The threat facing the global economy — including the Fed’s role in it — is expected to dominate the conversation next week as economists and government officials convene in Washington for the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.

In a speech at Georgetown University on Thursday, Kristalina Georgieva, the managing director of the I.M.F., offered a grim assessment of the world economy and the tightrope that central banks are walking.

“Not tightening enough would cause inflation to become de-anchored and entrenched — which would require future interest rates to be much higher and more sustained, causing massive harm on growth and massive harm on people,” Ms. Georgieva said. “On the other hand, tightening monetary policy too much and too fast — and doing so in a synchronized manner across countries — could push many economies into prolonged recession.”

Noting that inflation remains stubbornly high and broad-based, she added: “Central banks have to continue to respond.”

The World Bank warned last month that simultaneous interest-rate increases around the world could trigger a global recession next year, causing financial crises in developing economies. It urged central banks in advanced economies to be mindful of the cross-border “spillover effects.”

“To achieve low inflation rates, currency stability and faster growth, policymakers could shift their focus from reducing consumption to boosting production,” David Malpass, the World Bank president, said.

Trade and Development Report said.

So far, major central banks have shown little appetite for stopping their inflation-busting campaigns. The Fed, which has made five rate increases this year, has signaled that it plans to raise borrowing costs even higher. Most officials expect to increase rates by at least another 1.25 percentage points this year, taking the policy rate to a range of 4.25 to 4.5 percent from the current 3 to 3.25 percent.

Even economies that are facing a pronounced slowdown have been lifting borrowing costs. The European Central Bank raised rates three-quarters of a point last month, even though the continent is approaching a dark winter of slowing growth and crushing energy costs.

according to the World Bank. Food costs in particular have driven millions further into extreme poverty, exacerbating hunger and malnutrition. As the dollar surge makes a range of imports pricier for emerging markets, that situation could worsen, even as the possibility of financial upheaval increases.

“Low-income developing countries in particular face serious risks from food insecurity and debt distress,” Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, director-general of the World Trade Organization, said during a news conference this week.

In Africa, officials have been urging the I.M.F. and Group of 20 nations to provide more emergency assistance and debt relief amid inflation and rising interest rates.

“This unprecedented shock further destabilizes the weakest economies and makes their need for liquidity even more pressing, to mitigate the effects of widespread inflation and to support the most vulnerable households and social strata, especially young people and women,” Macky Sall, chairman of the African Union, told leaders at the United Nations General Assembly in September.

To be sure, central bankers in big developed economies like the United States are aware that they are barreling over other economies with their policies. And although they are focused on domestic goals, a severe weakening abroad could pave the way for less aggressive policy because of its implications for their own economic outlooks.

Waning demand from abroad could ease pressure on supply chains and reduce prices. If central bankers decide that such a chain reaction is likely to weigh on their own business activity and inflation, it may give them more room to slow their policy changes.

“The global tightening cycle is something that the Fed has to take into account,” said Megan Greene, global chief economist for the Kroll consulting firm. “They’re interested in what is going on in the rest of the world, inasmuch as it affects their ability to achieve their targets.”

his statement.

But many global economic officials — including those at the Fed — remain focused on very high inflation. Investors expect them to make another large rate increase when they meet on Nov. 1-2.

“We’re very attentive” to international spillovers to both emerging markets and advanced economies, Lisa D. Cook, a Fed governor, said during a question-and-answer session on Thursday. “But our mandate is domestic. So we’re very focused on inflation as it evolves in this country.”

Raghuram Rajan, a former head of India’s central bank and now an economist at the University of Chicago, has in the past pushed the Fed to take foreign conditions into account as it sets policy. He still thinks that measures like bond-buying should be pursued with an eye on global spillovers.

But amid high inflation, he said, central banks are required to pay attention to their own mandates to achieve price stability — even if that makes for a stronger dollar, weaker currencies and more pain abroad.

“The basic problem is that the world of monetary policy dances to the Fed’s tune,” Mr. Rajan said, later adding: “This is a problem with no easy solutions.”

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Worldwide Passivated Emitter Rear Cell Industry to 2027 – Key Drivers and Challenges – ResearchAndMarkets.com

DUBLIN–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The “Global Passivated Emitter Rear Cell Market By Component (Anti-Reflective Coating, Silicon wafers, Passivation layer, Capping Layer, Others), By Type (Monocrystalline, Polycrystalline, Thin Film), By Application, By Region, Competition, Forecast and Opportunities , 2017-2027” report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com’s offering.

