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NRx Pharmaceuticals pursues Covid-19 vaccine as it continues work on treatment candidate

The Radnor company is also working on a Covid-19 therapy, which is currently part of an ongoing legal dispute with its one-time collaborator......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsJan 14th, 2022

Quinn: Living In A Potemkin World

Quinn: Living In A Potemkin World Authored by Jim Quinn via The Burning Platform blog, “Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.” ― George Orwell, 1984 “Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it.” ― George Orwell, 1984 I never thought I would experience the dystopian “fictional” nightmare Orwell laid out in his 1949 novel. Seventy-two years later and his warning about a totalitarian society, where mass surveillance, repressive measures against dissenters, mind control through government indoctrination and propaganda designed to convince the masses lies are truth, fake is real and the narrative can be manipulated to achieve the desired outcome of those in power, have come to fruition. Everything is fake. I don’t believe anything I’m told by the government, the media, medical “experts”, politicians, military leadership, bankers, corporate executives, religious leaders, financial professionals, and anyone selling themselves as an authority on any subject matter. We are truly living in times of mass deception, mass delusion, and mass willful ignorance. The term Potemkin Village comes from stories of a phony movable village built by Grigory Potemkin in the late 1700’s to impress his former lover, Catherine II, during her journey to Crimea in 1787. He supposedly erected fake villages along the banks of the Dnieper River, as her vessel sailed by, to impress her with the progress he was making on her behalf. After she passed, he would have the village disassembled and then reassembled further along downstream. I guess this was an early version of fake news, though I am sure there were also plenty of falsities and propaganda in the newspapers of the time. But, in our current day, oppressors have taken lies, falsities, miss-truths, and propaganda to heights never conceived by Edward Bernays, George Orwell or Joseph Stalin. Any semblance of a Constitutional Republic given to us by Franklin and his courageous fellow revolutionaries has dissipated, as decades of delusion, debt, decadence, and degeneracy have sapped any trace of revolutionary spirit, desire for freedom, love of liberty, or aspirations of self-reliance and self-responsibility among the masses. When you step back and observe how we got to this point in history, you realize it wasn’t a mistake, but a plan by those who control the levers of power, with a goal of accumulating immense riches and total dominion over those they consider nothing more than disposable chess pieces in their game of building a new world order. We are nothing more than parasites to these tyrannical power-hungry satanical fiends. They have proven they will use any means necessary to achieve their evil ends. The last two years have pulled back the curtain to reveal the oligarch globalist bloodsuckers who have been draining the lifeblood from our nation. The enemies have been exposed by their lies and misdeeds. For most of the past century the ruling class has been able to implement their methodical pillaging operation utilizing Huxley’s “soft” dystopian methods versus Orwell’s “hard” dystopian techniques. Huxley, who at one time was Orwell’s French teacher in high school, wrote a letter to Orwell shortly after the publication of 1984 where he put forth his vision of the future: “Within the next generation I believe that the world’s rulers will discover that infant conditioning and narco-hypnosis are more efficient, as instruments of government, than clubs and prisons, and that the lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging and kicking them into obedience.” As contemporaries, Huxley (Brave New World – 1931), Bernays (Propaganda – 1928), and Orwell (1984 – 1949) all agreed those wielding the power of government, whether seen or unseen, use propaganda techniques to mold the minds of the masses in ways conducive to keeping them in power. Huxley and Bernays believed people could be controlled through mind manipulation, materialism, entertainment, and pharmaceuticals. Orwell, in the wake of 65 million deaths in the space of seven years, and the Soviet totalitarianism in Russia, foresaw a future with a boot stomping on a human face forever. From 1950 until 2000, Huxley and Bernays’ view held sway, as Americans were enthralled by consumption, sports, movies, technology, and the miracle of living far above their means through plentiful debt provided by Wall Street bankers and their Federal Reserve lackeys. We were so distracted by amusing ourselves, we allowed oligarchs and their highly compensated apparatchiks in government, the media, the military, and the corporate world to hijack and ransack our country for their enrichment. Neil Postman in his 1985 book Amusing Ourselves to Death compares and contrasts Orwell and Huxley’s views of dystopian tyranny: “What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny “failed to take into account man’s almost infinite appetite for distractions.” In 1984, Huxley added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we hate will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we love will ruin us.” Since 9/11 the tables have turned. The implementation of the pre-written Patriot Act and initiation of the surveillance state, as revealed by Snowden and Greenwald, has ushered in a new Orwellian era where a truncheon to the skull and boot on the face supplements the endless technological distractions and incessant propaganda spewed by the legacy media networks and rising social media censorship cabal. There has clearly been a coalescing of the government, Surveillance state, media, military, Big Tech, Big Pharma, and Big Business to seize the power, control and wealth of the planet and put it in the hands of the few. The Build Back Better marketing campaign, with the goal of a new world order, controlled by oligarchs like Gates, Soros, Bezos, Schwab, Zuckerberg, and Bloomberg, is not a wild-eyed conspiracy theory. It is a work in progress. The level of brazen dishonesty and blatant criminality among those who portray themselves as leaders and experts in our debauched society has reached astronomical levels over the last two years. There are no trustworthy politicians. No trustworthy corporate executives. No trustworthy military leaders. No trustworthy scientists or academics. They have all been captured and are financially beholden to those controlling the purse strings. It’s always about the money and power that comes from having money. If you are paid handsomely to lie, you will lie. The truth is meaningless to those who seek power and control. Suppression of the truth is more financially rewarding to those seeking world domination. This entire engineered pandemic scheme has exposed this fact. A virus, released accidentally or purposely from a Chinese bio-weapon lab, funded by Anthony Fauci, was weaponized and marketed as the greatest threat to mankind in world history, as a means to cover-up a financial system ready to implode, unseat a president through fraudulent mail-in ballots, enrich the wealthiest men on the planet, test how far totalitarian measures could be pushed, and roll out of an experimental gene altering therapy that may or may not be part of a bigger population culling operation promoted by Gates, Schwab and the rest of the Davos crowd. What we do know is this virus only kills very old, very sick, and very obese people. It’s a virus with the largest marketing campaign in world history, paid for with your tax dollars. With a 99.7% survival rate, there should have never been lockdowns, school closures, mandatory masking, vaccine mandates, or elevating criminal mass murderers like Fauci to sainthood status. The elderly in nursing homes and hospitals should have been protected. Instead, they were slaughtered by Democrat governors putting infected patients into their midst. Safe and effective early treatment with ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine would have saved hundreds of thousands of lives, but the corrupt medical “experts” were bribed by Big Pharma to push these untested, ineffective, dangerous vaccines on a fearful public with promises of a cure. More lies. The “vaccines” do not keep you from catching covid, spreading covid, being hospitalized with covid, or dying from covid. In other words, it is a complete and utter failure. When you then see Fauci, Biden, Walensky and their Hollywood marketing machine demanding vaccine mandates and vaccine passports to entitle you to basic human rights, you realize this has never been about your health or the good of society. This dementia ridden joke, play acting as president, is doing the bidding of the invisible government, as documented by Bernays, in implementing a social credit system styled after the communist China totalitarians they admire. The un-vaxxed will soon be treated like the Uyghurs in China, placed in internment camps until we see the light, unless we start to fight back NOW. The WEF cadre of captured politicians positioned in countries across the planet have been activated to implement the Build Back Better plot to achieve their goal of a new world order controlled by tyrannical oligarchs and their highly compensated bureaucrat servants. They have been testing their totalitarian methods in countries with smaller populations (New Zealand, Australia) to see how far they can push their citizens before they push back. When the protests begin to get violent, they back off and pretend to reduce restrictions, then re-institute the lockdowns and restraints on freedom after hyping some new variant. As Bernays claimed, those in control of society know how to psychologically manipulate and mold the minds of the masses through the use of fear, greed, rewards, pain, threats and lies. We have entered one of the most dangerous periods in world history, as this engineered crisis is being commandeered by sociopathic totalitarians to implement their warped demented plans to destroy the existing societal structures and economic systems in order to build back better under a centralized communistic authoritarian techno-gulag configuration designed to benefit the few at the top, while keeping a boot on the face of humanity forever. When you understand their end goal, much of the seemingly incomprehensible decisions being made by Biden and his handlers come into clearer focus. It is difficult to step back and try to observe the current state of affairs in an impartial manner when those manipulating the narrative are intent on creating conflict, emotional reactions, anger, and outrage. Pitting us against each other and distracted by daily concocted outrage porn spewed by the completely captured corporate media outlets, allows the oligarchy (billionaires, bankers, politicians, mega-corps, Deep State) to continue their plunder and pillage crusade unhindered and undetected. They are counting on their decades long social indoctrination program, known as the public school system, to keep the masses from thinking, questioning, or recognizing they are being screwed over the people they believe are looking out for their best interests. Not only are the dark forces currently ruling the earth not telling the truth, but they have a far greater power in keeping silent about the truth and suppressing it when it rears its ugly head. The truth would set us free, so it is vital for the totalitarian propagandists to keep it from being heard or seen by the masses. Huxley realized during the last Fourth Turning that if you controlled the narrative and suppressed the truth, you could influence opinion much more effectively. “Great is truth, but still greater, from a practical point of view, is silence about truth. By simply not mentioning certain subjects… totalitarian propagandists have influenced opinion much more effectively than they could have by the most eloquent denunciations.” – Aldous Huxley The current batch of autocratic techno-propagandists have tools which make this truth suppression far easier than it was in the 1930’s and 1940’s. With six mega-corporations dominating the mainstream media outlets, they easily coordinate their messaging and can jointly ignore anything which undermines their predetermined narrative. The examples of ignoring, silencing, or censoring the truth over the last two years could fill hundreds of pages, but a few examples will suffice to make the point. In September 2019, the financial system began to shudder and quake, with overnight repo rates of 10% indicating tremendous strain. The MSM kept silent as the Fed reversed their tightening and resumed QE to infinity. The press has never questioned the trillions created out of thin air by the Fed to prop up this debt bloated carcass, even as the economy surpassed the GDP before this engineered scamdemic. Why doesn’t 60 Minutes do an expose on why the Fed continues to keep interest rates at 0% when inflation is raging in excess of 10%? Complete silence on issues which hurt the average person the most. The entire Russiagate Deep State coup against Trump was built on lies, misinformation and suppression of facts by the compliant co-conspirators in the media. Obama, Hillary, Comey, Biden, Brennan, Clapper and a myriad of other traitorous filth conspired against a sitting president and the media kept silent about the facts. The most blatant example of a complete cover-up of the truth by the MSM and the Silicon Valley social media censorship police was, and still is, crackhead Hunter Biden’s laptop during the final days of the presidential campaign. There is unequivocal proof Hunter Biden and the Big Guy were shaking down foreign governments for cash, influence peddling, and threatening foreign leaders who dared to look into their slimy traitorous dealings. All of the left-wing media outlets either ignored the story or called it Russian disinformation, because they had to get Biden elected. Twitter and Facebook censored and banned anyone putting forth the facts of this story. Then issued fake apologies afterward. But that was just the beginning. The halt to vote tabulations in the middle of the night in all the swing states, with Trump significantly ahead, was not reported by the press. Fake stories about burst pipes were promulgated. Vote counting irregularities and truckloads of missing ballots didn’t happen if the media didn’t say they happened. Video surveillance of fake ballots being added to the counts was not shown by the media outlets. The Washington Post and NY Times just applied the same language about conspiracy theories and the most secure election ever to override the substantial factual evidence showing massive voter fraud in the key swing states. Whenever evidence was presented on social media platforms, the person was banned, and their evidence disappeared. Zuckerberg needed to make sure the $420,000 he spent to swing the election to Biden was not wasted. By not reporting on the Arizona audit results, the huge irregularities found never happened. Right? Since the installation of Trojan Horse Joe, the level of silence, suppression and censorship of the truth has reached new heights. Of course, the worst attack on democracy since Pearl Harbor, and far worse than 9/11, was the armed selfie insurrection of January 6, during which no one was armed except the black cop who murdered an unarmed white woman. The media, who gleefully exposes every detail of a cop’s life when they immobilize a drug addled black criminal resisting arrest who died of an overdose, seemed completely uninterested in even trying to identify the cop who murdered Ashli Babbitt. Silence benefited Biden as they spun the false narrative about the Capitol being attacked and Capitol police being murdered. Pelosi and her sidekicks “Shit My Pants” Nadler, “Crying” Chuck Schumer, “Fartman” “Fang Fang Banging” Swallwell, and “Bug Eyes” Schiff tried their darndest to elevate this milling about by idiots dressed in buffalo regale, FBI plants, and ANTIFA CNN correspondents to an insurrection, but were laughed at and ridiculed by anyone with eyes. Only the couple thousand people in the country, who still watch MSNBC and CNN, believed them. These boobs, along with their FBI “undercover” domestic terrorists, were further discredited and ridiculed when they attempted to lure normal Americans into another trap at the J6 rally but failed miserably. These are the same people trying to make you believe the border is secure, and hundreds of thousands of third world parasites are not being shipped into swing states across the country. Just pretend it isn’t happening, don’t report on the invasion, and in the minds of the ignorant masses, it isn’t happening. In Part Two of this article, I will document the never-ending blizzard of lies used to create enough fear and panic in the world from this pandemic of ignorance to initiate the globalist Great Reset agenda and how we need to fight back now before it is too late. *  *  * The corrupt establishment will do anything to suppress sites like the Burning Platform from revealing the truth. The corporate media does this by demonetizing sites like mine by blackballing the site from advertising revenue. If you get value from this site, please keep it running with a donation. Tyler Durden Mon, 10/18/2021 - 16:30.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeOct 18th, 2021

Big Weekly Gains and a Couple New Highs

Big Weekly Gains and a Couple New Highs This month’s jobs report was nothing to write home about, but this week’s market gains certainly were! The NASDAQ jumped 6% over the past five days, while the S&P was up 4.6% and the Dow increased 3.9%. Furthermore, the first two indices closed at all-time highs for the second straight session. The market was making up for lost ground from last week, when SqueezeMania caused each of the major indices to drop more than 3%. All that ground has been recovered… and then some. But investors are also feeling pretty good about earnings season. In fact, growth has resumed a quarter earlier than expected. Check out Director of Research Sheraz Mian’s article “Q4 Earnings Growth Turns Positive” for more details. The FAANGs have been especially noteworthy this season with Apple (AAPL) and Amazon (AMZN) both recording sales of more than $100 billion in a single quarter for the first time. And the market’s good mood is rounded out by more stimulus and more vaccines on the horizon. The week ended with the NASDAQ rising 0.57% (or about 78 points) on Friday to 13,856.30, while the S&P was up 0.39% to 3886.83. The Dow advanced 0.30% (or around 92 points) to 31,148.24. The latter two indices didn’t have a negative close all week and now have five-day winning streaks. The Government Employment Situation for January was better than December, but still a modest disappointment. The economy added 49,000 jobs, which was way better than the downwardly revised 227,000 that were lost in the previous month. But it still missed expectations, though the unemployment rate improved to 6.3%. Like last month though, the report didn’t break the market’s momentum. Such lackluster data keeps the need for more stimulus on the minds of investors and Washington. However, the new administration and Congress really don’t need much more convincing as they work to push through a nearly $2 trillion package. Next week we’ll have more than 800 companies going to the plate as earnings season continues. Today's Portfolio Highlights:   Counterstrike: We’ve been told all week that more buys were on the way... and today it finally happened! On Friday, Jeremy bought a 5% allocation in Qorvo (QRVO) and a 10% allocation in FedEx (FDX). QRVO is a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) that provides core technologies and radio frequency for mobile, infrastructure and aerospace/defense applications. The company beat by 15% in its most recent report and even raised its Q4 guidance, yet the stock sold off. The editor is starting a position and might add more on further selling. Meanwhile, you know what FDX does. This Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) doesn’t report until March, but it’s starting to grind upward and might be able to get back to recent highs over the next month. Read the full write-up for more specifics on today’s moves. Surprise Trader: Less than a month ago, the portfolio sold Altra Industrial Motion (AIMC) for a profit of more than 37%. Dave is hoping for more when the company reports again on Friday, February 12 before the bell. AIMC has beaten for three consecutive quarters now and has a positive Earnings ESP heading into the print. The editor added AIMC on Friday with an 11.5% allocation. He also sold the laggard Renasant (RNST) for a slight loss amid a sea of green in the portfolio, including four double-digit winners. See the complete commentary for more. In other news, this service had a top performer today as Century Communities (CCS) rose 19.5%. Blockchain Innovators: Shares of Rekor Systems (REKR) pulled back recently after this provider of advanced vehicle recognition systems announced an offering of approximately 5 million shares. Dave’s been watching this name for a while now and finally got an opportunity to pick it up at a good price. The company partnered with Cygnet to use blockchain for an end-to-end solution that simplifies parking permitting, electronic citation management and parking enforcement. Revenue is expected to come in at 176% year over year with EPS growth of 81.36%. The editor also decided to sell Axcelis Tech (ACLS) after the semiconductor equipment company slipped to a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) and came down off its highs. The stock still brought a gain of 49.6% in less than six months. Read the full write-up for more. Insider Trader: The market is pretty much ignoring Lantheus Holdings (LNTH)... but Tracey isn’t! The company focuses on diagnostic medical imaging agents and products. Through its purchase of Progenics, it has a product called PyL that could replace the MRI in diagnosing prostate cancer in some cases. Analysts expect it to be approved. Shares of LNTH are up 59% in the past three months, and yet one director still bought three times in January through a 10b5-1 plan. The editor really likes to see insiders accumulate stock that’s going higher. LNTH will be trying for a third straight positive surprise when it reports again later this month. Tracey likes what she sees and wants to get involved before the rest of the market catches up. She bought LNTH on Friday with a 10% allocation. Get a lot more info on this new buy in the full write-up. TAZR Trader: Earlier this week, Kevin added Vaxart (VXRT) in his Healthcare Innovators portfolio. The company has the only tablet-form covid vaccine candidate. The recent Phase 1 trial has earned kudos and criticism from analysts. On the one hand, several adults who took the treatment did not develop a neutralizing antibody response. On the other hand, 75% of one-dose patients had a strong T-cell response. Perhaps most importantly though, the trial said that the vaccine was safe. Kevin thinks this innovative company has earned a 5% allocation for now. Make sure to read his in-depth analysis in the complete commentary, which includes both bullish and bearish cases. Value Investor: Shares of GW Pharmaceuticals (GWPH) have done really well in the portfolio since Tracey bought the stock back in November 2019. However, they won’t be moving anymore. As you’ve probably already heard, Jazz Pharmaceuticals agreed to acquire GWPH for $7.2 billion in cash and stock. It’s expected to close sometime in the second quarter of 2021. However, until the deal closes, it’s basically “dead money” in the portfolio. So the editor sold GWPH on Friday for a 98.4% return. Now she can relocate the cash into another position. Read the complete commentary for more on her decision. Have a Great Weekend! Jim Giaquinto Recommendations from Zacks' Private Portfolios: Believe it or not, this article is not available on the Zacks.com website. The commentary is a partial overview of the daily activity from Zacks' private recommendation services. If you would like to follow our Buy and Sell signals in real time, we've made a special arrangement for readers of this website. Starting today you can see all the recommendations from all of Zacks' portfolios absolutely free for 7 days. Our services cover everything from value stocks and momentum trades to insider buying and positive earnings surprises (which we've predicted with an astonishing 80%+ accuracy). Click here to "test drive" Zacks Ultimate for FREE >>  Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 21st, 2021

Top 20 Media Stories CNN"s Brian Stelter "Overlooked" On His Show Dedicated To Media Stories

Top 20 Media Stories CNN's Brian Stelter 'Overlooked' On His Show Dedicated To Media Stories Of all the year-end roundups coming out, the one that caught our eye for pointing out the worst examples of MSM hypocrisy comes from Joseph A. Wulfohn via Fox News, who notes the top 20 major media stories that were utterly ignored by CNN's Brian Stelter - whose entire job is to cover controversies involving the media. Yet, "Stelter turned a blind eye to many headlines that were far from flattering to his liberal allies in the industry," writes Wulfohn - who notes that this is nothing new for the CNN host. "Most famously, he completely avoided ABC News' shocking coverup of the Jeffrey Epstein scandal, omitting it from his "top ten media stories" of 2019." Without further ado, here are 2021's top 20 major media stories ignored by Brian Stelter: Judge bans MSNBC from the Kyle Rittenhouse trial The entire nation was intensely monitoring the trial of teenager Kyle Rittenhouse, who was charged with murdering two people amid the Kenosha riots following the 2020 police-involved shooting of Jacob Blake. But the day before Rittenhouse was acquitted on all counts, Judge Bruce Schroeder made headlines by barring MSNBC from the courthouse after police caught a freelance NBC News producer following the jury bus when he ran a red light.  Stelter swept the controversy plaguing CNN's closest liberal competitor under the rug. -Fox News In fact, CNN has essentially sheltered MSNBC from scrutiny - which has appeared just 34 times in Reliable Sources' 2021 transcripts vs. Fox News, which appeared 695 times (via Grabien search results). Stelter ignored Joy Reid's spat with rapper Nicki Minaj over her vaccine hesitancy, as well as MSNBC analyst and NYT editorial board member Mara Gay, when she said that the sight of American flags on the back of trucks was "disturbing," which caused the Times to issue a statement in her defense. Yet, crickets from Stelter. As Wulfohn notes, the respect seems to be mutual, as MSNBC offers 'little to no coverage' of any controversy at CNN. Trump-era media narratives that fell apart  In March, the media pundit avoided the Washington Post's major correction to its bombshell January report about a phone call between then-President Donald Trump and a Georgia elections investigator, urging her to "find the fraud" and that she would be a "national hero" if she did, which turned out to be not true. WASHINGTON POST PANNED FOR MASSIVE CORRECTION TO TRUMP-GEORGIA ELECTION STORY: 'SO, THEY MADE UP QUOTES' The CNN star had nothing to say about the collapsed narrative alleging Trump ordered Lafayette Square Park to be cleared of protesters so he could pose in front of the riot-torched St. John's Church last year. An inspector general investigation concluded U.S. Park Police and the U.S. Secret Service deemed it necessary to remove protestors from the park in order to install anti-scale fencing. -Fox News The Washington Post issues stunning corrections on articles involving the Steele dossier Yet, Stelter couldn't be bothered when the dossier his network breathlessly peddled was completely debunked after Christopher Steele source Igor Danchenko was accused of lying to the FBI, leading to a flood of corrections from WaPo. The first two stories, published in March 2017 and February 2019, were changed when the newspaper’s executive editor, Sally Buzbee, said she could no longer stand by their accuracy. The Post added editor’s notes, amended headlines, removed sections identifying Sergei Millian as the source and deleted an accompanying video summarizing the articles.  Lengthy editor's notes were additionally placed on at least 14 other articles.  The Steele dossier helped fuel the Trump-Russia collusion conspiracy for years and dominated CNN and MSNBC's coverage. -Fox News The New York Times forced to admit Babylon Bee is not ‘misinformation’ This one was a biggie - after the Times ran a story in March characterizing the satire site The Babylon Bee as "misinformation." In fact, they called it a "far-right misinformation site" that "sometimes trafficked in misinformation under the guise of satire." Under the threat of a lawsuit, the Times issued a correction in June which backpedaled their claim. "An earlier version of this article referred imprecisely to the Babylon Bee, a right-leaning satirical website, and a controversy regarding the handling of its content by Facebook and the fact-checking site Snopes. While both Facebook and Snopes previously have classified some Babylon Bee articles as misinformation, rather than satire, they have dropped those claims, and the Babylon Bee denies that it has trafficked in misinformation," reads the correction. Paging Stelter? Nope. Don Lemon's texts emerge during the Jussie Smollett trial Former "Empire" star Jussie Smollett shocked the nation in 2019 when he claimed he was the victim of a vicious hate crime in Chicago, which the national media hyped while offering little to no skepticism. It wasn't long before Chicago Police Department suspected Smollett had orchestrated a hoax.  Nearly three years later, Smollett stood trial and was ultimately convicted on five counts of disorderly conduct. However, before the verdict was in, Smollett revealed during his testimony that he was tipped off about the CPD's doubts into his claims by his pal, CNN anchor Don Lemon. -Fox News Neither Lemon nor Stelter mentioned the incident on their CNN shows. The turmoil of The Lincoln Project If CNN is the king of propaganda, anti-Trump PAC The Lincoln Project is a close second. They also have a pedophile problem in common. In January, news broke that Lincoln Project co-founder John Weaver was accused of sexually harassing 20 young men online, one of whom was just 14 when it began. All of Weaver's former colleagues denied knowledge of the predatory behavior, and Weaver himself has since resigned and vanished from the public. In addition to ignoring this, Stelter also failed to mention questions over the group's murky financial dealings - and where millions of dollars raised to fight Trumpism actually ended up. The marathon of controversies sparked an exodus among the group's prominent leaders and even calls from co-founder George Conway, who had left the group in 2020, to be shut down.  However, the Lincoln Project was able to weather the storm and managed to keep the lights on thanks to the lack of media coverage its scandals received.  More recently, Stelter failed to address the Lincoln Project's widely panned race stunt it took credit for in the days leading up to the Virginia gubernatorial election. In a move that co-founder Steve Schmidt even condemned as "recklessly stupid," the Lincoln Project sent five people – one of them a Black man – to dress as Tiki-torch bearing White nationalists in front of Republican Glenn Youngkin's campaign bus in Charlottesville, in what was viewed as a desperate smear effort to liken his supporters to racists. -Fox News USA Today allows Stacey Abrams to stealth-edit column to water down past support for Georgia boycott This spring, Georgia was at the center of an intense national debate over its election reform legislation that was signed into law after the 2020 election with prominent Democrats calling it racist and comparing it to "Jim Crow." A movement to boycott the Peach State was ignited and one of its backers appeared to be Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.  In an op-ed published by USA Today in March 31, Abrams argued that boycotts were an effective form of protest, writing, "The impassioned response to the racist, classist bill that is now the law of Georgia is to boycott in order to achieve change." But after Major League Baseball announced it was moving its All-Star Game out of Atlanta, Abram's op-ed went through a stunning transformation, watering down her support for boycotts historically without issuing any editor's note acknowledging the changes. A spokesperson for Gannett, USA Today's parent company, told Fox News, "We regret the oversight in updating the Stacey Abrams column. As soon as we recognized there was no editor’s note, we added it to the page to reflect her changes. We have reviewed our procedures to ensure this does not occur again." The journalistic malpractice was ultimately ignored by CNN's media hall monitor. -Fox News Joe Rogan's explosive interview with CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta This one might actually be #1, as podcast giant Joe Rogan cornered CNN's top doc over the network's disingenuous framing of Ivermectin as a 'horse dewormer.' "Calling it a horse de-wormer is not the most flattering thing, I get that," said Gupta. "It's a lie on a news network - and it's a lie that they're conscious of. It's not a mistake. They're unfavorably framing it as veterinary medicine," Rogan shot back. "Why would you say that when you're talking about a drug that's been given out to billions and billions of people? A drug that was responsible for one of the inventors winning the Nobel Prize in 2015?" the 54-year-old Rogan continued. "A drug that has been shown to stop viral replication in vitro - you know that, right? Why would they lie and say that's horse de-wormer? I can afford people medicine, motherfucker. This is ridiculous." Watch: Joe Rogan asks Sanjay Gupta if it bothers him that CNN outright lied about Rogan taking horse dewormer to recover from covid. This is fantastic: pic.twitter.com/PEgJqIXhSD — Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) October 14, 2021 CNN then doubled down on their stupidity, issuing a statement which said "The only thing CNN did wrong here was bruise the ego of a popular podcaster who pushed dangerous conspiracy theories and risked the lives of millions of people in doing so." Radio silence from Stelter... Rolling Stone, MSNBC stars peddle false narrative of ivermectin overdoses overwhelming Oklahoma hospitals After Joe Rogan announced that he'd kicked Covid in just a few days using a cocktail of drugs, including Ivermectin - an anti-parasitic prescribed for humans for over 35 years, with over 4 billion doses administered (and most recently as a Covid-19 treatment), the left quickly started mocking Rogan for having taken a 'horse dewormer' due to its dual use in livestock. Rolling Stone's Jon Blistein led the charge: Then, Rolling Stone's Peter Wade took another stab - publishing a hit piece claiming that Oklahoma ERs were overflowing with people 'overdosing on horse dewormer.' As people take the drug, McElyea said patients have arrived at hospitals with negative reactions like nausea, vomiting, muscle aches, and cramping — or even loss of sight. “The scariest one that I’ve heard of and seen is people coming in with vision loss,” the doctor said. -Rolling Stone It was all a lie...  as NHS Sequoyah, located in Sallisaw, Oklahoma - issued a statement disavowing McElyea's claims. Of course, the lie was peddled by MSM notables, including Rachel Maddow and Joy Reid. Stelter? Reliable sources? His job running cover, as opposed to exposing MSM lies should be clear as day by now. New York Times sports reporter ousted after failing to disclose book deal with Michael Phelps New York Times sports reporter Karen Crouse landed herself in hot water in July for failing to disclose the book deal she made with Michael Phelps while she herself was covering the Olympic swimmer.  In June, Crouse authored a glowing piece that painted the 23-time gold medalist in a highly positive light with multiple tidbits about Phelps mentoring youth athletes.  But a month after the piece was initially published, it was updated with a scathing editor’s note.  "After this article was published, editors learned that the reporter had entered an agreement to co-write a book with Michael Phelps. If editors had been aware of the conflict, the reporter would not have been given the assignment," the editor's note read. "Our guidelines state that no staff member may serve as a ghost writer or co-author for individuals who figure or are likely to figure in coverage they provide, edit, package or supervise," a New York Times spokesperson told Fox News. "As the editors’ note makes clear, the arrangement was a conflict of interest. This was a significant lapse in judgment. We are reviewing this matter and will take appropriate action once the investigation has concluded." After initially being suspended, Crouse announced weeks later she was leaving the Times after 16 years with the paper. The controversy received no on-air mention by Stelter, a former media reporter for the Times. -Fox News USA Today botches fact-check claiming Biden didn't check his watch during dignified transfer ceremony "Stelter typically reveres fact-checks conducted by his media allies, but there was one in particular that mysteriously never reached the "Reliable Sources" radar," writes Wulfohn. Biden was slammed by Gold Star families after he checked his watch several times during a ceremony for 13 service members that were killed during his botched Afghanistan pullout. Gold Star Father Darin Hoover, whose son Marine Staff Sgt. Taylor Hoover was killed in Kabul, alleges that President Biden looked down at his watch when all 13 fallen service members arrived at Dover Air Force Base: "That happened on every single one of them." pic.twitter.com/PC83XWNWsx — Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) August 31, 2021 USA Today attempted to "fact-check" the report, claiming that Biden had only checked his watch after the ceremony. Not so. And USA Today was forced to issue a correction which read: "This story was updated Sept. 2 to note that Biden checked his watch multiple times at the dignified transfer event, including during the ceremony itself." Meghan McCain's dramatic exit from "The View" 2021 was a year of many high-profile media departures, among them the exit of "The View" co-host Meghan McCain.  McCain turned the ABC daytime talk show into must-watch television for the on-air clashes she had with her liberal co-hosts throughout much of the Trump administration, as well as the first six months into the Biden administration.  While she was vocal with her opposition to Trump, her conservative stance was repeatedly met with hostility from Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar and Sunny Hostin.  But McCain's exit received no mention on "Reliable Sources." -Fox News Jeffrey Toobin's awkward return to CNN Need we say more? Stelter certainly didn't. We just want to reintroduce Jeffry Toobin after a bit of a hiatus *fap fap fap fap* Jeffrey had to take time off *fap fap fap* After an unfortunate incident during *fap … fap fap* A zoom meeting. Welcome back, Jeffrey. *fapfapfap* Jeffrey, stop pic.twitter.com/piS3vp778L — Geoffrey Ingersoll (@GPIngersoll) June 10, 2021 Chris Cuomo's mounting scandals When CNN announced it had fired its primetime star Chris Cuomo after the network learned of a second sexual harassment allegation leveled against him, Stelter spoke critically of his fallen colleague and the "headaches" he created for CNN as he aided his brother, now-ousted Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. This, however, was a drastic shift in tone since the CNN lackey spent months defending the anchor and downplaying the blatant violation of journalistic ethics, most infamously on "The Late Show." But while Stelter was occasionally forced to address the Cuomo saga on "Reliable Sources," there were other controversies that plagued the CNN host he overlooked. For example, he made no mention of Cuomo's first accuser, veteran TV producer Shelley Ross, who alleged that he grabbed her buttock at a 2005 work function when the two of them were colleagues at ABC News. -Fox News And finally... CNN's own producer arrested for child sex crimes The "Reliable Sources" host would be the first to revel whenever an employee at a conservative media outlet landed in hot water, but he was noticeably mum about the alleged pedophile walking the halls of CNN. John Griffin, a senior producer for CNN's flagship morning program "New Day," was arrested by the FBI after a grand jury in Vermont indicted him for shocking child sex crimes.  After initially being suspended, Griffin was later fired by CNN.  "The charges against Mr. Griffin are deeply disturbing. We learned of his arrest Friday afternoon and terminated his employment Monday," a CNN spokesperson told Fox News Digital. -Fox News And, as usual, silence from Stelter! Tyler Durden Mon, 12/27/2021 - 13:30.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeDec 27th, 2021

