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ECONOMY

Sep 30 06:31

Brazil’s Bolsonaro: UK PM has asked for ‘emergency’ food deal

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro says British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has requested Brazil for an “emergency” trade deal to provide some food products lacking in the UK, amid concerns about further supply shortages in the market.

“He wants an emergency agreement with us to import some kind of food that is lacking in England,” the Brazilian president said on his weekly webcast to supporters on Friday.

Bolsonaro said he had passed the British premier’s request to Agriculture Minister Tereza Cristina, but did not name any particular product.

Sep 30 06:27

ShortageWatch: "Sorry - No French Fries With Any Order, We Have No Potatoes"

Welcome to BIG, a newsletter about the politics of monopoly. If you’d like to sign up, you can do so here. Or just read on…

Today I’m going to follow up on last week’s issue on shortages. I got a TON of feedback, and the topic even came up at last week’s Federal Trade Commission meeting. The good news is that shortages are now on the political radar, with one FTC Commissioner talking about the rise of “Too Big to Fail” industrial firms causing shortages across the economy.

And now…

In the last BIG issue, I asked you for help identifying shortages in your neck of the woods. Hundreds of you responded, so I’ll talk about some of the shortage stories you are sharing, as well as how this problem is resonating among policymakers.

Sep 30 06:07

Was Boston Fed President Rosengren Trading with Citigroup’s Money?

The culture of Wall Street has now completely engulfed the Fed: it’s legal if you can get away with it.

For more than five years the President of the Dallas Fed, Robert Kaplan, was trading like a hedge fund kingpin in “over $1 million” transactions in S&P 500 futures while refusing to follow the requirements of the Fed’s financial disclosure form and list the specific dates of his purchases and sells so that the transactions could be examined for whether he had inside information from the Fed at the time. That information is now as much as five years overdue to the American people and we have asked the Dallas Fed to provide it promptly.

The Dallas Fed further hampered the free press in America from doing its job by refusing to answer our simple question as to whether Kaplan was shorting stocks or S&P 500 futures during the pandemic crisis in 2020.

Sep 30 05:48

Even The Liberal Media Is Warning Of A “System Collapse” Due To The Failure Of Global Supply Chains

From the very top to the very bottom, our entire economic system is being shaken. -- If you are expecting our national leaders to come in with some sort of a quick fix to this crisis, you are going to be waiting a really, really long time. -- The blind are leading the blind, and the months ahead are going to be very challenging.

Sep 30 05:30

Everything about to get pricier...

Sep 29 13:27

Does Biden’s $1.2 Trillion Infrastructure Bill Include a Mileage Tax?

By Brad Polumbo

Here’s a dismaying prospect: Paying 6, 8, or 10 cents in new taxes for every mile you drive. It may sound small, but at an 8 cent rate, that would be $1,144 in new annual taxes for the average American, who drives about 14,300 miles a year. Yikes!

Some on social media are claiming that this punitive tax scheme has been slipped into President Biden’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure spending legislation—which, after all, is nearly 3,000 pages and is chock full of unrelated waste and partisan pet projects. But are they right to be concerned about a mileage tax soon becoming reality?...

Sep 29 12:53

Tesla Sued by 5 Police Officers Badly Injured by Vehicle Operating in Autopilot

By B.N. Frank

Various dangerous and deadly issues and incidents have been reported about Tesla vehicles. In fact, last month the U.S. announced it is investigating problems associated with the autopilot feature. A situation in Texas is likely part of that investigation...

Sep 29 11:00

China Is Blocking Its Airlines From Buying "Tens Of Billions Of Dollars" In U.S. Made Boeing Airplanes

In what should serve as a wakeup call for the Biden administration about the climate of trade between the U.S. and China (but won't), China is reportedly blocking its domestic airlines from doing business with Boeing.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo made the revelation on Tuesday, according to Reuters, stating that Chinese airlines were being prevented from buying "tens of billions of dollars" in U.S. made airplanes.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Little bit of payback for sinking that Australian submarine deal!

Sep 29 10:10

OPEC+ Will Be Unwilling And Unable To Stop The Oil Price Rally

Few could have predicted that after an already extensive bull run this year amid recovering demand, oil prices had much further to go. And yet, the world’s most traded commodity just got a major boost from the gas crunch in Europe and Asia, prompting forecasters to update their forecasts. One of the most bullish of all observers has been Goldman Sachs, whose commodity analysts have stuck to their price target of $80 for Brent crude regardless of the resurgence of Covid-19 in many key markets and other bearish events. Now, these analysts have raised their target to $90, arguing that oil has entered a structural bull market.

In a note from earlier this week, the Goldman commodities team noted the sizeable drawdowns in oil stocks, which currently stand at around 4.5 million bpd and which are the biggest daily drawdowns ever recorded, are one of the factors driving the shift from a cyclical to a structural market.

Sep 29 10:04

'Carrying Water for Big Corporations': Sinema Faces Backlash for Opposing Tax Hikes

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona has reportedly told her Democratic colleagues that she will not support any tax hikes on corporations or wealthy individuals, a stance that could derail the party's plan to fund its sprawling safety net and climate package.

