September 2022


Famed investor Michael Burry delivered arguably his most dire warning about the current US economy to date late Thursday – suggesting he is concerned the ongoing downturn could be worse than the Great Recession.

Burry, the boss of Scion Asset Management, noted that one of his market analysts said his comments were “spooky” because he voiced his concerns on Sept. 29 – the anniversary of a 777.68-point drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average in 2008 that ranked at the time as the largest single-day plunge in history.

“Today I wondered aloud if this could be worse than 2008,” Burry said in a now-deleted tweet. “What interest rates are doing, exchange rates globally, central banks seem reactionary and in [cover your a–] mode.”

The Dow had plummeted nearly 500 points before Burry’s tweet and has pared more than 20% from its high of nearly 37,000 — putting it into bear market territory. It was down nearly 100 as of Friday at 1 PM.

The Federal Reserve and other central banks around the world have scrambled to hike interest rates in recent months in a bid to tame decades-high inflation. The World Bank and others have warned that central banks risk causing a global recession while pushing forward with rapid, simultaneous rate hikes despite signs of slowing economies.

Burry, whose bet against the US housing market was made famous in the 2015 film “The Big Short,” is one of several prominent voices warning of potentially dangerous global economic conditions.

Earlier this week, ex-Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, a frequent critic of the Fed’s delayed response to inflation, warned that global economic risk levels are similar to those seen in 2007 ahead of the Great Recession.

Michael Burry
Michael Burry famously bet against the US housing market during the Great Recession.
Getty Images

“In the same way that people became anxious in August of 2007, I think this is a moment when there should be increased anxiety,” Summers told Bloomberg.

Like Burry, Summers noted that there is widespread uncertainty about the policy actions of central banks as they attempt to stabilize economies.

The Bank of England was forced to intervene this week after the value of the British pound crashed to an all-time low. Investors were rattled after the UK government backed sweeping unfunded tax cuts and increased spending – a plan that sparked fears of even worse inflation.

Michael Burry
Michael Burry is head of Scion Asset Management.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

Burry has amassed more than one million followers on Twitter, where he often shares – and quickly deletes – his thoughts about the state of economics and politics.

A month ago, the hedge fund wizard said a stock market downturn that he expects to be “the mother of all crashes” was underway.

Burry also raised eyebrows after disclosures in August revealed his firm had sold off its entire stock portfolio during the second quarter, dumping shares of major names such as Google parent Alphabet and Facebook parent Meta.

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Florida cops arrested a group of looters in a devastated section of Fort Myers Thursday, according to a local reporter.

Reporter Gage Goulding of NBC 2 tweeted out a video of five young suspects seated in handcuffs in the stricken city’s beach area.

“Sheriff’s deputies told me Thursday afternoon these people were arrested for looting on Fort Myers Beach,” Goulding tweeted.

Local officials warned of the potential for looting after Hurricane Ian tore through the area and left countless buildings battered and exposed.

Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno issued a stiff warning to would-be thieves this week as the Category 4 storm made landfall in his jurisdiction.

“For any of those individuals that think they are going to go out there and loot or prey on people during this horrific event — you better think twice,” Marceno. “When I say zero tolerance, zero tolerance means we will hunt you down, track you down, and you’re going to jail. If you’re lucky.”

A picture of a group of people who looting from others in the wake of Hurricane Ian.
Florida cops arrested a group of looters in a devastated section of Fort Myers Thursday.

He added that the department had received a report of a local gas station being looted during the storm.

Fort Myers officials are still executing search and rescue missions in the aftermath of the storm, as emergency crews descended on the city of 85,000.

A piece of decor from a destroyed business or boat lies in Fort Myers.
Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno said the department had received a report of a local gas station being looted during the storm.

A picture of a man walking through a street among damaged homes and businesses and debris in Fort Myers Beach.
Fort Myers officials are still executing search and rescue missions in the aftermath of the hurricane.

City officials issued an evacuation order the day before the storm touched down, but some residents stayed put.

