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A Colorado ski town can"t fill a job with a $167,000 salary because potential candidates can"t afford to live there

The city manager of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, told NBC News two candidates turned down a $167,000 job after they couldn't find a place to live. Steamboat springs, coloradoTHEPALMER/Getty ImagesIn Steamboat Springs, Colorado, even high-earners are being priced out, NBC reported.The city manager said two people turned down a six-figure job after not being able to find housing.Steamboat Springs is among many ski towns in the West facing skyrocketing housing costs.As many rural communities struggle to deal with a jump in housing prices, it's apparently gotten so bad in one Colorado town that a $167,000 salary isn't enough to solve the problem.A recent report from NBC News details how even high earners in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, can't afford to live there, and it's impacting the city government. City Manager Gary Suiter told the outlet that the town has been unable to hire a human resources chief, with two candidates turning down the job because they couldn't find affordable housing, despite the prospect of an over-six-figure salary.Steamboat Springs, located in northwest Colorado about three hours from Denver, is among the many small towns dealing with climbing housing costs driven by the rise of remote work attracting folks from cities as well as increases in the short-term rental market.It's not just city employees that are impacted. Even doctors looking for million-dollar homes are getting outbid, with the local hospital unable to fill some positions. A ski resort is also putting its employees up in a leased hotel, NBC reported, because some employees can't afford to rent."Houses used to be for employees and hotels for guests. Now houses are for guests and hotels are for employee housing," Loryn Duke, communications director at the Steamboat ski resort, told the outlet.Locals are getting priced out of ski towns across the American West, Business Insider's Jordan Pandy previously reported. In Colorado, the situation in already-expensive ski towns, like Vail and Aspen, only got worse when housing prices skyrocketed during the pandemic. Other places, like Driggs, Idaho, are dealing with a high-priced market for the first time."These once-quiet communities have undergone a remarkable transformation," Luke Smith, an associate broker with Engel & Völkers Jackson Hole, told The Wall Street Journal last year.Cindy Riegel, chairman of the Board of Commissioners in Teton County, where Driggs is located, told the outlet existing residents went from "living comfortably to survival mode" and that some have packed up and left because they could no longer afford it.In Steamboat Springs, the problem has sparked a major housing battle, with disagreements over how to address the issues, NBC reported.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT6 hr. 41 min. ago Related News

My husband convinced me to get pregnant. I had the baby, got laid off, and left him — I"m happy with all of my decisions.

I'm a single mom and felt relieved after my company laid me off. I receive government assistance and can focus on my daughter. Becoming a mom changed Cat Jones' priorities and eventually led her to leave her husband.Cat JonesCat Jones and her husband decided not to have kids and enjoyed a happy marriage for almost 10 years.After her husband became depressed, he decided that a baby would make him happy. She eventually agreed.She left her husband, got laid off, and moved back in with her family. She's happy with her decisions.For almost 10 years, my husband and I lived a good life. We weren't rich, but we always had enough, and we had a lot of fun. He's American, and we met during his working holiday in New Zealand, my home country. We hit it off instantly. Within 3 months we were living together, engaged, and planning our future. Life was sunny.Pretty early on, we agreed not to have kids. This sat well with me, as I had never wanted to be a mother. Instead, as we used to say, "we celebrated life every day." This meant alcohol, enjoying good food, visiting the beach, and indulging in our hobbies. We also bought an old house together, adopted a few cats, and got married. Our relationship was built on having carefree funBut my life hasn't turned out how I expected it to. At 37, I wanted to be running a successful business, happily married, and traveling in my spare time. Instead, I'm a single mother to a two-year-old, divorced, jobless, and living in my childhood home. I'm so broke that I've had to let strangers live in the house we bought because I can't afford to pay utilities or the mortgage.All this happened because my now ex-husband convinced me to have a baby. At the time, I knew it was a bad idea, in that we weren't in a strong or healthy place in our marriage, but saying no felt like depriving my best friend of his heart's desire. I have always been an opportunist, willing to give anything a go, and enjoy learning new skills. I felt I would approach motherhood in the same way. That's how we got to the point of him asking to have a baby. At the time, I was working for a great company with amazing perks, and loving life. He worked the night shift in a factory. Although the pay and progression were good, it wasn't the future he had envisioned. He became dark and depressed, then decided that a baby would make him happy. I eventually agreed.Cat Jones was happy with the decision not to have kids but agreed to have a baby.Cat JonesHaving a baby wasn't the dream my husband expectedOur daughter was born with silent reflux, meaning stomach acid rose up her esophagus. For almost five months, I only put her down to change her diaper. We barely slept, me and the baby, yet it was my ex who couldn't cope. He became bitter and neglectful, refusing to help with anything and calling me lazy when I asked. I knew the most important thing was our child's safety and happiness and if she couldn't have that with two parents, I would make it work with one. I asked him to leave, and eventually, when our baby was eight months old, he did, moving back to the US. I bought out his share of the house.Luckily, I was able to work from home with my baby. Despite working hard and being promoted, I was caught up in a mass layoff a few months later. Last in, first out, they said. In just over a year I had become a mom, left my husband, and lost my dream job. My income went from 82,000 New Zealand dollars, or about $50,000, to a government benefit that just pays my mortgage. I let strangers — an immigrant family — live in my house and pay my utilities, while I share a bedroom with my daughter in my childhood home. Instead of putting her in care and finding a new job, I made use of the government benefit, reduced my bills, and embraced the multigenerational family home. I chose to focus on my daughter, not my careerCat Jones' daughter was born with silent reflux and she couldn't put her down for almost 5 months.Cat JonesI could not be happier. Becoming a mother changed my priorities, and being her only caregiver strengthened my resolve to raise her well. I feel strongly that having a stable, loving, and attentive caregiver is important for babies, far more important than money. So far, it's proving true. At two years old, my daughter is toilet trained, has an advanced vocabulary, knows over half the alphabet, and can count into double digits. She uses manners, has minimal screen time, and is comfortable with other people. Seeing her thrive makes me proud, and thanks to her — and being divorced and laid off — I have renewed relationships with my family. Being a mom has made me realize that one of the most important things we can do for our children is to develop a strong, safe, and loving relationship with them. We need to be present to do that. I can start a business at any age, but I can't get this time back once it's gone. That's why I am embracing my situation with joy and thanks, every day.Got a personal essay about living abroad or parenting that you want to share? Get in touch with the editor: akarplus@businessinsider.com.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT6 hr. 41 min. ago Related News

Jeff Bezos is once again the world"s richest person thanks to the Big Tech rally

Bezos is the world's richest person with a net worth of $200 billion after Amazon shares surged 90% from a year ago. Jeff Bezos is now the world's richest person.Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty ImagesJeff Bezos just reclaimed his title as the world's richest person.Bezos' wealth surge is due to a rally in Big Tech shares, incuding Amazon.Tesla CEO Elon Musk now ranks second on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.It's been more than two years since Amazon founder Jeff Bezos was the world's richest person, but he's now back in the lead again.As of Tuesday, Bezos is the world's wealthiest man, with a net worth of $200 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.Bezos reclaimed the top spot after a sustained rally in Big Tech shares on the back of the artificial intelligence boom. The last time Bezos was the world's richest person was in 2021.Amazon shares are up 17% this year to date and nearly 90% higher than a year ago. They closed 0.4% lower at $177.58 apiece on Monday.Since Bezos owns about 9% of Amazon, the world's largest online retailer, his net worth goes up when its stock rises. The billionaire also owns space exploration company Blue Origin, which Bloomberg also uses in its calculation.Bezos, 60, unseated Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who was in the top spot for nine months. At one point, Musk was $142 billion richer than Bezos, per Bloomberg.Bezos first surpassed Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates as the world's richest person in 2017. Bezos was unseated by Musk in 2021 on the back of a Tesla share surge.Musk and Bernard Arnault, the chairman of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, are now the second and third richest people on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Their net worths currently stand at $198 billion and $197 billion, respectively.Tesla's stock is down 24% so far this year and 3% lower than a year ago. The EV maker's shares tumbled 7% on Monday after its China sales slumped in February.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT6 hr. 41 min. ago Related News

Mark Cuban says he will vote for Joe Biden even if the president "was being given last rites"

