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Week Ahead – Jackson Hole Goes Virtual

Week Ahead – Jackson Hole Goes Virtual



Central Bankers Take to the Virtual Red Carpet

It’s been a relatively slow summer so far as we prepare for a huge run in to the end of the year. A potential multi-trillion dollar stimulus plan, Covid vaccine and fierce White House race awaits us in the final months so a few quieter summer weeks is perhaps not the end of the world. The Jackson Hole Symposium is the standout event late next week as we get an update from various central bank policy makers from around the world – albeit virtually – with the keynote coming from Fed Chair Jerome Powell.

Key Economic Events

Tuesday 25th August

Time (UK) Country Indicator Name Period Reuters Poll
07:00 Germany GDP Detailed QQ SA Q2 -10.1%
07:00 Germany GDP Detailed YY NSA Q2 -11.7%
07:00 Germany GDP Detailed YY SA Q2
07:00 Norway GDP Growth Mainland Q2
09:00 Germany Ifo Business Climate New Aug 92.2
09:00 Germany Ifo Curr Conditions New Aug 87.0
09:00 Germany Ifo Expectations New Aug 98.6
13:00 Hungary Hungary Base Rate Aug 0.60%
13:00 Hungary O/N Deposit Rate Aug -0.05%
15:00 United States Consumer Confidence Aug 93.6
15:00 United States New Home Sales-Units Jul 0.750M
21:30 United States API weekly crude stocks 17 Aug, w/e #N/P

Wednesday 26th August

09:00 South Africa CPI YY Jul 3.1%
13:30 United States Durable Goods Jul 3.3%
15:30 United States EIA Wkly Crude Stk 17 Aug, w/e

Thursday 27th August 

02:00 South Korea Bank of Korea Base Rate Aug
02:30 Australia Capital Expenditure Q2 -8.4%
07:45 France Business Climate Mfg Aug
13:30 United States GDP 2nd Estimate Q2 -32.5%
13:30 United States Initial Jobless Clm 17 Aug, w/e 925k

Friday 28th August

00:30 Japan CPI Tokyo Ex fresh food YY Aug 0.3%
00:30 Japan CPI, Overall Tokyo Aug
07:45 France GDP QQ Final Q2
07:45 France GDP YY Final Q2
07:45 France CPI (EU Norm) Prelim YY Aug
08:00 Switzerland KOF Indicator Aug 90.0
08:30 Sweden GDP QQ Q2
08:30 Sweden GDP YY Q2
10:00 Euro Zone Consumer Confid. Final Aug
13:30 United States Consumption, Adjusted MM Jul 1.5%
13:30 Canada GDP QQ Annualized Q2
13:30 Canada GDP YY Q2
13:30 Canada GDP MM Jun
15:00 United States U Mich Sentiment Final Aug 72.8



The main event for the trading week will be Fed Chair Powell’s Thursday speech at the annual Jackson Hole symposium.  Due to the COVID-19, the event will be virtual.  Powell will provide an update with the Fed’s policy framework review and reiterate their commitment to an extended period of ultra-loose monetary policy.  With the ongoing public health crisis continuing to weigh on the economy and the slowness is Capitol Hill delivering more fiscal support, he will likely show a more relaxed approach towards inflation.   

A wrath of economic data is unlikely to change the outlook investors have with the US economy.  The housing sector has been the bright spot for the economy and any misses could add to the downside worries.  The second reading of US Q2 GDP, the worst decline on record, could show a small revision.  Investors will pay close attention to weekly jobless claims to see if the labor market continues to head in the wrong direction.  

US Politics

As the economy continues to show signs of weakness, pressure grows on Capitol Hill to deliver the next round of stimulus.  The economy has been heavily reliant on government aid and we could quickly find out that the recovery will quickly falter if they wait till late September to get a deal done.   

Former-VP Biden did not see the typical momentum swing after the Democratic National Convention.  This week, the four-day Republican National Convention will be held virtually, with President Trump’s formal nomination acceptance speech to take place on Thursday at the White House. 


Covid cases are on the rise across Europe, with Germany, France, Spain and Italy among those seeing a spike. This has already led to the UK imposing quarantine restrictions on those returning from all bar Germany, with a number of others including Croatia added to the list this week.

To make matters worse, the economic bounceback is already stalling, with flash PMIs in the services sector in particular showing strain. That’s unlikely to be helped by further restrictions being imposed if policy makers can’t get on top of the spike quickly. Employment in the surveys was another worrying point which suggests the region could have a difficult end to the year.  