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The death toll from Hurricane Ian’s brutal assault on Florida rose to at least 21 by Friday, with more expected in the decimated “ground zero” — as rescue efforts continue and authorities work to recover bodies already spotted in a submerged home, officials said.

“Right now, the number we’re going with is we have 21” deaths, the devastated state’s emergency management director, Kevin Guthrie, told a briefing early Friday.

However, he noted a heartbreaking “identified situation” spotted during a “hasty search” of houses in an area still too dangerous for rescue squads to fully access.

“The water was up over the rooftop,” he said, without revealing the location.

“We had a Coast Guard rescue swimmer swim down into it and he could identify there appear to be human remains — we do not know exactly how many,” he said.

“And we’ve got a couple of other situations where we had that particular type” of nightmare scenario, he said.

Residents check on one another in a flooded neighborhood in Orlando.
The true tally will not be known until rescuers can access areas still flooded and unsafe to venture into, officials said.

A first responder makes her way through floodwaters in Orlando.
The conditions have made it dangerous for rescuers to even try reaching some parts of the devastated state.

Boats lie scattered amid mobile homes on San Carlos Island in Fort Myers Beach, the worst hit part of the US.
Ian destroyed many homes, including some hit by boats tossed ashore in the near-Category 5 winds.

Damage Damaged boats and structures in Fort Myers Beach, Fla.
Officials fear the death toll with rise as they finally access some of the worst-damaged areas, including the “ground zero” in Fort Meyer.

Of the deaths listed, only one — in Polk County — was officially confirmed. Another 12 in Charlotte County and eight in Collier County were suspected, but not confirmed, he said.

The tally did not appear to include the 72-year-old man who officials earlier said had drowned while trying to drain his pool in Volusia County.

It also did not include any from Lee County, the area covering Fort Meyers that Gov. Ron DeSantis described as “ground zero” of the devastation.

The area — which officials earlier said was “decimated” by the hurricane — had only been accessible for very preliminary rescue operations, Guthrie said, suggesting more dead will be found.

On Thursday, Lee County officials said at least two people had died on Sanibel Island after Ian wrecked a causeway linking it with Florida’s mainland. Those deaths did not appear to have been included in Guthrie’s tally.

Amid the confusion, President Biden had warned Thursday that Ian “could be the deadliest hurricane in Florida’s history.”

“We’re hearing early reports of what may be substantial loss of life,” he had said.

Ian had earlier killed at least 3 people on Cuba, where it first made landfall Tuesday.

DeSantis said that as of Friday, only half of the “20,000 Floridians that filled out a shelter-in-place survey” had so far given updates. Thankfully, of those ” all 10,000 said they were safe,” he said.

Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Gov. Ron DeSantis praised the “Herculean effort” of rescuers under treacherous conditions.

He stressed, however, that the low response was likely due to mass power outages — with 1.9 million across the state still affected Friday — and shoddy cellphone service amid the widespread destruction.

Rescue crews have gone door-to-door to over 3,000 homes in the hardest-hit areas, he said, calling it “a Herculean effort.”

Already, at least 34,000 Floridians have applied for assistance from FEMA from what DeSantis earlier called “a 500-year flood event.”

“You have people that no longer have homes, And so there’s going to be a wide variety of things that they’re going to need in the coming days, weeks and months,” he stressed.

Ian had hit the Sunshine State with 150 mph winds, just shy of the highest Category 5 ranking for storms raging 157 mph or more.

While it moved over the Gulf Coast, its edges were already drenching parts of South Carolina, which was bracing for a direct hit expected later Friday.

“HURRICANE IAN ACCELERATING TOWARD THE SOUTH CAROLINA COAST… LIFE-THREATENING STORM SURGE AND DAMAGING WINDS ARRIVING SOON,” the National Hurricane Center warned in an 11 a.m. update on the now-Category 1 hurricane with 85 mph max winds.

Hurricane warnings, as well as notices about life-threatening storm surges, were in place across large parts of the state as well as neighboring North Carolina, both of which were already put in states of emergency.

