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Adults Aged 35–44 Died At Twice The Expected Rate Last Summer, Life Insurance Data Suggests

Adults Aged 35–44 Died At Twice The Expected Rate Last Summer, Life Insurance Data Suggests

Authored by Margaret Menge via The Epoch Times…

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Adults Aged 35–44 Died At Twice The Expected Rate Last Summer, Life Insurance Data Suggests

Authored by Margaret Menge via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Death claims for working-age adults under group life insurance policies spiked well beyond expected levels last summer and fall, according to data from 20 of the top 21 life insurance companies in the United States.

Louisiana National Cemetery on August 20, 2021 in Zachary, Louisiana. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Death claims for adults aged 35 to 44 were 100 percent higher than expected in July, August, and September 2021, according to a report by the Society of Actuaries, which analyzed 2.3 million death claims submitted to life insurance firms.

The report looked at death claims filed under group life insurance policies during the 24 months of the COVID-19 pandemic, from April 2020 to March 2022. The researchers used data from the three years before the pandemic to set a baseline for the expected deaths.

While COVID-19 played some role in the majority of the excess deaths for adults over the age of 34 during the two pandemic years, the opposite was true for younger people. For people 34 and younger, the number of excess non-COVID deaths was higher than those related to COVID, the data show.

During the third quarter of last year, deaths in the 25-to-34 age bracket were 78 percent above the expected level and, for people aged 45 to 54, 80 percent higher than expected. Excess mortality was 53 percent above the baseline for adults aged 55 to 64.

The Society of Actuaries (SOA) asked all 20 of the participating life insurance companies how they determine the cause of death for the purpose of recording claims. Of the 18 that responded, 17 said they list COVID-19 as the cause of death if it’s listed anywhere on the death certificate, while eight of the 18 said they go further and communicate with relatives and the medical examiner and look at other sources to try to determine the true cause of death.

One life insurance company stated that it recorded COVID-19 as the cause of death only when it could be determined to be the primary cause of death on a death certificate.

The report also notes that white-collar workers had the highest number of excess deaths during the two years studied. The group, which includes accountants, lawyers, computer programmers, and most other jobs done in an office setting, had 23 percent more deaths than expected.

The sharp increase of deaths among working-age people was first brought to light by Scott Davison, CEO of the Indianapolis-based life insurance company OneAmerica, who said in a virtual press conference on Dec. 30, 2021, that his company and the life insurance industry as a whole was seeing a 40 percent increase in deaths among people ages 18 to 64.

Davison said at the time that this represented the highest death rates in the history of the life insurance business, and that an increase in mortality of just 10 percent would constitute a “three-sigma” event, a once-in-200-year catastrophe.

OneAmerica is one of the 20 companies that contributed data for the SOA report. The others include Aflac, Anthem, The Hartford, Lincoln Financial Group, MetLife, New York Life, and Principal Financial.

Edward Dowd, a hedge fund manager who has been studying excess mortality for the past several months and has an upcoming book on the topic, Cause Unknown, says the rate of deaths among young people is alarming. He pointed out that excess deaths peaked around the time the Biden administration mandated COVID-19 vaccines and companies rushed to comply.

Temporally, in that three-month period, the change was such that, there was something that occurred,” he said. “Well, we all know what occurred in August, September, and October. It was Biden’s mandates on Sept. 9, and a lot of corporations anticipating those mandates.

President Joe Biden on Sept. 9, 2021, mandated COVID-19 vaccines for federal employees and health care workers in facilities certified by Medicare and Medicaid. The same day, the president tasked the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) with implementing a nationwide vaccine mandate on private businesses with 100 or more employees.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about combatting the coronavirus pandemic in the State Dining Room of the White House on Sept. 9, 2021, in Washington, DC. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

The U.S. Supreme Court struck down the OSHA mandate in January but allowed the mandate for health care workers to remain in place.

The campaign to vaccinate the majority of the population against COVID-19 is the largest vaccination campaign in the history of the world.

