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[] Biden erases more Trump-era executive actions, hits orders on funding for 'anarchist' cities, immigration Published:2/25/2021 10:30:21 AM
[International] Transparency Still Needed for China’s Influence on US Universities

The way President Joe Biden handles U.S. relations with China will be closely watched and judged.   In the early going, the president seems to want to stay... Read More

The post Transparency Still Needed for China’s Influence on US Universities appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:2/25/2021 10:30:21 AM
[Entertainment] Virtual ‘sculpture,’ based on math, that’s everywhere and nowhere at once The National Museum of Mathematics presents an augmented-reality art show you look at on your phone. Published:2/25/2021 10:30:21 AM
[Uncategorized] Black Lives Matters Brought in $90 Million in 2020, but Local Chapters See Little of That Money

The foundation said it scrapes by, but the local chapters know better.

The post Black Lives Matters Brought in $90 Million in 2020, but Local Chapters See Little of That Money first appeared on Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion.
Published:2/25/2021 10:30:21 AM
[Podcasts] Cuomo’s Ugliness and the Horror at Smith College
Podcast: The backlash against Cuomo and the GOP’s future.
View Post
Published:2/25/2021 10:30:21 AM
[Entertainment] We Ranked the Couples From Parks and Recreation Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones, Parks And Recreation If there is one thing we love more than Li'l Sebastian and the Harvest Festival, it's some of these couples from Parks and Recreation. In case you hadn't heard, when NBC's...
Published:2/25/2021 10:30:21 AM
[b3176d5c-0908-56b6-8825-246e6c2a78b5] Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary accused of raping underage girl in hotel room in 1969 A new lawsuit accuses Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary of raping an underage girl in a hotel room in 1969. Published:2/25/2021 10:30:21 AM
[Markets] SPAC To Take Air Taxi Startup Joby Public SPAC To Take Air Taxi Startup Joby Public

Submitted by Market Crumbs,

SPACs have continued their hot run this year as the preferred way to bring companies to the public market. 144 SPACs have gone public so far this year, or an average of five per day, according to Goldman Sachs' Ben Snider.

With a SPAC named Just Another Acquisition Corp. filing for an IPO last week, there's not much left to be surprised about in the SPAC space. The latest SPAC announcement will see air taxi startup Joby Aviation go public through a reverse merger with Reinvent Technology Partners in a deal valuing the combined company at $6.6 billion.

The deal will give Joby $1.6 billion in gross proceeds to continue development of its electric vertical takeoff and landing (“eVTOL”) aircraft. Touting its "first-mover advantage," Joby intends to use the proceeds to fund the business through the beginning of commercial operations, which Joby expects in the U.S. in 2024 before expanding globally.

Joby, which has already logged more than 1,000 test flights in its eVTOL aircraft, is the first company to agree to a certification basis for an eVTOL aircraft with the Federal Aviation Administration and the first to receive an airworthiness approval for an eVTOL aircraft from the U.S. Air Force.

"But our long-term vision has always been to build a global passenger service, helping a billion people to save an hour every day, while contributing to the protection of our precious planet," Joby founder and CEO JoeBen Bevirt said. "Today's transaction lets us look ahead to the next decade and provides us with the resources we need to bring our vision to life."

Joby received an investment from Toyota Motor Corporation last year that will see Toyota engineers work with Joby on tasks such as factory layout and manufacturing process development. Joby also struck a deal recently to acquire Uber's aerial ridesharing unit, Uber Elevate, while the two companies will also integrate their respective services into each other's apps.

Reinvent Technology Partners is led by LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, Zynga founder Mark Pincus and Michael Thompson.

"In Joby we see a remarkable founder-led team that has quietly delivered the most advanced technology we've seen in this sector," Hoffman said. "With valuable strategic partnerships including Toyota and Uber, a compelling business model and an unparalleled track-record of executing against its targets, we believe Joby is well-positioned to create a transformative new human-centered mobility network."

As SPAC IPOs continue at an unbelievable pace, Joby is the latest example of a company working on a futuristic technology that's headed to the public market.

Tyler Durden Thu, 02/25/2021 - 11:20
Published:2/25/2021 10:30:21 AM
[Markets] Coronavirus Update: Positive news on COVID vaccines weighs against concerns over new variants The COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc. and German partner BioNTech SE has proved to be as effective in the real world as it was in clinical trials in the first major study of the two-dose regiment involving 1.2 million people in Israel.
Published:2/25/2021 10:30:21 AM
[topics:in-the-news/uk-coronavirus-lockdown] How many coronavirus cases have there been in your area? Use our tool to find out Published:2/25/2021 10:30:21 AM
[World] Futures Movers: Oil prices pull back after 3-day climb on talk of OPEC+ output increase Oil futures head lower Thursday, with speculation that major oil producers next week will discuss a potential increase in production levels prompting prices to ease back, after three straight days of gains lifted prices to fresh 13-month highs.
Published:2/25/2021 10:30:21 AM
[] The Morning Rant: Minimalist Edition The relationship between an increase in the minimum wage and a decrease in entry-level jobs has been studied and studied and studied, and guess what? It exists. It's real, and the economic literature is clear. It's even pretty obvious... Published:2/25/2021 10:30:21 AM
[] Signals: Biden to release CIA report fingering Saudi crown prince in Khashoggi hit Published:2/25/2021 9:58:18 AM
[World] Hawley Proposes Alternative to Minimum Wage Increase Published:2/25/2021 9:58:18 AM
[] The Daily Show's Trevor Noah explains how New York's COVID19 vaccination rollout for black people 'is an America problem' [video] Published:2/25/2021 9:58:18 AM
[Entertainment] Kylie Jenner Reveals the Delicious Food She Craved While in Labor With Daughter Stormi Kylie Jenner, 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar PartyKylie Jenner had one thing on her mind while in labor: bread. The beauty mogul, who welcomed daughter Stormi in 2018, recalled her labor cravings while on a night out with Caitlyn Jenner...
Published:2/25/2021 9:58:18 AM
[Apps] Celebrity video platform Memmo raises $10M Memmo.me, a startup allowing users to pay celebrities for personalized video messages, is announcing that it has raised $10 million in Series A funding. “We’re really excited about our mission to break down these barriers [and help talent] connect one-to-one instead of one-to-thousands,” said co-founder and CEO Gustav Lundberg Toresson. He added that celebrities are […] Published:2/25/2021 9:58:18 AM
[d2a5bfcd-8c90-5057-8163-95acce1d63a7] Britney Spears’ father Jamie 'saved her life,' isn't a 'villain,' says patriarch's attorney on conservatorship Attorney Vivian Thoreen, who is representing Jamie Spears, appeared on "Good Morning America" and deny allegations he is controlling the pop star. Published:2/25/2021 9:58:18 AM
[Politics] Awful Incivility Erupts on Left At Limbaugh's Death The reaction of the Left last week to the death of Rush Limbaugh was a shocking demonstration of the incivility of current American political discourse. Everyone remotely familiar with the American political scene is aware of what a powerhouse and pioneer Rush Limbaugh was. Anyone who knew him knows how personally gracious he was, modest and lacking in bombast and vitriol, even when discussing political figures with whom he differed sharply. He was, uniquely, no more impolite about political... Published:2/25/2021 9:58:18 AM
[Columnists] $1.9 Trillion ‘COVID-19’ Bill Would Pay for Abortions and Intersectional ‘Art’

Two years ago, the National Endowment for the Arts awarded a $25,000 grant to a group called Fresh Meat Productions, which is based in House... Read More

The post $1.9 Trillion ‘COVID-19’ Bill Would Pay for Abortions and Intersectional ‘Art’ appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:2/25/2021 9:58:18 AM
[Politics] BREAKING: Manhattan DA obtains Trump’s tax returns Because of the Supreme Court’s decision earlier this week, the Manhattan DA has now obtained Trump’s tax returns: THE HILL – The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office has obtained former President Trump’s tax . . . Published:2/25/2021 9:58:18 AM
[Politics] BREAKING: Manhattan DA obtains Trump’s tax returns Because of the Supreme Court’s decision earlier this week, the Manhattan DA has now obtained Trump’s tax returns: THE HILL – The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office has obtained former President Trump’s tax . . . Published:2/25/2021 9:58:17 AM
[Markets] : House members assail Big Tech (again), consider changes to antitrust law The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law held the first in a planned series of hearings to 'consider legislative proposals to address the rise and abuse of market power online and to modernize the antitrust laws.'
Published:2/25/2021 9:58:17 AM
[Markets] Peter Schiff: The Reality That Nobody Wants To Acknowledge Peter Schiff: The Reality That Nobody Wants To Acknowledge

Via SchiffGold.com,

Interest rates continue to rise. Gold continues to languish. The stock market bubble continues to inflate. In his podcast, Peter Schiff argues that investors are reading the tea leaves all wrong. They think rising rates are going to force the Fed to tighten monetary policy sooner than expected. But Peter says there is a reality out there that nobody wants to acknowledge.

Early Wednesday morning, long-term interest rates spiked. The yield on the 10-year Treasury pushed to 1.43%. The yield on the 30-year nearly hit 2.3%. This still isn’t particularly high in historical terms, but it was the highest yield since the pandemic collapse. More significantly, it continues the relentless move-up in interest rates that we’ve seen over the last couple of months. Peter said the only thing he thinks can change this course is a massive increase in the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing. The central bank will need to buy more bonds to buoy the market and hold interest rates down.

But Wall Street apparently sees things differently. As soon as interest rates spiked Wednesday morning, gold sold off. That was the knee-jerk reaction in the precious metals market to the surge in bond yields.

This is because Wall Street traders are convinced that rising bond yields mean the economy is really strong, and because the economy is really strong, the Fed is going to raise rates sooner rather than later, and a premature tightening is going to push up the dollar, and a strong dollar is going to be bearish for gold.”

But Peter said they are completely wrong in this assessment. Bond yields are not spiking because the economy is strong. They are spiking because of inflation.

Bond yields are going up because there is a massive supply of bonds because we have massive deficits. And even though the Fed is buying a lot of bonds, they ain’t buying enough. So, those extra bonds, there’s no buyer, and so the price keeps falling.”

Bond yields are inversely correlated with bond prices. As the price falls, interest rates rise. And there is really nothing to stop yields from climbing higher and higher. But if that happens, the entire economic house of cards will collapse. The economy is predicated on low interest rates. Peter said the Federal Reserve knows this. He doesn’t understand why investors don’t seem to get it.

That brings us to Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell who was on Capitol Hill testifying before Congress this week. As Peter said in a recent podcast, every time Powell speaks, he becomes more dovish.

Because each time he speaks, the US economy is more addicted and more dependent on the cheap money that the Fed is supplying, so he has to be more dovish.”

In a nutshell, Powell said that it may take three years for the Fed to hit its 2% inflation target. In effect, Powell was telling the market, “Don’t worry, we won’t be tightening monetary policy for years.” This despite the fact that the commodity markets are screaming inflation. Oil, industrial metals, grains, beans – they are all making big gains. The only thing that’s not catching a bid is gold.

For some reason, people are still thinking that rising interest rates are bad for gold and silver, but they’re bullish for everything else. But the reality is — they’re not. They’re more bullish for gold and silver than any of these other commodities. Because what the market still doesn’t get, despite everything Powell has been saying … the market should be able to figure this out based on what the Fed is saying. I mean, they’re not being secretive about their points. But the Fed is not going to raise rates, or shrink its balance sheet, or taper its bond purchases in response to rising long-term interest rates. That may have been what the Fed did in the past, but it ain’t going to do it again in the future because it can’t. In fact, here is the reality that nobody wants to acknowledge: as interest rates are moving up, rather than raising rates and reducing the size of its QE program, it is going to increase the size of its QE program.”

In a nutshell, the only way the Fed can stop interest rates from rising – and it has to keep interest rates from rising – is to increase its quantitative easing. It has to intervene in the market and buy more bonds to boost prices and hold yields down. There is a glut of bonds in the marketplace. Foreign buyers are unloading Treasuries. Foreign holdings of US Treasuries slipped by $35 billion in the fourth quarter of 2020. The Chinese shrunk their US debt holdings by $8 billion last year. The Fed now holds a record percentage of US debt. But it’s not enough to keep the market stable.

So, you have massive supply, and there’s no demand outside the Fed. So, the Federal Reserve is going to have to pick up the pace. At some point soon, the Fed is going to be forced to announce a major increase in its asset purchase program. And when the Fed comes clean, the market is going to figure out that they’ve got this wrong. Why they haven’t figured it out already is beyond me.”

Simply put, the Fed is not going to fight inflation. It is going to keep stoking the inflationary fire until it’s burning out of control.

Peter goes on in the podcast to break down and analyze some of Powell’s specific comments during his two days of testimony on Capitol Hill.

Tyler Durden Thu, 02/25/2021 - 10:55
Published:2/25/2021 9:58:17 AM
[Markets] US STOCKS-Wall St edges lower as tech shares fall, bond yields rise Wall Street's main indexes edged lower on Thursday as heavyweight technology-related stocks remained under pressure with a rise in U.S. Treasury yields, while data showed weekly jobless claims fell more than expected. The benchmark 10-year Treasury yields hit a one-year high of 1.45%, prompting investors to lock in profits on some high-flying growth stocks due to concerns over heightened valuations. Microsoft Corp, Alphabet Inc, Facebook Inc and Netflix Inc were down between 0.2% and 0.6% in early trading. Published:2/25/2021 9:32:47 AM
[Markets] Most Major Retail Brokerages Suffer Outages As 'Meme Stock'-Mania Continues Most Major Retail Brokerages Suffer Outages As 'Meme Stock'-Mania Continues

Downdetector reports customers of E-Trade, TD Ameritrade, Charles Schwab, Robinhood, and Fidelity are experiencing outages and issues 30 minutes into the US cash session on Thursday. This comes as heavily-watched so-called 'meme stocks' are higher after yesterday's late-day gamma squeeze in GME (and AMC, among others).

E-Trade outages and issues were detected around the cash session start. 

The outage map shows E-Trade disruptions are widespread. 

TD Ameritrade users are reporting issues as well. 

The outage map shows TD Ameritrade disruptions are from coast to coast. 

Possible problems were spotted at Charles Schwab. 

Robinhood users are also reporting possible problems with the trading app. 

... and so is Fidelity. 

The resurgence in bullish sentiment towards WSB-Short-Squeeze favorites began Wednesday afternoon, with GameStop doubling in minutes. 

In a virtual conference on Thursday, Morgan Stanley Chief Financial Officer Jonathan Pruzan said the number of trades customers are making daily on the self-directed online trading platform E*Trade is "off the charts." 

Tyler Durden Thu, 02/25/2021 - 10:19
Published:2/25/2021 9:32:47 AM
[Social] Twitter plans to double revenue by 2023, reach 315M daily users Just ahead of its 2021 virtual investor day on Thursday, Twitter this morning announced its three long-term goals focused on user base and revenue growth, and a faster pace of shipping new features across its platform. The company said it aims to “at least” double its total annual revenue from $3.7 billion in 2020 to […] Published:2/25/2021 9:32:47 AM
[Markets] The Ratings Game: AT&T, Verizon downgraded at Oppenheimer following hefty bids for spectrum Oppenheimer analyst Timothy Horan downgraded shares of AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. to perform from outperform Thursday, after the Federal Communications Commission revealed the results of a recent spectrum auction, showing that the two telecommunications companies were overwhelmingly the largest bidders in an expensive auction.
Published:2/25/2021 9:32:47 AM
[] California bill would mandate "gender neutral" toys and clothing sections in stores Published:2/25/2021 9:10:28 AM
[] Tough love: White girl breaks into song to break the news that 'if you're white, yes, you are racist' [video] Published:2/25/2021 9:10:28 AM
[CCIV] Wall Street Breakfast: GameStop Comeback Published:2/25/2021 9:10:28 AM
[Middle Column] Biden Interior Nominee Fields Questions About ‘Radical’ Climate Agenda
Published:2/25/2021 9:10:27 AM
[NEWS & ANALYSIS] West Virginia Moves to Remodel Trump’s Critical Race Theory Ban at State Level

Republican lawmakers in West Virginia unveiled a bill modeled after a since-revoked Trump order to rid elements of critical race theory from the state’s workplace and schools.  The proposed legislation seeks to ban “race or sex stereotyping or scapegoating”in the workforce, defined as “assigning fault, blame or bias to a race or sex, or to […]

The post West Virginia Moves to Remodel Trump’s Critical Race Theory Ban at State Level appeared first on Human Events.

Published:2/25/2021 9:10:27 AM
[5b8e2547-6a8b-5854-b082-aad6605f91be] Lady Gaga's dog walker shot, singer's two dogs stolen: report Lady Gaga's dog walker was shot in Los Angeles Wednesday night and suspects reportedly stole two of the singer's three dogs. Published:2/25/2021 9:10:27 AM
[TC] Terminus raises $90M to grow its B2B marketing platform, now valued at around $400M Sales and marketing are often considered a single category on a business plan, but ironically, when it comes to building apps and services to help with them, they usually become separate entities, and so too do the teams that address sales and marketing in organizations. Today, however, a startup called Terminus — which is building […] Published:2/25/2021 9:10:27 AM
[Quick Takes] Activists Claim Minorities Underrepresented at Yale Law Journal But Truth is Exact Opposite

"blacks and other minority groups are overrepresented on the prestigious journal"

The post Activists Claim Minorities Underrepresented at Yale Law Journal But Truth is Exact Opposite first appeared on Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion.
Published:2/25/2021 9:10:27 AM
[Entertainment] Style Invitational Week 1425: Picture this — a cartoon caption contest Plus winning rewrites from the words in Biden’s inaugural address. Published:2/25/2021 9:10:27 AM
[Markets] : Mortgage rates jump to the highest level since August — is the refinance boom over? Rates continue to be low by historical standards, but perhaps not low enough to make refinancing attractive for many homeowners.
Published:2/25/2021 9:10:27 AM
[Markets] Durable-goods-orders rise is most substantial in six months Durable-goods-orders rise is most substantial in six months Published:2/25/2021 9:10:27 AM
[Politics] These COVID restrictions on band students in Washington State are INSANE Below is a photo of how one high school in Wenatchee, Washington is forcing their band students to practice, all in the name of COVID: This is a high school band practice . . . Published:2/25/2021 9:10:27 AM
[Politics] These COVID restrictions on band students in Washington State are INSANE Below is a photo of how one high school in Wenatchee, Washington is forcing their band students to practice, all in the name of COVID: This is a high school band practice . . . Published:2/25/2021 9:10:27 AM
[Markets] Pending Home Sales Unexpectedly Plunge In January - Lowest Since July Pending Home Sales Unexpectedly Plunge In January - Lowest Since July

After sliding for four straight months, analysts expected pending home sales to flatline in January (despite bounces in new- and existing-home sales). But, amid a collapse in mortgage applications (and jump in mortgage rates), pending home sales tumbled 2.8% MoM to the lowest level since July...

