Argentine Central Bank’s Sudden Dollar Shortage Sparks Fears Of Mass Corporate Credit Crisis

Argentine Central Bank’s Sudden Dollar Shortage Sparks Fears Of Mass Corporate Credit Crisis

Despite Emerging Markets’ recent surge higher on the heels of a dumping dollar and massive global liquidity injections, at least one country is facing crisis rather than crescendo.

MSCI Emerging Market stocks have soared…

Source: Bloomberg

YPF, a 99-year-old oil company that some have called Argentina’s flaghship company, is threatening a large-scale default on its bonds after the central bank refused to let YPF buy the full amount of dollars it needed to pay notes coming due in March.

“The central bank’s message is pretty clear,” said Santiago Barros Moss, a TPCG analyst in Buenos Aires.

“There just aren’t enough dollars in Argentina for corporates right now.”

The last few months have seen the peso collapse (despite a weaker USDollar) to 86/USD – a record low – making the dollar-debt payments for Argentina’s corporations exceedingly expensive.

Source: Bloomberg

And that – along with the fact that global oil markets have collapsed – led YPF to send a press release in the dead of night laying out a plan to saddle creditors with losses in a debt exchange.

Implicit in its statement, as Bloomberg reports, was a threat that traders immediately understood – failure to reach a restructuring deal could lead to a flat-out suspension of debt payments – and they began frantically unloading the shale driller’s bonds the next morning. Today, some two weeks later, the securities trade as low as 56 cents on the dollar.

“The central bank’s decision really put YPF between a rock and a hard place,” said Lorena Reich, a corporate-debt analyst at Lucror Analytics in Buenos Aires.

Source: Bloomberg

Argentina’s cash crunch couldn’t come at a worse time for YPF, which was already facing a drop in demand because of the pandemic.

The task is even more urgent as the South American winter approaches with YPF unable to meet domestic gas demand, meaning Argentina will have to boost imports – and fork over precious hard currency – in the middle of a global spike in prices.

But, as Bloomberg notes, the central bank’s refusal to sell YPF the dollars it needs to pay its obligations, despite the company’s earlier efforts to refinance its short-term debt, is a bad sign for all overseas corporate bonds from Argentina, according to the financial services firm TPCG.

The concern is that if the country’s flagship company isn’t eligible to buy dollars at the official exchange rate as the bank seeks to hold onto hard-currency reserves, no one else will be either.

And this, among other reasons, is why The Fed must keep injecting dollars into the world… or face this kind of crisis from DMs as well as EMs.

Tyler Durden
Thu, 01/21/2021 – 19:40

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Senate Dems File Ethics Complaint Against Cruz, Hawley For Objecting To Electoral Results

Senate Dems File Ethics Complaint Against Cruz, Hawley For Objecting To Electoral Results

Congressional Democrats – who objected to the electoral results for the last three GOP presidents – have filed an ethics complaint against GOP Senators. Ted Cruz (TX) and Josh Hawley (MO) for objecting to the Electoral College results.

The Senate Ethics Committee should investigate their conduct to fully understand their role. The actions of which we know demand an investigation and a determination whether disciplinary action is warranted. Until then, a cloud of uncertainty will hang over them and over this body,” wrote Democratic Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (RI), Ron Wyden (OR), Tima Smith (MN), Richard Blumenthal (CT), Mazie Hirono (HI), Tim Kaine (VA) and Sherrod Brown (OH).

The complaint wants the Ethics Committee to investigate whether Cruz and Hawley failed to “[p]ut loyalty to the highest moral principles and to country above loyalty to persons, party, or Government department,” or if they engaged in “improper conduct reflecting on the Senate” linked to the January 6 Capitol ‘riot.’

The Democratic senators also outlined several questions they believed should be probed as part of an Ethics Committee investigation including if they were in touch with coordinators for the rally, if they encouraged any “insurrectionist” acts or if they “engaged in criminal conduct, or unethical or improper behavior.”

