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The Truth About Ivermectin

The Truth About Ivermectin

Authored by Marina Zheng via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Ivermectin has been hailed as a “wonder drug”…

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The Truth About Ivermectin

Authored by Marina Zheng via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Ivermectin has been hailed as a “wonder drug” and, according to the UNESCO World Science Report, a critical component of “one of the most triumphant public health campaigns ever waged in the developing world.”

A healthcare worker holds a bottle of ivermectin in Colombia on July 21, 2020. (Luis Robayo/AFP via Getty Images)

However, since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and affiliated health authorities have vociferously recommended against ivermectin as a potential treatment for the virus.

Though the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved ivermectin for human use in treating conditions caused by parasites, it has also insisted that ivermectin “has not been shown to be safe or effective” when it comes to treating COVID-19.

In a social media message that has gone viral, the FDA labeled it as a drug for horses and not fit for human consumption: “You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, y’all. Stop it.”

The post made headlines and was one of the FDA’s most successful social media campaigns. Yet, research findings seem to contradict the public health organization’s recommendations.

A growing body of research shows that ivermectin is an essential treatment for COVID-19. Many doctors have praised the drug for its broad yet effective antiparasitic, antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and autophagic properties.

Ivermectin: Antiparasitic Beginnings

Ivermectin made its name through its significant benefits in treating parasitic infections.

In 1973, Satoshi Omura and William C. Campbell, working with the Kitasato Institute in Tokyo, found an unusual type of Streptomyces bacteria in Japanese soil near a golf course.

In laboratory studies, Omura and Campbell discovered that this Streptomyces bacteria could cure mice infected with the roundworm Heligmosomoides polygyrus. Campbell isolated the bacteria’s active compounds, naming them avermectins, and the bacteria was thus called S. avermitilis.

Despite decades of searching worldwide, researchers have yet to find another microorganism that can produce avermectin.

It was changing one of the bonds of avermectin through a chemical process that produced ivermectin, which was proven successful in treating onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis, both of which are debilitating diseases common in the developing world.

A portrait of William Campbell and an illustration describing his work displayed on a screen during a press conference of the 2015 Nobel Medicine Prize. William Campbell and Satoshi Omura won the Nobel Medicine Prize for their discoveries of treatments against parasites—Avermectin, which was modified to Ivermectin. (JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP via Getty Images)

Though its broad antiparasitic functions are not well understood, it is known that ivermectin penetrates parasites’ nervous systems, turning off their neurons’ actions, possibly deactivating and killing them.

As part of a donation campaign launched in 1988 by Merck & Co., Inc., the manufacturer of ivermectin, the drug was used in Africa to treat river blindness. Also called onchocerciasis, river blindness is a tropical disease caused by Onchocerca volvulus worms. It is the second-most common cause worldwide of infectious blindness.

The Onchocerca worms mature in the skin of an infected individual (“the host”). After mating, female worms can release into the host’s skin up to 1,000 microfilariae a day; the female worms live for 10 to 14 years. The presence of these worms can lead to scarring in the tissues and, when microfilariae invade the eye, can cause visual impairment or complete loss of vision.

The World Health Organization estimates that 18 million people are infected globally, and 270,000 have been blinded by onchocerciasis.

When Merck distributed ivermectin in areas hardest hit by the disease, treatment benefited the residents’ overall health and led to economic recovery. Ivermectin replaced previous drugs that had devastating side effects.

Ivermectin proved to be virtually purpose-built to combat Onchocerciasis,” Omura wrote in a study he co-authored in 2011.

Ivermectin has also proven effective against lymphatic filariasis, known as elephantiasis. Parasitic worms transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito can grow and develop in lymphatic vessels, which regulate the body’s water balance. When certain vessels are blocked, the areas—typically the legs and genitals—can swell, with the legs enlarging to elephant-like stumps.

Worldwide, more than 120 million people are infected, 40 million of whom are seriously incapacitated and disfigured.

The World Health Organization listed ivermectin as an essential drug and has advised many countries to run annual campaigns to rid people of these parasites. Such recommendations are a solid testament to ivermectin’s safety.

