• Daily Digest

    Daily Digest 7/2 – Dollar’s Dominance To Slowly Melt Away Over Coming Year, How COVID-19 Widened America’s Wealth Gap

    by Daily Digest

    Thursday, July 2, 2020, 6:17 AM


‘Extreme inequality was the preexisting condition’: How COVID-19 widened America’s wealth gap (tmn)

“The pandemic crisis will widen the already worrisome levels of income, racial, and gender inequality in the U.S,” Dimitri Papadimitriou, President of the Levy Economics Institute at Bard College, and former Greek Minister of Economy and Development, told ABC News. “This engenders an element of a vicious circle at work: not only will the pandemic and its fallout worsen inequality; inequality will exacerbate the spread of the virus, not to mention undermine any ensuing economic recovery efforts.”

Dollar’s dominance to slowly melt away over coming year: Reuters poll (Sparky1)

“The dollar rises in two instances: when you see risk off or when there is a situation where the U.S. is leading the global recovery, and we don’t think that’s going to be the case anytime soon,” said Gavin Friend, senior FX strategist at NAB Group in London.

“The U.S. is playing fast and loose with the virus, and chronologically they’re behind the rest of the world.”

Russians grant Putin right to extend his rule until 2036 in landslide vote (Sparky1)

Ella Pamfilova, head of the commission, said the vote had been transparent and that officials had done everything to ensure its integrity.

Opposition politician Alexei Navalny had a different view and called the vote an illegitimate and illegal show designed to legalise Putin’s presidency for life.

Protests continue after Seattle police dismantle ‘CHOP’ zone, at least 3 dozen arrested (TourGuideDC)

The Seattle Police Department moved into the CHOP around 5 a.m. Wednesday and returned to the East Precinct after abandoning the building nearly three weeks ago.

Officers arrested at least 44 people on Wednesday for failure to disperse, obstruction, resisting arrest, and assault. However, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said she recommended the city not file charges against misdemeanor arrests from Wednesday morning.

In unusual deal, U.S. Treasury to acquire 30 percent of trucking company in exchange for $700 million loan (TourGuideDC)

The deal is the first under a $17 billion loan program approved as part of the broader stimulus by Congress in March. That pot of money was earmarked for firms deemed “critical” to U.S. national security. Congress gave Treasury the authority to approve more than $500 billion in emergency loans to companies and cities, although most of that money has not been disbursed.

Federal government now turning to Amazon, Overstock for ‘micro-purchases’ (TourGuideDC)

The contracts represent a major step forward for the government when it comes to routine purchases, experts say. It fast-tracks the procurement process for pens, desk chairs and other easily attainable items through Amazon Business, the company’s business-to-business platform, Overstock or Thermo Fisher. (Amazon founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.)

Voter Registrations Are Way, Way Down During The Pandemic (tmn)

Consider Florida, for example, where 109,859 new voters registered in February of this year, compared to 87,351 registrants in February of 2016. But in April 2020, only 21,031 new voters registered, compared with 52,508 in 2016. The same pattern holds in 10 other states, plus Washington, D.C.: Each one registered fewer new voters in April 2020 than in April 2016, including in states where online voter registration is available.

Hollowed out public health system faces more cuts amid virus (Sparky1)

Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in an interview in April that his “biggest regret” was “that our nation failed over decades to effectively invest in public health.”

So when this outbreak arrived — and when, according to public health experts, the federal government bungled its response — hollowed-out state and local health departments were ill-equipped to step into the breach.

Patrolling Public Schools: The Impact of Funding for School Police on Student Discipline and Long‐term Education Outcomes (tmn)

Over the time frame of the study, there were 771 CIS grant applications and 335 acceptances. Awarded grants designated funding for three SROs per school district on average, with total funds of $324,000 per school district (weighted by student‐years). 80 percent of students attended school districts that applied for a grant during the sample period, and 70 percent of students attended school districts that received a grant in the sample period.

