Daily Digest 6/13 – The Looming Bank Collapse, Collapse Of State And Local Government Employment Already Upon Us

Economy

The Real Economic Catastrophe Hasn’t Hit Yet. Just Wait For August. (tmn)

Most importantly, and counterintuitively, household income sharply increased in April as hundreds of billions of dollars in lost wages were replaced by trillions in government spending. The government sent out more than 159 million stimulus payments of up to $1,200 per adult (more if you have kids), and more than 20 million unemployed people became eligible for an extra $600 a week in federal unemployment benefits. The result, according to Bloomberg, was the largest monthly increase in household income ever recorded.

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Milley apologizes for appearing with Trump at church photo op (TS)

“I should not have been there,” Army Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in a video commencement address to National Defense University.

“My presence in that moment and in that environment created a perception of the military involved in domestic politics.”

The Fed Just Pulled Off Another Backdoor Bailout of Wall Street (Kirk P.)

The bulk of the purchases of ETFs were those issued by BlackRock, the company to whom the New York Fed has outsourced the program. The Fed is allowing BlackRock to buy up its own, previously sinking, ETFs as well as those of other ETF issuers. The New York Fed gave BlackRock a no-bid contract to run the program as investment manager. But that’s far from the only outrage.

Here’s where you need to pay close attention. The Fed released a list of the Wall Street firms that are selling these ETFs to the Fed’s bailout facility. (See chart above.) The majority of the sellers just happen to be the very same firms that create these ETFs under the title of “Authorized Participants.”

The Looming Bank Collapse (NZSailor)

You may think that such a crisis is unlikely, with memories of the 2008 crash still so fresh. But banks learned few lessons from that calamity, and new laws intended to keep them from taking on too much risk have failed to do so. As a result, we could be on the precipice of another crash, one different from 2008 less in kind than in degree. This one could be worse.

Some U.S. lawmakers plan to propose a ban on police use of tear gas, which was deployed during peaceful protests (TS)

A White House spokeswoman has denied that tear gas was used against protesters in Washington as police cleared a park in advance of a visit by President Trump to a nearby church last week.

“The administration denied they were using it, but indeed they found there were cartridges marked ‘CS,’” another term for tear gas, Takano said.

Opinion: An apocalyptic collapse in state and local government employment is already upon us (Sparky1)

And the disaster may just be starting. Estimates of the size of the deficits faced by state and local governments through 2022 from the combination of heightened public health spending to combat the coronavirus and sinking revenues due to the economic shutdown and its continuing reverberations range from a catastrophic $500 billion through fiscal 2022 to a cataclysmic $959 billion through the end of next year.

At least 11 killed during U.S. protests seeking justice for George Floyd, many of them African Americans (LesPhelps)

The deaths have at times been overshadowed by the shocking images of unrest, from heavy-handed police tactics to violence, vandalism and arson. Tens of thousands have marched peacefully in demonstrations against police brutality and racism.

Many of the people killed were African Americans, compounding the tragedy for black communities.

More businesses fearing property damage hire private security guards in wake of protests (thc0655)

The push toward private security began during the coronavirus pandemic closures, with businesses fearing break-ins on abandoned streets. It continued even as businesses reopened, with staff sometimes encountering unusually hostile customers seemingly stressed out by the pandemic. Then, things really took off once the protests began.

Deschamps Bamba said commercial construction sites are the company’s fastest-growing clients as vandals and thieves “take advantage of the current climate.” Higher-end residential clients have also sought beefed-up security, including two apartment complexes near the Capitol Hill protests.

Truck Drivers Say They Won’t Deliver To Cities with Defunded Police Departments (thc0655)

“I will not deliver to an area with a disbanded police department. My life matter and I do this for my family. We are already at the mercy of these towns and cities with laws and hate against us for parking, getting a meal or even using a restroom.”

“Simple. We may not like it all the time, but laws and order is necessary.”

