Hundreds Of ‘A-List’ Actors Threatening To Join Hollywood Writers On Strike

Hundreds Of ‘A-List’ Actors Threatening To Join Hollywood Writers On Strike

Authored by Alice Giordano via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

A group of 300 A-list Hollywood celebrities—including Ben Stiller, “Hunger Games” Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Liam Neeson, Kevin Bacon, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus—is threatening to take industrial action if their demands on key issues are not met.

They include better protection against artificial intelligence (AI) celebrity cloning, a “seismic realignment” in minimum pay, an increase in media residuals, and better health and pension terms.

The celebrities submitted a letter on June 28 to the Screen Actors Guild—American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) stating their claims. 

“As regards [to] artificial intelligence, we do not believe that SAG-AFTRA members can afford to make halfway gains in anticipation that more will be coming in three years, and we think it is absolutely vital that this negotiation protects not just our likenesses, but makes sure we are well compensated when any of our work is used to train AI,” the actors wrote.

The letter, which was provided to The Epoch Times by a union member, comes just days before the June 30 deadline for SAG-AFTRA to negotiate a new contract for the actors with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).

It also comes amid the Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike against the alliance. Like the actors, the guild has also cited concerns about the infringement of artificial intelligence on the industry and consequently their pay. 

SAG-AFTRA—including its executive director and chief negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, and president Fran Drescher, famous for her role on the 1980’s sitcom “The Nanny”—did not respond to inquiries about the strikes from The Epoch Times.

Days before the actors submitted their letter to them, Crabtree-Ireland and Drescher released a video in which they assure actors that they were being properly represented in contract renewal talks.

We’re not providing you with a lot of detailed reports tonight, because … it’s very confidential what’s going on in there,” said Drescher. “But I just want to assure you that we are having extremely productive negotiations that are laser-focused on all the crucial issues that you told us were most important to you.

“And we are standing strong and we are going to achieve a seminal deal.”

Crabtree-Ireland said he remained optimistic that the union negotiating team “will be able to bring the studios, networks, and streamers along to make a fair deal that respects union members and their “contribution to this industry.” 

In their letters, the actors said they felt otherwise. 

“A strike brings incredible hardships to so many, and no one wants it,” read the letter addressed to the union leadership and negotiating committee. “But we are prepared to strike if it comes to that. And we are concerned by the idea that SAG-AFTRA members may be ready to make sacrifices that leadership is not.”

Other well-known celebrities threatening to strike include Brendan Fraser, Maya Hawke, Lesley Ann Warren, Marisa Tomei,  Rosie O’Donnell, Neil Patrick Harris, Tea Leoni, Glenn Close, Jane Fonda, Minnie Driver, Tim Daly, Debra Messing, Eva Longoria, Quinta Brunson, Dave Franco, Noah Wyle, and J. Smith Cameron.

Read more here…

Tyler Durden
Fri, 06/30/2023 – 18:20

via ZeroHedge News Tyler Durden

Russian Oil Exports From Western Ports To Tumble 18% In July

Russian Oil Exports From Western Ports To Tumble 18% In July

Is the flood of Russian oil finally tapering?

Following several months of record-busting flows, Eikon data showed on Wednesday that Russia’s seaborne oil exports from the ports of Primorsk, Ust-Luga and Novorossiisk will fall to 1.9 million barrels per day (bpd) in July from 2.3 million bpd in June as domestic refineries increase runs, and – perhaps – as Russia finally decides to comply with its self-imposed output cut.

On a daily basis oil loadings from Russia’s western sea outlets are set to decline 18% in July compared to June, Reuters calculations showed. Russia’s oil exports are curbed by higher oil processing by domestic refineries along with frozen oil production under OPEC+ agreement and additional cuts pledged by Russia.

Lower loadings expected in July have already supported Urals oil differentials in ports of India – the main buyer of the grade.

Urals and Kazakhstan’s transit oil (KEBCO) loadings from Baltic ports of Primorsk and Ust-Luga were set at 5.6 million tonnes, down from 6.5 million tonnes planned for June.

Urals, KEBCO and Siberian Light oil loadings from Black Sea’s Novorossiisk were planned at 2.4 million tonnes in July, down from 2.9 million tonnes in June.