Source: Bloomberg

And while pending home sales are up YoY, that acceleration is slowing rapidly...

Source: Bloomberg

“There are simply not enough homes to match the demand on the market” Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the NAR, said in a statement.

Still, Yun said he expects inventory to rise in the coming months.

By region, contract signings fell in the West, Northeast and Midwest. In the South, the index for pending home sales rose to the highest since August.

The tumble in pending home sales should not be a total surprise as mortgage applications crashed by most since April (dropping for 5 of the last 6 weeks)...

Source: Bloomberg

With home purchase applications (as opposed to refis) collapsing to the lowest in 9 months...

Source: Bloomberg

As 30Y mortgage rates rise to their highest since September

Source: Bloomberg

Get back to work Mr.Powell!

Tyler Durden Thu, 02/25/2021 - 10:07
Published:2/25/2021 9:10:27 AM
[World] Economic Report: Pending home sales fall in January as inventory constrains buyers Fewer Americans are applying for mortgages --- a sign that some buyers may be dismayed by rising home prices and mortgage rates.
Published:2/25/2021 9:10:27 AM
[] Mid-Morning Art Thread Symphony In White, No. 2: The Little White Girl James McNeill Whistler... Published:2/25/2021 9:10:27 AM
[] NYC Molotov cocktail lawyers offered plea deal Published:2/25/2021 8:28:36 AM
[] Ron Klain's 'hot seat' interview with Joy Reid results in 'respect' for Joe Manchin and a cave on the $15 minimum wage Published:2/25/2021 8:28:36 AM
[Politics] CPAC to Honor Rush Limbaugh The late Rush Limbaugh will be honored at the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, on Saturday and also inducted into the Conservative Hall of Fame. Fox News reported the special tributes to Limbaugh in a story posted Wednesday. A video tribute to the radio... Published:2/25/2021 8:28:36 AM
[9a68f227-e3a5-5291-896b-62ef1ce2b02f] 'Mission Impossible 7' will be available on Paramount+ soon after its theatrical release "Mission Impossible" fans won't have to wait as long to stream the movie at home. Published:2/25/2021 8:28:36 AM
[Uncategorized] House Committee Considering Measures That Would Reverse Iowa Race and Unseat Republican

"The House Administration Committee gathered virtually Friday afternoon to finalize the process by which it will adjudicate Hart’s claim"

The post House Committee Considering Measures That Would Reverse Iowa Race and Unseat Republican first appeared on Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion.
Published:2/25/2021 8:28:36 AM
[Big Tech] Shapes of things (22) (Scott Johnson) Amazon isn’t talking about its suppression of Ryan Anderson’s When Harry Became Sally, but it has referred an inquiring reporter to its new hate speech policy. So Daniel Payne reports at Just the News. I infer that Amazon isn’t talking, however, because there is nothing that can reasonably described as hate speech in Anderson’s book. Anderson himself comments in his First Things essay “When Amazon erased my book.” The Washington Published:2/25/2021 8:28:36 AM
[Markets] Target to double number of Apple shops in its stores Target to double number of Apple shops in its stores Published:2/25/2021 8:28:36 AM
[Markets] The Law Of Unintended Conse-Kiwi-Nces The Law Of Unintended Conse-Kiwi-Nces

By Michael Every of Rabobank

Allow me to focus on just New Zealand today as the perfect illustration of the law of unintended market conse-Kiwi-nces.

The RBNZ left rates on hold at 0.25% as expected, but that’s not the real story. To tell it, let’s rewind. NZ was, not that long ago, a highly-regulated economy that focused almost exclusively on exporting its lovely agri output to the UK. Then the UK made a geopolitical pivot to join the EU and its common agricultural policy, and NZ was left adrift. The country suffered a massive economic shock; had to reinvent itself; and reinvent itself it did, with a market-friendly, Asia-focused export economy. The first law of unintended conse-Kiwi-nces is that geopolitics is swinging back in the other direction, or at least as far as the EU and UK, and a pre-1973-style export focus on China is concerned.

As part of its market reforms, and after the high and variable inflation of the 1970s, which followed on the back of both the end of Bretton Woods in 1971, the oil shock of 1973, and the UK joining the EU, there was a search for a new policy direction. Neoliberal monetarism was very much in vogue, and in 1984 the RBNZ adopted inflation targeting as the focus of monetary policy, the first to do so. As part of the broader financial reforms introduced, a series of variable reserve requirement ratios and interest rate controls, to try to limit how credit flowed, and FX controls, to prevent international flows to circumvent the former, were all removed. The NZD dropped sharply, floated freely, and we entered the policy framework we see in most major economies today.

There was an immediate spike in Kiwi inflation in the 1980s. As then usual, this was taken as a signal for the wage round – and yet under this new neoliberal framework, it fell on deaf ears. While arguably necessary at the time as part of restructuring and transition towards the macrostability inflation targeting likes to flag as its ultimate reward, this was the first clear indication that wages/labour were always going to come second to business/capital/exports in this brave new world. How else was inflation to be kept in check?

As we all now know from the global experiment with this system, this power imbalance within the economic structure --which presents itself as natural, sensible, and entirely ‘neutral’-- ultimately requires workers to borrow more and more to sustain the level of consumption they would have previously enjoyed via wage growth. We also now know that this means asset bubble after asset bubble, usually of housing; and when these burst, the system can only respond with even more liquidity, which exacerbates the problem rather than acting as any kind of counterbalance for the underlying root cause. So the second law of unintended conse-Kiwi-nces is that socio-economic AND macro stability are ultimately undermined if you focus on inflation and ignore the political economy. Which is part of the reason why geopolitics is shifting so uncomfortably for NZ.

Yes, some central banks have a dual inflation and employment remit: the RBNZ had one added too. Yet in the US this was historically ignored in favour of inflation; and now that the zeitgeist has shifted, that dual mandate in both the US and NZ is being used as an excuse to let inflation --which actually means asset prices!-- run hot. So where is this mythical balance? That there isn’t just underlines that without addressing the taboo issue of labour vs. capital, which involves undoing much of the labour market deregulation of the past, central banks still can’t resolve the real problem: and so (geo)politics shifts even faster.

So here we today, and the Kiwi government has just told the RBNZ that from now on it must also “consider housing” in its interest rate and financial policy decisions, aiming at keeping them “sustainable”. The RBNZ of course considers risks to housing in terms of financial stability, but not whether the prices are sustainable (or affordable to voters) or not. Naturally, the RBNZ welcomes this decision. But what will it mean? With housing prices soaring again in NZ, as everywhere, and homelessness a political issue for the government, this logically must point to one of three policy outcomes:

  • First, nothing happens. As with full employment promises, it’s just neoliberal window dressing. That would get politically difficult at some point, one would imagine;
  • Second, rates have to rise despite other parts of the economy still suffering, underlining how inefficient the central rates tool is when trying to target activity across a variety of different sectors in a globalized economy. This suggestion has helped see NZD soar, now up 4% in just a week! That means potentially higher mortgage payments AND a far less competitive currency for those farmers already having to consider what exporting alternatives might need to be available in a worst-case Australia-style scenario. Fortunately, high commodity prices, which the US central bank is more than partly responsible for, are providing some kind of cushion to Kiwi farmers for now in a law of unintended(?) conseq-US-nces; or
  • Third, major macroprudential measures to allow for ultra-low rates but to stop liquidity flowing to housing. This has been tried to some degree before, but current house prices tell you if it’s worked or not (hint: they are no more affordable/”sustainable” vs. wages).

I would remind regular readers that this last point is not too far removed from the idea floated just days ago – that if you want ultra-easy monetary policy for a long time without bubbles, one is going to have to use de facto credit rationing. Is the RBNZ a market thought leader here again too, but in reverse? Probably not, because then you also have to deal with capital flows to stop foreigners buying Kiwi houses, which takes us all the way back to the pre-1984 Kiwi economy again.

Indeed, the final law of unintended conse-Kiwi-nces is that neoliberalism saw a shift from an economy too geopolitically fixed on one large power, in need of macroeconomic adjustment, and with an overvalued exchange rate, to an economy too geopolitically fixed on one large power, in need of macroeconomic adjustment, and with an overvalued exchange rate. Yes, it’s far richer today: but due to asset prices, not wages. Or, putting it differently, the only logical way to deal with the underlying problem seems to be bringing back elements of the pre-neoliberal regulatory policies that were dumped 40 years ago.

In the meantime, let the NZD and the neoliberal easy money rip: and ‘good as gold,’ as they say in NZ.

Tyler Durden Thu, 02/25/2021 - 09:16
Published:2/25/2021 8:28:36 AM
[Politics] Tucker Carlson exposed AT&T for lobbying Trump admin to STOP sanctions against China Telecom over human rights abuses, but was AT&T wrong? Last night Tucker Carlson did a segment exposing how AT&T lobbied the Trump Commerce Department on behalf of China Telecom, a communications company which is owned by the Chinese Communist Party: As . . . Published:2/25/2021 8:28:36 AM
[Politics] Tucker Carlson exposed AT&T for lobbying Trump admin to STOP sanctions against China Telecom over human rights abuses, but was AT&T wrong? Last night Tucker Carlson did a segment exposing how AT&T lobbied the Trump Commerce Department on behalf of China Telecom, a communications company which is owned by the Chinese Communist Party: As . . . Published:2/25/2021 8:28:36 AM
[Politics] Pipeline Worker: "I've got my whole life invested in this." Published:2/25/2021 8:28:36 AM
[Europe] Berlin’s MorphAIs hopes its AI algorithms will put its early-stage VC fund ahead of the pack MorphAIs is a new VC out of Berlin, aiming to leverage AI algorithms to boost its investment decisions in early-stage startups. But there’s a catch: it hasn’t raised a fund yet. The firm was founded by Eva-Valérie Gfrerer who was previously head of Growth Marketing at FinTech startup OptioPay and her background is in Behavioural […] Published:2/25/2021 8:28:36 AM
[Markets] Where Should I Retire?: We want to retire in ‘an area like the Berkshires, but warmer’ — where should we go? The search for 'an upscale retirement area with lots of hiking, biking, great restaurants and culture.'
Published:2/25/2021 8:28:36 AM
[] Hmmm: Did networks and cable news bury sexual-harassment claim against Cuomo? Published:2/25/2021 7:59:29 AM
[World] Everybody (Almost) Has a Last Stand Published:2/25/2021 7:59:29 AM
[Politics] Column: Internet providers put hypocrisy on full display in challenging net neutrality

After a judge said California could proceed with net neutrality rules, industry groups said this would "confuse consumers and deter innovation."

Published:2/25/2021 7:59:29 AM
[Markets] U.S. durable-goods orders climb 3.4% in January U.S. durable-goods orders climb 3.4% in January Published:2/25/2021 7:59:29 AM
[f0259639-652a-592c-8896-68dc2c0587a6] Rosamund Pike speaks out about being photoshopped in movie posters: 'We're all losing our grip' Rosamund Pike spoke out about her image being photoshopped in movie posters in the past. Published:2/25/2021 7:59:29 AM
[Entertainment] Rosamund Pike and Kelly Clarkson Speak Out Against Their Images Being Altered Without Consent Rosamund Pike, 2019 Golden Globes, Golden Globe Awards, Red Carpet FashionsHollywood is taking a stand against photoshopped images. During the Feb. 24 episode of The Kelly Clarkson Show, Rosamund Pike and Kelly Clarkson shared their past experiences of their...
Published:2/25/2021 7:59:29 AM
[95a95724-a524-5dc1-8b0a-f2dd47a32165] Dan Gainor: Press cover for calamity-plagued Cuomo with propaganda, censorship Titanic. Hindenburg. Cuomo. The news media have covered everything about only two of these deadly disasters. Published:2/25/2021 7:59:29 AM
[Markets] First-Time Jobless-Benefits Seekers Plunge To COVID-Crisis Lows Amid Collapse In CA,OH Claims First-Time Jobless-Benefits Seekers Plunge To COVID-Crisis Lows Amid Collapse In CA,OH Claims

After disappointingly rising the prior week, analysts expected initial jobless claims to shrink modestly last week but remain above 800k (825k exp) for the seventh straight week. However, the data was better, much better, with first-time claimants plunging to just 730k (against a 825k exp) - back near its lowest levels since pre-COVID...

Source: Bloomberg

The plunge in claims was driven by a somewhat unprecedented collapse in claims in California and Ohio...

But Pandemic Emergency Claims soared to post-COVID record highs...

Source: Bloomberg

Leaving the total number of Americans on government unemployment benefits higher, back above 19 million last week...

Source: Bloomberg

So there's something for everyone here - Good news (initial claims down), Bad news (total claimants higher), and Ugly news (pandemic claims at a record highs)

Tyler Durden Thu, 02/25/2021 - 08:54
Published:2/25/2021 7:59:29 AM
[Markets] Market Snapshot: Dow futures flat and broader market set to slump after jobless claims report Dow futures hover on either side of unchanged Thursday, a day after the blue-chip index ended at an all-time high, with investors parsing weekly data on applications for unemployment benefits.
Published:2/25/2021 7:59:29 AM
[Politics] House Poised to Vote on Legal Safeguards for LGBTQ People The Democrat-led House is poised to pass a bill that would enshrine LGBTQ protections in the nation's labor and civil rights laws, a top priority of President Joe Biden, though the legislation faces an uphill battle in the Senate.The Equality Act amends existing civil... Published:2/25/2021 7:27:47 AM
[Entertainment] 10 Ted Lasso Gifts That Will Add Positivity to Your Life E-Comm: Ted Lasso Gift GuideWe independently selected these products because we love them, and we hope you do too. Shop with E! has affiliate relationships, so we may get a commission if you purchase something through our...
Published:2/25/2021 7:27:47 AM
[Politics] Rise of Personal Shoppers Shows Robust Competition in Same-Day Delivery Market Published:2/25/2021 7:27:47 AM
[Quick Takes] New York University Launching ‘Center for Psychedelic Medicine’

“ensure that the momentum created by the modern psychedelic renaissance is sustained”

The post New York University Launching ‘Center for Psychedelic Medicine’ first appeared on Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion.
Published:2/25/2021 7:27:47 AM
[Free Speech] [Eugene Volokh] First Amendment Right to Videorecord TSA Patdown of Your Family Member From Dyer v. Smith, decided Tuesday by Judge John A. Gibney, Jr. (E.D. Va.): On June 8, 2019, Dustin Dyer, his husband, and their children traveled through the airport in Richmond, Virginia. When the family entered the TSA checkpoint, TSA agents quickly cleared Dyer and the children. The agents did not, however, clear Dyer's husband.… Published:2/25/2021 7:27:47 AM
[6fd0fe8d-dbc4-5297-be57-ec639cbd68f8] Everything coming to and leaving HBO Max in March 2021 With movies releasing both in theaters and on HBO Max, March 2021 offers a slew of new content on the streaming platform. Published:2/25/2021 7:27:47 AM
[Markets] Peak COVIDiocracy? Peak COVIDiocracy?

Authored by Paul Joseph Watson via Summit News,

An image shows students at a school in Wenatchee, Washington State socially distanced inside what look like human tents as they perform in a band.

The picture appears to show two girls playing saxophones while trapped inside the awning-like structures, while others in the background play flute.

According to the article, “You can’t see them smiling beneath the masks,” but the kids are happy to be back at school.

The article quotes Wenatchee Principal Eric Anderson, who celebrates the fact that the school environment has been carefully tailored to ensure that students never remove their face coverings.

“We really have an environment in this building where there is never a reason where a kid has to take their mask off,” he said.

That’s presumably why the children in the image have been made to stand inside the tents, because they have to remove their masks to play the instruments.

Growing up in a world where they are forcibly isolated from each other, starved of physical contact and cannot properly discern facial reactions while having to wear humiliating human tents.

What could possibly go wrong?

*  *  *

In the age of mass Silicon Valley censorship It is crucial that we stay in touch. I need you to sign up for my free newsletter here. Support my sponsor – Turbo Force – a supercharged boost of clean energy without the comedown. Also, I urgently need your financial support here.

Tyler Durden Thu, 02/25/2021 - 08:10
Published:2/25/2021 7:27:47 AM
[Fundings & Exits] Coinbase files to go public in a key listing for the cryptocurrency category This morning Coinbase, an American cryptocurrency exchange, released an S-1 filing ahead of its direct listing. The company’s public debut has been hotly anticipated thanks to recent activity amongst bitcoin and other blockchain-based assets, the company’s controversial political positions, and its spiking valuation on private exchanges. Coinbase’s financials show a company that grew rapidly from […] Published:2/25/2021 7:27:47 AM
[Markets] Metals Stocks: Gold prices extend drop Thursday as 10-year Treasury nears 1.5% Gold futures on Thursday is on track to decline for a third straight session as government bond yields extended their climb to the highest level in a year, complicating the opportunity cost of owning nonyielding gold over sovereign debt.
Published:2/25/2021 7:27:47 AM
[] We regret to inform you that Amnesty International has canceled Alexei Navalny over old 'xenophobic' comments Published:2/25/2021 6:59:22 AM
[] Ghislaine Maxwell's new bail bid: How about I stop being British and French? Published:2/25/2021 6:59:22 AM
[Politics] CPAC Chair Schlapp: Trump Knows Speech Is 'Important Reset' Former President Donald Trump, who will mark his first public appearance with a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) gathering on Sunday, knows his speech is a "very, very important reset," CPAC Chairman Matt Schlapp said... Published:2/25/2021 6:59:22 AM
[Funding] Connected pet collar company Fi raises a $30M Series B Pet tech company Fi today announced that it has raised a $30 million Series B. The round, led by Chuck Murphy of Longview Asset Management, follows a $7 million Series A raised back in 2019. The round values the startup at north of $200 million. The New York-based startup specializes in connected dog collars, releasing […] Published:2/25/2021 6:59:22 AM
[Media] Investigative journalism, Russian style (Scott Johnson) New York Times media reporter Ben Smith has the intensely interesting story “How Investigative Journalism Flourished in Hostile Russia.” The crazy brave dissident Alexei Navalny turns up in Smith’s bullet points: Mr. Navalny’s foundation flew drones over Mr. Putin’s palace, a vast estate on the Black Sea that Mr. Navalny labeled “the World’s Biggest Bribe” in a scathing, mocking nearly two-hour video he released on his return to Russia last Published:2/25/2021 6:59:22 AM
[Markets] Tech Tumbles As Yields Surge, Meme Stocks Explode Tech Tumbles As Yields Surge, Meme Stocks Explode

It's not just the surge in meme stocks that is a case of deja vu all over again: the big action this morning is in another closely watched asset - the 10Y - where yields have soared by almost 10bps, rising from 1.38% to a one-year high of 1.46%, rising just 4bps shy of the closely watched 1.50% level which Nomura predicts will spark an equity selloff.

