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Price cap on Russian oil could shake up the market – CNN

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A version of this story first appeared in CNN Business’ Before the Bell newsletter. Not a subscriber? You can sign up right here. You can listen to an audio version of the newsletter by clicking the same link.

London (CNN Business)Europe and the United States have barred the import of Russian oil to cut off a crucial revenue source for the Kremlin. But the plan to pile pain on President Vladimir Putin, forcing him to reconsider his war in Ukraine, hasn’t worked.

Russia’s government is making just as much money from energy exports as it was before the invasion. Meanwhile, inflation is surging globally, adding to political pressure on heads of state such as US President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron.
That’s forcing leaders from top economies who have gathered in Germany for a G7 meeting to consider a new route: slapping price caps on Russian crude.
“The goal here is to starve Russia, starve Putin of his main source of cash and force down the price of Russian oil to help blunt the impact of Putin’s war at the pump,” a senior US administration official told CNN.
Why it’s needed: European customers have pared imports from Russia even before the bloc’s partial embargo takes effect. But an uptick in exports to Asia has helped make up for a large chunk of those losses. China — taking advantage of huge price discounts — imported 2 million barrels of Russian oil per day last month for the first time. India’s imports also spiked, hovering near 900,000 barrels per day in May.
Russian oil export revenues increased by $1.7 billion in May to about $20 billion, according to the International Energy Agency. That’s well above the 2021 average of roughly $15 billion.
The United States could punish countries that continue to do business with Russia. But that would cause further chaos in oil markets, something leaders are desperate to avoid as gasoline prices remain close to record highs.
If China and India had to find replacements for Russian crude, the price of oil could easily top $200 per barrel, Darwei Kung, portfolio manager for commodities at DWS, told me. It’s currently trading above $112 per barrel.
With price caps, barrels of Russian oil could theoretically still make their way onto the global market, thereby avoiding a further supply crunch — but Moscow wouldn’t be able to keep raking in hefty profits.
The Biden administration has been lobbying for this option in recent days, and German officials have indicated an openness to discussing it. But key details remain murky.
What’s missing: How, when and by how much the price of Russian oil could be capped remains to be seen. Officials said the precise mechanism for accomplishing the cap was still being worked out. It would also need broad international support to be effective.
One method could be barring companies based in G7 countries from providing insurance for oil cargoes if buyers paid above a certain price.
Still, Kung warned that adding complexity to energy markets could heighten friction and make transactions more difficult, driving prices higher than they would be otherwise.
“The more complicated the system is, the more likely there are challenges for it,” Kung said. “[The] market system works because in a way it’s very simple. It’s very efficient.”

Stocks rise as investors dial down Fed angst

The stock market has been driven this year by what investors think the Federal Reserve will do next, and whether they believe the central bank will be able to get inflation under control quickly.
As the second quarter comes to a close, some optimism is creeping through. The S&P 500 rallied sharply on Friday, notching its biggest one-day percentage gain in more than two years and snapping a three-week losing streak. The index is up again in premarket trading on Monday.
The jump followed the release of the University of Michigan’s final consumer sentiment reading for June, which dropped to a record low.
But there was a smidgen of good news. Long-run expectations for inflation fell back from a mid-month reading of 3.3% to 3.1%, a slight improvement.
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell had said the initial June reading was “eye-catching.”
That could mean the Fed doesn’t need to raise interest rates by another three-quarters of a percentage point at its next meeting. A half percentage point hike would still be aggressive, but wouldn’t be quite as seismic.
Much will hinge on upcoming data, however. The Fed’s favorite measure of inflation arrives on Thursday. If it’s higher than economists predict, that could once again shake up the calculus.

What overturning Roe v. Wade means for the economy

The US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade is sending political shockwaves across the country as politicians and activists plot their next steps and protesters take to the streets.
That may not seem like a story for journalists who cover the economy and markets. But ending the constitutional right to abortion will have economic consequences, my CNN Business colleague Anneken Tappe reports.
Families that aren’t prepared to raise a child could face financial hardship, while mothers compelled to give birth could struggle to access higher education or move up the socioeconomic ladder. This would affect the labor force and economic output, and could increase the need for government support, according to economists.
“This decision will cause immediate economic pain in 26 states where abortion bans are most likely and where people already face lower wages, less worker power and limited access to health care,” Heidi Shierholz, president of the progressive Economic Policy Institute, said in a statement released Friday. “The fall of Roe will be an additional economic barricade.”
The sentiment has been echoed by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. In testimony before the Senate, she said that restricting women’s reproductive rights would have “very damaging effects on the economy.”
“Roe v. Wade and access to reproductive health care, including abortion, helped lead to increased labor force participation,” Yellen said. “It enabled many women to finish school. That increased their earning potential. It allowed women to plan and balance their families and careers.”

Up next

Nike (NKE) reports results after US markets close.
Also today: Durable goods orders for May post at 8:30 a.m. ET.
Coming tomorrow: Investors will comb through US consumer confidence data for June for signs inflation could cause Americans to spend less.

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Ageism: Does it Exist or Is It a Form of ‘I’m a Victim!’ Mentality? [ Part 4 ]

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How you think is everything.

This is the fourth and final column of a 4-part series dealing with ageism while job hunting.

The standard advice given by “experts” to overcome ageism revolves contorting yourself to “fit in,” “be accepted,” and “be invited.” Essentially, their advice is to conceal your age and hope the employer throughout the hiring process won’t figure it out and hire you.

It takes a lot of time and energy to be accepted into places where you aren’t welcome, and it can be heartbreaking.