Russian refineries cut runs during spring months allowing state exports to reach a 4-year record in May. After works ended in June exports started to slide.

The sharp drop in exports comes after Russian crude oil flows to international markets have largely continued to grow unabated, with no substantive sign of the output cuts that the Kremlin insists the country is making. Four-week total average seaborne shipments, which smooth out some of the volatility in weekly numbers, edged higher in the period to June 4, rising to 3.73 million barrels a day from a revised 3.68 million in the period to May 28, according to Bloomberg.

At the start of the month, flows to international markets were more than 1.4 million barrels a day higher than they were at the end of last year — more than can be accounted for by the diversion of pipeline flows or lower refinery runs. Shipments have also risen since February, the baseline month for the pledged production cut.

Following the recent OPEC+ decision to cut output, Moscow’s OPEC partners have sought clarity and transparency from Russia on the country’s crude production. They noted that Moscow has made a commitment to accept reassessment of February’s production level by OPEC’s secondary sources. The assessment by those seven companies currently stands at 9.83 million barrels a day.

However, there has been precious little evidence that the 500,000 barrels a day of Russian export cuts have been made. Moscow has cited the diversion of crude previously piped to Germany and Poland through the Druzhba pipeline as a reason for robust shipments; but that switch happened in January and February, before the output cut was due to come into effect. Flows of Russian crude through the pipeline, now limited to deliveries to Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, have been stable at about 240,000 barrels a day since February.

And while Russian refineries cut their crude processing in the first part of May, runs recovered in the final week of the month, rising by about 180,000 barrels a day from the previous seven days. Despite the dip in refinery runs there is no sign of a corresponding drop in overseas shipments of refined products.

Meanwhile, Russia’s revenues from oil are still being hit hard, despite robust overseas flows. May’s budget proceeds from oil taxes plunged 31% from a year ago to 426 billion rubles ($5.2 billion), according to Bloomberg calculations, largely the result of a sharply lower oil price.

Ironically, to boost oil-related revenues, Russia may have no choice but to sharply reduce its output if only to spook speculators and spark a short squeeze which lasts longer than the one in April. Then again, the moment Russia resumes exporting at full blast, the price will drop again until such time as Beijing finally admits that it needs to launch a massive fiscal stimulus which reboots the country’s economy. And with youth unemployment already at a record 20%, and potentially jeopardizing the one thing that Beijing cares about the most – social stability – that day isn’t too far away.

Tyler Durden
Fri, 06/30/2023 – 18:00

via ZeroHedge News Tyler Durden

Gold Vs. Bitcoin Vs. CBDCs

Gold Vs. Bitcoin Vs. CBDCs

Authored by Nick Giambruno via,

International Man: For over 2,500 years, gold has been mankind’s most enduring money.

However, with the emergence of Bitcoin there is a new hard money option.

How do you see the two as governments worldwide continue to engage in rampant currency debasement and are rolling out central bank digital currencies (CBDCs)?

Nick Giambruno: First, I am all for free-market competition in money.

I say let the best money win.

Having a handle on the basics is crucial to understand what is happening here.

Money is a good, just like any other in an economy. And it isn’t a complex notion to grasp.

It doesn’t require you to understand convoluted math formulas and complicated theories—as the gatekeepers in academia, media, and government mislead many folks into believing.

Understanding money is intuitive and straightforward.

Money is simply something useful for storing and exchanging value. That’s it.

The way I see it, three primary monetary goods are competing against each other today: Bitcoin, gold, and fiat currency.

Fiat currency is currently the dominant form of money in the world.

But that status is fleeting as central banks are debasing their currencies at breathtaking speed.

CBDCs are a desperate, last-ditch effort to keep the fiat currency scam going—a Hail Mary.

To escape the collapsing fiat system and CBDC enslavement, many millions—soon billions—of people are turning to monetary alternatives like gold and Bitcoin.

Fiat currency is a fraud of historic proportions that causes incomprehensible damage. So I am rooting for both gold and Bitcoin in this three-way war for monetary supremacy.

International Man: Can you explain Bitcoin’s monetary qualities?

Nick Giambruno: Bitcoin shares many of gold’s monetary characteristics. They’re both durable, divisible, consistent, convenient, scarce, and most importantly, “hard assets.”