"Inflationary signals, including a surge in commodity prices, are higher than we have seen in years,” said Geir Lode, head of global equities at the international business of Federated Hermes. “The prospect of a sooner-than-expected economic recovery has led to a surge in the U.S. 10-year yield.”

And amid fears that the stock rout will only get worse, Nasdaq futures fell 1% on Thursday, sliding for seven out of the last eight sessions, as investors rotated out of technology-related stocks...

... and into small cap and reflationary shares that will benefit from an economic rebound later in the year. The Russell 2000 index rallied and S&P500 eminis were modestly in the red. At 715 am ET, Dow e-minis were up 5 points, or 0.01%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 12.35 points, or 0.3%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 123.5 points, or 1%.

Banks such as Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo and Bank of America Corp were up between 0.6% and 1.2%, tracking a rise in U.S. 10-year Treasury yields. Oil producer Apache Corp gained 1.3% after it reported a smaller-than-expected fourth-quarter loss and raised its spending forecast. Tesla fell as much as 2.7% in premarket trading Thursday after the company told workers it will temporarily halt some production at its car assembly plant in California.

Meanwhile, traders were kept busy after a renewed retail frenzy re-ignited the likes of GameStop, bets on $70 a barrel oil and a decade high in copper prices drove a commodity currency rally and bond yields were still rising too. In a fresh sign of a renewed retail-driven frenzy in equity markets, GameStop shares quadrupled, rising as high as $200 overnight.

The new frenzy puzzled analysts, who had ruled out another short squeeze of the stock which had battered some hedge funds, and fueled more hype after some Twitter users pointed out a cryptic tweet of an ice-cream cone photo from activist investor Ryan Cohen - a major shareholder in GameStop and a board member.

Reddit discussion threads were buzzing again about GameStop on Thursday, with members exhorting others to pile into the stock as the rally gathers steam. “Bought lots more #GME today, let’s keep fighting !!,” wrote one Reddit user Fundssqueezzer, while another user Responsible_Fun6255 said, “Rise of the planet of the ape: GME edition”.

Other “stonks” favored by WallStreetBets retail traders also leapt again, although explanations for the moves were tenuous.  Headphone maker Koss Corp surged 57%, while cannabis company Sundial Growers rose 10%; AMC rose 29%, Express was up 42%, and Koss soared 75%. In Europe, Nokia shares are up 6.2%; the stock was also a Reddit favorite last month

The risky trading strategies employed by some traders on Reddit have drawn the ire of investing legends such as Charlie Munger, long time business partner of Warren Buffett. “It’s really stupid to have a culture which encourages as much gambling in stocks by people who have the mindset of racetrack bettors,” said Munger on Wednesday.

Of course, everyone ignored the warning and GameStop’s U.S.-listed shares soared nearly 104% on Wednesday. The volatility in GME, AMC Entertainment and other stocks led to outages on Reddit and periodic trading halts by the New York Stock Exchange. Robinhood said in a tweet that the NYSE action would impact all brokerages, but that it had not paused trading on the shares.

“It’s a pretty risky play to try and buy now ... what we might (see) at the open of the cash market is some people trying to get in,” said Oriano Lizza, premium sales trader at CMC Markets in Singapore, which does not offer pre- or post-market trade.

In any case, back to global markets where European stocks erased an earlier gain even as most European equities hold in the green. Eurostoxx 50 traded 0.2% higher having gapped up on the open. DAX fades an initial 0.5% gain to trade flat. FTSE 100 and IBEX outperform. Oil & gas, banks and miners are the best performers. Here are some of the biggest European movers today:

  • Nokia shares jump as much as 8.2%, the biggest gainer in the Stoxx Telecom Index, amid fresh interest in meme stocks. Nokia surged 26% last month as the stock became a Reddit trader favorite.
  • Telefonica shares gain as much as 5.7%, the best performer in Spain’s benchmark IBEX 35 index, after results, with Berenberg saying the telecom firm’s 4Q financials were strong.
  • DS Smith surges as much as 14%, the most since 2011, after Bloomberg reported Wednesday night that rival Mondi is exploring a potential takeover.
  • Vestas shares jumps as much as 6.2% after UBS analysts said the outlook for wind-turbine makers is continuing to gain momentum and upgraded the stock to buy.
  • Standard Chartered falls as much as 5.5% in London as the Asia-focused lender’s financial markets unit and progress on cost cutting disappoint at quarterly results.
  • Bayer shares drop as much as 4.5% after what Redburn describes as “messy” 4Q earnings and cautious 2021 dividend expectations, as well as management comments that co. may withdraw from various Roundup settlement agreements if certain eligibility and participation rates are not satisfied.

Earlier in the session, Asian stocks rebounded from their biggest drop in almost three months, bolstered by a rally in technology names. Samsung Electronics, SK Hynix and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing boosted the MSCI Asia Pacific Index after U.S. President Joe Biden said he plans to address shortfalls in chip output that have idled production at some auto plants. SK Hynix hit a 20-year high. Tencent and SoftBank were the other big contributors to the Asian benchmark’s rise. South Korea’s equity benchmark surged 3.5% to lead gains in Asia. Key gauges in Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan rallied at least 1.5% each. Markets in the Philippines were shut for a local holiday. Stocks in New Zealand bucked the regional trend, with the S&P/NZX 50 index sliding 1.2%. The nation’s government said it will require the central bank to take account of rampant house prices when it sets interest rates, a change that may restrict its ability to run loose monetary policy.

“There are two clear stories now” said CMC Markets senior analyst Michael Hewson. “You have the concerns about rising yields and they are continuing to move higher today, and then you have got an economic recovery story, which is helping lift the more moderately-valued parts of the market.”

Yields on U.S. Treasury bonds have soared recently (and with CTAs the most short in two years, they are likely to rise even more), pressuring technology-related companies as the United States accelerates its coronavirus vaccination program and plans further fiscal spending. Commodities also extended gains, with investors piling into metals that can ride faster growth trends. Copper, as previewed last week, moved closer to a record high set a decade ago and aluminum touched a two-year high.

Yields have blown up despite two days of reassuring remarks by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell who offered reassurance that policy would continue to be supportive and look beyond a temporary pick-up in inflation, especially from a low base. That’s given the bond market enough reason to keep driving yields higher. Powell said on Wednesday that U.S. rates could remain low for years, while ECB board member Isabel Schnabel was out early on Thursday saying it would fight any big increases in inflation-adjusted market rates.

“A too-abrupt increase in real interest rates on the back of improving global growth prospects could jeopardise the economic recovery,” she said. “Therefore, we are monitoring financial market developments closely.”

Despite growing central bank jawboning, bond markets are still not playing ball and are threatening to steamroll over what little credibility central bankers have. Ten-year German Bund yields climbed 3 basis points in early trading. U.S. 10-year Treasury yields blew to one-year highs of 1.46% and on course for the biggest monthly rise since Donald Trump’s 2016 U.S. election victory jolted markets.

In the FX markets, the dollar slumped in early trading to three-year lows as the Fed’s stance, ongoing progress with COVID vaccination programmes and commodity market uplift boosted riskier currencies. However, it has since rebounded back to unchanged. The Australian and Canadian dollars both hit three-year highs of $0.7978 and C$1.2503 per U.S. dollar respectively. The euro touched a one-month high of $1.2183. The safe-haven yen and Swiss franc both weakened.

“It is pretty clear that there is a pretty strong concentration in the commodity currencies,” said Saxo Bank’s John Hardy. “Even with emerging markets you are seeing it to a degree,” he added, pointing to how big energy importers like Turkey’s lira had faded.

In commodities, crude oil climbed to 13-month highs after U.S. government data on Wednesday showed a drop in crude output as a deep freeze in Texas disrupted production last week. Copper prices steadied near $9,500 a tonne in London. It’s now at its highest level in almost a decade and could log its biggest monthly gains in 15 years this month.

Looking at the day ahead, data releases from the US include the second estimate of Q4 GDP, weekly initial jobless claims and the preliminary January durable goods orders reading.  From central banks, we’ll hear from the Fed’s Quarles, Bostic, Bullard and Williams, and the ECB’s De Guindos, Lane and Hernandez de Cos. Earnings releases include Salesforce, American Tower, Moderna and HP, and this afternoon EU leaders will be gathering via videoconference for a European Council meeting. Highlights on the earnings agenda include Salesforce, HP, Etsy and Monster Beverage, all expected after markets close

Market Snapshot

  • S&P 500 futures down 0.1% to 3,917.50
  • Euro up 0.4% to $1.2213
  • Brent Futures up 0.5% to $67.35/bbl
  • MXAP up 1.4% to 215.29
  • MXAPJ up 1.5% to 723.82
  • Nikkei up 1.7% to 30,168.27
  • Topix up 1.2% to 1,926.23
  • Hang Seng Index up 1.2% to 30,074.17
  • Shanghai Composite up 0.6% to 3,585.05
  • Sensex up 0.5% to 51,043.83
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.8% to 6,834.03
  • Kospi up 3.5% to 3,099.69
  • Brent Futures up 0.5% to $67.35/bbl
  • Gold spot down 0.8% to $1,790.99
  • U.S. Dollar Index down 0.40% to 89.82

Top Overnight News from Bloomberg

  • Economic confidence in the euro area improved in February, as consumers and businesses grew more optimistic that vaccine rollouts will spark a recovery this year
  • The European Central Bank is keeping a close eye on the euro area’s financing conditions and will use bond purchases to counter any unwarranted tightening, according to chief economist Philip Lane
  • New Zealand’s government will require the central bank to take account of rampant house prices when it sets interest rates, a change that may restrict its ability to run loose monetary policy.
  • Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell emphasized his view that the economy has a long way to go in the recovery and signs of prices rising won’t necessarily lead to persistently high inflation
  • Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE’s Covid-19 vaccine was overwhelmingly effective against the virus in a study that followed nearly 1.2 million people in Israel, results that public-health experts said show that immunizations could end the pandemic
  • Australia’s central bank found itself overwhelmed by the global reflation trade after it dived back into markets and discovered its biggest bond purchases in 11 months did little to hold down yields
  • New Zealand’s government will require the central bank to take account of rampant house prices when it sets interest rates, a change that may restrict its ability to run loose monetary policy
  • The Bank of Japan’s policy review will likely center on flexible stock-fund buying, bond yield movements and the potency of negative rates
  • Oil held gains after closing at the highest level in more than a year as a slump in U.S. crude production following the cold blast and shrinking European stockpiles tightened the market further

A quick look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk

European stocks trade mostly firmer (Euro Stoxx 50 +0.1%) with price action somewhat contained in early hours as the region picked up a similarly mixed APAC lead heading into month-end. US equity futures also see a mixed session early-doors, but have waned off best levels seen overnight with the growth-led NQ (-0.6%) once again the laggard in European hours whilst the value-driven RTY (+0.6%) remains propped. The lukewarm tone in the equities markets comes as Fed officials downplayed the sustainability of the expected rise in inflation, whilst yields continue to remain elevated – with French 10yr yield turning positive for the first time since mid-2020. On the topic of rising yields, it’s worth recapping the sectorial correlation relative to a high-yield environment. The top beneficiaries from rising yields (by order) includes Banks, Cyclicals, Value, Insurance, Autos, Basic Resources. The top hit sectors meanwhile (by order) goes as such: Food & Beverage, Defensives, Growth, Healthcare, Real Estate. Meanwhile Technology and Retail see little correlation with rising rates in the context of weekly relative returns, as suggested by Goldman Sachs. This higher-yield playbook is currently portrayed within European sectors, with Banks, Oil & Gas, Basic Resources and Auto’s residing as the winners, whilst Healthcare, Food & Beverage and Chemicals reside on the other end of the spectrum. In terms of individual movers, heavyweight Bayer (-3.5%) pressures the DAX (-0.1%) lower following dismal earnings whereby revenue and Adj. EBIT deteriorated Y/Y whilst a large number of segments reported sales contractions. Other earnings-related movers include Axa (+3%), Telefonica (+2%), AB Foods (+1%), AB InBev (-5%) and Standard Chartered (-5%). Looking at M&A, FTSE-listed DS Smith (+7%) is lifted on reports Mondi (-0.7%) is reportedly considering a bid for DS Smith and has been speaking with advisors on the matter. Finally, heading into the US session, it’s worth mentioning the Reddit darling stocks - GME (+50% pre-mkt) and AMC (+16% pre-mkt) - are seeing another bout of upside after a late-door buying frenzy heading into the close.

Top European News

  • Europe’s Recovery Choices Will Leave It a Year Behind the U.S.
  • Merkel Is Leaving, But the EU Has a New Heavyweight in Draghi
  • Sunak Gives Himself Room to Raise Corporation Tax in U.K. Budget
  • How U.K. and Israel Raced to Global Lead in Covid Vaccination

Asia-Pac stocks rebounded from yesterday’s selldown after the region took impetus from the strong performance on Wall St where sentiment was underpinned by dovish Fed rhetoric and with gains led by energy and financials after oil prices and yields edged higher. ASX 200 (+0.8%) was positive in which energy stocks spearheaded the advances across the commodity-related sectors and with participants occupied by a heavy stream of earnings results including Qantas which surged despite posting a H1 net loss, as it also announced it was on track to deliver billions of cost savings over the next 3 years and is working on the assumption for international travel to resume in October. Nikkei 225 (+1.6%) coat-tailed on favourable currency flows and reclaimed the 30k status, while KOSPI (+2.1%) outperformed post-BoK meeting in which the central bank maintained its 7-day repo rate at 0.50% as expected and suggested the economy is to recover gradually led by solid growth in exports. Hang Seng (+2.1%) and Shanghai Comp. (+1.2%) were also positive in light of the global optimism and with MOFCOM planning to reinforce policy support for foreign trade, although tensions continued to linger after a US Navy warship transited through the Taiwan Strait and with USTR nominee Tai suggesting the US needs a plan for holding China accountable and to compete with its state-run economy. Finally, 10yr JGBs were lower amid gains in stocks which saw prices slip beneath the 151.00 level and as JGB yields extended to multi-year highs with 30yr and 40yr yields reaching the highest since December 2018 and January 2019, respectively, while the presence of the BoJ in the market for nearly JPY 1.3tln of JGBs with up to 10yr maturities failed to support prices.

Top Asian News

  • Hong Kong’s Biggest Builder Sun Hung Kai Posts Higher Profit
  • Hong Kong’s Richest Property Tycoon Said to Plan U.S. SPAC
  • Armenian Premier Warns of Coup as Army Tells Him to Quit
  • Aussie Dollar Breaches 80 U.S. Cents to Reach Three-Year High

In FX, the Euro marginally pipped the Aussie to the post in round number terms, but it was much more even between the single currency and both Antipodean Dollars when it came to percentage gains vs the Greenback before the former accelerated beyond 1.2225. All 3 are gleaning leverage from yield differentials, while Eur/Usd is also benefiting from supportive month end rebalancing flows and what looks like a more concerted technical correction in Eur/Gbp after the midweek bounce from just under 0.8550. Hence, the headline pair has breached recent highs ahead of 1.2200 on the way to circa 1.2235 and applied further pressure on the DXY that is losing touch with 90.000 between 90.144-89.720 parameters following Wednesday’s false break through the 50 DMA. Meanwhile, Aud/Usd has peered over 0.8000 where big barriers reside with impetus from an unexpected rise in Q4 Capex that reversed the prior quarter’s fall precisely, and Nzd/Usd is hovering around 0.7450 having spiked above 0.7460 in wake of NZ Finance Minister Robertson formally announcing changes to the RBNZ’s remit to include house prices. Note, modest declines in NBNZ business sentiment and the activity outlook were largely shrugged off, but looming trade data will likely draw more attention.

  • GBP/CAD - Notwithstanding the aforementioned retracement against the Euro, Sterling has taken advantage of general Dollar weakness to reclaim 1.4150+ status, and the Loonie has notched another milestone with the aid of strong oil prices with Usd/Cad down through 1.2500.
  • CHF/JPY- The Franc and Yen are still lagging due to less attractive costs of carry even though JGBs were flogged overnight in catch-up trade as widely anticipated, as the former languishes below 0.9050 and latter under 106.00 ahead of Tokyo CPI, Japanese ip and retail sales.
  • SCANDI/EM - The Sek is back on a more even keel vs the Nok and Eur amidst bullish rebalancing requirements given an above average standard deviation for the end of February, while Swedish sentiment indices for the current month were firmer across the board. Elsewhere, most EM currencies are reeling on the high yield eroding risk appetite and threatening capital flight scenario.

In commodities, WTI and Brent front-month futures are firmer on the session and hovering around best levels during early European trade. The complex overnight benefited from a mostly upbeat APAC session, whilst sources yesterday highlighted a rift building among OPEC+ members ahead of the meeting next week. One source suggested prices are “definitely high” and more oil is needed to cool the markets – adding that a 500k BPD increase looks to be a good option. Conversely, another source suggested no more relaxations until June given the risk of new variants and setbacks in the battle against COVID. Saudi will have to avoid a rift widening as the Kingdom itself is currently poised to reintroduced the 1mln BPD of oil which was taken offline as a goodwill gesture in January. ING previously suggested “It is unlikely that the group would bring a little over 2.2mln BPD of supply back onto the market, aware that the market would baulk at such a decision”, but the bank highlights that there is room for some sort of easing, contingent on how much output volume Saudi decides to bring back from its own additional cuts. Barclays meanwhile, forecasts 2021 Brent at USD 62/bbl & WTI at USD 58/bbl reflecting their projection of OPEC+ to increase aggregate supply by 1.5mln BPD over Q2 and for Saudi Arabia to reverse the unilateral cut in April. Furthermore, as production in Texas is coming back online - a subsequent reflection in the price of WTI may be noticed as ING states it expects to see further crude oil builds in the weeks ahead. WTI resides mid USD 63/bbl (vs high USD 63.79/bbl) and Brent mid USD 67/bbl (vs high USD 67.70/bbl). Notable tail-risks on the table surrounds month-end factors which may offer volatility, several Fed officials speaking through the session alongside US data which includes Initial Jobless Claims and Q4 PCE prices. Elsewhere, precious metals are mixed on the session, with spot gold trading below the USD 1800/oz handle amid headwinds from rising yields and spot silver nursed earlier losses. As a side note for silver, Reddit retail traders have been driving GME prices higher again so it may be something to just keep an eye on for any potential targeting of silver. Turning to base metals, LME copper has gains of around 0.5% and trades above USD 9,500/t, continuing the narrative as a recovery metal surrounding the reflationary backdrop. More on base metals. Looking further ahead, some suggest aluminium supply in China could be affected by China’s journey to net-zero CO2 emissions by 2060. China Inner Mongolia has seen a series of environmental changes which would inhibit further capacity growth as the region accounts for 9.0% of total Chinese aluminium supply.

