2024 on its way to exceeding weather damages past $25 billion

2023-billion-dollar-disaster-map

Important Takeaways:

  • A deadly outbreak of tornadoes last month caused $4.7 billion in damages across the Southern, Southeastern and Central U.S., making it one of the costliest weather events of the year so far, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said on Monday.
  • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said there had been 11 confirmed weather and climate disaster events so far this year with losses exceeding $1 billion, with the total price tag topping $25 billion. There were more than 165 tornadoes during the May 6-9 outbreak, impacting Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, officials said.
  • A southern derecho —a widespread and long-lived wind storm associated with rapidly moving showers or thunderstorms— also caused more than $1 billion in damage in May, according to government data. The May 16-17 storm spanning from Texas to Florida killed at least eight people and caused $1.2 billion in damages. Winds topping 110 mph tore through parts of central and eastern Texas during the storm. The NOAA described May as a “turbulent month.”
  • The 2024 Atlantic hurricane season, which is predicted to be above normal, began at the start of June and will last until Nov. 30. Federal forecasters predict 17 to 25 named storms, 8 to 13 hurricanes, and 4 to 7 major hurricanes of category 3 or higher.
  • Last year, there were 28 weather events with losses exceeding $1 billion each —surpassing the previous record of 22 in 2020.
  • In 2022, there were 18 extreme weather events that caused at least $1 billion in damage each, totaling more than $165 billion.

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Super-charged hurricane season ahead weather experts predict; warn “stay vigilant”

2024-Hurricane-Season

Important Takeaways:

  • Explosive Atlantic hurricane season predicted for 2024, AccuWeather experts warn
  • A super-charged hurricane season could spawn a near-record number of storms in the Atlantic this year, and forecasters may even run out of names for storms amid a frenzy of tropical systems.
  • There are signs that the first named system could spin up before the season kicks off as the calendar flips to June, a precursor of what’s to come.
  • “The 2024 Atlantic hurricane season is forecast to feature well above the historical average number of tropical storms, hurricanes, major hurricanes and direct U.S. impacts,”
  • Last hurricane season featured 19 named storms, but there were only four direct U.S. impacts. Hurricane Idalia was the storm of the year, which slammed into Florida as a powerful Category 3 hurricane in late August
  • All signs continue to point toward the upcoming season being worse than the last
  • Warm water is fuel for tropical systems, and there will be plenty of warm water for fledgling systems to tap into and strengthen.
  • Not only will this promote frequent development, but it will increase the potential for systems to undergo rapid intensification, a phenomenon that has occurred in recent years with historic hurricanes.
  • “The Texas coast, Florida Panhandle, South Florida and the Carolinas are at a higher-than-average risk of direct impacts this season,” DaSilva said.
  • While these four areas are at an elevated risk for a direct strike from a tropical system, residents near other coastal locations should remain vigilant.

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What AI thinks or predicts for 2024

AI-Brain

Important Takeaways:

    • We asked top AI chatbots for their predictions for 2024… and it produced some VERY alarming results
    • From ChatGPT taking the world by storm to sparking historic Hollywood strikes. Artificial intelligence had its break out year in 2023.
    • So what’s in store for the cutting-edge tech in 2024? DailyMail.com asked the leading AI chatbots to predict their own fate – Google’s Bard and Amazon-backed Claude – and got some very alarming results.
    • AI systems might start reasoning by themselves
      • ‘Techniques like deep learning and neural networks running on powerful computing infrastructure have driven these leaps forward. Major investments from big tech companies and startups suggest the pace of innovation isn’t slowing anytime soon.
      • ‘And some AI researchers anticipate that we’re now closer to “Artificial General Intelligence” (AGI) – algorithms that can match humans’ flexibility and adaptability across different environments and tasks.
      • ‘Groups like DeepMind, OpenAI, Google Brain, and Anthropic are pushing towards this goal of AGI.
    • Biotechnology will ‘upgrade’ humans
      • The AI suggested that these could include breakthroughs in ‘Brain Computer Interfaces’, where human brains connect to computers.
      • Elon Musk’s Neuralink is set to test such technology in volunteers in the coming year.
      • ‘Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCIs) could allow direct communication between the brain and computer systems, enabling control of prosthetics, external devices, or even virtual environments. Potential applications include communication for individuals with paralysis, enhanced creativity and productivity, or even brain-to-brain communication.’
    • Dawn of personalized medicine
      • ‘Personalized medicine, also known as precision medicine, aims to tailor treatments and preventive strategies to the unique genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors of each individual. In this quest, AI is emerging as a game-changer, powering breakthroughs across various aspects of healthcare:
      • ‘By deciphering vast amounts of genetic data, AI can identify risk factors for specific diseases, allowing for proactive interventions and personalized prevention plans
      • ‘AI can mine Electronic Health Records (EHRs) to uncover hidden patterns and connections between symptoms, medications, and outcomes, leading to more accurate diagnoses and personalized treatment recommendations.
      • ‘AI can analyze patient data and predict how they might respond to different treatments, helping doctors choose the most effective and least harmful options for each individual.’
    • Election hacking warning
      • With the Presidential election looming in the U.S., Google’s Bard predicted that malicious actors will try to undermine the election using technology.
      • ‘Malicious actors might target voter registration databases, voting machines, or election results reporting systems to disrupt the voting process, sow doubt in the outcome, or manipulate results.
    • Tensions with China rise
      • Anthropic’s Claude predicts that tensions between the U.S. and China will continue to rise in 2024.
      • Taiwan remains one of the most contentious issues. China views Taiwan as a breakaway province that should be reunified with the mainland, by force if necessary.
      • But Taiwan has evolved into a distinct, democratic society with its own identity. The US has historically supported Taiwan’s right to self-determination and supplied arms for its defenses, raising tensions with China.
      • If Taiwan makes moves towards formal independence in 2024, that could provoke more aggressive posturing or even military action from China.’