“Hardness” does not mean something that is necessarily tangible or physically hard, like metal. It means “hard to produce.” By contrast, “easy money” is easy to produce.

The best way to think of hardness is “resistance to debasement,” which helps make it a good store of value—an essential function of money.

The most important characteristic of a good money is that it is credibly “hard to produce.”

All other monetary characteristics are meaningless if the money is easy for someone to produce.

Like gold, Bitcoin does not have counterparty risk.

In other words, Bitcoin and gold are the only primarily monetary assets that aren’t simultaneously someone else’s liabilities.

Gold has established itself as money over thousands of years. Bitcoin is a new and emerging money.

Bitcoin is like hard money with a call option based on its further monetization, which is an excellent bet.

A lot more can be said on this topic, but this sums up the essential points.

International Man: What about CBDCs?

Nick Giambruno: Despite all the hype, CBDCs are nothing but the same fiat currency swindle on steroids.

It’s doubtful CBDCs can save otherwise fundamentally unsound currencies—as I believe all fiat currencies are.

If the current fiat system is not viable, then CBDCs are even less viable as they enable the government to engage in even more currency debasement.

Would a CBDC have saved the Zimbabwe dollar, the Venezuelan bolivar, the Argentine peso, the Lebanese lira, or the Nigerian naira?

I don’t think so. And a CBDC won’t save the US dollar or the euro from their fates either.

There are a lot of bad things that come with CBDCs. But there’s a silver lining…

CBDCs are going to introduce and familiarize people with using digital currencies. It’s then only then a matter of time before they discover Bitcoin.

CBDCs and Bitcoin share some characteristics.

For example, they are both digital and facilitate fast payments from a mobile phone. But that is where the similarities end.

The reality is that CBDCs and Bitcoin are entirely different in the most fundamental ways.

You need the government’s permission and blessing to use a CBDC, whereas Bitcoin is permissionless.

Governments can (and will) create as many CBDC currency units as they want. With Bitcoin, there can never be more than 21 million, and there is nothing anyone can do to inflate the supply more than the predetermined amount in the protocol.

CBDCs are centralized. Bitcoin is decentralized.

Governments can censor transactions and freeze, sanction, and confiscate CBDC units whenever they want. Bitcoin is censorship-resistant. No country’s sanctions or laws can affect the protocol.

There is no privacy with CBDCs. However, with Bitcoin, if you take specific steps, it is possible to maintain reasonable privacy.

CBDCs are government money that are easy to produce and give politicians a terrifying amount of control over people’s lives. On the other hand, Bitcoin is non-state hard money that helps liberate individuals from government control.

In short, CBDCs are a pathetic attempt to compete with Bitcoin.

CBDCs make an inferior form of money even worse, but at the same time, they are an excellent Trojan Horse for Bitcoin.

It doesn’t take much imagination to see that once governments inevitably inflate their CBDC units, censor transactions, freeze people’s accounts, and confiscate funds, it will push people to look for better digital alternatives, first and foremost Bitcoin.

That’s how, contrary to conventional wisdom, CBDCs could be an enormous catalyst for Bitcoin adoption.

International Man: Couldn’t governments simply ban Bitcoin?

Nick Giambruno: Bitcoin threatens a major source of the government’s power—the power to create fake money out of thin air and force everyone to use it. There’s no question they’ll try to protect this racket from Bitcoin. The question is whether they’ll be successful.

Remember, the powerful Chinese government has banned Bitcoin numerous times with little to no long-term effects as adoption grows.

That’s because it’s entirely impractical for governments to ban Bitcoin. They’re no match for the economic incentives that attract millions—soon billions—of people, and increasingly, corporations, and even nation states to a harder and superior form of money.

Further, all aspects of Bitcoin are genuinely decentralized and robust. The best that governments can do is play an endless game of global whack-a-mole.

Governments in Argentina and Venezuela have laws restricting their citizens from accessing US dollars. However, these laws have little effect on their citizens’ desire and ability to use them. These actions just create a thriving black market, or, more accurately termed, a free market.

Similarly, governments have tried to ban cannabis for decades, which hasn’t worked out very well for them.