The global passivated emitter rear cell market is projected to register a significant CAGR during the forecast years, 2023-2027. Increasing demand for better and more efficient energy storage solutions to meet the growing energy requirement worldwide is the primary driver for the global passivated emitter rear cell market.

Solar panels with passivated emitter rear cells (PERCs) contain an extra layer covering the typical solar cells’ backs, increasing the efficiency and output of electrical energy from solar radiation. The safety of the solar panels can be enhanced by using PERC (passivated emitter rear cell) modules.

These modules are able to reduce back recombination and prevent longer-wavelength solar light from turning into heat energy, both of which are detrimental to the device and its performance. Market players are continuously making high-end investments in research and development activities to find new innovative solutions and upgrade the existing infrastructure.

Further improvements to the device are being made to lower installation and maintenance costs in addition to improving its efficiency. Modern PERC panels make better use of available space and operate more efficiently even when fewer panels are put in, which reduces installation time and expense.

The global passivated emitter rear cell market segmentation is based on component, type, application, regional distribution, and competitive landscape. Based on type, the market is divided into monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin film. The monocrystalline segment is expected to hold the largest market share during the forecast period, 2023-2027.

Monocrystalline passivated emitter rear cell is a combination of single-crystal cell, passivated emitter cell, and back cell. The solar panel provides high flexibility and has various placements viability & tilt options without compromising efficiency. Monocrystalline passivated emitter rear cells are also efficient in case of low lighting; thus, regions such as Europe can effectively use these for power generation.

Years considered for this report:

Objective of the Study:

Companies Mentioned

Report Scope:

In this report, global passivated emitter rear cell market has been segmented into the following categories, in addition to the industry trends which have also been detailed below:

Passivated Emitter Rear Cell Market, By Component:

Passivated Emitter Rear Cell Market, By Type:

Passivated Emitter Rear Cell Market, By Application:

Passivated Emitter Rear Cell Market, By Region:

For more information about this report visit https://www.researchandmarkets.com/r/n6onw8

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Megacap stocks lose ground as yields rise, economic data awaited

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  • Stocks rise in late-day surge on oversold conditions
  • U.S. private payrolls increase in September – ADP
  • Twitter eases from one-year high, Tesla falls 6%
  • Energy stocks jump as OPEC+ agrees to oil output cuts
  • Indices fall: Dow down 0.14%, S&P 0.20%, Nasdaq 0.25%

Oct 5 (Reuters) – Wall Street stocks closed lower on Wednesday, unable to sustain a late-day surge, after data showing strong U.S. labor demand again suggested the Federal Reserve will keep interest rates higher for longer.

Fed officials have insisted on aggressive rate tightening to battle inflation, a message the market has feared would lead to a hard landing and likely recession.

However, investors also sought bargains in a market that appears oversold. The forward price-to-earnings ratio is at 15.9, close to its historic mean, down from around 22 before the market’s big slide this year.

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“By battling back, to me that is a favorable indicator that this rally could have legs,” said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA Research in New York.

“It too confirms that investors believe, traders believe, that there’s still more to go in this rally,” he said.

Valuations for the S&P 500 have come down sharply

U.S. private employers stepped up hiring in September, the ADP National Employment report on Wednesday showed, suggesting rising rates and tighter financial conditions have yet to curb labor demand as the Fed battles high inflation. read more

The Institute for Supply Management’s services industry employment gauge shot up in another sign labor remains strong as the overall industry slowed modestly in September. read more

The Fed is expected to deliver a fourth straight 75-basis-point rate hike when policymakers meet Nov. 1-2, the pricing of fed fund futures shows, according to CME’s FedWatch tool.

San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly told Bloomberg TV in an interview that inflation is problematic and that the U.S. central bank would stay the course. read more

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., September 6, 2022. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

“The path is clear: we are going to raise rates to restrictive territory, then hold them there for a while,” she said. “We are committed to bringing inflation down, staying course until we are well and truly done.”

The benchmark S&P 500 (.SPX) index rose 5.7% Monday and Tuesday as Treasury yields slid sharply on softer U.S. economic data, the UK’s turnaround on proposed tax cuts that had roiled markets and Australia’s smaller-than-expected rate hike.

