Global Macro

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Gibraltar proves vaccination doesn’t stop COVID transmission

Anyone still clinging to the myth that the unvaccinated are responsible for spreading COVID, or that vaccination stops transmission, only needs to look at the 100% vaccinated British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar. Gibraltar’s vaccination rate is truly world-leading: Yet it is experiencing more cases per million than either the UK or USA: Accordingly, Gibraltar’s government

0

Inflation here today, gone tomorrow?

Daan Struyven, Goldman Sachs’ global economist, looks inflationary drivers in a global context, and concludes that while inflation is set to subside across most G10 economies in 2H22, it will likely remain structurally higher—to the tune of an average 0.5pp above the pre-pandemic level—in the years ahead: The inflation debate this year has centered on

8

Global wealth inequality widens during COVID

As the markets start to slow down for the year, its easy to get the ruler and calculator out and work out where wealth has increased across the world, in a year marked by a second wave of COVID and inflationary fears. One thing that hasn’t changed is inequality. The richer get richer – helped

56

Has Omicron mutated into a flu?

Data and studies are emerging suggesting that the omicron coronavirus strain is far less dangerous than prior strains and results in far lower levels of hospitalisation. From The Australian: New data from Scotland and South Africa suggest people infected with the Omicron variant of coronavirus are at markedly lower risk of hospitalization than those who

3

Inflation fears to evaporate in 2022

Soc Gen’s Albert Edwards with the note: As we end the year, markets are becoming increasingly nervous that US equities – and the US tech sector specifically – are having the rug pulled out from under them. Market internals are also giving out loud warnings. Just as in 2001, could the unravelling of the recent

12

Shock horror: ‘skilled’ visas used to lower wages

Last year, the Economic Policy Institute released research showing that the United States’ temporary skilled visa scheme (H1B) was being used by employers to undercut local workers’ wages. The analysis was based upon the Department of Labor’s Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey, which constructed a distribution of wages for each occupation in a specific geographic

29

Omicron yet to fill up hospitals

Mark The Graph has posted several charts on Twitter showing how the Omicron strain of COVID is yet to fill up the world’s hospitals. Below are key international charts: Below is the all important chart for NSW: And below is a chart for South Africa, which is where Omicron originated from: While it is still

19

Israel rolls out fourth COVID jab

Israel has become the first nation to roll out a fourth COVID jab: Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett says people over age 60 and medical teams will be eligible for a fourth COVID-19 vaccination, following the recommendation of an expert panel, news agency AFP reports. “I gave an order to prepare immediately for a fourth

0

OECD study: Work from home is here to stay

A new global study of workers in 25 countries by the OECD suggests that work from home (WFH) arrangements will be a permanent fixture post-pandemic: Both employees and managers found working from home during the pandemic was positive for performance and well-being, a report by the OECD found. The proportion of staff teleworking at least

4

Why car prices will continue to rise

Goldman Sachs with the note: With used car auction prices on the rise again, we revisit the outlook for motor vehicle inflation across three dimensions: 1) the relative prices of new versus used cars, 2) Omicron-driven factory closures in East Asia, and 3) US port congestion. Despite recent appreciation, prices of new cars remain unsustainably

10

Is the Baltic Index drop a warning sign for markets?

The canary in the coal mine that indicates a probable slowdown going into 2022 maybe something brewing in the staid world of shipping, with the Baltic Dry Index having a shocking week that has extended into a poor start yesterday, with nine straight losses in a row, now taking it to the April lows. Nearly

4

Global economy slowing as central banks tighten

Mizuho Securities with the note: The OECD published its composite leading indicators (CLIs) for November on 9 December. They point to slower growth in the world’s advanced and major emerging-market economies over the coming 6–9 months. The OECD sees a “possible peak” in the US, the euro area, and Japan, suggesting that growth may slow.

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Omicron evades most vaccines

Preliminary research seems to suggest that most COVID vaccines offer almost no defense against infection from the highly contagious Omicron variant. In particular, vaccines from AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and those manufactured in China and Russia do little to nothing to stop the spread of Omicron, early research shows. And because most countries have built

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Europe begins lockdowns as Omicron wave swells

The Netherlands over the weekend announced that it will commence a four-week hard lockdown amid a recent surge in COVID cases: From the BBC: Non-essential shops, bars, gyms hairdressers and other public venues will be closed until at least mid-January. Two guests per household will be allowed – four over the holidays. Prime Minister Mark

0

Why is US labour supply so tight?

Goldman Sachs has released a new paper entitled “Why is US Labor Supply so Low?”, which is leading to wage pressures: Goldman shows that US labour force participation rate has declined more since 2019Q4 than in most other developed economies: Goldman ascribes four main drivers of the US’ low participation rate: About one-half of the

15

Europe’s Omicron puzzle

HSBC Global Research with the note: While most of Europe is still fighting against the Delta wave… …an even larger threat already looms at the doorstep as the Omicron variant has already started to spread… …which increases the uncertainty around the near-term economic and policy outlook Out of the frying pan and into the fire?

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Omicron spreading at “absolutely phenomenal pace” in UK

The United Kingdom today recorded its highest daily COVID case count since the beginning of the pandemic, with 78,610 cases registered – exceeding the previous peak of 68,192 recorded on 8 January. Professor Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, said that people would be getting infected with the Omicron variant of COVID in “very, very,

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Good news: Omicron looks milder than Delta

The preliminary findings of South African research into the Omicron strain of COVID-19 support initial observations that it causes less severe symptoms than previous variants of the respiratory illness. The research was undertaken by the South African Medical Research Council and the nation’s largest health insurance fund, Discover Health. The researchers also found that the

9

The myth of ‘trickle-down’ economics demolished as rich get richer

The 2022 World Inequality Report has comprehensively demolished the myth that tax cuts for the rich will trickle down. Instead, the rich are getting richer: The richest 10% of the global population currently takes 52% of global income, whereas the poorest half of the population earns 8.5% of it… Global wealth inequalities are even more

15

UK braces for Omicron “tidal wave”

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ordered that vaccine booster jabs be brought forward by a month, as the nation’s medical advisers increased Britain’s five-stage COVID alert level from three to four. Level four means that “transmission is high and pressure on healthcare services is widespread and substantial or rising”, whereas level three meant that