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    Daily Digest 1/26 – Powell, With Year to Run at Fed, Aims to Avoid Past QE Mistake, Unemployed Supertankers Are About to Get Junked on Asia’s Beaches

    by Daily Digest

    Tuesday, January 26, 2021, 8:24 PM


Unemployed Supertankers Are About to Get Junked on Asia’s Beaches

Covid-19 is destroying the market for supertankers that deliver about a fifth of the world’s crude oil. The result is likely to be booming trade on the beaches of Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, where obsolete ships go to get blow-torched and sold for scrap.

Last week, the 1,200-foot vessels plying the industry’s busiest trade route — from the Middle East to Asia — effectively had to subsidize the delivery of cargoes because of how large the surplus of ships has grown.

New COVID-19 therapy could be ’30 times more potent than Remdesivir’

A UCSF-led science team may have found another breakthrough drug treatment to fight COVID-19, as first reported by the San Francisco Chronicle. Studies have shown that small concentrations of Aplidin, a drug created using an extraction from a marine creature called Aplidium albicans, killed the virus in both infected human lung cells and analogous cells from monkeys.

The study, which has been published in the journal Science, shows that the “sea squirt” found off the coast of Ibiza could be “almost 30 times more potent than Remdesivir,” the Chronicle reported. While not yet approved to treat patients with COVID-19, if proven effective this treatment would be a welcome addition to the still small amount of antiviral drugs available to treat the disease.

Health Workers Still Face Shortages Of Critical Medical Supplies

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, personal protective equipment, or PPE, has been in short supply. Exam gloves currently top the ever-changing list. What’s holding up the supply?

Over 8M Americans have fallen into poverty as COVID-19 relief benefits expired

More than 8 million Americans fell into poverty over the past six months as social safety measures put into place at the start of the coronavirus pandemic expired, according to a new study published this week.

The report, released by economists at the University of Chicago and University of Notre Dame, found that the nation’s poverty rate increased by 2.4 percentage points between June and December, surging from 9.3% to 11.8%. An additional 8.1 million people are now considered poor.

Biden commerce pick promises ‘aggressive’ stance against China when asked about aluminum, steel tariffs

President Biden‘s Commerce Secretary nominee, Gina Raimondo, vowed to take a tough stance to protect American interests, including taking “aggressive” measures to combat Chinese practices that she believes hurt American workers.

At her confirmation hearing before the Senate Commerce Committee on Tuesday, Raimondo was quick to discuss her approach to China, addressing the issue in her opening remarks.

Powell, With Year to Run at Fed, Aims to Avoid Past QE Mistake

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell heads into what could be his last year atop the central bank determined not to repeat the mistake he made when he was a neophyte monetary policy maker seven years ago.

Then a Fed governor, Powell was among those leading the charge to scale back the central bank’s quantitative-easing program — a stance that led to the economically debilitating and market-wrenching taper tantrum of 2013.

Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s chief executive, publicly wrestled this month with the question of whether his social media service had exercised too much power by cutting off Donald J. Trump’s account. Mr. Dorsey wondered aloud if the solution to that power imbalance was new technology inspired by the cryptocurrency Bitcoin.

When YouTube and Facebook barred tens of thousands of Mr. Trump’s supporters and white supremacists this month, many flocked to alternative apps such as LBRY, Minds and Sessions. What those sites had in common was that they were also inspired by the design of Bitcoin.

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  • Wed, Jan 27, 2021 - 9:17am



