Buttigieg Blames Private Sector for Formula Shortage


Armstrong Economics Blog/USA Current Events Re-Posted May 17, 2022 by Martin Armstrong

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, the man who suggested everyone immediately switch to electric vehicles to combat the “Putin gas hike,” has a new message for American parents struggling to feed their babies – deal with it.

Buttigieg appeared on CBS and could not contain his utter ignorance and lack of empathy. “This is a capitalist country. The government does not make baby formula, nor should it. Companies make formula. And one of those companies, a company which, by the way, seems to have 40% market share, messed up and is unable to confirm that a plant, a major plant, is safe and free of contamination,” he stated, absolving government of any guilt. The baby formula shortage began BEFORE Abbott had a formula recall.

Luckily reporter Margaret Brennan was able to explain the situation to the confused politician. Buttigieg said the shutdown has nothing to do with a shortage of ingredients. “No, it is a factor that has led to price. Inflation is one of the factors among many that has been blamed for months of problems with baby formula even before the recall in February,” Brennan reminded him. He maintained that the private sector has the ability to make more formula, and Brennan reminded him that right now America is importing baby formula from Europe as its strategy.

The Biden Administration happily sends $40 billion off to Ukraine without hesitation but refuses to fund the problems we are facing at home. This nationwide formula shortage is an extremely serious issue that US politicians simply disregard. A fraction of the money spent on Ukraine could have fixed the Michigan plant that closed after the recall, and it could have been used to create new manufacturing plants and import more formula in the meantime.

Sunday Talks, Goldman Sachs CEO LLoyd Blankfein Still Sees Demand Side Inflation


Posted originally on the conservative tree house on May 15, 2022 | Sundance 

Appearing on Face the Nation (FtN) Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein discussed his views and perspectives on the economy overall and U.S. inflation specifically.  Undoubtedly Blankfein has access to resources and analysis far beyond CTH scope; however, despite a statistically factual contracting GDP, Blankfein is claiming to see overall demand side inflation remaining in the macro economy.

Perhaps that view might still be true domestically on the service side (it certainly isn’t on the trade side), but demand driven inflation does not appear visible on the goods side of the economic ledger.  What is clearly present as the price driver is “production side inflation,” the costs to create goods and bring them to market.   If you look at economic activity in units instead of dollars, the units are contracting.

The demand for goods is now focused almost entirely on priority or essential purchases like housing, energy, fuel and food.  The price for those essential products is driven by production costs, which are a direct outcome of the energy policy, environmental policy, regulatory policy, and to a lesser extent trade policy, of the Biden administration.  Blankfein is pretending not to know things… WATCH:

Putting housing aside due to investment purchasing of real estate, if Blankfein was correct, and demand was still driving inflation, then a massive deflationary cycle would be coming as a result of lowered consumer purchasing of goods.   There isn’t any chance we are going to see “deflation” in the next several years.  [We will likely see housing prices collapse, but not consumer goods.]

Inflation is being driven by production costs, and there is no end in sight to the production cost increases as long as the crew behind Joe Biden keeps strangling the U.S. energy sector…. and then compounding the domestic price issue by creating incentives for energy exports (vis-a-vis EU sanctions).  The production inflation is a purposefully inflicted wound on our economy.  Production inflation is avoidable.

That interview is Wall Street gaslighting to a Main Street audience.  I don’t like it one bit.

Global COVID Summit Declaration IV


A Joint Statement, representing 17,000 Physicians and Medical Scientists to End the National Emergency, Restore Scientific Integrity, and Address Crimes Against Humanity

Robert W Malone MD, MS22 hr ago1,516104

The time is now. As most readers of this substack are now well aware, this is not just about COVID. The constitution hangs in the balance. Please help us to get these messages spread far and wide. The 17,000 Physicians and Medical Scientists in our organization, who are not financially conflicted and remain committed to the Hippocratic Oath, are doing our part. Now we ask that you help us to help you. We need your help.

https://globalcovidsummit.org/news/declaration-iv-restore-scientific-integrity

Alternative link


Global COVID Summit, Declaration IV

A Joint Statement, representing 17,000 Physicians and Medical Scientists 

To Restore Scientific Integrity

17,000 Physicians and Medical Scientists Declare that the State of Medical Emergency must be lifted, Scientific integrity restored, and crimes against humanity addressed.


17,000 physicians and medical scientists declare that the state of medical emergency must be lifted, scientific integrity restored, and crimes against humanity addressed.

