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The State Convinced People It Was Dangerous For Them Not To Be Watched, Now Many Believe Surveillance Tech Is "For Our Own Good"

The State Convinced People It Was Dangerous For Them Not To Be Watched, Now Many Believe Surveillance Tech Is "For Our Own Good"

Authored by Aden Tate via The Organic Prepper blog,

Yet another consequence of 2020 was the growth of public surveillance (aka Big Brother state) disguised under the umbrella of COVID. When you can convince a populace it is dangerous for them to be unobserved, you create the mindset that public surveillance is for the good of all. 

Big Brother is bigger than ever

I work within the security industry.

One newer piece of technology that we can now install is AI fever monitoring cameras. Many buildings throughout the US now have a camera with thermal capabilities monitoring your every move when you walk in.

Should you be deemed somebody with a temperature outside of the preset bounds, the system will use facial recognition to lock onto you. As you travel throughout the facility, security staff/management is notified. 

How is this any different from giving a polygraph to every person without their knowledge or consent? 

Is this information the world at large needs to know?

Must you tell every business owner from here on all your recent health history to be admitted into the building? In the future, do I have to reveal every medical procedure I’ve had? Do I also have to report my sexual history, what foods I eat, and other private information before being allowed inside?

Consider the invasions of privacy that come from the utilization of thermal technology. The front desk staff now knows who has a problem with armpit sweat, how hot your crotch is, and whose butt is sweating.

Do HIPPA requirements apply here at all?

What happens if it’s discovered that heart rate is linked with an infectious disease? Will we then incorporate heart rate monitors throughout our facility? I hope you don’t get nervous speaking to that person you find attractive. What if an employee who doesn’t like you works the cameras? Isn’t that a violation of privacy?

What if it’s determined that abnormal sweating patterns are associated with an infectious disease? In this case, let’s say that it’s a sweaty butt. Are thermal cameras going to monitor everybody’s backsides in such an event?

Do you see how this can quickly grow into a terrifying experience?

Privacy is foundational to freedom

The Founding Fathers of America fully understood the importance of privacy when it came to freedom. It’s for this reason that the Fourth Amendment was written.

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated…”

Is it not a violation of the Fourth Amendment for someone to use a camera to collect your biometrics without your consent? Are you secure in your person and effects in such a case? Are we now subject to rights violations each time we enter a grocery store, doctor’s office, or gas station? Does modern American society demand that our rights be violated so that we can live within that society?

Surveillance of US citizens and sensitive data collection reached epic proportions

COVID tech used to monitor the American people during the past year and a half collected more sensitive data than ever before.

Want proof?

  • Alabama State University purchased thermal imaging and facial recognition-equipped drones to enforce social distancing and masking in public. 
  • Some US school districts required their students and staff to wear a Bluetooth armband to monitor their temperature.

The end result of these types of policies is to have authorities dictating your oxygen intake and whether or not you’re allowed to hug your friends. 

Want more proof?

Online classrooms – intended to protect students against COVID – were turned into the ever-present TV cameras from 1984.

  • Twelve-year-old Isaiah Elliot of Colorado flashed a toy gun across his screen during one of his lectures and was then suspended. Police were then sent to his house for a welfare check.
  • Things were no different in Maryland. An 11-year-old boy had the police called on him by his teacher. The teacher saw a BB gun hanging on his bedroom wall during a Google Meet class.

When government employees get to decide which toys your children play with and what they decorate their bedrooms with, you have a public surveillance problem. 

The end result of policies such as these is authorities demanding to violate your right to health privacy, then threatening your child with potential kidnapping (via Social Services) if you refuse to send your child to school. 

Is the abolition of cash for your health or control?

The push for the abolition of cash was heavy throughout 2020. For example, the CNN article “Dirty money: the case against using cash during the coronavirus outbreak.” wrote: 

The ongoing spread of coronavirus is forcing institutions around the world to rethink one particularly germy surface that most consumers touch every day: cash.

What’s the end result of this movement? A cashless society, and therefore, the monitoring and controlling of every purchase you make. 

And now we have the vaccine passport

Now Americans must “state your name and race” before using certain transportation services, entering certain buildings, or going to certain churches. And it’s only going to continue to grow in use.

What does a vaccine passport do? First, it gives people the ability to know everywhere you’ve ever been. And, should it become digitally uploaded, to see where you are right now. Also, it lets them know whether or not you’re willing to comply with tyranny or not. Those who don’t – those who haven’t been placed on the list – are easier to find.

And when you’re easier to find – well, you end up in a situation very akin to Soviet Russia, do you not?

“These are the people who have not pledged loyalty to Stalin! Do with this list as you will!”

Public health is the perfect guise for tyranny

It’s based on fear, and fear is a potent motivator. If you can get most people to seek security rather than freedom, slavery is not far behind. As FA Hayek said regarding security in his masterpiece The Road to Serfdom“the general striving for it, far from increasing the chances of freedom, becomes the gravest threat to it.”

Do you enjoy your freedom? Do you enjoy your right to privacy – not having a peeping Tom invading every aspect of your life? Then pay attention to what is being done with COVID tech. Watch both where and how it is being used.

Because I think you’ll agree with me: it’s not in your best interest.

Tyler Durden Mon, 06/21/2021 - 20:20

Vaccines Exhibit "Reduced Efficacy" Against "Delta" Variant, WHO Doctor Warns

Vaccines Exhibit "Reduced Efficacy" Against "Delta" Variant, WHO Doctor Warns

As the mutant COVID-19 strain known as "Delta" picks up steam across Europe and the US, one of the WHO's leading doctors has just expressed concern about recent research published in the Lancet showing that the first generation of COVID-19 vaccines aren't as effective at protecting against "Delta".

Answering a question from a reporter during the organization's regular Monday briefing in Geneva, Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove said that there is data "showing a reduction in neutralization" for the Delta variant, but not as much as the "Beta" variant - better known as the mutant strain that was first discovered in South Africa.

She continued on, noting that the first generation of vaccines are still highly effective: "Having said that, these vaccines are still highly effective, they produce enough antibodies to protect against serious disease and death. While we are seeing some reduced efficacy, they are still effective at preventing severe disease and death including against the delta variant."

Ultimately, the WHO needs to vaccinate as many people as quickly as possible - which is the goal of Covax, the WHO's program to vaccinate the world - to give dangerous variants less opportunity to take root and spread.

"The goal of Covax is that we need those who are most at risk to severe disease, and those who are most exposed, to receive those vaccines and to be protected," Dr. Kerkhove said.

To learn more about vaccine efficacy, the WHO has been "working with a global network...to get these studies under way...and to look at real-world efficacy data as well." New research is coming in "fast and furious" and WHO is doing everything it can to determine what's relevant and what's not. The agency remains vigilant, however, because they fear that over time a growing number of "double" or "triple" mutants could further erode the efficacy of the first generation of vaccines. What's more, "there may be a time where we have a constellation of mutations that arise in a variant" that will cause vaccines to lose potency entirely.

Readers can watch the entire briefing below. Dr. Kerkhove is asked about the threat posed by mutant strains just before the 1-hour mark:

Recent evidence suggests that the Delta variant, which has prompted concern worldwide, has also led to new surges of COVID in under-vaccinated parts of the US. According to BBG, even as the number of fully vaccinated Americans reaches 150MM, the genomics firm Helix has analyzed about 20K samples from COVID tests across more than 700 American counties and found that cases of the Delta variant appear to be spreading much more quickly in areas with lower vaccination rates than in areas that have higher rates.

Tyler Durden Mon, 06/21/2021 - 20:00

Professors Call For Hate Speech Protections To Be Extended To Animals

Professors Call For Hate Speech Protections To Be Extended To Animals

Authored by Jonathan Turley,

Two professors at the University of Sheffield have published a piece in the Oxford Journal of Legal Studies to extend hate speech protections to animals to deal with hateful “speciesist” remarks. Drs. Josh Milburn and Alasdair Cochrane insist that such protections will help achieve a “more benign human–animal relations within society.”  The need for speech criminalization is based on the view that “some animals do seem to have their social confidence eroded because of their awareness of the risk of violence.”

We previously discussed the campaign by PETA to end the use of animal references in pejorative comments. It called for the end of the use of pig, chicken, pig, rat, snake and other references to “stand up for justice by rejecting supremacist language.”

These two academics go further to demand actual speech crimes and controls to protect animals:

Laws against hate speech protect members of certain human groups. However, they do not offer protection to nonhuman animals. Using racist hate speech as our primary example, we explore the discrepancy between the legal response to hate speech targeting human groups and what might be called anti-animal or speciesist hate speech….We thus conclude that, absent a compelling alternative argument, there is no in-principle reason to support the censure of racist hate speech but not the censure of speciesist hate speech.

 What was striking to me in the work is the reliance on the writings of NYU Professor Jeremy Waldron who I debated a couple years ago at Rice University over his work in establishing speech codes and crimes. Despite my respect for him as an academic, I have long objected to Waldron’s work as inimical to free speech and creating a slippery slope of ever-expanding censorship.  That danger is evident in this latest work.  The professors embrace Waldron’s concept of “group defamation” and the harm it causes to individuals in society. They then extend that concept to animals:

“the best reading of Waldron’s theory must include certain animals within its protective remit…some states have enacted constitutional provisions for the sake of animals, some of which explicitly recognise the ‘dignity’ of animals.But, again, none of these provisions acknowledges that animals possess the Waldronian sense of civic dignity: none views animals as possessing equal social standing, membership, status, and rights. No community truly regards its animal residents as members of society, and none recognises them as equals.”