“While it was within Senators’ rights to object to the electors, the conduct of Senators Cruz and Hawley, and potentially others, went beyond that,” they wrote in the letter to Ethics Committee leadership. 

Cruz and Hawley, two potential 2024 presidential contenders, have denounced the mob that breached the Capitol but they’ve also stood by their decisions to object to the Electoral College results from Arizona and Pennsylvania, respectively. –The Hill

During the counting of electoral votes, Cruz objected to Arizona’s results, while Hawley objected to Pennsylvania’s results following the Capitol attack, when a group of Trump supporters and at least one prominent member of BLM breached the Capitol building and occupied it for a brief period of time before leaving on their own.

The Democratic Senators are also asking the Ethics Committee to “offer recommendations for strong disciplinary action, including up to expulsion or censure, if warranted by the facts uncovered.”

Tyler Durden
Thu, 01/21/2021 – 19:20

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Biden Executive Order Mandates Mask Wearing on Domestic and International Travel

Today, President Biden issued an executive order “on Promoting COVID-19 Safety in Domestic and International Travel.” Biden orders various cabinet official:

“to the extent appropriate and consistent with applicable law, to require masks to be worn in compliance with CDC guidelines in or on: (i) airports; (ii) commercial aircraft; (iii) trains;  (iv) public maritime vessels, including ferries; (v) intercity bus services; and (vi) all forms of public transportation as defined in section 5302 of title 49, United States Code.”

This order stops short of imposing a mask mandate for all interstate modes of transit. The order does not purport to regulate private modes of conveyance. The sixth category, 49 U.S.C. 5302, defines “public transportation” as regular, continuing shared-ride surface transportation services that are open to the general public or open to a segment of the general public defined by age, disability, or low income.” But “public transportation” does not include:

“(i)intercity passenger rail transportation provided by the entity described in chapter 243 (or a successor to such entity); (ii)intercity bus service; (iii)charter bus service; (iv)school bus service; (v)sightseeing service; (vi)courtesy shuttle service for patrons of one or more specific establishments; or (vii)intra-terminal or intra-facility shuttle services.”

The order also requires international travelers must “produce proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test prior to entry.” The order also suggests that international travelers quarantine upon arrival, but there do not seem to be any enforcement mechanisms.

Section 5(e) sets the stage for a vaccination database:

(e)  International Certificates of Vaccination or Prophylaxis.  Consistent with applicable law, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of HHS, and the Secretary of Homeland Security (including through the Administrator of the TSA), in coordination with any relevant international organizations, shall assess the feasibility of linking COVID-19 vaccination to International Certificates of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP) and producing electronic versions of ICVPs.

We are now fully 24 hours into the Biden administration, and still no nationwide injunction. So far, so good.

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McConnell Lays Out Trump Impeachment Timeline As GOP Rep Files Articles Against Biden

McConnell Lays Out Trump Impeachment Timeline As GOP Rep Files Articles Against Biden

While the left is split between wanting to hammer the final nail in Trump’s coffin (through the Senate impeachment trial) and tending to its aggressive agenda of new laws, spending, and government control, U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) issued a statement today regarding his proposed timeline for the first phases of an impeachment trial of former president Trump.

“I have sent a proposed timeline for the first phases of the upcoming impeachment trial to Leader Schumer and look forward to continuing to discuss it with him.

“Senate Republicans are strongly united behind the principle that the institution of the Senate, the office of the presidency, and former President Trump himself all deserve a full and fair process that respects his rights and the serious factual, legal, and constitutional questions at stake. Given the unprecedented speed of the House’s process, our proposed timeline for the initial phases includes a modest and reasonable amount of additional time for both sides to assemble their arguments before the Senate would begin to hear them.

“At this time of strong political passions, Senate Republicans believe it is absolutely imperative that we do not allow a half-baked process to short-circuit the due process that former President Trump deserves or damage the Senate or the presidency.”

