ECONOMY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

ECONOMY

Sep 24 10:18

Cyber Attacks on Our Food Systems are Gaining Steam

(Malware News) – Recent ransomware attacks against U.S. grain cooperatives and a farm data platform are raising the specter of food supply chain disruptions while highlighting the economic and physical security risks of reliance on increasingly sophisticated systems to feed the world.

America’s farms have led the way in real-world applications of innovations, from self-driving vehicles to satellite imagery, so much so that many farmers are already living in the future: They rely on farm platforms that can connect information from their tractors, drones, satellites, soil samples, and public sources to map out plans for planting, which herbicides or pesticides to use, and harvests.

“Everything is connected,” explained Auburn University Professor Robert Norton, who studies food safety...

Sep 24 10:03

Baker Hughes’ CEO Warns Of Three Hard Truths About The Energy Transition

Fossil fuels are here to stay. This is the message one oilfield major CEO had for those watching the surge of gas prices in Europe, some with trepidation, others with fascination. They are here to stay because they help ensure a country's energy security. "We think there's three hard truths," Simonelli told CNBC in an interview this week. "Firstly, we've got to work together, accelerate the move towards decarbonization and also eliminating emissions. Secondly, hydrocarbons are here to stay … and natural gas, in fact, is a key element. And thirdly, we've got to do it together, collaborate and actually adopt the new technologies that are available."

Sep 24 09:46

Biden considering Defense Production Act to address semiconductor chip shortage: report

The Biden administration says it is considering using the Defense Production Act as a remedy to address the ongoing shortage of semiconductor chips in the U.S., and have reportedly already threatened companies with the prospect.

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo told Bloomberg on Thursday she has warned industry leaders that the DPA is on the table, claiming businesses are not cooperating with the agency's requests for their data regarding supply chains.

"What I told them is, ‘I don’t want to have to do anything compulsory but if they don’t comply, then they’ll leave me no choice,’" Raimondo told the outlet. "I said today we’re evaluating all of our options right now, all the tools. I hope not to go there but we need to see some progress and we definitely need compliance."

Also on Thursday, the White House released a briefing on the semiconductor shortage and ways the administration is trying to address the issue.

Sep 24 09:40

Telosa: A Technocratic City In The Making

By Matt

One of the great myths of the modern age is that of the beneficent billionaire. The tale is simple and told in just two acts. In the first act these men and women rise from humble beginnings to amass inordinate amounts of wealth, power, and influence over society. Their second act begins when they are reborn as philanthropists whose only purpose in life is to save the planet.

This is the story of many of the world’s wealthiest individuals. Variations of it apply to the likes of Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Richard Branson, and Pierre Omidyar.

Joining their ranks is entrepreneur and former CEO of e-commerce at Walmart, Marc Lore. His first act is just like those of the other beneficent billionaires. Lore was just a normal kid from Staten Island who would go on to found and then sell several successful companies which already amassed him an enormous fortune before joining Walmart...

Sep 24 09:32

A record number of cargo ships are stuck outside LA. What’s happening?

Southern California is dealing with a traffic jam unlike any other, as a record number of container ships have been stuck waiting in the waters outside the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to unload cargo.

The bottleneck this week at America’s busiest port complex is the result of a shortage of trucks and drivers to pick up goods, coupled with an overwhelming demand for imported consumer products.

As of Wednesday, 62 container ships were waiting offshore to unload cargo, according to the Marine Exchange of Southern California.

Sep 24 09:05

‘Eerie silence’ as Evergrande misses payment deadline

The embattled Chinese property developer Evergrande is inching closer to the potential default that investors fear, after missing an interest payment deadline.

The company, which has total debts of about $305bn (£222bn), has run short of cash, and investors are worried a collapse could pose systemic risks to China’s financial system and reverberate around the world.

A Thursday deadline for paying $83.5m in bond interest passed without remark from Evergrande, and bondholders had not been paid nor heard from the company, two people familiar with the situation told Reuters.

The firm is in uncharted waters and enters a 30-day grace period. It will default if that passes without payment.

“These are periods of eerie silence as no one wants to take massive risks at this stage,” said Howe Chung Wan, the head of Asia fixed income at Principal Global Investors in Singapore.

Sep 24 09:04

Apple turns post-lawsuit tables on Epic, will block Fortnite on iOS

Weeks after Epic's apparent "win" against Apple in the Epic Games v. Apple case, Apple issued a letter denying Epic's request to have its developer license agreement reinstated until all legal options are exhausted. This effectively bans Fortnite and any other software from the game maker from returning to Apple's App Store for years.

