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Watch Live: Powell Positions Himself As Populist Crusader In Senate Confirmation Hearing

Watch Live: Powell Positions Himself As Populist Crusader In Senate Confirmation Hearing

Jay Powell’s big day has finally arrived.

After being officially nominated for a second term at the Fed just before Thanksgiving, Fed Chairman Jerome.



Watch Live: Powell Positions Himself As Populist Crusader In Senate Confirmation Hearing

Jay Powell's big day has finally arrived.

After being officially nominated for a second term at the Fed just before Thanksgiving, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell will appear before the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday for his nomination hearing before the committee, then the entire Senate, vote on whether to officially confirm him to serve another 4 years at the central bank's helm, a decision that most see as preordained (since the Senate wouldn't dare defy markets, and risk tanking their own portfolios, by siding with Sen. Elizabeth Warren and voting against him).

In his prepared testimony, Powell once again tried to position himself as a populist by addressing the inflationary pressures that have arisen from the combination of Fed stimulus and the supernova of federal spending, and insisting that the Fed is running the economy for the benefit of all, rather than embracing policies that stoke asset inflation, further widening economic equality.

The Federal Reserve works for all Americans. We know our decisions matter to every person, family, business, and community across the country. I am committed to making those decisions with objectivity, integrity, and impartiality, based on the best available evidence, and in the long-standing tradition of monetary policy independence. That pledge lies at the heart of the Fed’s mission and is one we all make when we answer the call to public service. I make it here again, with force and without reservation.

Nowhere in his remarks does Powell touch upon his own responsibility for helping to create the inflationary supernova that's currently squeezing working and middle-class Americans - though he claims to be the man to fix it.

As for what we might hear from Powell on the subject of monetary policy, Ransquawk believes he might share an update on the Fed's thinking about the labor market following the disappointing headline number for December released on Friday. The chair will likely also be asked about the prospects for a March rate hike, which markets have already started to aggressively price in.

Powell also might  be asked about the latest ethics scandal at the Fed, which resulted in (former) Vice Chair Richard Clarida resigning two weeks shy of his retirement date after the press discovered in an amended ethics filing that Clarida had lied about buying stocks - via ETFs - just days before the Fed unveiled its stimulus measures in response to the March 2020 COVID-inspired market rout.

Readers can find Ransquawk's preview of Tuesday's hearing below:

The hearing will take place at 15:00GMT/10:00EST on Tuesday 11th January 2022. President Biden renominated Powell for the Fed Chair Position in November 2021. In the follow up remarks, Powell noted strong policy actions and vaccines have set the stage for a strong recovery, but he knows high inflation takes its toll on families and the economy. Powell also promised the return of maximum employment. In his prepared remarks for the hearing, he noted the economy is growing at its fastest pace in many years and the labour market is strong, highlighting the rapid strengthening of the economy despite the pandemic, resulting in elevated inflation.  Powell will likely get quizzed about hot inflation (note, US CPI is on Wednesday, after the hearing), but given the hawkish pivot in December (acceleration of asset purchases, discussion around the balance sheet, and hawkish dot plots), he will likely say the Fed is pivoting to address high inflation and will reiterate that maximum employment could be achieved relatively soon, providing job growth continues at the current pace.

Given the December meeting and press conference were so recent, and the Fed has only really had the latest jobs report to digest since then, we may see updated commentary on the labour market, although other remarks are likely to be a reiteration. However, given the recent increased attention around a March lift-off, remarks on this will be key, as will any further details on the balance sheet. In the Minutes, on lift off, some suggested there could be circumstances in which it would be appropriate for the Committee to raise rates before maximum employment had been fully achieved, several participants viewed labour market conditions as already largely consistent with maximum employment while most judged it could be met relatively soon if the recent pace of the labour market continues. The latest jobs report saw an even further hawkish shift in market pricing for the March meeting given a strong improvement in the unemployment rate and decent improvement in slack measures, while the miss on the headline NFP perhaps shows that there are less jobs to add in the COVID labour market, suggesting full employment is either here, or at least near, for the short-to-medium term. Nonetheless, Powell’s views on this will be in focus. For reference, the Fed currently forecasts three hikes in 2022; however, the likes of Goldman Sachs call for four and JP Morgan’s CEO Dimon said more than four hikes in 2022 were a possibility. On the matter, Bostic (2024 voter, hawk) sees three 2022 hikes with the risk of a fourth on the possibility of higher inflation.

The Fed officially dropped the term “transitory” from its December meeting, therefore this may be a topic of question at the hearing. However, Powell did note he still expects price pressures to ease in the second half of this year, along with supply chain issues, although there was still great uncertainty. The FOMC’s SEPs in December saw the median view of PCE easing from current levels to 2.6% in 2022 with the core at 2.7%, albeit both estimates are above the Fed’s prior estimate back in September. Looking ahead, both the headline and core PCE metrics are expected to slow further to 2.3% in 2023 and 2.1% in 2024, so the Fed still thinks the recent elevated inflation prints are temporary. On wages, Powell will likely reiterate there is no evidence of wage growth spiralling into inflation, but given the political nature of the hearing, and given inflation is one of congress’ largest concerns, he will have to convince the Senate Banking committee he will be acting to bring inflation down.