Specifically, Leader McConnell shared the following proposed pre-trial timeline with the Republican Conference today:

When the articles arrive, the House Managers would exhibit (read) the articles to the Senate, Senators would be sworn in the Members as the Court of Impeachment, and would issue a summons to former President Trump.  While we do not know what day the Managers will choose, Leader McConnell has asked for this to occur on Thursday, January 28. 

Former President Trump would have one week from that day to answer the articles of impeachment (February 4).  The House’s pre-trial brief would also be due then.

The President would then have one week from the day he submits his answer to submit his pre-trial brief (February 11).  That means former president Trump has fourteen total days from when we issue the summons to write his pre-trial brief.  The House would also submit its replication on this date.

The House would then have two days to submit their rebuttal pre-trial brief (February 13).  

This approach tracks the structure of the Clinton and Trump pre-trial processes. 

The periods between due dates are longer than in 1999 or 2020, but this is necessary because of the House’s unprecedented timeline.

So far we have not seen any response from Senate Democrat Leader Schumer, but we do note the timing is ironic as (in what appears to be more PR stunt than anything else) freshman Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene announced via Twitter video Thursday that she’s filed articles of impeachment on President Joe Biden.

As SaraACarter.com’s Jennie Taer reports, Rep. Greene earlier pledged on Newsmax on January 13 to do so on the first day of Biden’s presidency, as reported.

“We cannot have a President of the United States that is willing to abuse the power of the office of the presidency and be easily bought off by foreign governments, foreign Chinese energy companies, Ukrainian energy companies. So on January 21st, I will be filing articles of impeachment on Joe Biden,” said Rep. Greene.

As w3e noted, while this is unlikely to proceed, that did not stop Democratic Reps such as Al Green from incessantly posting articles during Trump’s term (as early as May 2017).

Tyler Durden
Thu, 01/21/2021 – 19:11

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Biden Executive Order Mandates Mask Wearing on Domestic and International Travel

Today, President Biden issued an executive order “on Promoting COVID-19 Safety in Domestic and International Travel.” Biden orders various cabinet official:

“to the extent appropriate and consistent with applicable law, to require masks to be worn in compliance with CDC guidelines in or on: (i) airports; (ii) commercial aircraft; (iii) trains;  (iv) public maritime vessels, including ferries; (v) intercity bus services; and (vi) all forms of public transportation as defined in section 5302 of title 49, United States Code.”

This order stops short of imposing a mask mandate for all interstate modes of transit. The order does not purport to regulate private modes of conveyance. The sixth category, 49 U.S.C. 5302, defines “public transportation” as regular, continuing shared-ride surface transportation services that are open to the general public or open to a segment of the general public defined by age, disability, or low income.” But “public transportation” does not include:

“(i)intercity passenger rail transportation provided by the entity described in chapter 243 (or a successor to such entity); (ii)intercity bus service; (iii)charter bus service; (iv)school bus service; (v)sightseeing service; (vi)courtesy shuttle service for patrons of one or more specific establishments; or (vii)intra-terminal or intra-facility shuttle services.”

The order also requires international travelers must “produce proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test prior to entry.” The order also suggests that international travelers quarantine upon arrival, but there do not seem to be any enforcement mechanisms.

Section 5(e) sets the stage for a vaccination database:

(e)  International Certificates of Vaccination or Prophylaxis.  Consistent with applicable law, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of HHS, and the Secretary of Homeland Security (including through the Administrator of the TSA), in coordination with any relevant international organizations, shall assess the feasibility of linking COVID-19 vaccination to International Certificates of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP) and producing electronic versions of ICVPs.

We are now fully 24 hours into the Biden administration, and still no nationwide injunction. So far, so good.