According to the New York Times, Sinema's "resistance to tax rate increases" that Democrats have proposed to finance their reconciliation bill "has set off a scramble for alternatives, including a carbon tax, international corporate tax changes, and closing loopholes for businesses that pay through the individual income tax system."

Sep 29 09:13

USPS mail delivery is about to get permanently slower and temporarily more expensive

Americans who have been frustrated with the slow service of the U.S. Postal Service since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic probably won’t be thrilled to hear this:

The service is about to get even slower.

Starting Friday, the Postal Service will “implement new service standards for First Class Mail and Periodicals,” spokeswoman Kim Frum said in an email to USA TODAY.

The changes mean an increased time-in-transit for mail traveling long distances, such as from New York to California. Frum said that “most first class mail (61%) and periodicals (93%) will be unaffected” by the changes. Single-piece first-class mail traveling within the same region will still have a delivery time of two days.

Sep 29 09:10

The Strangest ‘Safe Haven’ Asset Ever?

Sep 29 09:02

Citadel Tweets For First Time In 9 Months To Deny Claims CEO Griffin Lied To Congress

Citadel Securities, the electronic market-making behemoth that has been cast as the biggest villain in American securities markets by the 'Wall Street Bets' crowd, isn't afraid to sue its critics into silence (as it once did to Zero Hedge). But rarely does its social media team get involved with disputes involving the reputation of the company or its founder, former collegiate stock-trading whiz Ken Griffin (by the way, the 'college' where Griffin started his career trading in his dorm room was Harvard).

Well, after months of being cast as the shadowy figure that gave Robinhood "the tap" to shut off most trading in shares of GME and other "meme stonks" during that late-January surge (a decision made - as the story goes - to save Citadel peers and customers like Melvin Securities, which became the face of the firms who saw their massive GME shorts blow up in their faces).

Sep 29 08:58

Port Of Los Angeles Demands More Federal Funding As Cargo Backlog Looms

No sooner did we write about the fact that the ports of LA and Long Beach still won't work round-the-clock shifts despite a massive backlog than the Port of Los Angeles is said to have asked for more federal funding.

So far, the government has invested about $11 billion in the eastern Gulf coast compared to just $1 billion on the West Coast, the head of the Port of Los Angeles, Gene Seroka, told Bloomberg this week.

Seroka said that truck capacity has also slowed down the port, with 50% of registered truck drivers calling to the port at least once a week and 30% of truck appointments going unused every day.

Sep 29 08:23

Treasury Secretary Yellen warns Congress has 3 weeks before US defaults on its debts

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has yet again warned Congress to raise the US’ debt limit by October 18 before they exhaust the “extraordinary measures” previously implemented.
“We now estimate that Treasury is likely to exhaust its extraordinary measures if Congress has not acted to raise or suspend the debt limit by October 18,” Yellen wrote in a letter, released Tuesday, to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) and other congressional leaders.

Failure to raise the debt ceiling, Yellen said, would lead to the US defaulting on its debts and the Treasury Department “depleting” its “very limited resources.”

“It is imperative that Congress swiftly addresses the debt limit. If it does not, America would default for the first time in history,” Yellen warned. “The full faith and credit of the United States would be impaired, and our country would likely face a financial crisis and economic recession.”

Sep 29 07:29

Sorry, Fed, Inflation is Already Embedded

Sep 29 07:19

Two top US central bankers resign after reports of controversial investment trades

The presidents of the Federal Reserve banks of Boston and Dallas are stepping down, after recent reports of potentially unethical investments in 2020 drew criticism and prompted the Fed to launch an ethics review.
Robert Kaplan of Dallas followed Eric Rosengren of Boston in announcing an early retirement on Monday. Both executives are 64, a year short of the mandatory retirement age at the Fed.

Rosengren said he would retire on Thursday, rather than in July 2022, citing health reasons – an upcoming kidney transplant to help him deal with a chronic condition, specifically. Kaplan will also retire effective October 8, because “the recent focus on my financial disclosure risks becoming a distraction” to the “vital” work of deliberating future monetary policy at “a critical point in our economic recovery,” he said.

Sep 29 07:17

Hungary summons Ukrainian ambassador & blasts Kiev for 'interfering’ in its internal affairs as row over Russian gas deal heats up

The Hungarian Foreign Ministry has summoned Ukraine's ambassador over Kiev's reaction to Budapest's new deal with Russia's Gazprom energy giant, Hungary's top diplomat revealed in a statement published on Facebook on Tuesday.

Peter Szijjarto wrote that "The Ukrainian government's actions aimed against the deal, through the European Commission, are extremely outrageous," adding "Ukraine has nothing to do with those we make deals with." He stated that Budapest viewed such steps by Kiev as "a violation of [Hungary's] sovereignty and national security interests."

Budapest has accused Ukraine of meddling in its sovereign political decisions after Kiev decried the arrangement as a decision made only to serve the interests of Moscow.

It will see around half of the country’s annual gas supply transported via the Balkans and Austria. Effective from Friday, the new arrangement will cost Kiev millions in transit fees.

Sep 29 07:15

'EU truckers will NOT help Britain out of the s**t they created themselves': European HGV drivers' union chief dashes hopes of 'short-term visa' fix - while British driver says red-tape and abuse forced them out of the industry

Lorry drivers from the EU are refusing to come to the UK - because they believe problems plaguing the supply chain are Britain's own fault.

