Malik Faisal Akram. Biden said Akram had been in the US for a few weeks and spent his first night in a homeless shelter. President Joe Biden said the man who took four people hostage at a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, on Saturday purchased his gun on the street. The FBI identified the suspect in the Congregation Beth Israel hostage situation as 44-year-old British national Malik Faisal Akram.In a press statement, Biden said Akram had been in the US for only a few weeks and had spent his first night in a homeless shelter. Biden said he doesn't have all the details yet but speculated that Akram might have "purchased it from an individual in a homeless shelter or a homeless community," because that's where he said he was. "It's hard to tell. I just don't know," Biden said. While Akram alleged he had bombs, the president said there were none "that we know of."Biden added that while background checks are "critical" they don't work when someone buys a gun off the street. "But you can't stop something like this if someone is on the street buying something from somebody else on the street.  Except that there's too — there's so many guns that have been sold of late; it's just ridiculous," Biden said. "And it's because of the failure of us to focus as hard as we should and as consistent as we should on gun purchases, gun sales, ghost guns, and a whole range of things that I'm trying to do."The hostage situation lasted for 11 hours. The synagogue was live-streaming a morning service via Facebook and Zoom, authorities said, when Akram entered and took the four hostages.All four were released unharmed and Akram was killed at the scene. No details about his death have been released. Biden said he did not know the specific motive behind the attack or why the specific synagogue was targetted. FBI Special Agent in Charge Matt DeSarno said that Akram was focused on an issue not linked to the Jewish community, AP reported."Well, no, I don't. We don't have — I don't think there is sufficient information to know about why he targeted that synagogue or why he insisted on the release of someone who's been in prison for over 10 years, why he was engaged — why he was using antisemitic and anti-Israeli comments. I — we just don't have enough facts," Biden said.Akram reportedly made demands that convicted terrorist Aafia Siddiqui, dubbed "Lady Al-Qaeda," be released from the Carswell Air Force Base in Texas, during the hostage situation.Siddiqui is serving an 86 year sentence after being convicted for attempting to kill a US soldier in 2010.  Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: NYTJan 16th, 2022Related News

Sen. Tim Kaine says most recent version of spending bill is "dead" but "the core of the bill" will likely pass

"Even the White House economist is using the past tense when referring to Build Back Better. It's dead," CBS's Margaret Brennan told Sen. Tim Kaine. Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia campaigns for gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe at a rally in Richmond, VA on October 23, 2021. (Photo byRyan M. Kelly/AFP/Getty Images Democratic Senator Tim Kaine said there's hope the social and climate spending bill will pass.  Kaine said while the current version of the bill is dead, core elements of it may still go through.  Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin has opposed the passing of the bill.  Democratic Senator Tim Kaine pushed back on the idea that President Joe Biden's social and climate spending bill is completely "dead."In a CBS "Face the Nation" interview with host Margaret Brennan, Kaine said while the most recent version of the measure is "dead," core elements of the bill could still pass. "Even the White House economist is using the past tense when referring to Build Back Better. It's dead. You don't have the votes in the Senate," Brennan told Kaine.  "I don't agree with you, Margaret. You're right that it's dead. The most recent version of it is not going to happen but if you look at the core of the bill, I think the core is education and workforce and things like reduce childcare and education expenses, workforce training, and then support for the workforce in areas like health care," Kaine replied. The social spending bill faced numerous blows to getting passed as Sen. Joe Manchin has blocked support of it. Manchin said he opposed the sprawling $2 trillion legislation, mostly based on opposition to the expanded child tax credit, which provides up to $300 a month per child to most families. Manchin has also opposed the total price tag. Earlier this month, Manchin said he's no longer supporting his proposal of a $1.8 trillion plan after a breakdown in the negotiation process with Biden's administration.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: NYTJan 16th, 2022Related News

Trump has been talking trash about Ron DeSantis in private, saying the Florida gov. has a "dull personality" and is ungrateful: report