"If they were having his last wake, and it was him versus Trump, and he was being given last rites, I would still vote for Joe Biden," Cuban said. Joe Biden (left), Mark Cuban (center), and Donald Trump (right).Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images; Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images; Alon Skuy via Getty ImagesMark Cuban says he'll vote for Joe Biden — even if the president's on his deathbed.Cuban told BI that he expects a rematch between Biden and Donald Trump in November.He said he'll be voting for Nikki Haley on Super Tuesday as a "protest vote against Trump."Mark Cuban says he's determined to cast his vote for President Joe Biden this November — even if Biden's on his deathbed."If they were having his last wake, and it was him versus Trump, and he was being given last rites, I would still vote for Joe Biden," Cuban told Bloomberg on Monday.The billionaire investor was speaking to Bloomberg after attending a roundtable at the White House on drug prices. Cuban is the co-founder of the low-cost online pharmacy, Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drugs Co.Cuban told BI via email that he fully expects a predictable rematch between Biden and former President Donald Trump this November."That's what the polls say. There is no reason to expect otherwise," Cuban told BI.Cuban's distaste for Trump dates back years. In 2016, Cuban said he had a "love-hate relationship" with Trump."There's that guy who'll walk into the bar and say anything to get laid," Cuban said of Trump in an interview with Anthony Scaramucci at the SkyBridge Alternatives Conference in 2016.In November 2020, Cuban said that he didn't think Biden and Trump "were the best and brightest" presidential candidates the US has to offer."We are now seeing the downside of having a political duopoly," Cuban said on The Verge's "Decoder" podcast.Concerns over Biden's age have been swirling ever since he announced his reelection bid in April.In February, a special counsel report on Biden's handling of classified documents said the president was struggling with memory issues.US special counsel Robert Hur said in his report that Biden presented himself during interviews "as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory." Biden has furiously pushed back against that characterization and appears unlikely to give way to a replacement from the Democratic party's ranks.Cuban told Bloomberg that he will be voting for former UN ambassador Nikki Haley in the Texas GOP primary on Super Tuesday, calling it a "protest vote against Trump."On Sunday, Haley managed to win her first GOP primary in Washington, DC. The victory, however, will provide Haley with little relief, given that she is trailing far behind Trump in terms of delegate count.Haley has won 43 delegates, nearly six times less than Trump's 244 delegates. Candidates need to secure 1,215 delegates in order to lock down the GOP presidential nomination.Trump and Haley will face off again on Super Tuesday, with 15 state primaries slated to take place on March 5.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT6 hr. 41 min. ago Related News

Hong Kong shoppers are crossing the border into Shenzhen to buy croissants and rotisserie chickens at China"s newest Costco

Hong Kong's economic struggles created the perfect situation for China's Shenzhen Costco location to thrive, netting 15,000 cross-border memberships. Thousands of people flocked to the newest Chinese Costco on opening day earlier this year.Photo by Liang Xu/Xinhua via Getty Images)Costco's store in Shenzhen, China, has been attracting a large number of customers since it opened.The store's popularity is driven by Hong Kong residents crossing the border to shop in mainland China. Tour agencies in the region are even organizing Costco-centered vacation packages. China has fallen in love with Costco, as evidenced by the uproarious response to its new Shenzhen location, which has already prompted cross-border pilgrimages and sparked store-centric travel packages since opening earlier this year.More than 140,000 customers have visited China's newest Costco since it opened in mid-January, a spokesperson for Costco told Business Insider, and buzz for the big-box store only continues to grow in the region.Opening day alone saw more than 10,000 customers, according to the company spokesperson. Photos from the scene showed long lines and huge crowds as customers weaved in and out of the outlet's towering aisles.The new outlet is located in the city of Shenzhen, a southeastern metropolis that links China's mainland to Hong Kong, offering residents of the special administrative region the rare chance to get lost in the aisles of a retail giant — after they cross the border from Hong Kong into mainland China.A spokesperson for Costco said the Lunar New Year last month brought in scores of Costco customers, including those who made the trek from Hong Kong and particularly enjoyed being able to buy fruits, snacks, and other imported food products.The most popular items purchased at the store, according to a spokesperson, are foodstuffs like butter croissants, muffins, rum pastries, rotisserie chickens, and the Shenzhen-exclusive Jumbo Bulgogi Bake.People shop at the new store of Costco in Shenzhen, south China's Guangdong Province, Jan. 12, 2024.Xinhua News AgencyLarge bulk stores are a rarity in Hong Kong due to the city's limited space and expensive culture.Obsession with the new Shenzhen location comes as Hong Kong's massive retail market undergoes a shake-up, with wealthier locals fleeing the city and poorer Hong Kong residents searching for affordability.Hong Kong's economic struggles, however, have created the perfect circumstances for Shenzhen Costco to thrive. The store has become a popular shopping destination for both Hong Kong residents and other tourists in the region, according to a recent Bloomberg article.More than 15,000 Hong Kong residents have already signed up for a Costco membership, the outlet reported, and both Costco and the country are jumping on board to help facilitate future visits.Costco has organized several shuttle buses each day that run between the Shenzhen store and Hong Kong, according to a company spokesperson. Costco is also partnering with cross-border delivery companies that pack and ship items purchased by Hong Kong residents.People queue to enter the new store of Costco on January 12, 2024 in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province of China.VCGThe Shenzhen location is working with tech company Tencent Holdings LTD's WeChat Pay HK, which is giving out coupons and cash vouchers via the e-wallet to help customers with Hong Kong-based bank accounts make purchases in the mainland, Bloomberg reported.But the newest Costco — the sixth store in mainland China thus far — broadly appeals to the entire region.A Taiwan-based travel agency is offering a vacation package that includes three hours of shopping at the Shenzhen Costco, a membership to the store and a five-star hotel stay for about $78 per person, Bloomberg reported.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT7 hr. 41 min. ago Related News

Trump fights proposed hush-money trial gag, argues "tens of millions of Americans" want to hear his views about the case

The First Amendment protects not only speech, but those who listen to speech, his lawyers argued Monday. Former President Donald Trump, left. adult film star Stormy Daniels, center. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, right.Alex Brandon/AP, left. Markus Schreiber/AP, center. Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/AP, right.Trump's NY hush money prosecutors worry he'll incite attacks on witnesses, jurors, and court staff.On Monday, Trump's lawyers filed papers opposing DA Alvin Bragg's request for a limited gag order.The defense says that "tens of millions of Americans" want to hear his take on the March 25 trial."Tens of millions of Americans" want to hear what former President Donald Trump has to say about his upcoming "hush money" trial in New York, his lawyers argued Monday in papers opposing the district attorney's proposed limited gag order.Manhattan prosecutors want the GOP frontrunner barred from making remarks that could incite attacks on witnesses, jurors, and court staff.The First Amendment protects not only speech but those who listen to the speech, his lawyers argue in the new filing to the trial judge, state Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan.The proposed gag would harm not only Trump, but all those who wish "to listen to President Trump's campaign speech," the filing by defense lawyers Susan Necheles and Todd Blanche says."A restriction on President Trump's speech therefore inflicts a 'reciprocal' injury on the tens of millions of Americans who listen to him," it says."American voters have the First Amendment right to hear President Trump's uncensored voice on all issues that relate to this case," it says."President Trump's political opponents have, and will continue to, attack him based on this case," it adds."Neither the First Amendment nor the New York Constitution permits the government 'to license one side of a debate to fight freestyle, while requiring the other to follow Marquis of Queensberry rules,'" says, quoting case law from 1992.The judge and Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg have contended that Trump remains at liberty to say anything he wants to about the case — they just don't want him inciting attacks, something the judge warned the former president about at his arraignment nearly a year ago.Prosecutors' gag request cites scores of citations from Trump's social media and speeches, in which he "attacks individuals that he considers to be adversaries."The proposed gag is tailored after a gag order in his Washington, DC, election interference case that has already been upheld by a federal appellate court, the DA's request argues.Manhattan prosecutors allege Trump falsified 34 Trump Organization business records to hide a $130,000 hush money payment to porn actor Stormy Daniels. Trump pleaded not guilty.The payment, footed by Trump's then-personal attorney, Michael Cohen, silenced Daniels weeks before the 2016 election. But instead of being recorded as a campaign expenditure, it was illegally disguised as a series of legal fees to Cohen, prosecutors say.In Monday's filing, the defense further argues that Trump has not incited attacks on witnesses, prospective jurors, and court staff. The judge's verbal warning against doing so, made during Trump's arraignment a year ago, has been sufficient, they argue.Trump's lawyers sent the judge a separate filing Monday focused on Bragg's request for an anonymous jury. They argue that Trump and his defense team need to know the identities of potential jurors in order to prepare for jury selection effectively."The people do not cite a single public statement by President Trump since May 2023 that addressed, positively or negatively, the potential venire in this case," Necheles and Blanche wrote, using the legal term for prospective jurors."The People do not identify a single example where President Trump mentioned — let alone attacked or harassed — any juror by name," they add.Merchan has not said when he will rule on the proposed gag order and on juror anonymity.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT7 hr. 41 min. ago Related News