As expected, this week’s talks have left both sides deflated and frustrated with the lack of progress. The key issues they were hoping to make headway on this week, including fishing and the level playing field, remain problematic as neither side is willing to soften their position. This is typical in these negotiations, as we’ve been seeing for four years. Both sides remain hopeful of a deal and, let’s face it, no-deal Brexit is the last thing they need in the midst of a pandemic. The UK is hopeful of one by the end of September while the EU is adamant that it must be concluded by the end of October in order for it to be ratified by the end of the year. So naturally, “crunch talks” will almost certainly be taking place in November.


Brexit talks aside, it’s been a pretty quiet week on the UK side, with Friday’s PMIs the only notable release. While the numbers indicate a strong reopening, as we’ve seen across Europe, the bounce may be short-lived. Andrew Bailey’s Jackson Hole Symposium appearance next week is the only event of note for the UK.


Turkey unveiled a big natural gas subsidy this week in the Black Sea which it hopes will enable it to reduce its reliance on imports and reduce its current account deficit. The discovery is around 320 billion cubic meters and President Erdogan is hopeful that production will be able to start in 2023. The currency has been volatile this week in anticipation of the news and there is already considerable doubt about the country’s ability to extract it without outside help, as well as how much it could actually access. The currency slid fell more than 2% from its high on Friday against the dollar, after the announcement. 


A quiet week on the data front will see trader’s focusing on China’s industrial profits release, which should show the robust rebound continues even though doubts are emerging that they will be sustained.  The global slowdown is contagious and not even China is immune to that.  However, all eyes will be on incremental updates between the US and China.  

Hong Kong

Hong Kong remains the main victim in the intensifying feud between the US and China.  The US decision to suspend its extradition treaty and end reciprocal tax treatment on shipping is crippling Hong Kong’s economy.  


Covid-19 continues to wreak havoc on the domestic economy, heightening fears about growth as the stability of the banking system. The rupee has resumed its slide and investors are growing nervous the consumer will continue to show signs of weakness as the virus spreads to the rural economy.  

India’s economic conflict with China is heightening, if anything, but it’s fallout on the domestic economy is limited at this stage. India has more pressing concerns.

New Zealand 

The New Zealand central bank will pay close attention to retail sales, trade, and consumer confidence releases.  Financial markets are already firmly pricing in a massive drop with retail sales in the second quarter due to the lockdown.  The RBNZ is considering negative rates and further signs of deterioration with the outlook will raise expectations for further easing.  


Second quarter private capital expenditures are expected to plunge as coronavirus lockdowns wreaked havoc on the economy.  The RBA has already signaled they expect a slower recovery, so unless the situation deteriorates further with Victoria state’s lockdown, they will likely remain steady with policy.  


Japan has three big economic releases at the end of the week.  The first is the June all-industry activity index which is supposed to rebound sharply.  The next economic release will be the final machine tool orders reading for the month of July.  The last key data release is Tokyo’s inflation which should show inflation slowed from 0.4% to 0.3%.  



Oil prices are being dragged lower by the bounce in the dollar and the softening in risk appetite at the end of the week. OPEC+ stuck with the previously agreed increases in output this month, reducing the cut to 7.7 million barrels a day from 9.7 million before. The only exceptions are Iraq, Nigeria, Angola and Kazakhstan who missed their quotas and will need to make up. US production is still declining but with oil holding above $40, will that last? A weaker dollar will help support prices.


Higher real yields in the US took the legs from underneath gold again midweek and it’s continuing to struggle to find its feet again, trading around $1,935 as we head into the end of the week. The rebound in the dollar is weighing on gold but the greenback did break through significant support earlier in the week so remains on a bearish trajectory. That said, it’s been some recovery since then and a break above 94 in the dollar index would be a worrying development for the yellow metal.

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Rent Control Is A Disaster – Don’t Let It Spread Across The Nation

Rent Control Is A Disaster – Don’t Let It Spread Across The Nation

Authored by Betsy McCaughey via The Epoch Times,

America’s renters -…



Rent Control Is A Disaster - Don't Let It Spread Across The Nation

Authored by Betsy McCaughey via The Epoch Times,

America’s renters - more than one-third of the nation’s households - are in for trouble.

Left-wing politicians are demanding rent regulation from coast to coast. Wherever it is adopted, the result will be a disastrous reduction in the rental housing supply, leaving renters desperate for places to live.

New York is the poster child for the failures of rent regulation. The U.S. Supreme Court is currently mulling a challenge to the constitutionality of the city’s rent regime.

Whatever the justices decide, the public needs to consider less destructive, more targeted ways to help low-income people pay for housing. The court of public opinion needs to consider these facts.

Fact No. 1: Rent regulation isn’t targeted to the poor.

In New York, there’s no means test. What you need is luck or connections. The mean income of a rent-stabilized apartment dweller is $47,000, but census data show that tens of thousands of them earn more than $150,000 per year. Some occupants use what they’re saving on rent to pay for a weekend place in the Hamptons or New England.

