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   Strategies & Market TrendsThe Financial Collapse of 2001 Unwinding

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From: elmatador5/12/2024 4:57:11 AM
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Disruptions ensued, including attempts to breach the Tesla premises and sit-in blockades on roads, leading to roadblocks, the spokesperson said.

Protesters also occupied a nearby airfield in the Neuhardenberg municipality, lighting pyrotechnics and blocking access roads, according to the police.

More than ten European countries had campaigned to have the factory located within their jurisdictions. Tesla decided to put the factory in Germany.

These investments need to go to Brazil or Argentina. Elon Musk will be received on a red carpet. I suggested to the Moroccans to invite Elon Musk for a tour of Northern Morocco

hey promise the subsidies but then the locals storm your facility
"Thus far, based on the current details, Tesla could eventually get 6.8% government funding toward Giga Berlin. Teslarati notes that if the project costs some 2 billion euros, Tesla could expect over $130 million in support from Germany."

Tesla Not Yet Provided With Any Funding From Germany For Giga BerlinTesla moves too quickly and changes plans often, which makes its application for government funding an "ongoing process."

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To: elmatador who wrote (12709)5/12/2024 10:58:16 AM
From: Elroy Jetson
   of 12817
To avoid import tariffs Teslas for Brazil have to be built in Brazil, and likewise Teslas for Europe have to be built somewhere in Europe.

Businesses adapt.

Tesla knew going in that choosing that particular forest reserve in Germany to build a plant would come with a lot of push back from residents, yet they went ahead with it.

Everyone makes their choices and enjoy the results. Elon Musk is really into problem-hogging.

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To: Cogito Ergo Sum who wrote (8914)5/12/2024 3:13:01 PM
From: Joachim K
2 Recommendations   of 12817

Massive wildfire near Flin Flon moves toward Cranberry Portage, forces evacuations

Fire grows to 35,000 hectares in size, leaving residents ‘on watch’

Rachel Ferstl · CBC News · Posted: May 12, 2024 8:36 AM CDT | Last Updated: 15 minutes ago

A massive fire is burning in northwestern Manitoba near Flin Flon and Cranberry Portage. (Bailey Anderson/Facebook)

A massive wildfire has swallowed up 35,000 hectares of land near Flin Flon, and is making its way toward another northwestern Manitoba community.

A forest fire 38 kilometres long and 12 kilometres wide has moved within one kilometre of Cranberry Portage, located southeast of Flin Flon, the province said in its fourth fire bulletin on Sunday afternoon.

Residents from Cranberry Portage evacuated to The Pas after an order was issued Saturday night.

The blaze has caused intermittent power outages, and has prompted the closure of Highway 10 from Highway 39 (south of Cranberry Portage) to Flin Flon.

The fire has also crossed a section of railway in the area, the province said, which could impact rail travel between Cranberry Portage and Pukatawagan, which is further north.

Another out-of-control fire near the community of Wanless, which is north of The Pas but south of Cranberry Portage, has grown to about 1,500 hectares in size. Crews are trying to protect the hydro line between the latter two communities.

A view of the wildfire near Flin Flon from Schist Lake. The province issued an evacuation order to a number of homes and cottages in the area, a Saturday afternoon update said. (Submitted by Randy Whitbread)

Lori Forbes, the municipal emergency coordinator for the area, said as of Sunday morning, about 400 of the community's 700 or so residents had registered after evacuating.

"They're wanting to know when they can go home. They're wanting to make sure their house is OK. They're wanting to know how long this is going to take," said Forbes.

"It's very stressful and very hard emotionally on people to leave their community. We're giving them the proper information as we hear it."

A registration site has been set up at the Wescana Inn in The Pas. Many evacuees are staying at hotels in The Pas, Winnipeg and Brandon, Forbes said.