Bitcoin would be infinitely more challenging for governments to ban than US dollars or a plant.

I would like to see governments try to ban Bitcoin because they’ll fall flat on their faces.

It’s doubtful any government will be more successful in banning it than the Chinese government was.

A failed attempt to ban Bitcoin will reinforce its value proposition as a superior form of money nobody controls.

International Man: Where do you see the Bitcoin price going?

Nick Giambruno: What we have with Bitcoin is an entirely new asset that millions worldwide are adopting as money because of its superior monetary properties, namely its total resistance to debasement.

The monetization of the new monetary good is genuinely unlike anything anyone alive has ever seen.

It took gold centuries to achieve monetization. Bitcoin has a good chance of undergoing monetization in a much shorter period.

The market cap for Bitcoin today is around $600 billion.

The market cap for all the mined gold in the world, which took thousands of years to accumulate, is about $12.7 trillion.

That means Bitcoin has a market cap roughly equal to 5% of gold’s and is already well on its way to monetization.

Assuming gold stays flat and Bitcoin goes up 20x, it would have a market cap roughly equal to gold. At that point, a single Bitcoin would be worth over $620,000. I think that’s a real possibility in the next ten years, though it could happen much sooner.

If that sounds outrageous, consider this…

Ten years ago, the Bitcoin price was around $100. Today, it’s roughly 310x that.

Bitcoin has made numerous breathtaking moves to the upside in the past. I think it can do it again, especially as corporations, institutional investors, and even nation states start buying Bitcoin for the first time. Of course, it’s important to remember that past performance does not indicate future results for any investment.

Here’s the bottom line.

Few people are aware of what is really happening with Bitcoin.

And even fewer know how to prepare.

That’s why I’ve just released an urgent PDF report revealing three ways you can do that.

Check it out as soon as possible because it could soon be too late to take action. Click here to get it now.

Tyler Durden
Fri, 06/30/2023 – 17:40

via ZeroHedge News Tyler Durden

Biden Says He Will try to do Student Loan Forgiveness Under the Higher Education Act of 1965

Biden talking about student loan forgiveness
President Joe Biden.


Just a few hours after the Supreme Court invalidated his $400 billion student loan forgiveness plan for which the administration claimed authorization under the HEROES Act of 2003, President Biden announced he will try to push through loan forgiveness under the Higher Education Act of 1965, instead:

Hours after the ruling, Biden announced his administration will be taking a new route. The Education Department filed a notice on Friday to begin the regulatory process of using the Higher Education Act of 1965 to cancel student debt, which does not require relying on a national emergency.

“This new path is legally sound,” Biden said during Friday remarks. “It’s going to take longer, and in my view is the best path that remains in providing for as many borrowers possible. But I’m directing my team to move as quickly as possible on the law.”

The Higher Education Act states that the Education Department can “enforce, pay, compromise, waive, or release any right, title, claim, lien, or demand” related to federal student debt.

I can’t say for sure whether the new plan is legal until such time as we have details on what exactly it will do. But the Higher Education Act (HEA) was previously advanced as a possible alternative justification for the plan the Supreme Court struck down today (the administration never used the argument, however). I criticized the HEA rationale for that plan here. Fordham law Professor Jed Shugerman (who is much more sympathetic to the administration’s goals than I am, offered criticisms in an article in the Atlantic, though he also argued that the HEA theory was stronger than the HEROES Act approach the administration chose to adopt.

It’s too early for any definitive assessment of the administration’s potential new loan forgiveness plan. The one thing we can say with confidence is that we are likely to have more legal battles over executive authority to cancel student loans!

The post Biden Says He Will try to do Student Loan Forgiveness Under the Higher Education Act of 1965 appeared first on

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Brazil’s ‘Donald Trump’ Banned From Public Office For 8 Years

Brazil’s ‘Donald Trump’ Banned From Public Office For 8 Years

A top Brazilian court has ruled that former president Jair Bolsonaro is barred from running for office for eight years.

The country’s highest electoral court says that the man once popularly dubbed “Brazil’s Donald Trump” cannot run for or hold any public office until 2030. This means he’ll have to sit out the 2026 election, after last year he lost to left-wing opponent Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

Five out of seven judges found him guilty, with two judges voting against – expressing their rationale that he has a right to free speech in contesting the fairness of the last election.

