The economic toll from the COVID-19 pandemic has been tough to measure, but new estimates from the Federal Reserve suggest it wasn’t as bad as feared for smaller businesses.
The pandemic resulted in the permanent closure of roughly 200,000 U.S. establishments above historical levels during the first year of the viral outbreak, according to a study released Thursday by economists at the Fed. In recent years, about 600,000 establishments have permanently closed per year, or about 8.5%, according to the study.
That’s about as good a description as you’ll find for the sorry state of our nation.
SWAT teams crashing through doors. Militarized police shooting unarmed citizens. Traffic cops tasering old men and pregnant women for not complying fast enough with an order. Resource officers shackling children for acting like children. Homeowners finding their homes under siege by police out to confiscate lawfully-owned guns. Drivers having their cash seized under the pretext that they might have done something wrong.
There is also a chance people will need to receive an annual COVID-19 vaccine thereafter, he said.
“It is extremely important to suppress the pool of people that can be susceptible to the virus,” Bourla told CNBC’s Bertha Coombs in a CVS Health Live event, “Race to Vaccinate.”
For the first time in seven years, New York City has lost its title as the world’s billionaire capital.
Statista’s Niall McCarthy reports that in 2020, the Big Apple was displaced by Beijing which recorded a net gain of 33 billionaires. Beijing is now in top spot with 100 individuals worth a billion dollars or more, narrowly ahead of New York’s 99.
In the big, exciting future that’s measured in kilowatt- and gigawatt-hours, batteries are enabling mass electrification across many sectors. The rapid decline in battery prices has ensured burgeoning interest from electric-vehicle makers and consumer-electronics manufacturers—even from the energy industry, for enormous stationary storage systems operating on the power grid.
Companies such as QuantumScape Corp. are developing next-generation batteries that could accelerate the transition. The field is so competitive that the industry is shrouded in secrecy, but the market still values the company at more than $16 billion despite no promise of real revenue for many years to come.
For seven weeks in a row, mortgage rates steadily moved higher. Then they started pulling back last week. But despite this week’s decline, experts don’t expect their downturn to be long-lasting.
According to the latest data released Thursday by Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed-rate average sank to 3.04 percent with an average 0.7 point. (Points are fees paid to a lender equal to 1 percent of the loan amount and are in addition to the interest rate.) It was 3.13 percent a week ago and 3.31 percent a year ago.
Gold & Silver
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