Billionaire bond investor Jeffrey Gundlach recently spoke with Yahoo Finance's Julia La Roche, and reiterated a similar message from his DoubleLine Total Return Bond Fund webcast in June, of how the Federal Reserve, through extraordinary measures, is propping up the economy - distorting market signals.
Gundlach, the CEO of $135 billion DoubleLine Capital, told La Roche the Federal Reserve's "most incredible fiscal lending" is the largest policymakers have ever deployed, even dating back to the financial crisis of 2007–2008.
He said since the pandemic began, the central bank has printed trillions of dollars to prevent the economy from crashing further - by purchasing corporate bonds - which managed to suppress volatility. In the process, the Fed's balance sheet swelled to a mind-boggling $7 trillion.
Gundlach said the Fed has "decided that they want to pull out all the stops to reduce market and economic volatility," via unprecedented money printing. "'What they're doing is really a bridge further than they have ever gone before."
He said the Fed was motivated to keep "throwing things" at the market to rein in volatility across multiple asset classes. In his 35-years of market experience, he said the disruptions in credit markets were "far worse" than the financial crisis a decade ago.
"That led to what looked like was going to be some very substantial bankruptcies in some of the leveraged pools like mortgage-related REITs and other types of investments," he explained.
Similar to the latest DoubleLine webcast, Gundlach said the Fed's backstopping of the corporate debt markets is a violation of its charter.
"The Fed figured desperate times...require desperate measures, and the went all the way into buying corporate bonds," Gundlach said.
In the next downturn, he said the Fed "could go even further" in its ability to unleash an arsenal of tools to provide liquidity to markets.
Gundlach noted the weakest portion of the corporate bond market is low-tier investment-grade debt, commonly known as BBB, which, if re-rated to junk, could cause significant losses for investors who would have to dump into illiquid markets.
"There's been so much issuance of corporate bonds. The prices have been propped up to levels where I think the owners that own them at these levels will end up losing principal on a basket of these assets," he said.
Gundlach said the Fed's money printing is "delaying the inevitable. In the meantime, they have a lot of wherewithal to continue delaying because they are spraying money all over the place and buying all these assets."
He said, "the price of corporate bonds isn't really real. There's no price discovery mechanism that's being pegged. There's no message; there's just a target price that the Fed has been doing, and that led to a pop-up in corporate bonds."
He cautioned against buying LQD exchange-traded-fund:
"It's about the interest rate risk of the 10-year Treasury and the yield-to-no losses is about 2.25. There's not a lot of reward there, and there's a lot of risk if the bonds get downgraded because the yields on junk bonds are far higher today than the yields on BBB corporate," he said.
"So, if they get downgraded, we know the pricing is going to suffer very significantly."
Watch the full interview
Gundlach's message over the last month has stayed about the same. He believes the Fed's easy money policies have only delayed the crisis, BBBs are the most significant risk in corporate debt markets and remains skeptical of the stock market rally.
Volumes have continued to burst all around the country this week. Carriers are rejecting loads at rates only seen during the March panic-buying spree buildup. Spot rates have been bid up above 2019 levels in many markets around the country, but it is unlikely that this trend continues given there is typically a significant drop-off in outbound volume after the Fourth. However, volumes are so high currently that even a significant decline could still keep OTVI above 2018/2019 comparables.
Outbound tender volumes continued to gush in many regions around the country this week. The Outbound Tender Volume Index (OTVI) is now almost at 13,000 for only the second time in its three-year history, with the first coming just three months ago during the March panic-induced buying spree.
The current volume of freight flowing in the U.S. cannot be overstated — besides the March demand spike, there has not been freight demand like this in recent history. 2018 was considered a banner year for freight volume and OTVI currently sits more than 14% above the 2018 high point.
There is typically a surge in volumes leading up to Independence Day as shippers try to clear as much inventory as possible before the close of the second quarter. After a lost April and depressed May, we believe shippers are particularly focused on pushing freight to paint the second quarter as rosy as possible. Independence Day often marks the beginning of the midsummer slowdown that drags on throughout July and August before picking up at the edge of autumn. If 2020 is to follow historical patterns, we should expect this extremely high volume level to last only a few more days. That said, 2020 has followed very few historical patterns, so there is a great deal of uncertainty about where demand will be in the third quarter.
It appears highly unlikely for volumes to continue in this range after the Fourth. In each of the past two years, OTVI has averaged roughly 10,200. A major retraction in tender volumes would need to take place for the index to average similar levels as the previous two years.
On the positive side, nine of the 15 of the major freight markets FreightWaves tracks were positive on a week-over-week basis. This ratio has been consistently high in recent weeks. The markets with the largest gains this week in OTVI.USA were Laredo, Texas (11.33%), Los Angeles (8.57%) and Dallas (6.93%). The markets with the largest declines this week in OTVI.USA were Cleveland (-10.68%), Memphis (-2.63%) and Indianapolis (-2.42%).
Carriers continued for a second week rejecting loads at a much higher rate this week that at any time since the panic-buying spree. The Outbound Tender Rejection Index (OTRI) jumped an additional 500 bps over the past week after running up more than 400 bps last week. The last two weeks have been among the more volatile weeks for OTRI in its three-year history.
We wrote during late May and early June that we believed capacity had been slow to adjust to the volume levels, but last week that changed. Volumes have remained elevated since Memorial Day, but carriers have been slow to reject freight. This was likely an attempt to make up for those “lost” months of April and May.
Much like volumes, tender rejections tend to trend higher in the week(s) leading up to a national holiday. However, this spike is unlike those of any leading up to a summer holiday in the past few years. This change in rejections may not only stem from holiday disruption, but also from carriers looking for other opportunities in this time of freight abundance. This level of tender rejections indicates upward pressure on rates and carriers have begun to test the waters.
Once the money helicopter takes off, it can never again land. It's also why once a country is on the road to socialist utopia, also known as Venezuela or CHOP, and "free money for everyone" has been unleashed, there usually are no detours until financial ruin for everyone is finally achieved.
And while the road to hell may or may not be paved with good intentions, it certainly is lined with Magic Money Trees, and all around them are clueless
socialist Keynesian economists who fail to grasp (or perhaps grasp all too well) that the current situation is no longer fixable, and their only policy recommendation is to do even more of what led the world to the edge of financial ruin.
According to Reuters, a group of 153 "left-leaning" economists have signed a letter calling on US policymakers to keep providing direct cash payments to Americans until the economy is stronger. And since the economy will never get stronger as long as tens of millions receive hundreds of dollars in government checks, listening to these clueless morons is the surest way to achieve Putin's and Xi's vision of destroying America from within, without ever firing a shot.
The group of "mostly left-leaning" economists said in an open letter organized by the Economic Security Project and The Justice Collaborative that direct cash payments can improve financial security, boost consumer spending and may speed up the recovery. Of course, direct cash payments tend to achieve just the opposite, but let's not bother the "left-leaning" economists with such trivial as reality and facts.
“The first round of economic impact payments were a lifeline that helped some get by for a few weeks,” the economists wrote. "Even after businesses start to re-open and jobs begin to come back, there will be significant economic fallout, and demand will continue to lag if people don’t have money to spend."
The letter was signed by 153 economists who have directly or indirectly contributed to the economic collapse of the United States, including Jason Furman, who chaired the Council of Economic Advisers during the Obama Administration; Claudia Sahm, a former Fed economist; Darrick Hamilton from the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at The Ohio State University; and Indivar Dutta-Gupta, co-executive director at the Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality.
Naturally, some of the signatories are advising the campaign of presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden according to Reuters.
Why now? Because the $600 supplement Congress added to weekly unemployment benefits - which has demotivated millions of Americans from seeking a job as they instead take more money home thanks to government welfare - are set to expire at the end of the month, leaving jobless Americans at risk of facing a cash cliff while jobs are still scarce.
Congressional lawmakers are on a two-week recess and will face pressure to make decisions when they reconvene in late July. And since money is now literally being printed and then immediately used to plug the record US budget deficit, even if it means a debt chart that is hilariously parabolic...
... we expect Congress to promptly approve trillions more in handouts because we are now at a point when the mere suggestion that a government backstop is gone - whether for capital markets, for corporate bond issuers, or for individual welfare checks - could be enough to spark a revolution.
What we are witnessing all over the country right now is incredibly sad. In the aftermath of the tragic death of George Floyd, it would have been wonderful to see the entire nation unite behind an effort to make our society less violent, more just and more peaceful. But instead, we have seen a tremendous explosion of violence and lawlessness that doesn’t seem likely to end any time soon.
Violent crime rates are surging in major city after major city, and the 4th of July weekend was particularly bad. At least 41 people were hit by gunfire in New York City during the holiday weekend, and this continues a trend that we have seen throughout the first half of 2020. Just check out these numbers…
According to figures released by the New York Police Department, for the first six months of this year, there were 176 murders, an increase of 23 percent on the 143 killed during the same period last year.
The number of shooting victims has gone up 51 percent to 616 this year. In June alone, there were 250 shootings compared to 97 in the same month last year. Month-on-month, burglaries are up 119 percent and car thefts up 48 percent.
I don’t know which one of those numbers is the worst, because they are all quite horrific.
A tremendous amount of money has been shifted away from the NYPD budget, and that certainly isn’t going to help matters. For years, the hard work of the NYPD had helped to make New York safer than many of our other major cities, but now that is changing at a pace that is absolutely breathtaking. In fact, one British news source is now referring to the city as “lawless New York”…
Two bullet-ridden bodies lay sprawled on bloodstained concrete steps. Alongside, relatives of the victims are wailing and collapse to the ground. In another part of the city, a gang of youths use spray paint to disable security cameras before robbing a corner store. Later, video footage captures police officers sitting helplessly in their patrol car as a baying crowd hurls glass bottles at them.
This is lawless New York – a city that was once America’s glittering crown jewel but which risks descending into mob rule.
Of course New York still has a long way to go if it wants to rival Chicago. According to authorities, there are more than 100,000 gang members living in Chicago at this point, and the violence never seems to stop.
Sadly, the last couple of days have been particularly bad. Over the 4th of July weekend, at least 67 people were hit by gunfire in the Windy City…
At least 67 people were shot, including 13 fatally, over the Independence Day weekend in Chicago, according to authorities.
Nine of the weekend’s victims were minors, and two children died, officials told Fox32. That includes 14-year-old boy who was among four people who were killed in the South Side neighborhood Englewood on Saturday evening.
But instead of blaming the criminals, the Chicago Sun-Times seem to think that “cutting funding for police could lead to a better and safer Chicago”.
Do people actually believe such nonsense?
Philadelphia is another major city that is seeing a massive increase in violent crime at the same time funding for the police is being cut back…
Most Americans desperately want their neighborhoods to feel safe, and this could be the one issue that could rescue the Republicans from a potential disaster in the November election.
Right now, most Democrats are extremely hesitant to speak out against the violent protests that we have been witnessing all over the nation, and that is a huge mistake.