BTFDers Unleashed: Futures, Yields, Oil Jump As Omicron Panic Eases

BTFDers Unleashed: Futures, Yields, Oil Jump As Omicron Panic Eases As expected over the weekend, and as we first noted shortly after electronic markets reopened for trading on Sunday, S&P futures have maintained their overnight gains and have rebounded 0.7% while Nasdaq contracts jumped as much as 1.3% after risk sentiment stabilized following Friday’s carnage and as investors settled in for a few weeks of uncertainty on whether the Omicron variant would derail economic recoveries and the tightening plans of some central banks. Japan led declines in the Asian equity session (which was catching down to Friday's US losses) after the government shut borders to visitors. The region’s reopening stocks such as restaurants, department stores, train operators and travel shares also suffered some losses.  Oil prices bounced $3 a barrel to recoup some of Friday's rout, while the safe haven yen, Swiss franc and 10Y Treasury took a breather after its run higher. Moderna shares jumped as much as 12% in pre-market trading after Chief Medical Officer Paul Burton said he suspects the new omicron coronavirus variant may elude current vaccines, and if so, a reformulated shot could be available early in the new year. Which he would obviously say as his company makes money from making vaccines, even if they are not very efficient. Here are some of the other notable premarket movers today: BioNTech (BNTX US) advanced 5% after it said it’s starting with the first steps of developing a new adapted vaccine, according to statement sent by text. Merck & Co. (MRK US) declined 1.6% after it was downgraded to neutral from buy at Citi, which also opens a negative catalyst watch, with “high probability” the drugmaker will abandon development of its HIV treatment. A selection of small biotechs rise again in U.S. premarket trading amid discussion of the companies in StockTwits and after these names outperformed during Friday’s market rout. Palatin Tech (PTN US) +37%, Biofrontera (BFRI US) +22%, 180 Life Sciences (ATNF US) +19%. Bonds gave back some of their gains, with Treasury futures were down 11 ticks. Like other safe havens, the market had rallied sharply as investors priced in the risk of a slower start to rate hikes from the U.S. Federal Reserve, and less tightening by some other central banks. Needless to say, Omicron is all anyone can talk about: on one hand, authorities have already orchestrated a lot of global panic: Britain called an urgent meeting of G7 health ministers on Monday to discuss developments on the virus, even though the South African doctor who discovered the strain and treated cases said symptoms of Omicron were so far mild. The new variant of concern was found as far afield as Canada and Australia as more countries such as Japan imposed travel restriction to try to seal themselves off. Summarizing the fearmongering dynamic observed, overnight South African health experts - including those who discovered the Omicron variant, said it appears to cause mild symptoms, while the Chinese lapdog organization, WHO, said the variant’s risk is “extremely high”. Investors are trying to work out if the omicron flareup will a relatively brief scare that markets rebound from, or a bigger blow to the global economic recovery. Much remains unanswered about the new strain: South African scientists suggested it’s presenting with mild symptoms so far, though it appears to be more transmissible, but the World Health Organization warned it could fuel future surges of Covid-19 with severe consequences. "There is a lot we don't know about Omicron, but markets have been forced to reassess the global growth outlook until we know more," said Rodrigo Catril, a market strategist at NAB. "Pfizer expects to know within two weeks if Omicron is resistant to its current vaccine, others suggest it may take several weeks. Until then markets are likely to remain jittery." "Despite the irresistible pull of buying-the-dip on tenuous early information on omicron, we are just one negative omicron headline away from going back to where we started,” Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst at Oanda, wrote in a note. “Expect plenty of headline-driven whipsaw price action this week.” The emergence of the omicron strain is also complicating monetary policy. Traders have already pushed back the expected timing of a first 25-basis-point rate hike by the Federal Reserve to July from June. Fed Bank of Atlanta President Raphael Bostic played down economic risks from a new variant, saying he’s open to a quicker paring of asset purchases to curb inflation. Fed Chair Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen speak before Congress on Tuesday and Wednesday. “We know that central banks can quickly switch to dovish if they need to,” Mahjabeen Zaman, Citigroup senior investment specialist, said on Bloomberg Television. “The liquidity playbook that we have in play right now will continue to support the market.” European stocks rallied their worst drop in more than a year on Friday, with travel and energy stocks leading the advance. The Stoxx 600 rose 0.9% while FTSE 100 futures gain more than 1%, aided by a report that Reliance may bid for BT Group which jumped as much as 9.5% following a report that India’s Reliance Industries may offer to buy U.K. phone company, though it pared the gain after Reliance denied it’s considering a bid. European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde put a brave face on the latest virus scare, saying the euro zone was better equipped to face the economic impact of a new wave of COVID-19 infections or the Omicron variant Japanese shares lead Asian indexes lower after Premier Kishida announces entry ban of all new foreign visitors. Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng Index closed down 0.9% at the lowest level since October 2020, led by Galaxy Entertainment and Meituan. The index followed regional peers lower amid worries about the new Covid variant Omicron. Amid the big movers, Galaxy Entertainment was down 5.4% after police arrested Macau’s junket king, while Meituan falls 7.1% after reporting earnings. In FX, currency markets are stabilizing as the week kicks off yet investors are betting on the possibility of further volatility. The South African rand climbed against the greenback though most emerging-market peers declined along with developing-nation stocks. Turkey’s lira slumped more than 2% after a report at the weekend that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ordered a probe into foreign currency trades. The Swiss franc, euro and yen retreat while loonie and Aussie top G-10 leaderboard after WTI crude futures rally more than 4%. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index hovered after Friday’s drop, and the greenback traded mixed against its Group-of-10 peers; commodity currencies led gains. The euro slipped back below $1.13 and Bunds sold off, yet outperformed Treasuries. The pound was steady against the dollar and rallied against the euro. Australian sovereign bonds pared an opening jump as Treasuries trimmed Friday’s spike amid continuing uncertainty over the fallout from the omicron variant. The Aussie rallied with oil and iron ore. The yen erased an earlier decline as a government announcement on planned border closures starting Tuesday spurred a drop in local equities. The rand strengthens as South African health experts call omicron variant “mild.” In rates, Treasuries were cheaper by 4bp-7bp across the curve in belly-led losses, reversing a portion of Friday’s sharp safe-haven rally as potential economic impact of omicron coronavirus strain continues to be assessed. The Treasury curve bear- steepened and the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield jumped as much as 7 basis points to 1.54%; that unwound some of Friday’s 16 basis-point plunge -- the steepest since March 2020.  Focal points include month-end on Tuesday, November jobs report Friday, and Fed Chair Powell is scheduled to speak Monday afternoon. Treasuries broadly steady since yields gapped higher when Asia session began, leaving 10-year around 1.54%, cheaper by almost 7bp on the day; front-end outperformance steepens 2s10s by ~3bp. Long-end may draw support from potential for month-end buying; Bloomberg Treasury index rebalancing was projected to extend duration by 0.11yr as of Nov. 22 In commodities, oil prices bounced after suffering their largest one-day drop since April 2020 on Friday. "The move all but guarantees the OPEC+ alliance will suspend its scheduled increase for January at its meeting on 2 December," wrote analyst at ANZ in a note. "Such headwinds are the reason it's been only gradually raising output in recent months, despite demand rebounding strongly." Brent rebounded 3.9% to $75.57 a barrel, while U.S. crude rose 4.5% to $71.24. Gold has so far found little in the way of safe haven demand, leaving it stuck at $1,791 an ounce . SGX iron ore rises almost 8% to recoup Friday’s losses. Bitcoin rallied after falling below $54,000 on Friday. Looking at today's calendar, we get October pending home sales, and November Dallas Fed manufacturing activity. We also get a bunch of Fed speakers including Williams, Powell making remarks at the New York Fed innovation event, Fed’s Hassan moderating a panel and Fed’s Bowman discussing central bank and indigenous economies. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 0.6% to 4,625.00 MXAP down 0.9% to 191.79 MXAPJ down 0.4% to 625.06 Nikkei down 1.6% to 28,283.92 Topix down 1.8% to 1,948.48 Hang Seng Index down 0.9% to 23,852.24 Shanghai Composite little changed at 3,562.70 Sensex up 0.4% to 57,307.46 Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.5% to 7,239.82 Kospi down 0.9% to 2,909.32 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.7% to 467.47 German 10Y yield little changed at -0.31% Euro down 0.3% to $1.1283 Brent Futures up 3.8% to $75.49/bbl Gold spot up 0.3% to $1,797.11 U.S. Dollar Index up 0.13% to 96.22 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg The omicron variant of Covid-19, first identified in South Africa, has been detected in locations from Australia to the U.K. and Canada, showing the difficulties of curtailing new strains While health experts in South Africa, where omicron was first detected, said it appeared to cause only mild symptoms, the Geneva-based WHO assessed the variant’s risk as “extremely high” and called on member states to test widely. Understanding the new strain will take several days or weeks, the agency said All travelers arriving in the U.K. starting at 4 a.m. on Nov. 30 must take a PCR coronavirus test on or before the second day of their stay and isolate until they receive a negative result. Face coverings will again be mandatory in shops and other indoor settings and on public transport. Booster shots may also be approved for more age groups within days, according to Health Secretary Sajid Javid The economic effects of the successive waves of the Covid pandemic have been less and less damaging, Bank of France Governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau says Italian bonds advance for a third day, as investors shrug off new coronavirus developments over the weekend and stock futures advance, while bunds are little changed ahead of German inflation numbers and a raft of ECB speakers including President Christine Lagarde A European Commission sentiment index fell to 117.5 in November from 118.6 the previous month, data released Monday showed Spanish inflation accelerated to the fastest in nearly three decades in November on rising food prices, underscoring the lingering consequences of supply-chain bottlenecks across Europe. Consumer prices jumped 5.6% Energy prices in Europe surged on Monday after weather forecasts showed colder temperatures for the next two weeks that will lift demand for heating ECB Executive Board member Isabel Schnabel took to the airwaves to reassure her fellow Germans that inflation will slow again, hours before data set to show the fastest pace of price increases since the early 1990s Russia’s ambassador to Washington said more than 50 diplomats and their family members will have to leave the U.S. by mid-2022, in the latest sign of tensions between the former Cold War enemies China sent the biggest sortie of warplanes toward Taiwan in more than seven weeks after a U.S. lawmaker defied a Chinese demand that she abandon a trip to the island A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks traded cautiously and US equity futures rebounded from Friday’s hefty selling (S&P 500 -2.3%) as all focus remained on the Omicron variant after several countries announced restrictions and their first cases of the new variant, although markets took solace from reports that all cases so far from South Africa have been mild. Furthermore, NIH Director Collins was optimistic that current vaccines are likely to protect against the Omicron variant but also noted it was too early to know the answers, while Goldman Sachs doesn’t think the new variant is a sufficient reason to adjust its portfolio citing comments from South Africa’s NICD that the mutation is unlikely to be more malicious and existing vaccines will most likely remain effective at preventing hospitalizations and deaths. ASX 200 (-0.5%) is subdued after Australia registered its first cases of the Omicron variant which involved two people that arrived in Sydney from southern Africa and with the government reviewing its border reopening plans. Nikkei 225 (-1.6%) whipsawed whereby it initially slumped at the open due to the virus fears and currency-related headwinds but then recouped its losses and briefly returned flat as the mood gradually improved, before succumbing to a bout of late selling, and with mixed Retail Sales data adding to the indecision. Hang Seng (-1.0%) and Shanghai Comp. (Unch) weakened with Meituan the worst performer in Hong Kong after posting a quarterly loss and with casino names pressured by a crackdown in which police detained Suncity Group CEO and others after admitting to accusations including illegal cross border gambling. However, the losses in the mainland were cushioned after firm Industrial Profits data over the weekend and with local press noting expectations for China to adopt a more proactive macro policy next year. Finally, 10yr JGBs shrugged off the pullback seen in T-note and Bund futures, with price action kept afloat amid the cautious mood in stocks and the BoJ’s presence in the market for over JPY 900bln of JGBs mostly concentrated in 3yr-10yr maturities. Top Asian News Hong Kong Stocks Slide to 13-Month Low on Fresh Virus Woes Li Auto Loss Narrows as EV Maker Rides Out Supply-Chain Snarls Singapore Adds to Its Gold Pile for the First Time in Decades China Growth Stocks Look Like Havens as Markets Confront Omicron Bourses in Europe are experiencing a mild broad-based rebound (Euro Stoxx 50 +1.0%; Stoxx 600 +0.9%) following Friday's hefty COVID-induced losses. Desks over the weekend have been framing Friday's losses as somewhat overstretched in holiday-thinned liquidity, given how little is known about the Omicron variant itself. The strain will likely remain the market theme as scientists and policymakers factor in this new variant, whilst data from this point forth – including Friday's US labour market report - will likely be passed off as somewhat stale, and headline risk will likely be abundant. Thus far, symptoms from Omicron are seemingly milder than some of its predecessors, although governments and central banks will likely continue to express caution in this period of uncertainty. Back to price action, the momentum of the rebound has lost steam; US equity futures have also been drifting lower since the European cash open – with the RTY (+0.9%) was the laggard in early European trade vs the ES (+0.8%), NQ (+1.0%) and YM (+0.7%). European cash bourses have also been waning off best levels but remain in positive territory. Sectors are mostly in the green, but the breadth of the market has narrowed since the cash open. Travel & Leisure retains the top spot in what seems to be more a reversal of Friday's exaggerated underperformance as opposed to a fundamentally driven rebound – with more nations announcing travel restrictions to stem the spread of the variant. Oil & Gas has also trimmed some of Friday's losses as oil prices see a modest rebound relative to Friday's slump. On the other end of the spectrum, Healthcare sees mild losses as COVID-related names take a mild breather, although Moderna (+9.1% pre-market) gains ahead of the US open after its Chief Medical Officer suggested a new vaccine for the variant could be ready early next year. Meanwhile, Autos & Parts reside as the current laggard amid several bearish updates, including a Y/Y drop in German car exports - due to the chip shortage and supply bottlenecks – factors which the Daimler Truck CEO suggested will lead to billions of Euros in losses. Furthermore, auto supbt.aplier provider Faurecia (-5.9%) trades at the foot of the Stoxx 600 after slashing guidance – again a function of the chip shortage. In terms of Monday M&A, BT (+4.7%) shares opened higher by almost 10% following source reports in Indian press suggesting Reliance Industries is gearing up for a takeover approach of BT – reports that were subsequently rebuffed. Top European News U.K. Mortgage Approvals Fall to 67,199 in Oct. Vs. Est. 70,000 Johnson Matthey Rises on Report of Battery Talks With Tata Gazprom Reports Record Third-Quarter Profit Amid Gas Surge Omicron’s Spread Fuels Search for Answers as WHO Sounds Warning In FX, the Buck has bounced from Friday’s pullback lows on a mixture of short covering, consolidation and a somewhat more hopeful prognosis of SA’s new coronavirus strand compared to very early perceptions prompted by reports that the latest mutation would be even worse than the Delta variant. In DXY terms, a base above 96.000 is forming within a 93.366-144 band amidst a rebound in US Treasury yields and re-steepening along the curve following comments from Fed’s Bostic indicating a willingness to back faster QE tapering. Ahead, pending home sales and Dallas Fed business manufacturing along with more Fed rhetoric from Williams and chair Powell on the eve of month end. AUD/CAD/NZD - No surprise to see the high beta and risk sensitive currencies take advantage of the somewhat calmer conditions plus a recovery in crude and other commodities that were decimated by the prospect of depressed demand due to the aforementioned Omicron outbreak. The Aussie is back over 0.7150 vs its US counterpart, the Loonie has pared back losses from sub-1.2750 with assistance from WTI’s recovery to top Usd 72/brl vs a Usd 67.40 trough on November 26 and the Kiwi is hovering above 0.6800 even though RBNZ chief economist Ha has warned that a pause in OCR tightening could occur if the fresh COVID-19 wave proves to be a ‘game-changer’. JPY/EUR - The major laggards as sentiment stabilses, with the Yen midway between 112.99-113.88 parameters and hardly helped by mixed Japanese retail sales data, while the Euro has retreated below 1.1300 where 1.7 bn option expiry interest resides and a key Fib level just under the round number irrespective of strong German state inflation reports and encouraging pan Eurozone sentiment indicators, as more nations batten down the hatches to stem the spread of SA’s virus that has shown up in parts of the bloc. GBP/CHF - Both narrowly divergent vs the Dollar, as Cable retains 1.3300+ status against the backdrop of retreating Gilt and Short Sterling futures even though UK consumer credit, mortgage lending and approvals are rather conflicting, while the Franc pivots 0.9250 and meanders from 1.0426 to 1.0453 against the Euro after the latest weekly update on Swiss bank sight deposits showing no sign of official intervention. However, Usd/Chf may veer towards 1.1 bn option expiries at the 0.9275 strike if risk appetite continues to improve ahead of KoF on Tuesday and monthly reserves data. SCANDI/EM - Although Brent has bounced to the benefit of the Nok, Sek outperformance has ensued in wake of an upgrade to final Swedish Q3 GDP, while the Cnh and Cny are deriving support via a rise in Chinese industrial profits on a y/y basis and the Zar is breathing a sigh of relief on the aforementioned ‘better’ virus updates/assessments from SA on balance. Conversely, the Try is back under pressure post-a deterioration in Turkish economic sentiment vs smaller trade deficit as investors look forward to CPI at the end of the week. Meanwhile, Turkish President Erdogan provides no reprieve for the Lira as he once again defending his unorthodox view that higher interest rates lead to higher inflation. In commodities, WTI and Brent front-month futures consolidate following an overnight rebound – with WTI Jan back on a USD 71/bbl handle and Brent Feb just under USD 75/bbl – albeit still some way off from Friday's best levels which saw the former's high above USD 78/bbl and the latter's best north of USD 81/bbl. The week is packed with risks to the oil complex, including the resumption of Iranian nuclear talks (slated at 13:00GMT/08:00EST today) and the OPEC+ monthly confab. In terms of the former, little is expected in terms of progress unless the US agrees to adhere to Tehran's demand – which at this point seems unlikely. Tehran continues to seek the removal of US sanctions alongside assurances that the US will not withdraw from the deal. "The assertion that the US must 'change its approach if it wants progress' sets a challenging tone", Citi's analysts said, and the bank also expects parties to demand full access to Iranian nuclear facilities for verification of compliance. Further, the IAEA Chief met with Iranian officials last week; although concrete progress was sparse, the overall tone of the meeting was one of progress. "We remain of the opinion that additional Iranian supplies are unlikely to reach the market before the second half of 2022 at the earliest," Citi said. Meanwhile, reports suggested the US and allies have been debating a "Plan B" if talks were to collapse. NBC News – citing European diplomats, former US officials and experts – suggested that options included: 1) a skinny nuclear deal, 2) ramp up sanctions, 3) Launching operations to sabotage Iranian nuclear advances, 4) Military strikes, 5) persuading China to halt Iranian oil imports, albeit Iran and China recently signed a 25yr deal. Over to OPEC+, a rescheduling (in light of the Omicron variant) sees the OPEC and JTC meeting now on the 1st December, followed by the JMMC and OPEC+ on the 2nd. Sources on Friday suggested that members are leaning towards a pause in the planned monthly output, although Russian Deputy PM Novak hit the wires today and suggested there is no need for urgent measures in the oil market. Markets will likely be tested, and expectations massaged with several sources heading into the meeting later this week. Elsewhere, spot gold trades sideways just under the USD 1,800/oz and above a cluster of DMAs, including the 50 (1,790.60/oz), 200 (1,791.30/oz) and 100 (1,792.80/oz) awaiting the next catalyst. Over to base metals, LME copper recoups some of Friday's lost ground, with traders also citing the underlying demand emanating from the EV revolution. US Event Calendar 10am: Oct. Pending Home Sales YoY, prior -7.2% 10am: Oct. Pending Home Sales (MoM), est. 0.8%, prior -2.3% 10:30am: Nov. Dallas Fed Manf. Activity, est. 17.0, prior 14.6 Central Bank speakers: 3pm: Fed’s Williams gives opening remarks at NY Innovation Center 3:05pm: Powell Makes Opening Remarks at New York Fed Innovation Event 3:15pm: Fed’s Hassan moderates panel introducing NY Innovation Center 5:05pm: Fed’s Bowman Discusses Central bank and Indigenous Economies DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap Last night Henry in my team put out a Q&A looking at what we know about Omicron (link here) as many risk assets put in their worst performance of the year on Friday after it exploded into view. The main reason for the widespread concern is the incredibly high number of mutations, with 32 on the spike protein specifically, which is the part of the virus that allows it to enter human cells. That’s much more than we’ve seen for previous variants, and raises the prospect it could be a more transmissible version of the virus, although scientists are still assessing this. South Africa is clearly where it has been discovered (not necessarily originated from) and where it has been spreading most. The fact that’s it’s become the dominant strain there in just two weeks hints at its higher level of contagiousness. However the read through to elsewhere is tough as the country has only fully vaccinated 24% of its population, relative to at least 68% in most of the larger developed countries bar the US which languishes at 58%. It could still prove less deadly (as virus variants over time mostly are) but if it is more contagious that could offset this and it could still cause similar healthcare issues, especially if vaccines are less protective. On the other hand the South African doctor who first alerted authorities to the unusual symptoms that have now been found to have been caused by Omicron, was on numerous media platforms over the weekend suggesting that the patients she has seen with it were exhausted but generally had mild symptoms. However she also said her patients were from a healthy cohort so we can’t relax too much on this. However as South African cases rise we will get a lot of clues from hospitalisation data even if only 6% of the country is over 65s. My personal view is that we’ll get a lot of information quite quickly around how bad this variant is. The reports over the weekend that numerous cases of Omicron have already been discovered around the world, suggests it’s probably more widespread than people think already. So we will likely soon learn whether these patients present with more severe illness and we’ll also learn of their vaccination status before any official study is out. The only caveat would be that until elderly patients have been exposed in enough scale we won’t be able to rule out the more negative scenarios. Before all that the level of restrictions have been significantly ramped up over the weekend in many countries. Henry discusses this in his note but one very significant one is that ALL travellers coming into (or back to) the UK will have to self isolate until they get a negative PCR test. This sort of thing will dramatically reduce travel, especially short business trips. Overnight Japan have effectively banned ALL foreign visitors. I appreciate its dangerous to be positive on covid at the moment but you only have to look at the UK for signs that boosters are doing a great job. Cases in the elderly population continue to collapse as the roll out progresses well and overall deaths have dropped nearly 20% over the last week to 121 (7-day average) - a tenth of where they were at the peak even though cases have recently been 80-90% of their peak levels. If Europe are just lagging the UK on boosters rather than anything more structural, most countries should be able to control the current wave all things being equal. However Omicron could make things less equal but it would be a huge surprise if vaccines made no impact. Stocks in Asia are trading cautiously but remember that the US and Europe sold off more aggressively after Asia closed on Friday. So the lack of major damage is insightful. The Nikkei (-0.02%), Shanghai Composite (-0.14%), CSI (-0.22%), KOSPI (-0.47%) and Hang Seng (-0.68%) are only slightly lower. Treasury yields, oil, and equity futures are all rising in Asia. US treasury yields are up 4-6bps across the curve, Oil is c.+4.5% higher, while the ZAR is +1.31%. Equity futures are trading higher with the S&P 500 (+0.71%) and DAX (+0.84%) futures in the green. In terms of looking ahead, we may be heading into December this week but there’s still an incredibly eventful period ahead on the market calendar even outside of Omicron. We have payrolls on Friday which could still have a big impact on what the Fed do at their important December 15 FOMC and especially on whether they accelerate the taper. Wednesday (Manufacturing) and Friday (Services) see the latest global PMIs which will as ever be closely watched even if people will suggest that the latest virus surge and now Omicron variant may make it backward looking. Elsewhere in the Euro Area, we’ll get the flash CPI estimate for November tomorrow (France and Italy on the same day with Germany today), and we’ll hear from Fed Chair Powell as he testifies (with Mrs Yellen) before congressional committees tomorrow and Wednesday. There’s lots of other Fed speakers this week (ahead of their blackout from this coming weekend) and last week there was a definite shift towards a faster taper bias, even amongst the doves on the committee with Daly being the most important potential convert. Fed speakers this week might though have to balance the emergence of the new variant with the obvious point that without it the Fed is a fair bit behind the curve. Importantly but lurking in the background, Friday is also the US funding deadline before another government shutdown. History would suggest a tense last minute deal but it’s tough to predict. Recapping last week now and the emergence of the new variant reshaped the whole week even if ahead of this, continued case growth across Europe prompted renewed lockdown measures and travel bans across the continent. Risk sentiment clearly plummeted on Friday. The S&P 500 fell -2.27%, the biggest drop since October 2020, while the Stoxx 600 fell -3.67%, the biggest one-day decline since the original Covid-induced risk off in March 2020. The S&P 500 was -2.20% lower last week, while the Stoxx 600 was down -4.53% on the week. 10yr treasury, bund, and gilt yields declined -16.1bps, -8.7bps, and -14.5bps, undoing the inflation and policy response-driven selloff from earlier in the week. The drop in 10yr treasury and gilt yields were the biggest one-day declines since the original Covid-driven rally in March 2020, while the drop in bund yields was the largest since April 2020. 10yr treasury, bund, and gilt yields ended the week -7.3bps lower, +0.7bps higher, and -5.4bps lower, respectively. Measures of inflation compensation declined due to the anticipated hit to global demand, with 10yr breakevens in the US and Germany -6.8bps and -8.8bps lower Friday, along with Brent and WTI futures declining -11.55% and -13.06%, respectively. Investors pushed back the anticipated timing of rate hikes. As it stands, the first full Fed hike is just about priced for July, and 2 hikes are priced for 2022. This follows a hawkish tone from even the most dovish FOMC members and the November FOMC minutes last week. The prevailing sentiment was the FOMC was preparing to accelerate their asset purchase taper at the December meeting to enable inflation-fighting rate hikes earlier in 2022. Understanding the impact of the new variant will be crucial for interpreting the Fed’s reaction function, though. The impact may not be so obvious; while a new variant would certainly hurt global demand and portend more policy accommodation, it will also likely prompt more virus-avoiding behaviour in the labour market, preventing workers from returning to pre-Covid levels. Whether the Fed decides to accommodate these sidelined workers for longer, or to re-think what constitutes full employment in a Covid world should inform your view on whether they accelerate tapering in December. It feels like a lifetime ago but last week also saw President Biden nominate Chair Powell to head the Fed for another term, and for Governor Brainard to serve as Vice Chair. The announcement led to a selloff in rates as the more dovish Brainard did not land the head job. In Germany, the center-left SPD, Greens, and liberal FDP agreed to a full coalition deal. The traffic-light coalition agreed to restore the debt break in 2023, after being suspended during the pandemic, and to raise the minimum wage to €12 per hour. The SPD’s Olaf Scholz will assume the Chancellorship. The US, China, India, Japan, South Korea, and UK announced releases of strategic petroleum reserves. Oil prices were higher following the announcement, in part because releases were smaller than anticipated but, as mentioned, prices dropped precipitously on Friday on the global demand impact of the new Covid variant. The ECB released the minutes of the October Governing Council meeting, where officials stressed the need to maintain optionality in their policy setting. They acknowledged growing upside risks to inflation but stressed the importance of not overreacting in setting policy as they see how inflation scenarios might unfold. Tyler Durden Mon, 11/29/2021 - 08:01.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytNov 29th, 2021

