January 15th 2020
1. Trump got impeached, again!
But it seems investors took little notice and are just Biden’ their time to the inauguration next Wednesday, and Joe’s promised “trillions” in stimulus. There have been some extraordinary measures taken in the US in preparation for what is expected to be an interesting day though, including:
o Roads around the Capitol complex in Washington closed, with military units at street corners and heavy trucks blocking some streets. Scores of National Guard personnel are currently sleeping on the floor of the Capitol Visitor Center.
o Top U.S. officials abruptly canceled international travel this week out of concern foreign adversaries could exploit the political crisis
o Airbnb said it will cancel all reservations in the Washington area next week during the inauguration and will prohibit any new rentals from being made
o Google suspended political advertising, trying to tamp down the risk of inciting violence in the run-up to Biden’s inauguration, and
o The city of New York was added to the long list of businesses that will pull contracts with the Trump Organization, which included running two ice skating rinks and a carousel in Central Park.
2. Australia Post delivered >52m parcels in December, making it the busiest month in its 211-year history!
Parcel deliveries surged 20% on pcp. Food & liquor (+50% on pcp), fashion (+37% on pcp) and home & garden (+36% on pcp) were the best performing categories. AusPost put an extra 3,000 delivery vans on the road, recruited another 5,000 people and set up 60 pop-up facilities to handle volumes! This followed November retail sales growing +13% yoy, and we are awaiting data on how December finished up.
3. The Covid vaccine rollout.
The world has started 2021 focused on the Covid vaccine rollouts, with hopes that the vaccine can return us to a more Covid-normal life. Israel is leading the way, with Australia yet to start their vaccination program.
Australian vaccine roll-out strategy