Will Covid-19 Vaccine Passports Work?

Covid-19 vaccination is a new social dividing line: Those who have been vaccinated will likely encounter fewer barriers to travel and may have easier access to indoor spaces, from offices and schools to concert venues and restaurants. Everyone else, meanwhile, will remain subject to the familiar routine of travel restrictions, quarantining, and testing.

Some health technology experts are advocating for the development and use of digital “vaccine passports,” a smartphone app that could certify its user’s vaccination status with an airline or immigration official, employer, or anyone else who needs to know. Vaccine passports could help get the global economy back on track, but at the risk of discriminating against people who lack access to either the vaccination or the technology to certify they’ve had it.

What is a vaccine passport? 

Vaccine passports won’t be a passport in the traditional sense of serving as an official government record. Instead, they’d just be proof of vaccination. Some airlines or other businesses may require a vaccine passport to enter as they slowly reopen.

In the US and EU, where the most first-phase vaccinations of healthcare workers and the elderly have taken place, those who get the shot typically receive a printed card with information about which vaccine they were administered and any required followup visits. These cards are similar to the yellow vaccination cards distributed when a person gets vaccinated for travel to certain countries, but they primarily serve as reminders to the holder of which shots they received.

A vaccine passport, however, would act more like a digital ID card. In theory, employers or airports would be able to scan an app or QR code that officially tells others if the holder has had their Covid-19 shots. It’s a similar concept to the immunity passports some governments discussed issuing in the early days of the pandemic to indicate which people had recovered from Covid-19, but scientists are more certain that people who have gotten the vaccine will have protective antibodies.

Vaccine passports will also help scientists learn more about the effectiveness of the Covid-19 vaccines available, too. “Having trustworthy and reliable proof of vaccination for COVID-19 vaccine will be essential for public health purposes, such as studies on vaccine effectiveness, vaccine impact, coverage monitoring and monitoring of adverse events following immunization,” a World Health Organization spokesperson told Newsweek this month.

When will they be available?

Vaccine passports are not yet widely available, but several private companies and government agencies are working on different versions that should begin to surface widely in the first half of 2021. CommonPass, an app being developed by the World Economic Forum in coordination with executives and officials from 52 countries, is undergoing trials with international airlines including United and Cathay Pacific. The International Air Transport Association is also finalizing an app, and the government of India is developing a smartphone certificate.

So far, no major airlines have said that they plan to make proof of vaccination a prerequisite for boarding. As for a paper addition to the standard yellow card, the WHO said that would need to be approved by member states and won’t happen until access to the vaccine is more universal—which isn’t likely to happen before late 2021 or 2022.

How will they work?

The CommonPass app allows users to access digital vaccination records, either from their healthcare provider, government registries, or from a personal health record like Apple Health. The data is held locally on an individual’s phone, rather than in a central database, to reduce the risk of hacking and to let users delete the data any time. The app is designed to vet the authenticity of these records and ensure that they meet the requirements of whatever country the user is traveling to. The app then generates a QR code that presents the vaccination record as a simple yes/no—rather than anything more detailed that could compromise privacy.

What are the downsides of using vaccine passports?

The most obvious ones are privacy and security. Immunization records, while not full health records, could potentially contain other information you’d want to keep private, like your email address, home address, or date of birth. The developers of CommonPass, for one, have promised that the app will use only the bare minimum of personal data and that the data will only ever be used for user-approved purposes.

But there’s always a risk that hackers or unscrupulous government agencies could use a vaccination database for nefarious purposes, like targeting certain communities for surveillance. Apps could also be hacked to display false certificates for those who haven’t gotten vaccinated.

The other problem is equity of access. An app could exclude those who don’t own a smartphone, which includes more than half of the global population. And systems that require an address could exclude people without homes. India’s vaccine passport, for example, will be linked to Aadhaar, the country’s biometric ID system, which, a decade after its rollout, still leaves out more than 100 million people, especially people experiencing homelessness or with a nonbinary gender identity.

Will you still have to wear a mask even if you have a vaccine passport?

Yes. First, there’s the issue of timing: It could take months for everyone who wants a vaccine to get both of their jabs. While some people aren’t vaccinated, it remains important to take precautions against the virus.

