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Europe Plans “Emergency Intervention” In Power Market As All Hell Breaks Loose

Europe Plans "Emergency Intervention" In Power Market As All Hell Breaks Loose

With even Zoltan Pozsar warning that Europe faces an apocalypse…

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Europe Plans "Emergency Intervention" In Power Market As All Hell Breaks Loose

With even Zoltan Pozsar warning that Europe faces an apocalypse of sorts now that the Eurussia divorce is complete and energy prices in Europe are hitting fresh daily record highs every single day - just today, German 1Year  forward baseload electricity rose above €1000, or 10x where they were a year ago, before easing after European nat gas prices plunged the most since March after Germany said its gas stores are filling up faster than planned ahead of winter...

... moments ago the European Union appears to have finally realized that it faces an armed revolt this winter, or worse, when millions face freezing cold without power and heat (see "This Is Beyond Imagination": Polish Homeowners Line Up For Days To Buy Coal Ahead Of Winter"), and announced that it was planning "urgent steps" to push down soaring power prices, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Monday.

"The skyrocketing electricity prices are now exposing, for different reasons, the limitations of our current electricity market design,” von der Leyen said in a speech at the Bled Strategic Summit in Slovenia, pointing out what has been obvious for years to those who warned repeatedly that Europe should probably not take make its energy policy based on the idiotic ravings of a self-absorbed, petulant, Scandinavian teenager. “It was developed under completely different circumstances and completely different purposes.”

Ah yes, it's the "circumstances and purposes" that are at fault, not Europe's catastrophic "green" push over the past decade that left the continent at the mercy of Putin, very much as one Donald J Trump warned would happen... and speaking of Putin, maybe Europe can impose a few more self-destructive sanctions on Russian energy exports. But we digress...

Ursula then added “that’s why we are now working on an emergency intervention and a structural reform of the electricity market", one which would look roughly like this.

The unprecedented spike in power prices, which have soared almost 10-fold in the past year, has fueled inflation, increased the economic burden on businesses and households recovering from the pandemic, and forced the ECB to aggressively hike rate in hopes of crushing demand into what is now a definite recession if not a depression. One could say that Putin couldn't have planned his revenge on Europe better.

According to Bloomberg, more and more member states are calling for a price cap and the Czech Republic, which holds the rotating presidency of the EU, plans to convene an extraordinary meeting of energy ministers on Sept. 9.

In other words, while the ECB plans to crush demand with tighter monetary conditions, European governments will ease demand and inject fiscal stimulus to avoid an angry mob descending on various local parliaments.

Of course, being a harebrained European "plan" which doesn't make any sense - just like anything else out of Europe  - the exact details of an EU intervention plan are still being developed, and EU diplomats said the EU’s executive arm could offer a detailed plan as soon as this week. Don't hold your breath: after all, absent a massive ECB-funded stimulus - the proceeds of which will immediately go to Putin - unless Europe has somehow found brand new deposits of nat gas which are immediately accessible and don't require tens of billions and years of development to be extracted, what Europe is doing is just the latest jawboning.

With Russia squeezing gas deliveries, power-plant outages further sapping supply, while droughts and lack of wind make a mockery of "green" energy sources, the pressure is growing on EU leaders to act quickly or risk social unrest and political upheaval. Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala is seeking backing for his price-cap plan and plans to discuss possible limits with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

“High energy prices are a Europe-wide problem that we need to tackle at European level,” Fiala said on his Twitter account. “Ahead of the EU Energy Council we want to find a way to help people and businesses that we can agree on with other European leaders.”

Czech officials are proposing to cap prices of natural gas used for power generation, Industry and Trade Minister Jozef Sikela said on Monday.

“We may open the question of emission allowances, as some other member states have done in past, that also present a major part of the total price,” Sikela said. “We may open the question of the overall market regulation, total decoupling of the prices,” adding that the bloc cannot meddle too much with the market or fuel speculation.

Amusingly, EU member states have already earmarked about 280 billion euros (or roughly the same in USD now that we are at parity) in measures such as tax cuts and subsidies to ease the pain of surging energy prices for businesses and consumers, but the aid risks being dwarfed by the scale of the crisis. In other words, the ECB will be hiking rates even as it has to inject even more liquidity into the market to enable the latest helicopter money stimulus. Governments have also started to limit energy use, banning outside lighting for buildings in Germany and lowering indoor heating temperatures, to meet the EU voluntary target of cutting gas demand by 15%.

On Saturday, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo warned that the EU can’t continue resolving the problem of sky-rocketing energy costs by cutting taxes and called for a price cap instead. Should the bloc fail to reach an agreement, Belgium will consider national measures, he told VTM television.

France last week reacted skeptically to the idea of setting limits on power prices, saying its situation is different from other European countries thanks to government measures offering protection against inflation.

In kneejerk response, some European commodity prices dipped from all time highs, while US nat gas dipped to session lows amid expectations Europe's "energy emergency" could mean fewer Us LNG exports. We doubt that, and in fact expect that Europe will double down begging for every last drop of US, Canadian, Qatari LNG it can find.