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A cancer-stricken Minnesota couple was found dead in their home with their two dogs earlier this week — after they hatched a murder-suicide plan so they could leave the world “in love and together.”

The bodies of Steven Alton Stearns, 45, Stacy Lynn Stearns, 49, and their two dogs were discovered inside the Detroit Lakes home on Tuesday after the couple had called 911, authorities said.

Stacy’s death has since been ruled a homicide and Steven’s a suicide, according to the Becker County Sheriff’s Office.

The couple, who had celebrated their 21st wedding anniversary just a week before their deaths, had been struggling to cope with their cancer battles, In Forum reported.

Steven had recently been diagnosed with lung cancer that was too advanced to treat, while his wife had already been suffering from stomach cancer.

The couple are pictured dancing together
The couple, who had celebrated their 21st wedding anniversary just a week earlier, had both been battling cancer, friends said.
Facebook/SteveStacy Stearns
The couple's two dogs were found dead inside their home, authorities said.
The couple’s two dogs were also found dead inside their home, authorities said.
Facebook/SteveStacy Stearns

Just moments before the couple alerted 911 of their planned demise, they posted a heartbreaking final message on their joint Facebook page.

“To our loved ones. We chose to leave this world as we lived in it. In love and together. Our only regret is the sorrow to our loved ones. Remember the laughter and happiness We love you. Goodbye,” the post read.

Their friend Tammy Lawrence told the outlet that Steven had recently told her they were secretly planning to end their lives.

“They’ve always had a pact that ‘We will go together,’” Lawrence said. “He made me promise not to say anything to anybody.”

Stacy and Steven pictured dancing.
Stacy’s death has since been ruled a homicide and Steven’s a suicide, the sheriff’s office said.
Facebook/SteveStacy Stearns

She added: “Stacy did not want him to tell me, but he said, ‘I can’t look in your eyes and lie to you anymore, and somebody has to be able to tell people why we are going to do what we were going to do.’”

The couple had no children and treated their two dogs as their kids, friends said.

“He’s not a murderer; this was done out of love. It’s what they both wanted. They wanted to go together with their dogs,” Lawrence said.

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Senate Republicans debuted a blistering video Friday hammering President Biden for “putting America on the wrong track” during his first two years in office.

The two-and-a-half minute ad, titled “The First Two Years” and narrated by Sen. John Barrasso, (R-Wyo.), premiered on YouTube fewer than six weeks before the midterm elections in which the GOP is vying for control of both the House and Senate.

“We’re two years into the Biden presidency. America is on the wrong track,” Barasso declares at the start of the video, before listing some of the commander-in-chief’s greatest blunders, including blocking the Keystone XL Pipeline and going on a “massive spending spree.”

Senate Republicans unveiled a new political ad on Friday, hammering President Biden over his perceived missteps while in office.
Senate Republicans unveiled a new political ad on Friday, hammering President Biden over his perceived missteps while in office.
Senate Republicans
The video, narrated by Sen. John Barasso, blamed the recession on the Democrats' "massive spending spree."
The video, narrated by Sen. John Barasso, blamed the recession on the Democrats’ “massive spending spree.”
Senate Republicans

The ad also strings together dozens of clips of Biden’s critics and pundits picking apart his policy decisions on cable news shows over the past two years.

The overarching message is that Biden’s economic initiatives have caused inflation to skyrocket, while his lax border enforcement has resulted in record numbers of migrants pouring into the US and “bringing deadly drugs into communities.”

The video hits out at Biden for not enforcing the borders and allowing record number of migrants to enter the US.
The video hits out at Biden for not enforcing the borders and allowing record number of migrants to enter the US.
Senate Republicans
The ad accuses migrants of smuggling drugs into communities around the country.
The ad accuses migrants of smuggling drugs into communities around the country.
Senate Republicans

The Senate Republican Conference’s highly critical ad also mentions US forces’ “disastrous and deadly” withdrawal from Afghanistan in August of 2021, arguing the botched pullout emboldened Russia’s Vladimir Putin to invade Ukraine, and gave China’s Xi Jinping the license to threaten Taiwan.