Second, there are still some long-term questions about the vaccines that scientists can’t answer yet, like how long each type of Covid-19 vaccine offers protection, and if they fully prevent viral transmission. These answers will take time—and maybe even vaccine passports—to uncover. In addition to continued clinical trials, scientists and public health officials can watch case counts and hospitalization rates to get an idea of how well vaccines are working to curb the pandemic.

But for now, it’s important for everyone who has been vaccinated to practice the same precautions we have been during the pandemic. That means washing hands, maintaining adequate distance, and wearing masks.

By Tim McDonnell & Katherine Ellen Foley

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Stock Market Crash: The End Game And Down The Rabbit Hole

For a stock market to crash, prices must fall. That is obvious. But what if stocks rise and the value of money falls? Is that a crash? If the value of money drops 30% but the market rises a little, is that a bull market?

Not many people would argue against the premise that it is the Federal Reserve’s liquidity actions that have levitated the U.S. stock market. Sadly, in an attempt to keep the whole economy from imploding it has inflated stock asset values to ridiculous levels. Jay Powell, the Fed Chairman, made it clear in a recent interview that they were committed to supporting the U.S. economy and to protecting it from the effects of anti-Covid measures, for as long as necessary and for as much as needed, and clearly indicated that would be for a long time.

This is the trend of that Federal Reserve support:

The Federal Reserve's total assets
The Federal Reserve’s total assets Credit: Federal Reserve

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(Chart courtesy of the Federal Reserve’s website)

This QE or however you want to brand this liquidity provision (liquidity equals cash, provision equals printing assets that turn into money) is clearly going to run and run for a long time because every time the Fed slackens its swapping of fresh government-backed quality assets for other people’s sketchier assets, down flops the stock market and then up pops more QE to keep the market from crashing Hindenburg-like in flames.

When the Fed tapered in 2019, down went the market and crash went peripheral global economies as U.S. dollars were sucked from the global economic plumbing. The U.S. and the world economy is hooked on the Federal Reserve’s money printing. By swapping golden government debt for other parties’ riskier, perhaps very risky, debt the Fed yanks the world’s dodgy assets holders out of the mire by their hair, thus avoiding a spiral of insolvency. The potential damage of that terrifying comeuppance is what sparks all bailouts, allowing broken companies and economies to stagger on, most likely towards even greater fragility.

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The weird thing is this: If these liquidity operations keep going on, the Federal Reserve will in effect own all its citizens’ homes and all its creditworthy (and not so creditworthy) corporate debt and thus have liens on most of the economic assets of its citizens and producers. It will have in effect nationalized, though probably by accident, the country, having bought it with government paper. 

However, if it brings this process to a halt the market will crash and everyone will instantly be a lot poorer, while if it carries on at some point it will glut the market for its paper, up will go interest rates and down will go the value of bonds and the reality of a much poorer economy will bite.

However, it seems that the Federal Reserve is not going to let the stock market crash whatever the outcome.

But if a dollar in 2023 or 2024 buys significantly less and the market hasn’t rocketed accordingly, you are getting your reset in a chronic way rather than through an acute event of a 30% retrenchment on your portfolio. This will be the aim, once again to smooth the process by spreading it out over a decade or two rather than take the pain in an awful three or so years of restructuring.

Yet make no mistake, the U.S. stock market is a house of cards, and as the Malaysians discovered when they propped up the price of tin, there is a finite nature to keeping a market away from its natural equilibrium and you must spend increasing amounts to do it. At some point you run out of credit and down goes the market to its correct level.

How long the U.S. can continue to debase its credit while maintaining its credibility is the key question in this ongoing drama and every country in its time has gone beyond that point and sunk into crisis. If the U.S. chooses to corner its markets, that time will approach rapidly. With continued QE the system will become more fragile still so to the catalyst needed to breach that fixed market corner will get smaller and smaller until the slightest of nudges will break the spell.

Inflation solves all these problems as it gives the flexibility for economic activity to rebalance as few can keep up with all the different developing prices. It creates impetus for people to get their money moving and crushes debt with negative real interest rates and also stealthily rebalances the actual value of those debts. Switching inflation on and off is a known, even though central banks ludicrously claim otherwise.

But will the stock market crash now? Hearing Jay Powell speak it appears they are prepared to die on the hill of QE. So the market will not be allowed to take its natural course. This means the market will crash but only when and if there is a downfall moment. There has to be a readjustment for a global economy that has lost at least 10% of its output with still more damage to come.

