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Futures Slide As Hawkish Rikshock Sends Dollar, Yields Higher Again Ahead Of Fed

Futures Slide As Hawkish Rikshock Sends Dollar, Yields Higher Again Ahead Of Fed

Market sentiment was quite cheerful heading into the overnight…



Futures Slide As Hawkish Rikshock Sends Dollar, Yields Higher Again Ahead Of Fed

Market sentiment was quite cheerful heading into the overnight session, with futures hitting a third-day high of 3,936 thanks to yesterday' late day delta squeeze (plunge in VIX as both calls and especially puts were sold) but then it quickly soured after first German PPI came in at a mindblowing 45.8% (vs expectations of 37.1%) the highest on record since World War II...

...but what really spooked futures was the record hike by the Swedish central bank, the Riksbank, which pushed the repo rate higher by a more than expected 100bps to 1.75%, and even though the central bank eased back on terminal rate expectations, the market still saw the Riksbank surprise as potentially indicative of what the BOE and Fed may do in the coming hours.

As such, European stocks fell with US equity futures, giving up early gains, as traders braced for another supersized US rate hike amid rising anxiety the Federal Reserve could overtighten and raise the odds of a hard landing. Europe' Stoxx 600 Index dropped 0.8%, paced by losses on real estate and miners as US equity futures also stumbled those the tech-heavy and rate-sensitive Nasdaq 100 underperforming S&P 500 peers. As of 730am, S&P futures were down 0.4% and Nasdaq contracts were down 0.5%. 10Y yields hit a fresh 11 year high as the dollar surged and gold resumed its slide.

In premarket trading, Ford shares dropped 5.2% after the carmaker said 3Q supply costs were running $1b above expectations and warned that EBIT could be in the $1.4b -$1.7b range, below what was previously foreseen. General Motors stock also slid 2.3% in premarket trading. Here are some other notable premarket movers:

  • Change Healthcare shares rise 7.1% in premarket trading after winning court approval for the $7.8b acquisition by UnitedHealth, defeating a Justice Department lawsuit that had sought to block the deal
  • US- listed Macau casino stocks rise in premarket trading, on the possibility that Hong Kong would ease Covid restrictions such as mandatory hotel quarantine. Las Vegas Sands and Wynn Resorts gain about 3% in US premarket trading; Keep an eye on Melco (MLCO US) and MGM Resorts (MGM US) when trading volume picks up
  • Western Digital shares slid 1.7% in premarket trading as Deutsche Bank cut the recommendation on the stock to hold from buy, saying it’s difficult to see meaningful upside in the next six to nine months as oversupply in the flash memory market persists
  • Watch Cognex shares after the company boosted its revenue guidance for the third quarter; and the guidance beat the average analyst estimate

The Fed kicks off its meeting today and is expected to again hike rates by 75 basis points Wednesday - now that Timiraos has taken off 100bps off the table - signal rates are heading above 4% and will then pause. Market participants have dialed back expectations of an even larger increase and only two of 96 economists in a Bloomberg survey now predict a full-point move.

“The Federal Reserve is likely tightening policy straight into the teeth of a recession,” Danielle DiMartino Booth, CEO and chief strategist of Quill Intelligence, wrote in an email.  “The stock market’s addiction to Fed easing when stocks decline may be what Jerome Powell is aiming to quash by aggressively hiking rates, in addition to inflation.”

Meanwhile in rates, Treasury 10-year yields topped 3.5% rising to a fresh 11.5 year high, while yields on the more policy-sensitive two-year rate hit the highest since 2007 and are poised to crack above 4%, reflecting hard-landing fears. In a worrying trend for stocks, real rates - Treasury yields adjusted for inflation - rose to the highest level since 2011. When they were pinned in negative territory during a decade of easy-money policies, real rates had been a key driver of risk-asset rallies.

