Mar 162020

DPC Manhattan landmark Flatiron Building under construction 1902


UK Corona Crisis ‘To Last Until Spring 2021, 7.9m To Be Hospitalised’ (G.)
NYC & LA Mayors Order Bars, Nightlife, Gyms, & Restaurants To Shut (ZH)
Americans Urged To Scrap Gatherings Of 50 Or More People (G.)
Anger In Germany At Report Trump Seeking Exclusive Coronavirus Vaccine Deal (G.)
More Coronavirus Cases Outside Of Mainland China Than Inside (CNN)
Scientists Worry About Coronavirus Spread In Africa (ScienceMag)
The American Mask of Death (Lauria)
Goldman Sachs Predicts A 5% Contraction In The US Economy In Q2 (CNBC)
Fed Cuts Rates To Zero, Launches Massive $700 Billion QE (CNBC)
The End of the Central Bank [Put]? (Jim Bianco)
Fed Disaster: S&P Futures Crash, Halted Limit Down; Gold, Treasuries Soar (ZH)
America’s Biggest Banks Suspend Buybacks In Effort To Support Economy (F.)
China’s Industrial Output, Retail Sales Plummet (MW)
World’s Most Powerful Supercomputer Tasked With Finding COVID19 Cure (ZH)



We’re setting regrettable records, and there’s very little reason to think the upward trend in cases and deaths will halt any time soon. Most of Europe is under some form of quarantine, only supermarkets and pharmacies remain open, and the UK and US have no choice but to follow suit -preferably very- soon. A -very- different world.

The central banks are so off in their approaches it’s getting harder to see how they will survive in their present shapes. This is not a time to bail out banks, it’s a time to help people. But they refuse that.


Cases 170,852 (+ 13,375 from yesterday’s 157,477)

Deaths 6,526 (+ 681 from yesterday’s 5,845)


These numbers are fit to silence a body. Just look at all the new cases.

From Worldometer yesterday evening (before their day’s close)



While everyone is discussing whether the case mortality rate is 0.1%, 1% or 2%, the rate for known cases just crept back up to 8%. That is much scarier than I see anyone admit.

From Worldometer (NOTE: mortality rate is back up to 8%!)



From SCMP: (Note: the SCMP graph was useful when China was the focal point; they are falling behind now) graph is not avaliable, the site is closed. But this is even better:



Note: what this graph does not sufficiently reflect is that Switzerland has 10 million people, and China 1,400 million. The graph starts at the 10th death.



The UK cannot hospitalize 7.9 million people, not even spread over a year. Does that cover all of your questions?

UK Corona Crisis ‘To Last Until Spring 2021, 7.9m To Be Hospitalised’ (G.)

The coronavirus epidemic in the UK will last until next spring and could lead to 7.9 million people being hospitalised, a secret Public Health England (PHE) briefing for senior NHS officials reveals. The document, seen by the Guardian, is the first time health chiefs tackling the virus have admitted that they expect it to circulate for another 12 months and lead to huge extra strain on an already overstretched NHS. It also suggests that health chiefs are braced for as many as 80% of Britons becoming infected with the coronavirus over that time. Prof Chris Whitty, the government’s chief medical adviser, has previously described that figure as the worst-case scenario and suggested that the real number would turn out to be less than that.

However, the briefing makes clear that four in five of the population “are expected” to contract the virus. The document says that: “As many as 80% of the population are expected to be infected with Covid-19 in the next 12 months, and up to 15% (7.9 million people) may require hospitalisation.” [..] “For the public to hear that it could last for 12 months, people are going to be really upset about that and pretty worried about that”, said Paul Hunter, a professor of medicine at the University of East Anglia. “A year is entirely plausible. But that figure isn’t well appreciated or understood,” added Hunter, an expert in epidemiology. “I think it will dip in the summer, towards the end of June, and come back in November, in the way that usual seasonal flu does. I think it will be around forever, but become less severe over time, as immunity builds up,” he added.

