Nov 022021
 
 November 2, 2021  Posted by at 9:40 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , ,  61 Responses »


Georgia O’Keeffe Autumn leaves, Lake George 1924

 

Lancet Study Finds COVID Shots Do Not Prevent Transmission (LC)
Number Needed To Vaccinate To Prevent 1 Covid Fatality In Kids 5 To 11 (Rogers)
TN Legislature Bans Vaccine Passports, Protects Doctors Who Speak Out (Blaze)
Identification of Coronavirus Isolated from a Patient in Korea with COVID-19 (NIH)
Peter Navarro Exposes The Dangerous Dr. Fauci (Devine)
Supply Chain Constrictor – On Your Nuts (Denninger)
Dr. Martin Kulldorff Joins Brownstone Institute as Senior Scientific Director (BI)
One Brave ICU Physician Reporting Vaccine Injuries Leads to a Dozen More (SIri)
Brits Who Post “False Info” About Vaccines Could be Jailed For 2 Years (SN)
Madonna: “No One’s Allowed To Speak Their Mind Right Now” (NME)
Chilling Bigly (Kunstler)

 

 

 

 

“There is no such thing as freedom of choice unless there is freedom to refuse.”
– David Hume

 

 

The press asking questions disrupts the press conference.

 

 

Pfizer AE

 

 

The end of the vaccine passport. In a world ruled by logic, and science.

Lancet Study Finds COVID Shots Do Not Prevent Transmission (LC)

A recently released yearlong study by the Lancet Infectious Diseases medical journal comparing the efficacy of COVID injections has shown that people who have received the COVID shots can be equally as infectious and are just as likely to spread the Delta variant of the virus to contacts in their household as those who have not received the shots. In the study of 621 people in the U.K. with mild COVID-19 between Sept 13, 2020, and Sept 15, 2021, scientists found that their peak viral load was similar regardless of vaccination status. The analysis also found that 25 percent of vaccinated household contacts still contracted the virus, while 38 percent of those who had not taken the shots became infected.


In fact, the researchers noted, “Fully vaccinated individuals with breakthrough infections have peak viral load similar to unvaccinated cases and can efficiently transmit infection in household settings, including to fully vaccinated contacts.” The researchers performed PCR tests on swab samples provided daily by each participant for 14-20 days. Changes over time in viral load — the amount of virus in a person’s nose and throat — were estimated by modeling PCR data. The study found that the viral load declined more rapidly among vaccinated people infected with the Delta variant compared with unvaccinated people with Delta, Alpha, or pre-Alpha. However, the authors note that vaccinated people did not record a lower peak viral load than unvaccinated people, which may explain why the Delta variant can still spread despite vaccination as people are most infectious during the peak viral load phase. In addition, the statistics regarding the harm from these injections is staggering. The VAERS data shows 837,593 reported adverse events, including 17,619 deaths as of October 22, 2021.

Read more …

Steve Kirsch: “Toby Rogers spends his entire life doing risk-benefit analyses.

We will kill over 100 kids for every kid we save from COVID.”

Number Needed To Vaccinate To Prevent 1 Covid Fatality In Kids 5 To 11 (Rogers)

In Pfizer’s 6 month clinical trial in adults — there was 1 covid death our of 22,000 in the vaccine (“treatment”) group and 2 Covid deaths out of 22,000 in the placebo group (see Table s4). So NNTV = 22,000. The catch is there were 5 heart attack deaths in the vaccine group and only 1 in placebo group. So for every 1 life saved from Covid, the Pfizer vaccine kills 4 from heart attacks. All cause mortality in the 6 month study was 20 in vaccine group and 14 in placebo group. So a 42% all cause mortality increase among the vaccinated. The vaccine loses practically all efficacy after 6 months so they had to curtail the study. They unblinded and offered the vaccine to the placebo group. At that point the rising harm line had long ago intersected the sinking efficacy line.

Former NY Times investigative reporter Alex Berenson also wrote about the bad outcomes for the vaccinated in the Pfizer clinical trial in adults (here). Berenson received a lifetime ban from Twitter for posting Pfizer’s own clinical trial data. Pfizer learned their lesson with the adult trial and so when they conducted a trial of their mRNA vaccine in children ages 5 to 11 they intentionally made it too small (only 2,300 participants) and too short (only followed up for 2 months) in order to hide harms. All of the NNTV estimates above are based on data from adults. In kids the NNTV will be even higher (the lower the risk, the higher the NNTV to prevent a single bad outcome). Children ages 5 to 11 are at extremely low risk of death from coronavirus.

In a meta-analysis combining data from 5 studies, Stanford researchers Cathrine Axfors and John Ioannidis found a median infection fatality rate (IFR) of 0.0027% in children ages 0-19. In children ages 5 to 11 the IFR is even lower. Depending on the study one looks at, COVID-19 is slightly less dangerous or roughly equivalent to the flu in children. So how many children would need to be injected with Pharma’s mRNA shot in order to prevent a single hospitalization, ICU admission, or death? Let’s examine Pfizer’s EUA application and the FDA’s risk-benefit analysis. By Pfizer’s own admission, there were zero hospitalization, ICU admissions, or deaths, in the treatment or control group in their study of 2,300 children ages 5 to 11.

So the Number Needed to Vaccinate in order to prevent a single hospitalization, ICU admission, or death, according to Pfizer’s own data, is infinity. ∞. Not the good kind of infinity as in God or love or time or the universe. This is the bad kind of infinity as in you could vaccinate every child age 5 to 11 in the U.S. and not prevent a single hospitalization, ICU admission, or death from coronavirus according to Pfizer’s own clinical trial data as submitted to the FDA. Of course Pfizer likes this kind of infinity because it means infinite profits. [Technically speaking the result is “undefined” because mathematically one cannot divide by zero, but you get my point.]

