World http://feed.informer.com/digests/KUFYSZ7OJF/feeder World Respective post owners and feed distributors Fri, 24 Jul 2020 11:49:15 +1000 Feed Informer http://feed.informer.com/ Nagasaki urges nuke ban on 75th anniversary of US A-bombing https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/aug/8/nagasaki-urges-nuke-ban-on-75th-anniversary-of-us-/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS stories: World urn:uuid:a211ee26-f642-13f0-cc70-5e516bbff8a1 Sun, 09 Aug 2020 12:03:48 +1000 <p>TOKYO (AP) - The Japanese city of Nagasaki on Sunday marked its 75th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing, with the mayor and dwindling survivors urging world leaders including their own to do more for a nuclear weapons ban.</p> <p>At 11:02 a.m., the moment the B-29 bomber Bockscar dropped a ... Social Media Imposing Modern-Day 'Hays Code' On Political Speech https://www.zerohedge.com/political/social-media-imposing-modern-day-hays-code-political-speech zero hedge - on a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero urn:uuid:81d87c77-c356-a32a-48db-ad4a2606ece5 Sun, 09 Aug 2020 12:00:00 +1000 <span property="schema:name" class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Social Media Imposing Modern-Day 'Hays Code' On Political Speech</span> <span rel="schema:author" class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <a href="https://www.zerohedge.com/users/tyler-durden">Tyler Durden</a> </span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2020-08-09T02:00:00+00:00" class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sat, 08/08/2020 - 22:00</span> <div property="schema:text" class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><a href="https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2020/08/07/social_media_imposing_modern-day_hays_code_on_political_speech_143911.html"><em>Authored by Kalev Leetaru via RealClearPolitics.com,</em></a></p> <p><strong>Social media companies continued to assert their power over the political sphere this week,</strong> with Twitter temporarily <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/05/tech/twitter-trump-restrict/index.html">suspending</a> the Trump campaign’s ability to post until it removed a clip of a Fox News interview with the president regarding COVID-19.</p> <p>When the Democratic National Committee reposted the video to debunk it, Twitter similarly <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/06/politics/twitter-democratic-national-committee-trump/index.html">banned</a> the DNC from tweeting until it too deleted the footage.</p> <p><em><strong>With Twitter seemingly unbothered by the implications of suspending a presidential campaign’s account just 12 weeks before the election, what might the future hold as control of our public squares is increasingly centralized?</strong></em></p> <p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/517890_6_.jpg?itok=08wduh-W" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/517890_6_.jpg?itok=08wduh-W"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/517890_6_.jpg?itok=DpnJp9n0 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/517890_6_.jpg?itok=DpnJp9n0 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/517890_6_.jpg?itok=DpnJp9n0 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/517890_6_.jpg?itok=DpnJp9n0 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/517890_6_.jpg?itok=DpnJp9n0 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/517890_6_.jpg?itok=08wduh-W 1x" type="image/jpeg"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="2143f5d0-af9e-41d9-b9f2-c80365ac069c" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="333" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/517890_6_.jpg" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p> <p><strong>Twitch became the first social media platform to formally <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/29/technology/twitch-trump.html">suspend</a> a presidential candidate’s account this past June when it deleted two of President Trump’s campaign rally videos for violations of its “hateful conduct” rules.</strong></p> <p>In doing so, it emphasized the divide between physical and virtual campaigning. At an in-person rally a candidate can present the policy proposals he or she believes supporters want.</p> <p>Virtual rallies, however, are <strong>policed by an army of moderators enforcing ever-changing acceptable speech policies, forcing politicians to self-censor or risk deletion from the online world that increasingly shapes elections.</strong></p> <p>In the case of this week’s ban, the story is all the more remarkable because the video in question was actually a cable TV interview with the nation’s leader, meaning that<strong> social platforms were in effect banning a major news organization’s reporting</strong>. As news is increasingly consumed through social media, the upshot is that the online platform’s acceptable speech rules are being applied to traditional news outlets.</p> <p><strong>Additionally, rather than link the video to an outside fact check, Facebook simply <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/election-us-2020-53673797">deleted</a> it as “a violation of our policies around harmful COVID misinformation”</strong> while Twitter <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/election-us-2020-53673797">forced</a> the campaign to delete the post as a “violation of the Twitter Rules on COVID-19 misinformation.”</p> <p><strong>Both companies cited as the offending statement Trump’s <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/election-us-2020-53673797">claim</a> that children have “much stronger immune systems” than adults and thus “they don’t have a problem” when infected.</strong> While oversimplifying, Trump’s claims are not that far removed from those of CDC Director Robert Redfield and infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, who have cited the pathogen’s significantly reduced <a href="https://www.aft.org/news/dr-anthony-fauci-calls-safety-paramount-reopening-schools">severity</a> in children in their calls to safely <a href="https://thehill.com/changing-america/well-being/prevention-cures/509616-fauci-advocates-trying-to-reopen-schools-despite">reopen</a> schools this fall.</p> <p>While more measured than the “immunity” claimed by Trump, the gist of his statement -- that COVID-19’s impact on children appears to be less severe than its effect on older Americans -- <strong>aligns with the public statements of his medical advisers.</strong></p> <p><em><strong>Moreover, when Elon Musk tweeted in March that “<a href="https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1240758710646878208">kids are essentially immune</a>,” Twitter <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-51975377">clarified</a> that his tweet did not violate its COVID-19 rules.</strong></em> To this date, Musk’s <a href="https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1240758710646878208">tweet</a> carries no warnings or fact-checking statements from Twitter refuting it or adding additional context to his claims. Why is Musk’s assertion permissible but Trump’s is banned? Given that both are imprecise summaries of current scientific knowledge, where does Twitter draw the line?</p> <p><u><strong>In many ways, social media platforms have become modern-day incarnations of the <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motion_Picture_Production_Code">Hays Code</a> that governed Hollywood from the 1930s to 1960s, establishing “morality” standards and enforcing them with an army of censors.</strong></u> By shaping popular culture through its control of movies, the Hays Code ensured that generations of Americans were presented an idealized world of benevolent public institutions, including police and politicians whose good works were spotlighted and any wrongdoing was punished. Moreover, as an extrajudicial speech regulation, studios could modify the rules and exempt content at will, much as social platforms do today.</p> <p><strong>The Hays Code’s influence came from the fact that the studio system was largely centralized, meaning a small number of companies largely controlled what audiences saw.</strong> While niche independent studios could set their own rules, the dominance of the major studios ensured the code had an outsized effect over entertainment speech, the same as Twitter and Facebook’s rules are far more influential than those of upstarts like Parler.</p> <p>Nearly a century later, lawmakers are once again <strong>awakening to the power of centralized speech controls</strong> by turning to social media companies to<strong> impose constraints traditionally prohibited under the First Amendment.</strong>  Twenty state attorneys general <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/05/technology/facebook-online-hate.html">demanded</a> this week that Facebook considerably narrow its speech rules to outlaw anything the government sees as “hate speech.” While the government itself cannot ban most speech, this novel approach suggests it may be legal for the government to instead ask private companies to ban speech it dislikes, nominally complying with the First Amendment by outsourcing the banning process.</p> <p>Instagram previewed the <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/06/business/instagram-biden-trump-algorithm/">impact</a> even subtle algorithmic tweaks can have when, over the last few months, searches for Trump on its platform yielded no negative hashtags, while searches for Joe Biden displayed numerous anti-Biden results. While the company claims this was merely a bug that affected other political hashtags as well,<strong> it reminds us of the power socials have in shaping the public debate by hiding or emphasizing negative news about political candidates.</strong></p> <p>As platforms embrace the concept of applying their rules to major news outlets, traditional journalism will no longer act as a bulwark against the power of Silicon Valley. Wikipedia <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/24/media/wikipedia-fox-news-reliable-sources/index.html">ruled</a> last month that Fox News was no longer a reputable source for political and scientific articles and can now be <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/24/media/wikipedia-fox-news-reliable-sources/index.html">referenced</a> “only when there are additional sources to corroborate or if it is clearly marked as opinion or biased.” This movement is likely to accelerate if Washington turns its sights on regulating Silicon Valley, with platforms almost certain to ban or suppress news coverage and commentary describing them as <a href="https://www.politico.com/story/2019/03/11/facebook-removes-elizabeth-warren-ads-1216757">monopolies</a>.</p> <p><u><em><strong>With just under three months until the election, Twitter sees nothing wrong with suspending a major presidential campaign’s ability to post. What happens as platforms increasingly embrace their ability to take such steps?</strong></em></u> Election integrity advisers have for years warned of the dangers of “deep fakes” being <a href="https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2018/09/06/deep_fakes_and_the_fight_for_truth_online.html">released</a> in the days just before an election. While that threat hasn’t materialized yet, we have the very real possibility of social platforms banning a politician the day before an election as a major story breaks, preventing him from responding and undermining public trust in the outcome.</p> <p><strong>Despite disappearing half a century ago, the impact of the Hays Code is still felt today in the way it shaped Hollywood’s portrayal of institutions like the <a href="https://datebook.sfchronicle.com/movies-tv/horrible-heroic-or-humorous-screen-depictions-reflect-shifting-attitudes-about-police">police</a>.</strong></p> <p><em>How will we look back half a century from now on the social censorship of today? Will we see it as a momentary experiment that was quickly reversed or will it too shape the course of society for decades?</em></p> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~4/7urwb-sqIa8" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> White House expands mandatory COVID-19 testing among staffers https://nypost.com/2020/08/08/white-house-expands-mandatory-covid-19-testing-for-staffers/ News | New York Post urn:uuid:eee35b07-7203-2cb1-789c-f6cc4c34a160 Sun, 09 Aug 2020 11:57:12 +1000 The White House has reportedly mandated random coronavirus testing for its staffers in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. Staffers at the EEOB, which is situated next to the West Wing and houses the majority of White House offices, will be tested over the following weeks, the Daily Beast reported&nbsp;Saturday. Politico reported earlier in the week... The White House has reportedly mandated random coronavirus testing for its staffers in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. Staffers at the EEOB, which is situated next to the West Wing and houses the majority of White House offices, will be tested over the following weeks, the Daily Beast reported&nbsp;Saturday. Politico reported earlier in the week... Massachusetts COVID-19 compliance hotline flooded with crank calls https://nypost.com/2020/08/08/massachusetts-covid-19-compliance-hotline-flooded-with-crank-calls/ News | New York Post urn:uuid:4333c2af-430d-1abd-9cda-9c6f9e877928 Sun, 09 Aug 2020 11:46:50 +1000 A Massachusetts hotline set up to enforce coronavirus guidelines instead received profanity, fake reports and porn from residents. A Massachusetts hotline set up to enforce coronavirus guidelines instead received profanity, fake reports and porn from residents. Inside One Of Big Brother's 'Location Harvesting' Contractors, Which Tracks 'Hundreds Of Millions' Of Phones https://www.zerohedge.com/technology/inside-one-big-brothers-location-harvesting-contractors-tracking-hundreds-millions zero hedge - on a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero urn:uuid:4198260c-feae-8680-e7fa-b7681c942260 Sun, 09 Aug 2020 11:30:00 +1000 <span property="schema:name" class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Inside One Of Big Brother's 'Location Harvesting' Contractors, Which Tracks 'Hundreds Of Millions' Of Phones</span> <span rel="schema:author" class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <a href="https://www.zerohedge.com/users/tyler-durden">Tyler Durden</a> </span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2020-08-09T01:30:00+00:00" class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sat, 08/08/2020 - 21:30</span> <div property="schema:text" class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>A Virginia-based software company founded by two US military veterans with backgrounds in intelligence has been tracking <strong>hundreds of millions of mobile phones</strong> across the world, according to documents reviewed by the <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-government-contractor-embedded-software-in-apps-to-track-phones-11596808801?mod=hp_lista_pos"><em>Wall Street Journal</em></a>.</p> <p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/tracking%20eye.jpg?itok=zdDbo6C5" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/tracking%20eye.jpg?itok=zdDbo6C5"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/tracking%20eye.jpg?itok=yuZ0amB0 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/tracking%20eye.jpg?itok=yuZ0amB0 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/tracking%20eye.jpg?itok=yuZ0amB0 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/tracking%20eye.jpg?itok=yuZ0amB0 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/tracking%20eye.jpg?itok=yuZ0amB0 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/tracking%20eye.jpg?itok=zdDbo6C5 1x" type="image/jpeg"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="e0be782e-acd2-442f-bc40-871f5d66adc5" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="281" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/tracking%20eye.jpg" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p> <p>The company, Anomaly Six LLC, draws location data from over 500 apps - partly through their proprietary software development kit (SDK) which they've paid to embed directly in <em>some of</em> the apps, while the company gets location data from partner providers. The SDK allows the company to obtain a user's location if they have allowed the apps in question to access the phone's GPS coordinates.</p> <blockquote> <p>App publishers often allow third-party companies, for a fee, to insert SDKs into their apps. <strong>The SDK maker then sells the consumer data harvested from the app, and the app publisher gets a chunk of revenue</strong>. But <a class="icon none" href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/your-location-data-is-being-soldoften-without-your-knowledge-1520168400?mod=article_inline">consumers have no way to know</a> whether SDKs are embedded in apps; most privacy policies don’t disclose that information. Anomaly Six says it embeds its own SDK in some apps, and in other cases gets location data from other partners. -<a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-government-contractor-embedded-software-in-apps-to-track-phones-11596808801?mod=hp_lista_pos"><em>Wall Street Journal</em></a></p> </blockquote> <p>Anomaly Six <strong>holds contracts with several branches of the US Government</strong> - although they told the <em>Journal</em> that they 'restrict the sale of US mobile phone movement data to nongovernmental, private sector clients,' according to the report. <strong>Private sector clients</strong> - typically marketing companies or others in the advertising space - buy and sell geolocation data, <strong>sometimes 'reselling it to government agencies or contractors</strong>' according to the report.</p> <p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/anomaly%20six.PNG?itok=CvRrDgzI" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/anomaly%20six.PNG?itok=CvRrDgzI"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/anomaly%20six.PNG?itok=GonMRA7R 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/anomaly%20six.PNG?itok=GonMRA7R 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/anomaly%20six.PNG?itok=GonMRA7R 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/anomaly%20six.PNG?itok=GonMRA7R 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/anomaly%20six.PNG?itok=GonMRA7R 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/anomaly%20six.PNG?itok=CvRrDgzI 1x" type="image/png"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="3abac5b2-bb23-4098-b2de-c7b71e312041" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="144" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/anomaly%20six.PNG" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p> <p>And as the <em>Journal </em>notes, in the case of Anomaly Six, "<strong>the direct collection of such data by a business closely linked to US national security agencies is unusual.</strong>"</p> <p>Founded by defense-contracting veterans <strong>who spent most of their careers in close contact with government agencies</strong>, tailored their operation to interface with national-security, according to interviews and court records.</p> <p>"Anomaly Six is a veteran-owned small business that processes and visualizes location data sourced from mobile devices for analytics and insights," the company told <em>The Journal</em> in response to questions for the article. "We leverage detailed location data from numerous first-party sources to provide insights into groups, behaviors, and patterns."</p> <p>The company acknowledges the "intense scrutiny" surrounding government access to private location data - but insists they aren't breaking any laws, and that the data it peddles is 'commercially available.'</p> <blockquote> <p>Anomaly Six said it would support regulation to require more disclosure by apps of how data is collected and used. <strong>The exact apps the company partners with couldn’t be determined and the company declined to comment, citing confidentiality agreements</strong>. The partnerships between data brokers and app makers are typically closely held trade secrets within the world of commercial-data sales. -WSJ</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Calls for greater transparency</strong></p> <p>Marketing expert and founder of the Location Based Marketing Association, Asif Khan, says government access to harvested consumer location data has been a longstanding problem for the industry - and has insisted that app-makers provide greater transparency with consumers regarding how their data is used once collected.</p> <p>"You could argue that the government has the right, just like any commercial entity, to buy the data, if the data is available from a commercial supplier," said Khan, adding "But you also need to be able to clearly say ‘this data could be used by government.’"</p> <p>"<strong>I think the average consumer doesn't have a clue</strong>," he added.</p> <p>That said, <strong>the data harvested from apps typically doesn't link to the name of the cellphone owner</strong>. Instead, devices are typically identified using an alphanumeric code. Still, <strong>the movement patterns of a specific phone over time </strong>(such as where it is every night) <strong>can allow analysts to deduce who owns it</strong><em>.</em></p> <blockquote> <p><strong>Consumers world-wide are often in the dark about governments’ acquisition and use of such data.</strong> Despite collecting data from consumer apps, Anomaly Six doesn’t have a privacy policy on its website, nor is it registered as a data broker in California, where a state law passed in 2018 typically requires companies to detail how they are acquiring and using consumer data. <strong>The company says it doesn’t meet the definition of a data broker under California law and isn’t required to register.</strong> The California attorney general’s office didn’t respond to a request for comment.</p> <p>According to interviews with numerous people in the industry, <strong>there is little regulation in the U.S. about the buying and selling of location data</strong>, leading to what one industry veteran called “the Wild West.” Consumers have come to expect free apps, and app makers have turned to selling user data to pay for the costs of developing and running the software, people familiar with the industry. -WSJ</p> </blockquote> <p>Anomaly Six and its founders been sued by a competitor, Babel Street, which provides social-media monitoring services to the intelligence community and law-enforcement agencies. Of note, two founders of Anomaly Six are former Babel Street employees who left in 2018, according to the lawsuit.</p> <p>The lawsuit, filed two years ago, <strong>offers insight into the secretive world of location harvesting products used by the US government. </strong></p> <p>Anomaly Six founder <strong>Brandan Huff</strong><strong> had managed Babel Street's relationship with the Defense Department</strong>. His co-founder, former Army contractor Jeffrey Heinz, also manage Babel Street's relationships with the <strong>DOJ, US Cyber Command, civilian federal agencies and the intelligence community</strong> according to court records.</p> <p><strong>For example</strong>, one of Babel Street's products, "Locate X," provides access to the location records of <strong>millions of cell phones</strong> harvested from consumer apps. Babel claims their two ex-employees sought to build a competing product.</p> <blockquote> <p>Babel Street doesn’t publicly advertise Locate X and binds clients and users to secrecy about even its existence, according to contracts and user agreements reviewed by the Journal. Developed with input from U.S. government officials, according to court records, <strong>Locate X is widely used by military intelligence units who work on gathering “open source” intelligence, or information taken from publicly available sources.</strong> Babel Street also has contracts with the Department of Homeland Security, the Justice Department, and many other civilian agencies, federal contracting data shows. Babel Street didn’t respond to a request for comment. -WSJ</p> </blockquote> <p>What's more, <strong>both Babel Street and Anomaly Six products can be used to combine traditionally gathered intelligence</strong> - such as social media data, satellite imagery, confidential human sources, consumer data from the private sector and intercepted communications, according to interviews with people familiar with the process as well as documents reviewed by the <em>Journal</em>.</p> <p>The data is combined into what's known as a "pattern of life" analysis, which allows for a deeper understanding of a potential intelligence target's habits which can possibly be used to predict future behavior.</p> <p>"It’s really alarming to learn about companies like this that claim to have years’ worth of location data from all over the world. Revelations like this just keep coming," said Georgetown University law professor Laura Moy, who directs the school's Communications & Technology Law Clinic.</p> <p>"Users have no idea that when they install a weather app, a game, or any other innocuous-seeming app that their private location data is going to be harvested and sold. Apparently that’s what’s happening here, and <strong>we have no transparency into the practice</strong>."</p> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~4/IObwFtY93Zc" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> 'TwitTok?': Twitter Reportedly Joins Growing List Of Potential TikTok Suitors https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/twittok-twitter-reportedly-joins-growing-list-potential-tiktok-suitors zero hedge - on a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero urn:uuid:bb300614-e384-ba7d-d2df-7be81798dec5 Sun, 09 Aug 2020 11:29:02 +1000 <span property="schema:name" class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">'TwitTok?': Twitter Reportedly Joins Growing List Of Potential TikTok Suitors</span> <span rel="schema:author" class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <a href="https://www.zerohedge.com/users/tyler-durden">Tyler Durden</a> </span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2020-08-09T01:29:02+00:00" class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sat, 08/08/2020 - 21:29</span> <div property="schema:text" class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>The ideological battle over the fate of TikTok is <a href="https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/navarro-and-mnuchin-get-knock-down-drag-out-oval-office-brawl-over-tiktok-ban">provoking fist fights in the Oval Office</a>, and a scramble among the country's biggest tech firms to see if they might be able to come up with a workable pitch that would allow them to win approval to buy the US operations (along with New Zealand, Australia and Canada, <a href="https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/microsoft-reportedly-expands-scope-tiktok-deal-talks-cover-entire-ex-china-business">and possibly more</a>) of the popular Chinese-owned social media platform - the only real obstacle to a deal at a time when corporate credit is essentially free.</p> <p>It's becoming increasingly obvious that the app, which the Trump Administration is threatening to shut down in the US over fears of a "national security threat" (Chinese law forces all Chinese companies to cooperate with state security forces, provoking fears that ByteDance, TikTok's owner, might be compelled to set up a pipeline of Americans' private information straight to Beijing), has become perhaps the biggest political football at a time of intense strain in the bilateral relationship.</p> <p>But amid the chaos and the geopolitical posturing of the leaders of the world's two largest economies, America's tech giants apparently see an opportunity, however unlikely, to circumvent opposition to further tech-industry mergers and seal what very well might be the last major merger in the industry for quite some time.</p> <p>And with the world headed into a period of protracted slowdown, companies might as well take advantage of the free money, and lock in that future EPS growth while they can.</p> <p>Pursuing TikTok would be an interesting choice for Twitter, mostly because the company once owned Vine, a popular video-sharing app that has been described as a direct forbear to TikTok. Twitter shut down Vine a few years back, a move that was widely denounced as a mistake by the app's many rabid fans.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en" xml:lang="en" xml:lang="en">And then there was TwitTok! Twitter has had preliminary talks with TikTok about a potential combination with its U.S. operations <a href="https://t.co/mcHY1cNFrw">https://t.co/mcHY1cNFrw</a></p> — Joanna Stern (@JoannaStern) <a href="https://twitter.com/JoannaStern/status/1292226934005530624?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 8, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async="" src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Since anti-trust scrutiny is such a hot issue in the world of big tech right now, it seems every company that has reportedly engaged in "talks" about the prospects for a deal has a reason for why it might assuage regulators and lawmakers and convince both Congress and the White House to agree to the deal. Being the smallest of the three major companies rumored to be potential suitors, Twitter obviously has the best case from a purely anti-trust standpoint (although it seems reporters keep coming up with excuses for why Microsoft or Facebook could still make it work).</p> <p>Plus, Twitter's comparatively tiny $29 billion market cap means it would likely need help from outside investors - a great opportunity for Sequoia and the other big VC firms who backed ByteDance who reportedly were in talks about a deal to bring TikTok into the US under their purview. The deal would have valued TikTok at $50 billion, <a href="https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/us-vc-firms-offer-take-tiktok-chinas-hands-50-billion">according to unconfirmed reports. </a></p> <blockquote> <p>Because it is much smaller, Twitter has reasoned that it would be unlikely to face the same level of antitrust scrutiny as Microsoft or other potential bidders, said people familiar with the discussions.</p> <p>Twitter would almost certainly need help from other investors if it does buy TikTok. The company has far less financial firepower than other major tech players, though it does have high-powered investors such as private-equity firm Silver Lake. Twitter started making a consistent profit in the past couple of years, but reported a $1.23 billion loss in the latest quarter. Twitter reported $7.8 billion in cash and short-term investments as of June, compared with more than $136 billion for Microsoft.</p> <p>If a deal does ultimately come together, it would reshape Twitter. Although Twitter allows users to upload videos, the app’s focus is on short messages of text and images.</p> </blockquote> <p>Like we said above, if ByteDance does successfully sell TikTok, it could be the last major tech M&A deal for some time that's (IPOs, fortunately for investment bankers, have nothing to do with anti-trust). We wouldn't be surprised if every big player takes a sniff.</p> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~4/-L15wHSM4Vg" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> CIA Stuns In Saying "No Evidence" TikTok Giving Its Data To China https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/cia-stuns-saying-no-evidence-tiktok-giving-its-data-china zero hedge - on a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero urn:uuid:76b6193f-e831-3977-246f-1fc18cf598a0 Sun, 09 Aug 2020 11:00:00 +1000 <span property="schema:name" class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">CIA Stuns In Saying "No Evidence" TikTok Giving Its Data To China</span> <span rel="schema:author" class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <a href="https://www.zerohedge.com/users/tyler-durden">Tyler Durden</a> </span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2020-08-09T01:00:00+00:00" class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sat, 08/08/2020 - 21:00</span> <div property="schema:text" class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><a href="https://news.antiwar.com/2020/08/07/as-trump-advances-ban-cia-says-no-evidence-of-tiktok-giving-data-to-china/"><em>Authored by Jason Ditz via AntiWar.com,</em></a></p> <p>Chinese app TikTok remains under fire by President Trump, with allegations that their being Chinese means China could access their user data, making it a serious problem. President Trump is set to ban TikTok next month.</p> <p>US officials see this as something China is bound to do with their apps, because Edward Snowden’s leaks showed this is exactly what the US did with its many apps and their user data. And yet did it happen?</p> <a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/ticktockchina.jpg?itok=brP7CU1P" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/ticktockchina.jpg?itok=brP7CU1P"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/ticktockchina.jpg?itok=CAYogyxy 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/ticktockchina.jpg?itok=CAYogyxy 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/ticktockchina.jpg?itok=CAYogyxy 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/ticktockchina.jpg?itok=CAYogyxy 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/ticktockchina.jpg?itok=CAYogyxy 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/ticktockchina.jpg?itok=brP7CU1P 1x" type="image/jpeg"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><figure role="group" class="caption caption-img"><img alt="" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="9cac36b5-97b5-4fe7-a721-65b8e9a08586" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="250" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/ticktockchina.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="500" /><figcaption><em>Image: Reuters</em></figcaption></figure></picture></a> <p><strong>The latest report out of the CIA says no.</strong> While they said it is possible for China to access such user data, because of course it is, they <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/rachelsandler/2020/08/07/cia-finds-no-evidence-chinese-government-has-accessed-tiktok-data-report-says/#2714e0234c25">confirmed that</a> there is no evidence that any such things ever happened with TikTok.</p> <p>According to <em>The New York Times</em> <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/07/us/politics/tiktok-security-threat.html">on Friday</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>But when the C.I.A. was asked recently to assess whether it was also a national security problem, the answer that came back was highly equivocal.</p> <p>Yes, the agency’s analysts told the White House,<strong> it is possible that the Chinese intelligence authorities could intercept data or use the app to bore into smartphones</strong>. But there is <strong>no evidence they have done so</strong>, despite the calls from President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to neutralize a threat from the app’s presence on millions of American devices.</p> </blockquote> <p>TikTok had already said they’d done nothing wrong, faulting Trump’s ban as denying them due process. </p> <p>They <a href="https://thehill.com/policy/technology/511022-tiktok-slams-trumps-executive-order-promises-to-pursue-all-remedies">promise to</a> “pursue all remedies available to us.” With US tensions toward China growing, it’s likely they’ll try to limit remedies.</p> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~4/Kveg0GzNY3s" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> FTC Weighs In On Mystery Seeds From China, Citing Two Online Shopping Scams As Potential Motives https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/ftc-weighs-mystery-seeds-china-citing-two-online-shopping-scams-potential-motives zero hedge - on a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero urn:uuid:955e57b9-44d6-1f18-5249-520e49e466e7 Sun, 09 Aug 2020 10:30:00 +1000 <span property="schema:name" class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">FTC Weighs In On Mystery Seeds From China, Citing Two Online Shopping Scams As Potential Motives</span> <span rel="schema:author" class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <a href="https://www.zerohedge.com/users/tyler-durden">Tyler Durden</a> </span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2020-08-09T00:30:00+00:00" class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sat, 08/08/2020 - 20:30</span> <div property="schema:text" class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Days ago, <a href="https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/us-has-started-identify-mystery-seeds-being-sent-china">we wrote</a> that the U.S. had finally started to identify some of the mystery seeds being shipped from China, apparently randomly, to U.S. citizens. </p> <p>While the Department of Agriculture was able to identify "14 types of plants" that the seeds belonged to, including cabbage, hibiscus, lavender, mint, morning glory, mustard, rose, rosemary and sage, the question still remained as to <em><strong>why </strong></em>these seeds were being sent. </p> <p><strong>On Friday, the Federal Trade Commission <a href="https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2020/08/getting-unordered-seeds-and-stuff-mail?utm_source=govdelivery">weighed in</a> on the phenomenon for the first time and offered their take</strong>. First, they reminded people (in all capital letters): <strong>"DON'T PLANT THE MYSTERY SEEDS"</strong>. They also postulated that the seeds could be part of a scheme to prove that items were shipped from China from online orders that were ultimately never fulfilled:</p> <blockquote> <p>Did you order something and get seeds or other junk instead? If that’s you, dispute the charges for the thing you didn’t get. We hear that some sellers might be sending stuff so they can show payment companies the tracking numbers to prove they delivered something to you. So: tell the payment service you used (PayPal, for example), and your credit or debit card company right away that you got seeds, never got anything, or got something other than what you ordered. If the seller tries to use a tracking number to prove it delivered, point out anything to show that it’s not credible — maybe a weight listed that’s different from the package you got, or a different delivery address.