[..] The document also discloses that an estimated 500,000 of the 5 million people deemed vital because they work “in essential services and critical infrastructure” will be off sick at any one time during a month-long peak of the epidemic. The 5 million include 1m NHS staff and 1.5 million in social care. However, the briefing raises questions about how Britain would continue to function normally, warning that: “It is estimated that at least 10% of people in the UK will have a cough at any one time during the months of peak Covid-19 activity.”

[..] A senior NHS figure involved in preparing for the growing “surge” in patients whose lives are being put at risk by Covid-19 said an 80% infection rate could lead to more than half a million people dying. If the mortality rate turns out to be the 1% many experts are using as their working assumption then that would mean 531,100 deaths. But if Whitty’s insistence that the rate will be closer to 0.6% proves accurate, then that would involve 318,660 people dying.

Read more …

Time to make it a national policy. And as I said yesterday, cut down on domestic flights, close down highways, the works. There’s no escaping anyway, and delaying it will kill lots of people.

NYC & LA Mayors Order Bars, Nightlife, Gyms, & Restaurants To Shut (ZH)

Update (1130ET): Shortly after New York’s mayor de Blasio pulled the plug, Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti has ordered the closing of all bars, nightclubs, gyms and entertainment venues from midnight March 16 until March 31. Restaurants will be limited to take-out and delivery. Grocery stores will remain open. “There is no food shortage and grocery stores will remain open. We’re taking these steps to help protect Angelenos, limit the spread of the novel coronavirus, and avoid putting a dangerous strain on our health care system. This will be a tough time, but it is not forever. Angelenos have always risen to meet difficult moments, and we will get through this together.”

Update (1030ET): After announcing earlier that restaurants and venues would be enforced to ensure no more than 50% occupancy, Mayor Bill de Blasio just tweeted that he is ordering all “nightclubs, movie theaters, small theater houses, and concert venues to close”. That leaves restaurants still open, but with max 50% occupancy, as the city encourages residents to order our and stay in instead of venturing anywhere outdoors.

Update (1630ET): Germany joined the list of European nations reporting new coronavirus figures on Sunday, and like France and Italy, it reported its largest daily spike in new cases, confirming another 1,228 new cases for a new total of 5,813, a roughly 20% increase. It also reported 4 new deaths, bringing its national total to 12. Update (1555ET): France just reported 901 new cases diagnosed on Saturday, bringing the country’s total confirmed cases to ~5,400. The death toll climbed by 29 cases to 120.

Read more …

Yeah, yeah, let’s pretend Fauci contradicts Trump. Scores well with 50% of the people. Problem is, they have two very different tasks in this. And Trump’s is not to worry Americans. It’s to reassure them, while working to solve issues. If you want to blame Trump for saying things are not so bad, you need a crash course in politics. If you want to blame him for policy failures, you’re right, but you will have to do the same with just about every other world leader as well. They all make such mistakes. How about Italy PM Conte to begin with? A lot more of his people died so far.

Americans Urged To Scrap Gatherings Of 50 Or More People (G.)

The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has recommended that gatherings of 50 people or more be cancelled or postponed for the next eight weeks because of the coronavirus pandemic, as officials across the country continued to curtail freedoms to fight the coronavirus outbreak. The CDC guidance was soon followed by an announcement on Sunday night that several Las Vegas hotels and casinos would suspend operations, and New York City would limit restaurants, bars and cafes to only offer take-out and delivery starting on Tuesday, and nightclubs, movie theaters and other entertainment venues would close.

“These places are part of the heart and soul of our city. They are part of what it means to be a New Yorker,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement on Sunday night. “But our city is facing an unprecedented threat, and we must respond with a wartime mentality.” Moments later, the Washington state governor, Jay Inslee, took a similar step, announcing restaurants and bars would be limited to take-out only until the end of March, and entertainment and recreational facilities such as gyms would also close. Illinois, Ohio, Massachusetts had already taken similar steps. MGM Resorts International, which operates several vast Las Vegas hotels and casinos including Bellagio and Luxor, said it would begin to suspend operations in the city from Monday.

