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ECONOMY

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.

Sep 27 06:44

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 27 06:42

PANIC HOARDING GASOLINE BEGINS AS UK PLUNGES TOWARDS "WINTER OF DISCONTENT"

One day after oil giant BP warned about rationing gasoline and diesel at UK service stations, Brits began to panic buy fuel as the government tried to calm fears.

Lines of cars and trucks are spilling over into the streets at service stations across the country. A BP spokesperson said Thursday that a truck driver shortage has resulted in its inability to transport fuel from refineries to its network of service stations. These words spooked the public, which could cause a more severe shortage due to the hoarding.

The scenes of long lines at gas stations bring back memories of the 1973 Opec Oil Crisis, the 2000 fuel shortage, and the virus pandemic disruptions amid fears the country is diving headfirst into a 1970s-style "winter of discontent" of shortages and socio-economic distress.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Only store gasoline in containers made for that purpose. And stored gas will only last about 6 months unless you add a special preservative.

Sep 27 06:33

Exclusive-Under U.S. Sanctions, Iran and Venezuela Strike Oil Export Deal - Sources

Venezuela has agreed to a key contract to swap its heavy oil for Iranian condensate that it can use to improve the quality of its tar-like crude, with the first cargoes due this week, five people close to the deal said.

As the South American country seeks to boost its flagging oil exports in the face of U.S. sanctions, according to the sources, the deal between state-run firms Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) and National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) deepens the cooperation between two of Washington's foes.

One of the people said the swap agreement is planned to last for six months in its first phase, but could be extended. Reuters could not immediately determine other details of the mwpact.

The oil ministries of Venezuela and Iran, and state-run PDVSA and NIOC did not reply to requests for comment.

Sep 27 06:12

Consumer inflation expectations in US...

Sep 27 05:51

BoJo Mulls Scrambling Army to Deliver Fuel Amid Panic Buying Triggered By HGV Driver Shortfall

The UK Government has been faced with a fuel crisis driven by a shortfall of about 100,000 licensed lorry drivers due to the COVID-19 pandemic and post-Brexit issues, with cabinet ministers scrambling to find a swift solution to the problem.

British Army soldiers could be drafted in to drive fuel to petrol stations across the country in line with an emergency plan considered by Boris Johnson, reported The Guardian.
The Prime Minister and his senior cabinet members will ostensibly be scrutinising on Monday afternoon how to apply so-called “Operation Escalin” to resolve the acute supply issues on UK forecourts if panic-buying continues, claimed sources cited by the outlet.

Sep 27 05:45

House passes bill to force young women to sign up for the draft

New legislation mandating that girls register for the military draft is now one major step closer to implementation.

The requirement forcing young women between the ages of 18 and 26 to register for Selective Service now awaits only Senate reconciliation and the president’s signature after the U.S. House of Representatives voted Thursday night to pass a crucial national defense bill containing altered language forcing young women to be drafted alongside men in the event of future military conscription.

The $778 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), an annual defense package, was passed after 181 Democrats and 135 Republicans in the House voted to approve it.

Only 38 Democrats and 75 Republicans voted against the legislation.

The policy bill will now be punted back to the Senate for reconciliation with an earlier version of the legislative package already approved by the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC).

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Be careful what you wish for, ladies.

Sep 27 05:44

Parliamentarian Blocks Amnesty, But Dem Budget Bill Still An Immigration Trojan Horse

Immigration patriots received good news last week when the Senate Parliamentarian ruled against the proposed Amnesty concealed in the budget bill. Elizabeth MacDonough found that the provision, which would have legalized at least eight million illegals, was inappropriate. But the Democrats are unashamed. They’re still trying to jam an Amnesty into the bill— WA State Rep. Pramila Jayapal, chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and herself an immigrant, reportedly bawled during a meeting with President Biden about it [Tears in the Oval Office, by Tara Palmeri et al., Politico, September 23, 2021]. Worse, the bill still contains measures that would also boost legal immigration. It’s still a Trojan Horse, if arguably a smaller one. No matter how bad the border crisis or how poorly the Democrats perform in the polls, they are fanatical in their drive to replace the Historic American Nation. It’s almost as if they’re worried about the 2022 midterm elections.

Sep 27 05:29

Press review: Congress takes aim at Russian debt market and why the US wants Kazakhstan

A new bill has been submitted to the US House of Representatives. Apart from imposing restrictions on individuals, it also bans American investors from purchasing new issues of Russian bonds in the secondary market, Izvestia writes.

Talk about American sanctions against Russia's sovereign debt had been going on for several years before restrictions were actually introduced following the ascent of Joe Biden and his administration to the White House, who prohibited US financial institutions from participating in the primary market for the Russian sovereign debt in April. Following the ban, foreign investors started to reduce their portfolios of Russian government bonds, but the trend reversed in September and foreign investment in the sector grew by 20%. Foreign investors flocked to the Russian financial market largely out of confidence that high tensions between Moscow and Washington were over and there wouldn’t be any harsher sanctions. However, doubts have now returned.

Sep 27 05:26

How Washington hustled up the foundations of a global electronic kraken

We may have had a more equitable and decentralized international system today if not for US intervention on behalf of Microsoft. Big Tech thereafter underwent a series of sinister functions at the expense of fundamental freedoms.

