Last month today – March 2021 in review

Vaccine manufacturers turn into consumer segmentation

The Covid-19 vaccinations are off to a promising start; as it is with any marathon, the finish line may seem to be oh so far away, but the only way to ever get even into a vicinity of it is to start moving, if only on baby steps. With some countries outright blasting out of the gates, some seemingly doing an endless amount of warmups and most somewhere in between, the main thing is that the engines have indeed been started and we are moving!

AstraZeneca discovered potentially increased risks, albeit extremely small, of blood clot with their vaccine users. While health organizations rushed to say this does not seem to be the case, most countries decided to play it safe and stopped giving AZ to anyone under 65. Pfizer, on the other hand, seemingly boosted by impressive efficiency rates, said it has started a clinical trial testing its Covid-19 vaccine on healthy children aged 6 months to 11 – as it was widely agreed by public health officials and infectious disease experts that the U.S. is unlikely to achieve herd immunity until children can get vaccinated.

Moderna joined this segment before long and Johnson & Johnson picked it even up a notch by saying that, eventually, it will expand the trials of single-shot vaccine in infants and even in newborns.

Tesla starts accepting Bitcoin

The relationship between Elon Musk and Bitcoin seems to be on an extended honeymoon. After heavily publicizing the virtual currency in his social media channels for the first months of the year, Mr. Musk boldly announced that from now on, you are able to buy a Tesla using Bitcoin. To be more precise, people in the U.S. as of now and the rest of the world later this year.

Mr. Musk stated that “internal” and “open source software” would be used to accept the crypto-payments. And, Tesla would be “operating bitcoin nodes directly”. Whatever that means, there should be no problem whatsoever in sight. Right?

Someone must balk at such a revolutionary idea; this time, it was the taxman, obviously with palms out. The thing is, when you use bitcoin to purchase goods or services, you are in effect selling that cryptocurrency. Which again leads into a question of whether you are making a profit of that property, meaning the difference of that selling price and the price with which you purchased that Bitcoin.

The mother of all traffic jams

While the Northern hemisphere was hit by quite a few spring blizzards, causing cars to collide and blood pressures to skyrocket, those jams turned out to be tiny incidents that soon will be completely forgotten. When it comes to global economy – and, hence, recognition, the real deal took place at the Suez Canal as Ever Given, one of the world’s largest containerships, ran aground.

Goes without saying that when a fully loaded 1300-foot, 247000-ton ship gets stuck, the impact on global business is pretty mighty. After efforts that lasted about a week, Ever Given was finally refloated. At that time, there were 425 vessels waiting; the expected time to get that traffic jam moving was three days.

The estimated daily bill was, according to Lloyd’s List shipping journal, roughly 9,6 billion dollars. That should come as a relief to anyone with a March fender bender in their precious two-door sedans.

The global power shuffle, kindergarten style

Now that Joe Biden has assumed full control of the Oval Office, with new decoration in place and old statues out of the way, the usual nitpicking among the world superpowers has resumed. In fact, there seems to be just a touch of additional spice in the way the United States, Russia and China are exchanging blows. Everyone lashed out on each other during March, Biden hitting Vladimir Putin seemingly in the soft spot so hard that Vlad had to respond in a kindergarten style, claiming that “who calls the other names is that himself”. This time, “names” referring to “killer”.

At the end of the month, Biden sent out a message of truce in the form of an invitation to the global leaders’ climate summit on April 22 and 23. Naturally, Xi Jinping of China is also invited.

At the summit, a new carbon emissions target is planned to be unveiled. Currently, China is the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, followed by the U.S. Russia is “only” the fourth largest emitter, which obviously raises questions about Biden’s hidden agenda, as he firmly insists his desire to co-operate with Russia and China on climate change despite rising tensions between the countries in a number of other areas.


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