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August 14: Stocks Rise, Planned Blackouts in UK, IRS to Use Deadly Force? (Recap ep188)

In today’s Recap, Marcello talks about how some stock markets are climbing; the UK is preparing to do planned blackouts to deal with the energy crisis that might come; New IRS special agents are being hired, and part of their job duties include “carry a firearm and use deadly force, if necessary”.

A power outage in Toronto’s downtown core on Thursday, left the offices of Canada’s top businesses dark & forced the evacuation of 1 of the city’s biggest shopping malls & caused some bank branches to be locked. It affected 10,000 customers in downtown Toronto, Canada’s biggest city. Reports that a barge carrying an erect crane at the Port Lands knocked out a couple of high-voltage transmission lines.
Alphabet (Google) YouTube plans to launch an online store for streaming video services. The company has renewed talks with entertainment companies about participating in the platform, which it is referring to internally as a channel store. The platform has been in the works for at least 18 months & could be available as early as this autumn.
An economic slowdown in Germany is more likely than ever, w/new troubles on the Rhine River, as lower water levels pose a problem for shipping & heavy industry. The Rhine fell to a new low, further restricting supply of vital commodities to parts of inland Europe as the continent battles w/ its worst energy crisis in decades. The water level has fallen below 40-centimeter (16 inch) level & is expected to continue to fall. No longer economic for many barges to transit the river at this point.
The annual inflation rate in France hit +6.1% in July, the highest since July 1985, it was announced on Friday. The inflation rate was +5.8% in June. Spain’s inflation rate climbed to +10.8% in July, the highest in 38 years. In June it was +10.2%. Italy’s annual consumer inflation decelerated to +7.9% in July, down from the 36-year high of +8% in June.
The U.K. economy contracted in Q2 of 2022, as the country’s cost-of-living crisis hit broadly. Official figures published on Friday showed that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) fell by -0.1% quarter on quarter in the 2nd quarter, less than the -0.3% contraction expected by analysts.
The U.K. is now planning for several days over the winter when cold weather may combine with gas shortages, leading to organized blackouts for industry & households. Under the govt’s latest worst-case scenario, it could face an electricity capacity shortfall totaling about a 1/6 of peak demand, even after emergency coal plants fire up. Reduced electricity imports from France & Norway could expose 4 days in January, when there will be a need to trigger emergency measures.

The Eurozone’s industrial production increased more than expected in June, suggesting that the bloc’s manufacturing sector activity recovery may be occurring; Ethiopia completes the 3rd phase of filling the reservoir for its huge dam on the Blue Nile river.

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