It was the 1980s. A resurgent Japan was colonizing one civilian market after another through sheer diligence and ingenuity. In terms of quantity and quality, Japanese manufacturers were bankrupting a variety of industrial strongholds, ranging from Swiss watchmakers to US auto giants. Whether it was school stationery, household appliances or nylon saris, quality with affordability could only be ‘Made in Japan’. America was in particularly deep trouble.

Sep 26 10:08

The Property Instinct and the Utter Futility of Socialism

By Robert E. Wright

If you are like me, you regularly interact with people who remain unfazed by America’s recent giant strides towards authoritarian socialism, of an economy run largely by, and for, state actors and their corporate minions. Those who bother to engage the problem at all eventually exclaim something like “Well, no society has ever tried ideal socialism,” by which they mean a system that truly redistributes wealth according to everyone’s needs.

A new book from Chapman University law and economics professor Bart Wilson entitled The Property Species nowhere mentions communism, Marx, or socialism but nevertheless provides a powerfully cogent explanation for why socialism, especially “ideal” socialism, can never work — it’s inhuman because it doesn’t account for humanity’s property instinct...

Sep 26 07:45

Chamber Of Commerce: Dems’ $3.5 Trillion Spending Bill ‘Existential Threat’ To Economy

By Casey Harper (The Center Square)

One of the nation’s leading economic and business groups is warning that the $3.5 trillion spending bill before Congress is an “existential threat” to the nation’s economy.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has launched a six-figure television ad campaign targeting the proposed tax hikes in the measure that would be “taking more hard-earned money from small businesses and working families.”

The initial ads will play in California, Minnesota, Virginia, New York and Iowa.

Sep 26 06:36

The Strange China Feud of Soros and BlackRock

A bizarre war of words has erupted in recent days in the pages of financial media between billionaire hedge fund and color revolution specialist, George Soros, and the gigantic BlackRock investment group. The issue is a decision by BlackRock CEO Larry Fink to open the first foreign-owned mutual fund in China presumably to attract the savings of China’s new (and fast disappearing) middle income population. In a recent newspaper interview Soros called the BlackRock decision a threat to BlackRock investors and to US national security.

This seemingly absurd clash of views between two financial predator giants of Wall Street hides a far larger story—the looming systemic collapse inside China of a financial debt pyramid that is possibly the largest in the world. It could have a domino effect on the entire world economy far greater than the September 2008 Lehman Crisis.

Sep 26 06:34

It's a Gas!... Russia Blamed for Europe's Fuel Crisis

There's panic setting in across Europe of unaffordable fuel bills, gas shortages, blackouts and freezing households as winter approaches. And guess who's to blame? Well, of course, Russia!

Amos Hochstein, an energy official at the US State Department, said there was deep concern about Europe not being to keep warm this winter because of "inexplicably low supplies of gas from Russia". The sinister implication being that Moscow was for reason deliberately shutting down exports to boost prices.

Meanwhile, Britain’s Guardian newspaper sought to explain the energy crisis hitting Europe – which has seen prices soar by 250 percent in recent weeks – as partly due to "Russia's games". It reported: "As shipments of gas have turned from Europe towards China, flows of pipeline gas to Europe from Russia have failed to make up the shortfall".

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It's Russia's gas. They can what they want with it!

Sep 25 11:40

SHOP SAFE Is Another Attempt to Fix Big Tech That Will Mostly Harm Small Players and Consumers

By Cara Gagliano and Katharine Trendacosta

Congress is once again trying to fix a very specific problem with a broad solution. We support the SHOP SAFE Act’s underlying goal of protecting consumers from unsafe and defective counterfeit products. The problem is that SHOP SAFE tackles the issue in a way that would make it incredibly difficult for small businesses and individuals to sell anything online. It will do little to stop sophisticated counterfeiters and will ultimately do consumers more harm than good, by obstructing competition and hindering consumers’ ability to resell their own used goods.

Sep 25 11:33

Markets Gyrate as Debt Rhetoric Heats Up

Sep 25 06:13

Pending Danger: Federal Reserve Warns, Economy Is Unstable

Completely dismissing rising inflation as transitory, the Federal Reserve has indicated interest rates could rise in 2022 a year earlier than predicted.

Federal Open Market Committee officials issued a statement Wednesday indicating that the Fed may begin to raise its interest rate, which currently sits close to zero, sometime next year, earlier than it envisioned three months ago.

This comes as a clear sign that the Fed is concerned increases in inflation may persist, with interest rates used to curtail the issue by raising the cost of borrowing.

Sep 25 05:37

Bitcoin crashes after China rules all crypto-related transactions illegal

The People’s Bank of China revived its tough stance on digital currencies on Friday, ruling all crypto-related trading activities illegal and banning overseas crypto exchanges from providing services to mainland investors.

The regulator announced plans to bar financial institutions, payment companies and internet firms from facilitating cryptocurrency trading, as well as to strengthen monitoring of risks from such activities.

“Overseas virtual currency exchanges that use the internet to offer services to domestic residents is also considered illegal financial activity,” the PBOC said in a Q&A posted to its website.

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.

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