Treasury yields shot up again on Wednesday after the softer economic data failed to bolster budding hopes the Fed might pivot to a less hawkish policy stance.

Eight of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors fell, led by a 2.25% decline in utilities (.SPLRCU) and 1.9% drop in real estate (.SPLRCR).

The energy sector led the market higher, up 2.06%, after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies agreed to cut oil production the deepest since the COVID-19 pandemic began, curbing supply in an already tight market. read more

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) fell 42.45 points, or 0.14%, to 30,273.87, the S&P 500 (.SPX) lost 7.65 points, or 0.20%, to 3,783.28 and the Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) dropped 27.77 points, or 0.25%, to 11,148.64.

Volume on U.S. exchanges was 10.43 billion shares, compared with the 11.64 billion average for the full session over the past 20 trading days.

Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) lost momentum in line with its peers, a day after surging 22% on billionaire Elon Musk’s decision to proceed with his original $44-billion bid to take the social media company private. read more

Twitter fell 1.35% and Tesla Inc (TSLA.O), the electric-car maker headed by Musk, also slid 3.46.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by a 2.08-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.69-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 posted two new 52-week highs and nine new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 49 new highs and 128 new lows.

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Reporting by Ankika Biswas and Bansari Mayur Kamdar in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Richard Chang

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Fans Fled as Police Fired Tear Gas, Causing Deadly Rush For Exits

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The Indonesian police fired tear gas into crowds of fans that rushed onto the field after a soccer match in the city of Malang.CreditCredit…Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Soccer fans in Indonesia rushed the field after a professional soccer match on Saturday night, prompting the police to fire tear gas into tightly packed crowds and setting off a stampede that killed at least 125 people, local officials said.

Fans had packed the Kanjuruhan Stadium in Malang, Indonesia, to see the home team —Arema — take on Persebaya Surabaya. After Arema lost the game 3-2, fans rushed the field.

The unrest prompted the police to fire tear gas which caused panic, Inspector General Nico Afinta, the East Java Police chief, said at a news conference. As of Sunday night, 125 people were dead, according to a spokesman for the national police. There were reports that an additional 300 had been injured. The death toll had risen and fallen throughout the day, and police said earlier tolls may have counted some of the dead twice.

The toll made Saturday’s match among the deadliest episodes in the history of soccer. In 1964, at least 300 people died in Peru after an unpopular decision by a referee at a soccer game touched off a riot at the country’s national stadium.

In a televised speech to the nation, President Joko Widodo said he had asked the national police chief to conduct a thorough investigation into what happened and ordered an evaluation of security at soccer matches.

“I regret that this tragedy occurred,” Mr. Joko said. “And I hope this is the last football tragedy in the country.

Credit…Yudha Prabowo/Associated Press

Human rights organizations condemned the use of tear gas, which is prohibited by FIFA, soccer’s global governing body. Eyewitnesses said that the gas was at times fired indiscriminately into the stands, forcing the overcapacity crowd to rush for the exits.

“The excessive use of force through the use of tear gas and inappropriate crowd control was the cause of the large number of fatalities,” Indonesia’s Legal Aid Foundation said in a statement.

But the East Java police chief, Mr. Afinta, defended the use of tear gas, saying it was deployed “because there was anarchy.”

“They were about to attack the officers and had damaged the cars,” he said.

Overcapacity also exacerbated the situation, according to Indonesia’s Legal Aid Foundation. The local soccer committee had printed 42,000 tickets for a stadium with 38,000 capacity, according to Mahfud MD, Indonesia’s coordinating minister for political, legal and security affairs.

He said the victims died “because of the stampede” — they were trampled on and suffocated to death.

“There were no victims of beatings or mistreatment of the supporters,” he said.

Credit…Yudha Prabowo/Associated Press

The soccer league, PT Liga Indonesia Baru, suspended play for at least a week and offered its condolences in a statement.

The national governing body for soccer, the P.S.S.I., also offered condolences and said an investigation was underway but appeared to cast blame on fans of the Arema club, saying it “regrets the action” of the fans.

Soccer violence has long been a problem for Indonesia, where violent, often deadly rivalries between major teams are common. Flares are often thrown on the field, and riot police are a regular presence at many matches. Since the 1990s, dozens of fans have been killed in soccer-related violence.

Sui-Lee Wee reported from Bangkok, and Muktita Suhartono from Jakarta. Dera Menra Sijabat contributed reporting from Jakarta, and Damien Cave from Sydney, Australia.