"We Remain Frustrated": Investors Raise Buyout Bid For Macy"s After Board"s "Delay Tactics"

"We Remain Frustrated": Investors Raise Buyout Bid For Macy's After Board's "Delay Tactics" On Sunday, Arkhouse Management Co. and Brigade Capital Management raised their all-cash bid to purchase Macy's at $24 per share, a 33% premium versus Friday's closing price of $18.01. This comes a little more than a month after the retailer rejected a go-private bid from the group of investors.  Arkhouse and Brigade disclosed Fortress Investment Group LLC and One Investment Management US as equity partners in the deal to acquire Macy's.  Arkhouse highlighted how they had revised the deal higher to entice Macy's executives:  A 51.3% premium to Macy's unaffected share price on Nov. 30, 2023, the day prior to Arkhouse and Brigade submitting their original proposal on Dec. 1, 2023; A 33.3% premium to where the Company's shares closed on March 1, 2024; and An increase of 14.3% from Arkhouse and Brigade's previous offer of $21.00 per share that was submitted to the Company on Dec. 1, 2023. Gavriel Kahane and Jonathon Blackwell of Arkhouse expressed their frustrations with Macy's Board: "We remain frustrated by the delay tactics adopted by Macy's Board of Directors (the "Board") and its continued refusal to engage with our credible buyer group. Nonetheless, we are steadfast in our commitment to execute this transaction. In recent months, Macy's has introduced two restructurings and a dividend hike. The stock price selloff following these announcements is a strong indication of shareholder concern about maintaining the status quo. We continue to offer the Company an attractive alternative solution through a sale of the Company at a substantial premium. This would provide Macy's stockholders with significant value and immediate liquidity. While the restructuring plan Macy's unveiled last week failed to inspire investors, the fourth quarter earnings and year-end results have given us further confidence in the long-term prospects of the Company if redirected as a private company. After coordinating with our financing sources, we have increased our offer to $24.00 per share in cash. We remain open to increasing the purchase price further subject to the customary due diligence. The notion that the plan we are proposing is not actionable is simply not true. We have tried repeatedly to address the concerns raised by the Company. We clarified the 50% equity contribution we laid out three months ago and disclosed our partnership with two highly regarded investors – Fortress and OneIM. With the help of our advisors, we have identified large global institutional financing sources for each debt component of the transaction with strong interest in finalizing commitments during a customary diligence process. These sources represent 100% of the capital required to buy the shares in Macy's we do not already own at our proposed price of $24.00 per share in cash. We have struggled to understand what reservations the Board might have at this point and urge the Company to engage with us in good faith with the goal of reaching a transaction that would unlock significant value for all stockholders. We sincerely hope the members of the Board are not so entrenched in their views about the future direction of the Company that they would ignore their fiduciary duties to explore a potential transaction with a credible buyer. We remain ready to proceed expeditiously with our due diligence toward a mutually agreeable transaction to acquire Macy's at a substantial premium in cash." Shares of Macy's jumped more than 17% in premarket trading in New York on the revised deal. Two weeks ago, Arkhouse nominated nine people for Macy's board of directors, igniting a proxy battle after the department store rejected a go-private bid in mid-January. Last week, Macy's announced "a bold new chapter" in the department store's future, pivoting from catering to low-tier consumers to more affluent ones. In doing so, it will close 150 stores over the next few years while expanding Bloomingdale's and Bluemercury stores. Tyler Durden Mon, 03/04/2024 - 14:00.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT12 hr. 29 min. ago Related News

House Dems Implode Over Supreme Court Decision; Raskin Crafting Legislation To Bar Trump From Ballot

House Dems Implode Over Supreme Court Decision; Raskin Crafting Legislation To Bar Trump From Ballot.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT12 hr. 29 min. ago Related News

Good Story Versus Bad Valuations

Good Story Versus Bad Valuations Authored by Will Denyer via Evergreen Gavekal blog, In the run-up to Nvidia’s earnings release late Wednesday, there was a palpable concern in the market that the AI boom’s flagship would disappoint lofty expectations; what is now Wall Street’s most heavily traded stock traded -2% down during the afternoon session. And then Nvidia did it again, exceeding expectations in terms of revenue, earnings and forward guidance. The stock promptly jumped 9% in after-hours trading, which helped to lift Nasdaq futures by 1.5%. And the bullish sentiment spread to Asia Thursday morning, where after a 34-year wait Japan’s Nikkei 225 finally edged above its December 1989 record high. With the terminals a sea of green, the obvious question for investors is the one Louis raised a couple of weeks ago—will markets in general, and US growth stocks in particular, continue to Party Like It’s 1999? Or are we heading for a 2000-style crunch? Put differently, will a good story be overcome by bad valuations? In the late 1990s, the story was that the internet was going to generate exceptional earnings growth for companies in tech, media, and telecoms. The TMT bubble inflated until by early 2000 the prospective earnings yield on US growth stocks was pitiful, both in absolute terms and when compared to the real yields in US fixed income (whether bonds or bills). Eventually, the valuation gap became too great and the market started to have doubts about when clicks would be converted into revenues, and the bubble burst. Investors fled growth stocks for fixed income, with growth stocks losing a quarter of their value in 2000, while bonds rallied. By the end of the year, risk-adjusted real yields on the two asset classes had largely converged (see the chart below). Meanwhile, value stocks, which never got anything like as overvalued, were flat for the year. It was not until the US recession began in March 2001 that value stocks joined the sell-off. Fast forward to today and the relative valuation story is similar. Equities are generally expensive relative to fixed income. But the biggest gap is between growth stocks and short-term US treasuries. Given this valuation spread, a continuation of the current rally in US growth stocks likely depends on one or both of the following: (i) earnings continue to exceed expectations; (ii) the Federal Reserve cuts rates and real bond yields fall—with no recession. Either is possible. On the earnings side, the strong recent economic data helps. January saw impressive payrolls growth and a pick-up in PMIs (February PMIs are out on Friday and will be worth monitoring). It is also encouraging that the leaders of this boom—Nvidia, Microsoft, Amazon, Meta etc.— have seen strong revenue and earnings growth, not just click growth. The balance sheets of these companies are also generally stronger than the balance sheets of the TMT bubble leaders, with less leverage and more cash. And as Louis has pointed out, unlike 1999-2000 there is little IPO activity today to leach away the liquidity supporting the stocks of the market leaders. One big question is whether final demand for generative AI grows by as much as expected. Currently, Nvidia cannot make chips fast enough to meet the demand of its customers, and specifically of its four biggest customers— Amazon, Microsoft, Google and Meta—which account for 40% of its revenues. So long as final demand for generative AI continues to grow rapidly, these customers will likely continue to demand more chips from Nvidia and others, even as they are all developing their own AI chips. But if final demand for generative AI disappoints, today’s AI investment boom could result in overcapacity. On the inflation front, the risk is that January’s uptick in US CPI and PPI inflation, along with the year-to-date rebound in oil prices, is not just noise but the start of a reversal from last year’s disinflationary trend. This is the subject of intense debate within Gavekal. From my perspective, I still believe the balance of evidence suggests inflation will remain benign. But any more upside surprises in the inflation data will make the Fed more cautious about the timing and pace of rate cuts, because inflation remains the principal consideration determining Fed policy. If the Fed keeps short rates elevated while continuing quantitative tightening, the relatively high real yields on bonds and especially on bills could begin to weigh on US growth stocks. If inflation surprises on the upside, and the Fed confounds expectations for rate cuts, “T-bill and chill” will likely prove the investment strategy of choice. The macro outlook for growth and inflation is always uncertain, and today is no exception. A continuation of the recent “soft landing” or “disinflationary boom” scenario is quite possible. The potential of generative AI appears great. But given the extreme valuation gap between T-bills and growth stocks today, as in 2000 it is probably wise to take some profits on US growth stocks, and to buy more attractively-valued US value stocks, cheaper markets such as Brazil or China, or simply to load up on US T-bills. Tyler Durden Mon, 03/04/2024 - 14:20.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT12 hr. 29 min. ago Related News