The charges are centered on attacking public confidence and allegedly stoking violent protests over what he and his supporters called ‘fraudulent’ elections and rigged voting machines. He was accused further of abuse of power, particularly over his summoning ambassadors to his residence last year to decry the election.

That controversial meeting in particular had been live-streamed. State-funded US media outlet NPR writes, “The case stems from a meeting Bolsonaro held with foreign ambassadors in July 2022, in which he spread false information about Brazil’s electoral system and brought its credibility into question ahead of last year’s fractious election. The meeting was livestreamed by official television channels and on YouTube.”

Brazil’s Superior Electoral Court later deemed the video as well as other social media content from the Bolsonaro campaign to constitute ‘misinformation’ and election interference, after which YouTube complied in removing the videos.

Subsequently an avalanche of Brazilian and American media reports compared the controversy to events surrounding Trump and the 2020 election, as well as January 6, especially when rioters clashed with police in Brasilia in early January, which included Bolsonaro supporters storming Congress, the Supreme Court and presidential palace.

The former Brazilian president had been living in Florida, more or less in a kind of exile while Brazilian officials prepared multiple charges and investigations. When his visa was set to expire, he flew back to Brazil in March, after three months in the US.

During his stay in the US, multiple progressive Democratic lawmakers urged the Biden administration to cancel his visa, arguing that he was sowing election disinformation while living comfortably in a posh Florida home.

Tyler Durden
Fri, 06/30/2023 – 17:20

via ZeroHedge News Tyler Durden

Union Fights Signal Danger Ahead For Bidenomics

Union Fights Signal Danger Ahead For Bidenomics

Authored by Susan Crabtree via RealClear Wire,

Just a few hours before President Biden tied his political fate to the economy, embracing the term “Bidenomics” in a Chicago speech Wednesday, he was still trying to dispel worries about a looming recession. A reporter asked Biden, before he boarded Marine One, whether he believed the worst of inflation was over.

“Let me put it this way: I’ve been hearing every month there’s going to be a recession next month,” the president responded. “Two-thirds of economists and the major leaders in the banks think we’re not going to have a recession. I don’t think so either.

The exchange underscores the fragile state of the economy that most Americans and independent analysts find concerning. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said he expects more interest-rate increases ahead as inflation remains “well above where it should be.” Meanwhile, only 24% of voters believe the country is on the right track, with 38.3% approving of Biden’s handling of the economy, according to RealClearPolitics’ poll average.

The White House this week put a far glossier spin on its inflation record, asserting that wages have gone up during Biden’s tenure and that the inflation rate has been cut in half from where it was a year ago – lower than any other wealthy Group of 7 nation, according to Biden’s Council of Economic Advisers.

Republicans dismissed the claims as brazen gaslighting, pointing out that inflation spiked after Biden took office, rising from 1.4% in January 2021 to 5.4% by June 2021, and 7.5% right before Russia invaded Ukraine, peaking at 9.1% in June 2022 before demand slowly began to sink it to its current 4%.

While Democrats and Republicans spent the week debating whether Biden’s policies have helped or hurt the middle class, other economic signs were flashing red, warning of danger ahead. Biden has long blamed the spike in inflation on a temporary COVID hangover and bottlenecks that snarled supply lines, which he said have smoothed out over time as employees have returned to work.

Now several fights, led by the Teamsters Union’s aggressive new president, Sean O’Brien, could throw kinks into the nation’s shipping and trucking logistics in a matter of weeks. During his Wednesday remarks, Biden repeated his promise to be the most pro-union president in history and said that under his watch, Americans’ support for unions is at its strongest level in 60 years.

We are making it easier to empower workers by making it easier to join the union,” he told the audience of about 200 supporters.

Earlier this month, the president held his first reelection rally in Philadelphia at an event hosted by the AFL-CIO and attended by 2,000 cheering union members. The massive AFL-CIO and 17 other unions, including the American Federation of Government Employees, announced their early endorsements of Biden’s reelection.

