Lies of the President?

President Joe Biden (D) claimed, as a result of the latest inflation report, that food prices are falling.

The BLS, however, actually said this:

The food index increased 0.3 percent over the month [of December] with the food at home index rising 0.2 percent[.]

And this:

BLS data shows the “food at home” index rose 0.2% in December and 11.8% in the past year. Food away from home rose 0.4% in December and 8.3% in the last year.
“The index for cereals and bakery products rose 16.1 percent over the year. The remaining major grocery store food groups posted increases ranging from 7.7 percent (meats, poultry, fish, and eggs) to 15.3 percent (dairy and related products)[.]”

Overreach

The New York banking regulator, the New York State Department of Financial Services, has announced “rules” that would require banks of all sizes to consider climate change in their risk assessment considerations. NYSDF’s rules are made the worse because it has outsized influence due to the plethora of Wall Street institutions in the State.

Banks would be called upon to look at climate-related risks when bringing on new clients and when extending credit.

This is naked government overreach, even at the State level, and it’s one more reason financial institutions should leave New York. I can suggest Miami, Austin, Dallas, Sioux Falls, and Fargo as alternative locations.

A Simple Solution

Even if it might be politically difficult and short-term expensive.

Recall that EU member Lithuania expressed support for the Republic of China and in naked retaliation, the People’s Republic of China imposed a nearly complete trade embargo on Lithuania and blocked import of any other EU member’s products that contained Lithuania-originated parts.

Now, a year later, the EU is haling the PRC into the WTO in a suit over that embargo. Be still, my heart.

There’s a better and more effective and permanent solution to this sort of behavior from the PRC.

Isn’t This Interesting

There’s an oil tanker traffic jam at the Turkish Straits junction with the Black Sea. That jam is being caused by tanker insurers’ refusal to honor a Turkish demand that the tankers produce letters from their insurers assuring Turkey that the tankers’ Protection and Indemnity Insurance policies remain in effect following the G-7’s, EU’s, et al., imposition of a price cap on Russian oil that bars insurers from covering oil tankers carrying Russian oil for sale above the cap. The International Group of P&I Clubs provides 90%, by tonnage, of the policies covering the world’s oil tanker fleet.

Get Rid of the EV Subsidy Altogether

Allied and friendly governments object to the Biden administration’s battery-operated car tax subsidy requirements that these vehicles be assembled substantially in the US or they’re not eligible for the subsidy. That puts battery-operated cars assembled in Europe, Japan, and the Republic of Korea at a substantial disadvantage in the competition for sales in the US.

They’re right, but for a different reason than they think.

Controlling

Naked self-promoting advertisement….

My latest (as of 22 Nov 22, anyway) Peter Hunt novel is out, available here.

Peter Hunt’s lady is brutally assaulted, and Hunt has to go after the mastermind who set the thing up.

Donahugh was involved in DPA Donason’s kidnapping and personally involved in her rape.
More quiet. Then Freyman said, “I’ll be handling the prosecution. Keep me current as this business proceeds.”
“Of course,” Jankuwicz said.
Freyman turned to me. “I’ve also heard about you. There will be persons to prosecute as this winds up?”
“Before I could answer, Jankuwicz said, ‘That depends on the perpetrators.'”

The Cost of Food

Saturday’s Wall Street Journal had an article centered on the difficulty of passing a farm bill that, among other things, continues subsidies for farmers. The article included some words on the bill’s food stamp program and funding, including this remark:

...SNAP, the food-stamps program is generally aimed at helping low-income households afford to buy food.

There are at least two ways to help low-income households afford to buy food. One is to restore work/train for work/school requirements to the program, which in the end, increases those families’ income.

Financial Reporting

A little bit in the weeds, here, but necessary for future understandings by some investors. The proximate matter is FTX’ collapse and bankruptcy (with possibly criminal activities associated).

In a footnote to the financial statements, the company said its “primary shareholder is also the primary shareholder of several related entities which do business with the company.” It didn’t say who the related parties were for any specific transaction it disclosed.
The standard accounting rules for disclosing related-party transactions are vague and have long been considered a weakness in the system. There is no clear-cut rule requiring companies to disclose the players in a related-party transaction. The rules do say, “If necessary to the understanding of the relationship, the name of the related party shall be disclosed.”

Why Do the Workaround?

NVIDIA Corp is busily looking for ways to circumvent newly enacted rules barring export of computer chips and chip technology to the People’s Republic of China.

Nvidia Corp has begun offering an alternative to a high-end chip hit with US export restrictions to customers in China, after the new rules threatened to cost the American company hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue.
Nvidia said the new graphics-processing chip, branded the A800, meets US restrictions on chips that can be exported to China under new rules rolled out last month. The chip went into production in the third quarter, the company said.

Some Contextual Questions

Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet and of Alphabet’s wholly-owned subsidiary Google, in addressing anti-trust questions regarding Google’s ad-tech business, claimed that

Ad technology is a small part of what Google does, he said, and doesn’t make up a significant share of the company’s revenue, according to people familiar with the meeting [Pichai’s with Senator Mike Lee (R, UT)].

That begs a number of questions though. Questions being begged include these:

  • How much ad-tech revenue is there in the aggregate in the ad-tech market?
  • How many players are there in the ad-tech market?