even tougher winter next year as natural gas stocks are used up and as new supplies to replace Russian gas, including increased shipments from the United States or Qatar, are slow to come online, the International Energy Agency said in its annual World Energy Outlook, released last week.

Europe’s activity appears to be accelerating a global transition toward cleaner technologies, the I.E.A. added, as countries respond to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by embracing hydrogen fuels, electric vehicles, heat pumps and other green energies.

But in the short term, countries will be burning more fossil fuels in response to the natural gas shortages.

gas fields in Groningen, which had been slated to be sealed because of earthquakes triggered by the extraction of the fuel.

Eleven countries, including Germany, Finland and Estonia, are now building or expanding a total of 18 offshore terminals to process liquid gas shipped in from other countries. Other projects in Latvia and Lithuania are under consideration.

Nuclear power is winning new support in countries that had previously decided to abandon it, including Germany and Belgium. Finland is planning to extend the lifetime of one reactor, while Poland and Romania plan to build new nuclear power plants.

European Commission blueprint, are voluntary and rely on buy-ins from individuals and businesses whose utility bills may be subsidized by their governments.

Energy use dropped in September in several countries, although it is hard to know for sure if the cause was balmy weather, high prices or voluntary conservation efforts inspired by a sense of civic duty. But there are signs that businesses, organizations and the public are responding. In Sweden, for example, the Lund diocese said it planned to partially or fully close 150 out of 540 churches this winter to conserve energy.

Germany and France have issued sweeping guidance, which includes lowering heating in all homes, businesses and public buildings, using appliances at off-peak hours and unplugging electronic devices when not in use.

Denmark wants households to shun dryers and use clotheslines. Slovakia is urging citizens to use microwaves instead of stoves and brush their teeth with a single glass of water.

website. “Short showers,” wrote one homeowner; another announced: “18 solar panels coming to the roof in October.”

“In the coming winter, efforts to save electricity and schedule the consumption of electricity may be the key to avoiding electricity shortages,” Fingrad, the main grid operator, said.

Businesses are being asked to do even more, and most governments have set targets for retailers, manufacturers and offices to find ways to ratchet down their energy use by at least 10 percent in the coming months.

Governments, themselves huge users of energy, are reducing heating, curbing streetlight use and closing municipal swimming pools. In France, where the state operates a third of all buildings, the government plans to cut energy use by two terawatt-hours, the amount used by a midsize city.

Whether the campaigns succeed is far from clear, said Daniel Gros, director of the Centre for European Policy Studies, a European think tank. Because the recommendations are voluntary, there may be little incentive for people to follow suit — especially if governments are subsidizing energy bills.

In countries like Germany, where the government aims to spend up to €200 billion to help households and businesses offset rising energy prices starting next year, skyrocketing gas prices are hitting consumers now. “That is useful in getting them to lower their energy use,” he said. But when countries fund a large part of the bill, “there is zero incentive to save on energy,” he said.

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AHF Condemns ‘LA’s Housing Standstill’ in Latest L.A. Times Ad

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AHF and its housing advocacy division, Housing Is A Human Right (HHR), will run the latest in a series of housing advocacy ads, this time targeting both the City of Los Angeles and the entrenched bureaucracy at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP) in a full-page, full-color ad set to run this Sunday, October 30th in the Los Angeles Times. The ad headlined “LA’s Housing Standstill,” condemns all the players holding up creation of affordable housing, stating that “It is virtually impossible to get anything built in Los Angeles in less than five years.”

After launching its Healthy Housing Foundation (HHF) in 2017 to help alleviate the twin homelessness and housing affordability crises in Los Angeles, AHF quickly learned that working within the city’s existing framework and bureaucracies—like the DWP—to produce low-income housing in Los Angeles is disastrous for people seeking to create affordable housing—even more so for those individuals who need it.

AHF’s ad continues:

“The city claims homelessness is an emergency, but it sure doesn’t act like it.

Whether it’s DWP bringing in power or getting plans approved-nobody’s in a hurry.

But if we are to tackle homelessness, we need urgency.”

AHF summed up its cri de couer for far greater urgency by all city departments, including DWP, noting:

“1,500 people die on the streets every year.”