Markets have fairly priced in yield on the two-year Treasury inching closer to 4% and “it might scratch a bit higher, but not an awful lot at this point,” Peter Kinsella, head of foreign exchange strategy at Union Bancaire Privee Ubp SA, said on Bloomberg Television. It would still be reasonable for the 10-year Treasury yield to go towards 3.5% or 3.7%, “but there’s probably not a lot more juice in that trade,” he said.

In Europe the Stoxx 50 fell 0.5%, reversing earlier gains with the UK's FTSE 100 flat but outperforms peers, IBEX lags, dropping 0.8%. Real estate, retailers and miners are the worst-performing sectors.

Earlier in the session, Asian stocks advanced, on track to snap a five-day losing streak, amid signals that Hong Kong will move toward easing Covid restrictions.  The MSCI Asia-Pacific Index gained as much as 1% as Tencent, Alibaba and TSMC provided the most support. Benchmarks across the region rose.  Indexes in Hong Kong gained at least 1.2%, with one key gauge climbing from the edge of a bear market. Hong Kong’s chief executive said the city wants to relax Covid travel curbs after nearly three years of restrictions. The Hang Seng Tech Index added 2%.  Australia’s main gauge rose more than 1%, led by the materials sector. Japan’s stock market advanced despite high inflation data, after being closed Monday.

“China’s reopening has helped revive sentiment in Asia this week,” said Charu Chanana, a senior strategist at Saxo Capital Markets. “There’s some level of positioning there ahead of a slew of central bank meetings this week, but volatility will likely remain elevated.” Despite Tuesday’s rally, Asia’s benchmark is still close to its lowest level since the middle of 2020 amid concerns over higher US interest rates and the dollar’s strength.  Investors are betting that the Federal Reserve will hike interest rates by 75-basis-point at a policy meeting on Wednesday. Investors are also awaiting other central bank decisions this week from nations including the Philippines, Indonesia, Taiwan and Japan

Some more details: Japanese stocks advanced, tracking a rebound in US shares, as investors continued to weigh the market impact of further interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve. Tokyo’s stock market was closed Monday for a holiday.  The Topix Index rose 0.5% to 1,947.27 as of market close Tokyo time, while the Nikkei advanced 0.4% to 27,688.42. Keyence Corp. contributed the most to the Topix Index gain, increasing 2.2%. Out of 2,169 stocks in the index, 1,481 rose and 582 fell, while 106 were unchanged. “Assuming it is 75bps, the thing to consider is where it will go from there, as I think that the rate hike will remain hawkish as far as the Jackson Hole and economic indicators are concerned,” said Naoki Fujiwara, chief fund manager at Shinkin Asset Management. “A comment that accelerates the rate hike would be negative, while a comment that takes the economy into consideration would be positive for the stocks.”  Traders are betting the Fed will hike by 75 basis points Wednesday. 

India stock indexes rose for the second day, driven by a continuing rally in consumer goods makers and a surge in healthcare stocks. The S&P BSE Sensex gained 1% to 59,719.74 in Mumbai, while the NSE Nifty 50 Index rose 1.1%. The main indexes rose as much as 1.6% and 1.7%, respectively but failed to hold the advance.  “Intraday volatility could be the ongoing theme for markets as investors world over are bracing for a stiff interest rate hike by the US Federal Reserve to weigh on rising inflation,” said Prashanth Tapse, an analyst with Mehta Securities.   All of the 19 sector sub-indexes traded higher, led by a gauge of healthcare companies. Banking and consumer goods stocks continued their climb on expectations of a demand surge during the upcoming festive season. ICICI Bank contributed the most to the Sensex’s gain, increasing 2%. Out of 30 shares in the Sensex index, 26 rose and 4 fell.

