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Leveraged Trading Is Not The Source Of Recent Crypto Weakness: So What Is?

Leveraged Trading Is Not The Source Of Recent Crypto Weakness: So What Is? By Marcel Kasumovich, One River Asset Management head of research Macro narratives are driving digital asset sentiment, from asset swings to regulatory decisions. This alone speaks to a maturing ecosystem – investors want the macro story. But digital asset volatility has been mostly uncorrelated to other macro markets in the recent past. It is more about a shift in investor behavior. 1/ As digital assets enter the mainstream, market commentary focuses on price. And in a world where exchange rate volatility is near all-time lows, attention has naturally shifted to digital assets where volatility against the US dollar is breathtaking by comparison. The megatrend towards the digitalization of finance will not be defined by the shorter-term gyrations. The innovation happening more behind the scenes will dictate the secular formations. Recent advancements in the Lightning Network illustrate the quiet determination to digitalize finance. 2/ The Lightning Network was proposed in 2015 as a way of scaling smaller payments, able to accommodate billions of transactions in a second (here). It addressed the tiring argument of Bitcoin’s inefficiency head-on. And after a slow start, user adoption surged last year with a 3-fold rise in network capacity (Figure 1). It is also integrating into the regulatory mainstream. This week, Bottlepay, a payment provider built on the Lightning Network, was approved by the UK Financial Conduct Authority. These new technologies can hold up to regulatory standards including anti-money laundering (here). It is a powerful example of technologists and regulators working together to encourage innovation in a complacent legacy system. 3/ Innovation may drive the megatrends, but investors are still left to manage and explain portfolio volatility from digital assets. And just as digital innovation is garnering more institutional attention, so too are the narratives around the volatility of digital assets. Investors are looking for macro thematic narratives, including the sharp downturn since November and the abrupt decline to start the year. Explanations center on the downturn in inflation expectations, the Fed pivot toward faster rate hikes and balance sheet normalization, as well as the decline in growth stocks tied to the rise in real interest rates. The high correlation of bitcoin returns to inflation expectations last year (56%) reinforces a desire to put a tidy macro narrative to the digital ecosystem. 4/ But the analytics tell a different story. We run a simple empirical exercise to evaluate bitcoin returns as explained by three macro factors: market-based inflation expectations (5y5y inflation swaps), the inflation-adjusted terminal policy rate (5y5y overnight interest rate swap less 5y5y inflation swaps), and Nasdaq 100 equity returns. These factors only explain 10-45% of the variation in bitcoin over the past two years and with various representations of the data. More importantly, there is almost no relevance of these factors in explaining the bitcoin downturn since November. Those factors would imply a bitcoin price of 50-60k, much higher than the current price. 5/ What does that mean for investors? Digital assets volatility has been largely independent of macro factors in the recent past. To be sure, the independent volatility that most investors hope for is skewed to the upside. But in assets where volatility expectations have ranged from 55% to 158% in the past two years, there will be plenty of periods where idiosyncratic moves detract from a portfolio. The test for any investor is asking about the structural trends. What tokens will prosper with the digitalization of finance? How broad will token pluralism extend? If the answers to the structural questions are positive, then downside volatility should be met with programmatic rebalancing into digital assets. 6/ Of course, idiosyncratic volatility is not satisfying. It is a polite way of saying we need to dig deeper for an explanation. What is behind the swings in digital assets if the macro narrative falls flat? The hunt for the explanation is partly a process of elimination and partly identifying new patterns of behavior. There are three key elements of the market microstructure of interest. 7/ First, the bitcoin forward yield curve has been stable, indicating leveraged trading is not a source of downside volatility. Figure 2 illustrates the one-month annualized yield implied by bitcoin futures on the Deribit exchange, where leverage is more readily available to traders. A rise in speculative demand leads to higher forward bitcoin prices and higher implied yields (vice versa). In periods of excess leverage, forward prices fall more than spot as speculative traders forced to close positions at unfavorable prices. Last May, one-month yields fell to an annualized –75%, reflecting a costly, steep inversion of the forward curve to speculative long traders. On this downturn, the compression in yields is barely visible. 8/ Second, option markets have decoupled from previous correlations to spot prices, with declining volatility expectations. The one-week implied volatility on Ether is 70%, near the lows of the past year (Figure 3). Ordinarily, declines in spot prices, particularly severe ones, would have seen a surge in volatility expectations. However, volatility is low despite a sharp decline in spot prices. The same pattern is evident in 25-delta put-call volatility skew. The one-week skew in Ether options is only marginally positive, near the average of the past year. This is strongly counter to past downturns in spot prices, where option skew spiked well above 40%! Again, leveraged trading is not the source of the recent price weakness. 9/ Third, a rise in the dispersion of digital asset prices hints at a change in investor behavior. We illustrate this point with a unique parsing of the data based on the last two downturns: May 8, 2021 and Nov 9, 2021. Dispersion is measured by the median difference between the individual returns on the 12 assets of our Core Index and bitcoin returns. When Index asset returns are evenly dispersed around bitcoin returns, the measure is zero. The one-month dispersion in the latest downturn measures near-zero (–0.4%). This is vastly different from May 2021, where the one-month dispersion index measured –9.1%. Index assets exhibited higher beta to the bitcoin downturn. No doubt, two cyclical periods don’t make a trend, but it does call for attention. 10/ Market behavior is bifurcating. It is evident in futures markets, where the decline in yields has been greater in regulated markets (CME) than in unregulated ones (Deribit). It is evident in active supply, where the percentage of longer-term holders has dropped alongside a more-than 20% fall in large-value bitcoin addresses (greater than $10mn). It is evident in the surge of interest in venture applications (here). Investors focused on macro narratives have mattered more than leveraged traders. And it is these ebbs and flows that should remind investors that we are at the very early stages in the digitalization of finance. It is precisely in those imperfect, inefficient early stages where megatrend assets are most additive to a portfolio. Figure 1 – Lightning Network Capacity Surge, Adoption Rising Figure 2 – Bitcoin Futures’ Yield Stable, No Sign of Speculative Excess Figure 3 – Ether Volatility Low Despite Declining Prices Tyler Durden Sun, 01/16/2022 - 22:00.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytJan 16th, 2022Related News

Glenn Greenwald Exposes Deep State Effort To Stop Trump Pardoning Edward Snowden And Julian Assange

Glenn Greenwald Exposes Deep State Effort To Stop Trump Pardoning Edward Snowden And Julian Assange Authored by Adam Dick via The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity, There was much speculation toward the end of Donald Trump’s term as president of the United States that Trump would pardon Edward Snowden, Julian Assange, or both of these men who were responsible for exposing vast amounts of wrongdoing by the US government. But, it did not come to pass. Why? Glenn Greenwald, who played a key role in helping Snowden expose information about the US government’s mass surveillance programs and who advocated in public and behind the scenes that Trump pardon both men, has some interesting thoughts about that. The reason Trump failed to issue a pardon for either Snowden or Assange centers on the deep state trying to protect itself by placing Trump in jeopardy, suggested Greenwald last week in an episode of his System Update show. In a written introduction for the episode, Greenwald notes that Trump, while president, had both “raised the possibility that he might pardon Snowden” and was “actively considering a pardon for Assange.” Greenwald, in the introduction, zeros in on a recent interview of Trump by Candace Owens. In the interview, Trump stated he came “very close” to pardoning one of them but did not ultimately do so. Why? Trump said the reason was because Trump “was too nice” to issue the pardon. Greenwald isn’t buying that explanation. He writes: The question that obviously emerges from that answer: too nice to whom? To the U.S. security services — the CIA, NSA and FBI — which had spent four years doing everything possible to sabotage and undermine Trump and his presidency with their concoction of Russiagate and other leaks of false accusations to their corporate media allies? Too nice to the war-mongering servants of the military-industrial complex in the establishment wings of both parties who were the allies of those security services in attempting to derail Trump's America First foreign policy agenda? Too nice to John Brennan, James Clapper and Susan Rice, the Obama-era security officials most eager to see both Assange and Snowden rot in prison for life because they exposed Obama's spying crimes and the Democrats’ corruption in 2016? Trump's “I'm too nice” explanation is, shall we say, less than persuasive. In the System Update episode, Greenwald further explains that Trump’s enmity toward these deep state forces that helped lead Greenwald and many other individuals to think that Trump may issue the pardons: Now the argument for why President Trump not only should have pardoned Julian Assange and Edward Snowden, but why some of us believed there was a chance that he could didn't rely on the benevolence of President Trump. It relied on the fact that he knew better than anybody how deceitful and abusive and dangerous these agencies are. The agencies that were exposed by Snowden and Assange and the ones that were demanding that they be imprisoned forever. He knew, as well as anybody, the treachery and the illegal interference in our domestic politics because he was one of their targets. Yet, the pardons did not materialize. Why? Greenwald states that Greenwald “knew that Trump wanted to pardon Edward Snowden and had strongly considered pardoning Julian Assange.” But, continues Greenwald, Trump “got scared into pardoning neither of them for reasons I'm about to explain to you.” Greenwald then argues that ultimately Trump gave in to deep state pressure applied through Republican Senators’ threat to convict Trump on the impeachment brought against him in his final weeks in office. Says Greenwald: They were making very clear to him explicitly clear Republican senators like Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio and Mitch McConnell that if you do any of those things that you are considering doing, pardoning Assange and Snowden, declassifying JFK files, declassifying other secrets that should have been declassified long ago because they're from decades old treachery on the part of the US government, we will vote to impeach you. They had this leverage the sword of Damocles hanging over his head…. “This is the story of why the deep state yet again got its way,” concludes Greenwald in his System Update episode, “even with a person in the White House who knows firsthand just how evil and destructive and toxic they are.” Watch the System Update episode, and read the introduction and transcript, here. Tyler Durden Sun, 01/16/2022 - 18:30.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytJan 16th, 2022Related News

How Safe Are Tesla Vehicles? Elon Musk Reacts To New Data

Tesla, Inc. (TSLA) has had its fair share of quality issues and vehicle recalls in recent times. A recent report released by the company shows that accident statistics of Tesla's vehicles compare favorably to the average number compiled by the U.S. transportation regulator. read more.....»»

Category: blogSource: benzingaJan 16th, 2022Related News

See inside the Bombardier Global 7500, the current world"s largest purpose-built private jet that"s a favorite of the world"s elite