While continuing his pro-union drumbeat, regularly sprinkling his speeches with pledges to protect “good-paying union jobs,” Biden is pointedly avoiding discussing several looming union threats to disrupt crucial supply chains and likely upend progress on inflation. The Teamsters ramped up their rhetoric this week after voting to authorize strikes at two of the nation’s largest trucking fleets if new labor deals are not struck by the end of next month.

Teamsters working for shipping giant UPS are threatening to strike on Aug. 1 if their demands for better pay and working conditions aren’t met. If the current negotiations break down, some 340,000 warehousing, transportation, and delivery workers could walk off the job in what would be the largest U.S. strike in 60 years. UPS brown vans deliver more than 19 million packages a day.

The workers want higher pay; the elimination of so-called two-tier wages, where newer workers are paid less than older employees for the same job; the removal of surveillance cameras from delivery trucks; and more full-time positions. The rhetoric between the two sides escalated this week when O’Brien demanded that UPS provide a tentative contract agreement that its leadership can support within the next week after UPS reportedly returned to the bargaining table Tuesday without an updated counteroffer to present to the union.

When we say the current contract expires July 31, that means we want a new contract in place starting August 1,” O’Brien said in a statement this week. “Not in six months. Not next spring. We demand a historic new contract August 1 with more money in our pockets immediately.” Warning that a nationwide UPS strike is imminent, O’Brien added, “UPS has wasted enough time and hoarded these record profits. Our members want what they have earned.”

Just two weeks ago, Teamsters at TForce Freight, representing more than 7,000 truck drivers and delivery workers nationwide, voted to authorize a strike with the same July 31 deadline for negotiations. TForce Freight operates in the less-than-truckload, or LTL, shipping market, which handles smaller loads that can be broken down into units less than 150 pounds.

At the same time, the union is battling another large LTL trucking employer, Yellow Corp., over a restructuring plan to modernize its operations to compete in the U.S. $58 billion LTL market. Yellow, which has struggled financially for years, says it needs to re-engineer its business plans and consolidate terminals to compete in an industry dominated by non-union companies. The need is particularly urgent because the company must refinance $1.3 billion in debts from loans maturing next year or face bankruptcy.

Nick Vyas, director of the Center for Global Supply Chain Management at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business, said allowing the strikes to take place and Yellow to fail could have a devastating impact on the economy, particularly because the boom in online shopping and home delivery, which began during the pandemic, is still going strong.

Vyas worries that organized labor is focused on extracting short-sighted demands and resisting “transformative forces” while making their employers less competitive overall, even forcing some U.S. companies that have been in business for 50 or 100 years to fail or transition out of certain industries.

The unionized companies that provide better wages, benefits, and a better lifestyle for their employers could disappear, and you will have a marketplace based on smaller non-unionized companies that will cater to consumer needs,” Vyas told RealClearPolitics. “At the end of the day, it’s like putting a rock in the middle of a stream of water. The water will find a way to go around … consumers are not going to slow down their demand for technological innovations and faster service.”

In 2020, Yellow received a $700 million pandemic relief loan in exchange for the federal government assuming a 30% equity stake in the company. A bankruptcy could leave American taxpayers with more financial burden from the company and a loss of 30,000 unionized trucking jobs.

The Teamsters have vigorously opposed Yellow’s plans to require some workers to take on additional dock work, loading and unloading freight, among other changes. After an eight-month impasse, Yellow filed suit against the Teamsters this week, arguing that it had the right under its labor contract to implement the restructuring plan. The carrier is seeking $137 million in damages for what it argues is a breach of contract. “Without these crucial reforms, which are standard practice in the industry today, Yellow will not survive,” the company said in a statement.

O’Brien fired back, accusing Yellow of filing a baseless allegation because its management has failed the company and can no longer live up to the contract terms it agreed to. “This lawsuit is a desperate, last-ditch attempt to save face,” said Teamsters General Secretary-Treasurer Fred Zuckerman.

The company argues it’s simply trying to stay afloat, repay its loans from the federal government and save the jobs of its 30,000 workers while continuing an undisrupted supply chain to hundreds of thousands of its customers across the country. “Driving Yellow out of business will badly damage the supply chain, lessen competition and raise the price of shipped goods and feed inflation,” the company said Tuesday in announcing the lawsuit.

