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Shootings that left three dead at protests against police brutality have stoked fears of rising violence as a deeply divided US heads into elections amid economic collapse, a deadly pandemic and the worst social upheaval since the 1960s

“Weapons have been particularly visible since May 1, when hundreds of men armed with assault rifles tried to enter the state capitol building in Michigan to protest against lockdown measures introduced to limit the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.”

https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2020/09/01/us-on-brink-as-vigilantes-guns-and-hate-stoke-fears-ahead-of-election.html


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“President Donald Trump took a dramatic step last month to bypass Congress and deliver relief to millions of Americans — but the executive actions are delivering only limited relief, while lawmakers remain at an impasse…

It’s becoming clear that the stopgap provided by the President won’t be enough to keep the economy afloat.”

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/09/01/politics/executive-actions-trump-pandemic-relief-results/index.html


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Citing the “catastrophic collapse of our local and national economy” because of COVID-19 and damage to local businesses from civil unrest, Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Monday laid out a $1.2 billion shortfall for what she called Chicago’s “pandemic budget” in 2021.

“Filling the historic deficit will likely require personnel cuts and could lead to layoffs…”

https://www.chicagotribune.com/politics/ct-lori-lightfoot-2021-budget-forecast-20200831-c5m7wpo5brdbromqi4z7yxyqo4-story.html


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Schlumberger has become the biggest oil-service industry player yet to abandon frac work in North America, a sign that activity in the U.S. shale patch may never revisit previous highs.

“The provider of drilling and oil-production equipment agreed to sell its U.S. and Canadian fracing business to smaller rival Liberty Oilfield Services Inc. After similar exits over the past few years by Baker Hughes Co. and Weatherford International Plc, Halliburton Co. is now the sole global provider of well completions for shale, and even Halliburton has said it’s looking overseas for better growth.”

https://www.worldoil.com/news/2020/9/1/schlumberger-s-north-american-frac-exit-may-signal-the-end-of-the-us-shale-boom


The Trump administration on Monday issued a proposal that would make it easier to permit oil and gas drilling operations in national forests, angering environmental groups who said the move would harm wildlife and increase greenhouse gas emissions.”

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-drilling-forests/trump-administration-proposes-easing-oil-and-gas-permitting-in-national-forests-idUSKBN25R2O5


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Venezuela Faces The Real Possibility Oil Production Dropping To Zero

“At the end of July 2020, according to Baker Hughes, there were no active oil rigs in Venezuela and only one operational natural gas rig.”

https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Venezuela-Faces-The-Real-Possibility-Oil-Production-Dropping-To-Zero.html


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Brazil’s economy has officially entered a recession following the swingeing impact of the coronavirus crisis, which has so far killed more than 120,000 Brazilians and pushed millions into unemployment…

“The record fall in the second quarter is greater than the total loss in any of nine recessions that have struck Brazil in the past 40 years, analysts said.”

https://www.ft.com/content/dc045f17-c90b-4098-bda1-4f7471699070


Brazil’s official interest rates and the average cost of servicing its public debt have never been lower, but investors are becoming worried that the government could face a funding crisis next year.”

https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-brazil-economy-funding-analysis/brazils-fiscal-fragility-stokes-funding-fears-despite-record-low-rates-idUKKBN25R1GK


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Unemployment in Colombia is recovering only slightly from the historic economic collapse between March and April when the COVID-19 pandemic left 5 million people without a job

The [weak] recovery of jobs indicates the devastating and long-lasting effects of the pandemic and the relative small impact of the government’s gradual reactivation of economic activity.”

https://colombiareports.com/employment-in-colombia-barely-recovering-from-covid-19-collapse/


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Euro zone inflation turned negative last month for the first time since May 2016, raising chances that the European Central Bank will have to inject yet more stimulus to generate price growth which has undershot its target for over seven years…

“Worryingly for policymakers, underlying inflation also tumbled…”

https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-eurozone-inflation/europes-inflation-plunge-to-raise-red-flags-at-ecb-idUKKBN25S4GD


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“July was marked by some relaxation of COVID-19 measures in many EU Member States, but despite this, the seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate in the eurozone went up to 7.9% from 7.7% in June.”

