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With Low Vaccination Rates, Africa"s COVID Deaths Remain Far Below Europe & US

With Low Vaccination Rates, Africa's COVID Deaths Remain Far Below Europe & US Authored by Ryan McMaken via The Mises Institute, Since the very beginning of the covid panic, the narrative has been this: implement severe lockdowns or your population will experience a bloodbath. Morgues will be overwhelmed, the death total toll will be astounding. On the other hand, we were assured those jurisdictions that do lock down would see only a fraction of the death toll. Then, once vaccines became available, the narrative was modified to: "Get shots in arms and then covid will stop spreading. Those countries without vaccines, on the other hand, will continue to face mass casualties." The lockdown narrative, of course, has already been thoroughly overturned. Jurisdictions that did not lock down or adopted only weak and short lockdowns ended up with covid death tolls that were either similar to—or even better than—death tolls in countries that adopted draconian lockdowns. Lockdown advocates said locked-down countries would be overwhelmingly better off. These people were clearly wrong.  Undaunted by the increasing implausibility of the lockdown narrative, the global health bureaucrats are nonetheless doubling down on forced vaccines—as we now see in Austria—and we continue to be assured that only countries with high vaccination rates can hope to avoid disastrous covid outcomes.  Yet, the experience in sub-Saharan Africa calls both these narratives into question: Africa's numbers have been far, far lower than the experts warned would be the case.  For example, the AP reported this week that in spite of low vaccination rates, Africa has fared better than most of the world: [T]here is something “mysterious” going on in Africa that is puzzling scientists, said Wafaa El-Sadr, chair of global health at Columbia University. “Africa doesn’t have the vaccines and the resources to fight COVID-19 that they have in Europe and the U.S., but somehow they seem to be doing better,” she said…. Fewer than 6% of people in Africa are vaccinated. For months, the WHO has described Africa as “one of the least affected regions in the world” in its weekly pandemic reports. Yet disaster for Africa has long been predicted for several reasons even beyond the availability of vaccines. For instance, it is known that lockdowns are especially impractical in the poorest parts of the world. This is because populations in places with undeveloped economies can’t simply sit at home and live off savings or debt. Rather, these people must go out into the world and earn a living on a day-to-day basis. Starvation is the alternative. Moreover, much of this work is done in the informal economy, so enforcing lockdowns becomes especially difficult. Source: Our World in Data (Confirmed Deaths per Million, November 19, 2021;  Share of People Vaccinated against Covid-19, November 19, 2021). It was also assumed covid would be especially deadly in Africa due to the fact many large households live in small housing units. But that "conventional wisdom" flies in the face of the reality of covid in Africa, which is that there have been fewer deaths. The "experts" have groped around, looking for possible explanations. Some sources, for example, insist that the low death totals are only an artifact of incomplete reporting on covid infections and that "a lack of good qualitative data was the issue." But Richard Wamai at Northeastern University rejects the claim it’s all about case reporting, and says that "local systems for reporting deaths in Africa make it difficult to hide COVID-19 casualties." In a paper for the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Wamai and his coauthors conclude, "[T]here is no evidence that COVID-19 mortality data is less accurately reported in Africa than elsewhere" and "While the true picture of infections and mortality in the continent has yet to fully emerge, the quality of data for other diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, indicates that Africa has the capacity to collect and report valid disease surveillance data." In any case, the World Health Organization reports that covid deaths in Africa make up only 2.9 percent of covid deaths, while Africa’s population is 16 percent of the global total. Africa’s covid total could double or triple, and Africa would still be faring far better than Europe and the Americas. Wamai et al. also note that at this point "[i]t is likely that SARS-CoV-2 has already been widely disseminated through Africa…. If so, widespread infection is likely to also result in widespread natural immunity." In other words, continued claims by health officials—both in Africa and elsewhere—that mass death is right around the corner with the "next wave" look increasingly implausible.  It looks increasingly likely that the lack of covid mortality in Africa is not due to a data issue nor a situation in which covid has been "contained" up until now. So then why is Africa doing so much better than the wealthy West? Naturally, the advocates of forced lockdowns and coerced vaccines would prefer to ignore this issue altogether, but the undeniable reality of Africa’s experience has forced mainstream researchers to publicly admit the many ways that many factors can explain covid's prevalence beyond vaccination rates and mask mandates. For instance, mentioning that obesity is an important factor in covid mortality has in the past been likely to get one savaged in the media for "fat shaming." Yet the Africa situation has forced the well informed to admit that yes, obese populations clearly suffer more from covid. In Africa, not surprisingly, we find that obesity rates are far below those found in North America and Europe. Other possible explanations forwarded as reasons for Africa’s situation include past exposure to other coronaviruses, youthful populations, fewer patients lacking zinc and vitamin D, past use of the Bacillus Calmette-Guérin vaccination, climate, genetic background, and parasite load.  In addressing the African "enigma" one group of researchers in the journal Colombia medica dared even suggest it’s possible—although not conclusively shown at this point—that “a mass public health preventive campaign against COVID-19 may have taken place, inadvertently, in some African countries with massive community ivermectin use.” Source: "Global Obesity Levels," ProCon.org, last modified March 27, 2020; Our World in Data (Share of People Vaccinated against Covid-19, November 19, 2021). In the West, however, the media drumbeat around covid has consistently been "Shut up, stay home, get jabbed, and stop doubting the experts on forced vaccines." Fortunately, however, the African situation has forced many researchers to ask inconvenient questions. In fact, it’s amazing Africa has not been overcome by mass death considering that covid lockdowns and covid "mitigation" measures have contributed to the impoverishment and mass starvation on the continent. Or as Germany’s DW News puts it, “Measures put in place to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus are pushing millions of people in Africa into severe hunger.” And as Wamai notes, “[S]ome of the excess deaths in Africa “can be attributed not to the disease, but to lockdown measures that cut off access to medical care for other illnesses.” But Africa hasn’t gotten the bloodbath that was promised, and as one Nigerian put it, "They said there will be dead bodies on the streets and all that, but nothing like that happened." Tyler Durden Thu, 11/25/2021 - 05:10.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 25th, 2021

Why Biden"s Vaccine Mandate Hasn"t Delivered The Promised Results

Why Biden's Vaccine Mandate Hasn't Delivered The Promised Results Authored by Gilbert Berdine, M.D., via The Mises Institute, The conflict over covid vaccines is coming to a climax. The Biden administration released its vaccine mandate. Enterprises with more than one hundred employees will be required to demonstrate that all employees either are fully vaccinated or both wear masks and are tested on a weekly basis. Texas has already challenged the constitutional basis for the mandate and the initial federal court ruling has blocked the mandate. The final court outcome of this case is uncertain. The scientific basis for the mandate is dubious. We are told that the vaccine is effective and safe. If this assertion were true, there would be no reason for coercion, as everyone would voluntarily take the vaccine. Furthermore, anyone taking the vaccine would have nothing to fear from the unvaccinated. If the vaccine worked, then everyone taking the vaccine would be protected. Of course, the vaccine does not work for everyone. Since the vaccine does not work for everyone, it becomes a judgment call whether the risk of vaccination is worth the benefit. Contrary to what is claimed on a daily basis, the vaccine is not safe. There is a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention database of adverse effects. As of November 7, 2021, there were 2,725,582 adverse events in 634,609 adverse event reports, including 8,284 deaths, 9,726 life-threatening events, 9,580 permanent disabilities, 363 congenital anomalies or birth defects, 38,818 hospitalizations, 79,615 ER visits, and 121,100 doctor's office visits attributed to the covid vaccines. These are only the risks we know about so far. Nobody knows what the adverse effects will be one, five, or ten years from now. The risk versus benefit calculation is purely subjective, as the risks are unknown currently. Even if the total risk were limited to what is currently known, the risk versus benefit calculation would remain purely subjective, because death from covid and death from blood clots and other known covid vaccine complications are not directly comparable, as individual fear of one type of death is not equal to the fear of all other types of death. Furthermore, the benefits to society of an individual covid vaccination are not necessarily the same for the person taking the risk of the vaccination due to the very large disparity in risk versus age. While it may be noble to voluntarily accept a risk to benefit someone else, it is immoral to coerce someone to accept a risk to benefit someone else. How effective are the vaccines? Claims of effectiveness are based on selective use of data that do not represent a true cross section of the population. I have previously shown the benefit of an increasing vaccination rate to be very small in the US. Source: Data for the fifty US states and the District of Columbia. Each data point represents a state or DC. Vaccination rates are from usafacts.org. Covid deaths are from Worldometer. Data are from August 25, 2021. Figure 1 analyzes efficacy based on the entire US population. The number to vaccinate in order to prevent a single death can be calculated from the slope of the regression line. As of August 25, 2021, it takes over twenty-five hundred vaccinations to prevent a single death in the US. The data for the developed world are worse. The slope of the regression line for a plot of new cases versus percentage of the population vaccinated is positive for the eighty countries with the highest per capita GDP—increasing vaccination rate increases the number of new covid cases. The Biden mandate, as structured, does not make any scientific sense. The goal of the mandate is to ensure a safe working environment. However, there is no scientific evidence that covid vaccines prevent the transmission of the virus or decrease the viral load in infected persons. A fully vaccinated worker can transmit covid to coworkers, so any testing requirements for safe work environment reasons should equally apply to all workers irrespective of vaccination status. At this time, the only scientific argument in favor of vaccination is that one may be less likely to be hospitalized or die from covid following vaccination, but that has nothing to do with work environment safety. There is no scientific basis for extending the mandate to enterprises with one hundred or more employees. As stated above, it takes over twenty-five hundred vaccinations to prevent a single death. The mandate cannot be justified for enterprises with fewer than about five thousand workers. The only way we will be able to make informed decisions about vaccination in the future is by monitoring adverse events. A vaccine mandate, if effective, would eliminate the control population, making it impossible to determine whether adverse events are due to the vaccine. There is no scientific justification for eliminating the control group, but perhaps this is a “feature rather than a bug,” to shield pharmaceutical companies from future liability. Mandating a 100 percent compliance rate for an experimental vaccine with completely unknown long-term consequences is hubris on an unprecedented scale. The Biden mandate could be the CDC’s attempt to win the next Darwin Award and unwittingly solve the Fermi Paradox. What would the effect of 100 percent vaccination rate be on the virus? Contrary to claims, the virus will not disappear. The next outbreak would occur within a year and would be 100 percent breakthrough cases with a vaccine-resistant strain. Then we would need another vaccine mandate, and another, ad infinitum. There is a presumption that a vaccine mandate will even increase the number of vaccinations. Just as proponents of lockdowns failed to predict the adverse consequences of lockdowns, the proponents of vaccine mandates have failed to predict what will actually take place. My predictions about lockdowns were pretty spot on. It will take some time to resolve the court challenges against vaccine mandates. The outcomes of these challenges are uncertain. If the courts fail to protect individual autonomy, I predict four possible outcomes for society. The least harmful outcome would be for black markets to emerge enabling those who decline vaccination to pretend that they have been vaccinated. Possible black markets include fake vaccine certificates. The fakes could include counterfeit documents, healthcare workers selling legitimate certificates, or healthcare workers issuing a legitimate certificate after jabbing someone with saline. There will likely emerge a robust market for medical exemptions. Given that everyone has reason to fear myocarditis or adverse events from blood clots, any person has a legitimate reason to obtain a medical exemption from a licensed practitioner. The only question is whether practitioners will serve the legitimate health concerns of their patients or serve as shills for the Biden administration. If the black markets are not tolerated, the next least harmful scenario would be for individual states to refuse to enforce the mandates. I am hopeful for this scenario in my home state of Texas. Recent actions by the governor and attorney general of Texas give me reason to be optimistic. People who cannot live with the unvaccinated would migrate to states with enforced mandates, and people who decline vaccinations would migrate to states where there is no enforcement of mandates. This might remain peaceful—or not. I believe that proponents of mandates underestimate the degree of conviction of those who decline the covid vaccines. Wherever people are not permitted to remain unvaccinated, the next least harmful scenario is that a percentage of people will quit their jobs rather than be vaccinated. I estimate that at least 10 percent of physicians and 20 percent of nurses will quit rather than be vaccinated. This is already having adverse effects in some healthcare markets. The emergency medical services (EMS) system seems particularly vulnerable to this outcome. Southwest Airlines recently had disruption of service due to a “sickout” protest of the vaccine mandate. Similar events in hospitals could precipitate a catastrophic collapse of the US healthcare system. Be careful what you wish for. The worst-case scenario is outright civil war. This is too horrible to contemplate, but this possibility is real. President Biden said his patience is wearing thin. That works both ways. Things are getting tense in Australia. It could happen here, too. Tyler Durden Mon, 11/15/2021 - 13:10.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 15th, 2021

Noam Chomsky Goes Off The Deep End – Proving That All Socialism Leads To Tyranny

Noam Chomsky Goes Off The Deep End – Proving That All Socialism Leads To Tyranny Authored by Brandon Smith via Alt-Market.us, I was recently watching a new interview with 92-year-old Noam Chomsky, a figure of general worship among leftist academics, and I began reminiscing about the first time I read the book ‘Manufacturing Consent’. Though I have never agreed with Chomsky’s politics I have always appreciated his analysis on the methods the establishment uses to control mass psychology and silence popular discourse. I have long felt that this was an area where the political left and conservatives might intersect in our views and find common ground. This is why I felt an extra dose of disappointment when I witnessed Chomsky go off the deep end this week and suggest that people who refuse to comply with vaccine mandates need to be ostracized from society. Chomsky compared people who don’t comply with the vaccines to people who don’t comply with traffic lights, suggesting we pose an imminent danger to others and that we should be removed. When asked how unvaxxed people forced out of the economy could be fed (how would they survive), he asserted “that is their problem.” Chomsky does not explicitly say that force should be used to eliminate the unvaxxed from social participation, he merely insinuates that “actions” might be required to get the desired effect. I was around 20 years of age back in 2001 when I first read Manufacturing Consent. I was young and not fully aware at the time of a basic function of the political left and socialism that is vital to understand: Many people claim there is a “spectrum” of political beliefs on the left and that there are those that support socialism or centralization while also supporting freedom, but this is simply not so. At the core of their ideology freedom has no home, and when pressed on where they truly stand every socialist WILL eventually support tyranny as a means to achieve their Utopian vision of society. Chomsky has long claimed himself to be a “libertarian socialist.” In the past I have found that a classic misdirection of covertly authoritarian people is to tack the “libertarian” label onto whatever they believe in. Con-men like Chomsky figure that most normies don’t actually know what libertarianism is, but they’ll assume it means that you “support liberty.” It’s a calculated abuse of the ideology designed to mask the collectivist’s true intentions. I don’t even know that I personally fit into the libertarian framework, but I do hold some of its basic tenets as fundamental. A key pillar of libertarianism is the Non-Aggression Principle – A foundational rule for society that says the use of force or coercion to impose one’s beliefs or ideology on others is wrong, and the use of force in general is wrong unless it is in defense of yourself or the lives of others. The problem with socialists and collectivists is that they ALWAYS find a way to claim that their brand of force is somehow in defense of the lives of others. That is to say, the “greater good” is the go-to excuse for all modern totalitarians. Chomsky will claim that his hard-line stance against unvaccinated people is predicated on saving lives, and that’s the great swindle. When science and logic is applied, we see that the vax mandates have nothing to do with protecting the lives or safety of the public. That said, those same mandates are very effective in elevating the socialist goal of total centralization. How convenient… Chomsky’s bias is evident in the lack of rational thought he puts forward. In fact, Chomsky never addresses the basic contradictions inherent in his claim that traffic laws and vaccine mandates are the same. Firstly, covid mandates are NOT laws; they are dictates that have never been voted on by a single legislature nor the American people. This means mandates are meaningless in a legal sense. At least with new traffic laws the voters or legislators get some say in potential changes. The vaccine mandates are purely totalitarian in nature and completely circumvent all constitutional checks and balances. Imagine if one day Biden assumed defacto control over all traffic rules, and then claimed the authority to deny all people who run red lights access to the majority of jobs and the overall economy? That would be absurd, right? Well, that’s exactly what Biden and his globalist handlers are doing with the covid mandates. Secondly, obeying a traffic light is not the same as allowing yourself to be injected with a barely tested experimental mRNA cocktail – a “vaccine” which numerous health and virology professionals have warned could have potentially damaging side effects including autoimmune disorders, blood clots and infertility. Traffic lights have been in existence for decades; we know a red light is not going to harm our health. The covid vaccines have been in existence for about a year and have no long term testing (that has ever been released to the public) to back their safety. All vaccines in common usage today were tested for at least 10 to 15 years before being released for use on the wider population. The covid vaccines were slapped together at “warp speed”, at least according the official story. Who are the guinea pigs for these mRNA jabs? The entire human population. Every person in the country is now considered a guinea pig. We have no idea what the implications of this unprecedented experiment will be in the next few years. Chomsky’s comparisons are obviously ridiculous and it’s frustrating that I’m required to point this out.  One would think that the co-author of ‘Manufacturing Consent’ would be able to easily discern the massive differences in terms of violating public freedom. But, for some reason he can’t seem to grasp the foolishness at the heart of his debate. Or, he is being deliberately ignorant because he thinks, like many globalists, that there is something to be gained in going along with the farce… The “greater good” theory is meant to either appeal-to or silence conservatives and libertarians that oppose the vaccines on the grounds of the non-aggression principle. Covid mandates rely on the claim that the unvaccinated are an integral danger to society as a whole, and thus force is justified. Now, I have been asking this question over and over again for the past year to any vax fanatic I run across, and not a single person has come up with a valid counter-argument: If the vaccines work, then how are unvaccinated people a threat to vaccinated people? If the vaccines don’t work, then why take them in the first place and why mandate them? What does Chomsky think the average death rate of covid actually is? Is he aware that according to dozens of peer reviewed studies the median Infection Fatality Rate (IFR) of covid is only 0.27%? Who exactly are the unvaxxed a threat to? Less than 1% of the population? And if we are actually a threat to these people, then maybe THEY should take the vaccines, if they think the vaccines truly work. What about the fact that vaccinated people still transmit the disease to others, according the the CDC narrative? Furthermore, new studies from countries with very high rates of vaccination have shown that natural immunity formed by people who have already had covid (like I have) is superior in protection against future contraction or transmission of the covid virus. Natural immunity is up to 27 times more effective than the vaccines. It trumps the jab to an epic degree. And what about all those breakthrough cases and deaths of fully vaccinated people? Chomsky must be ignoring those as well. Nearly 60% of all people hospitalized in Israel are fully vaccinated; 56% of all covid deaths from April to October in Ireland were people who received at least one vaccination. Who caused that? Unvaxxed people most of whom have superior natural immunity? Or, vaccinated people with low comparative immunity and the ability to transmit the disease? Maybe Chomsky just isn’t educated on the science, or maybe he doesn’t care. Either way, his mentality is destructive and typical of socialists and leftists. I am reminded of a radio show I did many years ago out of the UK which presented itself as a kind of liberty forum. As it turned out, the host was a socialist with some tourism into libertarianism and he was anxious for a debate. I was a little annoyed with the ambush on the merits of socialism but my position on it is simple enough that anyone should be able to understand it: If a group of people want to form a community or collective based on socialist values then they should be allowed to do so in peace, as long as all participation is voluntary and they don’t try to harm anyone in the process. At first the show host appeared to agree with this idea, but his support of personal freedom proved superficial as the debate went on. His argument was “What about all the people in society that need our help, such as those that are in poverty or are disabled? Don’t we need a centralized system in place to manage these kinds of problems?” My response: “By all means, go and help those people if you want to help them. Just don’t try to force me to do it. I might want to help them too, but I will do it in my way, not yours.” And here is where every single socialist shows their true authoritarian colors – The host then argued that while I might be a good and charitable person the majority of people, in his mind, are not. And so, we must all be forced by government to contribute to society in the manner “society” has deemed appropriate. There you have it. Like Chomsky, this socialist was appealing to the greater good as a tool to impose HIS ideological vision onto everyone else; not to protect the lives and freedoms of individuals, which is the ONLY purview of government, but to make people participate in the way HE thinks they should participate. People must be forced to uphold social standards, and the social standards are coincidentally defined by the very people that benefit most from collectivism. At no point do socialists and leftists ever suggest that more individual freedom might be the best option for elevating the greater good. Their solutions always involve progressively less freedom for the individual and more power for the government, the same government which they expect to control. To be clear, I’m not talking about silly notions of anarchy, just constitutional protections for inherent freedoms. The political left only seeks to erode the liberties codified in the Bill of Rights, and no matter where they are on the leftist spectrum they all end up at the same terrible draconian place given the right circumstances. This is evident as the vax mandates spread around the world, with nations and states run by leftists now mired in oppression.  The facts are undeniable – Blue states are enslaved, red states are free.  Leftists support tyranny, conservatives support freedom.  Millions of people are trying to escape blue states; almost no one wants to relocate to one.  Even Noam Chomsky, a supposed anti-establishment champion, reverts to little more than a decrepit dictator rationalizing mass starvation when the opportunity to enforce vaccine mandates arises. Maybe he is feeling his mortality along with his age and fear of covid has overwhelmed his senses. I doubt it. I suspect the promise of collective power is so intoxicating to all socialists that their masks and costumes fall away and their true character emerges whether they want it to or not. There is not a single shred of scientific evidence to support the forced vaccination argument. There is not a single shred of proof to support the claim that an unvaxxed person is a threat to the safety of anyone else. I’ll say it again – Mandates are not laws, and even if they were they would be unconstitutional laws. There is nothing legal, rational, scientific or moral compelling me to submit to an experimental vaccine. Chomsky and his ilk have no leg to stand on. So, we are at an impasse. They want power over us, and we will not give it to them. Therefore, the law of the jungle takes over. The bottom line is this: I will not comply with your illegitimate mandates. IT-WILL-NEVER-HAPPEN. And if you think you can use leverage to force me to comply, threatening me with poverty and death through economic discrimination, then I will view your actions for what they are – An attack on my freedoms and my life. I will therefore respond in kind and eliminate the threat by any means necessary, and, I will be justified in doing so, constitutionally, rationally, scientifically and morally. Covid cultists like Chomsky, most of them leftists and socialists, should keep this in mind as they continue down this path. They think that the greater good is on their side but this is a fantasy driven by their own hunger for dominance. The question you need to ask yourselves is this: Do you really think your desire to force the mandates and your political ideology on me is greater than my will to stop you and remain free? Are you ready to risk death to impose the vax mandates? Because I am ready to risk death to end them. *  *  * 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, 11/05/2021 - 00:05.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 5th, 2021

What If Things Go Right?

