Sep 192022
 


Pablo Picasso Horses and person 1939

 

Germans Could Be ‘Left Without A Country’ Soon – Trump (RT)
Sympathy For Germany (Varoufakis)
Rand Corp. “Executive Summary: Weakening Germany, Strengthening the U.S.” (RP)
Hungary PM Orban Warns Ukraine Could Lose Up To Half Of Its Territory (RT)
Hungary Can No Longer Be Considered A Full Democracy – EU Lawmakers (RMX)
EU To Deprive Hungary Of Billions In Funds (RT)
EU Launch Propaganda Board Game About Commission Tsar Ursula von der Leyen (BB)
EU Ports Signal Readiness To Let Russian Fertilizers Through – UN (RT)
Updated List of US-Based Food Manufacturing Plants Destroyed Under Biden (GP)
Covid Injections Are Dangerous, What You Can Do If You’ve Had One or Two (TE)
The Power Of Collective Grief, From the Queen to George Floyd to Covid (G.)
Biden: ‘The Pandemic Is Over’ (CNN)
850 More Unvaxxed NYC Teachers, Aides Fired Over Mandate (NYP)
US Marine Corps Quietly Changes COVID-19 Vaccine Policy (ET)
Study Takes Wrecking Ball to Myths About Apocalyptic ‘Climate Change’ (BN)
Secret Documents Have Exposed the CIA’s Julian Assange Obsession (Jacobin)

 

 

 

 

Biden Taiwan

 

 

 

 

Biden inflation

 

 

 

 

Biden pandemic is over

 

 

McCullough

 

 

 

 

“If you are getting 72% of your energy from Russia, here’s the white flag, because you will be surrendering very quickly..”

Germans Could Be ‘Left Without A Country’ Soon – Trump (RT)

Germany could soon cease to exist as a country amid the escalating energy crisis, former US president Donald Trump has suggested. During a rally in Youngstown, Ohio on Saturday, Trump tore into his successor in the White House, taking aim at Biden’s energy policy and the so-called Green New Deal in particular. The Republican firebrand claimed that, although under his rule the US had become independent in terms of energy and on track to become “totally dominant in energy, bigger than Saudi Arabia and Russia combined,” Joe Biden has since reduced the US to “begging for energy.” Trump then went on to cite Germany’s sorry state of affairs in this area.

According to the ex-president, he warned then-Chancellor Angela Merkel that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which was supposed to pump Russian gas to Germany, would make Berlin even more dependent on Russian energy exports. Trump said he had sent the “white flag of surrender” to Angela Merkel when she refused to ditch the project. “If you are getting 72% of your energy from Russia, here’s the white flag, because you will be surrendering very quickly,” the former US head of state recounted his own warning to Merkel. He proceeded to cite the “bad things” which have happened between Berlin and Moscow in the past as proof that Germany should not have relied so heavily on Russia. The former US president concluded by saying that “Germany now is going back to the old-fashioned stuff, including coal,” despite its previous pledges to go green.

“But they have no choice, they won’t have a country, they won’t have a country left,” Trump warned cryptically, before returning to the topic of domestic politics again. Gas prices in Europe soared dramatically soon after Russia launched its military offensive against Ukraine in late February, and have remained consistently higher than last year’s ever since. With both the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines now inoperative, either due to Berlin’s own or to Moscow’s decision, the German government has put in place emergency measures to stock up on gas. Multiple senior officials in Germany have warned that the coming winter is likely to be tough.

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Yanis claims that Germany should have invested more in “clean energy”. First, there’s no such thing. And second, Germany invested more in what that is supposed to be than anyone else. And look where it is today.

Sympathy For Germany (Varoufakis)

Today, it is the Germans who are facing a wall of condescension, antipathy, and even mockery. Ironic as it may seem, no Europeans are better placed than the Greeks to understand that the Germans deserve better; that their current predicament is the result of our collective, European failure; and that no one – least of all the long-suffering Greeks, southern Italians, Spaniards, and Portuguese (the PIGS as we were once called) – benefits from schadenfreude. The tables have been turned on Germany because its economic model relied on repressed wages, cheap Russian gas, and excellence in mid-tech mechanical engineering – particularly manufacturing cars with internal combustion engines.

This resulted in massive trade surpluses during four distinct post-World War II phases: under the US-led Bretton Woods system, which provided fixed exchange rates and market access to Europe, Asia, and the Americas; then, after the collapse of Bretton Woods, when the single European market proved highly lucrative for German exports; again following the introduction of the euro, when vendor financing opened the floodgates for both goods and capital flowing from Germany to Europe’s periphery; and, finally, when China’s hunger for intermediate and final manufacturing products took up the slack after the euro crisis dampened demand for German goods in southern Europe.

Germans are now slowly coming to terms with the demise of their economic model and are beginning to see through the multifaceted Big Lie their elites were repeating for three decades: Fiscal surpluses were not prudence in action, but rather a monumental failure, during the long years of ultra-low interest rates, to invest in clean energy, critical infrastructure, and the two crucial technologies of the future: batteries and artificial intelligence. Germany’s dependence on Russian gas and Chinese demand was never sustainable in the long term; and they are not mere bugs that can be ironed out. The claim that the German model was compatible with Europe’s monetary union is also being exposed as false. Lacking a fiscal and a political union, the EU was always going to saddle Club Med governments, banks, and corporations with unpayable debts, which eventually would force the European Central Bank to choose between letting the euro die and embarking upon a permanent bankruptcy-concealment project.

The myth of “green growth”

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“The impeachment of the President cannot be ruled out under these circumstances, which must be avoided at all costs.”

Rand Corp. “Executive Summary: Weakening Germany, Strengthening the U.S.” (RP)

In a recently revealed research report written by RAND, dated Jan. 25, 2022 and labeled CONFIDENTIAL, John Mark Dougan has released what may be one of most important motivations the United States may have in encouraging the conflict in Ukraine: maintaining power. The 6 page report published prior to any conflict beginning, but after the State Department’s ominous warning of “Russian sponsored false flag attacks”, appears to be a photocopy of an official RAND research product, meant for the White House and National Security community here in America. The distribution channels listed on the cover page include: WHCS, ANSA, Dept. of State, CIA, NSA & DNC.

That’s right, the Democratic National Committee is copied on a research report that’s been directed at the national security community and perhaps members of the Biden White House. WHCS and ANSA are mysteries to me, but I thought perhaps they led to the Chief of Staff and National Security Advisor. If anyone has any ideas, please let me know in the comments. The second page includes the standard copyright attributions and language about the mission of Rand. On the third page is where we get to the good stuff! It’s unknown if the report extends beyond the 4 pages included in the Executive Summary, but the headings and text included in those 4 pages are damning. It appears that RAND has predicted that the United States economy is on the brink of collapse.