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Intel Released Earnings Early Because Hacker “Stole Financially Sensitive Information” From Its Website

Intel Released Earnings Early Because Hacker “Stole Financially Sensitive Information” From Its Website

Something unexpected happened at exactly 3:47pm this afternoon: that’s when wire services like Bloomberg reported Intel’s Q4 financial results, some 13 minutes ahead of the scheduled release time.

Some speculated that the early release was a fat finger from an overzealous intern who sent the news to Businesswire a few minutes early. Others, such as us, joked that Intel just couldn’t contain its excitement at the impressive earnings report which sent the formerly beaten down stock surging to its June highs.

Turns out it was neither, because according to the FT, Intel said it was the victim of a hacker who stole financially sensitive information from its corporate website on Thursday, prompting the company to release its earnings statement ahead of schedule.

CFO George Davis told the Financial Times that the chipmaker believed an attacker had obtained advanced details about a strong earnings report it was due to publish after the market closed; upon discovery of the problem, Intel published its formal earnings announcement with the official release coming out six minutes before the market closed.

“An infographic was hacked off of our PR newsroom site,” Mr Davis said. “We put [our earnings] out as soon as we were aware.”

The CFO said that the leak was the result of an illicit action that had not involved any unintentional disclosure by the company itself.

An Intel spokesperson added: “We were notified that our infographic was circulating outside the company. I do not believe it was published. We are continuing to investigate this matter.”

Actually it was published, and are speculating, it appears that the reason Bloomberg managed to report the company’s results even before the 6 minute early release is because it managed to scrape the hacked Intel’s inforgraphic at 348pm, which laid out the company’s key highlights.

As noted earlier, the earnings revealed an unexpectedly strong bounce in Intel’s sales of chips for PCs as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, as more people bought laptops to work and study from home, as well as more powerful gaming PCs. Specifically, the volume of PC chips Intel sold jumped 33% in the quarter, a period in which tech research group IDC said the number of machines shipped globally had risen by 26 per cent, to cap the strongest year for the PC industry in a decade.

Although Intel’s revenue slipped 1 per cent in the fourth quarter, to $20bn, that was $2.5bn ahead of Wall Street expectations. Revenue from PC chips rose 9 per cent, to $10.9bn.

Tyler Durden
Thu, 01/21/2021 – 19:00

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2021: More Troubles Likely

2021: More Troubles Likely

Authored by Gail Tverberg via Our Finite World blog,

Most people expect that the economy of 2021 will be an improvement from 2020. I don’t think so. Perhaps COVID-19 will be somewhat better, but other aspects of the economy will likely be worse.

Back in November 2020, I showed a chart illustrating the path that energy consumption seems to be on. The sharp downturn in energy consumption has occurred partly because the cost of oil, gas and coal production tends to rise, since the portion that is least expensive to extract and ship tends to be removed first.

At the same time, prices that energy producers are able to charge their customers don’t rise enough to compensate for their higher costs. Ultimate customers are ordinary wage earners, and their wages are not escalating as rapidly as fossil fuel production and delivery costs. It is the low selling price of fossil fuels, relative to the rising cost of production, that causes a collapse in the production of fossil fuels. This is the crisis we are now facing.

Figure 1. Estimate by Gail Tverberg of World Energy Consumption from 1820 to 2050. Amounts for earliest years based on estimates in Vaclav Smil’s book Energy Transitions: History, Requirements and Prospectsand BP’s 2020 Statistical Review of World Energy for the years 1965 to 2019. Energy consumption for 2020 is estimated to be 5% below that for 2019. Energy for years after 2020 is assumed to fall by 6.6% per year, so that the amount reaches a level similar to renewables only by 2050. Amounts shown include more use of local energy products (wood and animal dung) than BP includes.

With lower energy consumption, many things tend to go wrong at once: The rich get richer while the poor get poorer. Protests and uprisings become more common. The poorer citizens and those already in poor health become more vulnerable to communicable diseases. Governments feel a need to control their populations, partly to keep down protests and partly to prevent the further spread of disease.