Turning back to domestic affairs, Barrasso narrates that despite the US entering a recession this year, “Democrats passed even more reckless spending, and inflation got worse.”

The third act of the withering ad makes hay of high gas prices, inflation, recession and surging crime in American cities like New York and Chicago.

GOP leaders believe Biden's policies had emboldened Russia to invade Ukraine.
GOP leaders believe Biden’s policies had emboldened Russia to invade Ukraine.

The political ad accuses Biden of causing record inflation.
The political ad accuses Biden of causing record inflation.

The video goes on to list President Biden's perceived policy blunders.
The video goes on to list President Biden’s perceived policy blunders.

“That is the Biden legacy in just two years,” the Wyoming senator gravely notes, before encouraging viewers to vote for Republican candidates come November.

“A new Senate Republican majority is prepared to lead in a different direction,” Barasso narrates over a montage featuring Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and GOP stalwart Mitt Romney.

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With hit songs like “Levitating” and “Don’t Start Now,” Dua Lipa is one of the most famous music artists in the world today! In addition to the U.K. native’s talents for singing and dancing, Dua is incredibly stylish, and that includes her sexy bikini collection.

When the three-time Grammy Award winner isn’t playing sold-out shows, she’s all about rest and relaxation — usually somewhere warm and sunny! That said, even when Dua is traveling for pleasure, she makes it a point to work on her health and fitness.

“When I have a tiny bit more time on my side, I love mixing up lots of different training, finding different workouts in whatever city I’m in, whether it’s yoga, Pilates, boxing or spinning,” the “New Rules” singer told Marie Claire.

“Whatever it is, I try to change it up every day to keep things interesting. When you’re on a tour bus, every day and every place is different, so you never know what you’re going to find,” Dua added. “That’s always one way to keep it interesting.”

As for diet, Dua views food as more than just fuel. “I love cooking and being surrounded by my favorite people, though I also love ordering from the fantastic restaurants in my area — especially as there’s no indoor seating at the moment due to the pandemic,” she told Refinery29 in May 2021, referring to the coronavirus pandemic. “With all the running around I do for work, it’s nice to come home, slow down and connect with the food that nourishes my body and life.”

Dua doesn’t just attribute her overall well-being to working out and eating right — she’s a mind, body and soul kind of gal! “Once everyone leaves, it’s time for a little self-care. I am religious about washing my face and doing my nighttime skincare routine every evening,” she explained. “Even when it’s a rehearsal day and I’m not wearing makeup, it is so important to wash the day off. I also use this time to check in with myself and practice gratitude.”

Scroll through the gallery below to see photos of Dua Lipa’s hottest bikini moments over the years. 

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The Biden administration hit the Kremlin with a new round of sanctions Friday, hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the annexation of four Ukrainian provinces in a rambling, ranting address.

The sanctions sought to impose “swift and severe costs” on Moscow for its “fraudulent and unlawful annexation” of Ukrainian territory, the White House said.

“Make no mistake: these actions have no legitimacy,” President Biden said of Russia’s land grab. “The United States will always honor Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders.”

“In response to Russia’s phony claims of annexation, the United States, together with our Allies and partners, are announcing new sanctions today,” Biden continued. “These sanctions will impose costs on individuals and entities — inside and outside of Russia — that provide political or economic support to illegal attempts to change the status of Ukrainian territory.”

The sanctions target Russian government and military officials, as well as military officials in neighboring Belarus.

The punishment also affects 14 international firms identified as being part of the Russian military’s supply chain.

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the Kremlin to hold phony referendums in Ukraine provinces.
Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the Kremlin to hold phony referendums in Ukraine provinces.
Mikhail Metzel, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP

The measures took aim at the Russian economy, sanctioning Elvira Sakhipzadovna Nabiullina, the head of Russia’s central bank — as well as her deputy, longtime Putin advisor Olga Nikolaevna Skorobogatova.

The US Treasury and State Departments also announced sanctions on relatives of members of Russia’s security council, including the wife and adult children of Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu — who was directly affected by earlier rounds of sanctions.