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over 1.6 million clients in 45 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Europe. To learn more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare and Instagram: @aidshealthcare

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Putin Denies Russia Intends to Use Nuclear Weapons in Ukraine

Credit…Sputnik/Sergei Karpukhin via Reuters

President Vladimir V. Putin on Thursday denied that Russia was preparing to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine, despite frequent hints in the past that it could do so, and he tried to appeal to conservatives in the United States and Europe with accusations that Western elites were trying to impose their “strange” values on the rest of the world.

The nearly four-hour speech and question-and-answer session, with reference to “dozens of genders,” “gay parades’’ and “neoliberal elites,’’ relied on arguments used to animate the culture wars in the United States and Europe, an apparent effort to sway global public opinion in favor of Russia at a time when his army is losing ground in Ukraine.

“In the United States there’s a very strong part of the public who maintain traditional values, and they’re with us,” Mr. Putin said. “We know about this.”

Mr. Putin claimed it was the West that was escalating nuclear tensions surrounding Ukraine.

“We have no need to do this,” Mr. Putin said of the potential Russian use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine in his strongest denial to date of any such plans. “There’s no sense in it for us, neither political nor military.”

His comments, at an annual foreign policy conference in Moscow, are unlikely to reassure Ukraine or Western nations. He and other senior officials have repeatedly suggested that Russia might resort to nuclear weaponry. And the Kremlin’s assurances in the past have often proved untrustworthy; top officials issued multiple denials in the days before the war that Russia intended to invade Ukraine.

“This is a trick — it shouldn’t make anyone relax,” Tatiana Stanovaya, a Russian political analyst, said, noting that Mr. Putin has blamed every escalation in the war, including the invasion itself, on the West and its support for an independent Ukraine. “His goal is to show that escalation is the product of Western policies.”

In a speech and a lengthy subsequent question-and-answer session Thursday at an annual foreign policy conference in Moscow at the Valdai Discussion Club, a research institute close to the Kremlin, Mr. Putin coupled his denial of any nuclear plans in Ukraine with a bid for global support — including from conservative-minded people in the West who, he insisted, back Mr. Putin’s campaign to preserve “traditional values.”

“In the United States there’s a very strong part of the public who maintain traditional values, and they’re with us,” Mr. Putin said. “We know about this.”

Lawmakers in Russia’s lower house of Parliament backed legislation on Thursday that would ban the “propaganda” of homosexuality in all aspects of public life, expanding a directive that currently only applies to media directed at children.

Mr. Putin insisted that Russia did not fundamentally see itself as an “enemy of the West.” Rather, he said — as he has before — that it was “Western elites” that he was fighting, ones who were trying to impose their “pretty strange” values on everyone else.

In a question-and-answer session after the speech, the event’s moderator, the foreign policy analyst Fyodor Lukyanov, pressed Mr. Putin on the fact that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine does not appear to have gone according to plan. And he said that there was a widespread view that Russia had “underestimated the enemy.”

“Honestly, society doesn’t understand — what’s the plan?” Mr. Lukyanov asked.

Mr. Putin brushed aside the implicit criticism, arguing that Ukraine’s fierce resistance showed why he was right to launch the invasion. The longer Russia had waited, he said, “the worse it would have been for us, the more difficult and more dangerous.”

Mr. Putin repeated Russia’s unfounded claims that Ukraine was preparing to detonate a radioactive “dirty bomb” on its territory and blame Moscow. Ukraine and the West say that the claims are disinformation that could be used as a pretext by the Kremlin to use a nuclear weapon.

In Ukraine, officials ridiculed Mr. Putin’s speech. Mykhailo Podolyak, an aide to President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, said the Russian president was accusing the West of what he has been doing himself, like violating another country’s sovereignty.

“Any speech by Putin can be described in two words: ‘for Freud,’” Mr. Podolyak posted on Twitter.

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World is in its ‘first truly global energy crisis’ – IEA’s Birol

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SINGAPORE, Oct 25 (Reuters) – Tightening markets for liquefied natural gas (LNG) worldwide and major oil producers cutting supply have put the world in the middle of “the first truly global energy crisis”, the head of the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Tuesday.

Rising imports of LNG to Europe amid the Ukraine crisis and a potential rebound in Chinese appetite for the fuel will tighten the market as only 20 billion cubic meters of new LNG capacity will come to market next year, IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said during the Singapore International Energy Week.

At the same time the recent decision by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, known as OPEC+, to cut 2 million barrels per day (bpd) of output is a “risky” decision as the IEA sees global oil demand growth of close to 2 million bpd this year, Birol said.

