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Futures Fall, Yields Rise Ahead Of Econ Data Onslaught

Futures Fall, Yields Rise Ahead Of Econ Data Onslaught

Extremely illiquid US equity futures (top of book depth is between $1-2MM) dropped…



Futures Fall, Yields Rise Ahead Of Econ Data Onslaught

Extremely illiquid US equity futures (top of book depth is between $1-2MM) dropped after trading flat for much of the overnight session, ahead of a packed data slate today including retail sales, industrial production and capacity utilisation for August, the Empire State manufacturing survey and the Philadelphia Fed business outlook for September, and the weekly initial jobless claims, as Treasury and Bund yield rose after Russian energy supplier Gazprom warned that nearly full EU gas inventories can’t guarantee a safe winter with money markets raise tightening wagers, pricing as much as 193bps of ECB hikes by July versus 186bps on Wednesday (and as much as 210bps of Fed hikes by March). As of 7:15am ET, S&P 500 futures slipped 0.1% after a tumultuous few days of trading following the consumer price index reading; Nasdaq 100 futures fell 0.4%. Both underlying indexes had slumped on Tuesday after the report, nearly erasing a four-day rally, before slightly rebounding on Wednesday. European stocks were flat, while the MSCI Asia Pacific Index reversed earlier gains to trade down. The dollar resumed its rise while the yuan dropped below the critically important 7.00 level against the greenback. Ethereum completed the merge and traded around $1600 without any big moves in either direction.

In US premarket trading, Netflix advanced 2.2% after Evercore ISI raised the stock to outperform from in-line, saying that Netflix’s launch of an ad-supported plan is one of the biggest catalysts in the internet sector over the next 12 months. Meanwhile, railway operators Union Pacific Corp and CSX Corp gained after the US government said railroad companies and unions representing more than 100,000 workers reached a tentative agreement in a breakthrough that looks to avert a labor disruption that risked adding supply-chain strains to the world’s largest economy. Here are some other notable premarket movers

  • Danaher (DHR US) shares rise 4.2% in premarket trading after the company says it will spin off environmental and applied solutions unit. Analysts responded positively to the news, saying a more streamlined Danaher has potential to unlock value.
  • Union Pacific (UNP US) shares rise 4.7% in premarket trading as US railroad companies and unions representing more than 100,000 workers reached a tentative agreement, the government said, a breakthrough that looks to avert a labor disruption.
  • Yum China Holdings (YUMC US) shares advance 3.2% in US premarket trading after the Chinese megacity of Chengdu said it had controlled the spread of Covid-19 and would start easing the lockdown.
  • Devon Energy (DVN US) declines 1% in premarket trading as the stock was cut to neutral at JPMorgan in note titled ‘E&P Fall Playbook,’ while EOG Resources (EOG US), Permian Resources (PR US) and Vermilion Energy (VET CN) shares were upgraded.
  • Watch US cryptocurrency-exposed stocks as digital tokens traded in tight ranges Thursday while Ethereum completed the crypto world’s biggest and most ambitious software upgrade to date. Keep an eye on shares including Coinbase (COIN US), Marathon Digital (MARA US), Riot Blockchain (RIOT US), Ebang (EBON US).
  • Watch department store shares as Jefferies says there are still selective opportunities within the sector, upgrading Nordstrom (JWN US) to buy and downgrading Kohl’s (KSS US) to hold.
  • Keep an eye on hotel operators as Berenberg upgraded Marriott (MAR US), Hyatt (H US) and Hilton Worldwide (HLT US) shares to buy, saying the accelerating recovery in lodging performance hasn’t yet been reflected in share prices of these companies.
  • Watch Phillips 66 (PSX US) stock as it was cut to peer perform at Wolfe, which said that competitors are better positioned to deliver catalysts for shareholder returns.

Traders have been extremely focused on US economic data, with a decline in producer prices providing some relief after Tuesday’s consumer inflation jolt saw wagers for rate increases ratchet higher and stocks slump the most in two years. Investors are now bracing for the Fed’s meeting next week, with some concerned that the central bank can hike rates by as much as 100 basis points. Meanwhile, all eyes will be on fresh jobs, manufacturing and retail numbers later Thursday for further clues on the path of monetary policy.

“It still seems unlikely the Fed will go by more than 75 basis points at this point despite the collective freakout of the past couple of days,” said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK. Retail sales figures “could reinforce this hawkish narrative if we get another strong number.”

Swaps traders are pricing in a 75 basis point hike when the Fed meets next week, with odd for a full-point move dropping to 20% from almost 50% two days ago, after JPM said that it is unlikely that the Fed will rise a full percent. The continued rise in rate-sensitive Treasuries deepened the curve inversion to a level unseen this century.

Meanwhile, Bridgewater's Ray Dalio came out with a gloomy prediction for stocks and the economy. A mere increase in rates to about 4.5% would lead to a nearly 20% plunge in equity prices, he wrote in a LinkedIn article dated Tuesday, which is odd since the market is already pricing in rates rising to well over 4%. But then again "cash is trash" or something...

