• Daily Digest

    Daily Digest 7/6 – Young Adults Returning Home Impacts Rental Market, The COVID-19 Economy Hurts Working Parents

    by Daily Digest

    Monday, July 6, 2020, 8:35 AM


June’s cautious economic recovery is based in part-time work and vulnerable industries (TourGuideDC)

According to the Labor Department’s survey of American households, many of those workers would work full-time if they could and are working part-time only because of poor economic conditions. The number of people pushed into part-time work has more than doubled since February. Meanwhile, the number of people who work part-time by choice is still down by 23 percent.

Michael Hudson: Fed’s $10 Trillion Defends Assets of the Rich (Don R.)

The Federal Reserve is directly buying stocks, bonds, junk bonds, mortgages, junk mortgages, all to prop up the value of assets owned by the top 5%. This does not spur much new production or create jobs.

Nomi Prins: Living in a Permanent Distortion (pinecarr)

Prins says gold prices are going to “follow the expansion of the Fed’s balance sheet.” It is that simple, and Prins predicts, “As we saw in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008, gold and silver will have the ability to go up quite substantially as the Fed’s book increases in size, which we know it is going to do. We have been told that multiple times by many different words by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.”

More Self-Employed Workers Are Filing For Unemployment Benefits In Maryland And Virginia (TourGuideDC)

Thousands of workers have complained for months that unemployment offices in D.C., Maryland and Virginia were woefully unprepared for the tidal wave of pandemic-related job losses that began in March. In Maryland, Democratic lawmakers are pressing Gov. Larry Hogan to send $1,200 checks to the thousands of workers who continue to await benefits while their claims are processed.

Ukraine central bank chief: I quit over smears and pressure to take bad decisions (Sparky1)

It was the first time Smoliy has spoken at length in public since his shock resignation on Wednesday evening, which rattled the market and raised concerns among Ukraine’s Western backers about the government’s commitment to reforms.

“My resignation – this is a protest, a signal, a red line,” Smoliy told lawmakers.

The big factor holding back the U.S. economic recovery: Child care (TourGuideDC)

While big companies might be able to provide white-collar workers with generous work-at-home flexibility, blue-collar and “essential” industries, from grocery store, fast-food and sanitation workers to nurses, often can’t. Low-income and working-class women — who have already been hardest hit by the crisis — as well as smaller businesses are disproportionately impacted by the child-care crunch. Some who would turn to grandparents for extra help now see that option as less safe and other possibilities can be unaffordable.

In the Covid-19 Economy, You Can Have a Kid or a Job. You Can’t Have Both. (jdargis)

“You shouldn’t have had kids if you can’t take care of them,” is comically troll-like, but has come up so often, one might wonder if you’re supposed to educate your children at night. Or perhaps you should have been paying for some all-age day care backup that sat empty while kids were at school in case the school you were paying taxes to keep open and that requires, by law, that your child attend abruptly closed for the year.

Young adults returning home is impacting the rental market (Sparky1)

Millions of young adults moved back in with their parents in March and April, as layoffs hit their incomes and lockdowns made shared urban apartments feel crunched. CNN’s Clare Sebastian reports on how that shift could have a long term impact on the real estate industry.

The New Boomerang Kids Could Change American Views of Living at Home (Sparky1)

The number of American adults who have returned to living at home is enormous. A recent analysis of government data by the real-estate website Zillow indicated that about 2.9 million adults moved in with a parent or grandparent in March, April, and May, if college students were included; most of them were 25 or younger. Their sudden dispersal into their parents’ homes is, for some, the result of the suspension of spring classes on college campuses and, for others, the result of miserable economic conditions. A survey from the Pew Research Center in March found that the younger an American adult is, the more likely that the pandemic has deprived them or someone in their household of work or earnings. Rent and other expenses got harder to cover, or simply to justify, for a large group of young people, so they moved home.

World’s Largest Pension Fund Loses $165 Billion in Worst Quarter (Sparky1)

Naoki Fujiwara, the chief fund manager at Shinkin Asset Management Co., said the losses were expected. Equities have rebounded since March, so the pension fund should be recouping losses for the April-June period, Fujiwara said.“The current portfolio is exposed to equity volatility,” he said. “We’re in a low-yield environment right now, and will likely be for the next two years, so maybe it’s alright for now, but in the long run, the pension fund should correct the allocation of equities.”