The argument illustrates how speech controls and crimes develop into an insatiable appetite for more and more regulation in maintaining what Waldron calls a better society. More and more speech is pulled into this vortex of criminalization and regulation.

As many know on this blog, I have long called for greater protections for animals and the recognition broader of animal rights. This includes greater standing to argue for relief in court on behalf of such animal interests. However, I am also a free speech advocate. Indeed, academics like Waldron probably view me as something of an extremist in my own right. I admit that I oppose most regulation and criminalization of speech. I may be a free speech dinosaur in that sense. Traditional free speech values are certainly out of vogue among academics.  I believe in largely unfettered free speech, particularly for statements made off campus or outside of a classroom. I seriously do not believe that these animals are harmed by such comments but I know that free speech will be further harmed by their criminalization.

The danger is really not a line of woke Weimaraners because this really protects the sensibilities of humans.  Indeed, it may be an odd form of anthropomorphism in assuming hurt feelings that humans would have. Animals can clearly sense anger and disapproval. However, few leave the room when you complain of living a “dog’s life” or “eating like a pig.”

There is a point about such phraseology but I prefer Dr. Doolittle’s version:

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You can read the study here.

*  *  *

Update: Soon after this column was posted, I received a thoughtful and clarifying response from Professor Milburn.  With his approval, I can including that response to this posting so that readers understand the position of the authors. I appreciate his reaching out and I encourage readers to consider the more nuanced view that he is suggesting:

Thank you for blogging about the article I wrote with Alasdair Cochrane on animals and hate speech. We, of course, welcome engagement and analysis from legal scholars.

I am emailing to clarify that, in the article, we do not say that animals should be protected from hate speech. We argue for a conditional: given that we have found — in existing scholarly discourse about the foundations of hate speech law — no compelling reason to draw a line, we conclude that if humans should be protected by hate-speech laws, then (in principle) animals should be protected by hate-speech laws.

I believe that this is a conclusion that could be endorsed by people who support the existence of hate-speech laws and those who do not. Indeed, I have previously spoken with a colleague who is, like you, very sceptical of hate-speech laws, and he suggested that Alasdair and I frame the paper explicitly as a reductio-style argument against hate-speech laws. We do not do this in the paper — indeed, we do not take a side in the question of whether hate-speech laws are justified at all. But we welcome engagement with our arguments from people who are generally supportive of hate-speech laws and those who are generally opposed.

Anyways; thank you, again, for taking the time to write about our paper.

Tyler Durden Mon, 06/21/2021 - 19:40

"This Is Not A Temporary Situation": The Global Chip Shortage Will Continue To Push Prices Higher

"This Is Not A Temporary Situation": The Global Chip Shortage Will Continue To Push Prices Higher

The ongoing global semiconductor shortage is causing prices of electronics to rise while at the same time pressuring suppliers and material providers to continue raising prices. In the midst of the shortage, demand for consumer electronics has continued to rocket higher. 

Ergo, industry officials believe that the increases are likely to continue, according to a new Wall Street Journal report. The effects can be easily seen in consumer electronics. 

The report notes that items like one ASUS laptop that formerly cost $900 now costs $950. An HP Chromebook laptop that used to cost $220 has seen its price rise to $250. In fact, HP has raised consumer PC prices by 8% and printer prices by more than 20% in just the short span of a year. the company's CEO blames the rise in prices on "component shortages".

Dell Technologies Inc. Chief Financial Officer Thomas Sweet recently said: “As we think about component cost increases, we’ll adjust our pricing as appropriate.”

Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi made excuses for HP explained the price hikes by saying they reflected an absence of usual discounts, instead of all-out price increases. 

Vincent Roche, the CEO of chip maker Analog Devices Inc., commented: “We’re not taking advantage of this cycle to do anything on pricing, other than where we are paying more for the additional supply that we’ve got to get on board. We’re passing that on.”

Hock Tan, CEO of Broadcom Inc., simply noted: “We see cost inflation.”

Digi-Key Electronics has also raised prices of semiconductor-related components by roughly 15% this year. They blame it on "pressures from the supply crunch". Certain components now cost 40% more than they used to, according to David Stein, the company’s vice president of global supplier management.

"Contract prices for computer memory have risen about 34% since the beginning of last year," the Journal notes, calling the rising prices "part of broader uptick in inflation in the U.S. economy".

The median price of the top 20 bestselling microcontrollers is up by more than 12% since the middle of last year, according to Supplyframe Inc.

Dale Ford, the chief analyst at the Electronic Components Industry Association, concluded: “Raw-material costs have gone up more recently, and I think people are now saying this is not a temporary situation. Price increases are going to be durable.”

Tyler Durden Mon, 06/21/2021 - 19:20

Coca-Cola Diversity Policy Risks Violating Anti-Discrimination Laws, Shareholders Warn

Coca-Cola Diversity Policy Risks Violating Anti-Discrimination Laws, Shareholders Warn

Authored by GQ Pan via The Epoch Times,

A group of Coca-Cola shareholders are warning that the company’s recent diversity policy would actually require contracted law firms to violate anti-discrimination laws.

In a letter dated June 11, the American Civil Rights Project (ACRP) noted that on Jan. 28, the general counsel of Coca-Cola demanded law firms seeking to keep the company as a client must commit that at least 30 percent of billed time would be from “diverse attorneys,” and at least half of that time would be from black attorneys.

The ACRP, speaking on behalf of “a set of concerned Coca-Cola Company shareholders,” demanded that the soft drink company either “publicly retract the discriminatory outside-counsel policies” or otherwise “provide access to the corporate records related to the decision of Coca-Cola’s officers and directors to adopt and retain those illegal policies.”

Coca-Cola’s race-specific contracting policy, according to the ACRP, has exposed the corporation and its shareholders to “material risk of liability” for potentially violating anti-discrimination laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin.

The letter further alleged that all of Coca-Cola’s decision makers knew, or should have known, that the policy was potentially illegal. It said those who were not so aware of the legal risks either have failed their responsibility or “relied on the inexcusably flawed advice of counsel.”

The diversity plan was shelved following the resignation of Bradley Gayton as Coca-Cola’s general counsel, after less than a year on the leadership position.

Gayton wrote in January that it is a “crisis” that the legal profession is not “treating the issue of diversity and inclusion as a business imperative.”

“The Stockholders therefore demand that you immediately publicly retract the policies in their entirety,” the letter concluded, adding that they will be “forced to seek judicial relief” to protect their interests in the company if they do not receive a response to their demands within 30 business days.

Coca-Cola, one of the largest food and beverage companies in the world, came under fire in February, when its employees were allegedly instructed to be “less white” as part of a “Confronting Racism” training course featuring interviews with sociologist Robin DiAngelo, the author of a 2018 book called “White Fragility.”

“In the U.S. and other Western nations, white people are socialized to feel that they are inherently superior because they are white,” reads one of the slides, allegedly sent from an “internal whistleblower” and posted on Twitter by YouTube commentator Karlyn Borysenko. The post went viral.

Tyler Durden Mon, 06/21/2021 - 19:00

How Crowds Of Partiers Transformed NYC's Washington Square Park Into A "No Go Zone"

How Crowds Of Partiers Transformed NYC's Washington Square Park Into A "No Go Zone"

Though it hasn't garnered nearly as much attention as the occupation of Lower Manhattan's Zuccotti Park, which was widely recognized as the genesis of the "Occupy Wall Street" movement that exploded in the years after the financial crisis, the occupation of Washington Square Park has shown no signs of slowing down, even with the Big Apple's crowded mayoral primary just one day away.

Some have even likened the park to a "no go zone", a reference to areas (typically outside the US) where high rates of violent crime prompt outsiders to avoid the area.

Late last week, the NYT published a lengthy piece chronicling the situation at WSP, which has long had a reputation as a haven for the homeless and for drug dealers. Since the city imposed a curfew a few weeks back, the park has become a rallying point for activists and partygoers alike who are trying to make a point about reclaiming public space. The bougie residents who live in the area surrounding the park told the NYT that the situation "felt like war".

After the NYPD first clashed with revelers in the park on June 5, the city ordered the police to stand down, prompting homeowners and renters who live near the park to brace for "a summer of chaos and sleepless nights."

Edith Molina, 19, came down from the Bronx. "This is the park you come to chill out," she said. "In the Bronx, you have gang violence, and police run you out of parks. Here, police don’t do anything."

On recent weeks, the NYT reported that the number of visitors in the park sometimes balloons to more than 1K people, packed into a 9.74-acre piece of land in the heart of Greenwich Village. With the homeless and the crowd of young revelers has come drug dealers, who have created an influx of crack and heroin dealing in the park. The Daily Mail added, in a story published Sunday night, that residents have also complained about "prostitution and public sexual acts" being carried out in the park.

Speaking on Monday, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said he believes the situation will resolve itself "naturally".

The park is subject to a midnight curfew, but the NYPD has taken a lax approach in recent weeks to enforcing the midnight curfew, allowing revelers to party on long into the night.

While the noise has drawn most of the complaints from residents, many have also complained to police about the surge in police. Last Saturday alone, two people were stabbed, a man was beaten and mugged of his phone and a 77-year-old cook at a nearby diner was attacked after a young man drawn to the area by the park threw a tantrum after being refused access to the diner's bathroom. A handful of overdoses have also been reported in the park seemingly every day.