US Event Calendar

  • 8:30am: 4Q GDP Annualized QoQ, est. 4.2%, prior 4.0%
  • 8:30am: Feb. Initial Jobless Claims, est. 825,000, prior 861,000; Continuing Claims, est. 4.46m, prior 4.49m;
  • 8:30am: Jan. Durable Goods Orders, est. 1.1%, prior 0.5%
  • 8:30am: Jan. Cap Goods Ship Nondef Ex Air, est. 0.6%, prior 0.7%; Cap Goods Orders Nondef Ex Air, est. 0.8%, prior 0.7%
  • 8:30am: 4Q PCE Core QoQ, est. 1.4%, prior 1.4%; 4Q Personal Consumption, est. 2.5%, prior 2.5%
  • 8:30am: 4Q GDP Price Index, est. 2.0%, prior 2.0%
  • 9:45am: Feb. Bloomberg Consumer Comfort, prior 45.8
  • 10am: Jan. Pending Home Sales YoY, prior 22.8%; Pending Home Sales (MoM), est. 0%, prior -0.3%
  • 11am: Feb. Kansas City Fed Manf. Activity, est. 15, prior 17

DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

Risk appetite showed signs of returning to global markets over the last 24 hours as Fed Chair Powell stuck to his reassuring tone and continued to signal that the central bank would keep policy accommodative for some time to come. The remarks led to a sharp turnaround across a number of different asset classes, with the S&P 500 moving from an intraday low of -0.56% shortly after the open to end the session +1.14% higher, which was the strongest daily performance for the index in over 3 weeks. Perhaps the most headline-grabbing comment from Powell was thatit could take more than 3 years before the Fed reached its inflation goal of 2%, helping to reiterate the message that the Fed are in absolutely no rush to pare back on stimulus any time soon, and he reaffirmed his message that the labour market was very far from the Fed’s goal, saying that there was still “a long way to go” before the US got to maximum employment. We should find out more on the Fed’s current thinking on inflation in the next 3 weeks when they release their new Summary of Economic Projections at the March FOMC meeting.

Looking at the moves in more depth, risk assets had their best day for some time thanks to Powell, though it was energy stocks that saw the largest gains thanks to another sizeable rise in oil prices. In fact, both Brent crude (+2.55%) and WTI (+2.51%) climbed to their highest levels in over a year yesterday, at $67.04/bbl and $63.22/bbl respectively, as the combination of tighter supplies and recovering economic demand proved supportive, and they’re holding those levels this morning. Otherwise though, it was cyclical industries that led the advance, with autos (+5.60%), banks (+2.49%) and capital goods (+2.26%) being among the strongest performers in the S&P. Tech stocks recovered their losses too, with the NASDAQ up +0.99%, while over in Europe the STOXX 600 gained +0.46%. The reflation/reopen trade was in full force in Europe as well with the travel & leisure (+1.87%), energy (+1.71%) and basic resources (+1.46%) again leading the charge here.

Even as Powell struck a dovish tone, sovereign bonds continued to lose ground on both sides of the Atlantic, and yields on 10yr Treasuries rose +3.4bps to 1.376%, their highest closing level in a year, and have moved up a further +2.0bps this morning. As with equities though, that was some distance from its intraday high, at which point yields had climbed all the way to 1.434%. The moves were evident across the curve, with 30yr Treasury yields rising +5.2bps yesterday to their own 1-year high, which helped the 5s30s curve reach its steepest level in over 6 years. For Europe it was a similar story, with yields paring back their intraday highs as Powell spoke, though they still closed at levels not seen in months, with yields on 10yr bunds (+1.2bps), OATs (1.4bps) and BTPs (+4.2bps) all moving higher. The moves in turn have proved supportive for bank stocks, with the STOXX Banks index in Europe up a further +1.36% yesterday at its highest level since the pandemic began.

Overnight in Asia, markets have taken Wall Street’s lead with the Nikkei (+1.57%), Hang Seng (+2.15%), Shanghai Comp (+1.07%) and ASX (+0.93%) all rising. Futures on the S&P 500 are also trading +0.25% higher and sovereign bond yields have continued to climb in Asia, with Japan’s 30yr yield (+1.9bps) at its highest level since December 2018, and 10yr yields on Australian (+10.3bps) and New Zealand (+18.4bps) debt seeing sharp moves higher. For New Zealand, the moves have been prompted by a decision to change the RBNZ’s remit to support more sustainable house prices and improve affordability for first time buyers, which has led to expectations that the central bank could tighten more quickly than previously expected. On top of this, the Bank of Korea left their main interest rate unchanged at 0.5% as expected, though they raised their CPI forecast for 2021 by three-tenths to +1.3%.

Staying on central banks, a number of other Fed speakers gave remarks yesterday, though the overall tone didn’t add much to what we already knew. Vice Chair Clarida gave a speech on the economic outlook and monetary policy, where he made the point others have about “the true unemployment rate” being closer to 10% when you factor in declines in the labour force and misclassification. However, he remains “bullish on the economic rebound in the US” and sees inflation reaching around 2% by end of 2021. Separately Governor Brainard noted that transitory inflation was “not the kind of inflation that monetary policy would react to”.

Here in the UK, multiple newspapers have reported that the government are potentially planning for a rise in corporation tax at next week’s budget on Wednesday, with the FT saying that Chancellor Sunak would announce “a sharp rise” in the tax from its current 19%, and that the similar proposed increase in the US from 21% to 28% would offer some cover in terms of competitiveness. Other proposals reported have been a six-month extension to the uplift in Universal Credit mentioned in the Telegraph, as well as a Times report that the holiday on stamp duty (the home purchase tax) would be extended until the end of June. For those wanting more info, our UK economists released their preview of the budget yesterday (link here).

Turning to the pandemic, we got some very positive news yesterday as a large-scale study of almost 1.2m people in Israel showed that 2 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine prevented 94% of infections. On top of this, staff at the FDA in the US wrote that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was safe and effective, which comes ahead of an FDA committee meeting tomorrow where they’ll be discussing whether to give it an emergency use authorization. Unlike the other vaccines authorised in the US (Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna), the Johnson & Johnson vaccine only requires a single dose, and the company have said that they’ll initially be able to provide 4m shots. Elsewhere, Ghana received the first delivery from the Covax vaccine-sharing initiative, which is seeking to support vaccine distribution in lower-income countries, with 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. When it comes to global restrictions there was a divergent picture however, with France announcing that Dunkirk would go into lockdown over the weekend, while in Switzerland, it was confirmed that shops, museums and outdoor sports and leisure facilities would be open from Monday. Meanwhile Moderna announced plans to study various approaches to vaccine boosters to protect against the variant strains, at the same time as they’re taking steps to ramp up production in the next year. The company has already completed manufacturing and sending doses to researchers for a clinical study around the South African strain.

As we mentioned in yesterday’s edition, it’s now been over a year since the first big pandemic-related selloff for markets as the virus started to hit Western nations. In Jim’s chart of the day yesterday (link here) ), we showed the performance of a number of global assets since this point, and also include the low point over the last 12 months. Commodities have been among the strongest performers, with copper leading the way as it hit its highest level in nearly a decade yesterday, whilst gold, silver and oil have also seen major gains. European equities have been the worst hit however, falling behind other regions as a number of indices still haven’t recovered to their pre-Covid levels.

In terms of yesterday’s data releases, the final German GDP reading for Q4 was revised up to show +0.3% growth quarter-on-quarter (vs. +0.1% initial estimate). Looking at the breakdown, private consumption saw the biggest hit (-3.3% qoq), though the savings rate rose again to 17.7%, which supports the argument from our German economists (link here) that pent-up demand will support the economy in the summer half and potentially add to emerging inflationary pressures. With the more positive end to last year, they’re maintaining their 4% GDP forecast for 2021. The other main data release were the new home sales figures from the US, which rose to a stronger-than-expected annualised rate of 923k in January (vs. 856k expected).

To the day ahead now, and data releases from the US include the second estimate of Q4 GDP, weekly initial jobless claims and the preliminary January durable goods orders reading. Over in Europe, there’s also the final Euro Area consumer confidence reading for February, and the January M3 money supply figure. From central banks, we’ll hear from the Fed’s Quarles, Bostic, Bullard and Williams, and the ECB’s De Guindos, Lane and Hernandez de Cos. Earnings releases include Salesforce, American Tower, Moderna and HP, and this afternoon EU leaders will be gathering via videoconference for a European Council meeting.

Tyler Durden Thu, 02/25/2021 - 07:55
Published:2/25/2021 6:59:22 AM
[TC] Allbirds is investing in plant-based leather substitute as it looks to further green its supply chain The sustainability focused shoe maker Allbirds has taken another step to green its supply chain with a small $2 million investment in a new company called Natural Fiber Welding. Announced this morning, the investment in Natural Fiber Welding will see Allbirds bring a vegan leather replacement option to customers by December 2021. It’s a natural […] Published:2/25/2021 6:25:50 AM
[Entertainment] Why Women Everywhere Love Free People's Way Home Shorts E-Comm: Best-Selling Free People Short We independently selected these products because we love them, and we hope you do too. Shop with E! has affiliate relationships, so we may get a commission if you purchase something through our...
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Scorched Earth

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Published:2/25/2021 6:25:50 AM
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[Markets] Is Hyperinflation In The Horizon? Is Hyperinflation In The Horizon?

Authored by Tuomas Malinen via GnSEconomics.com,

From time-to-time historically, national authorities have resorted to financing by their central bank to cover budget shortfalls. Another word for this is monetization of debt or deficit-financing by the central bank.

Asset purchase (or “QE”) programs can be viewed as modern versions of deficit-financing. With them, central banks buy (mostly) sovereign bonds from the capital markets, resulting in artificially low yields on government bonds. As these programs essentially provide credit from the central bank, they do increase the money in circulation quite a bit.

In the U.S., for example, the quantity of money, measured by M2, has increased by a whopping 26% in a single year. This is the largest annual increase since 1943.

The combination of the fast growth of money in circulation and the decline in production capacity, whatever the cause, is the pre-condition for ravaging inflation. Worryingly, we are seeing those pre-conditions met.

In this blog we detail the process of hyperinflation. Recently, we have seen hyperinflation episodes in Zimbabwe and Venezuela. In history, there are two rather well-known and extensively studied examples of out-of-control inflation: hyperinflation in the Weimar Republic in the early 1920s and the inflation crisis in Russia in the early 1990s. We concentrate on those.

The process of monetization and hyperinflation

Monetization typically proceeds as follows. The central bank buys the debt—bonds—issued by the Finance Ministry (or Treasury). Government then uses this money to increase its consumption. The debt bought by the central bank then either remains on the balance sheet of the central bank ad infinitum or the central bank nullifies it, thereby creating a loss.

To cover the loss, the central bank issues new physical currency notes (or nowadays digital) to increase its revenue. This results in an increase in the monetary base, meaning an increase in the currency in circulation.

When a government uses “debt” from the central bank to sustain or increase its consumption and investments, this newly created money enters the economy through consumption. Government effectively becomes the guarantor of jobs and profits of different industries with money created from “thin air”.

If production capacity becomes limited at the same time due to, for example, damage from war or from large-scale corporate bankruptcies by other causes, consumption increases faster than production. In practice, there is more money chasing fewer products, and prices start to rise very rapidly. Moreover, politicians and bureaucrats tend not to be very skilled in the efficient management of businesses and they permit public pressure to influence their decisions. This leads to wasteful investments, falling productivity and unprofitable enterprises.

When there’s more money in circulation relative to production of goods and services, prices start to rise fast and inflation accelerates. As it continues, consumers, firms and workers start to expect ever-higher inflation, which, combined with the quickly increasing supply of money from the central bank, starts to weaken public faith in the currency.  As inflationary expectations rise, even faster inflation ensues.

A tale of two hyperinflations 

Weimar Germany was ravaged by the aftermath of the First World War, which the nation had lost. The subsequent Treaty of Versailles burdened the country with impossible levels of war reparations. Similarly, the collapse of the Soviet Union at the end of the 1980s had left Russia with a vast external debt burden accrued during the final years of the Soviet Union, when it borrowed desperately to keep the planned economy afloat.

Both these instances led to stark choices for their respective governments. Each was faced with an overwhelming national debt and with an industrial base in serious need of reform. Both governments also decided that instead of painful reforms and a likely default, they would try to uphold national demand and production by monetizing their budget deficits.

In Weimar Germany, and in early 1990’s Russia, both governments supported high employment levels through deficit financing. In Weimar, the unemployment rate hovered under four percent and in Russia it was even lower, tending between 1.1 and 2.6 percent between 1992 and 1998. However, labor productivity fell dramatically.

The result: run-away inflations

Inflation in these two examples varied from high to extreme. In Russia, monthly consumer prices rose nearly 300 percent in some periods, but the mean monthly inflation rate was “only” around 21 percent from January 1992 till July 1995.

In Weimar Germany, the situation was much more extreme. The wage price index first made spectacular leaps (between November 1918 and March 1920 it increased by 700%, and between mid-1921 and mid-1922, by 500%) after hyperinflation—defined as monthly price increase of more than 50 percent—fully set in. The rate of inflation was, actually, much higher than the rate of monetization. For example, Burdekin and Burkett (1992) show that that rising wage claims and demand for private credit that followed were major contributors to the hyperinflation. In essence, this means that the targeted real wage rate of workers was an important factor and it implies that, when wage pressures build to extreme levels, they are very hard to contain.

Both inflations were stopped by the combination of massive cutbacks in government spending and credit freezes. The inevitable consequence of these actions was a recession, which was relatively short in Germany, and a forced restructuring of the economy.

Social repercussion

The social repercussions were heavy in both instances.

The hyperinflation in the Weimar Republic has been linked to the rise of Hitler and National Socialism (“Nazis”). In Russia, the serious damage inflation inflicted, especially on the income of the middle-class, created demands for stability. As in Germany, these frustrations were met by the emergence of a strong leader.

In both cases the main losers were the middle-class, pensioners, and professionals, whose salaried purchasing power fell. High inflation may be avoided by the rich as they have the means to hedge against it by buying precious metals, usually gold, making suitable alternative financial investments and by transferring funds to sounder markets or currencies.

Thus, paradoxically, deficit monetization tends to hurt the most those it is originally aimed to help. This should be remembered now, when ideas like “job guarantees” and “deficits don’t matter” are offered as solutions. 

Where are we now?

Worryingly, many of the conditions that led to the extreme inflation episodes in Weimar Germany and in 1990s Russia have started to emerge.

First, central bankers have been running ‘quasi-monetization’, or asset-purchase (QE) programs for over a decade with a stupendous increase during the past pandemic year (see Figure 1). Secondly, supply-chain disruptions have also started to emerge, which will start to crimp production capacities at some point. These are the two ‘pre-conditions’ for an inflationary crisis to materialize.

Figure 1. The combined balance sheet of the BoJ, ECB and the Fed in billions of dollars. Source: GnS Economics, BoJ, ECB, Fed

What this means is that in coming months evidence of inflation may start to emerge. Inflation expectations, while still somewhat subdued e.g. in the US (see Figure 2), may rise rapidly.

Figure 2. The daily 5-year forward inflation expectation rate, calculated using the 10 year and 5 year nominal and inflation adjusted Treasury securities. Source: GnS Economics, St. Louis Fed

Fast inflation would wreak havoc

With massive quantities of new money in circulation, all that is needed for an “inflation scare” to start  is a pickup in the velocity of money driven, for example, by improving economic activity in the U.S.  If and when inflation suddenly quickens it may lead to an over-reaction, a shock, among consumers and corporations, which may revise their inflation expectations upwards, drastically and simultaneously.  And then all bets are off.

We have been lulled into complacency believing that central banks can control the economy and stop crises ‘at will’. As we have repeatedly warned for more than two years, this is a dangerous fallacy.

If a fast inflation emerges, central banks will eventually be forced to raise rates, almost certainly toppling over-leveraged, zombified firms and over-indebted, zombified European nations.  Total chaos in the financial markets would obviously follow with world descending into recession or depression.

*  *  *

The historical accounts of Weimar and Russian hyperinflations are based on: Ferguson, N. and B. Granville (2000), “Weimar on the Volga”: Causes and consequences of inflation in 1990s Russia compared with 1920s Germany.

We provide in-depth analysis and forecasts on the risks haunting the global economy and the financial markets in our Q-Review reports and Deprcon Service. They are are available at GnS Store

Tyler Durden Thu, 02/25/2021 - 06:30
Published:2/25/2021 5:56:50 AM
[Markets] The Tell: A new wave of fearless retail investors could be ready to pour $170 billion into stocks, says Deutsche Bank Deutsche Bank has taken the pulse of a wave of individual investors that blossomed in 2020 and drove a market rally from last March. And they are ready to keep buying stocks.
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[Politics] What I Learned at the Aspen Ideas RE$ET Festival Sponsored by Mastercard, PayPal, and Prudential in Partnership with Bloomberg

Aspen Ideas: RE$ET, a virtual symposium of experts and thought leaders designed to "give voice to the bold ideas" for "building an equitable economy," took place earlier this week. If you're in the target demographic—people who enjoy giving and receiving PowerPoint presentations—the entire 10-hour program is available online for your enjoyment.

The post What I Learned at the Aspen Ideas RE$ET Festival Sponsored by Mastercard, PayPal, and Prudential in Partnership with Bloomberg appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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[Markets] Qatar's Al Jazeera Launches Right-Wing News Platform For Americans "Who Feel Left Out" Of MSM Qatar's Al Jazeera Launches Right-Wing News Platform For Americans "Who Feel Left Out" Of MSM

Upon the announcement this week that Qatar-based Al Jazeera plans to open a US conservative news platform it seemed the near universal reaction on social media was to say simply, weird

"Al Jazeera, the Qatar-based news network that has previously sought to become a liberal media force in the US, is launching a platform to target conservatives, it was revealed on Tuesday," The Guardian reports.

The Al Jazeera outlet will be called Rightly, and apparently aims to imitate and partake of Fox News' longtime success as leading the US mainstream. Rightly plans to cater to center-right Americans and is headed by Fox News’ Scott Norvell. Its target audience has been further described as Republicans who "feel left out of mainstream media," Politico noted, in perhaps a hint it also seeks to tap into pro-Trump support.

Via Reuters

Much of the stir on social media after Tuesday's announcement was focused around Liberals being outraged over the move, questioning why America would need another 'center-right' publication. But the more interesting angle is the fact that Al Jazeera is backed by the Qatari government.

The outlet with its headquarters in Doha often escapes scrutiny as a state-funded news source, despite decades ago the Bush administration essentially going to battle with the foreign outlet over its critical Iraq War coverage. We can only imagine the fierce reaction and pushback if this were instead Russia attempting to establish a 'conservative news outlet' on US soil.