Rising debt and uncontrolled printing of cash as a result of the economic downturn brought on by the plandemic, has brought the United States to a precarious position. They predict the continued deterioration of the economy will likely lead to the defeat of the Democrat party in both Congress and the Senate, opening the door to an impeachment of Joe Biden in the next session of Congress. “The impeachment of the President cannot be ruled out under these circumstances, which must be avoided at all costs.” This passage alone demonstrates the partisan work being done by RAND and the coordinated tactics in use between the Democrat party and the National Security State, THE DEEP STATE. But what’s most shocking is the lengths they suggest going to in order to maintain control of the nation by both groups in order to protect Joe Biden and whoever is pulling his strings from behind the scenes.

The Executive Summary begins with the title: “Weakening Germany, strengthening the US”, with the ultimate goal being the infusion of cash into the banking system by European and NATO aligned nations. Hopefully being able to avoid significant military and political cost in the process. As RAND sees it, the greatest obstacle to achieving this goal is the ever growing independence of Germany. That problem seems to have been addressed with the war in Ukraine and the sanction on Russia, resulting in the killing of the Nordstream pipeline and the cutoff of natural gas from Russia into Germany. That alone will undoubtedly lead to Germany requiring assistance from other European nations if they hope to save their citizens when the heat turns off. Control of Germany and their governmental decision making process seems to be of chief concern to RAND, which predicts that the destabilization of the US would lead to a quickening of the independence of Germany and the inevitable end of US influence. Once that happens, RAND believes that France and Germany will align, along with other old European nations, creating an economic and political competitor to the United States. As long as these things can be staved off, the global dominance of America can be assured.

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Germany no country, Ukraine half a country. Good times for mapmakers ahead.

Hungary PM Orban Warns Ukraine Could Lose Up To Half Of Its Territory (RT)

The Ukraine conflict could last until 2030 and the West is to blame for making it global rather than local in nature, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has said, according to Radio Free Europe (RFE/RL). Orban was reportedly speaking at a closed-door event involving his ruling Fidesz party a week ago, with the details of his speech now being leaked to the media. The Hungarian leader allegedly told his supporters in the village of Kotcse on September 10 that he believed Ukraine may end up losing between one third and one half of its territory due to the conflict with Russia, RFE/RL reported on Friday, citing participants of the meeting. The fighting between Moscow and Kiev – which is being helped by the US, EU and some other countries – could continue all the way until 2030, Orban reportedly warned.

The crisis in Ukraine started as a local conflict but the involvement of the West has turned it into a global affair, the prime minister said. According to the report, Orban again lashed out at EU sanctions imposed on Russia over its military operation in Ukraine, saying the bloc had shot itself in the foot with those curbs. The energy crisis, which occurred as a result of those restrictions, could force 40% of European industry to shut down this winter, he reportedly added. In his speech, the Hungarian leader also allegedly revealed that European leaders are expected to decide on prolonging the sanctions for another six months later in autumn, insisting that an attempt should be made to prevent that extension.

The way things are going now, the eurozone and the EU itself could cease to exist by 2030, Orban was quoted as saying. Hungary has remained relatively neutral since the outbreak of fighting in Ukraine in late February. It has refused to send arms to Kiev and consistently criticized EU sanctions on Moscow. Budapest, which is heavily dependent on Russian energy, was also able to negotiate an exemption for itself from the bloc-wide ban on Russian oil. Earlier this month, Mikulas Bek, the European affairs minister of the Czech Republic, which now presides over the EU Council, warned that Hungary’s stance on Russia could theoretically end up with it exiting the bloc.

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Orban got elected with “a landslide election victory with a two-thirds majority in April of this year”. That is far more than all the people who say it’s not a democracy.

Hungary Can No Longer Be Considered A Full Democracy – EU Lawmakers (RMX)

Hungary can no longer be considered a fully-functioning democracy and should be regarded as a “hybrid regime of electoral autocracy,” a report adopted by the European Parliament on Thursday stated. European lawmakers adopted a non-binding but significant resolution on Thursday by 433 votes to 123, which criticized democratic principles in Hungary. This resolution comes despite Hungary’s government securing a landslide election victory with a two-thirds majority in April of this year, representing one of the strongest democratic mandates in all of Europe. The election was also certified as free and fair by a range of independent election observers.

Nevertheless, in a press release following the vote, the European Parliament condemned the “deliberate and systematic efforts of the Hungarian government” to undermine European values and demands. Furthermore, it claimed the situation in Hungary has deteriorated to such an extent that it can only now be considered an “electoral autocracy.” It blames what it regards as a democratic “backslide” on both Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz administration, and the European Commission which it claims has exacerbated the situation through its omission to intervene. MEPs further called for EU recovery funds to continue being withheld from the Hungarian treasury “until the country complies with EU recommendations and court rulings.”

The continuous criticism of Hungary has been ongoing since 2018 when MEPs first triggered the Article 7 procedure, what some consider to be a nuclear option which can ultimately deprive a member state of its voting rights. The only other country to be subject to the Article 7 procedure is Poland, which also conveniently continues to elect a conservative national government, much to the dismay of federalist, pro-globalism officials in Brussels, many who occupy their positions with no democratic mandate.

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Because Orban is right-wing, and independent, and won’t join the anti-Russia craze.

EU To Deprive Hungary Of Billions In Funds (RT)

The European Commission on Sunday proposed withholding $7.5 billion of funds allocated to Hungary, due to corruption concerns. The suspension is aimed at protecting the bloc’s budget, according to Budget Commissioner Johannes Hahn. “Today’s decision is a clear demonstration of the Commission’s resolve to protect the EU budget, and use all tools at our disposal to ensure this important objective,” the commissioner told reporters. The money would come from thee “cohesion funds” granted to Hungary, which are intended to help EU countries bring their economies up to the bloc’s standards. If approved, the funding cut will be the first punitive measure of its kind under the EU’s rule of law mechanism, which gives Brussels the right to impose financial penalties on member states if their actions are seen as violating EU values.

Brussels triggered the unprecedented procedure against Hungary in April this year. According to Hahn, Budapest has since then announced a number of measures aimed at fixing the issues. For instance, the Hungarian government recently said it plans to create an anti-corruption authority to oversee the spending of EU funds by the end of September. However, Hahn said the timeline for Hungary to “accordingly” implement the necessary measures is “very tight.” “A risk for the budget at this stage remains, therefore we cannot conclude that the EU budget is sufficiently protected,” he stated.

The EU Council now has one month to decide whether to adopt the Commission’s proposal. Hungary will then be given one month to reply or request an extension, meaning the Commission could freeze the funds on November 19 at the earliest. Meanwhile, Hungary has said it will be ready to roll out most of its “remedial” measures by that deadline, with the government expected to propose a package of anti-corruption laws next week. Earlier this week, in a symbolic vote against Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government, members of the European Parliament said the country can no longer be considered a democracy, calling it instead a “hybrid regime of electoral autocracy” due to the alleged failure to uphold fundamental rights and the rule of law in the country.

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“..the EU has opted to instead release a physical board game rather than a digital app or web game which, while antiquated, will at least ensure EU citizens are able to play the Commission’s latest release during a winter set to be plagued by rolling blackouts.”