    The Covid crash recovery (March 23, 2020 to present) was starting to look like it was on shaky ground: High equity prices, an uptick in market volatility after a period of tranquility, concerns about the Federal Reserve ending QE + low rates, credit problems with Chinese Real Estate Developers (Evergrande, plus Sinic and… Read More The post What If Things Go Right? appeared first on The Big Picture.     The Covid crash recovery (March 23, 2020 to present) was starting to look like it was on shaky ground: High equity prices, an uptick in market volatility after a period of tranquility, concerns about the Federal Reserve ending QE + low rates, credit problems with Chinese Real Estate Developers (Evergrande, plus Sinic and China Fortune Land) and more. There are plenty of worst–case scenarios to consider if that is your preferred poison. Evolution has primed your brain to identify possible threats to your survival, hence our focus on the negative. But suppress that inherent bias for a few moments to try a simple thought experiment of inversion. Given my overall constructive stance on markets, I want to imagine for a moment a scenario that is the opposite of worst-case – what do the USA and the world look like if most things more or less go right? What if a normal economic recovery replaces the pandemic slowdown? Consider these 7: • Vaccines for Kids: To me, this is one of the biggest game-changers out there. Children ages 5-12 get formal FDA approval for the 3 major vaccines soon, and the vast majority of schools require them for attendance. (Teachers Unions go on strike in the holdout areas). There is lots of evidence unvaccinated unmasked kids can be asymptomatic carriers of Covid; with schools re-opening and a decided lack of available child-care, Covid-19 vaccinations will end up just like Polio, Measles, Mumps, Rubella,  jabs – just another childhood vaccination required to send your kid to public or private school. Once we take care of this age group, the biggest stumbling block to economic activity is removed. • Delta Variant Rolls Over: We are seeing signs that the dominant Delta variant may have peaked, as more people who were vaccinated or infected bring us closer to herd immunity. This is true even along the Gulf Coast, an area where local governments have botched their covid response, and hospitals are overwhelmed. Expect infections to peak, followed by hospitalizations, ands then deaths. As this happens, local economies cannot help but improve. Recall infectious disease expert Charity Dean’s observation that today’s mortality rates are a snapshot of infections 4 weeks ago. The FDA authorization of a booster (third) shot also helps reduce poor outcomes. • Political Resolution: There are three big issues pending before Congress: Passing the Infrastructure Bill, raising the Debt Ceiling, and getting the 2022 Spending Bill completed. All three are likely net positives for the stock market. Will the progressives spike the chance for Boden’s infrastructure bill to pass? Does the GOP want to hurt the favorable odds of their retaking Congress in the midterms? Even in DC some times things align towards accomplishment instead of derailment. This feels like one of those times. It is not hard to imagine that a deal gets cut, and all of them are resolved positively. • Federal Reserve Remains Accommodative: Barring any surprises, the taper of Fed bond purchases is looking increasingly likely this year. It’s anti-climatic at this point. Regardless, rates will remain low for the foreseeable future, with modest increases unlikely to begin until 2H 2022 at the earliest. Fed Fund Rates above 3% is unlikely for years. • Inflation: I have been in the “Reset/transitory” camp for a long time – deflation with spasms of occasional inflation. The biggest cost pressures seem to be related to reopening problems and supply chain issues. Maybe this lasts into mid-2022; if it goes much beyond that I will need to rethink my position on inflations. • China problems stay in Asia: Assume Evergrande goes to zero – does it really matter? Is its paper festooned in every bond manager’s portfolio? Will global real estate take a 30% dive? Hardly likely. China is deeply interconnected to global industrial manufacturing and its supply chains. But the integration of China’s credit and financial system is no way near as entrenched as America’s was in 2007-09. This looks to be a more Archegoes than Lehman Brothers to me. There are always things to be concerned about in markets, millions of reasons to sell as the market climbs a wall of worry. The trick is to understand what is merely day-to-day noise versus what is deeper and more significant. It is as much Art as it is Science, so don’t expect any magic bullets.       Previously: DELTA is Coming For Your Economic Recovery (August 13, 2021) Inflation: Long-Term, Transitory or Reset? (July 28, 2021) End of the Secular Bull? Not So Fast (April 3, 2020) Markets Drive News (not vice versa) (April 2, 2018)     The post What If Things Go Right? appeared first on The Big Picture......»»

Category: blogSource: TheBigPictureSep 23rd, 2021

Risk Cracks After Moderna CEO Comments Spark Global Stock Rout

Risk Cracks After Moderna CEO Comments Spark Global Stock Rout Ask a drug dealer if methadone helps cure a cocaine addition and - shockingly - you will hear that the answer is "hell no", after all an affirmative response would mean the fixer needs to get a real job. Just as shocking was the "admission" of Moderna CEO, Stéphane Bancel, who in the latest stop on his media whirlwind tour of the past 48 hours gave the FT an interview in which he predicted that existing vaccines will be much less effective at tackling Omicron than earlier strains of coronavirus and warned it would take months before pharmaceutical companies could manufacture new variant-specific jabs at scale. “There is no world, I think, where [the effectiveness] is the same level . . . we had with [the] Delta [variant],” Bancel told the Financial Times, claiming that the high number of Omicron mutations on the spike protein, which the virus uses to infect human cells, and the rapid spread of the variant in South Africa suggested that the current crop of vaccines may need to be modified next year. Here, the self-serving CEO whose sell-mode was fully engaged - after all what else would the maker of a vaccine for covid say than "yes, the world will need more of my product" - completely ignored the earlier comments from Barry Schoub, chairman of South Afruca's Ministerial Advisory Committee on Vaccines, who over the weekend said that the large number of mutations found in the omicron variant appears to destabilize the virus, which might make it less “fit” than the dominant delta strain. As such, it would be a far less virulent strain... but of course that would also reduce the need for Moderna's mRNA therapy and so Bancel failed to mention it. What is grotesque is that the Moderna CEO’s comments on existing vaccines’ effectiveness against the omicron variant is “old news so should be a fade,” says Prashant Newnaha, a senior Asia-Pacific rates strategist at TD Securities in Singapore. Indeed as Bloomberg notes, Bancel reiterated comments made by Moderna’s Chief Medical Officer Paul Burton during the weekend. Alas, the last thing algos care about is nuance and/or reading between the lines, and so moments after Bancel's interview hit, markets hit risk off mode on Tuesday, and yesterday’s bounce in markets immediately reversed amid fresh worries about the efficacy of currently available vaccines with U.S. equity futures dropping along with stocks in Europe. Bonds gained as investors sought havens. After dropping as much as 1.2%, S&P futures pared losses to -0.7%, down 37 points just above 4,600. Dow Eminis were down 339 points or 1% and Nasdaq was down -0.8%. Adding to concerns is Fed Chair Jerome Powell who today will speak, alongside Janet Yellen, at the Senate Banking Committee in congressional oversight hearings related to pandemic stimulus. Last night Powell made a dovish pivot saying the new variant poses downside risks to employment and growth while adding to uncertainty about inflation. Powell's comments dragged yields lower and hit bank stocks overnight. “The market’s reaction to reports such as Moderna’s suggest the ball is still very much in the court of proving that this will not escalate,” said Patrick Bennett, head of macro strategy for Asia at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce in Hong Kong. “Until that time, mode is to sell recoveries in risk and not to try and pick the extent of the selloff” U.S. airline and cruiseliner stocks dropped in premarket trading Tuesday, after vaccine maker Moderna’s top executives reiterated that the omicron variant of the coronavirus may require new vaccines. Most U.S. airline stocks were down: Alaska Air -5%, United -3.2%, American -3%, Spirit -2.7%, Delta -2.6%, JetBlue -2.6%, Southwest -1.7%. Here are some other notable movers today: U.S. banks decline in premarket trading following comments from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell that may push back bets on when the central bank will raise rates. Citigroup (C US) -2.4%, JPMorgan (JPM US) -2.2%, Morgan Stanley (MS US) -2.6% Vaccine manufacturers mixed in U.S. premarket trading after rallying in recent days and following further comments from Moderna about treating the new omicron Covid-19 variant. Pfizer (PFE US) +1.6%, Novavax  (NVAS US) +1.3%, Moderna (MRNA US) -3.8% U.S. airline and cruiseliner stocks dropped in premarket trading Tuesday, after vaccine maker Moderna’s top executives reiterated that the omicron variant of the coronavirus may require new vaccines. Alaska Air (ALK US) -5%, United (UAL US) -3.2%, American (AAL US) -3% Krystal Biotech (KRYS US) jumped 4.3% in postmarket trading on Monday, extending gains after a 122% jump during the regular session. The company is offering $200m of shares via Goldman Sachs, BofA, Cowen, William Blair, according to a postmarket statement MEI Pharma (MEIP US) gained 8% postmarket after the cancer-treatment company said it will hold a webcast Tuesday to report on data from the ongoing Phase 2 Tidal study evaluating zandelisib in patients with relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma Intuit (INTU US) declined 3.4% postmarket after holder Dan Kurzius, co-founder of Mailchimp, offered the stake via Goldman Sachs In Europe, the Stoxx 600 index fell to almost a seven-week low. Cyclical sectors including retail, travel and carmakers were among the biggest decliners, while energy stocks tumbled as crude oil headed for the worst monthly loss this year; every industry sector fell led by travel stocks. Earlier in the session, the Asia Pacific Index dropped 0.6% while the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index lost 1.5% to finish at its weakest level since May 2016. Asian stocks erased early gains to head for a third day of losses on fresh concerns that existing Covid-19 vaccines will be less effective at tackling the omicron variant. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index extended its fall to nearly 1% after having risen as much as 0.8% earlier on Tuesday. The current crop of vaccines may need to be modified next year, Moderna Chief Executive Officer Stephane Bancel said in an interview with the Financial Times, adding that it may take months before pharmaceutical firms can manufacture new variant-specific jabs at scale. U.S. futures also reversed gains. Property and consumer staples were the worst-performing sectors on the regional benchmark. Key gauges in Hong Kong and South Korea were the biggest losers in Asia, with the Kospi index erasing all of its gains for this year. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index lost 1.5% to finish at its weakest level since May 2016. The fresh bout of selling offset early optimism spurred by data showing China’s factory sentiment improved in November. “With the slower vaccination rate and more limited health-care capacity in the region, uncertainty from the new omicron variant may seem to bring about higher economic risks for the region at a time where it is shifting towards further reopening,” said Jun Rong Yeap, a market strategist at IG Asia Pte. Asia’s stock benchmark is now down 3.5% for the month, set for its worst performance since July, as nervousness remains over the U.S. Federal Reserve’s tapering schedule and the potential economic impact of the omicron variant. “Moderna is one of the primary mRNA vaccines out there, so the risk-off sentiment is justified,” said Kelvin Wong, an analyst at CMC Markets (Singapore) Pte. Liquidity is thinner going into the end of the year, so investors are “thinking it’s wise to take some money off the table,” he added Japanese equities fell, reversing an earlier gain to cap their third-straight daily loss, after a report cast doubt on hopes for a quick answer to the omicron variant of the coronavirus. Telecoms and electronics makers were the biggest drags on the Topix, which dropped 1%, erasing an earlier gain of as much as 1.5%. Fast Retailing and SoftBank Group were the largest contributors to a 1.6% loss in the Nikkei 225. The yen strengthened about 0.4% against the dollar, reversing an earlier loss. Japanese stocks advanced earlier in the day, following U.S. peers higher as a relative sense of calm returned to global markets. Tokyo share gains reversed quickly in late afternoon trading after a Financial Times report that Moderna’s Chief Executive Officer Stephane Bancel said a new vaccine may be needed to fight omicron. “The report of Moderna CEO’s remarks has bolstered an overall movement toward taking off risk,” said SMBC Trust Bank analyst Masahiro Yamaguchi. “Market participants will probably be analyzing information on vaccines and the new virus variant for the next couple of weeks, so shares will likely continue to fluctuate on these headlines.” In FX, the dollar dropped alongside commodity-linked currencies while the yen and gold climbed and bitcoin surged as safe havens were bid. The yen swung to a gain after Moderna Inc.’s chief executive Stephane Bancel was quoted by the Financial Times saying existing vaccines may not be effective enough to tackle the omicron variant. Commodity-linked currencies including the Aussie, kiwi and Norwegian krone all declined, underperforming the dollar In rates, treasuries held gains after flight-to-quality rally extended during Asia session and European morning, when bunds and gilts also benefited from haven flows. Stocks fell after Moderna CEO predicted waning vaccine efficacy. Intermediates lead gains, with yields richer by nearly 6bp across 7-year sector; 10-year Treasuries are richer by 5.6bp at 1.443%, vs 2.5bp for German 10-year, 4.7bp for U.K. 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. Expectations of month-end flows may support the market, and Fed Chair Powell is slated to testify to a Senate panel.       In commodities, crude futures are off their late-Asia lows but remain in the red. WTI trades close to $68.30, stalling near Friday’s lows; Brent is off over 2.5% near $71.50. Spot gold rises ~$11 near $1,796/oz. Base metals are mixed: LME zinc outperforms, rising as much as 1.6%.  To the day ahead now, and the main central bank highlight will be Fed Chair Powell’s appearance before the Senate Banking Committee, alongside Treasury Secretary Yellen. In addition, we’ll hear from Fed Vice Chair Clarida, the Fed’s Williams, the ECB’s Villeroy and de Cos, and the BoE’s Mann. On the data side, we’ll get the flash November CPI reading for the Euro Area today, as well as the readings from France and Italy. In addition, there’s data on German unemployment for November, Canadian GDP for Q3, whilst in the US there’s the Conference Board’s consumer confidence measure for November, the FHFA house price index for September, and the MNI Chicago PMI for November. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures down 1.2% to 4,595.00 STOXX Europe 600 down 1.4% to 460.47 MXAP down 0.5% to 190.51 MXAPJ down 0.6% to 620.60 Nikkei down 1.6% to 27,821.76 Topix down 1.0% to 1,928.35 Hang Seng Index down 1.6% to 23,475.26 Shanghai Composite little changed at 3,563.89 Sensex down 0.2% to 57,122.74 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.2% to 7,255.97 Kospi down 2.4% to 2,839.01 German 10Y yield little changed at -0.36% Euro up 0.6% to $1.1362 Brent Futures down 3.0% to $71.26/bbl Brent Futures down 3.0% to $71.26/bbl Gold spot up 0.7% to $1,796.41 U.S. Dollar Index down 0.65% to 95.72 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg Euro-area inflation surged to a record for the era of the single currency and exceeded all forecasts, adding to the European Central Bank’s challenge before a crucial meeting next month on the future of monetary stimulus. If the drop in government bond yields on Friday signaled how skittish markets were, fresh declines are leaving them looking no less nervous. One of Germany’s most prominent economists is urging the European Central Bank to be more transparent in outlining its exit from unprecedented monetary stimulus and argues that ruling out an end to negative interest rates next year may be a mistake. The Hong Kong dollar fell into the weak half of its trading band for the first time since December 2019 as the emergence of a new coronavirus variant hurt appetite for risk assets. A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asian equities traded mixed with early momentum seen following the rebound on Wall Street where risk assets recovered from Friday’s heavy selling pressure as liquidity conditions normalized post-Thanksgiving and after some of the Omicron fears abated given the mild nature in cases so far, while participants also digested a slew of data releases including better than expected Chinese Manufacturing PMI. However, markets were later spooked following comments from Moderna's CEO that existing vaccines will be much less effective against the Omicron variant. ASX 200 (+0.2%) was underpinned by early strength across its sectors aside from utilities and with gold miners also hampered by the recent lacklustre mood in the precious metal which failed to reclaim the USD 1800/oz level but remained in proximity for another attempt. In addition, disappointing Building Approvals and inline Net Exports Contribution data had little impact on sentiment ahead of tomorrow’s Q3 GDP release, although the index then faded most its gains after the comments from Moderna's CEO, while Nikkei 225 (-1.6%) was initially lifted by the recent rebound in USD/JPY but then slumped amid the broad risk aversion late in the session. Hang Seng (-1.6%) and Shanghai Comp. (Unch) were varied in which the mainland was kept afloat for most the session after a surprise expansion in Chinese Manufacturing PMI and a mild liquidity injection by the PBoC, with a central bank-backed publication also suggesting that recent open market operations demonstrates an ample liquidity goal, although Hong Kong underperformed on tech and property losses and with casino names pressured again as shares in junket operator Suncity slumped 37% on reopen from a trading halt in its first opportunity to react to the arrest of its Chairman. Finally, 10yr JGBs were initially contained following early momentum in stocks and somewhat inconclusive 2yr JGB auction which showed better results from the prior, albeit at just a marginal improvement, but then was underpinned on a haven bid after fears of the Omicron variant later resurfaced. Top Asian News China’s Biggest Crypto Exchange Picks Singapore as Asia Base SoftBank-Backed Snapdeal Targets $250 Million IPO in 2022 Omicron Reaches Nations From U.K. to Japan in Widening Spread Slump in China Gas Shows Spreading Impact of Property Slowdown Major European bourses are on the backfoot (Euro Stoxx 50 -1.5%; Stoxx 600 -1.5%) as COVID fears again take the spotlight on month-end. APAC markets were firmer for a large part of the overnight session, but thereafter the risk-off trigger was attributed to comments from Moderna's CEO suggesting that existing vaccines will be much less effective against the Omicron COVID strain. On this, some caveats worth keeping in mind - the commentary on the potential need for a vaccine does come from a vaccine maker, who could benefit from further global inoculation, whilst data on the new variant remains sparse. Meanwhile, WSJ reported Regeneron's and Eli Lilly's COVID antiviral cocktails had lost efficacy vs the Omicron variant - however, the extent to which will need to be subject to further testing. Furthermore, producers appear to be confident that they will be able to adjust their products to accommodate the new variant, albeit the timeline for mass production will not be immediate. Nonetheless, the sullied sentiment has persisted throughout the European morning and has also seeped into US equity futures: the cyclically bias RTY (-1.7%) lags the ES (-1.0%) and YM (-1.3%), whilst the tech-laden NQ (-0.5%) is cushioned by the slump in yields. Back to Europe, broad-based losses are seen across the majors. Sectors tilt defensive but to a lesser extent than seen at the European cash open. Travel & Leisure, Oil & Gas, and Retail all sit at the bottom of the bunch amid the potential implications of the new COVID variant. Tech benefits from the yield play, which subsequently weighs on the Banking sector. The retail sector is also weighed on by Spanish giant Inditex (-4.3%) following a CEO reshuffle. In terms of other movers, Glencore (-0.9%) is softer after Activist investor Bluebell Capital Partners called on the Co. to spin off its coal business and divest non-core assets. In a letter seen by the FT, Glencore was also asked to improve corporate governance. In terms of equity commentary, analysts at JPM suggest investors should take a more nuanced view on reopening as the bank expects post-COVID normalisation to gradually asset itself over the course of 2022. The bank highlights hawkish central bank policy shifts as the main risk to their outlook. Thus, the analysts see European equities outperforming the US, whilst China is seen outpacing EMs. JPM targets S&P 500 at 5,050 (closed at 4,655.27 yesterday) by the end of 2022 with EPS at USD 240 – marking a 14% increase in annual EPS. Top European News Omicron Reaches Nations From U.K. to Japan in Widening Spread ECB Bosses Lack Full Diplomatic Immunity, EU’s Top Court Says Adler Keeps Investors Waiting for Answers on Fraud Claims European Gas Prices Surge Above 100 Euros With Eyes on Russia In FX, the Greenback may well have been grounded amidst rebalancing flows on the final trading day of November, as bank models are flagging a net sell signal, albeit relatively weak aside from vs the Yen per Cit’s index, but renewed Omicron concerns stoked by Moderna’s CEO casting considerable doubt about the efficacy of current vaccines against the new SA strain have pushed the Buck back down in any case. Indeed, the index has now retreated further from its 2021 apex set less than a week ago and through 96.000 to 95.662, with only the Loonie and Swedish Krona underperforming within the basket, and the Antipodean Dollars plus Norwegian Crown in wider G10 circles. Looking at individual pairings, Usd/Jpy has reversed from the high 113.00 area and breached a Fib just below the round number on the way down to circa 112.68 for a marginal new m-t-d low, while Eur/Usd is back above 1.1350 having scaled a Fib at 1.1290 and both have left decent option expiries some distance behind in the process (1.6 bn at 113.80 and 1.3 bn between 1.1250-55 respectively). Elsewhere, Usd/Chf is eyeing 0.9175 irrespective of a slightly weaker than forecast Swiss KoF indicator and Cable has bounced firmly from the low 1.3300 zone towards 1.3375 awaiting commentary from BoE’s Mann. NZD/AUD/CAD - As noted above, the tables have turned for the Kiwi, Aussie and Loonie along with risk sentiment in general, and Nzd/Usd is now pivoting 0.6800 with little help from a deterioration in NBNZ business confidence or a decline in the activity outlook. Similarly, Aud/Usd has been undermined by much weaker than forecast building approvals and a smaller than anticipated current account surplus, but mostly keeping hold of the 0.7100 handle ahead of Q3 GDP and Usd/Cad has shot up from around 1.2730 to top 1.2800 at one stage in advance of Canadian growth data for the prior quarter and month of September as oil recoils (WTI to an even deeper trough only cents off Usd 67/brl). Back down under, 1 bn option expiry interest at 1.0470 in Aud/Nzd could well come into play given that the cross is currently hovering near the base of a 1.0483-39 range. SCANDI/EM - The aforementioned downturn in risk appetite after Monday’s brief revival has hit the Sek and Nok hard, but the latter is also bearing the brunt of Brent’s latest collapse to the brink of Usd 70/brl at worst, while also taking on board that the Norges Bank plans to refrain from foreign currency selling through December having stopped midway through this month. The Rub is also feeling the adverse effect of weaker crude prices and ongoing geopolitical angst to the extent that hawkish CBR rhetoric alluding to aggressive tightening next month is hardly keeping it propped, but the Cnh and Cny continue to defy the odds or gravity in wake of a surprise pop back above 50.0 in China’s official manufacturing PMI. Conversely, the Zar is struggling to contain losses sub-16.0000 vs the Usd on SA virus-related factors even though Gold is approaching Usd 1800/oz again, while the Try is striving to stay within sight of 13.0000 following a slender miss in Turkish Q3 y/y GDP. In commodities, WTI and Brent front month futures are once again under pressure amid the aforementioned COVID jitters threatening the demand side of the equation, albeit the market remains in a state of uncertainty given how little is known about the new variant ahead of the OPEC+ confab. It is still unclear at this point in time which route OPEC+ members will opt for, but seemingly the feasible options on the table are 1) a pause in output hikes, 2) a smaller output hike, 3) maintaining current output hikes. Energy journalists have suggested the group will likely be influenced by oil price action, but nonetheless, the findings of the JTC and JMMC will be closely watched for the group's updated forecasts against the backdrop of COVID and the recently coordinated SPR releases from net oil consumers – a move which the US pledged to repeat if needed. Elsewhere, Iranian nuclear talks were reportedly somewhat constructive – according to the Russian delegate – with working groups set to meet today and tomorrow regarding the sanctions on Iran. This sentiment, however, was not reciprocated by Western sources (cited by WSJ), which suggested there was no clarity yet on whether the teams were ready for serious negotiations and serious concessions. WTI Jan resides around session lows near USD 67.50/bbl (vs high USD 71.22/bbl), while Brent Feb dipped under USD 71/bbl (vs high USD 84.56/bb). Over to metals, spot gold remains underpinned in European trade by the cluster of DMA's under USD 1,800/oz – including the 100 (USD 1,792/oz), 200 (USD 1,791/oz) and 50 (1,790/oz). Turning to base metals, LME copper is modestly softer around the USD 9,500/t mark, whilst Dalian iron ore futures meanwhile rose over 6% overnight, with traders citing increasing Chinese demand. US Event Calendar 9am: 3Q House Price Purchase Index QoQ, prior 4.9% 9am: Sept. FHFA House Price Index MoM, est. 1.2%, prior 1.0% 9am: Sept. Case Shiller Composite-20 YoY, est. 19.30%, prior 19.66%; S&P/CS 20 City MoM SA, est. 1.20%, prior 1.17% 9:45am: Nov. MNI Chicago PMI, est. 67.0, prior 68.4 10am: Nov. Conf. Board Consumer Confidenc, est. 111.0, prior 113.8 10am: Nov. Conf. Board Present Situation, prior 147.4 10am: Nov. Conf. Board Expectations, prior 91.3 Central Banks 10am: Powell, Yellen Testify Before Senate Panel on CARES Act Relief 10:30am: Fed’s Williams gives remarks at NY Fed food- insecurity event 1pm: Fed’s Clarida Discusses Fed Independence DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap Just as we go to print markets are reacting negatively to an interview with the Moderna CEO in the FT that has just landed where he said that with regards to Omicron, “There is no world, I think, where (the effectiveness) is the same level... we had with Delta…… I think it’s going to be a material drop (efficacy). I just don’t know how much because we need to wait for the data. But all the scientists I’ve talked to . . . are like ‘this is not going to be good’.”” This is not really new news relative to the last 3-4 days given what we know about the new mutation but the market is picking up on the explicit comments. In response S&P futures have gone from slightly up to down just over -0.5% and Treasury yields immediately dipped -4bps to 1.46%. The Nikkei has erased gains and is down around -1% and the Hang Seng is c.-1.8%. This is breaking news so check your screens after you read this. In China the official November PMI data came in stronger than expected with the Manufacturing PMI at 50.1 (49.7 consensus vs 49.2 previous) and the non-manufacturing PMI at 52.3 (51.5 consensus vs 52.4 previous). The negative headlines above as we go to print followed a market recovery yesterday as investors hoped that the Omicron variant wouldn’t prove as bad as initially feared. In reality, the evidence is still incredibly limited on this question, and nothing from the Moderna CEO overnight changes that. However the more positive sentiment was also evident from the results of our flash poll in yesterday’s EMR where we had 1569 responses so very many thanks. The poll showed that just 10% thought it would still be the biggest topic in financial markets by the end of the year, with 30% instead thinking it’ll largely be forgotten about. The other 60% thought it would still be an issue but only of moderate importance. So if that’s correct and our respondents are a fair reflection of broader market sentiment, then it points to some big downside risks ahead if we get notable bad news on the variant. For the record I would have been with the majority with tendencies towards the largely forgotten about answer. So I will be as off-side as much as most of you on the variant downside risk scenario. When I did a similar poll on Evergrande 2 and a half months ago, only 8% thought it would be significantly impacting markets a month later with 78% in aggregate thinking limited mention/impact, and 15% thinking it would have no impact. So broadly similar responses and back then the 15% were most correct although the next 78% weren’t far off. In terms of the latest developments yesterday, we’re still waiting to find out some of the key pieces of information about this new strain, including how effective vaccines still are, and about the extent of any increased risk of transmission, hospitalisation and death. Nevertheless, countries around the world are continuing to ramp up their own responses as they await this information. President Biden laid out the US strategy for tackling Omicron in a public address yesterday, underscoring the variant was a cause for concern rather than panic. He noted travel bans from certain jurisdictions would remain in place to buy authorities time to evaluate the variant, but did not anticipate that further travel bans or domestic lockdowns would be implemented, instead urging citizens to get vaccinated or a booster shot. Over in Europe, Bloomberg reported that EU leaders were discussing whether to have a virtual summit on Friday about the issue, and Poland moved to toughen up their own domestic restrictions, with a 50% capacity limit on restaurants, hotels, gyms and cinemas. In Germany, Chancellor Merkel and Vice Chancellor Scholz will be meeting with state premiers today, whilst the UK government’s vaccination committee recommended that every adult be eligible for a booster shot, rather than just the over-40s at present. Boosters have done a tremendous job in dramatically reducing cases in the elder cohort in the UK in recent weeks so one by product of Omicron is that it may accelerate protection in a wider age group everywhere. Assuming vaccines have some impact on Omicron this could be a positive development, especially if symptoms are less bad. Markets recovered somewhat yesterday, with the S&P 500 gaining +1.32% to recover a large portion of Friday’s loss. The index was driven by mega-cap tech names, with the Nasdaq up +1.88% and small cap stocks underperforming, with the Russell 2000 down -0.18%, so the market wasn’t completely pricing out omicron risks by any means. Nevertheless, Covid-specific names performed how you would expect given the improved sentiment; stay-at-home trades that outperformed Friday fell, including Zoom (-0.56%), Peloton (-4.35%), and HelloFresh (-0.8%), while Moderna (+11.80%) was the biggest winner following the weekend news that a reformulated vaccine could be available in early 2022. Elsewhere, Twitter (-2.74%) initially gained after it was announced CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey would be stepping down, but trended lower throughout the rest of the day. The broader moves put the index back in positive territory for the month as we hit November’s last trading day today. Europe saw its own bounceback too, with the STOXX 600 up +0.69%. Over in rates, the partial unwind of Friday’s moves was even smaller, with yields on 10yr Treasuries moving up +2.6bps to 1.50%, driven predominantly by real rates, as inflation breakevens were a touch narrower across the curve. One part of the curve that didn’t retrace Friday’s move was the short end, where markets continued to push Fed rate hikes back ever so slightly, with the first full hike now being priced for September (though contracts as early as May still price some meaningful probability of Fed hikes). We may see some further movements today as well, with Fed Chair Powell set to appear before the Senate Banking Committee at 15:00 London time, where he may well be asked about whether the Fed plans to accelerate the tapering of their asset purchases although it’s hard to believe he’ll go too far with any guidance with the Omicron uncertainty. The Chair’s brief planned testimony was published on the Fed’s website last night. It struck a slightly more hawkish tone on inflation, noting that the Fed’s forecast was for elevated inflation to persist well into next year and recognition that high inflation imposes burdens on those least able to handle them. On omicron, the testimony predictably stated it posed risks that could slow the economy’s progress, but tellingly on the inflation front, it could intensify supply chain disruptions. The real fireworks will almost certainly come in the question and answer portion of the testimony. The bond moves were more muted in Europe though, with yields on 10yr bunds (+2.0bps), OATs (+1.0bps) and BTPs (+0.4bps) only seeing a modest increase. Crude oil prices also didn’t bounce back with as much rigor as equities. Brent gained +0.99% while WTI futures increased +2.64%. They are back down -1 to -1.5% this morning. Elsewhere in DC, Senator Joe Manchin noted that Democrats could raise the debt ceiling on their own through the reconciliation process, but indicated a preference for the increase not to be included in the build back better bill, for which his support still seems lukewarm. We’re approaching crucial deadlines on the debt ceiling and financing the federal government, so these headlines should become more commonplace over the coming days. There were some further developments on the inflation front yesterday as Germany reported that inflation had risen to +6.0% in November (vs. +5.5% expected) on the EU-harmonised measure, and up from +4.6% in October. The German national measure also rose to +5.2% (vs. +5.0% expected), which was the highest since 1992. Speaking of Germany, Bloomberg reported that the shortlist for the Bundesbank presidency had been narrowed down to 4 candidates, which included Isabel Schnabel of the ECB’s Executive Board, and Joachim Nagel, who’s currently the Deputy Head of the Banking Department at the Bank for International Settlements. Today we’ll likely get some further headlines on inflation as the flash estimate for the entire Euro Area comes out, as well as the numbers for France and Italy. There wasn’t much in the way of other data yesterday, though UK mortgage approvals fell to 67.2k in October (vs. 70.0k expected), which is their lowest level since June 2020. Separately, US pending home sales were up +7.5% in October (vs. +1.0% expected), whilst the Dallas Fed’s manufacturing activity index for November unexpectedly fell to 11.8 (vs. 15.0 expected). Finally, the European Commission’s economic sentiment indicator for the Euro Area dipped to 117.5 in November as expected, its weakest level in 6 months. To the day ahead now, and the main central bank highlight will be Fed Chair Powell’s appearance before the Senate Banking Committee, alongside Treasury Secretary Yellen. In addition, we’ll hear from Fed Vice Chair Clarida, the Fed’s Williams, the ECB’s Villeroy and de Cos, and the BoE’s Mann. On the data side, we’ll get the flash November CPI reading for the Euro Area today, as well as the readings from France and Italy. In addition, there’s data on German unemployment for November, Canadian GDP for Q3, whilst in the US there’s the Conference Board’s consumer confidence measure for November, the FHFA house price index for September, and the MNI Chicago PMI for November. Tyler Durden Tue, 11/30/2021 - 07:50.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 30th, 2021

