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Casino Capitalism: Neoliberalism in Western countries

"When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done" ~ John Maynard Keynes

PseudoScience > Who Rules America > Neoliberalism

News Neoliberalism Recommended Links Neoliberalism 101: 12 best articles on neoliberalism Neoclassical Pseudo Theories and Crooked and Bought Economists as Fifth Column of Financial Oligarchy The Systemic Instability of Financial Institutions Regulatory Capture & Corruption of regulators
Secular Stagnation Peak Cheap Energy and Oil Price Slump Neoliberalism as a Cause of Structural Unemployment in the USA USA-Russia Gas War Rational expectations scam Economism and abuse of economic theory in American politics Monetarism fiasco
GDP as a false measure of a country economic output Number racket Efficient Market Hypothesis Invisible Hand Hypothesys: The Theory of Self-regulation of the Markets Supply side Voodoo In Goldman Sachs we trust Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism
Twelve apostles of deregulation Clinton Summers Greenspan Rubin Helicopter Ben: Arsonist Turned into Firefighter Reagan
Chicago school of deification of market Free Market Fundamentalism Free Market Newspeak as opium for regulators The Idea of Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium CDS -- weapons of mass financial destruction Phil Gramm Bush II
Zombie state of neoliberalism Insider Trading SEC corruption Fed corruption Systemic Fraud under Clinton-Bush Regime Wall Street Propaganda Machine American Exceptionalism
Redistribution of wealth up as the essence of neoliberalism Glass-Steagall repeal Pope Francis on danger of neoliberalism Fiat money, gold and petrodollar Neoliberalism as a Cause of Structural Unemployment in the USA Buyout Kleptocrats Republican Economic Policy
Principal-agent problem Quiet coup Pecora commission History of Casino Capitalism Casino Capitalism Dictionary :-) Humor  Ayn Rand and Objectivism Cult

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[Jul 24, 2021] Woke Nasdaq's Boardroom Diversity Push

Neoliberal oligarchy fight against income redistribution by pushing perverted social justice smoke screen and in effect can turn the USA in South Africa. Money quote from comments: "If I read NASDAQ's proposal for Board representation in the Onion, I would have thought that even these jokesters have exceeded the creativity threshold of ridiculousness I thought was possible." and "What about the Mentally Ill? Do they get a seat? How about the Homeless?"
Three words about famele CEO and board room members: Elizabeth Holmes, Theranos. BTW what is unclear in NASDAQ bold critical race theory support is: Can we exchange one black member for two female members? Or not.
Also why stop at the boardrooms. Why not require the same in professional sport teams?
Jul 24, 2021 | www.wsj.com
Nasdaq has, in its own words, embraced "the social justice movement." The actual job of a stock exchange, however, is to ensure that trading is orderly and its listed companies follow standard governance rules. But doing that doesn't earn the applause of the political left. Progressive approval apparently means a lot to Nasdaq, which has officially proposed to its regulator -- the Securities and Exchange Commission, newly chaired by Gary Gensler -- to increase boardroom diversity through a "regulatory approach."

This proposal would require that Nasdaq-listed companies not only disclose the diversity characteristics of their existing boards, but also retain "at least one director who self-identifies as female," and "at least one director who self-identifies as Black or African American, Hispanic or Latinx, Asian, Native American or Alaska Native, two or more races or ethnicities, or as LGBTQ+."

Noncompliant firms must publicly "explain" -- in writing -- why they don't meet Nasdaq's quotas. Nasdaq has, in its own words, embraced "the social justice movement."

The actual job of a stock exchange, however, is to ensure that trading is orderly and its listed companies follow standard governance rules. But doing that doesn't earn the applause of the political left. Progressive approval apparently means a lot to Nasdaq, which has officially proposed to its regulator -- the Securities and Exchange Commission, newly chaired by Gary Gensler -- to increase boardroom diversity through a "regulatory approach."

[Jul 24, 2021] New variation of the old saying

Apr 07, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

OldNewB

Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank.

Give a man a bank and he can rob the world.

[Jul 24, 2021] The Fed, BLS and al Capone: the Fed, in sync with the fiction writers at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), reports consumer inflation as honestly as Al Capone reported taxable income

Jul 24, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

The Fed, in sync with the fiction writers at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), reports consumer inflation as honestly as Al Capone reported taxable income.

Vardaman 3 hours ago

"A basket of things no one actually buys, with prices we just pull out of our asses..."

Glock 1 hour ago

Yep, the BLS uses the CPI-W to literally avoid raising SS payments. The real rate of inflation for seniors is close to 10% as the things they spend most of their money on like medical care, medicine, food and utilities have gone through the roof

While the government claims they are entitled to 1.5% or less COLA's out of which comes a bigger deduction every year for Medicare. Scam artists.

[Jul 24, 2021] American Empire still exists. US gov't can always sell LNG to Poland

Jul 24, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

XJ033858JH 11 hours ago remove link

Don't worry, US gov't...you can always sell your LNG to Poland...hahahah!

LA_Goldbug 11 hours ago

I wonder what the price is for this LNG from all the way across the Atlantic.

rosalinda 10 hours ago

I read it is triple the price of the Russian gas. The Russians have all the advantages here. Putin probably would not weaponize the gas, but who is to say some Russian leader in the future might not take the opportunity? Europe is more dependant on Russian gas then Russia is dependant on European money

XJ033858JH 10 hours ago

It's more like 3.3 times...10% for the big guy

BannedCamp 8 hours ago

Likewise, Russia could nuke the whole world, but they never used a nuke on any country before, but the US has. Saying that Russia might do something that the accusing party (The U.S) is actually doing right now (to Germany) is blatant hypocrisy.

[Jul 24, 2021] Nord Stream 2 'Deal' Is Not An American Concession, It's Admission Of Defeat - ZeroHedge

Jul 24, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

After much arm-twisting, bullying and foghorn diplomacy towards its European allies, the United States appears to have finally given up on trying to block the giant Nord Stream 2 project with Russia. What an epic saga it has been, revealing much about American relations with Europe and Washington's geopolitical objectives, as well as, ultimately, the historic decline in U.S. global power.

In the end, sanity and natural justice seem to have prevailed. The Nord Stream 2 pipeline under the Baltic Sea will double the existing flow of Russia's prodigious natural gas to Germany and the rest of Europe. The fuel is economical and environmentally clean compared with coal, oil and the shale gas that the Americans were vying with Russia to export.

Russia's vast energy resources will ensure Europe's economies and households are reliably and efficiently fueled for the future. Germany, the economic engine of the European Union, has a particular vital interest in securing the Nord Stream 2 project which augments an existing Nord Stream 1 pipeline. Both follow the same Baltic Sea route of approximately 1,222 kilometers – the longest pipeline in the world – taking Russian natural gas from its arctic region to the northern shores of Germany. For Germany's export-led economy, Russian fuel is essential for future growth, and hence benefiting the rest of Europe.

It was always a natural fit between Russia and the European Union. Geographically and economically, the two parties are compatible traders and Nord Stream 2 is merely the culmination of decades of efficient energy relations.

Enter the Americans. Washington has been seething over the strategic energy trade between Russia and Europe. The opposition escalated under the Trump administration (so much for Trump being an alleged Russian stooge!) when his ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, fired off threatening letters to German and other European companies arrogantly warning that they would be hit with sanctions if they dared proceed with Nord Stream 2. Pipe-laying work was indeed interrupted last year by U.S. sanctions. (So much for European sovereignty and alleged meddling in internal affairs by Russia!)

The ostensible American rationale was always absurd. Washington claimed that Russia would exploit its strategic role as gas supplier by extracting malicious concessions from Europe. It was also claimed that Russia would "weaponize" energy trade to enable alleged aggression towards Ukraine and other Eastern European states. The rationale reflects the twisted Machiavellian mentality of the Americans and their supporters in Europe – Poland and the Baltic states, as well as the Kiev regime in Ukraine. Such mentality is shot-through with irrational Russophobia.

The ridiculous paranoid claims against Russia are of course an inversion of reality. It is the Americans and their European surrogates who are weaponizing a mundane matter of commercial trade that in reality offers a win-win relationship. Part of the real objective is to distort market economics by demonizing Russia in order for the United States to export their own vastly more expensive and environmentally dirty liquefied natural gas to Europe. (So much for American free-market capitalism!)

Another vital objective for Washington is to thwart any normal relations developing between Russia and the rest of Europe. American hegemony and its hyper-militaristic economy depend on dividing and ruling other nations as so-called "allies" and "adversaries". This has been a long-time necessity ever since the Second World War and during the subsequent Cold War decades, the latter constantly revived by Washington against Russia. (So much for American claims that Russia is a "revisionist power"!)

However, there is a fundamental objective problem for the Americans. The empirical decline of U.S. global power means that Washington can no longer bully other nations in the way it has been accustomed to doing for decades. The old Cold War caricatures of demonizing others have lost their allure and potency because the objective world we live in today simply does not make them plausible or credible. The Russian gas trade with the European Union is a consummate case in point. In short, Germany and the EU are not going to shoot themselves in the foot, economically speaking, simply on the orders of Uncle Sam.

President Joe Biden had enough common sense – unlike the egotistical Trump – to realize that American opposition to Nord Stream 2 was futile. Biden is more in tune with the Washington establishment than his maverick predecessor. Hence Biden began waiving sanctions imposed under Trump. Finally this week, the White House announced that it had come to an agreement with Germany to permit Nord Stream 2 to go ahead. The Financial Times called it a "truce" while the Wall Street Journal referred to a "deal" between Washington and Berlin. (Ironically, American non-interference is presented as a "deal"!)

The implication is that the United States was magnanimously giving a "concession" to Europe. The reality is the Americans were tacitly admitting they can't stop the strategic convergence between Russia and the rest of Europe on a vital matter of energy supply.

In spinning the eventuality, Washington has continued to accuse Russia of "weaponizing" trade. It warns that if Russia is perceived to be abusing relations with Ukraine and Europe then the United States will slap more sanctions on Moscow. This amounts to the defeated bully hyperventilating.

Another geopolitical factor is China. The Biden administration has prioritized confrontation with China as the main long-term concern for repairing U.S. decline. Again, Biden is more in tune with the imperial planners in Washington than Trump was. They know that in order for the United States to have a chance of undermining China as a geopolitical rival the Europeans must be aligned with U.S. policy. Trump's boorish browbeating of Europeans and Germany in particular over NATO budgets and other petty issues resulted in an unprecedented rift in the "transatlantic alliance" – the euphemism for American dominance over Europe. By appearing to concede to Germany over Nord Stream 2, Washington is really aiming to shore up its anti-China policy. This too is an admission of defeat whereby American power is unable to confront China alone. The bully needs European lackeys to align, and so is obliged to offer a "deal" over Russia's energy trade.

All in all, Washington's virtue-signaling is one helluva gas!


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Peter Pan 12 hours ago

What the USA accuses Russia of planning to do down the track is actually what the USA is doing now. In other words it is the USA that is weaponusing the gas issue with threats and sanctions.

_ConanTheLibertarian_ 12 hours ago remove link

The US had no business interfering. Bye.

buzzsaw99 12 hours ago

the usa should ask russia to teach them how to keep natural gas flowing when it gets cold outside. lol

RedSeaPedestrian 11 hours ago

How to keep a windmill spinning comes first.

two hoots 11 hours ago

Well we did interfere and the results exposed our decline in multifarious ways, mainly power in all things that matter in the international arena: diplomacy, defense, economic, trust. We yet have great influence with our scientific and industrial capabilities but even there others are reaching parity. Internally our unsupportable debt will hinder even that. Basically it is the US Government (domestic/foreign affairs) that has led the charge of our decline. "Government is dead" .... (we need a new and improved one to worship)

Max21c 11 hours ago

The Washingtonians & Londoners are just upset because now their buddies and puppets in the Ukraine aren't going to be able to use control over the transit of Russian gas through the Ukraine to hold Europe hostage and get their way. So everything that they're accusing the Russians of doing in the future is what Washingtonians, Londoners, and the Ukraine were doing in the past. They're just upset since their Ukrainian vassals can no longer do their bidding's against Moscow and Eastern Europe.

MR166 9 hours ago

I am a USA loving conservative but I really never understood the objections to the pipeline. Since energy = standard of living the pipeline does nothing but help mankind. The US has no problem becoming totally dependent on China for drugs, medical supplies, chips and manufacturing but is afraid of Russia shipping gas to Europe. How does that make any sense at all???!!!

ar8 9 hours ago (Edited) remove link

I will explain it for you:

US companies wanted to sell their gas to Europe.

The US companies attempted to use the US to bully European countries, companies, projects and people through sanctions and threatening fines.

It worked, a bit: numerous companies ceased working on it.

But the US, as usual, with its bullyboy tactics had been less effective and created more self-damage than it expected. It has created many enemies as a result, which will hasten the demise of the US government.

Despite its age, the following is still relevant to Nord Stream II: "War Is a Racket" is a speech and a 1935 short book, by Smedley D. Butler, a retired United States Marine Corps Major General and two-time Medal of Honor recipient.

Rudolph 2 hours ago

One more reason. We control Ukraine, Ukraine control gas to Germany. = We control Germany.

Vivekwhu 9 hours ago

What is the point of having a financial/military/market empire if you don't have a finger in every pie enriching your elite?

Chief Joesph 11 hours ago

It was simply a war of hate about anything Russian. The U.S. really had nothing to offer Germany anyway. From the German perspective, they had to protect their own interests, and since Russia was offering to sell them natural gas and the U.S. wasn't, the choice was rather simple. Perhaps it might make better relationships between eastern block countries and the west too.

The U.S. spends a great amount of time and resources "hating" other countries for no reason at all. It's bigotry by any other definition. The U.S. practices a systematic and especially politically exploited expression of hatred and hostilities. Not only do they practice this against other countries, but among their own kind too. The U.S. ranks as one of the more hateful countries in the world, only surpassed by the Middle East. Add that to the reasons why Germany doesn't want to go along with U.S. temper tantrums.

LA_Goldbug 10 hours ago

Not "hating" but "bombing" is the right description of the US foreign policy practice.

porco rosso 11 hours ago

Mr Putin is way too clever for these yankster clowns and makes them look like the fools they are time and time again. That is why they hate him so much.

Max21c 11 hours ago remove link

Putin didn't have to outsmart them. The Europeans need the gas. Water does not usually flow uphill.

porco rosso 11 hours ago

True. But in Germany there are a lot of treacherous transatlantic elements that wanted to sabotage the pipeline at any cost.

These elements are Germans but they dont give a **** about Germany. Treacherous scumbags.

wootendw PREMIUM 11 hours ago (Edited)

" The ostensible American rationale was always absurd. Washington claimed that Russia would exploit its strategic role as gas supplier by extracting malicious concessions from Europe. It was also claimed that Russia would "weaponize" energy trade to enable alleged aggression towards Ukraine and other Eastern European states. "

The absurdity lies with the existence of NATO or the US being in NATO. It no more makes sense for US to commit ourselves to Europe's defense against Russia than it does for Europe to buy American NG for three times the price it can get Russia's for.

williambanzai7 PREMIUM 10 hours ago (Edited)

Well apparently some tard thinks it makes perfect sense for other readily imagined strategic reasons none of which have anything to do with accountable governance.

Someone thinks NATO is a dog leash. An expensive dog leash.

yerfej 11 hours ago

The washington idiot cabal needs something to focus on to justify their existence so they wander the globe telling everyone how to live and who they can trade with when they're not busy starting or expanding wars. The reality is the US federal government is a completely useless parasite who's ONLY function is to domestically terrorize its own citizens and the other nations of the world.

known unknown 10 hours ago remove link

Nordstream II was built to a stop Ukraine from blocking gas to Europe which they already did once, stealing gas which they have always done. Germany asked Russia to build it. The dummy Bulgarians stopped a similar pipeline yielding to the US. Then they cried about it when they realized they lost billions. No matter what's promised Ukraine will be cut out in 5 years if they continue hostilities towards Russians.

LA_Goldbug 10 hours ago (Edited) remove link

Most people conveniently forget or don't know about Ukraine's siphoning of the gas while in transit to European countries.

Germany is as bad as the US. Thanks to Germany Yugoslavia was decapitated with help from US and UK.

Greed is King 11 hours ago

Nordstream 2 is a trade deal between the EU (primarily Germany) and Russia.

Russia sells gas to the EU; and the EU buys gas from Russia.

So, can anybody answer these questions.

1.WTF has it got to do with America ?.

2. Who the feck does America think it is that it thinks it can interfere with and make demands of free and sovereign nations ?.

When the bully is beaten, nobody ever feels sympathy for him; America would do well to think about that.

Samual Vimes 11 hours ago (Edited) remove link

Surroguts /proxies, what ever.

Unelected policy makers in all their purple clad glory.

Max21c 12 hours ago (Edited)

After much arm-twisting, bullying and foghorn diplomacy towards its European allies, the United States appears to have finally given up on trying to block the giant Nord Stream 2 project with Russia. What an epic saga it has been, revealing much about American relations with Europe and Washington's geopolitical objectives, as well as, ultimately, the historic decline in U.S. global power.

It may show a decline in US global power or it may just show a rise in Washingtonian amateurishness, arrogance, obnoxiousness, naivete and stupidity...

all it does is show out in the open that certain people are quacks, flakes, and screwballs. Why would anyone in their right mind waste time & efforts or political capital or diplomatic capital/bonnafides on trying to do something so silly as block Nord Stream 2... It just makes Washingtonians look ridiculous, silly, and absurd...

It's almost as crazy as making a horse into a Roman Senator or declaring a war on the Neptune or attacking the sea... It appears as if right after the Berlin Wall came down American elites and Washingtonians all joined the Mad King Ludwig cult and became worshipers of everything crazy...

RedSeaPedestrian 11 hours ago remove link

Or even as crazy as making a Dementia patient a Roman Emperor. (Or is that a United States President? I forget sometimes.)

hugin-o-munin 12 hours ago remove link

Whatever political games are being played there is no getting around the fact that Europe and Russia will eventually start to get along and expand trade and industrial cooperation. Most people know that both the US and UK want to prevent this because it will diminish their current top dog positions wrt global trade and financial control. Few things compare to trade and mutual beneficial cooperation when it comes to lowering the risk for conflict.

Just like Europe should promote development and trade with northern Africa so should the US with central and southern America. This would also put an end to the endless migrant caravans that are putting a huge strain on both the EU and US today. It's actually a non brainer and says more about these satanic globalists' true motive than anything else.

ReichstagFireDept. 9 hours ago remove link

Nord Stream 2 is your best indicator that Governments are realizing that Renewable Energy is NOT the replacement for Conventional Energy.

Nat. Gas IS the clean Energy source that everyone was screaming for...now it's finally worldwide and they don't want it?!

Sorry, your Green Marxist dream is ending.

geno-econ 9 hours ago remove link

U.S. should be grateful Russia is sharing its natural resources with West rather than aligning with China. There is much more than natural gas---ferro manganese, ferro chrome, uranium, enrichment, titanium, aluminum, fertilizer, wheat, timber products, etc. U.S. trade with China essentially imports only two major resources---cheap labor and synthetic opioids !

williambanzai7 PREMIUM 9 hours ago

Well, there's some plastic junk and red refugees in there as well.

geno-econ 9 hours ago

only wealthy red capitalists disguised as refugees from China

ar8 9 hours ago

You are assuming the US government thinks rationally.

It doesn't.

[Jul 24, 2021] The "deal" was merely an attempt by the US to save face

Jul 24, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com


play_arrow

Shemp 4 Victory 6 hours ago

The "deal" was merely an attempt by the US to save face.

https://theduran.com/merkel-makes-germany-look-weak-sets-up-ukraine-slush-fund-in-nord-stream-2-deal-with-u-s/

[Jul 23, 2021] Russia rejects aspects of Germany-U.S. accord on Nord Stream 2 pipeline

Jul 23, 2021 | www.msn.com

The Kremlin said on Thursday it disagreed with some statements in an agreement between the United States and Germany on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, insisting that Russia had never used energy as a tool of political pressure.

The pact aims to mitigate what critics see as the strategic dangers of the $11 billion Nord Stream 2 pipeline, now 98% complete, being built under the Baltic Sea to carry gas from Russia's Arctic region to Germany.

"Russia has always been and remains a responsible guarantor of energy security on the European continent, or I would even say on a wider, global scale," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

[Jul 21, 2021] Germany commits to action if Russia uses energy as weapon -Nuland

Jul 21, 2021 | www.msn.com

Arby's Just Quietly Discontinued These 6 Menu Items See Dolly Parton Recreate Her Iconic "Playboy" Cover 43 Years Later

WASHINGTON, July 21 (Reuters) - Germany has committed to take action on its own and back action at the European Union level should Russia seek to use energy as a weapon or take aggressive action against Ukraine, U.S. Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland said on Wednesday.

"Should Russia attempt to use energy as a weapon or commit further aggressive actions against Ukraine, Germany will take actions at the national level and press for effective measures at the European level, including sanctions, to limit Russian export capabilities in the energy sector," Nuland told lawmakers, adding that Germany would support an extension of the Russia-Ukraine transit agreement that expires in 2024. (Reporting By Arshad Mohammed and Jonathan Landay)

[Jul 21, 2021] U.S. Life Expectancy Fell by 1.5 Years in 2020, the Biggest Decline in Generations by Betsy McKay

Neoliberalism is the key reason fro the drop in life expectancy
Notable quotes:
"... Declines or stagnation in longevity can signal catastrophic events or deep problems in a society, researchers say. ..."
"... More deaths from homicide, diabetes and chronic liver disease -- which is related to heavy alcohol use -- also contributed to last year's life expectancy drop, the CDC said ..."
"... The declines were largest for Hispanic and Black people, who as population groups were disproportionately affected by the pandemic . The largest drop for any cohort was 3.7 years, for Hispanic men, bringing their life expectancy to 75.3 years of age. ..."
Jul 21, 2021 | www.wsj.com

Life expectancy in the U.S. fell by 1.5 years in 2020, the biggest decline since at least World War II, as the Covid-19 pandemic killed hundreds of thousands and exacerbated crises in drug overdoses , homicides and some chronic diseases.

... ... ...

The full toll of the pandemic has yet to be seen, doctors and public-health officials said. Many people skipped or delayed treatment last year for conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure and endured isolation, stress and interruptions in normal diet and exercise routines.

"That has led to intermediate and longer-term effects we will have to deal with for years to come," said Donald Lloyd-Jones, chair of the department of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and president of the American Heart Association.

Life expectancy is a measure of a nation's well-being and prosperity, based on mortality in a given year. Declines or stagnation in longevity can signal catastrophic events or deep problems in a society, researchers say. Life expectancy fell in the U.S. by 11.8 years in 1918, during a world-wide flu pandemic. Many victims were young.

... ... ...

More deaths from homicide, diabetes and chronic liver disease -- which is related to heavy alcohol use -- also contributed to last year's life expectancy drop, the CDC said ...

Life expectancy would have fallen even more, the CDC said, if not for decreases in mortality due to cancer, chronic lower-respiratory diseases such as bronchitis, emphysema and asthma, and other factors.

The declines were largest for Hispanic and Black people, who as population groups were disproportionately affected by the pandemic . The largest drop for any cohort was 3.7 years, for Hispanic men, bringing their life expectancy to 75.3 years of age.

U.S. longevity had been largely stagnant since 2010, even declining in three of those years, due in part to an increase in deaths from drug overdoses , rising death rates from heart disease for middle-aged Americans and other public health crises. "Getting back to where we were before the pandemic is a very bad place," said Steven Woolf, director emeritus of the Center on Society and Health at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine and author of a recent study comparing the effects of the pandemic on life expectancy in the U.S. and other high-income countries. "We've got a larger problem here."

... ... ...

Drug-overdose deaths rose nearly 30% last year, driven by a proliferation of the deadly synthetic opioid fentanyl as well as stress, isolation and reduced access to treatment during the pandemic, public-health experts said. One study published this month found a 28.3% decline in initiation of addiction treatment in California from March through October 2020..... ...

Life expectancy for white people dropped 1.2 years to 77.6 years in 2020, the lowest level since 2002.

R

Roger Guttentag SUBSCRIBER 1 hour ago

What is missing from this article is a comparison of the US with other advanced economies in Europe and Asia. What is disturbing is how the US spends the most and achieves less than our economic peers starting with expected average longevity. We had the lowest longevity averages pre-pandemic and now we have dropped further. This is happening despite the fact that our health care spending is twice the per capita of other advanced economies (Approx. $11K in the US vs. $6K based on 2019 data). Contributing to our dismal longevity statistics, with respect to other wealthy economies, are the highest rates of drug overdose deaths and suicides by gun. This is just the tip of a long list of sad statistics where we are unfortunately number 1 or close to it. The usual (partisan) response is to claim its government's fault or the fault of a greedy healthcare system or just say the data is wrong. So far, none of these strategies is working very well.
Dave Berg SUBSCRIBER 1 hour ago
Life expectancy is the wrong phrase. It's current average life duration. COVID will have no impact on the life expectancy of babies being born right now. I have two new grandchildren, their life expectancy will be impacted by things we don't even know about yet.

[Jul 21, 2021] Russia And Germany Win War Over Nord Stream 2

Notable quotes:
"... Two world wars were fought to keep Germany down. The stated purpose of NATO is to keep the Russians out, the Americans in and the Germans down. ..."
"... IMO US didn't cause NS2 friction because it thinks it benefits Russia, but exactly because it benefits Germany too much. ..."
"... You know, NATO, "Keep the Germans down..." and all that. US must not permit it's vassals to become too economically stronger than their master. They want to drag everyone they can down with them (and in shitter US goes) so they can still be king of the hill (or ad least shitter bottom). ..."
"... The most important point to know is that US hegemony in Europe is predicated on fear and hostility between Germany and Russia. ..."
"... There are many limitations to European strategic autonomy -- and the EU embodies those limits in many ways -- but the case of NS2 demonstrates an independent streak in German strategy. It amounts to a zero sum loss for Washington. ..."
"... Lebanon does illustrate the incredible reach of the Empire. A leverage so long that every door leads to self immolation. Your mention of the current spyware scandal is right on point. These are instruments of absolute power. ..."
"... While Trump is certainly no representative of humanity, it just as certainly doesn't look like his rise was in the playbook of the dominant faction of the oligarchy. Trump really seems to fit the mould of a Bonapartist, though recast in the context of contemporary America. This would indicate that the imperial oligarchy is in crisis, which itself could lead to fractures in the empire, and among the empire's vassals in particular. ..."
Jul 21, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Russia And Germany Win War Over Nord Stream 2

The sanctions war the U.S. waged against Germany and Russia over the Nord Stream 2 pipeline has ended with a total U.S. defeat.

The U.S. attempts to block the pipeline were part of the massive anti-Russia campaign waged over the last five years. But it was always based on a misunderstanding. The pipeline is not to Russia's advantage but important for Germany. As I described Nord Stream 2 in a previous piece :

It is not Russia which needs the pipeline. It can sell its gas to China for just as much as it makes by selling gas to Europe.
...
It is Germany, the EU's economic powerhouse, that needs the pipeline and the gas flowing through it. Thanks to Chancellor Merkel's misguided energy policy - she put an end to nuclear power in German after a tsunami in Japan destroyed three badly placed reactors - Germany urgently needs the gas to keep its already high electricity prices from rising further.

That the new pipeline will bypass old ones which run through the Ukraine is likewise to the benefit of Germany, not Russia. The pipeline infrastructure in the Ukraine is old and near to disrepair. The Ukraine has no money to renew it. Politically it is under U.S. influence. It could use its control over the energy flow to the EU for blackmail. (It already tried once.) The new pipeline, laid at the bottom of the Baltic sea, requires no payment for crossing Ukrainian land and is safe from potential malign influence.

Maybe Chancellor Merkel on her recent visit to Washington DC finally managed to explain that to the Biden administration. More likely though she simply told the U.S. to f*** off. Whatever - the result is in. As the Wall Street Journal reports today:

The U.S. and Germany have reached an agreement allowing completion of the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline, officials from both countries say.

Under the four-point agreement, Germany and the U.S. would invest $50 million in Ukrainian green-tech infrastructure, encompassing renewable energy and related industries. Germany also would support energy talks in the Three Seas Initiative, a Central European diplomatic forum.

Berlin and Washington as well would try to ensure that Ukraine continues to receive roughly $3 billion in annual transit fees that Russia pays under its current agreement with Kyiv, which runs through 2024. Officials didn't explain how to ensure that Russia continues to make the payments.

The U.S. also would retain the prerogative of levying future pipeline sanctions in the case of actions deemed to represent Russian energy coercion, officials in Washington said.

So Germany will spend some chump change to buy up, together with the U.S, a few Ukrainian companies that are involved in solar or wind mill stuff. It will 'support' some irrelevant talks by maybe paying for the coffee. It also promises to try something that it has no way to succeed in.

That's all just a fig leave. The U.S. really gave up without receiving anything for itself or for its client regime in the Ukraine.

The Ukraine lobby in Congress will be very unhappy with that deal. The Biden administration hopes to avoid an uproar over it. Yesterday Politico reported that the Biden administration preemptively had told the Ukraine to stop talking about the issue :

In the midst of tense negotiations with Berlin over a controversial Russia-to-Germany pipeline, the Biden administration is asking a friendly country to stay quiet about its vociferous opposition. And Ukraine is not happy.

U.S. officials have signaled that they've given up on stopping the project, known as the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, and are now scrambling to contain the damage by striking a grand bargain with Germany.

At the same time, administration officials have quietly urged their Ukrainian counterparts to withhold criticism of a forthcoming agreement with Germany involving the pipeline, according to four people with knowledge of the conversations.

The U.S. officials have indicated that going public with opposition to the forthcoming agreement could damage the Washington-Kyiv bilateral relationship , those sources said. The officials have also urged the Ukrainians not to discuss the U.S. and Germany's potential plans with Congress.

If Trump had done the above Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi would have called for another impeachment.

The Ukrainian President Zelensky is furious over the deal and about being told to shut up. But there is little he can do but to accept the booby price the Biden administration offered him:

U.S. officials' pressure on Ukrainian officials to withhold criticism of whatever final deal the Americans and the Germans reach will face significant resistance.

A source close to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Kyiv's position is that U.S. sanctions could still stop completion of the project, if only the Biden administration had the will to use them at the construction and certification stages. That person said Kyiv remains staunchly opposed to the project.

Meanwhile, the Biden administration gave Zelensky a date for a meeting at the White House with the president later this summer , according to a senior administration official.

Nord Stream 2 is to 96% ready. Its testing will start in August or September and by the years end it will hopefully deliver gas to western Europe.

Talks about building Nord Stream 3 are likely to start soon.

Posted by b on July 21, 2021 at 17:13 UTC | Permalink


corvo , Jul 21 2021 17:23 utc | 1

Did Merkel also get Biden to promise that neither he nor any of his clients (AQ, ISIS, etc. etc. etc.) would perpetrate any "unfortunate incidents" or "disruptions" on NS 2?

And would any such promises be worth the breath that uttered them?

Down South , Jul 21 2021 17:42 utc | 2
But it was always based on a misunderstanding. The pipeline is not to Russia's advantage but important for Germany

I'm afraid it is you who doesn't understand. Two world wars were fought to keep Germany down. The stated purpose of NATO is to keep the Russians out, the Americans in and the Germans down.

They weren't trying to block NS2 to keep Russia out but to keep Germany down,

Abe , Jul 21 2021 17:44 utc | 3
I beg to differ. IMO US didn't cause NS2 friction because it thinks it benefits Russia, but exactly because it benefits Germany too much.

You know, NATO, "Keep the Germans down..." and all that. US must not permit it's vassals to become too economically stronger than their master. They want to drag everyone they can down with them (and in shitter US goes) so they can still be king of the hill (or ad least shitter bottom).

That is why there is also pressure for all western countries to adopt insane immigration, LGBT, austerity policies and what not. What a better way to destroy all these countries, both economically and culturally, or adleast make them far more worse than US, it is only way US can again become "powerhouse", like after WW2.

psychohistorian , Jul 21 2021 17:46 utc | 5
Does this represent a fracturing of the EU? or maybe a change in direction?

What b is pointing out about how if it were Trump....only means that the bullying approach by empire didn't work and now we are seeing face saving bullying and backpedaling like crazy in some areas.

I roll my eyes at this ongoing belief that Trump represented humanity instead of all or some faction of the elite....as a demigod it seems.

Hoyeru , Jul 21 2021 17:54 utc | 6
the "facts" as you state them are not quite right.

1. China is ruthless. They waited until the last possible second to sign a deal with Iran, thus ensuring they are getting the best possible price for Iran's oil, basically robbing Iran blind. The poor Iran didn't have a choice but to agree. Even today, Putin will NOT say how much China is paying for gas on Siberia pipeline and a lot of people think China is robbing Russia blind on the deal. A second Siberia line without a NS2 will put Russia is very bad negotiation position and China in very good one, giving them the advantage to ask for any price of Russia and get it.

2. Merkel is leaving anyway in September and thw Green party that will be taking over HATES RUssia with passion. The NS2 is far from done deal, it needs to be insured. Plus it will fall under the EU 3rd energy package making sure Germany doesn't use it 100% . The NS2 will never be 100 usable, the Green party will see to that. AT best it will be only 50% usage.

And so on and so on. Funny how in today's world, we all have different facts. My facts are different than YOUR facts. My facts are just as relevant as your facts.

librul , Jul 21 2021 17:55 utc | 7
A most worthwhile read:
What is more, the most dangerous potential alliance, from the perspective of the United States, was considered to be an alliance between Russia and Germany. This would be an alliance of German technology and capital with Russian natural and human resources.

The article explains a lot, more than just Germany or Russia.

https://newcoldwar.org/stratfor-chiefs-most-blatant-coup-in-history-interview-from-dec-2014/

Interview was from done a few months after the US coup in Ukraine.

Arch Bungle , Jul 21 2021 17:56 utc | 8
Posted by: Down South | Jul 21 2021 17:42 utc | 2

They weren't trying to block NS2 to keep Russia out but to keep Germany down...

Germany would be 'down' no matter how much financial power it accumulates - i.e regardless of NS2. The imperial garrison at Rammstein AFB will make sure of that. What the Americans fear is the symbolic meaning of NS2 in terms of geopolitical influence for Russia. The loss of maneuverability against Russia that results from a key vassal not being able to move in complete obedience to Uncle Sam's wishes.

Max , Jul 21 2021 17:58 utc | 9
The pipeline construction battle has been won, not the energy flow war.

The Financial Empire is most likely resorting to some CHARADE to find an excuse to later stop the gas flow through Nord Stream 2. Empire's bullying was clearly exposed through sanctions and it LOST the battle of stopping the pipeline construction. So it moves to the next battle to find an excuse to stop the gas flow. Empire's evil intent is visible in these words, "the U.S. also would retain the prerogative of levying future pipeline sanctions in the case of actions deemed to represent Russian energy coercion, officials in Washington said."

The Financial Empire has worked hard over the last century to prevent Germany from allying herself with Russia. It wants to control energy flowing in Eurasia and its pricing. The war will be only won when the Financial Empire is defeated and its global pillars of power DISMANTLED.

"The 'heartland' was an area centered in Eurasia, which would be so situated and catered to by resources and manpower as to render it an unconquerable fortress and a fearsome power; and the 'crescent' was a virtual semi-arc encompassing an array of islands – America, Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Japan – which, as 'Sea Powers,' watched over the Eurasian landmass to detect and eventually thwart any tendency towards a consolidation of power on the heartland."

Has the Financial Empire stopped interfering in other regions?

karlof1 , Jul 21 2021 18:15 utc | 10
Curious. Late yesterday Sputnik published this article with a decidedly different message:

"US, Germany Threaten Retaliatory Action Against Russia in Draft Nord Stream 2 Accord - Report...."

"As the US and Germany have reportedly reached a deal on the Nord Stream 2 project, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday, citing the obtained draft text of the agreement, that it would threaten sanctions and other measures if Russia tried to use energy as a 'weapon' against Ukraine , though it did not specify what actions could provoke the countermeasures.

"According to the report, in such a case, Germany will take unspecified national action , a decision that may represent a concession from Chancellor Angela Merkel, who had previously refused to take independent action against Moscow over the gas pipeline that will run from Russia to Germany." [My Emphasis]

The article continues:

"On Tuesday, Ned Price, a spokesman for the US State Department, told reporters that he did not have final details of an agreement to announce, but that 'the Germans have put forward useful proposals, and we have been able to make progress on steps to achieve that shared goal, that shared goal being to ensure that Russia cannot weaponize energy ."

" The US was hoping for explicit language that would commit Germany to shut down gas delivery through Nord Stream 2 if Russia attempted to exert undue influence on Ukraine . Germany, on the other hand, has long rejected such a move, stating that such a threat would only serve to politicize a project that Merkel stresses is solely commercial in nature." [My Emphasis]

The overall motive appears to be this:

"The accord would also commit Germany to use its influence to prolong Ukraine's gas transit arrangement with Russia beyond 2024, possibly for up to ten years . Those talks would begin no later than September 1, according to the news outlet." [My Emphasis]

So, here we have the Outlaw US Empire meddling in the internal affairs of three nations--Germany, Russia and Ukraine. Ukraine cannot afford Russian gas as it has no rubles to pay for it. Thus if Ukraine has no money to buy, then why should Gazprom be obliged to give it away freely? What about other European customers who rely on gas piped through Ukraine; are they going to see what they pay for get stolen by Ukraine? And what happens when the pipelines breakdown from lack of maintenance since Ukraine's broke thanks to the Outlaw Us Empire's coup that razed its economy? Shouldn't the Empire and its NATO vassals who invaded Ukraine via their coup be forced to pay for such maintenance? And just who "weaponized" this entire situation in the first place?

Mar man , Jul 21 2021 18:21 utc | 11
From my understanding, NS 2 was mutually beneficial for Germany and Russia. As noted, Germany desperately needs energy and relying on the outrageously priced and unreliable US LNG was not a viable option.

Russia benefits also.
1.No more high transit fees Russia pays Ukraine. I imagine some of that was finding its way into US pockets after 2014.
2.Ukraine supposedly helped itself to plenty of stolen gas from the pipeline. That will stop.
3.Ukraine was occasionally shutting down the pipeline for political reasons until Russia paid the ransom. Not anymore.

So, Russia and Germany were both highly motivated to finish the pipeline ASAP.

Down South , Jul 21 2021 18:31 utc | 12
Arch Bungle @ 8
Germany would be 'down' no matter how much financial power it accumulates - i.e regardless of NS2.

The imperial garrison at Rammstein AFB will make sure of that.

Putin not too long ago (can't find the article now) said he was prepared to help Europe gain its independence should they wish to do so, Rammstein or no Rammstein.

What the Americans fear is the symbolic meaning of NS2 in terms of geopolitical influence for Russia. The loss of maneuverability against Russia that results from a key vassal not being able to move in complete obedience to Uncle Sam's wishes.
What they fear should this deal go ahead is a Germany/Russia/China Axis that would control the world island and thus the world.
Hoarsewhisperer , Jul 21 2021 18:33 utc | 13
I was convinced that the US of Assholery had lost its infantile anti-NS2 'battle' in September 2020, after watching an episode of DW Conflict Zone in which Sarah Kelly interviewed Niels Annen, Germany's Deputy FM. Annen came to the interview armed to the teeth with embarrassing facts about US hypocrisy including, but not limited to, the fact that USA, itself, buys vast quantities of petroleum products from Russia each year.

The interview is Google-able and, apart from pure entertainment value, Sarah is much easier on the eye than Tim Sebastian...

A.L. , Jul 21 2021 18:34 utc | 14
@Hoyeru | Jul 21 2021 17:54 utc | 6

1. China is ruthless. They waited until the last possible second to sign a deal with Iran, thus ensuring they are getting the best possible price for Iran's oil, basically robbing Iran blind.

Hmmm... I seem to remember Iran shafting China on the south Pars gas field when it looked like the JCPOA was looking likely...

If this memory of mine was correct (it may not be) then you really can't blame China for a little commercial payback.

In any case it was shown as soon as JCPOA Mk.1 was passed Iran RAN, not walked, to smooch up to the west for business, not China, not Russia. So if its just business for Iran then its just business for China.

There's no loyalty discount without loyalty.

robin , Jul 21 2021 18:38 utc | 16
I agree with Down South 2 and Abe 3.

In our eagerness to expose the empire's shortcomings in a quick 'gotcha!' moment we shouldn't rush head first into false premises. To suggest Dear Uncle Sam is concerned with anything other than his own navel is naive. He's the man with the plan. He knows that down the road, Oceania's eastern border won't run along the Dnieper but right off the shore of Airstrip One.

Stonebird , Jul 21 2021 18:59 utc | 17
As has been mentioned before, the NN2 pipeline gives Germany leverage over Russia , not the other way around.

US => Germany => Russia.
Which is now plan b for the US. If then they can use their leverage over Germany to steer it in any direction it wants to vs. Russia.

This will probably be followed by "targeted" sanctions on specific Politicians, Bankers and Heads of industry. They only need to propose such sanctions individually for them to have an effect. Using Pegasus for inside information to Blackmail those it wants to.
*****

Example of a sanctions racket :

Similar to the potential sanctions on any Lebanese Politian or Group Leaders if they get Oil from Iran, Russia or China. The Lebanese population be damned.

"Apparently US Treasury has informed the government of Lebanon, that if any Oil products from Iran make it into Lebanon, in any way; the government of Lebanon and all its members will be sanctioned. This includes the Central Bankers"

Just in case you didn't understand how the crisis in the country is manufactured.

Pegasus again:

"leaks on the targets of Israeli spy program Pegasus, show hundreds in Lebanon including the elected leadership of every party, every media outlet, & every security agency, have been targeted by clients in 10 countries; all belonging to the Imperialist camp.

But it is very easy to guess by looking at who are the external imperialist forces active in Lebanon. USA/UK/France/Turkey/Germany/Canada/Israel/Qatar; that's eight. Plus Saudi Arabia."
*******

PS. Lebanon; This comes as a response to Sayyed Nasrallah stating in his last speech that if the State in Lebanon is not able to provide fuel, he will bring it at the expense of Hizbullah from Iran, dock it in the port of Beirut, and dared anyone to stop it from reaching the people.
*****

Germany will only be the latest victim as the Mafia-US "protection" racket is ramped up.

Lysander , Jul 21 2021 18:59 utc | 18
Both b and the many commenters raise excellent points. Yes, the US wants to hurt both Russia and Germany. And yes the US *definitely* fears close cooperation between Moscow and Berlin. But the main take home lesson is that the US failed despite enormous efforts to block NS2. Russo-German cooperation is inevitable and the world will be better for it.
Passer , Jul 21 2021 19:02 utc | 19
Posted by: Hoyeru | Jul 21 2021 17:54 utc | 6

>>a lot of people think China is robbing Russia blind on the deal

Why would be Russia building Power of Siberia 2 and 3 to China then? Or selling LNG too? You don't have much knowledge on the topic, the way it looks. A giant gas plant was built near the border with China, the second biggest gas plant in the world, because the gas for China is rich in rare elements, thus turning Russia in of the the biggest producers of strategic helium, not to mention extracting many other rare elements. China gets gas that has been cleaned of anything valuable from it, with the exception of the gas itself.

>>merkel is leaving anyway in September and thw Green party that will be taking over

The latest polls show clear lead for CDU/CSU. And it looks like its too late.

>>the NS2 will never be 100 usable, tthe Green party will see to that. AT best it will be only 50% usage.

Do you even follow what has been going on? Germany is free not to buy russian gas, that is, to be left without gas if this is what it wants.

Do you see how nat gas prices exploded in Europe recently? Do you know why is that? Because Russia refuses to sell additional volumes via Ukraine's network. It is a message to finish the issues with NS 2 pipeline faster and then everything will be fine, there will be plenty of space for new gas volumes, and the gas price will drop.

robin , Jul 21 2021 19:12 utc | 21
@ A.L. 14

It is the UNSC resolutions of 2006, 2007 and 2010 which have laid the backbone for the incremental diplomatic, economic and material warfare against Iran. Without them, there would be no narrative framing Iran as an outlaw nor justification for crippling sanctions. That Iran should even be subjected to the JCPOA is in itself an objective injustice.

Each of these resolutions could easily have been blocked by the two permanent members of the UNSC we go to much lengths on this forum to depict as selfless adversaries of the Empire. All they had to do was raise a finger and say niet. In other words, by their actions, these two members placed Iran in a very disadvantageous trading position.

So, did they profit from this position of strength?

karlof1 , Jul 21 2021 19:24 utc | 23
It seems few care, but Sputnik followed its article from yesterday I linked to @10 with another that features an interview with Glenn Diesen . It reiterates:

"According to the draft deal, obtained by Bloomberg, Washington and Berlin would threaten sanctions and other retaliation if Russia 'tries to use energy as a weapon against Ukraine', with Germany being obligated to take unspecified actions in the event of Russian 'misbehaviour' . [My Emphasis]

The article then turns to the interview:

"Professor Glenn Diesen of the University of South-Eastern Norway has explained what is behind the US-Germany row is." [That last "is" appears to be a typo]

I suggest barflies pay close attention to Dr. Diesen who's the author of an outstanding book on the geoeconomics of Russia and China, Russia's Geoeconomic Strategy for a Greater Eurasia . I judge the following Q&A to be most relevant:

"Sputnik: The Biden administration waived sanctions on the firm behind the gas project, Nord Stream 2 AG, and its chief executive, Matthias Warnig. At the same time, Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated in June that the pipeline project was a Russian tool for the coercion of Europe and signaled that the US has leverage against it. What's behind Washington's mixed signals with regard to the project? How could they throw sand in Nord Stream 2's gears, in your opinion - or are Blinken's threats empty?

"Glenn Diesen: The mixed signals demonstrate that the completion of Nord Stream 2 was a defeat for the US. Biden confirmed that he waived sanctions because the project was near complete. Sanctions could not stop the project [link at original], rather they would merely continue to worsen relations with Berlin and Moscow. The best approach for Washington at this point is to recognise that Nord Stream 2 is a done deal, and instead Washington will direct its focus towards limiting the geo-economics consequences of the pipeline by obtaining commitments from Berlin such as preserving Ukraine's role as a transit state [Link at original].

"The US therefore waives sanctions against Nord Stream 2, yet threatens new sanctions if Berlin fails to accept US conditions and limitations on Nord Stream 2. Blinken's threats are loaded with 'strategic ambiguity', which could be aimed to conceal that they are merely empty threats . However, strategic ambiguity is also conducive to prevent Berlin from calculating the "costs" and possible remedies to US threats. Furthermore, ambiguity can be ideal in terms of how to respond as it is not a good look to continuously threaten allies." [Emphasis original]

The professor's closing remarks are also very important regarding Merkel's successor. Where I disagree is with the notion that the Outlaw US Empire has geoeconomic leverage over the EU--military yes, but the Empire is just as uncompetitive versus the EU as it is versus China.

A.L. , Jul 21 2021 19:25 utc | 24
@robin | Jul 21 2021 19:12 utc | 21

So, did they profit from this position of strength?

Of course they did, let's be real. China and Russia are not going to be the all benevolent saviors of the world, they never were, never will.

They will always serve their interests first and foremost. Sometimes, they do get suckered into UNSC resolutions like those you spoke of. Sometimes, there're backroom horse trading that we're not privy to and little countries are just chips on the table...

The best we can hope for is that they can behave with more integrity than currently shown by the incumbent anglospheric bloc in their re-ascendancy.

Either we ditch the UNSC system or everybody get nukes, because i can't see the current UNSC members willing ditch their own, ever.

Prof , Jul 21 2021 19:30 utc | 26
Lysander is correct. The most important point to know is that US hegemony in Europe is predicated on fear and hostility between Germany and Russia.

Types of interdependence between Germany and Russia, eg. NRG security, are a direct threat to US dominance over Europe as a whole.

There are many limitations to European strategic autonomy -- and the EU embodies those limits in many ways -- but the case of NS2 demonstrates an independent streak in German strategy. It amounts to a zero sum loss for Washington.

c1ue , Jul 21 2021 19:47 utc | 28
Way too much confusion over what Nord Stream 2 really means.

1) Russian gas transiting Ukraine had already fallen from 150 bcm to the high 90s/low 100s before Nord Stream 2 goes online. Even after NS2 goes online, a significant amount of Russian gas will still transit via Ukraine.

2) Energy demand generally increases over time, not decreases. Russian gas exports aren't increasing in a straight line, but keep in mind that there are significant new competitors now and in the process coming online. These include Azerbaijan as well as the ongoing pipeline struggle through the Black Sea/Turkey/Eastern Med.

I never believed there was any chance of NS2 not completing; the only question was when.

robin , Jul 21 2021 20:00 utc | 30
@ Stonebird | Jul 21 2021 18:59 utc | 17

Lebanon does illustrate the incredible reach of the Empire. A leverage so long that every door leads to self immolation. Your mention of the current spyware scandal is right on point. These are instruments of absolute power.

What we need now is a worldwide Me Too movement to denounce this leverage. Taking that first step would require a lot of courage for any blackmailed individual, but the one little breach could lead to a flood of world citizens just about fed up with the Empire's shit.

William Gruff , Jul 21 2021 20:12 utc | 32
psychohistorian @5

It pains me that I do not remember exactly who it was, but one of the more erudite posters here mentioned some time ago that Trump seemed more like a Bonapartist figure than a fascist or a typical and simple representative of a faction in the oligarchy. While Trump is certainly no representative of humanity, it just as certainly doesn't look like his rise was in the playbook of the dominant faction of the oligarchy. Trump really seems to fit the mould of a Bonapartist, though recast in the context of contemporary America. This would indicate that the imperial oligarchy is in crisis, which itself could lead to fractures in the empire, and among the empire's vassals in particular.

It is unwise to downplay the significance of Trump coming to power in 2016, regardless of what feelings one may have about the individual himself. The conditions that led to the rise of Trump not only persist, but have intensified. Those conditions cannot be resolved by mass media gaslighting and social media censorship, which actually seems to be having an effect more like holding the emergency relief valve on a boiler closed; it quiets an annoying sound, but causes the underlying issue to grow more severe.

Basically, further splits in the EU are inevitable. It is the timing of those splits that is difficult to predict, but the accuracy of that prediction hinges upon the accuracy of our assessment of events occurring now. Interestingly, Trump is still part of these unfolding events.

Christian J. Chuba , Jul 21 2021 20:33 utc | 34
Fracturing NATO and the West hmmm ... If Germany gains any independence from U.S. coercion they are 'fracturing Europe'. Bad Germany.

Germany must forever remain a vassal state of the U.S. by allowing the U.S. to use another vassal state to control their energy supply. And who says we don't believe in freedom. Neocons are such vile creatures. Always twisting words but remember, whenever they say something, the exact opposite is true.

schmoe , Jul 21 2021 21:00 utc | 37
One issue underlying this fiasco is I believe that the neocons / Atlantic Council were 100% certain that Russia did not have the expertise to lay pipelines at the required depths, and once Allseas was facing sanctions, the project would never be completed.

**********************************************************

Re: China/Russia deal

I believe that the exact pricing formula for Power of Siberia is confidential, but this much is known:

"The price of Russian gas supplies to China increased in the second quarter of 2021 for the first time since deliveries started via the Power of Siberia pipeline in 2019, but daily delivery volumes fell in April, Interfax reported on Sunday.

Russian gas giant Gazprom GAZP.MM has said it supplied China with 3.84 billion cubic metres of gas via the Power of Siberia pipeline in its first year of operation.

Citing Chinese customs data, Interfax said the price of gas increased to $148 per thousand cubic metres, rising from $121 in the first quarter, and reversing a downward trend."

**********************************************************************************

Also, Victoria Nuland informed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today about Biden's cave to Russia. That must have been brutal for her. Regardless, nice to see a rare display of sanity from s US administration.

Baron , Jul 21 2021 21:16 utc | 39
@librul | Jul 21 2021 17:55 utc | 7

The primary and only objective of the US Foreign policy vis-a-vis Europe since WW2 has been to prevent Russia and Germany (now read the German run EU project) coupling up, that's it, nothing else matters on Europe.

The completion of N-2 presents a serious blow tho this aim, the new pipeline is a must for Germany, it must get finished, without it Germany's supply of energy would have been almost fully controlled by the Americans who have either direct or indirect authority over every major source of hydrocarbons except for Venezuela and Russia, the latter only partly, the Ukrainian pipeline is fully in their sphere of influence.

Energy fuels everything from private dwellings to major corporations, it's together with labour and technology the most important ingredient in every economy. To lose control of it would have been a catastrophe for Germany, in particular if one takes into account the secret treaty between Germany and the Allies (read the US) from 1949.

"On 23 May 1949, the Western Allies ratified a new German constitution, known as the "Basic Law" or Grundgesetz. However, two days prior, a secret state treaty - Geheimer Staatsvertrag - was also signed to grant complete Allied control over education and all licensed media, press, radio, television and publishing houses until the year 2099. This was confirmed by Major-General Gerd-Helmut Komossa, former head of German Military Intelligence in his book, "Die Deutsche Karte" or The German Card".

Has anyone read the Komossa's book in full?

karlof1 , Jul 21 2021 21:18 utc | 40
schmoe @37--

What's interesting about Power of Siberia-1 is that the gas is being stripped -- refined at the newly completed Amur Gas Plant -- of its components prior to being piped into China. I don't know if Germany's petrochemical industry will be deprived in similar manner with NS2.

CD Waller @36--

Nothing in the energy production realm is carbon neutral. ROSATOM has mastered the fuel cycle which means most if not all toxic waste will now be burned for energy. New reactors do NOT use water as coolant. Clearly you need to update what you know about nuclear power.

Jackrabbit , Jul 21 2021 21:31 utc | 41
The Russian 'victory' is very narrow and mostly consists of the patience and determination to follow-thru while consistently being derided/attacked by Western media, pundits, and politicians:
  1. Since Russia/Gasprom owns NS2 100% (paying for half the construction cost outright and financing the rest), there was never much need to stop construction, only to stop/limit consumption. The 'trick' was to find a way to accomplish US/NATO goals that would not make German leaders look like puppets.
  2. Biden's approach looks good compared to Trump's heavy-handed approach. As they are BOTH spokesman of the Empire's Deep State, we can surmise that this is merely good cop / bad cop theatrics.
  3. This USA-GERMAN agreement makes Germany appear to voluntarily support EU/NATO - a good thing(tm) that most Germans will accept without question. But behind the scenes, it's unlikely that there was ever any real choice, just a mutual desire to fashion a 'smart' policy that didn't undermine German political leaders.
  4. Germany can now be pressured to support USA-Ukraine belligerence - if they don't they will be portrayed as not living up to their obligations to US/NATO/EU/Ukraine as enshrined in this agreement.
  5. If Russia retaliates against German purchase reductions in any way they will be labeled as a politically-driven, unreliable supplier. That will 'invite' sanctions and spark efforts to force EU/Germany to eliminate all Russia goods from their markets.
  6. Russia and China are likely to be increasingly linked in Western media/propaganda. Deficiencies of one or the other will apply to BOTH.
The next few winters in EU will be very interesting.

