Economic Outlook

The Fight Against COVID-19: “Bending the Curve” & Then What?

Eradicate the virus — without a vaccine? Manage infection rates to let the population “build immunity through suffering” until a vaccine is available? How can we revive the economy without risking thousands of deaths in fresh outbreaks?

I think we’re now at the turning point in the fight against COVID-19. Everyone’s now acting to stop the spread, and the early hot spots in Europe, North America, and Australia are seeing signs of progress, just as the Asian nations did earlier. There is a long road ahead, and we have to decide which route to take, but Western societies are showing they can handle this too. In this post I’m going to show updated versions of my three favorite graphs, which tell the story and lead to the single biggest public policy-making challenge many nations may face this decade… CLICK for complete article

Many Brick & Mortar Stores Will Not Reopen, CMBS will Default, Mess to Ensue

Macy’s announced today that it would lay off “the majority” of its 123,000 employees after it had closed all its Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s and Bluemercury stores on March 18. Even before the lockdowns, its headcount was already down 17% from four years ago, in line with the decline of its brick-and-mortar operations. It said these stores would “remain closed until we have clear line of sight on when it is safe to reopen.”

Whenever that may be. But “at least through May,” the furloughed employees who were already enrolled in its health benefits program “will continue to receive coverage with the company covering 100% of the premium.” And it said, “We expect to bring colleagues back on a staggered basis as business resumes.” That is, if business at these brick-and-mortar stores resumes…CLICK for complete article

Two coronavirus vaccine candidates are in the clinics and 42 more are in preclinical studies, according to updated data provided by the World Health Organization on March 20.

Three biopharma companies issued updates Monday on their developmental efforts for vaccines to combat the deadly virus, which has so far killed more than 35,000 people and infected about 735,000 more, according to Johns Hopkins University.

IMV On Track For Summer Start

Canadian pharma Imv Inc which announced March 18 its intention to develop a DPX-based vaccine candidate for the new coronavirus, said it has initiated discussions with Health Canada to prepare for a clinical trial application…CLICK for complete article

On Monday we reported how thousands of young Americans laughed off warnings to self-isolate and partied on Florida beaches anyway for spring break – with several now testing positive for COVID-19.

The poster child for these selfish ‘covidiots’ – who will statistically survive coronavirus – was a spring breaker from Ohio, Bradley Sluder – told CBS News: “If I get corona, I get corona. At the end of the day, I’m not gonna let it stop me from partying,” adding “We’re just out here having a good time. Whatever happens, happens.” CLICK for complete article

The Emissions Impact of Coronavirus Lockdowns, As Shown by Satellites

There’s a high chance you’re reading this while practicing social distancing, or while your corner of the world is under some type of advised or enforced lockdown.

While these are necessary measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, such economic interruption is unprecedented in many ways—resulting in some surprising side effects.

The Evidence is in NO₂ Emissions

Nitrogen dioxide (NO₂) emissions, a major air pollutant, are closely linked to factory output and vehicles operating on the road.

As both industry and transport come to a halt during this pandemic, NO₂ emissions can be a good indicator of global economic activity—and the changes are visible from space.

These images from the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA), as well as satellite footage from NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA), show a drastic decline in NO₂ emissions over recent months, particularly across Italy and China…CLICK for complete chart

Problem Solved!

A supermarket in Denmark got tired of people hoarding hand sanitizer, so came up with their own way of stopping it. 1 bottle kr40 ($10.00) 2 bottles kr1000 ($280.00) each bottle. Hoarding stopped!