There is a slight to marginal risk of severe thunderstorms along I-12 and south.
Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said late on Tuesday that new sanctions imposed by the United States were evidence of a "hostile anti-Russian lunge" and said it would retaliate to what it described as another blow to U.S.-Russia ties. In President Joe Biden's most direct challenge yet to the Kremlin, the United States on Tuesday imposed sanctions to punish Russia for what it described as Moscow's attempt to poison opposition politician Alexei Navalny with a nerve agent last year.
- Associated Press
Kuwait’s new Cabinet was sworn in Wednesday, state-run media reported, weeks after the government quit amid a deepening deadlock with parliament that has blocked badly needed reforms in the tiny oil-rich Gulf Arab state. Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al Hamad Al Sabah swapped out four ministers whose selections had angered various lawmakers for less contentious, veteran politicians, an apparent gesture to appease parliament. The worsening rift between Kuwait’s emir-appointed government and elected parliament presents the first significant challenge to Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmad Al Sabah, who ascended the throne last fall.
- The Independent
Analysis: US Capitol Police trying a measure of transparency for a change
- Reuters Videos
No casualties were reported, but an official had earlier urged people to stay at least 3 km from the crater, Indonesia's Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation Centre said.Indonesia has nearly 130 active volcanoes, more than any other country. Sinabung had been inactive for centuries before it erupted again in 2010.
- Reuters Videos
After the win in her privacy case against the Mail on Sunday, Meghan, Britain's Duchess of Sussex wants the paper to pick up her legal costs. The Duchess was awarded 450,000 pounds as a provisional payment.She is seeking 1.5 million pounds in legal fees, that's about 2.1 million dollars, with half the amount to be paid within 14 days. The paper has described the sum as "disproportionate."Last month, a judge at London's High Court ruled the tabloid had breached her privacy and infringed her copyright by publishing parts of the five-page letter she wrote to her father Thomas Markle.She had fallen out with him on the eve of her wedding to Prince Harry.Judge Mark Warby ruled in her favor without holding a trial, saying the articles were a clear breach of privacy.The paper argued the duchess had intended the letter’s contents to become public and that it formed part of her media strategy. At a hearing on Tuesday, Warby refused the paper permission to appeal that decision. Warby also agreed to make an interim costs order saying the final sum "may well be considerably more than that".Her legal team has also demanded the paper hands over any copies it has of the letter.And has called for the judge to order the paper to publish a statement on its front page stating she had won her case.With a notice also placed on the MailOnline's home page for "not less than 6 months."
- The Independent
- The Telegraph
- Business Insider
- Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Every time the quarterback has bet on himself and turned down a team offer, he has been rewarded by an increase in value. That’s not changing now.
- CBS News
- National Review
By Warren Buffett’s criteria, current stock prices are their most overvalued at least since World War II. In the chart below, the ratio of stock-market value, represented by the Wilshire 5000 index of all public stocks, to GDP is over 25 percent above the previous all-time high, the peak of the NASDAQ stock market bubble in 2000, which is indexed as 100 in the chart. The seemingly relentless rise of the stock market coincides with central-bank balance sheets that have continued to balloon since the Great Financial Crisis. While the major central banks generally do not target stock-market levels directly, a goal of their policies has been to push financial markets towards riskier investments, which, of course, include stocks. Global financial markets are interlinked, so that the actions of international central banks can affect what goes on in the U.S. and vice versa. The following chart compares securities holdings of the major central banks to the level of the U.S. stock market. There is close correspondence between the stock market-level and central-bank securities holdings, but both would be expected to grow with GDP, so the next chart compares the ratio of stock-market valuation to GDP in the first chart with a similar GDP ratio for central-bank assets. As central-bank holdings of debt climb relative to GDP, stock valuations soar in line. Some analysts, including the Fed, cite low real (after inflation) interest rates as justification for high stock valuations. Interest rates certainly affect the market in the short-term, as recently experienced, but, over the long-term, the correlation between real rates and the stock valuation measure