Babies are increasingly dying of syphilis in the US - but it"s 100% preventable

Babies with syphilis may have deformed bones, damaged brains, and struggle to hear, see, or breathe. A newborn baby rests at the Ana Betancourt de Mora Hospital in Camaguey, Cuba, on June 19, 2015. Alexandre Meneghini/Reuters The number of US babies born with syphilis quadrupled from 2015 to 2019. Babies with syphilis may have deformed bones, damaged brains, and struggle to hear, see, or breathe. Routine testing and penicillin shots for pregnant women could prevent these cases. This story was originally published by ProPublica, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom, in collaboration with NPR News. Sign up for The Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox.When Mai Yang is looking for a patient, she travels light. She dresses deliberately - not too formal, so she won't be mistaken for a police officer; not too casual, so people will look past her tiny 4-foot-10 stature and youthful face and trust her with sensitive health information. Always, she wears closed-toed shoes, "just in case I need to run."Yang carries a stack of cards issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that show what happens when the Treponema pallidum bacteria invades a patient's body. There's a photo of an angry red sore on a penis. There's one of a tongue, marred by mucus-lined lesions. And there's one of a newborn baby, its belly, torso and thighs dotted in a rash, its mouth open, as if caught midcry.It was because of the prospect of one such baby that Yang found herself walking through a homeless encampment on a blazing July day in Huron, California, an hour's drive southwest of her office at the Fresno County Department of Public Health. She was looking for a pregnant woman named Angelica, whose visit to a community clinic had triggered a report to the health department's sexually transmitted disease program. Angelica had tested positive for syphilis. If she was not treated, her baby could end up like the one in the picture or worse - there was a 40% chance the baby would die.Yang knew, though, that if she helped Angelica get treated with three weekly shots of penicillin at least 30 days before she gave birth, it was likely that the infection would be wiped out and her baby would be born without any symptoms at all. Every case of congenital syphilis, when a baby is born with the disease, is avoidable. Each is considered a "sentinel event," a warning that the public health system is failing.The alarms are now clamoring. In the United States, more than 129,800 syphilis cases were recorded in 2019, double the case count of five years prior. In the same time period, cases of congenital syphilis quadrupled: 1,870 babies were born with the disease; 128 died. Case counts from 2020 are still being finalized, but the CDC has said that reported cases of congenital syphilis have already exceeded the prior year. Black, Hispanic, and Native American babies are disproportionately at risk.There was a time, not too long ago, when CDC officials thought they could eliminate the centuries-old scourge from the United States, for adults and babies. But the effort lost steam and cases soon crept up again. Syphilis is not an outlier. The United States goes through what former CDC director Tom Frieden calls "a deadly cycle of panic and neglect" in which emergencies propel officials to scramble and throw money at a problem - whether that's Ebola, Zika, or COVID-19. Then, as fear ebbs, so does the attention and motivation to finish the task.The last fraction of cases can be the hardest to solve, whether that's eradicating a bug or getting vaccines into arms, yet too often, that's exactly when political attention gets diverted to the next alarm. The result: The hardest to reach and most vulnerable populations are the ones left suffering, after everyone else looks away.Yang first received Angelica's lab report on June 17. The address listed was a P.O. box, and the phone number belonged to her sister, who said Angelica was living in Huron. That was a piece of luck: Huron is tiny; the city spans just 1.6 square miles. On her first visit, a worker at the Alamo Motel said she knew Angelica and directed Yang to a nearby homeless encampment. Angelica wasn't there, so Yang returned a second time, bringing one of the health department nurses who could serve as an interpreter.They made their way to the barren patch of land behind Huron Valley Foods, the local grocery store, where people took shelter in makeshift lean-tos composed of cardboard boxes, scrap wood, and scavenged furniture, draped with sheets that served as ceilings and curtains. Yang stopped outside one of the structures, calling a greeting."Hi, I'm from the health department, I'm looking for Angelica."The nurse echoed her in Spanish.Angelica emerged, squinting in the sunlight. Yang couldn't tell if she was visibly pregnant yet, as her body was obscured by an oversized shirt. The two women were about the same age: Yang 26 and Angelica 27. Yang led her away from the tent, so they could speak privately. Angelica seemed reticent, surprised by the sudden appearance of the two health officers. "You're not in trouble," Yang said, before revealing the results of her blood test.Angelica had never heard of syphilis."Have you been to prenatal care?"Angelica shook her head. The local clinic had referred her to an obstetrician in Hanford, a 30-minute drive away. She had no car. She also mentioned that she didn't intend to raise her baby; her two oldest children lived with her mother, and this one likely would, too.Yang pulled out the CDC cards, showing them to Angelica and asking if she had experienced any of the symptoms illustrated. No, Angelica said, her lips pursed with disgust."Right now you still feel healthy, but this bacteria is still in your body," Yang pressed. "You need to get the infection treated to prevent further health complications to yourself and your baby."The community clinic was just across the street. "Can we walk you over to the clinic and make sure you get seen so we can get this taken care of?"Angelica demurred. She said she hadn't showered for a week and wanted to wash up first. She said she'd go later.Yang tried once more to extract a promise: "What time do you think you'll go?""Today, for sure."The CDC tried and failed to eradicate syphilis - twiceSyphilis is called The Great Imitator: It can look like any number of diseases. In its first stage, the only evidence of infection is a painless sore at the bacteria's point of entry. Weeks later, as the bacteria multiplies, skin rashes bloom on the palms of the hands and bottoms of the feet. Other traits of this stage include fever, headaches, muscle aches, sore throat, and fatigue. These symptoms eventually disappear and the patient progresses into the latent phase, which betrays no external signs. But if left untreated, after a decade or more, syphilis will reemerge in up to 30% of patients, capable of wreaking horror on a wide range of organ systems. Marion Sims, president of the American Medical Association in 1876, called it a "terrible scourge, which begins with lamb-like mildness and ends with lion-like rage that ruthlessly destroys everything in its way."The corkscrew-shaped bacteria can infiltrate the nervous system at any stage of the infection. Yang is haunted by her memory of interviewing a young man whose dementia was so severe that he didn't know why he was in the hospital or how old he was. And regardless of symptoms or stage, the bacteria can penetrate the placenta to infect a fetus. Even in these cases the infection is unpredictable: Many babies are born with normal physical features, but others can have deformed bones or damaged brains, and they can struggle to hear, see, or breathe.From its earliest days, syphilis has been shrouded in stigma. The first recorded outbreak was in the late 15th century, when Charles VIII led the French army to invade Naples. Italian physicians described French soldiers covered with pustules, dying from a sexually transmitted disease. As the affliction spread, Italians called it the French Disease. The French blamed the Neopolitans. It was also called the German, Polish, or Spanish disease, depending on which neighbor one wanted to blame. Even its name bears the taint of divine judgement: It comes from a 16th-century poem that tells of a shepherd, Syphilus, who offended the god Apollo and was punished with a hideous disease.By 1937 in America, when former Surgeon General Thomas Parran wrote the book "Shadow on the Land," he estimated some 680,000 people were under treatment for syphilis; about 60,000 babies were being born annually with congenital syphilis. There was no cure, and the stigma was so strong that public-health officials feared even properly documenting cases.Thanks to Parran's ardent advocacy, Congress in 1938 passed the National Venereal Disease Control Act, which created grants for states to set up clinics and support testing and treatment. Other than a short-lived funding effort during World War I, this was the first coordinated federal push to respond to the disease.Around the same time, the Public Health Service launched an effort to record the natural history of syphilis. Situated in Tuskegee, Alabama, the infamous study recruited 600 black men. By the early 1940s, penicillin became widely available and was found to be a reliable cure, but the treatment was withheld from the study participants. Outrage over the ethical violations would cast a stain across syphilis research for decades to come and fuel generations of mistrust in the medical system among Black Americans that continues to this day. People attend a ceremony near Tuskegee, Alabama, on April 3, 2017, to commemorate the roughly 600 men who were subjects in the Tuskegee syphilis study. Jay Reeves/AP Photo With the introduction of penicillin, cases began to plummet. Twice, the CDC has announced efforts to wipe out the disease - once in the 1960s and again in 1999.In the latest effort, the CDC announced that the United States had "a unique opportunity to eliminate syphilis within its borders," thanks to historically low rates, with 80% of counties reporting zero cases. The concentration of cases in the South "identifies communities in which there is a fundamental failure of public health capacity," the agency noted, adding that elimination - which it defined as fewer than 1,000 cases a year - would "decrease one of our most glaring racial disparities in health."Two years after the campaign began, cases started climbing, first among gay men and, later, heterosexuals. Cases in women started accelerating in 2013, followed shortly by increasing numbers of babies born with syphilis. The reasons for failure are complex: People relaxed safer sex practices after the advent of potent HIV combination therapies, increased methamphetamine use drove riskier behavior, and an explosion of online dating made it hard to track and test sexual partners, according to Ina Park, medical director of the California Prevention Training Center at the University of California San Francisco.But federal and state public-health efforts were hamstrung from the get-go. In 1999, the CDC said it would need about $35 million to $39 million in new federal funds annually for at least five years to eliminate syphilis. The agency got less than half of what it asked for, according to Jo Valentine, former program coordinator of the CDC's Syphilis Elimination Effort. As cases rose, the CDC modified its goals in 2006 from 0.4 primary and secondary syphilis cases per 100,000 in population to 2.2 cases per 100,000. By 2013, as elimination seemed less and less viable, the CDC changed its focus to ending congenital syphilis only.Since then, funding has remained anemic. From 2015 to 2020, the CDC's budget for preventing sexually transmitted infections grew by 2.2%. Taking inflation into account, that's a 7.4% reduction in purchasing power. In the same period, cases of syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia - the three STDs that have federally funded control programs - increased by nearly 30%."We have a long history of nearly eradicating something, then changing our attention, and seeing a resurgence in numbers," David Harvey, executive director of the National Coalition of STD Directors, said. "We have more congenital syphilis cases today in America than we ever had pediatric AIDS at the height of the AIDS epidemic. It's heartbreaking."Adriane Casalotti, chief of government and public affairs at the National Association of County and City Health Officials, warns that the US should not be surprised to see case counts continue to climb."The bugs don't go away," she said. "They're just waiting for the next opportunity, when you're not paying attention."Syphilis has fewer poster children than HIV or cancerYang waited until the end of the day, then called the clinic to see if Angelica had gone for her shot. She had not. Yang would have to block off another half day to visit Huron again, but she had three dozen other cases to deal with.States in the South and West have seen the highest syphilis rates in recent years. In 2017, 64 babies in Fresno County were born with syphilis at a rate of 440 babies per 100,000 live births - about 19 times the national rate. While the county had managed to lower case counts in the two years that followed, the pandemic threatened to unravel that progress, forcing STD staffers to do COVID-19 contact tracing, pausing field visits to find infected people, and scaring patients from seeking care. Yang's colleague handled three cases of stillbirth in 2020; in each, the woman was never diagnosed with syphilis because she feared catching the coronavirus and skipped prenatal care.Yang, whose caseload peaked at 70 during a COVID-19 surge, knew she would not be able handle them all as thoroughly as she'd like to."When I was being mentored by another investigator, he said: 'You're not a superhero. You can't save everybody,'" she said.She prioritizes men who have sex with men, because there's a higher prevalence of syphilis in that population, and pregnant people, because of the horrific consequences for babies.The job of a disease intervention specialist isn't for everyone: It means meeting patients whenever and wherever they are available - in the mop closet of a bus station, in a quiet parking lot - to inform them about the disease, to extract names of sex partners, and to encourage treatment. Patients are often reluctant to talk. They can get belligerent, upset that "the government" has their personal information, or shattered at the thought that a partner is likely cheating on them. Salaries typically start in the low $40,000s.Jena Adams, Yang's supervisor, has eight investigators working on HIV and syphilis. In the middle of 2020, she lost two and replaced them only recently."It's been exhausting," Adams said.She has only one specialist who is trained to take blood samples in the field, crucial for guaranteeing that the partners of those who test positive for syphilis also get tested. Adams wants to get phlebotomy training for the rest of her staff, but it's $2,000 per person. The department also doesn't have anyone who can administer penicillin injections in the field; that would have been key when Yang met Angelica. For a while, a nurse who worked in the tuberculosis program would ride along to give penicillin shots on a volunteer basis. Then he, too, left the health department.Much of the resources in public health trickle down from the CDC, which distributes money to states, which then parcel it out to counties. The CDC gets its budget from Congress, which tells the agency, by line item, exactly how much money it can spend to fight a disease or virus, in an uncommonly specific manner not seen in many other agencies. The decisions are often politically driven and can be detached from actual health needs.When the House and Senate appropriations committees meet to decide how much the CDC will get for each line item, they are barraged by lobbyists for individual disease interests. Stephanie Arnold Pang, senior director of policy and government relations at the National Coalition of STD Directors, can pick out the groups by sight: breast cancer wears pink, Alzheimer's goes in purple, multiple sclerosis comes in orange, HIV in red. STD prevention advocates, like herself, don a green ribbon, but they're far outnumbered.And unlike diseases that might already be familiar to lawmakers, or have patient and family spokespeople who can tell their own powerful stories, syphilis doesn't have many willing poster children. Breast Cancer survivors hold up a check for the amount raised at The Congressional Womens Softball Game at Watkins Recreation Center in Capitol Hill on June 20, 2018. Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call "Congressmen don't wake up one day and say, 'Oh hey, there's congenital syphilis in my jurisdiction.' You have to raise awareness," Arnold Pang said. It can be hard jockeying for a meeting. "Some offices might say, 'I don't have time for you because we've just seen HIV.' ... Sometimes, it feels like you're talking into a void."The consequences of the political nature of public-health funding have become more obvious during the coronavirus pandemic. The 2014 Ebola epidemic was seen as a "global wakeup call" that the world wasn't prepared for a major pandemic, yet in 2018, the CDC scaled back its epidemic prevention work as money ran out."If you've got to choose between Alzheimer's research and stopping an outbreak that may not happen? Stopping an outbreak that might not happen doesn't do well," Frieden, the former CDC director, said. "The CDC needs to have more money and more flexible money. Otherwise, we're going to be in this situation long term."In May 2021, President Joe Biden's administration announced it would set aside $7.4 billion over the next five years to hire and train public health workers, including $1.1 billion for more disease intervention specialists like Yang. Public health officials are thrilled to have the chance to expand their workforce, but some worry the time horizon may be too short."We've seen this movie before, right?" Frieden said. "Everyone gets concerned when there's an outbreak, and when that outbreak stops, the headlines stop, and an economic downturn happens, the budget gets cut."Fresno's STD clinic was shuttered in 2010 amid the Great Recession. Many others have vanished since the passage of the Affordable Care Act.Health leaders thought "by magically beefing up the primary care system, that we would do a better job of catching STIs and treating them," Harvey, the executive director of the National Coalition of STD Directors, said.That hasn't worked out; people want access to anonymous services, and primary care doctors often don't have STDs top of mind. The coalition is lobbying Congress for funding to support STD clinical services, proposing a three-year demonstration project funded at $600 million.It's one of Adams' dreams to see Fresno's STD clinic restored as it was."You could come in for an HIV test and get other STDs checked," she said. "And if a patient is positive, you can give a first injection on the spot."'I've seen people's families ripped apart and I've seen beautiful babies die'On August 12, Yang set out for Huron again, speeding past groves of almond trees and fields of grapes in the department's white Chevy Cruze. She brought along a colleague, Jorge Sevilla, who had recently transferred to the STD program from COVID-19 contact tracing. Yang was anxious to find Angelica again."She's probably in her second trimester now," she said.They found her outside of a pale yellow house a few blocks from the homeless encampment; the owner was letting her stay in a shed tucked in the corner of the dirt yard. This time, it was evident that she was pregnant. Yang noted that Angelica was wearing a wig; hair loss is a symptom of syphilis."Do you remember me?" Yang asked.Angelica nodded. She didn't seem surprised to see Yang again. (I came along, and Sevilla explained who I was and that I was writing about syphilis and the people affected by it. Angelica signed a release for me to report about her case, and she said she had no problem with me writing about her or even using her full name. ProPublica chose to only print her first name.)"How are you doing? How's the baby?""Bien.""So the last time we talked, we were going to have you go to United Healthcare Center to get treatment. Have you gone since?"Angelica shook her head."We brought some gift cards..." Sevilla started in Spanish. The department uses them as incentives for completing injections. But Angelica was already shaking her head. The nearest Walmart was the next town over.Yang turned to her partner. "Tell her: So the reason why we're coming out here again is because we really need her to go in for treatment. [...] We really are concerned for the baby's health especially since she's had the infection for quite a while."Angelica listened while Sevilla interpreted, her eyes on the ground. Then she looked up. "Orita?" she asked. Right now?"I'll walk with you," Yang offered. Angelica shook her head."She said she wants to shower first before she goes over there," Sevilla said.Yang made a face. "She said that to me last time." Yang offered to wait, but Angelica didn't want the health officers to linger by the house. She said she would meet them by the clinic in 15 minutes.Yang was reluctant to let her go but again had no other option. She and Sevilla drove to the clinic, then stood on the corner of the parking lot, staring down the road.Talk to the pediatricians, obstetricians, and families on the front lines of the congenital syphilis surge and it becomes clear why Yang and others are trying so desperately to prevent cases. J.B. Cantey, associate professor in pediatrics at UT Health San Antonio, remembers a baby girl born at 25 weeks gestation who weighed a pound and a half. Syphilis had spread through her bones and lungs. She spent five months in the neonatal intensive care unit, breathing through a ventilator, and was still eating through a tube when she was discharged.Then, there are the miscarriages, the stillbirths, and the inconsolable parents. Irene Stafford, an associate professor and maternal-fetal medicine specialist at UT Health in Houston, cannot forget a patient who came in at 36 weeks for a routine checkup, pregnant with her first child. Stafford realized that there was no heartbeat."She could see on my face that something was really wrong," Stafford recalled. She had to let the patient know that syphilis had killed her baby."She was hysterical, just bawling," Stafford said. "I've seen people's families ripped apart and I've seen beautiful babies die." Fewer than 10% of patients who experience a stillbirth are tested for syphilis, suggesting that cases are underdiagnosed.A Texas grandmother named Solidad Odunuga offers a glimpse into what the future could hold for Angelica's mother, who may wind up raising her baby.In February of last year, Odunuga got a call from the Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital in Houston. A nurse told her that her daughter was about to give birth and that child protective services had been called. Odunuga had lost contact with her daughter, who struggled with homelessness and substance abuse. She arrived in time to see her grandson delivered, premature at 30 weeks old, weighing 2.7 pounds. He tested positive for syphilis.When a child protective worker asked Odunuga to take custody of the infant, she felt a wave of dread."I was in denial," she recalled. "I did not plan to be a mom again." The baby's medical problems were daunting: "Global developmental delays [...] concerns for visual impairments [...] high risk of cerebral palsy," read a note from the doctor at the time.Still, Odunuga visited her grandson every day for three months, driving to the NICU from her job at the University of Houston. "I'd put him in my shirt to keep him warm and hold him there." She fell in love. She named him Emmanuel.Once Emmanuel was discharged, Odunuga realized she had no choice but to quit her job. While Medicaid covered the costs of Emmanuel's treatment, it was on her to care for him. From infancy, Emmanuel's life has been a whirlwind of constant therapy. Today, at 20 months old, Odunuga brings him to physical, occupational, speech, and developmental therapy, each a different appointment on a different day of the week.Emmanuel has thrived beyond what his doctors predicted, toddling so fast that Odunuga can't look away for a minute and beaming as he waves his favorite toy phone. Yet he still suffers from gagging issues, which means Odunuga can't feed him any solid foods. Liquid gets into his lungs when he aspirates; it has led to pneumonia three times. Emmanuel has a special stroller that helps keep his head in a position that won't aggravate his persistent reflux, but Odunuga said she still has to pull over on the side of the road sometimes when she hears him projectile vomiting from the backseat.The days are endless. Once she puts Emmanuel to bed, Odunuga starts planning the next day's appointments."I've had to cry alone, scream out alone," she said. "Sometimes I wake up and think, 'Is this real?' And then I hear him in the next room."There's no vaccine for syphilis A health worker tests a migrant from Haiti for HIV and syphilis to in Ciudad Acuna, Mexico, on September 25, 2021. Daniel Becerril/Reuters Putting aside the challenge of eliminating syphilis entirely, everyone agrees it's both doable and necessary to prevent newborn cases."There was a crisis in perinatal HIV almost 30 years ago and people stood up and said this is not OK - it's not acceptable for babies to be born in that condition. [...We] brought it down from 1,700 babies born each year with perinatal HIV to less than 40 per year today," Virginia Bowen, an epidemiologist at the CDC, said. "Now here we are with a slightly different condition. We can also stand up and say, 'This is not acceptable.'" Belarus, Bermuda, Cuba, Malaysia, Thailand, and Sri Lanka are among countries recognized by the World Health Organization for eliminating congenital syphilis.Success starts with filling gaps across the health care system.For almost a century, public health experts have advocated for testing pregnant patients more than once for syphilis in order to catch the infection. But policies nationwide still don't reflect this best practice. Six states have no prenatal screening requirement at all. Even in states that require three tests, public-health officials say that many physicians aren't aware of the requirements. Stafford, the maternal-fetal medicine specialist in Houston, says she's tired of hearing her own peers in medicine tell her, "Oh, syphilis is a problem?"It costs public health departments less than 25 cents a dose to buy penicillin, but for a private practice, it's more than $1,000, according to Park of the University of California San Francisco."There's no incentive for a private physician to stock a dose that could expire before it's used, so they often don't have it," she said. "So a woman comes in, they say, 'We'll send you to the emergency department or health department to get it,' then [the patients] don't show up."A vaccine would be invaluable for preventing spread among people at high risk for reinfection. But there is none. Scientists only recently figured out how to grow the bacteria in the lab, prompting grants from the National Institutes of Health to fund research into a vaccine. Justin Radolf, a researcher at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, said he hopes his team will have a vaccine candidate by the end of its five-year grant. But it'll likely take years more to find a manufacturer and run human trials.Public-health agencies also need to recognize that many of the hurdles to getting pregnant people treated involve access to care, economic stability, safe housing, and transportation. In Fresno, Adams has been working on ways her department can collaborate with mental health services. Recently, one of her disease intervention specialists managed to get a pregnant woman treated with penicillin shots and, at the patient's request, connected her with an addiction treatment center.Gaining a patient's cooperation means seeing them as complex humans instead of just a case to solve."There may be past traumas with the healthcare system," Cynthia Deverson, project manager of the Houston Fetal Infant Morbidity Review, said. "There's the fear of being discovered if she's doing something illegal to survive. [...] She may need to be in a certain place at a certain time so she can get something to eat, or maybe it's the only time of the day that's safe for her to sleep. They're not going to tell you that. Yes, they understand there's a problem, but it's not an immediate threat, maybe they don't feel bad yet, so obviously this is not urgent.""What helps to gain trust is consistency," she added. "Literally, it's seeing that [disease specialist] constantly, daily. [...] The woman can see that you're not going to harm her, you're saying, 'I'm here at this time if you need me.'"Yang stood outside the clinic, waiting for Angelica to show up, baking in the 90-degree heat. Her feelings ranged from irritation - Why didn't she just go? I'd have more energy for other cases - to an appreciation for the parts of Angelica's story that she didn't know - She's in survival mode. I need to be more patient.Fifteen minutes ticked by, then 20."OK," Yang announced. "We're going back."She asked Sevilla if he would be OK if they drove Angelica to the clinic; they technically weren't supposed to because of coronavirus precautions, but Yang wasn't sure she could convince Angelica to walk. Sevilla gave her the thumbs up.When they pulled up, they saw Angelica sitting in the backyard, chatting with a friend. She now wore a fresh T-shirt and had shoes on her feet. Angelica sat silently in the back seat as Yang drove to the clinic. A few minutes later, they pulled up to the parking lot.Finally, Yang thought. We got her here.The clinic was packed with people waiting for COVID-19 tests and vaccinations. A worker there had previously told Yang that a walk-in would be fine, but a receptionist now said they were too busy to treat Angelica. She would have to return.Yang felt a surge of frustration, sensing that her hard-fought opportunity was slipping away. She tried to talk to the nurse supervisor, but he wasn't available. She tried to leave the gift cards at the office to reward Angelica if she came, but the receptionist said she couldn't hold them. While Yang negotiated, Sevilla sat with Angelica in the car, waiting.Finally, Yang accepted this was yet another thing she couldn't control.She drove Angelica back to the yellow house. As they arrived, she tried once more to impress on her just how important it was to get treated, asking Sevilla to interpret. "We don't want it to get any more serious, because she can go blind, she could go deaf, she could lose her baby."Angelica already had the door halfway open."So on a scale from one to 10, how important is this to get treated?" Yang asked."Ten," Angelica said. Yang reminded her of the appointment that afternoon. Then Angelica stepped out and returned to the dusty yard.Yang lingered for a moment, watching Angelica go. Then she turned the car back onto the highway and set off toward Fresno, knowing, already, that she'd be back.Postscript: A reporter visited Huron twice more in the months that followed, including once independently to try to interview Angelica, but she wasn't in town. Yang has visited Huron twice more as well - six times in total thus far. In October, a couple of men at the yellow house said Angelica was still in town, still pregnant. Yang and Sevilla spent an hour driving around, talking to residents, hoping to catch Angelica. But she was nowhere to be found.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytNov 2nd, 2021

