GOV/MIL Main "Great Reset" Thread

marsh

TB Fanatic

Report
June 20, 2022
The case for a US-India digital handshake
By Atlantic Council US-India Digital Economy Task Force

The case for a US-India digital handshake

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The United States and India have considerable scope and strategic imperative to deepen bilateral cooperation in the digital domain. Yet, for all both countries’ remarkable progress over the past several years in expanding their digital economies, there is a striking lack of alignment and engagement between the Indian and US governments on digital policy. In fact, digital policy has emerged as a key point of friction between the two countries, rather than a conduit for deepening strategic and commercial relations.

The Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center convened a US-India Digital Economy Task Force to tackle these challenges. It brought together twenty-eight leading US and Indian technology policy experts and former policy practitioners, representing diverse voices across industry, think tanks, and academia. Over a period of three months, the task force convened several Chatham House Rule discussions about the opportunities and challenges facing the United States and India in the digital domain. While this report draws on the deep expertise of the task force members, it is written out of those Chatham House Rule discussions and does not necessarily reflect the views or positions of the task force members or their affiliated organizations. Task force members also participated in their personal capacities, with affiliations listed only for identification purposes.

This report advocates for a US-India “digital handshake” to overcome substantive and institutional barriers in US-India digital economic cooperation. It recommends launching the digital handshake during President Joe Biden’s next visit to India, creating a US-India Digital Economy Ministerial to convene all key decision-makers, and defining five central workstreams for the ministerial: talent and innovation, resilient supply chains and manufacturing, tech for social good, data flows and digital commerce, and national security and law-enforcement cooperation. It also recommends the countries develop a US-India Digital Economy Advisory Board and Technical Advisory Committee to leverage the power and insights of the private sector.
 

marsh

TB Fanatic

Report
June 15, 2022
Missing Key: The challenge of cybersecurity and central bank digital currency
By Giulia Fanti, Kari Kostiainen, William Howlett, Josh Lipsky, Ole Moehr, John Paul Schnapper-Casteras, and Josephine Wolff

Table of contents


Foreword
Executive summary
Background: How the United States currently secures its payment systems

Payments overview
Looking ahead to CBDCs

Chapter 1: Cybersecurity of CBDCs – threats and design options

Roles and trust assumptions
Threat model
CBDC design variants
Additional key design choices
https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/in-depth-research-reports/report/missing-key/#trendlines
Chapter 2: Policy recommendations – Principles for future legislation and regulation
Principle 1: Where possible, use existing risk management frameworks and regulations
Principle 2: Privacy can strengthen security
Principle 3: Test, test, and test some more
Principle 4: Ensure accountability
Principle 5: Promote interoperability
Principle 6: When new legislation is appropriate, make it technology neutral

Conclusion
Appendix: Lessons from the Federal Reserve’s Current Cybersecurity Measures for Deploying CBDCs

Public wholesale layers
Private wholesale layers
Retail payments
About the authors and acknowledgements

DOWNLOAD FULL REPORT

Key takeaways
Foreword
The challenge of securing the dollar dates back to the earliest days of the United States. Benjamin Franklin famously printed currency with the phrase “to counterfeit is death”—and colonial England used fake currency to try to devalue the Continental Dollar during the American Revolution.

In the modern era, security issues have multiplied with the rise of the Internet and the threat of cyberattacks. The United States Federal Reserve (Fed) considers cybersecurity a top priority and sees securing both the dollar and the international financial system as a core national security challenge. We are entering a new era of security and currency, one that requires responsible innovations in digital currency. This report examines the novel cybersecurity implications that could emerge if the United States issues a government-backed digital currency—known as a central bank digital currency (CBDC) or “digital dollar.”

This topic is fast-moving, consequential, and still somewhat nascent.

CBDCs have quickly landed on the international policy landscape. As of June 2022, according to Atlantic Council research, 105 countries representing 95 percent of the global GDP are researching and exploring the possible issuance of CBDCs. In the United States, spurred on by various domestic and international factors, the Fed has begun studying the issue and published a white paper in January 2022 that examines the potential benefits and risks of issuing a CBDC. In February 2022, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, released test code and key findings on what a possible US CBDC might look like. But the government has so far demurred on whether it will actually issue a digital dollar, calling upon Congress to authorize such a major decision. Further complicating matters is the rapid ascendance of privately issued crypto dollars, sometimes referred to as stablecoins, which now surpass $130 billion in total market capitalization. As Fed Vice Chair Lael Brainard testified to the US House of Representatives’ Committee on Financial Services in May 2022, the recent collapse of the stablecoin TerraUSD raises new questions about the ways in which a CBDC could stabilize the digital asset ecosystem.

The security of CBDCs has real-world import and is one of the major challenges to overcome if a CBDC is to be issued in the United States. Not just because of the classical counterfeiting scenarios or the possibility of a hacker looting the digital equivalent of Fort Knox, but also because a government-administered digital currency system could—depending on how it is designed—collect, centralize, and store massive amounts of sensitive data about individual Americans and granular details of millions of everyday transactions. For example, a CBDC could contain large volumes of personally identifiable information ranging from what prescription drugs you buy or where you travel each day. This could become a rich trove of data that could be stolen by advanced hackers or nation-states (similar to reams of personal data collected from federal employees that was stolen in 2016). Separately, other security issues could arise, for example, misuse or exfiltration of data by inside employees, smaller-scale identity theft, or “gray” charges via opaque fees. However, as our analysis shows, many of these risks already exist in the current system and could be mitigated through an effectively designed CBDC.
The security of CBDCs has real-world import and is one of the major challenges to overcome if a CBDC is to be issued in the United States.
The debate around CBDCs in the United States is also, relatively speaking, in its infancy, with the Fed and Treasury Department often taking the lead thus far, and several CBDC-related bills percolating through Congress. Part and parcel of the conversation about how and whether to develop a CBDC in the United States is what it will look like and how secure it could be. These intertwined questions of policy, design, and security should be an increasing focus of the conversation, both among federal agencies and between the executive branch and Congress.

The United States can, and should, play a leading role in international standard setting. US President Joseph R. Biden, Jr.’s recent executive order highlighted the importance of digital assets protecting democratic values.

This report introduces key concepts, potential design trade-offs, and some policy principles that we hope can help federal stakeholders make foundational decisions around the future of CBDCs in the years ahead. While it is too early for a CBDC to be designed with ideal cybersecurity, efforts to dismiss a CBDC as uniquely and categorically vulnerable to cyberattacks have overstated the risk. This report puts forward a road map for policy makers to build secure CBDCs.

Executive summary
This report examines the novel cybersecurity implications that could emerge if the United States or another country issues a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). Central banks consider cybersecurity a major challenge to address before issuing a CBDC. The United States Federal Reserve (Fed) sees securing both the dollar and the international financial system as a core national security imperative. According to Atlantic Council research, currently 105 countries have been researching and exploring the possible issuance of CBDCs, with fifteen in pilot stage and ten fully launched.1 Of the Group of Twenty (G20) economies, nineteen are exploring a CBDC with the majority already in pilot or development. This raises immediate questions about cybersecurity and privacy. A government-issued digital currency system could, but does not necessarily need to, collect, centralize, and store massive amounts of individuals’ sensitive data, creating significant privacy concerns. It could also become a prime target for those seeking to destabilize a country’s financial system.

This report analyzes the intertwined questions of policy, design, and security to focus policy makers on how to build secure CBDCs that protect users’ data and maintain financial stability.

Our analysis shows that privacy-preserving CBDC designs are not only possible, but also come with inherent security advantages, compared to current payment systems, that may reduce the risk of cyberattacks. Divided into three chapters, the report:

(1) provides a brief background on the Fed’s process as a baseline for central banks’ current cybersecurity measures;

(2) explores the novel cybersecurity implications of different potential CBDC designs in depth; and

(3) outlines legislative and regulatory principles for policy makers in the United States and beyond to set the conditions for secure CBDCs.

(See table of contents for additional report sections)
 

marsh

TB Fanatic
(more on the emerging new global economic order and the "rules based" partnership among "democracies"


Report
June 1, 2022
Building a new Democratic Trade and Economic Partnership
By Ash Jain and Matthew Kroenig

This report was produced in collaboration with Marianne Schneider-Petsinger of Chatham House

This is the fifth and final report in a five-part series of Atlantic Council publications, as part of a project on revitalizing the rules-based international system and positioning the United States and its allies to succeed in an era of strategic competition.

The first publication, Present at the Re-Creation: A Global Strategy for Revitalizing, Adapting, and Defending a Rules-Based International System, sets forth an overarching global strategy for the United States and its allies to uphold the rules-based system by strengthening cooperation among the world’s democracies, while seeking to cooperate with other global powers on areas of common concern.

The second report, From the G7 to a D-10: Strengthening Democratic Cooperation for Today’s Challenges, proposes the creation of a new D-10 core group of influential democracies across North America, Europe, and the Indo-Pacific, aimed at deepening strategic collaboration on the most pressing challenges facing the rules-based order.

The third report, An Alliance of Democracies: From Concept to Reality in an Era of Strategic Competition, suggests that an Alliance of Democracies could foster cooperation among a larger group of nations committed to shared values and goals, potentially as a standing body stemming from the Biden administration’s series of democracy summits.

The fourth report calls for a Democratic Technology Alliance that would ensure that the free world prevails in the race for advanced technologies by jointly investing in innovation, countering unfair practices, and developing rules and norms consistent with democratic values.

This report contends that a Democratic Trade and Economic Partnership could provide an integrated framework for leading democracies and other partners to coordinate on economic challenges posed by revisionist autocracies and foster free, fair, and secure trade. This report draws on relevant sections from these previous publications.

I. Introduction and executive summary
The post-World War II global economic order is in the midst of a profound transition. The first phase of this order, established by the United States and its allies around the Bretton Woods system of institutions, encouraged free markets and open trade, and focused primarily on economic engagement within the free world. The second phase, which began with the end of the Cold War, expanded the order to include all nations willing to commit to certain rules aimed at reducing trade barriers and implementing non-discriminatory trade practices. But the era of inclusive globalization now appears to be coming to an end. In the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic, and more recently, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the global economic order is entering a new third phase.

The precise contours of this new phase are still unclear, but a few trends are emerging. As China and Russia act more aggressively to challenge the rules-based order, the United States and other leading democracies have begun imposing new trade barriers, including a widening range of tariffs and sanctions, against them. At the same time, free trade has become less salient, particularly in the United States, where both political parties have begun to emphasize “supply chain resilience” and domestic onshoring. While free trade still appears to have resonance in other parts of the world, the question is whether this third phase of the order will be characterized by increasing protectionism, or whether a new model for economic engagement can emerge that fosters secure supply chains and, at the same time, maintains the benefits of an open global trading system.

This report seeks to encourage the latter. It suggests that a new Democratic Trade and Economic Partnership (D-TEP) could provide an integrated framework for the United States and its allies and partners to work together to counter the economic challenges posed by revisionist autocracies, while ensuring that the global economic order remains free and open, as well as stable and secure.

Challenges to the global economic order
The rules-based order, led by the United States and its democratic allies since the end of World War II, faces unprecedented challenges. From Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to China’s increasingly assertive actions to undermine key tenets of the global order, the world is at an inflection point, entering what President Joe Biden has called a long-term global “struggle between democracy and autocracy.”[1]

In the economic domain, the rules-based order has advanced an interconnected global economy based on free markets and open trade and finance. Since the end of World War II, this order has resulted in drastic increases in global economic prosperity. While it has also led to uneven trade benefits and income disparities, it has fueled unprecedented innovations that have dramatically improved living standards for people around the world.

Among the biggest beneficiaries of this open economic order have been China and Russia. But rather than liberalizing their political systems as they integrated into the global economy, as many had hoped, the authoritarian leaders in Moscow and Beijing have reaped the benefits of the global trading system while consolidating their repressive regimes. To fuel their economic growth, China, and to some extent Russia, have engaged in intellectual property theft, forced technology transfers, and other unfair trade practices, while taking advantage of unfettered access to global markets.[2]

At the same time, as corporations have relocated production facilities abroad and increased global trade, the United States, its European allies, and other democracies around the world have become increasingly dependent on China and Russia across a range of critical economic sectors. In the energy sector, for example, the European Union (EU) relies on Russia for more than 40 percent of its natural-gas imports and nearly a quarter of its crude-oil imports.[3] Dependency on China is even more dramatic. The United States and other democracies are deeply reliant on Chinese supply chains across a range of industry sectors, from pharmaceutical ingredients to smartphones to essential earth minerals.

The concern over supply-chain dependencies is not just theoretical. Moscow and Beijing are using their economic clout to coerce democratic nations to accede to their political demands. In recent months, China has acted to restrict Australian imports after its leaders called for an independent investigation into the origins of COVID-19, and forcefully retaliated against Lithuania for its decision to allow Taiwan to open a representative office in its own name. Many analysts have suggested that China and the United States are in a situation of “mutually assured economic destruction.”[4] Were China to engage in more aggressive actions, such as taking military action against Taiwan, the rapid imposition of sanctions and the increasing decoupling that the West has employed against Russia would be far more difficult to impose against China, given the potential economic consequences.

The COVID-19 pandemic served as a wakeup call for supply-chain dependencies, prompting democratic governments to look for alternative sources of supplies as it became clear that China was the dominant source for personal protective equipment (PPE) and other health supplies. With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the United States and its allies have moved swiftly to isolate Russia from the global economy, cutting off trade and investment across large swathes of the Russian economy. Recognizing the growing strategic dependencies on autocracies, policymakers have begun to look to ways to promote supply chain resilience by seeking to promote domestic manufacturing in certain industries, such as semiconductors.

Rather than relying strictly on domestic on-shoring, which would be costly and impractical, a growing chorus of voices have suggested that the way to establish more resilient supply chains is through “ally shoring”— sourcing essential goods and services with countries that share democratic values and a commitment to an open, rules-based international order.[5] The White House has called for “work[ing] with America’s allies and partners to strengthen our collective supply chain resilience,” [6] and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen spoke about the need for “friend shoring” among countries that “have strong adherence to a set of norms and values about how to operate in the global economy.”[7] Congress has also begun to take steps to promote supply chain resilience among allies and partners.[8]

The Biden administration’s launch of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) is a concrete manifestation of this effort. With its parameters still being developed, the initiative seeks to strengthen economic engagement among US allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific, as a complement to the Quad’s ongoing discussion on supply chains. Separately, the US-EU Trade and Technology Council is facilitating an economic dialogue among transatlantic partners, including on supply chains.

While potentially meaningful, the current patchwork of multilateral supply chain dialogues and initiatives remains too narrow, both in terms of economic and geographic scope. Rather than approaching the challenges systematically, these efforts have tended to focus on a handful of sectors, such as semiconductors, with outcomes that are bifurcated along regional lines. Yet today’s supply chains, particularly those involving China, are global, not regional, and the same set of strategic and economic challenges impacting the United States are also impacting America’s allies across both Europe and the Indo-Pacific. What is lacking is an integrated framework that would bring together leading democracies to coordinate a free-world strategy on these challenges.

A new economic framework
Given the significant vulnerabilities they face, the United States and its democratic allies must adopt a fundamentally new approach to deal with the growing economic challenges to the rules-based order.

The United States and leading democracies in Europe, North America, and the Indo-Pacific should lead the establishment of a new strategic trade and economic framework for the twenty-first century: a Democratic Trade and Economic Partnership (D-TEP) that would bring together willing democracies, and potentially other nations that meet certain criteria, to act together under a common economic umbrella. D-TEP would provide a holistic and systematic framework for the United States and its allies and partners to coordinate on the economic challenged posed by revisionist autocracies and help position the free world to succeed in an era of strategic competition.

D-TEP would be focused primarily on achieving the following goals.

  1. Reducing strategic dependence on China and Russia. D-TEP would aim to reduce vulnerability among democracies to coercion, blackmail, or potential economic disruptions from revisionist autocracies – namely China and Russia – by encouraging the shifting of supply chains in certain areas toward more stable and trusted partners. The goal is not to cut off all trade and investment, particularly with regard to China. Rather, it is to identify critical economic sectors in which the United States and its allies cannot afford to continue allowing unfettered trade and investment flows, and to take impactful steps to reduce strategic dependence in these sectors.
  2. Expanding free, fair, and secure trade among democracies, starting by bringing down trade and investment barriers in the industry sectors around which supply chains would be reorchestrated under this framework. The goal is to expand the benefits of free, fair, and secure trade, while pushing back against rising protectionism and encouraging greater openness within the democratic world.
  3. Incentivizing nations on the fence to join the free world in upholding the rules-based order. With the economic benefits of supply-chain shifts accruing to member states, the prospect of D-TEP membership could serve as a powerful inducement for nonaligned democracies and other nations to work more closely with the United States and its allies to advance shared interests and reduce strategic vulnerabilities to autocracies that are challenging the order.
All of these goals are important and interconnected. Reducing strategic dependence on China and Russia will require shifting supply chains to more reliable and trusted allies and partners. For this to work, the private sector needs meaningful incentives including the reduction of trade barriers in the affected industry sectors, which could facilitate new opportunities to foster more free and secure trade. Nations that are part of this framework will accrue significant economic benefits, and access to these benefits can be used as an incentive to persuade governments on the fence to join to take meaningful steps toward upholding the rules-based order.

