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Depression Or Roaring 20’s. Everybody Is Wrong.

Depression Or Roaring 20’s. Everybody Is Wrong.

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I’ve been pondering all the “analysis” out there on the current economic and investment landscape and can only shake my head. That’s SMH, for you youngsters. What I see are coexisting comments for a Depression and the Roaring ‘20s at the same time. Again, for you youngsters, I am making a convenient comparison to the economic boom time of the 1920s, yes, before even I was born. Everybody is wrong.

Economists Are Wrong

Let’s start with the economic downturn, which led to the stock market collapse. Such is rated “1 duh,” because the stock market, at the onset of the economic shutdown, was looking ahead to a period of low earnings. Of course, shuttered companies are going to earn less.

What is rather sad is that the “experts” said that most businesses would not recover. Really? Indeed, some will never return because bills continued while revenue disappeared. Thinking there will never be a bar, or a concert or even a catered wedding in an event hall again, is ludicrous.

Never is a long time. What do they think will happen when there is a vaccine to prevent COVID, medicines to treat it, and herd immunity to mitigate it? Do we still have mass scale chickenpox? Rubella? Polio? Even AIDS, while there is still no cure, is mostly under control and no longer inflicting full-blown panic on society. I was single and living in NYC in the 1980s when AIDS became a crisis, so I know a little from the panic side.

So why is everyone so shocked when the stock market rockets higher? Again, it is looking ahead, not to a cure, but to people returning to work, masks, Purell, toilet paper, and all. Most of the jobs are still there, waiting for the ruling overlord politicians to allow them to get back in gear.
Such was not an economic downturn that started with an uptick in inflation or the desire by consumers to cut back. It was not rising inventories that told producers to cut back and, in turn, buy less from suppliers. The slowdown ripples through the economy until labor reverses back and voila, the stock market is falling.

Politicians are Wrong

In many areas, this was a government-mandated shutdown. Yes, nobody wanted to fly commercial airliners anymore, but Mom and Pop were not allowed to sell greeting cards. Where is the danger there? And that gets me started on the arbitrary nature of the shutdown.

Walmart is essential because they sell food? But you could still buy a toilet paper cozy and flowers there. Sally’s florist down the block was mandated closed.

Even a local plant nursery was allowed to be open because they sold tomato plants, which are food, and therefore essential. You can buy flowers there, too. And mulch, because we all know how important it is to have nice looking shrub beds during a pandemic.

Why was it OK to physically go into Stop and Shop but not into Macy’s? We were wearing masks – and gloves – to buy our Cap’n Crunch, so what is the big deal? And if you want to argue that Macy’s was not essential enough for that, why not allow curbside? You could get a rack of ribs delivered contactless to your car, so why not a fresh set of sweatpants?

I am not arguing with the concept of a mandated shutdown but rather the arbitrary nature of how it was done. The governor (any state) had dictatorial discretion.

Fundamental Analysts are Wrong

What makes me laugh is how the pundits compare year-over-year, and month-over-month sales results in a mandated closed economy. Why don’t they compare the tree climbing speeds of spider monkeys and goldfish? Analysts get 2-duhs.

How does it make sense to compare an open economy to a closed economy?

Don’t forget the overlap with Economists on recession calls. Yes, we could see two-quarters of contracted growth, so officially, that would be a recession. But again, they are comparing a chicken to its egg. Guess which one can run faster? Open things up (safely), and there will be growth.

For the May jobs report, the experts were looking for 7.5 million jobs to be lost, but there were actually 2.5 million jobs. Such goes to show that economists are non-essential workers.

In June, there were 4.8 million jobs gained, more than a million over the estimate. The analysts touted the numbers as the largest monthly gain in history. Another 2-duhs. Of course, it was huge in relation to normal times, but it was entirely in line with what was lost and why. Headline writers do not like to put things in context, do they?`

Technical Analysts are Wrong

You did not think that just because I have a CMT, that I won’t skewer technicians. Please do me a favor and stop comparing the price to any moving average that captures data before March 23. That’s right, the market’s low. The intermediate-term analysis is skewed by what happened. Look at long-term trends that show the bull run from the 2009 low, but please don’t think the 200-day average has any validity. Know your tools. You get only 1-duh because I like you.

If you read this far, I thank you and suggest you get outside more (wear a mask). I am not afraid to get a haircut in a salon that takes care to keep me safe. There is little worry about walking into a store, my doctor’s office or even flying to a resort. However, as long as I know the establishment’s policy to operate safely in the current environment. I am more afraid of who is preparing my food because I cannot see the chef in a mask, but then again, when was it ever a good idea to peek into the kitchen?

Educate yourself on this virus. Believe the emergency room workers when they tell you this is a serious disease. But we are passed the stage where the only answer is self-isolation and an Amazon account.

The post Depression Or Roaring 20’s. Everybody Is Wrong. appeared first on RIA.