Will The Omicron Virus Turn Out To Actually Be Bullish For Stocks

Will The Omicron Virus Turn Out To Actually Be Bullish For Stocks Earlier today, we laid out one trader's view - that of Mizuho's multi-asset strategist Peter Chatwell - why despite the incremental mitigating information gathered over the weekend which clearly eased Friday's liquidation panic and today the Nasdaq wiped out all of its losses, the Omicron variant is decidedly bearish for stocks, and why "a re-test of 4600 appears much more likely here than a rally back to 4700." His argument, in a nutshell, was that even though Omicron may appear "extremely mild" - so far - it is based on Chatwell's argument that the South African doctor who discovered the strain, Dr. Angelique Coetzee, treated patients who were mainly 40 or younger, and thus "we cannot conclude that the mild symptoms will translate to older populations." Meanwhile, "it looks like Omicron may be more transmissible and vaccine evasive than Delta, meaning it it likely to infect more vulnerable people." This, to Chatwell, means that it has the ability to evade existing immune response may be more important than its expected lower severity of symptoms. As such "governments are likely to remain cautious, biased towards greater social restrictions and partial lockdowns." Needless to say, this entire bearish argument is based on the forced assumption that even though Omicron is "very mild" for patients below 40 - which incidentally is a trend widely observed in virology where incremental mutations leads to more transmissable but less potent variants - it will somehow prove to be far more dangerous to patients 40 and older. Perhaps, but one can just as easily argue the opposite which is precisely what we did yesterday morning when we said that since Omicron appears to be a far less stable strain than Delta or previous variants due to its numerous, 30+ spike-protein mutations, "one could make the point that while Omicron could soon become the dominant strain due to its higher R-nought (or pace of transmission), that could be a blessing in disguise as it pushes out the much more dangerous (and more stable) delta strain." None other than Pershing Square's Bill Ackman apparently read this take because a few hours later, he tweeted what we said, namely that "while it is too early to have definitive data, early reported data suggest that the Omicron virus causes ‘mild to moderate’ symptoms (less severity) and is more transmissible. If this turns out to be true, this is bullish not bearish for markets.” A thought. While it is too early to have definitive data, early reported data suggest that the Omicron virus causes ‘mild to moderate’ symptoms (less severity) and is more transmissible. If this turns out to be true, this is bullish not bearish for markets. — Bill Ackman (@BillAckman) November 29, 2021 It's not just us and Bill Ackman that have a decidedly contrarian take on the potential impact of Omicron on risk assets: Deutsche Bank's chief credit strategist Jim Reid was also bullish. As he wrote in his Daily Reid note overnight, Omicron "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, Reid said, "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 hospitalization data even if only 6% of the country is over 65s." Putting these together, Reid says that his "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." As for why he remains optimistic, he says that "it's 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." It appears markets now agree with this benign view: in a subsequent report, Reid published the results of a flash poll he conducted earlier this morning, which found that market participants are not expecting Omicron to be a significant event with only 10% thinking it will be the biggest topic in financial markets at year-end (C). The vast majority - or 60% - thought it would still be an issue but only of moderate importance (B), with 30% thinking it will be largely forgotten about (A). There are two ways to read this data: on one hand it shows that markets are not set up for bad news on this front. So, negative Omicron news is likely to be bad for markets without huge additional stimulus. On the other hand, perhaps just this time Wall Street consensus is due to finally be right... Tyler Durden Mon, 11/29/2021 - 16:40.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 29th, 2021

Futures Drift Higher In Quiet, Holiday Session

Futures Drift Higher In Quiet, Holiday Session US equity futures rose (ahead of a cash session that is closed for Thanksgiving holiday), European stocks were mixed and Asian snapped a three-day losing streak on Thursday, hurt by the U.S. dollar which continued to march higher as investors bet on interest rates rising more quickly in the United States than in other major economies such as Japan and the euro zone. Overnight Goldman (which only a few weeks ago brought forward its liftoff forecast by one year to July 2002) said that it now expects the Fed "to announce at its December meeting that it is doubling the pace of tapering to $30bn per month starting in January." That forecast, however, has not spooked futures with S&P 500 and Nasdaq eminis rising by 7 points (0.14%) and 28 points (0.17%) respectively, in a listless session - trading volumes on the MSCI’s gauge of world equities slid 18% from its 30-day average. The dollar rose again, hitting a fresh 16-month high. Remy Cointreau SA jumped 11% in Europe on an earnings beat. Base metals rallied, with nickel near the highest level in seven years. Unlike recent sharp drawdowns, on Wednesday U.S. stocks proved resilient to a slew of strong economic data and Fed minutes on Wednesday that hinted at stagflationary concerns and supported expectations for a quicker removal of stimulus by the Fed. And while inflation concerns deepened, and traders appeared in no mood to miss a year-end calendar meltup, rising bets not only for a quicker taper, but also an earlier liftoff of interest rates, suggest caution may return after Thanksgiving. “The market mood is rather OK-ish after the minutes,” Ipek Ozkardeskaya, a senior analyst at Swissquote, wrote in a note. “At this point, it makes sense to expect an earlier, and maybe a steeper rate normalization from the Fed.” European stocks traded off opening highs with Euro Stoxx 50 up as much as 0.7% before stalling and trading up 0.25% last. Utilities, tech and financial services are the strongest performers; travel remains under pressure as Covid measures are still in focus. MSCI’s global equity benchmark headed for the biggest advance since Nov. 16 as European traders shrugged off a worsening Covid-19 situation in the continent. The Stoxx 600 gauge was boosted by utilities and real estate companies. Remy Cointreau soared to a record high after the French distiller reported first-half results that Citigroup Inc. called “truly exceptional.” Earlier in the session, Asian equities were poised to snap a three-day losing streak, as traders continued to weigh the prospects of higher inflation and faster-than-expected tapering by the U.S. Federal Reserve. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose as much as 0.3% Thursday, with Japanese stocks among the leaders as the dollar held a three-day advance against the yen. In Hong Kong, shares of Kaisa Group Holdings Ltd's (1638.HK) rose as much as 24% on their return to trading, after the embattled Chinese developer said it was offering bondholders an option to exchange existing bonds with new bonds having an extended maturity, to improve financial stability. In India, Reliance shares returned to a price level reached prior to the scrapping of the Indian conglomerate’s deal with Saudi Aramco.  Asian stocks are hovering near a six-week low as a strong dollar remains a headwind for emerging-market equities, while higher U.S. Treasury yields have dragged down technology and other growth stocks around the region. The latest Fed minutes suggested it will accelerate the pace of tapering and rate hikes if inflation persistently stays above the targeted rate and maintains its uptrend, said Banny Lam, head of research at CEB International Investment. “Strong dollar concerns remain intact on earlier-than-expected rate hikes, intensifying the inflation of emerging markets.” South Korean stocks were among the biggest decliners after the nation’s central bank hiked its key interest rate by 25 basis points to 1%, as expected, citing faster inflation. In broad terms, "when it comes to regional equities allocation, we're watching the U.S. dollar which is making new highs and that is a headwind for emerging market equities," said Fook-Hien Yap, senior investment strategist at Standard Chartered Bank wealth management. "The market is now pricing in more than two hikes next year, but we think that is overly aggressive. We are only looking for about one hike next year," said Yap. These expectations have pushed U.S. treasury yields higher, albeit inconsistently, with benchmark 10 year notes last yielding 1.6427% having risen as high as 1.6930% on Wednesday. U.S. Treasuries will not trade on Thursday because of the Thanksgiving holiday. U.S. stock markets will also be closed and will have a shortened session on Friday. Sure enough, fixed income markets are quiet. Bund and gilt curves bull flatten a touch, cash Treasuries remain closed for Thanksgiving. In other central bank news, the Bank of Korea raised its policy interest rate by 25 basis points on Thursday, as widely expected, as concern about rising household debt and inflation offset uncertainty around a resurgence in COVID-19 cases. In FX, the Bloomberg dollar index recovered Asia’s small weakness to trade flat. SEK is the best performer in G-10 with EUR/SEK down 0.4% after the Riksbank tweaked inflation forecasts slightly and signaled that they see a case for a higher benchmark rate in 2024. NZD and AUD lag with most majors trading a narrow range. The dollar is trading near its highest in almost five years versus the Japanese currency at 115.3 yen, and nearly 18 months to the euro which was at $1.1206. In commodities, oil prices were mixed after a turbulent few days in which the United States said it would release millions of barrels of oil from strategic reserves in coordination with China, India, South Korea, Japan and Britain to try to cool oil prices after calls to OPEC+ to pump more went unheeded. However, investors laughed at the programme's effectiveness, leading to price gains. Brent crude was last at $82.14 a barrel, down 0.1%. Action continued to heat up in the base metals market. Nickel rose in London toward the highest level since May 2014 on a closing basis as shrinking inventories pointed to tight supply. Aluminum and copper extended their two-day increase to at least 2% each. Looking at the day ahead, it's a fairly quiet calendar given the Thanksgiving holiday in the US. On the central bank side however, we’ll hear from ECB President Lagarde, and the ECB’s Villeroy, Elderson and Schnabel, along with BoE Governor Bailey and the BoE’s Haskel. On top of that, the ECB will release the account of their October meeting, and data releases include the German GfK consumer confidence reading for December. A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asian equities traded mixed following on from the tentative mood in US where the major indices headed into the Thanksgiving holiday with a slight positive bias although upside was capped as participants digested a deluge of mixed data releases and hawkish leaning FOMC Minutes which suggested an increased likelihood of a taper adjustment. ASX 200 (+0.1%) was choppy as outperformance in tech and miners was counterbalanced by losses in consumer stocks, energy and the top-weighted financials sector, while mixed capex data which showed a larger than expected contraction for Q3 further added to the headwinds. Nikkei 225 (+0.7%) outperformed and reclaimed the 29,500 level after the recent favourable currency flows and stimulus optimism with Japan considering offering a JPY 5k inbound travel subsidy and is planning a JPY 22.1tln government bond sale as part of economic stimulus and extra budget. KOSPI (-0.4%) softened amid a widely expected 25bps rate hike by the BoK and with BoK Governor Lee suggesting the potential for another hike in Q1 next year. Hang Seng (+0.1%) and Shanghai Comp. (-0.1%) lacked direction amid ongoing frictions including issues related to Taiwan and after the US Commerce Department placed 12 Chinese companies/entities on its entity list due to national security concerns, while EU ambassadors approved to renew sanctions on four Chinese officials and one Chinese entity for human rights abuses. However, the downside for Chinese bourses was limited after another tepid PBoC liquidity effort and with a local press report noting that China is to use more fiscal policy to support growth. There were also reports that Chengdu city launched measures to help developers with cash problems in obtaining funds, while Kaisa Group shares saw a double-digit percentage jump on reopen from a three-week trading halt after it offered to exchange bonds for new bonds with an extended maturity in an effort to improve financial stability and remain afloat. Finally, 10yr JGBs were rangebound after the sideways price action seen in global counterparts and cautious risk tone in Asia, while the results of the latest 40yr JGB auction were also inconclusive with a weaker b/c offset by an increase in the low price. European cash equities (Euro Stoxx 50 +0.3%; Stoxx 600 +0.2%) trade on a modestly in the green but off best levels as bourses’ attempt to reclaim some of the lost ground seen throughout the week somewhat lost momentum, with the Stoxx 600 down 1.3% WTD. Macro drivers for the region remain a combination of this week’s (slightly stale) survey metrics, ECB speak and COVID angst with the latter providing a bulk of the direction for European assets this week. The handover from the APAC region was a somewhat mixed one as the Nikkei 225 (+0.6%) continued to benefit from favourable currency flows and ongoing stimulus hopes whilst Chinese stocks (Shanghai Comp -0.2%) digested a combination of US-China tensions over Taiwan, EU sanctions on China and expectations of domestic fiscal measures to support growth. Futures in the US (ahead of the early close) are currently on a mildly firmer footing (ES +0.3%) however, traders will likely not pay much credence to these moves given that the cash markets are closed today. The latest BofA flow show noted that stocks saw just their second week of outflows for the year, albeit equities have posted USD 839bln of inflows in 2021 which is more than the USD 785bln seen in the past 19 years combined. Elsewhere, SocGen is of the view that the bull market is not over for European equities and the cycle has further room to run into next year as inflation peaks and Fed-ECB policy diverges. SocGen’s end-2022 target of 520 implies a 9% upside from current levels. Sectors in Europe are mostly firmer with the Food & Beverage sector a top performer amid gains in Remy Cointreau (+11%) who sit at the top of the Stoxx 600 post-earnings which saw the Co. raise its profit outlook. In sympathy, Pernod Ricard (+2.0%), Campari (+1.1%) and Diageo (+0.8%) are all seen higher. To the downside, Travel & Leisure names lag amid ongoing losses in sector-heavyweight Evolution (-5.6%) with the latest update for the Co. noting it has contacted New Jersey regulators and launched an internal probe following accusations the company is conducting business in US blacklisted countries. Also of note for the sector, reports suggest that the EU is set to endorse a 9-month limit on COVID-19 vaccine validity in travel. Finally, Vivo Energy (+20%) is seen higher on the session after Vitol reached an agreement to purchase the Co. for USD 1.85/shr. In FX, the index sees a mild pullback in early European trade on Thanksgiving Day Holiday, after notching a fresh YTD peak yesterday at 96.938 with traders also weighing end-of-month flows. Yesterday's FOMC Minutes had little impact on the Buck, but the release stated the Fed should be prepared to adjust the pace of asset purchases and raise the target range for FFR sooner if inflation continued to run higher than levels consistent with the Fed objective. Some participants preferred a somewhat faster pace of reductions. DXY trades within a narrow 96.649-832 range. Ahead, the calendar is empty from a US standpoint. EUR, GBP - The single currency stands are the current G10 winner, albeit within narrow ranges in holiday-thinned trade. Desks suggest that light short-covering may warrant given the recent COVID-led downside. On the COVID front, reports suggested the EU is to endorse a 9-month limit on COVID-19 vaccine validity in travel. Sources earlier in the week suggested that updated EU travel guidance will likely be released today, whilst France is also today poised to provide more colour on COVID-related restrictions. EUR/USD has reclaimed a 1.1200 handle but trades within yesterday's 1.1184-1.1250 range. GBP/USD meanwhile is relatively flat within a 20-pip parameter, with not much to report aside from overnight commentary highlighting the 'substantial distance' between the UK and EU on the Northern Ireland protocol. Ahead, participants will be on the lookout for commentary from BoE governor Bailey and Haskel. Note, some participants also highlight chunky OpEx tomorrow in GBP/USD comprising of some GBP 1.3bln around 1.3400-10. AUD, NZD - Antipodeans are on the back foot, with the NZD continuing to lag post-RBNZ and following a narrower NZ trade deficit as the AUD/NZD cross inches closer towards 1.0500 after confirming support around the 1.0450 region. AUD/USD was unfazed by lower-than-expected Q3 Aussie Capex. Desks highlight support at 0.7170 (Sept 29th low) ahead of the YTD low at 0.7106. Technicians may also be cognizant of the 21 DMA (0.7346) set to cross through the 100 DMA (0.7346) and 50 DMA (0.7344). JPY - The JPY is relatively flat on the day within a 115.30-45 band, with desks suggesting bids are eye towards 115.00 and offers above 115.50. OpEx is interesting; USD/JPY sees USD 1.2bln between 115.10 and around USD 800mln at strike 115.50. SEK, HUF - The Riksbank maintained its Rate at 0.00% and asset holdings unchanged as expected and said the repo rate will be raised in the latter part of 2024 – with the Q4 2024 rate path seen averaging at 0.19%. Overall, the decision was in-line with expectations. The SEK saw some modest upside heading into the announcement, but on the largely as-expected release, EUR/SEK remained in proximity to the pre-announcement level of 10.20. Meanwhile, the Hungarian Central Bank announced a 40bps hike to its 1-week Repo Rate in an expected but unscheduled move. EUR/HUF moved from 367.25 to 365.40 on the hike. In commodities, WTI and Brent futures are choppy following the earlier softness at the start of the session, which was seemingly a function of a mild deterioration across equity markets, also coinciding with Ifax reports that the US is trying to persuade Russia to lift oil output. Sticking with OPEC+, the morning also saw commentary out of Kuwait and the UAE, who both signalled open-mindedness heading into next week’s meeting, although WSJ sources yesterday suggested the UAE does not see the need to pause current plans. WTI Jan has dipped back under USD 78/bbl (vs high USD 76.65/bbl) while Brent Feb resides just north of USD 80.50/bbl (vs high 81.40/bbl). Ahead, participants will be balancing OPEC+ sources and commentary to get a more solid idea on which route the group will likely take next week. Elsewhere, spot gold remains caged within a cluster of DMAs including the 100 (1,793), 200 (1,791) and 50 (1,789). Base metals are once again firmer with traders citing bullish commentary on Chinese infrastructure. LME copper inches closer towards USD 10k/t whilst Dalian iron ore futures overnight stretched their rally to a fifth consecutive session, spot prices topped USD 100/t. DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap A reminder that this week we published our 2022 credit strategy outlook. See here for the full report. Craig has also put out a more detailed HY 2022 strategy document here and Karthik a more detailed IG equivalent here. Basically we think spreads will widen as much as 30-40bps in IG and 120-160bps in HY due to a response to a more dramatic appreciation of the Fed being well behind the curve. This sort of move is consistent with typical mid-cycle ranges through history. We do expect this to mostly retrace in H2 as markets recover from the shock and growth remains decent and liquidity still high. Today will likely prove a quieter one in markets given the Thanksgiving holiday in the US. But ahead of that, risk assets eventually climbed a wall of worry yesterday as investors moved to dial up their hawkish bets on the Fed’s policy trajectory, just as the latest Covid wave in Europe further contributed to investor concerns. Nevertheless, after trading in the red most of the day, global equity markets just managed to finish the day in positive territory, with the S&P 500 gaining +0.23% and the STOXX 600 advancing +0.09%. First, on the hawkish Fed policy trajectory, our US economics team updated their calls to expect just that. In a note yesterday (link here), they outlined expectations for the Fed to double the pace of tapering at the December FOMC meeting following better-than-expected inflation and employment data since the November FOMC. This would bring monthly reductions in Treasury purchases to $20bn and MBS purchases to $10bn, which would bring the end of taper forward to March. In line, they’re bringing their call for liftoff forward a month to June 2022. Our econ team weren’t the only ones to adjust their outlook. San Francisco Fed President Daly, one of the biggest doves on the FOMC and a voter in December, said in an interview that, “if (strong inflation and jobs data continue) then those are the things that would say, looks like we need faster tapering”. Furthermore, she also said that “I am very open and, in fact, leaning towards that we’ll want to raise rates from the zero lower bound at the end of next year”. So if one of the Fed’s biggest doves is feeling this way, then that showcases the shift in thinking that could be taking place more broadly on the committee. Front-end US rates sold off following the comment and yesterday’s data releases, which did nothing to change the recent hawkish turn from Fed officials. In fact, by the close of trade investors were fully pricing in a hike by June, and pricing about two-thirds probability of a May hike. They are still projecting three full hikes in the next calendar year. You’ll know from the credit outlook that we continue to think the Fed is way behind the curve and that catch-up will likely cause some volatility in H1 with notably wider credit spreads. See the link at the top for more on our view. Those moves were given some fresh impetus by stronger-than-expected US data, of which plenty arrived in advance of the holiday today. First, the weekly initial jobless claims for the week through November 20 fell to 199k (vs. 260k expected), which is their lowest level since 1969 and the first time we’ve seen a reading comfortably around or beneath their levels immediately before the pandemic. Claims are always a bit all over the place around Thanksgiving due to seasonal adjustments so we may need a couple of weeks before the trend can be confirmed. Secondly, we then had the second estimate of Q3 GDP in the US, which was revised up a tenth to show an annualised growth rate of +2.1%. Third, the personal income and spending data came in above expectations in October, with personal income up +0.5%, and personal spending up +1.3%, which in both cases was three-tenths higher than expected. And finally, although the University of Michigan’s final consumer sentiment index was still at a decade low, the final measure came in at 67.4, above the preliminary reading of 66.8. Long-term inflation expectations edged back up a tenth to 3.0%, where it was in September and May this year, the joint highest readings since 2013. All that created additional momentum in front-end US rates, with the 2yr yield (+2.6bps) and the 5yr yield (+0.3bps) both rising to fresh post-pandemic highs as the prospect of faster tapering and earlier rate hikes came into view. That put further upward pressure on the dollar as well, with the index strengthening by +0.33% yesterday to hit a 16-month high, having now risen by over +6% since its low in late May just 6 months ago. Of course the flip side was that a number of currencies shifted lower vis-à-vis the dollar, and the euro dipped below the $1.12 mark at the end of the day for the first time since June 2020. Amidst the moves higher in front-end Treasury yields, another round of curve flattening saw longer-dated ones fall back yesterday, with the 10yr yield down -3.1bps to 1.63%. That flattening took the 5s30s curve down -6.9bps to its lowest level since the initial market turmoil at the start of the pandemic back in March 2020, having fallen by over 100bps since its intraday high back in February. 2s10s twisted -5.7bps flatter as well, as investors priced in near-term Fed policy action that could engender a hard landing that hurts longer term growth. It was a different picture in Europe however, where curves steepened for the most part and the moves lower in long-end rates were much more subdued. By the close, yields on 10yr bunds (-0.8bps), OATs (+0.0bps) and BTPs (+1.3bps) had seen relatively little movement, as investors continue to expect that the ECB will take a much more cautious approach to raising rates relative to the Fed. Overnight in Asia markets are again mixed but being led by the Nikkei (+0.68%) and the Hang Seng (+0.14%), while the Shanghai Composite (-0.10%), CSI (-0.31%) and KOSPI (-0.34%) are losing ground. In a widely expected move the Bank of Korea raised rates for a second time since August, taking the policy rate to 1.0%. The BOK revised its inflation outlook to 2.3% for 2021 and 2% for 2022 which was expected. Futures markets are higher with the S&P 500 (+0.28%) and DAX (+0.35%) trading in the green. Treasuries are closed. Back to yesterday, and one of the main pieces of news came from Germany, where there was finally confirmation that the centre-left SPD, the Greens and the liberal FDP had agreed a full coalition deal. In terms of the economic measures, the notable ones include a restoration of the debt brake from 2023, which has been suspended during the pandemic, as well as an increase in the minimum wage to €12 per hour. We’ll wait to see if dealing with the climate emergency is carved out to some degree from the debt brake. I suspect it will be in some form. Assuming the deal is agreed by each of the parties, who will put the agreement to internal party approval processes, that could see the SPD’s Olaf Scholz become Chancellor in the week commencing December 6, bringing an end to Chancellor Merkel’s 16-year tenure. That new coalition will be coming into office at a difficult time in light of the latest covid wave across Europe, and in his remarks yesterday, Scholz said that they would consider targeted vaccination mandates for those working with vulnerable groups. That came as the Bild newspaper reported that Chancellor Merkel asked the members of the new coalition to impose a 2-week nationwide lockdown, but this was rejected in a meeting on Tuesday evening. Overnight Germany reported 75,961 new cases, up from 66,884 on Tuesday. Other countries are also moving to ramp up restrictions across the continent, with French health minister Veran expected to announce fresh measures at a news conference today, whilst Italy approved new curbs on the unvaccinated, including entry restrictions to enter restaurants and cinemas. Elsewhere, Slovakia announced a new lockdown that will see residents only permitted to leave home for work, education, or essential activities, with the closure of restaurants and non-essential shops for two weeks. A reminder that we are adding a daily G7 plus important country new cases chart every day in this email blast and a fatalities chart in the full pdf under “view report”. The day ahead has a fairly quiet calendar given the Thanksgiving holiday in the US. On the central bank side however, we’ll hear from ECB President Lagarde, and the ECB’s Villeroy, Elderson and Schnabel, along with BoE Governor Bailey and the BoE’s Haskel. On top of that, the ECB will release the account of their October meeting, and data releases include the German GfK consumer confidence reading for December. Tyler Durden Thu, 11/25/2021 - 08:40.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 25th, 2021