COVID Authoritarians Are The Cause Of America"s Problems, Not The Unvaccinated

COVID Authoritarians Are The Cause Of America's Problems, Not The Unvaccinated Authored by Brandon Smith via Alt-Market.us, It’s an odd dynamic – One would think that if the covid vaccines were a generally benevolent program that actually “followed the science” then there would be no need to pile drive the public with an endless barrage of vax propaganda. After all, if science and morality are on the side of the covid cult then the rest would naturally take care of itself and the overwhelming majority of Americans would have already voluntarily taken the experimental mRNA cocktail without any threats required. And, if some people still refused, then the science would dictate that it doesn’t matter, because if the vax actually works then those people present no threat whatsoever to the rest of society. It is highly revealing that this is not the case, and the more resistance the establishment encounters on mandates the more aggressive they become and the more they lie about the facts and evidence. Remember when Fauci and company said they only needed 70% of the population vaccinated to hit herd immunity? That concept was thrown down the memory hole and now they want 96% (really 100%) of the population vaccinated. They claimed that the vaccination programs were a success with between 70% to almost 80% of the public taking the double jab, and that was a lie as state numbers continue to contradict federal and CDC numbers. They claimed that the only pandemic still ongoing was a “pandemic of the unvaccinated”, and this was of course a lie as we have seen studies from multiple states and mostly vaccinated countries showing that the vaccinated now make up the bulk of infections and hospitalizations. They said the vaccines offered more reliable protection when compared to natural immunity, yet medical studies from around the world show that this was a lie and that natural immunity offers up to 27 times more protection than the vaccines do. And, they said that the vaccines were “safe and effective”, yet there is no long term data to prove they are safe, and multiple studies show that vaccine effectiveness is questionable to say the least. Lie after lie after lie. If the vaccines actually worked, there would be no need for so much deceit, and if their true intention was to “protect public health” then the establishment would be promoting treatment programs and natural immunity, not untested vaccines that continue to disappoint. Numerous fully vaccinated people including political figures like Colin Powell have died from covid but the mainstream media STILL claims this doesn’t disprove the efficacy of the jab. At the same time, unvaccinated alternative media figures like Joe Rogan beat covid in 3 days using treatments like Ivermectin, and the MSM attacks him relentlessly as some kind of charlatan merely because he dared to not die. The elitists think that the public doesn’t notice massive contradictions like this, but we do. We are not dumb, we see everything. In Washington State, for example, studies show that there have been at least 51,000 “breakthrough cases” of covid in the past 10 months. Breakthrough cases are people who are fully vaccinated but were still infected with covid. Of those 51,000 people, 493 people died. When calculating the percentage of dead vs infected, we get around 0.96%. The median death rate of covid among unvaccinated people is only 0.27% according to dozens of peer reviewed medical studies. This means that the death rate of fully vaccinated people in Washington is actually HIGHER than that of unvaxxed people. We have seen similar results in states like Massachusetts, where there were 5100 breakthrough cases in a single month and 80 deaths of fully vaccinated people, which is a 1.5% death rate for the vaxxed as opposed to 0.27% for the unvaxxed. Studies on death rates are going to have to take into account vaccinated deaths vs unvaccinated deaths from now on. And what about studies from highly vaccinated countries like Israel, which show that the majority of infections and hospitalizations are among vaccinated people, with infections spiking well after the vaccines were introduced. Right after Israel became one of the most vaccinated nations on the planet, it also had one of the highest infection rates on the planet. It should also be noted that the peak of US infections in 2020 ended well before the vaccine rollout even started in early 2021. Meaning, the vaccines did NOTHING to reduce infection rates. They dropped off on their own. This is a scientific fact that the mainstream avoids, just as they avoid admitting that the median death rate of covid is a mere 0.27%. The solution that the establishment offers is not surprising – They claim we need MORE vaccines through booster requirements. As the old saying goes, insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. And so the demented propaganda machine continues into infinity. The public is growing tired of the games as is evident in mass walkouts, sick-outs and other protests against Biden’s vaccine mandates for companies with more than 100 employees as well as most government institutions. We are seeing up to 50% of employees and government workers in many cases refusing to take the experimental jab despite the fact that they are being threatened with losing their jobs. This dynamic seems to have bewildered the covid cult and the globalists; they can’t wrap their heads around this level of resistance to their agenda. It’s not a new thing, but I have noticed an increasing number of vax propaganda commercials and articles featuring Donald Trump in the past month. All of them herald Trump’s pro-vaccination stance, which is odd because leftists spent most of 2020 saying they would not take any vaccine that Trump was responsible for producing. I was recently doing some research on YouTube and was annoyed to have to watch yet another vax ad, but this one had an odd tone. It showed clips of Trump making favorable statements on the mRNA vaccines, he and his wife taking the vaccines with dramatic music, and then a message at the end which said “There’s A Covid Vaccine Waiting For You, Too.” The bizarre commercial was clearly aimed at conservatives, but it displays an obvious disconnect that the covid cult and the media have when it comes to conservative thinking and principles. Leftists, collectivists and globalists function according to majority rule and herd mentality. They have gatekeepers, and the gatekeepers set the agenda and dictate decision making responsibilities for the group. Leftist herds wait patiently for top-down orders from their designated gatekeepers and most of them obey without question. This is how they operate. Liberty minded people operate in the opposite fashion. Our “leaders” are always under scrutiny, and this includes political mascots like Donald Trump. This is why, during a recent speech in Alabama, Trump was booed by a crowd of supporters after he called for them to get the covid vaccine. Conservatives generally don’t care about the person promoting the message, they only care if the message passes the smell test. Leftists and globalists are incapable of grasping conservative principles or the conservative mindset. This fact is hilariously evident in the style of propaganda they have consistently used to try to intimidate or pressure the conservative public into compliance with the mandates. We don’t view Trump as a philosophical leader; in fact, there were so many underlying issues with his cabinet and his policies that his leadership became suspect. At most, conservatives enjoyed Trump’s administration simply because his presence in the White House drove leftist authoritarians to greater madness. We definitely don’t care what Trump has to say on the vaccines. There is further evidence of the disconnect I describe in the actions of leftists and the establishment when it comes to vax mandates in the workplace. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard the argument from covid cultists that conservatives “Might say we will refuse to comply, but when our livelihoods are threatened we will submit.” They believe this because that’s how THEY would respond. They are cowardly weaklings with no heart, no principles and no morals. They think that since they would cave in to the pressure, the rest of us would cave in as well. The past month has proven them oh so wrong as millions of people stage protests and walk outs across the country. There is even refusal among around 25% of the armed forced averaged across all branches, as well as up to 50% of city police forces. Most employers and government offices can barely function as is; there is zero chance they will be able to cope with a 10% loss of workforce, let alone a 25% to 50% loss. They would crumble. This was obviously not the plan; the globalists were not prepared for this level of resistance in the US and this is evident in their pathetic propaganda scramble. That does not mean they don’t have contingencies in place. I am already seeing a fledgling narrative in the media which is implanting the idea that any breakdown of the system in the US will actually be the fault of the unvaccinated. Biden has been a fervent culprit behind the narrative that everything from economic instability and supply chain problems to social divisions should be blamed on unvaccinated Americans. That’s right, the majority of these disasters started on Biden’s watch and because of his policies, but somehow WE are the real danger. Yes, the draconian mandates are illegal and unconstitutional and yes, mandates are not laws in any form, and yes, Biden and his handlers are acting like dictators and there is no reason to do anything they say. But, we are the bad guys. This is classic communist gaslighting. Here’s an idea: Stop trying to enforce covid mandates and vaccine passports. Stop paying people to stay home from work with covid welfare bribes. Stop generating trillions of dollars in fiat stimulus from thin air to pay for even more useless programs we don’t need. Then watch how quickly stagflation, economic instability, the workforce shortages and most other problems in the US suddenly disappear. The unvaccinated are not the source of American distress, the globalists and errand boys like Biden and blue state governors are the cause. Remove them from the equation and America’s future looks much brighter. *  *  * If you would like to support the work that Alt-Market does while also receiving content on advanced tactics for defeating the globalist agenda, subscribe to our exclusive newsletter The Wild Bunch Dispatch.  Learn more about it HERE. Tyler Durden Fri, 10/22/2021 - 00:10.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytOct 22nd, 2021

A Message To Fauci: You Are In No Position To Dictate The "Greater Good"

A Message To Fauci: You Are In No Position To Dictate The "Greater Good" Authored by Brandon Smith via Alt-Market.us, How does a fraud like Anthony Fauci find himself in the highest paid position in US bureaucracy? Well, Fauci’s career is a rather shocking testament to the reality of our government and our era – The more corrupt you are the more favors and promotions you will receive. Fauci is well known as a shameless opportunist among many within the medical research community. For example, the creator of the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Test, Kary Mullis, had nothing but disdain for Fauci. Mullis was an interesting figure who valued scientific honesty above all else. He often warned that his PCR test could be exploited to inflate infection numbers by identifying remnants of a virus in person’s body without distinguishing whether or not they are actually “infected” (sick). Sadly, his test is no be used in this exact manner today to exaggerate infection rates of the covid-19 virus. In interviews Mullis has referred to Anthony Fauci as a “liar”, arguing that he is a bureaucrat that “doesn’t know anything about anything”. Mullis noted that people like Fauci have an agenda that is outside of the public good, and that they have no problem misrepresenting the science to the populace to achieve their goals. It should also be noted that YouTube has made it their mission to consistently erase any traces of the Mullis interviews mentioning Fauci from their website. It is also not surprising that Fauci’s rampant fear mongering over AIDS in the 1980’s has gone mostly unmentioned by the mainstream media. His claim that 1 in 5 heterosexual Americans would be dead from AIDS by 1990 has been summarily memory-holed and the guy is treated like a scientific genius by the journalistic community in 2021. If there is any justice in this world then Fauci should really go down in history as one of the primary initiators of the Covid pandemic, being that he was the head of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that funded Gain of Function research on corona-viruses at the Wuhan Lab in China. This is the same research that Fauci blatantly lied about to congress on multiple occasions. And, the Wuhan lab is the same lab that evidence suggests was the ground zero source of the Covid-19 outbreak. It is important to note that it was Fauci and the NIH that LIFTED the ban on gain of function research on deadly viruses in 2017, and it was well known around this time that the Level 4 Wuhan lab in China was not secure. If anyone is responsible for global covid deaths, it is Fauci, the Chinese government and anyone else involved in that gain of function research which is primarily used to WEAPONIZE viruses under the guise of creating “therapeutics.” Gain of function research was originally banned under the Biological Weapons Convention which went into effect in 1975, unless it was being used for therapeutics. Now ALL gain of function research that is revealed publicly is labeled as therapeutics even if it is actually designed to produce biological weapons. This is sometimes referred to as “dual use research.” The prevailing narrative continues to be that even if the virus came from the Wuhan lab then it was surely an accident. I continue to believe according to the available evidence that Covid-19 was deliberately released in order to create a global crisis which could then be exploited by the establishment to introduce extreme controls over the populace to the point of medical totalitarianism. But of course, there is no smoking gun to prove this, only common sense. If we take the notorious Event 201 into account things get a little weird. Event 201 was a war game held by the World Economic Forum and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Its claimed purpose was to simulate the effects of a deadly coronavirus pandemic “spread by animals” to humans and to develop the policies governments and their corporate partners should employ to deal with it. Interestingly, this simulation was held in October of 2019, only two months before the REAL THING happened. Nearly every policy suggested by the participants of Event 201 has now been adopted by most governments, including the social media censorship campaign against anyone that questions the origins of the virus and the safety of the experimental mRNA vaccines. Anthony Fauci and friends…. WEF founder Klaus Schwab was quick to announce at the start of the pandemic that Covid-19 was the “perfect opportunity” to launch the “Great Reset”, which is a globalist plan to completely erase free market systems and replace them with a highly centralized socialist framework. The WEF envisions a world in which carbon related power is banned, all financial transactions become digital and are monitored and controlled by central authorities, and they have even suggested that one day people will “own nothing and be happy”. This is a reference to the so-called “shared economy” of the future, where the concept of personal property is abolished and all people will live in communal housing collectives where necessities are rationed or rented out to them by the government. Something must have went wrong with covid, however, because the Event 201 death estimates for such a virus were around 65 million within the first year of the outbreak. This of course never happened with Covid-19. So, the resistance to the mandates has been high, or much higher apparently than the globalists expected. They have been forced to engage in an endless fear campaign for the past 18 months over a virus with a mere 0.26% median death rate. It is a virus that well over 99.7% of all people will survive and it has an extremely low chance of long term effects on those who do actually end up hospitalized. In the majority of states the hospitalization rates are between 10-35 people for every 100,000 people infected. These numbers come from the CDC and the medical establishment at large, yet they are ignored by propagandists like Fauci, just as Fauci has continued to ignore natural immunity as a factor in covid mandates. It might seem bizarre to almost any scientist, doctor and virologist not paid by the government, but Fauci has argued that natural immunity should be ignored when compared to vaccination. Multiple studies from around the world now show that natural immunity is up to 27 times more effective at preventing covid infection than the vaccines, but those with natural immunity are considered a threat to others under the new mandates unless they are also vaxxed. This simply makes no sense from a scientific perspective until you realize that the mandates are not about science, they are about authoritarianism. Fauci is the US front man for a campaign of medical tyranny being imposed in every nation; this is why he does not care about natural immunity. The idea of it is inconvenient to his narrative, so he pretends it is inconsequential. It is perhaps ironic that Fauci himself is becoming inconsequential as he is slowly fading away from the media limelight. I have noticed that ever since the NIH gain of function information was released to the public Fauci has been in the media less prominently. A documentary produced by National Geographic and soon to be distributed by Disney+ portrays the conman as a misunderstood savior and is sure to be a trash fire. That said, it does represent a clear last-ditched effort to save the man’s false reputation. There is a good reason for all of this. Fauci’s distaste for personal freedom has been well documented and is making him extremely unpopular. He even recently argued on CNN in favor of vaccine mandates using this perverse position: “There comes a time when you do have to give up what you consider your individual right of making your own decision for the greater good of society.” Fauci and his globalist ilk can be distilled down to this single mantra: Do as you are told for the greater good. But who gets to determine what the “greater good” is? Isn’t it disturbing that it’s always the same elitists that end up in that position? I know that leftists in particular love the idea of the vaccine mandates and worship Fauci, and they say we skeptics should “listen to the science”, but Fauci is not a scientist, he’s a door-to-door salesman, and as I’ve noted above the REAL science does not support the arguments for forced vaccinations or lockdowns. Hell, I keep asking the same questions on the mandates in these articles and not a single leftists or pro-vax proponent has come up with a valid or logical response, but out of morbid curiosity I would love to see Fauci give his answers: 1) Covid has a median death rate of only 0.26%, so why should we take ANY risk on an experimental mRNA vaccine with no long term testing to prove its safety? 2) Why not give support to the 0.26% of people actually at risk from dying due to covid instead of spending billions of dollars on Big Pharma producing a rushed vaccine that you plan to force on the 99.7% of people who are not at risk? 3) In majority vaccinated countries like Israel, over 60% of covid hospitalizations are fully vaccinated people. The exponential rise of fully vaccinated patients in multiple nations suggests that the vaccines do not work. Why should we take a vaccine that has been proven not to be effective? 4) If you believe the vaccines actually do work despite all evidence to the contrary, then why should vaccinated people fear anything from unvaccinated people? How are we a threat to them? 5) If the vaccines don’t work, then doesn’t this mean the mandates are pointless and the people that are most safe are the people with natural immunity? Shouldn’t we be applauding the naturally immune and encouraging treatment instead of useless vaccination? 6) Since the vaccines actually don’t work according to the data, isn’t it time to stop blindly dismissing treatments like Ivermectin and focus on trials and studies that research these alternatives? Why the vitriolic propaganda campaign to label Ivermectin nothing more than “horse paste” when it is actually a long used Nobel Prize winning treatment for human ailments? Is it because the experimental covid vaccines would lose their emergency authorization status under the FDA if effective treatments exist? 7) Why are government funded scientists so keen on defending Big Pharma to the point of ignoring all data that contradicts their claims? Are you just embarrassed of being wrong, or are you corrupt? 8) Who decided you are qualified to determine what constitutes the “greater good?” Globalists and errand boys like Fauci will never be able to answer these questions without twisting the narrative. They will say “What about the 700,000 dead in the US?” to play on the idea that the freedom minded lack empathy for their fellow man. Of course, around 40% of those deaths are patients from nursing homes with preexisting conditions, so we have no idea if they died from covid or from their previous ailments. Also, millions of people die every year from a plethora of communicable diseases including the flu and pneumonia, and we never tried to lock down the entire country and crush people’s civil rights because of this. If we maintained a running tally of flu and pneumonia deaths year after year as we are doing with covid, then the ever increasing number of bodies would seem just as forbidding. Society cannot function when it is preoccupied with death. Yes, around 0.26% of people die from covid, but life goes on for everyone else. Our freedoms are more important than your irrational fears. Our freedoms are more important than globalist agendas for centralization. Our freedoms ARE the greater good. Without them our society dies, and as our society dies millions more people will die from the inevitable collapse and tyranny that will follow; far more than will ever die from covid. This is why nothing Fauci says has any relevance to us. He is so transparent in his corruption that he might as well be invisible. We will continue to ignore his declarations and admonitions and we will continue to fight back against the vaccine passports and restrictions. When all is said and done, if Fauci, Biden and other globalist puppets try to use force to impose their agenda upon us then there will come a day very soon when they will be held accountable for their crimes against humanity, and then they will wish they were invisible. *  *  * If you would like to support the work that Alt-Market does while also receiving content on advanced tactics for defeating the globalist agenda, subscribe to our exclusive newsletter The Wild Bunch Dispatch.  Learn more about it HERE. Tyler Durden Fri, 10/08/2021 - 23:40.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytOct 8th, 2021

Why "Natural Immunity" Is A Political Problem For The Regime

Why "Natural Immunity" Is A Political Problem For The Regime Authored by Ryan McMaken via The Mises Institute, Since 2020, public health technocrats and their allies among elected officials have clung to the position that absolutely every person who can possibly get a covid vaccine should get one. Both the Mayo Clinic website and the  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, for example, insist that “research has not yet shown” that people who have recovered from covid have any sort of reliable protection. Moreover, the CDC page points to a single study from Kentucky claiming that people with natural immunity are more than twice as likely to contract covid again, compared to people who have been vaccinated. This narrative is reflected in the fact that the Biden administration’s vaccine mandates are a one-size-fits-all policy insisting that virtually all adults, regardless of whether or not they’ve already had the disease, receive a covid vaccine. The official position is apparently this: nothing except the vaccine can provide any sort of resistance or immunity. So get a vaccine. No exceptions! Health technocrats have repeatedly insisted that “the science” points unambiguously toward everyone receiving a vaccine, even to the point of pushing vaccines for children. All this in spite of the fact the risk to children from covid is far less than the risk a dozen common daily risks, such as riding in an automobile. The regime has attached itself closely to a vaccinate-everybody-no-matter-what policy, and a sudden u-turn would be politically problematic. So it's no wonder there's so little interest in the topic. Indeed, in a September 10 interview, senior covid technocrat Anthony Fauci claimed that the matter of natural immunity was not even being discussed at government health agencies. Fauci’s response suggested that the facts of natural immunity warranted discussion at some point in the future. But the comment certainly fit the dominant regime narrative nonetheless: the facts of natural immunity don’t matter for now. Everyone should just get vaccinated: CNN's Sanjay Gupta asked if people who have already recovered from COVID-19 should still be required to get the vaccine."I don't have a really firm answer for you on that," [Fauci] said Thursday on CNN. "I think that is something that we need to sit down and discuss seriously." Maybe someday they’ll get to talking about it. But some physicians aren’t as obsessed with pushing vaccine mandates as Anthony Fauci, and the evidence in favor of natural immunity is becoming so undeniable that even mainstream publications are starting to admit it. In an op-ed for the Washington Post last week, Marty Makary of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine argues that the medical profession has hurt its credibility in pretending that natural immunity is virtually irrelevant to the covid equation. Moreover, the dogmatic "get vaccinated" position constitutes a lack of honesty about the data. Rather, Makary concludes: [W]e can encourage all Americans to get vaccinated while still being honest about the data. In my clinical experience, I have found patients to be extremely forgiving with evolving data if you are honest and transparent with them. Yet, when asked the common question, “I’ve recovered from covid, is it absolutely essential that I get vaccinated?” many public health officials have put aside the data and responded with a synchronized “yes,” even as studies have shown that reinfections are rare and often asymptomatic or mild when they do occur. And what are these studies? Makary continues: More than 15 studies have demonstrated the power of immunity acquired by previously having the virus. A 700,000-person study from Israel two weeks ago found that those who had experienced prior infections were 27 times less likely to get a second symptomatic covid infection than those who were vaccinated. This affirmed a June Cleveland Clinic study of health-care workers (who are often exposed to the virus), in which none who had previously tested positive for the coronavirus got reinfected. The study authors concluded that “individuals who have had SARS-CoV-2 infection are unlikely to benefit from covid-19 vaccination.” And in May, a Washington University study found that even a mild covid infection resulted in long-lasting immunity. The policy bias in favor of vaccines ignores many other facts as well, such as the relative risks of vaccines, especially for the young: The current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention position about vaccinating children also dismisses the benefits of natural immunity. The Los Angeles County School District recently mandated vaccines for students ages 12 and up who want to learn in person. But young people are less likely to suffer severe or long-lasting symptoms from covid-19 than adults, and have experienced rare heart complications from the vaccines. In Israel, heart inflammation has been observed in between 1 in 3,000 and 1 in 6,000 males age 16 to 24; the CDC has confirmed 854 reports nationally in people age 30 and younger who got the vaccine. A second dose of the two-shot mRNA vaccine like that produced by Pfizer and Moderna may not even be necessary in children who had covid. Since February, Israel’s Health Ministry has been recommending that anyone, adult or adolescent, who has recovered from covid-19 receive a only single mRNA vaccine dose, instead of two. Even though the risk of severe illness during a reinfection is exceedingly low, some data has demonstrated a slight benefit to one dose in this situation. Other countries use a similar approach. The United States could adopt this strategy now as a reasonable next step in transitioning from an overly rigid to a more flexible vaccine requirement policy. For comparison, the CDC has long recommended that kids do not get the chickenpox vaccine if they had chickenpox infection in the past. The nonscientific, ideology-induced blind spot for natural immunity also prompted The BMJ  (the journal of the British Medical Association) to note that "[w]hen the vaccine rollout began in mid-December 2020, more than one quarter of Americans—91 million—had been infected with SARS-CoV-2…. As of this May, that proportion had risen to more than a third of the population, including 44% of adults aged 18–59." And yet, the authors note this fact doesn't appear to be a part of any policy discussion at all:  The substantial number of infections, coupled with the increasing scientific evidence that natural immunity was durable, led some medical observers to ask why natural immunity didn’t seem to be factored into decisions about prioritising vaccination. This problem is reflected in the Biden administration’s drive for booster shots—announced in mid-August—even before there was any clinical research on booster shots at all. Even by mid-September, as one hospital’s chief medical officer put it, “the data is not compelling one way or another.” But those sorts of details don’t trouble federal “public health” officials, and the Biden administration quickly moved toward pushing booster shots for everyone.  This Is Why There Should Be No Mandatory Medical Treatment Of course, mandating vaccines—like mandating any medical treatment—would still be immoral even if we could list a dozen studies suggesting boosters are a boon and that natural immunity is no good. What if there were twenty-five studies "proving" vaccines are better than natural immunity, but only twenty studies "proving" natural immunity is better? Would coercive vaccine mandates then suddenly be justified? Unfortunately, that's exactly how many advocates for repressive covid policies think the world should work. For these people, policy is just a matter of adding up the number of studies "proving" their side is right, and then claiming this justifies forcing mandatory medications on millions of human beings.  (It never works in reverse, of course. The fact that there's a lot of evidence—as Makary points out—against vaccines for those who have natural immunity, the dominant narrative is nonetheless that vaccines are “necessary” and “worth it” for everybody, always and everywhere.) In the real world, however, many medications—including these new vaccines—come with risks that must be weighed against potential benefits. These decisions can only be made at the individual level, where patients must make their own decisions about what substances to put into their own bodies. In other words, blanket policies proclaiming "everyone must receive this medical treatment immediately, or else" contradicts the realities of the uncertainties and varying risk levels that affect individuals. The facts of uncertainty and informed consent were once considered a mainstay of medical ethics—and of any political ideology that actually respects self-determination and basic human rights. Unfortunately, the philosophy of "public health" appears to be uninterested in such trivialities. At this point, it would be embarrassing for the regime to admit what actual scientific inquiry has shown: that natural immunity is generally superior to receiving the vaccine. The regime doesn't like to be embarrassed, and neither do the countless doctors and nurses who have long toed the regime's political line. So expect more of the same.  Tyler Durden Wed, 09/29/2021 - 16:40.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeSep 29th, 2021