If we look at the situation shown on Figure 1 on a per capita basis, the graph doesn’t look quite as steep, because lower energy consumption tends to bring down population. This reduction in population can come from many different causes, including illnesses, fewer babies born, less access to medical care, inadequate clean water and starvation.

Figure 2. Amounts shown in Figure 1, divided by population estimates by Angus Maddison for earliest years and by 2019 United Nations population estimates for years to 2020. Future population estimated to be falling half as quickly as energy supply is falling in Figure 1. World population drops to 2.8 billion by 2050.

What Is Ahead for 2021?

In many ways, it is good that we really don’t know what is ahead for 2021. All aspects of GDP production require energy consumption. A huge drop in energy consumption is likely to mean disruption in the world economy of varying types for many years to come. If the situation is likely to be bad, many of us don’t really want to know how bad.

We know that many civilizations have had the same problem that the world does today. It usually goes by the name “Collapse” or “Overshoot and Collapse.” The problem is that the population becomes too large for the resource base. At the same time, available resources may degrade (soils erode or lose fertility, mines deplete, fossil fuels become harder to extract). Eventually, the economy becomes so weakened that any minor disturbance – attack from an outside army, or shift in weather patterns, or communicable disease that raises the death rate a bit – threatens to bring down the whole system. I see our current economic problem as much more of an energy problem than a COVID-19 problem.

We know that when earlier civilizations collapsed, the downfall tended not to happen all at once. Based on an analysis by Peter Turchin and Sergey Nefedov in their book, Secular Cycles, economies tended to first hit a period of stagflation, for perhaps 40 or 50 years. In a way, today’s economy has been in a period of stagflation since the 1970s, when it became apparent that oil was becoming more difficult to extract. To hide the problem, increasing debt was issued at ever-lower interest rates.

According to Turchin and Nefedov, the stagflation stage eventually moves into a steeper “crisis” period, marked by overturned governments, debt defaults, and falling population. In the examples analyzed by Turchin and Nefedov, this crisis portion of the cycle took 20 to 50 years. It seems to me that the world economy reached the beginning of the crisis period in 2020 when lockdowns in response to the novel coronavirus pushed the weakened world economy down further.

The examples examined by Turchin and Nefedov occurred in the time period before fossil fuels were widely used. It may very well be that the current collapse takes place more rapidly than those in the past, because of dependency on international supply lines and an international banking system. The world economy is also very dependent on electricity–something that may not last. Thus, there seems to be a chance that the crisis phase may last a shorter length of time than 20 to 50 years. It likely won’t last only a year or two, however. The economy can be expected to fall apart, but somewhat slowly. The big questions are, “How slowly?” “Can some parts continue for years, while others disappear quickly?”

Some Kinds of Things to Expect in 2021 (and beyond)

[1] More overturned governments and attempts at overturned governments.

With increasing wage disparity, there tend to be more and more unhappy workers at the bottom end of the wage distribution. At the same time, there are likely to be people who are unhappy with the need for high taxes to try to fix the problems of the people at the bottom end of the wage distribution. Either of these groups can attempt to overturn their government if the government’s handling of current problems is not to the group’s liking.

[2] More debt defaults.

During the stagflation period that the world economy has been through, more and more debt has been added at ever-lower interest rates. Much of this huge amount of debt relates to property that is no longer of much use (airplanes without passengers; office buildings that are no longer needed because people now work at home; restaurants without enough patrons; factories without enough orders). Governments will try to avoid defaults as long as possible, but eventually, the unreasonableness of this situation will prevail. The impact of defaults can be expected to affect many parts of the economy, including banks, insurance companies and pension plans.

[3] Extraordinarily slow progress in defeating COVID-19.