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An Israel-Lebanon Border Deal Could Increase Natural Gas Supplies

Israel and Lebanon have been at war since 1948, but the countries are close to an agreement that could increase production of natural gas, helping energy-starved Europe.

Officials from the two countries have said they are close to resolving long-running disputes over their maritime borders, which would allow energy companies to extract more fossil fuels from offshore fields in the Mediterranean Sea.

The increased production won’t make up for the gas that Europe is no longer getting from Russia. But energy experts say an Israel-Lebanon agreement should give a vital push to efforts to produce more gas in that part of the world. Over the last four years, energy production in the eastern Mediterranean has been growing as Israel, Egypt, Jordan and Cyprus have worked together to take advantage of oil and gas buried under the sea.

“This is a very important step for the region to come into its own,” said Charif Souki, the Lebanese-American executive chairman of Tellurian, a liquefied natural gas company based in Houston. “Players are finally realizing that it’s better to cooperate than to continuously fight.”

The Israel-Lebanon negotiations will most directly affect the Karish field, which is set to produce gas for Israel’s domestic use. That fuel is expected to displace gas produced from other fields, which can then be exported. The new field is also expected to produce a small amount of oil.

Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil and gas company, and several smaller businesses are already producing gas from two larger fields off Israel’s coast. That fuel has increasingly replaced coal in the country’s power plants and factories. Israel now has so much gas that it has become a net exporter of energy, sending fuel to neighbors like Jordan and Egypt. Some of that gas has also found its way to Europe and other parts of the world from L.N.G. export terminals in Egypt.

The U.S. government, across several administrations, has encouraged the growth of the gas trade in the region by helping to negotiate deals between countries that have long had tense relations. The Ukraine crisis has accelerated efforts to explore and produce natural gas because of the soaring cost of the fuel in Europe, where countries are desperate to end their dependence on Russian gas.

Chevron and its Israeli partners are discussing the possibility of building a floating liquefied natural gas platform in the Leviathan gas field, Israel’s largest. The companies are expected to make a decision on the project in a few months.

But getting the gas out of the region will not be easy. Floating export terminals are vulnerable to terrorist attack. And, even if they could be adequately secured, the terminals will not be able to process as much gas as the larger coastal facilities used in major gas producers like the United States, Qatar and Australia. Building terminals on land can take several years, if not often longer, because of opposition from environmental and other groups.

“Energy infrastructure offshore is very volatile and vulnerable,” said Gal Luft, a former Israeli military officer who is the co-director of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security in Washington. “You have to manage risk.”

Theoretically, transporting gas by pipelines would be easier than liquefying natural gas for export before converting it back into gas at its destination. But building long-distance pipelines is expensive and difficult. A long-running conflict between Turkey, Cyprus and Greece, for example, has made constructing a pipeline from Israel to southern Europe incredibly challenging, if not impossible.

Even an Israel-Lebanon border agreement faces risks. Hezbollah has threatened to attack the Karish field, and it sent unarmed drones over it in July; Israeli officials said they had shot down the ‌aircraft.

Still, Israeli and Lebanese officials have said in recent days that they are pressing on with the negotiations, with officials from the Biden administration acting as a go-between, and are close to a deal. The talks gathered momentum during the United Nations General Assembly last week.

Prime Minister Najib Mikati of Lebanon said on Thursday at the United Nations that he was confident about reaching an agreement with Israel. “Lebanon is well aware of the importance of the promising energy market in the eastern Mediterranean for the prosperity of all countries in the region,” he said, “but also to meet the needs of importing nations.”

U.S. and other Western oil companies have long shied away from Israel, in part because they do not want to alienate Arab countries. But, as relations between Israel and countries like Egypt, Jordan and, more recently, the United Arab Emirates have improved more companies have expressed interest in the eastern Mediterranean.

An agreement between Israel and Lebanon could accelerate that trend.

“I think it will appease many minds,” said Leslie Palti-Guzman, chief executive of Gas Vista, a consulting firm. “Companies that have been reluctant to invest could be more incentivized to develop additional projects.”

Gas fields in the Mediterranean are one of several new suppliers that Europe will need as it seeks a long-term replacement for Russian gas. Other suppliers include energy companies operating in the United States, Qatar, Africa, the Caspian Sea and the North Sea.

