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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 76,325

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Metra says coronavirus will cost it $605 million in lost revenues through 2021

IL: Metra says coronavirus will cost it $605 million in lost revenues — $70 million more than expected — through 2021
Metra said Wednesday that because of the coronavirus it expects to lose $70 million more through 2021 than it originally projected.

Mary Wisniewski
Chicago Tribune (TNS)

Metra said Wednesday that because of the coronavirus it expects to lose $70 million more through 2021 than it originally projected.

The commuter railroad, which is heavily dependent on passengers going to and from work, has seen ridership drops of as much as 97% as a result of the pandemic and the state’s stay-at-home order. While ridership has crept up in recent weeks, officials say the railroad continues to suffer heavy shortfalls in both ticket sales and regional sales tax revenues, which help pay for transit.

Metra officials now expect losses tied to the coronavirus to reach $605 million through 2021, up from their original projection of a $535 million loss in April. The expected shortfall has increased because ridership has not come back as fast as initially expected, officials said.

All three of the metro area’s transit agencies have lost millions of dollars as a result of ridership drops, and expect to receive about $1.4 billion in federal aid under the coronavirus relief package. But the ridership losses for CTA and Pace have been less extreme than Metra’s, with CTA down about 80% and Pace down about 70% from normal levels. ..........(more)


Investors could be looking at a 'lost decade' in the stock market, biggest hedge fund warns

(MarketWatch) That’s part of the reason why Bridgewater Associates, the world’s biggest hedge fund, issued a warning to clients this week that equity investors could be facing a “lost decade” in terms of returns.

“Globalization, perhaps the largest driver of developed world profitability over the past few decades, has already peaked,” Bridgewater said in a note obtained by Bloomberg News. “Now the U.S.-China conflict and global pandemic are further accelerating moves by multinationals to reshore and duplicate supply chains, with a focus on reliability as opposed to just cost optimization.”

Intel Corp. INTC, -0.67% and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing TSM, -0.05% were cited in the note as two examples of high-profile technology companies that plan to build their production facilities in the U.S., despite the higher costs that will pinch margins.

It’s been a rough stretch for Ray Dalio’s Bridgewater, which has earned an estimated $58.5 billion for clients since its launch in 1975. The fund took a 15% hit in assets under management during March and April, dropping to $138 billion from $163 billion at the end of February. ........(more)


Air travel during the pandemic: what should I know - and how safe is it?

Air travel during the pandemic: what should I know – and how safe is it?
As many countries begin to ease travel restrictions, we spoke to three experts for their views on the risks of travelling by plane

Aditi Malhotra
Fri 19 Jun 2020 06.00 EDT

(Guardian UK) As countries around the world gradually allow businesses to reopen, domestic and international air travel is also restarting. China and US, the world’s two largest air travel markets, for example, have recently eased travel restrictions, with an eye toward reviving trade and tourism.

But in the absence of a coronavirus vaccine, cure, or uniformly-implemented health and safety guidelines, travelers are bound to contemplate the risks of air travel. What must they know if they do decide to get on an airplane, and what can they expect at the airport?

What are the risks of transmission when it comes to air travel?

Qingyan Chen: The coronavirus can be transmitted by respiratory droplets, which can be classified as large and small.

Large droplets, expelled by coughing, can travel up to 6ft. In an air cabin, these can land on surfaces like arm rests, tray tables, and seat bags, putting passengers at risk of getting sick – if they touch droplets from a person infected with coronavirus.

There is also the risk of transmission if, say, an infected passenger coughs into their hand and then shakes another person’s hand without hand-washing.

Studies show small droplets can be air-borne in the aircraft cabin from several minutes to several hours if passengers cough or talk. ................(more)


Stock-market legend who called 3 bubbles says this one is the 'Real McCoy,' this is 'crazy stuff'

Stock-market legend who called 3 financial bubbles says this one is the ‘Real McCoy,’ this is ‘crazy stuff’

Published: June 18, 2020 at 3:44 p.m. ET
By Mark DeCambre

‘My confidence is rising quite rapidly that this is, in fact, becoming the fourth, real McCoy, bubble of my investment career. The great bubbles can go on a long time and inflict a lot of pain but at least I think we know now that we’re in one. And the chutzpah involved in having a bubble at a time of massive economic and financial uncertainty is substantial.’

(MarketWatch) That is Jeremy Grantham, co-founder and chief investment strategist at Boston-based money manager Grantham, Mayo, Van Otterloo & Co., offering up a stark warning to speculators driving the stock market to new heights amid the greatest pandemic of the past century.

“This is really the real McCoy, this is crazy stuff,” said Grantham during a Wednesday afternoon interview on CNBC that appeared to knock some of the stuffing out of a market that had been drifting along listlessly on Wednesday.

Gratham painted a very dire picture of the investment landscape in the U.S., suggesting that rampant trading by out-of-work investors and speculative fervor around bankrupt companies, including car-rental company Hertz Global Holdings Inc. HTZ, -10.00%, reflects a market that may be the most bubblicious he’s seen in his storied career. .............(more)


'Power to the People' mural painted on Woodward Avenue in downtown Detroit

(Detroit Free Press) A renowned artist is leading a team of local teens in designing a new mural on Woodward Avenue in downtown Detroit.

