U.S. regulators on Sunday shut down New York-based Signature, a big lender in the crypto industry, in a bid to prevent the spreading banking crisis.“
““We are also announcing a similar systemic risk exception for Signature Bank, New York, New York, which was closed today by its state chartering authority,” Treasury, Federal Reserve, and FDIC said in a joint statement Sunday evening.”
The Biden administration’s scramble to prevent financial contagion from the crash of Silicon Valley Bank is both an attempt to shield a resilient but still-vulnerable economy and to prevent grave political fallout.“
“The Treasury Department and federal regulators insisted there was no systemic risk to the banking system as a whole that could cause a repeat of the cataclysmic 2008 meltdown… They unrolled emergency measures Sunday evening that will guarantee deposits of SVB’s customers.”
SVB’s Failure Exposes Lurking Systemic Risk of Tech’s Money Machine…“
“It’s a startling wake-up call to regulators after largely standing by as the shadow banking system ballooned in the wake of the global financial crisis. Private equity firms invested more than $6 trillion in the US economy in the 10 years through 2021 and employ more than 11.7 million Americans. Venture capital money more than quadrupled from 2007 to 2021, to about $1 trillion…”
Fed Half-Point Hike Looks Less Likely as Financial Risks Flare.“
“Less than a week after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell opened the door to a re-acceleration in the pace of interest-rate hikes, the sudden eruption of financial strains at the US regional bank level is raising the bar on such a move.”
After $1 Trillion Lost To Inflation, Consumers’ Resilience Has Reached The Breaking Point…“
“Net/Net: Inflation is hurting American consumers and the retailers that depend upon their spending power far more than anyone knew. Whether inflation goes up, down or sideways, it has eaten a big hole in American consumers’ pockets with little to show for it.”
‘It’s hard to focus’: Schools say American kids are hungry.“
“Congress temporarily made school meals free to all American schoolkids, but since that ended last fall, the need has only seemed to grow. Soaring food prices are adding strains on families who are seeing reductions in multiple kinds of financial assistance.”
HSBC swoops in to rescue UK arm of Silicon Valley Bank…“
“The Treasury said the deal with HSBC involved no taxpayer money and the Bank of England said deposits were secure. HSBC said it paid just £1 for the SVB’s UK arm after it failed on Friday.”
A Lost Decade Worse Than Japan’s Threatens to Change UK Forever.“
“As the UK buckles under the strain of anemic growth, strikes, fraying infrastructure and record hospital waiting lists, Jason James thinks back to another economic crisis that dominated an earlier part of his banking career: Japan’s infamous “lost decade.””
Cost of living crisis sees some people considering suicide.“
“More people are contemplating suicide as they “cannot cope” as a result of rising costs, charities have said. Charities supporting those with chronic diseases or disabilities have called for an overhaul of the benefits system.”
Dutch farmers, climate activists stage protests in The Hague.“
“Thousands of farmers protested in The Hague on Saturday against the Dutch government’s plans to cut nitrate emissions, while environmental activists demonstrated against what they label state support for fossil fuels.”
Thousands of tonnes of garbage has piled up on streets across the French capital after a week of strike action by dustbin collectors against government pension reforms, city hall said Sunday.“
“Three incineration plants outside the capital have been hit by the work stoppages that have left entire pavements covered in black bags and overflowing bins.”
German union calls for strikes on Monday at Berlin, Hamburg airports…“
“The strikes will affect Berlin’s international airport, as well as the smaller airports of Hamburg, Hanover and Bremen, the relevant regional branches of the services sector trade union said on Saturday in separate statements.”
Russian war symbols waved at anti-government protests in Prague.“
“Russian war symbols were seen among the thousands of protestors gathered in Prague to protest war and poverty on Saturday, with some attempting to tear down the Ukrainian flag that has been hanging outside the National Museum over the past year.”
Moldova says it foiled Russian-backed plot to stir unrest.“
“Moldovan police said on Sunday they had thwarted an effort by Russian-backed agents who were seeking to cause mass unrest at protests organized by the political opposition. In recent weeks, the political party of fugitive pro-Russian oligarch Ilhan Shor has sought to mobilize followers against the former Soviet republic’s pro-European government.”
Fukushima disaster: Japan marks 12 years since deadly tsunami as support grows for nuclear power.“
“All of Japan’s nuclear reactors were taken offline after the disaster and the majority remain out of action today. But the global energy crisis sparked by the war in Ukraine has caused electricity bills to soar in Japan, inspiring a government push to reboot reactors as polls show that public views on nuclear power are softening.”
Xi Jinping vows to oppose Taiwan ‘pro-independence’ influences as third term begins“
“Xi Jinping has stressed the need to oppose “pro-independence” influences in Taiwan, as he closed the National People’s Congress (NPC) after a week in which the rubber-stamp parliament handed China’s president an unprecedented third presidential term…”
US, Allies Prepare Mega Submarine Deal Under Aukus Agreement.“
“The leaders of the US, Australia and the UK will announce plans for a new fleet of nuclear-powered submarines Monday as they deepen the Aukus defense partnership aimed at countering China in the Pacific.”