“Markets seem torn between a bearish sentiment on one hand, supported by lingering macro threats in a tighter liquidity environment, and dip buyers on the other who continue to bet on the inflation peak,” said Pierre Veyret, an analyst at ActivTrades. “Most benchmarks aren’t registering strong and significant bullish corrections following Tuesday’s sell-off, but continue to trade sideways in a volatile manner, which highlights the ‘wait and see’ situation ahead of today’s new batch of US data, tomorrow’s EU CPI report and next week’s Fed decision on rates.”

In Europe, the Stoxx 50 index rose 0.2%. FTSE 100 outperforms peers, adding 0.5%, CAC 40 underperforms. Banks, miners and health care are the strongest-performing sectors. European banks rose to a three-month high on Thursday, with Spanish banks among the best performers after a local website said the government is open to modifying the tax it plans to impose on windfall profits. Also boosting sentiment on the sector, Morgan Stanley upgraded its view on European banks to attractive

Earlier in the session, Asian stocks extended their recent weakness as investors remained cautious over tighter Federal Reserve policy, with losses in China weighing on the regional benchmark. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index erased earlier gains to fall as much as 0.4%, on track to fall for a third day. Financials and energy shares advanced the most, while technology stocks were the biggest drag.  Chinese stocks led declines in the region as a meeting between President Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin nears, an event that traders say raises geopolitical risks. Meanwhile, the People’s Bank of China’s kept its key rate unchanged while draining liquidity from the banking system. An easing of lockdown in the Chinese megacity of Chengdu was insufficient to provide reassurance. Asian markets were jittery ahead of the Fed’s policy decision next week, though a month-on-month decline in US producer prices offered some relief. Traders are expecting an outsized interest rate increase by the Fed to curb persistent inflation.

“Overall risk sentiments will continue to carry a cautious tone,” Jun Rong Yeap, a market strategist at IG Asia Pte, wrote in a note. “The absence of any clear resolution in China’s Covid-19 policy and uncertainty on further moderation in economic conditions ahead remain a weighing block for risk sentiments.”  Markets in Japan, Australia and Hong Kong were among those in the green.

Japanese equities edged higher as investors assess the Fed’s hawkish stance and await further data that would provide clearer signals on the direction of the global economy.  The Topix Index rose 0.2% to close at 1,950.43, while the Nikkei advanced 0.2% to 27,875.91. Sony Group Corp. contributed the most to the Topix Index gain, increasing 0.9%. Out of 2,169 stocks in the index, 1,100 rose and 926 fell, while 143 were unchanged. “US stocks have calmed down and there is a sense of relief buying,” said Masayuki Otani, a chief market strategist at Securities Japan. “But there is still a wait-and-see mood ahead of next week’s FOMC meeting and US retail sales to be announced tonight, Japan time.”

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.2% to close at 6,842.90, boosted by gains in energy shares and banks.  Australian unemployment unexpectedly rose in August, the first increase in 10 months, a result that supports the Reserve Bank’s signal of a potential shift to smaller interest-rate increases. In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index was little changed at 11,658.94. Shares of Wellington-listed Pushpay fell 11%, after a report that a pending buyout of the digital payments firm may be nearing collapse.

In Fx, the Bloomberg dollar spot index is flat. NOK and JPY are the weakest performers in G-10 FX, as CHF and EUR outperform. Asian currencies remained at risk from a strong greenback. The offshore yuan weakened above 7 per dollar for the first time since July 2020. The yen declined to trade around 143.6 per dollar after it rallied away from just under the closely-watched 145 level Wednesday on signs the Bank of Japan was preparing an intervention. Ominously, despite the plunge in the yen, Japan’s trade hit a record deficit in August.

  • The euro traded little changed, slightly below parity against the dollar.
  • The pound led G-10 losses, with focus turning to next week’s Bank of England decision. Demand for one- week sterling-dollar downside protection covering the BOE meeting is around the least since before the Feb. decision, perhaps reflecting the drop in spot. Cable one-week implied volatility touches 14.5%, a level unseen since Sept. 9, when the meeting was delayed
  • The yen fell as wariness over potential FX intervention from Japan receded, undermined by Japan’s trade deficits and expectations the US Fed will retain its hawkish stance. The government bond yield curve steepened after a weak 20-year auction
  • Japan’s unadjusted trade deficit expanded to 2.82 trillion yen ($19.7 billion) last month, the finance ministry reported Thursday. The gap was far larger than economists’ estimates and extends the sequence of red ink to 13 months, the longest stretch since 2015
  • Australia’s sovereign bonds extended opening declines after a government report showed employers added workers last month, even as the jobless rate rose. The Aussie traded in a tight range

In rates, Treasury futures traded near session lows after grinding lower during Asia session and European morning, leaving yields cheaper by about 5bp across long-end of the curve. US 10-year yields trade around 3.45%, cheaper by nearly 5bp vs Wednesday’s close; front-end outperforms slightly; 2-year German yields cheaper by 8bp on the day following hawkish remarks by ECB policy makers Holzmann and Kazaks late Wednesday. US session features packed economic data slate headed by retail sales. Corporate bond sales may go forward after some issuers stood down over past two days.

