The bar chart of contracted Covid-19 shots (doses) shows that AstraZeneca's vaccine has hope for low-income countries

The markets enjoyed the third dose of good news about Covid vaccine trials

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Latest news

  • Rating agency Moody’s said U.S. companies hoarded record amounts of cash in response to the pandemic

  • The new lockdown in England resulted in UK service sector activity falling to its lowest level since spring in November, suggesting a double economic downturn towards the end of the year

  • The number of daily U.S. air travelers topped 1m on the Sunday before this week’s Thanksgiving Day, despite official advice advising people not to fly

Concerns about the confidentiality of vaccination contracts

Investors got off to a good start to the week with news of yet another potential coronavirus vaccine with positive study results, raising hope that, as one strategist put it, “the end of the pandemic is on the horizon and life, the global economy.” and the markets can return to normal ”.

Oxford University and AstraZeneca said their candidate had an average effectiveness of 70 percent, with the possibility of reaching 90 percent if half a dose was followed by a full dose. At $ 3 to $ 4 per sting, it’s likely a lot cheaper than other vaccines and can be stored at normal refrigerator temperatures, which makes distribution a lot easier – especially for developing countries.

The dollar fell to its lowest level in three months on the news, and investors sold US Treasuries as safe haven demand faded.

However, AstraZeneca stocks fell – in part due to headlines suggesting they were less beneficial than the vaccines offered by Pfizer and Moderna at 90 percent or more efficacy – but also recalled that vaccines in general weren’t so are profitable like other drugs. Astra has already promised not to make a profit on the product during the pandemic.

Meanwhile, a French minister announced that the EU would sign six contracts with various vaccine manufacturers by the end of the month. But as the test results began to emerge, there was growing dissatisfaction with the secrecy of such deals, given that the producers received huge amounts of public funding.

The dispute shows why trust and transparency are so important not just in the pharmaceutical industry but in society as a whole to fight the virus, a point management editor Andrew Hill highlighted in his column today.

“In the case of the current crisis, trust in science, business, governments and critical one another is fundamental to the solution, even though a virus is the cause,” he writes.


The gap between the Federal Reserve and the US Treasury Department The expansion of the central bank’s immediate pandemic measures affects investors. “This is a policy bug, there is no question about it,” said one analyst. “These are facilities that provided an emergency stop [and] As far as we know, the emergency is not over yet. The Fed’s toolkit is being thinned out ahead of schedule. Megan Greene of Harvard Business School writes for the Financial Times today about how Central banks “Still fighting the last war”.

Graph with the assets (billion USD) of the

A US Treasury Department stress indicator shows global financial terms back to pre-pandemic levels. The index tracks corporate credit spreads, the valuations of stocks and safe-haven assets, and the volatility of financing.

The graphic of the OFR Financial Stress Index shows that market conditions have eased to the level last reached at the end of February

Hopes of a vaccine-related economic recovery will help riskier groups to open up Capital markets as investors look for returns in the face of low interest rates. “Portfolio managers have amassed so much money and are looking for places to put it,” said one fund manager.


The pandemic of Labor markets raises some serious inequalities, writes business reporter Valentina Romei. New jobs in technology, automation and digital are mostly going to men, while sectors dominated by women like services are hard hit. In the USA, African American were disproportionately affected by job cuts in the public sector, writes our new employment and equality correspondent Taylor Nicole Rogers.

Qantas said it would require proof of vaccination from international passengers before flying once the flight returns. In the meantime, British Airways, Delta, Airbus and easyJet have increased their calls for the pre-flight Passenger tests as an alternative to quarantine. Delta separately poured cold water on the idea of ​​a New York-London “Air corridor”.

Shares in the cinema chain Cineworld jumped after the world’s second largest operator received a new lifeline for $ 450 million. The company and its rivals have been hard hit by the postponement of Hollywood blockbuster releases and the forced closure of venues by local authorities during the pandemic.

Global economy

Our “Lessons from Japan” The series began with a Big Read that explored the country’s experiences over the past three decades and how it can teach the rest of the world to adjust to low interest rates and inflation – a likely outcome for many large post-pandemic economies.

The graph shows the official interest rates (%) for Japan and the US, which shows that Japan has got used to persistently low interest rates

Doing business in the euro area hit a six-month low as the bloc’s services sector is hit by pandemic restrictions. The German manufacturing industry, which is seeing an increase in exports, is a rare ray of hope.

Line chart of the Purchasing Managers' Index (below 50 = the majority of companies reporting a decline) shows that service activity in the euro area has declined

The extent of the pandemic shock on the British economy will be announced in this week’s spending review when major tax hikes are announced. There are five things to see here.

Readers answer

How is your workplace dealing with the pandemic? How do you deal with it as a professional or a manager? And what do you think companies and markets – and our daily lives – will look like when we show up? Also tell us what you think about this newsletter and how we can make it more useful for you. Email us at [email protected] We can publish your contribution in an upcoming newsletter. Many thanks.

Athanase comments on vaccine deals that are being kept secret despite massive public funding

Now is the time to disclose the agreements that have been made with vaccine manufacturers. Everything must be done to convince the public that this is not a gigantic act of hollowing out. Everything must be done to declare that safety and liability conditions have not been waived. In fact, they have to be explained to the public over and over again. Fear often comes from ignorance, and nothing feeds conspiracy theories like fear and ignorance. At a time like this, for big companies to make money, people need to be convinced that taking a vaccine makes sense, and is not an act that will endanger their health.

The most necessary

The European governments are planning a “cautious” easing Lock for the Christmas season. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed that England’s national “stay at home” lockdown will end on December 2nd, but its new tightened “tier system” of regional restrictions has been heavily criticized by the hospitality sector.

Graph of the seven-day moving average of new Covid-19 cases and deaths in the UK, France, Italy, Spain and Germany, showing that cases in Europe have slowed after the second reintroduction of bans

Consumer Editor Claer Barrett will host a live Q&A with industry experts on UK help for Entrepreneurs and self-employed – Many of them have been banned from the coronavirus support programs – Tuesday afternoon in the UK.

Last thought

One of the most notable cultural changes during the pandemic was the disappearance of the tie, writes Gillian Tett, US editor-in-chief. One reason could be the symbolic link with rigid company hierarchies. “The bottom line in the corporate world is that most executives know it pays to look flexible, open-minded, and relaxed now,” she argues.

© Shonagh Rae