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Good on them.

TN Legislature Bans Vaccine Passports, Protects Doctors Who Speak Out (Blaze)

Well, it took 19 months, and it’s only one state so far, but we finally have a red state that is living up to its reputation. Over the weekend, the Tennessee legislature passed an omnibus COVID freedom bill that places the state on a completely different path to dealing with this virus from the rest of the country – one rooted in science, compassion, liberty, and health care freedom. The more the vaccines fail and other treatments rise, the more our federal government and most states continue to mandate the shots and clamp down on safe alternative treatments. The Tennessee legislature has passed a catch-all bill that will do just the opposite. While no bill is perfect, HB 9077/SB9014 will include many of the provisions we need to right the ship on COVID, and certainly much more than any other state has done so far. It is the first state to pass these provisions through a legislative body. The bill now awaits the signature of Governor Bill Lee.

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There are often questions about the virus ever having been isolated. This from Feb 2020 appears to have done that. Detailed.

Identification of Coronavirus Isolated from a Patient in Korea with COVID-19 (NIH)

Objectives Following reports of patients with unexplained pneumonia at the end of December 2019 in Wuhan, China, the causative agent was identified as coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), and the 2019 novel coronavirus disease was named COVID-19 by the World Health Organization. Putative patients with COVID-19 have been identified in South Korea, and attempts have been made to isolate the pathogen from these patients.

Methods Upper and lower respiratory tract secretion samples from putative patients with COVID-19 were inoculated onto cells to isolate the virus. Full genome sequencing and electron microscopy were used to identify the virus.

Results The virus replicated in Vero cells and cytopathic effects were observed. Full genome sequencing showed that the virus genome exhibited sequence homology of more than 99.9% with SARS-CoV-2 which was isolated from patients from other countries, for instance China. Sequence homology of SARS-CoV-2 with SARS-CoV, and MERS-CoV was 77.5% and 50%, respectively. Coronavirus-specific morphology was observed by electron microscopy in virus-infected Vero cells.

Conclusion SARS-CoV-2 was isolated from putative patients with unexplained pneumonia and intermittent coughing and fever. The isolated virus was named BetaCoV/Korea/KCDC03/2020.

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I smell a movie.

Peter Navarro Exposes The Dangerous Dr. Fauci (Devine)

Dr. Anthony Fauci is in for a shellacking Tuesday when a bombshell new book by former Trump economic adviser Peter Navarro lands. “In Trump Time, A Journal of America’s Plague Year” is a rollicking personal diary studded with insider confidences, and it sets its sights squarely on the chief medical adviser to the president. Navarro writes that Fauci did “more damage to this nation, President Trump and the world than anyone else this side of the Bat Lady of Wuhan.” He holds Fauci accountable for “everything from the Wuhan lab gain-of-function catastrophe and suppression of low-cost therapeutics such as hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin to the political, partisan and deadly delay in delivering the Trump vaccines to the American people.”

Fauci’s sins included not telling President Donald Trump or the coronavirus task force that he knew the Wuhan lab was conducting risky gain-of- function research on bat coronaviruses, or that he had helped fund it. It was Fauci who “went behind the back of the Trump White House in 2017 to lift the ban on dangerous ‘gain-of-function’ experiments. It was Fauci’s agency … that helped fund and orchestrate such … experiments at a bioweapons lab in Wuhan, China, where the pandemic almost certainly originated. And it was Fauci who, as we now know from a trove of [his] emails, was being told as early as January 31, 2020, that the virus was likely engineered.” Navarro recounts the day Trump assigned him a task “he believed was essential to saving hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of American lives.”

Trump told him, “I’m taking down all flights coming into the US from China. It’ll rattle the markets, and Biden and the left will hit me hard. But the virus looks like it might be bad, and we need to do it. So, get that task force behind me.” Navarro first saw Fauci in the Situation Room on Jan. 27, 2020: “When I looked into his eyes, he promptly averted [his] gaze.” Soon, they were in a heated argument over whether to ban travel to China. Days earlier, Fauci had told WABC radio’s John Catsimatidis that the Wuhan virus was “a very, very low risk.” In the Situation Room, he “echoed that sentiment.” “I’ve studied travel restrictions many, many times and [they] don’t work,” said Fauci.

Navarro: “You mean to tell me if China is sending us over 20,000 passengers a day … some of whom may have escaped from the Ground Zero of Wuhan, that there is no risk that some of these passengers will seed and spread the virus?” Fauci: “In my experience, travel restrictions don’t work.” And on they went. In the end, Navarro prevailed. Trump imposed the travel ban on Jan. 31, and Australia and New Zealand followed suit. Lives were doubtless saved by that action.

Read more …

“In the civilian world of ordinary employees we called millions of people “essential” and exploited them for a year.”

Supply Chain Constrictor – On Your Nuts (Denninger)

=As the USSR discovered (along with plenty before them) you can’t make someone work to their full potential. It’s not possible. Threats don’t obtain 100% performance; if they are legitimate threats that the person you aim them at truly fears then you get minimum performance to avoid the threatened action at best. If they’re not taken to be threats at all they’re ignored or challenged and you either buckle under or fire the person in question and now you get zero performance.

What’s worse is that by issuing the threat you permanently destroy employee morale and productivity. If the employee sticks up the finger and you don’t fire them you just permanently destroyed any hint of loyalty they may have had. The US Government may not care but they damn well should considering some percentage of those who they threatened have security clearances and, it is presumed, knowledge of serious risk to the United States should they decide to abuse it. Yes, the threat of prosecution is always there but remember that someone who truly has something of use can, if they get out of the US with it, request political asylum and will usually get it, exactly as we routinely do for those who commit a similar act against some other nation. Never mind that merely quitting, if the employee holds a clearance, screws the contractor and the government since they can’t be replaced for a year or more assuming you can find another person with their particular skillset who can pass the clearance process at all.

