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Biden Excludes Tesla in White House Event Unveiling Electric Vehicle Order

Biden Excludes Tesla in White House Event Unveiling Electric Vehicle Order
U.S. President Joe Biden answers questions from reporters after driving a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Xe around the White House driveway following remarks during an event on the South Lawn of the White House August 5, 2021 in Washington, DC. Win McNamee/Getty Images

Tesla, which owns 80 percent of the U.S. electric vehicle market, is notably missing from President Biden’s executive order signing.

President Joe Biden is expected to sign an executive order Thursday afternoon urging the nation’s largest automakers to sell more electric vehicles in the coming decade. Executives from General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler parent Stellantis have been invited to an event at the White House to hear the President announce the initiate.

As part of his broad climate change agenda, Biden’s executive order will call for half of all new vehicles sold in the U.S. to be electric by 2030. Each company executive invited will announce their own target for 40 percent to 50 percent of their new car sales to be zero-emissions vehicles by the end of the decade.

Notably missing from Thursday’s event is Tesla, which currently sells the most electric vehicles in the U.S.

“Clearly, the White House has chosen to invite only the three least profitable ‘U.S. automakers,’” tweeted Tesla advocate and analyst James Stephenson. Comparing the second-quarter earnings figures of Tesla and the Detroit Big Three, Stephenson noted that Tesla has a higher “profit per delivery” than all the other three automakers combined.

One possible reason Tesla isn’t invited to the White House is that it already sells 100 percent electric vehicles, so hitting a certain EV percentage by 2030 isn’t a problem.

“Seems odd that Tesla wasn’t invited,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted early Thursday morning.

The U.S. is lagging behind Europe and China in EV adoption. Despite constantly dominating news headlines, electric vehicles accounted for only 2 percent of new vehicle sales in the U.S. last year, compared with 10 percent in European Union countries, 11 percent in the U.K., and 6 percent in China.

American auto giants have plans to invest tens of billions of dollars to electrify their fleets. GM said in January that it aims to eliminate all gasoline car production by 2035. Ford said in May that 40 percent of its global car sales will be electric by 2030.

On the policy level, Congress is considering a wide range of green energy legislation, including allocating $7.5 billion to build out America’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

Signing of the new executive order, along with President Biden’s remarks on strengthening America’s leadership in zero-emission vehicles, is set to begin at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time. You can watch the event live on the White House’s YouTube channel.

 

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Don’t Blame Government Benefits for Inflation Blame the Modern Economy

Don’t Blame Government Benefits for Inflation Blame the Modern Economy
President Joe Biden shops during a visit to W.S. Jenks & Son Tuesday, March 9, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)

Headlines are screaming that inflation is here to stay. Consumer prices have risen by an average of 6.2 percent in the past year, the sharpest increase since 1991. Although Americans are supposedly—in the words of the New York Times—”flush with cash and jobs,” they are also deeply unhappy with the state of the economy.

It’s no wonder Republicans are thrilled and are drawing a line between inflation, public anxiety about the economy, and Joe Biden’s presidency.

What is surprising is that President Biden himself is helping them by citing his administration’s achievement of putting more money into people’s pockets as part of the explanation for the current spike in inflation. In a November 10 speech, Biden said, “You all got checks for $1,400. You got checks for a whole range of things,” and with the patience of an academic teaching an Economics 101 class, he went on to explain, “Well, with more people with money buying product and less product to buy, what happens? … Prices go up.”

The New York Post, a conservative-leaning paper, jumped on the speech, claiming that the president “concedes his COVID stimulus checks fueled [the] spike in inflation.”

The paper downplayed Biden’s assertion that, “The supply chain is the reason.” In fact, the president led his audience through a fairly clear explanation of how globalization of the economy works, has artificially driven down the cost of goods for decades, and is vulnerable to disruptions such as that caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Biden said, “Products like smartphones often bring together parts from France, Italy; chips from the Netherlands; touchscreens from New York State; camera components from Japan—a supply chain that crosses dozens of countries.”

He then concluded, “That’s just the nature of a modern economy—the world economy,” as if the massive web of consumer manufacturing was a fact of nature rather than a systematically deregulated system designed by multinational corporations to minimize the cost of materials and labor and maximize their profits.

