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The United States swore in Democrat Joe Biden as the 46th President Wednesday, succeeding Republican Donald Trump. As the U.S. faces political division and a surging coronavirus pandemic, President Biden began his first day in office signing a series of Executive Orders. Plus, the United Nations warns that the pandemic is continuing to destroy jobs and push food prices higher. And an update on a deadly blast in Spain.

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Trump and FBI – News Review from Michael_Novakhov (10 sites): Counterintelligence from Michael_Novakhov (51 sites): Eurasia Review: The Virus Doesn’t Know There’s A New US President – OpEd


President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. takes the presidential oath of office at the U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C., Jan. 20, 2021. Once the oath was completed, Biden became the 46th President of the United States of America. (DoD photo by U.S. Army Sgt. Charlotte Carulli)

The promise of widespread vaccination is still out of reach for most Americans. A month after the country’s first vaccinations, there’s no federal data showing who is receiving the vaccine.

By Nikhila Natarajan

The coronavirus doesn’t know that the United States has a new president. One full year after COVID-19 arrived in the US — the first case was reported on 21 January 2020 — the pandemic’s winter surge has dragged the US to another awful milestone: More than 400,000 Americans are dead, more than 24 million have been infected and the virus isn’t finished with the US.

The promise of widespread vaccination is still out of reach for most Americans. A month after the country’s first vaccinations, there’s no federal data showing who is receiving the vaccine.

On Day One, the new US president Joe Biden inherits this “mess” as his Chief of Staff Ron Klain calls it. Biden has promised to “manage the hell out of this operation,” setting an ambitious agenda for the first 100 days that includes a national mask mandate, swift vaccinations and direct payments to people hurting from the economic collapse.

Biden is leaning on what he calls his “crisis tested” team. There’s a lot to “manage the hell out of.”

Here’s what his challenge looks like, in numbers:

24,186,358: Total number of infections in the United States, on 19 January 2021, the last full day of the Trump presidency.

400,292: Total number of US deaths as on 19 January 2021. By the first weekend after Biden takes over, the toll is likely to surge beyond the number of Americans killed in World War II.

566,720: A University of Washington predictive model projects deaths will reach nearly 567,000 by 1 May, coinciding with 100 days of the Biden presidency. US deaths from COVID-19 surpassed 100,000 in late May 2020 and tripled by mid-December.

120,000: Number of patients currently hospitalised with COVID-19.

4,400: Number of deaths the US recorded on a single day the week before 20 January.

965,000: The number of people seeking unemployment benefits in the final week of the Trump presidency. Before the pandemic, the weekly number hovered around the 225,000 mark, spiked to 7 million in the early days of the pandemic and settled around 700,000 per week since Fall 2020.

6 months: At the current pace of vaccine shipments to New York, it could take six months or more to get shots to 7 million residents already eligible under federal guidelines. New York governor Andrew Cuomo now wants to buy direct from vaccine manufacturers.

18 million: Number of unemployment insurance payments being made every week, according to Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen. She has called for a “sweeping” response, just like the damage.

66: Average daily virus cases per 100,000 population for the seven days ended 17 January.

31 million: Number of vaccine doses distributed as of 15 January. This includes vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna approved for emergency use in the final weeks of December 2020.

80%: Percentage of deaths among those aged 65 and older.

50,000: Number of lives that Biden team “experts” have said will be saved by April if people obeyed the mask mandate.

34%: Infection rates are up by this much in recent weeks, according to Biden.

100,000: Biden aims to have these many people in his public health force, inspired by Franklin Roosevelt’s Civilian Conservation Corps.

100: Biden has promised these many federally supported vaccination centers across the nation within the first month in office.

19.5%: Percentage of US deaths in global toll. The US accounts for nearly 1 of every 5 virus deaths reported worldwide. It has led the global toll for the entire time that the coronavirus has raged within its borders.

$1.9 trillion: The magic number for the virus relief package Biden hopes to push through Congress. This includes direct payments to Americans who qualify based on annual earnings and an increase in the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

14.7 million: Combined total number of vaccines administered in the US including the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Pfizer got emergency approval earlier and accounts for a slightly higher number in total vaccinations.