“There is no silver bullet,” said Paddy Blewer, spokesman for Energean, a London-based exploration company that hopes to begin producing gas in the Karish field. “The East Mediterranean is one of a series of marginal gains that Europe has to look at.”

Energean plans to begin production in the next few weeks, and has said it expects to produce up to 8 billion cubic meters of gas a year by 2025. If it is successful, the company could significantly add to Israel’s output. The country will produce roughly 22 billion cubic meters this year. Once an importer of almost all of its energy, Israel increased gas production by 22 percent in the first half of the year compared with the same period in 2021. It exported roughly 40 percent of its gas, earning the government royalties of $250 million.

The agreement between Israel and Lebanon will also open the way to drilling in Lebanese waters by a consortium led by Eni of Italy and TotalEnergies of France. Lebanese officials view natural gas as a critical financial tool in its attempts to revive the country’s depressed economy. The government has wanted to drill offshore since at least 2014, but disputes with Israel over the border have delayed exploration.

“It’s not for sure Lebanon will find gas,” said Chakib Khelil, a former president of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. “But, if they do, Lebanon will get a big boost.”

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Credit Suisse aims for stronger franchise from global review

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HONG KONG, Sept 24 (Reuters) – Credit Suisse’s (CSGN.S) top two executives have told staff the bank is working to establish a stronger franchise in the longer term, according to a memo seen by Reuters on Saturday, amid uncertainty over a global review of its operations.

The memo sent by Chairman Axel Lehmann and Chief Executive Ulrich Koerner said a “heightened level of media and market speculation” regarding the review had raised questions among the bank’s staff and clients.

Reuters reported on Thursday that Credit Suisse had sounded out investors about a possible capital raising as it attempts a radical overhaul of its investment bank.

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Koerner was appointed chief executive in late July and ordered a review of the bank’s operations, the second of its type in two years.

“When we launched our strategic review, we committed to an ambitious timeline whilst also making it clear that we would carry out a rigorous and diligent evaluation of all options for Credit Suisse,” the note said.

“We want to establish a clear path for the bank that will strengthen our franchise for the long term. This process requires time and a significant effort from many parts of the organization.”

A Credit Suisse spokesperson confirmed the contents of the memo.

Various scenarios are under discussion for the investment bank, including the most drastic option of largely exiting the U.S. market, two sources said. A bank spokesman said “Credit Suisse is not exiting the U.S. market.”

The review’s findings will be published on Oct. 27 when the bank releases its third-quarter earnings, said the memo, first published by Bloomberg News earlier on Saturday.

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Reporting by Scott Murdoch; Editing by David Holmes

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Scott Murdoch

Thomson Reuters

Scott Murdoch has been a journalist for more than two decades working for Thomson Reuters and News Corp in Australia. He has specialised in financial journalism for most of his career and covers equity and debt capital markets across Asia based in Hong Kong.

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Federal Reserve Attacks Inflation With Another Big Hike, Expects More

The central bank raised its key short-term rate by a substantial three-quarters of a point for the third consecutive time.

Intensifying its fight against high inflation, the Federal Reserve raised its key interest rate Wednesday by a substantial three-quarters of a point for a third straight time and signaled more large rate hikes to come — an aggressive pace that will heighten the risk of an eventual recession.

The Fed’s move boosted its benchmark short-term rate, which affects many consumer and business loans, to a range of 3% to 3.25%, the highest level since early 2008.

The officials also forecast that they will further raise their benchmark rate to roughly 4.4% by year’s end, a full percentage point higher than they had forecast as recently as June. And they expect to raise the rate further next year, to about 4.6%. That would be the highest level since 2007.

On Wall Street, stock prices fell and bond yields rose in response to the Fed’s projection of further steep rate hikes ahead.

The central bank’s action Wednesday followed a government report last week that showed high costs spreading more broadly through the economy, with price spikes for rents and other services worsening even though some previous drivers of inflation, such as gas prices, have eased. By raising borrowing rates, the Fed makes it costlier to take out a mortgage or an auto or business loan. Consumers and businesses then presumably borrow and spend less, cooling the economy and slowing inflation.

Fed officials have said they’re seeking a “soft landing,” by which they would manage to slow growth enough to tame inflation but not so much as to trigger a recession. Yet economists increasingly say they think the Fed’s steep rate hikes will lead, over time, to job cuts, rising unemployment and a full-blown recession late this year or early next year.

