There’s no good time to go bankrupt, but if you’re going to do it, the week-end is generally the time to choose, since you have a longer break while the markets are closed to get everything in order, prepare the bankruptcy court, regulatory, and exchange filings, draft press releases, and schedule announcements to employees, suppliers, customers, and shareholders. The week-end between Friday, 2023-05-12 and 2023-05-15 was particularly peppered with bankruptcies, as Bloomberg’s “The Blitz” newsletter reported in “Bankruptcy Weekend Blitz Is Just the Beginning for Zombie Companies” on 2023-05-16.
Fire protection company Kidde-Fenwal is the present-day successor to a company which has been in operation since 1917, 106 years ago. Vice Media was only founded in 1994, but grew to more than US$ 1 billion revenue and 3000 employees before packing it in with between one half and one billion US$ in liabilities.
Odds are, if U.S. interest rates remain at their current levels or continue to rise, that these are not the last apples to fall from the tree.
That is a lot of ammonium nitrate. While ammonium nitrate is normally used as an explosive mixed with fuel oil (or diesel fuel, etc.), it can act as an explosive by itself, and has resulted in numerous disasters over the last century, memorably the 2020-08-04 explosion in a warehouse at the Port of Beirut, Lebanon, where a fire triggered the explosive decomposition of 2750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate with an explosive yield estimated at between 0.5 and 1 kiloton of TNT. The relative effectiveness factor of ammonium nitrate alone is 0.32 (in other words, the detonation of 1 kg of ammonium nitrate is equivalent to about 1/3 kilogram of TNT), so a pure detonation would be equivalent to around 970 tons of TNT, toward the high end of the yield calculated from the observed explosion and damage.
Mixing the ammonium nitrate (94%) with fuel oil (6%) to produce ANFO explosive increases the relative effectiveness to 0.74, more than double that of ammonium nitrate alone.
So, if somebody decided to turn the missing ammonium nitrate into a bomb without any additions, the yield to be about (courtesy of Fourmilab Units Calculator):
(60000 pounds) * 0.32 tnt = 9.6 ton tnt
If fuel oil were added to make ANFO (which is not only more powerful but a more reliable explosive), we get:
(60000 pounds) * 0.74 tnt = 22.2 ton tnt
The Oklahoma City terrorist bomb in 1995 used a total of 13 barrels each weighing around 500 pounds, for a total weight of 6500 pounds. Nine barrels contained a mixture of ammonium nitrate and nitromethane, which has relative effectiveness in the 0.85 range, while four were filled with ANFO. The ammonium nitrate mass is a bit more than nine times that of the Oklahoma city bomb, but with a lower relative effectiveness, so let’s call it eight times the bang. That gives the explosive yield of 178 tons of TNT, which is around nine times the 20 ton yield of the W54 nuclear warhead as used on the Davy Crockett nuclear bazooka.
That’s a big bang.
Here is what the detonation of 2.5 tons of ANFO in a cement truck by Mythbusters looked like in slow motion. This is around 1/70th the yield of a 60,000 pound ANFO bomb.
The former Union Bank building in the heart of San Francisco’s financial district, located at 350 California Street, was auctioned off last week. The winning bid was $65 million, roughly 75 percent less on a per-square-foot basis than comparable building sales from just before the pandemic. This is devastating news for San Francisco, because it provides a new market-rate benchmark for pricing other downtown commercial building listings, and such a low price indicates that investors have an extremely negative outlook for the future of San Francisco’s downtown area.
Developer Eric Tao noted that permitting and other city fees, together with the city’s affordable housing requirements, are so costly that the purchase price of the building would need to drop to less than $100 per square foot, compared to the purchase price of $225 per square foot for 350 California, to economically justify a residential conversion.
To put Tao’s estimate in context, I note that the cost of housing per square foot in Biloxi, Mississippi, one of the poorest cities in the country, with a median household income that is 60 percent below that of San Francisco, is $139 per square foot. And this is for a city that is not only poor but is chronically at risk of major flooding, which raises insurance costs and reduces home values.