Recall too that Al Jazeera was key in pushing the early 'Arab Spring' narrative which rapidly turned into regime change wars the West-Gulf military alliance pushed in places like Libya and Syria. At every step of the way the outlet reflected the perspective of Qatar's Sunni monarchy (namely, the House of Al Thani).

The Hill notes in a review of Al Jazeera's struggles to find a niche in the US political landscape

Al Jazeera, which is financially backed by the Qatari government, has had mixed success in its past U.S.-focused efforts. In 2013, the company launched an American-focused media brand by acquiring Al Gore’s Current TV for $500 million and rebranding it as Al Jazeera America. The effort was shuttered in January 2016 after struggling with poor ratings and staff discord.

A "soft launch" of an initial show will begin Thursday according to a press release

Rightly will soft launch with its first show, "Right Now with Stephen Kent," on February 25th. The show, hosted by one of the rising stars in Millennial political circles in the United States, will stream on Rightly social media and podcast platforms. Additional Rightly programming will be announced in the coming months.
 
"Right Now with Stephen Kent" will be an in-studio interview program in which the show’s host, Stephen Kent, will get beyond talking points and retweets to engage current newsmakers, opinion leaders and incisive commentators from across the political spectrum in a discussion about the issues animating right-of-center Americans today.

Al Jazeera English - which is its flagship international channel - has remained popular in the US (also online via AJPlus videos) even after the prior US-focused TV channel 'Al Jazeera America' shut down in 2016.

Tyler Durden Thu, 02/25/2021 - 05:45
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[Markets] Twitter Says It Purged Dozens Of Accounts For "Undermining Faith In NATO" Twitter Says It Purged Dozens Of Accounts For "Undermining Faith In NATO"

Twitter has announced it recently suspended dozens of accounts for undermining confidence in NATO. It was part of a broader purge of almost 400 Twitter accounts believed to have "ties to Russia, Armenia and Iran" state actors which were found to have "breached its platform manipulation policies," according to Reuters.

And further Twitter said according to the Reuters that "100 accounts with Russian ties were removed for amplifying narratives that undermined faith in NATO and targeted the United States and the European Union."

That's right, amid numerous examples of recent Twitter overreach and Silicon Valley's blatant attempts to crush speech deemed politically inconvenient or out of bounds, this one is arguably the most bizarre and blatant yet - the offending accounts were deemed to have not upheld "faith" in the NATO military alliance. (Did we miss the "oath" that was supposed to be taken upon setting up an account?...)

Some of the accounts appear to have been suspended in prior months, with Twitter now disclosing its fuller investigation results and rationale for taking action against the accounts.

Here's the official Twitter statement according to its full context:

"Today we’re disclosing two separate networks that have Russian ties. Our first investigation found and removed a network of 69 fake accounts that can be reliably tied to Russian state actors. A number of these accounts amplified narratives that were aligned with the Russian government, while another subset of the network focused on undermining faith in the NATO alliance and its stability. As part of our second investigation in this region, we removed 31 accounts from two networks that show signs of being affiliated with the Internet Research Agency (IRA) and Russian government-linked actors. These accounts amplified narratives that had been previously associated with the IRA and other Russian influence efforts targeting the United States and European Union."

In follow-up reporting by Russia's RT detailing some of the prominent accounts impacted by the ban, it's since been revealed that "One of the accounts targeted belonged to the Valdai Discussion Club. A leading Russian think tank, it hosts an annual event in Sochi, which has attracted dignitaries such as ex-Afghan leader Hamid Karzai, one time Finnish President Tarja Halonen, erstwhile South African President Thabo Mbeki, former Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi and China's richest man, Jack Ma."

Valdai however has multiple accounts it operates, and this isn't the first time it's been targeted by a Twitter purge of state-affiliated 'nefarious' actors. 

"In addition, according to Twitter, 31 accounts were deleted for being allegedly associated with the Internet Research Agency, which some in the West claim is a state-connected hacker factory, and other Russian government structures. The company added that some of these were engaged in criticism of the EU," RT wrote further.

Twitter's latest "purge" has caught the attention of the Russian government, with Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on Tuesday saying the Kremlin will launch its own investigation. Russia has recently passed legislation opening up US social media companies to fines, sanctions, or even the possibility of being blocked inside Russia should they be found to have engaged in unfair targeting of Russian users or entities (though it remains largely symbolic given it's unlikely the Kremlin would outright ban these apps which remain hugely popular among the Russian population).

She referenced the latest events surrounding Navalny to highlight Twitter's hypocrisy and overly broad punitive measure: "Millions of users can fall under [this term]. Even Navalny and his associates – they certainly influence the US and the EU, given the speed with which anti-Russian sanctions have been rubber stamped," she said. "We will assess the grounds for blocking and give an expert response," Zakharova added.

Tyler Durden Thu, 02/25/2021 - 04:15
Published:2/25/2021 3:25:29 AM
[SLV] Silver - The Rally Is Yet To Come Published:2/25/2021 2:55:10 AM
[topics:in-the-news/uk-coronavirus-lockdown] Scotland lockdown news: latest Covid rules and roadmap plan Published:2/25/2021 2:55:10 AM
[Markets] Swiss To Vote In Referendum On Government's Emergency COVID-19 Measures Swiss To Vote In Referendum On Government's Emergency COVID-19 Measures

Via 21stCenturyWire.com,

After mounting a national campaign, and the work of determined local organisations, Swiss campaigners have managed to trigger a referendum for ending the government’s destructive COVID regulations. If successful, this will also be a blow for the extremists at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, who have been pushing the idea of a global economic shutdown since the beginning of the alleged ‘global pandemic.’

Among other things, the peoples’ revolt is pushing back against the government’s coercive attempt to enforce a “compulsory system with poorly tested vaccines.”

In the meantime, the government has announced that it will start to ease some national mitigation measures from March 1st.

Euro News reports…

Swiss campaigners have triggered a referendum on ending the government’s COVID-19 restrictions.

The association Freunden der Verfassung (Friends of the Constitution) has filed a petition to the Federal Chancellery with 90,000 signatures.

Swiss law means any petition that is backed by more than 50,000 people will go to a national referendum.

The association has argued the government’s legislation, passed by parliament in September 2020, is “dangerous, unethical, and unnecessary”.

Last month, Swiss authorities announced plans to shut restaurants, bars, sports facilities, and cultural institutions until the end of February.

But Friends of the Constitution say the move is “disproportionate” and “demonstrably ineffective”. The association’s spokesperson, Christoph Pfluger, is a known critic of the country’s COVID-19 measures.

Opponents also say the bill focuses too much on financial measures that the government can already regulate by federal decrees, without the need for emergency powers.

Others believe the law gives the government too much power to enforce a “compulsory system with poorly tested vaccines”, something that the Federal Council has repeatedly denied.

“People and companies who have been pushed to the brink by the irresponsible dictates of the Federal Council must be helped,” the group said in a statement.

Any referendum vote on the government’s measures will take place after June 2021, when the law will have been in force for nine months.

Tyler Durden Thu, 02/25/2021 - 03:30
Published:2/25/2021 2:55:10 AM
[Podcasts] After Growing Up With Divorce and Same-Sex Parents, Author Promotes Traditional Families

The narrative that a child only needs love and safety to thrive is being challenged by Katy Faust, founder of Them Before Us, a nonprofit... Read More

The post After Growing Up With Divorce and Same-Sex Parents, Author Promotes Traditional Families appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:2/25/2021 2:25:00 AM
[Asia] Infra.Market becomes India’s newest unicorn with $100 million fundraise The newest unicorn in India is a startup that is helping construction and real estate companies in the world’s second most populated nation procure materials and handle logistics for their projects. Four year-old Infra.Market said on Thursday it has raised $100 million in a Series C round led by Tiger Global. Existing investors including Foundamental […] Published:2/25/2021 2:25:00 AM
[topics:in-the-news/schools-reopening] Schools to reopen on March 8 - here's all you need to know  Published:2/25/2021 1:55:26 AM
[Entertainment] Dancehall Singer Shenseea Explains Why She Stopped Trying to "Be the Next Rihanna" ShenseeaShenseea isn't an artist who's easy to pin down, and that's just the way she likes it. The 24-year-old Jamaican-born Dancehall singer has already recorded tracks with...
Published:2/25/2021 1:55:26 AM
[Markets] ???????IATA Revises Forecast, Warns Summer Air Travel Will "Remain Weak" ???????IATA Revises Forecast, Warns Summer Air Travel Will "Remain Weak"

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) just wrapped up a media briefing around 0830 ET. The big takeaway from the world's airlines' trade association is that air travel trends in the first half of 2021 will be weaker than initially forecasted from December. 

IATA said booking remains stubbornly "weak" for the summer period. The association is very concerned that only 7% of summer travel bookings have been set, indicating that global travel and tourism will continue to remain weak in the coming months. Even with a vaccine rollout, the airline industry has yet to experience a "V-shaped" recovery. 

The association shows a chart of global COVID-19 cases slumping.

But the group pointed out travel restrictions in many regions of the world remain harsh.

"IATA raises concerns about uncertainty when governments vaccinate vulnerable populations, travel industry body sees more cautious approach to re-opening up," said SCMP's Danny Lee

Lee said, "IATA revises its forecasts and see the difference in charting two different scenarios Vs. pre-crisis levels." 

IATA said additional rounds of stimulus will be needed for airlines as the recovery wanes. With continued cash burns, mounting debt, many airlines will go into 2022 with "too much debt," IATA chief economist said. 

Under current conditions, some airlines might not survive and may restructure or be forced to merge with others. 

IATA warns without the lifting of global flight restrictions, additional risks persist for airlines. 

The association's warning comes as the number of single-aisle aircraft in service has plunged since the beginning of the year. Cirium's data showed single-aisle aircraft in service fell below the 8.8k mark on Feb. 5, a drop of 15% compared with Jan. 3 figures. 

Source: Bloomberg 

The outlook for a rebound in travel and tourism this year has severely dimmed in the last couple of months. After the air travel industry experienced the worst year on record, last year (2020), with one billion fewer international arrivals, recovery might not be in the cards for a few years. 

United Nations World Tourism Organization recently said 2021 prospects for a travel and tourism rebound have worsened. 

"In October, 79% of experts polled by the agency believed a 2021 rebound was possible. Only 50% said they believed that in January, and some 41% didn't think travel would reach pre-pandemic levels until 2024 or beyond," WSJ said.

For example, US hotel demand recovery is not expected to return to 2019 levels until 2023. Room prices might not fully recover until 2025. 

While a "V-shaped" recovery in air travel seems unlikely in the first half, Robinhood traders continue piling into airline stocks like there's no tomorrow. 

JETS ETF is approaching a significant resistance level at the 27.70 mark, also seen by some technical traders as the 76.4 Fibonacci retracement level. 

Tyler Durden Thu, 02/25/2021 - 02:45
Published:2/25/2021 1:55:26 AM
[Healthcare] Viral Myths: a response to my critics (Part 2)

I am pleased that my recent IEA report Viral Myths: Why we risk learning the wrong lessons from the pandemic continues to attract interest on social media. I am, however, not always pleased with the quality of the responses. In a previous post, I have already addressed the strange idea that comparing the performance of … Continue reading "Viral Myths: a response to my critics (Part 2)"

The post Viral Myths: a response to my critics (Part 2) appeared first on Institute of Economic Affairs.

Published:2/25/2021 1:24:56 AM
[structure:news] New Mars pictures: Nasa releases striking images, video and audio from the Red Planet Published:2/25/2021 1:24:56 AM
[Markets] UK Health Authorities Announce Not A Single Case Of Flu Detected This Year UK Health Authorities Announce Not A Single Case Of Flu Detected This Year

Authored by Paul Joseph Watson via Summit News,

Health authorities in England have announced that not a single case of influenza has been detected this year, with one professor suggesting that mask wearing should be kept in place during winter to drive down flu deaths to “zero.”

“The social restrictions brought in to curb transmission of coronavirus, combined with an increased uptake of flu vaccine, have both been credited with driving down infections,” reports the Independent.

Of the 685,243 samples tested at the PHE’s laboratories since the first week of January, not a single flu infection was discovered.

Professor Christina Pagel went on to suggest that some of the measures brought in to fight coronavirus could be kept in place to combat flu infections.

Asserting that “we can reduce flu deaths to pretty much zero,” Pagel said it is “worth encouraging people to wear masks” on public transport and in other busy environments every winter.

As we previously highlighted, other health experts have suggested that flu cases are so dramatically low because influenza cases are being falsely counted as COVID cases.

Last month, top epidemiologist Knut Wittkowski asserted that, “Influenza has been renamed COVID-19 in large part.”

According to the CDC, the cumulative positive influenza test rate from late September into the week of December 19th was just 0.2%, compared to 8.7% from a year before.

According to Wittkowski, former Head of Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Research Design at Rockefeller University, this was because many flu infections are being incorrectly labeled as coronavirus cases.

“There may be quite a number of influenza cases included in the ‘presumed COVID-19’ category of people who have COVID-19 symptoms (which Influenza symptoms can be mistaken for), but are not tested for SARS RNA,” Wittkowski told Just the News.

Numbers published in April last year by the UK’s Office of National Statistics also showed that there had been three times more deaths from flu and pneumonia than coronavirus.

“The number of deaths from flu and pneumonia – at more than 32,000 – is three times higher than the total number of coronavirus deaths this year,” reported the BBC.

*  *  *

In the age of mass Silicon Valley censorship It is crucial that we stay in touch. I need you to sign up for my free newsletter here. Support my sponsor – Turbo Force – a supercharged boost of clean energy without the comedown. Also, I urgently need your financial support here.

Tyler Durden Thu, 02/25/2021 - 02:00
Published:2/25/2021 1:24:56 AM
[Fundings & Exits] Rainmaking launches Motion Ventures to boost innovation in the maritime industry A new fund has launched, with backing from the Singaporean government, to support tech innovation for the maritime industry. Called Motion Ventures, it is targeting $30 million SGD (about $22.8 million USD) and has completed its first close, with Wilhelmsen, one of the world’s largest maritime networks, and logistics company HHLA as anchor investors. Motion […] Published:2/25/2021 12:55:38 AM
[] 5 Times Biden's Interior Nominee Refused to Answer Basic Questions on Energy Published:2/25/2021 12:24:50 AM
[Entertainment] What to watch on Thursday: ‘Punky Brewster’ on Peacock Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 | “Close Enough” returns on HBO Max. Published:2/25/2021 12:24:50 AM
[topics:in-the-news/uk-coronavirus-lockdown] Oxford Covid-19 vaccine Q&A: How effective is it, and how is it different to the Pfizer vaccine? Published:2/25/2021 12:24:50 AM
[JNJ] Moderna: Expect Bad News Thursday Published:2/24/2021 11:55:00 PM
[Syndicated Posts] President Joe Biden’s Schedule for Thursday, February 25, 2021

By R. Mitchell -

Summary: President Joe Biden will receive his daily briefing, have lunch, listen to a briefing, celebrate vaccine deliveries, then listen in on the National Governor’s Association Winter meeting. President Biden’s Itinerary for 2/25/21: All Times EST 9:50 AM Receive daily briefing – Oval Office12:30 PM Have lunch with the Vice President – Private Dining Room1:45 …

President Joe Biden’s Schedule for Thursday, February 25, 2021 is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more.

Published:2/24/2021 11:55:00 PM
[topics:in-the-news/uk-coronavirus-lockdown] Rule of six: Social distancing rules, support bubbles and exemptions explained Published:2/24/2021 11:55:00 PM
[Immigration] [Ilya Somin] Biden Revokes Trump's Coronavirus Immigration Bans This action brings to an end a period when the US was more closed off to legal immigration than at any other time in the nation's history. Published:2/24/2021 11:27:29 PM
[2021 News] House Dems Call for Biden to Give Up Sole Launch Authority for Nuclear Weapons

House Dems Call for Biden to Give Up Sole Launch Authority for Nuclear Weapons. The real reason? Biden’s dementia is getting worse by the day. They don’t want President Alzheimer’s doing an accidental launch. A group of about three dozen Democrats in the House have signed a letter calling for President Joe Biden to give […]

The post House Dems Call for Biden to Give Up Sole Launch Authority for Nuclear Weapons appeared first on IHTM.

Published:2/24/2021 11:27:29 PM
[topics:events/prince-harry-meghan-markle] Thursday morning UK news briefing: Today's top headlines from The Telegraph Published:2/24/2021 11:27:29 PM
[f3f40892-7f8e-59f3-b05e-eb6672d70cd9] Judge Andrew P. Napolitano: COVID, Dr. Anthony Fauci and the Constitution Dr. Anthony Fauci's recent suggestion about wearing two mask, possibly until the end of 2022 got me thinking again about first principles. Published:2/24/2021 11:27:29 PM
[World] Afghanistan Buries Another Empire

What would have been unthinkable 20 years ago is today a very real possibility: a Taliban victory.

The post Afghanistan Buries Another Empire appeared first on The American Conservative.

Published:2/24/2021 11:27:29 PM
[Academic left] The Worst College President In America (Steven Hayward) Up to now, the coveted title of “Worst College President in America” belonged without question to George Bridges of Evergreen State College in Washington, as we noted here back in 2018. But a new challenger has arisen, and has wrested the title from Bridges: Kathleen McCartney of Smith College. We wrote here last week (in “The Disgrace of Smith College“) about the case of Jodi Shaw, the Smith College staff Published:2/24/2021 11:27:29 PM
[Markets] TaxWatch: Need to report bitcoin trades on your taxes? Here are 5 things to know first For the first time, the IRS is asking about virtual currency transactions on the first page of its main income tax form.
Published:2/24/2021 11:27:29 PM
[35dfb7e6-5485-5005-9875-12b50d624683] Stevie Wonder tells Oprah he's leaving US for Ghana -- permanently "Heaven Help Us All" singer Stevie Wonder has announced that he plans to relocate to Ghana permanently. Published:2/24/2021 10:55:04 PM
[Entertainment] Carly Waddell Shuts Down "Rude" Body Shamers With Message About Self-Love Carly Waddell, ExtraCarly Waddell wishes she could post a photo to social media without getting feedback about her body. After returning home from celebrating her brother's wedding in Florida, the...
Published:2/24/2021 10:55:04 PM
[Markets] How Societies Are Imprisoned: The Whole World Will One Day Be Like Hollywood? How Societies Are Imprisoned: The Whole World Will One Day Be Like Hollywood?

Authored by Brandon Smith via Alt-Market.us,

I rarely write about Hollywood or the film industry, primarily because there is a vast array of analysts and YouTubers in the alternative media that discuss the bizarre behaviors and trespasses of Tinsel Town on a daily basis. They usually have it covered. That said, every once in a while I find that events in Hollywood reflect a much more pervasive dynamic in our culture and that the bigger picture needs to be addressed.

