ICE Takes Over Seven Hotels To House Illegal Immigrants, Dubs Them 'Casas'
  [Source: 2021/04/09-02:50]

ICE Takes Over Seven Hotels To House Illegal Immigrants, Dubs Them 'Casas'

President Biden's Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency is taking over seven hotels near the southern border starting on Friday, as a surge in migrants has forced the administration to expand beyond overflow facilities and tents located on government property, according to the Washington Examiner.

Hundreds of people who illegally came over the U.S.-Mexico border with a family member will be placed in hotels in El Paso, Texas, and Chandler, Arizona, this Friday as the Biden administration spends tens of millions of dollars to house people despite having its own holding centers, according to internal documents reviewed by the Washington Examiner. ICE has not revealed whether the families will be sent back to their home countries or released into the United States. -Washington Examiner

As we reported earlier Thursday, the influx in immigrants in March alone resulted in the most apprehensions in nearly two-decades, as more than 173,000 migrants were arrested after illegally entering the United States.

ICE has dubbed the hotels which will house migrants "casas," the Spanish word for house. Approximately 600 people will be funneled into hotels in El paso, Texas and Chandler, Arizona as part of phase one beginning on Friday. According to the report, phase two will commence April 30 when 600 more beds will be made available in Pecos, Texas; Phoenix, Arizona; and Cotulla, Texas.

On Friday, families will be moved into a Best Western in El Paso, which ICE had dubbed “Casa Estrella” or “Star House." The hotel is making at least 186 beds available for families. The building is located next to a Starbucks and 2 miles south of El Paso International Airport.

Up the road a mile and a half from the Best Western, another 158 beds are available at the Comfort Inn. The Comfort Inn will be referred to as the "Casa Consuelo," or House of Consolation. -Washington Examiner

Meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Security has been administering rapid COVID-19 tests on families they've released into Texas, but has given no indication whether the migrants they're putting up in said "casas" will be tested before or during their stay.

Meanwhile, homeless veterans may want to try jumping over the border and back in the hopes that the US government will give them similar accommodations.

Tyler Durden Thu, 04/08/2021 - 14:50
U.S. oil prices post a modest loss as traders eye demand, U.S.-Iran nuclear deal developments
  [Source: - MarketPulse 2021/04/09-02:43]

U.S. oil futures finished modestly lower on Thursday, pressured as rising cases of COVID-19 threatened to slow global economies, and demand for energy. Traders also looked for any signs of progress toward a U.S.-Iran nuclear deal that would likely lead to more oil in the world market. West Texas Intermediate crude for May delivery fell by 17 cents, or 0.3%, to settle at $59.60 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit for more information on this news.

Inflation: Making The Complex, Simple – Part 1
  [Source: 2021/04/09-02:34]

Inflation: Making The Complex, Simple – Part 1

Authored by Michael Lebowitz via,

The quarterback signals for the Y receiver in the trips formation to shift left toward the right tackle. At the same time, the running back moves to the quarterback’s right. The slot Z receiver runs a fake jet sweep and doubles back. The left tackle and guard are ready to pull to the right, and the center will counter to the left. A safety creeps toward the line and the Sam yells to the strong-side linebacker to shadow the tight end.

The quarterback drops back and throws a pass up the middle for a 20 yard gain. What looks like a simple football play on television, is a complex choreography of 22 football players, coaches, and numerous strategies.

Humans constantly digest massive amounts of data. To make sense of our surroundings, we summarize data into simple packages. This survival skill is necessary, but it often results in a failure to appreciate life’s complexity.

Like a passing play, the price of a Big Mac may appear to be a simple number. However, the market forces determining its price are complex and often misunderstood. In fact, the most vital force has nothing to do with McDonald’s or its customers. It’s all about the supply and demand for money.

Upon reading this article, and its conclusion in a week, you will understand what drives inflation. Whether we are approaching an inflationary or deflationary environment, being a step ahead of the markets thinking is critical to investment success.