And we definitely witnessed more alarming violence during the political protests that were held over the past few days. For example, protesters in Portland were launching projectiles and shooting fireworks at police officers in Portland for hours. If Democrats want to win over independent voters, they cannot be seen as siding with such violence.
Law enforcement in downtown Portland have been under attack for hours at the federal courthouse by antifa extremists. They hurl projectile weapons at police & when officers respond, go on social media tagging politicians & lawyers claiming police brutality pic.twitter.com/K6I3sxw7jS— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) July 3, 2020
By engaging in such utter lawlessness, these radical protesters are actually hurting their own cause, because it is only going to help President Trump.
The more violence that we see, the more the American people are going to want it to stop. If tens of millions of voters believe that “Joe Biden’s America” is an America filled with rioting, looting and violence, that could potentially be enough to push Trump over the top in November.
So Joe Biden’s unwillingness to strongly call for law and order may turn out to be his Achilles heel.
The way national elections are won in America is by winning over the millions of confused people in the middle, and right now the images of these protests that those confused people are viewing on their television screens are definitely not helping Democrats. For example, over the weekend protesters in New York were burning American flags as they chanted “America was never great”…
FAR left protesters have burned American flags outside Trump Tower and the White House.
Video shows the Stars and Stripes being burned just outside the White House as the demonstrators chanted “America was never great”.
Does anyone out there actually think that such stunts will make the confused people in the middle more likely to vote for Democrats?
Right now, Trump is way behind in the polls, but if he makes these protesters the central issue of the campaign over the next several months he may still have a chance of winning.
But no matter who wins in November, it appears that we have now entered a new era of violence and rioting in this country.
Many of our major cities already resemble war zones, and what we have experienced so far is just the beginning.
During the course of President Putin’s June 24 opening speech during the Moscow Parade celebrating the 75th anniversary of WWII, the following call to action was made:
“We understand how important it is to strengthen friendship and trust between nations, and are open to dialogue and cooperation on the most pressing issues on the international agenda. Among them is the creation of a common reliable security system, something the complex and rapidly changing modern world needs. Only together can we protect the world from new dangerous threats.”
This call echoed the President’s powerful June 19 article published in the National Interest where he outlined in stark terms the powerful financier and aristocratic forces behind the rise of Hitler in the wake of WWI, and the vital need to honor those millions who died to ensure freedom and survival for future generations. In his article, Putin laid out the call for an emergency meeting among the five veto-carrying members of the U.N. Security Council which he first publicized during his January 15, 2020 State of the Union.
Although respect for Russia’ leader runs high, I have noticed that most people have still found it exceptionally difficult to see how Putin’s solution-oriented spirit is anything but naïve fancy.
After all, aren’t relations between Russia and America as low as they have ever been? Aren’t things even worse between the USA and China? How could anything good possibly come from a USA which has acted like a decadent imperial machine for decades?
Although very understandable, this inability to understand Putin’s intention is something I would like to help correct within this brief article.
To restate my position: Putin is no idiot.
Putin is a figure who is very much animated by a strong sense of moral duty which has given him the insight into both history and the future which is rare among citizens of our current epoch, and even rarer among the political class.
Putin also recognizes that the western neo-liberal system is sitting on the precipice of the worst financial meltdown in recorded history and he also knows that a new system will, by necessity be brought online. It is understood that the terms of this new system have to be fleshed out as soon as possible if a new hardcore fascist “solution” will be avoided along with the obvious world war that would soon follow.
As I have laid out in a recent report, the foundations for that new operating system will either be rooted in open system or closed system thinking.
Closed Systems in Brief
If humanity’s new system is presumed to be of a closed nature, then I am sorry to tell you that fascism will be necessitated as the ultimate governing mechanism of the elite.
The reason for this depressing fact is simple.
In all closed (ie: finite/bounded) systems, the number of people alive will always tend to consume more energy than the system itself creates over time as resources, and agricultural potential is slowly drawn down and entropy increases.
In such a world, someone has to decide who receives those ever-diminishing returns of resources, and who are the useless eaters to be sacrificed “for the greater good” of the system. This is the Hobbesian world that such misanthropes like Thomas Malthus, T.H. Huxley, Henry Kissinger and Al Gore live in. In true Pygmalion fashion, these cynics will use any and all political clout at their disposal to force society to adhere to their obsession with “balance”, “mathematical equilibrium” and perfect linear predictability. The self-professed “alphas” of these sorts of master-slave societies are committed to forcing the “might-makes-right” laws of the jungle onto humanity. In the closed-uncreative world of such a misanthrope, imbalance is considered both un-natural and evil. Imbalance is wild. It is unpredictable. It is open.
Based on their words and actions, Putin, Xi, and other leaders of today’s multipolar alliance do not think this way.
Open Systems in Brief
As a short example of my meaning, listen to President Xi describe the fundamental principle of open system economics during a 2016 speech to the CPC central committee:
“Coordinated development is the unity of balanced development and imbalanced development. The process from balance to imbalance and then to rebalance is the basic law of development. Balance is relative while imbalance is absolute. Emphasizing coordinated development is not pursuing equalitarianism, but giving more importance to equal opportunities and balanced resource allocation.”
By placing imbalance as the absolute factor, and balance as merely relative, Xi is defining a process of progress built upon creative leaps with each higher system requiring a reasonable balance/distribution of resource use, but without ever becoming reliant on that particular set of finite resources.
Putin expressed his understanding of this principle in his own way when he discussed the importance of unlimited energy and growth potential attainable through the harnessing of fusion power:
“Potentially we can harness a colossal, inexhaustible and safe source of energy. However, we will only succeed in fusion energy and in solving other fundamental tasks if we establish broad international cooperation and interaction between government and business, and join the efforts of researchers representing different scientific schools and areas. If technological development becomes truly global, it will not be split up or reined in by attempts to monopolize progress, limit access to education and put up new obstacles to the free exchange of knowledge and ideas.. With their help, scientists will be able to literally see nature’s creation processes.”
Programs like China’s Belt and Road Initiative (and its space, polar, health and information extensions) has not only won over 135 nations to its framework but this program is entirely rooted in open system thinking. Within this framework’s operating system, there is no presumed fixed limit to resources or endpoint to the progress that nations can create if certain principles are adhered to.
At the heart of these vital principles is found the moral concept of “win-win cooperation” or as China’s former president Sun Yat-sen called it in his Three Principles of the People, the Principle of “Right makes Might”. Sun Yat-sen understood in 1924, as Presidents Xi and Putin do today, that if a nation adheres to win-win/right-makes-might thinking, then that nation will never lose the Mandate of Heaven (Tianxia). In the Western matrix, this principle is expressed beautifully by the Principle of Westphalia which established the first modern nation states in 1648 premised around the principle of the “Benefit of the Other.” When Kissinger, Brzezinski or Blair speak of a “post-Westphalian age”, it is this fundamental principle that they are attacking more than the mere existence of national borders.
This principle is again reflected in the UN Charter, which was designed by the anti-colonial President FDR “to achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion and to be a center for harmonizing the actions of nations in the attainment of these common ends.”
FDR’s early death and the British-Deep State takeover of America over his dead body prevented these ideals and open system dynamics from ever coming to life.
As long as nations are empowered to stand on their own feet, develop full spectrum agro-industrial economies and if people benefit by developing new skillsets, and if new technologies and new discoveries in science are encouraged rather than sabotaged (as has been the practice under the Might-Makes-Right Darwinian laws of gobble-ization), then potential for human perfectibility is as boundless as our ability to discover, create, plan and inspire future generations.
Some Points of Mutual Interest
Now there are an array of domains which all nations of the U.N. Security Council can focus on during this period of intense crisis that would tie civilization’s interests into open system thinking benefiting all nations and people. If the USA has even a modicum of sanity at this late stage, then Trump will give Pompeo and other neocons the Bolton/Bannon treatment and make Putin’s offer a top priority for the sake of the USA’s very survival as a nation, and humanity more broadly.
To end this paper, I wish to outline several of the most fruitful topics to be tackled at upcoming summits which will best define the coming century (or more) of cooperation and growth:
Space Diplomacy, Asteroid Defense, Arctic and Far east development, energy, and health infrastructure.
America’s successful return to manned space flight on May 28th was more than just another space launch, but rather one important component of a much larger commitment illustrated by the May 15 Artemis Accords to not only send humans back to the Moon for the first time since 1973, but to permanently develop a Lunar and Mars-based economy with a focus on international cooperation. This outlook dovetails Russia’ commitment for permanent lunar colonization and resource development which will start with Luna 25 in 2021 followed by Luna 26, 27 and 28 soon thereafter with a plan to have a permanent manned base in early 2030. Describing Russia’s support for this initiative, Roscosmos Chief Dimitry Rogozin stated: “I can imagine what kind of feeling they had all these nine years, having no opportunity to deliver their astronauts to the ISS. It is a matter of honor and national pride. Let us wish them professional success.” The USA and Russia are also close partners in the ISS and Russia manufactures the strategic RD-180 and RD-181 engines used in American launch vehicles.
Both the USA and Russia are partners on the upcoming Lunar Gateway station which will soon orbit the Moon and serve as an important element in the new space-based infrastructure used both in mining and Mars launches. Although banned from the ISS and U.S.-cooperation since 2011, China has become a pioneer in space with a tight alliance with Russia on lunar cooperation signed in September 2019. China’s own Chang-e program has resulted in landing on the far side of the moon with plans for colonization in the coming decades as well as the development of Helium-3 mining for fusion power.
Faced with the two-fold threat of NATO military encirclement on earth and asteroid collisions from abroad, Rogozin made headlines in 2011 by reviving the concept for a joint U.S.-Russia controlled defense system first announced by President Reagan’s 1983 Strategic Defense Initiative. Rogozin’s 2011 version (titled the Strategic Defense of Earth) now called for turning humanity’s arsenal of atomic weapons away from each other and towards the grave danger of asteroid collisions for which we are woefully unprepared. Introducing this topic into the emerging joint U.S/Russia working groups on arms control set to begin in mid-July would contribute in powerful non-linear ways that cannot be calculated by any linear standard of measurement. This vision has been echoed by China as well as the European and Japanese space agencies.
Arctic and Far East Development
In 2007, Russia revived a 150-year-old idea that once had the support of leading republicans of Lincoln’s 19th century America to unite rail lines in America and Eurasia through the Bering Strait crossing in the form of a 65 mile tunnel. Russia again re-emphasized its commitment to building this $64 billion project in 2011. With China’s Polar Silk Road having extended the traditionally east-west development corridor into the Arctic and as China and Russia have increasingly merged the Belt and Road Initiative with the Eurasian Economic Union, this new development dynamic offers incredible economic opportunities for all Arctic nations and also an escape from military confrontation.