!!

karlof1 , Jul 21 2021 21:44 utc | 43
Baron @39--

Thanks very much for mentioning Komossa's book!! Here's a very short but illuminating article about book and author . There appear to be copies available for downloading, but I've yet to find one.

karlof1 , Jul 21 2021 22:40 utc | 48
Jackrabbit @41 incorrectly says Russia owns NS2 100% It's owned by Nord Stream 2 AG, and here's its website listing its financial investors, while its shareholders/owners are global. The company is located in Zug, Switzerland. Here we are told who the financial companies are :

"In April 2017, Nord Stream 2 AG signed the financing agreements for the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project with ENGIE, OMV, Royal Dutch Shell, Uniper, and Wintershall. These five European energy companies will provide long-term financing for 50 per cent of the total cost of the project."

As with the first string, Russia doesn't own it 100% nor did it finance it completely; rather, its stake was @50% It appears both Nord Streams will be managed from the same location in Zug. I hope the company produces a similar sort of book to record its accomplishment as it did for the first string pair, which can be found and downloaded here .

Jackrabbit , Jul 21 2021 22:55 utc | 50
karlof1 @Jul21 22:40 #48

This Deutsche Welle (DW) explainer details NS2 ownership and financing :

Who is paying for it: Russia's energy giant Gazprom is the sole shareholder of the Nord Stream 2 AG , the company in charge of implementing the €9.5 billion ($11.1 billion) project. Gazprom is also covering half of the cost. The rest, however, is being financed by five western companies: ENGIE, OMV, Royal Dutch Shell, Uniper and Wintershall.
Emphasis is mine.

<> <> <> <> <>

Nord Stream 2 AG is a German company that is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Russia's Gazprom. The German subsidiary has borrowed half of the construction cost but is 100% owner of the NS2 project.

!!

Jackrabbit , Jul 21 2021 23:07 utc | 53
From karlof1's link to Nord Stream 2 AG's Shareholder and Financial Investors page makes it clear that NordStream 2 AG is a subsidiary of Gazprom international projects LLC, which is, in turn, a subsidiary of Gazprom. Under "Shareholder" there is only one company listed: Gasprom.

PS I was mistaken: Nord Stream 2 AG is a Swiss company, not a German one.

!!

schmoe , Jul 21 2021 23:20 utc | 56
Jackrabbit @ 41

I am no sure if this is that plausible:

"4. Germany can now be pressured to support USA-Ukraine belligerence - if they don't they will be portrayed as not living up to their obligations to US/NATO/EU/Ukraine as enshrined in this agreement.

If Russia retaliates against German purchase reductions in any way they will be labeled as a politically-driven, unreliable supplier. That will 'invite' sanctions and spark efforts to force EU/Germany to eliminate all Russia goods from their markets."

Germany has been portrayed as not living up to its NATO obligations one way or another since about 1985, and with respect to NS 2, since 2018. They do not seem fazed - maybe a Green win would change that. If the USA-Ukraine get (more) belligerent, Germany might be less likely to insist on Ukraine gas transit after 2024.

Jackrabbit , Jul 21 2021 23:20 utc | 57
The Russian government owns a majority of Gazprom. As majority owner they can be said to control the company and with that control comes an inescapable political dimension.

For the purposes of this discussion: the Russian government has biggest stake in the financial success of Nord Stream 2. That "success" depends on gas sold, not simply the completion of NS2 construction.

!!

[Jul 21, 2021] Big Tech- -Our Terms Have Changed

Jul 21, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

BY TYLER DURDEN WEDNESDAY, JUL 21, 2021 - 11:09 AM

Authored (satirically) by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,

So go ahead and say whatever you want around all your networked devices, but don't be surprised if bad things start happening.

I received another "Our Terms Have Changed" email from a Big Tech quasi-monopoly, and for a change I actually read this one. It was a revelation on multiple fronts. I'm reprinting it here for your reading pleasure:

We wanted to let you know that we recently updated our Conditions of Use.

What hasn't changed:

Your use constitutes your agreement to our Conditions of Use.

We own all the content you create on our platform, devices and networks, and are free to monetize it by any means we choose.

We own all the data we collect on you, your devices, purchases, social networks, views, associations, beliefs and illicit viewing, your location data, who you are in proximity to, and whatever data the networked devices in your home, vehicles and workplaces collect.

We have the unrestricted right to ban you and all your content, shadow-ban you and all your content, i.e., generate the illusion that your content is freely, publicly available, and erase your digital presence entirely such that you cease to exist except as a corporeal body.

What has changed:

If we detect you have positive views on anti-trust enforcement, we may report you as a "person of interest / potential domestic extremist" to the National Security Agency and other federal agencies.

Rather than respond to all disputes algorithmically, we have established a Star Chamber of our most biased, fanatical employees to adjudicate customer/user disputes in which the customer/user refuses to accept the algorithmic mediation.

If a customer/user attempts to contact any enforcement agency regarding our algorithmic mediation or Star Chamber adjudication, we reserve the unrestricted rights to:

a. Prepare voodoo dolls representing the user and stick pins into the doll while chanting curses.

b. Hack the targeted user's accounts and blame it on Russian or Ukrainian hackers.

c. Rendition the user to a corrupt kleptocracy in which we retain undue influence, i.e., the United States.

Left unsaid, of course, is the potential for "accidents" to happen to anyone publicly promoting anti-trust enforcement of Big Tech quasi-monopolies. Once totalitarianism has been privatized , there are no rules that can't be ignored or broken by those behind the curtain . So go ahead and say whatever you want around all your networked devices, but don't be surprised if bad things start happening.

Editor's note: this is satire. If I disappear, then you'll know who has no sense of irony or humor.

* * *

If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com .

* * *

My recent books:

A Hacker's Teleology: Sharing the Wealth of Our Shrinking Planet (Kindle $8.95, print $20, audiobook $17.46) Read the first section for free (PDF) .

Will You Be Richer or Poorer?: Profit, Power, and AI in a Traumatized World (Kindle $5, print $10, audiobook) Read the first section for free (PDF) .

Pathfinding our Destiny: Preventing the Final Fall of Our Democratic Republic ($5 (Kindle), $10 (print), ( audiobook ): Read the first section for free (PDF) .

The Adventures of the Consulting Philosopher: The Disappearance of Drake $1.29 (Kindle), $8.95 (print); read the first chapters for free (PDF)

Money and Work Unchained $6.95 (Kindle), $15 (print) Read the first section for free (PDF).

[Jul 21, 2021] The Oil Industry Is Borrowing Again, But This Time It's Different

A lot of shale companies hedge their output at levels that they have no upside from the current prices...
Jul 18, 2021 | oilprice.com

Two years ago, Wall Street banks were on their way out of a long-term relationship with the oil industry. Now, with oil prices over $70 for the first time in three years, big bond buyers are snapping up oil bonds once again.

Only there is a condition this time.

The Wall Street Journal's Joe Wallace and Collin Eaton wrote this week that Wall Street was buying bonds from non-investment-grade U.S. energy companies, which took advantage of record low interest rates to raise some $34 billion in fresh debt in the first half of the year.

That's twice as much as the industry raised over the same period last year. But investors don't want borrowers to use the cash to drill new wells. They want them to use it to pay off older debt and shore up balance sheets.

It makes sense, really, although it is a marked departure from how banks normally react to oil industry crises. The 2014 oil price collapse, in hindsight, may have been the last "normal" crisis. Oil prices fell, funding dried up, supply tightened, prices went up, banks were willing to lend again, and producers poured the money into boosting production.

Since then, however, the energy transition push has really gathered pace and banks have more than one reason to not be so willing to lend to the oil industry. With the world's biggest asset managers setting up net-zero groups to effectively force their institutional clients to reduce their carbon footprint and with the Biden administration throwing its weight behind the push for lower emissions, banks really have little choice but to follow the current. Their own shareholders are increasingly concerned about the environment, too.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/aQXqMVeoOPs

Yet business is business, and nowhere is this clearer than in banks' dealings with the oil industry. Bank shareholders may be concerned about the environment, but they certainly would be more concerned about their dividend""and part of that comes from income made from lending to oil. And the higher oil prices go, the more willing banks will be to lend to those that produce it.

When they were unwilling to lend to the oil industry, other lenders stepped in . Last year, alternative investment firms scooped up hundreds of millions in oil industry debt from banks that were cutting their exposure to the politically incorrect industry. Hedge funds and other so-called shadow lenders don't seem to have banks' misgivings about profiting from oil and gas.

Now banks have mellowed towards oil somewhat, but it is an interesting twist that the current loans come with the condition of not boosting output. Again, it makes sense. For years, the shareholders of U.S. shale oil companies have been complaining about poor returns as the companies put everything into output growth. Now it's payback time, and shareholders want their returns.

So do lenders, apparently.

Per the WSJ article, this year, bond buyers "want to see companies repairing their balance sheets and delivering to creditors and shareholders rather than plowing money into new wells."

[Jul 21, 2021] Bubbles, bubbles everywhere- Jeremy Grantham on the bust ahead

Jul 20, 2021 | www.msn.com

NEW YORK (Reuters) - In this manic era of meme stocks, cryptocurrencies and real-estate bidding wars, studying the history of financial markets might seem a little dry and old-fashioned.

Except to Jeremy Grantham.

The chairman of the board of famed asset managers GMO is a certified bubble-ologist, fascinated by how and why bubbles emerge. Grantham studies classic ones like 1929, but - now in his eighties - he has also lived through (and called) numerous modern booms and busts, including the dot-com wreckage in 2000, the bull market peak in 2008 and the bear market low in 2009.

In case you did not know where this is headed: He says we are in a bubble right now.

In January Grantham wrote an investor letter, "Waiting For the Last Dance," about an inflating bubble that "could well be the most important event of your investing lives."

Six months later, the stock market is starting to show some cracks. Grantham spoke with Reuters about this moment of market history.

Q: When your letter of warning came out, what was the response like?

A: I got a lot of pushback. Waves of Bitcoin freaks attacked me in every way possible. They said my ears were too big, and that I needed to be locked up in an old-folks home.

Q: So if we were already in a bubble then, where do things stand right now?

A: Bubbles are unbelievably easy to see; it's knowing when the bust will come that is trickier. You see it when the markets are on the front pages instead of the financial pages, when the news is full of stories of people getting cheated, when new coins are being created every month. The scale of these things is so much bigger than in 1929 or in 2000.

Q: What is your take on equity valuations now?

A: Looking at most measures, the market is more expensive than in 2000, which was more expensive than anything that preceded it.

My favorite metric is price-to-sales: What you find is that even the cheapest parts of the market are way more expensive than in 2000.

Q: What might bring an end to this bubble?

A: Markets peak when you are as happy as you can get, and a near-perfect economy is extrapolated into the indefinite future. But around the corner are lurking serious issues like interest rates, inflation, labor and commodity prices. All of those are beginning to look less optimistic than they did just a week or two ago.

Q: How long until a bust?

A: A bust might take a few more months, and, in fact, I hope it does, because it will give us the opportunity to warn more people. The probabilities are that this will go into the fall: The stimulus, the economic recovery, and vaccinations have all allowed this thing to go on a few months longer than I would have initially guessed.

What pricks the bubble could be a virus problem, it could be an inflation problem, or it could be the most important category of all, which is everything else that is unexpected. One of 20 different things that you haven't even thought of will come out of the woodwork, and you had no idea it was even there.

Q: What might a bust look like?

A: There will be an enormous negative wealth effect, broader than it has ever been, compared to any other previous bubble breaking. It's the first time we have bubbled in so many different areas "" interest rates, stocks, housing, non-energy commodities. On the way up, it gave us all a positive wealth effect, and on the way down it will retract, painfully.

Q: Are there any asset classes which are relatively attractive?

A: You could always own cash, or you could do what the institutions do, which is buy heavily into the asset classes that are least bad. The least overpriced are value stocks and emerging markets. Those are the two arbitrages. With value and emerging, you should make some positive return over the next 10 years.

Q: It is difficult to be bearish right now?

A: Not for me, because I don't have career risk anymore. But every big company has lots of risk: They facilitate a bubble until it bursts, and then they change their tune as fast as they can, and make money on the downside.

But this bubble is the real thing, and everyone can see it. It's as obvious as the nose on your face.

[Jul 21, 2021] Walmart Brings Automation To Regional Distribution Centers - ZeroHedge

Jul 18, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Walmart Brings Automation To Regional Distribution Centers BY TYLER DURDEN SUNDAY, JUL 18, 2021 - 09:00 PM

The progressive press had a field day with "woke" Walmart highly publicized February decision to hikes wages for 425,000 workers to an average above $15 an hour. We doubt the obvious follow up - the ongoing stealthy replacement of many of its minimum wage workers with machines - will get the same amount of airtime.

As Chain Store Age reports , Walmart is applying artificial intelligence to the palletizing of products in its regional distribution centers. I.e., it is replacing thousands of workers with robots.

Since 2017, the discount giant has worked with Symbotic to optimize an automated technology solution to sort, store, retrieve and pack freight onto pallets in its Brooksville, Fla., distribution center. Under Walmart's existing system, product arrives at one of its RDCs and is either cross-docked or warehoused, while being moved or stored manually. When it's time for the product to go to a store, a 53-foot trailer is manually packed for transit. After the truck arrives at a store, associates unload it manually and place the items in the appropriate places.

Leveraging the Symbiotic solution, a complex algorithm determines how to store cases like puzzle pieces using high-speed mobile robots that operate with a precision that speeds the intake process and increases the accuracy of freight being stored for future orders. By using dense modular storage, the solution also expands building capacity.

In addition, by using palletizing robotics to organize and optimize freight, the Symbiotic solution creates custom store- and aisle-ready pallets.

Why is Walmart doing this? Simple: According to CSA, "Walmart expects to save time, limit out-of-stocks and increasing the speed of stocking and unloading." More importantly, the company hopes to further cut expenses and remove even more unskilled labor from its supply chain.

This solution follows tests of similar automated warehouse solutions at a Walmart consolidation center in Colton, Calif., and perishable grocery distribution center in Shafter, Calif.

Walmart plans to implement this technology in 25 of its 42 RDCs.

"Though very few Walmart customers will ever see into our warehouses, they'll still be able to witness an industry-leading change, each time they find a product on shelves," said Joe Metzger, executive VP of supply chain operations at Walmart U.S. "There may be no way to solve all the complexities of a global supply chain, but we plan to keep changing the game as we use technology to transform the way we work and lead our business into the future."

[Jul 20, 2021] Problems with labor in oil sector are real

Jul 20, 2021 | peakoilbarrel.com

SHALLOW SAND IGNORED 07/19/2021 at 10:33 pm

Rasputin.

We have owned rigs. We could never keep an operator around long enough to make it worthwhile. We had a double drum and a single drum. Mud pump. Power swivel. Power tongs on both. Testing truck. The whole enchilada.

We sold them all to a man who had worked for someone else and then went out on his own. We gave him a good deal, and he did a lot of work for us. He still does work for us, but he can't find help that will stay.

We also owned a tank truck. Sold it also. It is currently parked, the man we sold it to cannot find a driver. He is a one horse tank truck driver. He turns down work all the time. We had to shut down a lease we haul water on for a few days when he got COVID. Thankfully he recovered.

All of us around here just cannot quite believe what is going on with the oilfield labor force. It is a perfect storm.

Meanwhile, most recently we paid $5.63 per foot for 2 3/8" steel tubing, which was under $3 a year ago. We priced a 115 fiberglass tank for $6,800, would have been $3,900 a year ago.

We had a couple wells down for a few weeks because we could neither get new nor rewound motors for them.

The man who owns the backhoes, trackhoes and cranes that does contract work for us is in his 70's and has great grandkids. He works in the field daily beside his son and grandson.

One of the last rig hands we had broke into our shop last winter. He got out of jail after a few weeks and immediately got a job in a local factory. Hope he stays clean. He was a good hand when he was, and had learned to operate a single drum also.

The prosecutor in our county announced the first six months of 2021 that 162 felony cases had been filed in our small county, that in 2019 the total for the year was 204 felonies, and that 33 of the 34 jail inmates were addicted to meth.

We do have one pumper now under 50. The rest are from 51 to 63. REPLY INGRAHAMMARK7 IGNORED 07/20/2021 at 1:34 am

How much land do you have left? At one well per section how many can you drill and how long it takes? That's when your business wraps up. REPLY RASPUTIN IGNORED 07/20/2021 at 2:40 am

Holy Moly SS

I guess the days of vertical doing things in house are gone. That labor mess is unreal. However, here in nowhere USA it is hard to find good help but you can usually find help. I was so surprised at some of the job turnover even during peak covid when some businesses were restricted and some essential. How are people living that have no jobs? Over the years I hired relatives that never got it, didn't stay sober and didn't see the long term upside. Maybe it's all about today for the younger generation.

Over the past year and a half I've been following your posts including labor issues. Were they so dreadful before covid and helicopter money? It might appear to the uninformed that training rig help. pumpers and the like is easy, but it's not. One small oops for man is one huge oops for you.

Perhaps, as we move away from the false narrative that you must have a college degree to get a good or high paying job, things will improve in the trades and the oilfield.

About 20 years ago I was visiting with a substantial independent stimulation company that was having labor issues. The head honcho lamented that they had already poached all of the young guys that grew up on farms and knew machinery, getting up early and how to work. Having known a few guys and what they earned they most likely didn't point their kids at basket weaving degrees.

Sure wish I had an answer for you. Personally, I'm shrinking down to a few wells close to the house/shop/yard, one of which I could walk to for daily exercise. However, I'll run my equipment myself as long as possible.

The best to you. REPLY SHALLOW SAND IGNORED 07/20/2021 at 5:53 am

Rasputin.

The number of basically "homeless" people living here in my part of very rural USA is startling. People aren't generally sleeping in the parks. They have duffle bags and backpacks and crash place to place.

We have the tremendous labor shortage, yet the public defender and conflicts public defender have over 400 clients combined. This in a county of a little less than 20K people. That right there is the labor force for a decent sized factory around here.

To qualify for the PD you must have income below 125% of federal poverty guidelines, which is very low. During the height of COVID, nothing got done with their cases because the PD's couldn't get ahold of them. Few have cell phones that are permanent (track phones) and few have permanent addresses. The jail is full so there aren't a lot of warrants being issued for the lower level crimes. So people haven't been showing up for their court cases for months/ over a year. Our county is going to send close to 100 people to prison this year, almost all for meth delivery. This is the situation all over rural USA. People who live here and aren't in the court system are oblivious to it until they get broken into or robbed (or have an addicted relative, which many do).

The primary reason for the labor shortage here is a combination of young people moving to larger towns/cities, a very large percentage of the working age population being addicted to meth (which is now being cut with heroin, fentanyl, etc) and the significant benefits that have been paid to not work. I hate to think of how many billions of borrowed money stimulus our future generations are now indebted with that went directly into the pockets of the foreign drug cartels.

As for the oilfield, add to that the hard work, not the greatest pay in the world at the bottom end (rig hands) the need to find people who can work unsupervised outdoors, and the young people being told the industry is dead and a job in that field will soon be gone. Finally, a ton of "old timers" simply retired during COVID.

Our country has no idea how dependent we are on labor from Mexico and Central America that keeps us alive. The only farm workers are Hispanic. However, most don't want to work in the oilfield either, it seems. We just harvested green beans, and all the crew were Hispanic. The same will be the case here shortly as we harvest watermelons and cabbage. If Trump were successful and closed the borders and sent everyone back, we would starve.

The largest oil company here shut in everything it owned when oil went negative. Unfortunately for them they laid off a lot of people. Many of their wells are still idle.

Maybe we are an outlier. But I doubt it. A decent amount people at the lower end of the labor force seem to have decided they aren't going to work, and offering a lot more $$ won't bring them back. Maybe they will come back when the government benefits end.

Even the prisons can't find employees. They pay $70K+ plus great benefits. Mentally difficult work though. Also, can't have a criminal record and cannot use drugs, even pot.

Keep in mind a large percentage of the USA population now smokes or ingests pot. That doesn't work well in a lot of industries where sobriety is mandatory.

The gas station I fill up at is offering a $300 signing bonus which is paid after 30 days of no unexcused absences. $13 and hour to start at the cash register. They can't find people to take that.

I'm rambling now, and I'll stop.

Surely there are some shale basin people reading this. Could any of you comment about whether there is a labor shortage in your shale basin? If there isn't, maybe we could persuade a few of them to come to our neck of the woods and work on the simple, shallow wells. Not a lot of traveling, no weekends unless you pump, and work is daytime only. KANSAS OIL IGNORED 07/20/2021 at 9:10 am

Shallow Sand –

I echo all of your sentiments. We are a small operator in Kansas, producing about 300 bbl/day in 13 various counties. We have approximately 50-60 bbl/day offline pushing 3 weeks. We're talking 8/8ths approximately $75,000 in revenue. Pre-Covid you could count on getting a pulling unit sometimes next day if you had a mechanical failure. Now it's 3-4 weeks. $20/hour for green rig hands evidently isn't enough to move the needle, whether it's because the work is too difficult, or it's easier to keep cashing the government checks. And by my count we are in a similar situation with oil field pumpers. We have 13 of them. 2 are 50s, and the rest are all over 60. I'm in my early 40s and my field superintendent is 56. He loves to work and will probably do so until he's 70-75. When he checks out will probably be when I check out. REPLY SHALLOW SAND IGNORED 07/20/2021 at 9:55 am

Kansas Oil.

Great to hear from you.

Thanks for confirming what we are experiencing.

The big question is whether this is also going on in the shale basins, primarily Permian. If it is, don't see how USA production grows much.

I drive across Kansas on both I 70 and the South Route through Wichita to the OK panhandle quite a bit. Always keep my eyes open for whether pumping units are moving or not.

I worry about whether the huge feed lots, hog facilities and packing plants out there can find enough help. People have no clue how much of the USA is fed from the TX, OK panhandles on up through Western KS and NE.

Hang in there!

[Jul 20, 2021] The Oil Industry Is Borrowing Again, But This Time It's Different

A lot of shale companies hedge their output at levels that they have no upside from the current prices...
Jul 18, 2021 | oilprice.com

Two years ago, Wall Street banks were on their way out of a long-term relationship with the oil industry. Now, with oil prices over $70 for the first time in three years, big bond buyers are snapping up oil bonds once again.

Only there is a condition this time.

The Wall Street Journal's Joe Wallace and Collin Eaton wrote this week that Wall Street was buying bonds from non-investment-grade U.S. energy companies, which took advantage of record low interest rates to raise some $34 billion in fresh debt in the first half of the year.

That's twice as much as the industry raised over the same period last year. But investors don't want borrowers to use the cash to drill new wells. They want them to use it to pay off older debt and shore up balance sheets.

It makes sense, really, although it is a marked departure from how banks normally react to oil industry crises. The 2014 oil price collapse, in hindsight, may have been the last "normal" crisis. Oil prices fell, funding dried up, supply tightened, prices went up, banks were willing to lend again, and producers poured the money into boosting production.

Since then, however, the energy transition push has really gathered pace and banks have more than one reason to not be so willing to lend to the oil industry. With the world's biggest asset managers setting up net-zero groups to effectively force their institutional clients to reduce their carbon footprint and with the Biden administration throwing its weight behind the push for lower emissions, banks really have little choice but to follow the current. Their own shareholders are increasingly concerned about the environment, too.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/aQXqMVeoOPs

Yet business is business, and nowhere is this clearer than in banks' dealings with the oil industry. Bank shareholders may be concerned about the environment, but they certainly would be more concerned about their dividend""and part of that comes from income made from lending to oil. And the higher oil prices go, the more willing banks will be to lend to those that produce it.

When they were unwilling to lend to the oil industry, other lenders stepped in . Last year, alternative investment firms scooped up hundreds of millions in oil industry debt from banks that were cutting their exposure to the politically incorrect industry. Hedge funds and other so-called shadow lenders don't seem to have banks' misgivings about profiting from oil and gas.

Now banks have mellowed towards oil somewhat, but it is an interesting twist that the current loans come with the condition of not boosting output. Again, it makes sense. For years, the shareholders of U.S. shale oil companies have been complaining about poor returns as the companies put everything into output growth. Now it's payback time, and shareholders want their returns.

So do lenders, apparently.

Per the WSJ article, this year, bond buyers "want to see companies repairing their balance sheets and delivering to creditors and shareholders rather than plowing money into new wells."

[Jul 20, 2021] Bubbles, bubbles everywhere- Jeremy Grantham on the bust ahead

Jul 20, 2021 | www.msn.com

NEW YORK (Reuters) - In this manic era of meme stocks, cryptocurrencies and real-estate bidding wars, studying the history of financial markets might seem a little dry and old-fashioned.

Except to Jeremy Grantham.

The chairman of the board of famed asset managers GMO is a certified bubble-ologist, fascinated by how and why bubbles emerge. Grantham studies classic ones like 1929, but - now in his eighties - he has also lived through (and called) numerous modern booms and busts, including the dot-com wreckage in 2000, the bull market peak in 2008 and the bear market low in 2009.

In case you did not know where this is headed: He says we are in a bubble right now.

In January Grantham wrote an investor letter, "Waiting For the Last Dance," about an inflating bubble that "could well be the most important event of your investing lives."

Six months later, the stock market is starting to show some cracks. Grantham spoke with Reuters about this moment of market history.

Q: When your letter of warning came out, what was the response like?

A: I got a lot of pushback. Waves of Bitcoin freaks attacked me in every way possible. They said my ears were too big, and that I needed to be locked up in an old-folks home.

Q: So if we were already in a bubble then, where do things stand right now?

A: Bubbles are unbelievably easy to see; it's knowing when the bust will come that is trickier. You see it when the markets are on the front pages instead of the financial pages, when the news is full of stories of people getting cheated, when new coins are being created every month. The scale of these things is so much bigger than in 1929 or in 2000.

Q: What is your take on equity valuations now?

A: Looking at most measures, the market is more expensive than in 2000, which was more expensive than anything that preceded it.

My favorite metric is price-to-sales: What you find is that even the cheapest parts of the market are way more expensive than in 2000.

Q: What might bring an end to this bubble?

A: Markets peak when you are as happy as you can get, and a near-perfect economy is extrapolated into the indefinite future. But around the corner are lurking serious issues like interest rates, inflation, labor and commodity prices. All of those are beginning to look less optimistic than they did just a week or two ago.

Q: How long until a bust?

A: A bust might take a few more months, and, in fact, I hope it does, because it will give us the opportunity to warn more people. The probabilities are that this will go into the fall: The stimulus, the economic recovery, and vaccinations have all allowed this thing to go on a few months longer than I would have initially guessed.

What pricks the bubble could be a virus problem, it could be an inflation problem, or it could be the most important category of all, which is everything else that is unexpected. One of 20 different things that you haven't even thought of will come out of the woodwork, and you had no idea it was even there.

Q: What might a bust look like?

A: There will be an enormous negative wealth effect, broader than it has ever been, compared to any other previous bubble breaking. It's the first time we have bubbled in so many different areas "" interest rates, stocks, housing, non-energy commodities. On the way up, it gave us all a positive wealth effect, and on the way down it will retract, painfully.

Q: Are there any asset classes which are relatively attractive?

A: You could always own cash, or you could do what the institutions do, which is buy heavily into the asset classes that are least bad. The least overpriced are value stocks and emerging markets. Those are the two arbitrages. With value and emerging, you should make some positive return over the next 10 years.

Q: It is difficult to be bearish right now?

A: Not for me, because I don't have career risk anymore. But every big company has lots of risk: They facilitate a bubble until it bursts, and then they change their tune as fast as they can, and make money on the downside.

But this bubble is the real thing, and everyone can see it. It's as obvious as the nose on your face.

[Jul 20, 2021] Walmart Brings Automation To Regional Distribution Centers - ZeroHedge

Jul 18, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Walmart Brings Automation To Regional Distribution Centers BY TYLER DURDEN SUNDAY, JUL 18, 2021 - 09:00 PM

The progressive press had a field day with "woke" Walmart highly publicized February decision to hikes wages for 425,000 workers to an average above $15 an hour. We doubt the obvious follow up - the ongoing stealthy replacement of many of its minimum wage workers with machines - will get the same amount of airtime.

As Chain Store Age reports , Walmart is applying artificial intelligence to the palletizing of products in its regional distribution centers. I.e., it is replacing thousands of workers with robots.

Since 2017, the discount giant has worked with Symbotic to optimize an automated technology solution to sort, store, retrieve and pack freight onto pallets in its Brooksville, Fla., distribution center. Under Walmart's existing system, product arrives at one of its RDCs and is either cross-docked or warehoused, while being moved or stored manually. When it's time for the product to go to a store, a 53-foot trailer is manually packed for transit. After the truck arrives at a store, associates unload it manually and place the items in the appropriate places.

Leveraging the Symbiotic solution, a complex algorithm determines how to store cases like puzzle pieces using high-speed mobile robots that operate with a precision that speeds the intake process and increases the accuracy of freight being stored for future orders. By using dense modular storage, the solution also expands building capacity.

In addition, by using palletizing robotics to organize and optimize freight, the Symbiotic solution creates custom store- and aisle-ready pallets.

Why is Walmart doing this? Simple: According to CSA, "Walmart expects to save time, limit out-of-stocks and increasing the speed of stocking and unloading." More importantly, the company hopes to further cut expenses and remove even more unskilled labor from its supply chain.

This solution follows tests of similar automated warehouse solutions at a Walmart consolidation center in Colton, Calif., and perishable grocery distribution center in Shafter, Calif.

Walmart plans to implement this technology in 25 of its 42 RDCs.

"Though very few Walmart customers will ever see into our warehouses, they'll still be able to witness an industry-leading change, each time they find a product on shelves," said Joe Metzger, executive VP of supply chain operations at Walmart U.S. "There may be no way to solve all the complexities of a global supply chain, but we plan to keep changing the game as we use technology to transform the way we work and lead our business into the future."

[Jul 19, 2021] What was not mentioned

Jul 19, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Filosofur 7 hours ago

I find it very odd that ZH not even mentioning the 1000 point drop in dow today...wtf??

sbin 7 hours ago

1000 points is a good start.

Pareto 7 hours ago

its only 2%

[Jul 16, 2021] The Most-Overlooked Tax Breaks for Retirees by Rocky Mengle , Kevin McCormally

Jul 01, 2021 | www.kiplinger.com
Unfortunately, seniors often miss tax-saving opportunities that are available to them. Don't let that happen to you!

For new retirees, it's more important than ever to take full advantage of every tax break available. That's especially true if you're on a fixed income. After all, you have to stretch out your retirement savings to cover the rest of your life. But holding on to your money during retirement is easier said than done. That's why retirees really need to pay close attention to their tax situation.

Unfortunately, though, seniors often miss valuable tax-saving opportunities . In many cases, it's simply because they just don't know about them. Don't let that happen to you -- check out these often-overlooked tax breaks for retirees . You could save a bundle!

When you turn 65, the IRS offers you a gift in the form of a larger standard deduction . For example, a single 64-year-old taxpayer can claim a standard deduction of $12,550 on his or her 2021 tax return (it was $12,400 for 2020 returns). But a single 65-year-old taxpayer will get a $14,250 standard deduction in 2021 ($14,050 in 2020).

The extra $1,700 will make it more likely that you'll take the standard deduction rather than itemize. And, if you do claim the standard deduction, the additional amount will save you over $400 if you're in the 24% income tax bracket .

Couples in which one or both spouses are age 65 or older also get bigger standard deductions than younger taxpayers. If only one spouse is 65 or older, the extra amount for 2021 is $1,350 – $2,700 if both spouses are 65 or older. Be sure to take advantage of your age!

For new retirees, it's more important than ever to take full advantage of every tax break available. That's especially true if you're on a fixed income. After all, you have to stretch out your retirement savings to cover the rest of your life. But holding on to your money during retirement is easier said than done. That's why retirees really need to pay close attention to their tax situation.

Unfortunately, though, seniors often miss valuable tax-saving opportunities . In many cases, it's simply because they just don't know about them. Don't let that happen to you -- check out these often-overlooked tax breaks for retirees . You could save a bundle!

When you turn 65, the IRS offers you a gift in the form of a larger standard deduction . For example, a single 64-year-old taxpayer can claim a standard deduction of $12,550 on his or her 2021 tax return (it was $12,400 for 2020 returns). But a single 65-year-old taxpayer will get a $14,250 standard deduction in 2021 ($14,050 in 2020).

The extra $1,700 will make it more likely that you'll take the standard deduction rather than itemize. And, if you do claim the standard deduction, the additional amount will save you over $400 if you're in the 24% income tax bracket .

Couples in which one or both spouses are age 65 or older also get bigger standard deductions than younger taxpayers. If only one spouse is 65 or older, the extra amount for 2021 is $1,350 – $2,700 if both spouses are 65 or older. Be sure to take advantage of your age!

The rules are clear: To qualify for tax-free profit from the sale of a home, the home must be your principal residence and you must have owned and lived in it for at least two of the five years leading up to the sale. But there is a way to capture tax-free profit from the sale of a former vacation home.

Let's say you sell the family homestead and cash in on the break that makes up to $250,000 in profit tax-free ($500,000 if you're married and file jointly). You then move into a vacation home you've owned for 25 years. As long as you make that house your principal residence for at least two years, part of the profit on the sale will be tax-free.

Basically, the $250,000/$500,00 exclusion doesn't apply to any profit that is allocable to the time after 2008 that a home is not used as your principal residence. For example, assume you bought a vacation home in 2001, convert it to your principal residence in 2015 and sell it in 2021. The post-2008 vacation-home use is seven of the 20 years you owned the property. So, 35% (7 ÷ 20) of the profit would be taxable at capital gains rates; the other 65% would qualify for the $250,000/$500,000 exclusion.

[Jul 16, 2021] This one signal says a stock market correction may be on the way by Michael Brush

Notable quotes:
"... Here are the other ominous signs of froth in the IPO market. ..."
"... Tech leads the way: It dominates the IPO market again, just as in 1999. ..."
"... Frothy first-day gains: The average first-day pop for IPOs in the second quarter was 42% ..."
"... Historically high valuations ..."
"... Retail investors in the mix ..."
"... "I think it says more about general liquidity than it does about where the stock market is going next," says Kevin Landis of the Firsthand Technology Opportunities TEFQX, -3.24% , referring to the IPO frenzy. "There is so much money sloshing around. The capital markets look like the rich guy from out of town who just got off the cruise ship, and we are all coming out of the woodwork to sell him stuff," he says. ..."
"... "Things are going up simply because of liquidity, which means eventually there will be a top," says Landis. "But not necessarily an impending top right around the corner." Landis is worth listening to because his fund outperforms his technology category by 9.6 percentage points annualized over the five years, according to Morningstar. ..."
"... Market calls are always a matter of what intelligence spies call "the mosaic." Each bit of information is a piece of an overall mosaic. While the IPO market froth is disturbing, you should consider this cautionary signal as just one among many. ..."
Jul 14, 2021 | www.marketwatch.com
A frothy market for initial public offerings suggests stocks are overvalued

Oatly, which produces oat milk products, went public in May. (Photo Illustration by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

I hear more money managers say it's starting to feel like 1999" the bubble year followed by an epic market crash.

They may be on to something.

The initial public offering (IPO) market now shows the froth that foreshadows big stock market corrections.

Consider these troubling signals from the IPO market.

1. Ominous volume: Second-quarter IPO proceeds were the biggest since" get this" the fourth quarter of 1999. The huge tech selloff that scarred a generation of investors started in March 2000 and then spread to the entire market.

Some details: A total of 115 IPOs raised $40.7 billion in the second quarter. That follows a busy first quarter when 100 IPOs raised $39.1 billion. Both quarters saw the largest amount of capital raised since the fourth quarter of 1999, when IPOs raised $46.5 billion. These numbers come from the IPO experts at Renaissance Capital, which manages the IPO exchange traded fund, Renaissance IPO ETF IPO, -3.43% .

Of course, adjusted for inflation, the 2021 numbers shrink relative to the fourth quarter of 1999. But this doesn't get us off the hook. The 2021 IPO figures, above, exclude the $12.2 billion and $87 billion raised by special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) in the second and first quarters.

This spike in IPO volume is troubling for a simple reason. Investment bankers and companies know the most opportune time to sell stock is around market highs. They bring companies public at their convenience, not ours. This tells us they may be selling a top now.

Here are the other ominous signs of froth in the IPO market.

2. Tech leads the way: It dominates the IPO market again, just as in 1999. The tech sector raised the majority of second-quarter proceeds and posted its busiest quarter in at least two decades with 42 IPOs, says Renaissance Capital. This included the quarter's largest IPO, DiDi Global DIDI, +1.61% , the Chinese ride-hailing app. The large U.S.-based tech names were Applovin APP, -5.54% in app software, the robotics company UiPath PATH, -3.68% , and the payments platform Marqeta MQ, -4.93% .

3. We can expect more of the same: A robust IPO pipeline sets the stage for a booming third quarter, says Renaissance Capital. The IPO pipeline has over a hundred companies. Tech dominates.

4. Frothy first-day gains: The average first-day pop for IPOs in the second quarter was 42% . That's well above the range of 31%-37% for the prior four quarters.

5. Historically high valuations : Typically, tech companies have come public with enterprise-value-(EV)-to-sales ratios of around 10. Now many are coming public with EV/sales ratios in the 20-30 range or more, points out Avery Spears, an IPO analyst at Renaissance Capital. For example, the cybersecurity company SentinelOne S, -6.14% came public with an EV/sales ratio of 81, says Spears.

6. Retail investors in the mix : They're big participants in IPO trading" often driving IPOs up by crazy amounts in first-day trading. "In the second quarter there were a lot of small deals with low floats and absolutely insane trading, popping well over 100% and in one case over 1,000%," says Spears. Pop Culture Group CPOP, -12.38% rose over 400% on its first day of trading, and E-Home Household Service EJH, -3.67% advanced 1,100%. "This demonstrates presence of retail investors in the market," she says. Both names have since fallen.

Keep in mind that the 2000 selloff was not the only one foreshadowed by IPO froth. The selloffs during mid-2015 to early 2016 and the second half 2018 were both preceded by high-water marks for IPO deal volume.

IPO-froth pushback

"It's different this time" are maybe the most dangerous words in investing. But market experts say several factors suggest the robust IPO market isn't such a negative signal.

First, decent quality companies are coming public. "Because companies stay private longer, you are seeing far more mature companies coming public," says Todd Skacan, equity capital markets manager at T. Rowe Price. These aren't like the speculative Internet companies of 1999. "It would be more of a signal of froth if more borderline companies were coming public like in the fourth quarter of 1999," he says.

We saw some of this with the SPACs, says Skacan, but the SPAC craze has cooled off. Second-quarter SPAC issuance fell 79% compared to the first quarter, muted by "investor fatigue and regulatory scrutiny," says a Renaissance Capital report on the IPO market. In the second quarter, 63 SPACs raised $12.2 billion, compared to the 298 SPACs that raised $87 billion in the first quarter.

Next, the type of company coming public might also calm fears. Alongside all the tech names, there are many industrial and consumer-facing companies" not the kinds of businesses that indicate froth. The latter category includes public national brands like Mister Car Wash MCW, -1.82% and Krispy Kreme DNUT, -2.16% , and the high-growth oat milk brand Oatly OTLY, -2.79% .

Third, IPOs are only floating 10%-15% of their overall value, and many post-IPO valuations are not that much higher than valuations implied by pre-IPO capital raises. That's different, compared to 1999. "It is not like they are selling a high number of shares at inflated prices," says Skacan. This makes sense, because companies that are more mature when they do an IPO don't need as much money.

Liquidity flood

"I think it says more about general liquidity than it does about where the stock market is going next," says Kevin Landis of the Firsthand Technology Opportunities TEFQX, -3.24% , referring to the IPO frenzy. "There is so much money sloshing around. The capital markets look like the rich guy from out of town who just got off the cruise ship, and we are all coming out of the woodwork to sell him stuff," he says.

"Things are going up simply because of liquidity, which means eventually there will be a top," says Landis. "But not necessarily an impending top right around the corner." Landis is worth listening to because his fund outperforms his technology category by 9.6 percentage points annualized over the five years, according to Morningstar.

The bottom line

Market calls are always a matter of what intelligence spies call "the mosaic." Each bit of information is a piece of an overall mosaic. While the IPO market froth is disturbing, you should consider this cautionary signal as just one among many.

Michael Brush is a columnist for MarketWatch. At the time of publication, he owned APP. Brush has suggested APP in his stock newsletter, Brush Up on Stocks . Follow him on Twitter @mbrushstocks,

[Jul 15, 2021] Investors, Don t Depend on Stocks and Bonds to Hedge Each Other

Jul 15, 2021 | www.bloomberg.com

There's nothing more beautiful to a professional investor than a negative correlation between stocks and bonds. When stocks have a bad month, bonds have a good month, and vice versa. Since their zigs and zags offset each other, the value of the combined portfolio is less volatile. The customers are pleased. And that's how it's been for most of the last two decades.

But for almost a year now, Bloomberg market reporters have been detecting anxiety from the pros that the era of negative correlation may be over or ending, replaced by an era of positive correlation in which stock and bond prices move together, amplifying volatility instead of dampening it. "Bonds Have Never Been So Useless as a Hedge to Stocks Since 1999," read the headline on one article this May.

Yet hope springs eternal. The headline on a July 7 article was, "Bonds Are Hinting They'll Hedge Stocks Again as Growth Bets Ease."

In the big picture and over long periods, it's obvious and necessary that stock and bond returns are positively correlated. After all, they're competing investments. Each generates a stream of income: dividends for (most) stocks, coupon payments for bonds. If stocks get very expensive, investors will shift money into bonds as a cheaper alternative until that rebalancing makes bonds more or less equally expensive. Likewise, when one of the two asset classes gets cheap it will tend to drag down the other.

When the pros talk about negative correlation they're referring to shorter periods""say, a month or two--over which stocks and bonds can indeed move in different directions. Lately two giant money managers have produced explanations for why stocks and bonds move apart or together. They're worth understanding even if your assets under management are in the thousands rather than billions or trillions.

Bridgewater Associates, the world's biggest hedge fund, based in Westport, Conn., says that how stocks and bonds play with each other has to do with economic conditions and policy. "There will naturally be times when they're negatively correlated and naturally be times when they're positively correlated, and those come from the underlying environment itself," senior portfolio strategist, Jeff Gardner says in an edited transcript of a recent in-house interview.

According to Gardner, inflation was the most important factor in the markets for decades""both when it rose in the 1960s and 1970s and when it fell in the 1980s and 1990s. Inflation affects stocks and bonds similarly, although it's worse for bonds with their fixed payments than for stocks. That's why correlation was positive during that long period.

For the past 20 years or so, inflation has been so low and steady that it's been a non-factor in the markets. So investors have paid more attention to economic growth prospects. Strong growth is great for stocks but doesn't do anything for bonds. That, says Gardner, is the main reason that stocks and bonds have moved in different directions.

PGIM Inc., the main asset management business of insurer Prudential Financial Inc., has $1.5 trillion under management. In a report issued in May, it puts numbers on the disappointment the pros feel when stocks and bonds start to move in sync. Let's say a portfolio is 60% stocks and 40% bonds and has a stock-bond correlation of -0.3, which is about average for the last 20 years. Volatility is around 7%. Now let's say the correlation goes to zero" not positive yet, but not negative anymore, either. To keep volatility from rising, the portfolio manager would have to reduce the allocation to stocks to around 52%, which would lower the portfolio's returns. If the stock-bond correlation reached a positive 0.3, then keeping volatility from rising would require reducing the stock allocation to only 40%, hitting returns even harder.

PGIM's list of factors that affect correlations is longer than Bridgewater's but consistent with it. The report by vice president Junying Shen and managing director Noah Weisberger says correlations between stocks and bonds tend to be negative when there's sustainable fiscal policy, independent and rules-based monetary policy, and shifts up or down in the demand side of the economy (consumption). The correlation is likely to be positive, they say, when there's unsustainable fiscal policy, discretionary monetary policy, monetary-fiscal policy coordination, and shifts in the supply side of the economy (output).

One last thought: It's a good idea to spread your money between stocks and bonds even if they don't hedge each other. The capital asset pricing model developed by William Sharpe in the 1960s says everyone should have the same portfolio, consisting of every asset available, and adjust their risk by how much they borrow. True, not everyone agrees. John Rekenthaler, a vice president for research at Morningstar Inc., wrote a fun article in 2017 about the different strategies of Sharpe and fellow Nobel laureate Harry Markowitz.

[Jul 15, 2021] If you think stocks and housing are in a bubble, check out bonds by Mark Hulbert

Images removed. See the original for the full version...
Notable quotes:
"... To shed light on this question, let's look at where both asset classes stand relative to their long-term trendlines. It's important to take a long-term perspective because commentators seem overly eager to detect bubbles everywhere they look these days. They (and we) need to be reminded that not every bull market is a bubble, and not every bear market represents the bursting of a bubble. ..."
Jul 15, 2021 | www.marketwatch.com

Which U.S. asset class is more likely in a bubble right now" stocks or housing? More than 80% of traders polled in a Charles Schwab survey say both.

To shed light on this question, let's look at where both asset classes stand relative to their long-term trendlines. It's important to take a long-term perspective because commentators seem overly eager to detect bubbles everywhere they look these days. They (and we) need to be reminded that not every bull market is a bubble, and not every bear market represents the bursting of a bubble.

Why are we so eager to detect bubbles? Will Goetzmann, a finance professor at Yale University, told me that he suspects it traces to the moral overtone that investors have when they declare something to be forming a bubble. When they do, he said, they're implying that those who lose big in that bear market will be getting what they deserve.

This column leaves moral judgments out of the equation. I instead am focusing on the most comprehensive data set of U.S. equity and housing returns that I know. This database, which extends back to the late 1800s, was compiled by Ã'scar Jordà of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Katharina Knoll of Deutsche Bundesbank in Frankfurt, Dmitry Kuvshinov and Moritz Schularick, both of the University of Bonn, and Alan M. Taylor of the University of California Davis.

This database is unique in several ways. One big advantage is that it includes data for both stocks and housing; other databases extend further back in the case of the stock market but don't include housing. The database also takes rent into account when calculating housing's return. Some prior historical analyses of housing's return have focused only on price appreciation, which significantly underreports housing's performance.

The chart below plots the returns since 1890 of U.S. stocks and housing. Notice that equities and housing have each produced largely similar returns over the past 130 years . As recently as the late 1940s, housing was ahead of equities for cumulative performance since 1890. As recently as the late 1970s the two data series were nearly neck-and-neck. Notice further that housing's performance has been less volatile than the stock market's, especially since World War II.

For each asset class I calculated an exponential trendline that most closely fit the 130 years' worth of data. The bad news is that both stocks and housing currently are above their respective trendlines, so if you insist that both assets are in bubbles now you in fact could find some statistical support.

Of the two, the stock market is further ahead of its long-term trendline than is housing. So if you'd have to pick which of the two is more likely to decline significantly, you should choose stocks.

Bonds are vulnerable

I've not said anything about bonds, but they are even further ahead of their trendline than either stocks or housing. So from this long-term perspective they are even more vulnerable than stocks to a big decline.

[Jul 15, 2021] Many Jobs Lost During the Coronavirus Pandemic Just Aren't Coming Back by Lauren Weber

when the tax rates increase even more, it just encourages automation or DIY (bring your own sheets to avoid paying the cleaning fee), which just grinds down growth rather than accelerates it.
Notable quotes:
"... Applebee's is now using tablets to allow customers to pay at their tables without summoning a waiter. ..."
Jul 15, 2021 | www.wsj.com
Companies see automation and other labor-saving steps as a way to emerge from the health crisis with a permanently smaller workforce
PHOTO: JIM THOMPSON/ZUMA PRESS

... ... ...

Economic data show that companies have learned to do more with less over the last 16 months or so. Output nearly recovered to pre-pandemic levels in the first quarter of 2021 -- down just 0.5% from the end of 2019 -- even though U.S. workers put in 4.3% fewer hours than they did before the health crisis.

... ... ...

Raytheon Technologies Corp. RTX 0.08% , the biggest U.S. aerospace supplier by sales, laid off 21,000 employees and contractors in 2020 amid a drastic decline in air travel. Raytheon said in January that efforts to modernize its factories and back-office operations would boost profit margins and reduce the need to bring back all those jobs. The company said that most if not all of the 4,500 contract workers who were let go in 2020 wouldn't be called back.

... ... ..

Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. HLT -0.78% said last week that most of its U.S. properties are adopting "a flexible housekeeping policy," with daily service available upon request. "Full deep cleanings will be conducted prior to check-in and on every fifth day for extended stays," it said.

Daily housekeeping will still be free for those who request it... Unite Here, a union that represents hotel workers, published a report in June estimating that the end of daily room cleaning could result in an industrywide loss of up to 180,000 jobs...

... ... ...

Restaurants have become rapid adopters of technology during the pandemic as two forces -- labor shortages that are pushing wages higher and a desire to reduce close contact between customers and employees -- raise the return on such investments. ... Applebee's is now using tablets to allow customers to pay at their tables without summoning a waiter. The hand-held screens provide a hedge against labor inflation, said John Peyton, CEO of Applebee's parent Dine Brands Global Inc.

... ... ...

The U.S. tax code encourages investments in automation, particularly after the Trump administration's tax cuts, said Daron Acemoglu, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who studies the impact of automation on workers. Firms pay around 25 cents in taxes for every dollar they pay workers, compared with 5 cents for every dollar spent on machines because companies can write off capital investments, he said.

... ... ...

-- Heather Haddon contributed to this article. D


DANIEL WEBER

A lot of employers were given Covid-aid to keep employees employed and paid in 2020. I assume somebody has addressed that obligation since it wasn't mentioned.

But, what happens to the unskilled workers whose jobs have been eliminated? Do Raytheon and Hilton just say "have a nice life on the streets"?

No, they will become our collective burdens.

I am all for technology and progress and better QA/QC and general performance. But the employers that benefit from this should use part of their gains in stock valuation to keep "our collective burdens" off our collective backs, rather than pay dividends and bonuses first.

Maybe reinvest in updated training for those laid off.

No great outcome comes free. BUT, as the article implies, the luxury of having already laid off the unskilled, likely leaves the employer holding all the cards.

And the wheel keeps turning...

Jeffery Allen
Question! Isn't this antithetical (reduction of employees) to the spirit and purpose of both monetary and fiscal programs, e.g., PPP loans (fiscal), capital markets funding facilities (monetary) established last year and current year? Employers are to retain employees. Gee, what a farce. Does anyone really care?
Philip Hilmes
Some of this makes sense and some would happen anyway without the pandemic. I don't need my room cleaned every day, but sometimes I want it. The wait staff in restaurants is another matter. Losing wait staff makes for a pretty bad experience. I hate having to order on my phone. I feel like I might as well be home ordering food through Grubhub or something. It's impersonal, more painful than telling someone, doesn't allow for you to be checked on if you need anything, doesn't provide information you don't get from a menu, etc. It really diminishes the value of going out to eat without wait staff.
al snow
OK I been reading all the comments I only have a WSJ access as the rate was a great deal.
Hotel/Motel started making the bed but not changing the sheets every day for many years I am fine as long as they offer trash take out and towel/paper every day
and do not forget to tip .
clive boulton
Recruiters re-post hard to fill job listings onto multiple job boards. I don't believe the reported job openings resemble are real. Divide by 3 at least.

[Jul 15, 2021] Apple, Amazon, ARKK, and other big names indicate a market correction is coming, strategist says. Here's why. - MarketWatch

Jul 15, 2021 | www.marketwatch.com

Stocks are near all-time highs, and though U.S. markets opened slightly lower on Thursday, it's much easier to find bulls than bears these days.

But a technical indicator showing itself in five high-profile stocks and two funds suggests that a market correction is coming, according to strategist Michael Kramer of Mott Capital Management , in our call of the day .

The relative strength index, or RSI, measures the speed and change of recent price movements and is one of the most renowned technical signals. It allows investors to evaluate whether a security is overbought or oversold -- i.e. overvalued or undervalued. A reading of 70 or above is considered overbought, while 30 and below is oversold.

A look back at 2018 is enough to tell investors why they should watch this indicator, according to Kramer, who noted on January 29, 2018 that high RSIs for some of the biggest names signalled that the stock market was ready to fall. "Things got really ugly after that through February 8," he said.

In those 10 days early in 2018, Dow industrials DJIA, +0.15% tumbled near 9%, the S&P 500 SPX, -0.33% plunged more than 10%, and the Nasdaq Composite COMP, -0.70% fell near 10%.

Now, "the same thing is emerging," Kramer said, "with the biggest stocks all reaching very overbought reading."

Apple AAPL, -0.45% , Amazon AMZN, -1.37% , Alphabet GOOGL, -0.96% , Nvidia NVDA, -4.41% , and Microsoft MSFT, -0.52% are showing overbought RSIs, as are Cathie Wood's ARK Innovation ETF ARKK, -1.50% and the QQQ QQQ, -0.70% fund tracking the Nasdaq 100.

By the end of Wednesday, Apple had an RSI of more than 80, with Amazon at 70, Microsoft at 76, and Google-owner Alphabet at 73 and showing a rising pattern, Kramer said. He noted that Nvidia's RSI was in the process of breaking a near-two month rise up to 83.

Ark Innovation ETF's RSI was sitting at 76, while the QQQ was above 75. "When the QQQ RSI gets this high, the outcomes are not good most of the time, including January 2018," Kramer said.

[Jul 14, 2021] The US shale oil model does not work without credit.

Jul 05, 2021 | peakoilbarrel.com

MIKE IGNORED 07/05/2021 at 9:29 am

No. Not true and badly misleading. Remaining EIA PDP from the Permian will not generate sufficient net cash flow to self fund 123,000 wells (your estimate) costing nearly $1T, much less do that AND pay down over $100 B of existing debt in the Permian. That's using EIA PDP estimates; whack those by 30%. It is not possible to drill $9MM wells for a 135% ROI over 15 years and be financially self-sufficient, service and pay down debt, provide returns to investors and maintain a 100% RRR. The US shale oil model does not work without credit. $70 "assumptions" do NOT solve the issue of where the money is going to come from for your miracle of abundance to actually occur. ANCIENTARCHER IGNORED 07/05/2021 at 6:01 am

EIA is expecting excess supply in 2022.