For their work, including the discovery of avermectin, in 2015, Omura and Campbell were among three recipients of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

It is an indispensable drug for the underdeveloped world, with about 3.7 billion doses administered as part of global campaigns during the past 30 years. To this day, ivermectin remains a staple drug of tropical areas and an essential drug in treating onchocerciasis, lymphatic filariasis, strongyloidiasis, and scabies.

Ivermectin and COVID-19

Analyses of studies on ivermectin have found it effective as a prevention, a treatment for acute COVID-19, and in advanced stages of infection by the virus.

1. Ivermectin as a Prophylaxis

Prophylaxis intervenes in the first phases of COVID-19 infection, which is mainly asymptomatic, when the virus replicates to increase its viral load—symptom onset occurs after the viral load peaks.

Ivermectin can be effective in the early stages of infection. Outside the cells, ivermectin can attach to parts of the virus, immobilizing it and preventing it from entering and infecting human cells.

Ivermectin can also enter the cell to prevent the virus from replicating. SARS-CoV-2 needs cell replication machinery to make more of the virus; ivermectin attaches and blocks a protein critical to this process, preventing viral production.

Additionally, ivermectin can be absorbed from the skin and stored in fat cells for a long time.

Because it’s lipid soluble, it is stored and slowly released, [so] once you’ve taken a prophylactic dose, and I think it’s like the cumulative dose of about 400mg, that your risk of getting COVID is close to zero and you can actually stop it for a while,” said Dr. Paul Marik, a widely published critical care specialist with 500 peer-reviewed papers to his name, in an interview with The Epoch Times.

Dr. Paul Marik in Kissimmee, Fla. on Oct. 14, 2022. (The Epoch Times)

Marik co-founded the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC), a group of physicians formed in the early days of the pandemic and dedicated to treating COVID-19. According to interviews, many of the group’s doctors have successfully treated COVID-19 with ivermectin. The organization’s other co-founder, Dr. Pierre Kory, has written a book about ivermectin’s use and controversy during the pandemic.

Dr. Sabine Hazan, a gastroenterologist with 22 years of experience in clinical research, told The Epoch Times that she would advise ivermectin use for only a short time in critical patients rather than recommending the use of it as a prophylaxis.

Continuous use of ivermectin—as with all drugs—can make the body dependent on the drug rather than working to fix itself.

2. Ivermectin for Early and Acute COVID

Many peer-reviewed studies have found that ivermectin, when used by itself or in conjunction with other therapies in symptomatic patients, reduces ventilation time, time for recovery, and the risk of progressing to severe disease. (pdf 1, pdf 2, pdf 3)

This is likely due to ivermectin’s anti-inflammatory role in multiple pathways, achieved by clearing out the viral particles by immobilizing them, reducing inflammation, and improving mitochondrial action.

Suppose the early viral replication is not controlled and cleared out soon enough by the body’s immune system. In that case, the infection can become severe or even hyperinflammatory, possibly leading to systemic organ failures.

Ivermectin can also directly interact with immune pathways, suppressing inflammation and reducing the chances of developing a cytokine storm. A cytokine storm occurs when the immune system is hyperactive and hyperinflammatory. Though ivermectin can help to clear out the virus and its particles, the inflammatory state of the tissues and the organs can often cause more damage than the virus itself.

Ivermectin also likely improves gut health, which plays an essential role in immunity by preventing bacteria and viruses from infecting people via the gut.

In a published study, Hazan hypothesized that ivermectin helps COVID-19 patients by increasing the levels of Bifidobacteria—a beneficial bacteria—in the gut.

As the CEO and founder of her own genetic sequencing research laboratory, ProgenaBiome, Hazan noticed that the Bifidobacteria levels in her stools would increase after she took ivermectin. Critical COVID patients would have “zero Bifidobacteria,” which can often be a sign of poor health.  

In her peer-reviewed study on hypoxic patients, she observed that COVID patients with low oxygen levels from the cytokine storms in their lungs would improve within hours of administering ivermectin.

