Home » Posts tagged 'zerohedge'

Tag Archives: zerohedge

Olduvai
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai III: Catacylsm
Click on image to purchase

Post categories

“Powerful” Hurricane Teddy Strengthens To Cat 4 With Canada In Crosshairs; Tropical Depression 22 Forms In Gulf

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is closely monitoring “powerful” Hurricane Teddy as it continues to churn in the Atlantic Ocean and could make landfall in Canada early next week.

As of 0500 ET Friday, Teddy is generating 130 mph winds (Category 4) while moving northwest at 12 mph and located about 900 miles southeast of Bermuda. The system is expected to make landfall near Nova Scotia, Canada, as a Category 2, on Tuesday/Wednesday.

Chief meteorologist Cindy Day of SaltWire Network, a Canadian newspaper, said Teddy “would come into Canadian waters late Monday night, and we’d start to get impacted Tuesday afternoon in Nova Scotia, Wednesday in Newfoundland.”

“It’s still quite a distance out and a lot of things could happen between now and then. 

“It looks like it’s going to intensify to a 4 maybe by the end of the afternoon (Friday), so it’s a powerful system. The danger with this system is that it’s not tracking over or close to land. When systems do that, the outer bands … when they start to brush up against coastline or land, it weakens the storm system. There’s no land around. It’s out in the mid-Atlantic and it’s just churning and the sea surface temperatures are warmer than normal. So right now, there’s nothing to weaken this system,” said Day. 

Day said some weather models have Teddy taking a northwest turn before heading for Nova Scotia, indicating landfall could be between Yarmouth and Halifax.

“That’s how I see the path unfolding, but again a little shift in the system over the Labrador Sea and the high coming in from Quebec and that could get squeezed further to the left or further to right. It looks like there’s going to be some impact, but how significant and where landfall is going to be – it’s a little bit too soon to say just yet.” 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Australia Pushes New Measure To Detain COVID “Conspiracy Theorists” 

Weekend demonstrations have flared up in Australia over the last month, as Aussies have vented their frustrations and attempted to take back control of their communities after a surge in virus cases prompted the government to re-implement some of the world’s most draconian social-distancing measures.

And if there is one thing that terrifies increasingly tyrannical governments, it’s a loss of control of the narrative, which is why the Australian government is getting a jump start on curbing any so-called “conspiracy theorists” daring to spread information that questions the fear-mongering being used to keep Aussie citizens under lock and key.

A new bill is expected to be debated by the Victorian government in the State Parliament this week. It gives local authorities the power to detain “conspiracy theorists” and people who refuse to self-isolate, reported Caldron Pool.

If passed, the COVID-19 Omnibus (Emergency Measures) allows the government to detain anyone labeled as a “high risk” or likely to spread COVID-19 negligently.

A state government spokesman told The Age that the rule could be applied to “conspiracy theorists who refuse to self-isolate or severely drug-affected or mentally impaired people who do not have the capacity to quarantine.” Those arrested under the new rule will be housed in quarantine facilities. 

Attorney-General Jill Hennessy said the new bill would “allow us to continue responding to the challenges the pandemic presents, so we can keep protecting Victorians and delivering the services they rely on.”

So far, many of the anti-lockdown demonstrations have been held on the weekends. At least 200 people were fined and 74 arrested at a protest in Melbourne on Sunday. If the bill is passed, some protesters would be rounded up and arrested, and could spend time in a quarantine facility.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Massive Lines Form Outside Virginia Food Bank As Demand Hits One Million Meals Per Month

The economic recovery has stalled, and in some cases, reversed. The $600 unemployment benefits that Americans received following the virus pandemic that crashed the economy in March-April expired on July 31, which means a fiscal cliff has been underway for 44 days (as of Sept. 14).

Millions of people are still out of work, their emergency savings wiped out, and insurmountable debts are increasing. As former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen warned in August, Congress’ inability to pass another round of stimulus checks could weigh on the economic recovery.