We do not take this action lightly, but the Union’s leadership has left us with no choice,” Yellow’s management said in a statement. “For many months, we have made good faith efforts to meet with the IBT to propose a path forward that works for all parties, but they refuse even to meet, let alone engage in honest talks.”

The complaint said the Teamsters had backed the company’s modernization effort for years and approved the first of the effort’s three phases. The union, however, reversed course when O’Brien became president and pledged to take a “militant approach” in blocking the restructuring. In the lawsuit, Yellow said it reached out to Biden to try to broker a deal, but O’Brien rejected the White House’s efforts. A White House spokesperson acknowledged engaging with both parties but declined to comment on the legal dispute.

“We are assessing any potential impact on supply chains and workers,” the spokesperson told RCP.

It’s a delicate situation for Biden, who would like to add the Teamsters to his roster of labor endorsements, but who rubbed some union members the wrong way for his role in brokering a deal to avert a disruptive rail strike just before Christmas last year. Some union members were disappointed by the negotiated terms and still hold Biden accountable.

While Biden wants strong union backing for his reelection, he’s also trying to lure more companies and manufacturing back to the U.S. after decades of businesses moving offshore for cheaper labor and less regulation.

“The president should tone down narratives about just being pro-labor,” Vyas argued. “Instead, he needs to show he’s doing the right thing to keep the country and its infrastructure and manufacturing base competitive.”

On Wednesday, Biden said his government investments in infrastructure, which most Republicans opposed, were already increasing manufacturing jobs here at home. Under his leadership, he said, U.S. products, such as semiconductors, and even whole industries that had moved offshore have started to return.

“We went from producing 40% of those chips down to 10%,” he told the crowd. “Not anymore. Bidenomics is going to grow those jobs and products right here at home. I mean it. It’s not a joke.”

In the coming weeks, as the Teamsters and trucking industry battles come to a head, Biden won’t so easily remain on the sidelines avoiding the political or economic fallout. The state of the economy often determines whether first-term presidents stick around for four more years. As it stands now, voters are skeptical, the economy is shaky, and the White House’s big “Bidenomics” embrace just tied the president even more closely to its trajectory.

Tyler Durden
Fri, 06/30/2023 – 17:00

via ZeroHedge News Tyler Durden

Fed Fkery Turns $65 Billion Bank Deposit Outflow Into $48 Billion Inflow

Fed F**kery Turns $65 Billion Bank Deposit Outflow Into $48 Billion Inflow

Yesterday we saw more, modest, outflows from institutional money-market funds (inflows from retail funds), but a rise to a new record high for usage of The Fed’s emergency bank bailout scheme, to over $106 billion.

Tonight, we get more of the picture – admittedly with The Fed’s own sprinkling of magic pixie dust that turns deposit outflows into inflows.

Seasonally-adjusted, total deposits rose a significant $46.95 billion last week to $17.3 trillion – the highest since 3/5/23…

Source: Bloomberg

Non-seasonally-adjusted, total deposits tumbled $63.1 billion…

Source: Bloomberg

The SA and NSA deposit totals are diverging once again…

Source: Bloomberg

The divergence between money-market funds and deposits continues (remember the deposit data is one-week lagged to the MM fund data)…

Source: Bloomberg

Seasonally-adjusted, both large and small banks saw deposit inflows (+$34.9bn and +13.4bn respectively) while foreign banks saw a small $1.4bn outflow…

Source: Bloomberg

The picture – non-seasonally-adjusted – is the exact opposite with large and small banks seeing outflows (-$52bn and -$13bn respectively) and foreign banks saw inflows of $1.9bn…

Source: Bloomberg

The Fed’s magic turned $65.1 billion of deposit OUTFLOWS for Domestic banks (ex-Foreign) into $48.3 billion of INFLOWS…

Source: Bloomberg

You have to laugh!

On the other side of the ledger, loan volume rose very modestly (which is odd given the huge SA deposit inflow, right?) Large bank loan volume rose de-minimusly while small bank loans rose over $9bn…

Source: Bloomberg

Finally, after all the big banks passed the stress test with flying colors, we remind readers that banks have 9 months left under the original 12-month BTFP Fed bailout program to find a way to stabilize their balance sheets.