</p> </blockquote> <p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/seeds1.jpg?itok=PmqaqoUe" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/seeds1.jpg?itok=PmqaqoUe"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/seeds1.jpg?itok=ivsKV5Bi 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/seeds1.jpg?itok=ivsKV5Bi 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/seeds1.jpg?itok=ivsKV5Bi 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/seeds1.jpg?itok=ivsKV5Bi 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/seeds1.jpg?itok=ivsKV5Bi 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/seeds1.jpg?itok=PmqaqoUe 1x" type="image/jpeg"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="50fe037d-f63c-4e6b-b138-35b9b855cbde" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="296" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/seeds1.jpg" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p> <p>The FTC also wrote about a scam where, because someone sends you something unordered, it allows them to give themselves a good review under your time. </p> <blockquote> <p>You might have read about the “brushing” scam. In this one, somebody sends you stuff, unordered, because it lets them give themselves a great review <strong>in your name</strong>. Annoying, but whatever, right? Nope. More than annoying. It could mean that the scammers have created an account in your name, or taken over your account, on online retail sites. Or even created new accounts (maybe lots of them) in other names tied to your address. Letting them post lots of seemingly-real reviews. So keep an eye on your online shopping accounts. If you spot activity that isn’t yours, report it to the site right away, and think about changing your password for that site.</p> </blockquote> <p>Finally, the FTC encourages people to contact the government if such packages are received. </p> <p>Recall, it was about two weeks ago that <a href="https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/agricultural-warfare-people-are-receiving-mysterious-unsolicited-packages-seeds-mail">we highlighted</a> a mysterious trend that was sweeping the U.S.: <strong>citizens were receiving unsolicited packages of seeds, with return addresses from China, for apparently no reason at all.</strong></p> <p>Art Gover, a plant science researcher at Penn State University said the "risk is low" of the plants being involved in biological warfare, but that the seeds "can be troublesome because they can introduce problematic weeds and diseases".</p> <p>Lisa Delissio, a professor of biology at Salem State University in Massachusetts, said: "If any of the unidentified seeds turned out to be invasive species, they could displace native plants and compete for resources and cause harm to the environment, agriculture or human health."</p> <p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/see.jpg?itok=dQ3k2FkL" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/see.jpg?itok=dQ3k2FkL"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/see.jpg?itok=At6cjDNW 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/see.jpg?itok=At6cjDNW 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/see.jpg?itok=At6cjDNW 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/see.jpg?itok=At6cjDNW 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/see.jpg?itok=At6cjDNW 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/see.jpg?itok=dQ3k2FkL 1x" type="image/jpeg"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="3a0f8472-f91e-4294-9b18-d12c924a598a" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="245" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/see.jpg" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p> <p>Bernd Blossey, a professor in the department of natural resources at Cornell University commented: “Obviously planting rosemary or thyme in your garden isn’t something that will endanger our environment. <strong>But there may be other things in there that have not been identified yet. Any time you gain something unknown, my suggestion is burning them, not even throwing them in the trash.</strong>”</p> <p>In our prior report, we suggested the mailings could be some sort of agricultural warfare brewing between the U.S. and China - where agriculture remains a key point of trade tensions - and where a cold war of sorts appears to be bubbling up under the surface. </p> <p>After multiple reports in the U.S. media regarding the seeds, China's Foreign Ministry responded last week by saying that China Post (the country's state owned mail service) "has strictly followed regulations that ban the sending and receiving of seeds," according to Bloomberg.</p> <p>Further, <strong>Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin says that the parcels were "forged" and "not from China"</strong>. China has supposedly requested that the U.S. mail the seeds <em>back to China </em>so they could investigate further.</p> <p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/seed1.jpg?itok=Fvrlp81N" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/seed1.jpg?itok=Fvrlp81N"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/seed1.jpg?itok=5VkUSiYw 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/seed1.jpg?itok=5VkUSiYw 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/seed1.jpg?itok=5VkUSiYw 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/seed1.jpg?itok=5VkUSiYw 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/seed1.jpg?itok=5VkUSiYw 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/seed1.jpg?itok=Fvrlp81N 1x" type="image/jpeg"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="e3aec95f-1d45-4db7-ba7c-fb427c7d7bd1" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="255" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/seed1.jpg" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p> <p><em>We noted last week that the response is anything but re-assuring. </em>We're not postmaster generals but we find the idea of being able to forge mailing labels - and get products to their final destination - in this day and age where even the decrepit U.S. postal service is mostly digital, as a difficult one. </p> <p>The Washington State Department of Agriculture wrote about the phenomenon on their Facebook page on July 24, 2020 and said that the seeds are being shipping in packaging that identifies the contents as jewelry. Similar advisories have been issued in Virginia, Utah, Kansas, Arizona and Louisiana.</p> <p>Facebook users have been adding photos in the comments section of the post sharing photographs of seeds they have received from China. “It’s not a joke. I got some the other day!!!” one user commented, stating that the package identified the contents as a "Rose flower stud earring".  </p> <p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/seed2.jpg?itok=kAEjFKWY" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/seed2.jpg?itok=kAEjFKWY"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/seed2.jpg?itok=Y2dkNox8 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/seed2.jpg?itok=Y2dkNox8 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/seed2.jpg?itok=Y2dkNox8 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/seed2.jpg?itok=Y2dkNox8 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/seed2.jpg?itok=Y2dkNox8 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/seed2.jpg?itok=kAEjFKWY 1x" type="image/jpeg"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="4a82ccfc-b7fc-42db-b2ad-f13747ca5cf8" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="385" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/seed2.jpg" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p> <p>“Look’s like it’s all across the country,” stated an Indiana resident who also received seeds in the mail unsolicited. </p> <p>At least 40 residents in Utah were said to have been mailed the unsolicited packages, <a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8560549/Seed-packets-mislabeled-jewelry-mailed-dozens-Americans-six-states-China.html">according</a> to the Daily Mail. The Kansas  Department of Agriculture and the Arizona Department of Agriculture also addressed the phenomenon, as did the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, who said: </p> <blockquote> <p>"Right now, we are uncertain what types of seeds are in the package. Out of caution, we are urging anyone who receives a package that was not ordered by the recipient, to please call the LDAF immediately. We need to identify the seeds to ensure they do not pose a risk to Louisiana’s agricultural industry or the environment."</p> </blockquote> <p>There had been similar reports from Virginia's Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. "The seeds have yet to be identified, but officials speculate that the seeds may be of an invasive plant species and are advising residents not to use them," Fox News <a href="https://www.foxnews.com/us/virginia-utah-unsolicited-seeds-china">reported</a>.</p> <p>"Taking steps to prevent their introduction is the most effective method of reducing both the risk of invasive species infestations and the cost to control and mitigate those infestations," VDACS wrote in a press release.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en" xml:lang="en" xml:lang="en">Public Asked To Report Receipt of any Unsolicited Packages of Seeds. Learn more: <a href="https://t.co/RY9u4nR1QK">https://t.co/RY9u4nR1QK</a> <a href="https://t.co/ZzNaO2ZaYz">pic.twitter.com/ZzNaO2ZaYz</a></p> — VDACS (@VaAgriculture) <a href="https://twitter.com/VaAgriculture/status/1286727276734881792?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 24, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async="" src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Twitter is also littered with reports of people receiving these seeds:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en" xml:lang="en" xml:lang="en">We have received 2 of those packages here in Indiana. One from China, and one from Kyrgystan. <a href="https://t.co/Fm6CBxf1mD">pic.twitter.com/Fm6CBxf1mD</a></p> — Don ⭐⭐⭐ (@SmallTownIndy) <a href="https://twitter.com/SmallTownIndy/status/1287196878199816193?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 26, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async="" src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p><script async="" src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p> <p>The Washington State Department of Agriculture has advised people on its Facebook page:</p> <blockquote> <p>1) DO NOT plant them and if they are in sealed packaging (as in the photo below) don’t open the sealed package.</p> <p>2) This is known as agricultural smuggling. Report it to USDA and maintain the seeds and packaging until USDA instructs you what to do with the packages and seeds. They may be needed as evidence.</p> </blockquote> <p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/seed3.jpg?itok=aRoDDOwc" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/seed3.jpg?itok=aRoDDOwc"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/seed3.jpg?itok=uDd3sbgA 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/seed3.jpg?itok=uDd3sbgA 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/seed3.jpg?itok=uDd3sbgA 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/seed3.jpg?itok=uDd3sbgA 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/seed3.jpg?itok=uDd3sbgA 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/seed3.jpg?itok=aRoDDOwc 1x" type="image/jpeg"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="a0367932-92fa-4f15-b594-3b6370b18748" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="307" width="325" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/seed3.jpg" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p> <p>Anyone who has received seeds in the mail can report them to the United States Department of Agriculture by visiting their website <a href="https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/planthealth/import-information/sa_sitc/ct_antismuggling?fbclid=IwAR1-WLbnNFaIB5rNCKu5x1Z8DeT1cLQm9wjgVZYGACRHTHdgri83g_03ziw">here</a>. The site says:</p> <blockquote> <p>If individuals are aware of the potential smuggling of prohibited exotic fruits, vegetables, or meat products into or through the USA, they can help APHIS by contacting the confidential Antismuggling Hotline number at 800-877-3835 or by sending an Email to <a href="mailto:SITC.Mail@aphis.usda.gov">SITC.Mail@aphis.usda.gov</a>.</p> <p>USDA will make every attempt to protect the confidentiality of any information sources during an investigation within the extent of the law.</p> </blockquote> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~4/P6BqO7WLDTY" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> US Passes 5 Million Coronavirus Cases, Brazil Passes 3 Million: Live Updates https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/florida-cases-fatalities-bounce-back-after-hurricane-us-deaths-top-160000-live-upates zero hedge - on a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero urn:uuid:01a4882d-02c7-5b50-ab29-b05454de3ec2 Sun, 09 Aug 2020 10:00:09 +1000 <span property="schema:name" class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">US Passes 5 Million Coronavirus Cases, Brazil Passes 3 Million: Live Updates</span> <span rel="schema:author" class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <a href="https://www.zerohedge.com/users/tyler-durden">Tyler Durden</a> </span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2020-08-09T00:00:09+00:00" class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sat, 08/08/2020 - 20:00</span> <div property="schema:text" class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><u><strong>Summary: </strong></u></p> <ul><li>US passes 5 million cases</li> <li>Brazil passes 3 million COVID cases</li> <li>Global cases (per JHU): 19,481,330, deaths: 723,599.</li> <li>Texas reports new cases, deaths; extends March emergency declaration</li> <li>Trump signs executive order extending COVID relief</li> <li>South Africa crosses 10k deaths</li> <li>US reports 1.2% increase in confirmed cases</li> <li>Arizona reports 1,054 new cases</li> <li>US deaths top 160k</li> <li>Florida reports another 187 deaths, cases climb</li> <li>NY cases top 700</li> <li>Hong Kong cases top 4,000</li> <li>Germany "R" rate hits highest in 10 days</li> <li>Denmark says may asks citizens to wear masks more frequently</li> </ul><p>* * *</p> <p><strong>Update (1945ET):</strong> Just hours after Brazil passed a similar, but much smaller, milestone, the data gurus at Johns Hopkins have reported that the number of confirmed cases in the US has surpassed 5 million, the highest tally of any country by a margin of 2 million cases (the next closest is Brazil, with 3 million, and India, with 2 million).</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en" xml:lang="en" xml:lang="en">NBC News: The total number of reported coronavirus cases in the U.S. has surpassed 5 million.</p> — Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) <a href="https://twitter.com/kylegriffin1/status/1292240495503126528?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 8, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async="" src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>The US reported its millionth case on April 28, more than three months after its first case. The country passed two million cases on June 10, three million on July 7, and four million on July 23.</p> <p><iframe loading="lazy" src="https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus-data-explorer?zoomToSelection=true&country=USA~BRA~IND&casesMetric=true&interval=total&hideControls=true&smoothing=0&pickerMetric=location&pickerSort=asc" style="width: 100%; height: 600px; border: 0px none;"></iframe></p> <p>The single-day tally peaked on July 16, with 75,697, and has been slowly declining since then, though a second wave did push a handful of hard hit Sun Belt states to experience a later peak in June.</p> <p>* * *</p> <p><strong>Update (1830ET): </strong>Texas reported 247 COVID-19 deaths since yesterday, bringing the state's death total to 8,343. It also reported 6,959 new cases, bringing the state's total to</p> <p>Hospitalizations dropped 193 to 7872.</p> <p>Gov. Greg Abbott has extended the disaster declaration originally issued March 13. The order makes a variety of state resources available to combat the pandemic.</p> <blockquote> <p>"Renewing this disaster declaration will provide communities with the resources they need to respond to COVID-19," Abbott said in a statement. "I urge Texans to remain vigilant in our fight against this virus."</p> </blockquote> <p>The world is approaching 20 million cases, with 19,781,205 confirmed as of Saturday night, according to Worldometer (which lumps in all "probable" and "asymptomatic" cases). JHU put the global number at 19,481,330. Global deaths are 723,599.</p> <p>* * *</p> <p><strong>Update (1815ET):</strong> President Trump <a href="https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/watch-live-trump-make-announcement-major-news-conference">has signed an executive order</a> extending some coronavirus relief for families and individuals (like enhanced unemployment benefits and the eviction moratorium).</p> <p>But that's not the only major COVID-related news Saturday evening. A couple of days after India surpassed the critical 2 million case milestone, Brazil has become the second country (after only the US) to pass 3 million confirmed cases. But passing 100,000 deaths is just as big of a deal: only the US and Brazil have more than 100k deaths.</p> <p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-08%20at%206.51.58%20PM.png?itok=qbpygtNj" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-08%20at%206.51.58%20PM.png?itok=qbpygtNj"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-08%20at%206.51.58%20PM.png?itok=_X_LZeQ- 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-08%20at%206.51.58%20PM.png?itok=_X_LZeQ- 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-08%20at%206.51.58%20PM.png?itok=_X_LZeQ- 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-08%20at%206.51.58%20PM.png?itok=_X_LZeQ- 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-08%20at%206.51.58%20PM.png?itok=_X_LZeQ- 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-08%20at%206.51.58%20PM.png?itok=qbpygtNj 1x" type="image/png"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="9f7a2f3a-b7c9-4ad5-8649-e7e7bf1dbcda" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="327" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-08%20at%206.51.58%20PM.png" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p> <p>Here's more on the Brazil situation from the <a href="https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1318877/brazil-makes-grim-milestone-100000-deaths-from-covid-19?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter">Inquirer.net:</a></p> <blockquote> <p>The nation of 210 million people has been reporting an average of more than 1,000 daily deaths from the pandemic since late May and reported 905 for the latest 24-hour period.</p> <p>The Health Ministry said there had been a total of 3,012,412 confirmed infections with the new coronavirus — death and infection tolls second only to the United States. And as in many nations, experts believe that both numbers are severe undercounts due to insufficient testing.</p> <p>In a tribute to COVID-19 victims Saturday morning, the non-governmental group Rio de Paz placed crosses on the sand on the famed Copacabana beach Saturday and released 1,000 red balloons into the sky.</p> <p>“It’s very sad. Those 100,000 represent various families, friends, parents, children”, said Marcio do Nascimento Silva, a 56-year-old taxi driver who lost his children in the pandemic and joined the tribute.</p> <p>“We reach that mark (100,000) and many people seem to not see it, both among the government and our people. They are not just numbers but people. Death became normal “, Silva said.</p> <p>President Jair Bolsonaro — who himself reported being infected — has been a consistent skeptic about the impact of the disease and an advocate of lifting restrictions on the economy that had been imposed by state governors trying to combat it. He has frequently mingled in crowds, sometimes without a mask.</p> <p>“I regret all the deaths, it’s already reaching the number 100,000, but we are going to find a way out of that”, Bolsonaro said in a Thursday night Facebook transmission.</p> </blockquote> <p>South Africa, meanwhile, reported 301 more coronavirus deaths on Saturday, bringing the total to 10,210. Africa's most industrialized country has reported 553,188 cases, the most in Africa, and the fifth-highest tally in the world.</p> <p>California reported 7,371 new cases on Saturday, more than the 14-day average of 7,171, bringing its statewide total to 545,787. Deaths rose by 178 to 10,189, compared with an increase of 142 for the prior day.</p> <p>* * *</p> <p><strong>Update (1435ET): </strong>Now that Arizona and California have reported their latest numbers (both states saw a continued slowdown in new cases), JHU and BBG have published their first preliminary estimate of new cases in the US over the last day. With 59,202 new cases (+1.2%) added, equivalent to the average pace from the last week, it looks like cases continue to trend lower, while deaths were over 1,000 again.</p> <p>Arizona reported 1,054 new cases (+0.6%), compared with an average 0.9% in the previous seven days. The total for the state is 186,107 cases. Another 56 deaths were reported, compared with 78 the previous day. The positive test rate was 12.5% compared with 15.7% the day before.</p> <p>* * *</p> <p>It's official: <strong>The US has passed 160,000 confirmed deaths,</strong> according to figures reported by state health authorities and catalogued by Bloomberg, Johns Hopkins and other data providers. According to BBG & JHU, the US added 59,202 new cases (+1.2% ),  on par with the average daily over the previous seven days. Some 1,256 deaths were reported yesterday, <strong>the fourth consecutive day with more than 1,000, but fewer than the 1,842 reported the previous day</strong>. America has now confirmed <strong>4,941,635 cases</strong> (plus thousands more logged as 'probable' ones, and potentially millions of "asymptomatic" cases that will never be documented) and <strong>161,347 deaths</strong> (plus thousands that have probably gone uncounted).</p> <p> </p> <p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-08%20at%2011.07.02%20AM.png?itok=gm-pben9" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-08%20at%2011.07.02%20AM.png?itok=gm-pben9"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-08%20at%2011.07.02%20AM.png?itok=dtAlxkB6 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-08%20at%2011.07.02%20AM.png?itok=dtAlxkB6 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-08%20at%2011.07.02%20AM.png?itok=dtAlxkB6 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-08%20at%2011.07.02%20AM.png?itok=dtAlxkB6 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-08%20at%2011.07.02%20AM.png?itok=dtAlxkB6 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-08%20at%2011.07.02%20AM.png?itok=gm-pben9 1x" type="image/png"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="bcdc700c-a493-4b80-bcc6-cbe33e9c4d1b" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="571" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-08%20at%2011.07.02%20AM.png" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p> <p><em>Source: <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/us/coronavirus-us-cases.html">NYT</a></em></p> <p>Of course, every time US deaths pass a big, round number, progressives come out with the pitchforks and conveniently try to <s>"remind"</s> indoctrinate the public to believe these deaths are Trump's fault, and his alone.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en" xml:lang="en" xml:lang="en">Country club members booed because a reporter asked Pres Trump why they were not wearing masks as they watched Trump's press conference.<br /><br /> Trump said the club members were engaged in a "peaceful protest." Crowd cheered.<br /><br /> Note: More than 160K Americans have died from COVID.</p> — Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) <a href="https://twitter.com/Yamiche/status/1291891330818482181?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 8, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async="" src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>One day after Gov Andrew Cuomo bucked the national Democratic trend and <a href="https://www.zerohedge.com/political/cuomo-says-new-york-schools-can-reopen-next-month">declared that schools in New York would be allowed to reopen</a>, New York reported 703 new cases, a 0.2% rise, which is in line with the average increase from the prior weeks (and months). NY's state of spread has more or less plateaued at between 500 and 750 cases per day, with few exceptions. Additionally, the state reported five more deaths, the same number as the day before. Total hospitalizations in the state that had been the center of the U.S. outbreak remained low, at 573.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en" xml:lang="en" xml:lang="en">Today's update on the numbers:<br /><br /> Of the 74,857 tests reported yesterday, 703 were positive (0.93% of total).<br /><br /> Total hospitalizations are at 573.<br /><br /> Sadly, there were 5 COVID fatalities yesterday. <a href="https://t.co/UrtIRGhfb6">pic.twitter.com/UrtIRGhfb6</a></p> — Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) <a href="https://twitter.com/NYGovCuomo/status/1292086972715012096?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 8, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async="" src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>In Florida, health officials reported 187 COVID-19 deaths on Saturday, along with the highest single-day total of new cases in a week with 8,502 cases, though the 7-day average for cases continued to move lower.</p> <p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-08%20at%2011.24.25%20AM.png?itok=yC5ni0L8" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-08%20at%2011.24.25%20AM.png?itok=yC5ni0L8"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-08%20at%2011.24.25%20AM.png?itok=BglsrWbu 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-08%20at%2011.24.25%20AM.png?itok=BglsrWbu 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-08%20at%2011.24.25%20AM.png?itok=BglsrWbu 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-08%20at%2011.24.25%20AM.png?itok=BglsrWbu 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-08%20at%2011.24.25%20AM.png?itok=BglsrWbu 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-08%20at%2011.24.25%20AM.png?itok=yC5ni0L8 1x" type="image/png"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="1c6ef509-1d6b-4606-afcf-17028e1f1728" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="262" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-08%20at%2011.24.25%20AM.png" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p> <p>Now, 8,238 people have died and 526,577 people have been infected with the virus. The state's positivity rate declined slightly, but was mostly steady at 9.9.</p> <p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-08%20at%2011.27.47%20AM.png?itok=AcogDlKW" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-08%20at%2011.27.47%20AM.png?itok=AcogDlKW"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-08%20at%2011.27.47%20AM.png?itok=Eb5HM5Zv 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-08%20at%2011.27.47%20AM.png?itok=Eb5HM5Zv 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-08%20at%2011.27.47%20AM.png?itok=Eb5HM5Zv 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-08%20at%2011.27.47%20AM.png?itok=Eb5HM5Zv 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-08%20at%2011.27.47%20AM.png?itok=Eb5HM5Zv 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-08%20at%2011.27.47%20AM.png?itok=AcogDlKW 1x" type="image/png"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="4a4b64ec-deaf-437e-a391-b7dd9e536f69" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="262" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-08%20at%2011.27.47%20AM.png" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p> <p>It’s been three consecutive days of increases in both COVID-19 cases and deaths as both seem to bounce back after the hurricane (though we sincerely doubt the hurricane's tour stopped people from succumbing to the virus).</p> <p>Florida reported a record 257 deaths on July 31, when the state's outbreak appeared to peak.</p> <p>As we await case and death data from the rest of the US, here's what else is happening in COVID-19 news world-wide.</p> <p>Vietnam's health ministry reported 21 new cases Saturday, of which 20 cases were linked to the coastal city of Danang, and one case was imported. After a lengthy stretch of no infections and deaths, the country has confirmed 353 infections tied to the Danang July 25 outbreak. Vietnam has a total of 810 cases with 10 deaths.</p> <p>Amid a non-stop flurry of vaccine news out of the US, Europe, China and Russia, Tianjin-based CanSino Biologics, one of the most closely-watched (in the west, and China) Chinese vaccine projects. The company said Saturday it may test its coronavirus vaccine on pregnant women to study its ability to protect groups most vulnerable to virus. The Chinese company, which was the first in the world to start human testing of vaccines against the virus in March, "may include pregnant women and look at the shot’s ability to protect" young people during future clinical trials, said CanSino founder Yu Xuefeng during a webinar hosted by Hillhouse Capital on Saturday.</p> <p>More s Deceit And Demagoguery In Montgomery County, Maryland https://www.zerohedge.com/political/deceit-and-demagoguery-montgomery-county-maryland zero hedge - on a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero urn:uuid:60400c42-52d7-21b1-d6b9-21929ed8ae3a Sun, 09 Aug 2020 10:00:00 +1000 <span property="schema:name" class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Deceit And Demagoguery In Montgomery County, Maryland</span> <span rel="schema:author" class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <a href="https://www.zerohedge.com/users/tyler-durden">Tyler Durden</a> </span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2020-08-09T00:00:00+00:00" class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sat, 08/08/2020 - 20:00</span> <div property="schema:text" class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><a href="https://www.aier.org/article/deceit-and-demagoguery-in-montgomery-county-maryland/"><em>Authored by James Bovard via The American Institute for Economic Research,</em></a></p> <p><strong>Across the nation, politicians and bureaucrats have invoked the COVID pandemic to seize dictatorial power to ban activities they disapprove.</strong> One of the most brazen examples recently occurred in super-lefty Montgomery County (MoCo), Maryland, where local health czar Travis Gayles announced last Friday that he would impose a $5,000 fine and up to a year in prison on private school teachers that teach students in person between now and October 1. </p> <p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/mcounty-800x508.jpg?itok=Re_6q2Pc" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/mcounty-800x508.jpg?itok=Re_6q2Pc"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/mcounty-800x508.jpg?itok=Fl-AnPJw 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/mcounty-800x508.jpg?itok=Fl-AnPJw 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/mcounty-800x508.jpg?itok=Fl-AnPJw 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/mcounty-800x508.jpg?itok=Fl-AnPJw 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/mcounty-800x508.jpg?itok=Fl-AnPJw 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/mcounty-800x508.jpg?itok=Re_6q2Pc 1x" type="image/jpeg"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="d1cd7139-ba8d-4244-990c-fff9ee6d2b46" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="318" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/mcounty-800x508.jpg" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p> <p>New COVID cases have plummeted in MoCo and are at very low levels. Gayles justified banning private schools in part because of rises in COVID transmission rates elsewhere in Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Virginia. Apparently, as long as there are any positive COVID test results within 300 miles, letting teachers teach is too risky.</p> <p><strong>Maryland as a whole has been through the Covid wave and now deaths have plummeted. </strong></p> <p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/Screen-Shot-2020-08-07-at-9.24.05-AM.png?itok=GFOOGJw2" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/Screen-Shot-2020-08-07-at-9.24.05-AM.png?itok=GFOOGJw2"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Screen-Shot-2020-08-07-at-9.24.05-AM.png?itok=H3IyO_YL 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Screen-Shot-2020-08-07-at-9.24.05-AM.png?itok=H3IyO_YL 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Screen-Shot-2020-08-07-at-9.24.05-AM.png?itok=H3IyO_YL 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Screen-Shot-2020-08-07-at-9.24.05-AM.png?itok=H3IyO_YL 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Screen-Shot-2020-08-07-at-9.24.05-AM.png?itok=H3IyO_YL 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/Screen-Shot-2020-08-07-at-9.24.05-AM.png?itok=GFOOGJw2 1x" type="image/png"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="413cb151-b7ff-4d02-aaa0-70c36dc66c4e" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="331" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/Screen-Shot-2020-08-07-at-9.24.05-AM.png" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p> <p>On Monday, Gov. Larry Hogan overturned Gayles’ decree, ruling that<strong> the “blanket <a href="https://governor.maryland.gov/2020/08/03/governor-hogan-issues-emergency-order-to-prohibit-blanket-school-closures/">closure mandate imposed by</a> Montgomery County was overly broad and inconsistent with the powers intended to be delegated to the county health officer</strong>... As long as schools develop safe and detailed plans that follow CDC and state guidelines, they should be empowered to do what’s best for their community.” <a href="https://foxbaltimore.com/news/local/montgomery-county-private-schools-prohibited-from-opening-for-in-person-learning-08-01-2020">Hogan declared</a>, <em><strong>“This is a decision for schools and parents, not politicians.”</strong></em></p> <p>On Wednesday, Gayles issued a new dictate claiming that local health officers are entitled to “<a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/coronavirus-dc-virginia-maryland/2020/08/05/73ad9d7c-d4c7-11ea-9c3b-dfc394c03988_story.html">take any action or measure</a> necessary to prevent the spread of communicable disease” and “issue, when necessary, special instructions for control of a disease or condition.” <strong>Gayles claims that as long as more than 8 people test positive for COVID in Montgomery County each day, he is entitled to shut down all private schools at least until October 1. </strong></p> <p>In a closed video briefing for county employees on May 28, <strong>Gayles continually invoked “science and data” like a righteous priest invoking God and the Bible to sanctify scourging his enemies</strong>.</p> <p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/e664298d-5987-44f8-ad26-5b3cb14efe05-large16x9_f15ade1cdb524f52a627af0429128097large16x9_DrTravisGayleszoom.png?itok=BM5tWAjF" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/e664298d-5987-44f8-ad26-5b3cb14efe05-large16x9_f15ade1cdb524f52a627af0429128097large16x9_DrTravisGayleszoom.png?itok=BM5tWAjF"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/e664298d-5987-44f8-ad26-5b3cb14efe05-large16x9_f15ade1cdb524f52a627af0429128097large16x9_DrTravisGayleszoom.png?itok=8Pw5HdXk 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/e664298d-5987-44f8-ad26-5b3cb14efe05-large16x9_f15ade1cdb524f52a627af0429128097large16x9_DrTravisGayleszoom.png?itok=8Pw5HdXk 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/e664298d-5987-44f8-ad26-5b3cb14efe05-large16x9_f15ade1cdb524f52a627af0429128097large16x9_DrTravisGayleszoom.png?itok=8Pw5HdXk 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/e664298d-5987-44f8-ad26-5b3cb14efe05-large16x9_f15ade1cdb524f52a627af0429128097large16x9_DrTravisGayleszoom.png?itok=8Pw5HdXk 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/e664298d-5987-44f8-ad26-5b3cb14efe05-large16x9_f15ade1cdb524f52a627af0429128097large16x9_DrTravisGayleszoom.png?itok=8Pw5HdXk 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/e664298d-5987-44f8-ad26-5b3cb14efe05-large16x9_f15ade1cdb524f52a627af0429128097large16x9_DrTravisGayleszoom.png?itok=BM5tWAjF 1x" type="image/png"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="9b66c988-ca0b-4483-855c-dfc99669254e" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="281" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/e664298d-5987-44f8-ad26-5b3cb14efe05-large16x9_f15ade1cdb524f52a627af0429128097large16x9_DrTravisGayleszoom.png" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p> <p><em>Travis Gayles</em></p> <p><strong>What does it require to justify boundless power in a county of a million people? A COVID positive rate of 0.000008%. </strong></p> <p>Surprise – <u><em><strong>the dictatorship will last forever</strong></em></u> – or at least until the Democratic political machine that runs the county decides it can profit from loosening the tourniquet it imposed that helped destroy more than 50,000 jobs and countless small businesses. </p> <p>Montgomery County is suffering from epidemic levels of sexually-transmitted diseases including <a href="https://www.fox5dc.com/news/montgomery-co-declares-public-health-crisis-after-rising-rates-of-sexually-transmitted-infections">Hepatitis C and chlamydia</a>.<em><strong> If Gayles has the right to shut down schools based on the 0.000008% rate, the same standard would justify invoking STD numbers to outlaw all sex between unmarried adults.</strong></em> But MoCo would never do that because sexual activity, unlike other private learning, is a freedom that progressives champion. </p> <p>Gayles justified his school shutdown dictate:</p> <blockquote> <p><em><strong>“The purpose of what we’re doing <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/coronavirus-dc-virginia-maryland/2020/08/05/73ad9d7c-d4c7-11ea-9c3b-dfc394c03988_story.html">is to keep kids safe</a>.” </strong></em></p> </blockquote> <p>According to Gayles and other MoCo politicians,<strong> nothing matters except politicians’ self-proclaimed good intentions.