A lot of informational news deposited in my In-Box this week. Nothing this week is taken from anywhere else. I think last week, I included one news article from the outside. Political, Economic, Healthcare news are my mainstays.
The usual economics and business news coming from different sources. Yes, inflation is still an issue. I do not believe Powell will not give us a soft landing he thinks he is capable of doing. One issue will help inflation is the supply chain catching up with demand. Usually, it goes to far and creates a surplus.
Political and legal news make for a perfect pairing. Senator Spanky Graham (he looks like an older Spanky) is promoting a federal abortion ban. J&J has been peddling Talc and claiming it was nontoxic.
Llyod Alter has good news articles again on environmental issues.
Look around and see if you like it.
“UN says 50 million people worldwide stuck in ‘modern slavery’” | Labour Rights News | Al Jazeera, The number of people trapped in forced labour or forced marriage and other crises has swelled by a fifth in recent years to about 50 million on any given day, the United Nations’ International Labour Organization (ILO) said on Monday.
“China’s ponzi-like property market is eroding faith in the state” | The Economist, The 120km train ride between the cities of Luoyang and Zhengzhou is a showcase of economic malaise and broken dreams. From the window endless, half-built residential towers pass one after another for the duration of the hour-long journey.
“CEPR Sanctions Watch, August 2022″ – Center for Economic and Policy Research, Michael Galant, “Also this month, the Wall Street Journal (mis)reported that the Biden administration had ruled out releasing $3.5 billion of frozen central bank assets that had been the subject of US-Taliban talks, following the assassination of Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in Kabul. After much vocal outcry against what some commentators called a “shameful” decision, the administration clarified that there had been “no change” in policy, and later recommitted to negotiations.”
Economics and Business
“Fed Economist Warns of “Severe Recession” From Rate Hikes” (theintercept.com), The study warns that the Fed’s aggressive interest rate hikes this year echo a strategy it undertook a century ago that led to a depression because the Fed did not account for how quickly unemployment can spike in response to rate hikes.
“How a supplier took automotive materials and created a NAIAS Charity Preview dress,” (detroitnews.com), Kalea Hall, “The same things that I look for, or other people look for, in fashion are the same things people look for in the interior of their cars,”
“RRStrikeSolidarity” – Solutionary Rail, Railroad workers have been without a contract or a raise in more than two years. During the last few years, they have been subject to difficult working conditions and long hours with limited time off. They have been laid off, furloughed, and forced out of the industry in unprecedented numbers. If you read this, remember, Labor is the smallest of costs.
“Ford Debuts Software That Eliminates Paperwork, Details Plans for Detroit Auto Show” – DBusiness Magazine, The platform, which offers a one-stop shop of vehicles, software, charging services, and financing for commercial customers, adds Ford Pro Fleet Management Software, the suite’s flagship product.
“August Inflation Preview: Can Used Cars & Gasoline Overcome The Rest of The Russia Shock?.” (employamerica.org), Core CPI inflation readings will likely align with the consensus forecast at 0.3% (consistent with an uptick in year-over year readings from 5.9% to 6.1%), but downside risks are sizable if used car price declines in private measures fully feed through in August itself. September 9, 2022
“Hospital And Insurer Price Transparency Rules Now In Effect But Compliance Is Still Far Away” | Health Affairs, Maanasa Kona, Sabrina Corlette, While some have argued that having more transparency around these negotiated prices could help consumers make more informed decisions, evidence suggests that consumers tend not to shop around for health care services . . .
“Medicaid extensions for new moms grow, may run into limits” | Modern Healthcare, “A lot of things have changed since the pandemic,” said Venessa Aiken, a new mom in Orlando, Florida. “A lot of places no longer take Medicaid. Or if they do, you have to wait like two months before you can be seen.”
Are My Patients Safe Amid Rising Temps and Worsening Air Quality? | MedPage Today, Amy M. Schaller and Joseph P. Coyle, At this very moment, a blistering heat wave is ripping through California. These extremes have led to heat-related injuries, regional fires, severe weather events, and increased morbidity, especially for those with chronic respiratory illnesses.
“Emergency Care Can’t Stop at the Insurance Denials” | MedPage Today, Anfrew Fenton, Many have called emergency physicians “heroes” during this pandemic, but some insurance companies don’t see us that way. In early 2020, at the height of the first COVID-19 surge in the U.S., many emergency physician groups all over California, like mine, began seeing an uptick in claims denials from Anthem Blue Cross California, the largest insurance carrier in the state.
“People of Color Bearing Brunt of Long COVID, Doctors Say” (medscape.com), Lisa Rapaport, Long COVID can affect patients from all walks of life. But many of the same issues that have made the virus particularly devastating in communities of color are also shaping who gets diagnosed and treated for long COVID,
“Climate Change May Make Pandemics More Common,” (medscape.com), Carolyn Crist, The possibility of another pandemic is “going to probably increase because of all of the environmental changes that are occurring,” William Pan, PhD, one of the study authors and an associate professor of global environmental health at Duke University, told ABC News.