[These figures are artificially low because furloughs are still in place].

https://www.euronews.com/2020/09/01/eurozone-unemployment-rose-to-7-9-in-july-despite-covid-measures-easing-in-many-countries


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Turkey’s economy suffered its deepest downturn on record at the peak of this year’s coronavirus crisis, according to data that underlined the pain caused by lockdown measures on key sectors.

“Gross domestic product shrank 11 per cent in the period from April to June this year compared with the first quarter of the year…”

https://www.ft.com/content/172194d0-3a91-457e-9faf-bae73b455d17


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Like many Lebanese expatriates, Nadim Srour wired savings back as a nest egg for his return. Now those deposits have crumbled in an economic crisis and a Beirut blast has destroyed his home

“His story is far from unique in a nation that piled up a mountain of public debt to rebuild after its 1975-1990 civil war…”

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-lebanon-crisis-blast-banks/now-we-are-ruined-lebanons-embattled-savers-try-to-rebuild-idUKKBN25T0QL


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The Indian economy contracted by 23.9 percent in the second quarter, the most drastic fall in decades, as lockdown restrictions meant to contain the spread of the coronavirus wiped out jobs and businesses.

“India’s decline was the worst among the world’s top economies, with the U.S. economy shrinking 9.5 percent in the same quarter and Japan’s 7.6 percent.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/31/world/asia/india-economy-gdp.html


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South Korea’s economy dipped by a seasonally adjusted 3.2 percent on quarter in the April-June period, the biggest quarterly retreat in 11 and a half years

“…due to a plunge in exports from subdued global demand during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bank of Korea data showed Tuesday.”

https://pulsenews.co.kr/view.php?year=2020&no=899499


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Thailand’s recently appointed finance minister, Predee Daochai, has resigned as the government struggles to pull Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy out of a slump caused by the COVID-19 pandemic…

“Predee, 61, did not respond to telephone calls from Reuters, and it was not immediately known why he resigned. Thai media said he wanted to quit for health reasons.”

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asia/thailand-finance-minister-resigns-covid-19-economic-crisis-13072662


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Australia’s economy contracted by 7% in the June quarter, which is the worst quarterly fall on record, and a million Australians are unemployed…

“But the point is not the negative number in the gross domestic product column for the June quarter of 2020, even though the number is terrible. The point is the event the number heralds.”

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/sep/02/australias-economy-was-already-weak-and-the-coronavirus-pandemic-has-belted-it-into-recession


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The coronavirus pandemic has brought hard times for many farmers and has imperiled food security for many millions both in the cities and the countryside.

“United Nations experts are holding an online conference beginning Tuesday to brainstorm ways to help alleviate hunger and prevent the problems from worsening in the Asia-Pacific region…”

https://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/pandemic-brings-hard-times-farmers-worsening-hunger-72739694


The hotel industry remains on brink of collapse amid the pandemic, according to the American Hotel & Lodging Association.” Video:

https://money.yahoo.com/hotel-industry-remains-brink-collapse-170759787.html


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“Swissport warned on Monday of thousands more job losses at the world’s largest baggage-handling business, as it forecast a pandemic-fuelled slump in the global travel industry to last until 2024…

The airline industry and its associated services have been hammered by the pandemic, with international passenger travel almost completely halted for months.”

https://www.ft.com/content/e38bb9b0-e0a6-4d9a-8aeb-61b0e88977f2


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“Continental, the German car parts maker, deepened its cost-cutting programme and warned that a further 10,000 jobs were at risk, as the coronavirus crisis hammered the global auto industry

““The entire automotive industry is currently faced with enormous challenges,” said Elmar Degenhart, chief executive.”

https://www.ft.com/content/db5b7869-8b0a-403e-b52a-f792df1bd736


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There’s no magic wand. There’s no magic wand that gets my in-laws to go out to a restaurant next week.

“In the absence of them going to a restaurant, there’s no magic wand that keeps all the restaurants in business and their workers employed and thus able to pay their rent, and their landlords then able to pay for their loans.”

https://insights.som.yale.edu/insights/can-government-contain-the-economic-crisis


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The collapse in real interest rates to below zero means the U.S. government is being paid to borrow and spend. This is obviously rare, but that doesn’t mean the situation will soon reverse.

“Absent a low probability event like mass civil unrest or a balance of payments crisis, about the only thing could spur real rates to turn positive would be a massive infrastructure plan by the government.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/amp/opinion/articles/2020-08-31/negative-real-rates-aren-t-reversing-anytime-soon


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