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Neoliberalism created long and often convoluted supply chains to countries with cheap labor. They were temporary disrupted by the epidemic as China slowed down. in January and February. But as of March China restored over 80% of its production capabilities disrupted by the virus). So now the question is how disruptive will the epidemics for the USA itself. Certain sectors a such are airlines, oil industry, hospitality and restaurants are already feeling the impact.
As far as I understand that disease (highly infectious virus phenomena) can serve as a catalyst for the economic recession and as such is a very serious economic challenge (betting odds on a US recession recently jumped from 25% to 32% ), much less a public health challenge (despite MSM hyping the threat, the mortality is probably between one and two percent), lower for younger folk and people without serious chronic diseases (especially cardiovascular and lungs related; smokers can be added to the latter category), higher for people over 60 and with chronic diseases. Data confirm that children and teenagers appear are both less susceptible to this infection (approx. ten times less that people in their 30th) and if infected (typically in the family) have much better prognosis (almost no critical cases). Like any flu epidemic this infection kills mainly old and already sick folk, especially with heart diseases, lung diseases (including heavy smokers), and suppressed immune system.
In view of USA media hysteria about Coronavirus COVEL-19, we need to concentrate on facts, not fears. And below I will try to provide some of them (as little as know about this issue, as I am a programmer, not a virologist ;-) Looks like healthy people younger then 60 have little to fear but fear itself. But fear is addictive snfd it looks like panic, including panic buying had spread. Such events tend to increase the level of government control over population. That's why they create fearful events or exaggerate naturally occurring events over and over again
As far as I understand that situation this disease (highly infectious virus phenomena) is a serious economic challenge (creating a possibility of "Coronavirus recession"), much less a health challenge (mortality is probably between one and two percent), lower for younger folk and people without serious chronic diseases (especially cardiovascular and lungs related; smokers can be added to the latter category).
Neoliberal MSM, which are practically always are stock market cheerleaders, trying to detail Trump behaved horribly in this respect spreading rumors and fear, often completely unsubstantiated, accelerating economic downturn. In this sense Trump has a point when is called MSMS coverage of Coronavirus epidemics a hoax (Trump campaign blasts media for 'massively dishonest' claim POTUS called coronavirus a 'hoax' Fox News). And Trump hit the nail in his famous "Caronovirus" (innocent misspelling) twit: "
Low Ratings Fake News MSDNC (Comcast) & @CNN are doing everything possible to make the Caronavirus look as bad as possible
The main danger is a fact that Coronovirus hit the globalized supply chains and severely affected several industries such a tourism and air travel. China slow down affects global production chains and might create a snowball effect. But the slowdown was just two month long. As of March 1, 2020 China is back to over 80% of production. Still some unpleasant surprises are still possible:
HHH 02/29/2020 at 4:24 pm
If this virus shows up and hits hard in say Saudi Arabia and other oil producing nations the narrative will totally change. It will go from just demand destruction from consuming nations to no supply coming out of producing nations.
- If supplies chains seize up. For any extend amount of time 1-3 months. Things will get a whole lot more interesting than they already are.
- If the numbers being reported out of Iran are anywhere close to reality the middle east is in for a rocky ride as this virus spreads.
Frightened people often behave irrationally and that typically contributes to the economic downturn as well. Not the US economy was especially healthy before this event. In August, a survey of economists by the National Association for Business Economics 72% of analysts expected a US recession by the end of 2021. Of them 38% believed a recession will strike by the end of this year. A UN report published in September similarly warned of a worldwide recession this year.
If coronavirus COVID-19 is like other Coronaviruses it probably, like President Trump suggested, will go away in April, as temperatures warm. Most Coronaviruses are seasonal, but there was an outbreak in Dominical Republic resorts in summer 2018 which was atypical. So it its not yet clear if the new virus will follow the same pattern and experts caution against banking on the weather to resolve this outbreak (Will the New Coronavirus 'Go Away' in April - FactCheck.org)
Several days later, in a White House meeting with state governors, he repeated the idea and was more specific on the outbreaks timeline.
Trump, Feb. 10: Now, the virus that were talking about having to do you know, a lot of people think that goes away in April with the heat as the heat comes in. Typically, that will go away in April. Were in great shape though. We have 12 cases 11 cases, and many of them are in good shape now.
At the time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had confirmed 12 cases in the U.S., although the agency announced an additional case in California that day. As of Feb. 13, the tally had risen to a total of 15.
Later in his remarks to the governors, Trump praised China for doing a good job with the outbreak, and again mentioned his call with the Chinese leader.
I had a long talk with President Xi for the people in this room two nights ago, and he feels very confident, Trump said. He feels very confident. And he feels that, again, as I mentioned, by April or during the month of April, the heat, generally speaking, kills this kind of virus.
But time definitely works against the virus as more sunny days are more deadly for it.
On Feb 27, 2020 US markets just had their fastest ever correction (10% drop of S&P500), and things aren't looking great economically for the next couple of months. Global recession is a real possibility by the middle of the year and central banks don't have mach space for stimulus. In some places people are already scrambling for supplies, and they are likely panicking because there are numerous infected people confirmed in the local area... not the best situation to be shopping in.
I am also concerned about the global supply chain disruptions, The impact on the supply chain is a delayed effect. Several major manufacturers have already had to completely shut down manufacturing in China. That means that we will likely see spreading shutdowns as well soon.
This page about is mainly unsubstantiated, inflated by MSM panic and false narrative. The level of Fearmongering in US MSM does not correlate with the known facts about the virus. See also [ORIGINAL VIDEO] Torn - Natalie Imbruglia (#Coronavirus Parody) - YouTube The panic can do more damage than the virus itself.
Apr 01, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com
After mixed messages in last week's claims data (low initial claims, record high pandemic continuing claims), analysts expected a further fall in first time jobless benefit seekers but were disappointed as claims rose from 684k the previous week to 719k last week.
... Total return swaps are brokered by Wall Street banks. They provide investors with exposure to the profits or losses of stocks or other assets, without the investor actually holding the underlying shares. Archegos's strategy backfired in recent weeks after ViacomCBS and other stocks sold off. Mr. Hwang's firm was unable to meet its obligations to its banking partners, which in turn liquidated large chunks of stock they had amassed to underpin the trades. Among the banks now facing steep losses are Credit Suisse Group AG and Nomura Holdings Inc.
Mar 28, 2021 | angrybearblog.com
NewDealdemocrat | March 27, 2021 9:23 amUS ECONOMICS US/GLOBAL ECONOMICS February personal income and spending decline : the back end of January stimulus payments
Last month I wrote that the:
"report on January personal income and spending shows just how important the stimulus packages enacted by the federal government both last spring and last month have been to sustaining the economy."
The truth of that was confirmed on the back end in this morning's report for February, in which January's 10% increase in income was followed by a -7.1% decrease (red). January's increase of 3.4% in spending was also partially reversed by a -1.0% decrease in February (blue):
... ... ...
Employment is down over 5% since last February, while production is down 4%. Meanwhile, income is down only 2.5%, and real sales have actually increased by nearly 5%! Most recently, in the combined two-month period since December, two of the series – payrolls and real sales – have increased, while the other two – industrial production and income less government payments – have declined.
Since the Big Texas Freeze impacted probably substantially impacted all of these, the underlying situation is presumably better.
Mar 27, 2021 | finance.yahoo.com
Much of the stock market's recent turbulence has been an after-effect of movements in the bond market, where Treasury yields have been largely climbing since last autumn. Higher yields can make investors less willing to pay high prices for stocks, with companies seen as the most expensive taking the most pain. Companies that ask their investors to wait many years for the payoff of big profit growth have also been hit hard.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.67% from 1.61% late Thursday. But that's still below where it was last week, when it rose above 1.70% and touched its highest level since before the pandemic began.
The higher yields helped lift stocks of banks, in part because higher interest rates allow them to make bigger profits from making loans. Financial stocks also got a boost after the Federal Reserve said it will soon allow banks to resume buying back their own stock and to send bigger dividend payments to shareholders. The Fed restricted such moves last summer to force banks to hold onto cash cushions amid the coronavirus-caused recession.
Some of Friday's biggest gains came from energy stocks, which benefited from a $2.41 rise in the price of U.S. oil, settling at $60.97 per barrel.
... ... ...
President Joe Biden is pushing for big spending on the nation's infrastructure , as many past presidents have done to little effect. "Whether or not it happens or doesn't happen, the market feels like there's more of a possibility that it will happen," Plumb said.
... high-growth stocks were turning in a mixed performance on Friday. Apple rose 0.5%, but only after swinging between gains and losses numerous times through the day. Microsoft rallied 1.8%, and Facebook climbed 1.5%, but Tesla dropped 3.4%.
Mar 27, 2021 | www.vox.com
In the background is a continuing stark economic situation in the US : After shedding 140,000 jobs in December, the economy added back just 50,000 jobs in January. The country is still short 10 million jobs from where it was pre-pandemic, and some 4 million workers have dropped out of the workforce. In that context, it's hard to gauge just how much to worry about overshooting it on the response.
Mar 22, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com
When the most respected bank in the US feels compelled to publish A 42-page "guide to bubbles and why we are not in one" in response to what is a clear outpouring of client concerns that we are, in fact, in one we repsectfully leave it up to readers to read between the lines and reach the obvious conclusion.
We say that because reading Goldman's actual lines is quite painful: in his (futile) attempt to convince the bank's clients that US stocks are not, in fact, in a bubble, Goldman strategist Peter Oppenheimer writes that "in recent weeks there have been growing concerns about a bubble building up in the equity market and across financial markets in general" before eventually concluding that "while there are pockets of excessive valuations in equities, and parts of the market are justifiably de-rating as interest rates adjust, in our assessment only a few of these common characteristics are currently present or being partially met. Importantly, the absence of significant leverage (outside of the government sector) and the early stage of the cycle suggest that the risks of an imminent bubble with systemic risks to the financial system and economies is relatively low."
... ... ...
But wait, it gets even dumber, because in the very next attempt to refute the existence of a bubble, Goldman says that there are only "a few" consistent hallmarks of financial bubbles, with the majority "characterized by many, if not most, of the following":
Excessive price appreciation & extreme valuations
New valuation approaches justified
Increased market concentration
Frantic speculation and investor flows
Easy credit, low rates & rising leverage
Booming corporate activity
New Era narrative and technology innovations
Late Cycle economic boom
The emergence of accounting scandals and irregularities
Hilariously, despite admitting that there are bubble signs of 7 out of 9 categories, Goldman claims there has been no emergence of accounting scandals and irregularities..
... ... ...
If we had to summarize Goldman's thesis it would be that while pockets of exuberance and excessive price rises increase, they do not necessarily mean that a broader and systemically dangerous bubble is forming more broadly.
In the S&P 500 -- the best- performing of the major equity markets -- the rise of the past few years has been impressive, particularly in technology, but it's not nearly as extreme as the explosive rise that accrued during the late 1990s
Fundamental EPS for the leading technology companies and for the more widely owned retail stocks have significantly outstripped those of the rest of the market, so outperformance has been supported by superior growth and fundamentals
The rally has been based on achieved reality, not purely on hope and possibility (Goldman must be referring to the 21x forward PE multiple here which is based on some form of "achieved" future reality).
While high valuations imply lower longer- term returns, they don't point to a broad-based valuation bubble in equity markets
In any case, it was around point that we gave up on reading more of this drivel, and sent our condolences to the junior analysts who had to work a soul-crushing 100 hours a week (even though there are millions of 25-year-olds who would kill to work 200 hour weeks for half the pay of a Goldman analyst) to put this together.ay_arrow
JohnGaltsChild 6 hours ago remove linkIm4truth4all 6 hours ago
There is no bubble.
Biden won fair and square.
There is no crisis at the border.
The government never surveils private citizens.
Critical race theory is not racist.
I'm a mindless robot.stop_the_fraud 6 hours ago
Epstein committed suicide.
The FBI is committed to truth and integrity.
The Supreme Court is committed to truth and integrity.
The democrat/marxists tell no lies.
And the list goes on ad infinitum.JohnGaltsChild 6 hours ago
Bitcoin is the new world currency.
Gold is a worthless pet rock.
EV's are the future.Art_Vandelay 7 hours ago (Edited)
"Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?"
Groucho MarxBuzz-Kill 6 hours ago (Edited)
When the most respected bank in the US.
Respected by whom, again?khakuda 6 hours ago (Edited) remove link
Operated by FED thieves, with politicians close behind.Victory_Rossi 6 hours ago
Go back to 1999 and you will see all of the street brokers saying the same thing. It's different this time is basically what they are saying, which is what one always hears during bubbles.
And the accounting irregularities usually appear after the decline when they can no longer be hidden...think Madoff or Lehman.Im4truth4all 6 hours ago remove link
I don't know why anyone would do business with Goldman at all. Even if you're greedy as fvkc and think you'll be the special one that GS doesn't screw over, why take a chance? It's like the parable of the scorpion or snake - you know what they are so why'd you pick it up. Good luck Muppets!! You're going to need it.Art_Vandelay 6 hours ago
"If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it, and you will even come to believe it yourself." - Joseph GoebbelsWatching in Baltimore 6 hours ago
Is Goldman getting into the comedy business now? I was sort of laughing at their analysis the whole way through.Death2Fiat 6 hours ago
"I have no fears for the future of our country. It is bright with hope."
Herbert Hoover, March 4, 1929Great Iota 5 hours ago (Edited)
Take a look at the Fed's M* monetary base charts.
It's straight up. 90 degree angle all the way up.cooll 7 hours ago
No Bubble? I couldn't find a single stock that was worth investing (value). Think this was the first time in 25 years that it has happened. All equity is either losing money per share or for every $100 you invest, you make between .001 cent to $3.50.
I remember the days when you expected companies to earn $10 to $20 per $100 depending on industry.
Now, you got virtual intangible assets like Bitcoin, which is a total scam, its not a currency, has no real use, and is an exact definition of a Ponzi scheme. Brilliant idiots who collect billions from the government for having a green company and at the same time invests billions in a Ponzi scheme that consumes ridiculous amount of energy.
in 3 months, Bitcoin will undo all the green initiatives the democrats has pushed for in the last 20 years. Grats morons!
No one knows how to calculate energy use?YesWeKahn 6 hours ago
Goldman = contrarian indicator.
Sure, based on goldman's logics, not only there is no bubble, this is actually a multi generational bottom, they should sell all their other assets and buy stocks.
Mar 22, 2021 | thenextrecession.wordpress.com
Last week the US Federal Reserve raised its growth forecasts for the US economy for this year and next. Fed officials now reckon the US economy with expand in real terms by 6.5%, the fastest pace since 1984, a few years after the slump of 1980-2. This is a significant rise from the Fed's previous forecast. Also, the unemployment rate is expected to drop to just 4.5% by year-end, while the inflation rate ticks up to 2.2%, above the official target rate set by the Fed.
Driving this new optimism on growth is the fast roll-out of vaccines to protect Americans from COVID-19 plus the huge fiscal stimulus package put through Congress that most mainstream forecasters expect to add at least 1% point to economic growth and bring down unemployment.
But Fed chair Jay Powell made it clear that the Fed had no intention of raising its target interest rate until 2023 at the earliest even if inflation accelerates. He wants to see the unemployment rate drop to 3.5% and inflation averaging 2% or so. He would tolerate the economy "running hot" until that happens because he reckons that any rise in inflation would be transitory.
The implication of Powell's view was that the US economy was going to have a 'sugar rush' from the fiscal stimulus and from the 'pent-up' demand of consumers with cash savings ready to spend on restaurants, leisure, travel etc once the pandemic restrictions were relaxed. But as every parent knows, giving a child too much sugar leads to a rush of energy. And then comes the letdown and sleep. That is what Powell worries about, namely that after this burst of energy on the 'sugar high' of government paychecks and restaurants meals, the US economy will slip back into the low growth trajectory that applied before the pandemic slump.
Powell is also concerned about a potential relapse in the fight against the virus and expects fiscal support from the stimulus starting to fade next year and worries that the labour market will continue to struggle. So he expects 'core inflation' (excluding food and energy prices) will fall back to 2 per cent next year and 2.1 per cent in 2023. So no inflationary spiral.
It is significant that the long-term growth forecast by the Fed is just 1.8% a year, which is hardly any higher than average real GDP growth of 1.7% since the end of the Great Recession and before the pandemic.
This implies that the Fed reckons the US economy is going to drop back to the rate of growth experienced in the Long Depression since 2009, and the 'sugar rush' is just that.
What this also implies is that contrary to the views of the Keynesians, the multiplier effect of the fiscal stimulus will soon dissipate and then the US economy will depend, not on consumers' pent-up demand but on the willingness and ability of the capitalist sector to invest. It's investment not consumer demand that will matter in sustaining any significant recovery; not sugar treats but on new energy in the form of new surplus value (to use Marx's term for profits).
Financial investors are less convinced that Powell is right. After all, getting the US economy to achieve a 3.5% unemployment rate and 2% inflation has been achieved only twice since 1960! So 'inflation expectations' among investors have been rising, suggesting an inflation rate of 2.6% on a five-year view. As a result, US government bond yields have also risen significantly, as bond yields suffer in real terms if inflation rises.
The view that the US economy may 'overheat' has been argued by Larry Summers, the arch-Keynesian of several administrations. He fears that the fiscal and monetary stimulus will lead to 'excess demand' and so drive up prices across the board, eventually forcing the Fed to raise interest rates. Summers argues this, because this time last year, he was telling the world that the COVID pandemic would have little long-lasting impact and the economy would bounce back once it was over, just like seaside towns go to sleep in the winter and then wake up when the tourist season starts. He seems to think that the US economy will revive of its own accord and fiscal stimulus is unnecessary. But the experience of the last year has been much longer and more damaging than a 'winter break'.
At the other end of the argument, Summers has been scathingly attacked by post-Keynesians and leftists who reckon there is no danger of 'overheating' and rising inflation, because there is plenty of 'slack' in the economy ie workers needing jobs and businesses needing to start up. But what this view ignores is the 'hysteresis' effect on the economy from the pandemic slump; namely that many workers have been forced to leave the workforce for good over the last year and many small to medium businesses will never return. The Long Depression has seen a steady reduction in estimates of US productive capacity.
That means the room for economic recovery is reduced unless investment in new means of production and employment rises significantly. So there could be 'overheating' and higher inflation, not because of pent-up consumer demand but because of weak productive capacity – not 'too much demand' but 'not enough supply'.
What the last ten years has shown is that business investment growth has slowed as the profitability of productive capital has fallen in the US. Cash-rich companies and investors, borrowing at record-low interest rates, have preferred to speculate in financial assets. The huge tally of bailouts by central banks and cuts in corporate taxation have been spent on driving the stock and bond markets to all-time highs while the 'real economy' has stagnated. The bottom 80% of American households, who drive the bulk of personal consumption expenditures (PCE), continue to struggle to make ends meet.
And down the road, rising debt cannot be ignored. And it is not so much public sector debt, which in the US is now well above 100% of GDP; more important is corporate debt. If interest rates for firms do start to rise because of increased inflation, then debt servicing costs for a whole swathe of so-called 'zombie' companies will become an excessive burden and bankruptcies will ensue.
According to Bloomberg, In the US, almost 200 big corporations have joined the ranks of so-called zombie firms since the onset of the pandemic and now account for 20% of top 3000 largest publicly-traded companies. With debts of $1.36 trillion. That's 527 of the 3000 companies didn't earn enough to meet their interest payments!
As before, the Fed is caught. If it does not end the monetary largesse at some point, then inflation could rise which will eat into real incomes and drive up corporate debt costs. But if it acts to curb inflation, it could provoke a stock market crash and corporate bankruptcies. That is what happens when an economy is in 'stagflation': namely rising inflation and low growth.
A stock market crash caused by rising interest rates does not always lead to an economic recession. Mainstream economist Paul Samuelson used to joke that the stock market has predicted 12 out of the last 9 recessions. Indeed, as Marx argued, financial crashes have a law of their own and do not always coincide with 'commercial crises'.
For example, the very sharp fall in stock prices in 1987 did not lead to economic recession and prices recovered quickly. The reason then was that the profitability of capital in the major economies had been rising for over five years and was at a relatively high level in 1987 and profitability continued to rise for another decade. But that is not the situation now. The profitability of capital is near all-time lows and even a recovery in 2021 and 2022 will not put levels back to that before 1997 or 2006. And corporate debt has never been higher historically.
These underlying forces suggest that the 'sugar rush' will be just that – a short burst followed by slumber at best.
- 21st Century Poet March 21, 2021 at 10:31 pm
"If it does not end the monetary largesse at some point "
There's the rub. Moral hazard is in full effect. Too big to fail has essentially been codified by the politicians the capitalists have purchased. So, theoretically, how long can it all go on, assuming the power elite all agree to keep the game up? I'm surprised they've been able to do it this long Reply
- stevenjohnson March 21, 2021 at 11:47 pm
Doesn't the role of government debt in maintaining the nominal values of fictitious capital, either directly or by preserving nominal value of the currency, mean that many of the winners in the depression (those that have capital reserves always win distressed properties in a depression, no?) will find an excessive debt an unbearable burden long before they find the gigantic flow into the banks, the stock market and corporate bonds a threat. Given the perception that the rest of the world will always bear the brunt of US government contraction, isn't there likely to be a major political demand for austerity?
If the US weren't the financial nerve center, I would expect a monetary crisis in exports, but there is no reserve currency to compete. Making a basket of currencies work or switching to Special Drawing Rights to replace the Fed have the problem of opposing the US government while coordinating in a kind of monetary union with other states, which is not what good bourgeois democracies do. Gold and oil, the commodities most likely to be sought to preserve value are either too scarce or their markets too manipulated by a handful of players. Although an inflationary crisis/dollar collapse seems unlikely (and fears of hyperinflation wildly inflated, barring a military defeat of the US,) It's clear to me that a stagflation scenario is probable. Reply
- ucanbpolitical March 22, 2021 at 10:55 am
I think it is Powell who is having the sugar high. If we examine Retail Sales for the combined months January and February a strange combination is seen. In terms of adjusted data, the two months were up by 5.1% on the previous year, but if we examine unadjusted figures sales were flat. Thus it appears it is all in the adjustment, with the fall in February effectively wiping out the rise in January. https://www.census.gov/retail/index.html
Thus a $900 billion injection was effective for only one month. Yes there will be a short term boost from the $1,900 billion ARP Bill, but that has to be set against so many negative potential events. First and foremost, the issue of interest rates. The 10 year rate is above, what I called the red line at 1.6%, and markets, while not sneezing have certainly got itchy noses. I would caution against using 1987 to substantiate the view that market crashes do not cause recessions. Conditions now are very different and the economy, because of inequality, is much more dependent on capital gains. Thus a market crash will wipe out any gains from these relief packages. I have been trying to look up losses in the global bond market, which amounted to $3 trillion when the rate hit 1.4%. It is likely now to be in the vicinity of $5 trillion.
Anyway we will know more this Thursday when corporate profits are released. Once again I will prepare a post which looks at the rate of profit both with and without subsidies. Reply
- Pasionaria March 22, 2021 at 1:45 pm
Hi Michael, love the blog- I just had a quick question about the US stimulus package I was hoping you could help with.
It's about the stimulus cheques- if I remember right they're about $1,400 each. This helicopter money sounds good, but am I not right in thinking that a lot of this will just go into the pockets of private landlords or other rentiers and will thus have a limited effect in terms of boosting consumer spending?
Mar 15, 2021 | www.unz.com
Kristi Noem; A throwback to better times
Now, let's consider the stark contrast between Biden's presentation and a speech delivered by Governor Kristi Noem of South Dakota at the CPAC conference. For those who don't know, Noem is the one bright star in a year of Orwellian darkness and gloom. She's a strait-laced, plain-talking, clear-thinking conservative who sticks to her principles like glue. She is a stalwart, red-blooded American girl who believes in God, the Constitution and the United States of America. Here's an excerpt from her CPAC speech:
"Now everybody knows that almost overnight we went from a roaring economy to a tragic nationwide shutdown. By the beginning of 2020, President Trump had created 7 million new American jobs. We had the lowest unemployment rate in over half a century, and unemployment rates for black, Hispanic, and Asian Americans reached the lowest levels in history. More than 10 million people had been lifted out of poverty and out of welfare. And all of that changed in March .
Now, most governors shut down their states . What followed was record unemployment, businesses closed, most schools were shuttered and communities suffered, and the U.S. Economy came to an immediate halt. Now let me be clear, COVID didn't crush the economy, government crushed the economy . And then just as quickly, government turned around and held itself out as the savior, and frankly, the Treasury Department can't print money fast enough to keep up with Congress's wishlist. But not everyone has followed this path. For those of you who don't know, South Dakota is the only state in America that never ordered a single business or church to close. We never instituted a shelter in place order. We never mandated that people wear masks. We never even defined what an essential business is, because I don't believe that governors have the authority to tell you that your business isn't essential. " (" Kristi Noem CPAC 2021 Speech Transcript", rev.com)
She's right, isn't she? No elected official has the right to close a business or a church EVER. Period. We do not bestow those powers on our governors nor are they granted under the Constitution. Neither war nor pandemic nor any other national emergency or crisis should ever be used to strip Americans of the liberties that are guaranteed under the Constitution of the United States . Biden was wrong to say that the "most important function of government is to protect the American people." That's just wrong. The most important function of government is to preserve and protect the liberties that are outlined in the Bill of Rights. That's job#1: Defend Freedom at all cost . Everything else is a footnote. Here's more from Noem:
"South Dakota schools are no different than schools everywhere else in America, but we approached the pandemic differently. From the earliest days of the pandemic our priority was the students, their wellbeing and their education. When it was time to go back to school in the fall, we put our kids in the classroom. Teachers, administrators, parents and the students themselves were of one mind to make things work for our children, and the best way to do that was in the classroom. Now in South Dakota, I provided all of the information that we had to our people, and then I trusted them to make the best decisions for themselves, for their families, and in turn, their communities. We never focused on the case numbers. Instead, we kept our eye on hospital capacity. Now, Dr. Fauci, he told me that on my worst day I'd have 10,000 patients in the hospital. On our worst day, we had a little over 600 . Now, I don't know if you agree with me, but Dr. Fauci is wrong a lot."
Naturally, Noem got a standing ovation when she blasted the duplicitous Lord Fauci, the man, who more than any other, bears responsibility for almost single-handedly plunging the country into an unprecedented crisis. Here's more:
"Even in a pandemic, public health policy needs to take into account people's economic and social wellbeing. Daily needs still need to be met. People need to keep a roof over their heads . They need to feed their families. And they still need purpose. They need their dignity . Now my administration resisted the call for virus control at the expense of everything else. We looked at the science, the data and the facts, and then we took a balanced approach . Truthfully, I never thought that the decisions that I was making were going to be unique. I thought that there would be more who would follow basic conservative principles, but I guess I was wrong."
Yes, she was wrong, but who could have foreseen that every reprobate Democrat governor in the country would simultaneously take advantage of a public health crisis to impose de facto martial law? We never saw that coming, although, we have to assume that there must have been some tacit agreement and coordination among the governors and their paymasters that they would fall-in-line when the time was right . Ahh, but that's conspiracy talk!
Damn right, it is! Here's more:
"Many in the media, criticized South Dakota's approach. They labeled me as ill-informed, that I was reckless, and even a denier. The media did all of this while simultaneously praising governors who issued lockdowns, who mandated masks and shut down businesses, applauding them as having taken the right steps to mitigate the spread of the virus. At one point, I appeared on George Stephanopoulos' Sunday Show. He had just wrapped up a segment with New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, where he asked Cuomo to give me some advice on how to deal with COVID." (Loud Laughter)
In South Dakota, we did things differently. We applied common sense and conservative governing principles. We never exceeded our hospital capacity and our economy is booming. We have the lowest unemployment rate in the nation. We are number one in the nation for keeping jobs, keeping businesses open and keeping money in the pockets of our people. The people of South Dakota kept their hours and their wages at a higher rate than workers anywhere else in the nation. And our schools are open . Our founding fathers established our National Constitution, and the people of individual states crafted their own constitutions that place specific limits on the role of government. Those limits are essential to preventing government officials from trampling on people's rights."
The people themselves are the ones entrusted with expansive freedoms, the free will to exercise their rights to work, worship and to earn a living. No governor should ever dictate to their people which activities are officially approved or not approved. And no governor should ever arrest, ticket or fine people for exercising their freedoms. Governors, and members of Congress and the president have a duty to respect the rights of the people who elected them, but it seems these days that conservatives are the only ones who know what that means. Personal responsibility is considered a God-given gift in South Dakota. Personal responsibility is not a term that conservatives have abandoned..
We should illustrate to the world that people thrive when government is limited, and people's ingenuity and their creativity is unleashed. We should also remind the world what happens when tyranny and oppression are allowed to thrive. God bless each and every one of you and may God bless the United States of America."
By now, we should all realize that the greatest threat to personal freedom is always and everywhere the State; that is the main lesson of this unfortunate Covid fiasco. The Democrat governors usurped powers and issued edicts for which they had no authority and for which they should be held to account. They should be impeached and prosecuted. They were undoubtedly acting on behalf of criminal elites who fill their campaign coffers in return for assistance in advancing their own self-centered interests.
If you haven't figured it out yet, we are in the fight of our lives with "do goodie" billionaire climate alarmists who have inserted themselves into the political process and who have the power to shut down the economy with the flip of the switch. These same buttinskis have gone to great lengths to create the global health infrastructure along with significant control of the mainstream media, that allows them to grossly inflate an aggressive but thoroughly-manageable viral infection and transform it into the Black Plague. This, in turn, creates the pretext for preventing people from running their businesses or attending school or gathering with friends or family or traveling at will or doing any of the things that people in a free country are at liberty to do. There is no way to reason with people who think that the only way they can achieve their own malicious objectives, is by enslaving, incarcerating or liquidating the millions of people who stand in the way of their grand design. We must defend ourselves from these hostile elites by recommitting ourselves to the fundamental principles upon which this country was founded. These are the same principles that Kristi Noem has not only articulated so well in her speech, but also put into practice in her home state of South Dakota.
We should never accept the oppressively dark and dystopian vision of Joe Biden. That's not for us. We should aspire to Noem's "shining city on a hill", a place where people can work when and where they please, travel when and where they please, and meet with friends and family when and where they please. It's not selfish for us to want these things for ourselves and our families. Freedom is a basic human necessity like eating, drinking or breathing. We need freedom, just like we need leaders who believe as we do and who are unshakable in their convictions. We need leaders like Kristi Noem who was as steadfast as Gibraltar when everyone else went weak-in-the-knees. The woman is a real American hero and a patriot.
Booyah, Kristi Noem!
Mar 14, 2021 | www.shadowstats.com
Pandemic-Driven U.S. Economic Collapse Continues in a Hardening, Protracted "L"-Shaped Non-Recovery
- Severe Systemic Structural Damage from the Shutdown Will Forestall Meaningful Economic Rebound into 2022 or Beyond, Irrespective of Advances in Coronavirus Vaccines and Treatments
- Panicked, Unlimited Federal Reserve Money Creation and Federal Government Deficit Spending Continue and Will Expand, Triggering Major Domestic Inflation
- With Fundamental Dollar Debasement Intensifying, Holding Physical Gold and Silver Protects the Purchasing Power of One's Assets
Scroll down for the latest ShadowStats outlook, headline economic news and background information on the U.S. Economy, Financial System (FOMC), Financial Markets and Alternate Data, also for Publicly Available Special Reports and Contact Information.
Mar 12, 2021 | www.wsj.com
Millions of renters have been unable to pay some or even all of their rent since March 2020, when the pandemic struck . An analysis by the Urban Institute, a Washington think tank, found that the amount of unpaid rent could exceed $52 billion . It estimated that the average household that has fallen behind on rent owed $5,586.
Mar 07, 2021 | www.wsj.com
... ... ...
Remember that banker talking about losing 90%? He was talking about the late-'70s death march down, characterized by stocks going up in the morning and then down in the afternoon -- optimists quickly stepped on by pessimists. Sure enough, after 2000, high-flying tech names were down 90%. Many went to zero.
How do these bull bashes end? When the last skeptical buyer finally sees the light and buys into the dream that every car will be electric, that crypto replaces gold and banks, that we overindulge on vertically farmed "plant-based steaks" while streaming "Bridgerton" Season 5 before we hop on an air taxi for our flight to Mars. Those last skeptics (maybe already) convince themselves there's no longer any downside. And then boom, it's over.
Bull markets need fuel. When the marginal buyer is done, there are no more greater fools to buy in, no matter how well companies actually perform. The dream is priced in, and firms can only meet, not beat, expectations.
For those lulled by today's bull market, remember that you own a piece of paper. Low-yielding U.S. Treasury bills and bonds are safe because they are backed by the U.S. government, by cash flow of tax dollars and by the country's assets (think land, not Fort Knox). Stocks are backed by expectations of future earnings, but if you overpay during periods of high expectations (like today), then your downside is huge. Crypto is backed simply by the faith of those who proclaim it is a store of value. Even art and exotic cars and silly NFT tokens are backed only by faith the wealthy will overpay for uniqueness. Faith becomes scarce when the selling starts.
Write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mar 08, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com
Sound of the Suburbs 41 minutes ago (Edited)
The US, UK and Euro-zone went on a joint economic suicide mission before 2008. What was the ponzi scheme of inflated asset prices that collapsed in 2008? "It's nearly $14 trillion pyramid of super leveraged toxic assets was built on the back of $1.4 trillion of US sub-prime loans, and dispersed throughout the world" All the Presidents Bankers, Nomi Prins.
Our bankers had distributed this load of old doggie-doo across the financial systems of the US, UK and Euro-zone. When these asset prices collapsed, so did our financial systems. Bankers just need to create as many products as they can from something in the real world, e.g. subprime mortgages.
They all go up together and down together. They call it leverage. I think they are doing the same with ETFs now, since no one worked out what they were up to last time.
Mar 10, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
By Wolf Richter, editor of Wolf Street. Originally published at Wolf Street .
One of the biggest permanent changes coming out of the Pandemic is that businesses have invested in technologies that have long been available, but that hadn't been deployed because there was no visible need to deploy them, and because businesses were stuck in a rut, and change is hard and costly – and the rules of inertia had taken over.
But now the Pandemic has forced businesses to change. There is no going back to the old normal. And these technologies impact employment in both directions.
We encountered precisely that when we went cross-country skiing last week at Royal Gorge in the Sierra Nevada, which we do every year. What is said to be the largest cross-country ski resort in the US with 120 miles of groomed trails (if they're groomed) had fallen on hard times years ago, filed for bankruptcy, and was acquired out of bankruptcy in 2011/2012. It is now operated by Sugar Bowl Resort, the downhill ski area nearby. There have been some improvements since then, such as new warming huts. But the resort remained largely low tech, or no tech. And even there, things changed massively and permanently with the Pandemic.
The way it used to work: You stood in line every morning to buy old-fashioned trail passes that you then stuck on your poles and that you then tried to scrape off at night. If you rented equipment, you spent more time standing in line. There was a website, but you couldn't buy anything on it. There were quite a few employees involved in dealing with the skiers that wanted to buy trail passes and rent equipment. The place could get crowded, and customers wasted time standing in line and dealing with logistics.
Now, the requirements of social distancing and contactless commerce forced the resort to invest in an ecommerce website. You have to use the website to buy trail passes and pay for and make reservations for the rental equipment (actually fitting the rental equipment is still done in person at the lodge).
Trail passes are now rechargeable cards, similar to prepaid debit cards with a radio chip. You get them at an ATM-type machine outside the lodge by holding the QR code -- that black-and-white square-shaped maze -- of your reservation (paper or smartphone) under the scanner. And it spits out the card. You can recharge the trail pass online and reuse next year .
This should have been done 10 or 15 years ago. It's superfast and convenient, and you don't have to stand in line anywhere. You can park, scan, and ski.
And the resort has gone entirely cashless. You can buy some corn bread, but you have to use your card. Credit card transactions are automated. No one needs to balance the cash drawer or count cash.
And some of the staff that used to deal with the trail passes and other stuff are now either doing other things at the resort or are no longer needed at all.
But there are people who manufacture, install, and maintain the equipment, build and maintain the ecommerce site, and deal with the other issues that tech produces. They're different jobs and only have a small local component.
This is a permanent change. And it's an improvement for users of the resort. It may have also reduced employment at the resort, while supporting employment at companies that provide and service the technology.
I chatted with one of the employees at the resort. Trail pass sales were doing pretty good, he said, but equipment rentals were down by about half compared to last year. He figured that a lot of people have bought their own equipment.
This would be in line with a surge in sporting goods purchases that right off the bat last spring led to a shortage of bicycles and spiraled out from there, and led to the biggest-ever and ongoing spike in spending on durable goods .
It would make sense: quite a few people have apparently left San Francisco and other high-cost Bay Area cities, and some of them have moved into the Sierra Nevada, including the Lake Tahoe area and the whole strip along I-80, including Truckee, now that they're "working from home" and can take a daily ski break between Zoom calls.
The healthcare industry has done a similar thing: Using technology to avoid contact, thereby making a lot of basic stuff simpler and cheaper. At our healthcare provider, we could always make a phone-appointment with a doctor. This was free and quick, and often all that's needed for minor things, and avoided the time and cost of "going to the doctor." This was an option.
Now telemedicine – or "virtual care" – has turned into a thing. Making video appointments is now encouraged. Prescriptions are filled online and delivered. When that's all that is needed, it saves time for the patient and the healthcare provider.
Obviously, telemedicine still doesn't work for many medical issues, but the routine issues that doctors spend much of their time on can be handled that way.
Only some of these technologies are visible to patients. For the healthcare providers, it meant investing in video tools and other technologies and in the infrastructure needed to support this on a large scale.
The Pandemic has also pushed even reluctant consumers and businesses into ecommerce. In Q4 last year, when brick-and-mortar stores were open nearly everywhere, ecommerce sales soared by 32% from a year earlier .
Package deliveries by UPS nearly doubled to 34 million packages a day, UPS chief information and engineering officer Juan Perez said at a Wall Street Journal event. And the company had to adapt and scale its digital technologies to deal with it. The Pandemic drove some of the most significant changes in the company's history, he said.
The entire ecommerce sector, likely the biggest beneficiary of the Pandemic, has invested vast sums in technologies and infrastructure to deal with the surge in demand.
This now includes ski resorts and grocery stores and other previously unlikely suspects for ecommerce. They will not go back to the old normal, nor will their customers.
While lots of office employees who now work at home will eventually return to the office, the old times of nine-to-five every day at a desk farm are gone for many employees. Companies have invested in technologies to succeed with their hybrid work-from-home models, and they are cutting costs where possible by reducing the real estate footprint and related costs.
People who like working in an office can gravitate to employers that encourage or require it. People who like working at home can gravitate to employers with hybrid models. Companies will make one or the other a selling point when recruiting talent. That's how that will wash out.
It will take years to sort through the issues that these sudden and often massive shifts leave behind. But from what I have seen, many of the shifts are positives and should have happened a long time ago – and only inertia prevented them from happening.
Mar 08, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com
Originally from: Another Market Paradox- Wall Street Struggles To Explain Record Equity Inflows Amid Stock Turmoil
Something bizarre is happening in the stock market: for the past three weeks stocks - and especially tech - has gotten hammered, with the Nasdaq briefly sliding into a 10% correction while the S&P has also been hard hit (although one can't say the same for reflation stocks such as energy which have soared in recent weeks). Some other notable casualties: Apple has tumbled 15% since late January. Tesla has lost more than a quarter-trillion dollars in market value in three weeks, and more than $1.5 trillion has been wiped off the Nasdaq in less than a month.
And yet, despite this hit to risk assets on the back of the recent in surge in interest rates, accompanied by a parallel spike in both the VIX, and its bond market equivalent, the MOVE index...
... on Friday we reported that according to the latest EPFR fund flow data , $22.2Bn in new money flowed into equities last week, following the previous week's massive $46.2Bn inflow which was the 3rd biggest on record, bringing the total 16 week inflow to $436BN, a stunning burst of inflows as shown in the chart below.
So bizarre has been this divergence - historically, investors have always pulled money during times of stress and heightened volatility, instead they are plowing record amounts of cash into stocks now - that Goldman's David Kostin dedicated his Weekly Kickstart report to the topic. In a note titled "Rising rate anxiety roils share prices but also supports outlook for strong equity inflows" , the Goldman chief equity strategist writes that as "rates rose, and equities fell, long-duration growth stocks plummeted, but equity funds continued to see large net inflows."