Violent crime has been climbing across the Big Apple since the start of the pandemic. Felony assaults are up 8% for the first six months of 2021 vs. the same period last year, while rapes are up by 3%. Shootings in the Big Apple have increased by 64% year-on-year, while murders are up 13%.

While many of the residents who live nearby see themselves as liberals, many fear speaking out because they worry about being labeled a "NIMBY" - an acronym for "not in my backyard". The phrase is a reference to supposedly "liberal" individuals who oppose development like multi-family housing, rehab facilities and halfway houses in their neighborhoods. Still, a growing number say they're in favor of more aggressive police tactics as violence in the park has escalated.

Carmen Gonzalez, a dog photographer in the neighborhood, said: "Once the sun comes down, the park changes drastically. It’s time to draw the line." Others articulated similar complaints.

Christa Shaub, who has lived in the area for 15 years, and Amy Heinemams, who has lived in there for six years, said the partying in the park is nothing new especially during the summer months, but 'it's exaggerated post-pandemic.'

'This is an open park, but you need to have respect for people,' Shaub said. 'There needs to be regulations.'

The mostly young tourists who complain the loudest about the park being "public space" apparently haven't put much thought into the fact that some people are now too afraid to use the space.

Tyler Durden Mon, 06/21/2021 - 18:40

Ron Paul: The Road To Authoritarianism Is Paved With Fiat Currency

Ron Paul: The Road To Authoritarianism Is Paved With Fiat Currency

Authored by Ron Paul via The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity,

Last week, the Federal Reserve announced it will maintain an interest rate target of zero to 0.25 percent for the rest of 2021. The Fed said it will also continue its monthly purchase of 120 billion dollars of Treasury and mortgage-backed securities.

Some Fed board members are forecasting a rate increase by late 2022 or 2023, though with the rate still not reaching one percent.

The Fed will neither allow interest rates to rise to market levels nor reduce its purchase of Treasury securities. A significant increase in interest rates would make the government’s borrowing costs unsustainable.

The Fed also raised its projected rate of inflation to three percent, although it still insists the rise in prices is a transitory effect of the end of the lockdowns.

There is some truth to this, as it will take some time for businesses to get back to full capacity.

However, the Fed began taking extraordinary measures to prop up the economy in September of 2019, when it started pumping billions of dollars a day into the repo market that banks use to make short-term loans to each other.

The lockdowns only postponed and deepened the forthcoming Fed-caused meltdown.

Germany’s Deutsche Bank recently released a paper warning about the Federal Reserve continuing to disregard the inflation risk caused by easy money policies designed to “stimulate” the economy and facilitate massive government spending.

Germans have reason to be sensitive to the consequences of inflation, including hyperinflation.

Out-of-control inflation played a major role in the collapse of the German economy in the 1920s, which led to the rise of the National Socialists.

This pattern could repeat itself in America where we have already witnessed the rise of authoritarian movements. Last summer, groups exploited legitimate concerns about police misconduct to ferment violence across the country. Can anyone doubt that an economic crisis that leads to mass unemployment, foreclosures, and maybe even shortages will result in large-scale violence? Or that the violence will be exploited by power-hungry politicians? Or that many people will once again fall for the big lie that preserving safety requires giving up their liberty?

The apparatus of repression already exists in the form of a surveillance state, police militarization, and big tech’s cooperation with big government to stamp out dissent. Now, President Biden and his congressional allies want to use the January 6 US Capitol turmoil to justify expanding government powers in the name of stopping “domestic terrorists.” Part of this new campaign is expanding censorship of “extremism,” defined as any views that threaten the status quo. The Biden administration has taken a page from the Communist playbook in suggesting people report their friends and family who are becoming “radicalized.”

We may still have time to prevent collapse in America, or at least to make sure the collapse leads to a transition to a free society. The key to success is spreading the ideas of liberty until we have the ability to force the politicians to dismantle the welfare-warfare state and the fiat money system that is the lifeblood of authoritarian government.

Tyler Durden Mon, 06/21/2021 - 18:20

Thousands Of Women Report Period Problems Potentially Tied To COVID Jabs

Thousands Of Women Report Period Problems Potentially Tied To COVID Jabs

The UK's vaccine watchdog is "closely monitoring" claims that 4K+ women have suffered period problems after receiving the COVID-19 jab. While side effects like sore arms, lethargy, soreness and muscle aches are included in warnings about potential drawbacks of receiving the vaccine, there are no warnings about period-related complications.

Nowhere are period irregularities listed as a potential side effect of vaccination, so British regulators are trying to determine whether there is actually a link between the complaints and the vaccines.

Official data obtained by The UK's Sunday Times show that the Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency - better known as MHRA received 2,734 reports of period problems linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine, 1,158 related to the Pfizer jab, and another 66 linked to the Moderna vaccine as of May 17.

Complaints focused on "heavier than usual" bleeding, and it's possible that this could have affected many more women who didn't think to report their issues. The majority of issues were reported by women aged between 30 and 49. ;

So far, at least, MHRA says that there's no evidence that it should add period complications to the list of side effects. That is, the "current evidence" don't suggest an "increased risk of period problems following the jab, the regulator said.

But others are calling for more data to be collected. For example, Dr. Sue Ward, vice-president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said "anecdotally some women seem to be reporting heavier periods after receiving the Covid-19 vaccine and we would support more data collection in this area to understand why this might be the case. If you do notice any bleeding that is unusual for you, we would recommend you contact your doctor."

Complaints haven't only been seen in the UK. In the US, some women have taken to Reddit to share their experiences.

Victoria Male, a reproductive immunologist at Imperial College London, said more women were likely to have been affected than the number of case reports. "It’s definitely true that not everyone will be reporting any menstrual changes they have noticed to Yellow Card [the MHRA’s scheme for people to report suspected side effects] simply because not everyone knows that it exists and that they can file a report."

Although a clear link between the COVID jab and menstrual disorders hasn't been established, "lots of people have contacted me to tell me about changes that they have noticed in their periods following vaccination," Male said. "The kinds of things they are telling me about, mostly periods that are heavier or later than usual, are very similar to the reports we are seeing in Yellow Card."

Angharad Planells,a 34-year-old from Cheltenham, said her period had been 11 days late following her second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine. "My whole life I’ve been pretty regular and I track my period on an app. It was super late," she said. "When it did start, it was one of — if not the — most painful periods I’ve ever had, to the point where I felt a bit nauseous." Planells, who reported the suspected adverse reaction to the MHRA, added: "I would still have the vaccine again. I have had family members die from COVID. It’s just the lack of information out there."

Tyler Durden Mon, 06/21/2021 - 18:00

E Pluribus Unum: The Supreme Court Continues To Defy And Debunk Its Critics

E Pluribus Unum: The Supreme Court Continues To Defy And Debunk Its Critics

Authored by Jonathan Turley,

Below is my column in USA Today on the remarkably united and non-ideological line of cases handed down by the Supreme Court

As Democratic leaders demand to pack the Court to create a liberal majority, the Court itself appears to be speaking through these cases. Here is the column:

The Supreme Court has finally handed down two of the five “blockbuster” opinions of this term with rulings on the Affordable Care Act and religious rights. The most striking aspect of the decisions was the absence of ideological divisions. Indeed, the case on religious rights is yet another unanimous decision from a Court that President Joe Biden has declared “out of whack” and Democratic leaders have declared hopelessly divided along ideological lines.

This week represented the final collapse of the false narrative that has been endlessly repeated like a mantra in Congress and the media.

When it comes to health care, the ACA has long been in the position of Mark Twain who insisted that his death has been “greatly exaggerated.” During the circus-like confirmation hearing of Amy Coney Barrett, Democratic senators surrounded the room with giant pictures of people who would lose their health care due to her nomination. Various senators and legal analysts insisted that Barrett was obviously selected to kill the ACA.Democratic senators pummeled Barrett with stories of people who may die as a result of her nomination and portrayed her as a craven, heartless ideologue selected to take away health care for millions.

It was not a matter of whether but when according to members like Sen. Mazie K. Hirono (D., HI) who declared she would vote against Barrett because “she will vote to strike down the Affordable Care Act.”

False narrative smears Barrett

At the time, I objected that the narrative was wildly off-base and that there was little chance that the majority of the justices would use the case to strike down the act. To the contrary, the act was overwhelmingly likely to be decided on technical grounds on either standing or severability. I also noted that, if anything, I would expect Barrett to rule against striking down the act in this case.She did so and joined in the 7-2 decision.

This was never a plausible narrative but it did not matter to the Democratic members. They demanded that Barrett assure them that she would vote for the ACA in the case – a dangerous and raw demand for a guarantee on a pending case as a condition for confirmation. Despite treating her as a virtual judicial serial killer, none will likely apologize or even recognize the unfair treatment at the confirmation hearing. It was after all just politics in an age of rage.

Arguably, the most important of the “big ticket” cases was Fulton v. Philadelphia on whether a Catholic adoption agency could be forced to assist LGBT couples when such adoptions countermand religious beliefs. The Court delivered a 9-0 decision in favor of the Catholic charity and held that Philadelphia was violating the free exercise clause of the Constitution in requiring adherence to the city’s non-discrimination policy.

Religious freedom upheld in court

Writing for the Court, Chief Justice John Roberts held “The refusal of Philadelphia to contract with CSS for the provision of foster care services unless it agrees to certify same-sex couples as foster parents…violates the First Amendment.”

It is a major win for religious rights and the Court spoke as one in reversing the lower courts with a strong majority opinion and concurring opinions. It also adds strength to other pending cases, including yet another case involving the Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado to make cakes celebrating LGBT events.

