EIR News (Executive Intelligence Reports)

Ron Wieczorek

12h  · Major Nations Are Raising Inflation Estimates and Rates (see slug)Biggest CPI Inflation Is in Food—Oct. 23 (EIRNS)—Despite reports, used car prices are not leading the U.S. in inflation.CPI inflation (from which housing costs are conveniently excluded)—food is. Example: The cost of meats increased 12.6% between September 2020 and September 2021, according to unadjusted CPI data. The cost of pork rose 12.7% in the same period. Poultry prices rose 6.1%, while beef prices climbed the most, at 17.6%. Beef roasts, the category brisket falls in, increased 20.8% in the past 12 months. [pbg]Scrooge and Bob Cratchit Are Coming Back—Oct. 23 (EIRNS)—A mid-October national survey by Deloitte & Touche found higher-income households are planning to spend 15% more on Christmas (averaging $2,624 per household) than they did last year. But lower-income households (bottom 40 percentiles) plan to spend 22% less (averaging $536 per household). Moreover, the share of all consumers who do not plan to spend anything at all this season is 11.5%, compared to 4.9% in 2020. Two-thirds of this no-spending group were from lower-income households. [pbg]

Ron Wieczorek

Ocm1tuao1bier 22 aatio 4:uo70745 AM2d  · Egypt Creates Thousands of Good Jobs with Nuclear Power ProjectOct. 21, 2021 (EIRNS)—Thousands of jobs will be available at Egypt’s first nuclear power plant, at Dabaa, whose capacity amounts to 4,800 megawatts, and many more opportunities will be provided indirectly, said Amgad al-Wakil, head of the Nuclear Power Plants Authority on Monday.A total of 3,000 jobs will be offered directly by the authority to work at the nuclear power plant. More than 6,000 jobs will be offered directly by contractors, and five times more jobs will have been made available indirectly by Egyptian companies by the time the construction of the project ends, according to Wakil. The first reactor is scheduled to come online in 2026.The next three phases for the nuclear power plant will witness the operation of another three reactors at 1,200 megawatts each, which will reduce the Egyptian and Russian staff needed at the plant.The Dabaa Nuclear Power Plant will provide job opportunities and bring about political, social, and economic gains, radically changing the reality of Dabaa area, which will see eight nuclear power stations built over eight phases. The first includes a station of four reactors providing power of 1,200 megawatts, making the capacity of the station 4,800 megawatts.

Shanghai School Principals Take Crash Course in Bel Canto (EIRNS)—The Shanghai School District is taking the official policy of aesthetic education very seriously. The principals of Shanghai’s elementary and middle schools were brought together for a music class in which they learned to sing “Va, pensiero.” The class, part of a series introduced for the principals, was led by Wang Renming, a teacher at the Department of Voice and Song at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. He talked about the four periods of Verdi’s operas and focused on Nabucco, introducing the famous Chorus of Hebrew Slaves. He explained the nature of bel canto and vocal technique in Italian opera, introducing Italian , and having them try their hand at “Va, pensiero.”There was a lot of excitement. One person left saying he was an “opera greenhorn.” One principal, from the Changbai Second Village Primary School in the Yangpu District of Shanghai, commented: “I’m starting from scratch and having a hard time keeping up—but I’m getting the bug.” He said that the school is experimenting with opening up autistic children with music. Wang Renming commented about his program: “I have always said that people who study music will never be bad guys, they must be good guys. As the school’s biggest communicator, the principal will definitely bring back our music information, and the school’s artistic atmosphere will definitely come alive.”Wang will also lead five classes, including a vocal skills class, opera appreciation and others. He will also bring a group of students to the scene to sing and talk, and demonstrate teaching. In addition, the Shanghai Music Opera House is planning 19 courses on the theme of “Discovering the Beauty of Music” with lectures by famous teachers, vocal music experience, and performance observation.

Another Energy Provider Goes Bust in GermanyOct. 20 (EIRNS)—Unless prices on the spot market are put under control, rising energy prices are threatening to bankrupt the entire sector. The Hamburg-based Smiling Green Energy (SGE) has filed for insolvency, the second energy provider to go bust in Germany. The “rapid increase of energy prices was the key trigger for SGE insolvency,” said the court-appointed caretaker. SGE provided electricity from so-called renewable sources for some 1,500 private and corporate customers under the label “Naturally Green Electricity.” For the moment, customers won’t be left in the dark, as the local main provider is stepping in.At the same time, more and more providers are terminating contracts with customers. Electricity and gas supply company Rheinische Elektrizitäts- und Gasversorgungsgesellschaft has terminated contracts with hundreds of customers in the states of Hessen and in Bremen, without explanation. REG stopped delivering electricity under the label “Immergrün” (Evergreen) Oct. 19.Already in September, the company Deutsche Energiepool had terminated contracts for gas delivery to many customers. Large providers such as EnBW and Entega are taking no new gas customers. The energy giant E.O.N. Is reviewing prices and conditions for new gas contracts.