142: Number of Black Americans per 100,000 cases. Blacks account for 16% of COVID-19 deaths where race is known.

1,384,963: Number of doses administered so far in long term care facilities — which have the highest burden of disease.

200 million: Number of doses that the Trump administration has ordered from Pfizer for its two-shot vaccine. This will be enough for 100 million people and is being purchased at $19.50 per dose.

120 days: The amount of time it took for the US to reach a death toll of 100,000.

~30 days: The amount of time it took for the US to go from 300,000 to 400,000 COVID-19 related fatalities.


Data from transcripts of Joe Biden’s recent speeches, Johns Hopkins coronavirus dashboardCovid TrackingCenters for Disease Control and Prevention, US Department of Labour.

The article The Virus Doesn’t Know There’s A New US President – OpEd appeared first on Eurasia Review.

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Trump and FBI – News Review from Michael_Novakhov (10 sites): FBI from Michael_Novakhov (35 sites): Top stories – Google News: Coronavirus live news: WHO says ‘don’t panic’, all will get Covid vaccine; new US CDC director sworn in – The Guardian


  1. Coronavirus live news: WHO says ‘don’t panic’, all will get Covid vaccine; new US CDC director sworn in  The Guardian
  2. The latest on the coronavirus pandemic and vaccines: Live updates  CNN
  3. Vaccine mailbag: Answers to questions you had about the COVID-19 vaccine  KSL.com
  4. Concern grows in Florida over more contagious COVID strain  FOX 35 Orlando
  5. First task for Biden’s CDC director: Fix everything Trump broke  Ars Technica
  6. View Full Coverage on Google News

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Trump and FBI – News Review from Michael_Novakhov (10 sites): Counterintelligence from Michael_Novakhov (51 sites): FBI from Michael_Novakhov (35 sites): Top stories – Google News: Coronavirus live news: WHO says ‘don’t panic’, all will get Covid vaccine; new US CDC director sworn in – The Guardian


  1. Coronavirus live news: WHO says ‘don’t panic’, all will get Covid vaccine; new US CDC director sworn in  The Guardian
  2. The latest on the coronavirus pandemic and vaccines: Live updates  CNN
  3. Vaccine mailbag: Answers to questions you had about the COVID-19 vaccine  KSL.com
  4. Concern grows in Florida over more contagious COVID strain  FOX 35 Orlando
  5. First task for Biden’s CDC director: Fix everything Trump broke  Ars Technica
  6. View Full Coverage on Google News

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Trump and FBI – News Review from Michael_Novakhov (10 sites): Counterintelligence from Michael_Novakhov (51 sites): Eurasia Review: Time Preference, Interest Rates, And Stagflation – Analysis


dollar finance financial crisis

By Frank Shostak*

A common conception is that the central bank is a key factor in the determination of interest rates. In this way of thinking, the key role of the central bank is to make sure that the so-called economy is placed on a trajectory of stable economic growth and stable inflation. If for whatever reason the economy appears to deviate from the specified trajectory, then it is the responsibility of central bank policy to ensure the economy remains on this path. This is attained, so it is held, by means of influencing the short-term interest rate, in the US the federal funds rate.

The central bank influences the short-term interest rates by influencing monetary liquidity in the markets. While asset buying by the US Fed raises the money supply, its selling of assets produces the opposite effect. Thus, by buying assets the Fed adds to the monetary liquidity, thereby lowering rates, while by selling assets the exact opposite is taking place.

Popular thinking also suggest that long-term rates are the average of current and expected short-term interest rates. If today’s one year rate is 4 percent and the next year’s one-year rate is expected to be 5 percent, then the two-year rate today should be 4.5 percent ((4+5)/2=4.5 percent). Conversely, if today’s one-year rate is 4 percent and the next year’s one-year rate is expected to be 3 percent, then the two-year rate today should be 3.5 percent (4+3)/2=3.5 percent.

Time Preference and Interest Rates

It is individuals’ time preferences rather than the central bank, however, that are the key to the interest rate determination process. What is it all about?

An individual who has just enough resources to keep himself alive is unlikely to lend or invest his paltry means. The cost of lending, or investing, to him is likely to be very high—it might even cost to lend part of his means. Therefore, he is unlikely to lend or invest even if offered a very high interest rate.