After winning a narrow decision before the Supreme Court in 2018, Jack Phillips was pursued by critics to make additional cakes and create the basis for another challenge. They may now regret that decision if Phillips builds on the earlier narrow ruling to secure another major ruling not just on religious freedom but free speech grounds.

The Court continues to frustrate critics who insist that it is dysfunctional, divided and needs to be radically changed from packing the Court with a liberal majority to actually creating a new court for constitutional rulings like the Fulton case. 

For example, Professor Kent Greenfield argued that “the Supreme Court has become too partisan and unbalanced to trust it with deciding the most important issues of our day.”

The Court itself however is not cooperating with this inconvenient line of unanimous decisions.The fact is that most of the opinions of the Court are not ideologically divided. Indeed, Justice Stephen Breyer recently objected to those calling the Court “conservative” and opposed those demanding that Congress pack the Court to achieve an immediate liberal majority.

Liberal groups and media figures are aggressively pushing Breyer to retire, including an insulting billboard campaign by a group called “Demand Justice.”

The Court itself does not engage in such public campaigns. It speaks through its opinions and the message could not clearer. For a hopelessly divided ideological Court, it seems to be saying a lot in one voice not just about the law but about its own institution. In the end, it is unlikely to matter. The utter collapse of the narrative means nothing if it is not recognized in the media. The justices do not run billboards in the streets of Washington like Demand Justice. They will continue to be denounced as utterly “out of whack” because  politics demands it.

Tyler Durden Mon, 06/21/2021 - 17:40

Hubble Trouble? NASA Says Space Telescope's Computer "Halted" 

Hubble Trouble? NASA Says Space Telescope's Computer "Halted" 

The Hubble Space Telescope remains offline as efforts by NASA to bring its payload computer back online have failed. 

NASA revealed the 31-year old space telescope had its payload computer "halted" on June 13 at 1600 ET. It's been more than a week since the low Earth orbit telescope, orbiting at an altitude of 340 miles, has been offline, even though NASA personnel have tried on multiple attempts to restart the computer.  

"Initial indications pointed to a degrading computer memory module as the source of the computer halt. When the operations team attempted to switch to a backup memory module, however, the command to initiate the backup module failed to complete. Another attempt was conducted on both modules Thursday evening to obtain more diagnostic information while again trying to bring those memory modules online. However, those attempts were not successful," NASA said. 

The payload computer is intended to send a "keep-alive" signal to the main computer on the satellite, but that isn't happening, causing the automatic safety system to place all sensors into safe mode configuration. The Hubble will remain in safe mode until NASA fixes the payload computer. 

There have been other recent malfunctions of the aging space telescope. Earlier this year, bad code resulted in the satellite entering safe mode. 

The last in-flight fix occurred during 2009's STS 125 service mission when Space Shuttle Atlantis ferried parts to upgrade the satellite. 

If NASA cannot restart the Hubble, it may be doomed.

A SpaceX mission would be unlikely to carry astronauts to service the space telescope mainly because the $10 billion James Webb Space Telescope will be launched in November 2021. 

The Hubble trouble also follows the Russians set to pull out of the International Space Station in 2025 as the end of lifespan for the space station is 2030. 

America's space assets are aging. Meanwhile, China has launched a space station of its own.

Tyler Durden Mon, 06/21/2021 - 17:20

Mark McCloskey Says He'll "Go Out And Buy Another AR-15" After Guns Are Confiscated

Mark McCloskey Says He'll "Go Out And Buy Another AR-15" After Guns Are Confiscated

Authored by Jack Phillips via The Epoch Times,

After he and his wife pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges, Mark McCloskey said late last week that local officials will confiscate the AR-15 that he was holding during a viral incident during Black Lives Matter (BLM) demonstrations last year.

In an interview with Newsmax, McCloskey said that he wanted to keep his AR-15 so that he could either donate it or auction it off because it has “historical value.”

He and his wife, Patricia McCloskey, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges last week. He was fined $750 and his wife $2,000 for holding firearms as BLM protesters walked past their St. Louis home, according to prosecutors. Part of their plea agreement was to surrender their firearms.

McCloskey said that he has other firearms and is planning to “go out and buy another AR-15” as soon as the court clears him and he’s no longer under indictment. The silver-colored pistol that Patricia McCloskey was seen holding will be “melted down,” he said during the interview.

Mark McCloskey visits Republican headquarters in Scranton, Pa., on Sept. 30, 2020. (Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images)

The AR-15 and the pistol were confiscated by local authorities last year, McCloskey said. When he attempted to recover the rifle, prosecutors said they didn’t want that to happen, leading to a judge siding with him. Now, the AR-15 “unfortunately” will be “melted down as well,” he said.

Security personnel stand on the balcony of the home of Mark and Patricia McCloskey as protesters gather outside their neighborhood in St. Louis on July 3, 2020. (Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)

The couple had faced felony charges over the incident, which were dropped. The two told media outlets last year that they were threatened with violence by the BLM protesters and accused them of breaking down a gate leading into their community.

“We saved the city of St. Louis the expense of pursuing this nonsense, and then we’ll move forward,” McCloskey told Newsmax.

He noted that the charges were lowered to “a new crime, which basically said I purposely placed other people in the apprehension of imminent physical harm.”

The guilty plea to the new charges won’t affect McCloskey’s law license or his ability to run for public office. Earlier this year, he announced a bid for the U.S. Senate.

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, who previously charged both of the McCloskeys with felonies, was removed from the case after a judge ruled in late 2020 that she appeared to have initiated prosecution against the two for political purposes.

McCloskey didn’t respond to a request for comment by press time.

Tyler Durden Mon, 06/21/2021 - 17:00

Forget Everything You Know: Morgan Stanley Reveals The Only Metric That Determines What The Market Will Do Next

Forget Everything You Know: Morgan Stanley Reveals The Only Metric That Determines What The Market Will Do Next

Traders of a certain age may recall that back in 2013, around the time the Fed's "Taper Tantrum" sparked a surge in yields and led to a risk asset selloff, a big (if entirely artificial) debate emerged within financial media, where the Fed muppets and their media puppets would argue that "tapering is not tightening" while anyone with half a brain realized knew that this was total BS.

Fast forward to today when Morgan Stanley's Michael Wilson opens up an old wound for clueless Fed apologists, saying in his latest Weekly Warm Up note that "Tapering is Tightening"... but then adds that contrary to the market's shocked reaction to last week's Fed meeting, tightening actually began months ago.

Elaborating on this point, Wilson - who several months ago turned into Wall Street's most bearish strategist (again)-  writes this morning that while the Fed's pivot to "begin" the tightening discussion caught most by surprise, in reality markets began discounting this inevitable process months ago as price action had indicated. It's exactly this discounting of the coming tightening, that is what Michael Wilson's mid-cycle transition is all about, and as the strategist adds, "fits nicely with our narrative for choppier equity markets and a 10-20% correction for the broader indices this year."

Or to paraphrase Lester Burnham, "it's all downhill from here"... and as Wilson predicts, that won't change until M2 growth is done decelerating; or in other words, until the Fed unleashes another liquidity burst into the system "the transition is incomplete."

* * *

Highlights aside, Wilson then elaborates on each point, noting that while last week's Fed meeting brought more uncertainty to markets one thing is becoming more obvious: "we are on the other side of the mountain with respect to monetary accommodation for this cycle."

Furthermore, having repeatedly warned that the US is now mid-cycle...

... Wilson then takes a victory lap writing that what the Fed is doing is "classic mid cycle transition behavior so investors really shouldn't be too surprised that the Fed would try to begin the long process of tightening."

After all, the US economy is booming and expected to grow close to 10 percent this year in nominal terms, a feat last witnessed in 1984. Meanwhile, no matter what one's view is on inflation being transient or not, prices are up significantly and likely higher than what the Fed, or most others were expecting 6 months ago. In other words, the facts and data have changed; therefore, so should Fed policy.

Nevertheless, as discussed here extensively, markets reacted as if this was a complete shock with both bonds and stocks trading as if the Fed had hiked rates already (instead of leaving over $2TN in QE still on deck) after the Fed meeting. Starting with bonds, both nominal 10 year yields and breakevens fell significantly. However, breakevens fell more leaving 10 year real rates higher by almost 20 bps Wednesday afternoon.

While real rates did settle back a bit on Thursday and Friday, they have formed what appears to be a very solid base from which they are likely to rise as the economy continues to recover and the Fed appropriately pivots. In Wilson's view, "this looks very similar to 2013, the year after Peak Fed. Back then, Peak Fed was QE3 which was announced on September 12, 2012. This time Peak Fed was the announcement of Average Inflation Targeting last summer."

That said, there is one notable difference between the taper tantrum and today: in 2013 "tapering" QE was a novel concept to markets and it came more abruptly with Bernanke's surprise mention during his congressional testimony on May 22, 2013. This time, the markets understand what tapering is and see its arrival as inevitable as the economy recovers. Therefore, while the path higher for real rates is unlikely to be as dramatic as witnessed in 2013, it is still likely to be higher from here and that is a change that will affect all risk markets, including equities, in Morgan Stanley's view.

Wilson makes one final observation from the chart above, which is how real rates moved substantially before Bernanke's testimony in May 2013, prompting Wilson to notes that "perhaps it wasn't as much of a surprise as believed, at least to markets. We think it's the same situation today."