</strong> </p> <p>But the school shutdowns have <strong>profoundly disrupted lives and are increasingly blighting learning</strong>. A recent <em>Wall Street Journal </em>analysis <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/schools-coronavirus-remote-learning-lockdown-tech-11591375078">headlined</a>, “The Results Are In for Remote Learning: It Didn’t Work,” noted,</p> <blockquote> <p>“In many places, lots of students simply didn’t show up online, and administrators had no good way to find out why not… Soon many districts weren’t requiring students to do any work at all, increasing the risk that millions of students would have big gaps in their learning.” </p> </blockquote> <p>The Center on Reinventing Public Education found that the vast majority of school districts did not require any live teaching over video. An analysis by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) noted that only “<a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/reopening-schools.html">one in three school districts</a> expected teachers to provide instruction, track student engagement, or monitor academic progress for all students.”<strong> But since teachers in most places continued collecting full pay, the shutdown is wildly popular with teachers unions. </strong></p> <p>Montgomery County politicians and school officials have endlessly invoked “closing the achievement gap” to justify boosting school spending (and property taxes). But <strong>school shutdowns are devastating minorities.</strong> <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/reopening-schools.html">The CDC warned</a> last month that “the lack of in-person educational options disproportionately harms low-income and minority children.” </p> <p>An analysis by McKinsey and Company consultants estimated that <em><strong>if schools were entirely online until January, on average white students would lose 6 months of learning, Hispanic students 9 months, Black students 10 months and low-income students more than a year during the time school buildings have closed for the pandemic</strong></em><a href="https://www.baltimoresun.com/education/bs-md-learning-loss-covid-online-instruction-20200724-u2usc3jehzaxzfgcr6wrmyvxy4-story.html"><em><strong>,</strong></em>” the <em>Baltimore Sun</em></a> reported.</p> <p>Many parents are desperate to get their children back to learning at full speed and are seeking private alternatives to shuttered public schools. Private schools have taken extreme measures to assure <a href="https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/county-officials-wave-off-cdc-and-state-guidelines-in-order-to-shutter-religious-and-private-schools">the safety of returning students</a>, installing plexiglass shields, banning field trips, restricting time in hallways, and minimizing unnecessary contact. In comments last week, Gayles brushed off their efforts as <a href="https://twitter.com/TPCarney/status/1290437858852044806">“niche issues.”</a> <strong>Bureaucrats have always considered freedom a niche nuisance. </strong></p> <p>After controversy erupted over the shutdown order, the County Council held a session “really showing its hatred of private schools,” <em>Washington Examiner</em> columnist Tim Carney, a Catholic father of six kids, observed. <a href="https://twitter.com/TPCarney/status/1290711044550201344">Carney tweeted</a>, “Montgomery County Councilman Craig Rice said that<strong> ‘racism’ was behind the efforts to reopen nonpublic schools–because the bureaucrat who tried to close them is a black doctor.</strong>” Carney summarized Rice’s argument:</p> <blockquote> <p>“The county shouldn’t allow private schools the same liberty it allowed public schools (whether to reopen) because ‘affluent’ people are more willing to expose their own kids to infection than others are.” </p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Unfortunately, Rice did not bother explaining the “achievement gap” between local public schools and private schools (many of which spend far less per student). </strong>These are the same local politicians who cheered on local mass protests over the George Floyd killing in stark violation of “shelter-at-home” orders at the same time they continue outlawing church services.</p> <p>While private teaching is considered inherently too risky to permit, Montgomery County announced this week that massage parlors would be permitted to reopen. Local massage parlors are <a href="https://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2020/01/27/emily-zhang-lawrence-pleads-guilty-to-running-house-of-prostitution-in-rockville/">perennially getting</a> busted <a href="https://www.mymcmedia.org/two-charged-ongoing-prostitution-investigation/">because Asian</a> masseuses provide more services to patrons than state law permits. But <strong>masseuses providing “happy endings” to male customers is apparently less of a public health peril than an adult standing in front of a group of plexiglassed students explaining algebra. </strong></p> <p>MoCo politicians pretending to take the high road have actually turned local children into “revenue hostages.” Gayles’ shutdown order expires on October 1 – one day after local public schools report their expected enrollment, which will largely determine how much subsidies they receive. Keeping private schools shut down could result in tens of millions of additional tax dollars for the school system even if those kids never show up for a single class – simply because parents will not have the opportunity to notify the county of plans to withdraw their kids for private schools. </p> <p><strong>The Montgomery County fight has brought out the usual Twitter mobs proclaiming that any government official who fails to prohibit all purportedly risky activity is to blame for any resulting illnesses or deaths.</strong> A Twitter user named TeachersAreNotYourSacrificialLambs responded to Hogan’s action:</p> <blockquote> <p>“He now owns it. Every Maryland private <a href="https://twitter.com/MinervaAthena81/status/1290380305988235273">school</a> illness, hospitalization, and death now falls squarely on his shoulders. He. Owns. It.”</p> </blockquote> <p>A self-described “progressive democrat” Twitter user railed at Hogan:</p> <blockquote> <p><strong>“Why does he want dead children & school staff in Maryland?</strong>… Gov Larry just part of the #GOPDeathCult.”</p> </blockquote> <p>This is typical of how the COVID shutdowns and lockdowns have been scored: politicians are applauded for everything they ban while <strong>enjoying zero liability for the vast collateral damage they inflict.</strong> Many MoCo school nurses are concerned about the harm from shutdowns of school-based health centers that effectively serve as primary care providers for many low-income families. <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/reopening-schools.html">The CDC cited studies</a> on pandemics that showed “a strong association between length of quarantine and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms, avoidance behavior, and anger.” <strong>Maybe the champions of perpetual shutdowns will solve that problem by making antidepressants mandatory for all children?</strong></p> <p>Politicians and bureaucrats who claim a right to outlaw all risks ignore the risk of tyranny. Gayles and other MoCo politicians sneer at their critics as if they were <strong>unwashed deplorables incapable of understanding “science.”</strong> But their school shutdown policy is <strong>simply Political Science 101, using deceit and demagoguery to seize more power.</strong></p> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~4/Q93gszoKvcM" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Georgia family says cops shot at a car full of unarmed children, report says https://nypost.com/2020/08/08/georgia-police-fired-multiple-times-at-car-with-minors-report/ News | New York Post urn:uuid:1c13eb3f-06db-e197-d497-c265972e29c7 Sun, 09 Aug 2020 09:36:31 +1000 A Georgia family said cops shot at a car full of black children, one as young as 9, according to a report. The incident unfolded in Waycross, Ga. as five youngsters, ranging in age from 9 to 16, were headed home from a Walmart about 8 a.m. Saturday and a police car started to follow... A Georgia family said cops shot at a car full of black children, one as young as 9, according to a report. The incident unfolded in Waycross, Ga. as five youngsters, ranging in age from 9 to 16, were headed home from a Walmart about 8 a.m. Saturday and a police car started to follow... 'Broke And Unemployed' Hunter Biden Slapped With $450K Tax Lien - Which Was 'Resolved' In Six Days https://www.zerohedge.com/political/broke-and-unemployed-hunter-biden-slapped-450k-tax-lien-which-was-resolved-six-days zero hedge - on a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero urn:uuid:96243625-8842-da69-e971-94c717dc60c1 Sun, 09 Aug 2020 09:30:00 +1000 <span property="schema:name" class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">'Broke And Unemployed' Hunter Biden Slapped With $450K Tax Lien - Which Was 'Resolved' In Six Days</span> <span rel="schema:author" class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <a href="https://www.zerohedge.com/users/tyler-durden">Tyler Durden</a> </span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2020-08-08T23:30:00+00:00" class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sat, 08/08/2020 - 19:30</span> <div property="schema:text" class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>For a guy claiming to be broke and unemployed <em><a href="https://www.zerohedge.com/political/deadbeat-dad-hunter-biden-settles-paternity-case-avoids-courtroom-confrontation-over">in January</a> </em>in order to avoid paying child support, <strong>Hunter Biden</strong> was able to 'resolve' a <strong>$450,000 tax lien in mid-July, just six days after it was issued</strong>.</p> <blockquote> <p><strong>Although Biden claimed that he was broke, he was living in a $12,000-per-month Hollywood Hills rental home and spotted driving a $129,000 Porsche Panamera in Beverly Hills</strong>. After a judge ordered Biden to turn over his financial records and travel to Arkansas for a deposition, the former lobbyist agreed to settle the case with Roberts. -<a href="https://freebeacon.com/2020-election/for-biden-family-a-history-of-tax-problems/"><em>Washington Free Beacon</em></a></p> </blockquote> <p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/hunter%20oh%20no.jpg?itok=nZrF2uy-" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/hunter%20oh%20no.jpg?itok=nZrF2uy-"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/hunter%20oh%20no.jpg?itok=B74WmOlQ 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/hunter%20oh%20no.jpg?itok=B74WmOlQ 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/hunter%20oh%20no.jpg?itok=B74WmOlQ 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/hunter%20oh%20no.jpg?itok=B74WmOlQ 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/hunter%20oh%20no.jpg?itok=B74WmOlQ 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/hunter%20oh%20no.jpg?itok=nZrF2uy- 1x" type="image/jpeg"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="d85b07e6-e3b8-4f32-a9fc-fc62399172df" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="263" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/hunter%20oh%20no.jpg" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p> <p>While fighting with his baby mama, an Arkansas stripper, Biden said in a court filing "I attest that I am unemployed and have had no monthly income since May 2019," adding "I currently have significant debts (in part as a result of obligations arising from my divorce which was final in April 2017)."</p> <p>According to the <a href="https://freebeacon.com/2020-election/for-biden-family-a-history-of-tax-problems/"><em>Washington Free Beacon</em></a>, "The younger Biden owed $238,562.76 in state income taxes from 2017 and $215,328.16 in state income taxes from 2018, according to records from the District of Columbia’s Office of Tax and Revenue. <strong>The District of Columbia filed a $453,890 lien against him on July 9.</strong>"</p> <p>Yet, six days later on July 15, Hunter was <strong>released from the tax lien</strong><strong>, </strong>as confirmed to the <em>Beacon</em> by a spokesman for DC's Office of the Chief Financial Officer after <strong>the "tax issue was resolved."</strong></p> <blockquote> <p>Harvey Bezozi, a tax expert who specializes in large-scale tax debt negotiations, said<strong> the only way to get a lien released is to pay the settlement in full</strong>—often through a payment plan, penalty abatement, or other compromise with the government—or to prove the lien was filed in error. He said liens can take months or years to resolve.</p> <p>"It drags on," he said. "Six days had to be some kind of expeditious kind of process for this." -Washington Free Beacon</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>This isn't the first time Hunter has dodged taxes</strong>. In 2018, he was slapped with a $112,805 tax lien, which was resolved this March according to the <em>Beacon</em>.</p> <p>Biden came under scrutiny over his lucrative positions with foreign entities - reportedly raking in over $50,000 per month sitting on the board of directors for Ukrainian energy giant Burisma, and serving on the board of BHR Partners - "a $1.5 billion private equity arm of Chinese investment fund Bohai Capital," according to the report.</p> <p>According to Biden's lawyer, he no longer sits on either board.</p> <p><strong>Not just Hunter...</strong></p> <p>The <em>Beacon</em> also reports that <strong>the Biden family has been hit with multiple tax liens over the last several decades</strong>.</p> <blockquote> <p>James Biden has had at least five tax liens filed against him between 1995 and 2015, including one for $589,095 filed in 2015 and released one year later. Frank Biden, another brother of the presidential candidate, has had at least three liens for unpaid income taxes. He said i<strong>n 2011 that a $32,500 lien in Kentucky stemmed from his struggle with alcohol addiction and was being paid off through a monthly plan</strong>, according to the <em>Broward Palm Beach New Times</em>. Joe Biden’s sister Valerie and her husband John Owens have faced at least five tax liens, including one for $229,749 in 1990.</p> </blockquote> <p>Lucky for the Bidens, they're in the club...</p> <p><iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/cKUaqFzZLxU" width="560"></iframe></p> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~4/s_ee3iHoqHI" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Modern Monetary Theory Is Playing With Fire https://www.zerohedge.com/economics/modern-monetary-theory-playing-fire zero hedge - on a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero urn:uuid:33ea9b49-2bd0-121c-0796-bc2c1eb94f2e Sun, 09 Aug 2020 09:00:00 +1000 <span property="schema:name" class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Modern Monetary Theory Is Playing With Fire</span> <span rel="schema:author" class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <a href="https://www.zerohedge.com/users/tyler-durden">Tyler Durden</a> </span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2020-08-08T23:00:00+00:00" class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sat, 08/08/2020 - 19:00</span> <div property="schema:text" class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><a href="https://www.aier.org/article/modern-monetary-theory-is-playing-with-fire/"><em>Authored by Ethan Yang via The American Institute for Economic Research,</em></a></p> <p><strong>Like it or not <a href="https://stephaniekelton.com/about/">Stephanie Kelton</a> is an economist whose ideas are making a huge splash in the world of economic thinking. </strong>She currently serves as a professor at Stony Brook University but more notably served as the Chief Economist on the Senate Budget Committee as well as the senior economic advisor to the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign. This background should give you some insight into her latest book, titled <em><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B081JVRT57/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1">The Deficit Myth: Modern Monetary Theory and the Birth of the People’s Economy.</a> </em></p> <p>Published in 2020, this book may be the flagship literature of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), as it is<strong> not only accessible to the average person but also well-written</strong>. Perhaps that is also what makes this book rather dangerous as it combines rigorous theoretical concepts with rather deceptive analogies about how these ideas might work, and a decent amount of progressive political talking points. </p> <p><strong>It is part textbook, part persuasion, and part manifesto.</strong> Despite my disagreements with the content, I must admit that it is a thought-provoking piece of literature that <strong>provides insight on what may be a very real economic idea to be reckoned with in the near future. </strong></p> <p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/moneyburning-800x508.jpg?itok=nwUD-nHi" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/moneyburning-800x508.jpg?itok=nwUD-nHi"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/moneyburning-800x508.jpg?itok=xqUnRrFr 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/moneyburning-800x508.jpg?itok=xqUnRrFr 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/moneyburning-800x508.jpg?itok=xqUnRrFr 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/moneyburning-800x508.jpg?itok=xqUnRrFr 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/moneyburning-800x508.jpg?itok=xqUnRrFr 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/moneyburning-800x508.jpg?itok=nwUD-nHi 1x" type="image/jpeg"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="0cd836d3-a8c7-41db-83f5-4836d5ac5db0" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="318" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/moneyburning-800x508.jpg" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p> <h3><u>The Myth Surrounding Deficits </u></h3> <p>Dr. Kelton starts off her book with a basic point about the way the federal government works. Contrary to the way most politicians talk about the federal budget, there is nothing necessarily wrong with running a deficit and accumulating debt. Economists can debate to what extent debt accumulation and spending are healthy but a basic tenet of MMT is the universal truth that the United States government can spend money it doesn’t have. Kelton writes </p> <blockquote> <p>“What if the federal budget is fundamentally different than your household budget? What if I showed you that the deficit bogeyman isn’t real? What if I could convince you that we can have an economy that puts people and the planet first? That finding the money is not the problem?”</p> </blockquote> <p>The foundation for MMT is the idea that the federal government is different from a household in that it does not need to raise money before spending it, that it can accumulate debt without any constraints on its fiscal capabilities. The United States government can and has routinely printed money it wishes to spend even though it may not physically possess it, such as the most recent <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/billybambrough/2020/04/21/stimulus-checks-and-multi-trillion-dollar-bailouts-are-making-money-a-big-joke/#7d82c8e17694">stimulus</a> checks in response to COVID-19.</p> <p>With a yes or no vote the federal government has spent trillions of dollars that have not been generated from tax revenue or borrowing money. This is possible because the government is a money supplier. It has a monopoly on currency production and can print as much money as it desires. </p> <p>Whether or not it <em>should </em>spend more than it brings in with taxes is another debate entirely. The core foundation of MMT is the fact that a sovereign currency issuer like the United States, Japan, or Australia can continue to print money and therefore never run out. Under this logic, budget deficits are simply imaginary constraints; the real constraints to spending lie elsewhere.</p> <h3><u>Dealing With Inflation </u></h3> <p>This shift in understanding as described by Kelton is that </p> <blockquote> <p>“MMT clarifies what is economically possible and thus shifts the terrain of policy debates that get hamstrung over questions of financial feasibility.”</p> </blockquote> <p>In a way, governments around the world essentially practice MMT in a limited capacity as they print the money they don’t have to use in complicated monetary maneuvers. However, Kelton and MMT advocates believe that we should take this way of thinking to its limits. She extols the possibility of building new infrastructure, improving healthcare, and essentially funding a whole slew of projects that would otherwise be impossible without excessive taxation. </p> <p>Essentially we can have our cake and eat it too, getting more government services without higher taxes. Obviously one of the main concerns with this idea is that inflation would skyrocket if we simply pumped trillions of dollars into the economy. If inflation gets out of control, the country will follow in the steps of Weimar Germany, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe, dooming us to economic collapse. Kelton addresses this concern by clarifying </p> <blockquote> <p>“Do I believe the solution to all our problems is to simply spend more money? No, of course not. Just because there are no financial constraints on the federal budget doesn’t mean there aren’t real limits to what the government can (and should) do. Every economy has its own internal speed limit, regulated by the availability of real productive resources.”</p> </blockquote> <p>Powerful economies like the United States can afford to print and spend more money than a country like Haiti. MMT doesn’t necessarily posit that poor countries can print themselves to prosperity, more so that all countries with sovereignty over their currency can increase their potential by printing more money. Policymakers also need to be cognizant of what she refers to as “slack” in the economy which would be underutilized resources and opportunities. If there is enough “slack” in the economy, printing money will not result in inflation as productivity would increase with the money supply. </p> <p>The main problem with this premise, however, is trusting politicians and bureaucrats to make these incredibly sophisticated decisions. How could one know how much capital exists in the economy and what the correct amount of money to print in proportion to economic growth will be? This is a <a href="https://www.aier.org/article/the-epistemic-burden-of-politics/">knowledge problem </a>that needs to be reckoned with before we embark on this highly theoretical trip to the monetary unknown. </p> <h3><u>The Sovereignty of Currency</u></h3> <p>Kelton reminds us that the idea of balanced budgets and deficit constraints may have been important in the past when we were on the gold standard but now that we have moved into the world of fiat currency these restrictions no longer apply. This is again true; however, she believes we should take the idea to its logical extreme.</p> <p>To explain the importance of monetary sovereignty she explains that </p> <blockquote> <p>“In addition to the United States, countries like the United Kingdom, Japan, Canada, and Australia enjoy a high degree of monetary sovereignty… Some nations have weakened their monetary sovereignty, either by pegging their exchange rates (e.g. Bermuda, Venezuela, Niger), abandonment of their national currencies (e.g., all nineteen countries in the Eurozone, Ecuador, Panama), or by borrowing heavily in US dollars or other foreign currencies (e.g. Ukraine, Argentina, Turkey, Brazil). Doing any of these things compromises a nation’s monetary sovereignty and diminishes policy flexibility.” </p> </blockquote> <p>By diminishing their monetary sovereignty, these countries have lost their capacity to print money in order to execute policies like stimulus spending during economic downturns and financing more government programs. </p> <p>She adds that </p> <blockquote> <p>“Most developing countries are at the weaker end of the sovereignty spectrum…That’s because most poorer developing nations rely on imports to meet vital social needs.”</p> </blockquote> <p>Although this is certainly correct, whether or not this is the reason why some countries are poor or whether or not increased government spending will be more helpful in developing countries is another debate to be had. Whether or not that is a good thing would depend on whether one sees government intervention as the source of prosperity rather than the private sector. Does the government have a significant role to play in directing the economy like the Soviet Union or should it simply guarantee life, liberty, and property so that its enterprising citizens are free to prosper in a way they choose? </p> <p>Lastly, if countries with strong currencies decide to do as Kelton says and start printing trillions of dollars to finance projects even if it’s proportional to inflation what message will that send to users of the currency? An article in <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/billybambrough/2020/04/21/stimulus-checks-and-multi-trillion-dollar-bailouts-are-making-money-a-big-joke/#7d82c8e17694">Forbes</a> warns that </p> <blockquote> <p>“These numbers are so large that they no longer have any meaning; they are simply abstractions,”</p> <p>“Pointing to warnings made by former Fed chairman Paul Volcker that “it is a governmental responsibility to maintain the value of the currency they issue. And when they fail to do that, it is something that undermines an essential trust in government.”</p> <p>“After you throw a few trillion dollars around, people start to believe that it’s all a big joke.” </p> </blockquote> <p>Perhaps the United States can get away with a COVID-19 stimulus bill and maybe we can afford to finance a round of infrastructure improvements by printing a few trillion dollars. But what about the next round of repairs, the next crisis, the next pressing issue our government is called upon to address? Can we just keep printing more money and is this sustainable? These are some of the ultimate questions that proponents of MMT must address if this theory is ever to be viewed as sustainable. </p> <h3><u>The Role of Taxes </u></h3> <p>One of the immediate questions one may have when presented with a monetary system that proposes to pay for everything with the printing press, and that budgets are now irrelevant, is why should we keep paying taxes? </p> <p>Kelton is very upfront with her view of taxation, which isn’t to raise funds for programs as the government is already the sole provider of currency. It is as she writes,</p> <blockquote> <p>“To get the population to do all that work, the government imposes taxes, fees, fines, or other obligations. The tax is there to create a demand for the government’s currency. Before anyone can pay the tax someone has to do the work to earn the currency.”</p> </blockquote> <p>Kelton contends that money was first distributed by the government. In order to make it worth something, the government imposed taxes so that people could exchange them for government services and also work to earn the government’s money. Government is therefore responsible for creating the medium of exchange that society uses to conduct trade and also incentivizing people to conduct useful activity. </p> <p>According to Kelton taxes serve four essential purposes: </p> <ol><li> <p>To incentivize work by creating demand and scarcity for money</p> </li> <li> <p>To manage inflation by taking money out of the economy </p> </li> <li> <p>To redistribute income </p> </li> <li> <p>To discourage negative activity like smoking and carbon emissions </p> </li> </ol><p>In this view, taxes do not exist to support the operations of the state through a democratic process agreed upon by the electorate, but to simply exercise the levers of power. </p> <p>The conventional theory of money and taxes is that money arose as a convenient medium of exchange amongst individuals in the marketplace desiring a universal system of value exchange. That productive activity exists regardless of government and taxation is a process in which the government either forcefully or consensually takes from the population to fund generally agreed upon public services such as raising a military. </p> <p>These are two fundamentally contrasting views of the role of the state; one positing that it is the central component that enables civilized life and the other holding that it is an entity that is supported by the fruits of a civilized society and is, therefore, a humble servant. </p> <h3><u>Some Thoughts on MMT</u></h3> <p><em><strong>Aside from the concerns with the monetary aspects of MMT such as controlling inflation, maintaining confidence in our currency, and embarking on an unprecedented experiment in monetary theory, I am most concerned with the political economy surrounding MMT. </strong></em></p> <p>Kelton contends that such policies will create a “people’s economy” where politicians and not the Federal Reserve will make monetary decisions. Where we will not have to abide by the traditional constraints created by budgets, interest rates, and so on. On this topic, <a href="https://www.aier.org/article/the-federal-reserve-is-both-too-politicized-and-too-powerful/">AIER</a> has written extensively on why we should not politicize the Federal Reserve and monetary policy more generally.</p> <p>Kelton also makes the case for a <strong>federal jobs guarantee </strong>financed almost entirely by printed money. She contends that such a program would help alleviate job disruption brought about by technological advancement, recessions, and industry disruptions brought about by free trade. This will cost an obscene amount of money combined with the other promises she makes to fix infrastructure, fund Social Security, and provide free college, fund a Green New Deal, and so on. </p> <p>How can we know this will fit within the appropriate spending to economic growth ratio that she keeps reminding us is the real consideration we should be making? Furthermore, a federal jobs guarantee alongside all the other government programs she advocates for will crowd out productivity from the private sector. Large government programs such as a jobs guarantee will not only artificially divert labor and capital from productive sectors, but it will also drive up inflation when countless individuals are being given checks for government jobs that may not be adding any value to the economy. </p> <p>If the country embraced MMT, there would be <strong>massive concerns with cronyism</strong> as politicians would be unleashed to give virtually as much money to their friends as possible. There will be a <strong>populist tug of war</strong> over the printing press as the different political interests attempt to supercharge their favorite spending habits. The electorate, emboldened by the prospect of simply enriching itself with the printing press will trap politicians in a position where the one who promises to print the most money wins. We don’t need to look any further than the current welfare state to see this in action. If this happens then the careful management of the money supply and inflation which Kelton holds as the main concern with making MMT work will be broken in short order. </p> <p>Finally, there is a question about the very role of government. Kelton contends that MMT will make it more democratic. I believe that unchaining the state from the constraints of budgets and taxation will make it more despotic. Whatever the government can give, it can also take. MMT seems to favor one that can give endlessly and take everything. </p> <p><strong>When we look to the state, do we see a deity to kneel before? Or do we see a government instituted among men, deriving its just powers from the consent of the governed? A government that will live and serve within the means that which we democratically assign to it. </strong></p> <p>Kelton may be right that the old mechanisms of the gold standard, balanced budgets, and debt may be instruments of the past in the face of MMT and fiat currency. However, they also provide a service that goes beyond money and finance. That is maintaining a government that is prudent, humble, and sustainable. </p> <h3><u><strong>Conclusion</strong> </u></h3> <p>Stephanie Kelton’s book is well-written and serves as an accessible insight into the world of Modern Monetary Theory. Although I have many objections, I found it a great read nonetheless, especially knowing that this is a field of economic thought that may be much more relevant in the near future. There are parts of the book that are essential pieces of economic knowledge that define the modern state, some that are questionable premises, and some that are blatant political talking points.<strong> As a contribution to economic thought, I find it to be rather questionable. It also features circular logic, as well as bait-and-switch style arguments.</strong> As an accessible insight into an increasingly relevant monetary theory and the world of public finance, I believe the book does just that.</p> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~4/tRmdJ1jkYpw" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Luxury Miami high-rise using robots to zap out COVID-19 https://nypost.com/2020/08/08/luxury-miami-high-rise-using-robots-to-zap-out-covid-19/ News | New York Post urn:uuid:39bb259b-7706-c1ef-4cd0-9de481967ac4 Sun, 09 Aug 2020 08:52:29 +1000 Call it the coronavirus terminator. Call it the coronavirus terminator. Bear follows two men home in Alaska, destroys family’s house https://nypost.com/2020/08/08/bear-follows-two-men-home-in-alaska-destroys-familys-house/ News | New York Post urn:uuid:1635be10-1877-5ff9-0d66-72820f1293b4 Sun, 09 Aug 2020 08:45:59 +1000 While the children and Norman Lott’s wife tried to hide, the men started yelling at the bear who reared up and lunged at McVey and Lott. While the children and Norman Lott’s wife tried to hide, the men started yelling at the bear who reared up and lunged at McVey and Lott. A dog has been mayor of this California town for 8 years https://nypost.com/2020/08/08/a-dog-has-been-mayor-of-this-california-town-for-8-years/ News | New York Post urn:uuid:29c9bc3a-bd04-e55c-b89b-68a96cfb3d3d Sun, 09 Aug 2020 08:34:33 +1000 It’s a ruff job — but some dog’s got to do it! Max II, formally known as Maximus Mighty-Dog Mueller II, an adorable Golden Retriever, isn’t just an Instagram influencer, he’s the mayor of Idyllwild, California. And he&#8217;s got important business. &#8220;We Mayors of Idyllwild all just got to go to the Dairy Queen, and... It’s a ruff job — but some dog’s got to do it! Max II, formally known as Maximus Mighty-Dog Mueller II, an adorable Golden Retriever, isn’t just an Instagram influencer, he’s the mayor of Idyllwild, California. And he&#8217;s got important business. &#8220;We Mayors of Idyllwild all just got to go to the Dairy Queen, and... Ukraine offering prisoners upgrades to luxury VIP cells — with a price https://nypost.com/2020/08/08/ukraine-offers-prisoners-upgrades-to-luxury-vip-cells/ News | New York Post urn:uuid:346a177e-e051-a10f-4934-51c5e988dc5e Sun, 09 Aug 2020 08:32:02 +1000 Justice Minister Denys Malyuska promoted the certificates as a “potential birthday present for officials and politicians,” according to the BBC. Justice Minister Denys Malyuska promoted the certificates as a “potential birthday present for officials and politicians,” according to the BBC. Navarro And Mnuchin Get Into "Knock Down, Drag Out" Oval Office Brawl Over TikTok Ban https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/navarro-and-mnuchin-get-knock-down-drag-out-oval-office-brawl-over-tiktok-ban zero hedge - on a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero urn:uuid:eea20076-363d-8ff5-d0ff-07826e07ebcf Sun, 09 Aug 2020 08:30:00 +1000 <span property="schema:name" class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Navarro And Mnuchin Get Into "Knock Down, Drag Out" Oval Office Brawl Over TikTok Ban</span> <span rel="schema:author" class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <a href="https://www.zerohedge.com/users/tyler-durden">Tyler Durden</a> </span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2020-08-08T22:30:00+00:00" class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sat, 08/08/2020 - 18:30</span> <div property="schema:text" class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>In other TikTok-related news, the Washington Post published a lengthy report delineating what was going on inside the West Wing as Trump laid down the executive order, and others who have an interest in getting the deal done.</p> <p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-08%20at%202.31.38%20PM.png?itok=2C8JzhC3" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-08%20at%202.31.38%20PM.png?itok=2C8JzhC3"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-08%20at%202.31.38%20PM.png?itok=XDbBhVPK 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-08%20at%202.31.38%20PM.png?itok=XDbBhVPK 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-08%20at%202.31.38%20PM.png?itok=XDbBhVPK 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-08%20at%202.31.38%20PM.png?itok=XDbBhVPK 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-08%20at%202.31.38%20PM.png?itok=XDbBhVPK 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-08%20at%202.31.38%20PM.png?itok=2C8JzhC3 1x" type="image/png"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="f328669d-12c7-4fa4-a69b-778b2add87d7" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="357" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-08%20at%202.31.38%20PM.png" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p> <p>As Microsoft, under the impression it had the 'all-clear', moved ahead with the talks, only to be stymied by Beijing's fury over Trump's executive order, which soured the optics of the situation and would have made a sale of TikTok look like a concession on China's part, others stepped in to intercede with President Trump, who was once again calling the shots while his advisors battled for his ear.