European bonds slipped: Bunds, Italian bonds fell as money markets wagered on a faster ECB tightening pace following hawkish remarks from policy makers Holzmann and Kazaks late Wednesday. Bund yields rise between 4-2bps across the curve. Gilts outperform bunds and USTs. Treasury 10-year yield up 3.8bps to 3.44%.

In commodities, oil fluctuated as traders grappled with concerns about global demand and assessed comments from the US on refilling strategic reserves. WTI trades within Wednesday’s range, falling 0.2% to near $88.33. Natural gas increased as traders assessed Europe’s steps to contain the energy crisis, with governments making plans to shut down power in some places to avoid a total collapse of the system this winter. Spot gold falls roughly $10 to trade near $1,687/oz. Spot silver loses 1.1% to around $19.

Bitcoin meanders around USD 20k and Ethereum fell under USD 1.6k after completing the Ethereum Merge.

To the day ahead now, and data releases from the US include retail sales, industrial production and capacity utilisation for August, the Empire State manufacturing survey and the Philadelphia Fed business outlook for September, and the weekly initial jobless claims. From central banks, we’ll hear from ECB Vice President de Guindos and the ECB’s Centeno. Lastly, earnings releases include Adobe.

Market Snapshot

  • S&P 500 futures little changed at 3,949.25
  • STOXX Europe 600 up 0.2% to 418.54
  • MXAP down 0.3% to 152.10
  • MXAPJ down 0.2% to 499.22
  • Nikkei up 0.2% to 27,875.91
  • Topix up 0.2% to 1,950.43
  • Hang Seng Index up 0.4% to 18,930.38
  • Shanghai Composite down 1.2% to 3,199.92
  • Sensex down 0.5% to 60,020.39
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.2% to 6,842.89
  • Kospi down 0.4% to 2,401.83
  • German 10Y yield little changed at 1.75%
  • Euro little changed at $0.9980
  • Gold spot down 0.5% to $1,688.07
  • U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 109.73

Top Overnight News from Bloomberg

  • Shortly before invading Ukraine in February, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping declared a “no limits” friendship. Yet even as Russian forces suffer humiliating losses on the battlefield, Putin shouldn’t expect much help from Xi at their first meeting since the invasion
  • China is considering allowing its oil refiners to export more fuel in an attempt to revive its economy, in what would be a reversal from a focus on minimizing emissions
  • Investors in high-risk emerging-market debt are finally seeing positive returns as fears of an economic meltdown ease. In a reversal of fortunes from the first half of the year, junk- rated emerging corporate and sovereign bonds in dollars have returned 7.2% in the past two months, according to Bloomberg indices. That follows a brutal 18% slide until June, marking the worst year since the 2008 credit crisis
  • Germany will likely face “waves” of gas shortages this winter, Klaus Mueller, president of the country’s energy regulator, told Handelsblatt in an interview published on Thursday
  • Swedish long-term inflation expectations staying put in July offered a rare piece of good news for the country’s central bank, which looks set to step up interest-rate hikes after a string of higher-than-expected inflation outcomes
  • Swedish right-wing opposition parties are intensifying negotiations on forming a new government, after Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson announced her resignation on Wednesday

A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk

Asia stocks mostly traded with mild gains after the slight reprieve on Wall Street where inline PPI data provided some solace from inflationary woes, although mixed data and hawkish central bank expectations scuppered a broad recovery. ASX 200 was led higher by outperformance in energy and financials but with upside capped after the miss on jobs data. Nikkei 225 eked mild gains as expectations of looming stimulus and looser border controls offset the mixed trade data. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp were mixed despite the latest policy support pledges by China including an extension of tax reliefs for small firms and a CNY 200bln relending facility by the PBoC, while the easing of lockdown restrictions in some cities also failed to spur risk appetite as participants digest the PBoC MLF announcement in which it partially rolled over maturing loans and maintained the rate at 2.75%, as expected.

Top Asian News

  • PBoC injected CNY 400bln vs CNY 600bln maturing via 1-year MLF with the rate kept at 2.75%.
  • PBoC set USD/CNY mid-point at 6.9101 vs exp. 6.9153 (prev. 6.9116).
  • Singapore to Create Up to 20,000 Finance Jobs in Five Years
  • Iron Ore Steadies as Easing of Chengdu Curbs Spurs Optimism
  • China Holds Key Rate, Withdraws Liquidity Amid Yuan Defense
  • Aluminum Leads Metals Up With China Energy Woes Hitting Supplies
  • Korea’s Housing Market Falls Most Since Global Financial Crisis
  • South Korea FX authorities were reportedly seen selling USD to curb the KRW's fall, according to multiple dealers cited by Reuters.
  • China Securities Journal said the domestic economy is poised for a rebound in Q3.
  • Japan will drop a ban on individual tourist visits and remove a cap on daily arrivals with PM Kishida expected to announce changes in the coming days, according to Nikkei.