In our view, the data has been so strong, it would be naive not to think the Fed wasn't moving closer to tapering over the past several months. In fact, the idea that the Fed hasn't been thinking and/or talking about it seems absurd. Surely the market understands this, making the events of the past week not so much of a surprise. It's all part of the mid cycle transition that has been ongoing for months and fits with the choppier price action and unstable market leadership we have been witnessing.

The underperformance of early cycle stocks is another classic signal the market "gets it." Nevertheless, in talking with clients the past few days, this view is still out of consensus. Most haven't been ready for tighter monetary policy, nor did they think it's something they needed to worry about, until now.

Wrapping up the Fed "surprise" part of his note, Wilson writes that contrary to the FOMC shock, monetary tightening actually began months ago if one is looking at the right metric, which to the top Morgan Stanley equity strategist - who emerges as yet another closet Austrian - is money supply growth:

In a world where all of the major developed market central banks are stuck at the zero bound, or lower, the primary metric that determines if monetary policy is getting more or less accommodative is Money Supply Growth.

Realizing that to most Keynesian this will be a controversial statement to say the least, Wilson digs in and says that "it's absolutely the case and financial markets seem to agree."  He explains:

When money supply is accelerating, the more speculative / riskier assets tend to outperform and when it's decelerating these assets have more trouble. As noted here several times over the past few months, the Fed's balance sheet (M1) growth peaked in mid February and that coincided with a top in many of the most expensive/speculative stocks in the equity market just like the acceleration in the Fed's balance sheet in the prior 12 months contributed to their spectacular performance. Interestingly, the recently flattening out of the growth in M1 has coincided with more stability in these stocks, although they remain well below prior highs (Exhibit 2).

And visually:

But wait there's more, and also an explanation why the Fed has made it virtually impossible to track the weekly change in M2 (the aggregate is now updated only monthly).

Taking Wilson's argument a step further, M2 growth might be even more important to monitor than M1 because that's the net liquidity available to the economy and markets. On that front, the deceleration also began at the end of February but has not yet flattened out and appears to have much further to fall to a  more "normal" level of annual growth — i.e., 7-8%

More ominously, this also suggests liquidity is likely to tighten further from here whether the Fed's begins tapering later this year or next.

Finally, when we look at M2 data on a global basis, we get the same picture.

Wilson concludes that even ahead of last week's "shock" FOMC, the market had already started to de-rate lower into a mid-cycle transition as Fed balance sheet growth has materially slowed. Meanwhile, M2 is slowing just as rapidly and has further to fall, especially when the Fed begins to taper later this year or early next. Finally, global money supply growth is also slowing from elevated levels and every major region is contributing.

This to Wilson "looks reminiscent of 2014 and 2018 when markets went through a rolling correction of risky assets" and he thinks 2021 will prove to be similar in that regard with the highest beta regions falling first (Kospi, China, Japan) and ending with the most defensive (US).

Putting it all together, the MS strategist writes that "tapering is tightening but the tightening process began with the rate of change in money supply growth. The good news is that the market already knows it. The bad news is that a majority of investors seem to be just catching on with the Fed's "surprise" announcement this past week. This means asset prices are far from done correcting as witnessed with the more cyclical, reflationary assets taking their turn the past few weeks."

And while we completely agree with Wilson's newly discovered Austrian view of markets - funny how on a long enough timeline everyone turns Austrian - the real question is what will catalyze the next M2 boosting cycle, how high will it push stocks, and will the Fed be forced to come out and start buying equities this time after having nationalized the bond market back in 2020.

We expect that the answer will be revealed after the next 20% drop at which point all of the Fed's hawkishness will evaporate, and Powell (or his replacement Kashkari) will shift to an uber dovish mode as they prepare to unleash the final and biggest asset bubble of all...

Tyler Durden Mon, 06/21/2021 - 16:40

On The Verge Of The Unthinkable

On The Verge Of The Unthinkable

Authored by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,

Over the past couple of years we have become accustomed to expecting the unexpected, but soon we many have to start anticipating the unthinkable.  In this article, I am going to be discussing a couple of potential scenarios that would have been unimaginable to the vast majority of Americans just a few short years ago.  Unfortunately, our world is now changing at a pace that is absolutely breathtaking, and many things that were once “unimaginable” could soon become reality.

Let’s start by talking about the record-setting heat wave which is making the epic megadrought in the western half of the country even worse.  Many western farmers planted crops this year hoping that weather conditions would eventually turn in their favor, but that has definitely not happened.  In fact, at this point 88 percent of the West is experiencing at least some level of drought.

2021 has been the worst year of this multi-year megadrought so far, and last week was the worst week for this drought up to this point in 2021.  Old temperature records were shattered all over the West, and some areas were already seeing triple digits by 8 o’clock in the morning

The West is in the midst of a record-breaking heat wave this week, as all-time records were shattered and daily records broken in over a dozen states.

Even by desert standards, the heat wave in the Southwest is atypical. On Thursday, the National Weather Service in Tucson tweeted that the city recorded a temperature of 100 degrees at 8:14 a.m., the second earliest time in the day recorded since 1948.

That is crazy.

Can you imagine hitting triple digits before you have even finished your morning coffee?

Summer had not even officially begun yet last week, and yet new all-time record highs were being established all over the place

Record-breaking temperatures spread from California to Montana this week. On thursday, the all-time high temperature was tied in Palm Springs, California at 123 degrees, breaking the previous June record of 122 degrees.

Salt Lake City tied its all-time record high of 107 degrees. The old record was notably set in July — when temperatures are usually at their highest for the year in that region. This comes after daily record highs were broken Sunday, Monday and Tuesday in Salt Lake, each with temperatures exceeding 100 degrees.

We have never seen anything quite like this in the state of Utah.

More than half of the state is in the highest level of drought, and thanks to dramatic water restrictions farmers are being forced to choose which of their crops will die

With drastic limits placed on what little water he has, Tom Favero said he and many farmers along this west side of Weber County were forced to watch some crops die. “We’ve all made serious choices of what fields we can water and what we can’t,” Favero said.

Another Utah farmer that lost a lot of corn and an entire field of barley said that it really “hurts” to see his hard work go to waste…

Farmer Dean Martini pointed at one of his fields. “That corn there, where I can’t water, I don’t have the water. It makes me sick to see it go to heck like that.”

With limits on amount and time, he said there wasn’t enough water flowing to make it across his fields. While some of the corn dried up, he had to let a whole field of barley go too. “It hurts buddy. That hurts,” Martini said.

Of course this is just the beginning.

If this summer is as hot and as dry as they are projecting, we could see catastrophic crop failures all across the West.

And that is really bad news, because the state of California alone produces more than a third of our vegetables and about two-thirds of our fruits and nuts.

A few years ago, hardly anyone would have imagined that we would be facing a crisis of this magnitude in 2021, but here we are.  Paleoclimatologist Kathleen Johnson is quite “worried” about what will happen this summer, and she is warning that this drought is shaping up to be the worst the region has experienced “in at least 1,200 years”

I’m worried about this summer – this doesn’t bode well, in terms of what we can expect with wildfire and the worsening drought. This current drought is potentially on track to become the worst that we’ve seen in at least 1,200 years.

Now I would like to shift gears.

A few years ago, hardly anyone would have imagined that we would be facing a very serious computer chip shortage in 2021.  In particular, the most sophisticated chips are really in short supply, and what most people don’t realize is that “almost all” of them are made by a single company based in Taiwan…

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. chips are everywhere, though most consumers don’t know it.

The company makes almost all of the world’s most sophisticated chips, and many of the simpler ones, too. They’re in billions of products with built-in electronics, including iPhones, personal computers and cars—all without any obvious sign they came from TSMC, which does the manufacturing for better-known companies that design them, like Apple Inc. and Qualcomm Inc.

Because manufacturing those chips is so exceedingly complicated, other companies can’t just plop down new factories and start pumping out their own chips.  Business leaders in the U.S. are now planning new factories, but it could take quite a few years before they are up and running.

So even under ideal conditions, the chip shortage will not be resolved for some time.

But what happens if China invades Taiwan within the next several years?  This is something that U.S. officials were warning about earlier this month

Concerns are growing in Washington over the possibility that China could try to invade Taiwan in the next few years.

Top U.S. military officers have warned in recent months that Beijing might try to make the explosive move this decade, and recent saber rattling, including a Chinese military amphibious landing exercise near the island, is further raising the alarm.

Can you imagine the chaos that it would cause for the global economy if the primary supply of advanced chips was suddenly cut off?

According to the Wall Street Journal, TSMC currently makes “around 92% of the world’s most sophisticated chips”…

Its technology is so advanced, Capital Economics said, that it now makes around 92% of the world’s most sophisticated chips, which have transistors that are less than one-thousandth the width of a human hair. Samsung Electronics Co. makes the rest. Most of the roughly 1.4 billion smartphone processors world-wide are made by TSMC.

Without TSMC, the global economy as it is structured today would not be able to function.

So the fact that China is being more aggressive than ever with Taiwan should deeply alarm all of us.  For example, check out what happened just last week

China has flown 28 warplanes into Taiwan-controlled airspace, the biggest sortie of its kind since the Taiwanese government began publishing information about the frequent incursions last year.

The flights are widely seen as part of an effort by Beijing to dial up pressure on Taiwan, a self-governed democracy of about 24 million people off the Chinese coast that the Chinese government considers a part of China.

We should have never allowed ourselves to become so dependent on foreign chips, but we did.

And now experts are telling us that the chip shortage will last into next year under the best of conditions…

Dimitris Dotis, the Audi brand specialist at Audi Tysons Corner dealership in Virginia, summed up the situation to customers. “Almost all microchips that go into all new vehicles including Audi come from TSMC in Taiwan,” he wrote. “They expect bottlenecks in the supply chain to last through 2022.”