in the chart above is less than half that of the liquidity provided by central bank securities purchases. Stocks’ overvaluation is evident to experienced investors scouring markets for historically reasonable values. Meanwhile, the GameStop saga (and there are plenty of other examples to choose from) are uncomfortably reminiscent of some of the excesses of the dotcom bubble. Just because the stock market is overvalued doesn’t mean it can’t get further overvalued. The next chart compares the U.S. stock market for the last decade with the NASDAQ bubble of the 1990s and the Japanese stock market bubble that crashed in the 1990s. While U.S. stocks currently are at Buffett ratio all-time highs, the NASDAQ and Japanese bubbles rose even further from their starting points. The current bubble may do so as well if central banks keep pouring liquidity into the financial markets. What’s clear from the first chart is that the stock-market downturn from the NASDAQ bubble preceded and contributed to the 2000 recession, as has been acknowledged by Fed chair Jerome Powell. The Japanese bubble’s bursting was also linked to a recession. Stocks are an insignificant holding of the U.S. banking system, however, which was largely unaffected by the NASDAQ bubble, although Japanese banks with extensive crossholdings were crippled for years. Posing a greater financial risk than a stock downturn is that historically high valuations permeate the entire financial system. The U.S. stock market is a bellwether for risky assets globally. Differences between borrowing rates for the U.S. government and high-quality investment grade borrowers have fallen significantly and are quite low historically. Rates for the riskiest sub-investment grade “junk bond” borrowers are at all time lows. Future bond market turmoil from the inevitable reversal of maximally easy monetary conditions may pose a threat to financial stability, but the biggest risk to the financial system is a housing downturn, as happened in the Great Financial Crisis. Real estate is the single largest component of banking assets. Fortunately, as illustrated in the following chart, which compares housing prices to income, real-estate values are about 20 percent lower than the overextended levels from the GFC era. Unfortunately, a recent rapid appreciation of housing prices may alter this favorable balance. The chart below shows housing prices appreciating faster than personal incomes by an annualized 20 percent, the fastest such rate recorded. Of course, there is a large rebound following the pandemic, but, should this rate continue, it won’t be long before housing is flashing critical warning signs. The Fed’s December plan was to hold rates at rock bottom levels until unemployment is minimized and inflation surpasses 2 percent, which they expected to take 3 years. Should housing prices continue to appreciate at recent rates, three more years of maximum stimulus would put them well into the GFC danger zone. The pandemic recovery is moving faster than the Fed and many other forecasters expected. In March 2020, the Fed forecast a 6.5 percent decline for the year. Forecasters surveyed in May by the Philadelphia Fed expected a 5.6 percent decline. 2020’s downturn was 3.5 percent, and these same forecasters expect growth over 4 percent for 2021, so overall recovery is in sight. The financial markets are already beginning to bring forward their expectations of when the Fed will begin raising rates (about two years), and it would not surprise if this start anticipating an even closer date in due course. . More years of maximum stimulus would further inflate the stock market bubble and possibly create an even more lethal housing bubble as well. The Fed has been determined to see unemployment all the way down before any tightening, a worthy goal, but even a mild downturn in the wake of a bursting the stock market bubble would have grave consequences following so closely after the pandemic. Creation of another housing bubble would be catastrophic. Depressed business and labor sectors may not fully recover this year, but all the monetary stimulus in the world won’t convert airplanes, bars, and restaurants into homes, nor flight crew and serving staff into home builders, nor into other booming sectors. When the pandemic permits, cash savings are extremely high, and there is plenty of pent-up demand for these people and their services. Single-minded focus on just one goal ignores monetary policy’s significant time lags and complex effects throughout an economy. Now is the time for the Fed to plan to stabilize policy and the markets, and this must be carefully communicated and executed to minimize volatility such as 2013’s “taper tantrum.” While inflation may pop up in the short-term as recovery continues, long-term inflation has been in forty-year decline, so it is unlikely to pose a major problem. The biggest economic risk is financial instability, and, despite its great initial work stanching the pandemic panic, right now the biggest financial instability risk is. . . the Fed.
