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Coal comeback? Russia could force Europe’s hand

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Europe’s biggest Russian gas buyers were racing to find alternative fuel supplies on Monday and even looking at burning more coal to cope with reduced gas flows from Russia that threaten an energy crisis in winter if stores are not refilled

Europe biggest buyers of Russian gas are racing to find alternative fuel supplies, and some may even turn back to coal.

With Europe and Russia at odds over the Ukraine war, some European leaders face the threat of an energy crisis this winter if gas stores are not refilled.

Italy’s Eni said it was told by Russia’s Gazprom it would receive only part of its request for gas supplies Monday (June 20).

That has pushed the country closer to declaring a state of alert which could lead to gas saving measures.

Germany has also faced lower Russian flows.

The country announced Sunday (June 19) it planned to boost gas storage levels.

It even said it could restart coal-fired power plants it had aimed to phase out.

Economy Minister Robert Habeck called the measure ‘painful’ but a ‘sheer necessity’.

Otherwise, he said, Germany could be ‘blackmailable’ at a political level.

Habeck is a member of the Green Party that has pushed a for a quicker exit from coal – which produces more greenhouse gases.

Russian gas flows to Germany through the Nord Steam 1 pipeline were still running at about 40% of capacity Monday.

Russia’s state-controlled Gazprom last week cut throughput along Nord Stream 1 – which is the main route supplying Europe’s largest economy.

It blamed the apparent return of equipment being serviced by Germany’s Siemens Energy.

But German and Italian officials have said Russia was using that as an excuse to reduce supplies.

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The “day of reckoning” for startups is here

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The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank has uncovered the truth about the startup sector. What rose from the ashes of the GFC is now a bubble about to burst.

 
We are going to start right back in 2008. Remember the Global Financial Crisis? it was meant to have huge ramifications for the banking sector – And after all the collapses, all the redundancies, all the pain – we were told it could never happen again.

Well just a few weeks ago, the very foundations of our banking system were called into question – again.

Silicon Valley Bank may not be the world’s biggest, or even America’s biggest – but it did punch above its weight. Why? Because of its title. It was literally the bank of Silicon Valley.

The past 16 years have been extraordinary for the startup sector. Enormous growth multiples that defied the rest of Wall Street.

That is – until the music stopped in the investment community. All these startups that believed you could be worth a billion dollars on the back of buzz suddenly realised the money had run dry.
It’s now about good old-fashioned profit. It had to happen some time.

But it happened right after COVID – and right before all that stimulus money washing around the community had to be taken back. Interest rates had to rise, and suddenly all these startups had to withdraw their cash to survive.

Central Banks now find themselves at a horrible crossroads. Keep raising rates to fight inflation, but risk financial instability.

The job of central bankers is to keep banks stable. But in order to keep them stable, they have to raise rates to combat inflation, and the unintended consequences about that hit really hard.

The central banks are now contradicting themselves. To create stability, they have to create instability. It’s the problem with their blunt instruments.

Let’s take Silicon Valley Bank – More expensive money reduced the value of their securities portfolios and has made it likelier that depositors will flee to the big banks.

Did you hear that? So after creating the conditions that led to too much money in the economy, to now raising rates to claw it all back, that now led to instability in the financial system – the Fed doesn’t want to know.

Let’s bring it back to the poor depositors of Silicon Valley Bank – It’s a nightmare out there in startup land.

Economic fear and funding uncertainty has put startup-founder mental health in a tailspin. Many suffer in silence because they worry that talking about it will worry investors that the sector is in trouble.

The startup economy of today is eerily similar to the banking sector of 2007 right before the financial crisis – with companies dangerously close to the edge. #Silicon Valley bank #svb #credit suisse #fed reserve #silicon valley

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Accenture to axe 19,000 jobs

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The tech consulting firm says economic conditions have brought on the move

Accenture has announced it will be slashing 19,000 jobs at the tech consulting firm.

It’s all part of a proposal to cut costs to deal with a tight economic environment.

The company says it won’t put a freeze on hiring despite 2.5 per cent of staff departing in the next 18 months.

In a statement, the company says “there continues to be significant economic and geopolitical uncertainty in many markets around the world, which has impacted and may continue to impact our business.”

The company is expecting annual revenue growth to be up to 10 per cent for this year, which is a slight downgrade on pervious estimates.

The axing comes amid Meta and Amazon are downsizing their workforce.

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Etihad Airways in trouble over emissions reduction plans

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Australia’s consumer watchdog is considering action

Etihad Airways is in hot water over allegations it lied about its emissions reduction plans.

Australia’s consumer watchdog is now considering action against the airline as the body crackdown on so-called greenwashing.

It follows two Etihad advertisements that appeared on digital advertising banners during a football match at Melbourne’s AAMI Park on 15 February last year.

The ad had the words “net zero emissions by 2050” next to its logo.

In another commercial, the airline claimed “Flying shouldn’t cost the Earth”.

Flight Free Australia claims the ads convey the misleading impression that flying with Etihad does not have a significant environmental impact and Etihad intends to achieve net zero by 2050.

But the group says middle eastern airline has no credible path to net zero emissions by this date and it is not “technologically, practically, or economically feasible” to reach this goal.

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