There seems to be a significant chance that COVID-19 is lab-made. In fact, the many variations of COVID-19 may also be lab made. Researchers around the world have been studying “Gain of Function” in viruses for more than 20 years, allowing the researchers to “tweak” viruses in whatever way they desire. There seem to be several variations on the original virus now. A suicidal/homicidal researcher could decide to “take out” as many other people as possible, by creating yet another variation on COVID-19.

To make matters worse, immunity to coronaviruses in general doesn’t seem to be very long lasting. An October 2020 article says, 35-year study hints that coronavirus immunity doesn’t last long. Analyzing other corona viruses, it concluded that immunity tends to disappear quite quickly, leading to an annual cycle of illnesses such as colds. There seems to be a substantial chance that COVID-19 will return on an annual basis. If vaccines generate a similar immunity pattern, we will be facing an issue of needing new vaccines, every year, as we do with flu.

[4] Cutbacks on education of many kinds.

Many people getting advanced degrees find that the time and expense did not lead to an adequate financial reward afterwards. At the same time, universities find that there are not many grants to support faculty, outside of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering or Math) fields. With this combination of problems, universities with limited budgets make the financial decision to reduce or eliminate programs with reduced student interest and no outside funding.

At the same time, if local school districts find themselves short of funds, they may choose to use distance learning, simply to save money. This type of cutback could affect grade school children, especially in poor areas.

[5] Increasing loss of the top layers of governments.

It takes money/energy to support extra layers of government. The UK is now completely out of the European Union. We can expect to see more changes of this type. The UK may dissolve into smaller regions. Other parts of the EU may leave. This problem could affect many countries around the world, such as China or countries of the Middle East.

[6] Less globalization; more competition among countries.

Every country is struggling with the problem of not enough jobs that pay well. This is really an energy-related problem. Instead of co-operating, countries will tend to increasingly compete, in the hope that their country can somehow get a larger share of the higher-paying jobs. Tariffs will continue to be popular.

[7] More empty shelves in stores.

In 2020, we discovered that supply lines can break, making it impossible to purchase products a person expects. In fact, new governmental rules can have the same impact, for example, if a country bans travel to its country. We should expect more of this in 2021, and in the years ahead.

[8] More electrical outages, especially in locations where reliance on intermittent wind and solar for electricity is high.

In most places in the world, oil products were available before electricity. On the way down, we should expect to see the reverse of this pattern: Electricity will disappear first because it is hardest to maintain a constant supply. Oil will be available, at least as long as is electricity.

There is a popular belief that we will “run out of oil,” and that renewable electricity can be a solution. I do not think that intermittent electricity can be a solution for anything. It works poorly. At most, it acts as a temporary extender to fossil fuel-provided electricity.

[9] Possible hyperinflation, as countries issue more and more debt and no longer trust each other.

I often say that I expect oil and energy prices to stay low, but this doesn’t really hold if many countries around the world issue more and more government debt as a way to try to keep businesses from failing, debt from defaulting, and stock market prices inflated. There is a danger that all prices will inflate, and that sellers of products will no longer accept the hyperinflated currency that countries around the world are trying to provide.

My concern is that international trade will break down to a significant extent as hyperinflation of all currencies becomes a problem. The higher prices of oil and other energy products won’t really lead to any more production because prices of all goods and services will be inflating at the same time; fossil fuel producers will not get any special benefit from these higher prices.

If a significant loss of trade occurs, there will be even more empty shelves because there is very little any one country can make on its own. Without adequate goods, population loss may be very high.

[10] New ways of countries trying to fight with each other.

When there are not enough resources to go around, historically, wars have been fought. I expect wars will continue to be fought, but the approaches will “look different” than in the past. They may involve tariffs on imported goods. They may involve the use of laboratory-made viruses. They may involve attacking the internet of another country, or its electrical distribution system. There may be no officially declared war. Strange things may simply take place that no one understands, without realizing that the country is being attacked.

Conclusion

We seem to be headed for very bumpy waters in the years ahead, including 2021. Our real problem is an energy problem that we do not have a solution for.