In the civilian world of ordinary employees we called millions of people “essential” and exploited them for a year. They had to get up at 0400 and go to work to stock grocery shelves, drive trucks, be nurses, patrol the streets, put out fires and carted your choking fat ass to the hospital when you got Covid and called 911 while you were coughing all over them. They ran the water, sewer and power plants so your lights were on, your toilet flushed and your heat worked while their neighbor was still smoking bong hits and drinking beer from last night’s orgy-fest paid for with their $600/wk “fun-employment” because they were not deemed “essential.”

Most if not all of these deemed-essential people worked for over a year under these conditions; it was demanded they take the risk of severe disease or even death or lose their job and since that’s a firing for cause, no $600/wk. Equally-insulting to those “essential workers” were those who were told for decades they had to make a commute into work and put up with all the bull**** and cost that entails, paid out of their own pocket, suddenly could sit at home in the PJs behind a computer in the living room and incur neither the hassle or expense — but still got a full wage while taking none of the “essential person’s” risk.

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Get press coverage.

Dr. Martin Kulldorff Joins Brownstone Institute as Senior Scientific Director (BI)

The Brownstone Institute is pleased to announce that Dr. Martin Kulldorff is joining our institute as Senior Scientific Director. Having served as a professor at Harvard Medical School for the past ten years, he will guide the scientific activities of the Institute, particularly as it relates to the pandemic and the needed public health recovery and reform so that no country will repeat the terrible errors of 2020-21. Professor Kulldorff’s position at Brownstone begins on November 1, 2021. “We cannot overstate the excitement we feel about Kulldorff’s deep involvement with our work,” says Brownstone Institute founder and president Jeffrey Tucker. “He brings rigor, focus, and true brilliance, and his position portends great things for us as an institution.”

The Brownstone Institute was founded in 2021 to respond to this crisis with research, publishing, education, and other programs intended as a guiding light out of the crisis. “Brownstone is being called to serve as a safe haven for genuine science, humane principles, and intellectual integrity during particularly brutal times,” Tucker says. “The hiring of such a great scholar is but one example of the work we will continue to do. His guidance will make an invaluable contribution to the restoration of public health and our ability to recover from the damage caused by Covid restrictions and mandates.” About his new role, Kulldorff says that “governments, universities and scientific leaders have failed us during this pandemic, resulting in the biggest public health fiasco in history.

The questioning of natural immunity after Covid infection is just one example among many. With the censoring of long-established public health principles, we need new organizations to safeguard public health for the future. As part of Brownstone, I am excited to work with other scientists and the public to foster open, rigorous, and intellectual scientific debate. We cannot allow 400 years of enlightenment to end.” Kulldorff is an internationally well-known biostatistician and epidemiologist. During his career, he has developed new statistical and epidemiological methods for disease surveillance, including the early detection and monitoring of infectious disease outbreaks and the post-market drug and vaccine safety monitoring. His methods are widely used by public health agencies around the world, as are his free disease surveillance software: SaTScan, TreeScan and RSequential. He has served on scientific advisory committees to the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control.

Kulldorff came to public attention in 2020 for his role in authoring the Great Barrington Declaration, alongside Dr. Sunetra Gupta of Oxford University and Dr. Jay Bhattacharya of Stanford University. Based on basic principles of public health, the Declaration argues for better focused protection of older high-risk people while letting low-risk children and young adults live near normal lives to minimize the collateral public health damage on education, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, physical fitness and mental health, just to name a few. The Declaration quickly gained over 800,000 signatures including over 10,000 scientists and 40,000 medical practitioners. It also stirred controversy by proponents of the general lockdowns that we now know did not protect the vulnerable.

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Now get snowballing.

One Brave ICU Physician Reporting Vaccine Injuries Leads to a Dozen More (SIri)

One act of bravery begins to snowball. Dr. Patricia Lee “risked it all” to step forward, after being ignored by public health officials, to reveal the serious series of harms she witnessed from Covid-19 vaccines in her intensive care unit. With that one act, my firm has now been contacted by more than a dozen other physicians. Attached are 11 declarations from physicians across the country attesting to serious harms from Covid-19 vaccines. These physicians, like Dr. Lee, reached out to public health authorities at the CDC, FDA, and NIH for over ten months only to have their concerns dismissed or ignored. These agencies typically respond by saying that VAERS is not showing a safety signal so there is nothing to worry about.

If you don’t already know, VAERS is the system that the CDC and FDA say cannot show that a vaccine causes an injury, but yet can show a vaccine is safe. Meaning, heads they win, tails you lose. Worse, many of these physicians were injured by a Covid-19 vaccine themselves and despite being physicians, the physicians from whom these injured physicians sought treatment also typically dismissed their injuries. And they are physicians seeking help from fellow physicians! The story most of these physicians tell is like that of Maddie de Garay who, despite being in a wheelchair and needing a feeding tube through her nose, was told it was psychological. These physicians were, incredibly, almost all initially told the same. Only after seeking treatment from physicians that they knew from work or medical school, were many of them believed.

If physicians are dismissed as “making it up,” imagine what the average individual without medical knowledge and access must deal with after a Covid-19 vaccine injury. Public health authorities tell us to trust doctors. If individuals have concerns about the vaccine, they say: “speak with your doctor.” These very doctors are now telling health authorities there is a serious problem. They have been telling these health authorities for months in myriad correspondences. And the 11 declarations attached are likely a small sampling – after all, Dr. Patricia Lee’s letter was only released on this Substack when only had a few hundred subscribers. It nonetheless started a snowball of physicians reaching out with similar stories which is growing by the day.

