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Samsung replaced its CEOs and reorganized the business. Kyung Kye-hyun will run the components division, while Han Jong-hee will lead the newly combined mobile and consumer-electronics unit.
New York City will force private companies to ensure their staff are vaccinated. Details are hazy around the law’s implementation, the first of its kind in the US.
The US government will boycott the Beijing Olympics. It won’t be sending officials to the 2022 Winter Games, and China threatened to retaliate. Athletes are unaffected, for now.
BuzzFeed’s IPO tanked. Shares fell as much as 17% at its Nasdaq debut, following a difficult SPAC merger.
Donald Trump’s media venture is under investigation. The former president’s SPAC partner filed with US regulators, who are making preliminary inquiries into the deal.
Elizabeth Holmes is still testifying. The trial of the Theranos founder, who denies multiple charges of fraud, resumes today in San Francisco.
What to watch for
Today the US Census Bureau and the US Bureau of Economic Analysis will release data on the balance between US exports and imports for October. Meanwhile, the General Administration of Customs is releasing China’s export and import data for November.
As the pandemic changed the composition of US consumer demand away from services and toward goods, it increased a longstanding trade deficit that the US has with China. In September, the global US trade deficit hit what economists think was its peak. Preliminary data have shown that US exports in food, autos, and other goods picked up in October. In the same month, China had a record monthly trade surplus.
Ahead of the new reports, here are where a few key numbers stand:
-$80.9 billion: US trade balance in September
$84.5 billion: China trade balance in October
–$98.2 billion: US goods deficit in September
If inflation isn’t transitory, what is it?
US Federal Reserve officials have described rising prices as part of a pattern of transitory inflation. But chair Jerome Powell has said he wants to retire “transitory” for a clearer adjective.
The chief problem with “transitory” is that the word “doesn’t communicate how persistent something can be,” according to Riccardo Trezzi, a former economist at both the Fed and the European Central Bank.
Instead, Powell could favor these adjectives:
not chronic: It means inflation is not systemic and won’t persist for a long time.
al ratito: In Spanish, it means “in a little while,” but it’s technically indefinite.
vorübergehend: It means “over-going” in German, and suggests brevity, but isn’t strictly implied.
Insuring the insurers
One thing that’s becoming less transitory and more persistent is the number of natural disasters due to climate change. But as the severity and costs of catastrophes increase, insurance companies need bailouts out, too.
Enter reinsurance, the global economy’s last backstop for the costs of climate chaos. In many cases, those costs fall to Swiss Re, the world’s second largest reinsurer by value of premiums written. But even as premiums rise globally, an S&P analysis found that reinsurers are likely underestimating climate risk by 33-50%.
Can Swiss Re and its peers cover their bases? ✦ The dilemma was discussed in our latest Company email, which offers Quartz members a closer look at the companies changing business. Try a free membership for a week.
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Our best wishes for a productive day. Send any news, comments, two-ingredient cocktail recipes, and cream cheese stashes to email@example.com. Get the most out of Quartz by downloading our iOS app and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Hasit Shah, Nate DiCamillo, Samanth Subramanian, Tim McDonnell, Susan Howson, and Morgan Haefner.