Of course if China does decide to invade Taiwan, the U.S. military will respond, and that would mean no advanced chips for us for the foreseeable future.

In this article, I have shared just two potential scenarios which could soon plunge us into unthinkable nightmares.

Needless to say, there are many, many more crisis points that bear watching right now as well.

We have reached such a critical moment in our history, and I expect global events to accelerate even more as we head into the second half of 2021.

*  *  *

Michael’s new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.

Tyler Durden Mon, 06/21/2021 - 16:20

Plunge 'Protected': BoJ-Buying, FedSpeak Bailout Friday's 'Bullard Bomb'

Plunge 'Protected': BoJ-Buying, FedSpeak Bailout Friday's 'Bullard Bomb'

Last week ended this way...

So someone had to do something!

h/t

Japan's Plunge Protection Team stepped in to rescue markets overnight as The Bank of Japan purchased 70.1b yen of ETFs Monday after the Topix declined by 2.5% in morning trading. That was the first "intervention" since April 21st...

Then The White House called America's Plunge Protection Team in, as Fed Speakers unleashed their double-talk, sending US equities rebounding dramatically from overnight lows...

Erasing all of Friday's Bullard-Bomb losses...

On the day, Small Caps were the huge outperformer. Nasdaq the laggard but still managed solid gains...

Dow's best day in 3 months, S&P's best day in a month (why?)

Russell 2000 and S&P 500 both bounced off their 50DMAs today...

Notably the Nasdaq/Russell ratio found support AGAIN at a key level...

Source: Bloomberg

Funny how these short-squeezes happen right on cue with magical capital being deployed massively and broadly...

Source: Bloomberg

Value roared back just as HFs had rotated back to Growth...

Source: Bloomberg

VIX was monkeyhammered lower today, but was unable to break below 18...

Bonds were clubbed like a baby seal on the day with a massive rise in yields off overnight lows. 2s and 5s remain around 10bps higher post-FOMC, 30Y around 8ps lower and 10Y unch...

Source: Bloomberg

10Y yields soared back 14bps off overnight lows, erasing Friday's drop and back at pre-FOMC levels...

Source: Bloomberg

But 30Y yields spiked a massive 19bps off the overnight lows!!

Source: Bloomberg

The yield curve perfectly erased Friday's flattening...

Source: Bloomberg

5Y Breakevens pushed back up to the post-FOMC spike lows...

Source: Bloomberg

Cryptos were crushed again by China crackdown headlines...

Source: Bloomberg

Bitcoin tested back below $32k again holding key support...

Source: Bloomberg

Bitcoin also formed a death cross, meaning its average price over the last 50 days fell below that of its 200-day moving average. The indicator is typically seen as a closely-watched technical measure that could offer a hint at more pain to come...

Source: Bloomberg

but... there’s reason to believe the formation this time around might not be as bearish of a signal given that the 200-day moving average is still rising, according to Matt Maley, chief market strategist for Miller Tabak + Co.

“When it starts declining, that will be more compelling,” he said.

Indeed, Bitcoin’s marking of a death cross in March 2020 proved no impediment to gains as it turned higher and formed a golden cross (when the pattern is reversed) two months later. But a death cross in November 2019 saw the coin trading lower one month later.

Meanwhile, the dollar also gave back all of Friday's spike gains...

Source: Bloomberg

Commodities also bounced across the board led by oil and gold...

Source: Bloomberg

Oil prices surged with WTI topping $73...

Finally, is Dr.Copper or Dr.Crude right about what happens next?

Source: Bloomberg

So to summarize - S&P, 'most shorted, stocks, the yield curve, 10Y yields, breakeven rates, gold, and the dollar, are all back at Thursdays close almost to the tick. It seems Friday's quad witch malarkey was to blame.

Source: Bloomberg

The question is - what happens now?

Tyler Durden Mon, 06/21/2021 - 16:01

Supreme Court Rules NCAA Went Too Far In Cracking Down On Student-Athlete Pay

Supreme Court Rules NCAA Went Too Far In Cracking Down On Student-Athlete Pay

Authored by Matthew Vadum via The Epoch Times,

The Supreme Court ruled unanimously this morning that the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) regulations that restrict benefits that may be given to student-athletes violate federal antitrust law.

The NCAA had argued that policing student-athlete pay helps to preserve the long-standing amateur status of college athletics. The high court was unmoved, rejecting the NCAA’s argument that it should enjoy antitrust immunity and affirmed a lower court’s order that will allow member schools to offer more education-related benefits to student-athletes.

The June 21 ruling, which opens the door for student-athletes to receive greater compensation, could reshape college sports throughout the country.

It’s a big industry. According to an NCAA report, more than $18.8 billion was spent on athletics in 2019 at the 1,100-plus NCAA schools across all three divisions. Of that total, $3.6 billion went toward financial aid for student-athletes, and $3.7 billion was spent on coaches’ compensation.

The case is actually two cases that were heard together: NCAA v. Alston, court file 20-512, and American Athletic Conference (AAC) v. Alston, court file 20-520. Former football player Shawne Alston, one of a group of football and basketball athletes challenging the NCAA, was a running back for the West Virginia University Mountaineers from 2009 to 2012.

The Biden administration sided with the student-athletes during telephonic oral arguments March 31.

Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote the court’s opinion in the case. Justice Brett Kavanaugh filed a concurring opinion.

Gorsuch recounted that the trial court “issued a 50-page opinion that cuts both ways” after “amassing a vast record and conducting an exhaustive trial.”

The trial court carefully reviewed the NCAA’s arguments but was not convinced the organization deserved to be exempted from antitrust laws, he wrote.

Although U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken of California “refused to disturb the NCAA’s rules limiting undergraduate athletic scholarships and other compensation related to athletic performance,” she struck down “NCAA rules limiting the education-related benefits schools may offer student-athletes—such as rules that prohibit schools from offering graduate or vocational school scholarships.”

Wilken found that the NCAA and its member schools have the “power to restrain student-athlete compensation in any way and at any time they wish, without any meaningful risk of diminishing their market dominance.” These compensation limits “produce significant anticompetitive effects in the relevant market.”

Even though member schools “compete fiercely in recruiting student-athletes, the NCAA uses its monopsony power to ‘cap artificially the compensation offered to recruits,’” Gorsuch wrote, quoting Wilken. (A monopsony is a market situation in which there is only one buyer.)

If the NCAA’s restraints were removed, competition among schools would increase and student-athletes “would receive offers that would more closely match the value of their athletic services,” Wilken wrote.

Gorsuch commended the trial court for a job well done.

“Courts reviewing complex business arrangements should, in other words, be wary about invitations to ‘set sail on a sea of doubt,’” the justice wrote citing a legal precedent from 1898.

“But we do not believe the district court fell prey to that temptation. Its judgment does not float on a sea of doubt but stands on firm ground—an exhaustive factual record, a thoughtful legal analysis consistent with established antitrust principles, and a healthy dose of judicial humility.”

Justice Kavanaugh noted that the NCAA “has long restricted the compensation and benefits that student athletes may receive” and “has long shielded its compensation rules from ordinary antitrust scrutiny” with “surprising success.”

“The Court’s decision marks an important and overdue course correction,” he wrote.

Tyler Durden Mon, 06/21/2021 - 15:40

A Broad Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal Is Unlikely: Goldman

A Broad Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal Is Unlikely: Goldman

In its latest Q&A assessment of the state of US fiscal policy, Goldman's economics team writes that while it "still looks broadly on track to meet our expectations, risks continue to tilt in the direction of a smaller spending boost and smaller tax hike than the roughly $3 trillion and $1.5 trillion over ten years that we expect." The bank then notes that "while a bipartisan deal on a broad infrastructure package cannot be ruled out, we continue to think the odds are against it, as there seems to be little agreement on financing it." Instead, Goldman expects Congress to pass a narrower infrastructure package focused mainly on transportation. If so, expect congressional Democrats to begin moving a broader fiscal package under the reconciliation process.

Reading recent headlines, one would be left with the impression of a wide range of spending outcomes – a boost of a few hundred billion to as much as $6 trillion over ten years – but the range of outcomes is not as wide as these figures imply. Most of the “traditional” infrastructure President Biden has proposed looks likely to pass, along with substantial R&D spending and renewal of personal tax credits that expire at year end. Together, these cost around 1% of GDP on an annual basis over the next few years. The remainder of the Biden agenda might boost spending by another1% of GDP, but Congress is expected to pare these proposals considerably.

Meanwhile, tax increases also still look likely, assuming that Democrats pass legislation using the reconciliation process. That's why Goldman has not changed its views much in this area, and still expects the corporate tax rate to settle around 25% along with more incremental versions of the international tax changes Biden has proposed. A capital gains rate increase is a close call, but a 28%capital gains rate is slightly more likely than the status quo.

Finally, the likely timing of fiscal action has also changed more noticeably, with likely enactment slipping from mid/late Q3 to Q4. This is due in large part to the continuation of bipartisan negotiations for longer than we had expected, which has led congressional Democratic leaders to delay the first procedural steps necessary to pass a reconciliation bill.

Below we republish the key aspects of Goldman's FIscal Policy Status Check Q&A:

Q: Will there be a bipartisan deal on a broad infrastructure bill?

