Pandemic Nerd Celebrities – New York Times

“Ship Happens: The Miniseries” is a podcast that would not have been possible had there been a plague, prompting consumers to order beds and computer screens so that global industries and ports could not afford it.

But when the delay in seats and the lack of vehicles began to dominate the headlines last year, Eytan Buchman and his colleagues at Freightos, a global shipping platform, saw an opportunity.

“You don’t really care about anything until it’s broken,” said Mr. Buchman, the company’s chief marketing officer. “Some were weird that, hey, people care.”

Freightos, who launched its podcast on trade chains in November, is one of the few data providers whose views and contributions have been affected by the epidemic that has rewritten global economic policies.

Not that Mr. Buchman was glad that everything was broken. But he saw that Freightos could help. He and his colleagues had a lot of shipping and expertise at their disposal, and he began to think of ways to share the world, create permits for sea travel, produce audio programs and add TV viewing.

What would have been a short-term popularity until 2022. None – not the shipping, non-consumer, no labor market and not the rise in prices – seems to be doing just as it did before the coronavirus started in early 2020.

Prices are rampant in the last 40 years, and data from next week shows that prices have risen more than 8 percent a year until March. The supply chain is still stable, employers are eager to fill open positions, and Americans have surprised economists with a sharp rise in inflation and widespread uncertainty.

Researchers and policy makers are blind, and they and ordinary people are turning to experts like Mr. Buchman as they try to draw a new map of how the economy has changed.

“Well-selected people who were enlightened found that supply chains were fun in the past, but it wasn’t fun that most people shared,” said Phil Levy, chief economist at Flexport, a shipping and customs company – highlighting the kind of things that have grown. the audience, to say the least, is now enjoying it.

According to a Bloomberg profile, Mr. Levy has hacked 26 specialty journalists so far this year, after 26 in 2021 and 15 in 2020. Suddenly, every economist and financier appears to be an entrepreneur, trying to predict what might happen in real estate. .

“Most of the time, when someone predicts, you look at what happened in the past,” Levy said. “This changed with the plague.”

The change began on the way to the toilet. As soon as the outbreak began, consumers suddenly began to buy things differently. No one needs coffee to go or jewelry; everyone wanted new home furniture.

After the government repeatedly sent a check to encourage and provide unemployment insurance and families stay longer at home, Americans spent the money on sales instead of spending money that cost them a lot of money before the epidemic. Even as support has faded and business has returned to things that are just right, the demand for things remains surprisingly strong.

International ships, ports and factories have fallen behind the plague, and they have failed to do so. Matters come to a head with the sudden turn of events, such as when a cargo ship sinks in the Suez River. The Ever Given spent six uninterrupted days, attracting worldwide attention to the dangers of maritime trade – and increasing the need for experts to comment.

“That was a turning point for me,” says Buchman.

For Mr. Levy and his colleagues, things were not funny, on the se – the closure was ready to cause problems for customers – but it did lead to many memes in Flexport’s Slack messaging systems. (One thing he remembers was a picture of a wrecked ship with the words “I told you not to listen to Waze’s instructions.”)

Ever Given represents the epitome of the great economic crisis: The unrest continues, causing a system that is on the verge of collapse. The discrepancy between availability and demand has increased the rise in inflation, much to the surprise of policymakers because of their rapid and long-term performance.

And the turmoil continues beyond the land of ships.

Companies will not be able to find enough workers, in part because the epidemic appears to have increased the population. Young children, who were entering retirement age, have left the labor market – and it is unknown whether they will return. Parents struggling with the unexpected care of children have also resigned. Employers are struggling with the possibility that workers are in the midst of a “Great Depression,” perhaps fueled by the money raised during the epidemic. The lack of a labor market has given them the opportunity to demand higher wages and better working conditions.

As the coronavirus season enters its third year, economic secrets are many: Will the workers return? Will America’s desire for new seats be satisfied? Is there a price that consumers cannot afford?

Fiona Greig doesn’t know all the answers. But he has data that would allow him – and others – closer than he could have.

“I now receive requests from German property managers, from all over the world – our Federal Reserve Bank, White House, and others,” she said. Greig, chief of consumer research and president of the JPMorgan Chase Institute. .

At the beginning of the epidemic, the council focused on one metric that was of great interest to many people: what people can use. The images cited here use Chase data to show how much money families in different categories earn in their real-time management account, and Wall Street policymakers and economists have been using it to test the strengths of different consumer groups.

“Now we have a ‘data request’ button, and people are asking from all sides,” said Ms. Greig.

He and his team also wrote about the small influence that increased the benefits of unemployment in keeping job seekers at home – a job that replaced the mainstream media. Ms. Greig feels the impact of the epidemic’s popularity: “My friends who I haven’t met in a long time say, ‘Hey, I’m glad to see you tomorrow.’

The amazing data celebrities are doing is interesting in a variety of ways. Ms. Greig, who has been at the school since 2014, thinks that knowing more about the population could lead to new academic research even after the epidemic.

Mr. Buchman at Freightos thinks big shipping interest will disappear, but he believes that economists and companies will continue to be more knowledgeable about real estate issues than ever before.

“We belong to an economic group that we see as a source of income,” he said, recognizing that this was a time for “spreading the message of cargo.”

And for Levy at Flexport, whose team was just under construction at the beginning of the epidemic, a return to a different genre – whatever that means, and each time it arrives – would be welcome.

“We are keen to get to where we are thinking of the chain,” he said, instead of having hedge funds, central banks, major international corporations and governments that frequently ask his team to monitor the timing of port ports. disappear, when the remains of the container will settle or change Flexport’s ocean delivery in its timely mark.

But it is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post. The supply chain remains confusing. Unemployment has not signaled a decline, and policymakers are eagerly awaiting signs of declining inflation, but to this day they have only intensified.

Port stops and delays have shown signs of slowing down, but the war in Ukraine is raising oil prices and other items. It also disrupts air traffic, as planes fly around Russian airplanes and carry light goods to make long-distance flights less expensive, threatening to raise food worldwide, especially crops.

Mr Buchman said it would take six months to a year for the supply chains to return to any standard – “The Train Happens” never ends.

On the contrary, it is possible that even when power begins to recover, the train is still in operation.

Companies may be investing heavily in new ships and aircraft that the world ends up in in the new era, Mr. Buchman said – what people tend to call the “bullwhip effect.” If so, the audience just needs a podcast on this.

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