Blog: Brexit, supply issues, inflation. It’s going to be a very pricey Christmas… – Independent.ie

With inflation at a 14-year high, Irish consumers are facing one of their priciest Christmases yet. Prices in Ireland rose by 5.1pc year-on-year in October — the highest level since the boom years. In some areas, the rate of inflation is even higher — the price of flights and home heating oil has almost doubled. “Anything over 3pc inflation starts to create problems,” said economist Jim Power.

lthough some expect high inflation to taper off in time, these record prices have kicked in just ahead of the Christmas rush — pushing up the cost of the festive season and putting many under huge financial pressure.

So what can you expect to pay more for this Christmas — and how might you avoid the worst of rising prices over the festive season?

 

1 Turkey and ham

You could pay 5pc or 6pc more for your turkey or ham this Christmas than last year because of the rising costs faced by producers, according to Dave Lang, head of development at Associated Craft Butchers of Ireland. “Energy costs have gone through the roof,” said Lang. “Refrigeration costs have gone up too — as has the price of feed for turkeys and pigs.”

Some of these higher input costs will make their way through to the prices consumers pay for their food. “Locally, growers are seeing turkey feed prices up about 20pc year-on-year,” said Kieran Rumley, executive director of Love Irish Food. “These growers will have got chicks in from June — and they’ll have to recover the cost.”

A shortage of labour in the UK could also see Irish consumers pay more for fresh turkeys. “In the UK, the slaughtering side of the business is being hampered by lack of labour — that’s leading to a shortage of poultry in the UK, specifically turkey,” said Rumley. “That will feed through to [the availability of] frozen turkeys here and fuel demand for home-grown turkeys.”

You can expect to pay around €60 and upwards for a 7kg fresh whole turkey (which should be plenty to feed a family of six for two days) this year, depending on the type of turkey and where you’re buying it from. You’ll usually pay more for a Bronze (referring to the breed), organic or free-range turkey.

A 6kg organic turkey from an organic farm could set you back €100, for example, while a 7kg free-range Bronze turkey could cost €80 to €95. From December 19, you can buy a 5kg fresh free-range turkey from Dunnes Stores for €40.

To cut down on the price of your Christmas dinner, don’t buy more turkey, ham or veg than you need.

“You don’t need to buy a whole turkey — you could just buy 2kg of turkey breast [depending on how many you’re feeding],” said Lang. “You don’t have to buy a whole ham either — buy half a ham or a corner of ham and so on.”

A frozen turkey is another option if trying to keep costs down.

Go easy on the turkey sandwiches on Christmas night and St Stephen’s Day too: bread prices jumped 4pc in the year to October — one of the highest inflation rates recorded for food that month.

 

2 Cranberry sauce

“Condiments like ham glaze, cranberry sauce and so on could be more expensive this year,” said Lumley. “A lot of these items come in from the UK and will be strongly impacted by Brexit, so there could be extra charges.”

Remember you don’t have to buy a jar of ham glaze — you can make your own ham glaze very cheaply and easily. 

Shopping locally can help you avoid Brexit charges. “A lot of retailers have switched to locally produced products,” said Rumley. “Shoppers buying traditional Christmas items in supermarkets today will find differences in the brands on the shelves, more local products and for items imported, pricier products.”

 

3 Sweets

Confectionery imported from the UK could prove pricier this year. “For retailers bringing in confectionery [from the UK], there will be additional costs associated with that — especially if confectionery is being brought in early as it will need to be warehoused, though retailers will try to offset these additional costs through efficiencies elsewhere,” said Rumley. 

 

4 Christmas stamps 

The cost of sending a Christmas card overseas has almost doubled over the last six years. In Christmas 2015, it cost €1.05 to post a Christmas card abroad — today, it costs €2. It costs €1.10c to post a Christmas card within Ireland today — up from 70c in 2015. Time for virtual Christmas cards perhaps?

 

5 Flying to the relatives

You’ll likely pay through the nose to fly abroad to visit relatives this Christmas — the price of flights jumped by about 72pc in the year to October, according to the CSO.

 

6 Christmas trees

The ongoing global supply chain issues could see you pay more for an artificial Christmas tree this year than last. A shortage of artificial trees from Asia — as well as a big jump in the cost of transporting them here — is pushing up the prices of some artificial trees by almost 50pc, according to some vendors.

Consider buying a real Christmas tree instead — you may even get one for the same price as last year.

“We took a decision not to put up the prices of our trees,” said Christy Kavanagh, who runs Kavanagh Christmas Trees in Dublin and Wicklow. “There’s no shortage of real trees this year.” Sales of real Christmas trees are up 10pc on last year, according to Kavanagh — who attributed the increased demand to a desire among people to buy locally and sustainably.

Some of the most popular types of real Christmas trees are the Noble Fir and Nordmann Fir, according to Kavanagh. You’ll pay between €50 and €70 for either of these trees at Kavanagh Christmas Trees, depending on whether you’re buying a five-foot, six-foot or seven-foot tree. By comparison, you’ll often easily pay €150 for a seven-foot artificial tree in a shop — though assuming you reuse the artificial tree, you might never need to buy another one.

 

7 Trip to Santa

A visit to Santa could cost a family of five more than €100 this year — and the cost of some of the more popular Santa ‘experiences’ have increased in recent years.

For example, a trip to Santa in Christmas Island in Wicklow cost €59.50 (including a €1.50 booking fee) in 2015 for a family of two adults, two children and a baby less than six-months-old. Today, such a family would pay €100.95 (including €4.95 booking fee) to visit Santa in Christmas Island.