“When people die of COVID, they die from the cytokines—they couldn’t breathe anymore. It’s almost like an anaphylactic reaction. So when you give them ivermectin at the moment they’re about to crash, you’re boosting the Bifidobacteria [and increasing their oxygen],” Hazan said.

She explained that ivermectin is a fermented product of Streptomyces bacteria. Streptomyces are within the same group Bifidobacteria are from, which may explain why ivermectin temporarily boosts Bifidobacteria.

Ivermectin also helps with mitochondrial function. During severe COVID-19, patients often experience pulmonary dysfunctions due to lung inflammation, reducing oxygen flow. This can cause stress to the mitochondria, leading to fatigue, and, when severe, may cause cell and tissue death. Ivermectin has been shown to increase energy production, indicating that it is beneficial to the mitochondria.

Furthermore, ivermectin can bind to the spike protein—a distinctive structural feature of the COVID virus which has a crucial role in its pathogenesis. In systemic disease, the spike protein can enter the bloodstream and bind to red blood cells to form blood clots. Ivermectin can prevent blood clots from forming in the body.

3. Ivermectin for Long COVID and Post-Vaccine Symptoms

The number of studies supporting ivermectin to treat long COVID and post-COVID-19 vaccine symptoms is limited. However, doctors treating these conditions have observed successful results with ivermectin.

An Argentinian study published in March 2021 is the only peer-reviewed study evaluating ivermectin for long COVID.

Researchers found that in patients reporting long COVID symptoms—including coughing, brain fog, headaches, and fatigue—ivermectin alleviated their symptoms.

Mechanistically, ivermectin can improve autophagy. This process is usually switched off during COVID-19 infections. By switching autophagy back on, ivermectin can help cells clear remnant viral proteins out, returning stability to the cell.

Like acute and severe COVID-19, chronic spike protein triggers inflammation, and ivermectin can reduce such responses by suppressing inflammatory pathways and lessening the damage to tissues and blood vessels.

The Changing Public Health Messaging on Ivermectin

The NIH’s stance on ivermectin has changed several times.

Early in the pandemic, there was little information on ivermectin as a potential treatment for the virus.

The first study that mentioned ivermectin as a potential COVID-19 treatment came from Australia in April 2020. Researchers administered ivermectin to SARS-CoV-2-infected monkey kidney cells in the laboratory and found the drug beneficial in very high doses. However, the researchers concluded that further study was needed. Many health agencies, including the NIH, the CDC, and other global health regulators concluded that ivermectin could kill the virus only at toxic levels.

Even now, NIH’s statement on ivermectin for COVID-19 reads: “Ivermectin has been shown to inhibit replication of SARS-CoV-2 in cell cultures. However, pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic studies suggest that achieving the plasma concentrations necessary for the antiviral efficacy detected in vitro would require administration of doses up to 100-fold higher than those approved for use in humans.”

In October 2020, the first clinical study showing the benefits of ivermectin was published by the journal CHEST. The study found ivermectin to reduce mortality rates in COVID-19 patients and garnered immediate attention.

The study’s lead author, Dr. Jean-Jacques Rajter, is a critical care doctor specializing in pulmonary medicine.

Rajter gave a testimony (pdf) of his findings to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs in December 2020.

The day after he saw the Australian study, one of his COVID patients dramatically deteriorated from breathing normally at room oxygen levels to requiring intubation. The patient’s son pleaded with Rajter to save his mother using whatever options available. Rajter recognized that  hydroxychloroquine would be ineffective in the advanced stages of COVID. After much deliberation, he tried ivermectin.

The patient deteriorated as expected for about 12 more hours but stabilized by 24 hours and improved by 48 hours. After this, two more patients had similar issues and were treated with the ivermectin-based protocol. Based on experience, these patients should have done poorly, yet they all survived,” the testimony read.

More clinical studies were published, showing the benefits of ivermectin as a prophylactic treatment. (pdf 1, pdf 2).

The findings encouraged the use of ivermectin among doctors desperate to find a cure.