Part Two of this article will continue on the same themes as this article. The best-returning trades are those occurring when the market is proven wrong and offsides. In Part Three, we will share some market-based inflation measures to understand the market’s inflation view.

Who Remembers the ’70s?

Ask any investment professional what it was like to manage money in an inflationary environment, and you are likely to get a blank stare. The reason is an investment professional that worked through a period of high inflation in the U.S. is at least 65 years old. As such, experience managing wealth in such a volatile environment is hard to come by. The lack of real inflation era experience may increase price volatility if such an environment emerges. Accordingly, a trying investment environment will be even more challenging to navigate.

While we think the odds of sustained inflation are small, we must be prepared nonetheless. If inflation proves temporary and fades within months, assets being shunned today like long-term bonds and possibly gold offer sizeable returns. If we are wrong, investments that benefit from inflation like miners and energy companies should do well. Regardless, we are on guard for either scenario.

Preparation, first and foremost, involves understanding the drivers of inflation.

The Price of a Big Mac

The price of a McDonalds Big Mac is always expressed in relation to a currency. For instance, in the United States, the price is $4.25.

Like a football play, $4.25 is a simple summary of something more complex. To raise the complexity, we can fractionalize the price to 4.25/1. Whereas 4.25 represents the number of dollars required to purchase 1 Big Mac.

We can further expand on the numerator (dollars) and denominator (1 Big Mac) with the following formula: SD($)/SD(BM). The supply and demand for dollars over the supply and demand of Big Macs.

Now consider, regardless of the supply or demand for dollars and Big Macs, the denominator is always one. A dollar is always worth 1.00. Accordingly, the numerator (dollar price) changes to reflect fluctuations in the supply/demand functions of the dollar and/or the Big Mac.

What happens to the price of a Big Mac if the dollar is devalued by 50%? Despite the cheaper dollar, it is still worth $1. Therefore, only the numerator can change to reflect a price change. In this case, we would expect the price of a Big Mac to double.

In Aggregate

We could devote pages to the multitude of factors affecting the supply, demand, and pricing of a Big Mac. The exercise would explain why the Big Mac price rises or falls versus Burger King Whoppers and every other good and service available. Such analysis is critical to McDonalds, but often overemphasized from a macroeconomic perspective.

Economists cite increasing oil prices as a driver for inflation and stronger retail sales from time to time. They assume consumers will still buy everything they were consuming, yet pay an extra $20 at the pump each week. In reality, consumers often substitute goods and services based on their budgets and needs. Economists often fail to consider the extra $20 spent at the gas pump is $20 not spent elsewhere.

The price of oil may rise, but the price of oranges may fall as consumers spend less on oranges to compensate. What matters most from a macroeconomic perspective is the aggregate price change for oil, oranges, Big Macs, and every other good and service.

To correctly anticipate inflation, we must look beyond the supply and demand for goods and services. The truth lies in the supply and the demand for money. Unfortunately, the supply of money gets the headlines, while its demand is an afterthought.

The chart below shows the forthcoming evidence of inflation used by most inflationists.

The following graph captures monetary velocity for an appropriate view of inflation.

Inflation is a function of money supply but equally critical, the demand for money (velocity). For more on why we must consider both, please read our article, The Fed’s Inconvenient Truth: Inflation is M.I.A.

To Be Continued...

Tyler Durden Thu, 04/08/2021 - 14:34
Portugal, Netherlands Latest To Limit Use Of AstraZeneca Jab To Patients Over 60
  [Source: 2021/04/09-02:16]

Portugal, Netherlands Latest To Limit Use Of AstraZeneca Jab To Patients Over 60

Update (1415ET): Portugal and the Netherlands have joined Italy and Spain in suspending use of the AstraZeneca jab in patients under 60.

* * *

Update (0720ET): German health authorities are recommending that anyone under the age of 60 who received the AZ shot should get a Moderna jab for the second shot.

* * *

Now that the EMA has acknowledged a "possible link" between the AstraZeneca vaccine and the deadly cerebral blood clots that have contributed to more than a dozen deaths across Europe, it appears the floodgates have opened, and both the UK and EU members Italy and Spain are moving to restrict the vaccine.