EU Launch Propaganda Board Game About Commission Tsar Ursula von der Leyen (BB)

Organised fun has once again come to the European Union, with the transnational bloc releasing a new propaganda board game centring around the rule of its Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen. The game — which was released ahead of von der Leyen’s state of the union address this week — is perhaps the latest of a long line of propaganda games released the world over, with North Korea and Communist China in particular being known for wacky authoritarian apps and video games pushing state ideals and ideology. However, unlike its propaganda publishing counterparts in East Asia, the EU has opted to instead release a physical board game rather than a digital app or web game which, while antiquated, will at least ensure EU citizens are able to play the Commission’s latest release during a winter set to be plagued by rolling blackouts.

Imaginatively titled “Von der Leyen Commission 101: Test your knowledge” the game centres around answering questions to do with Ursula von der Leyen’s over three years in office, the aim of the game is to answer as many questions correctly as possible to reach the finish line. A simple core concept, the game features rolling dice, using so-called “jolly” counters, as well as monitoring how many questions each individual player has gotten correct in a row. Despite that simplicity — and perhaps in a classic reflection of how the European Commission works — with padding, the rulebook for this basic game runs to over 100 pages in its English edition.


Although needlessly convoluted, the board game’s constant reference to EU achievements and talking points put it squarely in the realm of propaganda, the likes of which are well known in more authoritarian regimes throughout the world. The specific focus on von der Leyen recalls games published in China built around the cult of personality of Xi Jinping. One of these apps even involves the player trying to applaud the socialist leader as much as possible within 14 seconds, with users encouraged to rapidly tap their phone screens in praise of the head of state.

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Because this can no longer be blamed on Putin.

EU Ports Signal Readiness To Let Russian Fertilizers Through – UN (RT)

Major European ports have signaled their readiness to facilitate the export of Russian fertilizers, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in an interview with RIA Novosti, published on Saturday. “We are… in contact with the ports. We have received positive signals from Rotterdam, from the Finnish port of Kotka. We are also in discussions with Antwerp and Hamburg. So we are very attentive to this problem and very committed to solving it,” the official said in response to a question on the export of Russian fertilizers. In July, a multilateral agreement was signed in Istanbul freeing up Ukrainian grain exports via the Black Sea and lifting restrictions on Russian grain and fertilizer exports.


While Western sanctions do not technically restrict the sale of Russian agricultural produce, the measures still affect shipping, posing problems to payments and insurance of Russian cargo, among other things. According to Russia, however, the promised lifting of restrictions on Russian exports has not come about yet, with tons of fertilizers currently amassed at EU ports. Guterres said he spoke with EU leaders this week and is certain that the situation will improve soon. “First of all, we are engaged in trying to convince those who put certain obstacles to remove them. This week I had an intensive series of contacts with the leaders of the EU. And I hope there will be a positive change with regard to the possibility of distributing Russian grain and fertilizers without obstacles through Europe to other markets,” Guterres stated.

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Go to GP for the interactive map.

Updated List of US-Based Food Manufacturing Plants Destroyed Under Biden (GP)

Another reader of Gateway Pundit who wanted to stay anonymous has been doing extensive research regarding what is going on with the food supply. “I have created an interactive map that will let you click on (or hover over) an icon and it will provide all of the details of what happened at that location, including a link to the article,” she said. Below is the excerpt of the email she sent to Gateway Pundit: “If I had any doubts about this being on purpose, that is completely gone at this point. It’s almost terrifying seeing what is going on and the majority of people have no idea. Every day something else happens to add to this list. Things are happening so quickly now, that it is mind boggling. Big Tech is covering most of these up or burying them so far down the feed that most people never see them. I have investigative skills that I have used my entire career so I know how to get around all of that or I would never have found what I have.”

I had not heard of anyone looking up actual grocery store fires so that is what started me down this path. Once I saw how bad it was and the patterns that are happening it was clear what they are doing, and I am now convinced they are getting people to help with this just like they did with the election. I realize that not all of these are on purpose but once you see how big this is, it cannot be denied that something evil is going on and we are about to have our legs kicked out from under us…

I wanted to see if you could send out an update for the map? When you first posted my map, there were so many people going to it that they told me it was going to cost several thousand dollars for a certain amount of views. I told them I didn’t have money like that so I would make it private for myself only or try to find another company. Apparently word got around so fast from your article that people bombarded the map company and wanted it back up. They contacted me and told me they decided to leave it up so they could get some good publicity because at that point I think it had almost 200,000 (from people around the world!) views within a week or two.

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Now we’re talking.

Covid Injections Are Dangerous, What You Can Do If You’ve Had One or Two (TE)

Dr. Shoemaker: [Ivermectin is] the only medicine that helps you fight if you’ve got a vaccine injury. It’s the key to a vaccine injury protocol. It’s time. It’s time. This is over because the science is strong. The science is huge, that ivermectin is the thing that should always be available. But now that we’ve created this crisis, we need it even more. We need it even more in Canada, in everywhere. Dr. Shoemaker: I want ivermectin available for everybody. I don’t want you to have to go to the veterinary clinic or the veterinary store to get some of this medicine. It has to be made perfectly and ethically legal in all of your pharmacies.


Dr. Trozzi: For the treatment protocols, if like [Dr. Shoemaker], if you’ve had a couple of those injections or one of those injections and you got these spike proteins being produced by yourselves, go to the World Council for Health, go to the Spike Protein Detox Guide. Dr. Shoemaker is aware of that. The FLCCC do a great job [and] Canada Covid Care Alliance. These are very similar protocols. There’s a variety of things you can do, both natural and medicinal, including one of the safest, most effective medications in the history of mankind – ivermectin.

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On the day of her funeral, the Guardian puts her on par with a violent junkie.

The Power Of Collective Grief, From the Queen to George Floyd to Covid (G.)

As many have noted, this period of national mourning has a peculiarly British tinge, with the rain, the queueing, the marmalade sandwiches. People stood through the night, in a miles-long line that ran through central London, to pay their last respects to the Queen, lying in state. The TV coverage was almost soothing in its bland repetition, and its sombre reverence unavoidable.

For those of us of a republican leaning, the whole thing can feel bizarre and alienating, but for many others, the depth of their feeling may have caught them by surprise. “We have a relationship with these public figures,” says Julia Samuel, a psychotherapist who specialises in bereavement. The Queen, in particular, has “been the backdrop of our lives and this connecting thread. She’s the symbol of the mother of the nation and symbol of this idea of predictability, in such a changing, turbulent world. So we have a feeling of loss.” Precisely because of the Queen’s unknowability, we project our emotions on to her. “There’s a feeling of security in having a relationship with someone, particularly if you don’t actually know them, because you can put on to them what you need,” says Samuel.

We have come to know this outpouring of public emotion as collective grief. “The thing about collective grief is that it can put you in touch with your own losses,” says Samuel. “It can be loss of a parent and it reminds you of your mum or dad dying, or it puts you in touch with your mortality. If you have unresolved losses, it can bring lots of other feelings that aren’t necessarily to do with the Queen, that can feel quite overwhelming because it goes to the same place.”