Meanwhile, by October 2020, research into COVID-19 vaccines and the use of remdesivir to treat the virus was already in full swing.

According to the FDA, specific criteria should be met for the EUA (Emergency Use Authorization) to be granted for vaccines and medications, including that there are “no adequate, approved, and available alternatives.”

Some doctors say that if ivermectin’s use for COVID had been approved, it would have made the EUAs for vaccines and remdesivir null and void.

Following the Australian study, the FDA published a statement, “FAQ: COVID-19 and Ivermectin Intended for Animals,” highlighting the use of ivermectin in animals and advising against the use of ivermectin for COVID-19.

The NIH also discouraged the use of ivermectin, albeit briefly. On Jan. 14, 2021, the NIH changed its statement, writing that there was no evidence to recommend or disapprove the use of ivermectin. However, in April 2022, the statement changed to strongly disapproving of using ivermectin.

“We [Marik, Kory, and Dr. Andrew Hill, a virologist and consultant to the WHO] had a conference with NIH in January of 2021. We presented our data, and Andrew Hill presented the data he had done…there were a number of studies at that point, which were very positive,” said Marik.

Health Authority Overreach

Despite the NIH’s neutral statement on ivermectin for most of 2021, the FDA actively campaigned against using ivermectin in COVID-19 patients. On Aug. 26,  2021, the CDC sent an emergency warning against using ivermectin; a few weeks later, the American Medical Association and affiliated associations called for an end to ivermectin use.

Many doctors were thus discouraged from using ivermectin, and pharmacies refused to prescribe it. State health agencies warned against using ivermectin, and medical boards removed the medical licenses of doctors who prescribed ivermectin, alleging misinformation.

Yet using the FDA’s statement against ivermectin to ban its use in COVID-19 cases would be considered an overreach. Since the FDA approved ivermectin in 1996, this made the drug acceptable for off-label use.

“The fact that it’s not FDA approved for COVID is irrelevant because the FDA endorses the use of off-label drugs at the clinician’s discretion,” said Marik.

As an ironic side effect of the messaging on ivermectin, people suddenly found themselves unable to access ivermectin, and some turned to veterinary-grade ivermectin.

Though veterinary ivermectin is the same product as medicinal ivermectin, the manufacturing standard is not the same as it is for human-grade pharmaceuticals.

Contradictory Research and Campaigns

Though the initial research in 2020 showed promising results for ivermectin, published studies reported conflicting findings by the following year.

The NIH has funded many studies on the effectiveness of ivermectin, the most recent being ACTIV-6.

Individuals can participate in the study once they develop COVID by selecting ivermectin from four other drugs. The drug was sent to them via mail. This method means that some people in the study could have recovered by the time they received the ivermectin.

There are some controversies regarding this study.

The first is that the authors changed the primary endpoints during the study, which is heavily frowned upon as it can affect the validity and reliability of the outcome.

Initially, the primary endpoint was the number of deaths, hospitalizations, and symptoms reported at day 14.

Read more here...

Tyler Durden Tue, 11/22/2022 - 00:00

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Government

‘Forgetful’ Fauci Could Not Recall Key Details Of COVID Crisis Response During Deposition: Louisiana AG

‘Forgetful’ Fauci Could Not Recall Key Details Of COVID Crisis Response During Deposition: Louisiana AG

Authored by Zachary Stieber via The…

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'Forgetful' Fauci Could Not Recall Key Details Of COVID Crisis Response During Deposition: Louisiana AG

Authored by Zachary Stieber via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Dr. Anthony Fauci said he could not recall key details about his actions during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to one of the officials who questioned him on Nov. 23.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks in Washington on May 11, 2022. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Fauci, the director National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) since 1984 and President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, was deposed by Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry and Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, both Republicans.

“It was amazing, literally, that we spent seven hours with Dr. Fauci—this is a man who single-handedly wrecked the U.S. economy based upon ‘the science, follow the science.’ And over the course of seven hours, we discovered that he can’t recall practically anything dealing with his COVID response,” Landry told The Epoch Times after leaving the deposition. “He just said, ‘I can’t recall, I haven’t seen that. And I think we need to put these documents into context,'” Landry added.

