Ten Days In July
The Tokyo Olympic Torch has reached its final destination, but it will ignite the start of the Games without spectators. On Friday, July the 9th, the Tokyo exchange lost 2% at disappointment with the not unexpected news as the country battles soaring Covid infection rates.
The new emerging Covid variants, Delta [India], the Lambda [Peru], and the Californian Epsilon [triple mutation], are beginning to unsettle global markets after recent all-time highs as the Dow Jones plummeted 500 points at the opening on Thursday, July the 8th.
Watching the hundreds of thousands [probably millions] of unmasked jubilant football supporters and the ensuing revelry across Europe on Wednesday, July 7th, one could be forgiven for thinking Virus; ‘What virus'?
The Sunday final promises to be an even greater 'super spreader' event as spectators cram together, hug and kiss one another.
The global stock market recovery last year from the depths of the pandemic was the fastest in history. However, investors in the first ten days of July are increasingly worried that rapidly spreading variants could once again derail economies. "We should think about the Delta variant as the 2020 version of Covid-19 on steroids," said Andy Slavitt, a member of President Joe Biden's former Covid advisors. “It’s twice as infectious.” he laments.
World Health Organization [WHO] officials on Wednesday, July 7th, issued warnings to countries, particularly those where vaccination is less prevalent, against relaxing their lockdown restrictions too hurriedly. In the briefing, Maria Van Kerkhove opined the world is “not in a good place” as contagious strains, like the delta variant first identified in India, tear through largely unvaccinated nations and continue to mutate.
This past week, the Delta variant aspired to be the dominant Covid-19 strain in the U.S, and careless talk of lockdowns being reintroduced is again being heard.
The Delta strain spread is worsening, but this has been the case for a while. Unlike during the early days of the pandemic, a proven solution we are informed exists with which to battle the virus. Vaccines. Although they all seem to come with Emergency Use Only labels and caveats absolving the manufacturers from any future litigation.
They are even being questioned as to efficacy and safety. In some Asian countries, Sinovac is being downgraded as less effective than AZ or Pfizer. Every week brings different stories of alarm of one sort or another as to side effects given the plethora of vaccines now available, dependent on location.
Meanwhile in Idaho, the air again is thick with private jets, the roads jammed with SUVs and limousines as the annual Sun Valley Conference reconvenes after last year's Covid cancellation.
The Great, the Good, and the Billionaires assemble with a combined wealth of probably well over a trillion dollars and with little deference to health protocols nor social distancing that is being forced on most of humanity.
Warren Buffet, at a sprightly 90 years of age, is spotted unmasked being driven in a golf cart. He will apparently give the closing speech on Saturday the 10th, while Bill Gates, on Friday the 9th, is expected to speak on climate change. Is there a subject he is not an expert on?
Elsewhere in China, the CCP appears to have thrown a $ 2 trillion spanner in the works of Chinese corporations with those seeking a listing on American stock exchanges.
While it's all so obviously political, The State Council [CCP] is increasing scrutiny on the tsunami of predominantly Chinese Tech stating that overseas listing regulations for domestic corporations will be reviewed and updated. This usually means with almost immediate effect. It continues by citing concerns about cross-border data flows and security.
Already listed companies include Tencent and Alibaba, but the recent controversial ride-sharing Didi [DiDi] met with initial euphoria at $18 only to collapse later to $11 on this Government announcement.
American and international investors have been fond of these Chinese IPOs, and the ramifications of the proposed directive are cause for consternation and possible disinvestment.