Recall that this was precisely what the anti-globalization movements of the 1990s were protesting. According to a 2007 essay by Mark Engler, protesters included, “trade unionists, environmentalists, anarchists, land rights and indigenous rights activists, organizations promoting human rights and sustainable development, opponents of privatization, and anti-sweatshop campaigners” from all over the world who claimed that “the policies of corporate globalization have exacerbated global poverty and increased inequality.”

When Biden explained in his speech that you “have to use wood from Brazil, graphite from India before it comes together at a factory in the United States to get a pencil,” he didn’t reveal that pencil manufacturers obtain wood from Brazil because they might be relying on illegal logging of the Amazon that drives down the price of wood. Nor did he mention that the cost of transporting goods from the far reaches of the globe generate massive carbon pollution that is driving climate change.

Rather than blaming globalization for inflation, he concluded it was simply “the nature of a modern economy” that we rely on. Most media outlets missed this connection too. Instead, there is blame on the increasingly rare instances of the U.S. government ensuring people have enough money to live on.

As to why Americans are so unhappy about the state of the economy? Apparently, according to Bloomberg’s Ramesh Ponnuru, it is “a frequently recurring” pattern that when wages are rising there is broad pessimism. He rightly points out that, “Wages and benefits have been moving up smartly, but only in nominal terms,” and that, “positive trends would have to continue before people began to register satisfaction.”

Go back to polls conducted even before the pandemic (such as this one in 2018, and this one in 2019) and one can find widespread malaise about the state of the economy. In other words, Americans have spent decades being disappointed with the sustained suppression of wages and the trend of increasingly insecure jobs in the so-called “gig economy.”

This may be why record numbers of people are continuing to resign in spite of their despair over the economy. The latest Bureau of Labor Statistics report found that a record 4.4 million workers resigned from their jobs in September alone, continuing a trend from August.

In addition to workers searching for jobs with better wages, the Washington Post concluded that the resignation trend is also linked to “problems finding child care.”

But if conservative Republicans have their way, you’ll see assertions that Americans are deeply unhappy about the government spending money on them and that child care subsidies and stimulus checks are at the root of the mass gloom—all readymade talking points to win back political power in the next election cycle in order to rein in spending.

This kind of conservative messaging includes claims that Biden “doesn’t understand just how bad inflation is hurting Americans,” and “[i]f congressional Democrats don’t stop Biden and Pelosi’s plan, a lot of Americans won’t be able to pay their heating bills this winter,” as is said in an advertisement by the conservative Club for Growth, aimed at vulnerable House Democrats.

Conservative Democrat Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia is making similar connections to justify his stymying of Biden’s proposals to expand government assistance.

The liberal Democrats’ answer to the current economic crisis is not much better, advising either that people wait out inflation, or claiming that demand for better wages fuels inflation.

Larry Summers, former economic adviser to the Obama administration, wrote earlier this year that, “Higher minimum wages, strengthened unions, increased employee benefits and strengthened regulation are all desirable, but they, too, all push up business costs and prices.” Summers echoed a Republican assertion that jobless benefits were bad for the economy, saying, “Unemployment benefits enabling workers to earn more by not working than working should surely be allowed to run out in September.”

The prevailing message to Americans from political elites across the spectrum is the same one that Biden spelled out in his speech: “That’s just the nature of a modern economy,” and we have to deal with it.

A better takeaway from our current economic situation is that there is nothing natural about being at the mercy and whims of an economy designed by corporate profiteers for corporate profiteers.


By Sonali Kolhatkar

Sonali Kolhatkar is the founder, host and executive producer of “Rising Up With Sonali,” a television and radio show that airs on Free Speech TV and Pacifica stations. She is a writing fellow for the Economy for All project at the Independent Media Institute.

This article was produced by Economy for All, a project of the Independent Media Institute to publish on Telegraf.

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Indonesia’s B40 biodiesel plan faces new delay due to palm price

Indonesia’s B40 biodiesel plan faces new delay due to palm price
PHOTO by REUTERS

Indonesia’s plans to raise the mandatory bio-content in its palm oil-based biodiesel to 40per cent may face further delays, after the high price of the vegetable oil has made the programme too costly, a senior government official told Reuters.

