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    Re: The Shining City Upon a Hill


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    Re: The Shining City Upon a Hill

    Fed to ban US policymakers from owning individual stocks, restrict trading following controversy



    • The Federal Reserve announced sweeping new rules for its top officials Thursday, banning trading in individual stocks and bonds.
    • Those new rules come on the heels of a swelling ethics controversy over whether central bank officials should be able to trade while their policies can, and often do, move markets.
    • Officials will be restricted primarily to owning mutual funds, which they will have to hold for a year and will need permission to buy or sell.


    Responding to a growing controversy over investing practices, the Federal Reserve announced Thursday a wide-ranging ban on officials owning individual stocks and bonds and limits on other activities as well.

    The ban includes top policymakers such as those who sit on the Federal Open Market Committee, along with senior staff. Future investments will have to be confined to diversified assets such as mutual funds.

    Fed officials can no longer have holdings in shares of particular companies, nor can they invest in individual bonds, hold agency securities or derivative contracts. The new rules replace existing regulations that, while somewhat restrictive, still allowed officials such as regional presidents to buy and sell stocks.

    “These tough new rules raise the bar high in order to assure the public we serve that all of our senior officials maintain a single-minded focus on the public mission of the Federal Reserve,” Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said in a statement.

    Under the new rules, the officials will have to provide 45 days’ notice in advance of buying or selling any securities that are still allowed. They also will be required to hold the securities for at least a year, and they cannot buy or sell funds during “heightened financial market stress,” a news release announcing the moves said.

    “I’m hopeful that swift action will allow us to put this behind us and get us back focused on the job ahead,” Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic told CNBC during a “Closing Bell” interview.

    The rules come on the heels of disclosures that multiple Fed officials had been buying and selling stocks at a time when the central bank’s policies were designed to improve market functioning, particularly during the Covid-19 crisis.

    Since the early days of the pandemic, the Fed has purchased more than $4 trillion worth of bonds to bolster the economy through liquidity and low interest rates. It also bought billions in corporate bonds of some of the biggest names on Wall Street in an effort to ensure market functioning.

    “The optics are bad,” Selgin said of the previous Fed rules. “They needed a rule like this. I don’t think we need to feel sorry for them. They’ll do well enough with this restraint in place.”

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    Re: The Shining City Upon a Hill

    Unclogging The Ports Will Not Fix The Supply Chain’s Even Bigger Trucking Crisis


    This week the Biden administration addressed the most visible sign of the nation’s supply chain crisis: opening the Los Angeles and Long Beach, CA ports to work around the clock to unload cargo ships.

    Walmart, Target , FedEX, UPS, Los Angeles and Long Beach Port Authority directors and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and Teamster leaders are all on board with the 24/7 plan.

    This may provide relief at the ports, but once the filled-to-capacity overseas containers reach land, there is another critical snag in the supply chain: a shortage of truckers and trucks to get those goods where they are needed. The current steps are a band-aid for the supply chain crisis, not a cure.

    “Removing the bottleneck in one area – the ports – doesn’t create flow,” says Douglas Kent, the executive vice president of strategy and alliances at the Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM). “It’s commendable that the government is stepping in and trying to assist with port congestion, but other modes of transport that follow from there – rail and trucking – are stressed to breaking too. What they may be hoping for won’t resolve the overarching crisis.”

    Help wanted

    As in all parts of the retail infrastructure, there is a critical workforce shortage for truck drivers. But unlike many retail sales jobs where people can be put to work after a couple of hours of on-job training, the job requirements for trucking requires months of professional training. And too few people are lining up to take on the responsibilities of moving the big-rigs.

    While the new 24/7 plan may open the flow of products coming in from overseas, those products must be moved over land to get to where they are most needed. Effectively, it’s like funneling the gush of water from a firehose into thousands of tiny garden hoses with many crimps in them.

    Warehouses close to ports are filled to capacity. Skilled warehouse workers are in short supply. And trucks and truckers to move the goods are thin on the ground.

    “It seems like everything needed to get the supply chain going is in the wrong place at the wrong time or not available at all,” continues Kent. “The complexity of the orchestration of the supply chain is going to be a continuing issue.”

    A truck driver shortage has been building for the last two decades, according to the American Trucking Associations. Back in 2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated the average age of a truck driver was 55 year old, making him – less than 10% of truckers are women – 58 years old today. That means he was born in 1963, rapidly approaching retirement and at an age when stamina and reflexes are starting to fade.

