“Space Hurricane” Spotted Above North Pole, Study Finds  

“Space Hurricane” Spotted Above North Pole, Study Finds  

For the first time, a team of researchers from China, the US, Norway, and the UK, have spotted an eye-catching phenomenon above the North Pole, in what they’re calling a “space hurricane.” 

The new study said a 600-mile-wide swirling mass of plasma “rained” electrons down on the North Pole. It was only until now that the existence of space hurricanes has been confirmed. 

Mike Lockwood, a space scientist at the University of Reading in the UK and the co-author of the study titled “A space hurricane over the Earth’s polar ionosphere,” which was recently published in Nature, said observations made by satellites in August 2014 confirm the existence of “space hurricanes” above Earth. 

Lockwood said this particular swirling mass of plasma spun counterclockwise hundreds of miles above the North Pole before eventually fizzling.

“Tropical storms are associated with huge amounts of energy, and these space hurricanes must be created by unusually large and rapid transfer of solar wind energy and charged particles into the Earth’s upper atmosphere,” Lockwood said.

Because plasma and magnetic fields are typical on planets – the researchers assume this space anomaly is more widespread than previously thought. 

“Plasma and magnetic fields in the atmosphere of planets exist throughout the universe, so the findings suggest space hurricanes should be a widespread phenomenon,” Lockwood said.

Researchers still need to study the space hurricane in more depth to see if its geomagnetic activity can disrupt GPS satellites and or land-based power grids

Tyler Durden
Wed, 03/03/2021 – 12:20

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Senate Lowers Cutoff For Covid Stimulus Checks To $80,000

Senate Lowers Cutoff For Covid Stimulus Checks To $80,000

Senate Democrats and Joe Biden struck a last minute deal over Biden’s $1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill, choosing to keep federal unemployment benefit payments at $400 per week but phase out the measure’s $1,400 stimulus checks more quickly. As Politico notes, the decision, which speeds up the phasing out of checks, reflects a demand from moderates to curb the ability of high-income earners to receive the stimulus payments.

Under the agreement, individuals who make up to $75,000 per year or couples who make up to $150,000 per year will still receive a $1,400 check. But the Senate bill, which as we noted earlier will be unveiled as soon as later today, substantially reduces the income window for receiving a partial check: Compared to $100,000 under the House bill the checks will now phase out completely at an income threshold of $80,000 for individuals under the Senate deal. For couples, the checks would phase out completely at an income threshold of $160,000 under the Senate deal, compared to $200,000 for the House bill. The phase-outs will start at $75,000 and $150,000 respectively.

While the Senate bill changes the checks, it’s expected to keep the House-passed $400 per week unemployment payment, with payments scheduled to last until August.According to report, there had been a push by centrist Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin – who has emerged as the most powerful man in the Senate – to lower the payments to $300 per week, but the idea sparked broad opposition in the Senate Democratic Caucus.

That breakthrough has Democrats ready to press forward on Biden’s bill as soon as possible. Biden urged the party to “swallow” provisions they don’t like during a virtual lunch meeting on Tuesday, according to one Senate Democrat. Moderate senators could offer their $300 weekly proposal as an amendment later this week, while Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said he plans to force a vote on a $15 hourly minimum wage.

The disagreement over unemployment benefits was not a big enough problem to derail, or even delay, the party’s push for quick passage of the $1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill.

Those Democrats said that they expected a relatively smooth process as they race to finish the bill ahead of the March 14 expiration of some boosted unemployment benefits. The Senate is hoping to send its version of the legislation back to the House well before that deadline in order to give states a head start on the logistics of extending those benefits.

Tyler Durden
Wed, 03/03/2021 – 12:15

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Biden Admin Planning For Influx Of 117,000 Illegal Youths To US This Year

Biden Admin Planning For Influx Of 117,000 Illegal Youths To US This Year

Authored by Steve Watson via Summit News,

Internal documents outline that the Biden administration is planning to integrate 117,000 migrant youths and children in 2021, an exponential increase on previous years.

The information, obtained by Axios, also indicates that shelter facilities are expected to be overrun this month, and that Biden will accelerate the release of migrants into the US to avoid worsening the crisis.