Tyler Durden Mon, 08/29/2022 - 09:13

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Spread & Containment

Decrease in Japanese children’s ability to balance during movement related to COVID-19 activity restrictions

A team of researchers from Nagoya University in central Japan investigated how restrictions on children’s activities during the COVID-19 pandemic affected…

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A team of researchers from Nagoya University in central Japan investigated how restrictions on children’s activities during the COVID-19 pandemic affected their life habits and their abilities to perform physical activities. By comparing medical examination data before and after the onset of the pandemic, they found that physical functions among adolescents deteriorated, including their dynamic balance. They also found that the children had higher body fat levels and worse life habits. Rather than a lack of exercise time, this may have been because of a lack of quality exercise due to activity restrictions.  

Credit: Credit must be given when image is used

A team of researchers from Nagoya University in central Japan investigated how restrictions on children’s activities during the COVID-19 pandemic affected their life habits and their abilities to perform physical activities. By comparing medical examination data before and after the onset of the pandemic, they found that physical functions among adolescents deteriorated, including their dynamic balance. They also found that the children had higher body fat levels and worse life habits. Rather than a lack of exercise time, this may have been because of a lack of quality exercise due to activity restrictions.  

During the COVID-19 pandemic, in Japan, as in other countries, schools and sports clubs tried to prevent the spread of infection by reducing physical education and restricting outdoor physical activities, club activities, and sports. However, children who are denied opportunities for physical activity with social elements may develop bad habits. During the pandemic, children, like adults, increased the time they spent looking at television, smartphone, and computer screens, exercised less, and slept less. Such changes in lifestyle can harm adolescent bodies, leading to weight gain and health problems. 

Visiting Researcher Tadashi Ito and Professor Hideshi Sugiura from the Department of Biological Functional Science at the Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, together with Dr. Yuji Ito from the Department of Pediatrics at Nagoya University Hospital, and  Dr. Nobuhiko Ochi and Dr. Koji Noritake from Aichi Prefectural Mikawa Aoitori Medical and Rehabilitation Center for Developmental Disabilities, conducted a study of Japanese children and students in elementary and junior high schools, aged 9-15, by analyzing data from physical examinations before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. They evaluated the children’s muscle strength, dynamic balance functions, walking speed, body fat percentage, screen time, sleep time, quality of life, and physical activity time.  

The researchers found that after the onset of the pandemic, children were more likely to have decreased balance ability when moving, larger body fat percentage, report spending more time looking at TV, computers or smartphones, and sleep less. Since there were no changes in the time spent on physical activity or the number of meals eaten, Sugiura and his colleagues suggest that the worsening of physical functions was related to the quality of exercise of the children. The researchers reported their findings in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.  

“Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in Japan after April 2020, children have not been able to engage in sufficient physical education, sports activities, and outdoor play at school. It became clear that balance ability during movement was easily affected, lifestyle habits were disrupted, and the percentage of body fat was likely to increase,” explained Ito. “This may have been because of shorter outdoor playtime and club activities, which impeded children’s ability to learn the motor skills necessary to balance during movement.” 

“Limitations on children’s opportunities for physical activity because of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus have had a significant impact on the development of physical function and lifestyle and may cause physical deterioration and health problems in the future,” warned Ito. “Especially, the risk of injury to children may increase because of a reduced dynamic balance function.” 

The results suggest that even after the novel coronavirus becomes endemic, it is important to consider the effects of social restrictions on the body composition of adolescents. Since physical activities with a social element may be important for health, authorities should prioritize preventing the reduction of children’s physical inactivity and actively encourage them to play outdoors and exercise. The group has some recommendations for families worried about the effects of school closings and other coronavirus measures on their children. “It is important for children to practice dynamic balance ability, maintaining balance to avoid falling over while performing movements,” Ito advised. “To improve balance function in children, it is important to incorporate enhanced content, such as short-term exercise programs specifically designed to improve balance functions.” 


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Government

Contradictions, Lies, And “I Don’t Recalls”: The Fauci Deposition

Contradictions, Lies, And "I Don’t Recalls": The Fauci Deposition

Authored by Techno Fog via The Reactionary,

Today, Missouri Attoney General…

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Contradictions, Lies, And "I Don't Recalls": The Fauci Deposition

Authored by Techno Fog via The Reactionary,

Today, Missouri Attoney General Eric Schmitt released the transcript of the testimony of Dr. Anthony Fauci. As you might recall, Fauci was deposed as part of an ongoing federal lawsuit challenging the Biden Administration’s violations of the First Amendment in targeting and suppressing the speech of Americans who challenged the government’s narrative on COVID-19.

Here is the Fauci deposition transcript.

And here are the highlights…

EcoHealth Alliance - the Peter Daszak group - is knee-deep in the Wuhan controversy, having been funded by the Fauci’s NIH for coronavirus and gain of function research in China (and having worked with the Chinese team in Wuhan). What does Fauci say about EcoHealth Alliance? Over two years after the COVID-19 pandemic began, and after millions dead worldwide, he’s “vaguely familiar” with their work.