Some governments will aim for a chronic economic development while some will go for an acute one if they can shift its blame onto someone or something else.

As such, investors should pray that the new incoming U.S. administration doesn’t find a neat scapegoat to blame a reset on, to get that out of the way early in their term.

For anyone who is not a diehard buy and holder, the near future must be one where an investor’s fingers should stay hovering near that sell button because the tightrope walk the Fed is walking for the sake of the U.S. and world economy is going to be a precarious one.

Clem Chambers is the CEO of private investors website ADVFN.com and author of 101 Ways to Pick Stock Market Winners and Trading Cryptocurrencies: A Beginner’s Guide.

Chambers won Journalist of the Year in the Business Market Commentary category in the State Street U.K. Institutional Press Awards in 2018. Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website.

Clem Chambers

 Clem Chambers

I am the CEO of stocks and investment website ADVFN . As well as running Europe and South America’s leading financial market website I am a prolific financial writer. I wrote a stock column for WIRED – which described me as a ‘Market Maven’ – and am a regular columnist for numerous financial publications around the world. I have written for titles including: Working Money, Active Trader, SFO and Technical Analysis of Stocks & Commodities in the US and have written for pretty much every UK national newspaper. In the last few years I have become a financial thriller writer and have just had my first non-fiction title published: 101 ways to pick stock market winners. Find me here on US Amazon. You’ll also see me regularly on CNBC, CNN, SKY, Business News Network and the BBC giving my take on the markets.

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George Gammon

Stock market crashes and the 👉QUESTION ON YOUR MIND IS 👈..Are we now in the “end game?” This has been the fastest stock market crash, as measured by a 10% decline from a market high, in history. Worst week since 2008 global financial crisis. As we all know, the system now is much more levered and precarious. So what happens now? Does the stock market crash further? Is this the next 2008 style financial crisis? Will this lead to a recession or even a depression?

These are the questions everyone has, and they’re the questions I’ve been asking myself. In this video I’ll do my best to outline the systemic risks in the current system, why the federal reserve doesn’t have as much control as people think, and why this maybe the black swan event people have been expecting. If you’re interested in the future of the economy THIS IS A MUST WATCH VIDEO!

In this stock market crash end game video I’ll discuss the following: 1. The current systemic risks. 2. Jeff Snider’s work showing the Fed isn’t in control. 3. Is this the end game? I give you my opinion and what is the deciding factor for me. Link to Peter Schiff video from clip. Peter is one of my favorites, I’d strongly recommend checking out his channel and podcast! https://youtu.be/NjzYRtK6i_M For more content that’ll help you build wealth and thrive in a world of out of control central banks and big governments check out the videos below! 👇 🔴 Subscribe for more free YouTube tips: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpvy… Do you wanna see another video as incredible as this? Watch “Kyle Bass Predicts HSBC Collapse In 2020! (Here’s Why)”: https://youtu.be/QwjiIIht0bw Watch “Repo Market Bailout: TERRIFYING Unintended Consequences Revealed!”: https://youtu.be/-2wJWzoSjRo Watch “2008 GFC: Everything You Know Is Wrong! (Truth Revealed)”: https://youtu.be/Ku58GQ5dcKU#StocksPlummet#MarketChaos#GettingWorse?

4 Ways Companies Can Foster a Culture of Giving Back

Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox

It goes without saying that 2020 has been a pretty rough year in a lot of ways. The global economy took a significant gut-punch with an unprecedented level of unemployment, and news broadcasts highlighted record numbers of people turning to food banks for support. Maybe you know somebody who has lost their job this year, or maybe you’ve found yourself in that unfortunate boat. 

If that’s not the case, count yourself lucky, and do what you can to put a little bit more good out into the world. The holiday season — and specifically December — accounts for 30 percent of annual giving, but building a company culture where giving back is a year-round occurrence has numerous benefits. For starters, it just feels good to make a positive difference and that positivity trickles down through employees.