“It was extremely troubling to realize that this is a man who advises presidents of the United States and yet couldn’t recall information he put out, information he discussed, press conferences he held dealing with the COVID-19 response,” Landry added later.

Fauci and NIAID did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Landry declined to provide more details about the deposition until it is made public, which will happen at a future date. But he said officials would be able to take some of what they learned to advance their case.

Landry and Schmitt sued the U.S. government in May, alleging it violated people’s First Amendment rights by pressuring big tech companies to censor speech. Documents produced by the government in response bolstered the claims. U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty, the Trump appointee overseeing the case, recently ordered Fauci and seven other officials to testify under oath about their knowledge of the censorship.

Doughty concluded that plaintiffs showed Fauci “has personal knowledge about the issue concerning censorship across social media as it related to COVID-19 and ancillary issues of COVID-19.”

While Fauci qualified as a high-ranking official, the burden of him being deposed was outweighed by the court’s need for information before ruling on a motion for a preliminary injunction, Doughty said.

Wednesday was the first time Fauci testified under oath about his interactions with big tech firms, including Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

Before the deposition, Landry said in a statement, “We all deserve to know how involved Dr. Fauci was in the censorship of the American people during the COVID pandemic; tomorrow, I hope to find out.”

“We’re going to follow the evidence everywhere it goes to get down to exactly what has happened, to get down to the fact that our government used private entities to suppress the speech of Americans,” Landry told The Epoch Times.

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry (C) speaks during a press conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, on Jan. 22, 2020. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Great Barrington Declaration

Jenin Younes with the New Civil Liberties Alliance, another lawyer representing plaintiffs in the case, said that Fauci claimed he did not worry about a document called the Great Barrington Declaration.

Penned in October 2020, the document called for focused protection on people most at-risk from COVID-19 while rescinding the harsh restrictions that had been imposed on children and others at little risk from the disease. Two of its authors, Dr. Jay Bhattacharya and Martin Kulldorff, are plaintiffs in the case.

I have a very busy day job running a six billion dollar institute. I don’t have time to worry about things like the Great Barrington Declaration,” Fauci said, according to Younes.

Fauci, though, has spoken multiple times about the declaration.

In internal emails that were later published, Fauci and Dr. Francis Collins, Fauci’s former boss, both criticized the declaration. “There needs to be a quick and devastating published takedown of its premises,” Collins wrote, prompting Fauci to send him a Wired magazine article he claimed “debunks this theory.”

In another missive, obtained by The Epoch Times through a Freedom of Information Act request, Fauci said the declaration reminded him of AIDS denialism.

Fauci also talked about the declaration in public, including defending his criticism during a congressional hearing in May.

I have come out very strongly publicly against the Great Barrington Declaration,” Fauci wrote to Dr. Deborah Birx in another email.

Other Depositions

The government moved to block some of the depositions, but not Fauci’s. It just won an order blocking the depositions of Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Director Jen Easterly, and Rob Flaherty, a deputy assistant to Biden.

Similar efforts to block the depositions of former White House press secretary Jen Psaki and FBI official Elvis Chan have been unsuccessful.

Chan is scheduled to answer questions next week. Psaki is scheduled to be deposed on Dec. 8.

Chan was involved in communicating with Facebook, LinkedIn, and other big tech firms about content moderation, according to evidence developed in the case and public statements he’s made. Psaki publicly said while still in the White House that platforms should step up against alleged mis- and disinformation.

Plaintiffs have already deposed several officials including Daniel Kimmage, an official at the State Department’s Global Engagement Center.

That center worked with Easterly’s agency to create a coalition of nonprofits called the Election Integrity Partnership, which pushed social media companies to censor speech.

Kimmage was also responsible for meetings during which censorship was discussed, with State Department official Samaruddin Stewart acting on his orders, according to documents produced by LinkedIn.