It costs between €23.95 and €26.95 per child (aged one plus) and between €14.95 and €17.95 per adult to visit Santa in Rathwood in Carlow this year. In 2015, it cost €15 per child and €10 per adult.

 

8 Warm home

Everyone likes to be cosy at Christmas — however, with the price of home heating oil up a staggering 71pc in the year to October, you’ll think twice about turning on the heating this Christmas if you rely on kerosene to heat your home. There have also been big price hikes in natural gas, solid fuels and electricity over the last year.

 

9 Christmas tipple

Go easy pouring the wine over Christmas dinner this year — prices are up about 3pc over the last year. Spirit prices are up too.

 

1Meals out & hotel stays

The jury’s out on whether Ireland could face another lockdown in the coming weeks — if it does, hotel stays and Christmas meals may not happen. Even if Covid doesn’t disrupt such plans, meals out and hotel stays will likely be pricier.

“Hotel accommodation and eating out in restaurants have already become more expensive since these services opened up again after the pandemic,” said economist Alan McQuaid. “I expect that trend to continue well into next year.”

 

A Pricier New Year?

Consumers are likely to be battling with higher prices well beyond Christmas.

“Holidays, whether it is home or abroad, will be dearer in 2022 than in 2021,” said McQuaid.

Irish people are likely to pay more for rent, houses, cars and public services (such as health and education) in 2022, according to Power. The price of the weekly shop could creep up further too.

“Food price inflation has been very subdued for decades but this could change due to Brexit, higher costs of food production, and climate change impacts on the food supply chain,” said Power.

Energy prices have been a major driver of rising inflation — and there is huge uncertainty around the direction of energy prices.

“There are tentative signs that we may be close to the peak of the current bout of energy price inflation,” said Simon Barry, chief economist with Ulster Bank. 

Tighter monetary policy — such as an increase in interest rates — will probably be needed to bring inflation under control, according to McQuaid. Central banks have so far been reluctant to raise interest rates because doing so could damage the economic recovery.

However, there could be worse to come if central banks don’t act.

“A bout of stagflation — a situation where the economy is stagnant and unemployment is rising and at the same time prices are rising — cannot be entirely ruled out in my view,” warned McQuaid.

Perhaps surging inflation has set the scene for a perfect storm in 2022. Let’s hope not.

Blog: Who’s in charge? Biden letting lefty Warren call the fin-reg shots – New York Post

Who elected Elizabeth Warren president of the US economy? 

All signs point to Joe Biden, who between naps and licks of his ice cream cone has bestowed upon Warren de facto presidential powers to appoint people to key government posts that influence the nation’s economy.

I know this because bankers hire lobbyists to sniff out who is getting what jobs so they can plan their business accordingly. These lobbyists are telling the C-suite leaders that the man who was elected president is largely checked out on many issues including these appointments. (Surprise!)

Even worse, Biden has farmed out decisions like these to a coterie of progressive advisers (domestic-policy adviser Susan Rice apparently has a big say on stuff), who in turn take too many of their marching orders from Warren on who regulates the US economy.

That makes the Democratic senator from Massachusetts, in the words of one top Wall Street executive monitoring White House economic appointments, “president for financial regulation.”

What makes Warren so qualified for such power over the $22 trillion US economy is truly baffling. Of course she’s smart; her ascent began in academia and Harvard Law School. But we’re not talking Milton Friedman or even Larry Summers here. Warren’s academic research focused on bankruptcy and consumer issues, not how best to prime an economy to lift wages and produce jobs.

Yet the consumer stuff and her Harvard pedigree made Warren a go-to TV talking head to bank-bash during the 2008 financial crisis. Before long, she had the ear of President Barack Obama as he was weighing the post-crisis ­future of banking.

Her brainchild was a new, largely duplicative layer of government called the Consumer ­Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Warren had grand ambitions for the agency as a prosecutor of malice and greed in banking. Its record was far less impressive. The CFPB was credibly accused of conjuring fake scandals; running interference for trial lawyers looking to squeeze a quick buck out of targeted industries; and coming to the rescue of consumers only after scandals had been uncovered by the media (see the Wells Fargo fake-account mess).

President Joe Biden sleeping.
While President Joe Biden sleeps, progressives like Sen. Elizabeth Warren have been influencing the Democratic Party and the White House.
REUTERS

Still, the media loved her. Over the years, Warren managed to leverage her fanatical outbursts to reporters to become a US senator, a presidential candidate and a darling of the progressive wing of the party, even if her halo has dimmed somewhat after falsely claiming she’s of Native American ancestry.

So important she is to the lefty-dominated Democratic Party that when Joe Biden is asleep (which is very often), she’s playing matchmaker on key White House regulatory appointments, Wall Street execs tell me. The Goldman banker and super-progressive SEC chair Gary Gensler is a Warren creation. Her fingerprints are all over the latest possible appointment of her old pal, Richard Cordray, formerly chief of the bank-hating CFPB during the Obama years, to a key role at the Fed as vice chair for banking regulation.

It doesn’t end there. Warren is said to be behind the White House nomination of Saule Omarova. This proud graduate of Moscow State University who never shed her Marxist past is remarkably Biden’s (I mean Warren’s) pick for comptroller of the currency, another key bank regulator.

Then there’s this Warren-inspired doozy: The nomination of Gigi Sohn as a commissioner on the Federal Communications Commission.

The FCC is one of the most important regulators of business since it provides oversight of our biggest industries: Telecom, media and tech. Sohn’s qualifications are that she is a legal academic and progressive activist who co-founded a left-wing organization that received funding from billionaire left-winger George Soros. She served as special counsel to Obama’s FCC chief Tom Wheeler when he famously pushed for “net neutrality” rules that undermined telecom innovation until it was ­reversed during the Trump years.