To be clear, D-TEP would not be intended to supplant or undermine the World Trade Organization or the existing bilateral and multilateral trade and investment agreements that D-TEP members have in place among themselves or other states. The United States and its allies should continue looking for ways to strengthen the WTO and reinforce its efforts to expand open trade and investment worldwide, even as it builds a more tailored economic framework with democratic allies and partners.

In pursuit of these goals, D-TEP would be organized around four core pillars, each of which would entail commitments by member states and corresponding benefits.

Pillar one would entail an agreement among member states on a common framework for regulating trade and investment flows to China and Russia. The framework would distinguish between three categories: (i) strategic sectors vital to national security, such as military equipment, in which trade would be restricted; (ii) critical and sensitive sectors, such as energy and pharmaceuticals, in which incentives would be developed to encourage the shifting of supply chains away from China and Russia; and (iii) other economic sectors, such as furniture and appliances, in which trade would generally be permitted without restrictions (except where subject to sanctions related to other issues).

Pillar two would set forth a commitment by D-TEP member states to take collective action to assist other members if they become the subject of economic coercion. Some have likened this to NATO’s Article V, where an attack against one is considered an attack against all.[9] A commitment by democracies to act together under this pillar could serve as a significant deterrent against economic coercion and a channel to coordinate joint assistance to those that are targeted.

Pillar three would outline an agreement between member states to reduce trade barriers among themselves in specific industry sectors. Such an agreement would be structured in a narrow and practical way, beginning with the critical sectors identified in Pillar One, where it is in the interest of D-TEP members to promote the shifting of supply chains away from China and Russia. Over time, D-TEP could also facilitate agreements to reduce trade barriers in other industry sectors, serving as a platform to revitalize discussions among the United States and its allies on fostering more free, fair, and secure trade.

Pillar four would constitute a set of bold economic initiatives in crucial areas where autocratic powers, particularly China, are at risk of outcompeting the democratic world, and where the United States and its allies have a particularly strong interest in working together to maintain a strategic edge. These initiatives, with a potential focus on global infrastructure, digital commerce, and clean energy technology, as well as other critical technologies, could help limit Beijing and Moscow’s attempts to co-opt nations in the global South by making them more economically dependent on China and Russia.

Together, these four pillars would facilitate a series of mutually reinforcing activities and provide an integrated framework to reduce strategic dependence on autocracies and advance the rules-based economic order. D-TEP would pool the economic power and influence of the world’s leading democracies based around shared interests and a common willingness to act. At the same time, it would consolidate a meaningful package of economic benefits that many nations around the world—in particular, developing nations —could find compelling and attractive.

(see website for the remainder of the report)
 

marsh

TB Fanatic

A Permanent Shortage Of Everything

MONDAY, JUN 20, 2022 - 08:25 PM
Authored by Daniel Greenfield via The Gatestone Institute,
  • The world isn't flat, it's all too round... That's why Islam is once again at war with Europe, Russia is invading Ukraine, China is relaunching its empire, and the 'flatland' is experiencing a dimensional shift.
  • Globalization advocates had just recreated Marxist central planning with a somewhat more flexible global model in which massive corporations bridged global barriers to create the most efficient possible means of moving goods and services around the planet. Borders would come down and cultural exchanges would make us all one ushering in the great union of humanity.
  • Market consolidation due to government regulations has left a handful of companies sitting atop the market. When one of them, like Abbott for baby formula, has a hiccup, the results are catastrophic; others like Procter & Gamble, which controls about half the menstrual products market, don't have to worry about losing market share to competition. Similar consolidation in food, paper products and supermarkets have replaced a dynamic economy with cartels.
  • Behind all the brands on the product shelves is a creaky Soviet system in which a handful of massive enterprises interconnected with the state lazily crank out low-quality products from vast supply chains that they no longer control and feel little competitive pressure to perform better. The only thing that is still American about the supermarket experience is the advertising.
  • Interdependence hasn't even led to the world government that globalists wanted, but global chaos in which impotent western powers try to talk the rest of the world out of fighting to avoid being swamped by refugees, high energy bills and empty shelves in supermarkets.
  • After selling off American economic sovereignty, globalists proved unable to maintain global stability. Lacking the will to actually stand up to China, Iran or Russia, all they can do is hold more international conferences and build up a useless multinational bureaucracy.
  • Say what you will about the League of Nations, but it only had 700 employees in Geneva. The UN's 44,000 employees are just the tip of the iceberg in the huge ranks of multinational organizations who all claim to be upholding the international order while running up the tab.
First it was baby formula, now there's a tampon shortage. Tampon prices are up 10% due to the rising price of oil affecting the cost of plastic and higher cotton prices due to mask manufacturing and the war in Ukraine. A whole lot of fertilizer comes out of Ukraine and Russia.

So does neon, which is used to make semiconductor chips. The chip shortage is shutting down car plants.


Pictured: A shopper looks at the bare shelves of the baby formula section of a supermarket in Chelsea, Massachusetts on May 20, 2022. (Photo by Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images)

This is the thoroughly interconnected world celebrated in prose by journalists like Thomas Friedman, who marveled at how Big Data and globalization brought everything together.
"No two countries that both have a McDonald's have ever fought a war against each other," Friedman once claimed. In his greatest paean to globalization, The World Is Flat, he argued that, "No two countries that are both part of a major global supply chain, like Dell's, will ever fight a war against each other as long as they are both part of the same global supply chain."
McDonald's in Russia has closed and the ones in Ukraine might be blown up any time. Russia restricted its neon exports while Ukraine's neon exports have fallen sharply. Dell's CEO Michael Dell has warned that the global chip shortage could last for years.

So much for the Golden Arches and Dell theory of globalist conflict prevention.

The world isn't flat, it's all too round. Much like history isn't an ascending trend line to the right side, it's also a circle. That's why Islam is once again at war with Europe, Russia is invading Ukraine, China is relaunching its empire, and the 'flatland' is experiencing a dimensional shift.

Globalization advocates had just recreated Marxist central planning with a somewhat more flexible global model in which massive corporations bridged global barriers to create the most efficient possible means of moving goods and services around the planet. Borders would come down and cultural exchanges would make us all one, ushering in the great union of humanity.
What an interdependent world really means is Algerian Jihadists shooting up Paris, gang members from El Salvador beheading Americans within sight of Washington D.C., tampon and car shortages caused by a war in Ukraine, and more radicalism and extremism than ever.

Trying to "flatten" the world just makes it pop up again.
The technocratic new world order of megacorporations consolidating markets and then doling out products with just-in-time inventory systems now flows through a broken supply chain.

Rising inflation and international disruptions makes it all but impossible for even the big companies to plan ahead, and so they produce less and shrug at the shortages.

We're in a wartime economy because our system has become too vast and too inflexible to adjust to chaos. Biden keeps trotting out the Defense Production Act for everything until, given time, the entire economy has been Sovietized. The more that the government tries to impose stability on the chaos, the less responsive and productive the dominant players become.

Market consolidation due to government regulations has left a handful of companies sitting atop the market. When one of them, like Abbott for baby formula, has a hiccup, the results are catastrophic; others like Procter & Gamble, which controls about half the menstrual products market, don't have to worry about losing market share to competition. Similar consolidation in food, paper products and supermarkets have replaced a dynamic economy with cartels.

Behind all the brands on the product shelves is a creaky Soviet system in which a handful of massive enterprises interconnected with the state lazily crank out low-quality products from vast supply chains that they no longer control and feel little competitive pressure to perform better. The only thing that is still American about the supermarket experience is the advertising.

The problems with the system were less noticeable when its predictive mechanisms worked and its foreign suppliers were eager for American dollars. Under stress, the failure points are all too obvious, and what is less obvious is that the system has no intention of repairing any of them.

It doesn't need to.

An out-of-touch elite responds to problems with meaningless reassurances, glib jokes and wokeness. Like Soviet propaganda, the only thing corporate statements communicate is the vast distance between the lives of those running the system and those caught inside its gears.

But despite their complicity, the massive monopolistic enterprises didn't make this world.

Biden and the Democrats have been eager to blame companies for "profiteering" from the inflation created by federal spending. Few companies prefer the current crisis to 2019. Hardly anyone except bottom-feeders enjoys not being unable to rationally plan for the future. Major corporations and their investors care more about a growth plan than quarterly profits.

The Democrats were the biggest champions of globalization. Their regulations led to record market consolidation and domestic job cuts. Corporations were pressured to export dirty Republican jobs to China and keep the 'clean' Democrat office jobs at home. The devastation wreaked havoc on the working class and the middle class, and rebuilt our entire economy to be dependent on China and a worldwide supply chain only globalists could believe was bulletproof.

OPEC's impact on fuel prices under Carter became the model for the entire economy. A war anywhere impacts Americans. Dozens of countries have the power to wreck our economy, intentionally or even unintentionally. Even the environmental promises of energy independence have become a farce in which our government pleads with China for more solar panels.

Interdependence hasn't even led to the world government that globalists wanted, but global chaos in which impotent western powers try to talk the rest of the world out of fighting to avoid being swamped by refugees, high energy bills and empty shelves in supermarkets.

After selling off American economic sovereignty, globalists proved unable to maintain global stability. Lacking the will to actually stand up to China, Iran or Russia, all they can do is hold more international conferences and build up a useless multinational bureaucracy.

Say what you will about the League of Nations, but it only had 700 employees in Geneva. The UN's 44,000 employees are just the tip of the iceberg in the huge ranks of multinational organizations who all claim to be upholding the international order while running up the tab.

Globalization globalizes the ineptitude of the global order. Its grand plans, like those of the Soviet Union, are never a match for the chaos of human nature and its ambitions. Politicians, philanthropists and philosophers had labored to replace American dynamism with a clockwork machine. The old Babbage clockworks became servers upholding a cloud that proved to be very handy for instant communications, but ran up against the same 'flattening' limitations.

America was never meant to be flat. It was a land discovered by those who understood that the world was round. Flattening America has depressed its economy and its spirit. A flat world with no room for American exceptionalism is instead becoming a playground for Chinese and Russian exceptionalism. And America's economy is becoming one big permanent shortage.
 

raven

Has No Life - Lives on TB
(more on the emerging new global economic order and the "rules based" partnership among "democracies"


Report
June 1, 2022
Building a new Democratic Trade and Economic Partnership
By Ash Jain and Matthew Kroenig

This report was produced in collaboration with Marianne Schneider-Petsinger of Chatham House

This is the fifth and final report in a five-part series of Atlantic Council publications, as part of a project on revitalizing the rules-based international system and positioning the United States and its allies to succeed in an era of strategic competition.

The first publication, Present at the Re-Creation: A Global Strategy for Revitalizing, Adapting, and Defending a Rules-Based International System, sets forth an overarching global strategy for the United States and its allies to uphold the rules-based system by strengthening cooperation among the world’s democracies, while seeking to cooperate with other global powers on areas of common concern.

The second report, From the G7 to a D-10: Strengthening Democratic Cooperation for Today’s Challenges, proposes the creation of a new D-10 core group of influential democracies across North America, Europe, and the Indo-Pacific, aimed at deepening strategic collaboration on the most pressing challenges facing the rules-based order.

The third report, An Alliance of Democracies: From Concept to Reality in an Era of Strategic Competition, suggests that an Alliance of Democracies could foster cooperation among a larger group of nations committed to shared values and goals, potentially as a standing body stemming from the Biden administration’s series of democracy summits.

The fourth report calls for a Democratic Technology Alliance that would ensure that the free world prevails in the race for advanced technologies by jointly investing in innovation, countering unfair practices, and developing rules and norms consistent with democratic values.

This report contends that a Democratic Trade and Economic Partnership could provide an integrated framework for leading democracies and other partners to coordinate on economic challenges posed by revisionist autocracies and foster free, fair, and secure trade. This report draws on relevant sections from these previous publications.

I. Introduction and executive summary
The post-World War II global economic order is in the midst of a profound transition. The first phase of this order, established by the United States and its allies around the Bretton Woods system of institutions, encouraged free markets and open trade, and focused primarily on economic engagement within the free world. The second phase, which began with the end of the Cold War, expanded the order to include all nations willing to commit to certain rules aimed at reducing trade barriers and implementing non-discriminatory trade practices. But the era of inclusive globalization now appears to be coming to an end. In the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic, and more recently, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the global economic order is entering a new third phase.

The precise contours of this new phase are still unclear, but a few trends are emerging. As China and Russia act more aggressively to challenge the rules-based order, the United States and other leading democracies have begun imposing new trade barriers, including a widening range of tariffs and sanctions, against them. At the same time, free trade has become less salient, particularly in the United States, where both political parties have begun to emphasize “supply chain resilience” and domestic onshoring. While free trade still appears to have resonance in other parts of the world, the question is whether this third phase of the order will be characterized by increasing protectionism, or whether a new model for economic engagement can emerge that fosters secure supply chains and, at the same time, maintains the benefits of an open global trading system.

This report seeks to encourage the latter. It suggests that a new Democratic Trade and Economic Partnership (D-TEP) could provide an integrated framework for the United States and its allies and partners to work together to counter the economic challenges posed by revisionist autocracies, while ensuring that the global economic order remains free and open, as well as stable and secure.

Challenges to the global economic order
The rules-based order, led by the United States and its democratic allies since the end of World War II, faces unprecedented challenges. From Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to China’s increasingly assertive actions to undermine key tenets of the global order, the world is at an inflection point, entering what President Joe Biden has called a long-term global “struggle between democracy and autocracy.”[1]

In the economic domain, the rules-based order has advanced an interconnected global economy based on free markets and open trade and finance. Since the end of World War II, this order has resulted in drastic increases in global economic prosperity. While it has also led to uneven trade benefits and income disparities, it has fueled unprecedented innovations that have dramatically improved living standards for people around the world.

Among the biggest beneficiaries of this open economic order have been China and Russia. But rather than liberalizing their political systems as they integrated into the global economy, as many had hoped, the authoritarian leaders in Moscow and Beijing have reaped the benefits of the global trading system while consolidating their repressive regimes. To fuel their economic growth, China, and to some extent Russia, have engaged in intellectual property theft, forced technology transfers, and other unfair trade practices, while taking advantage of unfettered access to global markets.[2]

At the same time, as corporations have relocated production facilities abroad and increased global trade, the United States, its European allies, and other democracies around the world have become increasingly dependent on China and Russia across a range of critical economic sectors. In the energy sector, for example, the European Union (EU) relies on Russia for more than 40 percent of its natural-gas imports and nearly a quarter of its crude-oil imports.[3] Dependency on China is even more dramatic. The United States and other democracies are deeply reliant on Chinese supply chains across a range of industry sectors, from pharmaceutical ingredients to smartphones to essential earth minerals.

The concern over supply-chain dependencies is not just theoretical. Moscow and Beijing are using their economic clout to coerce democratic nations to accede to their political demands. In recent months, China has acted to restrict Australian imports after its leaders called for an independent investigation into the origins of COVID-19, and forcefully retaliated against Lithuania for its decision to allow Taiwan to open a representative office in its own name. Many analysts have suggested that China and the United States are in a situation of “mutually assured economic destruction.”[4] Were China to engage in more aggressive actions, such as taking military action against Taiwan, the rapid imposition of sanctions and the increasing decoupling that the West has employed against Russia would be far more difficult to impose against China, given the potential economic consequences.

The COVID-19 pandemic served as a wakeup call for supply-chain dependencies, prompting democratic governments to look for alternative sources of supplies as it became clear that China was the dominant source for personal protective equipment (PPE) and other health supplies. With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the United States and its allies have moved swiftly to isolate Russia from the global economy, cutting off trade and investment across large swathes of the Russian economy. Recognizing the growing strategic dependencies on autocracies, policymakers have begun to look to ways to promote supply chain resilience by seeking to promote domestic manufacturing in certain industries, such as semiconductors.