In their updated economic forecasts, the Fed’s policymakers project that economic growth will remain weak for the next few years, with rising unemployment. It expects the jobless rate to reach 4.4% by the end of 2023, up from its current level of 3.7%. Historically, economists say, any time the unemployment rate has risen by a half-point over several months, a recession has always followed.

Fed officials now see the economy expanding just 0.2% this year, sharply lower than its forecast of 1.7% growth just three months ago. And it expects sluggish growth below 2% from 2023 through 2025.

And even with the steep rate hikes the Fed foresees, it still expects core inflation — which excludes the volatile food and gas categories — to be 3.1% at the end of next year, well above its 2% target.

Chair Jerome Powell acknowledged in a speech last month that the Fed’s moves will “bring some pain” to households and businesses. And he added that the central bank’s commitment to bringing inflation back down to its 2% target was “unconditional.”

Falling gas prices have slightly lowered headline inflation, which was a still-painful 8.3% in August compared with a year earlier. Declining gas prices might have contributed to a recent rise in President Joe Biden’s public approval ratings, which Democrats hope will boost their prospects in the November midterm elections.

Short-term rates at a level the Fed is now envisioning would make a recession likelier next year by sharply raising the costs of mortgages, car loans and business loans. The economy hasn’t seen rates as high as the Fed is projecting since before the 2008 financial crisis. Last week, the average fixed mortgage rate topped 6%, its highest point in 14 years. Credit card borrowing costs have reached their highest level since 1996, according to Bankrate.com.

Inflation now appears increasingly fueled by higher wages and by consumers’ steady desire to spend and less by the supply shortages that had bedeviled the economy during the pandemic recession. On Sunday, though, President Biden said on CBS’ “60 Minutes” that he believed a soft landing for the economy was still possible, suggesting that his administration’s recent energy and health care legislation would lower prices for pharmaceuticals and health care.

Some economists are beginning to express concern that the Fed’s rapid rate hikes — the fastest since the early 1980s — will cause more economic damage than necessary to tame inflation. Mike Konczal, an economist at the Roosevelt Institute, noted that the economy is already slowing and that wage increases – a key driver of inflation — are levelling off and by some measures even declining a bit.

Surveys also show that Americans are expecting inflation to ease significantly over the next five years. That is an important trend because inflation expectations can become self-fulfilling: If people expect inflation to ease, some will feel less pressure to accelerate their purchases. Less spending would then help moderate price increases.

Konczal said there is a case to be made for the Fed to slow its rate hikes over the next two meetings.

“Given the cooling that’s coming,” he said, “you don’t want to rush into this.”

The Fed’s rapid rate hikes mirror steps that other major central banks are taking, contributing to concerns about a potential global recession. The European Central Bank last week raised its benchmark rate by three-quarters of a percentage point. The Bank of England, the Reserve Bank of Australia and the Bank of Canada have all carried out hefty rate increases in recent weeks.

And in China, the world’s second-largest economy, growth is already suffering from the government’s repeated COVID lockdowns. If recession sweeps through most large economies, that could derail the U.S. economy, too.

Even at the Fed’s accelerated pace of rate hikes, some economists — and some Fed officials — argue that they have yet to raise rates to a level that would actually restrict borrowing and spending and slow growth.

Many economists sound convinced that widespread layoffs will be necessary to slow rising prices. Research published earlier this month under the auspices of the Brookings Institution concluded that unemployment might have to go as high as 7.5% to get inflation back to the Fed’s 2% target.

Only a downturn that harsh would reduce wage growth and consumer spending enough to cool inflation, according to the research, by Johns Hopkins University economist Laurence Ball and two economists at the International Monetary Fund.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

Source: newsy.com

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Some 230 Whales Beached In Tasmania; Rescue Efforts Underway

By Associated Press
September 21, 2022

The entrance to Macquarie Harbour is a notoriously shallow and dangerous channel known as Hell’s Gate.

About 230 whales have been stranded on Tasmania’s west coast, just days after 14 sperm whales were found beached on an island off the Australian state’s northwestern coast.

The pod stranded on Ocean Beach in Macquarie Harbour appears to be pilot whales and at least half are presumed to still be alive, the Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania said Wednesday.

A team from the Marine Conservation Program was assembling whale rescue gear and heading to the area, the department said.

The whales beached two years to the day after the largest mass-stranding in Australia’s history was discovered in the same harbor.