Fed-Vice Chair nominee Brainard will have her hearing at the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday January 13th at 15:00GMT/10:00EST, she tends to lean more dovish, but she hasn’t spoken much recently, therefore her comments will likely reiterate Powell today, but it will be interesting to see her views on the balance sheet and lift-off timings.

And here's Powell's full prepared testimony:

Tyler Durden Tue, 01/11/2022 - 09:55

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Repeated COVID-19 Vaccination Weakens Immune System: Study

Repeated COVID-19 Vaccination Weakens Immune System: Study

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

Repeated COVID-19…



Repeated COVID-19 Vaccination Weakens Immune System: Study

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

Repeated COVID-19 vaccination weakens the immune system, potentially making people susceptible to life-threatening conditions such as cancer, according to a new study.

A man is given a COVID-19 vaccine in Chelsea, Mass., on Feb. 16, 2021. (Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images)

Multiple doses of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines lead to higher levels of antibodies called IgG4, which can provide a protective effect. But a growing body of evidence indicates that the “abnormally high levels” of the immunoglobulin subclass actually make the immune system more susceptible to the COVID-19 spike protein in the vaccines, researchers said in the paper.

They pointed to experiments performed on mice that found multiple boosters on top of the initial COVID-19 vaccination “significantly decreased” protection against both the Delta and Omicron virus variants and testing that found a spike in IgG4 levels after repeat Pfizer vaccination, suggesting immune exhaustion.

Studies have detected higher levels of IgG4 in people who died with COVID-19 when compared to those who recovered and linked the levels with another known determinant of COVID-19-related mortality, the researchers also noted.

A review of the literature also showed that vaccines against HIV, malaria, and pertussis also induce the production of IgG4.

“In sum, COVID-19 epidemiological studies cited in our work plus the failure of HIV, Malaria, and Pertussis vaccines constitute irrefutable evidence demonstrating that an increase in IgG4 levels impairs immune responses,” Alberto Rubio Casillas, a researcher with the biology laboratory at the University of Guadalajara in Mexico and one of the authors of the new paper, told The Epoch Times via email.

The paper was published by the journal Vaccines in May.

Pfizer and Moderna officials didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Both companies utilize messenger RNA (mRNA) technology in their vaccines.

Dr. Robert Malone, who helped invent the technology, said the paper illustrates why he’s been warning about the negative effects of repeated vaccination.

“I warned that more jabs can result in what’s called high zone tolerance, of which the switch to IgG4 is one of the mechanisms. And now we have data that clearly demonstrate that’s occurring in the case of this as well as some other vaccines,” Malone, who wasn’t involved with the study, told The Epoch Times.

So it’s basically validating that this rush to administer and re-administer without having solid data to back those decisions was highly counterproductive and appears to have resulted in a cohort of people that are actually more susceptible to the disease.”

Possible Problems

The weakened immune systems brought about by repeated vaccination could lead to serious problems, including cancer, the researchers said.

Read more here...

Tyler Durden Sat, 06/03/2023 - 22:30

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Study Falsely Linking Hydroxychloroquine To Increased Deaths Frequently Cited Even After Retraction

Study Falsely Linking Hydroxychloroquine To Increased Deaths Frequently Cited Even After Retraction

Authored by Jessie Zhang via Thje Epoch…



Study Falsely Linking Hydroxychloroquine To Increased Deaths Frequently Cited Even After Retraction

Authored by Jessie Zhang via Thje Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

An Australian and Swedish investigation has found that among the hundreds of COVID-19 research papers that have been withdrawn, a retracted study linking the drug hydroxychloroquine to increased mortality was the most cited paper.

Hydroxychloroquine sulphate tablets. (Memories Over Mocha/Shutterstock)

With 1,360 citations at the time of data extraction, researchers in the field were still referring to the paper “Hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine with or without a macrolide for treatment of COVID-19: a multinational registry analysis” long after it was retracted.

Authors of the analysis involving the University of Wollongong, Linköping University, and Western Sydney Local Health District wrote (pdf) that “most researchers who cite retracted research do not identify that the paper is retracted, even when submitting long after the paper has been withdrawn.”

“This has serious implications for the reliability of published research and the academic literature, which need to be addressed,” they said.

Retraction is the final safeguard against academic error and misconduct, and thus a cornerstone of the entire process of knowledge generation.”

Scientists Question Findings

Over 100 medical professionals wrote an open letter, raising ten major issues with the paper.

These included the fact that there was “no ethics review” and “unusually small reported variances in baseline variables, interventions and outcomes,” as well as “no mention of the countries or hospitals that contributed to the data source and no acknowledgments to their contributions.”

A bottle of Hydroxychloroquine at the Medicine Shoppe in Wilkes-Barre, Pa on March 31, 2020. Some politicians and doctors were sparring over whether to use hydroxychloroquine against the new coronavirus, with many scientists saying the evidence is too thin to recommend it yet. (Mark Moran/The Citizens’ Voice via AP)

Other concerns were that the average daily doses of hydroxychloroquine were higher than the FDA-recommended amounts, which would present skewed results.