In early 2020, Fauci was put on notice that his group - NIAID - had funded EcoHealth alliance on bat coronavirus research for the past five years.

This coincided with early reports - directly to Fauci, from Jeremy Ferrar and Christian Anderson - “of the possibility of there being a manipulation of the virus” based on the fact that “it was an unusual virus.”

Fauci conceded that he was specifically made aware by Anderson that “the unusual features of the virus” make it look “potentially engineered.”

Fauci couldn’t recall why he sent an article discussing gain of function research in China to his deputy, Hugh Auchincloss, telling him it was essential that they speak on the phone. He couldn’t recall speaking with Auchincloss via phone that day. But remarkably, Fauci did remember assigning research tasks to Auchincloss

Fauci was evasive on conversations with Francis Collins about whether NIAID may have funded coronavirus-related research in China, eventually stating “I don’t recall.”

The phrase “I don’t recall” was prominent in Fauci’s deposition. He said it a total of 174 times:

For example, Fauci couldn’t remember what anyone said on a call discussing whether the virus originated in a lab:

During that same call, Fauci couldn’t recall whether anyone expressed concern that the lab leak “might discredit scientific funding projects.” He also couldn’t recall whether there was a discussion about a lab leak distracting from the virus response. Fauci did remember, however, that they agreed there needed to be more time to investigate the virus origins - including the lab leak theory.

What else couldn’t Fauci remember? Whether, early into the pandemic, his confidants raised concerns about social media posts about the origins of COVID-19.

Yet Fauci did admit he was concerned about social media posts blaming China for the pandemic. He even admitted the accidental lab leak “certainly is a possibility,” contradicting his prior claims to National Geographic where he said the virus “could not have been artificially or deliberately manipulated.”

Fauci also couldn’t recall whether he had any conversations with Daszak about the origins of COVID-19 in February 2020, but admitted those conversations might have happened: “I told you before that I did not remember any direct conversations with him about the origin, and I said I very well might have had conversations but I don't specifically remember conversations.” And he couldn’t recall telling the media early on during the pandemic that the virus was consistent with a jump “from an animal to a human.”

Fauci said he was in the dark on social media actions to curb speech and suspend accounts that posted COVID-19 information that didn’t fit the mainstream narrative: “I’m not aware of suppression of speech on social media.” Yet it was Fauci’s proclamations of the truth, whether about the origins of COVID-19 to the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine, that led to social media companies banning discussions of contrary information.

Regarding those removals of content, Fauci had no personal knowledge of a US Government/Social Media effort to curb “misinformation.” But he conceded the possibility numerous times.

Then there’s the issue of masks. In February 2020, Fauci informed an acquaintance that was traveling: “I do not recommend that you wear a mask.” Fauci would later become a vocal proponent of masks only two months later.

I’m near my Substack length limit - posting the excerpts does that - but you can see from Fauci’s testimony that his public statements about COVID-19 origins and the necessity to wear a mask didn’t match his private conversations. This has been known for some time, but it’s finally nice to get him on record.

Again, read it all and subscribe here.

Tyler Durden Mon, 12/05/2022 - 21:40

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International

Global Wages Take A Hit As Inflation Eats Into Paychecks

Global Wages Take A Hit As Inflation Eats Into Paychecks

The global inflation crisis paired with lackluster economic growth and an outlook…

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Global Wages Take A Hit As Inflation Eats Into Paychecks

The global inflation crisis paired with lackluster economic growth and an outlook clouded by uncertainties have led to a decline in real wages around the world, a new report published by the International Labour Organization (ILO) has found.

As Statista's Felix Richter reports, according to the 2022-23 Global Wage Report, global real monthly wages fell 0.9 percent this year on average, marking the first decline in real earnings at a global scale in the 21st century.

You will find more infographics at Statista

The multiple global crises we are facing have led to a decline in real wages.

"It has placed tens of millions of workers in a dire situation as they face increasing uncertainties,” ILO Director-General Gilbert F. Houngbo said in a statement, adding that “income inequality and poverty will rise if the purchasing power of the lowest paid is not maintained.”

While inflation rose faster in high-income countries, leading to above-average real wage declines in North America (minus 3.2 percent) and the European Union (minus 2.4 percent), the ILO finds that low-income earners are disproportionately affected by rising inflation. As lower-wage earners spend a larger share of their disposable income on essential goods and services, which generally see greater price increases than non-essential items, those who can least afford it suffer the biggest cost-of-living impact of rising prices.

“We must place particular attention to workers at the middle and lower end of the pay scale,” Rosalia Vazquez-Alvarez, one of the report’s authors said.

“Fighting against the deterioration of real wages can help maintain economic growth, which in turn can help to recover the employment levels observed before the pandemic. This can be an effective way to lessen the probability or depth of recessions in all countries and regions,” she said.

Tyler Durden Mon, 12/05/2022 - 20:00

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