</p> <p>After a succinct refresher on the history of the Trump Administration's national security concerns regarding TikTok, WaPo identifies VCs with a major investment in ByteDance who stepped in to intercede on the Chinese giant's behalf, <strong>as big-time Silicon Valley dealmakers tried to get closer to the president. </strong></p> <blockquote> <p>TikTok is considered one of the biggest technological success stories to come out of China. People around the world use the app to make short videos about their lives, pets and dance moves. Parent company ByteDance CEO Zhang Yiming calls it a “window” into the world.</p> <p>TikTok has 100 million U.S. users, many of whom are under 25 years old. Its success has drawn interest from prominent investors, including Sequoia Capital, a leading Silicon Valley venture capital firm. In 2014, its China arm made a prescient $35 million investment in TikTok’s parent company, giving it a stake that today is reportedly valued at more than $800 million. TikTok’s owner also acquired Musical.ly in 2017 for $1 billion, making it even more attractive to young users.</p> <p>But with that success came scrutiny. <strong>TikTok was first identified as a potential national security threat in summer 2019, when U.S. officials approached ByteDance about concerns regarding its acquisition.</strong></p> <p><strong>That turned into a formal national security investigation this year. It was led by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), </strong>an interagency body that screens foreign investment transactions for national security risks and recommends to the president on security grounds whether certain proposed acquisitions should be rejected.as well as completed acquisitions reversed.</p> <p>In TikTok’s case, the app has been downloaded more than 175 million times in the United States, and like other apps accesses copious amounts of sensitive personal data, including Internet and browsing activity, location data and search histories. That information is potentially available to the Chinese government under a national intelligence law that requires any Chinese company to “support, assist and cooperate with state intelligence work.”</p> <p><strong>The news of the investigation sent shudders through the halls of Sequoia Capital. Global managing partner Doug Leone took the lead on advocating for TikTok with the Trump administration</strong>, telling people he could use his influence with Trump to help the company, according to a person familiar with the discussions who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe a private conversation. Leone and his wife have given $100,000 to Trump’s reelection bid, and Leone sits on the president’s task force for reopening the economy, according to public records.</p> </blockquote> <p>As Trump's anger simmered over the past two weeks, with periods of silence regularly punctuated by threats of a ban, the China trade hawk faction stepped up to try and push back against the horde of wealthy VCs seeking to dissuade Trump from pursuing the ban.</p> <p>The hawks accused the finance guys of being dangerously sympathetic to the CCP, and ignoring the good of the country for the sake of the bottom line. Things (reportedly) got heated, and Pete Navarro and Steve Mnuchin got into what was described as a "knock down, drag out fight".</p> <blockquote> <p>In front of Trump, trade adviser Peter Navarro and other aides late last week, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin began arguing that the Chinese-owned video-sharing service TikTok should be sold to a U.S. company. Mnuchin had talked several times to Microsoft’s senior leaders and was confident that he had rallied support within the administration for a sale to the tech giant on national security grounds.</p> <p>Navarro pushed back, demanding an outright ban of TikTok, while accusing Mnuchin of being soft on China, the people said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss private discussions freely. The treasury secretary appeared taken aback, they said.</p> <p><strong>The ensuing argument — which was described by one of the people as a “knockdown, drag-out” brawl — was preceded by months of backroom dealings among investors, lobbyists and executives.</strong> Many of these stakeholders long understood the critical nature of establishing close connections with key figures in the Trump administration.</p> </blockquote> <p>Of course, this isn't the first time Navarro has reportedly "fought" somebody during a meeting, according to the American press. <a href="https://www.zerohedge.com/health/peter-navarro-explodes-faucci-heated-showdown-over-hydroxychloroquine">Remember that time he almost beat up Dr. Fauci?</a></p> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~4/4VIkjSAoNdk" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Portland standoff escalates after Trump labels demonstrators ‘anarchists’ https://nypost.com/2020/08/08/portland-standoff-escalates-after-trump-calls-demonstrators-anarchists/ News | New York Post urn:uuid:d48fad64-f62b-ff21-9fbf-c97ec053854a Sun, 09 Aug 2020 08:16:18 +1000 Protesters and police weren&#8217;t the only ones squaring off in Portland &#8212; President Trump jumped into the fray with words. Only hours before cops and activists faced off early Saturday on the city&#8217;s east side, the president once again accused &#8220;anarchists&#8221; and &#8220;mobs&#8221; of orchestrating the demonstrations. The confrontation took place at a Portland police... Protesters and police weren&#8217;t the only ones squaring off in Portland &#8212; President Trump jumped into the fray with words. Only hours before cops and activists faced off early Saturday on the city&#8217;s east side, the president once again accused &#8220;anarchists&#8221; and &#8220;mobs&#8221; of orchestrating the demonstrations. The confrontation took place at a Portland police... David Stockman: The Biggest Threat To Your Prosperity And What You Can Do https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/david-stockman-biggest-threat-your-prosperity-and-what-you-can-do zero hedge - on a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero urn:uuid:17de8ae3-6dc6-5cbb-02ed-ed33de5877f2 Sun, 09 Aug 2020 08:00:00 +1000 <span property="schema:name" class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">David Stockman: The Biggest Threat To Your Prosperity And What You Can Do</span> <span rel="schema:author" class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <a href="https://www.zerohedge.com/users/tyler-durden">Tyler Durden</a> </span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2020-08-08T22:00:00+00:00" class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sat, 08/08/2020 - 18:00</span> <div property="schema:text" class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><a href="https://internationalman.com/articles/david-stockman-the-biggest-threat-to-your-prosperity/"><em>Authored by David Stockman via Doug Casey's International Man,</em></a></p> <p><em><strong>If you want to understand America’s dangerously deepening travails, you have to start at the Federal Reserve’s Eccles Building...</strong></em></p> <p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/Fedbuilding.jpg?itok=3MWQawzr" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/Fedbuilding.jpg?itok=3MWQawzr"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Fedbuilding.jpg?itok=ZxHN8vMh 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Fedbuilding.jpg?itok=ZxHN8vMh 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Fedbuilding.jpg?itok=ZxHN8vMh 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Fedbuilding.jpg?itok=ZxHN8vMh 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Fedbuilding.jpg?itok=ZxHN8vMh 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/Fedbuilding.jpg?itok=3MWQawzr 1x" type="image/jpeg"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="33fd1b62-4c02-4fe0-8996-93bd177e0d36" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="331" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/Fedbuilding.jpg" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p> <p><strong>After a 30-year rolling coup d’etat, its occupants have imposed a regime of destructive falsification on America’s financial, economic, political, and social life.</strong></p> <p>It has become the heart of mushrooming darkness taking prosperity, liberty, and democracy down for the count.</p> <p><em><strong>How do we get 50 million unemployed… the stock market at record highs… companies trashing their balance sheets to buy back stock and do vastly overpriced M&A deals… doctors and politicians savaging the economy and the livelihoods of millions… and Washington going incontinent on the fiscal front?</strong></em></p> <p>The answer is simple:</p> <blockquote> <p><em><strong>the rapidly-spreading dysfunction is rooted in the giant financial fraud embedded in the Federal Reserve’s $7 trillion balance sheet.</strong></em></p> </blockquote> <p>The latter is blissfully taken for granted by the politicians and C-suites of corporate America and desperately insisted upon by the unhinged gamblers of Wall Street.</p> <p><strong>Even if you believe that a regular infusion of money is needed to catalyze the wheels of capitalist growth (we don’t), there is absolutely no economic logic that says the central bank’s balance sheet should grow by orders of magnitude faster than GDP over an extended period of time.</strong></p> <p>If the robustly growing GDP of 1987 needed $5 of central bank money per $100 of GDP, there is no reason why that ratio should have differed in 2008 or 2020.</p> <p>But it did and does.</p> <p>In June 1987, the nominal GDP was $4.8 trillion, and by all current estimates, it clocked in at $19.4 trillion in June 2020. That’s a 4.1X expansion over 33 years.</p> <p>In contrast, the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet stood at about $240 billion on the eve of Greenspan’s arrival at the Eccles Building in August 1987 and clocked in at $7.2 trillion at the end of Q2 2020. That’s a <strong>30X</strong> gain.</p> <p>Since the early 2000s and the dotcom crash, it has only gotten far worse. The chart below of the Fed’s balance sheet and GDP is indexed to 100 as of January 2003. It tells you all you need to know.</p> <p><strong>During the past 17 years, the Fed’s balance sheet (purple line) has risen to 983% of its starting value, even as GDP (red line) has risen to only 192%.</strong></p> <p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/FedFredchart.png?itok=FdIEog4r" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/FedFredchart.png?itok=FdIEog4r"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/FedFredchart.png?itok=OlV-N2EH 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/FedFredchart.png?itok=OlV-N2EH 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/FedFredchart.png?itok=OlV-N2EH 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/FedFredchart.png?itok=OlV-N2EH 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/FedFredchart.png?itok=OlV-N2EH 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/FedFredchart.png?itok=FdIEog4r 1x" type="image/png"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="ca5d5be6-40a5-4a1c-b0e3-7456ea28db0c" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="379" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/FedFredchart.png" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p> <p><strong>What was fostered in the vast area between the two lines above was excess liquidity, debt, speculation, and malinvestment. This was accompanied by a complete breakdown of financial discipline in all sectors of American society.</strong></p> <p>These long-term growth factors are not even in the same zip code or planet—and the massive excess of the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet versus GDP did not happen like a tree falling silently in an empty forest.</p> <p>On the contrary, <strong>it turned the financial and economic world upside down. </strong>That’s because the effect was to systematically suppress the cost of debt and speculation and drastically inflate the value of financial assets. As a result, everyone got false price signals and changed their behavior accordingly:</p> <ul><li> <p>Wall Street investors became leveraged speculators;</p> </li> <li> <p>Corporate business builders become financial engineers;</p> </li> <li> <p>Middle-class households became debt slaves living hand-to-mouth on borrowed money; and</p> </li> <li> <p>Washington’s politicians became free lunch spendthrifts piling on public debt like there was no tomorrow.</p> </li> </ul><p><strong>The Fed is now a rogue institution that comprises a clear and present <a href="https://internationalman.com/special-report/guide-to-surviving-and-thriving-during-an-economic-collapse/">danger to the future of prosperity</a> and liberty in America.</strong></p> <p>The tragedy is that the clueless speculators on Wall Street, and the politicians of Washington who are riding the most egregiously inflated financial bubble ever, don’t even get the joke.</p> <p>So what happens next?</p> <p><strong>We’d say nothing very pleasant.</strong></p> <p>*  *  *</p> <p><em>The truth is, we’re on the cusp of a economic crisis that could eclipse anything we’ve seen before. And most people won’t be prepared for what’s coming. That’s exactly why bestselling author Doug Casey and his team <a href="https://internationalman.com/special-report/guide-to-surviving-and-thriving-during-an-economic-collapse/">just released a free report</a> with all the details on how to survive an economic collapse. <a href="https://internationalman.com/special-report/guide-to-surviving-and-thriving-during-an-economic-collapse/">Click here to download the PDF now.</a></em></p> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~4/NIXmJbLoYT0" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> "Leave, You Are All Killers!" Protesters Storm Multiple Government Ministries In Beirut https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/leave-you-are-all-killers-lebanese-protesters-storm-multiple-government-ministries zero hedge - on a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero urn:uuid:69aa9414-3de3-b7e8-3f37-378e95473732 Sun, 09 Aug 2020 07:30:00 +1000 <span property="schema:name" class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">"Leave, You Are All Killers!" Protesters Storm Multiple Government Ministries In Beirut</span> <span rel="schema:author" class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <a href="https://www.zerohedge.com/users/tyler-durden">Tyler Durden</a> </span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2020-08-08T21:30:00+00:00" class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sat, 08/08/2020 - 17:30</span> <div property="schema:text" class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>The <a href="https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/tsunami-rage-lebanon-braces-mass-protests-over-blast-economy-free-fall">expected protests</a> and riots have broken out in Beirut at the end of a week in which families mourned the over 150 killed in Tuesday's blast centered on the port, which it's now been revealed was the result of years of negligence by authorities who allowed 2,750 metric tons of ammonium nitrate to be unsafely stored right <strong>alongside a large stash of impounded fireworks</strong>. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en" xml:lang="en" xml:lang="en">Four <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Lebanon?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Lebanon</a> ministries (so far) in the hands of <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Beirut?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Beirut</a> protesters:<br /><br /> •Foreign Affairs<br /> •Economy<br /> •Environment<br /> •Energy<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/%D8%AB%D9%88%D8%B1%D9%87?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ثوره</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/%D8%AB%D9%88%D8%B1%D8%A9_%D9%84%D8%A8%D9%86%D8%A7%D9%86?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ثورة_لبنان</a> <a href="https://t.co/FXsvNkn0AZ">pic.twitter.com/FXsvNkn0AZ</a></p> — Firas Maksad (@FirasMaksad) <a href="https://twitter.com/FirasMaksad/status/1292154959627268096?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 8, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async="" src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Like the years-long banking crisis, the government is seen as directly responsible for this week's epic tragedy, also given the lengthy paper trail showing multiple officials and entities begged the government to do something about the explosive substance stored so near a densely populated area.</p> <p>But Lebanese now taking to the streets this weekend could care less about the fine points buck passing among the political class as now a tsunami of rage is being unleashed, additionally as the economy is <a href="https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/tsunami-rage-lebanon-braces-mass-protests-over-blast-economy-free-fall">in shambles with record unemployment</a>.</p> <p>On Saturday local TV stations showed footage of thousands of protesters <strong>occupying at least four government ministry buildings</strong> in downtown Beirut.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en" xml:lang="en" xml:lang="en">This time we're not going anywhere <a href="https://t.co/tIqukej8IH">pic.twitter.com/tIqukej8IH</a></p> — Nizar Hassan || نزار حسن (@Nizhsn) <a href="https://twitter.com/Nizhsn/status/1292141018222137344?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 8, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async="" src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>An estimated<strong> ten thousand clashed with police</strong>, which reportedly involved<strong> shots fired</strong>, in mayhem that also left<strong> at least one police officer dead.</strong></p> <p>And Reuters reports that the country's banking sector remains target of the people's rage:</p> <blockquote> <p>"Lebanese protesters stormed government ministries in Beirut and trashed the offices of the Association of Lebanese Banks on Saturday, TV footage showed, as <strong>shots were fired</strong> in growing protests over this week’s devastating explosion," according to <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lebanon-security-blast/lebanese-protesters-storm-ministry-buildings-as-beirut-blast-protests-grow-idUSKCN2540EX">the report</a>.</p> </blockquote> <a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/beirutprotests.png?itok=o66E-bSI" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/beirutprotests.png?itok=o66E-bSI"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/beirutprotests.png?itok=yD3Ay4c2 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/beirutprotests.png?itok=yD3Ay4c2 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/beirutprotests.png?itok=yD3Ay4c2 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/beirutprotests.png?itok=yD3Ay4c2 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/beirutprotests.png?itok=yD3Ay4c2 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/beirutprotests.png?itok=o66E-bSI 1x" type="image/png"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><figure role="group" class="caption caption-img"><img alt="" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="36b39a04-e78c-4bfe-856e-e833b38afad4" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="351" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/beirutprotests.png" typeof="foaf:Image" width="500" /><figcaption><em>Martyr's Square on Saturday, via AFP.</em></figcaption></figure></picture></a> <p>Already the growing number of injuries are an indicator of just how fierce this round of protests <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lebanon-security-blast/lebanese-protesters-storm-ministry-buildings-as-beirut-blast-protests-grow-idUSKCN2540EX">promises to be</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>The Red Cross said it had treated 117 people for injuries on the scene while another 55 were taken to hospital. A fire broke out in central Martyrs’ Square.</p> <p>Dozens of protesters broke into the foreign ministry where they burnt a framed portrait of President Michel Aoun, representative for many of a political class that has ruled Lebanon for decades and that they say is to blame for its deep political and economic crises.</p> </blockquote> <p>It appears that going into the night the ministries now "taken over" the protesters include <strong>the Foreign Affairs, Environment, and Energy ministry buildings, as well as the Ministry of Economy</strong>.</p> <p>Chants of <strong>“the people want the fall of the regime”</strong> as well as the burning of portraits of top Lebanese leaders and politicians, such as of President Michel Aoun could be observed during mass demonstrations at Martyr's Square.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en" xml:lang="en" xml:lang="en">Massive, massive anti-government protests in Beirut today.<br /><br /><a href="https://t.co/hJAmc5VFui">pic.twitter.com/hJAmc5VFui</a></p> — Joshua Potash (@JoshuaPotash) <a href="https://twitter.com/JoshuaPotash/status/1292116688792584192?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 8, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async="" src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Responding to the pressure and popular anger, Prime Minister Hassan Diab called for early parliamentary elections and a two month transition period.</p> <p><strong>"We cannot get out of this crisis without early parliamentary elections,"</strong> Diab <a href="https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/08/lebanon-pm-hassan-diab-call-early-vote-port-blast-200808183942355.html">said</a> in a televised address.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en" xml:lang="en" xml:lang="en">Breaking: Video shows the scene of anti-government protests in Beirut, Lebanon. Over 100 protesters have been injured during the protests. <a href="https://t.co/YXmBsX7hyo">pic.twitter.com/YXmBsX7hyo</a></p> — PM Breaking News (@PMBreakingNews) <a href="https://twitter.com/PMBreakingNews/status/1292149463348400129?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 8, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async="" src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Reuters describes further of Saturday's <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lebanon-security-blast/lebanese-protesters-storm-ministry-buildings-as-beirut-blast-protests-grow-idUSKCN2540EX">mayhem in the streets</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>The protesters said their politicians should be hanged and punished over their negligence that they say led to Tuesday’s gigantic explosion that killed 158 people and injured more than 6,000.</p> <p>The protesters chanted , reprising a popular chant from the Arab Spring uprisings of 2011. They held posters saying <strong>“Leave, you are all killers”</strong>.</p> </blockquote> <p>Lebanon is still at the height of abanking and currency crisis which previously saw unprecedented restrictions put on patrons of banks: they couldn't draw from their own savings accounts on fears of a run on cash (specifically the dollar), and had strict controls put on external transfers out of the country. This as the local Lebanese lira had effectively collapsed.</p> <p>Lebanese officials estimate that the explosion resulted in between three and five billion dollars worth of destruction, and many thousands of people left homeless given whole buildings were destroyed.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en" xml:lang="en" xml:lang="en">Craziest Beirut explosion angle <a href="https://t.co/jTXstVCMB1">pic.twitter.com/jTXstVCMB1</a></p> — Over 12,000 cruise ship workers still at sea after COVID-19 shutdown https://nypost.com/2020/08/08/12000-cruise-ship-workers-still-at-sea-after-covid-19-shutdown/ News | New York Post urn:uuid:4bca86a9-edb3-f107-4451-0e7a1682bf79 Sun, 09 Aug 2020 07:24:13 +1000 That number is down from more than 70,000 in May, according to a report. That number is down from more than 70,000 in May, according to a report. Saint-Tropez now requires masks in public as COVID-19 cases rise https://nypost.com/2020/08/08/saint-tropez-requires-masks-in-public-as-covid-19-cases-rise/ News | New York Post urn:uuid:96194f78-8a8f-d361-6e63-dc364b3d5113 Sun, 09 Aug 2020 07:03:35 +1000 The jet setters enjoying a summer holiday in Saint-Tropez will have to add face masks to their wardrobes. The glamorous French Riviera resort began requiring the masks outdoors Saturday, as cases of the coronavirus began to creep up again across France. There were more than 2,000 new infections Friday, the biggest single-day increase since May.... The jet setters enjoying a summer holiday in Saint-Tropez will have to add face masks to their wardrobes. The glamorous French Riviera resort began requiring the masks outdoors Saturday, as cases of the coronavirus began to creep up again across France. There were more than 2,000 new infections Friday, the biggest single-day increase since May.... More Than 84,000 Mail In Ballots Disqualified In New York City Primary https://www.zerohedge.com/political/more-84000-mail-ballots-disqualified-new-york-city-primary zero hedge - on a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero urn:uuid:4d7c413f-6174-d53f-0364-0834c57c0f99 Sun, 09 Aug 2020 07:00:00 +1000 <span property="schema:name" class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">More Than 84,000 Mail In Ballots Disqualified In New York City Primary</span> <span rel="schema:author" class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <a href="https://www.zerohedge.com/users/tyler-durden">Tyler Durden</a> </span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2020-08-08T21:00:00+00:00" class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sat, 08/08/2020 - 17:00</span> <div property="schema:text" class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><strong>If this is foreshadowing for the national election, November could wind up being total chaos.</strong></p> <p><strong>Mail in ballots belonging to more than 84,000 Democrats in New York City who were seeking to vote in the presidential primary were disqualified</strong> according to newly released data from the Board of Elections.</p> <p>According to the <a href="https://nypost.com/2020/08/05/84000-mail-in-ballots-disqualified-in-nyc-primary-election/amp/">NY Post</a>, the city received 403,103 mail in ballots for the June 23 Democratic primary and the certified results on Wednesday confirmed that only 318,995 of these ballots were counted. </p> <p><strong>The 84,108 ballots that were not counted represented 21% of the total mail-in ballots.</strong></p> <p>The ballots were disqualified for things like arriving late, lacking a postmark or failing to include the signature of the voter. Roughly 30,000 mail-in ballots from Brooklyn alone were invalidated, the Post reported.</p> <p>The report describes the Postal Service as "woefully underprepared" to handle and process an "avalanche" of mail-in ballots that were distributed and encouraged for use as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The state had paid for pre-paid envelopes to make it easier to vote during the pandemic. </p> <p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/ballot.jpg?itok=6OKQ4q98" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/ballot.jpg?itok=6OKQ4q98"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/ballot.jpg?itok=q1kYWCGS 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/ballot.jpg?itok=q1kYWCGS 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/ballot.jpg?itok=q1kYWCGS 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/ballot.jpg?itok=q1kYWCGS 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/ballot.jpg?itok=q1kYWCGS 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/ballot.jpg?itok=6OKQ4q98 1x" type="image/jpeg"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="ea5de8e8-a81b-49f9-ab49-c344eb01f454" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="291" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/ballot.jpg" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p> <p>The disaster has now turned into a legal mess, with a federal judge ruling Monday that "thousands of voters" were disenfranchised because of "tardy mailing and processing" of the ballots. Lawyer Arthur Schwartz said: “A 26 percent invalidation rate is astounding. It’s very troubling. The envelope with directions for the signature was so poorly designed.”</p> <p><strong>The court is now fighting with the Board of Elections over whether ballots received by June 25 should be counted.</strong></p> <p>Doug Kellner, co-chair of the state Board of Elections, had suggested reforms to the ballot but was "blown off" by the BOE back in November. He has urged proper staffing at polling places for November to keep lines short and to tally absentee ballots quicker than the six weeks it took for the primaries. </p> <p>“Add new capacity to process the applications in a timely manner now. Do not wait for a backlog from which you can never recover,” Kellner suggested.</p> <p>He concluded, in his notes to the BOE:<strong> “To those voters who did not have an opportunity to cast their ballots in the primary election, we should apologize for not doing more.</strong> Elected officials and others warned that we were not deploying sufficient resources to mail out absentee ballots in a timely manner, and in hindsight, we could have done more to address the problem.”</p> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~4/d13IHGLGDJs" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Kodak Government Deal On Verge Of Collapse: DFC Says "Recent Allegations Of Wrongdoing Raise Serious Concerns" https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/kodak-government-deal-verge-collapse-dfc-says-recent-allegations-wrongdoing-raise-serious zero hedge - on a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero urn:uuid:0a6808aa-b666-893b-287e-5ec8446e3c6c Sun, 09 Aug 2020 06:30:00 +1000 <span property="schema:name" class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Kodak Government Deal On Verge Of Collapse: DFC Says "Recent Allegations Of Wrongdoing Raise Serious Concerns"</span> <span rel="schema:author" class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <a href="https://www.zerohedge.com/users/tyler-durden">Tyler Durden</a> </span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2020-08-08T20:30:00+00:00" class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sat, 08/08/2020 - 16:30</span> <div property="schema:text" class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Ever since Reuters <a href="https://www.zerohedge.com/political/kodak-granted-chairman-175-million-options-day-trumps-765-million-loan-company">reported last week that Kodak had granted its Chairman</a>, Jim Continenza, some 1.75 million options (in what appears to be less than an "arms-length deal" and as the result of what was called an <em><strong>"</strong>understanding" </em>with the Board of Directors), just one day before the infamous $765 million loan from the government was announced on July 28, which was meant to transform the one-time photography titan (since bankrupt) into a China supply-chain alternative to produce pharmaceutical products in Rochester and at the company's facility in St. Paul, Minnesota, and which sent its stock price from $2 to $60 in two days....</p> <p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/kodk%202020-08-08_10-24-03.jpg?itok=3mlpLhez" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/kodk%202020-08-08_10-24-03.jpg?itok=3mlpLhez"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/kodk%202020-08-08_10-24-03.jpg?itok=sL3fUj9y 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/kodk%202020-08-08_10-24-03.jpg?itok=sL3fUj9y 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/kodk%202020-08-08_10-24-03.jpg?itok=sL3fUj9y 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/kodk%202020-08-08_10-24-03.jpg?itok=sL3fUj9y 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/kodk%202020-08-08_10-24-03.jpg?itok=sL3fUj9y 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/kodk%202020-08-08_10-24-03.jpg?itok=3mlpLhez 1x" type="image/jpeg"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="d07f9746-a025-4e55-9037-5fa44939a51b" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="292" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/kodk%202020-08-08_10-24-03.jpg" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p> <p>... making the Kodak chairman richer by <a href="https://www.voanews.com/economy-business/eastman-kodak-executive-got-trump-deal-windfall-understanding">tens of millions overnight</a>, the stench of impropriety was spreading, sparking demands from Democrats for a probe of potential backroom dealings between the Trump administration and Continenza, and culminating with an alleged SEC probe last week into the legitimacy of the deal.</p> <p>And now, just ten days later, it appears that the entire deal is on the verge of collapse with the government's International Development Finance Corporation tweeting late on Friday that...</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en" xml:lang="en" xml:lang="en">On July 28, we signed a Letter of Interest with Eastman Kodak. Recent allegations of wrongdoing raise serious concerns. We will not proceed any further unless these allegations are cleared.</p> — DFCgov (@DFCgov) <a href="https://twitter.com/DFCgov/status/1291853877168558086?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 7, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async="" src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>... the same IDFC which on July 28 released a statement quoting Continenza as saying: "Kodak will play a critical role in the return of a reliable American pharmaceutical supply chain."</p> <p>Trump, too, had hailed the development. "I want to congratulate the people in Kodak," he said at a press briefing. "They’ve been working very hard." It was Trump's encouragement that sparked the furious rally in KODK stock and a frenzied scramble by Robinhood traders to buy up every share they could find, even if as the chart below show, the euphoria has clearly peaked.</p> <p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/KODK%20RH_0.jpg?itok=bWfxr2I5" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/KODK%20RH_0.jpg?itok=bWfxr2I5"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/KODK%20RH_0.jpg?itok=RCwNDxXi 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/KODK%20RH_0.jpg?itok=RCwNDxXi 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/KODK%20RH_0.jpg?itok=RCwNDxXi 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/KODK%20RH_0.jpg?itok=RCwNDxXi 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/KODK%20RH_0.jpg?itok=RCwNDxXi 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/KODK%20RH_0.jpg?itok=bWfxr2I5 1x" type="image/jpeg"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="d0060335-33bc-4009-9fb6-1a4e49e57927" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="292" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/KODK%20RH_0.jpg" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p> <p>Peter Navarro, director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, tweeted that he is very disappointed that last week’s deal with Kodak was tarnished by allegations.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en" xml:lang="en" xml:lang="en">VERY disappointed last week’s great deal with Kodak tarnished by allegations. Absolutely RIGHT move by DFC!<br /> We must redouble efforts to bring our pharma manufacturing home!! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BuyAmerican?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BuyAmerican</a> <a href="https://t.co/2OfAjJFHKH">https://t.co/2OfAjJFHKH</a></p> — Peter Navarro (@PeterNavarro45) <a href="https://twitter.com/PeterNavarro45/status/1291857146137763840?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 7, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async="" src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Last Friday, Kodak announced that it will appoint a special committee to conduct an internal review of the process surrounding the company's agreement, although if the IDFC is indeed putting the deal on hold that may well be moot; the only question is whether any insiders and funds that liquidated stock and generated impressive overnight profits will be forced to clawback their gains.</p> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~4/yLWpagzA2W0" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Trump signs executive orders extending federal COVID-19 aid https://nypost.com/2020/08/08/trump-expected-to-sign-order-extending-federal-covid-19-aid/ News | New York Post urn:uuid:00b29b15-58c3-459e-448f-ad5a594fbe99 Sun, 09 Aug 2020 06:19:16 +1000 The order is expected to cut payroll taxes, halt evictions and revive federal unemployment funds which expired at the end of July. The order is expected to cut payroll taxes, halt evictions and revive federal unemployment funds which expired at the end of July. Trump Signs Executive Orders On Coronavirus Relief, Payroll Tax https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/watch-live-trump-make-announcement-major-news-conference zero hedge - on a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero urn:uuid:5118f514-3408-523c-adfe-0da6207d50e5 Sun, 09 Aug 2020 06:13:38 +1000 <span property="schema:name" class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Trump Signs Executive Orders On Coronavirus Relief, Payroll Tax</span> <span rel="schema:author" class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <a href="https://www.zerohedge.com/users/tyler-durden">Tyler Durden</a> </span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2020-08-08T20:13:38+00:00" class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sat, 08/08/2020 - 16:13</span> <div property="schema:text" class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>With the 'swamp' fighting over pork as unemployed Americans die on the vine, President Trump on Saturday announced sweeping executive actions aimed at coronavirus relief - after stimulus Congressional stimulus talks broke down once again last week.