Companies that regularly participate in philanthropic causes report happier employees. As you may very well already know, happier employees make for more productive employees (13 percent more productive to be exact) and overall, a more productive and successful business

Giving back is good for your brand — plain and simple

Besides the impact of helping others — the most important reason to give — and overall happier employees, businesses that embrace the philanthropic spirit are regarded in a higher value by consumers. As former St. Louis Rams player Torry Holt points out, regarding the NFL’s relationship with United Way, “the act of giving back evokes emotion and fosters an authentic connection.” It’s that sort of relationship that today’s consumers take notice of in a business. According to a 2016 survey, the majority of millennials prefer companies that actively give to charity

Related: 4 Ways Your Company Benefits From Giving Back

When a company aligns itself with charitable causes it’s not just benefiting the direct recipients of that giving, but its employees, and customers. So now that we’ve touched upon the benefits of creating a culture of giving within a business, how can leaders go about actually weaving it into their company? 

1. Volunteer days

Encouraging a spirit of giving in your employees shouldn’t be difficult and there’s a good chance many of them already have causes that they’re passionate about. One of the best ways to fuel team members’ passions for these causes is through a day — or even week — of volunteering. The concept is simple and incredibly effective: a business sets aside a certain number of days where employees are given time to volunteer with the charity of their choice. 

Some companies may simply allow employees to pick any organization to work with, while others may offer a selection of charities or nonprofits for employees to choose from. Team leaders may also choose to go with a majority rule and have employees vote on which charities the company wants to align itself with for volunteer work. Building volunteer days into a business not only builds camaraderie between employees but foster relationships within the community. 

2. Lend your resources

Another big way that companies can make a positive impact in their communities is by taking the pro-bono route and lending their resources free of charge. If your business has some extra space that’s not being used on the weekends or at night, consider reaching out to a nonprofit and offering it. 

Related: Here Are Legitimate Fundraisers Helping Damaged and Destroyed Small Businesses

One of the most beneficial ways that a company can offer its resources is through the knowledge of its employees. Whether it’s by offering a company’s time through a mentorship program (such as graphic design) or through a pro-bono service (such as legal advice or tax preparation, for instance) for those less fortunate, these acts of charitable giving can build meaningful relationships and have a dramatic impact on the lives of others.  

3. Get your customers involved

We’ve already touched on the fact that consumers view charitable companies in a more positive light, so why not get those customers involved in the giving? It’s easy for a company to simply write a check and hand it over to a charity, but it’s more inclusive if they bring their customers into the act. Company matching programs are a fantastic way of doing this and with the right structure, can be a robust way of generating substantial fundraising.  

Another way to go about involving your customers is by encouraging recurring donations to a nonprofit. Applications like Donorbox or GoFundMe make it incredibly easy for businesses to incorporate giving into their existing website. Giving incentives that include the consumer not only can provide much needed financial support, but build a stronger connection between a business and its customer base.

4. Become an event sponsor

Sponsoring a charitable event in the community is another way businesses can both lend their support and weave a spirit of philanthropy into the existing company culture. There are endless ways a company can choose to go about sponsoring a community event. Simply making a financial contribution is probably the most common — and oftentimes the most needed — but even with that, there are options: raffles, silent auctions, etc.

Many times charitable events will also need volunteers or a place to host an event, so again, there are a variety of paths a business can choose to go down when it comes to sponsoring an event. Whether it’s financially, or through its resources, when a company aligns itself with a charitable event, it’s showing a level of commitment to the community it serves. 

Related: 3 Ways to Give Back That Don’t Require a Financial Investment

Business leaders should look at giving back as an investment and apply a similar ROI strategy when choosing how to give,  just as they would any business decision. Building a culture of giving within your business shouldn’t be complicated and incorporating several different strategies is going to yield the best results — both externally and internally.

Chris Porteous

By: Chris Porteous Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor / High Performance Growth Marketer

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Asia Stocks Up As China PMI, U.S. Data Cheer Markets Worried Over Coronavirus Surge

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MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS was up 0.9%, while U.S. stock futures, the S&P 500 e-minis ESc1, advanced 0.23%.Sentiment in the region, which got a boost from overnight gains on Wall Street thanks to strong housing data, got a further lift from a survey in China showing a quickening in activity in its vast factory sector.

The stock market in Australia , which has crucial economic links with China, rose 1.59%, while shares in China .CSI300 gained 0.72%. Hong Kong stocks .HSI jumped 1.18%, undeterred by the Chinese parliament’s passage of a security law that will increase Beijing’s control over the former British colony.