We, the physicians and medical scientists of the world, united through our loyalty to the Hippocratic Oath, recognize that the disastrous COVID-19 public health policies imposed on doctors and our patients are the culmination of a corrupt medical alliance of pharmaceutical, insurance, and healthcare institutions, along with the financial trusts which control them. They have infiltrated our medical system at every level, and are protected and supported by a parallel alliance of big tech, media, academics and government agencies who profited from this orchestrated catastrophe.

This corrupt alliance has compromised the integrity of our most prestigious medical societies to which we belong, generating an illusion of scientific consensus by substituting truth with propaganda. This alliance continues to advance unscientific claims by censoring data, and intimidating and firing doctors and scientists for simply publishing actual clinical results or treating their patients with proven, life-saving medicine. These catastrophic decisions came at the expense of the innocent, who are forced to suffer health damage and death caused by intentionally withholding critical and time-sensitive treatments, or as a result of coerced genetic therapy injections, which are neither safe nor effective.

The medical community has denied patients the fundamental human right to provide true informed consent for the experimental COVID-19 injections. Our patients are also blocked from obtaining the information necessary to understand risks and benefits of vaccines, and their alternatives, due to widespread censorship and propaganda spread by governments, public health officials and media. Patients continue to be subjected to forced lock-downs which harm their health, careers and children’s education, and damage social and family bonds critical to civil society. This is not a coincidence. In the book entitled “COVID-19: The Great Reset”, leadership of this alliance has clearly stated their intention is to leverage COVID-19 as an “opportunity” to reset our entire global society, culture, political structures, and economy.

Our 17,000 Global COVID Summit physicians and medical scientists represent a much larger, enlightened global medical community who refuse to be compromised, and are united and willing to risk the wrath of the corrupt medical alliance to defend the health of their patients.

The mission of the Global COVID Summit is to end this orchestrated crisis, which has been illegitimately imposed on the world, and to formally declare that the actions of this corrupt alliance constitute nothing less than crimes against humanity.

We must restore the people’s trust in medicine, which begins with free and open dialogue between physicians and medical scientists. We must restore medical rights and patient autonomy. This includes the foundational principle of the sacred doctor-patient relationship. The social need for this is decades overdue, and therefore, we the physicians of the world are compelled to take action.

After two years of scientific research, millions of patients treated, hundreds of clinical trials performed and scientific data shared, we have demonstrated and documented our success in understanding and combating COVID-19. In considering the risks versus benefits of major policy decisions, our Global COVID Summit of 17,000 physicians and medical scientists from all over the world have reached consensus on the following foundational principles:

  1. We declare and the data confirm that the COVID-19 experimental genetic therapy injections must end.
  2. We declare doctors should not be blocked from providing life-saving medical treatment.
  3. We declare the state of national emergency, which facilitates corruption and extends the pandemic, should be immediately terminated.
  4. We declare medical privacy should never again be violated, and all travel and social restrictions must cease.
  5. We declare masks are not and have never been effective protection against an airborne respiratory virus in the community setting.
  6. We declare funding and research must be established for vaccination damage, death and suffering.
  7. We declare no opportunity should be denied, including education, career, military service or medical treatment, over unwillingness to take an injection.
  8. We declare that first amendment violations and medical censorship by government, technology and media companies should cease, and the Bill of Rights be upheld.
  9. We declare that Pfizer, Moderna, BioNTech, Janssen, Astra Zeneca, and their enablers, withheld and willfully omitted safety and effectiveness information from patients and physicians, and should be immediately indicted for fraud.
  10. We declare government and medical agencies must be held accountable.

INFLATION – RECESSION – RISING RATES RATHER THAN LOWER RATES


Armstrong Economics Blog/Economics Re-Posted May 13, 2022 by Martin Armstrong

COMMENT: Marty, I want to thank you so much for the WEC. Perhaps you will consider doing one that is streamed in the middle of this craziness. I have listened to many analysts. But you are head and shoulders above everyone. Only you called for declining economic growth, rising inflation, and rising interest rates in spite of a recession. I understand it is Socrates that puts this all together. But we really need you now.

Please, Please, Please!

WL

ANSWER: I will consider it. My days are full and I cannot even begin to explain everything that is coming in from sources around the world. The “Stickly” core inflation, which does not include food or energy, made its low perfectly on its 31.4-year decline from the highest yearly closing in 1979 to the bottom in 2010. This is really important to understand because while food and energy are rising faster, they filter over into the core inflation and are driving that higher at a faster pace. We are looking at everything rising, much as was the case during the 1980s. Even ticket prices are rising in sports.

I understand that people THINK that Paul Volcker conquered inflation by pushing interest rates to insane levels. Let’s get something straight — the high-interest rates did NOT stop the inflation. Volcker drove the value of the dollar higher and that produced DEFLATION, driving the British pound to $1.03 by 1985.