Epic was handed an initial victory when the US District Court for Northern California issued an injunction on September 10 ordering Apple to open up in-game payment options for all developers. At the time, the injunction was something of a moral victory for Epic—allowing the developer to keep its in-game payment systems in its free-to-play Fortnite intact while avoiding paying Apple a 30 percent fee that had previously covered all in-app transactions.

Sep 24 09:01

Costco brings back purchase limits on toilet paper, cleaning supplies and more

Costco Chief Financial Officer Richard Galanti said Thursday the company wants to make sure it has essential items at stores, even as shipping delays and truck driver shortages make it hard to keep them on shelves.

During an earnings call, he said the retailer is “putting some [purchase] limitations on key items.” Those include toilet paper, paper towels, bottled water and high-demand cleaning products. He did not specify how many of each item customers will be able to buy.

The new product limits are prompted by a different challenge than the ones in earlier phases of the pandemic, when stores saw unusually high demand for paper products and antibacterial wipes as customers stockpiled those goods.

Sep 24 09:01

The Truth About Evergrande

Sep 24 06:12

Houston we have a problem. Crash imminent.

Sep 24 03:48

Petrol panic-buying begins as UK plunges towards Winter of Discontent 2.0: Food, gas, fuel and labour shortages see desperate bosses offering HGV drivers £78,000 salaries and fruit-pickers on £30-a-hour

Panic buying at the pumps has already begun today amid fears fuel rationing is on the way due to the UK's crippling HGV driver shortage - as Transport Secretary Grant Shapps tried to calm nerves by urging Britons 'carry on as normal'.

Queues of cars were seen spilling out on to the road from forecourts in Tonbridge, Kent, in Ely, Cambridgeshire, Bright and Leeds this morning - just a day after fuel bosses warned of petrol and diesel rationing and petrol station closures.

The scenes of queues outside petrol stations - which for some will stir up memories of the 1973 Opec Oil Crisis - come amid fears of a 1978-style 'winter of discontent' for the UK with skyrocketing energy prices, food shortages and fuel rationing.

Sep 24 03:29

Praying for a warm Autumn? Kwarteng is branded 'complacent' for suggesting the WEATHER could ease the crisis over gas prices - as boss of collapsed energy firm Green warns big suppliers will soon come 'cap in hand for a bailout'

Kwasi Kwarteng was branded 'shameful' today after he suggested a warm autumn might be the best hope of easing the crisis over gas prices.

Dragged back to be grilled by MPs on the crisis, the Business Secretary stressed the weather is the 'single most important determinant' of costs. The comment came hours after Boris Johnson made a speech at the UN warning of the dangers of climate change.

But he denied the government was 'complacent' about the issues and repeated that there will be no 'reward for failure' bailouts for collapsing energy firms, amid warnings that big suppliers will soon come 'cap in hand' for support.

Sep 24 03:24

IEA Demands Russia Deliver More Gas To A Reeling Europe

Over the weekend, Morgan Stanley's global energy head Martijn Rats shared comprehensive yet streamlined analysis of what happened in 2021 that has sent many commodity prices, including Europe's nat gas and electricity prices, surging to never before seen levels.

For those who missed it, Rats explained that A common set of factors has tied all these commodity rallies together. As often happens, the story starts in China.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Demands?!? It's Russia's gas. They get to do with it whatever they want!

Sep 23 13:35

White House beginning to tell government agencies to prepare for a shutdown

The White House has started to tell government agencies to prepare for a potential government shutdown if a stopgap bill is not signed into law by Sept. 30.

"We are taking every step we can to mitigate the impacts of a potential shutdown," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said during a briefing Thursday.

There is no formal guidance yet, but it's "just a reminder we're seven days out and we need to be prepared, of course, in any event of any contingency, so we see this as a routine step and one just to be prepared in any event of what could happen," she said.

Sep 23 13:06

NY Gov. Kathy Hochul to Unvaxxed Hospital Workers: Get Vaxxed Or Get Replaced With Foreigners

New York Governor Kathy Hochul on Thursday threatened to replace workers at hospitals and nursing homes with foreigners if they don't submit to being vaccinated by Monday.