This means that the intellectual capital created on these platforms by individuals who have subsequently died or abandoned the Internet will be lost forever. I understand the desire to free up inactive user names to keep the dead hand of the past from forever constraining the choices of new users, but why not preserve the content and change the account name to, say, @Archived_RealGiodanoBruno when the account is declared inactive. Certainly, with the collapse in storage costs, the overhead of preserving the content has to be tiny compared to, for example, the hours of current event streaming on YouTube showing a “Live stream starting soon” card or such.
Recollect that Galveston was decimated when a ship filled with ammonium nitrate blew up spontaneously in the harbour. After that, they began moving the ammonium nitrate in wax balls - which only lowered the threshold amount needed for spontaneous combustion. What followed were a spate of railroad car explosions across the country - until they finally figured out why and how to stop it.
The YouTube post of the video, on the official Ford Europe channel, has this caption:
Ford called out a homophobic response to a Ranger Raptor video last year by creating the real-life “Very Gay Raptor”. Ever since, Ford has been proudly using its toughest nameplate to redefine what “tough” actually means. Now, the Next-Gen Ranger Raptor is picking up the torch in Ford’s mission to work side-by-side with the automotive industry and LGBTQ+ community to drive out discrimination.
You’d think they could have put a dozen cases of Bud Light in the back.
OK, so now corporate wars are apparently incorporating sabotage via infiltration of competitors’ marketing departments to parade their “pride” in hostility toward healthy masculinity. Clearly this indicates a systemic failure of fiduciary responsibility to the stockholders of these companies. But apparently stockholders don’t care about profits all that much. My explanation for this is the Fentanyl drip of World Reserve Currency preferentially propping up the biggest companies, especially if they comply with the fashionistas of the Mid Atlantic elite and their close proximity to the sources of the Worst Resource Curse.
65,000lbs of ammonium nitrate won’t rid us of this Curse.
How to testify before “congress” without ever answering a question. This is U.S. Secretary of “Education” Miguel Cardona before the House of Representatives Education Committee, “fielding” questions from several Republic committee members.
Q: “Is it possible to change the law of gravity so blacks are no longer impacted by it?”
A: “I’m not sure, sir.”
Cardona’s “safeword” appears to be “divisive”, which he pronounces in the U.S. neo-Marxist argot as “dih-viss-uv“, and brandishes like a crucifix to ward off vampires as he lectures Republicans on how to ask questions of a distinguished Doctor of Education like himself.
The error was caused when officials overvalued some of the systems sent to Ukraine, using the value of money it would cost to replace an item completely rather than the current value of the weapon.
But, hold on—this stuff was in the U.S. inventory and now it’s been sent to Ukraine, and presumably will be staying there if it isn’t expended or destroyed. So to preserve readiness of U.S. forces, it will have to be replaced, and that is, by definition, its replacement cost, not “current value”.
So this “discovery” is more like “Hey, here’s an accounting trick we forgot that we can use to hoodwink congress and the taxpayers.”
How long until the equivalent reaches the west? Have the wrong political leanings or improper beliefs and you’ll get the equivalent of a scarlet “C” following you around, plus your home address revealed so the mob can peacefully protest there
The other piece of the puzzle is the introduction of a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), the first toe in the tree chipper of which is scheduled to roll out in July 2023 as the “FedNow” payment system. In China, WeChat already includes a payment function and has widely replaced cash even for small transactions such as bus fares. Once the payment system is in place, if you’re insufficiently highly rated or flagged as undesirable, literally “your money is no good here”, and if you can’t spend it, it isn’t your money. On the other side, disfavoured businesses, for example gun stores and ammunition vendors, can be “de-banked” and unable to receive payments for products they sell. This already happening: this one is from yesterday.
The introduction of FedNow will make it easier to impose and much more difficult to work around. China is, of course, far in the lead in this form of tyranny.
Another fun fact is that SpaceX just successfully completed its 34th launch of 2023 today. Counting 10 Merlin engines (9 booster and 1 upper stage) for each of the 32 Falcon 9 launches and 28 engines each (9 on each of the core and two side boosters, one on the upper stage) for the two Falcon Heavy launches, that’s a total of 376 SpaceX engines which have launched orbital payloads so far in 2023.