Raising rates does NOT stop inflation; it will only increase it when we are dealing with a SHORTAGE rather than an excessive demand boom. The same result will unfold with the rising dollar BECAUSE of the rising rates and that produces deflation, but we have the stupidity of those pulling the strings in the Biden Administration and Europe for climate change. They are in power now and want to destroy as much of the energy system as they can because they fear the election cycle will swing against them so they must destroy whatever they can right now.

Food shortages will get MUCH worse into 2023, and we will see power failures this summer in different parts of the US and Europe. There are people in the Biden Administration who simply want to destroy as much as possible in the energy sector in hopes that the Republicans can do nothing if they take back control.

Nuclear Deterrence


Armstrong Economics Blog/War Re-Posted May 11, 2022 by Martin Armstrong

QUESTION: Hi Martin,

I work on defense issues for my job, but I am no Neocon. Second Strike works just fine too or more likely “Launch Under Attack” (LUA), and even with older weapons. Everybody goes down together and most likely via miscalculation especially given possible Nuclear Winter which given Volcano data actually looks plausible. No prior intention is required to commit National suicide. Read Admiral Richards (STRATCOM) latest Congressional testimony yesterday. A  “Crisis In Nuclear Deterrence” and it could be the Brits who initiate any escalation and not the U.S.by the way. Same Trident-D-5 SLBM’s and Russia could not tell them apart.

There are some Neocons who are aware of your work like Bill Kristol, and others. They will never allow the shift from West to East to occur. I have actually heard some of them say that. It is their hold card. By the way, could you clarify when you believe the full-scale war will break out? You have suggested Q-1 2023, 2024 (especially May 7/8 ECM turn), after 2024, 2027, and 2028. I understand it may escalate in stages, but how long does Socrates believe we have before it goes full scale? My guess is June 2024 as Economic factors are ignored by “The Post Cold Warriors”.

Best,
Ken.

COMMENT: Marty, you are right again. Admiral Richard agreed with you that nuclear arms are no longer a deterrent to war. The Ukraine conflict shows Russia was not afraid of nuclear weapons from NATO or the US. It is all economics.

Thanks for what you do.

KM

ANSWER: I know virtually every intelligence agency looks at Socrates. They all want to know the forecasts of Socrates, for it’s not my personal opinion. All I can hope to do is scream loud enough that perhaps I can reduce the amplitude of events. But Socrates has NEVER been wrong on any geopolitical forecast in my lifetime. Personally, we all have opinions. But that will also change week to week based on events. That’s why personal opinion will not cut it, for this is far more complex than we can even speculate.

I really do not care what the Neocons do. They will never prevent the shift of the economic power from the West to the East. China has surpassed Europe, and it is neck and neck with the USA now. This is a cycle that cannot be defeated. All they are doing is fulfilling the cycle with this nonsense. World peace is created by interdependency, as was the case with the Roman Empire and the Pax Romanum, Roman peace.

I am doing a full report on the question. Tensions are rising post-2020 after they got Biden in office. We will see escalation begin in 2023, but the prospect of a world war is more likely post-2024. I question if Putin will be there during that time more than Biden. Putin will be followed by even hardline advocates, for they are well aware that this Proxy War is really a war between the USA and Russia.

Yes, the head of U.S. Strategic Command Adm. Charles Richard, who does oversee the nuclear arsenal, warned Congress that the USA faces a heightened nuclear deterrence risk when it comes to Russia and China. The cutting of the defense budget and even Biden’s threat to dishonorably discharge any member of the military who was not vaccinated has shown that the US thinks it can control the world with the threat of nuclear weapons while reducing the conventional capability.

Adm. Richard warned: “We are facing a crisis deterrence dynamic right now that we have only seen a few times in our nation’s history.” He continued stating bluntly: “The war in Ukraine and China’s nuclear trajectory — their strategic breakout — demonstrates that we have a deterrence and assurance gap based on the threat of limited nuclear employment.” He further warned that China is “watching the war in Ukraine closely and will likely use nuclear coercion to their advantage in the future. Their intent is to achieve the military capability to reunify Taiwan by 2027 if not sooner.”

Nuclear weapons are no longer a deterrent. They did not stop the US from going into Iraq, the Vietnamese War, or this one in Ukraine. The idea that building nuclear capability will somehow compel world peace is a delusion. This is essentially what Admiral Richard has scolded Congress about. The US conventionally is not a match for Russia and China. North Korea alone has an army of 1.5 million. That is double the size of both sides in Ukraine right now.