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A group of flamingos got a leg up on Hurricane Ian — by hunkering down in a ladies room at a botanical garden in St. Petersburg.

“Our animals are safe w/staff on site to see them through the storm,” Sunken Gardens said in a tweet Wednesday. “The flamingos are having a hurricane party in the bathroom; eating, drinking, & dancing.”

The image of the Chilean flamingos huddling together in front of restroom stalls at the roadside attraction as the storm slammed into the Sunshine State quickly went viral.

“It was just mainly for our members and folks that follow us,” supervising director Dwayne Biggs told the Tampa Bay Tribune. “It’s gone all over the country.”

Animals at Sunken Gardens often weather storms in another hurricane-proof building at the site, but the staff decided to take extra precautions with Ian and ushered them to the main building, the newspaper reported.

The pink birds congregated inside the women’s powder room next to the main lobby.  

“Actually it’s pretty close to what you would design for an animal-holding overnight facility,” Biggs told the Tampa Bay Tribune on Thursday. “And it was the perfect size for our 21 flamingos.”

He added, chuckling: “We’re going to sterilize and clean it afterwards. We’ll be moving them out first thing tomorrow morning.”

Other animals at Sunken Gardens were similarly moved inside as the storm barreled in, the paper reported.

Macaws, Amazon parrots, cockatoos and a kookaburra from Australia were all moved to a classroom, but the flamingos required special attention.

“There’s a special technique to carry them safely,” Biggs told the outlet. “Their legs are very delicate, so there’s a certain way to grab the legs and tuck them underneath and kind of cuddle them…That took some time.”

As they snuggled together, the birds snacked on flamingo-formulated pellets and Biggs checked up on them throughout the storm.

“I‘m glad we posted that,” Biggs told the paper about the image of the birds. “It’s kind of provided a little bit of breath of air here after this storm.”

One of the people who reacted to the post wrote: “Awww. So happy to see animals and wildlife taken to shelter before storm. I’m a hurricane Sandy of the Jersey Shore ‘kind of survivor’ as only our lives were saved and those of our pets. Everything else and I mean everything, gone.”

Flamingos at the Miami Metrozoo in 1998.
Flamingos take shelter in a men’s restroom at the Miami Metrozoo (now Zoo Miami) on Sept. 25, 1998, during Hurricane Georges.
Flamingos at the Miami Metrozoo in 1999.
In 1999, a group of flamingos waited out Hurricane Floyd in a Miami Metrozoo restroom.

The photo was reminiscent of other images of flamingos sheltering in bathrooms, including one of them inside a men’s restroom at the Miami Metrozoo (now Zoo Miami) in 1998 during Hurricane Georges and a similar group at the zoo the following year during Hurricane Floyd.

St. Petersburg was hit with hurricane-force winds and heavy rains during the storm, but appeared to have been largely spared the worst effects of the storm.

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An Amazon driver blasted customers in a tirade about having to make deliveries to 172 people during Hurricane Ian — yelling, “I hate all of y’all right now!”

The employee shared his rant on TikTok under the username @abnormalpoet, Newsweek first reported.

“I hate all of y’all right now. Y’all knew this hurricane was coming and you still order s–t! I gotta go to 172 of y’all today! I hate y’all. Everything is wet!” the driver shouted.

The clip had gathered more than 300,000 views, some 52,000 likes and 366 comments by Friday morning.

“No dude – that’s on Amazon – you should be getting paid to say home!” user Amie said.

Amazon worker rails about making deliveries during storm
“I hate all of y’all right now. Y’all knew this hurricane was coming and you still order s–t!” the Amazon deliveryman yells.
Amazon worker rails about making deliveries during storm
The worker’s tirade went viral on TikTok, where hundreds shared their thoughts about his soggy plight.
Amazon worker rails about making deliveries during storm
Amazon said it has over 8,000 employees in the Tampa area and that its priority is keeping them safe.

“Take it easy bro. Packages can be delayed,” @brishtii79 wrote.