- The Daily Beast
WPA PoolMeghan Markle is expected to discuss racism in the U.K. in her sit-down with Oprah Winfrey that airs on Sunday.In a depressing illustration of the problem, which Prince Harry has previously described as “structural” in Britain, a prominent British journalist and frequent critic of Meghan Markle is under fire after launching an extraordinary and racist attack on her, in which he appeared to suggest the fact that he thinks she is “attractive” meant she could not be a victim of racism.Andrew Pierce, a senior editor at the Daily Mail who is a regular guest on British TV and radio shows, was hosting a talk radio show Wednesday when a caller suggested that Meghan had never been “fully accepted because of her skin color.”Pierce, who is white, responded, “Oh God, that one again! Do you look at her… and see a Black woman? Because I don’t. I see a very attractive, a very attractive woman. It’s never occurred to me. I never look at her and think, ‘Gosh she’s Black!’ in the way you look at Oprah Winfrey, you would be in no doubt. When they sit down and do that interview, you will see a Black woman called Oprah Winfrey and you will see a woman who describes [herself] as a woman of color. Her mother is Black, she’s from a mixed-race family of course. But I just don’t think people look at Meghan and think, ‘Oh I hate her, because of her skin color.’ I don’t see it. I don’t buy it.”Just a reminder of who Andrew Pierce is... (sound on) pic.twitter.com/wUKq6deFAY— Royal Suitor (@royal_suitor) March 3, 2021 Pierce, a frequent critic of Markle, had earlier in the day been a guest on British TV show Good Morning Britain. The segment in which he appeared was criticized for featuring five white men talking about Meghan. Pierce attacked Meghan as hypocritical on the show over allegations she bullied staff at Buckingham Palace and also attacked her later in the day on Twitter for wearing jewelry gifted by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.#Meghan wore diamonds from Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia 3 weeks says @thetimes after he ordered murder of #JamalKhashoggi it's not just appalling timing, why is she taking diamonds from Saudi which treats women as 3rd class citizens. So much for her worldwide equality campaign— Andrew Pierce (@toryboypierce) March 3, 2021 The shocking comments by Pierce that appeared to question Meghan’s race based on her appearance echo a revealing article written for Elle magazine in 2015 by Markle in which she said her race made it difficult for her to break through in Hollywood: “I wasn’t Black enough for the Black roles and I wasn’t white enough for the white ones, leaving me somewhere in the middle as the ethnic chameleon who couldn’t book a job.”She added: “Being biracial paints a blurred line that is equal parts staggering and illuminating.“While my mixed heritage may have created a grey area surrounding my self-identification, keeping me with a foot on both sides of the fence, I have come to embrace that. To say who I am, to share where I’m from, to voice my pride in being a strong, confident mixed-race woman.”On Martin Luther King Day 2016, Markle published a moving piece of writing on her now-shuttered blog The Tig that explored the overt and covert racism she and her family have experienced throughout their lives.Pierce’s remarks have generated outraged commentary on social media.This is what Meghan had to deal with. Listen to how Andrew Pierce defines the attractiveness and diversity of a black woman. Heartbreaking. @Oprah @GayleKing @meenaharris @RobinRoberts @MichelleObama @WhoopiGoldberg https://t.co/pDKD4tN6vH— Pam Ranberg (@PamRanberg) March 3, 2021 Nervousness at the palace about what Meghan might reveal in her interview with Oprah intensified today after a new promo clip of Meghan and Harry’s interview with Oprah Winfrey was released. It shows Meghan accuse the British royal family of “perpetuating falsehoods” about her and her husband. Winfrey asks, “How do you feel about the palace hearing you speak your truth today?” Markle responds, “I don’t know how they could expect that after all of this time we would still just be silent if there is an active role that The Firm is playing in perpetuating falsehoods about us. And if that comes with risk of losing things, there is a lot that has been lost already.”Royals often use the term “The Firm” to refer to the monarchy.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
- NBC News
- CBS News
The launch and landing were successful, but the prototype exploded a few minutes after touchdown.
- The Telegraph
QAnon influencers are attacking their movement's hyped March 4 event, calling it a false flag conspiracy theory
QAnon planned for March 4 as its next big date. The movement's influencers are already looking forward to the next goal post.
- Business Insider
Biden cuts 16 million people off from stimulus checks after striking deal with moderate Senate Democrats, study says
- The Week
Some former political appointees say they were promised lump-sum payouts and are now struggling to pay rent.