Sohn oddly gets some nods from conservatives for her plans to regulate evil Big Tech companies. Look deeper into Sohn’s record, and particularly at her tweets, and you find stuff that should make conservatives — or anyone who cherishes the First Amendment — want to vomit.

She has called into question whether the right-leaning Sinclair Broadcasting is qualified for an FCC broadcast license and if social media companies should moderate “misinformation and disinformation,” which many believe is code for censoring conservative speech.

Saule Omarova, President Biden's nominee to head the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
Saule Omarova, President Joe Biden’s nominee to head the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, advocates for the end of banking by moving Americans’ finances from private banks to the Federal Reserve.
REUTERS/Tom Brenner

Sohn once bizarrely suggested that my employer, Fox News, is more “dangerous to our democracy” than the filth that fills social media. Sohn apparently doesn’t like the fact that Fox is one of the few alternatives to the likes of CNN and MSNBC. Word on Wall Street is that the White House will eventually flick in Sohn as chair of the FCC if she’s confirmed because that’s what Warren wants.

Some of these appointments will be shot down in Senate confirmation, but others won’t. The result: More costly regulation that will crush consumers and hinder innovation because it always does. Banks will have to spend time and money answering progressive calls to reduce their carbon footprint instead of ensuring the local bakery can get a loan to expand.

The Gigi Sohns in Washington will play politics with free speech. All thanks to President Warren.

Blog: ‘No quick fixes’: UK car manufacturing industry could be left behind after Brexit & Covid – Daily Express

in the UK fell by -34.6 percent in October, a fifth consecutive month of declines, a trend which some industry experts say, “shows no sign of easing”. Compared with the year to date in 2020, the manufacturing of engines in the UK has seen a decrease of almost seven percent.

Paul Mauerhoff, senior media manager at the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), explained how the semiconductor shortage could have an effect on the UK market.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, he said: “There’s been a real squeeze on supply of semiconductors and that is still ongoing.

“There’s no quick fixes. You can’t suddenly open a factory and start producing these hence why we think it could last a long time.

“It’s such an important part of a modern car, and until that squeeze on supply is eased, but we still think there’s a strong demand for cars.”

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Around 180,000 people are directly employed in automotive manufacturing in the UK, with a further 680,000 in the wider automotive sector.

Collectively, the motor industry directly contributes £15billion in gross added value for the UK economy.

The SMMT also believes more needs to be done to ensure the UK remains a strong influence in the automotive world.

Paul continued, saying: “I think it’s all about making sure the UK stays competitive for manufacturing.

The Coronavirus pandemic and Brexit have created countless additional challenges for manufacturers in the UK.

With the ongoing semiconductor shortage, car brands will not be able to produce as many vehicles as they previously were able, but with extra barriers in the way for exporting cars, it may become a bigger issue.

With the 2030 ban on the sales of new and vehicles, the SMMT warn that over 90,000 jobs could be lost by 2030 if the industry fails to make a transition to a more sustainable practice.

They said: “If we want to preserve and build on the automotive sector’s current economic contribution, significantly more Government support will be needed to accelerate change.

“The current Automotive Transformation Fund is not large or broad enough in scope to deliver the scale of change needed.

“Given the long lead times of much of this investment, many crucial policy decisions will need to be taken in the next twelve months.”

They also called on the Government to create a Build Back Better Fund to support the transformation of automotive production lines, skills retraining and energy costs relief.

Blog: David Marcus Departs Facebook, Along With the Last Remnant of Libra’s Battered Brand – pymnts.com

The announcement that David Marcus is leaving the company formerly known as Facebook marks the departure of the last name associated with its Libra stablecoin debacle.

As the head of what was then called the Calibra wallet (now Novi), Marcus headed up the launch of — and then defense of — Facebook’s stablecoin project (now Diem). Formerly president of PayPal, Marcus took up a wider role as the head of FinTech for the social media giant now called Meta.

From the start, Facebook and the stablecoin’s backers pitched it as a tool of financial inclusion, with the project described at its unveiling as “a simple global currency and financial infrastructure that empowers billions of people.”

The tagline was: “Reinvent money. Transform the global economy. So people everywhere can live better lives.”

In the Tuesday (Nov. 30) Facebook post announcing his departure, Marcus returned to that theme, saying “I remain as passionate as ever about the need for change in our payments and financial systems.”

That said, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s comment on that post talked about the as-yet-unlaunched Diem in a decidedly past tense, at least from his company’s perspective.

“We wouldn’t have taken such a big swing at Diem without your leadership and I’m grateful you’ve made Meta a place where we make those big bets,” Zuckerberg wrote.

Novi launched on Oct. 19, before Diem, which is something Marcus had said would be done only as a “last resort.”

Immediate Backlash

Formally announced on June 18, 2019, the Libra/Diem project met with such immediate and fierce resistance from the political and financial worlds that it’s fair to say that it brought cryptocurrency regulation from a topic that was the purview of mid-level financial regulators to cabinet members and finance ministers, central bank presidents and CEOs, and mainstream media outlets around the world.

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney’s response to the launch announcement was that a stablecoin with instant access to Facebook’s 2.3 billion customers “will become instantly systemic and will have to be subject to the highest standards of regulation.”

By “systemic,” Carney meant the fear that an unregulated, globally available stablecoin suddenly usable by billions of people was threat to national currencies, governments’ control of their economies, and the global financial system as a whole.

Which is roughly why stablecoin regulation remains such a hot topic today. Speaking before the Senate banking Committee on Nov. 30, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said that while stablecoins could make payments easier and less expensive, “there are significant risks associated with them, including risks to payment systems and risks related to the concentration of economic power.”