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2023 Bleakest year in Banking; maybe 2024 should read “Abandon all hope ye who enter here”

Chart-Banks-cut-jobs

Important Takeaways:

  • Banks Terminate 60,000 Workers In One Of The Bleakest Years For The Industry Since 2008
  • The collapse of three US regional banks – First Republic Bank, Silicon Valley Bank, and Signature Bank – marked some of the largest failures in the banking system since 2008. Central banks contained the “mini-crisis” earlier this year with forced interventions and the mega-merger of Credit Suisse and UBS. Despite the interventions, global banks still axed the most jobs since the global financial crisis.
  • A new report from the Financial Times shows twenty of the world’s largest banks slashed 61,905 jobs in 2023, a move to protect profit margins in a period of high interest rates amid a slump in dealmaking and equity and debt sales. This compared with the 140,000 lost during the GFC of 2007-08.
  • “There is no stability, no investment, no growth in most banks — and there are likely to be more job cuts,” said Lee Thacker, owner of financial services headhunting firm Silvermine Partners.

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JP Morgan says 2024 will be difficult for 99% of Americans: Economic storms keep brewing

Shoppers-in-Manhattan

Important Takeaways:

  • 99% of Americans will be financially worse-off than they were pre-pandemic by mid-2024, JPMorgan says
  • The majority of Americans have burned through their excess savings piled up during the COVID-19 pandemic, and in the coming months, JPMorgan says it is likely that almost everyone will be worse off financially than they were in 2019.
  • In a Thursday note, the bank’s top stock strategist Marko Kolanovic said 80% of consumers, a group that accounts for nearly two-thirds of consumption, has already depleted any savings cushion they may have built during lockdowns.
  • “It is likely that only the top 1% of consumers by income will be better off than before the pandemic,” Kolanovic wrote, pointing to the growing signs of credit card and auto loan delinquencies, as well as Chapter 11 filings.
  • JPMorgan estimated previously that excess savings had peaked in August 2021 at $2.1 trillion, boosted by government stimulus checks. That’s since been whittled down to below $148 billion, per the firm’s calculations as of October.
  • As Bank of America wrote in a recent note, the plight of elder millennials is particularly difficult.
  • Older millennials — a demographic of Americans born in the 1980s that holds significant influence on the US economy — have had to navigate the 2008 financial crisis in addition to the pandemic during critical working years of their lives.
  • The two economic storms, as well as mounting childcare costs and sticky inflation, have made it difficult for the sizable cohort to own a house, save for retirement, and comfortably spend money within their means.