JoeBamanomics, 77 Percent of Americans Rate Economy as Poor, 23 Percent Say Good, 63% of Americans Buying Fewer Groceries


Posted originally on the conservative tree house on May 4, 2022 | Sundance 

CNN conducted another poll to evaluate voter trends [pdf data here].  The results show a significant drop in American opinion of the economy with 77% rating the current status as “poor,” and 23% saying it’s “good.”  Additionally, 66% of people polled disapprove of the way Biden is handling the economy.

As CNN painfully noted: “Even within the Democratic Party, just 7 in 10 approve of Biden on the economy (71%) and helping the middle class (71%), considerably lower than the 86% of Democrats who approve of his performance overall. Fewer than half of Democrats say Biden has improved the nation’s economic standing (45%), down from 58% in December.” (article link)

In the video discussion, CNN Political Director David Chalian is just gobsmacked, stunned and amazed that 63% of these people are saying they are buying fewer groceries because stuff is just too expensive. WATCH:

.

Whenever voters put democrats in charge of the economy, it just sucks.

Full Poll Pdf HERE }

Market from Volume to Targeted Boosts


TrialSite Staff by Staff at TrialSite | Quality Journalism May. 10, 2022, 9:00 a.m.

After 16 months of major COVID-19 immunization initiatives worldwide, government appetite for COVID-19 vaccine products appears to morph into a more focused, market-based, targeted booster series, a change that vaccine producers are now adjusting to accommodate. With a confluence of forces, from COVID-19 vaccine gluts to increasing numbers of producers to leeriness of waning effectiveness due to highly transmissible variants, the market drivers, heavily driven by government, give way to an unfolding new reality.

In the United States, like in many other nations, including those aligned with the World Health Organization (WHO), centered responses to COVID-19 emphasized production and distribution of a maximum number of vaccines with targets of achieving at least 70% vaccination. That effort, again coordinated to some degree by groups such as WHO, led to the inoculation of about 4.68 billion people (according to Our World in Data) worldwide, or neatly 60% of humanity, representing an unprecedented pandemic response.

Vaccine producers such as Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson and Johnson (Janssen), AstraZeneca, and others understand that unless there are continued government mandates effectively priming the pump of demand, those individuals with a preference for COVID-19 immunization have already gone ahead with the procedure.

What’s left is a market for boosters and what could become some sort of annual shot available for targeted populations. Of course, in some markets, young children are still a target for COVID-19 vaccines.  Regardless, companies now operate in a quite different environment now, than they did in the period of late 2020 through 2021: a period driven by massive government spending, heavy industry influence on the regulatory process, risk-sharing, and the like to a more traditional competitive marketplace.

The Last Market: Young Children

While the children’s markets in places like America are still relevant, awaiting approval, what’s becoming apparent will be the emphasis on booster shots. In the world’s most lucrative drug market, America, Pfizer, and Moderna will more than likely persist as market leaders vying for the parental demands of children as public health agencies such as the CDC continue to emphasize that the risk-benefit analysis of the COVID-19 vaccine favor by a long-shot vaccination. The point of view is that there are no risk-free choices and that it’s better to be safe than sorry with the very youngest members of society. 

To date, the CDC recommends the Pfizer vaccine for both the 5-11 age and 12 to 17 cohort while not recommending Moderna. Under 4 is the last market segment the vaccine makers vie for, and if the FDA authorizes, then Pfizer would own that market. A potential battle emerges over this cohort (aged 4-11) as a growing movement concerned for the safety associated with the vaccines, especially the mRNA-based products, gains momentum to question the mass vaccination on this young population. Critics argue that the original premise for mandates and the like was to control community transmission.  Given substantial waning vaccine effectiveness combined with mutating variants, critics suggest the risks of serious infection and death are too low, and the safety issues are higher than the government is letting on. 

Demand for Vaccines Wane

But demand for vaccines is flat in much of the world. In America, there is little uptick in vaccination as the “fully vaccinated” defined as receiving the two jabs of either Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna or one jab from Janssen equals 66.8% of the population while about 30.7% of the population opted for a booster dose.

Meanwhile, TrialSite, on several occasions, has chronicled a global glut of COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics, especially in places like India, the world’s second-highest populated country. In places like Australia, where the death rate associated with COVID-19 has absolutely skyrocketed despite high immunization rates, the public health agencies and politicians continue to promote booster doses as the answer. TrialSite reported recently that Australian politicians in an election season essentially pretend that times are back to normal despite record numbers of cases, near-record hospitalizations, and double the deaths in the first months of 2022 than all of 2020 and 2021 combined.