The pols don’t object—a sure sign they’re calling for rent regulation to help themselves politically, not the poor.

In New York, 44 percent of rental apartments are regulated by the Rent Guidelines Board (RGB), established in 1969, which sets the maximum amount by which landlords are allowed to raise the rent. Those limits apply to all buildings of six or more units built before 1974.

In 2022, the RGB set the maximum rent hike at 3.25 percent on one-year leases and this year at 3 percent. Never mind that last year, fuel costs to heat the buildings soared by 19 percent and overall inflation hit 8.3 percent.

The decisions are political, not economic. Many Democratic politicians vilify building owners as “greedy landlords” and depict themselves as the champions of the downtrodden. It’s a scam.

Fact No. 2: Winners and losers.

The winners are the lucky few with rent-regulated apartments and the pols who count on an army of tenant activists to turn out at the polls. The losers are the 56 percent of renters who don’t score a regulated apartment and have to scour neighborhoods for an unregulated place that they can afford. They’re paying more.

Why? Because regulation causes some landlords to walk away, reducing the overall supply of apartments. The laws of supply and demand mean rents go up. New Yorkers in unregulated apartments are paying the highest rents in the United States for a one-bedroom apartment. They're the real victims, and they should be furious.

Yet the left-wing press pretends that rent control offers only benefits. The New Republic warns that the Supreme Court challenge threatens “laws that have benefitted the city’s tenants for generations.” Sorry, untrue—only some tenants, and not always the neediest.

It’s economic madness. The saner way to help those who need assistance paying rent is with a voucher. We offer the needy SNAP debit cards to help them pay for groceries. No one slaps price controls on grocery stores or designates certain stores as “regulated,” forcing them to sell at below cost.

Yet New York forces certain landlords to pay what should be a public cost shared by all, an argument made to the court.

Fact No. 3: The Marxist fantasy that rent regulation will help the poor is spreading across the United States and Europe as well.

Maine and Minnesota have enacted laws allowing municipalities to impose rent regulations. In November 2024, California voters will be asked to approve a proposition allowing local governments to add additional restrictions to the state’s existing rent caps.

The laws of supply and demand are international. Berlin froze rents in 2019, and the rental supply plummeted, according to the Ifo Institute, a think tank.

Yet London Mayor Sadiq Khan is calling for freezing rents for two years. London provides housing vouchers to the poor—a smarter approach—but when the city froze the voucher amounts during the COVID-19 pandemic, fewer apartments were available in the price range. The answer is to raise the voucher amount. Freezing rents will only make the shortage worse.

Ignore the demagogues. The evidence is in: Rent regulation is a political scam. There are better ways to help Americans afford a place to live.

Tyler Durden Sat, 10/14/2023 - 16:20

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‘No Regrets’: Former CIA Director Repeats Debunked Russian Disinfo Claims About Hunter’s Laptop

‘No Regrets’: Former CIA Director Repeats Debunked Russian Disinfo Claims About Hunter’s Laptop

In an interview last night with Fox’s Bret…



'No Regrets': Former CIA Director Repeats Debunked Russian Disinfo Claims About Hunter's Laptop

In an interview last night with Fox's Bret Baier, former CIA Director Leon Panetta humiliated himself as he defended the letter that he and 50 other so-called 'intelligence officials' signed suggesting that the Hunter Biden laptop was Russian disinformation.

Even more unsettling were his comments that he believes it could still be Russian disinformation.

“That letter was used in the debate, I haven’t asked you this but do you have regrets about that now looking back, knowing what you know now?” Baier asked.

Panetta explained that he was “extremely concerned about Russian interference” in the run up to the 2020 Presidential Election between then-former-Vice President Joe Biden and then-President Donald Trump.

He claimed that intelligence agencies discovered that “Russia had continued to push disinformation across the board.”

He said that he wanted to “alert the public” about the “disinformation efforts” to influence the election.

“And frankly, I haven’t seen any evidence from any intelligence agency that that was not the case,” Panetta said.

“You don’t think that it was real?” Baier asked.

“I think that disinformation is involved here. I think Russian disinformation is part of what we’re seeing everywhere,” Panetta responded.

“I don’t trust the Russians, and that’s exactly why I was concerned that the public not trust the Russians either.”

And finally, Baier asked if Panetta had any regrets over how he handled the story.

“No, I don’t have any regrets about not trusting the Russians,” Panetta said.