Putin’s Far East Development Plan
Part in parcel with this initiative comes President Putin’s Far East development plans as a “21st century national priority” for Russia. The development of new cities, mining, transport corridors and oil and natural gas of Russia’s Far East represent one of the greatest boons for economic investment during the coming century and already features an array of partners from China, Japan, South Korea, India and other APEC nations. Putin’s 2018 proposal that the USA join in this project of win-win cooperation is important not only because it would build trust, create business opportunities and re-establish the lost art of long-term thinking, but would also help link up western businesses into partnership with the Asia Pacific development process now being shaped by China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Although tensions have been enflamed to schism China and India from cooperating directly on the BRI, India’s embrace of Russian Far East development investments has created a non-linear flank which can help bring these two Asian giants into harmony.
Only the tip of the iceberg…
Overall, there are many other points of common benefit shared by nations committed to a Multi-Polar “open system” future including education/cultural exchange, fission/fusion energy research, counterterrorism, and COVID-19 response coordination. On this last threat, the issue of a new world healthcare system has become an increasing focus of discussion, especially as nations set their sights on the post-pandemic world order.
Here, Russia, China and the USA can play a leading role to ensure a modern and equitable healthcare architecture for nations of the developing sector which has found itself so vulnerable when faced with the threat of world pandemics. Africa, South America, Asia and beyond require vastly improved healthcare services, hospitals, training, and medical technology worthy of the 21st century. Most importantly the world needs preventative systems such as sanitation, clean water, food sovereignty and electricity if COVID-19 and all future threats to world health shall be solved once and for all.
If Russia, America, China and other nations of the UN Security Council and BRICS were to apply their best minds to solving these problems rather than fall into a new arms race, then not only would either country benefit immensely, but so too would humanity more broadly.
Putin’s olive branches have piled up over recent years and there is no sign that he intends on permitting himself to be the cause for history’s repetition into war, and if we are smart, then we will do everything in our power to ensure that this discussion not only occurs, but that open system economics prevails.
The author can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Like with other recent explosions and fires, including one at Iran's underground nuclear development Natanz facility, official statements downplayed this latest blast as an accident. "Human error was the cause of the blast in a factory... Two people were killed and three others were injured," said a local official.
"The explosion that was caused by some workers' negligent handling of oxygen tanks.... was so powerful that the walls of a factory nearby were also totally destroyed," he added.
What is a mystery, however, is the latest spate of "random" explosions and fires at remote Iranian countryside areas and industrial zones known for being weapons and nuclear development sites, as we previously detailed.
Meanwhile, there's been more and more scrutiny placed on Israel and its main foreign intelligence service Mossad:
Israel was the culprit behind a fire that caused significant damage to an Iranian uranium enrichment facility, a Middle Eastern intelligence official has claimed.
The unnamed source told The New York Times that a powerful bomb caused the explosion at the Natanz nuclear facility last week.
Declared an accident by Iranian officials, the blast led to significant damage to the facility and could slow the production of centrifuges used to enrich uranium, according to the country's atomic energy spokesperson.
Several mysterious fires and explosions have broken out at sites in Iran in recent weeks, including explosions at a weapons depot and medical facility, along with a fire at a power station.
The incidents are now coming with such frequency that the question of foreign sabotage is impossible to ignore, also considering Israeli leaders have over the past year vowed they'll do anything to ensure the Islamic Republic can't possibly develop a nuke.
"The incidents have sparked speculation that Iran is under attack, with some pointing to arch-foe Israel as the culprit behind the supposed attacks," the New Arab report continues. Iran has said it will respond if it's confirmed that Israel or the US are behind it, including via cyber-attacks. "Speaking on condition of anonymity, the Middle Eastern intelligence official told The New York Times that Israel was behind the Natanz blast but not any of the other incident."
Asia Times has asked: are we witnessing the "the son of Stuxnet?"
Five recent explosions in Iran may have been caused by computer viruses similar to the Stuxnet virus that disabled Iranian centrifuges in 2010.
Two of the blasts took place at power plants, one at a missile research, development and production site, one at a new uranium enrichment centrifuge center, and the last (if it can be considered part of the attacks) in downtown Tehran at a medical facility that could have been a cover for nuclear operations such as a hidden command center.
All of this has prompted a response out of Israel, with Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Sunday issuing a partial and somewhat ambiguous denial.
“Not every incident that transpires in Iran necessarily has something to do with us... All those systems are complex, they have very high safety constraints and I'm not sure they always know how to maintain them,” he told Army Radio.
Iran suspects the US and Israel of trying to disrupt its nuke program. https://t.co/G2ueIH4JnV— CNSNews (@cnsnews) July 6, 2020
“Everyone can be suspicious of us all the time,” Gantz said. “But not every incident that happens in Iran necessarily has something to do with us.”
Recall that just a year ago it was a long hot summer of 'tanker wars'. And now it seems a sabotage war on Iranian soil, targeting weapons and nuclear development, despite Tehran claiming its nuclear facilities are for peaceful domestic energy purposes.
A Chinese quant-trading firm made 108% this year by selling every stock bought the previous day.
As long as the Fed is willing to promote gambling, guess what? People will gamble.
Please consider Quant Fund Gains 108% by Dumping China Stocks a Day After Buying
Zhang Ruiqi, the 34-year-old chairman of Shenzhen Qianhai United Fortune Fund Management Co., screens about a dozen mainland-listed stocks every day for their turnover, momentum and volatility. He then does it all over again the following day. That strategy, which he calls the “all-in-all-out” method, helped his flagship $5 million fund gain 108% this year through June, according to data provider Simuwang.com.
“Our strategy allows us to make money from stocks that have the strongest market sentiment on a day-to-day basis -- and that has turned out to be overwhelmingly successful so far this year,” said Zhang in a phone interview from his office in Shenzhen.
“As long as the trading volume remains above 400 billion yuan per day, this strategy will still be effective,” said Zhang, noting the upcoming revamp of the Shanghai Composite Index and ChiNext market reforms. “Volumes are unlikely to drop.”
Hedge funds typically take 20% of the profits.
If they can make 100% profits with Other People's Money (OPM) everyone is happy. If and when these strategies blow up the founders still make their 20%.
Attract $2 billion with these short term returns and the hedge fund just made $400 million off of OPM with no risk.
I have a friend who is now day trading options, and short term ones at that. He does not know what a straddle is or even what a limit order is.
Day trading is inaccurate because the size of his account, under $25K, restricts him to a limited number of trades.
So far, he has done OK with long bets on Apple and Tesla. But how long can this last?
I had a long talk with him this past weekend. He is out of a job and out of money.
"I have no other choice he told me".
He wants to come by this week for me to explain more about options.
This is what the Fed has promoted.
Capital expenditures, generally known as CapEx, are funds used to acquire, upgrade, and maintain physical assets. We can learn a lot about a company and how it is investing in existing and new fixed assets to sustain or expand its business. More importantly, CapEx is the critical driver of growth in the future.
With that being said, companies globally are slashing capital spending this year as the virus-induced recession has forced management teams to rein in costs.
Refinitiv data (of nearly 4,000 firms) estimates 2020's CapEx cut will be on average 12%, much larger than the 11.3% decline during the global financial crisis in 2008-09, or the largest in over a decade.
"For many firms the near-death experience of the lockdown - where cash flows have simply dried up - will have a long-run effect on their willingness to take risks and invest," said Keith Wade, the top economist at British asset manager Schroders.
Wade explains weaker business investments are typically associated with slower economic recovery, one that may not resemble Wall Street's "V" but could look more like an "L" or "U."
"Weaker investment will also hamper a recovery in productivity and reinforce the outcome of slower GDP growth," he said.
By sector, energy (-25%), consumer discretionary (-23%) and real estate (-20%) had the largest capital expenditure cuts.
CapEx cut by sector
Refinitiv showed Exxon Mobil and BP Plc, two major multinational oil and gas companies, have already told investors CapEx will be slashed by at least 20% this year.
This all suggests the market is widely misinterpreting the shape of the economic recovery - as it appears a steep reduction in global CapEx could result in a 2H bounce that underwhelms, leading to levels of GDP and earnings in 2021 to be lower than hoped for.
CapEx serves as a guide, or better yet, a warning that US corporate profits will continue to fall.
As to what happens next, we'll let Gary Shilling, the president of A. Gary Shilling & Co., sum up his recent thoughts stated on CNBC, of where he believes Wall Street has the shape of the recovery entirely wrong and what is ahead could be a 1930-style decline in markets.
CapEx weakness is suggesting the global recovery won't resemble a "V" this year.
Another month, another double-record auction.
With the US ramping up coupon issuance to fund trillions and trillions in helicopter money deficits, moments ago the US Treasury sold a record $46 billion in 3Y treasuries at a new record low yield of just 0.190%, 9bps below last month's 0.28% if fractionally tailing the 0.189% When Issued.
The bid to cover came at 2.44, slightly better than the 6-auction average of 2.429 if below June's 2.55.
The internals were solid with Indirects taking down 54.3%, also above the recent average of 51.1, and above last month's 53.3, and with Directs taking down 13.3%, or roughly their usual fare of 11.7%, Dealers were left holding 32.4%, slightly below the recent average of 37.2.
Overall, an remarkable auction in just how easy it was for the Treasury to sell another record amount of short-term debt despite a virtually non-existant yield, and in fact, if anything the only thing remarkable is that with yields rapidly approaching negative rates stocks remain so well bid even as the bond market is saying the odds of inflation have never been higher.
A Black Lives Matter-supporting teacher took to Twitter to assert that 2+2 only = 4 because of “western imperialism.”
Brittany Marshall’s tweet went viral after she claimed during the course of a discussion about racism, “Nope the idea of 2 + 2 equaling 4 is cultural and because of western imperialism/colonization, we think of it as the only way of knowing.”
Marshall, who includes her pronouns in her bio, lists her occupation as “teacher, scholar, social justice change agent” and apparently is studying for a PhD at Rutgers.
People like this are a reason why there’s a need for written instructions on shampoo bottles.— Garbage Human (@GarbyJooman2020) July 7, 2020
Also, she’s a teacher. pic.twitter.com/yDbi3mU9PH
Her bizarre statement is yet another example of Intersectionality, the pseudo-intellectual garbage feminist notion taught in all major universities that racism and sexism are prevalent throughout all areas of society and are intertwined.
In this case, Marshall appears to be arguing that maths itself is racist, an argument that has been made by numerous social justice warriors down the years, some of whom question why ‘Western Math’ is in common use and not other methods such as the way Aborigines count (maybe because we’re western and not Aborigine).
The notion that 2+2 might not = 4 is of course lifted from George Orwell’s 1984, when the one party state was able to torture dissidents into believing it could equal 5.
Respondents to the tweet expressed their varied opinions.
“Unfortunately it’s nothing new,” remarked one. “There are videos circulating showing black students promoting to stop science because it represents white supremacy. They would prefer magic and voodoo.”
“Scary thing is, this person is a teacher probably preaching the same nonsense to our children,” said another.
