- Russian Hackers Are at It Again
- Govt Declares 4-Month Moratorium on Evictions
- Check Please: The $567 Million Fish & Chips
- Why You Need Exposure to Gold
Russian Hackers Are at It Again
Facebook and Twitter say they’re cracking down on Russian actors attempting to influence the November election and I GUESS WE’RE DOING THIS WHOLE THING AGAIN.
According to Facebook, Russian agents set up a fake independent news outlet and hired “unwitting freelance journalists” to write some pretty steamy think pieces about Candidate Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris.
Peacedata.net bills itself “a global news organization” whose goal is to “shed light on the global issues and raise awareness about corruption, environmental crisis, abuse of power, armed conflicts, activism, and human rights.” In reality, it was a bunch of Russian nerds in a sweaty basement playing Yankee news org.
According to the FBI, who tipped off Facebook about the Russian-controlled accounts, it’s the same bunch of sweaty Russian nerds that interfered in the 2016 election — the Kremlin-funded Russian Internet Research Agency. (Who use the Acronym IRA because I guess creating confusion is their whole thing.)
PeaceData.net released a statement this morning saying: “It is all you bitches who are the ones that are fake!”
Researchers who have been closely following the Russian cyber op commissioned and shared stories designed to steer progressive voters away from the Biden-Harris campaign. (Which, honestly, the Biden-Harris campaign has been doing a fine job of all on their own.)
According to social media analysis firm Graphika, the Internet Research Agency gave its website an air of legitimacy by hiring young freelancer journalists to write the stories on their site. (Sure, it turned out to be a Russian cyber op designed to sow chaos in a democratic election, but any exposure is good exposure, ya know?)
“This is the first time we have observed known [Internet Research Agency]-linked accounts use AI-generated avatars. However, the website employed real and apparently unwitting individuals, typically novice freelance writers, to write its articles,” said Graphika in its report.
“The freelancers are really the victims here. They didn’t know what they were signing up for,” Ben Nimmo, head of investigations at research firm Graphika, which analyzed the operation, told NPR. “The youngest were fairly soon out of college . . . Some were copywriters from South Asia, but they really came from all over the world, including the U.S.”
Both Facebook and Twitter removed several accounts associated with the site, many of which had been live for more than three months.
Check Please: The $567 Million Fish & Chips
Britain just wrapped up a grand experiment aimed at encouraging the people of the United Kingdom to leave their homes and once again partake of the wet unseasoned lump that is British Food.
The unfortunately named Eat Out to Help Out program was a national incentive to help diners overcome the fear of an ongoing pandemic to increase restaurant spending.
If you went out for a round of eel pies with the lads during the month of August — on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday — the British government would have picked up 50% of the check, up to £10 ($13) per person.
Now that it’s over, we can safely say the program was a rousing success. Kind of. It depends on how you’re measuring success really.
On the first day of the program, sales of boiled meat and spotted dicks rose 100% compared with the previous Monday. This was a net loss for the general concept of food but the incentive seemed to be doing what it was meant to do.
The goal of the program was to break down the psychological barriers about going to Ye Olde Chippery in the middle of a pandemic. And nearly 40% of diners who took advantage of the program were dining out for the first time since March, according to a survey conducted by data and research consultancy CGA.
It remains to be seen, however, if that mindset will continue now that the program has ended and British weather has started its transition to the usual post-apocalyptic winter.
Meanwhile, the British government is left to pick up the biggest restaurant check in the history of overindulgences. Business Insider estimates the total cost of the month-long program to be $567 million (before tip).
Govt Declares 4-Month Moratorium on Evictions
The Trump administration declared a four-month moratorium on residential evictions today, after which it’s going to get mighty evictiony in here without federal intervention.
The moratorium, announced by the CDC for some reason, will stop all evictions until Dec. 31, per the Public Health Service Act (written in 1944 when doctors still prescribed children a soothing pack of cigarettes for a bad cough).
The goal of the measure is to stop a national health crisis from turning into a 70s dystopian sci-fi novel by adding a homeless crisis on top of it.
Individuals earning less than $99,000 a year, who are unable to make rent or housing payments due to the pandemic, are protected from eviction until the New Year.
But when the moratorium ends, you’ll owe four months’ rent backpay, unless there’s federal aid or some kind of rent forgiveness program instated before then.
The announcement was met with a mixed reaction from housing experts, who praised that it would keep tens of millions of Americans of the street in the middle of the pandemic. But critics point out it’s only delaying the crisis until Jan. 1 which will be a heck of a way to ring in the new year, I guess.
The moratorium also provides no assistance or protections for housing providers, which could have a knock-on effect on renters if they’re unable to meet their obligations.
“An eviction moratorium will ultimately harm the very people it aims to help by making it impossible for housing providers, particularly small owners, to meet their financial obligations and continue to provide shelter to their residents,” Doug Bibby, president of the National Multifamily Housing Council, told USAToday.
In Other News
ONE LAST THING
Why You Need Exposure to Gold
By Money & Crisis Editor Graham Summers
Do you have exposure to gold?
Early last month, the precious metal broke to new all-time highs, rising above $2,000 for the first time in history. What’s truly striking, however, is that even after such a massive move, gold’s subsequent correction was relatively shallow. Indeed, it looks increasingly as if it has put in a base and is ready for its next leg higher.
If history is any guide, we’re just getting started here.
During the gold bull market in the 1970s, gold rose 585% during its first leg up from 1970 to 1975. It then corrected roughly 50% before beginning its next leg up. However, it was the SECOND move higher that was the BIG one. The price went up by a whopping 740%.
This time around, we’re following a similar pattern. Gold first rallied about 630% from 2003-2011. It then corrected about 43% before bottoming in 2015 at $1,060. If it follows a similar second leg up this time around, it’s going to approximately $8,000 per ounce before it peaks.
Literal fortunes will be made by this bull market. And if you don’t have exposure to it, you need to start doing so.
Closing Data for Today
|S&P Index 500||3,506.94||0.64%|
- Joseph P. Kennedy III loses primary despite the backing of party leaders, marking the first time in history a Kennedy has lost in Massachusetts.
- Shares of Tesla drop 7% after, Baillie Gifford, Tesla’s largest outside shareholder, reduces its position, citing portfolio restrictions.
- U.S. debt set to exceed size of the economy for first time since WWII
Editor, One Last Thing