</p> <p>The new orders will:</p> <ul><li>Eliminate the payroll tax</li> <li>Extend unemployment benefits by $400 per week, down from $600</li> <li>Defer student loan repayments through the end of the year</li> <li>Extend protections against evictions</li> </ul><p>The administration is also looking at cuts to income taxes for lower and middle-income individuals, as well as cuts capital gains taxes.</p> <p><iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/rghhOW6wp44" width="560"></iframe></p> <p><strong><em>Update (1640ET): </em></strong>As anticipated, President Trump has announced that he will be signing executive orders to eliminate the payroll tax, extend a block on evictions, and continue to provide supplemental unemployment benefits.</p> <p><em>Earlier:</em></p> <p>President Trump will be making a major announcement on Saturday which many believe to be linked to rumors of an executive order covering pandemic stimulus funds and other measures.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en" xml:lang="en" xml:lang="en">Major News Conference in Ten Minutes!</p> — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1292190319845478402?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 8, 2020</a></blockquote> <p><script async="" src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p> <p>On Friday evening, Trump said that if a bipartisan agreement isn't reached on stimulus legislation, <strong>he's prepared to sign executive orders</strong>.</p> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~4/9ToysHtzoGw" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> TikTok Plans To Sue White House Over 'National Security' Ban https://www.zerohedge.com/political/tiktok-plans-sue-white-house-over-national-security-ban zero hedge - on a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero urn:uuid:26794a79-6cef-bee6-8476-c7ac131ce642 Sun, 09 Aug 2020 06:00:00 +1000 <span property="schema:name" class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">TikTok Plans To Sue White House Over 'National Security' Ban</span> <span rel="schema:author" class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <a href="https://www.zerohedge.com/users/tyler-durden">Tyler Durden</a> </span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2020-08-08T20:00:00+00:00" class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sat, 08/08/2020 - 16:00</span> <div property="schema:text" class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><a href="https://www.npr.org/2020/08/08/900394707/tiktok-to-sue-trump-administration-over-ban-as-soon-as-tuesday">NPR News</a>, the closest thing we have to a CCP mouthpiece in the US, has gotten a rare scoop: TikTok owner ByteDance is planning to sue the Trump Administration <a href="https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/trump-signs-executive-order-banning-tiktok-wechat">over its executive order barring TikTok & Tencent's WeChat from the US market</a> by mid-September.</p> <p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-07%20at%206.59.35%20AM_0.png?itok=pVaU4-Cr" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-07%20at%206.59.35%20AM_0.png?itok=pVaU4-Cr"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-07%20at%206.59.35%20AM_0.png?itok=zkEU4CL6 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-07%20at%206.59.35%20AM_0.png?itok=zkEU4CL6 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-07%20at%206.59.35%20AM_0.png?itok=zkEU4CL6 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-07%20at%206.59.35%20AM_0.png?itok=zkEU4CL6 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-07%20at%206.59.35%20AM_0.png?itok=zkEU4CL6 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-07%20at%206.59.35%20AM_0.png?itok=pVaU4-Cr 1x" type="image/png"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="d4d9f361-238a-4e12-b0c1-9d9ba64ed2c3" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="324" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-07%20at%206.59.35%20AM_0.png" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p> <p>The lawsuit, which will be filed in an American court (the Southern District of California, to be exact), alleges that Trump's executive order is unconstitutional because it didn't allow TikTok enough time to respond, while also alleging that Trump's claims that TikTok is a "national security threat" are "baseless".</p> <blockquote> <p>TikTok is planning to sue the Trump administration, challenging the president's executive order banning the service from the United States.</p> <p>The video-sharing app hugely popular with the smartphone generation TikTok will file the federal lawsuit as soon as Tuesday, according to a person who was directly involved in the forthcoming suit but was not authorized to speak for the company. It will be filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, where TikTok's American operations are based, the person said.</p> <p><strong>NPR has learned that the lawsuit will argue that the president's far-reaching action is unconstitutional because it failed to give the company a chance to respond. I</strong>t also alleges that <strong>the administration's national security justification for the order is baseless,</strong> according to the source.</p> <p><strong>"It's based on pure speculation and conjecture," </strong>the source said.<strong> "The order has no findings of fact, just reiterates rhetoric about China that has been kicking around."</strong></p> <p>The White House declined to comment on the expected litigation, but defended the president's executive order. "The Administration is committed to protecting the American people from all cyber related threats to critical infrastructure, public health and safety, and our economic and national security," according to White House spokesman Judd Deere.</p> </blockquote> <p>Fortunately, the American legal system prioritizes the 'rule of law', so much so that it's one of the few jurisdictions in the world where foreign companies can sue the domestic government and stand a reasonable chance of winning. They can't say the same about courts in China.</p> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~4/BfvL4oa3It4" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> World's Top Epidemiologists - Masks Don't Work! https://www.zerohedge.com/political/worlds-top-epidemiologists-masks-dont-work zero hedge - on a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero urn:uuid:f58c6018-287d-988e-574d-f670950ad3f4 Sun, 09 Aug 2020 05:55:00 +1000 <span property="schema:name" class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">World's Top Epidemiologists - Masks Don't Work!</span> <span rel="schema:author" class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <a href="https://www.zerohedge.com/users/tyler-durden">Tyler Durden</a> </span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2020-08-08T19:55:00+00:00" class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sat, 08/08/2020 - 15:55</span> <div property="schema:text" class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><a href="https://fee.org/articles/europes-top-health-officials-say-masks-arent-helpful-in-beating-covid-19/"><em>Authored by John Miltimore via The Foundation for Economic Education,</em></a></p> <p><strong>Denmark boasts one of the lowest COVID-19 death rates in the world.</strong> As of August 4, the Danes have suffered 616 COVID-19 deaths, <a href="https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html">according to</a> figures from Johns Hopkins University.</p> <p>That’s less <a href="https://www.dst.dk/en/Statistik/emner/befolkning-og-valg/doedsfald-og-middellevetid/doedsfald">than one-third of the number of Danes who die from pneumonia or influenza</a> in a given year.</p> <p><strong>Despite this success, Danish leaders recently found themselves on the defensive. </strong>The reason is that Danes aren’t wearing face masks, and local authorities for the most part aren’t even recommending them.</p> <p>This prompted <em>Berlingske</em>, the country’s oldest newspaper, to complain that Danes had positioned themselves “to the right of Trump.”</p> <blockquote> <p>“The whole world is wearing face masks, even Donald Trump,” <em>Berlingske </em><a href="https://www.berlingske.dk/globalt/hele-verden-gaar-med-mundbind-selv-donald-trump-men-i-danmark-tjabombom">pointed out</a>.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>This apparently did not sit well with Danish health officials.</strong></p> <p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/2020-08-07_14-45-29.jpg?itok=-yuwb9LJ" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/2020-08-07_14-45-29.jpg?itok=-yuwb9LJ"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/2020-08-07_14-45-29.jpg?itok=mR1LRgey 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/2020-08-07_14-45-29.jpg?itok=mR1LRgey 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/2020-08-07_14-45-29.jpg?itok=mR1LRgey 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/2020-08-07_14-45-29.jpg?itok=mR1LRgey 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/2020-08-07_14-45-29.jpg?itok=mR1LRgey 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/2020-08-07_14-45-29.jpg?itok=-yuwb9LJ 1x" type="image/jpeg"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="02baf740-709d-4040-9e98-8b4dc4edebfd" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="224" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/2020-08-07_14-45-29.jpg" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p> <p><em>From left to right: Professor Henning Bundgaard, Tamara van Ark, Anders Tegnell | Composite image by FEE (Rigshospitalet, Wikimedia Commons)</em></p> <p><strong>They responded by noting there is little conclusive evidence that face masks are an effective way to limit the spread of respiratory viruses.</strong></p> <blockquote> <p>“<strong>All these countries recommending face masks haven’t made their decisions based on new studies,</strong>” said Henning Bundgaard, chief physician at Denmark’s Rigshospitale, <a href="https://www.bloombergquint.com/onweb/face-mask-photo-op-adds-to-bewilderment-over-non-use-in-denmark">according to</a> <em>Bloomberg News</em>.</p> </blockquote> <p>Denmark is not alone.</p> <p>Despite a global stampede of mask-wearing, <a href="https://www.statista.com/statistics/1114375/wearing-a-face-mask-outside-in-european-countries/">data show</a> that 80-90 percent of people in Finland and Holland say they “never” wear masks when they go out, a sharp contrast to the 80-90 percent of people in Spain and Italy who say they “always” wear masks when they go out.</p> <p>Dutch public health officials recently explained why they’re not recommending masks.</p> <blockquote> <p><em><strong>"From a medical point of view, there is no evidence of a medical effect of wearing face masks, so we decided not to impose a national obligation," </strong></em><a href="https://www.the-sun.com/news/uk-news/1241663/face-masks-not-necessary-say-holland-scientists/">said</a> Medical Care Minister Tamara van Ark.</p> </blockquote> <p>Others, echoing statements similar to the US Surgeon General from early March, said masks could make individuals sicker and exacerbate the spread of the virus.</p> <blockquote> <p><strong>“Face masks in public places are not necessary, based on all the current evidence,” </strong><a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8583925/The-land-no-face-masks-Hollands-scientists-say-theres-no-solid-evidence-coverings-work.html">said</a> Coen Berends, spokesman for the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment.</p> <p><strong>“There is no benefit and there may even be negative impact.”</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>In Sweden, where COVID-19 deaths have <a href="https://fee.org/articles/why-sweden-succeeded-in-flattening-the-curve-and-new-york-failed/">slowed to a crawl</a>, public health officials say they see “no point” in requiring individuals to wear masks.</p> <blockquote> <p><em><strong>“With numbers diminishing very quickly in Sweden, we see no point in wearing a face mask in Sweden, not even on public transport,”</strong></em> <a href="https://fortune.com/2020/07/29/no-point-in-wearing-mask-sweden-covid/">said</a> Anders Tegnell, Sweden’s top infectious disease expert.</p> </blockquote> <h2 id="link-0">What’s Going on With Masks?</h2> <p><strong>The top immunologists and epidemiologists in the world can’t decide if masks are helpful</strong> in reducing the spread of COVID-19. Indeed, we’ve seen organizations like the World Health Organization...</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en" xml:lang="en" xml:lang="en">CDC does not currently recommend the use of facemasks to help prevent novel <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/coronavirus?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#coronavirus</a>. Take everyday preventive actions, like staying home when you are sick and washing hands with soap and water, to help slow the spread of respiratory illness. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/COVID19?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#COVID19</a> <a href="https://t.co/uArGZTJhXj">https://t.co/uArGZTJhXj</a> <a href="https://t.co/yzWTSgt2IV">pic.twitter.com/yzWTSgt2IV</a></p> — CDC (@CDCgov) <a href="https://twitter.com/CDCgov/status/1233134710638825473?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 27, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async="" src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>...and the CDC <a href="https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20200608/who-changes-stance-says-public-should-wear-masks">go back and forth</a> in their recommendations...</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="true" allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" height="315" scrolling="no" src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FCDC%2Fvideos%2F1788666191284595%2F&show_text=0&width=560" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" width="560"></iframe></p> <p><strong>For the average person, it’s confusing and frustrating. It’s also a bit frightening, considering that we’ve seen people denounced in public for not wearing a mask while picking up a bag of groceries.</strong></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en" xml:lang="en" xml:lang="en">Opening day at Trader Joe’s in North Hollywood, Ca.<br /><br /> Karen is mad she was mask shamed... <a href="https://t.co/pF3Zgj3w2E">pic.twitter.com/pF3Zgj3w2E</a></p> — Rex Chapman Hump day in Russia: Dozens of camels now terrorizing towns https://nypost.com/2020/08/08/hump-day-in-russia-dozens-of-camels-now-terrorizing-towns/ News | New York Post urn:uuid:cec6996a-abef-a2a2-3016-71fc23269152 Sun, 09 Aug 2020 05:39:37 +1000 Southwestern Russia is stuck in a hump daze. A large group of deranged camels has been terrorizing local villagers in Russia’s Astrakhan region after a pensioner released them onto the surrounding steppe. The 80-strong coven of camels have broken pipes, fences, vandalized gravestones and gardens and chased villagers in the towns of Oranzherei, Fyodorovka, and... Southwestern Russia is stuck in a hump daze. A large group of deranged camels has been terrorizing local villagers in Russia’s Astrakhan region after a pensioner released them onto the surrounding steppe. The 80-strong coven of camels have broken pipes, fences, vandalized gravestones and gardens and chased villagers in the towns of Oranzherei, Fyodorovka, and... Anti-cop sentiment is up, but complaints against NYPD are down: CCRB data https://nypost.com/2020/08/08/anti-cop-bias-is-up-but-complaints-vs-nypd-are-down-ccrb-data/ News | New York Post urn:uuid:7fc310ce-5ebe-3e25-1a4d-c73a70541478 Sun, 09 Aug 2020 05:33:36 +1000 Americans are hitting the streets to protest cop violence, but complaints against the NYPD have plummeted, dropping 20% since January and even 4% in the two months since the George Floyd demonstrations, records show. The Civilian Complaint Review Board, the city&#8217;s police watchdog, received 814 complaints alleging cop misconduct from May 26 through July 19,... Americans are hitting the streets to protest cop violence, but complaints against the NYPD have plummeted, dropping 20% since January and even 4% in the two months since the George Floyd demonstrations, records show. The Civilian Complaint Review Board, the city&#8217;s police watchdog, received 814 complaints alleging cop misconduct from May 26 through July 19,... 3 Reasons Treasury Rates Can Still Hit 0%: Part III, The Death Of Growth https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/3-reasons-treasury-rates-can-still-hit-0-part-iii-death-growth zero hedge - on a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero urn:uuid:92703040-cdd8-cb58-21ae-4306c628beb7 Sun, 09 Aug 2020 05:30:00 +1000 <span property="schema:name" class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">3 Reasons Treasury Rates Can Still Hit 0%: Part III, The Death Of Growth</span> <span rel="schema:author" class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <a href="https://www.zerohedge.com/users/tyler-durden">Tyler Durden</a> </span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2020-08-08T19:30:00+00:00" class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sat, 08/08/2020 - 15:30</span> <div property="schema:text" class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><a href="https://epbmacroresearch.com/2020/08/07/3-reasons-treasury-rates-can-still-hit-0-part-iii/"><em>Authored by Eric Basmajian via EPBMacroResearch.com,</em></a></p> <ul><li> <p>Deflation remains a more credible risk, not inflation. The output gap suggests core inflation could sink below 0.5% in the coming years.</p> </li> <li> <p>FX hedged Treasury yields remain higher than yields at home. This will increase foreign appetite for US rates.</p> </li> <li> <p>From a longer-term secular standpoint, economic growth will fall into a new regime, sub 2%, which will weigh on bond yields.</p> </li> <li> <p>Further stimulus from the fiscal side will delay the full extent of the deflationary output gap but will not change the end result in the final analysis.</p> </li> <li> <p>As part of your balanced portfolio, long-term Treasury bonds are still a valuable holding as the path to 0% remains a probable scenario.</p> </li> </ul><p>The first two parts of this series outlined important considerations for the Treasury market. </p> <p><em><a href="https://epbmacroresearch.com/2020/07/27/3-reasons-treasury-rates-can-still-hit-0-part-i/"><strong>Part I</strong></a> discussed several common arguments in favor of inflation. Through a comprehensive overview of macroeconomic trends, we settled on the economic output gap as the best long-term forecasting tool for inflation, suggesting that core inflation is likely to sink near record lows in the coming years. A continued decline in the path of actual and expected inflation will weigh on the risk-free rate and push Treasury rates closer to the zero-lower-bound “ZLB” on the long-end of the curve. </em></p> <p><em><strong><a href="https://epbmacroresearch.com/2020/08/03/3-reasons-treasury-rates-can-still-hit-0-part-ii/">Part</a></strong><a href="https://epbmacroresearch.com/2020/08/03/3-reasons-treasury-rates-can-still-hit-0-part-ii/"><strong> II</strong></a> highlighted FX-hedged Treasury yields and argued that as long as hedged US Treasury rates remain higher than yields at home for Asian and European investors, this will be a constant force keeping a lid on US long-term rates and even pushing them lower if the US dollar falls and hedging costs continue moving towards 0%. </em></p> <p><strong>In the final part of this trilogy, we discuss long-run economic growth potential and suggest that real growth is going to fall materially short of consensus expectations at the Federal Reserve and the Congressional Budget Office.</strong> Using very reasonable assumptions, a base case estimate is that trend economic growth could sink well below 1.5%, pushing down the risk-free rate in the economy. </p> <p>It is said that the GDP growth rate is the average rate of return on an economic investment for your mid-range risk. In other words, if GDP growth averaged 3.1% nominally or 1.4% in real terms over the last ten years, the average investment into the economy would yield roughly 3% nominally or 1.4% in real terms. These numbers are averages, and thus some projects may generate a 5% cash on cash return while others may break even. </p> <p>If 1.4% was the average real rate of return on an economic investment, which involves some level of risk, the “risk-free” rate should fall below this level. Other factors play into the rate of Treasury bonds, and we have discussed many of them in past research notes. The expected path of the Fed funds rate, future inflation expectations, and more are all influential in the final analysis of Treasury rates. </p> <p>Long-term Treasury rates can be simplified to the real rate plus expected inflation. The real rate is a function of many variables, including the expected path of the Fed funds rate and long-run economic potential.</p> <p>Operating under the assumption that the Fed Funds rate is stuck at the ZLB for many years, we’ll take extra time to analyze long-run growth potential. </p> <p>In Part I, we covered the secular decline in inflation. We disputed some common inflationary arguments, concluding that the rate of inflation will continue to fall over time, in line with the output gap. This conclusion implies that the next decade is likely to see inflation that drifts below the prior 10-year average of 1.7%. </p> <p>Decomposing the equation above, the real rate will be pressured by an overnight rate that is stuck at the ZLB and disinflationary pressure that will remain pervasive. Tackling long-term trend economic growth is the final variable from the simplified equation that will help us determine the probable path of long-term interest rates. </p> <p>Given that financial markets are forward-looking, let’s take a more in-depth look at what the economic cycle may bring us in terms of growth over the next decade. </p> <h2>Long-Term Growth Prospects</h2> <p>Throughout this note, I will be referencing a paper written by Anirvan Banerji, and Lakshman Achuthan of ECRI titled, “<a href="https://www.businesscycle.com/ecri-news-events/news-details/economic-cycle-research-ecri-published-paper-cyclical-misconceptions-driving-policy-mistakes"><strong>Cyclical Misconceptions Driving Policy Mistakes: Keys To The Productivity Puzzle</strong></a>.”</p> <p>In this 2016 paper, the authors discuss the long-term decline in the trend of economic growth through the lens of declining productivity growth and why this trend is set to continue and likely get worse.   </p> <p>The chart below shows the annualized rate of nominal GDP growth segmented into five-year blocks. Growth has been drifting lower in nominal terms from all three vectors, softer inflation, lower labor force growth, and weaker productivity growth, averaging about 3.1% over the last decade. </p> <p>Despite this consistent trend, the Congressional Budget Office “CBO” is forecasting the next decade to bring 3.5% nominal GDP growth. </p> <p><em><strong>US Nominal GDP: Annualized Growth (%):</strong></em></p> <p><em><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/1-1%20%281%29_0.png?itok=amxckm_j" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/1-1%20%281%29_0.png?itok=amxckm_j"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/1-1%20%281%29_0.png?itok=DqB7eYPw 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/1-1%20%281%29_0.png?itok=DqB7eYPw 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/1-1%20%281%29_0.png?itok=DqB7eYPw 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/1-1%20%281%29_0.png?itok=DqB7eYPw 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/1-1%20%281%29_0.png?itok=DqB7eYPw 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/1-1%20%281%29_0.png?itok=amxckm_j 1x" type="image/png"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="672b3615-097c-46d5-88b2-eb4e654c5bcd" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="246" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/1-1%20%281%29_0.png" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></em></p> <p><em>Source: Bloomberg, EPB Macro Research</em></p> <p>Given that we covered inflation in Part I, for the rest of this note, we’ll stick to long-term growth in real or inflation-adjusted terms.</p> <p>In real terms, growth has been declining over the last several decades, averaging just 1.4% in the previous ten years. Again, the CBO bucks this trend by forecasting average real GDP growth of 1.7% in the coming decade. </p> <p><em><strong>US Real GDP: Annualized Growth (%):</strong></em></p> <p><em><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/2-1%20%281%29.png?itok=THpAYh_L" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/2-1%20%281%29.png?itok=THpAYh_L"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/2-1%20%281%29.png?itok=ERsi5HJ3 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/2-1%20%281%29.png?itok=ERsi5HJ3 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/2-1%20%281%29.png?itok=ERsi5HJ3 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/2-1%20%281%29.png?itok=ERsi5HJ3 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/2-1%20%281%29.png?itok=ERsi5HJ3 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/2-1%20%281%29.png?itok=THpAYh_L 1x" type="image/png"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="1f434b8e-ab54-49be-b155-9b5f2c01c8db" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="249" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/2-1%20%281%29.png" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></em></p> <p><em>Source: Bloomberg, EPB Macro Research</em></p> <p>Banerji and Achuthan write:</p> <blockquote> <p><em>In essence, labor productivity growth and potential labor-force growth add up to potential GDP growth. </em>Therefore, a closer look at these two measures is in order.”</p> </blockquote> <p>The CBO pins potential labor force growth at 0.4% on average over the next ten years, a rather uncontroversial estimate given that demographics are more or less set in stone. </p> <p>The CBO estimates that GDP growth will register 1.7% over the coming years but claims “potential growth” is about 1.8%, a blend of 1.4% productivity growth and 0.4% labor force growth. Unsurprisingly, the Federal Reserve has set 1.8% as its long-run growth projection as well. </p> <p>1.4% productivity growth is a highly optimistic assumption, and a step function increase from the 0.8% average productivity growth over the last ten years. </p> <p><strong>Annualized Rate of Productivity Growth (%):</strong></p> <p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/3-1%20%281%29_0.png?itok=D6dbNJi8" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/3-1%20%281%29_0.png?itok=D6dbNJi8"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/3-1%20%281%29_0.png?itok=GztpssFf 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/3-1%20%281%29_0.png?itok=GztpssFf 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/3-1%20%281%29_0.png?itok=GztpssFf 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/3-1%20%281%29_0.png?itok=GztpssFf 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/3-1%20%281%29_0.png?itok=GztpssFf 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/3-1%20%281%29_0.png?itok=D6dbNJi8 1x" type="image/png"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="06e7ff84-1694-4cf9-9ab1-66199aa6a3c2" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="240" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/3-1%20%281%29_0.png" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p> <p><em>Source: Bloomberg, CBO, BLS, EPB Macro Research</em></p> <p>Conventional wisdom suggests that productivity growth is mean-reverting, but the constant underperformance of growth relative to expectations challenges this view. Dr. Lacy Hunt proposes that productivity growth falters under the increased weight of debt, a thesis we’ve outlined many times and discussed in the most recent <em>[</em><a href="https://seekingalpha.com/research/48075864-eric-basmajian/5470065-quarterly-webcast-q3-2020-quarterly-presentation"><strong><em>Quarterly Webcast</em></strong></a><em>]</em>. This view supports a decline in productivity over the next ten years as opposed to an increase, pegging growth at something below 1.2% on average (0.4% labor force growth + <0.8% productivity growth). </p> <p>Banerji and Achuthan come at the problem from a slightly different angle but arrive at the same conclusion.</p> <p><strong>Annualized Rate of Productivity Growth (%):</strong></p> <p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/4-1%20%281%29_0.png?itok=J2X9uqwR" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/4-1%20%281%29_0.png?itok=J2X9uqwR"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/4-1%20%281%29_0.png?itok=1RAE-yls 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/4-1%20%281%29_0.png?itok=1RAE-yls 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/4-1%20%281%29_0.png?itok=1RAE-yls 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/4-1%20%281%29_0.png?itok=1RAE-yls 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/4-1%20%281%29_0.png?itok=1RAE-yls 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/4-1%20%281%29_0.png?itok=J2X9uqwR 1x" type="image/png"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="770b1143-f582-470a-998b-5a7b890d279c" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="239" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/4-1%20%281%29_0.png" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p> <p><em>Source: Bloomberg, CBO, BLS, EPB Macro Research</em></p> <p>Banerji and Achuthan preempt the common argument that productivity has been mismeasured due to technology. They rebut:</p> <blockquote> <p><em>One major objection to the notion of an ongoing productivity slowdown is that “the official statistics understate the growth of…productivity”, mostly by underrecording the contribution of the digital economy. However, subsequent comprehensive research has found that, after making ‘several adjustments to IT-related hardware, software, and services [that] make recent growth in GDP and investment look modestly better than recorded…the slowdown in labor productivity is even larger.… The reason is that mismeasurement was substantial in the 1995–2004 period</em>‘”</p> </blockquote> <blockquote> <p><em>Moreover, as Syverson points out,</em> ‘<em>The productivity slowdown has occurred in dozens of countries, and its size is unrelated to measures of the countries’ consumption or production intensities of information and communication technologies.… Second, estimates…of the surplus created by…digital technologies fall far short of the $2.7 trillion or more of “missing output” resulting from the productivity growth slowdown.… Third, if measurement problems were to [blame,] the properly measured…productivity growth…would have to have been multiples of their measured growth in the data. Fourth, [regarding the concern that] workers are being paid to make products that are given away for free…this trend actually began before the productivity slowdown. So, while IT-related advances may have increased consumer welfare in recent years, they have not made people much more productive.</em>‘”</p> </blockquote> <p>Banerji and Achuthan go on to answer the question as to why productivity growth continues to falter and confound conventional wisdom. </p> <p>To analyze productivity, Banerji and Achuthan break labor productivity into three categories: </p> <blockquote> <p><em>growth in multifactor productivity (MFP), labor composition, and capital intensity.</em></p> <p><em>For these periods, it is instructive to break out the contributions to labor productivity growth from growth in labor composition (the quality of labor); capital intensity (the ratio of capital to hours worked); and MFP, a measure of the combined influences of technological change, higher efficiency, returns to scale, reallocation of resources, and other factors affecting economic growth, over and above the individual effects of capital and labor.</em>“</p> </blockquote> <p>All three categories of productivity have faltered dramatically, but capital intensity has turned negative, detracting from total labor productivity.</p> <p>To summarize one of the conclusions which is not dissimilar to the final analysis of Dr. Lacy Hunt: </p> <blockquote> <p><em>Please recall that the ratio of capital to hours worked defines capital intensity. Evidently, economic growth during the current economic recovery has been skewed toward growth in the number of hours worked, while capital investment has taken a substantial hit. </em><strong><em>Thus, without a revival in capital investment, it appears improbable that there will be much of a recovery in labor productivity growth.</em></strong>“</p> </blockquote> <p>On a national level, savings equals investment and woefully under adequate net national savings as a result of overindebtedness has led to a weakening rate of capital investment. </p> <p>The chart below shows the 10-year annualized rate of real private domestic nonresidential investment. This includes investment in equipment, structures, as well as intellectual property. </p> <p><strong>Private Nonresidential Fixed Investment:</strong></p> <p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/5-1%20%281%29_0.png?itok=L2pw3WY9" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/5-1%20%281%29_0.png?itok=L2pw3WY9"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/5-1%20%281%29_0.png?itok=Sawr7KvT 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/5-1%20%281%29_0.png?itok=Sawr7KvT 1x" media Remains of Marines, sailor recovered after accident during training exercise https://nypost.com/2020/08/08/remains-of-marines-sailor-recovered-off-california-coast/ News | New York Post urn:uuid:a9f35b43-053d-9056-a679-447412be57aa Sun, 09 Aug 2020 05:27:27 +1000 US Marine Corps officials said the remains, recovered Friday, will be transferred to Dover Air Base in Delaware to be prepared for burial, then released to their families, CNN reported. US Marine Corps officials said the remains, recovered Friday, will be transferred to Dover Air Base in Delaware to be prepared for burial, then released to their families, CNN reported. Murder hornets spotted in Britain — and experts are fearing the worst https://nypost.com/2020/08/08/murder-hornets-spotted-in-britain-experts-fear-the-worst/ News | New York Post urn:uuid:8ed06f4d-cee9-41f6-f86f-03279c3ae9fd Sun, 09 Aug 2020 05:03:24 +1000 The Giant Asian Hornets have been spotted in Devon and environmentalists are worried they could spread across the country. The Giant Asian Hornets have been spotted in Devon and environmentalists are worried they could spread across the country. "Within Days I Was Able To Breathe": NYC Democratic Councilman Says Hydroxychloroquine Saved His Life https://www.zerohedge.com/political/within-days-i-was-able-breathe-nyc-democratic-councilman-says-hydroxychloroquine-saved zero hedge - on a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero urn:uuid:bfee2f1a-232c-1393-c79e-2b22f3689cef Sun, 09 Aug 2020 05:00:00 +1000 <span property="schema:name" class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">"Within Days I Was Able To Breathe": NYC Democratic Councilman Says Hydroxychloroquine Saved His Life </span> <span rel="schema:author" class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <a href="https://www.zerohedge.com/users/tyler-durden">Tyler Durden</a> </span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2020-08-08T19:00:00+00:00" class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sat, 08/08/2020 - 15:00</span> <div property="schema:text" class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>An immunocompromised New York City Councilman who underplayed the severity of his COVID-19 diagnosis in April <strong>now says that it was actually much worse, and hydroxychloroquine saved his life</strong>.</p> <p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/paul%20vallone.jpg?itok=wiL8g3n8" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/paul%20vallone.jpg?itok=wiL8g3n8"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/paul%20vallone.jpg?itok=rURwQLvn 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/paul%20vallone.jpg?itok=rURwQLvn 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/paul%20vallone.jpg?itok=rURwQLvn 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/paul%20vallone.jpg?itok=rURwQLvn 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/paul%20vallone.jpg?itok=rURwQLvn 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/paul%20vallone.jpg?itok=wiL8g3n8 1x" type="image/jpeg"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="f576a0cf-67ac-4941-87eb-e91158b678f6" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="328" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/paul%20vallone.jpg" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p> <p>Paul Vallone, a Democrat who represents Queens, says he took the drug along with a 'Z-pack' antibiotic <strong>and drastically improved within days</strong>.</p> <p>"<strong>I couldn’t breathe, very weak, couldn’t get out of bed</strong>. My doctor prescribed it. My pharmacy had it. Took it that day and within two to three days I was able to breathe," Vallone told the <a href="https://nypost.com/2020/08/08/nyc-councilman-credits-hydroxychloroquine-for-covid-19-recovery/"><em>New York Post</em></a>, adding "<strong>Within a week I was back on my feet.</strong>"</p> <blockquote> <p>Though Vallone went public with his coronavirus diagnosis in an <a href="https://twitter.com/PaulVallone/status/1245425891255205890" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">April 1 Twitter post</a>, saying he was experiencing “mild symptoms,” <strong>his actual condition was considerably more severe</strong>. Vallone’s initial prognosis was particularly grim, as h<strong>e also suffers from sarcoidosis, an auto-immune disease that attacks his lungs</strong>.</p> <p>“We were in panic mode when I went down because I didn’t have a lot of immune response,” he said. “I needed something to stay alive.” -<a href="https://nypost.com/2020/08/08/nyc-councilman-credits-hydroxychloroquine-for-covid-19-recovery/">New York Post</a></p> </blockquote> <p>Vallone's brother, former City Councilman Peter who currently serves as a civil court judge in Queens, <strong>is now a believer in the drug</strong>.</p> <p>"I guess all those doctors who are prescribing it are right. This drug is already on the market and the patent is up so it’s cheap. A new drug won’t be. So big money does not want this drug to be used. Always follow the money," Peter said in a May 12 Facebook post.