Ultra-wealthy travelers booking a private flight on the exclusive aircraft have access to a private bedroom and entertainment center. A VistaJet Bombardier Global 7500 at the Dubai Airshow 2021.Thomas Pallini/Insider Private aviation firm VistaJet boasts the world's largest charter fleet of Bombardier Global 7500 aircraft. The Global 7500 offers a range of 7,700 nautical miles with seating for up to 19 passengers. VistaJet offers the aircraft with a private entertainment suite and bedroom for passengers.  Being wealthy means being able to travel to the ends of the earth in style, luxury, and with as few stops for fuel as possible. And that's exactly what the Bombardier Global 7500 seeks to offer.A VistaJet Bombardier Global 7500 at the Dubai Airshow 2021.Thomas Pallini/InsiderCanadian aircraft manufacturer Bombardier currently holds the title for having built the largest and longest-ranged purpose-built private jet that's currently in flying service with its flagship Global 7500.A VistaJet Bombardier Global 7500 at the Dubai Airshow 2021.Thomas Pallini/InsiderIt's a travel experience that only a privileged wealthy few will be able to enjoy, especially as the majority of aircraft in service are privately owned. But rather than purchase the $75 million jet outright, private aircraft charter firm VistaJet wants the wealthy to use its aircraft.A VistaJet Bombardier Global 7500 at the Dubai Airshow 2021.Thomas Pallini/InsiderVistaJet is the largest private airline to fly the Global 7500 and has been steadily filling its stables with more of the long-range aircraft. A maximum range of 7,700 nautical miles allows the wealthy to fly nearly anywhere in the world in one stop or less.A VistaJet Bombardier Global 7500.VistaJet"We knew this aircraft would be popular, it's a game-changing aircraft," Ian Moore, VistaJet's chief commercial officer, told Insider.A VistaJet Bombardier Global 7500.Dominick Gravel/VistaJetTake a look inside one of VistaJet's Bombardier Global 7500 private jets.A VistaJet Bombardier Global 7500.Vista JetBombardier developed the Global 7500 to seat a maximum of 19 passengers. But VistaJet opted to only include seating for 14 as there's often no need to fill a private jet with as many seats as possible, as is often the case in the commercial airline world.A VistaJet Bombardier Global 7500 at the Dubai Airshow 2021.Thomas Pallini/InsiderA cabin length of 54 feet and five inches gave VistaJet lots of flexibility in configuring the aircraft and the result is a cabin with four distinct living areas, including a private bedroom.A VistaJet Bombardier Global 7500 at the Dubai Airshow 2021.Thomas Pallini/InsiderThe club suite is the first living area to welcome passengers comprised of four seats in total. The configuration is standard on all large-cabin private jet aircraft like the Global 7500.A VistaJet Bombardier Global 7500 at the Dubai Airshow 2021.Thomas Pallini/InsiderEach seat in the area is Bombardier's new "nuage" seats that aim to take a new approach to the classic private jet seatA VistaJet Bombardier Global 7500 at the Dubai Airshow 2021.Thomas Pallini/InsiderIts features include a unique tilt system that offers a deep recline, floating base, and tilting headrest.A VistaJet Bombardier Global 7500 at the Dubai Airshow 2021.Thomas Pallini/InsiderEach seat pair also has its own side table that's ideal for working on a laptop, enjoying a meal, or even playing a game of cards.A VistaJet Bombardier Global 7500 at the Dubai Airshow 2021.Thomas Pallini/InsiderAnd to control surrounding functions including seat lighting, Bombardier crafted a unique circular touch-screen control panel. A flyer need only wave their hand above the panel for it to rise up from its base and activate.A VistaJet Bombardier Global 7500 at the Dubai Airshow 2021.Thomas Pallini/InsiderThe club suite also offers storage space that's ideal for small personal items including phones and other devices.A VistaJet Bombardier Global 7500 at the Dubai Airshow 2021.Thomas Pallini/InsiderIn-seat power is offered through 110v AC power outlets and USB charging ports.A VistaJet Bombardier Global 7500 at the Dubai Airshow 2021.Thomas Pallini/InsiderThe principal passengers will typically utilize the club suite during takeoff and landing. And once in-flight, the rest of the aircraft awaits.A VistaJet Bombardier Global 7500 at the Dubai Airshow 2021.Thomas Pallini/InsiderDirectly behind the club suite is the conference suite, comprised of six seats with three on each side of a large table that's separated by the main aisle.A VistaJet Bombardier Global 7500 at the Dubai Airshow 2021.Thomas Pallini/InsiderThe conference suite doubles as a dining area and is ideal for meals and meetings, as the situation requires.A VistaJet Bombardier Global 7500 at the Dubai Airshow 2021.Thomas Pallini/InsiderThe two halves of the table can be connected by a leaf during meal times, meetings, or other times when needed.A VistaJet Bombardier Global 7500 at the Dubai Airshow 2021.Thomas Pallini/InsiderAn oven and microwave in the forward galley of the aircraft allow flight attendants to craft and serve high-quality meals during the flights.A VistaJet Bombardier Global 7500 at the Dubai Airshow 2021.Thomas Pallini/InsiderOnce the meals and meetings have ended for the day, the entertainment suite awaits passengers with a veritable home living room experience in the sky.A VistaJet Bombardier Global 7500 at the Dubai Airshow 2021.Thomas Pallini/InsiderA three-place divan sits opposite a massive entertainment screen capable of playing movies or displaying a moving map with the aircraft's location.A VistaJet Bombardier Global 7500 at the Dubai Airshow 2021.Thomas Pallini/InsiderCloseable doors on each side of the cabin also allow for a truly private experience.A VistaJet Bombardier Global 7500 at the Dubai Airshow 2021.Thomas Pallini/InsiderAnd even in the brightness of day, all the window shades can be closed to create the feeling of a night at the movies.A VistaJet Bombardier Global 7500 at the Dubai Airshow 2021.Thomas Pallini/InsiderThe large screen can also be used for presentations if the aircraft is being used for business.A VistaJet Bombardier Global 7500 at the Dubai Airshow 2021.Thomas Pallini/InsiderThe final living space of the aircraft is the private suite containing a private bedroom that is typically reserved for the principal flyer.A VistaJet Bombardier Global 7500 at the Dubai Airshow 2021.Thomas Pallini/InsiderInside the private suite is a full bed capable of sleeping two people, as well as a single club seat.A VistaJet Bombardier Global 7500 at the Dubai Airshow 2021.Thomas Pallini/InsiderA full bed is rare on a large-cabin private jet aircraft but the sheer size of the Global 7500 allows for such extravagances.A VistaJet Bombardier Global 7500 at the Dubai Airshow 2021.Thomas Pallini/InsiderOwners can even opt to have a shower installed on the aircraft to complete the feeling of a flying home away from home.A VistaJet Bombardier Global 7500 at the Dubai Airshow 2021.Thomas Pallini/InsiderBusiness travelers, in particular, benefit from having the bedroom as it allows them to be well-rested upon landing to attend meetings and other activities.A VistaJet Bombardier Global 7500 at the Dubai Airshow 2021.Thomas Pallini/InsiderThe space is most often used as a private enclave for the principal flyer as it's tucked away from the main living areas and only features one seat.A VistaJet Bombardier Global 7500 at the Dubai Airshow 2021.Thomas Pallini/InsiderSome business leaders will also retreat to the private suite to use it as their office.A VistaJet Bombardier Global 7500 at the Dubai Airshow 2021.Thomas Pallini/InsiderAlso included in the suite is a sizeable entertainment screen alongside a small bookshelf that VistaJet always keeps well stocked.A VistaJet Bombardier Global 7500 at the Dubai Airshow 2021.Thomas Pallini/Insider"It's a little bit of analog in a digital world," Moore said of the books, one of which was the American classic "Little Women" by Louisa May Alcott.A VistaJet Bombardier Global 7500 at the Dubai Airshow 2021.Thomas Pallini/InsiderAttached to the private suite is the en suite bathroom complete with a full sink, closet, and toilet.A VistaJet Bombardier Global 7500 at the Dubai Airshow 2021.Thomas Pallini/InsiderAll the required amenities and toiletries come pre-stocked, just as if flying first class on a commercial airliner.A VistaJet Bombardier Global 7500 at the Dubai Airshow 2021.Thomas Pallini/InsiderVistaJet even stocks a shower robe for passengers.A VistaJet Bombardier Global 7500 at the Dubai Airshow 2021.Thomas Pallini/InsiderAnd a window feeds natural light into the bathroom.A VistaJet Bombardier Global 7500 at the Dubai Airshow 2021.Thomas Pallini/InsiderThe entire aircraft has an at-home feeling which is necessary given the long flights of which the Global 7500 is capable.A VistaJet Bombardier Global 7500 at the Dubai Airshow 2021.Thomas Pallini/InsiderCrafting a timeless interior was also required to keep repeat flyers from growing tired of the aircraft.A VistaJet Bombardier Global 7500 at the Dubai Airshow 2021.Thomas Pallini/Insider"We're constantly adapting cabin experience so that we're never boring," Moore said. "You never want to get to the point where you're flying and you go 'I don't really want to get in that cabin again.'"A VistaJet Bombardier Global 7500 at the Dubai Airshow 2021.Thomas Pallini/InsiderEach section of the aircraft also has a dual purpose between business and leisure, according to Moore. The entertainment suite, for example, can be a relaxing setting in which to watch a movie or it can be used for business presentations.A VistaJet Bombardier Global 7500 at the Dubai Airshow 2021.Thomas Pallini/InsiderThe six-person dining table is primarily used for meals but it can also be used to host meetings.A VistaJet Bombardier Global 7500 at the Dubai Airshow 2021.Thomas Pallini/InsiderBombardier itself was also present at the Dubai Airshow trying to sell Global 7500 aircraft to prospective owners. But VistaJet only wants to sell the flights.A VistaJet Bombardier Global 7500 at the Dubai Airshow 2021.Thomas Pallini/Insider"If you're flying an aircraft 800 to 900 hours per year, buy an aircraft, you'll need the flexibility," Moore said of owning an aircraft. But the upside to charter, he stated, is the ease of use by not having to be concerned with crew and maintenance expenses.A VistaJet Bombardier Global 7500 at the Dubai Airshow 2021.Thomas Pallini/InsiderVistaJet's pool of pilots also enables users to fly the aircraft to its fullest 7,700-nautical mile potential as ultra-long-haul flights require an extra set of pilots on board.A VistaJet Bombardier Global 7500 at the Dubai Airshow 2021.Thomas Pallini/InsiderThe downside is that private aircraft availability has varied as more wealthy travelers book private flights, a problem VistaJet is trying to hedge by taking on as many Global 7500 aircraft as it can.A VistaJet Bombardier Global 7500 at the Dubai Airshow 2021.Thomas Pallini/InsiderVistaJet first placed its first Global 7500 order in 2013, long before the pandemic changed how people travel. "We believed that a global airline was what was missing in private aviation," Moore said.A VistaJet Bombardier Global 7500 at the Dubai Airshow 2021.Thomas Pallini/Insider"We took the risk and we're reaping the rewards now," Moore said. "We're saying no to flights at the moment."A VistaJet Bombardier Global 7500 at the Dubai Airshow 2021.Thomas Pallini/InsiderBut booking an aircraft with the size and capabilities of the Global 7500 isn't for the average private jet flyer.A VistaJet Bombardier Global 7500 at the Dubai Airshow 2021.Thomas Pallini/InsiderCustomers have to commit to paying a minimum of five hours of flight time when booking the Global 7500 as VistaJet is looking to encourage long-range bookings for the long-range aircraft.A VistaJet Bombardier Global 7500 at the Dubai Airshow 2021.Thomas Pallini/InsiderThe best pricing for the aircraft is for those flyers booking in excess of seven hours.A VistaJet Bombardier Global 7500 at the Dubai Airshow 2021.Thomas Pallini/InsiderVistaJet's average duration for Global 7500 flights is between eight and 10 hours currently but once more countries around the world open, namely in Asia, the possibilities for the aircraft are endless.A VistaJet Bombardier Global 7500 at the Dubai Airshow 2021.Thomas Pallini/InsiderRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytJan 16th, 2022Related News

I tried the bus startup using luxury coaches with motion-canceling seats on a trip from NYC to DC and it was one of the most comfortable travel experience I"ve had