Readers may recall about a quarter of all personal income is derived from the government – so when a lapse in stimulus checks extends for well over one month – that could lead to new consumer stress.

In Richmond, Virginia, about 125 miles south of Washington, D.C., a food bank has been shelling out more than one million meals per month as the metro area battles deep economic scarring sustained by the virus-induced recession.

Kim Hill, the Chesterfield Food Bank CEO, told ABC 8News, “a lot of Chesterfield residents are showing up to get food would be an understatement — they’ve been averaging over a million meals a month.”

“You roll down that window, and you see the tears in that person’s eyes who never thought they would need the help of a food bank,” Hill said. “It breaks your heart.”

She said the volume of people her food bank is feeding is more than triple the levels versus last year. With increased demand, Hill said more volunteers are needed to handle the greater volumes.

“The life at the food bank here, we think it has changed forever,” Hill said. “Hunger should not exist in our country. We are one of the richest countries in the world, we need to be able to take care of our own people.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

“It’s Happening Again” – Traders Store Oil At Sea As Recovery Falters

Crude prices slid Thursday as the stalled global economic recovery from the virus pandemic triggers a “second wave” of demand fears and sparks renewed interest in floating storage as the oil market flips bearish.

Reuters said a “fresh build-up of global oil supplies, pushing traders including Trafigura to book tankers to store millions of barrels of crude oil and refined fuels at sea again.”

Floating storage, onboard crude tankers, comes as traditional onshore storage nears capacity as supply outpaces demand.

Total Oil Inventories 

Refinitiv vessel data shows trading house Trafigura has recently chartered at least five crude tankers, each capable of 2 million barrels of oil.

The inventory build up, driving up demand for floating storage comes as OPEC+ recently trimmed supply curbs from earlier this year on expectations demand would improve. Though with the peak summer driving season in the US now over, demand woes and oversupplied markets are pressuring crude and crude product prices.

Very large crude-oil carrier (VLCC) storage has started to rise once again.

“Despite the recent slide in oil prices, we think that the OPEC+ leadership will continue to direct its efforts towards securing better compliance rather than pushing for deeper cuts at this stage,” RBC analysts said.

Another catalyst for the bearish tilt in crude markets is that China’s oil imports are likely to subside as independent refineries have reached maximum annual oil import quotas.

Reuters notes, in a separate report, that other top commodity traders are booking tankers to store crude products at sea, including diesel and gasoline.

Refinitiv vessel data also shows Vitol, Litasco, and Glencor have been booking tankers in the last several days to store diesel for the next three months.

“The market is soft and bearish, and floating storage is returning again,” a market source told Reuters.

Iran Conducts Annual War Drill To Thwart “Foreign Threats And Possible Invasion”

Adding to the regional instabilities in the Gulf of Oman, near the strategic Strait of Hormuz waterway, the Iranian military launched its annual three-day naval exercise on Thursday.

Iranian commander Admiral Habibollah Sardari, who is leading the drills, told Iranian state TV that the exercise would allow the military to thwart future “foreign threats and any possible invasion.”

Reuters notes the exercise is being conducted in the eastern side of the strait in the Gulf of Oman, a hot spot that was the site of last year’s tanker attacks.

The annual exercise, dubbed as Zolfaghar-99, will include naval, air, and ground forces. The drill will also include warships, submarines, fighter jets, and unmanned aerial systems.

The location of the exercise is situated near the world’s most important oil chokepoint, the Strait of Hormuz, which has large volumes of oil that flow through the strait via tankers, accounting for about 30% of all the world’s oil traded in a given year.

Tensions have risen between Tehran and Washington this summer, mostly after Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard blew up a replica aircraft carrier in the strait.

Then in August, the Iranian Navy briefly boarded a Liberian-flagged oil tanker. The area has also seen a rise in Iran threatening oil tankers and US warships.