A Brand Battered

First, Libra’s key financial industry backers jumped ship under enormous political pressure — and outright threats — with Mastercard and Visa, payments processors Stripe and Mercado Pago, and eBay departing in early October.

Read also: The 4 Key Clues To Understanding The Future Of Facebook’s Libra

In a move that must have hurt, they were following PayPal, the first Libra Association member out the door.

Ultimately, the name Libra was jettisoned in favor of Diem, the June 2020 launch date was scrapped, Facebook’s Calibra wallet became Novi, and even the stablecoin’s basic design mutated from a single global means of payment backed by a mixed basket of fiat currencies to a series of national stablecoins backed by that country’s fiat.

And while it’s wildly overstating Libra/Diem’s impact and importance to say that it was behind Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s recent decision to change Facebook’s name to Meta, the reaction to the stablecoin project was fueled in part by the widespread distrust of Facebook by governments and financial leaders around the globe. The outcry at least underscored how damaged the brand it was.

Blog: Jack Dorsey steps down from Twitter, MicroStrategy snaps up 7K BTC and Square rebrands to Block: Hodler’s Digest, Nov. 28-Dec. 4 – Cointelegraph

Coming every Saturday, Hodler’s Digest will help you track every single important news story that happened this week. The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions and much more — a week on Cointelegraph in one link.

Top Stories This Week

Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey announced Monday that he has stepped down from his role as CEO. Replacing Dorsey will be Twitter board member and chief technology officer Parag Agrawal, who was unanimously appointed to CEO by the company’s board of directors.  

Dorsey also serves as the CEO and chairman of crypto-friendly payments tech firm Square, and it is unclear if he left Twitter to solely focus on the platform’s plans to develop a decentralized Bitcoin (BTC) exchange. He did note, however, that the company does not need to be founder-led to thrive.  

“I believe it’s really important to give Parag the space he needs to lead,” said Dorsey. “I believe it’s critical a company can stand on its own, free of its founder’s influence or direction.”

 

On Monday, 14-year Wall Street veteran and former Citi banking executive Matt Zhang announced a $1.5 billion multi-strategy fund called Hivemind Capital Partners that is aiming to support up-and-coming crypto projects.  

In particular, the fund will place a strong emphasis on crypto infrastructure builders, virtual worlds and Metaverse projects, and programmable money. The fund’s first technology partner will be proof-of-stake-based blockchain Algorand. 

While Hivemind is yet to announce any major funding, Zhang said the firm will support crypto entrepreneurs with infrastructure that cannot currently be offered by traditional asset management models.

 

Speaking of Square, the firm revealed on Wednesday that it had rebranded to Block, suggesting it may be ramping up its focus on the blockchain sector. 

The company said the rebrand will bring the payments firm together with Cash App, the decentralized Bitcoin exchange project tbDEX, and music and video streaming platform Tidal. As part of the rebrand, Square Crypto, the cryptocurrency-focused unit of the payments firm, will be changing its name to Spiral and joining the Block family.

“Block references the neighborhood blocks where we find our sellers, a blockchain, block parties full of music, obstacles to overcome, a section of code, building blocks, and of course, tungsten cubes,” said Square.

 

MicroStrategy, the analytics software firm led by fervent Bitcoin bull Michael Saylor, announced on Monday that it had snapped up a 7,002 BTC worth $414.4 million. 

After the purchase, Saylor stated that the company’s total BTC holdings stood at a whopping 121,044, acquired for roughly $3.57 billion at an average price of $29,534 per BTC. To fund that latest shopping spree for digital gold, the firm sold 571,001 shares of company stock between Oct. 1 and Nov. 29 at $732.16 apiece. 

MicroStrategy first bought Bitcoin back in August 2020 as part of its treasury strategy, and with Saylor at the helm, the firm has purchased the asset relentlessly since—regardless of price—and is showing no signs of slowing down any time soon.

 

Social media virtual reality firm Meta expanded the eligibility requirements for running crypto ad campaigns on Facebook and Instagram this week, enabling companies more freedom in running digital asset product-related promotions. 

Prior to Meta’s latest update of its crypto advertising guidelines, a limited number of crypto firms were able to advertise on Facebook as the platform only recognized a small number of regulatory licenses. 

According to the updated policy, crypto exchanges, trading platforms, wallet providers, mining infrastructure firms, crypto lenders and borrowing services can now receive written permission to run ads on Facebook. The firm cited maturation and increased regulation of the sector as the reasons why it changed its tune.

 

 

 

Winners and Losers

 

 

At the end of the week, Bitcoin (BTC) is at $55,468, Ether (ETH) at $4,407 and XRP at $0.95. The total market cap is at $2.54 trillion, according to CoinMarketCap.

Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are Terra (LUNA) at 62.30%, Stacks (STX) at 33.85% and Polygon (MATIC) at 29.04%. 

The top three altcoin losers of the week are Gala (GALA) at -30.67%, WAX (WAXP) at -19.18% and Immutable X (IMX) at -17.85%.

For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.

 

 

Most Memorable Quotations

 

“There are certain services that we have that don’t really fit the regulatory mold. So there’s this gray area that the whole industry exists in, and that’s not specific to us. […] That’s just the nature of the fact that we’re dealing with an innovative technology that really doesn’t necessarily fit the criteria that existing regulators perceive as possible.”

Jonathon Miller, managing director for Kraken Australia

 

“A CBDC would be one of the tools to fight crypto. […] We assume that people would find CBDC more credible than crypto. CBDC would be part of an effort to address the use of crypto in financial transactions.”