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Tyler Durden Sat, 11/26/2022 - 13:30

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International

COVID Lockdown Protests Erupt In Beijing, Xinjiang After Deadly Fire

COVID Lockdown Protests Erupt In Beijing, Xinjiang After Deadly Fire

Protests have erupted in Beijing and the far western Xinjiang region…

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COVID Lockdown Protests Erupt In Beijing, Xinjiang After Deadly Fire

Protests have erupted in Beijing and the far western Xinjiang region over COVID-19 lockdowns and a deadly fire on Thursday in a high-rise building in Urumqi that killed 10 people (with some reports putting the number as high as 40).

Crowds took to the street in Urumqi, the capitol of Xinjiang, with protesters chanting "End the lockdown!" while pumping their fists in the air, following the circulation of videos of the fire on Chinese social media on Friday night.

Protest videos show people in a plaza singing China's national anthem - particularly the line: "Rise up, those who refuse to be slaves!" Others shouted that they did not want lockdowns. In the northern Beijing district of Tiantongyuan, residents tore down signs and took to the streets.

Reuters verified that the footage was published from Urumqi, where many of its 4 million residents have been under some of the country's longest lockdowns, barred from leaving their homes for as long as 100 days.

In the capital of Beijing 2,700 km (1,678 miles) away, some residents under lockdown staged small-scale protests or confronted their local officials over movement restrictions placed on them, with some successfully pressuring them into lifting them ahead of a schedule. -Reuters

According to an early Saturday news conference by Urumqi officials, COVID measures did not hamper escape and rescue during the fire, but Chinese social media wasn't buying it.

"The Urumqi fire got everyone in the country upset," said Beijing resident Sean Li.

According to Reuters

A planned lockdown for his compound "Berlin Aiyue" was called off on Friday after residents protested to their local leader and convinced him to cancel it, negotiations that were captured by a video posted on social media.

The residents had caught wind of the plan after seeing workers putting barriers on their gates. "That tragedy could have happened to any of us," he said.

By Saturday evening, at least ten other compounds lifted lockdown before the announced end-date after residents complained, according to a Reuters tally of social media posts by residents.

Tyler Durden Sat, 11/26/2022 - 12:00

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US Jobs and Eurozone CPI Highlight the Week Ahead

Two high-frequency economic reports stand out in the week ahead:  The US November employment report and the preliminary eurozone CPI. The Federal Reserve…

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Two high-frequency economic reports stand out in the week ahead:  The US November employment report and the preliminary eurozone CPI. The Federal Reserve has deftly distanced itself from any one employment report. As a result, it would take a significant miss of the median forecast (Bloomberg survey) to alter market expectations for a 50 bp hike when the FOMC meeting concludes on December 14.

Economists are looking for around a 200k increase in US non-farm payrolls after 261k in October. In the first ten months of the year, the US has created 4.07 mln jobs. This is down from 5.51 mln in the Jan-Oct period last week but a strong performance by nearly any other comparison. In the same period before the pandemic, the US created about 1.52 mln jobs. Non-farm payrolls rose by an average of 150k in 2018 and 2019. It is averaging more than twice that now.

Average hourly earnings have increased in importance now with greater sensitivity to inflation and fears among policymakers that it could get embedded into wage expectations. The year-over-year increase in average hourly earnings peaked in March (when the Fed began hiking rates) at 5.6%. It has fallen or been unchanged since and fell to 4.7% in October. Economists expect the pace to have slowed to 4.6%. The 4% rate, seen as more consistent with the Fed's goals, assumes 2% productivity, which has been difficult to sustain outside crises (around the Great Financial Crisis and Covid) since the middle of 2004.

The ECB is a different kettle of fish. Nearly all the voting members at the Fed that have spoken, including the leading hawks, seem to accept a downshifting from 75 bp to 50 bp. However, at the ECB, there appears to be a genuine debate. It hiked rates by 75 bp at the last two meetings after starting the normalization process with a half-point move in July. As a result, the month-over-month headline inflation surged by 1.2% in September and 1.5% in October. The year-over-year rate stood at 10.7% in October, 300 bp above the US. On the other hand, core inflation was 5% above a year ago in the eurozone compared with 6.3% in the US. The median forecast in Bloomberg's survey sees the headline rate easing to 10.4%, with the core rate unchanged.