Are they smoking some really good stuff to come up with this? I'd like to smoke that too 😉

As I see it, demand will slowly go back up to previous level of 100mmbpd and then resume its slow march upwards. Where is it that EIA are seeing that extra production from that will lead to oversupply 6-7 months down the line? All I see is that various regions of the world are slowly declining in production due to a combination of worsening asset quality and a paucity of capex over the last several years, especially in 2020/21. US Shale, Russia, Offshore, conventional onshore, small members of OPEC and even Saudi"¦ all are experiencing pressure on production.

OPEC seems to be concerned about the possibility of excess supply next year, probably due to this report by EIA. The Saudis are especially concerned and therefore are pushing to extend the supply cut to the end of 2022 which UAE is opposing.

So, am I missing a crucial element or are the EIA on to something here?

[Jul 14, 2021] allergic reactions

Jul 14, 2021 | www.drugs.com

have rarely happened. Talk with your doctor.

How is this medicine (Barium Suspension) best taken?

Use barium suspension as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

[Jul 14, 2021] Cryptos are a collectors item just like fine art.

Jul 13, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

jsanprox , Jul 12 2021 1:59 utc | 103

Cryptos are a collectors item just like fine art. While money has value based on the military jack boot of empire which insures its value only with its domination of most countries and the violent destruction of any attempt to set up a transparent real money system exchangable for gold (Libya). A painting by a hot painter is worth 900k because there are a handful of people who will pay that for it, they're interest in it keeps the value at a certain level. Same with Bitcoin, but that interest is spread out to millions of people. If they all decide its worthless than it is, but why would they? I think a lot of these evidence free claims of hacking and ransom wear are made to devalue the currency that the ransom is paid in, it could have easily been paid in dollars via the internet, as cryptos is basiclly just that: a stand in for the dollar being moved to an account that is a number. Cryptos in this way provide a window to real capitalism. This to me is natural human evolution toward anarchism and a system of exchange that is transparent and based on people working together instead of militaristic violence. You can exchange cryptos for gold, rubles and yaun, so saying that it exist only based on the dollars supremacy is wrong.


Hoarsewhisperer , Jul 12 2021 3:36 utc | 104

What I know about computers and Bitcoin would get lost in a thimble. However, what I've learnt about the US Govt over the years tells me that this problem wouldn't be happening if the USG hadn't dedicated itself to micro-managing, and dominating the www - for Top Secret (i.e. bullshit) reasons.

I was appalled when I learnt that the USG had made strong encryption ILLEGAL, and dumbfounded when I first heard about the PRISM 'co-operative' USG-mandated www surveillance program. Edward Snowden's NSA revellations confirmed that the USG has KILLED computer security for crappy, feeble-minded reasons.

It's more or less par for the course that the USG blames other entities for its own prying and mischief-making. Were it not for the USG placing LOW limits on computer security, we would all have access to Pretty Good Privacy and pro-active, timely means of detecting and defending and/or evading malware.

Stonebird , Jul 12 2021 8:31 utc | 107

Jörgen Hassler | Jul 12 2021 5:32 utc | 105

"They mostly never see the piece, it's kept in climate controlled storage."

This is standard practice. Using "Ports Franches" as in several Swiss towns including Geneva. Perfectly legal as they are not IN the country (for Tax purposes).

However, this is not really for "drug" cartels but just a way of transferring assets from one rich person to another. Many ownership deals are made inside the Port Franche itself, without the need to transport the work outside. There is a limitation on the time a work can be left inside the building, but I believe all that they have to do is drive more or less "round the block" and re-enter it. I'm a bit hazy about that detail, as I do not have a spare Rembrandt to verify this personally.

****

jsanprox | Jul 12 2021 1:59 utc | 103

A painting by a hot painter is worth 900k because there are a handful of people who will pay that for it, they're interest in it keeps the value at a certain level.

The primary dealers agree on a common price level for a stated painter. These paintings can even be used as collateral when borrowing money.
Other painters do not have a "guaranteed" price level but one based on auction values (ie. What the customer is willing to pay.)
The Primary dealers are a very small group who control all the big art fairs and which other dealers are allowed to sell or deal there -.
There are "rules" about "participation" (not sure about the terminology here), that various dealers will have made between themseves. ie. There is a split-up of profits following certain agreed parts. Woe unto a dealer that doesn't pay his part. (OK; personal note here, I once accidently fell foul of the "cartel" because a gallery owner with my works, had not paid "out" on a large sum that he had made on another artist he was representing. They decided to "get" him.)

****

Ransomware ; Why are people getting all hot and bothered about Corporations paying money in Bitcoin? Happens all the time.

Another Personal anecdote ; About five years ago I started recieving emails from unknown "people", Real first names, with an attachement. As normal, these go into trash without being opened (or into a folder I have, called "dodgy spam?) About 20 + of them. Next I recieved one email saying (in French) " I know your little secret, and if you don't want everyone else to know, pay (about €30) a "Small" sum into the following bitcoin account xxxxx."

In France you can " porter plainte" , ie, denounce and start a legal process against an "unknown person, or persons". This is to protect yourself, and is run by the Government/police. In my case, never having opened any of the "attachments", I don't know what they were, probably porn of some sort. IF they had been opened there would have been a suspicion that I was a "willling" victim. (The first question asked by the Gov. Site was "Have you paid them/it, and by how much". in my case - none)

******

Haven't heard anything since. BUT, Bitcoin was already being used for criminal purposes.

Nobody had to find a super-secret backdoor into my computer. Just buy a data base with working emails - Corporations use them all the time to send publicity. By looking at the address, and other more or less freely available information, they can target people, by location, age, etc.


vk , Jul 12 2021 15:47 utc | 113

@ Posted by: jsanprox | Jul 12 2021 1:59 utc | 103

But you only know a Picasso is worth a lot because you can calculate it in USD terms (ultimately: you can also calculate in any other fiat currency, but, since we live in the USD Standard, we only know a certain amount of fiat currency is worth if we can convert it to USDs). The USD is still the unit of accountancy and the means of payment even in the art market.

You can never pay your taxes or fill the tank of your car with a Picasso - you would have to sell it for USDs, and use these USDs to pay for everything you need. Sure, two megarich persons could exchange art between them as some kind of permute, but that doesn't constitute a societal unity (because billionares don't exist in a vacuum). It is a particularity of society, not society itself.

The same is true with crypto. And with gold. And with platinum. And with whatever else you want. It is a myth crypto is "fake" just because it is purely digital: the material specification of the thing doesn't matter for its status of money. Being digital is the lesser of crypto's problems. Crypto's main problem is the very economic foundations of its existence, which ensure it will never be money.

And no: subdividing crypto wouldn't solve it - they tried it with gold when capitalism lived through the Gold Standard (when it was on its death throes) and there's a limit to this. Even if the digital era allowed it, you would then simply have fiat money system with extra steps and double the brutality, because then the power to issue money would rest with few private individual hoarders of the crypto with no legal accountability and responsibility; it would be a dystopian "Pirates of the Caribbean" meets "Mad Max" scenario.

[Jul 14, 2021] The $50 Trillion Plundered From Workers By America s Aristocracy Is Trickling Back - ZeroHedge

Jul 14, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

The $50 Trillion Plundered From Workers By America's Aristocracy Is Trickling Back BY TYLER DURDEN TUESDAY, JUL 13, 2021 - 04:20 PM

Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,

As I often note here, when you push the pendulum to an extreme of wealth and income inequality, it will swing to the opposite extreme minus a tiny bit of friction.

The depth of America's indoctrination can be measured by the unquestioned assumption that Capital should earn 15% every year, rain or shine, while workers are fated to lose ground every year, rain or shine. And if wages should ever start ticking upward even slightly, then the Billionaires' Apologists are unleashed to shout that higher wages means higher inflation, which will kill the economic "recovery."

Said another way: if wages stagnate so workers lose ground every year as inflation in essentials rises, that's the way it should be. If wages rise so workers can keep up with inflation, then that will trigger an inflationary death spiral.

That this indoctrination is so widely accepted reveals the success of America's Aristocracy in reshaping the narrative to make their plundering appear to be "inevitable." But the siphoning of $50 trillion from workers to the Aristocracy, and the Nobility's control of political power was anything but inevitable: it was engineered by policies that enriched billionaires, the top 0.01% Aristocracy, and the top 10% who own 90% of America's productive capital.

This wholesale transfer of wealth and income from workers to Capital was documented by a RAND Corporation report , Trends in Income From 1975 to 2018 . Time magazine summarized the findings: The Top 1% of Americans Have Taken $50 Trillion From the Bottom 90% -- And That's Made the U.S. Less Secure .

There are some who blame the current plight of working Americans on structural changes in the underlying economy--on automation, and especially on globalization. According to this popular narrative, the lower wages of the past 40 years were the unfortunate but necessary price of keeping American businesses competitive in an increasingly cutthroat global market. But in fact, the $50 trillion transfer of wealth the RAND report documents has occurred entirely within the American economy, not between it and its trading partners. No, this upward redistribution of income, wealth, and power wasn't inevitable; it was a choice--a direct result of the trickle-down policies we chose to implement since 1975.

The net result of this four-decade siphoning of wealth/income from workers was recently documented by a Foreign Affairs article: Monopoly Versus Democracy :

Ten percent of Americans now control 97 percent of all capital income in the country. Nearly half of the new income generated since the global financial crisis of 2008 has gone to the wealthiest one percent of U.S. citizens. The richest three Americans collectively have more wealth than the poorest 160 million Americans.

In other words, the bottom 90% have very little stake in the status quo: they receive essentially zero income from America's stupendous $121 trillion hoard of private wealth and have essentially zero political influence, as documented in Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens .

Now the worm has finally turned, and workers are refusing to accept the Neofeudal dominance of the Aristocracy, not by open revolts that the State can violently crush but by indirect means. Fed-up Boomers are retiring, fed-up Gen-Xers are cutting their hours, refusing to go back to the office, starting their own enterprises and Millennials are assembling multiple income streams, building micro-houses, and leveraging shortages of workers for higher wages.

The techno-fantasy that's Corporate America's fondest dream is automation of all labor: get rid of all human workers and just manage the robots with loving care. But the reality is robots have limits, as I explain in my book Will You Be Richer or Poorer? --limits imposed by physics and finance.

And so, weeping inconsolably, Corporate America continues exploiting its workforce with the usual threats: you're powerless because we can automate your job or offshore it to Lower Slobovia.

Contrast this with the real world: a young man of my acquaintance recently took a job at a Corporate America Big Box outlet. His wage was $12/hour, and all the power was of course in the hands of Corporate America: he had no power over his schedule, or anything else.

In the script of the past four decades, Corporate America (while crushing small business and buying the best government money can buy ) could keep the serfs slaving away for stagnating wages, all in service of maximizing corporate insiders' stock options, buybacks and soaring profits.

This individual was tipped off to a much better opportunity, and when he gave notice to the Big Box manager, the manager corralled him for two hours, first offering a $3/hour raise (25%) and then badgering him to stay on as a serf on the Big Box plantation. He refused.

This is the pure distillation of Corporate America and the Aristocracy: if they'd offered this hard-working individual the 25% raise after he proved his worth, then maybe he wouldn't have been so motivated to seek better opportunities elsewhere.

At long last, some the $50 trillion plundered from workers is trickling back to the people who actually create the income and wealth. As a thought experiment, consider an economy in which farmers and workers reaped 15% gains annually like clockwork, and Corporate America's insiders, financiers and speculators, and Wall Street's parasites all lost 15% of their wealth and income every year like clockwork.

In other words, imagine the $50 trillion flowing back to those who generated it from those who looted it.

As I often note here, when you push the pendulum to an extreme of wealth and income inequality, it will swing to the opposite extreme minus a tiny bit of friction. The serfs are quietly slipping away, and the Aristocracy, blinded by hubris and greed, believes nothing will ever change because, well, their wealth and power is deserved . What they really deserve will manifest in the next four years as the chairs at the banquet of consequences are shuffled.

* * *

If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com .

* * *

My recent books:

A Hacker's Teleology: Sharing the Wealth of Our Shrinking Planet (Kindle $8.95, print $20, audiobook $17.46) Read the first section for free (PDF) .

Will You Be Richer or Poorer?: Profit, Power, and AI in a Traumatized World (Kindle $5, print $10, audiobook) Read the first section for free (PDF) .

Pathfinding our Destiny: Preventing the Final Fall of Our Democratic Republic ($5 (Kindle), $10 (print), ( audiobook ): Read the first section for free (PDF) .

The Adventures of the Consulting Philosopher: The Disappearance of Drake $1.29 (Kindle), $8.95 (print); read the first chapters for free (PDF)

Money and Work Unchained $6.95 (Kindle), $15 (print) Read the first section for free (PDF).


Stuck on Zero 8 hours ago

... engineered by policies that enriched billionaires ...

90% to 95% of all legislation passed by Congress is special interest i.e. engineered to enrich billionaires.

GreatUncle 8 hours ago

He who makes the rules is always going to win especially when voting is total BS.

HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 7 hours ago

K Street is profitable. Not for the US Tax$lave of course.

alwaysfindasilverlining 7 hours ago

I've never seen a lobbyist get wealthy pandering the poors needs to corrupt politicians.

FoodStampPrez 7 hours ago

"When the preferences of economic elites and the stands of organized interest groups are controlled for, the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy."

Stop caring. Adjust according to their rules. It's the only way to survive.

Retired_Rat 7 hours ago (Edited) remove link
When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.

Frédéric Bastiat

I am one of the early leavers from the rat race.... Not rich but am happy with a minimal lifestyle if it means I dont have to work for the 0.1 per cent Man

Instagator 7 hours ago

Finally an article that states 0.1% instead of the 1% , even though 0.001% is actually who is in control. 1% is a doctor and no they don't control the world. They are controlled by the Medical Industrial Complex.

There are only 50 families that control the world. Wake up people.

GoldmanSax 6 hours ago

The world economic forum is proof that wealthy robber barons are not happy with their profits alone. They are waging a war on the planet. For this reason alone, a class struggle is inevitable. It is the planet vs the robber barons. . .

SexyJulian 42 minutes ago

The net result of this four-decade siphoning of wealth/income from workers was recently documented by a Foreign Affairs article: Monopoly Versus Democracy :

During a Foreign Affairs event with various experts on stage 8 years ago(maybe 10) discussing current and future destabilizing political and security events I asked the panel about the increasing income inequality. The crowd appreciated the question. The panel had crickets. Over the next few years their mag shunned any objective reporting or interpretation of global events in exchange for pure bullsht. Very similar to how even McNeil Lehrer went into propaganda mode after 9/11.

Everyone in the Beltway needs a lamppost.

[Jul 12, 2021] Angela Merkel Doesn't Think U.S., Germany Will Come to Quick Agreement on Disputed Pipeline

Jul 12, 2021 | www.msn.com

Merkel is meeting with President Joe Biden on Thursday this week, and said while she will discuss the issue at the White House, she does not believe the matter will be resolved at that time.

"I don't know whether the papers will be fully finalized, so to speak. I believe rather not," Merkel said. "But these will be important talks for developing a common position."

Sanctions imposed against German companies involved in the project by the U.S. were recently waived, which raised hopes in Berlin that the two countries may soon be able to find an acceptable agreement on the matter.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Washington has long argued that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline carrying natural gas from Russia to Germany endangers Europe's energy security and harms allies such as Ukraine, which currently profits from transit fees for Russian gas.

Germany is keen to increase its use of natural gas as it completes the shutdown of its nuclear power plants next year and phases out the use of heavily polluting coal by 2038.

Merkel's comments to reporters in Berlin came ahead of a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who has warned that Nord Stream 2 poses a threat to his country's energy security. Should Russia route all of its gas around Ukraine in the future, the country might be cut off from the supplies it needs, putting it at further risk of being pressured by Moscow.

Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and supports separatists in Ukraine's eastern industrial heartland of Donbas.

Zelenskyy said he was looking for guarantees that Ukraine will remain a transit country for Russian gas beyond 2024. He also suggested that the gas issue should become part of four-way talks between his country, Russia, Germany and France on solving the conflict in eastern Ukraine and that the United States could join those negotiations.

Merkel said she took Ukraine's concerns seriously and that Germany and the European Union would use their weight in negotiations with Russia to ensure the agreements are extended.

"We have promised this to Ukraine and we will stick to that. I keep my promises and I believe that is true also for any future German chancellor," she said.

Merkel isn't running for a fifth term in Germany's national election on Sept. 26.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, not pictured, give statements ahead of talks at the Chancellery in Berlin, Monday, July 12, 2021. Stefanie Loos/Pool Photo via AP

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[Jul 09, 2021] Could Pfizer and Moderna Be in Trouble After the Latest COVID Vaccine Findings

So Motley Fool analysts advocate profiteering... Nice. there is some dark neoliberal humor in stating that the elimation of booster shots is bad..
Jul 09, 2021 | www.msn.com

Keith Speights: Some findings were recently published in Nature magazine that indicate that the Pfizer-BioNTech and the Moderna vaccines may provide protection for years.

Many investors are and were hoping for annual recurring revenue from these companies' vaccines. Brian, how troublesome is this latest data for the prospects for Pfizer, BioNTech, and Moderna?

Brian Orelli: There's a bit of an extrapolation going on here. The researchers looked at memory B cells, which tend to provide more long-term protection than, let's say, antibodies. They looked at those in the lymph nodes and found the cells were there as long as 15 weeks.

Typically, they'd mostly be gone by four to six weeks. So that's the basis of this claim that it could offer protection for years. If true, that will be a big blow obviously to vaccine makers, at least for Moderna and BioNTech.

Pfizer would be fine because it's so diversified. It's really hard to make an argument for the valuations of Moderna and BioNTech right now if these vaccines are one and done over a couple of years. They really need to have ongoing sales until they can get growth from other drugs in their pipelines.

Speights: Brian, when I first saw the story, I went to check out to see how the stocks were performing, and Moderna is up, BioNTech was barely changed, Pfizer barely changed. It seems to me that investors really aren't making much of this news. Do you think that's the right take at this point?

Orelli: I think it's still too early to be able to conclude that it's definitely going to work for years. The other issue is that we're looking at, will those B cells actually protect against the variants?

If they don't protect against the variants, then it doesn't really matter if you have B cells in your lymph nodes. If they're not going to protect against the variants then we're going to have to get a booster shot anyway.

Speights: Right. Obviously, if these vaccines provide immunity for multiple years, these companies aren't going to make nearly as much money as they expect and a lot of investors expect. So this is a big story to watch, but like you said, really, really early right now and too soon to maybe go drawing any conclusions at this point.

[Jul 09, 2021] Shale companies are paying off debt and sharing with investors rather than drilling more

The U.S. is producing roughly 2 million barrels a day less than it was before the pandemic.
In the USA shale patch many "sweet spots" are now gone and what remains is less proficableto drill and thus requres higher prices. In this sense the currentoil price might be not enough to spur additional activity.
Jul 09, 2021 | www.wsj.com

Frackers have been forced to rein in spending and live within their means after many investors lost faith in the companies following years of poor returns, lenders reduced their credit lines and capital markets showed little interest in funding expansive new drilling campaigns.

The result is that shale drillers, which in the past have played the role of the oil world's swing producer by quickly increasing output to meet demand, are largely standing pat for now, as the reopening of Western economies leads to a resurgence of global oil and gas prices .

The companies are raking in more cash than ever. Public shale companies that drill primarily for oil collectively generated a record $4.1 billion in free cash flow in the first quarter of 2021 and are poised to take in almost $15 billion for the year if prices remain higher, according to consulting firm Rystad Energy.

U.S. shale producers generated more free cash flow in the first quarter than any time in the industry's history, analysts said. Free cash flow Source: Rystad Energy billion 2014 '15 '16 '17 '18 '19 '20 '21 -12.5 -10.0 -7.5 -5.0 -2.5 0 .0 2.5 $5.0

But instead of pumping that money back into drilling as they have historically done, large producers such as Occidental Petroleum Corp. OXY +2.09% and Ovintiv Inc., the company formerly known as Encana Corp., have said they plan to focus on reducing debt , keeping U.S. output flat. Other sizable shale drillers such as Pioneer Natural Resources Co. PXD +0.66% and Devon Energy Corp. DVN +3.40% are socking away money to return to investors in the form of variable dividends, one of the enticements they want to use to lure more investors back.

"We're producing all this free cash flow, but it's not going out to investors yet," said Scott Sheffield, chief executive of Pioneer, noting that many companies are focusing on debt before they return cash to investors. "There's no reason for them to buy into this sector at this point in time."

... ... ...

In the heyday of the shale boom, publicly traded oil producers typically reinvested more than 100% of the cash flow they made from operations back into drilling campaigns. Now they are using about half of the income they generate on new drilling and are only growing output slightly, if at all.

... ... ...

Shale companies had about $148.6 billion in debt coming into the year, according to energy consulting firm Wood Mackenzie, and much of the cash they are collecting is going toward that debt pile. Securing new capital is increasingly difficult for many.

Many large U.S. banks have cut their energy lending, and some European ones such as Deutsche Bank AG and Socit Gnrale SA SCGLY 5.48% have exited fossil fuel financing altogether...

Laredo Petroleum Inc., LPI +6.49% Centennial Resource Development Inc. and Callon Petroleum Co. CPE +4.88% saw the amount of money banks would lend to them on their revolving lines of credit cut about 24%, 42% and 36% respectively, during the pandemic. Lenders didn't increase their borrowing bases this year, despite higher energy prices.

Callon said it would cut its 2021 capital expenditures to $430 million, a 12% reduction from its 2020 budget. In 2019, it spent $515 million. As a result, the company said it would produce about 90,000 barrels of oil and gas a day in 2021, down from more than 101,000 barrels a day in 2020. Callon said it is focused on reducing its roughly $3 billion in debt. The company declined to comment.

M

Michael Hickey

Many frackers made bad bets early this year, hedging their production with oil in the forties and low fifties - especially Pioneer and Devon. This article, for some reason, fails to mention that fact and it's impact on their current production.
PAUL HUNT
After 38years in O&G E&P I filtered out of the industry due to changing industry. The loss of expertise and technology in the energy industry over the last 5 years has been huge. USA has given the energy industry to China. Look for overall energy prices to triple in less than 10 years.
DAVID LAWRENCE
What is left out in this article are the returns of the 600lb gorilla of frackers in the room.
XOM alone generated almost $7 billion in free cash flow last quarter. With oil prices where they are that figure is likely to rise to $10 billion next quarter. The company has only $53 billion in debt outstanding having already pared down $6 billion during the pandemic.

They are going to gobble up even more weaker little guys shortly.

Peter Sullivan
I don't see XOM significantly increasing production in US shale anytime soon. They are focusing CAPEX on deepwater assets that present a better ROI than shale. Who would of thought we have reached a time where it is less risky for a US based company to drill in a small South American country than within our own borders?
DAVID LAWRENCE
XOM CAPEX is greatly reduced (1/2) in 2021 across the board. This is because they spent nearly $20 billion in 2020 using piles of borrowed money that so many junior analysts obsessed over.. The plan is to pay that pile down with the windfall those investments are generating.

XOM is far from a pure play fracker and have always developed the largest offshore assets of any company and Guyana is a hot prospect!

Edward Cotterell
The oil market has always been boom and bust. When the pandemic hit people stopped driving and the oil market went bust. Prices fell and drillers went bankrupt. Now the economy is reviving, people are driving again and oil is booming. To those who think otherwise, get a grip. The price of gasoline today is about where it was in 2018 and 2019 pre-pandemic. You know, when Trump was president.

This article points out a longer term change in the market. The hype over fracking is over. The lenders want their principal back plus interest and they are not taking exaggerations from drillers any more. So oil prices may have to go a bit higher until the lenders are satisfied that they will get their money. Then they will lend to drillers and fracking will crank up.

Trash that 12 mpg pickup. Get a vehicle that gets better mileage. Some hybrids get over 50 miles a gallon. Electrics get the energy equivalent of 100 miles a gallon.

Ben Griffith
How is the electricity produced ? Coal, oil, natural gas produced by fracking, nuclear, hydroelectric dam, harnessing the hot air of Climate Change speech ?
ROBERT STUPP
Many don't realize how many older, experienced energy professionals took retirement over the last few years. Similar to the 1980's energy bloodbath, it will take a while to establish teams able to stabilize the companies, let alone grow them from survival mode. You can't turn on production like your kitchen faucet.
Jerome Abernathy
Fracking wells deplete so fast that the capex expenditures needed to maintain and grow production result in a low ROI for the industry. Worse yet, given the volatility of oil prices and the precarious state of their balance sheets, frackers are unattractive borrowers. The industry needs a new, creative financing model.
Matthew Oatway
An interesting article, but the authors should have acknowledged (a) the impact of consolidation in the sector on production discipline and (b) the fact that many shale producers have a large portion of their production hedged at lower crude prices. Both factors point to a more restrained return to production growth that we have seen in the past.

[Jul 08, 2021] Tucker Carlson Responds To Unmasking In Blistering Monologue, Discusses With Glenn Greenwald

Jul 08, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Update (2130ET): Tucker Carlson responded to today's 'unmasking' - namely an Axios report which accuses him of trying to set up an interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"I'm an American citizen, I can interview whoever I want - and plan to," said the Fox News host.

Presented without further comment, along with Carlson's sit-down with journalist Glenn Greenwald, who broke the Edward Snowden revelations about domestic spying and other illicit activities conducted by the US government.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1412936005305475077

Last week, Fox News host Tucker Carlson said in a bombshell broadcast that an NSA whistleblower had approached him with evidence that the National Security Agency has been spying on his communications , with the intent to leak his emails to the press and 'take this show off the air.'

Today, Carlson told Fox Business' Maria Bartiromo that the emails have in fact been leaked to journalists - at least one of whom has contacted him for what we presume is an upcoming article on their contents.

"I was in Washington for a funeral last week and ran into someone I know well, who said ' I have a message for you ,' and then proceeded to repeat back to me details from emails and texts that I sent, and had told no one else about. So it was verified. And the person said 'the NSA has this,' and that was proven by the person reading back the contents of the email, 'and they're going to use it against you.'

To be blunt with you, it was something I would have never said in public if it was wrong, or illegal, or immoral. They don't actually have anything on me, but they do have my emails. So I knew they were spying on me, and again, to be totally blunt with you - as a defensive move, I thought 'I better say this out loud.'"

"Then, yesterday, I learned that - and this is going to come out soon - that the NSA leaked the contents of my email to journalists in an effort to discredit me. I know, because I got a call from one of them who said 'this is what your email was about.'

So, it is not in any way a figment of my imagination. It's confirmed. It's true. They aren't allowed to spy on American citizens - they are. I think more ominously, they're using the information they gather to put leverage and to threaten opposition journalists, people who criticize the Biden administration. It's happening to me right now..."

" This is the stuff of banana republics and third-world countries ," replied Bartiromo.

[Jul 08, 2021] New Jobless Claims Hold Near Pandemic Low, as Number on Benefits Falls

Jul 08, 2021 | www.wsj.com

What recovery ? What booming economy if they layoff people? Look like stagnation of the US economy continues unabated...

Initial unemployment claims, a proxy for layoffs, rose by 2,000 the week ended July 3, from a pandemic low the prior week, to a seasonally adjusted 373,000 , the Labor Department said Thursday.

... ... ...

...some unemployed workers say they are still struggling to find jobs. Marcellus Rowe of Dunwoody, Ga., said he has been unable to find a job that pays a salary near the roughly $50,000 he made working for the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority. Mr. Rowe, 29 years old, lost that job in November 2019, before the pandemic, but was able to stay on unemployment benefits because of the federal extensions. Georgia cut off those benefits late last month.

Mr. Rowe said he has applied for more than 100 jobs, including security-guard and customer-service roles. He said the few employers who have responded to him said he doesn't have the experience needed for the positions. Mr. Rowe, a Black man, added that he thinks his race is a reason he has been passed over for some jobs.

me title=

He said he is reluctant to take a minimum-wage job because $7.25 an hour wouldn't be enough to pay his rent and other bills. He sought housing assistance from his county when benefits expired.

"The job market isn't looking so great," he said. "I'm looking for suitable jobs, but it's not happening here in Georgia."

[Jul 08, 2021] Who Goldman think it actually is?

Jul 08, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com


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duck_fur 9 hours ago

Note to Goldman: you're a bank. Stick to banky-stuff. Leave the fear **** and lies to the professionals in the .gov and MSM.

p3scobar 7 hours ago

Goldman is the government... sooo.....

espirit 9 hours ago

If Goldman can give medical advice, so can I.

A Lunatic 9 hours ago remove link

Turning off the TV will neutralize the Delta Variant.

rag_house 9 hours ago

Just like 'Climate Change' you know it's contrived when the bankers start doing 'science.'

liberty2day 9 hours ago

when did they not?

rag_house 8 hours ago

Bankers aren't scientists. They simply dream up fake things they want to convince people of and bribe people to try to make it seem real.

Enraged 9 hours ago remove link

Goldman Sachs Charged in Foreign Bribery Case and Agrees to Pay Over $2.9 Billion

The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Goldman Sachs (Malaysia) have admitted to conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) in connection with a scheme to pay over $1 billion in bribes to Malaysian and Abu Dhabi officials to obtain lucrative business for Goldman Sachs, including its role in underwriting approximately $6.5 billion in three bond deals for 1Malaysia Development Bhd. (1MDB), for which the bank earned hundreds of millions in fees.

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/goldman-sachs-charged-foreign-bribery-case-and-agrees-pay-over-29-billion

[Jul 08, 2021] Nothing to do...

Jul 08, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com


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HillaryOdor 5 hours ago remove link

bond prices have nothing to do with recovery [sic]

stock prices have nothing to do with growth, except growth of the money supply

Kreditanstalt 3 hours ago

"...the price of a beer or a McDonalds in 10-years time will be exactly the same as it is today. (Which it won't.)"

But the type who buy US government bonds don't care about the price of burgers. They only plan to flip the thing back to the next Greater Fool...or THE FED

[Jul 08, 2021] What's wrong with neoclassical economics?

Jul 08, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Sound of the Suburbs 2 hours ago remove link

You don't want to do what they did in the 1920s, and allow the banking system and the markets to become closely coupled.

Too late.

Most of today's problems could be seen in the 1920s.

What's wrong with neoclassical economics?

  1. It makes you think you are creating wealth by inflating asset prices
  2. Bank credit flows into inflating asset prices, debt rises faster than GDP and you eventually get a financial crisis.
  3. No one notices the private debt building up in the economy as neoclassical economics doesn't consider debt.

What is the fundamental flaw in the free market theory of neoclassical economics?

The University of Chicago worked that out in the 1930s after last time.

Banks can inflate asset prices with the money they create from bank loans.

https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/-/media/boe/files/quarterly-bulletin/2014/money-creation-in-the-modern-economy.pdf

Henry Simons and Irving Fisher supported the Chicago Plan to take away the bankers ability to create money.

"Simons envisioned banks that would have a choice of two types of holdings: long-term bonds and cash. Simultaneously, they would hold increased reserves, up to 100%. Simons saw this as beneficial in that its ultimate consequences would be the prevention of "bank-financed inflation of securities and real estate" through the leveraged creation of secondary forms of money."

https://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Henry_Calvert_Simons

Margin lending had inflated the US stock market to ridiculous levels.

Richard Vague had noticed real estate lending balloon from 5 trillion to 10 trillion from 2001 – 2007 and went back to look at the data before 1929.

Real estate lending was actually the biggest problem lending category leading to 1929.

The IMF re-visited the Chicago plan after 2008.

https://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/wp/2012/wp12202.pdf

Existing financial assets, e.g. real estate, stocks and other financial assets, are traded and bank credit is used to fund the transfers.

The money creation of bank credit inflates the price.

You end up with a ponzi scheme of inflated asset prices that will collapse and feed back into the financial system.

The money creation of unproductive bank lending made the economy "roar", but there was little real wealth creation going on.

They didn't have the GDP measure then, but we can still look at the data.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAStZJCKmbU&list=PLmtuEaMvhDZZQLxg24CAiFgZYldtoCR-R&index=6

At 18 mins.

1929 and 2008 stick out like sore thumbs.

When you have productive bank lending, debt and GDP rise together like the UK before 1980.

https://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/uploads/monthly_2018_02/Screen-Shot-2017-04-21-at-13_53_09.png.e32e8fee4ffd68b566ed5235dc1266c2.png

We used to be the financial superpower and it looks like we knew what we were doing in the past.

At the end of the 1920s, the US was a ponzi scheme of inflated asset prices.

The use of neoclassical economics and the belief in free markets, made them think that inflated asset prices represented real wealth accumulation.

1929 – Wakey, wakey time

Why did it cause the US financial system to collapse in 1929?

Bankers get to create money out of nothing, through bank loans, and get to charge interest on it.

https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/-/media/boe/files/quarterly-bulletin/2014/money-creation-in-the-modern-economy.pdf

What could possibly go wrong?

Bankers do need to ensure the money they lend out gets paid back to balance their books.

Banking requires prudent lending.

If someone can't repay a loan, they need to repossess that asset and sell it to recoup that money.

If they use bank loans to inflate asset prices they get into a world of trouble when those asset prices collapse.

As the real estate and stock market collapsed the banks became insolvent as their assets didn't cover their liabilities.

They could no longer repossess and sell those assets to cover the outstanding loans and they do need to get the money they lend out back again to balance their books.

The banks become insolvent and collapsed, along with the US economy.

When banks have been lending to inflate asset prices the financial system is in a precarious state and can easily collapse.

Cont ......

Sound of the Suburbs 2 hours ago

That was the 1920s.

What was the ponzi scheme of inflated asset prices that collapsed in Japan in 1991?

Japanese real estate.

They avoided a Great Depression by saving the banks.

They killed growth for the next 30 years by leaving the debt in place.

Japan could study the Great Depression to avoid this fate.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YTyJzmiHGk

What was the ponzi scheme of inflated asset prices that collapsed in 2008?

"It's nearly $14 trillion pyramid of super leveraged toxic assets was built on the back of $1.4 trillion of US sub-prime loans, and dispersed throughout the world" All the Presidents Bankers, Nomi Prins.

We avoided a Great Depression by saving the banks.

We left Western economies struggling by leaving the debt in place, just like Japan.

It's not as bad as Japan as we didn't let asset prices crash in the West, but it is this problem has made our economies so sluggish since 2008.

We, in turn, seem to have learnt something from Japan, as they did let asset prices crash.

The banking system and the markets are still closely coupled.

Any significant fall in asset prices will feed back into the banking system.

We are trapped, and the only way to keep things from collapsing is to keep pumping in more and more liquidity.

It's a choice

  1. Let the assets bubbles collapse, and watch this feed back into the financial system.
  2. Keep the whole thing afloat, but make things worse in the long run as the bubbles just get bigger and bigger.

We've gone for option two.

That's why the FED get so jittery when the markets start to fall.

During the coronavirus lockdowns there was no way the markets could be allowed to reflect what was going on in the real economy.

The banking system would go down.

Sound of the Suburbs 1 hour ago remove link

They learnt from the mistakes of the 1920s and put regulations in place to ensure this didn't happen again.

Financial stability arrived in the Keynesian era and was locked into the regulations of the time.

https://www.brettonwoodsproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/banking-crises.png

"This Time is Different" by Reinhart and Rogoff has a graph showing the same thing (Figure 13.1 - The proportion of countries with banking crises, 1900-2008).

Neoclassical economics came back and so did the financial crises.

The neoliberals removed the regulations that created financial stability in the Keynesian era and put independent central banks in charge of financial stability.

Why does it go so wrong?

Richard Vague had noticed real estate lending balloon from 5 trillion to 10 trillion from 2001 – 2007 and knew there was going to be a financial crisis.

Richard Vague has looked at the data for financial crises going back 200 years and found the cause was nearly always runaway bank lending.

We put central bankers in charge of financial stability, but they use an economics that ignores the main cause of financial crises, private debt.

Most of the problems are coming from private debt.

The technocrats use an economics that ignores private debt.

The poor old technocrats never really stood a chance.

[Jul 05, 2021] Pandemic Wave of Automation May Be Bad News for Workers

Jul 05, 2021 | www.nytimes.com

But wait: wasn't this recent rise in wages in real terms being propagandized as a new boom for the working class in the USA by the MSM until some days ago?

[Jul 04, 2021] The most bitterly funny story of the week is that a defector from North Korea thinks that even her homeland is 'not as nuts' as the indoctrination now forced on Western students

Jul 04, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com


As Peter Hitchens noted recently "the most bitterly funny story of the week is that a defector from North Korea thinks that even her homeland is 'not as nuts' as the indoctrination now forced on Western students."

One of Yeonmi Park's initial shocks upon starting classes at Colombia University was to be met with a frown after revealing to a staff member that she enjoyed reading Jane Austen. "Did you know," Ms. Park was sternly admonished, "that those writers had a colonial mind-set? They were racists and bigots and are subconsciously brainwashing you."

But after encountering the new requirement for the use of gender-neutral pronouns, Yeonmi concluded: "Even North Korea is not this nuts North Korea was pretty crazy, but not this crazy." Devastatingly honest, but not exactly a compliment to what once might have been the land of her dreams.

Sadly, Hitchens reports that her previous experience served Yeonmi well to adapt to her new situation: "She came to fear that making a fuss would affect her grades and her degree. Eventually, she learned to keep quiet, as people do when they try to live under intolerant regimes, and let the drivel wash over her."

Eastern European readers will unfailingly understand what it is that Hitchens meant to say.

[Jul 04, 2021] Pandemic Wave of Automation May Be Bad News for Workers by Ben Casselman

Jul 03, 2021 | www.msn.com

And in the drive-through lane at Checkers near Atlanta, requests for Big Buford burgers and Mother Cruncher chicken sandwiches may be fielded not by a cashier in a headset, but by a voice-recognition algorithm.

Sign up for The Morning newsletter from The New York Times

An increase in automation, especially in service industries, may prove to be an economic legacy of the pandemic. Businesses from factories to fast-food outlets to hotels turned to technology last year to keep operations running amid social distancing requirements and contagion fears. Now the outbreak is ebbing in the United States, but the difficulty in hiring workers -- at least at the wages that employers are used to paying -- is providing new momentum for automation.

Technological investments that were made in response to the crisis may contribute to a post-pandemic productivity boom, allowing for higher wages and faster growth. But some economists say the latest wave of automation could eliminate jobs and erode bargaining power, particularly for the lowest-paid workers, in a lasting way.

© Lynsey Weatherspoon for The New York Times The artificial intelligence system that feeds information to the kitchen at a Checkers.

"Once a job is automated, it's pretty hard to turn back," said Casey Warman, an economist at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia who has studied automation in the pandemic .

https://www.dianomi.com/smartads.epl?id=3533

The trend toward automation predates the pandemic, but it has accelerated at what is proving to be a critical moment. The rapid reopening of the economy has led to a surge in demand for waiters, hotel maids, retail sales clerks and other workers in service industries that had cut their staffs. At the same time, government benefits have allowed many people to be selective in the jobs they take. Together, those forces have given low-wage workers a rare moment of leverage , leading to higher pay , more generous benefits and other perks.

Automation threatens to tip the advantage back toward employers, potentially eroding those gains. A working paper published by the International Monetary Fund this year predicted that pandemic-induced automation would increase inequality in coming years, not just in the United States but around the world.

"Six months ago, all these workers were essential," said Marc Perrone, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers, a union representing grocery workers. "Everyone was calling them heroes. Now, they're trying to figure out how to get rid of them."

Checkers, like many fast-food restaurants, experienced a jump in sales when the pandemic shut down most in-person dining. But finding workers to meet that demand proved difficult -- so much so that Shana Gonzales, a Checkers franchisee in the Atlanta area, found herself back behind the cash register three decades after she started working part time at Taco Bell while in high school.

© Lynsey Weatherspoon for The New York Times Technology is easing pressure on workers and speeding up service when restaurants are chronically understaffed, Ms. Gonzales said.

"We really felt like there has to be another solution," she said.

So Ms. Gonzales contacted Valyant AI, a Colorado-based start-up that makes voice recognition systems for restaurants. In December, after weeks of setup and testing, Valyant's technology began taking orders at one of Ms. Gonzales's drive-through lanes. Now customers are greeted by an automated voice designed to understand their orders -- including modifications and special requests -- suggest add-ons like fries or a shake, and feed the information directly to the kitchen and the cashier.

The rollout has been successful enough that Ms. Gonzales is getting ready to expand the system to her three other restaurants.

"We'll look back and say why didn't we do this sooner," she said.

The push toward automation goes far beyond the restaurant sector. Hotels, retailers , manufacturers and other businesses have all accelerated technological investments. In a survey of nearly 300 global companies by the World Economic Forum last year, 43 percent of businesses said they expected to reduce their work forces through new uses of technology.

Some economists see the increased investment as encouraging. For much of the past two decades, the U.S. economy has struggled with weak productivity growth, leaving workers and stockholders to compete over their share of the income -- a game that workers tended to lose. Automation may harm specific workers, but if it makes the economy more productive, that could be good for workers as a whole, said Katy George, a senior partner at McKinsey, the consulting firm.

She cited the example of a client in manufacturing who had been pushing his company for years to embrace augmented-reality technology in its factories. The pandemic finally helped him win the battle: With air travel off limits, the technology was the only way to bring in an expert to help troubleshoot issues at a remote plant.

"For the first time, we're seeing that these technologies are both increasing productivity, lowering cost, but they're also increasing flexibility," she said. "We're starting to see real momentum building, which is great news for the world, frankly."

Other economists are less sanguine. Daron Acemoglu of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said that many of the technological investments had just replaced human labor without adding much to overall productivity.

In a recent working paper , Professor Acemoglu and a colleague concluded that "a significant portion of the rise in U.S. wage inequality over the last four decades has been driven by automation" -- and he said that trend had almost certainly accelerated in the pandemic.

"If we automated less, we would not actually have generated that much less output but we would have had a very different trajectory for inequality," Professor Acemoglu said.

Ms. Gonzales, the Checkers franchisee, isn't looking to cut jobs. She said she would hire 30 people if she could find them. And she has raised hourly pay to about $10 for entry-level workers, from about $9 before the pandemic. Technology, she said, is easing pressure on workers and speeding up service when restaurants are chronically understaffed.

"Our approach is, this is an assistant for you," she said. "This allows our employee to really focus" on customers.

Ms. Gonzales acknowledged she could fully staff her restaurants if she offered $14 to $15 an hour to attract workers. But doing so, she said, would force her to raise prices so much that she would lose sales -- and automation allows her to take another course.

Rob Carpenter, Valyant's chief executive, noted that at most restaurants, taking drive-through orders is only part of an employee's responsibilities. Automating that task doesn't eliminate a job; it makes the job more manageable.

"We're not talking about automating an entire position," he said. "It's just one task within the restaurant, and it's gnarly, one of the least desirable tasks."

But technology doesn't have to take over all aspects of a job to leave workers worse off. If automation allows a restaurant that used to require 10 employees a shift to operate with eight or nine, that will mean fewer jobs in the long run. And even in the short term, the technology could erode workers' bargaining power.

"Often you displace enough of the tasks in an occupation and suddenly that occupation is no more," Professor Acemoglu said. "It might kick me out of a job, or if I keep my job I'll get lower wages."

At some businesses, automation is already affecting the number and type of jobs available. Meltwich, a restaurant chain that started in Canada and is expanding into the United States, has embraced a range of technologies to cut back on labor costs. Its grills no longer require someone to flip burgers -- they grill both sides at once, and need little more than the press of a button.

"You can pull a less-skilled worker in and have them adapt to our system much easier," said Ryan Hillis, a Meltwich vice president. "It certainly widens the scope of who you can have behind that grill."

With more advanced kitchen equipment, software that allows online orders to flow directly to the restaurant and other technological advances, Meltwich needs only two to three workers on a shift, rather than three or four, Mr. Hillis said.

Such changes, multiplied across thousands of businesses in dozens of industries, could significantly change workers' prospects. Professor Warman, the Canadian economist, said technologies developed for one purpose tend to spread to similar tasks, which could make it hard for workers harmed by automation to shift to another occupation or industry.

"If a whole sector of labor is hit, then where do those workers go?" Professor Warman said. Women, and to a lesser degree people of color, are likely to be disproportionately affected, he added.

The grocery business has long been a source of steady, often unionized jobs for people without a college degree. But technology is changing the sector. Self-checkout lanes have reduced the number of cashiers; many stores have simple robots to patrol aisles for spills and check inventory; and warehouses have become increasingly automated. Kroger in April opened a 375,000-square-foot warehouse with more than 1,000 robots that bag groceries for delivery customers. The company is even experimenting with delivering groceries by drone.

Other companies in the industry are doing the same. Jennifer Brogan, a spokeswoman for Stop & Shop, a grocery chain based in New England, said that technology allowed the company to better serve customers -- and that it was a competitive necessity.

"Competitors and other players in the retail space are developing technologies and partnerships to reduce their costs and offer improved service and value for customers," she said. "Stop & Shop needs to do the same."

In 2011, Patrice Thomas took a part-time job in the deli at a Stop & Shop in Norwich, Conn. A decade later, he manages the store's prepared foods department, earning around $40,000 a year.

Mr. Thomas, 32, said that he wasn't concerned about being replaced by a robot anytime soon, and that he welcomed technologies making him more productive -- like more powerful ovens for rotisserie chickens and blast chillers that quickly cool items that must be stored cold.

But he worries about other technologies -- like automated meat slicers -- that seem to enable grocers to rely on less experienced, lower-paid workers and make it harder to build a career in the industry.

"The business model we seem to be following is we're pushing toward automation and we're not investing equally in the worker," he said. "Today it's, 'We want to get these robots in here to replace you because we feel like you're overpaid and we can get this kid in there and all he has to do is push this button.'"

[Jul 04, 2021] How Many Have Died From COVID Vaccines

As of July 2, 2021 out of 4456 total deaths attributed to vaccination (of them 1890 after vaccination with Pfizer), it looks like there were at least 36 death of people aged less then 30 years after vaccination with Pfizer vaccine (out of 61 total). Around 136 millions were fully vaccinated,.
Other sources list higher figure (6113) CDC- 6,113 DEAD Following COVID-19 Injections ("Besides the 6,113 deaths reported, there are 5,172 permanent disabilities, 6,435 life threatening events, and 51,558 emergency room visits." )so my method of extracting those data from VAERS database might be wrong or not all death are reported to VAERS.
Another 5 young people were crippled but survived (67 total).
Jul 03, 2021 | undercurrents723949620.wordpress.com

In a May 5, 2021, Fox News report, Tucker Carlson asked the question no one is really allowed to ask: "How many Americans have died after taking the COVID vaccine?" 1

Mefobills says: July 4, 2021 at 1:24 am GMT • 1.8 hours ago • 300 Words ↑ @RoatanBill

Then there's not selling Syria the latest S#00 system to help keep Israel out of Syrian skies. That tells me he's using Syria for personal / State gain and that is where he's wrong. That's what makes him just another politician.

I totally get it, there are things that are puzzling to those of us in the audience, watching the moves from afar.

An advanced S-300 or S-400 system could paint every F-16 as it took off from Israel. This would be a red line for Israel and would bring in Uncle Shmuel.

Syria (and by extension Russia) has been allowing Israel to overfly her territory and bomb Hezbollah installations.

It's puzzling – why would you allow a foreign power to bomb your territory, especially if you have S-300's. The answer must be that Syria and Russia are holding back on purpose for reasons only known to them. I can speculate, in that they don't want to give away military capability unless the war goes hot.

Think about the situation now, as opposed to the 90's. Russia's military has been modernized; Military physical fitness is up by 30% (better nutrition?); Foreign exchange is in good shape; the economy is modernizing; food production is up – so Russia is no longer food insecure; oil can be extracted at prices that Saudi cannot compete with; the Artic route is opening up; national economy is more diversified thanks to the western sanctions; Yamal LNG will be fueling Asia; Nordstream will be fueling Europe.

[Jul 03, 2021] Shadow Lenders Take Over In The U.S. Shale Patch

Jul 03, 2021 | peakoilbarrel.com

RON PATTERSON IGNORED 07/03/2021 at 1:51 pm

Shadow Lenders Take Over In The U.S. Shale Patch

Banks have started to cut their exposure to the U.S. shale patch, seeing more than 100 producers and oilfield services firms go bust last year and feeling the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) pressure to reduce credits to fossil fuels. While traditional lenders are cutting their losses and de-risking energy loan portfolios, alternative capital providers are stepping up to scoop up U.S. energy debt at a discount and take part in debt or equity transactions that could give them returns sooner than a loan would for a bank.

Since the oil price crash in 2020 and the downturn in the U.S. shale industry, banks have been wary of their exposure to the sector. The commodity price slump last year dramatically cut the value of the assets of oil and gas firms, against which they have traditionally obtained loans from banks.

Running for the Exit

Lenders slashed the amounts of reserve-based loans to the U.S. shale firms in the middle of last year.

But it is not only purely financial considerations that are driving reduced bank exposure to the oil and gas industry. ESG lending and aligning loan portfolios to the Paris Agreement goals are now more prominent than ever.

For example, asset manager Schroders, which holds many bonds in the banking sector, is engaging with banks to understand their fossil fuel exposure.

"Banks that are highly exposed to the fossil fuel industry face significant financial, regulatory and reputational risks as a result of the transition to a low-carbon economy," Schroders said, explaining its rationale to identify the exposure of the banks to oil, gas, and coal.

Increased pressure from the ESG universe, coupled with years of poor returns of U.S. shale firms, have prompted several major transactions in which banks have sold energy debt to hedge funds and private equity firms.

Hancock Whitney, for example, agreed last year to sell $497 million worth of energy loans to certain funds and accounts managed by alternative investment provider Oaktree Capital Management. Hancock Whitney expected to receive $257.5 million from the sale of the reserve-based loans (RBL), midstream, and non-drilling service credits.

Hancock Whitney's main reason to sell the energy loans was to minimize the risks to its loan portfolio.

"The primary objective of this sale is to continue de-risking our loan portfolio by accelerating the disposition of assets that have been impacted by ongoing issues within the energy industry, and have now been further complicated by COVID-19," Hancock Whitney's President and CEO John M. Hairston said.

At the end of 2020, Bank of Montreal decided it would wind down its non-Canadian investment and corporate banking energy business.

Most recently, ABN AMRO announced last week it would sell a $1.5 billion portfolio of energy loans to funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management and affiliates of Sixth Street Partners. The portfolio consists of loans to around 75 companies active in the North American energy markets.

With this sale, ABN AMRO is withdrawing from oil and gas related lending in North America as part of a process to wind down its non-core activities and significantly reducing the non-core loan book.

[Jul 03, 2021] Opinion: The looming stagflationary debt crisis will deliver a one-two punch to markets and economies by Nouriel Roubini

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... For now, loose monetary and fiscal policies will continue to fuel asset and credit bubbles, propelling a slow-motion train wreck. The warning signs are already apparent in today's high price-to-earnings ratios SPX , low equity risk premiums, inflated housing and tech assets COMP , and the irrational exuberance surrounding special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs), the crypto sector BTCUSD, , high-yield corporate debt , collateralized loan obligations, private equity, meme stocks AMC, and runaway retail day trading. ..."
"... But meanwhile, the same loose policies that are feeding asset bubbles will continue to drive consumer price inflation, creating the conditions for stagflation whenever the next negative supply shocks arrive. Such shocks could follow from renewed protectionism; demographic aging in advanced and emerging economies; immigration restrictions in advanced economies; the reshoring of manufacturing to high-cost regions; or the balkanization of global supply chains. ..."
"... More broadly, the Sino-American decoupling threatens to fragment the global economy at a time when climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic are pushing national governments toward deeper self-reliance. ..."
"... Making matters worse, central banks have effectively lost their independence, because they have been given little choice but to monetize massive fiscal deficits to forestall a debt crisis. With both public and private debts having soared, they are in a debt trap. Central banks will be damned if they do and damned if they don't, and many governments will be semi-insolvent and thus unable to bail out banks, corporations, and households. The doom loop of sovereigns and banks in the eurozone after the global financial crisis will be repeated world-wide ..."
"... When former Fed Chair Paul Volcker hiked rates to tackle inflation in 1980-82, the result was a severe double-dip recession in the United States and a debt crisis and lost decade for Latin America. But now that global debt ratios are almost three times higher than in the early 1970s, any anti-inflationary policy would lead to a depression, rather than a severe recession. The question is not if but when. ..."
Jun 30, 2021 | www.marketwatch.com

Roubini warns: After 'the Minsky Moment' crashes overheated speculative markets, 'the Volcker Moment' will will arrive to crash the debt-burdened global economy

( Project Syndicate ) -- In April, I warned that today's extremely loose monetary and fiscal policies, when combined with a number of negative supply shocks, could result in 1970s-style stagflation (high inflation alongside a recession). In fact, the risk today is even bigger than it was then.

After all, debt ratios in advanced economies and most emerging markets were much lower in the 1970s, which is why stagflation has not been associated with debt crises historically. If anything, unexpected inflation in the 1970s wiped out the real value of nominal debts at fixed rates, thus reducing many advanced economies' public-debt burdens.

The warning signs are already apparent in today's high price-to-earnings ratios, low equity risk premiums, inflated housing and tech assets, and the irrational exuberance surrounding special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs), the crypto sector, high-yield corporate debt, collateralized loan obligations, private equity, meme stocks, and runaway retail day trading.

Conversely, during the 2007-08 financial crisis, high debt ratios (private and public) caused a severe debt crisis -- as housing bubbles burst -- but the ensuing recession led to low inflation, if not outright deflation. Owing to the credit crunch, there was a macro shock to aggregate demand, whereas the risks today are on the supply side.

Worst of both worlds

We are thus left with the worst of both the stagflationary 1970s and the 2007-10 period. Debt ratios are much higher than in the 1970s, and a mix of loose economic policies and negative supply shocks threatens to fuel inflation rather than deflation, setting the stage for the mother of stagflationary debt crises over the next few years.

For now, loose monetary and fiscal policies will continue to fuel asset and credit bubbles, propelling a slow-motion train wreck. The warning signs are already apparent in today's high price-to-earnings ratios SPX , low equity risk premiums, inflated housing and tech assets COMP , and the irrational exuberance surrounding special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs), the crypto sector BTCUSD, , high-yield corporate debt , collateralized loan obligations, private equity, meme stocks AMC, and runaway retail day trading.

But meanwhile, the same loose policies that are feeding asset bubbles will continue to drive consumer price inflation, creating the conditions for stagflation whenever the next negative supply shocks arrive. Such shocks could follow from renewed protectionism; demographic aging in advanced and emerging economies; immigration restrictions in advanced economies; the reshoring of manufacturing to high-cost regions; or the balkanization of global supply chains.