The Airline Industry Blocked Disclosure Of Trade Data, Helping Conceal The Airlift Of N95 Masks From The U.S. To China (Sparky1)

The full scale and scope of what happened — including the types of masks shipped, prices, and the destinations for the shipments — are still shrouded in mystery. That’s because detailed disclosures of the airlifts are hidden from public view by the federal government. U.S. Customs and Border Protection only allows public disclosure of detailed cargo data for shipments sent and received by sea, not by air. And almost every crate of face masks destined for foreign markets went by air freight, concealing the full picture of the flow of masks from public view.

Coronavirus will undermine trust in government, ‘scarring body and mind’ for decades, research finds (TourGuideDC)

They concluded that the bulk of the economic damage will not come from short-term impacts, such as job losses and business closures, but rather from long-term effects. If the pandemic costs the U.S. economy between 6 and 9 percent of gross domestic product in 2020, for instance, the authors expect the long-term losses from behavioral changes, such as reduced business investment and lower consumer spending, to be between five and six times as large.

The Looming Bank Collapse (Sparky1)

The reforms were well intentioned, but, as we’ll see, they haven’t kept the banks from falling back into old, bad habits. After the housing crisis, subprime CDOs naturally fell out of favor. Demand shifted to a similar—and similarly risky—instrument, one that even has a similar name: the CLO, or collateralized loan obligation. A CLO walks and talks like a CDO, but in place of loans made to home buyers are loans made to businesses—specifically, troubled businesses. CLOs bundle together so-called leveraged loans, the subprime mortgages of the corporate world. These are loans made to companies that have maxed out their borrowing and can no longer sell bonds directly to investors or qualify for a traditional bank loan. There are more than $1 trillion worth of leveraged loans currently outstanding. The majority are held in CLOs.

US Navy to send two aircraft carriers and several warships to South China Sea (Sparky1)

“America agrees with our Southeast Asian friends: The PRC’s (People’s Republic of China) military exercise in disputed waters of the South China Sea is highly provocative. We oppose Beijing’s unlawful claims. Period,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted on Friday.

The Pentagon said in a statement Thursday that China’s “military exercises are the latest in a long string of PRC actions to assert unlawful maritime claims and disadvantage its Southeast Asian neighbors in the South China Sea.”

‘Falling off a cliff’: Lebanon’s poor borrow to buy bread (Sparky1)

In the capital Beirut, a 61-year-old man shot himself in the head on the busy Hamra street on Friday. Reuters could not establish his motives, but local media attributed the suicide to hunger.

Struggling to walk because of diabetes, Dahn already faced a difficult life before the crisis which has sunk the Lebanese pound by 80% since October, driving up prices in the import-dependent economy.

‘Beyond worst nightmares’: Argentina’s child poverty rate soars amid pandemic (Sparky1)

Roberto Valent, U.N. coordinator in Argentina, said the pandemic was leading to a spike in poverty and predicted that 58.6% of children and adolescents would be in poverty by year’s end. That is up from 53% in late 2019.

“We already have a level of growth in poverty that goes far beyond what Argentina could have foreseen even in its worst nightmares,” said Valent. Up to 850,000 jobs could be lost this year due to the coronavirus, he estimated.

‘We’re not going anywhere’: Seattle’s Chop zone dismantled but cause lives on (TourGuideDC)

The autonomous zone emerged organically following a series of dangerous clashes between protesters and law enforcement during marches against police brutality sparked by the killing of George Floyd, and African American, by a white police officer, in Minneapolis in May.

Officers in Seattle abandoned their east precinct building as demonstrations closed in, after which protesters camped out around it, with the intention of protecting the building from possible destruction that might be blamed on them.

`You broke my wrist!′ Police sued for taking down wrong man (Sparky1)

“When you see that video, you can’t help but say this is a travesty,” said Nathaniel Haugabrook, one of Smith’s attorneys. “Nobody should be done that way.”