Rather than relying strictly on domestic on-shoring, which would be costly and impractical, a growing chorus of voices have suggested that the way to establish more resilient supply chains is through “ally shoring”— sourcing essential goods and services with countries that share democratic values and a commitment to an open, rules-based international order.[5] The White House has called for “work[ing] with America’s allies and partners to strengthen our collective supply chain resilience,” [6] and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen spoke about the need for “friend shoring” among countries that “have strong adherence to a set of norms and values about how to operate in the global economy.”[7] Congress has also begun to take steps to promote supply chain resilience among allies and partners.[8]

The Biden administration’s launch of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) is a concrete manifestation of this effort. With its parameters still being developed, the initiative seeks to strengthen economic engagement among US allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific, as a complement to the Quad’s ongoing discussion on supply chains. Separately, the US-EU Trade and Technology Council is facilitating an economic dialogue among transatlantic partners, including on supply chains.

While potentially meaningful, the current patchwork of multilateral supply chain dialogues and initiatives remains too narrow, both in terms of economic and geographic scope. Rather than approaching the challenges systematically, these efforts have tended to focus on a handful of sectors, such as semiconductors, with outcomes that are bifurcated along regional lines. Yet today’s supply chains, particularly those involving China, are global, not regional, and the same set of strategic and economic challenges impacting the United States are also impacting America’s allies across both Europe and the Indo-Pacific. What is lacking is an integrated framework that would bring together leading democracies to coordinate a free-world strategy on these challenges.

A new economic framework
Given the significant vulnerabilities they face, the United States and its democratic allies must adopt a fundamentally new approach to deal with the growing economic challenges to the rules-based order.

The United States and leading democracies in Europe, North America, and the Indo-Pacific should lead the establishment of a new strategic trade and economic framework for the twenty-first century: a Democratic Trade and Economic Partnership (D-TEP) that would bring together willing democracies, and potentially other nations that meet certain criteria, to act together under a common economic umbrella. D-TEP would provide a holistic and systematic framework for the United States and its allies and partners to coordinate on the economic challenged posed by revisionist autocracies and help position the free world to succeed in an era of strategic competition.

D-TEP would be focused primarily on achieving the following goals.

  1. Reducing strategic dependence on China and Russia. D-TEP would aim to reduce vulnerability among democracies to coercion, blackmail, or potential economic disruptions from revisionist autocracies – namely China and Russia – by encouraging the shifting of supply chains in certain areas toward more stable and trusted partners. The goal is not to cut off all trade and investment, particularly with regard to China. Rather, it is to identify critical economic sectors in which the United States and its allies cannot afford to continue allowing unfettered trade and investment flows, and to take impactful steps to reduce strategic dependence in these sectors.
  2. Expanding free, fair, and secure trade among democracies, starting by bringing down trade and investment barriers in the industry sectors around which supply chains would be reorchestrated under this framework. The goal is to expand the benefits of free, fair, and secure trade, while pushing back against rising protectionism and encouraging greater openness within the democratic world.
  3. Incentivizing nations on the fence to join the free world in upholding the rules-based order. With the economic benefits of supply-chain shifts accruing to member states, the prospect of D-TEP membership could serve as a powerful inducement for nonaligned democracies and other nations to work more closely with the United States and its allies to advance shared interests and reduce strategic vulnerabilities to autocracies that are challenging the order.
All of these goals are important and interconnected. Reducing strategic dependence on China and Russia will require shifting supply chains to more reliable and trusted allies and partners. For this to work, the private sector needs meaningful incentives including the reduction of trade barriers in the affected industry sectors, which could facilitate new opportunities to foster more free and secure trade. Nations that are part of this framework will accrue significant economic benefits, and access to these benefits can be used as an incentive to persuade governments on the fence to join to take meaningful steps toward upholding the rules-based order.

To be clear, D-TEP would not be intended to supplant or undermine the World Trade Organization or the existing bilateral and multilateral trade and investment agreements that D-TEP members have in place among themselves or other states. The United States and its allies should continue looking for ways to strengthen the WTO and reinforce its efforts to expand open trade and investment worldwide, even as it builds a more tailored economic framework with democratic allies and partners.

In pursuit of these goals, D-TEP would be organized around four core pillars, each of which would entail commitments by member states and corresponding benefits.

Pillar one would entail an agreement among member states on a common framework for regulating trade and investment flows to China and Russia. The framework would distinguish between three categories: (i) strategic sectors vital to national security, such as military equipment, in which trade would be restricted; (ii) critical and sensitive sectors, such as energy and pharmaceuticals, in which incentives would be developed to encourage the shifting of supply chains away from China and Russia; and (iii) other economic sectors, such as furniture and appliances, in which trade would generally be permitted without restrictions (except where subject to sanctions related to other issues).

Pillar two would set forth a commitment by D-TEP member states to take collective action to assist other members if they become the subject of economic coercion. Some have likened this to NATO’s Article V, where an attack against one is considered an attack against all.[9] A commitment by democracies to act together under this pillar could serve as a significant deterrent against economic coercion and a channel to coordinate joint assistance to those that are targeted.

Pillar three would outline an agreement between member states to reduce trade barriers among themselves in specific industry sectors. Such an agreement would be structured in a narrow and practical way, beginning with the critical sectors identified in Pillar One, where it is in the interest of D-TEP members to promote the shifting of supply chains away from China and Russia. Over time, D-TEP could also facilitate agreements to reduce trade barriers in other industry sectors, serving as a platform to revitalize discussions among the United States and its allies on fostering more free, fair, and secure trade.

Pillar four would constitute a set of bold economic initiatives in crucial areas where autocratic powers, particularly China, are at risk of outcompeting the democratic world, and where the United States and its allies have a particularly strong interest in working together to maintain a strategic edge. These initiatives, with a potential focus on global infrastructure, digital commerce, and clean energy technology, as well as other critical technologies, could help limit Beijing and Moscow’s attempts to co-opt nations in the global South by making them more economically dependent on China and Russia.

Together, these four pillars would facilitate a series of mutually reinforcing activities and provide an integrated framework to reduce strategic dependence on autocracies and advance the rules-based economic order. D-TEP would pool the economic power and influence of the world’s leading democracies based around shared interests and a common willingness to act. At the same time, it would consolidate a meaningful package of economic benefits that many nations around the world—in particular, developing nations —could find compelling and attractive.

(see website for the remainder of the report)
From the G7 to a D-10: Strengthening Democratic Cooperation for Today’s Challenges

the beast having G-7 heads and D-10 horns
Sorry, not an invitation for a religious discussion - it was simply the first thing that crossed my mind when I saw it - call it coinsidence.
 

marsh

TB Fanatic
ttps://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/un-food-chief-halved-refugee-food-rations-global-hunger-crisis-worsens

UN Food Chief Halved Refugee Meal Rations As Global Hunger Crisis Worsens

TUESDAY, JUN 21, 2022 - 03:55 AM

Food riot risks continue to soar worldwide as the head of the food-aid branch of the United Nations halved meal rations for refugees.

On Monday, David Beasley, director of the UN World Food Programme (WFP), released a statement detailing "the heartbreaking decision to cut food rations for refugees who rely on us for their survival."
"As global hunger soars way beyond the resources available to feed all the families who desperately need WFP's help, we are being forced to make the heartbreaking decision to cut food rations for refugees who rely on us for their survival," Beasley said.
Beasley pointed out that WFP already "significantly reduced" rations across its operating areas, indicating cuts up to 50% are affecting 75% of all refugees supported by WFP in Eastern Africa, including Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, and Uganda.

He said "severe funding constraints" has forced WFP to "significantly reduce rations for refugees living in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger."

"Despite generous support from donors, resourcing remains insufficient to meet the very basic needs of refugee households and imminent disruptions are expected in Angola, Malawi, Mozambique, Republic of Congo, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe," the statement read.



"Without urgent new funds to support refugees – one of the world's most vulnerable and forgotten groups of people – many facing starvation will be forced to pay with their lives," Beasley warned.

Beasley's statement shouldn't surprise readers because we've detailed in length that this would happen as many vulnerable countries were already on the brink of food shortages.

WFP warned in April about the toxic combination of food disruptions due to the Ukraine conflict and soaring food inflation that has created an unprecedented global food crisis that is only worsening.
"This, coupled with devastating conflict and climate extremes, is hitting refugees the hardest," WFP said.
Bloomberg Economics recently outlined Nigeria, India, Colombia, the Philippines, and Turkey are countries to monitor for food riots. Peru and Sri Lanka have already been two countries undergoing social instability. Notice global food prices are above 2010/11 Arab Spring levels.



Last week, Beasley said hundreds of millions of people around the globe are "marching towards starvation."

The shortage of essential food staples putting millions of lives in jeopardy and risk destabilizing countries will be a top threat through at least 2023 as the 2022 Northern Hemisphere planting season could underwhelm in terms of the harvest due to the Ukraine conflict and resulting Western sanctions on Russia, soaring energy and fertilizer costs, and climate woes plaguing agriculturally rich areas.

As a reminder, Rockefeller Foundation President Rajiv Shah initiated the six-month countdown to a "massive, immediate food crisis" in April.
 

marsh

TB Fanatic

Visualizing The Three Different Types Of Inflation

TUESDAY, JUN 21, 2022 - 02:45 AM
Inflation is dominating the news as prices hit 40-year highs.

While the price of everyday goods, including food and energy, is the most widely cited type of inflation, other forms exist across the broader economic system.

In this Markets in a Minute from New York Life Investments, Visual Capitalist's Dorothy Neufeld charts three types of inflation and the macroeconomic factors that influence each type.

1. Monetary Inflation
Monetary inflation occurs when the U.S. money supply increases over time. This represents both physical and digital money circulating in the economy including cash, checking accounts, and money market mutual funds.

The U.S. central bank typically influences the money supply by printing money, buying bonds, or changing bank reserve requirements. The central bank controls the money supply in order to boost the economy or tame inflation and keep prices stable.

Between 2020-2021, the money supply increased roughly 25%—a historic record—in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Since then, the Federal Reserve began tapering its bond purchases as the economy showed signs of strength.



It’s worth noting that, in theory, increasing the money supply faster than the growth in real output may cause consumer price inflation, especially if the velocity of money (speed at which money exchanges hands) is high. The reason is that there is more money chasing the same number of goods, and this eventually leads to increases in prices.

2. Consumer Price Inflation
Consumer price inflation occurs when the prices of goods and services increase. It is typically measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which shows the average price increase of a basket of goods, such as food, clothing, and housing.

Supply chain issues, geopolitical events, monetary supply, and consumer demand may all affect consumer price inflation.

Rising 8.6% in May year-over-year, the CPI hit its highest level in four decades. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and COVID-19 have caused extensive disruption in supply chains, from oil to wheat, leading to increased price pressures worldwide.



When consumer price inflation gets too heated, the central bank may increase interest rates to curtail spending and allow prices to cool down.

3. Asset-Price Inflation
Finally, asset-price inflation represents the price increase of stocks, bonds, real estate, and other financial assets over time. While there are a number of ways to show asset-price inflation, we will use household net worth as a percentage of GDP.

Often, a low interest rate climate creates a favorable environment for asset prices. This can be seen over the last decade as low borrowing costs were met with rising asset prices and strong investor confidence. In 2021, household net worth as a percentage of GDP stood at 620%.



Sometimes rising asset prices can be a misleading sign of a strengthening economy since no real output is produced. Instead, this may indicate an asset bubble.

How the Types of Inflation Impact You
With monetary inflation, businesses and consumers have more money at their disposal, which could then boost demand and further increase inflation in the overall economy.

However, the degree that this impacts consumer price inflation can be unclear. Over the last decade, the money supply ballooned but consumer price inflation stayed relatively stable.

Instead, supply shocks seen with COVID-19 and the invasion of Ukraine have had a more immediate effect. The effect of this scarcity in goods has made prices more sensitive to demand. This can be seen with gasoline prices at record highs.

When it comes to asset price inflation, a significant increase to the monetary supply and low interest rates are likely factors behind rising asset prices, among other variables. Yet as the Federal Reserve takes a more hawkish stance on monetary policy, the future of asset price inflation remains to be seen.
 

marsh

TB Fanatic

Escobar: St. Petersburg Sets The Stage For The War Of Economic Corridors

MONDAY, JUN 20, 2022 - 11:00 PM
Authored by Pepe Escobar via The Cradle,

In St. Petersburg, the world's new powers gather to upend the US-concocted “rules-based order” and reconnect the globe their way...



The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum has been configured for years now as absolutely essential to understand the evolving dynamics and the trials and tribulations of Eurasia integration.

St. Petersburg in 2022 is even more crucial as it directly connects to three simultaneous developments I had previously outlined, in no particular order:
  • First, the coming of the “new G8” – four BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China), plus Iran, Indonesia, Turkey and Mexico, whose GDP per purchasing parity power (PPP) already dwarfs the old, western-dominated G8.
  • Second, the Chinese “Three Rings” strategy of developing geoeconomic relations with its neighbors and partners.
  • Third, the development of BRICS+, or extended BRICS, including some members of the “new G8,” to be discussed at the upcoming summit in China.
There was hardly any doubt President Putin would be the star of St. Petersburg 2022, delivering a sharp, detailed speech to the plenary session.

Among the highlights, Putin smashed the illusions of the so-called ‘golden billion’ who live in the industrialized west (only 12 percent of the global population) and the “irresponsible macroeconomic policies of the G7 countries.”

The Russian president noted how “EU losses due to sanctions against Russia” could exceed $400 billion per year, and that Europe’s high energy prices – something that actually started “in the third quarter of last year” – are due to “blindly believing in renewable sources.”

He also duly dismissed the west’s ‘Putin price hike’ propaganda, saying the food and energy crisis is linked to misguided western economic policies, i.e., “Russian grain and fertilizers are being sanctioned” to the detriment of the west.

In a nutshell: the west misjudged Russia’s sovereignty when sanctioning it, and now is paying a very heavy price.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, addressing the forum by video, sent a message to the whole Global South. He evoked “true multilateralism,” insisting that emerging markets must have “a say in global economic management,” and called for “improved North-South and South-South dialogue.”

It was up to Kazakh President Tokayev, the ruler of a deeply strategic partner of both Russia and China, to deliver the punch line in person: Eurasia integration should progress hand in hand with China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Here it is, full circle.

Building a long-term strategy “in weeks”
St. Petersburg offered several engrossing discussions on key themes and sub-themes of Eurasia integration, such as business within the scope of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO); aspects of the Russia-China strategic partnership; what’s ahead for the BRICS; and prospects for the Russian financial sector.

One of the most important discussions was focused on the increasing interaction between the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU) and ASEAN, a key example of what the Chinese would define as ‘South-South cooperation.’

And that connected to the still long and winding road leading to deeper integration of the EAEU itself.

This implies steps towards more self-sufficient economic development for members; establishing the priorities for import substitution; harnessing all the transport and logistical potential; developing trans-Eurasian corporations; and imprinting the EAEU ‘brand’ in a new system of global economic relations.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexey Overchuk was particularly sharp on the pressing matters at hand: implementing a full free trade customs and economic union – plus a unified payment system – with simplified direct settlements using the Mir payment card to reach new markets in Southeast Asia, Africa and the Persian Gulf.

In a new era defined by Russian business circles as “the game with no rules” – debunking the US-coined “rules-based international order” – another relevant discussion, featuring key Putin adviser Maxim Oreshkin, focused on what should be the priorities for big business and the financial sector in connection to the state’s economic and foreign policy.

The consensus is that the current ‘rules’ have been written by the west. Russia could only connect to existing mechanisms, underpinned by international law and institutions. But then the west tried to “squeeze us out” and even “to cancel Russia.” So it’s time to “replace the no-rules rules.” That’s a key theme underlying the concept of ‘sovereignty’ developed by Putin in his plenary address.

In another important discussion chaired by the CEO of western-sanctioned Sberbank Herman Gref, there was much hand-wringing about the fact that the Russian “evolutionary leap forward towards 2030” should have happened sooner. Now a “long-term strategy has to be built in weeks,” with supply chains breaking down all across the spectrum.

A question was posed to the audience – the crème de la crème of Russia’s business community: what would you recommend, increased trade with the east, or redirecting the structure of the Russian economy? A whopping 72 percent voted for the latter.

So now we come to the crunch, as all these themes interact when we look at what happened only a few days before St. Petersburg.

The Russia-Iran-India corridor
A key node of the International North South Transportation Corridor (INTSC) is now in play, linking northwest Russia to the Persian Gulf via the Caspian Sea and Iran. The transportation time between St. Petersburg and Indian ports is 25 days.

This logistical corridor with multimodal transportation carries an enormous geopolitical significance for two BRICs members and a prospective member of the “new G8” because it opens a key alternative route to the usual cargo trail from Asia to Europe via the Suez canal.


The International North South Transportation Corridor (INSTC)

The INSTC corridor is a classic South-South integration project: a 7,200-km-long multimodal network of ship, rail, and road routes interlinking India, Afghanistan, Central Asia, Iran, Azerbaijan and Russia all the way to Finland in the Baltic Sea.