I also want to be clear that when I talk about “Hollywood” I am not only referring to the place; I’m referring to the entire corporate empire. I’m including Netflix and other streaming companies that may not work completely out of LA. They are all funded and run by the same people anyway.

Hollywood and the corporate cabal behind it have long sought to be the center of America’s cultural universe. In other words, they are seeking to pervert the natural dynamic so that life imitates art instead of art imitating life. And, if they control all the art then they control people’s perceptions of life.

The concept of “Manufacturing Consent”, posited by people like Noam Chomsky, plays a role here, but I think it goes far beyond that. Rather, Hollywood seeks to not only manufacture consent from the public, but also to manufacture the public’s relationship to reality. They don’t just want us to keep our heads down and begrudgingly accept their ideological zealotry; they want us to believe that their way is and always was the ONLY way.

What I see in the film industry and in the corporate world in general today is complete and unfettered propaganda. We have moved beyond the phase of subversively hidden manipulations to a new stage in which the propaganda has become blatant and aggressive. Almost every new movie and television series, not to mention most commercials, are rife with leftist distortions. You will be hard pressed to find any content these days that does not push ideas like:

1) Endless feminist platitudes.

2) Mentions of patriarchy and “white privilege”.

3) Ridiculous exaggerations of racism in America (as if nothing has changed since the days of Jim Crow).

4) Oppression of women, rape culture, etc. as if all the tenets of first and second wave feminism have not already been accomplished. Depicting oppression of women where none actually exists.

5) Women consistently portrayed as overtly masculine with traits and abilities that defy their biology.

6) Men consistently portrayed as weak and feminine.

7) Masculinity, strength, competition and merit portrayed as destructive, “toxic” and outdated.

8) Common positive feminine traits (nurturing, child rearing, home making) portrayed as obsolete or oppressive.

9) Forced and unrealistic diversity, which misrepresents the actual statistical racial make-up of the US population and other Western nations.

10) Saturation of gay and Trans representation – A tiny percentage of the population is made to appear as if it is a vast movement that inhabits every person’s daily experience.

11) Older generations cast as confused and ignorant, or removed from film and television completely.

12) Younger people portrayed as wise leaders “cleaning up the messes” of older generations, somehow blessed with extensive knowledge and experience by mere virtue of their youth.

13) History erased and rewritten to reflect modern leftist ideals.

I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea. “Representation” in itself is not a bad thing, but when it becomes a weapon used to twist fundamental truths for political gain, then it is a problem. None of the concepts listed above are an accurate reflection of the real human world. Instead, they seek to make the outliers into the mainstream, and they seek to take normal human biological and psychological standards and portray them as aberrant and wrong.

Yes, there are cases where Hollywood is dabbling in fantasy and science fiction and this could be used to rationalize some of their odd depictions. That’s not what I am talking about here. I am talking about force feeding the public an obvious agenda across the full spectrum of storytelling. These are not just movies. These are not just TV shows. This is not just storytelling; this is brainwashing.

Hollywood is not in the business of making art. They are not even in the business of making money anymore. Rather, they are in the business of indoctrination. Yes, it is a “conspiracy”. Not a conspiracy theory, but conspiracy reality.

Their job is to make the public believe that leftist ideals (or in some cases globalist ideals) are the prevailing ideals. If you see the same lies everyday in every manufactured depiction of life, you might start to think that your more rational, traditional and grounded views are in the minority. You might begin to self censor for fear of being ridiculed. You might even join the other side just to avoid being attacked.

In order to maintain control over the propaganda machine a very important factor is ensuring that the faces on the screen are never allowed to deviate from the party line. Your puppet and pet celebrities need to be kept under lock and key.

Like most people, I recently watched Ben Shapiro’s interview with Gina Carano and it basically confirmed everything I already knew about Hollywood (my brief stint as a screenwriter 20 years ago exposed me to the underlying sell-out culture and I was repulsed by it).

What was striking though was the extent to which the Hollywood corporate elites seek to rape the minds of their employees and force them to submit to the cult. It wasn’t that Carano was fired for posting a historical fact on Twitter, it was everything that happened before that.

We see corporate diversity training such as Coca Cola’s “Be less white” seminars and we are disturbed by the cultism and manipulation. But listen to Carano’s story and you’ll realize that Hollywood is far ahead in their exploitation of social justice controls.

Carano mentions that as soon as she began speaking her mind from a conservative position, Disney and Lucasfilm began to bombard her with representatives, publishing agents, etc. whose mission was to convince her to stay silent or apologize publicly for her personal statements. They even tried to force her to endure a mass admonition in front of 40 trans people because she refused to post her “pronouns” to her Twitter page.

This is often referred to as a “struggle session” in communist circles, a crucible used to berate and destroy people who dare step out of line . It is also used to strike fear in the hearts of anyone else who might be thinking about voicing independent views.

Struggle sessions were the primary tactic employed during the Cultural Revolution in China as a means to pacify the citizenry and erase all ideas that opposed Marxism. The film ‘Red Violin’, produced in 1998, is one of the only films I have seen that accurately depicts the ravages of the communist social sterilization:

This is what happens when big business or government align with the leftist cult. SJWs would have no power at all if it were not for the backing of corporations and government institutions.

You want to know why so many celebrities these days seem desperate to virtue signal online all the time? It might not be because they agree with the leftists. They may just be trying to keep their jobs and avoid being suffocated by a weaponized mob. What the interview with Gina Carono really revealed to me was the extent to which Hollywood corporations are involved in that mob.

Companies like Disney aren’t following the mob’s lead – Instead, they are USING the mob as a tool. They are LEADING the social justice cult, the cult is not leading them, as many wrongly assume.

After finishing the Carano interview I could not stop thinking about a show from the 1960’s called ‘The Prisoner’ starring Patrick McGoohan. It portrays a man who works for the government and abruptly quits, only to be kidnapped by a nefarious unknown organization and transported to a place called “The Village”. The Village is a sprawling complex made to look like a happy seaside vacation town on the surface, but underneath it is a vast surveillance grid.

All the people that live there are trapped, watched constantly and the group that runs The Village uses elaborate mind games to break the prisoners down. The Village operates by turning prisoners into informants and guards; its goal often has nothing to do with making people talk. Instead, the goal is to get prisoners to submit, to get them to love the village and become a part of it. The Village is not a prison, The Village is an experiment, a microcosm of what the elite want for the entire world.

Hollywood IS The Village.

The way Carano was essentially stalked by her own employers and prodded with struggle sessions and mind games, the way that Hollywood operates behind the scenes, is exactly what leftists and corporate elites intend for the rest of us. It is already happening to some extent. How often have we heard conservatives labeled as “insurrectionists, terrorists and racists” in the past year alone? How many conservatives have been censored by Big Tech platforms? How many have lost their jobs because of their opinions, or simply making factual statements?

The social justice cult and the corporations that control them want the world to be Hollywood. They want that environment of oppression and fear to become the standard. They want everyone to be afraid to speak, or to disagree, or to step away from the agenda in any way. Everyone must play their part to perpetuate the fantasy world. Everyone must battle to appear virtuous and pure for the mob. Everyone is an actor, pretending they love their new totalitarian collective.

There is a huge weakness to this strategy, though…

All of it depends on people’s aversion to loss. If you are afraid to lose something, then that something can be used to control you. Carano was not afraid to lose and so she could not be controlled, and I commend her for that. The example she has set for others is far more valuable than any work that she might have done by submitting to the Hollywood Cheka. If only the majority of people would do the same, our civilization could change for the better overnight.

All tyranny is an illusion predicated on fear within the minds of the enslaved. So, do not fear.

*  *  *

If you would like to support the work that Alt-Market does while also receiving content on advanced tactics for defeating the globalist agenda, subscribe to our exclusive newsletter The Wild Bunch Dispatch.  Learn more about it HERE.

Tyler Durden Wed, 02/24/2021 - 23:40
Published:2/24/2021 10:55:04 PM
[Joe Biden's nominees] Democrats play the race care on behalf of Tanden and Becerra, Part Two (Paul Mirengoff) The mainstream media continues to peddle the obvious falsehood that certain of President Biden’s nominees are being opposed and stalled in the Senate because they are “of color.” I discussed Politico’s lame effort in this regard on the Democrats’ behalf last night. Not to be outdone, the Washington Post weighs in with this piece by Annie Linskey here. If you read far enough into Linskey’s report, you will learn that Published:2/24/2021 10:55:04 PM
[Politics] No Timeline on National Guard, Capitol Fencing Removal Several Senators said a Wednesday briefing with U.S. Capitol security officials failed to produce a timeline for removing a surrounding fence or when National Guard troops would be sent home. Published:2/24/2021 10:23:51 PM
[2de6b9e4-f916-5b1f-805a-af96af6990d4] Tucker Carlson: So how many illegal aliens are really in the US? Our leaders want you to believe there are 11 million illegal aliens in this country. They're lying to you. Published:2/24/2021 10:23:51 PM
[Markets] : San Francisco cuts off COVID vaccine doses to One Medical for vaccinating ineligible patients: report Three counties in the San Francisco Bay Area have suspended COVID-19 deliveries to One Medical offices after the private health-care provider allowed ineligible people to cut in line for vaccines, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Wednesday.
Published:2/24/2021 10:23:50 PM
[Markets] US Army Building World's Most Powerful Laser To Vaporize Drones  US Army Building World's Most Powerful Laser To Vaporize Drones 

The US Army appears to be developing a laser weapon that is a "million times stronger" than anything ever used before - instead of concentrating a beam of light to destroy a target, the new weapon will fire short pulses, sort of like laser beam weapons from science-fiction movies, according to New Scientist.

The Tactical Ultrashort Pulsed Laser (UPSL) for Army Platforms will be designed to fire pulse-like bursts for a brief 200 femtoseconds or one quadrillionth of a second. The laser, firing bullet-like pulses of light would be enough to vaporize a drone, cruise missile, mortar, and or any other threat in its vicinity. UPSL can also function as an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weapon. 

"The sheer amount of intensity in a terawatt pulse laser is able to cause a non-linear effect in the air resulting in a self-focusing filament," according to the Small Business Innovation Research (or SBIR) posting titled Tactical Ultrashort Pulsed Laser for Army Platforms. 

Laser weapons are beneficial when combating enemy drones and missiles. The cost per round depends on the amount of energy available, which is far cheaper than launching costly interceptor missiles. 

A UPSL prototype model could be ready by 2022. Under the Trump administration, funding dramatically increased for laser weapon development. Multiple types of continuous-wave laser weapons have been fielded in the past couple of years. 

We've outlined some of those laser systems that have been fielded, including the high-energy laser (HEL) weapon with various energy output levels measured in kilowatts

The Navy is expected to install the High Energy Laser and Integrated Optical-dazzler (HELIOS) with surveillance sensors aboard an unspecified Arleigh Burke-class Flight IIA destroyer in the early 2020s.

The Air Force has mentioned a roadmap to laser weapons for this decade. It plans to mount lasers on stealth jets. 

Instead of continuous-wave lasers already in deployment among various services, the Army is preparing to test laser, firing bullet-like pulses as early as 2022.

Lasers, hypersonics, fifth-generation fighters, and autonomous war machines are some of the new technologies already entering some modern battlefields. 

Bank of America's equity strategist Haim Israel recently told clients that the next frontier between major superpowers could outer space. 

Tyler Durden Wed, 02/24/2021 - 23:20
Published:2/24/2021 10:23:50 PM
[] Trump to Target Biden and Blaze a Future Path for the GOP in CPAC Speech Published:2/24/2021 9:54:56 PM
[92425c35-4094-59d2-b4ce-48c5ed7ac438] Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood announce coronvairus test results Garth Brooks, who performed at Joe Biden's inauguration, and his wife and "Shallow" duet partner Trisha Yearwood have announced their coronavirus test results. Published:2/24/2021 9:54:55 PM
[Markets] Maryland Set To Tax Online Ads From Facebook And Google Maryland Set To Tax Online Ads From Facebook And Google

Look out, Google and Facebook.

Maryland is now set to become the first state in the nation to tax online ads. It's a trend, that if it catches on (and we predict it will), could likely sweep through the nation as money-hungry spend-o-crats look for more ways to finance their respective Green New Deals, government subsidized sex changes and racial equality seminars. 

The state's House of Delegates and Senate both voted to override a veto of a bill from last year that would place a tax on online ads, according to NPR. The tax would apply to companies like Facebook and Google and will range from 2.5% to 10% per ad, depending on the value of the company selling the ad. 

It's expected to net the state $250 million per year, which the state then says it will use to fund an overhaul of public education that is expected to cost $4 billion. 

Those advocating for the tax say that it is simply Maryland's tax code trying to catch up to where the economy has wound up. Gov. Larry Hogan has said it would raise operating costs for businesses, who would then pass the costs on to the state and customers. Hogan has been fighting for the state to uphold his veto of the tax. 

Doug Mayer, spokesman for Marylanders For Tax Fairness, a coalition of businesses created to fight the tax, said on Friday: "In Senate President Bill Ferguson's short tenure as a leader, he has managed to do what no other Senate President has ever done — raise taxes and costs on Marylanders in the middle of a worldwide pandemic. There is no doubt what took place today was a historic event, but not in the way President Ferguson hoped. This tax increase was historically shortsighted, foolish, and harmful to countless small businesses and employees, and Marylanders will remember it that way."

Ferguson pulled the solution for these criticisms directly out of the Democratic playbook last week: more regulation. He introduced "emergency legislation last week to prohibit Big Tech from simply passing along the costs of the new tax to local businesses," NPR wrote. 

The new tax is likely going to result in lawsuits, Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh said last year. And the tax isn't just being considered in Maryland. Washington D.C. has also passed, and then repealed, a similar tax and more states are considering it, the report notes.

Baltimore bookstore owner Benn Ray concluded: "Beyond their infiltration into our daily lives, these big digital firms are further exploiting us by failing to pay taxes on this advertising, grabbing and monetizing our data without just compensation. This legislation is about fairness, making sure those who reap enormous profits in our state help support public services here. It's also about developing a tax code that keeps up with a changing economy. It's about ensuring we recognize the value of our personal data – at least as much as corporations do. And it's about ensuring that Marylanders — and not just large, global corporations – reap the benefits of the landmark economic changes happening around us."

Tyler Durden Wed, 02/24/2021 - 22:40
Published:2/24/2021 9:54:55 PM
[Markets] The Moneyist: We put our spendthrift neighbors in touch with our financial adviser. They called her ‘lousy.’ So how come WE are the ones who retired early? ‘Warren Buffett and Harry Potter couldn’t get those two retired early.’
Published:2/24/2021 9:54:55 PM
[31bde1ad-0f6c-5e29-8362-6d74e405eb13] Khloé Kardashian says latest campaign shoot is not a ‘photoshop fail’: ‘I don't have freakishly long fingers’ The "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" star and co-founder of fashion brand, Good American, recently unveiled a new promotional campaign for the company’s first footwear collection Published:2/24/2021 9:54:55 PM
[topics:people/joe-biden] Jill Biden opens up about divorce in first solo interview as first lady Published:2/24/2021 9:54:55 PM
[] What? Twitter Flags CPAC Posts as 'Unsafe' Hours Before the Annual Meeting Published:2/24/2021 9:32:15 PM
[Entertainment] Paramount+ Is Bringing Back Rugrats and More Nickelodeon Classics Rugrats Revival Tommy, Chuckie and the rest of the Rugrats gang are escaping from the playpen and crawling back to screens. Nickelodeon's popular children's animated series Rugrats, which signed...
Published:2/24/2021 9:32:14 PM
[0d96cf5c-7e00-5919-b673-cd612bf40f6c] Ricki Lake shares details about her proposal: 'I was naked in the jacuzzi' "Hairspray" star Ricki Lake revealed that she "was naked in the jacuzzi" when she became engaged to her fiancé Ross Burningham. Published:2/24/2021 9:32:14 PM
[Markets] MarketWatch First Take: A crypto-influenced boom amid a chip shortage? Sounds familiar, but Nvidia says it ‘feels very different’ Amid another semiconductor shortage, combined with a mini boom for chips used in crypto mining, Nvidia Corp. believes it will be able to handle the competing demands of its data center customers, gamers, and crypto-miners.
Published:2/24/2021 9:32:14 PM
[Politics] [VIDEO] Marjorie Taylor Greene responds LIKE A BOSS to Dem congresswoman who posted transgender flag outside her office Democrat Congresswoman Marie Newman wanted to get back at Marjorie Taylor Greene for trying to block the ‘Equity Act’ so she put the transgender flag outside her office for MTG to see . . . Published:2/24/2021 9:32:14 PM
[Politics] [VIDEO] Marjorie Taylor Greene responds LIKE A BOSS to Dem congresswoman who put transgender flag outside her office Democrat Congresswoman Marie Newman wanted to get back at Marjorie Taylor Greene for trying to block the ‘Equity Act’ so she put a transgender flag outside her office for MTG to see . . . Published:2/24/2021 9:32:14 PM
[Markets] Is COVID-Derangement-Syndrome Real? Is COVID-Derangement-Syndrome Real?

Authored by Donald Boudreaux via The American Institute for Economic Research,

Over the past two weeks I’ve received emails urging me to tamp down my criticism of restrictions imposed in the name of fighting Covid-19. Most of the correspondents are polite, sincere, and even warm. Each, however, is convinced that I underestimate the threat that Covid poses to humanity. Each correspondent hopes that I come to take this threat much more seriously.

What follows here is part of my response to each of these correspondents. This essay isn’t meant to change their minds but, instead, to better explain why I hold the position that I do toward Covid, as well as toward the public’s and governments’ responses to Covid. For the record, I understand that different individuals have different risk preferences. I genuinely respect these differences.

I understand also that different individuals even have different perceptions of reality. As with the understanding of reality achieved by blindfolded persons each touching a different part of the elephant, reality isn’t revealed to everyone in the same way. Yet I’m sufficiently old-fashioned to believe that there is an objective reality, and that it’s the duty of everyone who comments publicly on that reality to do his or her best to understand it as well as possible, despite the inaccessibility of perfect understanding.

I believe also that, while the range of legitimate differences in this understanding is wide, this range isn’t unlimited. Some understandings are so detached from reality as to be illegitimate – as in, not to be taken seriously. It is for each reader to judge for himself or herself if my understanding of reality, as I express it here (and elsewhere), falls within or outside of the legitimate range.

Below is a list of some of the facts, as I understand them, about Covid-19, as well as about the reaction to this disease. Although some of these facts are more firmly established than are others, I believe that each of the facts detailed below is legitimate, and that my interpretations of them are plausible.

Further, I believe that my understanding justifies my relative lack of anxiety about Covid’s likely impact on me personally and about its impact on humanity. And I believe that the facts as I understand them warrant my description of the media’s, the public’s, and governments’ reactions to Covid as being hysterically excessive.