Grief can be comforting, she says, when we are “feeling it at the same time. People feel bonded and have this sense of social safety, and of it reinforcing social ties. I think that’s why in queueing for the vigil or going to the different palaces, people find that calming. What research shows is that having great experiences of loss, you do worse alone than when you have the love and connection to others.” In a close bereavement, you would want this to be with friends and family, says Samuel. “But I also think there is something about strangers feeling like they know each other when they’re coming to put flowers at Buckingham Palace.”

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That must mean all mandates are also over.

Biden: ‘The Pandemic Is Over’ (CNN)

President Joe Biden said he believes the Covid-19 pandemic is “over” in an appearance on CBS’ “60 Minutes,” but acknowledged the US still has a “problem” with the virus that has killed more than 1 million Americans. “The pandemic is over. We still have a problem with Covid. We’re still doing a lot of work on it. It’s — but the pandemic is over,” Biden said. The US government still designates Covid-19 a Public Health Emergency and the World Health Organization says it remains a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. But the President’s comments follow other hopeful comments from global health leaders.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, said in a news briefing last week that the end of the Covid-19 pandemic was “in sight,” and that the world has never been in a better position to end the Covid-19 pandemic. “Last week, the number of weekly reported deaths from Covid-19 was the lowest since March 2020,” Ghebreyesus said. “We have never been in a better position to end the pandemic. We’re not there yet, but the end is in sight.” Last month, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention adjusted its Covid-19 guidance to urge the nation away from measures such as quarantines and social distancing and instead focus on reducing severe disease from Covid-19. But the agency says some people, including those who are older, immunocompromised, have certain disabilities or underlying health conditions, are at higher risk for serious illness, and may need to take more precautions.

There were about 65,000 new Covid-19 cases reported each day over the past two weeks, data from Johns Hopkins University shows, and reported cases are dropping in almost every state. Across the United States, about 400 people are dying every day from Covid-19. Although official case counts are far from representative of true levels of transmission, forecasts published by the CDC say that new hospitalizations and deaths will hold steady for the next month. For people hospitalized for Covid-19, the risk of dying fell to the lowest it’s ever been during the Omicron wave, according to a study published last week by the CDC.

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Oh wait…

850 More Unvaxxed NYC Teachers, Aides Fired Over Mandate (NYP)

The city Department of Education has axed another 850 teachers and classroom aides — bringing the total to nearly 2,000 school employees fired for failure to comply with a vaccine mandate increasingly struck down in court. About 1,300 DOE employees who took a year’s unpaid leave — with benefits — agreed to show proof of COVID vaccination by Sept. 5 or be “deemed to have voluntarily resigned.” Of those staffers, 450 got a shot by the deadline and “are returning to their prior schools or work locations,” DOE officials told The Post. They include some 225 teachers and 135 paraprofessionals. The 850 let go makes roughly 1,950 DOE staffers terminated since the vaccine mandate took effect on Oct. 29, 2021.

Rachelle Garcia, an elementary school teacher in Brooklyn for 15 years and mother of two, worked fully in person during the pandemic and never got sick, she said. But she refused to get vaccinated, finally taking leave after the DOE denied her requests for a religious exemption. “I really put my eggs in one basket, hoping and praying that at the last minute our mayor would turn everything around in time for me to go back to work,” she said. Mayor Adams never lifted the vaccine mandate, while other cities and states are dropping such requirements due to relaxed CDC guidelines. “I’m angry, I’m hurt, to be cast aside like I was nothing. Because I couldn’t give a proper goodbye to my students, other teachers told me they kept asking, ‘When is Ms. Garcia coming back?’ That made me cry so much.”

She is now applying for jobs on Long Island. In all, NYC has fired more than 2,600 municipal workers not fully vaccinated, according to City Hall tallies. But last week, a Manhattan judge ruled that an unvaccinated NYPD officer, one of the dozens terminated, can’t be fired because the city gave no explanation of why it rejected his religious exemption request.

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They can’t any recruits.

US Marine Corps Quietly Changes COVID-19 Vaccine Policy (ET)

The U.S. Marine Corps issued guidance to roll back its strict punishments for service members who are seeking COVID-19 vaccine exemptions. In guidance posted online on Sept. 14, the “Marine Corps will not enforce any order to accept COVID-19 vaccination, administratively separate, or retaliate against Marines in the class for asserting statutory rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.” That guidance was changed following a recent Florida federal court order that temporarily blocked the Marines from taking action against individuals who seek a religious exemption. The latest guidance posted by the Marines made reference to that order, which was handed down in August.

“Involuntary administrative separation processing of class members for refusing COVID-19 vaccination is suspended,” the memo also said, while it directs commanders to “pause all administrative actions related to the involuntary separation of a class member, regardless of the current status of the separation process.” Listing several examples, the Marine guidance added that “no orders will be given to receive the vaccine, no counselings will be issued for refusing the vaccine, no administrative separation boards will be conducted,” and no discharges will be issued. If the Florida judge’s order is vacated or expires, the Marines may still enforce punishment against those who don’t meet the COVID-19 vaccine requirement, a spokesperson told Fox News.

Last year, Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin issued an order that mandated vaccinations for all members of the armed service. “The Marine Corps is aware of the class-wide preliminary injunction issued by a District Court judge for the Middle District of Florida preventing the Marine Corps from enforcing any order to accept the COVID-19 vaccine or administratively separating Marines who refused to receive the COVID vaccine after their religious accommodation appeal was denied,” Marine Corps spokesperson Maj. Jay Hernandez told the outlet. In recent months, reports have indicated that every branch of the U.S. military is struggling to find new recruits, triggering warnings from some members of Congress.

Some have flagged the Pentagon’s strict vaccine requirement while others have said it is because of the slow creep of “woke” diversity trainings and mandates into the military. And others say that high U.S. obesity rates may be a contributing factor, and others note that the pay is not adequate. “We are on the cusp of a military recruiting crisis,” Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) told Politico in July. “When Republicans take control of Congress in a few months,” he added, “averting the recruiting crisis will be a top priority of the Military Personnel Subcommittee.”

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This discussion has become far too one-sided.

Study Takes Wrecking Ball to Myths About Apocalyptic ‘Climate Change’ (BN)

Climate experts have published peer-reviewed research in the journal European Physical Journal Plus that takes a wrecking ball to numerous unsubstantiated claims about ‘apocalyptic’ climate change that have flourished in the mainstream press. One such article comes from the New York Times in March 2022, which claimed that: “Scientists have been able to draw links between a warming planet and hurricanes, heat waves and droughts, but the same can’t be said for tornadoes yet.” But such presumptions are utterly demolished with data and fact-based analysis in the 2022 study, “A critical assessment of extreme events trends in times of global warming.” It disabuses readers of the fallacious argument that climate change poses an existential threat to human life and to the planet.