    Supply-chain expert Tony Nuzio, CEO and founder of ICC Logistics and former editor of Transport De Regulation Report, says even if the ports are open 24/7, getting drivers to pick up a load at 2 o’clock in the morning remains a challenge. And what’s more, with all the truckers concentrated around the California ports that leaves available truckers MIA in other parts of the country.

    Becoming a road warrior

    Young blood is desperately needed to get behind the wheel and move products along. Derek Leathers, CEO of Omaha-based trucking company Werner Enterprises, told NPR, “Being a truck driver was something that carried a certain level of honor with it. They were kind of the ‘knights of the road,’ and we lost that somewhere along the way.”

    Hiring young drivers aged 18 to 21 years is a priority. “The biggest issue with truck drivers is they don’t want to be away from home and family for a week or ten days,” Nuzio shares. At that young age, they may be willing to make the personal sacrifices long-haul trucking demands, even see it as an advantage.

    “Finding truck drivers to make deliveries to consumers and businesses has been an issue for decades. And nobody’s come up with a solution to that,” he continues.

    One way to attract young people to trucking is through technology.

    “Even in the more manual jobs like truck driving and warehouse work, we’re introducing new technologies so people are learning digital capabilities that expand their knowledge base beyond just the physical movement of a truck or goods in the warehouse,” notes ASCM’s Kent.

    “It gives them a way to progress on a different career path that are potentially transferable from trucking to other supply-chain and logistics specialties,” he continues.

    Technology to the rescue

    This brings up another challenge for the supply chain. Just like truck driving has lost allure, logistics and supply chain management is not perceived as a particularly sexy career path for newly minted M.B.A’s, not to mention college, even high school graduates.

    “There has been a mad dash recently to alleviate the supply-chain challenges, but there are so many nodes in the chain that are interlinked across multiple companies and different kinds of transport. Everything has to work together seamlessly and too often it’s not,” shares Sam Lurye, founder of San Francisco-based logistics firm Kargo.

    While attending Stanford, Lurye didn’t set out to pursue a job in supply-chain logistics, but experienced firsthand the shortfalls in it when he worked for a large defense company. That company was developing cutting-edge, 21st century avionics technology but its supply chain management was stuck in the last century.

    “It was jarring to see such an advanced company not understanding where the parts were in its supply network,” Lurye says. “It became clear that very few people were really thinking about the logistics, as compared with people solving issues in fintech or consumer tech. Logistics is the lifeblood of the American economy and we need more people to apply themselves there.”

    He set out to build technology to bring visibility to all parts in the supply chain, grease the wheels figuratively where the kinks are and move product through the network.

    In studying the trucking node in the supply-chain network, he found that wait times at the dock for loading and unloading placed a huge strain on drivers, cutting into their earnings and the time available to drive.

    “Imagine going to the airport and being told they don’t know when your plane will take off,” he shares. “It’s that way for truckers. They arrive at the facility with no idea whether they will be there for 30 minutes, five hours or the entire day.”

    The Kargo technology network calculates the resources of the warehouse, factory or distribution center and provides an expected time of arrival and departure so the trucker can plan their next stops and route.

    “This helps optimize truckers’ work and brings more job satisfaction,” Lurye continues. “The current systems are horribly opaque. Data sharing fundamentally improves trucking efficiency so facilities know when a truck will arrive, giving them time to prepare shipments and be ready to unload and load the truck so it can get on its way.”

  4. #5114
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    Re: The Shining City Upon a Hill

    ... Elevating supply-chain workers

    ASCM’s Kent sees one bright spot coming out of the current supply chain crisis and that is an elevation of logistics and supply chain professionals, from warehouse workers, truck drivers on up the corporate ladder.

    “This is going to bring more attention to the innovations and education necessary to ensure scalable growth at the business level,” he asserts.

    His organization estimates that over the next five years there will be need for some six million logistics and supply chain workers from the warehouse and highway on up, including 2.5 million in management and one million in the IOT side of the supply chain.

    ICC Logistic’s Nuzio argues that the supply chain manager should be given a seat at the C-level table. “Given the amount of money corporations spend on logistics and the critical role it plays for large retailers and manufacturing companies, the supply chain officer needs to be part of the C-suite.”

    ASCM’s Kent concurs. “A company is only as strong as its supply chain,” he says. “It is part of every organization’s strategy and critical to ROI.”

    Getting products out of the ports and onto the store shelves is the current priority but Kent warns that more trouble is waiting on the backend after the holiday shopping rush is over.