The Government has approved plans to bring in 5,000 foreign HGV operators to deal with the shortage, which has been blamed on a number of factors including the coronavirus pandemic and Brexit.

But promises of special visas and attractive pay - with some firms offering as much as £78,000 a year - have fallen on deaf ears, with one union boss declaring they 'will not go to the UK for a short term visa to help UK out of the s**t they created themselves'.

And lorry drivers in this country are as equally disillusioned, with one who gave up the job after 30 years, likening they way they are treated 'to being the lepers of society'.

Edwin Atema, Head of enforcement and research at the Dutch-based FNV union, which represents drivers across the EU and Europe said the UK had an enormous battle on its hands to woo foreign drivers back.

Sep 29 06:57

Goldman Sachs Refuses to Say If It Was Placing Trades for Dallas Fed President Kaplan as Materially False Statement Released by Board on Kaplan’s Relationship with Goldman Sachs

The biggest trading scandal in the Federal Reserve’s 108-year history took down two Federal Reserve Bank Presidents yesterday. Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren, who traded in and out of REITs last year in amounts of $1,000 to $50,000, will leave this Thursday; Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan, whose trading made Rosengren look like a Boy Scout, will step down from his post at the end of next week. Kaplan was making repeated trades of “over $1 million” in S&P 500 futures (an instrument used during and after stock exchange hours by hedge funds) as well as making “over $1 million” trades in a litany of individual stocks.

Just as a poker player can give away his hand with a tell, financial disclosure statements can also provide a tell as to the name of the Wall Street firm that is placing the trades.

Sep 29 06:25

How big corporations and Bill Gates took over the UN food Summit

This September 23, the United Nations holds its Food Systems Summit in New York.

Under the guise of the UN system, and despite sleight-of-hand language about “equal opportunities,” this summit represents a hostile takeover of world governance by corporate forces and the billionaire elite.

Today, social movements are standing up for democracy and against big capital’s devastation of their lands, farms, and communities.

The United Nations is based on the idea of multilateralism, where states seek peaceful solutions on the basis of equality and respect, replacing the colonialist institutions that preceded it.

That’s why for decades, the United States government has instead pushed for things like G-7, NATO, and other forms of control over geopolitics.

As far-right governments have pulled back from multilateral institutions like the UN and the WHO, corporate actors have been moving in.

Sep 29 06:02

Isabel Maxwell: Israel’s “Back Door” Into Silicon Valley

In 1992, Israel’s government created the Yozma Program at the urging of Chief Scientist of Israel’s Ministry of Industry and Trade – Yigal Erlich – as Erlich moved to leave that position. The Yozma Program aimed to “incentivize venture investment” by creating state-linked venture capital funds, which later spawned a myriad of Israeli hi-tech start ups with merging them with major, foreign technology companies. According to Erlich’s website, he had lobbied Israel’s government to launch Yozma because he had “identified a market failure and a huge need in Israel to establish for the first time a professionally-managed venture capital industry that will fund the exponential growth of high tech ventures coming out of Israel.” He then “convinced the Israeli government to allocate $100 million for his venture capital vision.”

Sep 29 05:57

US Default Fears, Rising Oil Prices Hound Global Stocks

Stock markets tumbled on Tuesday as traders tracked a strengthening dollar, high oil prices, the political gridlock in Germany and rising fears about a possible US debt default.

Brent crude oil briefly jumped above $80 a barrel for the first time in almost three years on expectations for surging demand and concerns about tight supplies as the world slowly emerges from the pandemic crisis.

Wall Street finished decisively lower, with the S&P 500 losing two percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq falling nearly three percent as Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen urged Congress to quickly raise the debt ceiling to keep the US government from defaulting.

"The prospect of higher energy prices, fueling inflation, and rises in bond yields that appear to be preempting tighter monetary policy by central banks, have prompted widespread selling across global stock markets," said Chris Beauchamp, analyst at IG.

There were "few safe havens," he said.

Sep 29 05:57

Interest-Rates are on the rise again

Sep 28 15:44

Awaiting The Final Flush

Sep 28 14:28

ECONOMIC TERRORISM: Italy tells companies to stop paying “unvaccinated” workers

To help “save lives,” the government of Italy has issued a decree ordering all employers both in the public and private sectors to stop paying workers who refuse to take Wuhan coronavirus (Covid-19) “vaccines.” -- In order to keep their jobs, Italians are now being told that they must get a vaccination “green pass” proving that they took the “Operation Warp Speed” injections in obedience to the government and the Vatican.

Sep 28 11:37

Study: Biden’s Legislative Agenda to Kill 5.3 Million Jobs, Generates $4.5 Trillion Debt 

President Biden’s big government legislative agenda will kill 5.3 million jobs and generate $4.5 trillion in debt, according to a Monday study by the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

The study also suggests the United States’ gross domestic product (GDP) will be reduced by $3.7 trillion, nearly the cost of the massive $3.5 trillion reconciliation package.

Biden’s legislative agenda will additionally cost American families a combined $1.2 trillion in reduced income via tax increases to pay for the costly package, the study reveals.

