Welcome to a regular snapshot-review of U.S. and international economic news that aims to 1) provide a window into the challenges and decisions facing businesses today, 2) determine the direction of economic policy — such as the speed at which central banks decide to raise interest rates, and 3) assess what the impact will be for consumers.

Rough News Week For Oxford-AstraZeneca Vaccine

It was another bumpy week for British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, and the COVID-19 vaccine it developed in partnership with Oxford University.

The company was already battling the belief that its vaccine might be harmful to some receipients, compounded by the fact it has not yet received Emergency Use Authorization from the Food and Drug Administration. Then, this week the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases (led by Dr. Anthony Fauci) released a statement revealing concerns about the “information released by AstraZeneca on initial data from its COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial.”

On March 22, AstraZeneca had announced early results from…


Welcome to a regular snapshot-review of U.S. and international economic news that aims to 1) provide a window into the challenges and decisions facing businesses today, 2) determine the direction of economic policy — such as the speed at which central banks decide to raise interest rates, and 3) assess what the impact will be for consumers.

U.S. Impeachment Update: GOP Unlikely To Vote To Convict

House impeachment managers selected by Speaker Nancy Pelosi delivered the articles of impeachment against ex-President Donald Trump to the Senate this week.

Pelosi named nine Democratic impeachment managers for the trial, expected to take place in February: Reps. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, Diana DeGette of Colorado, Joe Neguse of Colorado, David Cicilline of Rhode Island, Joaquin Castro of Texas, Eric Swalwell of California, Ted Lieu of California and Madeleine Dean of Pennsylvania, along with Stacey Plaskett, the U.S. Virgin Islands’ nonvoting delegate to Congress.

However, it looks increasingly there will not be enough votes in the Senate to convict Trump…


Source: https://www.statista.com/chart/23330/coronavirus-restrictions-europe-map/

Welcome to a regular snapshot-review of U.S. and international economic news that aims to 1) provide a window into the challenges and decisions facing businesses today, 2) determine the direction of economic policy — such as the speed at which central banks decide to raise interest rates, and 3) assess what the impact will be for consumers.

Lockdown Makes A Comeback In Europe, Over 9 Million Infections In The U.S.

In what has become a familiar refrain this month, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases around the world spiked this week, with a corresponding increase in the number of deaths — 45,075,642 confirmed cases, with 13,558,818 active cases and 1,182,010 fatalities.

Efforts to slow the rate of the outbreak in the United States have largely failed — at the time of writing there were 9,043,390 confirmed cases, 3,296,613 active and 232,194 deaths.

This comes as daily coronavirus cases in the United States continue surge to levels not seen since the summer, forcing hospitals in states like Utah to ration care


Welcome to a regular snapshot-review of U.S. and international economic news that aims to 1) provide a window into the challenges and decisions facing businesses today, 2) determine the direction of economic policy — such as the speed at which central banks decide to raise interest rates, and 3) assess what the impact will be for consumers.

US COVID-19 Cases Approaching Summer Levels, Europe Surge Continues

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases around the world once again rose significantly this week, with a corresponding spike in the number of deaths — 41,791,766 confirmed cases, with 12,268,206 active cases and 1,138,671 fatalities.

The outbreak in the United States continues to rage unabted — at the time of writing there were 8,498,360 confirmed cases, 2,914,394 active and 226,314 deaths.

This comes as daily coronavirus cases in the United States surge to levels not seen since the summer, with 14 states reporting peak Covid-19 hospitalizations in the past week: Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Montana, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota…


Welcome to a regular snapshot-review of U.S. and international economic news that aims to 1) provide a window into the challenges and decisions facing businesses today, 2) determine the direction of economic policy — such as the speed at which central banks decide to raise interest rates, and 3) assess what the impact will be for consumers.

Parts of The Europe Back In Lockdown As COVID-19 Cases Spike

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases around the world rose significantly this week, while the number of deaths also continues to increase — 38,971,792 confirmed cases, with 10,953,830 active cases and 1,098,982 fatalities.

The outbreak in the United States shows no signs of abating — at time of writing there were 8,076,402 confirmed cases, 2,669,444 active and 220,889 deaths.

This comes as the midwestern parts of the United States and beyond are witnessing surges in coronavirus cases, with new outbreaks and hospitalizations rising to record levels — pointing to a nationwide resurgence as temperatures get colder.

So far this week…


Welcome to a regular snapshot-review of U.S. and international economic news that aims to 1) provide a window into the challenges and decisions facing businesses today, 2) determine the direction of economic policy — such as the speed at which central banks decide to raise interest rates, and 3) assess what the impact will be for consumers.

US CDC, FDA Authorize Pfizer Vaccine Booster Shots For Elderly, At-Risk Populations

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration this week amended its emergency use authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to allow for a single booster dose, to be administered at least six months after completion of the primary series in:

  • individuals 65 years of age and older;
  • individuals 18 through 64 years of age at high risk of severe COVID-19; and
  • individuals 18 through 64 years of age whose frequent institutional or occupational exposure to the coronavirus puts them at high risk of serious complications of COVID-19 including severe COVID-19.

This authorization applies only to the Pfizer vaccine.

The Centers for…


Welcome to a regular snapshot-review of U.S. and international economic news that aims to 1) provide a window into the challenges and decisions facing businesses today, 2) determine the direction of economic policy — such as the speed at which central banks decide to raise interest rates, and 3) assess what the impact will be for consumers.

EU’s CDC Says No ‘Urgent Need’ For COVID-19 Vaccine Boosters

The European Union’s Centre for Disease Prevention and Control published a report this week with results from a study that concluded fully-vaccinated individuals — who are not immunocompromised — do not need another vaccine shot.

The report made the distinction between “booster” doses for people who responded adequately to primary vaccination and additional doses for those with weakened immune systems who did not respond adequately.

The EU CDC report differentiated between booster doses as those given to fully-vaccinated people to restore protection after it would have waned, and additional doses that are part of a primary vaccination series given to…


Welcome to a regular snapshot-review of U.S. and international economic news that aims to 1) provide a window into the challenges and decisions facing businesses today, 2) determine the direction of economic policy — such as the speed at which central banks decide to raise interest rates, and 3) assess what the impact will be for consumers.

FDA Issues First Approval of A COVID-19 Vaccine

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration this week issued its first approval of a COVID-19 vaccine, granting full authorization to Pfizer’s drug.

The vaccine will now be marketed as Comirnaty, for the prevention of COVID-19 disease in individuals 16 years of age and older. The vaccine also continues to be available under emergency use authorization, including for children aged 12 through 15 years and for the administration of a third dose in certain immunocompromised individuals.

“While this and other vaccines have met the FDA’s rigorous, scientific standards for emergency use authorization, as the first FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine, the public can…


Welcome to a regular snapshot-review of U.S. and international economic news that aims to 1) provide a window into the challenges and decisions facing businesses today, 2) determine the direction of economic policy — such as the speed at which central banks decide to raise interest rates, and 3) assess what the impact will be for consumers.

Biden Administration Ramps Up Efforts To Increase Vaccinations

As the number of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths have surged in the past month, the U.S. government this week shifted its drive to get more Americans protected against the worst effects of COVID-19 into high gear.

The highlight of that effort was the announcement that all those who have been fully vaccinated will be eligible for a booster shot eight months after their second dose beginning September 20.

However, this announcement is dependent on the Food and Drug Administration conducting an independent evaluation of the safety and effectiveness of a third dose of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and…


Welcome to a regular snapshot-review of U.S. and international economic news that aims to 1) provide a window into the challenges and decisions facing businesses today, 2) determine the direction of economic policy — such as the speed at which central banks decide to raise interest rates, and 3) assess what the impact will be for consumers.

COVID-19 Cases, Deaths Continue To Rise

The number of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths continue to rise across the United States, as the highly-infectious Delta variant runs rampant among the unvaccinated and, in recent weeks, has spread into the vaccinated sections of the population as well.

Jeff Zients, the White House’ COVID-19 Response Coordinator, noted during a press briefing this week that “in the past week, Florida has had more COVID cases than all 30 states with the lowest case rates combined. And Florida and Texas alone have accounted for nearly 40 percent of new hospitalizations across the country.”

The Biden administration is ramping up efforts

Brai Odion-Esene

Founder — SW4 Insights. Public policy junkie and Central Bank Watcher. Recovering journalist and former Senior Director at Hamilton Place Strategies

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