Juda Agung, assistant governor of Bank Indonesia

 

“If a coin has a large number of users, then we will list it. That’s the overwhelming significant attribute. Consider, for example, meme tokens; even though I personally don’t get it, if it’s used by a large number of users, we list it. We go by the community, my opinion doesn’t matter.”

Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance

 

“There’s always hope for the Chinese crypto industry. We still have information sources and we keep getting more and more users, evangelists, developers and others. There’s nothing to worry about. Everything happens for the best.”

Anonymous, executive at a Chinese crypto publication 

 

“It is one thing to say that a stablecoin issuer itself must be a regulated bank — I think that is probably overkill, as there are perfectly effective ways for nonbanks to meet our legitimate regulatory concerns, but there is at least a clear relation between the existing framework of bank regulation and the specific measures that stablecoin issuers must address to operate safely. It is, however, quite another thing to contemplate that wallet providers may need to be completely separated from commercial firms.”

Randal Quarles, exiting U.S. Federal Reserve governor

 

“Innovations are coming, proof-of-stake is much more computational efficient and low on energy consumption. Innovation is key here and it is coming.”

Gary Nuttall, emerging technology consultant at Distyltics

 

“Cryptocurrency may be tricky to understand, but the value of a major crypto donation converted into cash is not.”

James Lawrence, co-founder and CEO of Engiven

 

“Undoubtedly, metaverse land is the next big hit in the NFT space. Outputting record sales numbers and constantly increasing NFT prices, virtual worlds are the new top commodity in the crypto space.”

DappRadar post

 

Prediction of the Week 

 

Bitcoin started the week on Nov. 28 with a drop from nearly $55,000 down to almost $53,300, followed by a push up past $58,000, according to Cointelegraph’s Bitcoin price index. Following Sunday’s price action, most of the rest of the week saw BTC trade in a range between $55,800 and $59,300.

In a Wednesday tweet, crypto trader Michaël van de Poppe gave his thoughts on the crypto market, noting a desire to see sub-$60,000 BTC turn to support. 

“It’s very simple. Below $60K I’ve remained cautious/bearish as I’d like to see that area flip,” he tweeted. “Levels to watch for buys; $53K-54K zone and $47-50K zones for #Bitcoin,” he added. “When to buy #altcoins? December. Nothing has changed past weeks.” 

In a separate tweet on Wednesday, van de Poppe also provided his thoughts on a few possible price targets for the bull cycle top, noting price ranges between $350,000 and $450,000 for Bitcoin and between $10,000 and $17,500 for Ethereum, in addition to ranges for other assets as well. He tweeted out the same list with the same numbers back in April 2021, with the exception of Elrond, for which the new list gave an updated possible price range target.

 

 

FUD of the Week 

 

Russian President Vladimir Putin, a man with a squeaky-clean reputation who has most certainly never engaged in any nefarious activity, took time out of his busy schedule this week to voice his concerns over the risky nature of crypto speculation. 

According to reports from local media outlets on Tuesday, Putin aimed criticism at the “Russia Calling!” investment forum in Moscow. The 69-year-old called for greater monitoring and regulation of crypto in Russia and astutely pointed out that certain countries are seeing significant adoption of digital currencies.

“It is not backed by anything, [and] the volatility is colossal, so the risks are very high,” he said. “We also believe that we need to listen to those who talk about those high risks.”

 

Bitcoin failed to hit the November closing price of $98,000 demanded by Twitter personality PlanB’s so-called “floor model.” With Bitcoin sitting at $57,000 on Nov. 30, the actual price was roughly 71% below the forecast price.

In a Wednesday Twitter post, PlanB noted that he would give his famous model one more month, but was adamant in stating that $100,000 per BTC is still “on track” by year-end as he pointed to the S2F model. He further explained:

“No model is perfect, but this is a big miss and the first in 10y! Outlier/black swan? I will give Floor model 1 more month. S2F model unaffected and on track to $100K. Watch out for trolls confusing Floor and S2F model!”

 

DeFi protocol BadgerDAO reportedly suffered a $10 million security breach this week, with users on Twitter highlighting a “nasty frontend attack” where funds had been taken out of people’s wallets using “rug approval” at about 2 a.m. UTC on Thursday. 

While BadgerDAO hadn’t officially confirmed the attack at the time, it said that all smart contracts on the platform had been paused to prevent additional potentially malicious withdrawals.

The malicious actors targeted the protocol on the Ethereum network at contract address 0x1fcdb04d0c5364fbd92c73ca8af9baa72c269107, and users that have interacted with this contract are urged to revoke permission from their wallet.

 

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Blog: Polling expert John Curtice issues horror Brexit warning to Boris Johnson – Daily Express

While Mr Johnson won the support of the public with his “Get Brexit done” slogan, Professor Curtice believes some support for the UK’s exit may now have been “shaved off”. Speaking to Express.co.uk, Prof Curtice claimed Mr Johnson will only retain Leave voters if they are convinced Brexit is working. He claimed issues such as the petrol shortage and the lorry driver crisis may begin to reduce Mr Johnson’s popularity.

Prof Curtice said: “Brexit works for as long as people think it does.

“It is probably true that some of the support for Brexit has been shaved off.

“People might be more likely to say Brexit was negative.

“Some of the arguments around lorry driver shortages may have driven that.

“But it’s true that for so long as Leave voters are convinced Brexit is working, he will have their support.

“It also depends on whether we have a substantial debate about Brexit is working or not, like we did last autumn and that may change matters.”

Some commentators have claimed the Prime Minister has used post-Brexit issues, such as the Channel crisis and fishing licences, as a way of showing his strong leadership.

Writing for The Guardian, columnist Polly Toynbee said: “When in trouble, Boris Johnson flees to his comfort zone.