Some Possible Explanations

Reuters’ Michael Erman and Manas Mishra write that vaccine producers such as Novavax and CureVac, the German mRNA-vaccine maker in partnership with GlaxoSmithKline, seek to target this booster market. Novavax still awaits FDA authorization despite the fact that much of the developed world, from Europe to Canada and Japan to the WHO, have authorized the use of the Novavax vaccine.

Meanwhile, the outlook for Janssen and AstraZeneca (Oxford) is that bright, report the Reuters journalists. According to Hartaj Singh, an analyst from Oppenheimer & Co., “It becomes a very competitive game with companies battling it out with pricing and for market share, even for vaccines that are considered to be the best, like Pfizer and Moderna.”

Interestingly, Pfizer’s CEO Albert Bourla went on the record in an interview recently that those adults that have opted to receive a COVID-19 vaccine are not likely to start accepting shots now in a recognition that the mega push for vaccine administration has come and gone.

Moderna has pegged the unfolding market as the annual shot market, targeting the following:

  • Adults 50 and above
  • People with comorbidities or other risks
  • High-risk occupations (e.g., healthcare, etc.)

According to the estimates of Stephane Bancel, Moderna’s CEO, this emerging annual shot market totals 1.7 billion, representing 21% of the global population. The mRNA-based vaccines are more expensive and cumbersome to distribute and store, hence a sizeable chunk of that estimated target may opt for other vaccines such as the two recently touted by vaccine insiders at WHO including a plant-based vaccine from Canada and one from China. 

More than likely Western Europe and America will represent central markets for sales for Pfizer and Moderna who will move toward more competitive, targeted responsive strategies as large government pre-purchases are probably going to be far less. Moreover, TrialSite suggests what were cozy relationships between industry and government agencies will become less so as the various governments’ responses to the pandemic will be a hot topic, especially in democracies in current election cycles.

Key Question: A flu shot model or something else?

The Reuters writers posed an important question in the recent piece: will the likes of Pfizer and Moderna starting this fall market a tailored, redesigned vaccine targeted relevant variants of concern (e.g., Omicron, BA.2, etc.)?

Both Moderna and Pfizer executives are on the record that they are developing Omicron-targeted vaccines.

This becomes an important topic as even the mainstream media starts to become slightly critical of the pandemic response, including mRNA-based vaccine makers that never modified the vaccine product once. The vaccine authorized and approved in the United States was developed based on the original Wuhan variant of SARS-CoV-2 which didn’t seem to make it in circulation to America nor most of the world.

Revenues Decline (but still unprecedented)

2023 sales numbers, while still staggering as compared to historical precedent in the pharmaceutical industry, are nonetheless, on the decline. Reuters reports $17 billion projected for Pfizer-BioNTech (down nearly half from $34 billion) and $10 billion for Moderna as compared to $23 billion in 2022. Sales will continue to drop because enormous fortunes were generated in the winner-take-all pandemic market.

TrialSite suggests the COVID-19 pandemic response must be seriously evaluated due to levels of bias, political interference, and potentially corruption at an unprecedented level. Should the political conditions change in the United States for example, leading to serious inquiries, the pandemic winners may incur unexpected costs.

After 16 months of major COVID-19 immunization initiatives worldwide, government appetite for COVID-19 vaccine products appears to morph into a more focused, market-based, targeted booster series, a change that vaccine producers are now adjusting to accommodate. With a confluence of forces, from COVID-19 vaccine gluts to increasing numbers of producers to leeriness of waning effectiveness due to highly transmissible variants, the market drivers, heavily driven by government, give way to an unfolding new reality.

In the United States, like in many other nations, including those aligned with the World Health Organization (WHO), centered responses to COVID-19 emphasized production and distribution of a maximum number of vaccines with targets of achieving at least 70% vaccination. That effort, again coordinated to some degree by groups such as WHO, led to the inoculation of about 4.68 billion people (according to Our World in Data) worldwide, or neatly 60% of humanity, representing an unprecedented pandemic response. TrialSite Staff by Staff at TrialSite | Quality Journalism

May. 10, 2022, 9:00 a.m.

After 16 months of major COVID-19 immunization initiatives worldwide, government appetite for COVID-19 vaccine products appears to morph into a more focused, market-based, targeted booster series, a change that vaccine producers are now adjusting to accommodate. With a confluence of forces, from COVID-19 vaccine gluts to increasing numbers of producers to leeriness of waning effectiveness due to highly transmissible variants, the market drivers, heavily driven by government, give way to an unfolding new reality.