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“The Real President Is Whoever Controls The Teleprompter”: Musk Delivers Scathing Criticism Of Biden

"The Real President Is Whoever Controls The Teleprompter": Musk Delivers Scathing Criticism Of Biden

Authored by Jack Phillips via The Epoch…

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"The Real President Is Whoever Controls The Teleprompter": Musk Delivers Scathing Criticism Of Biden

Authored by Jack Phillips via The Epoch Times,

Tech billionaire Elon Musk this week warned that the United States must take steps to address inflation or it will end up like socialist Venezuela.

Musk, who is currently in the process of acquiring Twitter, told a virtual conference that he believes the government has printed too much money in recent years.

“I mean, the obvious reason for inflation is that the government printed a zillion amount of more money than it had, obviously,” Musk said, likely referring to COVID-19 relief stimulus packages worth trillions of dollars that were passed in recent years.

U.S. inflation rose by 8.3 percent in April, compared with the previous year. That’s slightly lower than the 8.5 percent spike in March, but it’s still near the 40-year high.

“So it’s like the government can’t … issue checks far in excess of revenue without there being inflation, you know, velocity of money held constant,” the Tesla CEO said.

“If the federal government writes checks, they never bounce. So that is effectively creation of more dollars. And if there are more dollars created, then the increase in the goods and services across the economy, then you have inflation, again, velocity of money held constant.”

If governments could merely “issue massive amounts of money and deficits didn’t matter, then, well, why don’t we just make the deficit 100 times bigger,” Musk asked. “The answer is, you can’t because it will basically turn the dollar into something that is worthless.”

“Various countries have tried this experiment multiple times,” Musk said.

“Have you seen Venezuela? Like the poor, poor people of Venezuela are, you know, have been just run roughshod by their government.”

In 2018, Venezuela, a country with significant reserves of oil and gas, saw its inflation rise more than 65,000 percent amid an economic crash that included plummeting oil prices and government price controls. The regime of Nicolas Maduro then started printing money, thereby devaluing its currency, which caused prices to rapidly increase.

During the conference, Musk also said the Biden administration “doesn’t seem to get a lot done” and questioned who is actually in charge. 

“The real president is whoever controls the teleprompter,” he said.

“The path to power is the path to the teleprompter.”

“The Trump administration, leaving Trump aside, there were a lot of people in the administration who were effective at getting things done,” he remarked.

Musk’s comment about the White House comes as Jeff Bezos, also one of the richest people in the world, has increasingly started to target the administration’s economic policies. Bezos, in a series of Twitter posts, said the rapid increase in federal spending is the reason why inflation is as high as it is.

“Remember the Administration tried their best to add another $3.5 TRILLION to federal spending,” Bezos wrote on Monday, drawing rebuke from several White House officials. “They failed, but if they had succeeded, inflation would be even higher than it is today, and inflation today is at a 40-year high.”

Tyler Durden Tue, 05/17/2022 - 15:05

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Type-I interferon stops immune system ‘going rogue’ during viral infections

Hamilton, ON (May 17, 2022) – McMaster University researchers have found not only how some viral infections cause severe tissue damage, but also how…

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Hamilton, ON (May 17, 2022) – McMaster University researchers have found not only how some viral infections cause severe tissue damage, but also how to reduce that damage.

Credit: Georgia Kirkos/McMaster University

Hamilton, ON (May 17, 2022) – McMaster University researchers have found not only how some viral infections cause severe tissue damage, but also how to reduce that damage.

 

They have discovered how Type I interferon (IFN) stops the immune system ‘going rogue’ and attacking the body’s own tissues when fighting viral infections, including COVID-19.

 

Their paper was published in the journal PLOS Pathogens today.

  

Senior author Ali Ashkar said IFN is a well-known anti-viral signalling molecule released by the body’s cells that can trigger a powerful immune response against harmful viruses.

 

“What we have found is that it is also critical to stop white blood cells from releasing protease enzymes, which can damage organ tissue. It has this unique dual function to kick start an immune response against a viral infection on the one hand, as well as restrain that same response to prevent significant bystander tissue damage on the other,” he said.

 

The research team investigated IFN’s ability to regulate a potentially dangerous immune response by testing it on both flu and the HSV-2 virus, a highly prevalent sexually transmitted pathogen, using mice. Data from COVID-19 patients in Germany, including post-mortem lung samples, was also used in the study.

 

“For many viral infections, it is not actually the virus that causes most of the tissue damage, it is our heightened immune activation towards the virus,” said Ashkar, a professor of medicine at McMaster.

  

First co-author of the study and PhD student Emily Feng said: “Our body’s immune response is trying to fight off the virus infection, but there’s a risk of damaging innocent healthy tissue in the process. IFNs regulates the immune response to only target tissues that are infected.

 

“By discovering the mechanisms the immune system uses that can inadvertently cause tissue damage, we can intervene during infection to prevent this damage and not necessarily have to wait until vaccines are developed to develop life-saving treatments,” she added.