In rates, the Treasury curve bear-flattened and yields rose by 4-5bps as Treasuries extend Monday’s session slide. Supply pressure in the form of 20-year bond auction awaits for Tuesday’s session, before Fed meeting Wednesday where OIS has eased slightly, pricing in 78bp of hikes for the meeting, following WSJ report that a three-quarter point move is expected. Core European rates underperform, led by gilts catching up from Monday UK’s holiday.  Bunds fell, led by the belly of the curve, with yields rising up to 10bps as money markets continued to add to ECB tightening. UK bonds lead the wider market lower, headed by the short end and belly of the curve, and underperforming bunds and USTs as they catch up after Monday’s holiday. Curves bear-flatten as money markets up their ECB and BOE rate-hike bets. Swedish front-end bond yields rose more than their German peers, in response to the front-loaded rate increase. Australia’s dollar and bond yields declined after minutes from the RBA’s September meeting showed the central bank is getting closer to “normal settings.”

In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index reversed a modest Asia session loss as the greenback advanced versus all of its Group-of-10 peers, with GBP and DKK the strongest performers in G-10 FX, NZD and NOK underperform. and yet as Bloomberg notes, options bets in the dollar are the least bullish they have been this year before the Federal Reserve was expected to announce an interest-rate increase. Some more details:

  • The euro gave up gains to touch parity against the dollar, despite a record German PPI print (the highest since WWII)
  • Sweden’s krona erased gains after initially rallying on the Riksbank’s surprise jumbo hike, as the market had priced in a more aggressive profile for the rate path, with a peak at around 3.5%.
  • The pound was supported by growing speculation that the Bank of England may raise interest rates by 75 basis points later this week. Markets were also anticipating a speech by the UK’s finance minister, who is expected to outline details for a big spending plan to help households through an energy crisis in coming months
  • Gilts dropped, catching up with Monday’s bond tumble when UK markets were closed for a holiday

In commodities, WTI drifts 0.5% higher to trade near $86.19. Spot gold falls roughly $8 to trade near $1,668/oz. Spot silver loses 1.3% near $19. European natural gas benchmark futures drop much as 6.8% for a fourth session of declines, the longest run since July.

Elsewhere, Bitcoin struggled to return to the $20,000 level. Oil slipped below $86 per barrel and gold fell.

To the day ahead now. In data we have US August housing starts, building permits, Germany August PPI, Italy July current account balance, July ECB current account, Canada August CPI, while the ECB’s Muller will give remarks.

Market Snapshot

  • S&P 500 futures fell 0.2% to 3,911.50
  • STOXX Europe 600 fell 0.5% to 405.78
  • MXAP up 0.7% to 150.68
  • MXAPJ up 1.0% to 493.17
  • Nikkei up 0.4% to 27,688.42
  • Topix up 0.4% to 1,947.27
  • Hang Seng Index up 1.2% to 18,781.42
  • Shanghai Composite up 0.2% to 3,122.41
  • Sensex up 1.5% to 60,021.83
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 1.3% to 6,806.43
  • Kospi up 0.5% to 2,367.85
  • German 10Y yield little changed at 1.86%
  • Euro down 0.2% to $1.0007
  • Gold spot down 0.4% to $1,669.80
  • U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 109.80

Top Overnight News from Bloomberg

  • Treasury two-year yields are poised to crack above 4% for the first time since 2007 as the Federal Reserve’s steepest tightening cycle in a generation drives them higher
  • ECB Governing Council member Madis Muller said interest rates remain far from levels that would restrict economic expansion in the euro zone
  • The German government released another 2.5 billion euros ($2.5 billion) of credit lines to secure gas supplies, as it writes off Russia as a reliable energy supplier
  • Hungary said it was prepared to meet EU demands that it take action to curb fraud and corruption after the bloc threatened to freeze 7.5 billion euros ($7.5 billion) of funds that have been earmarked for the country

A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk

Asian stocks followed suit to the improved risk appetite stateside but with the advances capped ahead of this week’s risk events. ASX 200 was led higher by strength in the commodity-related sectors and with resilience in nearly all industries aside from healthcare, while the RBA minutes provided little in the way of new information but continued to point to a future slowdown in the hiking cycle. Nikkei 225 gained on return from the extended weekend but was off its highs after the mostly firmer-than-expected Japanese inflation data. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp conformed to the upbeat mood with Hong Kong boosted by outperformance in tech stocks and as authorities consider adjusting COVID restrictions, while the advances in the mainland were contained after the PBoC maintained its 1-Year and 5-Year Loan Prime Rates as expected. "Investors should not be pessimistic about the (Chinese) stock market, as multiple signs emerge that bode well for equities", according to the Securities Daily cited by SCMP.