In the United States, like in many other nations, including those aligned with the World Health Organization (WHO), centered responses to COVID-19 emphasized production and distribution of a maximum number of vaccines with targets of achieving at least 70% vaccination. That effort, again coordinated to some degree by groups such as WHO, led to the inoculation of about 4.68 billion people (according to Our World in Data) worldwide, or neatly 60% of humanity, representing an unprecedented pandemic response.

Vaccine producers such as Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson and Johnson (Janssen), AstraZeneca, and others understand that unless there are continued government mandates effectively priming the pump of demand, those individuals with a preference for COVID-19 immunization have already gone ahead with the procedure.

What’s left is a market for boosters and what could become some sort of annual shot available for targeted populations. Of course, in some markets, young children are still a target for COVID-19 vaccines.  Regardless, companies now operate in a quite different environment now, than they did in the period of late 2020 through 2021: a period driven by massive government spending, heavy industry influence on the regulatory process, risk-sharing, and the like to a more traditional competitive marketplace.

The Last Market: Young Children

While the children’s markets in places like America are still relevant, awaiting approval, what’s becoming apparent will be the emphasis on booster shots. In the world’s most lucrative drug market, America, Pfizer, and Moderna will more than likely persist as market leaders vying for the parental demands of children as public health agencies such as the CDC continue to emphasize that the risk-benefit analysis of the COVID-19 vaccine favor by a long-shot vaccination. The point of view is that there are no risk-free choices and that it’s better to be safe than sorry with the very youngest members of society. 

To date, the CDC recommends the Pfizer vaccine for both the 5-11 age and 12 to 17 cohort while not recommending Moderna. Under 4 is the last market segment the vaccine makers vie for, and if the FDA authorizes, then Pfizer would own that market. A potential battle emerges over this cohort (aged 4-11) as a growing movement concerned for the safety associated with the vaccines, especially the mRNA-based products, gains momentum to question the mass vaccination on this young population. Critics argue that the original premise for mandates and the like was to control community transmission.  Given substantial waning vaccine effectiveness combined with mutating variants, critics suggest the risks of serious infection and death are too low, and the safety issues are higher than the government is letting on. 

Demand for Vaccines Wane

But demand for vaccines is flat in much of the world. In America, there is little uptick in vaccination as the “fully vaccinated” defined as receiving the two jabs of either Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna or one jab from Janssen equals 66.8% of the population while about 30.7% of the population opted for a booster dose.

Meanwhile, TrialSite, on several occasions, has chronicled a global glut of COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics, especially in places like India, the world’s second-highest populated country. In places like Australia, where the death rate associated with COVID-19 has absolutely skyrocketed despite high immunization rates, the public health agencies and politicians continue to promote booster doses as the answer. TrialSite reported recently that Australian politicians in an election season essentially pretend that times are back to normal despite record numbers of cases, near-record hospitalizations, and double the deaths in the first months of 2022 than all of 2020 and 2021 combined.

Some Possible Explanations

Reuters’ Michael Erman and Manas Mishra write that vaccine producers such as Novavax and CureVac, the German mRNA-vaccine maker in partnership with GlaxoSmithKline, seek to target this booster market. Novavax still awaits FDA authorization despite the fact that much of the developed world, from Europe to Canada and Japan to the WHO, have authorized the use of the Novavax vaccine.

Meanwhile, the outlook for Janssen and AstraZeneca (Oxford) is that bright, report the Reuters journalists. According to Hartaj Singh, an analyst from Oppenheimer & Co., “It becomes a very competitive game with companies battling it out with pricing and for market share, even for vaccines that are considered to be the best, like Pfizer and Moderna.”

Interestingly, Pfizer’s CEO Albert Bourla went on the record in an interview recently that those adults that have opted to receive a COVID-19 vaccine are not likely to start accepting shots now in a recognition that the mega push for vaccine administration has come and gone.

Moderna has pegged the unfolding market as the annual shot market, targeting the following:

  • Adults 50 and above
  • People with comorbidities or other risks
  • High-risk occupations (e.g., healthcare, etc.)

According to the estimates of Stephane Bancel, Moderna’s CEO, this emerging annual shot market totals 1.7 billion, representing 21% of the global population. The mRNA-based vaccines are more expensive and cumbersome to distribute and store, hence a sizeable chunk of that estimated target may opt for other vaccines such as the two recently touted by vaccine insiders at WHO including a plant-based vaccine from Canada and one from China. 

More than likely Western Europe and America will represent central markets for sales for Pfizer and Moderna who will move toward more competitive, targeted responsive strategies as large government pre-purchases are probably going to be far less. Moreover, TrialSite suggests what were cozy relationships between industry and government agencies will become less so as the various governments’ responses to the pandemic will be a hot topic, especially in democracies in current election cycles.

