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Investors banking on a coronavirus vaccine to save the world economy in 2021 need to temper their ambitions as scientists increasingly warn of a long and difficult road ahead.

“While drug companies are making progress in the quest to find a cure for a disease that triggered the worst recession since the Great Depression, questions remain about how effective the first wave of vaccines would be, how easy they will be to distribute to more than 7 billion people and then how many will agree to take them.”

https://www.livemint.com/news/world/time-to-reset-expectations-for-world-economy-with-coronavirus-untamed-11603606697927.html


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As campaign season heads into its fraught, final days, police departments across the USA are bracing for Election Day, mobilizing officers as they prepare for the possibility of voter intimidation, unrest or violence.

“…officials say this year’s preparations are unusually extensive because of the sheer levels of anxiety and toxicity across the country.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/police-brace-for-potential-election-day-unrest-in-a-year-when-everything-is-uncertain/2020/10/24/e30dc34a-1554-11eb-ad6f-36c93e6e94fb_story.html


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The economic fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic is driving up food insecurity across America.

What we’ve seen, has been, unfortunately, a steady level of greatly, significantly increased need, since the pandemic started,” said Katie Fitzgerald, Chief Operating Officer of Feeding America… “

“About 40 percent of the people who are showing up for food distributions have never before had to rely on charitable food assistance.””

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/10/24/us/how-to-get-food-assistance-hunger-pandemic-iyw-trnd/index.html


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As Chicago grapples with a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, a Wall Street ratings agency fired a shot across the bow as aldermen prepared to start a month of hearings Monday morning on Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s $12.76 billion spending plan for 2021.

Standard & Poor’s, one of a handful of major ratings agencies, warned in a special report issued Friday that the city could see its credit rating — which the firm already considers negative — drop further.”

https://news.wttw.com/2020/10/26/chicago-budget-hearings-start-ratings-agency-sounds-alarm


Despite the headline ‘historically fast’ recovery, actual [US] employment remains in dire state…”

https://seekingalpha.com/article/4381256-americas-scariest-charts-duration-of-unemployment-and-employment-index


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Bond Defaults Deliver 99% Losses in New Era of U.S. Bankruptcies:

Market prices, derivative auctions imply debt may be worthless… Three cents. Two cents. Even a mere 0.125 cents on the dollar.

“More and more, these are the kinds of scraps that bondholders are fighting over as companies go belly up.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/amp/news/articles/2020-10-26/bond-defaults-deliver-99-losses-in-new-era-of-u-s-bankruptcies


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Local lockdowns and working from home could be hampering Britain’s jobs recovery, new research suggests [academic research hardly seems necessary to draw this conclusion!].

“…workers have again been encouraged, if possible, to do their jobs from home.

“The result is deserted high streets and city centres, leaving some service industry businesses struggling that rely on catering for office workers.”

https://news.sky.com/story/coronavirus-local-lockdowns-and-working-from-home-hurting-jobs-recovery-12114808


An estimated 6m small businesses in the UK supporting 16.6m jobs are in a financially precarious position as a result of the pandemic, a London business school has warned.” [That equates to about half the UK work-force].

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/oct/26/covid-threatens-6m-uk-small-businesses-16m-jobs


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UK Banks have asked specialist debt collectors to help lead the recovery of tens of billions of pounds of government-backed small business loans, as they prepare for an expected wave of defaults and fraud cases

The task is expected to be too onerous to be handled by a single company because of the large number of small businesses forecast to run into trouble, one of the people added.”

https://www.ft.com/content/52f6ad43-abee-4a5b-929e-921dc4278122


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Urban areas in Scotland and the south of England are the hardest hit as deserted high streets and city centres hampering Britain’s jobs recovery, research suggests.

Aberdeen [an oil town] recorded the steepest fall in job vacancies with a 75% year-on-year decline.”

https://www.thenational.scot/news/18821268.scottish-cities-worst-hit-slump-job-vacancies-pandemic/


[UK] Freelancers’ earnings have dropped 30pc this year and the self-employed have received a fraction of the income support handed to employees. They now face a bleak winter.”