[..] The new advice came as the nation sank deeper into chaos over the crisis. Hours earlier, Donald Trump urged Americans to refrain from panic buying basic supplies, as the administration announced plans to expand testing for the virus and health officials were preparing to release “advanced guidelines” on how to mitigate its spread. During a press briefing at the White House on Sunday evening, Trump again appeared to downplay the threat of the virus. “Relax, we’re doing great,” he said, during short, meandering comments that focused mostly on celebrating a decision by the Federal Reserve to lower interest rates. “It all will pass.”

But the president’s remarks stood in marked contrast to his lead infectious diseases expert, Dr Anthony Fauci, who used the same conference to warn: “The worst is ahead for us”, describing the crisis as reaching a “very, very critical point now”. Earlier in the day, Dr Fauci had declined to rule out a national lockdown of bars and restaurants as he urged more aggressive measures, similar to those in Europe and elsewhere, to contain the virus. “I think Americans should be prepared that they are going to have to hunker down significantly more than we as a country are doing,” said Fauci, a member of the White House task force on combating the spread of coronavirus. He heads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health.

Read more …

Don’t worry, I know exactly what half the (US) population will say about what I say here. It doesn’t matter. If Trump wants to buy a German medical company that makes a vaccine (and that’s two really big ifs), how can that be portrayed negatively? Well, we’ll say he wants to keep it all to himself. But doesn’t he perhaps want it for the 330 million Americans, those his job description tells him to look after? Cue: this is an anonymous source quoted by a German yellow paper.

“The German government is trying to fight off what it sees as an aggressive takeover bid by the US, the broadsheet Die Welt reports, citing German government circles. The US president had offered the Tübingen-based biopharmaceutical company CureVac “large sums of money” to gain exclusive access to their work, wrote Die Welt. According to an anonymous source quoted in the newspaper, Trump was doing everything to secure a vaccine against the coronavirus for the US, “but for the US only”.”

Along the same line, I see a lot of people combining Trump’s “We have no shortages” with pictures of empty shelves, insinuating he is lying. But those can exist together, and in fact do in many European countries as well as the US. The cause is panic buying. Would these folk like to blame those empty EU shelves on Trump as well? Or are they caused by these countries’ own politicians, many of whom claim to despise Trump? Your call.

Look, Trump makes a lot of mistakes. But saying that things are not that bad is not one of them (literally: “Relax, we’re doing great; It all will pass”). Would you rather he said things are terrible, thereby inviting more panic buying and empty shelves, that you could then blame on him as well? That way you could blame him for two completely opposite things.

Anger In Germany At Report Trump Seeking Exclusive Coronavirus Vaccine Deal (G.)

German ministers have reacted angrily following reports US president Donald Trump offered a German medical company “large sums of money” for exclusive rights to a Covid-19 vaccine. “Germany is not for sale,” economy minister Peter Altmaier told broadcaster ARD, reacting to a front page report in Welt am Sonntag newspaper headlined “Trump vs Berlin”. The newspaper reported Trump offered $1bn to Tübingen-based biopharmaceutical company CureVac to secure the vaccine “only for the United States”. The German government was reportedly offering its own financial incentives for the vaccine to stay in the country.

The report prompted fury in Berlin. “International co-operation is important now, not national self-interest,” said Erwin Rueddel, a conservative lawmaker on the German parliament’s health committee. Christian Lindner, leader of the liberal FDP party, accused Trump of electioneering, saying: “Obviously Trump will use any means available in an election campaign.” The German health minister, Jens Spahn, said a takeover of CureVac by the Trump administration was “off the table”. CureVac would only develop vaccine “for the whole world”, Spahn said, “not for individual countries”.

[..] At a news conference on Sunday, interior minister Horst Seehofer was asked to confirm the attempts to court the German company. “I can only say that I have heard several times today from government officials today that this is the case, and we will be discussing it in the crisis committee tomorrow,” he said. A US official told AFP on Sunday that the report was “wildly overplayed”. “The US government has spoken with many [more than 25] companies that claim they can help with a vaccine. Most of these companies already received seed funding from US investors.” The official also denied the US was seeking to keep any potential vaccine for itself. “We will continue to talk to any company that claims to be able to help. And any solution found would be shared with the world,” the official said.

Read more …

That still took a long time.