Tyler Durden
Thu, 01/21/2021 – 18:40

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“A Dream Job for the Sort of Lawyer for Whom This Is a Dream Job.”

Looking for public interest legal work with a free-market, anti-class-action-abuse bent? The Hamilton Lincoln Law Institute may be the place for you. HLLI recently posted this job announcement that I thought might be of interest to some VC readers (and not only because we are mentioned in the announcement).

It reads, in part:

Hamilton Lincoln Law Institute is hiring an attorney! And it’s a dream job for the sort of lawyer for whom this is a dream job.

Maybe you’ve billed 250 hours this month on exceedingly silly discovery disputes and depositions, all for an ungrateful scaredy-cat client who’s just going to settle before any interesting legal issues can be resolved, and you’re wondering how you might ever get into court for something meaningful. Maybe Fed Jur was your favorite class and you recently aggravated a partner or judge by pointing out a jurisdictional defect in a year-old case. Maybe you’re a new parent, and really wish there was a job out there that gave you the flexibility to pick your hours, work from home, and still do interesting work with real responsibility. Or you just want more free time to write that law-review article (novel? screenplay?) before you transition into academia.

Maybe you got into law so you could make a difference, miss the law-school classes and Fed Soc panels and your clerkship where you thought about issues from first principles, and are frustrated being required to write briefs with kitchen-sink arguments that you know are tendentious, and would rather be trying to get the law right.

You know the difference between review for abuse of discretion and de novo review. You read Bryan Garner and the Volokh Conspiracy; you hate rent-seeking and love the free market; you know the difference between 24-point leading and MS-Word double-spacing. You read judicial opinions for fun. You’re not afraid to be in a courtroom where neither side wants to see you. You can do your own ECF filing, understand the PACER radio buttons, and draft the occasional discovery request without someone sitting on your shoulder. You’re itching to be thrown in the deep end. You hate cy pres and rent-seeking. You noticed that this paragraph says “rent-seeking” twice and would’ve edited it.

As for the organization posting the ad, HLLI, here’s some background:

HLLI stands for free markets, free speech, limited government, separation of powers, and against regulatory abuse and rent-seeking. We’re best known for our class-action objections through our Center for Class Action Fairness, but we also have successfully challenged FCC abuses in the D.C. Circuit, recently won a preliminary injunction on First Amendment grounds in federal district court in Pennsylvania, and are expending our public-interest wings.

HLLI does not discriminate on the basis of age, sex, race, religion, color, national origin, sexual orientation, era of military service, gender identity or expression, relationship structure, ninja identity, fast-food beverage preference, or anything else that’s illegal, immoral, or stupid to use as a basis for hiring. We may make fun of you if you like Pepsi, though.

This job may be for you. And if it isn’t, then it isn’t.

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China Appeals To “Kind Angels” Of Biden Administration, Blames Trump For “Burning Bridges”

China Appeals To “Kind Angels” Of Biden Administration, Blames Trump For “Burning Bridges”

China is hoping for a rapid ‘reset’ of sorts with Washington now with President Joe Biden in the White House. After state media headlines out of China on Tuesday into Wednesday said “Good Riddance Mr. Trump” as Xinhua wrote, Thursday’s tone out of the foreign ministry was markedly different.

While essentially placing sole blame on Trump and his top officials, foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in the latest press briefing remarks that “kind angels can triumph over evil forces” in America.

“In the past years, the Trump administration, especially (former Secretary of State Mike) Pompeo, has laid too many mines that need to be removed, burned too many bridges that need to be rebuilt, damaged too many roads that need to be repaired,” Hua began.


Via Politico

“I believe if both countries put in the effort, the kind angels can triumph over evil forces,” she told a daily briefing Thursday. Her word choice was then featured across state media headlines.