Sep 23 12:23

Prepare For Worse: Food Prices Soar

Sep 23 09:30

Welcome to the CO2 Monitoring Credit Card that Cuts You Off at Your Carbon Max

By Makia Freeman

THE STORY: Did you know there is already a Swedish credit card available which links all your transactions with your supposed carbon footprint?

THE IMPLICATIONS: Propaganda pushed about the purported danger of carbon and CO2 is dangerous, and can lead to the removal of our rights and freedom.

Sep 23 09:22

Evergrande's offshore default risk...

Sep 23 09:15

America 2021: Inequality is Now Baked In

Sep 23 09:13

Every Thing Is Aligning For A Fall...

Sep 23 07:56

The European Energy Crisis Is About To Go Global

It was only a matter of time, really. In a globalized world, energy crunches can hardly remain regionally contained for very long, especially in a context of damaged supply chains and a rush to cut investment in fossil fuels. The energy crunch that began in Europe earlier this month may now be on its way to America. For now, all is well with one of the world's top gas producers. U.S. gas exporters have enjoyed a solid increase in demand from Asia and Europe as the recovery in economic activity pushed demand for electricity higher. According to a recent Financial Times report, there is a veritable bidding war for U.S. cargos of liquefied natural gas between Asian and European buyers—and the Asians are winning.

Sep 23 07:56

The Federal Reserve is getting ready to roll back its massive stimulus

The Federal Reserve isn't ready to take its foot off the stimulus gas pedal just yet, but that soon might change.

If the economic recovery continues to progress as expected, the Fed "judges that a moderation in the pace of asset purchases may soon be warranted," according to the bank's policy update published Wednesday.

This raises the prospects of a November announcement that it will step on the brakes. But even if such a move was delayed until December or January, it wouldn't matter much to markets, which have already priced in a policy change, said Seema Shah, chief strategist at Principal Global Investors, in emailed comments.

The Fed could also lift interest rates as early as next year, according to updated projections, as opposed to waiting until 2023 as previous forecasts called for.

Sep 23 07:52

Beyond The Official Narrative with Richard Kary, September 21, 2021

Richard is once again joined by guest Jayant Bhandari. Jayant is a globetrotting institutional investment consultant, who has amassed extensive international experience in the mining and natural resource sector. Apart from his investment insights, he has published numerous interesting analyses on political, cultural and social issues, while he also runs a yearly seminar in Vancouver, “Capitalism & Morality”.

Sep 23 06:31

Nuclear Power, Food and Other Industries Affected by UK CO2 Shortage, Which is Spilling into Europe

Soaring prices for natural gas have severely affected Europe’s energy sector, driving many companies out of the market and prompting bankruptcies. Fertiliser plants, which use natural gas as a feedstock, have also been troubled by the increased costs. These factories have been an important source of food-grade CO2…

Britain’s carbon dioxide crisis, which has put the medical, nuclear and food industries under threat, has already been acutely felt in Europe, according to one of the world’s largest distributors of gas, Nippon Gases.

Sep 23 06:29

In Full: Boris Johnson talks COVID-19, gas disruption and Russia, in New York

Sep 23 06:08

'I Don't Say That Lightly': GOP Senator Attacks Schumer And Pelosi Over 'Reckless' Spending Bill

Sep 23 06:05

Sinophobia Meets Prison Labor in a Think Tank Down Under

The West has been literally swamped by a non-stop propaganda offensive about Uyghur forced labor camps – thoroughly debunked, for instance, here. Now let’s examine the other – Western – side of the story.

In early 2021, Defense for Children (DCI) took the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) to court in New South Wales. DCI’s lawsuit charges that ASPI may have been receiving funds from a number of weapons manufacturers and government agencies in the US and UK profiting from prison labor.

Although lawyers for ACPI assured these funds would be cut off if any serious evidence surfaced, the case got murkier, and there are doubts it will ever go to trial.

Sep 22 13:44

US risks defaulting its debts, which could set off 'cataclysmic' situation for economy, analysts say

The fight over raising the nation's borrowing limit underscores a reality for Democrats as they are in the midst of their highest-stakes moment for President Joe Biden's sweeping legislative agenda: thrusting a potential default into the mix may have devastating consequences.

A mild recession, according to analysts, would likely be the best-case scenario in the event of the US government defaulting on its debts, a limit the country is expected to reach next month and for which Congress must act to increase. The worst case scenario would involve downstream effects of potentially cascading job losses, a shut down in tens of billions in Covid-19 economic recovery aid still set to be delivered, a near-freeze in credit markets and gross domestic product taking a tangible hit that could last for multiple quarters.