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More and more people think something Bad is going to happen in 2024

Talking-heads-Black-Swan

Important Takeaways:

  • CBS talking head floats the possibility of a ‘black swan event’ in 2024
  • CBS News’ “Face the Nation” held a roundtable on Christmas Eve, affording various talking heads an opportunity to make predictions for 2024. While most of the predictions were relatively banal, one among them stood out, prompting critics to puzzle over its possible significance.
  • Network correspondent Catherine Herridge, the wife of a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force, suggested that “2024 may be the year of a black swan event. This is a national security event with high impact that’s very hard to predict.”
  • Herridge told the other CBS News panelists Sunday there were a number of concerns that factored into her “dark” prediction, including that “this sort of enduring heightened threat level that we’re facing, the wars in Israel, also Ukraine, and we’re so divided in this country in ways that we haven’t seen before. And I think that just creates fertile ground for our adversaries like North Korea and China and Iran.”

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Harry Dent says 2024 will bring ‘Biggest crash of our lifetime’

NYSE-Crash-2024

Important Takeaways:

  • Harry Dent warns an ‘everything bubble’ will burst in the new year
  • “Since 2009, this has been 100% artificial, unprecedented money printing and deficits; $27 trillion over 15 years, to be exact. This is off the charts, 100% artificial, which means we’re in a dangerous state,” Harry Dent told Fox News Digital. “I think 2024 is going to be the biggest single crash year we’ll see in our lifetimes.”
  • “I’m the guy that’s praying for a crash while everybody else is not. We need to get back down to normal, and we need to send a message to central banks,” he continued. “This should be a lesson I don’t think we’ll ever revisit. I don’t think we’ll ever see a bubble for any of our lifetimes again.”
  • Dent said. “This is the one time I’m telling you, do not listen to your financial adviser. Things are not going to come back to normal in a few years. We may never see these levels again. And this crash is not going to be a correction. It’s going to be more in the ’29 to ’32 level. And anybody who sat through that would have shot their stockbroker.”
  • “That’s an 86% crash in the S&P and a 92% crash in the NASDAQ. And crypto, it’s going to be 96%. So that is a big deal,” the economist added.

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Huge voter turnout against Ohio special ballot that would have made it tougher to protect abortion rights

Ohio-Special-Ballot

Important Takeaways:

  • The huge voter turnout against a special ballot measure in Ohio that would have made it tougher to protect abortion rights is setting off alarm bells among Republican strategists who say abortion will be problem for their party in 2024.
  • A Republican-backed measure to make it tougher to amend the state constitution to protect abortion was soundly defeated — 57 percent to 43 percent — after more than 3 million Ohioans voted, including 700,000 who voted early.
  • Democratic strategists say the huge voter turnout in Tuesday’s election is an early sign that Democratic and independent voters will be highly energized by abortion in 2024.
  • “We saw mobilization of voters that hadn’t even voted in 2022. In the early vote alone, there were 30,000 voters who voted in [Tuesday’s] election that hadn’t voted in 2022 and they were largely women and African American women”
  • The issue could also come up as a ballot initiative in Arizona, where activists are circulating a proposal to establish a fundamental right to abortion that the state may not deny

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Pelosi predicts ‘what’s his name’ would fail in a 2024 White House run

(Reuters) – Former U.S. President Donald Trump might make another White House run in 2024, but if he does, he will take his place in American history as a two-time loser, House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi predicted on Thursday.

Visiting England for a meeting of parliamentary leaders from G7 countries, the Democratic leader was asked during a forum to reflect upon the two impeachment proceedings she initiated against Trump late in 2019 and in January 2021.

Seizing an opportunity to score a political point against the man who continues to be the most powerful force in the Republican Party, Pelosi proclaimed, “I don’t ever talk about him.”

However, she continued to talk about Trump, though not by name.

“I reference him from time to time as ‘What’s His Name,'” Pelosi said, quickly adding: “If he wants to run again, he’ll be the first president who was impeached twice and defeated twice.”

Her remarks were met with loud applause from the largely British audience.

Throughout Trump’s four years in the White House, Pelosi tangled with the president over immigration policy, infrastructure investments, the pandemic response and a wide range of other domestic and foreign issues.

She gained a reputation of being eager to skewer the hard-hitting Trump and became one of the biggest thorns in his side as she initiated not one, but two impeachment proceedings against him.

The Republican-controlled Senate acquitted Trump both times.

The former president is already playing a role in the 2022 midterm elections for Congress by recruiting challengers to Republican lawmakers he has tangled with. And Trump has dropped numerous hints he might seek the presidency for a third time in 2024.

“I say to my Republican friends, and I do have some, ‘Take back your party,'” Pelosi said. “You have now been hijacked by a cult that is just not good for our country.”

(Reporting by Richard Cowan in Washington; Editing by Scott Malone and Jonathan Oatis)