Key Question: A flu shot model or something else?

The Reuters writers posed an important question in the recent piece: will the likes of Pfizer and Moderna starting this fall market a tailored, redesigned vaccine targeted relevant variants of concern (e.g., Omicron, BA.2, etc.)?

Both Moderna and Pfizer executives are on the record that they are developing Omicron-targeted vaccines.

This becomes an important topic as even the mainstream media starts to become slightly critical of the pandemic response, including mRNA-based vaccine makers that never modified the vaccine product once. The vaccine authorized and approved in the United States was developed based on the original Wuhan variant of SARS-CoV-2 which didn’t seem to make it in circulation to America nor most of the world.

Revenues Decline (but still unprecedented)

2023 sales numbers, while still staggering as compared to historical precedent in the pharmaceutical industry, are nonetheless, on the decline. Reuters reports $17 billion projected for Pfizer-BioNTech (down nearly half from $34 billion) and $10 billion for Moderna as compared to $23 billion in 2022. Sales will continue to drop because enormous fortunes were generated in the winner-take-all pandemic market.

TrialSite suggests the COVID-19 pandemic response must be seriously evaluated due to levels of bias, political interference, and potentially corruption at an unprecedented level. Should the political conditions change in the United States for example, leading to serious inquiries, the pandemic winners may incur unexpected costs.

After 16 months of major COVID-19 immunization initiatives worldwide, government appetite for COVID-19 vaccine products appears to morph into a more focused, market-based, targeted booster series, a change that vaccine producers are now adjusting to accommodate. With a confluence of forces, from COVID-19 vaccine gluts to increasing numbers of producers to leeriness of waning effectiveness due to highly transmissible variants, the market drivers, heavily driven by government, give way to an unfolding new reality.

In the United States, like in many other nations, including those aligned with the World Health Organization (WHO), centered responses to COVID-19 emphasized production and distribution of a maximum number of vaccines with targets of achieving at least 70% vaccination. That effort, again coordinated to some degree by groups such as WHO, led to the inoculation of about 4.68 billion people (according to Our World in Data) worldwide, or neatly 60% of humanity, representing an unprecedented pandemic response.

Good News 428,000 Jobs Added in April, Bad News April Employment Drops by 363,000 Workers


Posted originally on the conservative tree house on May 6, 2022 | Sundance

Good News 428,000 Jobs Added in April, Bad News April Employment Drops by 363,000 Workers

May 6, 2022 | Sundance | 112 Comments

The employment news has everyone confused.  The Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) reports today 428,000 jobs were added [DATA HERE] which is good.  We want to see people getting back to work.  However, simultaneously the number of people employed dropped by 363,000 and the labor participation rate dropped from 62.4 last month to 62.2 this month [Table A, DATA].  The unemployment rate remains unchanged at 3.6 percent.

That wildly conflicting set of data has led to a seriously frantic discussion about what is going on.  Here’s my take….  The majority of the irreconcilable data can be reconciled on this one basic Main Street employment scenario that is never tracked, people are job jumping.

Inflation is crushing main street workers at an astounding pace.  Housing, energy, gas and food prices -all the unavoidable stuff- are hitting blue collar workers the hardest.

However, in reality the key businesses inside the sectors with the most rapid employment gains, Leisure and Hospitality, are the last to raise prices.

Generally those jobs fall under the category of service workers.  The leisure and hospitality sector gained 78,000 jobs last month.

What we are seeing in the sporadic data is wage growth being driven in majority by increased entry wages on the hiring end of the employment relationship.

Because inflation is hitting so hard, so high and so quickly; and because businesses are slower to respond to the wage needs of current payroll staff; people are quitting one employer to take a linear job at another employer at a higher entry wage.   This is the fastest way to get a raise. This is job jumping.

Job jumping is the fastest way to increase your wages in an employment market where labor demand exists and price inflation is high.  As this process takes place at a national scale, we end up seeing data skews on job “creation.”   Lots of jobs added (+428k) and yet on the alternate side of the ledger, net employment losses (-363k) because there is a lag in the labor data collection.

Obviously, there are other aspects, but ‘job jumping’ is a significant contributor to the skewed and seemingly contradictory data.  We’ve all done it, especially in times when good dependable workers (like you) are a prized resource.

All of the shifting employment data (in almost every sector) is being hit by inflation.  High costs of living and higher costs of operation, combine to create shakeups in the employment picture.  Stable things become unstable as all elements impacted by inflation (workers and businesses) look out for their best interest.