* * *
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President Trump is making plain the degree to which the country remains divided by the American Civil War. His threat to veto the $718bn Defence Bill if it renames military bases called after Confederate generals harks back to 1861. His stand highlights the bizarre way that the US military has named its biggest bases, like Fort Bragg in North Carolina and Fort Hood in Texas, after Confederate generals like Braxton Bragg and John Hood who fought a war to destroy the US.
Critics suggest derisively that this tradition of naming military installations after defeated enemies should mean that future bases will include at least one named after Osama bin Laden, the founder of al-Qaeda, and another after Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of Isis, both killed by US soldiers.
The fury generated by the dispute over the renaming of the bases and the removal of the statues of Confederate commanders underlines the contemporary relevance of the outcome of the civil war. A tweet by Trump gives a clue as to why this should be the case a century and a half after the Confederate surrender. “It was sad,” Trump wrote, “to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments.”
But which “history and culture” is Trump talking about? The US has two sources of political culture: one derives from Thomas Jefferson and James Madison and a popular revolution against a distant imperial power, the other flows from the slave states with their vastly different tradition. Much of what non-Americans find peculiar and contradictory about the US stems from the uneasy cohabitation of these two cultures, whose democratic and authoritarian strands alternately repel each other and blend together. Americans are often in denial about this tainted legacy, preferring to see their past through the lens of the intentions of the founding fathers and the struggles of the frontier, playing down the civil war over slavery that left 750,000 dead.
The version of culture and history that Trump defends is that of the American South and is primarily to do with contemporary relations between black and white. Most of the statues to Confederate war commanders were erected long after the war and unblushingly asserted white supremacy. Memphis, Tennessee, for instance, until recently boasted a statue erected in 1905 to the Confederate cavalry general Nathan Bedford Forrest, a plantation owner, slave trader and Confederate commander whose troops massacred some 300 black Union army soldiers who surrendered at Fort Pillow in 1864. He later became the first leader of the Ku Klux Klan. As recently as 1998, another statue to Forrest was erected in Nashville, Tennessee.
The reason that the “cultural wars” resonate so strongly in the US is that they have their roots in a real war and have little to do with quaint military nostalgia, like people in England who dress up as 17th-century Cavaliers and Roundheads to restage civil war battles. The real message those statues carried was that the south might have lost the civil war and slavery might have been abolished, but black people would still be segregated, discriminated against and denied civil rights.
Trump’s racism is blatant and unconcealed, but the culture he is pledged to defend encompasses far more than racial division. It includes a whole set of fiercely defended attitudes to women, gun ownership, abortion, evangelical Christianity, paramilitary policing, crime and punishment, affirmative action, and the role of government in society. This matters because of a surprising development in the US since the de jure granting of civil rights to black Americans in the 1960s. This was seen by many as the moment that the US put the past behind it and the toxic traditions of the Old South would disappear into history. But no such thing happened. On the contrary, the counter-reaction to civil rights was in many respects more powerful and influential than the original movement that had tried to break the racist status quo.
This counter-reaction was so strong that the south was able to expand its culture in the broadest sense to the north and west, far beyond the boundaries of the old Confederacy. As Godfrey Hodgson wrote at the turn of the century in his prophetic book More Equal Than Others: America from Nixon to the New Century, it had been “assumed that the South would become more like the rest of the country, [but] in politics and in many aspects of culture, the rest of the country has come to resemble the South”.
This “southernisation” explains many strange aspects of American culture that appear inexplicable, such as the way in which attitudes over everything from gun ownership to abortion have become a mark of identity. It also explains a lot about Trump’s rise to power, which caught most Americans, including many of his supporters and almost all non-Americans, by surprise. He is occasionally referred to as “the last Confederate president”, which is over-simple; but the description does point the way towards the identity of his base, whose loyalty is so impervious to his failures.
The beliefs and values that mutated out of the defeated Confederacy produced a distinct variant of American nationalism. It combined with right-wing conservatism in the rest of the country to produce a winning political formula used by Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump. A Democratic president like Bill Clinton seemed to be an exception to this, but in many respects his record only confirmed the trend. In 1996, Peter Applebome, The New York Times correspondent in Atlanta, wrote a book called Dixie Rising: How the South is Shaping American Values, Politics and Culture. In a passage quoted by Hodgson, he says, “Bill Clinton is coming out for school prayer along with sweeping Republican legislation shredding welfare” and “the Supreme Court is acting as if [the Confederate president] Jefferson Davis were chief justice”.
The title of Applebome’s book explains its theme. He concludes that “to understand America you have to understand the South”.
The same is true of Trump and Trumpism. Southern political culture, which has percolated to all parts of the US, is his political base, which explains why the fate of the statues and the renaming of military bases matters so much to him.
One week ago, when looking at the growing divergence between the number of new coronavirus cases in the US and shrinking number of fatalities, we referred to Nordea's strategist Andreas Steno Larsen, who observed that "we are entering “crunch time” on fatalities since they should start to rise in early July given the lead/lag structure versus new cases."
As Larsen further predicted, "if fatalities don’t spike early in July, then people will conclude that it’s probably spreading amongst a part of the population that is not as sensitive, or that it is a resulted of increased testing or that the virus has become less deadly as we move into the summer months. Governors in Texas, California and Florida seem to have concluded that the below correlation holds, but the jury is still out."
His conclusion was that "the next 6-10 days will be crucial."
Well, one week later, we decided to follow up on the current status and... there is still no spike in fatalities at either the federal level...
... or even state level as can be seen in the Florida cases vs deaths chart below:
Meanwhile, as cases appear to be plateauing in several states, not only are deaths not inflecting higher but are at the lowest level since March.
So were most experts wrong that the surge in cases would also lead to a spike in deaths?
While we are debating that question, here's another one: back in late March and early April, consensus emerged that unless the first coronavirus wave is contained, it would result in an even more acute and deadly second wave. Why? Because both professional and armchair epidemiologists were using the Spanish flu as a case study as shown in the following chart from JPMorgan.
Now, according to Deutsche Bank, it appears that this comparison to the 1918 Spanish Flu may have also been terribly wrong.
As DB's Jim Reid writes, one paper that influenced market thinking in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic looked at the effect of non-pharmaceutical interventions like social distancing and school closures during the Spanish flu (link here). The paper found that the US cities that implemented these measures tended to have better economic outcomes over the medium term. This offered historical support to the argument that there wasn’t such a big trade-off between economic activity and public health, because you needed to suppress the virus to enable consumers to be more confident and for businesses to operate as normal.
However, a major difference between Spanish flu and Covid-19 is the age distribution of fatalities, as shown in the chart below.
For Covid-19, the elderly have been overwhelmingly the worst hit. For the Spanish flu of 1918, the young working-age population were severely affected too. In fact, the death rate from pneumonia and influenza that year among 25-34 year olds in the United States was more than 50% higher than that for 65-74 year olds, "a remarkable difference to Covid-19."
This, as the strategist then notes, therefore begs the question of how history will judge the lockdown response to Covid-19, given its much more limited impact on workers in the economy. In short, we have an interesting situation at the moment, where rapidly rising cases in the US are slowing reopenings (negative) but the death rate is falling (positive).
Here are some further observations conducted by another DB strategist, Francis Yared, which suggest that the second wave is far less serious than the media is making it out to be.
Conclusion: The overall mortality rate as measured by weekly deaths/ weekly new cases (2 weeks lead) is about 1/3rd of the level observed in the second half of April
Analysis: We calculate (1) the hospitalization rate as currently hospitalized (weekly average) / new cases (weekly sum, 1 week lead) and (2) the hospitalization mortality rate as Deaths (weekly sum) /currently hospitalized (weekly average, 1 week lead). The latter is a normalization of last week's calculation from daily deaths to weekly deaths. We focus on weekly averages and weekly lags as the time spent in hospital is about 1 week and to smooth the volatility due to week-end effects.
Meanwhile daily tests in the US hit a new all time high every single day.
As DB concludes, "this may eventually give us more faith that we are now better at living with the virus."
Over the last quarter, the “Death of Fundamentals” has become apparent as investors ignore earnings to chase market momentum. However, throughout history, such large divergences between fundamentals and price have resulted in low future returns.
This time is unlikely to be different.
“During the second quarter, analysts lowered earnings estimates for companies in the S&P 500 for the quarter. The Q2 bottom-up EPS estimate (which is an aggregation of the median Q2 EPS estimates for all the companies in the index,) declined by 37.0% (to $23.25 from $36.93) during this period. How significant is a 37.0% decrease in the bottom-up EPS estimate during a quarter? How does this decrease compare to recent quarters?
During the past five years (20 quarters), the average decline in the bottom-up EPS estimate has been 3.2%. Over the past ten years, (40 quarters), the average decline in the bottom-up EPS estimate has been 3.4%. During the past fifteen years, (60 quarters), the average decline in the bottom-up EPS estimate has been 4.6%. Thus, the decline in the bottom-up EPS estimate recorded during the second quarter was much larger than the 5-year average, the 10-year average, and the 15-year average.
In fact, this marked the largest decline in the quarterly EPS estimate during a quarter since FactSet began tracking this data in Q1 2002. The previous record was -34.3%, which occurred in Q4 2008.” – FactSet
The chart above is telling. Investors continue to bet on a “hockey stick” recovery in earnings to justify overpaying for stocks with the highest price momentum. As discussed in “The Bullish Test Comes:”
“Such makes the mantra of using 24-month estimates to justify paying exceedingly high valuations today, even riskier.”
Importantly, earnings estimates did not decline due to just the onset of the “pandemic.” Earnings began to decline in earnest in late 2018 as economic growth had started to weaken.
As we warned in mid-2019, the inversion of the yield curve had also set the stage for an economic contraction:
“Despite commentary to the contrary, the yield curve is a ‘leading indicator’ of what is happening in the economy currently, as opposed to economic data, which is ‘lagging’ and subject to massive revisions.”
All that was needed was an unexpected, exogenous catalyst to trigger the actual event.
The important point is that investors have been overpaying for earnings by more than 2.5x since the peak in earnings in 2018. Slower economic and wage growth and a widening of the “wealth gap,” has stalled revenue growth. Such has forced companies to engage in a wide variety of accounting “gimmickry” to manufacture earnings to support higher asset prices.
Since 2009, investors have bid up stock prices by more than 368%. Yet, cumulative operating earnings and revenue have only grown by 93% and 50%, respectively.
Even if the expected “hockey stick recovery” in earnings occurs, earnings will only return to the same level as they were in 2018.
If we assume analysts are correct, and historically they overly estimate by 33%, investors have vastly overpaid for earnings. Such has historically guaranteed investors disappointing investment outcomes.
However, as we enter “earnings season,” we are again seeing analysts and companies adjusting their numbers to win the “beat the estimate” game. Such is why I call it “Millennial Soccer.” Earnings season is now a “game” where no one keeps score, the media cheers, and everyone gets a “participation trophy” just to show up.