As Jonathan Turley pointed out,Panetta simply refused to acknowledge:

(1) American intelligence quickly debunked the claim and said that there was no evidence of Russian disinformation behind the laptop,

(2) the emails contained in the laptop were quickly authenticated by the other parties,

(3) the FBI authenticated the laptop,

(4) Hunter Biden has since sued over the use of his laptop, and

(5) the media has independently authenticated the laptop.

This was the man in charge of our CIA.

As a reminder, it has also been shown that the Biden campaign and associates coordinated the letter.

Watch the lying liar lie below...

We give the last word back to Turley who summarized the former spook's self-immolation perfectly: "Panetta has become the personification of the economic theory of path dependence. No matter how much countervailing evidence is presented to Panetta, he still refuses to accept the authenticity of the laptop."

However, in order to admit to these facts, Panetta would have had to admit that he was a willing or unwitting dupe of the campaign. It is easier to simply continue to claim that this could all be the invention of the Russians.

Yet, as Turley exclaims, Panetta is still sought for his advice on other intelligence matters as he continues to repeat disproven claims because the truth is simply too costly on a personal level to acknowledge.

What do we call false claims that are repeated despite being repeatedly debunked and disproven? Oh, yea, disinformation.

Tyler Durden Sat, 10/14/2023 - 14:35

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Military Agrees To Pay $1.8 Million To Settle Lawsuits From COVID Vaccine Mandate

Military Agrees To Pay $1.8 Million To Settle Lawsuits From COVID Vaccine Mandate

Authored by Ryan Morgan via The Epoch Times (Emphasis ours),




Military Agrees To Pay $1.8 Million To Settle Lawsuits From COVID Vaccine Mandate

Authored by Ryan Morgan via The Epoch Times (Emphasis ours),

In a settlement agreement submitted on Oct. 3, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Army Secretary Christine Wormuth, Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall, and Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro agreed to settle the pair of lawsuits—known as U.S. Navy SEALs 1-26 v. Biden and Colonel Financial Management Officer, et al. v. Austin—which challenged the legal basis of the military-wide vaccine mandate.

A soldier watches a colleague receive his COVID-19 vaccination from Army Preventive Medicine personnel in Fort Knox, Ky., on Sept. 9, 2021. (Jon Cherry/Getty Images)

The two cases were brought by servicemembers from all U.S. military branches, including numerous officers and several members of the elite U.S. Navy SEALs. The Navy SEAL plaintiffs initially filed their lawsuit nearly two years ago in October 2021 after President Joe Biden ordered that all U.S. troops and other executive branch employees be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Military servicemembers have raised numerous objections to the military COVID-19 vaccine mandate, including claims that the various military branches routinely rejected requests for religious accommodations to the mandates. Plaintiffs have also raised health concerns over the relatively condensed timeline under which the various COVID-19 vaccines were developed and then granted approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

While the various COVID-19 vaccines were originally made available to the general public under emergency use authorizations, the FDA eventually granted full approval to the Pfizer–BioNTech vaccine version, later marketed as Comirnaty. President Biden introduced the vaccine mandate shortly after the FDA granted full approval for Comirnaty, but the lawsuits argued that the FDA-approved vaccine often wasn't actually available to servicemembers, meaning that the military vaccine mandate effectively required service members to take versions of the COVID-19 vaccines that didn't have full FDA approval.

Last year, Republican lawmakers introduced a provision in the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that repealed the military's vaccine mandate. President Biden ultimately signed the 2022 NDAA into law, despite objecting to the provision reversing his military vaccine mandate.

Liberty Counsel, a religious liberty nonprofit that represented military plaintiffs in the two cases, celebrated the Oct. 3 settlement agreement.

"The military COVID shot mandate is dead," Liberty Counsel founder and Chairman Mat Staver said in a statement. "Our heroic service members can no longer be forced to take this experimental jab that conflicts with their religious convictions."

The $1.8 million settlement will be split between the two cases, with $900,000 being paid out for SEAL 1-26 v. Biden and the same amount being paid to the plaintiffs in Colonel Financial Management Officer, et al. v. Austin.

"Through our daily work with service members in every branch, we have had the privilege of knowing some of the finest people who love God and love America," Mr. Staver said. "These heroes should not have been mistreated by our own government. At the same time, we have come to realize that many of the high-ranking members of leadership, the Pentagon, and the Biden administration need to be replaced. Collectively, they dishonored the brave men and women who defend our freedom. We stand ready to defend our defenders of freedom if any religious discrimination occurs in the future.”

Approximately 8,400 U.S. military servicemembers were involuntarily separated from the military as a result of the COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

The majority of servicemembers received a general discharge, as opposed to a more favorable honorable discharge. Servicemembers separated under a general discharge can be barred from rejoining the military and don't have full access to educational benefits under the GI Bill.

Tyler Durden Sat, 10/14/2023 - 14:00

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