More Coronavirus Cases Outside Of Mainland China Than Inside (CNN)

There have now been more cases of the novel coronavirus outside of mainland China than inside, according to numbers from the World Health Organization and from public health agencies tracked by CNN. While China, the early epicenter of the outbreak, has still had more confirmed cases than any other country – more than 80,000 – a number of other countries have surged in recent days, including Italy with more than 24,000 cases, Iran with almost 14,000 and Spain with more than 7,000. On February 26, the World Health Organization reported for the first time that the majority of new cases per day had come from outside of China. This trend has continued as newly confirmed cases in China have dwindled in recent days, while other countries have discovered thousands of new infections – including the United States, which has now reported more than 3,000 cases.

Read more …

It’s starting. 100 million frail forms at Europe’s door soon?

Scientists Worry About Coronavirus Spread In Africa (ScienceMag)

Late on Sunday evening, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, in a televised address to the nation, declared that COVID-19, the respiratory disease spreading globally, had become a “national disaster.” [..] “Never before in the history of our democracy have we been confronted by such a severe situation,” Ramaphosa said before announcing a raft of measures to curb the virus’ spread, including school closures, travel restrictions, and bans on large gatherings. So far, the official numbers seemed to suggest that sub-Saharan Africa, home to more than 1 billion people, had been lucky. The interactive map of reported COVID-19 cases run by Johns Hopkins University shows big red blobs almost everywhere—except sub-Saharan Africa.

But now the numbers are rising quickly. South Africa, which had its first case 10 days ago, now has 61. According to Ramaphosa, the virus has begun spreading inside the country. And just yesterday, Rwanda, Equatorial Guinea, and Namibia all reported their first cases, bringing the number of affected countries to 23. Some scientists believe COVID-19 is circulating silently in other countries as well. “My concern is that we have this ticking time bomb,” says Bruce Bassett, a data scientist at the University of Cape Town who has been tracking COVID-19 data since January. And while Africa’s handling of the pandemic has received scant global attention so far, experts worry the virus may ravage countries with weak health systems and a population disproportionately affected by HIV, tuberculosis (TB) and other infectious diseases. “Social distancing” will be hard to do in the continent’s overcrowded cities and slums.

Read more …

“And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all..”

The American Mask of Death (Lauria)

The U.S. is unlike the rest of the industrialized world, which, since the end of the Second World War, has had some kind of nationalized health insurance covering all citizens, regardless of their ability to pay. Many of the partisans who helped defeat the Nazis were socialists who demanded something in return from their governments after the war. Many British soldiers were Labour voters. They threw out war leader Winston Churchill in the 1945 election and the National Health Service was begun in 1948. Though Harry Truman around the same time floated the idea of socialized medicine in the U.S., and the 1965 Medicare Act was to eventually cover all Americans, the greed of medical business interests has always won. It leaves millions of potentially infected Americans unable to be tested or treated. And that endangers even those in their high towers who “might bid defiance to contagion.”

The Mask of the Red Death by FlamiatheDemon (Deviant Art-

“And now was acknowledged the presence of the Red Death. He had come like a thief in the night. And one by one dropped the revellers in the blood-bedewed halls of their revel, and died each in the despairing posture of his fall. And the life of the ebony clock went out with that of the last of the gay. And the flames of the tripods expired. And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all.”

When the oligarchs’ economic system crashed in 2008 from over-speculation, the U.S. government did the unimaginable. It nationalized industries to save them. It used socialism to rescue capitalism. But it was temporary. Once the economy had sufficiently recovered, the U.S. returned to its market fundamentalism. If the coronavirus crisis approaches the numbers recent studies point to—as many as 240 million Americans infected and one million dead—expect serious consideration to a single-payer system sweeping through Congress and signed into law. But once the virus is contained expect your premiums to rise again. Just like the nationalizations in the 2008 financial crisis, a temporary national health insurance would only be enacted to save the oligarchs from the Red Death.

Read more …

Can the US fall 5% without breaking?