“Protecting Pregnant People and Babies from the Health Effects of Climate Change,” | NEJM, Sonja A. Rasmussen, and Denise J. Jamieson, As is the case for other consequences of climate change — including more intense hurricanes, extreme heat, and deteriorating water quality — pregnant people and newborns are particularly vulnerable to the health harms associated with wildfires.2 Wildfire smoke results in exposure to toxic gases, volatile organic compounds, and particulate matter; in pregnant people, these exposures have been associated with an increased risk of gestational hypertension and gestational diabetes,3 conditions that can carry long-term health risks for the mother.
Legal and Politics
“Johnson & Johnson and a New War on Consumer Protection” | The New Yorker, Casey Cep, Two years later, she had her ovarian tissue tested, and the pathologist found talc in one ovary. Shortly afterward, with her cancer in remission, she decided to sue, in what became the first baby-powder lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson to ever make it to trial.
“The Next Abortion Battle” (levernews.com), Julia Rock, When the U.S. Supreme Court allowed states to limit reproductive rights in its June ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, experts predicted that conservatives would soon use the decision to try to secure a federal ban on abortion. Now that’s exactly what’s happening
“Simone Gold of America’s Frontline Doctors Released From Prison Early” | MedPage Today, Cheryl Clarke, As she walked out of prison, a video posted on her Twitter account showed her smiling and making a heart with her hands. “I’m back,” she said defiantly. Another video showed her doing push-ups on the sidewalk outside the prison doors. Not the prison i know of . . .
“Goldman Sachs Survey: Small Business Owners Slowed by Inflation, Recession” – DBusiness Magazine, Jake Bekemeyer, According to new survey results of 1,479 Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses participants, 86 percent of small business owners say they are planning to vote in the upcoming elections, with 91 percent saying a candidate’s small business policy positions will play an important role in who they choose to support.
“Visa, Mastercard, Amex to Track Gun Shops With New Merchant Code” – WSJ, AnnaMaria Andriotis, Each willadd a new merchant category for firearms retailers, a victory for gun-control advocates who have pressed the financial industry to do more to help curb mass shootings.
“Congress is back. Here are 4 things to watch out for,” (fiercehealthcare.com), Robert King, Cuts to providers (PayGo), Rural hospital payment programs, Extra funding to COVID-19 and monkeypox, and Mental health reform and reauthorization.
Energy and Environment
“Lower gas prices are making Americans feel better” — Quartz (qz.com), Nate DiCamillo, Gas prices and consumer sentiment are usually inversely correlated in the US because of how ubiquitous those signs are. Even though gas only makes up 5% of American budgets, its prices are seen by everyone, driving or not, providing a daily gauge for inflation.
“To manage its energy crisis, Europe must turn off its lights” — Quartz (qz.com), Tim McDonnell, Overall, the energy crisis is forcing a reckoning of how much energy and money are wasted—and carbon emissions generated—with unnecessary lighting and other kinds of power use.
“It’s Time for a Stone Construction Renaissance,” (treehugger.com), Llyod Alter, After writing yet another post about the carbon footprint of concrete, a reader asked why we don’t use stone anymore: “Is it time to revert or am I missing some fundamental issue?” The truth is a number of architects and engineers are suggesting that we should use more stone and less concrete.
“‘Ephemeralize Everything’ to Reduce Demand for Electricity and Materials.” (treehugger.com), Llyod Alter, Along with climate doomers, we now apparently have “climate peakers.” The former are those who believe it is too late to fix our problems and don’t want to bother trying. The latter are those who suggest we don’t have enough of the materials to fix our problems so, again, why bother trying?
“Big oil companies are spending millions to appear ‘green.’ Their investments tell a different story, report shows,” | CNN Business, An analysis from London-based energy and climate think-tank InfluenceMap found that the amount of climate-positive messaging used by five major oil and gas companies – BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Shell, and TotalEnergies – is inconsistent with their spending on low-carbon activities.
Best of the Substacks
“Walter Lippman Goes Surfing, Is not sure it was wise,” Bad Crow Review, Weldon Berger (substack.com), author, press critic and columnist Walter Lippman, whose 60-year career defies encapsulation (but whose political philosophy was that of a socialist who thought workers were utterly incapable of understanding governance, never mind undertaking it). His influence on journalism was enormous during his lifetime . . .
“September 9, 2022,” Letters from an American, Heather Cox Richardson (substack.com), The Biden-Harris Economic Blueprint notes that Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris took office in the midst of unprecedented crises, including “an economy that for many decades had been failing to deliver for working families—with workers and middle-class families left behind, stagnating wages and accelerating costs, crumbling infrastructure, U.S. manufacturing in decline, and persistent racial disparities.”
“The Millionaire CEOs Trying To Crush Nurses,” (levernews.com), Matthew Cunningham-Cook, Five CEOs of the largest hospitals now pleading poverty have raked in a payout of more than $25 million over the three most recently available tax years.