This is leading some, like the Austrian central bank governor Holzmann to suggest that unless there is a sharp fall in the November report, he would be inclined to support another 75 bp hike when the ECB meets on December 15. The preliminary estimate of November CPI will be released on November 30, but the final reading will not be available until the day after the ECB's meeting. That said, revisions tend to be minor. While Holzmann is perceived to be one of the more hawkish members of the ECB, the more dovish contingent seems to be pushing for a slowing the pace to 50 bp. It is a bit too simple to make it into a North-South dispute. The ECB's chief economist, Lane, from Ireland, is in the 50-bp camp. The swaps market sees a little more than a 30% chance of a 75 bp hike next month. Countering the elevated price pressures is recognizing that the eurozone is slipping into a recession. Still, officials say it will likely be short and shallow, arguably giving them more latitude to adjust rates.

To be sure, the US also reports inflation. The Fed's targeted measure, the PCE deflator for October, will be released the day before the employment report. But, in this cycle, in terms of the Fed's reaction function, it seems to have been downgraded, and the thunder stolen by the CPI. Indeed, when Fed Chair Powell explained why the Fed hiked by 75 bp instead of 50 bp in June as it had led the market to believe, he cited CPI and the preliminary University of Michigan consumer inflation expectation survey (which was later revised lower). While the methodologies and basket of the PCE deflator are different than CPI, the former is expected to confirm the broad developments of the latter. A 0.3% rising in the headline PCE deflator will see the year-over-year pace slip below 6% for the first time since last November. It peaked at 7.0% in the middle of the year. The core rate is stickier and may have eased to 5% after edging up in both August and September.

The US economic calendar is packed in the days ahead. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller house prices 20-city index are expected to have fallen for the third consecutive month (September). That has not happened for a decade. The FHFA house price index is broadly similar. It fell by 0.6% in July and 0.7% in August. The median forecast (Bloomberg survey) is for a 1.3% decline in September. If accurate, it would be the largest monthly decline since November 2008. The October goods trade balance and inventory are inputs into GDP forecasts. There continues to be a significant gap between the Atlanta Fed's GDPNow tracker (4.3%) and the median estimates in Bloomberg's survey (0.5%).

The JOLTS (Job Opening and Labor Turnover Survey) has become a popular metric in this cycle and has often been cited by Fed officials. It peaked in March at nearly 11.86 mln. It has erratically trended lower and stood slightly below 10.72 mln in September. It is forecast to have softened in October. The low for the year was set in August at 10.28 mln. In the three downturns since 2000, the peak in JOLTS has come well before a recession, and the bottom after the recession has ended.

While the cost-of-living squeeze is impacting consumption, the supply chains are normalizing, which is a powerful tailwind. This is at least partly the story in the auto sector. US auto sales reached 14.9 mln (SAAR) in October, the best since January and almost 15% from October 2021. In fact, in the three months through October, US auto sales are running 8.8% above the same three-month period a year ago. Still, US auto sales have averaged 13.73 mln through October, nearly 11% lower, at an annualized pace in the first ten months of 2021. Still, S&P Global Mobility analysis warns of softer November figures (14.1 mln). However, if the projection is accurate, it would be about 9.6% more than in November 2021.

There was some optimism that after the 20th Party Congress, China's Xi would have the authority and inclination to pivot on Covid, property, and foreign relations. Yet, Chinese and international medical experts have warned that China is woefully unprepared to relax its Covid policy regarding inoculation rates and medical infrastructure. The surge in cases has seen restrictions imposed on an area responsible for more than a fifth of the country's GDP. China's composite PMI has been falling since the year's peak at 54.1 in June. It fell below the 50 boom/bust level in October for the first time since May, and Q4 GDP appears to be slowing from the 3.9% quarter-over-quarter jump in Q3 after the 2.7% contraction in Q2. The world's second-largest economy may be growing around a third of the pace in Q4, with risks to the downside. The median forecast (in Bloomberg's survey) is for Q1 23 growth of 0.9%.