When it comes to earnings season, the media will be complicit in pushing Wall Street’s recommendations. However, those “buy, sell and hold” recommendations aren’t for you. Those recommendations are the “bait” to camouflage the “hook.”
I will let you in on a “dirty little secret.”
Wall Street doesn’t care about you or your money. Such is because their profits don’t come from servicing “Mom and Pop” retail clients trying to save their way into retirement. Wall Street is not “invested” along with you, but “uses you” to generate income for their “real” clients.
Such is why “buy and hold” investment strategies are so widely promoted. As long as your dollars are invested, the mutual funds, stocks, ETF’s, etc, the Wall Street firms collect their fees. These strategies are certainly in their best interest – just not necessarily yours.
However, those retail management fees are a “rounding error” compared to the really big money.
Wall Street’s real clients are multi-million and billion-dollar investment banking transactions. These deals include public offerings, mergers, acquisitions, and debt offerings, which generate hundreds of millions to billions of dollars in fees for Wall Street each year.
You know, companies like Uber, Lyft, Snapchat, Tesla, and Shopify.
For Wall Street firms to “win” that very lucrative business, they must cater to their prospective clients. Not surprisingly, it is difficult for a firm to gain investment banking business from a company with a “sell” rating.
Such is why “buy” ratings are so prevalent versus “hold” or “sell,” as it keeps the client happy. I have compiled a chart of 4644 rated stocks ranked by the number of “Buy”, “Hold” or “Sell” recommendations.
There are just 2.97% of all stocks with a “sell” rating.
Do you believe that out of 4644 rated companies, only 138 should be “sold?”
But for Wall Street, a “sell” rating is not good for business.
The conflict doesn’t end just at Wall Street’s pocketbook. Companies depend on their stock prices rising as it is a huge part of executive compensation packages.
Corporations apply pressure on Wall Street firms, and analysts, to ensure positive research reports with the threat they will take their business to a “friendlier” firm. The goal of boosting share prices for compensation is also why roughly 40% of corporate earnings reports are “fudged” to produce better outcomes.
As the Associated Press exposed in “Experts Worry That Phony Numbers Are Misleading Investors:”
“Those record profits that companies are reporting may not be all they’re cracked up to be.
As the stock market climbs ever higher, professional investors are warning that companies are presenting misleading versions of their results that ignore a wide variety of normal costs of running a business to make it seem like they’re doing better than they really are.
What’s worse, the financial analysts who are supposed to fight corporate spin are often playing along. Instead of challenging the companies, they’re largely passing along the rosy numbers in reports recommending stocks to investors.“
So, what can you do?
You have two choices.
You can do your homework using a research tool like “RIAPro.Net” (Try Risk-Free for 30-days) where you can screen for fundamental value.
Or, you can hire an independent, fee-only advisor who knows how to do the work for you.
Let me show you the difference between Wall Street’s “buy, sell, hold” analysis versus how we break the universe of stocks we screen at RIA Advisors.
As an independent money manager, I use valuation analysis to determine what equities should be bought, sold or held in client’s portfolios. While there are many valuation measures, two of my favorites are Price-to-Sales and the Piotroski f-score. For this example, I sorted the entire Zacks Research equity universe of 5028 issues. I ranked them by just these two measures.
See the difference. Not surprisingly, there are far fewer “buy” rated, and far more “sell” rated, companies than what is suggested by Wall Street analysts.
Here is something even more alarming.
Just after the “dot.com” bust, I wrote a valuation article quoting Scott McNeely. He was the CEO of Sun Microsystems at the time. At its peak, the stock was trading at 10x its sales. (Price-to-Sales ratio) In a Bloomberg interview, Scott made the following point.
“At 10 times revenues, to give you a 10-year payback, I have to pay you 100% of revenues for 10 straight years in dividends. That assumes I can get that by my shareholders. It also assumes I have zero cost of goods sold, which is very hard for a computer company.
That assumes zero expenses, which is really hard with 39,000 employees.That assumes I pay no taxes, which is very hard. And that assumes you pay no taxes on your dividends, which is kind of illegal. And that assumes with zero R&D for the next 10-years, I can maintain the current revenue run rate.
Now, having done that, would any of you like to buy my stock at $64? Do you realize how ridiculous those basic assumptions are? You don’t need any transparency. You don’t need any footnotes.
What were you thinking?
How many of the following “Buy” rated companies do you own carrying price-to-sales valuations above 9 or 10 times?
So, what are you thinking?
As an increasing number of “baby boomers” head into retirement, the need for independent, organic research and analysis, which is in the client’s best interest, is more critical now, than ever.
Independent advice can help remove those emotional biases from the investing process that lead to poor investment outcomes. There are many great advisors with the right team, tools, and data, who can manage portfolios, monitor trends, adjust allocations, and protect capital through risk management.
The next time someone tells you that you can’t “risk-manage” your portfolio and just have to “ride things out,” just remember, you don’t.
With alarming frequency, law-abiding citizens who attempt to defend themselves and their private property with the use of guns are being portrayed as villains, while trespassers, looters and rioters get bailed out of prison. Have the liberals found a backdoor method for trashing the Second Amendment?
Last month, Mark and Patricia McCloskey were about to sit down for a dinner at their home in St. Louis, Missouri when members of Black Lives Matter smashed through the front gate and began marching through the private property. The McCloskeys, with memories of the violent protests that rocked their city just weeks before still fresh, believed their lives were under threat. They took matters into their own hands, appearing in the front of their home with a semiautomatic rifle and a handgun. Mrs. McCloskey pointed her gun at the trespassers, warning them to stay away. No shots were fired and the protesters moved on. So who came out of that skirmish smelling like roses? Not the McCloskeys.
“I am threatened by the events that occurred over the weekend where… peaceful protesters were met with guns and a violent assault,” said Kimberly Gardner, Missouri Attorney General. “I will work with the public and the police to investigate these tragic events.”
The irony here, aside from the fact that protecting one’s life and property is now deemed “violent assault,” is that the protesters were on their way to the home of St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson in order to demand her resignation for releasing the names of the individuals who supported defunding the police. If they believed their cause was so righteous, shouldn’t these people be happy to have their identities known? More to the point, however, is the question of the context. At a time when the police in the United States seem either incapable or unwilling of maintaining law and order, and sections of U.S. cities are being looted and torched, at what point is it legal for law-abiding citizens to brandish a firearm as a preemptive measure against possible violence?
— ABC News (@ABC) June 29, 2020
Instead of shedding some insight on that question, however, the mainstream media continues to recklessly aggravate the racial dimensions of such scenarios.
The New York Times, for example, reported how the McCloskeys took aim at the “peaceful black protesters” – never mind that there were many whites among the protesters as well – from the property of their “marble mansion.” Mark McCloskey was dressed for the occasion in his “pastel pink polo short and khakis,” the paper of historical record noted, while his very white wife, Patricia, was seen wearing “black capri pants” while brandishing a “silver handgun.”
A person would be forgiven for thinking they were perusing a fashion advert for the Summer Benetton Collection, as opposed to the latest hit piece against the phantom of ‘white privilege’ that it was.
In another powder-keg incident one week later, Eric Wuestenberg and his wife Jillian were attempting to leave a Michigan Chipotle franchise when they were confrontedrob by Takia Hill, a Black woman who accused Mrs. Wuestenberg of bumping into her daughter inside of the restaurant.
The situation escalated in the parking lot as Hill accused the couple of “racism,” while even threatening to beat up Mr. Wuestenberg for not addressing the issue with his wife. As the Wuestenbergs attempt to exit the parking lot, Hill blocked the vehicle, while punching the back window. At this point, Jillian Wuestenberg emerges from the vehicle brandishing a handgun, which she cocks and aims at Hill, telling her to “get the f*ck back!” Eventually, Wuestenberg gets back into the vehicle as her husband drives away.
Full video available here:
The couple has been charged with felonious assault, while Eric Wuestenberg, without a fair hearing in a court of law, has been fired from his job at Oakland University. In short, their lives appear to have been ruined.
In the cases of both the McCloskeys and Wuestenberg, charges of racism have been leveled against them, and this will certainly have incalculable consequences for the rest of their lives. Mr.Wuestenberg has already lost his livelihood. Aside from the question as to whether there is a court in the land where the two couples can get a fair hearing is the question of personal defense. At what point is it acceptable to brandish a firearm?
Missouri state law clearly states that a person “may use physical force upon another person when and to the extent he or she reasonably believes such force to be necessary to defend himself or herself or a third person from what he or she reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of unlawful force by such other person.”
Michigan, meanwhile, has ‘stand your ground’ legislation that makes it legal for a person to resort to “deadly force” if the person has “an honest and reasonable belief” that such force is necessary to prevent “imminent death or great bodily harm” to yourself or to another individual.
In both cases, the McCloskeys and the Wuestenbergs clearly felt that the risk to their lives and safety was enough to warrant the brandishing of a weapon. At the same time, their feeling of personal insecurity was certainly heightened by the violence that has been engulfing the country ever since George Floyd lost his life during his arrest by a white police officer. This feeling has been aggravated not only by a media industrial complex that seems invested in the prospect of racial tensions, but by the growing awareness that the police may not respond to the call.
Most disturbingly, however, is how fast citizens are being condemned and imprisoned, their lives totally upended, before the facts of each individual case is given a fair hearing in a court of law. Such an approach to justice should be considered repulsive to Americans, and absolutely frightening to gun owners, who are increasingly found guilty by the mob and media for doing nothing more than defending themselves from possibly bodily harm.
Source : Le Temps Jair Bolsonaro, qui s’est toujours dit sceptique sur la pandémie, a annoncé lundi qu’il présentait certains symptômes et qu’il s’était soumis à un test Le président du Brésil Jair Bolsonaro a annoncé avoir été testé positif au Covid-19 mardi. «Le résultat positif (du test) vient d’arriver», a déclaré le chef de l’Etat, 65 ans, lors d’un entretien à […]
L’article Le président du Brésil Jair Bolsonaro a été testé positif au Covid-19 est apparu en premier sur Le Média pour Tous.
With the Nasdaq trading at record highs on its sixth straight day in the green, largely thanks to Amazon surpassing $3,000 a share, Wal-Mart is gearing up to launch what it hopes will be its "Amazon Prime Killer" - a new e-commerce subscription service called "Walmart+".
According to Recode, Wal-Mart is planning to launch the new service later this month. The service will cost $98 a year, and include perks like same-day delivery of groceries and general merchandise, discounts on fuel at Walmart gas stations, and early access to product deals, according to the "multiple" insider sources who spoke with Recode (to be sure, this report bears all the hallmarks of a officially sanctioned leak, so we expect these details are coming straight from the source).
With COVID-19 making Amazon more central than ever in the lives of Americans, more retailers are scrambling to find ways to compete in the new world, where shopping at brick-and-mortar stores now carries an additional risk, along with many new aggravations (like mask-wearing and mandatory distancing).