With Low Vaccination Rates, Africa"s COVID Deaths Remain Far Below Europe & US

With Low Vaccination Rates, Africa's COVID Deaths Remain Far Below Europe & US Authored by Ryan McMaken via The Mises Institute, Since the very beginning of the covid panic, the narrative has been this: implement severe lockdowns or your population will experience a bloodbath. Morgues will be overwhelmed, the death total toll will be astounding. On the other hand, we were assured those jurisdictions that do lock down would see only a fraction of the death toll. Then, once vaccines became available, the narrative was modified to: "Get shots in arms and then covid will stop spreading. Those countries without vaccines, on the other hand, will continue to face mass casualties." The lockdown narrative, of course, has already been thoroughly overturned. Jurisdictions that did not lock down or adopted only weak and short lockdowns ended up with covid death tolls that were either similar to—or even better than—death tolls in countries that adopted draconian lockdowns. Lockdown advocates said locked-down countries would be overwhelmingly better off. These people were clearly wrong.  Undaunted by the increasing implausibility of the lockdown narrative, the global health bureaucrats are nonetheless doubling down on forced vaccines—as we now see in Austria—and we continue to be assured that only countries with high vaccination rates can hope to avoid disastrous covid outcomes.  Yet, the experience in sub-Saharan Africa calls both these narratives into question: Africa's numbers have been far, far lower than the experts warned would be the case.  For example, the AP reported this week that in spite of low vaccination rates, Africa has fared better than most of the world: [T]here is something “mysterious” going on in Africa that is puzzling scientists, said Wafaa El-Sadr, chair of global health at Columbia University. “Africa doesn’t have the vaccines and the resources to fight COVID-19 that they have in Europe and the U.S., but somehow they seem to be doing better,” she said…. Fewer than 6% of people in Africa are vaccinated. For months, the WHO has described Africa as “one of the least affected regions in the world” in its weekly pandemic reports. Yet disaster for Africa has long been predicted for several reasons even beyond the availability of vaccines. For instance, it is known that lockdowns are especially impractical in the poorest parts of the world. This is because populations in places with undeveloped economies can’t simply sit at home and live off savings or debt. Rather, these people must go out into the world and earn a living on a day-to-day basis. Starvation is the alternative. Moreover, much of this work is done in the informal economy, so enforcing lockdowns becomes especially difficult. Source: Our World in Data (Confirmed Deaths per Million, November 19, 2021;  Share of People Vaccinated against Covid-19, November 19, 2021). It was also assumed covid would be especially deadly in Africa due to the fact many large households live in small housing units. But that "conventional wisdom" flies in the face of the reality of covid in Africa, which is that there have been fewer deaths. The "experts" have groped around, looking for possible explanations. Some sources, for example, insist that the low death totals are only an artifact of incomplete reporting on covid infections and that "a lack of good qualitative data was the issue." But Richard Wamai at Northeastern University rejects the claim it’s all about case reporting, and says that "local systems for reporting deaths in Africa make it difficult to hide COVID-19 casualties." In a paper for the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Wamai and his coauthors conclude, "[T]here is no evidence that COVID-19 mortality data is less accurately reported in Africa than elsewhere" and "While the true picture of infections and mortality in the continent has yet to fully emerge, the quality of data for other diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, indicates that Africa has the capacity to collect and report valid disease surveillance data." In any case, the World Health Organization reports that covid deaths in Africa make up only 2.9 percent of covid deaths, while Africa’s population is 16 percent of the global total. Africa’s covid total could double or triple, and Africa would still be faring far better than Europe and the Americas. Wamai et al. also note that at this point "[i]t is likely that SARS-CoV-2 has already been widely disseminated through Africa…. If so, widespread infection is likely to also result in widespread natural immunity." In other words, continued claims by health officials—both in Africa and elsewhere—that mass death is right around the corner with the "next wave" look increasingly implausible.  It looks increasingly likely that the lack of covid mortality in Africa is not due to a data issue nor a situation in which covid has been "contained" up until now. So then why is Africa doing so much better than the wealthy West? Naturally, the advocates of forced lockdowns and coerced vaccines would prefer to ignore this issue altogether, but the undeniable reality of Africa’s experience has forced mainstream researchers to publicly admit the many ways that many factors can explain covid's prevalence beyond vaccination rates and mask mandates. For instance, mentioning that obesity is an important factor in covid mortality has in the past been likely to get one savaged in the media for "fat shaming." Yet the Africa situation has forced the well informed to admit that yes, obese populations clearly suffer more from covid. In Africa, not surprisingly, we find that obesity rates are far below those found in North America and Europe. Other possible explanations forwarded as reasons for Africa’s situation include past exposure to other coronaviruses, youthful populations, fewer patients lacking zinc and vitamin D, past use of the Bacillus Calmette-Guérin vaccination, climate, genetic background, and parasite load.  In addressing the African "enigma" one group of researchers in the journal Colombia medica dared even suggest it’s possible—although not conclusively shown at this point—that “a mass public health preventive campaign against COVID-19 may have taken place, inadvertently, in some African countries with massive community ivermectin use.” Source: "Global Obesity Levels," ProCon.org, last modified March 27, 2020; Our World in Data (Share of People Vaccinated against Covid-19, November 19, 2021). In the West, however, the media drumbeat around covid has consistently been "Shut up, stay home, get jabbed, and stop doubting the experts on forced vaccines." Fortunately, however, the African situation has forced many researchers to ask inconvenient questions. In fact, it’s amazing Africa has not been overcome by mass death considering that covid lockdowns and covid "mitigation" measures have contributed to the impoverishment and mass starvation on the continent. Or as Germany’s DW News puts it, “Measures put in place to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus are pushing millions of people in Africa into severe hunger.” And as Wamai notes, “[S]ome of the excess deaths in Africa “can be attributed not to the disease, but to lockdown measures that cut off access to medical care for other illnesses.” But Africa hasn’t gotten the bloodbath that was promised, and as one Nigerian put it, "They said there will be dead bodies on the streets and all that, but nothing like that happened." Tyler Durden Thu, 11/25/2021 - 05:10.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 25th, 2021

The Benefit Of SARS-CoV-2 Natural Immunity In The Armed Forces

The Benefit Of SARS-CoV-2 Natural Immunity In The Armed Forces Authored by Scott Sturman via RealClearDefense.com, The risks to soldiers, sailors, and airmen of contracting SARS-CoV-2 affect the readiness of military organizations. The condition of an individual's immune status determines susceptibility to infection and is dependent on one's pre-existing medical condition, the implementation of beneficial prophylactic treatments, and whether protection is conferred by natural immunity or vaccination. Commanders who assess and rationally address the problem will ensure the best possible health outcome for those under their command. The age of those serving in the military places them in a low-risk category for severe morbidity and death due to Covid. Without accounting for health risk factors, those 18-29 represent 0.56% of all U.S. Covid deaths to date, while those 18-49, a cohort representing most active duty personnel, account for 6.3% of the total. In this healthy patient population, the goal to achieve broad, long-lasting immunity against SARS-CoV-2 can be better achieved by naturally acquired immunity instead of relying on vaccines that require multiple boosters and do not confer sterilizing protection. Natural immunity is the gold standard of immunology. Exposure and subsequent recovery from a pathogen provide immunity due to antibodies and memory B and T cells. This protection is often lifelong and complete since one's immune system develops antibodies against multiple antigens on the infectious organism. Traditional vaccines using live attenuated or killed inoculums also afford this level of protection. However, mRNA vaccines designed to induce antibodies against a single, highly mutating antigen require frequent booster shots, allow for breakthrough infections, and the ability to infect others. To date, there are over 100 high-quality studies that demonstrate the superiority or equality of natural immunity compared to vaccine induced immunity. Natural immunity critics point out that long-lasting immunity has not been proven; however, this is a disingenuous argument since persistent immunity has been shown as long as the observations have been conducted. Patients who recovered in 2003 from SARS-CoV-1, a close relative of SARS-CoV-2, remain immune eighteen years later. An article from Nature concluded that those with even mild symptoms due to SARS-CoV-2 will produce antibodies for a lifetime. The CDC traditionally recognized that patients who have contracted certain diseases do not require vaccination for those diseases. Examples include mumps, measles, rubella, and chickenpox-diseases where there is no benefit to vaccination after illness.  Studies published by the Cleveland Clinic and from Israel describe extremely low reinfection rates in patients who acquired and recovered from SARS- CoV-2. Pfizer admits that its mRNA vaccine induces antibody titers that wane rapidly after administration, thus requiring multiple boosters. Furthermore, vaccinated patients obtain high viral loads and are as infectious as non vaccinated patients, yet the CDC cannot demonstrate one case when a patient with natural immunity becomes reinfected with SARS-CoV-2 and transmits it to another person. Fully vaccinated countries have the highest incidence of new Covid cases. While protective against hospitalization and death, adverse reactions to mRNA vaccines exceed 850,000, including over 18,000 deaths, as reported in a recent summary of the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). The link between vaccine induced myocarditis and young males is widely established, prompting Germany and France to suspend all Moderna vaccinations for those under age 30. Those recovered from naturally acquired disease are more apt to experience side effects if vaccinated. Black and Hispanic vaccination rates lag behind Whites, yet these minorities die from Covid at numbers out of proportion to their respective vaccination rates. With the high numbers of minorities serving in the armed forces, commanders must be aware of the best medical options to ensure their health and ability to fulfill the mission. Blacks and Hispanics frequently have low serum vitamin D3 levels due to inadequate dietary supplementation or sun generated synthesis. Studies indicate that those who suffer severe symptoms or death from Covid often presented with low levels of serum vitamin D3. Routine supplementation with vitamin D3 prior to contracting Covid has a beneficial effect, particularly in patients at high risk. Natural induced immunity to SARS-CoV-2 offers a military advantage. Under these circumstances, the Department of Defense has at its disposal a fighting force at low risk for reinfection, protected against the severe effects of new variants, and not in need of endless booster shots. Requiring vaccinations that are potentially harmful and provide little medical benefit adversely affects reenlistment rates and degrades morale. Exempting Congress, their staff, and judicial branch of government from mandatory vaccination reeks of hypocrisy, and this double standard is palpable among those who serve. The argument that vaccinating low-risk groups is necessary to protect others is debunked in a recent Lancet study which noted, "fully vaccinated individuals with breakthrough infections have peak viral load similar to unvaccinated cases and can efficiently transmit infection in household settings, including to fully vaccinated contacts." All members of the armed services should receive SARS-CoV-2 antibody testing, and if positive, be automatically exempted from Covid vaccination. Those who test negative and do not have medical risk factors should be placed on prophylactic vitamin D3 and encouraged to maintain an ideal body weight. There are a number of other widely discussed prophylactic and therapeutic options available, which are inexpensive, protective, and of low risk to patients. Commanders must insist that these alternatives be thoroughly explored, studied, and implemented if proven effective. The welfare of the country depends on those serving in the armed forces, and their health care must be based on non-political, scientifically based policies. Tyler Durden Mon, 11/22/2021 - 18:20.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 22nd, 2021

Key Events This Holiday-Shortened Week: A Wednesday Data Dump For The Ages

Key Events This Holiday-Shortened Week: A Wednesday Data Dump For The Ages This week will be heavily compressed given Thanksgiving on Thursday. The highlight though will be the just announced White House decision to nominate Powell for a second term as Fed Chair with Lael Brainard set to become Fed vice chair (suggesting Rich Clarida is out). Overnight it’s been announced that Biden will give a speech to the American people tomorrow on the economy and prices. Biden will likely discuss hiw decision here and perhaps plans to release oil from the strategic reserve. Following that, DB's Jim Reid notes that Wednesday is especially busy as a pre-holiday US data dump descends upon us. We’ll see the minutes of the November 3rd FOMC meeting and earlier that day the core PCE deflator (the Fed's preferred inflation metric), Durable Goods, the UoM sentiment index (including latest inflation expectations), new home sales and jobless claims amongst a few other releases. In addition to the abovementioned Fed chair decision, there are also a number of other positions to fill at the Fed in the coming months, with Vice Chair Clarida’s term as an FOMC governor expiring in January, Randal Quarles set to leave the Board by the end of this year, and another vacant post still unfilled. So a significant opportunity for the Biden administration to reshape the top positions at the Fed. More internationally, covid will be focus, especially in Europe as Austria enters lockdown today after the shock announcement on Friday. Germany is probably the swing factor here for sentiment in Europe so case numbers will be watched closely. Staying with Germany, there’s anticipation that a coalition agreement could be reached in Germany between the SPD, Greens and the FDP, almost two months after their federal election. Otherwise, the flash PMIs for November will be in focus, with the ECB following the Fed and releasing the minutes from their recent meeting on Thursday. That said, the Fed chair decision is unlikely to have a material impact on the broad policy trajectory. Inflation in 2022 is likely to remain at levels that make most Fed officials uncomfortable, whilst the regional Fed presidents rotating as voters lean more hawkish next year, so there’ll be constraints to how policy could shift in a dovish direction, even if an incoming chair wanted to move things that way. Another unconfirmed but much anticipated announcement this week could come from Germany, where there’s hope that the centre-left SPD, the Greens and the liberal FDP will finally reach a coalition agreement. The general secretaries of all three parties have recently said that they hope next week will be when a deal is reached, and a deal would pave the way for the SPD’s Olaf Scholz to become chancellor at the head of a 3-party coalition. Nevertheless, there are still some hurdles to clear before then, since an agreement would mark the start of internal party approval processes. The FDP and the SPD are set to hold a party convention, whilst the Greens have announced that their members will vote on the agreement. On the virus, there is no doubt things are getting worse in Europe but it’s worth putting some of the vaccine numbers in some context. Austria (64% of total population) has a double vaccination rate that is somewhat lower than the likes of Spain (79%), Italy (74%), France (69%), the UK (69%) and Germany (68%). The UK for all its pandemic fighting faults is probably as well placed as any due to it being more advanced on the booster campaign due to an earlier vaccine start date and also due to higher natural infections. It was also a conscious decision back in the summer in the UK to flatten the peak to take load off the winter wave. Europe is a bit behind on boosters versus the UK but perhaps these will accelerate as more people get 6 months from their second jab, albeit a bit too late to stop some kind of winter wave. There may also be notable divergence within Europe. Countries like Italy and Spain (and to a slightly lesser extent France) that were hit hard in the initial waves have a high vaccination rate so it seems less likely they will suffer the dramatic escalation that Austria has seen. Germany is in the balance as they have had lower infection rates which unfortunately may have encouraged slightly lower vaccination rates. The irony here is that there is some correlation between early success/lower infections and lower subsequent vaccination rates. The opposite is also true - i.e. early bad outcomes but high vaccination rates. The US is another contradiction as it’s vaccination rate of 58% is very low in the developed world but it has had high levels of natural infections and has a higher intolerance for lockdowns. So tough to model all the above. Elsewhere, in light of the rising caseloads, the November flash PMIs should provide some context for how the global economy has performed into the month. We’ve already seen a deceleration in the composite PMIs for the Euro Area since the summer, so it’ll be interesting to see if that’s maintained. If anything the US data has reaccelerated in Q4 with the Atlanta Fed GDPNow series at 8.2% for the quarter after what will likely be a revised 2.2% print on Wednesday for Q3. Time will tell if Covid temporarily dampens this again. Elsewhere datawise, we’ll also get the Ifo’s latest business climate indicator for Germany on Wednesday, which has experienced a similar deceleration to other European data since the summer. The rest of the week ahead appears as usual in the day-by-day calendar at the end. Courtesy of DB here is a day-by-day calendar of events Monday November 22 Data: US October Chicago Fed national activity index, existing home sales, Euro Area advance November consumer confidence, Australia flash November manufacturing, services and composite PMIs (22:00UK time) Central Banks: ECB’s Holzmann, Kazaks and Kazimir speak Tuesday November 23 Data: Flash November manufacturing, services and composite PMIs from France, Germany, Euro Area, UK and US, US November Richmond Fed manufacturing index Central Banks: BoE’s Haskel speaks Other: President Biden to speak on economy and prices Wednesday November 24 Data: Japan flash November manufacturing, services and composite PMIs, Germany November Ifo business climate indicator, US weekly initial jobless claims, preliminary October wholesale inventories, durable goods orders, core capital goods orders, October personal income, personal spending, new home sales, final November University of Michigan consumer sentiment index, second estimate Q3 GDP Central Banks: FOMC release meeting minutes, BoE’s Tenreyro speaks Thursday November 25 Central Banks: Bank of Korea monetary policy decision, ECB release meeting minutes, ECB President Lagarde, ECB’s Villeroy, and Elderson, BoE Governor Bailey and BoE’s Haskel speak Other: US markets closed for Thanksgiving holiday Friday November 26 Data: France November consumer confidence, Euro Area October M3 money supply, Italy November consumer confidence index Central Banks: ECB President Lagarde, ECB’s Schnabel, Panetta and Lane, and BoE’s Pill speak Finally, looking at just the US, Goldman writes that the key economic data releases this week are the second Q3 GDP release, the October durable goods report, and the October core PCE report, all on Wednesday morning. The minutes from the November FOMC meeting will be released on Wednesday. There are no speaking engagements from Fed officials this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday. Monday, November 22 10:00 AM Existing home sales, October (GS -2.0%, consensus -1.8%, last +7.0%); We estimate that existing home sales declined by 2.0% in October after increasing by 7.0% in September. Existing home sales are an input into the brokers' commissions component of residential investment in the GDP report. Tuesday, November 23 09:45 AM Markit Flash US manufacturing PMI, November preliminary (consensus 59.1, last 58.4); Markit Flash US services PMI, November preliminary (consensus 59.0, last 58.7) 10:00 AM Richmond Fed manufacturing index, November (consensus 11, last 10) Wednesday, November 24 08:30 AM Initial jobless claims, week ended November 20 (GS 245k, consensus 261k, last 268k); Continuing jobless claims, week ended November 13 (consensus 2,052k, last 2,080k); We estimate initial jobless claims declined to 245k in the week ended November 20. 08:30 AM Advance goods trade balance, October (GS -$98.5bn, consensus -$95.0bn, last -$96.3bn); We estimate that the goods trade deficit increased by $3.6bn to $98.5bn in October compared to the final September report, reflecting an increase in imports. 08:30 AM Wholesale inventories, November preliminary (consensus +1.1%., last -0.2%): Retail inventories, November (consensus +0.2%, last +1.4%) 08:30 AM GDP, Q3 second (GS +2.5%, consensus +2.2%, last +2.0%): Personal consumption, Q3 second (GS +2.0%, consensus +1.6%, last +1.6%): We estimate a five-tenths upward revision to Q3 GDP growth to +2.5% (qoq ar). Our forecast reflects the upward revisions to inventory data since the advance Q3 reading, as well as firmer-than-expected services consumption details in Friday’s Census QSS survey. 8:30 AM Durable goods orders, October preliminary (GS -0.5%, consensus +0.2%, last -0.3%): Durable goods orders ex-transportation, October preliminary (GS +0.7%, consensus +0.5%, last +0.5%); Core capital goods orders, October preliminary (GS +1.0%, consensus +0.5%, last +0.6%); Core capital goods shipments, October preliminary (GS +0.7%, consensus +0.5%, last +1.4%); We estimate durable goods declined 0.5% in the preliminary October report, reflecting a pullback in commercial aircraft and defense orders. However, we estimate firm gains in core capital goods orders (+1.0%) and core capital goods shipments (+0.7%), reflecting strong goods demand and higher prices. 08:30 AM Personal income, October (GS flat, consensus +0.2%, last +0.2%); Personal spending, October (GS +1.1%, consensus +1.0%, last +0.6%); PCE price index, October (GS +0.59%, consensus +0.7%, last +0.32%): Core PCE price index, October (GS +0.37%, consensus +0.4%, last +0.21%) PCE price index (yoy), October (GS +4.95%, consensus +5.1%, last +4.38%); Core PCE price index (yoy), October (GS +4.02%, consensus +4.1%, last +3.64%): Based on details in the PPI, CPI, and import price reports, we forecast that the core PCE price index rose by 0.37% month-over-month in October, corresponding to a 4.02% increase from a year earlier. Additionally, we expect that the headline PCE price index increased by 0.59% in October, corresponding to a 4.95% increase from a year earlier. We expect that personal income was flat and personal spending increased by 0.2% In October. 10:00 AM University of Michigan consumer sentiment, November Final (GS 67.1, consensus 66.8, last 66.8); We expect the University of Michigan consumer sentiment index increased by 0.3pt to 67.1 in the final November reading. 10:00 AM New home sales, October (GS flat, consensus flat, last +14.0%); We estimate that new home sales were flat in October, reflecting an increase in housing permits offset by expected mean reversion following last month’s sharp increase in sales. 02:00 PM Minutes from the November 2-3 FOMC meeting; The FOMC announced the start of tapering at its November meeting today at a $15bn per month pace. The FOMC statement noted that the Committee is “prepared to adjust the pace of purchases if warranted,” but language like this that expresses flexibility is routine, and we think the hurdle to accelerating the pace is high. Thursday, November 25 Thanksgiving holiday. NYSE closed. SIFMA recommends bond markets also close. Friday, November 26 NYSE will close early at 1:00 PM. SIFMA recommends an early 2:00 PM close to bond markets. Source: DB, Goldman, BofA Tyler Durden Mon, 11/22/2021 - 09:32.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 22nd, 2021