Byron Wien Releases 10 Surprises For 2022: Stocks Slump, Gold Jumps, "Green New Deal" Goes Nowhere

Byron Wien Releases 10 Surprises For 2022: Stocks Slump, Gold Jumps, 'Green New Deal' Goes Nowhere Having correctly called for wider adoption of crypto, soaring oil prices, and the birth of a Trump media network in 2021, Byron R. Wien, Vice Chairman together with Joe Zidle, Chief Investment Strategist in the Private Wealth Solutions group at Blackstone, today issued their list of the Ten Surprises of 2022. This is the 37th year Byron has given his views on a number of economic, financial market and political surprises for the coming year. Byron defines a “surprise” as an event that the average investor would only assign a one out of three chance of taking place but which Byron believes is “probable,” having a better than 50% likelihood of happening. Byron started the tradition in 1986 when he was the Chief U.S. Investment Strategist at Morgan Stanley. Byron joined Blackstone in September 2009 as a senior advisor to both the firm and its clients in analyzing economic, political, market and social trends. In 2018, Joe Zidle joined Byron Wien in the development of the Ten Surprises. Byron and Joe’s Ten Surprises of 2022 are as follows: The combination of strong earnings clashes with rising interest rates, resulting in the S&P 500 making no progress in 2022. Value outperforms growth. High volatility continues and there is a correction that approaches, but does not exceed, 20%. While the prices of some commodities decline, wages and rents continue to rise and the Consumer Price Index and other widely followed measures of inflation increase by 4.5% for the year. Declines in prices of transportation and energy encourage the die-hard proponents of the view that inflation is “transitory,” but persistent inflation becomes the dominant theme. The bond market begins to respond to rising inflation and tapering by the Federal Reserve, and the yield on the 10-year Treasury rises to 2.75%. The Fed completes its tapering and raises rates four times in 2022. In spite of the Omicron variant, group meetings and convention gatherings return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of the year. While Covid remains a problem throughout both the developed and the less-developed world, normal conditions are largely restored in the US.  People spend three to four a days a week in offices and return to theaters, concerts, and sports arenas en masse. Chinese policymakers respond to recent turmoil in the country’s property markets by curbing speculative investment in housing. As a result, there is more capital from Chinese households that needs to be invested. A major asset management industry begins to flourish in China, creating opportunities for Western companies. The price of gold rallies by 20% to a new record high. Despite strong growth in the US, investors seek the perceived safety and inflation hedge of gold amidst rising prices and volatility. Gold reclaims its title as a haven for newly minted billionaires, even as cryptocurrencies continue to gain market share. While the major oil-producing countries conclude that high oil prices are speeding up the implementation of alternative energy programs and allowing US shale producers to become profitable again, these countries can’t increase production enough to meet demand. The price of West Texas crude confounds forward curves and analyst forecasts when it rises above $100 per barrel. Suddenly, the nuclear alternative for power generation enters the arena. Enough safety measures have been developed to reduce fears about its dangers, and the viability of nuclear power is widely acknowledged. A major nuclear site is approved for development in the Midwest of the United States. Fusion technology emerges as a possible future source of energy. ESG evolves beyond corporate policy statements. Government agencies develop and enforce new regulatory standards that require public companies in the US to publish information documenting progress on various metrics deemed critical in the new era. Federal Reserve governors spearhead implementation of stress tests to assess financial institutions’ vulnerability to climate change scenarios. In a setback to its green energy program, the United States finds it cannot buy enough lithium batteries to power the electric vehicles planned for production. China controls the lithium market, as well as the markets for the cobalt and nickel used in making the transmission rods, and it opts to reserve most of the supply of these commodities for domestic use. “Also Rans” Every year there are always a few Surprises that do not make the Ten, because we either do not think they are as relevant as those on the basic list or we are not comfortable with the idea that they are “probable.” 11. The FDA approves the first ex vivo gene-editing treatment. This stimulates further research into genomic medicine, and progress is accelerated on developing in vivo gene therapies. Ethical concerns around CRISPR technology inspire heated debate, but also focus investor attention on the pharmaceuticals and health care sectors. 12. The digital economy gets a major boost when Jamie Dimon reverses his position on cryptocurrencies and J.P. Morgan seeks to become a leader in the space. Crypto becomes a major factor in the financial markets. 13. The United States and China both seek to become the global leader in advanced semiconductor capabilities in order to reduce their dependence on offshore manufacturing of the technology. The US government commits major funds to private contractors for semiconductor research, while China focuses on state-owned enterprises to get the job done. 14. Puerto Rico becomes the new retirement destination of choice. People are attracted by the good weather and low tax rates, and they put aside fears of hurricanes. How did Wien and Zidle do last year? 1. Former President Trump starts his own television network and also plans his 2024 campaign... [ZH: Mostly Right. Trump has formed his own media entity and made it clear he is planning to run in 2024] 2. Despite the hostile rhetoric from both sides during the U.S. presidential campaign, President Biden begins to restore a constructive diplomatic and trade relationship with China. China A shares lead emerging markets higher. [ZH: Wrong. US-China relations have deteriorated and China A shares were the worst performers of the majors in 2021] 3. The success of between five and ten vaccines, together with an improvement in therapeutics, allows the U.S. to return to some form of “normal” by Memorial Day 2021. People are generally required to show proof of vaccination before boarding airplanes and attending theaters, movies, sporting events and other large gatherings. The Summer Olympics, postponed last year, are held in July with spectators allowed to physically attend. [ZH: Mostly Wrong. "Normal" was very short-lived for most states (especially blue states) and the Summer Olympics was spectator-less. Wien was right however, that vaxx passports would be required for many activities.] 4. The Justice Department softens its case against Google and Facebook, persuaded by the argument that the consumer actually benefits from the services provided by these companies. [ZH: Wrong. Europe continues to press harder and US Congress holds hearings after hearings urging breakups.] 5. The economy develops momentum on its own because of pent-up demand, and depressed hospitality and airline stocks become strong performers. Fiscal and monetary policy remain historically accommodative. Nominal economic growth for the full year exceeds 6% and the unemployment rate falls to 5%. [ZH: Mostly Wrong. The unemployment rate did tumble but hospitality and airline stocks remain deep in distress as wave after wave of COVID pressures any return to normal.] 6. The Federal Reserve and the Treasury openly embrace Modern Monetary Theory as their accommodative policies continue. As long as growth exceeds the rate of inflation, deficits don’t seem to matter. Because inflation increases modestly, gold rallies and cryptocurrencies gain more respect during the year. [ZH: Mostly Right. While Congress was unable to get BBB through, The Fed continued to buy and fund debt issuance out the wazoo and deficits didn't seem to matter again. Cryptos did gain broader acceptance and had a huge year (though ended on the weaker side) while gold did not participate.] 7. Even as energy company executives cut estimates for long-term growth, near-term opportunities are increasing. The return to “normal” increases both industrial activity and mobility, and the price of West Texas Intermediate oil rises to $65/bbl. Rig counts increase and energy high yield bonds rally soundly. Energy stocks are among the best performers in 2021. [ZH: Right. Wien nailed this perfectly...] 8. The equity market broadens out. Stocks beyond health care and technology participate in the rise in prices. “Risk on” is not without risk and the market corrects almost 20% in the first half, but the S&P 500 trades at 4,500 later in the year. Cyclicals lead defensives, small caps beat large caps and the “K” shaped equity market recovery unwinds. Big cap tech is the source of liquidity, and the stocks are laggards for the year. [ZH: Mixed. The equity market rally did broaden out but large growth/tech performed very well as did small value.] 9. The surge in economic growth causes the 10-year Treasury yield to rise to 2%. The yield curve steepens, but a concomitant increase in inflation keeps real rates near zero. The Fed wants the strength in housing and autos to continue. As a result, it extends the duration of bond purchases in order to prevent higher rates at the long end of the curve from choking off credit to consumers and businesses. [ZH: Completely Wrong. 10Y Yields get nowhere near 2.00%. The yield curve flattened dramatically on Fed policy error fears. The Fed tapered its bond buying.] 10. The slide in the dollar turns around. The post-vaccine strength of the U.S. economy and financial markets attracts investors disenchanted with the rising debt and slower growth of Europe and Japan. Treasurys maintain a positive yield and the carry trade continues. [ZH: Right. The dollar did turnaround mid year as faith in the recovery returned.] So 4 of his predictions were 'right' or 'mostly right'; 5 predictions were 'completely' or 'mostly' wrong; and 1 was mixed. Tyler Durden Mon, 01/03/2022 - 14:55.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJan 3rd, 2022

Here"s Why Pfizer (PFE) Appears Strongly Placed for 2022

While the COVID vaccine should continue to boost Pfizer (PFE) revenues in 2022, Paxlovid is also likely to become an important top-line driver Pfizer PFE has been riding high on the success of its two-shot vaccine for COVID-19, Comirnaty, which it developed in partnership with Germany-based company, BioNTech BNTX. The vaccine was developed in record time and is now approved for emergency/temporary use in several countries worldwide and fully approved in the United States. Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine was approved for younger patients (5-17 years) while a booster vaccine dose was also approved in the United States in 2021.Pfizer and BioNTech’s Comirnaty has become a key contributor to the top line. In the first nine months of 2021, the vaccine contributed $24.3 billion to Pfizer’s global sales. The pharma giant expects to record $36.0 billion in revenues from Comirnaty in 2021. The fourth quarter and full-year 2021 results are expected to be announced on Feb 8.In the last week of December 2021, the FDA granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to Pfizer’s promising oral antiviral candidate for COVID-19, Paxlovid, for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in adult and pediatric patients at increased risk of hospitalizations or death. The approval of Paxlovid can complement Comirnaty to boost revenues in 2022.Pfizer’s stock has risen 66.8% in the past year compared with an increase of 26% for the industry.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchPaxlovid is the first oral antiviral medicine, which can be prescribed as an at-home treatment to help fight mild-to-moderate COVID-19 infection. It can help prevent hospitalization in patients with a mild-to-moderate form of the disease but at high risk of severe COVID-19 and thus lower some of the pressure facing the healthcare and hospital systems.Paxlovid’s approval was based on clinical data from an interim analysis of a phase II/III study, EPIC-HR study. Data from the study showed that Paxlovid (administered) reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by 89% in non-hospitalized adult patients with COVID-19 at high risk of progressing to severe illness compared to placebo within three days of symptom onset.President Biden called Paxlovid a “promising new treatment option” that will lower rates of hospitalization and death in a statement issued after the FDA’s EUAAnother large drugmaker, Merck MRK along with partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics also gained EUA for its oral antiviral pill, molnupiravir, for treating high-risk adults with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 last month. However, the drug can be prescribed to only those patients for whom alternative COVID-19 treatment options authorized by the FDA are not accessible or clinically appropriate.Pfizer’s Paxlovid has proved more effective than Merck’s molnupiravir, which reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by approximately 30% in non-hospitalized at-risk adult patients with mild or moderate COVID-19, per final data from the MOVe-OUT phase III study. Nonetheless, both pills are being seen as crucial to fight the pandemic and reduce pressure on hospitals.In other pipeline successes, Pfizer’s Prevnar-20, a 20-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, was approved in the United States this year. Last month, Pfizer announced a definitive agreement to acquire Arena Pharmaceuticals ARNA for $100 per share or $6.7 billion in an all-cash deal.The deal will add Arena’s lead candidate, etrasimod, a next-generation and selective sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) receptor modulator, to Pfizer’s inflammation and immunology pipeline.Arena’s pipeline also includes pipeline candidates like temanogrel and APD41, which are in mid-stage development for cardiovascular diseases.Pfizer may as well make another bolt-on acquisition announcement next year, given its strong cash position after the success of Comirnaty.We believe that no company is as strongly placed in the COVID vaccines/treatment market as Pfizer right now. While the vaccine should continue to boost revenues in 2022, Paxlovid should also become an important top-line driver, with sharply rising infection cases due to the the Omicron variant. Paxlovid is expected to work well against the Omicron variant, while most of the monoclonal antibody drugs appear to be largely ineffective against the same.Overall, Pfizer’s stock is expected to continue to do well in 2022, driven by strong growth of key brands like Ibrance, Inlyta and Eliquis, revenue contribution from its COVID-19 vaccine and the COVID pill and regular positive pipeline and regulatory updates.Estimates for Pfizer’s 2022 earnings have gone up from $4.08 to $4.21 over the past 60 daysPfizer currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here. Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2022 In addition to the investment ideas discussed above, would you like to know about our 10 top picks for the entirety of 2022? From inception in 2012 through November, the Zacks Top 10 Stocks gained an impressive +962.5% versus the S&P 500’s +329.4%. Now our Director of Research is combing through 4,000 companies covered by the Zacks Rank to handpick the best 10 tickers to buy and hold. Don’t miss your chance to get in on these stocks when they’re released on January 3.Be First To New Top 10 Stocks >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Pfizer Inc. (PFE): Free Stock Analysis Report Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ARNA): Free Stock Analysis Report Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK): Free Stock Analysis Report BioNTech SE Sponsored ADR (BNTX): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 3rd, 2022

8 Top CEOs Give Their Predictions for the Wild Year Ahead

(To receive weekly emails of conversations with the world’s top CEOs and business decisionmakers, click here.) Nearly two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, business leaders are heading into 2022 facing the strong headwinds of the Omicron variant, continued pressure on supply chains, and the great resignation looming over the labor market. TIME asked top leaders… (To receive weekly emails of conversations with the world’s top CEOs and business decisionmakers, click here.) Nearly two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, business leaders are heading into 2022 facing the strong headwinds of the Omicron variant, continued pressure on supply chains, and the great resignation looming over the labor market. TIME asked top leaders from across the world of business to share their priorities and expectations for the year ahead. Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer, wants to leverage the advances his pharmaceutical company has made in fighting COVID-19 to tackle other diseases, while Rosalind “Roz” Brewer, CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance, has made improving access to healthcare one of her goals over the next year. GoFundMe CEO Tim Cadogan says building trust will be at the heart of decision-making at the crowdfunding platform—both with workers and its wider community. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] Innovation is key to Intel CEO Patrick P. Gelsinger and Forerunner Ventures founder and managing partner Kirsten Green. And Rothy’s CEO Stephen Hawthornthwaite, Albemarle CEO Kent Masters, and Gene Seroka, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, shared their suggestions for how companies and policymakers can respond to persistent supply chains problems. Read on to see how some of the most powerful people in business envision the coming year. (These answers have been condensed and edited for clarity.) What are the biggest opportunities and challenges you expect in the year ahead? Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer: The scientific advancements made by Pfizer and others over the past year have brought us very powerful tools to battle the worst pandemic of our lives. But, unfortunately, we don’t see everyone using them. I am concerned about the limited infrastructure and resources in the poorest countries as they struggle to administer their supply of COVID-19 vaccines to their people. Some of these countries have asked us to pause our deliveries of doses while they work to address these issues. While I am proud of the work Pfizer has done to make vaccines available to low- and lower middle-income countries over the past year, we need to find new ways to support the World Health Organization as they work with NGOs and governments to address these infrastructure issues. Getty ImagesAlbert Bourla, CEO, Pfizer Over the next year I’d like us to help find solutions to issues like the shortage of medical professionals, vaccine hesitancy due to limited educational campaigns, lack of equipment and even roads to allow timely delivery of vaccines. Throughout every chapter of this pandemic, we have been reminded of the importance of collaboration and innovative thinking. We need to work harder than ever before to address these health inequities so that people around the globe are protected from the virus. Pat Gelsinger, CEO of Intel: Throughout the history of technology, we’ve seen the pendulum swinging between centralized and decentralized computing. And there is still a tremendous untapped opportunity in edge computing as we bring greater intelligence to devices such as sensors and cameras in everything from our cars to manufacturing to the smart grid. Edge computing will not replace cloud; we’re swinging back to where decentralized compute becomes the primary growth for new workloads because the inference and AI analysis will take place at the edge. Technology has the power to improve the lives of every person on earth and Intel plays a foundational role within. We aim to lead in the opportunity for every category in which we compete. Roz Brewer, CEO of Walgreens: The pandemic affirmed Walgreens as a trusted neighborhood health destination to help our customers and patients manage their health. We provide essential care to our communities, including administering more than 50 million COVID-19 vaccines as of early December 2021. The opportunity ahead of us at Walgreens Health—our new segment launched this past fall—is to create better outcomes for both consumers and partners, while lowering costs across the care continuum. A year from now I want to look back on this time as an inflection point and a moment in time where real, lasting change happened—that we will all have collectively banded together to get through the pandemic and at the same time delivered real change toward improving accessible and affordable healthcare. I feel inspired and hopeful that some good will come out of this very difficult time in our country and the world’s history. Jason Redmond—AFP/Getty ImagesRosalind Brewer, CEO of Walgreens, speaks in Seattle, Washington on Mar. 20, 2019. Tim Cadogan, CEO of GoFundMe: We’re going to see continued disruption in the world and the workplace in 2022—this will require more people to come together to help each other. Our opportunity is to use our voice and platform to bring more people together to help each other with all aspects of their lives. Asking for help is hard but coming together to help each other is one of the most important and rewarding things we can do in life. We are continuously improving our product to make it easier for more people to both ask for and give help, whether it’s helping an individual fulfill a dream, working on a global cause like climate change, or supporting a family during a difficult time. Kirsten Green, founder and managing partner of Forerunner Ventures: We are nearly two years into the pandemic, and it is still ongoing. We must embrace this new normal and figure out how to make that reality work for our businesses, our consumers, and our people. Thankfully, we often see innovation come out of these periods of change and fluctuation. At the same time, it’s hard to come to terms with the fact that the world has evolved, and it is still important to understand that the ‘reset’ button just got hit for a lot of people. Values, goals, and core needs are being reevaluated and reestablished, and we as a society need to figure out how to move forward during a volatile period. Gene Seroka, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles: Our industry needs to help drive the American economic recovery amid the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The top priority remains getting goods to American consumers and creating a more fluid supply chain. We also need to address the growing trade imbalance. Imports are at all-time highs while U.S. exports have declined nearly 40% over the past three years in Los Angeles. We have to help American manufacturers and farmers get their products to global markets. With the passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, our team is working to get our fair share of federal funds to accelerate projects to improve rail infrastructure, local highways and support facilities. The Port of Los Angeles is the nation’s primary trade gateway, yet east and gulf coast ports have received most of the federal funding in the past decade. The best return on port infrastructure investment is in Los Angeles, where the cargo we handle reaches every corner of the country. Kent Masters, CEO of Albemarle: Challenges will likely continue to include competition for top talent, supply chain disruptions due to possible pandemic impacts to raw material availability and logistics, and potential inflation impacts to material and freight costs, all of which we’re monitoring closely so we can respond quickly. With the global EV market growing rapidly, we have a tremendous opportunity ahead of us for years to come. Next year, we’ll advance our lithium business through new capacity ramp-ups in Chile, Australia and China, and restart the MARBL Lithium Wodgina hard rock resource in Australia to help feed our new conversion assets and meet customer needs. We’re also keenly focused on organizational goal alignment and continuous improvement to drive greater productivity through our global workforce next year. What do you expect to happen to supply chains in 2022? Gelsinger: The unprecedented global demand for semiconductors—combined with the impact of the global pandemic—has led to an industry-wide shortage, which is impacting technology providers across the industry. Intel is aggressively stepping in to address these issues and build out more capacity and supply around the globe for a more balanced and stable supply, but it will take time and strong public-private partnerships to achieve. Read more: From Cars to Toasters, America’s Semiconductor Shortage Is Wreaking Havoc on Our Lives. Can We Fix It? Brewer: We learned a lot over the past two years and companies are taking action with investments in capacity, resiliency and agility for supply chains across the world. We will continue finding creative ways to increase manufacturing and shipping capacity. Manufacturers will continue expanding capacity and increasing the diversity in their supplier base to reduce reliance of single sourcing. Companies will continue to invest to increase resiliency through expanded inventory positions, extended planning horizons and lead-times, and increased agility in manufacturing and logistics capabilities to fulfill customer needs. As the marketplace changes, we must be agile and adapt quickly as we respond to shifts in consumer behavior. Investments in technology, such as real time supply chain visibility and predictive/prescriptive analytics, will enable companies to deliver the speed and precision expected by today’s consumer. Seroka: Goods and products will get to market. The maritime logistics industry must raise the bar and make advances on service levels for both our import and export customers. Retailers will be replenishing their inventories in the second quarter of the year. And by summer, several months earlier than usual, we’ll see savvy retailers bringing in products for back to school, fall fashion and the winter holidays. Despite the challenges, retail sales reached new highs in 2021. Collectively, supply chains partners need to step up further to improve fluidity and reliability. Stephen Hawthornthwaite, CEO of Rothy’s: In 2022, pressure from consumers for transparency around manufacturing and production, coupled with pandemic learnings about existing supply chain constraints, will push businesses to condense their supply chains and bring in-house where possible. I also predict that more brands will test make-to-demand models to better weather demand volatility and avoid supply surpluses—a benefit for businesses, consumers and the planet. Nimbleness and a willingness to innovate will be crucial for brands who wish to meet the demands of a post-pandemic world. At Rothy’s, we’ve built a vertically integrated model and wholly-owned factory, enabling us to better navigate the challenges that production and logistics present and unlock the full potential of sustainability and circularity. Courtesy of Rothy’sStephen Hawthornthwaite, chairman and CEO, Rothy’s Green: The pandemic crystallized what a lot of us knew to be true, but hadn’t yet evaluated: There’s not nearly as much innovation in the supply chain as a flexible world is going to need. What we’re seeing now is a giant wake-up call to the entire commerce ecosystem. This is more than a rallying cry; it’s a mandate to reevaluate how we’re managing our production processes, and 2022 will be the start of change. Expect a massive overhaul of the system, and expect to see more investment building innovation, efficiency, and sustainability into the supply chain space. Read more: How American Shoppers Broke the Supply Chain Masters: As the pandemic continues with new variants, we expect global supply chain issues to persist in 2022. To what degree remains to be seen, but I would expect impacts to some raw materials, freight costs, and even energy costs. On a positive note, we can successfully meet our customer obligations largely because of our vertically integrated capabilities. This helps us continue to be a reliable source of lithium, as well as bromine. Worldwide logistics issues are a factor, but more marginal in the supply question when the determining factor is the ability to convert feedstock to product and bolster the supply chain. In lithium, we have active conversion facilities running at full capacity now. As we bring more capacity online (La Negra III/IV, Kemerton I/II, Silver Peak expansion, and our Tianyuan acquisition in China) while making more efficient use of our feedstocks, it will help strengthen the global supply chain. How will the labor market evolve and what changes should workers expect in the coming year? Brewer: The labor market will continue to be competitive in 2022. I often say to my team: as an employer, it’s not about the products we make, it’s not about our brand. It’s about how are we going to motivate team members to feel good about themselves, fulfilled and passionate about their work, to contribute at their highest level of performance. How do we create a culture that means Walgreens Boots Alliance is the best place to work—so our team members say, “Yes, pay me for the work that I do, but help me love my job.” In the coming year and beyond, broadly across the market, we will see that managers will continue to become even more empathetic and listen more actively to their team members as people. Workers will expect that employers and their managers accept who they are as their whole, authentic selves, both personally and professionally. Read more: The ‘Great Resignation’ Is Finally Getting Companies to Take Burnout Seriously. Is It Enough? Gelsinger: Our employees are our future and our most important asset, and we’ve already announced a significant investment in our people for next year. As I’ve said, sometimes it takes a decade to make a week of progress; sometimes a week gives you a decade of progress. As I look to 2022, navigating a company at the heart of many of the pandemic-related challenges, we must all carefully consider what shifts are underway and what changes are yet to come. It will continue to be a competitive market and I expect you’ll continue to see companies establish unique benefits and incentives to attract and retain talent. We expect the “hybrid” mode that’s developed over the past years to become the standard working model going forward. Al Drago/Bloomberg—Getty ImagesPatrick Gelsinger, chief executive officer of Intel Corp., speaks during an interview at an Economic Club of Washington event in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Dec. 9, 2021. Bourla: The past couple of years have challenged our workforce in ways that we never would have imagined. Companies have asked employees to demonstrate exceptional flexibility, commitment, courage and ingenuity over the past two years—and they have risen to the challenge. I predict that we are likely to see an increase in salaries in the coming year due to inflation—and I believe this is a good thing for workers, as it will help close the gap in income inequality. That said, financial rewards are no longer the only thing that employees expect from their employers. Increasingly, people want to work for a company with a strong culture and a defined purpose. As such, companies will need to foster and promote a culture in which employees feel respected and valued for their contributions and made to feel that they are integral to furthering the purpose of their company. Businesses that are able to create such a culture will not only be able to attract the best talent, but also maximize the engagement, creativity and productivity of their people by enabling them to bring their best selves to every challenge. Green: For many years, Forerunner has been saying, “It’s good to be a consumer. Consumers want what they want, when they want it, how they want it, and they’re getting it.” That same evolution of thought has now moved into the labor market: It’s a worker’s market, not a company’s market, and the relationship between the worker and the employer needs to evolve because of that. Workers should expect to get more flexibility, respect, benefits, and pay in some cases—but they still need to show up and deliver impact at work. It’s a two-way street, and we need to tap into a broader cultural work ethic. As a society, we need to be more holistic in our approach to meeting both company and worker needs. Read more: The Pandemic Revealed How Much We Hate Our Jobs. Now We Have a Chance to Reinvent Work Seroka: There’s a need for more truck drivers and warehouse workers in southern California. President Biden’s new Trucking Action Plan funds trucker apprentice programs and recruit U.S. military veterans. It’s an important step forward to attract, recruit and retain workers. Private industry needs to look at improved compensation and benefits for both truckers and warehouse workers. We need to bring a sense of pride and professionalism back to these jobs. On the docks, the contract between longshore workers and the employer’s association expires June 30. Both sides will be hard at work to negotiate and reach an agreement that benefits the workers and companies while keeping cargo flowing for the American economy. Courtesy Port of Los AngelesGene Seroka, executive director, Port of Los Angeles. Masters: I think there will still be a fight for talent next year. It’s a tight labor market overall and Covid-19 restrictions are a challenge in some regions. Albemarle has a really attractive growth story and profile, especially for workers interested in combatting climate change by contributing in a meaningful way to the clean energy transition. We are embracing a flexible work environment, much like other companies are doing, and upgrading some benefits to remain an employer of choice in attracting and retaining the best people on our growth journey. And, of course, we should all expect pandemic protocols to continue next year to ensure everyone’s health and safety. How do you see your role as a leader evolving over the coming year? Bourla: We are entering a golden age of scientific discovery fueled by converging advancements in biology and technology. As an industry, we must leverage these advancements to make disruptive changes in the way we discover, develop and bring new medicines to patients. Since I became CEO of Pfizer, we have been working to reimagine this process by operating as a nimbler, more science-driven organization, focused on delivering true breakthroughs for patients across our six therapeutic areas. In the past few years, we have demonstrated our ability to deliver on this promise of bringing true scientific breakthroughs through our colleagues’ tireless work in COVID-19. But there is more work to be done to address the unmet need in other disease areas—and now is the time to do it. In the year ahead, my leadership team and I will focus on leveraging these advancements in biology and technology, as well as the lessons learned from our COVID-19 vaccine development program, so that we may continue to push this scientific renaissance forward. This is critical work that we must advance for patients and their families around the world who continue to suffer from other devastating diseases without treatment options. Gelsinger: We are in the midst of a digital renaissance and experiencing the fastest pace of digital acceleration in history. We have immense opportunities ahead of us to make a lasting impact on the world through innovation and technology. Humans create technology to define what’s possible. We ask “if” something can be done, we understand “why,” then we ask “how.” In 2022, I must inspire and ensure our global team of over 110,000 executes and continues to drive forward innovation and leadership on our mission to enrich the lives of every person on earth. Brewer: Purpose is the driving force at this point in my career. I joined Walgreens Boots Alliance as CEO in March of 2021, what I saw as a rare opportunity to help end the pandemic and to help reimagine local healthcare and wellbeing for all. Seven months later, we launched the company’s new purpose, vision, values and strategic priorities. My role as CEO now and in 2022 is to lead with our company’s purpose—more joyful lives through better health—at the center of all we do for our customers, patients and team members. I’m particularly focused on affordable, accessible healthcare for all, including in traditionally medically underserved communities. Healthcare is inherently local, and all communities should have equitable access to care. John Lamparski—Getty Images for Advertising Week New YorkTim Cadogan, CEO of GoFundMe, speaks in New York City on Sept. 26, 2016. Cadogan: The last two years were dominated by a global pandemic and social and geopolitical issues that will carry over into 2022. The role of leaders in this new and uncertain environment will be to deliver value to their customers, while helping employees navigate an increasingly complex world with a completely new way of working together. Trust will be at the center of every decision we make around product development and platform policies—do the decisions we are making align with our mission to help people help each other and do they build trust with our community and our employees? Green: Everything around us is moving at an accelerated pace, and being a leader requires you to operate with a consistent set of values while still leaning into opportunity. Arguably, the pandemic has been the most disruptive time in decades—a generational disruption on par with the Depression or WWII. People’s North Stars are in the process of transforming, and leaders need to figure out what that means for their companies, their cultures, and their work processes. How does this change require leaders to shift their priorities as a business? Courtesy, Forerunner VenturesKirsten Green, founder and managing partner, Forerunner Ventures Masters: My leadership style is to make decisions through dialogue and debate. I encourage teams to be curious about other perspectives, be contrarian, actively discuss, make decisions, and act. I wasn’t sure how well we could do this from a strictly remote work approach during the pandemic, but watching our teams thrive despite the challenge changed my mind. Our people adapted quickly to move our business forward. We’ve worked so well that we’re integrating more flexibility into our work environment in 2022. With this shift to hybrid work, it will be important for all leaders, myself included, to empower employees in managing their productivity, and ensure teams stay engaged and focused on our key objectives. We’re facing rapid growth ahead, so our culture is vital to our success. I’ll continue to encourage our teams to live our values, seek diverse viewpoints, be decisive, and execute critical work to advance our strategy. Courtesy of Albemarle Kent Masters, CEO of Albemarle Seroka: Overseeing the nation’s busiest container port comes with an outsized responsibility to help our nation—not just the Port of Los Angeles—address the challenges brought about by the unprecedented surge in consumer demand. That means taking the lead on key fronts such as digital technology, policy and operational logistics. On the digital front, our industry needs to use data better to improve the reliability, predictability, and efficiency in the flow of goods. Policy work will focus on improving infrastructure investment, job training and advocating for a national export plan that supports fair trade and American jobs. Operationally, we’ll look for new ways to improve cargo velocity and efficiency......»»