</p> <p>Paul, responding in the comments section, said "<strong>[It] saved my life.</strong>"</p> <p>Hydroxychloroquine, or HCQ, is a commonly used anti-malaria drug also used for decades to treat lupus and arthritis. <strong>It became covid-19 treatment non-grata, however, after President Trump touted the inexpensive drug earlier this year</strong> - admitting to taking a course as a prophylactic against the disease.</p> <p>"You’d be surprised at how many people are taking it, especially the frontline workers before you catch it. The frontline workers — many, many are taking it," Trump said in May.</p> <p>Studies on the drug have been mixed but mostly positive, with recent evidence pointing to <strong>significant results against COVID-19 when used early</strong> <strong>in the disease's progression</strong>.</p> <p>Paul Vallone reflected on his April diagnosis, saying "At that time, there was only fear and panic, he offered hope in a possible treatment when there was none. With my sarcoidosis and then my COVID symptoms, It basically saved me. For that my family will always be thankful."</p> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~4/fZ2F9ua3iko" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Joe Biden launches super PAC in Texas in fight to ‘turn state blue’ https://nypost.com/2020/08/08/joe-biden-launches-super-pac-in-texas-amid-2020-election/ News | New York Post urn:uuid:73d8a88e-a1a4-3a90-3e01-301d63f36412 Sun, 09 Aug 2020 04:51:36 +1000 A new super PAC has launched in the Lone Star state dedicated to doing just that. Blue Texas PAC officially went online Friday. A new super PAC has launched in the Lone Star state dedicated to doing just that. Blue Texas PAC officially went online Friday. Spain’s former king Juan Carlos had nearly 5,000 lovers, says retired colonel https://nypost.com/2020/08/08/ex-spanish-king-juan-carlos-had-nearly-5000-lovers-retired-colonel/ News | New York Post urn:uuid:d0002219-1eec-b8d6-3fee-42824a2e44ee Sun, 09 Aug 2020 04:41:55 +1000 Former King Juan Carlos, who fled his country this week amid corruption charges, is a Lothario who had "nearly 5,000 lovers in his lifetime" — and may have killed his own brother Former King Juan Carlos, who fled his country this week amid corruption charges, is a Lothario who had "nearly 5,000 lovers in his lifetime" — and may have killed his own brother TikTok reportedly plans to sue Trump administration in California court https://nypost.com/2020/08/08/tiktok-plans-to-sue-trump-administration-in-california-court-report/ News | New York Post urn:uuid:3bc2919e-b8d2-e0aa-6215-9b3da5c3e1cc Sun, 09 Aug 2020 04:31:40 +1000 TikTok will file a federal lawsuit against the Trump administration to challenge last week&#8217;s executive order banning the video-sharing app from the United States, according to a report. The suit, which is slated to be filed in California where the company has its U.S. operations, could land on Tuesday, a source told NPR Saturday. The... TikTok will file a federal lawsuit against the Trump administration to challenge last week&#8217;s executive order banning the video-sharing app from the United States, according to a report. The suit, which is slated to be filed in California where the company has its U.S. operations, could land on Tuesday, a source told NPR Saturday. The... Gordon: "We're Heading To Complete Financial, Moral, & Political Collapse" https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/gordon-were-heading-complete-financial-moral-political-collapse zero hedge - on a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero urn:uuid:f9207f29-54a0-02e4-fb14-fd97e5dfb570 Sun, 09 Aug 2020 04:30:00 +1000 <span property="schema:name" class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Gordon: "We're Heading To Complete Financial, Moral, & Political Collapse"</span> <span rel="schema:author" class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <a href="https://www.zerohedge.com/users/tyler-durden">Tyler Durden</a> </span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2020-08-08T18:30:00+00:00" class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sat, 08/08/2020 - 14:30</span> <div property="schema:text" class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><a href="https://economicprism.com/the-dollar-is-dying/"><em>Authored by MN Gordon via EconomicPrism.com,</em></a></p> <p>This week, while perusing the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet figures, we came across a rather curious note.  We don’t know how long the Fed’s had this note posted to its <a href="https://www.federalreserve.gov/monetarypolicy/bst_recenttrends.htm">website</a>.  But we can’t recall ever seeing it.  The note reads as follows:</p> <blockquote> <p><em>“The Federal Reserve’s balance sheet has expanded and contracted over time.  During the 2007-08 financial crisis and subsequent recession, total assets increased significantly from $870 billion in August 2007 to $4.5 trillion in early 2015.  Then, reflecting the FOMC’s balance sheet normalization program that took place between October 2017 and August 2019, total assets declined to under $3.8 trillion.  Beginning in September 2019, total assets started to increase.”</em></p> </blockquote> <p>Directly below this note is the following chart:</p> <p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/bfm136B.jpg?itok=jBcx1UST" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/bfm136B.jpg?itok=jBcx1UST"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/bfm136B.jpg?itok=FSk5xgCd 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/bfm136B.jpg?itok=FSk5xgCd 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/bfm136B.jpg?itok=FSk5xgCd 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/bfm136B.jpg?itok=FSk5xgCd 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/bfm136B.jpg?itok=FSk5xgCd 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/bfm136B.jpg?itok=jBcx1UST 1x" type="image/jpeg"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="409e6f24-912f-4ba2-b3b2-678b37e95630" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="269" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/bfm136B.jpg" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p> <p><em><strong>Does this look like a balance sheet that expands and contracts over time?</strong></em></p> <p>Quite frankly, the Fed’s balance sheet chart, and the extreme dollar debasement that it illustrates, is a disgrace.  The fact that the Fed had to add this flagrantly false note as preface to its disgraceful chart is an insult.</p> <p><strong>This is a direct offense to anyone that’s built a modest savings account by exchanging their time for dollars. </strong> The time and effort put to obtaining these dollars is being stolen by the insidious process of central bank engineered money supply inflation.  Year in and year out, these earned dollars will be worth less and less.</p> <p><strong>Moreover, normalization is a Fed lie. </strong> It never happened.  Yes, $700 billion was contracted from the Fed’s Balance sheet between October 2017 and August 2019.  But that was in the wake of a $3.5 trillion expansion.  And it was quickly followed by another $3 trillion balance sheet expansion this spring.</p> <p>The Fed’s real priority was never to reduce its balance sheet.  <strong>The Fed’s real priority is to keep the Treasury and the big banks flush with cash.</strong></p> <h3><u><strong>Money Printer Go BRRR</strong></u></h3> <p><strong>A secondary effect – for now – of the Fed’s balance sheet expansion is a booming stock market. </strong> This, like the Presidential election, is a distraction.</p> <p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/bfmC9B7.jpg?itok=vwbrB7-j" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/bfmC9B7.jpg?itok=vwbrB7-j"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/bfmC9B7.jpg?itok=69xTZVNz 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/bfmC9B7.jpg?itok=69xTZVNz 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/bfmC9B7.jpg?itok=69xTZVNz 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/bfmC9B7.jpg?itok=69xTZVNz 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/bfmC9B7.jpg?itok=69xTZVNz 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/bfmC9B7.jpg?itok=vwbrB7-j 1x" type="image/jpeg"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="a85fc916-833a-4a69-a41c-9784a03763fa" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="266" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/bfmC9B7.jpg" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p> <p>The real noteworthy thing taking place, that’ll have a real impact on your life, has less to do with the stock market or who will be the next President.  Rather, the real noteworthy thing taking place today – at this very moment – has everything to do with the Fed’s attempt to suspend the credit cycle.</p> <p><strong>What we’re talking about here are interest rates.  If you haven’t noticed, they’ve been going down as of late.  In fact, they have been going down a lot.  The yield on the 10-Year Treasury note dropped to nearly 0.5 percent earlier in the week.</strong></p> <p>Modern era <a href="https://www.multpl.com/10-year-treasury-rate">Treasury rate data</a> has been continuously recorded since 1871.  The lowest yield on the 10-Year Treasury on record dating back 149-years was reached this week.  What’s going on?</p> <p><strong>Attaining this remarkable milestone took decades of lies, propaganda, and relentless intervention by central planners.</strong>  A <a href="https://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/h41/current/">good portion</a> of the Fed’s balance sheet assets, shown on the chart above, are U.S. Treasuries.</p> <p>The Fed expands its balance sheet, via digital ledger notations, and buys Treasuries.  This is called monetizing the debt.  This, in essence, is printing press money – as in, <a href="https://moneyprintergobrrr.com/">money printer go BRRR</a>.  Washington then spends this fake brrr money via government contracts, government programs, CARES Act stimulus, and whatever other spending bills Congress passes.</p> <p><strong>The vertical jump on the right side of the chart, for year 2020, is composed of Treasury notes that were bought with fake brrr money to fund the CARES Act. </strong> This coordinated attack on your dollars by the Fed and the U.S. Treasury is what makes the <a href="https://www.usdebtclock.org/">$26.6 trillion national</a> debt possible.</p> <h3><u><strong>The Dollar Is Dying</strong></u></h3> <p>This fake brrr money functions just like Federal Reserve Notes (i.e. dollars) that were obtained through honest labor.  Yet, as the fake brrr money’s spent, the wealth of savers – including your wealth – is debased.  The dollar becomes worth less and less.</p> <p><strong>One of life’s unspoken delights is the rich satisfaction that comes with bearing witness to the spectacular failure of an offensive and unjust system. </strong> We just wish it wasn’t so damaging to so many good and honest people.</p> <p><strong>The dollar is being destroyed before us. </strong> This destruction has been going on for 107 years; since the passage of the Federal Reserve Act in 1913.  And it has been going on in earnest since President Richard Nixon closed the gold window in 1971.</p> <p><strong>But with the Fed’s and U.S. Treasury’s attempt to paper over the economic consequences of government lockdown orders by running a $4 trillion budget deficit, something special is going on.  The dollar is dying.  Yet the clowns in Congress are the last to see it.</strong></p> <p>The art of plundering and the increasing corruption of public officials is on full display in the next stimulus bill that’s making its way through Congress.  The general premise is that the ordinary needs of people, including housing and living expenses, may be legitimately met by the means of fake brrr money.  Then there’s all the pork, stuff like a new FBI building, that’s larded into the bill.  All the while, the increase in the money supply grows every day more appalling.</p> <p><strong>Such vigorous and persistent attempts to substitute natural laws in finance for the wishes of legislatures are doomed.  We’re headed to complete financial, moral, and political collapse.</strong>  The rush to exit dollars is gaining momentum…</p> <p><em>NASDAQ: 11,000.  Nvidia: 453.  Tesla: 1,500.  Shopify: 1,000.  Apple: 450.  Amazon: 3,200.  Microsoft: 215.  S&P 500: 3,350.  And many, many more…</em></p> <p><em>There’s also: Gold: $2,050.  Silver: $30.  Bitcoin: $12,000.</em></p> <p><strong>Choose your dollar escape vehicle wisely.</strong></p> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~4/jTpb8zofQ90" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Hillary Clinton tells New York Times columnist to lay off ‘pot brownies’ https://nypost.com/2020/08/08/hillary-clinton-tells-nyt-columnist-to-lay-off-pot-brownies/ News | New York Post urn:uuid:e31a291c-6def-eb60-7277-340c7129e29e Sun, 09 Aug 2020 04:24:12 +1000 The jab came after a column from Dowd which stated that Biden and his yet to be announced female running mate would be the first Democratic male/female presidential ticket since 1984. The jab came after a column from Dowd which stated that Biden and his yet to be announced female running mate would be the first Democratic male/female presidential ticket since 1984. While Americans Sacrifice To Survive The Pandemic, CEO Compensation Has Barely Changed https://www.zerohedge.com/personal-finance/while-americans-sacrifice-survive-pandemic-ceo-compensation-has-barely-changed zero hedge - on a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero urn:uuid:9551cc8a-32ed-9f37-d43f-6ccbef30f5c0 Sun, 09 Aug 2020 04:05:00 +1000 <span property="schema:name" class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden"> While Americans Sacrifice To Survive The Pandemic, CEO Compensation Has Barely Changed</span> <span rel="schema:author" class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <a href="https://www.zerohedge.com/users/tyler-durden">Tyler Durden</a> </span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2020-08-08T18:05:00+00:00" class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sat, 08/08/2020 - 14:05</span> <div property="schema:text" class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><strong>It looks as though we are in the midst of another recession where those in the C-suite are little affected</strong>; and in some cases where the Fed has stepped in, doing <em>better </em>than they were financially <em>before </em>the pandemic. And the "shared sacrifice" from most company's CEOs - many of whom took pay cuts to show "solidarity" with employees - has actually been far less than imagined.</p> <p>A new survey from the <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/29/business/economy/ceo-pay-pandemic-layoffs.html?smid=tw-nytimesbusiness&smtyp=cur">NY Times</a> shows that out of 3,000 public companies, these cuts have come in the form of salary reductions that paled in comparison to CEO's total pay, which is often made up of stock awards and bonuses. </p> <p>It was "only a small percentage" of companies that even cut salaries for their senior executives to begin with, the Times notes. Among the ones who cut, about 66% of CEOs took reductions that were equivalent to only 10% or less of their total 2019 compensation. Companies in this group include Walt Disney Company, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and Marriott International.</p> <p><strong>Companies last year paid executives an average of 264 times their median worker salary. </strong>It's another example of how the pandemic has disproportionately affected the middle and lower class. The Fed's response to the crisis, has also served as a monumental example of this. </p> <p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/ceo1.jpg?itok=dSKTNof7" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/ceo1.jpg?itok=dSKTNof7"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/ceo1.jpg?itok=JVcyT-e2 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/ceo1.jpg?itok=JVcyT-e2 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/ceo1.jpg?itok=JVcyT-e2 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/ceo1.jpg?itok=JVcyT-e2 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/ceo1.jpg?itok=JVcyT-e2 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/ceo1.jpg?itok=dSKTNof7 1x" type="image/jpeg"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="8185cded-eb44-461f-a12b-66b5f59ce0ab" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="277" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/ceo1.jpg" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p> <p>Liz Shuler, secretary-treasurer of the A.F.L.-C.I.O. said: “These salary cuts were more window dressing than anything else.” Next on the chopping block this year would be bonuses and stock option awards, but it is unclear whether or not Board of Directors will implement such measures. </p> <p><strong>And not <em>all </em>CEOs have escaped major pay cuts</strong>. Glenn Kelman, CEO of Redfin, took a pay cut equivalent to $284,000, the Times reports. He said: “The reason we did it is because we had to furlough or lay off more than a thousand people. It’s not just about the pay cut; it’s about the general sense that capitalism is not working for everyone.”</p> <p>Out of the 3,000 companies surveyed in the Russell index, 419 of them had disclosed details about salary cuts and only about 10% of those companies cut salaries by more than 25% of the executive's total realized compensation. </p> <p>United Airlines said its executives salaries were to "lead by example", since the company will likely have to furlough 36,000 workers on October 1. The company's executive chairman, Oscar Munoz, did not draw a salary between March 10 and June 30, amounting to a $610,000 pay cut - <strong>but it amounts for less than 3% of the $22.2 in total compensation he took home in 2019</strong>. </p> <p>United's new chief executive will forego about $790,000 in salary this year, <strong>which amounts to about 9% of the total compensation</strong> he received last year. United says it is "extremely unlikely" there will be bonuses paid in 2020. </p> <p>Delta chief executive Ed Bastian took a salary cut of about $714,000, <strong>which amounts to about 5.35%</strong> of the compensation he received in 2019. The company is also asking its pilots to take pay cuts in order to keep their jobs. </p> <p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/barra_1.jpg?itok=2fH2FA3-" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/barra_1.jpg?itok=2fH2FA3-"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/barra_1.jpg?itok=5bwotCiH 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/barra_1.jpg?itok=5bwotCiH 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/barra_1.jpg?itok=5bwotCiH 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/barra_1.jpg?itok=5bwotCiH 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/barra_1.jpg?itok=5bwotCiH 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/barra_1.jpg?itok=2fH2FA3- 1x" type="image/jpeg"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="33f4b77c-dbec-4fa3-8b4f-865ef3c11aae" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="325" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/barra_1.jpg" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p> <p>Disney's Robert Iger gave up his salary from the end of March until the end of 2020. <strong>The $2.25 million he is surrendering amounts to about 3.3% of what he earned in 2019. </strong></p> <p>Mariott, which has also been laying off and furloughing workers, saw its CEO take a <strong>salary cut that was less than 2% of the $66 million in total compensation he received in 2019. </strong></p> <p>Other companies simply deferred their salary payments instead of making cuts. GM, for example, deferred 30% of CEO Mary Barra's salary. The deferrals will end on August 1 and executives will continue to defer 10% of their salaries going forward. The deferrals started in April and were supposed to last 6 months.</p> <p>When the company was asked about why they ended early, they stated: “The business demanded that we conserve cash and it is recovering faster than we expected.”</p> <p><em>Great, so we should expect nothing but blowout results from General Motors for the rest of the year. </em></p> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~4/rN49ZjbkL3c" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Trump has heated phone call with GOP mega-donor Sheldon Adelson: report https://nypost.com/2020/08/08/trump-has-heated-phone-call-gop-mega-donor-sheldon-adelson-report/ News | New York Post urn:uuid:39c1e6f0-5343-82de-cad2-feaf3a2e3ec4 Sun, 09 Aug 2020 03:42:40 +1000 The 87-year-old Adelson called Trump to discuss federal coronavirus relief efforts and the economy when the call suddenly took a turn, three people with knowledge of the matter told Politico. The 87-year-old Adelson called Trump to discuss federal coronavirus relief efforts and the economy when the call suddenly took a turn, three people with knowledge of the matter told Politico. US Intelligence: If Trump Wins Russia Did It, If Biden Wins It Was China And Iran https://www.zerohedge.com/political/us-intelligence-if-trump-wins-russia-did-it-if-biden-wins-it-was-china-and-iran zero hedge - on a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero urn:uuid:bf27ebf8-e99c-b65b-79f1-d681fd9545cb Sun, 09 Aug 2020 03:40:00 +1000 <span property="schema:name" class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">US Intelligence: If Trump Wins Russia Did It, If Biden Wins It Was China And Iran</span> <span rel="schema:author" class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <a href="https://www.zerohedge.com/users/tyler-durden">Tyler Durden</a> </span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2020-08-08T17:40:00+00:00" class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sat, 08/08/2020 - 13:40</span> <div property="schema:text" class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><a href="https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/us-intelligence-if-trump-wins-russia-did-it-if-biden-wins-it-was-china-and-iran-2fde3d11e15d"><em>Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,</em></a></p> <p>Back in April <a href="https://twitter.com/caitoz/status/1248058715976032257?s=20">I said</a><em><strong> “China’s gonna be so surprised when it finds out it interfered in the November election.”</strong></em></p> <p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/1_mvRDpNC2Hdhu-ZbZ-jdOZw.png?itok=rpESrihG" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/1_mvRDpNC2Hdhu-ZbZ-jdOZw.png?itok=rpESrihG"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/1_mvRDpNC2Hdhu-ZbZ-jdOZw.png?itok=_buSDti5 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/1_mvRDpNC2Hdhu-ZbZ-jdOZw.png?itok=_buSDti5 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/1_mvRDpNC2Hdhu-ZbZ-jdOZw.png?itok=_buSDti5 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/1_mvRDpNC2Hdhu-ZbZ-jdOZw.png?itok=_buSDti5 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/1_mvRDpNC2Hdhu-ZbZ-jdOZw.png?itok=_buSDti5 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/1_mvRDpNC2Hdhu-ZbZ-jdOZw.png?itok=rpESrihG 1x" type="image/png"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="f71002b2-26c3-4ff1-91d5-220a1631dac0" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="300" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/1_mvRDpNC2Hdhu-ZbZ-jdOZw.png" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p> <p><strong>Now three months ahead of schedule China is already getting its surprise, alongside fellow unabsorbed governments Iran and Russia.</strong></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en" xml:lang="en" xml:lang="en">U.S. intelligence agencies say China and Iran are working to sway voters against Trump while Russia is working against Biden <a href="https://t.co/enFRpMEBkr">https://t.co/enFRpMEBkr</a></p> — Bloomberg (@business) <a href="https://twitter.com/business/status/1291837134048038912?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 7, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async="" src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Mass media throughout the western world are uncritically passing along a press release from the US intelligence community, because that’s what passes for journalism in a world where God is dead and everything is stupid.</p> <p><a href="https://www.dni.gov/index.php/newsroom/press-releases/item/2139-statement-by-ncsc-director-william-evanina-election-threat-update-for-the-american-public">The press release</a>, from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and authored by National Counterintelligence and Security Center Director William Evanina, claims that Russia wants Donald Trump to win re-election in November and is pushing to advance than goal, while China and Iran are doing the same with Joe Biden.</p> <h3><u>China</u></h3> <blockquote> <p>“We assess that China prefers that President Trump — whom Beijing sees as unpredictable — does not win reelection,” the press release reads. “China has been expanding its influence efforts ahead of November 2020 to shape the policy environment in the United States, pressure political figures it views as opposed to China’s interests, and deflect and counter criticism of China.”</p> </blockquote> <h3><u>Russia</u></h3> <blockquote> <p>“We assess that Russia is using a range of measures to primarily denigrate former Vice President Biden and what it sees as an anti-Russia ‘establishment,’” the press release claims. “Some Kremlin-linked actors are also seeking to boost President Trump’s candidacy on social media and Russian television.”</p> </blockquote> <h3><u>Iran</u></h3> <blockquote> <p>“We assess that Iran seeks to undermine U.S. democratic institutions, President Trump, and to divide the country in advance of the 2020 elections,” says the press release. “Iran’s efforts along these lines probably will focus on on-line influence, such as spreading disinformation on social media and recirculating anti-U.S. content. Tehran’s motivation to conduct such activities is, in part, driven by a perception that President Trump’s reelection would result in a continuation of U.S. pressure on Iran in an effort to foment regime change.”</p> </blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en" xml:lang="en" xml:lang="en">Great, if Biden wins they'll blame China and if Trump wins they'll blame Russia<br /><br /> U.S. Intelligence: China Opposes Trump Reelection; Russia Works Against Biden <a href="https://t.co/6MwxGIUDgR">https://t.co/6MwxGIUDgR</a></p> — Dave DeCamp (@DecampDave) <a href="https://twitter.com/DecampDave/status/1291861324285304840?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 7, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async="" src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p><strong>What this completely unsubstantiated narrative means, of course, is that no matter who wins in November America’s opaque government agencies will have already primed the nation for more dangerous escalations against countries which have resisted being absorbed into the blob of the US-centralized empire.</strong></p> <p>If Trump wins we can expect his administration to continue <a href="https://consortiumnews.com/2019/11/19/25-times-trump-has-been-dangerously-hawkish-on-russia/">its escalations against Russia</a> in retaliation for its 2020 “election interference”, and if Biden wins we can expect his cabinet of Obama administration holdovers to <a href="https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/how-to-understand-all-this-china-stuff-c31a85bf99d0">ramp up escalations against China</a> in the same way while Joe mumbles to himself off to the side as his brain turns to chowder.</p> <p><strong>There is never a legitimate reason to believe any unproven claim made by unaccountable spook agencies about US-targeted governments, but even if everything in this press release were true it’s an incredibly stupid thing to care about.</strong> The influence that Russia, China or Iran could exert over public opinion in the United States is a tiny fraction of that which is exerted by the unaccountable US billionaire media every single day, which already has its own factions pushing for Biden over Trump and Trump over Biden. <strong>Adding some foreign social media operations into the mix would change literally nothing.</strong></p> <p>Secondly, as the press release itself acknowledges, the US is openly pushing regime change in Iran. It is already engaging in various acts of economic warfare against all three of the named governments, and it <a href="http://content.time.com/time/subscriber/printout/0,8816,984833,00.html">openly interfered in Russia’s elections</a> in the nineties to a far greater extent than anything it has even <em>accused</em> Russia of doing. <strong>The US government’s <a href="https://www.mintpressnews.com/governments-own-data-shows-us-interfered-in-81-foreign-elections/226143/">own data shows</a> that it is the very worst election meddler in the world by an extremely wide margin,</strong> which would make it a perfectly legitimate target for election interference by any nation on earth.</p> <p>Lastly, the dumbest thing about believing foreign nations are interfering in American democracy is believing America has any democracy to interfere with. The integrity of US elections <a href="https://www.electoralintegrityproject.com/eip-blogs/2017/1/7/its-even-worse-than-the-news-about-north-carolina-american-elections-rank-last-among-all-western-democracies">ranks dead last</a> among all western democracies, public opinion is constantly <a href="https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/05/27/the-worst-2020-election-interference-will-be-perfectly-legal/">manipulated by the media-owning plutocratic class</a> which has a vested interest in maintaining the status quo which keeps them rich and powerful, and it’s a <a href="https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/americas-two-headed-one-party-system-e6b4d1a8460">two-headed one party system</a> where both <a href="https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/when-corporate-power-is-your-real-government-corporate-media-is-state-media-f2683ddf2d38">corporate-owned parties</a> advance the same establishment agendas.</p> <p><strong>Imagine believing that foreign leaders are looking at the dumpster fire that is the United States and thinking:</strong></p> <blockquote> <p>“I know how we can hurt them! We’ll sow division by saying mean things about their presidential candidates on social media!”</p> </blockquote> <p><u><strong>It’s the dumbest thing in the world.</strong></u></p> <p><strong>Yet all the establishment narrative managers are jumping on this intelligence community press release as a real thing</strong> that we should all be excited about.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en" xml:lang="en" xml:lang="en">The fact that the left isn't outraged and calling for immediate investigations into China & Iran interfering in our election to HURT Trump is proof that the Russia hoax was never actually about "election integrity"<br /><br /> If they didn't have double standards they would have none at all</p> — Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) <a href="https://twitter.com/charliekirk11/status/1291886689653125120?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 7, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async="" src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en" xml:lang="en" xml:lang="en">“If you want to know why Donald Trump will not confront Vladimir Putin about these allegations of bounties on U.S. soldiers — well there you go,” Rep. Swalwell says of the ODNI report on foriegn interference in the election.<br /><a href="https://t.co/m3jDqjY290">https://t.co/m3jDqjY290</a></p> — MSNBC (@MSNBC) <a href="https://twitter.com/MSNBC/status/1291917307523018752?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 8, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async="" src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en" xml:lang="en" xml:lang="en">Trump says “I don’t care what anybody says” when intel agencies disclosed Russia is interfering in our election to hurt Biden.<br /><br /> Of course he doesn’t.<br /><br /> He has solicited foreign help again and again.<br /><br /> From Russia, Ukraine & China.<br /><br /> He doesn’t care about our democracy. Only himself.</p> — Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) <a href="https://twitter.com/RepAdamSchiff/status/1291902115925950465?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 8, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async="" src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>All this hand-wringing and arm-waving about foreign interference on social media comes as social media itself makes policy changes to ensure that only western governments are allowed to conduct propaganda on its platforms, with Twitter <a href="https://sputniknews.com/columnists/202008071080096562-twitters-selective-labelling-of-sputnik-and-rt-part-of-wider-campaign-to-delegitimise-russian-media/">instituting a new policy</a> of labeling accounts from unabsorbed governments as “state-affiliated media” while <a href="https://twitter.com/ajitxsingh/status/1291431018210177024">placing no labels</a> or restrictions on any accounts with <a href="https://twitter.com/BenjaminNorton/status/1291799536046870532">extensive western government ties</a>.</p> <p><strong>The overall message in all this is that only western government agencies and oligarchs may conduct propaganda on those who live in the US-centralized empire.</strong> It should enrage us all that these unaccountable abusers feel so entitled to insert their rapey fingers in our minds and manipulate how we think, act and vote that they get all chest-thumpy about the idea of anyone else getting a word in edgewise. They do this because they understand that whoever controls the narrative controls the world, and there is no amount of evil they won’t do to ensure that they continue to control the world.</p> <p><strong>The reason sociopaths are able to insert themselves so easily into positions of power and influence in human civilization is because highly manipulative people with no empathy quickly learn that <a href="https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/society-is-made-of-narrative-realizing-this-is-awakening-from-the-matrix-787c7e2539ae">society is dominated by narrative</a>, while the rest of us do not understand this.</strong></p> <p>This must change before we will be able to create a healthy world.</p> <p>*  *  *</p> <p><em>Thanks for reading! 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For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, </em><a href="https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/11-things-you-should-know-about-me-and-where-im-coming-from-a6b9ddf9806e"><em>click here</em></a><em>. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, </em><a href="https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/i-permanently-release-all-copyrights-to-all-my-writing-use-any-of-it-however-you-want-9ad929b92d42"><em>has my permission</em></a><em> to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.</em></p> <p>Bitcoin donations:1Ac7PCQXoQoLA9Sh8fhAgiU3PHA2EX5Zm2</p> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~4/PfgpRqfTx4E" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> "Huge Increase" - Americans Renouncing Citizenship Surges To Record Level  https://www.zerohedge.com/political/huge-increase-americans-renouncing-citizenship-surges-record-level zero hedge - on a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero urn:uuid:53752da2-f23b-c58a-6fd1-3470f6dbc90c Sun, 09 Aug 2020 03:15:00 +1000 <span property="schema:name" class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">"Huge Increase" - Americans Renouncing Citizenship Surges To Record Level </span> <span rel="schema:author" class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <a href="https://www.zerohedge.com/users/tyler-durden">Tyler Durden</a> </span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2020-08-08T17:15:00+00:00" class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sat, 08/08/2020 - 13:15</span> <div property="schema:text" class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Readers may recall, for almost a decade, we have tracked a troubling trend of more and more Americans renouncing their citizenship. Now, amid a virus-pandemic, crashed economy, months of social unrest, and depressionary unemployment levels, that number has surged to a record high.</p> <p><a href="https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/americans-continue-giving-up-citizenship-at-record-levels-reports-bambridge-accountants-new-york-301107675.html">Bambridge Accountants New York</a> notes <strong>5,816 Americans renounced their citizenship in 1H20, a 1,210% increase over the prior six months ending in December 2019.</strong> In all of 2019, about 2,072 Americans gave up their citizenship. </p> <p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/leaving%20.jpg?itok=tPUpoVFc" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/leaving%20.jpg?itok=tPUpoVFc"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/leaving%20.jpg?itok=ig9ndWiF 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/leaving%20.jpg?itok=ig9ndWiF 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/leaving%20.jpg?itok=ig9ndWiF 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/leaving%20.jpg?itok=ig9ndWiF 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/leaving%20.jpg?itok=ig9ndWiF 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/leaving%20.jpg?itok=tPUpoVFc 1x" type="image/jpeg"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="b065801a-9282-4f56-a4fb-bcb3f952357d" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="367" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/leaving%20.jpg" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p> <blockquote> <p><em><strong>"It seems that the pandemic has motivated U.S. ex-pats to cut ties and avoid the current political climate and onerous tax reporting,"</strong></em> said the New York-based accounting firm specializing in the U.S. ex-pat taxes. </p> </blockquote> <p>Worldwide, there are an estimated 9 million U.S. ex-pats. Since the financial crisis, a decade ago, Americans giving up their citizenship has grown. In the last couple of years, the trend lost momentum. Still, as soon as the virus pandemic <a href="https://www.zerohedge.com/personal-finance/unheard-stories-economic-despair-americas-worst-economic-downturn-great-depression">crashed the economy</a> and triggered widespread social unrest, the number of folks leaving the country has gone parabolic. </p> <p>After all, it makes perfect sense, who wants to be a citizen of a country that is imploding from within, where the federal government and Federal Reserve are clueless in solving the financial crisis, as officials continue to debase the dollar and bailout mega-corporations and Wall Street.