Sources said Trump made a point of saying he isn't worried that DeSantis will run for president in 2024. President Donald Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in Sunrise, Fla., on November 26, 2019.Joe Raedle/Getty Images Trump has been trash-talking Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in private, per an Axios report. Behind closed doors, Trump has been saying that DeSantis has a "dull personality."  According to Axios, Trump is also sore about DeSantis' not publicly ruling out running for president in 2024. Former President Donald Trump trash-talked Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis behind closed doors, slamming him for his perceived ungratefulness and saying the governor has a "dull personality." According to sources who spoke to Axios' Jonathan Swan, Trump has criticized DeSantis multiple times in private."In the context of the 2024 election, he usually gives DeSantis a pop in the nose in the middle of that type of conversation," said one source, who spoke to Swan under the condition of anonymity. "He says DeSantis has no personal charisma and has a dull personality."The source also told Axios that Trump goes out of his way during these conversations to say that he isn't fussed about having to potentially take DeSantis on to clinch the GOP nomination in 2024. A second anonymous source who spoke to Swan said that Trump was irritated with DeSantis because the latter had not yet publicly ruled out a 2024 presidential run. Axios reported that the former president also said in private that he doesn't understand what the "big deal" is for DeSantis to make a declaration that he won't be running in 2024, saying: "Why won't he just say he's not going to run against me?"The second source also told Swan that the former president was particularly annoyed over perceived ungratefulness from DeSantis, telling people in private that "there's no way" that DeSantis would have been elected governor without his endorsement.According to Axios, Trump has been keeping tabs on who has ruled out running in 2024. Several prominent Republicans have not publicly ruled out running in 2024, including former Vice President Mike Pence, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who said in December that he would run for president again "in a heartbeat," and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who in recent months has become an outspoken critic of Trump's fixation on election fraud. DeSantis is viewed as a prominent frontrunner to challenge Trump for the Republican presidential ticket. Insider's Kimberly Leonard reported that DeSantis' name kept coming up among Trump supporters gathered outside Mar-a-Lago on January 6, 2021, the first anniversary of the Capitol attack, with people picking the Florida governor as their second favorite for the ticket. DeSantis said in October that he is not considering a presidential run because he's "busy trying to make sure people are not supporting critical race theory."DeSantis also dismissed rumors that there is any tension between him and Trump. However, on a conservative podcast this week, he admitted he wished he'd been "much louder" in his opposition to Trump when the former president issued COVID-19 stay-at-home-orders.Despite criticizing DeSantis, Trump has signaled that he would be open to having the Florida governor as a vice-presidential running mate.Trump has not yet announced a presidential run and said in November that he will "probably" wait until after the midterm elections to confirm if he will make a presidential bid in 2024. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: NYTJan 16th, 2022Related News

Leveraged Trading Is Not The Source Of Recent Crypto Weakness: So What Is?