Futures Trade Near All Time High As Traders Shrug At Inflation, Covid Concerns

Futures Trade Near All Time High As Traders Shrug At Inflation, Covid Concerns US equity futures and European markets started the Thanksgiving week on an upbeat note as investors set aside fear of surging inflation and focused on a pickup in M&A activity while China signaled possible easing measures. The euphoria which lifted S&P futures up some 0.5% overnight and just shy of all time highs ended abruptly and futures reversed after German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the Covid situation in the country is worse than anything so far and tighter curbs are needed. At 730 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 95 points, or 0.26%. S&P 500 e-minis were up 12.25 points, or 0.26% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 58.75 points, or 0.357%. U.S. stocks trade near record levels, outpacing the rest of the world, as investors see few alternatives amid rising inflation and a persistent pandemic that undermines global recovery. Concerns about high valuations and the potential for the economy to run too hot on the back of loose monetary and fiscal policies have interrupted, but not stopped the rally. In other words, as Bloomberg puts it "bears are winning the argument, bulls are winning in the market" while Nasdaq futures hit another record high as demand for technology stocks remained strong. “Based on historical data, the Thanksgiving week is a strong week for U.S. equities,” Ipek Ozkardeskaya, a senior analyst at Swissquote, wrote in a note. “Black Friday sales will be closely watched. The good news is, people still have money to spend, even though they get less goods and services in exchange of what’s spent.” In premarket moves, heavyweights, including most FAANG majors, rose in premarket trade. Vonage Holdings Corp. jumped 26% in premarket trading after Ericsson agreed to buy it. Telecom Italia SpA jumped as much as 30% in Europe after KKR offered to buy it for $12 billion. Energy stocks recovered slightly from last week's losses, although anticipation of several economic readings this week kept gains in check. Bank stocks rose in premarket trading as the U.S. 10-year Treasury yield climbed for the first time in three sessions to about 1.58%. S&P 500 futures gain as much as 0.5% on Monday morning. Tesla gained 2.8% after Chief Executive Elon Musk tweeted that Model S Plaid will "probably" be coming to China around March. Activision Blizzard (ATVI.O) slipped 1.1% after a media report that the video game publisher's top boss, Bobby Kotick, would consider leaving if he cannot quickly fix culture problems. Travel and energy stocks, which were among the worst performers last week, also marked small gains before the open. Here is a list of the other notable premarket movers: Astra Space (ASTR US) shares surge 33% in premarket trading after the company said its rocket reached orbit. Aurora Innovation (AUR US) falls 8% in premarket, after soaring 71% last week amid a surge in popularity for self-driving technology companies among retail traders. Chinese electric-carmaker Xpeng (XPEV US) rises as much as 2.8% premarket after co. unveils a large sports-utility vehicle pitted more directly against Tesla’s Model Y and Nio’s ES series. Stocks of other EV makers are mixed. Monster Beverage (MNST US)., the maker of energy drinks, is exploring a combination with Corona brewer Constellation Brands (STZ US), according to people familiar with the matter. CASI Pharma (CASI US) jumped 17% in postmarket trading after CEO Wei-Wu He disclosed the purchase of 400,000 shares in a regulatory filing. Along with an eye on the Fed's plans for tightening policy, investors are also watching for an announcement from Joe Biden on his pick for the next Fed chair. Powell was supposed to make his decision by the weekend but has since delayed it repeatedly. Investors expect current chair Jerome Powell to stay on for another term, although Fed Governor Lael Brainard is also seen as a candidate for the position. “Bringing the most dovish of the doves wouldn’t guarantee a longer period of zero rates,” Ozkardeskaya wrote. “If the decisions are based on economic fundamentals, the economy is calling for a rate hike. And it’s calling for it quite soon.” The Stoxx 600 trimmed gains after German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for tighter Covid-19 restrictions. European telecom shares surged after KKR’s offer to buy Telecom Italia for about $12 billion, which boosted sentiment about M&A in the sector. The Stoxx 600 Telecommunications Index gained as much as 1.6%, the best-performing sector gauge for the region: Telefonica +4.8%, Infrastrutture Wireless Italiane +4%, KPN +2.7%. Meanwhile, telecom equipment stock Ericsson underperforms the rest of the SXKP index, falling as much as 4.9% after a deal to buy U.S. cloud communication provider Vonage; Danske Bank says the price is “quite steep”. Earlier in the session, Asian stocks fell as Covid-19 resurgences in Europe triggered risk-off sentiment across markets amid weaker oil prices, a strong U.S. dollar and higher bond yields. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index declined 0.3%, with India’s Sensex measure slumping the most since April as Paytm’s IPO weighed on sentiment. The country’s oil giant Reliance dragged down the Asian index after scrapping a deal with Saudi Aramco, and energy and financials were the biggest sector losers in the region. Asian markets have turned softer after capping their first weekly retreat this month, following lackluster moves from economically sensitive sectors in the U.S., while investors continue to monitor earnings reports of big Chinese technology firms this week. “Some impact from the regulatory risks and dull macroeconomic conditions have shown up in several Chinese big-tech earnings and that may put investors on the sidelines as earnings season continues,” Jun Rong Yeap, a market strategist at IG Asia Pte., wrote in a note. China’s equity gauge posted a second straight day of gains after the central bank’s quarterly report indicated a shift toward easing measures to bolster the economic recovery. South Korea led gains in the region, with the Kospi adding more than 1%, helped by chipmakers Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix. Asia’s chip-related shares rose after comments from Micron Technology CEO Sanjay Mehrotra added to optimism the global shortage of semiconductors is easing. Reports of Japan earmarking $6.8 billion to bolster domestic chipmaking and Samsung planning to announce the location of its new chip plant in the U.S. also aided sentiment. Japanese stocks fluctuated after U.S. shares retreated on Friday following hawkish remarks from Federal Reserve officials. The Topix index was virtually unchanged at 2,044.16 as of 2:21 p.m. Tokyo time, while the Nikkei 225 advanced 0.1% to 29,783.92. Out of 2,180 shares in the index, 1,107 rose and 948 fell, while 125 were unchanged. “There are uncertainties surrounding the direction of U.S. monetary policy,” said Shoji Hirakawa, chief global strategist at Tokai Tokyo Research Institute Co. “The latest comments from FRB members are spurring talk that steps to taper could accelerate.” Australian stocks sunk as banks tumbled to almost a 4-month low. The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.6% to close at 7,353.10, weighed down by banks and technology stocks as the measure for financial shares finished at the lowest level since July 30.  Nickel Mines was the top performer after agreeing to expand its strategic partnership with Shanghai Decent. Flight Centre fell for a second session, ending at its lowest close since Sept. 20, as the Covid-19 situation worsens in Europe. In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index fell 1% to 12,607.64. In FX, the Bloomberg dollar index holds Asia’s narrow range, trading little changed on the day. AUD outperforms G-10 peers, extending Asia’s modest gains. SEK and JPY are the weakest. RUB lags in EMFX, dropping as much as 1% versus the dollar with USD/RUB on a 74-handle. According to Bloomberg, hedge funds’ bullishness toward the dollar is starting to evaporate amid speculation the U.S. currency has risen too much given the Federal Reserve remains adamant it’s in no rush to raise interest rates. Meanwhile, the euro pared modest Asia session losses to trade below $1.13, while European bond yields edged higher, led by bunds and gilts. The pound dipped after comments from Bank of England policy makers raised questions about the certainty of an interest-rate increase in December. Governor Andrew Bailey said that the risks to the U.K. economy are “two-sided” in a weekend interview. Australian dollar advanced against the kiwi on position tweaking ahead of Wednesday’s RBNZ’s rate decision, and after China’s central bank removed sticking with “normal monetary policy” from its policy outlook. Yen declines as speculation China will steer toward more accommodative policy damps the currency’s haven appeal. Hungary’s forint tumbled to a record low against the euro as back-to-back interest rate increases failed to shield it during a rapidly deteriorating pandemic and a flight to safer assets. In commodities, crude futures drifted higher. WTI rises 0.3% near $76.20, Brent regains at $79-handle. Spot gold has a quiet session trading near $1,844/oz. Base metal are mixed: LME copper, tin and zinc post small losses; lead and nickel are in the green Looking at today's calendar, we get the October Chicago Fed national activity index, existing home sales data, and the Euro Area advance November consumer confidence. Zoom is among the companies reporting earnings. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 0.3% to 4,710.75 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.3% to 487.45 German 10Y yield little changed at -0.34% Euro little changed at $1.1283 MXAP down 0.2% to 198.88 MXAPJ down 0.2% to 647.20 Nikkei little changed at 29,774.11 Topix little changed at 2,042.82 Hang Seng Index down 0.4% to 24,951.34 Shanghai Composite up 0.6% to 3,582.08 Sensex down 2.0% to 58,450.84 Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.6% to 7,353.08 Kospi up 1.4% to 3,013.25 Brent Futures up 0.4% to $79.22/bbl Gold spot little changed at $1,846.10 U.S. Dollar Index also little changed at 96.08 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg Negotiators hammering out details of a transformative new global corporate tax regime are shaping the deal to maximize its chance of winning acceptance in the U.S., whose companies face the biggest impact from the overhaul The U.S. has shared intelligence including maps with European allies that shows a buildup of Russian troops and artillery to prepare for a rapid, large-scale push into Ukraine from multiple locations if President Vladimir Putin decided to invade, according to people familiar with the conversations. The ruble slid to the weakest since August and the hryvnia fell With investors ramping up expectations for the Federal Reserve and other developed-market central banks to tighten policy, the likes of the Brazilian real and Hungarian forint have been weighed down by inflation and political concerns even as local officials pushed up borrowing costs. The Chinese yuan, Taiwanese dollar and Russian ruble have been among the few to stand their ground An organization formed by key participants in China’s currency market urged banks to limit speculative foreign-exchange trading after the yuan climbed to a six-year high versus peers The Avalanche cryptocurrency has surged in the past several days, taking it briefly into the top 10 by market value and surpassing Dogecoin and Shiba Inu, after a deal related to improvement of U.S. disaster-relief funding A more detailed breakdown of overnight news courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks traded mixed following last Friday's mostly negative performance stateside, where risk appetite was dampened by concerns of a fourth COVID wave in Europe and recent hawkish Fed rhetoric. Weekend newsflow was light and the mood was tentative heading into this week's risk events including FOMC minutes and US GDP data before the Thanksgiving holiday. The ASX 200 (-0.6%) was subdued with declines led by weakness in gold miners and the energy sector. The Nikkei 225 (+0.1%) was lacklustre after last week’s inflows into the JPY but with downside eventually reversed as the currency faded some of the gains and following the recent cabinet approval of the stimulus spending. The KOSPI (+1.4%) outperformed and reclaimed the 3k level with shares in index heavyweight Samsung Electronics rallying as its de facto leader tours the US which spurred hopes the Co. could deploy its USD 100bln cash pile. The Hang Seng (-0.4%) and Shanghai Comp. (+0.6%) diverged with the mainland kept afloat after the PBoC conducted a mild liquidity injection and maintained its Loan Prime Rate for a 19th consecutive month as expected, although Hong Kong was pressured by losses in energy and cautiousness among developers, as well as the recent announcement of increased constituents in the local benchmark. Finally, 10yr JGBs eked marginal gains amid the cautious risk tone in Asia and following firmer demand at the enhanced liquidity auction for 2yr-20yr JGBs, but with upside capped as T-note futures continued to fade Friday’s early gains that were fuelled by the COVID-19 concerns in Europe before the advances were later halted by hawkish Fed rhetoric calling for a discussion on speeding up the tapering at next month’s meeting. Top Asian News China Blocks Peng Shuai News as It Seeks to Reassure World China FX Panel Urges Banks to Cap Speculation as Yuan Surges Paytm Founder Compares Himself to Musk After Historic IPO Flop China Tech Stocks Are Nearing Inflection Point, UBS GWM Says European cash bourses kicked off the new trading week with mild gains (Euro Stoxx 50 +0.3%; Stoxx 600 +0.3%) following a mixed APAC handover. Some have been attributing the mild gains across Europe in the context of the different approaches of the Fed and ECB, with the latter expected to remain dovish as the former moves tighter, while COVID lockdowns will restrict economic activity. News flow in the European morning has however been sparse, as participants look ahead to FOMC Minutes, Flash PMIs and US GDP ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday (full Newsquawk Desk Schedule on the headline feed) alongside the Fed Chair update from President Biden and a speech from him on the economy. US equity futures see modestly more pronounced gains, with the more cyclically-exposed RTY (+0.6%) performing better than then NQ (+0.4%), ES (+0.4%) and YM (+0.4%). Since the European cash open, the initial mildly positive momentum has somewhat waned across European cash and futures, with the region now conforming to a more mixed picture. Spain's IBEX (+0.7%) is the clear regional outperforming, aided by index heavyweight Telefonica (+5.0%), which benefits from the sectorial boost received by a couple of major M&A updates. Firstly, Telecom Italia (+22%) gapped higher at the open after KKR presented a EUR 0.505/shr offer for Telecom Italia. The offer presents a ~45% premium on Friday's close. Second, Ericsson (-3.5%) made a bid to acquire American publicly held business cloud communications provider Vonage in a deal worth USD 6.2bln. As things stand, the Telecom sector is the clear outperformer, closely followed by banks amid a revival in yields. The other end of the spectrum sees Travel & Leisure back at the foot of the bunch as COVID fears in Europe mount. In terms of individual movers, Vestas Wind Systems (-2.0%) was hit as a cyber incident that impacted parts of its internal IT structure and data has been compromised. Looking ahead, it’s worth noting that volume will likely be more muted towards the latter half of the week on account of the Thanksgiving holiday. Top European News Scholz Closer to German Chancellery as Cabinet Takes Shape Austria Back in Lockdown Ahead of Mandatory Vaccine Policy Energy Crunch Drives Carbon to Record as Europe Burns More Coal BP Goes on Hydrogen Hiring Spree in Bid for 10% Market Share In FX, the Antipodean Dollars are outperforming at the start of the new week on specific supportive factors, like a bounce in the price of iron ore and a further re-opening from pandemic restrictions in both Australia and New Zealand, while the REINZ shadow board is ‘overwhelmingly’ behind another RBNZ rate hike this week. Aud/Usd is holding around 0.7250 and Nzd/Usd is hovering circa 0.7000 as the Aud/Nzd cross pivots 1.0350 in the run up to flash Aussie PMIs and NZ retail sales. DXY - Aussie and Kiwi strength aside, the Greenback retains a solid underlying bid on safe haven and increasingly hawkish Fed grounds after a run of recent much better than expected US data. In index terms, a base just above 96.000 provides a platform to retest last week’s peaks at 96.245 and 96.266 vs 96.223 so far, but Monday’s agenda may not give bulls much in the way of encouragement via data with only existing home sales scheduled. Instead, the Buck could derive more impetus from Treasuries given front-loaded supply ahead of Thanksgiving in the form of Usd 58 bn 2 year and Usd 59 bn 5 year notes. CHF/CAD/EUR/GBP/JPY - All narrowly mixed against their US rival, as the Franc keeps its head above 0.9300 and meanders between 1.0485-61 vs the Euro amidst some signs of official intervention from a rise in weekly Swiss sight deposits at domestic banks. Meanwhile, the Loonie has some leverage from a mild rebound in crude prices to pare declines from sub-1.2650 and should glean support into 1.2700 from 1 bn option expiries at 1.2685 on any further risk aversion or fallout in WTI. Conversely, 1 bn option expiry interest from 1.1300-05 could scupper Euro recoveries from Friday’s new y-t-d low around 1.1250 against the backdrop of ongoing COVID-19 contagion and pre-ECB speakers plus preliminary Eurozone consumer confidence. Elsewhere, the Pound is weighing up BoE tightening prospects and the impact of no breakthrough between the UK and EU on NI Protocol as Cable and Eur/Gbp straddle the 1.3435-40 zone and 0.8400 respectively, while the Yen has unwound more of its safe haven premium within a 114.27-113.91 range eyeing UST yields in relation to JGBs alongside overall risk sentiment. SCANDI/EM - The Nok is deriving some traction from Brent back over Usd 79/brl, but geopolitical concerns are preventing the Rub from benefiting and the Mxn is also on a weaker footing along with most EM currencies. However, the Try is striving to draw a line in the sand irrespective of a marked deterioration in Turkish consumer sentiment and the Cnh/Cny are holding up well regardless of a softer PBoC fix for the onshore unit as LPRs were unchanged yet again and China’s FX regulator told banks to limit Yuan spec trades. In CEE, the Pln has plunged on diplomatic strains between Poland and the EU, the Huf has depreciated to all time lows on virus fears and the Czk has been hampered by CNB’s Holub downplaying the chances of more big tightening surprises such as the aggressive hike last time. In commodities, WTI and Brent front month futures see some consolidation following Friday’s slide in prices. In terms of the fundamentals, the demand side of the equations continues to be threatened by the fourth wave of COVID, namely in the European nations that have not had a successful vaccine rollout. As a reminder, Austria is in a 20-day nationwide lockdown as of today, whilst Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands see tighter restrictions, with the latter two also experiencing COVID-related social unrest over the weekend. The European Commission will on Wednesday issue a set of new recommendations to its member states on non-essential travel, a senior EU diplomat said, which will be watched for activity and jet fuel demand. Over to the supply side, There were weekend reports that Japan and the US are planning a joint announcement regarding the SPR release, although a key Japanese official later noted there was no fixed plan yet on releasing reserves. Japanese PM Kishida confirmed that they are considering releasing oil reserves to curb prices. Meanwhile, Iranian nuclear talks are regaining focus as negotiations are poised to resume on the 29th of November – it is likely we’ll see officials telegraph their stances heading into the meeting. Eyes will be on whether the US offers an olive branch as Tehran stands firm. Elsewhere, the next OPEC+ meeting is also looming, but against the backdrop of lower prices, COVID risk and SPR releases, it is difficult to see a scenario where OPEC+ will be more hawkish than dovish. WTI and Brent Jan trade on either side of USD 76/bbl and USD 79/bbl respectively and within relatively narrow bands. Spot gold and silver meanwhile see a mild divergence, with the yellow metal constrained by resistance in the USD 1,850/oz area, whilst spot silver rebounded off support at USD 24.50/oz. Finally, base metals are relatively mixed with no standout performers to point out. LME copper is flat but holds onto USD 9,500+/t status. US Event Calendar 8:30am: Oct. Chicago Fed Nat Activity Index, est. 0.10, prior -0.13 10am: Oct. Existing Home Sales MoM, est. -1.8%, prior 7.0% 10am: Oct. Home Resales with Condos, est. 6.18m, prior 6.29m DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap This morning we’ve just published our 2022 credit strategy outlook. 2021 has been one of the lowest vol years for credit on record but we think this is unlikely to last and spreads will sell-off at some point in H1 when markets reappraise how far behind the curve the Fed is. Even with covid restrictions mounting again in Europe as we go to print, we think it’s more likely that we’ll be in a “growthflationary” environment for 2022 and think overheating risks are more acute than the stagflation risk, especially in the US. Strong growth and high liquidity should mean that full year 2022 is a reasonable year for credit overall but if we’re correct there’ll be regular pockets of inflationary/interest rate concerns in the market, which we think is more likely to happen in H1. At the H1 wides, we could see spreads widen as much as 30-40bps in IG and 120-160bps in HY which is consistent with typical mid-cycle ranges through history. We do expect this to mostly retrace in H2 as markets recover from the shock and growth remains decent and liquidity still high. However, with the potential for a shift in the narrative to potential late-cycle dynamics, we think spreads will close 2022 slightly wider than they are today. We will be watching the yield curve closely through the year for clues as to how the cycle will evolve into 2023. This has the ability to move our YE 22 forecasts in both directions as the year progresses. This week will be heavily compressed given Thanksgiving on Thursday. The highlight though will be a likely choice of Fed governor before this, assuming the timetable doesn’t slip again. Overnight it’s been announced that Biden will give a speech to the American people tomorrow on the economy and prices. It’s possible the Fed Chair gets announced here and perhaps plans to release oil from the strategic reserve. We will see. Following that, Wednesday is especially busy as a pre-holiday US data dump descends upon us. We’ll see the minutes of the November 3rd FOMC meeting and earlier that day the core PCE deflator (the Fed's preferred inflation metric), Durable Goods, the UoM sentiment index (including latest inflation expectations), new home sales and jobless claims amongst a few other releases. More internationally, covid will be focus, especially in Europe as Austria enters lockdown today after the shock announcement on Friday. Germany is probably the swing factor here for sentiment in Europe so case numbers will be watched closely. Staying with Germany, there’s anticipation that a coalition agreement could be reached in Germany between the SPD, Greens and the FDP, almost two months after their federal election. Otherwise, the flash PMIs for November will be in focus, with the ECB following the Fed and releasing the minutes from their recent meeting on Thursday. As discussed at the top the most important market event this week is likely to be on the future leadership of the Federal Reserve, as it’s been widely reported that President Biden is expected to announce his choice on who’ll be the next Fed Chair by Thanksgiving on Thursday. Previous deadlines have slipped on this announcement, but time is becoming increasingly limited given the need for Senate confirmation ahead of Chair Powell’s current four-year term expiring in early February. The two names that are quite obviously in the frame are incumbent Chair Powell and Governor Brainard, but there are also a number of other positions to fill at the Fed in the coming months, with Vice Chair Clarida’s term as an FOMC governor expiring in January, Randal Quarles set to leave the Board by the end of this year, and another vacant post still unfilled. So a significant opportunity for the Biden administration to reshape the top positions at the Fed. In spite of all the speculation over the position of the Fed Chair, our US economists write in their latest Fed update (link here), that the decision is unlikely to have a material impact on the broad policy trajectory. Inflation in 2022 is likely to remain at levels that make most Fed officials uncomfortable, whilst the regional Fed presidents rotating as voters lean more hawkish next year, so there’ll be constraints to how policy could shift in a dovish direction, even if an incoming chair wanted to move things that way. Another unconfirmed but much anticipated announcement this week could come from Germany, where there’s hope that the centre-left SPD, the Greens and the liberal FDP will finally reach a coalition agreement. The general secretaries of all three parties have recently said that they hope next week will be when a deal is reached, and a deal would pave the way for the SPD’s Olaf Scholz to become chancellor at the head of a 3-party coalition. Nevertheless, there are still some hurdles to clear before then, since an agreement would mark the start of internal party approval processes. The FDP and the SPD are set to hold a party convention, whilst the Greens have announced that their members will vote on the agreement. On the virus, there is no doubt things are getting worse in Europe but it’s worth putting some of the vaccine numbers in some context. Austria (64% of total population) has a double vaccination rate that is somewhat lower than the likes of Spain (79%), Italy (74%), France (69%), the UK (69%) and Germany (68%). The UK for all its pandemic fighting faults is probably as well placed as any due to it being more advanced on the booster campaign due to an earlier vaccine start date and also due to higher natural infections. It was also a conscious decision back in the summer in the UK to flatten the peak to take load off the winter wave. So this is an area where scientists and the government may have made a calculated decision that pays off. Europe is a bit behind on boosters versus the UK but perhaps these will accelerate as more people get 6 months from their second jab, albeit a bit too late to stop some kind of winter wave. There may also be notable divergence within Europe. Countries like Italy and Spain (and to a slightly lesser extent France) that were hit hard in the initial waves have a high vaccination rate so it seems less likely they will suffer the dramatic escalation that Austria has seen. Germany is in the balance as they have had lower infection rates which unfortunately may have encouraged slightly lower vaccination rates. The irony here is that there is some correlation between early success/lower infections and lower subsequent vaccination rates. The opposite is also true - i.e. early bad outcomes but high vaccination rates. The US is another contradiction as it’s vaccination rate of 58% is very low in the developed world but it has had high levels of natural infections and has a higher intolerance for lockdowns. So tough to model all the above. Overall given that last winter we had no vaccines and this year we have very high levels of protection it seems unfathomable that we’ll have an outcome anywhere near as bad. Yes there will be selected countries where the virus will have a more severe impact but most developed countries will likely get by without lockdowns in my opinion even if the headlines aren’t always going to be pleasant. Famous last words but those are my thoughts. In light of the rising caseloads, the November flash PMIs should provide some context for how the global economy has performed into the month. We’ve already seen a deceleration in the composite PMIs for the Euro Area since the summer, so it’ll be interesting to see if that’s maintained. If anything the US data has reaccelerated in Q4 with the Atlanta Fed GDPNow series at 8.2% for the quarter after what will likely be a revised 2.2% print on Wednesday for Q3. Time will tell if Covid temporarily dampens this again. Elsewhere datawise, we’ll also get the Ifo’s latest business climate indicator for Germany on Wednesday, which has experienced a similar deceleration to other European data since the summer. The rest of the week ahead appears as usual in the day-by-day calendar at the end. Overnight in Asia stocks are mixed with the KOSPI (+1.31%) leading the pack followed by the Shanghai Composite (+0.65%) and CSI (+0.53%), while the Nikkei (-0.18%) and Hang Seng (-0.35%) are lower. Stocks in China are being boosted by optimism that the PBOC would be easing its policy stance after its quarterly monetary policy report on Friday dropped a few hints to that effect. Futures are pointing towards a positive start in the US and Europe with S&P 500 futures (+0.31%) and DAX futures (+0.14%) both in the green. Turning to last week now, rising Covid cases prompted renewed lockdown measures to varying degrees and hit risk sentiment. Countries across Europe implemented new lockdown measures and vaccine requirements to combat the latest rise in Covid cases. The standouts included Austria and Germany. Austria will start a nationwide lockdown starting today and will implement a compulsory Covid vaccine mandate from February. Germany will restrict leisure activities and access to public transportation for unvaccinated citizens and announced a plan to improve vaccination efforts. DM ten-year yields decreased following the headline. Treasury, bund, and gilt yields declined -3.8bps, -6.7bps, and -4.6bps on Friday, respectively, bringing the weekly totals to -1.3bps, -8.3bps, and -3.5bps, respectively. The broad dollar appreciated +0.54% Friday, and +0.98% over the week. Brent and WTI futures declined -2.89% and -3.68% on Friday following global demand fears, after drifting -4.27% and -5.79% lower throughout the week as headlines circulated that the US and allies were weighing whether to release strategic reserves. European equity indices declined late in the week as the renewed lockdown measures were publicized. The Stoxx 600, DAX, and CAC 40 declined -0.33%, -0.38%, and -0.42%, respectively on Friday, bringing their weekly totals to -0.14%, +0.41%, and +0.29%. The S&P 500 index was also hit ending the week +0.32% higher after declining -0.14% Friday, though weekly gains were concentrated in big technology and consumer discretionary stocks. U.S. risk markets were likely supported by the U.S. House of Representatives passing the Biden Administration’s climate and social spending bill. The bill will proceed to the Senate, where its fate lays with a few key moderate Democrats. This follows President Biden signing a physical infrastructure bill into law on Monday. On the Fed, communications from officials took a decidedly more hawkish turn on inflation dynamics, especially from dovish members. Whether the Fed decides to accelerate its asset purchase taper at the December FOMC will likely be the key focus in markets heading into the meeting. Ending the weekly wrap up with some positive Covid news: the U.S. Food and Drug Administration cleared Pfizer and Moderna booster shots for all adults. Additionally, the US will order 10 million doses of Pfizer’s Covid pill. Tyler Durden Mon, 11/22/2021 - 07:49.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 22nd, 2021