The first point of contention that the researchers analyze is whether the marginal increase in global temperatures has been accompanied by an increase in major hurricanes. “Historically, around 60% of all economic damages caused by disasters worldwide is the consequence of hurricanes in the USA, and more than 80% of this damage comes from major hurricanes,” the authors state. “It is therefore not surprising that hurricanes grab interest and attention. Due to their frightening destructive potential, it is also not surprising that hurricanes are a central element in the debate on climate change mitigation and adaptation policies.” “To date, global observations do not show any significant trends in both the number and the energy accumulated by hurricanes, as shown in Fig. 1 and as claimed in several specific papers for the USA, which report the trend dating back to over 160 years ago, or for other regions of the globe,” the authors note.

“Therefore, after adjusting the time series to take into account the smaller observational capacities of the past, there remains only a small nominally positive upward trend of the tropical storms from 1878 to 2006,” the authors observe. “Statistical tests indicate that this trend is not significantly distinguishable from zero.”

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“a major breach of international law” that constituted “a violation of Ecuador’s sovereignty, of the human rights of dozens of individuals, including the human rights of Ecuadorian citizens, and of all the rules regarding the sanctity and inviolability of diplomatic missions.”

Secret Documents Have Exposed the CIA’s Julian Assange Obsession (Jacobin)

In 2021, over a year and half after the UC Global employees shared their experiences, Yahoo! News released a bombshell story based on former US government sources about the CIA’s “secret war plans against WikiLeaks.” The CIA received direct footage from within the embassy, plotted to kidnap Assange, and toyed with the idea of assassinating him. That US government sources have detailed CIA plots that mirror those of the UC Global witnesses presents fairly powerful corroboration of the most serious allegations. Yahoo’s investigation also stated the CIA covert operations escalated dramatically as Trump’s CIA chief, Pompeo, was incensed by the so-called Vault 7 disclosures, detailing highly classified CIA spying techniques.

This also lines up with the testimony of the UC Global employees who say the company’s actions ramped up considerably after Trump’s election. The pivotal moment, per Yahoo, in the CIA’s decision to consider kidnapping Assange came after they caught wind that Ecuador might make Assange a diplomat to another country. Assange’s legal team was willing to consider countries that struck a defiant posture against the United States, including Venezuela, Bolivia, or Cuba. The Ecuadorian government instead suggested Russia, which had granted Edward Snowden asylum. Assange rejected the idea, fearing it would fuel further conspiracy theories. UC Global captured footage and audio of the meeting where this was discussed, meaning it likely played a pivotal role in the CIA escalation of its covert campaign against Assange.

Faced with the claims of his former employees, UC Global owner Morales has denied working for US intelligence. Initially, he denied any surveillance took place at all. After that position became impossible to maintain, Morales switched his story, claiming it was authorized by Ecuador’s then ambassador to the UK, Carlos Abad. Abad passed away in November 2019, but Jacobin spoke to former Ecuadorian foreign minister Guillaume Long. Long has also testified before the Spanish criminal probe into Morales. Long explained how documents from Morales purporting to show Ecuador authorized the surveillance are forgeries, and crude ones at that. For example, they used the wrong email endings for Ecuadorian diplomatic officials. In addition to fake email addresses, the documents themselves also bore fake serial numbers.

“They [UC Global] were clearly intercepted by the CIA to spy on all of us, especially Assange,” Long told Jacobin. Long called the US-directed surveillance “a major breach of international law” that constituted “a violation of Ecuador’s sovereignty, of the human rights of dozens of individuals, including the human rights of Ecuadorian citizens, and of all the rules regarding the sanctity and inviolability of diplomatic missions.”

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Putin full press conference at SCO

 

 

 

 

Unexpected

 

 

 

Fish fingers

 

 

 

 

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Oct 112016
 
 October 11, 2016  Posted by at 8:42 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  Comments Off on Debt Rattle October 11 2016


NPC Grand Palace shoe shining parlor, Washington DC 1921

“How Do You Have Capitalism Without Any Cost Of Capital?” (BBG)
7 in 10 Americans Have Less Than $1,000 In Savings (MF)
After Becoming Debt Slaves, Millennials Get Blamed for Lousy Economy (WS)
S&P 500 Triangle Chart Pattern ‘Warns Of A Big Selloff’ (MW)
The Bank of Mom and Dad is Australia’s Fastest-Growing Housing Lender (BBG)
Goldman Warns China’s Outflows May Be Worse Than They Look (BBG)
‘Why Do They Hate Us So?’-A Western Scholar’s Reply to a Russian Student (SC)
Remainers, Brexit, Racism and a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy (Hannan)
Greece Gets Fresh Loan Payout as Euro Area Looks to Help on Debt (BBG)
Brazil Votes To Amend Constitution, Ban Spending Increases For 20 Years (BBG)
Global Clean Energy Investment Dropped 43% in Worst Quarter Since 2013 (BBG)
Russia’s Rosneft Boss Sechin Says No To OPEC Oil Cut/Freeze (R.)
Britain’s Nuclear Cover-Up (NYT)

 

 

Titans of finance gather and sulk.

“How Do You Have Capitalism Without Any Cost Of Capital?” (BBG)

Mary Callahan Erdoes, one of JPMorgan Chase’s most senior executives, summed up her industry’s mood like this: “There is no excitement,” she told throngs of bankers gathered in Washington. “There is a lot of handwringing.” Again and again, speakers at the Institute of International Finance’s three-day meeting in Washington, which wrapped up Saturday, bemoaned the inability of central banks to rev up economic growth, as well as the drag of tougher regulations and the looming impact of Brexit. Concerns over Deutsche Bank’s mounting legal costs deepened the gloom. Slow growth is leaving companies little reason to expand, fueling the public’s frustration and giving rise to extreme political views and nationalism, said Erdoes, 49, who runs JPMorgan’s asset-management operations.

Low interest rates – instead of better fiscal stimulus – are taking a toll on the entire system, she said. “We had a very smart economist at JPMorgan ask me the following question: How do you have capitalism without any cost of capital? And therein lies the problem.” [..] Goldman Sachs President Gary Cohn called the world’s central banks an “ineffective cartel,” as actions in Europe and Japan lead to negative rates and hamstring other policy makers. The outlook for low growth is long-term, he said. “I don’t see this changing,” Cohn said Friday. “We keep saying we’re getting closer to the end, but I don’t think we’re getting closer to the end.”

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I’m not sure how one writes an article like this and completely fails to mention that for millions of Americans, it’s not a matter of bad saving habits, but of spending everything on the basics.

7 in 10 Americans Have Less Than $1,000 In Savings (MF)

The U.S. is often referred to as the land of economic opportunity. Apparently, it’s also the land of consumption and “spend everything you’ve got.” We don’t have to look far for confirmation that Americans are generally poor savers. Every month the St. Louis Federal Reserve releases data on personal household savings rates. In July 2016, the personal savings rate was just 5.7%. Comparatively, personal savings rates in the U.S. 50 years ago were double where they are today, and nearly all developed countries have a higher personal savings rate than the United States. In other words, Americans are saving less of their income than they should be — the recommendation is to save between 10% and 15% of your annual income — and they’re being forced to do more with less in terms of investing.

