Daily Briefing – 407

U.S. Inflation Reached 30-Year High in October

U.S. inflation hit a three-decade high in October—rising at a 6.2% annual rate—as pandemic-related supply shortages and continued strength in consumer demand continued to push up prices. The Labor Department said the consumer-price index, which measures what consumers pay for goods and services, increased at the fastest annual pace since 1990. Inflation also topped 5% for the fifth straight month. Price increases were broad-based with higher costs for new and used autos, energy, furniture, rent and medical care, the Labor Department said. Prices fell for airline fares and alcohol

The so-called core price index, which excludes the often-volatile categories of food and energy, in October climbed 4.6% from a year earlier, higher than September’s 4% rise and the largest increase since 1991.  On a monthly basis, the CPI increased a seasonally adjusted 0.9% in October from the prior month, a sharp acceleration from September’s 0.4% rise, and the same as June’s 0.9% pace.

 Read more at the WSJ

Manchin: Lawmakers Can ‘No Longer Ignore’ Inflation

Manchin, in a tweet, said that the “the threat” from inflation isn’t temporary “and is instead getting worse.” The tweet went on to say that “Americans know the inflation tax is real and DC can no longer ignore the economic pain Americans feel every day.”  Manchin’s statement comes after the consumer price index, which tracks inflation for a range of staple goods and services, rose 0.9 percent last month and 6.2 percent in the 12-month period ending in October, the highest rate in the U.S. in 30 years. 

“Throughout the last three months, I have been straightforward about my concerns that I will not support a reconciliation package that expands social programs and irresponsibly adds to our nearly $29 trillion in national debt that no one else seems to care about. Nor will I support a package that risks hurting American families suffering from historic inflation,” Manchin said at a press conference earlier this month. 

Read more at The Hill

Biden Administration Outlines New Moves to Alleviate Supply-Chain Logjams at Ports

Ports snarled with supply-chain problems, including a major one in Georgia, will be able to redirect money from other federally funded projects to help ease the logjams under a plan outlined by the Biden administration. The moves come as supply-chain issues continue to mount, with significant container backups at ports leading to slower delivery times and product shortages.

The existing grant money could be used more quickly under the new policy, administration officials said Tuesday. They also highlighted $17 billion for ports and waterways that will be available after President Biden signs the roughly $1 trillion infrastructure spending package Congress approved last week.

Read more at the WSJ

Chief Supply Chain Officer is Now the Toughest Job in the C-Suite

At most companies, the glory in the C-suite has typically gone to the executives who dream up new products, plot bold market expansions, or out-innovate the competition with money-gushing patents. Think Target’s chief merchant or Tesla’s CFO.

But this is 2021. And now, the pandemic and its multitudes of mundane problems have combined to make getting items onto store shelves or to shoppers’ doors a much more complex operation. The wildly fluctuating demand for consumer goods in 2020, followed by the Suez Canal debacle last winter and lately flotillas of ships idling in major West Coast ports have only added to corporations’ headaches. As a result, a new hero on many leadership teams has emerged: the chief supply chain officer.

Read more at Fortune

How An Outbreak Became a Pandemic: a Chronological Analysis of Crucial Junctures in the Early Months of the Pandemic

Understanding the spread of SARS-CoV-2, how and when evidence emerged, and the timing of local, national, regional, and global responses is essential to establish how an outbreak became a pandemic and to prepare for future health threats. The retrospective analysis of the chronology shows a dedicated initial response by WHO and some national governments, but also aspects of the response that could have been quicker, including outbreak notifications under the International Health Regulations (IHR), presumption and confirmation of human-to-human transmission of SARS-CoV-2, declaration of a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, and, most importantly, the public health response of many national governments.

The chronology also shows that some countries, largely those with previous experience with similar outbreaks, reacted quickly, even ahead of WHO alerts, and were more successful in initially containing the virus. Mapping actions against IHR obligations, the chronology shows where efficiency and accountability could be improved at local, national, and international levels to more quickly alert and contain health threats in the future. 

Read more at The Lancet

NYS Vaccine and COVID Update 

Vaccine Stats as of Tuesday November 9th:

One Vaccine Dose 

  • 75.1 of all New Yorkers – 14,488,209 (plus 20,015 from a day earlier).
  • In the Hudson Valley 1,516,546 (plus 3,024).

Fully Vaccinated

  • 67.3% of all New Yorkers – 13,076,032 (plus 16,361).
  • In the Hudson Valley – 1,346,208 (plus 2,066). 

The Governor  updated COVID data through Monday November 8th.  There were 29 COVID related deaths for a total of 58,449.


  • Patients Currently in Hospital statewide: 1,881.

Seven Day Average Positivity Rate:

  • Statewide 2.78%
  • Mid-Hudson: 2.04%

Useful Websites:

Pfizer and BioNTech Seek FDA Authorization for Booster for All Adults

Pfizer and BioNTech said on Tuesday they’re seeking emergency use authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration for a Covid-19 vaccine booster for all individuals age 18 and older. The companies are seeking an amendment to the existing EUA for booster doses for some adults.

The companies said the submission is based on results of a Phase 3 trial involving more than 10,000 participants; it found boosters were safe and had an efficacy of 95% against symptomatic Covid-19 compared with the two-dose vaccine schedule in the period when the highly transmissible Delta was the dominant strain. Pfizer released the booster efficacy data last month; it has not yet been peer-reviewed or published.