FAA Finds Non-Compliance Issues In Boeing"s 737 Max Manufacturing Program

FAA Finds Non-Compliance Issues In Boeing's 737 Max Manufacturing Program The Federal Aviation Administration's six-week audit of the clowns running Boeing and Spirit AeroSystems has revealed "multiple instances where the companies allegedly failed to comply with manufacturing quality control requirements." The non-compliance issues were found in the Boeing 737 Max program's manufacturing process control, parts handling and storage, and product control, the FAA said, adding these details have been released to the public as an investigation is ongoing following the near-catastrophic accident when a door plug ripped off an Alaska Airlines 737 Max 9 plane earlier this year.  The audit is one of the immediate oversight actions the FAA took after a left mid-cabin door plug blew out of Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 on January 5 while in flight. At a meeting at FAA Headquarters in Washington, DC, last week, Administrator Mike Whitaker informed Boeing's CEO and other senior leaders that the company must address the audit's findings as part of its comprehensive corrective action plan to fix systemic quality-control issues. The plan must also address the findings from the expert review panel report that examined Boeing's safety culture. The FAA has given Boeing 90 days to outline its action plan. -FAA While Boeing is held accountable for quality control issues that led to the 737 Max 9 plug door mishap, the FAA has halted production expansion of the Max jet. There is word that Boeing might hire a third party to conduct independent reviews of quality systems at its Renton, Washington plant and Spirit AeroSystems facilities in Wichita, Kansas.  Meanwhile, European aerospace giant Airbus SE has been pulling ahead of Boeing regarding aircraft deliveries, soaking up an increasingly more significant market share of narrow-body planes.  Wall Street thinks so...  With Boeing remaining under FAA scrutiny, it was also announced Monday that three passengers on the Alaska Airlines flight in January have filed a billionaire dollar lawsuit against the planemaker.  Tyler Durden Mon, 03/04/2024 - 15:00.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT12 hr. 29 min. ago Related News

Powell To Face Pressure On Rates From Democrats, Bank Rules From Republicans

Powell To Face Pressure On Rates From Democrats, Bank Rules From Republicans Authored by Mike Shedlock via MishTalk.com, Fed Chair Jerome Powell meets with Congress this week. He will face pressure on two different fronts. Image courtesy of Mortgage News Daily, annotations by Mish Pressure on Two Fronts Bloomberg reports Powell to Face Pressure on Rates From Democrats, Bank Rules From Republicans The Fed chair heads to Capitol Hill on Wednesday and Thursday for his semiannual testimony before Congress, two years after the central bank began its aggressive battle against surging inflation. With the economy powering along and inflation inching toward the Fed’s sweet spot, Powell will make the case for why officials are in no rush to lower rates. In a Jan. 30 letter, Senator Sherrod Brown urged Powell to cut rates “early this year,” arguing that high rates are hurting small businesses and putting homeownership out of reach for many Americans. That missive from the Senate Banking Committee chair, an Ohio Democrat who is running for reelection this year, could give cover to other committee Democrats who want to press Powell on rates. Housing Maryland Democrat Chris Van Hollen, in an interview last week, said the Fed needs to focus on housing costs “and taking actions necessary to make things more affordable for more Americans.” “Right now those high interest rates are actually increasing costs for families because one of the big parts of costs for families is housing,” Senator Elizabeth Warren, a persistent Powell critic, said in a Bloomberg Television interview. “It’s time to get those interest rates down.” Capital Rules Republicans will use Powell’s appearance to grill him on the Fed’s proposal to ramp up capital requirements for big banks by almost 20%. Election Year Powell has repeatedly said the looming election plays no role in policy decisions, but some Fed watchers worry rate cuts this year — investors are betting the first reduction will come in June — could be perceived as the Fed giving a boost to Democrats. Elizabeth Warren Hoot of the Day Home prices are at record highs. Just what does she think will happen to home prices and inflation if Powell cuts rates too early? Small businesses are struggling but why is that? The answer is Biden’s free money to students, Biden’s regulatory madness, Biden’s union push, and massive minimum wage hikes, especially in places like California are all highly inflationary. The Fed’s Big Problem On average, the economy looks OK. But averages are misleading. Several large groups of people are struggling. They all have one thing in common. Case-Shiller home price index, CPI rent index, and the index of hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory workers. The Fed’s Big Problem is There Are Two Economies But Only One Interest Rate Who’s Unhappy? Those looking to buy a home but cannot afford the record high prices, are not faring well in this economy. The last great time to buy a home was in 2012. Over the next eight years, home prices moved further and further away from wages. When the Covid pandemic hit in 2020, we had record QE, record fiscal stimulus, mortgage rates hit record lows, and inflation hit the highest levels in 40 years. When the Fed slashed interest rates to zero, mortgage rates fell below 3.0% for an extended period allowing everyone to refinance at 3.0 percent or below. Most did. Winners and Losers The homeowners are generally doing OK. The home ownership rate is 65.7 percent. The 34.3 percent who rent are generally not doing OK. The study did not break things down by home owners vs renters, but I suspect most of the use is by renters. According to the latest CPI report, rent was up at least 0.4 percent for the 29th straight month. Shelter, a broader category, rose 0.6 percent. Food rose 0.4 percent. CPI data from the BLS, chart by Mish Credit Card and Auto Delinquencies Soar Credit card debt surged to a record high in the fourth quarter. Even more troubling is a steep climb in 90 day or longer delinquencies. Record High Credit Card Debt Credit card debt rose to a new record high of $1.13 trillion, up $50 billion in the quarter. Even more troubling is the surge in serious delinquencies, defined as 90 days or more past due. For nearly all age groups, serious delinquencies are the highest since 2011 at best. Auto Loan Delinquencies Serious delinquencies on auto loans have jumped from under 3 percent in mid-2021 to to 5 percent at the end of 2023 for age group 18-29. Age group 30-39 is also troubling. Serious delinquencies for age groups 18-29 and 30-39 are at the highest levels since 2010. For further discussion please see Credit Card and Auto Delinquencies Soar, Especially Age Group 18 to 39 Generational Homeownership Rates Home ownership rates courtesy of Apartment List The above chart is from the Apartment List’s 2023 Millennial Homeownership Report Those struggling with rent are more likely to Millennials and Zoomers than Generation X, Baby Boomers, or members of the Silent Generation. The same age groups struggling with credit card and auto delinquencies. On Average Everything is Great Average it up as Fed and all the clueless economic and political writers do, and things look great. This is why we have seen countless stories attempting to explain why people should be happy. Hello Mr. Powell There are two economies (the homeowners/asset holders and everyone else). However, there is only one interest rate. Patience please says Powell. Lowering rates risks risks fueling the housing bubble and the most expensive stock market in history. It’s Powell’s move. No matter what he does Elizabeth Warren will howl. She wants lower interest rates, but that will stoke inflation and it will not do a damn thing for renters who don’t have a down payment and cannot a house no matter what the mortgage rate is. This is a dilemma of the Fed’s making and there is no solution. Tyler Durden Mon, 03/04/2024 - 15:40.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT12 hr. 29 min. ago Related News

