Shipping

Red Bull fires diversity directors who pushed BLM

ZeroHedge reports,

Red Bull has fired two ‘diversity directors’ who tried to force the company into virtue signalling about Black Lives Matter while also dissolving several ‘culture teams’ who were pressuring Red Bull to take a more aggressive ‘woke’ political stance.”

Who knew that some companies realise their customers don’t want political messages attached to their products? Even worse, many of these movements have been pushed by supposedly woke activists who haven’t the first clue about the manifestos of the reprehensible organizations they want their brand to support.

Look at the success of the Goya Foods pushback! Sales are booming and some supermarkets are having to ration it to a maximum of two items to placate customers.

We await the next round of plunging revenues and audience stats with the NFL, NBA and NBL. Get woke, go broke.

Experience is a hard teacher. You get the test first and the lesson afterwards.

Follow the logic of paid actors at Trump’s Tulsa rally

No photo description available.

The left is now pushing the idea that Trump is paying for people of colour to attend his rallies. This was an advert on Craigslist which has since been taken down. A similar job posting like it was uploaded ahead of a Phoenix rally in 2017. It was shown to be fake.

Even if one desperately wanted to assume it was legitimate, let’s question the logic of why he’d need to do it at all? Also if minorities hated Trump so much no amount of minimum wage incentive would get them to join a rally that would hurt them over the next four years.

One million people have registered to attend the Tulsa, Oklahoma Trump rally. Tulsa, by the way, has a population of only 400,000. How many minority actors/actresses would be required, assuming Trump was so desperate to show he had their support in order for them not to be diluted in the sea of presumably white MAGA crowd??

As we reported last week, Rasmussen Reports latest poll revealed that 41% of blacks and 43% of other minorities support Trump. These are record highs. This is up from 34% in December 2019. And a 5-fold jump on 2016. Why would he need to pay for people to show up?

Perhaps the more sensible conclusion might be to hire a bunch of paid white thugs to pick on paid minority Trump actors to create a narrative that they the MAGA supporters are all unhinged racists to swing the vote the other way? CNN camera crews will mysteriously be on the spot as it unfolds.

Better still, just give Jussie Smollett a call. He knows how to arrange hate hoaxes. Beware of Nigerian body builders in white hoods, MAGA hats and bleach loitering around the Subway sandwich joint.

China’s bullying is a blessing in disguise

We should view China’s recent bullying as a blessing in disguise. Our government should resist quickly bending to its will for we would only embolden Beijing by such a rapid display of weakness.

China’s true colours are on display. Barley tariffs, meat bans and now minerals are up for debate. All because we wish to have an inquiry into the beginnings of the virus.

We are not blameless. Our universities squeezed the Chinese student lemon until the pips squeaked. These educational institutions never built in contingencies. They are culpable for such pathetic risk management processes. Our property market has benefited from Chinese investment. Our primary industries rode the back of this panda and now fear they could end up inside.

However China is welcome to source its coal from Indonesia if it so chooses. We have globally competitive cost curves which would be welcomed in other nations.

Of course there will be short term disruptions but the entire global supply chain is being rewritten. That can only be in our favour. We aren’t playing aggressor while covering up a pandemic. This isn’t lost on most of the world, even if governments might tiptoe around the subject.

We should be revitalizing our relationship with Japan. At least we know when we sign a contract, the Japanese will stick to it rather than the Chinese style of starting negotiations after a deal is inked.

Why would we move away from our relationship with America? Much more opportunities in partnering with the US and India as well.

Chinese military aggression is self evident. Its investment in defence and space is exponential. While a fraction of US military spending the Chinese power projections in the South China Sea as well as the Paracels, Spratly and Senkaku Islands should raise concerns. Man made military island bases in the Pacific as well as ‘trading’ ports around the world which would welcome Chinese naval vessels.

Don’t take our word for it. Japan revealed in its 2019 Defense White Paper just how much China has been toying with it. Look at the trend of Japanese Air Self Defense Force jet scrambles to intercept Chinese military aircraft approaching its shores. Less than 100 a decade ago to over 600 in 2018.