European bourses modestly extended on the gains seen at the open despite a lack of fresh fundamental catalysts, but ahead of Q3 quad-witching tomorrow. European sectors are mostly firmer but with no defensive/cyclical bias. Stateside, US equity futures trade sideways with a mild upside bias and a relatively broad-based performance seen across the major contracts.

Top European News

  • Europe Gas Surges as Traders Weigh Efficacy of EU’s Intervention
  • Stellantis May Make Own Energy as Europe Braces for ‘Chaos’
  • Eni CEO Says Italy Can Make It Through Winter Without Russia Gas
  • Ericsson Drops on Credit Suisse Double Downgrade; Nokia Raised
  • Iron Ore Steadies as Easing of Chengdu Curbs Spurs Optimism


  • DXY has been waning off its 109.92 best towards 109.50, but the Buck extended gains against some EM currencies.
  • Divergence is seen between the traditional havens, with CHF gaining and JPY among the laggards.
  • The rest of the G10s are trading relatively flat against the USD.

Fixed Income

  • Choppy and erratic price action is seen in the complex.
  • The short end of the UK rate curve stages a more emphatic and impressive recovery to the extent that the ripples are reaching Gilts
  • Bunds sit midway between 143.63-142.83 parameters, OATs and Bonos have recouped some pre-French and Spanish auction downside
  • T-note is lagging within a 114-20+/115-01 range ahead of a very busy US agenda.


  • WTI and Brent are choppy after settling higher yesterday,
  • Spot gold meanders just above its YTD low (USD 1,680.25/oz) and the 2021 trough at 1,676.10.
  • Base metals are flat/mixed in directionless trade, with 3M LME Copper in a tight range under USD 8,000/t.
  • Russia's Gazprom says demand rises for long-term Russian gas export contracts including from Europe, via Al Jazeera

US Event Calendar

  • 08:30: Sept. Initial Jobless Claims, est. 227,000, prior 222,000
    • Continuing Claims, est. 1.48m, prior 1.47m
  • 08:30: Aug. Import Price Index MoM, est. -1.3%, prior -1.4%; YoY, est. 7.7%, prior 8.8%
    • Export Price Index MoM, est. -1.1%, prior -3.3%; YoY, est. 12.4%, prior 13.1%
  • 08:30: Aug. Retail Sales Advance MoM, est. -0.1%, prior 0%
    • Retail Sales Ex Auto MoM, est. 0%, prior 0.4%
    • Retail Sales Ex Auto and Gas, est. 0.5%, prior 0.7%
    • Retail Sales Control Group, est. 0.5%, prior 0.8%
  • 08:30: Sept. Philadelphia Fed Business Outl, est. 2.2, prior 6.2
  • 08:30: Sept. Empire Manufacturing, est. -12.9, prior -31.3
  • 09:15: Aug. Industrial Production MoM, est. 0%, prior 0.6%
    • Capacity Utilization, est. 80.2%, prior 80.3%
    • Manufacturing (SIC) Production, est. -0.1%, prior 0.7%
  • 10:00: July Business Inventories, est. 0.6%, prior 1.4%

DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

Following Tuesday’s dramatic slump after the US CPI release, global markets have shown signs of stabilising over the last 24 hours. It was hardly a great performance and was more driven by the absence of bad news rather than any actively good news, but the S&P 500 did manage to recover +0.34% on the day after its worst session in over two years. Treasuries also steadied to an extent, with some support from the fact that the PPI release yesterday wasn’t as bad as some had feared. Nevertheless, there are still a number of headwinds as markets turn their attention towards next week’s all-important FOMC meeting, and investors are continuing to price in an increasingly hawkish response from central banks across the world.

When it comes to that FOMC meeting next week, futures are still fully pricing in a third consecutive 75bps hike, but equities were supported by the fact that a bumper 100bps move is now perceived as less likely than it was shortly after the CPI release. In fact, looking at Fed funds futures, the peak pricing for next week’s meeting has come down from an intraday high of 87.0bps on Tuesday to 81.3bps by yesterday’s close. But while a 100bps hike next week is being seen as less likely, if you look beyond next week, it’s clear that markets are still expecting the Fed to remain hawkish, with the peak rate priced in for March 2023 actually rising by +7.3bps on the day to 4.39%, which implies more than 200bps of further tightening on top of where we already are.

Those diminishing expectations of a 100bps move were in part thanks to a somewhat weaker-than-expected PPI print from the US. Unlike the CPI, the headline monthly reading was in line with expectations and showed a -0.1% decline in prices, with the year-on-year measure falling back to +8.7% (vs. +8.8% expected). Against that backdrop, yields on 10yr Treasuries fell by -0.4bps to 3.41%, moving off from their intraday peak of 3.47% at one point, and yields have only seen a modest rise of +1.7bps again this morning. The decline was driven by lower real yields, with the 10yr yield down -3.4bps on the day to 0.93%, coming off its post-2019 closing peak from the previous session.

