Comments of the Day
10 November 2020
Video commentary for November 9th 2020
A link to today’s video commentary is posted in the Subscriber’s Area.
Some of the topics discussed include: Vaccine enthusiasm lifts recovery candidates, but raises questions about stay at home stocks and the sustainability of debt, gold weak, oil steadies.
Pfizer Soars After Vaccine Prevents 90% of Covid Cases in Study
This article by Robert Langreth, Naomi Kresge and Riley Griffin for Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:
However, the strong reading from the first large-scale trial to post efficacy results bodes well for other experimental vaccines, in particular one being developed by Moderna Inc. that uses similar technology. Its big trial could generate efficacy and safety results in weeks. If that study succeeds as well, there could be two vaccines available in the U.S. by around year-end.
Pfizer expects to get two months of safety follow-up data, a key metric required by U.S. regulators before an emergency authorization is granted, in the third week in November. If those findings raise no problems, Pfizer could apply for an authorization in the U.S. this month. A rolling review is in process in Europe.
So far, the trial’s data monitoring committee has identified no serious safety concerns, Pfizer and BioNTech said.
Leading the Race
The positive preliminary data mean the U.S. pharma giant and its German partner are on track to be first with a vaccine, after signing advance deals with governments worldwide for hundreds of thousands of doses. The companies have said they should be able to produce 1.3 billion doses — enough to vaccinate 650 million people — by the end of 2021. About 50 million doses are expected to be available in 2020.
“It shows that Covid-19 can be controlled,” BioNTech Chief Executive Officer Ugur Sahin said in an interview. “At the end of the day, it’s really a victory of science.”
Eoin Treacy’s view
This news is the foundation of the argument for removing social distancing guidelines by the end of the second quarter at the latest.
It no longer matters whether one agrees with wearing a mask, practising social distancing, vacating offices, opening or closing schools or the potential for overloading the healthcare system. The question of whether this was necessary or not is now irrelevant. The introduction of vaccines will render the argument mute.
Welcome back America!
Thanks to a subscriber for this article by James Breiding. Here is a section:
Resolution requires concerted and consistent effort over a long period of time. It took 25 years to reform Finland’s primary education system before it topped the league in PISA scores. Singapore achieves superior health care outcomes at 25% of the cost of the US and 40% of Europe thanks to a system which gives consumers “skin in the game”. It’s now thirty years in the making. Denmark’s commitment to wind power dates back to the 1970’s when the benefits were egregiously uneconomic. More than half of its energy is now from renewable sources. Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan has evolved over thirty years since Lamoureux convinced Canada’s labor unions that the fund needs to attract and pay the best people from Goldman Sachs and Blackrock to work for them, rather than paying them fees. Ontario Teachers’ has had an annualized total-return of 10% since reforms were made in 1990, and retirees’ pensions are fully funded with 100% inflation protection provided on all pensions.
It may be far-fetched to think that small, successful, experimental nations can fill this vacuum of leadership, but the world is begging for consistent leadership and a positive example, so an opportunity presents itself to step up.
There is a good reason small countries tend to succeed in niche areas, and are often more successful than larger countries on specific metrics. They have to. Israel, South Korea or Switzerland have spent lifetimes grappling with the uncertainty of geopolitics. They understand the reality that if they don’t succeed on their own no one is going to help them.
Ireland is small rainy island on the tip of Europe, without a commitment to education and active courting of FDI, coupled with low corporate taxes and light regulation it would be a very dreary place indeed.
Video Game Prices Are Going Up for the First Time in 15 Years
This article by Olga Kharif and Takashi Mochizuki for Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:
Sony executives have been deliberating over a price increase for some time, said people familiar with the discussions. A spokeswoman for Sony said the company is selling titles at launch for as little as $50 and the “biggest games” for $70. She said the higher price is “reflective of the growing development resources needed for these ambitious games.”
Game companies argue prices haven’t kept pace with the cost of other media like a movie ticket, Netflix or cable television, said Yoshio Osaki, the head of IDG Consulting Inc., which works with most major publishers. Since 2005, the cost to develop a game has tripled or quadrupled, he said.
“Not all publishers will launch next-gen games at $70,” Osaki wrote in an email. “However, we do anticipate that a growing percentage of games will launch at $70, but not all at once and not uniformly across every publisher or every game franchise.”
Capcom Co., the Japanese publisher of Resident Evil and Street Fighter, won’t release software for the new systems until next year. But like other companies, Capcom said it’s taking a “title-by-title” approach. “We believe game software’s price should be determined by how much money consumers are willing to pay for the quality, not by how much money we spend to make that game,” said Kenkichi Nomura, the chief financial officer.
This discussion of what the cost of computer game should be is missing a significant evolution of the market which has been going on for the last decade. Freemium is the biggest trend in the market where players have access to the game for free and pay of add-ons to speed up their progress or enhance the look of their online profile.
Eoin’s personal portfolio – new trading position opened October 21st
One of the most commonly asked questions by subscribers is how to find details of my open traders. In an effort to make it easier I will simply repost the latest summary daily until there is a change.
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