The Overestimated Dangers of Covid and Underestimated Dangers of Lockdowns

  • Covid-19 is disproportionately lethal to the very old and ill, and heavily so. In the United States as of February 17th, 2021, nearly a third (31.8%) of “All Deaths Involving Covid-19” – as defined and reported by the CDC – were of persons 85 years old and older. Nearly 60 percent (59.6%) of these deaths were of persons 75 years of age and older. More than 81 percent (81.3%) were of people 65 years of age and older. Despite media-trumpeted exceptions, serious suffering from Covid-19 is largely an experience for very old people.

  • Although Covid-19 is indeed unusually dangerous to very old people, it’s still not close to being a death warrant. The infection fatality rate for 85-year-olds is estimated to be 15 percent; for 75-year-olds it’s estimated to be 4.6 percent. For 65-year-olds, Covid’s infection fatality rate is estimated to be 1.4 percent. For 55-year-olds it’s estimated to be 0.4 percent.

  • Covid’s overall lethality compared to that of the seasonal flu is no more than 10 times greater. (Some estimates have Covid’s lethality, compared to that of the flu, to be as low as 3.5 times greater.) Of course, because Covid’s lethality undeniably rises significantly with age, for the elderly Covid is far more than 10 times as deadly than is the flu, and for young people Covid is much less than ten times as deadly. (Keep in mind that the numbers in this and the previous two paragraphs come chiefly from before any vaccines were administered.)

  • In the Spring of 2020, hospitals in the U.S. had a financial incentive to inflate their Covid numbers. As reported on April 24, 2020, by USA Today, “The coronavirus relief legislation created a 20% premium, or add-on, for COVID-19 Medicare patients.” Covid inflation occurred outside of the U.S. as well. In Toronto, for example, officials admit that they are inflating the Covid death count: Here’s Toronto Public Health: “Individuals who have died with COVID-19, but not as a result of COVID-19 are included in the case counts for COVID-19 deaths in Toronto.” (I encourage you to read the whole Twitter thread.)

  • Lockdowns themselves have negative health consequences. How could they not, even if the only such effect arises because of people’s increased difficulty of visiting physicians for non-Covid-related illnesses and injuries? But there is evidence that negative health consequences of lockdowns extend beyond those that arise from delayed or foregone medical treatments.

  • There is credible evidence that lockdowns do not significantly reduce people’s exposure to the coronavirus.

  • Lockdowns have negative personal and social consequences. Avoiding contact with family and friends, even during holidays. Inability to fraternize at your favorite gym, coffee shop, bar, or restaurant. Restrictions on travel. Even if you believe that these costs are worth paying, you cannot deny that these costs are serious.

  • Lockdowns have a severe negative impact on economic activity. How could they not, given that people are prevented from going to work and from engaging in much ordinary commercial activity? There’s debate about how much of the decline in economic activity is caused by voluntary action and how much is caused by the forcible lockdowns. Even in light of the likelihood that people’s fear of Covid is further stoked by the very fact that governments’ resort to the dramatic action of locking us down, evidence exists that a great deal of economic damage was caused by the lockdowns themselves.

Misinformation and Misunderstanding are Rampant

  • I never recall the media giving running accounts of deaths from seasonal flu, from auto accidents, from heart disease, or from any other major sources of death. But the media do give such accounts of Covid. The false impression is thus created that the dangers posed by Covid differ categorically from the dangers posed by other of life’s serious risks. I find it incredible to suppose that such out-of-context and biased reporting does not give the general public a terribly distorted and outsized impression of Covid’s dangers – an impression that is then reinforced by people communicating with each other.

  • Panic itself is contagious. As Gustave Le Bon observed in 1895, “Ideas, sentiments, emotions, and beliefs possess in crowds a contagious power as intense as that of microbes.” Social media and other sources of 24/7/365 contact with hordes of strangers is a new phenomenon, one that seems to me to have created an unprecedentedly large crowd through which panic spreads.

Panic, in turn, corrupts human decision-making abilities. This corruption is worsened by the echo-chamber feedback within the crowd. Combine these two realities with a third – namely, the difficulty the typical person experiences in expressing disagreement with a dominant narrative – and the overwhelming acceptance of the official fear-ladened account of Covid is unsurprising. But this overwhelming acceptance does not imply its own validity.

  • I have encountered in major media outlets too many egregiously misleading accounts about Covid – see, for example, here and here – for me not to severely discount what the media (and government officials) ‘report’ about Covid.

  • Decades of following media reports on, and politicians’ statements about, economic reality long ago convinced me that the proportion of misinformation to information is appallingly high. Because I know that most people in the media and in government are pathetically uninformed about economic reality – because I know that these people are largely innumerate and, in many cases, intellectually lazy – because I know that pundits and politicians often ignore facts and explanations that don’t fit their priors – I have every reason to doubt the reports on the numbers, to question the explanations, and to reject the spins that are issued by the media and by politicians.

Justification for my skepticism of the popular narrative about Covid is only enhanced by the resulting panic. Aware that the public is in a state of panic, pundits and politicians who are prone to play fast and loose with the truth in normal times feel even less constrained to speak carefully and accurately during times of panic.

  • The reaction to the Great Barrington Declaration alone proves the gross carelessness of too many mainstream voices. This carelessness puts me on yet higher alert against the popular perception of Covid.

For example, Paul Krugman attacked the Declaration with an ad hominem. This Nobel-laureate thinker asserted that the Declaration should be dismissed because of the organization that brought together the three acclaimed scientists who wrote it. That organization, of course, is AIER which – Krugman bizarrely thinks this fact is relevant – is said by Krugman to be “linked to the Charles Koch Institute.” (Not that it matters, but this ‘fact’ is not close – not remotely close – to what Krugman’s wording implies.)

Nor, by the way, does the Great Barrington Declaration advocate a strategy of “let it rip.” But you’d never know this fact by reading many ‘descriptions’ of it. (Googling “Great Barrington Declaration” and “let it rip” – with each of the two terms in quotation marks – pulled up on February 21, 2021, 34,200 results.)

Covid Derangement Syndrome

I could list many other reasons for why I’m convinced that humanity’s fear of Covid-19 springs from profound misinformation about this disease. I could also expand my list of reasons why I believe the public’s precautions are grossly disproportionate to this disease’s actual dangers, and for why I regard the lockdowns, mask mandates, quarantine ‘hotels,’ and other restrictions to be tyranny that is wholly unjustified by the facts. But already I’ve overtaxed readers’ patience.

One doesn’t have to have Covid in order to have a life that’s meaningful and to suffer a death that’s mournful. Yet most of the public, media, and governments have reacted to Covid as if the only deaths that matter are Covid deaths – as if the only lives that matter are the lives of people with Covid – as if the only risk that matters and, hence, the only risk worth reducing is the risk of suffering from Covid. 

This lack of proportion – this sudden ignorance that our lives are inescapably filled with many different risks that must be traded off against each other – this treatment of Covid deaths as being categorically worse than are non-Covid deaths – all combined with a blind faith that politicians and bureaucrats will use vast powers wisely, prudently, and effectively – is what I call “Covid Derangement Syndrome.” 

I believe this syndrome to be real and deserving of a name that grabs attention. Such attention-grabbing is warranted, because I further believe that this syndrome poses a dangerous risk to humanity that dwarfs the risk posed by SARS-CoV-2.

Tyler Durden Wed, 02/24/2021 - 22:20
Published:2/24/2021 9:32:14 PM
[] Wednesday Overnight Open Thread (2/24/21) *** The Quotes of The Day Quote I As Mark Twain advised, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does often rhyme.” Twain was implying that we won’t find exact mirror images—because they don’t exist. So we need to think... Published:2/24/2021 9:32:14 PM
[Politics] In Letter, Newsmax CEO Ruddy Calls Out House Dems' 'Misinformation' Before a House hearing Wednesday on "Fanning the Flames: Disinformation and Extremism in the Media," Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy wrote a letter responding to "disinformation" and "deliberately misleading" allegations by committee members. Published:2/24/2021 8:54:48 PM
[Entertainment] Read Garth Brooks' Message to "Queen" Trisha Yearwood as She Tests Positive for COVID-19 Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, 2018 CMA AwardsIn sickness and in health, Garth Brooks is putting Trisha Yearwood first. On Wednesday, Feb. 24, the country music superstar announced his wife of 15 years tested positive for...
Published:2/24/2021 8:54:48 PM
[Society] How ‘Equality Act’ Would Impose Transgender Ideology on Everyone

If legislation now before Congress—H.R. 5, dubbed the Equality Act—becomes law, it would add sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes into the 1964... Read More

The post How ‘Equality Act’ Would Impose Transgender Ideology on Everyone appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:2/24/2021 8:54:48 PM
[73ea1038-ee75-562d-8402-eeb17ef97e7b] Rosanna Arquette says Tiger Woods' crash is 'terrible,' but 'democracy' is near 'critical condition' Tiger Woods' recent car crash spurred a response from "Ratched" actress Rosanna Arquette, which drew mixed reactions from followers. Published:2/24/2021 8:54:48 PM
[Markets] Conversation With BLS About Price Mismeasurement For Housing Conversation With BLS About Price Mismeasurement For Housing

Submitted by Joseph Carson, former chief economist at AllianceBernstein

Recently, I shared my concerns about price mismeasurement for owner-occupied housing with a senior official who works in the Division of Consumer Prices at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The senior official agreed with me, "That, in theory, treatment of owner-occupied housing in a CPI measure sounds easy, but in practice, it is not." Here's a summary of the main points of the conversation.

First, the senior official noted the International Labor Organization (ILO) manual of Consumer Prices states: The treatment of owner-occupied housing in consumer price indices (CPIs) is arguably the most difficult issue faced by CPI compilers.

I used to share that view, but no longer. The most challenging problem in price measurement is the pervasiveness of item replacements. It isn't easy to get a continuous price series when products have a short shelf-life. Technology products create a problem for price measurement as the characteristics of items change frequently. The stock of housing does not change much from year to year, so it's not an issue.

Moreover, the quality of house price statistics has dramatically improved in the past few decades. Repeat sales series adjusted for the time between sales provides government statisticians with price information that was not available in the past. In the early 1980s, BLS cited poor data quality on house prices as one reason to change the measurement of owner housing costs. Nowadays, there is better data on prices for owner housing than there is for rents.

Second, according to ILO, "Depending on the proportion of the reference population that are owner-occupiers, the alternative conceptual treatments can have a significant impact on the CPI, affecting both weights and, at least, short-term measures of price change."

But the hard evidence shows that alternative measures have had a significant short-term and long-term influence on reported inflation.

In 1999, BLS adopted an alternative measure for owner-occupied housing. Due to an inadequate sample of homes for rent, BLS decided to use rent data to gauge the owner-occupied housing implicit rents. Before the change, the rate of inflation for owner-occupied rent ran consistently above rent inflation. But after the change, that pattern flipped. Since 1999, the inflation rate for rent for primary residences has always run above what BLS estimated for owner-occupied housing.

That pattern of rents runs counter to market fundamentals. During periods of economic expansion, the vacancy rate for owner-occupied housing is falling, while the rental market's vacancy rate often moves in the opposite direction. Shrinking supply with rising prices for homes should yield a rent-inflation rate for owner-occupied housing that is much faster than the rent for a primary residence.

BLS data shows that the cumulative increase in rents for a primary residence is 20% greater than that of owners-occupied over the past two decades. It would seem improbable that based on market fundamentals alone, the owner's rent rate would run below that of primary rents.

The weight of owner-occupied housing accounts is substantial, accounting for approximately 30% of the core CPI. And given its vast scale, the continuous understatement of rent-inflation for owner-occupied housing has created the false impression that cyclical inflation is "flat". But in reality, it's not.

Third, the senior official stated that it is not "impossible" to measure owner-occupied implicit rents from rental markets. I said it is.

The two markets are separate. Research has shown that location is an essential factor for housing price, and it makes sense it would also influence rents. Owner housing is of a much higher quality than renter housing. Over 80% of owner homes are detached single-family versus less than 30% for rentals, and owner-occupied homes are much larger in scale. Five states, including two of the largest rental markets (New York and California), have rent control or rent stabilization policies. Trying to match the inflation rate from a partial-regulated rent market with one that is not regulated creates the potential for large-scale price mismeasurement.

Janet Norwood, the legendary BLS Commissioner, stated, "The goal of a government statistical agency must be to produce data that are objective, relevant, accurate, and timely." BLS measure of owners' housing costs fails all four.

Tyler Durden Wed, 02/24/2021 - 21:40
Published:2/24/2021 8:54:48 PM
[] Ted Cruz takes a beating: Dallas party store's hot new item is Cancun Ted pinata Published:2/24/2021 8:23:52 PM
[] Nancy Pelosi says not to expect any form of a State of the Union address from President Biden until the COVID bill is done Published:2/24/2021 8:23:52 PM
[Politics] Tony Perkins to Newsmax TV: Dems Want to Force Americans to Fund Abortion Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C., says the Democratic Party is no longer liberal, but leftist, and the only way to change things is to vote them out of office in 2022. Published:2/24/2021 8:23:52 PM
[Entertainment] This Is Us Returns to the Future: Everything We've Learned So Far This Is UsFinally, This Is Us went back to the future. For the last two seasons, the NBC hit has been showing us bits and pieces of one important date about 11 years in the future, when the entire...
Published:2/24/2021 8:23:52 PM
[Markets] Asian stocks open higher as Fed's Powell nixes inflation fears Asian stocks perked up on Thursday after U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell reaffirmed interest rates would stay low, calming market fears that higher inflation might prompt the central bank to tighten the monetary spigot. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index futures rose 0.92%. In a second day of testimony in Washington, Powell reiterated the Fed's promise to get the U.S. economy back to full employment and to not worry about inflation unless prices rose in a persistent and troubling way. Published:2/24/2021 8:23:52 PM
[Uncategorized] Still More DOJ Charging Documents Show Facebook — Not Parler — Most Used By Capitol Hill Rioters

"Thus Jan. 6, for all of its horrible events, offered a convenient and successful excuse by which Big Tech could solve its Parler problem—even though the DOJ charging documents have now made clear that Parler’s role was minor."

The post Still More DOJ Charging Documents Show Facebook — Not Parler — Most Used By Capitol Hill Rioters first appeared on Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion.
Published:2/24/2021 8:23:52 PM
[c0681eb8-c53c-5a04-b831-f101aa3f3a48] 'Frasier' revival with Kelsey Grammer coming to Paramount+, more series announced "Criminal Minds" is also getting the reboot treatment and will be accompanied by a companion docuseries. Published:2/24/2021 8:23:52 PM
[Entertainment] ViacomCBS will enter the streaming wars with Paramount Plus on March 4 A late streaming entrant makes its case. Published:2/24/2021 8:23:52 PM
[Markets] Goldman Sachs Says Urban Flight To Last For Years  Goldman Sachs Says Urban Flight To Last For Years 

Goldman Sachs expects the exodus from cities to weigh on shelter inflation. Goldman's Jan Hatzius told clients that it could take years for urban vacancies to normalize. 

Hatzius' note, titled "Inflation Signal, Healthcare Noise (Hill)," had some excellent commentary on the urban exodus, aligning with our thoughts from last July when we said city dwellers fleeing metro areas could last for the next 18-24 months. 

Here's what he told clients:

We expect a waning drag from urban flight on shelter inflation by next year. However, we don't expect upward pressure from this channel (relative to the pre-crisis period), because we believe it is the level of rental vacancies that is the primary determinant of shelter inflation. 

We also expect at least some of the suburban relocation to prove permanent. The advent of work from home and the fact that second homes represent less than a third of 2020 home sales growth suggest it could take several years for urban vacancy rates to normalize—even with the relatively quick return to full employment that we forecast. 

... and there it is: "several years for urban vacancy rates to normalize." The hope and hype of urban revivals in a post-pandemic world could get squashed as suburbanization becomes more permanent - hybrid work for white-collar workers is pushing this trend into hyperdrive. 

Last month, in a note titled "Rental-Exodus Sparks Surge In Single-Family Housing Starts & Permits," we continued to outline the supporting trends of booming starts and permits for single-family homes as folks sought shelter in suburbia. 

While the boom in the suburbs is still intact but could be experiencing some headwinds, especially with rising mortgage rates, housing recoveries in major metro areas will likely wane as housing supply tops demand.

Hatzius shows rents in suburban zip codes are experiencing upwards pressure due to the exodus. Meanwhile, downtown and high-density zip codes are seeing downward pressure. 

Because of the social-economic chaos last summer across major metro areas, violent crime surging, and hybrid work trends due to the pandemic, the shift to suburbia will become more permanent. It will take people some time to realize that the economy will never return to pre-COVID times - a lot of structural changes have already happened in a short period. 

Tyler Durden Wed, 02/24/2021 - 21:20
Published:2/24/2021 8:23:52 PM
[] China rewrites the history of Hong Kong to make students more patriotic Published:2/24/2021 7:54:46 PM
[Politics] Sen. Lindsey Graham to Newsmax TV: Liberals' Censorship Will Fail Fear not consumers of conservative media, attacks on free speech and attempts at censorship "are going nowhere," Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., vowed on Newsmax TV.... Published:2/24/2021 7:54:46 PM
[Entertainment] Lady Gaga Returns to Her Brunette Roots During Glamorous Outing in Rome Lady Gaga, 2021 Presidential InaugurationAlly, is that you? Lady Gaga looks more like her movie star alter ego these days, because she's a brunette once again! The "Shallow" singer was spotted out in Rome...
Published:2/24/2021 7:54:45 PM
[Opinion] Elite Panic Over The California Recall Shows What They Think Of Democracy

By Kevin Kiley -

The latest signature count for the effort to recall California Governor Gavin Newsom is over 1.7 million, and “alarmed party leaders” are panicking, making “all hands on deck” calls to try to head off this extraordinary citizens’ movement. In an infamous press conference, the Chair of the State Democratic Party and other Newsom allies dubbed the Recall …

Elite Panic Over The California Recall Shows What They Think Of Democracy is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more.

Published:2/24/2021 7:54:45 PM
[Politics] Brexit Diary: As BoJo Waffles, Tory 'Dinosaurs' Turn on His Fianc Not since the days of Benjamin Disraeli has a prime minister's wife been cause for such conversation as has Prime Minister Boris Johnson's fianc . "Is Carry Symonds really a Downing Street manipulator or a shrewd supportive partner?" asks the headline in the Times, though the Mirror suggests merely that she has become the prime ministerial hair-dresser who finally tamed the PM's unruly mop. I offer the comparison to Mary Anne Disraeli because Dizzy's wife was quite the story in her day. In... Published:2/24/2021 7:54:45 PM
[2021 News] The oldest Chinese-American association has announced a revolt against critical race theory.