“(It is) especially risky as several economies around the world are on the brink of a recession, if that we are talking about the global recession…I found this decision really unfortunate,” he said.

Soaring global prices across a number of energy sources, including oil, natural gas and coal, are hammering consumers at the same time they are already dealing with rising food and services inflation. The high prices and possibility of rationing are potentially hazardous to European consumers as they prepare to enter the Northern Hemisphere winter.

Europe may make it through this winter, though somewhat battered, if the weather remains mild, Birol said.

“Unless we will have an extremely cold and long winter, unless there will be any surprises in terms of what we have seen, for example Nordstream pipeline explosion, Europe should go through this winter with some economic and social bruises,” he added.

For oil, consumption is expected to grow by 1.7 million bpd in 2023 so the world will still need Russian oil to meet demand, Birol said.

G7 nations have proposed a mechanism that would allow emerging nations to buy Russian oil but at lower prices to cap Moscow’s revenues in the wake of the Ukraine war.

Birol said the scheme still has many details to iron out and will require the buy-in of major oil importing nations.

A U.S. Treasury official told Reuters last week that it is not unreasonable to believe that up to 80% to 90% of Russian oil will continue to flow outside the price cap mechanism if Moscow seeks to flout it.

“I think this is good because the world still needs Russian oil to flow into the market for now. An 80%-90% is good and encouraging level in order to meet the demand,” Birol said.

While there is still a huge volume of strategic oil reserves that can be tapped during a supply disruption, another release is not currently on the agenda, he added.

ENERGY SECURITY DRIVES RENEWABLES GROWTH

The energy crisis could be a turning point for accelerating clean sources and for forming a sustainable and secured energy system, Birol said.

“Energy security is the number one driver (of the energy transition),” said Birol, as countries see energy technologies and renewables as a solution.

The IEA has revised up the forecast of renewable power capacity growth in 2022 to a 20% year-on-year increase from 8% previously, with close to 400 gigawatts of renewable capacity being added this year.

Many countries in Europe and elsewhere are accelerating the installation of renewable capacity by cutting the permitting and licensing processes to replace the Russian gas, Birol said.

Reporting by Florence Tan, Muyu Xu and Emily Chow; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Christian Schmollinger

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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U.K. Live Updates: Liz Truss Resigns as Prime Minister

LONDON — For Liz Truss, the end came on Thursday in a midday meeting with grandees of the Conservative Party. But Ms. Truss’s fate as prime minister was all but sealed three weeks earlier when currency and bond traders reacted to her new fiscal program by torpedoing the pound and other British financial assets.

The market’s swift, withering verdict on Ms. Truss’s tax-cutting agenda shattered her credibility, degraded Britain’s reputation with investors, drove up home mortgage rates, pushed the pound down to near parity with the American dollar, and forced the Bank of England to intervene to prop up British bonds.

That repudiation, measured in the second-by-second fluctuations of bond yields and exchange rates, mattered more than the noisy departures of Ms. Truss’s cabinet ministers or the hothouse anxieties of Conservative lawmakers that ultimately made her position untenable.

For that reason, world leaders, buffeted by economic challenges, are watching the turmoil in Britain with anything but relish, concerned about the stability of Britain itself. Interest rates, energy costs and inflation are rising around the world. Labor unrest is proliferating across borders. Non-British pension funds potentially face the same financial stresses that afflicted those in Britain. The last thing leaders want is for Ms. Truss’s woes to be a harbinger for other countries.

President Emmanuel Macron of France, who recently mended fences with Ms. Truss after she refused last summer to characterize him as a friend or foe, said: “I wish in any case that Great Britain will find stability again and moves on, as soon as possible. It’s good for us, and it’s good for our Europe.”

Credit…Henry Nicholls/Reuters

Ms. Truss, economists said, is correct to argue that markets are driven by global trends broader than her tax cuts. Central banks worldwide are raising rates to battle inflation, which has been fueled by a surge in demand as the coronavirus pandemic ebbed and a spike in gas prices driven by Russia’s war in Ukraine.

“The problems are by no means all Truss’s doing but she should have known that getting blamed for everything comes with the territory,” said Kenneth Rogoff, a professor of economics at Harvard and a scholar of financial upheavals.

