In the last blog we said a lot was going to happen by year end. We were not wrong!
Over the course of a tumultuous last two weeks, Nic and I both had emotional moments.
On the Sunday when Pennsylvania announced for Biden giving him the White House, Nic had her moment in the vegetable aisle of Waitrose. This interestingly included a Twitter interaction with Miranda Hart from the TV.
My moment came with Pfizer announcing the home run results of their messenger RNA vaccine (Clouds parting, rainbows of hope emerging).
On reflection, both of us were emotional about the same thing really.
Successful solutions to removing diseases blighting our world; DING DONG
The Pfizer results are staggeringly good and if any had doubt about their veracity, the Moderna announcement a week later (and comparably fantastic) removed them.
Both vaccines use messenger RNA to deliver engineered proteins to the DNA. This, until now, has been theoretical medicine but it works, boy does it work.
Vaccinations previously meant giving patients a small dose of a virus to create an antibody response in miniature, so giving greater protection to the full virus. Messenger RNA effectively works like a software update to the genetic coding (DNA) giving immunity through the downloaded enhancement.
Now this new science plainly has profound implications for the future direction of medicine and the treatment of human health. The ability to effectively front run potential health issues not yet in evidence, using person-specific genetic testing (DNA decoding) to identify weaknesses will allow preventative alterations to DNA codes for any number of issues.
This is science fiction stuff; obviously awesome but also potentially highly problematic. The reality though is a future of artificial intelligence and designer health is becoming ‘real world’ in real time.
THE US ELECTION
Beyond the Presidential election itself, there were several key take aways from the overall results, most importantly the Congress race in the Senate.
The expectation was that Democrats would take a Senate majority to strengthen their numbers in Congress (alongside their House majority which they retained but still lost seats).
This did not happen.
Georgia is rerunning two Senate races in January because their local rules require a 50% threshold for victory which were not achieved but in both cases, the Republicans will likely win. This means President Biden will face a Republican controlled Senate. If so, there is zero possibility of enacting the more radical policies of the progressive left (Saunders, Warren, AOC etc) such as large tax hikes on the wealthy, new regulations on tech companies, the Green new deal etc.
Beyond the disturbing repeating reality through history of the power to influence of highly charismatic men projecting populist agendas with absolute personal certainty in their right to do so, (Trump joins a star cast including Hitler, Mao, Mussolini and Stalin) the election results demonstrate that the US (as in Britain) will lean right or left but not radically.
The Democrats (as Labour before), it appears mistook interest in and media coverage of more radical voices as signs of mass engagement with the message. It wasn’t.
Listening to Elizabeth Warren threatening to rinse billionaires has entertainment value and will energise a minority. But when the rubber hits the road to elect governments most just want stuff run properly, to work better, have care taken of the disadvantaged (as long as it’s not too expensive) and to get on with their lives quietly.
MARKETS LIVING IT LARGE
The US election result was Christmas come early for investors. No more crazy tweeting; intellectually challenged, conflict seeking nonsense from the White House.
No Democratic clean sweep meaning higher regulations, taxes and success shaming.
Add vaccine success beyond hope and………it’s been a good few weeks indeed.
Note: This is written in a personal capacity and reflects the view of the author. It does not necessarily reflect the view of LWM Consultants. The post has been checked and approved to ensure that it is both accurate and not misleading. However, this is a blog, and the reader should accept that by its very nature many of the points are subjective and opinions of the author. Individuals wishing to buy any product or service as a result of this blog must seek advice or carry out their own research before making any decision, the author will not be held liable for decisions made as a result of this blog (particularly where no advice has been sought). Investors should also note that past performance is not a guide to future performance and investments can fall as well as rise.