NEWS DIGEST 04.12.2021: Latest business & finance news – NewsNow

UK households will be paying much higher energy bills, which will rise not only because of high power and gas prices but also because of the collapse of Bulb, the biggest victim of the energy crisis so far, according to the UK’s energy regulator Ofgem, cited by Bloomberg. The energy crisis and soaring wholesale power and natural gas prices claimed its biggest victim so far in the UK when Bulb, a power and gas supplier serving 1.7 million customers, said at the end of November that it would enter into special administration. The collapse of Bulb, and more than 20 other energy providers in the UK since the summer, will cost a UK household between $106 and $113 on top of their energy bills next year and in 2023, according to the regulator’s initial assessment of the cost of the crisis...

Deep freeze in Arctic Europe sends power prices soaring – Nwo Report

On the Finnmark plateau, between Kautokeino and Karasjok, temperatures dropped down to -35°C on Sunday. The forecast for the coming week shows a temperature anomaly for the last days of November of 10°C below the reference period 1961-1990, the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute informs.

Coldest out is Nikkaluokta near Gällivare in Norrbotten with -36°C.

In times of climate change, the current freeze comes in sharp contrast to last fall, when meteorologists reported about the hottest October and early November ever measured, with an average of 6,7°C above normal across the Arctic.

Cold weather even sweeps the coast of northernmost Norway where the Arctic waters are kept ice-free by the warm Gulf Stream. In Kirkenes, on the border to Russia, the thermometer read -25°C on Saturday outside the Barents Observer’s office.

On the Kola Peninsula, Sunday November 28 came with temperatures from -18°C to -30°C the news online Severpost reported.

Further east in the Russian Arctic, quickly accumulating sea-ice on the Northern Sea Route has created a critical situation as a number of ships have been trapped in thick sea-ice for several weeks.

Extreme freeze over northern Scandinavia causes energy prices to soar to a record high. The main reason is high consumption combined with ice formation on rivers with hydropower plants in northern Sweden. The northern regions of Norway and Sweden are closely linked together in the same electricity grid.

Low production in Sweden pushes prices up, also in northernmost Noway. On Sunday, a kWh came with a price-tag of 1,92 kroner/kWh (€0,19/kWh) on the spot market, the highest cost for electricity inside the Arctic Circle since 2010. Current prices are up to 10 times higher compared to the average daily over the three first weeks of November.

China urges families to store basic supplies in case of emergency – BBC News

China’s government has urged families to stock up on essential supplies in case of emergencies.

No reason was given for the notice from the Ministry of Commerce, but it
came amid ongoing coronavirus lockdowns and concerns over vegetable
supplies after unusually heavy rain damaged crops…


From Four Corners copied for the record! It’s crook! (ed)–what%E2%80%99s-driving-australia%E2%80%99s-real-estate-frenzy/13612062

Going, Going, Gone: What’s driving Australia’s property frenzy

“I just don’t believe how much prices have jumped. These prices are far exceeding what I think is a fair and reasonable market price.” Buyer’s agent, Sydney

Across Australia, property prices are going through the roof, pushing the total value of residential real estate to a staggering nine trillion dollars.

“It is definitely the hottest market I’ve ever seen with the low supply, the lower interest rates and the cost of borrowing, money being so cheap.” Real estate agent, Brisbane

When the pandemic hit in 2020, there were fears the property market would collapse. Instead, house prices have risen at the fastest pace in at least three decades.

“We thought it would stop for a pandemic, but it hasn’t. I think it’s gone against all the experts and predictors out there; it just keeps going.” Auctioneer, Melbourne

City prices are eye watering, and the phenomenon is spreading. As people seize the chance to work from home, a stampede of buyers has sparked a property buying frenzy in regional Australia as well.

“Properties in Tasmania are literally selling within around about 48 hours. I’d say that for every property that we sell, we could probably sell it 10 times over.” Real estate agent

On paper, it’s made many homeowners across Australia millionaires. In reality, it’s seen buyers mortgaged to the hilt, while others are priced out altogether.

“The great Australian dream has been about home ownership. It’s now become a lot of people’s nightmare.” Housing policy expert

On Monday, Four Corners tracks the property price boom that’s fuelling risky and irrational behaviour and investigates what is driving it.