As Europe enters a bleak winter of COVID restrictions, US unlikely to return to lockdowns

Austria announced a full lockdown on Friday, taking a step that European leaders had hoped would be unnecessary. Police officers check the vaccination status of visitors during a patrol on a Christmas market in Vienna, Austria, on November 19, 2021.Lisa Leutner/AP Austria is bringing back a full-scale lockdown amid a COVID-19 spike. Case surges around Europe are bringing renewed restrictions, heralding a bleak winter. Austria-style lockdowns are unlikely in the US — even if infections continue to climb. Austrians earned an unenviable distinction Friday morning, when the country became Europe's first to go back into lockdown.Everyone — vaccinated or not — is to stay at home on government instructions, much as they did when the pandemic first emerged.The restrictions go into effect Monday and are due to last three weeks. After that, vaccinated people can resume their daily lives, but the unvaccinated are to stay locked down, Insider's Sinéad Baker reported on Friday.Austria's response to the latest surge is part of a wider swath of restrictions sweeping Europe.The country's lockdown was prompted by a sharp COVID surge, more extreme than some other places in Europe, but on a similar upward trajectory:Graphs show the seven-day rolling average of daily new confirmed cases per million people as of November 18, 2021.Our World in DataAustrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg gave an explanation for the new rules: not enough vaccinated people. Austria has one of Europe's lower vaccination rates, with just 65.71% of its population vaccinated.Other countries are suffering lesser versions of the same paradigm. Germany (67% vaccinated), Slovakia (55%), and the Czech Republic (58%) are all in the midst of their own COVID surges — and government crackdowns are already underway.Unvaccinated Germans now find themselves unable to ride public transit without proof of a negative test, and must work from home thanks to "a dramatic level of infection," according to Chancellor Angela Merkel.In the Czech Republic and Slovakia, residents are banned from restaurants and events without proof of vaccination.Even well-vaccinated nations, like Ireland (75%) and and Belgium (76%), are bringing back restrictions like curfews, and are urging residents to work from home. Convincing people to get vaccinated has proved tricky — with many nations finding that mandates are ultimately a more effective mechanism for raising vaccination rates.But while vaccination programs undoubtedly spared Europeans from additional COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths, they didn't ward off a return to restrictions and lockdowns, Europe found.An Austria-style lockdown is unlikely in the United StatesUS President Joe Biden talks to reporters after meeting with Democratic lawmakers at the US Capitol to promote his bipartisan infrastructure bill on October 1, 2021.Tom Brenner/ReutersThe US has historically responded to spikes in COVID-19 cases differently than Europe has. But as winter draws near, President Joe Biden faces a similar problem — relatively low levels of vaccination (57.8%) and a virus that's not giving up.His efforts to roll out vaccination, first by persuasion and later using mandates, have prompted mixed results. In particular, Biden's sweeping push to enforce vaccination in US workplaces remains tangled in the courts system, and may yet be found unenforceable.But despite those similarities, the US is unlikely to consider Austria-style lockdowns even if infections continue to rise, according to Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University, "I don't think they would be accepted, frankly," Schaffner told Insider.The American tendency to balk at the length and severity of past European lockdowns may reflect cultural differences between Europe and the US, Schaffner pointed out."Lockdowns are no longer on the list that government leaders at the local or state level would be considering seriously," he said, adding, "Although there will be surges, I don't think they would be of a magnitude that would precipitate a lockdown again."While public health experts like Schaffner urge Americans to remain cautious and vigilant about COVID-19, that careful point of view has not been enthusiastically embraced, he said. Instead, politicians and everyday Americans want to return to a semblance of normal for the holidays.  "We're operating on our own trajectory," Schaffner said of the United States.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytNov 19th, 2021

Why Is The Media Suddenly No Longer Interested In Blaming COVID Waves On Red States

Why Is The Media Suddenly No Longer Interested In Blaming COVID Waves On Red States Authored by 'IM' via 'Unmasked' Substack, By now, it’s become a truth universally acknowledged that the media must continually be in search of a governor and specific political ideology to blame when COVID cases rise. Well, I’m old enough to remember when it was a truth universally acknowledged. But that was way back in the summer, when cases were rising in the Southern states, mostly run by Republican governors who refused to acquiesce to demands from the media to mandate masks and vaccine passports. The seasons have changed, however, and case trends along with it. The Midwest and the Northeast are now the epicenter of the latest COVID surge. [ZH: We thought these two charts may also help explain the lack of media malificence] And just like that, inexplicably, the media’s no longer interested in blaming local officials or the political beliefs of residents for the dramatic increase in COVID cases. Imagine that! After scores of hysterical articles on Florida were written, despite the fact that the inevitable crash of cases and hospitalizations in the state almost immediately proved them wrong, interestingly the mass panic and hyperbole is noticeably absent of late. There are a few possible explanations for this confusing lack of interest, and after reviewing the data from each state, some interesting conclusions can be drawn. Most of the states have several things in common that seem to insulate them from the levels of severe criticism reserved for governors like Ron #DeathSantis. Let’s see the lessons that can be learned from the COVID situation across the country. Michigan How many of you knew that Michigan now leads the country in recent case rates? Probably not many! Just for the sake of comparison, I Google searched “Florida leads the country in new covid cases” and here are a few of the top results: I then searched “Michigan leads the country in new covid cases November” and these were a few of the top results: Well that’s certainly different, isn’t it?! Here’s how the curve of new cases looks in Michigan though: Not great, huh? In fact, Michigan is rapidly approaching the same heights it reached in April, when the CDC director said they needed to again implement lockdown measures to control the surge. Yet I searched for Vanity Fair articles labeling Governor Gretchen Whitmer the “Angel of Death,” as they did with Ron DeSantis and came up with a big fat blank. I’m not kidding. They literally called DeSantis the “Angel of Death” and said he was a “super-spreader event:” I also checked those keywords to see if Bess wrote a similar article on Gretchen Whitmer: Very strange, isn’t it? It’s also strange that DeSantis has been accused of courting “anti-vaxxers” and not doing enough to encourage and promote vaccinations, while Florida has significantly higher vaccination rates in every single category. As of today, here’s the key vaccination states for both states: Michigan TOTAL POPULATION AT LEAST ONE DOSE/FULLY VACCINATED - 60%/54% 12 AND UP AT LEAST ONE DOSE/FULLY VACCINATED - 69%/63% 65 AND UP AT LEAST ONE DOSE/FULLY VACCINATED - 92%/85% Florida TOTAL POPULATION AT LEAST ONE DOSE/FULLY VACCINATED - 70%/61% 12 AND UP AT LEAST ONE DOSE/FULLY VACCINATED - 81%/70% 65 AND UP AT LEAST ONE DOSE/FULLY VACCINATED - >99%/87% Literally in every single category, Florida’s had higher vaccine uptake. Yet only DeSantis has been accused of being “anti-vaxx,” because he…promoted a life-saving treatment that cuts hospitalizations and deaths by 78% in high risk populations. Really odd, huh? Minnesota Minnesota currently ranks second in the U.S. in recent case rate, reporting an average of 700 cases per million residents over the past seven days, which has nearly doubled in just the past few weeks. Minnesota also has a higher than average vaccination rate, with 67% of the entire population at least partially vaccinated, 78% of everyone 12 and up, 80% of the over 18 population and 99% of the 65+ population. Has anyone seen an article accusing Governor Tim Walz of being the “Angel of Death?” What’s even more impressive about Minnesota’s recent surge is that they’ve essentially equaled Texas’s recent summer peak: It’s fair to ask at this point, but did a major online media outlet say that Greg Abbot was running a “death cult?” The answer, as always, is yes. Yes of course they did. You’ll undoubtedly be shocked to learn that I searched for “Tim Walz death cult” and didn’t get any results, even though Minnesota has reported more cumulative COVID cases than Texas after adjusting for population. Bewildering. New Mexico & Oregon The state with the third highest recent case rate is New Mexico, who you might remember from the glowing article published in September 2020 in Scientific American, extolling their virtues for “controlling” the spread of COVID. Infamously, that article was written before cases immediately went up 2,450%. But back to this year. As True Believers in The Science™, New Mexico is one of the few states remaining to have a statewide mask mandate for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals, which has been in place for nearly three months. Shockingly, cases have nearly doubled since: And naturally, as a result of this dramatic success, they extended the mandate just a few days ago. Confusingly, New Mexico’s currently reporting higher case numbers than neighboring Colorado and Utah, states that have followed nearly identical curves for twenty months now: New Mexico’s vaccination rates are the highest of the three as well: New Mexico TOTAL POPULATION AT LEAST ONE DOSE/FULLY VACCINATED - 74%/63% 12 AND UP AT LEAST ONE DOSE/FULLY VACCINATED - 86%/74% 65 AND UP AT LEAST ONE DOSE/FULLY VACCINATED - >99%/89% Colorado TOTAL POPULATION AT LEAST ONE DOSE/FULLY VACCINATED - 69%/62% 12 AND UP AT LEAST ONE DOSE/FULLY VACCINATED - 80%/73% 65 AND UP AT LEAST ONE DOSE/FULLY VACCINATED - 95%/87% Utah TOTAL POPULATION AT LEAST ONE DOSE/FULLY VACCINATED - 62%/55% 12 AND UP AT LEAST ONE DOSE/FULLY VACCINATED - 77%/67% 65 AND UP AT LEAST ONE DOSE/FULLY VACCINATED - 98%/88% I’ll admit I didn’t check, but I have significant doubts that Michelle Lujan Grisham has been accused of running a death cult or being a dangerous “anti-vaxxer.” Meanwhile, Oregon’s Governor Kate Brown has seen deaths skyrocket to the highest levels of the pandemic, currently ranking in the top 10 in the country despite an active mask mandate and above average vaccination rate: Nothing to see here either! Vermont One of the more remarkable surges is happening in Vermont, which currently ranks fifth in the country in population adjusted case rate. Cases in Vermont peaked last winter at 277 per million in January of this year. Their recent case rate peak this month is 591 cases per million. Remember, this is after world famous expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said that getting just 50% of adults vaccinated would make surges a thing of the past: Vermont has 93% of adults with some level of vaccination. Cases are double what they were last winter. And while Governor Phil Scott is a Republican, 66.1% of state residents voted for Joe Biden. Somehow I doubt Salon will be updating their story on “unvaccinated Trumpers spreading Delta” given what’s happened in Vermont: Hard to blame “unvaccinated Trumpers” in a state where only 30% of people voted for Trump and 93% of adults are vaccinated, so you won’t be seeing any stories from the media placing the blame for COVID on Vermont’s political ideology. Sure does poke some holes in the obscene push for vaccine passports as well, doesn't it? *  *  * So what are the lessons we can learn from this? Well, if you belong to the proper ideology, you can avoid being accused of running a death cult, being the Angel of Death or courting anti-vaxxers by promoting monoclonal antibodies. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have mask mandates or have lower than average vaccination rates, you can avoid most media criticism. Four of the top five states in current case rates are either run by Democratic governors or where the populace overwhelmingly voted for Joe Biden. All are also seeing hospitalizations rising significantly too. It’s remarkable how it works, isn’t it? When cases are rising in areas where the incorrect set of political beliefs is dominant, it’s a moral failing that would be easily preventable if masks were mandated or vaccination rates improved. When cases rise in areas with the correct set of media approved political beliefs, no matter what the vaccination rates are or mask wearing rules, it’s an unfortunate barrier to be overcome and an unavoidable increase likely due to seasonal effects and infinitesimal percentages of unvaccinated Trumpers. Or unmasked kids. This was an entirely predictable sequence of events, and exactly the same pattern we saw last year. Cases rose in the South during the summer, leading to mass criticism of free-dumb loving Covidiots, only for colder climates to take off a few months later to deafening silence. The media never learns. Purposefully never learns. They’re unable to accept that the spread of a highly infectious respiratory virus is not a moral examination to be passed or that there’s essentially no correlation with government intervention and better COVID outcomes. Remember, Sweden ranks 54th in the world in COVID deaths per million: Is it any wonder why we never hear about them anymore? Tyler Durden Thu, 11/18/2021 - 21:40.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 18th, 2021

Latvia Bans Unvaxed Politicians From Voting, Suspends Pay

Latvia Bans Unvaxed Politicians From Voting, Suspends Pay There may be one "positive externality" from the increasingly Stalinist covid purges - it could lead to far fewer politicians. As Euronews reports, Latvian MPs who have not been vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 will have their pay suspended and no longer be able to take part in parliamentary votes. MPs approved the measure in a vote on Friday with 62 votes in favor in the 100-seat parliament. "From November 15, an MP will be entitled to participate in the work of the Saeima [Latvia's Parliament] only if he or she has presented an interoperable COVID-19 certificate confirming the fact of vaccination or illness," the statement from the parliament press office states. "The payment of a monthly salary and compensation will be suspended for a Saeima MP who will not be entitled to participate in the work of the parliament," it adds. The measure also applies to local government lawmakers and will come into force as the country exits its latest one-month lockdown. Since October 21, all non-essential stores -- as well as cultural and leisure venues -- in the country where roughly half the population remains unvaccinated, have been closed with public gatherings banned and private gatherings only allowed among one household. A nighttime curfew from 20:00 until 05:00 is also currently in force. Starting next week, the country will enter a "green mode" with different rules for vaccinated and unvaccinated people. Only 53.6% of Latvia's 1.9 million population is fully vaccinated, well below the EU average of 64.9%. The country is currently categorized as of "high concern" by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). The public health agency noted that the hospital admission and occupancy rates in Latvia over the past week were among the highest in the 31 countries in the EU/EEA region. The country has reported 236,765 infections since the beginning of the pandemic and 3,646 deaths. Tyler Durden Tue, 11/16/2021 - 04:15.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytNov 16th, 2021