The information ‘leak’ is reported to really be part of a media campaign designed to deflect from liberal criticism over the resurgence of ‘kids in cages’ under Biden.

Administration officials are claiming they have no choice but to release undocumented migrants into the country.

Rob Law, the director of regulatory affairs and policy at the Center for Immigration Studies told Breitbart News that “This is exactly their intention — getting alien minors into the country.”

Law notes there is a “level of coordination that seems to be going on right now” between US authorities and coyotes and cartels who bring the minors to the border under contracts with illegal parents inside the US.

He adds that “The language coming out of the Biden administration is no different than the seductive terminology that the cartels and the coyotes use to get people to fork over money they don’t have to take the dangerous journey north to a place that they have no lawful basis to be.”

“They’re encouraging the trafficking of these children … and have no respect or compassion for Americans who lose economic opportunities because of their policies on legal and illegal immigration,” Law added.

Law continued, “The goal is to get them here because once they’re here then they’re never going to leave. And the results will be substantial taxpayer resources that are drained, and schools overwhelmed by children who don’t speak the language. and aren’t at the appropriate educational level.”

Appearing on Fox News, Texas Republican Rep. Michael McCaul accused Biden’s Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas of sending a “terrible message” to those attempting to get across the border.

McCaul urged “I live in Texas, a border state, I chaired the Homeland Security Committee, and I probably know the border better than anybody in Congress. I’m just telling you, the green light is on now. We are open for business again. It’s the worst message to be sending to the traffickers who are smuggling these kids across the border.”

The Congressman continued “To see a 45% spike which will take us back to the Obama administration all over again. With Mayorkas, I’ve known him for a long time. When he says we are not saying don’t come, we are just saying don’t come now. This is a terrible message.”

McCaul emphasised that “They know, they are very smart down there. It’s a business operation, and when you hear that messaging coming out of the White House, we will damage all the good we did in the last four years to stop illegal immigration is going to be damaged in months.”

Tyler Durden
Wed, 03/03/2021 – 12:03

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D.C. Police Issue Emergency Alert On “Possible” Militia Plot To Breach Capitol Tomorrow

D.C. Police Issue Emergency Alert On “Possible” Militia Plot To Breach Capitol Tomorrow

Here we go again with yet more vague “threats” by nebulous militant right-wing groups targeting the Capitol which will no doubt be met with an additional mass increase in security measures (and budgets no doubt) walling the public off from the whole area… 

The official Capitol Police statement cites ‘credible intelligence’ of “a possible plot” in the works by an “identified militia group” to breach the Capitol.

It’s set for Thursday (March 4), the statement indicated.

The group, however, is not identified in the press release, but Axios and others are linking it to the events of January 6, writing:

QAnon conspiracists have peddled the baseless claim that March 4 is the date of Trump’s true inauguration. This is based on the fact that presidents were inaugurated on March 4 prior to 1933.

“The United States Capitol Police Department is aware of and prepared for any potential threats towards members of Congress or towards the Capitol complex,” the Capitol Hill police added. 


Reuters

The statement said further: “We have already made significant security upgrades to include establishing a physical structure and increasing manpower to ensure the protection of Congress, the public and our police officers.”

“Our Department is working with our local, state, and federal partners to stop any threats to the Capitol. We are taking the intelligence seriously. Due to the sensitive nature of this information we cannot provide additional details at this time.”

Meanwhile in totally unrelated news, it just so happens that also on Wednesday Acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman is testifying before Congress, asking for a $107 million increase in her budget, which will go toward beefing up salaries and more resources in order to better respond to any future Jan.6-style attack.

“In testimony before a House Appropriations subcommittee on the Capitol Police budget, Pittman said that there has been a 93.5 percent increase in threats to members in the first two months of 2021 compared to the same period last year,” The Hill writes.

It bears recalling that she previously claimed last week that militias tied to the January 6th attack have recently expressed their desire to “blow up the Capitol and kill as many members as possible with a direct nexus to the State of the Union.”

Tyler Durden
Wed, 03/03/2021 – 11:40

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Will Powell Unveil Operation Twist 3.0 Tomorrow?