Category: topSource: timeJan 2nd, 2022

Bhattacharya: We Cannot Stop The Spread Of COVID, But We Can End The Pandemic

Bhattacharya: We Cannot Stop The Spread Of COVID, But We Can End The Pandemic Authored by Jayanta Bhattacharya via The Brownstone Institute, The arrival of the omicron variant has led some politicians and public health grandees to call for a return to business closures and ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdowns. The variant has been found worldwide, including in the US and the UK. The variant has already surpassed delta – dominant before omicron – in the UK. Early reports from South Africa confirm that the variant is more transmissible but produces a milder disease, with a lower chance of hospitalization and death upon infection. My message is this: we can’t stop the spread of COVID, but we can end the pandemic. In October 2020, I wrote the Great Barrington Declaration (GBD) along with Prof. Sunetra Gupta of Oxford University and Prof. Martin Kulldorff of Harvard University. The centerpiece of the declaration is a call for increased focused protection of the vulnerable older population, who are more than a thousand times more likely to die from COVID infection than the young. We can protect the vulnerable without harming the rest of the population. As I stated above, we do not have any technology that can stop viral spread. While excellent vaccines protect the vaccinated versus hospitalization or death if infected, they provide only temporary and marginal protection versus infection and disease transmission after the second dose. The same is likely true for booster shots, which use the same technology as the initial doses. What about lockdowns?  It is now abundantly clear that they have failed to contain the virus while wreaking enormous collateral damage worldwide. The simplistic allure of lockdowns is that we can break the chain of viral transmission by staying apart. Only the laptop class — those who can just as easily work from home as in the office — can abide by a lockdown in actual practice, and even they have trouble. Essential workers who keep society going cannot afford the luxury, so the disease will keep spreading. Will the same policies that failed against a more virulent strain succeed in containing a more transmissible strain? The answer is self-evidently no.  The harms of lockdown on children and the non-elderly are catastrophic, including worse physical and mental health and irretrievably lost life opportunities. Lockdowns imposed in rich countries mean starvation, poverty, and death for the residents of poor countries. There is, however, a good alternative to lockdown. The Great Barrington Declaration (GBD) calls for a return to normal life for low-risk children and non-elderly adults. The principles at the heart of the GBD are as important today as they were a year ago.  In fact, they are more important now because we now have technological tools that make focused protection of the vulnerable much more straightforward than it was a year ago. First and most importantly, the vaccine. Because unvaccinated older people face such a high risk for a poor outcome on infection, and because the vaccine is so effective at blunting severe disease and death, vaccinating older people is the top priority if life-saving is to be the top priority. However, the vast majority of unvaccinated older people live in poor countries.  At current rates, the worldwide vaccination campaign will not be complete until the end of 2022, too late to save countless vulnerable people. Prioritizing those who have never previously had COVID will help preserve doses for those who would most benefit since – like the vaccine — COVID recovery provides excellent protection against future severe disease. Booster shots for older people also make sense. But to preserve doses, they should be reserved for those who have not previously had COVID and were vaccinated more than 6 to 8 months ago.  According to a careful study conducted by Swedish scientists, vaccine efficacy versus severe disease also starts to wane around that point, so boosting before then does not provide a substantial benefit. Second, we should make available effective early treatment options. During Florida’s summer wave, Gov. Ron DeSantis promoted the use of monoclonal antibodies – an FDA-approved treatment – by patients early in the course of the disease, an action that saved many lives.  Safe and inexpensive supplements like Vitamin D have been shown effective. Promising new treatments from Pfizer and a new antibody treatment for the immunocompromised by Astra Zeneca promise to become more widely available. Until that happens, they should be preserved for use by the most vulnerable when sick. Third, the widespread availability of inexpensive, privately conducted, rapid antigen tests in the UK has empowered everyone to make wise choices that reduce the risk of infecting vulnerable people. So far, the FDA says that these tests work to detect omicron. Even if you have no COVID-like symptoms, these tests accurately read whether you harbor the virus and pose a risk of spreading it to close contacts. With this test in hand, anyone can check if it is safe to visit grandma before heading over to her care home. It is a perfect tool for focused protection of the vulnerable.  US COVID policy should focus on making these tests cheaper and more widely available, as they are in the UK. Finally, since the virus very often spreads via aerosolization events, upgrades to ventilation systems in public spaces will reduce the risk of older people participating in everyday social life outside the home.  It is no accident that COVID disease spread is so rare on airplanes since they are all outfitted with excellent air filtration systems. Upgrading other public facilities, such as other public transportation systems, would reduce the risk of infection for the vulnerable. There are some hopeful signs that the political and ideological winds are shifting, while other developments signal a return to failed strategies. Colorado’s Democrat Governor Jared Polis recently declared that the widespread availability of vaccines spells ‘the end of the medical emergency,’ and he is resisting calls to impose new statewide mask mandates. Yet on the coasts, in California and New York, elected officials are renewing mask requirements for all – regardless of health or vaccination status. The end of the pandemic is primarily a social and political decision. Since we have no technology to eradicate the virus, we must learn to live with it. The fear-based lockdown policies of the past two years are no template for a healthy society. The good news is that with the new and effective technologies available and the focused protection ideas outlined in the GBD, we can end the pandemic if only we can muster the courage and political will to do so.  In Sweden and many US states that have eschewed lockdowns, the pandemic is effectively over, even as the virus continues to circulate.  As normal society resumes, the vast majority will find that living with the virus is not so hard after all. Tyler Durden Thu, 12/23/2021 - 21:50.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytDec 23rd, 2021

Sen. Paul Details $52 Billion Federal "Waste" In Annual "Festivus Report"

Sen. Paul Details $52 Billion Federal "Waste" In Annual 'Festivus Report' Authored by Joseph Lord via The Epoch Times, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has unveiled his annual “Festivus Report,” which tracks what he sees as “waste” spending by the federal government. According to the libertarian-leaning Kentuckian, that waste topped over $52 billion in 2021. Since arriving in the Senate amid the Tea Party wave of 2010, Paul had made the federal budget one of his foremost concerns. Like his father, 2008 and 2012 presidential candidate and former U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), the younger Paul has decried U.S. military adventurism, the excesses of the post-9/11 surveillance state, and the perpetually unbalanced budget of the federal government. The Festivus Report has been a staple for Paul since 2015, when he released his first edition of the report. In the 2021 report, Paul calculated that federal boondoggles added up to a total of $52,598,515,585 - an amount Paul says could have been used to give everyone on Earth around $6.78, build 13,149 miles of four-lane highway, operate Veterans’ Affairs facilities for 4.5 months, or to fund the Department of Energy for nearly two years. From ground-up ferrets to border walls for Middle Eastern countries to a federally-funded dinosaur film, these are some of the most striking examples of bizarre spending revealed by Paul. Misappropriation of COVID-19 Funds Cost $40 Billion Since January 2020, the U.S. government has spent more on relief packages for the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus than it spent on World War II. And these relief packages have cost taxpayers tens billions in waste and misappropriated funds, Paul argues. By far the largest expense listed was a $36 billion loss to “improper CARES Act unemployment payments.” The CARES Act, signed into law in March 2020, was the first major pandemic stimulus bill. At the time, when uncertainty about the disease was at its peak, the bill expanded eligibility opportunities for unemployment, allowing those who normally would not qualify to receive unemployment payments. Though it has since become clear that most healthy adults under 50 years old are at little risk of severe disease, federal expenditures authorized by the CARES Act have lagged behind the science. While employers across the nation are desperate for more employees, many not-at-risk Americans have continued to collect unemployment checks under CARES Act guidelines despite being able to work at workplaces enforcing their own COVID-19 safety measures. The second largest expense detailed by Paul was also the result of COVID stimulus legislation. In total, Paul claims that the federal government spent around $4.3 billion on duplicate or ineligible Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, another relief policy that allowed employers to take loans from the federal government to ensure that their employees got paid. DoD Spends Billions on Scrapped Planes, Abandoned Buildings, and Middle Eastern Border Walls The next largest expenses come from the Department of Defense (DoD). According to Paul, the DoD has invested $3.4 billion into replacing the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, one of the military’s go-to tank-like assault vehicles that are used in part as troop transports. Efforts to replace the Bradley began in 2003, but the DoD has still not managed to build a viable replacement. The DoD also lost quite a bit of taxpayer money during the chaotic and controversial withdrawal from Afghanistan. Ordered to leave immediately by President Joe Biden, the military left behind not only hundreds of American citizens and billions of dollars in military equipment, but also billions of dollars of U.S.-financed infrastructure and buildings. The evacuation has left around $2.4 billion of buildings sitting unused. “Why are we spending all this money to build them in the first place?” Paul wrote. “What was once a mission to seek out and destroy the people who perpetrated the 9/11 attacks has become an exercise in—well, it’s unclear exactly what.” Additionally, $549 million was spent by the DoD on military aircraft for the faraway desert nation, but these were “later thrown away” and sold as scrap for $40,257, Paul found. Since 2017, the DoD has lost $773 million on uncollected debts for allies’ use of U.S. aircraft. “DoD is responsible for billing and tracking countries’ usage of these goods and services,” Paul said of the discovery, noting that these aircraft were not supposed to be offered for free. “However, DoD apparently forgot about that part,” Paul quipped. One of the DoD’s most bizarre expenditures involves a $250 million investment into building border walls around several Middle Eastern and North African countries. At the same time, the Biden administration has left the U.S. southern border de facto open. Upon taking office, Biden canceled several non-refundable U.S.-Mexico border wall contracts negotiated by Trump, leaving the wall’s materials sitting unused along the border. Since then, illegal crossings at the southern border have reached unprecedented levels. One Million Trees for NYC, Solar Panels for Africa, and Other Climate Initiatives Still, these expenditures are relatively tame compared to others on Paul’s list. Paul also exposed how federal money has been used for several odd climate initiatives, both in the United States and abroad. For example, the federal government offered a staggering sum of $400 million to plant one million trees in New York City between 2007 and 2017, which comes out to around $400 per tree. Proponents said that the project would “make New York City more sustainable” and “protect our planet.” MillionTreesNYC Director Morgan Monaco said that there was an additional goal: “to have New Yorkers form an emotional connection to trees.” Some African nations also made off with a windfall in U.S. taxpayer funding. The Department of State, Paul says, devoted $179 million to funding green energy programs in Africa. Paul argued that this investment will actually hurt African nations more than help them. “Operating renewable energy sources like solar and hydroelectric remain more costly to [African] citizens,” Paul said. “So, by … providing $179 million for renewable energy, we’re actually going to be sticking Sub-Saharan African consumers with hefty electricity bills.” The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has also advanced some questionably costly climate programs. According to Paul’s findings, USAID has spent $11.3 million on “telling people [in Vietnam] not to burn their trash.” Another $88 million USAID went to efforts to build irrigation systems in Afghanistan. Despite the nearly $100 million investment, these have gone mostly unused by Afghan farmers. Ground-Up Ferrets for COVID Vaccines and Other Government-Funded Research Projects The federal government has also been busy in the domain of scientific research. While some federally-financed research involves things like military technology, health care innovations, and space travel, some of its projects push the frontiers of human knowledge much less than others. One of the most bizarre research projects highlighted by Paul involves $4.5 million in funding for a vaccine facility that ground up ferrets, among other inhumane tests. “Since 2010, the American taxpayer has given Triple F Farms $4.5 million [to breed and transport ferrets] to COVID-19 and influenza vaccine testing laboratories,” Paul explained. A 2011 investigation into their facility included “video recordings of ferrets dying in feces, run over by carts, thrown alive into incinerators, hanging from wire.” After these abuses became public, Triple F Farms received a $44,000 fine from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which Paul called “a minor slap on the wrist compared to the millions of dollars of your taxpayer funds they received before and after the investigation.” Recent USDA inspections have shown that these problems are ongoing. But Triple F Farms still receives federal funding despite its inhumane and illegal treatment of animals. Another federally-funded study by the National Institute on Aging, at a cost to taxpayers of $1.3 million, found that “hearing bad news decreases happiness levels.” In the same vein, the federal government financed a $352,000 experiment which concluded that “kids crave junk food and gain weight if they’re exposed to it.” Finally, the National Institutes of Health spent $465,000 on an experiment involving pigeons playing slot machines, while the Food and Drug Administration spent $337,500 on an effort to fatten eels for human consumption. Translating Books Into Georgian and Other Cultural Initiatives A slew of odd cultural initiatives are also on the federal government’s bloated checkbook. For example, the Department of State has spent $182,741 on an initiative to translate classic American books into Georgian, the language of a small central-Asian state with a population of around 3.7 million people—less than the population of Los Angeles alone. “The books used are not objectionable,” Paul emphasized, “some economics textbooks, children’s books, and American classics like All the King’s Men and Invisible Man.” “But,” he asked, “when did this become the federal government’s job?” “In the United States, nearly one third of fourth-graders are not proficient in reading,” Paul noted. “‘Some 36 million adults in the U.S. don’t have basic reading … skills above a third-grade level,’ according to estimates,” the report reads. “In case the bureaucrats have forgotten: your constituents are the American people, not foreign citizens,” Paul wrote. Similarly, the State Department has spent $200,000 on an initiative to teach French people about American culture, despite the fact that U.S. culture already has an outsized effect on French culture and language. USAID, in the same vein, has also spent $150,000 on funding free field trips to Washington for Korean children. But Paul notes that not all of the federal government’s cultural spending has been international. New York City, for instance, got a grant of $25 million as part of a COVID-19 relief program to display art projects across the city. With the money, then-Mayor Bill DeBlasio introduced the “City Arts Corps,” which paid around 3,000 artists to publicly display creative works in an effort to “resurge the cultural scene,” DeBlasio said. Another $14 million went to funding the Wilson Center, an upscale venue that’s often the scene of what Paul described as “swanky parties” for members of Congress. “If you’ve not heard of the Wilson Center, it’s a small nonpartisan foreign policy think tank in Washington D.C.,” Paul wrote. “It’s the same as a private think tank, like the Heritage Foundation or the Center for American Progress, except it receives about $14 million a year from the Federal government.” And the Wilson Center has gotten a lot of taxpayer money over the past several decades. According to Paul, this congressional party hub has received $300 million since 1976, while its aforementioned peers have received none. Finally, the National Science Foundation spent $2.5 million on “a film about dinosaurs to inspire middle schoolers.” “Yes, the government used $2-million taxpayer dollars to create a dinosaur-centric film in 2D and 3D, a 3-episode TV series, a fictional book and museum exhibits to ‘inspire’ middle schoolers to build interest in STEM,” Paul wrote. Paul’s Plan to Balance the Budget In his report, Paul also detailed what could be done to balance the budget. A few years ago, Paul introduced his “Penny Plan Balanced Budget.” According to Paul, the plan would have cut “only one penny off every dollar spent by the Federal government.” But amid record spending by the Democratic Congress, that plan will no longer be enough to balance the budget, Paul said. Now, the federal government is spending so much money that it would need to cut five pennies off of each dollar it spends to balance the budget. During early debates on democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) $3.5 trillion budget draft, Paul introduced an amendment to the bill that would have done just that. However, the amendment was defeated by a supermajority, with several Republicans joining with Democrats to strike down the proposal. Still, Paul said he would keep doing what he could to fight the problem. “The speed in which our debt is growing means we need ever more vigorous solutions to solve this growing problem,” he wrote. Tyler Durden Thu, 12/23/2021 - 15:45.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeDec 23rd, 2021

Moderna (MRNA) Down as Pfizer Paxlovid EUA May Fuel Competition

Moderna's (MRNA) COVID-19 vaccine may face stiffer competition following the FDA's emergency approval of an oral COVID-19 pill, Pfizer's Paxlovid, which may result in lower sales. Shares of popular COVID-19 vaccine-maker, Moderna MRNA were down 6.3% on Wednesday, following the news of emergency use authorization (“EUA”) for Pfizer’s PFE promising oral COVID-19 pill, Paxlovid, in the United States.The FDA granted authorization to Pfizer’s Paxlovid for use to treat mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in adult and pediatric patients (12 years and older and weighing at least 40 kg) at increased risk of hospitalizations or death. The EUA was granted based on data from a phase II/III study, which demonstrated that treatment with Paxlovid reduces the risk of hospitalization or death by 89% or 88% compared to placebo when administered within three or five days, respectively, of symptom onset.The availability of Paxlovid is not likely to remove dependence on vaccines to fight against COVID-19. However, it may hurt their importance going forward.Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, mRNA-1273, has helped the company skyrocket 139% so far this year against the industry’s decline of 19.5%. The performance of the company’s shares in 2022 will continue to depend on its vaccine’s performance amid rising competition.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchPaxlovid’s PotentialPfizer stated that its oral COVID-19 pill inhibits a particular enzyme, SARS-CoV-2 main protease (Mpro), which is needed for the replication of the coronavirus. It is believed that the coronavirus is unlikely to mutate in such a way that will change its dependence on the same enzyme for replication. This suggests the potential of Paxlovid to be effective against current COVID-19 variants as well as any new variants that may appear in the future. In-vitro antiviral studies have shown consistent effectiveness of Paxlovid against all previous variants of concern including the Delta. A recent in-vitro study showed that Paxlovid potently inhibited the Mpro associated with rapidly spreading Omicron variant, suggesting the pill’s potential in maintaining robust antiviral activity against the variant.President Biden called Paxlovid a “promising new treatment option” that will lower rates of hospitalization and death in a statement issued after the FDA’s EUA.Impact on Vaccine-MakersThe authorization for at-home administration of Paxlovid has the potential to alter the treatment landscape for COVID-19 going forward. The drug can now be used in individuals after the onset of COVID-19 infection and can be used without any physician intervention.Unlike Paxlovid, any authorized COVID-19 vaccine in the United States — Moderna’s mRNA-1273, Pfizer and BioNTech’s BNTX Comirnaty, and J&J’s JNJ COVID-19 vaccine — needs to be administered in infected as well as uninfected individuals and that too following a visit to a hospital or any physician. Like Moderna, shares of BioNTech also declined on Wednesday by 4.3%. However, shares of pharma giant J&J, with diversified revenues sources, remained unaffected.Pfizer and BioNTech developed Comirnaty, an mRNA-based vaccine like mRNA-1273, under a collaboration agreement and share revenues from its sales. J&J’s COVID-19 vaccine is a single-shot, adenovirus-based vaccine.Moreover, there is a faction of people actively advocating against the use of vaccines due to several factors, including the unavailability of long-term safety data for any vaccines. With the availability of easy-to-use pill like Paxlovid, these individuals may prefer using the drug over a vaccine as it will be used only in infected people.Although COVID-19 vaccine and drugs work differently, investors of vaccine makers are concerned that the availability of Paxlovid may lead uninfected individuals to avoid a vaccine or booster dose, hurting their demand going forward. Moreover, another oral COVID-19 pill made by Merck is under review with the FDA for EUA. The availability of multiple oral COVID-19 pills will likely lead to more competition for vaccines.Moderna’s ProspectsModerna is currently dependent on its COVID-19 vaccine for a major portion of its revenues. Other sources of revenues — grant and collaboration revenues — generated less than 5% of total revenues in the first nine months of 2021.Moreover, its leading pipeline candidate — the Cytomegalovirus vaccine — entered a pivotal study in October 2021. A phase II/III study to evaluate the respiratory syncytial virus vaccine candidate is likely to start by year-end. However, these candidates are a few years away from commercialization, subject to the successful completion of late-stage studies.Although Moderna has supply agreements with different countries worth up to $20 billion for 2022, any setback to demand for its COVID-19 vaccine with an increasing supply of Paxlovid and similar pills will significantly hurt Moderna’s share price as it has no other commercialized product. Moreover, several new COVID-19 vaccines are expected to be authorized in 2022, which should increase competition for Moderna’s mRNA-1273.However, we note that Pfizer has announced that it expects to produce 120 million courses of Paxlovid treatment in 2022. With the rise in infections, 120 million courses are not likely to be enough, thanks to the Omicron outbreak in many countries. This should help vaccines remain the primary protection against COVID-19 infections.Pfizer’s Paxlovid is currently authorized in the United States and may get authorization in Europe shortly. However, a vast number of countries are not likely to get the drug soon. The countries without a COVID-19 pill will continue to use vaccines to protect citizens.Moderna is currently developing an Omicron-specific booster dose, which is likely to enter clinical study in early 2022. The company’s authorized booster dose has also elicited robust antibody levels against the Omicron variant in a pseudovirus test. These encouraging developments are likely to help Moderna to fight against the rising competition in the COVID-19 space. Moreover, the company needs to accelerate the development of its other pipeline candidates to remove its dependence on mRNA-1273 for revenues.We note that Moderna has significantly boosted its cash resources so far in 2021 following a surge in revenues from the sale of its COVID-19 vaccine. The company now has enough cash to continue the development of its pipeline candidates without any external funding for a few years. Any rise in competition for its COVID-19 vaccine is thus likely to hurt the near-term prospects of the company. The promising pipeline candidates continue to boost its long-term prospects.Moderna, Inc. Price Moderna, Inc. price | Moderna, Inc. QuoteZacks RankModerna currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here. Zacks’ Top Picks to Cash in on Artificial Intelligence This world-changing technology is projected to generate $100s of billions by 2025. From self-driving cars to consumer data analysis, people are relying on machines more than we ever have before. Now is the time to capitalize on the 4th Industrial Revolution. Zacks’ urgent special report reveals 6 AI picks investors need to know about today.See 6 Artificial Intelligence Stocks With Extreme Upside Potential>>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Johnson & Johnson (JNJ): Free Stock Analysis Report Pfizer Inc. (PFE): Free Stock Analysis Report Moderna, Inc. (MRNA): Free Stock Analysis Report BioNTech SE Sponsored ADR (BNTX): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksDec 23rd, 2021