A broad bipartisan infrastructure package still looks somewhat unlikely to us. Negotiations in the Senate have progressed and the odds have increased somewhat that a bipartisan bill covering many areas in President Biden’s program might pass. However, we still think there are obstacles to a broad deal and expect that most of the fiscal boost Congress approves this year will come through a reconciliation bill that passes with only Democratic support.

Unsurprisingly, there appears to be the most agreement on boosting traditional infrastructure spending. As shown in Exhibit 1, the current Senate bipartisan proposal comes close to matching the White House proposal in most areas of transportation infrastructure.

More controversial is how to address non-traditional infrastructure and how to finance the cost of any new spending. The latest bipartisan effort appears to have made some inroads on the former. It includes $65bn for broadband, which falls short of the roughly $100bn that the White House proposed but it would be the greatest federal investment to date and seems close enough to the Democratic target that this issue alone looks unlikely to hold up an agreement.

Other areas of non-traditional infrastructure in bipartisan discussions are much farther away from White House goals. Senate Republicans look unlikely to support substantial funding for electric vehicles or construction of affordable housing, for example. Clean energy is more of a gray area; Congress has previously approved, on a bipartisan basis, a number of different incentives for energy efficiency and renewable energy like wind, solar, and biofuels. However, the program President Biden proposes is on a much larger scale than existing subsidies and the latest bipartisan proposal includes only a fraction of what the White House is seeking in this area.

The greatest obstacle to prior political efforts at enacting an infrastructure program has been financing it. Here, there appears to have been much less progress (Exhibit 2). Each side has drawn lines they seem unlikely to cross: most Republicans oppose reversing any of the 2017 tax law or otherwise increasing income taxes—corporate or personal—to pay for the proposal. Most Democrats, including the White House, have ruled out increasing the user fees that finance most current infrastructure spending and appear uninterested in redirecting unspent COVID-relief funds.

The most likely area of overlapping support is closing the “tax gap” through greater enforcement of existing tax laws, but even this faces challenges. Congressional estimates of the potential revenue gain from closing the tax gap are much smaller than the Administration’s. The Congressional Budget Office estimated in 2020 that increasing IRS funding by $20 billion over ten years would produce $60bn in additional revenue, while a $40bn increase would raise $103bn (i.e., the first $20bn bump would raise $3 for each dollar spent, while the next $20bn bump in funding would raise only $2 for each dollar of extra spending). While it is possible that CBO might revise its estimate in light of arguments from the Administration, or that Republicans might agree to policies beyond an IRS funding increase, it seems unlikely that additional IRS funding would come anywhere close to covering the cost of an infrastructure proposal, at least according to the official estimate that Congress will rely on.

In our view, the only way that Congress will reach a bipartisan agreement on a broad infrastructure package is if lawmakers decide not to offset the new spending with savings elsewhere. So far, the White House and congressional Republicans have insisted that the bill should be paid for.

Q: Without a bipartisan deal, what happens with infrastructure legislation?

If a broad bipartisan deal fails, a narrow one is likely to pass. While a broad bipartisan agreement covering several aspects of the Biden proposal looks difficult to achieve, a narrower deal that primarily boosts transportation infrastructure looks likely to become law, for three reasons.

First, federal programs for most areas of traditional infrastructure—highways, public transit, rail, airports, waterways and drinking/ wastewater—already exist. The largest of them, which are collectively funded by the Highway Trust Fund (HTF), expire September 30. Traditionally, Congress reauthorizes these programs in five-year increments,sometimes after one or more short-term extensions until lawmakers reach agreement.The legislation to renew these programs cannot pass via the reconciliation process, soDemocrats will need Republican support for any short- or long-term extension. Theupshot is that it is nearly certain that some type of infrastructure legislation passes on abipartisan basis to avoid a lapse in the programs.

Second, some progressive Democrats seem likely to oppose an infrastructure bill that does not include substantial new policies related to climate and clean energy. Without their votes, greater support among congressional Republicans in the House and Senate would be necessary. To win greater support, the bill might need to narrow its scope further, to the point that it mainly extends existing infrastructure spending programs.

Third, financing a narrow infrastructure deal would not be nearly as difficult as financing the sort of bill currently under discussion. Existing transportation infrastructure programs already have dedicated revenue streams that fund most of their spending. Financing an incremental boost in spending on existing programs would be far easier than finding bipartisan agreement on several hundred billion dollars in new revenue or spending cuts.

Q: What difference does it make if Congress reaches a bipartisan deal on infrastructure?

A broad bipartisan infrastructure bill could reduce the odds that the rest of the Biden fiscal agenda becomes law. A broader bipartisan deal that overlaps with many areas of the Biden proposal could reduce centrist Democratic support for passing subsequent fiscal legislation through the reconciliation process. If this occurred, the spending boost over the next few years might be smaller than we have been expecting but corporate and capital gains taxes would also be less likely to increase.

By contrast, a narrower bipartisan deal limited to traditional infrastructure would still leave the door open for Democrats to pass a separate fiscal package through the reconciliation process that addresses much of the remainder of President Biden’s proposals. Relative to the scenario in which Congress passes a broad bipartisan infrastructure deal, passing a narrow transportation bill followed by a separate reconciliation bill would likely result in a greater overall increase in spending, partly offset by tax increases.

Q: What are the risks around spending levels under the different scenarios?

Congress seems very likely to approve spending and tax benefits equal to at least 1% of GDP over the next few years, but unlikely to go beyond 2% of GDP. Headlines regarding fiscal proposals over the last few weeks have run the gamut from a boost of only a few hundred billion at the low end (the Republican infrastructure proposal) to $6 trillion over ten years at the high end (the reported spending total Senate Democrats are considering).

However, these large figures overstate the range of realistic scenarios. At a minimum, we expect Congress to enact three sets of policies this year: the infrastructure proposals that already have bipartisan support, the R&D and manufacturing incentives that recently passed the Senate, and extension of the personal tax credits that Congress approved earlier this year. As Exhibit 3 shows, these policies would total around 1% of GDP by 2023, and would cost about $1.6 trillion over the next ten years. At this point, it is difficult to imagine Congress approving less this year.

At the other end of the range of outcomes, it seems unlikely that Congress will enact spending worth more than 2% of GDP on an annual basis. As shown in Exhibit 3, Congress would need to pass nearly all of President Biden’s proposals to reach this level, or around $4.25 trillion over the next ten years.

The uncertainty is mainly related to new benefits for child care, education, and paid leave under the “American Families Plan” as well as the remaining areas of infrastructure that any sort of bipartisan infrastructure deal would likely omit. These areas depend most on the use of budget reconciliation legislation, as it seems very unlikely that any of the proposals would attract much Republican support.

That said, even if Congress enacts nearly all of President Biden’s proposed policies, fiscal support will diminish substantially from 2021 to 2022. Exhibit 4 shows the deficit effect of legislation enacted since the pandemic began, as well as the fiscal effects of President Biden’s proposals using our own categorization.

Q: How much will legislation this year increase spending?

We think the overall boost could amount to $2.5 to $3 trillion over the next ten years. Assuming congressional Democrats take advantage of the reconciliation process to pass fiscal legislation, there will still be two constraints on the amount of additional spending Congress might approve.

Centrist Democrats in the House and Senate are likely to object to legislation that raises the deficit substantially over the next ten years. This will become relevant in the next few weeks, when Congress considers its budget resolution. To use the reconciliation process, the resolution must include instructions to the relevant committees to increase the deficit (or alternatively to increase spending and increase taxes) by specific amounts. The deficit impact of the reconciliation bill that follows will be limited to those amounts. It is extremely unlikely that any Republicans will vote for the Democratic budget resolution, so every Democratic senator and virtually every Democratic member of the House will need to vote for the resolution. It is not yet clear how much deficit expansion Democrats will be willing to support, but we expect centrist Democrats to draw the line at somewhere around $1 trillion. For context, President Biden’s recent budget submission to Congress proposed increasing the deficit by $800bn over the next ten years.

Assuming a limit on the overall amount of deficit expansion, the amount of tax increases and other budgetary savings that lawmakers can agree to will determine how much they can increase spending. At the moment, we expect that Congress might be able to agree on around $1.5 trillion in budgetary savings, nearly all of which could come from tax increases, as discussed later. If so, a reconciliation bill would be limited to around $2.5 trillion in new spending. However, we expect that some additional spending might be approved as part of other legislation. The American Innovation and Competitiveness Act that recently passed the Senate would authorize up to $250bn in spending (around $200bn of this appears to be new money that does not overlap with existing spending). Most of the proposals are similar to policies in President Biden’s American Jobs Plan. However, much of this spending would depend on future Congresses to appropriate, making the overall amount somewhat uncertain. Similarly, a narrow infrastructure bill that passes separately from the larger reconciliation bill might add somewhat to the total. Overall, if Congress approves a reconciliation bill of around $2.5 trillion over ten years, this suggests a total bump to spending approaching $3 trillion over that period.

Q: Will taxes increase?

Assuming Congress passes any legislation using the reconciliation process, tax increases still seem likely. Any bipartisan agreement on infrastructure or competitiveness is unlikely to include meaningful tax increases. If those bills pass and reduce support for subsequent reconciliation legislation, it is conceivable that Congress could fail to enact any tax increases this year, or before the mid-term election in 2022. However, this scenario looks fairly unlikely.

Instead, we assume that Congress will pass around $1.5 trillion in tax increases over the next ten years, as outlined in Exhibit 5. A corporate tax increase still seems fairly likely, in our view, with a rate of around 25%. Some of the other international corporate provisions the Biden Administration has proposed also look likely to pass, though we expect the specifics to diverge from the Treasury proposals. Despite the recent attention a global minimum tax has received, we expect Congress to focus instead on revising the existing GILTI tax, which serves a similar purpose. We do not expect Congress to pass the separate minimum tax on book income that the Administration has proposed, as it looks unlikely to win unanimous support among Democrats and would add complexity without generating substantial revenue.

