Daily Digest 7/29 – What Happens When $600 Weekly Stimulus Ends, Record Volumes Of Cheap U.S. Crude Headed To Asia


$600 Unemployment: What Happens When a Stimulus Lifeline Ends (tmn)

Depending on income and where someone lives, regular unemployment benefits replace only a portion of lost wages. The lower-income workers who were benefiting the most from the $600 lifeline will feel its loss most acutely.

Lebanon becomes 1st country in Middle East and North Africa to enter hyperinflation (Sparky1)

The Lebanese rely heavily on imports, which constitute 60% of consumed goods, according to Lebanese economist Roy Badaro. Because of the very high correlation between importation and consumption, the spike in the exchange rate to the dollar then translates into a massive increase in retail prices. Clothing and footwear items alone have seen a 345% annual rise in prices, according to Credit Libanais’ latest report. In addition, the lockdown measures taken to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, resulting in the shutdowns of small businesses and massive layoffs, has pushed the country to the brink.

“Defendant Shall Not Attend Protests”: In Portland, Getting Out of Jail Requires Relinquishing Constitutional Rights (tmn)

For other defendants, the restricted area is limited to Portland, where clashes between protesters and federal troops have grown increasingly violent in recent weeks. In at least two cases, there are no geographic restrictions; one release document instructs, “Do not participate in any protests, demonstrations, rallies, assemblies while this case is pending.”

Protesters who have agreed to stay away from further demonstrations say they felt forced to accept those terms to get out of jail.

Armed Minneapolis Residents Are Patrolling Their Own Neighborhoods As City Moves To Defund Police (thc0655)

Gun crime across the city has surged in the past two months to historic highs. Already, the number of victims from gun violence in the city has topped the annual totals for eight of the past 10 years. The large majority of victims, over 80%, are black, according to police data.

The Minneapolis city council took the first concrete step toward defunding its police department on Friday, cutting $1.5 million from the department’s budget. The council voted unanimously in June on a resolution calling for the police department to be abolished.

Six U.S. states see record COVID-19 deaths, Latinos hit hard in California (tmn)

California health officials said Latinos, who make up just over a third of the most populous U.S. state, account for 56% of COVID-19 infections and 46% of deaths. Cases are soaring in the Central Valley agricultural region, with its heavily Latino population, overwhelming hospitals. The state on Tuesday reported 171 deaths.

Florida saw 191 coronavirus deaths in the prior 24 hours, the state health department said.

Nonsense from the WSJ on Gold vs the Dollar (thc0655)

Money does not “slip away”. It is impossible for money to flow out of stocks into gold or bonds or from bonds to stocks or any other combination.

An individual can choose to dump stocks for gold but in aggregate, for every buyer there is a seller so there is no net flow. Rather there are repricing events.

The Nation Is Falling Into the Abyss Between Wall Street And Main Street (Don R.)

The hidden toxin in financialization is the resulting concentration of wealth can buy concentrations of political power. Financialization is thus self-perpetuating: once the skimming operations generate billions of dollars in profit, it only takes a relatively small piece of these profits to buy/influence the political class. Once the politicos are in your pocket, the regulators and judiciary fall into line or are marginalized by new statutes or gutted budgets.

COVID-19 Is Pushing a Quarter of the Arab World to Poverty, UN Warns (Merle2)

“With millions more pushed down the economic ladder, fully one-quarter of the Arab population may live in poverty,” said Guterres. “In a region already rife with tensions and inequalities, this will have profound consequences on political and social stability.”

How the Navajo Nation slowed one of the worst Covid-19 outbreaks in the US (tmn)

The Navajo Nation (Dine’é in Navajo language) spans Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico, and with over 300,000 members, it’s the largest tribe in the United States. Despite having an infection rate higher than New York City this spring, the Navajo Nation — under the leadership of its President Jonathan Nez — has since successfully flattened its curve. Daily new cases have fallen from a high of 240 in May to 54 on July 26.

Sources: Four more Marlins test positive for coronavirus; total at 17 (tmn)

The Marlins placed infielder Garrett Cooper, outfielder Harold Ramirez and right-hander Jose Urena on the injured list. They claimed right-hander Justin Shafer and left-hander Josh Smith off waivers from Cincinnati, and they will likely rely heavily on reinforcements from their training camp in Jupiter, Florida.

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred told MLB Network on Monday that there are factors that would force MLB to alter plans.

Record Volumes Of Cheap U.S. Crude Oil Are Headed To Asia (Michael S.)

Despite the expected record imports of U.S. crude in July, China is nowhere near achieving its target for energy purchases from the United States under the Phase 1 trade deal, and with oil prices double compared to April and demand still weak in Asia, the Chinese buying spree – including of U.S. oil – may be coming to an end.

What the heroin industry can teach us about solar power (tmn)

I was in a military helicopter thundering over the lush poppy fields of the Helmand valley in Afghanistan when I spotted the first solar panel.

You’ve heard of Helmand. It is the most dangerous province in Afghanistan.

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