American Academy of Pediatrics: COVID-19 Planning Considerations: Guidance for School Re-entry (Base12)

Policy makers must also consider the mounting evidence regarding COVID-19 in children and adolescents, including the role they may play in transmission of the infection. SARS-CoV-2 appears to behave differently in children and adolescents than other common respiratory viruses, such as influenza, on which much of the current guidance regarding school closures is based. Although children and adolescents play a major role in amplifying influenza outbreaks, to date, this does not appear to be the case with SARS-CoV-2. Although many questions remain, the preponderance of evidence indicates that children and adolescents are less likely to be symptomatic and less likely to have severe disease resulting from SARS-CoV-2 infection. In addition, children may be less likely to become infected and to spread infection. Policies to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 within schools must be balanced with the known harms to children, adolescents, families, and the community by keeping children at home.

Schools: What’s It Going To Take? (jdargis)

The fact is that we do accept some risks of this nature in normal times — allowing people to drive cars, have swimming pools, avoid the flu shot, etc. We may want to accept this particular risk, given the benefits, or we may not. But if we do accept it, we need to be realistic about what is going to happen. If we open school and then panic and shut them when there is one case of COVID-19, this will have been a waste. We know there will be one case. There will be more.

We need to set some limits in advance in terms of how to react to cases and we need to plan. But we cannot plan to panic.

LOCKDOWN LUNACY 2.0: Second wave? Not even close. (Base12)

By the way, as a quick aside, and something else the press won’t touch: COVID-19 is a coronavirus, and we have ALL been exposed to MANY coronaviruses during our lives on earth (like the common cold). Guess what? Scientists are now showing evidence that up to 81% of us can mount a strong response to COVID-19 without ever having been exposed to it before.

An Alternative to the Lockdown Strategy in the Fight Against Coronavirus (Frank H.)

An obviously better solution than sinking the world economy into a great depression is a greater use of “laissez-faire.” The current lockdown strategy is a bleak choice of (allegedly) fewer short term deaths against a much larger long-term death toll. We must return to a business-as-normal situation as soon as possible. We need to free drugs from overbearing drug regulations and make them widely available (with appropriate dosages and warnings) everywhere at a market price without the need for a prescription. We need markets to be free so they can provide a wide choice of medications.

Novartis pays $729 million to settle U.S. kickback charges (Sparky1)

Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss in Manhattan called the incentives for doctors “nothing more than bribes” and said federal healthcare programs paid hundreds of millions of dollars in reimbursements for prescriptions tainted by kickbacks.

In Brazil, delivery drivers for Uber, Rappi and others protest amid pandemic (Sparky1)

But drivers complained that the apps pay them less while making them work more, and that they face possible suspension if they do not comply. Several said the apps lure them with high pay at the beginning, which then dwindles over time.

“They are making us work weekends, every day, or we face the risk of getting blocked,” said Felipe Gomes, who delivers for iFood.

The Daily Reckoning: Central Banks Driving Gold (thc0655)

This is why the elites disparage and marginalize gold. It’s easy to show why gold is a better form of money, why it’s more reliable than central bank money for preserving wealth, and why it’s a threat to the money-monopoly that the elites depend upon to maintain power.

Not only is gold a superior form of money, it’s also not under the control of any central bank or group of individuals. Yes, miners control new output, but annual output is only about 1.8% of all the above-ground gold in the world.

Breakingviews – Tesla market milestone puts Musk pay in overdrive (Sparky1)

He was awarded the first of the 12 possible tranches a little over a month ago, based on a $100 billion market value and $20 billion of annual revenue. The shares had already zoomed past the second market-value target – $150 billion – on the way to its current level, though Musk has to wait for that to register on a six-month average basis.

$40 Oil Isn’t Enough To Prevent A Wave Of Shale Bankruptcies (Michael S.)

Many U.S. oil and gas drillers were already living on borrowed time even before the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to heavy borrowings from banks over the past years. But the crash in oil demand and the collapse in oil prices shortened the time for indebted companies to be able to kick the can down the road, accelerating the upward trend in bankruptcy filings.

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