Recipe for macroeconomic disruption

More broadly, the Sino-American decoupling threatens to fragment the global economy at a time when climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic are pushing national governments toward deeper self-reliance. Add to this the impact on production of increasingly frequent cyberattacks on critical infrastructure and the social and political backlash against inequality, and the recipe for macroeconomic disruption is complete.

Making matters worse, central banks have effectively lost their independence, because they have been given little choice but to monetize massive fiscal deficits to forestall a debt crisis. With both public and private debts having soared, they are in a debt trap. Central banks will be damned if they do and damned if they don't, and many governments will be semi-insolvent and thus unable to bail out banks, corporations, and households. The doom loop of sovereigns and banks in the eurozone after the global financial crisis will be repeated world-wide

As inflation rises over the next few years, central banks will face a dilemma. If they start phasing out unconventional policies and raising policy rates to fight inflation, they will risk triggering a massive debt crisis and severe recession; but if they maintain a loose monetary policy, they will risk double-digit inflation -- and deep stagflation when the next negative supply shocks emerge.

But even in the second scenario, policy makers would not be able to prevent a debt crisis. While nominal government fixed-rate debt in advanced economies can be partly wiped out by unexpected inflation (as happened in the 1970s), emerging-market debts denominated in foreign currency would not be. Many of these governments would need to default and restructure their debts.

At the same time, private debts in advanced economies would become unsustainable (as they did after the global financial crisis), and their spreads relative to safer government bonds would spike, triggering a chain reaction of defaults. Highly leveraged corporations and their reckless shadow-bank creditors would be the first to fall, soon followed by indebted households and the banks that financed them.

The Volcker Moment

To be sure, real long-term borrowing costs may initially fall if inflation rises unexpectedly and central banks are still behind the curve. But, over time, these costs will be pushed up by three factors. First, higher public and private debts will widen sovereign and private interest-rate spreads. Second, rising inflation and deepening uncertainty will drive up inflation risk premiums. And, third, a rising misery index -- the sum of the inflation and unemployment rate -- eventually will demand a "Volcker Moment."

When former Fed Chair Paul Volcker hiked rates to tackle inflation in 1980-82, the result was a severe double-dip recession in the United States and a debt crisis and lost decade for Latin America. But now that global debt ratios are almost three times higher than in the early 1970s, any anti-inflationary policy would lead to a depression, rather than a severe recession. The question is not if but when.

Under these conditions, central banks will be damned if they do and damned if they don't, and many governments will be semi-insolvent and thus unable to bail out banks, corporations, and households. The doom loop of sovereigns and banks in the eurozone after the global financial crisis will be repeated world-wide, sucking in households, corporations, and shadow banks as well.

As matters stand, this slow-motion train wreck looks unavoidable. The Fed's recent pivot from an ultra-dovish to a mostly dovish stance changes nothing. The Fed has been in a debt trap at least since December 2018, when a stock- and credit-market crash forced it to reverse its policy tightening a full year before COVID-19 struck. With inflation rising and stagflationary shocks looming, it is now even more ensnared.

So, too, are the European Central Bank, the Bank of Japan, and the Bank of England. The stagflation of the 1970s will soon meet the debt crises of the post-2008 period. The question is not if but when.

Nouriel Roubini is CEO of Roubini Macro Associates and chief economist at Atlas Capital Team.

This commentary was published with permission of Project Syndicate -- The Looming Stagflationary Debt Crisis.

See also:

[Jul 03, 2021] Coalition policies and corporatization of universities are premised on shifting costs to students and staff. Part 2 - Pearls by Adam Lucas

Jun 17, 2021 | johnmenadue.com

Australia's tertiary education system is large, complex, and poorly regulated. Its government funding sources, governance structures and annual reporting requirements lack transparency and are inconsistent between and within jurisdictions. Distorted government priorities and discredited ideological fixations have created a dysfunctional system that devalues the work of academics and professional staff while imposing ever higher burdens on students to pay more for less.

Since it was returned to power in 2019, the Federal Coalition Government has made clear its determination to transform Australia's higher education system into a commercially focused entity whose primary function is the generation of economic growth through patents and intellectual property .

On the research front, Liberal Senator Jane Hulme recently summarised the Coalition's policy as 'patents, not publications'. On the teaching front, federal education minister Alan Tudge told delegates to a Universities Australia conference that he wants 10 million foreign students enrolled in Australian universities within a decade. He proposes this should be done through a mixture of online, hybrid and on-campus models that will create 'new revenue streams' at 'different price points for different customer segments'.

These statements and others like them reinforce a widely held perception that the Coalition is focused solely on higher education's economic contribution to the nation. At the same time as it has raised its expectations of commercial outcomes from higher education, it has imposed a wide range of additional funding cuts to teaching and research.

https://johnmenadue.com/adam-lucas-covid-cuts-highlight-intellectual-bankruptcy-of-coalition-higher-education-policies-part-1/embed/#?secret=XEievzqjRy

It is therefore clear that it is not the Federal Government that will primarily bear the burden of its tertiary education ambitions. That burden will continue to fall squarely upon Australian academics, students and professional staff. The ways governance and funding are currently structured virtually guarantees such an outcome.

The governance and funding of higher education are split between state and federal governments. The states are responsible for the governance provisions, constitutions and auditing of public universities as well as TAFE colleges . The Federal Government, on the other hand, imposes a wide range of legislative controls over public universities, including tuition fee-setting , ' quality assurance ', research grant funding , and the number of students universities are permitted to enrol .

Both federal and state governments provide funding for the TAFE system , around half of which comes from the states and territories. The largest proportion of public university funding comes from the Commonwealth .

However, the overall contribution to the higher education system from the Federal Government has halved over the last thirty years, from around 80% to less than 40% . It has been able to do this by clawing back a much higher proportion of universities' teaching costs from domestic students. Most of this transfer of the cost burden to students has happened under the Coalition.

Even though total government funding for the higher education system grew 114% in real terms since 1989, increasing from $5.6 billion to $12 billion in 2018-19 , the number of domestic students in the system grew by 165%, increasing from around 410,000 in 1989 to 1,087,850 in 2019 .

In 2017-18, total operating revenue for public universities was $31.5 billion, while total Federal Government expenditure on higher education was $13.86 billion . According to Universities Australia, total government outlays in higher education rose from $6.7 billion in 1989 to $18.4 billion in 2018-19 . It is important to note that most of that growth was in HECS-HELP loans (formerly known as HECS), which students are required to repay through progressive taxation upon graduation. Student loans increased as a share of total government outlays from less than 16% in 1989 to almost 40% in 2017.

Allocated funding for higher education in the 2019‒2020 Federal Budget was $17.7 billion. But again, this included funding of $5.8 billion for HECS-HELP loans. Therefore, actual government funding was only $11.9 billion out of total revenue for the higher education system of $36.73 billion for that financial year. In other words, less than a third of the system's total revenue was provided by the Commonwealth that year, yet it continues to behave as though its contribution is far higher.

Between 2011 and 2017, the overall contribution from domestic and international students went up, from 23% to 29%. In the wake of the Coalition's latest 'reforms' of student tuition fees, cost-shifting from the Government to students has become even more egregious. As of this year, the average student contribution to course-related revenue has been increased from 42% to 48% , while the contribution from the Commonwealth has been reduced from 58% to 52% .

The ongoing effects of COVID on student enrolments are mixed. While domestic student enrolments have seen a nationwide increase of around 6% in 2021, international student commencements across Australia are down around one-third, while re-enrolments have reduced by an average of 16% . Across the board, the March 2021 higher education commencement figures were down 21%, while total enrolments were down 12% . Preliminary data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics has revealed that international tuition fees totalled $3.3 billion in 2020 : approximately the same level as ten years earlier , but one-third of their 2019 peak .

The combination of reduced revenue from domestic tuition fees due to government funding cuts and from international students due to COVID has inevitably forced all of Australia's public universities to cut expenditure over the last twelve months.

The majority initially responded by reducing spending on capital works, significant projects, travel, consultancies and marketing, all of which have seen major increases over the last decade. Several also pressured staff to accept wage freezes and reduced leave conditions for two years as job protection measures .

By late March 2020, however, cost savings in the core functions of teaching and research were being sought by university executives, even though the full financial implications of the pandemic were still far from clear.

COVID has subsequently been used as a pretext for further 'rationalisation' of the number of staff, faculties, schools, courses , subject offerings and programs . The stated reasons for these moves have ranged from the obvious downturn in international student revenue to government funding cuts for local students . However, vice-chancellors have also drawn on more traditional, managerial justifications, such as 'too complex' , ' too niche ' or ' not financially viable ' to axe that which has been deemed surplus to requirements.

It is nevertheless ironic that the same standards of performance and budgetary rectitude are rarely applied reflexively by executives and senior management . On the contrary, they have grown significantly in numbers while awarding themselves enormous salary increases and shielding themselves from accountability to staff, students and the public .

Because labour costs have sat at around 57% of total university expenditure for the last decade, they are always at the top of managerial priorities for cost-cutting, rather than their own inflated wages or latest pet projects . Executives have imposed early retirement and redundancies on thousands of staff with little or no consultation. Many more casual and contracted staff have been laid off or had their positions terminated at the end of their contracts. All the indications from university executives are that many more jobs are on the chopping block .

Universities made at least 17,000 full-time equivalent positions redundant in 2020 . This constitutes around 13% of the total tertiary workforce. However, given that around half of that workforce is employed casually or on contract , and has been for at least a decade, the total job losses probably translate to around 50-60,000 in total. In other words, these job cuts need to be grasped in the context of the massive casualisation of university teaching and administration over the last few decades.

The academic workforce has been casualised to such an extent that casuals now do more than 70% of teaching at some of our universities . In 2010, just over half of all university employees (51.4%) had continuing employment on an equivalent full-time basis. That situation has continued to worsen over the last decade. It has encouraged the worst kinds of management excesses. For example, at least ten Australian universities have been engaged in wage theft from casuals, and have recently been forced to repay what they had stolen.

According to Universities Australia (UA), there was 130,000 full-time equivalent staff directly employed in the system in 2017 . However, like the universities themselves, UA is unwilling to publicly acknowledge the number of casuals working in the system. In 2018, there were 94,500 people employed on a casual basis at Australian universities . It would seem reasonable on that basis to conclude that as many as half of all casuals have either totally lost any work they had, or have had their work hours significantly reduced. However, most universities steadfastly refuse to make employee headcount data public, so the data we do have is inaccurate.

This has been borne out by a recent study of Victorian public university job losses in 2020 published by accounting professors James Guthrie and Brendan O'Connell. They have found that even in Victoria, where universities are obligated to publish their casual workforce figures, universities used inconsistent terminology and different techniques for recording their staffing numbers at the end of 2020 . One estimate from early May that 7,500 university employees in Victoria lost their jobs in 2020 is therefore almost certainly an underestimate. Guthrie and O'Connell also found that universities are using accounting losses to justify reducing employment.

The release of twenty-one university annual reports over the last few weeks strongly reinforces their observations. UTS professor John Howard argues that the figures reported in these annual reports raise serious questions about the extent to which the financial crisis of the tertiary system has been exaggerated . He points out that all but one of these universities recorded cash surpluses, which averaged around 3% of total revenue. However, eight of them posted deficits after they included 'non-cash' expenses such as depreciation, amortisation and changes in investment valuations: none of these categories of 'expenses' constitute tangible revenue losses. The bulk of university 'losses' were in decreased returns on investments (around $600 million) and the depreciation of assets, which totalled more than $1.4 billion.

Howard also points out that Australian universities had accessible cash or cash equivalent reserves of $4.6 billion at the beginning of the pandemic . Their own estimates indicate revenue losses in 2020-21 of $3.8 billion. In other words, most of Australia's public universities have ample financial assets at their disposal to offset any short- to medium-term loss of revenue.

However, rather than focusing on their core business of teaching and research, and saving operating surpluses for contingencies such as COVID, university executives have engaged in imprudent expenditure on new buildings and facilities, and the creation of offshore and satellite campuses. At the same time, they have poured vast financial resources into international marketing and public relations efforts to improve their universities' international rankings . Many universities have leveraged high debt levels to fund these activities and are already being forced to unload some of their property assets due to liquidity problems from reduced international student revenue.

Depreciation, amortisation and finance costs have seen the most significant growth in 'expenses' over the last decade. According to Deloitte, this category of expenses has seen the highest growth, at 7.5% as a year-on-year average . Universities' adoption of accrual accounting has enabled them to write off the value of fixed assets more quickly to inflate their expense claims every year. These inflated expenses are used as an excuse to sack staff and cut programs. Howard argues that if public universities did not use this business accounting convention, none of the twenty-one universities he studied would have recorded any earnings deficit in 2020 .

It should therefore be clear that the main problem public universities face is not a lack of revenue, or a lack of disposable assets to ride through a crisis. Their main problem is a lack of transparency and accountability at the executive level which has enabled them to misallocate financial resources, together with a corporate governance regime that has empowered executives to behave in this fashion. These two issues need to be front and centre of reform of the Australian higher education system.

This will be the topic of my third contribution.

Adam Lucas

Dr Adam Lucas is a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Wollongong. Adam's contemporary research focuses on energy policy responses to anthropogenic climate change and obstacles to a sustainable energy transition.

[Jul 03, 2021] The authoritarian academy- corporate governance of Australia's universities exploits staff and students and degrades academic standards. Part 3 by Adam Lucas

Jun 18, 2021 | johnmenadue.com

The corporatization of Australia's public universities has been driven by government funding cuts and regressive changes to how universities are governed. The rationale for corporatization was that it would encourage universities to become more entrepreneurial by turning vice-chancellors into CEOs and governing bodies into corporate boards. The resulting hybrid has been very successful at promoting university 'brands' to international students but has utterly failed to maintain a supportive and collegial work environment for staff and students on university campuses.

Pandemic-related border closures have forced an abrupt reassessment of universities' internationalization ambitions . But they have not yet led to any acknowledgement that the exploitative culture that now dominates the management and organization of Australian universities also needs to change.

In the wake of the current crisis, university leaders have, on the whole, demonstrated no willingness to question any aspect of the dysfunctional forms of funding and governance that have been imposed on Australia's higher education system over the last three decades. They have been almost totally silent in response to the Coalition's latest efforts to reshape higher education and the commercialization of research . They have likewise shown very little willingness to question or criticize the additional funding cuts to the system announced in last month's Federal Budget .

While it is indisputable that most Australian universities have experienced huge growth in international student revenues over the last decade, the billions of dollars in 'operating surpluses' that have flowed through the system during this time have not been invested in expanding and developing academic workforces, or lowering staff-student ratios , or increasing teaching and learning support for students. Instead, those responsible for making these decisions have spent billions of dollars on construction and marketing programs that laud their institutions' world-class status (usually in the techno-sciences), while systematically degrading the working conditions of academic and professional staff and the quality of education received by students.

High levels of casualization , widespread wage theft , less face-to-face time between academics and students, and steadily increasing workloads for academic and professional staff characterize the contemporary Australian university . A constant churn of pseudo-consultations, new bureaucratic procedures and online administrative platforms maintain employee compliance.

Resources critical to the performance of a wide range of tasks and initiatives are regularly withheld for no good reason. Hiring freezes and the imposition of annual staff performance assessments further contribute to the general atmosphere of fear and anxiety promoted by senior management, who never appear to have the same performance metrics applied to them. Student and staff services that had previously been free or subsidized have been monetized and privatized. Professional services and expertise that could easily be sourced 'in-house' are routinely outsourced to external consultants.

In the Brave New World of 'digitally-enhanced learning', online delivery and 'new revenue streams' not only has there been more casualization of teaching over the last decade , but academics are also being required to teach larger classes over fewer weeks in each semester. They are also being forced to move lectures, tutorials and seminars online, not just during COVID, but permanently .

Few of these negative trends are captured in the metrics senior management regularly deploy to spruik the virtues of their universities to students, parents and potential donors. Preoccupied with 'cost recovery', 'performance metrics' and 'efficiency dividends', senior managers and executives have reconstructed staff and students as revenue-generators who are surplus to requirements if not producing financial surpluses and/or 'measurable outcomes' that contribute to improved university rankings. International league tables, performance monitoring, teaching and research excellence awards, and all the other 'metrics of excellence' with which university executives and managers are currently obsessed are means to these ends.

At least ten public universities failed to put aside sufficient reserves in the event of an external crisis and are now highly vulnerable financially. At least twenty others achieved modest operating surpluses at the end of 2020 , if the inclusion of depreciation, amortization and employee redundancy costs is omitted.

It has become very clear from the operating results that even those universities with adequate reserves to ride through the loss of revenue from international students still made cuts to staff levels, degree programs and coursework offerings .

In the wake of COVID, most universities, including those that were not struggling financially have combined or dissolved a number of their own faculties, departments and schools. Hundreds of programs, courses and subjects have been or will be deleted . A number of university executives and senior managers have nevertheless seen fit to further inflate their already excessive salaries while subjecting their employees to the harshest of austerity measures.

It is therefore inaccurate and misleading to describe the current situation as a financial crisis, when it is, in fact, a governance crisis.

But what few people realize is that the secretive, punitive and authoritarian management culture that now dominates most contemporary universities has been nurtured and institutionalized through a series of legislative changes by state and federal governments over the last thirty years .

These legislative changes have been primarily motivated by a long-held belief within the Coalition and certain elements of the Labor Party that universities should be run like corporations. Those who have embraced this belief are convinced that business and industry provide the best models for university governance because they always perform better than public sector institutions.

Following the Dawkins reforms of Australia's higher education system in the early 1990s, this item of faith has been progressively embedded in all of the administrative and managerial functions of universities. As successive state and federal governments have continued to reduce funding to the system they have sought to graft an increasingly Frankensteinian model of 'corporate governance' onto Australia's public universities.

Under the traditional collegial model of university governance , which still operates in many European universities , academics and students are democratically elected by their peers to represent the common interests of the university, while also fulfilling the institution's broader responsibilities to improve society and enrich culture . But according to the main architects of the current higher education system, John Dawkins and Brendan Nelson , academics are too 'self-interested' to govern universities sensibly. They argued that, under the old collegial model, the parochial interests of individuals, disciplines and schools too often conflicted with the broader goals of the university.

Consequently, one of the unspoken goals of the enabling legislation incorporated into state-based university acts has been to reduce elected staff and student representation on university governing bodies . These bodies, generally known as university councils, are supposed to exercise scrutiny over executive proposals and decisions. In practice, executives have played a major role in selecting and appointing most members of council , who therefore have no incentive to disagree with executive decisions, and who are more often than not given insufficient information about major decisions by their executives to make informed judgements.

The vast majority of corporate appointees to most of Australia's current governing bodies have no history of working in tertiary education and no experience in teaching or research . The Coalition has been particularly active over the last decade in undermining a diversity of representation on academic boards.

For example, in 2012 the NSW Coalition Government inserted specific clauses in the enabling NSW legislation concerning university governance and finances which specify that appointed members require financial and management experience, while those sub-clauses specifying requirements for tertiary, professional and community experience have been removed. Similar changes to university acts were made by the WA Coalition Government in 2016 .

Corporatization is primarily aimed at empowering university leaders with the autonomy to run universities like corporate CEOs. These changes continue to be justified on the basis that the vice-chancellors of Australia's largest universities run enormous, multi-billion dollar enterprises that involve tens of thousands of people. Granted they now have to raise half of their operating costs due to government funding cuts, but their remuneration is not benchmarked to their performance . Furthermore, Australian vice-chancellors earn twice the average salaries of their UK counterparts . Many of those currently in office are originally from the UK.

In a public corporation, the executive is accountable to shareholders and the board of directors. Poor performance is questioned, and senior executives and managers can be removed if the board or shareholders are unhappy with that performance. However, unlike corporate boards, which are answerable to their shareholders, and to some extent, the public as 'clients' or 'consumers' of their goods and services, the accountability of university governing bodies is effectively restricted to financial issues.

The auditors-general of each state and territory are empowered to annually scrutinize the financial accounts of all universities under their jurisdiction . Even so, it is highly unusual for them to call universities to account for anything other than minor infringements of accounting rules and standards. They have rarely shown any willingness to delve deeply into university finances under their jurisdiction, despite some clear cases of maladministration, mismanagement and even corruption . There is no evidence that any audits have ever uncovered wrongdoing, conflicts of interest, or incidents of malfeasance, even though we know from our own colleagues in administrative positions at multiple universities that such behaviour is not at all uncommon.

Likewise, state tertiary education ministers are able to fall back on the 'autonomous institution' argument when quizzed about their knowledge of such practices and the lack of accountability of university leaders . This is because the legislation – which in many cases they helped to create – enshrines both university autonomy and restricted external accountability.

Universities, therefore, have the worst of both worlds as far as their governance is concerned. Staff and students have little or no say over how priorities are set and strategies are pursued. They are subject to the whims of management, who generally regard academics as an obstacle to the efficient running of 'their' universities, and who have no legitimate contributions to make as far as they are concerned. They rarely admit to having made mistakes or demonstrate any willingness to learn from them.

To illustrate this point, in the wake of COVID, it would make sense to proportionally cut back on staffing and resources in those areas that had the highest proportions of international students, and those related to their support and recruitment. However, there is no evidence from any decisions made to date by university executives that these disciplines or activities have borne the brunt of 'cost savings'. On the contrary, even prior to the current pandemic, the arts, humanities and social sciences have been targeted for job cuts, including non-replacement of tenured academics that have retired or resigned. In most of these instances, the financial cases for these cuts have been based on decisions that have little or no evidence to support them.

Many academics and students feel that senior managers target disciplines in these fields because those who work and study in them are willing to speak out against management and executive excesses. Critical thinking, teaching and research is deemed by university leaders to be acceptable within those contexts, but not when reflexively applied to their decision-making .

Academics who dare to call out lax admission standards for international students and other questionable practices which undermine academic integrity are punished with litigation and threats of termination . Not only does such behaviour constitute an attack on academic freedom , it indicates that those who initiate such measures are deluded if they believe they are acting in the best interests of the institutions employing them.

All of the distorted priorities that universities manifest today are an outcome of the inappropriate and dysfunctional corporate governance and reporting models that successive governments have imposed on universities throughout the country over many years. It is noteworthy that Coalition governments throughout the country have made successive changes to university acts that have the clear intention of disenfranchising staff and students from any meaningful input into university governance.

It should be abundantly clear from all this that the existing legislation concerning university governance is deeply flawed. It is an obstacle to better university governance and degrades the value and quality of education for our young people and the next generation of professionals. It also devalues the work of academic and professional staff and demonstrates no capacity for critical self-reflection. It is therefore completely inadequate to the task of confronting the enormous challenges that humanity faces in the twenty-first century.

We need to start a national conversation about the kinds of changes that are needed to bring about genuine reform of Australia's higher education system. A good start would be to focus on the ways in which university governing bodies are organized and constituted, with a particular focus on how and why different categories of members are selected and represented.

Democratic accountability and transparency should be embedded in every new process and structure.

These three articles are the product of many discussions, comments and feedback from colleagues at more than a dozen universities over the last several years. They are intended to provide background for a national campaign for reform of Australia's higher education system involving Academics for Public Universities , the Australian Association of University Professors , the National Higher Education Action Network and the National Tertiary Education Union . Please feel free to contact any of these organizations if you are interested in becoming involved.

Adam Lucas

Dr Adam Lucas is a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Wollongong. Adam's contemporary research focuses on energy policy responses to anthropogenic climate change and obstacles to a sustainable energy transition.

[Jul 03, 2021] Plato oil: Russia edition

Jun 30, 2021 | peakoilbarrel.com

POLLUX IGNORED 06/28/2021 at 5:46 am

Russia plans to cut oil exports from its Western ports by 22% in July vs June – schedule

"On a daily basis, loadings will decline by 22% in July compared to the current month, Reuters calculations showed." REPLY POLLUX IGNORED 06/28/2021 at 1:37 pm

Russia struggles to raise oil output despite price rally -sources

"Russian oil production has declined so far in June from average levels in May despite a price rally in oil market and OPEC+ output cuts easing, two sources familiar with the data told Reuters on Monday.

Russia's compliance with the OPEC+ oil output deal was at close to 100% in May, which means the state is about to exceed its target in June.

Two industry sources said that lower output levels may be due to technical issues some Russian oil producers are experiencing with output at older oilfields." RON PATTERSON IGNORED 06/28/2021 at 2:38 pm

Yes, they are definitely experiencing issues with their older oilfields, it's called depletion. But that decline is only 33,000 bpd or .3%. But your post above that one says exports in the third quarter will decline by 22%. What gives there?

Their decline in May was 23,000 bpd. OVI IGNORED 06/28/2021 at 3:25 pm

Ron

I just checked the Russia site and they have revised up their original May estimate. It is one week later than the original. Production is now down 9,000 b/d. RON PATTERSON IGNORED 06/28/2021 at 4:50 pm

Yeah, they revised it up by 14,000 pbd. A pittance. Now they are down only 9,000 bpd instead of 23,000. Nothing to get excited about. Basically, they were flat in May. JEAN-FRANÇOIS FLEURY IGNORED 06/28/2021 at 4:09 pm

"Russia plans to decrease oil loadings from its Western ports to 6.22 million tonnes for July compared to 7.75 million tonnes planned for loading in June, the preliminary schedule showed." 7,75 x 10^6 – 6,62 x 10^6 = 1130000 t. 1130000×7,3/30 = 274966 b/d. Therefore, these decrease of oil export suggests a decrease of production of 274966 b/d. Precedently, it was announced that oil exports of Russia would decrease of 7,2 % for the period July-September or a decrease of 308222 b/d. Therefore, it's coherent. https://www.zawya.com/mena/en/markets/story/Russias_quarterly_crude_oil_exports_to_drop_72_schedule-TR20210617nL5N2NY2IQX8/?fbclid=IwAR0ZjvwzjVS427CbUAzTL1vJfqog7R8CDwaJAvI3uUdaw_0z5S5l_57SGFY I notice that it concerns the "Western ports", therefore the exports toward EU and USA. Well, EU is also the main customer of Russia with 59% of the oil exports of Russia. RON PATTERSON IGNORED 06/28/2021 at 4:59 pm

Western Syberia is where all the very old supergiant fields are. They produce 60% of Russian crude oil. Or at least they used to. LIGHTSOUT IGNORED 06/29/2021 at 2:11 am

Ron
If one of the West Siberian giants is rolling over in the same way as Daquing did, things could get very interesting very quickly. RON PATTERSON IGNORED 06/29/2021 at 7:24 am

Four of Russia's five giant fields are in Western Siberia. The fifth is in the Urals, on the European side. All five have been creamed with infill horizontal drilling for almost 20 years. All five are on the verge of a steep decline. Obviously, one and possibly more have already hit that point.

This linked article below is 18 months old but there is a chart here that shows where Russia's oil is coming from. Notice only a tiny part is coming from Eastern Siberia, the hope for Russia's oil future. Those hopes are fading fast.

The Worrying Truth About Russia's Oil Industry EULENSPIEGEL IGNORED 06/29/2021 at 6:32 am

As I have written a few months ago: When you reduce output voluntarily for a longer time, all the nickel nursers from accounting and controlling will cut you any investing in over capacity you can't use at the moment. That works like this in any industry.

So you have to drill these additional infills and extensions after the cut is liftet. And this will take time, while fighting against the ever lasting decline.

[Jul 03, 2021] U.S. Wins International Backing for Global Minimum Tax

Jul 02, 2021 | www.wsj.com

The U.S. has won international backing for a global minimum rate of tax as part of a wider overhaul of the rules for taxing international companies , a major step toward securing a final agreement on a key element of the Biden administration's domestic plans for revenue raising and spending.

Officials from 130 countries that met virtually agreed Thursday to the broad outlines of what would be the most sweeping change in international taxation in a century. Among them were all of the Group of 20 major economies, including China and India, which previously had reservations about the proposed overhaul.

Those governments now will seek to pass laws ensuring that companies headquartered in their countries pay a minimum tax rate of at least 15% in each of the nations in which they operate, reducing opportunities for tax avoidance .

[Jul 03, 2021] Another important aspect of the collapse of neoliberalism -- reaching the natural resources limits, especially fossil energy extraction limits by George Kaplan

Notable quotes:
"... The US seems to be especially vulnerable to issues caused by lack of precarity as it has such a poor welfare system, previously relying on infinite growth to smooth things over or a, now failing, religious faith to keep things in order; prolonged economic and political success that has led to a sense of entitlement and self-belief in the American way, a history of putting personal liberty above all else, which embraces competition rather than co-operation; and a world beating phobia of death well beyond when reproductive age has passed. ..."
"... The gig economy, middle class collapse, MAGA, BLM (and the police actions that prompted its rise), cancel culture, (un)reality TV's attraction, FOMO, the increase in low level strife, self-harming, on-line pornography addiction, the Oxycodone/Fentanyl epidemic etc. are all manifestations and/or causes of that precarity. Civil wars and major revolts (and almost any that succeed in their aims) tend to happen only when there is intra elite infighting rather than uprisings from below. The most likely catalyst for that at the moment is Trump, which may be a good sign given his ineffectualness, ineptitude and general repulsive lack of charisma; anyone even a bit more like a real human being could cause serious ructions. ..."
Jun 26, 2021 | peakoilbarrel.com
Off Topic Finish: Waiting for the Great Leap Forward

I have been reading "˜A More Contested World: Global Trends 2040' by The National Intelligence Council; slowly as there's a lot in it but also a lot missing. No mention of specific resource limits, no discussion of GM just general "˜technology' concerns concentrating on AI and of course, god forbid any mention of overpopulation. It is very US-centric "" in the good scenarios the world gets to a better place only through US leadership "" and humanist focused with no consideration of the rights of the earth in general, only the perpetuation of our civilisation and to that end all future scenarios are some variant of technology led, growth obsessed, centralised BAU (maybe not with full globalism but still based around hegemonic power structures at some level). It's a view from mainstream economists and politicians carrying all the normal drawbacks that those words imply: i.e. bad things happen when the world doesn't do as it's told to do by us, and if you don't agree with us about what constitutes "˜bad' then you're wrong about that too.

I think similar studies from more global or European NGOs and governmental departments (both from individual countries or the EU) tend to be more objective and those from the militaries (from anywhere in the west) tend to be more honestly subjective. See for example: The Adaptation Committee's Independent Assessment of UK Climate Risk , Decoupling debunked "" Evidence and arguments against green growth as a sole strategy for sustainability ; Reinforcing Environmental Dimensions of European Foreign and Security Policy ; Arctic Climate Change Update 2021: Key Trends And Impacts ; Our Future on Earth ; and The State of the Global Climate 2020 or, for military sources: Implications of Climate Change for the U.S. Army ; NATO is responding to new challenges posed by climate change ; Ministry of Defence Climate Change and Sustainability Strategic Approach ; and Armed Forces, Capabilities and Technologies in the 21st Century Environmental Dimensions of Security .

The rising wealth gap and other inequality issues are a common theme in these global risk studies. However, theories in some recent studies have proposed that it is not inequality itself that is the problem so much as a prolonged sense of precarity (a new word to me and, apparently, to MS spellchecker, but it is essentially identical to precariousness) of the non-elites that accompanies it.

This makes sense from an evolutionary standpoint, as parents desire a stable and resource abundant household in which their children can be expected to reach a reproductive age. This might be expected to come more from the female side, as they are tied to their offspring more than males, who are free to spread their sperm and move on. I have read reorts, possibly anecdotal only, that it will invariably be the woman that will be the party insisting on buying the largest house that can be attained, whether affordable or not. I'm all for gender equality and women's rights but some things are innate and equal-rights do not mean equal hormones, ambitions, impulses and behaviors.

From this viewpoint therefore, solving the wealth inequality issue is actually anathema to population reduction. For example the already low birth rate in Italy had a further step down caused by the increased precarity due to the economic impact of Covid-19, the government has responded by offering direct incentives for having children. The apparent short term aims are in direct opposition to the what is best long term, this is called a dilemma rather than a problem.

The US seems to be especially vulnerable to issues caused by lack of precarity as it has such a poor welfare system, previously relying on infinite growth to smooth things over or a, now failing, religious faith to keep things in order; prolonged economic and political success that has led to a sense of entitlement and self-belief in the American way, a history of putting personal liberty above all else, which embraces competition rather than co-operation; and a world beating phobia of death well beyond when reproductive age has passed.

The neologism for the growing proportion of people affected by precarity is the precariat. The always readable Tim Watkins has a new post that touches on some of theses issues, with a particular eye on the possibility (or not) of significant inflationary issues ( The Everything Death Spiral ).

The gig economy, middle class collapse, MAGA, BLM (and the police actions that prompted its rise), cancel culture, (un)reality TV's attraction, FOMO, the increase in low level strife, self-harming, on-line pornography addiction, the Oxycodone/Fentanyl epidemic etc. are all manifestations and/or causes of that precarity. Civil wars and major revolts (and almost any that succeed in their aims) tend to happen only when there is intra elite infighting rather than uprisings from below. The most likely catalyst for that at the moment is Trump, which may be a good sign given his ineffectualness, ineptitude and general repulsive lack of charisma; anyone even a bit more like a real human being could cause serious ructions.

IRON MIKE IGNORED 06/26/2021 at 4:54 pm

Great post George thank you. It is quite evident for the astute observer that western democracy has over the years turned more and more into an amalgam of kleptocracy, oligarchy and plutocracy.

How many countries have colonial Europe and U.S foreign policy destroyed in the name of "democracy" and "freedom" ?
I've lost count.

Plato famously is said to have said:
"If you do not take an interest in the affairs of your government, then you are doomed to live under the rule of fools."

In Platos book the republic, Socrates despises democracy as one of the worst forms of government. His criticism those many years ago still resonates till this day (in my opinion).

WIthout invoking logic, I feel the world is in uncharted waters and heading towards a precipice which no one will see coming.

You have a typo, I believe you mean oxycontin (oxycodone) epidemic. HICKORY IGNORED HOLE IN HEAD IGNORED 06/27/2021 at 1:12 pm

Hicks , not being based in USA ,my view maybe incorrect . The US is undergoing an identity crisis . Where in the world did we have this gender crisis , male "" female heck can't people see between their thighs ? Red-Blue . White Supremacy vs BLM . North vs South . Growing up in the 70's US entrepreneurship was my inspiration . My hero's were Ford, Sloan , Edison etc and what do we have today, Musk ? What changed that a society where work was an ethic has transformed into a system where everyone is looking for an opportunity to suck at the teat of the government . Amazing transformation for someone who has a reference point . Now I am going into the stupid zone . What changed was the net surplus energy available per capita to the US citizen . Once that flipped it was downhill all the way . I reserve the right to be incorrect in my assessment .

06/27/2021 at 10:45 am

Regarding the off-topic finish, I don't think most people realize how fragile is the glue holding the US together.
Fragmentation along tribal lines is the biggest theme in American culture.
If a minority collection of tribes succeeds in the attempts to reverse election results, even more than the Electoral College already does, the country will undergo a major restructuring (polite description) with no guarantees on a recognizable outcome.

[Jul 03, 2021] Larry Summers Sees 5% Inflation At The End Of 2021

Notable quotes:
"... This is not the first time Summers has predicted that the firehose of fiscal and monetary stimulus will unleash soaring inflation. While career economists at the White House and Fed - who have peasants doing their purchases for them - urge Americans to ignore the current hyperinflation episode, saying that the recent inflation surge will soon pass, Summers has been unique among his fellow Democrats in predicting that massive monetary and fiscal stimulus alongside the reopening of the economy would spark considerable price pressures. ..."
"... Asked how financial markets may behave in the rest of 2021, Summers said "there will probably be more turbulence" as traders react to faster inflation by pushing up bond yields. "We've got a lot of processing ahead of us in markets," he said. ..."
Jul 03, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

It may not be quite hyperinflation - loosely defined as pricing rising at a double-digit clip or higher - but if former Treasury Secretary and erstwhile democrat Larry Summers is right, it will be halfway there in about six months.

One day after Bank of America warned that the coming "hyperinflation" will last at least 2 and as much as 4 years - whether or not one defines that as transitory depends on whether one has a Federal Reserve charge card to fund all purchases in the next 4 years - Larry Summers, who is this close from being excommunicated from the Democrat party, predicted inflation will be running "pretty close" to 5% at the end of this year and that bond yields will rise as a result over the rest of 2021.

Considering that consumer prices already jumped 5% in May from the previous year, his forecast is not much of a shock.

Speaking on Bloomberg TV, Summers said that "my guess is that at the end of the year inflation will, for this year, come out pretty close to 5%," adding that "it would surprise me if we had 5% inflation with no effect on inflation expectations." If he is right, the recent reversal in one-year inflation expectations which dipped from 4.6% to 4.2% according to the latest UMich consumer sentiment survey, is about to surge to new secular highs.

This is not the first time Summers has predicted that the firehose of fiscal and monetary stimulus will unleash soaring inflation. While career economists at the White House and Fed - who have peasants doing their purchases for them - urge Americans to ignore the current hyperinflation episode, saying that the recent inflation surge will soon pass, Summers has been unique among his fellow Democrats in predicting that massive monetary and fiscal stimulus alongside the reopening of the economy would spark considerable price pressures.

Asked how financial markets may behave in the rest of 2021, Summers said "there will probably be more turbulence" as traders react to faster inflation by pushing up bond yields. "We've got a lot of processing ahead of us in markets," he said.

Ironically, Summers - who now teaches at Harvard University whose president he was not too long ago when he hung out with his buddy Jeffrey Epstein...


Plus Size Model 5 hours ago (Edited)

Exactly!! Not only that, it's not just the FED that is contributing to inflation. We can also blame the SEC and the DOJ. I've never seen a Zero Hedge article blaming stock price appreciation or buybacks for causing inflation or increasing the money supply. The DOJ never enforces antitrust laws. The FBI never investigates money laundering from overseas that creates artificial real estate appreciation that inflates the money supply when people take out HELOC. There are other oversight bodies that, in a sane world, would not allow foreign investment in real estate. Bitcoin and others are a new tool that is being used to manipulate the money supply. It's comical how coins always go down when the little guys are holding the bag and go up when Coinbase executives want to cash out.

Another thing, this artificial chip shortage, punitive tariffs, and new tax laws are also adding to price increases.

Totally_Disillusioned 1 hour ago

Speculative investments have NEVER been included in the forumulation of CPI that determines inflation rate.

Revolution_starts_now 6 hours ago

Larry Summers is a tool.

gregga777 5 hours ago (Edited) remove link

Banksters in 2010's: We've got to revise how we calculate inflation again to conceal it from the Rubes.

Banksters in 2020: Ho Lee Fuk! Gun the QE engine! Pedal to the metal! Monetize all of the Federal government's debt! Keep those stonks zooming upwards!

Banksters in 2021: Ho Lee Fuk! The Rubes have caught onto our game! Gun the QE engine! Keep that pedal to the metal! Maybe the Rubes won't notice housing prices going up 20% per year?

Summer 2021: Ho Lee Fuk! They are noticing Inflation! We'd better revise how we calculate inflation again to conceal it from the Rubes.

[Jul 03, 2021] Annual Reserve Revisions Part IV- Shale Producers "" Peak Oil Barrel

Jul 03, 2021 | peakoilbarrel.com

SHALLOW SAND IGNORED 06/26/2021 at 8:19 pm

I haven't paid attention for awhile, but I think OXY was the number one producer of CO2 flood oil in the lower 48.

Anadarko also owned a lot of lower 48 secondary and tertiary production, as I recall.

These big, public US operators have a lot more in common with us stripper well folks than they care to admit.

Old freakin fields discovered over a century ago is where they operate. REPLY LIGHTSOUT IGNORED 06/27/2021 at 3:15 am

Don't worry shallow the Paradox basin will save the day. (Sarc)

https://www.zephyrplc.com/ REPLY HOLE IN HEAD IGNORED 06/27/2021 at 1:17 pm

🙂 REPLY JOHN S IGNORED 06/28/2021 at 1:21 pm

Shallow Sand,

You are damned right about that! REPLY D COYNE IGNORED 06/27/2021 at 8:46 am

On Fri the July futures contact for WTI closed at 74/bo and on June 21, 2021 (last data points at EIA) the spot price for WTI was $73.64/bo and Brent spot price was $74.49/bo, so a spread of under a dollar, quite unusual in the past 5 years or so when typical spread has been roughly $5/bo between WTI and Brent (Brent usually has been higher). FRUGAL IGNORED POLLUX IGNORED 06/28/2021 at 5:42 am

Adnoc imposes deeper cuts to September crude exports

"Abu Dhabi's state-owned Adnoc has informed customers that it will implement cuts of around 15pc to client nominations of all its crude exports loading in September, even as the Opec+ coalition considers further relaxing production quotas.

It was unclear why Adnoc is deepening reductions for its September-loading term crude exports, with the decision coming ahead of the next meeting of Opec+ ministers scheduled for 1 July when the group is expected to decide on its production strategy for at least one month"

06/27/2021 at 6:41 pm

World Oil Situation 2021

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EaXoAfa1tAw

This is an in-depth video of World production and consumption.

[Jul 03, 2021] Plato oil, Abu Dabi edition

Jul 03, 2021 | peakoilbarrel.com

POLLUX IGNORED 06/28/2021 at 5:42 am

Adnoc imposes deeper cuts to September crude exports

"Abu Dhabi's state-owned Adnoc has informed customers that it will implement cuts of around 15pc to client nominations of all its crude exports loading in September, even as the Opec+ coalition considers further relaxing production quotas.

It was unclear why Adnoc is deepening reductions for its September-loading term crude exports, with the decision coming ahead of the next meeting of Opec+ ministers scheduled for 1 July when the group is expected to decide on its production strategy for at least one month"

[Jul 03, 2021] The Fed Faces The Greatest Risk In Its History- An Economic Crisis Accompanied By Inflation - ZeroHedge

Jul 03, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

The Fed Faces The Greatest Risk In Its History: An Economic Crisis Accompanied By Inflation BY TYLER DURDEN SUNDAY, JUN 27, 2021 - 11:58 AM

From Eric Peters, CIO of One River Asset Management

The fed funds rate was 9.75% when I arrived in the pit, Chicago 1989. US GDP that year was 3.7%, unemployment 5.4%, and inflation 4.6%. But the S&L crisis was widening, as they do. So the Fed cut rates 75bps. Back then, the Fed certainly didn't signal its intentions. In fact, the Fed neither confirmed nor denied what changes it made to interest rates even after it made them. Unimaginable, right? So we had to guess Fed policy changes by observing what happened in money markets. I obviously didn't understand any of it, after all, I was an economics major.

The S&P 500 loved that 75bp rate cut more than it feared the S&L crisis, so stocks took out the 1987 peak, making new highs in the autumn of '89. There was still tons of brain damage from '87, and traders are notorious for being superstitious, so the pit was nervy that October. When the S&P plunged -6% out of the blue on October 13th, the trading pit went utterly berserk. I was so happy in that market mayhem. Soon enough, the Fed cut rates another 75bps. The S&P 500 grinded back up through the end of my first year, but never made new highs.

me title=

Pause Unmute Duration 0:33 / Current Time 0:06 Loaded : 40.09% Fullscreen Up Next

https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.469.0_en.html#goog_756093940 Wall Street Bounces, After Selloff Fed Boosts Liquidity NOW PLAYING SoftBank Said to Plan $14 Billion Sale of Alibaba Shares China's Companies Have Worst Quarter on Record, Beige Book Says U.S.-Saudi Oil Alliance Under Consideration, Brouillette Says ETF Volumes Surge in Current Market Environment Investors Have Given Up on a V-Shaped Recovery, BNY's Young Cautions

Despite the 150bps of rate cuts in 1989, and the record S&P highs, the economy soon entered a recession. The Fed kept cutting rates for a couple years, ending at an impossibly low rate of 3.00% in Feb 1992. US GDP was 3.5%, unemployment 7.4% and inflation was 2.9%. I had made my way to London that year as a prop trader, just in time for the Exchange Rate Mechanism collapse. The Europeans had created a system to ensure stability, certainty. And this naturally encouraged traders and investors to build massive leveraged investment positions.

When systems designed to ensure stability fail, which they inevitably do when applied to things as unstable as economies, the consequences are profound. As Europe worked through its ERM collapse, Greenspan held fed funds at 3.00% for what seemed an eternity. No one could understand anything he ever said, so you can't blame him for promising certainty, stability. But people see what they want to see, hear what they want to hear, believe what they want to believe. And soon, folks discovered how to make money by betting rates would never change, much as they had bet on stability and certainty ahead of the ERM collapse.

US GDP in 1994 was 4.0%, unemployment was 5.5% and inflation 2.7%. Greenspan hiked rates 25bps to 3.25% in Feb 1994. Employment gains had been on a tear, and yet, somehow no one expected that rate hike. Naturally, he hadn't pre-signaled a change. The bond market collapsed . Most people don't think bond markets can crash, but that's only because they haven't traded long enough to live through one. Like all crashes, that one happened for all sorts of complex reasons, but the biggest was that the system was highly leveraged to a certain future.

Each interest rate cycle has been different of course. Over the decades, the Fed became increasingly transparent. That transformation was surely well-intended, seeking to reduce the risk of creating crises like that '94 crash. But it is impossible to create certainty without also increasing fragility - that's how markets work . As the system became more fragile, it required increasingly aggressive Fed intervention with each downturn. The process has been reflexive. Now markets move based on what policy changes the Fed says it may make in 18-30 months.

* * *

Anecdote :

Congress mandated that the Federal Reserve promote maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates. That was in 1978. Unsurprisingly, the nation was reeling from years of high unemployment, rapidly inflating prices, and soaring long-term interest rates. In the decades since, the Fed has done a remarkably good job at meeting their specific mandate. But like all systems built to create certainty, stability, it has simultaneously produced profound fragility. This is most clearly seen in the need for ever more dramatic monetary interventions with each cyclical downturn.

Less obvious is the rising political fragility which is increasingly destabilizing the nation . Having tasked the Fed with producing economic prosperity by any monetary means necessary, our politicians then stepped away. They stopped governing effectively, fanned the flames of animosity, shielded from the adverse economic consequences of their dereliction of duty.

In each economic crisis, it was the Fed that provided leadership, forestalling collapse, but at a compounding cost. Now the nation approaches a point of peak economic and political fragility . And while it is easy to condemn the Fed for having enabled the decades of dysfunction, it is the political system that must bear the blame. But no matter, the Fed must soldier on, like a magnificent machine, attempting the impossible, delivering certainty without fragility, spinning ever faster to stand still.

And the greatest risk it now faces in meeting its mandate is an economic crisis accompanied by inflation. Such a crisis would force it to choose between a return to orthodox policy and the consequent defaults that would devastate asset prices, or a currency collapse and runaway inflation that rebalances the value of our assets and liabilities. Without a determined improvement in our politics, it is increasingly likely that we must endure the latter, followed by the former. And this drama will surely play out in the decade ahead.

[Jul 03, 2021] Housing Prices Are Going Up. Must They Crash by Kevin Erdmann

When and how another housing bubble will burst? This is the question.
The author forget that the current movement out of the cities into the suburb can lead to the collapse of prices in overpriced areas of big cities like NYC. Also the retain space collapse is evident even to untrained observers. So people moving out of big cities like NYC and cities devastated by riots need to sell their current condos and apartments. To whom?
Jun 29, 2021 | thebusinessnewsindia.com

There are many reports of homebuyers getting into bidding wars and many cities where home prices have appreciated by well more than 10% over the past year. This naturally leads to a concern about market volatility: Must what goes up come down ? Are we repeating the excesses of the early 2000s, when housing prices surged before the market crashed?

Some analysts argue that this time, it's even less likely that prices will fall. Inventories of new homes for sale are very low, and lending standards are much tighter than in 2005. This is true. In fact, the ground is even firmer than it seems.

New home inventories were very high before the Great Recession. Today, they are closer to the level that has been common for decades. The portion of inventory built and ready for move-in is especially low because of supply chain interruptions combined with a sudden boost of demand during the coronavirus pandemic. We shouldn't worry much about a crash when buyers are eagerly snapping up the available homes.

... ... ...

At the June 2006 Federal Reserve meeting, Ben Bernanke said, "It is a good thing that housing is cooling. If we could wave a magic wand and reinstate 2005, we wouldn't want to do that." It's notable that Jerome Powell, who today holds Bernanke's former position as Fed chair, isn't openly pining for a "cooler" housing market.

There is a common belief that before the Great Recession, homebuyers were taken in by the myth that home prices never go down, and they became complacent. Those buyers turned out to be wrong. Yet, even when a concerted effort to kill housing markets succeeded, we had to beat them into submission for three full years before prices relented. Home prices can go down, but we have to work very hard, together, for a long time, to make them fall.

If you are a buyer in a hot market where home prices are 30% higher than they were a year ago, you're getting a 30% worse deal than you could have had back then. Nothing can be done about that. That said, the main things to be concerned with are the factors federal policymakers are in control of. There is little reason to expect housing demand to collapse. If it does, it will require communal intention""federal monetary and credit policies meant to create or accept a sharp drop in demand. And even if federal officials intend for housing construction to collapse, history suggests that a market contraction would push new sales down deeply for an extended period of time before prices relent.

Guest commentaries like this one are written by authors outside the Barron's and MarketWatch newsroom. They reflect the perspective and opinions of the authors. Submit commentary proposals and other feedback to ideas@barrons.com .

Kevin Erdmann is a visiting research fellow with the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and author of Shut Out: How A Housing Shortage Caused the Great Recession and Crippled Our Economy.

[Jul 02, 2021] Number Of US Truck Drivers Sidelined Due To Substance Abuse Violations Has Surpassed 60,000

Jul 02, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Lone_Star 7 hours ago

I don't see what's wrong with truck drivers being all hopped up on amphetamines, they were doing it to bomber pilots during WWII and beyond.

rockstone 7 hours ago

The whole idea is to keep a shipping network from resembling a bombing run.

fxrxexexdxoxmx3 PREMIUM 7 hours ago

Comment of the day

ParkAveSlasher 7 hours ago (Edited)

I would think a bombing run would be the most efficient thing a delivery and offload could resemble

[Jul 02, 2021] Mom details 12-year-old daughter's extreme reactions to COVID vaccine, says she's now in wheelchair

Notable quotes:
"... De Garay explained that after receiving the second coronavirus vaccine dose, her daughter started developing severe abdominal and chest pains. Maddie described the severity of the pain to her mother as "it feels like my heart is being ripped out through my neck." ..."
"... The Ohio mother added her daughter experienced additional symptoms that included gastroparesis, nausea, vomiting, erratic blood pressure, heart rate, and memory loss. "She still cannot digest food. She has a tube to get her nutrition," De Garay said to Carlson. "She also couldn't walk at one point, then she could I don't understand why and [physicians] are not looking into why...now she's back in a wheelchair and she can't hold her neck up. Her neck pulls back." ..."
"... De Garay said she had joined a Facebook support group to help people cope with the unexpected events happening from the coronavirus vaccine trial, and she said it was shut down. "It's just not right," she said. ..."
"... Sen. Ron Johnson , R-Wis., has sent letters to the CEOs of Pfizer and Moderna seeking answers about adverse reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine following a June 28 press conference with affected individuals. The conference in Milwaukee included stories from five people, including De Garay ..."
"... The Wisconsin senator noted that some adverse reactions were detailed in Pfizer's and Moderna's Food and Drug Administration (FDA) emergency use authorization (EUA) memorandums following early clinical trials ..."
"... Those reactions included nervous system disorders and musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders for the Pfizer EUA memo. The Moderna EUA memo included reactions such as nervous system disorders, vascular disorders and musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders, according to Johnson's letter. ..."
"... You missed the whole point! The issue is that the government is not acknowledging and and not reporting these side effects of the vaccine. Instead they are lying about the safety. If you are young, you are much more likely to get sick and injured by the vaccine than COVID. ..."
"... anyone under 25 should not get the vaccine because the percentages are about the same or worse having a negative impact from the vaccine versus the actual virus. ..."
"... With the Covid19 mortality rate among the children why even vaccinate? As a Chemist / Biochemist I learned that there is always unintended consequences. ..."
"... Vaccines may have long term effects that are not known today. ..."
"... The CDC's generic guidelines for getting a vaccine for any reason are very restrictive, first being, the disease you're getting vaccinated against has to pose a real, immediate danger. CV-19 poses virtually no danger whatsoever to kids under 14. Of all the deaths of children 14 and under in the last 18 months only .8% of them had a case of CV-19. That's 367 deaths out of over 46,000. (Data from CDC website) Forcing them to take an experimental vaccine that they absolutely don't need is criminal. As a parent, allowing your child to take the vaccine without spending a few hours doing some research is criminally negligent. This is like some terribly warped Kafka novel but it's real. ..."
Jul 02, 2021 | www.foxnews.com

Mom details 12-year-old daughter's extreme reactions to COVID vaccine, says she's now in wheelchair Stephanie De Garay shares story with Tucker Carlson By Stephanie Giang-Paunon | Fox News Facebook Twitter Flipboard Comments Print Email

https://static.foxnews.com/static/orion/html/video/iframe/vod.html?v=20210701170943#uid=fnc-embed-1 Mom describes daughter's bad COVID vaccine reaction, says she's now in wheelchair

Mother Stephanie De Garay joins 'Tucker Carlson Tonight' to discuss how her 12-year-old daughter volunteered for the Pfizer vaccine trial and is now in a wheelchair.

An Ohio mother is speaking out about her 12-year-old daughter suffering extreme reactions and nearly dying after volunteering for the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine trial.

Stephanie De Garay told "Tucker Carlson Tonight" Thursday that after reaching out to multiple physicians they claimed her daughter, Maddie De Garay, couldn't have become gravely ill from the vaccine.

"The only diagnosis we've gotten for her is that it's conversion disorder or functional neurologic symptom disorder, and they are blaming it on anxiety," De Garay told Tucker Carlson. "Ironically, she did not have anxiety before the vaccine."

De Garay explained that after receiving the second coronavirus vaccine dose, her daughter started developing severe abdominal and chest pains. Maddie described the severity of the pain to her mother as "it feels like my heart is being ripped out through my neck."

Video

The Ohio mother added her daughter experienced additional symptoms that included gastroparesis, nausea, vomiting, erratic blood pressure, heart rate, and memory loss. "She still cannot digest food. She has a tube to get her nutrition," De Garay said to Carlson. "She also couldn't walk at one point, then she could I don't understand why and [physicians] are not looking into why...now she's back in a wheelchair and she can't hold her neck up. Her neck pulls back."

Carlson asked whether any officials from the Biden administration or representatives from Pfizer company have reached out to the family. "No, they have not," she answered.

"The response with the person that's leading the vaccine trial has been atrocious," she said. "We wanted to know what symptoms were reported and we couldn't even get an answer on that. It was just that 'we report to Pfizer and they report to the FDA.' That's all we got."