“People are buying property sight unseen from another state. People are waiving their rights to finance…they’re not doing building inspections…there’s a lot of people taking a lot of risk.” Buyer’s agent, Tasmania

For many people, the housing market has become unaffordable and it’s creating a generational divide. Home ownership among those under the age of 45 has plunged to levels not seen since the 1950s.

“For my generation it means a lot less home ownership. I feel it’s very unfair.” Sydney home hunter

There’s a sense of despair and disillusionment from many who have worked and saved, only to see their dream slip out of sight.

“I did everything right. I did everything that every politician has ever told us to do… The situation’s left me feeling completely defeated.” Nurse, Tasmania

As the divide between the haves and have nots grows, housing experts warn there will be consequences.

“Housing has become, rather than a place of security where you raise a family, something that you seek to create wealth from and speculate on. So, that is a really big shift over the last 40 years. And it’s one that I don’t think will serve the future well.” Housing expert

Going, going gone, reported by Stephen Long, goes to air on Monday 1st November at 8.30pm. It is replayed on Tuesday 2nd November at 1.00pm and Wednesday 3rd at 11.20pm. It can also be seen on ABC NEWS channel on Saturday at 8.10pm AEST, ABC iview and at



Four Corners

1st November, 2021


ADRIAN PISARSKI, EXECUTIVE OFFICER, NATIONAL SHELTER: The great Australian dream has been about home ownership; it’s now become a lot of people’s nightmare.

ELLY CLARK, HOMEBUYER: The last zoom auction we were on, we had 28 people registered to bid and it went nearly a million dollars over the guide….

Accusations that Russia uses energy as geopolitical weapon are baseless, Banca Intesa chair says — RT Business News

… Russia is delivering more gas to Europe than specified under the existing contract, while the lion’s share of US liquified natural gas (LNG) promised by Washington is going to Asia, Antonio Fallico told RT.

“Extremely high prices for natural gas in Europe are the result of underestimated demand by the European Union with storage facilities remaining at record low
levels of 60% to 65%, which contributed to rising gas costs,” according to the chairman of Banca Intesa Russia.

Also on
European gas prices fall as Gazprom signals additional supplies in November

“Russia has delivered 15% more natural gas than it is
obligated to under the current agreement. This also includes Ukraine’s
pipeline network which saw a 10% boost in transmission,” Fallico told RT on the sidelines of the 14th Eurasian Economic Forum in Verona, Italy.

added that out of the 28 billion cubic meters of gas agreed to with the
US, only 7 billion cubic meters have been delivered to Europe, with the
rest going to Asia.

“This is why accusations that Russia uses energy as a geopolitical weapon is not accurate. This rhetoric is baseless,” Fallico said.

Also on
Germans should change
course on energy policy to avoid having to heat homes with firewood, as
Putin once joked – Knorr-Bremse boss

He also said that despite the temporary nature of the situation,
the gas crisis is part of a bigger structural problem, because the EU
economy is not working as well as it should.

“The situation
may become even more difficult if investment in the development of
traditional energy is stopped or decreased and alternative energy fails
to compensate for the deficit,” he warned, adding that any energy transition must be balanced.

Iran’s president claims cyberattackers crippled every gas station in the country to create ‘disorder’ but fails to assign blame — RT World News

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has said a cyberattack targeted
every gas station in the country in an attempt to spark anger and create
“disorder and disruption,” but he failed to say who the government
believes was behind it.
The comments, which were
broadcast on Iranian state television, saw the country’s president
announce that a cyberattack had crippled every gas station in the
republic, making the government-issued cards used by citizens to buy
fuel useless.

“There should be serious readiness in the field
of cyberwar, and related bodies should not allow the enemy to follow
their ominous aims to make problem in the trend of people’s life,” Raisi stated, adding that the attack had been aimed at making “people angry by creating disorder and disruption.”

announcing the vast cyberattack on the Islamic Republic, Raisi did not
blame a country or group for the incident, though he did indicate that
anti-Iranian forces were trying to inflame tensions. A group of hackers
did claim responsibility for the attack on the gas stations late on
Tuesday, but they have yet to provide any evidence that they were behind