That decline in Treasury yields echoed what we saw in Europe yesterday, where those on 10yr bunds (-1.4bps) and OATs (-1.0bps) both moved lower. We did have some ECB speakers yesterday, including France’s Villeroy, who said that for the Euro Area “R* can be estimated as being as below or close to 2% in nominal terms, and we could be there by the end of the year”. Meanwhile, ECB chief economist Lane said that “it was appropriate to take a major step that frontloads the transition from the prevailing highly-accommodative level of policy rates towards levels that will support a timely return of inflation to our target.” As with the Fed, markets were pricing an increasingly hawkish profile of rate hikes, and by yesterday’s close a further 135bps rate hikes were expected at the two remaining meetings this year.

Staying on Europe, we heard more on the EU’s energy plans for the winter ahead in Commission President Von der Leyen’s State of the Union address yesterday. The measures proposed included a temporary revenue cap on “inframarginal” electricity producers, which would be set at €180 per megawatt-hour, with surplus revenues above the cap used to support energy consumers. In addition, there was a windfall tax proposal on other activities in the oil, gas, coal and refinery sectors which would be applied on 2022 profits that are more than 20% above the average profits over the most recent 3 years. In the meantime, we heard that France would be capping the increase in energy prices for households to 15% from January, and the country’s power-grid operator said that they may have to issue alerts to encourage a reduction in energy consumption over the next six months. European natural gas futures continued to rebound from their one-month low on Monday, gaining +9.70% to €218 per megawatt-hour.

With oil and gas prices putting in a strong performance yesterday, that meant that the energy sector outperformed other equities on both sides of the Atlantic, supporting the S&P 500 to make its +0.34% gain on the day. Otherwise, tech stocks were another outperformer as they recovered some of their Tuesday losses, with the NASDAQ advancing +0.74%. Over in Europe, equities caught up with the late US losses from the previous session, and the STOXX 600 (-0.87%) and the DAX (-1.23%) lost ground for a second day running.

Here in the UK, gilts outperformed after the latest CPI release for August came in slightly below expectations. That marked a contrast with the upside surprise from the US the previous day, since year-on-year CPI fell to +9.9% (vs. +10.0% expected). However, there were similarities to the US in that some of the details were much less positive, with core CPI rising to +6.3% (vs. +6.2% expected). However, that didn’t stop gilts outperforming their counterparts elsewhere, with 10yr yields down -3.8bps on the day.

Overnight in Asia, the major equity indices have also stabilised for the most part, with the Hang Seng (+0.46%) and the Nikkei (+0.17%) advancing after their sharp losses during the previous session, although the Kospi (-0.25%) has moved lower once again. The biggest underperformer are equities in mainland China this morning, where the Shanghai Composite (-1.01%) and the CSI 300 (-0.71%) have built on the previous day’s losses after the People’s Bank of China kept its one-year medium-term lending facility rate unchanged at 2.75% after being lowered by 10bps in August. Furthermore, they withdrew a net 200bn yuan via the MLF from the banking system as expected.The PBOC’s announcement to squeeze liquidity indicates their concern over capital outflows as the central bank is trying to reduce pressure on the yuan emanating from a divergent monetary policy with the Fed.

Otherwise in overnight trading, US stock futures are slightly higher with those on the S&P 500 (+0.06%) and NASDAQ 100 (+0.05%) both advancing ahead of numerous economic indicators coming out today, including retail sales and industrial production for August. Speaking of data, Japan recorded a record trade deficit of 2.82tn yen in August (vs. 2.39tn yen expected) after higher energy prices and the weaker yen pushed up import costs.

Elsewhere, our colleagues in the European Leveraged Finance Research team have just published their quarterly top trade ideas. You can find the report here.

To the day ahead now, and data releases from the US include retail sales, industrial production and capacity utilisation for August, the Empire State manufacturing survey and the Philadelphia Fed business outlook for September, and the weekly initial jobless claims. From central banks, we’ll hear from ECB Vice President de Guindos and the ECB’s Centeno. Lastly, earnings releases include Adobe.

Tyler Durden Thu, 09/15/2022 - 07:54

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This Hack Makes Flying Spirit Better Than JetBlue Or Southwest

It’s possible to make the no-frills, low-cost carrier as nice as flying much more expensive airlines (for less money).



It may seem impossible that the low-cost, no-frills air carrier could be an improvement over Southwest Airlines or its would-be merger partner JetBlue, but it’s possible.

Before the covid pandemic, I flew Southwest Airlines fairly religiously in order to maintain my A-List status. You need 25 one-way flights each year (or 35,000 miles) to keep that status and I flew just enough to keep eking out my renewal each year.

A-List has some meaningful perks for Southwest Airlines  (LUV) - Get Free Report passengers. You get same-day standby for free, which was very convenient when I was flying for work and a meeting got canceled allowing me to leave earlier. In addition, A-List members can change their flights with no fees or penalties, and most importantly, they get priority boarding status.