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“Just as Brexit havoc made him, so Brexit mayhem may yet save him.”

However, despite storming to a resounding 2019 general election win and delivering Brexit, Mr Johnson’s approval rating has plummeted.

On April 13, Mr Johnson’s approval surged to 66 percent but according to YouGov’s latest polling, it has now fallen to 29 percent.

In contrast, Mr Johnson’s disapproval rating sunk to a low of 26 percent on April 13 but has now risen to 64 percent on November 22.

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In Conservative Home’s cabinet league table, which it conducts every month, Mr Johnson has slipped to -17.

That figure is the second-worst net approval rating among the Cabinet with only chief whip, Mark Spencer, who scored -21.

The Prime Minister has been damaged by the recent Tory sleaze scandal which saw Owen Paterson, former MP for North Shropshire, resign.

Mr Johnson was also given a shock to his leadership credentials when, despite having a 77-seat majority, the Government’s Health and Social Care Bill only passed by 26 votes.

A further 67 Tory MPs abstained from the vote on November 23.

The Prime Minister has also come under fire for scrapping the eastern leg of the HS2 project.

The line between Birmingham and Leeds will now be scrapped which sparked fury among Blue Wall Tory MPs.

The Prime Minister instead pledged to spend £96billion on investing in rail in the Midlands and northern England.

Blog: Tottenham star Eric Dier on Brexit, cancel culture and the joys of working with Antonio Conte – Daily Mail

EXCLUSIVE: Tottenham star Eric Dier hopes they can reboot their trophy challenging days under ‘special’ Antonio Conte… as he gives his views on Brexit, cancel culture and the disappointment of not winning a trophy under Mauricio Pochettino

  • There is a renewed sense of optimism at Tottenham following their poor start
  • Eric Dier has described the Antonio Conte effect at the club as ‘special’
  • Tottenham are some way off the team that reached the Champions League final
  • Not winning a trophy under Mauricio Pochettino will haunt Spurs players
  • Dier is hopeful the Conte era will reboot the trophy challenging years

By Rob Draper for The Mail on Sunday

Published: | Updated:

Before we get on to Brexit and the future of the planet, let’s start with the big issues of the day: the tomato ketchup ban.

Antonio Conte might have introduced sophisticated analysis of feet movements, body position and sprinting technique to revive Spurs but banning tomato ketchup has so far been the most talked-about issue around the new manager. Apparently, it was the first casualty of Conte’s nutritional new era.

‘Everyone wants to talk about Conte’s training!’ says Eric Dier, with a wry grin. ‘Ketchup? Yeah! I heard about it. I don’t even know if ketchup’s banned. I don’t think it is. I don’t have ketchup. There is nothing I would have ketchup with!’

Eric Dier is upbeat with a sense of renewal about Tottenham at the moment after a tough start

This is unsurprising coming from a man so healthy that he been known to fast during the day because of his belief in the nutritional benefits, but he resists the caricature of himself as nut-eating health-obsessed athlete. 

‘No, I would definitely eat ketchup,’ he adds. ‘All sorts of things have changed but I don’t think it’s as drastic as people are making out.’

Dier, 27, is remarkably upbeat. It could be an illusion that fades as quickly as Christmas lights, but there is a sense of renewal about Spurs at the moment, if his mood is an accurate barometer of team spirit. It is as if they have found some direction with Conte’s appointment after two years of drift.

‘I’m really, really excited looking forward, working under the calibre of manager he is and how much he improves not only his teams but also the players in it,’ says Dier, bubbling with the enthusiasm of a man who genuinely seems excited by the prospect of two-hour training sessions, meticulous work on team shape and frugal portions of healthy food.

‘If you want to improve and get better and push yourself and push the team forward, then that’s the kind of environment you want to be a part of, that’s the kind of environment you need. It’s exciting going into training every day where there is such intensity to the work, such attention to detail and where the manager and coaching staff demand a lot of you. Working along those lines is enjoyable and a stimulant.’

The Conte impact is unmistakeable, his charisma undeniable. ‘It’s special,’ says Dier. ‘When he talks to you, you can tell straight away his passion for football and intensity. The way he feels, you can’t help but feed off it, it’s energising. Every time he speaks, there’s such intent in it.’ Andrea Pirlo, who played under him at Juventus, once said of Conte: ‘When he speaks, his words assault you…’

‘Yeah,’ agrees Dier. ‘He really gets to you and that’s motivating. I have a sense of lot of similarities between that time and what I’m feeling now, in terms of the work ethic, intensity, the discipline. It’s a lot more enjoyable to go into training every day working in that environment, where you really are working hard and pushing yourself with a manager that demands a lot of you.’

Tottenham had a tough start to the season which led to the sacking of Nuno Espirito Santo

Dier though says the Antonio Conte impact is ‘special’ and that it is more enjoyable to go to training

‘That time’ is the phrase that hangs heavy in that sentence, the Mauricio Pochettino years. Dier is frank when assessing a five-year chunk of his life from 2014 to 2019 when, with Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen, Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld, Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier, Danny Rose, Dele Alli, Son Heung-min all at their peak, Tottenham reached a Champions League final, challenged for Premier League titles in 2016 and 2017 and genuinely had a team to take on the world.

Most players adopt a ‘no regrets’, blind positivity to any sense of falling short in a sporting context. Dier’s words are a little more reflective than that.

‘Looking back, getting to the Champions League final probably painted over a lot of the cracks from that season itself,’ he said. 

‘And getting to the Champions League final and then losing it, it was a lot for all of us to take.

‘That group had been together, pretty much everyone, for four or five years. And it was something we’d been working towards. But football doesn’t stop, it doesn’t give us a breather. So after the final, before you know it, you’re going into the new season and it’s pre-season again. I don’t think everyone had got over it by then.