Will Powell Unveil Operation Twist 3.0 Tomorrow?

There has been spreading chatter that during Jerome Powell’s upcoming appearance at a Wall Street Journal virtual event on Thursday at noon, the Fed Chair may unveil changes to Fed bond buying and potentially unveil Operation Twist 3.0. As DataTrek‘s Nicholas Colas asks, “will he preview a change in the central bank’s quantitative easing program, one that shifts purchases to the long end to bring down 10-year Treasury yields?”

In response, Colas says that the question sent him to the academic literature and historical record concerning the prior 2 times the Fed delved into implicit yield curve control:

  • The San Francisco Fed published an analysis in 2011 about the 1961 “Operation Twist”. It found that the net effect was to push long term yields down by 0.15 percentage points. The paper says this was “highly statistically significant, but moderate”. (Link to the full article.)
  • This is what happened to 10-year yields during the September 2011 – December 2012 “Operation Twist 2” period (chart from January 2010 to December 2013):

Colas then notes that while there were other things going on at the time (European rates under pressure), 10-year Treasury yields fell from 3.75 percent in February 2011 to that low of 1.44 percent right in the middle of “Operation Twist 2” in July 2012. Then, “once Twist 2 ended at the end of 2012, they rose from 1.78 percent to 3.0 percent at the end of 2013.”

Colas’ takeaway is that “it is this more recent history – one that shows the Fed can absolutely suppress long term interest rates by 100 bp or more – that will be on investors’ minds as they tune in to hear Chair Powell this Thursday.”

* * *

But while chatter and speculation of Fed intervention emerge any time there is some market turbulence, the reason why this particular rumor appears increasingly credible, is that it originated with Bank of America rates strategist Mark Cabana, who happens to be a former NY Fed staffer, one who has “occasionally” been known to give advice to the NY Fed (Cabana correctly predicted the infamous liquidity collapse and “NOT QE” episode in late 2019 when the Fed was forced to resume QE – yes it was QE – in response to the slide in systemwide reserves).

But first, some background.

In a recent note, Cabana cautioned that the recent move higher in rates – which until recently had been “healthy” and led by breakevens and inflation expectations – could turn “unhealthy” – i.e., one “due to a hawkish policy mistake, elevated Treasury supply, or a market liquidity issue” and which would be “led by narrowing breakevens, higher real rates and tighter financial conditions.”

Case in point, Cabana pointed out to last week’s move which was led by real rates as an example of an “unhealthy” spike, where “risky assets encountered turbulence” and that a “continued sharp real rates selloff may become problematic even at lower rate levels.”

He then ominously said that “we worry that the rate move could become unhealthy as the economy, market, and Fed all approach an “inflection point” in the spring or summer. This would likely occur as macro conditions improve and the market and Fed shift their distribution of risks on the outlook from the downside toward the upside. At this time we think the Fed may start adjusting its “blindly dovish” stance of monetary policy and begin to set the stage for an eventual taper of its asset purchases, likely aiming to start in 1Q22.

Then, echoing Deutsche Bank credit strategist Jim Reid who said that central banks simply can’t afford higher rates with global debt so high, Cabana said that “the Fed may have a willingness to taper but we question its ability to taper due to recent growth in UST market size…

“… a large UST Supply/Demand imbalance…”

“… and regulatory constraints that limit dealer ability to intermediate risk.”

Hammering the issue, Cabana then repeats he is “worried that the size of the UST market, a challenged supply/demand backdrop for rates, and limited dealer ability to intermediate may result in another round of UST illiquidity as the “inflection point” is reached and the Fed sets the stage for tapering.”

So what is the Fed to do to preempt this “inflection point” that could spark a sudden, violent and quite “unhealthy” surge in rates – one which leaves the Fed without control over the curve – at a time when markets price in even more tapering?

This is where Twist 3.0 comes into play.

In a note published over the weekend, Cabana writes that the Fed should revive the Operation Twist – a simultaneous selling of front-end Treasuries and buying of longer-dated paper – to effectively address key issues dealing with market functioning. According to Cabana, a Twist 3.0 “kills three birds with one stone: It pulls up front end rates, it stabilizes back end rates, and it does so in a reserve neutral way that lessens bank SLR pressure to hold more capital.”