Gold & Bitcoin Close At Record Highs As Bonds & Stocks Dip

Gold & Bitcoin Close At Record Highs As Bonds & Stocks Dip A quiet macro day let the grown-ups play... and today saw gold and bitcoin roar up to record closing highs (amid rising breakevens and falling rate-cut expectations) as all eyes and ears and algos remain glued to any further hints of QE (Reverse Twist) as Waller revealed last week, and Fed's Bostic didn't help today. In a commentary published on the Atlanta Fed website Monday, Bostic said he was worried that businesses have too much exuberance and could unleash a burst of new demand after a rate cut that adds to price pressures. “This threat of what I’ll call pent-up exuberance is a new upside risk that I think bears scrutiny in coming months,” he said. “ As my staff and I have talked to business decision-makers in recent weeks, the theme we’ve heard rings of expectant optimism.” That could be another reason not to cut rates at a rushed pace, he told reporters in a press briefing. “I would probably not anticipate they would be back to back” cuts, Bostic said. “Given the uncertainty, I think there is some appeal to acting and then seeing how participants in the markets, businesses leaders and families respond to that.” 2024 rate-cut expectations drifted (hawkishly lower) to barely three cuts priced in for 2024 now... Source: Bloomberg But breakevens are soaring in the face of disinflationary delusion... Source: Bloomberg And it appears gold got the hint... Source: Bloomberg ...soaring to a new record closing high (just shy of its intraday record high)... Source: Bloomberg And the other alternative currency also soared, Bitcoin topping $67,000... Source: Bloomberg ...up to its record closing high (yes, we know bitcoin doesn't 'close')... Source: Bloomberg ...amid another high volume day in BTC ETFs... Source: Bloomberg Ethereum also caught a bid, topping $3600 for the first time since Source: Bloomberg Still has some room to go its record highs... Source: Bloomberg Elsewhere, stocks ambled along with Small Caps pumped (at the European open) and dumped back to unchanged-ish. A late-day sell program dragged the Nasdaq to the lows of the day and the ugliest horse in today's glue factory... VIX continued to decouple from stocks here (and this time it was not call-buying FOMO malarkey as skews ticked higher)... Source: Bloomberg As NYCB collapsed to 28 year lows... Source: Bloomberg Bonds were sold with the short-end underperforming.... Source: Bloomberg Which prompted bear-flattening in the yield curve... Source: Bloomberg The dollar limped lower but remains broadly speaking in its recent range... Source: Bloomberg Oil prices declined, apparently not enthralled by the idea of The Fed printing money to buy short-dated bills anymore, round-tripping Friday's gains... Source: Bloomberg Finally, NVDA just refuses to drop, up another 6% today... ...overtaking Aramco as the 3rd most valuable company in the world... Source: Bloomberg It's different though this time... Source: Bloomberg ...probably nothing. Tyler Durden Mon, 03/04/2024 - 16:00.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT12 hr. 29 min. ago Related News

The Five FUBARs

The Five FUBARs Authored by James Howard Kunstler via Kunstler.com, “How many of these places where polite society turns out to be provably insane do we have to see before we stop taking their judgment on anything as significant?” - Bret Weinstein The USA is a runaway train with a dead man in the engineer’s seat. The conductor goes through the cars assuring the passengers that everything is fine. . . never mind the screeching wheels on the curves. . . or the blinding strobe effect of low sunlight passing through the trees out the window at a hundred and forty mph. . . or the bump that made half the stuff in the overhead luggage rack jump out. More than half the people on-board are at tachycardia levels of fright — some are screeching — but the other less than half just remain fixed on their phones and laptop screens. They can’t be bothered to look out the window... Okay, that’s a metaphor. But if you’re a citizen of our country and care about it, these are the matters you’d better pay attention to, because they are all going off the rails: The war in Ukraine. We started it in 2014 to mess with Russia and Russia is going to finish it. Who knows what our real motives were. A resource grab? A desperate ploy to erase our national debt by creating a global fiasco? Sheer psychopathic hatred of this Putin fellow? We can’t bring ourselves to acknowledge the failure of this ill-conceived venture. Instead, our feckless allies in Europe are foolishly rattling their sabers, apparently forgetting that you don’t bring a sword to a nuclear missile fight. Mr. Macron in France affects to offer up his army for slaughter on the blood-soaked plains of Ukraine, just as the Ukrainians offered up a half a million of their young men so that Victoria Nuland could feel good about herself. Mr. Macron is insane, but the society he presides over is collectively insane, so perhaps he represents them well. Similarly, Olaf Scholz in Germany, whose top generals were caught on a leaked recording last week discussing their plan to blow up the Kerch Bridge that connects Crimea to Russia. Do you understand that this would be a direct attack on Russia, an act of War by NATO? And what the obvious consequence would be? The phantom government of “Joe Biden” is too weak and mindless to join any negotiation. Ukraine and Russia are up to some kind of cross-talk down in Riyadh with Prince MBS. Even Mr. Zelensky went down for a day, though video appears to show him coked-up, sniffling and snarfling, not a good sign. If ever there was a time to end this stupid conflict, it’s now, before the Russian election. After that, terms will only be more difficult for Ukraine, up to direct custodial supervision instead of remaining a nation. It was never any of our business (though the Biden family, BlackRock, and the CIA saw fabulous opportunity to profit there). Next is the border. You saw last year how the blob elite greeted the transfer of illegal immigrants to their happy little island of Martha’s Vineyard. (They were not amused by Governor DeSantis’s prank, and off-loaded the mutts post-haste.) But that same smug demographic doesn’t care if hundreds of thousands are distributed to the big cities, which are now fiscally destabilized by them to an extreme, probably to bankruptcy. Of course, that is not the main thing to worry about with what altogether amounts to millions of border-jumpers flooding our land. The main reason to worry is what the blob that invited them here intends for them to do, which, you may suspect, is to unleash mayhem in the streets, malls, stadiums, and upon our infrastructure just in time to derail the election — perhaps even to make war on us right in our homeland. The US government is paying for this whole operation, you understand, funneling our tax money to international cut-out orgs who set up the transfer camps in Panama, and buy the plane tickets for the mutts to cross the ocean, and coordinate with the Mexican cartels to shuttle this horde of mystery people among us to work their juju for the Democratic Party. The pissed-off-ness of the public has passed the red line on this. A third FUBAR is the lawfare campaign of the Democratic Party and its regime in power against the citizens of this land. This folder includes overt and obvious political prosecutions by DA’s and AG’s who make election promises to “go after” individuals without such niceties as probable cause. It includes the gigantic new scaffold of inter-agency censorship and propaganda. It includes the psychopathic struggle sessions mandated by “diversity and inclusion” policy. It includes election-rigging directed by the likes of Marc Elias and Norm Eisen, getting states to fiddle laws on voter ID and mail-in ballots. It includes the political protection of rogue groups ranging from looter flash-mobs to Antifa anarchists who bust up things and people and burn buildings down. It includes state officials who peremptorily kick candidates off the ballot. It includes a nakedly biased judiciary, and especially the use of the DC federal district court to punish people extralegally, unjustly, extravagantly, and cruelly. In short, lawfare is the complete perversion of law, and we-the -people are entreated by reprobate officials such as Merrick Garland and Letitia James to accept it. A fourth item on this list is the US economy which has been overwhelmed by maladministration of an overgrown monster bureaucracy, and the gross (perhaps fatal) mismanagement of the government’s money. The people of this land are not being allowed to do business, to find a livelihood, to transact fairly. “Joe Biden’s” shadow string-pullers are messing as badly with the oil and gas producers as they have messed with Ukraine. And they are doing it in pursuit of a laughable mirage: their “green new deal.” John Podesta, the “clean energy czar” who replaced the Haircut-in-search-of-a-brain called John Kerry, sits on a $370-billion slush fund that can be used to just dole out to anyone and everyone a political patronage payoff, especially to janky “community” orgs and NGOs with fake agendas. This really just amounts to an asset-stripping operation that will leave the American people busted and with broken supply chains for everything. Instead of annual budgets, Congress raises the US debt ceiling by “continuing resolutions” to keep the government from shutting down. The national debt races to the $35-trillion mark. As interest rates on debt rise, our debt payments now exceed our military spending. You can be sure that our country will break down financially very soon. The capper on today’s list is the nation’s health, the racketeering system we’ve set up to care for it, and the public health agencies of the government that enabled the Covid-19 operation to happen. The CDC continues to push vaccines that have killed millions of Americans and more millions around the world, and has probably compromised the well-being of millions more going forward. Corporate medicine — that is, your doctor, and your hospitals — is a sinking Titanic of grift and chaos. Try to get an appointment to even see a doctor for an emergency. Try to avoid being bankrupted by your treatment. Try to get out of a hospital alive. Yeah, it’s that bad. The doctors have surrendered your trust in them with their lying and their bullshit. The current director of the CDC, Mandy Cohen and her predecessor, Rochelle Walensky, have knowingly presided over the mass killing and injuries imposed on the mRNA vaccinated. Hundreds of their deputies should be liable for prosecution, and so should many of the other prominent characters in the Covid Saga: Fauci, Birx, Collins, Baric, Bourla, Daszak, Califf, Woodcock, Hahn, and many more. What are we going to do about any of this? Return to the metaphor. The runaway train is still picking up speed. You can’t just jump off at 150 mph. If you’re one of the passengers watching this in horror, maybe you can decouple your car, or get the conductor to do it by any means necessary. Let’s say that each car behind the engine of this train is a state of the United States. Let the engine up front with the dead man at the controls ride that runaway to its terrible conclusion. Cut loose the cars behind it to take care of themselves, to slow down, get a grip on their situation, and make plans to find a better engine to pull the train. Decouple. Cut loose. It’s the only way. *  *  * Support his blog by visiting Jim’s Patreon Page or Substack Tyler Durden Mon, 03/04/2024 - 16:20.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT12 hr. 29 min. ago Related News