    “Forward logistics – getting products into the store or e-commerce warehouse and into the hands of the consumer – is this season’s issue, but come January, we are going to see reverse logistics arise as items are returned.

    Reverse logistics is equally, if not more complicated as forward logistics, given the costs of returns and managing the entire returns process,” he concludes.

  5. #5115
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    Re: The Shining City Upon a Hill

    Quote Originally Posted by SalesServiceGuy View Post
    Unclogging The Ports Will Not Fix The Supply Chain’s Even Bigger Trucking Crisis


    This week the Biden administration addressed the most visible sign of the nation’s supply chain crisis: opening the Los Angeles and Long Beach, CA ports to work around the clock to unload cargo ships.

    Walmart, Target , FedEX, UPS, Los Angeles and Long Beach Port Authority directors and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and Teamster leaders are all on board with the 24/7 plan.

    This may provide relief at the ports, but once the filled-to-capacity overseas containers reach land, there is another critical snag in the supply chain: a shortage of truckers and trucks to get those goods where they are needed.

    California is a HUGE part of the problem. Making those ports 24/7 isn't going to do anything except pile goods up on shore with no way of getting to the interior of the country. And it's not necessarily a "shortage of drivers" in the way they say.....it's a shortage of drivers willing to go to California.

    A lot of "Owner/ Operators" don't want to go anywhere near the state of California becuase of certain rules/taxes/regulations. Whether it's California's new "gig economy" rules for truckers (essentially bans owner/operators), or the heavy regulations on what types of trucks can be driven in California (engine must be from 2007 or newer), and their exhaust/emissions regulations.

    I have two friends that are OTR Truck drivers (owner/operators), and they refuse to deliver or pick up anything from California.
    One of them was pulled over a few years ago in California, and was given a choice of getting his truck "fixed" to meet California's bone-headed requirements at the cost of nearly $50,000.00, or pay the fines for operating a non-compliant vehicle and forfeit the ability to operate in California. He payed the fines, temporarily lost his privilege to operate in California, got the hell outta dodge, and has never returned!
    Omertà

  6. #5116
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    Re: The Shining City Upon a Hill

    Quote Originally Posted by FrohnB View Post
    California is a HUGE part of the problem. Making those ports 24/7 isn't going to do anything except pile goods up on shore with no way of getting to the interior of the country. And it's not necessarily a "shortage of drivers" in the way they say.....it's a shortage of drivers willing to go to California.

    A lot of "Owner/ Operators" don't want to go anywhere near the state of California becuase of certain rules/taxes/regulations. Whether it's California's new "gig economy" rules for truckers (essentially bans owner/operators), or the heavy regulations on what types of trucks can be driven in California (engine must be from 2007 or newer), and their exhaust/emissions regulations.

    I have two friends that are OTR Truck drivers (owner/operators), and they refuse to deliver or pick up anything from California.
    One of them was pulled over a few years ago in California, and was given a choice of getting his truck "fixed" to meet California's bone-headed requirements at the cost of nearly $50,000.00, or pay the fines for operating a non-compliant vehicle and forfeit the ability to operate in California. He payed the fines, temporarily lost his privilege to operate in California, got the hell outta dodge, and has never returned!
    I live in California and you nailed it. As it stands right now AB 5, the gig worker bill, passed 18 Sept 2019 is current injoined from being applied to the trucking industry.That injunction ends at the end of the year. Even so, only union truckers are allowed onto the shipyards. Biden can order the ports to operate 24/7 but the union contracts won't allow the yard dog drivers to do so. The yard dogs move the containers form the docks to the Customs yard for inspection and from Customs to the departure yards where line haul company drivers then hook up and haul them to their destinations. Once again, the drivers for the line haul companies are union drivers. Due to California regulations and the cost of fuel many line haul companies have moved their base of operations out of California. Those that still do pickups in California have a limited number of tractors that meet California's strict requirements as to engines and tractor date of manufacture. Until California flips to a red state, not much is going to change.

  7. #5117
    IT Manager 10,000+ Posts bsm2's Avatar
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    Re: The Shining City Upon a Hill

    Got my 99.00 14inch chromebook from Wal-Mart today so much for the World coming to an End

  8. #5118
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    Re: The Shining City Upon a Hill

    Hertz Order for 100,000 EVs Sends Tesla Value to $1 Trillion


    Hertz Global Holdings Inc., barely four months out of bankruptcy, placed an order for 100,000 Teslas in the first step of an ambitious plan to electrify its rental-car fleet. Tesla Inc.’s shares soared, pushing the automaker’s value past $1 trillion for the first time.