Once his wealth starts to expand, the cost of lending, or investing, starts to diminish. Allocating some of his wealth toward lending or investment is now going to undermine his life and well-being to a lesser extent. On this Mises wrote,

That which is abandoned is called the price paid for the attainment of the end sought. The value of the price paid is called cost. Costs are equal to the value attached to the satisfaction which one must forego in order to attain the end aimed at.1

According to Carl Menger:

To the extent that the maintenance of our lives depends on the satisfaction of our needs, guaranteeing the satisfaction of earlier needs must necessarily precede attention to later ones. And even where not our lives but merely our continuing well-being (above all our health) is dependent on command of a quantity of goods, the attainment of well-being in a nearer period is, as a rule, a prerequisite of well-being in a later period….All experience teaches that a present enjoyment or one in the near future usually appears more important to men than one of equal intensity at a more remote time in the future.2

From this we can infer, all other things being equal, that anything that leads to the expansion in the real wealth of individuals should give rise to a decline in the interest rate, i.e., the lowering of the premium of present goods versus future goods. Conversely, factors that undermine real wealth expansion should lead to a higher interest rate. Increases in real wealth tend to lower individuals’ time preferences whereas decreases in real wealth tend to raise them. The link between changes in real wealth and changes in time preferences is not automatic, however. Every individual decides how to allocate his wealth in accordance with his priorities.

Demand for Money and Time Preference

The lowering of time preferences, i.e., the lowering of the premium of present goods versus future goods (due to real wealth expansion) is likely to become manifest in a greater eagerness to invest real wealth. With the expansion in real wealth, people are likely to increase their demand for various assets—financial and nonfinancial—and to lower their demand for money. In the process, this raises asset prices and lowers their yields, all other things being equal.

Observe that whilst the increase in the pool of real wealth is likely to be associated with a lowering in the interest rate, the opposite is likely to take place with a fall in the pool of real wealth. People are likely to be less eager to increase their demand for various assets thus raising their demand for money relative to the previous situation. With all other things being equal, this will manifest in the lowering of the demand for assets, and thus lowered prices and raised yields.

What Will Happen to Interest Rates If the Money Supply Increases?

An increase in the supply of money, all other things being equal, means that those individuals whose money stock has increased are now much wealthier. This will likely set in motion a greater willingness by these individuals to purchase various assets. It leads to the lowering of the demand for money by these individuals.

This in turn bids the prices of assets higher and lowers their yields. At the same time an increase in the money supply sets in motion an exchange of nothing for something, which amounts to the diversion of real wealth from wealth generators to non–wealth generators. The consequent weakening in the real wealth formation process sets in motion a general rise in interest rates.

This implies that an increase in the growth rate of money supply, all other things being equal sets in motion a temporary fall in interest rates. This decline in interest rates cannot be sustainable because of the damage to the process of real wealth generation. A decline in the growth rate of money supply, all other things being equal, sets in motion a temporary increase in interest rates. However, over time, the fall in the money supply sets the foundation for a strengthening in the real wealth formation process, which sets in motion a general fall in interest rates.

We can thus see that the key for the determination of interest rates is individuals’ time preferences, which manifest through the interaction of supply and demand for money. Note that the central bank has nothing to do with the underlying interest rates determination. The policies of the central bank only distort where interest rates should be in accordance with time preferences, thereby making it much harder for businesses to ascertain what is really going on.

Stagflation and Interest Rates

How likely is it that interest rates will be affected in a situation where economic activity is declining while price inflation is strengthening? What we have here is stagflation, i.e., a strengthening in price inflation and a decline in economic activity. The key factor behind stagflation is the previous strong increases in money supply, which undermine the pool of real wealth. Strong increases in money supply result in an exchange of nothing for something, which weakens the process of real wealth formation. The weakening of the pool of real wealth in turn weakens real economic growth.

At the same time, increases in the money supply weaken the purchasing power of money. Hence, we have here a weakening in economic activity and a general increase in price inflation. A weakening in the process of wealth generation due to the strengthening in the money supply growth rate increases individuals’ time preferences, i.e., the underlying real interest rates go up.