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en" xml:lang="en" xml:lang="en">Has any other country spent a third of their GDP responding to Covid? What are we doing?</p> — GreekFire23 (@GreekFire23) <a href="https://twitter.com/GreekFire23/status/1291898570497560585?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 8, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async="" src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>At the same time, the bottom 90% of folks are left in financial ruin. Deep economic scarring is developing, one where years of socio-economic crisis will plague the country. We <a href="https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/3-reasons-treasury-rates-can-still-hit-0-part-i-inflation-vs-deflation">noted</a> last week the U.S. output gap as a percentage of GDP might not return to 2019 levels until 2030. </p> <p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/output%20gap.png?itok=_tdzpu33" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/output%20gap.png?itok=_tdzpu33"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/output%20gap.png?itok=lXlsZA-c 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/output%20gap.png?itok=lXlsZA-c 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/output%20gap.png?itok=lXlsZA-c 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/output%20gap.png?itok=lXlsZA-c 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/output%20gap.png?itok=lXlsZA-c 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/output%20gap.png?itok=_tdzpu33 1x" type="image/png"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="6fba6b4f-0901-4be2-81ad-096d63b90d9e" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="289" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/output%20gap.png" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p> <p>The financial crisis in 2008 triggered the first wave of Americans renouncing their citizenship. Then was <a href="https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-09/record-number-americans-renounce-their-us-citizenship-2016">supercharged</a> during the Obama regime following his plan to raise taxes, "spread the wealth around," and pursue a socialist agenda.</p> <p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/2017.02.09%20-%20Expats%202_0.jpg?itok=22IEq3YA" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/2017.02.09%20-%20Expats%202_0.jpg?itok=22IEq3YA"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/2017.02.09%20-%20Expats%202_0.jpg?itok=RxVa0fnu 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/2017.02.09%20-%20Expats%202_0.jpg?itok=RxVa0fnu 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/2017.02.09%20-%20Expats%202_0.jpg?itok=RxVa0fnu 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/2017.02.09%20-%20Expats%202_0.jpg?itok=RxVa0fnu 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/2017.02.09%20-%20Expats%202_0.jpg?itok=RxVa0fnu 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/2017.02.09%20-%20Expats%202_0.jpg?itok=22IEq3YA 1x" type="image/jpeg"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="4921740f-0855-44c0-bee8-75eb4a5249e3" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="458" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/2017.02.09%20-%20Expats%202_0.jpg" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p> <p>Then in 2016, celebrities <a href="https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-11-09/these-are-celebrities-who-vowed-leave-america-if-trump-wins">threaten</a> to leave the country if Donald Trump was elected. Many have since backtracked.</p> <p>The number of expatriates peaked in 2016, then slumped from 2017-2019 as the Trump administration injected the economy with fiscal stimulus and sent the stock market to new highs, as it created a false sense of America economically roaring back to greatness. </p> <p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/expats%20.png?itok=ZHtydhKq" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/expats%20.png?itok=ZHtydhKq"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/expats%20.png?itok=wFBhuSCQ 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/expats%20.png?itok=wFBhuSCQ 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/expats%20.png?itok=wFBhuSCQ 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/expats%20.png?itok=wFBhuSCQ 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/expats%20.png?itok=wFBhuSCQ 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/expats%20.png?itok=ZHtydhKq 1x" type="image/png"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="9477f7e8-aecb-4e9e-b8f7-5b029d991906" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="356" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/expats%20.png" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p> <p>Now the country is imploding. Smart Americans are getting the hell out of dodge, and they see what's coming, or what has already transpired in 1H20. A socio-economic bomb exploded over failed liberal cities, police are being defunded, inner-city crime is erupting, and city-dwellers are fleeing for the countryside. </p> <p>Keep in mind, we altered the chart below to realize 2020 figures on a 1H20 basis, as for full-year, the number could be enormous. </p> <p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/expats%20_0.png?itok=XNz36Lew" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/expats%20_0.png?itok=XNz36Lew"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/expats%20_0.png?itok=JsBbRr3o 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/expats%20_0.png?itok=JsBbRr3o 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/expats%20_0.png?itok=JsBbRr3o 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/expats%20_0.png?itok=JsBbRr3o 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/expats%20_0.png?itok=JsBbRr3o 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/expats%20_0.png?itok=XNz36Lew 1x" type="image/png"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="fe129edb-68eb-4302-9d93-d2c3abd20c90" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="410" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/expats%20_0.png" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p> <p>Alistair Bambridge, the partner at Bambridge Accountants New York, explains:</p> <blockquote> <p><em>"The huge increase in U.S. ex-pats renouncing from our experience is that the current pandemic has allowed individuals the time to review their ties to the U.S. and decide that the current political climate and annual U.S. tax reporting is just too much to bear.</em>" </p> </blockquote> <p>So far this year readers have <a href="https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/real-estate-expert-warns-exodus-cities-will-last-two-years">learned</a> city-dwellers are fleeing metro areas for rural communities, now folks are denouncing citizenship at record numbers, all while the country implodes from within. </p> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~4/oSg4ro5ZDZk" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> 2020's Economic Depression Is Becoming An Endless Nightmare For Millions Of Americans https://www.zerohedge.com/personal-finance/2020s-economic-depression-becoming-endless-nightmare-millions-americans zero hedge - on a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero urn:uuid:5cc91b77-ec15-ef84-7bcc-34932beb4fce Sun, 09 Aug 2020 02:50:00 +1000 <span property="schema:name" class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">2020's Economic Depression Is Becoming An Endless Nightmare For Millions Of Americans</span> <span rel="schema:author" class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <a href="https://www.zerohedge.com/users/tyler-durden">Tyler Durden</a> </span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2020-08-08T16:50:00+00:00" class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sat, 08/08/2020 - 12:50</span> <div property="schema:text" class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><a href="http://themostimportantnews.com/archives/the-economic-depression-of-2020-is-becoming-an-endless-nightmare-for-millions-of-americans"><em>Authored by Michael Snyder via TheMostImportantNews.com,</em></a></p> <p>You may have noticed that a lot of people get offended by what I write.  It is not something that I am purposely setting out to do, and I actually endeavor to get along with everyone as much as I can.  But it is undeniable that my articles about our ongoing economic collapse directly<strong> contradict a lot of the narratives that are constantly being pushed by the mainstream media and many of our political, business and religious leaders.</strong> </p> <p>There are so many people out there that want to believe that the future is going to be exceedingly bright, and even though 2020 has been a horrific economic catastrophe so far, there are a lot of optimists that believe that it is just a temporary blip on the road to tremendous prosperity.</p> <p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/Endless-Nightmare-Pixabay-600x388.jpg?itok=_selaev8" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/Endless-Nightmare-Pixabay-600x388.jpg?itok=_selaev8"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Endless-Nightmare-Pixabay-600x388.jpg?itok=9nDa-3Vg 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Endless-Nightmare-Pixabay-600x388.jpg?itok=9nDa-3Vg 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Endless-Nightmare-Pixabay-600x388.jpg?itok=9nDa-3Vg 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Endless-Nightmare-Pixabay-600x388.jpg?itok=9nDa-3Vg 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Endless-Nightmare-Pixabay-600x388.jpg?itok=9nDa-3Vg 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/Endless-Nightmare-Pixabay-600x388.jpg?itok=_selaev8 1x" type="image/jpeg"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="066a11c5-5e2e-40ea-a728-1b8c74457e3c" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="323" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/Endless-Nightmare-Pixabay-600x388.jpg" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p> <p><strong>It would actually be wonderful if they were right.</strong></p> <p><u><strong>But they aren’t.</strong></u></p> <p>At this point, everyone should be able to clearly see that we have entered a new economic depression.  And I wish that I could tell you that a “recovery” was right around the corner, but I can’t.</p> <p>On Thursday, we got yet another sign that this downturn is here for the long haul.  According to the Labor Department, <a href="https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2020/08/06/layoffs-2020-1-2-m-workers-seek-jobless-benefits-pushing-total-past-55-m/3303896001/">approximately 1.2 million Americans</a> filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week…</p> <blockquote> <p>Four months after the COVID-19 pandemic largely shut down the economy and left millions of Americans out of work, employers continue to lay off workers at a historic pace.</p> <p>About 1.2 million people last week filed initial applications for unemployment insurance – a rough measure of layoffs – the Labor Department said Thursday, down substantially from 1.4 million the previous week and the lowest level since March.</p> </blockquote> <p>Initially, I thought that this was good news.</p> <p><strong>1.2 million is still a catastrophic number, but at least it appeared to be an improvement over last week’s level of 1.4 million.</strong></p> <p>Unfortunately, there is more to the story.</p> <p><a href="https://wolfstreet.com/2020/08/06/number-of-people-on-state-or-federal-unemployment-insurance-jumps-to-32-1-million-second-highest-ever-week-20-of-u-s-labor-market-collapse/">As Wolf Richter has pointed out</a>, when you look at the unadjusted numbers and you include all state and federal programs, the number of continuing unemployment claims increased by a whopping 1.3 million last week…</p> <blockquote> <p>The total number of people who continued to claim unemployment insurance under all state and federal unemployment programs <strong>jumped by 1.3 million</strong> from the prior week <u>to 32.12 million</u> (not seasonally adjusted), the <a href="https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/OPA/newsreleases/ui-claims/20201532.pdf">Department of Labor</a> reported this morning. <strong>It was the second highest ever</strong>.</p> </blockquote> <p>That would seem to indicate that unemployment is dramatically surging, and that is really bad news for an economy that is already deeply suffering.</p> <p>Overall, more than 55 million Americans have now filed initial claims for unemployment benefits over the past 20 weeks.  That is a number that should be almost theoretically impossible, but this is actually happening.</p> <p>Prior to this year, the all-time record for new unemployment claims in a single week was just 695,000, and now we have been above a million for 20 consecutive weeks.</p> <p><strong>Up until recently, a weekly $600 unemployment supplement from the federal government had been helping tens of millions of unemployed Americans pay their bills, but now that supplement has expired and Congress has not yet agreed to another one.</strong></p> <p>As a result, the economic suffering of countless American families <a href="https://www.startribune.com/my-worst-nightmare-laid-workers-endure-loss-of-600-aid/572027592/?refresh=true">just got a whole lot deeper</a>…</p> <blockquote> <p>An unemployed makeup artist with two toddlers and a disabled husband needs help with food and rent. A hotel manager says his unemployment has deepened his anxiety and kept him awake at night. A dental hygienist, pregnant with her second child, is struggling to afford diapers and formula.</p> <p>Around the country, across industries and occupations, millions of Americans thrown out of work because of the coronavirus are straining to afford the basics now that an extra $600 a week in federal unemployment benefits has expired.</p> </blockquote> <p>Over the past couple of months, I have been hearing from a lot of people that believe that all of those unemployed workers should just get off their couches and go get new jobs.</p> <p>I wish that it was that easy.  <strong>Good jobs are becoming increasingly scarce, and the competition for those jobs is only going to get more fierce because a “second wave of layoffs” has now begun.</strong>  The following comes from <a href="https://www.foxbusiness.com/economy/second-wave-of-layoffs-underway-amid-coronavirus-pandemic">Fox Business</a>…</p> <blockquote> <p>A second wave of layoffs is hitting American workers during a surge in coronavirus cases nationwide, and a Congressional stalemate over stimulus relief, according to a new survey by Cornell University and RIWI.</p> <p>The researchers conducted the survey between July 23 and Aug. 1, and found that 31% of workers who had been placed back on payrolls after initially being laid off have now been laid off for a second time. Additionally, 26% of rehired workers say they’ve been told that they may be laid off again.</p> </blockquote> <p>I know that I included that quote <a href="http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/food-prices-rise-to-dangerous-levels-as-a-second-wave-of-layoffs-hits-the-u-s-economy">in yesterday’s article</a>, but I wanted to share it again because it is so important for people to understand what is really going on out there.</p> <p><strong>Millions of jobs that were lost in the first wave of layoffs are never coming back,</strong> and now millions of jobs that actually came back are being lost again.</p> <p><strong>In other words, instead of witnessing a “recovery” we are witnessing an “unraveling”.</strong></p> <p>I know that a lot of people don’t like when I talk like this.</p> <p>But I am not here to make you feel good.  I am here to tell you the truth.</p> <p>We are in the midst of an economic nightmare, and even Bloomberg is admitting that conditions in the U.S. <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/us-economic-misery-jumps-unemployment-spike-coronavirus-recession-inflation-fears-2020-8">are becoming a lot more miserable</a>…</p> <blockquote> <p>The US is projected to undergo the biggest increase in economic misery across 60 countries as the nation grapples with heightened unemployment and fresh coronavirus hotspots.</p> <p><a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-08-06/misery-ranking-will-show-u-s-getting-worse-versus-rest-of-world?sref=jxky9jIk">Bloomberg’s Misery Index</a>, which ranks major economies by inflation and unemployment expectations, shows the country sinking to rank 25 from rank 50 in 2020. Venezuela, Argentina, and South Africa held their spots as the world’s most miserable economies.</p> </blockquote> <p>And every day more businesses are shutting down, more workers are being laid off and more dreams are being shattered.</p> <p>The consequences of literally decades of incredibly foolish decisions are catching up with our nation, and this economic depression <a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08DJ6Y81Q">will ultimately get a whole lot worse</a>.</p> <p><strong>So instead of sticking your head in the sand and hanging on to the delusion that everything is going to be just fine somehow, I would very much encourage you to work very hard to get prepared for the nightmarish years that are ahead of us.</strong></p> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~4/cvrsinbsS64" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Post-Pandemic World: Homebuilder KB Homes Is Now Including Built-In Office Space In New Homes https://www.zerohedge.com/personal-finance/post-pandemic-world-homebuilder-kb-homes-now-including-built-office-space-new zero hedge - on a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero urn:uuid:6cc5f57c-3c69-67f8-e903-06c1c94ca29b Sun, 09 Aug 2020 02:25:00 +1000 <span property="schema:name" class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden"> Post-Pandemic World: Homebuilder KB Homes Is Now Including Built-In Office Space In New Homes</span> <span rel="schema:author" class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <a href="https://www.zerohedge.com/users/tyler-durden">Tyler Durden</a> </span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2020-08-08T16:25:00+00:00" class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sat, 08/08/2020 - 12:25</span> <div property="schema:text" class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><i>Capitalism is, once again, the solution.</i></p> <p>At least that is the case with the housing industry which - like all other industries - is working to adapt to what life is going to be like in a post-pandemic world<strong>. For KB Homes, that means acknowledging that less people will be going into the office on a daily basis and including new, built-in offices in homes that they sell.</strong></p> <p>The <a href="https://www.kbhome.com/homeoffice">KB Home Office</a>, as it's being called, is "is a dedicated room that delivers comfort, function and aesthetics," the company said in a press release.<strong> "In this private workspace, homeowners can host online presentations or small in-person meetings and boost their productivity," it continued.</strong></p> <p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/office%202.jpg?itok=9cLHvlxE" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/office%202.jpg?itok=9cLHvlxE"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/office%202.jpg?itok=HTUJyS-h 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/office%202.jpg?itok=HTUJyS-h 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/office%202.jpg?itok=HTUJyS-h 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/office%202.jpg?itok=HTUJyS-h 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/office%202.jpg?itok=HTUJyS-h 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/office%202.jpg?itok=9cLHvlxE 1x" type="image/jpeg"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="4f58fba3-a636-4613-bf24-725d79420fd1" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="319" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/office%202.jpg" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p> <p>In the press release, KB acknowledges that the shift to work-from-home inspired the new office concept: <strong>"The pandemic has served to accelerate the trend of working from home. </strong>During the past few months, Americans have accepted makeshift workstations despite challenges and frustrations, because they have been viewed as temporary. Now, as many companies shift to working remotely for the foreseeable future, and for some, perhaps permanently, homeowners are seeking to optimize their work-from-home experience."</p> <p>The new KB Home Office includes:</p> <ul><li>Built-in workstation with generous counter and cabinet space</li> <li>Large open shelving for displays, books, files and other accessories</li> <li>Upgraded electrical package, including receptacles, ultra-fast USB charging outlet and additional data/teleport</li> </ul><p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/office%201.jpg?itok=-CYnYo8Q" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/office%201.jpg?itok=-CYnYo8Q"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/office%201.jpg?itok=lT3rrZAF 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/office%201.jpg?itok=lT3rrZAF 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/office%201.jpg?itok=lT3rrZAF 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/office%201.jpg?itok=lT3rrZAF 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/office%201.jpg?itok=lT3rrZAF 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/office%201.jpg?itok=-CYnYo8Q 1x" type="image/jpeg"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="45a48756-31f0-4f2d-bbca-953737551cda" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="365" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/office%201.jpg" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p> <p>Jeffrey Mezger, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of KB Home, commented: “Our homes have taken on even greater significance in our lives. Many people are now working from home, which has made home offices more desired and essential than ever before."</p> <p>He continued: <strong>"We have redesigned our floor plans to meet the needs of today’s homeowners and are pleased to offer the KB Home Office, a dedicated room our customers can easily personalize for the way they work, at a price that fits their budget.”</strong></p> <p>Homebuyers also have the option of personalizing the office by selecting different options available by the manufacturer. Options include enhanced soundproofing/insulation packages, tailored lighting, ceiling fans, window treatments and a beverage center.</p> <p>The concept is set to be rolled out nationwide in coming months. </p> <ul></ul></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~4/LUg-cWx9RWM" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Fed Wants Inflation But Their Actions Are Deflationary https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/fed-wants-inflation-their-actions-are-deflationary zero hedge - on a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero urn:uuid:de15d56e-de82-8119-7ade-0dc201ee10e7 Sun, 09 Aug 2020 02:00:00 +1000 <span property="schema:name" class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Fed Wants Inflation But Their Actions Are Deflationary</span> <span rel="schema:author" class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <a href="https://www.zerohedge.com/users/tyler-durden">Tyler Durden</a> </span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2020-08-08T16:00:00+00:00" class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sat, 08/08/2020 - 12:00</span> <div property="schema:text" class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><a href="https://realinvestmentadvice.com/macroview-fed-wants-inflation-but-their-actions-are-deflationary/"><em>Authored by Lance Roberts via RealInvestmentAdvice.com,</em></a></p> <p><strong>A recent <em><a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/04/the-fed-is-expected-to-make-a-major-commitment-to-ramping-up-inflation-soon.html">CNBC article</a></em> states the Fed will make a major commitment to ramping up inflation. How is this different than the past decade of promises for higher inflation? More importantly, while the Fed may want inflation, their very actions continue to be deflationary.</strong></p> <h3><u><strong>The Fed Has A Plan</strong></u></h3> <blockquote> <p><em>“In the next few months, the Federal Reserve will be solidifying a policy outline that would commit it to low rates for years as it pursues an agenda of higher inflation and a return to the full employment picture that vanished as the coronavirus pandemic hit. </em></p> <p><em>Recent statements from Fed officials and analysis from market veterans and economists point to a move to “average inflation” targeting in which inflation above the central bank’s usual 2% target would be tolerated and even desired. </em></p> <p><em>To achieve that goal, officials would pledge not to raise interest rates until both the inflation and employment targets are hit.” – CNBC</em></p> </blockquote> <p>Such certainly sounds familiar.</p> <blockquote> <p><em>“The Federal Reserve took the historic step on Wednesday of setting an inflation target that brings the Fed in line with many of the world’s other major central banks.</em></p> <p><em>In its first-ever ‘longer-run goals and policy strategy’ statement, the U.S. central bank said an inflation rate of 2 percent best aligned with its congressionally mandated goals of price stability and full employment.”– Reuters Reporting On Ben Bernanke’s Fed Policy Statement<a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-fed-inflation-target/in-historic-shift-fed-sets-inflation-target-idUSTRE80O25C20120126"> January 26, 2012</a></em></p> </blockquote> <h3><u><strong>The Unseen</strong></u></h3> <p>Over the last decade, the Federal Reserve has engaged in never-ending <em>“emergency measures”</em> to support asset markets and the economy. The stated goal was, and remains, such actions would foster full employment and price stability. There has been little evidence of success.</p> <p>The table and charts below show the Fed’s balance sheet’s expansion and its effective <em>“return on investment”</em> on various aspects of the economy. For example, since 2009, the Fed has expanded its balance sheet by 612%. During that time, the cumulative total growth in GDP (through Q2-2020) was just 34.83%. In effect, it required $17.58 for every $1 of economic growth. We have applied that same measure across various economic metrics.</p> <p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/QE-Effectiveness-Table-1-080520.png?itok=2n4z95t6" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/QE-Effectiveness-Table-1-080520.png?itok=2n4z95t6"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/QE-Effectiveness-Table-1-080520.png?itok=D5SHwMbC 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/QE-Effectiveness-Table-1-080520.png?itok=D5SHwMbC 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/QE-Effectiveness-Table-1-080520.png?itok=D5SHwMbC 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/QE-Effectiveness-Table-1-080520.png?itok=D5SHwMbC 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/QE-Effectiveness-Table-1-080520.png?itok=D5SHwMbC 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/QE-Effectiveness-Table-1-080520.png?itok=2n4z95t6 1x" type="image/png"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="66ed3aff-b235-42dd-b0cb-739bf7698ba4" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="172" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/QE-Effectiveness-Table-1-080520.png" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p> <p>No matter how you analyze it, the <em>“effective ROI”</em> has been lousy.</p> <p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/QE-Effectiveness-4panel-2-080520.png?itok=F6NFhGQX" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/QE-Effectiveness-4panel-2-080520.png?itok=F6NFhGQX"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/QE-Effectiveness-4panel-2-080520.png?itok=2yxM56qH 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/QE-Effectiveness-4panel-2-080520.png?itok=2yxM56qH 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/QE-Effectiveness-4panel-2-080520.png?itok=2yxM56qH 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/QE-Effectiveness-4panel-2-080520.png?itok=2yxM56qH 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/QE-Effectiveness-4panel-2-080520.png?itok=2yxM56qH 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/QE-Effectiveness-4panel-2-080520.png?itok=F6NFhGQX 1x" type="image/png"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="ae9f1ddb-8451-4417-bb70-70324aaa3e8b" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="266" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/QE-Effectiveness-4panel-2-080520.png" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p> <p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/QE-Effectiveness-4panel-1-080520.png?itok=xWYluqKA" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/QE-Effectiveness-4panel-1-080520.png?itok=xWYluqKA"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/QE-Effectiveness-4panel-1-080520.png?itok=vnP8B27p 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/QE-Effectiveness-4panel-1-080520.png?itok=vnP8B27p 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/QE-Effectiveness-4panel-1-080520.png?itok=vnP8B27p 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/QE-Effectiveness-4panel-1-080520.png?itok=vnP8B27p 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/QE-Effectiveness-4panel-1-080520.png?itok=vnP8B27p 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/QE-Effectiveness-4panel-1-080520.png?itok=xWYluqKA 1x" type="image/png"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="2dbb96db-6403-4bf3-8985-c4c943ac1f1c" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="265" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/QE-Effectiveness-4panel-1-080520.png" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p> <p>These are the unseen consequences of the Fed’s monetary policies.</p> <h3><u><strong>The Seen</strong></u></h3> <p>The only reason Central Bank liquidity <em>“seems”</em> to be a success is when viewed through the lens of the stock market. Through the end of the Q2-2020, using quarterly data, the <strong>stock market has returned almost 135% from the 2007 peak. Such is more than 12x the growth in GDP and 3.6x the increase in corporate revenue. </strong><em>(I have used SALES growth in the chart below as it is what happens at the top line of income statements and is not AS subject to manipulation.)</em></p> <p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/SP500-Borrowing-From-The-Future-080520.png?itok=jk4iW5jG" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/SP500-Borrowing-From-The-Future-080520.png?itok=jk4iW5jG"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/SP500-Borrowing-From-The-Future-080520.png?itok=Z5mt4uvR 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/SP500-Borrowing-From-The-Future-080520.png?itok=Z5mt4uvR 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/SP500-Borrowing-From-The-Future-080520.png?itok=Z5mt4uvR 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/SP500-Borrowing-From-The-Future-080520.png?itok=Z5mt4uvR 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/SP500-Borrowing-From-The-Future-080520.png?itok=Z5mt4uvR 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/SP500-Borrowing-From-The-Future-080520.png?itok=jk4iW5jG 1x" type="image/png"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="0486cca4-a0ea-44bb-be57-1cbc6bfecbb1" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="290" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/SP500-Borrowing-From-The-Future-080520.png" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p> <p>Unfortunately, <strong><a href="https://realinvestmentadvice.com/the-federal-reserve-its-ongoing-destruction-of-the-bottom-90/">the <em>“wealth effect”</em> impact</a></strong> has only benefited a relatively small percentage of the overall economy. Currently, the Top 10% of income earners own nearly 87% of the stock market. The rest are just struggling to make ends meet.</p> <p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/playfair-2019-08-27T142458.131_0.png?itok=t7WkhKaP" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/playfair-2019-08-27T142458.131_0.png?itok=t7WkhKaP"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/playfair-2019-08-27T142458.131_0.png?itok=tWtk6Vxq 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/playfair-2019-08-27T142458.131_0.png?itok=tWtk6Vxq 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/playfair-2019-08-27T142458.131_0.png?itok=tWtk6Vxq 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/playfair-2019-08-27T142458.131_0.png?itok=tWtk6Vxq 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/playfair-2019-08-27T142458.131_0.png?itok=tWtk6Vxq 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/playfair-2019-08-27T142458.131_0.png?itok=t7WkhKaP 1x" type="image/png"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="9228b29c-928a-4773-94d1-9354e90860d9" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="353" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/playfair-2019-08-27T142458.131_0.png" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p> <p>While in the short-term ongoing monetary interventions may appear to be <em>“risk-free,”</em> in the longer-term, the Fed has now reached the <em>“end game”</em> of monetary policy.</p> <h3><u>Fed’s Actions Are Deflationary</u></h3> <p>What the Federal Reserve has failed to grasp is that monetary policy is <em>“deflationary”</em> when <em>“debt”</em> is required to fund it.</p> <p>How do we know this? Monetary velocity tells the story.</p> <p>What is <em>“monetary velocity?” </em></p> <blockquote> <p><em>“The velocity of money is important for <strong>measuring the rate at which money in circulation is used for purchasing goods and services. Velocity is useful in gauging the health and vitality of the economy.</strong> High money velocity is usually associated with a healthy, expanding economy. <strong>Low money velocity is usually associated with recessions and contractions.</strong>” – Investopedia</em></p> </blockquote> <p>With each monetary policy intervention, the velocity of money has slowed along with the breadth and strength of economic activity.</p> <p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/Fed-Balance-Sheet-M2V-080520.png?itok=MdYzgYRr" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/Fed-Balance-Sheet-M2V-080520.png?itok=MdYzgYRr"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Fed-Balance-Sheet-M2V-080520.png?itok=0CJRPJMV 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Fed-Balance-Sheet-M2V-080520.png?itok=0CJRPJMV 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Fed-Balance-Sheet-M2V-080520.png?itok=0CJRPJMV 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Fed-Balance-Sheet-M2V-080520.png?itok=0CJRPJMV 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Fed-Balance-Sheet-M2V-080520.png?itok=0CJRPJMV 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/Fed-Balance-Sheet-M2V-080520.png?itok=MdYzgYRr 1x" type="image/png"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="bb9478c7-3754-4d47-af96-dc8d288382ed" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="289" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/Fed-Balance-Sheet-M2V-080520.png" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p> <p>However, it isn’t just the expansion of the Fed’s balance sheet which is undermining the strength of the economy. It is also the ongoing suppression of interest rates to try and stimulate economic activity.</p> <p><strong>In 2000, the Fed <em>“crossed the Rubicon,”</em> where lowering interest rates did not stimulate economic activity. Instead, the <em>“debt burden”</em> detracted from it.</strong></p> <p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/Fed-Funds-M2V-052020_0.png?itok=OK_5BU9a" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/Fed-Funds-M2V-052020_0.png?itok=OK_5BU9a"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Fed-Funds-M2V-052020_0.png?itok=AG9fNYgC 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Fed-Funds-M2V-052020_0.png?itok=AG9fNYgC 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Fed-Funds-M2V-052020_0.png?itok=AG9fNYgC 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Fed-Funds-M2V-052020_0.png?itok=AG9fNYgC 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Fed-Funds-M2V-052020_0.png?itok=AG9fNYgC 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/Fed-Funds-M2V-052020_0.png?itok=OK_5BU9a 1x" type="image/png"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="3e51e0da-ab48-436b-a483-382407add665" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="314" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/Fed-Funds-M2V-052020_0.png" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p> <p>To illustrate the last point, we can compare monetary velocity to the deficit.</p> <p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/Defict-M2v-080520.png?itok=dkXdbptR" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/Defict-M2v-080520.png?itok=dkXdbptR"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video s Fauci Warns COVID-19 Vaccine May Only Be "50% Or 60%" Effective  https://www.zerohedge.com/political/fauci-says-coronavirus-vaccine-may-only-be-50-or-60-effective zero hedge - on a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero urn:uuid:30b54330-b1f6-5774-1228-91785b7483c9 Sun, 09 Aug 2020 01:20:04 +1000 <span property="schema:name" class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Fauci Warns COVID-19 Vaccine May Only Be "50% Or 60%" Effective </span> <span rel="schema:author" class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <a href="https://www.zerohedge.com/users/tyler-durden">Tyler Durden</a> </span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2020-08-08T15:20:04+00:00" class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sat, 08/08/2020 - 11:20</span> <div property="schema:text" class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious diseases expert (and untouchable purveyor of all that is true and holy in 'science' today), told a Brown University panel on Friday that probabilities of a highly effective COVID-19 vaccine "are not great."