The study also broke down the costs of Biden’s social welfare spending by state, analyzing Texas, Arizona, and West Virginia.

Arizona, where Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) resides and who is opposed to much of Biden’s massive tax and spending, will absorb $97 billion of the cost and the destruction of 115,000 jobs.

Sep 28 11:01

'When is the plague of locusts due?': Bank of England chief warns over string of economic shocks for the country and 'truly hard yards' ahead as country's recovery from pandemic stalls

Britain faces ‘hard yards’ ahead as the economy’s recovery from the pandemic stalls, the Governor of the Bank of England warned last night.

In a downbeat speech Andrew Bailey cautioned that interest rates will have to rise to tame escalating prices – but stressed the economy is currently too weak to withstand such a move.

He said so many problems have reared their heads over the last few months that he was tempted to ask, ‘And when are the locusts due to arrive?’ in a reference to the Biblical plagues of Egypt.

Sep 28 11:00

Here's What 'No-Coiners' Don't Get: It's Not Up To The Government

My last couple of posts, the first on why a China-style Bitcoin ban can’t happen in Westernized liberal democracies and the second on how cryptos are a beneficial counterforce to the coming CBDCs seem to have a hit a nerve.

More people than usual made the trip all the way over here to my blog to be sure to tell me how clueless I am and there was a lot of defeatism in the comments on Zerohedge that all converged around a theme that governments will simply not permit the use of cryptocurrencies once their existence ceases to suit them.

I’ve been involved in cryptos since 2013, and for a long time I too was strategizing out the game theory around why would governments permit cryptos to gain traction.

Sep 28 10:59

Senate Republicans Vote Down Pelosi's Debt Ceiling Bill, As Expected

Having detailed the 'debt limit game of chicken' last week, tonight's vote in the Senate is exactly what was expected.

Senate Republicans on Monday voted down the House-passed bill to fund the government through Dec. 3 and raise the debt limit.

The final vote was 48-50 (60 votes were needed to advance the measure), with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) changing his vote from Yes to No so he could later bring the bill back up for a vote.

"I changed my vote from yes to no in order to reserve the option of additional action on the House-passed legislation. Keeping the government open and preventing a default is vital to our country's future and we'll be taking further action to prevent this from happening this week," Schumer said.

All Republicans voted against the bill as expected.

Sep 28 10:53

All Hell Is Breaking Loose In Energy Markets

By now readers are well aware that Europe is suffering from a historic gas crisis, one which according to Rabobank is now even more extreme than the US oil price shock.

And unfortunately for Europe's population, with every passing day - and to a lesser extent hedge funds such as Statar Capital which suffered a big loss in the past few days - it's only getting worse. As Bloomberg's Javier Blas notes today, both UK NBP and Dutch TTF natural gas benchmarks have closed the day at their highest ever settlement level, up ~11% on the day (to a closing price equal to more than $26 per mBtu).

Sep 28 10:52

China Issues Rare, Strongly-Worded Defense Of Russia Over US "Bullying" Sanctions

It's been no secret that over the past half-decade China and Russia have grown closer, even becoming unlikely allies (unlikely given historic 20th century antagonism), in the face of Washington pressure and sanctions on officials in both countries.

This growing cooperation on military, economic and infrastructure development fronts has now reached the next unprecedented step of Beijing publicly defending Russia, vociferously condemning the next round of proposed US sanctions on Moscow officials.

China's Foreign Ministry on Monday stated it "strongly opposes" new sanctions on top Russian officials, saying US Congressional leaders are using human rights as a "pretext" for ensuring attempts at improving US-Russia relations fail. "The US hegemonic and bullying practices are rejected by Russia and China and will meet rejection and opposition from more and more countries," the Monday statement said.

Sep 28 10:51

Container Ships Now Piling Up At Anchorages Off China's Ports

There are over 60 container ships full of import cargo stuck offshore of Los Angeles and Long Beach, but there are more than double that — 154 as of Friday — waiting to load export cargo off Shanghai and Ningbo in China, according to eeSea, a company that analyzes carrier schedules.

The number of container ships anchored off Shanghai and Ningbo has surged over recent weeks. There are now 242 container ships waiting for berths countrywide. Whether it’s due to heavy export volumes, Typhoon Chanthu or COVID, rising congestion in China is yet another wild card for the trans-Pacific trade.

Sep 28 10:40

Biden Mulls Global Infrastructure Projects to Counter China’s

The Biden administration is considering launching a global infrastructure project to counter China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

US officials told Bloomberg that the administration is sending an official to Latin America to scout possible projects. Daleep Singh, the deputy national security advisor for economics, is traveling to Panama, Colombia, and Ecuador to meet with high-level officials and business leaders to discuss infrastructure needs.

Washington views the Belt and Road Initiative as a threat to US influence around the world, and President Biden has floated the idea to other world leaders of creating a rival to the project. Biden suggested to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson back in March that there should be a similar initiative to the Belt and Road coming out of “democratic states.”