The plush seating, free snacks and booze, attentive attendant, and fast WiFi made traveling on the Jet an absolute joy. The Jet on a cold January morning.Brittany Chang/Insider I tried the Jet, a luxury bus startup that travels between New York City and Washington DC. Tickets start at $99, which is more expensive than a comparable Amtrak ticket or a ride on a budget bus service.  The snacks, drinks, kind attendant, and comfortable motion-canceling seating made my carsickness worth it. I took a luxury bus service from New York City to Washington DC for $99, and it was one of the plushest travel experiences I've ever had.The Jet on a cold January morning.Brittany Chang/InsiderI've never had a pleasant intercity bus experience (until now), but the complimentary snacks and beverages, fast WiFi, and motion-canceling seats made the ride enjoyable and comfortable.The seats.Brittany Chang/InsiderThat is until I got carsick. But more on that later.The seats at the front of the bus.Brittany Chang/InsiderI, like many other travelers in the US, do not have fond memories of sitting in intercity buses like Greyhound or Megabus.A Greyhound bus in Texas in 2021.Jose Luis Gonzalez/ReutersEnter the Jet, a luxury bus startup looking to provide another option different from those sometimes-uncomfortable budget bus experiences.The Jet on a cold January morning.Brittany Chang/InsiderUnlike the classic Flixbus or Greyhound, the Jet has comfortable seats, in-ride treats, and fast Wifi, among other bonuses. It's more expensive, but the company is betting riders who can afford to will pay for the luxury and exclusivity.The seats.Brittany Chang/InsiderChad Scarborough, the Jet's founder and CEO, predicts the company's passengers are the top one to 2% of bus riders, or "people who want a nicer option" but don't want to pay for an Amtrak, he said the first time I toured one of its buses in late 2021.The galley at the rear of the bus.Brittany Chang/InsiderThe startup isn't a new concept: Luxury coaches like Vonlane have fared well in other markets, Scarborough noted.The back of the bus.Brittany Chang/InsiderBut unlike Vonlane, which operates primarily in Texas, the Jet targets two cities with low car ownership: New York and Washington, DC.A view out the windows while we were still in Manhattan.Brittany Chang/InsiderSource: Titlemax Tripperbus, which also calls itself a "first-class bus service," runs a similar route from Arlington, Virginia, and Bethesda, Maryland to New York City.Rachel Mendelson/InsiderSource: Tripperbus But the Jet drops off and picks up its passengers right in the heart of DC at Metro Center, about a 10-minute walk to the White House.The White House south facade, in Washington, D.C.Raymond Boyd/Getty ImagesOn January 7, the morning after New York's first snow in the new year, I decided to take a ride on the Jet for a roughly five-hour ride from New York City to Washington, DC to test its offering.The Jet on a cold January morning.Brittany Chang/InsiderThe Jet only has two departure times from New York: 11 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. I booked the former hoping to get some work done on my Friday afternoon ride.The seats.Brittany Chang/InsiderThe Jet departs from Hudson Yards. This outdoor departure away from any terminal means I didn't have to navigate the large, often busy corridors of an indoor station. It also means passengers board from the curb, just like discount carrier Megabus.The Jet on a cold January morning.Brittany Chang/InsiderThe 45-foot-long black coach with "THE JET" embossed on side told me I was in the right place. I arrived earlier, so I had plenty of time to pick up breakfast before checking in with the bus attendant, who operates like a flight attendant.The Jet on a cold January morning.Brittany Chang/InsiderI already reserved my spot on the 14-seat bus so there was no need to rush onto the vehicle in hopes of getting a prime seat or space in the luggage compartment.My messy seat.Brittany Chang/InsiderAnd the rows of seats are six feet apart as per COVID-19 protocols, providing ample legroom and space for my bags.The back of the bus.Brittany Chang/Insider"We've had some people tell us [this] feels safer than taking a train or a plane because there's so few people," Scarborough said in 2021.The bathroom.Brittany Chang/InsiderAnd I agree. Besides me, there were only nine other people on the bus including the driver and attendant. Everyone was required to mask up unless they were eating or drinking.Snacks on the Jet.Brittany Chang/InsiderThere's also a UV filtration system that sanitizes the air every 10 minutes, according to the company.The galley at the rear of the bus.Brittany Chang/InsiderOther than the person sitting next to me (who I live with) everyone felt distanced from my seat, making the Jet feel safer than any plane ride I've been on during COVID-19. And unlike planes, the Jet is also now enforcing a vaccine mandate.The seats.Brittany Chang/InsiderThe pre-booked seats, ample spacing, and warm attendant made for one of the safest-seeming and most relaxing boarding experiences I've ever had on any mode of transportation.Inside the Jet.Brittany Chang/InsiderAll I had to do was get on the bus, throw my bags on the floor in front of me, confirm my seat with the friendly attendant, and I was all good to go.My messy seat.Brittany Chang/InsiderThroughout the bus ride, the attendant checked on the passengers and offered us a selection of complimentary snacks, water, wine, beer, coffee, and soda. And at the end of the bus ride, she collected our trash.Snacks on the Jet.Brittany Chang/InsiderI don't drink soda, and I passed on the free booze (I was, after all, still working), but just having these options made the Jet feel more luxurious than an economy seat on a plane.The galley at the rear of the bus.Brittany Chang/InsiderWe were offered The Jet-branded blankets to use during the bus ride, but I was already bundled in a thick sweater, so I passed.The seats.Brittany Chang/InsiderThere's also a bathroom at the rear of the bus next to the attendant's galley. The clean bathroom — although smaller than Amtrak's — had the basics: a toilet, sink, mirror, and hand sanitizer.The bathroom.Brittany Chang/InsiderBut because it was freezing the night before, the bathroom pipes were frozen, putting the porcelain throne out of commission for the first half of the ride.The bathroom.Brittany Chang/InsiderLuckily our driver scheduled a quick bathroom stop halfway through the journey, which was perfect for a quick stretch.The Jet on a cold January morning during out bathroom stop.Brittany Chang/InsiderSnacks and a clean bathroom are great, but the Jet has an even stronger standout feature that sets it apart from any other luxury bus competitor or mode of travel: the motion-canceling "hoverseats."Inside the Jet.Brittany Chang/InsiderSource: Insider These seats are the Jet's pièce de résistance and its biggest draw.A reclined seat.Brittany Chang/InsiderThe seats use a suspension technology developed by Bose to block 90% of the bus ride's uncomfortable bumps and movements.The seats.Brittany Chang/InsiderThe tech can be more commonly found in the long-haul truck industry, making the Jet the "world's first" bus with motion-canceling seats, according to the company.Buttons to adjust the seating.Brittany Chang/InsiderSource: The Jet These seats made road traveling feel more like flying, but better.The seats.Brittany Chang/InsiderThe gel and memory foam seats are 22-inches wide and plusher than my couch at home.The seats.Brittany Chang/InsiderWhen my seat was fully reclined 45-degrees, I could have comfortably fallen asleep.A reclined seat.Brittany Chang/InsiderAnd because there's six feet between each row, I didn't have to worry about reclining too far.The seats at the front of the bus.Brittany Chang/InsiderLuckily, the seats' armrests have a built-in tray table, allowing me to lay back while tapping away on my laptop.The seats.Brittany Chang/InsiderBut unfortunately, I had to work, and couldn't take the nap I so longed for.Working on the Jet.Brittany Chang/InsiderThe coaches are equipped with the same WiFi used on Google and Facebook's employee shuttles, Scarborough previously explained.The galley at the rear of the bus.Brittany Chang/InsiderThe WiFi was no joke. It was reliable and the fastest I've ever used on a mode of transportation.The galley.Brittany Chang/InsiderAlmost every passenger was pattering away on their laptops during the bus ride, but I never encountered disruptions with the network, even when I was streaming music and videos.Inside the Jet.Brittany Chang/InsiderThe seats also have outlets that kept my laptop running throughout the entire journey.Working on the Jet.Brittany Chang/InsiderSo far so good, until around two hours into the ride. That's when I hit my first metaphorical bump in the road.The bathroom.Brittany Chang/InsiderThe motion-canceling seats did a great job of blocking the smaller bumps, but I could still feel the rocking motion of the bus. This was expected and would have otherwise been fine if I hadn't been staring at my laptop.The seats.Brittany Chang/InsiderThe longer I stared at the screen, the harder it became to read smaller blocks of text, a side effect that brought me back to my concussion four months ago.The galley at the rear of the bus.Brittany Chang/InsiderThe longer I worked, the worse my carsickness-induced nausea — a familiar feeling from stop-and-go traffic but never from long bus rides — became.The bathroom.Brittany Chang/InsiderThe headache, woozy uneasiness, and churning stomach made the remaining almost two hours more difficult to kill.The galley at the rear of the bus.Brittany Chang/InsiderBut when I looked around, most other passengers were still on their laptops and phones, a sign that nobody else was feeling as sick as I was.A view out the windows while we were still in Manhattan.Brittany Chang/InsiderFinally, after about five hours on the road, we arrived in DC at around 4 p.m. I quickly gathered my belongings, said my thank yous, and ran out to get some fresh air.The seats at the front of the bus.Brittany Chang/InsiderBut honestly, despite my carsickness, the Jet was the most comfortable intercity travel experience I've ever had (noting that I've never used a luxury bus service before).The Jet on a cold January morning.Brittany Chang/InsiderBoarding and departing the bus in an uncrowded outdoor area was an underrated luxury.The Jet on a cold January morning.Brittany Chang/InsiderIt seems like I'm not alone in enjoying the Jet.The galley at the rear of the bus.Brittany Chang/InsiderIn December, the startup averaged at above 70% ridership, peaking at 86% during the week of Thanksgiving, Scarborough told Insider in a statement.The bathroom.Brittany Chang/InsiderJanuary has been "slower" at around 40% ridership ahead of a mid-month weekend, but this is still above the company's initial projections.The bathroom.Brittany Chang/InsiderScarborough believes the Jet is "well-positioned" for the spring and summer travel boom.The galley at the rear of the bus.Brittany Chang/InsiderThe Jet ranges from almost $100 to up to almost $150. As of January 14, tickets for an 11 a.m. departure on Friday, January 28 start at $99.The galley at the rear of the bus.Brittany Chang/InsiderA business class ticket for Amtrak's Acela departing at 11 a.m. starts at $90, while a coach ticket for the 11:35 a.m. Northeast Regional sits at almost $50. It's also worth noting that an Amtrak on the same route is about one-and-a-half to two hours faster and won't have to stop for traffic or bathroom breaks.An Amtrak train pulls out of Union Station on Wednesday, April 7, 2021.Photo By Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty ImagesSource: Amtrak Meanwhile, the cheapest 11:00 a.m. bus ticket (Flixbus) on the same day is a mere $18, making it about one-fifth as costly as a ticket for The Jet.A FlixBus at Nice International Airport in 2019.Eric Gaillard/ReutersSource: Wanderu If you're looking for luxury, the Jet may be your best choice. Though it's slower and more expensive, there's no arguing it's the most comfortable option.The galley.Brittany Chang/InsiderRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytJan 16th, 2022Related News

Should You Move While You Can, Or When You Must?

Should You Move While You Can, Or When You Must? Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog, This gives an extreme advantage to those few who move first, long before they must. The financial advantage for first movers is equally extreme. Moving is a difficult decision, so we hesitate. But when the window to do so closes, it's too late. We always think we have all the time in the world to ponder, calculate and explore, and then things change and the options we once had are gone for good. Moving to a new locale is difficult for those of us who are well-established in the place we call home. Add in a house we love, jobs/work, kids in school, a parent living with us and all the emotional attachments to friends, extended family, colleagues and favorite haunts, and for many (and likely most) people, moving is out of the question. Many of us have fond memories of moving when we were in our late teens or early 20s--everything we owned fit in the backseat and trunk of a beaten up old car, and off we went. Once you put down roots in a home, work/enterprise, schools, neighborhood and networks, it's a herculean task to move. Moving to another state or province isn't just a matter of the physical movement of possessions and buying / renting a new dwelling, itself an arduous process; the transfer of medical and auto insurance, finding new dentists and doctors, opening local bank/credit union accounts, obtaining local business licenses and a staggering list of institutions and enterprises that require an address change is complicated and time-consuming. Knowing this, I don't ask this question lightly: Should You Move While You Can, Or When You Must? The question is consequential because the window in which we still have options can slam shut with little warning. The origin of the question will be visible to those who have read my blog posts in 2021 on systemic fragility, our dependence on long, brittle supply chains, the vulnerabilities created by these dependencies and my polite (I hope) suggestions to fashion not just a Plan B for temporary disruptions but a Plan C for permanent disruptions. My new book Global Crisis, National Renewal: A (Revolutionary) Grand Strategy for the United States is a result of realities few are willing to face: the extreme inequality we now have in the U.S. leads to social collapse. That's the lesson of history. So to believe as if collapse is impossible is to ignore the evidence that social collapse is inevitable when inequality reaches extremes. Human and nature dynamics (HANDY): Modeling inequality and use of resources in the collapse or sustainability of societies. Social collapse has consequences, and so we have to ask: where do we want to be in the vast human herd when social order unravels? My new book also addresses the transition that's obvious but easily denied: we've transitioned from an era of abundance to an era of scarcity. There are many historical examples of what happens as scarcity diminishes living standards and puts increasing stress on individuals, families, communities and nations. There are ways to adapt to scarcity (that's the point of my book) but nation-states and the elites who run them are optimized for abundance, not scarcity, so they lack the means to adapt to scarcity. Their default setting to is keep pursuing a return to higher consumption ("growth") by increasingly extreme means--for example, printing trillions of dollars and giving it to wealthy elites and corporations, and printing additional trillions to give away as bread and circuses (stimulus) to the masses. There is no historical evidence that this vast, endless creation of currency is consequence-free or successful. This delusional pursuit of endless "growth" that is no longer possible due to resource depletion and soaring costs of extraction, transport, etc. also leads to collapse. This is the modern-day equivalent of squandering the last resources available on ever-more elaborate (and completely unproductive) temples in the hopes of appeasing the gods of "growth." As I also detail in the book, the status quo is fantastically wasteful and ineffective. It now takes 20-25 years to build a single bridge or tunnel, and each project is billions of dollars over budget, yet we're assured that the entire nation will seamlessly and painlessly transition away from hydrocarbon fuels to alternative energy in 20-25 years. Never mind that this would require building a new nuclear plant or equivalent every month for the next 20 years; skeptics are just naysayers. While a successful transition to a degrowth economy and society is certainly physically possible, the current status quo lacks the will, structure, leadership or desire to manage such a transition. While no one is entirely independent of long supply chains and energy-intensive industrial economies, the lower one's dependency and one's exposure to the risks of social disorder, the better off one will be. Put another way, the greater one's self-reliance and independence from global supply chains, the lower the impact should things break down. The closer one is to local sources of energy, fresh water, food, etc., the lower the likelihood of losing all access to these essentials. The wealthiest few hedge their risks by having one or more homes they can escape to if urban life breaks down. When risks rise, the wealthy start buying rural homes sight unseen for double the price locals paid a few months earlier. Here's the problem: roughly 81% of Americans live in urban zones (270 million people), and around 19% (60 million people) live in rural areas. About 31% of urban residents live in dense urban cores, about 25% live in suburban counties and the remaining 24% live in urban clusters and metropolitan areas--smaller cities, etc. Rural regions have plenty of land but relatively few dwellings due to the low population density. Much of the land is owned by government agencies, corporations or large landowners, so a relatively small percentage is available for housing. Many rural economies have stagnated for decades, so the housing stock has not grown by much and older homes have deteriorated due to being abandoned or poorly maintained. Few building contractors survived the stagnation and so finding crews to build a new home is also non-trivial. So when the wealthiest few rush out to buy second or third homes in desirable rural areas in Idaho, Montana, Utah, Colorado, North Carolina, etc., they find a very restricted supply of homes available. This generates a bidding war for the relatively few homes considered acceptable and prices skyrocket, pricing out locals who soon resent the wealthy newcomers' financial power and fear the inevitable rise of the political and commercial power their wealth can buy. (Cough, billgates, cough.) At present, few anticipate urban America becoming a dicey place to live and own a home. But inequality and the hollowing out of the economy by globalization and financialization has left cities entirely dependent on diesel fueled trucks to deliver virtually everything. This is also true of rural communities, of course, but some rural areas still produce energy and food, and given the lower population density, these communities are less dependent on global supply chains and are therefore more self-sufficient. Rural households have more opportunities to raise animals, grow vegetables, etc., and more opportunities to have supportive relationships with neighbors who actually produce something tangible and essential. Dependence is a matter of scale: if you can get by on 5 gallons of gasoline a month, you're much more likely to put your hands on enough fuel to get by than if you need a minimum of 50 gallons of fuel to survive. The same is true of food, fresh water and other essentials: the less you need, the more you supply yourself, the lower your vulnerability to supply disruptions. Lower population densities lend themselves to greater self-sufficiency / resilience and to community cohesion. Roving mobs are less likely to form simply because the low density makes such mobs difficult to assemble. As I explain in my book, social cohesion is a combination of civic virtue, shared purpose, agency (having a stake in the local economy and a say in decisions which affect everyone) and moral legitimacy, i.e. a community that isn't divided into a self-serving elite that owns the vast majority of the wealth, capital and political power and a relatively powerless majority (i.e. debt-serfs and tax donkeys). In my analysis, social cohesion in most urban zones has already eroded to the point of no return. The tattered remnants will crumble with one swift kick. The conventional view is the urban populace will continue to grow at the expense of rural regions, a trend that's been in place for hundreds of years. But this trend exactly parallels the rise of hydrocarbon energy. Large cities existed long before hydrocarbon energy, but these cities arose and fell depending on the availability of essential resources within reach. Imperial Rome, for example, likely had 1 million residents at the apex of its power, residents who were largely dependent on grain grown in North African colonies and shipped across the Mediterranean to Rome's port of Ostia. Once those wheat-exporting colonies were lost, Rome's population fell precipitously, reaching a nadir of perhaps 10,000 residents living amidst the ruins of a once great metropolis. More recently, economic and social shifts hollowed out many city cores in the 1970s as residents and jobs moved to the suburbs. A reversal of this trend in favor of small cities/towns and rural areas may already be gathering momentum under the radar. All this is abstract until the attractions of city living fade and economic vitality declines to the point of civic and financial bankruptcy. Cities have cycles of expansion, decay and decline just like societies and economies, and it behooves us to monitor the fragility, dependency and risk of the place we inhabit. At nadirs, homes and buildings that were once worth a fortune are abandoned, or their value drops to a fraction of its former value. Putting these dynamics together, the problem boils down to a systemic scarcity of housing in attractive, productive rural towns and regions and a massive oversupply of urban residents who may decide to move once urban zones unravel. Let's assume that a mere 5% of urban residents decamp for rural regions. Given that there are about 130 million households in the U.S. and 81% of that total is 105 million households, 5% is 5.25 million households. Given that the number of rural communities that have all the desirable characteristics is not that large, we can estimate that it might be difficult for even 500,000 urban households to relocate to their first choice, never mind 5 million. This gives an extreme advantage to those few who move first, long before they must. The financial advantage for first movers is equally extreme, as they can still sell their urban homes for a great deal more money than they will fetch once conditions deteriorate. (The value of homes can drop to zero, as Detroit has shown.) Those few who decide to join the early movers even though the difficulties are many have all the advantages. Those who wait until conditions slip off a cliff may find their once valuable home has lost most or all of its value and the communities they would have chosen are out of reach financially. Most people reckon they have plenty of time to act--decades, or at least many years. The problem with systemic fragility was aptly described by Seneca: "Increases are of sluggish growth but the way to ruin is rapid." My own expectation is a self-reinforcing unraveling that gathers momentum to breaking points by 2024-25, only a few years away. Rather than fix the systemic problems of inequality and scarcity, the status quo's expedient fixes (printing trillions out of thin air and hoping there will be no adverse consequences from distributing free money to financiers and bread and circuses) will only accelerate the unraveling. There may not be as much time as we think. New readers pondering these dynamics may find value in one of the more widely read of my essays, The Art of Survival, Taoism and the Warring States (June 27, 2008) which discusses the importance of being a helpful and productive member of a tight-knit community and the futility of having an isolated "bug-out" cabin as Plan C. The vista of solid ground stretching endlessly to the horizon may turn out to be a mirage, and the cliff edge is closer than we imagine. *  *  * This essay was first published as a weekly Musings Report sent exclusively to subscribers and patrons at the $5/month ($54/year) and higher level. Thank you, patrons and subscribers, for supporting my work and free website.. My new book is now available at a 20% discount this month: Global Crisis, National Renewal: A (Revolutionary) Grand Strategy for the United States (Kindle $8.95, print $20). If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com. Tyler Durden Sun, 01/16/2022 - 11:31.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytJan 16th, 2022Related News