    Status: Platinum Member

    Joined: Apr 27 2010

    Posts: 2319


    Bad sign: “normal people” stealing food at higher and higher rates

    I have often said, “You’ll know we're heading into serious social decay and crime when ‘normal people’ who usually would never commit a crime start doing so.” The crime could be retail theft of food committed out of poverty and desperation; or it could be an assault committed when seething anger over social injustices explodes at an unfortunate and innocent victim; or it could be an armed home invasion in a wealthy community committed by 5 armed men who have military or police experience but who have been unemployed for a year. Even in normal times, there is a criminal, antisocial underclass of 2% - 10% of the population who commit 40-60% of the crime as a lifestyle choice. But now I think we are falling down into the next stage of social dissolution in which some previously law-abiding people start committing crime too. Not only that, but the statistics cited in the article below are significantly understating the new retail theft trend because 1) some big city District Attorneys are “rewriting” state laws and simply not prosecuting long lists of misdemeanors, 2) some corporations (eg. Target) and stand-alone retail outlets are not calling police on some thieves either out of compassion for their poverty or because they’ve been convinced by activists that calling the police on thieves who are Persons of Color is immoral, and 3) so many more people are stealing than just 12 months ago they are overwhelming the ability of “loss prevention” personnel to catch them and call police to have them arrested.

    Buckle up. Tougher times are just ahead.



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  • Wed, Jan 27, 2021 - 3:52pm



    Status: Bronze Member

    Joined: Sep 02 2020

    Posts: 109


    Ships being scrapped mean they don't foresee an economic recovery

    If ships, and not only supertankers, but container ships are being scrapped, that means that they just don't foresee any economic recovery in the near or intermediate future.

    As simple as that.

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  • Wed, Jan 27, 2021 - 4:59pm



    Status: Bronze Member

    Joined: Dec 10 2013

    Posts: 329


    Somebody’s Going to Get Hurt?!


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  • Wed, Jan 27, 2021 - 8:09pm

    Mohammed Mast

    Mohammed Mast

    Status: Platinum Member

    Joined: May 17 2017

    Posts: 1392


    Baltic Dry Index

    The BDI is dropping over the last month but it has been much lower. Shipping dropping does not portend good things for the global economy.


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  • Thu, Jan 28, 2021 - 6:42am



    Status: Silver Member

    Joined: Mar 19 2011

    Posts: 238


    Peace for our Time

    Governor Andrew Cuomo lifted restrictions in most hot spots across New York state, declaring an end to the post-holiday surge in Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations.


    So mote it be.

    Reminded me a little of this quote:

    I believe it is peace for our time.  Now I recommend you to go home and sleep quietly in your beds. - British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain

    (Or, one of several Leslie Nielsen movie lines).

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  • Thu, Jan 28, 2021 - 9:52am



    Status: Platinum Member

    Joined: Apr 27 2010

    Posts: 2319


    “Follow the science!” (And we’ll tell you which science to follow and not follow.)


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  • Thu, Jan 28, 2021 - 10:28am



    Status: Platinum Member

    Joined: Apr 27 2010

    Posts: 2319


    “Bomb trains” on the move


    As promised, Joe Biden has issued an executive order revoking the March 2019 permit for construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. That project, for the time being anyway, is dead. Joe has fulfilled his pledge to those who think we can run our economy without fossil fuels. Workers are already being fired, and energy costs will inevitably begin to rise.

    Let’s look at another less discussed implication of this disastrous decision, however. Let’s look at how many people Joe just condemned to death.

    The AOC’s of the world assume that cancelling the permit to allow the construction of the pipeline means that the oil it would carry will no longer be produced and no longer reach market. That is not at all what it means. The oil will still find its way to refineries, but now instead of being pumped safely and securely in a pipeline, it will be carried by other means.

    That means mostly by train, and trains derail. When they derail, especially if they are carrying the particularly volatile Bakken Crude Oil, the consequences can be deadly.

    On July 6, 2013 a 73-car freight train carrying Bakken Crude derailed in the remote Canadian town of Lac-Megantic. Multiple tank cars caught fire and exploded in the center of the small community. Forty-two people were killed. More than thirty buildings were destroyed. All but three of the thirty-nine surviving buildings had to be demolished. The blast radius from the explosions was one kilometer.

    If there is an upside to that terrible story, it is that the derailment happened in a small town with a limited population. The trains that carry Bakken Crude don’t just run through rural areas, however. They go through the heart of our biggest cities. And, many of them are much, much bigger than the 73-car train that blew up in Lac-Megantic....

    I’m glad to be out of Center City Philadelphia. Bakken oil trains travelled every day on tracks 150 feet behind our house on their way to the refinery in South Philly.

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