There is another, more pressing reason to launch – or at least hint at launching – a new Operation Twist: “the Fed is simultaneously losing control of both the U.S. front end and back end rates curves for different reasons.”

Indeed, as discussed previously, U.S. front-end rates are “dangerously close” to negative territory – and in fact overnight GC repo did dip into negative territory last week…

.. because there’s too much cash chasing too little collateral

At the same time, the back end has experienced “pronounced illiquidity/volatility” over recent sessions and risk weighing on economic and financial conditions. In fact, as we noted yesterday, liquidity in the Treasury complex has collapsed to banana republic levels (to quote Nanex)

Then there is the 3rd bird: Cabana notes that the Fed also has a “burgeoning financial regulatory problem” stemming from too many reserves which could force banks to hold more capital or push away deposits (this is the infamous SLR issue which we will address again in a subsequent post).

And while Powell may be proactive and take at least some measures to advise the market that the Fed is considering such a “twist”, Cabana concedes that the central bank “may be slow to implement such a policy because it needs signs of further deterioration in liquidity and market conditions at both the front- and back-end of the curve.” Then again, in light of the continued collapse in liquidity and the latest blow out in yields which saw the 5Y breakeven hit 2008 highs…

… many will argue that that time is now.

Tyler Durden
Wed, 03/03/2021 – 11:31

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/3eioQcr Tyler Durden

Kass: The Bull Market In Complacency & “First-Level Thinking” Is Back

Kass: The Bull Market In Complacency & “First-Level Thinking” Is Back

Authored by Doug Kass via Seabreeze Partners,

  • By following the path of least resistance and opting for political expedience and untested monetary and fiscal policies – economic and market risks are now heightened

  • At the same time equities are making all-time highs

  • Monday, on the lightest volume day of the year for the Nasdaq, the S&P advanced by about 100 handles – the day’s rise was about one sixth of what the S&P Index sold at in March, 2009 at ‘The Generational Bottom’ in stocks

  • According to my calculus, downside market risks continue to dwarf upside market rewards

“Thomas Friedman famously described 9-11 as a failure of imagination. Few people imagined that terrorists could pull off a coordinated attack of the complexity that occurred on that terrible day despite hints that something was being planned. 

But our intelligence agencies were unable to cobble together the scattered pieces of data that might have told them what was coming because of the improbability of the plan and their own lapses. This is often the case with respect to the types of risks that lead to crises – the information that would allow us to prepare or even prevent them are often hiding in plain sight but rarely laid out in a neat pattern. In almost every case, crises are examples of chaos theory in action that belie prediction and preparation. 

Recent events reinforce the lesson that mankind must try to imagine what can go wrong in a highly interconnected yet unstable world whose financial, intellectual and moral foundations are under intense (and growing) stresses. The recent collapse of Texas’s power grid demonstrated the fragility of vital life sustaining systems. Watching the territory that lies at the heart of the nation’s energy industry suffer massive power outages was a disturbing reminder of our fragility and vulnerability. Powerful natural and human forces are reshaping and destabilizing our political, economic and physical environments. 

We possess the tools to manage risk, yet we stumble from avoidable disaster to avoidable disaster. And when that happens, rather than react rationally, we tend to politicize and thereby fumble our responses.” 

– Michael Lewitt, The Credit Strategist

Today we live in an interconnected and networked world which poses a number of existential threats. These threats are real and are capable of causing catastrophic human and financial losses if we fail to plan for them. In certain cases some of this risks are not potential, they are kinetic: 

  • Market structure risks and system breakdowns.

  • Political paralysis, violence and divisiveness.

  • The risks of natural disaster and climate change.

  • Health (pandemic) risks.

  • Risks to the reliance on modern technology (e.g., our electric grid and to our complicated financial payments system), political paralysis, divisiveness and/or violence.

  • Untested fiscal and monetary policies.

Back to Mike Lewitt:

“These are not theoretical risks. We experienced several of them over the last twelve months. We saw political violence in many areas of the country fomented by both ends of the political spectrum culminating in the attack on the Capitol on January 6th.

