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WES Sunday : A new vaccine, an unofficial concession, trade wars and AI.

WES Sunday brings you a quick-fire rundown of your biggest weekly stories. Read the recap every Sunday - from ground-breaking headline events to underreported perspectives on the issues that matter.

This week’s roundup:


  1. Administrative transition to begin within the US Government, with Janet Yellen to take on Treasury Secretary.

  2. The emergence of a 3rd vaccine from Oxford - Astrazeneca, aimed at the developing world.

  3. GTP-3, A language based AI is eerily close to being able to produce journalistic articles, in fact, it has already started to.

  4. A fresh wave of Chinese Tariffs on Australian Alcohol follows months of political tension and similar policies.



Concessions against recessions - Markets spike at the sign of a transition.



The Dow hit a record high on Tuesday, with the S&P closing on 1.5% on the same day.


This is likely spurred by Donald Trump’s decision to start an administrative transition, signaling an unofficial concession and the arrival of economic and political stability in the near future.


Janet Yellen, a long standing champion for Government intervention into markets, has likely contributed to this surge in investor confidence, and is seen to be the best person for the post in these times.


And then there were three - The Oxford Vaccine.



Amidst the competition between Pfizer and Moderna for a Covid-19 Vaccine, a new one is undergoing late stage trials by Oxford Astrazeneca, with an efficacy of up to 90%.


Generally cheaper to distribute, the Oxford Vaccine also does not require to be stored frozen, and can be stored at fridge temperatures.


Designed with accessibility in mind, the Oxford Vaccine may be exactly what developing countries need, and be able to be delivered in large quantities to people around the world who can’t afford the other ones.

Is artificial intelligence finally catching up to its creators? - GPT3





SF based company OpenAI has developed an incredibly powerful machine-learning text based system, named GPT3.


It is trained on the entire internet, and is able to help you complete emails, all the way to writing complex fiction.


Its development has been a contentious issue, as it is subject to abuse in the form of creating disinformation, learning negative content on the internet and could even be weaponized to an extent.



Piling High - Chinese Tariffs on Australian Imports stack up, with a fresh wave on Alcohol.





This week, China has placed tariffs on Australian wine that go up to 200%, after Chinese trade ministers ruled that Australian producers were dumping the product.


This tariff follows previous ones on Australian Barley, Lobsters and Timber, a result of a bitter trade war that has been going on since earlier this year.


Although tensions seem to be lighter, following recent comments by Australian PM Morrison, they have yet to reach a trade agreement, and the war may very well heat up again as we go into 2021.


Sources


  1. FT news briefing podcast. (27/11/20, 25/11/20, 24/11/20)

  2. https://www.news.com.au/finance/economy/australian-economy/pm-accused-of-significant-tactical-error-on-china/news-story/adbc49d20a1fa8efc656b284c85624a6

  3. https://www.ft.com/content/beaae8b3-d8ac-417c-b364-383e8acd6c8b

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