Top Asian News

  • China's Shanghai unvels RMB 1.8trln (around USD 257bln) worth of inftrastructure investments, has launched eight of them.
  • Hong Kong Chief Executive Lee said they are exploring further adjustments to COVID policy and aim to make an announcement soon with the details to be announced in one go. Lee added they would like to facilitate events for Hong Kong and bring back activities to the city, while they would want to stay connected with the world and allow an orderly opening up.
  • Japan's Ministry of Finance said the government is to spend JPY 3.48tln in budget reserves to manage price hikes and COVID-19, while Finance Minister Suzuki said they will create an additional budget in addition to the reserve fund and for the time being, reserve money will be used for essential output. There were also comments from LDP Secretary-General Motegi that a stimulus package of at least JPY 15tln is needed to fill the output gap.

Bourses across Europe have been dipping from best levels, with sentiment somewhat sullied by a marked and unexpected acceleration in German PPI, coupled with a larger-than-forecast Riksbank rate hike to kick off the myriad of G10 central banks this week. The bias across sectors has titled more towards the defensive side, with Food & Beverages, Personal Goods, and Healthcare making their way up the ranks. US equity futures have slipped into negative territory, but the breadth of the market remains shallow as the clock ticks down to the FOMC tomorrow. German Gov't draft law re. gas levy says Co's receiving it may not see any notable profits, manager slaries must be limited. Restriction on profits to those with a market share above 1.0%, via Reuters sources.

Top European News

  • Traders Wager BOE Will Join Fed With Two Jumbo Hikes by Year- End
  • Germany to Spend Another $2.5 Billion on LNG to Ease Crisis
  • UBS’s Khan ‘Confident’ on Asset Target Despite Market Rout
  • Russia to Flood Asia With Fuel as Europe Ramps Up Sanctions
  • Riksbank Kicks Off Global Hiking With 100 Basis-Point Move

Central Banks

  • WSJ's Timiraos writes "Fed’s Third Straight 0.75-Point Interest-Rate Rise Is Anticipated" and signaling intentions to raise and hold the benchmark above 4.0% in the months ahead, via WSJ.
  • Riksbank hikes its Rate by 100bps to 1.75% (exp. 75bps hike to 1.50%); Forecast indicates rate will be raised further in the coming six months. Full details, reaction & newsquawk analysis available here.
  • ECB's Muller says rates are far from the level that would slow the economy; rates are still low in the historical context.
  • PBoC set USD/CNY mid-point at 6.9468 vs exp. 6.9483 (prev. 6.9396).
  • PBoC 1-Year Loan Prime Rate (Sep) 3.65% vs. Exp. 3.65% (Prev. 3.65%)
  • PBoC 5-Year Loan Prime Rate (Sep) 4.30% vs. Exp. 4.30% (Prev. 4.30%)
  • RBA September meeting minutes stated members saw the case for a slower pace of rate increase as becoming stronger as the level of the Cash Rate increases, while the board expects to increase rates further over months ahead but is not on a pre-set path. RBA Board is committed to doing what is necessary to ensure inflation returns to target over time and members noted that inflation in Australia was at its highest level in several decades which was expected to increase further over the months ahead with inflation expected to peak later this year and then decline back towards the 2-3% target range. Furthermore, the Board acknowledged that monetary policy operates with a lag and interest rates had been increased quite quickly and were getting closer to normal settings.