Noam Chomsky: Amid Protests and Pandemic, Trump’s Priority Is Protecting Profits (newsbuoy)

I don’t think Trump wants a civil war. Rather, as he says, he wants to “dominate” by violence and terrify any potential opposition. That is his standard reflex. Just look at his outburst when one Republican Senator, Lisa Murkowski, broke strict Party discipline and raised some mild doubts about the magnificence of His Royal Majesty. Or his firing of the scientist in charge of vaccine development when he raised a question about one of Trump’s quack medicines. Or his purge of the inspector generals who might investigate the fetid swamp he’s constructed in Washington.

It’s routine. He’s a radically new phenomenon in American political history.

Watts Reverb (newsbuoy)

The most interesting part of Pynchon’s essay is his defense of riotous violence. “Far from a sickness, violence may be an attempt to communicate, or to be who you really are,” he writes. In contrast, Pynchon gently mocks “the humanitarian establishment” that flowed into Watts in the wake of the riots, well-meaning do-gooders and “innocent, optimistic child-bureaucrats” for whom rioting is an evil and an illness, possibly because it threatens property and status they cannot help cherishing […] They remember last August’s riot as an outburst, a seizure. Yet what, from the realistic viewpoint of Watts, was so abnormal? “Man’s got his foot on your neck,” said one guy who was there, “sooner or later you going to stop asking him to take it off.”

COVID – will lockdown lead to a major health disaster (dwatney)

Perhaps I came at the lockdown from a different viewpoint from most other people. When the pandemic took off, I was analysing the impact of economic and social upheaval on mortality. I was looking specifically at the breakup of the Soviet Union, as I knew that there had been a massive health impact from the rapid and uncontrolled “transformation” from a socialist to a market-based system.

Electroceutical Fabric Lowers Zeta Potential and Eradicates Coronavirus Infectivity upon Contact (Darrel J.)

Testing of the cytopathic effects of the virus showed eradication of infectivity as quantitatively assessed by PI-calcein and MTT cell viability tests. This work provides the rationale to consider the studied electroceutical fabric, or other materials with comparable property, as material of choice for the development of PPE in the fight against COVID-19.

Ignore the conspiracy theories: scientists know Covid-19 wasn’t created in a lab (Nicholas G.)

Our 15 years of work in China now puts us in a unique position to identify, with a remarkable degree of confidence, the likely origin of Covid-19. In a recent paper, soon to appear in a peer-reviewed journal, we reported 781 genetic sequences of bat-origin coronaviruses previously unknown to scientists. These include the closest known relatives to Sars-CoV, Sars-CoV-2 and Sads-CoV, a virus that killed more than 25,000 pigs in Guangdong in 2016 and 2017. All are carried by horseshoe bats that are found across southern China and neighbouring countries. Our report firmly concludes that Covid-19 originated in bats, in a hotspot of viral evolution along the border of Yunnan province in China, Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam.

City officials urge testing after COVID-19 is found in Corning wastewater (Deborah C.)

Officials believe, because of limited clinical testing, the results from Biobot Analytics are a more accurate representation of the prevalence of the virus in the community. Officials say this testing also represents the entire south county not just those serviced by Corning Municipal Water.

Tehama County Public Health urges asymptomatic people to be tested regularly in order to allow better contact tracing.

Identifying airborne transmission as the dominant route for the spread of COVID-19 (chloecasey)

The inadequate knowledge on virus transmission has inevitably hindered development of effective mitigation policies and resulted in unstoppable propagation of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this work, we show that airborne transmission, particularly via nascent aerosols from human atomization, is highly virulent and represents the dominant route for the transmission of this disease. However, the importance of airborne transmission has not been considered in establishment of mitigation measures by government authorities.

Who Will Pay For Russia’s Unprecedented Oil Spill? (Michael S.)

Putin is reportedly incensed that the incident was only reported to the authorities two days after pictures of the crimson river surfaced online, and has told Nornickel’ billionaire oligarch and part-owner, Vladimir Potanin, to bear the full costs of cleaning up the mess.

More interestingly, it has brought Russia’s rather ambivalent attitude towards climate change and global warming to the fore once again as Russia’s authorities and Nornickel continue to play the blame game.

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