However, new data emerged this week from personal-finance news website GoBankingRates that shows just how dire Americans’ savings habits really are. Last year, GoBankingRates surveyed more than 5,000 Americans only to uncover that 62% of them had less than $1,000 in savings. Last month GoBankingRates again posed the question to Americans of how much they had in their savings account, only this time it asked 7,052 people. The result? Nearly seven in 10 Americans (69%) had less than $1,000 in their savings account. Breaking the survey data down a bit further, we find that 34% of Americans don’t have a dime in their savings account, while another 35% have less than $1,000. Of the remaining survey-takers, 11% have between $1,000 and $4,999, 4% have between $5,000 and $9,999, and 15% have more than $10,000.

Furthermore, even though lower-income adults struggle with saving money more than middle- and upper-income folks, no income group did particularly well. Some 29% of adults earning more than $150,000 a year, and 44% making between $100,000 and $149,999, had less than $1,000 in savings. Comparatively, 73% of the lowest income adults (those earnings $24,999 or less annually) had less than $1,000 in their savings account. There was even minimal difference between multiple generations of Americans. From seniors aged 65 and up to young millennials aged 18 to 24, between 62% and 72% of Americans had less than $1,000 in a savings account.

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Great little piece by Wolf Richter.

After Becoming Debt Slaves, Millennials Get Blamed for Lousy Economy (WS)

Over the past few days, the Diamond Producers Association launched its first new ad campaign in five years after watching retail sales of diamond jewelry slow down, as Millennials built on the habit pioneered by prior generations of delaying or not even thinking about marriage, and thus not being sufficiently enthusiastic about buying diamond engagement rings. The campaign, according to Adweek, is designed to motivate Millennials “to commemorate their ‘real,’ honest relationships with diamonds, even if marriage isn’t part of the equation.” Mother New York, the agency behind the campaign, spent months interviewing millennials, according to Quartz, and learned that they associated diamonds with a “fairytale love story that wasn’t relevant to them.”

So the premium jewelry industry, seeing future profits at risk, needs to do something about that. A year ago, it was Wall Street – specifically Goldman Sachs – that did a lot of hand-wringing about millennials. “They don’t trust the stock market,” Goldman Sachs determined in a survey. Only 18% thought that the stock market was “the best way to save for the future.” It’s a big deal for Wall Street because millennials are now the largest US generation. There are 75 million of them. They’re supposed to be the future source of big bonuses. Wall Street needs to figure out how to get to their money. The older ones have seen the market soar, collapse, re-soar, re-collapse, re-soar…. They’ve seen the Fed’s gyrations to re-inflate stocks. They grew up with scandals and manipulations, high-frequency trading, dark pools, and spoofing.

They’ve seen hard-working people get wiped out and wealthy people get bailed out. Maybe they’d rather not mess with that infernal machine. And today, the Los Angeles Times added more fuel. “They’re known for bouncing around jobs, delaying marriage, and holing up in their parents’ basements,” it mused. Everyone wants to know why millennials don’t follow the script. Brick-and-mortar retailers have been complaining about them for years, with increasing intensity, and a slew of specialty chains have gone bankrupt, a true fiasco for the industry, even as online retailers are laughing all the way to the bank. “For starters, millennials are not big spenders, at least not in the traditional sense,” the Times said. Yet most of them spend every dime they earn, those that have decent jobs. But much of that spending goes toward their student-loan burden and housing.

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Trying to fit human behavior into triangles.

S&P 500 Triangle Chart Pattern ‘Warns Of A Big Selloff’ (MW)

The S&P 500 is moving fast toward an impending breakout that could be bad news for investors. “And it’s gonna be big, by all accounts,” said Carter Braxton Worth, a technical analyst at research firm Cornerstone Macro. The S&P 500 has been trading within a “symmetrical triangle” on a number of time scales, as the index traced out a pattern of rising lows and falling highs. Since the upper and lower boundary lines are narrowing to a point, it’s just a matter of time before the S&P 500 breaks above or below one of them. “It is a circumstance where buyers and sellers are matched off so evenly that purchases being made by those who like a particular security are in the same order of magnitude as the selling being done by those who dislike the security,” Worth wrote in a note to clients.

His research suggests that the resolution of these standoffs is usually “aggressive,” with the index moving past the declining or rising trendlines “in a meaningful way.” Many technicians believe triangles represent continuation patterns, or periods of pause in a bigger trend, which means they should eventually be resolved in the direction of the preceding trend. In the S&P 500’s case, that would mean a big rally is coming. But Worth said that based on his interpretation of the charts, the S&P 500’s triangle looks more like a reversal pattern. “We believe the current formation is a setup for a move lower,” Worth said.

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Hoping that just this once it’s different.

The Bank of Mom and Dad is Australia’s Fastest-Growing Housing Lender (BBG)

Beset by lending curbs and bubble-esque prices, first-time home buyers in Australia are turning to a rapidly growing source of finance: The Bank of Mom and Dad. More parents are taking advantage of record-low interest rates to refinance their properties and help their grown-up kids onto the housing ladder amid sky-rocketing house values. Digital Finance Analytics estimates the number of Aussies getting help from their parents has soared to more than half of first-home buyers from just 3% six years ago. Australia’s housing rally has favored baby-boomers and locked out youth, compounding an inter-generational shift of wealth.

As the number of bank loans to first-time buyers dwindles, the average slice of cash handed to them by parents has almost quadrupled in the past six years, DFA says. The downside: a market that the Reserve Bank of Australia is already wary of may get further inflated. First-time buyers are “being infected by the notion that property is about wealth building, rather than somewhere to live,” said Martin North, Principal at DFA. That “may be tested if interest rates rise later, or property prices fall from their current illogical stratospheric levels.” [..] The boom is turning some homes into cash dispensers. More than two thirds of owners that refinanced houses worth more than A$750,000 did so to extract capital for reasons including helping their kids. Near the start of 2010, the average helping hand from parents was about A$23,000; today, it’s more than A$80,000.

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“..they don’t have a strong willingness to hold the yuan due to depreciation expectations..” Does that rhyme with the SDR basket thing?

Goldman Warns China’s Outflows May Be Worse Than They Look (BBG)

China’s currency outflows may be bigger than they look, with Goldman Sachs warning that a rising amount of capital is exiting the country in yuan rather than in dollars. While the nation’s foreign-exchange reserves have stabilized and lenders’ net foreign-exchange purchases for clients have fallen close to a one-year low, official data show that $27.7 billion in yuan payments left China in August. That’s compared with a monthly average of $4.4 billion in the five years through 2014. Such large cross-border moves can’t be explained by market-driven factors and need to be taken into account when measuring currency outflows, according to MK Tang, Hong Kong-based senior China economist at Goldman Sachs.

