Daily Digest 10/20 – The Military Industrial Complex Has Won, Why Central Bankers Got Serious About Digital Cash

Economy

Iran To Import North Korean missiles In 25-Year Military Deal With China (ms)

Following the end on the 18th of October of the 13-year United Nations’ embargo on Iran buying or selling weapons, the roll-out of the military component of the 25-year deal between China and Iran will begin in November, as exclusively revealed by Oil Price.com. After a series of meetings in China on the 9th and 10th of October between Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad Zarif, and his China counterpart, Wang Yi, this military component may now also feature the deployment in Iran of North Korean weaponry and technology, in exchange for oil, according to sources very close to the Iranian government spoken to by OilPrice.com last week.

The Military Industrial Complex Has Won (newsbuoy)

When Americans think of militarism, they may imagine jackbooted soldiers goose-stepping through the streets as flag-waving crowds exult; or, like our president, they may think of enormous parades featuring troops and missiles and tanks, with warplanes soaring overhead. Or nationalist dictators wearing military uniforms encrusted with medals, ribbons, and badges like so many barnacles on a sinking ship of state.

Exhaled CO2 as COVID-19 infection risk proxy for different indoor environments and activities (newsbuoy)

CO2is co-exhaled with aerosols containing SARS-CoV-2 by COVID-19 infected people and can be used as a proxy of SARS-CoV-2 concentrations indoors. Indoor CO2measurements by low-cost sensors hold promise for mass monitoring of indoor aerosol transmission risk for COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases. We derive analytical expressions of CO2-based risk proxies and apply them to various typical indoor environments. Contrary to some earlier recommendations setting a single indoor CO2 threshold, we show that the CO2 level corresponding to a given infection risk varies by over 2 orders of magnitude for different environments and activities. Although large uncertainties, mainly from virus exhalation rates, are still associated with our infection risk estimates, our study provides more specific and practical recommendations for low-cost CO2-based indoor infection risk monitoring.

Why Central Bankers Got Serious About Digital Cash (jw)

What central banks once sneered at, they’re now scrambling to master. Back when Bitcoin, the world’s first cryptocurrency, was seen as the province of anarchists and drug dealers, it was easy for the world’s central bankers to keep their distance. That changed in a hurry after Facebook Inc. proposed creating its own digital currency, Libra. Suddenly, the concept was seen as both practical and as a potential threat to existing monetary regimes. The central banks of China, the euro area, the Bahamas and others have been experimenting in the field, while others, including the U.S. Federal Reserve and Bank of England, are conducting research but not plunging in, at least for now.

Parents overdose with 2-year-old daughter in the back seat (thc0655)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — While the debate over COVID-19 rages, the opioid epidemic continues to ravage communities from coast to coast.

On Friday, the Metro Health Department released some shocking statistics about the lethality of this other pandemic. According to the agency, the death toll from overdoses this year in just the first nine months has already eclipsed the death toll for the entire year in 2019.

Energy

U.S. Renewable Energy Consumption Hits Record (ms)

Renewable energy consumption in the United States continued to rise for the fourth year in a row in 2019, with wind energy and wood and waste energy each accounting for 24 percent of all renewable energy used in America, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Monday.

Last year, U.S. consumption of renewable energy reached a record 11.5 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu), or 11 percent of total U.S. energy consumption, the EIA has estimated.

Offshore Oil & Gas Poised For A Major Rebound (ms)

In a year marked by huge spending cuts across the oil and gas industry amid urgently revised budgets and slashed investments, some analysts are now expecting a light at the end of this tunnel, at least offshore. From next year, Rystad Energy expects offshore oil and gas investments to rebound, but there will be a tectonic shift, with nearly half of that investment going to floating production and storage.  Earlier this month, Rystad reported that Chinese shipyards are preparing for an increase in new orders for floating production, storage, and offloading vessels beginning next year.

ConocoPhillips Doubles Down On The Permian Basin And Fracking With Concho Acquisition (jw)

As anticipated, ConocoPhillips COP -6.1% announced Monday morning that it has agreed to a deal to acquire big independent Permian Basin producer Concho Resources in an all-stock transaction valued at $9.7 billion. As such, it represents the largest U.S. shale-focused acquisition thus far in 2020, far surpassing the $5 billion Chevron CVX -0.9% paid to acquire Noble Energy NBL +1.4% in July.

As Oil Bankruptcies Surge, Vulture Investors Start Their Long Feast

Bankruptcies abound in America’s oilpatch. So far this year 40 oil exploration and production companies have gone under, according to analysis from lawfirm Haynes & Boone, involving $54 billion in debt. The biggest failure so far, with $11.8 billion in debt remains Chesapeake Energy CHK -2.1%. More Chapter 11s are coming, says corporate restructuring attorney Ken Coleman at Allen & Overy, and “that’s a good thing,” he says, because it will mean that management teams are finally accepting of the new reality of oil prices stuck at $40/bbl amid a continuing supply glut and pandemic-weakened demand.

Gold & Silver

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