As of Aug. 31, about 90 percent of Americans 18 or older had gotten at least the first dose of one of the COVID-19 vaccines, and 77 percent had gotten both a first and a second dose.

Dr. Robert Malone, a physician and research scientist credited with the invention of the mRNA technology for use in vaccines, says excess mortality must always be studied to determine whether a vaccine or medicine really is safe.

“Excess mortality should be a signal, a trigger,” he told The Epoch Times. “When we see excess mortality like that—basically if you’re running a clinical trial and you see this kind of excess mortality, you stop the trial. And you investigate the cause before you proceed. And if you’re marketing a drug, generally, with this kind of data, you stop the distribution of the drug until you have sorted it out.”

Dr. Robert Malone, inventor of mRNA vaccines, speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas at the Hilton Anatole on Aug. 5, 2022. (Bobby Sanchez for The Epoch Times)

Malone mentioned what he calls the “classic example” of thalidomide, a morning sickness medication prescribed to a small number of pregnant women in the United States in the late 1950s and early ’60s that was effective in treating morning sickness, but caused severe deformities in their unborn children.

The drug maker had pressured the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to approve the drug, but the FDA refused, based on the deformities that had been reported.

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Tyler Durden Thu, 09/08/2022 - 23:40

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What Is Helicopter Money? Definition, Examples & Applications

What Is Helicopter Money?What’s a surefire way to encourage spending, and thus, spur growth? How about dropping money from the sky? As far-stretched…

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Former Fed Chair Ben Bernanke describes helicopter money as a “money-financed tax cut.”

Public DomainPictures from Pexels; Canva

What Is Helicopter Money?

What’s a surefire way to encourage spending, and thus, spur growth? How about dropping money from the sky?

As far-stretched as this idea seems, it actually has credence in schools of economic thought, particularly during times of recession or supply shocks. Helicopter money policies inject large sums into the monetary supply either through increased spending, direct cash stimulus, or a tax cut.

This policy has two goals in mind:

1. Expand the supply of money, which improves liquidity

2. Spur economic growth

Economists consider helicopter money to be an option oflast resort, after other measures, such as lowering interest rates or quantitative easing, have either failed to lift an economy out of recession or because interest rates are already as low as they can get. This conundrum is known as a liquidity trap, when the economy is at a standstill because people are hoarding their savings instead of spending.

Since the practice of helicopter money also tends to foster inflation, it typically works best during periods of deflation, when prices, along with overall monetary supply, contract without a corresponding decrease in economic output. One relevant example is the Great Depression. Bank runs resulted in a reduction in both the monetary supply as well as in the overall prices of goods and services.

It takes a whole lot to lift an economy from such dire straits, and in such cases, helicopter money can be a viable option.

Example of Helicopter Money: The COVID-19 Recession

At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the stock market crashed, and GDP nosedived, thrusting the economy into recession. While the Federal Reserve slashed interest rates and instituted a new round of quantitative easing measures, the U.S. government responded with helicopter money.

  • Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES), the Trump administration authorized two rounds of direct-to-taxpayer stimulus payments, of $1200 and $600 per person, in 2020.
  • In addition, as part of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), payroll loans were offered to thousands of small businesses—and many were quickly forgiven. The Federal Reserve also provided increased liquidity to banks so that they could offer loans to businesses to help them stay afloat.

Who Coined the Term Helicopter Money?

In a 1969 paper entitled “The Optimum Quantity of Money,” economist Milton Friedman coined the term “helicopter drop” as a method to increase monetary policy during times of economic stress. He wrote:

“Let us suppose now that one day a helicopter flies over [the] community and drops an additional $1,000 in bills from the sky, which is, of course, hastily collected by members of the community. Let us suppose further that everyone is convinced that this is a unique event which will never be repeated.”

The point was that the easiest way to lift an economy out of troubled times would be to give its population a direct injection of money. This would both expand the monetary supply and as well as increase the disposable income of the populace, resulting in greater consumer spending and increased economic output.

Who Made the Concept of Helicopter Money Popular?