Not only have they failed to do so, usage of the BTFP facility is at a new all time high, and yields are rising even more (great MTM losses).

Tyler Durden
Fri, 06/30/2023 – 16:40

via ZeroHedge News Tyler Durden

Is the Nonaggression Principle Incoherent?

Economist and libertarian David Friedman and Soho Forum Director and libertarian Gene Epstein debate the resolution, “The right way to persuade people of libertarianism is by showing them that its outcomes are superior by their standards, without any resort to the flawed nonaggression principle.”

Coincidentally, both Friedman and Epstein are 78 years old and Jewish. But as Epstein pointed out in his opening remarks, the comparison ends there. Friedman is the son of the famous free market Nobel laureate economist Milton Friedman and his wife and collaborator, economist Rose Friedman, and was schooled intensely in the art of debate while growing up. Epstein, by contrast, can claim nothing comparable in his own lineage.

Taking the affirmative, Friedman reviewed key arguments set forth in his book, The Machinery of Freedom: Guide to a Radical Capitalism, originally published in 1973 but issued in updated editions since then. Though he does not believe that the libertarian’s nonaggression principle, or NAP, is a coherent principle, he also explained that one can do without the NAP in convincing nonlibertarians to accept libertarian solutions to society’s problems.

Taking the negative, Epstein argued that what he preferred to call the zero-aggression principle, or ZAP, often plays an essential role in defending the libertarian case for radical reform. He provided examples, including abolishing both drug laws and government’s interference with free international trade. He also addressed various aspects of Friedman’s view that ZAP is an incoherent principle.  

The debate was held before a live audience at noon on June 23 at the Porcupine Freedom Festival (“PorcFest“) in Lancaster, New Hampshire. It was moderated by PorcFest leader Dennis Pratt. As Pratt has said, the primary purpose of the six-day event is to induce libertarians to move to the “free state” of New Hampshire. 

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President Biden: Supreme Court Is Not “Normal” But Should Not Be Expanded

In prepared remarks yesterday, President Biden condemned the Supreme Court’s decision to dramatically restrict the use of race in college admissions in SFFA v. Harvard. He said he strongly disagreed with the decision. The Court “once again walked away from decades of precedent” and “ffectively ended affirmative action in college admissions.” When asked by a reporter whether the Supreme Court is “a rogue court,” the President responded: “this is not a normal court.”

Speaking later to MSNBC, however, the President rejected proposals to increase the size of the Court as a way to shift its ideological balance. Reuters reports:

President Joe Biden said it would be a mistake to expand the membership of the U.S. Supreme Court after it struck down race-conscious admission considerations on Thursday but thinks the institution is out of touch with basic American values. . . .

Biden told MSNBC in New York that the court “may do too much harm but I think if we start the process of trying to expand the court, we are going to politicize it maybe forever, in a way that is not healthy.”

Biden also said the court’s value system is different and it’s not as embracing. . . .

Liberal Democratic lawmakers have proposed expanding the number of Supreme Court justices, possibly ending its conservative majority, but the plan has not been embraced by the White House and other Democrats.

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Stewart Baker and Max Schrems Debate the Privacy Framework

Max Schrems is the lawyer and activist behind the first and second (and, probably soon, a third) legal challenge to the adequacy of US law to protect European personal data. Thanks to the Federalist Society’s Regulatory Transparency Project, Max and I were able to spend an hour debating the law and policy behind Europe’s generation-long fight with the United States over transatlantic data flows.  It’s civil, pointed, occasionally raucous, and wide-ranging – a fun, detailed introduction to the issues that will almost certainly feature in the next round of litigation over the latest agreement between Europe and the US.  Matthew Heiman acted as moderator.

Download Episode 465 (mp3).

You can subscribe to The Cyberlaw Podcast using iTunesGoogle PlaySpotifyPocket Casts, or our RSS feed. As always, The Cyberlaw Podcast is open to feedback. Be sure to engage with @stewartbaker on Twitter. Send your questions, comments, and suggestions for topics or interviewees to Remember: If your suggested guest appears on the show, we will send you a highly coveted Cyberlaw Podcast mug! The views expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not reflect the opinions of their institutions, clients, friends, families, or pets.

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