Technically, picture a set of containers going overland from St. Petersburg to Astrakhan. Then the cargo sails via the Caspian to the Iranian port of Bandar Anzeli. Then it’s transported overland to the port of Bandar Abbas. And then overseas to Nava Sheva, the largest seaport in India. The key operator is Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (the IRISL group), which has branches in both Russia and India.

And that brings us to what wars from now will be fought about: transportation corridors – and not territorial conquest.

Beijing’s fast-paced BRI is seen as an existential threat to the ‘rules-based international order.’ It develops along six overland corridors across Eurasia, plus the Maritime Silk Road from the South China Sea, and the Indian Ocean, all the way to Europe.

One of the key targets of NATO’s proxy war in Ukraine is to interrupt BRI corridors across Russia. The Empire will go all out to interrupt not only BRI but also INSTC nodes. Afghanistan under US occupation was prevented from become a node for either BRI or INSTC.

With full access to the Sea of Azov – now a “Russian lake” – and arguably the whole Black Sea coastline further on down the road, Moscow will hugely increase its sea trading prospects (Putin: “The Black Sea was historically Russian territory”).

For the past two decades, energy corridors have been heavily politicized and are at the center of unforgiving global pipeline competitions – from BTC and South Stream to Nord Stream 1 and 2, and the never-ending soap operas, the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) and Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipelines.

Then there’s the Northern Sea Route alongside the Russian coastline all the way to the Barents Sea. China and India are very much focused on the Northern Sea Route, not by accident also discussed in detail in St. Petersburg.

The contrast between the St. Petersburg debates on a possible re-wiring of our world – and the Three Stooges Taking a Train to Nowhere to tell a mediocre Ukrainian comedian to calm down and negotiate his surrender (as confirmed by German intelligence) – could not be starker.

Almost imperceptibly – just as it re-incorporated Crimea and entered the Syrian theater – Russia as a military-energy superpower now shows it is potentially capable of driving a great deal of the industrialized west back into the Stone Age. The western elites are just helpless. If only they could ride a corridor on the Eurasian high-speed train, they might learn something.
 

marsh

TB Fanatic
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8uoQzIc1RE
48:05 min

The Future of Democracy | Davos | #WEF22

Jun 21, 2022


World Economic Forum


The consensus on democratic norms has shown signs of fraying in recent years, with increased polarization, disillusion and authoritarian patterns of governance, including in advanced Western democracies. How serious are the strains on democracy and what steps can be taken to reinvigorate democratic societies and institutions? The World Economic Forum is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation. The Forum engages the foremost political, business, cultural and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. We believe that progress happens by bringing together people from all walks of life who have the drive and the influence to make positive change.
 

marsh

TB Fanatic
3:17 min

Michael Walsh On The Organized Fight ‘Against The Great Reset’
Bannons War Room Published June 21, 2022

(My notes:

Michael: The Great Reset- using the pandemic they want to crack down on every form of capitalism so that you will "own nothing and be happy." We decided to go after them head on and he assembled an all-star cast of writers. The first excerpt from the book is up on the-pipeline.org

1655846270438.png

We thought it was something that had to be confronted intellectually by the best authors we have.

Bannon: You have Lord Conrad Black, Douglas Murray, Victor Davis Hansen - these are all heavy weights. You're the editor. You have a collection of people here that will drop the hammer on Klaus Schwab and the part of Davos.

Michael: It was kind of an opportunity to put together an intellectual dream team for the center right. Other people - Richard Fernandez, Janice Fiamengo. We wanted to get writers from at least 4 of the 5 eyes - Canada, the US, Australia and the UK. We do have distinguished reps. from all these places.

We will be organizing a series of conferences about the book and the material over the next 6-8 months. So we hope to keep this a very vivid presence.
^^^^

'Against the Great Reset'
Against the Great Reset • 21 Jun, 2022 • 7 Min Read

Beware the Magic Mountain.

Starting today, and continuing for the next 17 weeks, The Pipeline will present excerpts from each of the essays contained in Against the Great Reset: 18 Theses Contra the New World Order, to be published on October 18 by Bombardier Books and distributed by Simon and Schuster, and available now for pre-order at the links.

PART I: THE PROBLEM
Excerpt from the Introduction: "Reset This," by Michael Walsh
What is the Great Reset and why should we care? In the midst of a tumultuous medical-societal breakdown, likely engineered by the Chinese Communist Party and abetted by America’s National Institutes of Health “gain of function” financial assistance to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, why is the Swiss-based World Economic Forum (WEF) advocating a complete “re-imagining” of the Western world’s social, economic, and moral structures? And why now? What are its aspirations, prescriptions, and proscriptions, and how will it prospectively affect us? It’s a question that the men and women of the WEF are hoping you won’t ask.

This book seeks to supply the answers. It has ample historical precedents, from Demosthenes’s fulminations against Philip II of Macedon (Alexander’s father), Cicero’s Philippics denouncing Mark Antony, the heretic-hunting Tertullian’s Adversus Marcionem¸ and the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche’s Nietzsche contra Wagner. Weighty historical issues are often best debated promptly, when something can yet be done about them; in the meantime, historians of the future can at least understand the issues as the participants themselves saw and experienced them. Whether the formerly free world of the Western democracies will succumb to the paternalistic totalitarianism of the oligarchical Resetters remains to be seen. But this is our attempt to stop it.

So great is mankind’s perpetual dissatisfaction with its present circumstances, whatever they may be, that the urge to make the world anew is as old as recorded history. Eve fell under the Serpent’s spell, and with the plucking of an apple, sought to improve her life in the Garden of Eden by becoming, in Milton’s words, “as Gods, Knowing both Good and Evil as they know.”

The forbidden fruit was a gift she shared with Adam; how well that turned out has been the history of the human race ever since. High aspirations, disastrous results.

The expulsion from the Garden, however, has not discouraged others from trying. Indeed, the entire chronicle of Western civilization is best regarded as a never-ending and ineluctable struggle for cultural and political superiority, most often expressed militarily (since that is how humans generally decide matters) but extending to all things both spiritual and physical.

Dissatisfaction with the status quo may not be universal—timeless and static Asian cultures, such as China’s, have had it imposed upon them by external Western forces, including the British and the Marxist-Leninists—but it has been a hallmark of the occident and its steady civilizational churn that dates back at least to Homer, Plato, Aeschylus, Herodotus, Pericles, and Alexander the Great, with whom Western history properly begins.

The philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, assaying the inelegant Koine, or demotic, Greek of the New Testament in Beyond Good and Evil, observed: “Es ist eine Feinheit, daß Gott griechisch lernte, als er Schriftsteller werden wollte—und daß er es nicht besser lernte”: “It’s a particular refinement that God learned Greek when he wanted to become a writer—and that he didn’t learn it better.” Nietzsche, the preacher’s son who became through sheer willpower a dedicated atheist, was poking fun at the fundamentalist belief that the Christian scriptures were the literal words of God himself (Muslims, of course, believe the same thing about the Koran, except more so). If something as elemental, as essential to Western thought as the authenticity of the Bible, not to mention God’s linguistic ability, could be questioned and even mocked, then everything was on the table—including, in Nietzsche’s case, God Himself.

With the death of God—or of a god—Nietzsche sought liberation from the moral jiu-jitsu of Jesus: that weakness was strength; that victimhood was noble; that renunciation—of love, sex, power, ambition—was the highest form of attainment. That Nietzsche’s rejection of God was accompanied by his rejection of Richard Wagner, whose music dramas are based on the moral elevation of rejection, is not coincidental; the great figures of the nineteenth century, including Darwin and Marx, all born within a few years of each other, were not only revolutionaries, but embodied within themselves antithetical forces that somehow evolved into great Hegelian syntheses of human striving with which we still grapple today.

Wagner, the Schopenhauerian atheist who staggered back to Christianity and the anti-Semite who engaged the Jew Hermann Levi as the only man who could conduct his final ode to Christian transfiguration, Parsifal. Charles Darwin, ticketed for an Anglican parsonage but mutating into the author of On the Origin of Species, The Descent of Man, and all the way to The Formation of Vegetable Mould through the Action of Worms. Karl Marx, the scion of rabbis who father converted to Lutheranism and, like Wagner for a time, a stateless rebel who preached that the withering away of the state itself was “inevitable”—and yet the state endures, however battered it may be at the moment.

It’s fitting that the “Great Reset of capitalism” is the brainchild of the WEF, which hosts an annual conference in the Alpine village of Davos—the site of the tuberculosis sanatorium to which the naïf Hans Castorp reports at the beginning of Thomas Mann’s masterpiece, The Magic Mountain. Planning to visit a sick cousin for three weeks, he ends up staying for seven years, “progressing” from healthy individual to patient himself as his perception of time slows and nearly stops. Castorp’s personal purgatory ends only when he rouses himself to leave—his Bildungsreise complete—upon the outbreak of World War I, in which we assume he will meet the death, random and senseless, that he has been so studiously avoiding yet simultaneously courting at the Berghof.

Central Europe, it seems, is where the internal contradictions of Western civilization are both born and, like Martin Luther at Eisleben, go home to die. And this is where the latest synthetic attempt to replace God with his conqueror, Man, has emerged: in the village of Davos, in the canton of Graubünden, Switzerland: the site of the annual meeting of the WEF led by the German-born engineer and economist Klaus Schwab, born in Ravensburg in 1938, the year before Hitler and Stalin began carving up Poland and the Baltics.


On sale Oct. 18; pre-order now.

Once more into the breach, then: behold the present volume. In commissioning sixteen of the best, most persuasive, and most potent thinkers and writers from around the world to contribute to our joint venture, my principal concern has been to offer multiple analyses of the WEF’s nostrums and in so doing to go poet Wallace Stevens’s “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird” a few better. Then again, given the surname of the WEF’s chief, perhaps a better, more potent literary citation might be Margret’s little ditty from the Büchner/Alban Berg expressionist opera, Wozzeck (1925): In’s Schwabenland, da mag ich nit—"I don’t want to go to Schwab-land.” Nor, as Hans Castorp’s journey illustrates, should anyone wish to visit Davos-land if he prizes his freedom, his possessions, and his sanity. To the Great Resetters, we are all ill, all future patients-in-waiting, all in dire need of a drastic corrective regimen to cure what ails us.

In these pages, we shall examine the Great Reset from the top down. The eminent American historian Victor Davis Hanson begins our survey with “The Great Regression,” locating Schwab’s vision within its proper historical context. He is followed by Canada’s Conrad Black and America’s Michael Anton and their views of capitalism and socialism, with not a few attacks on conventional, osmotic wisdom that will both surprise and enthrall. Britain’s Martin Hutchinson outlines the contours of the Reset’s “Anti-Industrial Revolution,” even as the American economist David Goldman confronts both Schwab’s notion of the “Fourth Industrial Revolution” and China’s immanentizing its eschaton in real time, along with the Red Dragon’s commitment to the upending of Western civilization and its own Sino-forming of a post-Western world.

American writer, editor, and publisher Roger Kimball tackles the implications of a neofascist Reset in his essay, “Sovereignty and the Nation-State,” both of which concepts are under attack in the name of “equality,” its totalitarian successor “equity,” and the political consequences of our re-embrace of Rousseauvian concepts as applied to governments. British historian Jeremy Black discusses the misuses toward which the study of history has been and will be put to by the Resetters. The late Angelo Codevilla contributes what alas became his final essay, “Resetting the Educational Reset,” to sound the tocsin about the dangerous left turn of the once-vaunted American educational system, now reduced to a shrill, sinistral shell of its former dispassionate glory.

From Down Under, the Philippines-born Richard Fernandez twins two eternally competing faiths, religion and science; the American-born, Australian-based political sociologist Salvatore Babones contributes a remarkably clear explication of the kinds of transportation feasible under the “green energy” regimen the Reset seeks to impose upon us, and its practical and social implications. Writing from Milan, Alberto Mingardi, the director-general of the Istituto Bruno Leoni, gets to the heart of the Great Reset’s deceptive economic program with an essay concerning faux-capitalist “stakeholder capitalism” and its surreptitious replacement of shareholder capitalism in the name of “social justice.”

The Great Reset, however, is not strictly limited to matters financial, pecuniary, or macroeconomic. Social and cultural spheres are of equal importance. James Poulos looks at the Reset’s unholy relationship with the predatory Big Tech companies that currently abrogate the First Amendment by acting as governmental censors without actually being commanded by an act of Congress or, increasingly, an arbitrary presidential mandate. From British Columbia, noted Canadian author and academic Janice Fiamengo weighs in on the destructive effects of feminism upon our shared Western culture while, on the lighter side, Harry Stein examines the history of American humor—which in effect means worldwide humor—and how the leftist takeover of our shared laugh tracks has resulted in a stern, Stalinist view of what is and what is not allowed to be funny.

The British writer Douglas Murray has a go at the permissible future of Realpolitik under the panopticonic supervision of the Reset, the Chinese Communist Party, and the Covid hysterics, while the American journalist John Tierney lays out the road to civilizational serfdom that the unwarranted panic over the Covid-19 “pandemic” has triggered during its media-fueled run between 2019 and 2022. My contribution, in addition to this Introduction, is an examination of the Reset’s—and, historically, elitist tyranny’s—deleterious effects on Western culture: the very thing that gave birth to our notions of morality and freedom.

At its heart, the Great Reset is a conceited and self-loathing central-European blitzkrieg against the cultural, intellectual, religious, artistic, physical, and, most of all, moral inheritance we have received from our Greco-Roman forebears. This has been latterly shorthanded, with the rise of “wokeness,” to “white” culture. Typically racialist, if not outright racist, the cultural Marxists behind wokeness insist on reducing humanity to its shades of skin color and then claiming that although all skin colors should achieve in exact same proportions to their share in a given population, some skin colors are better than others and any skin color is preferable to white. It’s a deeply repellent principle that masquerades as a perversion of Judeo-Christianity but is in fact a simultaneous attack on individuality and merit that seeks to roll back the scientific and cultural advances of the past two millennia, wielding both science and culture as weapons against our shared technological and moral heritage.

The goal, as always, is power—the eternal fixation of the socialist Left...
 

marsh

TB Fanatic
Joe Allen: ‘Transhumanism Is A Theory Of Evolution Based Around Power’ 9:05 min

Joe Allen: ‘Transhumanism Is A Theory Of Evolution Based Around Power’
Bannons War Room Published June 21, 2022 542 Views

(No summary given. Not yet watched. Did see that there was a discussion on robots taking jobs, such as OB-GYN delivering babies and the need for UBI. There was another discussion on merging the LBGTQ movement with the future expansion of the integration of machines and man and the post sexual era of robots.)
 
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PrairieMoon

Veteran Member
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2-9qlwSmm0
5:17 min

U.S. is only days away until an 'absolute explosion' on inflation: Pollster Frank Luntz (4th of July)

Jun 17, 2022


CNBC Television


Pollster and political strategist Frank Luntz joins CNBC's 'Squawk Box' to break down how high inflation is weighing on President Joe Biden's approval rating.

This is interesting....I remember Frank when he was on FOX, usually with Glenn Beck. He seemed very level headed at that time, so it seems odd that he is almost panicky about the inflation.

Thanks for posting this.
 

marsh

TB Fanatic
Biden Says Chevron CEO Is 'Sensitive' 1:24 min

Biden Says Chevron CEO Is 'Sensitive'
The Daily Caller Published June 21, 2022

Pres. Joe Biden appeared to dismiss concerns from the Chevron CEO that the administration vilifies the gas and oil industry.

^^^^

Biden Mocks Chevron Rebuke, Says "Didn't Know They'd Get Their Feelings Hurt That Quickly"

TUESDAY, JUN 21, 2022 - 01:23 PM
Update: During a press conference at THe White House this afternoon, President Biden was asked how he felt about the Chervon CEO's response to his letter. His response sums a lot of things up about this administration's approach.

The Reporter asked:
"The Chevron CEO... said that your administration has largely criticized the oil and gas industry and ...would need to take a change in approach in order to make progress in reducing energy prices."
To which Biden snapped back in quiet mode:
"He's mildly sensitive..." before adding that "I didn't know they'd get their feelings hurt that quickly."
Then reverting back to his talking points he addressed the fact that its not his fault that 'Big Oil' won't help cut prices, claiming that:
"We ought to be able to work something out whereby we can increase refining capacity and still not give up on transitioning to renewable energy."
Once again completely missing the point that is holding back refiners from the massive investments required. given government's long-term goals.

So we're back at square one...

Watch the clip below:

View: https://twitter.com/i/status/1539338829450051584
.55 min

* * *
Chevron CEO Mike Wirth sent an open letter to President Biden on Tuesday that probably started out closer to "go **** yourself" than the final, still-snarky note seeking cooperation on ways to lower prices at the pump.