Europe"s Spendthrifts Are Stuck In Irreversible Debt-Traps

Europe's Spendthrifts Are Stuck In Irreversible Debt-Traps Authored by Alasdair Macleod via GoldMoney.com, A Euro Catastrophe Could Collapse It This article looks at the situation in the euro system in the context of rising interest rates. Central to the problem is role of the ECB, which through monetary inflation embarked on a policy of transferring wealth from fiscally responsible member states to the spendthrift PIGS and France. The consequences of these policies are that the spendthrifts are now ensnared in irreversible debt traps. Even in a Keynesian context, the ECB’s monetary policy is no longer to stimulate the economy but to keep the spendthrifts afloat. The situation has deteriorated so that Eurozone commercial banks appear to have credit restricted in New York, evidenced by the reluctance of the US banks to enter into repo transactions with them, leading to the market failure in September 2019 when the Fed had to intervene. An examination of the numbers strongly suggests that even Eurozone banks, insurance companies and pension funds are no longer net buyers of Eurozone government debt. It could be because the terms are unattractive. But if that is the case it is an indictment of the ECB’s asset purchase programmes deliberately suppressing rates to the point where they are unattractive, even to normally compliant investors. Consequently, without any savings offsets, the ECB has gone full Rudolf Havenstein, and is following similar inflationary policies to those that impoverished Germany’s middle classes and starved its labourers and the elderly in 1920-1923. That the German people are tolerating such an obvious destruction of their currency for the third time in a hundred years is simply astounding. Institutionalised Madoff Schemes to pilfer from people without their knowledge always end in disaster for the perpetrators. Central banks using their currency seigniorage are no exception. But instead of covering it up like an institutionalised Madoff they use questionable science to justify their openly fraudulent behaviour. The paradox of thrift is such an example, where penalising savers by suppressing interest rates supposedly for the wider economic benefit conveniently ignores the theft involved. If you can change the way people perceive reality, you can get away with an awful lot. The mass discovery by the people of the fraud perpetrated on the people by those supposedly representing the people is always the reason behind a cycle of crises and wars. It can take a long period of suffering before an otherwise supine population refuses to continue submitting unquestionably to authority. But the longer the condition exists, the more oppressive the methods that the state uses to defer the inevitable crisis become. Until something finally gives. In the case of the euro, we have seen the system give savers no interest since 2012, while the quantity of money and credit in circulation has debased it by 63% (measured by M3 euro money supply). Furthermore, prices can be rigged to create an illusion of price stability. The US Fed increased its buying of inflation-linked Treasury bonds (TIPS) since March 2020 at a faster pace than they were issued by the US Treasury, artificially pushing TIPS prices up and creating an illusion that the market is unconcerned about price inflation. But that is not all. Government statisticians are not above fiddling the figures or presenting figures out of context. We believe the CPI inflation figures are a true reflection of the cost of living, despite the changes over time in the way prices are input. We believe that GDP is economic growth — a questionable concept — and not growth in the quantity of money. We even believe that monetary inflation has nothing to do with prices. Statistics are designed to deceive. As Lord Canning said 200 years ago, “I can prove anything with statistics but the truth”. And that was before computers, which have facilitated an explosion in the quantity of questionable statistics. Can’t work something out? Just look at the stats. A further difference between Madoff and the state is that the state forces everyone to submit to its monetary frauds by law. And since as law-abiding citizens we respect the law, we even despise those with the temerity to question it. But in the process, we hand enormous power to the monetary authorities, so should not be surprised when that power is abused, as is the case with interest rates and the dilution of the state’s currency. And it follows that the deeper the currency fraud, when something gives, the greater is the ensuing crisis. The best measure of market distortions from deliberate actions of the monetary authorities we have is the difference between actual bond yields and an estimate of what they should be. In other words, assessments of the height of negative real yields. But any such assessment is inherently subjective, with markets and statistics either distorted, rigged, or unable to provide the relevant yardstick. But it makes sense to assume that the price impact, that is the adjustment to bond prices as markets normalise, is greatest for those where nominal bond yields are negative. This means our focus should be directed accordingly. And the major jurisdictions where this applies is Japan and the Eurozone. The eurozone’s banking instability A critique of Japan’s monetary policy must be reserved for a later date, in order to concentrate on monetary and economic conditions in the Eurozone. The ECB first reduced its deposit rate to 0% in July 2012. That was followed by its initial introduction of negative deposit rates of -0.1% in June 2014, followed by -0.2% later that year, -0.3% in 2014, -0.4% in 2016 and finally -0.5% in September 2019. The last move coincided with the repo market blow-up in New York, the day that the transfer of Deutsche Bank’s prime dealership to the Paris based BNP was completed. We can assume with reasonable certainty that the coincidence of these events showed a reluctance of major US banks to take on either of these banks as repo counterparties, as hedge and money funds with accounts at Deutsche decided to move their accounts elsewhere, which would have blown substantial holes in Deutsche’s and possibly BNP’s balance sheets as well, thereby requiring repo cover. The reluctance of American banks to get involved would have been a strong signal of their reluctance to increasing their counterparty exposure to Eurozone banks. We cannot know this for sure, but it is the logical explanation for what happened. In which case, the repo crisis in New York was an important advance warning of the fragility of the Eurozone’s monetary and banking system. A look at the condition of the major Eurozone global systemically important banks (G-SIBs) in Table A, explains why. Balance sheet gearing for these banks is roughly double that of the major US banks, and except for Ing Group, deep price-to-book discounts indicate a market assessment of these banks’ credit risk as exceptionally high. Other Eurozone banks with international counterparty business deemed not significant enough to be labelled as G-SIBs but still capable of transmitting systemic risk could be even more highly geared. The reasons for US banks to limit their exposure to the Eurozone banking system on these grounds alone are compelling. And the persistence of price inflation today is a subsequent development, likely to expose these banks as being riskier still because of higher interest rates on their exposure to Eurozone government and commercial bonds, and defaulting borrowers. The euro credit cycle has been suspended When banks buy government paper, it is usually because they see it as the risk-free alternative to expanding credit to non-financial private sector actors. In the normal course of an economic cycle, it is inherently cyclical. Both Basel and national regulations enhance the concept that government debt is risk-free, giving it a safe-haven status in times of heightened risk. In a normal bank credit cycle, banks will tend to hold government bills and bonds with less than one year’s maturity and depending on the yield curve will venture out along the curve to five years at most. These positions are subsequently wound down when the banks become more confident of lending conditions to non-financial borrowers when the economy improves. But when economic conditions become stagnant and the credit cycle is suspended due to lack of recovery, banks can accumulate positions with longer maturities. Other than the lack of alternative uses of bank credit, this is for a variety of reasons. Trading desks increasingly seek the greater price volatility in longer maturities, central banks encourage increased commercial bank participation in government bond markets, and yield curve permitting, generally longer maturities offer better yields. The more time that elapses between investing in government paper and favouring credit expansion in favour of private sector borrowers, the greater this mission creep becomes. As we have seen above, the ECB introduced zero deposit rates nearly 10 years ago, and private sector conditions have not generated much in the way of bank credit funding. Lending from all sources including securitisations and bank credit to a) households and b) non-financial corporations since 2008 are shown in Figure 1. Before the Covid pandemic, total lending to households had declined from $9 trillion equivalent in 2008 to $7.4 trillion in 2019 Q4. And for non-financial corporations, total lending declined marginally over the same period as well. Admittedly, this period included a credit slump and recovery, but on a net basis lending conditions stagnated. But bank credit for these two sectors will have contracted, allowing for net bond issuance of collateralised consumer debt and by corporations securing cheap finance by issuing corporate bonds at near zero interest rates, which are contained in Figure 1. Following the start of the pandemic, lending conditions expanded under government direction and borrowing by both sectors increased substantially. Meanwhile, over the same period bond issuance to governments increased, particularly since the pandemic started, illustrated in Figure 2. The charts in Figures 1 and 2 support the thesis that credit expansion and bond finance had, until recently, disadvantaged the non-financial private sector. The expansion of government borrowing has been entirely through bonds bought by the ECB, as will be demonstrated when we look at the euro system balance sheet. They confirm that zero and negative rates have not stimulated the Eurozone’s economies as Keynesians theorised. And the increased credit during the pandemic reflects financial support and not a renewed attempt at Keynesian stimulation. The purpose of debt expansion is important because the moment the supposed stimulus wears off or interest rates rise, we will see bank credit for households and businesses begin to contract again. Only this time, there will be a heightened risk for banks of collateral failure. And higher interest rates will also undermine mark-to-market values for government and corporate bonds on their balance sheets, which could rapidly erode the capital of Eurozone banks, given their exceptionally high gearing shown in Table A above. Figure 3 charts the euro system’s combined balance sheet since August 2008, the month Lehman failed, when it stood at €1.43 trillion. Greece’s financial crisis ran from 2012-2014, during which time the balance sheet expanded to €3.09 trillion, before partially normalising to €2.01 trillion. In January 2015, the ECB launched its expanded asset purchase programme (APP — otherwise referred to as quantitative easing) to prevent price inflation remaining too low for a prolonged period. The fear was Keynesian deflation, with the HICP measure of price inflation falling to -0.5% at that time, despite the ECB’s deposit rate having been already reduced to -0.2% the previous September. Between March 2015 and September 2016, the combined purchases by the ECB of public and private sector securities amounted to €1.14 trillion, corresponding to 11.3% of euro area nominal GDP. The APP was “recalibrated” in December 2015, extended to March 2017 and beyond, if necessary, at €60bn monthly. And the deposit rate was lowered to -0.3%. Not even that was enough, with a further recalibration to €80bn monthly in March 2016, with it intended to be extended to the end of the year when it would be resumed at the previous rate of €60bn per month. The expansion of the ECB’s balance sheet led to the rate of price inflation recovering to 1% in 2017, as one would expect. With the expansion of credit for the non-financial private sector going nowhere (Figures 1 and 2 above), the Keynesian stimulus simply failed in this objective. But when in March 2020 the US Fed reduced its funds rate to 0% and announced QE of $120bn monthly, the ECB did what it had learned to do when in a monetary hole: continue digging even faster. March 2020 saw the ECB increase purchases under the asset purchase programme (APP) and adopt a new programme, the pandemic emergency purchase programme (PEPP). These measures are the reason why the volumes of the Eurosystem’s monthly monetary policy net purchases are higher than ever before, driving its balance sheet total to over €8.5 trillion today. The ECB’s bond purchases closely matched the funding requirements of national central banks, both being €4 trillion between January 2015 and June 2021. The counterpart to these purchases is an increase in the amount of circulating cash. In other words, the ECB has gone full Rudolf Havenstein. There is no difference in the ECB’s objectives compared with those of Havenstein when he was President of the Reichsbank following the First World War; a monetary policy that impoverished Germany’s middle classes and pushed the labouring class and elderly into starvation by collapsing the paper-mark. Except that today, German society is paying through the destruction of its savings for the spendthrift behaviour of its Eurozone partners rather than that of its own government. The ECB now has an additional problem with price inflation picking up globally. Producer input prices in Europe are rising strongly with the overall Eurozone HICP rate for November at 4.9% annualised, and doubtless with more rises to come. Oil prices have risen over 50% in a year, and natural gas over 60%, the latter even more on European markets due to a supply crisis of its governments’ own making. Increasingly, the policy purpose of the ECB is no longer to stimulate the economy, but to ensure that spendthrift member state deficits are financed as cheaply as possible. But how can it do that when on the back of soaring consumer prices, interest rates are now going to rise? Clearly, the higher interest rates go, the faster the ECB will increase its balance sheet because it is committed to not just covering every Eurozone member state’s budget deficit but the interest on their borrowings as well. But there’s more. In a speech on 12 October, Christine Lagarde, the President of the ECB indicated that it stands ready to contribute to financing the transition to carbon neutral. And in a joint letter to the FT, the President of France and Italy’s Prime Minister called for a relaxation of the EU’s fiscal rules so that they could spend more on key investments. This is a flavour of what they said: "Just as the rules could not be allowed to stand in the way of our response to the pandemic, so they should not prevent us from making all necessary investments," the two leaders wrote, while noting that "debt raised to finance such investments, which undeniably benefit the welfare of future generations and long-term growth, should be favoured by the fiscal rules, given that public spending of this sort actually contributes to debt sustainability over the long run." The rules under the Stability and Growth Pact have in fact been suspended, and are planned to be reapplied in 2023, But clearly, these two high spenders feel boxed in. The Stability and Growth Pact will almost certainly be eased — being a charade, rather like the US’s debt ceiling. The trouble is Eurozone governments are too accustomed to inflationary finance to abandon it. If the ECB could inflate the currency without the consequences being apparent, there would be no problem. But with prices soaring above the mandated 2% target that is no longer true. Up to now, the ECB has been in denial, claiming that price pressures will subside. But we know, or should know, that a rise in the general level of prices is due to monetary expansion, the excessive plucking of leaves from the magic money tree, particularly at an enhanced rate since March 2020 which is yet to be reflected fully at the consumer level. And in its duty to fund the PIGS government deficits, the ECB’s balance sheet expansion through bond purchases is sure to continue. Furthermore, if bond yields do rise, it will threaten to undermine the balance sheets of the highly geared commercial banks. The commercial banks position With the economies of Eurozone member states stifled by the ECB’s management of monetary affairs since the Lehman crisis in 2008 and by more recent covid lockdowns, the accumulation of bad debts at the commercial banks is a growing threat to the entire financial system. Table A above, of the Eurozone G-SIBs’ operational gearing and their share ratings, gives testament to the problem. So far, bad debts in Italian and other PIGS banks have been reduced, not by their being resolved, but by them being used as collateral for loans from national central banks. Local bank regulators deem non-performing loans to be performing so they can be hidden from sight in the ECB’s TARGET2 settlement system. Together with the ECB’s asset purchases conducted through national central banks, these probably account for most of the imbalances in the TARGET2 cross-border settlement system, which in theory should not exist. The position to last October is shown in Figure 4. Liabilities owed to the Bundesbank are increasing again at record levels, while the amounts owed by the Italian and Spanish central banks are also increasing. These balances were before global pressures for rising interest rates materialised. Given the sharp increase in bank lending to households and non-financial corporations since March last year (see Figure 1), bad debts seem certain to accumulate at the banks in the coming months. This is likely to undermine collateral values in Europe’s repo markets, which are mostly conducted in euros and almost certainly exceed €10 trillion, having been recorded at €8.3 trillion at end-2019.[vi] The extent to which national central banks have taken in repo collateral themselves will then become a major problem. It is against the background of negative Euribor rates that the repo market has grown. It is not clear what role negative rates plays in this growth. While one can see a reason for a bank to borrow at sub-zero rates, it is harder to justify lending at them. And in a repo, the collateral is returned on a pre-agreed basis, so it’s removal from a bank’s books is temporary. Nonetheless, this market has grown to be an integral part of daily transactions between European banks. The variations in collateral quality are shown in Figure 5. This differs materially from repo markets in the US, which is almost exclusively for short-term liquidity purposes and uses high quality collateral only (US Treasury bills and bonds and agency debt). Bonds rated BBB and worse made up 27.7% of the total collateral in December 2019. In Europe and particularly the Eurozone rising interest rates can be expected to undermine collateral ratings, which with increasing Euribor rates will almost certainly contract the size of the market. This heightens the risk of a liquidity-driven systemic failure, as repo liquidity is withdrawn from banks that depend upon it. Government finances are out of control The first column in Table B shows government debt to GDP, which is the conventional yardstick of government debt measurement relative to the economy. The second column shows the proportion of government spending in the total economy relative to GDP, enabling us to derive the third column. The base for government revenue upon which paying down its debt ultimately rests is the private sector, and the third column shows the extent to which and where this true burden lies. It exposes the impossible position of countries such as Greece, Italy, France, and Belgium, Portugal and Spain, where, besides their own private sector debt burdens, citizens earning their livings without being paid by their governments are assumed by markets to be responsible for underwriting their governments’ debts. The hope that these countries can grow their way out of their debt is demolished in the context of the actual tax base. It is now widely recognised that will already high levels of taxation further tax increases will undermine these economies. We can dismiss as hogwash the alterative, the vain hope that yet more stimulus in the form of a further increase in deficits will generate economic recovery, and that higher tax revenues will follow to normalise public finances. It is a populist argument amongst some free marketeers today, citing Ronald Reagan’s and Margaret Thatcher’s successful economic policies. But in those times, the US and UK governments were not nearly so indebted and their economies were able to respond positively to lower taxes. Furthermore, price inflation was declining then while it is increasing today. And as a paper by Carmen Reinhart and Ken Rogoff pointed out, a nation whose government debt exceeds 90% of GDP has great difficulty growing its way out of it.[vii]Seven of the Eurozone nations already exceed this 90% Rubicon, and their debts are still growing considerably faster than their GDP. At 111% the entire Euro area itself is well above it. Taking account of the smaller proportion of private sector activity relative to those of their governments highlights the difference between the current situation and that of nations that managed to pay down even higher debt levels after the Second World War by gently inflating their way out of a debt trap while their economies progressed in the post-war environment. Additionally, we should bear in mind future government liabilities, whose net present values are considerably greater than their current debt. Over time, these must be financed. And with rising price inflation, hard costs such as healthcare escalate them even further. The position gets progressively worse as these mandated costs become realised. There is a solution to it, and that is to cut government spending so that its budget always balances. But for socialising politicians, slashing departmental budgets is the equivalent of eating their own children. It is a reversal of everything they stand for. And it requires welfare legislation to be rescinded to stop the accumulation of future welfare costs. There is no democratic mandate for that. Conclusion Rising interest rates globally will affect all major currencies, and for some of them expose systemic risks. An examination of the existing situation and how higher interest rates will affect it points to the Eurozone as being the most likely global weak spot. The Eurozone’s debt position pitches the entire global financial and economic system further towards a debt crisis than generally realised. Particularly for Greece, Italy, France, Belgium, Portugal, and Spain in that order of indebtedness, the problem is most acute. They only survive because the ECB ensures they can pay their bills by funding them totally through inflation of the quantity of euros in circulation. The ECB’s entire purpose has become to transfer wealth from the more fiscally prudent member states to the spendthrifts by debasing the currency. In the process, based on figures provided by the Bank for International Settlements the banking system is contracting credit to the private sector, and it is not even accumulating government bonds, which is a surprise.  Much like banks in the US, Eurozone banks have become increasingly distracted into financial activities and speculation. The difference is the high level of operational gearing, up to thirty times in the case of one major French bank, while most of the US’s G-SIBs are geared about 11 times on average. This article points to these disparities between US and EU banking risks having been a factor in the US repo market failure in September 2019. And we can assume that the Americans remain wary of counterparty exposure to Eurozone banks to this day. That the ECB is funding net government borrowing in its entirety indicates that even investing institutions such as pension funds and insurance companies, along with the banks are sitting on their hands with respect to government debt. It means that savings are not offsetting the inflationary effects of government bond issues. It represents a vote to stay out of what has become a highly troubling and inflationary situation. The question arises as to how long this extraordinary situation can continue. It must come to an end some time, and by destabilising a highly leveraged banking system the end will be a crisis. With its GDP being similar in size to China’s (which is seeing a more traditional property crisis unfolding at the same time) a banking crisis in the Eurozone could be the trigger for dominoes falling everywhere. As for the euro’s future, it seems unlikely that the ECB has the capability of dealing with the crisis that will unfold. It has cheated the northern states, particularly Germany, the Netherlands, Finland, Ireland, the Czech Republic, and Luxembourg to the benefit of spendthrifts, particularly the political heavyweights of France, Italy and Spain. It is a rift likely to end the euro system and the ECB itself. The deconstruction of this shabby arrangement should prove the end of the euro and possibly of the European Union itself. Tyler Durden Sun, 01/16/2022 - 07:00.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytJan 16th, 2022Related News