Canadian Leftists Furious Over Alberta Town That Voted To Ban Pride Flags On Public Property

Canadian Leftists Furious Over Alberta Town That Voted To Ban Pride Flags On Public Property The woke movement is not a civil rights movement fighting for equality, it's a political/cult movement fighting for supremacy.  Once this fact is understood every other agenda being pursued by the political left today becomes crystal clear.  When a movement claims to be "fighting for equality" the insinuation is that the people involved do not have equal rights under the law.  Yet, whenever these activists are asked to give examples of rights they want that others have, they stutter and stumble.  The great trick used by the political left is that by simply saying they are fighting for equality, this is a way to automatically justify every one of their actions no matter how antagonistic and insidious.  By simply saying they are fighting for equality, they paint themselves as the "good guys" even when they are the bad guys. But what is the true leftist vision for "diversity, equity and inclusion?"  What do they think equal rights looks like since equal rights under the law are apparently not enough?  We have been seeing examples of what they really want it in towns and cities across the US and Canada - They want total saturation of their ideology in every corner of society.  "Equality" for them means that no one is allowed to escape.  Everyone must be bombarded with activist propaganda everyday and everywhere, from movies to commercials to news media to local parades to public schools and even crosswalks and flagpoles.  No other group, political or religious, gets this kind of special treatment in America or Canada.  No other group is offered so much privilege and protection.      The holy grail for the woke movement today is the saturation of woke symbols in public spaces protected by government force.  In other words, they want pride flags to become as ubiquitous on the streets and in government buildings as the American flag in America or the Canadian flag in Canada.  Why is it acceptable that the woke movement is given precedence over all other ideals? A small town in Alberta (Westlock) asked this very same question after their leftist council and mayor supported a campaign to raise pride flags on public flag poles and paint a pride flag mural on a primary crosswalk.  A motion was offered to make Westlock's public spaces politically neutral, which the council promptly shot down.  So, instead, the public put the decision to a vote.   In a narrow win of 663 to 639 votes a rule banning all displays of political messaging from public land was passed, and  leftists across Canada are furious.  The Canadian media quickly moved to admonish the vote in an attempt to shame the town.  In the interview below, the Mayor of Westlock, Jon Kramer, repeats DEI mantras, arguing that "inclusion is non-negotiable" as if brainwashed.  The propaganda message?  Not putting far-left symbols on display on public land in your town is a sign that your town is hateful.  In other words, signal your virtue at all times or else...  In response, activists in Canada have falsely portrayed the Westlock vote as a decision to ban all pride flags.  The disinformation is obviously designed to provoke outrage by leftists across the country.  Though progressives often worship at the altar of pure democracy, they still refuse to accept any majority decision that does not go their way.  Leftists seem to assert that the close nature of the vote negates the outcome of the vote.  Groups say they will send pride banners to residents of the town to be placed on their lawns.  If they can't have saturation on public property, then they want saturation on private property.                   Even if you aren't conspiracy minded in the slightest, you are probably beginning to wonder if this is an attempt by a political group to overwhelm the existing culture and take over?  Yes, that is exactly what is happening.  If any other political movement tried to force their symbols on a target population the way pride activists do, they would be run out of these towns on a rail and no one would be surprised.  But, when woke people are shown the door, the narrative is that "bigots" are waging a war on change.  Of course, not all change is good or positive or warranted.   Tyler Durden Mon, 03/04/2024 - 16:40.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT12 hr. 29 min. ago Related News

Why "They" Are Still Running Nikki Haley

Why "They" Are Still Running Nikki Haley Authored by Jim Quinn via The Burning Platform blog, “She’s so transparently weak and sort of ridiculous and doesn’t know anything, and just thinks that jumping up and down and making these absurd blanket statements, and repeating bumper stickers, is just like leadership. A self-confident advanced society would never allow Nikki Haley to advance.” - Tucker Carlson The most highly educated people in this world are often the most willfully ignorant of what is really happening. The college credentialed crowd, especially those who “earned” them within the last twenty years, are more likely than not far less intelligent than the supposed “conspiracy theorists” who have questioned every narrative spun by the masters of the universe and their regime media propagandists over the last two decades. The skeptics among us who assess every Deep State engineered event, designed to create outrage, fear, anger, and obedience, with the necessary suspicion and doubt, are conscious of how the real world operates and are taking precautions to navigate through the coming storms. Among the dozens of false narratives spun by the black widow spider psychopaths, which include the Ukraine war, Gaza genocide, safe & secure border, safe and effective vaccines, safe and secure elections, the armed insurrection where no one was armed, Russiagate, declining inflation, and strong growing economy, the continuation of Nikki Haley’s ridiculously pathetic campaign for the Republican nomination. If you haven’t noticed, Trump has trounced this warmongering RINO, Liz Cheney wannabe in every primary/caucus thus far. All the other candidates dropped out, as instructed, leaving only Nimarata as the chosen option of the Deep State and their deep pocketed billionaire donors. When something makes no sense and the behavior of a feckless politician seems irrational, there is something wicked going on behind the curtain and will not be revealed until those running the show decide it will benefit them financially, politically and increase their power over the masses. As Haley continues to pretend to be a viable candidate, with her coffers being filled by shadowy figures meeting in smokey backrooms, I was reminded of another pitiful excuse for a candidate in 2020. A senile, old, corrupt, child sniffing coot, who was nothing more than a laughingstock on the national scene as Obama’s token establishment white guy, making a living as the Big Guy in his crackhead son’s worldwide shakedown operations in Ukraine, China and wherever he could make a buck. In case you didn’t remember, he wasn’t even an afterthought in the 2020 Iowa Caucus and New Hampshire primary. Bernie the commie and mayor buttplug crushed slow Joe.  He was even losing to Pocahontas. Anyone with some self-respect and self awareness would have dropped out, but for some unexplainable reason he stayed in the race and miraculously “won” the nomination with his inspirational speeches and glorious vision for the country. Or was he selected by those who knew they could rig the election while the basement dummy spent his days shitting his pants and taking naps? Biden was a Trojan horse installed by the Deep State controllers of this farce of an empire. Now this drooling dementia ridden pedophile is barely functional and would clearly get trounced by Trump in the general election, even with the Democrat election rigging machine in full steal mode. Nikki will be trounced on Super Tuesday. If she does not drop out, you know something evil is being planned. I see only two possibilities for the Deep State funding of Haley’s continued national embarrassment. They either plan to assassinate Trump or imprison him, therefore needing a useful idiot on par with Bush to continue their wars, destruction of our civil society, ultimate demise of our country, and transfer of power to a totalitarian global regime. Nikki is just the neo-con, low IQ, diversity stooge for the job. Their efforts to imprison Trump seem to be failing, so the CIA, FBI, and rest of the Surveillance State traitors are likely planning a false flag assassination of Trump they can pin on a patsy who furthers one of their other false narratives. They need Nikki, because Biden’s VP is an honest to God moron, seen as a cackling joke by 95% of Americans. Biden is finished. They will not run him in November. He will step down at the convention and be replaced by Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, or Gavin Newsom. All I know for sure is the next nine months will be an epic shitstorm, with potential assassinations, civil war, global war, financial chaos and collapse, and possibly the end of our nation as we know it. Buckle up, the ride is about to get bumpy. Tyler Durden Mon, 03/04/2024 - 17:00.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT12 hr. 29 min. ago Related News

Generals Discussed Secrets Of Ukraine War Using Off-The-Shelf Video Phone Tech, One Dialed In From Hotel Room