  • DXY remains towards the top of today's intraday parameter but under the 110.00 mark.
  • SEK was flagging near recent lows against the Euro and Dollar before the Riksbank delivered a hawkish surprise by raising rates a bigger than expected 100 bp (vs +75 bp consensus).
  • NZD remained under pressure and extended its decline against the Greenback to the low 0.5900 zone, while sliding through 1.1300 vs the Aussie.
  • JPY failed to glean much impetus from firmer than Japanese inflation metrics on the premise that the BoJ is unlikely to budge from its accommodative stance this week.

Fixed Income

  • Debt futures continue to plunge amidst fleeting bouts of consolidation and lame rebounds - the latest catalyst came via Sweden's Riksbank.
  • Bunds have been down to 141.08 for a 154 tick loss on the day, Gilts to 104.33, 91 ticks below par.
  • US 10-year T-note fell to 114-01+, with corresponding yields soaring towards 3.55%.


  • WTI and Brent front-month futures hold onto modest gains, but the upside remains capped by the cautious risk tone in early European trade. Overnight, the complex was relatively uneventful as it took a breather from the recent volatility.
  • Russia's government wants to collect about RUB 1.4tln from raw material exporters next year to cover the budget deficit and proposed to raise the export duty on gas to 50% among other measures, according to Kommersant.
  • Gazprom says it will halt power of Siberia gas pipeline to China on Sept 22-29, citing maintenance, via Reuters.
  • Aramco CEO says the response to the global energy crisis thus far shows a deep misunderstanding of how we got there, increases in oil/gas investment are "too little too late" in the short term; when the global economy recovers, can expect demand to rebound further - eliminating the little spare oil production capacity available.
  • Spot gold is subdued by the Dollar but in recent ranges after hitting multi-year lows last week as the yellow metals look ahead to the Fed.
  • LME futures resumed trade following the long weekend, with 3M copper flat at the time of writing under the USD 7,800/t, mimicking the risk tone and awaiting the next catalyst.

US Event Calendar

  • 08:30: Aug. Building Permits MoM, est. -4.8%, prior -1.3%, revised -0.6%
  • 08:30: Aug. Housing Starts MoM, est. 0.3%, prior -9.6%
  • 08:30: Aug. Building Permits, est. 1.6m, prior 1.67m, revised 1.69m
  • 08:30: Aug. Housing Starts, est. 1.45m, prior 1.45m

DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

It was an extraordinary day here in the UK yesterday for the Queen's funeral. The vast majority of the world's leaders and dignitaries were present, hundreds of thousands lined the streets of London, and it was broadcast to an estimated global TV audience of four billion. It was hard not to get swept up in the emotion, pageantry, and enormity of the event. It's also hard to imagine that the world will see a similar type of event again in our lifetime.

With all this going on, markets started the week on a quiet note, with the UK closed, Japan on holiday, and the data docket light. Yields took another leg higher though and curves flattened on the prospect of another round of global central bank tightening this week. Meanwhile, global equity markets were looking for direction, with European equities slightly lower, and US equities tracking flat for most of the day until a strong late rally (S&P +0.69%) changed the complexion of the day a bit.

The central bank focus remains the main game in town. With Fed pricing for Wednesday (79.8bps of hikes implied by the close, our US economics full preview here) still incorporating some premium of a 100 basis point hike, markets were watching for any blackout period communications from the Fed. A prominent Fed watcher from the WSJ did have a piece that garnered attention, but it was focused more on the previously-recognised pivot from Chair Powell to focus more on fighting inflation rather than providing a strong signal about Wednesday’s potential policy action one way or another. In turn, implied policy pricing for Wednesday was perfectly flat on the day.

Farther out the curve, however, rates markets priced in tighter Fed policy for longer, with the entire Treasury curve selling off, driving a bear flattening. 2yr Treasury yields increased +6.9bps to 3.94%, their highest levels since 2007, while 10yrs were +4.1bps higher to 3.49%, the highest since 2011, leaving the yield curve at -45.0bps and just short of its most inverted levels reached this summer (-49.6bps). Yields have pulled back a touch in Asia though, with 10yr USTs (-1.95 bps) at 3.47% and 2yr yield trading -1bps lower at 3.93% as we go to press.