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/consumer-affairs/gave-freelance-dream-alongside-250000-others/


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Scotland’s senior police officers are warning about the prospect of mass protests, public disorder and major disruption on roads and ports

“”EU Exit is only one of myriad, major challenges facing policing in Scotland now, and certainly continuing into and throughout 2021.””

https://www.thenational.scot/news/18820023.police-warning-brexit-covid-disorder-disruption/


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Eighteen people have been arrested at a protest in central London over coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

“Large crowds gathered outside Buckingham Palace, where police were stationed, before moving on to Trafalgar Square.”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-54678374


Dozens arrested at anti-coronavirus measures protests in Brussels.”

https://www.brusselstimes.com/belgium/137612/dozens-arrested-at-anti-coronavirus-measures-protests-in-brussels-corona-covid19-dictatorship-police-parc-cinquantenaire-schuman-gare-du-nord/


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Thousands protest against COVID-19 rules in Berlin.”

https://www.dw.com/en/germany-thousands-protest-against-covid-19-rules-in-berlin/a-55392704

German business morale fell for the first time in six months in October, weighed down by companies’ concerns about rising coronavirus infection rates that are making them more cautious about the coming months, a survey showed on Monday.”

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-germany-economy-ifo/german-business-morale-falls-on-virus-angst-as-rebound-fades-idUSKBN27B0YV


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Police in Italy have fired tear gas to disperse angry crowds in the northern cities of Turin and Milan after protests against the latest round of anti-coronavirus restrictions flared into violence.

“As the head of the World Health Organization urged countries “not to give up” in their fight to contain the virus, luxury goods shops, including a Gucci fashion shop, were ransacked in the centre of Turin…”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/oct/27/global-coronavirus-report-italian-police-use-tear-gas-to-disperse-anti-lockdown-rally


In recent months Rome has taken advantage of Brussels’ willingness to overlook the state of Italy’s public finances during the pandemic to exert greater control of businesses deemed strategically important — pumping billions of euros into some companies and making it harder for foreigners to take over others.”

https://www.ft.com/content/914dc963-c460-4b50-bb31-9563f3bc94d4


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Europe’s biggest shopping centre landlords face a gruelling 12 months, as coronavirus and a boom in online shopping push more retailers towards collapse.

“Moody’s Investors Service has warned that a perfect storm unleashed by the pandemic will hit the credit quality of mall owners including Hammerson, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield and Klépierre.”

https://www.ft.com/content/942c4435-4572-4515-9e0f-f79d908fef16


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Deflation, The Greatest Threat For The Eurozone In The Short Term:

“The low inflation observed in the euro zone will translate into very weak wage dynamics. Demand will be weak while health constraints will weigh on activity. A situation that will not make it possible to fix on medium-term prospects compatible with the recovery plans.”

https://thecorner.eu/news-europe/deflation-the-greatest-threat-for-the-eurozone-in-the-short-term/90143/


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The Eurozone is bust. The deterioration of TARGET2 imbalances have been hardly noticed, but in recent months, it has been alarming.

Despite official denials over the years that it is a matter of concern, it is increasingly obvious that the national banks of Italy, Spain and other nations with increasing bad debts are hiding them within the TARGET2 system.”

https://seekingalpha.com/article/4381222-destruction-of-euro


Euro zone banks tightened access to credit in the third quarter of the year and expected to continue doing so in the remainder of the year as they grew more worried about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, a European Central Bank survey showed on Tuesday.”

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-ecb-banks-lending-idUKKBN27C132


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ECB: the EU needs a regional ‘bad bank’:

“…we cannot rule out a weak recovery with a significant build-up of bad loans. The European Central Bank estimates that in a severe but plausible scenario non-performing loans at euro area banks could reach €1.4tn, well above the levels of the 2008 financial and 2011 EU sovereign debt crises.

“While we can hope for the best, we must prepare for the worst.”

https://www.ft.com/content/cc3a9a51-4d9a-4c73-9ff0-9f623ecf4065


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After a near-miss debt crisis in 2015-16 Russia’s Ministry of Finance cracked down and introduced a “manual control” control system after several of Russia’s poorer regions nearly went bankrupt.

The next few years saw the system put back on its feet.

“But since the start of the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic earlier this year many of [Russia’ poorer] regions are being rocked by the shock of the extra spending needed to combat the virus, and a new debt crisis is looming.”

https://www.intellinews.com/russia-s-regions-face-a-fresh-debt-crisis-as-they-struggle-to-cope-with-the-coronavirus-pandemic-195071/


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Is Russia’s Housing Market Facing a Coronavirus Bubble?

“Mortgages have never been cheaper and lending is growing at an eye-watering pace. Is it sustainable?”

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2020/10/26/is-russias-housing-market-facing-a-coronavirus-bubble-a71814


Dollar-denominated debt in emerging markets has risen past $4 trillion for the first time following a surge in issuance during the COVID-19 crisis, data from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) has shown.”

https://in.reuters.com/article/us-markets-emerging-debt-idINKBN27B1AV


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Risks Abound for Emerging Markets in Final Week Before U.S. Vote:

Emerging markets head into the last full trading week before the U.S. election with stocks and currencies near their highest levels since January and dollar-bond spreads close to their narrowest since February.”

https://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/u-vote-atop-emerging-market-125603800.html


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The Turkish lira weakened to a record low beyond 8.05 against the United States dollar on Monday, hit by expanding geopolitical concerns and continuing investor unease over the central bank’s decision last week to hold borrowing costs steady.