Sep 28 10:30

NYC government throws away $10,000 in fresh food to punish street vendor

Sep 28 09:58

Stocks and Bonds Starting to Tussle

Sep 28 08:13

THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA IS USING TERMS LIKE “WORSENING” AND “FORESEEABLE FUTURE” TO DESCRIBE THE SHORTAGES

Yes, these shortages are really happening, and now the mainstream media is warning us to brace ourselves because they are going to get even worse. After the article that I posted yesterday, emails came pouring in from people all around the country. There were a few that didn’t want to believe that things are as bad as I was saying, but there were lots of other emails that confirmed that conditions are at least as bad as I described. In fact, there was one extremely alarming email from someone that works in the supermarket industry that I hope to share with all of you in the coming days once I get permission to do so.

For most of us, we have lived our entire lives without ever having to be concerned about shortages. In fact, just a few years ago it would have seemed crazy to suggest that we were on the verge of widespread shortages here in the United States.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Sep 28 08:04

U.K. is experiencing panic-driven gas shortages tied to Brexit

Gas stations in parts of Britain are running out of fuel as drivers line up to fill their tanks in what the government and gas companies call an artificial run on gasoline. It is "panic buying, pure and simple," Brian Madderson, chairman of the Petrol Retailers Association, told the BBC. Several oil companies said in a joint statement that the pressure on supply was due to "temporary spikes in customer demand — not a national shortage of fuel."

Regardless, the PRA says two-thirds of its nearly 5,500 independent gas stations are out of fuel, and the others are "partly dry and running out soon." The British government responded Sunday night by temporarily exempting the oil industry from the Competition Act 1998, allowing gas suppliers to send fuel where it is needed most. On Saturday night, Britain announced that it will authorize 5,000 work visas for foreign drivers of heavy goods vehicles (HGV), or trucks. The visas will become available in October and be valid only until Dec. 24.

Sep 28 07:59

Court Rules Citizens Don’t Have the Right to Grow Veggies on Their Own Properties

Florida’s Third District Court of Appeals has just made a landmark ruling that the Institute for Justice is calling “a major blow to property rights.”

Tom Carroll and Hermine Ricketts, 17-year homeowners, have been fighting the Village of Miami Shores for the last 6 years. The battle ended in a verdict after 3 years but they fought on. It all started back in 2014 when the couple refused to take the “advice” handed down to them by the town officials keen on implementing a new zoning plan.

The homeowners refused to relinquish their constitutionally protected rights. That is when town officials resorted to plan b.

The couple subsequently sued based on a constitutional infringement upon their right to use their own private property as well as a violation of the equal protection clause.

Head on over to the next page to learn about the decision just handed down by Florida’s Third District Court of Appeals in regards to property rights.

Sep 28 07:56

AN INDUSTRY INSIDER JUST REVEALED THE TRUTH ABOUT WHAT IS REALLY BEHIND THE SHORTAGES AT OUR LOCAL SUPERMARKETS

This industry insider is trying to order normal quantities, but his suppliers are often unable to completely fulfill them.

As you can see from the email, the shortages are widespread, and this is the worst that they have been during the entire pandemic so far.

If there is something that you need to stock up on, I would grab it if it is still on the shelves, because pretty soon it may be completely gone.

On Friday I went to the grocery store and they were out of several things that I wanted to purchase. Unfortunately, we continue to get more confirmations that this is going to become the “new normal”.

For example, according to Bloomberg meat reserves in this country have plunged to dangerously low levels…

Sep 28 07:41

CHAMBER OF COMMERCE TRIES TO REIN IN DEMOCRATS IT ENDORSED

In 2020, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce endorsed 23 freshmen Democrats for Congress. I’m tempted to say that if Congress enacts the Democrats’ massive spending packages, complete with tax increases and anti-business agenda items, the Chamber will have gotten what it deserves. In fact, I will say it.

The Chamber is belatedly trying to avert this disaster and to limit the damage its improvident endorsements caused. It’s warning the Democrats it endorsed to oppose the $3.5 reconciliation package or lose the Chamber’s support.

Sep 28 07:37

Robert Kaplan Was Trading Like a Hedge Fund Kingpin for Five Years while President of the Dallas Fed; a Dozen Legal Safeguards Failed to Stop Him

Dallas Fed President, Robert Kaplan, wasn’t just trading like an aggressive hedge fund kingpin in 2020, he’s been doing the same thing for five years at the Dallas Fed while simultaneously having access to non-public, market moving information from the Federal Reserve’s interest-rate setting FOMC meetings and other confidential communications.

In 2017 and 2020, Kaplan was a voting member of the FOMC. In the other years since he joined the Dallas Fed in 2015, he sat in on the confidential FOMC deliberations and was allowed to participate in the discussions.

Sep 28 07:12

Senate Republicans Vote to Block Gov't Funding, Debt Limit Bill Just Days Ahead of Shutdown Deadline

House Democrats approved the temporary legislation last week to keep the government funded through early December, lift the limit on federal borrowing through the end of 2022 and provide emergency money for Afghan refugees and natural disaster recovery. But their Republican rivals have expressed unwillingness to back the measure in the Senate.
Republicans in the US Senate voted to block legislation that would raise the debt ceiling to avoid an impending government shutdown and fund the work of the government.

The motion to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed with the consideration of the legislation, which requires 60 votes to pass, failed in a vote of 50-48.