The map at the top of this post shows how many times PLA Navy ships have sailed through Japanese territorial waters in what would be our equivalent of the Indonesian Navy sailing through the Bass Strait between Victoria and Tasmania without warning.

China’s true colours should make the rest of the world sit up and take notice. While China has trapped many countries in debt turning them into financial colonies, this pandemic will create a world that wants to rely less on China. The Middle Kingdom might be a formidable trading bloc but its domestic economy is challenged and the louder the external rhetoric, the more we know how much it is hurting inside.

We needn’t fold at the prospect of threats. Best forge new all weather friendships. China will quickly learn how fast the world that is not in debt slavery to it will ignore the Forbidden City. We can forget pandering to the Paris Accord which China ignores while we are at it.

HK Int’l Airport traffic for Jan 2020 – Inbound Asia -43%

HKIA just published figures for January air traffic. It notes,

Traffic figures at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) saw decreases in January 2020. During the month, HKIA handled 5.7 million passengers and 33,210 flight movements, representing year-on-year decreases of 11.7% and 9.1%, respectively. Cargo throughput dropped 10.4% compared to the same month last year, to 359,000 tonnes.

Overall passenger traffic to/from Mainland China, South Korea and Southeast Asia recorded the most significant decreases in January. Visitor traffic remained weak, showing a year-on-year decrease of 43%. However, travel by Hong Kong residents saw a surge during the Chinese New Year holidays, amounting to a monthly growth of 25% year-on-year.

Cargo throughput declined due to closure of factories and businesses in Mainland China during the Chinese New Year holidays. The decrease in cargo was mainly attributed to the 15% and 10% drops in imports and transshipments, respectively. Exports decreased by 9% compared to the same month last year. Amongst key trading regions, traffic to/from Southeast Asia and North America decreased most significantly in the month.”

That’s got to hurt. It is strange how markets are behaving so positively to the impacts here. Depending on the length of such a slowdown, how long can company cash flow last and when do we see the first bankruptcy of a travel/cargo company- land, air or sea as a result of coronavirus.

Expect that cruise companies report mass cancellations after the horrendous optics of passengers being confined to their quarters for weeks on end.

Can we defund SBS too?

This isn’t journalism. This is alarmist quackery for the sake of it. Venice has been subject to flooding for centuries. While the floods in Venice now are the highest for over 50 years, it still means that floods were higher in 1966. Let that sink in. Presumably it wasn’t climate change driven back then.

One can only imagine what a Venice Council could possibly do to combat climate change? Perhaps ruin the skyline with wind turbines and solar panels atop the roofs of the Rialto Bridge or San Marco Square?? To alarmists, no amount of tokenism is too little. Claim a climate emergency and show how worthy you really are.

No matter what the Venice Council does to “combat” climate change it will have no effect. Maybe the gondola union can indulge in some crony capitalism and demand that the €7.50 Vaporetto passenger ferries are banned so they can charge €150 to go from Santa Croce to Piazza San Marco instead. At least gondolas are zero emission vessels.

The SBS needs to grow up and deliver proper well reasoned content for the $400m in taxpayer funds it receives.

Spectacular own goal scored by our elitist academics

Image result for marxist university poster

The beauty of those that wrote this open letter supporting the Extinction Rebellion throws up some very enlightening facts. Read it and weep. Not the letter – the stats.

Perhaps the most hilarious signatory to the letter is Matthew Flinders of Flinders University. Unless the university website has another Matthew Flinders listed as an active member, our esteemed explorer seems to have navigated his way back to life…simply adding to the total lack of credibility of the cabal of 268 academics who believe they have some sort of intellectual superiority over us. If one ever wanted proof of our judiciary leaning hard left, 12% of the people that signed this document were in law-related fields.

Yet, why couldn’t they sign up a majority of scientists in the profession of the very climate change emergency they wish to sanctimoniously lecture us on? And we are paying billions to these schools to educate us? Hmmm.