Fast-food chains are finally taking vegan food seriously

Starbucks, KFC, Burger King, and McDonalds keep trialing new plant-based items. Expect to see more popping up on menus. Burger King seems to have doubled down on advertising its UK plant-based options since the McPlant was released.Grace Dean/Insider Fast-food chains are churning out more vegan food as demand rises and the market booms. Restaurants doubling down include Starbucks, KFC, Burger King, and McDonalds.  But only a small chunk of the US and UK are vegan. It's flexitarians who are driving the trend. From Starbucks scrapping its charge for non-dairy milk, to KFC and McDonald's rolling out their vegan burgers nationwide, to Burger King unveiling vegan chicken nuggets, the first week of 2022 brought a whole lot more choice for UK vegan fast-food fans.The big chains are finally taking vegan food seriously – even if some of the new product launches have been timed to coincide with the start of Veganuary – as they race to get a slice of a sector that could be worth more than $160 billion globally within the next ten years.Fast-food chains in the US are rolling out more vegan dishes, too, albeit at a somewhat slower rate. Chipotle has launched its plant-based chorizo nationally while other chains including KFC, Burger King, Carl's Jr., and McDonald's are scrambling to partner with big-name fake-meat brands like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat.These products offer a significant potential prize for the fast-food giants. Bloomberg Intelligence reported that the plant-based foods market was worth $29.4 billion in 2020 and could grow to $162 billion in 2030, making up to 7.7% of the global protein market. The fact that vegans still only represent a small chunk of the population isn't a problem for the sector. And that's because it's not just vegans driving the trend.Instead, non-vegans are helping fuel the plant-based boom by trying to cut down on their meat, fish, and dairy intake.Fast-food chains that have unveiled vegan products have reported huge success. KFC said that its vegan burger sold at six times the average rate for new product launches when it was released in the UK. McDonald's said that early UK sales data for the McPlant was "very encouraging," while Eat Just said its "Everything Plant-Based Sandwich" is the top-selling hot menu item at Peet's Coffee, selling three times more than initially forecast."Our plant-based products have proved to be an important sales driver in the UK, Germany, and the Netherlands and continue to grow as we launch new products," José Cil, CEO of Restaurant Brands International, which owns Burger King, Tim Hortons, and Popeyes, said at its last earnings call.Technological innovations mean new plant-based products are becoming available, and the growing number of vegans and flexitarians is creating a bulging market for plant-based meat replicas.Low prices at fast-food chains are also helping tempt customers, including ones who may normally order the meaty option: McDonald's UK charges the same for both its McPlant and its Quarter Pounder with Cheese, and prices at Subway are the same for both its roast chicken and plant-based chicken sandwiches.In the UK, most fast-food chains are now offering at least one vegan dish. But some chains are leading the way by offering something most vegan consumers are yet to see in restaurants: choice.Subway, for example, has four vegan sandwiches on its menu now, plus two limited-release subs it launched for Veganuary. And, because it has the basics covered, it's been able to get more creative, too: one of the new sandwiches is a plant-based alternative to chicken tikka. And Starbucks has launched a plant-based tuna sandwich in the UK.Subway UK has launched a plant-based alternative to chicken tikka.Grace Dean/InsiderIt's a far cry from the limp salads and half-hearted bean burgers vegans have been left with for years.These factors are essentially creating a loop. The more demand there is for plant-based food, the more lucrative the market is for restaurants – and as a result, they're offering more vegan options at lower prices, which in turn tempts more people to try out the meals.So expect to see more and more plant-based dishes popping up on restaurant menus. And expect them to get cheaper and tastier, too.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytJan 16th, 2022Related News

