Daily Digest 8/26 – Two Dead In Kenosha After Gunman Opens Fire On Protesters, Data Suggests Americans May Flee To Rural Areas Post-COVID

 

Economy

As Exxon exits the Dow, technology takes over the major stock indices (Sparky1)

At its peak in 1976, the energy sector could claim Standard Oil of California (later Chevron), Exxon, and Texaco on the index. But today, just a quarter of the companies listed are manufacturers, and technology firms lead the index’s growth. Exxon’s replacement on the Dow will be business cloud software company Salesforce, joining peers including Microsoft, IBM, and Apple.

American Airlines to cut 19,000 jobs in October without aid, workforce shrinking 30% (Sparky1)

Texas-based American’s announcement comes in the midst of the four-day Republican National Convention, where President Donald Trump is trying to regain momentum against the backdrop of a pandemic that has killed over 175,000 Americans and produced a recession that has resulted in the loss of millions of jobs.

Airlines have argued that the industry is essential to a quick economic recovery.

Kiwibank chief economist Jarrod Kerr walks through the concept of a negative OCR, what it will mean for borrowers, savers, lenders, the government and the NZ$, and where we might go from there (Downunder Bound)

In the letter Reserve Bank Deputy Governor and General Manager for Financial Stability Geoff Bascand said towards the end of 2020, the Reserve Bank plans to assess banks’ capability to operate with zero or negative interest rates. This assessment, Bascand added, would include the likes of the Reserve Bank’s standing facilities, a range of financial market securities such as bank bills, bonds, interest rate swaps, and derivatives, and all products relating to non-retail customers.

Development Company Warns Portland Mayor: Companies Are Relocating Because Of ‘Lawlessness You Are Endorsing Downtown’ (thc0655)

Goodman said companies include Daimler Trucks North America, Airbnb, Banana Republic, Microsoft, Saucebox, and Google, which he claimed: “leased 90,000 square feet in the Macy’s building [and] has stopped construction of their improvements.”

“The list goes on and on. If you know a retail or office broker, give them a call and ask them how many clients they have are trying to leave,” he continued.

Two dead in Kenosha after at least one gunman opens fire on BLM protesters (AW)

Social media users posted a series of images including video that appeared to show the same individual – a young man – at key points during the confrontation, including interacting with police in a tactical vehicle who say they “appreciate” the alleged vigilantes’ help and give them bottled water.

Although the sequence of events remains confusing, the Guardian has tried to piece together what occurred from video and images posted online showing the run-up to the shooting and its aftermath.

Portland Police Are Giving Up On Policing The Far-Right (Sparky1)

But over the weekend, police took an entirely hands-off approach to the fighting, even as the demonstrations grew more violent than ever. As officers stood by on Saturday, the Proud Boys and their far-right friends attacked and intimidated anti-fascist protesters using paintball guns, mace, fireworks, aluminum bats and various firearms, according to The Washington Post.

Jacob Blake’s sisters offer moving words about brother (Sparky1)

Three sisters of Jacob Blake, a Black man who was shot by police as he tried to enter a SUV, speak to media about the condition of his brother.

Stephen Roach argues that the pandemic’s continuing impact on consumer demand all but rules out a V-shaped recovery (Downunder Bound)

The current recession is a classic set-up for a double dip. Lingering vulnerability is hardly a question in the aftermath of the 32.9% annualized plunge in the second quarter of 2020 – by far the sharpest quarterly decline on record. Damaged as never before by the unprecedented lockdown to combat the initial outbreak of COVID-19, the economy has barely begun to heal. A sharp rebound in the current quarter is simple arithmetic –and virtually guaranteed by the partial re-opening of shuttered businesses. But will it stick, or will there be a relapse?

How Nations Collapse: Disunity (thc0655)

While America’s spoiled, parasitic elites indulge in financial and sexual debauchery, fraud and embezzlement, the commoners grow weary of the widening divide in wealth, income, power, health and ethics. America’s spoiled, parasitic elites are not just self-serving, greedy, and predatory; they’re overconfident and hubris-soaked.

As for the commoners–they’ve been fragmented for decades into warring camps, fighting over social mores, political theater and all the frustrations of the powerless: embittered by the erosion of security and fairness and the indignities of slaving away for corporations that enrich the few while impoverishing the many, exhausted by the insecurities of chronic under-employment and the exploitations of the gig economy, the commoners may eventually find common cause in overthrowing their exploitive elites.

Time To Move? Data Suggests Americans May Flee To Rural Areas Post-COVID (thc0655)

The lower population density of rural communities makes social distancing not only easier, but practically automatic. And thus far at least, the best defense against the virus has been to limit its entry into an area in the first place. Because of population disbursement, that’s just easier to do in rural areas.

At this point at least, no one is sure when or if COVID-19 will disappear. And there’s little doubt that an event as widespread as this virus has been has changed both lives and attitudes for a generation or more. Despite the many advantages of urban living, Americans may be increasingly ready to move to rural areas to minimize the possibility of COVID-19 or even a future pandemic.

COVID – What have we learned? (Marshall S.)

Despite this change, we still have the situation in the UK, where you can never, officially recover from COVID – which is equally mad. Once you’ve got it, you’ve got it. I suspect this will be quietly changed at some point – maybe it has been, and I didn’t notice.

On the other hand, other very strange things took place, in the opposite direction. Right at the start of the pandemic, the UK Govt changed COVID to an infection no longer considered of high consequence.

Convalescent plasma treatment for covid-19 has been oversold by the US (000)

Several studies are under way to test convalescent plasma for covid-19. The largest has been run by the Mayo Clinic in the US – about 71,000 people have received treatment across 2780 hospitals over the past five months as part of a programme that enables access to experimental therapies.

Based on the data collected from around 35,000 of these individuals, the researchers behind the project found that people treated with plasma containing higher levels of antibody, and those treated earlier in the course of their illness, appear less likely to die within a seven or 30-day window.

Under blackout threat, California may keep gas power plants state rushed to close (thc0655)

State officials and environmentalists say the gas facilities are wasteful and damaging to the environment. They also argue that utilities and regulators have taken far too long to find clean energy replacements for the plants.

The State Water Resources Control Board initially gave regulators about 10 years to come up with green energy replacements in 2010, but the state’s Public Utilities Commission only ordered a significant battery purchase, meant to curb reliance on gas plants for energy, last year.

What is a sustainable city? 10 characteristics of green urban planning (Karlyn M.)

Imagine a world where city centers are smog-free and full of thriving green ecosystems, with more cyclists and pedestrians than cars. While this vision might seem straight out of a fairy tale, sustainable cities are working to achieve this idyllic urban setting.

Yet the U.S. is home to zero of the top 10 most sustainable cities in the world. New York City is the first U.S. metropolitan to make the list at number 14, followed by San Francisco and Seattle, at 16 and 19 respectively. It’s clear that America has a long way to go in terms of making its dense urban centers sustainable.

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