    The cars will be delivered over the next 14 months, and Tesla’s Model 3 sedans will be available to rent at Hertz locations in major U.S. markets and parts of Europe starting in early November, the rental company said in a statement. Customers will have access to Tesla’s network of superchargers, and Hertz is also building its own charging infrastructure.

    It’s the single-largest purchase ever for electric vehicles, or EVs, and represents about $4.2 billion of revenue for Tesla, according to people familiar with the matter who declined to be identified because the information is private. While car-rental companies typically demand big discounts from automakers, the size of the order implies that Hertz is paying close to list prices.

    “How do we democratize access to electric vehicles? That’s a very important part of our strategy,” Mark Fields, who joined Hertz as interim chief executive officer earlier this month, said in an interview. “Tesla is the only manufacturer that can produce EVs at scale.”

    The electrification plan, which eventually will encompass almost all of Hertz’s half-million cars and trucks worldwide, is the company’s first big initiative since emerging from bankruptcy in June. And it signals that Hertz’s new owners, Knighthead Capital Management and Certares Management, are intent on shaking up an industry dominated by a handful of large players who are typically slow to change.

    By locking up so much of Tesla’s production -- the order is equivalent to about one-tenth of what the automaker can currently produce in a year -- Hertz may box out rivals from copycatting the strategy. Hertz also is breaking with tradition by paying full price for well-appointed cars rather than the typical base-model, heavily discounted sedans that populate rental lots.

    The discussions with Tesla go back months, to when Knighthead and Certares were putting together an offer for then-bankrupt Hertz, Fields said. Also, the relationship between the two companies isn’t exclusive: Hertz can buy EVs from other automakers and rival car-rental companies can order from Tesla, provided it has available capacity.

    “We want to work with every manufacturer to help them launch EVs and drive this secular shift to electrification,” Fields said in the interview.

    In 2020, General Motors Co. was Hertz’s biggest car and truck supplier, followed by Nissan Motor Co. and Ford Motor Co.

    Teslas, with zero tailpipe emissions, will appeal to rental customers who want a green option or those eager to try out a battery-powered vehicle. Hertz said it hired Tom Brady, the seven-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback, to star in ads showcasing the new Teslas. It also created a dedicated EV website offering free charging through the end of January.

    Under Fields, who was CEO of Ford for almost three years until May 2017, the company is looking to EVs as part of a commitment to clean energy. Teslas also can be less expensive to maintain and refuel as vehicles with internal combustion engines, and they typically don’t lose as much value in the resale market.

    Initially, the charging network Hertz is building at its own locations will be for customers only, Fields said.

    Along with the Tesla rollout, Hertz, the biggest U.S. car-rental company after Enterprise Holdings Inc., is embarking on a broader revamp of its business around mobility and digitization. One component of that will be expedited rental bookings on the Hertz app.

    Wild Journey

    Electrification is the latest turn in Hertz’s wild journey through the Covid-19 pandemic. When demand for rental cars collapsed in early 2020, the company, whose brands also include Dollar, Thrifty and Firefly, was forced to file for bankruptcy and began liquidating its fleet.

    Now, 17 months later, Estero, Florida-based Hertz is thriving thanks to a sharp rebound in travel and the global shortage of new cars. Day traders have embraced it as a meme stock.

    As of June 30, Hertz had $1.8 billion in cash and its debt-to-equity ratio, a key measure of financial health, had improved to 2.4 from almost 10 at the end of 2019, according to an Oct. 15 regulatory filing.

    Knighthead, a distressed-debt hedge fund, and Certares, a private equity firm specializing in travel, won the bankruptcy auction for Hertz in May with a $6 billion bid. It already looks like a bargain: As of Monday, the company had a market value of $12.8 billion in over-the-counter trading.

  9. #5119
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    Re: The Shining City Upon a Hill

    Quote Originally Posted by SalesServiceGuy View Post
    Hertz Order for 100,000 EVs Sends Tesla Value to $1 Trillion


    Hertz Global Holdings Inc., barely four months out of bankruptcy, placed an order for 100,000 Teslas in the first step of an ambitious plan to electrify its rental-car fleet. Tesla Inc.’s shares soared, pushing the automaker’s value past $1 trillion for the first time.

    The cars will be delivered over the next 14 months, and Tesla’s Model 3 sedans will be available to rent at Hertz locations in major U.S. markets and parts of Europe starting in early November, the rental company said in a statement. Customers will have access to Tesla’s network of superchargers, and Hertz is also building its own charging infrastructure.