The Spirit Plaza mural is scheduled to be unveiled at 10 a.m. on Friday, the last day of the City of Detroit's Juneteenth commemorative week. The block-long mural titled "Power to the People" will be painted on the street in the direction of Spirit Plaza.

Twenty student artists from Detroit Public Schools Community District and Detroit Heals Detroit are working with renowned artist Hubert Massey on the mural.

"This is monumental for the city," said Rochelle Riley, Detroit director of arts and culture. "People forget that the civil rights movement was big in Detroit, as well as Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and Montgomery. This continues work that has been going on for over a century here.

"To know that those kids from the '60s who used to shout 'Power to the people,' their voices are now being heard from these kids who chose this from all of the different artists messages that came in." ...............(more)


Florida Man Takes 5-Foot Alligator Into Key Lime Pie Store

COCOA BEACH, Florida – A Florida man was spotted picking up his pet alligator named “Sweetie” and bringing it into a Florida Key Lime Pie store in Cocoa Beach, Florida.

A video of the Florida man casually picking up the alligator near Ron Jon Surf Shop was posted online on June 8, 2020, and has since gone viral with over 6 million views.

“Sweetie sends her love and gratitude to all of her fans. Thank you!” the Florida Kely Lime Pie company wrote on its Facebook page.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, pet alligators are allowed in Florida if the person obtains a Class II Personal Pet License which requires not convictions of certain wildlife-related violations and the person must demonstrate 1 year and 1,000 hours of substantial practical experience in the handling, husbandry, and care of alligators or other crocodilian species. ............(more)


Why Car-Free Streets May Be Here to Stay

Rifles, baseball bats and racial slurs: Armed counter-protesters confront BLM protest in Ohio

Hundreds of armed counter-protesters confront Black Lives Matter rally in Ohio
Counter-protesters harassed a group of peaceful demonstrators with rifles, baseball bats and racial slurs in mostly white town of Bethel, Ohio

(Guardian UK) A small and peaceful demonstration in an Ohio town to support the Black Lives Matter movement at the weekend was overwhelmed when hundreds of counter-protesters – some armed with rifles or baseball bats – harassed the group.

Alicia Gee, a 36-year-old substitute school teacher, expected about 50 people to attend a demonstration – the first protest she had ever organized, she told the Cincinnati Enquirer, but almost twice as many turned out.

The rally was intended to show solidarity with the minority black community in Bethel, Ohio, a mostly white town of about 2,800 people 30 miles east of Cincinnati, she added.

But instead the small group of protesters was overwhelmed when roughly 700 counter-protesters turned up to show their opposition to the kind of rallies and marches against racism and police brutality sweeping the nation since the killing of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis in May. ............(more)


Pandemic Travel Patterns Hint at Our Urban Future

Pandemic Travel Patterns Hint at Our Urban Future
A snapshot of global transportation data during six months of coronavirus reveals diverging paths for cities.

By Laura Bliss, Jeremy C.F. Lin and Marie Patino
June 18, 2020

(Bloomberg) From skies to streets to subways, the coronavirus pandemic has brought dramatic and unequal changes to the ways that global societies move. Travel demand plummeted as stay-at-home orders and economic shutdowns swept the world, creating conditions that varied by geography, job status, income, race, and other factors.

These patterns reveal the deep socioeconomic inequalities built into the world’s cities, which have profoundly affected the pandemic’s uneven death toll to date. Now travel is bouncing back, even as coronavirus continues to claim lives and with further outbreaks likely to come. The lessons of the great transportation freeze of 2020 could guide future policies as many cities reopen and attempt to build a healthier future.

Nearly six months on, snapshots of global data paint a picture of where, how, and why cities stopped moving, and what the future may hold as the coronavirus travel freeze begins to thaw.

Abrupt departures

Travel restrictions all but halted flights from China in the early months of 2020, but that didn’t stop the disease from spreading out of Wuhan, site of the first urban outbreak. As infections cropped up in global cities in January and February, social distancing measures and lockdowns caused overall surface travel to dive, first gradually, then suddenly. ...........(more)


Update on the WTF Collapse of Demand for Gasoline, Jet Fuel, and Diesel

Update on the WTF Collapse of Demand for Gasoline, Jet Fuel, and Diesel
by Wolf Richter • Jun 17, 2020 •

No “V-shaped recovery back to normal.”
By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET.

Demand for gasoline collapsed in a stunning and historic manner, starting in mid-March when the measures to slow down the spread of the pandemic took effect, when working from home became the new thing, and when millions of people lost their jobs on a weekly basis and stopped driving to work. Gasoline consumption, after bottoming out in the week ended April 3 with a year-over-year plunge of -48%, to 6.7 million barrels per day, the lowest in the EIA’s data going back to 1991, the great recovery began – and fizzled.

Gasoline consumption in the week ended June 12, at 7.87 million barrels per day, was still down 20.7% year-over-year, according to data reported by the EIA today. It has been about the same 20% year-over-year decline four weeks in a row:

The EIA measures weekly consumption in terms of product supplied, such as by refineries and blenders, and not by retail sales at gas stations.

The level of gasoline consumption of 7.87 million barrels per day is still below any pre-pandemic consumption levels since the week in September 2001 after the 9/11 attacks. The WTF moment came in late March and April, when gasoline consumption collapsed. Even now, gasoline consumption remains below the low points during the Great Recession. And this is the beginning of driving season! ...............(more)


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