5 Biotech Stocks That More Than Doubled This Year

The biotech sector has been in focus through 2021 as vaccine makers like Moderna (MRNA) BioNTech (BNTX), and other companies like Dynavax (DVAX), Prothena (PRTA) and Intellia (NTLA) put up an exemplary performance. It has been a roller-coaster ride for the volatile biotech industry in 2021, which along with the pharma and drug industries, has been in the spotlight due to the coronavirus outbreak.  With deadly emerging variants of COVID-19 creating havoc worldwide, the development of vaccines and treatments has been the primary underlying story of these sectors in 2021.Needless to say, the companies that have been developing vaccines and other antibody treatments have had a stupendous run in the year. Biotech companies are running a race against time and currently evaluating every possible weapon in their arsenal to combat yet another surge in cases owing to the rapidly spreading Omicron variant. Any positive update in this regard has led to a massive surge in the share price of the respective companies and fueled the overall industry.  The same trend is expected to continue, with booster doses of the vaccines becoming the need of the hour.While the successful development of a vaccine for COVID-19 has been the highlight of the year, regular pipeline and regulatory events are now more or less back on track. Key new drug approvals and label expansions of prominent drugs sustained the momentum for some biotech companies. The FDA’s approval of Biogen’s Alzheimer's disease (AD) drug, Aduhelm, in June, propelled the entire sector and put the spotlight on other companies as well that are developing AD drugs as investors are now optimistic about the prospects of these pipeline candidates.Mergers & acquisitions have always taken center stage in the sector. However, the momentum somewhat slowed down earlier this year but is gradually picking up pace as pharma/biotech bigwigs constantly eye lucrative acquisitions to bolster their portfolio/pipeline and combat rivalry. While oncology and immuno-oncology are the key areas of focus, treatments for rare diseases and gene-editing companies also promise potential, making them lucrative investment areas. Merck recently acquired rare diseases-focused company Acceleron Pharma.Many other biotech companies have done well in the year, apart from the ones riding the coronavirus wave. Approval of a key candidate, positive data readouts, encouraging pipeline progress and favorable regulatory updates can lead to a massive surge in the share price of a biotech company.As the year is coming to an end, let’s do a quick recap of the outperformers in the biotech sector. Here we list five companies, which have seen their prices double over the year. These stocks currently carry a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.A chart showing the share price movement of the five stocks is given below:Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchModerna MRNA is riding high on the success of its COVID-19 vaccine, and the company has had an outstanding year so far.  The company’s COVID-19 vaccine has witnessed robust demand following its authorization in multiple countries. Significant product sales have boosted the top line and the same trend is expected to continue as MRNA has advanced purchase agreements with multiple countries. The authorization for a booster dose in the United States for all adults is likely to bring additional sales. Moreover, the company recently announced data that demonstrated that the authorized booster of its COVID-19 vaccine, mRNA-1273, increased neutralizing antibody levels significantly against the Omicron variant. Moderna is evaluating its multivalent booster and variant-specific booster candidates in phase II/III studies. However, the company continues to develop an Omicron-specific booster candidate amid the astounding increase in cases due to the variant. The Omicron-specific booster candidate will enter clinical study in early 2022.Further, Moderna is developing several promising candidates as therapies and vaccines targeting oncology indications and rare diseases.Shares are up 140.6% in the year so far against the industry’s 19.5% decline.BioNTech SE BNTX is another company that has scaled the skies on the success of its COVID-19 vaccine, Comirnaty, which it has developed with pharma giant Pfizer and is based on its proprietary mRNA technology.  Both the companies have led the race in record time for the successful development of this COVID-19 vaccine approved as a two-dose series to prevent COVID-19 in individuals 16 years of age and older in the United States. It is also authorized for emergency use in other age groups and countries. Sales have skyrocketed owing to the vaccine sales. The momentum is expected to continue with the pandemic gaining steam again on the Omicron variant leading to the requirement of a booster dose. Preliminary laboratory studies demonstrate that three doses of this COVID-19 vaccine neutralize the Omicron variant.Apart from this, BioNTech aims to develop an mRNA-based malaria vaccine, and the initiation of a clinical trial is expected by the end of 2022. BioNTech is also advancing the development of a broad oncology pipeline, which spans multiple anti-tumor and immune-modulating approaches.Shares are up 218.6% in the year so far.Prothena Corporation plc PRTA, a clinical-stage company focused on developing novel therapeutic therapies for neurodegenerative diseases, has had a phenomenal run in the year, primarily due to its promising pipeline for AD.Prothena's wholly-owned programs include birtamimab for the potential treatment of AL amyloidosis and a portfolio of programs for the potential treatment of AD, including PRX012, which targets Aβ (Amyloid beta) and a novel dual Aβ-Tau vaccine. Another promising candidate is PRX005, which is also being evaluated for the treatment of AD. The candidate is an investigational antibody that targets tau, a protein implicated in diseases including AD.  Prothena is developing a dual vaccine, which concomitantly targets key epitopes within both the Aβ and tau proteins. The dual Aβ-Tau vaccine is being developed for the potential prevention and treatment of AD. The successful development and commercialization of the candidates will be a big boost for the company and should propel growth.Shares are up 292% in the year so far.Dynavax Technologies Corporation’s DVAX performance in 2021 has been excellent as well. Its hepatitis B vaccine, Helpisav –B, maintains momentum for the company. Dynavax is also advancing CpG 1018 adjuvant as a premier vaccine adjuvant through research collaborations and partnerships. Current collaborations are focused on adjuvanted vaccines for COVID-19, plague, TDaP and universal influenza. Continued growth in market share and revenue for Helpisav –B, along with multiple positive data readouts for adjuvanted COVID-19 vaccine candidates demonstrating the capabilities of CpG 1018 to help drive efficacy and high levels of antibodies while maintaining a favorable tolerability profile, has boosted the stock and should propel growth further.Dynavax’s shares are up 215.5% in the year so far.Another company that has impressed investors this year is  Intellia Therapeutics, Inc. NTLA, a leading clinical-stage genome-editing firm focused on developing curative therapeutics using CRISPR/Cas9 technology both in vivo and ex vivo.  Intellia’s ex vivo programs use CRISPR to create therapy using engineered human cells to treat cancer and autoimmune diseases. These therapies promise potential.  The pipeline progress has been impressive this year. Intellia recently dosed the first patient with NTLA-2002, its in vivo CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing candidate being developed as a single-dose therapy to prevent attacks in people living with hereditary angioedema (HAE). NTLA-2002 is Intellia’s second investigational CRISPR therapeutic candidate. The first investigational therapy of its kind, NTLA-2001 is an in vivo CRISPR/Cas9-based genome-editing candidate being developed as a single-dose treatment for transthyretin (ATTR) amyloidosis.Shares of the company are up 130.2% in the year.  Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2022 In addition to the investment ideas discussed above, would you like to know about our 10 top picks for the entirety of 2022? From inception in 2012 through November, the Zacks Top 10 Stocks gained an impressive +962.5% versus the S&P 500’s +329.4%. Now our Director of Research is combing through 4,000 companies covered by the Zacks Rank to handpick the best 10 tickers to buy and hold. Don’t miss your chance to get in on these stocks when they’re released on January 3.Be First to New Top 10 Stocks >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Dynavax Technologies Corporation (DVAX): Free Stock Analysis Report Moderna, Inc. (MRNA): Free Stock Analysis Report Prothena Corporation plc (PRTA): Free Stock Analysis Report Intellia Therapeutics, Inc. (NTLA): Free Stock Analysis Report BioNTech SE Sponsored ADR (BNTX): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksDec 23rd, 2021

Fauci"s Finished

Fauci's Finished Authored by James Rickards via DailyReckoning.com, In a little under an hour, Joe Biden is expected to address the nation about the new Omicron variant of the virus. An aide claims the administration is “prepared for the rising case levels” and that Biden will explain how it “will respond to this challenge.” The Omicron variant is highly contagious. Some models, along with data from Europe, suggest the number of cases could potentially double every two days. Of course, you can’t really trust models, but this variant is spreading rapidly. The good news is that it doesn’t appear to be particularly dangerous. Symptoms are generally described as those of a mild cold. But you can expect Biden to dial up the fear tomorrow. He’s probably going to try to shame the unvaccinated and warn about a “dark winter” ahead because of their refusal to take the jabs. For the fully vaccinated, he’s going to tell them to get the booster. We’ll have to see what else he has in store, but you can be sure it won’t involve telling everyone to take hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin if they start showing symptoms. Changing Goalposts It’s all about vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate! And when you’re done vaccinating, get ready for another. The goalposts are constantly changing. It was always expected that the Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca COVID vaccines would be two-dose treatments. (That’s not true of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine, which was always a one-dose regimen. Janssen’s is the only vaccine that relies on a more traditional adenovirus rather than mRNA technology to instruct your cells to create the toxic spike protein.) The vaccines were initially reported to be highly effective at reducing severe symptoms and deaths. This was despite some serious side effects that have not been fully reported and are still being evaluated. The likely number of vaccine-induced deaths exceeds 20,000, based on the VAERS reporting system. We don’t know the true number because there’s no definitive evidence that the vaccine caused the death, but the spike in reported deaths since the vaccines came out is off the charts. It’s not proof of a fire, but there’s lots of smoke. Meanwhile, all of the vaccines were falsely presented to the public as preventing infection. But that was untrue. The vaccines do not prevent infection or spread of the virus. Still, public health officials went on a full-court press to achieve 100% vaccination rates regardless of side effects, religious objections, medical objections based on asthma and other conditions and regardless of the natural immunity already acquired by over 50 million Americans who have had the disease and recovered. Besides, the vaccines do not appear to be effective at preventing infections from the Omicron variant. The fully vaccinated and the boosted can still get sick. Lepers Vaccine mandates were enforced through a large number of drastic outcomes for the unvaccinated. You could lose your job; lose a government contract; be denied international travel; be discharged from the military; and be denied access to restaurants, sports venues and concerts among other activities if you did not get vaccinated. The unvaccinated were treated like lepers with the result that many got vaccinated against their better judgment solely to avoid the harsh treatment otherwise reserved for them. The only consolation was that once you were vaccinated and had your paperwork in order (and ready to present to the vax enforcers), you could go about your business when it came to work, travel or leisure. But wait, not so fast. The petty government dictators who invented these rules in the first place are now moving the goalposts. Not only do the vaccines not stop infection, but they don’t even do their job of reducing symptoms after about six months. Naturally, Dr. Anthony Fauci is saying that it’s just a matter of time before the definition of “fully vaccinated” is changed to require three shots instead of two (or two for Janssen instead of one). Boosters Forever The implications of this are enormous. It means that those who thought they had put the vaccination issue behind them will have to get in line for another shot if they want to go about their business without discrimination. The supposedly vaccinated will find themselves back in the leper colony with the unvaccinated if they don’t get the new booster. Of course, the booster will wear off after six months also. (It’s called a “booster” but it’s the same vaccine as the first shot.) And that means you will have to get boosters for the rest of your life to comply with Dr. Fauci’s dictatorship. Vaccines should be allowed as a matter of choice but vaccine mandates are mostly illegal (per recent court rulings) and counterproductive in the sense that they encourage resistance, not compliance. Though it’s not proven, mass vaccination could also be causing new variants because it forces the virus to evolve. A better strategy would likely involve targeted vaccination for the most vulnerable, with therapeutics for everyone else. That would reduce the pressure on the virus to mutate while giving natural immunity to the people who were treated early and recovered. And studies indicate natural immunity is up to 27 times more powerful than vaccine-induced immunity. Back to the Same Failed Playbook In the meantime, expect more damage to the economy as resources are wasted in a vain attempt to achieve Zero COVID. Politicians and the bureaucrats who guide them keep reaching for the same playbook, even though the plays didn’t work the first time. Mask mandates, lockdowns, school closings, vaccine mandates and other dictates did nothing to help. The evidence is clear that masks don’t work. Lockdowns turned homes into COVID incubators. The better approach was to encourage people to be outside without masks, getting exercise and fresh air. School closures deprived children of a year of education and the socialization skills that come with it. Will this end anytime soon? In some free states like Florida and New Hampshire (where I live), most of the madness has ended already. But in neo-fascist states like Michigan, Oregon and Washington, the madness continues. “Permanent… Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Permanent” For example, the state of Oregon already had a mask mandate. However, it was issued under rules that make it temporary. This means that the deadline had to be extended from time to time, which requires public notice and possibly hearings. In order to avoid these requirements, Oregon began a process to make the mask mandate permanent. When asked to explain the new policy, the medical director for communicable diseases of the Oregon Health Authority, Dr. Paul Cieslak, defended the decision by saying, “Permanent … doesn’t necessarily mean permanent.” George Orwell must be smiling somewhere at that perfect illustration of Newspeak. It’s amazing how supposedly temporary measures can become permanent. Meanwhile, Fauci was asked on a weekend talk show if we’re ever going to reach a point where we won’t need to wear masks on airplanes. Fauci replied, “I don’t think so.” So you’re always going to need to wear a mask on a plane regardless of the circumstances if Fauci has his way. Here’s another bit of madness: Three months ago an FDA advisory committee voted overwhelmingly, 16–2, against booster shots for the general public. But three months later, colleges are actually mandating boosters for the upcoming spring semester. What happened to “the science”? Americans Are Fighting Back The American people are increasingly fed up with these contradictory, destructive and non-scientific mandates from the neo-fascist bureaucrats who are mainly pursuing their own agendas. The real solution to the pandemic consists of mutations that attenuate the virus, herd immunity, better treatments, fresh air and exercise. Fauci’s dream of making everyone a vax slave will not last. His failure will require resistance by the general population. That resistance is already taking place. Fauci is conflicted, incompetent and insecure. Moving the goalposts on vaccination is making that clear to the public. He will be deposed and vaccination will be made voluntary, but not yet. In the meantime, expect the madness to continue. Tyler Durden Tue, 12/21/2021 - 13:25.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeDec 21st, 2021

Coronavirus links: two major strains

A coronavirus-focused linkfest is a weekly feature here at Abnormal Returns. Please stay safe, get a booster at a vaccination site near... J&JThe CDC has downgraded the J&J ($JNJ) vaccine. (nbcnews.com)The J&J ($JNJ) situation shows the travails of drug development. (statnews.com)Merck ($MRK) is now making doses of the J&J ($JNJ) Covid vaccine outside the U.S. (wsj.com)VaccinesHow many Americans are out there with only one shot? (vox.com)Why intra-nasal vaccines may provide better protection. (newatlas.com)Moderna ($MRNA) has paused its patent fight with the NIH. (washingtonpost.com)It's still unclear whether we will need annual Covid boosters. (statnews.com)What we know about getting more people vaccinated. (slate.com)Vaccine mandates prompt a surge in vaccinations. (papers.ssrn.com)BoostersThe rush is on for booster shots. (ft.com)Only about 30 percent of eligible Americans have received a booster shot. (nytimes.com)Fully vaccinated now means boosted. (theatlantic.com)OmicronOmicron is spreading rapidly throughout the U.S. (newatlas.com)How severe are Omicron infections? (scientificamerican.com)The Pfizer ($PFE) vaccine still seems to be effective in preventing hospitalization from Omicron. (marketwatch.com)The Sinovac and Sputnik vaccines seem not to be very effective against Omicron. (bloomberg.com)What to do if you get an Omicron breakthrough infection? (theatlantic.com)Why is Omicron so contagious? (scientificamerican.com)TestingAmerica's testing system is once again under strain. (nytimes.com)Why the U.S. can't rapid test like they do in other countries. (theatlantic.com)The CDC has endorsed a test-to-stay policy for school-aged children. (wsj.com)How good are rapid tests at detecting Omicron? (newscientist.com)Public healthGovernments should focus on good behavior and less on variants. (washingtonpost.com)Nothing about Omicron should change how we approach Covid. (theatlantic.com)A number of Supreme Court justices want to put religious rights above that of public health. (slate.com)WorkWorkers should be boosted before returning to the office. (cnn.com)Omicron has blown up all of the return-to-the-office plans. (nytimes.com)Apple ($AAPL) is once again requiring face masks in all its stores. (wsj.com)Google ($GOOGL) has little patience for the unvaccinated. (cnbc.com)Kroger ($KR) is going to eliminate some benefits for unvaccinated workers. (wsj.com)NYC restaurants are closing due to rising case counts among workers. (ny.eater.com)Health careIt's hard to calculate the cost that Covid-19 has had on patients with other diseases. (wsj.com)Kentucky hospitals are full up with Covid patients putting others at-risk. (bloomberg.com)More states are seeing nursing shortages and stress. (npr.org)DataMore than 800,000 Americans have died from Covid-19. (econbrowser.com)Hospitalizations are now a better indicator of Covid-19 than case counts. (nytimes.com)A new, large study finds myocarditis is at least four times more likely to occur after a covid-19 infection than after a vaccination (newscientist.com)How states have done on four criteria including health and education. (politico.com)More South Florida police have been killed by Covid-19 than all other means combined. (orlandosentinel.com)How many more would have died without vaccines? (marginalrevolution.com)MABsThe monoclonal antibody treatment called Sotrovimab seems to work against Omicron. (washingtonpost.com)Officials are stockpiling sotrovimab doses form when Omicron is dominant. (news.yahoo.com)AntiviralsPfizer says that its antiviral pill showed high effectiveness against severe disease. (statnews.com)The introduction of Pfizer's Paxlovid is a genuinely good thing, overshadowed by other news. (washingtonpost.com)PodcastsMichael Lewis talks with Richard Hatchett, head of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, on the pandemic's next steps. (morningstar.com)Andy Slavitt talks with Trevor Bedford on what to expect from Omicron. (podcasts.apple.com)ResignationPeople are largely reacting to Omicron with resignation. (nymag.com)Despite 8,000 deaths a week from Covid most Americans are living as if it is over. (theatlantic.com)Gen Z is done with the pandemic. (theatlantic.com)Mixed mediaThe pandemic shows how our individual actions can cascade into big waves. (theatlantic.com)Why Omicron may be one of the last gasps of the pandemic. (unchartedterritories.tomaspueyo.com)The best books about the pandemic including "Shutdown" by Adam Tooze. (timharford.com).....»»

Category: blogSource: abnormalreturnsDec 18th, 2021

The Week In Cannabis: Pfizer, Visa, $730M+ In Financings, Malta, EU, Columbia Care, MedMen, Uruguay And More

Below is a recap of the main news related to the cannabis industry and markets for the week of December 13, 2021. Contents Pfizer Getting Into Cannabis Visa vs. Cannabis Retailers Malta's Parliament Says Yes To Cannabis Markets M&A Financings Earnings And Dividends THC In Blood, Saliva Poor Measures Of Cannabis Impairment European Union: More THC Percentage Allowed In Industrial Hemp Columbia Care Becomes First Company To Produce Vape Extract Products In The UK Cannabis Company Becomes The First To Have THC, CBD Licenses In Uruguay MedMen To Carry Iconic LA Cannabis Brand Jungle Boys Top Stories Of The Week Pfizer Getting Into Cannabis Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) is entering the cannabis space via the $6.7 billion acquisition of Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARNA). The two publicly-traded companies confirmed Monday that they have signed a definitive agreement under which Pfizer will acquire all outstanding shares of Arena for $100 per share in an all-cash transaction. Pfizer expects to finance the transaction with existing cash on hand upon obtaining all necessary approvals.  “The proposed acquisition of Arena complements our capabilities and expertise in Inflammation and Immunology, a Pfizer innovation engine developing potential therapies for patients with debilitating immuno-inflammatory diseases with a need for more effective treatment options,” stated Mike Gladstone, global president & general manager, Pfizer Inflammation and Immunology. “Utilizing Pfizer’s leading research and global development capabilities, we plan to accelerate the clinical development of etrasimod for patients with immuno-inflammatory diseases.” Etrasimod is Arena's drug candidate for the treatment of immune-mediated and inflammatory diseases. This is not the first time one of the largest pharmaceuticals companies in the world has obtained an interest in a cannabis-related company. Other big players with ties to the cannabis industry include Jazz Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: JAZZ), Novartis AG (NYSE: NVS) and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ). Visa vs. Cannabis Retailers The burgeoning recreational marijuana industry – illegal at the federal level yet legal for adults in some 18 U.S. states and DC – has faced multiple challenges throughout the years, mostly because of the Schedule 1 status of the cannabis plant.   The biggest problem? Banking, of course.  As in life, retailers have had to find a way to work around the system. Some cannabis merchants have begun using cashless ATMs to bypass limitations on the types of sales payment cards they can legally accept.  Benzinga Cannabis’ content is now available in Spanish on El Planteo. One of the largest payment processors in the world, Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) recently issued a compliance memo to customers warning them that incorrectly coding point-of-sale transactions via cashless ATMs could be penalized or punished by unspecified enforcement procedure. Visa’s memo from Dec. 2 obtained by Marijuana Moment revealed that the company is “aware of a scheme” in which retailers are utilizing cashless ATMs to avoid limitations on the types of sales for which payment cards are allowed to be used. “Cashless ATMs are POS devices driven by payment applications that mimic standalone ATMs. However, no cash disbursements are made to cardholders,” the memo clarified. “Instead, the devices are used for purchase transactions, which are miscoded as ATM cash disbursements. Purchase amounts are often rounded up to create the appearance of a cash disbursement.” Although the Visa directive does not specifically mention cannabis, it highlights that cashless ATMs (also called reverse ATMs) “are primarily marketed to merchant types that are unable to obtain payment services—whether due to the Visa Rules, the rules of other networks, or legal or regulatory prohibitions,” a category that covers marijuana businesses. Malta's Parliament Says Yes To Cannabis Malta is poised to become the first country in Europe to legalize the cultivation and possession of cannabis for personal use. The first country? What about the Netherlands? While the Netherlands, and especially Amsterdam, is most commonly associated with cannabis consumption in Europe, marijuana possession and trade are technically illegal there although the Dutch government's relaxed attitude is well-known. Proposed Rules In Malta Under Malta's proposed bill, possession of up to 7g of cannabis, home cultivation of up to four plants and storing up to 50g of dried marijuana will be legally permitted for those aged 18 and above. Those found in possession of up to 28 grams, on the other hand, will be obliged to pay a €50-€100 fine but will not be subjected to a criminal record. Owen Bonnici, the minister responsible for the program, told the Guardian that the Maltese government does not want to encourage the use of drugs, but that there’s no scientific proof that marijuana usage leads to abuse of more dangerous substances. “There is a wave of understanding now that the hard-fist approach against cannabis users was disproportionate, unjust and it was rendering a lot of suffering to people who are leading exemplary lives,” Bonnici said. “But the fact that ...Full story available on Benzinga.com.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaDec 17th, 2021

Pfizer Buys Pharma Rival Arena In All-Cash Deal Worth $6.7 Billion

Pfizer Buys Pharma Rival Arena In All-Cash Deal Worth $6.7 Billion Shares of Arena Pharmaceuticals have doubled in price in premarket trading after Pfizer announced that it had struck a deal to acquire its smaller rival for $100/share in a deal that values the San Deigo-based Arena at $6.7 billion. Pfizer believes it can finance the deal with cash on hand, and thanks to covid, it sure can. Fattened up with its vaccine profits, Pfizer is clearly seizing the opportunity to put some of that money to work by diversifying and paying growth. Investors in both companies should keep in mind that, as part of the deal, warrants will immediately cease to be outstanding and instead will be converted into the right to receive an amount in cash equal to the product of the excess, if any, of the Merger Consideration over the per-share exercise price of such of the options, multiplied by the number of shares then subject to such Company Option. In the press release, Pfizer's Mike Gladstone said buying Arena would complement Pfizer's expertise in immunology, specifically allowing it to better serve patients with immuno-inflammatory diseases. "The proposed acquisition of Arena complements our capabilities and expertise in Inflammation and Immunology, a Pfizer innovation engine developing potential therapies for patients with debilitating immuno-inflammatory diseases with a need for more effective treatment options," said Pfizer's Mike Gladstone. "Utilizing Pfizer's leading research and global development capabilities, we plan to accelerate the clinical development of etrasimod for patients with immuno-inflammatory diseases." Read the press release below: Pfizer and Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc.(Nasdaq: ARNA) today announced that the companies have entered into a definitive agreement under which Pfizer will acquire Arena, a clinical stage company developing innovative potential therapies for the treatment of several immuno-inflammatory diseases. Under the terms of the agreement, Pfizer will acquire all the outstanding shares of Arena for $100 per share in an all-cash transaction for a total equity value of approximately $6.7 billion. The boards of directors of both companies have unanimously approved the transaction. Arena's portfolio includes diverse and promising development-stage therapeutic candidates in gastroenterology, dermatology, and cardiology, including etrasimod, an oral, selective sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) receptor modulator currently in development for a range of immuno-inflammatory diseases including gastrointestinal and dermatological diseases. "The proposed acquisition of Arena complements our capabilities and expertise in Inflammation and Immunology, a Pfizer innovation engine developing potential therapies for patients with debilitating immuno-inflammatory diseases with a need for more effective treatment options," said Mike Gladstone, Global President & General Manager, Pfizer Inflammation and Immunology. "Utilizing Pfizer's leading research and global development capabilities, we plan to accelerate the clinical development of etrasimod for patients with immuno-inflammatory diseases." Arena has built a robust development program for etrasimod, including two Phase 3 studies in ulcerative colitis (UC), a Phase 2/3 program in Crohn's Disease, a planned Phase 3 program in atopic dermatitis, and ongoing Phase 2 studies in eosinophilic esophagitis and alopecia areata. In UC, the randomized, placebo-controlled, dose-ranging, Phase 2 study (OASIS) evaluated the efficacy and safety of etrasimod in moderate to severe UC patients over 12 weeks versus placebo. In the study, most patients who achieved clinical response, clinical remission, or endoscopic improvement at week 12 experienced sustained or improved effects up to week 46 with etrasimod 2 mg in the open-label extension. Etrasimod also demonstrated a favorable benefit/risk profile, consistent with safety findings reported in the double-blind portion of OASIS. The findings are encouraging as there remains significant unmet need for safe and effective oral therapies in UC for patients with inadequate response, loss of response, or intolerance to conventional or advanced therapies. The OASIS trial supported the advancement of the ELEVATE UC 52 and UC 12 trials, which are currently fully enrolled, and for which data are expected in 2022. In addition, Arena's pipeline includes two development-stage cardiovascular assets, temanogrel and APD418. Temanogrel is currently in Phase 2 for the treatment of microvascular obstruction and Raynaud's phenomenon secondary to systemic sclerosis. APD418 is currently in Phase 2 for acute heart failure. "We're delighted to announce Pfizer's proposed acquisition of Arena, recognizing Arena's potentially best in class S1P molecule and our contribution to addressing unmet needs in immune-mediated inflammatory diseases," said Amit D. Munshi, President and Chief Executive Officer of Arena. "Pfizer's capabilities will accelerate our mission to deliver our important medicines to patients. We believe this transaction represents the best next step for both patients and shareholders." Pfizer expects to finance the transaction with existing cash on hand. Under the terms of the merger agreement, Pfizer will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Arena common stock for $100 per share in cash. The proposed transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of regulatory approvals and approval by Arena's stockholders. Pfizer's financial advisors for the transaction are BofA Securities and Centerview Partners LLC, with Ropes & Gray and Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP acting as its legal advisors. Guggenheim Securities, LLC and Evercore Group LLC served as Arena's financial advisors, while Cooley LLP served as its legal advisor. Pfizer Conference Call. Pfizer Inc. invites Pfizer investors and the general public to view and listen to a webcast of a live conference call with investment analysts at 10am. EST on December 13. Tyler Durden Mon, 12/13/2021 - 07:02.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeDec 13th, 2021