“What is really worrisome now,” he said, is that the situation in Britain “might be the canary in the coal mine as global interest rates keep soaring, especially as they do not seem likely to come down anytime soon.”

Ms. Truss long cultivated a reputation as a disrupter and a free-market evangelist in the tradition of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan. Her tax cut proposals made her an outlier among leaders of big economies fighting inflation. But she made no apologies for offending either economic orthodoxy or the expectations of financial markets in pursuit of her vision of a “low-tax, high growth” Britain.

“Not everyone will be in favor of change,” a defiant Ms. Truss said a week ago at the annual meeting of the Conservative Party, even though one of her planned tax cuts, for high-earning people, had already been reversed. “But everyone will benefit from the result: a growing economy and a better future.”

The prime minister’s fatal miscalculation, experts said, was to believe that Britain could defy the gravity of the markets by passing sweeping tax cuts, without corresponding spending cuts, at a time when inflation is running in double digits and interest rates were rising.

“It was the combination of the wrong fiscal policy at the wrong time — borrowing when rates were rising rather than, as in 2010s, when they were low,” said Jonathan Portes, a professor of economics and public policy at Kings College London.

He cited what he called Ms. Truss’s “institutional vandalism,’’ in particular the way she and her ousted chancellor of the Exchequer, Kwasi Kwarteng, broke with custom by announcing sweeping tax cuts without subjecting them to the scrutiny of the government’s fiscal watchdog, the Office of Budget Responsibility.

In that sense, he said, Ms. Truss was following in the footsteps of her predecessor, Boris Johnson, who resigned as prime minister barely three months earlier after a series of scandals prompted a wholesale walkout of his ministers.

Credit…Oli Scarff/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Mr. Kwarteng’s budget maneuvering led many in the markets to suspect the government was engaged in a kind of fiscal sleight of hand, which would inevitably require massive borrowing to cover a hole in the budget estimated at 72 billion pounds ($81.5 billion).

Mr. Kwarteng, who studied the history of financial crises as a doctoral student at Cambridge University, brushed off the blowback in financial markets as a temporary phenomenon. Like Ms. Truss, he is a believer in disruptive change. Together, they were among the authors of “Britannia Unchained,” a manifesto for a Thatcher-style, free-market revolution in post-Brexit Britain. Among other things, the authors described Britons as “among the worst idlers in the world.”

When, or even whether, Britain can fully recover from this period of political and economic turbulence is not yet clear. On Thursday, as news of Ms. Truss’s resignation broke, the pound rose against the dollar and yields on British government bonds fell.

Virtually all the government’s planned tax cuts have been reversed, and the next prime minister, regardless of his or her politics, will have little choice but to pursue a policy of spending cuts and strict fiscal discipline. Some fear a return to the bleak austerity of Prime Minister David Cameron in the years after the 2008 financial crisis.

“Rishi or another can steady the ship and calm the markets,” Professor Portes said, referring to Rishi Sunak, a former chancellor who ran unsuccessfully against Ms. Truss and may seek to succeed her. “But it’s hard to see how, given the state of the Conservatives, any Tory prime minister can repair the longer-term damage.”

Much of that damage is to Britain’s once-sterling reputation in the markets. Economists have begun mentioning Britain in the same breath as fiscally wayward countries like Italy and Greece. Lawrence H. Summers, the former U.S. Treasury secretary, told Bloomberg News, “It makes me very sorry to say, but I think the U.K. is behaving a bit like an emerging market turning itself into a submerging market.”

That is a humbling comedown for a country that in 2009 announced a $1.1 trillion emergency fund to bail out the global economy.

“If you’re an American fund manager, you’re not going to put Britain in the super-safe category you might have earlier,” said Jonathan Powell, who served as chief of staff to Prime Minister Tony Blair. “It’s not about Britain’s standing in the world, but what category we’ve put ourselves in.”

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AG Mortgage Investment Trust, Inc. Provides Update to Shareholders

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AG Mortgage Investment Trust, Inc. (NYSE: MITT) (the “Company”) announced today an update on its portfolio and liquidity position, including certain preliminary estimated financial information as of and for the quarter ended September 30, 2022.