Many of the woke academia come from fields such as stand up comedy, poetry, arts/education, sports management, archaeology, LatAm studies, sex, health and society, social services, veterinary biology, culture, gender, racism…are you catching the drift of those supporting XR? Even Monash University’s Campus Operations Manager and Telephony Application Administrator signed it! Wonderful individuals but should we hold our educators to such high standards when anyone’s opinion will do?

Eerily, over 90% of the signatories do not appear to be renowned experts in teaching science, much less climate science. Which means, why weren’t the scientists in these universities willing to commit their names to a cause that fits their ideology? Who needs them when one faculty member from Monash University deals with ‘Imaginative Education‘?

61% of the signatories were from universities situated in the Democratic People’s Republic of Victoria. Within that, 65 (more than all those that signed from NSW universities = 63) of those 164 names from Victoria were from RMIT, the school where the lecturer offered bonus points for sending selfies from the school climate strike. Precious little free thought one imagines.  Monash had 44. So two universities in Melbourne made up 109 of the 268 Add La Trobe University and half of the signatories are from Victoria. Premier Dan Andrews must be proud.

Tinonee Pym, a research assistant at the Swinburne University of Technology in NSW helped pen,

C’mon, no one wants a dick pic’: exploring the cultural framings of the ‘dick pic’ in contemporary online publics

Undoubtedly this research has only certified climate science credentials at Swinburne University to convince sceptics of the validity of XR.

Southern Cross University was the only group of signatories where the majority had a connection to a faculty related to climate science.

On reflection we should be exceptionally happy these woke academics have opened themselves up to how empty their rhetoric is. The overwhelming majority of signatories are from liberal arts backgrounds. Surely with the aggregate IQ of 268 people they could have realized the flaw in pushing a cause where the qualified people that can prosecute the argument for them are conspicuously absent.

We need a Royal Commission on our education system. The gaping holes in standards are self-evident. This is an unmitigated clown show.

Climate change warriors seeking melting ice trapped by it

Swedish flagged MS Malmo was carrying a complement of climate change warriors wanting to explore the extent of melting sea ice in the Arctic for a documentary. Unfortunately, the ship was stuck in sea ice halfway between Norway and the North Pole and needed to SOS for rescue.

Thank God for fossil fuels as the stranded documentary crew were airlifted to safety by helicopter. The 7 crew remain on board awaiting more fossil-fuel-powered Coast Guard ice breakers to set MS Malmo free.

If Greta Thunberg has been aboard she could have used her superpowers to make sure the boat avoided a route that multi-million krone navigation systems clearly could not predict. Unfortunately, her desire to avoid fossil-fuel powered anything means those superpowers are only selectively helpful.

0.00000000000007314%

16yo activist Greta Thunberg is off to the next UN summit in the US and Chile by sailing boat. The only issue is if she flew on a commercially scheduled flight (which goes anyway) her weight – at presumably 35-40kg – would mean she would add 0.016% to the fuel calculations a Boeing 777 pilot would have to account for . Her impact would be so minuscule as to beggar belief.

280 million trips were made by commercial aircraft last year according to the IATA. Her transatlantic return flight would only be 2 of those meaning she would represent 0.000000714% of all annual flights taken.

Given that airlines, by the IATA’s own stats, annually produce the equivalent to 2% of all man-made emissions or 0.000016% in total, her two flights would make up around 0.0000000000114%. That is slightly unfair as the journey would be longer. So let’s bump it 4-fold. Her weight would penalize the planet 0.0000000000007314%.

Apart from the fact the yacht she will travel on is a byproduct of the fossil fuel industry if she really wants to reduce the footprint she’d be better off swimming. Unfortunately most of the virtue signalers heading to the UN summit will fly. Last year 22,000 went. Including 7300 odd observers to tell us we must do our bit. Why not Skype or teleconference it?