Read more at CNN

Germany Recommends Only Biontech/Pfizer Vaccine for Under-30s

People aged under 30 in Germany should only receive the Biontech/Pfizer (PFE.N)COVID-19 vaccine as it causes fewer heart inflammations in younger people than the Moderna (MRNA.O)shot, an advisory committee said on Wednesday. The committee, known as STIKO, recommended that pregnant women also be inoculated only with the Biontech/Pfizer vaccine, regardless of their age. 

The recommendations are based on new safety data from the Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI), Germany’s authority in charge of vaccines, and new international data. Several other European Union countries have already recommended limiting use of the Moderna vaccine among younger people.

Read more at Reuters

‘Vaccinate, Educate, Graduate’ Vaccine Incentive Program for 5- To 11-Year-Olds for a Chance to Win A SUNY or CUNY Full Scholarship

Yesterday Governor Hochul announced new efforts to support vaccinating 5- to 11-year-olds, including the launch of a new vaccine incentive program – ‘Vaccinate, Educate, Graduate’ – for young New Yorkers.

Parents and guardians of children ages 5 through 11 who receive their first vaccine dose by December 19th can enter the State’s incentive program for a chance for their child to win a full scholarship to any two- or four-year SUNY or CUNY college or university; the scholarship includes tuition, room, and board. Ten winners will be announced each week beginning November 24th, with a total of 50 winners being selected over the five-week period.

900,000 Children Expected to Get Vaccine in First Week

White House coronavirus response coordinator Jeff Zients said the administration estimates “conservatively” that the U.S. will surpass 900,000 children vaccinated by the end of Wednesday — about one week after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended the Pfizer vaccine for 5 to 11 year olds.

The vaccination program for the elementary school-aged children hit its “full strength” starting this week, with another 700,000 local pharmacy appointments scheduled for children. 

Read more at The Hill

Epidemic, Endemic, Pandemic: What are the Differences?

The novel coronavirus pandemic is the perfect model for understanding what exactly a pandemic is and how it impacts life on a global scale. Since the emergence of COVID-19 in 2020, the public has been bombarded with new language to understand the virus and the subsequent global public health response. This article will uncover the factors that make a pandemic and how it differs from epidemics and endemics.

The WHO defines pandemics, epidemics, and endemics based on a disease’s rate of spread. Thus, the difference between an epidemic and a pandemic isn’t in the severity of the disease, but the degree to which it has spread. A pandemic cuts across international boundaries, as opposed to regional epidemics. This wide geographical reach is what makes pandemics lead to large-scale social disruption, economic loss, and general hardship.

Read more at The Columbia School of Public Health

China Has a Big Inflation Problem and it’s Pushing Up Prices Worldwide

The Producer Price Index jumped 13.5% in October from a year ago, accelerating from September’s 10.7%, China’s National Bureau of Statistics said Wednesday. Last month’s increase was already the fastest since the government began releasing such data in the mid-1990s, according to Eikon Refinitiv.

And it now appears that the higher costs are trickling down. China’s Consumer Price Index rose 1.5% in October from a year ago, double the rate of the previous month and the fastest pace of increase since September 2020.

Read more at CNN

‘China’s Economy is Hitting a Great Wall’: Parallels to the ’08 Housing Crash Could Unleash a Recession

In the U.S., it was a housing debacle that unleashed the deepest crash since the Great Depression. Lured by teaser rates, folks who couldn’t afford a home left their apartments and bought a ranch, colonial, or condo. Builders kept selling to a new class of speculators who didn’t live in the sprouting subdivisions but kept watching the “value” of their empty abodes jump as nearby homes sold at higher and higher prices. When rates reset, millions of families who had moved from tenant to owner could no longer make the monthly nut. So heavy was the glut that the investors couldn’t find renters to cover mortgage payments and taxes. Millions of strapped homeowners sent their keys back to their lenders in a flood of “jingle mail” as foreclosures flooded the market.

Now China faces an eerily similar situation with the worlds largest real estate firm with the worlds largest debt teetering on the edge of default.  

Read more at Fortune

Bucking the Trend: Nissan Triples Profit Forecast Despite Chip Crunch

Nissan tripled its full-year net profit forecast on Tuesday as it rebounded from the impact of the pandemic with a strong quarterly performance, saying it expected to withstand challenges including the chip crunch and rising raw material prices.

The Japanese auto giant has faced a series of trials in recent years, from weak demand to the fallout from the arrest of former boss Carlos Ghosn, and its annual earnings were last in the black in 2018-19. But despite lower-than-expected sales volume so far this fiscal year, mainly due to the microchip shortage, “the quality of sales in each market continued to improve, resulting in higher profit per unit,” Nissan said.

Read more at IndustryWeek

Empire Center: Seven Steps to Reverse New York’s Backward Trajectory

The Empire Center for Public Policy today released a slate of policy recommendations that would make New York State a better place to live and work.  

The report, Altered State: A Checklist for Change in New York State, includes fixes in seven major policy areas: taxes, job creation, public sector employment, health care, energy, education and government accountability. Taken together, the report is an outline to help create a growing economy, a more efficient public sector, and new opportunities for an engaged and informed citizenry—all intended to reverse a dangerous exodus. 

Read more at The Empire Center

EV Start-Up Rivian Raises $11.9B in IPO

Amazon-backed electric vehicle (EV) maker Rivian sold shares in its initial public offering (IPO) at $78 per share, above its target range, to raise more than $11.93 billion, the company said on Tuesday.

The EV market is witnessing a surge in demand globally, as consumers are growing more environmentally conscious and betting on eco-friendly vehicles. Tesla produced a record number of cars in its latest quarter and is building factories all over the world. Founded in 2009, Rivian has been investing heavily to ramp up production. It is doubling down on production of its upscale all-electric R1T pickup truck, which was launched in September.

Read more at Reuters