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That includes most of the media.

Brits Who Post “False Info” About Vaccines Could be Jailed For 2 Years (SN)

People in the UK who post “false information” about vaccines online could face two years in prison under a new law. Yes, really. The Online Safety Bill, described as “the flagship legislation to combat abuse and hatred on the internet” has faced fierce criticism from civil liberties groups for its broad overreach. The law would create a “knowingly false communication” offence which, according to the Times, “will criminalise those who send or post a message they know to be false with the intention to cause “emotional, psychological, or physical harm to the likely audience”. Government sources gave the example of antivaxers spreading false information that they know to be untrue.”

Given that authorities have deemed all kinds of information about the pandemic and vaccines “false” that later turned out to be true, this is a chilling prospect. For example, claims that vaccines are not fully effective in stopping the spread of COVID-19 would have once been deemed “false,” but that position is now a proven fact. The bill would also change the current stricter standard of “indecent” or “grossly offensive” content to the much broader definition of “harmful effect” when deciding if a post or a message is criminal. This is more in line with UK hate speech laws that determine whether an act of hate speech or a “hate incident” has been committed not on the basis of whether or not it actually happened, but on the basis of the supposed victim feeling like they’ve been targeted.

“The new offences will include sol-called “pile-ons” where a number of individuals join others in sending harassing messages to a victim on social media,” reports the Times. And if you think that will stop left-wing mobs who routinely form “pile-ons” against conservatives for expressing dissenting opinions, think again. It will be selectively enforced against people who criticize or make fun of those deemed “oppressed minorities,” despite such groups having the full backing of the state and every cultural institution (the alphabet people). The Online Harms Bill is being amplified with the help of relentless propaganda about black football players being abused online, despite the fact that most of the abuse originates abroad, mainly from Middle Eastern countries.

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Always was a good observer.

“Madonna has said that there’s “no debate or discussion” over vaccines thanks to the fear permeated by “cancel culture”.”

Madonna: “No One’s Allowed To Speak Their Mind Right Now” (NME)

Madonna has said that there’s “no debate or discussion” over vaccines thanks to the fear permeated by “cancel culture”. The singer said in a new interview that the vaccines debate, which includes jabs for COVID, is stilted due to what she believes is fear for being reprimanded by having certain opinions. Asked by playwright Jeremy O Harris for V Magazine where peace exists in a world affected by a pandemic, Madonna replied: “It’s interesting because peace is subjective. The way people think about the pandemic, for instance, that the vaccination is the only answer or the polarisation of thinking you’re either on this side or the other. There’s no debate, there’s no discussion.”

She continued: “No one’s allowed to speak their mind right now. No one’s allowed to say what they really think about things for fear of being cancelled, cancel culture. In cancel culture, disturbing the peace is probably an act of treason.” Harris then said that he believes that cancel culture isn’t as frightening as “some people feel it is”, to which Madonna replied: “The thing is, the quieter you get, the more fearful you get, the more dangerous anything is. We’re giving it power by shutting the fuck up completely.” Madonna added that she is “frightened” by censorship.

[..] Elsewhere, last year Madonna’s Instagram account was flagged for posting a coronavirus vaccine conspiracy. According to the BBC, the ‘Madame X’ pop star claimed in a video upload that a COVID vaccine had already been discovered but was being kept under wraps in order to “let the rich get richer”. The post was subsequently labelled by Instagram for containing “false information” and was deleted from Madonna’s profile, which is followed by over 15 million users.

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“..be helpful, be honest, be brave, and be kind to each other. We’ll get through it.”

Chilling Bigly (Kunstler)

If the legislation doesn’t get passed, the USA will perhaps skip the hyperinflationary intermezzo and move straight into a deflationary depression, which is what you get when nobody has any money. When that happens, especially in a system with money actually based on debt-creation, debts do not get paid (mortgages, car payments, credit cards, perhaps even coupons on US Treasury bonds), and when debts are not paid, money disappears. Poof! No money! It’s a vicious cycle. The more money disappears the more money keeps disappearing. None of this bodes well for the winter ahead. Add to that the growing breakdown in global trade operations.

Even many of those goods produced in other lands aren’t making it to the docks, and the reduced flow of goods that happened to already land on the docks can’t get unloaded and delivered to its various destinations because of disruptions in the US trucking sector. To some degree, those disruptions are caused by bonehead government regulations, especially in California, where most of the stuff from Asia lands. The bonehead regulations (like, outlawing trucks more than three years old) can be thought of as typical government “dis-services.” Now add to that the rising cost of oil, natural gas, and coal — the global economy’s primary resources — and disruptions in the industries that produce these vital resources and you’ve got another layer of disorder being introduced into the system (entropy again).

For the moment, government propaganda tries to divert your attention to a possible shortage of Christmas presents as the nation’s main concern. Don’t be fooled. It’s more about total systemic economic breakdown, as in US citizens having no heat and no food. Also, no gasoline and no parts for fixing broken cars (and trucks). Do you suppose the capital markets will keep rising as all this spins out? I would suppose that the capital markets will lose 80 to 90 percent of their value when all is said and done. The fabled “One Percent” will finally feel the pain that was previously distributed among the rest of us. Don’t make the mistake of thinking the One Percent can control the situation. They are mere Wizards of Oz, barfing into their laptops. If working-from-home wasn’t a thing, they’d be jumping out of windows on Wall Street.