About 470 long-finned pilot whales were found on Sept. 21, 2020, stuck on sandbars. After a weeklong effort, 111 of those whales were rescued but the rest died.

The entrance to the harbor is a notoriously shallow and dangerous channel known as Hell’s Gate.

Local salmon farmer Linton Kringle helped in the 2020 rescue effort and said the latest challenge would be more difficult.

“Last time they were actually in the harbor and it’s quite calm and we could, sort of, deal with them in there and we could get the boats up to them,” Kringle told Australian Broadcasting Corp.

“But just on the beach, you just can’t get a boat in there, it’s too shallow, way too rough. My thoughts would be try to get them onto a vehicle if we can’t swim them out,” Kringle added.

Vanessa Pirotta, a wildlife scientist specializing in marine mammals, said it was too early to explain why the stranding had occurred.

“The fact that we’ve seen similar species, the same time, in the same location, reoccurring in terms of stranding at that same spot might provide some sort of indication that there might be something environmental here,” Pirotta said.

David Midson, general manager of the West Coast Council municipality, urged people to stay clear.

“Whales are a protected species, even once deceased, and it is an offense to interfere with a carcass,” the environment department said.

Fourteen sperm whales were discovered Monday afternoon on King Island, part of the state of Tasmania in the Bass Strait between Melbourne and Tasmania’s northern coast.

Griffith University marine scientist Olaf Meynecke said it’s unusual for sperm whales to wash ashore. He said that warmer temperatures could also be changing the ocean currents and moving the whales’ traditional food.

“They will be going to different areas and searching for different food sources,” Meynecke said. “When they do this, they are not in the best physical condition because they might be starving so this can lead them to take more risks and maybe go closer to shore.”

The pilot whale is notorious for stranding in mass numbers, for reasons that are not entirely understood.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

Source: newsy.com

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Experts Are Expecting High Flu Numbers This Year

Doctors and health officials are recommending that you get your flu shot early this year — especially for kids.

Health experts are warning this flu season might be worse than a few years ago. Is that a good indicator?

“It was Australia’s worst flu season in 5 years and came earlier than any other flu season with the exception of the ’09 pandemic,” said Dr. Andrew Pekosz, a professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.  

In the past two flu seasons, COVID protocols like mask wearing, hand washing and lockdowns have protected us from the flu virus. Now that restrictions have been lifted, people are traveling more. We’re more than likely to come into contact with the virus.  Another reason is there were fewer people who got the flu, which means less natural immunity.  

Dr. Bruce Y. Lee is a journalist at CUNY Graduate School of Public Health.

“But now that that many people aren’t maintaining a lot of those precautions and also the fact that people haven’t been exposed to the flu over the past couple of years leave people a lot more susceptible,” said Lee.  

Experts recommend getting the flu shot — or getting both a COVID booster and flu shot at the same time. 

“Both of those are needed, both of those should be scheduled as soon as possible and ideally at the same time, so that one doesn’t fall into the trap of getting one and forgetting to get back to get the other,” said Pekosz. 

But others are choosing not to get the flu vaccine, like an Omaha resident who says she’s never gotten the flu.  

“I’ll wait and see if I get it, I just try to eat healthy live healthy, stay healthy, clean and neat,” said Theresa Gart. 

“The influenza vaccine won’t prevent you from getting influenza but it dramatically decreases your illness and dramatically decreases your risk of hospitalization,” said Dan Fick, a doctor at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.  

This holds particularly for the elderly and children who are the most vulnerable. A NIH 2020 study found vaccines reduced flu-related hospitalizations for children by 41% and ER visits by 51%.  

“The best thing you can do to get your child ready to stay healthy and in school, is to get them vaccinated and boosted. It is a lot. ‘As a parent of three kids I can’t take them all together because then they all scream.’ I know this pain. But it is really important to keep your child healthy and in school,” said Keri Alhoff, a researcher at Johns Hopkins Blomberg School of Public Health. 

Ultimately, it’s also about preventing a strain on our medical system as we go through another winter season of the pandemic and flu.  

“What we always say is we don’t do it for us, we are doing it for other people so we want to make sure if we are around babies or around older people we are looking out for them,” said Jessica Charlsen, who took all three of her kids to get a flu shot. 

Source: newsy.com

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How a Quebec Lithium Mine May Help Make Electric Cars Affordable

About 350 miles northwest of Montreal, amid a vast pine forest, is a deep mining pit with walls of mottled rock. The pit has changed hands repeatedly and been mired in bankruptcy, but now it could help determine the future of electric vehicles.