Wal-Mart had initially planned to launch the new service in March or April, but it delayed the rollout due to COVID-19.
As Amazon struggles to roll out grocery delivery across the US (so far, it has concentrated mostly on the big cities), Wal-Mart is leaning on this natural advantage as a central component of this new service.
Right now, it's not clear yet whether the service will be rolled out regionally, or nationally. But given Wal-Mart's status as the country's biggest brick and mortar retailer, we suspect this news could derail (or at least delay) Jeff Bezos' inexorable march toward becoming the world's first trillionaire by Amazon Prime day.
Wal-Mart shares are surging on the news.
For the first time in her privileged life, ex-socialite Ghislaine Maxwell is living in conditions described by one judge in 2016 as similar to a 'prison on Turkey or a Third World Country.'
The 58-year-old Maxwell was arrested after hiding out in a lavish four-bedroom, four-bathroom mansion in New Hampshire, which Bloomberg notes sports views of the Mount Sunapee foothills from every room.
After being initially booked in New Hampshire on multiple charges related to trafficking underage girls for the sexual gratification of dead pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, Maxwell was transferred on Monday to New York's Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) - home to over 1,600 male and female detainees which was built at the turn of the 20th century and used during both world wars, according to Bloomberg.
No one wants to go to jail, but the conditions described at the MDC have been the subject of numerous complaints and scrutiny that rival the rat-infested federal lockup in Lower Manhattan where Epstein was held.
In early 2019, hundreds of inmates at the MDC were locked shivering in their cells for at least a week after an electrical fire knocked out power in the building. The inmates spent some of the coldest days of that winter in darkness, largely without heat and hot water. -Bloomberg
One inmate, Derrilyn Needham, has been incarcerated at MDC since last November along with 30 other women who slept in bunk beds. Needham said social distancing was difficult, and that for three days starting April 23, the women were on "lockdown on our bunk beds, not able to leave our bunks except to use the bathroom or shower.
She added that they hadn't been given gloves, hand sanitizer or disinfectant wipes - and that despite symptoms of COVID-19, the assistant warden said she couldn't receive a test for the virus.
According to The Intercept, "The number of reported coronavirus symptoms far exceeds the number of tests MDC has performed." In May, the facility came under fire for allegedly destroying medical records "as part of a deliberate effort to obscure the number of incarcerated people infected with the coronavirus."
The report, filed Thursday as part of a putative class-action lawsuit by people held in custody at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, casts doubt on assertions by the Bureau of Prisons, which runs the jail, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District, which serves as counsel for the bureau. The Bureau of Prisons and federal prosecutors have insisted in court that the situation at the jail is under control. But the medical examiner’s report — which contradicted prison assertions that Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines were being followed — suggests that the six people in custody who have tested positive for the disease likely represent the tip of the iceberg. -The Intercept
After the pandemic began, the detention center was deemed "ill-equipped" to deal with the spread of COVID-19 by former chief medical officer for the city's jails, Homer Venters, who says he's "concerned about the ongoing health and safety of the population," and slammed administrators for failing to adequately deal with the pandemic.
That said, MDC has been on the receiving end of criticism over its conditions long before coronavirus was an issue.
Cheryl Pollak, the federal magistrate in Brooklyn, has repeatedly voiced concerns about the MDC after reviewing a report by the National Association of Women Judges, who visited the facility and found that 161 female inmates were housed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in two large rooms that lacked windows, fresh air or sunlight and weren’t allowed out to exercise. -Bloomberg
"Some of these conditions wouldn’t surprise me if we were dealing with a prison in Turkey or a Third World Country," Pollak said during a 2016 hearing. "It’s hard for me to believe it’s going on in a federal prison."
Ce matin, la Cour de justice de la République (CJR) a ouvert une information judiciaire sur la gestion ministérielle de la crise du coronavirus. Édouard Philippe, Agnès Buzyn et Olivier Véran sont dans le viseur. Il est temps de rendre des comptes ! Le procureur général près de la Cour de cassation, François Molins, a annoncé qu’une information judiciaire sur […]
L’article Ouverture d’une information judiciaire visant le trio Buzyn, Philippe et Véran est apparu en premier sur Le Média pour Tous.
Geneva, Switzerland – Global working hours are expected to have plummeted by 14 percent in the second quarter of 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO). The fall is equivalent to 400 million full-time job losses globally in the second quarter, based on a standard 48-hour […]
The post UN Labor Agency: Lockdown Cost Global Economy 400mln Full-Time Jobs, Consequences to Last Beyond 2030 appeared first on Fort Russ.
Actor Terry Crews clashed with CNN’s Don Lemon last night during an exchange in which Lemon ludicrously asserted that black on black violence should have nothing to do with the Black Lives Matter movement.
Crews was targeted by the woke mob after he tweeted on July 4 the supposedly controversial opinion that not all white people were bad and not all black people were good.
Are all white people bad?— terry crews (@terrycrews) July 4, 2020
Are all black people good?
Knowing this reality- I stand on my decision to unite with good people, no matter the race, creed or ideology.
Given the number of threats against this decision-
I also decide to die on this hill.
Before his interview on CNN last night, Crews also tweeted, “#ALLBLACKLIVESMATTER 9 black CHILDREN killed by violence in Chicago since June 20, 2020.”
#ALLBLACKLIVESMATTER— terry crews (@terrycrews) July 6, 2020
9 black CHILDREN killed by violence in Chicago since June 20, 2020
Crews began by saying that there were “some very militant type forces in Black Lives Matter” and issuing a warning to not allow the movement to get hijacked by extremists.
Given that the ideological inspiration behind Black Lives Matter is literally a cop-killing terrorist fugitive who is on the FBI’s Top Ten Most Wanted Terrorist list, one could argue that the movement has its origins in extremism.
“When you have the leaders of the black lives movement who are now talking about…if we don’t get our demands we’re gonna burn it down, other black people who are talking about working with other whites and other races, they’re being viewed as sellouts or called Uncle Toms, you start to understand that you are now being controlled,” said Crews, adding that BLM embodied a “dangerous self-righteousness that viewed themselves as better, it was almost a supremist move, their black lives mattered a lot more than mine.”
When Crews clarified that he was talking about the leadership of BLM, Lemon asserted that Martin Luther King was once seen as extremist, leading Crews to argue that there had to be a non-racial component to BLM for it to work.
Crews then pointed to the industrial levels of black on black violence in Chicago, which in recent weeks has claimed the lives of nine black children, noting that “the Black Lives Matter movement has said nothing” about the violence.
“What does that have to do with equality though?,” responded Lemon, seriously making the argument that black people dying in massive numbers at the hands of other blacks had nothing to do with black lives mattering and was “apples and oranges,” while trying to shift the blame to “gun culture” across the entire country.
Presumably, Lemon thinks that there is no “equality” in America, yet he was unable to point out any rights that white people have that black people don’t (because they both have the exact same rights under the law).
“Black people need to hold other black people accountable, this is black America’s version of the #MeToo movement,” said Crews.
“If anything’s gonna change, we ourselves, we need to look at our own communities and look at each other and say this thing cannot go down. There are a lot of great people there who are held hostage by people who literally are running these neighborhoods with violence and then claiming that black lives matter.”
Lemon then absurdly tried to argue that talking about black on black violence would be like a “cancer matters” movement being asked why they don’t talk about HIV and that BLM is solely about police brutality, another misnomer given that the full scope of BLM is about defunding the police, overthrowing capitalism and imposing communist ideals (goals that BLM front groups routinely advocate).
“When you look at the organization, police brutality is not the only thing they’re talking about,” responded Crews, prompting Lemon to agree but then contradict himself by repeating the false claim that BLM was solely about police brutality and criminal justice.
The interview ended with Crews insisting that there was more to the BLM agenda than police brutality and that it needed to be scrutinized.
Black on black violence isn’t part of the Black Lives Matter narrative because Black Lives Matter isn’t a civil rights movement, it’s a political movement and black on black violence can’t be exploited for political grist.
It’s that simple. And Don Lemon knows it.
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D'après le bulletin climatique mensuel du service européen Copernicus, le mois dernier « fut le deuxième mois de juin le plus chaud pour l'Europe ».
En Europe, « les températures ont été nettement supérieures à la moyenne dans le nord, mais inférieures à la moyenne dans le sud, a précisé l'institut, ce qui nous place à égalité avec le deuxième mois de juin le plus chaud de notre histoire. »
Au niveau mondial, « les températures du mois dernier ont été supérieures de 0,53 °C à la moyenne de juin de 1981 à 2010, ce (...)
Update (1130ET): The shooter is now reportedly in custody...
UPDATE: San Bernardino Sheriff’s Dept says Twentynine Palms has told them it’s not an active shooter and are not requesting sheriff’s assistance at this time https://t.co/ntr2Ac9rU2— Angela Chen KESQ (@AngelaWChen) July 7, 2020
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An active shooter has reportedly attacked a marine training facility, according to the Marine Corp twitter account.
#BREAKING: We are aware of reports of an active shooter at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center - Twentynine Palms. More to follow.— U.S. Marines (@USMC) July 7, 2020
The attack is reportedly unfolding at 29 Palms Marine Corps Base in San Bernadino County, Cali.
The suspect is reportedly in custody.
#Breaking: Initial reports of a shooting at Twentynine Palms Marine Base in San Bernardino #California. A suspect is in custody and it is currently unknown if there are any victims. https://t.co/HBYwSaT47r— The Up2Dater (@UptoDateNewz) July 7, 2020
It's also the first mass shooting in San Bernardino since the infamous massacre carried out by a radicalized couple at an office space in the county.
The New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) released a statement Tuesday morning, seen by CNBC, indicating Deutsche Bank has been fined $150 million for banking transactions with accused child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, who is now dead.
DEUTSCHE BANK'S EPSTEIN LAPSES SPUR $150 MILLION PENALTY IN NY— zerohedge (@zerohedge) July 7, 2020
Is there any crime DB is not part of?
NYDFS said Deutsche Bank agreed to the multi-million dollar penalty for "failing to properly monitor account activity conducted on behalf of the registered sex offender despite ample information that was publicly available concerning the circumstances surrounding Mr. Epstein's earlier criminal misconduct."
Banking regulators have been investigating Epstein's dealings with the bank for months, including past lending and transactions, along with dozens of accounts linked to him shortly before he died last August.
The investigation of Deutsche Bank focused on why the bank continued to do business with Epstein despite internal concerns that were raised, a separate report via The New York Times recently said.
"Despite knowing Mr. Epstein's terrible criminal history, the bank inexcusably failed to detect or prevent millions of dollars of suspicious transactions," Linda A. Lacewell, NYDFS' superintendent, said in a statement.
NYDFS said payments from Epstein's Deutsche Bank account(s) were made to his co-conspirators who sexually abused women. Other payments were made "to Russian models, payments for women's school tuition, hotel and rent expenses, and (consistent with public allegations of prior wrongdoing) payments directly to numerous women with Eastern European surnames," the department added.
