Daily Digest 7/20 – The Fed Is Going To Buy Stocks, U.S. Is ‘Sleepwalking Toward Economic Catastrophe’

This is Good News Friday, where we find some good economic, energy, and environmental news and share it with PP readers. Please send any positive news to [email protected] with subject header “Good News Friday.” We will save and post weekly. Enjoy!


The Fed Is Going To Buy Stocks (Adam)

Carry trades always increase both leverage and liquidity. The growth in leverage makes the world more fragile, but increased liquidity temporarily hides this fragility. Debt financed stock buybacks are an important example. Their growth reinforces the leveraging up of corporate balance sheets (increased fragility) and at the same time provides a critical source of equity buying (increased liquidity) for those investors who wish to raise cash. We shouldn’t underestimate this dynamic – for over a decade now the only sector that has consistently purchased US equities has been non-financial corporations.

More clashes in Mexico over repaying U.S. water debt (Sparky1)

Under a 1944 treaty, Mexico owes the United States about 415,000 acre-feet (512 million cubic meters) yearly that must be paid by Oct. 24. Payment is made by releasing water from dams in Mexico. Mexico has fallen badly behind in payments from previous years and now has to quickly catch up on water transfers.

Mexico receives more water than it gives to the U.S. under the treaty, which governs the flow of border and cross-border rivers including the Colorado to the west.

‘Less Optimistic’ and ‘More Cautious’: Top C.E.O.s Fret as Virus Cases Rise (jdargis)

“I have a more cautious view than I did four weeks ago,” Mr. Bastian said. “While the T.S.A. numbers have continued to slowly tick up, the reality is that the cash that people are willing to commit to future travel decisions has stalled. The fear that the virus has created in the South has put people more into a stay-at-home mentality than we’d seen before.”

Many chief executives said they were broadly in favor of reopening the economy — arguing that it was vital for people to be at work.

We are sleepwalking toward economic catastrophe (tmn)

“It could be cataclysmic,” said Angela Hanks, deputy executive director of the progressive group Groundwork Collaborative. “I don’t think there’s any way to overestimate what happens when you have a pandemic worsening, not improving, when we have an economic crisis that’s intensifying, and frankly, there’s no response.”

Tomorrow Group-linked shares tumble after China seizes affiliated financial firms (Sparky1)

Shenzhen-listed Zhongtian Financial Group Co Ltd (000540.SZ), which said in 2017 it planned to buy up to 25% here in Tomorrow-linked Huaxia Life Insurance, dropped by over 8% during the morning session before it narrowed losses to 3.9% in the afternoon. Huaxia Life was another company seized by the government on Friday.

$279 a Day: Good Luck Finding a Cheap Rental Car in N.Y.C. (000)

In June, car rental reservations in New York City on Priceline, a hotel and car rental booking website, jumped by 73 percent at rental locations excluding airports compared with the same time last year. On Kayak, a travel site, the demand for rentals surged even higher: In May, as the city entered its third month of lockdown, car rental searches were up 56 percent compared with the same time last year. By June, they had spiked 98 percent.

Exclusive: Global banks scrutinize their Hong Kong clients for pro-democracy ties – sources (Sparky1)

One banker at a global wealth manager that holds more than $200 billion in assets said the audit of its clients could go back as far as 2014 in some cases to gauge a client’s political stance since Hong Kong’s 2014 pro-democracy “umbrella” movement. Protesters at the time used umbrellas to shield themselves from tear gas and pepper spray deployed by police.

How to Reopen the Economy Without Killing Teachers and Parents (jdargis)

More than 140,000 Americans have died from Covid-19, and there are growing outbreaks in many states. No other developed nation has sent children back to school with the virus at these levels. Data about transmission in classrooms is limited. Many teachers have health risks and are understandably afraid to return. The safest course would be for kindergartners through 12th graders to continue with online courses in the fall.

But what about the millions of kids from disadvantaged backgrounds whose homes are not conducive to online learning and who rely on schools for meals? And what about parents who cannot work from home and watch over them?

A Group Of Moms Formed A Human Wall To Protect Portland Protesters From Federal Officers (tmn)

Federal officers, deployed in Portland by President Trump since last week, have led to escalating tensions in the city after protesters said the officers were violating their civil rights by roaming the streets in unmarked vans and detaining people without probable cause.

The officers have also used tear gas, batons, and “less-than-lethal” munitions to disperse protesters who have been demonstrating for more than 50 nights in the city following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Inside a former missile silo in kansas turned into a luxurious survival condo (000)

The survival condo has been called an engineering marvel and resides in what Larry says is one of the strongest man-made structures ever created; a nuclear hardened bunker with walls as thick as 9 and 1/2 feet made from epoxy hardened concrete that was built back in 1960 to house and protect the atlas nuclear missiles. Just imagine that the door that welcomes you into the building weighs eight tons and is made of armored steel filled with concrete.

Trump administration pushing to block new money for testing, tracing and CDC in upcoming coronavirus relief bill (tmn)

The administration’s posture has angered some GOP senators, the officials said, and some lawmakers are trying to push back and ensure that the money stays in the bill. The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to reveal confidential deliberations, cautioned that the talks were fluid and the numbers were in flux.

The negotiations center around a bill Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is preparing to unveil this coming week as part of negotiations with Democrats on what will likely be the last major coronavirus relief bill before the November election.

Asthma Medicine Hailed as Effective Treatment for COVID-19 (Malcom M.)

“Ideally it may be that the corticosteroid therapy would be given to anyone with a new, dry cough, and while they are awaiting their COVID test results,” said associate Professor Nicolau, from the QUT Science and Engineering Faculty School of Mathematical Sciences.

EU leaders struggle with ‘mission impossible’ at deadlocked recovery summit (tmn)

“My hope is that we reach an agreement and that the headline … tomorrow is that the EU has accomplished mission impossible,” the European Council President said at their third dinner in a row at the Brussels conference centre. “That is my heartfelt wish … after three days of non-stop work.”

The leaders are at odds over how to carve up a vast recovery fund designed to help haul Europe out of its deepest recession since World War Two, and what strings to attach for countries it would benefit.

Tverberg: Why A Great Reset Based On Green Energy Isn’t Possible (CleanEnergyFan)

Modelers of all kinds would like to think that there are no limits in this world. Actually, there are many limits. It is the fact that economies have to work around limits that leads to cycles such as these. Some examples of limits include inadequate arable land for a growing population, inability to fight off pathogens, and an energy supply that becomes excessively expensive to produce. Cycles can be expected to vary in steepness, both on the upside and the downside of the cycle.

On the correlation between solar activity and large earthquakes worldwide (000)

This paper gives the first, strongly statistically significant, evidence for a high correlation between large worldwide earthquakes and the proton density near the magnetosphere, due to the solar wind. This result is extremely important for seismological research and for possible future implications on earthquake forecast. In fact, although the non-poissonian character, and hence the correlation among large scale, worldwide earthquakes was known since several decades, this could be in principle explained by several mechanisms. In this paper, we demonstrate that it can likely be due to the effect of solar wind, modulating the proton density and hence the electrical potential between the ionosphere and the Earth.

‘Once-in-500-years’ storm hits Northland, cutting off Far North from the rest of the country, New Zealand (000)

Further rainfalls of 40 to 60 mm (1.5 – 2.3 inches) an hour could still fall this morning, July 18, MetService said, adding that the storm should break by the afternoon and turn to periods of showers later in the day before petering off tomorrow.

Officials are urging residents to stay off the roads and to keep up with weather watches and warnings via MetService.

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