China Cracks Down on Energy Future SpeculationOct. 20 (EIRNS)—Acknowledging that there was no relation between supply and demand and coal prices, Chinese authorities moved to curb speculation on the Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange yesterday. As a result, coal prices plunged by the maximum of 8% for two days in a row.“The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said that coal prices have become completely divorced from the fundamentals of supply and demand and as the heating season approaches, prices are still showing a further trend of irrational rises,” Global Times reported Oct. 19On Oct. 19, the NDRC gathered coal enterprises and industry associations to study ways and means to intervene. At the same time, it sent a team to the Zhengzhou Exchange, where a symposium was held. “Price moves of thermal coal futures since the start of the year were analyzed at the symposium, which concluded with a stern crackdown on malicious speculative bets on thermal coal futures.” A daily maximum change of 10% was announced. After this series of “policy combinations punches” were issued, the capital market moved in response and the coal futures market and the stock market fell simultaneously.At the NDRC meeting it had been reported that since the end of September a new round of coal mines have been approved, and the average output increased by more than 1.2 million tons from September. Daily output on Oct. 18 exceeded 11.6 million tons, a high for this year. Coal storage has also been increased by more than 9 million tons since the beginning of the month and power plants in the three northeastern provinces can store coal for 24 days, an increase of 11 days from the beginning of the month. Power generation and heating companies and coal companies have signed for 150 million tons in medium and long-term contracts.On Oct. 20, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang held an executive meeting of the State Council on the issue, where it was emphasized that this winter, particularly in the northeast, would be extremely cold. The task was to ensure sufficient production and transportation of coal to the region for heating. Gas supplies would also be increased in the same effort. In addition measures would be taken to crack down on coal market speculation, Li announced.Also addressing the issue in a related forum on Oct. 20, Guo Shuqing, the chairman of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, while repeating the usual shibboleths about the need to reduce dependence on carbon, also warned that such moves cannot be “divorced from reality” and people should not “blindly follow the trend. There is no one size fits all” solution to the problem, he said.

Update: $26B worth of cargo stuck on container ships off California

Tremendous West Coast Ship Backlog Is Getting Worse; So Is Industrial ProductionOct. 23 (EIRNS)—The extraordinary volume of delayed ocean freight from Asia around the West Coast ports of the United States, which is playing a significant role in creating inflationary shortages and breakdowns in the American economy, is continuing to worsen, according to a report published in FreightWaves Oct. 20.An all-time record 103 large container ships—which carry most, but not all, of oceangoing non-bulk cargo—were either at port docks or waiting offshore at Los Angeles and Long Beach ports on that day. Some 79 of them were offshore, waiting with about 600,000 TEUs of cargo. The number had increased by 30 or so since EIR’s first report in mid-September, despite China’s factory production having dropped somewhat due to electricity shortages and plant shutdowns; and despite plant closures elsewhere in Asia due to COVID.As for the time of delays, the average time for a container ship to wait offshore before even entering port had risen from a week in mid-September to 13 days now; some ships, run by smaller maritime companies, had been waiting up to six weeks according to FreightWaves. One of the ships had meanwhile, apparently, caused a damaging oil spill by dragging its anchor into a pipeline.The freight itself is therefore waiting an average 13 days for a chance to wait—another week for unloading, 5-6 days to be moved off the ports to railheads or trucking depots, and then an irregular wait for truck pickups due to shortages of drivers (some drivers are avoiding these routes if they can, because they themselves are not paid for, or lose money on, the days they have to wait for the freight).An estimate of $26 billion worth of cargo suspended offshore is made, if that momentary snapshot of an inflationary process means anything. That figure updates the one given in the url of the article. (https://www.freightwaves.com/…/22b-worth-of-cargo-is… )While trying through hyperinflationary money-printing to import much more—and increasingly failing—the United States is producing less. U.S. industrial production “unexpectedly” fell by 1.3% in September month to month. All three categories dropped: Output at manufacturers by -0.7% in September, led by a -7.2% drop in production of motor vehicles and parts; utilities output by -3.6% in September; and mining output, which includes oil and natural gas, by -2.3%.The good news is supposed to be that September represented a 4.6% rise in industrial production over the same month in 2020; but it didn’t take much to be September 2020. A clearer comparison shows that U.S. industry’s output in September, according to data graphed by the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank, remained 3.6% lower than in September 2019—the month when this major financial collapse threat really reared its head with the co-called “repo crisis” of the interbank lending market.