Indonesia, the world’s largest palm oil producer and exporter, has a mandatory biodiesel programme with 30per cent palm oil content, known as B30, but intends to expand the use of the oil for energy to save on fuel imports.

Authorities had planned to increase the mix to 40per cent in July this year, but the timetable for the B40 programme is now unclear.

“We don’t have a timeline yet for B40, although from the technical side, we’re ready,” Dadan Kusdiana, a director general at the energy ministry, said in an interview. He said implementing B40 in 2022 will be “challenging”.

Indonesia funds its biodiesel programme with proceeds from palm export levies.

However, authorities have revised levy rules three times since last year as they sought to support the biodiesel programme after prices soared, but without hurting exports.

Malaysian palm oil futures hit a record of 4,560 ringgit (US$1,089.35) a tonne on Aug. 12 and have been trading around 4,300 ringgit recently, about 60per cent higher than a year earlier.

Dadan said 45 trillion rupiah to 46 trillion rupiah (US$3.1 billion-US$3.2 billion) is needed this year to fund the difference between using regular diesel and the palm-based fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) for B30.

If prices stayed constant, mixing 40per cent FAME would require around 60 trillion rupiah (US$4.16 billion), he said, while noting adopting B40 would likely boost palm oil prices by shrinking global supply, making the programme even more expensive.

“That is what we’re considering, how capable are we in terms of the levies. We have to provide bigger financing, but it doesn’t have to come from higher levies,” Dadan said, without elaborating on alternatives.

The Indonesian Palm Oil Association (GAPKI) had already said in January it expected B40 to be delayed beyond 2022.

On the technical side, Dadan said the water and monoglyceride contents in FAME must be reduced for B40 to work, requiring new investment by biodiesel producers.

Although biodiesel promises lower emissions, the use of palm oil as a feedstock raises concern about deforestation in the clearance of land to grow it. The European Union is planning to phase it out as fuel for transport.

(US$1 = 14,425.0000 rupiah)

(US$1 = 4.1860 ringgit). REUTERS

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Indonesia central bank anticipating risk of rising inflation in 2022: Governor

Indonesia central bank anticipating risk of rising inflation in 2022: Governor

Indonesia’s central bank expected inflation to be within its target range of 2 per cent to 4 per cent in 2021 and 2022, but warned of potential price pressures next year, Governor Perry Warjiyo said on Wednesday (Aug 25).

“We need to anticipate a risk of rising inflation in 2022, in line with a rise in domestic demand and increasing global commodity prices,” he told a coordinating meeting on inflation management.

Indonesia’s annual inflation rate has stayed below BI’s target range since June of 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic dampened domestic consumption.

July’s rate was 1.52 per cent. REUTERS

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Dollar settles near 4-1/2 month highs as risk appetite cools

Dollar settles near 4-1/2 month highs as risk appetite cools
An exchange office clerk counts U.S. dollars. Onur Coban/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The dollar held near a 4-1/2 month high versus a basket of major currencies on Wednesday as simmering concerns about the global economy forced investors to seek safety in the greenback before the release of the Federal Reserve’s July meeting minutes.

Sterling and the commodity-exposed Australian and Canadian dollars all hovered near recent lows against the dollar as the broad market mood remained cautious. The dollar index held steady around 93.09, just below an early April high of 93.20 hit last week.

“The FX market is trading exactly as one would expect when growth worries are the dominant theme,” said Marios Hadjikyriacos, a senior investment analyst at XM.

Even the New Zealand dollar, which briefly rose after the central bank set out a hawkish outlook for interest rates, swooned as a mild wave of risk aversion swept through markets.

The Kiwi was down 0.5per cent at US$0.6888 in London trading having risen earlier to US$0.6952 after the Reserve Bank of New Zealand said it would keep rates at 0.25per cent, after the country was put into a snap COVID-19 lockdown.

A monthly fund manager survey by investment bank BoFA Securities showed that investors flipped to a net overweight on the dollar for the first time in nearly a year.

That shift in positioning was evident in more high-frequency weekly data as well with hedge funds ramping up their net long bets on the greenback to the most since March 2020.