Leveraged Trading Is Not The Source Of Recent Crypto Weakness: So What Is? By Marcel Kasumovich, One River Asset Management head of research Macro narratives are driving digital asset sentiment, from asset swings to regulatory decisions. This alone speaks to a maturing ecosystem – investors want the macro story. But digital asset volatility has been mostly uncorrelated to other macro markets in the recent past. It is more about a shift in investor behavior. 1/ As digital assets enter the mainstream, market commentary focuses on price. And in a world where exchange rate volatility is near all-time lows, attention has naturally shifted to digital assets where volatility against the US dollar is breathtaking by comparison. The megatrend towards the digitalization of finance will not be defined by the shorter-term gyrations. The innovation happening more behind the scenes will dictate the secular formations. Recent advancements in the Lightning Network illustrate the quiet determination to digitalize finance. 2/ The Lightning Network was proposed in 2015 as a way of scaling smaller payments, able to accommodate billions of transactions in a second (here). It addressed the tiring argument of Bitcoin’s inefficiency head-on. And after a slow start, user adoption surged last year with a 3-fold rise in network capacity (Figure 1). It is also integrating into the regulatory mainstream. This week, Bottlepay, a payment provider built on the Lightning Network, was approved by the UK Financial Conduct Authority. These new technologies can hold up to regulatory standards including anti-money laundering (here). It is a powerful example of technologists and regulators working together to encourage innovation in a complacent legacy system. 3/ Innovation may drive the megatrends, but investors are still left to manage and explain portfolio volatility from digital assets. And just as digital innovation is garnering more institutional attention, so too are the narratives around the volatility of digital assets. Investors are looking for macro thematic narratives, including the sharp downturn since November and the abrupt decline to start the year. Explanations center on the downturn in inflation expectations, the Fed pivot toward faster rate hikes and balance sheet normalization, as well as the decline in growth stocks tied to the rise in real interest rates. The high correlation of bitcoin returns to inflation expectations last year (56%) reinforces a desire to put a tidy macro narrative to the digital ecosystem. 4/ But the analytics tell a different story. We run a simple empirical exercise to evaluate bitcoin returns as explained by three macro factors: market-based inflation expectations (5y5y inflation swaps), the inflation-adjusted terminal policy rate (5y5y overnight interest rate swap less 5y5y inflation swaps), and Nasdaq 100 equity returns. These factors only explain 10-45% of the variation in bitcoin over the past two years and with various representations of the data. More importantly, there is almost no relevance of these factors in explaining the bitcoin downturn since November. Those factors would imply a bitcoin price of 50-60k, much higher than the current price. 5/ What does that mean for investors? Digital assets volatility has been largely independent of macro factors in the recent past. To be sure, the independent volatility that most investors hope for is skewed to the upside. But in assets where volatility expectations have ranged from 55% to 158% in the past two years, there will be plenty of periods where idiosyncratic moves detract from a portfolio. The test for any investor is asking about the structural trends. What tokens will prosper with the digitalization of finance? How broad will token pluralism extend? If the answers to the structural questions are positive, then downside volatility should be met with programmatic rebalancing into digital assets. 6/ Of course, idiosyncratic volatility is not satisfying. It is a polite way of saying we need to dig deeper for an explanation. What is behind the swings in digital assets if the macro narrative falls flat? The hunt for the explanation is partly a process of elimination and partly identifying new patterns of behavior. There are three key elements of the market microstructure of interest. 7/ First, the bitcoin forward yield curve has been stable, indicating leveraged trading is not a source of downside volatility. Figure 2 illustrates the one-month annualized yield implied by bitcoin futures on the Deribit exchange, where leverage is more readily available to traders. A rise in speculative demand leads to higher forward bitcoin prices and higher implied yields (vice versa). In periods of excess leverage, forward prices fall more than spot as speculative traders forced to close positions at unfavorable prices. Last May, one-month yields fell to an annualized –75%, reflecting a costly, steep inversion of the forward curve to speculative long traders. On this downturn, the compression in yields is barely visible. 8/ Second, option markets have decoupled from previous correlations to spot prices, with declining volatility expectations. The one-week implied volatility on Ether is 70%, near the lows of the past year (Figure 3). Ordinarily, declines in spot prices, particularly severe ones, would have seen a surge in volatility expectations. However, volatility is low despite a sharp decline in spot prices. The same pattern is evident in 25-delta put-call volatility skew. The one-week skew in Ether options is only marginally positive, near the average of the past year. This is strongly counter to past downturns in spot prices, where option skew spiked well above 40%! Again, leveraged trading is not the source of the recent price weakness. 9/ Third, a rise in the dispersion of digital asset prices hints at a change in investor behavior. We illustrate this point with a unique parsing of the data based on the last two downturns: May 8, 2021 and Nov 9, 2021. Dispersion is measured by the median difference between the individual returns on the 12 assets of our Core Index and bitcoin returns. When Index asset returns are evenly dispersed around bitcoin returns, the measure is zero. The one-month dispersion in the latest downturn measures near-zero (–0.4%). This is vastly different from May 2021, where the one-month dispersion index measured –9.1%. Index assets exhibited higher beta to the bitcoin downturn. No doubt, two cyclical periods don’t make a trend, but it does call for attention. 10/ Market behavior is bifurcating. It is evident in futures markets, where the decline in yields has been greater in regulated markets (CME) than in unregulated ones (Deribit). It is evident in active supply, where the percentage of longer-term holders has dropped alongside a more-than 20% fall in large-value bitcoin addresses (greater than $10mn). It is evident in the surge of interest in venture applications (here). Investors focused on macro narratives have mattered more than leveraged traders. And it is these ebbs and flows that should remind investors that we are at the very early stages in the digitalization of finance. It is precisely in those imperfect, inefficient early stages where megatrend assets are most additive to a portfolio. Figure 1 – Lightning Network Capacity Surge, Adoption Rising Figure 2 – Bitcoin Futures’ Yield Stable, No Sign of Speculative Excess Figure 3 – Ether Volatility Low Despite Declining Prices Tyler Durden Sun, 01/16/2022 - 22:00.....»»