Equity mutual fund and ETF inflows have totaled $163 billion since the start of February, the largest five-week inflow on record in absolute dollar terms and third largest in a decade relative to assets. Even though the recent backup in rates has weighed on equity prices broadly, the pace of inflows into equity funds during the last few weeks has accelerated compared with the start of the year.
In contrast, weekly flows into bond funds averaged roughly $10 billion in February, 50% less than weekly inflows in January. In addition, money market funds have seen net outflows of $34 billion during the past month.
... ... ...
According to Bloomberg, even though the market peaked almost a month ago, retail traders have plowed cash into U.S. stocks at a rate 40% higher than they did in 2020, which was a record year. Yet one way retail capital allocation differs from the charts above, is that "they're opting for parts of the market that have suffered the most, doubling down in arguably risky ways with triple-leveraged tech funds and options galore."
Could it be that nothing but sheer stupidity and/or certainty in yet another Fed bailout is behind the record inflows? And is Powell to blame?
Retail traders, many of them newbie investors, have consistently held strong, buying virtually every dip during what's been the best start to a bull market in nine decades. But now the world is wondering how much it'll take for them to call it quits, especially after a year in which retail traders were right way more often than wrong.
"Historically it's been a bad signal that retail investors are piling into the market and a signal of a top," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at National Securities Corp. And yet, as he admits in the very next sentence, " every time we tried to call a top in 2020 because of retail participation, it was wrong."
Just how aggressive has retail buying been? According to data from VandaTrack, which monitors retail flows in the U.S. market, retail investors snapped up an average of $6.6 billion in U.S. equities each week, up from an average $4.7 billion in net weekly purchases in 2020 even as stocks swooned over the last three weeks.
They've doubled down on areas of the market that have been hit the hardest. Apple, which has plunged 15% since late January, was the most-popular retail buy this past week. NIO Inc., the electric-vehicle maker down almost 40% since Feb. 9, was the second-most popular. Next up were exchange-traded funds tied to the Nasdaq 100, the Invesco QQQ Trust Series 1 (ticker QQQ) and a triple leveraged version (ticker TQQQ).
Because in a centrally-planned "market" where the Fed guarantees no losses ever, why not buy any and every dip? Sure enough, that's what they did and boy did they buy the dip :
On Thursday, when the Nasdaq 100 fell as much as 2.9%, almost 32 million bullish call options traded across U.S. exchanges, the fifth-most on record. The other four have all occurred within the last four months.
There is one fundamental reason why retail investors are buying: the just passed $1.9TN Biden stimulus ensures lots and lots and lots of stimmy checks are about be deposited to daytraders' checking accounts:
"There's a lot of excess liquidity and we just had this $600 check going to many families in January," said Jimmy Chang, chief investment officer of Rockefeller Global Family Office. "We're going to get an additional liquidity injection in the $1,400 check and part of that money is going into risk assets."
Incidentally, the question of how much of Biden's $1.9TN stimulus will end up in the market is one we discussed last week in the context of a recent Deutsche Bank survey :
"Given stimulus checks are currently penciled in at c.$405bn in Biden's plan, that gives us a maximum of around $150bn that could go into US equities based on our survey.
as we reported earlier today , Morgan Stanley's Michael Wilson believes that the selloff has more room to go before it's over. Bloomberg agrees and notes that "if past is precedent, that could mean the sell-off has more room to run. Retail investors tend to buy the initial dips, and it's not until they capitulate and sell that markets ultimately bottom, according to Eric Liu, co-founder and head of research at Vanda Research. The firm's data show that was the case in both selloffs in 2018, as well as roughly a year ago during the Covid crash."
To Victoria Fernandez, chief market strategist for Crossmark Global Investments, their continued presence in the markets likely means elevated volatility will persist. Still, that doesn't mean retail investors' efforts are misguided.
"Is there some dumb money in retail trades? Yes. But not all of it," she said. "Some of these people are doing their homework, looking for opportunities and trying to take advantage of it. Some win, some lose -- it's really not that different than what professionals do on an institutional basis."
Maybe there is dumb money in retail, but that's hardly what matters. What does matter - in our view - is what we reported earlier today, namely that last week we saw the biggest shorting among hedge funds since last May. And with the squeeze having started on Friday and clearly continuing on Sunday, the upcoming "mega squeeze" ( which we predicted earlier today ) is all that matters.
As such while Wall Street ruminates about the cause (and reflexive effect) of the current record capital inflows into equity stocks amid growing market turmoil, the only thing that matters for this broken, illiquid market is positioning and right now the "max pain" is higher. A lot higher, especially since the Fed will have no choice but to step in if stocks continue to fall as all the careful centrally-planned work of the past 12 years would implode with a massive bang if it does not.
Hobbit of Hyperinflation 6 hours agoSQRT 69 1 hour ago remove link
Two words: THE FED.DontFollowMyAdviceImaDummy PREMIUM 10 hours ago
Three letters: PPTWhats-A-Theta PRO 10 hours ago
probably going to sell off for another 8 to 10 business days and then the magic money pump machine will get activated along with every stonk price target seeing huge price target increases because of fantasies about flying cars and infinite forever profits by 2040...Chiefisme 4 hours ago remove link
As no one stops and asks what stocks are actually worth we shouldn't have too much trouble.VioLaTor 5 hours ago remove link
There is a simple explanation. The market is rigged. The Fed is wildly "printing" money and supporting all of the markets including equity to keep the faced going.uhland62 7 hours ago remove link
Oil past 70 also this morning. I saw CW had a new podcast over the weekend, and on BB today to rally the troops. See what happens. I think the new investors might well be learning that stocks also go down, and diversification is good. 10 year auction on Wednesday will be interesting.You_Cant_Quit_Me 27 minutes ago
As long as you feed $$ into the military industrial complex, the stock market goes up. The military is the key industry of the US and that will not change.Sound of the Suburbs 4 hours ago
When you get nothing on your savings people move the cash elsewhere for higher yield. The FED is inflating bubbles in equities and real estateSound of the Suburbs 4 hours ago remove link
The wealth is there and then it's gone. At the end of the 1920s, the US was a ponzi scheme of inflated asset prices. The use of neoclassical economics, and the belief in free markets, made them think that inflated asset prices represented real wealth. 1929 Wakey, wakey time
The use of neoclassical economics, and the belief in free markets, made them think that inflated asset prices represented real wealth, but it didn't.
It didn't then, and it doesn't now.
Real estate - the wealth is there and then it's gone.
- 1990s UK, US (S&L), Canada (Toronto), Scandinavia, Japan, Philippines, Thailand
- 2000s Iceland, Dubai, US (2008), Vietnam
- 2010s Ireland, Spain, Greece, India
Get ready to put Australia, Canada, Norway, Sweden and Hong Kong on the list.
It's not real wealth. What is real wealth? Weimar Germany and Zimbabwe were never short of money. Weimar Germany and Zimbabwe had created far too much money compared to the goods and services available within the economy causing hyper-inflation. States can just create money, and the last thing you want is too much of the damn stuff in your economy. They had made so much money it lost nearly all its value, and they needed wheelbarrows of the stuff to buy anything.
Money has no intrinsic value; it comes from what it can buy. Central bankers actually look at the money supply, and expect it to rise in line with the new goods and services in the economy, as it grows. More goods and services in the economy require more money in the economy. Paul Ryan was a typically confused neoliberal and Alan Greenspan had to put him straight. Paul Ryan was worried about how the Government would pay for pensions. Alan Greenspan told Paul Ryan the Government can create all the money it wants, there is no need to save for pensions.
What matters is whether the goods and services are there for them to buy with that money. That's where the real wealth in the economy lies. They worked it out last time. The real wealth creation in the economy is measured by GDP. The transfer of existing assets, like stocks and real estate, doesn't create real wealth and therefore does not add to GDP. Real wealth creation involves real work, producing new goods and services in the economy. It took them a long time to disentangle the hopelessly confused thinking of neoclassical economics in the 1930s.
This is the second time around and it has already been done.CB Newkirk III 5 hours ago (Edited) remove link
Neoclassical economics is a pseudo economics that hides the inconvenient truths discovered by the classical economists. The classical economists identified the constructive "earned" income and the parasitic "unearned" income. Most of the people at the top lived off the parasitic "unearned" income and they now had a big problem.
This problem was solved with neoclassical economics, which hides this distinction. It confuses making money and creating wealth so all rich people look good. If you know what real wealth creation is, you will realise many at the top don't create any wealth. Look what has happened to the US since they got confused between making money and creating wealth. In 1984, for the first time in American history, "unearned" income exceeded "earned" income.
The American have lost sight of what real wealth creation is, and are just focussed on making money. You might as well do that in the easiest way possible. It looks like a parasitic rentier capitalism because that is what it is. You've just got to sniff out the easy money. All that hard work involved in setting up a company yourself, and building it up. Why bother?
Asset strip firms other people have built up, that's easy money. The private equity firms have found an easy way to make money that doesn't actually create any wealth. Bankers make the most money when they are driving your economy into a financial crisis. They will load your economy up with their debt products until you get a financial crisis.
On a BBC documentary, comparing 1929 to 2008, it said the last time US bankers made as much money as they did before 2008 was in the 1920s.
At 18 mins.
The bankers loaded the US economy up with their debt products until they got financial crises in 1929 and 2008. As you head towards the financial crisis, the economy booms due to the money creation of bank loans.
The financial crisis appears to come out of a clear blue sky when you use an economics that doesn't consider debt, like neoclassical economics.
All the Business Knowledge is in the algorithms (programs), and no one knows what they do, or how to maintain and upgrade them for a changing environment. The just keep patching them and hope that it works. But hey, those graphs are nifty looking.
Mar 08, 2021 | www.marketwatch.com
In our call of the day, Miller Tabak & Co's chief market strategist Matt Maley said investors need to be "very careful" about buying the dip when it comes to the tech-laden index and should instead be selling the bounces.
... the FAANG Index -- which includes Facebook FB,
+2.58%, Amazon AMZN, +0.77%, Apple AAPL, +1.07%, Netflix NFLX, +1.00%and Google parent Alphabet GOOGL, +3.10%-- is only 6% off February highs and still sits above its 100 day moving average. "A break below that moving average would send up a big warning flag on the group," he said.
... The price of Brent crude BRNK21,
-0.56%briefly topped $70 a barrel for the first time in a year after Saudi Arabia and Yemen rebels traded airstrikes.
Mar 08, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com
Over the last month, Tesla has fallen from about $868 to $598, a plunge of about 31%. But it isn't just Tesla investors that are feeling the pain: with the stock having risen in popularity over the last 18 months, Tesla is now tied to numerous ETFs that it winds up pulling lower when it underperforms. In fact, Bloomberg notes that "at one point on Friday, every one of the 54 U.S.-based ETFs that have assets under management exceeding $1 billion and more than 1% invested in Tesla had fallen."
Mando Ramos 1 hour agobuzzsaw99 50 minutes ago (Edited)
A year ago today it was trading at $72 dollars a share, and it was criminally, outrageously overvalued then. But as we've all learned in the last 10 years, crime actually does payXi the Pooh 51 minutes ago remove link
the idea was to add tsla to the s&p is about fleecing all the index buyers. Read 401K lemmings.Son of Loki 17 minutes ago
Tesla and Bitcoin are two bubbles that need popping. Useless overvalued garbage.hedge4Gain 51 minutes ago
What's the definition of malinvestment?
The NYSE and NASDAQ.Lordflin 35 minutes ago
"Betting On A Dream": Could Tesla Be The Canary In The ETF Liquidity Coal Mine? Betting on Tesla has always been like betting on a yellow school bus winning the 500 mile race or a windmill in snowstorm.
The PPT and the CBs have your backs folks... you will be fine...
Mar 06, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
vk , Mar 5 2021 13:54 utc | 93
Fed lures banks to buy unwanted US Treasuries
I recommend everybody to read it all, but here's the crucial paragraph for the topic being discussed here:Foreigners, who took up a great deal of Treasury debt during and after the Global Financial Crisis of 2008-2009, have stopped buying Treasuries. China, the largest official holder of US government bonds, isn't motivated to bail America out at the moment.
This Treasury debt buying spree during 2008-2009 is what the American people still call "the Obama Recovery". In fact, Obama had nothing to do with it: it was China that saved the USA from collapse in 2008 as it bailed it out.
But now it's different. On the USA is buying USA. The problem here is that we aren't talking about manufacturing and commodities, but fictitious capital: you know something's wrong when you have to buy your own debt in order to create a raison d'être for your own debt's existence.
Old and Grumpy , Mar 5 2021 15:07 utc | 95
Bankers rule the world. Corporations are international fiefdoms serving the banks. The deep state is just the goon squad to steal resources from locals, and to kill any uppity serf who might have any aspiration for freedom. Trump was for show, so as to turn the guns on pesky, uppity, and white Americans. I am both dreading and please they hate my side. Biden is the senile old coot who just signs proclamations. The real advantage to Biden is he doesn't tweet to stir up the masses. Apparently that was a no, no.
Mar 06, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
karlof1 , Mar 4 2021 22:19 utc | 41
psychohistorian @23 & William Gruff @28--
Here's the synopsis for today's Keiser Report :
"In this episode of Keiser Report, Max and Stacy look at the 'growing concern that market-based inflation expectations have become unreliable as indicators,' i.e. the central banks have destroyed the price signal foundational to free and fair markets. In this environment, we see Goodhart's Law at work: When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure. Billionaire hedge fund investor Paul Singer says of the 'market craziness' that there is a 'scarcity of honest profits.'"
From Shadowstats most recent Flash Commentary on 24 Feb:
"Despite Happy Headline Gains in January 2021 Real Retail Sales, Production and Construction, the Underlying Payroll Employment Numbers Tell the Opposite Story • First-Quarter 2021 GDP Remains at Risk of Relapsing into Quarterly Contraction • January 2021 Producer Price Index Monthly Inflation Hit a Record, 10-Year High • U.S. Dollar Collapse Accelerates."
Shadowstats next Benchmark Commentary will cover "major definitional and accuracy issues with current Federal Reserve and Federal Government Monetary and Economic data, along with corrective approaches." Of course, that's one way of saying Here's how the government lies about the economy and how you can see through them and come close to the truth .
Would Putin or the Chinese allow their governments to operate in such a manner? IMO, once the USA began to lie about the basic economic stats it became a failed state and has been in decline ever since despite all outward appearances. Earlier this week, Strategic-Culture published an Infographic to answer this question:
"Is the American Dream Still Alive?"
Do note the point of separation between productivity and wages that's been pointed at now for several decades and how closely it follows Nixon's exit from the Gold Standard.
Mar 06, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
uncle tungsten , Mar 5 2021 22:08 utc | 41
Some complementary factors that we can consider:
The new, 34-year old Democratic Senator from Georgia, Jon Ossoff, let a very big cat out of the bag at yesterday's Senate Banking hearing. For at least a year, from September 17, 2019 through at least September 30, 2020, the New York Fed, acting as an agent for the Federal Reserve, doled out a cumulative $9 trillion or more in repo loans. The Fed would say only that the money was going to some of its 24 Primary Dealers on Wall Street, without naming any specific bank receiving the money. In June of 2020, the New York Fed abruptly stopped reporting the dollar amounts it was pumping out each day.
and from the same source:
Pull up a chair and get comfy. You're about to watch the first act in what is likely to be a long-running show called "The Great Tech Wreck of Zero-Dividend Stocks." The show's sponsor is rising yields on U.S. Treasury notes which make tech stocks that have ballooned in price (as the Fed held interest rates artificially low) and pay no cash dividends to compete with the rising yields, particularly unattractive.
Mar 01, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com
What "Normal" Are We Returning To? The Depression Nobody Dares Acknowledge BY TYLER DURDEN MONDAY, MAR 01, 2021 - 17:21
Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,
Perhaps we need an honest national dialog about declining expectations, rising inequality, social depression and the failure of the status quo.
Even as the chirpy happy-talk of a return to normal floods the airwaves, what nobody dares acknowledge is that "normal" for a rising number of Americans is the social depression of downward mobility and social defeat .
Downward mobility is not a new trend--it's simply accelerating. As this RAND Corporation report documents, ( Trends in Income From 1975 to 2018 ) $50 trillion in earnings has been transferred to the Financial Aristocracy from the bottom 90% of American households over the past 45 years.
Time magazine's article on the report is remarkably direct: The Top 1% of Americans Have Taken $50 Trillion From the Bottom 90% -- And That's Made the U.S. Less Secure .
"The $50 trillion transfer of wealth the RAND report documents has occurred entirely within the American economy, not between it and its trading partners. No, this upward redistribution of income, wealth, and power wasn't inevitable; it was a choice--a direct result of the trickle-down policies we chose to implement since 1975.
We chose to cut taxes on billionaires and to deregulate the financial industry. We chose to allow CEOs to manipulate share prices through stock buybacks, and to lavishly reward themselves with the proceeds. We chose to permit giant corporations, through mergers and acquisitions, to accumulate the vast monopoly power necessary to dictate both prices charged and wages paid. We chose to erode the minimum wage and the overtime threshold and the bargaining power of labor. For four decades, we chose to elect political leaders who put the material interests of the rich and powerful above those of the American people."
I've been digging into downward mobility and social depression for years: Are You Really Middle Class?
The reality is that the middle class has been reduced to the sliver just below the top 5%--if we use the standards of the prosperous 1960s as a baseline.
The downward mobility isn't just financial--it's a decline in political power, control of one's work and ownership of income-producing assets. This article reminds us of what the middle class once represented: What Middle Class? How bourgeois America is getting recast as a proletariat .
This reappraisal of the American Dream is also triggering a reappraisal of the middle class in the decades of widespread prosperity: The Myth of the Middle Class: Have Most Americans Always Been Poor?
Downward mobility excels in creating and distributing what I term social defeat : In my lexicon, social defeat is the spectrum of anxiety, insecurity, chronic stress, fear and powerlessness that accompanies declining financial security and social status.
Downward mobility and social defeat lead to social depression . Here are the conditions that characterize social depression:
1. High expectations of endlessly rising prosperity instilled as a birthright no longer align with economy reality.
2. Part-time and unemployed people are marginalized, not just financially but socially.
3. Widening income/wealth disparity as those in the top 10% pull away from the bottom 90%.
4. A systemic decline in social/economic mobility as it becomes increasingly difficult to move from dependence on the state or one's parents to financial independence.
5. A widening disconnect between higher education and employment: a college/university degree no longer guarantees a stable, good-paying job.
6. A failure in the Status Quo institutions and mainstream media to recognize social depression as a reality.
7. A systemic failure of imagination within state and private-sector institutions on how to address social depression issues.
8. The abandonment of middle class aspirations: young people no longer aspire to (or cannot afford) consumerist status symbols such as luxury autos or conventional homeownership.
9. A generational abandonment of marriage, families and independent households as these are no longer affordable to those with part-time or unstable employment.
10. A loss of hope in the young generations as a result of the above conditions.
The rising tide of collective anger arising from social depression is visible in many places: road rage, violent street clashes between groups seething for a fight, the destruction of friendships for holding "incorrect" ideological views, and so on.
A coarsening of the entire social order is increasingly visible: The Age of Rudeness .
Depressive thoughts (and the emotions they generate) tend to be self-reinforcing, and this is why it's so difficult to break out of depression once in its grip.
One part of the healing process is to expose the sources of anger that we are repressing. As psychiatrist Karen Horney explained in her 1950 masterwork, Neurosis and Human Growth: The Struggle Towards Self-Realization , anger at ourselves sometimes arises from our failure to live up to the many "shoulds" we've internalized, and the idealized track we've laid out for ourselves and our lives.
The article The American Dream Is Killing Us does a good job of explaining how our failure to obtain the expected rewards of "doing all the right things" (getting a college degree, working hard, etc.) breeds resentment and despair.
Since we did the "right things," the system "should" deliver the financial rewards and security we expected. This systemic failure to deliver the promised rewards is eroding the social contract and social cohesion. Fewer and fewer people have a stake in the system.
We are increasingly angry at the system, but we reserve some anger for ourselves, because the mass-media trumpets how well the economy is doing and how some people are doing extremely well. Naturally, we wonder, why them and not us? The failure is thus internalized.
One response to this sense that the system no longer works as advertised is to seek the relative comfort of echo chambers --places we can go to hear confirmation that this systemic stagnation is the opposing ideological camp's fault.
Part of the American Exceptionalism we hear so much about is a can-do optimism: set your mind to it and everything is possible.
The failure to prosper as anticipated is generating a range of negative emotions that are "un-American": complaining that you didn't get a high-paying secure job despite having a college degree (or advanced degree) sounds like sour-grapes: the message is you didn't work hard enough, you didn't get the right diploma, etc.
It can't be the system that's failed, right? I discuss this in my book Why Our Status Quo Failed and Is Beyond Reform : the top 10% who are benefiting mightily dominate politics and the media, and their assumption is: the system is working great for me, so it must be working great for everyone . This implicit narrative carries an implicit accusation that any failure is the fault of the individual, not the system.
The inability to express our despair and anger generates depression. Some people will redouble their efforts, others will seek to lay the blame on "the other" (some external group) and others will give up. What few people will do is look at the sources of systemic injustice and inequality.
Perhaps we need an honest national dialog about declining expectations, rising inequality and the failure of the status quo that avoids polarization and the internalization trap (i.e. it's your own fault you're not well-off).
We need to value honesty above fake happy-talk. Once we can speak honestly, there will be a foundation for optimism.
* * *
If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com .
Feb 28, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
Canadian Cents , Feb 28 2021 17:21 utc | 9
Danny Haiphong on "Capitalism on a Ventilator" , a book that has apparently been banned by Amazon:
Capitalism on a Ventilator: A new book analyzes the impact of COVID-19 on the U.S. and China
" The COVID-19 pandemic has placed China and the United States on the opposite ends of human progress."
steven t johnson , Feb 28 2021 18:03 utc | 17
Canadian Cents@9 The book Capitalism on a Ventilator is a collection of essays or articles produced by the Workers World Party, one of the Communist Parties in the US.
Amazon lists the book as currently unavailable (and asks if you want an email if it becomes more available.)
It is indeed possible this is a surreptitious way of censoring the book, especially if the unavailability means WWP (which operates the International Action Center) simply hasn't complied with technical requirements imposed by Amazon.
Such as guaranteeing delivery within a limited number of days. Amazon has, apparently, tightened up a lot to make it difficult for independents to sell on Amazon.
But it is also possible that the limited budgets and other resources led to limited numbers of copies which are now sold out. When the new press run is complete, the book becomes available again.
Feb 28, 2021 | finance.yahoo.com
Rising yields will likely inject more volatility into financial markets as investors debate when the Fed will be forced to tighten monetary policy, though that doesn't appear to be anytime soon.
Fed chair Jerome Powell downplayed concerns this week about potentially higher inflation and signaled that the central bank sees no need to alter its ultralow rate policies for the foreseeable future. The Fed projects that inflation will remain at or below the central bank's 2% target through 2023.
Despite conventional thinking that rising long-term rates are bad for stocks, historical data show that the broad S&P 500 has actually posted strong returns.
The S&P 500 has averaged an annualized total return of 13% and increased 81% of the time during rising rate periods (13 out of 16), according to data from Truist Advisory Services.
Feb 28, 2021 | finance.yahoo.com
Originally from Warren Buffett- Bond investors world-wide 'face a bleak future'
Insurance represents the largest of Berkshire Hathaway's four "family jewel" businesses. Though unlike other insurance companies, Berkshire takes a more equity-heavy approach when investing its insurance float.
According to Buffett, Berkshire's insurance fleet has more capital deployed than any of its competitors thanks to the financial strength of the operation and the "huge cash flow" generated by the non-insurance businesses.
This combination allows Berkshire's insurance operation to "safely follow an equity-heavy investment strategy," something that's "not feasible for the overwhelming majority of insurers," Buffett wrote. For regulatory and credit-rating reasons, a lot of insurers have to focus on bonds.
He noted that some insurers and bond investors "may try to juice the pathetic returns now available by shifting their purchases to obligations backed by shaky borrowers." In other words, they may allocate more of the portfolios to financial instruments like leveraged loans and high-yield bonds, aka junk bonds.
"Risky loans, however, are not the answer to inadequate interest rates," he added. "Three decades ago, the once-mighty savings and loan industry destroyed itself, partly by ignoring that maxim."
Feb 27, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Mansoor H. Khan , February 27, 2021 at 9:02 am
Poofing money into existence has serous consequences: Eventual Economic Depression:
Here is my prediction (it is actually very positive ultimately).
1. Stock market is way, way, way too high for the underlying profitability of companies and underlying demand (capacity to spend/budget/money in the pocket) from consumers.
2. FAATMAN companies' valuations are way to high. FAATMAN = Facebook, Amazon, Alphabet (google), Tesla, Microsoft, Apple and Netflix. But this can be fixed. Keep reading!
3. I am expecting a Titanic level Market slide within 0-3 years. Down 70%. Great Depression level. But much faster due to electronic age we live in.
4. I will go in with both feet with ALL my cash into the stock market at that time. My jump-in level is 70% down from peak.
5. Interest rates tell you 90% of the story. This low of rates means DEMAND is very, very weak compared to capacity (I refinanced my 15 year fixed rate mortgage at 2.2% APR). Which means that average Joe does not have sufficient income to borrow and spend. Yes capacity to produce in our beautiful god given economy is huge and ever expanding. That part is correct!
6. Capacity of the economy is stupendously high due to extreme automation. Again, this is the good part. Of course. Thanks to the IT guys like me.
7. Federal Reserve cannot do much at this point. Federal Reserve would be pushing on a string and they know it.
8. One way to balance capacity and demand in our economy is through UBI (Universal Basic Income). Otherwise known as John Maynard Keynes' helicopter cash or Clifford H. Douglas' social credit.
9. If we don't do UBI we will at least need to do continuous stimuluses by the federal government. Every six months.
10. UBI is better, simpler, more comprehensive, fairer way to stimulate the economy continuously. I would called it: AUTOMATION DIVDEND. That is what it really is.
11. How long will it take for Americans to realize how economy really works (i.e., Keynesian economics). Don't know. But there is hope. Bernie Sanders and the Democrats in general are not too far from seeing past the scarcity paradigm which conservatives (Republicans) live in. It took me probably 2000 hours of intensely scouring the web to figure out what is going on. Reading books and reading all kinds of blogs and comments in blogs to figure out the truth about our modern credit based economy. By the way in my heart I am a conservative (Republican). But I cannot vote for them because they (Republicans) are clueless about how the economy really works.
12. It took elderly dying in the streets in the 30's for FDR to realize we need a social security program.
13. A future UBI program should be simple in implementation. All who have SSN should get non-taxable UBI (no exceptions). Babies and Billionaires included. I would start with $500 per month per SSN. This can be implemented very easily through a partnership between the Social security administration + the Bankers. Very similar to how my mom's social security benefits are deposited in her Wells Fargo bank account every month seamlessly.
14. Why pay billionaires UBI. Because it is only fair. Money printed is not the same as money spent. If the billionaire does not spend it. The extra money does not "cost" any resources from within our economy. Cool. Isn't it.
15. If inflation ensues I would implement a consumption tax (a national sales tax) to tone down consumption and balance capacity and demand. By the way I would completely eliminate all federal income taxes including social security taxes. If inflation ensues again raise the national sales tax to balance capacity and demand. State and local taxes have to stay since state and local governments can't print money.
16. If something like the above is not done. Capitalism will be destroyed completely. How ironic, by conservatives themselves because they don't understand (Keynesian) economics.
17. Capitalism was rescued after the great depression by world war II spending, GI bill spending, Marshall Plan spending, the space program spending, the welfare and food stamp programs spending, the korean war spending, the vietnam war spending, the Reagan's star wars defense programs spending and defense budget and other budget items spending in general. If these "spendings" were not there than capitalism would have collapse by now due to deflation.
18. Capitalism is too much focused savings and dies of deflation eventually when consumers cannot borrow anymore!
19. This (Keynesian) economics only works because of automation and availability of relatively cheap abundant energy supplies which power our machines and our computers.
20. If we ever cannot get cheap energy supplies Well back to few hundred million people on earth total and scarcity!
I am praying for a UBI outcome.
JBird4049 , February 27, 2021 at 4:30 pm
In Western society, especially in American society, money equals status. The more money you have the the more esteemed you are; I don't particularly care to have money except for some of the nice things I can get like books, but then my ego or sense of self worth is not tied to money, whereas for too many of the higher classes it is tied to a sense of personal value; it also means political as well as social power. The wealthiest Americans are treated like gods in our nation merely because they have wealth.
Having seen middle class customers lording themselves our my fellow employees was an interesting experience. It convinced me that the money they had made them feel good; it will take force of some kind to get a more equal and just society that does not depend on raw wealth for a good life.
Jan 25, 2021 | off-guardian.org
Off-Guardian commenter, Maribel Tuff, expands their comment Above The Line.
Bringing together the US emergency bank lending crisis and the now massive Covid response, I've concluded that one of the main reasons it is happening, apart from the corporate looting, is because of a historic event, the USA's economic collapse and the dollar's demise, which started just weeks before this Covid operation kicked off, and has been put on hold by a world wide manufactured economic 'freeze'.THE END OF 'EXTEND AND PRETEND'
A few months before Covid appeared, the Fed were busy pouring literally trillions of dollars into the US banks, to prevent inter-lending bank-runs which were starting to develop. These were the same tectonic fissures that developed prior to the 2008 crisis, where the banks became so distrustful of each other's solvency, that they massively increased interest rates to each other to factor in the risk. If unsuppressed the lending rates would continue to rise, laying a path to bank failures and a contagion which would eventually derail the economy and undermine the dollar itself.
In September 2019 the Fed intervened in the repo. markets for four consecutive days, pumping $75 billion per day into the banks, as the inter-banking interest rate – the repo rate – peaked at a terrifying 10% [ 1 ]. If this level were allowed to contaminate regular highstreet lending, it would cause widespread debt defaults & insolvencies.
The dangers are far greater today because, unlike in 2008, Quantitive Easing (QE) has pushed the Fed to the limits of its credibility, and are forcing them into causing some serious currency debasement. If they continue with the forms of QE they are shackled to, then dollar debasement becomes a certainty in a US economy that is far more fragile & indebted generally and less able to cope.
The Fed must have known for a few years that QE was not returning the economy to economic normality, and that they were still trapped in the solvency crisis of 2008. Knowing this, the Fed were prepared for the latest crisis. They had made it possible to inject hundreds of billions of dollars into the banking system discreetly, unlike in 2008, without any additional Congressional fanfare, via the Financial Stability Oversight Council , formed in 2010.
They had given themselves almost unlimited funds and the resources of the entire government if necessary, to reassure the banks that collapse was impossible. This 'rescue operation' was being played out, relatively unreported except in the financial press, only weeks prior to the Covid flu appearing on the world stage. Issuing
.. cumulative repo loans totalling more than $9 trillion to the trading houses on Wall Street that the Fed had been making from September 17 of 2019 – months before the onset of COVID-19 anywhere in the world [ 2 ]
Unlike in 2008, this second use or continued use of mass Fed stimulus is not a new untested idea and, by using it again or continuing to use it more intensely to stabilise the banks, it would eventually lead the markets to conclude that we are locked in a never ending cycle of stimulus, which will inevitably end in hyperinflation and dollar collapse.
That is an uncontroversial economic fact, and will be the conclusion of the Fed's current policy. In that context, an external 'event' could be critical in taking the spotlight off US finance and its woes.United States Overnight Repo Rate was at 0.11 on Friday January 15
The Fed will not want to exit repo operations until they are absolutely certain the market can stand on its own two feet. [ 3 ], [ 4 ]
But, as they well know given their experience over the past 10 years, the markets will never be able to stand on their own feet in the current economic model. Now not only companies are being kept afloat by low interests rates, the US itself is dependent and kept solvent by low interest rates.
The fed has injected or made available over 9 trillion dollars to the banks in only 6 months leading up to March 2020, that is over 40% of the USA's GDP, prior to Covid and represents nearly a 40% increase in the USA's national debt!
So it is becoming very obvious that we are at the end of this particular monetary road, the 'extend and pretend' policy is finished and there is nothing in the economic tool box that can stall the inevitable. Only an external 'divine' intervention could, even temporarily delay the dollar's collapse. As an aside, I should add, although they may be affected later, this is not happening in European or Asian banks, only in US banks.THE DIVERSION
In my opinion, the US security agencies picked a scenario off the shelf, something they have been justifiably rehearsing for years, the response to a deadly virus, which would produce the required financial shutdown, suppress bank activity, and create a world crisis big enough to eclipse the US economic crisis and produce a 'flight to safety' into the dollar, facilitating an economic induced coma, allowing time, a breathing space and justifying massive emergency QE injections into the US and world economy.
It could be sold as a period during which a restructuring of the world banking system could take place and perhaps reschedule debt as well as redefine the mechanisms of a new reserve currency.
This is what I think 'The Great Reset' really is about. It is being painted as something intricate and nefarious on every level, but it's possibly more utilitarian than that, a necessary dialog, where the subject of that dialog is sealed from the public, justified by protecting our worried and panicky ears, and which concerns almost all western world leaders.
I'm sure a major false flag terror attack would have been discussed as an alternative to Covid, but the US is in no fit position economically to respond militarily, and without a military response to a terror attack the US would fear looking weak. Although Wars have been thought to resolve many an economic crisis, it is just as likely, in this instance, that a proxy war with Russia or a direct war with Iran would precipitate a dollar collapse, rather than create growth and a flight to 'safety'. China would no doubt gleefully humiliate the US during such a conflict. So I speculate that major wars, as an economic solution, are off the table, at least until this crisis is resolved.
Creating a virus out of thin air is a cruel and vicious deceit, but the Fed will no doubt have claimed to its allies that it is far less painful than the total economic implosion we will face in the brewing economic collapse, where financial contagion from the US would cause most western financial institutions to become insolvent, debt would remain unpaid, trade would cease, asset values would crumble, bank machines stop, riots start, martial law be declared, and in many ill-prepared, import-dependent countries like the UK, rationing and eventually hunger would begin.
This is the threat the fed would have made to their allies, as we know for a fact they did in 2008, when asking for a united world central bank stimulus, making it appear vital to world economic survival.
They would have claimed that this time around the economic dangers are of such a magnitude that they even persuaded their foes, Russia and China, to partake in the hoax, because they are also reliant on continued banking & economic stability, and would not be willing to risk political instability at home caused by a second world economic depression.
By creating this suspension of an economic collapse, the US has cleverly turned the dominance of the dollar into a matter of international survival, effectively holding the world to ransom and blocking the baton of world reserve currency being dually transferred over to the next economic ascendant, China, and where the US has effectively engineered themselves a seat amongst the judges at their own bankruptcy hearing.
Believing this to be the case, I am less confused as to why most of the USA's allies were so helpful and so consistent in making this Covid operation happen, and I have concluded it is their belief in the integrated nature of the financial & currency markets and the threat of economic collapse posited, as in 2008 by the Fed, that is causing their complicity.MUTUAL SECRECY
As each irrational, destructive lockdown measure is implemented I am quite sure that our politicians, the very few that are in the know, say to each other: 'we are lucky because "lockdowns" are as nothing, compared to the calamity that would overtake us in the event of a dollar-induced economic collapse!' This, for me, explains their apparent insanity, lies and the internationally co-ordinated nature of their response. They too are acting out of fear, not for a virus, but for fear of anarchy and, by extension, the very real threat to their own lives that would result.
The secrecy surrounding this operation is wholly consistent, because it is in nobody's interests to break ranks. If anyone exposes what is really happening to the US economy then it would precipitate the run on the banks, and then the dollar, that they are being told would lead to a world economic catastrophe.
To explore this hypothesis, we can look at the varying responses of the world players, and measure their reluctance or complicity in the scam, because at this turning point in history, during these shifts of power, loyalty is not guaranteed.
Japan has been strangely reluctant to take part, indicating to me their brooding irritation with US hegemony, which has been growing amongst their population for some years and expressed through the Osprey protests . It looked at one point like they were flirting with the idea of ignoring Covid altogether. Prompting the US to 'invite' Japan to join 5-eyes, perhaps to exert more direct control over them, via their security services?
Russia and China are reluctantly playing along for obvious economic reasons, but again we see reluctance to go full hog, despite the attraction of introducing authoritarian measures at home under the cover of Covid. Russia has even invented a non-existent vaccine for the non-existent virus, giving themselves an instant opt-out when required. Whereas China is preferring to just stop testing, and ignore the 'crisis' altogether, except for the odd statement about how dangerous it all is.
Non-western Africa, is not taking part at all, in Nigeria there are very few cases, probably because they are out of the loop on what is really happening, and see little evidence of a virus in their population.
Germany although physically occupied by the US, like Japan, have a confidence and independence that marks them apart from other vassal states. Having 'found' far fewer cases of Covid, they have tried to preserve their precious economy from any serious harm for as long as possible, demonstrating a cheekiness, consistent with their building of the Nord-stream pipeline project to Russia, ignoring the US's repeated demands for them to stop.
In contrast, the USA's closest, most supine of allies, & the 5 eyes states, are enthusiastically taking part, hyping the virus story to the n th degree of absurdity. Notably the UK, France and Australia, each week pushing yet another absurdly fascist response to a non-existent problem to scare their population stiff. In my view each allies' response is calibrated to their financial dependency on the US and how 'captured' their leaders are to US interests.
On the political and media front, alternative media, doubtless spurred on by seeded stories and certain controlled opposition, unwittingly fans these flames by speculating on various kingpins and ideologues central to the plot, like Bill & Malinda Gates, and playing up fear stories of Marxist tyrannies, Communist takeovers, compulsory vaccines, tracking chips and various accusations against the dangers of 5G – targeted for being predominately European and Chinese technology.
The end result is a population left either paralysed by fear of the flu, or in terror of a rising 'Marxist Fascist tyranny' run by 'jewish globalists' and oligarchs. Either way, everyone is in too fearful a state to logically assess what is really going on around them.
I'm sure, in the dark bowels of Langley, Virginia, this scenario has been pre-rehearsed and stress-tested for years, and pieced together from a huge portfolio of coups and psychological terror operations from around the world.
Perhaps with lessons learned from Climate Change where, as with the weather, the common flu can easily be weaponised. In the case of Covid via a swiftly implemented 'testing' regime, simply testing for the common cold and producing millions of false positives, and a hysterical, totally unquestioning mainstream media.COVID OPPORTUNISM
International Covid panic created some short term, but worryingly for the USA, short-lived 'flight to safety'. 'International crisis' is the USA's traditional and most effective tool to protect the dollar: normally US/UK media-manufactured. It was used to bolster a flagging dollar via the media-created 'Euro crisis' or 'Greek debt crisis'. A series of hysterical panics made 'real' by US and UK financial press, quickly making the USA's economic woes old news, and reducing the world reserve holdings of the Euro in only a matter of months.
Along with the 'flight to (dollar) safety', Covid has offered the opportunity to freeze the USA's banking collapse with massive injections of cash. $9 trillions was available to US banks up until March 2020, but in addition to this the Fed produced $5 trillion in economic stimulus to the wider economy and a further 5 trillions recently.
Without this 'external threat' – a 'killer virus' – this amount of stimulus would have immediately caused panic and threatened dollar credibility. However, with the virus narrative and the world-unified stimulus response to the 'Covid pandemic', this modest flight to (dollar) safety, along with the massive cash injections, looked justified and sensible.
It also looks to me like those in the 'dollar economic zone' – if there is such a thing – have gone along with their own impoverishment and have wrecked their own economies under the cover of Covid, to save themselves from a perceived greater economic catastrophe, bank contagion, on the basis of what I believe is being secretly told them by the USA, and based on what they have been witnessing in the US banking system prior to March.
It could easily be argued that we are being unwittingly drawn into a conspiracy to protect the dollar and US hegemony, under the cover of Covid, that is not in our own best long-term interests at all (currently being called the 'great reset').
Like Brexit and like the War on Carbon, I believe that if an operation or manufactured event seems to offer multifaceted advantages to the USA and their Corporate & military elite, then that operation has revealed its origins.
As it is the case with Covid, not only is there a freeze on the US economic collapse, but US Corporations and Internet services are benefiting massively from the 'Covid illusion'. Something that must be getting more obvious by the day, and must be giving honest foreign leaders concerns as they see their retail sectors ravaged by Amazon and their cultural institutions replaced by Netflix, Apple TV and Amazon TV.