‘I don’t think emotionally that everyone was back. And you saw that going into that season [2019-20, when Pochettino was sacked in November]. We felt it in the building that the comedown from that was still happening. Which is completely normal.

‘I don’t know how you fight it but we had five-and-a-half years incredible years, we didn’t win a trophy and that’s going to haunt us all forever. But it was still a great, great time at the club and I look back on it with amazing memories. They were a special group.’

Dier admitted it will haunt Tottenham players they didn’t win a trophy under Mauricio Pochettino despite several close calls 

Dier feels 2016-17 was the year the team were at their strongest and title eluded them, not 2015-16 when Leicester won.

‘The year that Chelsea won it, they weren’t playing any European football, so they were focused on the Premier League and that was the difference that season,’ he said. ‘Because that season was fantastic. I feel like more that year than 2016 we had a fantastic group all the way through the squad, the manager and his staff so we can all look back with great memories but there’s always going to be that…’ he pauses, for the right word, ‘…sore spot. It will stay with us forever.

‘In terms of what we learned, I look back at the time and I feel like, as a squad, we did give everything for that moment to happen. But football’s cruel sometimes. For one reason or another it didn’t. In terms of the culture in the building, the work ethic in the building, everything throughout was exceptional.’

His hope is that the Conte era will reboot the trophy challenging days. ‘That’s definitely my ambition,’ he said. ‘It’s definitely the manager’s ambition, definitely the squad’s ambition. It’s easy to talk about those things. I can say whatever I want but we need to show every day at the training ground and take that into games.’

For Dier personally, the last two years have been a difficult period, which have seen him go from England penalty shootout hero against Colombia in 2018 to being dropped from the squad for Euro 2020, despite being one of the characters Gareth Southgate most relies on. The moment the phone rang prior to the announcement and he saw it was from Southgate, he knew what was coming.

‘It’s probably the hardest thing I’ve had happen to me in my career, which, at same time, tells me how lucky I’ve been,’ he said.

‘A huge disappointment, you can either let it get you down or get on with it, get through it and react in the best possible way.

‘My ambition is always to be in the England squad and that’s my target. I feel very lucky, I have lots of great people around me. An hour after that call, I was having dinner with Jan Vertonghen in Lisbon. And then I just look at positives. I had a full pre-season. I hadn’t experienced that for so, so long, I really enjoyed it.’

It also allowed him to gain a fresh perspective on the game. Dier clambered into the crowd at Tottenham in March 2020 after fans were abusing his brother and received a four-match ban for it.

Dier is not afraid to speak out about topics such as Brexit and cancel culture

While not condoning abuse, he feels he understands fans’ frustrations better. He said: ‘The Euros were a good education for me as I watched games around other people, which rarely happens. You get to see the average football fan. You have a lot better understanding where it’s coming from.’

He feels sometimes there is not sufficient understanding of the context of a tactical decision. ‘But football is amazing because it’s so emotional and there is so much emotion involved in it and that’s why I love football,’ he said.

‘I love everything around it. It’s normal that people and fans, players, everyone involved, can go too far sometimes because the emotions can get the better of you, because football gets to that point in you and that’s the beauty of it.’

Dier is one of football’s articulate ambassadors, not shy in addressing extra-curricular issues. That much was clear when, at the height of the Brexit fall-out in 2019, when parliament was debating whether a confirmatory vote on the referendum should be allowed, Dier dared to express an opinion. English to the core — his grandfather was Football Association secretary Ted Croker — he was brought up in Portugal and set his stall out against Brexit simply with one tweet: ‘#PeoplesVote’.

That predictably prompted a raft of people telling him to stick to football and you wonder whether his finger hovered over the ‘send’ button as he weighed up whether to get involved in such a polarising debate.

‘No, not really,’ he said. ‘I was in Barcelona at the time with Tottenham for a week of training so I was in my hotel room a lot and it was really angering me. It was really annoying me at the time.

‘I don’t regret it all. I’m very strongly against it [Brexit] and time is telling, showing that [it’s wrong for the country].

‘I grew up abroad so I feel very strongly about it in that sense, because I was in another country all my life. There are so many sides to Brexit and so many sides I don’t understand but, just from a human level…

‘One of the problems was the huge detachment between London and the rest of the country and how the rest of the country felt versus London. And that’s something that’s a really interesting topic, just because London is so multicultural and so diverse.

‘It’s an incredible city in that way and, when my friends visit from abroad, that’s what they gravitate towards, how amazing it is to have different people from all over the world living in this city, in a country which, compared to lots, is so free. That’s London, there are different issues [in other areas]…

‘I can only speak for where I live and that was a beautiful thing. But at the time, every time it [the peoples’ vote] was going to Parliament and getting rejected. I still think it’s a real shame.’

Dier is hopeful of working his way back into the England fold after missing the Euros

Dier breaks the mould of the stereotype but insists he is not an outsider in football’s bubble.

‘People would be very surprised about the topics spoken about in a dressing room,’ he said. ‘Football players are very much pigeonholed into a the way that footballers are: money, cars, tattoos. I have no problem with any of those things! I like nice things. I like nice cars. And that’s normal. I’m a 27-year-old boy, so that’s completely normal. I just think that when players fit the stereotype, it’s OK but when one doesn’t and he’s doing something else with his time other than PlayStation, it’s a problem.’

That said, he understands why some are cautious about opening up on subjects outside the game. He recounts a recent benign interview when he was being asked about London, which included the question where he would most like to be buried in London. ‘I said, “I’m not from London, Tottenham is my only attachment to London, so the stadium would be as good a place as any.” 