Category: dealsSource: NYTJan 16th, 2022Related News

Quantifying The World"s Most Powerful Militaries

Quantifying The World's Most Powerful Militaries When it comes to manpower, no military in the world comes close to that of China. According to Global Firepower estimates, the People's Republic has around 2 million active military personnel. The United States in comparison, has significantly less - 1.4 million - but when assessing the overall power of the world's military forces, the U.S. comes out on top, ahead of Russia and China in second and third, respectively. You will find more infographics at Statista With Russian military build up around Ukraine and increasingly aggressive posturing from the Kremlin, the chances of at least one of the world's most powerful militaries applying its strength in a major new conflict appear to be at their highest for some time. Diplomatic efforts have so far failed, and it now remains to be seen how Russia will act. Elsewhere, the risk of China and the United States clashing in some form over Taiwan remains ever-present. The index "utilizes over 50 individual factors to determine a given nation's PowerIndex score with categories ranging from military might and financials to logistical capability and geography." While a rating of 0.000 would represent the perfect score, it is considered realistically unattainable. Tyler Durden Sun, 01/16/2022 - 20:00.....»»

Category: personnelSource: NYTJan 16th, 2022Related News

After 28 Days On Ventilator, Family Loses Legal Battle To Try Ivermectin, Other Alternative Treatments, For Dying Father