Southwest boards based on its A, B, and C boarding groups with 60 slots in each group. A-List members got checked in early and were guaranteed that if they don’t get an “A” spot, they could check in between the A and B groups. They can also do that if they fly standby and missed the check-in window altogether.

Every year, I tried really hard to keep those perks, but in 2022, it simply was not possible. I didn’t travel anywhere close to the amount I did before covid and had to let my A-List status expire as the year ended.

I was not super happy about it, but as my travel ramped up, I was being forced to fly like a regular person with no status. That changed, however, when Spirit Airlines ran a quick promotion where people with top-tier status at a number of major airlines and hotels could buy Spirit’s top-tier Gold loyalty status for $100.

It’s the best $100 I have ever spent because it elevates the experience on the no-frills airline.

Spirit is a low-cost carrier.

Image source: Shutterstock

Why Spirit Airlines Gold Status Is So Valuable

A low-cost carrier, Spirit charges for everything. Your basic fare gives you the right to get on the plane with a personal item (think a purse or a small backpack). Fares are very low because you pay for everything from checked bags to a full-size carry-on to getting an actual seat assignment. Spirit passengers even pay for water and soda, and they can opt to pay for snacks and perks like being able to get through airport security faster.

As a Gold member, I pay the basic fare price and then get bags and a premium seat assignment for free. On the three Spirit flights I have booked, I was able to get an exit row seat, with much more legroom for no extra charge. I also got access to a priority security line at the airport and got to board in the first group.

In addition, I also got one flight change (for each leg of my trip) free (which I did not need to use on this trip).

What It’s Like Flying As a Spirit Gold Member

Spirit tends to fly out of the least convenient terminal at every airport (at least that has been my experience). That was true of my Fort Lauderdale flight where the airline flies from Terminal 4, which has a small parking lot that never seems to have any spaces. That forces you to park in a garage that’s farther away, but it’s well marked and walkable or there’s a tram if you are willing to wait.

My flight was a 9:30 p.m. non-stop to Las Vegas on a Saturday night. There were very few people in the security line and while I had access to a priority Spirit line, I’m also a Clear member and opted to go with that experience instead.

Once I cleared security, I made my way to my gate passing a few shops and some restaurants. I stopped to buy some snacks, as my first boss drilled the idea of never getting onto a plane without an emergency snack into my head before my first business trip 30 years ago (I was 19).

The gate had plenty of seats and we were scheduled to board at 8:45. When boarding was called, at roughly 8:47, the woman at the desk called for people needing extra assistance, families flying with kids under two, and active military members. There were none of those, so she then called for Group 1 and since I was standing near the gate, I was literally the first person on the plane.

In my multiple years of being Southwest A-List, I had never had fewer than 20 people board before me. I found my seat and while the actual seat was hard and not all that comfortable (Spirit skimps on the padding to save on fuel) the exit row legroom was impressive. In fact, the distance between my seat and the seat in front of me was so great that I actually had to lean forward to type on my laptop given the very narrow fold-down tray.

My flight was not without problems. It did not have WiFi, which the airline did not announce until we were in the air (so I could not text my wife to let her know I would be out of touch for five hours). Aside from that, however, my Gold status also got me a free soda, water, coffee, or juice, as well as a choice of snacks.

So, for my very lucky $100 purchase of Gold status, I had a roomier seat than I have ever had on Southwest. I was also paying a price that was less than half what I would have paid on Southwest or JetBlue, neither of which offered a comparable direct flight.

Spirit may be no-frills for infrequent flyers, but for its elite passengers, the airline offers value and meaningful perks. It also offers 10X points for Gold members, so even with the cheap fares I’m paying, the first two Spirit flights I have booked will earn enough points to allow me to keep my status for another year.

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Who Can You Trust?

Who Can You Trust?

Authored by James Howard Kunstler via,

“I’m sick and tired of hearing Democrats whining about Joe Biden’s…



Who Can You Trust?

Authored by James Howard Kunstler via,

“I’m sick and tired of hearing Democrats whining about Joe Biden’s age. The man knows how to govern. Just shut up and vote to save Democracy.”

- Rob Reiner, Hollywood savant

Perhaps you’re aware that the World Health Organization (WHO) is cooking up a plan to impose its will over all the sovereign nations on this planet in the event of future pandemics.

That means, for instance, that the WHO would issue orders to the USA about lockdowns, vaccines, and vaccine passports and we US citizens supposedly would be compelled to follow them.

Why the “Joe Biden” regime would go along with this globalist fuckery is one of the abiding mysteries of our time - except that they go along with everything else that the cabal of Geneva cooks up, such as attacks on farmers, and on oil production, and on relations between men and women, and on personal privacy, and on economic liberty throughout Western Civ, as if they’re working overtime to kill it off. And all of us with it.