We also witnessed financial market system failures (and poor risk management) destroy significant amounts of capital in a number of hedge funds. And then Texas, a state thought to be thriving, experienced an infrastructure failure that caused death, destruction and huge financial losses (the latest damage estimate was $28 billion). 

And of course all of these events occurred in the larger context of a global pandemic that began a year ago and already cost America half a million souls (and the world two and a half million) and untold economic and business losses. In each case, better planning would have significantly mitigated human and financial losses, but more critically, a less politicized approach would have produced far more optimal outcomes. 

It’s not as if short squeezes, severe weather and pandemics are unusual occurrences. They occur with some frequency, the only question being their severity. Most of the time we are lucky and small problems don’t grow into big problems, but recently that has not been the case and small fires grew into bonfires. 

We were aware of all of these risks before they materialized though of course nobody could predict their precise timing. But the inability to predict their timing didn’t relieve us of the responsibility to be better prepared for them and to manage them more effectively than we did.”

First Level vs. Second Level Thinking

“You’re betraying your whole life if you don’t say what you think – and you don’t say it honestly and bluntly.”

– Charles Krauthammer

Fundamentally-based investors are of two minds. 

Bullish observers are of the belief that the historic level of monetary and fiscal stimulus, which emerged from the spread of Covid-19, will create a lengthy runway of corporate profit and economic growth at a time in which low interest rates may fuel ever higher valuations. 

Bearish observers see a market bubble, dangerous levels of speculation and a fully priced universe of stocks that have more than discounted the bright profit and economic prospects. They argue that the ramifications of speedier growth are higher interest rates that will deflate valuations. They also see unsustainable debt loads that will serve as a governor to growth. 

Technically-based observers who worship at the altar of price – and stock charts – see the current momentum as a strong “all clear” signal. They mostly reject any or all of the two fundamental arguments and in the very essence of calculation of “fair market value.” Though I don’t use technicals in a very meaningful way, I am respectful of the methodology (though I find the mutual respect of technicians to fundamentals is sometimes not returned!) and I thought this should be mentioned as it embodies the views of many on our site and elsewhere. 

I side with the fundamentally-based Bears. 

My view is that the runway of growth faces many obstacles and headwinds and that those that are looking for a sustained economic boom may be disappointed. 

It is important to recognize that the sharpest recovery from Covid-19 will be in areas – restaurants and travel – that represent less than 10% of consumer spending and less than 5% of GDP. In other words, the impact on growth, in the aggregate, will be minimal. Meanwhile, the much larger and more important technology and capital goods sectors – that have benefited from the economic distortions over the last year – will be slowing in the so called post-pandemic spending boom.

A More Conservative Consumer?

Getting back to the consumer, lost by the bulls may be the new normal in the savings rate (Rosie forecasts from 7% to 10%) and a general debt paydown which could adversely impact even the anticipated swift recovery in consumer spending. 

Moreover, though multiple government stimulus checks have buoyed the consumer, transfer payments only plug the holes, as they don’t improve productivity or involve reskilling. And, beginning in the second half of 2021, that benefit will be lost. 

I again shift to valuation and ask the question whether the optimism is already reflected in stock prices. Yes, recovery is at hand but growth is priced in – should growth fail to emerge relative to consensus, Katie Bar The Doors. 

For the second time in the last few years, it is my view that, for investors with a less than 1-2 year timeframe, most equities should now be sold:

  • The S&P has climbed from under 2200 in March, 2020, to about 3800 today.

  • Almost every traditional valuation metric is approaching all-time highs.

Some Future I Told You So’s

Let’s end this morning’s opening missive with some thoughts from Elliott Management’s Paul Singer: 

“Here are our nominees for the “We Told You So(s)” of the future, items that may not only separate the survivors from the road kill, but also give deep satisfaction to the “lonely prophets”:

Cryptocurrencies are and will be recognized as completely lacking in value. The only “crypt” aspect of them is the receptacle that the suckers’ hard-earned (we are being kind) lucre will be buried. This prediction is particularly brazen on our part, given the recent price action in cryptos – but “in for a penny, in for a digital scam.”