In Peru’s Andes, scars of protest deaths cut deep as families seek justice…“
“Peru, home to some 35 million people, huge copper reserves and the ancient Incan city Machu Picchu, is grappling to restore stability after months of anti-government protests and clashes that have left 49 people dead, with roads blockaded around the country and calls for the president and Congress to step down.”
‘Farmgate’: Cyril Ramaphosa inquiry ‘clears’ South African president but police still investigating.“
“South Africa’s anti-corruption watchdog has reportedly cleared president Cyril Ramaphosa of any wrongdoing in a preliminary report on a cover-up scandal known as “farmgate”, involving between $580,000 and $5m of foreign currency hidden at his private game farm.”
Crippling power outages threaten businesses and jobs [Zimbabwe].“
“Zimbabwe’s floundering economy could nosedive into an unfathomable gorge if President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration fails to find immediate answers to persisting power outages that are affecting both the Southern African country’s productive sectors and households, economists and energy experts have warned.”
Kenya’s forex reserves hit an all-time low last Friday amid a raging dollar crisis in the market which has seen the shilling hit a low of 129 units to the greenback.“
“According to the latest Central Bank of Kenya(CBK) weekly bulletin, the country’s usable foreign exchange reserves stood at USD 6.56 billion (Sh852.2billion) as of March 9, equivalent to 3.67 months of import cover.”
Tunisia edges closer to default…“
“As reform and talks with IMF stall, Tunisian president seeks scapegoats sending scores of critics including Islamist and secular politicians to prison. His diatribe against Sub-Saharans sent shockwaves across the continent as African countries ask their nationals to leave the country.”
Hundreds of thousands of Israelis rallied against the government’s judicial plans on Saturday night, in what organisers said were the biggest street protests in Israel’s history.“
“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the changes – which would curb the power of courts – will restore balance between the branches of government.”
Pakistan Economic Crisis: Hungry, poor and armed Pakistanis resort to stealing cars and bikes at gunpoint.“
“The situation in some areas of Pakistan has gone from bad to worse and the average hungry and poor Pakistani has resorted to armed robberies. According to reports surfacing from Pakistan it has come to light that in the month of February 2023 alone the city of Karachi has witnessed over 7,000 street crimes.”
Global Food Crisis: 10 Countries Suffering the Most From Hunger.“
“Conflict, the climate crisis and rising costs are driving the global food crisis. Conflict is the number one cause – it destroys roads and buildings, forces people from their homes, drives inflation and cuts off people’s access to markets – all of which push communities into hunger.”
Our planet faces “phosphogeddon”, scientists have warned. They fear our misuse of phosphorus could lead to deadly shortages of fertilisers that would disrupt global food production.“
“At the same time, phosphate fertiliser washed from fields – together with sewage inputs into rivers, lakes and seas – is giving rise to widespread algal blooms and creating aquatic dead zones that threaten fish stocks.”
Saudi Aramco’s $161bn profit is largest recorded by an oil and gas firm.“
“Saudi Aramco has reported a record $161bn (£134bn) profit for 2022, the largest annual profit ever recorded by an oil and gas company, fuelled by soaring energy prices and rising global demand.”
The World Desperately Needs More Oil And Gas Investment… Despite high oil prices sending energy company profits soaring over the last year, little of those profits have been reinvested in the oil and gas business…“
“Upstream spending has fallen from around $700 billion in 2014 to between $370 to $400 billion today… There is also a concern about the ongoing reliance on mature oil fields, which will eventually dry up.”
Administration to Approve Huge Alaska Oil Project on Monday, Two Officials Say.“
“The Biden administration on Monday will formally approve a huge oil drilling project in Alaska known as Willow, according to two people familiar with the decision, despite widespread opposition because of its likely environmental and climate impacts.”
You can read the previous “Economic” thread here. I’ll be back tomorrow with a “Climate” thread.
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It seems that the internal contradictions of our complex institutions are piling up fast, whether it is about collapsing ‘ regional banks or underinvestment in the fossil industry where the money earned is quickly spent on ‘ shareholders’ who also want a share of the profits before governments cut them. The underlying story, of course, remains under and even unexposed.
There is no longer an easy way to discover and exploit new reserves. Too expensive, too risky on a long-term basis. It is interesting, though, to follow the shifting discourse from ‘ green’ to ‘ grey’ and nuclear.
2.In France today, the discussion begins about reversing the 50% standard for nuclear power that was enshrined in law in 2015; First the date was already shifted from 2025 to 2035 and now ‘ they’ want to get rid of it altogether. Nuclear power is hot again and from Japan to the UK to the EU and the ‘ rest of the world’ everyone is suddenly putting their cards on ‘uranium’ as fuel for the steam generators of the power plants. Nobody is looking at whether there is actually enough extractable uranium (nowhere near enough!!!) for all these fancy plans and where that fuel should come from! All countries with extremely questionable security of supply. No one at all hears about the waste problem…. very wonderful times!
3. Phosphorus is an interesting dossier. If used properly, easily recyclable 40 times, but yes we so don’t do that in our run towards ‘production uplift’. Certainly India and China not to mention the ‘third world’ countries still have a long way to go. It will probably all come to nothing and cause a lot of unnecessary pollution.