Smith: Leftists Support Tyranny, Conservatives Do Not; It"s Time To Separate

Smith: Leftists Support Tyranny, Conservatives Do Not; It's Time To Separate Authored by Brandon Smith via Alt-Market.us, One of the great semantic debates of the past decade has been the ongoing attempt to muddle the definition of “Left vs Right” in the American political sphere. For example, a lot of people who are new to the liberty movement (people who became active during or after the Trump campaign in 2016) have heard of the “false left/right paradigm”, but they have no clue what it actually means. If you think it means there are no legitimate political sides in this fight and that the entire conflict is theatrical or manipulated, then you are misinformed. The false left/right paradigm specifically refers to the fake division at the VERY TOP of the political pyramid among elitists in government. There are certainly Republicans that are conservative in their rhetoric but not conservative in their actions or policies, and they tend to support or side with politicians on the left regularly when it comes to big government spending and big government power (just look to the Republicans that voted in favor of Joe Biden’s recent infrastructure bill). Democrats and leftists don’t have to pretend. They base their entire platform on collectivism and centralization. This is no secret. The only theater is in their motives. Top Democrats claim they are fighting for the “greater good” of the masses when they are actually elevating and benefiting a tiny minority of wealthy elites. They do not care at all about the lives of their constituents. Things change dramatically when we start talking about the bottom of the pyramid among regular people. The political spectrum is not as broad and nuanced as some people would have us believe and the sides are much easier to discern. There are exceptions to every rule and to every group, but to say the groups do not exist is an act of denial. There are also people who call themselves “moderates” because they think this makes them more impartial and more open-minded. They don’t want to appear as if they are moving to one “extreme” end of the spectrum or the other. But, ultimately, there are only two sides in this fight: Either you are in favor of intensive government dominance of people’s lives, or you are not. And, the vast majority of people in favor of government tyranny herald from the left side of the political spectrum. They revel in the totalitarianism, even when they don’t necessarily benefit from it. Yes, it’s time to stop pretending as if there is a “gray area” here and call the situation as it really is. The political left is obsessed with control over how people live, act and even how they think. Issues like Critical Race Theory, BLM, big tech censorship, the covid lockdowns and vax mandates have really clarified things to the point that if you can’t see the enormous difference between leftists and conservatives then you are being willfully ignorant. In my latest articles I have been exploring the theme of the political left and their habit of wearing masks to hide their true natures. Many of them will support socialist, collectivist and globalist policies while also claiming they support freedom at the same time. Yet, when they are actually faced with real world decisions in terms of unilateral authoritarianism, the true character of the average leftist is revealed and it’s an ugly thing to behold. Lets just use the covid and vaccines mandates as one litmus test for a moment – Poll after poll after poll indicates that an overwhelming number of Democrats (around 80%) applaud the mandates and continue to defend them even after almost 2 years of failures and a lack of scientific honesty. For these people the covid controls are purely political and they often argue in their favor as a vehicle to attack conservatives rather than “saving lives”. The fact is, without their enthusiastic support the draconian mandates would not exist in the US. Now, some people will point out that polls also show that around a quarter of Republicans support some form of vax mandates, but here’s the difference: Republicans and conservatives are actually willing to engage in honest debate over the scientific and social merits of the mandates. The vast majority of Democrats and leftists are absolutely not interested. They view any opposition as an act of treason, and any debate as thought crime committed by “cranks” and “conspiracy theorists”. This is a rather convenient tactic to take because leftists will never actually have to defend their own assumptions and beliefs in a public forum on fair ground; they can simply say that all evidence that is being presented is “meaningless” because it is being presented by treasonous enemies. Everything they do no matter how destructive or oppressive is thus justified by the assertion that conservatives represent an insurgency against “democracy” rather than honest Americans with honest concerns. It should also be noted that the minimal republican support for the mandates has been steadily dropping as new information is released which contradicts the mainstream narrative on vaccine effectiveness, and as Joe Biden continues to use the vaccines as a means to gain power over private businesses. Yet, support among democrats is as high as ever. In the past few years I have seen leftists en masse defend the indoctrination of American children with CRT, which teaches white kids that they are all inherently evil oppressors and black and brown kids that they are all perpetual victims that cannot help themselves. When they get called out, leftists then claim that CRT “doesn’t exist” or does not represent what conservatives say it represents. All you have to do is read their own books to see that this is a lie. If you are willing to slog through the insanity of the book ‘Critical Race Theory: The Key Writings That Formed The Movement’, you will see that everything conservatives warn about when it comes to CRT is true. It is edited by Kimberle Crenshaw, widely viewed as a co-founder of critical race theory and “intersectionality.” It is also a book that you will find used as a teaching aid in most social science classes in most colleges. I have seen leftists support BLM riots and the destruction of private property across the nation while calling them “peaceful protests”. I have also seen BLM take hundreds of millions of dollars from the very corporations and globalist institutions they claim they hate. I have seen leftists defend Big Tech censorship of any person or group that disagrees with the woke narrative, to the point that conservatives now have to constantly self-edit key words and phrases just so algorithms do not automatically derail their accounts, and so that leftists cannot false flag their commentaries as “hate speech” or “medical misinformation.” I have seen leftists avidly support covid lockdowns and the arbitrary destruction of hundreds of thousands of businesses as “non-essential”. I have seen them aggressively defend mask mandates despite the fact that red states which removed mask mandates had the same infection rates or even lower rates. Now I am witnessing their fevered joy as they help push forced experimental vaccination through federal and state mandates, using the threat of joblessness to intimidate those who do not comply. In the meantime, we have seen conservatives become the overwhelming majority of people in direct opposition to all of these totalitarian activities. And still today I continue to see people try to argue that there are no sides, and that conservatives are “just as bad” as leftists. These people either do not understand what a conservative is, or they are deliberately misrepresenting reality because they have an agenda. The bottom line is that proof is seen in action: Red states are free, blue states are enslaved. There’s no way around that. The debate is over, at least in terms of left vs. right. The differences are stark and painfully obvious. Places with majority conservative populations are still fighting the mandates while places with a majority of leftists are perpetuating tyranny. It cannot be denied. It cannot be argued. This is reality. In this day and age if you want to be free you make sure you are surrounded by conservatives, or you become a conservative. There is not a single blue state in the country that is not on the war path to enforce Biden’s vax mandates. There is not a single blue city in the country that is not trying to subversively teach CRT in schools. And, there is not a single blue region in the country that is not obsessed with wokism and globalism. The truth is, America has split into two completely different cultures with two completely different social objectives. To be sure, there are some nuances in terms of geography. Blue states, for example, are often checkered with red counties that do not like the policies of the state government, but this does not change the reality of the overall political divide. I have also noted that most Europeans and people in the UK and Australia have no concept at all of what a conservative actually is. They think a conservative is a corporatist. They have been indoctrinated by their predominantly socialist and leftist systems to treat “conservative” as a four letter word. The people in these nations that oppose the leftist agenda will commonly refer to themselves as “traditional liberals”, but really, they are just conservatives that are afraid to call themselves conservatives. I am speaking specifically on the American dynamic, however, and in this country the two sides are sharply defined. I think that there is also a subsection of the population that does not want to admit a separation of the US is in progress even though it is a fact. They want to believe the false left/right paradigm applies to the regular population because they don’t want to accept the inevitability of the breakup of our country. They want to believe that if we just deal with the elites at the top of the pyramid that the division at the bottom will simply disappear. This is naive. There are principles and ideals which are mutually exclusive; they cannot exist within the same society at the same time. There are moments in history when tribes form and cults rise, and generally these groups grow from either a desire to control others or a desire to remain free. We are living in such times. The political left, according to every metric and statistic, is an antithesis to conservative principles of small government, decentralization, personal liberty, free markets, family values, etc. This does not mean all conservatives agree on every aspect of society. We don’t all share the same religious fervor, or adherence to the same denomination. We don’t all have the same ideas on what constitutes “merit”, and the things we value in terms of character traits and life choices vary. We definitely don’t all agree on solutions to the problems and enemies we face everyday, which is why organizing resistance to the mandates has taken so much time and energy. That said, we ALL agree that the leftist agenda is poison and that it is not something we can continue to live with. I have heard it argued that if the US is broken into two parts that this will weaken us to threats from the outside. Many conservatives don’t like to accept notions of secession or the left/right paradigm because they fear foreign aggression from places like China, for instance. I would point out that this thinking lacks a sense of priority. We have to deal with the leftists/socialists/communists in our own house first before we can deal with communist on the other side of the world. Keeping this defunct marriage between leftist culture and conservative culture going just for the sake of appearances is the most destructive policy we can have in the long run. My thinking is this: If we break up there are two possible results – We go our own separate ways peacefully and the conservative states will continue to succeed economically and socially because we will have freedom, while leftist states will continue to sink into debt and will continue to bleed citizens due to oppression. Or, we separate and the leftists try to stop us using force, and we go to war. And make no mistake, they will ultimately lose such a war. The latter is not the most pleasant option but in either case freedom remains in the world. It is time to stop treating separation and division as integrally bad. Sometimes it is healthy and necessary. The old phrase “divide and conquer” is a misnomer for our particular situation. Often, nations and cultures are conquered from within because they refuse to separate from the riff-raff and define their moral boundaries. The right to divide is actually one of the most powerful forms of liberty there is, and it is one of the greatest protections against the leftist authoritarian movements in our midst. *  *  * 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 Sat, 11/13/2021 - 23:30.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytNov 14th, 2021

United Airlines May Can Unvaccinated Workers, Even With Exemptions

United May Can Unvaccinated Workers, Even With Exemptions – Court; That, Plus Recent Supreme Court Actions, OKs Most Effective Vax Weapon [soros] Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more United Airlines Can Put Unvaccinated Employees On Unpaid Leave A federal judge in Texas has held that United Airlines can put employees who have refused […] United May Can Unvaccinated Workers, Even With Exemptions – Court; That, Plus Recent Supreme Court Actions, OKs Most Effective Vax Weapon [soros] Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more United Airlines Can Put Unvaccinated Employees On Unpaid Leave A federal judge in Texas has held that United Airlines can put employees who have refused to be vaccinated on unpaid leave, even if they have medical or religious exemptions. This, plus three recent strikes from the Supreme Court, mean that companies seem to have a green light to use the same technique which also proved so effective in fighting the earlier health crisis caused by smoking, says public interest law professor John Banzhaf, who says they should do so regarding of whether court action stays the federal OSHA mandatory vaccine policy for larger companies. The most recent Supreme Court ruling, refusing to block a requirement by Maine that its health care workers be vaccinated against Covid, was especially significant because the Maine rule did not permit exceptions for religious objections, and because it was rendered by the entire court. A similar request to stay a requirement by Indiana University that its students be vaccinated was turned down for the Court by Justice Amy Coney Barrett. But that university’s requirement permitted exceptions for religious, ethical and medical reasons; and they were virtually guaranteed to anyone who sought an exemption. Another legal strike against anti-vaxxers’ legal arguments occurred when the High Court refused to stop a vaccination requirement for virtually all personnel in New York City’s school system. A Green Light For Companies To Use The Same Tactics These three rulings – as well as earlier ones by lower courts and the new one in Texas – provide a green light for companies to use the same tactics which proved so effective in fighting a similar public health crisis, likewise fueled by a massive disinformation campaign, says Banzhaf, who established and then led the nonsmokers’ rights movement which got millions to quit and saved hundreds of billions of dollars. Using a stick is much more effective than a carrot in preventing unnecessary deaths and disabilities from smoking and also now also from Covid, says Banzhaf, who led the successful battle to save millions of smoker lives, and who has already begun contributing to saving lives threatened by Covid. Actually, says Banzhaf, “stick” is a misnomer since the measures proven to be so effective in getting smokers to quit, and now getting holdouts to be vaccinated, aren’t designed to punish their unhealthy conduct, but rather to prevent them from continuing to inflict the damage it causes on the majority in the form of risks to life and health, as well as in huge additional financial costs. It has long been known that warnings and other health messages – even when coupled with incentives such as medical assistance and financial rewards – were not very effective in getting smokers to quit; in part because they had to try to overcome a massive disinformation campaign by the tobacco industry. Bans On Smoking What was effective instead were restrictions and requirements – e.g., bans on smoking on airplanes, at public places, and in workplaces – says Banzhaf, who led the fight for smoking bans during flights and then elsewhere. The purpose was not to punish smokers (a stick) but rather to protect nonsmokers; but, by making it very inconvenient not to quit, many smokers yielded to that incentive, he says. He adds that when companies went further and started insisting on having a smoker-free work force, similar to a drug-free work force, compliance – despite some initial grumbling and treats of quitting – went even higher. In addition, by requiring smokers to bear more of the huge medical and other costs they had been imposing on others, the incentive to quit was substantially increased, and became even more effective. Banzhaf cites as examples the higher premiums he and the NAIC helped persuade health insurance companies to charge smokers, and especially the 50% smoker surcharge he helped to have included under Obamacare. The professor explains that the purpose of these financial moves once again was not so much to punish smokers or to pressure them to quit, but simply so that the huge costs they were imposing – estimated to be over $12,000/yr annually per smoker – would not be borne by nonsmokers in the form of higher taxes, lower workplace benefits, and ballooning health insurance premiums. Making Being Unvaccinated More Inconvenient And Expensive Now experience, backed up by research, is proving that the same strategy – making being unvaccinated more inconvenient and expensive – is, as with smoking, more effective than warnings and cajoling in getting people vaccinated. In other words, making employees and patrons at public venues provide proof of vaccination, requiring those who might be permitted to remain unvaccinated to pay for their own frequent Covid tests, charging higher health and other insurance rates for unvaccinated people (and also for any unvaccinated persons on their plans), and even declining to perform some medical operations on those refusing to be vaccinated, is the most effective way to fight Covid, and to protect the majority of Americans from infection, argues Banzhaf. Surveys suggest that these measures are also favored by a majority of Americans. Here are a few examples: A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that lotteries to encourage vaccinations have little effect – “no statistically significant association” – in achieving that goal. In contrast, New York’s vaccination requirement get some 90% of its health care workers vaccinated. Indeed, the figures from even a month ago demonstrate the amazing effectiveness of New York’s requirement that health workers be vaccinated: Strong Memorial Hospital quickly achieved a 95.5% vaccination rate Albany Medical Center’s vaccination rate leaped to 98% St. Barnabas Hospital went from 20% unvaccinated to about 3% The Mohawk Valley Health System went up from 70% to about 96% Delta Airlines Achieved An Over 80% Compliance Rate United Airlines, one of the first big companies to require workers to be vaccinated or lose their jobs, found that, despite initial grumbling, about 99% of its employees agreed to be vaccinated. Similarly, Delta Airlines achieved an over 80% compliance rate by charging those who decline to be vaccinated a $200-per-month health insurance surcharge. Ochsner Health, the largest nonprofit health care system in Louisiana, now has the same surcharge. After Tyson Foods announced a vaccine requirement in early August, its vaccination rate jumped from 50% to at least 80%, even before the deadline for getting a shot. Novant Health in North Carolina, which originally announced that 375 of its 35,000 employees had been suspended and would soon be fired for being unvaccinated, found that 200 of the 375 finally did get vaccinated to keep their jobs, Despite a few widely reported situations where many employees threatened to quit – usually in situations where defiance was encouraged and led by recalcitrant unions – vaccine requirements have generally been very effective, are gaining in public support, have largely been upheld by the courts, and have lead to very few actual firings – the same results which occurred many years ago when companies first banned smoking on the job, and later even off the job. Making those who refuse to be vaccinated bear the consequences of their decisions – i.e., imposing some “personal responsibility” – has proven to be a very effective weapon in saving lives, and in helping to return life (especially life in the workplace and in many public places) to a near normal, with even less need if any for the vaccinated to be burdened with mask requirements, proclaims Banzhaf. Updated on Nov 9, 2021, 2:42 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkNov 9th, 2021

Courageous LA County Sheriff Tells The Truth About COVID Vax Mandates

Courageous LA County Sheriff Tells The Truth About COVID Vax Mandates Authored by Brandon Smith via Alt-Market.us, The battle over the attempted forced vaccination of 100% of the American population regardless of scientific reason or prudence has brought out the absolute worst within a certain group of people in our society. They are showing their true colors as the authoritarians they really are, desperately clamoring for the power to compel people they don’t know or care about to submit to an experimental covid “vaccine” with no long term testing to prove its safety. I noted this trend in detail in my recent article ‘Noam Chomsky Goes Off The Deep End – Proving All Socialism Leads To Tyranny’, and I have to say, there are some folks out there that are shockingly monstrous just under the surface. It makes one realize how the dictatorships and genocides of the 20th Century were made possible. Historians tend to blame the idea of the “charismatic dictator” for the rise of totalitarianism within any given culture, as if all it takes is a single well dressed and well spoken figure with the ability to manipulate the emotional output of the masses into doing things they would not otherwise do. This is a fantasy. In reality, dictators and oligarchs cannot come to power without the avid support of a certain subset of the population that WANTS and LOVES tyranny. That is to say, authoritarians in government appeal to the rotten core of the worst of humanity – the sociopaths, the narcissists, the psychopaths, the control freaks and micromanagers. They work hand-in-hand with the aberrant and the fearful, the deceitful and the grotesque, and they align with such people to make it appear as though authoritarianism is an overwhelming desire of the majority when it is actually the deviant thirst of an aggressive minority. Of course, as in physics, there is no action within human society without an equal and opposite reaction. Just as the covid mandates have brought out the worst in some people, they have also brought out the best in others. The people who love and respect logic, reason and individual liberty are massing. We are legion, and I have been consistently surprised at how many of us there are within government institutions including law enforcement. The Sheriff of LA County, Alex Villanueva, proved his courage this week with a public media address covering the destructive effects of the covid mandates on his own department, using cold hard data to show that thousands of personnel and deputies, 30% of the Sheriff’s department, will be leaving or will be forced out of work by LA County if the vaccine mandates move forward in January. He also faced down a torrent of some of the dumbest and most vitriolic questions I have ever heard from a crowd of clearly biased “journalists” (i.e. leftist activists) scrambling to cast doubt on the sheriff and his data. I recommend watching Sheriff Villanueva’s even handed and rational presentation in full here: Keep in mind that the Sheriff is a vaccinated person, but he continues to defend the rights of his deputies to make personal informed decisions on the jab. Being anti-mandate does not mean a person is necessarily “anti-vax”. I think the sheriff did an admirable job presenting his case so I won’t rehash it here. However, what I do want to talk about is some of the INSANE rhetoric coming form the reporters in the crowd as they tried to confront and brow-beat him on his information and personal stance. There were some facts that the Sheriff put forward that the media seemed to be especially triggered by, so let’s talk about these issues for a moment… Covid Mandates Are Not Laws Multiple leftist reporters were extremely perturbed by the notion that Sheriff Department personnel could be “allowed” to defy the mandates at all. This was perhaps the most revealing line of questioning from the media, showcasing their complete lack of knowledge on constitutional law and their inherent hunger for control. Primarily, the questioning asserted that deputies and other staff would be “breaking the law” by refusing to comply with the mandates, and the media compared non-compliance with the jab to criminal non-compliance with a traffic stop. Sheriff Villanueva rightly reminded reporters that covid mandates are NOT laws. The reporters didn’t seem to understand. One of them even suggested that this argument was “semantics”. No, it is not semantics. If mandates are “laws”, then our country’s legal system should be done away with entirely and all decisions should be made from on high by executive fiat, making people like Biden and his handlers dictators by default. Laws are passed by legislatures or voted on by the citizenry in the US. The vax mandates are what is called “Color of Law”; they are dictates passed down by executive order or through bureaucracy with no checks and balances and are presented as laws when they are not. There is no allowance for “mandates” in the US Constitution, and I would also remind covid cultists that there is also no allowance for “emergency powers” within the Bill of Rights. The government does not get to wake up one day and decide which rights you are allowed to have and which rights you are not allowed to have based on their arbitrary perception of a national emergency. Our rights our sacrosanct and not subject to the whims of government. One reporter asks if the Sheriff is supporting the idea that people should be allowed to pick and choose which laws they want to obey. The Sheriff says of course not, but this question is disingenuous at its core and assumes that “laws” are sacred in and of themselves. If a law is unconstitutional and immoral, then yes, each person absolutely has the right to shrug off that law. Laws do not matter. All that matters is what is right and what is wrong. One would hope that our society’s laws will reflect our society’s values and principles, but sometimes they stand in direct opposition to our moral compass. Covid mandates are not laws, and even if they were they would be both unconstitutional and immoral laws that do not deserve our respect. There is nothing wrong with refusing to obey an illegal and immoral order. Covid Cultists Don’t Think People Should Be Allowed To Leave Their Jobs Without Punishment I always thought that losing one’s job WAS supposed to be the punishment for being unvaxxed. Apparently this is not enough for the covid cultists. Reporters insinuate that people who don’t comply with the vax should be criminally prosecuted under the mandates (which are not laws), just as a person would be criminally prosecuted for not complying with a deputy during a traffic stop. This confirms my suspicion that leftists did not expect such a large number of people to risk their jobs to defy the mandates. Leftists and pro-authoritarians have no concept of valuing principles over one’s own comfort or safety, and so the large national opposition to the mandates has caught them off guard. Now they are facing the prospect that THEY will have to suffer real world consequences for their support of vax authoritarianism, and the leftists don’t like that. The Sheriff logically outlines the facts on the ground in terms of personnel and how many will be leaving or will be fired due to the mandates, and the numbers hit hard. With at least 30% of the department gone, law enforcement in LA County will be effectively crippled. They are already short-staffed as it is because of the LA County Board Of Supervisors and their woke agenda to “defund the police”. Suddenly, losing their police force is not sitting well with those same woke activists. The media was very aggressive in trying to cast doubt on the idea that many deputies and staff were leaving because of the mandates, which the Sheriff squashed immediately by making it clear that the losses could only be attributed to vax requirements and any other suggestion would be disingenuous. The bottom line is this: The system as we know it will shut down if the mandates are enforced. This is why Joe Biden and friends are waiting to enforce the mandates until AFTER the Christmas season. They know that businesses and industries across the board will be hobbled by the loss of 30% or more of their workers and that many government institutions will be unable to function with the loss of 10% of staff, let alone 30% or more. The media is already trying to paint the narrative that people forced out of their jobs because of the mandates are the BAD GUYS, not the victims. This is classic leftist gaslighting. They attack the population with their edicts, they offer a non-choice in terms of compliance, and then when a large number of people choose to make sacrifices rather than submit, the authoritarians label those people “criminals.” In other words, the message is: “Because you will not submit to my tyranny, you are hurting society. Your lack of submission to my authoritarianism is an attack on me and the greater good.” The Narrative Is More Important To Covid Cultists Than The Facts Reporters then argued that the Sheriff should be “evangelizing” for the vaccines instead of giving such a presentation. I find this use of language interesting. I have long said that pro-vaxxers are a kind of cult that ignores the science and has turned the national medical response into a political witch hunt against conservatives and liberty minded people. The media thinks the Sheriff of LA County should be “evangelizing” to his staff, which means they want him to stop publicly sharing data that disagrees with their religion because it could derail what they believe to be a “righteous crusade”. But the vax mandates have nothing to do with public health and everything to do with public control. Sheriff Villanueva rightly points out that people who are vaccinated should not be worried about the vax status of the person next to them. As I have argued over and over again ever since the vaccines were introduced: If the vaccines work then the unvaccinated pose no threat whatsoever to the vaccinated. If they don’t work, then why are they trying to mandate them in the first place? Vaccinated people still actively spread the virus. Highly vaccinated countries like Israel have the highest infection rates in the world. Vaccinated people make up the bulk of hospitalizations and deaths in majority vaccinated countries. Unvaccinated people who have natural immunity are up to 27 times more protected from covid than people who take the vaccines. These are the facts. Furthermore, the media absolutely refuses to openly discuss the actual death rate of the covid virus. The median Infection Fatality Rate of covid is a mere 0.27% according to the medical establishment and numerous peer reviewed studies. Who are the unvaxxed a threat to? 0.2% of the population? Why don’t those people take the vax and leave the rest of us alone? Does the science not matter anymore? There is no evidence that shows that the unvaccinated pose a threat to anyone. None. Zero. Yet, covid cultists are calling for the unvaxxed to suffer joblessness, poverty and possibly criminal prosecution for refusing to comply. This is madness, and when you allow insane people to take control of your society, collapse is sure to follow. I suspect that the media will attempt to bury this presentation by Sheriff Villanueva because it destroys the narrative that an overwhelming majority of law enforcement and other government employees are on board with the vax mandates. It also runs contrary to a number of lies surrounding the justifications for the experimental vaccines in general. Finally, the media reaction is so ridiculous and unhinged that one immediately sees the difference between the covid cult and a normal rational person like the Sheriff. They come off as zealots while he presents as wise. I applaud his reserve and calm demeanor in the face of such rabid stupidity, and I applaud his bravery in standing for truth in an era when truth is vilified. *  *  * 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 Mon, 11/08/2021 - 13:10.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytNov 8th, 2021

"Trump counties" had over 3 times more COVID deaths than "Biden counties" in October, according to a new report