Any sign of increased capital outflows could disturb a recent calm in China’s foreign-exchange market, adding to pressure from a potential Federal Reserve interest-rate increase and denting the yuan’s image as the world’s newest global reserve currency. The yuan fell to a six-year low on Monday, adding to outflow pressures. “There is some window guidance from the central bank that limits companies’ dollar conversion onshore, so they need to move the money overseas in yuan,” said Harrison Hu, chief Greater China economist at RBS in Singapore. “But they don’t have a strong willingness to hold the yuan due to depreciation expectations, so they sell it to offshore banks. This pressures the offshore yuan’s exchange rate.”

[..] Goldman Sachs started including yuan funds in its analysis of outflows in July, after noting that cross-border movement of the currency masked actual pressures. The bank estimates that 56% and 87% of outflows took place through the offshore yuan market in July and August, respectively.

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Do read the whole thing for a good history lesson.

‘Why Do They Hate Us So?’-A Western Scholar’s Reply to a Russian Student (SC)

In 2000 when Putin was elected president, he publically promoted security and economic cooperation with Europe and the United States. After 9/11, he offered real assistance to Washington. The United States accepted the Russian help, but continued its anti-Russian policies. Putin extended his hand to the west, but on the basis of five kopeks for five kopeks. This was a Soviet policy of the interwar years. It did not work then and it does not work now. In 2007 Putin spoke frankly at the Munich conference on Security Policy about overbearing US behaviour. The “colour revolutions” in Georgia and the Ukraine, for example, and the Anglo-American war of aggression against Iraq raised Russian concerns. US government officials did not appreciate Putin’s truth-telling which went against their standard narrative about «exceptionalist» America and altruistic foreign policies to promote «democracy».

Then in 2008 came the Georgian attack on South Ossetia and the successful Russian riposte which crushed the Georgian army. It’s been all down-hill since then. Libya, Syria, Ukraine, Yemen are all victims of US aggression or that of its vassals. The United States engineered and bankrolled a fascist coup d’état in Kiev and has attempted to do the same in Syria reverting to their “Afghan policy” of bankrolling, supplying and supporting a Wahhabi proxy war of aggression against Syria. Backing fascists on the one hand and Islamist terrorists on the other, the United States has plumbed the depths of malevolence. President Putin and Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov have made important concessions, to persuade the US government to avert catastrophe in the Middle East and Europe.

To no avail, five kopeks for five kopeks is not an offer the United States understands. Assymetrical advantages is what Washington expects. One cannot reproach the Russian government for trying to negotiate with the United States, but this policy has not worked in the Ukraine or Syria. Russian support of the legitimate government in Damascus has exposed the US-led war of aggression and exposed its strategy of supporting Al-Qaeda, Daesh, and their various Wahhabi iterations against the Syrian government. US Russophobia is redoubled by Putin’s exposure of American support for Islamist fundamentalists and by Russia’s successful, up to now, thwarting of US aggression. Who does Putin think he is? From my observations, I would reply that President Putin is a plain-spoken Russian statesman, with the support of the Russian people behind him.

For five kopeks against five kopeks, he will work with the United States and its vassals, no matter how malevolent they have been, if they adopt less destructive policies. Unfortunately, recent events suggest that the United States has no intention of doing so. After one hundred years of almost uninterrupted western hostility, no one should be under any illusions. So then, the question is “Why do they hate us so?” Because President Putin wants to build a strong, prosperous, independent Russian state in a multi-polar world. Because the Russian people cannot be bullied and will defend their country tenaciously. “Go tell all in foreign lands that Russia lives!» Prince Aleksandr Nevskii declared in the 13th century: «Those who come to us in peace will be welcome as a guest. But those who come to us sword in hand will die by the sword! On that Russia stands and forever will we stand!”

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Yeah, Daniel Hannan has lots of stuff wrong with him. But Britain must have this conversation regardless of that. I picked this piece up on Twitter, with this accompanying comment: “No aspect of Brexit is Remain voters’ fault in any way, or to any extent at all.” I don’t know if that was meant sarcastically, but I would certainly hope so. Without that conversation things can only get worse. Remainers must try harder to understand why Brexit happened. If nothing else, I would think they’re at least ‘guilty’ of not seeing it coming. And perhaps also of seeing Brexit as the problem, not a mere symptom.

Remainers, Brexit, Racism and a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy (Hannan)

Shortly after the EU referendum, several thousand young people marched through London demanding a rerun. I happened to be sitting next to three of them on a train as I travelled into the capital that morning. They evidently recognised me right away as an Evil Tory Leaver, but we were past Clapham Junction before one of them plucked up the courage to talk to me. “Are you Daniel Hannan? I just wanted to say that what you’ve done is terrible. We’re not a racist country. You’ve taken away our future.” “Is that so? Out of interest, can you tell me who the President of the European Commission is?” “No. What’s that got to do with it?” “Can you name a single European Commissioner, come to that? Do you know what our budget contribution will be this year? Or what the difference is between a Directive and a Regulation?”

She was affronted by the questions. So were her two friends with their “I [heart] EU” placards. They weren’t interested in details. For them, it was about values. Are you a decent, internationalist, compassionate person? Or are you a selfish bigot? Let’s leave aside the fact that no one would ever vote on any ballot paper for a “selfish bigot” option. Their determination to approach the issue in terms of character, rather than cost-benefit, explains why they were so upset – and why, even now, some Remain voters struggle to accept the outcome. In my experience, the 48% who voted Remain fall into two categories. There are those who were making a judgement as to where Britain’s best options lay. They could see that the is EU flawed.

They were well aware of the corruption, the lack of democracy, the slow growth. But they took the view that, on balance, the disruption of leaving would outweigh the gains. These people, by and large, now want to make a success of things, and are keen to maximise our opportunities. Then there were those like my companions on South West Trains, for whom the issue was not financial but somehow moral. For them, the EU wasn’t the grubby and self-interested body that exists in reality; rather, it was a symbol of something better and purer, an embodiment of the dream of peace among nations. They never heard, because they never wanted to hear, the democratic or economic arguments against membership. As far as they were concerned, the only possible reason for voting Leave was chauvinism.

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“Euro Area Looks to Help on Debt” sounds like the epitomy of cynicism. The Eurogroup withheld €1.7 billion, to Greece’s surprise, because it wanted to assess A) whether a June payment was fully used to pay off third parties, and B) whether the government had squeezed its people enough (reforms). The delay is convenient for Brussels because it also delays debt restructuring talks once again, for the umpteenth time. And without those talks, the IMF won’t commit. Rinse and repeat.

Greece Gets Fresh Loan Payout as Euro Area Looks to Help on Debt (BBG)

The euro area authorized a €1.1 billion payment to Greece and signaled a further €1.7 billion would follow this month, saying the region’s most indebted nation has made progress in overhauling its economy. The green light, given by euro-area finance ministers on Monday in Luxembourg, removes a hurdle on Greece’s path to debt relief on which Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has staked part of his political future. The country had to fulfill 15 conditions on matters such as selling state assets and improving bank governance to get the first payout.