And the proposed 'salvation' involves paying billions to US Pharma, for, at best, a very doubtful vaccine. The least-honest politicians can no doubt engineer their 'shutdowns' to preference US corporations, whilst acting as the viceroys of Empire.
This looting could just be a side-show to the main event of dollar 'transition' or collapse, or it could be amongst the main aims of 'Operation Covid', it is difficult to tell, but it looks like the rest of the world is being looted by US Corporations and their home grown small-to-medium-size businesses bankrupted, with vast additional profits flowing to the USA's richest, where we see the stella rise in the wealth of America's robber barons.
From renting taxis with Uber to replacing hotels with AirBNB flats, holding meetings on zoom, spending 'cash free' via Visa, MasterCard et al and the Paypal cartel, ordering food on-line with Uber eats and destroying local culture, all are being forced on a gullible world public during the Covid selective collapse. It should be dawning on everyone by now that Covid is a very, very Neoliberal Corporate virus, strangely working in the interests of a continued US Corporate neoliberal rollout against our own national geopolitical interests.
It is not only the Corporates that benefit from US 'operations' like Covid, the security state also demands their share of the spoils for assisting in and facilitating much of the operation. US tracking apps, social media and communication platforms are being forced, as a parasitical middle man, into every walk of our lives, taking a thin slice off everyday activities, like an America tax.
The details of the implementation of the Covid operation aside, it is possible that many inside the system regard the 'Great Reset' as not a conspiracy to oppress us, to exploit us and destroy our lives in a Marxist tyranny as many believe, but rather regard it as a necessary adjustment to an unbalanced economic system.
To see it like that we must believe that the current system is fundamentally flawed and that good faith solutions are being sought. I think 'The Reset' is seen by many honest brokers around the world as a genuine platform to resolve flaws in the current world economy, and to manage a transition from the dollar, in a controlled fashion. We should not always think the worst motives of everyone involved.
Having said that, I have no doubt that the US is busy trying to hijack the agenda to preserve its own supremacy, even during its climactic demise. The US Military industrial complex will be suspicious of any direction not determined by them, and I'm sure in Washington, Brussels and Beijing there is a battle over the measures and direction we need to take.
Like it or not, there may be very good reasons for these discussions to be held in secret, and we are left with only secondhand hints of the battles being fought over our current economic future; like Universal income, a shared international reserve currency, digital currencies or a cashless society, perhaps required through exchange controls or price fixing, to fight coming hyper-inflation?
Many US shills will be telling the world, that this is a 'crisis of capitalism', a crisis of western civilisation, and that we all need to preserve the US economy & dollar supremacy to save the world.
I personally believe the US has set us up during this crisis, like they did in the last in 2008, where they dumped all their bad debt on European banks to 'share' the crisis out. Working on the principle that: a problem shared is a problem halved, perhaps. Even if we are in this crisis because of a US collapse, and the rest of us could survive relatively unscathed. A 'Reset' does appear to be one route that enables a slow deflating of the economic bomb sitting under the US and which may affect the rest of us badly, if it goes off." SHE SWALLOWED THE SPIDER TO CATCH THE FLY;
I DON'T KNOW WHY SHE SWALLOWED A FLY – PERHAPS SHE'LL DIE "
I reference the nursery rhyme as a cautionary tail, because this all started with the relatively normal economic recession of 2007, which if the USA had allowed to burn through its economy, would have been resolved in only a few years, and we would be living in normal times now. But they didn't. The world's central banks were persuaded to take measures that caused greater long-term harm, which in turn has led, in my view, to the 'Covid solution', a provocation intended to temporarily justify even more of the poisonous QE and low interest rates that didn't work before.
Whilst perhaps sold as a 'fire-break for a more long term solution to be found, I don't see much evidence that the 'fire-break' is being used well. It seems more like a pause for the always shortsighted American elites to loot as much as is possible from our states' coffers before an economic tsunami hits.A SELF-INFLICTED PROBLEM
I also believe the US never needed to be in this grave position it is today. Its problems are very much self inflicted. Simply taxing its wealthy and cutting its outrageous military spending would have averted a dollar crisis, leading instead to a slow drift from the dollar over a few decades as China took up the strain. But that is another story related to America's ideological, political and philosophical bankruptcy and scleroses, that has increasingly driven them into an economic ditch over the past 45 years.
The Covid operation itself is a beautiful metaphor for the original banking crisis, which triggered the Fed to use quantitive easing (QE) – a far, far more damaging response than the original crisis itself, just as the lockdowns are far, far more damaging than this strain of flu, naturally occurring or released deliberately as a marker.
If a consensus resolution is not found quickly for the transfer or sharing of the world reserve currency, as the dollar is about to collapse, I have no doubt we will be required to 'swallow' a more drastic intervention than Covid to save the US economy and the dollar, each solution proving more damaging than the last And of course, as the rhyme goes, we will eventually swallow a 'horse' and be 'dead of course'.
If I am right guys, in one respect you can breathe a sigh of relief: world tyranny, forced vaccinations with harmful DNA changes, sterilisations, and mass genocide are not the main aims of this 'operation'. They may be the end result of it, if we are not careful, but I don't think they are the main aims.
The US is trying to stall dollar relegation using the Covid operation, and make it a major event, when previously the transition from old to new world reserve currency would have gone almost unnoticed by most of us. The British ceded the Pound's world reserve currency status relatively quietly after WWII, under US pressure to float the pound.
It is perhaps a measure of the utility that is now offered by the world's reserve currency, to facilitate the uncontrolled looting of the rest of the world's economies, that it is now such a prize and so hard to surrender. Without the dollar and its world reserve status, enabling the US to print pieces of green paper in exchange for real goods, the US would certainly be bankrupt.
But that is not our fault and it is not for us in the rest of the world to save them, especially since it is their ideology that has inflicted so much harm on their own people and the rest of world.
What we are witnessing is an attempt, through foul means, by another once great Empire to postpone the inevitable. To fight off being consigned to obscurity.
So we exist in that mad time, that time of collapse and chaos before a new order asserts itself, which could last a month or 100 years.You can view Maribel Tuff's original comment here . The author wished to remain anonymous.
anti_republocrat , Jan 25, 2021 9:51 PM
I was initially not very aware of the liquidity problem that developed in September, 2019, but I became aware of lots of weirdness quite early. Some examples are the FDA shutting down the testing Dr. Hlelen Chu was conducting on stored sample in January. I concluded that the federal government did not want her detecting SARS-CoV-2 in samples collected in 2019. Also, in mid-March, Ben Swann released a video discussing the invalid comparison of Covid's CFR with flu's IFR. If an apples to apples comparison had been made, people would have known that flu is far more dangerous than Covid-19. A third weirdness was the CDC's changes to death certificate criteria exposed by MN state senator Dr. Scott Jensen. He is now enduring harassment from the state medical board and has had to defend his license to practice in MN. About the same time, I became more aware of the liquidity issue and concluded that obscuring that was a prime motivator for hoax, but there were several other motivations. Not all participants in an event necessarily share the same motivation.
It became obvious to me early on that the Gates/Fauci/WHO/HHS crowd was lying about Hydroxychloroquine in order to boost vaccine development. It was hard to link that interest to multiple state governors deliberately committing genocide, but a FB friend yesterday clue me into this article about the power and control of Anthony Fauci throughout the medical establishment: https://kevinbarrett.heresycentral.is/2020/06/mccarthy/ Fear of such power may also be the reason that the FLCCC Alliance affiliated Eastern Virginia Medical School has disfavored HCQ. They clearly believe, probably with good reason, that Ivermectin is better, so they don't want to get smeared with HCQ while they're pushing an even better alternative.
The third motivation is the desire to be rid of Trump. Trump was many bad things, but he was also opposed to the US being controlled by an international globalist, technocratic Deep State. He thus had opponents all over the West, not just in the US. Members of the Deep State were in a perfect position to make sure the funders and controllers of the Democratic Party apparatus were aware how they could use a pandemic and lock downs against Trump.
I'm sure individuals who participated in the hoax had varying levels of awareness, as Ken McCarthy explained when interviewed by Kevin Barrett in the link above. Some actually believed the Covid-19 narrative. Some were afraid to speak out, seeing the retribution faced by others. But many were well aware of what they were doing, even to the point of deliberate eldercide.
It's a good thing most of my life has passed, because death is the only cure for me. No amount of de-programming or exposure to rats will make me unsee what I've seen.
Soros , Jan 26, 2021 12:23 AM Reply to anti_republocrat
The US with the largest military on the planet surrendering power to 'an international globalist, technocratic Deep State."? I don't see that as a choice any US president would make, or is making. Why would they, they hold all the cards and have created in their minds the greatest empire in History.
If there are two alternative views of the future for America, one being pursued by Biden and an alternative by Trump, both will involve American supremacy and control.
Norman E Anderson , Jan 25, 2021 8:34 PM
The Solution: A Global Rush to BitCoin.. pump BitCoin to the Maximum.. then dump it all into their "LIBRA DIEM" just waiting to be offered at the right time.. all to Fund the "balanced ERA 56 Per Diem Stipend" of the New Global Serf Class
Soros , Jan 26, 2021 12:25 AM Reply to Norman E Anderson
Bitcoin will fail in the face of the e-yuan, following dollar collapse. China is way ahead in making their digital currency official.
Lone Wolf , Jan 25, 2021 7:51 PM
This article could portray the absolute reality of the world situation but it will only be read by 99.99999% of the world's population. Of that 0% will be capable of acting positively in support of it.
This applies to every article that appears in OffGuardian. Words hold the ephemeral value of 'chip paper', they are incapable of effecting a solution to a problem that cannot be resolved by words alone.
Understanding this lies at the root of the REAL solution.
paranoid goy , Jan 25, 2021 1:20 PM
You know a thing as a simple truth by it being simple without being simplistic. But the Bolsheviks never let a good crisis go to waste, so keep fighting Baal Gates' holy water!
JdL , Jan 25, 2021 8:49 AM
"Off-Guardian commenter, Maribel Tuff, expands their comment Above The Line."
Who are "they" in this sentence? Please don't tell me this is some kind of genderless BS, using the plural to mean singular just to avoid – GASP! – implying whether someone is male or female.
Fact Checker , Jan 26, 2021 12:13 AM Reply to JdL
I took it to be a deliberate use of a gender-neutral pronoun not out of political correctness, but because it is an understood pen name and there's no reason to believe the writer is one sex or the other. (Of course, it is still confusingly plural.)
Harry Rogers , Jan 24, 2021 11:29 PM
A couple of notes from history.
After the Vietnam War ended and a number of years later to buy anything in Vietnam you needed lots of the currency called the Dong.
Gradually it wasn't called the Dong they were called "bricks". When you went to buy you would ask "How many bricks?". Now a brick was about 100 Dong notes.
After the second world war in Germany some peole actually carried their Recih Marks in a wheelbarrow when they went to buy something like bread etc.
Today the world debt is $57,917,909,049,231.
The simple thing about debt and money is that its all an illusion created for the benefit of a robotic universe that needs to believe that the piece of cheap paper I hold in my hand is of some value.
Also the US owes China owes Russia owes The EU owes Japan owes the UK owes ad infinitum. See the silliness of it! Ooh lets panic what if China wants it money back ? Um not possible and anyway its just numbers on a page.
What has real value?? Find out when life becomes live or die.
therevolutionwas , Jan 25, 2021 1:13 PM Reply to Harry Rogers
gold and silver for one
facts are fukt , Jan 25, 2021 2:20 PM Reply to therevolutionwas
Precious metals are not edible or useful unless you consider jewelery and semi-conductors to be essential items.
Why do gold and silver have "real value"?
bypassing yr lame filter , Jan 25, 2021 2:22 PM Reply to therevolutionwas
Precious metals are not edible or useful unless you consider ornaments and semi-conductors to be essential items.
Why do gold and silver have "real value"?
bypassing yr lame filter , Jan 25, 2021 2:25 PM Reply to bypassing yr lame filter
The spam fitler (spelling deliberate) here is obviously written by a member of the Borg as you cannot even use words that contain the three letters j,e, and w in succession. Which is why I had to write "ornaments" instead of the more exact name for shiny things worn as ornaments.
Soros , Jan 25, 2021 4:03 PM Reply to therevolutionwas
Gold will be confiscated by your state as it was in the 30s, as soon as the currency crisis kicks off.
Tony , Jan 25, 2021 4:15 PM Reply to Soros
That's why you should own it in the form of legal tender, such as sovereigns and britannias.
Tony , Jan 24, 2021 9:08 PM
This is a crappy piece of writing which steals the correct economic analysis of people like Jim Sinclair, Bill Holter and others, and warps it into the jack/jim (and their one million aliases) trolling which has blighted OffG for months. This was obvious when it appeared as a series of btl's recently. If anyone wants the full picture, they just have to watch Bill and Jim's videos on youtube and elsewhere, where they make it abundantly clear that this is a globalist problem, the people behind it don't fly flags, and they are only interested in power through money and economic control.
Arby , Jan 24, 2021 1:26 PM
"This is what I think 'The Great Reset' really is about. It is being painted as something intricate and nefarious on every level " The focus is narrow (but I appreciated the interesting information) and, it seems to me, the author is here expressing an awareness of that flaw. There's lots of speculation here as well and while I have no problem with that, a humble approach would involve the admission of that fact. Why was Japan reluctant to jump on the mankind-killing bandwagon? The author cites disaffection on the part of the Japanese population. That tracks. But we also know that Japan wanted to have their Olympics and thought that maybe they still could. Is Maribel certain that that wasn't the case? It wasn't the Japanese people who turned on a dime. It was the government. The Japanese government finally realized that the Olympics, which it wanted (for the prestige and the economic repercussions of that I suppose), were not going to go ahead. On a dime, it suddenly viewed corona as a super dangerous mankind-destroying bug and issued proclamation after proclamation in its sudden supercharged flight down the road of fascism. Until then, while it acknowledged the (non existent) Sars CoV 2 / covid 19 reality, it was not bothered by it.
See "How is Japan Reacting to the Crisis? – Questions For Corbett #507"
and "How is Japan Reacting NOW? – Questions For Corbett"
messenger charles , Jan 24, 2021 11:24 AM
Don't agree with everything you said, but nevertheless an informative article and firms up much of what Catherine Austin Fitts has been saying:
Tom , Jan 24, 2021 10:49 AM
"Whereas China is preferring to just stop testing, and ignore the 'crisis' altogether, except for the odd statement about how dangerous it all is."
Maribel, can you list a reference showing China has stopped or reduced testing?
Z=Anon , Jan 24, 2021 2:09 PM Reply to Tom
See comments below by others regarding PCR testing in China.
Sarah Jones , Jan 24, 2021 10:27 AM
They have prevented new relationships from beginning and erased those kids. It is genocide from the ground up. Even couples are not likely to have kids under such uncertainty. The very opposite of their claim of "saving lives". Those that do are being abused more than before with masks during child birth and keeping the father out. Their relationship being sabotaged with trauma from the beginning and then further trauma and destruction of the family with parents involved in assaulting kids with "vaccines".
Sarah Jones , Jan 24, 2021 11:10 AM Reply to Sarah Jones
Jeanice Barcelo explains how hospital birth is ritual trauma abuse to destroy the family and how ultrasound is to destroy the eggs inside those babies so they are targetting a generation ahead. It is satanists/ abortionists/ psychopaths behind covid not economists. It is trauma to harm love and damage those kids and their future relationships to induce further trauma. They said toilet paper was selling out as an inside joke about the young jerking off to porn during "lockdown" and "social distancing".
bypassing yr lame filter , Jan 25, 2021 2:29 PM Reply to Sarah Jones
Abortion is for each woman to decide on, not your false god and his pedo-satanic priests.
messenger charles , Jan 25, 2021 4:34 PM Reply to bypassing yr lame filter
Abortion is just fine if you want your ethnic group annihilated and erased from the face of the earth.
Isaiah 3:12 (MCV) As for my people, children are their oppressors (infantile Cultural Marxists), and women (Marxist feminists) rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.
theobalt , Jan 24, 2021 4:22 AM
China would "humiliate" the US in a war? That's just like a girl to worry about making a dent on ego and overlooking a few dents on the planet How's it going in your basement darling We're all suspended to your words and your little heart and your little brain all memory no processor
Mention , Jan 24, 2021 9:37 AM Reply to theobalt
" ..a proxy war with Russia or a direct war with Iran would precipitate a dollar collapse, rather than create growth and a flight to 'safety'. China would no doubt gleefully humiliate the US during such a conflict. "
The war would not be with China. During a conflict with Iran or proxy with Russia the US is economically vulnerable to China's financial sabotage.
theobalt , Jan 24, 2021 1:48 PM Reply to Mention
No time for a war with anybody . time to stop buying slavery products from China. China and the cabal already humiliate everyone by corrupting our politicians. Not the US
Z=Anon , Jan 24, 2021 2:04 PM Reply to theobalt
The USA's Corporate elites, including Trump moved their manufacturing plant and expertise to China to exploit their cheap labour, nobody forced them.
It was Corporate greed & vanity that caused the surrender of American manufacturing power to China. American's thought they were superior to China but they have made themselves her bitch.
Not even a war could save them now, unless they intended to have their military's spare parts Fedexed over from China, during the conflict.
Also if China's economy were switch to a war footing, like a sleeping giant, it would dwarf even the USA's military in a very short time, their capacity is the biggest in the world.
David Homer , Jan 25, 2021 4:12 PM Reply to Z=Anon
You are correct in everything except you have forgotten the fact that China imports most of its iron ore, copper, aluminum, coal, oil, etc. They would be in trouble in a world war situation.
messenger charles , Jan 25, 2021 4:38 PM Reply to David Homer
They will invade Australia and New Zealand first in order to secure those minerals and rely upon Russia for oil and gas.
theobalt , Jan 24, 2021 3:51 AM
What to do with our livesFind food eat the food when you feel pressure download the shit down
Anyone trying to prevent you to do any of those things, murder them
Tim Glover , Jan 24, 2021 3:35 AM
I haven't read the 487 comments so apologies, but the author seriously undermines their argument by suggesting that the virus is a hoax. Exaggerated, yes, hoax, quite obviously not. I have no doubt that there is truth in this article, but claiming that the virus does not exist at all is untenable; the author should remove their blinkers and align their theory with reality.
Kika , Jan 24, 2021 3:39 AM Reply to Tim Glover
NickM , Jan 24, 2021 5:37 AM Reply to Kika
Tim, I used to think like you, but the original evidence has been extrapolated beyond all reason by Con-19 artists. So now we must be pedantic and ask for evidence:
a. That the RNA fragments originally sequenced by Chinese scientists in Wuhan (not from a virus but from patients bodily fluids) all belonged to a single strain of virus, putatively named Covid-19 but never isolated for sequencing of a complete viral genome?
b. That the Covid-19 was exceptionally deadly; bearing in mind that the Chinese figures for death among severely ill patients were comparable to normal U$ figures for death among patients hospitalized with normal annual flu.
c. That the original Covid-19 strain is still extant? (assuming there actually was a Covid-19 in Wuhan, which is not proven)
d. Assuming the orriginal Wuhan strain has died out (mutated), where is the evidence that its mutant progeny are more deadly than the original Wuhan strain was ie, not much.
e. Last and most important, where is the evidence that the Westminster con artists (Con-911, Con-WMD, Con-Viagra, Con-Sarin, Con-Novijoke) are not lying this time ? their lips are moving.
Tim Glover , Jan 24, 2021 4:59 PM Reply to NickM
I know from my personal experience that there is a new strain of virus, because I, and many of my friends were seriously ill with it and 2 people died. many of the people affected had no connection to each other. That this is not simply an unconnected anecdote is clear from looking at the data which show that across the world there was a clear spike in mortality in spring (The UK committed mass manslaughter in care homes but this is not the case in other countries). It does not matter where it originated, or whether the genome has been sequenced. I know the PCR test is useless. I know that there is hype, fear mongering and exaggeration. I know masks don't work and lockdowns will kill more than they save by a wide margin. Nonetheless, the virus is real.
Mike Ellwood (Oxon UK) , Jan 24, 2021 8:43 PM Reply to Tim Glover
Whereabouts do you liveTim? I still don't know anybody who has been ill with supposed Covid-19 ever since the "Pandemic" began, let alone, know anyone who died from it.
Were the other people who were ill, and especially the 2 who died, particularly old, and/or did they have other serious health conditions?
And how do you know what you had was the "new strain"? The "new strain" is fairly new, isn't it? Those poor souls must have died fairly quickly after contracting it.
And how many is "many"?
And how do you know that it wasn't "normal" flu? This is the flu season, after all, assuming you live in the northern hemisphere. Flu can be quite dangerous too.
NickM , Jan 25, 2021 5:27 AM Reply to Tim Glover
@Tim Glover: "I know from my personal experience that there is a new strain of virus, because I, and many of my friends were seriously ill with it".
How do you know that the flu virus which made you and your friends "seriously ill" was Covid-19?
I asked someone in England the same question at the start of the Con-19 hype last winter: How did she know that her friend in the countryside and her relative in London, both of whom told her they had it and it was their worst flu ever, had escaped death from a specific headline-news "novel virus Covid-19", when there was so much boring ordinary flu about?
"Voila le Anglais avec son sang froid habituel (Here comes the Englishman with his usual bloody cold)" -- Fractured French.
gary orlando , Jan 25, 2021 5:35 AM Reply to Tim Glover
Tim, you have NO CLUE WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT. "i WAS SERIOUSLY ILL" is an extremely ignorant piece of so called evidence. there is NO NEW VIRUS. and virus DO NOT CAUSE ILLNESS AND contagion is a myth. it IS ALL A lie. you are brainwashed.
therevolutionwas , Jan 25, 2021 1:23 PM Reply to Tim Glover
Virus's are real and will remain real. They kill susceptible people all the time. And with the lock down there are more people not carrying on with their normal lives, not eat right, not getting enough sun, etc ..
Binra , Jan 25, 2021 6:17 PM Reply to therevolutionwas
Something is happening but you don't know what it is – do you, Mr Jones?
– B Dylan
You have a currently accepted narrative that saves you from questioning your current worldview.
I don't think it helps to argue 'it is real!
Or it isn't real!
People are dying every day – and by far the most are dying in the ways they generally do. WHO benefits for the official narratives?
That health as as joy in being as well as resilience to toxic stress and exposures, has an arena of personal and collective responsibility is of course true.
So far you haven't felt to look into those who are offering excellent witness to the lack of established facts at the basis of an incomprehensibly disproportionate coordinated reaction that represents a hijacking of living selves – not cells.
So you are confident that because Dr WHO and the whole pharmaceutical establishment back you up, you can state 'the virus is real', as part of an extremely invested establishment of social and corporate identity in its theory.
A positive result and diagnosis for terminal cancer can operate a nocebo death sentence on its recipient even if the test is in error.
This is similar to what is being perpetrated on the public mind – regardless whether for private reasons great or small.
When dealing with the dissociated, one cannot simply tell them their experience is unreal. Thus no one can tell the so called sheep to 'wake up'. No can I tell such woke people to stop projecting and restore their recognition of another's presence – just because.
Joel Walbert , Jan 24, 2021 5:54 AM Reply to Tim Glover
Zero evidence anywhere in the world of sars-cov2 having been isolated. Claims of such are not evidence of it. Numerous FOIA requests in various places provided no evidence of isolation. A CDC document states there is no isolated virus and that is in fact a computer generation. People being sick and dying does not even almost prove a virus
messenger charles , Jan 24, 2021 11:30 AM Reply to Joel Walbert
What they have allegedly 'isolated' has not been purified, and THAT is the crucial element to this issue. All their 'papers' are a fraud.
Joel Walbert , Jan 25, 2021 12:47 AM Reply to messenger charles
That is precisely my point. The document I was referring to states clearly there are no isolates and that the testing is based off computer generated sequences. I generally would believe nothing from the CDC but when one of their own official documents admits fraud on a grand scale, I feel I must trust that one. Its all about discernment.
The CDC document is titled,
CDC 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel.
It is dated July 13, 2020. On page 39, in a section titled,
"Since no quantified virus isolates of the 2019-nCoV are currently available, assays [diagnostic tests] designed for detection of the 2019-nCoV RNA were tested with characterized stocks of in vitro transcribed full length RNA "
Computer generated virus.
Fred762 , Jan 25, 2021 7:55 PM Reply to messenger charles
Agreed. My friend is COO of big US pvt hospital group..he told me last April that their hospitals(over 200) were near EMPTY and he was laying off staff left and right. Last Dec he said their census was .." about normal for a flu season"..ie, no piles of bodies, no over crowding.. ie, no real pandemic.
Fred762 , Jan 25, 2021 7:48 PM Reply to Joel Walbert
USmonthly death totals from all causes have been FLAT for 5 years . therefore, NO PANDEMIC
Joel Walbert , Jan 26, 2021 12:46 AM Reply to Fred762
Exactly. There are shockingly lower deaths from virtually all causes this past year though. Fraudulent death certificates are the pandemic, not a computer generated viral sequence.
Jacques , Jan 24, 2021 6:04 AM Reply to Tim Glover
The virus IS a hoax. Some people say that viruses do not exist at all. Dunno. Even if they do, the fairy tale of SARS-CoV-2 is complete bullshit.
Nobody has ever been able to present the alleged virus in an isolated form. The alleged virus has never been proved to cause a disease. Period. If you or anyone claim that SARS-CoV-2 exists, let me fucking see it. If you or anyone claim that the alleged SARS-CoV-2 causes the alleged diseases COVID-19, prove it. There are procedures for that. Such as Koch's postulates.
None of that is done, therefore SARS-CoV-2 & COVID-19 must be considered a crock of shit until proven otherwise. No data from the world over suggest that there is a pandemic. End of story. That's your reality. Period.
Now, let's worry about what really is going on.
Binra , Jan 25, 2021 6:18 PM Reply to Jacques
messenger charles , Jan 24, 2021 11:19 AM Reply to Tim Glover
The so-called virus has NOT been isolated nor has it, more importantly, been purified. Sars Cov 2 otherwise known as Covid19 is 100% a lie and a criminal hoax. Research doctors Tom Cowan, Stefan Lanka and Andrew Kaufman.
Mike Ellwood (Oxon UK) , Jan 24, 2021 8:44 PM Reply to messenger charles
Also check out the website TheInfectiousMyth.com .
Dina , Jan 25, 2021 1:51 AM Reply to Mike Ellwood (Oxon UK)
Yes, that man recently passed away but I leaned my foundational anti-COVID myth lessons from his site as early as March.
Always knew pcr tests were BS.
Never knew a lot of the other COVID info till later.
messenger charles , Jan 25, 2021 4:15 PM Reply to Mike Ellwood (Oxon UK)
From his web site or rather what was once his website:
"This was a database and web server owned by David Crowe. From the family of David Crowe, we are sorry to share with everyone that David passed away on July 12th, 2020."
Paul Vonharnish , Jan 24, 2021 2:42 PM Reply to Tim Glover
Hello Tim Glover: I see you've received many down votes for suggesting that a (covid) virus does exist. Tsk, tsk, tsk I can only help you if you really want to be helped Just repeat after me:
The Earth is flat.
Gravity is an illusion.
The Sun revolves around the Earth.
The moon is hollow and filled with cheese.
There's a white robed guy watching over everything .
The (above) white robed guy – loves everyone equally
You'll be better soon
messenger charles , Jan 25, 2021 4:26 PM Reply to Paul Vonharnish
Actually the earth is a fixed globe at the centre of the universe (the pinnacle of God's creation) with the sun and moon orbiting the earth.
Geocentricism – Did The Sun Stand Still and The Moon Stay or Did The Earth Stop Spinning and Moving – Joshua 10:13:
There is no space and the stars move in the aether.
However, you were correct by citing The Truth that The Father God is in the third heaven, with The Son, watching over everything.
You were also correct is stating that gravity is an illusion – all there is, is pressure.
Binra , Jan 25, 2021 6:25 PM Reply to Paul Vonharnish
Crikey – with friends like you – who needs enemies!
There are moments in life when a sense of lack can step forth in power and strut the stage of the world like a giant!
You get to set the measure of your receiving but not the timing and the manner of your rewards. Life is meant to be a surprise!
Do you know what love is?
theobalt , Jan 24, 2021 1:52 AM
Answer to Judith comment below, and my usual type of comment right on the head of that confusing and propagandist article
You should blow your nose without a tissue. They are full of formaldehyde causes skin irritation and attacks the nervous system it's a carcinogen too and it comes mainly from China (and I believe Israel Chemicals is also mainly involved) also avoid bed sheets from Ikea and Amazon and any made in china (I tested them in TSP concoctions), any cheap furniture from the likes (fiberboards and pieces of wood stuck together with F. based glue offgasing like crazy, laundry detergents filled with them to replenish any garment, making sure the American population remains dumbed down and sick and dying. The US dollar doesn't exist, no more than the freakin' kopec.
American people exists. American land exists. And they are fine.
But they need to be taken down are they Don't worry people of Europe If it is crushed it is not to save you. It will go in the same pockets of the people who have been crushing you for quite a while.
theobalt , Jan 24, 2021 3:55 AM Reply to theobalt
Oh yeah, if you have a properly responsive immune system, your respiratory system will inflame and clog in a very alarming way from exposure to formaldehyde offgasing rings a bell?!?!
Raymondo Don Sayo , Jan 24, 2021 1:42 AM
The author was just short of calling opinions other than his own as conspiracy theories which is a base of ignorance. Too long of a rambling severely narrow minded road is this article. Lots of good thoughts within.
Maybe you are the controlled op?
theobalt , Jan 24, 2021 3:30 AM Reply to Raymondo Don Sayo
David Macilwain , Jan 24, 2021 12:51 AM
The case of Australia, the "Building 7" of the Coronavirus scheme, is a case in point that entirely supports the author's case, as before we had more than 1000 cases and a handful of deaths, the government declared it would pump $180 billion into the banks to stabilise them, including for the first time in history, QE. So it printed all the money and handed it around just as the graphs of infection were exponential, in mid-March. After that and the lock down another $130 Billion was laid out for "job keeper", which is only going to hit the fan in March as 500,000 workers find their jobs have actually disappeared.
But now it's Vaccines that are the growth factory, and everyone is clamouring for them because otherwise we will remain locked in this prison for years. We can't leave as we won't be insured and there is no guarantee we'll be allowed to return.
But meanwhile, along with the US, our stock market made record gains this last year. DYOC.
Sadly I have to entirely disagree with the author when she writes that the Russians produced an imaginary vaccine against a non-existent virus. It's simply not true – have a look at this paper about the GE manufacture of SARS hybrid viruses, going on at the WIV since 2007, and of course in North Carolina under Ralph Baric:
Grafter , Jan 24, 2021 12:30 PM Reply to David Macilwain
" $130 Billion was laid out for "job keeper", which is only going to hit the fan in March as 500,000 workers find their jobs have actually disappeared."
What is this end of March timeline even in Australia ? It's the same here in the UK when the furlough period ends ? Am I missing something ?
Maggie , Jan 24, 2021 2:56 PM Reply to Grafter
Hi Grafter Here's what most of us missed..
Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said via Belarusian Telegraph Agency, BelTA., that World Bank and IMF offered him a bribe of $940 million USD in the form of "COVID RELIEF AID." In exchange for $940 million USD, the World Bank and IMF demanded that the President of Belarus:
• imposed "extreme lockdown on his people"
• force them to wear face masks
• impose very strict curfews
• impose a police state
• crash the economy
Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko REFUSED the offer and stated that he could not accept such an offer and would put his people above the needs of the IMF and World Bank. This is NOT a conspiracy. You may research this yourself. He actually said this!
Now IMF and World Bank are bailing out failing airlines with billions of dollars, and in exchange, they are FORCING airline CEOs to implement VERY STRICT POLICIES such as FORCED face masks covers on EVERYONE, including SMALL CHILDREN, whose health will suffer as a result of these policies.
And if it is true for Belarus, then it is true for the rest of the world! The IMF and World Bank want to crash every major economy with the intent of buying over every nation's infrastructure at cents on the dollar!!!
Which would tend to confirm what the Article stated??
Dina , Jan 25, 2021 1:55 AM Reply to Maggie
Exactly what was running through my mind while reading this article
j. d. , Jan 23, 2021 10:41 PM
Your post is thorough and revealing – and counter-narrative, so it might get shadow-banned
It is disappointing to realize that not only mainstream opinion, but also both sides of the political aisle have pushed the idea that the economy faltered after covid was declared an emergency. However, that's clearly not the case, as your article details.
Coventry League Capital Partners, a finance firm, also posted a blog way back in April 2020 that included a mishmash of tweets/posts from throughout 2019 about a pending financial crisis given mass layoffs in some markets, an inverted yield curve, and bank liquidity issues. If interested, below is the address to the article:
coventryleague dot com/blogentary/mass-layoffs-surge-343-percent-in-ohio/
By September of 2019, the U.S. financial market was in full-blown crisis mode with massive "repo" operations initiated by the Federal Reserve Bank (FED). Another blogger that provided exhaustive detail in a series of real-time blog posts about the 2019 repo situation and financial crisis is "Wall Street On Parade."
theobalt , Jan 24, 2021 4:00 AM Reply to j. d.
Are you two living in the same house with ten others?
Helen , Jan 23, 2021 10:41 PM
Interesting but fails to account for the original Wuhan theatre where China, against all previously recognised pandemic planning, sold lockdown to the West. They did so restricting it to one city and limiting overall damage to their economy. A kind of "how to" demonstration. You also have their main western satellites, NZ and Australia the only ones to have followed the Zero Covid policy of the CCP – a technique of pure tyranny.
Kalen , Jan 24, 2021 12:10 AM Reply to Helen
China's CCP ended COVID charade in April by eliminating flawed PCR test as unreliable diagnostic tool for COVID infections in individual clinical diagnosis of COVID disease which definition was narrowed to initial interpretation as Unexplained (by long known before 2020 viral or bacterial presence), pneumonia for original interpretation as caused by long known local environmental factors including man made factors like deadly therapies, medical particle and wave diagnostic device malfunctions or inherent designer flaws as well as cases of immunodeficiency or autoimmunity in pneumonia patients.
In other words COVID patient in China is not one who was PCR tested positive but one with a documented form of pneumonia-like damage to lungs.The seasonal increase in in flu and explained and unexplained pneumonia is behind recent new quarantine measures in China.
and still China plays this COVID game as it is too desirable to hold big stick of COVID in their hands amid economic collapse programmed by reset.
PCR and serology is being used in China for general Epidemiological models not specifically for COVID but for general epidemic situation assessment of all respiratory diseases flu, common cold and pneumonia that are at local epidemic levels throughout the year getting worse in winter season.
Last year mild season in China 75,000+ people died of flu, 5,000 officially died of COVID. Do your math. It was much ado about nearly nothing, while real crisis of old people needlessly dying of poverty, lack of medical access driven flu is ignored as nobody among governments gives a damn as it cannot be sold as apocalypse to scare people into submission.
Rumplestiltskin , Jan 24, 2021 3:09 AM Reply to Kalen
Great comment Kalen, interesting info re China not using the PCR to diagnose CV, particularly since they sold an absolute shit ton of them to Australia via the mining magnate what's his name. If we can break the governments reliance on the PCR test, this whole charade collapses. Ive been saying this for months.
theobalt , Jan 24, 2021 3:34 AM Reply to Rumplestiltskin
Always remember we were not in the lab No "information" is relevant. We're in THIS lab,
Maxwell , Jan 24, 2021 3:45 AM Reply to Kalen
Superb comment- it is easier to point towards a bogeyman 'over there' or some exotic event (bat cave) than to face the hard fact that the daemon is in your house and staring you right in the face.
Tom , Jan 24, 2021 11:09 AM Reply to Kalen
Kalen could you provide a reference for the 75K flu deaths?
Edith , Jan 24, 2021 1:48 AM Reply to Helen
That wasn't followed in all of Australia really only Victoria and WA who got hyper excited after the initial burst of enthusiasm qld has been more damaged by the planes not arriving rather than any thing much needing locked up those important minerals we sell had to keep moving I suspect plus we had a looming election which seemed to put the breaks on too much enthusiasm so we just shut our border and went on with life until recently when we showed signs of wanting to play that rush to the head seems to have stalled in Brisbane.,,
doesn't of course stop the believers carrying on around one .
and in my opinion the whole wuhan thing was so staged to make me question of any of it was real,,,they either exported fear or thought they were actually under attack themselves given those war games were held in wuhan
Paul , Jan 24, 2021 4:29 AM Reply to Helen
For 6 weeks since the alleged outbreak in Wuhan the residents of Wuhan were moving freely around the rest of China but this virus never really showed up anywhere else in China apart from Wuhan apart from the odd isolated outbreak that quickly vanished.
This doesn't tie in with a super spreading infectious virus.
Every so often the CCP will say there are small localised outbreaks and puff by magic they quickly disappear.
It's just CCP propaganda and keeping their toe dipped in the water.
rraa , Jan 23, 2021 10:11 PM
I don't think the Chinese government is involved. People seem to think of China as one giant homogenous BLOB that moves like a well oiled machine. In fact, regions have a LOT of autonomy. I don't doubt that some individual Chinese scientists contributed to the Western narrative. Remember that China overhauled it's entire medical system after Sars 2003. It has a very modern and transparent pneumonia and respiratory illness surveillance system and all the alphabet agencies of the West know what is going on it.
WHO published a notice on December 31 that was a very routine notice.
The whole thing took a life of it's own after four cases were reported in one day around Dec 26. If you read the very first paper with the virus sequence on Jan 11, it only mentioned a novel coronavirus. But almost simultaneously a second paper was published with Edward Homes as a co-author, the one with the batwoman scientist. This was the one that made the wild claims about the virus being linked to bats and so on.
No I am not a CCP troll, I've been following the medical and scientific articles from the beginning and trying to keep track of where the narratives emerged from.
China only locked down about 4% of its population. They did so because it was just before the New Year and half a billion people were about to travel. Wuhan is a major rail hub. They didn't want a repeat of Sars 2003. Even the Chinese in Wuhan were terrified by the Western media. They don't live in some dark cave as the Western media would have you believe.
Nor does Beijing control every research institute and every research project in China as some people seem to imagine it does. I don't think the virus "came from a lab" because if you read the actual papers, you find the "new" virus is nothing more than a statistical result. It's literally a software output, not something in a test tube.
I don't doubt thought that Fauci and Co were funding projects at the Wuhan lab so they could scapegoat it for this theatre.
Judith , Jan 24, 2021 12:42 AM Reply to rraa
rraa – the actual papers that you write of that state a "new virus", are they the papers that Drosten based his papers on? And the subsequent pcr fiasco?
The statistical result in the Chinese paper – was that based on the 4 cases?
I find what you wrote very interesting. It never occurred to me that the virus did not come from the lab, but from just having been written about in a paper. I never believed it was a virus from nature. (Not looking for an argument here about virus/no such thing – just want some clarity from rraa)
I heard Dr Tom Cowan talk about this Chinese paper and its trip to Germany. But at that point I thought it must have been the gain of function work in the US funded Wuhan lab.
Tomoola Sitchin , Jan 24, 2021 1:02 AM Reply to Judith
The Chinese provided a computer model of the virus, which Drosten has supposedly used to configure his version of the PCR test, which is now used the world over.
No one has yet proved that the Sars-cov-2 coronavirus actually exists, other than on a computer screen. For my money we are having a baddish flu, which has been conveniently repackaged as Covi-19.
Maxwell , Jan 24, 2021 3:43 AM Reply to Tomoola Sitchin
It is not even a bad flu season.
If you take out the mass death event during the 6 week period in March/April that was brought upon the elders in care homes we are looking at one of the lower mortality rates of the past two decades.
Those mass deaths were caused by pre-ordained policies, not a viral event, that were an aberration from past years and in direct opposition of how the medical science states how the viral season should be addressed for care homes, hospice etc.
All of this was by design.
Paul , Jan 24, 2021 4:46 AM Reply to Maxwell
I believe the current slight spike in mortality in the UK had been caused by the huge uptake of flu shots.
The BMJ posted an article recently that flu shots can be successful in protecting against one strain of influenza but they increase ones susceptibility to contracting other viruses.
We are now in the middle of respiratory disease season.
Covid has conveniently completely eradicated all other viruses.