Finding an employer who accepts you for who you are, regardless of age, gender, race, or whatever, is the key to happy employment. There’s no better feeling than the feeling you’re welcomed. Therefore, my advice to job seekers is: Be your best self and let the chips fall where they may. Doing your best and accepting the outcome will give you a Zen-like sense of freedom.

An attempt to infer someone’s biases based on their actions is usually just an assumption based on what you want to believe. If it benefits you to think someone is practicing ageism (e.g., a convenient excuse), then you’ll believe you’re the victim of ageism.

The fact is you don’t know what the hiring manager’s behind the scene looks like. The entire company’s leadership team judges their hiring decisions. Your fit with current employees needs to be considered. Budget constraints exist. Let’s not forget the biggest hiring influencer, and their past hiring mistakes, which they don’t want to repeat.

While reviewing resumes for a senior accounting position, the hiring manager thinks, “The Centennial College graduates I’ve hired didn’t last six months. While Bob has plenty of experience, he’s a Centennial College alumnus. Hiring another six months quitter won’t look good on me.” “Karen has worked for FrobozzCo International. If I recall, the company reportedly funneled money into offshore accounts to avoid paying taxes. I wonder if Karen was involved.”

Association experiences contribute to most biases. You know the saying, “If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.” If you met five rude redheads in a row, the next one will also be rude, right? The human brain is wired to look for patterns and predict future behavior based on those patterns. Call it a survival skill. When we first meet someone, we try to predict what behavior to expect from them using past experiences.

This quick assessment is why hiring managers decide, within as little as two minutes, whether a candidate is worth their time. While it’s important to try and make a good first impression (READ: image), you have no control over how others interpret it.

Bottom-line: You can’t control another person’s biases.

Based on how I hire, and conversations with hiring managers, I believe the following to be true. An employer is more interested in the results you can deliver for them than your age or whatever “ism” you believe is against you.

Can employers afford to pass up qualified candidates who could contribute to their bottom line? Of course not! (Okay, it’s “unlikely.”) You’ll be in demand if you can demonstrate a track record of adding value to your employers.

Having the belief that your age prevents you from finding the employment you want is a paralyzing belief. Ageism exists for all ages, which I think many people use as a crutch.

“They said I was overqualified. That’s ageism!”

“They hired someone younger than me. That’s ageism!”

“They said I wasn’t experienced enough. That’s ageism!”

Get over yourself!

Employers can hire whomever they deem to be the best fit for their business. It’s self-righteous to judge someone else’s biases (READ: preferences), especially when their biases don’t serve your interests. Let’s say, for example, you’re 52 years old, and the hiring manager prefers candidates between 45 and 55 (Yes, I know such hiring managers), and they hire you. Would you call out the hiring manager’s bias that worked in your favor?

If you believe your age is an obstacle, here’s my advice: Break the fourth wall. If you sense your age is the elephant in the room, put your age on the table and see what happens. When interviewing, I always mention, early in, that I’ve been managing call centers since 1996. I then let my interviewer do the mental math and wrestle with any age bias they may have. As I mentioned in my last column, the employer most likely Googled you and has a good idea of your age. Therefore, since you were vetted to determine if you were interview-worthy, tell yourself that your age is irrelevant.

When interviewing, don’t focus on “isms.” Doing so makes them your reality. Instead, focus on the problems the position you’re interviewing for is meant to solve.

______________________________________________________________

Nick Kossovan, a well-seasoned veteran of the corporate landscape, offers advice on searching for a job. You can send Nick your questions at artoffindingwork@gmail.com

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CMHC reports annual pace of housing starts up 1.1 per cent in July – CP24

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The Canadian Press


Published Tuesday, August 16, 2022 9:02AM EDT


Last Updated Tuesday, August 16, 2022 9:02AM EDT

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. says the annual pace of housing starts in July edged higher compared with June despite a slowdown in urban starts.

The housing agency says the seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts in July was 275,329 units, an increase of 1.1 per cent from June.

The annual rate of urban starts was down 0.8 per cent at 254,371 units in July, while multi-unit urban starts fell 0.3 per cent to 195,987 units.

The pace of single-detached urban starts dropped 2.3 per cent to 58,384 units.

Meanwhile, rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 20,958 units.

The six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates was 264,426 units in July, up from 257,862 in June.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 16, 2022.

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Recall: Baby rocker, swing recalled over strangulation risks – CTV News

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Two infant products, manufactured by baby gear company 4moms, are being recalled due to strangulation hazards, according to a consumer product notice issued by Health Canada.

Health Canada says the recall involves certain MamaRoo baby swings and the RockaRoo baby rockers.

Those products impacted by the recall include MamaRoo infant swing set models that use a 3-point harness including models 4M-005, 1026 and 1037, according to the recall notice.

The MamaRoo model that uses a 5-point harness is not included in the recall, according to Health Canada.

The affected RockaRoo baby rocker’s model number is 4M-012. The model numbers can be found on the bottom of the products.

Both products have restraint straps that can dangle below the seat, and infants who are not seated can become “entangled in the straps, posing a strangulation hazard,” Health Canada said in the recall notice.

“This issue does not present a hazard to infants placed in the seat of either product,” the agency noted.

According to the recall, there have been no reports of strangulation or injury submitted to the company as of Aug. 9.

“Consumers with infants who can crawl should immediately stop using the recalled products and place them in an area where crawling infants cannot access,” reads the statement.

Consumers who have purchased one of the recalled products can register on the 4moms recall registration website or by phone at 877-870-7390. After doing this, 4moms will send a strap fastener to consumers with instructions on how to install.

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