To review, in an apparently pre-emptive move (after weeks of scapegoating by the Biden administration), the Chevron CEO agreed to a longer-form interview with Bloomberg TV two weeks ago and he pulled no punches, saying among other things:
"At every level of the system, the policy of our government is to reduce demand, and so it’s very hard in a business where investments have a payout period of a decade or more. And the stated policy of the government for a long time has been to reduce demand for your products," Wirth noted very frankly.
Then last week President Biden fired off an angry letter to oil companies accusing them of being greedy, and demanding that they help ease the "Putin price hike" or face consequences.
"At a time of war, refinery profit margins well above normal being passed directly onto American families are not acceptable," wrote Biden.
The next day, Chevron hit back - claiming that the Biden administration's policies since January 2021 ave sent a message that it aims to "impose obstacles to our industry delivering energy resources the world needs."

Meanwhile
, the American Petroleum Institute wrote the Biden administration last week recommending several measures, including lifting development restrictions on federal lands and waters, authorizing critical energy infrastructure projects, speed up the permitting process, and other items.

Fast forward to today's letter to Biden from Chevron CEO Mike Wirth, which suggests that "Addressing this situation requires thoughtful action and a willingness to work together, not political rhetoric," adding "your Administration has largely sought to criticize, and at times vilify, our industry."

Wirth makes clear that "Chevron shares your concerns over the higher prices that Americans are experiencing," noting that the company is "increasing capital expenditures to $18 billion in 2022 - over 50% higher than last year."

Chevron still got a few blows in, writing "Chevron will engage in this week’s meeting with Secretary Granholm. I encourage you to also send your senior advisors to this meeting, so they too can engage in a robust conversation."

1655852629771.png


The letter then outlines what the Biden administration can do to help solve the problem:
You have called on our industry to increase energy production. We agree. Let's work together. The U.S. energy sector needs cooperation and support from your Administration for our country to return to a path toward greater energy security, economic prosperity, and environmental protection.
We need clarity and consistency on policy matters ranging from leases and permits on federal lands, to the ability to permit and build critical infrastructure, to the proper role of regulation that considers both costs and benefits. Many of these elements are described in our industry’s recently released 10-point plan. Most importantly, we need an honest dialogue on how to best balance energy, economic, and environmental objectives – one that recognizes our industry is a vital sector of the U.S. economy and is essential to our national security.
We can only meet these challenges by working together.
We can't wait to say what the administration - which recently said it wouldn't budge on easing pressure on the oil industry - will say in response.

View: https://youtu.be/eo0TLQTTm0Q
.29 min
 
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marsh

TB Fanatic
.47 min
Biden: We Need More Money for 'the Second Pandemic'
Red Voice Media Published June 21, 2022

"We don't just need more money for vaccines for Children. Eventually, we need more money to plan for the second pandemic. There's going to be another pandemic. We have to think ahead."

Video via: Biden: We Need More Money for the “Second Pandemic”
 

marsh

TB Fanatic
SHOCKING Video Shows Illegal Immigrants Continuing To Pour Into The US 1:39 min

SHOCKING Video Shows Illegal Immigrants Continuing To Pour Into The US
Dinesh D'Souza Published June 21, 2022
They don't care about our border.

^^^^
Illegal migrants are crossing the border into the US in Yuma, AZ. .46 min

Illegal migrants are crossing the border into the US in Yuma, AZ.
The Post Millennial Clips Published June 21, 2022

^^^^
2:38 min
Hundreds of illegal migrants are crossing the U.S. borders
The Post Millennial Clips Published June 21, 2022
 
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marsh

TB Fanatic
The Weaponization of Health to Push Forward the Great Reset Agenda: Dr. Robert Malone 5:31 min

The Weaponization of Health to Push Forward the Great Reset Agenda: Dr. Robert Malone
Red Voice Media Published June 21, 2022

"What we really have going on here has nothing to do with public health. It has everything to do with a financial crisis and a coordinated attempt to manage through that financial crisis so that those that currently control the bulk of the world's capital are able to maintain control."

https://worldcouncilforhealth.org/
 

marsh

TB Fanatic
‘Disinformation’ Police to Silence ALL Non-Government Narratives, Warns Former Fed 14:48 min

‘Disinformation’ Police to Silence ALL Non-Government Narratives, Warns Former Fed
The New American Published June 21, 2022

The federal government is launching a war on so-called disinformation that is cover for silencing critics while promoting government-approved disinformation, warned former federal officer Celeste Solum in this interview with The New American magazine Alex Newman for Conversations That Matter. According to Solum, who worked in disinformation and attended government trainings, all non-government narratives are in the crosshairs for total silencing. Former Homeland Security boss Michael Chertoff is overseeing the latest effort, she added. Patriots and those who love freedom must continue to speak out.
 

marsh

TB Fanatic
Dr. Christiane Northrup On Fertility Issues: The Horror Of What Is Happening Is Unimaginable 3:07 min

Dr. Christiane Northrup On Fertility Issues: The Horror Of What Is Happening Is Unimaginable
Sunfellow on COVID-19 Published June 21, 2022
Dr. Christiane Northrup provides a quick overview of fertility, pregnancy, and related issues surrounding the exceedingly dangerous COVID-19 vaccine.

My Cycle Story: A Research Study
My Cycle Story: A Research Study

................

COVID-19 Menstrual & Breast Milk Disruptions, Miscarriages, Infertility, Transmission (Shedding)
COVID-19 Menstrual & Breast Milk Disruptions, Miscarriages, Infertility, Transmission (Shedding) | Sunfellow Notes
 

marsh

TB Fanatic

Recession Warnings Dominate Economic Forum In Doha

TUESDAY, JUN 21, 2022 - 01:40 PM

One day after President Biden said a recession wasn't "inevitable," top corporate executives, economists, and bankers spoke at the second annual Qatar Economic Forum. They were overly pessimistic about the macroeconomic backdrop in the U.S. and cautioned about increasing recession risk.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk to economist Nouriel Roubini (nicknamed "Dr. Doom" for his bearish views) to Atlas Merchant Capital's Bob Diamond, and StanChart's Bill Winters all pointed out the economic storm clouds were gathering, and a downturn was almost unavoidable.

Starting the conversations, Musk told Bloomberg News Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait, "a recession is inevitable at some point, as to whether there is a recession in the near term, that is more likely than not." In recent weeks, Musk tweeted it would be "beneficial" for the U.S. to go into recession because "some bankruptcies need to happen." Going into the economic conference, the world's richest man has been vocal about a downshift in the economy.

View: https://twitter.com/i/status/1539175102151114752
.20 min

Roubini was more specific on his recession call, forecasting one before the end of the year. He said, "we're getting very close," and noted consumer confidence, retail sales, manufacturing activity, and housing are experiencing growth slowdowns amid high inflation.

He said the stock market generally declines 35% during recessions and is halved in stagflationary periods -- adding that the bloodbath in the bond market might not be over as U.S. 10-year Treasury yield could go "well above 4%."

View: https://twitter.com/i/status/1539225234599030784
1:01 min

Atlas' Diamond was another vocal bear, saying it's "almost unavoidable" to avoid recession. He said the economy is slowing, and the Federal Reserve should continue aggressive monetary tightening to rein in high inflation. The latest 75bps rate hike by the Fed was the "correct move," he added, indicating another 75bps is on deck for July.
"The more the Fed acts now, the more likely it is to be quick or short, not deep and longer," Diamond said.
StanChart's Winters said, "You've got to think that the odds are that there's going to be a recession ... I think this inflation is quite bad, it's intransigent, it's not transitory, and the consequences will be a recession."

He said the downturn will last "a couple of quarters" and "there's a silver lining which is that the financial system is strong, and when you have a downturn in an economic cycle with a strong financial system, it tends not to be amplified -- a weak financial system it gets amplified, you get a financial crisis."

Winter added: "I think it's very unlikely we'll have a financial crisis."

View: https://twitter.com/i/status/1539200536016207872
.20 min

President Biden's view of the U.S. economy differs from the bearish mood at the conference in Doha, who said Monday, "I was talking to Larry Summers this morning, and there's nothing inevitable about a recession."

Biden appears to be living in an alternative reality as Deutsche Bank (the first bank to forecast a U.S. recession in late 2023), and now Nomura is making a recession call. Nomura believes a mild recession starts in 4Q22.

Recession threats surge as things have only gone from bad to worse for the U.S. economy, with the Citi US Eco surprise index plunging to pre-covid levels and multi-year lows...



... while the Atlanta Fed GDPNow tracker for Q2 has collapsed to precisely 0.0%, implying that a technical recession is now virtually certain absent a dramatic improvement in the U.S. economy in the remaining ten days of June, and Q2, which is very much unlikely since the slowdown in the U.S. economy is only accelerating to the downside.



Amid this continued deterioration in U.S. economic data (and the Biden administration continuing to push the rainbow and unicorn narrative of how everything is awesome ahead of midterm elections), some of the smartest people in the room, such as the ones speaking at the economic forum in Doha and even major banks (who previously released notes on the coming downturn) are seeing the same thing: recession.
 

marsh

TB Fanatic

CEOs Start To Push Back Against 'Woke' Employee Bullying

TUESDAY, JUN 21, 2022 - 02:00 PM
Authored by Kevin Stocklin via The Epoch Times,

In an indication that corporate progressivism may be reaching its high water mark, CEOs are starting for the first time to push back against activist employees, in some cases going so far as to fire them rather than steer their companies into the mire of “woke” politics.



Last week, Kraken CEO Jesse Powell became the latest executive to say he has had enough. He invited employees who felt “triggered” by controversial ideas to accept a severance package and leave the company.

Kraken, a crypto currency technology company, wrote in its new mission statement that it “will never ask that our employees adopt any specific political ideology as a requirement for our workplace … We recognize that hurt feelings are inevitable in a global organization that is optimizing for team outcomes above individual sentiment. The ideal Krakenite is thick-skinned and well intentioned.”

Powell told “Fox & Friends” that of the company’s 3,000 employees, about 30 have chosen to accept the four-month severance pay and leave, citing their need to express political or social beliefs in the workplace. Comments from the remaining 99 percent of Kraken employees regarding the policy to keep politics out of the workplace were “overwhelmingly positive,” he said. “I think everyone is ready to get back to work and stop being distracted.”
“Suddenly, nobody has any interest in this anymore, and companies are responding accordingly and starting to drop ‘woke,’” said Scott Shepard, director at the National Center for Public Policy Research.
“I don’t think this is the end of woke, I don’t even think it’s the beginning of the end, but to borrow from Mr. Churchill, I do think it might be the end of the beginning.”
SpaceX, Elon Musk’s space exploration company, joined the chorus on June 16. After several employees publicized a letter denouncing Musk’s campaign to acquire Twitter and steer the social media platform away from censorship, SpaceX responded by firing them.

The employees publicly criticized Musk’s efforts as “a frequent source of distraction and embarrassment” for SpaceX. After firing those responsible, SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell emailed employees that the efforts against Musk’s Twitter acquisition “made employees feel uncomfortable, intimidated and bullied, and/or angry because the letter pressured them to sign onto something that did not reflect their views. We have too much critical work to accomplish and no need for this kind of overreaching activism.”

The Athletic, a sports news website owned by The New York Times, an increasingly progressive leftist newspaper, told its staff this week to stick to sports and drop the political activism.
“We don’t want to stop people from having a voice and expressing themselves,” stated a directive from Paul Fichtenbaum, the publication’s chief content officer.
“We just need to keep it from tipping over into the political space.”
Some employees disagreed. A staffer quickly responded in protest, saying, “What about Black Lives Matter? Is that a social cause? Who will write about athlete protests? What about trans athletes in sports?”

Political activism can take a toll on companies, both internally and externally. Disney CEO Bob Chapek has proven to be a cautionary tale for corporate leaders. In March, he bowed to activist employees and announced that the family entertainment company would fight to support sex education for children in elementary school, while his company revealed its intention to sexualize kids’ movies and shows. This action sparked a backlash from conservative employees and led to parents canceling subscriptions and theme park visits.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis responded to Disney’s harsh criticism of a state law banning sex-ed in kindergarten through third grade by revoking the tax-advantaged status of the company’s theme park in Orlando. And shareholders watched in alarm as Disney stock fell from $130 per share in March to $95 today, a 27 percent drop well in excess of the 18 percent decline in the S&P 500 over the same period.

Citibank’s pro-abortion and anti-gun advocacy also got the attention of state lawmakers. Texas passed legislation in June, 2021, barring banks that discriminate against fossil fuel companies or gun makers from underwriting state bonds. And Texas State Rep. Briscoe Cain threatened Citibank with similar treatment in March over its policy of paying travel expenses for employees who go out of state to circumvent Texas’ anti-abortion laws. Texas is the second largest issuer of municipal bonds in the United States. Other states such as West Virginia have passed similar laws.

In response to employee protests over controversial programs, such as comedian Dave Chappelle’s stand-up comedy show “The Closer,” Netflix told employees in May that it would no longer tolerate efforts to censor content that staff find objectionable.
“We support the artistic expression of the creators we choose to work with; we program for a diversity of audiences and tastes; and we let viewers decide what’s appropriate for them, versus having Netflix censor specific artists or voices,” the company stated.
“If you’d find it hard to support our content breadth, Netflix may not be the best place for you.” Netflix took this action after it lost 200,000 subscribers in the first quarter of this year and projected that it would lose 2 million more in the second quarter.
“It turns out that alienating the majority of your customer base is terrible for business,” Shepard said.
“You can sort of get away with that when the market is reaching new highs and interest rates are nothing, so you can borrow and make up for the lack of profits.” But in today’s environment, with markets tumbling, interest rates rising, and a potential recession looming, “suddenly the luxury of alienating your customer base doesn’t exist anymore.”
In addition to efforts at SpaceX to refocus employees toward company business, Elon Musk is also working to revamp his target acquisition, Twitter, into a more inclusive platform. This week, he communicated to employees that the platform must be open to all political points of view and that conversations that represent legal free speech, however offensive, should be permitted on Twitter. He is expected, if the sale of the company goes through, to fire many of the progressive pro-censorship executives.

Many organizations, even the most progressive ones, are finding that taking up divisive racial and gender agendas is causing employees to turn on each other. Politico reported in November, 2020, that “following a botched diversity meeting, a highly critical employee survey and the resignations of two top diversity and inclusion officials, the 600,000-member National Audubon Society is confronting allegations that it maintains a culture of retaliation, fear, and antagonism toward women and people of color, according to interviews with 13 current and former staff members.”

Left-wing newspaper The Intercept lamented that the election of President Joe Biden was supposed to mark the start of a golden era for the progressive moment. Instead, “Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and other reproductive health organizations had been locked in knock-down, drag-out fights between competing factions of their organizations … It’s also true of the progressive advocacy space across the board, which has, more or less, effectively ceased to function.”

The Washington Post, another left-wing newspaper, was compelled to fire reporter Felicia Sonmez in early June for incessant public attacks on a fellow staff writer and on the paper itself, charging them with racism and sexism. In response to Sonmez’s critical tweets, Executive Editor Sally Buzbee initially issued an advisory to all staff that “we do not tolerate colleagues attacking colleagues either face to face or online.” When that failed to rein Sonmez in, the Post fired her for “insubordination, maligning your coworkers online and violating the Post’s standards on workplace collegiality and inclusivity.”

Companies are learning that they are often hurting their own brands and losing customers by taking up highly controversial political positions. And like Chapek, many CEOs are finding themselves unprepared for the harsh world of social-justice politics.

The executives of Coca Cola, Delta Airlines, Microsoft, Levi’s, and Major League Baseball chose to protest voter-ID laws in Georgia, with MLB even removing its all-star games from Atlanta. Delta CEO Ed Bastian first supported the law, then turned against it in response to left-wing threats to boycott the airline.

But few companies followed Disney into the fight over child sex education, and so far, few companies have waded into the abortion debate, despite indications that the Supreme Court could decide to overturn Roe v Wade, passing decisions on abortion law back to state legislatures.
 

marsh

TB Fanatic

Oil Price Reversions – The Inevitable Outcome Of Recessions

TUESDAY, JUN 21, 2022 - 11:26 AM
Authored by Lance Roberts via RealInvestmentAdvice.com,

An oil price and energy stock price reversion may be starting. The reason is that oil price reversions are the inevitable outcome of economic recessions. Of course, such is due to the previous price spikes that create demand destruction in the economy.

The chart shows the price of oil since 1946.



Higher oil prices benefit oil companies by making the extraction process more profitable. However, there is also a negative impact on the economy.
“High oil prices add to the costs of doing business which pass, ultimately, on to customers and businesses. Whether it is higher cab fares, more expensive airline tickets, the cost of apples shipped from California, or new furniture shipped from China, high oil prices can result in higher prices for seemingly unrelated products and services.”Investopedia
Of course, consumers who fill up their gas tanks each week immediately notice high oil prices. While core inflation reports strip out food and energy, those items drive short-term consumption patterns. Given that consumption comprises roughly 70% of the GDP calculation, the impact of higher oil prices is almost immediate.