The province said emergency social services are also available to evacuees. A reception centre has also been set up at the Victoria Inn in Flin Flon for residents who have evacuated from other areas, including:

  • Sourdough Bay subdivision.
  • Twin Lakes Cottage subdivision.
  • Whitefish Lake Cottage subdivision.
  • Schist Lake North Cottage subdivision.
  • Bakers Cottage subdivision.
  • Bakers Narrows Provincial Park.
Manitoba Hydro is also working to fix infrastructure that has led to communication outages in Flin Flon, Sherridon and Sourdough Bay between Flin Flon and Cranberry Portage, the province said.

Residents from Carberry Portage were ordered to evacuate Saturday night. A registration site for evacuees has been set up in The Pas at the Wescana Inn. (CBC Graphics)

In an update Saturday afternoon, the province said it had also ordered homeowners and cottagers near Flin Flon to evacuate, and had warned others nearby to be prepared to leave. It also said officials closed off Sourdough Bay Road, east of Flin Flon, and evacuated the area around Sourdough Bay.

Niki Ashton, the MP for Churchill—Keewatinook Aski, said the situation is stressful for everyone.

"People are literally on watch," she said.

"We've known for some time that there is a high risk of a bad fire season and we're seeing it already."

She said northern residents are braced for what the next few weeks might bring.

"This, to me, is a very clear sign that we need a national approach when it comes to fighting wildfires."

Smoke from the out-of-control wildfire has drifted into Winnipeg and parts of southern Manitoba. (Corentin Mittet-Magnan/Radio-Canada)

Environment Canada has issued special air quality statements for parts of southern Manitoba, including Winnipeg, due to wildfire smoke. Conditions are expected to improve throughout the day Sunday.

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To: Joachim K who wrote (12711)5/12/2024 6:45:57 PM
From: Elroy Jetson
1 Recommendation   of 12817
It looks like Canadians forgot to rake their tundra again.
Donald Trump said: “I was with the president of Finland and he said:

"We have, much different, we are a forest nation.’ He called it a forest nation. And they spend a lot of time on raking and cleaning and doing things, and they don’t have any fire problem.”
For the record, the president of Finland has said he has no idea what Donald Trump was talking about.

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From: elmatador5/14/2024 2:23:01 AM
   of 12817
China exerts control over internet cable projects in South China Sea

Beijing imposes strict permit requirements for access to underwater data infrastructure over spying fears

Anna Gross and Alexandra Heal in London, Demetri Sevastopulo in Washington, Kathrin Hille in Taipei and Mercedes Ruehl in Singapore

MARCH 14 2023

China has begun to impede projects to lay and maintain subsea internet cables through the South China Sea, as Beijing seeks to exert more control over the infrastructure transmitting the world’s data.

Long approval delays and stricter Chinese requirements, including permits for work conducted outside its internationally recognised territorial waters, have pushed companies to design routes that avoid the South China Sea, according to multiple sources inside the industry.

A cable under construction called SJC2, which will connect Japan to Singapore as well as Taiwan and Hong Kong, has been delayed by more than a year because of Chinese objections and lengthy permit issues, according to two industry executives.

China held up approval for sea-floor prospecting for the cable — owned by a consortium including China Mobile, Chunghwa Telecom and Meta — for several months in its territorial waters around Hong Kong. The authorities cited concerns that the contractor might conduct spying or install extraneous equipment, according to one person directly involved in the project who requested anonymity.

“China is attempting to exert more control over undersea activities in its region, in part to prevent US surveillance systems from being installed as part of undersea cable deployment,” said Bryan Clark, a former US submarine officer and senior Navy official.

“The Chinese government also wants to know exactly where civilian undersea infrastructure is installed for its own mapping purposes,” added Clark, who is now at the Hudson Institute think-tank.

Tensions over who owns, builds and runs the fibre cables sending internet traffic around the world have risen sharply since 2020, when the US government began to block Chinese involvement in international consortium projects. Washington has also denied permission for subsea cables connecting the US to mainland China and Hong Kong.

Several industry sources said China’s policing of its waters — including within maritime areas marked on maps by a disputed “nine-dash line” — is a response to Beijing being excluded from international projects and fears that companies could use cables as a front for espionage.