I think they are working overtime at that because the sore-beset citizens of Western Civ are onto their game, and getting restless about it. So, the Geneva cabal is in a race against time before the center pole of their circus tent collapses and the nations of the world are compelled to follow the zeitgeist in the direction of de-centralizing, foiling all their grand plans.

The “Joe Biden” regime is pretending to ignore the reality that this WHO deal is actually a treaty that would require ratification by a two-thirds vote in the senate, an unlikely outcome. In any case, handing over authority to the WHO — in effect, to its chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus — to push around American citizens like a giant herd of cattle would be patently unlawful.

That center pole of the circus tent is the wobbling global economy. It’s barely holding up the canvas over the three rings of the circus. In the center ring, the death-defying spectacle of the Biden Family crime case is playing out before a huge audience (us). This week, a gun went off at the FBI and smoke is curling out of the barrel. FBI Director Christopher Wray was forced to verify that he’s been sitting on an incriminating document for three years from a “trusted” confidential human source, i.e., an informant, stating that the Biden Family received a $5-million bribe from a foreign entity when “JB” was vice-president.

That’s only one bribe of many others, of course, as documented in the Hunter Biden laptop, and it must be obvious it represents treasonous behavior that will demand resignation or impeachment. As this spools out in the weeks and months ahead, do you think Americans will be in the mood to accept further insults such as “Joe Biden” surrendering our national sovereignty to the WHO?

Anyway, you must ask yourself: why on earth should I trust the WHO about anything? Did they not participate in laying a trip on the world with Covid-19? How did those lockdowns work out? Do you think they destroyed enough businesses and ruined enough households? How’s the vaccination program doing? Effective? Safe? Yeah, maybe not so much. Maybe killing a lot of people, wrecking immune systems, sterilizing reproductive organs, causing gross disabilities, shattering lives.

Of course, in over three years neither the WHO nor the US medical authorities showed the slightest interest in helping to figure out how the Covid-19 virus was made in a lab, and exactly how it got loose in the world. Lately, Dr. Ghebreyesus has warned the world about much worse future pandemics supposedly coming down at us. Oh? Really? What does he know that we don’t? That possibly new efforts to concoct chimeric diseases are ongoing in labs around the world? (You know that dozens of such labs were discovered in Ukraine as the war got underway there in 2022.) What’s Dr. Ghebreyesus doing to stop that?

If US orgs and citizens are involved in this “research,” why doesn’t the WHO alert our government leaders so they can stop it? (Would they? I’m not so sure.) And, who is behind it this time? The Eco-Health Alliance again, like with Covid-19? By the way, that outfit got another whopping grant last fall from the NIH to “study” bat viruses — right after the NIH terminated a previous grant on account of The Eco-Health Alliance failing to turn over notebooks and other records.

No, you cannot trust the WHO about anything. The “trust horizon” (a concept introduced by the great Nicole Foss, late of The Automatic Earth dot com) is shrinking. You can no longer trust any distant authorities. You also cannot trust the US federal government (especially the executive branch behind “Joe Biden”). And notice: the trust horizon is shrinking just as the world is de-centralizing. This, you see, is the main contradiction behind all the Globalists’ twisted ambitions to control everything, including you. They are working against the current tide of human history which is pushing everything toward down-scaling, re-localization, and re-assertion of the sovereign individual person.

That trend will become increasingly evident as things organized at the giant scale start to implode — giant retail chains, medical behemoths, hedge funds, big banks, you name it. The world no longer has the mojo for globalism. There’s reason to wonder these days whether the USA has the mojo to remain a unified national polity of states. Our federal government is not only financially bankrupt beyond any coherent reckoning, it is also morally bankrupt, and it has decided to make war against its own people. None of this is satisfactory and none of this is working. It’s time to figure out who and what you can trust and act accordingly.

Tyler Durden Sun, 06/04/2023 - 09:20

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Removing antimicrobial resistance from the WHO’s ‘pandemic treaty’ will leave humanity extremely vulnerable to future pandemics

Drug-resistant microbes are a serious threat for future pandemics, but the new draft of the WHO’s international pandemic agreement may not include provisions…




Antimicrobial resistance is now a leading cause of death worldwide due to drug-resistant infections, including drug-resistant strains of tuberculosis, pneumonia and Staph infections like the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus shown here. (NIAID, cropped from original), CC BY

In late May, the latest version of the draft Pandemic Instrument, also referred to as the “pandemic treaty,” was shared with Member States at the World Health Assembly. The text was made available online via Health Policy Watch and it quickly became apparent that all mentions of addressing antimicrobial resistance in the Pandemic Instrument were at risk of removal.

Work on the Pandemic Instrument began in December 2021 after the World Health Assembly agreed to a global process to draft and negotiate an international instrument — under the Constitution of the World Health Organization (WHO) — to protect nations and communities from future pandemic emergencies.

Read more: Drug-resistant superbugs: A global threat intensified by the fight against coronavirus

Since the beginning of negotiations on the Pandemic Instrument, there have been calls from civil society and leading experts, including the Global Leaders Group on Antimicrobial Resistance, to include the so-called “silent” pandemic of antimicrobial resistance in the instrument.