A partisan split emerged following the availability of COVID-19 vaccines, which Trump voters have rejected at higher rates than Biden voters. People display signs protesting mask and vaccine mandates during the Kentucky Freedom Rally at the capitol building on August 28, 2021 in Frankfort, Kentucky. Jon Cherry/Getty Images "Trump counties" had over 3 times more COVID deaths than "Biden counties" in October. It's probably because Republicans and Democrats have taken the vaccine at different rates. Prior to the availability of vaccines, there was not a consistent partisan correlation in deaths. People are now dying from COVID-19 at a rate 3 times higher in counties where former President Donald Trump won at least 60% of the vote than in counties where President Joe Biden won a similar percentage, according to a New York Times analysis of the data.And that partisan gap - which didn't emerge until the widespread availability of vaccines in the spring of 2021 - has consistently widened over the last 5 months.The gap, according to the Times, accelerated at its fastest rate yet in October, coming out to 25 COVID deaths per 100,000 residents in counties where Trump won more than 60% of the vote, versus 7.8 deaths per 100k in counties where Biden did the same.A late October poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation's COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor found that 39% of Republican adults remain unvaccinated, while just 10% of Democratic adults said the same thing.It's a stark departure from the beginning of 2021, when the COVID death rate in so-called "Trump counties" was only slightly higher than in "Biden counties," and where the death rate was highest in counties that neither candidate swept overwhelming.Prior to vaccination, both Republican-affiliated groups like older, white, rural voters and Democratic-affiliated groups like Black and low-income voters in urban areas had risk factors that could lead to higher likelihoods of death, including attitudes about masking and the effects of racism on health outcomes.The Times has highlighted this same divide before, finding the emergence of correlation between vaccination rates and case rates in June and underscoring the role that right-wing media is playing in keeping down vaccination rates among conservatives in September.It's possible that the partisan gap could be hitting it's peak, according to the Times. That's because of the potential forthcoming availability of a "COVID-19 pill" antiviral treatment that's been shown to reduce the risk of hospitalization and death by 89% in high-risk patients, as well as the build-up of natural immunity in more conservative areas.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 8th, 2021

3 airlines are launching new flights to Florida this winter from the Northeast with fares ranging from $49 to more than $700

Americans are still very much in love with Florida and airlines are giving travelers more options to make their winter escapes to the Sunshine State Florida will once gain see an influx of visitors from the Northeast this winter. Roman Stetsyk/Shutterstock More airlines are adding flights to Florida this winter to meet the demand for leisure travel. Avelo Airlines, JSX, and Elite Airways will connect the Northeast and Florida in November. Governor Ron Desantis is praising Florida's low daily average COVID-19 case rate; though, deaths remain high. Americans still love escaping to Florida for the winter, and airlines are ready to accommodate with new flights to the Sunshine State launching in November. Three airlines have announced new flights from the Northeast to cities across Florida, offering travelers a variety of options when heading south for the winter. Avelo Airlines, JSX, and Elite Airways will join the busy East Coast air corridor, each with its own unique style and varying degrees of luxury. Ultra-low-cost startup Avelo Airlines will offer the most flights to Florida of the three, serving the ever-popular destinations of Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Orlando, Sarasota, Tampa, and West Palm Beach from Connecticut's Tweed-New Haven Regional Airport. Introductory fares on the routes start at $49 but customers will have to pay extra for add-ons including baggage allowance and advance seat assignments. Located 80 miles from New York City, New Haven can attract a mix of travelers ranging from the Connecticut wealthy to cost-minded budget travelers. Avelo just launched flights in April with a fleet of Boeing 737 aircraft as part of a new wave of airlines looking to offer a combination of friendly customer service and low fares, as Insider found on the airline's inaugural flight. Another new carrier to the Northeast will also launch flights to Florida, offering a high-end experience and a price tag to match. Semi-private airline JSX will soon fly between White Plains, New York and Miami with five flights per week starting on November 18.Fares start at $749 one-way and include the use of private terminals on both ends of the journey, two checked bags, snacks, drinks, and cocktails. JSX's Embraer E135/E145 aircraft feature a mere 30 leather seats with extra legroom and in-seat power offered throughout the cabin. Elite Airways, a scheduled passenger carrier that also performs on-demand charter operations, will launch flights between Newark and St Augustine, Florida on November 19. The weekender service will operate on Mondays and Fridays using Elite Airways' fleet of Bombardier regional aircraft. Fares start at $129 one-way and include complimentary seat assignments, checked baggage, and onboard snacks and beverages. Elite Airways also offers flights between Newark and Melbourne, Florida. Florida remained a top travel destination even during the worst of the pandemic's second wave in late 2020. United Airlines, for example, added 17 routes to Florida in 2020 from cities across the Northeast and Midwest to capture the new market of leisure travelers heading south. The combination of year-round sunny weather and a reduced focus on pandemic restrictions increased Florida's popularity as a getaway destination among a segment of the population. Others sought to avoid the Sunshine State, which remained a near-permanent fixture on the travel advisory list of states like New York, for the same reason.Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced on Wednesday that the state had achieved a daily average COVID-19 case rate of eight per 100,000 residents, the lowest of any US state. Deaths in the state remain high, however, with the daily average at 123.9, according to New York Times data, making Florida second only to Texas despite 60% of the population being fully vaccinated against COVID-19.Connecticut maintains a similarly low daily average case rate of nine per 100,000 residents while New York has the highest at 19 per 100,000 residents. Both Connecticut and New York lead Florida in vaccination rates but confirmed COVID-19 cases in all three states are trending downward. The new flights on all three airlines are already available for booking.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 30th, 2021

Is The Establishment Hiding Mass Resistance To Vaccine Mandates With The "Striketober" Farce?

Is The Establishment Hiding Mass Resistance To Vaccine Mandates With The "Striketober" Farce? Authored by Brandon Smith via Alt-Market.us, It is perhaps a sign of the waning influence of the mainstream media that even though they have been incessantly pumping the concept of “Striketober” for the past month, the majority of Americans rarely mention it. What we do deal with on a regular basis, though, are the constant labor shortages across multiple sectors of the economy as well as the growing supply chain disruptions and stagflationary retail price hikes. The media notion of “labor regaining its power” is a background narrative that they are still struggling to plant in the public subconscious while the majority of people try to adapt to more serious concerns. That said, the establishment doesn’t really care if the propaganda takes hold, only that they have a useful cover for the very real collapse of the US economy. It’s a kind of vicious perversion of the “fake it until you make it” strategy. Striketober, like BLM, Antifa, and numerous other Marxist or Cultural Marxist movements has been created from thin air by a combination of news hype and globalist foundation funding. It’s important to first recognize that none of these leftist organizations would have ever been formed had it not been for the ample support of institutions like the Ford Foundation and George Soros’ Open Society Foundation. BLM, for example, was founded by openly Marxist leaders and got its start using millions of dollars in funding from the Ford Foundation and Open Society Foundation. Many of the “workers unions” involved in various elements of Striktober also enjoy direct or indirect funding from globalist foundations. The Food Chain Workers Alliance, for example, receives funding from the Ford Foundation, and the National Domestic Workers Foundation gets ample money from the Ford Foundation, Open Society Foundation and Rockefeller Foundation. As I have said many times in the past, all the evil people are on the side of the political left. All the billionaire elites and corporations they claim to hate are feeding them endless cash. Leftist labor strikes only exist because globalists want them to exist. Of course, leftist strikes are actually a minimal problem. In fact, I suspect they are a deliberately fabricated theater meant to obscure the very REAL labor strikes among conservatives over the covid vaccine mandates. Let me explain… We are all familiar with sensationalist worker walkouts like the Netflix protest over Dave Chappelle’s special “The Closer” which dares to make jokes about trans activists, a highly protected minority of people at the top of the leftist oppression totem pole. Most people have also heard about the workers strike among McDonalds employees over #metoo claims even though there is little to no evidence to support the accusations. What we don’t hear much about is that the Netflix walkout was actually only a handful of real employees mixed with a mob of career activists that were bused in from elsewhere. We also don’t hear about the fact that the #metoo claims made against McDonalds are actually from back in 2018, and they are now being conveniently dredged up again as the country faces a labor shortage crisis. These high profile strikes and walkouts are starting to eclipse media coverage of the true culprits behind the labor crisis – Namely the Biden Administration and blue state governments enacting global mandates, vaccine controls and covid stimulus. The source of worker shortages, supply chain bottlenecks and a lot of our stagflationary issues can be traced directly back to the government’s covid restrictions and the covid welfare programs. Get rid of the restrictions, the mandates and the covid checks and over time the crisis will disappear. It really is that simple. However, the establishment does not want you to see it that way. Marxist/Socialist groups are working feverishly to make hay with the covid protests and employee strikes in an attempt to attribute them to “worker discontent” over low wages and “mistreatment” rather than the covid mandates. This is nonsense. First and foremost, wages have been rising exponentially in the past year for what I would call “zero skill workers” in the retail and service industries. When a potential employee with no valuable skills can walk into almost any chain restaurant or retail outlet and get $15 or more an hour on top of a signing bonus of hundreds of dollars just for showing up on the first day, there is no unfair disparity for the working class. When the average minimum wage across the states is around $9 and most service workers are making nearly double that, there is no legitimate problem for Marxists to complain about. So, they have to make things up. To be sure, $15 an hour is not enough to buy a home or start a family on a single income, but people aren’t automatically entitled to home ownership and no intelligent person expects to launch a career in food service or retail. That’s why decades ago these jobs were filled by teenagers, not people in their 20s or older. Doubling the minimum wage only accomplished one thing int he long run: Much higher prices for everyone. Workers might feel like they are being abused, but it’s not their paychecks under attack or their managers making sexual advances. These are petty concerns compared to the bigger issue at hand – Their individual civil liberties. As noted, there are two major factors in worker shortages: The Biden vaccine mandates and state and federal covid stimulus programs which pay people more to stay at home than they would make on the job. THESE are the reasons for worker shortages and anyone that claims otherwise is ignorant or has an agenda. Federal covid checks are not done yet. Contrary to popular belief the cash is still flowing through various programs including child credit programs. Also, most states continue to pump out covid financial aid on top of existing unemployment benefits. This is essentially Universal Basic Income and it’s not over by a long shot. Businesses cannot find enough labor because the government has bribed millions of workers to stay home. The socialists don’t like to address this problem because it conflicts with their Striketober fantasy, so they deny it exists. The establishment is well aware that these actions are destabilizing the labor market and I believe the goal is to destroy the small business sector specifically. Small businesses cannot compete with corporations backed by trillions in central bank stimulus. They don’t have the resources to double wage rates for zero-skill workers or to offer large signing bonuses. They also don’t have the resources to police their own employees and customers to ensure these people are complying with vaccine passports and booster shots. Within a year the solid small business foundation of the US will be a hollow shell. With the death of small businesses, all that will remain are international conglomerates that WILL enforce the mandates and threaten people with poverty and starvation if they refuse the vax. All other legal alternatives will be removed and that is exactly what the elites want. Without defiant small businesses there’s nowhere left for you to work or shop without the vax passport. Corporate monopolies are the tool governments are using to circumvent constitutional protections for individuals. But as this process plays out the resistance grows. And, as they say, the resistance will not be televised. The entire premise of Striketober and the rise of the “oppressed proletariat” is a farce, but there is a different kind of revolution brewing. The latest narrative does at least represent something new in the agenda to derail the US economy. For the most part we have been dealing with astroturf protests from Cultural Marxists in the form of crazed social justice warriors funded by globalist foundations. The focus is usually on exploiting cultural taboos or non-existent racism or sexism. The Striketober development is a much more classic rendition of old school Marxist sabotage, and it appears that it was slapped together haphazardly by establishment elites in order to diminish the VERY REAL conservative worker walkouts. That is to say, from now on expect that if you walk out of a job or get fired from a job for non-compliance on the experimental covid vax you might be lumped in with a fake leftist movement and no one will mention the real reasons for your sacrifice. But what is the point of this psy-op? Don’t the globalists want to identify and demonize the millions of conservatives refusing the vax? I am reminded of a story I read when I was a child about a conversation between an ancient Roman General and a Roman Senator. The senator tells the general that something needed to be done about separating and delineating the slave class from the free Roman citizens because often they all looked alike and were sometimes dressed alike. The senator suggested that the slaves be forced to wear black arm bands so they could be easily identified. The general disagreed, pointing out that if the slaves were given the arm bands they would finally see how many of them there were, and realizing the sheer size of their population the slaves might then be encouraged to revolt against the empire. Now, I don’t know if this tale is historically accurate but I treat it as a parable. In the case of the vaccine mandates and the massive worker strikes among airlines, hospitals, police and emergency services, etc., the more the establishment tries to squeeze the US population with forced vaccination efforts the more liberty minded people slip through their fingers and fight back. If mass walkouts and strikes are attributed to conservatives and patriots standing against the mandates, then all the other “slaves” might realize they are actually legion. This would be bad for the globalists and their Reset agenda. So, they are attempting to co-opt the vaccine walkouts and rewrite history in real time by creating a fake workers movement through Striketober. And no, it will not end in October, the media will be promoting this idea from now on. That way the resistance becomes convoluted and confused and the mainstream media can say the great number of striking workers are actually on the side of the political left battling the “capitalist machine”, not conservatives and patriots on the side of truth and freedom. We are not supposed to know our numbers. By instituting a two tier society through vax mandates the establishment has made an error. They obviously assumed there would be far less rebellion against the passports. They obviously assumed that there would be a vast majority of support and the 10% or less of the population refusing to comply would be overwhelmed and surrounded by the covid cult. They figured we would be compelled by peer pressure and the fear of standing out, and that we would naturally fall in line. Instead, 30% to 50% of the population depending on the state or city or industry is in revolt and we are starting to see how many of us there really are across the country. There are three things the covid authoritarians are predominantly afraid of: Liberty groups recognizing their true numbers. Those same groups organizing at the local and state level across the country. And, losing the mainstream narrative that they are the “good guys” and that we are the “evil insurrectionists”. Striketober is just another desperate attempt by the power elites to manage optics in the face of unexpected opposition. Their efforts to terrorize people that refuse to become guinea pigs for a barely tested mRNA cocktail is backfiring. Eventually, worker strikes due to forced vaccination will culminate in greater acts of rebellion against the system. And, with each escalation of resistance the establishment will strain their weak think-tank brains trying to create new narratives to obscure what is really happening. *  *  * 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 Thu, 10/28/2021 - 23:40.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeOct 29th, 2021

How Long Until Supply Chains Finally Normalize: Three Things To Watch

How Long Until Supply Chains Finally Normalize: Three Things To Watch Earlier today, Morgan Stanley showed that more than inflation, more than concerns about the historic labor crisis, definitely more than covid, one thing has preoccupied the minds of most management teams this quarter: "supply chain issues", a topic which has seen an explosion of mentions on Q3 earnings calls. But while by now everyone is aware that the global supply-chain shock is truly historic and getting worse by the day, with used car prices rising sharply again and over 30 million tons of cargo waiting outside US ports ahead of the holiday season, few have considered what realistically could normalize these frayed supply chains. To address this topic, in a research report published overnight, Goldman's economists assessed the three key drivers of supply chain normalization and their most likely timing: improved chip supply driven by post-Delta factory restarts (4Q21) and eventually by expanded production capacity (2H22 and 2023); improved US labor supply (4Q21 and 1H22); and the wind-down of US port congestion (2H22). And speaking of used car prices, in the first 15 days of October, the Manheim used vehicle index surged 8.3% due to yet another global supply shock: this time due to Delta-variant factory shutdowns in Southeast Asia and elsewhere. Here, in a rare mea culpa, the Goldman economists admit that while previously they had expected improved microchip availability by 1H22 on the back of normalizing Japanese automotive shipments (post-factory fire) and a US supply response, with these catalysts now behind us — the Naka factory in Japan resumed normal shipments activity in July and US semiconductor plant hours jumped to 73 hours per week in the first half of the year vs. 46 in 2019 — Goldman now expects a "more extended timeline." So with that demonstration of how thoroughly unpredictable the non-linear cascading consequences of such s diffuse, global phenomenon as international production pathways and supply chains are, Goldman proceeds to assess the three key drivers of supply chain normalization listed above, their likely timing, and the key indicators to track progress. We start by reviewing one unique aspect of the global semiconductor industry that sets it apart from most other manufacturing and services industries of today’s economy: outside of Southeast Asian plant shutdowns, both output and capacity utilization have already returned to quite elevated levels. So while the supply of dress shirts and haircuts is likely to rise sharply if demand returns, higher utilization of existing semiconductor capacity is not a viable path toward resolving the chip shortage. Additionally, much needed moderation in US and global goods demand has alleviated (and will continue to alleviate) goods-sector imbalances. As shown in the left panel of the next chart, real retail spending has already normalized in major foreign economies. And while it picked back up domestically in August and September, US goods consumption has nonetheless declined by 5% since March. That said, from the perspective of the key bottlenecks contributing to inflation, demand for consumer electronics, business tech, and other semiconductor-intensive products has remained elevated—both globally and in the US (right chart above). Furthermore, one should hardly expect the increased digitization of society and consumer preferences to reverse post-pandemic: Goldman's equity analysts forecast demand for semiconductor-intensive consumer goods to remain strong in 2022 (smartphones +4% after +12% in 2021, autos +5% after +6%, PCs -12% after +28% cumulatively in 2020 and 2021). So returning to supply constraints, here is a summary of the three key resolution channels in turn (global chip production, US labor supply, reduced port congestion). Channel 1, Step 1: Improved Chip Supply from East Asia Reboot Goldman's expected timeline: 4Q21 Key indicators to watch: Effective Lockdown Indices (ELI) particularly in Malaysia, Vietnam, Mainland China, and Taiwan East Asian industrial production and exports of semiconductors, electrical components, and consumer electronics Automaker commentary on near-term chip availability China industrial policy, with respect to power cuts and the Delta variant Early- and mid-month trade reports (Japan, Taiwan, and Korea) As shown in the next chart, three supply shocks weighed heavily on auto production this year, starting in February with severe winter storms and power outages in the southern United States and followed by a March fire at the Renesas automotive chip factory in Naka, Japan. While the plant was fully rebuilt in Q2 and auto production was set to return to near-normal levels in Q3, the arrival of the Delta variant and “zero covid” policies in some East Asian economies combined to produce another sharp drop in US semiconductor supply. The red line in the same exhibit shows the mid-year stepdown in automotive semiconductor units imported from key East Asian suppliers (data derived from granular Census trade records that include unit counts). Looking ahead, there are several key drivers for optimism, starting with the vaccination-led drop in infection rates (chart below, left and center). As a result, lockdown severity is also now approaching pre-Delta levels in both Malaysia and Vietnam (right panel). Going forward, it's important to track the semiconductor output and trade statistics of these key suppliers, as well as closely watch Chinese output and export data to monitor possible disruptions to chip or consumer goods supplies, for example related to power cuts or covid restrictions. For example, imports of integrated circuits from Vietnam and semiconductor devices and diodes from Malaysia declined 34% year-on-year in August, but Chinese production has so far remained firm. These developments coupled with better near-term production commentary from General Motors and Toyota, would argue for some microchip relief in Q4, and Goldman estimates the removal of this supply bottleneck could return US auto production to or near the 10-11mn SAAR range achieved in late 2020 (vs. 7.8mn in September and 8.6mn in Q3). Increases beyond that pace would likely require additional supply improvements, in part because today’s smart cars utilize more and more automotive systems with microchips and in part because of the continued mix shift towards SUVs and electric vehicles (EVs), both of which are relatively chip-intensive. The next chart plots the ratio of global automotive semiconductor shipments to global vehicle production (both on a unit basis.) The secular increase in chip intensity continued in 2021 and suggests demand for automotive semiconductors will continue to rise even with flattish unit vehicle demand. Channel 1, Step 2: Improved Chip Supply from New Capacity Goldman's expected timeline: 2H22, with a more normal environment in 2023 Key indicators to watch: Global semiconductor shipments, particularly automotive: Microcontroller Units (MCUs), power semiconductor, analog devices GS equity research forecasts for semiconductor capacity growth 2022 auto production forecasts (GS equity research, IHS) US industrial production of computers, communication equipment, and semiconductors Foreign production and US imports of auto and consumer electronics A key step towards easing supply constraints and lowering core goods prices is the build out of global microchip production capacity. But despite the dramatic impact of the chip shortages on US economic output and consumer prices, automotive semiconductor capex only rose back above the 2019 pace in Q3 And with 2-3 quarter lags between equipment capex and chip production—and several-year lead times for new foundries—the rise in capex to above-normal levels in Q4 may not meaningfully boost chip supply until the second half of next year. Reasons for the slow and restrained capex response include the long lead times and high fixed costs of new foundries and the likelihood that downstream industries will shift production away from the semis currently in short supply—many of which are older generation products to begin with. High industry concentration is another factor contributing to restrained capital deployment in the face of very strong near-term demand. With Goldman analysts tracking capacity growth of just 5-10% per year in 2021-22 among the semiconductor industries that supply the auto and consumer electronics sectors, and with consumer demand for these products also likely growing at that horizon and given the rising semiconductor content of motor vehicles, Goldman expects chip supply to remain constrained through at least mid-2022. This reduces the scope for automakers to sustain above-normal production, and restock heavily depleted vehicle inventories. Accordingly, Goldman also expects auto dealer inventories to remain very low through mid-2022. Channel 2: Improved US Labor Supply Goldman's expected timeline: Q421 and 1H22 Key indicators to watch: Payrolls, particularly manufacturing and transportation JOLTS, particularly manufacturing and transportation Industrial production of consumer goods, excluding autos and high tech Supplier deliveries components of ISMs and regional Fed surveys Labor force participation rate Labor shortages are another important bottleneck, but labor supply constraints are expected to ease substantially in coming months for several reasons. First, the September expiration of unemployment insurance benefits will boost Q4 job growth by around 1.0 million according to Goldman economists. Second, workers who have left their jobs because of child care concerns to return to work now that schools have reopened. Third, virus concerns will continue to fade as vaccinations increase further and infection rates fall—this would encourage some of the 2-3 million individuals staying away from the workplace because of health concerns to return to the job market. Taken together, Goldman expects total employment to increase by about 4mn workers by end-2022, a 2.7% boost to non-farm payroll employment. As shown in Exhibit 11, labor demand in these industries is 5.1% and 0.9% above pre-pandemic levels in transportation and manufacturing, respectively. With job openings and wages at new highs for factory and transportation jobs, these labor shortages should ease gradually as the sectors draw workers from lower-paid services industries Channel 3: Unwind of Port Congestion Expected timeline: 1H22 Key indicators to watch: Transportation payrolls, particularly in the marine cargo handling, support activities for transportation, couriers and messengers, and warehousing and storage sectors Ships at anchor and inbound container traffic at US ports Shipments component of the Cass Freight Index US ex-auto manufacturing production US imports of cars and consumer goods Real retail inventories, excluding autos Shipping delays and port congestion are also important bottlenecks for seaborne consumer products like furniture and sporting goods—semiconductors and high-value electronics generally arrive via airfreight. Stranded cargo at the Port of Los Angeles has surged to record highs (left panel of Exhibit 12) due to elevated trade volume—container inflows into US ports are 25% above pre-pandemic levels (see right panel)—and ongoing shortages of transportation-sector labor. We don’t expect significant near-term capacity growth in the goods shipping sector because bottlenecks currently constrain multiple modes of transportation. For example, if ports increased their capacity but the truck-driver shortage is not resolved, total shipping times could remain little changed. Moreover, to the extent transportation companies view shipping demand as temporarily elevated, they are unlikely to boost capacity meaningfully in the near-term. We instead see two other drivers behind an expected easing in shipping and transportation constraints in the first half of 2022. First, demand is seasonally weaker in the fall and winter, bottoming out in February after the Chinese New Year when it is typically about 15-20% below August levels. If port throughput maintains the August not-seasonally-adjusted pace, the seasonal moderation in demand would help clear the backlog. Second, and as discussed in more detail here and in Exhibit 3, we expect US import volumes to normalize somewhat due to waning fiscal stimulus and a consumer rotation back toward services consumption. Inflation and Fed Implications As an aside, since any delays in supply chain normalization means higher prices, Goldman has once again boosted its sequential inflation assumptions for Q4 and early 2022 to reflect these continued upward price pressures, having done so already every month since April. The bank now forecasts year-on-year core PCE inflation of 4.3% at year-end, 3.0% in June 2022, and 2.15% in December 2022 (vs. 4.25%, 2.7% and 2.0% previously). This slower resolution of supply constraints means that year-on-year inflation will be higher in the immediate aftermath of tapering than we had previously expected. While we expect inflation to be on a sharp downward trajectory at that point and to continue falling through the end of the year, this higher-for-longer path increases the risk of an earlier hike in 2022. Tyler Durden Wed, 10/27/2021 - 15:27.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeOct 27th, 2021