After 28 Days On Ventilator, Family Loses Legal Battle To Try Ivermectin, Other Alternative Treatments, For Dying Father Authored by Nanette Holt via The Epoch Times, A Florida family fighting to give their loved one on a ventilator alternative treatments for COVID-19 have lost another battle—this time in Florida’s First District Court of Appeal. The wife and son of Daniel Pisano first squared off against Mayo Clinic Florida at an emergency hearing on Dec. 30 in Florida’s Fourth Judicial Circuit. Before that, they’d been begging the hospital to allow them to try treating Pisano—who’s been on a ventilator now for 28 days—with the controversial drug ivermectin, along with a mix of other drugs and supplements, part of a protocol recommended by the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC). The family’s request for an emergency injunction to force the Mayo Clinic to allow treatments recommended by an outside doctor was denied by Judge Marianne Aho. They appealed the decision. On Jan. 14, Aho’s decision was upheld by Florida’s First District Court of Appeal. The three-judge panel deciding the case included Judge Thomas “Bo” Winokur, appointed by then-Gov. Rick Scott in 2015; Judge M. Kemmerly Thomas, appointed in 2016 by Scott; and Judge Robert E. Long, Jr., appointed in 2020, by Gov. Ron DeSantis. “An opinion of this Court explaining its reasoning will follow,” the judges stated in the order they issued.  “So we wait to see what that looks like, unless it takes too long,” said Jeff Childers, an attorney for the family.  Seventy-year-old Daniel Pisano doesn’t have unlimited time, says Eduardo Balbona, M.D., an independent doctor in Jacksonville who’s been advising the family since they reached out to him while researching other treatments that could potentially help their loved one. Daniel and Claudia Pisano moved to Florida and bought a homesite to be 20 minutes from their only two grandchildren. (Photo courtesy of Chris Pisano) Balbona, who has been monitoring Pisano’s treatment at the Mayo Clinic through an online portal, testified on behalf of the Pisano family in the first hearing. The Mayo Clinic has argued that the treatment plan doesn’t fit with the hospital’s standard protocol for treating COVID-19 patients and they don’t know what the effects of following Balbona’s recommendations would be. The hospital has told the family that Pisano has a less-than-five percent chance of survival, and all that’s left to do is wait and see if he recovers on the ventilator. The Mayo Clinic has not responded to requests for comment. The family has begged the Mayo Clinic to simply step aside and let Balbona try what he thinks could work. But the Mayo Clinic doesn’t allow outside doctors to treat patients. Since media reports mentioned his involvement in the case, particularly his confidence in recommending ivermectin, Balbona has faced a mix of hate-filled criticism and desperate cries for help. He says he’s used ivermectin along with the rest of the FLCCC protocol successfully with minor modifications, on “dozens and dozens” of seriously ill patients suffering the effects of COVID-19. Some of those patients have come to him from as far away as California. He’s not alone in his belief in ivermectin and the mix of drugs and supplements he’s suggesting. Different health care professionals across the country have spoken out over the past two years about the efficacy of using ivermectin and the FLCCC protocol to treat COVID-19. The drug has been used for 40 years and won a Nobel Prize for its creator. While ivermectin is most often used to prevent or kill parasites in animals, it has also been widely and successfully used for years to treat parasites and viruses in humans in the United States and other countries. There is an ever-growing list of peer-reviewed studies showing the drug’s efficacy in treating COVID-19. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) indicates there are ongoing clinical trials investigating the use of the drug in the treatment of COVID-19 on a webpage warning people not to self-medicate with ivermectin. The FDA published a tweet in August mocking those who do. And some politicians and media outlets have railed relentlessly against those claiming ivermectin could be an effective and inexpensive way to combat COVID-19. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) shared this tweet on Aug. 21, 2021, mocking the use of the drug ivermectin in the treatment of COVID-19. (Photo courtesy of FDA via Twitter) “You should be embarrassed to practice medicine, to sue the Mayo Clinic to get horse medicine to a human being, because of Internet garbage,” one person seethed on a voicemail at Balbona’s office after his court testimony was mentioned in an Epoch Times article. “Your license should be revoked, you worthless piece of garbage. You are killing people, not helping them, and to harass the Mayo Clinic, because you are not good enough to be their doctor is disgusting. Disgusting. You and doctors like you should all be banned from society. Shame on you. Disgusting. Goodbye and good riddance. I hope you get COVID. Goodbye.” Balbona says he deletes messages like that and pushes on with his treatment of patients. It’s “just the intolerance and hatred that takes me by surprise,” he said, about his office communications now getting “flooded by hate.” Eduardo Balbona, M.D., completed specialty training in internal medicine at the National Naval Medical Center and served as a physician at the U.S. Capitol, caring for senators, congressmen and Supreme Court justices. (Photo