Judith , Jan 24, 2021 4:20 PM Reply to Tomoola Sitchin
Edith , Jan 24, 2021 1:56 AM Reply to Judith
Yes it pays to go back and look at the original documents and who was involved there is a panel the WHO calls together and who was on it and what they were supplied with and who argued against .from all I ever read it was much to do about little but much convenience for a range of agenda in which our mate faucci played a big role and has no doubt collected billions..and never forget it played a big role in US elections and providing a divide line
what I never quite get is what the UK is actually getting out of playing the game been awful watching what you guys have done to yourselves.
Tomoola Sitchin , Jan 24, 2021 12:53 AM Reply to rraa
I would guess you are pretty near the mark and 77th Brigade probably think so as well judging by the down votes.
Fact Checker , Jan 24, 2021 1:54 AM Reply to rraa
George Gao, head of China's CDC, was at Event 201 giving detailed instructions to the entire panel of American industry representatives in attendance, on exactly what they would need to do in the event of a "coronavirus pandemic." George Gao is a virologist specializing in gain-of-function experiments to get bat coronaviruses to infect humans. [ https://read.qxmd.com/read/31776269/molecular-basis-of-binding-between-middle-east-respiratory-syndrome-coronavirus-and-cd26-from-seven-bat-species ]
A few weeks after Event 201, Gao published "A novel coronavirus outbreak of global health concern" in the Lancet .[ https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30185-9/fulltext ] This paper is filled with all of the "scary" buzz-phrases that were used to justify the hysteria in the US and Europe. The same article featured "Clinical features of patients infected with 2019 novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China" by all-Chinese authors, with all the nonsense about bats.[ https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30183-5/fulltext ] Incidentally, it also says, "A novel coronavirus, which was named 2019-nCoV, was isolated then from lower respiratory tract specimen and a diagnostic test for this virus was developed soon after that." I'm not saying whether that's true or not, but that's the claim. The claim is based on the referred paper "A Novel Coronavirus Genome Identified in a Cluster of Pneumonia Cases -- Wuhan, China 2019−2020," authored in part by, who else? George Gao . [ http://weekly.chinacdc.cn/en/article/id/a3907201-f64f-4154-a19e-4253b453d10c ]
China also served up some cartoonish snuff films, supposedly depicting the severe effects of "Covid" and the draconian "lockdown" measures supposedly in response. This was exactly the role scripted for China in the 2010 Rockefeller Lock Step "Scenario" report.
C'mon, man. Chinese government not involved? Grow up.
Maxwell , Jan 24, 2021 3:55 AM Reply to Fact Checker
You would be hard pressed to illustrate that George Gao has any allegiance to China or the Chinese people any more than you could prove the same for Fauci, Farrar, Elias (respective countries and people) or any number of high profile technocrats.
In all cases their allegiance is to their ideology and big business.
Paul , Jan 24, 2021 4:56 AM Reply to Fact Checker
George Gao lied.
We know this as the PCR test was designed by Drosten in the absence of having any virus and the full genomic sequencing was done by Drosten going through the genomic database of previous coronaviruses picking out bits and pieces of RNA sequences through sheer guesswork and then adding on the theoretical RNA sequences supplied by the Chinese.
Drosten doesn't even deny he created the test with no virus available.
A week or so later China supplied the full genomic sequencing from the virus 'isolated' in a human and it was exactly the same as Drostens computerised virus.
If anyone believes this they are an idiot.
theobalt , Jan 24, 2021 2:00 AM Reply to rraa
Oh the Chinese government is not involved? The Chinese government doesn't exist it is an extension of the cabal. The Chinese people exist and they are being killed and enslaved by their "Government" and it is a system that Rockefeller liked soooo much that he wants to replicate it all over the world Biden is not American, Biden is CCP of America.
Wayne Vanderploeg , Jan 23, 2021 10:01 PM
This was a favorite on the Ray Rayner show in the Chicago area in the 60s. Or was it, "A Fly Went By". No, It was the old lady one
Ben , Jan 23, 2021 10:00 PM
UK Government quietly changes law to give councils lockdown powers until July 17th, 2021. At the same time, revelers at a party in Kensington are confronted by police, but no fines issued. And Conservative MPs in Wales resign after discovered drinking in a pub whilst under Drakeford's pub ban order
Politicians are inflicting lockdown misery on their electorate but breaking the rules themselves because they know 'Covid' is a scam
May Hem , Jan 23, 2021 9:53 PM
Your very own 3D Avatar. Sounds good, but .
A new 'ap' (for which you pay) can be added to your smartphone. The app enables users to create a representation of their body structure in the form of a 3D avatar, with accurate circumference measurements and total body fat assessment.
Heathtech company MyFiziq Limited has developed a dimensioning technology that enables its users to check, track and assess their dimensions using a smartphone, from the comfort of their home. The app enables users to create a representation of their body structure in the form of a 3D avatar, with accurate circumference measurements and total body fat assessment.
And here is the bait – "Associated company Bearn is unique in that it awards one penny for each active calorie burned, enabling users to earn hundreds of dollars a year just for staying healthy and making healthy choices."
Biomorphik (ie buy more) is a behavioural change company with a key goal being to improve the health and wellness of people at a whole-of-society level through better creation, measurement, storage, analysis, and access to data.
In other words, it is data-mining, disguised as keeping your healthy – to be used against you in the future social credit system they are designing. At present, you are rewarded for losing excess fat, but in the future you will be punished if you do not keep up with the 'health' regime they have set for you.
Since this ap went on the market, the public demand has outstripped the supply, it is so popular. Beware, I think it is a trap.
Reggie , Jan 23, 2021 9:10 PM
But the author is assuming that US wants to keep the dollar hegemony. I'm not so sure about that. I think it's obvious that US's leaders are globalists and they want to see the dollar die, in favor of a virtual world currency that they can use to manipulate the sheep to their heart's content.
I also think the forced vaccinations, etc., ARE a primary reason for this fraud. The pharma folks are globalists and forced vaxxes are their wet dream. And I do think that the Bill Gay agenda of vaxxes does have something to do with his dream of population reduction, and that's a globalist consensus, it's not just Bill's idea.
Eric McCoo , Jan 23, 2021 8:35 PM
It's obvious from its extremely defensive stance now and at the start that China is involved.
In my view this is ultimately about digital ID and a Chinese style social credit system. Some people might remember the UK government pushing a universal ID a number of years ago. Scrapped in 2011.
'Identity cards were scrapped in 2011 – they're no longer valid and you can't use them as proof of identify.
Mike Ellwood (Oxon UK) , Jan 23, 2021 9:41 PM Reply to Eric McCoo
That's weird; I never had one. How many people got one? I'm talking about what must have been modern ones (presumably issued by the Blair government, although I thought their plans for ID cards had never got off the ground).
Actually, I'm old enough to have got a paper/card identity card, issued by the post-war Labour government. I think I still have it somewhere. The number on that card became your NHS number (although NHS numbers were revamped many years later).
Those ID cards were scrapped in 1952:
Eric McCoo , Jan 23, 2021 10:02 PM Reply to Mike Ellwood (Oxon UK)
Mike Ellwood (Oxon UK) , Jan 24, 2021 9:09 PM Reply to Eric McCoo
Thanks for that. I wasn't aware of the partial rollout. I clearly wasn't paying sufficient attention at the time!
Jeffrey Strahl , Jan 23, 2021 8:08 PM
And i didn't even see this.
"The details of the implementation of the Covid operation aside, it is possible that many inside the system regard the 'Great Reset' as not a conspiracy to oppress us, to exploit us and destroy our lives in a Marxist tyranny as many believe, but rather regard it as a necessary adjustment to an unbalanced economic system.
To see it like that we must believe that the current system is fundamentally flawed and that good faith solutions are being sought. I think 'The Reset' is seen by many honest brokers around the world as a genuine platform to resolve flaws in the current world economy, and to manage a transition from the dollar, in a controlled fashion. We should not always think the worst motives of everyone involved."
Right! 🙂 We need to be adjusted to total remote control, social impact investing, .. I'm sorry i gave this one 3 stars. 0 is what it rates.
Doctortrinate , Jan 23, 2021 8:34 PM Reply to Jeffrey Strahl
as sending young naive men into a 300 machine gun wall of hell – was an unfortunate miscalculation again and again and again.
theobalt , Jan 24, 2021 2:08 AM Reply to Doctortrinate
reference on this?
Doctortrinate , Jan 24, 2021 4:13 AM Reply to theobalt
parallels are ruthlessly profuse. Look to the Somme offensive.
Maggie , Jan 24, 2021 3:48 PM Reply to theobalt
I don't know how old you are but your education seems sadly lacking if you constantly have to ask for references? Did you miss the lesson where you were taught to research?
My Grandson age 10 had just completed a term on WW! prior to lockdown, and here is a piece he researched.
I think this gives a good insight as to how men were butchered and disregarded as disposable fodder.
Another insightful book is: War Horse by Micheal Morpego.
Edith , Jan 24, 2021 2:02 AM Reply to Jeffrey Strahl
If these people in the money markets had not gotten into derivatives, tax avoidance foundations, hedge coys etc I suspect we wouldn't be in this mess .the very people now wanting socially responsible investment, save the planet etc are the very ones who created the financial meltdowns and someone wants to tell me I should pay for all this
theobalt , Jan 24, 2021 2:08 AM Reply to Jeffrey Strahl
I'll give it 0 for you
Jeffrey Strahl , Jan 23, 2021 8:01 PM
China a reluctant participant? Not even remotely reluctant. The Chinese government with the help of WHO and international media were the initiators of the lockdown narrative.
Jeffrey Strahl , Jan 23, 2021 8:02 PM Reply to Jeffrey Strahl
A 15 minutes video by Ivor Cummins on the same topic.
Eric McCoo , Jan 23, 2021 8:36 PM Reply to Jeffrey Strahl
Yes. You beat me by half an hour.
Sarah Jones , Jan 23, 2021 9:46 PM Reply to Jeffrey Strahl
Covid is all gaslighting and narcassistic abuse. The most painful part is supposed to be when they erase the abuse that took place.
May Hem , Jan 23, 2021 10:16 PM Reply to Sarah Jones
Thank you Sarah, for this valuable information. "Gaslighting" is the technique now being used by mainstream media and the virtual virus planners to confuse and control us. And so clearly explained by this video.
We need to be aware of these techniques so we can defend and keep our sanity.
One of the signs of the sociopath is a refusal to take responsibility. This reminds me of the vaccine makers, and their refusal to take any form of responsibility for any damage caused by their products.
theobalt , Jan 24, 2021 2:15 AM Reply to Sarah Jones
it is not only a psyop it is real businesses closed, real people starving and not getting medical care, real grandma's hearts broken, real people deprived of essential human contact. It is a mass murder operation. Solution? A deadly vaccine experiment that will control the killing of more But it will advance medical science to make valuable med for the remaining 500 mill I'm not trying to scare you dear I'm trying to get you on board
awildgoose , Jan 23, 2021 10:05 PM Reply to Jeffrey Strahl
The entire point of the Confucius Institutes was to study Western culture and what makes it tick.
The Chinese have understood that the West is filled with hysterical, hypochondriac people.
They have exploited this understanding masterfully.
Edith , Jan 24, 2021 2:39 AM Reply to Jeffrey Strahl
It would appear that China had a lot of help from dr Bruce alyward, a Canadian who by even a small glimpse of his work trail suggests plenty of involvement with any number of gates follies a short listen to his enthusiasm for wuhan methodology and his being convinced it was going to kill millions makes the bloody run cold he is also fond of graphs etc. so no doubt Ferguson fits in here somewhere and by the way he cites that many younger people were dying in China, not just old folk he quite specifically says it isn't just an oldies disease so I wonder what happened when it arrived on other shores obviously it transformed only to take out the relatively old at end of average life so he was obvious fooled, mislead or just whatever on his visit to fact find in China .it would seem he was most responsible for all this carryon
Jeffrey Strahl , Jan 24, 2021 8:08 PM Reply to Edith
China got a lot of help. From the WHO, from Big Pharma, from Big Tech, from the mass media (which are heavily tied into Big Pharma and Big Tech). That letter and Ivor's video go into that.
AngryAngry , Jan 23, 2021 7:36 PM
With the global technocrats taking the world through the "Going Direct" Reset into the abyss of the End of Currency and the ultimate transhuman slave state, things could not be more dire. But, as Catherine Austin Fitts of Solari.com tells us, there are options on the table for taking things in a completely different direction and unlocking the incredible abundance of the planet. The choice is our, but for how long? Don't miss this important, solutions-focused discussion on The State of Our Currencies.
Ben , Jan 23, 2021 9:41 PM Reply to AngryAngry
Resistance needs to be organised to have any effect. Unions would have been best, but they've been compromised
May Hem , Jan 24, 2021 3:19 AM Reply to AngryAngry
Great video. Thanks AA. Will share this around. I would much rather focus on solutions rather than arguing where the virtual virus started.
Sarah Jones , Jan 23, 2021 7:35 PM
An apple a day keeps the covid away.
AngryAngry , Jan 23, 2021 7:34 PM
So, after watching Katherine Austin Fitts interview you thought it might be a good idea to throw a few half truths, sound credible, add a few charts and make us believe a communist take over/ depopulation/ creating an operating system in humans with a back door had never been an elite plan for us cattle. How did OG let you in?
Ernest Judd , Jan 23, 2021 8:02 PM Reply to AngryAngry
Is this diatribe being addressed to the author of the article?
Researcher , Jan 23, 2021 8:45 PM Reply to Ernest Judd
Get a new name. This one isn't valid. And stop using words I use. It's tiresome. Your vocabulary is lacking but that shouldn't stop you from occasionally consulting a thesaurus.
theobalt , Jan 24, 2021 2:26 AM Reply to Researcher
theobalt , Jan 24, 2021 2:25 AM Reply to Ernest Judd
I hope it is
Researcher , Jan 23, 2021 9:01 PM Reply to AngryAngry
Yes. They've been here everyday trolling the comments and they reformulated the 77th script from "America did it" to this nonsensical screed.
Some of their initial attempts at diversionary tactics included attacking Dr. Reiner Fuellmich, Bobby Kennedy Jnr, James Corbett and claiming US corporations and specifically, tort laws were destroying upstanding European corporations like Bayer, VW, Deutsche Bank and RBS. Fraudsters, polluters, money launderers and poisoners were now victims of the big bad US of A. Who knew?
All of this to divert from the NGOs such as the WHO, UN, World Bank, BIS, IMF, WEF in collusion with 197 governments and 1,000 corporations forcing Agenda 21 and Agenda 2030 onto the global population under the guise of a pandemic, and rebranding those two agendas as the Great Reset and the 4th Industrial Revolution. (4th Reich)
theobalt , Jan 24, 2021 2:27 AM Reply to Researcher
'at a girl
theobalt , Jan 24, 2021 2:23 AM Reply to AngryAngry
Yeah. The number of short stops and "it might be" or it's possible that" when ever the narrative leads to actual truth that this direction is a tissue of anti-US bs is certainly an indication
Sam - Admin2 , Jan 24, 2021 2:45 AM Reply to AngryAngry
It's a perspective. Perspectives can be useful.
theobalt , Jan 24, 2021 4:15 AM Reply to Sam - Admin2
I can't honestly use this one for anything valuable from my perspective
-CO , Jan 23, 2021 7:31 PM
For those of you who dwell on the perpetrators of the planned scamdemic here's a few apt biblical quotes to consider and meditate upon if you feel so inclined.
"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places." Ephesians 6:12.
Politicians + so-called "scientific advisors" and other gutless officials in positions of power knowing of the fraud and deception and doing nothing to remedy it and using the just following orders excuse:
"Ye are of the devil, as your father, and ye desire to do the lusts of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and standeth not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father thereof."
Lux et veritas
Moneycircus , Jan 23, 2021 7:24 PM
Eight marriages, 87 years but it was the Covid what got Larry King or at least it was with him or came after him or something.
AngryAngry , Jan 23, 2021 7:35 PM Reply to Moneycircus
Took 91 year old Caprice Grandmother first – tragic💉💉💉
Researcher , Jan 23, 2021 10:27 PM Reply to AngryAngry
Oh Caprice. That ho' who was on that sho'.
Ernest Judd , Jan 23, 2021 8:03 PM Reply to Moneycircus
He died of old age.
Wayne Vanderploeg , Jan 23, 2021 10:08 PM Reply to Ernest Judd
Exactly. However, a Covid body is worth extra cash. I am sure it must have tested positive. How could it not. All that cash.
George Mc , Jan 24, 2021 8:43 AM Reply to Ernest Judd
"Old age" was what they used to call it. We now know it was COVID. All the billions who died in the past really died of COVID. All the documents of yore will have to be rewritten. The Bible: Methuselah lived 969 years before he passed with the holy COVID.
Researcher , Jan 23, 2021 9:07 PM Reply to Moneycircus
His health started failing severely before covid and he stopped going to the RT studios in 2019.
It's interesting that they branded King as the first Covid19 famous death. They smeared his name with a fake cause of death.
Just goes to show being an ass kissing, non journalist doesn't help you after you kick the bucket.
image , Jan 23, 2021 10:41 PM Reply to Researcher
killing of the king is done most month using numerology and astrology aka ritual via sacrifice. it how they appease operate
larry KING signed a contract
what did he offer fuck all he took your time and kept the sheep entertained hypnotized.
Researcher , Jan 24, 2021 2:17 AM Reply to image
Ah! Of course. You always have the good answers.
King died on the 23rd.
Wayne Vanderploeg , Jan 23, 2021 10:05 PM Reply to Moneycircus
I was thinking the same thing when I saw it in the news. Fox, I believe. I held my sarcasm back, though. It was the Down's Syndrome kids that got em Just kidding .
JuraCalling , Jan 23, 2021 10:07 PM Reply to Moneycircus
He invited it on his show as a guest. Brave but crazy.
theobalt , Jan 24, 2021 2:28 AM Reply to Moneycircus
I say the marriages in the times of fake woman's lib psyop is definately a comorbidity that man is a hero
Geoffrey Skoll , Jan 23, 2021 7:07 PM
Absolutely! Great insight!
theobalt , Jan 24, 2021 2:31 AM Reply to Geoffrey Skoll
Skol hun? any more to say to defend this crap?
Judith , Jan 23, 2021 6:46 PM
A bit off topic but just watched this very interesting dialogue between Ryan Christian and Whitney Webb on Last American Vagabond. Lots of ground covered.
"SolarWinds Hack, Takeover of US,and the Final Stage of the War on You"
Tried to link but it would not copy successfully.
Fact Checker , Jan 23, 2021 9:18 PM Reply to Judith
Thanks for the tip!
Apropos of this article, Webb observes: "People really need to start, especially this year, paying attention to the World Economic Forum people. If you're in independent media and you're acting like this is not a trans-national push by the people you claim to be fighting against, who have now all allied together in this transnational Blob to enslave us all, c'mon people, get with the program. There's way bigger stuff going on that has way graver implications than any previous year I've been alive."
Articles like this represent a desperate effort to maintain the illusion of the phony, antiquated narratives of national rivalries, when the actual actors on the world stage are a full generation past that.
She also calls out the Yuval Noah Harari's Davos 2020 speech that I've been highlighting, which is excerpted in the "New Normal" mini documentary. She offers some great insight about Mr. Harari's unconcealed disdain for the masses, concluding his speech by arguing that "the elite" need to take hold of the potential of Total Information Awareness surveillance technology, before "the rats" do!
Judith , Jan 23, 2021 9:55 PM Reply to Fact Checker
Yes, I've watched Whitney on Last American Vagabond a few times. Mind like a steel trap.
Today, as you pointed out – well, I've never seen her quite so emphatic. She was really adamant, beyond just reporting. I found the dialogue very very interesting.
I followed up that interview with the latest James Corbett weekly "Solutions" episode with Catherine Austin Fitts. Not as deep into the WEF, but certainly touching on the same subject.
Moneycircus , Jan 24, 2021 5:37 AM Reply to Fact Checker
If anyone's short of time listen from 20 minutes
Intelligence & organized crime syndicates
Russia as "look, squirrel" straw man for Israeli tech
(when Russia-Israeli tech tycoons are often one and the same)
Transnational corporate networks extend to U.S. tech & defense
Microsoft effectively offshored, embedded in Israel
Cyber attack will be "worse than Covid" -- promises Klaus Schwab
By targeting banks this ushers in new digital "store credit"
Big tech & defense-surveillance capitalists lock down the monetary system.
Event 201, 2019 (WEF, Johns Hopkins predict global pandemic.
WEF Cyber Polygon 2020
DHS Cyber Storm 2020
This year we will segue from Covid to a new hacking/digital scenario. Our saviours will tell us lockdown has saved us while they ransacked and looted the economy. We will be told to trust them. Digital ID-monetary system will be the physical aspect of that "trust".
Moneycircus , Jan 24, 2021 7:06 AM Reply to Moneycircus
See also, Polly: Maxwell, Epstein and the Control of Science since WW2
Maggie , Jan 24, 2021 4:53 PM Reply to Moneycircus
So have you any ideas HOW we stop them taking over our money?
Spent my whole life saving bits and bobs to enable us to enjoy a simple retirement and investing in our Grandchildren's education. And now 'they' are going to steal our money via the ID-monetary system? Because we will not have the right 'passport' because non of us, my Husband and I or our children and grandchildren will be vaccinated?
Ort , Jan 23, 2021 10:43 PM Reply to Judith
sandy sanders , Jan 23, 2021 6:45 PM
Thank You All for the content and place to have real discussions on what is going on in the world.
Kovid Krisis is the rich's cntl-alt-del of the world while they cook up a reboot of some kind or another to save their capitalist empire from oblivion.
A MUST READ so we can all start following the money and talk about radical (root) solutions.
Jubilee – Public Banking – Tax the Rich to 5x Base Pay – Establish 1x Regional Base Living Income on 1040 hrs work/yr – Confiscate the World Financial Digital Shadow Casino Money created in the last 30 years and redistribute equally into a World Public Banks Trust Fund for each human born on Earth. And so on. Direct Democracy will also get everyone to participate and create a true self-governing democracy.
Moneycircus , Jan 23, 2021 6:25 PM
Latest UK Column broadcast summarized here , including this gem: Chatham House masterclass in manipulating public fear , part of Jan 2019 influenza preparedness conference.
Communication and public engagement – MARC VAN RANST – 9: Importance of using the media to push messaging . (Enjoy, it will probably be taken down soon).
Steve Poole , Jan 23, 2021 6:08 PM
That echoes my thoughts on this completely. Thanks for putting into words what's inside my head.
pantoufle , Jan 23, 2021 6:07 PM
This is the best explainer I've read so far of this entire disaster. Ties together almost everything. And it originated in your Comments section. And you had the nous to publish it as an article. Outstanding.
I used to love The Guardian. But that was many years ago. I never gave them any dough (funny they never really asked for it in the old days–they didn't seem so desperate until they became WokeNazis).
I just sent you guys 20 pounds.
theobalt , Jan 24, 2021 2:35 AM Reply to pantoufle
If you gave 20 lbs for this article, you're gonna have to give 1000 for each of the other ones
tony_opmoc , Jan 23, 2021 5:58 PM
Excellent essay by Maribell Tuff, and whilst I missed it the first time around in the comments (being serially banned here does have an effect on me), I think most of what he/she wrote here is most probably true. I note that most of my comments here, no even longer go into awaiting moderation. They just completely disappear, when I press send.
Where's Catte Black?
Edwige , Jan 23, 2021 5:26 PM
Venture capital in so-called edtech more than doubled in the last year:
Looks like some very wealthy people know "remote learning" isn't going away anytime soon.
Roberto , Jan 23, 2021 6:31 PM Reply to Tim Drayton
Now that's ironic. The principle of equality can only be sustained by force, but 'nature is more forceful in the return', as observed by Francis Bacon, (albeit referring to the suppression of habit, it holds true for everything).
There is no such thing as a classless society; in any historic example that's why there have been Party bosses, nomenklatura, apparatchik, and the peasants, and of course the police necessary to maintain the status quo with violence, or maybe just intimidation of the especially meek.
How this succeeds in any example is evident by the result. The peasants always revolt; it differs how long it takes, and the natural viability and civility of any society is in direct inverse proportion to the number of police (visible or not) it requires to maintain control.
Gwyn , Jan 23, 2021 6:11 PM Reply to Gwyn
With impeccable timing, just after I'd posted the above comments, a colleague sent me a copy of the guidelines which our company now wants us to follow. Full PPE, endless washing of hands, checking everyone's temperature every two hours, blah, blah, blah.
It appears that the money-grubbing, heartless wankers who own the company have, all of a sudden, developed a deep concern for the well-being of the people who live in their establishments and the staff who work with them. Remarkable, really, considering that they hadn't previously seemed to give a solitary fuck about us. Praise be!
I shall now spend the rest of the evening feeling like a twat (as a kind of practice run for tomorrow's shift, when I'll be kitted out in gloves, muzzle and apron).
Or I could just go for the nuclear option of phoning in sick-of-this-fucking-ridiculous-shit.
theobalt , Jan 24, 2021 1:49 AM Reply to Judith
You should blow your nose without a tissue. They are full of formaldehyde causes skin irritation and attacks the nervous system it's a carcinogen too and it comes mainly from China (and I believe Israel Chemicals is also mainly involved) also avoid bed sheets from Ikea and Amazon and any made in china (I tested them in TSP concoctions), any cheap furniture from the likes (fiberboards and pieces of wood stuck together with F. based glue offgasing like crazy, laundry detergents filled with them to replenish any garment, making sure the American population remains dumbed down and sick and dying. The US dollar doesn't exist, no more than the freakin' kopec.
American people exists. American land exists. And they are fine.
But they need to be taken down are they Don't worry people of Europe If it is crushed it is not to save you. It will go in the same pockets of the people who have been crushing you for quite a while.
LKing , Jan 23, 2021 7:45 PM Reply to Gwyn
About 6 months ago my father in law ranted to me about how he hopes people never shake hands again because it's so disgusting. All this talk makes me want to go the opposite direction and shower less, share more gourds of mate with friends, kiss more people, etc.
Gwyn , Jan 23, 2021 11:27 PM Reply to LKing
That reminds me of the George Carlin bit in which he talks about swimming in a river (the Hudson?) with his friends when he was a kid and ingesting all manner of nastiness (including shit). He was of the opinion that this was what had given him an impregnable immune system.
I can't help but compare that attitude to the nonsense we hear from the germaphobes among us.
Ort , Jan 24, 2021 10:27 PM Reply to Gwyn
Pardon the vanity or self-indulgence, but this demands that I recycle a comment I posted at this site last April:
Last month– a lifetime ago– the day after local (Pennsylvania, USA) officials first announced the onset of the Megadeath Virus of Doom, I insouciantly wandered up to the nearby supermarket– mostly to buy bagged salad, my one concession to eating produce. I sailed through the door and stopped short at the sight of a shopping-cart "Trail of Tears"; forlorn customers in a line stretching from the (understaffed) checkout registers to the far wall of the store, then winding around the corner and up the aisle.
As a retired employee of the state unemployment benefits agency who worked for years in now-extinct Job Centers, I am familiar with crisis situations when "the lines are going out the door", and people seem to arrive by the busload. So I turned around to leave. As I did, a big, burly older man was entering the store; I'd seen him around the area, but we'd never spoken.
He also stopped short, and said to me, "What's this all about?" I said, "Apparently a lot of people think the world is coming to an end, and they want to make sure they have the makings of their last meal." (Not to mention toilet paper for postprandial use.)
The man shook his head and said, "Christ! I played sandlot baseball for years, and the ball used to get full of dirt, crud and even dog shit once in a while; we just picked it up and kept on playing!"
I was gratified by this unsolicited validation. Of course, to the pro-pandemic Chicken Littles, he may have played baseball but he's obviously no "team player".
JuraCalling , Jan 23, 2021 10:13 PM Reply to Gwyn
Don't you remember a few months ago on Fox news across the pond in the land where you're not free to say happy Xmas ? They carried a piece banning groups of any size singing 'Happy Birthday'. Apparently the way we pronounce 'P' and ' B' is so forceful it could spray everywhere with covid.
President Trum endoresd the idea even though it sounded like they were taking the iss. Ersonally i think it's all ollocks. Still, it was a positive message to see all those poor victims of a crippling virus stood 'in it together' having a sing along..
Willem , Jan 23, 2021 4:53 PM
One of my comments got deleted in the spam folder. In that comment I specifically explained my work situation and the fanatics I am dealing with. Perhaps it was therefore deleted because, even though the anecdote was true, I cannot prove that the anecdote was true.
Or maybe the comment was just unlucky
Nevertheless, this experience was a good reminder for me that all anecdotes here should be taken with a grain of salt since we are all anonymous commenters here (and therefore can both tell true anecdotes or dream them up any way we please: no one can check the true factualness of the anecdote)
But what I wanted to say can also be said without anecdotal 'evidence' which is this:
In science (any science, being it medical science, political science, economic science, etc) there is theory and practice. And if the science is a true science, the theory should always be confirmed by practice. And if practice doesn't follow the theory, the theory should change.
Unfortunately we live in a topsy turvy world where practice should always follow theory. And if practice doesn't follow theory it is discarded as an aberration, a chance finding, unimportant, flawed, unscientific, finding and the theory remains standing unabated.
And this is the reason why we are in this mess. The economy isn't working, because the theory is flawed, as is medical science on covid (and other diseases), and political science (on for instance the definition what a democracy is). And all we scientists are supposed to do is act as if the theory is sound and find confirmation that what should be true according to theory, is essentially followed by practice.
And this can only be done by either censoring everything that doesn't fit the theory (and there are many ways to censor) or finding more and more, sort of ontological arguments of why God must exist.
And the problem with ontological arguments is that they have this fascinating feature of finding the truth, against the odds, because the truth is so difficult to find (when the theory is flawed) but still is found in an ontological argument.
This could be yet another reason why in epidemiology the Covid theory stands unabated. It is difficult to understand, you have to go into great lengths to understand it and finding the truth can be as difficult as an ontological argument, which can only be found by the smartest of the smartest scientists. And so it is fun! Because trying to solve puzzles is fun. Like alchemy
While in reality the truth is not so difficult to find. When I limit myself to covid, here is a riddle: how can you say that there are excess deaths due to covid, if the average age of death (81 years in NL) is the same as the average age of death in Covid (82 years)?
If you want to explain that and still hold that the theory stands unabated, you do need an ontological argument, and this is what some epidemiologists are doing (others just ignore the riddle, as if it doesn't exist).
And anyone (like me) who is crushing their thoughts and theories, is considered as Archimedes considered the Roman soldier who was disturbing him on his thoughts on the circles.
I am aware that this is also an ontological argument where I remain faithful to the idea that epidemiologists can act rational as in that they do want to distill practice out of a theory
Researcher , Jan 23, 2021 6:38 PM Reply to Willem
What if all those epidemiologists are employed by the institutions that are controlled by the same corporate structures who control the entire field of virology and genetics?
theobalt , Jan 24, 2021 2:59 AM Reply to Reset the Diaboligarchy
Yeah? try to say "fuck China" get ready for 20 downvotes
ted , Jan 23, 2021 4:31 PM
Very good analysis in my opinion. There has to be a reason for a relatively boring respiratory season (outside of the few countries where hospitals bring elderly patients to a somewhat earlier death than would have been the case absent medical intervention) turning into endless economic suppression through endless lockdown.
Here in the US, the unimaginable levels of direct money transfers to households is fueling nasty levels of inflation already. As an example, a haircut at my now rebel barber went from US $18 last march to US $ 25 last week. A new housing bubble mania is taking hold, while renters are permitted to not pay rent for the foreseeable future allowing more consumer spending for a dwindling supply of goods and services, hopefully stimulating more hyper inflation. Grandpa Joe promises 2 trillion more in direct money transfers soon. (remember how outraged Americans were when Hank Paulson had the audacity to ask for 750 billion in 2008? . ah the good times of yore).
Given the scale of direct cash transfers to individuals, I take issue with one part of the argument. The goal here is not to save the dollar but to debase the dollar on a massive scale. Hyper inflation of the dollar would shrink the value of debts held and promises made, particularly in the colossal derivatives markets, as these are now obviously unwinding in an uncontrolled fashion (thus the need for the incredible scale of money printing). The problem is other currencies are so tied to the dollar that they have no choice but to follow the American plan, debasing their currencies to try and keep an even footing with the US. This is the only thing that would explain the EU's zeal for lockdowns that are well in excess of anything in the US (I am writing from California). The EURO must trade on parity with the dollar as the banking systems of both regions are deeply intertwined.
We are already seeing the outcome. The burden of planet covid/financial reset will fall exclusively on the poor and working classes. those who do not have financial assets, while the nominal wealth of the professional classes explodes (as it is presently doing). Something like the upstairs/downstairs society of the 19th century is the result. Which is great for political parties, because they only need to professional classes to win elections, while the peons, who cannot even vote because they are increasingly not citizens or stripped of citizenship through incarceration have no voice at all. Dickensian dystopia 21st century style awaits.
RobG , Jan 23, 2021 4:07 PM
This article, as many others have pointed out, is certainly interesting, particularly how it deals with the enemies du jour being in lockstep with it all, which is something the covid believers always point to.
However, I do believe there's something very sinister behind the covid con. I say this because you only have to look at how they are deliberately trying to destroy all human joy, creativity and spirituality. Indeed, they are deliberately trying to destroy our human society that's existed for tens of thousands of years.
Sarah Jones , Jan 23, 2021 6:32 PM Reply to livingsb
covid is a viral infectious disease. it infects people with narcissistic abuse techniques like triangulation, smear campaigns, blame shifting, hoovering and gaslighting which the infected individual then spreads further. a ponzi marketing scheme for the fake health system which turns out to be the biggest destroyer of health made up of psychopaths with only the very rare medical doctor speaking out tentatively about the narcassistic abuse and destruction that is covid.
el Gallinazo , Jan 23, 2021 4:03 PM
First, as to the article itself. I regard it as an intentional or possibly unintentional limited hangout. The truthiness part of it is foremost the recognition that the Sept 2019 "repocalypse," with the massive intrusion of the Fed into the interbank lending, marked the start of the collapse of the life support to the global financial system since early 2009. The ensuing scamdemic was a diversion to the economic collapse and allowed our Owners to decimate the fiat currencies through exponential printing, vastly increasing the "legal" debt ultimately held against the 99.9%. I also give her credit for recognizing the fact that covid-1984 is a non-existent artifact. I was considering doing a deconstruction of the incorrect statements of this article, but decided that it was not really worth the hours involved.
I would simply state that almost every step we are seeing has been planned since before the official rollout of the Fed in the USA in 1913. One could reasonably build a case that it dates back to John Dee and Kelly during the reign of the first Elizabeth. The ultimate aim is to revert the planet to total control under a dystopian, neofeudal technocracy, drastically cull the population, and to transform the remaining ones into genetically altered cyborgs whose "minds" are part of the "cloud." The next step in the rollout will be a pseudo crypto digital currency by all the world's central banks which will be in short order unified into Earthcoin. This will be a de facto credit against a global company store such as many sharecroppers and coal miners faced in the USA in past decades. One's means of existence can be eliminated with the click of a mouse from a slight act of misbehavior, especially thoughtcrime. In short a three tiered society where 95% will be serfs, 4.99% will be technicians and enforcers, and the tiny remainder will be the owners. While not a great work of fiction, The Hunger Games was a good projection of this society. I never bothered to watch the film.
I wish to give the author thanks for giving me a good laugh with her statement that the politicians of the world had to be convinced that the gigantic psyops would in the end prove less disastrous to world's population than just letting the system collapse. As if they are not also sociopaths who could not care less about the welfare of their constituents.
Hector , Jan 23, 2021 5:18 PM Reply to el Gallinazo
I would give the films a go. I watched the first one several years ago at my other half's insistence and was pleasantly surprised at the depth of its themes despite some duff acting. The second film is also worthwhile but I wouldn't bother with the third and fourth.
LKing , Jan 23, 2021 8:48 PM Reply to Hector
Today my local news had a headline quoting our governor comparing our vaccine rollout to the Hunger Games. I noticed several other states and cities doing the same about their own vaccine rollout.
2fat2surf , Jan 23, 2021 3:57 PM
It's really quite simple actually. The same folks who did the 911 false flag attack crime are behind the virus hoax. Their ends have never changed; to acquire power and control (which they certainly already have) And to use any means no matter how ruthless and murderous to keep it.
When you control all the money in the world, even if you don't have truth on your side, you have immense power.
There is something sinister behind this.
JuraCalling , Jan 23, 2021 11:47 PM Reply to 2fat2surf
We know the truth. They know the truth. They have the power. We have nothing .It would appear that it doesn't matter who has any truth on their side. It's power that shapes the destiny of a race .
el Gallinazo , Jan 24, 2021 1:21 PM Reply to JuraCalling
"They have the power. We have nothing."
Disagree strongly. We outnumber the innermost cabal by about 7 billion to 1000. Wrap your head around that. They maintain their power through the transmission depicted on the back of the USA $1 Federal Reserve Note from the eye on the top down that pyramid. The way to combat it is for us peons at the ground level of the pyramid to dismantle their transmission system from the ground up , leaving our emperors eventually without any clothes. If one wishes to find the savior who will save us, just look in the mirror. To do that successfully, we must first dismantle their divide and control global psyops.
JuraCalling , Jan 24, 2021 3:17 PM Reply to el Gallinazo
"Disagree strongly. We outnumber the innermost cabal by about 7 billion to 1000. Wrap your head around that."
That would be great if it was a "how many people are in your gang" contest. If 1,000 people are in a face off with 100 people, who has the advantage ?
Now. if that 100 people had machine guns, tanks and grenades, but the 1,000 were unarmed- who has the advantage. Wrap your head around that.
"They maintain their power through the transmission depicted on the back of the USA $1 Federal Reserve Note from the eye on the top down that pyramid."
Who does. This is a global pandemic to cover a global takeover. Yes -- there's actually a world outside of America. True story. In the greater scheme of things, America is 'the new kid'. It's just the loudest and least clever. Does Schwab make his plans based on the US fed res ?
It doesn't matter if our emperors have no clothes or if they have suits of armour. What they do have is an arsenal of bio chemical weaponry and poisons along with the various books of rules they can change on a daily basis that determine where we go, what we do, and when. And, of course, the list of consequences for those who believe we don't have to.
There's a reason why the 'innermost cabal' are showing no fear against the vast numbers that oppose it. And it's not bravery or stupidity.
Forget the 99.99% Vs 00.01%. Imagine a few hundred who are running the Covid scam and vaccine poisoning programme and the couple of million opposing it. They are continuing. The opposition, in the meantime, is living on the internet posting 'truth's and pictures of Hitler.
Fact Checker , Jan 24, 2021 10:03 PM Reply to JuraCalling
" America is 'the new kid'. It's just the loudest and least clever."
Not the first time you've made me LOL, Jura, and I'm sure it won't be the last. To the quick you cut.
George Mc , Jan 23, 2021 3:50 PM
Just caught some more mainstream pish on how Fauci blamed his "country's ineffective pandemic response on an American "anti-science bias." He called this bias "inconceivable," because "science is truth."
Thus spake Zarafauci!
He also "compared those discounting the importance of masks and social distancing to "anti-vaxxers" in their "amazing" refusal to listen to science."
Fauci IS Science!
Meanwhile Adrian Bardon, professor of philosophy, is amazed at Fauci's amazement at this rejection of The Mighty Science, saying that "Denial is Everywhere"!
Ah well only one solution: a little brain operation to make everyone "see the Truth"!
Bob -Enough now , Jan 23, 2021 5:05 PM Reply to George Mc
So Fauci stated "science is truth." – but that is what makes "Fauci" a charlaton in the eyes of real scientists; science is ever changing, evolving, ever questioned, enhanced and even proved incorrect. Today's theories (what he believes to be the truth), will be smiled upon in the future.
Mike Ellwood (Oxon UK) , Jan 23, 2021 6:15 PM Reply to Bob -Enough now
Quite. If anything, science is doubt, not truth.
NickM , Jan 23, 2021 6:38 PM Reply to Mike Ellwood (Oxon UK)
Well said, Mike; doubt is the faith of science:
"There is more faith in honest doubt,
Believe me, than in all the creeds" -- Tennyson.
Edith , Jan 23, 2021 5:17 PM Reply to George Mc
Yes one could keep wondering why anyone listens to that little man .how do these people get to be the man of the moment he was there for the aids story and back for this game how knows how many billion he has made from these games. Or why on earth anyone regards anything he says as sane let alone science
JuraCalling , Jan 23, 2021 11:59 PM Reply to George Mc
He's the leader of the pack for Scientism. Him and Gates the two-headed snake.