Spain and Italy decided late Wednesday to follow in the footstep's of France and Germany by limiting the use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to people aged 60 and older. France decided to restrict use of the shot for over-55s earlier this month, while Germany restricted use to over-60s.

But the UK and Australia have adopted even tighter restrictions when it comes to age. What's more concerning - at least, for investors in the troubled pharma giant - the UK, where the jab was designed, developed and tested, has abruptly changed course and decided to limit the jab to use for patients between the ages of 18 and 29. Sweden and Finland allow its use only in the over-65s, while Denmark and Norway have suspended its use until at least next week.

Australia has also decided to limit use of the AstraZeneca vaccine for patients under 50, news it announced Thursday evening local time, making it the most recent government to impose new restrictions on the jab. Initially, Australia had defended the jab, even as one of its top health authorities was one of the first to note that a link between the jab and the dangerous blood clots was likely, even as AstraZeneca, the British government and the EMA continued to insist that there was no evidence to support a link.

But the thinking on that has changed dramatically in the past few days, and yesterday's EMA press conference marked a notable turning point.

avoid further use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine for under-50s, becoming the latest country to change direction after regulators found a link between the jab and blood clots.

Notably, Canberra is going further in curbing the use of the AZ jab than the UK, where authorities have asked that only patients under the age of 30 receive an alternative vaccine.

London is preparing to offer alternatives to the AstraZeneca shot to patients under 30 after officials said the "suspected" side effect actually puts younger patients at risk - even as Germany and France put the age limit much higher.

Source: BI

David Spiegelhalter, chair of the Winton Center for Risk at the University of Cambridge, said that about one in 90,000 people under the age of 30 is likely to suffer from the brain blood clots after taking the vaccine (the FT reports that the side effects afflict 4 in 1 million patients). For people in their 60s who have received the jab, the risk of developing blood clots is about one in 500,000, he said.

Despite all of this, UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock has striven to shore up public trust in the vaccine, telling Sky News on Thursday that the public should have confidence in the UK's "high class safety system run by our world-class regulator." He added that all three vaccines approved in the UK are "safe and safe at all ages."

The problems with the AstraZeneca jab have created major problems for Europe and for the WHO, which was relying on the AZ jab to make up the bulk of its "Covax" program, which seeks to provide vaccine supplies to the developing world.

The fallout from the AstraZeneca controversy is reverberating beyond Europe. Nikkei reports that Indonesia is asking China and the US to provide enough COVID doses to its health ministers as AstraZeneca's production delays (which have been drowned out by all the other AstraZeneca-related newsflow of the past few weeks) create problems for Southeast Asia's largest country. The Indonesian government has "opened discussions with the Chinese government to ask for an additional 90 to 100 million doses of Sinovac [vaccines]," said Budi Gunadi Sadikin, Indonesia's health minister, during a parliamentary hearing on Thursday. The minister added that the government is also planning to ask the US for additional vaccines once Washington has finished vaccinating its own citizens.

Tyler Durden Thu, 04/08/2021 - 14:16
Square to expand merchant business into Ireland
  [Source: - MarketPulse 2021/04/09-02:13]

Square Inc. announced Thursday that it plans to bring its seller business to Ireland. The company has opened a limited "early access" program and then intends to make its seller services more generally available in the country later this year. "We see today's launch as additive to the already-material International opportunity," wrote Barclays analyst Ramsey El-Assal in a note to clients after the announcement. He wrote earlier this year that while Square's international opportunities haven't been top of mind for investors in recent years, he expects that the company is "finally positioned correctly to more fully realize its potential in global markets, largely due to a significant acceleration in business investment outside the US." Square currently offers seller services in Japan, Canada, Australia, and the U.K., in addition to the U.S. Square shares are up 4.7% in Thursday afternoon trading. They've gained about 350% over the past 12 months as the S&P 500 has added 54%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit for more information on this news.