It’s a grim outlook, I admit, but you could see it coming over the horizon from a thousand miles away. Where I differ from other observers is that I doubt that any sort of extreme government surveillance state can be imposed on the public under these conditions. The people will be too pissed-off and, anyway, the current regime will be broke and out of mojo — possibly to the degree that it has to be shoved aside. “Let’s Go Brandon” is serious business. It’s the end of something. In the background lurks this virus thing, and the insane vaccination program it prompted. We know that people have been harmed by the vaccinations, but not how many people altogether will be affected moving forward. The possibility, though, is for a nation both broke and sick struggling to get through a dark passage of history. Stay nimble, stay local, stay reality-based, be helpful, be honest, be brave, and be kind to each other. We’ll get through it.

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Covid Costume

 

 

Wanted to embed this as a tweet, but was told I couldn’t.

@pfizer Asked The @FDATo Change Their “Approved” #COVID19 Shot For Children Age 5-11 Years Old!
Pfizer Wants To Replace Phosphate-Buffered Saline With #Tromethamine. Tromethamine Is A Blood Acid Reducer Used To Stabilize People Who’ve Had Heart Attacks!
Why?

 

 

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Mar 072018
 
 March 7, 2018  Posted by at 10:46 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,  9 Responses »


Lewis Wickes Hine Italian family in the baggage room, Ellis Island, New York 1905

 

Currency Investors Are Bracing for a Full-Blown Trade War (BBG)
Trump Sticks With Tariff Plan, Warns EU On Trade (R.)
Europe Renews Tariffs On Chinese Steel Pipes As High As 72% (ZH)
US Considers Broad Curbs on Chinese Imports, Takeovers (BBG)
With Cohn Gone, Peter Navarro Is Unleashed At White House (CNBC)
It’s Not Bad Trade Deals, It’s Bad Money – Part 2 (Stockman)
China Dramatically Boosts Spending On Internal Security (WSJ)
Greater Toronto Home Sales Down 35% From February 2017 (CBC)
Italy’s Populists Split The Country in Half (BBG)
In The Alps, Traffickers Prey On Migrants And Rescuers Alike (AFP)
Europe’s Recurring Financial Crisis Has Not, Repeat, Not Ended (F.)
New Eurogroup Chief Warns Of Greek Vulnerability (K.)
Why Turkey Wants to Invade the Greek Islands (Bulut)
Arctic Has Warmest Winter On Record (AP)

 

 

For now, I doubt it.

Currency Investors Are Bracing for a Full-Blown Trade War (BBG)

In foreign-exchange markets, investors aren’t waiting to find out if all the tariff threats being thrown around lead to a full-blown trade war. Some money managers have begun piling into traditional havens like the yen; others are trimming currency exposure altogether; and even those who’re betting not much will come from the row are hedging just in case. The concern is that Trump’s plan to impose steel and aluminum tariffs will trigger a wave of retaliatory levies that derail the worldwide economic expansion. The EU has already responded, preparing punitive steps on iconic U.S. goods should Trump go through with his threats.

Gary Cohn’s resignation Tuesday drove home investors’ skittishness: the yen surged, while the peso and Canadian dollar sank. “Currencies can be very small but sharp objects, where a little exposure can have a large impact,” said Gene Tannuzzo, a portfolio manager at Columbia Threadneedle Investments. “So you could see more and more managers just not really stick their neck out as it relates to FX exposure.”

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There will have to be negotiations.

Trump Sticks With Tariff Plan, Warns EU On Trade (R.)

U.S. President Donald Trump reiterated on Tuesday his plan to slap big tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum, warning the EU it would get hit with a “big tax” for not treating the United States well when it comes to trade. “They make it almost impossible for us to do business with them and yet they send their cars and everything else back into the United States,” Trump said of the EU at a news conference with Swedish PM Stefan Lofven, whose country is an EU member. Trump said the EU was taking advantage of the United States on trade, adding: “They can do whatever they’d like, but if they do that, then we put a big tax of 25% on their cars – and believe me they won’t be doing it very long.”

Trump said on Friday he would impose a duty of 25% on imported steel and 10% on aluminum, a plan that sparked cries of foul from U.S. trading partners and warnings from U.S. lawmakers and businesses of the potential for a tit-for-tat trade war that could hurt the U.S. economy. Trump repeated his belief that the United States could win such a war, since it was running such a large trade deficit. “When we’re behind on every single country, trade wars aren’t so bad,” he told reporters at the White House. Lofven offered a warning of sorts to the U.S. president, saying: “I am convinced that increased tariffs hurt us all in the long run.”

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What’s the phrase? Do as they do, not as they say?

Europe Renews Tariffs On Chinese Steel Pipes As High As 72% (ZH)

As the world watches breathlessly if Trump will follow through with his threat to slap steel and aluminum import tariffs, Europe continues to quietly ratchet up its own trade war with China and nobody seems to mind. On Tuesday, as China was trying to define its future trade relations with the US, it was delivered a broadside from the European Commission after Brussels announced it had renewed tariffs on Chinese steel imports, some as high as 71.9%, saying producers in France, Spain and Sweden face a continued risk of imports from China at unfairly low prices. Ironically, that’s the same thing that Trump is saying. The original measures, imposed last April, saw Europe setting anti-dumping duties on imports of hot-rolled flat steel products from China at a higher rate than the preliminary tariffs already in place.

The European Commission explained it had set final duties of between 18.1% and 35.9% for five years for producers including Bengang Steel Plates, Handan Iron & Steel and Hesteel. This compared with lower provisional rates in place of 13.2 to 22.6%, following a complaint by EU producers ArcelorMittal, Tata Steel and ThyssenKrupp. Fast forward to today when Bloomberg reported that the European Commission reimposed for another five years the duties, which punish Chinese exporters including Huadi Steel for allegedly dumping pipes and tubes in Europe; the levies range from 48.3% to 71.9%, depending on the Chinese exporter.