https://www.zerohedge.com/economics/22-billion-worth-cargo-now-stuck-container-ships-california


~Abi PureBlood (God Yah’s Kid Alwa
ys…)@AbiyahGail

Gavin Newsom to the Rescue: Signs Executive Order on Cargo Crisis He wrecks the world with his zero emissions policy w/ no trucks older than 3 years can offload the containers and deliver them to their destination…NOW: He is portrayed as a hero…

https://t.co/RipH5CINTU?amp=1

Biden Administration Turns Back to ‘Green’ Executive Actions To Show at COP26Oct. 22 (EIRNS)—The chances for Joe Biden’s administration to legislate a Green New Deal and take it to the Hallowe’en Summit of COP26 are now essentially zero, as even the Democrats’ in Congress have resisted—or generated resistance by their climate extremism, as the case may be. So Biden has turned, again, to executive orders and regulations, this time to try to show them off in Glasgow. This is because the Clean Energy Performance Program, core of Biden’s Green New Deal, appears to be firmly opposed by at least Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV). That would have required all utilities generating/selling electricity, to increase their share of “renewable,” or interruptible power by at least 4% every year. It would make adding any more reliable form of baseline power a very difficult proposition for almost any utility.Following the Oct. 15 all-of-government executive order in the form of a “Fact Sheet” from the White House, on Oct. 21 the Financial Services Oversight Council issued a report to its member regulators telling them to crack down on bank investments and security issuances connected to fossil fuel exploration and power generation. The FSOC report/directive was issued on the same day that the mighty climate warrior of the banking world, Mark Carney, attempted, in an interview with CNBC, to definitively declare trillions of dollars of oil, coal and gas assets “stranded”—barred from exploitation—around the world. Said Carney: “We have … too many hydrocarbons, enormous stranded assets, whether it’s in coal, three-quarters of coal, half of gas, roughly the same of oil, we have too many fossil fuels. [emphasis added]The FSOC is not an advisory body. Chaired by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, it is the council created by the Dodd-Frank Act of the 15 major U.S. financial, securities, and insurance regulators—the Treasury, the Office of Controller of the Currency, the Federal Reserve, the FDIC, CFTC, SEC, etc. Its “report,” and this is its first report in 12 years’ existence, is actually a directive by the Treasury to the regulators, which will lead to regulations being issued to banks and other financial firms. MarketWatch quoted one enthusiastic financial Greenie: “To unlock that Dodd-Frank power, we need to establish climate as a systemic risk. On this the FSOC was unequivocal — it is a threat to the financial system and all agencies in the FSOC, including the Fed, agreed. That unlocks regulatory power. That’s a big deal.” And MarketWatch itself overstated Biden’s case: “At minimum, a closer alliance presented in the report for diagnosing and reporting climate-change risk for financial markets may help President Biden’s standing at the pivotal UN climate-change talks (COP26) that kick off in Glasgow in a little more than a week.”But tremendous damage could be done. Consider: The first regulation expected, imminently, is an SEC rule requiring that companies included their “climate risk exposure” in their earnings reports. These reports, usually issued quarterly, have become crucial to companies, and if they have to tell investors that their quarterly results are achieved by taking on media-hated “environmental risk,” they believe their stocks and bonds will be shellacked—it’s already happened to the major oil companies. This is only one indication of the gouging of carbon-related investment these 15 regulators can do under Treasury orders.