“Monday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on Turks to boycott French goods. The comments followed in the wake of fierce personal criticism of French President Emmanuel Macron unleashed by Erdogan over the weekend.”

https://www.aljazeera.com/economy/2020/10/26/turkeys-lira-hits-another-record-low-as-rift-with-france-deepens


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Nigerian security forces are struggling to contain increasing cases of looting on government-run warehouses across the country, in the latest incident of unrest following widespread, youth-led protests against police brutality…

“…it emerged this week relief items were still stored in some of these facilities, as well as the private homes of politicians. The news angered many in the country with the biggest number of people living in extreme poverty globally.”

aljazeera.com/news/2020/10/25/nigeria-cracks-down-on-rising-mob-looting-on-food-warehouses


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Dozens of Iraqi protesters again clashed with security forces in Baghdad on Monday, a day after a rally marked the first anniversary of the start of nationwide mass anti-government demonstrations.

“Police fired stun grenades and tear gas at protesters who were burning tyres and hurling rocks on the strategic Al-Jumhuriyah bridge across the Tigris River leading to the highly fortified Green Zone…”

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/10/26/police-fire-tear-gas-as-iraq-protesters-rally-for-the-second-day


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Dark days ahead for oil-rich Gulf economies:

“Oil-dependent economies are in a real quandary. Sliding markets, lowering demand and strong output capacities are set to hit the single-product, oil-rich economies of the Middle East, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in a recent report.”

https://troymedia.com/world/dark-days-ahead-for-oil-rich-gulf-economies/#.X5fknYj7TIU


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Thailand convened a two-day emergency session of parliament on Monday, hastily called to deal with the enduring pro-democracy protests that are demanding constitutional changes, reforms to the monarchy and the resignation of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha.

“”The prime minister must resign,” said opposition leader Sompong Amornwiwat, echoing demands of tens of thousands of protestors who had set a deadline of last Saturday for the premier to step down. Prayuth refused.”

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/thailand-protests-prime-minister-prayuth-chan-ocha-refuses-to-step-down/


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Tumbling numbers of pregnancies and marriages in Japan during the coronavirus pandemic are likely to intensify a demographic crisis in the rapidly ageing nation.

“Japan has the most aged society in the world, with more than 35% of its population expected to be 65 and over by 2050, a trend that poses risks for economic growth and straining government finances.”

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-health-coronavirus-japan-ageing-idUKKBN27C0GX


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Debt from oil and gas bankruptcies reached a record high this year and will likely rise even higher as more companies file for Chapter 11 during the worst oil bust in decades.

North American energy companies have brought $89 billion of debt to bankruptcy court this year, up from about $70 billion during the last oil bust in 2014-16…”

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/energy/article/Oil-firms-bring-record-level-of-debt-to-15671216.php


Oil industry investors may have already weathered the darkest days of the pandemic, but in recent months it seems to have dawned on many that there is a very long road ahead – and that a full oil industry recovery may never happen.”

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/oct/25/investors-fear-therell-be-no-bright-post-covid-dawn-for-oil-majors


No commercial aircraft were ordered last month as the global aviation industry recorded its worst ever quarter on record due to the coronavirus pandemic.”

https://www.cityam.com/aircraft-orders-flatline-in-september-after-worst-ever-quarter/


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Countries have not yet come to a consensus on how to safely restart travel amid the coronavirus crisis, and this could cost the global economy trillions of dollars, according to the chief executive of Dubai Airports.

““We don’t have an agreed testing procedure for a reliable, accurate and scalable test, and that needs to happen,” Paul Griffiths told CNBC…”

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/10/27/dubai-airports-ceo-the-world-needs-common-travel-protocols.html


The resurgent Covid-19 pandemic is pushing back the recovery in air travel, turning winter into a survival test for carriers now pinning hopes on a spring rebound.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-10-26/airlines-face-winter-survival-test-on-recovery-delayed-by-virus


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The first large-scale study of the risks that countries face from dependence on water, energy and land resources has found that globalisation may be decreasing, rather than increasing, the security of global supply chains

This interconnectedness also increases the amount of risk at each step of a global supply chain.”

https://phys.org/news/2020-10-globalized-economy-energy-insecurity-worse.html


You can read the previous ‘Economic’ thread here and visit my Patreon page here. I’ll be back tomorrow with a ‘climate’ thread.

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