Ahead of the war drill, we noted last week how Iran’s state-controlled Afkar News saying that “American Soil Is Now Within the Range of Iranian Bombs.” The report bragged about the damage that the Iranian military could inflict on the Western powers:

“By sending a military satellite into space, Iran now has shown that it can target all American territory; the Iranian parliament had previously warned [the US] that an electromagnetic nuclear attack on the United States would likely kill 90 percent of Americans.”

With Iran increasingly flouting its military strength ahead of the election, tensions between Tehran and Washington will continue to rise.

Greenwald: MSM Journalists Hate Assange Because He’s Broken More Blockbuster Stories Than All Combined

“Nonsense!” — Julian Assange shouted as during the second day of his resumed extradition hearing US federal government attorney James Lewis told a witness that the WikiLeaks founder is facing extradition over the publication of informants’ names and not for merely handling leaked documents.

Judge Vanessa Baraitser promptly warned Assange, seated in the dock, that any further outbursts could get him removed from court and the hearings could proceed without him.

“If you interrupt proceedings and disrupt a witness who is properly giving their evidence, it is open to me to continue without you in your absence,” Baraitser said. “This is obviously not something I wish to do. I am, therefore, giving you a clear warning.”

Julian Assange being held in a glass cage during prior May UK court proceedings, via The Gray Zone.

The US side is hinging its extradition request argument on its prior claims that WikiLeaks under Assange’s leadership revealed names of sources. These individuals then “disappeared” according to the government’s argument, suggesting Assange actually got US operatives and assets detained or killed in foreign countries.

During the Tuesday proceedings, US wrongdoing was highlighted as well. Reuters reported that:

Stafford Smith, a dual US-UK national, said the leaked information had contributed to court findings that criminal proceedings should be taken against senior U.S. officials.

“I say this more in sadness than anger. I would never have believed that my government would do what it did,” he said. “We are talking about criminal offences of torture, kidnapping, rendition, holding people without trial.”

Meanwhile The Intercept journalist Glenn Greenwald blasted the deafening press silence this week as the hearing proceeds.

Greenwald pointed out that years ago “it was fairly accepted in liberal circles (and media ones) that prosecuting Assange would be a grave threat to press freedom.”

But what’s different this time, Greenwald underscores, is that “Now Trump DOJ is doing it, and liberals are silent-to-supportive because Assange hurt Hillary & liberals want him imprisoned for that.”

California Wildfires Cover 1 Million Acres In A Week As Storms Expected To Fan Flames

In the course of just one week, wildfires blazing across the state of California have burned through nearly one million acres statewide, destroying hundreds of homes ahead of an expected storm system heading toward the state that could bring more high winds and lightning strikes.

Two clusters of wildfires in the Bay Area have grown to become the second- and third-largest wildfires in recent state history by size.

Light winds and cooler and more humid nighttime weather helped fire crews make progress on those fires and a third group of fires south of San Francisco ahead of the forecast of warm, dry weather, erratic wind gusts and lightning, state fire officials said.

Weary firefighters in California raced Saturday to slow the spread of the blazes as President Donald Trump issued a major disaster declaration to provide federal assistance. Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a statement that the declaration will also help people in counties affected by the fires with crisis counseling, housing and other social services.

Calm weather overnight allowed firefighters to make progress against a trio of massive wildfires burning in Northern California, but they were bracing for a weather system Sunday that will bring high winds and thunderstorms that could spark new fires and fan existing blazes that destroyed nearly 1,000 homes and other structures and forced tens of thousands to evacuate.

Source: The Guardian

The “complexes,” or groups of fires, burning on all sides of the San Francisco Bay Area, were initially sparked  by lightning strikes – some of roughly 12,000 strikes registered in the state in the past week. The National Weather Service issued a “red flag” warning through Monday afternoon for the drought-stricken areas across the Bay Area, meaning extreme fire conditions, including high temperatures, low humidity and wind gusts up to 65 mph “may result in dangerous and unpredictable fire behavior.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

On Inflation (& How It’s Not What Happens Next)

Everyone is convinced the dollar is going to inflate because more dollars are entering the system.