 

“This applies not just to COVID-19, but also other highly infectious viruses such as flu and Ebola, which can cause tremendous and often life-threatening damage to the body’s organs,” said first study co-author Amanda Lee, a family medicine resident. 

 

Ashkar said the release of harmful proteases is the result of a ‘cytokine storm’, which is life-threatening inflammation sometimes triggered by viral infections. It has been a common cause of death in patients with COVID-19, but treatment has been developed to prevent and suppress the cytokine storm.

 

Ashkar said that steroids like dexamethasone are already used to rein in an extreme immune response to viral infections. The authors used doxycycline in their study, an antibiotic used for bacterial infections and as an anti-inflammatory agent, inhibits the function of proteases causing the bystander tissue damage.

 

Lee added: “This has the potential in the future to be used to alleviate virus-induced life-threatening inflammation and warrants further research.” 

 

The study was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

 

-30-

 

Editors:

Pictures of Ali Ashkar and Emily Feng may be found at https://bit.ly/3wmSw0D

  

 

 


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mRNA vaccines like Pfizer and Moderna fare better against COVID-19 variants of concern

A comparison of four COVID-19 vaccinations shows that messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines — Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna — perform better against the World…

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A comparison of four COVID-19 vaccinations shows that messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines — Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna — perform better against the World Health Organization’s variants of concern (VOCs) than viral vector vaccines — AstraZeneca and J&J/Janssen. Although they all effectively prevent severe disease by VOCs, the research, publishing May 17th in the open access journal PLOS Medicine, suggests that people receiving a viral vector vaccine are more vulnerable to infection by new variants.

Credit: Carlos Reusser Monsalvez, Flickr (CC0, https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/)

A comparison of four COVID-19 vaccinations shows that messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines — Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna — perform better against the World Health Organization’s variants of concern (VOCs) than viral vector vaccines — AstraZeneca and J&J/Janssen. Although they all effectively prevent severe disease by VOCs, the research, publishing May 17th in the open access journal PLOS Medicine, suggests that people receiving a viral vector vaccine are more vulnerable to infection by new variants.

By March 2022, COVID-19 had caused over 450 million confirmed infections and six million reported deaths. The first vaccines approved in the US and Europe that protect against serious infection are Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, which deliver genetic code, known as mRNA, to the bodies’ cells, whereas Oxford/AstraZeneca and J&J/Janssen are viral vector vaccines that use a modified version of a different virus — a vector — to deliver instructions to our cells. Three vaccines are delivered as two separate injections a few weeks apart, and J&J/Janssen as a single dose.

Marit J. van Gils at the University of Amsterdam, Netherlands, and colleagues, took blood samples from 165 healthcare workers, three and four weeks after first and second vaccination respectively, and for J&J/Janssen at four to five and eight weeks after vaccination. Samples were collected before, and four weeks after a Pfizer-BioNTech booster.

Four weeks after the initial two doses, antibody responses to the original SARS-CoV-2 viral strain were highest in recipients of Moderna, followed closely by Pfizer-BioNTech, and were substantially lower in those who received viral vector vaccines. Tested against the VOCs – Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta and Omicron – neutralizing antibodies were higher in the mRNA vaccine recipients compared to those who had viral vector vaccines. The ability to neutralize VOCs was reduced in all vaccine groups, with the greatest reduction against Omicron. The Pfizer-BioNTech booster increased antibody responses in all groups with substantial improvement against VOCs, including Omicron.

The researchers caution that their AstraZeneca group was significantly older, because of safety concerns for the vaccine in younger age groups. As immune responses tend to weaken with age, this could affect the results. This group was also smaller because the Dutch government halted use for a period.

van Gils concludes, “Four COVID-19 vaccines induce substantially different antibody responses.”

#####

In your coverage, please use this URL to provide access to the freely available paper in PLOS Medicine:

http://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1003991

Citation: van Gils MJ, Lavell A, van der Straten K, Appelman B, Bontjer I, Poniman M, et al. (2022) Antibody responses against SARS-CoV-2 variants induced by four different SARS-CoV-2 vaccines in health care workers in the Netherlands: A prospective cohort study. PLoS Med 19(5): e1003991. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1003991

 

Author Countries: The Netherlands, United States

 

Funding: This work was supported by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) ZonMw (Vici grant no. 91818627 to R.W.S., S3 study, grant agreement no. 10430022010023 to M.K.B.; RECoVERED, grant agreement no. 10150062010002 to M.D.d.J.), by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (grant no. INV002022 and INV008818 to R.W.S. and INV-024617 to M.J.v.G.), by Amsterdam UMC through the AMC Fellowship (to M.J.v.G.) and the Corona Research Fund (to M.K.B.), and by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 program (RECoVER, grant no. 101003589 to M.D.d.J). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.


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