According to international law, states or companies laying and maintaining internet cables require government permits for access to the seabed within 12 nautical miles of a country’s territory. But permission is not typically required in waters anywhere between 12 nautical miles and 200 nautical miles from land, known as a state’s “exclusive economic zone”.

Chinese authorities have made the process for obtaining permits within the 12-mile stretch long and onerous, according to three industry executives with direct knowledge of the situation.

China is also among a handful of countries in Asia that have started requesting permits for cable-laying in claimed territorial waters beyond 12 miles, in apparent contravention of international maritime law, according to executives at two major subsea cable companies in Europe and two lawyers working with companies in the region.

“The edict from the [Chinese Communist party], passed down by local government representatives, is that you need a permit in their EEZ,” said one subsea cable executive. “The last thing you want is to approach Chinese waters and a gun boat comes out and stops you. It’s just really murky out there [and] the cost of not doing it means that people fold and apply [for permits].”

Requiring permits for cable work gives China oversight and influence over the entities that control the metal-encased fibre lines carrying data around Asia. It also gives Beijing leverage to demand a seat at the table for infrastructure projects by requesting that its companies, ships or personnel are involved.

The South China Sea is a popular subsea cable route, offering the most efficient path to connecting east Asia with the south and west of the continent, as well as onwards to Africa.

About 95 per cent of all intercontinental internet traffic — data, video calls, instant messages and emails — is transmitted via more than 400 active submarine cables that extend for 1.4mn km.

Clark said China’s requirements were “not consistent” with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, noting that its permitting requirements stretched far beyond its EEZ to encompass almost all of the South China Sea. “Much of this area is actually the EEZ of China’s neighbours,” he added.

The Chinese Ministry of Natural Resources and ministry of defence did not respond to a request for comment.

Several sources said that to avoid deadlock over permits, subsea cable consortiums were now seeking to forge new routes that circumvent China’s claimed waters.

Two cables under construction, called Apricot and Echo, will transport data from Singapore to Japan and the US, respectively, avoiding the South China Sea by circling around Indonesia.

“Nobody is daring to do operations without explicit authorisation?.?.?.?that never comes,” said a European subsea cable executive. Other projects under procurement would avoid the area because of these issues, he added.

The cost of contracting boats for cable-laying and maintenance can be about $100,000 a day, making companies reluctant to risk any action that could be blocked or sabotaged.

Avoiding waters claimed by China was a “double punishment”, the executive said, because it is more expensive to lay cable along the new route as the shallower waters near Borneo require extra layers of armour around the fibre.

“It means building is longer and costs more,” said a Singapore-based executive for a global technology company. “It is digital infrastructure decoupling.”

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To: E_K_S who wrote (12694)5/14/2024 7:56:04 AM
From: elmatador
   of 12817
Milei is already proving the Left-wing economic establishment wrong

Argentina’s reforms prove it’s possible to slash a bloated state

MATTHEW LYNN4 May 2024 • 2:00pm

Argentina has historically been a country of failed governments, economic collapses, and debt defaults. Yet incredibly there are signs that – against all the odds – the bold, free market reforms of its libertarian President Javier Milei are beginning to work.

With inflation falling, interest rates coming down, and the peso on fire in one market, Milei is already proving the global Left-wing economic establishment – addicted to bigger government and endless deficits – wrong. Indeed, it may provide a template for other countries to escape from zero growth.

First, what’s changed in the country: inflation has fallen to 11pc and Milei predicts it will fall further. While a monthly figure (this is Argentina after all), price rises may be coming back under control after soaring above 300pc annually.

Last week, Milei announced that the country had recorded its first quarterly budget surplus since 2008, a modest 0.2pc of GDP, but still an astonishing achievement in such a short space of time, especially for a country that has run deficits for 113 of the last 123 years.

Then, earlier this week, the central bank, which Milei has not yet gotten around to abolishing as he pledged, cut interest rates for the third time in three weeks. While they are still at an eye-watering 50pc, that will start to feed through into the economy very soon. Investors have started to notice.