“I’m sorry bro. I need my extra batteries,” added Jess Lynn along with laughing emojis.

User Lilly of the Lost sympathized with his plight.

“Ok but I called Amazon to try to delay my package (I ordered before I knew about the storm) and they told me they couldn’t….,” she wrote.

User Alassandra Teague also chimed in, saying, “Listen, my bad I ordered it way before I knew that the hurricane was coming and it was delivered today.”

Another person offered support for the soggy deliveryman.

“Not all heroes wear capes, well in this case raincoats. Stay strong my man,” the user wrote.

Amazon said it has over 8,000 employees in the Tampa area and that its priority is keeping them safe, Newsweek reported.

The company said it closed more than 80 facilities that were in the path of the Category 4 storm and would be paying workers for their scheduled shifts as providing help to those who were affected by the hurricane, the mag said.

It was not immediately clear where the driver was making his rounds.

Amazon did not immediately respond to request for comment.

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Storms were already lashing the South Carolina coast early Friday as Ian is expected to slam into the Palmetto State as a Category 1 hurricane this afternoon — with forecasters warning of a “life-threatening storm surge.”

On Friday morning in the historic city of Charleston, powerful wind gusts bent tree branches and steady rain fell.

The mega storm is currently about 105 miles southeast of Charleston, the National Hurricane Center said in its 8 a.m. ET advisory. It is packing powerful maximum sustained winds around 85 mph.

“The winds are holding steady at 85 mph,” Fox Weather meteorologist Steve Bender said.

Forecasters predict a storm surge of up to 7 feet into coastal areas of the Carolinas, and rainfall of up to 8 inches.

The re-energized storm is expected to hit somewhere between Charleston and Georgetown, but batter a huge area around them because of its terrifying size.

“This is a life-threatening situation,” the National Hurricane Center warned.

Meanwhile, more than 2 million in Florida are waking without power to survey the historic death and destruction left in its path.

While the worst of the storm had left Florida by Friday, “ongoing major to record river flooding will continue through next week” across parts of the Sunshine State, the advisory stressed.

The devastation across Florida — where Ian made landfall just shy of the maximum Category 5 storm with 150-mph winds — meant local rescue crews were still unable to reach those in need and tally the dead.

President Biden on Thursday warned that it “could be the deadliest hurricane in Florida’s history.”

“We’re hearing early reports of what may be substantial loss of life,” he said.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said at least 700 rescues, mostly by air, were conducted on Thursday involving the US Coast Guard, the National Guard and urban search-and-rescue teams.

He said “we fully expect to have mortality from this hurricane,” but cautioned against speculating on the likely number.

Early Friday, more than 2 million were without power in the Sunshine State, down from 2.6 million the previous day.

9am EST, Friday 30th September - Hurricane Ian
Ian was just off the coast of South Carolina at 9 a.m. Friday.

With all of South Carolina’s coast under a hurricane warning, a steady stream of vehicles left Charleston on Thursday, many likely heeding officials’ warnings to seek higher ground. Storefronts were sandbagged to ward off high water levels in an area prone to inundation.

“This is a dangerous storm that will bring high winds and a lot of water, but the most dangerous thing about it will be human error,” Gov. Henry McMaster tweeted.

“Be smart, make good decisions, check on your loved ones, and stay safe.”

People walk along the beach looking at property damaged by Hurricane Ian on September 29, 2022 in Bonita Springs, Florida.
People walk along the beach looking at property damaged by Hurricane Ian in Bonita Springs, Florida.
Getty Images

In North Carolina, National Guard troops were already at the ready for rescue missions.

“This storm is dangerous. Make sure you’re prepared,” Gov. Ray Cooper said.

The National Weather Service warns that a Category 1 hurricane — with winds between 74 and 95 mph — can damage roofs on even well-constructed homes as well as rip up trees and cause extensive power outages.

While Ian is expected to lose power after passing the Carolinas and Virginia, it will still bring heavy rainfall for much of the Northeast throughout the weekend, including New York.

With Post wires

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