Goldman Sachs Predicts A 5% Contraction In The US Economy In Q2 (CNBC)

Goldman Sachs on Sunday downgraded its outlook for the economy in the first two quarters of 2020 as the coronavirus zaps all growth from the U.S. Jan Hatzius, Goldman’s chief economist, lowered his first-quarter GDP growth forecast to zero from 0.7%. The economist also sees a 5% contraction in the second quarter, followed by a sharp snapback for the remainder of the year. “We expect US economic activity to contract sharply in the remainder of March and throughout April as virus fears lead consumers and businesses to continue to cut back on spending such as travel, entertainment, and restaurant meals,” Hatzius said in a note to clients Sunday. [..] The rapid spread of the virus has sent stocks tumbling into a bear market, with both the Dow Jones and S&P 500 now trading more than 20% below their record highs set just last month.

“Even with monetary and fiscal policy turning sharply further toward stimulus … these shutdowns and rising public anxiety about the virus are likely to lead to a sharp deterioration in economic activity in the rest of March and throughout April,” Hatzius said. In addition to the consumer spending hit, Goldman also noted the growing likelihood of “significant supply chain disruptions” as the outbreak sends business activity to a standstill. Hatzius believes that U.S. economic growth should pick up in the second half of 2020. He expects GDP growth of 3% in the third quarter and a 4% expansion in the final three months of the year. Factoring in his new estimates, for 2020 he sees the economy growing 0.4%, compared with a prior growth estimate of 1.2%.

Read more …

Save people not banks. Didn’t we say that 10 years ago as well?

Fed Cuts Rates To Zero, Launches Massive $700 Billion QE (CNBC)

The Federal Reserve, saying “the coronavirus outbreak has harmed communities and disrupted economic activity in many countries, including the United States,” cut interest rates to essentially zero on Sunday and launched a massive $700 billion quantitative easing program to shelter the economy from the effects of the virus. The new fed funds rate, used as a benchmark both for short-term lending for financial institutions and as a peg to many consumer rates, will now be targeted at 0% to 0.25% down from a previous target range of 1% to 1.25%. Facing highly disrupted financial markets, the Fed also slashed the rate of emergency lending at the discount window for banks by 125 basis points to 0.25%, and lengthened the term of loans to 90 days.

Despite the aggressive move, the market’s initial response was negative. Dow futures pointed to a decline of some 1,000 points at the Wall Street open Monday morning. The discount window “plays an important role in supporting the liquidity and stability of the banking system and the effective implementation of monetary policy … [and] supports the smooth flow of credit to households and businesses,” a separate Fed note said. The discount window is part of the Fed’s function as the “lender of last resort” to the banking industry. Institutions can use the window for liquidity needs, though some are reluctant to do as it can indicate they are experiencing financial issues and thus sends a bad message.

The Fed also cut reserve requirements for thousands of banks to zero. In addition, in a global coordinated move by centrals banks, the Fed said the Bank of Canada, the Bank of England, the Bank of Japan, the European Central Bank, the Federal Reserve, and the Swiss National Bank took action to enhance dollar liquidity around the world through existing dollar swap arrangements.

Read more …

The Fed is choking on its own policies.

The End of the Central Bank [Put]? (Jim Bianco)

The past week has seen unprecedented market movements and action taken by central banks. We have also seen unprecedented action by governments. Given the events that took place in 2008, this is saying a lot.

We’ll save detailing what happened for another time. Instead, we’ll focus on what it means and what to focus on next. Two titanic forces are at play. First, the economy is at a real risk of collapsing. This is not hyperbole. Goldman Sachs has already revised its Q2 GDP forecast to -5%.

We fear this might look optimistic in a few weeks. Yes, this virus-driven economic collapse is temporary, one or two quarters, but the risk is very real that long-lasting damage is being done that will hamper the economy for years. The other titanic force is world central banks and governments going “all in” to keep markets from falling further. They have effectively done everything they can. This better work. This better stimulate risk markets to hold last week’s low. If risk markets continue to fall, effectively there is nothing left that central banks can do. They can always invent more programs, but they already fired their most potent weapons.

Many will argue that the Fed should buy corporate bonds and/or equities, but this requires Congress amending the Federal Reserve Act. Considering Congress has still not passed virus relief, this will not happen fast enough and is not advisable as it could make things worse. Simply put, if this does not work, the central bank “put” no longer works. So stop devising new ways to exercise it and move on to other actions. So that leaves one tool left should risk markets continue to fall through last week’s low – close financial markets before they collapse.