Just three years after the onset of a global pandemic, it is understandable why Member States negotiating the Pandemic Instrument have focused on preventing pandemics that resemble COVID-19. But not all pandemics in the past have been caused by viruses and not all pandemics in the future will be caused by viruses. Devastating past pandemics of bacterial diseases have included plague and cholera. The next pandemic could be caused by bacteria or other microbes.

Antimicrobial resistance

Yellow particles on purple spikes
Microscopic view of Yersinia pestis, the bacteria that cause bubonic plague, on a flea. Plague is an example of previous devastating pandemics of bacterial disease. (NIAID), CC BY

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is the process by which infections caused by microbes become resistant to the medicines developed to treat them. Microbes include bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites. Bacterial infections alone cause one in eight deaths globally.

AMR is fueling the rise of drug-resistant infections, including drug-resistant tuberculosis, drug-resistant pneumonia and drug-resistant Staph infections such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). These infections are killing and debilitating millions of people annually, and AMR is now a leading cause of death worldwide.

Without knowing what the next pandemic will be, the “pandemic treaty” must plan, prepare and develop effective tools to respond to a wider range of pandemic threats, not solely viruses.

Even if the world faces another viral pandemic, secondary bacterial infections will be a serious issue. During the COVID-19 pandemic for instance, large percentages of those hospitalized with COVID-19 required treatment for secondary bacterial infections.

New research from Northwestern University suggests that many of the deaths among hospitalized COVID-19 patients were associated with pneumonia — a secondary bacterial infection that must be treated with antibiotics.

An illustrative diagram that shows the difference between a drug resistant bacteria and a non-resistant bacteria.
Antimicrobial resistance means infections that were once treatable are much more difficult to treat. (NIAID), CC BY

Treating these bacterial infections requires effective antibiotics, and with AMR increasing, effective antibiotics are becoming a scarce resource. Essentially, safeguarding the remaining effective antibiotics we have is critical to responding to any pandemic.

That’s why the potential removal of measures that would help mitigate AMR and better safeguard antimicrobial effectiveness is so concerning. Sections of the text which may be removed include measures to prevent infections (caused by bacteria, viruses and other microbes), such as:

  • better access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene;
  • higher standards of infection prevention and control;
  • integrated surveillance of infectious disease threats from human, animals and the environment; and
  • strengthening antimicrobial stewardship efforts to optimize how antimicrobial drugs are used and prevent the development of AMR.

The exclusion of these measures would hinder efforts to protect people from future pandemics, and appears to be part of a broader shift to water-down the language in the Pandemic Instrument, making it easier for countries to opt-out of taking recommended actions to prevent future pandemics.

Making the ‘pandemic treaty’ more robust

Measures to address AMR could be easily included and addressed in the “pandemic treaty.”

In September 2022, I was part of a group of civil society and research organizations that specialize in mitigating AMR who were invited the WHO’s Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB) to provide an analysis on how AMR should be addressed, within the then-draft text.

They outlined that including bacterial pathogens in the definition of “pandemics” was critical. They also identified specific provisions that should be tweaked to track and address both viral and bacterial threats. These included AMR and recommended harmonizing national AMR stewardship rules.

In March 2023, I joined other leading academic researchers and experts from various fields in publishing a special edition of the Journal of Medicine, Law and Ethics, outlining why the Pandemic Instrument must address AMR.

The researchers of this special issue argued that the Pandemic Instrument was overly focused on viral threats and ignored AMR and bacterial threats, including the need to manage antibiotics as a common-pool resource and revitalize research and development of novel antimicrobial drugs.

Next steps

While earlier drafts of the Pandemic Instrument drew on guidance from AMR policy researchers and civil society organizations, after the first round of closed-door negotiations by Member States, all of these insertions, are now at risk for removal.

The Pandemic Instrument is the best option to mitigate AMR and safeguard lifesaving antimicrobials to treat secondary infections in pandemics. AMR exceeds the capacity of any single country or sector to solve. Global political action is needed to ensure the international community works together to collectively mitigate AMR and support the conservation, development and equitable distribution of safe and effective antimicrobials.

By missing this opportunity to address AMR and safeguard antimicrobials in the Pandemic Instrument, we severely undermine the broader goals of the instrument: to protect nations and communities from future pandemic emergencies.

It is important going forward that Member States recognize the core infrastructural role that antimicrobials play in pandemic response and strengthen, rather than weaken, measures meant to safeguard antimicrobials.

Antimicrobials are an essential resource for responding to pandemic emergencies that must be protected. If governments are serious about pandemic preparedness, they must support bold measures to conserve the effectiveness of antimicrobials within the Pandemic Instrument.

Susan Rogers Van Katwyk is a member of the WHO Collaborating Centre on Global Governance of Antimicrobial Resistance at York University. She receives funding from the Wellcome Trust and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

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