Inflation will match, then surpass, then soar above the targets of the peculiar folk who inhabit central banks and whose job they think it is to raise inflation, end inequality, ameliorate the climate, expunge Covid-19, and cure dandruff. By golly, there is no human problem that cannot be solved by newly printed [soon-to-be] worthless “money” – at least until it all goes pear-shaped and people wonder “was it always true that 1 plus 1 equals 2? Why did we ever doubt that?”

With the world’s central bankers still in “pedal to the floor” mode, and the world’s treasury secretaries in full bore “if they print it, we will spend it” mode, most investors cannot envision any other stock market scenario than up, up and away. We are in a different frame of mind.

We are mightily impressed by the extremity of valuation metrics, by the historical unanimity of negative outcomes from these kinds of valuations and by the disconnect between the seeming inability to generate “sufficient” consumer price inflation and the clear historical difficulty of maintaining the purchasing power of fiat currency not backed by anything. Common sense tells us that the authorities will get the inflation they are desperate to achieve, and that once it gets rolling, it will surprise (almost) everyone. Experience also tells us that it is preposterous to price equities on a discount rate that is as abnormal and manipulated as it is presently, and that bond yields at current super-low levels are an accident waiting to happen.

Compared with our dark views about this year’s financial market prospects, we are also cognizant that betting hard against the financial markets’ “happy view” is probably a terrible idea, and that going to cash is not any better.”

Tyler Durden
Wed, 03/03/2021 – 11:20

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/3e6GXSb Tyler Durden

Daytona Beach International Airport Cleared Of ‘Potential Bomb Threat’

Daytona Beach International Airport Cleared Of ‘Potential Bomb Threat’

Update ( 1119 ET): Law enforcement has cleared Daytona Beach International Airport (DAB) from a “potential threat” according to local law enforcement. The airport will soon begin normal operations. 

Minutes ago, DAB tweeted: 

“The airport terminal has been swept and cleared and is open. Passengers should check with their airlines regarding flight schedules.” 

Great news – no bombs were found. 

* * * 

Local police conduct a thorough sweep of Daytona Beach International Airport (DAB) in Florida after all terminals were evacuated due to a bomb threat Wednesday morning. It was also reported that incoming flights had been diverted, and departing flights have been grounded, according to Click Orlando

“Alert: due to a potential threat and out of an abundance of caution, Daytona Beach International Airport has been evacuated. Law enforcement is on the scene. Incoming flights have been diverted. Passengers should contact their airlines for updated flight info,” DAB tweeted. 

The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office said deputies are at DAB “in response to a bomb threat.” 

News 6 WKMG’s Molly Reed tweeted a picture of the road around DAB locked down. 

Spectrum News 13’s Nicole Griffin said, “Entrances to Daytona Beach International airport closed down due to bomb threat. VCSO tells me bomb-sniffing dogs are inside.”

Tyler Durden
Wed, 03/03/2021 – 11:07

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/3uQsAaN Tyler Durden

‘Go Out And Buy Gold’ If Warren Wealth Tax Passes: Leon Cooperman

‘Go Out And Buy Gold’ If Warren Wealth Tax Passes: Leon Cooperman

Billionaire Leon Cooperman says Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) “ultra-millionaire” wealth tax is a terrible idea because people will simply hide their wealth.

The idea has no merit. It’s foolish. It probably is not legal,” Cooperman told “Squawk Box” on Wednesday. “If the wealth tax passes, go out and buy yourself some gold because people are going to rush to find ways of hiding their wealth.”

Warren’s tax scheme would levy a 2% annual tax on overall assets for those worth more than $50 million, and 3% on those worth over $1 billion, raising over $78 billion per year, according to an analysis by Bloomberg.

Cooperman’s appearance came after the Massachusetts Democrat and other progressives in Congress unveiled their plan for an annual tax of 2%, or 2 cents, on every dollar of people’s wealth worth $50 million to $1 billion. Those whose fortunes are valued above $1 billion would be subject to an annual tax of 3%, or 3 cents, on every dollar above that threshold.