Sep 22 11:27

Dems In Trouble As AOC Progressives Blackmail Pelosi On Spending Bill

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) tried to reassure moderate members of her conference late Monday that they would not be required to pass a spending bill with a higher price tag than any legislation the Senate approves.

In a so-called “Dear Colleague” letter, Pelosi told her fellow Democrats that while she hoped the bill that comes to the floor will call for $3.5 trillion in spending, in accordance with the budget framework passed by the House last month, “[w]e must be prepared for adjustments”.

Pelosi has held off on bringing a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill previously passed by the Senate up for a vote while congressional Democrats and the White House try to beat out the details of the larger proposal — which they hope to force through both chambers without Republican help through the parliamentary maneuver of reconciliation.

Sep 22 10:34

Time To Say Goodbye To The Everything Bubble

Sep 22 09:24

BREAKING: China Evergrande said to be in talks with firms including NIO, XPeng to sell EV unit

Chinese property developer Evergrande Group is currently in talks with several companies, including NIO, XPeng Motors and Xiaomi, to sell its electric vehicle business, chinastarmarket.cn reported Thursday.

As of now, the results of the talks have not been finalized. However, Xiaomi will still choose to build its own car, and the address will be officially disclosed next week at the earliest, the report said.

NIO, XPeng and Xiaomi have not yet responded to the information, the report said.

Sep 22 08:50

Inflation Is Killing The Recovery

Sep 22 08:15

Gavin Newsom Signs Bills to Roll Back Single-family Zoning in California

California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed three housing bills last week after he beat back a recall effort, all aimed at rolling back local single-family zoning laws and encouraging new housing to be built, especially dense housing developments.

SB 8, SB 9, and SB 10 were all signed into law on Thursday, Sep. 16.

SB 8 overrides some local government authority to reduce the capacity of housing projects; and SB 10 promotes high-density developments in certain urban areas.

The most controversial of the three is SB 9, which would allow homeowners to split single-family lots into two, and allow them to build duplexes on each, without the approval of local authorities, and regardless of single-family zoning in those areas.

The idea is to encourage more housing units to be built, providing more supply and potentially lowering prices. However, the law is not likely to promote much new housing in urban areas like San Francisco, though it may have an impact in the suburbs.

Sep 22 07:38

While Democrats Try To 'Kill Coal' In US, Asia Heads In The Opposite Direction

Congressional Democrats and the Biden administration are working towards an ambitious goal of eliminating coal-fired electricity and 'decarbonize' the US electric grid by 2035.

To meet such an aggressive deadline, House Democrats unveiled a $150 billion 'clean electricity' program to incentivize utility companies to phase out fossil fuels for clean energy. The Clean Electricity Performance Program, or CEPP, would reward utility that boost their percentage of electricity supplied to the grid from green sources - such as solar, wind and hydro, between 2023 and 2030.

S&P Global explains more about the program:

Sep 22 07:33

China Syndrome? Is Evergrande A Symptom Of Deeper Malaise

Evergrande’s imminent default is rocking markets – but few believe the collapse of a Chinese property developer could trigger a global financial crisis. What if Evergrande is just a symptom of a deeper malaise within the Chinese economy and its political/business structures? Maybe there is more at stake than we realise? What if Emperor Xi decides he needs a distraction?

Amid this week's market turbulence, and the overnight headlines, Evergrande dominates thinking this morning. The early headlines say the risk is “easing”. Don’t be fooled. S&P are on the wires saying it’s on the brink of default and is unlikely to get govt support. It’s Asia’s largest junk-bond issuer. Anyone for the last few choc-ices then?

Sep 22 07:33

Sens McConnell, Shelby Offer Short-Term Govt. Funding Bill Without Debt Ceiling

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) on Sept. 21 offered a competing short-term government funding bill, just as House Democrats passed a stopgap measure that also suspends the debt limit until after the 2022 election.

The bill from McConnell and Shelby does not include a debt ceiling suspension, as Republicans have urged Democrats—the majority party—to raise the $28.4 trillion debt ceiling themselves through reconciliation, a special parliamentary procedure that would expedite the passage of a budgetary measure through the Senate.