The S&P 500 has already declined more than 25% in just 16 days. We have never seen this big a decline this fast. Should stock prices fall to new lows and corporate bond prices decline accordingly, it risks chaos in financial markets. Margin calls will force involuntary liquidation. The inability to properly price illiquid securities like high yield bonds and emerging market securities may prompt funds to halt redemptions. People’s money may be trapped. Covenants will be triggered, forcing unwanted restructurings or change of control. Pension fund minimum funding requirements are at risk of being violated.

Read more …

Not done yet.

Fed Disaster: S&P Futures Crash, Halted Limit Down; Gold, Treasuries Soar (ZH)

The Fed may have a very big problem on its hands. After firing the biggest emergency “shock and awe” bazooka in Fed history, one which was meant to restore not just partial but full normalcy to asset and funding markets, Emini futures are not only not higher, but tumbling by the -5% limit down at the start of futures trading on Sunday evening… … with Dow futures down over 1,000, and also limit down… … the VIX surging 14%…. … perhaps because the Fed has not only tipped its hand that something is very wrong by failing to wait just an additional three days until the March 18 FOMC, but that it can do nothing more to fix the underlying problem, while gold is surging over 3% following today’s dollar devastation (if only until risk parity funds resume their wholesale liquidation at some point this evening when we expect gold to tumble again)…

… as US Treasury futures soar (which will also likely be puked shortly once macro funds are hit again on their basis trades), as it now appears that the Fed’s emergency rate cut to 0% coupled with a $700BN QE is seen as not enough by a market which is now openly freaking out that the Fed is out of ammo and has not done enough. In short, with the ES plunging limit down, this has been an absolutely catastrophic response to the Fed’s bazooka; expect negative interest rates across the curve momentarily… oh and Trump demanding Powell’s resignation in the next 48 hours.

Read more …

Jamie Dimon loves you long time. Nationalize the suckers. Divvy up the spoils and start anew.

America’s Biggest Banks Suspend Buybacks In Effort To Support Economy (F.)

America’s largest and most important lenders are temporarily suspending their stock buybacks so they can help pump money into an economy battered by the coronavirus pandemic. The move means that Wall Street is prioritizing supporting the U.S. economy with its cash, instead of using it to engineer stock prices higher after a sharp market drop. Eight of the biggest banks in America said on Sunday evening they will be suspending their stock buybacks for the remainder of the first quarter, ending on March 30, and the second quarter, so as to use the spare cash to lend to individuals and businesses in need of credit. Banks suspending their buybacks are JPMorgan, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Bank of New York Mellon and State Street.

The coordinated move, among firms who’ve recently bought back a collective tens of billions of dollars in stock annually, underscores Wall Street’s vital role in helping to pull the American economy though what economists increasingly forecast will be a deep recession. “The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented challenge for the world and the global economy and the largest U.S. banks have an unquestioned ability and commitment to supporting our customers, clients and the nation,” said the Financial Services Forum, an advocacy group for banks, on behalf of the eight lenders. “The decision on buybacks is consistent with our collective objective to use our significant capital and liquidity to provide maximum support to individuals, small businesses, and the broader economy through lending and other important services,” it added

Read more …

• Jan-Feb Fixed Investment: -25.5% vs -2% estimate
• Jan-Feb Retail Sales: -20.5% vs -4%
• Jan-Feb Industrial Production: -13.5% vs -3% estimate

“#China is able to achieve 6% GDP growth in 2020 despite #COVID19, as the impact is temporary and China has uniquely high savings to help cushion shocks by black swan events”
Liang Hong, chief economist of China International Capital Corp

China’s Industrial Output, Retail Sales Plummet (MW)

China’s economic activity contracted sharply across the board in the first two months of the year amid Beijing’s aggressive measures to contain the coronavirus epidemic. Industrial output declined 13.5% in the January-February period from a year earlier, compared with December’s 6.9% increase, the National Bureau of Statistics said Monday. The result was worse than the 3.0% drop expected by economists polled by The Wall Street Journal. China typically combines economic data for the first two months to reduce distortions from the Lunar New Year holiday.