The backers of the wealth-tax proposal said it would raise at least $3 trillion in revenue over 10 years, citing an analysis from University of California-Berkeley economists Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman. –CNBC

I believe in the progressive income tax structure. I believe that rich people should pay more,” said Cooperman, though he suggested that existing systems should instead be reformed in order to raise money – such as eliminating the so-called carried-interest loophole which benefits hedge funds and private equity funds.

The question we have to coalesce around as a nation is what should the maximum tax rate be on wealthy people? Because that will define the revenue yield to the government and the government should basically assign its activity to that revenue yield,” Cooperman added.

Cooperman, chairman of the Omega Family Office, sharply opposed Warren’s previous wealth tax pitch during her 2020 run for president – writing in a harshly worded letter to Warren that her “vilification of the rich is misguided,” later telling CNBC that the wealth tax would be “near impossible to police, and probably unconstitutional.”

On Tuesday, Warren told CNBC that she thinks the wealth tax could be “transformative” for the United States, which could then use the money for early childhood education and infrastructure.

“It’s set up now to say we’re not going to collect taxes on any asset worth less than $50,000, so this is not intrusive. It’s not about coming into people’s homes and valuing their Sub Zeros or figuring out what their 4-year-old cars are worth,” she said. “But it says if you’ve got a fortune above $50 million, you pay on it. And if your fortune is below $50 million, you don’t. Good for you, either way.”

“I think most people would rather be rich and pay 2 cents. This is not very fancy. It really is a tax on fortunes above $50 million.”

Cooperman, a hedge fund pioneer and son of a Bronx plumber, has signed The Giving Pledge, created by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett. When asked Wednesday by CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin if he would support a reform to a certain tax policy focused on inheritance, Cooperman said: “To be honest with you, I’m not focused on that because my plan is to give away all my money at death.” -CNBC

Cooperman emphasized that he’s worried about villainizing wealthy Americans – saying “We all have to work together to deal with our problems, and it’s as simple as that. You’ve got to decide whether you’re a capitalist or whether you’re a socialist.”

Tyler Durden
Wed, 03/03/2021 – 10:55

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/3e6MsRc Tyler Durden

Senate To Kick Off Debate On $1.9 Trillion Stimulus As Soon As Wednesday

Senate To Kick Off Debate On $1.9 Trillion Stimulus As Soon As Wednesday

Te Senate may begin debate on President Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package as soon as Wednesday, as Majority Leader Chuck Schumer predicted on Monday that the chamber has “some late nights” ahead this week, according to Politico.

The goal is to pass the stimulus into law before March 14, when enhanced unemployment benefits are set to expire. In order to accomplish this, Senate Democrats will use ‘budget reconciliation’ – a tool used to pass bills by simple majority as opposed to requiring at least 60 votes to proceed. If all Democrats sign on to the bill – which is all the more likely after a $15 an hour minimum wage provision was dropped by the Senate parliamentarian, there will be enough votes to send it to Biden’s desk.

In addition to extending benefits, the bill will include $1,400 stimulus payments – though just 9% of the $1.9 trillion it is slated for direct COVID-19 intervention such as vaccines and testing. Then there’s the pork$100 million for an underground rail project in Silicon Valley, $480 million towards the preservation of Native American languages, $50 million for ‘environmental justice’ grants, and a $1.5 million bridge connecting New York and Canada. According to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, around 15% of the package goes to “long-standing policy priorities that are not directly related to the current crisis.”

According to Schumer, Senators are in for “a hardy debate and some late nights,” adding “But the American people sent us here with a job to do, to help the country through this moment of extraordinary challenge.”

The House passed Biden’s pandemic relief plan in the early hours of Saturday morning. While that House-approved legislation would increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour, the provision is effectively dead during the Senate debate after its parliamentarian determined Thursday evening that including a hike in the Senate bill would violate the chamber’s rules.

The Senate could begin consideration of the package as early as Wednesday. However, its parliamentarian still needs to rule on a handful of outstanding issues that the massive legislation addresses, including health subsidies aimed at keeping laid off workers on their insurance and pensions. -Politico

According to Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), passing the COVID-19 relief bill will be “less complicated” without the minimum wage component.