Sep 28 07:08

British MILITARY ‘on standby’ to deploy trucks & drivers amid fuel supply shortage blamed on ‘panic buying’

The British army could soon deploy its own fuel tankers to fill a major logistics gap caused by a lack of lorries and drivers, with some petrol stations running dry in some areas as deliveries have all but ground to a halt.

UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace announced the plans on Monday night, with the government stating that army tanker drivers would receive specialized training to “enable them to seamlessly work with industry to address the supply chain pressures.”

“The men and women of our armed forces stand ready to alleviate the transport pressures where they are felt most. That is why I have authorised their increased preparedness so they are ready to respond if needed,” he said, as quoted by Sky News.

Sep 28 07:06

Russia must pay Ukraine to transit gas even after Nord Stream 2 pipeline operational, triumphant German SPD leader Scholz declares

The leader of Germany’s Social Democratic Party (SPD) has said that Russia must keep handing over billions of dollars to move gas through Ukraine, long after the already-completed Nord Stream 2 underwater link starts operating.

Speaking on Monday, Olaf Scholz – whose grouping is on course to gain the most seats from the weekend Bundestag elections – said that Kiev’s role in transporting gas must not be undermined by the Moscow-backed project.

“With regard to the pipeline, the construction of which has been completed, it is important for everyone to take into account the guarantees that are associated with its operation. These guarantees include the fact that Ukraine must remain a transit country,” Scholz said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

What happens if Russia simply closes the valves?

Sep 28 06:33

Democrats’ massive spending plans will blow up US budget for generations

“It’s going to cost nothing,” President Biden said of the Democrats’ massive $3.5 trillion spending binge, which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is scrambling to pass this week. -- Don’t believe it. The bill, which aims to move America closer to a European-style social-welfare state, will shorten the fuse on a debt bomb that’s already set to detonate.

Sep 28 06:26

Ford says it will spend $11.4 BILLION to build two new electric car plants in Tennessee and Kentucky that will employ 11,000 people to build its F150 trucks and batteries for them

Ford and a partner company say they plan to build three major electric-vehicle battery factories and an auto assembly plant by 2025 - an $11.4 billion investment in the future of EV technology that will create an estimated 10,800 jobs and shift the automaker's future manufacturing footprint toward the South.

The factories, to be built on sites in Kentucky and Tennessee, will make batteries for the next generation of Ford and Lincoln electric vehicles that will be produced in North America. Combined, they mark the single largest manufacturing investment the 118-year-old company has ever made and are among the largest factory outlays in the world.

Notably, the new factories will provide a vast new supply of jobs that will likely pay solid wages. Most of the new jobs will be full time, with a relatively small percentage having temporary status to fill in for vacations and absent workers.

Sep 28 05:52

It Never Rains But it Pours: How Energy Crisis, Brexit & COVID May Backfire on UK This Christmas

The European energy crisis has taken its toll on the UK: the Bank of England warned last week that surging energy bills would push already soaring inflation above 4 percent this winter. The problem stems from a spike in demand for gas ahead of the cold weather. Will the BoJo government manage to successfully tackle the energy crisis by Christmas?

The unusually cold winter of 2020-2021 left European gas storage levels at their lowest for at least a decade, triggering a fierce race for hydrocarbons. At the same time, Asia is stepping up demand for natural gas as the continent witnesses an economic rebound after COVID lockdowns. As a result, wholesale gas prices in the UK have soared by a whopping 250 percent since the beginning of this year, including a 70 percent hike in August, according to the Oil & Gas UK (OGUK) trade association.

Sep 28 05:51

Rabobank: The Supply-Chain Architecture Is Buckling Globally

he German election so far look like a stalemate, with a long period of wrangling to form a government – all very normal for the EU. However, the majority voted for ‘nothing happens’: multilateralism, rule by phytosanitary standards committees, a mostly balanced budget, and a vast trade surplus. Muddling-through-mercantilism may be welcome in Berlin, but it’s unhealthy for Europe: as one author argues: “…bureaucratic excesses were precisely what Weber theorised and warned against, considering them as corrosive to democracy as fascist tendencies…. Angela Merkel’s legacy is that of a reliable, capable, dutiful ‘civil-servant-in-chief’, not that of an imaginative political leader.” Moreover, Germany is already strategically weaker than pre-Merkel --think Nord Stream 2, US relations, and whatever its China position is-- which will make a continuation of the last 15 years of successful stagnation much harder to sustain going forwards.

Sep 28 05:47

Hungary Accuses Ukraine of Meddling Amid Budapest's 15-Year Contract for Gas Supplies With Russia

Earlier in the day, the Russian gas giant Gazprom and the Hungarian government signed a contract for gas supplies until the end of 2036.
Hungary has accused Ukraine of meddling in its internal affairs after Kiev criticised it over the signing of a new 15-year natural gas supply deal with Russia's Gazprom.

"(European) gas consumption will not decline, and Gazprom's role will not decline either...For Hungary, energy safety is a matter of security, sovereignty and economy rather than a political matter...You cannot heat homes with political statements."
Peter Szijjarto
Hungarian Foreign Minister

Sep 28 04:58

The Biggest Federal Reserve Scandal

Following revelations that Federal Reserve officials made trades in financial assets while the Fed was taking extraordinary efforts to “stimulate” the economy, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell ordered a review of the Fed’s ethics rules. While these trades appear problematic, they pale in comparison to the biggest Fed scandal — the Fed’s impoverishment of ordinary Americans, enrichment of the elites, and facilitation of government debt and deficits.