The federal lawsuit comes during a national outcry over police brutality against people of color, sparked by the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Haugabrook said police stopped Smith for questioning after a drug store employee reported him for panhandling outside.

Judge blocks Portland police from using physical force against journalists (Sparky1)

Ms McLam was covering the protest along with fellow journalists Cory Elia and Justin Yau, both of whom were also arrested. In the court’s decision, it is recorded that another journalist saw the three being arrested after the police were informed of their trade – and that Ms McLam’s press badge was removed during her arrest.

Portland is now entering its sixth week of protests, with people attending every day and night to demand the city’s police force reform itself.

Portland Police Retreat Into Precinct Building as Riot Declared (Sparky1)

Police said fireworks were also launched towards officers, and that a fire broke out inside the courthouse after its doors were broken.

“Because of the violent nature of the demonstrators while officers cleared the area, crowd control munitions were used and several arrests were made,” police said.

Texas Republicans to host in-person convention despite coronavirus surge (Sparky1)

“Texas maintained our in-person convention process through World War Two, we met together after our 9/11 terrorist attacks despite the danger in the air,” said executive committee member David Covey.

Another committee member, Dr Robin Armstrong, who spoke from a Houston hospital where he was treating COVID-19 patients, said he supported an in-person convention because of the opportunity to pull it off safely.

DNA Inherited From Neanderthals May Increase Risk of Covid-19 (Roger B.)

It’s not clear what evolutionary pattern produced this distribution over the past 60,000 years. “That’s the $10,000 question,” said Hugo Zeberg, a geneticist at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden who was one of the authors of the new study.

One possibility is that the Neanderthal version is harmful and has been getting rarer over all. It’s also possible that the segment improved people’s health in South Asia, perhaps providing a strong immune response to viruses in the region.

A Norwegian-British research paper doesn’t claim the virus causing Covid-19 was man-made (Charlie M.)

Ms Pearson claims that two of the paper’s authors, Birger Sørensen and Angus Dalgleish say that the genetic sequence of the virus means it “was engineered in a laboratory.” Sir Richard then suggests that these claims were included in the paper discussed, which has been “peer-reviewed and printed in a journal which is most prestigious.”

These claims were, reportedly, in an earlier draft of the paper, and Dr Sørensen has since repeated them to Norwegian press.

Germany is first major economy to phase out coal and nuclear (Sparky1)

Greenpeace and other environmental groups have staged vocal protests against the plan, including by dropping a banner down the front of the Reichstag building Friday. They argue that the government’s road map won’t reduce Germany’s greenhouse gas emissions fast enough to meet the targets set out in the Paris climate accord.

Sensors detect rise in nuclear particles on Baltic Sea, global body says (000)

Zerbo’s post included a borderless map showing where the particles might have come from in the 72 hours before they were detected – a large area (here) covering the tips of Denmark and Norway as well as southern Sweden, much of Finland, Baltic countries and part of western Russia including St Petersburg.

“These are certainly nuclear fission products, most likely from a civil source,” a spokeswoman for the Vienna-based CTBTO said, referring to the atomic chain reaction that generates heat in a nuclear reactor.

CHART OF THE WEEK: The Collapse Of The U.S. Oil Drilling Rig Count Spells Big Trouble Ahead (Roger B.)

Again, with the U.S. oil drilling rig count down 73% in just the past four months, watch for a significant decline in shale oil production over the next few months. Even if the shale oil industry starts to add more drilling rigs, the damage is already done.

Groundwater Watch: Below Normal Groundwater Levels Network (000)

A well with below normal groundwater levels is identified on these pages when the most recent water-level measurement is in the 24th percentile or lower in the month of measurement over the period of record for the well. To be included on this map in red or orange, the well must be in an active measurement program (the well appears on the Active Groundwater Level Network) and the well must have 10 or more years of record in the month of the most recent measurement. These web pages present all active wells, regardless of measurement frequency, aquifer monitored, or the monitoring objective.

Blistering heat wave to ramp up in southwestern, central U.S. (Sparky1)

Meteorologists warn that ongoing heat and drought in portions of the Southwest and Plains states are likely to get worse, while intermittent heat and rounds of thunderstorms are forecast for portions of the Midwest and Northeast for the middle of July.

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