Everyone is trying to survive, deal and cope with big price increases in food, fuel and shelter.  Inflation can be extremely destabilizing and destructive.

On CNBC Rick Santelli drives home another facet that emphasizes the problem.  These price increases are structural and most of them are unavoidable. The prices will never come down because the costs are fully embedded.   WATCH:

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Rick Santelli does the pantomime with panache’.

Fertilizer Prices Continue Rising, Increasing Fears of Global Grain Costs and Shortages


Posted originally on the conservative tree house on May 6, 2022 

As CTH has noted since last October the rapid increases in fertilizer costs could potentially create a major issue for global food supplies later this summer.  As the farming costs continue escalating, including fertilizer and diesel fuel prices, this will eventually lead to major price increases on the harvests.   Field to fork inflation is looking increasingly severe later this year; what we have called the third wave of inflation.

Beyond prices, a primary impact in the U.S. market, concerns are now escalating about grain shortages {SEE HERE} and lower European crop yields which will lead to less food products on a global basis.   According to information shared by ZeroHedge, “We think it will take at least 2-3 years to replenish global grains stocks,” Illinois-based CF Industries Holdings Inc.’s president and chief executive officer Tony Will said in a statement in Wednesday’s earnings report.”

Axios is reporting on the continued escalation of fertilizer prices; however, they conveniently and purposefully avoid noting the origin of the problem in North America is directly the result of Joe Biden’s immediate energy policies that drove up the costs of natural gas (a critical component):

AXIOS – “Skyrocketing fertilizer costs — like those made from nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (NPK) — are driving up food prices and, worse, threatening food security around the globe.

State of play: Prices for NPK were up 125% in January from a year before, and rose another 17% from the beginning of the year to March, according to data compiled by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

  • The looming European ban on Russian natural gas (a critical component in manufacturing some fertilizers) could worsen the situation.
  • “We’re in a dire situation right now,” said Svein Tore Holsether, the CEO of fertilizer maker Yara International, at a seminar hosted by IFPRI this week.
  • If farmers use less fertilizer, they can’t produce as many crops — and that raises the specter of “malnutrition, political unrest and, ultimately, the otherwise avoidable loss of human life,” Bloomberg reported.

The big picture: Prices for these heavily traded raw materials were already rising in 2021, because of a myriad of factors: Hurricane Ida in the U.S., an upsurge in demand after the pandemic, supply chain issues, and rising natural gas prices that predated the war in Ukraine. (more)

It is clear to see the lower price of fertilizer when President Trump triggered U.S. energy independence through his use all resources method of energy development.  Oil and natural gas prices dropped significantly as a part of the Trump energy policy which was directly connected to the his overall U.S. America-First economic policy.

We went from Trump inspired energy independence, low gasoline prices and the stable export of liquified natural gas (LNG) – to energy dependence, high gasoline prices and extreme increases in natural gas prices as a direct result of Joe Biden energy policy.

The downstream consequences of energy policy are extremely severe.  Higher energy costs, higher petroleum costs, higher transportation costs and higher raw material costs drive inflation on all manufactured goods, including farm products.

The energy policy is not a mistake. These economic outcomes are a direct result of Joe Biden executing his Green New Deal / Build Back Better energy policy.  Shortages of food are an outcome of chasing the climate change unicorn energy policy.

Yes, there is a direct connection between climate change energy policy and people starving around the world as a result of it.

The 2022 Election, Here’s Everything You Need to Know About DC Republicans in 30 Seconds


Posted originally on the conservative tree house on May 2, 2022 | sundance

I don’t need to add anything to this.  Page 14 of my unpublished wisdom book says: the space between words is the most important sound you will ever hear when listening to people positioning for influence or affluence.  Learn how to hear what they don’t say, and others will think you are wise beyond imagining.

Hit play and just watch for 30 seconds. Prompted:

NOTE:  James Comer from the state of Kentucky (think Mitch McConnell) was specifically installed by the GOPe as the ranking member of the House Oversight and Govt Affairs Committee (replacing Jim Jordan, June 2020), as a proactive move by the DeceptiCons, for exactly this insurance policy.

If Republicans get the House in the mid-terms, Comer becomes Chairman of the House Oversight Committee.   Do you remember the concept of “Chaff and Countermeasures”?   Fast-n-Furious, IRS targeting, etc.  James Comer is specifically installed to block and wreck any House oversight effort into FBI, DOJ and Biden corruption.  It’s likely Comer has a zipper problem that the Fourth Branch know about.

Senator Ron Johnson – Fox Host M.Bartiromo – Rep James Comer