In response to the emerging economic slump, the central bank enters to lift the money supply growth rate further. This pushes asset prices higher, thereby lowering their yields. After a time lag, though, this increase in the money supply and resultant increase in price inflation is likely to prompt the Fed to reverse and tighten its interest rate stance. This means that, relative to the previous situation, the Fed is likely to reduce its buying of assets. Consequently, upward pressure on interest rates is likely to emerge.

However, this upward pressure on yields should only be temporary, since a tighter monetary stance is actually good news for the formation of real wealth. After a time lag, this is likely to lower individual time preferences and work toward the lowering of real interest rates.The 1970s is a great example of stagflation. After closing at 2.7 percent in June 1972, the yearly growth rate of the US Consumer Price Index (CPI) had jumped to 12.3 percent by December 1974. The yearly growth rate of industrial production, which had closed at 11.6 percent in December 1972, had plunged to –12.4 percent by May 1975.

Note that a strong increase in the growth rate of money AMS (Austrian Money Supply) from 2.7 percent in May 1970 to 9.6 percent in February 1973 was an important cause behind the strong acceleration in price inflation from June 1972 to December 1974. At the same time, this strong increase in the momentum of AMS had likely undermined the pool of real wealth (see chart). This likely real wealth erosion, coupled with a decline in the yearly growth rate of AMS from 9.6 percent in February 1973 to 4.1 percent in December 1974, weakened the momentum of industrial production.

Are We Heading for Stagflation?

That the yearly growth rate of US AMS stood at 74 percent at the end of December 2020 (see chart) raises the likelihood that a strong increase in price inflation is ahead.

As a result of past reckless fiscal and monetary policies, the pool of real wealth could be declining. If this is the case, it is possible that the monetary pumping will not be effective in terms of getting the economy out of the slump. This raises the likelihood of stagflation ahead.

Observe, though, that the Fed increased the fed funds rate target from 5.5 percent in June 1972 to 11 percent in June 1974. By December 1974 the target had been lowered to 8 percent.

Note that the Fed pursued a tighter interest rate stance until June 1974 while the momentum of industrial production was declining. In contrast, currently there is not a high probability that the Fed is going to tighten its interest rate stance soon, the major reason being that while an increase in price inflation is probable sometime in the future, a major consideration of the Fed is likely to be that the US economy still remains vulnerable to the paralyzing effects of covid-19 policy such as the lockdowns.

  • 1.Ludwig von Mises, Human Action: A Treatise on Economics, scholar’s ed. (1949;  Auburn, AL: Ludwig von Mises Institute, 1998), p. 97.
  • 2.Carl Menger, Principles of Economics, trans. James Dingwall and Bert F. Hoselitz (Auburn, AL: Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2007), p. 153–54.

*About the author: Frank Shostak‘s consulting firm, Applied Austrian School Economics, provides in-depth assessments of financial markets and global economies. Contact: email.

Source: This article was published by the MISES Institute

The article Time Preference, Interest Rates, And Stagflation – Analysis appeared first on Eurasia Review.

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В первую очередь вакцину получают военные медики, военнослужащие, несущие боевое дежурство, командный состав и дежурные силы соединений и воинских частей.

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“trumpism” – Google News: ‘Trumpism’ messaging based on ‘spin and exaggeration’ may live on in US politics – Sky News Australia


‘Trumpism’ messaging based on ‘spin and exaggeration’ may live on in US politics  Sky News Australia

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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (197 sites): Palmer Report: Biden White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki holds press conference and hits it out of the park


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Biden White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki held a press briefing tonight and didn’t lie about crowd size even once – in a reminder of just how low the bar has been set over the past four years. For that matter, the mere fact that Psaki held a briefing at all is a major upgrade over where the previous regime left things.


   


All things considered, Psaki’s briefing stood out in terms of how much it fit right in. This was the kind of White House press briefing we had always been accustomed to, before the previous regime threw away the blueprint.


Psaki gave detailed and knowledgeable answers. She didn’t appear to tell a single lie or make a single misleading statement. She even called on news outlets whom she knew, based on their dispositions, were likely to ask her crappy questions – and she fielded those questions professionally.

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