Attenborough’s ‘Wild Isles’ apparently evokes a lot of conflicting emotions in the UK and the BBC. But I noticed He hadn’t visited the ‘outer Hebrides’. Pity! Even just talking about conservation and ecological balance is enough to get a brick through your ‘digital window’. Sad times.
“Nobody is looking at whether there is actually enough extractable uranium.” Also some of the uranium we do have, is geopolitically awkward:
“Russia, through its mammoth state-owned nuclear power company, Rosatom, dominates the global nuclear supply chain. It was Europe’s third-largest supplier of uranium in 2021, accounting for 20 percent of the total. With few ready alternatives, there has been scant support for sanctions against Rosatom — despite urging from the Ukrainian government in Kyiv.
“For countries with Russian-made reactors, reliance runs deep. In five European Union countries, every reactor — 18 in total — was built by Russia… The nuclear supply chain is exceptionally complex. Establishing a new one would be expensive and take years.”
Hello, A “near” record July 4th temperature today ten degrees F above normal expected today here in sunny South Florida…90F….all reported with a big smile on the TV weather presenter face…nothing to be concerned about..just the new normal…
Can Florida survive climate change? Here’s what the Aspen Ideas: Climate conference had to say
By Bill Kearney
South Florida Sun Sentinel
Mar 13, 2023 at 7:00 am
Some of the most pivotal climate-change questions — and potential solutions — focus on Florida.
The Sunshine State, with its low elevation and 825 miles of shoreline, make it one of the planet’s most vulnerable locations for both sea-level rise and intensified weather events.
So the state took center stage during the second annual Aspen Ideas: Climate conference, calling attention to some of the latest advancements: Wind and wave simulators that help make crucial findings about storms. Concrete hexagonal tubes that cities place off shore to help break up storm surge. A new housing development that withstands hurricanes — without losing power or internet.
The event, which ended Thursday, gathered 300 speakers to the Miami Beach Convention Center and the New World Center along with business leaders, conservationists and journalists.
Betcha there will be a host of techno “solutions” that will solve it for us all…sarcasm
Vince, you’ve really had a sizzling start to the year down there. 😬
These endless conventions are the stuff of satire when you weigh them against actual results. What are we on next? COP 28?! 😂
“These endless conventions are the stuff of satire when you weigh them against actual results. What are we on next? COP 28?! 😂”
I stopped laughing with the one in 2015? the Paris Agreement?
There was so much hoopla-rah-rah ever since, rising of XR, Just-Stop-Oil etc, and cries for our governments to “do something”, to “have a plan” for ’emission reductions’ to ‘limit warming to 1.5C’ and so on. A very simple ‘goal’. a very simple ‘target’ and ‘there’s still time’, proposed by the pretty blue & white UN flag, which we can all get behind as a united planet. Kumbaya indeed 🙂
Back to current economics, I saw a poster elsewhere comment that the Academy Award winner for 2023 – “Everything, Everywhere All At Once” — was ironically appropriate with “everything bubbles” starting to pop and sputter, starting with US Dot.Com 2.0. But in Oz and SE Asian markets, barely a noticeable wobble, not overly *exposed* . YET.
As for AUKUS, I’m having great difficulty trying to find a radio or TV channel not covering it, especially since I canned all my streaming subs months ago. Justin – I never knew Sunak was a shortcake? LOL Only ever saw him in headshots before 🙂 He is certainly one of your better-looking PMs in high-def close-up! Sooo much more pleasant than BJ, so often, I would call out loud – “get an effing comb, dude!”
As for Australian public reaction, we’ve known for many years since its always been a bipartisan idea. Originally the deal was going to be with the French, and Macron got all p’d off when a sudden about-turn struck. But over 30 years!?!, LOL – anything could happen in that time frame, but we do want at least one US Virginia-class sub by 2030.
Ordered 3 of them from the US – and that’s probably all we need to patrol our humungous coastline. Which is the reason we want nuclear-powered subs in the first place – they can stay down long enough to get from one port to the next, without having to keep surfacing like our ancient conventional subs.
Meanwhile, in the next 4 years, major (re)construction of shipyard and ports, huge boost and rampup to workforce for a little country, along with home-grown development of nuclear engineers, technicians etc and a boost into the technology of those little SMRs. Boost to industry, education and training and future “economic growth” Bwahahahahaha… where have I heard that before?
As for weather in southeast Oz, still boringly ‘normal’, just appearing a month later in the year than ‘normal’. Brief periods of high temps in 30s & 40C etc — is ‘average’ for February even in Sydney – but not March, hence March records broken, but not summer ones. The northern tropical monsoon flooding has been extreme this season, and again – later than it should be – but not that far out of normal ‘variation’. Same with a couple of bushfires, again – a month later in the year than normal, but similar to an average bushfire season. So far, so good.
Have probably jinxed it now. Tomorrow, next week, next month etc – will probably have me fearful, depressed and hardcore doomer again.
“I never knew Sunak was a shortcake?” 😂 He is indeed of short stature. I try to steer clear of politics but, as a human being, I find him a bit weaselly and superficial tbh.