In light of sustained market volatility and to enhance transparency to shareholders, the Company has elected to provide the following preliminary updates on its business and financial performance:

Book Value Per Common Share. The Company estimates that Book Value per share as of September 30, 2022 was between $10.97 and $11.07, as compared to $11.48 per share as of June 30, 2022. In addition, Adjusted Book Value per share as of September 30, 2022 was estimated to be between $10.63 and $10.73, as compared to $11.15 per share as of June 30, 2022.(1)

Liquidity Position. The Company’s liquidity position remains strong, with total liquidity as of September 30, 2022 estimated to be $79.7 million, consisting of $77.6 million of cash and $2.1 million of unencumbered Agency RMBS.

Investment Portfolio. The Company’s Investment Portfolio as of September 30, 2022 was estimated to be $4.3 billion as compared to $4.1 billion as of June 30, 2022. (2)

Leverage. The Company’s Economic Leverage Ratio is estimated to be 2.0x as of September 30, 2022 compared to 2.7x as of June 30, 2022. (3) Non-recourse and recourse financing as of September 30, 2022 is estimated to be $3.0 billion and $1.0 billion, respectively, as compared to $2.5 billion and $0.9 billion, respectively, as of June 30, 2022.

The Company continues to execute its disciplined financing strategy, focused on reducing warehouse exposure. During the quarter ended September 30, 2022 and through the date of this press release, the Company executed three rated Non-Agency and Agency-Eligible Loan securitizations, representing an aggregate of $1.3 billion of unpaid principal balance (including one securitization that priced in October 2022, representing $0.5 billion unpaid principal balance, which is subject to closing).

Warehouse Capacity. The Company had approximately $1.9 billion in available capacity under its warehouse facilities as of September 30, 2022. Following the completion of the recently priced securitization in October 2022, the Company’s available warehouse capacity will increase to $2.2 billion.

Stock Repurchases. During the third quarter 2022 and through the date of this press release, the Company repurchased 0.5 million shares of its common stock at a cost of $2.7 million.

The Company has not yet completed its quarterly financial close process for the three months ended September 30, 2022. The preliminary financial information set forth above reflects the Company’s estimates with respect to such information, based on information currently available to management, and may vary materially from the Company’s actual financial results as of and for the periods noted above. Further, these estimates are not a comprehensive statement or estimate of the Company’s financial results or financial condition. These estimates should not be viewed as a substitute for financial statements prepared in accordance with U.S. GAAP, and they are not necessarily indicative of the results to be achieved in any future period. Accordingly, a reader should not place undue reliance on these estimates.

These estimates, which are the responsibility of the Company’s management, were prepared by the Company’s management and are based upon a number of assumptions. Additional items that may require adjustments to these estimates may be identified and could result in material changes to these estimates. These estimates are inherently uncertain and the Company undertakes no obligation to update or revise this information.

About AG Mortgage Investment Trust, Inc.

AG Mortgage Investment Trust, Inc. is a residential mortgage REIT with a focus on investing in a diversified risk-adjusted portfolio of residential mortgage-related assets in the U.S. mortgage market. AG Mortgage Investment Trust, Inc. is externally managed and advised by AG REIT Management, LLC, a subsidiary of Angelo, Gordon & Co., L.P., a leading privately-held alternative investment firm focusing on credit and real estate strategies.

Additional information can be found on the Company’s website at www.agmit.com.

About Angelo, Gordon & Co., L.P.

Angelo, Gordon & Co., L.P. (“Angelo Gordon”) is a privately-held alternative investment firm founded in November 1988. The firm currently manages approximately $52 billion with a primary focus on credit and real estate strategies. Angelo Gordon has over 600 employees, including more than 200 investment professionals, and is headquartered in New York, with associated offices elsewhere in the U.S., Europe and Asia. For more information, visit www.angelogordon.com.

Forward Looking Statements

This press release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Forward-looking statements relate to expectations, beliefs, projections, future plans and strategies, anticipated events or trends and similar expressions concerning matters that are not historical facts. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “expects,” “intends,” “plans,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “predicts,” or “potential” or the negative of these words and phrases or similar words or phrases which are predictions of or indicate future events or trends and which do not relate solely to historical matters. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, assumptions and contingencies, many of which are beyond our control, and may cause actual results to differ significantly from those expressed in any forward-looking statement. Factors that may cause such a difference, include, without limitation, the Company’s ability to achieve the anticipated benefits of its origination and securitization strategy, the Company’s ability to grow at the pace anticipated or at all, the impact of uncertainty and volatility in the markets on the Company’s business and strategy, the Company’s pipeline, the Company’s liquidity, the Company’s financing strategy, including the ability to execute securitizations (including whether the securitization in October 2022 will close as anticipated or at all), the availability of capacity under the Company’s warehouse facilities which are uncommitted, the ability and timing of any stock repurchases, the Company’s management and resources, the Company’s ability to navigate challenging market conditions and harness MITT’s earnings power, including the ability to enhance shareholder value, and other risks and uncertainties, including those detailed in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2021 and its other reports filed from time to time with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. All forward-looking statements reflect the Company’s good faith beliefs, assumptions and expectations, but they are not guarantees of future performance. The Company cautions investors not to unduly rely on any forward-looking statements.

The forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release. The Company is under no duty to update any of these forward-looking statements after the date of this press release, nor to conform prior statements to actual results or revised expectations, and the Company does not intend to do so.

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

This press release includes certain non-GAAP financial measures. Management believes that this non-GAAP information, when considered with our GAAP financial statements, provides supplemental information useful for investors to help evaluate our financial performance. Our presentation of non-GAAP financial information may not be comparable to similarly-titled measures of other companies, who may use different calculations. This non-GAAP financial information should not be considered a substitute for, or superior to, the financial measures calculated in accordance with GAAP. Our GAAP financial results and the reconciliations of the non-GAAP financial measures included in this press release to the most directly comparable financial measures prepared in accordance with GAAP should be carefully evaluated.

The below table provides a reconciliation of the Company’s preliminary estimated range of its Book Value to its preliminary estimated range of Adjusted Book Value ($ in thousands, except per share data):

 

 

Low

 

High

Book Value per share(1)

 

$

10.97

 

 

$

11.07

 

Net proceeds less liquidation preference of preferred stock per share

 

 

(0.34

)

 

 

(0.34

)

Adjusted Book Value per share(1)

 

$

10.63

 

 

$

10.73

 

Footnotes

(1) Book Value per share is calculated using stockholders’ equity less net proceeds of our cumulative redeemable preferred stock divided by the total common shares issued and outstanding. Adjusted Book Value per share is calculated using stockholders’ equity less the liquidation preference of our cumulative redeemable preferred stock divided by the total common shares issued and outstanding. Estimated Book Value per share and estimated Adjusted Book Value per share as of September 30, 2022 are based on 22,117,486 common shares outstanding on that date. Adjusted Book Value per share is a Non-GAAP financial measure. Refer to the “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” section for additional information.

(2) The Investment Portfolio at period end consists of the net carrying value of our Residential Investments, Agency RMBS, and, where applicable, any long positions in TBAs, including mortgage loans and securities owned through investments in affiliates, exclusive of AG Arc LLC. Our Residential Investments and Agency RMBS are held at fair value.

(3) Economic Leverage Ratio is calculated by dividing total Economic Leverage, including any net TBA position, by our GAAP stockholders’ equity at quarter end. Total Economic Leverage at quarter end includes recourse financing arrangements recorded within “Investments in debt and equity of affiliates” exclusive of any financing utilized through AG Arc LLC, plus the payable on all unsettled buys less the financing on all unsettled sells and any net TBA position (at cost). Total Economic Leverage excludes any non-recourse financing arrangements. Non-recourse financing arrangements include securitized debt, as well as financing on certain Non-QM Loans. Our obligation to repay our non-recourse financing arrangements is limited to the value of the pledged collateral thereunder and does not create a general claim against us as an entity.

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NATO to kick off nuclear drills involving B-52 bombers on Monday

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BRUSSELS, Oct 14 (Reuters) – NATO said on Friday it would launch its annual nuclear exercise “Steadfast Noon” on Monday, with up to 60 aircraft taking part in training flights over Belgium, the North Sea and Britain to practise the use of U.S. nuclear bombs based in Europe.

The nuclear drills – which do not involve live bombs – are taking place amid heightened tensions after Russia repeatedly threatened nuclear strikes in Ukraine following major military setbacks on the battlefield there.

“Steadfast Noon” is likely to coincide with Moscow’s own annual nuclear drills, dubbed “Grom”, which are normally conducted in late October and in which Russia tests its nuclear-capable bombers, submarines and missiles.

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NATO said the Western drills were not prompted by the latest tensions with Russia.

“The exercise, which runs until 30 October, is a routine, recurring training activity and it is not linked to any current world events,” the alliance declared on its webpage, adding that no live weapons would be used.