NYDFS also noted Epstein's "periodic suspicious cash withdrawals — in total, more than $800,000 over approximately four years."
Deutsche Bank was Epstein's lender from 2013-2019, even as other financial institutions labeled him a red flag.
A Deutsche Bank spokesperson acknowledged to Financial Times of the mishap with Epstein, saying: "Our error of onboarding Epstein in 2013 and the weaknesses in our processes."
BEIJING/NEW DELHI – China and India agreed to ensure a complete disengagement of troops in the disputed border areas as soon as possible, the foreign ministries of both countries confirmed on Monday. India’s Ministry of External Affairs said Indian National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi discussed the situation by telephone […]
The post DE-ESCALATION: China, India Agree to Complete Troop Pullback from Disputed Border appeared first on Fort Russ.
On July 2nd, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order mandating the wearing of face masks across the state, whether indoors or outdoors, when six feet cannot be maintained between people. In the governor’s decree, he cited a rise in Covid cases, a rise in test positivity, and a rise in hospitalizations as justification to force people to cover their faces in public.
The move is not only a violation of the civil liberties of all Texans. Abbott may have based his executive order on inaccurate information about a “rise” in Covid cases due to the Texas State Department of Health Services changing the definition of what constitutes a “Covid case.”
Thanks goes to Collin County Judge Chris Hill for blowing the whistle on what appears to be a move in mid-May to redefine what was a “Covid” case to open the door to a massive increase – all to match the mainstream media line that a “second wave” was on the way.
In a Commissioners Court hearing for Collin County on May 18th, it was revealed that while previously the determination of a Covid “case” was a confirmed test result, the definition was suddenly changed to count “probable” cases as “cases.” At the same time, the threshold for determining “probable” was lowered to a ridiculous level.
As Judge Hill said at that May 18th meeting, “If you have a subjective fever and you have a headache and you live in Collin County, you now meet the qualifications to be a probable COVID patient. It is remarkable how low the standard is now.”
Even worse, once a “probable” case was determined based on possibly unrelated subjective criteria, up to 15 people in possible contact with that “probable” case were also listed as “probable cases.” And “probable cases” were considered cases.
Repeat that farce across Texas and is it any wonder there was a “spike” in “cases”?
Also, Governor Abbott’s claim that hospitals were being over-run by Covid patients was refuted by the Houston hospital directors themselves, who said they were nowhere near actual capacity and in fact were about the same level as they were last year.
The basis for Abbott’s unconstitutional “executive order” has been shown to be false. Will he admit his mistake?
It is encouraging to see so many local and county officials across Texas announcing they will refuse to enforce Governor Abbott’s unconstitutional face mask order. Thankfully the spirit of freedom and love of liberty is still alive in Texas.
The “second wave” is driven by propaganda. Across the country, Covid testing increased from about 150,000 to more than 700,000 per day. You can’t drive through Houston without seeing a flurry of signs advertising “Free Covid test! Results in 15 minutes!” Last week Reuters reported that tests shipped around the country by the federal government were contaminated.
Deaths from coronavirus – even the deaths “with” coronavirus rather than deaths “from” coronavirus – are down more than 90 percent since the peak in April. The decline in deaths continues. That means we are closer to the “herd immunity” that will finally kill this virus. Yet Governor Abbott and others across the country see this as a reason to lock the country back down.
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Update (1500ET): San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced on Tuesday that the city has once again postponed the reopening of indoor dining and outdoor bars. Originally, those sectors were expected to reopen on July 13, but city leaders have decided to put those plans on hold as San Francisco is experiencing a spike in COVID-19 cases.
"We have no choice. We are living in COVID," Breed said during a press conference.
COVID-19 hospitalizations in California are reaching new levels, with nearly 6,000 virus-linked patients across the state. That's a 3.4% one-day increase
This is a 3.4% one-day increase as almost 200 more patients were admitted. There are also a record number of Covid-19 patients in intensive care units, according to data from California Department of Public Health.
California also reported 111 new deaths on Tuesday, bringing the statewide total to 6,448 deaths.
The positivity rate in California over the past two weeks stands at 6.8% , with roughly 5 million tests conducted to date.
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Update (1350ET): After talking around the issue for months, Dr. Fauci came out Tuesday and declared that most municipalities in the US - presumably including those where COVID-19 is a virtual non-issue (yes, they're still out there) - should adopt mandatory mask-wearing policies.
But Fauci clarified that localities should be able to make their own decisions on the issue because he "doesn't want to be authoritarian".
“I don't like to be authoritarian, from the federal government, but at the local level, if governors and others essentially mandate the use of masks when you have an outbreak, I think that would be very important,” Fauci told Alabama Sen. Doug Jones during a Facebook live on his page on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, according to JHU data, the US has surpassed 130,000 COVID-19 fatalities, with 130,751 as of 1400ET.
With BofA analysts warning in a recent note that improvements in testing capacity and accuracy might be playing a larger role in the surge in new COVID-19 cases than many have feared, the team projected that hospitalizations in the four states with the most serious ongoing outbreaks - Texas, Florida, Arizona and California - should see hospitalizations peak on July 18, 17 days after what the analysts determined to be the beginning of this second wave.
For reference, while the US might have the second-most deaths per capita after Britain...
...as a percentage of its total case number, which is rapidly approaching 3 million, the US is further down the ranking.
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Update (1120ET): Arizona just reported 3,653 new cases Tuesday vs 3,352 yesterday, while the state's ICU occupancy rate ticked higher to 90%, up from 89% the day before.
The state also reported 117 new deaths, a new single-day record, while the positivity rate is nearing 30%.
Across the state, 3,356 patients are hospitalized with the virus. There are 105,094 confirmed Coronavirus cases and 1,927 known deaths. Ages 20 to 44 have been most infected, with more than 52,000 reported cases.
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Update (1050ET): The UK just reported its latest COVID-19 death numbers, showing just 40 new deaths in the country's hospitals on Tuesday, the lowest such number on a Tuesday since the outbreak began.
England reported 36 fatalities, with Wales and Scotland having three each, and Northern Ireland had no new deaths.
There have also been reports that Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has tested positive for COVID-19.
The president has said he's taking hydroxychloroquine and feels "perfectly well."
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Update (1030ET): Florida just reported 7,347 new cases (+3.6%) of the novel coronavirus, bringing the statewide total to 213,794. That's lower than the 7-day average of 5% daily increases. State health officials also reported 63 new deaths, bringing the death toll to 3,841 deaths as the state moves closer to 4,000. 16.27% of tests run came back positive, Florida's largest share of positive tests yet, with 48,538 tests performed. For the past week, the state's daily positivity level was at 14% or lower. 16,045 Floridians are currently hospitalized with the virus.
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Update (1020ET): We're almost surprised that NBC News actually let this doctor on, but if you have a minute, Prof. Adam Tooze explains why the policy-making process utilized by western democracies isn't well-suited to confronting issues like the coronavirus outbreak.
Prof. Adam Tooze on worldwide coronavirus lockdowns: "You could take the view it was one of humanity's greatest moments, that we were able to do this collectively."— NBC News (@NBCNews) July 7, 2020
Watch more Global Hangout: https://t.co/Mh6OOKcicV pic.twitter.com/UOHIoGI7CW
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Update (1000ET): New York Gov Andrew Cuomo's latest numbers out of NY show mostly more of the same: the number of cases climbed just 0.1%, less than the 7-day average of 0.2%, at a time when the number of new cases have mostly stalled out.
Today's update on the numbers:— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) July 7, 2020
56,736 tests were performed yesterday. 588 tests came back positive (1.04% of total).
Total hospitalizations are at 836.
Sadly, there were 10 COVID fatalities yesterday. pic.twitter.com/jIrhsg3Txc
New York also added Delaware, Oklahoma and Kansas to its quarantine list, bringing the total number to 19 states in total. Connecticut and New Jersey have also added the states to their mandatory quarantine lists.
* * *
Update (0935ET): The US may not actually have the "lowest Mortality Rate in the World", as President Trump contended in a tweet this morning, but as deaths have failed to pick up even as more experts insist that it's only a matter of time thanks to the inevitable "lag" (nevermind the data showing most of those being sickened are younger and much more likely to survive).
“COVID-19 (China Virus) Death Rate PLUNGES From Peak In U.S.” A Tenfold Decrease In Mortality. The Washington Times @WashTimes Valerie Richardson. We have the lowest Mortality Rate in the World. The Fake News should be reporting these most important of facts, but they don’t!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 7, 2020
* * *
Update (0900ET): As the GOP tries to prove to the public that they're taking the coronavirus threat seriously, the party has just announced that it will provide mandatory coronavirus testing at its national convention in Jacksonville next month, Reuters reports.
The plan will require thousands of attendees to get tested for the coronavirus before entering the convention site in Jacksonville. In addition to trying to signal that they're taking COVID-19 safety more seriously, the party also wants to ensure that Trump speaks to a packed house when he accepts the nomination.
"Everyone attending the convention within the perimeter will be tested and temperature checked each day,” said Erin Isaac, communications director for the host committee, in a memo to reporters.
The convention was originally supposed to take place in North Carolina but was moved to Florida after NC balked. Unfortunately, Florida is now the state that's reporting the most new cases per day, as local officials take measures into their own hands. The state is reporting roughly 10k new cases per day, which recently pushed Fla's total above the 200k mark.
Sen. Charles E. Grassley has already said he plans to skip the Republican National Convention in Jacksonville next month "because of the virus situation." He's 86 years old.
Meanwhile, ABC News reports that Australia is having issues with its system allowing certain people to cross the closed border between NSW and Victoria. The border is expected to close tomorrow.
45 minutes after launching on Tuesday, the website allowing Aussies to apply for a permit to cross the border apparently stopped working. Although functional when it launched shortly before 7:30pm on Tuesday night local time, by 8:15pm local time, visitors were unable to apply for permission to enter NSW. Melbourne has reported thousands of new cases, accounting for 95% of the country's new cases over the last few weeks.
Victoria has also been sealed off from the rest of the country, in addition to closing its border with NSW.
In the US, hospitals across the Sun Belt continue to be inundated with coronavirus patients.
As we noted yesterday, Arizona has reached 89% capacity for its ICU beds as of Monday, while Alabama, California, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas also reported unprecedented numbers of hospitalizations. For the 28th day in a row, the country’s rolling seven-day average of daily new cases busted the previous record, although the number of deaths has remained relatively stable, according to the Washington Post.
As more local officials push to make mask-wearing mandatory, a faculty revolt at Georgia Tech and a petition from the campus workers union have pushed the state to allow the university to make mask wearing mandatory in public places on campus.
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As health officials in Beijing reported 8 new foreign cases of the virus and 15 asymptomatic cases on Tuesday afternoon, Australian health officials and officials in the country's second-most-populous state of Victoria announced that it would re-enter 'Phase 3' lockdown, joining a growing list of major cities - Lisbon, Madrid, Beijing - that have reimposed lockdown measures amid a resurgence in COVID-19 cases.