According to Bloomberg data, in the blue-chip swap market the peso was the best-performing currency in the world in the first quarter of this year, and the bond markets are rallying as well.

It may also get better over the months ahead. With stabilising prices, and a rising currency, investment should start flowing again into a country rich in natural resources and hyper-competitive on wages costs.

If Milei can make good on his promise to unlock the country’s vast reserves of shale oil and gas – using technologies that have proved safe and successful in the US – then the economy could even start to boom.

If so, Argentina would be defying a global economic establishment addicted to bigger government, more regulation, and rising deficits.

We keep being lectured, not least by the shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves, and by President Biden and his acolytes in the United States, on the need for an active state, an industrial strategy, and more borrowing to pay for investment, and that regulation is the key to industrial and economic leadership, not its enemy.

The IMF, meanwhile, was too often a huge cheerleader for the failed Argentinian administrations of the past, extending the biggest loans in its history to the country.

On Milei’s election, he was dismissed as a madman who would be removed from office within a matter of months, if not weeks. In proving that narrative wrong, he would show that even after the short-lived catastrophe of the Liz Truss government, free market reforms are far from impossible.

So how is he en route to deliver such a massive shock to the stale economic orthodoxy? Fundamentally, he got three big calls right.

First, even without a majority in parliament, he has been ruthless. Whole government departments have been closed down overnight, regardless of the immediate consequences. The Ministry of Culture was axed, so was the anti-discrimination agency, and the state-owned news service. Only last month, he unveiled plans to fire another 70,000 state employees.

Milei hasn’t attempted to cut gradually, to control budgets, or to ease people out with early retirement, or hiring freezes. Instead, he has, as promised, taken a ‘chainsaw’ to the machinery of the state, yielding huge savings in the process.

Next, he has been bold. The president massively devalued the peso on day one, taking the financial hit upfront, and then tore up rent controls, price restrictions and state subsidies. He pared back workers’ rights, reducing maternity leave and severance compensation, and allowed companies to fire workers who went on strike.

He ripped away fuel subsidies, even though it meant a temporary spike in inflation. Sure, there has been some short-term pain, but the results are now becoming evident.

Rents, for example, are falling by 20pc a year as landlords, freed from controls, put more supply on the market, instead of withdrawing it as they do in countries where the price is set by the government.

Finally, Milei has never stopped making the argument. He promotes freedom, liberalisation and a smaller state with a messianic zeal.

Many of the measures he has taken might be rough, but the president has never attempted to dismiss that, instead explaining patiently and persistently why the reforms are justified, and how they will create greater prosperity for everyone in the long run.

Much of the developed world, and the UK in particular, are gradually slipping into Argentinian-style stagnation before Milei came along.

Governments are hooked on subsidies and price controls, trying to buy their way out of every challenge with higher spending. Deficits are allowed to rise relentlessly, with no meaningful plan for ever bringing them down again. A corrupt, crony capitalism is allowed to flourish, killing competition.

But the Argentine leader is providing a blueprint for how to break free. The global economic elite keeps lecturing us on why we need more government and a more powerful state despite the painful lack of results. Argentina is challenging it in dramatic fashion.

It is just possible that it is starting to work.

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From: Elroy Jetson5/14/2024 3:11:22 PM
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Los Angeles County has 3.3% fewer residents than the ten million living here in 2019.

Yet it's claimed this population reduction, with the addition of 2.5 million new homes, condos and apartments since 2019, has somehow created a housing shortage with nearly three-quarters of renters and those younger than 35 have given consideration to moving out of L.A. About 37% of homeowners and 26% of those 65 or older have also considered moving, the poll found.

Apparently our work of discouraging people from living in Los Angeles is not yet finished.

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To: Elroy Jetson who wrote (12697)5/16/2024 4:48:51 AM
From: elmatador
1 Recommendation   of 12817
Brookfield Asset Management needs to come to Africa to help Microsoft. Brookfield Asset Management signed a deal with Microsoft to deliver 10.5 gigawatts of renewable energy for Microsoft between 2026 and 2030 in the U.S. and Europe under the agreement.