But are they really?

That is the question that sparked a succinct Twitter thread by Travis K (@ColoradoTravis) explaining why inflation is not what happens next (emphasis ours):

Let’s take a look at how dollars are born and how they die.

A dollar is ‘born’ when a loan is made against collateral on a bank’s balance sheet. Banks can issue multiples of dollars for every dollar of collateral they have.

It’s this multiplication effect that expands the amount of total dollars.

Generally, banks are limited in how much they can lend – let’s say it’s 10x their collateral. So for every dollar of collateral they have, they can lend 10 dollars.

By so lending, they ‘birth’ new dollars into the system.

As banks lend more, more dollars are created and the money supply increases. This multiplicative lending is the chief driver of total dollars in the system.

Banks lending a lot → more total dollars and inflation.

When do dollars die?

Dollars ‘die’ when debts are paid back. This reverses the multiplication effect of lending, leading to less total dollars in the system and a contraction of total dollars in circulation.

So what is the Fed ‘printer’ doing – creating dollars, right? Actually no, not really.

The printer only increases the collateral banks have to lend against. It does not directly ‘birth’ dollars, only *potential* dollars.

Banks are still the midwives, and the only ones who birth dollars into the system by lending.

The Fed can increase collateral by 1000x but unless the banks lend against that collateral, dollars will not enter circulation for you and I to interact with.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Double Tropical Trouble Brewing For US Gulf Coast

The National Hurricane Center’s (NHC) latest update (Saturday morning) on two tropical storms swirling in the Gulf of Mexico, with crosshairs both pointed at the Gulf Coast of the US, is that both storms are set to strengthen through the weekend.

Readers may recall, Tropical Depression 13 (upgraded to Tropical Storm Laura) and Tropical Depression 14 (upgraded to Tropical Storm Marco), are two systems positioned in different locations of the Gulf of Mexico, with long-term tracking models both forecasting the storms could make landfall in very similar areas within, or a little more than a day apart.

“It is really unprecedented to have two storms make landfall within 24 to 36 hours in essentially the same spot,” Aaron Carmichael, a meteorologist with the commercial forecaster Maxar, told Bloomberg.

The last time two storms simultaneously traversed the warm waters of the Gulf was in 1959. The current forecast suggests Marco could strike south Texas to western Louisiana, on Tuesday, while Laura could make landfall on Wednesday evening into Thursday from Houston, Texas, to Mobile, Alabama.

The NHC released a statement at 11:00 ET about new updates on Laura, indicating the system is moving across the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

Another statement was released by NHC detailing Marco could become a hurricane on Saturday night.

Long-term track models of both systems suggests, if both are upgraded to hurricane status before landfall, there could be widespread coastal damage from Texas to Alabama.

Carmichael said, “there’s still a lot of uncertainty with the forecast because the two storms could interact, with one sapping the other of its strength.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Atlantic Basin Is “About To Come Alive” 

Michael Ventrice, an atmospheric scientist at The Weather Company, tweeted Monday morning, “there’s risk for a hurricane to track towards the Gulf of Mexico in 7-10 days.” 

Readers may recall the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season has been extremely busy, with eleven storms so far, and the risk of two more storms developing later this week.

At the start of the hurricane season, we said: “…this hurricane season could be above average, with 13 to 19 named storms.”

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) published a new five-day tropical weather outlook showing two disturbances developing in the eastern Atlantic.

“NHC is monitoring two disturbances for possible development within the next several days.  A system in the eastern Atlantic has a high chance of development and a system near the Windward Islands has a medium chance of formation,” NHC said.

The next 7-10 days could be a period of heightened activity in the Atlantic and or the Gulf of Mexico. NHC said Disturbance #1 has a 50% chance of developing, and Disturbance #2 has a 70% chance of developing by the end of the week.