“The repeal of the measures would in all likelihood result in a significant increase of Chinese dumped imports at prices undercutting the union industry prices,” the commission – the 28-nation EU’s executive arm in Brussels – said in the Official Journal; the five-year renewal will take effect on Wednesday. And even though China’s share of the EU market for stainless steel seamless pipes and tubes has been negligible, and hovering at around 2% since 2013, Brussels had no problem with pursuing what it thought was fair remedies, oblivious of the blowback. And now we turn our attention back to Washington, and whether Trump will do the same.

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Perhaps most interesting: Cohn’s resignation weakens Wall Street’s voice.

US Considers Broad Curbs on Chinese Imports, Takeovers (BBG)

The Trump administration is considering clamping down on Chinese investments in the U.S. and imposing tariffs on a broad range of its imports to punish Beijing for its alleged theft of intellectual property, according to people familiar with the matter. An announcement following an investigation by the U.S. Trade Representative’s office into China’s IP practices is expected in the coming weeks, potentially handing President Donald Trump further cause to impose trade restrictions. His announcement last week of tariffs on steel and aluminum imports has already ratcheted up global trade tensions – and led to the resignation Tuesday of his chief economic adviser Gary Cohn, who opposes such measures. Trump tweeted he’ll be making a decision on a replacement soon and that there are “many people wanting the job.”

The dollar fell and the yen – often a haven in turmoil – jumped as much as 0.6% to 105.46 per dollar, approaching a 16-month high set last week. Asian equities declined. The president is now fighting trade offensives on multiple fronts, from targeting strategic rival China to angering allies like Canada and the EU with threats to erect fresh barriers. While his counterparts have threatened retaliation, concrete action that would herald the start of an all-out trade war has yet to come. Liu He, President Xi Jinping’s top economic adviser who met with Cohn in Washington last week, told delegates at the National People’s Congress in Beijing that both sides had expressed a desire to avoid a trade war. Chinese officials – who have been studying curbs on U.S. products such as soybeans according to past reports – were otherwise largely quiet on the tariff question Wednesday.

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Depends on who succeeds Cohn.

With Cohn Gone, Peter Navarro Is Unleashed At White House (CNBC)

Peter Navarro suffered any number of humiliations in his first year in the White House, where the trade advisor was out of favor with President Donald Trump and his superiors for months. But nothing was more degrading than an order handed down by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly: Navarro had to copy his boss, Gary Cohn, on every single email he sent at the White House. “The chief wanted him under control,” a senior administration official told CNBC on Tuesday, referring to Kelly. But now the free-trading Cohn is stepping down as National Economic Council director, and Navarro’s brand of protectionist nationalism is in the ascendency. Presumably, there will be no one else at the White House looking over Navarro’s email now.

“Peter was quietly effective for nine months,” said an administration official. “He helped his reputation by keeping a low profile and being a model prisoner during his period of captivity. And when his opportunity came, he took it and he won.” Another administration official told CNBC that Cohn’s resignation is “a huge victory for the nationalists.” “Peter Navarro won the trade battle and now Gary’s given up,” that administration official said. “It literally reestablishes the intellectual framework and the personnel who were originally envisioned after Trump won the election. We can let Trump be Trump.” Navarro and Larry Kudlow, a prominent conservative and CNBC contributor, will likely be candidates for Cohn’s job. The second administration official played down the likelihood of Kudlow assuming the economic advisor role, however. Kudlow has been vocal in his opposition to the president’s planned tariffs on steel and aluminum.

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Add China’s Monopoly money to that mix.

It’s Not Bad Trade Deals, It’s Bad Money – Part 2 (Stockman)

In Part 1 we made it clear that the Donald is right about the horrific results of US trade since the 1970s, and that the Keynesian “free traders” of both the saltwater (Harvard) and freshwater (Chicago) schools of monetary central planning have their heads buried far deeper in the sand than does even the orange comb-over with his bombastic affection for 17th century mercantilism. The fact is, you do not get an $810 billion trade deficit and a 66% ratio of exports ($1.55 trillion) to imports ($2.36 trillion), as the US did in 2017, on a level playing field. And most especially, an honest free market would never generate an unbroken and deepening string of trade deficits over the last 43 years running, which cumulate to the staggering sum of $15 trillion.

Better than anything else, those baleful trade numbers explain why industrial America has been hollowed-out and off-shored, and why vast stretches of Flyover America have been left to flounder in economic malaise and decline. But two things are absolutely clear about the “why” of this $15 trillion calamity. To wit, it was not caused by some mysterious loss of capitalist enterprise and energy on America’s main street economy since 1975. Nor was it caused – contrary to the Donald’s simple-minded blather – by bad trade deals and stupid people at the USTR and Commerce Department. After all, American capitalism produced modest trade surpluses every year between 1895 and 1975. Yet it has not lost its mojo during the 43 years of massive trade deficits since then. In fact, the explosion of technological advance in Silicon Valley and on-line business enterprise from coast-to-coast suggests more nearly the opposite.

[..] What changed dramatically after 1975, however, is the monetary regime, and with it the regulator of both central bank policy and the resulting expansion rate of global credit. In a word, Tricky Dick’s ash-canning of the Bretton Woods gold exchange standard removed the essential flywheel that kept global trade balanced and sustainable. Thus, without a disciplinary mechanism independent of and external to the central banks, trade and current account imbalances among countries never needed to be “settled” via gains and losses in the reserve asset (gold or gold-linked dollars).

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China’s behind a few decades, just in time for 1984.