  The oldest Chinese-American association has announced a revolt against critical race theory. If you’re Asian, now you’re ‘white.’ Critical Race Theory (CRT) is an evil abomination that’s being used by leftists to separate the country. The oldest Chinese-American association has announced a revolt against critical race theory. Many fled the Cultural Revolution in their […]

The post The oldest Chinese-American association has announced a revolt against critical race theory. appeared first on IHTM.

Published:2/24/2021 7:54:45 PM
[Markets] "Door Is Always Open": China Invites UN Rights Chief To Investigate Uighur Genocide Charge "Door Is Always Open": China Invites UN Rights Chief To Investigate Uighur Genocide Charge

While vehemently rejecting widespread reports from the US and Western allies as well as various Europe-based human rights groups of a systematic campaign to ethnically cleanse Uighur Muslims, China is now "welcoming" a United Nations team to come and investigate the allegations.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi addressed the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva at the start of this week via video call. Calling the allegations "slanderous attacks" he later at a news conference touted that "China has sent invitations to the high commissioner of the UN for human rights about a trip to China and Xinjiang."

??????Via AFP

“The two sides have maintained close communication on this matter,” Wang added. He had told the UN human rights session on Monday that "basic facts show that there has never been so-called genocide, forced labor or religious oppression in Xinjiang."

It follows the US formally designating it as such during the tail end of the Trump administration, something which Biden has signaled is up for review. There's long been widespread allegations of on million Uighurs forcibly detained in either labor or 'reeducation' camps under Communist authorities. 

Wang said he's issued a personal invitation to UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet, after the UN team has long sought access to Xinjiang, where most of the detention camps are said to be. But much like the recent WHO trip to investigate the origins of coronavirus, such an endeavor is likely only to end in further accusations of a highly 'stage managed' and choreographed max obfuscation PR exercise.

"The door to Xinjiang is always open. People from many countries who have visited Xinjiang have learned the facts and the truth on the ground. China also welcomes the High Commissioner for Human Rights to visit Xinjiang," Wang said in reference to Bachelet.

Wang's defense before the UN body centered on "Xinjiang-related issues" ultimately being about "countering terrorism and separatism", touting further that there's been zero terror attacks in the region for almost the last half-decade. He also claimed the Uighur population has actually grown, not decreased as would be expected if there were an ongoing "genocide".

Meanwhile on Tuesday Canada's parliament unanimously passed a non-binding motion on the heels of the prior controversial US designation, calling China's policy toward Xinjiang and its ethnic minorities "genocide". Canada is also seeking to boycott the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics over the issue, something which UK's Johnson has said his country won't jump on board with (i.e.: London does not plan to boycott the Olympics). "Genocide is clearly defined in international law which cannot be pinned to China," China's embassy in Canada shot back in reaction to what it called a "disgraceful" vote.

The vote was 266-0 in favor of the motion, however PM Trudeau and his cabinet abstained - yet it's likely the further damage to trade relations is already "done" in Beijing's eyes on the mere symbolism of the vote.

Tyler Durden Wed, 02/24/2021 - 20:40
Published:2/24/2021 7:54:45 PM
[] "That was a complete nonsense answer": Sasse grills Becerra on lawsuit to force nuns to cover contraception Published:2/24/2021 7:26:59 PM
[] Teacher cannot fathom putting students through any more harm, pain, or trauma by returning them to unsafe classrooms Published:2/24/2021 7:26:59 PM
[Politics] Rep. Reschenthaler to Newsmax TV: China Capitalized on Pandemic, Invaded Hong Kong Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, R-Penn., says China capitalized on the opportunity to impose a strict national security law on Hong Kong last summer as the world turned its attention to dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.... Published:2/24/2021 7:26:59 PM
[Markets] What's Worth Streaming: Here’s everything coming to Netflix in March 2021 — and what’s leaving For a third month in a row, Netflix is light on original series (blame pandemic production delays?), but a full slate of fresh docuseries, movies and reality shows should fill some of those gaps in March.
Published:2/24/2021 7:26:59 PM
[Democrats] A Fiery Denunciation of the Democrats (John Hinderaker) I feel like I often denounce the Democrats in pretty fiery terms, but David Horowitz’s standard is hard to match. If you think the January 6 mini-riot, which the Democrats are now using to justify their many abuses of power, is, if not fake news, certainly grossly exaggerated news, you are right. And David spells it out in his patented fashion. This essay is on Front Page, and I am Published:2/24/2021 7:26:59 PM
[Entertainment] We All Just Wanna Know If Joshua Jackson Will Be on The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers D3: The Mighty Ducks, Joshua JacksonObviously, we are thrilled about Disney+'s new Mighty Ducks series starring Lauren Graham. We love the Mighty Ducks, we love Lauren Graham, and so we love anything combining those...
Published:2/24/2021 7:26:59 PM
[Syndicated Posts] President Biden’s Executive Order Affecting America’s Supply Chains [full text]

By R. Mitchell -

President Joe Biden signed an executive order Wednesday in hopes of diversifying America’s critical supply chains. Full Text of President Biden’s Order on Supply Chains By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:      Section 1.  Policy.  The United States needs …

President Biden’s Executive Order Affecting America’s Supply Chains [full text] is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more.

Published:2/24/2021 7:26:59 PM
[Markets] Ohio Public School Orders Teachers And Students To Lobby For LGBT Legislation Ohio Public School Orders Teachers And Students To Lobby For LGBT Legislation

By Joseph Backholm of the Family Research Council,

An assistant principal at a Hilliard, Ohio high school sent an email to faculty telling teachers to endorse a controversial piece of legislation and encouraged students to do the same. The Hilliard City Council is currently considering legislation that would include sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) as protected classes in the city.

Similar legislation has been debated around the country for more than a decade, and the flagship piece of SOGI legislation -- the Equality Act -- was reintroduced in Congress this week.

While the ideas represented in the Hillard City Council legislation are not new, they are highly controversial. Aaron Baer, President of Citizens for Christian Values in Ohio, was on Washington Watch this week to explain the problem. "Not only are they turning students into lobbyists, using taxpayer dollars to force teachers to do something that violates their conscience and students to do the same, but they're not even telling students what they're really advocating for."

Mr. Baer pointed out that the call for activism did not even include a discussion of why the bill was controversial.

"The implications of this bill for women's privacy and the safety of children are massive. And the teachers and the script that they were given, literally a literal script that they were given to read to students, says nothing about the implications of this bill."

To their credit, Hillard City Schools has already released a statement recognizing that the actions of the principal were "not appropriate."

The incident raises questions about where else schools are being turned into progressive political action centers without the awareness of parents. Since the story broke, Mr. Baer acknowledged hearing from other teachers in Ohio Schools who had seen similar communications from their school but were reluctant to object out of concern for their careers.

It also provides a great opportunity for parents to reflect on whether the people they are entrusting with the education of their children are worthy of the trust they've been given.

It's worth noting that the signature block of the principal who sent the email includes the principal's "preferred pronouns," which are functionally a public statement of agreement with a set of ideas that are anti-truth, anti-science, and anti-God.

When Christian parents see this from "educators" in their schools, it should serve as their cue to remove their children as quickly as possible.

Think of it as a form of social distancing. When a child is developing their immune system, you don't put them in situations where they are likely to be exposed to a lot of dangerous viruses. So it is with worldview formation.

Bad ideas function just like a virus, but the consequences are much more serious. The education of your children should expose them to bad ideas, but like a vaccine, they should be exposed to them in ways and in doses that allow them to build up an immunity. The goal of a vaccine is not simply to expose someone to a virus -- the goal is to expose them in ways that allow them to defeat the virus anytime they are exposed to it.

Understanding and demonstrating the emptiness of bad ideas should be a primary goal of your child's education, but this cannot be accomplished by people who have embraced bad ideas.

Once your kids are properly formed, there's less risk in them being surrounded by people who believe things that aren't true because they recognize bad ideas when they see them and understand both why people believe those things and why they aren't true.

In that case, no matter how emotional the appeal or how well-intentioned the messenger, your child will be less likely to be affected because they understand the larger context of the debate and are anchored to reality. That should be the goal of our child's education, not "getting into a good college."

But until they have developed that capability, they're vulnerable. You cannot "fix" in a couple hours a week what your child absorbs for seven hours a day for 12 years, plus college.

The good news is, it's becoming easier to see where these ideological viruses are in their most advanced stages. Listing preferred pronouns is just one of the symptoms.

Continue to be kind and help if you can. Of course, befriend people who don't think like you, both because it's a good example for your kids and because the people most committed to bad ideas are often unhappy and want to figure out why they're so miserable despite doing everything they've been told to do that will make them happy. No one is beyond the reach of the truth, and you're there to be a depository of truth.

But don't let them teach your kids. Anything.

Citizens for Christian Values is encouraging families in Hilliard, Ohio to contact their school board to demand an immediate apology for this violation of the public trust, and rightly so.

Tyler Durden Wed, 02/24/2021 - 20:20
Published:2/24/2021 7:26:59 PM
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[Markets] If America Splits Up, What Happens To The Nukes? If America Splits Up, What Happens To The Nukes?

Authored by Ryan McMaken via The Mises Institute,

Opposition to American secession movements often hinges on the idea that foreign policy concerns trump any notions that the United States ought to be broken up into smaller pieces.

It almost goes without saying that those who subscribe to neoconservative ideology or other highly interventionist foreign policy views treat the idea of political division with alarm or contempt. Or both.

They have a point. It's likely that were the US to be broken up into smaller pieces, it would be weakened in its ability to act as a global hegemon, invading foreign nations at will, imposing “regime change,” and threatening war with any regime that opposes the whims of the American regime.

For some of us, however, this would be a feature of secession rather than a bug.

Moreover, the ability of the American regime to carry out offensive military operations such as regime change is separate and distinct from the regime’s ability to maintain an effective and credible defensive military force.

Last month, we looked at how even a dismembered United States would be more than capable of fielding a large and effective defensive military force. A politically divided America nonetheless remains a very wealthy America, and wealth remains a key component in effective military defense. In other words, bigness is not as important as the extent to which a regime can call upon high levels of wealth and capital accumulation.

That analysis, however, concentrated on conventional forces, and this leaves us with the question of how the successor states to a post-secession United States would fare in terms of nuclear deterrence.

In this case, there is even less need for bigness than in the case of conventional military forces. As the state of Israel has demonstrated, a small state can obtain the benefits of nuclear deterrence without a large population or a large economy.

In other words, an effective military defense through nuclear deterrence is even more economical than conventional military forces.

After Secession, Who Gets the Nukes?

But how would secession actually play out when nuclear weapons are involved?

One example we might consider is Ukraine’s secession from the Soviet Union the early 1990s.

In 1991, as the Soviet Union was collapsing, Ukrainians voted overwhelmingly to secede and set up an independent republic. At the time, the new state of Ukraine contained around one-third of the Soviet nuclear arsenal. This means there were literally thousands of nuclear warheads within Ukraine’s borders, making Ukraine’s arsenal the third largest in the world. In 1994, Ukraine began a program of denuclearization and today is no longer a nuclear power.

The relations between Ukraine and the new Russian Federation were acrimonious in the early nineties—as now—so this means that the lessons of the Ukraine situation are limited if applied to American secessionist movements. American pundits may like to play up the red-blue division in America as an intractable conflict of civilizations, but these differences are small potatoes compared to the sort of ethnic and nationalist conflicts that have long existed in Eurasia. 

Nevertheless, we can glean some insights from that separation.

For example, the Ukrainian secession demonstrates that it is possible for nuclear weapons to pass into the control of a seceding state without a general conflict breaking out. Indeed, Ukraine was not alone in this. Kazakhstan and Belarus “inherited” nuclear arms from the Soviet Union as well. If Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Belarus can all peacefully negotiate a resolution on how to deal with a suddenly decentralized nuclear arsenal, the Americans can pull it off, too.

Nonetheless, the Ukraine situation highlights some of the technical and logistical problems involved in working out who exactly controls nuclear weapons in a postsecession situation.

For example, it was never a simple matter for the Ukrainian regime to assert technical control over land-based nuclear missiles. It is unlikely that Ukraine ever obtained all the tools necessary to actually launch the nuclear missiles within its territory.

It is likely, however, that Ukraine could have eventually gained this power, as it was already developing its own control system for the arsenal in 1993. Not surprisingly, the Soviet Russian regime was unenthusiastic about helping the Ukrainians in this respect.

When it came to using nuclear-capable bombers, on the other hand, it appears Ukraine’s regime had total control.

It is likely the successor states of the US would face similar issues. The use of land-based missiles would be heavily reliant on authorization from whichever faction most recently controlled access and launching authority, even if those missiles are physically located within the borders of a separatist state. It must be noted, however, that the state within which land-based nuclear missiles exist has the ability to prevent usage in most cases. This is because even if the missiles themselves cannot be directly controlled, the personnel that maintains and controls the sites can far more easily be traded out for personnel loyal to the new regime.

When it comes to submarines and bombers, a secessionist US region might find itself better able to assert control in the short term. Where those bombers and subs end up would have a lot to do with the likely chaotic situation in the wake of the independence movement and shifting borders.

Separatist Regions May Be Unwilling to Give Up Nukes

Ukraine had denuclearized in part due to bribes and pressure from both the United States and Russia. Russia wanted Ukraine’s arsenal for obvious reasons. The United States was obsessed with deproliferation, although it naturally insisted on keeping its own massive stockpile. 

Neither the US nor Russia had the ability to force Ukraine to denuclearize—short of a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, of course. However, Ukraine capitulated to pressure when the Russian Federation, the US, and the UK (and to a lesser extent China and France) pledged in the Budapest Memorandum to protect Ukraine's territorial integrity. 

In 2014, many interpreted this move as a grand folly when Russia annexed the Crimea from Ukraine and none of the other parties to the memorandum intervened. Ukraine had given up its best guarantee against Russian intervention—its nuclear arsenal—in exchange for weak “assurances” from foreign states.

Some foreign policy scholars—most notably John Mearsheimer—had predicted this and advised against denuclearization in Ukraine. Indeed, in 1993, Mearsheimer doubted that Ukraine would cave to denuclearization pressure precisely because reliable assurances from outsiders were unlikely. Even after the Budapest Memorandum became a reality a year later, it was nonetheless a rather weak reed on which to hang denuclearization. As Mearsheimer pointed out, should the Americans fail to provide an effective defense for Ukraine—as ended up being the case with the Crimea crisis—the Americans “would not have to live with the consequences of a Russian attack.” Nonetheless, some Ukrainians insist the Crimea crisis is not evidence of a need for a nuclear deterrent

Many, Americans, however, may be much less sanguine—even to the point of unwarranted paranoia—about the prospects of foreign intervention on American soil. This is why it is best to proceed assuming that at least some successor states to the current US would insist on retaining a nuclear arsenal. After all, while the Ukraine might have been betting on the US as the enforcer of the international order, such guarantees would be even more unlikely in the wake of an American secession crisis. Postsecession American states, in other words, would need to rely on a self-help system of deterrence.

On the other hand, we should not assume that all successor states to the United States would seek permanent nuclear arsenals. Some would likely give up nuclear programs, just as Sweden and South Africa have abandoned nuclear programs that were well advanced toward assembling arms (Sweden) or had already completed the construction of functioning warheads (South Africa). While the Ukrainian example of voluntary denuclearization may appear to be a blunder to many now, the situation in North America is different. North America is not eastern Europe with its long history of interstate conflict. In North America, Canada and the United States have been at peace for more than two centuries, and Canada has never made much effort to move toward assembling a nuclear arsenal. Rather, Canada’s proximity to the United States shields it from nuclear threats from outside North America. Any conventional or nuclear arrack on Canada from, say, China or Russia is likely to be interpreted as an attack on the United States, with disastrous consequences for the initial aggressor.

In other words, Canada benefits from what Baldur Thorhallsson calls “shelter” in the international arena. Canada requires no nuclear arsenal of its own, because it can use its close alliance with the United States as a substitute.

So long as some successor states of the United States maintain a functioning arsenal, other nonnuclear states in North America will be able to function similarly. It stands to reason that just as the United States in its current form has been at peace with all other former British colonies, it is likely that new North American republics will share a similar fate.

Big States Are Not Necessary: A Deterrent Nuclear Force Is Entirely Feasible for Small States

A new American republic need not be especially large to maintain a working arsenal.

While a sizable economy and population are extremely helpful in terms of building a large conventional military, these factors are not nearly as important when it comes to a nuclear force capable of deterring foreign powers.

As Kenneth Waltz has explained, “Nuclear parity is reached when countries have second-strike forces. It does not require quantitative or qualitative equality of forces.” That is, if a regime can plausibly hide or move around enough nuclear warheads to so as to survive a nuclear first strike, it is able to deter nuclear aggression from other states altogether. Moreover, the number of warheads necessary to achieve this number “not in the hundreds, but in the tens.”

This is why Waltz has concluded that “deterrence is easier to contrive than most strategists have believed" and that “some countries may find nuclear weapons a cheaper and safer alternative to running economically ruinous and militarily dangerous conventional arms races. Nuclear weapons may promise increased security and independence at an affordable price.” In other words, deterrence “can be implemented cheaply.”

The Israeli state is an important and illustrative case. This is a country with a GDP smaller than Colorado's and a population smaller than that of the US state of Georgia, yet Israel is thought to maintain a nuclear triad of sea, air, and land-based warheads. In other words, this is a small state which has taken full advantage of the relatively economical nature of a small nuclear arsenal (estimated to include approximately eighty assembled warheads).

Clearly, claims that even medium-sized American states—such as Ohio with 11 million people and a GDP nearly as large as that of Switzerland—are too small to possibly contemplate functioning as independent states are quite detached from reality. Moreover, there is no reason to assume any postsecession American state would seek to act alone in the realm of international relations. Kirkpatrick Sale has pointed out what should be regarded as obvious: "Historically, the response of small states to the threat of … aggression has been temporary confederation and mutual defense, and indeed the simple threat of such unity, in the form of defense treaties and leagues and alliances, has sometimes been a sufficient deterrent" (emphasis added).

On the other hand, a continuation of the current trend toward political centralization in Washington—and the growing political domination of every corner of the nation by central authorities—is likely to only harm future prospects for amicable separation and peaceful cooperation on the international stage. 

Tyler Durden Wed, 02/24/2021 - 19:40
Published:2/24/2021 6:53:51 PM
[In The News] Cuomo Denies Allegation That He Kissed, Harassed Former Staffer

By Mary Margaret Olohan -

Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office denied Wednesday that he kissed and harassed a former staffer. Lindsey Boylan originally accused Cuomo of sexual harassment in a December tweet thread, then shared details of her allegations in a Medium post Wednesday. The former Cuomo staffer said that the governor kissed her without her consent during a …

Cuomo Denies Allegation That He Kissed, Harassed Former Staffer is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more.

Published:2/24/2021 6:53:51 PM
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