After her heartbreaking experience, the Ohio mother said she's still "pro-vaccine, but also pro-informed consent." De Garay mentioned she's speaking out because she feels like everyone should be fully aware of this tragic incident and added the situation is being "pushed down and hidden."

De Garay said she had joined a Facebook support group to help people cope with the unexpected events happening from the coronavirus vaccine trial, and she said it was shut down. "It's just not right," she said.

"They need to do research and figure out why this happened, especially to people in the trial. I thought that was the point of it," De Garay concluded. "They need to come up with something that's going to treat these people early because all they're going to do is keep getting worse."

Sen. Ron Johnson , R-Wis., has sent letters to the CEOs of Pfizer and Moderna seeking answers about adverse reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine following a June 28 press conference with affected individuals. The conference in Milwaukee included stories from five people, including De Garay.

The Wisconsin senator noted that some adverse reactions were detailed in Pfizer's and Moderna's Food and Drug Administration (FDA) emergency use authorization (EUA) memorandums following early clinical trials.

Those reactions included nervous system disorders and musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders for the Pfizer EUA memo. The Moderna EUA memo included reactions such as nervous system disorders, vascular disorders and musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders, according to Johnson's letter.

Pfizer and Moderna did not immediately respond to inquiries from Fox News about Johnson's letters.

J jeff5150357 6 hours ago

My daughter had the same thing happen to her after getting a flu vaccine 9 years ago. Within days of getting it, she went from being as healthy as an ox to years of awful, unexplained illness. The short version is they concluded that she had a severe adverse reaction to the vaccine, but from the delivery chemicals, not the flu content itself. Formaldehyde was the likely major cause. Now she is getting ready to begin college and is being required to get the Covid vaccine by her university and the NCAA for athletics. It is causing her, my wife and I horrible anxiety and we feel like we are being railroaded into something that could be very dangerous for her. Any discussion or concern expressed on social media is immediately blocked. I know from years of working in the research grants office at Yale University that the big pharma industry is powerful and will go to great lengths to control the narrative. What I don't understand is why mainstream media and social media are so willing to help them these days!

jeff5150357 4 hours ago

While the college experience is great for a young adult. I would look at getting a degree online. Her future earnings will be based on her merit, not where she went to school. If someone was telling me what to do with my personal health, and I was uncomfortable with their prescription, I would follow my instincts.

LoraJane92649 jeff5150357 5 hours ago

If her flu vax is well documented she should be able to get a waiver. Hopefully you have an able bodied family physician or medical team to advocate on your behalf.

G gunvald 7 hours ago

You know when you take it that there can be adverse reactions. So, in that sense, you are informed. Any one of us could be the odd person. That said, I have a problem with any child getting these vaccines, especially when most people recover from the disease. It's one thing for me as an elderly person to make the decision to take it as covid affects the elderly person more and I wanted to avoid that ventilator. Most of my life has been lived and that's how I evaluated it. This will always come down to putting it in God's hands.

TheTruthAsItIs gunvald 6 hours ago

You missed the whole point! The issue is that the government is not acknowledging and and not reporting these side effects of the vaccine. Instead they are lying about the safety. If you are young, you are much more likely to get sick and injured by the vaccine than COVID.

D DontDestoryUSA gunvald 4 hours ago

It's not being informed when you are forced to take a vaccination that they clearly had trouble with past vaccination sounds like a lawsuit for the university is on the horizon. With a big pay day

Tony5SFG 7 hours ago

"Ohio mother said she's still "pro-vaccine, but also pro-informed consent." " And as a pediatrician for over 40 yrs (retired now) and a 10 year member of my medical school's Institutional Review Board (which had to approve all human research), THAT is a problem I have been bringing up As far as requiring all young people, such as entering or in college, to get the vaccine Children are a protected class and the informed consent for research on them is much more strenuous than for adults And, requiring young people to take these new vaccines is the equivalent of doing research on them. The issue of myocarditis is quite troubling. And while it has been seen in natural infections, I have not yet seen an adequate risk - benefit evaluation regarding risking natural infection versus vaccination And people say that the myocarditis is not severe, no one can be sure of the long term effects of a young person getting it. The vaccines that we give children have been used for decades and the risks/benefits have been well established

D DallasAmEmail Tony5SFG 6 hours ago

A friends daughter who just went through internship as Physicians assistant based on the percentages in age groups believes anyone under 25 should not get the vaccine because the percentages are about the same or worse having a negative impact from the vaccine versus the actual virus. Yes, older age groups the percent having negative impact from the virus is much greater than the vaccine, so yes older age groups should get the vaccine. What really is bothersome is when Youtube removes Dr. Robert Malone video who helped create the mrna vaccine express concern that normal testing has not happened and be cautious about taking it, especially for the young.

marinesfather601 Tony5SFG 5 hours ago

With the Covid19 mortality rate among the children why even vaccinate? As a Chemist / Biochemist I learned that there is always unintended consequences.

Hilltopper9 7 hours ago

Vaccines may have long term effects that are not known today. The same could be said of all the chemicals we apply to our body daily through shampoos, hair dyes, body lotions, and suntan lotions. Life's a gamble. It's up to each individual to make the best decisions possible given the facts available.

A akbushrat Hilltopper9 6 hours ago

The CDC's generic guidelines for getting a vaccine for any reason are very restrictive, first being, the disease you're getting vaccinated against has to pose a real, immediate danger. CV-19 poses virtually no danger whatsoever to kids under 14. Of all the deaths of children 14 and under in the last 18 months only .8% of them had a case of CV-19. That's 367 deaths out of over 46,000. (Data from CDC website) Forcing them to take an experimental vaccine that they absolutely don't need is criminal. As a parent, allowing your child to take the vaccine without spending a few hours doing some research is criminally negligent. This is like some terribly warped Kafka novel but it's real.

F Fauxguy930 Hilltopper9 5 hours ago

☢️ N-butyl-N-(4-hydroxybutyl)nitrosamine is a nitrosamine that has butyl and 4-hydroxybutyl substituents. In mice, it causes high-grade, invasive cancers in the urinary bladder, but not in any other tissues. It has a role as a carcinogenic agent. Ingredient in all shots. How did a carcinogen get FDA approved, oh it was an emergency.

R RussellRika 6 hours ago

I have a twelve year old, and not a chance I'd allow her to volunteer for any vaccine trial, and especially not this one. She very much wanted to get a vaccine, until she started reading about some of the adverse reactions. Sorry, but I'm a child, the benefit does not outweigh the risk.

MrEd50 6 hours ago

I took the vaccine because I'm 60 years old and work with special ed kids. My 18 year old child refuses to take it and I support him on this. COVID shouldn't be an issue for most of us.

[Jul 02, 2021] More Than 72 Million Americans Are Living Paycheck To Paycheck

The problem is that many people face long term unemployment without substantial emergency funds, which further complicates already difficult situation.
Notable quotes:
"... More than 2K adults to were interviewed to try and ascertain how long they could survive without income. It turns out that approximately 72.4MM employed Americans - 28.4% of the population - believe they wouldn't be able to last for more than a month without a payday. ..."
Jul 02, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Imagine you lost your job tomorrow. How long would you be able to sustain your current lifestyle? A week? A month? A year?

As we await Friday's labor market update, Finder has just published the results of a recent survey attempting to gauge the financial stability of the average American in the post-pandemic era.

More than 2K adults to were interviewed to try and ascertain how long they could survive without income. It turns out that approximately 72.4MM employed Americans - 28.4% of the population - believe they wouldn't be able to last for more than a month without a payday.

Another 24% said they expected to be able to live comfortably between two months and six months. That means an estimated 133.6MM working Americans (52.3% of the population) can live off their savings for six months or less before going broke.

On the other end of the spectrum, roughly 8.7MM employed Americans (or 3.4% of the population) say they don't need to rely on a rainy day fund since they have employment insurance which will compensate them should they lose their job.

Amusingly, men appear to be less effective savers than women. Some 32.4MM women (26.7% of American women) say their savings would stretch at most a month, compared to 40MM men (29.9% of American men) who admit to the same. Of those people, 9.7MM women (8% of American women) say their savings wouldn't even stretch a week, compared to 15.5MM men (11.6% of American men) who admit to the same.

A majority of employed Americans over the age of 18 say their savings would last six months at most. About 70.7MM men (52.8% of American men) and 62.8MM women (51.8% of American women) fear they'd be in dire straits within six months of losing their livelihood.

Unsurprisingly, younger people tend to have less of a savings buffer - but the gap between the generations isn't as wide as it probably should be.

While increasing one's income is perhaps the best route to building a more robust nest egg, Finder offered some suggestions for people looking to maximize their savings.

1. Create a budget and stick to it

Look at your monthly income against all of your monthly expenses. Add to them expenses you pay once or twice a year to avoid a surprise when they creep up. After you know where your money is going, you can allot specific amounts to different categories and effectively track your spending.

... ... ...

* * *

Source: Finder

[Jun 26, 2021] There Is No Labor Shortage, Only Labor Exploitation and burning desire not to spend money on training by Sonali Kolhatkar

Notable quotes:
"... Indeed, economists and analysts have gotten used to presenting facts from the perspective of private employers and their lobbyists. The American public is expected to sympathize more with the plight of wealthy business owners who can't find workers to fill their low-paid positions, instead of with unemployed workers who might be struggling to make ends meet. ..."
"... West Virginia's Republican Governor Jim Justice justified ending federal jobless benefits early in his state by lecturing his residents on how, "America is all about work. That's what has made this great country." Interestingly, Justice owns a resort that couldn't find enough low-wage workers to fill jobs. Notwithstanding a clear conflict of interest in cutting jobless benefits, the Republican politician is now enjoying the fruits of his own political actions as his resort reports greater ease in filling positions with desperate workers whose lifeline he cut off. ..."
Jun 12, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

For the past few months, Republicans have been waging a ferocious political battle to end federal unemployment benefits, based upon stated desires of saving the U.S. economy from a serious labor shortage. The logic, in the words of Republican politicians like Iowa Senator Joni Ernst, goes like this: "the government pays folks more to stay home than to go to work," and therefore, "[p]aying people not to work is not helpful." The conservative Wall Street Journal has been beating the drum for the same argument, saying recently that it was a " terrible blunder " to pay jobless benefits to unemployed workers.

If the hyperbolic claims are to be believed, one might imagine American workers are luxuriating in the largesse of taxpayer-funded payments, thumbing their noses at the earnest "job creators" who are taking far more seriously the importance of a post-pandemic economic growth spurt.

It is true that there are currently millions of jobs going unfilled. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics just released statistics showing that there were 9.3 million job openings in April and that the percentage of layoffs decreased while resignations increased. Taking these statistics at face value, one could conclude this means there is a labor shortage.

But, as economist Heidi Shierholz explained in a New York Times op-ed , there is only a labor shortage if employers raise wages to match worker demands and subsequently still face a shortage of workers. Shierholz wrote, "When those measures [of raising wages] don't result in a substantial increase in workers, that's a labor shortage. Absent that dynamic, you can rest easy."

Remember the subprime mortgage housing crisis of 2008 when economists and pundits blamed low-income homeowners for wanting to purchase homes they could not afford? Perhaps this is the labor market's way of saying, if you can't afford higher salaries, you shouldn't expect to fill jobs.

Or, to use the logic of another accepted capitalist argument, employers could liken the job market to the surge pricing practices of ride-share companies like Uber and Lyft. After consumers complained about hiked-up prices for rides during rush hour, Uber explained , "With surge pricing, Uber rates increase to get more cars on the road and ensure reliability during the busiest times. When enough cars are on the road, prices go back down to normal levels." Applying this logic to the labor market, workers might be saying to employers: "When enough dollars are being offered in wages, the number of job openings will go back down to normal levels." In other words, workers are surge-pricing the cost of their labor.

But corporate elites are loudly complaining that the sky is falling -- not because of a real labor shortage, but because workers are less likely now to accept low-wage jobs. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce insists that "[t]he worker shortage is real," and that it has risen to the level of a "national economic emergency" that "poses an imminent threat to our fragile recovery and America's great resurgence." In the Chamber's worldview, workers, not corporate employers who refuse to pay better, are the main obstacle to the U.S.'s economic recovery.

Longtime labor organizer and senior scholar with the Institute for Policy Studies Bill Fletcher Jr. explained to me in an email interview that claims of a labor shortage are an exaggeration and that, actually, "we suffered a minor depression and not another great recession," as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. In Fletcher's view, "The so-called labor shortage needs to be understood as the result of tremendous employment reorganization, including the collapse of industries and companies."

Furthermore, according to Fletcher, the purveyors of the "labor shortage" myth are not accounting for "the collapse of daycare and the impact on women and families, and a continued fear associated with the pandemic."

He's right. As one analyst put it, "The rotten seed of America's disinvestment in child care has finally sprouted." Such factors have received little attention by the purveyors of the labor shortage myth -- perhaps because acknowledging real obstacles like care work requires thinking of workers as real human beings rather than cogs in a capitalist machine.

Indeed, economists and analysts have gotten used to presenting facts from the perspective of private employers and their lobbyists. The American public is expected to sympathize more with the plight of wealthy business owners who can't find workers to fill their low-paid positions, instead of with unemployed workers who might be struggling to make ends meet.

Already, jobless benefits were slashed to appallingly low levels after Republicans reduced a $600-a-week payment authorized by the CARES Act to a mere $300 a week , which works out to $7.50 an hour for full-time work. If companies cannot compete with this exceedingly paltry sum, their position is akin to a customer demanding to a car salesperson that they have the right to buy a vehicle for a below-market-value sticker price (again, capitalist logic is a worthwhile exercise to showcase the ludicrousness of how lawmakers and their corporate beneficiaries are responding to the state of the labor market).

Remarkably, although federal jobless benefits are funded through September 2021, more than two dozen Republican-run states are choosing to end them earlier. Not only will this impact the bottom line for millions of people struggling to make ends meet, but it will also undermine the stimulus impact that this federal aid has on the economies of states when jobless workers spend their federal dollars on necessities. Conservatives are essentially engaged in an ideological battle over government benefits, which, in their view, are always wrong unless they are going to the already privileged (remember the GOP's 2017 tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy?).

The GOP has thumbed its nose at federal benefits for residents before. In order to underscore their ideological opposition to the Affordable Care Act, recall how Republican governors eschewed billions of federal dollars to fund Medicaid expansion. These conservative ideologues chose to let their own voters suffer the consequences of turning down federal aid in service of their political opposition to Obamacare. And they're doing the same thing now.

At the same time as headlines are screaming about a catastrophic worker shortage that could undermine the economy, stories abound of how American billionaires paid peanuts in income taxes according to newly released documents, even as their wealth multiplied to extraordinary levels. The obscenely wealthy are spending their mountains of cash on luxury goods and fulfilling childish fantasies of space travel . The juxtaposition of such a phenomenon alongside the conservative claim that jobless benefits are too generous is evidence that we are indeed in a "national economic emergency" -- just not of the sort that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce wants us to believe.

West Virginia's Republican Governor Jim Justice justified ending federal jobless benefits early in his state by lecturing his residents on how, "America is all about work. That's what has made this great country." Interestingly, Justice owns a resort that couldn't find enough low-wage workers to fill jobs. Notwithstanding a clear conflict of interest in cutting jobless benefits, the Republican politician is now enjoying the fruits of his own political actions as his resort reports greater ease in filling positions with desperate workers whose lifeline he cut off.

When lawmakers earlier this year debated the Raise the Wage Act , which would have increased the federal minimum wage, Republicans wagged their fingers in warning, saying higher wages would put companies out of business. Opponents of that failed bill claimed that if forced to pay $15 an hour, employers would hire fewer people, close branches, or perhaps shut down altogether, which we were told would ultimately hurt workers.

Now, we are being told another story: that companies actually do need workers and won't simply reduce jobs, close branches, or shut down and that the government therefore needs to stop competing with their ultra-low wages to save the economy. The claim that businesses would no longer be profitable if they are forced to increase wages is undermined by one multibillion-dollar fact: corporations are raking in record-high profits and doling them out to shareholders and executives. They can indeed afford to offer greater pay, and when they do, it turns out there is no labor shortage .

American workers are at a critically important juncture at this moment. Corporate employers seem to be approaching a limit of how far they can push workers to accept poverty-level jobs. According to Fletcher, "This moment provides opportunities to raise wage demands, but it must be a moment where workers organize in order to sustain and pursue demands for improvements in their living and working conditions."

Sonali Kolhatkar is the founder, host and executive producer of "Rising Up With Sonali," a television and radio show that airs on Free Speech TV and Pacifica stations. She is a writing fellow for the Economy for All project at the Independent Media Institute. This article was produced by Economy for All , a project of the Independent Media Institute.

[Jun 26, 2021] Groupthink inherently discounts primary evidence in favor of social affirmation

Jun 26, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

gcjohns1971 2 hours ago

Personalities of the Left are group-thinkers, not critical-thinkers.

Group-thinkers have two giant vulnerabilities: They're easily misled by ANYONE with harisma, and psychopaths actively exploit that weakness. And inasmuch as group-think inherently discounts primary evidence in favor of social affirmation, group-think is ALWAYS wrong.

[Jun 26, 2021] Oil Prices Set To Head Even Higher As Market Tightens by Tsvetana Paraskova

Jun 23, 2021 | oilprice.com

By Tsvetana Paraskova

In the paper market, Brent Crude prices already hit $75 a barrel this week, for the first time in over two years.

WTI Crude was above $73 early on Wednesday as demand strengthened and as U.S. crude oil inventories were estimated by the American Petroleum Institute (API) to have shrunk by 7.199 million barrels for the week ending June 18.

Backwardation in the WTI futures continues to tighten "a sign of a tighter market.

For example, the September-October spread is at a seven-year high at $1.09 per barrel on expectations that storage levels at the WTI futures delivery hub at Cushing will continue to decline amid strong Midwest refinery demand, Saxo Bank said on Tuesday.

[Jun 26, 2021] Here comes $100 oil prices- BofA strategist

Jun 22, 2021 | finance.yahoo.com

The growing consensus on Wall Street is that the rally in oil prices has more room to the upside

At more than $74.63 a barrel currently , brent crude oil prices are trading at levels not seen since fall 2018. The price of brent crude is up about 88% over the past year .

... ... ...

Similar to BofA, Goldman Sachs is expecting firmer oil prices moving forward. Strategists at the investment bank don't rule out prices nearing $100 a barrel before year end.

"Near term our highest conviction long is oil where we still see brent [crude oil] averaging $80/bbl this third quarter with potential spikes well above $80/bbl. Global demand likely rose to 97.0 million barrels a day in recent days from 95.0 million barrels a day just a few weeks ago as the U.S. passes the baton to Europe and emerging markets, where even India is beginning to show improvements," Goldman Sachs global head of commodities research Jeffrey Currie contends .

Adds Currie, "With such robust demand growth against an almost inelastic supply curve outside of core OPEC+ (GCC + Russia), the global oil market is facing its deepest deficits since last summer at nearly 3.0 million barrels a day. With refiners quickly responding to small improvements in margins, petroleum product supplies have broadly matched this jump in end-use demand, leaving this deficit almost entirely in crude."

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and anchor at Yahoo Finance . Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn . ->

[Jun 26, 2021] The End of Faucism is Nigh as Democrats Ditch the Doctor by JD Rucker

"Objective judgement is our jugement about the people we do not like ;-)"
In view of the fact that Delta (Indian) variant can infect vaccinated with the first generation of vaccines people Fauci statement "when you get vaccinated, you not only protect your own health, that of the family, but also you contribute to the community health by preventing the spread of the virus throughout the community." i obviously wrong. Delta Covid-19 Variant Can Infect Vaccinated People
See also Delta variant infected two Orange County residents who were fully vaccinated - Orlando Sentinel and Just 26 fully vaccinated people have died from Delta variant
May 16, 2021 | freedomfirstnetwork.com

Those who don't get their news from mainstream media have been aware of Anthony Fauci's connection to "gain of function" research for months. Now, mainstream media is picking it up so the White House is scrambling.

For months, there wasn't a day that went by when Dr. Anthony Fauci wasn't doing multiple interviews spreading fear of Covid-19, demanding people take the various "vaccines," and changing his talking points from moment to moment on a slew of healthcare-related issues. We saw a clear change last week when the White House's chief doc seemed to fly under the radar for the first time since Joe Biden took office.

It all comes down to "gain of function" research that is almost certainly the cause of the Wuhan Flu. Developed in the Wuhan Virology Lab, Covid-19 either escaped or was intentionally released. While many in academia still hold onto the notion that the pandemic was started by bats, they do so simply because it hasn't -- and likely cannot -- be completely ruled out as long as the Chinese Communist Party has a say in the matter. But many are now accepting the likelihood that it came from the Wuhan Virology Lab as a result of "gain of function" research.

We also now know that Fauci has been a huge proponent of this research and he participated in funding it at the Wuhan Virology Lab. More evidence is emerging every day despite the bad doctor's protestations. And when I say "we also now know," that's to say more mainstream media watchers know. Those who turn to alternative media have known about Fauci's involvement with the Wuhan Virology Lab for a while.

They've been trying to cover their tracks. A bombshell revelation from The National Pulse yesterday showed they realized this was going to be a problem long before Rand Paul or Tucker Carlson started calling Fauci out.

The Wuhan Institute of Virology scrubbed the U.S. National Institutes of Health as one of its research partners from its website in early 2021. The revelation comes despite Dr. Anthony Fauci insisting no relationship existed between the institutions.

Archived versions of the Wuhan lab's site also reveal a research update – " Will SARS Come Back? " – appearing to describe gain-of-function research being conducted at the institute by entities funded by Dr. Anthony Fauci's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

On March 21st, 2021, the lab's website listed six U.S.-based research partners: University of Alabama, University of North Texas, EcoHealth Alliance, Harvard University, The National Institutes of Health (NIH), the United States, and the National Wildlife Federation.

One day later, the page was revised to contain just two research partners – EcoHealth Alliance and the University of Alabama. By March 23rd, EcoHealth Alliance was the sole partner remaining .

EcoHealth Alliance is run by long-standing Chinese Communist Party-partner Dr. Peter Daszak , who National Pulse Editor-in-Chief Raheem Kassam has repeatedly claimed will be the first "fall guy" of the Wuhan lab debacle.

The Wuhan Institute of Virology's decision to wipe the NIH from its website came amidst heightened scrutiny that the lab was the source of COVID-19 – and that U.S. taxpayer dollars from the NIH may have funded the research. The unearthing of the lab's attempted coverup also follows a heated exchange between Senator Rand Paul and Fauci, who attempted to distance his organization from the Wuhan lab.

Beyond establishing a working relationship between the NIH and the Wuhan Institue of Virology, now-deleted posts from the site also detail studies bearing the hallmarks of gain-of-function research conducted with the Wuhan-based lab. Fauci, however, asserted to Senator Paul that "the NIH has not ever and does not now fund gain-of-function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology."

There is still a tremendous gap between those who know the truth about Fauci and those who still think he's just a smart little guy who tells Joe Biden what to do when it comes to Covid. As we've documented multiple times in the past, there seems to be a cult of personality surrounding Fauci, or as many have called it, Faucism. He is practically worshipped as a savior by millions who believe everything he says even if he contradicts something he had said in the past.

Today, he was interviewed on CBS News during "Face the Nation." It was a softball interview, as always, and at no point was "gain of function" research discussed. Instead, John Dickerson tried to sound smart and Fauci gave him kudos in an odd back-and-forth promoting vaccines.

JOHN DICKERSON : So, if- if a person is deciding whether or not to get vaccinated, they have to keep in mind whether it's going to keep them healthy. But based on these new findings, it would suggest they also have an opportunity, if vaccinated, to knock off or block their ability to transmit it to other people. So, does it increase the public health good of getting the vaccination or make that clearer based on these new findings?

DR. FAUCI : And you know, JOHN, you said it very well. I could have said it better. It's absolutely the case. And that's the reason why we say when you get vaccinated, you not only protect your own health, that of the family, but also you contribute to the community health by preventing the spread of the virus throughout the community. And in other words, you become a dead end to the virus. And when there are a lot of dead ends around, the virus is not going to go anywhere. And that's when you get a point that you have a markedly diminished rate of infection in the community. And that's exactly the reason, and you said it very well, of why we encourage people and want people to get vaccinated. The more people you get vaccinated, the safer the entire community is.

JOHN DICKERSON : And do you think now that this guidance has come out on relaxing the mass mandates if you've been vaccinated, that people who might have been hesitant before will start to get vaccinated in greater numbers?

DR. FAUCI : You know, I hope so, JOHN. The underlying reason for the CDC doing this was just based on the evolution of the science that I mentioned a moment ago. But if, in fact, this serves as an incentive for people to get vaccinated, all the better. I hope it does, actually.

Don't let the presence of this interview fool you. It was almost certainly scheduled before the "gain of function" research discussion hit the mainstream. But as Revolver News reported today, we should start seeing less and less of Fauci going forward.

What happened to the almighty Dr. Fauci? Last week he was on TV telling all of us that life wouldn't get back to normal for at least another year or so, and this week he's pretty much gone. So what happened?

Well, a lot, actually. The biggest turn for Fauci involves 3 little words: Gain of Function. It was this past week when the "gain of function" dots were publicly connected to the good doctor. This is nothing new for those of us on the right. Here on Revolver, we've covered Fauci's gain of function research extensively and the evidence against him is very damning.

A couple of months ago Fox News Host Steve Hilton blew the lid off of Fauci's macabre obsession (and funding) of research involving the manipulation of highly contagious viruses. Hilton laid the groundwork, but it was Senator Rand Paul who called out Fauci and his ghoulish research face to face during a Senate hearing.

But even more notable, is that the CDC just updated their guidelines on mask-wearing and essentially ended the pandemic -- a pandemic that Fauci has been the proud face of for over a year now -- and when that announcement hit, he was nowhere to be found. And his absence didn't go unnoticed.

Yes indeed, you'd think that Fauci would have been front and center to discuss the CDC's new guidelines the moment the news hit. The "Golden Boy" taking yet another victory lap. After all, Fauci never misses a moment in the spotlight. But he was not hitting the airwaves with the typical fanfare.

It is still very possible that Fauci can make a resurgence. His fan-base is up there with Meghan Markle and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, though even more devoted than the divas'. Unlike other useful idiots, the White House will not be able to detach easily from Fauci, nor do they want to. At this point, they're telling him to lay low and avoid any interviews in which they do not have complete control over the "journalist" involved. John Dickerson has been a Democrat Party pawn for decades.

Behind the scenes, they're already planning on ditching him. It will be done with all the pomp one would expect for one of their heroes and will be used to mark the end of the "emergency" in the United States. He'll still be promoting vaccines and will try to stay in his precious limelight, but Democrats are ready to move on and open up the country. It has just been too politically suicidal to persist with their lockdown mentality.

The key to seeing Fauci's narcissistic reign end is for patriots to continue to hammer him on his involvement with developing Covid-19. His beloved "gain of function research" needs to be explained to any who will listen. Then, maybe, Fauci will go away.

... ... ...

[Jun 26, 2021] The Racism Of Low Expectations

Sounds like a great book for Tucker to recommend to that Army Chief of Staff!
Notable quotes:
"... I call it ROLE -- The Racism Of Low Expectations. This phenomenon has done ten times more to damage Black lives than can be attributed to CRT or institutionalized racism. ..."
"... A subset of ROLE is MVT. This is Manufactured Victimhood Theory. This comes about from influential Black "leaders" who, instead of teaching Blacks the truth about how to live good lives (work hard, develop skills, etc.), they told them to apply as their life strategy "say you are a victim." ..."
Jun 26, 2021 | www.wsj.com

Cindy Fryman 4 hours ago

Recently the Joint Chiefs of Staff remarked that the US military should teach CTR to our military essentially because they shoild teach all theories.

That doesn't make sense to me but I would like to put another theory into the public sphere. I call it ROLE -- The Racism Of Low Expectations. This phenomenon has done ten times more to damage Black lives than can be attributed to CRT or institutionalized racism.

A subset of ROLE is MVT. This is Manufactured Victimhood Theory. This comes about from influential Black "leaders" who, instead of teaching Blacks the truth about how to live good lives (work hard, develop skills, etc.), they told them to apply as their life strategy "say you are a victim."

I am hoping that ROLE and MVT will become part of all aspects of American life -- all levels of education, the military, businesses, the media, etc.

If the goal really is to improve Black lives, ROLE and MVT should be the rage over the next few years.

Tom F

John Callahan 4 hours ago
Corporate America 'makes money critiquing itself.' The rest of us pay the price in diminished freedom.
Wokeism is fascism dressed up in new clothes- the censorship, demonization of groups and individuals and the physical violence against people and property remain the same. Corporate America has one overriding interest- making money. Paying the left (and yes, fascism is of the left) through critiquing itself and token monetary donations is a get out of jail free card for Corporate America.

"Capitalism knows only one color: that color is green; all else is necessarily subservient to it, hence, race, gender and ethnicity cannot be considered within it."
- Thomas Sowell

Dom Fried 4 hours ago
It will end the same. Almost, because there will be nobody to stop it.
Ed Baron 3 hours ago
Very well said, John. Fascism is a fundamental element or subset of Leftist or Marxist thought. It demands conformity of the individual to the new "woke" state and it punishes any who dissent. It's not incidental that American Leftists, including FDR, loved Mussolini prior to WWII. That bromance has been washed clean, and attributed instead to the Right. Such a typical transference technique used by Marxist.
Alex Guiness
I interpret your supposition 'White male global warming', as meaning White Males are particularly flatulent hence are producing Green House Gases with their diets of greasy meats (some on sticks), carnival funnel cakes, corn dogs, Philly cheese-steaks, Popeyes fried chicken, all washed down with Bud Light. Would it kill them to have a salad now and then? How can their spouses stand to be around them unless they are also consuming the same foods. Imagine what it must be like at a sermon in a Lutheran Church, the whitest church of all. They leave the doors open else a spark could set the whole place ablaze.
carol Perry
Thanks for today's chuckle Alex.
Alex Guiness
read my smurfs comment. i just posted it
Lynn Silton
Mr. Ramaswamy is right in every way! I don't belong to the Woke Church. I'll never join. America is an inspirational country as is all it's written declarations. We, the people rule. No religion can overrule it. We will not allow religious 'honor killings.' They are murder here. We will not allow Wokism here it is the murder of our hopes and dreams which belong to everybody regardless of appearance. I don't even know how appearance (of all things) became a religion. The whole thing is so sick, people of all shades are speaking out and we will put this crazy idea down. Here, we marry across all appearances. New people are often different in appearance than parents. Woke will die of that alone. That's why we have an immigration 'problem' . People love our constitution and Declaration of Independence. People love that they rule here, not the government. That's our creed and promise. Help protect it!!

[Jun 26, 2021] VAERS data

Jun 23, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

boyplunger7777 13 hours ago remove link

VAERS data: "5,888 deaths", "19,597 hospitalizations", "43,891 urgent care", "58,800 office visits", "1,459 anaphylaxis", "1,737 Bell's palsy", "2,190 heart attacks" and "652 miscarriages". CDC says data is "unreliable". You choose who to believe.

WarrenLiz 16 hours ago

Over 15,472 dead from Jab in 27 EU countries, about half of Europe's 50 countries.

The EudraVigilance database reports that through June 19, 2021 there are 15,472 deaths and 1,509,266 injuries reported following injections of four experimental COVID-19 shots:

From the total of injuries recorded, half of them (753,657) are serious injuries.

ALL UNNECESSARY...

https://vaccineimpact.com/2021/15472-dead-1-5-million-injured-50-serious-reported-in-european-unions-database-of-adverse-drug-reactions-for-covid-19-shots/

Globalist Overlord 14 hours ago remove link

So between the EU and US there are a confirmed MINIMUM of 21,000 MURDERED by BigPharma and their highly-paid apparatchiks like Fauci and Walensky.

And the public does nothing.

pods 16 hours ago

Graphing VAERS numbers alongside the shot numbers should show abnormalities.

They probably saw the numbers and put the brakes on putting them in the database. So a slope change will be seen in the VAERS data.

They run it so they can do what they want. Public can submit a case, but that doesn't mean it goes into the database. Crooks.

pmc 17 hours ago (Edited)

Tucker Carlson: How many Americans have died after taking the COVID vaccine?

https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/tucker-carlson-how-many-americans-have-died-after-taking-the-covid-vaccine

The answer to Carlson's question is because.. it's a money grabbing death cult!.

Natural immun system is destroyed... just wait till next flu season or the next virus they relase and see what death numbers we see!

racing_flowers 17 hours ago

Isn't it curious that the 3 big pharma Corps (think Vacc pushers) and the big 2 MSM Corps are BOTH controlled by Blackrock Partners Hedge Fund...

Nona Yobiznes 18 hours ago remove link

Them going after the children makes me deeply suspicious. Nobody under 50, unless they're made of blubber, dies from this. In 2020, there was practically zero excess death for people younger than 70 years old in Sweden. These are their official statistics. For the vast majority of people it's basically a flu you get for a couple days and you're over it. What the **** is all this about? If the vaccine is only really good for preventing hospitalizations, and doesn't stop you from spreading or from catching variants, what in the hell are we giving kids vaccines when they are more likely to die from the regular flu? It's freaky, and it stinks.

[Jun 26, 2021] The peak in shale was (is) the peak of oil production in USA . I have commented earlier that " all liquids " is BS . The 6mbpd of NGPL, CTL , GTL etc. are just "fill in the blanks"

Jun 22, 2021 | peakoilbarrel.com

TED WILSON IGNORED 06/20/2021 at 11:56 am

As oil price stays above $70/barrel, most shale will come back. However the max reached by USA was 13,100 million b/d. So whether World will hit 75 million b/d is doubtful. But NGL keeps increasing because of increase in natgas output. Besides nearly 6 million b/d that comes from CTL, GTL and bio-fuels will keep overall oil consumption above 100 million b/d.

Despite rapid increase in electric vehicles, oil will hold above 100 minion b/d mark. REPLY HOLE IN HEAD IGNORED 06/20/2021 at 1:34 pm

Ted , demand is governed by price and availability . Demand of 100 mbpd is immaterial if the supply is only 80mbpd . Shale is not coming back . USA has peaked . Period . The peak in shale was (is) the peak of oil production in USA . I have commented earlier that " all liquids " is BS . The 6mbpd of NGPL ,CTL , GTL etc. are just " fill in the blanks " . These are not transportation fuels and have 65% of the BTU of crude . HICKORY IGNORED 06/20/2021 at 2:30 pm

Hole- Hydrocarbon Gas Liquids are nothing to belittle. It is a lot of energy-
"HGLs accounted for over a quarter of total U.S. petroleum products output in 2018"

https://www.kindermorgan.com/getAttachment/babe6db9-ba7a-4f51-a100-5fd46b944540/White_Natural_Gas_Liquids.pdf D COYNE IGNORED 06/20/2021 at 3:04 pm

Hickory,

NGL has about 70% of the energy content of a barrel of crude. In addition most uses for HGLs are not for transportation which is the the main use for crude plus condensate.

As Ron has said we don't count bottled gas. I would say NGL should be put in a basket with natural gas.

Or we could define liquid petroleum as that which is a liquid at 1 atmosphere pressure and 25C aka STP.

By that standard only pentanes plus would qualify, which makes sense as it is essentially condensate, the proportion of pentanes plus in the US NGL mix is less than 12% by volume, 2020 data (582
kbpd). RON PATTERSON IGNORED 06/21/2021 at 4:01 pm

I am expecting prices a lot higher in 2022. An average of $85 would not shock me at all. They will be higher because oil production will not fully recover to the 2019 level as everyone expects it to.

The EIA Short Term Outlook has production fully recovered by the end of 2022 and total liquids about one million barrels per day higher for non-OPEC.

[Jun 26, 2021] US oil output growth will likely remain limited in 2021 despite rising prices,

Jun 20, 2021 | peakoilbarrel.com

OVI IGNORED 06/19/2021 at 8:37 pm

OPEC officials heard from industry experts that US oil output growth will likely remain limited in 2021 despite rising prices,

While there was general agreement on limited US supply growth this year, an industry source said for 2022 forecasts ranged from growth of 500,000 bpd to 1.3 million bpd

The forecasts for 2021 were for average output to be close to 200 kb/d. The 1.3 Mb/d prediction for 2022 is out to lunch. The 500 kb/d has a chance but I think the average will be closer to 350 kb/d.

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/markets/commodities/news/opec-told-to-expect-limited-us-oil-output-growth-for-now-sources/articleshow/83639450.cms OVI IGNORED 06/20/2021 at 3:26 pm

Dennis

I think WTI will be $85 plus/minus $5 in mid 2022. This will push the average price of gasoline slightly above $3/gal. As for output, the US will add somewhere close to 300 kb/d average in 2022 over 2021. I am betting on some restraint on the part of the drillers. The Permian is the pivotal basin and I see that the early results for 2021 wells are not as good as 2020.

The big unknown for me is: What is a sustainable price for WTI, $100? At what point does gasoline suck too much money out of the economy. Once the economy starts to slow, oil demand will slow. We can all remember 2008.

If WTI crosses $90, OPEC might start to worry. However will they have the spare capacity to try to control it? Six months from now we can revise our estimates.

[Jun 26, 2021] I think we are heading for the confirmation of peak oil sometime between mid 2022 and late 2023

Jun 23, 2021 | peakoilbarrel.com

OVI IGNORED 06/19/2021 at 8:01 pm

Ron

Enjoy a fourth. I wonder how much production will drop due to Claudette.

I think we are heading for the confirmation of peak oil sometime between mid 2022 and late 2023. REPLY RON PATTERSON IGNORED 06/19/2021 at 8:16 pm

What do you mean by confirmation? Do you mean they will confirm that the peak was 2018-2019? If so, I cannot agree. No, there will be deniers all the way down. There is something about the human psyche that just cannot accept reality... MATT MUSHALIK IGNORED 06/19/2021 at 8:57 pm

Thanks for continuing to monitor crude oil production. As of now, we are back to 2005 levels!

I have been looking at BP

17/6/2021
BP peak oil (UK decline, asset sales and decommissioning part 2)
https://crudeoilpeak.info/bp-peak-oil-uk-decline-asset-sales-and-decommissioning-part-2

30/4/2021
BP peak oil (UK decline, asset sales and decommissioning part 1)
https://crudeoilpeak.info/bp-peak-oil-uk-decline-asset-sales-and-decommissioning-part-1

Many problems we see are now worse than in any peak oil scenario, especially in the airline industry. So I have been looking at the numbers and found:

22/5/2021
China-Australia passenger traffic has peaked 2018-19 before Covid
https://crudeoilpeak.info/china-australia-passenger-traffic-has-peaked-2018-19-before-covid

It is also generally assumed that electric vehicles will take over.

But in Australia power generation is insufficient to support any number of EVs which would be relevant to reduce oil demand:

14/6/2021
NSW power spot price spikes May 2021 become regular (part 2)
https://crudeoilpeak.info/nsw-power-spot-price-spikes-may-2021-become-regular-part-2

7/6/2021
NSW power spot price spikes May 2021 become regular (part 1)
https://crudeoilpeak.info/nsw-power-spot-price-spikes-may-2021-become-regular-part-1

[Jun 26, 2021] So Much Of What The CIA Used To Do Covertly It Now Does Overtly - ZeroHedge

Jun 22, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

In the later years of an abusive relationship I was in, my abuser had become so confident in how mentally caged he had me that he'd start overtly telling me what he is and what he was doing. He flat-out told me he was a sociopath and a manipulator, trusting that I was so submitted to his will by that point that I'd gaslight myself into reframing those statements in a sympathetic light. Toward the end one time he told me "I am going to rape you," and then he did, and then he talked about it to some friends trusting that I'd run perception management on it for him.

The better he got at psychologically twisting me up in knots and the more submitted I became, the more open he'd be about it. He seemed to enjoy doing this, taking a kind of exhibitionistic delight in showing off his accomplishments at crushing me as a person, both to others and to me. Like it was his art, and he wanted it to have an audience to appreciate it.

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Close 168.1K Pfizer CEO on mRNA Vaccine Creation, R&D, Drug Costs

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I was reminded of this while watching a recent Fox News appearance by Glenn Greenwald where he made an observation we've discussed here previously about the way the CIA used to have to infiltrate the media, but now just openly has US intelligence veterans in mainstream media punditry positions managing public perception.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/jU58mrEpPvU

"If you go and Google, and I hope your viewers do, Operation Mockingbird, what you will find is that during the Cold War these agencies used to plot how to clandestinely manipulate the news media to disseminate propaganda to the American population," Greenwald said .

"They used to try to do it secretly. They don't even do it secretly anymore. They don't need Operation Mockingbird. They literally put John Brennan who works for NBC and James Clapper who works for CNN and tons of FBI agents right on the payroll of these news organizations. They now shape the news openly to manipulate and to deceive the American population."

In 1977 Carl Bernstein published an article titled " The CIA and the Media " reporting that the CIA had covertly infiltrated America's most influential news outlets and had over 400 reporters who it considered assets in a program known as Operation Mockingbird . It was a major scandal, and rightly so. The news media are meant to report truthfully about what happens in the world, not manipulate public perception to suit the agendas of spooks and warmongers.

Nowadays the CIA collaboration happens right out in the open, and the public is too brainwashed and gaslit to even recognize this as scandalous. Immensely influential outlets like The New York Times uncritically pass on CIA disinfo which is then spun as fact by cable news pundits . The sole owner of The Washington Post is a CIA contractor , and WaPo has never once disclosed this conflict of interest when reporting on US intelligence agencies per standard journalistic protocol. Mass media outlets now openly employ intelligence agency veterans like John Brennan, James Clapper, Chuck Rosenberg, Michael Hayden, Frank Figliuzzi, Fran Townsend, Stephen Hall, Samantha Vinograd, Andrew McCabe, Josh Campbell, Asha Rangappa, Phil Mudd, James Gagliano, Jeremy Bash, Susan Hennessey, Ned Price and Rick Francona, as are known CIA assets like NBC's Ken Dilanian, as are CIA interns like Anderson Cooper and CIA applicants like Tucker Carlson.

They're just rubbing it in our faces now. Like they're showing off.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3R3ZWV0X2VtYmVkX2NsaWNrYWJpbGl0eV8xMjEwMiI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJjb250cm9sIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH19&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=879036821954539520&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fgeopolitical%2Fso-much-what-cia-used-do-covertly-it-now-does-overtly&sessionId=f90acd7ceb3bc7675f43696376e59f5ebdc79571&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=82e1070%3A1619632193066&width=550px

And that's just the media. We also see this flaunting behavior exhibited in the US government-funded National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a propaganda operation geared at sabotaging foreign governments not aligned with the US which according to its own founding officials was set up to do overtly what the CIA used to do covertly. The late author and commentator William Blum makes this clear :

[I]n 1983, the National Endowment for Democracy was set up to "support democratic institutions throughout the world through private, nongovernmental efforts". Notice the "nongovernmental"" part of the image, part of the myth. In actuality, virtually every penny of its funding comes from the federal government, as is clearly indicated in the financial statement in each issue of its annual report. NED likes to refer to itself as an NGO (Non-governmental organization) because this helps to maintain a certain credibility abroad that an official US government agency might not have. But NGO is the wrong category. NED is a GO.

"We should not have to do this kind of work covertly," said Carl Gershman in 1986, while he was president of the Endowment. "It would be terrible for democratic groups around the world to be seen as subsidized by the C.I.A. We saw that in the 60's, and that's why it has been discontinued. We have not had the capability of doing this, and that's why the endowment was created."

And Allen Weinstein, who helped draft the legislation establishing NED, declared in 1991: "A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA."

In effect, the CIA has been laundering money through NED.

We see NED's fingerprints all over pretty much any situation where the western power alliance needs to manage public perception about a CIA-targeted government, from Russia to Hong Kong to Xinjiang to the imperial propaganda operation known as Bellingcat.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-1&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3R3ZWV0X2VtYmVkX2NsaWNrYWJpbGl0eV8xMjEwMiI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJjb250cm9sIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH19&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1278456656305643521&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fgeopolitical%2Fso-much-what-cia-used-do-covertly-it-now-does-overtly&sessionId=f90acd7ceb3bc7675f43696376e59f5ebdc79571&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=82e1070%3A1619632193066&width=550px

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-2&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3R3ZWV0X2VtYmVkX2NsaWNrYWJpbGl0eV8xMjEwMiI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJjb250cm9sIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH19&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1337063301113581568&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fgeopolitical%2Fso-much-what-cia-used-do-covertly-it-now-does-overtly&sessionId=f90acd7ceb3bc7675f43696376e59f5ebdc79571&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=82e1070%3A1619632193066&width=550px

Hell, intelligence insiders are just openly running for office now. In an article titled " The CIA Democrats in the 2020 elections ", World Socialist Website documented the many veterans of the US intelligence cartel who ran in elections across America in 2018 and 2020:

"In the course of the 2018 elections, a large group of former military-intelligence operatives entered capitalist politics as candidates seeking the Democratic Party nomination in 50 congressional seats" nearly half the seats where the Democrats were targeting Republican incumbents or open seats created by Republican retirements. Some 30 of these candidates won primary contests and became the Democratic candidates in the November 2018 election, and 11 of them won the general election, more than one quarter of the 40 previously Republican-held seats captured by the Democrats as they took control of the House of Representatives. In 2020, the intervention of the CIA Democrats continues on what is arguably an equally significant scale."

So they're just getting more and more brazen the more confident they feel about how propaganda-addled and submissive the population has become. They're laying more and more of their cards on the table. Soon the CIA will just be openly selling narcotics door to door like Girl Scout cookies.

Or maybe not. I said my ex got more and more overt about his abuses in the later years of our relationship because those were the later years. I did eventually expand my own consciousness of my own inner workings enough to clear the fears and unexamined beliefs I had that he was using as hooks to manipulate me. Maybe, as humanity's consciousness continues to expand , the same will happen for the people and their abusive relationship with the CIA.

* * *

The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack , which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported , so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following me on Facebook , Twitter , Soundcloud or YouTube , or throwing some money into my tip jar on Ko-fi , Patreon or Paypal . If you want to read more you can buy my books . Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I've written) in any way they like free of charge. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I'm trying to do with this platform, click here .

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[Jun 26, 2021] Exxon Prepares to Cull U.S. White-Collar Ranks by Up to 10%

Jun 22, 2021 | www.bloomberg.com


By Joe Carroll and Kevin Crowley
June 21, 2021, 3:30 PM EDT Updated on June 21, 2021, 4:00 PM EDT
Performance-improvement program will involve 5%-10% annually
Reviews are separate from sweeping job cuts disclosed in 2020

Exxon Mobil Corp. is preparing to reduce headcount at its U.S. offices by between 5% and 10% annually for the next three to five years by using its performance-evaluation system to suss out low performers, according to people familiar with the matter.

The cuts will target the lowest-rated employees relative to peers, and for that reason will not be characterized as layoffs, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information isn't public. While such workers are typically put on a so-called performance improvement plan, many are expected to eventually leave on their own. This year's evaluation is happening now but affected employees have not yet been notified, the people said.

"Our annual performance assessment process has been occurring over the last several months," Exxon spokesman Casey Norton said in an email. "Where employees are not contributing to their highest ability, they may need to participate in an improvement plan. This is an annual process which has been in place for many years, and it is meant to improve performance. This process is unrelated to workforce reduction plans."

The plan is separate from Exxon's announcement last year that it will cut 14,000 jobs worldwide by 2022, and it would extend reductions well beyond that original time frame. It's a tumultuous time for Exxon, which is still grappling with the fallout from last month's annual meeting, when shareholders rebuffed top management and replaced a quarter of the company's board over climate and financial concerns.

Exxon had 72,000 employees globally at the end of last year, of which 40% worked in the U.S., according to a company filing.

White-Collar Jobs

Several high-profile traders have also left in the last few weeks. While the performance-review process mostly applies to white-collar jobs in areas such as engineering, finance and project management, there's no suggestion the trading departures were related to the review program.

Exxon's other cost-cutting initiatives have included suspending bonuses and halting employee-contribution matches to 401k savings plans as the pandemic crushed demand for crude, saddling the company with a record annual loss.

International crude prices have surged 44% this year to almost $75 a barrel, improving Exxon's financial position markedly. Still, the supermajor has some way to go to pay down debts accumulated during 2020's market collapse. A smaller and more efficient workforce is key to further improvements.

Exxon achieved $3 billion of annual "structural cost reductions" in 2020 and will continue to make savings through 2023, Chief Executive Officer Darren Woods said at the annual meeting in May.

"We've got additional work to continue to take advantage of the new organization and find opportunities to reduce our costs," Woods said.

Exxon's shares rose 3.6% to $62.59 at the close in New York trading amid a broad rally in energy stocks on stronger oil prices.

[Jun 26, 2021] Why fracking is banned in France

Jun 20, 2021 | twitter.com


Frac Sand Baroness @sand_frac · Jun 16 There is currently a @chevron well uncontrollably blowing out on my land that I live and raise cattle on in West Texas. It is injecting super concentrated brine and benzene into my water supply. The casing (metal pipe) is so corroded that Chevron literally cannot re plug it. 5.7K views 0:01 / 0:06 3 60 117 Frac Sand Baroness @sand_frac · Jun 16 More concerningly, this well was plugged and abandoned (P&A) in 1995. For those not in the oil industry, a P&A blowout is extremely rare. A plugged well is exactly that: plugged. It is filled with concrete plugs, and considered to be permanently deactivated and safe. 2 7 67 Frac Sand Baroness @sand_frac · Jun 16 We've had issues with Chevron before. In 2002, we flushed a toilet at the ranch house (approximately 1.5 miles south of the blowout) and crude oil bubbled up. The leak source was never fully identified, and we shut in that water well. 2 6 66 Frac Sand Baroness @sand_frac · Jun 16 Chevron had operations nearby, so drilled water monitoring wells. These monitoring wells identified a crude oil plume in the groundwater, and also found a large salt water plume. See Texas Railroad Commission OCP #08-2423. Again, we never found the source. 1 5 57 Frac Sand Baroness @sand_frac · Jun 16 This required Chevron to provide an annual water test result to the landowners (me). Of course, they didn't comply from 2007 through 2013. We never heard about this, and thought our water was safe again.

[Jun 25, 2021] Meme-based investing 'is a totally nihilistic parody of actual investing,' says Jeremy Grantham, who called 3 stock-market bu

Jun 25, 2021 | www.marketwatch.com

Meme-based investing 'is a totally nihilistic parody of actual investing,' says Jeremy Grantham, who called 3 stock-market bubbles Last Updated: June 24, 2021 at 7:18 p.m. ET First Published: June 24, 2021 at 3:16 p.m. ET By Mark DeCambre 18 'This is it guys, the biggest U.S. fantasy trip of all time,' says Grantham

Jeremy Grantham, founder of GMO, speaks in 2012 in Oxford, England GETTY IMAGES
Referenced Symbols

https://tpc.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

Listen to Article 3 minutes 00:00 / 03:10 1x

"'Meme' investing -- the idea that something is worth investing in, or rather gambling on, simply because it is funny -- has become commonplace. It's a totally nihilistic parody of actual investing. This is it guys, the biggest U.S. fantasy trip of all time."

That's Jeremy Grantham, co-founder and chief investment strategist at Boston-based money manager Grantham, Mayo, Van Otterloo & Co., in a recent interview with Bloomberg News , lamenting the state of an investment world that has prominently featured the emergence of meme-linked trading in stocks like GameStop Corp. GME, -1.32% , AMC Entertainment Holdings AMC, -4.66% and BlackBerry Ltd. BB, -4.42% , among others.

Deep Dive: We put AMC, GameStop and other meme stocks' numbers to the test -- here's which ones came out on top

Plus: We put 6 more meme stocks' numbers to the test, and the differences are telling

Grantham noted that the meme cryptocurrency dogecoin DOGEUSD, -1.74% is "worth billions in the market and not even pretending to be [a] serious [investment]."

"Dogecoin was created as a joke to make fun of cryptocurrencies being worthless, and, not only has it taken off, but it's such a success that second-level joke cryptocurrencies making fun of dogecoin have gone to multibillion-dollar valuations," he said.

Indeed, AMC Entertainment is up over 2,500% in 2021 thus far; GameStop has gained over 1,000% in the year to date; dogecoin is up by about 5,000%, despite a precipitous drop; and BlackBerry shares are up over 90% so far this year.

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By comparison, traditional assets have seen more mundane returns. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.69% is up a more than respectable 12% so far in 2021, while the S&P 500 SPX, +0.33% has returned over 13% in the year to date and the Nasdaq Composite COMP, -0.06% has made a powerful comeback in June to achieve a gain of nearly 12% in the first six months of the year.

Grantham views the social-media-driven meme-stock moves as concerning and indicative of bubbles percolating in financial markets that will ultimately need to be contended with.

Grantham is worth paying attention to due to his prescient calls over the years. He said that stocks were overvalued in 2000 and again in 2007, anticipating subsequent market downturns, the Wall Street Journal reports . Grantham also signaled that elements of the financial market had become unmoored from reality leading up to the 200809 financial crisis.

However, his bearishness thus far hasn't helped his core investment strategies, amid a relentless run-up in stocks, be they traditional or meme. The Nasdaq Composite has already put in back-to-back record closes this week and was aiming for a 17th record finish on Thursday, while the S&P 500 index was eyeing a record of its own.

What the News Means for You and You

[Jun 22, 2021] The US was overtaken by ex-Trotskyites in the form of Neocons, eg. Irving Kristol. They redefined the US from a nation-state into an ideological state, as the Soviet Union had been.

Jun 22, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Weaver , Jun 22 2021 19:35 utc | 15

VK,

The US is not capitalist. There are no "capitalist powers." There are only managerial states. Read Orwell who, yes, was a socialist.

The US was overtaken by ex-Trotskyites in the form of Neocons, eg. Irving Kristol. They redefined the US from a nation-state into an ideological state, as the Soviet Union had been. But we do not have any particular ideology here; the ideology is always changing.

The US empire does not serve the interests of the American people, you'll agree. But it's not as simple as "capitalism." These ideological battles are theatre. They are not the real battles. They are pretend religions, like sports teams, which motivate and justify war for two different elites.

Read James Burnham, another ex-Trotskyite, on Machiavellians and, separately, on the managerial state. However, Burnham became something akin to a Neocon; so, certainly, don't come to the same conclusions as he did.

Piotr Berman , Jun 22 2021 20:19 utc | 22

The US is not capitalist. There are no "capitalist powers." There are only managerial states. Read Orwell who, yes, was a socialist.