They believe if it can be quantified / measured. expressed in data- it's real. Anything else is speculation and myth.
This is why the whole covid exercise has had two avenues from day one.
Avenue one: The alleged instructions passed to politicians by behavioural scientists( meaning behavioural psychologists that teach them conditioning techniques that match those imagined in the Lockstep paper)
Avenue two : The alleged data and results passed to them by other 'advisors' that call themselves 'scientific advisers'. They talk about data, numbers, projections and use them as a foundation to build the lockdown and oppression on. None of the numbers are available to us.note that no avenue is left open that leads to medical doctors and virologists that want an open debate *
Note that neither the psychologists or number crunchers have faces and voices and nobody is there to debate or discuss. Just to pass a script of instructions to the suited clowns who don't know there arses from a hole in the ground.
The ritualistic physical instructions of social distancing and self isolating and the grinding down of hope and personal willpower are to induce a semi-trance state.
Watch the deadness in every pair of eyes that have a mask underneath. Watch how they have begun to avoid speaking and walk like they're in a minefield, zombie – like.
It's all priming. The de-humanizing is the prepping. It's winding us down like toys before 'resetting' us.
If the next step is the morphing of man and machine through their mad Nazi Science- and every day suggests it is- then we are about to bring the curtain down on man as a species and usher in their manmade man. What better way to cremate all previous belief systems about God made man. They hijack natural selection and then bastardize that into unnatural selection just after God is killed as an idea that was never quantifiable.
Jan 22, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com
According to STR, Inc , a hotel industry market data firm, 2020 was absolutely the worst year on record for hotels as industrywide profits fell to zero , as the virus pandemic and resulting government-enforced social distancing measures kept travelers at home.
STR's latest report said the US hotel occupancy rate was 44% for the year, down from 66% in 2019. This was the lowest occupancy rate on record. In an earlier STR report, we noted weeks ago that the industry had one billion unsold room nights for the first time, surpassing the record of 786 million in 2009.
Even though S&P Global Ratings warned a few months back that the hotel industry's recovery may not occur until 2023, STR now believes a recovery in occupancy rates back to 2019 levels may not occur until 2024.
Best Western CEO David Kong recently told CNN that "If we don't get a vaccine soon and business doesn't return, it's going to get much worse."
Jan 20, 2021 | off-guardian.org
The economic consequences of these non-debated government policies have been catastrophic. In the U.S. something like 60 million jobs have been lost, many never to return. A hundred and fifty thousand restaurants have gone bankrupt. Only one in three museums will ever reopen. In San Francisco they decided NOT to count the numbers of new homeless. No reason was given but one can guess. The homeless situation in the U.S., in big cities in particular, was critical even before the pandemic. Now the numbers are unprecedented. Not even during the 'Great Depression' was there anything like the current level of those without basic shelter.
Food insecurity is at a crisis level. Feeding America , the largest hunger relief organization in the US, estimates over 50 million people go hungry every night including something close to twenty million children.
Since mid-March 2020, numerous surveys have documented unprecedented levels of food insecurity that eclipse anything seen in recent decades in the United States, including during the Great Recession. Over the past five years, US Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates of food insecurity in the United States have hovered around 11% to 12%.
As of March and April 2020, national estimates of food insecurity more than tripled to 38% In a national survey we fielded in March 2020 among adults with incomes less than 250% of the 2020 federal poverty level (based on thresholds from the US Census), 44% of all households were food insecure including 48% of Black households, 52% of Hispanic households, and 54% of households with children. American Public Heath Association ( Dec 2020 )
And yet, congress just passed another defense budget increase. According to Defense News
the final version of the 2020 defense appropriations bill, part of a broad $1.4 trillion spending deal to finalize federal spending for 2020 and avert a government shutdown. The defense bill would provide $738 billion.
Almost one in three households suffers hunger, regularly. Almost half of black and hispanic households. Households with children are most vulnerable to the government policies. So half of the kids in the U.S. have inadequate nutrition. Half will suffer long term developmental problems, almost guaranteed.
So, given that there are countless medical professionals around the world who question the effectiveness of Covid policy by government, who questions the World Health Organization and CDC? One would think there would be a heated and exhaustive discussion about how to proceed. Once it was clear that this was not a particularly fatal virus, there should have been wide and far-reaching debate. But there was none.
And who are the authorities who dictate these policies? This also remains unclear. The head of the WHO is Dr.Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus . But the face of the pandemic is Anthony Fauci. Now his role is also a bit unclear.
Fauci is director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). He has held that position since 1984. It is unclear why he is the official advisor to presidents.
But, the point is that Bill Gates controls forty percent of the WHO. So, take Norway, where I live. Who advises the PM? Or advises her health minister? And it's worth noting that the health minister is Bent Høie, from the ruling party, a conservative business-friendly party.
Here is the wiki entry on Mr Høie
Høie was born in Randaberg. He studied law at University of Bergen in 1991 and also attended the Norwegian School of Hotel Management from 1991-93.
Well, I guess Hotel management is as good a background as any to make life and death decisions about pandemics. One assumes the WHO and/or the CDC send advisors to talk to the Minister of Health. But I am only guessing.
My point is that the decision-making process is utterly opaque. Nobody seems to have a clear idea from where, exactly, the policy of lockdown (the quarantining of healthy people is, as far as I can tell, utterly new) originated, or where the marketing and obvious fearmongering came from.
For there has been a clear marketing apparatus in play, with all the mask adverts, the social distancing, etc. And worth mentioning is that the eco outcry about plastic straws, a genuine issue, really, suddenly receded and now, in the hysteria of mask wearing, the environment has had to absorb 9 billion single-use cloth and plastic masks .
The entire global economy is teetering on collapse. And this was intentional. This is because of governmental actions, not because of a virus. Of course, western economies have been teetering since 2008, if not before.
I'm not an economist, but this is the point where one must look at "The Great Reset" .
Most of you have heard of it, its been on the cover of TIME magazine, and that photo of Klaus Schwab and his Vulcan unitard suit has cropped up across all social media platforms. The short version (for a long and exhaustive and insightful version see Cory Morningstar here ) is that Schwab and his friends at the World Economic Forum have this idea, clothed in perfect green attire, to "reset" the economies of the West (or of the world).
The word 'reset' is interesting. Who came up with that I wonder? It feels very computer-ish and futuristic, and optimistic! And while much is made of certain aspects (natural capital, social capital, a new deal for nature, social impact bonds, etc) the reality is that the capitalist system, in the hands of the richest at any given moment (or we can say the ruling class), drive corrections to the market. This helps consolidate wealth at the top, or transfer more to the top.
And that is what this is, with the difference being that the plan is more about the destruction of markets, the destruction of competition, and the hyper monopolization of nearly everything. It entails a good deal of AI fantasy, but it also means a digitalization of currency (so no grey economy, no borrowing from friends, no under the table work) and a massive increase in surveillance and tracking. All of this is helped by the lockdown policies, the so-called 'Reset' would likely be stillborn if not for the reaction to Covid.
Allow me to insert HERE a European Commission statement regarding Covid19.
Now the new head of the European Commission is Ursula von der Leyen. Remember that much of the Reset is driven by the ruling elite of Europe and North America. And these people share common values and goals. Here is a brief biographical sketch on Ms von der Leyen
"Von der Leyen's father's grandparents were the cotton merchant Carl Albrecht (1875–1952) and Mary Ladson Robertson (1883–1960), an American who belonged to a plantation owning family of the southern aristocracy from Charleston, South Carolina.
Her American ancestors played a significant role in the British colonization of the Americas, and she descends from many of the first English settlers of Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Barbados, and from numerous colonial-era governors.
Among her ancestors were Carolina governors John Yeamans, James Moore, Robert Gibbes, Thomas Smith and Joseph Blake, Pennsylvania deputy governor Samuel Carpenter, and the American revolutionary and lieutenant governor of South Carolina James Ladson.The Ladson family were large plantation owners and her ancestor James H. Ladson owned over 200 slaves by the time slavery in the United States was abolished; her relatives and ancestors were among the wealthiest in British North America in the 18th century, and she descends from one of the largest British slave traders of the era, Joseph Wragg."
I will return to why this has relevance. But I will only say here that all of the faces fronting for the Green New Deal, and the Reset, are wealthy, from lineages of extreme wealth and position. Today's theme is 'class'.
I can tell you only what I think Schwab and his colleagues want from this project. Let's look at what is not going to return to normal after the lockdown.
Commercial airlines are going bust, and those that are still alive have drastically cut routes and have limited their service. The days of cheap flights to warm beaches is gone, I suspect, for good. Vacations will be limited and travel limited (well, unless you are very rich like Gates and Schwab and Ms von der Leyen and Prince Charles and Jeff Bezos et al).
There are now sixty million people out of work in the U.S. The inevitability of the Universal Basic Income is pretty clear. The question is how much does one mean by basic ?
Here I think one might do a quick history overview of apartheid South Africa, of the sugar plantations of the 18th century in the Caribbean or, well, the Nazi work camp system. The new capitalism that is imagined (and look, feel free to call it post-capitalism , or woke feudalism or whateverthefuckever you want) has more in common with the aforementioned systems of servitude and slavery than it does with anything else. It is class struggle, as Marx emphasized. Jobs won't be coming back. There will be a gigantic surplus population.
And already one sees the gradual coalescing of a new caste system. People deemed 'important' are allowed to go places and few questions are asked if they violate social distancing or mask wearing. The new social apartheid, which began as a pseudoscientific method for disease control, has now, in the brief span of a year, become a defacto class segregation. The rich are exempt. Here is an article from the New York Post (Aug 15th) :
Meanwhile, billionaire David Geffen has been hanging on his yacht, Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson are cruising Greece in another yacht after receiving "honorary" citizenship, Facebook overlord Mark Zuckerberg has been trolling the waters off Hawaii in a $12,000 surfboard, Jeff Bezos and his lady friend have been (multiple) house-hunting, buying up millions of dollars in property in Los Angeles to build a compound while traveling via private jet to several cities around the country, former Mayor Bloomberg splashed out $45 million on a Colorado compound (joining a host of other billionaires buying in that state as well as Montana and Wyoming); and others are spending millions to buy citizenship in "safe" countries like New Zealand.
That 'compound' remark is worth noting. For this is the future for much of America. Gated compounds for the aristos and the dirty, squalid, infected world for the proles. And look, gated communities with private security have been in existence for forty years. Only now the separation has deeper implications.
Of course, football can continue in both the US and UK, though basketball has been more strictly limited (the perception is, of course, that basketball is an urban game and in a league over 70% black).
It is amazing how these strictly-enforced behavioural rules are relaxed for the amusements of the court. The rich can pretty much do whatever they want. Literally none of the rules apply to them. There is a middle tier of affluent, those deemed necessary, for the moment anyway, who get to move around more easily. For the millions now without income the restrictions will be quite acute.
So, back to the Reset for a moment. I keep returning to the slave economies of times past because this is increasingly what capitalism has been trending toward. The sugar plantations of the Caribbean used slave labour. Imported from Africa. They sold that raw product in markets of the metropole, to world markets. But on the plantation only master and slave relations existed. And this is, in one sense, what is being normalized today. Slave relations. And like the gulf Monarchies who use 'guest' workers (slaves, literally), Americans are close already to being guest workers in their own country.
And like the Apartheid laws in South Africa, certain castes (replacing race in this case) cannot go to the private beach of Mark Zukerberg. Or these days, often, any beach at all.
It's worth noting that the old 19th Century industrialist tycoons eventually became huge philanthropists. Carnegie, Mellon, Peabody, Rockefeller even. They endowed education, built libraries and hospitals. Today's tycoons create deceptive Green projects that are really just more wealth-amassing schemes to displace indigenous people, steal land and property, and help sell and normalize the police state.
Students throughout California are now stuck at home in hot, crowded rooms that occasionally fill with wildfire smoke. 19% of these students are English language learners and almost 13% of them have disabilities. Every day on Zoom they fall more and more behind both academically and socially. In Los Angeles Unified, the state's largest district, students are receiving 90-170 minutes of daily live instruction (depending on their age), after which they are expected to do independent work. Compared to the traditional six or seven-hour school day, online education is laughably inadequate. In real time, teachers and families are watching important developmental windows close for vulnerable children. Meanwhile the California Democratic Party and its affiliates tout virtual schooling as a solution for mitigating COVID-19 transmission" Alex Gutentag ( The Bellows )
Gutentag also notes that the California governor sends his kids to a private school with in-person learning. Caste.
Not to mention that many children in the U.S. now live in highly-stressed homes. Over forty million people are at risk of eviction because of unpaid back rent. None of these homes can afford adequate food. They certainly cannot afford health care.
What happens when a child gets sick in today's America? I suspect for hundreds of thousands they will, at best, get inconsistent attention from volunteer medical workers -- unless there is a lockdown in effect. Then they get nothing.
As I say, this brutal reorganization of the economy bears no small similarity to a slave economy -- but it is being sold to the public by pretending it is this new, technology-driven Reset. (Own nothing and be happy).
What exactly does the government plan to do with those sixty million unemployed Americans? What does the UK plan? or Germany or France? Or anywhere? The stimulus package went mostly to big corporations. And media and state propaganda continue to provide endless distractions (see assault on the Capitol , and anything to do with Trump).
There is a clear belief in and emphasis on technology in all this. On AI and robotics and transhumanism (sic) . This belief in AI to solve almost everything is reaching levels of delusion that many people, even critics of the Reset, seem to ignore.
So how is it that people have so passively surrendered their rights? The answer is complex.
First, the idea of cooperation and grass roots organizing have been relentlessly disparaged in the media for decades. When unions were effectively destroyed under Reagan, along with them went the last vestiges of collectivity. Hollywood has always made films about individual triumph, almost never about revolutionary organizing. I think a large number of people today, even those skeptical, suffer from a kind of inertia. And this too has been built into the system. And it may well be an aspect of screen habituation.
But before that, people are afraid. The unseen enemy, the invisible virus, the plague, an enemy that brings fevers and suffering, sickness and death. But that is only a part of the problem. The Reset is presenting a future of total control for the ruling class.
Why would anyone support this madness? Well, first, because they are being sold on the idea that it's green, and that THEY, themselves, will be in control. Sort of. And second, they have limited options.
In a way the long shadow of the Reagan years are evident here. The destruction of unions, coupled with the loss of real public education, has allowed for the rootless, lonely and isolated 'individual' of contemporary America. And the utter absence of a real leftist party.
But it's true for much of Europe, too. Here in Norway the wearing of masks is prevalent in 'high risk' red zones. And one still can't drive across the border to Sweden. I see enormous stress indicators in children. Even in my children. And they are young. Nobody feels happy. Isolation does not promote happiness.
Still, how likely is it that this Reset works? I think this question is ignored somewhat and therefore we need to ask 'for whom does it work'? While there has been enormous amounts of great stuff written about Schwab and the WEF I must digress a moment (although its not really a digression, but only appears to be):
There is a basic problem with AI, deep learning, and natural language and, while it is about language, it applies to other fields as well. This is the Frame problem . And the Frame problem is intwined with the problem of time.NOTE: The Frame problem "is the challenge of representing the effects of action in logic without having to represent explicitly a large number of intuitively obvious non-effects. But to many philosophers, the AI researchers' frame problem is suggestive of wider epistemological issues." – Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy – ed.
The Frame problem is about relevance, and that the outlier issues, while statistically rare, are actually what distinguish 'smart' people from 'not smart' people. Machine learning, AI, can do a lot of things, but to over-applaud its achievements without admitting its profound limitations is going to lead to some catastrophic mistakes and, no doubt, human tragedies.
And then there is this .
AI works great in labs, with toys and controlled environments, but a lot less well in the real world .
So far the solution for the new AI cheerleaders is to make the real world like a lab. In one sense, Singapore, with extensive use of AI via a very authoritarian state apparatus, has already done this. China is a more complex discussion, and wanting to avoid any idea of an 'Oriental plot', I'm just going to take a Mulligan.
The ruling class anywhere is exempted in all such examples. The majority of humans will be treated as rats in a lab test. Not even rats, but toys. In other words, highly, if not totally, expendable.
But the problems with the Reset, and with all of the Green New Deal projects, are that they operate in a computer model-based world that is rather significantly divorced from real life, and certainly, intentionally, disregards class (and caste).
There are also new ideas like ' human capital bonds '. It sounds complex but this is just a more draconian loan arrangement where, if you default, for example while going to medical school, even if you graduate you wont be allowed to practice. Everything in this new economy gives people less power and less autonomy.
The issues with all AI and with the advanced technology praised by the Reset are philosophical more than scientific. Part of the problem is that the real world is enormously complex. Like weather prediction, anything more than six or seven days out is all but impossible. There are too many unknown factors and variables. This truth can be extrapolated to just about any real world problem. But for all the growing skepticism about AI, the proponents (who know these problems) continue to propagandize the benefits and the infinite possibilities of an AI-dominated future.
The most absurd are the transhumanists. Given how little is actually known about consciousness, and considering that all AI is just math, it seems almost infantile to think we are going to learn better with implants, or work more efficiently. Alongside that is the issue of prediction. Perhaps this was built into the Enlightenment, but what Adorno and Horkheimer came to call 'instrumental thinking' is now embraced unquestioningly by the new peddlers of AI.
Back to the philosophical issue. Wittgenstein famously said:
If a lion could speak, we would not understand it.
Language is part of a shared horizon of the world (as Steven Gambardella put it). Computers can simulate thought, but only up to a point. (See Chinese Box experiment)
The whole modern conception of the world is founded on the illusion that the so-called laws of nature are the explanations of natural phenomena. Thus people today stop at the laws of nature, treating them as something inviolable, just as God and Fate were treated in past ages. Ludwig Wittgenstein ( Tractatus )
AI is the Alchemy of the 21st century. The new Reset, driven by the high net worth figures from Wall Street, Silicon Valley, or the Royal Houses of Europe, is a fantasy. But a fantasy that is part of a long class struggle.
And at a certain point it doesn't matter, not totally, if AI works.
If errors occur in computation, or in facial recognition, or in food allotments to the projected new slave class, the billionaires on their yachts wont mind. If the implant in my brain crashes during a scheduled update, that's just one less servant to feed.
And there is also a clear de-population agenda at work in all this. Certainly David Attenborough and Baroness Goodall are big on getting rid of the indigenous people in Africa . Nearly all of the pro-Reset leadership believe in depopulation. Prince Charles, another who prefers he keep his privilege. It is not an accident that an Ursula von der Leyen is running point for the EU now. A descendent of the biggest slave trader in Europe at one time. It speaks to exactly why a Hugo Chavez, for example, so offended these people. Or an Evo Morales. Remember it was not so long ago that the U.S. worked to control and neutralize African independence movements. While Cuba and the U.S.S.R. helped to support those movements. Dick Cheney until the 90s called Mandela a terrorist.
This intentional demolition of capitalism, as we have come to know it, is designed to enclose populations via surveillance, digital tagging, health passports, and no doubt much more. Again, if the digital tag doesn't work, so what? I happen to think much of this ruling class dream is doomed to fail on the technical level. The problem is that it quite possibly will work on a political and control level.
Depopulation is rebranded eugenics, and nothing else. The royals of Europe have always longed for a return to what, for them, was colonial grandeur. The fantasy future is nostalgia for the ruling class. The dream can be traced back to what the Empire has always done. They destroy anything democratic and/or socialist. They support any dictator at any time because they believe they deserve more and more of what is better. Let them eat cake.
They have crushed independence and autonomy for all of the 20th century and now into the 21st. The Mau Mau uprising in Kenya, the assassination of Lumumba, Vietnam, Indonesia and Suharto, El Salvador ( U.S. support for Roberto D'Aubuisson, a fervent admirer of Hitler), or Nicaragua, or Chile, the former Yugoslavia. One could go on and on and on. The U.S. support for Papa Doc in Haiti, for Trujillo in the Dominican Republic. Nowhere, at any time, has the Imperialist and colonial-loving ruling class EVER supported democracy or equality. Never, nowhere, not once.
The problem is about perception . Take one of the biggest NGOs in the entire New Deal for Nature; Conservation International . These people work with the WWF, with Club of Rome, and We Mean Business. These are very wealthy business ventures. Now, Conservation International also finances the Greta Thunberg films.
HERE is their board of directors, from their web page.
Perception. But Northrup Grummon and Riverstone Holdings. The first is a major player in the defense industry, the industry that just got a trillion dollars, give or take, from the U.S. Government. The second is a private equity firm focused on leveraged buyouts. Arnhold LLC is an investment management company. Banco BTG Pactual S/A is an investment management company and consultant to corporate trading. You get the idea. These are the people who have helped further inequality, aided environmental destruction, and helped plunder the assets of countless countries. The cynicism is jaw dropping, but many people just see Greta, see Green New Deal and assume this NGO is an innocent well-intentioned and 'woke' eco-venture.
WHY would anyone think that suddenly these people are out to save the planet?
Well, they might think they ARE saving the planet, but not for you and me. For themselves.John Steppling is an original founding member of the Padua Hills Playwrights Festival, a two-time NEA recipient, Rockefeller Fellow in theatre, and PEN-West winner for playwrighting. He's had plays produced in LA, NYC, SF, Louisville, and at universities across the US, as well in Warsaw, Lodz, Paris, London and Krakow. He has taught screenwriting and curated the cinematheque for five years at the Polish National Film School in Lodz, Poland. Plays include The Shaper, Dream Coast, Standard of the Breed, The Thrill, Wheel of Fortune, Dogmouth, and Phantom Luck, which won the 2010 LA Award for best play. Film credits include 52 Pick-up (directed by John Frankenheimer, 1985) and Animal Factory (directed by Steve Buscemi, 1999). A collection of his plays was published in 1999 by Sun & Moon Press as Sea of Cortez and Other Plays. He lives with wife Gunnhild Skrodal Steppling; they divide their time between Norway and the high desert of southern California. He is artistic director of the theatre collective Gunfighter Nation. Jan 19, 2021 1:40 PM
great piece. I am perplexed when we speak of the new era we are facing, as a new form of feudalism. The feudal age it was not just a story between serfs and feudal lords, in Europe, we also witnessed the birth of Medieval commune, the Municipalities, in which citizens gave themselves the first laws and rights of free men. "During the 10th century in several parts of Western Europe, peasants began to gravitate towards walled population centers, as advances in agriculture (the three-field system) resulted in greater productivity and intense competition
Such townspeople needed physical protection from lawless nobles and bandits, part of the motivation for gathering behind communal walls, but also strove to establish their liberties, the freedom to conduct and regulate their own affairs and security from arbitrary taxation and harassment from the bishop, abbot, or count in whose jurisdiction these obscure and ignoble social outsiders lay. This was a long process of struggling to obtain charters that guaranteed such basics as the right to hold a market. The breakaway from their feudal overlords by these communes occurred in the late 12th century and 13th century, during the Investiture Controversy between the Pope and the Holy Roman Emperor. Milan led the Lombard cities against the Holy Roman Emperors and defeated them, gaining independence (battles of Legnano, 1176, and Parma, 1248). Meanwhile, the Republic of Venice, Pisa and Genoa were able to conquer their naval empires on the Mediterranean sea (in 1204 Venice conquered three-eights of the Byzantine Empire in the Fourth Crusade). Cities such as Parma, Ferrara, Verona, Padua, Lucca, Siena, Mantua and others were able to create stable states at the expenses of their neighbors, some of which lasted until modern times." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medieval_commune ."
I've watched Williams accurately call many market twists and turns in the 15 years I've known him. I know of more than a few money managers who trust his judgement. Williams has won or placed well in the I've watched Williams accurately call many market twists and turns in the 15 years I've known him. I know of more than a few money managers who trust his judgement. Williams has won or placed well in the World Cup Trading Championship several times since the 1980s To make market calls, Williams uses his own time-tested mix of fundamentals, seasonal trends, technical signals and intelligence gleaned from the Commitment of Traders report from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Here's how he thinks about the three types of positions the CFTC reports. Williams considers positioning by commercial traders or hedgers and users and producers of commodities to be the smart money. He thinks large traders, mainly big investment shops, and the public are contrarian indicators. Williams mainly trades futures because he thinks that's where you can make the big money. But we can apply his calls to stocks and exchange traded funds, too. Here's how he's positioning for the next few weeks and through the end of the year, in some of the major asset classes and stocks. To make market calls, Williams uses his own time-tested mix of fundamentals, seasonal trends, technical signals and intelligence gleaned from the Commitment of Traders report from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Here's how he thinks about the three types of positions the CFTC reports. Williams considers positioning by commercial traders or hedgers and users and producers of commodities to be the smart money. He thinks large traders, mainly big investment shops, and the public are contrarian indicators. Williams mainly trades futures because he thinks that's where you can make the big money. But we can apply his calls to stocks and exchange traded funds, too. Here's how he's positioning for the next few weeks and through the end of the year, in some of the major asset classes and stocks. To make market calls, Williams uses his own time-tested mix of fundamentals, seasonal trends, technical signals and intelligence gleaned from the Commitment of Traders report from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Here's how he thinks about the three types of positions the CFTC reports. Williams considers positioning by commercial traders or hedgers and users and producers of commodities to be the smart money. He thinks large traders, mainly big investment shops, and the public are contrarian indicators. Williams mainly trades futures because he thinks that's where you can make the big money. But we can apply his calls to stocks and exchange traded funds, too. Here's how he's positioning for the next few weeks and through the end of the year, in some of the major asset classes and stocks. Williams mainly trades futures because he thinks that's where you can make the big money. But we can apply his calls to stocks and exchange traded funds, too. Here's how he's positioning for the next few weeks and through the end of the year, in some of the major asset classes and stocks. Williams mainly trades futures because he thinks that's where you can make the big money. But we can apply his calls to stocks and exchange traded funds, too. Here's how he's positioning for the next few weeks and through the end of the year, in some of the major asset classes and stocks.
Expect an extended stock market selloff
To make market calls in September, Williams turns to what he calls the Machu Picchu trade, because he discovered this signal while traveling to the ancient Inca ruins with his wife in 2014. Williams, who is intensely focused on seasonal patterns that consistently play out over time, noticed that it's usually a great idea to sell stocks -- using indexes, mostly -- on the seventh trading day before the end of September. (This year, that's Sept. 22.) Selling on this day has netted profits in short-term trades 100% of the time over the past 22 years.
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One caveat: Watch the advance-decline line, one of Williams' favorite indicators. If fewer stocks are declining relative to advancers on days the stock market is weak, or if there is a broadening out of participation on up days, this is a sign the any selloff may be coming to a close.
"If great breadth comes in to the market [on up days], then I will get bullish," he says.
Gold offers no hedge
A lot of people think gold serves as a hedge during stock market declines, but this isn't true, says Williams. Gold has slumped along with stocks in most of the major market selloffs. He expects the same over the next three to four weeks. He's advising gold traders to sell any rallies now, and then revisit when gold falls later this year to buy back lower.
To make this call, Williams looks at the typical seasonal pattern for gold that plays out every year, and also the historical trends in election years. The conclusion: Gold typically peaks around the middle of September then weakens for most of the rest of the year. This year, gold has underperformed its typical seasonal pattern, which is bearish for the metal.
"Gold has not been able to stay in step with what happened in the past, therefore the seasonal pattern should work this year," he says.
Another sign of potential weakness is the "crazy bullishness on gold" among the right-wing pundits like Ron Paul who have a long-standing affinity for the medal.
"They're all on the bandwagon because of the rally in gold," he says.
As with gold, he expects a similar seasonal pattern in other precious metals and copper. They will be weak from now through the end of the year, with a possible bounce in the middle of October.
Michael Brush is a Manhattan-based financial writer who publishes the stock newsletter Brush Up on Stocks. Brush has covered business for the New York Times and The Economist group. He attended Columbia Business School in the Knight-Bagehot program. Günter Wolfeschlegelsteinhausenbergerdorff 11 hours ago Only this September there is a the Fed, a pandemic, Robinhood and Trump, and his corrupt administration. Factor in those variables and it's impossible to predict what the market is going to do. Will remain in all cash till after the election. Stuart Young 11 hours ago I don't believe that all of the damage caused by our pandemic has been adequately summed up. Our U.S. Government may suffer huge consequences as a result of trillions of dollars in new debt. The law of gravity can be defied on so long. LT Murray 1 day ago Valualtions are now about where they were in the summer when there was all the talk about a V-shaped recovery that is now known not to be the case.
Jun 04, 2020 | www.haaretz.com
Slavoj Zizek's 'Brutal, Dark' Formula for Saving the World
The pandemic is liable to worsen, ecological disasters loom and technological surveillance will terminate democracy. Salvation will come only by reorganizing human society. A conversation with the radical and anxious philosopher Slavoj Zizek Share in Facebook Share in Twitter Send in e-mail Send in e-mail Go to comments Print article Zen Read
Jun 18, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Too many people who should know better are taking a big bounce in retail sales as a sign that an economic recovery is well underway. It is, but only in the sense that going from the ICU to a hospital bed could also be defined as a recovery. In keeping, the Atlanta Fed's GDPNow forecast for the second quarter has improved from negative 52.8% to a sunny negative 45.5%.
Needless to say, a rebound from the lockdowns was inevitable. All sorts of activities like dentist appointments on hold (and dentistry personnel accounted for 10% of the job gains), and so there's pent up demand for medical procedures and treatments, as well as more mundane services that many regard as critical, like haircuts.
Nevertheless, stock indices rising to new highs looks remarkably out of touch in light of the baked-in and certain-to-continue-for-long-enough-to-matter damage. The true believers are in "Central banks are on the case and will save us" mode. Perhaps they need to heed the warning, "Past results are no guarantee of future performance."
Multiple factors are working together to bias observers to underestimate the severity of Covid-19 economic damage.
The first is that it has hit parts of the economy that are relatively removed from media coverage: low income service workers and small business owners. Tell me how often CNN goes to interview the owner of a dry cleaner or auto lube shop, even though small businesses have long been the generator of new jobs. Similarly, notice how reports of Covid-19 infections at food processing facilities isn't covered until the capacity taken out rises to a level where it might impact consumers. In keeping, Bloomberg had a story today, More Food Shortages Loom With Outbreaks at 60 U.S Plants , of outbreaks at non-meat processing facilities, like fruit and vegetable packers and bakeries.
Second is that in the middle income to better off sections of the country, things still look reassuringly normal. The lockdowns froze activity including business closures. I now live in a twee suburb, and in the local shopping districts, there are not yet any vacant storefronts, even though some businesses in not so prominent locations (a liquor store, the restaurant with the best pizza in the area, and an Olive Garden branch, for starters) have folded; a lot of better restaurants have not reopened even though the lockdown ended a couple of weeks ago.
On top of that, houses in tony suburban and exurban areas are in keen demand. So on top of feeling good about their stock portfolios, upper middle class homeowners in those areas are positively chuffed about reports of brisk property sales at strong prices.
Third is that due to optimism bias and/or having experienced the 1987 crash, the dotcom bust, and 9/11, many people are predisposed to believe that even if the pain of spring 2020 is acute, that the economy will rebound and nearly all of the damage will be erased by year end or say at worst, mid 2021. Underscoring that it a widespread tendency to see Mr. Market at the economy.
This is far from a comprehensive list, but below are eight reasons why the deep damage to the economy won't be reversed any time soon.
1. Business travel is not coming back any time soon. People are getting accustomed to Zoom. And word may also get out that domestic flying is much worse than it used to be, which will be a deterrent to those who might be so bold as to want to get on a plane. That is a fundamental blow to airlines, airport vendors, hotels, restaurants, and convention centers. Hotel occupancy in April was 24.5% which if anything seems high based on my personal datapoints. The pricings I see say that hotel operators are not expecting much if any improvement through the summer. And as we discussed, hotels are at risk of creating a vicious cycle: they've cut service levels drastically as a way to reduce the bleeding of the low occupancy rates. But even at knocked-down prices, the degraded experience is enough to make travelers think twice about getting on the road.
2. White collar workers will not be going back to offices in the old numbers. Elevators and public transport, particularly commuter trains, are perceived as big risks. And a lot of cities can't cope well with people driving in. NYC is extreme here but it's now short of parking space even with midtown looking freakily underpopulated. Moreover, many large corporations, having had to figure out how to make work from home manageable, have decided they can cope with it or even like it, so they plan to cut their office space when lease renewals come up. That development will thin out tons of businesses near office buildings
Estimates vary, but in New York City, both retail and office space payments are way down. 40% seems a reasonable guesstimate based on the panic level.
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4. Colleges will have a lot of trouble this fall. First, they are losing nearly all their full-freight-paying Chinese students, between concern over US Covid-19 risks, Administration hostility, and travel restrictions. That alone is a big blow.
On top of that, some are planning to reopen but MIT's announcement yesterday, that it will not allow all students to return to campus, probably represents a new normal. Well-placed MIT alumni read the university's decision as driven significantly by a desire to protect faculty and staff; I hear from sources with contacts at other universities that administrators that they see no way to put kids in dorms without running unacceptably high Covid risks. Remember, even though kids almost never die of Covid-19, but there is a risk of serious damage. 1/2 the asymptomatic cases on the Diamond Princess now show abnormal lungs. And remember those cruises have half the people on board as crew, and the crew skews young. College is a lot less appealing if you don't stay in a dorm.
Just as diminished activity in central business districts has negative knock-on effects to nearby business, so to do hollowed-out colleges and universities have for their communities, as described in more depth in a recent Bloomberg story .
5. PPP loans are keeping workers on the books through late June-mid July, depending on when the loan came in. Many employers, ranging from museums to small manufacturers are saying they have to make deep headcount cuts then. Continuing unemployment claims already show that new hires are still being pretty much equaled by job losses.
6. Cutting across all the categories of businesses suffering from Covid-19 damage .restaurants, shops in office districts, merchants in college towns, small manufacturers Small business owners have to guarantee loans personally unless they are able to finance their operations by borrowing against real estate. Even SBA loans require a personal guarantee. So when consumers cheerily say that restaurant owners or other operators will just declare Chapter 7 or 11 and then start their venture afresh, they miss that these capitalists will be wiped out. They won't have the money to start over again. And they may not have the pain tolerance either.
7. State and local governments are already hemorrhaging jobs and it will get worse. And in some, perhaps many communities, the budget cuts will be so deep that they will degrade service levels. Less frequent garbage collection and street repair is not good for business either.
8. The EU is not going to do enough stimulus to offset its own Covid-19 damage and Brexit is coming, a shock to the EU and UK when both are already on the ropes. Roughly 25% of S&P earnings come from Europe. The odds Italian banks will blow is rising all the time and that could be a CreditAnstalt-level event.
I'm sure readers can come up with additional items, but this list alone ought to be enough to curb the enthusiasm of the economy cheerleaders. As Marshall Auerback said by e-mail:
American household spending in the 1960s was powered by rising wages and growing home equity. But wages have been largely stagnant since at least 2000, and spending increases since 2010 were powered by rising personal and corporate debts. House values are now stagnant at best, and will likely fall in the months ahead. Faced with radical uncertainty, US consumers will save more and spend less. Even if the government replaces their lost incomes for a time, people know that stimulus is short term. What they do not know is when the next job offer or layoff will come along.
Moreover, people do distinguish between needs and wants. Americans need to eat, but they mostly don't need to eat out. They don't need to travel. Restaurant owners and airlines therefore have two problems: they can't cover costs while their capacity is limited for public-health reasons, and demand would be down even if the coronavirus disappeared. This explains why many businesses are not reopening even though they legally can. Others are reopening, but fear they cannot hold out for long. And the many millions of workers in America's vast services sector are realizing that their jobs are simply not essential.
The Rev Kev , June 18, 2020 at 10:44 am
Universities have been very adept at squeezing themselves into occupations to make them a required third party. So nursing was once an occupation that a lot of people could do but in many countries now, if you want to be a nurse you have to be university qualified.
In previous times an apprenticeship was the main requirement with state given examinations at the end of it. I think that this could be true of doctors as well. But no in ore and more occupations, unless you have the university qualifications, you can't do the job.
juno mas , June 18, 2020 at 4:31 pm
Let me just say that having college trained, licensed RN's are important. They are the one's who actually make a hospital function. The skills needed to be a qualified RN are well beyond apprenticeship.
I've spent some critical time in a hospital and the ability of attending RN's (both ICU and general unit) to understand the broader implications of a doctor's directive and the comprehension of computational details involved with medicine application is beyond me. It's too much work for my mind; and I'm one of those licensed professionals mandated by the state.
And this ignores the "soft skills" needed to provide care to patients. (If you've ever been tended by a male nurse, you'll know what I'm saying.)
HotFlash , June 18, 2020 at 5:08 pm
Erm, I have been tended by a male nurse and I don't know what you mean.
What I have observed (as a patient and friend-of-patient) is that community college trained nurses, who, in my part of the world, start working on wards in the first week, are better nurses than the university-trained ones who don't see a patient until year two. Many would have washed out early on if they had actually contact with patients right away. You can generally spot them, they clutch their clipboards as if they were shields and flee to positions in admin ASAP.
juno mas , June 18, 2020 at 8:17 pm
Both 4-year and 2-year community colleges produce RN's. Both have clinical (hospital) requirements. Of course, 4-year colleges produce RN's with greater academic depth. Doesn't mean they are better nurses. But they are the ones roaming the ICU's because they have the greater depth of knowledge.
My main point was a simple one: modern day nursing skills cannot be gained through apprenticeship. It requires sustained study, instruction, and clinical experience.
Ignacio , June 18, 2020 at 7:31 am
The epidemic was almost certainly the knockout punch for many businesses that were already barely surviving before the shock.
And governments will seemingly fail to recognize that strong keynesian intervention is mandated and has to be maintained for long if they don't want depression to keep its course while the usual hawks are already asking for termination of state aid programs. We had first epidemic negationism and now we face economic negationism as if the value of stocks would by itself fix everything back to normal. Harder times ahead unfortunately.
Fox Blew , June 18, 2020 at 10:10 am
Well said, Ignacio. I would add that this may be a knockout punch for globalization as we know it. John Ralston Saul suggested this already happened two decades ago (it takes awhile for ideologies to die in the minds of the elite, right?). I don't know how we are going to functionally transition to "positive nationalism" (ie. citizen based economics) but you presented a key ingredient, IMHO, when you wrote: "strong keynesian intervention is mandated and has to be maintained for long if they don't want depression to keep its course"
Ignacio , June 18, 2020 at 2:00 pm
There is only one reason to remove or not implement Federal support for the population at large and SMEs: The "hawks" want (for them or for their clients) to buy properties and stuff on the cheap.
SonoftheSouth , June 18, 2020 at 10:40 am
Yves, the "forgiveness terms" on the PPP loans have been amended from the initial up to 75% of $100,000 spent on salaries within eight weeks of PPP loan distribution to a 24 week period. I believe this change will allow smaller businesses to survive for a longer period.
IanB , June 18, 2020 at 11:16 am
I think these changes will help employees of only a limited subset of businesses, those businesses that hadn't previously applied but which will now apply because of the changed terms. The new terms don't increase the amount of the loan, they just change how much of it will be forgiven. My company received a PPP loan under the original terms, the changes make the amount forgiven somewhat greater, but the cash won't last any longer. The real beneficiaries of the changes will be owners (including myself), who now will have to repay less of the loan.
Yves Smith Post author , June 18, 2020 at 3:58 pm
No, this is the reverse. It's not a matter of distribution, it's a matter of how long the business can afford to keep the staff.
Even assuming the PPP paid enough for full salary recovery (for some businesses, it doesn't; a friend with a manufacturing business got only $420K versus her $700K payroll because some of her employees are high skill and make over $100K), extending the time helps only for businesses that were entirely closed, like restaurants. It did NOT increase the amount distributed. That was set based on 8 weeks of payroll as 75% of the total distributed.
So if after paying full payroll for eight weeks (now eight weeks from when you started supporting salaries) and your business clearly can't support the payroll, you will cut staff.
Moreover, the amendment on the fly was of limited help. A lot of business like restaurants (per a WSJ story yesterday( didn't apply because the 8 week requirement was in affect when the program had funds to distribute.
polecat , June 18, 2020 at 2:26 pm
A zigzag economy. Or even better, stairsteppin down to lower states of 'commerce', much of it 'informal', out of the prying noses of taxman everywhere .. that too, uh, works in my admittedly cloudy seer's eye.
at least until StrongMan 2.0 takes hold
occasional anonymous , June 18, 2020 at 9:41 pm
At what part of the letter (?) do the food riots start?