In the 1990s, Japan was facing a deflationary crisis. Its central bank had implemented crippling rate hikes to calm its housing bubble—to disastrous economic effects.

In a 2002 speech to the National Economists Club, then-Fed Governor Ben Bernanke proposed that Japan’s central bank could have re-started the country’s economy through fiscal programs:

“A broad-based tax cut, for example, accommodated by a program of open-market purchases to alleviate any tendency for interest rates to increase, would almost certainly be an effective stimulant to consumption and hence to prices. Even if households decided not to increase consumption but instead re-balanced their portfolios by using their extra cash to acquire real and financial assets, the resulting increase in asset values would lower the cost of capital and improve the balance sheet positions of potential borrowers. A money-financed tax cut is essentially equivalent to Milton Friedman's famous "helicopter drop" of money”

However, critics interpreted Bernanke’s words as his way of authorizing indiscriminate money printing, and the moniker “Helicopter Ben” took hold.

Bernanke would go on to chair the Federal Reserve from 2006–2014, and many of his theories were put into practice during the Financial Crisis of 2007–2008 and subsequent Great Recession. In fact, President Barack Obama credited Bernanke’s leadership during the crisis with averting a second Great Depression.

Helicopter Money vs. Quantitative Easing

While helicopter money and quantitative easing are both monetary policy tools, and both increase the monetary supply, they actually have different effects on a central bank’s balance sheet.

Through quantitative easing, a central bank buys trillions of dollars’ worth of long-term securities, such as Treasury securities, corporate bonds, mortgage-backed securities, or even stocks. This increases its reserves and expands its balance sheet. These purchases are also reversible, meaning the central bank can swap out its assets if it chooses.

Helicopter money, on the other hand, involves fiscal stimulus: distributing money to the public. It has no impact on a central bank’s balance sheet. The practice of helicopter money is irreversible, which means it is permanent—and cannot be undone.

In effect, helicopter money is less a long-term economic solution than it is a “one-time” or short-term operation.

Pros of Helicopter Money

In a 2016 blog post written for the think-tank Brookings Institution, Bernanke admitted that his helicopter money reference gave him some bad PR. In fact, he said that their media relations officer, Dave Skidmore, had warned Bernanke against using the term, saying “It’s just not the sort of thing a central banker says.”

But Bernanke insisted, and the moniker stuck.

To this day, Bernanke continues to believe in the practice of helicopter money as a tool the Fed could use in response to a slowdown in the economy. His successor at the Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, agreed, stating that helicopter money “is something that one might legitimately consider.”

Other central bankers support the concept, particularly in Europe, which suffered from debt crises that mired its economy throughout the 2000s, igniting deflationary pressures like low demand and weak lending, and made recovery exceedingly difficult.

Cons of Helicopter Money

The biggest drawback of helicopter money is the inflation it tends to ignite. And since inflation is notoriously difficult to manage, once the inflationary fires have been stoked, what’s to prevent them from growing out of control—and fostering hyperinflation? That’s what happened in countries like Argentina and Venezuela, when their central banks printed money and gave it to their governments, who in turn gave it to the people. Inflation surged.

Helicopter money also leads to weakened currencies, because as more and more money is printed, its value decreases significantly. It could also deter currency traders from making long-term investments if the practice is prolonged.

Clearly, helicopter money is not a practice a central bank should undertake lightly.

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Arsenal’s $55.9M Loss An Improvement Over Previous Fiscal Year

Arsenal took a heavy loss but saw reasons for optimism.
The post Arsenal’s $55.9M Loss An Improvement Over Previous Fiscal Year appeared first on Front…

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As a team in transition, Arsenal saw some losses in its last`fiscal year — but also saw signs of hope.

The Premier League team took an operating loss of $55.9 million in the fiscal year ending May 2022.

  • That figure was a significant improvement on last year’s $131.9 million loss.
  • The team saved around $39 million in wages compared to the previous year.
  • But broadcasting revenue dropped from $225 million to $178 million.