</p> <blockquote> <p>"We don't know yet what the efficacy might be. We don't know if it will be 50% or 60%. I'd like it to be 75% or more," Fauci said (quoted by <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-fauci-vaccine/fauci-warns-covid-19-vaccine-may-be-only-partially-effective-public-health-measures-still-needed-idUSKCN2532YX">Reuters</a>).</p> <p><strong>"But the chances of it being 98% effective is not great, which means you must never abandon the public health approach."</strong></p> </blockquote> <p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/fauci%20brown.png?itok=syhT_gu0" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/fauci%20brown.png?itok=syhT_gu0"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/fauci%20brown.png?itok=Dt2C-F5i 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/fauci%20brown.png?itok=Dt2C-F5i 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/fauci%20brown.png?itok=Dt2C-F5i 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/fauci%20brown.png?itok=Dt2C-F5i 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/fauci%20brown.png?itok=Dt2C-F5i 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/fauci%20brown.png?itok=syhT_gu0 1x" type="image/png"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="ed274898-a577-41ca-8ed4-8e0de6acc159" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="833" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/fauci%20brown.png" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p> <p>Fauci reiterated that the public must abide by these six fundamental principles to flatten the pandemic curve: </p> <ul><li> <p><em>Universal wearing of a mask</em></p> </li> <li> <p><em>Physical distancing</em></p> </li> <li> <p><em>Avoiding crowds</em></p> </li> <li> <p><em>Outdoors is "better" than indoors</em></p> </li> <li> <p><em>Washing your hands </em></p> </li> <li> <p><em>Staying away from bars</em></p> </li> </ul><p>Interestingly, Fauci inched towards the idea of herd immunity and humans' own natural defense mechanisms (which of course, in political circles is frowned upon since one more death from COVID is too many).</p> <blockquote> <p><strong>"We know the body is capable of making a good response and the reason we know is because we have so many people who clear the virus and do well,"</strong> he said.</p> <p> "So the goal of a vaccine is to do as well or hopefully better than natural infection when inducing a good response." </p> </blockquote> <p>Once a vaccine is proven and mass-produced, he said it would be <strong>prioritized to healthcare workers, elderly, and those with underlying health conditions</strong>. </p> <blockquote> <p>"The thing you can do now is to make sure that resources are concentrated geographically to those demographic groups that are clearly at higher risk of infection so they can get immediate testing, immediate results, immediate access to healthcare," Fauci said.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>He said Moderna Inc's COVID-19 vaccine, currently in clinical trials, could produce definitive data sometime in 4Q20. </strong></p> <p>Fauci told Reuters that millions of doses could be available by early 2021, and hundreds of millions by the end of the year.  </p> <p>His latest comments come after he <strong>also recently questioned the "durability" of the vaccine</strong>, adding that it may not shield someone from the infection on a long-term basis.</p> <p>Readers may recall pharmaceutical companies developing COVID-19 vaccines will be<strong> <a href="https://www.zerohedge.com/political/red-flags-soar-big-pharma-will-be-exempt-covid-19-vaccine-liability-claims">exempt</a> from liability claims if adverse effects are seen</strong>. In other words, if an experimental vaccine, mass-produced for the public accidentally kills folks, big pharma will not be held accountable. </p> <p>Meanwhile, the world's asset-gatherers and commission-rakers (and the Trump administration) is <strong>hyping vaccines</strong> with the most optimistic forecast ever, indicating Thursday the country could have vaccines before the election. </p> <p>Fauci's comments are certainly at odds with the optimism that seems widespread among many talking heads that "everything can return to normal once we have a vaccine."</p> <p>Additionally, <a href="https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/only-42-say-they-will-submit-covid-19-vaccine-new-poll-finds">as we noted previously</a>, a new <a href="https://news.yahoo.com/yahoo-news-you-gov-coronavirus-poll-number-of-americans-who-plan-to-get-vaccinated-falls-to-42-percent-a-new-low-162000936.html">Yahoo News/YouGov poll</a> has found that <strong>just 42 percent of Americans say they plan to get a coronavirus vaccine when it becomes available.</strong></p> <p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/2020-08-06_6-35-00.jpg?itok=Uwn6zm9C" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/2020-08-06_6-35-00.jpg?itok=Uwn6zm9C"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/2020-08-06_6-35-00.jpg?itok=3W_Cb-QM 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/2020-08-06_6-35-00.jpg?itok=3W_Cb-QM 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/2020-08-06_6-35-00.jpg?itok=3W_Cb-QM 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/2020-08-06_6-35-00.jpg?itok=3W_Cb-QM 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/2020-08-06_6-35-00.jpg?itok=3W_Cb-QM 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/2020-08-06_6-35-00.jpg?itok=Uwn6zm9C 1x" type="image/jpeg"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="0a11704a-5c7a-4548-b5c7-9d02ad0ad0e5" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="259" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/2020-08-06_6-35-00.jpg" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p> <p>The figure represents an all time low, having fallen from 55 percent in early May, 50 percent in late May, and 46 percent in July.</p> <p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/6d78b9c0-d669-11ea-bbff-13defbe80ebb.jpg?itok=JCi1td1C" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/6d78b9c0-d669-11ea-bbff-13defbe80ebb.jpg?itok=JCi1td1C"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/6d78b9c0-d669-11ea-bbff-13defbe80ebb.jpg?itok=vMhVceIX 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/6d78b9c0-d669-11ea-bbff-13defbe80ebb.jpg?itok=vMhVceIX 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/6d78b9c0-d669-11ea-bbff-13defbe80ebb.jpg?itok=vMhVceIX 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/6d78b9c0-d669-11ea-bbff-13defbe80ebb.jpg?itok=vMhVceIX 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/6d78b9c0-d669-11ea-bbff-13defbe80ebb.jpg?itok=vMhVceIX 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/6d78b9c0-d669-11ea-bbff-13defbe80ebb.jpg?itok=JCi1td1C 1x" type="image/jpeg"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="f32ffd58-72be-4b24-9dd8-c98e697e01f0" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="384" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/6d78b9c0-d669-11ea-bbff-13defbe80ebb.jpg" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p> <p>When asked “If and when a coronavirus vaccine becomes available, will you get vaccinated?” many fewer Americans across the political spectrum answered in the affirmative.</p> <p><strong>Only a majority of Democrats now plan to get vaccinated,</strong> with 55% saying they will still take the jab.</p> <p><strong>Among Republicans, only 37% say they are willing to get vaccinated,</strong> with even fewer independents, 34%, willing to take the vaccine.</p> <p><strong><em>Here's the full conversation: </em></strong></p> <p><iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/8uK5LhlbEnk" width="560"></iframe></p> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~4/qyJub2PosW0" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> US Dollar Devalues By 99% Vs Gold In 100 Years As Gold Price Crosses $2,067 https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/us-dollar-devalues-99-vs-gold-100-years-gold-price-crosses-2067 zero hedge - on a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero urn:uuid:15594276-ca43-1cc2-37ca-70a143fcdf62 Sun, 09 Aug 2020 00:55:00 +1000 <span property="schema:name" class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">US Dollar Devalues By 99% Vs Gold In 100 Years As Gold Price Crosses $2,067</span> <span rel="schema:author" class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <a href="https://www.zerohedge.com/users/tyler-durden">Tyler Durden</a> </span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2020-08-08T14:55:00+00:00" class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sat, 08/08/2020 - 10:55</span> <div property="schema:text" class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><em>Submitted by Jan Nieuwenhuijs of <a href="https://www.voimagold.com/insight/gold-price-crosses-2-067-us-dollar-devalues-by-99-against-gold-in-100-years">Voima Gold,</a></em></p> <p>A world reserve currency is supposed to be <strong>superior in storing value,</strong> but through boundless money-printing the U.S. dollar <strong>hasn’t been able to compete with gold by a long shot...</strong></p> <p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/voima%601.jpeg?itok=BK3OpIp-" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/voima%601.jpeg?itok=BK3OpIp-"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/voima%601.jpeg?itok=TkKF7hBm 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/voima%601.jpeg?itok=TkKF7hBm 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/voima%601.jpeg?itok=TkKF7hBm 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/voima%601.jpeg?itok=TkKF7hBm 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/voima%601.jpeg?itok=TkKF7hBm 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/voima%601.jpeg?itok=BK3OpIp- 1x" type="image/jpeg"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="ee8cff8d-e940-4124-9431-8a087e241555" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="318" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/voima%601.jpeg" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p> <p><strong>In 1932 the gold price was $20.67 dollars per troy ounce, today it crossed $2,067 dollars.</strong></p> <p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/5f2c2ba222f09905c4ee2c51_Screen%20Shot%202020-08-06%20at%2018.09.33.png?itok=fgSy_hxW" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/5f2c2ba222f09905c4ee2c51_Screen%20Shot%202020-08-06%20at%2018.09.33.png?itok=fgSy_hxW"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/5f2c2ba222f09905c4ee2c51_Screen%20Shot%202020-08-06%20at%2018.09.33.png?itok=MFyyKXye 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/5f2c2ba222f09905c4ee2c51_Screen%20Shot%202020-08-06%20at%2018.09.33.png?itok=MFyyKXye 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/5f2c2ba222f09905c4ee2c51_Screen%20Shot%202020-08-06%20at%2018.09.33.png?itok=MFyyKXye 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/5f2c2ba222f09905c4ee2c51_Screen%20Shot%202020-08-06%20at%2018.09.33.png?itok=MFyyKXye 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/5f2c2ba222f09905c4ee2c51_Screen%20Shot%202020-08-06%20at%2018.09.33.png?itok=MFyyKXye 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/5f2c2ba222f09905c4ee2c51_Screen%20Shot%202020-08-06%20at%2018.09.33.png?itok=fgSy_hxW 1x" type="image/png"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="a461cc52-3786-478e-ba06-d082c0a45a6b" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="367" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/5f2c2ba222f09905c4ee2c51_Screen%20Shot%202020-08-06%20at%2018.09.33.png" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p> <p><strong>That’s a 99% decline in value of the dollar against gold.</strong> Other reserve currencies such as the British pound and Japanese yen have done even worse. The yen has lost 99.98% of its value against gold in 100 years. Note, the chart below has a log scale.</p> <p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/5f2c2c5cd394752831f621fd_%20Fiat%20Currencies%20vs.%20Gold%20Since%201900.png?itok=MLGMlQQL" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/5f2c2c5cd394752831f621fd_%20Fiat%20Currencies%20vs.%20Gold%20Since%201900.png?itok=MLGMlQQL"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/5f2c2c5cd394752831f621fd_%20Fiat%20Currencies%20vs.%20Gold%20Since%201900.png?itok=knSPgfH- 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/5f2c2c5cd394752831f621fd_%20Fiat%20Currencies%20vs.%20Gold%20Since%201900.png?itok=knSPgfH- 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/5f2c2c5cd394752831f621fd_%20Fiat%20Currencies%20vs.%20Gold%20Since%201900.png?itok=knSPgfH- 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/5f2c2c5cd394752831f621fd_%20Fiat%20Currencies%20vs.%20Gold%20Since%201900.png?itok=knSPgfH- 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/5f2c2c5cd394752831f621fd_%20Fiat%20Currencies%20vs.%20Gold%20Since%201900.png?itok=knSPgfH- 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/5f2c2c5cd394752831f621fd_%20Fiat%20Currencies%20vs.%20Gold%20Since%201900.png?itok=MLGMlQQL 1x" type="image/png"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="5af90f00-0f1c-4c9b-a4fa-3b3baa65d78f" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="311" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/5f2c2c5cd394752831f621fd_%20Fiat%20Currencies%20vs.%20Gold%20Since%201900.png" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p> <p><strong>Gold doesn’t yield, if you don’t lend it, but it's the only globally accepted financial asset without counterparty risk.</strong> Because of its immutable properties gold sustained its role as the sun in our monetary cosmos after the gold standard was abandoned in 1971. Central banks around the world kept holding on to their gold, despite its price reaching all-time highs such as now. This is due to <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gresham%27s_law#:~:text=In%20economics%2C%20Gresham's%20law%20is,will%20gradually%20disappear%20from%20circulation.">Gresham’s law</a>, which states “bad money drives out good.” If the price of gold rises central banks are more inclined to hoard gold (good money) and spend currency that declines in value (bad money).</p> <p>In the chart below you can see that gold's purchasing power is remarkably stable. As the gold price rises through time it mainly compensates for fiat currencies being devalued versus goods and services. In other words, the price of gold goes up by the same amount that consumer prices rise. Gold even shows a tendency of increasing in purchasing power, which might reveal inflation numbers published by governments are too low. <strong>Another theory is that sound money, like gold, <em>should</em> rise in purchasing power as technological development makes goods increasingly cheaper to produce.</strong></p> <p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/5f2c2c94c1d77e4049b7a9d7_Purchasing%20Power%20Index%20of%20Gold%20In%20the%20U.S.%20%281800%3D100%29.png?itok=bhDYe_8T" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/5f2c2c94c1d77e4049b7a9d7_Purchasing%20Power%20Index%20of%20Gold%20In%20the%20U.S.%20%281800%3D100%29.png?itok=bhDYe_8T"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/5f2c2c94c1d77e4049b7a9d7_Purchasing%20Power%20Index%20of%20Gold%20In%20the%20U.S.%20%281800%3D100%29.png?itok=Bt8Q0IRP 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/5f2c2c94c1d77e4049b7a9d7_Purchasing%20Power%20Index%20of%20Gold%20In%20the%20U.S.%20%281800%3D100%29.png?itok=Bt8Q0IRP 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/5f2c2c94c1d77e4049b7a9d7_Purchasing%20Power%20Index%20of%20Gold%20In%20the%20U.S.%20%281800%3D100%29.png?itok=Bt8Q0IRP 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/5f2c2c94c1d77e4049b7a9d7_Purchasing%20Power%20Index%20of%20Gold%20In%20the%20U.S.%20%281800%3D100%29.png?itok=Bt8Q0IRP 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/5f2c2c94c1d77e4049b7a9d7_Purchasing%20Power%20Index%20of%20Gold%20In%20the%20U.S.%20%281800%3D100%29.png?itok=Bt8Q0IRP 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/5f2c2c94c1d77e4049b7a9d7_Purchasing%20Power%20Index%20of%20Gold%20In%20the%20U.S.%20%281800%3D100%29.png?itok=bhDYe_8T 1x" type="image/png"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="d866cf19-9773-422b-a530-ac998ebaf30a" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="295" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/5f2c2c94c1d77e4049b7a9d7_Purchasing%20Power%20Index%20of%20Gold%20In%20the%20U.S.%20%281800%3D100%29.png" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p> <p>You might think that dollars with interest, for example U.S. government bonds (Treasuries), would have outperformed gold since the gold standard was abandoned in 1971. But this isn't true. <strong>Gold has performed better than Treasuries.</strong></p> <p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/5f2c3d9843f6c1b8f58c44d8_Gold%20Treasuries%20Stocks%20Commodities%20Cash%20Inflation%20since%201971.png?itok=c6IiVp19" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/5f2c3d9843f6c1b8f58c44d8_Gold%20Treasuries%20Stocks%20Commodities%20Cash%20Inflation%20since%201971.png?itok=c6IiVp19"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/5f2c3d9843f6c1b8f58c44d8_Gold%20Treasuries%20Stocks%20Commodities%20Cash%20Inflation%20since%201971.png?itok=JHx0d5Sn 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/5f2c3d9843f6c1b8f58c44d8_Gold%20Treasuries%20Stocks%20Commodities%20Cash%20Inflation%20since%201971.png?itok=JHx0d5Sn 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/5f2c3d9843f6c1b8f58c44d8_Gold%20Treasuries%20Stocks%20Commodities%20Cash%20Inflation%20since%201971.png?itok=JHx0d5Sn 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/5f2c3d9843f6c1b8f58c44d8_Gold%20Treasuries%20Stocks%20Commodities%20Cash%20Inflation%20since%201971.png?itok=JHx0d5Sn 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/5f2c3d9843f6c1b8f58c44d8_Gold%20Treasuries%20Stocks%20Commodities%20Cash%20Inflation%20since%201971.png?itok=JHx0d5Sn 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/5f2c3d9843f6c1b8f58c44d8_Gold%20Treasuries%20Stocks%20Commodities%20Cash%20Inflation%20since%201971.png?itok=c6IiVp19 1x" type="image/png"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="a6ca624e-4f68-4212-afe7-c1f4d2f6e4f6" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="307" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/5f2c3d9843f6c1b8f58c44d8_Gold%20Treasuries%20Stocks%20Commodities%20Cash%20Inflation%20since%201971.png" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p> <p><strong>In my view, the gold price will continue to rise <a href="https://www.voimagold.com/insight/europe-has-been-preparing-a-global-gold-standard-since-the-1970s">and will be incorporated in a new international monetary system</a>.</strong> The current all-time high in dollar or euro terms is just a nominal measure. When taking into account inflation gold is not at an all-time high, more importantly I’m expecting central banks to debase their currencies way more in the years ahead because the world has <a href="https://twitter.com/IIF/status/1285684749156126723?s=20">never been this much in debt</a>. The debt levels around the world are completely unsustainable and can only be lowered through <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debt_relief">debt relief</a> or inflation. The Federal Reserve and other central banks are <a href="https://twitter.com/Amdalleq/status/1289886621643374593">communicating</a> they choose inflation. A few months ago the President of the European Central Bank, Lagarde, said: “<a href="https://www.zerohedge.com/economics/lagarde-we-should-be-happier-have-job-have-savings">We should be happier to have a job than to have our savings protected</a>.” That is a clear admission that (in this case) euro savings will be wiped out.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en" xml:lang="en" xml:lang="en">The Fed is expected to make a major commitment to ramping up inflation soon <a href="https://t.co/kFjh8yCw01">https://t.co/kFjh8yCw01</a></p> — Jan Nieuwenhuijs (@JanGold_) <a href="https://twitter.com/JanGold_/status/1291408577802928129?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 6, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async="" src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Lowering the debt burden through inflation is “<a href="https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/ray-dalio-sees-monopoly-money-as-easiest-way-out-of-debt-crisis-1.1432956">the most expedient, least well-understood, and most common big way of restructuring debts</a>.” It has been done many times <a href="https://www.voimagold.com/insight/why-yield-curve-control-by-the-fed-will-be-bullish-for-gold">before in history</a> (see chart below), and will be done again.</p> <p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/5ee4b3fea6f2dbee4db4f4e2_U.S.%20Real%20Interest%20Rates%201940%201960.png?itok=0BtRmfNC" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/5ee4b3fea6f2dbee4db4f4e2_U.S.%20Real%20Interest%20Rates%201940%201960.png?itok=0BtRmfNC"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/5ee4b3fea6f2dbee4db4f4e2_U.S.%20Real%20Interest%20Rates%201940%201960.png?itok=em1YfMzk 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/5ee4b3fea6f2dbee4db4f4e2_U.S.%20Real%20Interest%20Rates%201940%201960.png?itok=em1YfMzk 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/5ee4b3fea6f2dbee4db4f4e2_U.S.%20Real%20Interest%20Rates%201940%201960.png?itok=em1YfMzk 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/5ee4b3fea6f2dbee4db4f4e2_U.S.%20Real%20Interest%20Rates%201940%201960.png?itok=em1YfMzk 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/5ee4b3fea6f2dbee4db4f4e2_U.S.%20Real%20Interest%20Rates%201940%201960.png?itok=em1YfMzk 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/5ee4b3fea6f2dbee4db4f4e2_U.S.%20Real%20Interest%20Rates%201940%201960.png?itok=0BtRmfNC 1x" type="image/png"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="ffa9218e-86c2-4176-a68a-5a65f9dbb344" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="274" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/5ee4b3fea6f2dbee4db4f4e2_U.S.%20Real%20Interest%20Rates%201940%201960.png" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p> <p>After the Second World War the U.S. government capped interest rates at very low levels while boosting inflation. The results were <a href="https://www.voimagold.com/insight/why-yield-curve-control-by-the-fed-will-be-bullish-for-gold">deeply negative real interest rates</a> (nominal rates minus inflation).</p> <p><strong>Owning physical gold stored outside the banking system offers protection of your purchasing power from currency debasement.</strong></p> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~4/bbVbILhUBkw" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Berkshire Bounces Back From Record Loss, But Shares Still Lag Despite Buffett's $5.1BN Buyback Surprise https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/berkshire-bounces-back-record-loss-shares-still-lag-despite-buffetts-51bn-buyback-surprise zero hedge - on a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero urn:uuid:ebf48f9b-a883-151b-b83d-1453e753e2ea Sun, 09 Aug 2020 00:30:43 +1000 <span property="schema:name" class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Berkshire Bounces Back From Record Loss, But Shares Still Lag Despite Buffett's $5.1BN Buyback Surprise</span> <span rel="schema:author" class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <a href="https://www.zerohedge.com/users/tyler-durden">Tyler Durden</a> </span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2020-08-08T14:30:43+00:00" class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sat, 08/08/2020 - 10:30</span> <div property="schema:text" class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Was DDTG founder Dave Portnoy on to something when he suggested earlier this year that Warren Buffett, the "Oracle of Omaha", <a href="https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2020-06-05/im-worlds-greatest-day-trader-barstools-dave-portnoy-epitomizes-retails-takeover">might be past his prime?</a></p> <p>Berkshire's Q2 earnings certainly don't make a strong case to the contrary.</p> <p>Released on Saturday morning (as per tradition), Berkshire reported that it spent a record $5.1 billion of the proceeds from cashing out its airline stocks, and others, during the March selloff buying back its own shares. While Bloomberg and other financial media focused on the $5.1 billion record buyback angle. BBG dared to ask its readers, in the opening paragraph of its earnings story, whether the great "Oracle of Omaha", in placing so much confidence in his own company's relatively unloved shares, might simply be one step ahead of the crowd once again.</p> <p>Shares of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. were left out of the stock market rally in the second quarter. Warren Buffett clearly thought the disconnect wasn’t warranted.</p> <p>They suggest this, despite Berkshire's streak of <a href="https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-06-14/warren-buffett-versus-sp-500-less-less-oraculous">decidedly "un-oracular" performance</a>, and despite the fact that such deference would sound more like sycophancy if it were directed at another financier. But as always, "the Oracle of Omaha", the folksy progressive defender of the "potential" of American capitalism.</p> <p><a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-08-08/berkshire-bought-back-record-5-billion-of-stock-last-quarter?sref=i4qXzk6d">BBG:</a></p> <blockquote> <p>Shares of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. were left out of the stock market rally in the second quarter. Warren Buffett clearly thought the disconnect wasn’t warranted.</p> </blockquote> <p>Although Berkshire bounced back to an operating profit after booking a record quarterly loss last quarter...</p> <p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-08%20at%2010.09.30%20AM.png?itok=MhCyvS4e" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-08%20at%2010.09.30%20AM.png?itok=MhCyvS4e"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-08%20at%2010.09.30%20AM.png?itok=ByaIR5P- 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-08%20at%2010.09.30%20AM.png?itok=ByaIR5P- 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-08%20at%2010.09.30%20AM.png?itok=ByaIR5P- 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-08%20at%2010.09.30%20AM.png?itok=ByaIR5P- 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-08%20at%2010.09.30%20AM.png?itok=ByaIR5P- 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-08%20at%2010.09.30%20AM.png?itok=MhCyvS4e 1x" type="image/png"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="21cf8660-0670-40c8-849a-c1afe96ecca2" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="253" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-08%20at%2010.09.30%20AM.png" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p> <p>...its shares have still lagged.</p> <p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/2020-08-08.jpg?itok=7F42fQal" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/2020-08-08.jpg?itok=7F42fQal"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/2020-08-08.jpg?itok=KhS3ISLQ 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/2020-08-08.jpg?itok=KhS3ISLQ 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/2020-08-08.jpg?itok=KhS3ISLQ 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/2020-08-08.jpg?itok=KhS3ISLQ 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/2020-08-08.jpg?itok=KhS3ISLQ 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/2020-08-08.jpg?itok=7F42fQal 1x" type="image/jpeg"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="70cc7ecb-ecb2-415a-aeb3-0ffadb014140" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="269" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/2020-08-08.jpg" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p> <p>Even with the massive infusion of capital provided by Buffett himself in the open-market buybacks...</p> <p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/2020-08-08%20%281%29.png?itok=dCNwHbc4" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/2020-08-08%20%281%29.png?itok=dCNwHbc4"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/2020-08-08%20%281%29.png?itok=ZRfraclZ 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/2020-08-08%20%281%29.png?itok=ZRfraclZ 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/2020-08-08%20%281%29.png?itok=ZRfraclZ 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/2020-08-08%20%281%29.png?itok=ZRfraclZ 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/2020-08-08%20%281%29.png?itok=ZRfraclZ 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/2020-08-08%20%281%29.png?itok=dCNwHbc4 1x" type="image/png"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="f71e2e02-d4e8-4a55-9f74-7558d8b12d77" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="241" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/2020-08-08%20%281%29.png" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p> <p> </p> <p>...Berkshire's shares largely lagged both the S&P 500 and a popular index of airline stocks, and the conglomerate's cash pile, which has grown alongside perceptions of Buffett's indolence, has reached <strong>its own record high of $146.6 billion.</strong></p> <p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/2020-08-08.png?itok=k_bDuLm9" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/2020-08-08.png?itok=k_bDuLm9"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/2020-08-08.png?itok=6PKR0wwz 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/2020-08-08.png?itok=6PKR0wwz 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/2020-08-08.png?itok=6PKR0wwz 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/2020-08-08.png?itok=6PKR0wwz 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/2020-08-08.png?itok=6PKR0wwz 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/2020-08-08.png?itok=k_bDuLm9 1x" type="image/png"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="ed526c83-a3b7-4a28-a97a-1a71d664ed76" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="316" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/2020-08-08.png" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p> <p>Buffett refrained from dumping all of the $13 billion in cashed-out shares back into Berkshire, perhaps because Buffett told the public a few months ago that this wasn't a particularly compelling time to buy back shares.</p> <p>More from <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-08-08/berkshire-bought-back-record-5-billion-of-stock-last-quarter?sref=i4qXzk6d">BBG</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p><strong>The famed investor spent a record $5.1 billion buying back Berkshire’s own stock in the second quarter, more than double the amount he’d ever purchased before.</strong> That came as he unloaded almost $13 billion of other companies’ shares, including airline stocks and some financials, in what was Buffett’s biggest selling quarter in more than a decade.</p> <p>Buffett has shown signs of buying appetite in recent weeks, but the second-quarter results show those are a new phenomenon as the Covid-19 pandemic has slammed the economy but failed to put a permanent dent in stock-market valuations. Buffett’s been building up cash this year even as other investors have sought to seize on opportunities amid the turmoil, and the pain Berkshire’s own businesses are feeling may inform his thinking.</p> <p><strong>"Our operating business groups are preparing for reduced cash flows from reduced revenues and economic activity as a result of Covid-19,” </strong>Berkshire said Saturday in a regulatory filing. <strong>“We currently believe our liquidity and capital strength, which is extremely strong, to be more than adequate."</strong></p> <p>Buffett’s cash pile surged to a record $146.6 billion at the end of June, in part from dumping all of his airline shares in April. He’s been more active lately, striking a deal for natural-gas assets in July and snapping up at least $2 billion of Bank of America Corp. stock in recent weeks through Aug. 4.</p> <p>Berkshire’s Class A shares, which fell in line with the S&P 500 in the first three months of the year as the pandemic spread in the U.S., fell another 1.7% last quarter while the broader index rallied 20%. Buffett said in early May that repurchases weren’t more compelling than at previous times, but the buybacks in the quarter suggest his thinking shifted.</p> <p>The company’s stock has rallied in July and August, but still is underperforming in 2020. Berkshire Class A shares were down 7.4% for the year through Friday’s close, compared with the 3.7% gain in the S&P 500.</p> </blockquote> <p>An analysis of Berkshire’s operating earnings follows (dollar amounts are in millions).</p> <p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-08%20at%2010.21.38%20AM.png?itok=XTXvJMrB" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-08%20at%2010.21.38%20AM.png?itok=XTXvJMrB"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-08%20at%2010.21.38%20AM.png?itok=H7E8yPir 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-08%20at%2010.21.38%20AM.png?itok=H7E8yPir 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-08%20at%2010.21.38%20AM.png?itok=H7E8yPir 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-08%20at%2010.21.38%20AM.png?itok=H7E8yPir 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-08%20at%2010.21.38%20AM.png?itok=H7E8yPir 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-08%20at%2010.21.38%20AM.png?itok=XTXvJMrB 1x" type="image/png"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="020861f9-f17b-47a7-9cd0-8c25ca727fb8" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="132" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-08-08%20at%2010.21.38%20AM.png" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p> <p>Heaping more injury upon injury, Berkshire also announced a $10 billion impairment charge stemming from one of Buffett's biggest and most recent deals, the purchase of Precision Castparts, a maker of airplane parts and engine components.</p> <blockquote> <p>The company also <strong>took $10 billion of impairment charges related to its Precision Castparts unit. Berkshire bought Precision Castparts in 2016 in a transaction valued at $37.2 billion, making it one of Buffett’s biggest deals.</strong> Now the maker of jet-engine blades and aircraft structural components is bracing for lean times as Boeing Co. and Airbus SE cut jetliner production and less air travel reduces the need for replacement parts.</p> <p>That’s forced the aerospace-parts maker to undergo “aggressive restructuring,” with the company cutting its workforce by about 10,000 employees during the first half of 2020.</p> <p>“We believe the effects of the pandemic on commercial airlines and aircraft manufacturers continues to be particularly severe,” Berkshire said in the filing. “In our judgment, the timing and extent of the recovery in the commercial airline and aerospace industries may be dependent on the development and wide-scale distribution of medicines or vaccines that effectively treat the virus."</p> </blockquote> <p>Here are the other key takeaways from the quarter, courtesy of BBG:</p> <ul><li>Unrealized gains and losses in Berkshire’s massive stock portfolio count toward the bottom line. So the S&P 500’s rally in the second quarter pushed net income to $26.3 billion.</li> <li>Insurance underwriting profit more than doubled to $806 million in the period. That was helped by gains at auto insurer Geico as fewer accidents benefited the business.</li> <li>Berkshire warned that Geico might be hurt in the next three quarters by a program that’s giving drivers a credit on their premiums.</li> </ul><p>Read the full press release below:</p> <p style=" margin: 12px auto 6px auto; font-family: Helvetica,Arial,Sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 14px; line-height: normal; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal; -x-system-font: none; display: block;"><a href="https://www.scribd.com/document/471799841/Berkshire-Hathaway-Inc#from_embed" style="text-decoration: underline;" title="View Berkshire Hathaway Inc on Scribd">Berkshire Hathaway Inc</a> by <a href="https://www.scribd.com/publisher/7989050/Zerohedge#from_embed" style="text-decoration: underline;" title="View Zerohedge's profile on Scribd">Zerohedge</a> on Scribd</p> <p><iframe class="scribd_iframe_embed" data-aspect-ratio="0.7729220222793488" data-auto-height="false" frameborder="0" height="600" id="doc_8105" scrolling="no" src="https://www.scribd.com/embeds/471799841/content?start_page=1&view_mode=scroll&access_key=key-9C2qrEWqgC4yljCqSlC1" title="Berkshire Hathaway Inc" width="100%"></iframe></p> <p>And here's the annual report:</p> <p style=" margin: 12px auto 6px auto; font-family: Helvetica,Arial,Sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 14px; line-height: normal; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal; -x-system-font: none; display: block;"> <a title="View Printmgr File on Scribd" href="https://www.scribd.com/document/471800146/Printmgr-File#from_embed" style="text-decoration: underline;">Printmgr File</a> by <a title="View Zerohedge's profile on Scribd" href="https://www.scribd.com/publisher/7989050/Zerohedge#from_embed" style="text-decoration: underline;">Zerohedge</a> on Scribd</p><iframe class="scribd_iframe_embed" title="Printmgr File" src="https://www.scribd.com/embeds/471800146/content?start_page=1&view_mode=scroll&access_key=key-YNd05xrfov9Pvw3c8rMv" data-auto-height="false" data-aspect-ratio="0.7729220222793488" scrolling="no" id="doc_36837" width="100%" height="600" frameborder="0"></iframe> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~4/wQizFmFQh88" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>