Aid to the property market may help stabilize the sector in the short term. Iron ore prices surged by more than 27% at the end of October through November 18 amid the optimism. However, this seemed anticipatory in nature as many of the new measures are slowly rolling out. Many observers share our doubts that the excesses of a couple of decades have been absorbed or alleviated. News that separate from the list of 16 measures to support the property market announced earlier this month, the PBOC is considering a CNY200 bln (~$28 bln) of interest-free loans to commercial banks through the end of Q1 to induce them to provide matching funds for stalled property markets, seems to be a subtle recognition that more efforts are needed. While new supply has stalled, we are concerned that the more significant issue is effective demand.  

Japan, the world's third-largest economy, unexpectedly contracted (-1.2% annualized rate) in Q3 but appears to be rebounding, likely aided by the new support measures (JPY39 trillion or ~$275 bln). Japan reports October employment figures. The unemployment rate has been 2.5%-2.6% since March. Japan has been successful in boosting the labor force participation rate. It was at 61.8% in early 2020 before Covid and has been at 62.9%-63.0% for four months through September. This is the highest since at least 2001. Retail sales, reported in terms of value (nominal prices), rose 1.3% and 1.5% in August and September, respectively. Another strong report would not be surprising. Government travel subsidies were widened in October. 

Japanese businesses were pessimistic about the outlook for industrial output in October. They anticipate a 0.4% decline after production fell 1.6% in September. The auto sector is a source of pessimism. Supply chain disruptions were cited for the dour outlooks of Toyota and Honda. Foreign demand is weakening, and Japanese exports are slowing. Japan's preliminary November manufacturing PMI slipped below the 50 boom/bust level to 49.4, its lowest in two years. 

Australia reported October retail sales and some housing data, but the newly introduced monthly CPI may have the most significance. The market is not sure that the Reserve Bank of Australia will hike rates at the December 6 meeting. The futures market has a little better than a 60% chance of a quarter-point hike. The cash rate is at 2.85%. In September, CPI made a new cyclical high of 7.3%. The trimmed mean measure stood at 5.4%, which was also a new high. We would subjectively put the odds higher than the market for a quarter-point hike. The next RBA meeting is on February 9, which seems too long for Governor Lowe to make good on his anti-inflation commitment.

Canada reports Q3 GDP and the November jobs. The Canadian economy is downshifting after enjoying 3.1% and 3.3% annual growth rates in Q1 and Q2, respectively. The pace is likely to be a little less than half in Q3 and appears to be slowing down more here in Q4. The median forecast (Bloomberg's survey) is for the Canadian economy contract in the first two quarters of next year. Canada created an impressive 119k full-time positions in October. Adjusted for the size of the economy, this would be as if the US created 1.3 mln jobs. In four of the past five quarters, Canadian job growth has been concentrated in one month. As one would expect, the following month has been a marked slowdown, and twice there were outright declines in full-time positions. After hiking by 100 bp in July, the Bank of Canada slowed its pace to 75 bp in September and 50 bp in October. The central bank meets on December 7, and the swaps market seems comfortable with a quarter-point hike.

Lastly, we turn to the Taiwanese local elections on November 26. The key is the mayoral contest in Taipei. It is seen as the most likely path of the presidency when Tsai-Ing's term ends in 2024. The great-grandson of Chiang Kai-shek is the candidate for the KMT, which wants closer ties to Beijing but rejects claims it is "pro-China." The DPP candidate is the health minister and architect of the country's Covid policy. The Deputy Mayor of Taipei is running as an independent candidate, but it looks like a two-person contest. Despite the US and Chinese defense officials agreeing to improve their practically non-existent dialogue, there is unlikely to be a meeting of the minds about Taiwan. Changes in the constellation of domestic political forces within Taiwan seem to be the most likely component that may change what appears to be an inexorable deteriorating situation. Both Beijing and Washington have good reason to believe the other is trying to change the status quo. 




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