“This exercise helps ensure that the alliance’s nuclear deterrent remains safe, secure and effective,” said NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu.

Belgium is hosting the drills that will involve 14 countries and up to 60 aircraft, including the most advanced fighter jets on the market and U.S. B-52 long-range bombers that will fly in from Minot Air Base in North Dakota, the statement said.

On Tuesday, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg made clear that the alliance would proceed with its drills despite the tense international situation.

Cancelling the drills because of the war in Ukraine would send a “very wrong signal”, he told reporters, arguing that NATO’s military strength was the best way to prevent any further escalation of tensions.

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Reporting by Sabine Siebold
Editing by John Chalmers and Gareth Jones

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Putin: Germany unlikely to accept gas via remaining Nord Stream 2 pipeline

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Oct 14 (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday Germany was unlikely to accept Russian gas from the one remaining undamaged line of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, two days after Berlin rejected his initial offer.

“A decision has not been made and it’s unlikely to be made, but that’s no longer our business, it’s the business of our partners,” he said.

The Nord Stream pipelines, intended to carry gas from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea, suffered unexplained ruptures in three of their four lines, incidents that European countries have called sabotage.

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Putin said on Wednesday that Russian gas could still be supplied to Europe through the one remaining intact line of the uncommissioned Nord Stream 2 pipeline, but a German government spokesman ruled this out.

Germany froze the approval process for the recently laid Nord Stream 2 as Russia was preparing to invade Ukraine, and it was never opened.

“They have to decide what is more important for them: fulfilling some kind of alliance commitment, as they see it, or safeguarding their national interests,” Putin said.

The impact of efforts to use less Russian energy, plus steep cuts in supplies from Russia, have been felt across the 27-nation European Union, with gas prices almost 90% higher than a year ago and fears of rationing and power cuts over the coming winter.

EU energy ministers on Wednesday agreed on the outlines of a package of proposals to tackle the crisis that will be put to the European Commission next week.

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Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Kevin Liffey

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Energy subsidies merely delay high inflation, ECB’s Villeroy warns

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WASHINGTON, Oct 15 (Reuters) – Europe’s energy subsidies may reduce the current rate of inflation but only at the expense of future higher readings, potentially complicating the task of monetary policy, European Central Bank (ECB) policymaker Francois Villeroy de Galhau said on Saturday.

Fearing that high energy prices sap household purchasing power, governments are now rolling out copious support and some have already warned that excessive spending could bring fiscal and monetary policy into conflict as one is easing while the other is tightening.

“We should not be under the illusion that price caps reduce underlying inflation,” Villeroy said in Washington on Saturday, addressing a meeting of the G30, a group of private and public financial officials.

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“They may only help to reduce the risk of second round effects,” he added. “Price caps, if temporary, only reduce current measured inflation at the expense of future measured inflation.”

The ECB has been tightening policy quickly this year and Villeroy argued that governments should also play their part by reestablishing fiscal discipline because the fiscal and monetary policies are misaligned.

Instead of broader spending increases which add to already high inflation pressures, governments should focus help on those in the greatest need of help, Villeroy argued.

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Reporting by Balazs Koranyi; editing by Clelia Oziel

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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EDF says strike hits a third of French nuclear plants, delaying maintenance work

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PARIS, Oct 15 (Reuters) – Strike action over wage demands was hitting a third of EDF’s 18 French nuclear plants as of Friday night, a spokesperson for the utility said, further delaying the maintenance of its reactors.

“Six sites (were) affected by strikes as of last night,” the spokesperson said on Saturday.

This led to the postponement of the restart date of five reactors currently under maintenance by “one to several days”, the spokesperson for EDF (EDF.PA) added.

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Nuclear power represented more than two thirds of France’s total electricity production in 2021, according to data from grid operator RTE.

The country will be short of between 5 and 15 gigawatts (GW) of power at peak demand this winter depending on the temperature and will need to mainly rely on imports, according to forecast models developed by EDF’s works council CSE.

France will have to buy electricity on the market this winter or produce it from gas, and there is no guarantee that neighbouring countries will be in a position to sell their electricity, CSE representative Philippe Page le Merour has said, given the energy crisis in Europe.

A representative for France’s FNME trade union said on Friday that maintenance work at nine nuclear reactors split between five sites had been delayed due to a strike over wages.

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Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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