Generals Discussed Secrets Of Ukraine War Using Off-The-Shelf Video Phone Tech, One Dialed In From Hotel Room Germany has been in continued damaged control in the wake of the audio leak of top German generals discussing sending Ukraine missiles and the potential of destroying the Kerch Strait Bridge. There's been yet more revelations, including that the generals, which included commander of the national air force Lt. Gen. Ingo Gerhartz, used off-the-shelf and apparently non-secure video phone technology to discuss highly sensitive matters of national security. One general on the line reportedly dialed in from his hotel room. This made the secretive multi-way call easy for the Kremlin to intercept. Gen. Ingo Gerhartz, Getty Images According to new details reported in the UK's Telegraph, "The head of the Luftwaffe told air force officers and a general who dialed in from his hotel room how British and French officials were delivering Storm Shadows to Ukrainian soldiers." The publication further blasted it as among the German government's worst security breaches since the Cold War. Gen. Gerhartz also confirmed in the conversation that British troops are "on the ground" in Ukraine. But while admitting that the leaked audio - which first appeared in Russia's RT last Friday after it was obtained by RT editor in chief Margarita Simonyan - is authentic Berlin is also claiming this is part of a Kremlin plot to destabilize Germany. The Telegraph relays the new German military statement as follows:  Boris Pistorius, the German defense minister, said on Sunday that Vladimir Putin was using the recording to try to "destabilize" Germany, sowing divisions with an "information war". In the call, Ingo Gerhartz, the Luftwaffe air force Lieutenant General, discusses the possible delivery of German Taurus missiles, which have a longer range and are more precise than Storm Shadows. "If we’re asked about delivery methods. I know how the British do this," Gerhartz's words were further captured as saying. "They do it completely in reach-back [a military term indicating close collaboration with military intelligence, skipping normal protocols]. They have several people on the ground." In response came the (presumed) words of Brigadier General Frank Graefe describing that Ukrainian troops were trained on German soil and that a "right course of action" would be for the UK to "take over" the training. Chief of the German Air Force says US military personnel already on the ground in Ukraine are available to help Ukrainians operate their German-provided Taurus missiles to strike Russia pic.twitter.com/hG8eZJ4dEe — Michael Tracey (@mtracey) March 3, 2024 Ironically, Graefe at one point expressed during the discussion, "Just imagine the uproar if the media were to find out." UK media and British officials have been in an uproar as the leaked audio file spreads globally, and is getting more and more attention. The Kremlin has since the leak first appeared been demanding answers from the German government, and has said this proves the prior statements of top Russian officials accusing NATO of militarizing Ukraine and having a presence on the ground. No doubt UK and other NATO officials are also calling into German government offices looking for answers on how this serious breach could have happened. Likely they'll want to know whether other similar leaks of separate conversations are coming. Tyler Durden Mon, 03/04/2024 - 13:00.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT15 hr. 41 min. ago Related News

Time To "Deep-Six" The Democrats" Brand Of Democracy

Time To 'Deep-Six' The Democrats' Brand Of Democracy Authored by Albin Sadar via American Greatness, The Democrats warn us almost daily that re-electing Donald Trump in 2024 will spell the end of democracy. But, technically, do we even live in a country whose constitution established us as a “democracy?” When Benjamin Franklin left the Constitutional Convention of 1787, he was greeted by a woman who asked him point-blank, “Well, doctor, what have we got? A republic or a monarchy?” Mr. Franklin’s terse response: “A republic, madam—if you can keep it.” It is significant that Mr. Franklin did not say that the form of government that the Founders created was a democracy. We are, in fact, as most of us know (or should certainly know), a constitutional republic. We are not a country where 51% of citizens can outvote the other 49%, then tell them what they can and cannot do. We are a representative government with checks and balances built in as guaranteed safeguards against a majority of strong-willed individuals lording it over the meek, timid, and disadvantaged. Both majority and minority have a true say in how every citizen is governed. The First Amendment guaranteeing free speech has always been key if we hope to “keep the republic.” Once that is co-opted—then controlled and censored—an unsuspecting public will be easily swayed into thinking in line with whatever insures that an elite few can gain and maintain power. Manipulating the masses is the goal. Election season is always ripe for the misuse of our First Amendment. If the leftist elites who currently control the many facets of our culture—the press, academia, entertainment, business, and, yes, even many religious institutions—continue unabated, the noble idea and ideals upon which America was established will soon become a regrettable lost cause of the past. Obviously, two powerful forces remain in the battle to control America through the presidency in this year’s election. On one side, the Democrats with their twisted definition of America as a democracy, aided by a Deep State, far-left, globalist, RINO, and woke contingency; on the other, all those pushing back, whether part of the America First and MAGA crowd or the myriad other freedom-loving citizens of all stripes awake to the evil that has accelerated over these past three years. Since the 2020 presidential contest, which was declared by the powers that be to be “the most secure election in American history,” there is a majority of citizens who have serious doubts about the validity of the result. Another percentage naively believe that that sort of third-world, election-stealing shenanigans could never happen here. And yet another, smaller group knows for a fact that the election was not secure in the least because they themselves were flat out involved in rigging and stealing it. On November 3rd through 6th of 2020, a group of Democrat operatives blatantly and quite effectively ended the concept of free and fair elections, thus negating one of the keystones of self-rule by We the People. Building upon that 2020 “win,” Democrats and their tyrannical gang have since targeted anyone who stands in the way of their fundamental transformation of this country, President Trump chief among their adversaries. As Trump so often reminds us, the left is not after him; they are after independent, free-thinking, non-compliant Americans. He’s just standing in their way. And stand he has. After everything the left has manufactured to take Trump out—every sort of imagined or concocted crime—Trump still stands. And, undeterred, he fights back. He refuses to simply fade away. Democrats and their machine on the left roll out their revenge and retribution daily on Trump because he had the audacity to run for president in the first place. Then to win. Then to win a second time. From the primary trail over the past several months, Trump has also highlighted that, besides honest elections, another crucial facet necessary for a country to exist as a sovereign nation is a secure border. We can all clearly see what the Biden administration has allowed to transpire at the southern border. Millions of illegal aliens have simply strolled across our wide open borders and are now who-knows-where throughout our country. Does this indicate a government that is concerned about sovereignty or security in any way, shape, or form? Other traits indicative of the Democrats’ brand of democracy include publicly labeling political adversaries as “domestic terrorists;” using excessive force and exaggerating charges when arresting dissenters; imprisoning protestors, such as those involved on January 6, without charges and due process; championing mob violence and looting from the progressive far left; and so many additional tactics that might more readily apply to fascism than democracy. All these destructive features touted by the Biden administration help to reveal the democracy to which the Democrats refer. And we need to squelch it sooner rather than later. November 5th would be just in the nick of time. *  *  * Albin Sadar is author of Obvious: Seeing the Evil That’s in Plain Sight and Doing Something About It, as well as the children’s book collection Hamster Holmes: Box of Mysteries. Albin was formerly the producer of “The Eric Metaxas Show.” Tyler Durden Mon, 03/04/2024 - 13:20.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT15 hr. 41 min. ago Related News

"Fight Your Fight Yourself": Trump Scolds Biden After Supreme Court Colorado Ballot Ruling

"Fight Your Fight Yourself": Trump Scolds Biden After Supreme Court Colorado Ballot Ruling.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT15 hr. 41 min. ago Related News