[ZH: The introduction of the bill likely increases the probability of no Senate deal, and for now, the market is tending to agree as debt ceiling anxiety has not eased at all]

Sep 22 07:32

Offshore Creditors Remain In Limbo As Evergrande Agrees To Pay Thursday's Interest On Local Bonds Only

Update (1015ET): US futures are giving back their kneejerk gains as the penny starts to drop that this is not the euphoric 'all clear' after all.

As we detailed below - and traders are starting to realize - Beijing may have just found a brilliant solution to the Evergrande problem, effectively rescuing the company and averting a systemic crisis all at the same time:

it will pay local bondholders and soft nationalize/bailout Evergrande,

but will avoid allegations of backsliding on tightening/deleveraging promises and improving "common prosperity" by stuffing foreign creditors.

And that is not what the market wants to hear...

Chinese stocks are fading back too (after reopening from the holiday)...

The question is - will Beijing use this as a strawman to judge the impact of such a restructuring strategy? And what will be the impact on the foreign dollar bond market after this?

Sep 22 07:02

The Great Reset: Population Control and the Plotting of a “Managerial Revolution”

The roots of the Great Reset agenda can very clearly be traced back to 80 years ago, when James Burnham, wrote a book on his vision for “The Managerial Revolution,” Cynthia Chung writes.

Klaus Schwab, the architect of the World Economic Forum (f. 1971), a leading, if not the leading, influencer and funder for what will set the course for world economic policy outside of government, has been the cause of much concern and suspicion since his announcement of “The Great Reset” agenda at the 50th annual meeting of the WEF in June 2020.

The Great Reset initiative is a somewhat vague call for the need for global stakeholders to coordinate a simultaneous “management” of the effects of COVID-19 on the global economy, which they have eerily named as “pandenomics.” This, we are told will be the new normal, the new reality that we will have to adjust ourselves to for the foreseeable future.

Sep 22 05:44

The Pentagon Spent $15 Trillion Since 2001. 54% Went to the Private Contractors

The Costs of War project released a report last week concluding that from fiscal year (FY) 2001-FY2020, the Pentagon spent $14 trillion, “one-third to one-half of which went to defense contractors.”

This estimate seemed too low and unnecessarily broad so I did my own analysis. I found that over half (54%) of the money Congress gave to the Pentagon since FY2001 ended up being passed along to the private sector.

Findings
To the author’s credit, the report’s more precise estimate for the percentage of Department of Defense (DOD) contracts that went to the top 5 firms since FY2001—Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, General Dynamics, Boeing, Northrop Grumman—is pretty much on the money.

The author says “one-quarter to one-third”—my analysis shows that it’s 27%.

Sep 22 05:09

Zelensky meets with European Commission President, U.S. investors

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky met with the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, as well as with a group of American investors.

The meeting took place at Ukraine’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations, according to Ukrinform’s own correspondent in New York.

Zelensky thanked von der Leyen for supporting Ukraine's independence in the face of Russian aggression and supporting the Crimea Platform initiative.

Sep 22 05:07

How the Great Reset Was First Thought Up by the Original Proselytizer of Totalitarianism and the Father of Neo-Conservatism

Burnham describes how it is necessary that the masses believe the revolution to be beneficial to them, when in reality it is just to transition from one ruling class to the other.

“[James Burnham is] the real intellectual founder of the neoconservative movement and the original proselytizer, in America, of the theory of ‘totalitarianism.’”

– Christopher Hitchens, “For the Sake of Argument: Essay and Minority Reports”

In the first part of this two part series, I went over how the roots for the World Economic Forum’s Great Reset can very clearly be traced back to 80 years ago, when an American, former high-level Trotskyist who later went on to become the intellectual founding father of neo-conservatism, James Burnham, wrote a book on his vision for “The Managerial Revolution.” And that it was in fact, these ideologies of Burnham that triggered Orwell to write his “1984”.

Sep 21 14:28

It's happening... BUCKLE UP!

Sep 21 12:39

Misguided Petition Demanding Permanent Monthly $2,000 Stimulus Checks Nears Huge Milestone

By Brad Polumbo

The federal government has already spent an astounding $42,000+ per federal taxpayer on ostensibly-COVID-related relief and spending programs. (Did you see that much in benefits?) Yet millions of Americans are evidently unsatisfied—and are demanding permanent $2,000 monthly “stimulus” checks.

A Change.org petition originally created in 2020 continues to gain support and is now closing in on 3 million signatures. As Newsweek reports, reaching this huge milestone would make it one of the most popular Change.org petitions of all time...

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