Visualizing The $94 Trillion World Economy In One Chart

Visualizing The $94 Trillion World Economy In One Chart Just four countries - the U.S., China, Japan, and Germany - make up over half of the world’s economic output by gross domestic product (GDP) in nominal terms. In fact, as Visual Capitalist's Dorothy Neufeld notes, the GDP of the U.S. alone is greater than the combined GDP of 170 countries. How do the different economies of the world compare? In this visualization we look at GDP by country in 2021, using data and estimates from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). An Overview of GDP GDP serves as a broad indicator for a country’s economic output. It measures the total market value of final goods and services produced in a country in a specific timeframe, such as a quarter or year. In addition, GDP also takes into consideration the output of services provided by the government, such as money spent on defense, healthcare, or education. Generally speaking, when GDP is increasing in a country, it is a sign of greater economic activity that benefits workers and businesses (while the reverse is true for a decline). The World Economy: Top 50 Countries Who are the biggest contributors to the global economy? Here is the ranking of the 50 largest countries by GDP in 2021: *2020 GDP (latest available) used where IMF estimates for 2021 were unavailable. At $22.9 trillion, the U.S. GDP accounts for roughly 25% of the global economy, a share that has actually changed significantly over the last 60 years. The finance, insurance, and real estate ($4.7 trillion) industries add the most to the country’s economy, followed by professional and business services ($2.7 trillion) and government ($2.6 trillion). China’s economy is second in nominal terms, hovering at near $17 trillion in GDP. It remains the largest manufacturer worldwide based on output with extensive production of steel, electronics, and robotics, among others. The largest economy in Europe is Germany, which exports roughly 20% of the world’s motor vehicles. In 2019, overall trade equaled nearly 90% of the country’s GDP. The World Economy: 50 Smallest Countries On the other end of the spectrum are the world’s smallest economies by GDP, primarily developing and island nations. With a GDP of $70 million, Tuvalu is the smallest economy in the world. Situated between Hawaii and Australia, the largest industry of this volcanic archipelago relies on territorial fishing rights. In addition, the country earns significant revenue from its “.tv” web domain. Between 2011 and 2019, it earned $5 million annually from companies—including Amazon-owned Twitch to license the Twitch.tv domain name—equivalent to roughly 7% of the country’s GDP. *2019 GDP (latest available) used where IMF estimates for 2021 were unavailable. Like Tuvalu, many of the world’s smallest economies are in Oceania, including Nauru, Palau, and Kiribati. Additionally, several countries above rely on the tourism industry for over one-third of their employment. The Fastest Growing Economies in the World in 2021 With 123% projected GDP growth, Libya’s economy is estimated to have the sharpest rise. Oil is propelling its growth, with 1.2 million barrels being pumped in the country daily. Along with this, exports and a depressed currency are among the primary factors behind its recovery. Ireland’s economy, with a projected 13% real GDP growth, is being supported by the largest multinational corporations in the world. Facebook, TikTok, Google, Apple, and Pfizer all have their European headquarters in the country, which has a 12.5% corporate tax rate—or about half the global average. But these rates are set to change soon, as Ireland joined the OECD 15% minimum corporate tax rate agreement which was finalized in October 2021. Macao’s economy bounced back after COVID-19 restrictions began to lift, but more storm clouds are on the horizon for the Chinese district. The CCP’s anti-corruption campaign and recent arrests could signal a more strained relationship between Mainland China and the world’s largest gambling hub. Looking Ahead at the World’s GDP The global GDP figure of $94 trillion may seem massive to us today, but such a total might seem much more modest in the future. In 1970, the world economy was only about $3 trillion in GDP—or 30 times smaller than it is today. Over the next thirty years, the global economy is expected to more or less double again. By 2050, global GDP could total close to $180 trillion. Tyler Durden Sat, 01/15/2022 - 23:00.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytJan 16th, 2022Related News

For Leftists, Your Freedom Is Their Misery – Your Slavery Is Their Joy

For Leftists, Your Freedom Is Their Misery – Your Slavery Is Their Joy Authored by Brandon Smith via Alt-Market.us, There is a certain level of madness required to reach the state our country is in today. I think most of us feel this and know this but I want to dissect the situation a little so that we can see the guts of the thing and understand the mechanics of it. Insanity has a structure, believe it or not, and there are ways to analyze it and identify it. For example, there are many forms of madness that stem from an obsession with power and control. In my previous article ‘Is There A Way To Prevent Psychopaths From Getting Into Positions Of Power’, I explored the thinking patterns and predatory habits of the worst 1% of humanity and how they insinuate themselves into authority by blending in (until they have all the power and no longer need to blend it). Now I want to talk more about the OTHER unstable people, the 5%-10% of the population that psychopaths exploit as a mob or army to frighten everyone else into conformity and help them achieve their goals. To be clear, almost any group can become an exploitable weapon used by psychopaths. There have been times in history where the elites within the Catholic Church used zealotry among Christians to dominate society to the point of torture and terror during the inquisitions and crusades. During the George W. Bush era I remember well the lies about WMDs used to herd Republicans into pointless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, that is the past. Today the problem of zealotry is resoundingly on the side of the political left. That is to say, the political left is now the side that is most appealing to narcissists, sociopaths, the emotionally unstable, etc., and this attraction is forming a mob that can be easily exploited by the establishment. What I find interesting is that leftists actually believe that THEY are the underdogs and that they are fighting a “revolution” against the establishment. This is a bizarre disconnect from reality. Every major institution of power and influence in the US is on the side of the political left. How can you be rebelling against the establishment if all your values coincide with the establishment’s agenda? The mainstream media and Hollywood have gone hardline in favor of leftist propaganda from critical race theory to the trans agenda and identity politics to feminism to socialism and centralization. Nearly every commercial, TV show and movie we see today reflects a far-left viewpoint or far left imagery, even though the majority of the population has no interest in woke ideology. Clearly, leftists and their friends in media think that if they force their cultism into people’s faces non-stop 24/7 that we will eventually capitulate and embrace it. Big Tech and major social media platforms ALL operate according to leftist politics. All of their terms of service rules are enforced to protect leftists from criticism and to censor conservatives and any moderates that dare speak up. The evidence overwhelmingly shows a left leaning bias in Big Tech censorship with conservatives being booted off platforms for nothing more than citing facts. We saw this recently with Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Georgia GOP representative, who was banned from Twitter and called a “far-right conspiracy theorist” for posting links to the VAERS database. For those unfamiliar with VAERS, it is a database run by the US government to track the adverse effects of vaccinations including covid vaccinations. While the numbers have been manipulated in the past (which the CDC claims was due to “reporting errors”), VAERS has still reported thousands upon thousands of deaths and side effects directly related to the covid vaccines, but you aren’t supposed to know about that. So, Greene gets booted from Twitter for posting the government’s own data, which is now only accessible if you go through a maze of links to get to the downloads. Social media is also commonly used as a weapon by leftists in order to “cancel” people that step out of line. An American Airlines pilot was attacked this week by a Twitter mob when a crazed feminist recorded images of his luggage. His crime? A small sticker on his suitcase which said “Lets Go Brandon.” The woman and her Twitter cohorts called for the pilot to be fired and American Airlines is “investigating” the issue. This is just one instance among thousands in the past few years that illustrate the sheer rage leftists feel when they are faced with a free thinking person. Their immediate reaction is to punish and destroy rather than accept and move on. But where does this mentality come from? I think it’s a combination of a culture of narcissism and collectivism coupled with a desperate desire for weak people to feel as though they are powerful. Leftists are very commonly people you might call the “runners-up” in life. There are a lot of malcontents and socially inept failures in their ranks that grow up feeling powerless. Instead of improving their lot by improving themselves and achieving something of merit, they instead blame others and the world for their lack of accomplishment. This mentality can also be seen with their academia which often exaggerates their own importance and the importance of their accolades. One can get a masters degree in social sciences or feminist studies, but how useful is that person to the world really? Being an activist alone is not a career and they produce nothing, so the only measure of their education and their life is how much they can destroy, not how much they can build and create. Joe Rogan’s latest move from Twitter over to GETTR is another big story that leftists are losing their minds over. They act as though they just want to be rid of conservatives and argumentative moderates from their “safe spaces,” but in reality this does not satisfy them. They don’t want us to walk away, they want us to conform. They want us trapped within their echo chambers and going along to get along, or, they want us erased. Leftists see people as property of the collective, and if you and millions of others walk away this reflects badly on their ideology, which is unacceptable. This is why they are CONSTANTLY attacking or trying to take down conservative social media platforms. You would think they would be happy that GETTR exists, but they are miserable. Your freedom is their misery. Think about that for a moment; there are millions of leftists out there that cannot abide your existence if you are free to express your discontent with their narrative. When Joe Rogan contracted covid the leftists were jittery with excitement hoping he would die. When he beat the virus in less than three days without being vaccinated they cried out in horror. It’s as if they don’t realize that most unvaccinated people have had the virus and have easily survived it (I had covid for a week and then I was fine – I will NEVER get vaccinated). Maybe they are aware that the vaccines are mostly pointless. Maybe what really bothers them is that the unvaxxed are free and do not conform to the mandates or the fear mongering? Maybe they are more concerned about the act of defiance rather than any issues of legitimate “health safety”…? And this brings me to the relationship between the majority of government and the political left, which are working hand in hand to push forward covid controls and vax mandates. I’ve said this before and I’ll point it out again – There is no longer any debate about who the authoritarians really are. If you want to be free from overt government intrusion and tyranny you go to a conservative red state. If you want to be a slave to bureaucracy you go to a progressive blue state. Red states value individual freedom – Blue states do not. This is undeniable. Leftists are not the rebels they think they are; they are not the heroes – They are the villains. They are the empire. I believe the vax mandate agenda in particular appeals to their innate desire for control over others. This is evident in their crazed rhetoric over the vaccination issue. The LA Times just published an Op-Ed titled ‘Mocking Anti-Vaxxers’ Covid Deaths Is Ghoulish, Yes – But May Be Necessary’ (originally titled ‘Why Shouldn’t We Dance On The Graves Of Anti-Vaxxers?), and it’s this kind of bloodthirsty propaganda that truly reveals the extend of the political left’s broken psychology. They want you to die for going against the mandates. They seem to think that covid is their avenging angel, but this only shows that they are too dumb to understand basic science or too malicious to think rationally. The Biden Administration has been a key element in fear mongering over the covid pandemic, which has an average Infection Fatality Rate (IFR) of 0.26% to 0.27% according to dozens of peer reviewed studies, and now with the even less dangerous Omicron strain the death rate is plummeting further. The overwhelming majority of people have NOTHING to fear from covid, yet leftists readily rally around Biden and his medical tyranny. Furthermore, the bias (or ignorance) of the LA Times is made clear when we look at the actual data for Breakthrough Cases. Breakthrough cases are covid infections and deaths among fully vaccinated individuals. As a point of reference, in the state of Massachusetts alone there have been over 262,000 fully vaccinated people who still ended up infected with covid and 1054 deaths according to official numbers. That is an infection fatality rate of 0.4%, which is HIGHER than the national average IFR of 0.27%. The most vaccinated countries in the world are also suffering from the worst infection spikes in the world. In Ireland, for example, over 63% of recent covid deaths were fully vaccinated individuals. In Israel, nearly 60% of covid hospitalizations are fully vaccinated. Uruguay, Bahrain, Maldives and Chile all have overwhelming majority vaccination rates and all of them have seen spikes in covid deaths and and infections. According to the UK government’s own stats, people who are triple vaxxed are 4.5 times more likely to be infected with Omicron than people who are unvaxxed. The average vaccine is tested for 10-15 years before it is approved for use on human beings, yet covid vaccines were released within months with no long term testing to prove their safety. It makes perfect sense for people to be concerned. So, I would ask the hacks at the LA Times: Should we be dancing on your graves when you die from covid despite all those miraculous untested vaccines? Or maybe when you end up dead and on the VAERS list due to vaccine side effects? Autoimmune disorders can take 2-4 years to gestate and be identified by doctors; maybe in 2024 you’ll be wishing you had taken a wait-and-see approach to the untested vaccines like all the smart people are doing? This is called logic, reason and science. The above data is beyond the mental grasp of many leftists and even when they do get it they ignore it. They have no interest in protecting your health or the health of the public, that’s not what this is about. What they care about is control and nothing would bring them more joy than to see 100% conformity and slavery to their ideals. They live vicariously through tyranny. The pandemic paranoia, the lockdowns, the mandates, Big Tech, social media, cancel culture are all means to an end. Leftists pretend they are humanitarians that care about the greater good, but this is a facade. It’s just another excuse to justify a deep seated thirst to micromanage the lives of others. A classic tactic of narcissistic sociopaths is to victimize and terrorize people, then accuse them of being monsters when those people snap back and rebel.   They are projecting their tyranny on the rest of us and label us the bad guys.  It’s time to end the theater and call leftists what they really are – They are the dictators they claim they are trying to fight. *  *  * If you would like to support the work that Alt-Market does while also receiving content on advanced tactics for defeating the globalist agenda, subscribe to our exclusive newsletter The Wild Bunch Dispatch.  Learn more about it HERE. Tyler Durden Sat, 01/15/2022 - 23:30.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytJan 16th, 2022Related News

China"s True COVID-19 Death Toll 366 Times Higher Than Official Figure, Analyst Says