As shown below, spikes in oil prices have a high correlation with economic recessions, financial events, and oil price reversions.



The Link To Oil
Oil prices are crucial to the overall economic equation. As prices increases, it translates into higher inflationary costs to consumers. Unsurprisingly, there is a high correlation between the rise and fall of energy prices and the consumer price index.



Oil prices impact virtually every aspect of our lives, from our food to the products and services we buy. Therefore, the demand side of the equation is a tell-tale sign of economic strength or weakness. As shown, oil prices track our combined rates, inflation, and GDP index.



Given that the oil industry is very manufacturing and production intensive, rising oil prices increase manufacturing, CapEx, and economic growth. It also works in reverse.
“It should not be surprising that sharp spikes in oil prices have been coincident with downturns in economic activity, a drop in inflation, and a subsequent decline in interest rates.


The most recent surge in oil prices resulted from the massive flood of fiscal policy and a supply shortage. During the last few years, an aggressive political and Wall Street “green energy” campaign restricted drilling and refinery permitting. Those policies reduced capital formation for drilling projects and removed oil exploration incentives.

While the pandemic-driven shutdown of the economy created a supply shortage, the flood of liquidity inevitably created a demand surge. That “pull-forward” of consumption led to surging inflationary pressures and rising oil prices. We show the high correlation between oil prices and breakeven inflation rates.



The short version is that oil prices reflect supply and demand. With liquidity reversing, economic demand is weakening as the cost of living outpaces real wages. As shown, the correlation between oil spikes and declines in economic growth (3-year average growth rate) should not be surprising.



Warning Signs Of The Next Oil Price Reversion
While many analysts are talking about $200/bbl oil, it is just as possible that oil prices could fall to $60. After all, it wasn’t so long ago that oil prices went negative for a short period.

With the U.S. economy on the verge of a recession, the risk of a deflationary backdrop is rising.



Furthermore, retail sales are also showing problems with consumption. Retail sales get measured in “dollars” rather than “volume.” So, the most recent decline in retail sales was a drop in volume purchased as prices rose.



Naturally, slower economic growth and deflationary pressures will contribute to an oil price reversion as consumers opt to drive less. Lastly, Federal Reserve rate hikes, and balance sheet reductions, extract liquidity from speculative trading. Such is why commodities, particularly oil, tend to crash regularly.



While the recent rally in energy stocks has been quite strong, the Fed is about to aggressively tighten monetary policy with the sole goal of combating inflation. In other words, to bring down inflation, they will slow economic growth, which reduces demand for commodity-based products.

Unfortunately, if history repeats, it won’t be just oil prices and energy stocks that get brought down in the process.
 

marsh

TB Fanatic

Drought-Stricken Lake Mead Less Than 150 Feet From "Dead Pool"

TUESDAY, JUN 21, 2022 - 11:45 AM

The surface of Lake Mead, North America's largest artificial reservoir, now stands at 1044 feet above sea level and is dropping fast. If Lake Mead's water level falls another 149 feet, a dangerous level known as a "dead pool" could wreak havoc across Southwestern US.

Since the beginning of March, Lake Mead has dropped about 23 feet, and compared with the 5-year trend, the reservoir's water levels are well below average, at the lowest point since the lake was filled nearly a century ago.



A graph might not do justice to visualizing just how fast the water level has fallen. So here are three pictures of a sunken speedboat in the lake and the corresponding date. Just in May, the boat was partially submerged. Now there's no water.



If Lake Mead were to keep dropping, it could be a couple of years until a danger zone at 895 feet is reached, which is the point water would no longer pass through Hoover Dam to supply California, Arizona, and Mexico. Below 895 feet, the lake would be considered a "dead pool."

1655854056210.png

For more context of what's happened over the last three decades as a megadrought grips the US West, here's a view of the spillway of the Hoover Dam in 1983 versus 2021.



Weather satellites have captured an absolutely stunning view of the lake rapidly shrinking in the last two years.

View: https://twitter.com/i/status/1536912734297526272


A lake observer on YouTuber shows how the water level has dangerously dropped in the last two weeks.

View: https://youtu.be/f9RexzgFJjQ
19:00 min

Last week, Tanya Trujillo, the Interior Department's assistant secretary for water and science, said in a speech, "We have an urgent need to act now."

If no drastic action is taken and the lake hits dead pool level (read: "The Real Deadpool: America's Drought Is Worse Than You Think"), millions of people in Arizona, California, Nevada, and parts of Mexico could experience devastating water shortages.
 

marsh

TB Fanatic

Here Comes More Supply Chain Chaos: US Ban On Xinjiang Imports Starts Today

TUESDAY, JUN 21, 2022 - 11:05 AM

Here comes new proof that the Biden administration's appetite for international economic warfare is as vast as its indifference to the collateral damage visited upon American businesses and consumers.

Even as price inflation and product shortages are decimating President Biden's poll numbers, the administration on Tuesday begins enforcing a new law that promises to make both problems even worse—by imposing a ban on all imports from China's largest province.

Effective June 21, the Biden-backed Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) will impose a guilty-til-proven-innocent regime that bars all imports from China's Xinjiang province unless businesses prove their products are not made with forced labor. Otherwise, their shipments will be targeted as commanding "high priority" for seizure by U.S. customs agents.

China had previously said it would retaliate, but gave no specifics. At a Tuesday press conference, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said the charge of forced labor is “a huge lie made up by anti-China forces to smear” the country, and “an escalation of the US suppression of China under the pretext of human rights,” according to Bloomberg. Wang said China “will act forcefully to uphold the lawful rights and interests of Chinese companies and nationals."

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has already warned that the ban "will likely exacerbate current supply-chain disruptions,” with imports from all countries "subject to delays in processing time."

The law was certain to cause havoc, but the Biden administration has compounded the chaos with its failure to provide timely instructions on how it will be enforced.

The UFLPA provided for a six-month gap between its December 23 passage and June 21 implementation, yet the CBP waited until last week to provide businesses with instructions on how to prove a negative—that is, how to convince bureaucrats that forced labor didn't play any role in the production of a given import.

Part of that guidance came in the form of a 68-page publication that CBP posted on Friday—just one federal business day before the ban goes live.

According to another CBP guide, proving that a product wasn't made with forced labor might require the creation of supply chain maps and the gathering of affidavits from every company or entity involved in the production process.

Frustration with the Biden administration is mounting. “Our members are uncertain of what's acceptable proof to overcome that assumption of forced labor...We're not really getting answers [to] a lot of those questions and what we're hearing is ‘you just have to wait'," Eugene Laney, president of the American Association of Exporters and Importers, told Politico.

Though the ban targets Xinjiang, it could prompt seizures of products from anywhere in China, because the law applies a rebuttable presumption "that any goods mined, produced, or manufactured wholly or in part in Xinjiang" are made with forced labor and thus banned.

The phrase "or in part" multiplies the uncertainty. As Doug Barry, a senior director at the U.S.-China Business Council, told Nikkei Asia, "The way the law is written could be interpreted as applying to other kinds of goods from other parts of China that allegedly involved forced labor at some point along the supply chain."

Xinjiang supplies about 20% of the world's cotton, and a wide range of other products are either made there or made with materials produced there. The new law threatens to disrupt markets for everything from solar panels to floor tiles, athletic shoes, auto parts and TV remote controls.

This latest example of the U.S. government using a trade embargo as a political weapon springs from claims that China is forcing Uyghurs into work. Uyghurs (pronounced "wee-guhrs") are a predominantly Sunni Muslim ethnic minority group that speaks Turkic, a language similar to Turkish. They comprise a 45% plurality of Xinjiang's population.

For more insights on Xinjiang province and the Uyghur controversy, see our June 7 report: "Pending Embargo on Xinjiang Promises Higher Prices, More Shortages.
 

marsh

TB Fanatic

Inflation Is Americans' Top Concern

TUESDAY, JUN 21, 2022 - 10:25 AM

Despite what one might think if the media's programming were considered, neither guns, climate-change, nor trans rights are the biggest concerns for Americans.



As inflation has crept up to the highest level in more than 40 years in recent months, the issue of rising costs of living has also climbed to the top of Americans’ mind.

According to results from Statista’s Global Consumer Survey, 44 percent of U.S. adults now think that inflation is among the most pressing issues that need to be addressed in their country, displacing issues like immigration and social security, which typically top these kinds of lists.
Infographic: Inflation Is Americans' Top Concern | Statista
You will find more infographics at Statista

According to the latest findings, inflation sits atop the list of Americans’ concerns above health / social security, the economic situation, crime and unemployment.

It needs to be noted, however, that the survey was conducted in three waves between April 2021 and March 2022, meaning that the number for inflation is probably lower than it would be if the same question would be asked today, when the issue has become even more pressing.
 

marsh

TB Fanatic

Can The Global Gasoline And Diesel Crisis Be Solved?

TUESDAY, JUN 21, 2022 - 08:15 AM
By Rystad Energy, first published on OilPrice.com

Global diesel and gasoline markets are witnessing blowout crack spreads in the US$50-60 per barrel (bbl) range, reflecting a clear lag in the refining system to respond effectively and decide between supplying diesel or gasoline. The precarious situation is driven by inventory stocks across the globe being at their lowest levels historically and, therefore, unable to provide the necessary shock absorbers. The loss of Russian refining owing to operational outages and product containment challenges has caused a diesel/gasoline hole greater than 1 million barrels per day (bpd) in Europe that is not easy to plug, Rystad Energy research shows.

“Diesel is the lifeblood of the global economy, essential to vital sectors such as agriculture, construction, and transportation – its price impacts almost all supply chains and goods.

Governments face tough decisions. They can assist consumers by dropping taxes on diesel, but this will likely only increase demand, which may support the overall economy but will worsen the existing tight supply situation. If supply does not improve, governments will be forced to enact emergency plans to limit sales to consumers in order to ensure essential sectors are kept going,” says Per Magnus Nysveen, Head of Analysis at Rystad Energy.

On the demand side, the recovery is resilient as residual Covid-related restrictions are being removed. The latest guidelines from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to remove all Covid testing requirements for incoming flights is one such clear indicator. On the supply side, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has disrupted product flows and crude flows to the European market at a time when the rest of the world has limited ways in which to respond.

Refineries by region
The loss of crude supply has hindered the shrinking European refining sector’s ability to run at high utilization rates and has accelerated a downward trend in Europe which has lost 2 million bpd of crude refining since peak capacity of 17.5 million bpd in 2005. The US has been following a similar trend, losing between 1 million and 1.5 million bpd of refining capacity in the last 3-4 years. The move to phase out Hydrofluoric Acid (HF) Alkylation technology and lower availability of imported vacuum gas oil (VGO)/residues has dented the US refining sector’s ability to increase gasoline production.

Outside the European Union and the US, refinery capacity has been growing primarily to meet rising domestic demand. However, the pandemic has severely impacted the pace of additions with many Middle Eastern, African, and Asian refinery projects reporting delays owing to supply chain and resource issues. Recent news that Nigeria Dangote Refinery is unable to secure a commissioning team is a case in point. Latin American refining was already in decline prior to the pandemic and does not have much to offer, let alone meet domestic product supply.

Overall, the cost of refining has gone up alongside inflated gas, hydrogen, and utility costs.

Thus, a constrained refining system as demand has recovered has resulted in precariously lower days of supply cover in most countries. Many have mandated higher days of stock cover making it hard to solve regional product imbalances with trade flows.

To meet rising demand, refining runs will need to increase by 4.6 million bpd from June to August 2022, compared to current projections of 3.3 million bpd. With a limited increase in overall runs, the second-order lever of diesel versus gasoline optimization does not have much to offer. Diesel/jet fuel maximization is being pursued and indirectly fueling gasoline crack spreads.

Asia’s petchem-aromatic system is not operating at its highest level either as pandemic-related demand has waned. This is reflected in the continued weakening of naphtha cracks in Asia.

Therefore, additional gasoline blending aromatic components are unlikely to be available to bump up gasoline supply. Strong very low sulfur fuel oil (VLSFO) cracks are also possibly making it harder for more VGO/residue to be diverted for fluidized catalytic cracking (FCC).


A temporary reprieve
Given the above indicators, Rystad Energy believes that gasoline’s slight contraction this week is only temporary and further upward movement can be expected. US gasoline stock levels continue their downward trend, from 246 million barrels at the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to 217 million barrels presently. Diesel cracks are also unlikely to soften ahead with stocks across the globe at lower levels.

Potential pathways out of this
Higher crude supply of the right medium-sour quality to maximize bottom-of-barrel upgradation would make a significant difference. The US government’s release of 45 million additional barrels of predominantly light sweet crude is a positive signal. OPEC is falling behind on its targets but the upcoming visit of US President Biden to Saudi Arabia is a key signpost to watch. Asian/Chinese and Middle Eastern refining runs in excess of domestic demand will offer some respite to plug shortages in the US and the EU. Overall, the global runs base outlook is likely to lag below demand-driven runs. The loss of Russian refining and product exports is not going to be plugged easily by the rest of the world. High diesel prices will drive hyperinflation globally and point towards a possible contraction in GDP. Demand destruction may lead to a recession and restore balance, but this will be a painful experience for consumers. Regardless, gasoline and diesel cracks are expected to continue to stay strong during the northern hemisphere’s summer. Many will be hoping for a moderate correction from August and September 2022 onwards, but a lot rests on how sanctions on Russia take effect towards year-end.

Refining is currently resembling a deflated bike tire without a pump – squeezing one side to make more diesel or jet fuel will cause the gasoline supply to worsen and vice-versa. For operating refineries, it is a bonanza, generating fantastic profits. No wonder then that US President Biden has issued a call that refinery profits well above normal are unacceptable and that refineries need to do more to ease supply.
 

marsh

TB Fanatic

Oil Jumps, Crack Spread Near Record After Market Ignores Latest Idiocy From Biden Admin

TUESDAY, JUN 21, 2022 - 06:50 AM

Last week we joked that in its relentless crusade to do the impossible and put a cap on oil (and/or gas) prices, "every day the White House proposes some increasingly more ridiculous and desperate "solution" to high gas prices", as follows: Wednesday: windfall tax; Thursday: oil fuel export limits; Friday: rebate cards...

Then just in case the list of proposals wasn't ridiculous enough, the past 24 hours brought two new, and even more idiotic proposals from the administration where the 79-year-old teleprompter reader can't even ride a bicycle:

First, on Monday, President Biden - who probably was not riding a bicycle at the time - said that he was considering seeking a gas tax holiday to ease high fuel prices: “I hope I have a decision based on the data I’m looking for by the end of the week,” the president told reporters in Delaware. Needless to say, even if Congress were to pass the needed legislation, the impact on gas prices would be minimal as the Federal gas tax is only 18.4 cents per gallon, and the bulk of taxation is at the state level.



Second, and just when you thought it couldn't get any dumber, Janet Yellen (who together with Jay Powell, will soon be thrown under the hyperinflationay bus to take the fall for the economic devastation unleashed by the Biden admin) said talks are continuing on how the US and its allies "might cap the price of Russian oil exports, possibly through a plan that offers exceptions to the European ban on insuring Russian oil shipments."

“We are continuing to have productive conversations, today and with our partners and allies around the world with how to further restrict energy revenues to Russia while preventing spillover effects to the global economy,” Yellen said during a press conference in Toronto alongside Canadian Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland.

"We are talking about price caps or a price exception that would enhance and strengthen recent and proposed energy restrictions by Europe, the United States, the UK and others,” she said.

Word salad aside - because while most western countries have banned imports of Russian oil while the European Union has agreed to prohibit seaborne imports of Russian crude in six months, India and China are importing more Russian oil than ever and adding billions to Russia's treasury every single day, helping push the Russian ruble to the highest level in almost a decade - there is zero chance of any "price caps" being successfully implemented.

We know this because Italy, that most clueless of European sovereigns decided to also chime in.

On Tuesday, Energy Minister Roberto Cingolani said that an Italian proposal to cap natural gas prices in Europe is gaining traction across the region as countries increasingly see it as the “only solution” to soaring costs. Italy has recommended that European Union member states put a limit on the price of gas imports from Russia to help curb inflation in the bloc, but nations including Germany have shown skepticism.

Truly a brilliant idea... until we read the following quote making it clear just how "competent" Italy is in its comprehension of how the energy markets works: "Gas prices are rising not for a physical reason,” Cingolani said at a conference in Rome. “The price is rising just because someone somewhere from a keyboard has decided so.”

There's more: Imposing a price cap “seems to be the only sustainable solution,” Cingolani said.

Such a move would avoid the risk that “someone, waking up some morning, could put forward a crazy gas-price level.”