And the title was: “Eric Dier wants to be buried atTottenham Stadium!” The boys at training were battering me. It was harmless but that’s the type of thing!

‘But players are feeling more and more open about talking about those things. This whole conversation about “Oh, you’re losing your focus on football” … I totally disagree. Because football for me is the most important thing and I would never lose my focus on it. I’ve seen Gary Neville talk about the whole social media thing and how the players don’t write their own tweets.

‘I agree it’s a real shame players don’t and that they can’t be more personal. But at the same time, players are so terrified of writing something wrong or saying the wrong word or writing a message that gets perceived in the wrong way. Then there’s outrage at this post that they’ve made and then you’re cancelled! For there to be progress, there needs to uncomfortable conversations and at the moment it’s very difficult to have uncomfortable conversations because anyone’s view can be misinterpreted or put in a certain way.’

For the record, he confirms that he does write his own tweets. ‘I write all my own and I know a lot of players do. What I don’t like is any unnecessary attention on me when I don’t really need it. More and more footballers are feeling more and more comfortable to speak about different subjects and rightly so. I don’t see why we shouldn’t be allowed to express our opinions.’

He has his limits, however. He dislikes the superficiality aspect of social media grandstanding. We discuss COP26 and the environment, because he is at the stadium to launch Tottenham’s new battery technology partner, which provides sustainable energy. He is keen to address the issues but careful to avoid giving the impression that the world can be changed by an Instagram story.

He says: ‘I’m definitely interested in it [environmentalism]. It’s important we try to do as much as we can. I’m not a scientist but it seems clear it is a huge issue and one that could cause a lot of problems in the future for the younger generation, so it’s up to the younger people to try to push this subject.’

He discusses the complexity of making such a case when football is an industry where flying is essential at present. ‘Of course. I’m definitely not perfect. I could still do a lot better myself. But everyone can,’ he says. But when a footballer commits to a cause, Dier insists there is a need for authenticity. ‘What I don’t like is to see people with influence take advantage,’ he says. ‘I wouldn’t speak to you about sustainability unless I educated myself on the subject and do have a genuine interest in it.

‘For me, that’s really important, that you’re not just putting out a soundbite. If you are a person who has a big following and who has a lot of influence over a lot of people, it’s important you respect that.

‘When it comes from a genuine place and you’ve done the research and genuinely know what you’re talking about, then I’m a huge fan of it. Footballers have always been a little scared of talking about different subjects.’

Maybe once upon a time. Not so much now and definitely not Dier. 

 ERIC DIER was speaking on behalf of VivoPower, Tottenham’s Official Battery Technology Partner, providing sustainable energy solutions across the club’s stadium campus and training centre.

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Tottenham star Eric Dier on Brexit, cancel culture and the joys of working with Antonio Conte

Blog: Ireland: UK-EU deal on Brexit trade spat unlikely this year – ABC News

LONDON — The British and Irish governments expressed optimism Thursday that a thorny spat between the U.K. and the European Union over Northern Ireland trade can be resolved, but Ireland’s top diplomat indicated that negotiations were likely to drag on into next year.

Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said the talks over post-Brexit rules for Northern Ireland, the only part of the U.K. that shares a border with an EU member, had not produced a “breakthrough moment.” But neither has there been a breakdown that seemed to loom for months.

“Do I think that all issues can be resolved linked to the (Northern Ireland) protocol by the end of the year? I think that’s a very tall order and unlikely to happen,” Coveney said after a meeting of U.K. and Irish ministers in London.

Under a deal agreed to before Britain’s departure from the EU last year, Northern Ireland remains inside the EU’s tariff-free single market for goods. The provision was designed to maintain an open border on the island of Ireland – a key pillar of Northern Ireland’s peace process.

But it created a new customs border in the Irish Sea for goods entering Northern Ireland from the rest of the U.K., even though they are part of the same country. That has brought red tape and supply problems for some businesses, and has angered Northern Ireland’s British Unionists, who say the checks undermine Northern Ireland’s place in the U.K. and destabilize the delicate political balance on which peace rests.

The U.K. is seeking major changes to the arrangements and has threatened to use an emergency break clause to suspend parts of the legally binding Brexit divorce agreement, if no solution is found. Using the emergency clause, known as Article 16, would trigger EU retaliation and could spiral into a trade war between the U.K. and the 27-nation bloc.

“Triggering Article 16, in my view, from an EU perspective, will move us into a new space where we don’t want to go because I think that will be a signal that negotiation has failed,” Coveney said.

Britain’s language toward the EU has grown less belligerent in recent weeks, with ministers saying they would prefer to strike a deal rather than act unilaterally.

U.K. Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis said Thursday he was “an optimist” about the outcome of the talks, which remain snagged over Britain’s insistence that the EU remove its top court from its role in resolving any disputes over the agreement — an idea the bloc flatly rejects.

“I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to come to a positive resolution with the EU. Our focus has got to be about resolving the issues for the people of Northern Ireland,” Lewis told reporters.

Lewis and Coveney declined to confirm a report in the Financial Times that U.S. concerns about the dispute’s impact on Northern Ireland peace had led Washington to drag its feet on lifting tariffs on British steel, something it has done for steel from the EU.

Coveney said the U.S. had played a big role in securing peace in Northern Ireland, “and they watch it closely.”

“It’s not new that there are concerns in Washington in terms of the impact of the sort of polarized politics around the protocol and its implementation on the broader peace process and political stability in Northern Ireland,” he said.

“The U.S. can speak for themselves on that,” he said. “But for us, this is about trying to find accommodation, trying to settle difficult issues for both sides in a way that can allow us to move on and that will continue to be our focus.”

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