China's True COVID-19 Death Toll 366 Times Higher Than Official Figure, Analyst Says Authored by Eva Fu and David Zhang via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours), The Chinese regime has likely understated the COVID-19 death rate by as much as 17,000 percent in a systematic data suppression campaign to sustain its political image, according to a U.S. analyst. Staff members wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) spray disinfectant outside a shopping mall in Xi'an, China on Jan. 11, 2022. (STR/AFP via Getty Images) That would put the number of COVID-19 deaths in China at around 1.7 million rather than 4,636, the two-year cumulative death figure that the Chinese authorities have maintained on the books. That’s 366 times the official figure. Those findings made by George Calhoun, director of the quantitative finance program at Stevens Institute of Technology, were based on data as of January generated by a model developed by The Economist. A vast majority of China’s officially recorded deaths came from Wuhan during the first three months of the pandemic, with only hundreds more reported in the rest of the country. The Chinese regime only reported two additional deaths since April 1, 2020, ranking China as having the world’s lowest COVID-19 death rate, which Zhong Nanshan, the Chinese epidemiologist overseeing China’s outbreak response, boasted about just last week. But that jaw-dropping data point—hundreds of times lower than that of America, gave Calhoun pause. “That’s impossible. It’s medically impossible, it’s statistically impossible,” Calhoun told NTD, an affiliate of The Epoch Times. Passengers wearing masks arrive at Shanghai Pudong International Airport in Shanghai on March 19, 2020. (Hector Retamal/AFP via Getty Images) “Remember, in 2020, there was no vaccine, there was no treatment,” he said. “So you had an unprotected population that has shown zero COVID deaths, even though they’ve had tens of thousands of cases.” Curating public records and previous research reports, and analyzing the regime’s pattern of hushing up scandals in the past, Calhoun arrived at a conclusion that to him seems obvious: China has made its “zero-COVID” policy a political objective, and is systematically falsifying data to prop up the claim. “Somebody put a message out at the end of the first quarter and 2020 and said, ‘Okay, we want to see zero-COVID. That’s our policy.’ And it became zero-COVID,” he said. Anomalies The first “smoking gun” is a sudden drop of COVID-19 deaths since April 2020 from mainland China after a “raging” rate of infection, Calhoun said. From April 1, 2020, to Jan. 8, 2022, over 22,102 cases have been reported in mainland China, according to data from Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. Only two deaths were recorded over the same period. By comparison, Hong Kong, which counted about half as many COVID-19 infections over the period, reported 213 deaths. The case fatality rate (the proportion of those infected who died) in Wuhan during the first three months of the pandemic averaged around 7.7 percent, more than five times that of the United States and four times the world average. Case fatality rate in Wuhan in comparison with other parts of the world. (Courtesy of George Calhoun) Two scenarios are possible: either the virus was “far more deadly in early 2020 in Wuhan than anywhere else, at any other time,” or alternatively, the official infection numbers from China were too small by a factor of three or four, Calhoun said. Over the following 20 months, there has been a consistent lack of COVID-19 data from China. As of September, China has become the world’s only country that has not provided complete data on excess mortality—unexplained deaths beyond normal trends that can offer a crude estimate of uncounted COVID deaths, a survey from the University of Washington shows. The Economist model seeks to make up for that data gap. Based on the model, Calhoun said China’s excess mortality was off by about 17,000 percent. This discrepancy, he added, surpasses those even by countries mired in large-scale civil unrest, such as Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Venezuela, which has undercounted the COVID-19 mortality rate by up to 1,100 percent. Excess mortality for China and several other countries. (Courtesy of George Calhoun) Undercounting virus deaths is widespread across countries. Based on The Economist’s model, the United States’ official tally is short by about 30 percent. But China’s case is extreme. “They are through the roof,” Calhoun said of the discrepancy between China’s official figures and the estimated true death toll. “Something’s driving that,” Calhoun said. While the virus might not be all to blame for the jump, tight-lipped Chinese authorities have offered few clues as to what might have happened otherwise. Calhoun’s estimate coincides with anecdotal evidence from local residents, troves of internal documents leaked to The Epoch Times, and research studies into the impact of the virus in China, all of which indicate that the official figures have been grossly understated. During the early months when the pandemic first broke out in China’s Wuhan, some of the city’s funeral home workers told The Epoch Times they were working nonstop to cremate bodies. In March, thousands of ash urns were delivered to one of the crematoriums, when the official death number was over 2,000. The authorities raised the fatality figure by 50 percent a month later, attributing the gap to administrative inefficiencies. Medical staff wear protective clothing to protect against a CCP virus patient at the Wuhan Red Cross Hospital in Wuhan, China, on Jan. 25, 2020. (Hector Retamal/AFP via Getty Images) A study published in The Lancet last March said as many as 968,800 people in Wuhan had antibodies by April 2020, which would mean they developed immunity to the virus after being infected. The data inconsistencies are not limited to Wuhan alone. During a two-week period in February 2020, an internal document from Shandong health authorities showed that close to 2,000 people had tested positive for the virus, but only 755 infections were publicly recorded. Leaked documents suggest that the regime has continued to deem virus control as a political task. In files recently obtained by The Epoch Times, a top Chinese official of Shaanxi Province, where the virus-hit Xi’an is the capital, ordered the “toughest measures” to be put in place to block the virus’ further spread from Xi’an. With the Beijing Winter Olympics coming up, a spillover would create “systemic risk” and “smear the national image,” the document read. Tyler Durden Sat, 01/15/2022 - 21:30.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytJan 15th, 2022Related News

Tacoma"s Stellar Industrial expands again with purchase of Nevada company

The acquisition, the eighth for Stellar Industrial Supply in the last 15 years, is necessary to compete in the big but fragmented market for industrial supplies, says the company's CEO......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsJan 15th, 2022Related News

A Former SAC PM"s Advice To Traders: "Sit Tight, Be Right"

A Former SAC PM's Advice To Traders: "Sit Tight, Be Right" By Nicholas Colas, co-founder of DataTrek Research Today’s story is about patience. Whether you are trading or investing, 2022 will require more calm thoughtfulness than any year in recent memory. History shows that as crises fade into the rearview mirror, market volatility (and the opportunities it brings) declines. Also, there is a real tug of war now between fundamentals and Fed policy. Lastly, the best places to make money in stocks (cyclicals, in our view) are volatile and rarely well-structured industries or companies. Bottom line: 2022 is a “measure twice, cut one” sort of year. * * * Strange as it may sound, I learned most of what I know today on this topic while working for Steve Cohen at the old SAC Capital. Yes, it was a (very) fast money trading shop. And yes, Steve’s trading process demanded absolute adherence to a specific set of rules and mindset. Price action, not opinion or emotion, defined right and wrong. But SAC is also where I learned the old trader’s saying, “Sit tight, be right”. If your process is sound, from idea generation to risk management and exit discipline, then patience determines profitability. Simply put, big trades often take time to work. Everyone at SAC had their own approach to cultivating patience, which in the context of the firm’s trading bent often meant simply distracting themselves rather than staring at their daily P&L. Steve might invite his family to lunch and actually take an hour off the desk with them if he was worried about being shaken out of a large position intraday. Other traders occupied their time by planning where to go for lunch or dinner (traders think about food a lot). As for me, I would spend hours on a forward calendar of catalysts that might offer new trading ideas (analysts think about data a lot). Many years after leaving SAC, a hedge fund performance analytics firm showed me some research that put the importance of patience into even starker relief. Hedge funds, as a whole, are good at finding winning ideas. Their performance would often be better, however, if they held those ideas longer. Academic work on institutional investor (long only and hedge funds) behavior shows that the problem is structural. So much of money management marketing is pitching new ideas to gather assets that “old ideas” (those currently in the portfolio) get crowded out too early in order to take stakes in new names. I bring all this up because 2022 feels very much like a year where patience will be the defining factor when it comes to outperformance. Whether you are bullish or bearish on a market, sector, investment theme or individual idea, it will take longer to get paid for your point of view than the last several years. Three reasons I think that’s true: 1: US equity market volatility historically declines in the years after a shock. The chart below shows the CBOE VIX Index back to 1990. As highlighted, there have been 4 notable VIX spikes since then. In each case volatility declined for several (3-9) years thereafter. In March 2022 we will be 2 full years into the post-pandemic market recovery. Volatility has already been declining. The VIX today is only 20, for example, even with the selloff and January’s choppy action. 2: There are times when fundamentals (i.e., corporate earnings) matter and then there are times when changes in macro conditions matter more. At the bottom in March 2020, macro mattered; fiscal and monetary policy supported the US economy during the Pandemic Crisis. From Q2 2020 to Q4 2021, US corporate earnings took over the market narrative. The S&P 500 earned 23 percent more in 2021 than it had pre-pandemic. Wall Street analysts were slow to acknowledge that fact, which allowed for a long series of earnings beats. We are now entering a period where the Federal Reserve will engage in a never-before-seen experiment: raising interest rates off zero and reducing the size of its balance sheet in the same year. All this sets up 2022 as a tug of war between the relative certainty of strong corporate earnings and the absolute unknown effect of novel Fed policy. As we outlined earlier this week, the setup here reminds us a lot of 1994. Back then, the Fed embarked on a surprise series of aggressive rate hikes and investors simply had no idea what that would do to the US economy. Now, Fed communication may be better - they have telegraphed liftoff and runoff quite clearly – but the market is still left wondering what results will come from their decisions. 3: The sectors that have been working – and we still like – are not what one would call easy stories to love. Large cap Financials (+6 pct YTD) are cheap but face structural challenges from venture capital funded FinTech disruptors. Large cap Energy (+14 pct YTD) is an ESG nightmare, and you have to believe (as we do) that traditional carbon-based energy has several years of new demand highs ahead of it. Airlines (+7 pct YTD), which Jessica just highlighted earlier this week, are no one’s idea of a stable or well-structured industry. As much as we like cyclical sectors, we know there will be sudden and violent rotations out of them through 2022. They have a tailwind but owning them in 2022 is not the same as holding Big Tech in 2020 – 2021. If nothing else, their competitive positions are not as strong. In trading parlance, you are “renting” these names rather than buying a forever home for capital. Summing up: 2022 is set to bring us lower average US equity volatility, a see-saw dynamic between fundamentals and Fed policy, and rotation into cyclical (and often volatile) sectors with little to offer besides earnings leverage. It will be a year for patience and, just importantly, discipline. Sit tight, be right. Tyler Durden Sat, 01/15/2022 - 17:30.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytJan 15th, 2022Related News

Norway Rakes In Highest-Ever Oil Revenues As Prices Surge

Norway Rakes In Highest-Ever Oil Revenues As Prices Surge Authored by Tsvetana Paraskova via OilPrice.com, Norway’s petroleum revenues reached a record-high in 2021 Stable high production from Norway’s continental shelf is expected to continue over the next few years In the fourth quarter of 2021, the export value of Norway’s oil and gas exceeded $11.5 billion in each of the months, three times the export value in the same period of 2020 Norway’s petroleum revenues reached a record-high in 2021, thanks to rising commodity prices, growing global demand, and high production from 94 offshore fields, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) said on Thursday. Stable high production from Norway’s continental shelf is expected to continue over the next few years, the authority said in its Shelf 2021 overview presented today. In the fourth quarter of 2021, the export value of Norway’s oil and gas exceeded $11.5 billion (100 billion Norwegian crowns) in each of the months, three times the export value in the same period of 2020, according to the directorate’s presentation. Last year, 20 discoveries were made on the shelf, five fields came on stream, and operators submitted eight development plans to the authorities. This year, dozens of development plans are expected to be submitted, the directorate said. Norway’s oil and gas production was slightly higher in 2021 compared to 2020, and averaged 4 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd), it added. “Many new discoveries, as well as several new field developments in upcoming years together mean that production is expected to increase somewhat leading up to 2024,” says NPD Director general Ingrid Sølvberg. Growth in discovered resources last year was the highest since 2014, the directorate noted. Going forward, Norway will continue to develop its oil and gas industry under the new minority government led by Labour Party leader Jonas Gahr Stoere. Norway will continue to grant permits for oil and gas exploration on the Norwegian shelf and will keep the current system of oil auctions, the government says.   “We are pleased that the new government will continue the main oil and gas policies of the previous government,” Anniken Hauglie, Director General of the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association, said in October, commenting on the new government’s platform. Access to acreage and more permits is the single most important instrument the government has to ensure not only revenues from the oil and gas industry, but also to fund the energy transition, Hauglie said.  Tyler Durden Sat, 01/15/2022 - 08:10.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytJan 15th, 2022Related News

The Great Omicron Sickout: Millions Of Unwell Americans Causing "Hellacious" Worker Shortages

The Great Omicron Sickout: Millions Of Unwell Americans Causing "Hellacious" Worker Shortages Record spikes in Covid-19 Omicron cases across the country are causing a nationwide worker "sickout," as businesses from airlines to grocery stores are suffering from disruptions, even though the new variant is markedly far less severe - yet far more transmissible - than prior strains. According to Delta Airlines CEO Ed Bastian, the past few weeks have been "hellacious," adding that around 10% of his workforce, or 8,000 of his employees, have contracted the virus in the past month. The shortages contributed to over 2,200 canceled Delta flights since December 24. Although a precise count of the number of employees who are out sick or quarantining is hard to come by, about 5 million Americans could be isolating due to COVID-19 at the peak of Omicron, according to Andrew Hunter, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics. That could reflect about 2% of the nation's workforce forced to stay home due to illness, he added. Some employers report taking a harder hit. Stew Leonard Jr., chief executive of supermarket chain Stew Leonard's, said about 8% of his staff was out sick or quarantining last week. That affects what shoppers find on store shelves. -CBS News "That's the highest we've ever had," said Leonard Jr. "What we are doing is the same as every other business — you have to limit your product line." "Like I talked with my bakery director, and she said, 'I make a great crumb cake, and I also make a great apple crumb cake, but when I'm short on people I'm not able to make the apple crumb cake.' You'll get crumb cake, just not the apple crumb cake." As we noted earlier this month, Omicron poses a major risk to Fed confidence about reaching maximum employment relatively soon. It's even more obvious now that the CDC's revised December quarantine guidance from 10 days to 5 days (as long as symptoms aren't getting worse) was likely to grapple with Omicron's impending wave of sick-outs. TD's Priya Misra predicted the pain - writing that the near certainty of the first rate hike in March is "very aggressive," adding that "the spike in infections should have a modest negative impact on the economy, and signs of slowing Q1 growth could be enough for the market to push out the start of the hiking cycle. This should help pull 2y yields lower in the near-term." And as BofA chief economis Ethan Harris pointed out, "the challenge with Omicron is the dramatically higher case load, adding that a quick back of the envelope calculation illustrates the kind of labor shortages this could trigger. Suppose that every infected person on average causes themselves and two other people to quarantine for five days. That means at the peak of omicron wave 30mn (= 2mn * 3 * 5) could be quarantined per day. Of course, many of these people either don’t work or can work from home. Roughly half of the population work and among them, according to a Gallup poll, about 30% always work in person. This suggests that 4.2 million (= 30 mil * 0.5 * 0.3) in-person workers per day will be absent due to quarantining. This number could be too high or too low, but a multi-million number seems very likely. As we wrote at the time: "These calculations underscore not only that the US labor market problem is about to get much, much worse, but that the well-advertised worker shortages in the airline industry are not an isolated problem. Generally speaking these absences will not show up in official estimates of labor supply—if you are home sick, you are still employed. Nonetheless, they add (temporarily) to the record 11 million job openings." At present, Covid cases are averaging nearly 1 million per day nationally based on a seven-day moving average reported by CBS News - the highest number since the pandemic began. The number is undoubtedly higher, of course, as milder Omicron symptoms combined with a shortage of testing means that cases are potentially vastly understated. That said, deaths have continued to remain remarkably low. Last week, one CEO of a consumer packaged goods company said that they were cutting production lines by 20% to adjust to the high numbers of absent workers, according to Consumer Brands Association spokeswoman, Andrea Woods, citing an off-the-record call. About 75% of consumer packaged goods companies in a recent survey said they had experienced an increase in absenteeism due to positive COVID-19 tests or exposure to someone with the virus, Woods added. -CBS News "We are still dealing with a massive driver shortage — 80,000 and counting — with one truck available for every 16 loads. Omicron only intensifies that problem," said Woods. "Absenteeism in warehouses is resulting in late shipments, and retailers don't have the employee base to restock shelves." That said, Omicron worker shortages may be over as quickly as they began... Jan. 13. Lower again pic.twitter.com/HngIA1SUfT — tae kim (@firstadopter) January 15, 2022 Tyler Durden Sat, 01/15/2022 - 12:00.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytJan 15th, 2022Related News

: The average amount of time you have to escape a deadly fire has plummeted in recent years — here’s why

Multiple devastating apartment fires in recent weeks have renewed calls for improved fire safety across the country......»»