Sep 28 04:42

NY Gov Hochul Fires Health Care Workers En Masse Amid 'Pandemic' For Refusing Vaccines 'From God'

New York Governor Kathy Hochul (D) ordered thousands of health care workers be fired at midnight on Monday amid a "pandemic" after giving a speech saying Big Pharma's shots were given to us by "God" and anyone who refuses them is not "listening to God and what God wants."

Sep 27 16:02

Wells Fargo to pay $37 million for defrauding 771 businesses out of millions in currency exchange fees while giving the money to staff in bonuses

Wells Fargo will pay $37 million in fines after 'routinely' lying to small and medium businesses about exchange rates and keeping a running tally of the overages they were willing to accept while their own workers made up to $1 million in bonuses.

The bank failed to disclose the fees it charged companies that dealt in foreign currency between 2010 and 2017, only letting them know about the 'all in' final rate rather than the market rate or the extra money it was charging, court record show.

The federal lawsuit and settlement were both filed Monday in the Southern District of New York.

Sep 27 15:32

Republicans plan to BLOCK bill that would fund government and avoid US defaulting on its debts as they seek to tie Biden's vast spending plans to borrowing

Senate Republicans are expected to block a bill on Monday that would fund the government and head off a U.S. debt default as part of a strategy to saddle Democrats with a hike in the nation's borrowing ceiling ahead of next year's midterm elections.

While both sides agree the $28.4 trillion limit on borrowing must be raised before the federal government defaults on its loans or has to stop paying military personnel or social security benefits, they are deadlocked over who should act.

The result is increasingly dire warnings of financial catastrophe and recession that could cost up to six million jobs.

Sep 27 12:20

Trucking industry hit by gas shortages, skyrocketing prices; truckers struggle to deliver consumer goods across America

When the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic first struck America back in Jan. 2020, no one knew how long the virus would affect the country. A year later, the U.S. economy is still struggling to recover. -- Even the trucking industry is still hard-hit by the pandemic, with truckers lamenting the skyrocketing gas prices that affect their bread and butter.

Sep 27 12:15

An Industry Insider Just Revealed The Truth About What Is Really Behind The Shortages At Our Local Supermarkets

The supply chain crisis that our supermarkets are facing is far worse than the mainstream media has been telling us. The mainstream media keeps trying to put a happy face on the “temporary” shortages, but an industry insider has let me know what is really going on behind the scenes. This particular insider runs a grocery store in Maine, and he says that things are as bad as he has ever seen. In fact, he says that he has “never seen anything close to what is happening now”. The email that he sent me the other day greatly alarmed me, and I asked him if I could share it with all of you. He gave me permission to do so, as long as I didn’t use his name. I haven’t received an email this startling in a long time. As you read this email, I think that you will quickly understand why I am saying that…

Sep 27 09:28

Dozens of ships are forced to anchor off coast of New York as they wait to dock in the country's second-largest port - adding to US supply chain crunch which has forced FedEx to reroute 600k packages a day

More than two dozen container ships appear to be stuck at sea miles off the south shore of Long Island, according to a maritime traffic monitoring website as more than 60 vessels wait to dock at two of the country’s largest ports on the West Coast.

The logjam at the nation's three busiest ports comes as the economy reels from a supply chain crunch which as been exacerbated by a shortage of truck drivers. The situation has deteriorated to the point where supermarkets have been unable to stock their shelves with products while FedEx has had to reroute hundreds of thousands of packages.

Sep 27 09:10

Woman Who Helped Expose Wall Street Mega Banks’ Vast Holdings of Physical Commodities Is Nominated as a Top Bank Regulator

Yesterday, President Biden took the bold step of nominating Saule Omarova to head the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), a top federal bank regulator. Omarova is a Law Professor at Cornell and has written extensively on systemic risk containment. Prior to joining Cornell in 2014, Omarova was Associate Professor at the University of North Carolina School of Law. Prior to her academic career, Omarova worked for the corporate law firm, Davis Polk & Wardwell, in their Financial Institutions Group. In 2006-2007, she served at the U.S. Department of the Treasury as a Special Advisor for Regulatory Policy to the Under Secretary for Domestic Finance.

Sep 27 08:08

What Is Causing The Global People Shortage?

Sep 27 08:05

These Republicans helped craft the infrastructure bill. They might not vote for it.

A motley gang of deal-making House Republicans took partial credit for pushing through President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan this summer. That doesn’t mean they’ll all vote for it.

The roughly 50-member centrist group, dubbed the Problem Solvers Caucus, wedged its way into this summer's multitrillion-dollar talks between Biden and some like-minded Senate Republicans. While the group's exact role in prying loose a Senate compromise is up for debate, many of those House members, including Republicans, claimed a critical role.

Sep 27 07:43

Take a look at the record-breaking port congestion from 10,000 feet above, as 70 hulking cargo ships park off the LA coast

From above they might look like colorful specks in the distance, but the cargo ships floating off the coast of Southern California represent a massive bottleneck for the global supply chain.