Rolling Blackouts, Prolonged Heatwave, And ‘Fire-nados’ Sends California To The Brink   

Californians flocked to beaches, recreation areas, and lakes this past weekend to seek relief from one of the most extreme heat waves in a generation, straining the state’s power grid to the brink of collapse, reported Bloomberg.

The heatwave brought triple-digit temperatures to parts of California over the last three days and sparked concerns of fiery tornados on Saturday.

On Sunday, the National Weather Service’s (NWS) Weather Prediction Center (WPC) tweeted temperatures from Death Valley, a desert valley in Eastern California, in the northern Mojave Desert, reached 130F, the first time since 1913.

Scorching temperatures were so intense, the state’s electrical grid warned of a continuous electricity supply shortage for Sunday into Monday and Tuesday.

California Independent System Operator (California ISO) had purchased additional power to prevent another rolling blackout and issued a Flex Alert, urging customers to reduce energy in the afternoons.

Severin Borenstein, a board member of the ISO and energy economist at the University of California, Berkeley, told SFGate that rolling outages are expected to continue early this week:

“There is a real concern that they would have to do it again tomorrow and Tuesday,” he said Sunday about the rolling outages.

We noted Saturday that rolling blackouts started Friday when the state’s power reserves had fallen below a critical threshold due to elevated temperatures increased demand for power. The grid issued a “Stage 3 Grid Emergency,” which triggered the “load interruption.”

According to ABC News, this is the first round of “Stage 3” blackouts facing the state since the 2000-2001 energy crisis that forced the state’s largest utility – PG&E – into bankruptcy and led to the ouster of former Gov Gray Davis.

The blistering heat was also a major concern for firefighters battling several wildfires in Northern California.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Got Wood? Lumber Prices Explode To Record Highs Amid “Supply Chain Screw Ups”

When builders go to the lumberyard, they expect two-by-fours in ample supply. As Galvnews.com reports, it’s like expecting to find milk at the supermarket.

But, in recent months, something has changed… dramatically… Since the lows in early April, the price of Lumber (futures) has exploded 200%…

“We had to pay three times the price,” exclaims Ron Woods, the owner of Firehouse Builders, a general contracting company that specializes in building fences, decks and other smaller projects.

In fact, the surge in prices sent Lumber to its most expensive…ever!

A building boom? This is “great news” some might say as it indicates ‘demand’ is high and the economy is “getting back to normal,” right?

Wrong!

As Woods explains“the explanation they had for us was that COVID-19 shut down the plants that treat the wood, and that finally caught up.”

So, it’s the supply stupid! And looking at the US construction spending data confirms it is anything but ‘demand’:

“The supply chain was screwed up,” said Wilson, the owner of Wilson Construction in Galveston.

“Dimension sizes were in limited supplies; even something as simple as a two-by-four-by-twelve Southern yellow pine treated was in extremely short supply.”

In fact, as Galvnews.com reportsthe price changes are affecting all sorts of basic building materials, said Al Fichera, the owner of Fichera Builders in Galveston. In the past two weeks, sheets of plywood have gone from $15 a sheet to $34 a sheet, he said.

It’s normal for the price of building supplies to fluctuate, he said, but that kind of spike is unusual.

The situation now is that builders have to search wide and act fast to obtain the material they need.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Evolution Of Fiat Money, Endless War, & The End Of Citizenship (Part 2)

Read Part 1 here…

The Victory of Fiat Money, Endless War, and the Rise of the “Citizen Soldier”

The stage was now set for the victory of fiat money after the series of bloody religious wars that plagued Europe over the 16th and 17th centuries.  For the first time some combatants would, at least initially, fight for religious “ideals” rather than pay or feudal obligation and this marks the beginning of the end of the Classical phase of European warfare.  This phase of endless war was funded by ever increasing amounts of silver borrowed on credit which, together with an endless series of tax decrees, initiated severe price inflation, economic depressions, and peasant revolts that became larger and more expensive to quell (on credit).  With both political and economic chaos spreading across Europe, it was at this time its intelligentsia began to espouse the “Universal Rights of Man” which, for its time, was nothing short of extreme radicalism as it demanded an end to the centuries old divine rights of the sovereign over his increasingly taxed subjects.