Posted by: Weaver | Jun 22 2021 19:35 utc | 15

This is a rather strange interpretation. The power of the managers stems fro the power of large active shareholders, while the majority of shares may be passively owned by middle class in the form of retirement savings. As it was explained: "Contrary to popular beliefs, there are no bulls and bears on Wall Street, but sheep and wolves. And the money is not made by the bah bah crowd", followed by the distinction between "smart money" and the rest of investors. The financial games that we discussed in the case of Boeing may seem stupid in terms of "maximizing long term stock value", but excellent for providing gains for active investors who got artificial run-up in stock prices followed by selling to the "bah bah crowd".

[Jun 22, 2021] You Cannot Fight Geology

Jun 22, 2021 | peakoilbarrel.com

STEPHEN HREN

IGNORED 06/16/2021 at 12:44 pm

It looks like Shell is planning on selling all of its Permian holdings, could be a bellwether for the whole LTO business:

https://www.worldoil.com/news/2021/6/14/shell-said-to-consider-sale-of-largest-oil-field-in-the-us-valued-at-up-to-10-billion

RON PATTERSON IGNORED 06/17/2021 at 5:48 am

A very interesting article came out a couple of days ago concerning Shell:

Royal Dutch Shell: You Cannot Fight Geology , The Dutch Court Ruling Doesn't Change Their Future

One of the biggest pieces of news for Royal Dutch Shell recently has been the Dutch court ruling that forces them to make a larger 45% emissions reduction by 2030.

Despite this sounding very transformation, considering the geological and economic reality of their current situation, it actually does not significantly change their underlying future.

Their reserve life is only sitting at just above seven years and thus even if they wished to maintain their fossil fuel production, they already required significant investments before 2030.
SNIP
You Cannot Fight Geology

Upon reviewing their reserves, it may initially sound very impressive to hear that their oil and gas reserves currently stand at slightly over nine billion barrels of oil equivalent. Although in reality this actually sits rather low when compared to their annual production during 2020 of 1.239b barrels of oil equivalent. This effectively only leaves their reserve life at just above seven years, which is not particularly long and thus means that their fossil fuel production would already begin shrinking dramatically by the latter half of this decade. Admittedly they would likely continue replacing a portion of their oil and gas reserves in the future but their current production rate would still see them running very low by 2030 if approximately half were replaced per annum, as the graph included below displays.

There are two charts in this article. The second on titled: Oil Discoveries Lowest Since 1847 is alarming. STEPHEN HREN IGNORED 06/17/2021 at 8:25 am

Hi Ron, any thoughts on why Shell would bag their operations in the Permian while they are also running low on reserves everywhere else? Seems like they would be holding on to every scrap of producing land they could. Unless one of two things: 1) they are making a serious attempt to transition to a low carbon energy company; and/or 2) their holdings in the Permian are worth squat REPLY RON PATTERSON IGNORED 06/17/2021 at 9:22 am

Well, yes. One reason is (in bold) here:

Interest in Shell's Permian assets seen as a bellwether for shale demand

NEW YORK/HOUSTON, June 15 (Reuters) – A cadre of oil companies, seeing continued profits in shale, are mulling Royal Dutch Shell's (RDSa.L) holdings in the largest U.S. oil field as the European giant considers an exit from the Permian Basin, according to market experts.

The potential sale of Shell's Permian holdings, located in Texas, would be a litmus test of whether rivals are willing to bet on shale's profitability through the energy transition to reduce carbon emissions.

Shell would follow in the footsteps of other producers, including Equinor (EQNR.OL) and Occidental Petroleum (OXY.N) that have shed shale assets this year, looking to cut debt and reduce carbon output in the face of investor pressure.

Shell, like a lot of other companies, sees shale assets as a very low profit, or even a losing proposition. They can take the money from the sale, reduce their debt, and reduce carbon emissions of their company in one fell swoop. More from the article:

Against this backdrop, estimates for Shell's acreage run from $7 billion to over $10 billion, the latter implying a valuation of almost $40,000 an acre.

That would be in line with the per-acre price Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD.N) paid for DoublePoint Energy in April, the most costly deal since a 2014-2016 rush by producers to grab positions in the Permian.

Most Permian deals this year have closed between $7,000 and $12,000 per acre, said Andrew Dittmar, senior mergers and acquisitions analyst at data provider Enverus.

If they can get $40,000 per acre they have found a greater fool to offload their acreage on. HICKORY IGNORED 06/17/2021 at 9:44 am

Something about that doesn't make sense. The need or desire to downsize is likely due to an inability to project making profit on the shale assets rather than any concern over a carbon footprint- I don't believe they are in business to win any kind of beauty contest. REPLY ROGER IGNORED 06/17/2021 at 8:17 pm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brent_Spar

"Shell's position as a major European enterprise has become untenable. The Spar had gained a symbolic significance out of all proportion to its environmental effect. In consequence, Shell companies were faced with increasingly intense public criticism, mostly in Continental northern Europe. Many politicians and ministers were openly hostile and several called for consumer boycotts. There was violence against Shell service stations, accompanied by threats to Shell staff."

Things are a little different for European companies I recall "Greenpeace sympathizers" fire-bombed a gas station back then; in light of what has transpired in the US recently who is to say it couldn't happen again?

Shell is well aware of peak oil, and can't solve the problem. So, what would you have them do? REPLY KOLBEINIH IGNORED 06/17/2021 at 1:26 pm

"Shell would follow in the footsteps of other producers, including Equinor (EQNR.OL) and Occidental Petroleum (OXY.N) that have shed shale assets this year, looking to cut debt and reduce carbon output in the face of investor pressure."

I don't think it has anything to do with shale oil specifically. For Equinor it has to do with that it can draw on competence in Norway in the harsh offshore environment in the North Sea. Floating offshore wind power is where Equinor is world leading with technology and know how; now about to be utilised in the North Sea, Japan, US East coast and California. It is not more economical than ground based offshore wind mills, but has some advantages when it comes to lifecycle costs. For one, the wind mills can be placed in optimal wind condition areas not in the way of fishing resources. The big size of wind mills will not cause problems (the height and diameter of the blades are necessary to capture enough wind energy). And also the wind mills can be more easily moved to land and recycled, e.g. the steel. Wear and tear offshore is on the minus side.
Usually the blades are made of carbon fiber to make it lighter, but it can also be made of aluminum in the future with lower efficiency.

Shell is just now investing in North Sea South II in Norway for ground based offshore mill farms together with BP. To make the North Sea work with the enormous amount of wind power coming online and connection cables everywhere is very serious business and just a priority. Shale oil is too much of a distraction for Shell and Equinor, not even within their core competence area. REPLY JAY WOODS IGNORED 06/18/2021 at 7:50 am

Shell was ordered by a Dutch court to cut by 45%. Of course, they will cut their "losers" first.

[Jun 22, 2021] Possibility of Seneca cliff are increasing

Jun 22, 2021 | peakoilbarrel.com

OVI IGNORED 06/17/2021 at 10:03 am

Ron

The chart is old and was published in 2016 by Wood Mackenzie and there is no data for 2016. It also leaves out the discovery of Ghawar in 1948, first bar/spike. I have not seen any updates since then. Not sure if Guyana had been discovered in 2016. The original is attached.

REPLY SCHINZY IGNORED 06/18/2021 at 5:57 am

Here is Rystad's discovery graph 2013-2019 including gas. 2019 was better than 2016-2018 in terms of BOE, but it was a bit gassy:

REPLY RON PATTERSON IGNORED 06/17/2021 at 6:00 am

Is the energy transition just a fad??? Irina Slav at Oil Price.com says it is.

Energy Transition Fad Will Send Oil Sky High

Ironically, the wave of ESG investing in global energy markets may lead to much higher oil prices as a serious lack of capital expenditure on new fossil fuels dries up just as demand for crude continues to grow

Pressure from investors, tighter emissions regulation from governments, and public protests against their business have become more or less the new normal for oil companies. What the world -- or at least the most affluent parts of it -- seem to want from the oil industry is to stop being the oil industry.

Many investors are buying into this pressure. ESG investing is all the rage, and sustainable ETFs are popping up like mushrooms after a rain. But some investors are taking a different approach. They are betting on oil. Because what many in the pressure camp seem to underestimate is the fact that the supply of oil is not the only element of the oil equation.

"Imagine Shell decided to stop selling petrol and diesel today," the supermajor's CEO Ben van Beurden wrote in a LinkedIn post earlier this month. "This would certainly cut Shell's carbon emissions. But it would not help the world one bit. Demand for fuel would not change. People would fill up their cars and delivery trucks at other service stations."

Van Beurden was commenting on a Dutch court's ruling that environmentalists hailed as a landmark decision, ordering Shell to reduce its emissions footprint by 45 percent from 2019 levels by 2030.

[Jun 22, 2021] Energy Transition Fad Will Send Oil Sky High

Jun 22, 2021 | peakoilbarrel.com

RON PATTERSON IGNORED 06/17/2021 at 6:00 am

Is the energy transition just a fad??? Irina Slav at Oil Price.com says it is.

Energy Transition Fad Will Send Oil Sky High

Ironically, the wave of ESG investing in global energy markets may lead to much higher oil prices as a serious lack of capital expenditure on new fossil fuels dries up just as demand for crude continues to grow

Pressure from investors, tighter emissions regulation from governments, and public protests against their business have become more or less the new normal for oil companies. What the world -- or at least the most affluent parts of it -- seem to want from the oil industry is to stop being the oil industry.

Many investors are buying into this pressure. ESG investing is all the rage, and sustainable ETFs are popping up like mushrooms after a rain. But some investors are taking a different approach. They are betting on oil. Because what many in the pressure camp seem to underestimate is the fact that the supply of oil is not the only element of the oil equation.

"Imagine Shell decided to stop selling petrol and diesel today," the supermajor's CEO Ben van Beurden wrote in a LinkedIn post earlier this month. "This would certainly cut Shell's carbon emissions. But it would not help the world one bit. Demand for fuel would not change. People would fill up their cars and delivery trucks at other service stations."

Van Beurden was commenting on a Dutch court's ruling that environmentalists hailed as a landmark decision, ordering Shell to reduce its emissions footprint by 45 percent from 2019 levels by 2030. REPLY HICKORY IGNORED 06/18/2021 at 9:37 am

Cute headline.
'Energy Transition Fad'
Wrong terminology.
Its a shift that has barely started.
The global economy isn't going to just sit around while fossil fuel sources go into decline, despite how poorly large human organizations perform in the job of planning.
The effort is very weak to this point.
Poor grasp of the situation.
It will be grasped eventually, and then the effort will be strong.
Fad no. REPLY likbez 06/22/2021 at 4:10 pm There is a possibility of Seneca cliff as major Western countries probably will not be able to adapt to dramatically shirking of oil supply. That raises the question of the size of Earth population which is sustainable without "cheap oil" and several other interesting questions about the destiny of the current civilization and neoliberalism. Which is already in crisis since 2008 and the USA economy is in "secular stagnation" mode since the same date. The USA standard of living is partially based on cheap oil and when cheap oil is gone the crisis of neoliberalism will probably became more acute. It is difficult to predict what forms it will take but Trump in the past and the current woke movement are two examples of mal-adaptation to the crisis of neoliberalism in the USA and loss of legitimacy of neoliberal elite (woke movement=, which is supported by Dems and several major companies, is the attempt to switch the attention from this issue -- "look squirrel") I suspect this that current "irrational exuberance" about EV among the neoliberal elite and upper middle class (especially techno hamsters of Silicon Valley) will play a bad joke with the USA. Prols can't care less about this fashion and will stick to tried and true combustion engine cars, especially with the current exorbitant prices on EV.

[Jun 21, 2021] Do you remember when a trillion was a big number? Well, it still is especially if we are talking about possible stock market losses even with "accommodative" FED

Jun 21, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Traders are addicted to trading, much like murderers fixate on murdering. The traders noticed a slight change in the Fed's tone and sold anything tied to inflation. They whacked gold good. Then they went after the other commodities. When they were done there, they went after value stocks, before finishing the week by blasting a bunch of cyclical names.


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ted41776 5 hours ago

the only kind of ism that has exist is sociopathism

they always end up at the top of any power pyramid and make the rules that apply to all others but not them

same as it always was and same as it always will be

NoDebt 4 hours ago

Traders are addicted to trading, much like murderers fixate on murdering

A line I wish I had come up with.

lambda PREMIUM 4 hours ago

This was already modeled and formalized: The Gambler Fallacy.

[Jun 21, 2021] Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari Calls DOGE a Ponzi Scheme

Jun 21, 2021 | slashdot.org

(cointelegraph.com) 45 BeauHD on Monday June 21, 2021 @05:20PM from the not-dog-friendly dept. The president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, Neel Kashkari, took a jab at Dogecoin (DOGE) last week by referring to the memecoin as a Ponzi scheme , upping his rhetoric against cryptocurrencies. Cointelegraph reports: Kashkari's comments were in response to a LinkedIn poll by Paul Grewal, the chief legal officer and corporate secretary of Coinbase, who asked his connections about the proper way to pronounce "Doge." "The right pronunciation is pon-zi," Kashkari quipped.

This isn't the first time Kashkari has taken aim at cryptocurrencies. In February 2020, he said digital assets like Bitcoin (BTC) lack the basic tenants of a stable currency and praised the Securities and Exchange Commission for "cracking down" on initial coin offerings. Kashkari is not a member of this year's Federal Open Market Committee, the group responsible for setting United States monetary policy. The Minneapolis branch of the Fed will serve as an alternate FOMC member in 2022 before rotating back onto the committee as a voting member in 2023.

[Jun 20, 2021] Facebook, Alphabet Keep Rising; Apple, Netflix Fade - WSJ

Jun 20, 2021 | www.wsj.com

Big tech stocks are going their own ways in 2021.

It is a far cry from last year, when the so-called FAANG stocks took a commanding role in a market driven by the coronavirus pandemic.

After the swift downturn of early 2020, shares of Facebook Inc., FB -2.04% Apple Inc., AAPL -1.01% Amazon.com Inc., AMZN -0.07% Netflix Inc. NFLX 0.49% and Google parent Alphabet Inc. GOOG -0.64% recovered more quickly than the broad stock market. Then they pushed higher, ultimately powering the S&P 500 to a 16% gain for 2020.

... ... ...

While Alphabet Class A and Facebook shares are up 37% and 21%, respectively, other members of the group have weighed on the market. Amazon shares are up 7.1% in 2021, lagging behind the 11% rise in the benchmark S&P 500. Apple and Netflix have fared even worse, down 1.7% and 7.4% for the year.

... ... ...

For much of 2020, a badly constricted economy pushed investors toward stocks -- like the FAANG names -- whose businesses were less affected and whose future growth became even more alluring with the drop in interest rates. The Russell 1000 Growth Index advanced 37% for the year, while the Russell 1000 Value Index eked out a 0.1% gain -- the largest annual performance gap between the two style benchmarks in FactSet data going back to 1979.

Big tech stocks were among the leaders of that rally. Apple shares climbed 81% in 2020 -- last August becoming the first U.S. public company to surpass $2 trillion in market value -- while Amazon rose 76% and Netflix gained 67%. Facebook added 33% for the year, and Alphabet 31%.

J

James Robertson

These companies are too big and too powerful. I hope for anti-trust legislation that cuts them down to size. The tech oligarchs have too much influence on what Americans think and do. They are a direct threat to our democracy. I hope more Americans will decide to support smaller companies (especially local stores), putting conviction ahead of convenience.
J Pate
Google and Amazon has no near peer competitors. Netflix and Apple do. My family got rid of Netflix last year and now have Hulu. There is a ton of free steaming sites also. We never missed Netflix.
Jay Urbain
"While Alphabet Class A and Facebook shares are up 37% and 21%, respectively, other members of the group have weighed on the market. Amazon shares are up 7.1% in 2021, lagging behind the 11% rise in the benchmark S&P 500. Apple and Netflix have fared even worse, down 1.7% and 7.4% for the year."

Time to take another look at AMZN and AAPL.

Jon Tannen
Gasp! So after breathtaking rises for Apple and Netflix stocks, they're merely flat these days? Not up 30% this month? Uh-oh! Sound the alarms! Someone please tell the writer that stocks are not a straight diagonal to the sky. [She's actually wrong about Apple's valuation being down this year, according to WSJ's very charts! The price is 130 now vs. 129 on Jan 4. But hey, she's obliged to come up with an article this week.]

This all reminds me of analyst Dan Niles coming on CNBC for years and proclaiming he's shorting Apple. Every few months: "I'm shorting Apple." "I'm shorting Apple." Again and again and again. The guy must be broke. [Of course, no one calls him out about it.]

Marshall Dillon
Amazon? Not for me. I have switched most of my online buying to Walmart and local stores. Amazon needs to get out of politics and stop suppressing free speech, much like the WSJ moderators.
SACHIN SHARMA
This entire article is misleading. Choosing 2020 as a base year to compare this group of stocks leaves out the important context of what happened the prior ten years, when FB and GOOGL underperformed vs APPL, NFLX, AMZN. A mean reversion within this group because money managers need to justify their existence could be the simple explanation. Also, how much of the Russel growth fund performance came from AMC and GME, those bell weather companies?

[Jun 18, 2021] Corporate elites are loudly complaining that the sky is falling -- not because of a real labor shortage, but because workers are less likely now to accept low-wage jobs

In IT corporate honchos shamelessly put more then a dozen of very specific skills into the position rescription and want a cog that hit that exactly. they are not interested in IQ, ability to learn and such things. that want already train person for the position to fill, so that have zero need to train this persn and they expect that he will work productively from the day one.
Jun 14, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Hayek's Heelbiter , June 12, 2021 at 7:50 am

But corporate elites are loudly complaining that the sky is falling -- not because of a real labor shortage, but because workers are less likely now to accept low-wage jobs.

Duh. This is so blindingly obvious, but NC is the only place that seems to mention this fact.

Here in the UK, the outmigration of marginally paid workers from Eastern Europe and the resultant "labour shortage" triggered by Brexit has made it abundantly clear that Blair's change to open borders was not from any idealistic considerations but as a way of importing easily exploited labor.

Business leaders quoted in the the tsunami of hand-wringing MSM articles about the current catastrophe are offering such helpful solutions as allowing housekeepers to use pools and gyms in off hours, free meals to waiters, etc. Anything but a living wage.

Dr. R.k. Barkhi , June 12, 2021 at 5:57 pm

" I don't actually see any untruths to the GOP talking points. "
"" Workers are less likely to accept a job while receiving Gov't benefits" and "workers are less likely to accept low wage crappy jobs ".

Well,if u can survive on a $300/week program that ends after several weeks pass,bless u. No one else in America can. That's a $7.50 hr full time "summer job" with no pension or medical benefits that teenagers with no dependents,few bills n maintenance issues might be interested in; adults with adult responsibilities,no way. That so called RepubliCons, the "economics experts", can make such a fraudulent claim n anyone out of elementary school believes it has a quantum particle of reality or value is . well I'll just say a sad n unbelievable situation.

Now the rest of your comments are laudable.

Objective Ace , June 13, 2021 at 11:57 am

They get 300 dollars plus regular UI. They can also get Medicaid and CHIP, or if they are still making too much they are eligible for Obamacare exchange. Plus they're eligible for SNAP and housing vouchers

Equitable > Equal , June 13, 2021 at 4:38 am

There is one significant fallacy in this article: The author conflates Republican opposition to enhanced benefits with opposition to unemployment benefits overall.

I very much stand with labour over business on most (probably all) points, but the Republican argument is to end the enhanced benefits in most cases – Not to abolish unemployment assistance. They believe the role of government is to step in to help pay basic bills in the event of unemployment, but oppose the current higher level of benefit due to the market distortions it causes (Hence the appearance of the term 'labour shortage'.)

I agree that it basically forces mcdonalds et al to up their wages if they want to do business, which should be a positive for society, but I find it unlikely that the author could have unintentionally mistunderstood the argument on such a fundamental level, and all it does is try to drive a wedge further between each side of the argument.

Sierra , June 12, 2021 at 3:46 pm

Hayek,

Sonali Kohatkar is pro open borders and has the nerve to complain about wage arbitrage?
https://freespeech.org/stories/prop-287-immigration-ca/

Anyone that believes that workers supported their jobs being sent overseas is either demented or delusional or suffers from a mental hernia. The same goes for the common working stiffs supporting massive immigration to help drive down their ability to demand a livable wage.

American labor has been sold down the river by the International Labor Leaders, politicians and the oligarchy of US corporate CEO's.
======

Got a new hip recently. Do your P.T., take it easy, follow the warnings of what not to do until you heal and you should discover that decades feel like they are lifted off your shoulders.

Hayek's Heelbiter , June 13, 2021 at 12:16 pm

Sierra,
You've made a very interesting point that actually never occurred to me and one in which I never seen fully examined.
Exploiting labour and outsourcing it are two sides of the same coin with the same goal in mind, diverting revenue streams into the C-suite and rentier class.
Obviously you cannot outsource most of the workers in the hospitality industry or the non-virtual aspects of world's oldest profession, but a lot of the tech industry and the virtual aspects of the latter are very amenable to being shipped overseas.
Immigrants are extremely visible and an easy target, while outsourcing is essentially an impossible to contain concept that creates real world hardship.
Dear NC readers, do you know of any studies comparing and contrasting the economic impact of immigration and/or limiting it and outsourcing?

sierra , June 12, 2021 at 3:51 pm

Those hip words were meant for Yves of course

Fazal Majid , June 12, 2021 at 8:46 am

Indeed, economists and analysts have gotten used to presenting facts from the perspective of private employers and their lobbyists.

You are acting if economists and lobbyists are separate groups, as opposed to largely a subset thereof. Funny how a field entirely based on the study of incentives claims incentives don't distort their policy prescriptions, isn't it?

As for low-paid jobs, they are traditionally the last resort of immigrants and other marginalized populations, but the anti-immigration push that began under Obama, and enthusiastically continued by Trump and Biden, has perfectly predictable consequences.

One factor not mentioned is many free-riding businesses refuse to pay for training, then wonder why there are no trained workers to hire.

Now, there are definitely fields where there is a genuine and deliberate labor shortage. Usually white-collar credentialed professions like medical doctors and the AMA cartel.

Yves Smith , June 12, 2021 at 8:51 am

Economics is not based on incentives. That's behavioral economics. I hate to quote Larry Summers, but this is Summers on financial economics:

Ketchup economists reject out of hand much of this research on the ketchup market. They believe that the data used is based on almost meaningless accounting information and are quick to point out that concepts such as costs of production vary across firms and are not accurately measurable in any event. they believe that ketchup transactions prices are the only hard data worth studying. Nonetheless ketchup economists have an impressive research program, focusing on the scope for excess opportunities in the ketchup market. They have shown that two quart bottles of ketchup invariably sell for twice as much as one quart bottles of ketchup except for deviations traceable to transaction costs, and that one cannot get a bargain on ketchup by buying and combining ingredients once one takes account of transaction costs. Nor are there gains to be had from storing ketchup, or mixing together different quality ketchups and selling the resulting product. Indeed, most ketchup economists regard the efficiency of the ketchup market as the best established fact in empirical economics.

Howard Beale IV , June 12, 2021 at 9:22 am

Happy to see you back at a keyboard, and hoping your recovery is progressing well. I had the misfortune of spending two days in the hospitals while they got my blood chemistry strightened out. Here's the kicker; the hospitalist, who I saw 3 times, submitted a bill for a whopping $17,000. Just yesterday, the practice she works for submitted a bill that was one-tenth her charges for the work she did, yet her bill is still sitting waiting to be processed.

Yves Smith , June 12, 2021 at 9:53 am

OMG, how horrible. HSS is a small hospital for a big city like NYC, only 205 beds and 25 operating rooms. No emergency room. They are not owned by PE and so I don't think play outsourcing/markup games (they are very big on controlling quality, which you can't do if you have to go through middlemen for staffing). Some of the MDs do that their own practices within HSS but they are solo practitioners or small teams, which is not a model that you see much of anywhere outside NYC

Howard Beale IV , June 12, 2021 at 12:05 pm

The last time I was hospitalized, all the hospitalists were in the employ of the hospital, now they are in the employ of a nationwide hospitalist practice, which has all the smell of private equity around it. I'm really beginning to think that a third party focusted on healthcare might have a real shot at upsetting the political order – maybe it's time to drag out your skunk party for 2024.

Arizona Slim , June 12, 2021 at 1:22 pm

How are you feeling? We miss you around here.

tegnost , June 12, 2021 at 10:25 am

As for low-paid jobs, they are traditionally the last resort of immigrants and other marginalized populations, but the anti-immigration push that began under Obama, and enthusiastically continued by Trump and Biden, has perfectly predictable consequences.

Well I'm sorry you can't find easily exploitable labor, except I'm not immigrants face the same ridiculous costs, and weren't hispanic workers more heavily impacted by covid due to those marginal jobs (I'll switch your dynamic to low wage workers , and marginal jobs, thanks), so by your logic more should have been let in to die from these marginal jobs? but yeah we need more PMC except we don't
Now, there are definitely fields where there is a genuine and deliberate labor shortage. Usually white-collar credentialed professions like medical doctors and the AMA cartel."
Last I checked it was private equity, wall st and pharmaceutical companies and their lobbyists that drive up costs so labor needs to charge more.
Wake up and smell the coffee.

Bill Smith , June 12, 2021 at 9:24 am

How much of this is over specification on the part of employers in the ad for the job? We want the perfect candidate who can do the job better than we can with no training .

Yves Smith , June 12, 2021 at 9:48 am

OMG this is such a long-standing pet peeve! We've commented on this nonsense regularly. Companies took the position that they don't have to train and now they are eating their cooking.

Bill Smith , June 12, 2021 at 10:30 am

Exactly.

The mismatch between job openings and job applicants is not just about wages.

In fact, if companies were willing to take a chance on people who didn't exactly match the job requirements, the likely effect would be to raise the wages some of those that did not qualify under the over exacting job requirements. [And likely paying these new employees less than they had contemplated paying the perfect candidate.]

But that seems like someone making the hiring decision might, just possibly, be seen as taking a risk.

Howard Beale IV , June 12, 2021 at 2:55 pm

At my empolyer we know we can't find any colleges that teach mainframe skills, so we bring in graduates who are willing to learn those skills – we submit them to a 3-month bootcamp and then there's a long period of mentorship under a senior person to their group that has an opening. Since everybody and their dog are now moving headfirst into DevOps, where all the tooling is in somewhat less ancient software, they get exposed using those Eclipse/VScode-based tools and are able to come up to speed somewhat quicker. Still, no one in corporate America dares to bite the bullet and re-platform their core systems with few exceptions (SABRE) for fear of losing all the institutional knowledge that's in software, rather than wetware (humans).

Howard Beale IV , June 12, 2021 at 3:03 pm

Just think what is happening right now with everyone holding an Indian outsourcing contract. You don't have individual's cellphone numbers over in India, which would cost you an arm and a leg to call, never mind what's going on in their facilities.

Mike Elwin , June 13, 2021 at 2:27 pm

On the other hand, there's something to be said for employers not training their staffs. In the SF Bay Area computer industry, employees and independent contractors alike continually race to train themselves in the new technologies that seem to crop up like mushrooms after a rain. Many companies train their customers–and charge them for it–before they'll train their staffs. This is a principal reason there's a market for contractors. Training oneself in new technologies lays a base for opportunities that don't appear if you spend a decade in the same job (unless, like mainframe programming, your job is so old it's new). I suppose this is a beneficial side of capitalism?

Lambert Strether , June 13, 2021 at 2:37 pm

> continually race to train themselves in the new technologies that seem to crop up like mushrooms after a rain

And what, one might ask, do mushrooms grow best in .

Louis , June 12, 2021 at 10:38 am

I get that you want experience for mid to senior level jobs but the experience requirements for what are ostsensibly entry-level jobs have gotten absurd. The education requirements have also gotten out of hand in some cases.

That being said, a lot of the shortages are in low-wage, part-time jobs so the issue isn't necessarily ridiculous requirements, like you sometimes see for entry level white collar jobs, but wages that are too low and awful working conditions.

How many people want to be treated like dirt–be it by customers, management, or both–for not much more than minimum wage if they have other options?

A wage increase will help fill these jobs but there also needs to be a paradigm shift in how employees are treated–the customer is not always right and allowing them to treat employees in ways that would not be tolerated in other businesses, and certainly not in many white-collar workplaces is a huge part of the problem and why these jobs have long had high-turnover.

TomDority , June 12, 2021 at 9:51 am

It never ends – when it was about immigrant labor under George B junior – I think – the call was
-- - They do jobs that Americans won't -- or something to that effect.
It always bothered me that the sentence was never, in my mind, completed. It should have been said
-- They do jobs that Americans won't do at that pay level. --
The tax system, economic system and higher education departments have been perverted by the continuous bribery and endowments by the rentier class to our elected law makers and dept heads for decades –
The creditor, debtor relationships distorted for eons.
The toll takers have never, in history, been in any higher level of mastery than they are now.
It is not to throw out the constitution but, to throw out those who have perverted it.

Oh , June 12, 2021 at 12:23 pm

The construction industry knows how to exploit immigrant labor, documented as well as undocumented. I'm sure most peole born here refuse to work for the same wages.

chris , June 12, 2021 at 6:14 pm

The exploitation occurs on many levels. For small residential jobs, a lot of wage theft occurs. For larger jobs, a lot of safety regs get ignored. When you have a population that won't use the legal avenues available to other citizens to push back against abuse you can get a lot done :/

King , June 12, 2021 at 10:04 am

When I go looking for a job if a degree isn't required I am very unlikely to pursue it further. Same if the list of 'required' is overly detailed. I'm making assumptions in both of these cases (that might not be correct) about pay, benefits, work environment, etc. and what is actually going on with a job listing. Why? Chiefly my likelihood of actually getting a reasonable offer. I expect either being seen as overqualified in the first case or the job only being listed because of some requirement in the second.

I have to wonder if many places know how to hire. This is made much more difficult by years of poorly written (maybe deceptive) job postings. You probably know many of the phrases; flexible schedule, family ___, reliable transportation required, and so on. Its no surprise if puffery doesn't bring back the drones.

Noone from Nowheresville , June 12, 2021 at 10:07 am

If we're playing with statistics. How many of these posted job openings, how many interviews did the companies offer v. how many offers were made until the position was filled? If position remains open, has the company increased the base pay offer? guaranteed an increased min. number of weekly hours? offered bonuses or increased benefits? How many times has this same job opening using the original posting criteria been re-posted? Is this a real single job opening that the company plans to fill in real time or just a posting that they keep opening because they have high turnover? etc., etc., etc.

The real problem with this workers are lazy meme is that it is repeated and repeated all year long on the local news from the viewpoint of business. It has filtered down to local people. I hear them repeating what the local news said without giving it any critical thought. Even those who say that we need unions and believe themselves to be on the side of workers.

Ear wigs are good for businesses. Insidious for workers.

synoia , June 12, 2021 at 12:03 pm

In the UK, in the days of Labor Strive, before Neo-liberalism , there was always newspaper reports about "Labor Strife" and "bolshy workers." Never once did the press examine Management had behaved and caused the workers to become "bolshy" – a direct reaction to Management's attitudes and behavior, probably based on the worst attributes of the UK's class system.

Definition: A bolshy person often argues and makes difficulties.
Management get the workers (Their Attitudes) it deserves.
I recommend reading "The Toyota Way" to explore a very successful management style.

tegnost , June 12, 2021 at 10:40 am

This song is getting a probably getting more hits these days
Take this job and Shove It
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIjEauGiRLo
But I hear lots of businesses will close to to no labor, so when they close they can go work for 7.25 an hour for one of their competitors who also needs laborors Solidarinosc!

tegnost , June 12, 2021 at 11:40 am

Geez this song is probably getting more hits these days due to no laborors? hmmm.it must mean something, like proof read your posts .,

Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg , June 12, 2021 at 10:43 am

If businesses are suffering, it's restaurants and small scale enterprise. The Covid response was tailored to the needs of economy of scale mega biz. They likely knew multitides of mom-n-pops would go away- and they have. But that's fine.

Susan the other , June 12, 2021 at 11:24 am

So if state governments can turn down federal unemployment supplements because they want labor to go back to work for unlivable wages this means the federal government can do nothing about it. When push comes to shove the question that must be settled is, Is it a human right to receive employment assistance until a job is found that pays a livable wage? (Not even a republican will actually say No). So then that puts all the stingy states on notice that there is a human rights issue here. States will have the choice to either let businesses shut down for lack of workers, or states can subsidize minimum wages and benefits. If states choose, in desperation, to subsidize minimum wages, then the states can apply to the feds to be compensated. The thing that is needed in the interim, between when the real standoff starts and ends, is a safety net for workers who are being blocked by the state from receiving unemployment benefits. I say call in the national guard. This is a human rights issue.

Dr. R.k. Barkhi , June 12, 2021 at 6:08 pm

Great point. Im appalled at the RepubliCon governers responses. And they call themselves Christians?

Imo Profitism (or Crapitalism if u pref2) is a Rights issue.

jim truti , June 12, 2021 at 11:45 am

The real exploitation happened when we allowed companies to delocalize, manufacture product in China and sell it here with no strings attached.
James Goldsmith seems like a prophet now, he was so absolutely right.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwmOkaKh3-s

eg , June 12, 2021 at 11:45 pm

He sure does

Tom , June 13, 2021 at 5:34 pm

Wow. The Clinton flack was insufferable. AND WRONG about pretty much everything. Goldsmith was brilliant. I wasn't paying enough attention at he time, but how many high profile people were making the arguments he was making?

Michael Hudson , June 12, 2021 at 12:23 pm

I'm surprised that nobody has taken the opportunity to comment on how this discussion shows how hypocritical Biden and the democrats were not to press for raising the minimum wage.
The pretense (which they must have coached the "Senate scholar" on) was that raising the minimum wage was not related to revenue (i.e., a revenue bill). But of course it is! Right now, paying below-poverty wages enabled Walmart and other employers to make the government pay part of their wage bill. Higher minimum wages would raise these government aid recipients out of the poverty range, saving public revenue.
That is so obvious that the failure of the Democrats to make the point shows that they really didn't want to raise wages after all.

Nikkikat , June 12, 2021 at 1:40 pm

I didn't expect much from Biden but he's even worse than I thought. Along with those bought senators hiding behind Joe Manchin. Depressing to think how much worse everything will become for working people here.

Lambert Strether , June 12, 2021 at 1:48 pm

> the Democrats to make the point shows that they really didn't want to raise wages after all.

Come on, man. They're "fighting for" it.

chris , June 12, 2021 at 6:41 pm

This all day long and twice on Sunday

When I think about how they're complaining about Manchin now when there was a serious primary challenge against him last year, and how the Democrat organization rallied around Manchin and not his challenger, it is disgusting to see Slate/The Guardian/NYT/other "Blue no matter who" mouth breathers write articles asking what can be done to salvage a progressive agenda from the curse of bipartisanship.

I had given up on national politics long before the 2020 election circus but this latest has confirmed my resolve. The destruction of the Democrat party can't come soon enough.

Noone from Nowheresville , June 12, 2021 at 5:25 pm

If I call them Hypocritics, when I never believed them in the first place, will they feel any shame at all? Or must I be part of their class for them to feel even the tiniest of niggles?

Perhaps they'll feel ashamed once they cut the check for the $600 they shorted us this winter. Or maybe that they are reneging on the extended unemployment benefits early or

One side makes you sleep on a bed of nails and swear allegiance.The other side generously offers to help you out, no strings attached, but you might bleed out from the thousands of tiny means-testing cuts. Each side want the lower tiers to face the gauntlet and prove one's worthiness, hoping to convince us that a black box algorithm is the same thing as a jury of peers.

Telee , June 12, 2021 at 9:30 pm

Exactly right! And keep in mind deluge of op-eds telling us that Biden is a transformational president! The same authors presented a deluge of op-eds telling us how Senator Sanders was to radical for the American people after he did well in early primaries. That the reforms he supported like Medicare for all, raising the minimum wage, lowering drug costs, help with daycare, doing something about climate change etc. were reforms that the people would never accept because the people value their freedom and don't want to live in a socialistic country.
It looks like none of the promises Biden made during the campaign will be implemented by President Biden. That why he is in the White House.

rowlf , June 12, 2021 at 12:38 pm

Would a lot of these positions be filled if the US had single payer healthcare or similar? Would workers accept low paying positions if they didn't have to lose so much of their pay to crappy health insurance?

Nikkikat , June 12, 2021 at 1:31 pm

At our local Petsmart they cut staff during the pandemic. They laid off all full time workers
And are only hiring back part time. I knew several of the laid off people and they are not coming back. Two of the people that worked full time have found other jobs one with slightly better pay the other with slightly better benefits. We are in California where rent is very high so another person we know decided to use this as a chance to relocate to another state where housing is less expensive. Our older neighbor retired, although vaccinated now, he decided it just wasn't safe and after the CDC told everyone to take off their mask off. He is glad he just decided to live on a little less money. I suspect there are a lot of reasons as Yves stated above for a lack of workers, but this "they are lazy" trope is capitalistic nonsense.

Petter , June 12, 2021 at 4:53 pm

This "they are lazy" trope has a long history. Yasha Levine wrote about it for the Exiled and it was reposted here at NC.
https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/04/yasha-levine-recovered-economic-history-everyone-but-an-idiot-knows-that-the-lower-classes-must-be-kept-poor-or-they-will-never-be-industrious.html

Some highlights:
>> everyone but an idiot knows that the lower classes must be kept poor, or they will never be industrious.
-- Arthur Young; 1771
>>Even David Hume, that great humanist, hailed poverty and hunger as positive experiences for the lower classes, and even blamed the "poverty" of France on its good weather and fertile soil:
'Tis always observed, in years of scarcity, if it be not extreme, that the poor labour more, and really live better.

>>Poverty is therefore a most necessary and indispensable ingredient in society It is the source of wealth, since without poverty, there could be no labour; there could be no riches, no refinement, no comfort, and no benefit to those who may be possessed of wealth.

athingtoconsider , June 12, 2021 at 1:38 pm

I'll just point out, per the Old Testament, that wage, debt and rent slavery were the exception, not the norm (as they are in the US) for citizens (Hebrews) in ancient Israel/Judah.

That's because the assets in ancient Israel/Judah were roughly equally owned by all citizens with provisions in the OT Law (eg. Leviticus 25, eg. Deuteronomy 15, eg. Deuteronomy 23:19-20) to keep it that way in the long run (but less than 50 years).

Contrast that to US where we have privileges for a private credit cartel, aka "the banks", and no limits to the concentration of land ownership and the roots of our problems are evident.

So begging for better jobs for citizens is, in the Biblical context, pathetically weak tea indeed.

Amateur Socialist , June 12, 2021 at 1:53 pm

On a personal note I had a great job interview Thursday at the local food co-op. This is my first in person interview since I was terminated without cause by IBM (after almost 24 years there in a server development job) almost a year ago. Despite applying for over 100 positions. I'm over 60 and haven't worked in a year so I admit I'm grateful to even get the chance.

I have another interview with them next week and hoping to start soon as a produce clerk making $13.50 an hour. If I can get on full time they offer a decent insurance plan including dental. The HR person acknowledged that I was "wildly overqualified" but encouraging. The possibility of getting health care is key; my IBM Cobra benefits will start costing me almost $1400/monthly for myself and my husband in September after the ARA subsidy expires.

I've adjusted my expectations to reinvent myself as a manual laborer after decades in fairly cushy corporate life. I've managed to keep my health and physical capacity so somewhat optimistic I can meet the job requirements that include lifting 50 lb boxes of produce. But we'll see.

athingtoconsider , June 12, 2021 at 2:52 pm

and haven't worked in a year Amateur Socialist

You mean you haven't had a job in a year since it's highly doubtful that you have not done any work in a year; eg. cooking, cleaning, shopping, car maintenance, gardening, chauffeuring, mowing the lawn, home maintenance and caring for others count as work.

We need to stop conflating work (good) with wage slavery as if the former necessarily requires the latter.

Amateur Socialist , June 12, 2021 at 3:57 pm

Okay sure. I haven't earned in a year. But it's still a problem I'm trying to sort out best as I can.

Since I still live in the US where earning is highly correlated with insurance coverage, and I still have about 5 years until we're both qualified for Medicare this may turn out to be a great thing that has happened.

And since I don't see a path out of wage slavery today I'll be happy to accept almost any offer from the food co-op. It's a union job with decent pay and benefits and may offer other opportunities in the future. They mostly buy and sell products that are locally made so that makes it easier too. The money we are all enslaving each other over is staying around here as much as possible. Okay.

Arizona Slim , June 12, 2021 at 4:32 pm

A former neighbor worked in our local food co-op and loved her job. At the co-op, she was a cashier. She also was a retired attorney.

Dr. R.k. Barkhi , June 12, 2021 at 6:25 pm

Good luck! Fyi i strongly suggest u look into taking your IBM pension asap as 1. It will minimally impact your taxes as u r now earning less n 2. How many more years do u think it will be there? ( I usually recommend most people take their social security at 62 for similar reasons but in your case I'd do your research b4 making any move like that. ) Take a blank state n Fed tax form n pencil in the new income n see what the results are.
Btw truly wonderful people are involved in food co-ops,enjoy!

Eudora Welty , June 12, 2021 at 3:17 pm

Good luck! I will be thinking of you next week.

Sound of the Suburbs , June 12, 2021 at 2:52 pm

No one really questions the idea of maximising profit.
How do you maximise profit?
You minimise costs, including labour costs, i.e. wages.

Where did the idea of maximising profit comes from?
It certainly wasn't from Adam Smith.

"But the rate of profit does not, like rent and wages, rise with the prosperity and fall with the declension of the society. On the contrary, it is naturally low in rich and high in poor countries, and it is always highest in the countries which are going fastest to ruin." Adam Smith
Exactly the opposite of today's thinking, what does he mean?
When rates of profit are high, capitalism is cannibalising itself by:
1) Not engaging in long term investment for the future
2) Paying insufficient wages to maintain demand for its products and services
Today's problems with growth and demand.
Amazon didn't suck its profits out as dividends and look how big it's grown (not so good on the wages).

The benefits of the system can be passed upwards in dividends or downwards in wages.
Both actually detract from the money available for re-investment as Jeff Bezos knows only too well.
He didn't pay dividends, and paid really low wages, to maximise the amount that he could re-invest in Amazon and look how big it's grown.
The shareholders gains are made through the value of the shares.
Jeff Bezos hopes other people are paying high enough wages to buy lots of stuff from Amazon; his own workers don't have much purchasing power.

Where do the benefits of the system go?
Today, we pass as much as possible upwards in dividends.
In the Keynesian era they passed a lot more down in wages.

cnchal , June 12, 2021 at 10:34 pm

> Jeff Bezos hopes other people are paying high enough wages to buy lots of stuff from Amazon; his own workers don't have much purchasing power.

You are missing the tree in the forest. Jeff hopes other people will pay a high enough price for Amazon stawk. We already know Jeff doesn't give a shit about the stuff he sells, or the inhumane working conditions that go along with the low pay and short "career". I mean, not even the nastiest farmer would treat his mules like that, even if mules were easy and cheap to come by.

So far, Mr Market says beating workers, good.

Sound of the Suburbs , June 12, 2021 at 2:55 pm

We don't think people should get money when they are not working.
Are you sure?

What's the point in working?
Why bother?
It's just not worth all the effort when you can make money doing nothing.
In 1984, for the first time in American history, "unearned" income exceeded "earned" income.
They love easy money.

With a BTL portfolio, I can get the capital gains on a number of properties and extract the hard earned income of generation rent at the same time.
That sounds good.
What is there not to like?

We love easy money.

You've just got to sniff out the easy money.
All that hard work involved in setting up a company yourself, and building it up.
Why bother?
Asset strip firms other people have built up, that's easy money.

People do love easy money.

Sound of the Suburbs , June 12, 2021 at 3:45 pm

"West Virginia's Republican Governor Jim Justice justified ending federal jobless benefits early in his state by lecturing his residents on how, "America is all about work. That's what has made this great country."
Have you had a look around recently?

In 1984, for the first time in American history, "unearned" income exceeded "earned" income.
America is not about work at all.

athingtoconsider , June 12, 2021 at 5:44 pm

America is not about work at all. SoS

The US is largely about exploiting or being exploited with most of US doing both.

We should resent an economic system that requires we exploit others or be a pure victim ourselves.

That said and to face some truths we'd rather not, the Bible offers some comfort, eg:

Ecclesiastes 7:16
Do not be excessively righteous, and do not be overly wise. Why should you ruin yourself?

Ecclesiastes 5:8-9
If you see oppression of the poor and denial of justice and righteousness in the province, do not be shocked at the sight; for one official watches over another official, and there are higher officials over them. After all, a king who cultivates the field is beneficial to the land.

Nonetheless, we should support economic justice and recognize that most of us are net losers to an unjust economic system even though it offers some corrupt compensation* to divide and confuse us.

*eg positive yields and interest on the inherently risk-free debt of a monetary sovereign.

KLG , June 12, 2021 at 6:54 pm

Jim Justice made his money the old fashioned way, he inherited it:

From Wiki: James Conley Justice II (born April 27, 1951) is an American businessman and politician who has been serving as the 36th governor of West Virginia since 2017. With a net worth of around $1.2 billion, he is the wealthiest person in West Virginia. He inherited a coal mining business from his father and built a business empire with over 94 companies, including the Greenbrier, a luxury resort.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Justice

chris , June 12, 2021 at 6:31 pm

I wonder how much of this is also related to a change in the churn we assume existed pre-pandemic? For example, the most recent JOLTS survey results from April 2021 show the total number of separations hasn't really changed but the number of quits has increased.

So, one possible interpretation of that would be employers are less likely to fire people and those who think they have skills in demand are more interested in leaving for better opportunities now. That makes intuitive sense given what we've been through. If you had a good gig and it was stable through 2020 you had very little reason to leave it even if an offer was better with another company. That goes double if you were a caregiver or had children. Which of course is why many women who were affected by the challenges of balancing daycare and a career gave up.

This is also my experience lately. While it's only anecdotal evidence, we're having a hard time hiring mid career engineers. Doesn't seem like pay is the issue. We offer a ton of vacation, a separate pool of sick time, decent benefits, and wages in the six figures with a good bonus program. We're looking to hire 3 engineers. We can't even get people to apply. In 2019 we could be sure to see a steady supply of experienced candidates looking for new opportunities. Now? If you have an engineering position and your company is letting you work from home it seems you don't have a good reason to jump.

Buckeye , June 12, 2021 at 10:47 pm

Look no further than Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky, Ohio. They had only half the staff they normally need at $10 an hour. So they double the wage to $20 an hour and filled every job in less than a week. The Conservaturds will never admit they are lying.

DWoolley , June 13, 2021 at 3:24 pm

As a small business owner providing professional services I am grateful for the comment section here.

I have called professional peers to get a behind the corporate PR perspective of their businesses. Although anecdotal, the overall trend in our industry is to accept the labor shortage and downsize. Most firms have a reliable backlog of work and will benefit from an infrastructure bill. Our firm has chosen to downsize and close vacant positions.

Remote work, although feasible, has employees thinking they are LeBron James, regardless of their skill set. Desperate employers are feeding their belief. Two years from now it will be interesting to see if these employees they fail forward. Company culture minimized employee turnover pre-covid. This culture has little meaning to an employee working in his daughter's playroom.

For context, in California, I believe the median income for licensees is approximately $110,000 with lower level technicians easily at $75k in the urban areas.

Lastly, the "paltry" $300 per week is in additional to the state unemployment checks and is not subject to taxes. As stated previously, $300 is equal to $7.50 per hour. Federal minimum wage is $7.25 and is adopted by many states minimum, for what it's worth.

Thanks again for the forum.

JBird4049 , June 13, 2021 at 6:32 pm

With respect, I do not see any there there in the comment. Adjusted for inflation the minimum wage at its height in 1968 at 1.60, would be just under $13 per hour today. However, even at $15 in California, it is inadequate.

Anyone making anything like the minimum wage would not be working from home, but would be working in some kind of customer service job, and would find paying for adequate food, clothing, and shelter very difficult. Not in getting any extras, but only in getting enough to survive. People, and their families, do need to eat.

If the response of not paying enough, and therefore not getting new hires, is to downsize, perhaps that is good. After all no business deserves to remain in business, especially if the business model depends on its workers being unable to survive.

Sue inSoCal , June 13, 2021 at 4:13 pm

I am also fed up with the "lazy worker" meme. Or rather, propaganda. People are literally exhausted working 2 or 3 lousy jobs and no real healthcare. Equally irritating to me is a misguided notion that we have some magically accessible generous safety net in the US. As though there aren't thousands and thousands on waiting lists for government subsidized housing. Section 8 vouchers? Good luck.

https://homesnow.org/short-history-of-public-housing-in-the-us-1930s-present/

We've ended "welfare as we [knew] it" (AFDC) thanks to Bill Clinton and then the screw was turned tightly by Junior Bush (no child care, but go to work.) The upshot was bad news for kids.

https://www.economist.com/democracy-in-america/2019/02/25/how-welfare-reform-has-had-a-negative-effect-on-the-children-of-single-mothers

Seems to me one of the few things left is the food stamp program, and I can't imagine how that's been reconfigured. Whomever gave that fantastic list of goodies people can get in the US with a mere snap of the fingers isn't in the real world, imho.

Ok! Yves, lovely to see you again, my friend! (Cue the Moody Blues ) Get well!

10 legged shadow , June 13, 2021 at 4:54 pm

Here is my story.
I am 56 years old, on dialysis and I was collecting SSI of 529 a month.
I was living with and taking care of my mother in her home because she had dementia.
She died in December and I had to start paying the bills. In March I inherited her IRA which I reported to SS. I was able to roll it over into my own IRA because I am disabled, due to the Trump tax law changes.
I reported the changes in a timely manner and because I couldn't afford to live here without a job, I took a part time job for 9 an hour.
So now, because I inherited my mother's IRA and have too much resources I no longer qualify for SSI and have been overpaid to the tune of almost 2 grand, which I am assuming I will have to pay back. I have no idea how that works either. Do they just grab money out of your account? Anyone who knows please tell me.

JBird4049 , June 13, 2021 at 11:35 pm

I would run, run, run to the nearest public assistance counselor or lawyer. In the San Francisco Bay Area, it is should not be too hard to find one. They saved me. There are also in California several state websites. There was a useful to me benefits planning site (It only covers nine states though).

The rules for SSI (Supplemental Security Income), SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance), Social Security, Medi-Cal or Medicaid, and Medicare are each different. Each state has its own modifications as well, so that is fifty additional sets of modified rules especially for the medical benefits. If they are determined to claw back the money, how it is done might depend on the individual state. It is truly a maze of flycatchers and trapdoors out for you and your money.

The overworked benefits clerks often do not have the knowledge to deal with anything even slightly unusual and are not encourage or at least discouraged from finding out due to the never shrinking pile, not from anyone's malice. This means you could lose benefits because they did not know what they were doing or just by mistake. So, it is up to you to find those nonprofit counselors or the for profit lawyer to help you through the laws, rules, and whatever local regulations there are. Hopefully, you will not have to read through some of the official printed regulations like I did. If wasn't an experience paper pusher.. The average person would have been lost. Intelligence and competence has nothing to do with. Hell, neither does logic, I think.

In my case, when I inherited a retirement account, SSDI was not affected, because of how the original account was set up. However, SSDI is different from SSI although both have interesting and Byzantine requirements. I guess to make sure we are all "deserving" of any help.

So don't ask anonymous bozos like me on the internet and find those local counselors. If it is nonprofit, they will probably do it completely free. If needed, many lawyers, including tax lawyers, and CPAs will offer discounted help or will know where you can go.

Sound of the Suburbs , June 14, 2021 at 12:03 pm

What is the floor on wages?
Disposable income = wages – (taxes + the cost of living)
Set disposable income to zero.
Minimum wages = taxes + the cost of living
So, as we increase housing costs, we drive up wages.

The neoliberal solution.
Try and paper over the cracks with Payday loans.
This what we call a short term solution.

Someone has been tinkering with the economics and that's why we can't see the problem.
The early neoclassical economists hid the problems of rentier activity in the economy by removing the difference between "earned" and "unearned" income and they conflated "land" with "capital".
They took the focus off the cost of living that had been so important to the Classical Economists as this is where rentier activity in the economy shows up.
It's so well hidden no one even knows it's there and everyone trips up over the cost of living, even the Chinese.

Angus Deaton rediscovers the wheel that was lost by the early neoclassical economists.
"Income inequality is not killing capitalism in the United States, but rent-seekers like the banking and the health-care sectors just might" Angus Deaton, Nobel prize winner.
Employees get their money from wages and the employers pay the cost of living through wages, reducing profit.
This raises the costs of doing anything in the US, and drives off-shoring.

The Chinese learn the hard way.
Davos 2019 – The Chinese have now realised high housing costs eat into consumer spending and they wanted to increase internal consumption.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNBcIFu-_V0
They let real estate rip and have now realised why that wasn't a good idea.

The equation makes it so easy.
Disposable income = wages – (taxes + the cost of living)
The cost of living term goes up with increased housing costs.
The disposable income term goes down.
They didn't have the equation, they used neoclassical economics.
The Chinese had to learn the hard way and it took years, but they got there in the end.

They have let the cost of living rise and they want to increase internal consumption.
Disposable income = wages – (taxes + the cost of living)
It's a double whammy on wages.
China isn't as competitive as it used to be.
China has become more expensive and developed Eastern economies are off-shoring to places like Vietnam, Bangladesh and the Philippines.

[Jun 18, 2021] Total DUCs in shale basins are falling at the rate of about 250 per month

Most of remaining DUC are unprofitable to finish...
Jun 14, 2021 | peakoilbarrel.com

RON PATTERSON IGNORED 06/14/2021 at 3:10 pm

Total DUCs in shale basins are falling at the rate of about 250 per month. I don't know how long this can continue. I have been told by some experts in the field that there are some DUCs that will never be completed because they would not produce enough oil to pay the completion cost. So we just cannot count the DUCs and divide by 250. The decline in DUCs will have to stop sooner or later.

REPLY FRUGAL IGNORED 06/14/2021 at 4:41 pm

What I don't understand is why wells are drilled but not completed right away? REPLY RON PATTERSON IGNORED 06/14/2021 at 5:02 pm

Frugal, I am not an oilman, and an oilman could obviously give a better answer than I. But I will give it a shot, and hopefully, I will be corrected for any mistakes I make.

Drillers are not frackers and frackers are not drillers. That is an entirely different operation requiring different crews, different equipment, and different CAPEX. But the driller leaves behind samples from the well, indicating just how productive the well should be. The best wells will obviously be fracked first. The less promising wells will be left for times when the price is high enough to justify the fracking cost.

But"¦. the total cost of the well is the drilling cost plus the fracking cost. And in a DUC, the drilling cost has already been spent. So when times get hard, and you can get a well, though it might not be the best well, you have already paid the drilling cost, so you can get it for only the fracking cost now. So you pay the fracking cost and recover what you can. And this would be the case especially if the new wells that are coming in are less promising than the poor wells already drilled.

But then, that's just my opinion, for what it's worth.

[Jun 16, 2021] FBI Operatives Likely 'Unindicted Co-Conspirators', Organizers Of Capitol Riot- Report

Comments for this article are pretty instructive about the particular strata of US population mindset right now. Reminds the mood of dissidents in the USSR.
Jun 16, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Tucker Carlson dropped several bombshells on his show Tuesday night, chief among them was from a Revolver News report that the FBI was likely involved in organizing the Jan. 6 Capitol 'insurrection,' and were similarly involved in the kidnapping plot against Michigan Governor Gretchin Whitmer .

" Why are there so many factual matters that we don't understand about that day? " asked Carlson.

" Why is the Biden administration preventing us from knowing? Why is the administration still hiding more than 10,000 hours of surveillance tape from the US capitol on January 6th? What could possibly be the reason for that - even as they call for more openness... they could release those tapes today, but they're not. Why?"

Carlson notes that Revolver News has dissected court filings surrounding the Capitol riot, suggests that unindicted co-conspirators in the case are likely to have been federal operatives.

We at Revolver News have noticed a pattern from our now months-long investigation into 1/6 -- and in particular from our meticulous study of the charging documents related to those indicted. In many cases the unindicted co-conspirators appear to be much more aggressive and egregious participants in the very so-called "conspiracy" serving as the basis for charging those indicted.

The question immediately arises as to why this is the case, and forces us to consider whether certain individuals are being protected from indictment because they were involved in 1/6 as undercover operatives or confidential informants for a federal agency.

Key segment from Tucker:

"We know that the government is hiding the identity of many law enforcement officers that were present at the Capitol on January 6th, not just the one that killed Ashli Babbitt. According to the government's own court filing, those law enforcement officers participated in the riot - sometimes in violent ways . We know that because without fail, the government has thrown the book at most people who were present at the Capitol on Jan. 6. There was a nationwide dragnet to find them - and many are still in solitary confinement tonight. But s trangely, some of the key people who participated on Jan. 6 have not been charged ."

Look at the documents , the government calls those people 'unindicted co-conspirators.' What does that mean? Well it means that in potentially every case they were FBI operatives ... in the Capitol, on January 6th."

"For example, one of those unindicted co-conspirators is someone government documents identify only as "person two." According to those documents, person two stayed in the same hotel room as a man called Thomas Caldwell - an 'insurrectionist.' A man alleged to be a member of the group "The Oathkeepers." Person two also "stormed the barricades" at the Capitol on January 6th alongside Thomas Caldwell. The government's indictments further indicate that Caldwell - who by the way is a 65-year-old man... was led to believe there would be a "quick reaction force" also participating on January 6th. That quick reaction force Caldwell was told, would be led by someone called "Person 3," who had a hotel room and an accomplice with them . But wait. Here's the interesting thing. Person 2 and person 3 were organizers of the riot . The government knows who they are, but the government has not charged them. Why is that? You know why. They were almost certainly working for the FBI. So FBI operatives were organizing the attack on the Capitol on January 6th according to government documents. And those two are not alone. In all, Revolver news reported there are "upwards of 20 unindicted co-conspirators in the Oath Keeper indictments, all playing various roles in the conspiracy, who have not been charged for virtually the exact same activities and in some cases much, much more severe activities - as those named alongside them in the indictments."

Watch:

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3R3ZWV0X2VtYmVkX2NsaWNrYWJpbGl0eV8xMjEwMiI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJjb250cm9sIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH19&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1404985019420987398&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fpolitical%2Ffbi-operatives-were-unindicted-co-conspirators-organizers-capitol-riot-report&sessionId=ebe7b0399e890bf12ec9d97d458e9766a17255c1&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=82e1070%3A1619632193066&width=550px

Revolver , meanwhile, has important questions about January 6th

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) has demanded an explanation from FBI Director Christopher Wray:

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-1&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3R3ZWV0X2VtYmVkX2NsaWNrYWJpbGl0eV8xMjEwMiI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJjb250cm9sIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH19&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1405186330284412934&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fpolitical%2Ffbi-operatives-were-unindicted-co-conspirators-organizers-capitol-riot-report&sessionId=ebe7b0399e890bf12ec9d97d458e9766a17255c1&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=82e1070%3A1619632193066&width=550px

More:

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-2&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3R3ZWV0X2VtYmVkX2NsaWNrYWJpbGl0eV8xMjEwMiI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJjb250cm9sIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH19&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1404987282273181696&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fpolitical%2Ffbi-operatives-were-unindicted-co-conspirators-organizers-capitol-riot-report&sessionId=ebe7b0399e890bf12ec9d97d458e9766a17255c1&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=82e1070%3A1619632193066&width=550px

We recommend you read the entire Revolver piece, which includes the fact that at least five individuals involved int he "Whitmer Kidnapping Plot" were undercover agents and federal informants .


_Rorschach 7 hours ago

Just remember folks

a Klan meeting is always 33 FBI agents

and 2 ACTUAL white supremacists

Dragonlord 7 hours ago

No CIA? I am disappointed.

_Rorschach 7 hours ago (Edited)

Glowies are never at the meetings

theyre busy planting bombs for the false flag afterwards

Misesmissesme 6 hours ago

90% of "terrorists" would never commit acts of terror if the US Guv wasn't coercing them to commit said acts. The wrong people are in jail.

Wonder who in government started the ball rolling on 9/11 before it got away from them?

Sedaeng PREMIUM 6 hours ago

it never got away from them! They directed through and afterwards... Patriot act just 'happened' to be on standby just in case? ha!

Not Your Father's ZH 6 hours ago (Edited)

Amid this chronic Machiavellian conniving, here are creatures who know how to act right:

Goldendoodle Harley saved fawn in lake and then loved on her keeping her safe

"Civilization is a stream with banks. The stream is sometimes filled with blood from people killing, stealing, shouting and doing things historians usually record; while on the banks, unnoticed, people build homes, make love, raise children, sing songs, write poetry and even whittle statues. The story of civilization is the story of what happened on the banks. Historians are pessimists because they ignore the banks of the river." ~ Will Durant, "The Story of Civilization"

"He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss , the abyss also gazes into you." - Friedrich Nietzsche

"Everything human is pathetic. The secret source of humor itself is not joy, but sorrow. There is no humor in Heaven." ― Mark Twain

thomas sewell 6 hours ago

everything in the USA is bull sheet. its all polluted with mind fook.

the last 1+ year has gone beyond any psycho drama i could ever imagine.

krda 5 hours ago

Didn't Brennan issue the 9/11 hijackers' visas?

zedwork 1 hour ago

Yes, but no planes. That would have been way too risky when you can just add them into the live feed later using CGI.

Bob Lidd 1 hour ago

You mean like what happen in the 1993 WTC bombing.....??

https://www.baltimoresun.com/news/bs-xpm-1993-10-28-1993301015-story.html

Misesmissesme 59 minutes ago

How there hasn't been a day of reckoning yet is beyond me.

SexyJulian 6 hours ago

And stacks of bricks.

E5 5 hours ago

The FBI does not have the right to commit a crime. They chose to run an operation they should disavow all agents involved and they know it. Arrest them.

Not Your Father's ZH 4 hours ago

Breaking: Court Documents Confirm FBI Planned & Executed Jan. 6th 'Insurrection'

vova_3.2018 3 hours ago remove link

The FBI does not have the right to commit a crime. ...

Like 9/11, the "Capitol Hill Riot", was a false-flag operation staged by the Deep-State and falsely attributed to a group the DS sought to target.

BaNNeD oN THe RuN 7 hours ago

DoD also has a domestic undercover army of 60,000... so they may have been more involved than the FBI...

https://www.newsweek.com/exclusive-inside-militarys-secret-undercover-army-1591881

There is strong evidence that Ashli Babbit's shooting was also fake...

https://www.bitchute.com/video/gb5nZYoFLuar/

DinduNuffin 6 hours ago

that video destroys the whole narrative ... EVERYTHING IS FAKE

Not Your Father's ZH 5 hours ago

The Pentagon Uses the World's Largest 'Secret Army' of 60,000 Undercover Operatives To Carry Out 'Domestic & Foreign' Operations

Feck Weed 6 hours ago

With Wray out there spreading fear about the Great White Supremacy Threat, you can bet the FBI is working overtime to make something newsworthy happen. Remember folks: 3 "militia" = 2 FBI informants + 1 patsy

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eatapeach 7 hours ago

https://mises.org/library/conspiracy-theory-history-revisited

Until the JFK murder/coup is brought to light, you can bet it's all hoax, including Trump being an 'outsider'. He's not. He did everything Israel told him to do.

GhostOLaz 3 hours ago

America's perception of the FBI comes from TV "programs", not history or reality.

Joiningupthedots 1 hour ago

"Why is the administration still hiding more than 10,000 hours of surveillance tape from the US capitol on January 6th?"

For the same reason the UK government wont release the Skripal Tapes from Salisbury, UK.......LMAO.

Its an inside job........OBVIOUSLY!

Faeriedust 2 hours ago

So. Incidents are being staged and then used as excuses for more draconian State security powers. How is this different from the behavior of known historical groups such as the SS and the KGB? How can this be interpreted except as the actions of a totalitarian State?

Sizzurp PREMIUM 6 hours ago

Scary stuff. They manufacture their own crimes to suit their political narrative and agenda. This is straight out of the Nazi playbook.

Garciathinksso 6 hours ago

this is SOP for FBI, long rich history of manufacturing crimes and low, mid and high level corruption . Prior to that the BOI was even worse.

JaxPavan 7 hours ago remove link

The chickens coming home to roost.

This was a "color revolution" by us, against us. And, it was designed to fail. Like a freakish side show.

Why? Let off political steam. Keep all the people in their respective aisle of the democan and republicrat uniparty bus. Distract political attention away from the full ****** plandemic lockdowns. Keep the rest of the world agape for a few more years thinking things will fall apart on their own, while their resources are extracted. . .

Jam 47 minutes ago

This scam getting some press now is better late than never, but not by much. Some of these media types being all surprised by this must have lived pretty sheltered lives and are lacking any street smarts. This set up was obvious since day one, this is the same bunch that won't call out these crooks for rigged elections.

Oxygen Likes Carbon 48 minutes ago

It should be painfully clear that with the level of surveillance in 2021, nobody can walk into high security governmental building, without being arrested. Let alone organize a mass demonstration then go into Capitol Building during the day, while the politicians being there, to take ... selfies.

... without some help, or coordination from some governmental services.

anti-bolshevik 7 hours ago (Edited)

Replace 'unindicted co-conspirators.' with Agent Provocateurs.

The entire chain-of-command that authorized / planned / executed / gave material support to this Operation should be indicted and prosecuted.

Reminder, Fordham Law's findings

In this course of its investigation, researchers at Fordham discovered that EVERY SINGLE ONE of the 138 terrorist incidents recorded in the USA between 2001-2012 involved FBI informants who played leading roles in planning out, supplying weapons, instructions and even recruiting Islamic terrorists to carry out terrorist acts on U.S. soil.

Enraged 56 minutes ago

With FBI Director Comey, Assistant Director McCabe, and FBI agent/covert CIA agent Strzok acting against President Trump, this should be considered treasonous, and hopefully they will be prosecuted.

The question is who authorized the latest actions on January 6 since Comey, McCabe, and Strzok were fired.

Conductor "Corn Pop" Angelo 38 minutes ago

I can think of two to start with. Mitch McConnell and Nancy Pelosi. Both refused additional security even after being told that the latest intel suggested there was going to be a protest at the capital building on Jan 6th. The two were offered National Guard troops, in addition to Capital Police, to help out, but refused. IIRC, both the Senate and House Sgt at Arms lost their jobs over this, too

Make it three, Mayor Bowser had the same intel and did nothing

Andro1345 7 hours ago

These are old tricks by the FBI. They have been just as bad as the CIA for years.

So many instances going back so far. They plan things, set it up, help to encourage and supply sheep to do these things. If I had someone trying to encourage me to get on board something similar my first guess would be a government operative, seriously.

WeNamedTheDogIndiana 1 hour ago

I attended protests after the election, and it was obvious to be that the rallies at our state capitol were infiltrated by FBI/deep state stooges. A number of them were talking civil war, and said it too boldly in my opinion, and then many of them were carrying AKs, when that was not necessary.

The only rally that I attended that seemed uncorrupted was the first protest in DC a few weeks after the election.

taketheredpill 7 hours ago

Don't be shocked if the FBI funded some of the trips, hotels etc.

And for sure the FBI operatives "wound up" the participants...

But you won't find out for 10 years.

Alfred 7 hours ago

Not just infiltrated.

The FBI actually creates the organizations they then infiltrate.

Someone goes on a good rant here or there, can expect to be befriended by someone of like mind. Thereafter that someone undergoes radicalization and then organization via FBI sting ops. They get funding, they get resources, they get ready, they get busted.

Ha! It's all shake-n-bake, baby!

ProudZion 6 hours ago

...The proud boys was led by a FBI agent....

Mad Muppet PREMIUM 1 hour ago

They're called Agents Provacateurs and it's nothing new. The Government always initiates the violence they say they want to prevent.

Ms No PREMIUM 1 hour ago remove link

"Informants" is a very misleading title. They aren't out there ferretting info of people up to no good. It's more an infiltration and steering game and always has been.

They are basically agents without the boundaries of law. Good front guys too. They will keep them out of trouble and protect them if they can but if it gets too hot they are expendable and even easily patsied. It's all actually actually technically illegal because even when they do real informant work it's actually entrapment.

We used to be protected from these things and now you see the reason behind that. Nothing is new it just has different names and since it's always avoided by media, some of it doesn't even have proper names, at least for the public.

It's basically false flag color revolution operations.

QuiteShocking 6 hours ago (Edited) remove link

The USA's standing in the world is vastly diminished by the continue lies and mischaracterizations of what happened on Jan 6th by the democrats. The police officer died from a stroke and not from the rioters. The unarmed white woman was executed by capital police and no one was held responsible. The democrats have continued to blatantly lie and mislead on what really happened on Jan 6th for political gain...

Max21c 7 hours ago

We recommend you read the entire Revolver piece, which includes the fact that at least five individuals involved int he "Whitmer Kidnapping Plot" were undercover agents and federal informants .

People were already aware that the FBI kidnapping plot against Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer was an FBI thing from the start and all throughout. Just as many if not most of these things are as they involve the secret police creating the plots and then unraveling the plots they've created and managed and orchestrated all along the way.

Angular Momentum 7 hours ago

The states need to outlaw entrapment in cases like that. The FBI moles need to be punished as severely as the dupes.

junction 7 hours ago

The FBI and the CIA apparently fund the so-call White Supremacist organizations. Your tax dollars at work. Meanwhile, total silence for a decade from the FBI as Jeffrey Epstein ran a transnational white slavery operation out of his Manhattan mansion, aided by the Israeli Mossad.

Max21c 7 hours ago

The intelligence community and secret police community were well aware of what was going on with the Epstein operation. It's not just the US side either as the UK and Israelis were aware of it also.

Uncle Sugar PREMIUM 7 hours ago (Edited) remove link

Trump is better than Xiden, but

He left Chris Wray running the FIB

He didn't prosecute Comey, Brennan, anyone

He pushed the "Vax"

He spent worse than a drunken sailor

Conclusion - He's not the answer

OldNewB 6 hours ago

He should have pardoned Snowden.

otschelnik 7 hours ago

Well looks like the DOJ is bringing back the Obummer spygate team. John P. Carlin who was head of DOJ/National Security Division is now deputy AG. He let the FBI give 4 civilian contractors access to the NSA database for 702 inquiries, which Admiral Rogers stopped. Also back is Lisa Monoco who oversaw the FISA warrants for Carter Page, and now she's going to be heading up Garland's domestic terror task force.

That's all very ominous.

Farmer Tink 4 hours ago

I didn't realize that Carlin was back. He tried to defend his actions in the annual report to the FISA court but Adm. Mike Rogers, on whose watch the NSA found out what the DOJ was doing, carried the day. I also didn't realize that Lisa Monaco was the one in charge of those illegal Page warrants. It's just sickening that they are being rewarded. Thanks for the info.

glenlloyd 2 hours ago (Edited)

With such a high percentage of those 'involved' in the "insurrection" (said loosely here) and the so called Whitmer kidnapping being from FBI / CIA / other intelligence agencies AND those same people end up apparently being in leadership roles in these groups that are supposedly going to be doing the kidnapping and insurrecting, then it's really hard not to come to the conclusion that the fault was with the FBI et al.

It just seems like the FBI et al were way more involved in this than they should have been, if you're going to suggest that it was the others that are to blame. The tough pill to swallow is the claim that it was the people the FBI et al infiltrated and coerced into do these things, that are to blame.

Things really do stink with this.

newworldorder 5 hours ago

How are these actions are not "entrapment."

InfiniteIntellRules 5 hours ago

I will stop, just too many tales of FBI corruption. Last 1

From the book " The United States of Paranoia " by Jesse Walker:

Under COINTELPRO, FBI agents infiltrated political groups and spread rumors that loyal members were the real infiltrators. They tried to get targets fired from their jobs, and they tried to break up the targets' marriages. They published deliberately inflammatory literature in the names of the organizations they wanted to discredit, and they drove wedges between groups that might otherwise be allied. In Baltimore, the FBI's operatives in the Black Panther Party were instructed to denounce Students for a Democratic Society as "a cowardly, honky group" who wanted to exploit the Panthers by giving them all the violent, dangerous "dirty work." The operation was apparently successful: In August 1969, just five months after the initial instructions went out, the Baltimore FBI reported that the local Panther branch had ordered its members not to associate with SDS members or attend any SDS events.

EVERY MAJOR EVENT. EVERY SINGLE TIME.

heehaw2 6 hours ago

All happened under Trumps watch. He said he was going to lead the March to Capital building, then totally disappeared.

MrNoItAll 7 hours ago

Got to hand it to them. Those Fed guys sure know how to stage a riot to get media attention and shape public opinion. How else could they explain why all the guard troops were needed in D C. When getting them there could have been the primary goal of this staged event.

lightwork 7 hours ago

In the early 70's it seemed that a government informant/ mole was instrumental in the activities of virtually every left wing group in the country. It became common knowledge that whomever was most vocal and advocated the most activist positions was usually "that guy". It was effective since paranoia caused most groups to disintegrate.

otschelnik 8 hours ago remove link

Probably more snitches than that.

Oath Keeper Thomas Caldwell who is one of the lucky few released but still charged is a former FBI contractor who had top secret security clearance according to his lawyer.

https://thehill.com/policy/national-security/538018-man-charged-in-capitol-riot-says-he-worked-for-fbi-and-holds-top

Proud Boy Enrique Tarrio who was arrested 2 days before the riot for vandalism (burning a BLM banner), had been an informer to the FBI and law inforcement in Florida, according to his lawyer.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jan/27/proud-boys-leader-enrique-tarrio-fbi-informant

Max21c 6 hours ago remove link

They forgot Antifa and BLM in their list of groups.

State sponsored terrorist groups favored by Liberal Elites and their secret police are generally omitted and immune.

heehaw2 6 hours ago

George Bush Senior, then head of CIA was in Dallas when JFK was assinated. Ol George announced as President the New World order

QE49er 6 hours ago

Reichstag Fire style false flag.

Ruff_Roll 6 hours ago

It makes perfect sense that FBI or government supported operatives were acting as agents provocateurs on 1/6, organizing and instigating the riot, and subsequently let off as "unindicted co-conspirators." Pelosi was probably in on it, too.

TheySayIAmOkay 7 hours ago

This is the biggest "duh" ever. Of course the government is involved. Just like they were in 9/11. Just like they were stealing the election. Just like they are in at least some of these mass shootings (the FBI was warned about the Parkland shooter multiple times). Just like they will be in the next big incident that massively strips rights from the people.

The Deep State is real. And it is the upper echelons of the FBI, DHS, CIA, ATF, etc. They are the shadow government that wags the tail. They can do whatever they want and nobody can do anything about it. Do you think if Ted Cruz or Nancy Pelosi killed someone they'd get away with it? No. They are figures. The limits of their power can be stripped with a single, stupid, scandal. How about John Brennan? I have absolutely no doubt in my mind he could. Because who will hold him accountable? Nobody in the CIA or FBI went down for not listening to the FBI agent about the 20th hijacker. Mueller got PROMOTED! He's deep state. Brennan was regional chief of the CIA in Riyadh leading up to 9/11. He got... PROMOTED! Deep state.

3-fingered_chemist 7 hours ago

The fact the Capitol had essentially zero security the day all members were present to tally the EC votes and people still think this wasn't faked?

Jim in MN 7 hours ago

Speaking as someone who actually attended the earlier 'Stop the Steal' rally in DC, I said at the time that the Jan. 6th event didn't smell right and felt like a setup. Recommended that folks stay away, expect trouble and stay frosty at that time.

Note that the FBI was/is also deeply involved in the BLM riots. AKA a criminal conspiracy to destabilize US civil order. Of course a lot of mayors and police chiefs are also involved in that criminal conspiracy.

The more you know.....

jammyjo 7 hours ago

FBI is making contact with unstable people, and do nothing but keep them on a list of "assets" to be activated when needed.

Patmos 7 hours ago

Gives new meaning to false narrative. More than just spin, they actually create the events themselves. Not quite a false flag, because nothing really happened.

Is anyone involved going to stand up and say no? Or have they all just decided to reserve themselves to being corrupt little b!tches?

Feck Weed 7 hours ago

FBI is the US domestic secret police force for the Globalist Empire. Nationalism is the enemy of the globalists...

[Jun 14, 2021] World War II Was Transitory- - Putting Inflation In Context

Jun 14, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Via Global Macro Monitor,

Let us preface our inflation note with one of our favorite quotes:

"World War II was transitory"

– GMM

Inflation has eroded my purchasing power in my transitory life. Bring back the $.35 Big Mac, which was only about 20% of the minimum wage. Now? About 40-50%... Enough to spark a revolution?

[Jun 14, 2021] Oil price supression agency (mistakenly called EIA) wants OPEC to increase input.

Jun 14, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Cyril Widdershoven via OilPrice.com,

In its latest Monthly Oil Report, the IEA called on OPEC+ to increase production in order to counter higher demand in 2022.

... ... ...

The current market situation is very clear. OPEC+ is leading the sector, no matter what political strategies or activist shareholders at IOCs are planning. The market is still fully hydrocarbon addicted, and this will not change overnight.

The IEA also needs to reassess its current strategies and press approach, as a continuation of the diffuse ''Lala-land predictions'' will not make their case stronger.

As indicated by the IEA OMR report demand will increase by 5.36 million bpd in 2021, and another 3.07 million bpd in 2022. At the end of 2022, global demand is expected to be at 99.46 million b/d on average.

This optimism in the market is widely shared, looking at price predictions from Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, and Citibank, with some analysts even predicting $100 per barrel in 2022.


cowdiddly 1 hour ago (Edited)

I do not listen to government clowns.

"You want to know what the price of oil is going to do watch the rig count" T. Boone Pickins

Single best piece of energy investment advice I ever had.

gregga777 48 minutes ago (Edited) remove link

The IEA seems to be following this very mature behavioral advice:

"When in trouble,

When in doubt,

Run in circles,

Scream and shout."

Falconsixone 40 minutes ago

Tanks eat a lot of fuel.

GrayManSix 23 minutes ago

Instead of "kill all the lawyers," it should now be "kill all the academics." People in ivory towers who have no inkling of the real world realities....

radical-extremist 39 minutes ago remove link

I highly recommend "Unsettled" by Steven E. Koonin.

He does the best job to date of unpacking what we know and don't know about Climate Change.

Educate yourself on it...and hurry before the book is banned.

19331510 48 minutes ago remove link

There is no climate emergency and absolutely no reason to pursue net-zero emissions.

Co2 is 0.04% of the atmosphere and it is impossible for that small amount of gas to significantly impact the climate.

Co2 is the key driver of photosynthesis and higher levels of atmospheric co2 increase agricultural production necessary to feed an ever growing population.

The UAH temperature data indicates the average global temperature is 0.08 C above the 30 year average. There is no global warming.

The severity of storms and and number of severe storms are not increasing.

The oceans may be rising between 1.8 mm/yr to 3.6 mm/yr if at all. Tide gauges a wrought with issues.

The pursuit of a green economy will destroy our economy. manhattan-institute.org Mark P. Mills

There is no need to end the use hydrocarbons. Please educate yourself.

SonOfSam 48 minutes ago remove link

...The IEA has ALWAYS wanted OPEC+ to keep their pumps running...

[Jun 13, 2021] America's Fuel-Making Corridor Prepares for Hurricane Laura - WSJ

Jun 13, 2021 | www.wsj.com

By Rebecca Elliott and Collin Eaton Updated Aug. 26, 2020 4:11 pm ET

Refineries, petrochemical facilities and ports along the Gulf Coast were closing as Hurricane Laura barreled toward the Texas-Louisiana border.

The hurricane strengthened to a Category 4 storm Wednesday, with sustained winds of 140 miles an hour, according to an afternoon update from the National Hurricane Center. It is projected to unleash a storm surge as high as 20 feet along portions of the Louisiana coast with as much as 15 inches of rainfall.

...

[Jun 13, 2021] Exxon (XOM) Sees US Shale Oil Production Decline Per Well

Jun 13, 2021 | peakoilbarrel.com

RON PATTERSON IGNORED e 06/13/2021 at 3:49 pm

Exxon (XOM) Sees US Shal Oil Production Decline Per Well Bold mine.

Exxon Mobil Corporation XOM has been generating fewer barrels of oil from the prolific shale fields of the United States since 2019, per Reuters.

According to a latest report, the company's oil wells, which are involved in some of the most promising shale fields, produced fewer barrels of oil per well despite an increase in overall expenditure and production.

In 2017, Exxon, which is one of the largest shale oil producers, acquired $6.6 billion of net acres in New Mexico, which doubled the company's assets in the Permian basin that spans west Texas and New Mexico. Notably, the company intends to boost shale output in the New Mexico portion of the Permian basin to 700,000 barrels per day (bpd) by 2025.

Per data released by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis ("IEEFA"), Exxon's average liquid output for the first 12 months of a well dropped to 521 bpd in 2019 from an average of 635 bpd in 2018 in its Delaware basin assets of New Mexico.

That's an 18% drop in production per well. And this was before the pandemic

[Jun 13, 2021] Another scenario doe Seneca cliff is that some exporting nations realize they will need this oil as the world stares into a scarcity of oil. They might say: "Shit, why are we selling this stuff when we will desperately need it for ourselves in a few years?"

Jun 13, 2021 | peakoilbarrel.com

RON PATTERSON IGNORED 06/13/2021 at 2:44 pm

Another scenario is that some exporting nations realize they will need this oil as the world stares into a scarcity of oil. They might say: "Shit, why are we selling this stuff when we will desperately need it for ourselves in a few years?" And as they cut back, or stop exporting altogether, the problem gets a lot worse, and prices spike even higher. REPLY DOUG LEIGHTON IGNORED 06/13/2021 at 3:34 pm

L.O.L. The decision concerning the proportion of a domestic resource that should be preserved for domestic needs, and how much to export, is interesting. China's REE deposits come to mind. Also, the impact of the immediate use of a resource versus a lower level of exploitation over time might come into play in some (perhaps unrealistic) scenarios as well. Not many examples of countries that have exhaustible natural resources saving some for future generations I'm aware of; probably would result in an unwelcome war or another ugly result!

[Jun 13, 2021] WTI at $70 is probably still bearable. Higher numbers dramatically increase chances of the recession (actually the USA is in secular stagnation since 2008).

Jun 13, 2021 | peakoilbarrel.com

LIKBEZ IGNORED 06/07/2021 at 6:40 pm

WTI at $70 is probably still bearable. Higher numbers dramatically increase chances of the recession (actually the USA is in secular stagnation since 2008).

Today I read the EROEI of solar is around 0.8 outside of deserts. A recent paper by Ferroni and Hopkirk estimated an EROI=0.8 for PV in Switzerland. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301421516307066

You need EROEI around 7 for the source of energy to be economically viable. Wind barely makes it, but solar, outside of deserts does not.

Another interesting figure is that the energy density ( KW/kg ) of lithium batteries is approximately 100 times less then energy density of diesel (gas has slightly lower energy density; kerosene approximately the same).

A subcompact car with a 10-gallon gas tank can store the energy equivalent of 7 Teslas, 15 Nissan Leafs or 23 Chevy Volts, according to industry sources. REPLY PHIL S IGNORED 06/07/2021 at 7:50 pm

" interesting figure is that the energy density ( KW/kg ) of lithium batteries is approximately 100 times less then energy density of diesel "
but don't forget the energy in the diesel is about 30% efficient converting into work while the battery is over 90% efficent doing work – so comparing energy "stored" in compact cars and teslas etc is either pretty useless or pretty misleading REPLY MIKE SUTHERLAND IGNORED HOLE IN HEAD IGNORED 06/12/2021 at 6:35 am

Likbez , I will make an effort to answer your 3 questions .
1. Peak oil was /is 2018 . Plateau will be 5 years . Why ? The parameter is exportable oil production and not total oil production . ELM is a bitch .
2 . Nuclear fusion . Not going to happen . It is like the horizon . We can see it but we can't reach it .
3 . USA situation . I am least qualified to comment as I am in Europe , but still the safest is that the current political system cannot continue for long especially when I look at it with the lenses of resource availability . There are no volunteers for starvation . What will replace this ? I don't know .
P.S :Your sentence "Like in war this is the question of strategy. Wrong strategy usually leads to defeat. " I am going to be using this . Hope you don't have a copyright on this . 🙂

06/09/2021 at 9:11 am

But your post is also misleading and leaves the reader with the impression that you're little more than an EV propagandist. Even at 30% efficiency for diesel, there is still 100/3 = 33.3x more energy available than a comparably sized lithium battery. That huge difference is far and anyway superior to anything a battery will ever do, ever. It will never be matched by any electrochemical storage scheme. So there is that. REPLY KLEIBER IGNORED 06/09/2021 at 1:42 pm

Indeed. The advantages EVs have come from efficiency in weight reduction (aside from the battery pack) and aerodynamics, along with electric motors being super simple and efficient. But in terms of raw energy density, you cannot beat chemical fuels, and there really isn't anything that threatens this by virtue of the chemistry.

Batteries, for all their advantages in simplicity, are never going to be lighter and more energy dense. Lithium is just about the best there is in terms of weight to energy ratio, something quite key for a moving vehicle. REPLY LIKBEZ IGNORED 06/09/2021 at 7:10 pm

Mike,

Electrical engines proved to be viable for small cars and delivery trucks with short ranges. No question about it. But that does not mean they are optimal. This is just a fashion partially fueled by people who missed their STEM classes 😉

I think natural gas is currently a viable competitor to EV and is IMHO a much better feat.

First of all charging efficiency of lithium battery is only 80%.
That's true that electrical motor is more efficient, but when you have a transmission using multiple gears most of this difference is lost.

Also you overestimated the efficiency of the tandem lithium battery -- electrical motor, as it includes converter with efficiency less then 90% and a lithium battery has its own internal resistance which increases with age and also lead to losses. 0.8*0.8*0.9=0.57. BTW modern diesel engines efficiency is about 43%-44%, based on 2013-2014 certified engines.

Moreover the efficiency of lithium battery in winter is dismal. And not only because at low temperatures is simply does not work well and its capacity is less. A lot of energy is consumed by the cabin heater. IMHO driving EV in severe winter is dangerous not withstanding short trips to nearby sky resort that some make on their Tesla 3 🙂 REPLY JOHN NORRIS IGNORED 06/10/2021 at 7:06 am

The average US car goes 0.74 miles on a kWh of gasoline. Many Teslas and the Hyundai Kona (among others) go 4.0 miles per kWh.

Cost per mile is $0.12 for gasoline, $0.06 for California EV, $0.03 for average EV. HICKORY IGNORED 06/07/2021 at 10:35 pm

Likbez.
Switzerland has poorer solar input than any place in the lower 48, even pacific northwest coastal, so its a lame site to use as a yardstick.
I know people who do 100% of their driving miles with solar from the roof, at lower cost than your miles.
And they didn't check the EROEI figures before or after the purchase of equipment.
The solar is already paid off for them, and they've got 2 to 4 more decades of electricity coming from that system.
And I know people who have driven across the entire country with no liquid fuel tank-nothing for energy storage in their EV but lithium. And the acceleration of their car will pin you deep in your seat if they aren't careful with the pedal.

Hey- look on the bright side- every mile that solar/electric vehicles travel is just another mile of gasoline left for you. REPLY MIKE SUTHERLAND IGNORED 06/09/2021 at 9:22 am

Hickory, how many of those solar panels were subsidized by government? A lot of them. And what's more, even though early adopters charged their Teslas from those subsidized panels, did that somehow change the EREOI from 0.8? How is the rest of society going to benefit if all the early opportunists managed to get cheap cells at an artificially low price, that actually were fantastically expensive in real terms regarding the cheap energy (at the time) that was used to make them?

And so what if they drove across the country in electric power??? WTF? What does that prove? Was there actually anything productive generated by this hugely energy intensive self-interested activity? No, there was not. It was nothing more than a display of self indulgence, and an excessive one at that. REPLY HICKORY IGNORED 06/09/2021 at 10:11 am

MikeS.
"The Energy Payback Time of PV systems is dependent on the geographical location: PV systems in Northern Europe need around 1.5 years to balance the input energy, while PV systems in the South equal their energy input after 1 year and less,"
https://www.ise.fraunhofer.de/content/dam/ise/de/documents/publications/studies/Photovoltaics-Report.pdf
After 25 years modern panels still have between 82-93% peak capacity output.

In regard to the feasibility of lithium batteries- I was pointing out that they work well enough (are dense enough) to get the job done. Its not a complicated idea. Likebz referenced diesel energy density. Thats very good, but in case you haven't been keeping up- peak crude oil is upon us, so time to adapt. Past time actually.

Bottomline- both solar energy and electric vehicles are viable systems for transportation. And that is nice considering the world faces peak oil supply.

Some people would prefer to witness the countries economy crash and burn as peak oil becomes a reality. I guess they think they would make more money for the short term. Others would like to see the country gradually deploy other ways to get around. REPLY KLEIBER IGNORED 06/09/2021 at 1:57 pm

If nothing else, this scenario will lead to a radical reshaping of how we as a species go about doing logistics. If the pandemic hasn't called into question the application of JIT logistics for all industries, then the loss of cheap diesel certainly will. Even if long haul electric trucks become a thing, it will require a different approach to matters.

Cars are otherwise a solved issue with EVs. There's nothing that an ICE can really offer over an EV. Trucking and heavy industry is another matter, and that's where problems will be. Frankly, I welcome this uprooting of a paradigm that has no resilience built in whatsoever. LIKBEZ IGNORED 06/10/2021 at 3:26 pm

You are both funny and superficial.

There is no question that "electric vehicles are viable systems for transportation. " that's true since 1940th I think. Just think about electric trains and diesel-electric trains :-). Also as compact cars they are viable in temperate climate (Leaf, Tesla, etc) and possibly in big cities and corresponding metropolitan areas.

Some people would prefer to witness the countries economy crash and burn as peak oil becomes a reality. I guess they think they would make more money for the short term. Others would like to see the country gradually deploy other ways to get around.

Like in war this is the question of strategy. Wrong strategy usually leads to defeat. I think the current EV fashion driven by people who missed their STEM classes is counterproductive and probably harmful.
It might well lead to problems in the near future. You should never put all eggs into one basket. Lightweight and emotion-driven arguments like your above just does not make the cut, if we are taking about the strategy.

Some interesting questions are

1. If we reached "plato oil" stage (I think so), then how long it will last before Seneca cliff? 10 year, 50 years, 100 years ? That's a big difference.

2. Will we get fusion energy driven energy generation or not.

3. Will neoliberalism be replaced in the USA by some other social system, because neoliberalism (and connected with it imperial tendencies ("Full Spectrum Domination" doctrine), and the corresponding level of military expenses -- money that should be allocated toward the energy transition are simply waited on maintaining and expanding of the empire) can't reform itself and probably will drive this country off the economic cliff, or to the WWIII (with even worse results).

[Jun 13, 2021] Chronic underinvestment in oil and gas supply while operational oilfields mature would lead to a supply crunch and a spike in oil prices down the road, analysts and Big Oil top executives such as TotalEnergies

Notable quotes:
"... "Ideology will obviously always trump common sense." So true ;). ..."
Jun 13, 2021 | peakoilbarrel.com

FRUGAL IGNORED ROGER IGNORED 06/11/2021 at 9:35 am

"Ideology will obviously always trump common sense." So true ;).

06/10/2021 at 6:22 pm

Saudi Arabia And Russia Warn Of Major Oil Supply Crunch

Environmentalists and activist shareholders intensified pressure on large public oil firms to align their businesses with a net-zero scenario, while some of the international majors acknowledged they have a part to play in the energy transition.

But the leaders of the OPEC+ group, Saudi Arabia and Russia, will continue to invest in oil and gas because, they say, the world will still need those resources for decades, despite the growing push against fossil fuels and investment in new supply.

Chronic underinvestment in oil and gas supply while operational oilfields mature would lead to a supply crunch and a spike in oil prices down the road, analysts and Big Oil top executives such as TotalEnergies' Patrick Pouyanné say.

Apologies if this has already been posted. REPLY RON PATTERSON IGNORED 06/10/2021 at 6:57 pm

From your link: BP's chief executive Bernard Looney wrote that forecasts of much lower investments in oil and gas were "in many ways consistent with our approach – to reduce our oil and gas production by 40% in the next decade.
Snip.
In Russia, the chief executive of the largest Russian oil producer, state-controlled Rosneft, warned that underinvestment in oil is setting the stage for a severe deficit in supply.

Yes, oil production will be falling and oil prices will be rising. Anyone with half a brain can see that. But it will have to happen before the world will be able to see what is right now as plain as the nose on their face. Their worldview keeps them from seeing the very blatantly obvious. Ideology will obviously alwayse trump common sense. REPLY FRUGAL IGNORED 06/10/2021 at 8:17 pm

It's looking more and more like peak oil is here right now. REPLY RON PATTERSON IGNORED 06/10/2021 at 8:56 pm

Nah, peak oil was in 2018.

[Jun 13, 2021] Dennis Gartman is still considered a commodities expert. He infamously said in 2016 that WTI would never be above $44 again in his lifetime. He is still alive last I knew

There are also Bagdad Bobs from IEA " "World oil supply is expected to grow at a faster rate in 2022, with the US driving gains of 1.6 million bpd from producers outside the OPEC alliance. "
Jun 13, 2021 | peakoilbarrel.com
SHALLOW SAND IGNORED 06/11/2021 at 3:58 pm

Dennis Gartman is still considered a commodities expert.

He infamously said in 2016 that WTI would never be above $44 again in his lifetime. He is still alive last I knew.

[Jun 12, 2021] Jet Fuel Demand Poised For A 30% Surge During Summer

Jun 12, 2021 | oilprice.com

John Kilduff of Again Capital has predicted Brent to hit $80 a barrel and WTI to trade between $75 and $80 in the summer, thanks to robust gasoline demand. Brent is currently trading at $71.63 per barrel, while WTI is changing hands at $69.13.

[Jun 12, 2021] Annual Reserve Revisions Part III- Larger Independents Peak Oil Barrel

Jun 11, 2021 | peakoilbarrel.com

HHH IGNORED 06/11/2021 at 4:57 am

On 05/07/21 the US 10year chart formed a hammer candlestick on daily chart within a consolidation pattern. Which suggested higher yields coming. Well little over a month later price broke below the bottom of that candlestick which suggest that the bond market doesn't believe the inflation we have seen is here to stay. Yield headed lower.

The inflation we have had seems to be supply side due to covid. If inflation is at peak which bond market is suggesting. Oil price might not have much more room to run higher. And I'd take it a step further and say price inflation due to a weaker dollar is starting to real hurt places like China and they are going to act by tightening monetary policy. You think this would be positive for the yuan and push the dollar even lower. But when you tightening monetary policy credit contracts and economic activity contracts.

I do expect oil price to rollover and head back to $50-$55 might happen from a slightly higher price from here because of lag time between when bond market signals rollover in inflation back into deflation and when prices start reacting to this. REPLY EULENSPIEGEL IGNORED 06/11/2021 at 10:07 am

This isn't your history bond market.

Inflation doesn't really matters, what only matters is the one big question: "How much bonds does the one market member with unlimited funds buy?".

And the time the FED was able to rise more than .25% is in the rear mirror "" when they hike now, inflation or not, all these zombie companies and zombie banks will fail and no lawyer in the world will be able to clean up the chaos after all these insolvency filings.

They have to talk the way out of this inflation. They have to talk until it stops, or longer. They can't hike. They can perhaps hike again when most of the debt is inflated away "" a period with 10+% inflation and 1% bond interrest.

And yes, they can buy litterally any bond dumped onto the market "" shown this in March last year when they stopped the corona crash in an action of one week.

I think most non-investment-banks are zombies at the moment, and more than 20% of all companies. They all will fail in less than 1 year when we would have realistic interrest rates. On the dirty end, this would mean 10%+ for all this junk out there "" even mighty EXXON will be downgraded to B fast.

In old times the FED rates would be more than 5% now with these inflation numbers. Nobody can pay this these days.

And now in the USA "" look for how much social justice and social security laws you'll get. The FED has to provide cover for all of them.

We in Europe will do this, too. New green deal, new CO2 taxes, better social security "" the ECB already has said they will swallow everything dumped on the market.

So, oil 100$ the next years "" but some kind of strange dollars buying less then they used to.

Just my 2 cents. REPLY D COYNE IGNORED 06/11/2021 at 7:58 am

From

https://longforecast.com/oil-price-today-forecast-2017-2018-2019-2020-2021-brent-wti

better resolution at link above, a very different oil price forecast from HHH. Over $100/bo for Brent by the end of 2021.

REPLY RON PATTERSON IGNORED 06/11/2021 at 8:28 am

This is nonsense. They have Brent crude oil prices peaking, so far, in March 2025 at $164.11. And they have WTI peaking the same month at $132.55, $32.56 lower. There is no way the spread could be that large. Also, they have natural gas prices dropping over the same period. Just who the hell are these "Longforcast.com" people?

REPLY KLEIBER IGNORED 06/11/2021 at 11:35 am

Disregard anything with "forecast" in the title. They don't have a time machine, and extrapolation is a horrible metric with dynamic markets as complex as the energy ones.

Might as well show me the tea leaves or goat entrails and tell me the price on 11 June 2027. REPLY SHALLOW SAND IGNORED 06/11/2021 at 3:58 pm

Dennis Gartman is still considered a commodities expert.

He infamously said in 2016 that WTI would never be above $44 again in his lifetime. He is still alive last I knew.

Since I have owned working interests in oil wells (1997) I have sold oil for a low of $8 and a high of $140 per barrel. 6/14 oil sold for $99.25 per barrel. 4/20 oil sold for $15.40 per barrel.

Predicting oil prices is impossible.

About the only oil price prediction I have had right so far is that if Biden won, oil prices would rebound. Of course, we can argue about why that is, and if there is even any connection.

There are still no drilling rigs running in the field we operate in. There are still hundreds of production wells shut in. There are still less than 10 workover rigs running in our field. The largest operator still has a help wanted sign up in front of its office. We finally found one summer worker, he is still in high school, but thankfully covered by our workers comp. He cannot drive our trucks, and is limited to painting, mowing, weed control, digging with a shovel, cleaning the shops and pump houses and other tasks like those. That's ok, because we need that, but not being able to drive is a pain. But auto ins won't allow anyone under 21 to be covered. REPLY IRON MIKE IGNORED 06/11/2021 at 11:53 am

Yea Ron i agree with Kleiber, I wouldn't take anything on that site too seriously. REPLY OVI IGNORED 06/11/2021 at 1:34 pm

The IEA is now starting to sound warnings about supply. Last week they were telling the oil companies to stop exploring and to move toward a renewable energy future.

IEA: OPEC needs to increase supply to keep global oil markets adequately supplied

In its monthly oil report, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has said that global oil demand is set to return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2022, rising by 5.4 million bpd in 2021 and by a further 3.1 million bpd next year. The OECD accounts for 1.3 million bpd of 2022 growth while non-OECD countries contribute 1.8 million bpd. Jet and kerosene demand will see the largest increase ( 1.5 million bpd year-on-year), followed by gasoline ( 660 000 bpd year-on-year) and gasoil/diesel ( 520 000 bpd year-on-year).

World oil supply is expected to grow at a faster rate in 2022, with the US driving gains of 1.6 million bpd from producers outside the OPEC alliance. That leaves room for OPEC to boost crude oil production by 1.4 million bpd above its July 2021-March 2022 target to meet demand growth. In 2021, oil output from non-OPEC is set to rise 710 000 bpd, while total oil supply from OPEC could increase by 800 000 bpd if the bloc sticks with its existing policy.

https://www.iea.org/reports/oil-market-report-june-2021

https://www.oilfieldtechnology.com/special-reports/11062021/iea-opec-needs-to-increase-supply-to-keep-global-oil-markets-adequately-supplied/ REPLY RON PATTERSON IGNORED 06/11/2021 at 2:09 pm

(IEA) has said that global oil demand is set to return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2022, rising by 5.4 million bpd in 2021 and by a further 3.1 million bpd next year.

That comes to about 500,000 barrels per day monthly increase, every month until the end of 2022. I really don't believe that is going to happen. No doubt most nations can increase production somewhat, but returning to pre-pandemic levels will be a herculean task for most of them.

[Jun 12, 2021] Don't dismiss market bubbles" some leave lasting progress behind

Notable quotes:
"... As bubbles peak, they combine objective signs of excess" prices rising much faster than earnings can justify" with subjective signs of mania, such as frenzied trading and borrowing. ..."
"... My research on the 10 biggest bubbles of the past century, from the US stock market in 1929 to Chinese shares in 2015, shows that prices typically rise 100 per cent in the year before the peak, with much of the gain packed into the climactic last months. That finding is closely in line with bubble studies from academics at Harvard and others. ..."
"... By those standards, there are at least five current bubblets. They include the cryptocurrency market for bitcoin and ethereum; clean energy stocks, including some of the biggest names in electric vehicles; small cap stocks, including many of the hottest pandemic stories; a basket of tech stocks that lack earnings, which is also chock-a-block with famous brands; and special purpose acquisition companies (Spacs) , which allow investors a new way to buy into private firms before they go public. ..."
"... The historical bubbles in my study did suffer midcourse setbacks on the way up, but typically those corrections were around 25 per cent and never more than 35 per cent. Beyond that point" a 35 per cent drop" the bubbles in my sample became monophasic, or stuck on a one-way downhill path. ..."
"... It is important to remember that a bubble is often a good idea gone too far. In the early 2000s, the conventional wisdom was that the dotcom bubble had fuelled mainly junk companies with business plans barely worth the napkins they were written on. Later, researchers found that, compared with other bubbles, those in the tech sector produce many start-ups that fail but also help launch major innovations. For every few dozen dotcom flame-outs, there was a giant survivor such as Google or Amazon that would go on to make the economy more productive. ..."
Jun 06, 2021 | investornewsletter.net

As bubbles peak, they combine objective signs of excess" prices rising much faster than earnings can justify" with subjective signs of mania, such as frenzied trading and borrowing.

To some the entire US stock market looks bubbly given its dizzying run-up, but earnings growth has also been extraordinarily strong through the pandemic. Beneath the surface, however, sectors of the market from green tech to cryptocurrency show tell-tale bubble signs.

My research on the 10 biggest bubbles of the past century, from the US stock market in 1929 to Chinese shares in 2015, shows that prices typically rise 100 per cent in the year before the peak, with much of the gain packed into the climactic last months. That finding is closely in line with bubble studies from academics at Harvard and others.

By those standards, there are at least five current bubblets. They include the cryptocurrency market for bitcoin and ethereum; clean energy stocks, including some of the biggest names in electric vehicles; small cap stocks, including many of the hottest pandemic stories; a basket of tech stocks that lack earnings, which is also chock-a-block with famous brands; and special purpose acquisition companies (Spacs) , which allow investors a new way to buy into private firms before they go public.

Each of these bubblets is captured in an index that rose in the last year by around 100 per cent, often much more, to a peak value between $500bn and $2.5tn. Day traders and other newbies rushed in, a common symptom of late stage market manias. Now these bubbles are faltering, as they so often do, in response to increases in long-term interest rates. What's next?

The historical bubbles in my study did suffer midcourse setbacks on the way up, but typically those corrections were around 25 per cent and never more than 35 per cent. Beyond that point" a 35 per cent drop" the bubbles in my sample became monophasic, or stuck on a one-way downhill path.

For the median case, the bottom was found 70 per cent below the peak, and came just over two years after the peak. Except for the index of small-cap pandemic stocks, the other four bubble candidates have all experienced drops of at least 35 per cent, but also of no more than 50 per cent (in the case of ethereum). In other words, they are not likely to resume inflating any time soon, and they are still far from the typical bottom.

There is one new factor that could upset this historical pattern. Despite the rise in long-term interest rates, there is plenty of liquidity sloshing around the markets, with central banks committed to easy money as never before. The risks though are skewed to the downside.

It is important to remember that a bubble is often a good idea gone too far. In the early 2000s, the conventional wisdom was that the dotcom bubble had fuelled mainly junk companies with business plans barely worth the napkins they were written on. Later, researchers found that, compared with other bubbles, those in the tech sector produce many start-ups that fail but also help launch major innovations. For every few dozen dotcom flame-outs, there was a giant survivor such as Google or Amazon that would go on to make the economy more productive.

[Jun 12, 2021] There s a new LGBTQ-focused ETF

Notable quotes:
"... Just in time for Pride Month, a new exchange traded fund aims to connect with LGBTQ investors. ..."
"... LGBTQ Loyalty Holdings partners with Harris Poll to annually survey 150,000 self-identifying LGBTQ constituents across the U.S. for their views about a company's brand awareness, brand image, brand loyalty and how the firm supports the community. As noted in its prospectus , 25% of the index's weighting is derived from that survey data. ..."
Jun 06, 2021 | www.marketwatch.com

Just in time for Pride Month, a new exchange traded fund aims to connect with LGBTQ investors. Two previous efforts failed to attract enough assets.

The fund, LGBTQ + ESG100 ETF LGBT, , launched in late May, is a passively managed, large-cap index fund that holds the top 100 U.S. companies that most align with the LGBTQ community.

In 2019, two LGBTQ-focused ETFs were delisted: ALPS Workplace Equality Portfolio ETF and InsightShares LGBT Employment Equality ETFs. Like this new fund, both were mostly U.S. large-cap, passive index ETFs comprising companies that received high or perfect marks for workplace equality in the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index , a benchmark for corporate LGBTQ policies.

The first ETF stuck around for five years, but the second barely made it two years, even though it was launched with much fanfare by UBS. Neither gained many assets.

Bobby Blair, CEO and founder of LGBTQ Loyalty Holdings, which launched the fund with issuer ProcureAM, says community input on holdings makes this fund different.

LGBTQ Loyalty Holdings partners with Harris Poll to annually survey 150,000 self-identifying LGBTQ constituents across the U.S. for their views about a company's brand awareness, brand image, brand loyalty and how the firm supports the community. As noted in its prospectus , 25% of the index's weighting is derived from that survey data.

... the LGBTQ + ESG100 has an annual expense ratio of 0.75%.

[Jun 12, 2021] Tech giants and tax havens targeted by historic G7 deal by David Milliken and Kate Holton

Jun 05, 2021 | finance.yahoo.com

David Milliken and Kate Holton Sat, June 5, 2021, 4:01 AM

...Hundreds of billions of dollars could flow into the coffers of governments left cash-strapped by the COVID-19 pandemic after the Group of Seven (G7) advanced economies agreed to back a minimum global corporate tax rate of at least 15%.

Facebook said it expected it would have to pay more tax, in more countries, as a result of the deal, which comes after eight years of talks that gained fresh impetus in recent months after proposals from U.S. President Joe Biden's new administration.

"G7 finance ministers have reached a historic agreement to reform the global tax system to make it fit for the global digital age," British finance minister Rishi Sunak said after chairing a two-day meeting in London.

The meeting, hosted at an ornate 19th-century mansion near Buckingham Palace in central London, was the first time finance ministers have met face-to-face since the start of the pandemic.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the "significant, unprecedented commitment" would end what she called a race to the bottom on global taxation. German finance minister Olaf Scholz said the deal was "bad news for tax havens around the world". Yellen also saw the G7 meeting as marking a return to multilateralism under Biden and a contrast to the approach of U.S. President Donald Trump, who alienated many U.S. allies. "What I've seen during my time at this G7 is deep collaboration and a desire to coordinate and address a much broader range of global problems," she said.

Ministers also agreed to move towards making companies declare their environmental impact in a more standard way so investors can decided more easily whether to fund them, a key goal for Britain.

... ... ...

Key details remain to be negotiated over the coming months. Saturday's agreement says only "the largest and most profitable multinational enterprises" would be affected.

... ... ...

The G7 includes the United States, Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Italy and Canada.

[Jun 12, 2021] How Fanatics Took Over The World

Jun 12, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Jeffrey Tucker via DailyReckoning.com,

Early in the pandemic, I had been furiously writing articles about lockdowns. My phone rang with a call from a man named Dr. Rajeev Venkayya. He is the head of a vaccine company but introduced himself as former head of pandemic policy for the Gates Foundation.

Now I was listening.

me title=

Replay Unmute Duration 0:22 / Current Time 0:22 Loaded : 100.00% Fullscreen Up Next Replay the list

https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.464.0_en.html#goog_652049397 The World Now Officially Has Five Oceans UP NEXT Kevin Connolly and girlfriend welcome daughter Edge Of The World: Going Up River Political leaders arrive in Cornwall for G7 summit French president Emmanuel Macron slapped in face during visit to town The G7 summit: What you need to know Awake: Gina Rodriguez On What Drew Her To The Film Awake: Lucius Hoya On How He Prepared For His Role NOW PLAYING

I did not know it then, but I've since learned from Michael Lewis's (mostly terrible) book The Premonition that Venkayya was, in fact, the founding father of lockdowns. While working for George W. Bush's White House in 2005, he headed a bioterrorism study group. From his perch of influence "" serving an apocalyptic president" he was the driving force for a dramatic change in U.S. policy during pandemics.

He literally unleashed hell.

That was 15 years ago. At the time, I wrote about the changes I was witnessing, worrying that new White House guidelines (never voted on by Congress) allowed the government to put Americans in quarantine while closing their schools, businesses, and churches shuttered, all in the name of disease containment.