The mine contains lithium, an indispensable ingredient in electric car batteries that is in short supply. If it opens on schedule early next year, it will be the second North American source of that metal, offering hope that badly needed raw materials can be extracted and refined close to Canadian, U.S. and Mexican auto factories, in line with Biden administration policies that aim to break China’s dominance of the battery supply chain.

Having more mines will also help contain the price of lithium, which has soared fivefold since mid-2021, pushing the cost of electric vehicles so high that they are out of reach for many drivers. The average new electric car in the United States costs about $66,000, just a few thousand dollars short of the median household income last year.

lithium mines are in various stages of development in Canada and the United States. Canada has made it a mission to become a major source of raw materials and components for electric vehicles. But most of these projects are years away from production. Even if they are able to raise the billions of dollars needed to get going, there is no guarantee they will yield enough lithium to meet the continent’s needs.

eliminate this cap and extend the tax credit until 2032; used cars will also qualify for a credit of up to $4,000.

For many people in government and the auto industry, the main concern is whether there will be enough lithium to meet soaring demand for electric vehicles.

The Inflation Reduction Act, which President Biden signed in August, has raised the stakes for the auto industry. To qualify for several incentives and subsidies in the law, which go to car buyers and automakers and are worth a total of $10,000 or more per electric vehicle, battery makers must use raw materials from North America or a country with which the United States has a trade agreement.

rising fast.

California and other states move to ban internal combustion engines. “It’s going to take everything we can do and our competitors can do over the next five years to keep up,” Mr. Norris said.

One of the first things that Sayona had to do when it took over the La Corne mine was pump out water that had filled the pit, exposing terraced walls of dark and pale stone from previous excavations. Lighter rock contains lithium.

After being blasted loose and crushed, the rock is processed in several stages to remove waste material. A short drive from the mine, inside a large building with walls of corrugated blue metal, a laser scanner uses jets of compressed air to separate light-colored lithium ore. The ore is then refined in vats filled with detergent and water, where the lithium floats to the surface and is skimmed away.

The end product looks like fine white sand but it is still only about 6 percent lithium. The rest includes aluminum, silicon and other substances. The material is sent to refineries, most of them in China, to be further purified.

Yves Desrosiers, an engineer and a senior adviser at Sayona, began working at the La Corne mine in 2012. During a tour, he expressed satisfaction at what he said were improvements made by Sayona and Piedmont. Those include better control of dust, and a plan to restore the site once the lithium runs out in a few decades.

“The productivity will be a lot better because we are correcting everything,” Mr. Desrosiers said. In a few years, the company plans to upgrade the facility to produce lithium carbonate, which contains a much higher concentration of lithium than the raw metal extracted from the ground.

The operation will get its electricity from Quebec’s abundant hydropower plants, and will use only recycled water in the separation process, Mr. Desrosiers said. Still, environmental activists are watching the project warily.

Mining is a pillar of the Quebec economy, and the area around La Corne is populated with people whose livelihoods depend on extraction of iron, nickel, copper, zinc and other metals. There is an active gold mine near the largest city in the area, Val-d’Or, or Valley of Gold.

Mining “is our life,” said Sébastien D’Astous, a metallurgist turned politician who is the mayor of Amos, a small city north of La Corne. “Everybody knows, or has in the near family, people who work in mining or for contractors.”

Most people support the lithium mine, but a significant minority oppose it, Mr. D’Astous said. Opponents fear that another lithium mine being developed by Sayona in nearby La Motte, Quebec, could contaminate an underground river.

Rodrigue Turgeon, a local lawyer and program co-leader for MiningWatch Canada, a watchdog group, has pushed to make sure the Sayona mines undergo rigorous environmental reviews. Long Point First Nation, an Indigenous group that says the mines are on its ancestral territory, wants to conduct its own environmental impact study.

Sébastien Lemire, who represents the region around La Corne in the Canadian Parliament, said he wanted to make sure that the wealth created by lithium mining flowed to the people of Quebec rather than to outside investors.

Mr. Lemire praised activists for being “vigilant” about environmental standards, but he favors the mine and drives an electric car, a Chevrolet Bolt.

“If we don’t do it,” he said at a cafe in La Corne, “we’re missing the opportunity of the electrification of transport.”

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