TiPs , June 18, 2020 at 7:40 am
If ever there was a time for a job guarantee program
Mikel , June 18, 2020 at 10:43 am
If ever there was a time that the establishment would fight a job guarantee program it is now.
When they say they need to be able to "compete" it's all about bringing wages down. Nothing does that more than mass unemployment. Every industry is going to squeeze wages to make up for lost demand that you nor your children should hold your breath about returning. Sports and entertainment big squeeze. Keep a close eye on the battles with the unions.
I see people desperately mincing about like there will be a return to "like it was in 2019."
Wandering around in their deluded dreamworld as if all of this was like a season of the tv series Dallas back in the eighties an entire season written off as another characters dream.
Tom Stone , June 18, 2020 at 8:50 am
In my little town of Sebastopol at least half the restaurants will go out of business, the one used bookstore is shuttered and quite a few of the tourist dependent shops will be going out of business. Vacation rentals are being allowed again, it's too early to tell if they will be OK yet.
July 4th will be a good indicator. Real Estate prices are looking wobbly. I did get my first haircut since January and now sport bright blue mohawk.
rd , June 18, 2020 at 9:11 am
I think most of the long-term job losses will be low income jobs (less than $40k/year). This is the group that recent statistics showed is at spending levels similar to last year, but much of that is supported by federal stimulus money ($600/wk unemployment, $1,200 check, PPP). When that dries up, that spending will likely decline. Many of those low income jobs will not have come back for two years as they are in hospitality and entertainment types of sectors. The drive-thru fast-food and takeout restaurants are doing fine everything else is suffering and many will go permanently out of business. It is going to be a bloodbath in downtown areas in major cities.
The economy will lose a significant amount of consumer spending when the below median income have significantly lower income because they spend that income. That will reduce corporate revenues and sales tax collection.
White collar workers working from home will do fine. They will also continue saving money instead of spending it since they won't be travelling for pleasure or business or going out for food or entertainment. Recent statistics indicate that in early June, the top 25% income category reduced their credit card spending by 17% compared to pre-coronavirus while the lower income people reduced their spending 4%. This is the same reason that the Republican tax cuts don't work to boost the economy they give the money to people who don't spend it, so it doesn't create economic growth, although it does create asset bubbles.
Reduced state and local tax revenues means the layoffs are already starting in the public sector. There are so many public sector layoff requirements that saving a dollar in salary is only saving $0.30 in the first year after laying off the employee. So the layoffs are likely to be deep. A cost effective approach is that state and local governments will simply not hire to fill positions of recent retirees because then they get 100% savings, so younger folks hoping for government work are going to be disappointed for at least a couple of years. State and local governments reduciton in spending was a significant damper on the fianncial crisis recovery and will be one here as well.
I think we are staring at 10% unemployment for at least 2 years. Real unemployment may be significantly higher as discouraged workers don't get counted. Also, with so many baby boomers entering Social Security eligibility, they may be forced to retire early and take reduced social security payments for the rest of their lives. That will be a drag on the economy for the next 30 years as social security benefits recirculate in the same month they get paid.
jerry , June 19, 2020 at 11:33 am
I don't think you are appreciating the magnitude of months on end of low wage workers salaries being doubled, combined with a huge drop in federal tax revenue. Also, congress is certainly not stupid enough to allow the additional unemployment benefits to expire going into an election (afterwards, certainly). Combined with a 3 trillion dollar spending bill, we have an unprecedented increase in aggregate demand from the average American. Now that the economy starts to open up a bit, there is actually something to spend the money on other than Amazon purchases.
Consumption is our economy, and if you don't think we are going to continue seeing huuuge retail sales numbers > earnings > GDP then you are way off base IMO. We are effectively already instituting a generous UBI. Yes, many small businesses have and will tragically fail and we are in a complete mess in many ways, but sectoral balance always wins out. The private sector hasn't had a surplus like this since I don't even know when? WWII maybe? This certainly blows away the response we had in 2008.
All this spells term #2 for the Donald in my outlook. The dems threw everything they possibly could at him and it failed miserably. And it serves them right, run a real candidate with real policy positions instead of incessantly whining about the guy who is in there now. Not sure how long it is going to take for the left to wake up
allan , June 18, 2020 at 9:17 am
9. Low income people, with the most propensity to spend, can't if they don't have income for a long time.
Here's a horrifying thread with video and pics of an 8 hour wait to apply for UI in Kentucky. And there are people who applied in March and April who still haven't been serviced.
As an extra bonus, (nonperformative) mask usage in the line looks like it's about 50%, so some of these poor souls will soon have other things to worry about.
Mitch's solution for his hard-pressed constituents: More judges.
polecat , June 18, 2020 at 2:38 pm
Well, it's a good thing then that mr. Stone above ain't living in the Ken tuck ee, home of the Big A$$ Smoke-ster, mohawk or no ..
Susan the other , June 18, 2020 at 9:29 am
One of the biggest ironies of all is that the health care industry is suffering because the expense of treating coronavirus is not offset by enough income but it is still crowding out other services. I doubt any big hospitals will go under, but the small rural ones have been dropping like flies for a few years now.
I had my yearly yesterday and my new doc is voicing her frustration with the way information is so mishandled, not to mention that the tests for antibodies are virtually useless, and she thinks it will take at least a year to get some kind of yearly shot for corona.
We might never see an actual vaccination. She mentioned that people are putting off going in for imaging procedures and lab work because they are afraid the clinics and hospital labs are dangerous places.
WhoaMolly , June 18, 2020 at 9:34 am
> What is forbearance? It is a lender's temporary willingness not to collect interest or principal payments on a loan.
My son's lender gave him 3 months "forbearance". At the end of the three months they billed him for a triple mortgage payment. Fortunately he was able to remain employed and had banked the 3 payments. I expect he is one of the only people to do so. Such "forbearance" sounds like a vicious scam.
Yves Smith Post author , June 18, 2020 at 9:42 am
It is not at all a well known concept. It just lets you pay late with no penalty. It does not relieve you of your obligation.
Having said that (and I need to turn in so I am not about to find the link) I am told a NY Post article said that tenants in NYC were pretty much paying as usual, so they seemed to appreciate that this forbearance business was not much of a break.
polecat , June 18, 2020 at 2:54 pm
Just wait till federal tax time become 'un'-deferred. How many, especially the precarious within the middleclasses, not be able to pay what's owed? .. or .. incensed at the transparently unfair government/fed reserve plays, just throw up their proverbial hands, and say 'Screw this!!! Wall Street made Bank thankyouverymuch! .. why am I not held to the Same standard??'
Tax headcounts may possibly roll . away!
Pelham , June 18, 2020 at 10:33 am
A minor point: I've read that if absolutely everyone wore a mask we could resume many of our activities. Maybe. But personally, I find them semi-suffocating, even the fairly loose-fitting cloth variety. I believe in their worth but the nauseating experience of light oxygen deprivation causes me to avoid most outings or activities that require them. I can't imagine how medical professionals wear these things so often. Maybe it takes some getting used to.
Is anyone else similarly annoyed? Again, I believe in the value of mask wearing; I just find it nearly unbearable.
XXYY , June 18, 2020 at 11:06 am
I find the most objectionable thing to be glasses fogging, with suffocation a close second. I imagine one can eventually get used to it, since, e.g., surgeons wear them for hours at a stretch every day of their working lives.
One of the difficult things about the current situation is the remarkable shortage of PPE and the difficulty the manufacturing sector seems to have both meeting the existing demand and coming up with improved products at scale. Since PPE is safety-critical (failures will cause injury or death), and since almost all manufacturing seems to have been outsourced to China where quality is suspect at best, it's hard to be optimistic about the situation improving. In fact, as new protocols evolve around the world in which PPE is the new normal, shortages and counterfeit products seem likely to get worse.
Obviously this is one area where a wartime level of federally driven domestic production efforts would make total sense, but this would require acknowledging that coronavirus is real, and with Donald "nothing to see here" Trump in the White House this seems unlikely to happen any time soon.
a different chris , June 18, 2020 at 11:22 am
I don't even notice mine, to the point where I sometimes try to spoon food thru it
I dunno, maybe it's because I used to have a beard? In combination with the fact that I was an avid bicyclist so just walking around, let alone sitting in front of a computer, just doesn't require much air?
Ian Ollmann , June 18, 2020 at 8:16 pm
I don't care for them, but since I am working at home and don't go anywhere -- my lovely and talented wife also does shopping -- I only needed a mask once for an unavoidable shopping trip. She had a birthday. We got a very nice pear torte from the local chocolaterie!
I do work, play games with the kids, and eat well. I putter about in the wood shop. (Hand tools are the secret for avoiding masks there.) I'm really quite a bit happier than before the outbreak. We seem to be able to hide out from the virus on our homestead in the Santa Cruz Mountains redwoods. With that, the clean air, decreased car noise and no commute, I'm wondering why we didn't do this before!
I'm sure it will all come crashing down when school starts again, but for the moment, life is grand.
Duke of Prunes , June 18, 2020 at 11:31 am
While I agree with this, I wonder if it's missing the other side. For example, when more people work from home, they still need to eat and don't necessarily have time to cook. Will suburban and neighborhood restaurants and delivery services see an uptick? Obviously, this doesn't help the city center businesses, but maybe it evens out a bit when spread across the entire economy. That is, a lot of current businesses are in a bad way, but maybe the economy will restructure around the "new normal".
Yves Smith Post author , June 18, 2020 at 4:01 pm
Takeout is way less profitable than sitdown. Restaurants here closed after briefly trying takeout because they could not make it work (three in a less than ten minute driving distance). The only ones I anticipate that will do OK are venues with tiny sit down spaces, where they were set up as mainly takeout.
Upstater , June 18, 2020 at 11:37 am
Sporting events (not that I follow any) have economic impact and there will not be any residual demand when they are permitted. And surely some people will be reluctant to enter arenas with thousands of screaming fans. Locally, Syracuse has SU football and basketball (drawing 20-40,000), a triple A baseball team and a minor league hockey team. I don't know how many game nights there are locally, but I'd guess 100+. There is a certain amount of out of town people attending same.
Same is true for live entertainment or the NY State Fair (close to 100,000 daily attendance for a 2 week run). All these things are cancelled and there won't be make up dates or residual demand.
The impact of non-events (like forgone haircuts or meals out) will take some time to work through the broader economy. Also, habits will change even if there is a vaccine or miracle cure.
Yves Smith Post author , June 18, 2020 at 4:02 pm
I failed to include live entertainment and sports. Thanks for the addition.
David , June 18, 2020 at 11:58 am
I suspect that the really interesting and alarming consequences are going to come from the interaction of a number of these factors, sometimes in unforeseeable ways. Consider, for example, what other industries or sectors are impacted by business travel: travel companies, foreign exchange companies, airport duty free shops, taxi companies, car hire companies, makers of business travel applications for smartphones, translators and interpreters, portable computers and electronics of all kinds, adapter plugs, expensive luggage of all kinds, upper-tier restaurants and hotels where foreign languages are spoken, sources of business entertainment, certain personal services, um, sometimes sought by travelling businessmen, security staff at hotels, insurance companies, risk-management consultancies, medical and vaccination services, dry-cleaning services, spas and beauty services, legal advisers on doing business, even the little shop in the lobby that sells business books, expensive souvenirs and overpriced essentials that you typically forget.
None of these industries will necessarily disappear, but all will lose the most lucrative part of their business.
In conjunction with fewer tourists though, (which must now be a given) some or all of them may go down, or at least be drastically reduced. And it's likely that there'll be a general retrenchment of staff deployed abroad and the presence of international organisations. So if you do eventually get that trip to exotic destination you have been promising yourself for some years, you may find that there are no decent hotels or restaurants and no proper taxi service to your run-down hotel where nobody speaks English.
The other thing is tertiary education, where the problems go well beyond a lack of Chinese students (who can still register to study remotely of course). A number of universities in Europe have simply cancelled all in-person classes next year, and there is a huge and rather ill-directed effort under way to establish complete online learning systems. Nobody has any idea what the long-term consequences of this will be, for jobs, research, careers and even the survival of many institutions, but they won't be pretty. A lot of degrees simply can't be done on line. And of course the economies of many towns and cities are partially dependent on students and staff spending money, and buying and renting houses.
So if you live in a small but pleasant university town with a flourishing tourist industry, a science park and an international conference centre, you own a restaurant and your brother owns a taxi company, it might be time to consider something else.
Adam1 , June 18, 2020 at 12:17 pm
While not directly connected to the pandemic, it is overlapping in timing of the economic damage. The collapse of oil prices has laid waste to the shale revolution. Prior to the oil price war oil production and the money being poured into it was actually a substantial portion of GDP growth. That isn't likely coming back soon if every.
templar555510 , June 18, 2020 at 3:39 pm
GDP growth . Forget it, it's over . De-growth is the new normal. This reality will become apparent as the parasites hedge funds, private equity et al begin to fall later this year.
Clive , June 18, 2020 at 12:21 pm
Anecdotals from my visit the past two days with my mother-in-law. A lot of pent-up cash from well-heel'ed pensioners who had booked expensive vacations but have now cancelled. Several are going to replace not old but not new either cars using the holiday fund. So some uptick will come from that.
As for retail, the garden centres were doing a good trade at the checkouts but the upscale cafes which are usually attached are still closed and this is what makes the difference in this sector of retail's business model here between break-even (at best) and good profits. But they'll survive.
However, for retirees (who are of course at higher risk of COVID-19 fatality spectrum) there is no -- absolutely zero -- desire to hit the malls and the large stores. Even if it wasn't for trying to maintain social distances, the prospect if you're in your seventies or eighties to queue (usually for a time in the open air) for an uncertain wait just to get in is a huge disincentive.
Add in the lack of catering and this is going to be hit very hard if my sampling is anything to go by.
The mid-level pub and restaurant trade will be decimated. There was over-supply before and this is now chronically exposed. All we passed were shuttered -- some offering take-out, which might be a life line but they are typically too far from the town centres to compete with the cheap kebab, chicken and Indian walk-ups. Plus, people won't pay a gourmet premium to spoon something out of a foil tray themselves. However, at the lower end of the market, those fast-food places with drive-thrus will be fine -- queues round the block at McDonalds, KFC and Starbucks.
Residential real estate is also mixed. Nice places in good lots in ready-to-move-into condition have sold -- retirees moving from London and the Home Counties have lots of equity and are buying for the long term (well, as long term as you get aged 65-75) so aren't interested in the losing sleep over the possibility of a 10 or 20% correction if one happens -- they want to move usually to be nearer family, to get out of over-developed London and the South East and to enjoy a retirement lifestyle.
However, properties which are not retiree-friendly (e.g. not bungalows or apartments in full-service blocks with lifts) are a serious drag on the market. This https://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-70609848.html had hung around for ages for the vendor. I suspect it is an executor sale. Traditionally, disaster-areas like this property is would get bought by developers (usually builders) to flip after gutting and refurbing but of course, this business-model is utterly dependent on not overpaying in the first place in a falling market. Here, the owner is just calling it quits and auctioning it off (very unusual in the UK property market but probably the right thing to do as at least it'll be settled and they'll get their money without the hassle and stress of something that might sit there unsold incurring maintenance costs and property taxes for a year and even if it does sell, it'll be a low offer because of the condition it is in and would entail possibly a collapse-prone chain that could all fall through at any minute). So residential real estate here in the UK -- a crucial part of what props up the wider economy -- is showing early signs of stagnation and is very quality- and price-dependent.
Alex Cox , June 18, 2020 at 12:46 pm
Here in Oregon we have had a serious outbreak of Covid in a seafood packing plant in Newport. And we learn that the majority of the workforce come from Guatemala, Serbia, and Ukraine. How can this make economic sense?
Clearly the wages are too low for native Oregonians. But Newport Seafood must pay gangmasters whose fees include travel (bus from Guatemala, several planes from Serbia and Ukraine) plus accommodation for the crews.
The set-up seems both crazy and an excellent way to spread the virus. Added to which many of the Guatemaltecos speak a dialect called Mam which makes contract tracing more difficult. Surely paying decent wages, in Oregon, Guatemala, Serbia and Ukraine, would be a tidier solution for all of us.
upstater , June 18, 2020 at 1:28 pm
A large greenhouse (64 acres under glass) near here was the largest COVID cluster outside of NYC. Two hundred "guest" workers were housed 4 to a room, 2 in each bed at cheap motels. The Canadian owners pay local workers and "guests " $13/hour. But the labor contactor gets an amount on top, plus there is the housing, food and transportation for the "guests".
If one were cynical /s/ one might think the game is to have a reserve army of "guests", ready, willing and able to displace any uppity locals.
Maybe if the Canadian owners paid $25/hour for locals, no guests would be required. BTW, they pay no property tax on the $100M facility and get cut rate electricity.
lordkoos , June 18, 2020 at 4:53 pm
Here in our small town (pop. around 14,000) the local food processing plant which cans peas, corn, and other vegetables was the site of a 400% increase in CV cases. It is the biggest spike we have seen, going went from 18 cases to almost 90 in the space of a couple of weeks, although our county is still doing pretty well in general. The plant was shut down for a couple of week but now seems to be running again, I assume with greater safety measures now implemented. At one time it was mostly local white guys who worked in the plant but nowadays there is a much larger percentage of Hispanic workers.
Phemfrog , June 18, 2020 at 3:52 pm
Here in the suburbs of DFW houses are selling like hotcakes. Not exaggerating. Multiple offers and prices over list. Selling in days after listing. I can't fathom this in Covid times. The uncertainty alone makes that impossible to consider.
A family down the street just sold to move into a house a couple miles away that has a pool. Are they not noticing that the economy is in shambles? Does it not occur to them that the knock-on effects might eventually affect their household? Even if your job is safe now, it doesn't mean that it will be in the future! Maybe now is not the right time to make a major upgrade like that! I just can't
In the meantime my taxes and insurance are going up.
lordkoos , June 18, 2020 at 5:53 pm
Home sales here are really hot a big exodus from Seattle is driving it.
Amfortas the hippie , June 18, 2020 at 6:45 pm
Exodus from San Antone and Austin (and everywhere else) is what worries me bunch of rich folks invading this place is the last thing i want.
Local PTB kept it in check for a long while yammering on about the radium in the water (you'd hafta keep a sink-full overnight, in a closed up house, for 75 years for it to have a measurable effect)
Most of this clandestine effort was to keep the big cities from taking our groundwater but it had the ancillary effect of limiting ingress to rich anti-science types(sigh).
The people who can afford to move right now I assume are not people i'd want as neighbors Todds and Karens, bringing Civilisation to us hill people.
Ian Ollmann , June 18, 2020 at 8:29 pm
If you have plenty of cash, a downturn is the time to buy, assuming prices are cheaper. I'm not sure they are, yet. Not enough forced sales yet, I'd imagine.
On the flip side, once you realize that your employer will probably let you telecommute from Vail, CO, the condo in the big city may seem inconvenient to the slopes. I imagine there is some demand in that dimension too. For the less adventurous, there are always the 'burbs.
polecat , June 18, 2020 at 3:19 pm
I live on the North Olympic Peninsula. 'Tourism' is probably gonna suck going forward, especially if lockdowns resume due to any future viral hotspot flareups. Our downtown has partially opened up, but for how long ??
We also have 2 large building projects going on downtown construction having begun last summer, came to a standstill when the virus hit, then resumed. Both venues predicated to some extent on out of towners spending their $$$ here. I think the virus just put the kibosh on those rosy plans.
John Wright , June 18, 2020 at 4:29 pm
Re: "American household spending in the 1960s was powered by rising wages and growing home equity. But wages have been largely stagnant since at least 2000"
Starting the clock at 2000 glosses over the wage data from earlier years, which was none too good.
Per table 1 in https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R45090.pdf , real wages for USA men at the 50% percentile level are down -5.1% over the 1979 to 2018 time frame.
When women's earnings are added in the real wages at the 50% percentile level have risen a total of 6.1% over the 40 year inclusive time frame.
Given that the USA has had infrastructure declining (lowering quality of life), housing, medical and educational costs rising in excess of inflation, USA wage earners were hurting, at the median level, well before Covid-19 and well before 2000.
One might argue that many wage earners have adjusted to this new normal BEFORE Covid-19 and this could steel them somewhat for Covid-19 effects.
kareninca , June 18, 2020 at 5:31 pm
Shops are already going under here in Silicon Valley. I've driven down Santa Cruz Ave. in Menlo Park a few times over the last week and there are a fair number of empty storefronts. It is the fancy shopping street in town. Since I don't actually shop there I couldn't tell what sorts of shops had closed.
This piece appeared on Zero Hedge today! ( https://www.zerohedge.com/economics/8-reasons-why-covid-19-damage-economy-will-be-deep-and-lasting )
Yves Smith Post author , June 19, 2020 at 12:25 am
Thanks for the kind words.
It is hardly the most important detail in the story, but I see 24 Hour Fitness is closing 100 locations. I would visit one when I was in Dallas. It was the best gym I've been to, lots of very well selected equipment, the only place I ever saw with 2.5 dumbbell increments up to 52.5 lbs, many trainer toys, pleasant space. This is a real shame, and I am sure other readers will see names of businesses they patronized and liked.
K teh , June 18, 2020 at 8:49 pm
It's going to be deep and lasting because it only increases the systemic problem of growing income inequality. There were viruses before and there will be more after. In this case, the response was to grow the ghetto, faster. Fintech has to go in for the kill shot here.
DC control technology can only increase income inequality so long as it is the primary recipient of MMT. It's one and zeroes, a completely arbitrary binary outcome.
K teh , June 18, 2020 at 9:43 pm
Q: when does 1 + 0 =0?
A: when the only difference is perception, electronic money.
Relative to the planet, let alone the universe, there is no such thing as an expert. Having tribes of experts competing to see who gets to play God on any particular day can only result in a completely artificial world.
It doesn't get better from a phantom abutment.
occasional anonymous , June 18, 2020 at 9:49 pm
The video game industry are making out like bandits, for now at least. Wonder how this will impact the coming console generation though. How many people will have four or five hundred spare smackers for a new system (or twice that for both new systems), plus new games at 60 bucks each?
And will the assembly lines in Taiwan and China even be running? Nintendo was expecting to have its production back up by this month, yet the Switch is still out of stock almost everywhere. And that's for an existing, well established production line.
Dec 18, 2020 | www.counterpunch.org
... ... ...
Writes Margaret Kimberley (in "Opposing War Propaganda Against China," Jan. 25, 2020):
"Now whenever we see a reference to China in the corporate media we always see the words communist party attached. This silly redundancy is war propaganda along with every other smear and slur. We are told that 1 million Uighurs are imprisoned when there is quite literally no proof of any such thing. China, the country which first experienced the COVID-19 virus, was the first to vanquish it, and has a low death rate of less than 5,000 people to prove it. We depend here in America on China to produce masks and other protective equipment but China is declared the villain. The country that within one month of realizing there was a new communicable disease gave the world the keys to conquering it.
"Instead the country which fails where China succeeds, in providing for the needs of its people and their health, is an international pariah, with most of the world barring Americans from travel and turning us into a giant leper colony. Trump speaks of the "kung flu" and the "Wuhan virus," but it is China which conquered the disease that has killed 130,000 Americans and forced a quarantine which has caused economic devastation to millions of people here.
"But Americans get nothing but war propaganda. Trump and Joe Biden outdo one another bragging about who will be tougher to China. This week we saw the U.S. government violate international law again and close the Chinese consulate in Houston, Texas."
Writes Roxana Baspineiro in "Solidarity vs. Sanctions in Times of a Global Pandemic":
"Chinese and Cuban doctors have been providing support in Iran, Italy, Spain and have offered their services and expertise to the most vulnerable countries in Latin America, Africa, and Europe. They have developed medicines and medical treatments such as Interferon Alpha 2B in Cuba, one of the potential medicines to combat the virus, which reduces the mortality rate of people affected by COVID19. But above all, they have offered their interest in distributing them to the peoples of the world without any patent or benefit whatsoever."
Regardless of whether citizens of the US know about Chinese efforts, people in other nations have noticed, according to Stansfield Smith, who writes:
"From the responses to the coronavirus pandemic, the world has seen the model of public health efficiency China presented in controlling the problem at home. It has seen China's world leadership in offering international aid and care. It has seen the abdication of leadership by the US and even its obstruction in working to find solutions. Now the US still cannot control the virus, and remains mired in economic crisis, while China is rebounding. In sum, the pandemic has made the world look at both China and the US in a new light. And it has dealt a serious blow to the US rulers' two decade long effort to counter the rise of China."
... ... ...
The final section of the book, "Escalating anti-China campaign," is a diverse collection of essays on subjects such as: US accusations of Chinese repression of Uyghurs; NATO exercises that threatened to exacerbate COVID spread even while China was bringing aid to Europe; COVID in the US armed forces; US military belligerence toward China; the color revolution in Hong Kong; Vietnam's response to COVID; and a call from Margaret Flowers and the recently deceased Kevin Zeese to replace the US pivot to Asia with a "Pivot to Peace."
Ajamu Baraka writes:
"The psychopathology of white supremacy blinds U.S. policy- makers to the political, economic, and geopolitical reality that the U.S. is in irreversible decline as a global power. The deep structural contradictions of the U.S. economy and state was exposed by the weak and confused response to COVID-19 and the inability of the state to provide minimum protections for its citizens and residents.
"But even in decline, the U.S. has a vast military structure that it can use to threaten and cause massive death and destruction. This makes the U.S. a threat to the planet and collective humanity because U.S policy-makers appear to be in the grip of a deathwish in which they are prepared to destroy the world before voluntarily relinquishing power, especially to a non-European power like China.
"For example, when Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo declared in public that the United States and its Western European allies must put China in "its proper place," this represents a white supremacist mindset that inevitably will lead to monumental errors of judgment."
So COVID-19 is, to put it mildly, a teachable moment. Looking around the world right now, we can see who is learning and who isn't. As "Capitalism on a Ventilator" vividly illustrates, China is leading the way, and the United States is slipping into obsolescence. Those who hope to survive the coming travails can see who to follow and who to avoid.
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume is a writer living on the West Coast of the U.S.A. More of Kollibri's writing and photos can be found at Macska Moksha Press .
Dec 20, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
vk , Dec 19 2020 13:51 utc | 147
Three tales about the USA:
Meanwhile, almost 8 million Americans have fallen into poverty since the start of the pandemicThe poverty myth that there is little or no poverty is all too common. In fact, the United States has one of the highest poverty rates in the developed world. One study ranked the United States 29 of 31 OECD countries in 2012. When it comes to child poverty, things are even worse. A UNICEF report found that the United States ranked 34 of 35 developed countries – only Romania had a higher child poverty rate.
Do you think a nation like this has the means to build Medicare for All? I don't think so.
Combined wealth of America's 651 billionaires has jumped by more than $1 trillion since pandemic started
This is what Marx called "centralization of capital".
Numbers don't lie:
"Trickle down" comprehensively refuted. It was "trickle up".
Dec 06, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
COVID Is Exposing The Cancerous Underbelly Of US Healthcare by Tyler Durden Sat, 12/05/2020 - 12:20 Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print
Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,
If you still believe that America's Sickcare is "the finest in the world" and is endlessly sustainable, please study these three charts and extend the trendlines.
I've long been making the distinction between healthcare and sickcare : healthcare is the service provided by frontline operational caregivers (doctors, nurses, aides, technicians, etc.) and sickcare is the financialized system of Big Hospital Corporations, Big Insurers, Big Pharma, etc. and their lobbyists that keep the federal money spigots wide open.
This financialized sickcare system is being consumed by the cancer of greedy profiteering pursued by self-serving insiders. The delivery of healthcare is secondary to maximizing revenues and profits by any means available .
To believe such a corrupt system is sustainable is magical thinking at its most destructive.
Covid-19 is revealing this cancerous underbelly. Knowledge of the inner workings of corporate administration is not evenly distributed, so every participants' experience of the systemic dysfunction will vary.
Here is one MD's observations of the system's priorities. Others may have different views but the maxim follow the money is clearly the correct place to start any inquiry of how America's financialized sickcare functions in the real world.
From what I'm hearing from the front line, a not insignificant number of admissions are of folks who would not have been admitted in March when there was fear of both the unknown and systemic failure and, not coincidently, when COVID diagnoses didn't pay as much.
Today, the admission criteria for COVID is so much more flexible than for standard diagnoses like CHF, and pays so much better than other diagnoses that our 'healthcare' system is rapidly becoming a 'COVID care' system.
The surge in hospitalizations and subsequent COVID-identified deaths may be driven, in part, to health systems adapting to new COVID revenue streams.
This would seemingly be good news, after all if it's the hospital administrator's desire to fill empty beds that's driving admissions rather than infection rates, then systemic failure can be averted through moderating those admission rates based on system capacity.
If your hospital fills up, just start sending the marginal cases home--inpatient/outpatient; the outcome for the patient will be pretty much the same and you've made as much money as your capacity will allow.
Unfortunately, our healthcare 'system' doesn't work like that.
Health systems are in the business of generating revenue, not value. Recent COVID-related demand destruction has crushed that revenue so they're hungry for more.
Those in health-system operations and those in leadership live in two different worlds. Leadership will push COVID admissions far beyond any operational limits in their quest for short term performance. One cannot overstate their mendacity and drive for lucre.
Hospitals are becoming 'COVID factories' with all other admissions (which pay far less) relegated to second tier status.
Health systems are evolving into an 'all COVID, all the time' format with the emphasis on testing and (soon) vaccination, at the expense of all else.
Not a few systems of my acquaintance are laying off outpatient medical staff because their supporting personnel have quit and are not replaced--those resources are being re-directed to COVID testing and in preparation for mass vaccination.
For the health system in the business of generating revenue, it's an excellent tactic. They save themselves significant overhead by not paying the clinicians and they make up the revenue through high-margin COVID services and government bailout payments.
For patients who actually need healthcare, though, this tactic is deadly.
The perversion is end-stage, the health systems pretend to deliver healthcare and the government pays them to continue the pretense.
There is no long term thinking here, no empathy for the workforce, no thought to the mission beyond window-dressing--just a relentless, risk-adverse financialization machine.
Think of COVID as a new widget for which the customer will pay 2.5 times the going price with no quality control, but only for a limited amount of time. Add in talentless, rent-seeking leadership and all becomes clear.
Of course the real risk is that maxed out hospitals could find themselves in a situation where admissions suddenly become driven by demand rather than the business model, with a true non-linear path to failure laying beyond.
The longer daily national hospital occupancy stays above the approximate pre-COVID capacity of 100k, the more likely you'll see systemic breakdowns--local at first, then regional.
You won't see it in the press, the healthcare cartels have a pretty good lock on the local media. Once news starts getting censored on social media, though, then you know it's happening.
Hold me to that, And call me out in three months if I'm not right.
If you still believe that America's sickcare is "the finest in the world" and is endlessly sustainable, please study these three charts and extend the trendlines.
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Nov 28, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
vk , Nov 27 2020 13:27 utc | 107
Pushed by Pandemic, Amazon Goes on a Hiring Spree Without Equal
The First World is leaving the "sweet spot" of its capitalist development stage, marked by a relatively inflated petit-bourgeois middle class, and is reentering a proletarianization phase. Call it the reproletarianization of the First World.
Looks like Marx was right all along.
Nov 25, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
According to Time : "in addressing the causes and consequences of this pandemic – and its cruelly uneven impact – the elephant in the room is extreme income inequality. How big is this elephant? A staggering $50 trillion. That is how much the upward redistribution of income has cost American workers over the past several decades." Economics as a zero sum game in other words
Nov 22, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
By Arthur Allen, editor for California Healthline, joined Kaiser Health News in April 2020 after six years at Politico, where he created, edited and wrote for the first health IT-focused news team. Previously, he was a freelance writer for publications such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, Smithsonian, Lingua Franca magazine, The New Republic, Slate and Salon. Earlier in his career, he worked for The Associated Press for 13 years, including stints as a correspondent based in El Salvador, Mexico and Germany. He is the author of the books "V Kaiser Health News. accine: The Controversial Story of Medicine's Greatest Lifesaver" (W.W. Norton, 2007); "Ripe: The Search for the Perfect Tomato" (Counterpoint Press, 2010) and "The Fantastic Laboratory of Dr. Weigl" (W.W. Norton, 2014). Originally published at Kaiser Health News Kaiser Health News .
When he started researching a troublesome childhood infection nearly four decades ago, virologist Dr. Barney Graham , then at Vanderbilt University, had no inkling his federally funded work might be key to deliverance from a global pandemic.
Yet nearly all the vaccines advancing toward possible FDA approval this fall or winter are based on a design developed by Graham and his colleagues, a concept that emerged from a scientific quest to understand a disastrous 1966 vaccine trial.
Basic research conducted by Graham and others at the National Institutes of Health, Defense Department and federally funded academic laboratories has been the essential ingredient in the rapid development of vaccines in response to COVID-19. The government has poured an additional $10.5 billion into vaccine companies since the pandemic began to accelerate the delivery of their products.
The Moderna vaccine, whose remarkable effectiveness in a late-stage trial was announced Monday morning, emerged directly out of a partnership between Moderna and Graham's NIH laboratory.
Coronavirus vaccines are likely to be worth billions to the drug industry if they prove safe and effective. As many as 14 billion vaccines would be required to immunize everyone in the world against COVID-19. If, as many scientists anticipate, vaccine-produced immunity wanes, billions more doses could be sold as booster shots in years to come. And the technology and production laboratories seeded with the help of all this federal largesse could give rise to other profitable vaccines and drugs.
The vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna, which are likely to be the first to win FDA approval, in particular rely heavily on two fundamental discoveries that emerged from federally funded research: the viral protein designed by Graham and his colleagues, and the concept of RNA modification, first developed by Drew Weissman and Katalin Karikó at the University of Pennsylvania. In fact, Moderna's founders in 2010 named the company after this concept: "Modified" + "RNA" = Moderna, according to co-founder Robert Langer .
"This is the people's vaccine," said corporate critic Peter Maybarduk, director of Public Citizen's Access to Medicines program. "Federal scientists helped invent it and taxpayers are funding its development. It should belong to humanity."
Moderna, through spokesperson Ray Jordan, acknowledged its partnership with NIH throughout the COVID-19 development process and earlier. Pfizer spokesperson Jerica Pitts noted the company had not received development and manufacturing support from the U.S. government, unlike Moderna and other companies.
The idea of creating a vaccine with messenger RNA, or mRNA -- the substance that converts DNA into proteins -- goes back decades. Early efforts to create mRNA vaccines failed, however, because the raw RNA was destroyed before it could generate the desired response. Our innate immune systems evolved to kill RNA strands because that's what many viruses are.
Karikó came up with the idea of modifying the elements of RNA to enable it to slip past the immune system undetected. The modifications she and Weissman developed allowed RNA to become a promising delivery system for both vaccines and drugs. To be sure, their work was enhanced by scientists at Moderna, BioNTech and other laboratories over the past decade.
Another key element in the mRNA vaccine is the lipid nanoparticle -- a tiny, ingeniously designed bit of fat that encloses the RNA in a sort of invisibility cloak, ferrying it safely through the blood and into cells and then dissolving, thereby allowing the RNA to do its work of coding a protein that will serve as the vaccine's main active ingredient. The idea of enclosing drugs or vaccines in lipid nanoparticles arose first in the 1960s and was developed by Langer and others at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and various academic and industry laboratories.
Karikó began investigating RNA in 1978 in her native Hungary and wrote her first NIH grant proposal to use mRNA as a therapeutic in 1989. She and Weissman achieved successes starting in 2004, but the path to recognition was often discouraging.
"I keep writing and doing experiments, things are getting better and better, but I never get any money for the work," she recalled in an interview. "The critics said it will never be a drug. When I did these discoveries, my salary was lower than the technicians working next to me."
Eventually, the University of Pennsylvania sublicensed the patent to Cellscript, a biotech company in Wisconsin, much to the dismay of Weissman and Karikó, who had started their own company to try to commercialize the discovery. Moderna and BioNTech later would each pay $75 million to Cellscript for the RNA modification patent, Karikó said. Though unhappy with her treatment at Penn, she remained there until 2013 -- partly because her daughter, Susan Francia, was making a name for herself on the school's rowing team. Francia would go on to win two Olympic gold medals in the sport. Karikó is now a senior officer at BioNTech.
In addition to RNA modification and the lipid nanoparticle, the third key contribution to the mRNA vaccines -- as well as those made by Novavax, Sanofi and Johnson & Johnson -- - is the bioengineered protein developed by Graham and his collaborators . It has proved in tests so far to elicit an immune response that could prevent the virus from causing infections and disease.
The protein design was based on the observation that so-called fusion proteins -- the pieces of the virus that enable it to invade a cell -- are shape-shifters, presenting different surfaces to the immune system after the virus fuses with and infects cells. Graham and his colleagues learned that antibodies against the post-fusion protein are far less effective at stopping an infection.
The discovery arose in part through Graham's studies of a 54-year-old tragedy -- the failed 1966 trial of an NIH vaccine against respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV. In a clinical trial, not only did that vaccine fail to protect against the common childhood disease, but most of the 21 children who received it were hospitalized with acute allergic reactions, and two died .
About a decade ago, Graham, now deputy director of NIH's Vaccine Research Center, took a new stab at the RSV problem with a postdoctoral fellow, Jason McLellan. After isolating and obtaining three-dimensional models of the RSV's fusion protein, they worked with Chinese scientists to identify an appropriate neutralizing antibody against it.
"We were sitting in Xiamen, China, when Jason got the first image up on his laptop, and I was like, oh my God, it's coming together," Graham recalled. The prefusion antibodies they discovered were 16 times more potent than the post-fusion form contained in the faulty 1960s vaccine.
Two 2013 papers the team published in Science earned them a runner-up prize in the prestigious journal's Breakthrough of the Year award. Their papers, which showed it was possible to plan and create a vaccine at the microscopic structural level, set the NIH's Vaccine Research Center on a path toward creating a generalizable, rapid way to design vaccines against emerging pandemic viruses, Graham said.
In 2016, Graham, McLellan and other scientists, including Andrew Ward at the Scripps Research Institute, advanced their concept further by publishing the prefusion structure of a coronavirus that causes the common cold and a patent was filed for its design by NIH, Scripps and Dartmouth -- where McLellan had set up his own lab. NIH and the University of Texas -- where McLellan now works -- filed an additional patent this year for a similar design change in the virus that causes COVID-19.
Graham's NIH lab, meanwhile, had started working with Moderna in 2017 to design a rapid manufacturing system for vaccines. In January, they were preparing a demonstration project, a clinical trial to test whether Graham's protein design and Moderna's mRNA platform could be used to create a vaccine against Nipah, a deadly virus spread by bats in Asia.
Their plans changed rapidly when they learned on Jan. 7 that the epidemic of respiratory disease in China was being caused by a coronavirus.
"We agreed immediately that the demonstration project would focus on this virus" instead of Nipah, Graham said. Moderna produced a vaccine within six weeks. The first patient was vaccinated in an NIH-led clinical study on March 16; early results from Moderna's 30,000-volunteer late-stage trial showed it was nearly 95% effective at preventing COVID-19.
Although other scientists have advanced proposals for what may be even more potent vaccine antigens , Graham is confident that carefully designed vaccines using nucleic acids like RNA reflect the future of new vaccines. Already, two major drug companies are doing advanced clinical trials for RSV vaccines based on the designs his lab discovered, he said.
In a larger sense, the pandemic could be the event that paves the way for better, perhaps cheaper and more plentiful vaccines.
"It's a silver lining, but I think we are definitely pushing forward the way everyone is thinking about vaccines," said Michael Farzan , chair of the department of immunology and microbiology at Scripps Research's Florida campus. "Certain techniques that have been waiting in the wings, under development but never achieving the kind of funding they needed for major tests, will finally get their chance to shine."
Under a 1980 law, the NIH will obtain no money from the coronavirus vaccine patent. How much money will eventually go to the discoverers or their institutions isn't clear. Any existing licensing agreements haven't been publicized; patent disputes among some of the companies will likely last years. HHS' big contracts with the vaccine companies are not transparent, and Freedom of Information Act requests have been slow-walked and heavily redacted, said Duke University law professor Arti Rai.
Some basic scientists involved in the enterprise seem to accept the potentially lopsided financial rewards.
"Having public-private partnerships is how things get done," Graham said. "During this crisis, everything is focused on how can we do the best we can as fast as we can for the public health. All this other stuff is going to have to be figured out later."
"It's not a good look to become extremely wealthy off a pandemic," McLellan said, noting the big stock sales by some vaccine company executives after they received hundreds of millions of dollars in government assistance. Still, "the companies should be able to make some money."