They also found that the data that was reportedly from Australian patients did not seem to match data from the Australian government.

Eventually, the study led the World Health Organization to temporarily suspend the trial of hydroxychloroquine on COVID-19 patients and to the UK regulatory body, MHRA, requesting the temporary pause of recruitment into all hydroxychloroquine trials in the UK.

France also changed its national recommendation of the drug in COVID-19 treatments and halted all trials.

Currently, a total of 337 research papers on COVID-19 have been retracted, according to Retraction Watch.

Further retractions are expected as the investigation of proceeds.

Tyler Durden Sat, 06/03/2023 - 17:30

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Biden Signs Debt Ceiling Bill, Ending Monthslong Political Battle

Biden Signs Debt Ceiling Bill, Ending Monthslong Political Battle

Authored by Lawrence Wilson via The Epoch Times,

President Joe Biden signed…



Biden Signs Debt Ceiling Bill, Ending Monthslong Political Battle

Authored by Lawrence Wilson via The Epoch Times,

President Joe Biden signed the Fiscal Responsibility Act on Saturday, suspending the debt ceiling for 19 months and bringing a monthslong political battle to a close.

The compromise legislation negotiated by Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) passed both houses of Congress with bipartisan support this week, averting a potential default on the nation’s financial obligations.

“Passing this budget agreement was critical. The stakes could not have been higher,” Biden said in a Friday evening address to the nation from the Oval Office.

Congressional leaders in both parties, eager to avoid financial disaster, endorsed the bill.

McCarthy referred to the legislation in historic terms, calling it the biggest spending cut ever enacted by Congress. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said, “We’ve saved the country from the scourge of default,” after the bill passed the Senate on June 1.

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) both supported the bill.

Biden vs. McCarthy

The president’s signature ends a monthslong cold war with McCarthy over terms for raising the nation’s $31.4 trillion debt ceiling.

The Financial Responsibility Act suspends the debt ceiling until Jan. 1, 2025, cuts non-defense discretionary spending slightly in 2024, and limits discretionary spending growth to 1 percent in 2025.

The agreement also contains permitting reforms for oil and gas drilling, changes to work requirements for some social welfare programs, and clawbacks of $20 billion in IRS funding and $30 billion in unspent COVID-19 relief funds, among other provisions.

President Joe Biden hosts debt limit talks with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and other congressional leaders in the Oval Office at the White House on May 9, 2023. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

In the absence of congressional action to allow additional borrowing, the United States would have lacked the ready cash to pay all of its bills on June 5, according to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

Yellen announced in January that the country was in danger of reaching its limit.

McCarthy then said Congress would not increase the limit without an agreement from the White House to cut spending. Biden said he would not negotiate over lifting the limit because that would put the full faith and credit of the United States at risk.

The impasse was broken in late April when the House passed the Limit, Save, Grow Act, authorizing a $1.5 trillion increase in borrowing along with spending cuts and other measures favored by Republicans.

Biden then agreed to negotiate with McCarthy, resulting in the Fiscal Responsibility Act.


A vocal minority of lawmakers in both parties opposed the bill.

Some Republicans believed the agreement conceded too much to Democrats. Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) nearly blocked the bill in committee, but it cleared by a single vote.

Some Democrats opposed the agreement because it cuts discretionary spending and changes work requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). They said those provisions would hurt working Americans and those in need.

​​House Rules Committee member Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) speaks at the Capitol on Jan. 30. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

A group of Senate Republicans led by Lindsey Graham (R-N.C.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) initially opposed the bill due to concerns about the level of defense spending. They were brought on board by assurances from Schumer and McConnell that emergency defense appropriations could be added later if needed.

The bill passed the House by a vote of 314 to 117 on May 31. Forty-six Democrats and 71 Republicans voted no.

The Senate passed the measure 63 to 36 the next day. Four Democrats, one Independent, and 41 Republicans voted no.

Mixed Reactions

Outside the Capitol, some observers applauded the bipartisan effort while others echoed the complaints of congressional dissenters.

“This kind of compromise is exactly how divided government should work,” Kelly Veney Darnell, interim CEO of the Bipartisan Policy Center, said in a June 2 statement.

EJ Antoni, a research fellow at The Heritage Institute, said “conservatives have little to celebrate with this deal, and much about which to complain.” According to Antoni, the bill doesn’t actually cut spending. He called it “left-wing legislation” in a statement published June 1.

Navin Nayak, counselor at the Center for American Progress, endorsed the legislation unenthusiastically, saying it was imperfect but necessary in a May 31 statement. Nayak said the Mountain Valley Pipeline, green-lighted by the bill, puts the safety of thousands at risk and the added work requirements will increase hunger in America.

Congress must now work the provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act into a federal budget and the dozen appropriations bills required to fund the government in the coming year.

The 2024 fiscal year begins on Oct. 1.

Tyler Durden Sat, 06/03/2023 - 15:30

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