The graphic shows that for the past 18 years the Net electricity generation in the United States from 1950 to 2023 (in terawatt-hours) has been flat.

It is tough for the US to grow its electricity generation like they did between 1985-2005. Delivering that additional power to where the data centers face challenges.

The U.S. is a post-industrial economy. Post-industrial economies use less electricity per unit of GDP. Hence that flat electricity generation for the past 18 years. Being the first to develop an industrial economy means the transmission system in the U.S. is old too.

The data center A.I. fuelled boom surging electricity demand coincides with the expansion of domestic manufacturing -keep in mind the investments in re-shoring- and the electrification of the nation’s vehicle fleet.
Camilla Hodgson today's article pointed out Microsoft’s emissions jump almost 30% as it races to meet AI demand. Data centers can be built much faster than electricity can be delivered.

Add to that the United States is a hyper-competitive economy. Those grids are further divided into a patchwork of operators with competing interests. That makes it hard to build the long-distance power lines needed to transport wind and solar nationwide.

Africa can build big data centers because it has abundant renewable energy. As a bit of advice to Brookfield Asset Management: It does not matter the color of the cat as long as it catches the mouse...
Before I forget: We are building the fiber optic to connect those data centers too!

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From: elmatador5/16/2024 5:00:08 AM
   of 12817
Data centres have turned Big Tech into big spenders

Companies need AI services revenues, not cost savings, to fuel data centre boom Data centres are expensive to construct and maintain

In their rush to fill rural America with vast, windowless data centres, US tech companies are taking a capital intensive bet on artificial intelligence. If that does not pay off, the rise in investment could drag on profit margins for years.

Excitement around generative AI means post-pandemic cost-cutting programmes have given way to investor-sanctioned spending plans. At the start of the year, Meta announced a new $800mn data centre in Indiana. Alphabet is planning a $3bn project to set up a data centre campus in Indiana and expand capacity in Virginia. Microsoft plans to create a $3.3bn “hub for AI” in Wisconsin. International projects include Amazon’s multibillion-dollar plans in Germany and Singapore. Data centres, like custom chips, are intended to act as a moat around cloud computing and AI services.

The result is an increase in capital expenditure, much of it directed towards plant, property and equipment. Between the end of 2019 and 2023 fiscal years, gross PPE at Meta and Microsoft more than doubled. It almost doubled at Amazon and Alphabet.

Apple is one outlier, with PPE up less than a third between 2019 and 2023. The company has yet to choose its generative AI strategy and has been punished in markets accordingly. It is possible that spending will rise when Apple opts to release AI services to customers.

Data centres, which can be the size of multiple football pitches, are expensive to construct and maintain. Power consumption for US data centres will more than double between 2022 and 2030, according to McKinsey. Hardware needs to be replaced and upgraded over time.

Capex forecasts show that spending plans are still accelerating and will show up in rising depreciation expenses. Alphabet has suggested that the annual investment tally this year could be close to $50bn. So has Microsoft. In both cases, this would be about a 50 per cent increase on 2023. Amazon, which cut spending last year, says $14bn in capex for the first quarter could be on the low end for the year. That suggests annual capex could rise at least a tenth, though it has yet to return to pandemic-era highs.

For now, profit margins are holding up. Positive year-over-year earnings growth was supported by cost-cutting elsewhere and aided by companies extending the expected life of their equipment. Last year, for example, Alphabet and Meta increased the estimated lifespan of their servers from four to five and six years respectively. But the boost this provided to net income is not something that can be repeated. Companies need AI services revenues, not cost savings, to fuel the data centre boom.

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From: Elroy Jetson5/16/2024 12:18:55 PM
1 Recommendation   of 12817
Gina Rinehart requests the removal of her portrait from the National Gallery exhibition of the work of indigenous artist Vincent Namatjira

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