Biden"s Disapproval Rating Soars To 59%, Trump"s Lead Biggest Yet

Biden's Disapproval Rating Soars To 59%, Trump's Lead Biggest Yet Authored by Mike Shedlock via MishTalk.com, In the latest New York Times/Siena Poll Trump has his biggest lead over Biden ever. And Biden’s disapproval rating is a whopping 59 percent. I list 18 key points from the poll. The Big Change Nate Cohn, New York Times chief political analyst notes The Big Change Between the 2020 and 2024 Races: Biden Is Unpopular. That’s a free link for interested readers. President Biden is not winning, at least not now. Polls show him trailing in states worth well over 270 electoral votes, and this morning he lags Donald J. Trump in our newest New York Times/Siena College national poll by five percentage points among registered voters, 48 percent to 43 percent. That’s the largest lead Mr. Trump has ever had in a Times/Siena national poll. In fact, it’s the largest lead Mr. Trump has held in a Times/Siena or Times/CBS poll since first running for president in 2015. Why is President Biden losing? There are many possible reasons, including his age, the war in Gaza, the border and lingering concerns over inflation. But ultimately, they add up to something very simple: Mr. Biden is very unpopular. He’s so unpopular that he’s now even less popular than Mr. Trump, who remains every bit as unpopular as he was four years ago. Many voters will apparently agonize between two candidates they dislike. It’s exactly what Democrats sought to avoid when they nominated Mr. Biden in 2020. It’s what Democrats largely avoided in the 2018 and 2022 midterm elections, when they mostly nominated acceptable candidates or ran incumbents against right-wing opponents. And it’s exactly what led to the election of Mr. Trump in 2016. Double Haters Overall, 19 percent of registered voters in the Times/Siena survey have an unfavorable view of both candidates — a group sometimes referred to as “double haters.” These voters say they backed Mr. Biden by a three-to-one margin among those who voted in 2020, but now he holds the support of less than half. Every vote counts, but these voters will undoubtedly be pivotal in deciding the November election. The double haters might ultimately return to Mr. Biden’s side. There are still eight months left until November, and it’s not as if these voters like Mr. Trump. If they do come back to Mr. Biden, perhaps their return will have seemed inevitable in retrospect. Poll Results In a second post, the New York Times goes over the Poll Results. With eight months left until the November election, Mr. Biden’s 43 percent support lags behind Mr. Trump’s 48 percent in the national survey of registered voters. Eighteen Key Points Only one in four voters think the country is moving in the right direction. More than twice as many voters believe Mr. Biden’s policies have personally hurt them as believe his policies have helped them. A majority of voters think the economy is in poor condition. The share of voters who strongly disapprove of Mr. Biden’s handling of his job has reached 47 percent, higher than in Times/Siena polls at any point in his presidency. About as many Democratic primary voters said Mr. Biden should not be the nominee in 2024 as said he should be — with opposition strongest among voters younger than 45 years old. Mr. Trump is winning 97 percent of those who say they voted for him four years ago, and virtually none of his past supporters said they are casting a ballot for Mr. Biden. Mr. Biden is winning only 83 percent of his 2020 voters, with 10 percent saying they now back Mr. Trump. Among the likely electorate, Mr. Trump currently leads by four percentage points. The historical edge Democrats have held with working-class voters of color who did not attend college continues to erode. Mr. Biden won 72 percent of those voters in 2020, according to exit polling, providing him with a nearly 50-point edge over Mr. Trump. Today, the Times/Siena poll showed Mr. Biden only narrowly leading among nonwhite voters who did not graduate from college: 47 percent to 41 percent. Only 23 percent of Democratic primary voters said they were enthusiastic about Mr. Biden — half the share of Republicans who said they were about Mr. Trump. Significantly more Democrats said they were either dissatisfied or angry at Mr. Biden being the leader of the party (32 percent) than Republicans who said the same about Mr. Trump (18 percent). Both Mr. Trump and Mr. Biden are unpopular. Mr. Trump had a weak 44 percent favorable rating; Mr. Biden fared even worse, at 38 percent. Among the 19 percent of voters who said they disapproved of both likely nominees — an unusually large cohort in 2024 that pollsters and political strategists sometimes call “double haters” — Mr. Biden actually led Mr. Trump, 45 percent to 33 percent. The candidate who had won such “double haters” was victorious in the elections in both 2016 and 2020. Unhappiness with the state of the country is plainly a drag on Mr. Biden’s prospects. Two-thirds of the country feels the nation is headed in the wrong direction — and Mr. Trump is winning 63 percent of those voters. Only 12 percent of independent voters said Mr. Biden’s policies had personally helped them, compared to 43 percent who said his policies had hurt them. Overall, Mr. Biden and Mr. Trump were dead even among prized independent voters, drawing 42 percent each. The gender gap is no longer benefiting Democrats. Women, who strongly favored Mr. Biden four years ago, are now equally split, while men gave Mr. Trump a nine-point edge. The poll showed Mr. Trump edging out Mr. Biden among Latinos, and Mr. Biden’s share of the Black vote is shrinking, too. The poll showed that 53 percent of voters currently believe Mr. Trump has committed serious federal crimes, down from 58 percent in December. But viewed another way, Mr. Trump’s current lead over Mr. Biden is built with a significant number of voters who believe he is a criminal. Nikki Haley, Mr. Trump’s Republican rival, who has made the case that he will lose in November, leads Mr. Biden by double the margin of the former president: a hypothetical 45 percent to 35 percent. Quite a Set of Statistics Wow, that’s quite the set of statistics. I emphasized the poll results I believe are most important. In numerical order, not order of importance the key points are #s 2, 7, 9, 13, 15, 17, and 18. The only negatives in the poll are #14 and #18. Regarding point 14, Trump is still struggling with independents. Regarding point 18, Haley would do better than Trump against Biden. That is believable given 19 percent of voters hate both Trump and Biden and would vote for someone else. Who Would No Labels Help? If the No Labels party fielded a candidate, it was draw in a lot of the independents, a lot of Haley supporters, and a lot of the people who dislike both Trump and Biden. Given that support for Trump appears firmer, one should conclude that No Labels would hurt Biden more than Trump. Trump Would Rather Win Adoration From the Base Than Win the Election As expected I took a lot of flack from my post Trump Would Rather Win Adoration From the Base Than Win the Election A couple of people labeled me a RINO (Republican in Name Only), which is amusing because I am not a Republican at all. I am a Libertarian who is a believer in small government, free trade, and mind-your-own-business on foreign affairs and the bedroom. Several people accused me of TDS despite the fact that I said “I would much rather have Trump win than Biden. I think Biden would economically destroy the nation.” I also said “a big majority of the nation knows Biden is too senile to run again,” which of course got a lot catcalls from Biden lovers. A few people viewed me as “Leftist”. Once again this shows you cannot say anything bad about either Trump of Biden without being accused of being extreme the other. In retrospect, this is now the 5th time I have been accused of being extreme left and right in the same day. Can Anything Go Wrong for Trump? The short answer: Yes, it’s possible. But that is a “can happen” not what I expect to happen. The long answer: It’s only March. The election in 8 months away. Trump could easily get convicted. Biden might drop out due to health reasons. If that happened, could Trump easily beat Biden’s replacement? This is why I keep repeating Trump cannot afford to ignore independents and Haley backers. Calling Haley a “birdbrain” does not help. Nor does calling California Governor Gavin Newsom the name “New Scum.” One of my readers, Jon, commented “That’s exactly why I will never vote for Donald Trump. He appeals to people’s basest nature instead of pushing them act on their best nature. I don’t belong in the same political party as those who cheer at national leaders being called bird brain and new scum“ There are many thousands of people like Jon. Enough to tip the election? I don’t know. Nor does anyone else. Right now, the answer seems to be no. That’s how unpopular Biden is. But the election is not right now. The election is in November. Tyler Durden Mon, 03/04/2024 - 11:20.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT17 hr. 13 min. ago Related News

Gangs Overrun Haiti"s Two Largest Prisons, Freeing Nearly 4,000 Criminals As US Urges All Americans Exit

Gangs Overrun Haiti's Two Largest Prisons, Freeing Nearly 4,000 Criminals As US Urges All Americans Exit Haiti's problems just went from bad to worse, as the UN and embattled Haitian government of Ariel Henry (who is currently abroad as armed rebels seek his ouster) prepare a Kenyan peacekeeping force to intervene amid constant armed gang warfare which have taken over the streets of Port-au-Prince. Despite for months not having had control of the capital city, authorities have ordered a nighttime curfew following gunmen overrunning the country's two biggest prisons. Emptied prison cells after gangs stormed them over the weekend. "The police were ordered to use all legal means at their disposal to enforce the curfew and apprehend all offenders," Finance Minister Patrick Boivert said of a new 72-hour curfew. Local reports say that at least 12 people were killed and some 3,700 inmates escaped in the jailbreak. The prisons were stormed over the weekend, include a major facility in the capital and another in nearby Croix des Bouquet.' About 80% of Port-au-Prince is already said to be under the control of the gangs, and the prison assaults started with armed groups staging a distraction by attacking police stations. The attack on the police stations then immediately followed with a coordinated assault on the prisons. Given thousands of criminals just flooded the streets, the already bleak and lawless situation which has in many cases forced civilian residents out of their homes in the hardest hit neighborhoods, things are about to spiral further. Reporters have in the aftermath witnessed bodies with bullet holes strewn about the prisons. According to the BBC, "Haiti's police union had asked the military to help reinforce the capital's main prison, but the compound was stormed late on Saturday." "On Sunday the doors of the prison were still open and there were no signs of officers, Reuters news agency reported," the report continued. "Three inmates who tried to flee lay dead in the courtyard, the report said." A Haitian government statement said Sunday that those behind the attack were "heavily armed criminals wanting at all costs to free people in custody, particularly for kidnapping, murder and other serious offenses."  BREAKING: Gangs in Haiti have teamed up and after freeing over 4000 prisoners, they have vowed to arrest senior police commanders and their Prime Minister Ariel Henry as soon as he lands in Haiti. pic.twitter.com/udPkDx6Wv6 — The General (@GeneralMCNews) March 4, 2024 The US Embassy in Port-au-Prince is urging all American citizens still in the country to "leave as soon as possible" while other embassies are restricting services. Haiti's national police force has an estimated 9,000 officers, which has been unable to reign in the gang violence, given it also is responsible for the security and safety of the island's 11 million people. Tyler Durden Mon, 03/04/2024 - 11:40.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT17 hr. 13 min. ago Related News