Grind for December 28th, 2018
“I find that he is happiest of whom the world says least, good or bad.”
– Thomas Jefferson
A cold, wet Christmas for British Colombia
Roughly 12,000 people living in Canada’s British Colombia were still without power Christmas morning following a fierce windstorm that swept through the province’s coast on Thursday.
Repairmen working for electric services company BC Hydro say the storm was worse than anything they’ve seen in the past two decades.
“We have about 90 crews working on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands today,” said a company spokesperson. “The damage is really extensive though in the remaining areas and there are still hundreds of individual outages so it’s going to take some time to restore the power to everyone.”
Roughly 600,000 customers were without power on Thursday.
With hundreds of downed trees blocking roads, BC Hydro has been unable to complete damage assessments for some areas.
Lake Cowichan (population 3,000) was among the worst-hit areas, with winds over 60mph snapping power lines, toppling trees, and ripping boats from their moorings.
“It’s very bad for our senior population if they have nothing in the way of backup,” says Rod Peters, Lake Cowichan’s mayor.
Temperatures this week are expected to remain in the 30’s and 40’s.
Those without power have been advised to consider food safety and to be careful operating generators. Local volunteers have urged residents to visit shelters to warm up and charge their phones.
Wall Street gets coal for Christmas
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 2.9% on Monday, breaking a record set in 1918 for its worst Christmas Eve performance.
That same day, the S&P 500 fell 2.7% and the Nasdaq dropped 2.2%. Asian markets followed suit, with the Shanghai composite Index falling 0.9% and Japan’s Nikkei 225 plunging nearly 5%.
Combined with losses from last week, Christmas Eve’s performance sets US stocks on track for their worst year since 2008.
Unless something dramatic happens in the next few days, December 2018 will turn out to be the worst December since 1931 (during the Great Depression).
Other concerns for Wall Street include a slowing global economy, trade tensions with China, and last week’s interest rate hike (the fourth this year).
Monday’s drop in US markets began shortly after President Trump’s Twitter tirade about the Fed:
“The only problem our economy has is the Fed. They don’t have a feel for the Market, they don’t understand necessary Trade Wars or Strong Dollars or even Democratic Shutdowns over Borders. The Fed is like a powerful golfer who can’t score because he has no touch – he can’t putt!”
Rumor has it Trump wants to oust Fed Chairman Jerome Powell (who was nominated by Trump last year to take over the agency).
In the meantime, the partial government shutdown will continue until lawmakers reach a compromise with Trump on border wall funding.
GOOD TO THE LAST DROP:
Did you know… The world’s tallest man reached 8 feet 11 inches at 21.