Business and Finance
Economics expert explains how consumer price reports show ‘inflation is not done yet’
The statistics from these reports have economists predicting that the Federal Reserve will continue to raise interest rates to get inflation under control.
Expectations that inflation has eased fueled recent stock market gains, but results from two major price-tracking indexes came in higher than expected, dousing that optimism with cold water. The statistics from these reports have economists predicting that the Federal Reserve will continue to raise interest rates to get inflation under control.
“The latest figures underscore the risks of persistently high inflation. Much of the easing that was celebrated at the end of last year has been erased,” said David Bieri, an economics professor for Virginia Tech’s School of Public and International Affairs. He answered a few questions about the persistence of inflation and the Federal Reserve’s efforts to reverse it.
Q: What is the difference between the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the Personal Consumption Expenditures Price Index (PCE)?
“The CPI is a measure of the average change over time in the prices paid by urban consumers for a basket of goods and services. This basket includes commonly purchased items such as food, housing, clothing, transportation, and medical care. The rate of inflation (or deflation) is then inferred by comparing the price of this basket to a base period. The PCE is the one used by the Federal Reserve. Unlike the CPI, the PCE measures not just goods and services for urban consumers, but the prices of all goods and services purchased by households. While the CPI uses a fixed basket of goods and services, the PCE uses a changing basket of goods and services that reflects consumers’ evolving spending patterns. Also, the PCE incorporates data on the quality of goods and services.”
Q: What can be deduced about inflation and the economy from these new statistics?
“Different components of the indexes react to different influences of the economic process, and they also do so at different speeds, or as economists like to say, with different lags. For example, fuel and gas prices react with very little delay and if the price of crude oil goes up, it does not take long for these effects to show up. But this is not the case for other important components. Quite a bit of the recent uptick in inflation has to do with the fact that it has taken so long for the post-COVID related upswing in housing to show up in the data. As for the most recent PCE numbers, these were unexpected and point in the direction of more entrenched inflation. In other words, inflation is not done yet.”
Q: What do these results indicate about the Federal Reserve’s efforts to curb inflation?
“The Fed has to be patient. If we take the image of interest rates working like a brake pedal, the Fed is driving a car on a windy road with a blacked-out windscreen and when it brakes, it can only guess how soon the car — that is, the economy — will slow down, let alone by how much and when the next bend will be. However, the Fed has one key trick up its sleeve: unlike the hapless driver of our car, the Fed can influence how many bends in the road might show up in the future. It does this by something that we call ‘forward guidance,’ which is a wonky term for how the Fed’s attempts influence consumer and market expectations of consumers and market participants. Essentially the Fed is saying that if we stop believing there will be inflation in the future, there actually won’t be any.”
David Bieri is an associate professor of urban affairs in the School of Public and International Affairs and an associate professor of economics. He also holds an appointment in the Global Forum on Urban and Regional Resilience. His teaching interests are at the intersection of public finance, monetary theory, and history of economic thought. He has held various senior positions at the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland. Prior to his work in central banking, he worked in investment banking in London and Zurich. View Bieri’s full bio.
Source: Virginia Tech
Business and Finance
Cheech and Chong’s Global Holding Company and WEECO Pharma GmbH Partner to Bring Iconic Cannabis Brand to European Medical Market
Empowering German Patients: Cheech and Chong’s Global Holding Co. and WEECO Pharma GmbH Unite to Deliver High-Quality Cannabis Products
LOS ANGELES (Newswire.com) – Cheech and Chong’s Global Holding Co., a leading cannabis lifestyle brand, is proud to announce its exclusive partnership with WEECO, a European multi-country operator dedicated to patient safety and responsible dispensing of medical cannabis. This strategic collaboration marks Cheech & Chong’s entry into the European medical cannabis market, with WEECO serving as the sole distributor of Cheech & Chong products in Germany.
“We are excited to partner with WEECO to bring our premium cannabis products to the German market,” said Cheech Marin, co-founder of Cheech and Chong’s Global Holding Co. “Germany is a rapidly growing medical cannabis market and we are thrilled to offer our safe and innovative products to the German patients in need.”
“With Cheech and Chong’s Global Holding Co., a true cannabis legend and industry hero enters the arena of pharma grade Cannabis. We are proud to warmly welcome them to the German medical cannabis market,” said Börge Diessel, CEO of WEECO Pharma GmbH. “By combining our proven competencies, we will continue to drive growth and innovation in a developing German cannabis industry. Together, we are committed to further improving the well-being of every German patient in need.”
WEECO Pharma GmbH is the pharmaceutical arm of the WEECO Group and a leading distributor of high-quality cannabis products throughout Europe. Based on multiple years of industry experience in several U.S. states, the company has quickly established itself as a trusted source for premium cannabis products with real dedication to the plant.
“We chose WEECO as our exclusive partner in Germany because of their reputation for excellence within the industry,” said Jonathan Black, CEO of Cheech and Chong’s Global Holding Co. “Their commitment to quality aligns perfectly with ours, making them an ideal collaborator for this venture.”
The partnership between Cheech and Chong’s Global Holding Co. and WEECO represents a powerful combination of two industry leaders, united by their commitment to quality and innovation. With over 50 years of combined experience, both companies have established themselves as leaders in their respective fields. The partnership will allow patients throughout Germany to experience the unique culture and high-quality products that have made Cheech & Chong a household name.
About Cheech and Chong’s Global Holding Co.