For Graham, the lesson of the coronavirus vaccine response is that a few billion dollars a year spent on additional basic research could prevent a thousand times as much loss in death, illness and economic destruction.
"Basic research informs what we do, and planning and preparedness can make such a difference in how we get ahead of these epidemics," he said.
Larry , November 18, 2020 at 7:21 am
I appreciate the recent re-look at the nexus of public investment funding private profit in the pharma space. I'm not old enough to recall how things were done prior to the 1980s with regards to promising academic discoveries getting commercialized in the United States. There is also a glaring omission here in that there are mechanisms for the Federal Government to take control of patents and price fix in an emergency, but it's clear that was never going to happen and was never whispered in the lead up to operation Warp Speed. Pfizer keeps pointing out they never took government money, which is a set up for them to set the price at whatever they want while executives line their pockets.
The second point, that is not a focus of the article, is that these technologies are still completely unproven. I am optimistic about the early results, though would feel better if they were published in quality journals and not press releases. We simply don't know anything about long term affects of dosing with this technology. These articles make it sound like we're out of the woods and these vaccines are here to stay, but what if there are high percentages of people that get major side effects? We still have no idea.
Code Name D , November 18, 2020 at 7:53 am
But Joe Biden is now president. So of course the vaccines will work.
John Hacker , November 18, 2020 at 10:51 am
I was just thinking about that this morning. I thought about the little boy who cried wolf. If Don had not tarnished his (??where-with-all??) by not leading. He still be the Prez.
WobblyTelomeres , November 18, 2020 at 7:54 am
So, Larry, what would it take to convince you? A million volunteers? A billion? 2 years? 5 years?
trhys , November 18, 2020 at 8:01 am
So, Wobbly, can I safely assume that you and your family have already volunteered for one of the trials?
WobblyTelomeres , November 18, 2020 at 8:31 am
As I have stated here, yes.
trhys , November 18, 2020 at 8:45 am
I applaud you for standing with power of your convictions. Not many have the integrity to do so. This is meant sincerely.
On the other hand I think Larry has a point. Hopefully his and my concerns will prove to be unfounded. I believe it is too soon to tell. Your question about the quantification of risk is a fair question and is difficult for the layman judge.
WobblyTelomeres , November 18, 2020 at 9:36 am
I share the concerns that have been and are voiced here. Still, there is a class aspect to it all. It seems as if this war is like every other war; the poors are sent in first. There are many, perhaps the majority of volunteers, that need the couple of hundred bucks the pharmas are offering the participants. They are the same people that line up to sell their blood plasma every week. Big business, that. So, I woke up, looked in the mirror, and told the old man there to "Suck it up, Buttercup."
And Lambert and others are right when they say our leaders should be first in line to roll up their sleeves. Just don't forget the many that have already done so.
Susan the other , November 18, 2020 at 11:21 am
It was a revelation to me that RNA vaccines had been in the works since the 60s. That makes me a little more in-favor of them. It is still frightening that this vaccine will be mandated for all medical personnel before the rest of the population. Also interesting that RNA gets greased up to slip past the enzymes(?) that destroy errant RNA I'm still trying to think how that might not be such a good thing. But you are right – it looks like it works. Extremely well in fact. But a timeline to prove it is safe? I'd say one or two generations. If this mRNA slips past the mechanisms to protect the cell from foreign RNA then it could hang around long enough to communicate itself back to the genetic DNA – it's just that they don't quite know how that process works yet. And that's scary as hell. (Lamarck's Signature). I'd say maybe we should not give this vaccine to anyone under the age of 35 until we know more about possible negatives involving inheritance. Instead we should produce good medicines to treat these infections.
John Hacker , November 18, 2020 at 10:58 am
Don't we have laws for price gouging in a crisis? As for untested. Check the thread for data started compiling 1966.
BillC , November 18, 2020 at 10:54 am
Yes, we need volunteers. And they need to be fully informed. I hope you noticed this remark in yesterday's Water Cooler. Of course, we don't know that the commentor's claimed bona fides are factual, but if so, his/her take seems appropriate to me.
WobblyTelomeres , November 18, 2020 at 11:55 am
I did, and I take them at their word as to background. Valid concerns, well expressed.
Larry , November 18, 2020 at 11:58 am
The publications and a full accounting of side effects are important for a new technology like this. Traditional vaccinations are in the billions of doses at this point and quite safe. For this new technology, it's quite hard to say. The publications might bowl me over and convince me, but press releases do not.
Wes , November 18, 2020 at 3:57 pm
The Moderna study (n=45) was published in NEJM. Haven't read beyond the abstract or looked for the Pfizer study yet.
KLG , November 18, 2020 at 7:48 am
It should be noted that, so far, we have proof of effectiveness in the form of press releases that are intended to goose stock prices.
Long story, but the neoliberalization of basic biomedical science is complete. This was foreseeable upon passage of the Bayh-Dole Act of 1980. I remember how such science was done way back then. Scientists did science. Those without the patience and essentially self-abnegation required for that, went to work at Ciba-Geigy or Burroughs-Welcome or Merck. The system worked, more or less. At the time I was a very junior lab member, and I told my labmates that Bayh-Dole meant only that we would pay for most science (at least) twice, the first time when NIH/NSF/ACS/AHA/March of Dimes funded it and the second time when Big Pharma "bought" it and charged what a false, not free, market in research and health care would bear. They just stared at me, with stars in their eyes.
Polar Donkey , November 18, 2020 at 9:18 am
Dolly Parton invested $1 m illion in the Moderna vaccine. I can't wait till Tennessee takes down all these Nathan Bedford Forrest statues and replaces them with Dolly Parton.
rd , November 18, 2020 at 12:44 pm
Dolly Parton is a great songwriter and performer but is also a shrewd businesswoman who is hyper-focused on helping "her people" in the region where she grew up dirt poor. "Coat of Many Colors" is one of the truly great autobiographical songs. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coat_of_Many_Colors_(song)
Appreciation for Dolly shows up in many interesting corners in the region. Several years ago, a newly discovered lichen in southern Appalachia was named in her honor. I never heard a comment from her on this, but she probably thought it was great. https://www.nybg.org/blogs/science-talk/2015/05/honoring-a-musical-legend-of-the-southern-appalachians/
Replacing a Nathan Bedford Forest statue with her would be a great move.
Serfs Up! , November 18, 2020 at 10:38 am
1.So if there were to be no vaccine and the virus had it's way with us, killing 1% of us, that's what, -- 3 million souls?
2. Alternatively, if there is a vaccine and everyone is vaccinated and that brings an end to the pandemic, with deaths much curtailed, but 25,000 get Guillian Barre', that's still a win right?
(Though not if you are one of the 25,000.)
3. Lastly, given their penchant for maximizing clicks and eyeballs,
how do you think the media would handle situations 1 or 2?
Trust in Public Health is easier to knock down than to build back up, especially vaccines.
As Greg Brown says, "It's a long way up but it's a short way down."
Ford Prefect , November 18, 2020 at 12:48 pm
South Dakota will be very informative on this front. It appears to be trying to drag-race herd immunity through infection before a vaccine shows up. It will probably be the control group for the statistical study of the relative efficacy on lives saved by a vaccine vs. letting the disease take its natural course. Beer appears to be the placebo vaccine of choice in South Dakota.
BrianM , November 18, 2020 at 1:25 pm
My reading of this is that even if Pfizer didn't take government money as part of the Warp Speed initiative, as a mRNA vaccine it still likely builds on the earlier work. I have no problem with pharma companies making a profit of their later work – they did do the last critical developments – but nothing for the earlier work isn't right.
AGKaiser , November 18, 2020 at 1:25 pm
We pay for it but they profit from it. Why? Why is there for profit pharma and corporate medicine to begin with? Why is there competition instead of cooperation in the production of life saving/extending and other commonly needed goods and services? The provision of pharmaceuticals and medicine are a free market failure. We are not adequately provided with what we all must have at prices we all can afford. They've failed not because of the scientists and medical practitioners who do the real work. They've failed because of the capitalist parasites that own the corporations that employ the professionals who create the products and provide the services on the ground.
Socal Rhino , November 18, 2020 at 2:07 pm
One thought unsupported by any relevant technical expertise: the delivery mechanism sounds well suited for bio weaponry given it bypasses your immune reaction to RNA.
Kris Alman , November 18, 2020 at 3:57 pm
The protein design was based on the observation that so-called fusion proteins -- the pieces of the virus that enable it to invade a cell -- are shape-shifters, presenting different surfaces to the immune system after the virus fuses with and infects cells. Graham and his colleagues learned that antibodies against the post-fusion protein are far less effective at stopping an infection.
Reminds me of this other mysterious shape-shifter: From Wikipedia:
Prions are misfolded proteins with the ability to transmit their misfolded shape onto normal variants of the same protein. They characterize several fatal and transmissible neurodegenerative diseases in humans and many other animals. It is not known what causes the normal protein to misfold, but the abnormal three-dimensional structure is suspected of conferring infectious properties, collapsing nearby protein molecules into the same shape. The word prion derives from "proteinaceous infectious particle".
Long-term follow-up of individuals who have received this vaccine versus their placebo compatriots is essential!
KLG , November 18, 2020 at 5:37 pm
Not likely to be similar. The "shape shifting" of the viral fusion protein means that different epitopes (i.e., different constellations of 3-D structure that elicit immune/antibody responses) of the fusion protein, which is embedded in the viral membrane envelope, are presented pre- and post-fusion. Antibodies against "post-fusion" fusion protein are unlikely to work because fusion with the host cell is the key phase of infection. But, and this is a big consideration, rushing into this is foolish, despite the rise in Big Pharma stock prices.
Fumettibrutti , November 19, 2020 at 3:40 am
COVID vaccine revelation sinks like a stone; disappears
In major media, certain stories gain traction. The trumpets keep blaring for a time before they fade.
Other stories are one-offs. A few of them strike hard. Their implications -- if anyone stops to think about them -- are powerful. Then nothing.
"Wait, aren't you going to follow up on that? Don't you see what that MEANS?"
Apparently not, because dead silence. "In other news, the governor lost his pet parakeet for an hour. His chief of staff found it taking a nap in a desk drawer "
One-offs function like teasers. You definitely want to know more, but you never get more.
Over the years, I've tried to follow up on a few. The reporter or the editor has a set of standard replies: "We didn't get much feedback." "We covered it." "It's now old news." "There wasn't anything else to find out."
Oh, but there WAS.
A few weeks ago, I ran a one-off. The analysis and commentary were mine, but the story was an opinion piece in the New York Times. The Times called it an opinion piece to soften its blow. I suspected it would disappear, and it did.
Its meaning and implication were too strong. It would be a vast embarrassment for the White House, the Warp Speed COVID vaccine program, the vaccine manufacturers, the coronavirus task force, and vaccine researchers.
And embarrassment would be just the beginning of their problem.
So here it is again. The vanished one-off, back in business:
COVID vaccine clinical trials doomed to fail; fatal design flaw; NY Times opinion piece exposes all three major clinical trials.
Peter Doshi, associate editor of the medical journal BMJ, and Eric Topol, Scripps Research professor of molecular medicine, have written a devastating NY Times opinion piece about the ongoing COVID vaccine clinical trials.
They expose the fatal flaw in the large Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and Moderna trials.
September 22, the Times: "These Coronavirus Trials Don't Answer the One Question We Need to Know"
"If you were to approve a coronavirus vaccine, would you approve one that you only knew protected people only from the most mild form of Covid-19, or one that would prevent its serious complications?"
"The answer is obvious. You would want to protect against the worst cases."
"But that's not how the companies testing three of the leading coronavirus vaccine candidates, Moderna, Pfizer and AstraZeneca, whose U.S. trial is on hold, are approaching the problem."
"According to the protocols for their studies, which they released late last week, a vaccine could meet the companies' benchmark for success if it lowered the risk of mild Covid-19, but was never shown to reduce moderate or severe forms of the disease, or the risk of hospitalization, admissions to the intensive care unit or death."
"To say a vaccine works should mean that most people no longer run the risk of getting seriously sick. That's not what these trials will determine."
This means these clinical trials are dead in the water.
The trials are designed to show effectiveness in preventing mild cases of COVID, which nobody should care about, because mild cases naturally run their course and cause no harm. THERE IS NO NEED FOR A VACCINE THAT PREVENTS MILD CASES.
There. That's the NY Times one-off. My piece analyzing it went on much longer, but you get the main thrust:
The leading vaccine clinical trials are useless, irrelevant, misleading, and deceptive.
But now, it gets much worse. Because Pfizer has just announced their vaccine is almost ready. CNBC headline, November 9: "Pfizer, BioNTech say Covid vaccine is more than 90% effective -- 'great day for science and humanity'"
And not a peep about the NY Times one-off. That's gone, as if it never was.
Trump's coronavirus task force knows the truth. Biden's new task force, waiting in the wings, knows the truth. But they don't care. They're criminals. They'd sell a car with a gas tank ready to explode to a customer with cash.
But you care, because you can read and think.
You can raise hell.
Now, in case anyone is interested in knowing WHY the major clinical trials of the COVID vaccine are designed only to prevent mild cases of COVID, I'll explain.
A vaccine maker assumes that, during the course of the clinical trial, a few of the 30,000 volunteers are going to "catch COVID-19."
They assume this because "the virus is everywhere," as far as they're concerned. So it'll drop down from the clouds and infect a few of the volunteers.
The magic number is 150. When that number of volunteers "catch COVID," everything stops. The clinical trial stops.
At this point, the vaccine maker hopes that most of the volunteers who "got infected" are in the placebo group. They didn't receive the real vaccine; they received the saltwater placebo shot.
Then the vaccine maker can proudly say, "See? The volunteers who caught COVID-19? Most of them didn't receive the vaccine. They weren't protected. The volunteers who received the real vaccine didn't catch COVID. The vaccine protected them."
Actually, the number split the vaccine makers are looking for is 50 and 100. If 50 people in the vaccine group catch COVID, and 100 in the placebo group catch COVID, the vaccine is said to be 50% effective. And that's all the vaccine maker needs to win FDA approval for the vaccine.
But wait. Let's look closer at this idea of "catching COVID." What are they really talking about? How do they define that? Claiming a volunteer in the clinical trial caught COVID adds up to what?
Does it add up to a minimal definition of COVID-19 -- a cough, or chills and fever? Or does it mean a serious case -- severe pneumonia?
Now we come to the hidden factor, the secret, the source of the whole con game.
You see, the vaccine maker starts out with 30,000 HEALTHY volunteers. So, if they waited for 150 of them to come down with severe pneumonia, a serious case of COVID, how long do you think that would take? Five years? Ten years?
The vaccine maker can't possibly wait that long.
These 150 COVID cases the vaccine maker is looking for would be mild. Just a cough. Or chills and fever. That scenario would only take a few months to develop. And face it, chills, cough, and fever aren't unique to COVID. Anyone can come down with those symptoms.
THEREFORE, THE WHOLE CLINICAL TRIAL IS DESIGNED, UP FRONT, TO FIND 150 CASES OF MILD AND MEANINGLESS AND SELF-CURING "COVID."
About which, no one cares. No one should care.
But, as we see, Pfizer is trumpeting their clinical trial of the vaccine as a landmark in human history.
And THAT'S the story of the one-off the NY Times didn't think was worth a second glance.
Because they're so stupid? No. They're not that stupid.
And the government wants you to take the experimental COVID vaccine, whose "effectiveness" was designed to prevent nothing worth losing a night's sleep over.
The only worry are the adverse effects of the vaccine, about which I've written extensively. These effects include, depending on what's in the vial, a permanent alteration of your genetic makeup, or an auto-immune cascade, in which the body attacks itself.
by Jon Rappoport
November 11, 2020
Lambert Strether , November 19, 2020 at 8:45 am
Nov 22, 2020 | www.rt.com
Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that the coronavirus pandemic could lead to a global economic collapse that would have a significant impact on the lives of millions of people across the world.
Speaking at the virtual G20 summit of international leaders on Saturday, Putin warned that, "despite some positive signals, the main risk is still the so-called stagnant mass unemployment with a subsequent increase in poverty and social disorder."
"The coronavirus epidemic, the global lockdown and the freezing of economic activity launched a systemic economic crisis, which the modern world has not known since the Great Depression," he added.
Putin also lavished praise on the "massive contribution" of the US, which, along with other countries, has joined together to "create a stimulus package for the world economy to the tune of $12 trillion." Mainly put forward by large economies, including Russia's, the stimulus is thought to have played a role in buoying fragile world markets.
Nov 16, 2020 | off-guardian.org
XXX, Nov 16, 2020 8:28 AM Reply to Jacques
We really need to accept that we may not know what we think we know. For 40 years, we've all been bleating the mantras of neoliberalism which were promoted as The Natural Order of Things, but are in fact just a model, one of many.
And, objectively, how is the neoliberal model doing? For starters, there is so much money around that doesn't know what to do with itself, that the price of money (interest rates) has never been lower. Ever. Basic supply and demand.
At the same time, neoliberal governments, citing lack of money, have imposed austerity measures on the working class, cutting services and support to such an extent that serious social problems have arisen.
The reason the governments are short of cash is because they have continually reduced the share of GDP that goes into public coffers.
Blind Freddy can see the resultant inequality is a highly undesirable state of affairs, generating social unrest and unstable markets. Bizarrely, it is also contrary to the most basic of economic truisms: give poor people money and they spend it right away, generating a ripple of economic activity that reverberates through the real economy.
But according to neoliberalism, what we have here is perfectly fine because it accords with the model. And then the High Priests move in and blow smoke over the whole thing with incantations of why this must be so, again according to the model, which they themselves drew up to coordinate the way we do things. And of course, they believe their economic theory is the Natural Order of Things.
The pandemic has blown the lid off a few of those mantras. It'll take fifty years to decarbonise? We advanced decades in a few weeks. There is no magic money tree? Yes, there is and you just used it. Giving poor people money undermines the economy? No, it doesn't – you've just proved it. Government debt is a drain on the economy? Not if it stimulates activity. Tax is an expense that needs to be curtailed? No, it's an investment in the economy for everyone.
There are so many things we think we know and many of them are nonsense. We need to take the opportunity this disruption presents and design a society for humans, not for corporations.
Jacques , Nov 16, 2020 9:13 AM Reply to Andrew Thompson
Sure. Now, all we have to do is to figure out how to put that into practice. The making of society for humans, not for m-effers.
Nov 16, 2020 | www.globalresearch.ca
By World Travel & Tourism Council Global Research, November 13, 2020 World Travel & Tourism Council 11 November 2020 Region: USA
A staggering 9.2 million jobs could be lost in the U.S. Travel & Tourism sector in 2020 if barriers to global travel remain in place, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) revealed.
The new figure comes from WTTC's latest economic modelling, which looks at the punishing impact of COVID-19 and travel restrictions on the Travel & Tourism sector.
According to the latest data, 7.2 million jobs in the U.S. have been impacted. If there is no immediate alleviation of restrictions on international travel, as many as 9.2 million jobs – more than half of all jobs supported by the sector in the U.S. in 2019 – would be lost.
WTTC has identified the four top priorities which should be addressed, including the adoption of a comprehensive and cost-effective testing regime at departure to avoid transmission, the re-opening of key 'air corridors' such as between New York and London, and international coordination.
The challenge of restoring safe travels in the new normal is one of the biggest issues facing the U.S. as it grapples with a depressed economy devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has hit the Travel & Tourism sector particularly hard.
The WTTC Economic Impact Report for 2019 revealed that Travel & Tourism contributed $1.84 trillion to the U.S. economy and was responsible for more than one in 10 (10.7%) American jobs.
Nov 05, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Zanon , Nov 3 2020 18:41 utc | 9
Actually economy is doing better than expected. Even though Covid will contintue to be a threat against economic growth.
"U.S. GDP booms at 33.1% rate in Q3, better than expected"
Mr Funchu , Nov 3 2020 20:31 utc | 60vk , Nov 4 2020 4:31 utc | 161
@zanon: "Actually economy is doing better than expected. Even though Covid will contintue to be a threat against economic growth.
"U.S. GDP booms at 33.1% rate in Q3, better than expected"
LMAO. I guess you also think the stock market is an economic indicator that reflects the well-being of normal people.
And yeah, if you pump $4,000,000,000,000 into a bunch of corporations and the ludicrous stock market casino, the "economy" of any country will "do better".
If Greece during it's financial crisis had $4 trillion to spare and gave it all to their oligarchs and robber barons, would Greece's "economy" mean the country was doing great? Give me a break.
The US economy – some facts
No matter the outcome, the fact that this election is so close is a clear indicator that Americans aren't connecting material conditions on the ground -- a depression, pandemic, low wages, etc -- to the consequences of politics. Which is an abject, disgusting failure of Democrats.
We can observe the American economy has declined since 1980 relatively - but not by much. It was China that skyrocketed.
This is why the political polarization in the USA right now is being fought mainly on moral/ideological grounds. The American people still thinks it has sufficient time and resources to first fight among itself (put the proverbial traun back on its tracks) - only to then subjugate the rest of world (like it did in 1946 and 1992).
The Americans are still rationalizing in moral-ethic-ideological terms because their economy stagnated and is degrading - but not collapsing. This still gives them a material base to fuel their pride.
But pay attention: those data are in USD terms. Its industry was what declined the most in the linked fact sheet above. Before the War of Secession, the South was richer in USD terms than the North - but war quickly revealed most of the South's "GDP" was financialization (speculation over the slaves' prices).
Nov 02, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
uncle tungsten , Nov 1 2020 21:59 utc | 42
The banks and another excellent write up at Wall Street on Parade .
Again Ferdinand Pecora harking back to the 1930's as discussed in the past weeks commentaries:-Wilmarth's writing is so insightful and profound in its analysis of the similarities between the banks of the late 1920s and today that it feels like the ghost of Ferdinand Pecora might have been whispering in Wilmarth's ear. Pecora was a former prosecutor from New York who was chosen to preside over much of the early 1930s Senate Banking hearings and investigations of the corrupt Wall Street structure that led to the 1929 crash and Great Depression.
Three banking names that played significant roles in the crash of 1929 and the ensuing Great Depression were National City Bank, JP Morgan, and Chase National Bank. National City Bank was the precursor to today's Citigroup, the bank that would have collapsed in 2008 except for the largest taxpayer and Federal Reserve bailout in global banking history. JPMorgan and Chase combined in 2000 to create today's JPMorgan Chase.
Nov 02, 2020 | www.rt.com
Thirty-five percent: this is the size of the spending cuts oil and gas companies are likely to have made this year in response to the effects that the coronavirus pandemic is having on demand, according to the International Energy Agency. And this is just the spending slump in upstream oil and gas. This is just part of a wider trend of investment cuts in the energy industry, according to the IEA, which earlier this month published an update of its World Energy Investment report, first released in late spring.
At the time, some thought we were seeing the worst of the pandemic. They were, apparently, wrong.ALSO ON RT.COM Oil prices hit 4-month low over fear new coronavirus lockdowns will crush demand
Demand for oil has certainly improved in some parts of the world, notably in Asia, where governments have been more successful in containing the spread of the coronavirus than their counterparts in Europe and North and South America. But even in China – the world's oil demand recovery driver –the rebound is slowing down. After all, even though its domestic demand may be improving, if regional and global demand is stalling, this will have a negative effect on China as well.READ MORE OPEC in trouble as oil outlook worsens
According to the IEA, the impact that the pandemic is having on investments in the oil industry will continue to be felt for years to come. This is hardly surprising: the agency noted a 45-percent cut in investments by US shale oil companies this year, combined with a 50-percent jump in financing costs .
The number of active drilling rigs in the US may be rising, suggesting the beginning of a recovery, but the total was still down 564 rigs on the year as of last week, so that recovery will take a while.
Meanwhile, fuel stock updates from the Energy Information Administration are offering mixed signals: last week, for instance, saw a major drawdown in distillate fuel stocks, which should be good news suggesting demand for distillates is improving. The problem is that it is likely that this improvement is a temporary occurrence rather than a trend. Air travel is still greatly constrained, and the chances of any change in the status quo are slim.
Uncertainty: this is the keyword for not just the oil industry but for all others affected by the pandemic to such a grave extent as to force changes in business models. Europe's Big Oil majors are doing just that with their push into renewables and plan to greatly reduce the contribution of their core business to overall earnings. USmajors are sticking with oil, and they may well have a good reason to do it.
There has been a lot of government and activist talk about a green recovery from the pandemic crisis. But the pandemic is still raging, and not only is it not abating, but it is gathering strength. This would mean more money needed for stimulus measures. This, in turn, would mean less money to spend on renewables, because despite the celebrated cost declines in solar and wind, financial and regulatory support from governments remains essential for their increased deployment.ALSO ON RT.COM Central Bank of Russia does not rule out another pandemic wave & $25 oil price
The future remains marred in uncertainty that extends to the possibility of a rebound in oil investments. According to some, such as BP, we are already past peak oil demand, so that would mean less investment in oil production growth globally. Others, such as OPEC producers, hope things will sooner or later return to normal, and the world's appetite for more oil will continue to grow for at least a few more years before plateauing. And yet even OPEC is preparing for a worst-case scenario.
The extended cartel OPEC+ is considering a delay in the next relaxation of oil production cuts, from January 2021 to April, in response to the latest trends in Covid-19 infections. One thing seems relatively clear, however. The longer the surge in new infections continues, the longer it would take the industry to return on the path of recovery and growth.
This article was originally published on Oilprice.com
Oct 25, 2020 | www.unz.com
ConqueringFools says: October 24, 2020 at 4:28 pm GMT 200 Words ↑ @Anon
Yeah .and how many of those deaths were from the complete mismanagement of the sick elderly ie throwing them back into nursing homes. American facilities for many of our poorer, middle class elderly are disgusting places of squalor and nosocomial infections. How many were among elderly that were already on death's door step? This scamdemic has destroyed this country. If there is one demographic in this country that should burning it to the ground it's young, white 20 something conservative males who are seeing their future destroyed before their eyes. Seeing Americans walking around with what amounts to respiratory diapers on their face is disgusting, pathetic and embarrassing. The elderly, who for the most part have overall lived the peak American dream, are living in hysteria and fear. The boomers in America are confirmed now as some of the most selfish, self absorbed, and enfranchised generations ever. To blame the covid deaths on Trump is the most stupid and intellectually dishonest argument in this whole election narrative. Dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery you want to wear a worthless diaper on your face fine .don't force tyranny on the rest of us!
Oct 24, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Down South , Oct 22 2020 20:29 utc | 21
Although many details about the Great Reset won't be rolled out until the World Economic Forum meets in Davos in January 2021, the general principles of the plan are clear: The world needs massive new government programs and far-reaching policies comparable to those offered by American socialists such as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) in their Green New Deal plan.
Or, put another way, we need a form of socialism - a word the World Economic Forum has deliberately avoided using, all while calling for countless socialist and progressive plans.
"We need to design policies to align with investment in people and the environment," said the general secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation, Sharan Burrow. "But above all, the longer-term perspective is about rebalancing economies."
One of the main themes of the June meeting was that the coronavirus pandemic has created an important "opportunity" for many of the World Economic Forum's members to enact their radical transformation of capitalism, which they acknowledged would likely not have been made possible without the pandemic.
Oct 09, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Goldman Finds The Pandemic Recession Was Actually Not That Bad by Tyler Durden Wed, 10/07/2020 - 20:35 Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print
In a note which we are confident will go swimmingly with millions of Americans who lost their jobs in the past six months, Goldman's economics team writes that "scarring effect" from the pandemic recession has been "surprisingly limited" and the "damage has so far been much less than initially feared" in what is likely the most upbeat take on the current economy and one wonders if it involved any research outside of Tribeca.
After saying tthat the early weeks of the virus shock the Goldman economists "began to closely track measures of long-term damage to businesses and the labor force" with many businesses facing near-total collapses in revenue and 25 million jobs lost in little over a month, "the threat of deep scarring effects loomed over the US economy." Instead, things have been far better than expected.
Looking at the business sector first, Jan Hatzius and team write that the "scarring effects on the business sector remain surprisingly limited" as commercial bankruptcy filings have run below the pre-pandemic trend, most business closures during the worst months of the pandemic have proved temporary, and new business formation has surged recently.
A similar cheerful conclusion emerges when Goldman looks at the labor force, with the Goldman economists writing that "scarring effects on the labor force have also been less severe than feared" , as unemployment has fallen sharply, "and most of the remaining job losers are either still on temporary layoff or are in industries that should largely recover with a vaccine." In addition, Goldman observes, "labor demand has rebounded much more quickly than last cycle, reducing the risk of widespread long-term unemployment."
Ludicrous? Insane? Hilarious? Perhaps all three, yet here are some of the data Goldman used to reach its arguably offensive to tens of millions of Americans conclusion:
The left side of Exhibit 1 shows that total commercial bankruptcy filings reported by the American Bankruptcy Institute have actually run below the pre-pandemic trend. While a recent San Francisco Fed report noted with alarm that Chapter 11 bankruptcies are running at the fastest pace since 2013, this largely reflects recent changes to the bankruptcy code and it has been more than offset by declines in other commercial bankruptcy filings.
The right side of Exhibit 1 shows that Bloomberg's count of bankruptcies at large companies did briefly spike to a level that approached the financial crisis peak. But as our credit strategists have shown, the majority of these were firms already on a path to default before the pandemic, not otherwise healthy businesses needlessly sunk by an unprecedented shock.
In other words, Goldman contends that while there was a spike in defaults, it was largely among those companies that were already levered to the hilt and would have filed anyway. The covid crisis merely accelerated their demise, which come to thing of it, is what the covid virus is also doing with most of the elderly people it affects and who die not so much from the virus as due to other underlying, chronic or acute conditions, whose impact is merely accentuated to the point of lethality by covid.
What about Goldman's optimistic take on the labor market?
Here the economists argue that the silver lining of the employment collapse was the very high share of temporary layoffs shown in Exhibit 3, historically something which they say is "a reliable signal of rapid recovery" even as those permanently laid off is an dangerously high number, the highest since 2013, Goldman's spin notwithstanding.
To elucidate their point, Goldman next claims that just five months later, the number of newly unemployed workers since the virus shock has indeed declined dramatically, and about half still report that they are on temporary layoff. While not all of these workers will return to their old positions, this nevertheless points to further outsized job gains in coming months.
Here Bank of America disagrees, and lays out three cyclical forces today that spell out far greater pain for the labor force than GOldman is willing to admit, to wit:
- History repeats: skill mismatch yet again. Given the lack of demand for services-travel, entertainment, etc.-there will likely end up being discouraged workers in this sector. The skills are not easily transferrable to other sectors-particularly on the goods side of the economy where demand has been resilient.
- Disengagement from the labor force due to health or childcare: the threat of the virus has left many people with extremely difficult decisions to make. Some may decide that the risk of falling sick with COVID in their workplace is too significant and thus will voluntarily leave the workforce, particularly for those who are close to retirement. Parents also struggle with child-care issues-it may be hard for parents to fully return to work until they are able to feel confident that their children can return to prior educational arrangements or daycare. This could make it difficult to have two working parents-the burden tends to be disproportionally on women. As long as the virus remains a threat, there will be a portion of the workforce on the sidelines.
- Reengagment in the labor force because of the "telepresence revolution": over the medium-term, the shift toward greater virtual / remote working could be a positive for the LFPR. According to the BLS's Time-Use Survey, about 8% of the workforce worked from home at least one day a week prior to COVID. According to research from the Atlanta Fed in which the authors compared the Time-Use Survey results to current survey analysis, they find that the share of working days from home is set to triple after the pandemic. Similarly, the BofA Global Research data analytics team surveyed the companies across the research coverage for their latest expectations on the timing for return to the office - the results show that only 80% of employees will be expected to be fully back in the office by the end of 2021.
While Goldman acknowledges this, saying that "not all workers who lost jobs in virus-sensitive industries will return to them when a vaccine becomes available, and many layoffs are likely to prove permanent" but then adds that "workers who have to switch jobs or even occupations already face much better prospects for re-employment than after previous recessions."
So it's all good, see? Well, maybe not: even Goldman had to concede that long-term unemployment rose in September and is likely to rise somewhat further in the October jobs report as more workers who lost their jobs in the first month of the pandemic cross the half-year mark. But even here Goldman finds a silver lining, and writes that "the rapid recovery of labor demand and faster pace of labor reallocation is a striking contrast with past recessions that should help most workers avoid the very long unemployment spells seen last cycle."
In short, there is virtually nothing about the devastation endured by businesses and workers that Goldman's well-trained economists can't spin into a positive outcome, and as they summarize "scarring effects on businesses and the labor force have so far proven much less severe than initially feared."
This, they conclude, "bodes well for the economy's medium-term recovery prospects and is one more reason for Goldman's above-consensus 2021 growth forecast." What about the withdrawal of fiscal support which has forced Americans to draw down drastically on their savings which were boosted by the massive fiscal stimulus ...NEVER MISS THE NEWS THAT MATTERS MOST
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... and to resume paying down credit card debt for the first time in months?
Surely at least that has to be positive? Well, as Hatzius agrees, it does raise some risks over the next few months, but then the chief economist counters that "we expect a vaccine and further fiscal support next year -- including another round of small business funding, even in a divided government scenario -- to limit the long-term damage and keep the economy on track for a much more rapid than usual recovery."
To this all one can say is wow : and while we certainly would urge the Goldman economists to read something like " A devastating experience:' Temporary layoffs just became permanent for millions of American workers , and " Ex-Bankruptcy Judge Says Worse Is Yet To Come ", we have two questions: just why did Goldman publish such a puff piece - what does it stand to gain by gutting its reputation for at least pretend-objective analysis - and question number two: has anyone on the Goldman economics team actually stepped one foot outside their academic tri-state ivory tower in the past year?
Oct 06, 2020 | www.unz.com
How an "Act of God" Pandemic Is Destroying the West The U.S. is Saving the Financial Sector, not the Economy MICHAEL HUDSON AUGUST 28, 2020 4,400 WORDS 142 COMMENTS REPLY Tweet Reddit 5 Share Share 3 Email Print More 8 SHARES
Before juxtaposing the U.S. and alternative responses to the corona virus's economic effects,  I would like to step back in time to show how the pandemic has revealed a deep underlying problem. We are seeing the consequences of Western societies painting themselves into a debt corner by their creditor-oriented philosophy of law. Neoliberal anti-government (or more accurately, anti-democratic) ideology has centralized social planning and state power in "the market," meaning specifically the financial market on Wall Street and in other financial centers.
At issue is who will lose when employment and business activity are disrupted. Will it be creditors and landlords at the top of the economic scale, or debtors and renters at the bottom? This age-old confrontation over how to deal with the unpaid rents, mortgages and other debt service is at the heart of today's virus pandemic as large and small businesses, farms, restaurants and neighborhood stores have fallen into arrears, leaving businesses and households – along with their employees who have no wage income to pay these carrying charges that accrue each month.
This is an age-old problem. It was solved in the ancient Near East simply by annulling these debt and rent charges. But the West, shaped as it still is by the legacy of the Roman Empire, has left itself prone to the massive unemployment, business closedowns and resulting arrears for these basic costs of living and doing business.
Western civilization distinguishes itself from its Near Eastern predecessors in the way it has responded to "acts of God" that disrupt the means of support and leave debts in their wake. The United States has taken the lead in rejecting the path by which China, and even social democratic European nations have prevented the corona virus from causing widespread insolvency and polarizing their economies. The U.S. corona virus lockdown is turning rent and debt arrears into an opportunity to impoverish the indebted economy and transfer mortgaged property and its income to creditors.
There is no inherent material need for this fate to occur. But it seems so natural and even inevitable that, as Margaret Thatcher would say, There Is No Alternative.
But of course there is, and always has been. However, resilience in the face of economic disruption always has required a central authority to override "market forces" to restore economic balance from "above."
Individualistic economies cannot do that. To the extent that they have a strong state, they are not democratic but oligarchic, controlled by the financial sector in its own interest, in tandem with its symbiotic real estate sector and monopolized infrastructure. That is why every successful society since the Bronze Age has been a mixed economy. The determining factor in whether or not an economic disruption leaves a crippled economy in its wake turns out to be whether its financial sector is a public utility or is privatized from the debt-strapped public domain as a means to enrich bankers and money-lenders at the expense of debtors and overall economic balance.
China is using an age-old policy common ever since Hammurabi and other Bronze Age rulers promoted economic resilience in the face of "acts of God." Unless personal debts, rents and taxes that cannot be paid are annulled, the result will be widespread bankruptcy, impoverishment and homelessness. In contrast to America's financialized economy, China has shown how natural it is for society simply to acknowledge that debts, rents, taxes and other carrying charges of living and doing business cannot resume until economic normalcy is able to resume.
Near Eastern protection of economic resilience in the face of Acts of God
Ancient societies had a different logic from those of modern capitalist economies. Their logic – and the Jewish Mosaic Law of Leviticus 25, as well as classical Greek and Roman advocates of democratic reform – was similar to modern socialism. The basic principle at work was to subordinate market relations to the needs of society at large, not to enrich a financial rentier class of creditors and absentee landowners. More specifically, the basic principle was to cancel debts that could not normally be paid, and prevent creditors from foreclosing on the land of debtors.
All economies operate on credit. In modern economies bills for basic expenses are paid monthly or quarterly. Ancient economies operated on credit during the crop year, with payment falling due when the harvest was in – typically on the threshing floor. This cycle normally provided a flow of crops and corvée labor to the palace, and covered the cultivator's spending during the crop year. Interest typically was owed only when payment was late.
But bad harvests, military conflict or simply the normal hardships of life frequently prevented this buildup of debt from being paid. Mesopotamian palaces had to decide who would bear the loss when drought, flooding, infestation, disease or military attack prevented the payment of debts, rents and taxes. Seeing that this was an unavoidable fact of life, rulers proclaimed amnesties for taxes and these various obligations incurred during the crop year. That saved smallholders from having to work off their debts in personal bondage to their creditors and ultimately to lose their land.
For these palatial economies, resilience meant stabilization of fiscal revenue. Letting private creditors (often officials in the palace's own bureaucracy) demand payment out of future production threatened to deprive rulers of crop surpluses and other taxes, and corvée labor or even service in the military. But for thousands of years, Near Eastern rulers restored fiscal viability for their economies by writing down debts, not only in emergencies but more or less regularly to relieve the normal creeping backlog of debts.
These Clean Slates extended from Sumer and Babylonia in the 3 rd millennium BC to classical antiquity, including the neo-Assyrian, neo-Babylonian and Persian Empires. They restored normal economic relations by rolling back the consequences of debts personal and agrarian debts – bondage to creditors, and loss of land and its crop yield. From the palace's point of view as tax collector and seller of many key goods and services, the alternative would have been for debtors to owe their crops, labor and even liberty to their creditors, not to the palace. So cancelling debts to restore normalcy was simply pragmatic, not utopian idealism as was once thought.
The pedigree for "act-of-God" rules specifying what obligations need not be paid when serious disruptions occur goes back to the laws of Hammurabi c. 1750 BC. Their aim was to restore economic normalcy after major disruptions. §48 of Hammurabi's laws proclaim a debt and tax amnesty for cultivators if Adad the Storm God has flooded their fields, or if their crops fail as a result of pests or drought. Crops owed as rent or fiscal payments were freed from having to be paid. So were consumer debts run up during the crop year, including tabs at the local ale house and advances or loans from individual creditors. The ale woman likewise was freed from having to pay for the ale she had received from palace or temples for sale during the crop year.
Whoever leased an animal that died by an act of god was freed from liability to its owner (§266). A typical such amnesty occurred if the lamb, ox or ass was eaten by a lion, or if an epidemic broke out. Likewise, traveling merchants who were robbed while on commercial business were cleared of liability if they swore an oath that they were not responsible for the loss (§103).
It was realized that hardship was so inevitable that debts tended to accrue even under normal conditions. Every ruler of Hammurabi's dynasty proclaimed a Clean Slate cancelling personal agrarian debts (but left normal commercial business loans intact) upon taking the throne, and when military or other disruptions occurred during their reign. Hammurabi did this on four occasions. 2
Bronze Age rulers could not afford to let such bondage and concentration of property and wealth to become chronic. Labor was the scarcest resource, so a precondition for survival was to prevent creditors from using debt leverage to obtain the labor of debtors and appropriate their land. Rulers therefore acted to prevent creditors from becoming a wealthy class seeking gains by impoverishing debtors and taking crop yields and land for themselves.