China Dramatically Boosts Spending On Internal Security (WSJ)

China has substantially increased spending on domestic security, official figures show, reflecting mounting concern about threats inside its borders as President Xi Jinping moves to acquire more power and reassert the authority of the Communist Party. Beijing’s budgets for internal and external security have grown faster than the economy as a whole for several years, but domestic security spending has grown far faster — to where it exceeds the national defense budget by roughly 20%. Across China, domestic security accounted for 6.1% of government spending in 2017, the Ministry of Finance said. That translates into 1.24 trillion yuan ($196 billion) and compares with 1.02 trillion yuan in central-government funding for the military.

The numbers, revealed in an annual budget report released this week, help illustrate the scale of a recent intensification of security and surveillance across China, particularly in Xinjiang and Tibet, minority-heavy areas on the country’s periphery. In Xinjiang the government has woven a web of surveillance, with checkpoints, high-definition cameras, facial scanners and street patrols; the region spent $9.1 billion on domestic security in 2017, a 92% increase from 2016, according to local government budget data.

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Any questions?

Greater Toronto Home Sales Down 35% From February 2017 (CBC)

The number of Toronto-area homes sold last month fell nearly 35% and the average selling price dropped more than 12% from historically high levels set last year, the Toronto Real Estate Board reported Tuesday. There was a total of 5,175 residential transactions through the board’s MLS system last month, down 34.9% compared to the 7,955 sales in February 2017. The region’s average selling price, covering all types of residential resales, was down 12.4% to $767,818 — still one of the most expensive in Canada. Detached houses — the most expensive of the major categories tracked by TREB — showed the biggest declines in both the number sold and sales price compared with last year.

The detached category had also been the driving force behind a spike in prices in the early months of 2017 that prompted the Liberal provincial government to introduce a package of measures last April to cool the market. That was followed by a financial stress test for buyers, which officially came into effect on Jan. 1 for federally regulated lenders, following an October announcement by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions. “When TREB released its outlook for 2018, the forecast anticipated a slow start to the year compared to the historically high sales count reported in the winter and early spring of 2017,” TREB president Tim Syrianos said Tuesday. “Prospective home buyers are still coming to terms with the psychological impact of the Fair Housing Plan, and some have also had to re-evaluate their plans due to the new OSFI-mandated mortgage stress test guidelines and generally higher borrowing costs.”

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It really is north and south now, Italy’s age-old dividing line between rich and poor.

Italy’s Populists Split The Country in Half (BBG)

Italy’s political map is a lot less colorful than it used to be. Whereas in previous elections the main parties had pockets of support across the peninsula, the March 4 vote resulted in a wave of anti-establishment Five Star yellow south of Rome and in the islands, and a sea of blue for the center-right coalition in the north, led by a strong showing on the part of the anti-immigrant League. “The South voted for the Five Star Movement and the North voted for the Lega, but both sides of the country expressed a vote of protest,” Luigi Zingales, professor at the University of Chicago’s Booth School, told Bloomberg TV.

The center-left, which used to dominate the central part of the country, was reduced to a few pockets in its former strongholds and to a handful of prosperous districts in the north. Big cities like Rome and Milan were small red dots isolated from the rest of their regions. The 2013 vote wasn’t so clear cut. It was Five Star’s first ever national election and it did well in Sicily and parts of the center and south, but the traditional parties still held on to some of their fiefdoms. Things went differently this time around. Five Star won every district in Sicily, Sardinia, Puglia, and Molise, and all but one in Campania. Large swathes of Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna and all of Umbria, which had voted left for generations, were won by the center-right.

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What a sad world we live in. Or rather, what sad completely different worlds. Universes even.

In The Alps, Traffickers Prey On Migrants And Rescuers Alike (AFP)

Five African migrants stumble through the snow, exhausted and numb, abandoned hours earlier by a smuggler who left them to make their own way down the mountain from Italy into France. They are among dozens who have been tricked in recent weeks into paying hundreds of euros to people traffickers who promised them a comfortable car ride across the border. The Montgenevre Pass isn’t steep, but the snow is deep, and the young men’s trainers and jeans do nothing to protect them against the biting minus 10ºC (14ºF) chill. If they get lost, it might take hours to cross – long enough to freeze to death. By the time members of the French volunteer group Tous Migrants (We Are All Migrants) come to their rescue in the black of night, the youths are broken.

[..] Thousands of young men from francophone west Africa have trudged across these mountains over the past two years, dreaming of jobs in France. In recent months, as news about the route filters back to Africa, the arrivals have gained pace. Since July, nearly 3,000 have passed through a modest shelter run by Tous Migrants [..] The smugglers, who are also French-speaking west Africans, charge up to €350 euros ($430) to sneak people into France. But once the group reaches the Italian border village of Claviere by train and bus, the car that is supposed to carry them on the last leg of their journey to Paris never materialises. The smugglers instead call the French volunteers to notify them that a group of Africans is heading their way – and then turn on their heels.

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One more piece arguing Greece needs to ‘reform’ to recover. BS.

Europe’s Recurring Financial Crisis Has Not, Repeat, Not Ended (F.)

It will happen again. Europe will go through another financial crisis, probably centered in Greece but not necessarily. It has had several already, because from the start few of the troubled countries have made the fundamental reforms needed to meet their obligations. Instead, the richer parts of the currency union, Germany in particular, have advanced funds on conditions of austerity that not only ignore the fundamentals but are otherwise counterproductive. The recipients pretend that they will abide by German conditions, and Berlin, to duck the disruption of a prolonged financial crisis, pretends to believe them. Rescue loans flow, and then, when another failure looms, the show repeats according to the same script. It will happen again.