Category: topSource: marketwatchJan 15th, 2022Related News

Why "Smart Guns" Won"t Shake Up The Gun Market

Why "Smart Guns" Won't Shake Up The Gun Market Submitted by Bearing Arms.  Smart guns, or firearms that can identify the correct user, sound an awful lot like the solution to a lot of problems. It's something anti-gun forces have wanted to see a long time and, frankly, it seems like something a lot of pro-gun people should be all about, too. However, we're not. Don't get me wrong, most of us like the idea of guns that really can't be used if they're stolen. The issue is…well, there are a ton of issues, really. Yet over at Reuters, they think smart guns are about to shake up the market. Personalized smart guns, which can be fired only by verified users, may finally become available to U.S. consumers after two decades of questions about reliability and concerns they will usher in a new wave of government regulation. Four-year-old LodeStar Works on Friday unveiled its 9mm smart handgun for shareholders and investors in Boise, Idaho. And a Kansas company, SmartGunz LLC, says law enforcement agents are beta testing its product, a similar but simpler model. Both companies hope to have a product commercially available this year. LodeStar co-founder Gareth Glaser said he was inspired after hearing one too many stories about children shot while playing with an unattended gun. Smart guns could stop such tragedies by using technology to authenticate a user's identity and disable the gun should anyone else try to fire it. They could also reduce suicides, render lost or stolen guns useless, and offer safety for police officers and jail guards who fear gun grabs. Sure, they could possibly do all that. They could also refuse to recognize a user, get hacked, or simply fail to operate when you need it. I get that the companies say they've addressed that problem, and they may well have. LodeStar claims that it provided a PIN pad as a backup in case the fingerprint reader doesn't work, for example. How you're supposed to key in a PIN in a high-stress situation is beyond me, but that's supposed to make us all feel better about these guns. However, there's something else to be considered here, something you'd expect Reuters to understand. That's how a market works. See, smart guns are a product without any real market. Your average gun buyer has little to no interest in a smart gun. Especially since it's unlikely to be available at a similar cost to something like a Glock or Smith & Wesson M&P. After all, why spend more for a gun with absolutely no track record? Our standard firearms are esWsentially using century-old technology that has more than proven itself. "But law enforcement is testing them out. Surely they'll provide a track record, right?" I don't think so. After all, I'm skeptical of those claims. Look at what SmartGunz said about that, as well as the price: SmartGunz would not say which law enforcement agencies are testing its weapons, which are secured by radio frequency identification. SmartGunz developed a model selling at $1,795 for law enforcement and $2,195 for civilians, said Tom Holland, a Kansas Democratic state senator who co-founded the company in 2020. So, we don't know which departments are testing this so we can't even ask the cops how it works for them, and we get to pay more than three times what a regular firearm costs? Sign me the hell up. Honestly, I like technology. I'm not an early adopter, though, because I've seen too much technology show up with a bang and then fizzle into nothing. I waited to get a VCR until we knew whether to go VHS or Beta. I didn't go with DVD until I knew it would be around a while. I waited to go with BluRay until HDDVD was a thing of the past. But I do love seeing new technology take hold. One of these days, we probably will have smart guns on our shelves. However, these manufacturers are deluding themselves if they think we're going to trip over ourselves to buy guns that we can't trust for three or four times the cost. Tyler Durden Fri, 01/14/2022 - 22:20.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJan 14th, 2022Related News

CF Industries (CF) Outpaces Stock Market Gains: What You Should Know

In the latest trading session, CF Industries (CF) closed at $66.44, marking a +1.31% move from the previous day. In the latest trading session, CF Industries (CF) closed at $66.44, marking a +1.31% move from the previous day. This change outpaced the S&P 500's 0.08% gain on the day. At the same time, the Dow lost 0.56%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 0.42%.Coming into today, shares of the fertilizer maker had gained 1.97% in the past month. In that same time, the Basic Materials sector gained 7.48%, while the S&P 500 gained 0.22%.Investors will be hoping for strength from CF Industries as it approaches its next earnings release. On that day, CF Industries is projected to report earnings of $3.05 per share, which would represent year-over-year growth of 662.5%. Meanwhile, our latest consensus estimate is calling for revenue of $2.38 billion, up 115.58% from the prior-year quarter.Any recent changes to analyst estimates for CF Industries should also be noted by investors. These revisions help to show the ever-changing nature of near-term business trends. With this in mind, we can consider positive estimate revisions a sign of optimism about the company's business outlook.Based on our research, we believe these estimate revisions are directly related to near-team stock moves. We developed the Zacks Rank to capitalize on this phenomenon. Our system takes these estimate changes into account and delivers a clear, actionable rating model.The Zacks Rank system, which ranges from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell), has an impressive outside-audited track record of outperformance, with #1 stocks generating an average annual return of +25% since 1988. Within the past 30 days, our consensus EPS projection has moved 5.4% higher. CF Industries is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #1 (Strong Buy).Valuation is also important, so investors should note that CF Industries has a Forward P/E ratio of 5.29 right now. Its industry sports an average Forward P/E of 7.79, so we one might conclude that CF Industries is trading at a discount comparatively.Investors should also note that CF has a PEG ratio of 0.88 right now. This metric is used similarly to the famous P/E ratio, but the PEG ratio also takes into account the stock's expected earnings growth rate. CF's industry had an average PEG ratio of 0.79 as of yesterday's close.The Fertilizers industry is part of the Basic Materials sector. This industry currently has a Zacks Industry Rank of 5, which puts it in the top 2% of all 250+ industries.The Zacks Industry Rank gauges the strength of our industry groups by measuring the average Zacks Rank of the individual stocks within the groups. Our research shows that the top 50% rated industries outperform the bottom half by a factor of 2 to 1.To follow CF in the coming trading sessions, be sure to utilize Zacks.com. Infrastructure Stock Boom to Sweep America A massive push to rebuild the crumbling U.S. infrastructure will soon be underway. It’s bipartisan, urgent, and inevitable. Trillions will be spent. Fortunes will be made. The only question is “Will you get into the right stocks early when their growth potential is greatest?” Zacks has released a Special Report to help you do just that, and today it’s free. Discover 5 special companies that look to gain the most from construction and repair to roads, bridges, and buildings, plus cargo hauling and energy transformation on an almost unimaginable scale.Download FREE: How to Profit from Trillions on Spending for Infrastructure >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report CF Industries Holdings, Inc. (CF): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 14th, 2022Related News

Upstart Holdings, Inc. (UPST) Outpaces Stock Market Gains: What You Should Know

Upstart Holdings, Inc. (UPST) closed the most recent trading day at $111.11, moving +1.7% from the previous trading session. In the latest trading session, Upstart Holdings, Inc. (UPST) closed at $111.11, marking a +1.7% move from the previous day. This change outpaced the S&P 500's 0.08% gain on the day. At the same time, the Dow lost 0.56%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 0.42%.Prior to today's trading, shares of the company had lost 22.32% over the past month. This has lagged the Computer and Technology sector's loss of 5.11% and the S&P 500's gain of 0.22% in that time.Upstart Holdings, Inc. will be looking to display strength as it nears its next earnings release, which is expected to be February 15, 2022. On that day, Upstart Holdings, Inc. is projected to report earnings of $0.49 per share, which would represent year-over-year growth of 600%. Meanwhile, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenue is projecting net sales of $261.41 million, up 201.47% from the year-ago period.Investors should also note any recent changes to analyst estimates for Upstart Holdings, Inc.Recent revisions tend to reflect the latest near-term business trends. As such, positive estimate revisions reflect analyst optimism about the company's business and profitability.Our research shows that these estimate changes are directly correlated with near-term stock prices. To benefit from this, we have developed the Zacks Rank, a proprietary model which takes these estimate changes into account and provides an actionable rating system.Ranging from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell), the Zacks Rank system has a proven, outside-audited track record of outperformance, with #1 stocks returning an average of +25% annually since 1988. Over the past month, the Zacks Consensus EPS estimate has moved 18.52% lower. Upstart Holdings, Inc. currently has a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold).In terms of valuation, Upstart Holdings, Inc. is currently trading at a Forward P/E ratio of 53.36. This valuation marks a premium compared to its industry's average Forward P/E of 30.26.The Computers - IT Services industry is part of the Computer and Technology sector. This group has a Zacks Industry Rank of 106, putting it in the top 42% of all 250+ industries.The Zacks Industry Rank gauges the strength of our individual industry groups by measuring the average Zacks Rank of the individual stocks within the groups. Our research shows that the top 50% rated industries outperform the bottom half by a factor of 2 to 1.Be sure to follow all of these stock-moving metrics, and many more, on Zacks.com. Infrastructure Stock Boom to Sweep America A massive push to rebuild the crumbling U.S. infrastructure will soon be underway. It’s bipartisan, urgent, and inevitable. Trillions will be spent. Fortunes will be made. The only question is “Will you get into the right stocks early when their growth potential is greatest?” Zacks has released a Special Report to help you do just that, and today it’s free. Discover 5 special companies that look to gain the most from construction and repair to roads, bridges, and buildings, plus cargo hauling and energy transformation on an almost unimaginable scale.Download FREE: How to Profit from Trillions on Spending for Infrastructure >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Upstart Holdings, Inc. (UPST): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 14th, 2022Related News

Ford Motor Company (F) Outpaces Stock Market Gains: What You Should Know

Ford Motor Company (F) closed the most recent trading day at $25.19, moving +0.68% from the previous trading session. Ford Motor Company (F) closed the most recent trading day at $25.19, moving +0.68% from the previous trading session. The stock outpaced the S&P 500's daily gain of 0.08%. At the same time, the Dow lost 0.56%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 0.42%.Heading into today, shares of the company had gained 22.95% over the past month, outpacing the Auto-Tires-Trucks sector's gain of 5.78% and the S&P 500's gain of 0.22% in that time.Ford Motor Company will be looking to display strength as it nears its next earnings release. In that report, analysts expect Ford Motor Company to post earnings of $0.37 per share. This would mark year-over-year growth of 8.82%. Meanwhile, our latest consensus estimate is calling for revenue of $36.37 billion, up 9.56% from the prior-year quarter.Investors might also notice recent changes to analyst estimates for Ford Motor Company. These revisions typically reflect the latest short-term business trends, which can change frequently. With this in mind, we can consider positive estimate revisions a sign of optimism about the company's business outlook.Our research shows that these estimate changes are directly correlated with near-term stock prices. To benefit from this, we have developed the Zacks Rank, a proprietary model which takes these estimate changes into account and provides an actionable rating system.Ranging from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell), the Zacks Rank system has a proven, outside-audited track record of outperformance, with #1 stocks returning an average of +25% annually since 1988. The Zacks Consensus EPS estimate has moved 0.87% higher within the past month. Ford Motor Company is currently a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).In terms of valuation, Ford Motor Company is currently trading at a Forward P/E ratio of 12.98. This valuation marks a discount compared to its industry's average Forward P/E of 13.54.Meanwhile, F's PEG ratio is currently 0.52. This metric is used similarly to the famous P/E ratio, but the PEG ratio also takes into account the stock's expected earnings growth rate. F's industry had an average PEG ratio of 1.06 as of yesterday's close.The Automotive - Domestic industry is part of the Auto-Tires-Trucks sector. This group has a Zacks Industry Rank of 96, putting it in the top 38% of all 250+ industries.The Zacks Industry Rank includes is listed in order from best to worst in terms of the average Zacks Rank of the individual companies within each of these sectors. Our research shows that the top 50% rated industries outperform the bottom half by a factor of 2 to 1.Be sure to follow all of these stock-moving metrics, and many more, on Zacks.com. Infrastructure Stock Boom to Sweep America A massive push to rebuild the crumbling U.S. infrastructure will soon be underway. It’s bipartisan, urgent, and inevitable. Trillions will be spent. Fortunes will be made. The only question is “Will you get into the right stocks early when their growth potential is greatest?” Zacks has released a Special Report to help you do just that, and today it’s free. Discover 5 special companies that look to gain the most from construction and repair to roads, bridges, and buildings, plus cargo hauling and energy transformation on an almost unimaginable scale.Download FREE: How to Profit from Trillions on Spending for Infrastructure >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Ford Motor Company (F): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 14th, 2022Related News