The Nikkei .N225 rose 2%, shrugging off a larger-than-expected decline in Japanese industrial production. Overall, however, Asian shares are still on course for a 7% decline over the first half of this year, underscoring the severity of the pandemic-sparked losses and the challenges facing investors as global infections continue to rise in a blow to hopes of a quick recovery.

“Overnight moves in markets were not large but one does get the distinct impression that markets have got it both ways – with equities rallying on rebounding data and bonds rallying on dismal COVID-19 news,” said ANZ Research analyst Rahul Khare.

Indeed, for the second quarter Asia ex-Japan shares were on course for a 17.8% gain, which would be the biggest quarterly increase since the third quarter of 2009. Stocks appear to have received an added boost on Tuesday as some investors adjusted positions on the last trading day of the quarter. On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 2.32%, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 1.47% and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 1.2%.

China’s official purchasing managers’ index (PMI) released Tuesday showed factory activity in the world’s second-largest economy grew for a fourth straight month in June. China’s services sector PMI also expanded at a faster pace compared to the previous month. A recent resurgence in coronavirus infections had led some investors to question the strength of a rebound in global economic activity.

The swing in sentiment between hopes and fears has kept markets on edge. The yield on benchmark 10-year Treasury notes US10YT=RR was little changed at 0.6348% in Asia as traders braced for U.S. non-farm payrolls data on Thursday, which is forecast to show an improving labour market.

U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Monday said the outlook for the world’s biggest economy is “extraordinarily uncertain” and signalled more monetary stimulus may be necessary, which could limit gain in yields. Confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide rose past 10 million and deaths surpassed 500,000 on over the weekend.

The bulk of new cases were reported in the United States and Latin America, stoking fears that the outbreak could stall economic recoveries just as lockdowns begin to ease. In currency markets, the dollar held onto gains against the yen JPY= and the Swiss franc CHF= as the recent increase in coronavirus infections supported safe-haven demand for the greenback. [FRX/]

In the onshore market, the yuan CNY=CFXS rose slightly to 7.0685 against the dollar. U.S. crude CLc1 fell 0.48% to $39.51 a barrel, while Brent crude LCOc1 slipped 0.31% to $41.58 per barrel, weighed by concerns about oversupply after Libya cited progress in resuming oil exports. [O/R] Additional reporting by Stanley White in Tokyo; Editing by Sam Holmes & Shri Navaratnam

 

On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 2.32%, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 1.47% and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 1.2%. China’s official purchasing managers’ index (PMI) released Tuesday showed factory activity in the world’s second-largest economy grew for a fourth straight month in June. China’s services sector PMI also expanded at a faster pace compared to the previous month.

A recent resurgence in coronavirus infections had led some investors to question the strength of a rebound in global economic activity. The swing in sentiment between hopes and fears has kept markets on edge.The yield on benchmark 10-year Treasury notes US10YT=RR was little changed at 0.6348% in Asia as traders braced for U.S. non-farm payrolls data on Thursday, which is forecast to show an improving labour market.

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U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Monday said the outlook for the world’s biggest economy is “extraordinarily uncertain” and signalled more monetary stimulus may be necessary, which could limit gain in yields.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide rose past 10 million and deaths surpassed 500,000 on over the weekend. The bulk of new cases were reported in the United States and Latin America, stoking fears that the outbreak could stall economic recoveries just as lockdowns begin to ease. In currency markets, the dollar held onto gains against the yen JPY= and the Swiss franc CHF= as the recent increase in coronavirus infections supported safe-haven demand for the greenback. [FRX/]

In the onshore market, the yuan CNY=CFXS rose slightly to 7.0685 against the dollar.U.S. crude CLc1 fell 0.48% to $39.51 a barrel, while Brent crude LCOc1 slipped 0.31% to $41.58 per barrel, weighed by concerns about oversupply after Libya cited progress in resuming oil exports. [O/R]

U.S. crude fell 0.48% to $39.51 a barrel, while Brent crude slipped 0.31% to $41.58 per barrel, weighed by concerns about oversupply after Libya cited progress in resuming oil exports. [O/R]

By Stanley White, Imani Moise

Mar.12 — Dan Fineman, co-head of APAC equity strategy at Credit Suisse, discusses the fall in Asian markets and what it will take to stop the rout. He speaks on “Bloomberg Markets: China Open.”

 

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