Of course, we can only imagine that Cingolani wasn't around the last time price caps were attempted. Let's just say the outcome was.... suboptimal.

This relentless barrage of idiocy has made two things clear: i) Western governments are powerless to do anything to lower oil prices, assuring the Kremlin's windfall extends indefinitely; ii) the stupidity will only accelerate indefinitely.

Realizing that both Europe and the US are now in the "let's throw any old shit at the wall and hope it sticks" phase, someone somewhere with a keyboard decided to push the buy button, and oil - which tumbled on Friday amid fears that a created by "serious people" was imminent - jumped higher....



.... and we are confident it will recover all recent losses in the next few hours, not least of all because as Bloomberg's chief energy reporter Javier Blas notes, refined products (diesel, above all) are already leading the recovery from Friday's sell-off, with US WTI 3-2-1 refining margins surges above $61 a barrel, flirting with a new all-time high as "Already US refiners are running their plants, particularly in GoM, at very high rates."

This morning's upgrade of XOM from $115 to $125 by Credit Suisse won't hurt either.



So is the Biden admin doomed and is there nothing it can do to ease gas prices? Well, there is one thing it could do... only on Monday Yellen rejected the idea that restarting the Keystone XL pipeline project would help increase supplies of oil and lower prices because it would take years to accomplish:

“I don’t see it as a short-term measure to address the current situation, and longer-term we remain committed to our climate change objectives, but, you know, it’s really up to the president to consider,” she said.

Biden, who campaigned on an ambitious climate platform, canceled the Keystone XL pipeline -- which would run between the US and Canada -- hours after taking office, after a record "81 million Americans voted for him". The project was under construction when Biden revoked its presidential permit. It would have transported more than 800,000 barrels of oil a day.
 

marsh

TB Fanatic

Netherlands Follows Germany, Lifts Restrictions On Coal-Fired Power Stations Amid Drop In Russian Gas Supplies

TUESDAY, JUN 21, 2022 - 06:05 AM
Authored by Katabella Roberts via The Epoch Times,

The Netherlands is following in the footsteps of neighboring Germany and lifting a cap on production by coal-fired power stations in an effort to prevent a winter energy crisis amid a drop in gas supplies from Russia.
“Because the risk of gas shortages has increased, the cabinet has decided today to withdraw the production limitation for coal-fired power stations for 2022 to 2024 with immediate effect,” climate and energy minister Rob Jetten said in a statement announcing the move on Monday.
“This means that the coal-fired power stations are allowed to produce at full capacity again so that less gas is needed for the production of electricity by gas-fired power stations. This reduces the risk of gas shortages and makes it easier to fill the gas storage facilities in the Netherlands and Europe.”
The Netherlands is in the first phase of a gas crisis, according to Jetten, which has prompted the government to initiate its Gas Protection and Recovery Plan.


Netherlands Minister for Climate and Energy Rob Jetten after the weekly Council of Ministers at the Binnenhof in The Hague on April 22, 2022. (Bart Maat/ANP/AFP via Getty Images)

Jetten said the overall aim of removing the restrictions on coal-fired power stations is to fill gas storage facilities across the Netherlands with more than had previously been agreed by Europe to ensure that plenty of gas is saved ahead of the winter.

The Netherlands capped its coal-fired power plant production at just 35 percent of capacity as it seeks to transition away from higher carbon dioxide emissions to clearer energy.

Its removal of the cap on coal-fired energy production is expected to save 2 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas use per year but Jetten noted that the Netherlands would still meet its 2030 climate goals, which included phasing out its last four coal-fired power plants by 2030.

The Dutch cabinet will announce additional measures aimed at reducing the extra CO2 to offset emissions from coal-fired power stations in the near future.

In the short-term, officials are working on a “temporary gas-saving tender that will give large gas consumers a financial incentive to reduce their gas consumption,” Jetten said.

Back in May Russia’s Gazprom cut off gas supplies to Dutch gas trader GasTerra after it had failed to pay for deliveries in Russian rubles as requested by Russian President Vladimir Putin in March.

That decision means Gazprom will not deliver some 2 billion cubic meters of gas to the Netherlands between now through Oct. 1, when its contract with GasTerra was set to end. However, Jetten stressed on Monday that there was currently no shortage of gas in the Netherlands.
“There are currently no acute gas shortages in the Netherlands, but the declining gas supplies could have consequences,” the climate and energy minister said.
“With the declaration of the first level of a gas crisis, gas companies must provide additional detailed information on current gas supplies and stocks on a daily basis. This will enable the government to monitor the gas market even more closely and immediately take additional measures if the situation so requires.”
The latest decision by the Dutch government comes just a day after Germany’s economy minister Robert Habeck said that the country will limit the use of natural gas for electricity production and instead increase coal burning to compensate. The move comes amid decreased supplies from Russia and fears over potential shortages.

Elsewhere on Monday, the Dutch government also announced plans to produce 2.8 billion bcm of gas from the Groningen gas field in the year ending October 2023, scaling back on the 4.5 bcm in the current production year.

“Due to the uncertain geopolitical developments, State Secretary Vijlbrief has decided not to close any wells definitively this year,” the government said.
 

marsh

TB Fanatic

CNN Analyst Suggests Inflation Is Needed To Achieve Green Agenda

TUESDAY, JUN 21, 2022 - 05:45 AM

As we have covered in the past here on ZH, the inflation/stagflation crisis is immensely damaging to the average person, with the threat of poverty and food shortages hanging over the majority of the population, but there are some people out there who see the crisis as a boon, specifically for the Green agenda and carbon taxation.



CNN economic analyst Rana Foroohar follows the bizarre line of thinking in an interview with The Ezra Kline Show, suggesting that inflation is needed in order to pave the way for a carbon credit based economy. She argued:

“...This is something that I think, unfortunately, no politician, particularly the Democrats right now in advance of midterms or a presidential election want to land on, which is some of the transitions to a kinder, gentler, I believe more stable, and ultimately more resilient economy, are going to be inflationary in the short to medium term.

What’s the cost of something if you actually have a real price on carbon, and then you have to tally in how much it costs to tote it over tens of thousands of miles from the South China Seas? What’s the cost if you have proper environmental and labor standards?

...This is the conversation happening right now. And once you start pricing all those costs in, and you start really thinking of the economy in a different way, then yeah, it is certainly is inflationary..."


Foroohar then called on the U.S. and Europe to "put a price on carbon."

The analyst follows a relatively new trend among the political left and globalists in seeking to justify the existence of price inflation as a means to an end; the “greater good” being the induction of Green New Deal-style legislation.

Some propagandists in the media claim that the inflationary crisis is an opportunity, while others try to claim that climate change is the direct cause of inflation, and if we don't accept carbon taxation then we will continue to suffer under an inflationary collapse. But we all know what the game is here: To use public fears of financial disaster to lure people into accepting authoritarian environmentalism because “Prices are already high anyway, so why not?”

Even NASA and the NOAA openly admit that average global temperatures have only increased 1 degree Celsius in the past century. Yes, that's 1 degree we're supposed to be terrified of.

Keep in mind that the official temperature record used by climate scientists started in the 1880s, so when the NOAA says that a recent temperature was “the hottest on record,” they are using a scale of a little over a century. That's a tiny sliver of time in the vast weather history of the Earth.



In fact, the Earth today is rather cool compared to the numerous warming periods of the past, and these spikes in heat coincided with thriving expanses of life. And, no man-made carbon emissions either. There is zero proof that man-made carbon is the cause of the Earth's current warming cycle.

Climate scientists, who receive large sums of money through funding as long as they toe the party line, argue that man-made carbon can be the only cause of climate change because “carbon rises as temperatures rise.” In other words, correlation = causation. This is not real science. They make no mention of the fact that warming also tends to lead to more life on the planet, and thus more carbon.

The facts of Earth's climate history are generally ignored for the sake of ideology. We are meant to believe that all those other warming periods were different, and this time warming (minimal warming) is caused only by car exhaust and industrialized cow farts?

Perhaps it is no coincidence that inflation is being exploited by Green ideologues and globalists as an excuse for carbon taxes? Maybe that was the plan all along?

High prices in gas force the public into mass transportation and less independence (only rich people will be able to afford electric cars). The public will be priced out of meat in their diet and be forced into vegetarianism/veganism (laboratory produced proteins lack the fats and fatty acids the human brain needs from real meats to function properly). The public will be priced out of private property and owning a home, forcing them into mass housing systems.

They will be priced out of most retail goods, forcing them to accept the “Shared Economy” model created by the World Economic Foundation. And, they might be priced out of the economy altogether, forcing them to accept Universal Basic Income and total dependency on the government, not to mention having a family would be impossible, so the population control agenda is served as well.

The inflation issue is a panacea, but only for globalists and Green cultists, which is probably why they can barely contain their excitement when discussing it.
 

marsh

TB Fanatic

Molecular Biologist: Human Genome Poisoned by mRNA Vaccines Can Be Passed on to Future Generations

BY BELLE CARTER
June 21, 2022

Daniel Nagase


Leaked communications between Pfizer and European Medicines Agency revealed that 50 percent of the contents of the pharmaceutical giant’s Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine were left undeclared before the fast-tracked approval of the rollout went out.

Canadian physician and molecular biologist Dr. Daniel Nagase said during his recent appearance on the “Dr. Jane Ruby Show” that Pfizer admitted to declaring that only half of the mRNA injections are actually spike proteins. This protein will throw in a very indirect means to develop antibodies in human bodies.

The show’s host, Dr. Jane Ruby, said: “Pfizer was able to negotiate this and I’m sure the other companies probably did too. So everything that went out in these vials, a percentage up to 50 percent, were allowed to be undeclared.”

Of course, the biggest takeaway there is that governments around the world allowed Pfizer to inject their people with an unknown substance.

“Every researcher, geneticist, and molecular biologist that worked on this project would have known that any mRNAs that are injected have reverse transcriptase, which has the potential to turn into deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA). Then, it will change the genes of whoever took that injection,” Nagase said.

He further warned that a whole bunch of people might start getting unusual cancers because their DNA had been changed. But that’s only part of the problem.

Nagase said: “The really big problem is what happens in the next generation, our children’s generation and our grandchildren’s generation.”

The scientist explained that genes can get spliced into introns, which are the DNA parts that are kept for reference and not used. A child, even though the mother was injected, might grow up to be a perfectly healthy and beautiful adult.

“But there’s something hidden inside an intron, which is like the references of their DNA. And if spike protein gene is there hiding and that the beautiful adult goes on and has kids, the genes from two, three generations ago may reawaken,” Nagase explained. (Related: Could mRNA vaccines permanently alter DNA? Recent science suggests they might.)

He added that technology and science might not be able to stop passing the poisoned DNA to the next or future generations. It might be possible, but could entail a very tedious process.

“A segment of every DNA needs to be pulled out of every cell of someone’s body. That’s too much a scale of technology. And the thing is, if that spike protein gene is hiding in an unexpressed segment of DNA, that person will look act and feel entirely normal,” he said.

Undeclared half of mRNA vaccines may be causing miscarriages and stillbirths
Elsewhere in the show, Nagase said Big Pharma companies that manufacture mRNA vaccines probably know that the undeclared half are proteins that cause women to be infertile.

“A Moderna production engineer claimed that there were two separate ovarian proteins associated with ovarian failure added to the ‘mRNA cocktail‘ that’s been given in these injections,” Nagase told Ruby.

He said that about five billion people on this planet have taken the COVID vaccines and half of those are women.

“Statistically, half of two and a half billion women are capable of becoming mothers and we know from Pfizer post-marketing survey latest releases that the miscarriage and stillbirth rates were up to 90 percent.”

The sad part, Nagase said, is that obstetricians and doctors console mothers who lost their babies and tell them that “it’s just bad luck and miscarriages happen all the time. It’s nothing unusual.”

“The medical community has been a big part of normalizing the rate of miscarriages that if there’s all of a sudden, a sudden increase in miscarriages, the health workers would just think ‘this is usual.’ But if you took it on a community scale, it is no longer usual and there’s been a lot,” Nagase pointed out.

Visit GeneticLunacy.com for more news related to genetic modifications and alterations.

Watch the full June 17 episode of the “Dr. Jane Ruby Show” below.
Video 27:18 min
 

marsh

TB Fanatic

These Widespread Shortages Can’t Be Explained by Supply Constraints Alone

Poorer markets can still clear. So why won't they?
Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash
Walter Block
Walter Block

All sorts of shortages are now popping up in our economy. At the head of the list is undoubtedly infant formula, but there are literally dozens of other items in short supply. There are so many of them that I feel constrained to mention them in alphabetical order, lest I inadvertently miss one or engage in double counting.

Here they are, as best I can list them: aluminum, avocado, bicycles, blood collection tubes, blood for transfusions, canned vegetables, cat food, chlorine, Christmas trees, coal, coins, commercial air tickets, computer chips, cream cheese, dye used in CT scans, eggs, fuel oil, garage doors, gasoline, girl scout cookies, hand sanitizer, home covid tests, infant formula, juice boxes, liquor, lithium, lumber, maple syrup, meat, motorcycles, natural gas, paper towels, pet food, potatoes, semiconductors, soap, soda, sunflower oil, toilet paper, tomato paste and wine.

Peanut butter has not yet been mentioned in this regard but will soon, undoubtedly, be added prominently to this list.

I’m not kidding: each and every one of these items has been mentioned in this regard in the major media. What is going on here? Has the economy gone crazy, or what? According to several headlines, that is just about what is occurring. Here are a few of them: “The world is still short of everything; get used to it.” “America is running out of everything.” “Product shortages and soaring prices reveal fragility of U.S. supply chain.”

If the shortage list is long, the presumed causes of this economic malfunction are almost as large. For peanut butter, it will be a recall due to contamination; a salmonella outbreak. But this is an input into many other products, such as fudge, chocolates and peanut butter sandwiches, which will also soon be hard to find. For many items on the list the antecedent is the Coronavirus, which has led to supply chain problems. Paying workers to stay home and earn as much or more than their salaries, a few months ago, also contributed. Blame was also laid at a harsh winter. Imports from abroad have been subject to sudden border closures. Ships stuck at harbors on the west coast have been vulnerable to shortages of truck drivers and regulations.

Computer chips have been susceptible to supply inelasticity; new offerings as a result of higher prices take a great amount of time to become forthcoming. Consumers have been castigated for hoarding. Staffing problems have been held responsible for commercial air travel disruptions. Drought, the bird flu and the Ukraine war have been held culpable.

But we have had all of these things before, war, pestilence, disease, bad weather, ill health, government regulations, before. However, massive shortages, not of everything under the sun, but almost pretty close, have never before disrupted the economy to anything like the degree we are presently experiencing (apart from the two world wars, of course).

Where is the much-vaunted free enterprise system in all of this? Nowhere, that is where. Has it succumbed to so-called “market failure?” Not a bit of it. Rather, the difficulty is that public policy has made capitalism operate with one arm tied behind its back, and it has not been able to function when hemmed in by a plethora of restrictions, limitations and regulations.

Basic introductory Economics 101 teaches us that a shortage occurs when demand for an item exceeds its supply. What invariably occurs then? Why, prices rise. When this takes place, businesses are incentivized to produce more, buyers to purchase less. Voila, the shortage ends.

Why doesn’t this occur under the Biden Administration? Why do we have so many shortages?

One possibility not at all in the public eye is that business firms are afraid to raise prices lest they be charged with price gouging. And why in turn might this be the case? The Bidenites are not exactly friends of the free enterprise system. Yes, to be sure, prices have indeed been rising.

But are they increasing fast enough so as to quell shortages? Evidently not. Why not? This is possibly due to fear of being accused of gouging, and being subject to antitrust attentions.

Wages, too, are on the incline. But likely not sufficiently so as to overcome the supply inelasticity difficulty. Why not? Firms may well be leery of so doing, in case they have to be decreased later on, and will be accused of exploiting, or victimizing laborers, or some such.

Prices and wages are typically somewhat sticky; that is, they are not instantaneously and fully flexible. But an anti-business philosophy of the sort now prevailing in Washington D.C. makes them even less able to perform the tasks for which we need them, than would otherwise be the case.
 

marsh

TB Fanatic

Tags: robert unanue | goya | food costs | diesel | fuel

Goya CEO Unanue to Newsmax: 'Idiotic War on Fossil Fuel' Driving Food Costs

(Newsmax/"Wake Up America")
By Sandy Fitzgerald | Tuesday, 21 June 2022 10:45 AM

The "idiotic war on fossil fuel" is driving food prices higher, and it's "totally unnecessary," Goya Foods CEO Bob Unanue said on Newsmax Tuesday.

"It's really the destruction of our natural resources by going from oil independent to dependence," Unanue said on Newsmax's "Wake Up America." "The most idiotic thing we could have done is to play an open war on fossil fuel and set into motion unheard-of inflation."