By rejecting such alleviations of debts resulting from economic disruption, the U.S. economy is subjecting itself to depression, homelessness and economic polarization. It is saving stockholders and bondholders instead of the economy at large. That is because today's rentier interests take the economic surplus in the form of debt service, holding labor and also corporate industry in bondage. Mortgage debt is the price of obtaining a home of one's own. Student debt is the price of getting an education to get a job. Automobile debt is needed to buy a car to drive to the job, and credit-card debt must be run up to pay for living costs beyond what one is able to earn. This deep indebtedness makes workers afraid to go on strike or even to protect working conditions, because being fired is to lose the ability to pay debts and rents. So the rising debt overhead serves the business and financial sector by lowering wage levels while extracting more interest, financial fees, rent and insurance out of their take-home pay.
Debt deflation and the transition from finance capitalism to an Austerity Economy
By injecting $10 trillion into the financial markets (when Federal Reserve credit is added to U.S. Treasury allocation), the CARES act enabled the stock market to recover all of its 34 percent drop (as measured by the S&P 500 stocks) by June 9, even as the economy's GDP was still plunging. The government's new money creation was not spent to revive the real economy of production and consumption, but at least the financial One Percent was saved from loss. It was as if prosperity and living standards would somehow return to normal in a V-shaped recovery.
But what is "normal" these days? For 95 percent of the population, their share of GDP already had been falling ever since the Obama Depression began with the bank bailout in 2009, leaving an enormous bad-debt overhead in place. The economy's long upswing since World War II was already grinding to an end as it struggled to carry its debt burden, rising housing costs, health care and related monthly "nut." 3
This is not what was expected 75 years ago. World War II ended with families and businesses rife with savings and with little debt, as there had been little to buy during the wartime years. But ever since, each business cycle recovery has started with a higher ratio of debt to income, diverting more revenue from business, households and governments to pay banks and bondholders. This debt burden raises the economy's cost of living and doing business, while leaving less wage income and profit to be spent on goods and services.
The virus pandemic has merely acted as a catalyst ending of the long postwar boom. Yet even as the U.S. and other Western economies begin to buckle under their debt overhead, little thought has been given to how to extricate them from the debts and defaults that have accelerated as a result of the broad economic disruption.
The "business as usual" approach is to let creditors foreclose and draw all the income and wealth over subsistence needs into their own hands. Economies have reached the point where debts can be paid only by shrinking production and consumption, leaving them as strapped as Greece has been since 2015. Rejecting debt writedowns to restore social balance was implanted at the outset of modern Western civilization. Ever since Roman times it has become normal for creditors to use social misfortune as an opportunity to gain property and income at the expense of families falling into debt. Blocking the emergence of democratic civic regimes empowered to protect debtors, creditor interests have promoted laws that force debtors to lose their land or other means of livelihood to foreclosing creditors or sell it under distress conditions and have to work off their debts.
In times of a general economic disruption, giving priority to creditor claims leads to widespread bankruptcy. Yet it violates most peoples' ideas of fairness and distributive justice to evict debtors from their homes and take whatever property they have if they cannot pay their rent arrears and other charges that have accrued through no fault of their own. Bankruptcy proceedings will force many businesses and farms to forfeit what they have invested to much wealthier buyers. Many small businesses, especially in urban minority neighborhoods, will see yeas of saving and investment wiped out. The lockdown also forces U.S. cities and states to cope with plunging sales- and income-tax revenue by slashing social services and depleting their pension funds savings to pay bondholders. Balancing their budgets by privatizing hitherto public services will create monopoly rents and new corporate empires
These outcomes are not necessary. They also are inequitable, and instead of being a survival of the fittest and most efficient economic solutions, they are a victory for the most successfully predatory. Yet such results are the product of a long-pedigreed legal and financial philosophy promoted by banks and bondholders, landlords and insurance companies reject economy-wide debt relief. They depict writing down debts and rents owed to them as unthinkable. Banks claim that forgiving personal and business rents would lead absentee landlords to default on their mortgages, threatening bank solvency. Insurance companies claim that to make their policy holders whole would bankrupt them. 4 So something has to give: either the population's broad economic interests, or the vested interests insisting that labor, industry and the government must bear the cost of arrears that have built up during the economic shutdown.
As in oligarchic Rome, financial interests in today's world have gained control of governments and captured the political and regulatory agencies, leaving democratic reformers powerless to suspend debt service, rent arrears, evictions and depression. The West is becoming a highly centrally planned economy, but its planning center is Wall Street, not Washington or state and local governments.
Rising real estate arrears prompt a mortgage bailout
Canada and many European governments are subsidizing businesses to pay up to 80 percent of employee wages even though many must stay home. But for the 40 million Americans who haven't been employed during the closedown, the prospect is for homelessness and desperation. Already before the crisis about half of Americans reported that they were living paycheck to paycheck and could not raise $400 in an emergency. When the paychecks stopped, rents could not be paid, nor could other normal monthly living expenses.
America is seeing the end of the home ownership boom that endowed its middle class with property steadily rising in price. For buyers, the price was rising mortgage debt, as bank credit was the major factor in raising property prices. (A home is worth however much a bank will lend against it.) For non-whites, to be sure, neighborhoods were redlined against racial minorities. By the early 2000s, banks began to make loans to black and Hispanic buyers, but usually at extortionately high interest rates and stiffer debt terms. America's white home buyers now face a fate similar to that which they have long imposed on minorities: Debt-inflated purchase prices for homes so high that they leave buyers strapped by mortgage and compulsory insurance payments, with declining public services in their neighborhoods.
When mortgages can't be paid, foreclosures follow. That causes declines in the proportion of Americans that own their own homes. That home ownership rate already had dropped from about 58 percent in 2008 to about 51 percent at the start of 2020. Since the 2008 mortgage-fraud crisis and President Obama's mass foreclosure program that hit minorities and low-income buyers especially hard, a more landlord-ridden economy has emerged as a result of foreclosed properties and companies bought by speculators and vast absentee-owner companies like Blackstone.
Many businesses that closed down did not pay the landlords. Realizing that if they are held responsible for paying full rents that accrued during the shutdown, it would take them over a year to make up the payment, leaving no net earnings for their efforts. That was especially the case for restaurants with compulsory limited "distance" seating and other stores obliged to restrict the density of their customers. Many restaurants and other neighborhood stores decided to go out of business. For hotels standing largely empty, some 19 percent of mortgage loans had fallen into arrears already by May, along with about 10 percent of retail stores. 5
The commercial real estate sector owes $2.4 trillion in mortgage debt. About 40 percent of tenants did not pay their rents for March, April and May, from restaurants and storefronts to large national retail markets. A moratorium on evictions put them off until August or September 2020. But in the interim, quarterly state and local property taxes were due in June, which also was when the annual federal income-tax payment was owed for the year 2019, having been postponed from April in the face of the shutdown.
The prospective break in the chain of payments of landlords to their banks may be bailed out by the Federal Reserve, but nobody can come up with a scenario whereby the debts owed by non-elites can be paid out of their own resources, any more than they were rescued from the junk-mortgage frauds that left over-mortgaged homes (mainly for low-income victims) in the wake of Obama's decision to support the banks and mortgage brokers instead of their victims. In fact, it takes a radical scenario to see how state and local debt can be paid as public budgets are thrown into limbo by the virus pandemic.
The fiscal squeeze forces governments to privatize public services and assets
Since 1945, the normal Keynesian response to an economic slowdown has been for governments to run budget deficits to revive the economy and employment. But that can't happen in the wake of the 2020 pandemic. For one thing, tax revenue is falling. Governments can create domestic money, of course, but the U.S. government quickly ran up a $2 trillion deficit by June 2020 simply to support Wall Street's financial and corporate markets, leaving a fiscal squeeze when it came to public spending into the real economy. Many U.S. states and cities have laws obliging them to balance their budgets. So public spending into the real economy (instead of just into the financial and corporate markets) had to be cut back.
Sales taxes from restaurants and hotels, income taxes, and property taxes from landlords not receiving rents. U.S. states and localities are having a huge tax shortfall that is forcing them to cut back basic social services and infrastructure. New York City mayor de Blasio has warned that schools, the police and public transportation may have to be cut back unless the city is given $7 billion. The CARES act passed by the Democratic Party in control of the House of Representatives made no attempt to allocate a single dollar to make up the widening fiscal gap. As for the Trump administration, it was unwilling to give money to states voting Democratic in the presidential or governorship elections.
The irony is that just at the time when a pandemic calls for public health care, political pressure for that abruptly stopped. Logically, it might have been expected the virus to have become a major catalyst for single-payer public health care, not least to prevent a wave of personal bankruptcy resulting from high medical bills. But hopes were dashed when the leading torch bearer for socialized medicine, Senator Bernie Sanders, threw his support behind Joe Biden and other opponents for the presidential nomination instead of focusing the primary elections on what the future of the Democratic Party would be. It decided to focus the 2020 U.S. election merely on the personality of which candidate would impose neoliberal policy: Republican Donald Trump, or his opponent running simply on a platform of "I am not Trump."
Both candidates – and indeed, both parties behind them –sought to downsize government and privatize as much of the public sector as possible, leaving administration to financial managers. Past government policy would have restored prosperity by public spending programs to to rebuild the roads and bridges, trains and subways that have fallen apart. But the fiscal squeeze caused by the economic shutdown has created pressure to Thatcherize America's crumbling transportation and urban infrastructure – and also to sell off land and public enterprises, basic urban health, schools – and at the national level, the post office. Fiscal budgets are to be balanced by selling off this infrastructure, in lucrative Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) with financial firms.
The neoliberal rent-extractive plan is for private capital to buy monopoly rights to repair the nation's bridges by turning them into toll bridges, to repair the nation's roads and highways by making the toll roads, to repair sewer systems by privatizing them. Schools, prisons, hospitals and other traditionally public functions. Even the police are to be privately owned security-guard agencies and managed for profit – on terms that will provide interest and capital gains for the financial sector. It is a New Enclosures movement seeking monopoly rent much as landlords extract land rent.
Having given $10 trillion dollars to support financial and mortgage markets, neoliberals in both the Republican and Democratic parties announced that the government had created so large a budget deficit as a result of bailing out the banking and landlord class that it lacked any more room for money creation for actual social spending programs. Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell advised states to solve their budget squeeze by raiding their pension funds to pay their bondholders.
For many decades, public employees accepted low wage growth in exchange for pensions. Their patient choice was to defer demands for wage increases in order to secure good pensions for their retirement. But now that they have worked at stagnant wages for many years, the money ostensibly saved for their pensions is to be given to bondholders. Likewise at the federal level, pressure was renewed by both parties to cut back Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, with Obama's 2010 Simpson-Bowles Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform to reduce the deficit at the expense of retirees and the poor.
In sum, money is being created to fuel the financial sector and its stock and bond markets, not to increase the economy's solvency, employment and living standards. The corona virus pandemic did not create this shift, but it catalyzed and accelerated the power grab, not least by pushing public-sector budgets into crisis.
It doesn't have to be this way
Every successful economy has been a mixed public/private economy with checks on the financial sector's power to indebt society in ways that impoverish it. Always at issue, however, is who will control the government. As American and European industry becomes more debt ridden, will they be oligarchic or democratic?
A socialist government such as China's can keep its industry going simply by simply writing down debts when they can't be paid without forcing a closedown and bankruptcy and loss of assets and employment. The world thus has two options: a basically productive public financial system in China, or a predatory financial system in the United States.
China can recover financially and fiscally from the virus disruption because most debts ultimately are owned to the government-based banking system. Money can be created to finance the material economy, labor and industry, construction and agriculture. When a company is unable to pay its bills and rent, the government doesn't stand by and let it be closed down and sold at a distressed price to a vulture investor.
China has an option that Western economies do not: It is in a position to do what Hammurabi and other ancient Near Eastern palatial economies did for thousands of years: write down debts so as to keep the economy resilient and functioning. It can suspend scheduled debt service, taxes, rents and public fees from having to be paid by troubled areas of its economy, because China's government is the ultimate creditor. It need not contend with politically powerful bankers who insist that the economy at large must lose, not themselves. The government can write down the debt to keep companies in business, and also their employees. That's what socialist governments do.
The underlying problem is finance capitalism. Its roots lie at the heart of Western civilization itself, rejecting the "circular time" permitting economic renewal by Clean Slates in favor of "linear time" in which debts are permanent and irreversible, without public oversight to manage finance and credit in the economy's overall long-term interest.
It often is easier to get rich in such times of disaster and need than in times of normal prosperity. While the U.S. economy polarizes between creditors and debtors, the stock market anticipates fortunes being made quickly from the insolvency of business with assets and property to be grabbed. Coupled with the Federal Reserve's credit creation to support the financial and real estate markets, asset prices are soaring (as of June 2020) for companies that expect to get even richer from the widespread distress to come in autumn 2020 when evictions and foreclosures ae scheduled to begin again.
In that respect, the corona virus's effect has been to help defeat the financial sector's enemy, governments strong enough to regulate it. The fiscal squeeze resulting from widespread unemployment, business closedowns, rent and tax arrears is being seized upon as a means of dismantling and privatizing government at the federal, state and local levels, at the expense of the citizenry at large.
 WHEN CHINA SNEEZES: From the Coronavirus Lockdown to the Global Politico-Economic Implications , Edited by Cynthia McKinney, Chapter 9, Economic Impact.
 I provide a detailed history of Clean Slate acts from the Bronze Age down through Biblical times and the Byzantine Empire in " and forgive them their debts" (ISLET 2018).
 I provide the details in Killing the Host: How Financial Parasites and Debt Destroy the Global Economy ((SLET, 2015).
 Lawsuits are exploding over the role of insurance companies supposed to protect business from such interruptions. See Julia Jacobs, "Arts Groups Fight Their Insurers Over Coverage on Virus Losses," The New York Times , May 6, 2020, reports that "insurance companies have issued a torrent of denials, prompting lawsuits across the country and legislative efforts on the state and federal levels to force insurers to make payments. The insurance industry has argued that fulfilling all of these requests would bankrupt the industry."
 Conor Dougherty and Peter Eavis, "In Commercial Real Estate, the Domino Effect Escalates," The New York Times , June 9, 2020.
Oct 06, 2020 | www.wsj.com
All over the country, big companies are laying off thousands of workers, and in some cases the numbers are even larger than that. Meanwhile, we have been seeing businesses fail at a pace that is absolutely stunning. According to the Wall Street Journal, this year we are on pace to set new records for retail stores closings, retail bankruptcies, and retail liquidations
The airline industry is actually on the verge of a historic implosion, and we are being told that 100,000 workers could soon lose their jobs if they don't get a massive bailout from the federal government.
32,000 jobs !!!!
KPMG, one of the so-called Big Four accounting firms, laid off 1,400 of its 35,000 US employees on Tuesday.
But for many Americans, this economic downturn has quickly become a horror show.
If the tourists - only slowly, slowly - fully return
Signs That America's Economic Depression Is Accelerating
Almost 90 percent of NYC bars and restaurants couldn't pay August rent !!!!
Additional 787,000 workers seek unemployment
All 546 of its theaters across US, UK and Ireland will be closed
Hunger In Texas: No End In Sight For Pandemic Food Lines
Thousands of cars form tightly packed lines across the state every week now to receive food.
From Chihuahuan Desert border towns and cities to the staked plains of the panhandle, across the piney wood of deep East Texas, down to the Rio Grande and back cars stack, growing into steel and fiberglass caterpillars, hungry.
These events have distributed tens of millions of pounds of food over the past six months.
Wildfires to escalate as intense heat dome builds this weekend
California's Wildfires record burned 4 million acres
US West Coast wildfires air quality deteriorates to the worst
Posted by: Ashino | Oct 5 2020 13:18 utc | 113
Sep 28, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
The latest data compiled by the International Labour Organization (ILO) sheds new light on COVID-19's "devastating" impact on the labor market reveals a "massive" drop in labor income and hours for workers worldwide.
Global labor income plunged 10.7%, or $3.5 trillion, in the first nine months of 2020, compared with the same period in 2019, ILO's new report found, which is one of the first measurements to quantify the deep economic scarring that has left the global economy paralyzed. The figure excludes income derived by governments to compensate for labor loss during the pandemic.
The report, titled " ILO Monitor: COVID-19 and the world of work. Sixth edition," was published on Wednesday (Sept. 23), notes how global labor hour losses in the first nine months of 2020 have been "considerably larger" than the estimate from the previous report issued in late June.
The report found the largest income loss was primarily in lower-middle income countries, where the labor income losses reached 15.1%.
"Workplace closures continue to disrupt labor markets around the world, leading to working-hour losses that are higher than previously estimated," ILO said.
The United Nations agency said global working-hour losses are expected to remain elevated in 3Q20, at 12.1%, or equivalent to 345 million full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs (based on a 48-hour working week). The revised downside projections for 4Q20 suggest a more pessimistic outlook for the global economy is ahead .
ILO's baseline scenario, for working-hour losses, in the fourth quarter, is -8.6%. The most optimistic is +5.7%, while the most pessimistic is -18%.
"The latest data confirm that working-hour losses are reflected in higher levels of unemployment and inactivity, with inactivity increasing to a greater extent than unemployment. Rising inactivity is a notable feature of the current job crisis calling for strong policy attention. The decline in employment numbers has generally been greater for women than for men," ILO said.
The driver behind increased working-hour losses in developing and emerging economies is that informal employment continues to be affected by strict public health orders to mitigate the virus spread.
ILO said there's a "clear correlation" between how much fiscal stimulus a country does and working-hour losses. For example, more stimulus has offset a reduction in working hours. Many of these stimulus packages have been observed in high-income countries, as emerging and developing economies had limited borrowing capacity to finance such measures.
ILO Director-General Guy Ryder warned about a "huge fiscal stimulus gap," and the dire need for governments to unleash more fiscal stimulus to mitigate additional stresses in the global labor market.
"Just as we need to redouble our efforts to beat the virus, so we need to act urgently and at scale to overcome its economic, social, and employment impacts. That includes sustaining support for jobs, businesses, and incomes," Ryder said in a statement.
The report debuted as the US entered the 53rd day of the fiscal cliff. As discussed extensively in late July in" ' Look Out Below': Why The Economy Is About To Fly Off A Fiscal Cliff " , a lapse in stimulus has the risk in reversing the economic recovery.
A record of 25% of all personal income in the US is derived from the government via stimulus programs. Without stimulus, the economy craters.NEVER MISS THE NEWS THAT MATTERS MOST
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With ILO's report noting more labor market stress is ahead for the final quarter of the year, it all suggests there will be no "V"- shaped recovery in 2H20.
And this could be the moment where Wall Street realizes the shape of the recovery was never a "V," resulting in the next wave down in stocks.
Sep 26, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
karlof1 , Sep 23 2020 15:56 utc | 84Escobar reviews the UNGA's first day that revealed Trump's desperation a few alluded to above. Psychohistorian will be pleased to read Pepe's channeling his #1 premise:
" As for the 'rules-based international order,' at best it is a euphemism for privately-controlled financial capitalism on a global scale ." [My Emphasis]
As I wrote yesterday, every national leader I read backed a Multilateral UN and its Charter while including various degrees of reproach for the illegalities of the Outlaw US Empire and its vassals, even the Emir of Qatar :
"The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic has reminded us that we live on the same planet, and that multilateral cooperation is the only way to address the challenges of epidemics, climate and the environment in general, and it's also preferable to remember this when dealing with the issues of poverty, war and peace, and realizing our common goals for security and stability....
"And during the unjust and unlawful blockade it is going through it also has securely established its policy founded on respecting the rules and principles of international law and the United Nations Charter, especially, the principle of respecting the sovereignty of states and rejecting intervention in their internal affairs.
"And based on our moral and legal responsibilities towards our peoples, we have affirmed, and we will continue to reaffirm, that unconditional dialogue based on common interests and respect for the sovereignty of states is the way to solve this crisis which had started with an illegal blockade, and whose solution starts with lifting this blockade."
If the Saudi blockade is "unjust and unlawful," then all those imposed by the Outlaw US Empire are also.
Pepe apparently doesn't agree with Lieven's essay and writes:
"Sinophobia is the perfect tool for shifting blame -- for the abysmal response to Covid-19, the extinction of small businesses and the looming New Great Depression -- to the Chinese 'existential threat.'
"The whole process has nothing to do with 'moral defeat' [Lieven] and complaints that 'we risk losing the competition and endangering the world.'
"The world is not 'endangered' because at least vast swathes of the Global South are fully aware that the much-ballyhooed 'rules-based international order' is nothing but a quite appealing euphemism for Pax Americana -- or exceptionalism [Neocolonialism].
"What was designed by Washington for post-World War II, the Cold War and the 'unilateral moment' does not apply anymore."
As the dirty domestic underwear of the Outlaw US Empire becomes more visible to nations, they are emboldened to stand up for themselves and join the Strategic Partnership's Eurasian project.
Sep 22, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Sound of the Suburbs , 54 minutes agoSound of the Suburbs , 1 hour ago
Why does neoclassical economics produce ponzi schemes of inflated asset prices?
- It makes you think you are creating wealth by inflating asset prices
- Bank credit flows into inflating asset prices, debt rises faster than GDP and you eventually get a financial crisis.
- No one notices the private debt building up in the economy as neoclassical economics doesn't consider debt.
This economics still has its 1920s problems. What is the fundamental flaw in the free market theory of neoclassical economics? The University of Chicago worked that out in the 1930s after last time. Banks can inflate asset prices with the money they create from bank loans.
Henry Simons and Irving Fisher supported the Chicago Plan to take away the bankers ability to create money.
"Simons envisioned banks that would have a choice of two types of holdings: long-term bonds and cash. Simultaneously, they would hold increased reserves, up to 100%. Simons saw this as beneficial in that its ultimate consequences would be the prevention of "bank-financed inflation of securities and real estate" through the leveraged creation of secondary forms of money."
The IMF re-visited the Chicago plan after 2008.
It looks like they did have some idea what the problem was.At the end of the 1920s, the US was a ponzi scheme of inflated asset prices. The use of neoclassical economics and the belief in free markets, made them think that inflated asset prices represented real wealth accumulation.
1929 – Wakey, wakey time. Why did it cause the US financial system to collapse in 1929? Bankers get to create money out of nothing, through bank loans, and get to charge interest on it.
What could possibly go wrong?
Bankers do need to ensure the vast majority of that money gets paid back, and this is where they get into serious trouble.
Banking requires prudent lending.
If someone can't repay a loan, they need to repossess that asset and sell it to recoup that money. If they use bank loans to inflate asset prices they get into a world of trouble when those asset prices collapse.
As the real estate and stock market collapsed the banks became insolvent as their assets didn't cover their liabilities.
They could no longer repossess and sell those assets to cover the outstanding loans and they do need to get most of the money they lend out back again to balance their books.
The banks become insolvent and collapsed, along with the US economy.
When banks have been lending to inflate asset prices the financial system is in a precarious state and can easily collapse.
What was the ponzi scheme of inflated asset prices that collapsed in Japan in 1991?
Japanese real estate.
They avoided a Great Depression by saving the banks.
They killed growth for the next 30 years by leaving the debt in place.
Debt repayments to banks destroy money, this is the problem.
What was the ponzi scheme of inflated asset prices that collapsed in 2008?
"It's nearly $14 trillion pyramid of super leveraged toxic assets was built on the back of $1.4 trillion of US sub-prime loans, and dispersed throughout the world" All the Presidents Bankers, Nomi Prins.
They avoided a Great Depression by saving the banks.
They left Western economies struggling by leaving the debt in place, just like Japan.
It's not as bad as Japan as we didn't let asset prices crash in the West, but it is this problem has made our economies so sluggish since 2008.
In 2020, the world is a ponzi scheme of inflated asset prices.
The use of neoclassical economics and the belief in free markets, made them think that inflated asset prices represented real wealth accumulation.
The central banks have to keep pumping in liquidity to stop all the ponzi schemes collapsing.
If the ponzi schemes collapse, this feeds back into the financial system when bankers have been lending to inflate asset prices.
play_arrowSound of the Suburbs , 1 hour ago
Bankers make the most money when they are driving your economy towards a financial crisis.
You don't want to leave them to their own devices.
On a BBC documentary, comparing 1929 to 2008, it said the last time US bankers made as much money as they did before 2008 was in the 1920s.
Bankers make the most money when they are driving your economy into a financial crisis.
At 18 mins.
The bankers loaded the US economy up with their debt products until they got financial crises in 1929 and 2008.
As you head towards the financial crisis, the economy booms due to the money creation of bank loans.
The financial crisis appears to come out of a clear blue sky when you use an economics that doesn't consider debt.
The economics of globalisation has always had an Achilles' heel.
The 1920s roared with debt based consumption and speculation until it all tipped over into the debt deflation of the Great Depression. No one realised the problems that were building up in the economy as they used an economics that doesn't look at debt, neoclassical economics.
Not considering private debt is the Achilles' heel of neoclassical economics.x_Maurizio , 1 hour ago
You are just repeating 1920s mistakes.
The Americans wrapped a new ideology, neoliberalism, around 1920s economics and repeated the economic mistakes of the 1920s.
Policymakers couldn't see what Glass-Steagall did, as they thought banks were financial intermediaries.
It separates the money creation side of banking from the investment side of banking, and stops bankers producing securities; they buy themselves with money they create out of nothing.
(There are intermediaries involved so it's not obvious, but this is effectively what is happening)
The whole thing turns into a ponzi scheme and you get a 1929 or 2008 type event.
1929 and 2008 look so similar because they are.
At 18 mins.
1929 and 2008 -- Minsky Moments, the financial crises where debt has over whelmed the economy.
They did save the banks this time, which avoided another Great Depression.
They left the debt in place, which caused a balance sheet recession.
As a CEO, I can use the company's money to do share buybacks, to boost the share price; get my bonus and top dollar for my shares.
Share buybacks were found to be a cause of the 1929 crash and made illegal in the 1930s.
What lifted US stocks to 1929 levels in 1929?
Margin lending and share buybacks.
What lifted US stocks to 1929 levels in 2019?
Margin lending and share buybacks.
A former US congressman has been looking at the data.
"The Great Crash 1929" John Kenneth Galbraith
"By early 1929, loans from these non-banking sources were approximately equal to those from the banks. Later they became much greater. The Federal Reserve Authorities took it for granted that they had no influence over these funds"
He's talking about "shadow banking".
They thought leverage was great before 1929; they saw what happened when it worked in reverse after 1929.
Leverage acts like a multiplier.
It multiplies profits on the way up.
It multiplies losses on the way down.
Today's bankers seem to have learnt something from past mistakes.
They took the multiplied profits on the way up.
Taxpayers picked up the multiplied losses on the way down.
Mariner Eccles, FED chair 1934 -- 48, observed what the capital accumulation of neoclassical economics did to the US economy in the 1920s.
"a giant suction pump had by 1929 to 1930 drawn into a few hands an increasing proportion of currently produced wealth. This served then as capital accumulations. But by taking purchasing power out of the hands of mass consumers, the savers denied themselves the kind of effective demand for their products which would justify reinvestment of the capital accumulation in new plants. In consequence as in a poker game where the chips were concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, the other fellows could stay in the game only by borrowing. When the credit ran out, the game stopped"
The problem; wealth concentrates until the system collapses.
"The other fellows could stay in the game only by borrowing." Mariner Eccles, FED chair 1934 -- 48
Your wages aren't high enough, have a Payday loan.
You need a house, have a sub-prime mortgage.
You need a car, have a sub-prime auto loan.
You need a good education, have a student loan.
Still not getting by?
Load up on credit cards.
"When the credit ran out, the game stopped" Mariner Eccles, FED chair 1934 -- 48
...... etc .....Pumpkin , 1 hour ago
DISAGREE ON EVERY SINGLE WORD, in particular with this:
rules/regulations/capital requirements have infected the global banking system and rendered it a harvesting operation for retail and a derivatives rule/regulation/capital requirment evasion device for the pursuit of profit
Banking system is in the 4th part of a cycle that they have created !
- The first part has been capital harvesting (1970-1980)
- The second part has been deregulation and hunt for stellar return on investment
- The third part is financialisation and plunder of real economy
- The fourth part is the destruction of real economy through debt, deflation, extreme financial activity seeking for Yields. The banks have been the fortresses of globalisation. Commercial banking has been absorbed by investment banking. In this deflationary environment Commercial Banking has practice NO ROI.
You want to see the Banks working again? Reintroduce the Glass Steagall and separate again investment and commercial banking. Repeal all what has been done between 1987 and 1999. THAT will stop globalisation, that will stop the slow bleeding-to-death of westerne economies, that will save commercial banking and our capitalistic societies.
Fake money, fake banks. All lies die in the end.
Sep 20, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
David Stockman: How The Stock Market Got To Be So Out Of Touch With Reality by Tyler Durden Sat, 09/19/2020 - 19:30 Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print
International Man : Thanks to the shutdowns, economic activity on main street is at a standstill. Government, corporate, and personal debt is skyrocketing. Yet, the stock market is in a mania. Has the stock market become out of touch with reality, and if so, what are the consequences of that?
David Stockman : Both ends of the Acela Corridor have lost their marbles. This year, Uncle Sam borrowed $4 trillion in six months, the Fed printed $3 trillion in three months, and Wall Street drove the S&P 500 to 52X reported LTM earnings in the context of a deeper economic plunge than occurred in the worst quarter of the 1930s.
Therefore, Washington has become disconnected from any semblance of fidelity to sound money and fiscal rectitude, while Wall Street has turned into an outright casino, valuing stocks based on endless Fed liquidity injections and the delusion that momentum chasing is an investment strategy.
With respect to the rampant folly in the Imperial City, Treasury Secretary Stevie Mnuchin has always reminded us of Alfred E. Neuman of "Me Worry?" fame at Mad Magazine. Recently, he more than earned that moniker when, in the context of the current monetary and fiscal lunacy, he proclaimed that, "Now is not the time to worry about shrinking the deficit or shrinking the Fed balance sheet."
That was the so-called Conservative Party speaking, and it is a shrill reminder that the Trumpified GOP has gone utterly AWOL when it comes to its true job in American democracy, namely, resisting the Government Party (Dems) and its affinity for feeding the Leviathan on the Potomac.
That is to say, according to even the Keynesian deficit apologists at the CBO, Uncle Sam will spend $6.6 trillion during the current fiscal year (FY 2020) while collecting only $3.3 trillion in revenue. That's Banana Republic stuff -- borrowing 50% of every dollar spent.
Yet the advisory ranks of the potentially incoming Kamala Harris regency are even worse. They are loaded with "deficits don't matter" ideologues and MMT crackpots who noisily argue that massive monetization of the public debt is not just a virtue, but utterly imperative.
Needless to say, this bipartisan commitment to all-in stimulus is financial catnip to the Wall Street gamblers because they are actually capitalizing into today's nosebleed stock prices, not the present drastically impaired economy on Main Street but a pro forma simulacrum of future prosperity based on the delusional presumption that massive debt and money-pumping actually create economic growth and wealth.
The fact is, industrial production in August posted at a level first achieved in March 2006, and manufacturing output weighed in at levels originally attained in December 2004. So the misbegotten lockdowns and COVID-hysteria have cost the US economy 14–16 years of industrial production growth, yet this massive setback was not caused by some mysterious Keynesian-style faltering of "demand" that can allegedly be compensated for by new Fed credits plucked from thin air.
To the contrary, the current depression is the result of the visible shutdown and quarantine orders of the state, which are likely to linger for months to come or even intensify as the fall-winter flu season arrives. Undoubtedly, the Virus Patrol will spur further outbreaks of public fear based on "bad numbers" from the CDC, which are actually an agglomeration of cases and deaths from normal influenza, pneumonia, and a myriad of life-threatening comorbidities, not pure cases of the COVID alone.
But beguiled by "stimulus" and hopium, Wall Street completely ignores the contradiction between over-the-top demand stimulus and what amounts to supply-side contraction owing to economic martial law.
So, at 3400 on the S&P 500, the current LTM price-to-earnings ratio ranges between 52.1 times the earnings CEOs and CFOs certify on penalty of jail time ($65 per share) or 27 times the Wall Street brush-stroked and curated version ($125 per share), from which all asset write-offs, restructuring charges, and other one-timers/mistakes have been finessed out.
Of course, these deleted GAAP charges reflect the consumption of real corporate resources, such as purchase price goodwill that gets written off when a merger or acquisition goes sour, or the write-down of investments in factories, warehouses, and stores that get closed. As such, they absolutely do diminish company resources and shareholder net worth over time.
But for decades now, Wall Street has so relentlessly and assiduously ripped anything that smells like a "one-timer" out of company earnings filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it no longer even knows what GAAP earnings actually are.
And it pretends that these discarded debits (and credits) to income are simply lumpy things that even out in the wash over time. They do not.
If ex-items reporting was merely a neutral smoothing mechanism, reported GAAP earnings and "operating earnings" would be equal when aggregated over several years, or even a full business cycle.
Yet during the last 100 quarters, there have been essentially zero instances in which reported GAAP earnings exceeded "operating income."
So, in aggregate terms, several trillions of corporate write-downs and losses have been swept under the rug.
During the second quarter of 2020, for example, GAAP earnings reported to the SEC totaled $145.8 billion for the S&P 500 companies, while the ex-items earnings curated by the street posted at $222.3 billion. That amounts to the deletion of nearly $77 billion of write-downs and mistakes, and it inflated the aggregate earnings number by more than 52%.
The game is all about goosing the earnings number in order to minimize the apparent price-to-earnings multiple, thereby supporting the fiction that stocks are reasonably valued and that nary a bubble is to be found, at least in the broad market represented by the S&P 500.
Still, valuing the market at 52 times trailing-12-month earnings during the present parlous moment in time -- or even 27 times if you want to give the financial engineering jockeys in the C-suites a hall-pass for $77 billion of mistakes and losses this quarter alone -- is nothing short of nuts.
Yet, the gamblers in the casino hardly know it.
Wall Street has already decided that current-year results don't matter a whit: the nosebleed-level trailing P/E multiples currently being racked up are simply being shoved into the memory hole on the presumption that the sell side's evergreen hockey sticks will come true about four quarters into the future, and if they don't, a heavy dose of ex-items bark-stripping will gussy up actual earnings when they come in.
Still, if you think that a forward P/E multiple of, say, 17.5 times is just fine and that flushing the one-timers is OK, then you still need $193 per share of operating earnings by the second quarter of 2021 to justify today's index level.
Then again, a 54% gain in operating earnings over the next four quarters ($193 per share in the second quarter of 2021 versus $125 per share in the second quarter of 2020) is not simply a tall order; it's downright delusional.
International Man : What could derail the Fed's ability to pump up the stock market casino with all this easy money? They simultaneously want zero interest rates and more inflation. It seems something has to give.
David Stockman : Yes, what's going to "give" sooner or later is the entire house of monetary cards erected by the Fed and its fellow-traveling global central banks over the last several decades. What they are doing is based on the triple error that inflation is too low, that deeply repressed and falsified interest rates fuel real growth, and that private savers are a hindrance to optimal economic function and need to be euthanized via confiscation of the real (after-inflation) value of their capital.
In the first place, as Paul Volcker pointedly reminded, there is nothing in the pre-1990 textbooks that says 2.00% inflation is desirable and is to be pursued with fanatical intensity -- even if actual inflation comes in only a few basis points below the magic target.
Indeed, if the 2% target is zealously pursued via prolonged pegging of interest rates to the zero bound and the massive purchase of bonds and other securities, the result is actually inimical to economic growth and sustainable gains in real wealth.
That's because falsified interest rates and inflated financial asset values lead to massive malinvestment via rampant financial engineering in the corporate sector and reckless borrowing to fund transfer payments and economic waste in the public sector.
Nor is that a mere theoretical possibility. The rolling 10-year real GDP growth rate has now fallen to just 1.5% per annum, or barely one-third of the 3–4% per year rolling averages which prevailed during the heyday of reasonably sound money and fiscal rectitude prior to 1971.
Beyond that, there really hasn't been any inflation shortfall from the 2% target, unless measured by the Fed's flakey yardstick called the PCE deflator. For instance, since December 1996, when Greenspan uttered his irrational exuberance warning, the CPI is up by 2.09% per annum and the more stable 16% trimmed-mean CPI is up by 2.12% per annum.
That hardly constitutes a "shortfall" from target, but the Eccles Building money-printers make the claim anyway because the PCE deflator gained slightly less over that 23 year period, averaging an increase of 1.71 per annum.NEVER MISS THE NEWS THAT MATTERS MOST
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The truth is, no one except groupthink besotted central bankers would think that a mere 30 basis point shortfall over more than two decades justifies the massive financial fraud of pumping trillions of fiat credit into the financial system.
That's especially the case because the PCE deflator drastically underweights shelter costs and doesn't even measure the purchasing power of money against a fixed basket of goods and services over time, anyway. Instead, it is actually a tool of GDP accounting that reflects the changing mix of goods and services supplied to the household sector.
That is to say, if someone chooses to live in a tepee and spend nearly all of their paycheck on computers, TVs, and other high-tech gadgets that have been rapidly falling in price, that doesn't improve the exchange value of the dollar wages they earn; it just means that their tepee may be getting crowded with tech gadgets.
The same is true of the aggregate level. Just because the mix of goods and services changes over time, that doesn't miraculously rescue the purchasing power of the dollar from the ravages of inflation .
Nor does it alleviate the savaging of lower- and middle-class living standards that are the direct product of the Fed's misguided commitment to inflation targeting. In fact, during that same 23-year period, the annual rate of increase for professional services, shelter, food away from home, medical services, and education expense has been 2.6%, 2.7%, 2.8%, 3.5%, and 4.5%, respectively.
So once you set aside the foolishness of 2% inflation targeting and the Fed's sawed-off inflation measuring stick (the PCE deflator), what you really have is growth stunting monetary madness. There is no other way to explain a Fed balance sheet that went from $4.2 trillion on March 4 this year to $7.2 trillion by June 10.
After all, the first $3 trillion of Fed balance sheet took nearly 100 years to generate, from its opening in 1914 to breaching the $3 trillion marker for the first time in March 2013. That the Fed has now become a monetary doomsday machine, therefore, is no longer in doubt.
* * *
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Sep 18, 2020 | www.unz.com
...Do the US plutocrats (that is, the American über-wealthy) control all that? I think they would be amazed to learn that, especially "for generations", bearing in mind that the US was not a very significant factor before the WWI. In my view, the rich are not that smart. But the network exists; I have called its obscure controllers The Masters of Discourse .
Sinaisky claims that they brought the pandemics upon us because of the high debt problem, or by their inability to continue colonial plunder. Alternatively, a notable commenter to his text suggests that it was done because of overproduction of capital. In other words, the bank-lending rate is so close to zero, or even negative, that the whole machinery of capitalism was deluged in a flood of capital, and needed a major war, or indeed a global pandemic, to use it up.
Finally, Sinaisky claims that "atomization of society, breaking up community solidarity, eroding all non-monetary connections between people, destroying family relations and weakening blood ties, is a long-standing plutocratic project. Now, using this fake pandemic, the plutocrats have gone even further, now they train us to see each other not as friend, not as brother, not even as a source of profit, but mainly as a source of mortal infection." I wonder what makes him think that is an object of plutocratic desire? Certainly rich people want to make money and have more power, agreed. Is it necessary for them to atomise society? Who will they and their kids socialize with in such a ruined world?
I am not sure that there is a human agency with such goals. A non-human factor is a much more suitable culprit. In the old days, such a culprit was called Satan, and there were mighty organisations aka churches that fought Satan. In a charming movie, Luc Besson's Fifth Element, 'Love' defeats 'the Shadow', the personified evil that was about to obliterate Earth. Call it Satan, call it Shadow, the thing surely has human collaborationists in the mainstream media. I wrote about it in a piece called The Shadow of Zog . Indeed media should be sorted out in order to deal with it.
Sweden, this lucky country that avoided lockdown and its consequences, was saved by a rare media misstep. (This story has never been published though it is known to many Swedes.) Corona propaganda was carried out by the same liberal Bonnier-owned newspaper, DN (Dagens Nyheter), that played up Greta Thunberg. (Sinaisky's senses served him right: indeed Covid is a new Greta multiplied by a factor of 50). The Greta campaign had as its favourite high horse flygskam , or flight-shaming. Stop taking flights to lower carbon emissions , was the idea. Now we have no flights at all, so this movement disappeared after achieving its goals.
In February 2020, the DN organised a week-long sleeper train culture trip to North Italy for the Greta-followi