On the individual side, we continue to believe a capital gains tax increase is slightly more likely than not, though we expect it would rise only to 28% rather than the ordinary income tax rate. It also seems fairly unlikely that Congress will adopt the Administration’s proposal that unrealized capital gains should be taxed at death, as there has already been pushback among centrist Democrats against the concept.

Q: When will all of this happen?

We expect a budget resolution to pass in July, a narrow infrastructure bill in September, and reconciliation legislation in Q4. As noted earlier, before they use the budget reconciliation legislation to pass a fiscal package, congressional Democrats will first need to pass a budget resolution. We expect the details to become clear over the next few weeks, with passage ahead of the congressional recess that starts August 6.

In September, we expect Congress to focus on other issues. First, some type of infrastructure legislation seems likely to pass by late September ahead of the Sep. 30 expiration of the highway program. A short-term extension is possible absent an agreement on a long-term extension.

Second, Congress will need to extend spending authority for the rest of the federal government past September 30, the end of the fiscal year. At this point, a short-term continuing resolution looks likely, which will leave longer-term decisions until late in the year. The risk of a government shutdown around this deadline is low, in our view.

Third, Congress will need to address the debt limit. We expect that Congress will need to raise the limit by early October, with a chance it might need to be raised in September. In theory, this could be done as part of a reconciliation bill (either the large reconciliation package we expect Congress to consider, or a standalone bill dealing with just the debt limit). However, the debt limit cannot be suspended under the reconciliation process, only raised, and this would involve specifying an explicit and very large dollar amount. Instead, we expect Democratic leaders to pass a debt limit suspension along with the extension of spending authority, though other scenarios are clearly possible.

With those issues out of the way, we expect congressional Democrats to attempt to finalize a fiscal package in Q4. It is possible that the legislation could be ready for a vote as early as October. However, since essentially every Democrat in both chambers of Congress will need to agree, reaching a final political compromise could take longer. It is entirely possible that it takes until December for Congress to finalize the fiscal package, ahead of the holiday recess at year-end.

Tyler Durden Mon, 06/21/2021 - 15:20

JPOW Jests...

JPOW Jests...

Via AdventuresInCapitalism.com,

Wednesday afternoon, there was a press conference. Some dots were moved about on a piece of paper and JPOW threatened a few basis points of yield in a year or two. I didn’t bother to tune in because I had a hunch that nothing would happen. I was correct. Absolutely nothing happened at the meeting. If not for the price action in some securities I follow, it would be another day of boring summer trading.

Traders are addicted to trading, much like murderers fixate on murdering. The traders noticed a slight change in the Fed’s tone and sold anything tied to inflation. They whacked gold good. Then they went after the other commodities. When they were done there, they went after value stocks, before finishing the week by blasting a bunch of cyclical names.

In summary, JPOW got what he wanted—he’s now the tough guy.

For months, everyone had been going about life, noticing that prices were rapidly increasing. Now, JPOW can say he did something about it.

Did he actually do anything about inflation? Of course not.

In the short run, commodity and equity prices may continue to back off a bit as sentiment was lopsided and leaning aggressively long inflation. The first time you talk down a raging bull market, you can scare it a bit.

It won’t be long before the market calls his bluff.

Our economy is booming and the Fed is still printing at “ludicrous mode.” Let’s bring the dot plots forward. Say he raises rates before year-end, will it even matter?

It would probably blow up some hedge fund with curve steepeners, but will it change anything in the real economy? Of course not. Who cares if a mortgage costs a few dollars more each month? Is there anything else tied to rates that even matters in most people’s lives?

Besides, the fiscal side is now driving the business cycle—the Fed is a side-show.

On the fiscal side, both parties are pushing multi-trillion-dollar spending plans.

Do you remember when a trillion was a big number? Well, it still is.

They’ll water some of these plans down and maybe change who gets the benefits, but both parties are addicted to spending. The Fed merely exists to ensure that someone buys all the new treasuries that will be issued.

With this backdrop, will JPOW actually change anything serious on the monetary side? Nope. How can he? If he steps away, the bond market collapses. He’ll tinker at the edges, but he’ll be forced to continue printing. In a way, he’s sort of irrelevant now as we head towards the end-game. Fiscal now drives things.

So, what do I think happens? I haven’t got a clue about next week or even next month—that’s not my game. A bunch of stimmie programs are set to expire in the next few months. We could see the consumer side suffer a bit. We could see wage inflation back off as workers return after 18-months of couch-surfing.

However, this is all healthy for the economy. I really do not think anything has actually changed. If assets back off, I’m a buyer of inflation. Do you think they kept rates at zero in Zimbabwe?

*  *  *

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Tyler Durden Mon, 06/21/2021 - 15:00

Sweden Plunges Into Political Chaos After Prime Minister Lofven Ousted In Historic No Confidence Vote

Sweden Plunges Into Political Chaos After Prime Minister Lofven Ousted In Historic No Confidence Vote

Sweden's centre-left Prime Minister Stefan Lofven was ousted in a no-confidence vote in parliament on Monday, plunging the country into deep political uncertainty. Lofven, 63, was the first Swedish prime minister to be ousted by a no-confidence motion put forward by the opposition in the European Union member state of about 10 million people.

Lofven, who as Reuters notes was defeated after nearly seven years in power over a plan to ease rent controls for new-build apartments, now has a week to resign and hand the speaker the job of finding a new government, or call a snap election.

"The government now has a week to decide and we will hold talks with our cooperation parties," Lovfen told a news conference after the vote. "It is what is best for the country that is important. We will work as fast as we can."

But with parliament deadlocked and opinion polls showing center-right and center-left blocs evenly balanced, the political crisis may not be resolved for a long time, even though economists say this is unlikely to have a big impact on the economy. After all, we live in a world where central banks are now in control of everything and politicians are merely their muppets.

It is not clear to whom the speaker might turn to form a new government if Lofven quits because of the make-up of parliament, but the opinion polls suggest a snap election might not bring clarity either.

As a reminder, back in 2018 Lofven secured a second term only after months of negotiations following an election in which the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats made big gains, redrawing the political map. 

Since then he has led a fragile minority government of Social Democrats and Greens, supported by former political rivals the Centre Party and the Liberals but needing the tacit approval of the Left.

Naturally, the Left Party blamed Lofven for the crisis. "It is not the Left Party that has given up on the Social Democrat government, it is the Social Democrat government that has given up on the Left Party and the Swedish people," Left Party leader Nooshi Dadgostar said.

Nonetheless, Dadgostar said that even though her party had voted against Lofven, it would never help "a right-wing nationalist government" take power.

Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Akesson, whose party has moved from the far-right fringe into the harmful and historically weak and "should never have come into power."

Meanwhile, popular appetite for a snap poll may be limited while Sweden is fighting the effects of COVID-19, especially as an election is due next year anyway. A new government - or a caretaker administration - would sit only until after that election. Economists have said they do not expect the political uncertainty to weigh on the economy because of the strict fiscal rules under which Sweden operates.

Tyler Durden Mon, 06/21/2021 - 14:42

Amazon Prime Day: That Escalated Quickly

Amazon Prime Day: That Escalated Quickly

After having been forced to move Prime Day to the fall due to the pandemic in 2020, Amazon's annual shopping holiday is back to its original summer slot this year. Starting today, Monday, June 21, Prime members will have 48 hours to scour "more than 2 million deals" in order to save some money while spending it.

Originally conceived in 2015 to celebrate Amazon's 20th anniversary, Statista's Felix Richter notes that Prime Day has quickly evolved into a major shopping event, rivaling Black Friday and Cyber Monday. For Amazon, it has become a great vehicle to boost sales in the slower summer months, explaining why the event has been extended from 24 hours in 2015 and 2016, to 30 hours in 2017, 36 hours in 2018 and finally 48 hours since 2019.

As the following chart, based on estimates from Digital Commerce 360, shows, Prime Day sales have grown significantly over the years. In 2020, total merchandise volume, including first and third-party sales passed the $10 billion milestone for the first time, and there's little reason to doubt that 2021 will mark another record in terms of Prime Day sales. After all, the number of Prime members worldwide has grown from 150 million in January 2020 to more than 200 million in April 2021.

 That Escalated Quickly | Statista

You will find more infographics at Statista

Amazon Prime Day deals are only available to members, creating an incentive for consumers to sign up for the program or stay onboard. Research has shown that Prime members outspend non-members by a significant margin, explaining why Amazon is putting so much effort into its membership program.

Tyler Durden Mon, 06/21/2021 - 14:25

Daily Briefing: The Fallout from the FED's Dot Plot

Daily Briefing: The Fallout from the FED's Dot Plot

Real Vision senior editor Ash Bennington welcomes editor Jack Farley and managing editor Samuel Burke to the Daily Briefing to discuss Bitcoin’s recent decline, FED policy implications, and American Airlines. The trio will analyze China’s crackdown on Bitcoin mining as well as increased regulation of cryptocurrency services for China’s largest banks. Additionally, they will cover American Airline’s logistical problems as travel demand returns and explain the differing inflation outlooks highlighted in the FED’s dot plot ahead of Chair Powell’s meeting with Congress on Tuesday.

Tyler Durden Mon, 06/21/2021 - 14:21

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