It “was unanimously decided that Greece had completed the 15 milestones, so we can proceed to the €1.1 billion disbursement,” Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos told reporters after the meeting, saying the talks produced a “very good” outcome for his country. The delay in getting an endorsement for the remaining sum, which is tied to the clearing of arrears, is merely “technical,” he said. Greece, in its third bailout since 2010, is struggling to right an economy that is poised to undergo its eighth annual contraction in the past nine years. A second review of the country’s rescue program will pave the way for a possible restructuring of Greece’s debt, which the IMF says is a necessary condition for its future involvement.

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This feels like a military coup, a chapter straight out of the Shock Doctrine. Stocks go up because people’s lives go down.

Glenn Greenwald on Twitter: “Brazil’s lower House- in the face of negative growth- just voted to amend the Constitution to ban spending increases for 20 years..” “This extreme austerity in Brazil – enabled by impeachment- is being imposed in world’s 7th largest economy, 5th most populous country (200m). ”

Nomi Prins on Twitter: “Brazil’s coup was about advancing western speculative market access & squashing domestic population needs – for decades…bastards.”

Brazil Votes To Amend Constitution, Ban Spending Increases For 20 Years (BBG)

The Ibovespa rose to a two-year high and the real gained as commodities advanced and as expectations mounted that lawmakers will approve a bill to cap spending, a key measure in President Michel Temer’s plan to trim a budget deficit and rebuild confidence in Brazil. The benchmark equity index rose 0.9% and the currency climbed 0.5% Monday in Sao Paulo. [..] Brazilian stocks have gained 75% in dollar terms this year and the real has strengthened 24%, the best performances in the world, on bets that a new government would be able to pull the country out of its worst recession in a century.

Temer, who formally replaced impeached former President Dilma Rousseff in August, said the administration should have enough votes to drive through a budget bill Monday that’s seen as a vital first step toward his economic reforms. The proposal to amend the Constitution to set limits on government spending for as long as 20 years must be approved by at least three-fifths of both chambers of Congress. “The market is very optimistic over this legislation,” said Paulo Figueiredo, an economist at FN Capital in Petropolis, Brazil. “New bets on local assets depend a lot on the signals that will come from this vote.”

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Bubble?!

Global Clean Energy Investment Dropped 43% in Worst Quarter Since 2013 (BBG)

Global investment in clean energy fell to the lowest in more than three years as demand for new renewable energy sources slumped in China, Japan and Europe. Third-quarter spending was $42.4 billion, down 43% from the same period last year and the lowest since the $41.8 billion reported in the first quarter of 2013, Bloomberg New Energy Finance said in a report Monday. Financing for large solar and wind energy plants sank as governments cut incentives for clean energy and costs declined, said Michael Liebreich at the London-based research company. Total investment for this year is on track to be “well below” last year’s record of $348.5 billion, according to New Energy Finance.

The third-quarter numbers “are worryingly low even compared to the subdued trend we saw” in the first two quarters, Liebreich said in a statement. “Key markets such as China and Japan are pausing for a deep breath.” Part of the reason for the steep decline in the quarter was a slowdown following strong spending in the first half of the year on offshore wind. Investors poured $20.1 billion into European offshore wind farms in the first and second quarters, “a runaway record,” according to Abraham Louw, an analyst for energy economics with New Energy Finance. That was followed by a “summer lull,” with $2.4 billion in spending in the third quarter.

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So much for that.

Russia’s Rosneft Boss Sechin Says No To OPEC Oil Cut/Freeze (R.)

Igor Sechin, Russia’s most influential oil executive and the head of Kremlin energy champion Rosneft, said his company will not cut or freeze oil production as part of a possible agreement with OPEC. His comments underline how difficult it is for Russia to get its oil companies to freeze or cut output as part of a potential deal with OPEC designed to support oil prices. President Vladimir Putin told an energy congress on Monday that Russia was ready to join the proposed OPEC cap, but did not provide any details. “Why should we do it?” Sechin, known for his anti-OPEC position, told Reuters in Istanbul on Monday evening, when asked if Rosneft, which accounts for 40% of Russia’s total crude oil output, might cap its own output.

Sechin said he doubted that some OPEC countries, such as Iran, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela would cut their output either, saying that an increase in oil prices above $50 per barrel would make shale oil projects in the United States profitable. There have been several attempts in the past for Russia and OPEC to join forces to stabilize oil markets. Those efforts have never come to pass however. Oil prices surged on Monday after Putin’s comments amid hopes that a two-year price slide could be halted.

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Uglee!!!

Britain’s Nuclear Cover-Up (NYT)

Last month, the British government signed off on what might be the most controversial and least promising plan for a nuclear power station in a generation. Why did it do this? Because the project isn’t just about energy: It’s also a stealth initiative to bolster Britain’s nuclear deterrent. For years, the British government has been promoting a plan to build two so-called European Pressurized Reactors (EPR) at Hinkley Point C, in southwest England. It estimates that the facility will produce about 7% of the nation’s total electricity from 2025, the year it is expected to be completed. The EPR’s designer, Areva, claims that the reactor is reliable, efficient and so safe that it could withstand a collision with an airliner.

But the project is staggeringly expensive: It will cost more than $22 billion to build and bring online. And it isn’t clear that the EPR technology is viable. No working version of the reactor exists. The two EPR projects that are furthest along — one in Finland, the other in France — are many years behind schedule, have hemorrhaged billions of dollars and are beset by major safety issues. The first casting of certain components for the Hinkley Point C reactors left serious metallurgical flaws in the pressure vessel that holds the reactor core. In 2014, the Cambridge University nuclear engineer Tony Roulstone declared the EPR design “unconstructable.”

The lead builder of the EPR, the French utility company Electricité de France, faced a mutiny this year: Its unions fought the Hinkley Point project, fearing it might bring down the company. E.D.F.’s chief financial officer has resigned, arguing that it would put too much strain on the company’s balance sheet. But the British government continues to act as though it wants the Hinkley project to proceed at almost any price. In return for covering about one-third of the costs, the Chinese state-run company China General Nuclear Power Corporation will take about one-third ownership in the project. (A subsidiary of E.D.F. owns the rest.) The British government has also provisionally agreed to let China build a yet-untested Chinese-designed reactor in Bradwell-on-Sea, northeast of London, later.

[..] The British government has [..] guaranteed that investors in the Hinkley project will get $115 per megawatt-hour over 35 years. This is approximately twice the price of electricity today [..]. If the market price of electricity falls below that rate, a government company is contractually bound to cover the difference — with the extra cost passed on to consumers. Price forecasts have dropped since the deal was struck: This summer the government, revising estimates, said differential payments owed under the contract could reach nearly $37 billion. If the Hinkley plan seems outrageous, that’s because it only makes sense if one considers its connection to Britain’s military projects — especially Trident, a roving fleet of armed nuclear submarines, which is outdated and needs upgrading.

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