Cheech and Chong’s Global Holding Co. is a leading cannabis lifestyle brand that has been entertaining and educating for over 40 years. Their mission is to provide high-quality, safe, and reliable cannabis products to their customers while promoting the benefits and positive impact of the plant. At Cheech and Chong’s Global Holding Co., they believe that cannabis is more than just a plant; it is a lifestyle that brings people together and promotes well-being. Their company’s history and legacy are rooted in humor and activism, and they continue to honor those values today. Cheech and Chong’s Global Holding Co. is not just a brand; it is a cultural phenomenon that has stood the test of time. At Cheech and Chong’s Global Holding Co., they are dedicated to providing the highest quality cannabis products, promoting sustainability and responsible production practices, and maintaining their legacy as a leading brand in the industry.
About WEECO, GmbH
WEECO unites the world’s most outstanding EU-GMP producers and brands on one single distribution platform. The company holds all necessary approvals and licenses to distribute medical cannabis products in Germany and is permitted to export its products worldwide. Its sustaining commitment to quality made WEECO a well-known actor in shaping the early German Medical Cannabis Landscape and a trusted partner to most of the major domestic brands. The group’s pharmaceutically licensed cannabis breeding and clone-export facilities in Denmark supply L.A. heritage genetics to the world’s leading GMP-Producers and directly to tens of thousands of international Medical Cannabis patients. An active role in the roll-out of the Swiss cannabis pilot projects reflects the group’s laser focus on the forefront of European cannabis legalization and allows it to cater a unique experience into an emerging German recreational- or pilot project scenario.
Source: Cheech and Chong’s Global Holding Co.
Business and Finance
Top 10 Risky Behaviors of Employees Uncovered by KnowBe4’s SecurityCoach
SecurityCoach delivers real-time coaching in response to risky user behavior
TAMPA BAY, Fla. /PRNewswire/ — KnowBe4, the provider of the world’s largest security awareness training and simulated phishing platform, today announced that its newest SecurityCoach product has revealed the top 10 risky behaviors that employees have engaged in on their work devices.
SecurityCoach helps IT/security professionals to develop a strong security culture by enabling real-time security coaching of their users in response to risky security behavior. Leveraging an organization’s existing security stack, IT/security professionals can configure their real-time coaching campaigns to immediately deliver a SecurityTip to their users related to a detected event.
The findings from the top 10 risky behaviors of employees that organizations have detected by integrating SecurityCoach with their existing security offerings include:
- Entertainment domain/streaming services
- Gaming website
- Adult website
- Unauthorized or malicious application
- Risky website detected
- Unauthorized removable media
- Sharing of personal identifiable information (PII)
- Cloud backup or cloud storage
- Malicious email attachment opened
The human factor is involved in 82% of data breaches, according to the 2022 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report. However, according to IDC, less than 3% of IT spending is allocated to help secure the human layer.
“With the proliferation of social engineering attacks, employees continue to be the biggest risk factor,” said Stu Sjouwerman, CEO, KnowBe4. “However, with proper training and coaching, they can become a human firewall and your last line of defense. These findings from our new SecurityCoach product are definitely concerning and reiterate the importance of developing a strong security culture.”
To download the infographic, visit https://www.knowbe4.com/hubfs/SecurityCoach-Top-10-Risky-Behaviors-Infographic.pdf.
KnowBe4, the provider of the world’s largest security awareness training and simulated phishing platform, is used by more than 60,000 organizations around the globe. Founded by IT and data security specialist Stu Sjouwerman, KnowBe4 helps organizations address the human element of security by raising awareness about ransomware, CEO fraud and other social engineering tactics through a new-school approach to awareness training on security. Kevin Mitnick, an internationally recognized cybersecurity specialist and KnowBe4’s Chief Hacking Officer, helped design the KnowBe4 training based on his well-documented social engineering tactics. Tens of thousands of organizations rely on KnowBe4 to mobilize their end users as their last line of defense.
NASA Funds 200+ Small Businesses for Innovative Tech Development
NASA invests in 200+ small businesses for developing technologies to protect astronauts’ health and reduce space collision risks. #SBIR #STTR
NASA has chosen more than 200 small business teams to receive funding for the development of technologies that will safeguard astronauts’ health, reduce spacecraft collision risks, and more. NASA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs have awarded new funding to a diverse range of American small businesses and research institutions, in addition to eight Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), to support NASA’s future missions.
Each team will receive $150,000 to demonstrate the feasibility and value of their innovations, for a total investment of $45 million. Small businesses are awarded Phase I SBIR contracts, which last six months, while small businesses partnered with research institutions are awarded Phase I STTR contracts, which last 13 months.
The full lists of this year’s SBIR and STTR awardees are available online. About 30% of the companies selected are first-time NASA SBIR/STTR recipients, including nou Systems Inc., a women-owned small business based in Huntsville, Alabama. Nou Systems has proposed a novel approach to automate DNA monitoring of microbes to help quickly identify those that may pose a threat to astronauts.
This technology could first find use as part of the International Space Station’s biological testing equipment. NASA’s SBIR and STTR programs support pioneering ideas from a range of innovators across the country that may not attract the initial private industry funding needed to thrive.
The program enables NASA to collaborate with small businesses and research institutions in need of government investment. Jenn Gustetic, director of early stage innovation and partnerships for Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) at the agency’s headquarters in Washington, said, “Through these early-stage small business awards, we are inviting more innovators into this growing arena and helping them mature their technologies for not only NASA’s use but for commercial impact.”
To learn more about NASA’s SBIR/STTR program and apply to future opportunities, visit:
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