In line with the tighter expected policy path, real yields are bearing the brunt of the recent selloff, with 10yr real yields increasing +6.5bps to 1.14%, their highest since 2018. The selloff and curve move was replicated in bunds, where 2yrs increased +8.8bps to 1.59% and 10yrs climbed +4.7bps to 1.80%, its highest since early 2014. 10yr OATs were in line with bunds, increasing +4.6bps, while BTPs marginally underperformed, increasing +5.8bps.

The STOXX 600 was as much as -1.0% lower intraday, but climbed through the afternoon to finish just in the red at -.09%, while the CAC marginally underperformed, falling -0.26% whilst the DAX managed to eke out a +0.49% gain. Elsewhere out of Germany, regulators reported that German gas storage levels were at 89.67% as of yesterday, something to keep an eye on as we head into winter. The gas build has been very impressive but with the strong possibility of there being no more Russian gas flowing this winter, unless temperatures are mild, it's likely that rationing, in some shape or form, is likely.

US equities, opened nearly -1.0% lower, but quickly rallied to flat where it oscillated around most of the day before the late rally send it up +0.69%. 9 out of 11 S&P sectors ended in the green, with sectoral dispersion pointing toward a cyclical over defensives day – materials (+1.63%), discretionary (+1.34%) and industrials (+1.33%) led while health care (-0.54%) and real estate lagged (-0.22%). The NASDAQ was slightly stronger, increasing +0.76%, but very much followed the same intraday price action as the S&P.

In terms of data, the NAHB Housing Market Index declined to 46 (vs. 47 expectations and 49 prior), but didn’t necessarily tell us anything we didn’t already know: housing market sentiment is bad. It remains one of the sectors where the impacts of Fed tightening has already been acutely felt.

Asian equity markets are broadly higher this morning following the late rally on Wall Street overnight. As I type, the Hang Seng (+1.44%) is leading gains across the region, rebounding from two consecutive sessions of losses while Chinese shares are also higher with the Shanghai Composite (+0.46%) and CSI (+0.33%) both up in early trade after the lifting of Covid-19 lockdowns in both Chengdu and Dalian yesterday. Elsewhere, the Nikkei (+0.42%) as well as the Kospi (+0.33%) have held on to their gains.

DMs stock futures are pointing to a positive start with contracts on the S&P 500 (+0.20%), NASDAQ 100 (+0.23%) and DAX (+0.53%) are edging higher.

Early morning data showed that Japan’s core consumer inflation quickened to +2.8% y/y in August (v/s +2.7% expected), notching its fastest annual pace in nearly eight years as pressures from higher raw material costs and a weak yen broadened. Markets were expecting a +2.7% gain compared to July’s +2.4% rise.

Meanwhile, headline inflation hit 3.0% y/y in August, the highest since 1991. The data will be slightly uncomfortable for the BoJ as they meet on Thursday but they are not expected to change direction yet from their increasingly outlier zero rates policy stance on the global stage.

Elsewhere, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) kept its main lending rates unchanged leaving the 1-year loan prime rate (LPR) intact at 3.65% and the 5-year rate, a reference for mortgages, at 4.3% after a 15bps cut in August.

The latest minutes from the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) indicate that the board members “saw the case for a slower pace of increase in interest rates as becoming stronger” over the months ahead but reiterated that the policy is not on a pre-set path considering the uncertainties surrounding the outlook for inflation and growth. Actually our economists have upgraded their RBA call to a 50bps hike in October (from 25bps) in line with the global direction of travel. They don't think the RBA will step down to 25bps hikes until November and December.

To the day ahead now. In data we have US August housing starts, building permits, Germany August PPI, Italy July current account balance, July ECB current account, Canada August CPI, while the ECB’s Muller will give remarks.

Tyler Durden Tue, 09/20/2022 - 07:44

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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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Spread & Containment

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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