While the dollar failed to draw any sustained strength from Fed Chair’s Jerome Powell’s comments and mixed U.S. data, markets shifted focus towards the annual Jackson Hole symposium next week where some expect the Fed to signal a change in direction with regards to its asset purchase plans.

U.S. retail sales fell 1.1per cent in July, more than economists expected but industrial production numbers showed that output at U.S. factories surged in July. and

Elsewhere, the Canadian dollar hovered near a one-month low. [CAD/]

In cryptocurrencies, bitcoin traded at US$45,244, not far from Saturday’s three-month high of US$48,190. Ether stood at US$3,042. REUTERS

 

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Tencent Music posts over 15per cent rise in quarterly revenue

Tencent Music posts over 15per cent rise in quarterly revenue
Tencent submitted a proposal to separately list its subsidiary Tencent Music. NIKKEI

China’s Tencent Music Entertainment Group posted a 15.5per cent rise in quarterly revenue on Monday, as its advertising business rebounded and more people subscribed to its music streaming platform.

Total revenue of the Tencent Holdings Ltd-controlled company rose to 8.01 billion yuan (US$1.24 billion) in the second quarter. Analysts were expecting revenue of 8.13 billion yuan, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

(US$1 = 6.4742 Chinese yuan renminbi). REUTERS

 

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Credit Suisse brings in former UBS executive to head risk committee

Credit Suisse brings in former UBS executive to head risk committee
A Swiss flag flies over a sign of Swiss bank Credit Suisse on May 8, 2014 in Bern. AFP/Getty Images/Fabrice Coffrini

Credit Suisse has drafted a former Chief Operating Officer of UBS and heads the Risk Committee of the Board of Directors. The new chair, Antonio Orta Osorio, has been strengthening the bank’s defenses following a series of scandals.

Axel Lehmann, who left UBS in January, will join Credit Suisse’s board of directors on October 1. Juan Columbus, who played a risk role at Lloyds Banking Group and Alter Osorio’s Santander, will also join Credit Suisse’s board of directors.

Credit Suisse’s reputation for risk management has been hit this year by two crises surrounding professional finance firm Greensill Capital and the family office Arquegos. In two incidents, Credit Suisse liquidated a $ 10 billion investment fund, losing $ 5.5 billion in the worst transaction loss in 165 years of history.

NS Damn report Regarding the loss of Arquegos announced last month, it describes the “fundamental failure of management and control” and “lazy attitude toward risk” at Credit Suisse’s investment bank.

Alter Osorio, who escaped Lloyds from the financial crisis, Join Credit Suisse Board of Directors In April, he said the bank’s plight was the worst he had ever seen in his career. He also promised an urgent review of risk management, strategy and culture. The final details of the review are scheduled by the end of the year.

On Friday morning, Alter Osorio said the proposed appointment of Lehman and Columbus to the board would help strengthen Credit Suisse’s risk management.

“With both deep experience in risk management and business leadership and a career of nearly 30 years in financial services, they are in shaping the strategic restructuring of banks and strengthening the culture of risk management and personal responsibility and accountability. Will make an immeasurable contribution. “He said.

Lehman was Chief Operating Officer of UBS and President of Private and Corporate Banks. His career at UBS and earlier in the Zurich Insurance Group included several risk management roles.

Columbus was Lloyd’s Chief Risk Officer and Chief Operating Officer from 2011 to 2020. Previously, he was Executive Director and Chief Risk Officer of Santander’s UK operations. He has been a member of ING’s Audit and Risk Committee since 2020.

Andreas Gottschling resigned from his role as Chairman of Credit Suisse’s Risk Committee in April after several major shareholders have shown that they will do so. Vote against his reelection..

Richard Meddings, TSB Bank’s executive chair, has been the Interim Chairman of the Credit Suisse Risk Committee since April. He will continue to lead the bank’s audit committee.

Last month, Credit Suisse Hired David Wildermas, Former Deputy Risk Officer and Chief Risk Officer of Goldman Sachs. Wildams will move from New York to Zurich to take up his new position by February 2022.

Credit Suisse brings in former UBS executive to head risk committee Source link Credit Suisse brings in former UBS executive to head risk committee. FT

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