Just yesterday, Victoria (the home of Melbourne and the surrounding suburbs) and neighboring New South Wales (home to Sydney and the country's most populous state) announced plans to close borders to hard-hit Victoria, the first time in a century that these borders have been closed.
The Aussie sold off when Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews announced the lockdown, likely because the 6 weeks embraced by Andrews was longer than the market expectations of 4.
Cases have been climbing in Australia amid a new outbreak centered in Victoria that officials fear might spread across the country, now that social distancing measures have been largely unwound. Australia reported about 200 new cases on Tuesday, the highest daily total since late March.
As part of the new lockdown measures, more than five million residents of Melbourne will be locked down for six weeks beginning Tuesday. The usual exceptions will apply, and the level of enforcement isn't yet clear.
Though New South Wales has reported more cases overall, Victoria has been the biggest contributor to the country's tally of new cases since the resurgence began weeks ago.
As we await the latest round of US data, India has confirmed that its outbreak has topped 700,000 with 22,252 new infections, becoming just the 4th country to surpass that level. That daily number is down from 24,248 the previous day. The country's COVID-19 tally now stands at 719,665, while its death toll surpassed the 20,000 mark with 467 new deaths; it now stands at exactly 20,160
In Japan, Tokyo once again confirmed 106 new infections, extending a streak of 100+-case days to six. The capital has urged residents of the capital city to be cautious, and avoid nightlife spots.
The big vaccine news on Tuesday was China's Sinovac Biotech, which will begin Phase III trials of its coronavirus vaccine candidate in Brazil this month. 9,000 health-care professionals will be involved in the study, which will be conducted in partnership with Brazilian vaccine producer Instituto Butantan. Only two other candidates, including AstraZeneca's experimental vaccine (developed by researchers at the University of Oxford) along and another one developed by China National Pharmaceutical Group - aka Sinopharm - have made it to these late-stage trials already.
8 of the 19 vaccines that have made it to human trials around the world are based in China.
South Korea confirmed 44 new cases on Tuesady, down from 48 a day ago. Total infections reached 13,181 with deaths still at just 285.
In the Middle East, Iran recorded its highest daily number of new COVID-19 deaths with 200 fatalities reported in the past 24 hours. Iran reported 200 new deaths from the coronavirus, the most in a single day since the Middle East's deadliest outbreak began in February. The previous record was Sunday's 163 deaths.
"Unfortunately in the past 24 hours we have lost 200 of our compatriots, bringing the total number of victims to 11,931," health ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said on state television.
Another 2,637 people have tested positive for the virus, taking the total official number of cases in Iran to 245,688.
In Africa, South Africa's confirmed total has surpassed 200,000 as the country continues to post some of the highest daily numbers in the world, as Al Jazeera pointed out.
The health ministry reported 8,971 new cases, bringing the total to 205,721, with nearly 1/3rd in the new hot spot of Gauteng province, which includes Johannesburg and Pretoria.
There are more than 477,000 confirmed cases on the African continent.
Submitted by Rabobank's Michael Every
At time of writing the Shanghai stock exchange was up merely 1.8% on the day, quite disappointing after the 5.8% leap yesterday, but still meaning it has gained nearly 14% in just a few of sessions. That’s the best performance since late 2014, just before the same market went on its dizzying 2015 run. The same dizzying run that was overtly and blatantly a state-led bubble: and one that ended in a disastrous crash with all manner of nasty recriminations, including ‘don’t sell!’ off-the-record instructions, and apparent threats of arrest for those short-selling, or even writing negative research reports.
One wonders what the decision-makers at MSCI, who in the total absence of any comprehensive reforms in Chinese stock regulation post-2015 nonetheless decided to increase the country’s global portfolio weighting, are thinking right now. More so with hawkish US politicians already talking about the dangers of US capital being pumped into Chinese markets - and that US rhetoric is not going to get any less hawkish as Hong Kong CEO Carrie Lam introduces sweeping new police powers including warrant-less searches, property seizures, online surveillance, and not allowing people to leave the territory. That as Trump tweeted: “China has caused great damage to the United States and the rest of the world!” yesterday, and as a White House aide stated an executive order on China is apparently imminent.
While this is not an equity-focused, nor specifically China-focused Daily, this scale of market move needs some examination. What is going on? Let’s run through the options quickly:
Is it led by Chinese demand? The data say no. We aren’t even back to the pre-Covid trend, and that would not justify a 14% gain.
Is it led by Chinese supply? Much more likely – but is there any global demand for that supply? Not at the moment, and increasingly less so going forwards if you listen to the talk about shifts in supply chains out of China. So it’s stock-piling or product-dumping ahead, perhaps.
Is it led by lower interest rates? No. There hasn’t been any major easing in China to generate the same lower rates/higher stocks knee-jerk response seen elsewhere. It isn’t able to ease so overtly because it needs to stop capital outflows.
Is it led by QE? No. Yet even though Bloomberg today says China isn’t doing QE, look at a country with a 10-12% consolidated fiscal deficit pre-Covid, and perhaps nearer 20% at the moment; ask how it’s being funded (by the PBOC), and how much of that deficit spending flows into infrastructure; and consider that what one sees is quasi-MMT. Which is why China cannot afford to run a current-account deficit without losing control of its quasi-currency peg, or at least needs a net inflow of USD.
Has this been a net-inflow/foreign-capital driven rally? No. This is a domestic story…so far – and one that seems engineered in the hope that it will become a foreign-driven rally. In all fairness, it’s not as if other major markets are not seeing blatant ramping from authorities one way or another --Trump uses Twitter to the same effect-- or fundamentals-defying trends.
Yet the key question is why China has decided to jump-start its stocks now? Why, when locals will act accordingly and listen to the authorities when they tell them where they are about to get their “guaranteed” minimum 20% annual return; and they follow that smooth, paved path through the financial jungle;…until it all ends in 2015 chaos again. Moreover, why given bond yields are spiking as a result, which a debt-laden economy cannot afford? Why, as punters walk away from Wealth Management Products, pulling the funding rug out from under the feet of many property projects as a result?
Perhaps to jump-start consumption? Yet property is more widely-held than stocks. Perhaps to stop the property bubble getting out of control? If so, stocks are hardly a less dangerous tiger to ride. Perhaps to swap debt for equity? Except bond yields are rising, which hurts most borrowers more than some can gain through stocks. Perhaps to encourage firms to tap unlimited CNY equity capital and not (soon to be limited?) offshore USD debt? Perhaps to help push CNY back to 7.01 to try to ease some of the looming US political pressure on China in that USD regard? Or, as suggested yesterday, if pressure can’t be eased, perhaps to allow for an immediate signal-sending 2.5% fall in CNY without taking it into a range that would suggest to the world that China is no longer master of its own destiny? (And on USD/CNY it isn’t: not while the US holds the sanctions trump card.) Perhaps simply to try to get those USD capital inflows by hook or by crook to keep the game going: “Look, you can’t miss out on this!”?
One might notice that none of the above analysis involves traditional market metrics. That is because we do not have traditional markets, or metrics, and there is nothing market-based about what is happening in this “market”. The far better form of analysis, as above, is to try to play market ‘Cluedo’ (‘Clue’ in the US). “So was it the stock bull-market in China with the quasi-MMT?” Who did it? Who benefits? And who ends up being done in by the lead pipe?
Meanwhile, the RBA today held rates and its yield curve targets, as fully expected, but underlined that FISCAL and monetary support will be needed for some time. What is another term for fiscal and monetary support? It starts with M and ends in T. And there is another M. The RBA also pledged to scale up its bond buying if needed. This implies the massive increase in the Aussie defence budget just pledged will be de facto covered by the RBA. Throw another submarine on the barbie, mate. The RBA will meanwhile “do whatever it takes” to keep the bond market functional: presumably this just means yields staying low, because the Japanese example clearly shows that if you issue lots of public debt, and the central bank buys it, then the central bank eventually becomes the market; so the RBA is saying it is going to keep itself functional.
Hasaka, Syria – Invading Turkish military troops and their terrorist allies have once again cut off drinking water supplies to about a million people living in and around the northeastern Syrian city of Hasaka by stopping a border water pumping station, a report said. In an interview with Syria’s official news agency, SANA on Sunday, […]
The post Turkish Invaders, Allied Terrorists Cut Off Drinking Water to a MILLION People in Syria’s Hasaka appeared first on Fort Russ.
With the BLS's JOLTs, or job openings and labor turnover survey, coming in with an extra month delay, we already knew that the May jobs data would be the strongest on record (if only after the catastrophic April loss of 20MM jobs), and sure enough that's what the BLS confirmed moments ago when it revealed that in May the number of job openings jumped from a revised 4.996 million to 5.397 million, beating the expectation for a continued drop to 4.5 million (after plunging from 6 million to just 5 million in April, a level last seen in 2014).
Job openings rose in accommodation and food services (+196,000), retail trade (+147,000), and construction (+118,000); they declined in information (-55,000), federal government (-37,000), and educational services (-27,000). The number of job openings increased in the South region.
While we already knew that the series of 24 consecutive months in which there were more job openings than unemployed workers ended with a thud in March, in April it was an absolute doozy with 18 million more unemployed workers than there are job openings, the biggest gap on record. In May the gap closed somewhat, with 15.6 million more unemployed than available job openings. As a result, there were about 3.9 unemployed workers for every job opening.
There was a silver lining in the number of hires which after plunging to a decade-low 4 million in April, soared by 1.5 million in May to a record high 6.487MM. Hires increased in a number of industries, with the greatest rise in accommodation and food services (+763,000), followed by health care and social assistance (+479,000), and construction (+427,000).
Additionally, as hires soared in May, separations tumbled from 10 million to just 4.1 million. Of these, the number of layoffs collapsed to just 1.8 million in May from 7.7 million in April, and a record 11.5 million in March.The number of layoffs and discharges decreased in May to 1.8 million (-5,912,000) and 1.4 percent, respectively. The rate, which had reached a series high of 7.6 percent in March, is now much closer to the pre-pandemic rate of 1.2 percent in February. The number of layoffs and discharges decreased for total private to 1.7 million (-5,809,000) and for government to 124,000 (-103,000). The layoffs and discharges level decreased in all but one industry. The largest declines occurred in accommodation and food services (-1,251,000), followed by retail trade (-758,000), and other services (-698,000). Layoffs and discharges increased in federal government (+16,000).
And, with far fewer people getting fired, there was a modest increase in the number of people quitting their jobs, which rose to 2.1 million (+190,000). Quits rose to 2.0 million (+228,000) for total private and fell to 108,000 (-38,000) for government. Quits increased in accommodation and food services (+88,000), durable goods manufacturing (+38,000), and transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+27,000). Quits decreased in state and local government education (-26,000), state and local government, excluding education (-25,000), and educational services (-22,000).