On Monday, 97 hulking cargo ships were at Los Angeles and Long Beach ports. At the time, 70 of the container ships were at anchor or in drift areas waiting for space to open up in the port, according to the Marine Exchange of Southern California.

On Sunday, when Sam Kirschner snapped a photo from his plane window — over 10,000 feet above the shore — the Southern California ports had just finished a week in which they had hit a new ship-backlog record every day, as the queue lengthened by 10 ships.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Long Beach and Los Angeles harbors are large, well equipped facilities. One has to wonder how it is that the volume of shipments has slowed down to such a degree!

A local store here in Santa Claus.

Sep 27 07:30

The Constitution’s Seven Money Clauses

They protect liberty and prosperity — when we follow them.

Seven clauses of the United States Constitution touch on questions that might be described as relating to monetary policy.

Properly interpreted, these seven clauses together form a system of rules that strongly protects economic prosperity and political liberty.

Four of the clauses include the word ‘money,’ three include the word ‘coin,’ and two include the word ‘dollars.’ /1

Below is the text of each of the clauses, followed by some definitions and comments. I’ve modernized the punctuation for readability.

The Seven Money Clauses

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Very important. Please read this one!

Sep 27 07:29

BREAKING: STAY AT HOME! THE PANIC BUYING IS STARTING - GROCERY STORE WARNING - PREPARE FOR SHORTAGES

Sep 27 07:01

Pharmally plunder

IN spite of all the insults and ad hominem arguments already exchanged between the President and some senators, I wish the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee would continue to ferret out the facts about Pharmally Corp. bagging an P8-billion contract from the Department of Budget and Management-Procurement Service (DBM-PS).

Presently, some very material facts have been established through testimony and documentary evidence in the possession of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee. It is not disputed that the Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. was organized only in September 2019 with a paid-up capital of only P625,000. Yet, in less than six months, this corporation was able to bag a government contract to supply personal protective equipment (PPE) against Covid-19 worth P8 billion. The face masks and the face shields sold by this corporation to the government through the DBM-PS are outrageously overpriced.

Sep 27 06:54

Morgan Stanley: We Are Approaching An Inflection Point In China Policy Easing

The past two months have seen successive waves of headlines from China, first on the broad regulatory reset and then this week’s focus on property developers facing near-term funding pressures. The policy goals of these measures are first to ensure social stability and second to make economic growth more sustainable by reducing income inequality and addressing imbalances and excesses. However, they have raised concerns about a potential rise in systemic risks and a sharper slowdown in growth.

Investors’ focus has shifted from tech to the property sector, which faces challenges on two fronts. First, property developers are required to adhere to the “three red lines” – maintaining healthy liabilities-to-assets, net gearing and cash-to-short-term debt ratios – which were announced in August 2020.

Sep 27 06:52

Goldman Raises Year-End Oil Price Target To $90

Just days after Goldman's head commodity analyst Jeff Currie told Bloomberg TV that the bank anticipates oil spiking to $90 if the winter is colder than usual, on Sunday afternoon Goldman went ahead and made that its base case and in a note from energy strategist Damien Courvalin, he writes that with Brent prices reaching new highs since October 2018, the bank now forecasts that this rally will continue, "with our year-end Brent forecast of $90/bbl vs. $80/bbl previously."

What tipped the scales is that while Goldman has long held a bullish oil view, "the current global oil supply-demand deficit is larger than we expected, with the recovery in global demand from the Delta impact even faster than our above consensus forecast and with global supply remaining short of our below consensus forecasts."

Sep 27 06:52

Power Supply Shock Looms: "Global Markets Will Feel The Pinch Very Soon" Of China's Next Crisis

Distracted by the 'grandness' of the collapse of China's property development market, many have missed the fact that China faces a crisis that could directly hit Asia's economy just as hard as a financial collapse - a nationwide power supply shock.

After ramping up its coal-based power production earlier in the year, it appears Beijing has suddenly grown a conscience over its emissions and the 'average joe' could be about to feel the pain of that decision.

As Bloomberg reports, the crackdown on power consumption is being driven by rising demand for electricity and surging coal and gas prices as well as strict targets from Beijing to cut emissions.

It’s coming first to the country’s mammoth manufacturing industries: from aluminum smelters to textiles producers and soybean processing plants, factories are being ordered to curb activity or - in some instances - shut altogether.

Sep 27 06:47

Central Bank Digital Currencies: A Future of Surveillance And Control

One of the most potentially far-reaching trends in the financial landscape right now is the imminent roll-out of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs), and the parallel attacks which central bankers are waging on private digital currencies and tokens as they tee up the launch of their CBDCs.

First some clarifications. While the majority of central bank issued currencies (fiat currencies) in existence around the world are already in digital form, a fiat currency held in digital form is not the same as a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).

What is a CBDC?

A CBDC generally refers to electronic or virtual central bank (fiat) money that is created in the form of digital tokens or account balances which are digital claims on the central bank. CBDCs will be issued by central banks and will be legal tender.

Many CBDCs that are being researched and developed employ Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), with the recording of transactions on a blockchain.

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