courtesy of Eduardo Balbona, M.D.) “Everything I do treating COVID is directed at lowering the inflammatory response, which is out of control, and improving blood flow to the lungs, and avoiding the complications of clots,” he said. “Perhaps the biggest change I’ve made from protocols in the hospital and with FLCCC is increasing the dose of dexamethasone. The dose of dexamethasone in FLCCC is relatively low at 6 mg, and I generally increase that to 18 mg daily in more serious cases. That’s a logic change, and I realize the study support is at 6 mg.” “There’s a reason for every medicine and everything I do treating COVID with my protocol. I have to be able to defend it since I know it will be attacked. Crazy world we’re in.” Christie DeTrude, of Switzerland, Florida, feels certain that Balbona’s recommendations saved her husband, Dewey. He had just retired last spring at 59 after a long career as a pipe-fitter. At 200 pounds and 6-feet-tall, he was in the peak of health, with strong “country muscles after a lifetime of turning a wrench,” she said. Dewey and Christie DeTrude on vacation in Hawaii, before he fell ill with COVID-19. (Courtesy of the DeTrude Family) When he sought treatment for COVID-19 at an urgent-care clinic in July, he was prescribed ivermectin by a doctor there. “But what we didn’t know at the time was, it wasn’t a high enough dose, because it’s supposed to be weight-based,” Christie DeTrude said. “Theirs was a very low dose, and they discontinued it after five days and said that it would be damaging to his liver and kidneys if they continued, which isn’t true.” On his eighth day of illness, he had developed pneumonia, and the urgent-care clinic told him to go to the hospital for treatment with convalescent plasma and oxygen. The referring doctor promised he wouldn’t be admitted, Christie DeTrude said. When she dropped him off at the Mayo Clinic Florida emergency room, she was told to come back and pick him up in 4-5 hours. “Once he got to Mayo, they just completely took over, and there was no informed consent,” DeTrude said. “There was no giving him information and letting us make a decision. They made all of his decisions for him, and they follow a standard protocol.” “There were no choices, there was no discussion…they just kept upping the oxygen,” DeTrude said. The Mayo Clinic did not return requests for comment by The Epoch Times about DeTrude’s case, Pisano’s case, or COVID-19 treatment protocols, in general. DeTrude said that eventually, her husband had become so weak, he couldn’t get out of the hospital bed. She felt that the hospital’s treatments weren’t working. She wanted to take him home. The hospital wouldn’t agree to discharge him and didn’t allow her to visit, she said. Dewey DeTrude’s wife hired an attorney to help her get her husband out of the intensive care unit at Mayo Clinic Florida, so he could be treated at home with ivermectin. DeTrude, shown here on Aug. 3, 2021, spent 46 days in the hospital. (Courtesy of the DeTrude Family) Days passed. Then, weeks. She says that she could tell from their phone calls that her husband was getting weaker. His 60th birthday came and went. And still, she says the hospital wouldn’t let her visit. “I was able to get a Catholic priest to come give him Last Rites, and the priest said that my husband’s mental state was like that of a prisoner of war, that he was definitely suffering trauma from the isolation from family, from his faith, from not seeing the sun. He’d lost 35 pounds,” she said. Part of the problem was that she wasn’t allowed to bring him vegan meals, she said. “A lot of the food, my husband wasn’t interested in. And when you’re on oxygen, it does affect your appetite, and he needed assistance eating, but they wouldn’t let me be that person,” she said. After 18 days, Christie DeTrude hired an attorney to help her push the hospital to stabilize her husband so she could take him home. Meanwhile, she searched for an outside doctor who could help. With that aim, she attended a medical freedom rally in Jacksonville in August, hoping to find something or someone who could advise her. Several doctors spoke about alternative treatments for COVID-19 that hospitals weren’t using, including ivermectin. The next day, she called them all. Only Dr. Balbona came to the phone to speak with her, she said. At Christie DeTrude’s request, Balbona promised the hospital that he’d take over her husband’s care. He ordered oxygen, medication, and home-health assistance for the family, she said. As she waited for Mayo doctors to agree to discharge him, Christie DeTrude prayed every day that her husband could hang on a little longer. After 46 days at Mayo Clinic, Dewey DeTrude finally was discharged and immediately started following Dr. Balbona’s instructions, taking ivermectin, fluvoxamine to prevent blood clots, and propranolol to treat anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder from his hospital stay. He also took Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and zinc. He ate healthy food and spent time in the sunshine. Within days, it was clear her husband was on the mend, Christie DeTrude said. Now, four months later, “he’s working part-time, going to the gym,” she said. “He’s completed physical therapy and working on rebuilding his stamina and lung capacity. And if it weren’t for Dr. Balbona, I’m quite sure he would have died in the hospital.” Gene Bennett, a 77-year-old retired field engineer for IBM, tells a similar story. He was enjoying life in Bryceville, Florida helping his son clear five acres of land for a homesite when COVID-19 struck in January 2021. An ambulance transported him to Ascension St. Vincent’s Riverside Hospital in Jacksonville, where he was treated with remdesivir. “They had to keep getting my oxygen higher and higher,” Bennett said. “I was finally up to the point of seven liters per minute, which is almost pure oxygen. And I knew that I wasn’t getting better. I could tell I was getting weaker and weaker. So when the doctor made his rounds on the Monday morning, I said, ‘This is my last day of remdesivir treatment and I know that I’m not improving. What’s our next step?’ “He looked at me and very calmly said, ‘Mr. Bennett, we don’t have a next step.’ He said, ‘We have done all for you that we can do. There’s nothing else we can do for you.’” Gene Bennett insisted on leaving the hospital, instead of going on a ventilator. (Courtesy of Jane Bennett) Overnight, Bennett thought a lot about the conversation. The next day, he asked the doctor, “Are you serious? There’s nothing else that this hospital can do for me?” “He said, ‘No, sir. The next step is for you to go on a ventilator.’” “Well, I’m not going to do that,” Bennett recalls saying. “I want to be released from this hospital.” He quickly learned that was no longer a decision he could make for himself. Ascension St. Vincent’s Riverside Hospital did not respond to a request for comment. “They weren’t going to release me because I was on a high level of oxygen,” he told The Epoch Times. “So finally, after I raised hell with them, to put it mildly, all day, my son picked me up” that evening. The next morning, Bennett’s wife drove him to Dr. Balbona, his physician for many years. Balbona came out to the parking lot of his office to help him out of the car. “I could barely walk with a walker without assistance — that’s how bad off I was,” Bennett said. He says Balbona told him, ” You have the most severe case of COVID that I have seen. But I have a medicine I have been using and I’ve had great success with it.” Bennett needed no convincing. “What is it? I’ll take it,” Bennett recalls saying. “I know I’m dying. I just feel it.” “He told me and my wife, ‘Most people that have COVID as severe as you do not survive. We’re behind the curve, but we’re going to try to get you over the hump. The medicine I’d like to prescribe for you is normally a heartworm medicine for dogs—that’s the most common use.’ “He said, ‘They use it all over the world. It’s been around for 40 years, and it’s dirt cheap, but very effective.’ “He said, ‘I would never, ever give a patient a medicine that I thought would be harmful to them.’ And I totally believed, and just accepted the fact he was doing what he thinks was right. “I thought, I don’t have any options. I know if I don’t take something to stop this, it’s going to kill me.” They picked up a $30 supply of ivermectin from a drug store that day. Bennett was so weak, he could barely feed himself. His wife and son later told him that they thought he was going to die. But after five days on what Dr. Balbona prescribed, including Vitamin C, Vitamin D, zinc, steroids, and a diuretic to get fluid off his lungs, he started to improve. “I’m a firm believer and I’d swear on the Bible, had I not been prescribed ivermectin, I would have died. Had I not stepped out of St. Vincent’s and checked myself out and gone to him and got the ivermectin, I wouldn’t be talking to you today. It saved my life. And for how much money? Thirty dollars!” He has since read a lot of research about the efficacy of ivermectin in the treatment of COVID-19. Gene Bennett refused to go on a ventilator when he was seriously ill with COVID-19. After leaving the hospital, his doctor treated him with ivermectin. He made a full recovery.  (Courtesy of Jane Bennett) “I can’t tell you if it is 100 percent effective for everyone, but I can tell you it was for me. I personally cannot understand why the government balks at giving these treatments. Why don’t they make the announcement that it’s available and let it be an individual’s choice?” Ivermectin has been approved for the treatment of COVID-19 in all or part of 22 countries. Over the past year, Bennett’s gotten back to full health, almost, regaining about half of the 45 pounds he lost while he was ill. His wife’s brother died in early January of COVID-19. They begged the hospital to try ivermectin. The hospital declined. His daughter-in-law’s mother died of COVID-19, too, in a Jacksonville Beach hospital, after the family begged to try ivermectin, and the hospital refused, Bennett said. An FDA spokeswoman said she would provide the number of reports of patients who had problems after self-medicating with ivermectin. Three days later, that information had not been provided to The Epoch Times. The FDA Office of Media Affairs said a formal request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) would be required to obtain details about when ivermectin might be approved for use in treating COVID-19, and about bonafide injuries to people who’ve used ivermectin to treat the illness. “The most effective ways to limit the spread of COVID-19 include getting a COVID-19 vaccine when it is available to you and following current CDC guidance,” the FDA’s website advises. The Epoch Times spoke to a dozen people who have used ivermectin formulated for humans to treat COVID-19 at home. Most obtained prescriptions for the drug through online medical services. None reported having any side effects, even those who admitted to using ivermectin formulated for animals. Tyler Durden Sun, 01/16/2022 - 20:30.....»»