Arsenal benefitted from the lifting of pandemic restrictions, with matchday revenue rising by around $51.6 million to $453.7 million.

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The club failed to qualify for any European competitions in the 2020-21 season for the first time since 1994-95, which led to heavy spending on player contracts. 

“This investment recognises that the Club has not been where it wanted to be in terms of on-field competitiveness and that, as a minimum, qualification for UEFA competition needed to be regained, as a prerequisite to re-establishing a self-sufficient financial base,” the club wrote.

Arsenal credited owners Kroenke Sports & Entertainment for its willingness to invest in the team.

The move has borne fruit this season with Arsenal’s return to the Europa League, the second-tier competition to the UEFA Champions League. The team has already earned $8.4 million for its appearance there, with total potential earnings up to $22.1 million.

The post Arsenal’s $55.9M Loss An Improvement Over Previous Fiscal Year appeared first on Front Office Sports.

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FDA’s drug shortages leader wants companies to start reporting increases in demand

It is no secret that drug shortages have been prevalent in 2022. Several major drug products, such as amoxicillin and Adderall, have been in short supply…

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It is no secret that drug shortages have been prevalent in 2022. Several major drug products, such as amoxicillin and Adderall, have been in short supply for several months and have led to members of Congress applying pressure on the FDA and HHS to resolve the situation.

Valerie Jensen

Speaking at a webinar hosted by the Alliance for a Stronger FDA, Valerie Jensen, the associate director of the FDA’s Drug Shortage Staff, noted both the rise in quality-related issues and increased demand for some products. She called on companies to report such demand increases, even though they are not currently required to do so.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, she said, the agency has seen new challenges mainly related to these increases in demand.

“During the pandemic as well, we had competition on manufacturing lines and that’s still occurring due to vaccine production and other Covid products,” Jensen said. “So, the same products are being made on those lines that are making the vaccines and Covid-related products, and then that creates a competition situation.”

Jensen added that an increase in demand for manufacturing commodities due to large-scale vaccine production is also leading to shortages. Items such as glass, filters and vial hoppers are in short supply. And now the increased demand is centered around the increase in drugs to counter respiratory illnesses.

She said the physical number of drug shortages currently sits at 123, which is “a little above normal,” but there have been around 100 shortages at any given time over the past seven years. Some of those can be chalked up to companies not producing the volumes required to meet market demand. She also added that there were 38 new shortages in 2021, but the FDA is still dealing with them this year.

For some temporary solutions, Jensen said that she has been coordinating with international regulatory authorities more often, to find out what is being marketed and to see if they can import a drug in short supply in the US. She is also coordinating experts to try to mitigate the situation, providing the public with widely available information as well as expediting the review of anything that manufacturers need to boost supplies.

However, Jensen said that the increase in the demand for drugs is not something that will be going away anytime soon.

“One thing that we really see going forward are these demand increases, this is something that is fairly new to us. It’s something that we’re looking at closely,” she said. “We would really want companies to inform us if they’re seeing spikes in demand because that’s currently not required.”

While producers do need to let the FDA know of supply disruption, companies do not need to let the FDA know of spikes in demand, and Jensen would like to see this changed. Also, she would like to apply different uses for supply chain data to look for signals or patterns and ultimately predict shortages.

Jensen added that in some cases it is impossible to prevent a shortage, but she stresses that better notification of when companies are seeing a spike in demand can be a key solution:

In those cases, when we can prevent (a shortage), we are using those same tools to prevent it. So, we’re expediting review, we’re looking at potential ways that we can use flexibility to allow a product to be on the market while the company fixes a problem. All of those tools are really the same for prevention and mitigation. But I think that really the key is early notification. The earlier companies let us know about an issue the earlier we can deal with it.

With the uptick in respiratory illnesses and shortages of drugs such as amoxicillin, Jensen noted that it’s a matter of reaching out and monitoring the market to see what manufacturers are contending with. Also, Jensen will look to work with pharmacy associations and other trade groups to see what is occurring at the pharmacy level and then “put all of those pieces together” to try and help end the shortage.

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