I never believed it would happen in real life; surely there would be public revolt. Little did I know, we were in for a wild ride"¦

The Man Who Lit the Match

Last year, Venkayya and I had a 30-minute conversation; actually, it was mostly an argument. He was convinced that lockdown was the only way to deal with a virus. I countered that it was wrecking rights, destroying businesses, and disturbing public health. He said it was our only choice because we had to wait for a vaccine. I spoke about natural immunity, which he called brutal. So on it went.

The more interesting question I had at the time was why this certified Big Shot was wasting his time trying to convince a poor scribbler like me. What possible reason could there be?

The answer, I now realized, is that from February to April 2020, I was one of the few people (along with a team of researchers) who openly and aggressively opposed what was happening.

There was a hint of insecurity and even fear in Venkayya's voice. He saw the awesome thing he had unleashed all over the world and was anxious to tamp down any hint of opposition. He was trying to silence me. He and others were determined to crush all dissent.

This is how it has been for the better part of the last 15 months, with social media and YouTube deleting videos that dissent from lockdowns. It's been censorship from the beginning.

For all the problems with Lewis's book, and there are plenty, he gets this whole backstory right. Bush came to his bioterrorism people and demanded some huge plan to deal with some imagined calamity. When Bush saw the conventional plan" make a threat assessment, distribute therapeutics, work toward a vaccine" he was furious.

"This is bulls**t," the president yelled.

"We need a whole-of-society plan. What are you going to do about foreign borders? And travel? And commerce?"

Hey, if the president wants a plan, he'll get a plan.

"We want to use all instruments of national power to confront this threat," Venkayya reports having told colleagues.

"We were going to invent pandemic planning."

This was October 2005, the birth of the lockdown idea.

Dr. Venkayya began to fish around for people who could come up with the domestic equivalent of Operation Desert Storm to deal with a new virus. He found no serious epidemiologists to help. They were too smart to buy into it. He eventually bumped into the real lockdown innovator working at Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico.

Cranks, Computers, and Cooties

His name was Robert Glass, a computer scientist with no medical training, much less knowledge, about viruses. Glass, in turn, was inspired by a science fair project that his 14-year-old daughter was working on.

She theorized (like the cooties game from grade school) that if school kids could space themselves out more or even not be at school at all, they would stop making each other sick. Glass ran with the idea and banged out a model of disease control based on stay-at-home orders, travel restrictions, business closures, and forced human separation.

Crazy right? No one in public health agreed with him but like any classic crank, this convinced Glass even more. I asked myself, "Why didn't these epidemiologists figure it out?" They didn't figure it out because they didn't have tools that were focused on the problem. They had tools to understand the movement of infectious diseases without the purpose of trying to stop them.

Genius, right? Glass imagined himself to be smarter than 100 years of experience in public health. One guy with a fancy computer would solve everything! Well, he managed to convince some people, including another person hanging around the White House named Carter Mecher, who became Glass's apostle.

Please consider the following quotation from Dr. Mecher in Lewis's book: "If you got everyone and locked each of them in their own room and didn't let them talk to anyone, you would not have any disease."

At last, an intellectual has a plan to abolish disease" and human life as we know it too! As preposterous and terrifying as this is "" a whole society not only in jail but solitary confinement" it sums up the whole of Mecher's view of disease. It's also completely wrong.

Pathogens are part of our world; they are generated by human contact. We pass them onto each other as the price for civilization, but we also evolved immune systems to deal with them. That's 9th-grade biology, but Mecher didn't have a clue.

Fanatics Win the Day

Jump forward to March 12, 2020. Who exercised the major influence over the decision to close schools, even though it was known at that time that SARS-CoV-2 posed almost risk to people under the age of 20? There was even evidence that they did not spread COVID-19 to adults in any serious way.

Didn't matter. Mecher's models" developed with Glass and others" kept spitting out a conclusion that shutting down schools would drop virus transmission by 80%. I've read his memos from this period" some of them still not public" and what you observe is not science but ideological fanaticism in play.

Based on the timestamp and length of the emails, he was clearly not sleeping much. Essentially he was Lenin on the eve of the Bolshevik Revolution. How did he get his way?

There were three key elements: public fear, media and expert acquiescence, and the baked-in reality that school closures had been part of "pandemic planning" for the better part of 15 years. Essentially, the lockdowners, over the course of 15 years, had worn out the opposition. Lavish funding, attrition of wisdom within public health, and ideological fanaticism prevailed.

Figuring out how our expectations for normal life were so violently foiled, how our happy lives were brutally crushed, will consume serious intellectuals for many years. But at least we now have a first draft of history.

As with almost every revolution in history, a small minority of crazy people with a cause prevailed over the humane rationality of multitudes. When people catch on, the fires of vengeance will burn very hot.

The task now is to rebuild a civilized life that is no longer so fragile as to allow insane people to lay waste to all that humanity has worked so hard to build.

[Jun 12, 2021] Watchdog criticised over plans to combat dominance of big banks

Jun 07, 2021 | finance.yahoo.com

Nicholas Megaw in London Sun, June 6, 2021, 8:00 PM

The UK's competition regulator has been accused of "putting foxes in charge of the henhouse" after asking the banking industry's own lobby group to design a supervisory body to combat the dominance of big banks. Dozens of organisations including fintech start-ups, established tech groups like Experian and Equifax, consumer representatives and a cross-party group of MPs have raised concerns over the Competition and Markets Authority's plan to use proposals drawn up by UK Finance as the basis for a consultation on the future of so-called open banking rules. Open banking forces banks to share valuable customer data with other financial services providers, allowing smaller firms to make faster lending decisions or offer new services such as budgeting tools.

[Jun 12, 2021] China Notes That the Same Journalist Pushing Wuhan Lab Hoax Pushed Iraq WMD Hoax by Andrew Anglin

Jun 09, 2021 | www.unz.com
China Notes That the Same Journalist Pushing Wuhan Lab Hoax Pushed Iraq WMD Hoax ANDREW ANGLIN "¢ JUNE 5, 2021 "¢ 1,100 WORDS "¢ 150 COMMENTS REPLY Tweet Reddit Share Share Email Print More RSS Share to Gab

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Previously: There is Nothing Interesting in the Fauci Emails

China is inching dangerously close to dangerous anti-Semitism.

RT :

China's Foreign Ministry blasted the resurgent interest in the Covid-19 lab-origin theory, noting that the journalist behind a report about Wuhan scientists falling ill is the same one who peddled lies that led to the Iraq War.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin took aim at Michael R. Gordon, a national security correspondent for the Wall Street Journal and one of the authors of the report that added fuel to speculation about Covid-19's lab origin.

"Not long ago, Michael R. Gordon, an American journalist, by quoting a so-called "˜previously undisclosed US intelligence report,' hinted [at] a far-fetched connection between the "˜three sick staff' at the Wuhan lab and the Covid-19 outbreak," Wang said at a briefing on Friday.

"Nineteen years ago, it was this very reporter who concocted false information by citing unsubstantiated sources about Iraq's "˜attempt to acquire nuclear weapons,' which directly led to the Iraq War," he charged, referring to the 2003 US invasion.

The WSJ piece , published on May 23, cites "a previously undisclosed US intelligence report" as saying that three researchers from the Wuhan Institute of Virology fell seriously ill in November 2019 with symptoms "consistent" with Covid-19 as well as a seasonal flu.

The report got picked up by other mainstream media, which recently began shifting their coverage on Covid-19's origins from outright dismissing theories that the virus was man-made to admitting that a lab leak remains a possibility.

Gordon is supposedly not Jewish, but he co-wrote the New York Times pieces with the Jew Judith Miller.

Furthermore, I wouldn't personally point to Gordon as the source for the "Wuhan Lab Leak Hypothesis" "" I would point to the Jewish neocon Josh Rogin.

Rogin, like Gordon, spent years promoting various atrocity hoaxes in the Middle East and pushing wars for Israel, and is the original source for the version of the "Wuhan Lab theory," that is currently circulating, writing a Washington Post column promoting the hoax on April 14, 2020.

The point of course is that everywhere you look, there are neocons "" most of them Jewish "" promoting this Wuhan Lab stuff. They are the absolute source of the claim "" they and a Falun Gong Hong Kong CIA feminist woman, Li-Meng Yan.

She is claiming to be a "whistleblower," despite the fact that she in no way meets the definition of that term. The term necessarily implies insider knowledge "" usually, a whistleblower is an employee or former employee of the organization they are blowing the whistle on.

Though none of the media promoting her says it outright, there is an implication that she worked at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. She did not. She worked at a university in Hong Kong when she was funded by Steve Bannon to write a paper making the claim that the supposed coronavirus is a Chinese bioweapon.

Bannon has recently been associated with Guo Wengui, a billionaire who was exiled from China for fraud and various crimes. In June of last year, Bannon declared that Guo is now the real ruler of China in a bizarre video on a boat.

While they were on the boat in front of the Statue of Liberty saying they were going to "overthrow the government of China," they flew planes around with signs announcing their new government.

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No one understood what was going on, and even Fox News reported on "confusion" regarding the banners and the livestream on the boat. The livestream has since been deleted, and there is no news from the Federal State of New China. But there is a Wikipedia page documenting this incredibly strange event.

Guo also runs a fake news website (I use that term in the most literal sense) where he published the Hunter Biden footjob videos.

The point is: this is a very weird operation, and it is absurd to take a person funded by these people seriously, as Tucker Carlson shamefully has.

(I'm not attacking Tucker over this, he's overall great and is sometimes just really slow on the uptake, unfortunately "" but it is shameful to get involved with a Hong Kong woman who was literally given money by Steve Bannon and his "Federation of New China" group to write a fake science paper.)

To pretend that she is a whistleblower, to pretend that political organizations funding papers with a predetermined outcome is serious science, is non-serious behavior.

The first time I heard the Wuhan lab leak theory it was being promoted by neocon extremist Tom Cotton. It was then promoted by neocon extremist Mike Pompeo, who was then in the process of trying to start a war with China. Now, it is being promoted by the Jews of CNN.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/WVTZBh83RWk?feature=oembed

There is no one involved in claiming that the supposed coronavirus came from a Chinese lab who doesn't have vested interests in starting a war with the Chinese. This goes for all of these Jews, as well as Steve Bannon, who has actually declared "overthrowing the government of China" (his words) to be his goal.

It's very obvious to see how people who want a war with China would use this hoax, and it is great that China is making the link to the Iraqi WMD hoax. It truly is the same thing.

The United States is a country with a lot of problems. None of those problems are the fault of China. China is not promoting gay sex to children, they are not flooding us with millions of brown people, they did not steal our election, they did not take all of our freedoms and collapse the economy.

Our enemies are domestic and they are Jewish. Any attempt to fear-monger and attack China is intended as a distraction from what is going on in this country, and intended to stoke a war.

Furthermore, this "lab leak" nonsense is designed to get people to continue to believe in this coronavirus hoax.


Rahan , says: June 6, 2021 at 6:33 am GMT "¢ 3.8 days ago

Though none of the media promoting her says it outright, there is an implication that she worked at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. She did not. She worked at a university in Hong Kong when she was funded by Steve Bannon to write a paper making the claim that the supposed coronavirus is a Chinese bioweapon.

Bannon has recently been associated with Guo Wengui, a billionaire who was exiled from China for fraud and various crimes. In June of last year, Bannon declared that Guo is now the real ruler of China in a bizarre video on a boat.

This style of presentation is updated "internet culture" gonzo that stands on the shoulders of Hunter Thompson, Tom Wolfe, and in a sense Mark Twain.

That fact that today's Anglospheric system no longer has a place within itself for this type of "dominant narrative-jamming" creativity, and to write like this means one has chosen to become a hunted outcast, means this culture is in a death spiral. It's no longer a self-renewing organism, but simply a collection of isolated biomass units used and thrown away by the masters.

Andreas , says: June 6, 2021 at 8:18 am GMT "¢ 3.7 days ago

"Nineteen years ago, it was this very reporter who concocted false information by citing unsubstantiated sources about Iraq's "˜attempt to acquire nuclear weapons,' which directly led to the Iraq War," he charged, referring to the 2003 US invasion.

Either the neo-cons thought no one would notice or the noe-cons didn't notice themselves.

I'm leaning towards the latter, especially with sloppy drunk Steve Bannon and a "Falun Gong Hong Kong CIA feminist woman" in the mix. Is this really the best they can do?

... ... ...

Ber , says: June 6, 2021 at 8:48 am GMT "¢ 3.7 days ago

"Coronavirus Has Been Found in Sewage Samples From 2019 in Spain, Italy and Brazil Samples as old as March 2019"

https://anti-empire.com/coronavirus-has-been-found-in-sewage-samples-from-2019-in-spain-italy-and-brazil/

BluEidDvl , says: June 6, 2021 at 9:46 am GMT "¢ 3.6 days ago

These times we're living in are absolutely surreal. Not surprised though, we've been doing this for a long time now. Alas, a great many of my fellow White Americans will fall for it completely & be all in for a war with China. None of them ever even contemplating what that would mean for us & the world. But, these are the same people who boast "we're number one" when we rank at or near the bottom in positive stats for all developed nations, beset with crippling societal ills. The same people who think we can vote ourselves out of this mess & Trump will win in "˜24 & somehow save the day. The same people who think our best days are ahead when our productivity base has been utterly gutted, our infrastructure is collapsing & our ability to maintain it & the skill set needed to sustain that productivity/infrastructure is slipping away. The same people who boast of "muh freedoms" when their freedoms & their children's future is being pulled from right under their feet. The same people who think we'll always be on top even when every example of history shows that every empire in history has collapsed. We're racing toward a cliff but they still think "god" is on their side & won't let it happen or we'll stay on top because, well, "we're America"..

Utter denial & abject delusion seem to be a central aspect of our people..

Joe Levantine , says: June 6, 2021 at 10:24 am GMT "¢ 3.6 days ago

" There is no one involved in claiming that the supposed coronavirus came from a Chinese lab who doesn't have vested interests in starting a war with the Chinese. This goes for all of these Jews, as well as Steve Bannon, who has actually declared "overthrowing the government of China" (his words) to be his goal."

" History often repeats itself, first as a tragedy and second as a farce"

Karl Marx.

The tragedy of the WMD of Iraq follows many other tragedies that got young Americans to spill their blood for the sake of special interests making a killing as war profiteers. The farce of " China spread the Corona virus will the biggest tragedy to hit America if the waning bald eagle tries to poke the rising dragon.

Andrew Anglin, is one of the few American journalists who stand boldly for the truth. Not bad for someone labelled a Neo Nazi by Wikipedia.

VICB3 , says: June 6, 2021 at 11:18 am GMT "¢ 3.6 days ago
@Andreas the similarly rotten United States Empire.

We'll all get to see what happens, I guess.

I like reading history, but I don't want to live it.

Just a thought.

VicB3

*That website can offer up a number of interesting links, including this interview with Putin: https://tass.com/economy/1299287

And here's a quote from him:

"The problem of empires is that they think they are so powerful that they can afford small inaccuracies and mistakes. "But problems keep piling up. And, at some point, they are no longer able to cope with them. And the United States is now walking the Soviet Union's path, and its gait is confident and steady."

Dutch Boy , says: June 6, 2021 at 8:13 pm GMT "¢ 3.2 days ago

The current consensus that Covid was likely a Wuhan lab leak was triggered by an article by Nicholas Wade, a former science writer for the NY Times and an impeccably establishmentarian journalist. Previous attempts by right wingers or maverick scientists to advance this hypothesis were ignored or scorned by the establishment press. Wade could not be so easily dismissed. His article, plus the release of emails by Fauci acknowledging the possibility of a lab-created virus (which he publicly ridiculed) and the revelation that Fauci had funded bat research at Wuhan, have changed the game entirely. My own suspicion is that the Biden administration is preparing to throw Fauci under the bus and has signaled the press that he is now fair game. He has served his purpose and can now be used as a scapegoat. It is unlikely that the Wuhan release will ever be definitively proven. It is more important to realize that this research is not restricted to Wuhan or China and that steps should be taken to shut down all such research world-wide, including the USA, lest we have a succession of these disasters.

Mulga Mumblebrain , says: June 7, 2021 at 6:51 am GMT "¢ 2.8 days ago
@Dutch Boy

The USA has been using bio-warfare for 200 years plus and can NEVER be trusted not to carry on such research. It controls c.200 labs, worldwide, where research into pathogens and vectors, particularly arthropods, and the collection of pathogens, is carried out. It used biological agents in Korea in the early 50s, and against Cuba (African Swine Fever and dengue) in the 70s, and God knows where else, and against its own people, most infamously the Tuskegee syphilis abomination. And it is responsible for SARS CoV2, you can be sure.

Commentator Mike , says: June 7, 2021 at 12:37 pm GMT "¢ 2.5 days ago
@Mulga Mumblebrain

The West has been trying to bring down China since they tried to turn them all into opium addicts. Americans were complicit with the British in this and many of the so-called deep state players made their money from the opium trade. Apparently the same families control the present day drugs trade and the laundering of the profits from it; the so-called drug cartels are mostly minor actors well below those who run the operation at the top. Members of the cartels are often sacrificed but those at the top remain the same.

Trial by Wombat , says: June 7, 2021 at 11:02 pm GMT "¢ 2.1 days ago
@Ber t we have is the Josh Hawley demand to declassify everything related to Covid from day-1, and since he made that proposal, it has been crickets from everyone else, which is again indicative that no one in the power elite has any incentive or goal to do more than batter their usual targets.

All that said "" the best practices at this stage of overwhelming deception is to start with what we can in fact establish and prove as actual plain fact, and proceed from there. If you start from what you suspect or theorize, you will soon be enmeshed in fevered propositions ("missiles hit the pentagon on 9/11") that crap all over the genuine facts and do nothing but hand-craft a made-to-order, wild goose chase. This is very welcome by those who want to control the entire denouement, to serve their own agenda.

Arthur MacBride , says: June 9, 2021 at 8:24 am GMT "¢ 16.8 hours ago
@Joe Levantine

"¦ many other tragedies that got young Americans to spill their blood for the sake of special interests making a killing as war profiteers.

Agree the main thrust of your post, Joe.

It is also worth remembering that very many innocent souls in countries across the world have been going about their daily lives when they were attacked, maimed and killed, their houses destroyed, infrastructure wrecked etc by those same young Americans. Some countries at this very hour are occupied and are being looted by the same.

Perhaps not a comfortable thought for Americans to add in as they see their country now descending into certifiable lunacy.
But what goes around does have a habit of coming around, sooner or later.

anonym25 , says: June 9, 2021 at 11:02 am GMT "¢ 14.2 hours ago
@Anon t Ron Unz has been saying from the beginning. If you look at it geostrategically, this is most plausible conclusion. They released the virus in China but those who created it suffered a massive blowback and even worse China came out of it even stronger than ever before. They were hoping China would crumble but instead got stronger while they weakened. That's why they are fanning out a major Anti-China propaganda campaign to contain her now openly with an overwhelming support of western citizens. This frenziness displayed by western politicians is the reflection that China is on the verge an unstoppable economic powerhouse within a few years and they need to put the brakes right now. It is an implicit admission of desperation. The tussle between China and the US is going to dramatically intensify.
Abbybwood , says: June 9, 2021 at 8:52 pm GMT "¢ 4.4 hours ago
@Mulga Mumblebrain

A country can't bring another country down by giving it "Most Favored Nation Trading Status".

Then sending all it's major corporations there to make big deals.

And how has it served the United States where practically every item, pill in the US is "Made in China"?

The American people were sold out decades ago in order for the 1% and their Congressional lackeys to make major bucks. We were even working with them to create a deadly virus!

[Jun 12, 2021] Suze Orman thinks rising stock prices could be a problem for you" here's why

Jun 08, 2021 | finance.yahoo.com

"Over the past five years, the S&P 500 stock index has more than doubled. For the past 10 years, it has nearly quadrupled," says Orman. "If you have left your portfolios on autopilot, that could likely mean that you now own more stock than you intend to, or should."

Left to their own devices, your increasingly valuable stocks may have started to account for an even larger portion of your account

... ... ...

Orman cites a recent analysis from Fidelity Investments on the retirement plans the company handles. Fidelity estimates about 20% of savers own more stock than they'd recommend for someone of their age.


[Jun 12, 2021] Forget Activism- Chronic Underperformance Is Big Oil's Biggest Problem

Jun 06, 2021 | finance.yahoo.com

Whereas climate change issues are the presumptive reasons behind the latest wave of investor revolts at the oil and gas giants, lurking beneath the surface is a growing sense of apprehension about Big Oil's strategy and failure to generate adequate returns for shareholders in recent decades.

The naked truth is that Exxon and its cohorts have severely underperformed the broader market over the last two decades in terms of total returns to shareholders, implying the sector's woes are long-term and strategic rather than short-term and cyclical.

Chronic underperformance

XOM

Source: CNN Money

Big Oil's underperformance relative to the market is clearly evident whether you are looking at 2-year, 5-year, 10-year, or even 20-year timespans.

For instance, since 2015, Exxon shares have returned a -2.5% compound annual loss based on share prices and dividends, a far cry from the average annual gain of +14.4% by the S&P 500 over the timeframe.

Over the past two decades, Exxon's compound annual return has clocked in at +4.2%, still considerably lower than the broad market benchmark's return of +7.1%.

... ... ...

Exxon is hardly alone, with none of its peers, including Chevron, Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS.A), BP Inc. (NYSE:BP), and Total (NYSE:TOT) coming close to matching the returns by the broader share market over the past decade.

In fact, on an inflation-adjusted U.S. dollar basis, returns by Exxon, Shell, and BP have been negative over the past five years, a period which coincided with the biggest bull market in the history of the stock market.

The renewable energy conundrum

You cannot blame the oil majors for continuing to engage in a lot of hand-wringing at a time when investors are demanding they pump less oil and transition to cleaner energy.

For the oil majors, successfully transitioning to green energy companies is not going to be a walk in the park because these companies have to ride two horses.

That's the case because the majority are already battling dwindling cash flows which means they cannot afford to gamble with whatever little is left. Oil prices have been on a downtrend since 2014, a situation that has only worsened during the pandemic.

Oil and gas firms are still grappling with the best way to presently use dwindling cash flows; in effect, they are still weighing whether it's worthwhile to at least partially reinvent themselves as renewables businesses while also determining which low-carbon energy markets offer the most attractive future returns.

Most renewable ventures, like solar and wind projects, tend to churn out cash flows akin to annuities for several decades after initial up-front capital expenditure with generally low price risk as opposed to their current models with faster payback but high oil price risk. With the need to generate quick shareholder returns, some fossil fuel companies have actually been scaling back their clean energy investments.

Energy companies are also faced with another conundrum: Diminishing returns from their clean energy investments.

Related: ''We'll See $200 Oil": Russia & OPEC Ministers Blast IEA's Net Zero Plan

A paper published in Science Direct last August says that dramatic reductions in the cost of wind and solar have been leading to an even bigger reduction in revenue inflows leading to falling profits. This is particularly true for wind energy as later deployments of wind usually have lower market value than earlier ones due to wind energy revenue declining more rapidly than cost reductions. Solar is more resilient, with technological progress approximately balancing out the revenue degradation, which perhaps explains why solar stocks have gone ballistic.

Adding wind and solar to our grid tends to reduce electricity prices during peak generation times: Indeed, electricity prices in California can come down to zero during long sunny durations. This was not a problem for early deployments but is becoming a major concern as renewables increasingly play a bigger part in our electricity generation mix.

But, ultimately, Big Oil will have to take the plunge and engage in drastic internal restructuring and product cycle transitions even as activists like Engine No.1 promise to continue turning the screw. As Charlie Penner of Engine No.1 has told FT , the energy transition is happening faster than expected and has undermined Big Oil's assumptions about long-term demand for its oil.

By Alex Kimani for Oilprice.com

->


[Jun 12, 2021] Sidewalk Robots are Now Delivering Food in Miami

Notable quotes:
"... Florida Sun-Sentinel ..."
"... [A spokesperson says later in the article "there is always a remote and in-field team looking for the robot."] ..."
"... the Sun-Sentinel reports that "In about six months, at least 16 restaurants came on board making nearly 70,000 deliveries... ..."
Jun 06, 2021 | hardware.slashdot.org

18-inch tall robots on four wheels zipping across city sidewalks "stopped people in their tracks as they whipped out their camera phones," reports the Florida Sun-Sentinel .

"The bots' mission: To deliver restaurant meals cheaply and efficiently, another leap in the way food comes to our doors and our tables." The semiautonomous vehicles were engineered by Kiwibot, a company started in 2017 to game-change the food delivery landscape...

In May, Kiwibot sent a 10-robot fleet to Miami as part of a nationwide pilot program funded by the Knight Foundation. The program is driven to understand how residents and consumers will interact with this type of technology, especially as the trend of robot servers grows around the country.

And though Broward County is of interest to Kiwibot, Miami-Dade County officials jumped on board, agreeing to launch robots around neighborhoods such as Brickell, downtown Miami and several others, in the next couple of weeks...

"Our program is completely focused on the residents of Miami-Dade County and the way they interact with this new technology. Whether it's interacting directly or just sharing the space with the delivery bots,"

said Carlos Cruz-Casas, with the county's Department of Transportation...

Remote supervisors use real-time GPS tracking to monitor the robots. Four cameras are placed on the front, back and sides of the vehicle, which the supervisors can view on a computer screen. [A spokesperson says later in the article "there is always a remote and in-field team looking for the robot."] If crossing the street is necessary, the robot will need a person nearby to ensure there is no harm to cars or pedestrians. The plan is to allow deliveries up to a mile and a half away so robots can make it to their destinations in 30 minutes or less.

Earlier Kiwi tested its sidewalk-travelling robots around the University of California at Berkeley, where at least one of its robots burst into flames . But the Sun-Sentinel reports that "In about six months, at least 16 restaurants came on board making nearly 70,000 deliveries...

"Kiwibot now offers their robotic delivery services in other markets such as Los Angeles and Santa Monica by working with the Shopify app to connect businesses that want to employ their robots." But while delivery fees are normally $3, this new Knight Foundation grant "is making it possible for Miami-Dade County restaurants to sign on for free."

A video shows the reactions the sidewalk robots are getting from pedestrians on a sidewalk, a dog on a leash, and at least one potential restaurant customer looking forward to no longer having to tip human food-delivery workers.

... ... ...

[Jun 12, 2021] Get Ready for $178 Billion of Selling Ahead of the Capital-Gains Tax Hike. These Are the Stocks Most at Risk. - MarketWatch

Jun 07, 2021 | www.marketwatch.com

...Analysts at Goldman Sachs""in October""ran the numbers on the stock market impact of previous capital-gains tax hikes. While there is only a modest impact on the stock market as a whole, momentum stocks usually get socked before they are levied, they found. That makes sense""investors logically are more motivated to sell the stocks where they would save the most by avoiding higher capital-gains taxes.

The last time capital-gains taxes were hiked, in 2013, the wealthiest households sold 1% of their equity assets, the Goldman analysts found. According to the Federal Reserve's distributional financial account data , the top 1% held $17.79 trillion of equities and mutual funds in the fourth quarter of 2020""so a 1% selling of stocks this time would be $178 billion. (The most recent Internal Revenue Service breakdown, from 2018, found that millionaires accounted for just over 500,000 filers or about 0.4% of the total.)

[Jun 12, 2021] America's Covid Groupthink Functioned Like China's Repression by Gerard Baker

Jun 07, 2021 | www.wsj.com

Marching in ideological lockstep is less forgivable in a society where one has a choice in the matter.

...In this country, scientists, bureaucrats, journalists and executives of Big Tech companies suppressed the story not out of fear of imprisonment or death, but of their own volition, out of ideological or even venal motives. You may well ask: Whose culpability is greater?

It's not simply that the lab-leak theory was "debunked," as news organizations repeatedly told us when anyone tried to raise it a year ago. It wasn't even permitted to be considered. Discussion of the topic was deliberately extinguished on tech platforms, in the respectable scientific journals and in newsrooms.

...Thanks to a recent release of emails under the Freedom of Information Act, we now know that some of the scientists dismissing the idea had themselves expressed concerns that the zoonotic explanation they were publicly championing might not be right. We also know that in the case of the Lancet letter , some of the correspondents were involved in similar research and had a strong professional interest in denying the possibility of an engineered virus.

...Last year, many scientists beclowned themselves by bowing to the prevailing political pieties with their absurd assertion that taking part in protests on behalf of Black Lives Matter was literally salubrious, whereas taking part in protests against lockdowns was lethally reckless.

If too many American scientists failed to help us get a proper understanding of the origins of Covid, they seem to have been abetted by like-minded people in the permanent bureaucracy. Emails to and from Anthony Fauci uncovered last week show that while there were some genuinely diligent officials determined to get to the truth, too many in positions of power seemed keen to stamp out a proper investigation.

As Katherine Eban reported in Vanity Fair last week, officials from two separate bureaus in the State Department warned against a proper investigation for fear of opening a "can of worms."

Again we have good grounds to suspect that officials in a bureaucracy that had already undermined Donald Trump's presidency with baseless allegations about Russian collusion seemed intent on suppressing any suggestion, however well-supported it might be, that Trump officials might be right about a critical issue of state.

Yet the largest responsibility for the failure to consider in a timely fashion the lab-leak theory lies with the media.

Journalists were once marked by their curiosity. Now the only thing that's curious about many of them is their lack of curiosity when a story doesn't fit their priors.

...It seems increasingly likely that Chinese officials mishandled research and misrepresented and misinformed the public. But they did so under pain of punishment, even death, in a system designed to suppress that kind of information.

In this country, constitutionally protected, free and independent scientists, bureaucrats, journalists and others did the same. What's their excuse?

[Jun 12, 2021] Don't get too optimistic about a stock market rally" they've been fizzling out

Notable quotes:
"... As I argued three weeks ago, this sentiment pattern suggests that the market may remain in a fairly narrow range for the next several months. ..."
"... be on the lookout for when the market timers remain bullish in the face of declines, or bearish in the wake of rallies. That will indicate that a bigger decline or rally is in store. ..."
"... In the meantime, the market timers' behavior suggests both market rallies and declines will be subdued. That's good news to the extent you were worried that a major new bear market is about to begin, but bad news if you were hoping for a more sustained rally. ..."
Jun 04, 2021 | futurewealthdaily.com
This post was originally published on this site

... ... ...

This quick jumping onto and off of the bullish and bearish bandwagons has become the new normal, as you can see from the table below.

... ... ...

As I argued three weeks ago, this sentiment pattern suggests that the market may remain in a fairly narrow range for the next several months. The contrarian bet is that the market will finally break out of that trading range whenever the market timers stubbornly hold onto their sentiment beliefs in the face of the market moving in the opposite direction.

That is, be on the lookout for when the market timers remain bullish in the face of declines, or bearish in the wake of rallies. That will indicate that a bigger decline or rally is in store.

In the meantime, the market timers' behavior suggests both market rallies and declines will be subdued. That's good news to the extent you were worried that a major new bear market is about to begin, but bad news if you were hoping for a more sustained rally.

. .. ... ...

Mark Hulbert is a regular contributor to MarketWatch. His Hulbert Ratings tracks investment newsletters that pay a flat fee to be audited. He can be reached at mark@hulbertratings.com .

[Jun 10, 2021] Mcjobs increases in May. Good jobs no so much. Labor-force participation dropped

Jun 10, 2021 | www.wsj.com

Job gains in May were led by leisure and hospitality, with the sector adding 292,000 jobs. Payrolls grew by 559,000 last month, the Labor Department reported Friday, up from a revised 278,000 in April, which marked a sharp drop from March's figure.

The labor recovery has slowed from earlier in the year -- in March, the economy added 785,000 jobs

... The labor-force participation rate, the share of adults working or looking for work, edged slightly lower in May to 61.6%, down from 63.3% in February 2020.

M

Michael Quick

Republicans, always eager to snatch the bread from the mouths of the poor, are blaming unemployment benefits for the reluctance of workers to return to jobs. In some red states, they already are snatching it.

But more men are returning to work than are women. Doesn't that prove that unemployment benefits are not holding back former workers?

I'll bet more women will return to work in September, after schools start up in-person classes.

William Lamb
Republican turn a blind on helping people, except themselves. They would rather have one being a slave and get pay less then nothing with little perks in making less then high quality item that will still have defects, even if we pride our workmanship that is suppose to equal to none. It would like being in 1950s, when there was not much world competition, when world economy was still recovering from WW2.

I guessed Republican want American to continue working by low paying wages so they can enrich themselves, and show that America can still produce things with slave wages.

johm moore
Most of the jobs are insufficient to support a reasonable quality of life. A job today is about like a half a job pre-NAFTA and the job export process in terms of the quality of life that it supports.
Bryson Marsh
If UI was holding back employment, then why are we adding so many low wage jobs? The missing jobs are in *middle income* sectors.
David Chait
I wouldn't call people returning to work "new" jobs, that just seems disingenuous.
rich ullsmith
Asset prices rise when the jobs report is lukewarm. Thank you, Federal Reserve. May I have another.
Sam Trotter
It should be made mandatory to publish the offered wage/rate. I see so many fake jobs posted on LinkedIn with no description of bill rate for contract positions or Base+Bonus for Full-Time roles. Too many mass scam messages.

[Jun 09, 2021] Nearly 4 million people quit their jobs in April

Jun 09, 2021 | www.marketwatch.com

The percentage of people quitting their jobs, meanwhile, also rose to a record 2.8% among private-sector workers. That's a full percentage point higher than a year ago, when the so-called quits rate fell to a seven-year low.

...A recent study by Bank of America, for example, found that job switchers earned an extra 13% in wages from their new positions. That's a big chunk of money.

...Normally people who quit their jobs are ineligible for unemployment benefits, but they can get an exemption in many states for health, safety or child-care reasons.

About half of the states, all led by Republican governors, plan to stop giving out the federal benefit by early July to push people back into the labor force. Economists will be watching closely to see how many people go back to work.

[Jun 09, 2021] If the pandemic hasn't called into question the application of JIT logistics for all industries, then the loss of cheap diesel certainly will.

Jun 09, 2021 | peakoilbarrel.com

KLEIBER IGNORED 06/09/2021 at 1:57 pm

If nothing else, this scenario will lead to a radical reshaping of how we as a species go about doing logistics. If the pandemic hasn't called into question the application of JIT logistics for all industries, then the loss of cheap diesel certainly will. Even if long haul electric trucks become a thing, it will require a different approach to matters.

Cars are otherwise a solved issue with EVs. There's nothing that an ICE can really offer over an EV. Trucking and heavy industry is another matter, and that's where problems will be. Frankly, I welcome this uprooting of a paradigm that has no resilience built in whatsoever.

[Jun 09, 2021] Saudi Aramco announced a mega preliminary agreement on Wednesday to buy 5 million tons of liquefied natural gas per year from the USA

Jun 09, 2021 | peakoilbarrel.com

RON PATTERSON IGNORED 06/08/2021 at 5:27 pm

There are a lot of things that can be done to mitigate problems due to declining oil production. When it comes to SA, they can start using natural gas from Ghawar or Qatar to replace fuel oil for power generation during especially summer.

Okay, first point: Qatar has plenty of natural gas. The problem is they are in a feud with Saudi and they do not trade with each other:

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt severed diplomatic ties with Qatar in mid-2017 after accusing the country of supporting terrorism. Qatar has repeatedly denied the accusations. The boycotting countries, known as the Arab quartet, also cited political differences with Qatar over Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Second point: Saudi does not have nearly enough natural gas to power their own power plants and desalination plants:

Saudi Arabia wants to buy tons of American natural gas

New York CNN Business --
Saudi Arabia has placed a huge bet on American natural gas.

In a sign of shifting energy fortunes, Saudi Aramco announced a mega preliminary agreement on Wednesday to buy 5 million tons of liquefied natural gas per year from a Port Arthur, Texas export project that's under development.

If completed, the purchase from San Diego-based Sempra Energy (SRE) would be one of the largest LNG deals ever signed, according to consulting firm Wood Mackenzie.

But this may change. Saudi is desperate for natural gas and this has led them to try to make amends with Qatar:

Arab countries agree to end years-long feud with Qatar that divided Gulf

Updated 4:08 PM ET, Tue January 5, 2021

(CNN)Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies agreed on Tuesday to restore diplomatic relations with Qatar and restart flights to and from the country, ending a three-year boycott of the tiny gas-rich nation.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt severed diplomatic ties with Qatar in mid-2017 after accusing the country of supporting terrorism. Qatar has repeatedly denied the accusations.

The boycotting countries, known as the Arab quartet, also cited political differences with Qatar over Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood. Doha, unlike its Gulf neighbors, has friendly relations with Tehran, supported the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and has hosted groups affiliated with the Islamist group.

Qatar's only land border -- which it shares with Saudi Arabia -- was sealed shut. Boycotting countries closed their airspace to Qatar, and nearby Bahrain and the UAE closed their maritime borders to ships carrying the Qatari flag. REPLY RATIONALLUDDITE IGNORED 06/08/2021 at 8:29 pm

Fantastic Ron. Too many people practising truth by assertion and liar's bluff / wishful thinking. They won't change, but you persuade others whom are genuinely seeking the truth and can distinguish between evidence supported logic and security blanket speculation.

As was previously linked to on POB, ( https://www.sciencedirect.com/journal/petroleum-exploration-and-development/vol/44/issue/6 , p. 1024) south Ghwar was pumping 60% water seemingly c 2008.

SA is going to end badly, as too will fever dreams that don't realise that their electric transition is a mirage – largely it's all fossil fuels in disguise and totally parasitic on upon the peak energy infrastructure of previous and current fossil fuel excess calories.

We may have an Electric Middle Ages (Ugo Bardi), but unless a new energy source AT LEAST as energy dense and net positive as FF is discovered like yesterday then this lovely wealth Blip we all enjoyed is going away.

[Jun 07, 2021] Have Stocks Already Priced In The Economic Boom? by Lance Roberts

Jun 07, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Lance Roberts via RealInvestmentAdvice.com,

The media is buzzing with claims of an "Economic Boom" in 2021. While the economy will most certainly grow in 2021, the question is how much is already "baked in?"

"The economy has entered a period of supercharged growth. Instead of fizzling, it could potentially remain stronger than it was during the pre-pandemic era into 2023.

Economists now expect the second quarter to grow at a pace of 10%, and they expect growth for 2021 to be north of 6.5%. In the past decade, only a few quarters gross domestic product growing at even 3%."

The premise is that strong "pent up" demand will sustain the economic recovery over the next few years.

However, since market lows in 2020, the market surge has not only recouped all of those losses but has rocketed to all-time highs on expectations of surging earnings growth.

The question: How much has gotten priced in?

A Return To Normalcy

Just recently, Liz Ann Sonders wrote a piece for Advisor Perspectives. To wit:

"Vaccines and herd immunity continue to bring COVID cases down, and the economic reopening continues to kick into a higher gear. Such is what the data is starting to show. Across economic metrics, from the gross domestic product ( GDP ) to retail sales and job growth, boom conditions are evident ."

She is correct in her statement. However, there is a difference between an "economic boom" and a "recovery." As shown in the chart of GDP growth below, the U.S. has already experienced a very sharp "economic recovery" from the recessionary lows. (I have included estimates for the rest of 2020, which shows a return to trend growth.)

The following chart shows the economic recovery against the massive dumps of liquidity pumped into the economy. (Estimates run through the end of 2021 using economist's assumptions.)

Can't Recoup Losses

Certain areas of the economy, like airlines, hotels, and cruise ships, have yet to recover to pre-pandemic levels. However, those industries only make up a relatively small amount of overall economic activity. Furthermore, these industries will continue to struggle for some time as individuals will not take "two vacations" this year since they missed last year. That activity is now forever lost.

Yes, the economy will recover most likely to pre-pandemic levels this year due to stimulus injections, but as discussed previously , what then?

"The biggest problem with more stimulus is the increase in the debt required to fund it. There is no historical precedent, anywhere globally, that shows increased debt levels lead to more robust economic growth rates or prosperity. Since 1980, the overall increase in debt has surged to levels that currently usurp the entirety of economic growth. With economic growth rates now at the lowest levels on record, the change in debt continues to divert more tax dollars away from productive investments into the service of debt and social welfare."

Just as it is with investing, getting "back to even" is not the same thing as "organic growth."

The Second Derivative

What is shown above is the "second derivative" effect of growth.

"In calculus, the second derivative , or the second-order derivative , of a function f is the derivative of the derivative of f." – Wikipedia.

In English, the "second derivative" measures how the rate of change of a quantity is itself changing. Since we measure GDP growth on an annual rate of change basis, the larger the economy grows, the lower the rate of change will be. Here is a simplistic example go GDP growth:

In year 1, GDP = $1. In the second year, GDP grows to $2. The annual rate of change is 100%. However, in year 3, even though the economy grows to $3, the annual rate of change falls to just 50%.

Given the long-term historical correlation between economic growth, corporate earnings, and annualized returns, the reversion to trend growth has implications for investors. As Liz notes:

"Using three broad ranges for GDP growth historically, the lowest range (when the economy is barely growing or in recession) is accompanied by the highest annualized stock market performance. GDP is only slightly back into positive territory on an annualized basis. However, the strong growth expected in the second quarter will push GDP into the highest zone. At that level, stocks have historically posted a negative annualized return."

The reason is that once economic growth reaches higher levels, stocks have climbed to levels incorporating those expectations. In other words, when things are as "good as they can get," stocks begin to reprice for slower future growth rates.

That is the phase we are at currently.

How Much Pent Up Demand Is There Anyway

The main driver of the expected recovery from a "recessionary" low stems from the question of how much "pent up" demand currently exists?

If we look at durable goods as an example, such would suggest that much of the demand for long-lasting products got pulled forward by consumers over the last 12-months.

Of course, if we broaden that measure to retails sales which make up ~40% of the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) index , we see much the same.

Given PCE, which comprises nearly 70% of GDP, has already recovered much of pandemic-related decline, how much "pent up" demand remains.

However, wage growth outside of personal transfer payments (i.e., stimulus) hasn't recovered. It is impossible to sustain higher rates of economic growth without wage growth.

Importantly, as we saw in January and February following the $900 billion stimulus bill passage, there was a short-lived surge of activity. However, once individuals spent the money, activity quickly faded. We saw the same with retail sales in April following the American Rescue Plan, which sent out $1400 checks.

After the $1400 checks get spent, what will be the driver for continued consumption at previous rates? Further, given the impact of a larger economy (as it recovers), the rate of change will decline markedly in the months to come.

Earnings Growth Inflection

"Earnings growth has a high correlation to stock market performance, but with time lags that are less well-understood. We are about halfway through the first quarter S&P 500 earnings season and so far, the results are exceptionally strong." – Liz Ann Sonders

That is correct, and given the high correlation between earnings and market returns, we come back to the same question. Has the advance in the market accounted for the rebound in earnings? More importantly, what happens when that growth reverses?

"Relative to last year's second-quarter plunge of nearly -31% year-over-year, expectations are that S&P 500 earnings will be up more than 46% in this year's first quarter. The second quarter will boast a whopping 60% increase. Such should be the inflection point in terms of the year-over-year growth rate." – Liz Ann Sonders

The problem is the S&P rose to levels that earnings growth will have difficulty supporting, particularly as the stimulus fades from the system. As with economic growth, the 2nd derivative of earnings growth is now a headwind for the markets.

Such is also the problem of "pulling forward sales."

Conclusion

Notably, the outsized growth of the market reflects repetitive interventions into the financial markets by the Fed. Those interventions detached financial asset growth from their long-term correlation to GDP growth, where corporate revenue comes from. Historically, when the S&P 500 becomes separated from economic growth, a reversion occurred.

Currently, analysts are expecting earnings to surge well above economic growth rates. However, the flaw in the analysis is the assumption earnings growth will continue its current trend.

While there will be an economic recovery to pre-pandemic levels, a recovery is very different from an expansion.

As Liz concludes:

"Optimism is extremely elevated. Such is certainly justified by stock market behavior over the past year and recent economic releases. But some curbing of enthusiasm may be warranted given the history of the stock market as an uncanny 'sniffer-outer' of economic inflection points."

As she goes on to point out, this is not a time for FOMO-driven investment decision-making. The reality is that the supports that drove the economic recovery will not support an ongoing economic expansion. One is self-sustaining organic growth from productive activity, and the other is not.

The risk of disappointment is high. And so are the costs of being "wilfully blind" to the dangers.

[Jun 07, 2021] heard on Bloomberg radio yesterday that the Reddit investors are beginning to pour into oil and grains. So, worried about volatility.

Jun 07, 2021 | peakoilbarrel.com

SHALLOW SAND IGNORED 06/05/2021 at 9:49 am

Biden Admin proposing elimination of IDC expensing and percentage depletion, among other tax preferences.

Elimination of IDC expensing will affect US shale.

Percentage depletion only affects small producers. We can make it without percentage depletion. Will just result in us paying more income tax. But lower 48 onshore conventional production in US is below 2 million barrels per day and slowly falling. Hopefully we will be permitted to continue to produce oil for the many uses of it besides light transport.

As long as Biden doesn't try to sell these as "Big Oil Tax breaks" I'm not going to complain.

I think elimination of these tax preference items will lower US production, which will increase oil prices. US is historically the only major producer that has desired low oil prices. That is because we are still a net importer of crude oil.

Now that Trump is gone, it appears US also is not too concerned about oil prices.

What a turnaround from this time, last year. We had just reactivated our wells at the end of May, 2020, after oil had went negative on April 20.

Yesterday WTI closed around $69.50.

President Biden could turn out to be very good for small conventional lower 48 onshore producers. He just needs to recognize that our oil is still needed, and will still be needed for decades.

I will keep beating my drum. Stripper well oil is small footprint. Existing source. Very low methane emissions from upstream operations. Employs the highest number of persons per BO. Employs largely rural populace. Owned by small business. Family owned. Pays a lot in local taxes. Is very low decline. Predictable. Uses the smallest amount of materials, such as plastics and steel. I can go on, but won't.

Stripper well doesn't need "tax breaks" either, if it is afforded a strong, stable oil price. In my view, $60-70 WTI won't kill the consumer.

But, I heard on Bloomberg radio yesterday that the Reddit investors are beginning to pour into oil and grains. So, worried about volatility.

Only about 1/5-1/6 of voters in the very rural counties (25K or less in population) votes for Biden. Yet his policies appear to be a boon for those populations.

Here's to $5+ corn, $14+ soybeans, $6+ wheat, $6+ milo and $65+ WTI! Keeping prices there would really solidify a part of the US that is really struggling.

I suspect I might be the only person still posting here that lives in an oil and grain producing region. There just aren't many of us left.

Labor will be our huge problem. Maybe strong and stable commodity prices could bring some people back, or keep some of our young people here?

Thank goodness for the people from Mexico and Central America. Without them, rural USA would be in really big trouble. SHALLOW SAND IGNORED 06/05/2021 at 10:48 am

Dennis.

I will add, if rural is in big trouble, I believe the entire USA is in big trouble.

I have never seen the labor shortages that I am seeing today in my community.

I know there are many efforts to radically change how our country's food supply is produced. But, like energy transition, those will take decades.

It is not attractive to most to live in rural locations. Very, very difficult psychological and emotional transition for those that try to move from urban/suburban to rural. I have seen it first hand. We cannot keep doctors for that reason, for example. There are almost no attorneys here under the age of 60. Management of our factories has mostly been moved, because it can be due to technology, and because management doesn't want to live here.

Most in the factories here are being hired in at $16-19 per hour, and will be over $20 soon after. Most work at least 10 hours of overtime a week.

But we have a very high percentage of young adults in the rural areas struggling with hard drug dependency. Meth is the big one, and it is easier for a 20 year old to get meth than to get a beer in most rural areas.

Our country needs to do so much better across the board on hard drug dependency. One of the many reasons being to fill all of these job openings. Of course, there are more important ones than that.

I bet if hard drug dependency was completely eliminated, over 90% of child abuse and neglect court cases would also be wiped out. That is the most important reason we need to do better.

[Jun 07, 2021] Rossneft CEO Sechin said that the world was facing an acute oil shortage in the long-term due to underinvestment amid a drive for alternative energy, while demand for oil continued to rise

Jun 07, 2021 | peakoilbarrel.com

OVI IGNORED 06/06/2021 at 8:40 pm

WTI Punched a $70 ticket sometime after 6:00 PM EST, June 6, 2021. The last time this happened was Oct 16, 2018, $71.92 before falling below $70 the next day.

HICKORY IGNORED 06/06/2021 at 10:59 pm

"Igor Sechin, the head of Russian oil major Rosneft (ROSN.MM), said on Saturday the world was facing an acute oil shortage in the long-term due to underinvestment amid a drive for alternative energy, while demand for oil continued to rise."

Indeed.

[Jun 07, 2021] Exxon Exits Oil Exploration Prospect in Ghana After Seismic Work - Bloomberg

Jun 07, 2021 | www.bloomberg.com

Exxon Mobil Corp. is pulling out of a deep-water oil prospect in Ghana just two years after the west African nation ratified an exploration and production agreement with the U.S. oil titan.

The company relinquished the entirety of its stake in the Deepwater Cape Three Points block and resigned as its operator after fulfilling its contractual obligations during the initial exploration period, according to a letter to Ghana's government seen by Bloomberg and people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be named because the information isn't public.

[Jun 07, 2021] BP Sees Global Crude Oil Demand to Last, CEO Bernard Looney Says - Bloomberg

Jun 07, 2021 | www.bloomberg.com

Energy giant BP Plc sees a strong recovery in global crude demand and expects it to last for some time, with U.S. shale production being kept in check, according to Chief Executive Officer Bernard Looney.

"There is a lot of evidence that suggests that demand will be strong, and the shale seems to be remaining disciplined," Looney told Bloomberg News in St. Petersburg, Russia. "I think that the situation we're in at the moment could last like this for a while."

[Jun 07, 2021] There s a new LGBTQ-focused ETF

Jun 06, 2021 | www.marketwatch.com

Just in time for Pride Month, a new exchange traded fund aims to connect with LGBTQ investors. Two previous efforts failed to attract enough assets.

The fund, LGBTQ + ESG100 ETF LGBT, +0.91% , launched in late May, is a passively managed, large-cap index fund that holds the top 100 U.S. companies that most align with the LGBTQ community.

In 2019, two LGBTQ-focused ETFs were delisted: ALPS Workplace Equality Portfolio ETF and InsightShares LGBT Employment Equality ETFs. Like this new fund, both were mostly U.S. large-cap, passive index ETFs comprising companies that received high or perfect marks for workplace equality in the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index , a benchmark for corporate LGBTQ policies.

The first ETF stuck around for five years, but the second barely made it two years, even though it was launched with much fanfare by UBS. Neither gained many assets.

Bobby Blair, CEO and founder of LGBTQ Loyalty Holdings, which launched the fund with issuer ProcureAM, says community input on holdings makes this fund different.

LGBTQ Loyalty Holdings partners with Harris Poll to annually survey 150,000 self-identifying LGBTQ constituents across the U.S. for their views about a company's brand awareness, brand image, brand loyalty and how the firm supports the community. As noted in its prospectus , 25% of the index's weighting is derived from that survey data.

... the LGBTQ + ESG100 has an annual expense ratio of 0.75%.

[Jun 07, 2021] As bubbles peak, they combine objective signs of excess prices rising much faster than earnings can justify with subjective signs of mania, such as frenzied trading and excessive leveraging

Jun 06, 2021 | investornewsletter.net

As bubbles peak, they combine objective signs of excess" prices rising much faster than earnings can justify" with subjective signs of mania, such as frenzied trading and borrowing. To some the entire US stock market looks bubbly given its dizzying run-up, but earnings growth has also been extraordinarily strong through the pandemic. Beneath the surface, however, sectors of the market from green tech to cryptocurrency show tell-tale bubble signs.

My research on the 10 biggest bubbles of the past century, from the US stock market in 1929 to Chinese shares in 2015, shows that prices typically rise 100 per cent in the year before the peak, with much of the gain packed into the climactic last months. That finding is closely in line with bubble studies from academics at Harvard and others.

By those standards, there are at least five current bubblets. They include the cryptocurrency market for bitcoin and ethereum; clean energy stocks, including some of the biggest names in electric vehicles; small cap stocks, including many of the hottest pandemic stories; a basket of tech stocks that lack earnings, which is also chock-a-block with famous brands; and special purpose acquisition companies (Spacs) , which allow investors a new way to buy into private firms before they go public.

Each of these bubblets is captured in an index that rose in the last year by around 100 per cent, often much more, to a peak value between $500bn and $2.5tn. Day traders and other newbies rushed in, a common symptom of late stage market manias. Now these bubbles are faltering, as they so often do, in response to increases in long-term interest rates. What's next?

The historical bubbles in my study did suffer midcourse setbacks on the way up, but typically those corrections were around 25 per cent and never more than 35 per cent. Beyond that point" a 35 per cent drop" the bubbles in my sample became monophasic, or stuck on a one-way downhill path.

For the median case, the bottom was found 70 per cent below the peak, and came just over two years after the peak. Except for the index of small-cap pandemic stocks, the other four bubble candidates have all experienced drops of at least 35 per cent, but also of no more than 50 per cent (in the case of ethereum). In other words, they are not likely to resume inflating any time soon, and they are still far from the typical bottom.

There is one new factor that could upset this historical pattern. Despite the rise in long-term interest rates, there is plenty of liquidity sloshing around the markets, with central banks committed to easy money as never before. The risks though are skewed to the downside.

It is important to remember that a bubble is often a good idea gone too far. In the early 2000s, the conventional wisdom was that the dotcom bubble had fuelled mainly junk companies with business plans barely worth the napkins they were written on. Later, researchers found that, compared with other bubbles, those in the tech sector produce many start-ups that fail but also help launch major innovations. For every few dozen dotcom flame-outs, there was a giant survivor such as Google or Amazon that would go on to make the economy more productive.

[Jun 07, 2021] Tech giants and tax havens targeted by historic G7 deal by David Milliken and Kate Holton

Jun 05, 2021 | finance.yahoo.com

LONDON (Reuters) -The United States, Britain and other large, rich nations reached a landmark deal on Saturday to squeeze more money out of multinational companies such as Amazon and Google and reduce their incentive to shift profits to low-tax offshore havens.

Hundreds of billions of dollars could flow into the coffers of governments left cash-strapped by the COVID-19 pandemic after the Group of Seven (G7) advanced economies agreed to back a minimum global corporate tax rate of at least 15%.

Facebook said it expected it would have to pay more tax, in more countries, as a result of the deal, which comes after eight years of talks that gained fresh impetus in recent months after proposals from U.S. President Joe Biden's new administration.

"G7 finance ministers have reached a historic agreement to reform the global tax system to make it fit for the global digital age," British finance minister Rishi Sunak said after chairing a two-day meeting in London.

The meeting, hosted at an ornate 19th-century mansion ne