Ecuador President Declares State of Emergency over Drug ViolenceOct. 20 (EIRNS)—On the eve of a visit to Ecuador by U.S. Secretary of State Tony Blinken, President Guillermo Lasso on Oct. 18 delivered a speech broadcast by the state channel EcuadorTV, in which he announced a 60-day state of emergency for the country, to deal with escalating drug-related violence. “Starting immediately, our Armed Forces and police will be felt with force in the streets because we are decreeing a state of emergency throughout the national territory. In the streets of Ecuador there is only one enemy: drug trafficking…. In recent years Ecuador has gone from being a drug-trafficking country to one that also consumes drugs.”Ecuador, like many countries in Ibero-America, is seeing an explosion of drug trafficking and attendant violence as a result of the collapse of their economies, which leave their youth populations with next to no options for survival. This, coupled with the breathtaking pace of drug legalization in the United States, has left anti-drug forces in Ibero-America thoroughly demoralized about the prospect of actually defeating international narco-trafficking. As EIR has thoroughly documented in its book and subsequent studies of Dope, Inc., the international drug trade is run by the large City of London and Wall Street financial interests, which launder over a trillion dollars a year from their new Opium Wars.Blinken, who is accompanied by the Assistant Secretary for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Todd Robinson, NSC Senior Director for the Western Hemisphere Juan Gonzalez, and Ned Price, will reportedly discuss security, defense and trade, and will focus as well on drugs and migration, with an emphasis on Venezuela and Haiti.As for the violence sweeping the country, between January and October there have been almost 1,900 homicides, compared to about 1,400 in all of 2020, according to official statistics. Under the state of emergency, soldiers and police will patrol the streets and also the country’s 65 prisons, where drug gang violence has taken a huge toll over recent months. So far in 2021, there have been 238 prisoners killed in prison riots between rival gangs.France24 reported: “Two weeks ago, jailed members of crime groups linked to cartels in Mexico and Colombia battled with firearms for control of a penitentiary in the southwestern city of Guayaquil. The fighting left 119 inmates dead in one of the worst prison massacres in the history of Latin America. Lasso pointed out that more than 70% of violent deaths that occur in the coastal province of Guayas, whose capital is Guayaquil, are in some way related to drug trafficking.”

U.S. Seeking Access to Pakistan Airbase for Military/Intelligence Operations in AfghanistanOct. 23 (EIRNS)—According to an Oct. 22 CNN report, the Biden Administration told members of the U.S. Congress in a classified briefing that America is negotiating with Pakistan for access to its airspace for military and intelligence operations in Afghanistan. Pakistan has expressed a desire to sign a Memorandum of Understanding in exchange for assistance with its own counterterrorism efforts and help in managing the relationship with India, one of CNN’s unnamed sources said. But the negotiations are ongoing, another source said, and the terms of the agreement, which has not been finalized, could still change. The third source said that an agreement was discussed when U.S. officials visited Pakistan, but it’s not yet clear what Pakistan wants or how much the United States would be willing to give in return.For the United States, access to landlocked Afghanistan can only come through either Pakistan or Central Asia. One of the Central Asia countries, Uzbekistan, is not interested in hosting U;S. troops for such purposes. “Today the reality is that there is no need for this,” Uzbek Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov told a press briefing, reported Sputnik International. The minister mentioned that “limits” of the Tashkent-Washington interaction are determined in the agreements between Uzbekistan and America. Sputnik writes that on Oct. 13, Politico reported that the United States will send defense officials to Uzbekistan who will explore the possibility of housing counter-terrorist forces in the Central Asian country to monitor the threats emanating from Afghanistan.

Austin Responds to Biden’s Statement on TaiwanOct. 23 (EIRNS)—President Joe Biden’s statement that America would defend Taiwan against a Chinese attack naturally led to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin being asked the question in Brussels “Will the U.S. defend Taiwan if attacked by Beijing?”“Well, nobody wants to see cross-strait issues come to blows, certainly not President Biden, and there’s no reason that it should. You’ve heard us say this a number of times, and I’ll say it again. We remain committed to our One China policy, in keeping with the Taiwan Relations Act, the Three Assurances and the six communiqués,” Austin said, according to the Pentagon transcript (the TRA, the three U.S.-P.R.C. Joint Communiqués, and the Six Assurances, the DOD clarified in a footnote). “As we’ve done over multiple administrations, we’ll continue to help Taiwan with the sorts of capabilities that it needs to defend itself, and so we’ll stay focused on those things. And I won’t engage in any hypotheticals with respect to Taiwan.”China’s response to Biden’s statement on Taiwan and the subsequent White House walkback, was not surprising. “Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin during the ministry’s regular press briefing on Oct. 22. “The Taiwan question is purely China’s internal affairs that allow no foreign interference. On issues that bear on China’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and other core interests, no one shall expect China to make any compromise or trade-offs. No one should underestimate the resolve, the will and the ability of the Chinese people to defend their national sovereignty and territorial integrity. Do not stand on the opposite side of the 1.4 billion people. We urge the U.S. to earnestly abide by the one-China principle and stipulations in the three China-U.S. joint communiqués, be prudent with its words and actions on the Taiwan question, and avoid sending wrong signals to the ‘Taiwan independence’ separatist forces, lest it should seriously damage China-U.S. relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.” (https://www.fmprc.gov.cn/…/s2510_665401/t1916229.shtml)

Comment: A Big Thank You to Ron Wieczorek for posting this information.

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