Reconciliation notably allows any Senator to offer an amendment to the COVID-19 relief package. According to the report, Senate Republicans plan to offer several such amendments in an attempt to put Democrats on the spot regarding key issues. That said, Durbin says he’ll whip against “any amendments that we think will be destructive of the reconciliation process.”

One issue pressed by Republicans is a budget amendment which would prohibit illegal immigrants from receiving stimulus checks – a measure which attracted the cross-party votes of eight Senate Democrats. That said, Senate Republicans say Democrats aren’t negotiating with them – and say that the legislation is not sufficiently targeted.

On Monday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said that Democrats “have chosen to go a completely partisan route.”

“This is where we are: a bad process, a bad bill and a missed opportunity to do right by working families.”

Tyler Durden
Wed, 03/03/2021 – 10:38

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/30aS9W2 Tyler Durden

Oil Inventories Soar Most Ever; Gasoline Stocks Drained Most Since 1990

Oil Inventories Soar Most Ever; Gasoline Stocks Drained Most Since 1990

Oil prices surged back higher overnight after a brief dip on the API-reported surprise crude build (and massive product draws), as hopes that OPEC+ won’t hike output too much prevail. The widespread view among the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies is that the oil market can absorb extra barrels, according to people familiar with the matter.

“The question is not ‘if’ but rather ‘by how much’ the petro-nations will ease supply curbs,” said Norbert Ruecker, an analyst at Julius Baer Group Ltd.

“The economic recovery and the likely leisure and travel activity bounce will fuel oil demand and extra supplies will be needed to avoid an over-tightening.”

As we saw with API data, the Texas turmoil will make this inventory/production/demand data very noisy.

API

  • Crude +7.35mm (-1.805mm exp) – biggest build since Dec 2020

  • Cushing +732k

  • Gasoline -9.993mm (-2.125mm exp) – biggest draw ever

  • Distillates -9.053mm (-2.90mm exp) – biggest draw since Jan 2003

DOE

  • Crude +21.563mm (-1.805mm exp) – biggest build ever

  • Cushing +485k

  • Gasoline -13.624mm (-2.125mm exp) – biggest draw ever

  • Distillates -9.719mm (-2.90mm exp) – biggest draw since Jan 2003

After API’s data (massive build in crude, massive draws in products), DOE’s official data was stunning to behold with a record build in crude and record draw in gasoline stocks…

Source: Bloomberg

After tumbling in the prior week, Gasoline demand rebounded last week, but remains well below pre-COVID levels…

Source: Bloomberg

After plunging the prior week due to the storm in Texas (tied with the record drop in August during the hurricane season), US crude production returned very modestly last week…

Source: Bloomberg

At least 15 refineries, accounting for a combined 4.2 million barrels per day of capacity, were still experiencing ongoing outages last week.

Source: Bloomberg

Front-month WTI futures were trading around $61 ahead of the official data and slipped lower on the crazy data…

But the algos were quick to return and push it higher…

Finally, all eyes will now rotate (virtually) to the cartel, and as Bloomberg notes, there are two parts to the potential production ramp-up that OPEC+ will discuss.

  • The first is whether the cartel will proceed with a 500,000-barrel-a-day collective increase in April.

  • The second is the question of how Saudi Arabia could phase out its extra reduction of 1 million barrels a day.

The gathering pace of recovery presents “the perfect opportunity for OPEC+ to raise production,” Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. said in a note, predicting that the group will agree to add 750,000 barrels a day.

We also note the timing of OPEC+’s potential move to slow the rise comes as US gas prices (at the pump) head up towards $3.00…

Source: Bloomberg

And, coincidentally, gas prices have soared 30% in the last 3 months – the last 7 times this pace of cost increase has occurred, gas prices have reversed dramatically…

Source: Bloomberg

“Gas prices are coming into the month of March like a lion.. and might end up leaving the same way,” GasBuddy’s oil and refined products analyst Patrick de Haan says

If OPEC+ decides this week to put more oil back to the market, it could cool off the rally in crude prices and, consequently, the continued rise in U.S. gasoline prices with the summer driving season approaching, Matt Egan at CNN Business argues.

Tyler Durden
Wed, 03/03/2021 – 10:36

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/3kGlaC6 Tyler Durden