These tenets of the “Universal Rights of Man” were quickly adopted and championed by the Bourgeoisie / Burghers / Borghese, skilled craftsmen, and lesser nobility as a means to not only elevate their social status, but also to break free from their centuries old and ever increasing taxation and military funding obligations to the sovereign.  The Reformation and subsequent religious wars proved that rebellion could, albeit at an extreme loss of (peasant) life, extricate a people from its taxation obligation to the Papal Empire.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

California Forced Into Rolling Blackouts As Heatwave Sparks First “Stage 3” Energy Crisis In 20 Years

While the rest of the country was distracted by the stimulus talks and the ongoing coronavirus situation, another deadly wildfire season has begun in California. And with the state’s prison population in the grips of an uncontrolled outbreak that has left thousands sickened and under quarantine orders – making them ineligible to fight fires – a dangerous heat wave is gripping the state, accelerating the spread of wildfires that broke out earlier this week, while also creating the state’s first “Stage 3” energy crisis in 20 years.

The relentless heat wave is expected to endure until mid-week, and is sending temperatures soaring to 110 degrees Fahrenheit, exacerbating the fire situation and forcing millions of Californians to endure rolling blackouts.

The situation is compounding Californians’ problems as a particularly dangerous time as hundreds of COVID patients depend on ventilators to breath. As officials issue warnings about energy use, strain on the grid due to air conditions and fans are threatening to cause a repeat of Friday’s rolling blackout over the weekend.

Friday’s blackout started at around 1830PT when California’s grid operator determined that the state’s power reserves had fallen below a critical threshold. The operator then called a “Stage 3 Grid Emergency”, which triggered the “load interruption” – aka the blackouts.

According to ABC Newsthis is the first round of “Stage 3” blackouts facing the state since the 2000-2001 energy crisis that forced the state’s largest utility – PG&E – into bankruptcy, and led to the ouster of former Gov Gray Davis. One key difference this time around is that PG&E is already in bankruptcy and pleading guilty to manslaughter.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Dramatic Photos: Desperate For Provisions, Thousands Of Cars Line Up At Texas Food Bank

Dramatic images released this week show thousands of cars  stretching for miles, lining up for provisions at a Texas food bank as the state continues to deal with the effects of its coronavirus outbreak.

At a food drive held in Dallas County on Tuesday, cars from “the other side of the state” showed up, according to the Daily Mail. Photographs show cars bumper to bumper while 90 volunteers worked to distribute 10,000 boxes of food. People had started lining up for the food before dawn, hoping to get boxes that included dairy, canned goods, noodles, peanut butter and other basics.

Richard Archer, who showed up at the food bank this week, said: “If it wasn’t for this, we’d probably go hungry. With unemployment benefits cut, [my daughter’s] husband’s been laid off for three months. So, it’s just been a struggle. If it wasn’t for church, and food giveaways, the kids would be going hungry.”

Diana King, another person at the food drive, told CBS: “There’s times I open the refrigerator and there’s little there. We make do with what we have and we make it stretch. It helps pay a bill, so the water doesn’t get turned off. The gas doesn’t get turned off. Mortgage? We are right there on the borderline.”

The scramble for free food comes as about 30 million Americans surveyed last month said that they “didn’t have enough to eat”. This marked about 12% of all people polled. At the same time, the country is mired with record unemployment numbers. 28 million people remain unemployed nationwide as a result of the pandemic.

According to the Daily Mail, the numbers in Texas are dire: “Dallas County has recorded 55,787 cases of coronavirus and 794 deaths. In Texas there are 524,814 cases and 9,552 deaths. The positivity rate in Texas is 24.5 percent – the highest since the start of the pandemic.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
In progress...

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase