Daily Briefing – 388

Democrats Likely to Remove Billions in Tax Hikes, Shorten Timelines as Spending Plans Shrink

Democrats will likely drop hundreds of billions of dollars in proposed tax increases on the rich as they scramble to shrink the size of their “reconciliation” package.  That’s good news for moderates who are less enthusiastic about raising rates. But it’s potentially terrible news for progressives, many of whom see this as their best chance in years to push through major changes in how wealthy people are taxed.

Meanwhile Progressives like are fighting to keep all the proposed assistance programs in the final package by funding them for shorter amounts of time in order to lower the final price on the package, while centrists in the party are opting for the opposite approach: cutting the number of programs but funding them for longer. 

Read more at The Hill

Global Supply-Chain Problems Escalate, Threatening Economic Recovery

Global supply-chain bottlenecks are feeding on one another, with shortages of components and surging prices of critical raw materials squeezing manufacturers around the world.  The supply shocks are already showing signs of choking off the recovery in some regions.

Part of the problem is a global economy that is out of sync on the pandemic, restrictions and recovery. Factories and retailers in Western economies that have largely emerged from lockdowns are eager for finished products, raw materials and components from longtime suppliers in Asia and elsewhere. But many countries in Asia are still in the throes of lockdowns and other coronavirus-related restrictions, constricting their ability to meet demand. Meanwhile, global labor shortages, often the result of people leaving the workforce during the pandemic, are throwing further obstacles in the way of producers.

Read more at the WSJ

Biden Administration to Spend $1 Billion to Boost Rapid Covid-19 Tests

The administration expects the number of rapid, at-home tests available in the U.S. to hit 200 million a month by December, White House Covid-19 coordinator Jeff Zients said Wednesday. Mr. Zients said tens of millions of additional tests will arrive on the market in the coming weeks.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration this week authorized the sale of an at-home, rapid Covid-19 test from ACON Laboratories Inc., which is expected to expand access to tests in retail stores and online. There are now seven companies with over-the-counter rapid tests that hunt for viral proteins, called antigens, that are authorized for use in the U.S.

Read more at The WSJ

Pfizer, BioNTech File for FDA Authorization for Their COVID-19 Vaccine in Children

Pfizer and BioNTech on Thursday said they submitted an official application asking the Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorization for their coronavirus vaccine for children between the ages of 5 and 11.  If approved, it would become the first coronavirus vaccine for younger children. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has full FDA approval for people 16 and older and has an EUA for those between 12 and 15.

The FDA said it will move quickly on the request and has a meeting to consider it scheduled for Oct. 26. A ruling is expected between late October and late November.

Read more at Axios

US COVID-19 – Cases Fall Below 100,000

The CDC reported 44.0 million cumulative COVID-19 cases and 707,065 deaths. Friday. Daily incidence continues to decline, down to approximately 95,000 new cases per day, which is the lowest average since August 2. Daily mortality is declining as well, down from the most recent peak of 1,764 deaths per day on September 15 to 1,431 on October 6

The US has administered 399.6 million cumulative vaccine doses. The daily vaccination trend continues to increase, up from approximately 603,000 doses per day on September 23 to more than 858,000 on October 1, a 42% increase over that period. The current average is the highest since June 17.  There are 216.3 million individuals in the US who have received at least 1 dose of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, equivalent to 65.1% of the entire US population. A total of 186.6 million individuals are fully vaccinated, which corresponds to 56.2% of the total population. 

Read more at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security

NYS Vaccine and COVID Update 

Vaccine Stats as of Sunday October 10th:

One Vaccine Dose 

  • 72.2 of all New Yorkers – 14,032,497 (plus 13,013 from a day earlier) 
  • In the Hudson Valley 1,470,581 (plus 508) 

Fully Vaccinated

  • 64.5% of all New Yorkers – 12,603,374 (plus 17,276).
  • In the Hudson Valley – 1,306,855 (plus 966). 

The Governor  updated COVID data through Saturday October 9th.  There were 34 COVID related deaths for a total of 57,047.


  • Patients Currently in Hospital statewide: 2,045.

Seven Day Average Positivity Rate:

  • Statewide 2.49%
  • Mid-Hudson: 2.44%

Useful Websites:

85% of Adult New Yorkers Have Received at Least One Dose of COVID-19 Vaccine

Governor Hochul Announced Friday that 85% of Adult New Yorkers Have Received at Least One Dose of COVID-19 Vaccine.  

“As we reach this milestone of 85 percent of adult New Yorkers with at least one dose, we are one step closer to finally putting an end to this pandemic and getting our lives back to normal,” Governor Hochul said. “While this is a momentous achievement, we still have communities lagging behind in vaccinations. The most important thing is getting vaccinated if you’re in a high risk setting or immunocompromised. I urge all New Yorkers to get vaccinated to keep yourselves and those around you safe.”

Read the press release

Booster Shots Are Available for All in Israel

Israel is among the most aggressive countries in the world in pushing boosters for the Covid-19 vaccine. Many younger people here are asking why.  Later this month the government will begin enforcing new rules the boosters for citizens  to keep their “Green Pass” COVID passports valid, which authorities view as an effective way of nudging as many people as possible to get a third shot of the vaccine to boost immunity and reduce the virus’s spread through the population.

Yet while many younger Israelis were happy to get their initial doses of the Pfizer Inc. – BioNTech SE vaccine, this time they aren’t so willing. Just over a quarter of 16-to-19-year-olds have received a booster along with 40% of 20-to-29-year-olds.

Read more at the WSJ

ADP: Private Sector Job Growth Strong in September Including in Manufacturing

U.S. private firms added 568,000 jobs last month, payroll services firm ADP said Wednesday, much more than expected and potentially a sign of strong employment figures to come. Manufacturers added 49,000 positions according to the survey. 

The survey is considered a preview of the Labor Department employment report due out Friday that will update the country’s unemployment rate, and September’s hiring came after an undershoot in August’s ADP data, when the private sector added a downwardly revised 340,000 jobs. However, Rubeela Farooqi of High Frequency Economics warned “ADP is far from consistent in predicting changes in the (government) payrolls data given differences in methodologies.”

Read more at IndustryWeek

Job Growth in September Disappoints – Wages Rise, Manufacturers Add 26K Workers

Nonfarm U.S. employment rose 194,000 while manufacturing sector gained 26,000 jobs in September, driven by strong increases in durable and nondurable goods manufacturing. That’s a slight dip in manufacturing hiring compared to August, when manufacturers hired a net 31,000 new employees. The Department of Labor reported growth in both durable and nondurable goods manufacturing employment.

As of the latest figures for September, manufacturing currently employs about 12.4 million people in the United States. The total number of manufacturing workers is still 353,000 people shy of the number of workers the sector had in February 2020, before the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read more at Reuters

“More Like Tesla”  GM Says it Will Double Annual Revenue by 2030 in Digital Push 

General Motors plans to double its annual revenue to $280 billion by the end of this decade as it transitions to all-electric vehicles and diversifies its operations beyond selling cars and trucks. The automaker announced the new revenue target on Wednesday ahead of investor presentations in which it detailed how the company plans to hit those targets through traditional automotive operations and new software- and data-focused businesses.

“When you look at all of the investments we’ve been making for five years plus, that’s what positions us today to really be in execution mode,” GM CEO and Chair Mary Barra told reporters during a briefing ahead of the event. “We have great confidence in our ability to grow revenues.

Read more at CNBC

Tesla to Move Headquarters to Austin

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the company would be moving its headquarters from Palo Alto, California to Austin, Texas, a city that has recently seen a flood of tech companies and remote workers. Musk announced the news at the 2021 Tesla, Inc. Annual Meeting of Stockholders, which took place at the Tesla Austin gigafactory, rather than in the Bay Area as it did in previous years.

Musk also said Tesla would be continuing to expand activities in California, increasing its output at its Fremont gigafactory by 50%.  Last May, Tesla filed a lawsuit against Alameda County over the shuttering of the company’s manufacturing facility in Fremont, California to stop the spread of COVID. The automaker dropped the lawsuit just a couple weeks later, but Musk was certainly fired up, tweeting: “Frankly, this is the final straw. Tesla will now move its HQ and future programs to Texas/Nevada immediately. If we even retain Fremont manufacturing activity at all, it will be dependent on how Tesla is treated in the future. Tesla is the last carmaker left in CA.”

Read more at Yahoo News

DiNapoli: NYC Office Market Will Take Years to Recover from Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic wiped out years of growth in New York City’s office sector, erasing nearly $28.6 billion in market value and more than $850 million in property taxes in City Fiscal Year 2022, as employers continue to offer work-from-home options, according to a report released by New York State Comptroller DiNapoli.

“Demand for space led citywide office sector property values to more than double in the decade before the pandemic,” DiNapoli said. “When the pandemic hit, companies shifted office workers to remote work, rents fell, and vacancies rose. I am optimistic for the sector’s recovery but its short-term future remains uncertain as employers assess future use of the space.”

Read more at the Comptroller’s webiste

The Shortage Economy – Scarcity Has Replaced Gluts as the Biggest Impediment to Global Growth

For a decade after the financial crisis the world economy’s problem was a lack of spending. Now spending has come roaring back, as governments have stimulated the economy and consumers let rip. The surge in demand is so powerful that supply is struggling to keep up.  As rising inflation spooks investors, the gluts of the 2010s have given way to a shortage economy.

The immediate cause is covid-19. Some $10.4trn of global stimulus has unleashed a furious but lopsided rebound in which consumers are spending more on goods than normal, stretching global supply chains that have been starved of investment. Yet the shortage economy is also the product of two deeper forces. First, decarbonization. The switch from coal to renewable energy has left Europe, and especially Britain, vulnerable to a natural-gas supply panic. The second force is protectionism. Trade policy is no longer written with economic efficiency in mind, but in the pursuit of an array of goals, from imposing labour and environmental standards abroad to punishing geopolitical opponents.

Read more at The Economist