    It’s the single-largest purchase ever for electric vehicles, or EVs, and represents about $4.2 billion of revenue for Tesla, according to people familiar with the matter who declined to be identified because the information is private. While car-rental companies typically demand big discounts from automakers, the size of the order implies that Hertz is paying close to list prices.

    “How do we democratize access to electric vehicles? That’s a very important part of our strategy,” Mark Fields, who joined Hertz as interim chief executive officer earlier this month, said in an interview. “Tesla is the only manufacturer that can produce EVs at scale.”

    The electrification plan, which eventually will encompass almost all of Hertz’s half-million cars and trucks worldwide, is the company’s first big initiative since emerging from bankruptcy in June. And it signals that Hertz’s new owners, Knighthead Capital Management and Certares Management, are intent on shaking up an industry dominated by a handful of large players who are typically slow to change.

    By locking up so much of Tesla’s production -- the order is equivalent to about one-tenth of what the automaker can currently produce in a year -- Hertz may box out rivals from copycatting the strategy. Hertz also is breaking with tradition by paying full price for well-appointed cars rather than the typical base-model, heavily discounted sedans that populate rental lots.

    The discussions with Tesla go back months, to when Knighthead and Certares were putting together an offer for then-bankrupt Hertz, Fields said. Also, the relationship between the two companies isn’t exclusive: Hertz can buy EVs from other automakers and rival car-rental companies can order from Tesla, provided it has available capacity.

    “We want to work with every manufacturer to help them launch EVs and drive this secular shift to electrification,” Fields said in the interview.

    In 2020, General Motors Co. was Hertz’s biggest car and truck supplier, followed by Nissan Motor Co. and Ford Motor Co.

    Teslas, with zero tailpipe emissions, will appeal to rental customers who want a green option or those eager to try out a battery-powered vehicle. Hertz said it hired Tom Brady, the seven-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback, to star in ads showcasing the new Teslas. It also created a dedicated EV website offering free charging through the end of January.

    Under Fields, who was CEO of Ford for almost three years until May 2017, the company is looking to EVs as part of a commitment to clean energy. Teslas also can be less expensive to maintain and refuel as vehicles with internal combustion engines, and they typically don’t lose as much value in the resale market.

    Initially, the charging network Hertz is building at its own locations will be for customers only, Fields said.

    Along with the Tesla rollout, Hertz, the biggest U.S. car-rental company after Enterprise Holdings Inc., is embarking on a broader revamp of its business around mobility and digitization. One component of that will be expedited rental bookings on the Hertz app.

    Wild Journey

    Electrification is the latest turn in Hertz’s wild journey through the Covid-19 pandemic. When demand for rental cars collapsed in early 2020, the company, whose brands also include Dollar, Thrifty and Firefly, was forced to file for bankruptcy and began liquidating its fleet.

    Now, 17 months later, Estero, Florida-based Hertz is thriving thanks to a sharp rebound in travel and the global shortage of new cars. Day traders have embraced it as a meme stock.

    As of June 30, Hertz had $1.8 billion in cash and its debt-to-equity ratio, a key measure of financial health, had improved to 2.4 from almost 10 at the end of 2019, according to an Oct. 15 regulatory filing.

    Knighthead, a distressed-debt hedge fund, and Certares, a private equity firm specializing in travel, won the bankruptcy auction for Hertz in May with a $6 billion bid. It already looks like a bargain: As of Monday, the company had a market value of $12.8 billion in over-the-counter trading.


    The purchase of electric cars is propped up by the government. This is a bad move by Hertz.



    The more you look behind corporate and government press releases these days, the more you learn about their mutual benefit society. We wrote Tuesday about the many subsidies for Tesla’s electric cars, but it turns out there’s also a pot of subsidy gold behind the Hertz decision to buy 100,000 Teslas for its car-rental fleet.


    Tesla CEO Elon Musk says he isn’t giving Hertz a discount on the reported $4.2 billion order. But he doesn’t need to because the House reconciliation spending bill includes a 30% tax credit for “qualified commercial electric vehicles.”
    Embrace the process, not the outcome.

  10. #5120
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    Re: The Shining City Upon a Hill

    Quote Originally Posted by BillyCarpenter View Post
    The purchase of electric cars is propped up by the government. This is a bad move by Hertz.
    Hertz? What do they do? The Shining City Upon a Hill
    I own 2 cars and a truck.. WTF would I want to RENT a car, that's for losers.

    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk

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