Futures Drift Lower In Illiquid Session As Virus Fears Resurface

Futures Drift Lower In Illiquid Session As Virus Fears Resurface After three days of torrid gains, US futures and European markets fell as concerns about economic risks from restrictions to control the new variant outweighed optimism about the efficacy of vaccines after a study from Japan found that the omicron variant is 4.2 times more transmissible (as largely expected) in its early stage than delta. Both S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures dropped around -0.4% as traders awaited earnings from Broadcom, Oracle and Costco after the market close and tomorrow's key CPI print, while European equities drifted lower in quiet trade with little fresh news flow to drive price action. Uncertainty about monetary policy could keep stocks “significantly volatile,” according to Pierre Veyret, a technical analyst at ActivTrades in London. “Investors are likely to remain cautious and keep on monitoring the macro outlook, especially today’s U.S. initial jobless claims, in order to gather more clues on what and when could be the Fed’s next move,” said Veyret. In Asia, China Evergrande Group and Kaisa Group Holdings Ltd. officially defaulted on their dollar debt, while the People’s Bank of China raised its foreign currency reserve requirement ratio for a second time this year after the yuan climbed to the highest since 2018. Among individual moves, CVS Health Corp. jumped in pre-market trading after saying it would buy back shares and raise dividends. Drugmakers including Pfizer rose, while travel companies and airlines declined. European stocks erased gains of as much as 0.3% with the Stoxx 600 trading -0.1% in the red as investors weigh new economic restrictions prompted by the omicron variant against earlier optimism. The real estate subgroup was best performer, up 0.7%; energy company shares lead declines with a drop of 1.2%. The Euro Stoxx 50 is down 0.25%, reversing a modest push into the green at the open. Other cash indexes trade either side of flat. Oil & gas and retail names are the weakest sectors. UniCredit SpA rose after saying it will return at least 16 billion euros ($18.1 billion) to shareholders by 2024. Meanwhile, Electricite de France SA fell with the government considering a cap on regulated power tariffs to help curb soaring electricity prices. Here are some of the biggest European movers today: LPP shares rose as much as 12% after its 3Q earnings beat expectations. The figures confirm a rebound of sales in traditional stores and stronger margins, according to analysts. UniCredit shares gain as much as 8.4%, the most since November 2020, after the Italian lender unveiled its new strategic plan that includes the distribution of at least EU16b to shareholders by 2024. Société Marseillaise du Tunnel Prado Carénage (SMTPC) shares rise as much as 5.5% after Vinci Concessions and Eiffage said they reached a pact to act in concert for a tender offer at EU27/share. Zur Rose drops as much as 7.3% in Zurich after an offering of 650,000 shares priced at CHF290 apiece, representing a 12% discount to the last close. Neste Oyj shares slid as much as 5.7% as investors digested the unexpected resignation of Chief Executive Officer Peter Vanacker from the helm of the world’s biggest maker of renewable diesel. FirstGroup shares fall as much as 5.9% after 1H results, with Chairman David Martin saying the U.K.’s work-from- home edict will “clearly have an impact” on commuter trips. There are potential downside risks to estimates in the short term, if Covid restrictions tighten, according to Liberum (buy). Dr. Martens released solid 1H results, but there’s “nothing material to flag” and unlikely to be upgrades to FY Ebitda estimates, Morgan Stanley says in a note. Shares drop as much as 5.2% after initially gaining 8.9%. Electricite de France shares fall as much as 5.1% after Le Figaro said the French government is considering taking additional steps to keep electricity prices from rising too much amid a spike in energy costs. The global equity rally will be tested as traders expect volatility until there’s more clarity on omicron’s threat to the economy, and ahead of U.S. consumer inflation numbers this week and a Federal Reserve meeting next week that may provide clues on the pace of tapering and interest rate increases. “We are looking to potentially have a rise in volatility even if the market continues higher around those events next week,” said Frances Stacy, Optimal Capital portfolio strategist, on Bloomberg Television. “Many of the catalysts that gave us this boom out of Covid are slowing. And then you have the Fed potentially tapering into a decelerating economy.” Geopolitical tensions are also adding to investor concerns. Germany’s new foreign minister Annalena Baerbock doubled down on warnings from western politicians to Russia over Ukraine, saying that Moscow would pay a high price if it went ahead with an invasion of its neighbor. Separately, the U.S. said it will place SenseTime Group Inc. on an investment blacklist Friday, accusing the artificial intelligence startup of enabling human rights abuses. That’s after the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday passed legislation designed to punish China for its treatment of Uyghur Muslims in the country’s Xinjiang province. Asian stocks rose for a third day as investors reassessed concerns over the new virus strain and factored in the possibility that the Federal Reserve will accelerate the end of its quantitative easing.  The MSCI Asia Pacific Index added as much as 0.5%, extending its advance since Tuesday to almost 3%. Information technology and communication services were the sectors providing the biggest support to the climb, with benchmarks in China and Hong Kong among the region’s best performers. The CSI 300 Index gained 1.7% as consumer stocks rallied.   “The market had been initially wary of the Fed’s hawkish tilt in their stance, and a change in how they view inflation, but investors don’t seem too worried about it anymore,” said Tetsuo Seshimo, a fund manager at Saison Asset Management Co. “But this isn’t a theme that’s going away in the short term.”  Asia’s benchmark headed for its highest since Nov. 25, set to erase losses since the omicron variant was detected during the U.S. Thanksgiving holidays, but still in negative territory for 2021. The S&P 500 Index is up 25% this year, after gaining Wednesday on announcements by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE that early lab studies showed a third dose of their Covid-19 vaccine neutralizes the omicron variant. “Funds are flowing into growth stocks with high estimated profit growth and ROE levels, a continuation of moves seen from yesterday,” said Takashi Ito, an equity market strategist at Nomura Securities in Tokyo. “But there could be some profit taking after the market rose for a few consecutive sessions.” Japanese stocks fell, cooling off after a two-day rally as investors weighed the potential impact of the omicron variant on the global economy. Electronics and auto makers were the biggest drags on the Topix, which fell 0.6%. Fanuc and Tokyo Electron were the largest contributors to a 0.5% loss in the Nikkei 225 Indian stocks ended higher, after swinging between gains and losses several times through the session, as traders shifted their focus to key economic data globally and at home in the days ahead.  The S&P BSE Sensex rose 0.3% to close at 58,807.13 in Mumbai, after falling as much as 0.5% earlier in the day. The gauge has gained 3.6% in the last three sessions, its biggest three-day advance in over a seven-month period, on optimism the economic recovery will be resilient despite the spread of the new Covid variant, with the RBI continuing its policy support intact.  The NSE Nifty 50 Index also advanced by similar magnitude on Thursday. Reliance Industries Ltd. contributed the most to the Sensex gain, rising 1.6%. Out of 30 shares in the Sensex index, equal number of stocks rose and fell. Fifteen of 19 sectoral indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. gained, led by a gauge of capital goods companies. The Reserve Bank of India kept borrowing costs at a record-low on Wednesday and voted 5-1 to retain its accommodative policy stance for as long as is necessary, reflecting its bias to support economic growth. The RBI expects the economy to expand 9.5% expansion in the year ending March, one of the fastest paces among the major growing world economies.  Markets’ focus will now shift to U.S. inflation data this week and a Federal Reserve meeting next week, which may provide clues on the pace of tapering and policy tightening. India will release its factory output data on Friday and consumer-price inflation on Monday.  “All eyes will be on crucial macro data (CPI & IIP) outcome which may further provide some direction to the markets,” Ajit Mishra, vice-president research at Religare Broking Ltd., wrote in a note. “The focus will remain on the global cues and updates regarding the new variant. We reiterate our cautious yet positive stance on the markets and suggest traders to focus on managing risk.” Australian stocks edged lower as miners, consumer shares retreated. The S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 0.3% to close at 7,384.50, snapping a four-day winning streak. Miners and consumer discretionary shares contributed the most to the benchmark’s decline. Redbubble was the worst performer, dropping the most since Oct. 14. Sydney Airport was among the top performers after regulators cleared a proposed takeover of the company. The stock also joined a global rally in travel shares after Pfizer and BioNTech said initial lab studies show a third dose of their Covid-19 vaccine may be effective at neutralizing the omicron variant. In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.8% to 12,771.83 In rates, Treasury yields were mostly lower, led by the long end of the curve, while underperforming German bunds. 10Y TSY yields are lower by ~2bp at 1.4973%, trailing declines of 3bp-5bp for most European 10-year yields but remaining above 200-DMA, which it closed above Wednesday for first time since Nov. 29. Treasury futures trade near session highs, with cash yields lower by 3bp-4bp from the 5-year sector to the long end, inside Wednesday’s bear-steepening ranges. European bond markets lead the move, led by Ireland which cut 2022 issuance plans, as virus concerns weighed on most equity markets. U.S. auction cycle concludes with $22b 30-year reopening at 1pm ET, following two Fed purchase operations. Wednesday’s 10Y reopening auction drew 1.518%, tailing by about 0.4bp; Tuesday’s 3Y, which drew 1.000%, also trades at a profit, yielding 0.989% The WI 30Y yield 1.865% is below auction stops since January as sector has benefited from expectations that Fed rate increases beginning next year may strain the economy, as well as from strong equity-market performance driving increased allocation to bonds In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index resumed its ascent, climbing 0.2% as the dollar advanced versus all Group-of-10 peers apart from the yen. TRY and ZAR are the weakest in EMFX.  The euro retreated, nearing the $1.13 handle and after touching a one-week high yesterday. One-week volatility for euro and sterling has risen to multi-month highs, with meetings by the Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank and the Bank of England in focus. The British pound fell as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. pushed back its forecast for a U.K. rate hike and business groups called for government support after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced restrictions to curb the spread of the variant, which Bloomberg Economics estimates could cost the economy as much as 2 billion pounds ($2.6 billion) a month. A study found omicron is 4.2 times more transmissible than the delta variant in its early stages.   The pound hovered near its lowest level in more than a year against the dollar as fresh coronavirus restrictions weighed on the U.K.’s economic outlook. Expectations that the Bank of England will raise interest rates next Thursday continue to wane, with markets pricing less than six basis points of hikes. Goldman pushed back its forecast for a U.K. rate hike and business groups called for government support after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced restrictions to curb the spread of the variant, which Bloomberg Economics estimates could cost the economy as much as 2 billion pounds ($2.6 billion) a month. A study found omicron is 4.2 times more transmissible than the delta variant in its early stages. Norway’s krone led losses among G-10 currencies as it snapped a three-day rally that had taken it to an almost three-week high against the greenback. In commodities, Crude futures drift lower. WTI slips back near $72 having stalled near $73 during Asian trade. Brent dips 0.5%, finding support just above $75. Spot gold trades flat near $1,782/oz Looking at the day ahead now, and it’s a quiet one on the calendar, with data releases including the US weekly initial jobless claims, as well as the German trade balance for October. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures down 0.2% to 4,691.00 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.2% to 478.52 MXAP up 0.4% to 195.63 MXAPJ up 0.7% to 638.47 Nikkei down 0.5% to 28,725.47 Topix down 0.6% to 1,990.79 Hang Seng Index up 1.1% to 24,254.86 Shanghai Composite up 1.0% to 3,673.04 Sensex up 0.3% to 58,839.03 Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.3% to 7,384.46 Kospi up 0.9% to 3,029.57 Brent Futures down 0.3% to $75.58/bbl Gold spot up 0.0% to $1,783.15 U.S. Dollar Index up 0.20% to 96.09 German 10Y yield little changed at -0.34% Euro down 0.2% to $1.1318 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg European Central Bank governors are to discuss a temporary increase in the Asset Purchase Program with limits on the size and time of the commitment at a Dec. 16 meeting, Reuters reports, citing six people familiar with the matter Hungary raised interest rates for a fifth time in less than a month as policy makers try to rein in the fastest inflation in 14 years. The central bank hiked the one-week deposit rate by 20 basis points on Thursday to 3.3%, broadly matching the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey China’s central bank has signaled a limit to its tolerance for the yuan’s recent advance by setting its reference rate at a weaker-than-expected level China Evergrande Group and Kaisa Group Holdings were downgraded to restricted default by Fitch Ratings, which cited missed dollar bond interest payments in Evergrande’s case and failure to repay a $400 million dollar bond in Kaisa’s. Evergrande Group’s inability to meet its obligations will be dealt with in a market-oriented way, the head of the nation’s central bank said PBOC is exploring interlinking the e-CNY, as the digital yuan is known, system into the Faster Payment System in Hong Kong, says Mu Changchun, head of the Chinese central bank’s Digital Currency Institute Money managers have shown some tentative signs that they may be willing to start buying more Chinese dollar bonds again, after demand for the securities plunged to a 27-month low in November Greece plans to early repay the total amount of IMF’s bailout loan to the country in the first quarter of 2022, Finance Minister Christos Staikouras says in a Parapolitika radio interview The omicron variant of Covid-19 is 4.2 times more transmissible in its early stage than delta, according to a study by a Japanese scientist who advises the country’s health ministry, a finding likely to confirm fears about the new strain’s contagiousness Pfizer will have data telling how well its vaccine prevents infections with the omicron variant before the end of the year A detailed look at global markets courtesy of newsquawk Asian equity markets eventually traded mixed as the early tailwinds from the US gradually waned despite the recent encouragement on the vaccine front. All major US indices were underpinned in which the S&P 500 reclaimed the 4,700 level and approached closer to its ATHs, while Apple extended on record levels and moved closer to USD 3tln valuation. The ASX 200 (-0.3%) was initially kept afloat by resilience in defensives, although upside was restricted amid weakness in tech alongside concerns of a further deterioration in ties with China after Australia’s decision to boycott the Beijing Winter Olympics. The Nikkei 225 (-0.5%) was rangebound with the Japanese benchmark stalled by resistance ahead of the 29k level, although the downside was cushioned by recent currency weakness and a modest improvement in the Business Survey Index. The Hang Seng (+1.1%) and Shanghai Comp. (+1.0%) outperformed after China’s NDRC pledged support measures to boost consumption in rural areas and with some chatter regarding the possibility of another RRR cut in Q1 next year according SGH Macro citing a senior Chinese official. Furthermore, participants digested mixed inflation data from China including firmer than expected factory gate prices. CPI Y/Y was softer than forecast but it still registered the fastest pace of increase since August last year. Finally, 10yr JGBs briefly declined below the 152.00 level following the bear steepening stateside in which T-notes tested 130.00 to the downside and following a somewhat tepid US 10yr offering in which the b/c increased from prior but remained short of the six-auction average, while the results of the 5yr JGB auction were mixed and failed to spur prices with higher accepted prices offset by a weaker b/c. Top Asian News Evergrande Declared in Default as Massive Restructuring Looms China Dollar Junk Bonds Up After Fitch Move on Kaisa, Evergrande Gold Steady as Traders Assess Virus Risk Before Inflation Data China’s Credit Growth Rebounds After Slowing for Almost a Year Stocks in Europe trade have drifted lower in recent trade, giving up the modest gains seen at the open (Euro Stoxx 50 -0.5%, Stoxx 600 -0.2%), and following the mixed lead from APAC and amidst a lack of fresh fundamental catalysts. US equity futures are also subdued, with a relatively broad-based performance seen across the ES (-0.3%), NQ (-0.4%), YM (-0.3%) alongside some mild underperformance in the RTY (-0.6%). Markets are awaiting tomorrow’s US CPI metrics, but more importantly, are gearing up for next week’s blockbuster FOMC confab. Desks have attributed this week’s rebound to several factors working in unison, including a milder Omicron variant (thus far), Chinese policy easing, FOMO, buybacks/upbeat corporate commentary alongside the widely telegraphed hawkish Fed pivot. On the last note, it’s also worth keeping in mind that the rotating voters next year on the FOMC will be more hawkish with the addition of George, Mester and Bullard as voters, albeit some empty spots remain – namely Brainard’s spot as she takes over the Vice-Chair position. Back to Europe, sectors are mostly in the green but portray a defensive bias – with Healthcare, Telecoms, Food & Beverages and Personal & Household Goods at the top of the bunch, whilst Oil & Gas, Retail and Travel & Leisure resides on the other end of the spectrum. In terms of individual moves, UniCredit (+7.8%) shot up to the top of the Stoxx 600 after unveiling its 2024 targets – with the Co. looking to return at least EUR 16bln via dividend and buybacks between 2021-24. Sticking with banks, Deutsche Bank (-2.1%) is pressured after the US DoJ reportedly told Deutsche Bank it may have violated a criminal settlement, due to failures in alerting authorities about internal complaints at its asset management unit, according to sources. Elsewhere, AstraZeneca (+1.0%) is supported as its long-acting antibody combination received emergency use authorisation in the US for COVID-19 prevention in some individuals. Finally, Rolls-Royce (-3.7%) slipped despite an overall positive trading update. Top European News Rolls-Royce Sinks as Omicron Clouds Outlook for 2022 Comeback Harbour Energy Plans Dividend But Pushes Back Tolmount Again Toxic U.K. Tory Press Is Flashing Warning Sign for Boris Johnson Credit Suisse Chairman Horta-Osorio Broke Quarantine Rules In FX, the Greenback remains rangy amidst undulating US Treasury yields and a fluid flow of Omicron related headlines that are filling the void until this week’s main macro release arrives tomorrow in the form of CPI data. However, the index is drifting down in almost ever decreasing circles having retreated a bit further from peaks to a marginally deeper sub-96.000 trough on Wednesday, at 95.848, and forming a fractionally firmer base currently to stay within contact of the psychological level within a narrow 96.154-95.941 band, thus far. Ahead, latest jobless claims updates and the last refunding leg comprising Usd 22 bn long bonds after a reasonable 10 year outing, overall. CHF/EUR/CAD - No obvious reaction to Swiss SECO forecasts even though supply bottlenecks and stricter COVID-19 measures are putting a strain on the economy internationally in winter 2021/22, according to the Government affiliated body. Similarly, ECB sources reporting that views on the GC are converging on a limited, temporary increase of the APP at December’s policy meeting, via an envelope or time specified increase with more frequent reviews, hardly impacted the Euro, as Eur/Usd remained towards the bottom of a 1.1346-16 range and Usd/Chf continued to straddle 0.9200, albeit mostly on the weaker side. Meanwhile, the Loonie has also slipped to the back of the major ranks following yesterday’s largely non BoC event against the backdrop of softer crude prices and an indifferent risk tone, with Usd/Cad hovering mainly above 1.2650 between 1.2645-80 parameters. JPY/GBP/NZD/AUD - All sticking to tight confines against their US peer, as the Yen rotates around 113.50 again and Pound pivots 1.3200 in limbo awaiting top tier UK data on Friday that might shed more light on what is gearing up to be another tight BoE rate call next week. Moreover, Usd/Jpy looks pretty well and heavily flanked by option expiry interest either side and in between its 113.81-35 extremes given large amounts running off at the NY cut - see 6.59GMT post on the Headline Feed for full details. Elsewhere, the pendulum has swung down under in favour of the hitherto underperforming Kiwi, as Nzd/Usd popped over 0.6800 and Aud/Nzd stalled ahead of 1.0550 alongside a pull back in Aud/Usd from 0.7185+ at best to test support into 0.7150 in wake of comments by RBA’s Harker and the RBNZ rebalancing its TWI. In short, the former said Australia’s economy can run hot while dodging the runaway inflation that’s plaguing much of the world, signaling monetary policy will stay ultra-loose for some time yet, while the latter culminated in a bigger Cny contribution at 27% from 23.5%. SCANDI/EM - Another day and more appreciation for the Cnh and Cny, at least in early hours, with validation via the PBoC setting a sub-6.3500 midpoint fix for the onshore Yuan vs Buck. However, the offshore then re-weakened past 6.3500 per Dollar after the Chinese central bank opted to raise the FX RRR by 2ppts - effective 15th Dec. Meanwhile, the Nok gives back after midweek gains as Brent slips with WTI to the detriment of the Rub and Mxn as well. Conversely, the Huf has a further 20 bp 1 week repo hike from the NBH to lean on and the Brl got a boost from 150 bp tightening on top of the BCB signalling the same again when COPOM delivers its next SELIC rate call. In commodities, WTI and Brent front month futures have drifted lower from their best levels printed overnight, which saw WTI Jan briefly mount USD 73.00/bbl and Brent Feb eclipse 76.50/bbl. The complex was unfazed by WSJ source reports suggesting the Biden administration is said to be moving to tighten enforcement of sanctions against Iran, whilst US officials say if there is no progress in the nuclear talks. This comes ahead of the resumption of nuclear talks today, albeit the US delegation will only travel to Vienne over the weekend. With the likelihood of an imminent deal somewhat slim, participants will be eyeing any further deterioration in relations alongside additional demand/sanctions. Aside from that, price action will likely be dictated by the overall market tone in the absence of macro catalysts. Elsewhere, reports suggested the Marathon pipeline has been shut due to a crude oil leak estimated to be around 10 barrels from the 20-inch diameter Illinois pipeline, but again the headlines failed to spur the oil complex. Over to metals, spot gold trades sideways and remains under that cluster of DMAs which today sees the 100 at 1,790/oz, 200 and 1,792.50/oz and 50 and 1,795/oz. LME copper meanwhile has been drifting lower since the end of APAC trade, but the contract remains north of USD 9,500/t. US Event Calendar 8:30am: Dec. Initial Jobless Claims, est. 220,000, prior 222,000; Continuing Claims, est. 1.91m, prior 1.96m 9:45am: Dec. Langer Consumer Comfort, prior 51.0 10am: Oct. Wholesale Inventories MoM, est. 2.2%, prior 2.2%; Wholesale Trade Sales MoM, est. 1.0%, prior 1.1% 12pm: 3Q US Household Change in Net Wor, prior $5.85t DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap On the theme of advertising, here’s a final reminder about our special monthly survey for 2022, which will be closing today at 1pm London time. We ask about rates, equities, and the path of Covid-19 in 2022, amongst other things, and also return to a festive question we asked in 2019, namely your favourite ever Christmas songs. The link is here and it’s your last chance to complete. All help filling in very much appreciated. Following the strongest 2-day equity performance so far this year, yesterday saw the rally begin to peter out amidst growing concern that another round of restrictions over the coming weeks could set back the economic recovery. Ultimately the issue from a health perspective is that even if Omicron does prove to be less severe, which the initial indications so far have pointed to, a rise in transmissibility could offset that, and ultimately mean that more people are in hospital as a much bigger number of people would actually get Covid-19, even if a lower proportion of them are severely affected. We’ll start with the good news, and one new piece of information yesterday was that Pfizer and BioNTech announced the results from an initial study showing that three doses of their vaccine neutralised the Omicron variant of Covid-19. President Biden tweeted that the new data was “encouraging” and said it reinforced the point that boosters offer the highest protection, whilst Pfizer’s chief executive said that the final verdict would be the real-world efficacy data, which they expect to see toward the end of this year. We also had an update from the EU’s ECDC, who said that of the 337 Omicron cases reported in the EU/EEA so far, all of them were either asymptomatic or mild where severity was available, and that no deaths had yet been reported. Obviously, these sample sizes aren’t big enough to come to concrete conclusions yet, but if things continue this way that’s clearly a promising sign. On the other hand, the spread of infections has continued in South Africa, and the country reported 19,482 cases, which is the highest number since Omicron was first reported. That comes as a study from a Japanese scientist advising the health ministry in Japan said that Omicron was 4.2 times more transmissible than delta in its early stage. That hasn’t been peer-reviewed yet but would certainly back up all the other indications that this is a much more transmissible variant than seen before. These growing warning signs have led governments to keep toughening up restrictions, and here in the UK, the government announced they’d be moving to “Plan B” in England, which will see the reintroduction of guidance to work from home from Monday, and an extension of face masks to most public indoor venues. They will also be making Covid-19 passes mandatory for nightclubs and venues with large crowds, though a negative test will also be sufficient. That comes as cases have continued to rise, with the 7-day average now above 48,000 and at its highest level since January. Separately in Denmark, the government said that schools would close early for the Christmas break, amongst other restrictions. Equities struggled against this backdrop, with Europe’s STOXX 600 down -0.59%, although the S&P 500 managed to pare back its earlier losses to eke out a +0.31% gain. Cyclicals underperformed, but we did see volatility continue to subside, with the VIX down to its lowest closing level since Omicron emerged, at 19.9pts. In addition, there was an outperformance from tech stocks, with the NASDAQ (+0.64%) and the FANG+ index (+0.62%) seeing solid gains. The increasing risk-off tone didn’t bother oil prices either, with Brent crude (+0.50%) and WTI (+0.43%) continuing their run of gains this week, including further gains overnight, whilst European natural gas futures (+5.86%) closed above €100 per megawatt-hour for the first time in nearly 2 months. Over in sovereign bond markets, yields moved higher on both sides of the Atlantic for the most part, with those on 10yr Treasuries up +4.8bps to 1.52%, though this morning they’re down by -1.2bps. That’s the first time they’ve closed back above 1.5% since the session just before Thanksgiving, ahead of the news emerging about the Omicron variant. In Europe, there was an even bigger sell-off, with yields on 10yr bunds (+6.3bps), OATs (+6.9bps) and BTPs (+10.4bps) all moving higher, alongside a further widening in peripheral spreads. This more mixed performance has continued overnight in Asia, with a number of indices trading higher including the CSI (+1.76%), the Shanghai Composite (+1.03%), Hang Seng (+0.89%), and the KOSPI (+0.37%). However, both the Nikkei (-0.27%) and Australia’s ASX 200 (-0.28%) lost ground. On the data front, China’s inflation numbers this morning showed that CPI rose to +2.3% year-on-year in November, slightly lower than forecast +2.5%, albeit still the highest since last August. The PPI readings remained much stronger, but did fall back from a 26-year high last month to +12.9% year-on-year (vs. +12.1% forecast). Looking ahead, futures are indicating a mixed start in the US & Europe with S&P 500 (-0.13%) and DAX (+0.12%) seeing modest moves in either direction. Overnight we also heard from President Biden on Russia, who said that he hoped to announce high-level talks by tomorrow where they would discuss Russian concerns about NATO, and that this would include at least four major NATO allies. President Biden said the meeting was an explicit attempt to “bring down the temperature along the eastern front” that’s ramped up over recent days and weeks. Nevertheless, President Biden reinforced that the US was ready to implement severe economic sanctions should Russia invade Ukraine, telling reporters that he said to Putin there would be “economic consequences like none he’s ever seen”. Back to yesterday, and the Bank of Canada kept policy on hold at their meeting, as was expected. The bank reinforced their expectation for the 2 percent inflation target to be sustainably achieved in the “middle quarters of 2022”. Like other DM central banks, they are focused on persistently elevated inflation, which they tied to supply constraints that will take some time to alleviate. We had some rate hikes elsewhere, however, yesterday with Brazil’s central bank taking rates up by 150bps to 9.25%, whilst Poland’s hiked rates by +50bps to 1.75%. The main data of note yesterday were the US job openings for October, which rose to 11.033m (vs. 10.469m expected) after 2 successive monthly declines. Notably the quits rate, which is a good indicator of labour market tightness, saw its first monthly decline since May as it came down to 2.8%, from an all-time record of 3.0%. To the day ahead now, and it’s a quiet one on the calendar, with data releases including the US weekly initial jobless claims, as well as the German trade balance for October. Tyler Durden Thu, 12/09/2021 - 07:55.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytDec 9th, 2021