Speaking specifically on Biden’s inaugural speech Wednesday, Hua added:

“President Biden also mentioned in his inauguration speech that Americans have much to heal, much to restore. This is exactly what China-U.S. relations need.”

However, there’s little doubt that China was miffed at the fact that Taiwan’s de facto ambassador to Washington had been officially invited to attend and was present for the inauguration. 

Related to growing tensions centered on both Taiwan and Hong Kong, China had slapped sanctions on a who’s who of top outgoing Trump administration officials on Wednesday. Significantly, 28 Trump admin figures will be permanently barred from travel or doing business either on the Chinese mainland or Hong Kong.

“China announces decision to sanction 28 U.S. figures who it alleged to have severely violated China’s sovereignty, including officials in the Trump administration, according to a statement from the Chinese foreign ministry,” Bloomberg reported shortly after Biden took the oath of office Wednesday.

When asked about the dramatic act of ‘revenge’ against the Trump people, Biden’s administration called the move “unproductive and cynical,” according to Reuters. But it’s also very likely that many within the new administration are quietly gleeful over the severe restrictions regarding doing any business in China or Hong Kong by the targeted Trump officials.

Tyler Durden
Thu, 01/21/2021 – 18:20

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/361b7Sd Tyler Durden

“A Dream Job for the Sort of Lawyer for Whom This Is a Dream Job.”

Looking for public interest legal work with a free-market, anti-class-action-abuse bent? The Hamilton Lincoln Law Institute may be the place for you. HLLI recently posted this job announcement that I thought might be of interest to some VC readers (and not only because we are mentioned in the announcement).

It reads, in part:

Hamilton Lincoln Law Institute is hiring an attorney! And it’s a dream job for the sort of lawyer for whom this is a dream job.

Maybe you’ve billed 250 hours this month on exceedingly silly discovery disputes and depositions, all for an ungrateful scaredy-cat client who’s just going to settle before any interesting legal issues can be resolved, and you’re wondering how you might ever get into court for something meaningful. Maybe Fed Jur was your favorite class and you recently aggravated a partner or judge by pointing out a jurisdictional defect in a year-old case. Maybe you’re a new parent, and really wish there was a job out there that gave you the flexibility to pick your hours, work from home, and still do interesting work with real responsibility. Or you just want more free time to write that law-review article (novel? screenplay?) before you transition into academia.

Maybe you got into law so you could make a difference, miss the law-school classes and Fed Soc panels and your clerkship where you thought about issues from first principles, and are frustrated being required to write briefs with kitchen-sink arguments that you know are tendentious, and would rather be trying to get the law right.

You know the difference between review for abuse of discretion and de novo review. You read Bryan Garner and the Volokh Conspiracy; you hate rent-seeking and love the free market; you know the difference between 24-point leading and MS-Word double-spacing. You read judicial opinions for fun. You’re not afraid to be in a courtroom where neither side wants to see you. You can do your own ECF filing, understand the PACER radio buttons, and draft the occasional discovery request without someone sitting on your shoulder. You’re itching to be thrown in the deep end. You hate cy pres and rent-seeking. You noticed that this paragraph says “rent-seeking” twice and would’ve edited it.

As for the organization posting the ad, HLLI, here’s some background:

HLLI stands for free markets, free speech, limited government, separation of powers, and against regulatory abuse and rent-seeking. We’re best known for our class-action objections through our Center for Class Action Fairness, but we also have successfully challenged FCC abuses in the D.C. Circuit, recently won a preliminary injunction on First Amendment grounds in federal district court in Pennsylvania, and are expending our public-interest wings.

HLLI does not discriminate on the basis of age, sex, race, religion, color, national origin, sexual orientation, era of military service, gender identity or expression, relationship structure, ninja identity, fast-food beverage preference, or anything else that’s illegal, immoral, or stupid to use as a basis for hiring. We may make fun of you if you like Pepsi, though.

This job may be for you. And if it isn’t, then it isn’t.

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