Meanwhile, Russia and Ukraine control 50% of the world's fertilizer, as well as 30% of the wheat production and 20% of the production of corn and sunflower oil, and American farmers are being hit hard because of the rising costs of diesel fuel, said Unanue.

The Biden administration's implementation of a temporary ethanol increase in an attempt to bring down gasoline costs will also add to farmers' costs, said Unanue.

Earlier this month, new EPA requirements were announced that increase the amount of corn alcohol product in the nation's gasoline supply to 15%, up from the previous 10%, during summer driving months between June 1 and Sept. 15.

EPA Administrator Michael Regan said the action will "help to reduce our reliance on oil and put the RFS [renewable fuel standard ] program back on track after years of challenges and mismanagement," but Unanue warned that the new rule will drive up prices for the nation's farmers.

"Back in 2008 there was a move to put 10% ethanol into gasoline," said Unanue. "It takes three gallons of fuel to make five gallons of ethanol. What that did was triple grain prices in 2008, but now we add on this war going from oil independence to oil dependence and adding another 5% of ethanol to gasoline, which is taking precious fertilizer, which has tripled [in price]."

The CEO also called on Americans to "consume less" and eat more nutritious foods, while working to get the "left-wing woke" people out of office, as they are "destroying this country."
 

marsh

TB Fanatic

Cruz to Joe Biden: ‘Get the Hell off the Backs of the American People — Stop Playing Games’

TRENT BAKER21 Jun 202239

View: https://youtu.be/ANeAtcsPuws
6:57 min

Tuesday on Newsmax TV’s “National Report,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) slammed President Joe Biden as the president weighs a gas tax holiday.

Cruz called the move a “gimmick” because the Biden White House was “scared” of the upcoming “bloodbath in November.” He called on the president to “get the hell off the backs of the American people.”

Partial transcript as follows:
CRUZ: Of course, it’s a gimmick. Joe Biden and the Biden White House, they’re scared.
They recognize they’re headed to a bloodbath in November because the American people don’t like the direction we’re on. Every single policy of this administration has been wrong. In many ways, it’s remarkable. They’ve gotten wrong on so many things.
When it comes to inflation, the price of everything is going up — especially gas. And the thing to understand on gas prices — this is not an accident. This is not an unintended side effect. This is what Joe Biden campaigned on. He told the American people when he was campaigning for president, “If you elect me, I will shut down drilling. I’ll shut down drilling on federal lands, I’ll shut down onshore drilling, I’ll shut down offshore drilling,” and that’s what he’s done. He’s followed through on his promise.
You know, in 2019, under President Trump, America was producing 13 million barrels a day of oil. Today, under Joe Biden, we’re producing 11.5. That’s a 1.5 million barrel a day decrease. And as the little stickers say on the gas pump, Joe Biden — he did that.
He knows that, so this holiday, maybe they’ll do the tax holiday. It is directed at one day, Election Day in November, and as soon as Election Day is over, they want your gas to go not just a $5 a gallon. They want it to go to $6, $7, $8 — they’re aiming for $10 a gallon. And Biden has also said — he’s been very candid — if you drive a pickup truck, if you drive a minivan, if you don’t drive what they want, they want to make your life miserable. They want to make it so you can’t pay your bills because they want to force you to sell your pickup truck and buy a little Prius and obey their demands.
And Joe Biden, get the hell off the backs of the American people. Stop playing games. If Biden wanted gas prices to go down, he could approve the Keystone pipeline. If he wanted to gas prices to go down, he could open up drilling onshore and offshore. If he wanted gas prices to go down, he could open up ANWR for drilling. If he wanted gas prices to go down, he could approve permits to build pipelines because right now out in West Texas, you can’t get a pipeline built to engage in new exploration.
Joe Biden doesn’t want to do that because he’s in hock to the Green New Deal radicals, and this is a sign of desperation for the election in November.
 

marsh

TB Fanatic
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RGrdNMzZnM
11:58 min

They Just Started....

The Economic Ninja

(Bank runs coming near you? Slow rolling now, shortened hours, cost money to withdraw, limits on cash, treated like a criminal, paper currency transmits germs = controlled demolition of banking system into new system. Moving toward CBDC He does promote gold and silver but not a broker and starts talking about other issues around 7 min)

^^^^^
Article discussed:

Chinese disciplinary watchdog to investigate after bank protesters flagged as health risk

    • The Zhengzhou commission for discipline inspection says it has started a probe into why angry depositors found their health codes had suddenly turned red
    • Meanwhile police in a neighbouring city said they had detained a number of people suspected of involvement in a scam that led to a run on four banks
Echo Xie
Echo Xie

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Published: 7:43pm, 18 Jun, 2022


Local people protest in front of the Henan branch of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission demanding the return of their money. Photo: Weibo

Local people protest in front of the Henan branch of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission demanding the return of their money. Photo: Weibo

The disciplinary enforcers in the central Chinese city of Zhengzhou have promised to investigate after protesters demanding their money back after a bank run found their health codes had suddenly turned red – tagging them as a risk to public health.

The local commission for discipline inspection and supervision said on Friday that it had started an investigation and anyone who violated the provincial health code management regulations would be held accountable.

“We will take a responsible attitude to find out the facts and clarify the responsibilities as soon as possible.

“[We will] hold people accountable and order the relevant departments to correct mistakes, responding to social concerns with concrete actions,” an official from the commission said on its website.

Meanwhile, police in the neighbouring city of Xuchang said on Saturday that they had detained a number of suspects in the case and frozen their assets.

In April the police started an investigation into a private investment firm called Henan Xincaifu Group Investment Holding.

The company had stakes in four lenders in Henan province that had their assets frozen amid allegations that the firm had colluded with bank employees to illegally attract public funds.

The police said on their WeChat account that a group, led by a man surnamed Lv, was suspected of using rural banks to commit a series of serious crimes.

“The case was very complex, of long duration and involved many people,” the police said.


The sudden change to the health codes meant that people protesting about the alleged banking scam could not join a protest. Other depositors who did not travel to the city also found their codes had changed.

The saga sparked an outcry on Chinese social media as it heightened concern that the system could be abused by authorities.
The health code has become a vital part of everyday life in China. Photo: AP

The health code has become a vital part of everyday life in China. Photo: AP

China’s health code system was introduced in early 2020 with the aim of effectively tracking people’s movements and containing the spread of Covid-19.

It has become one of the most critical things in people’s daily lives as they have to scan the QR code before taking public transport, entering restaurants or even going back home.

Under the traffic light system, a green health code means a person is safe and has not been exposed to risky areas. Yellow codes are for people who may have been exposed to at-risk areas and their movement should be restricted.

People will be given red codes if they are confirmed cases of Covid-19, or their close contacts or come from high-risk areas, and they should be quarantined.


Earlier this week, local media reported that some of the protesters who travelled to Zhengzhou were quarantined and others were sent back home.

The bank scandal was discovered in late April and involved tens of billions of yuan, the equivalent of hundreds of millions of US dollars.

It sparked protests the following month with hundreds of people taking to the streets and calling for authorities to return their money.

Separately it has also been reported that a number of people who bought homes at a now-suspended residential project in the city also found that their health codes had turned red after they reported problems to the authorities.

Some people’s health codes turned green several days after they appealed, but they were not told why their health codes turned red, the report in online news portal Thepaper.cn said.

On Friday the Henan provincial health authorities warned local officials that they were not allowed to use health codes for reasons other than epidemic control and warned against adding or deleting names from the database.

Some party media have also criticised the possible abuse of power, warning that it would affect the health code’s credibility.

Xiakedao, a social media account run by staff from the overseas edition of People’s Daily, said on Tuesday that the health code system had been arbitrarily used for “social governance” or “stability maintenance” purposes in Henan.

Residents in Beijing satellite city protest against Covid rules limiting acess to Chinese capital


04:49
Residents in Beijing satellite city protest against Covid rules limiting acess to Chinese capital

Residents in Beijing satellite city protest against Covid rules limiting acess to Chinese capital

View: https://youtu.be/w1DJTKbc2UE

4:49 min

“No matter which department or person is responsible for it, they should be held accountable seriously,” it said.

Hu Xijin, the former editor-in-chief of the Global Times, a nationalist tabloid, wrote on the social media platform Weibo that health codes should only be used for epidemic prevention purposes.

“If any locality tries to control certain people’s movement by controlling their health codes, it obviously violates relevant laws and regulations and will jeopardise the credibility of health codes and people’s support for epidemic prevention,” Hu wrote on Tuesday. “It will do more harm than good for our social governance.”
 

marsh

TB Fanatic

Joe Biden Says It Again! Cheers Crippling Inflation as a Good Thing — It will Usher in “Renewable Energy, Electric Vehicles” (VIDEO)

By Jim Hoft
Published June 21, 2022 at 8:45am

Gas prices remained at $4.968 per gallon on Tuesday. This is near the record all-time high and more expensive than at any time in US history.

Joe Biden is destroying the US middle class.

Democrats are destroying our way of life.

And this was intentional.
Back in May Joe Biden told reporters, “When it comes to the gas prices, we’re going through an INCREDIBLE transition… And, God willing, when it’s over we’ll be less reliant on fossil fuels.”

View: https://twitter.com/i/status/1528712761554903040
.15 min

In case you thought this was a fluke — On Monday Joe Biden said it again.
The Democrat Party’s destruction of the economy and middle class is on purpose.



FOX News reported:
President Biden faced backlash after appearing to suggest that high gas prices will be a “good” opportunity to make a fundamental turn” to clean energy on Monday.
Some conservatives called the president out on Twitter for the comments, as gas prices average $4.98 a gallon nationwide, according to AAA and inflation rose to a 40-year-high last month, sparking fears of an impending recession.
Conservative political operative Greg Price tweeted out the moment where the president defended his green energy policies to reporters while vacationing at Rehoboth Beach in Delaware.
“My dear mother used to have an expression: out of everything lousy, something good will happen if you look hard enough for it. We have a chance to make a fundamental turn toward renewable energy, electric vehicles, and not just electric vehicles but across the board,” Biden told the crowd of reporters.
View: https://twitter.com/i/status/1538934196831494145
.43 min
 

marsh

TB Fanatic

Amid threats of blackouts, Illinois lawmakers call for scrapping 'Green New Deal'
Gov. J.B. Pritzker says he hopes to buy power from other states to counter threat of blackouts.

By Kevin Bessler
Updated: June 20, 2022 - 11:39pm

In the wake of an alert warning of possible rolling blackouts this summer, some Illinois lawmakers want to revise the state’s energy policies.

Midcontinent Independent System Operator is warning Illinoisans of possible blackouts and rising energy prices that could cost families as much as $600 more a year.

The announcement was just an advisory and was not the elevated “warning” or “event” stage, but they said the next advisories could require electric utilities to request energy conservation or possible rolling blackouts and power outages.

State Rep. Adam Niemerg, R-Teutopolis, said rolling blackouts should not be the norm in this country and something should be done to ensure there will be abundant energy available for Illinoisans.

“We need to be back in Springfield. We need to repeal the Green New Deal, we need to bring Ameren to the table,” Niemerg said, “and actually have a productive energy policy moving forward.”

Gov. J.B. Pritzker has said he doesn’t expect blackouts, adding that power can be bought from other states.

Illinois Clean Energy Advocate for the National Resources Defense Council JC Kibbey said regulatory barriers and outdated thinking by some utilities has led to missed opportunities in Illinois to expand affordable clean energy resources.

“The goal here is addressing some of the pain that consumers are feeling and the way to do that is with the most affordable energy resources that we have which are wind, solar, and energy efficiency,” Kibbey said.

During a Public Utilities Committee hearing last month, state Rep. Charles Medier, R-Okawville, said an interruption of electrical services could be deadly to some.

“What scares me are the words brownout and blackout as some who took care of a parent for many years on hospice, and the machines I had running in the house,” Meier said.

By 2027, seven fossil fuels plants across Illinois will close, five of them owned by Texas-based Vistra.

According to company officials, Vistra is planning to develop six combined solar and battery storage facilities by 2025, raising questions on how to fill the energy gap until then.

Southern Illinois is among the most vulnerable places in the country heading into the summer, according to a forecast published by the North American Electric Reliability Corp., a regulatory authority that monitors risks to the power grid.

The area, along with large parts of Michigan and Wisconsin and other states linked to the regional grid, has been put on notice that it is facing a “high risk of energy emergencies during peak summer conditions.”
 

marsh

TB Fanatic

1655861953294.png

Claim: Quantum Computing Magic can Solve the Climate Crisis
Eric Worrall

Essay by Eric Worrall
According to McKinsey and Company, Quantum Computing modelling can accelerate discovery of breakthrough technologies to solve the climate crisis. But is this an admission of how far we need to advance?
The role of quantum computing and AI in reversing climate change
By Velvet-Belle Templeman
Jun 20 2022 4:44PM
As the world grapples with the existential crisis that is climate change, technologies including quantum computing and AI can play a crucial role in reversing the damage.
According to a recent McKinsey and Company report, as businesses prepare for quantum advantage, they must consider the value in quantum computing as a significant tool for decarbonisation and limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees.
“Meeting the goal of net-zero emissions that countries and some industries have committed to won’t be possible without huge advances in climate technology that aren’t achievable today. Even the most powerful supercomputers available now are not able to solve some of these problems. Quantum computing could be a game-changer in those areas,” the report said.
The authors have attested that quantum computing could be leveraged to develop climate technologies that would contribute to an additional seven gigatons of carbon dioxide abatement by 2035.

Read more: The role of quantum computing and AI in reversing climate change: McKinsey
The McKinsey and Company report is available here.

I like the frankness of the assessment that current renewable technologies are not ready. For example;

Improving the energy density of lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries enables applications in electric vehicles and energy storage at an affordable cost. Over the past ten years, however, innovation has stalled—battery energy density improved 50 percent between 2011 and 2016, but only 25 percent between 2016 and 2020, and is expected to improve by just 17 percent between 2020 and 2025.
Recent research3 has shown that quantum computing will be able to simulate the chemistry of batteries in ways that can’t be achieved now. Quantum computing could allow breakthroughs by providing a better understanding of electrolyte complex formation, by helping to find a replacement material for cathode/anode with the same properties and/or by eliminating the battery separator.

Read more: McKinsey and Company Report on Quantum Computing
The promise of quantum computing is in principle it can perform every possible calculation simultaneously, then collapse on the correct solution.

Imagine breaking a spy code. You know the key is 20 characters, but unless you have a mathematical cheat formula, you are pretty much stuck with trying every possible combination of those characters until you start getting valid data from your decoder. Assuming the key only contains capital letters and numbers, that’s (26 + 10)20 = 1.3 x 1031 possible keys – an impossible number of keys to test.

Quantum computing attempts to shortcut this impossibility by harnessing the universe’s real world solver to solve abstract problems, by testing every possible solution simultaneously in a single step.

The effect scientists are hoping to harness is, Quantum processes in some ways behave as if every possible interaction between particles was occurring simultaneously, then, even weirder, the different possible interactions interact with each other to produce the final outcome.

The most famous example of this is the double slit experiment, in which particles are fired through two adjacent vertical slits, to produce an interference pattern on a detector behind the slits.

Double Slit Experiment. Source Wikimedia, public domain.

The quantum weirdness comes in when, even when scientists fire one particle at a time through the double slit, the individual particles behave as if they go through both slits simultaneously.

Even stranger, both possible particle paths interact with each other to produce a final pattern on the detector board.

Double slit experiment – even single particles passing through a double slit behave as if they passed through both slits simultaneously.

Where this gets interesting is some paths cancel out. The pattern produced by the double slit experiment has empty areas, where the interaction between possible paths cancelled the possibility of particles arriving at those points on the detector.

Quantum computing scientists hope to harness this weird parallelism, the ability of all possible quantum interactions to contribute to the final calculation and in some cases cancel each other out, so that when every possible solution pathway is simultaneously tested by their quantum computer, only the correct solution, the solution they are looking for, survives the interaction.

They want all the non solution paths to cancel each other out, leaving one bright spot on their detector, the solution they want.

Note this is a simplified explanation, today’s Quantum computers tend to use more exotic quantum processes and interactions than particles flying through double slits.

But for all the advances, to suggest this fascinating game of quantum pinball is in its infancy is an understatement. The quantum computation elements, or Qubits, are unstable and sensitive to external interference. This instability and sensitivity to interference from external influences, such as cosmic rays penetrating the computer hardware, is a serious impediment to the upscaling of Quantum Computer capabilities. I’m deeply skeptical of McKinsey’s claim that any reasonable investment can yield meaningful advances in quantum computing in the next few decades, and double skeptical that any quantum computing advances in the next few decades will noticeably change the dubious trajectory of our alleged green energy revolution.

Update (EW): Added a diagram of the double slit experiment.
 
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