Category: personnelSource: NYTJan 16th, 2022Related News

Walmart Creates Its Own Cryptocurrency, NFTs, Enters Metaverse With Sales Of Virtual Goods

Walmart Creates Its Own Cryptocurrency, NFTs, Enters Metaverse With Sales Of Virtual Goods The last time Walmart was reportedly entering the crypto space, it turned out to be a giant Litecoin-promoting hack, that was quickly reversed, after it became clear that playful hackers had fabricated a press release. But there appears to be nothing fake about the latest news involving Walmart's desire to ride the latest wave of crypto/web 3.0/metaverse/NFT euphoria, and as a result the big box retailer is boldly venturing into the metaverse with plans to create its own cryptocurrency and collection of non-fungible tokens, or NFTs. According to CNBC, Walmart filed several new trademarks late last month that indicate its intent to make and sell virtual goods, including electronics, home decorations, toys, sporting goods and personal care products. In a separate filing, the company said it would offer users a virtual currency, as well as NFTs.  In total, seven separate applications have been submitted. The patent applications were among a flurry the company filed on Dec. 30, including three under “Walmart Connect” - the name of the company’s existing digital advertising venture - for a financial exchange for virtual currency and advertising. Applications also were filed for “Verse to Store,” “Verse to Curb” and “Verse to Home” for shopping services. It’s also seeking trademarks to apply the Walmart name and “fireworks” logo to heath-care services and education in virtual and augmented reality. “They’re super intense,” said Josh Gerben, a trademark attorney, quoted by CNBC. “There’s a lot of language in these, which shows that there’s a lot of planning going on behind the scenes about how they’re going to address cryptocurrency, how they’re going to address the metaverse and the virtual world that appears to be coming or that’s already here.” Gerben said that ever since Facebook announced it was changing its company name to Meta, signaling its ambitions beyond social media, businesses have been rushing to figure out how they will fit into a virtual world. The applications represent a significant step for the retail giant as it studies how to participate in the metaverse, a virtual world that blends aspects of digital technologies. Walmart dropped a hint to what was coming, after it advertised in August a position to develop “the digital currency strategy and product roadmap” while identifying “crypto-related investment and partnerships,” according to a job posting on the company’s website. “Walmart is continuously exploring how emerging technologies may shape future shopping experiences,” the company responded in an emailed statement. “We don’t have anything further to share today, but it’s worth noting we routinely file trademark applications as part of the innovation process.” Walmart’s cryptocurrency plans were the subject of a high-profile hoax in September, when a fake announcement caused a short-lived surge in Litecoin, a relatively obscure cryptocurrency. According to the faked news release, Walmart would start letting its customers pay with Litecoin. In October, the Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer started a pilot program in which shoppers can buy Bitcoin at Coinstar kiosks in some of its U.S. stores. The test with Coinstar, which is known for the machines that let customers exchange U.S. coins for paper bills or gift cards, includes 200 kiosks in Walmart stores. In early December, Walmart Chief Financial Officer Brett Biggs said at an analyst conference that the company was open to allowing shoppers to pay in cryptocurrency if customers demand it, but the company didn’t see a need to rush out any capabilities. Walmart is the latest brand to jump on the bandwagon of selling virtual goods and/or NFTs. In November, Nike filed a slew of trademark applications that previewed its plans to sell virtual branded sneakers and apparel. Later that month, it said it was teaming up with Roblox to create an online world called Nikeland. In December, it bought the virtual sneaker company RTFKT (pronounced “artifact”) for an undisclosed amount. “All of a sudden, everyone is like, ‘This is becoming super real and we need to make sure our IP is protected in the space,’” said Gerben. Others are also piling in: Gap has started selling NFTs of its iconic logo sweatshirts. The apparel maker said its NFTs will be priced in tiers ranging from roughly $8.30 to $415, and come with a physical hoodie. Meantime, both Under Armour’s and Adidas’ NFT debuts sold out last month. They’re now fetching sky-high prices on the NFT marketplace OpenSea. Gerben said that apparel retailers Urban Outfitters, Ralph Lauren and Abercrombie & Fitch have also filed trademarks in recent weeks detailing their intent to open some sort of virtual store. A report from CB Insights outlined some of the reasons why retailers and brands might want to make such ventures, which can potentially offer new revenue streams. Launching NFTs allows for businesses to tokenize physical products and services to help reduce online transaction costs, it said. And for luxury brands like Gucci and Louis Vuitton, NFTs can serve as a form of authentication for tangible and more expensive goods, CB Insights noted. As the following chart from JPM shows, the NFT space has been red hot in the past year, and the market cap of the NFT universe has never been higher even though crytpocurrencies have tumbled by more than 40% in the past 2 months as institutions dumped the best performing assets of 2021 ahead of widely telegraphed Fed tightening. Launching NFTs allows for businesses to tokenize physical products and services to help reduce online transaction costs, it said. And for luxury brands like Gucci and Louis Vuitton, NFTs can serve as a form of authentication for tangible and more expensive goods, CB Insights noted. Gerben said that as more consumers familiarize themselves with the metaverse and items stored on the blockchain, more retailers will want to create their own ecosystem around it. And after all, while it is the view of the World Economic Forum that after the Great Reset "you will own nothing, and you will be happy", nobody said that one can't own virtual goods in the coming dystopian future. Quoted by CNBC, Frank Chaparro, director at crypto information services firm The Block, said that many retailers are still reeling from being late to e-commerce, so they don’t want to miss out on any opportunities in the metaverse. “I think it’s a win-win for any company in retail,” Chaparro said. “And even if it just turns out to be a fad there’s not a lot of reputation damage in just trying something weird out like giving some customers an NFT in a sweepstake, for instance.” Tyler Durden Sun, 01/16/2022 - 21:00.....»»

Category: personnelSource: NYTJan 16th, 2022Related News