Skipping school for a year might not be the best idea. The chances of dying by sailing are 54 in 1,000,000. By commercial aviation there is a 0.06 chance per 1,000,000 flights. Strictly by the math she has a far better chance of avoiding extinction by flying.

Identity Politics rejected by those who would seemingly benefit

Quillette columnist Coleman Hughes testified in front of a House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties on the subject of a bill proposing to conduct a commission into slavery reparations. Hughes’ testimony was not what activists wanted to hear so he was heckled by them.

He argued that such a path would further divide the nation. Such is the scourge of identity politics and the victim mentality.

He was booed when he said, “Black people don’t need another apology. We need safer neighborhoods and better schools. We need a less punitive criminal justice system. We need affordable health care. And none of these things can be achieved through reparations for slavery.”

He went on to describe that reparations were not only divisive, but an “insult to many black Americans by putting a price on the suffering of their ancestors, and we would turn the relationship between black Americans and white Americans from a coalition into a transaction

Reparations by definition are only given to victims, so the moment you give me reparations, you’ve made me into a victim without my consent. Not just that, you’ve made 1/3 of black Americans who poll against reparations into victims without their consent, and black Americans have fought too long for the right to define themselves to be spoken for in such a condescending manner...

The question is not what America owes me by virtue of my ancestry, the question is what all Americans owe each other by virtue of being citizens of the same nation…And the obligation of citizenship is not transactional. It’s not contingent on ancestry. It never expires, and it can’t be paid off. For all these reasons, bill HR 40 is a moral and political mistake.”

Isn’t it ironic how out of touch the political class is when the very people they hope will give them the answer they want to hear do the exact opposite.

That sinking feeling?

Clarksons.png

We are often told how robust the world economy is. Global trade tends to be a good indicator. Looking at the latest Clarkson’s December 2018 annual review, we can see that the number of shipyards that make the vessels (20,000dwt+) that look after global trade has slid from a peak of 306 in 2009 to 127. Newbuild orders have slid from 2,909 vessels to 708. Wärtsilä is anticipating a gradual recovery in contract new builds as high as 1,200 ships by 2022. Wishful thinking?

According to Clarksons, the global fleet of all types of commercial shipping is 50% larger than it was before the GFC despite the World Trade Organization saying growth in global trade for 2019 is expected to fall 2.9%. The WTO has fingers crossed for 2020. The charts in this WTO report show the sharp slowdown in freight in Q4 2018 and Jan 2019.

Germany’s five leading ship financiers reported outstanding ship-related loans of 59 billion euros at the end of 2016 with an average problem loan ratio of 37%. In recent years they have been busy reducing or selling off shipping portfolios. HSH Nordbank required a 10 billion euro bailout by its 85% owners, federal states Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein. It ended up being swallowed by private equity and renamed Hamburg Commercial Bank. Nord LB was looking to bail in Bremer LB beyond the 54.8% it already owns. Bremer LB had to write off  €400m of its shipping portfolio.

China has been aggressive, filling the void left by the Germans with high leverage financing to support the longer-term objectives of the Belt & Road Initiative. One wonders whether China plans to spoil the market by squeezing a damaged sector further. It wasn’t so long ago that South Korea’s  Hanjin Shipping went bust.

BTIG reported that ship scrapping in Q1 2019 was up 35% to 107,000dwt. Ship owners tend to scrap ships if the cost of idling or operating them exceeds this. Note Capesize shipping rates have fallen to around $9,000/day well below the $25,000 breakeven rate. The bellwether Baltic Dry Index is 27% down year on year and 85% below the peak levels seen in 2009.

The shipping industry has been sick for a decade. The majors have been busy merging, cutting debt and right sizing. Unfortunately it is  still in a pickle. A global slowdown will only exacerbate the issues in the industry.

The one area that looks interesting is the scrubber makers (eg Alfa Laval, Valmet, Fuji Electric). There has been a sharp uptick in growth for retro-fitting pollution equipment to existing ships instead of buying new equipment. Sometimes the best investments come when industries that require massive consolidation hit breaking point.