The most resent run of this show was performed in spring of 2015. Greece, which had starred in the original pilot back in 2010, could not meet the payments due on its debt. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble first lectured Greece on its spendthrift ways and then, according to script, said that Berlin would block any aid until Athens increases taxes and cuts spending sufficiently for its budget to run what is called a “primary surplus” (revenues less costs excluding the expense of debt service) equal to 3.5% of GDP. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, also according to script, refused, pointing out, correctly too, that past such efforts have imposed unsupportable hardships on the Greek people. At the last moment, again according to script, he caved into Schaeuble’s demands. Berlin allowed Europe to extend the loan, and the crisis quieted as past crises have at this point of the show.

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New lapdog.

New Eurogroup Chief Warns Of Greek Vulnerability (K.)

Greece remains vulnerable to domestic and external shocks, the head of the Eurogroup, Mario Centeno, warned on Tuesday. The Portuguese finance minister also told the Athens-Macedonian News Agency that restoring its credibility in the credit market will be a gradual and not automatic process for this country. Centeno called on Athens to continue implementing the reforms of the bailout program even after its completion, adding that the eurozone will examine its strategy regarding the post-program framework later, along with the easing of Greece’s debt. The Portuguese official stopped short of making any pledges about the debt lightening, sticking to the letter of the Eurogroup decision.

Referring to the country’s access to the markets, Centeno stated that “if the conditions are fulfilled for the further easing of the debt at the end of the program, the Eurogroup – as has unequivocally been agreed – is ready to assist in this process.” He added that “all additional measures on the debt will have to be analyzed at a technical level. They will only be adopted if the two conditions are fulfilled: The program has to be completed successfully and the debt easing will have to be necessary for the Greek debt to be considered sustainable. This is why we need an integrated analysis by the institutional bodies; at the moment that has not come.”

Centeno said Greece is a “unique case in the eurozone,” implying that it is in this context that its exit from the bailout program will be examined. He added that “the end of the program will constitute a new political reality for Greece. Whatever the framework of monitoring agreed, Greece will regain control of its policies. Yet just as with every other European [Union] country, such policies will have to be compatible with the European framework.” He said he is not interested in Greek election results, but revealed that the EU is concerned about the political agenda in Greece: “I would just recommend to Greece to continue on its own reform agenda,” Centeno stated.

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Erdogan plays to cheap nationalist sentiments. Which can be fired up much higher by shooting at something. Where’s NATO, US, Germany?

Why Turkey Wants to Invade the Greek Islands (Bulut)

There is one issue on which Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its main opposition, the Republican People’s Party (CHP), are in complete agreement: The conviction that the Greek islands are occupied Turkish territory and must be reconquered. So strong is this determination that the leaders of both parties have openly threatened to invade the Aegean. The only conflict on this issue between the two parties is in competing to prove which is more powerful and patriotic, and which possesses the courage to carry out the threat against Greece. While the CHP is accusing President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s AKP party of enabling Greece to occupy Turkish lands, the AKP is attacking the CHP, Turkey’s founding party, for allowing Greece to take the islands through the 1924 Treaty of Lausanne, the 1932 Turkish-Italian Agreements, and the 1947 Paris Treaty, which recognized the islands of the Aegean as Greek territory.

In 2016, Erdogan said that Turkey “gave away” the islands that “used to be ours” and are “within shouting distance.” “There are still our mosques, our shrines there,” he said, referring to the Ottoman occupation of the islands. Two months earlier, at the “Conference on Turkey’s New Security Concept,” Erdogan declared: “Lausanne… has never been a sacred text. Of course, we will discuss it and struggle to have a better one.” Subsequently, pro-government media outlets published maps and photos of the islands in the Aegean, calling them the territory that “Erdogan says we gave away at Lausanne.”


Borders between Greece and Turkey after 1923 Lausanne Treaty

Ilargi: This may seem extreme, but original plans proposed by the -rejected- 1920 Sèvres Treaty went even further, giving Greece large parts of mainland Turkey as well. This was negotiated after the Ottoman empire lost WWI. The discussions also included claims to the likes of Palestine, Syria and Lebanon. Both treaties were negotiated -and signed- by the Ottoman Empire and the Allied French Republic, British Empire, Kingdom of Italy, Empire of Japan and the Kingdom of Romania. Somewhat ironially, the Kingdom of Greece was the only party not to sign Sèvres. Which was also heavily contested by Kemal Atatürk in Turkey. Wiki: ‘Atatürk led Turkish nationalists to defeat the combined armies of the signatories of the Treaty’ in the Turkish Independence War (1919-1923)


Borders between Greece and Turkey proposed by -rejected- 1920 Sèvres Treaty

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We read this. And then we all get in our cars.

Arctic Has Warmest Winter On Record (AP)

The Arctic [..] experienced its warmest winter on record. Sea ice hit record lows for the time of year, new US weather data revealed on Tuesday. “It’s just crazy, crazy stuff,” said Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado, who has been studying the Arctic since 1982. “These heat waves – I’ve never seen anything like this.” Experts say what’s happening is unprecedented, part of a global warming-driven cycle that probably played a role in the recent strong, icy storms in Europe and the north-eastern US. The land weather station closest to the North Pole, at the tip of Greenland, spent more than 60 hours above freezing in February.

Before this year, scientists had seen the temperature there rise above freezing in February only twice before, and then extremely briefly. Last month’s record-high temperatures have been more like those typical of May, said Ruth Mottram, a climate scientist at the Danish Meteorological Institute. Of nearly three dozen different Arctic weather stations, 15 of them were at least 10F (5.6C) above normal for the winter. “The extended warmth really has staggered all of us,” Mottram said. In February, Arctic sea ice covered 5.4m square miles, about 62,000 square miles smaller than last year’s record low, the ice data center reported, and it was 521,000 square miles below the 30-year normal.

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