Fixed-asset investment, a gauge of construction activity, slid 24.5% during the period, reversing growth of 5.4% in 2019. Economists expected fixed-asset investment to fall 1.0%. Retail sales tumbled 20.5% in the first two months of the year–typically a boom season for consumption–compared with growth of 8.0% in December. Economists expected retail sales to fall 5%. Meanwhile, China’s urban unemployment rate rose to 5.7% in February from 5.2% in December, official data showed. To contain the spread of the coronavirus, Beijing in January locked down cities hit most by the epidemic, ordered an extended shutdown of factories and businesses and advised residents to stay home.

Read more …

Somehow I could see this succeed. In 2021.

World’s Most Powerful Supercomputer Tasked With Finding COVID19 Cure (ZH)

Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have used the world’s most powerful supercomputer to identify 77 drug compounds that could lead to scientific breakthroughs to combat Covid-19. The supercomputer, dubbed Summit, has been tasked to run complex computation across existing databases of drug compounds to see which combinations could thwart Covid-19 from infecting cells. Summit has been able to “simulate 8,000 compounds in a matter of days to model which could impact that infection process by binding to the virus’s spike, and have identified 77 small-molecule compounds, such as medications and natural compounds, that have shown the potential to impair COVID-19’s ability to dock with and infect host cells,” read an IBM press release, whose technology is present in Summit.

“Summit was needed to rapidly get the simulation results we needed. It took us a day or two whereas it would have taken months on a normal computer,” said Jeremy Smith, Governor’s Chair at the University of Tennessee, director of the UT/ORNL Center for Molecular Biophysics, and principal researcher in the study. “Our results don’t mean that we have found a cure or treatment for COVID-19. We are very hopeful, though, that our computational findings will both inform future studies and provide a framework that experimentalists will use to further investigate these compounds. Only then will we know whether any of them exhibit the characteristics needed to mitigate this virus.” Smith’s team is expected to pass on the findings to others in the scientific community, who will then begin to experiment on Summit’s 77 compounds to see which one is the most effective against Covid-19.

Read more …


Things to do while staying home: feed a mini donkey, watch the remarkably enticing marble racing.



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Home Forums Debt Rattle March 16 2020

Viewing 28 posts - 1 through 28 (of 28 total)
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  • #55409

    DPC Manhattan landmark Flatiron Building under construction 1902   • UK Corona Crisis ‘To Last Until Spring 2021, 7.9m To Be Hospitalised’ (G.) •
    [See the full post at: Debt Rattle March 16 2020]

    V. Arnold

    The central banks are so off in their approaches it’s getting harder to see how they will survive in their present shapes. This is not a time to bail out banks, it’s a time to help people. But they refuse that.

    True! All you say…

    I have to believe there will be a reckoning; a Kharmic blast that will bullseye that whole industry; the ending will be final, destructive, and wholly liberating…

    DPC Manhattan landmark Flatiron Building under construction 1902

    And; I have to add; that is a fantasic photograph of an iconic and historic land mark in the city in which I was born…


    Buy the dips
    (Buying opportunity … when the markets open …. circuit breakers)
    Jump Jump Jump

    • UK Corona Crisis ‘To Last Until Spring 2021, 7.9m To Be Hospitalised’ (G.)
    • NYC & LA Mayors Order Bars, Nightlife, Gyms, & Restaurants To Shut (ZH)

    What country will survive? You won’t recognize tomorrow

    • Fed Cuts Rates To Zero, Launches Massive $700 Billion QE (CNBC)
    • Fed Disaster: S&P Futures Crash, Halted Limit Down; Gold, Treasuries Soar (ZH)

    Where did all the people who opposed MMT go?

    Ciruit-Breaker Halts US Stock Markets At Open 15 Mins

    DOW open – 2250.46 (20,935.16)

    If declines 13%, trading will again pause for 15 mins

    If falls 20%, the markets would close for the day.

    Wait for it …. Friends of Fed are going to jjoin the game as soon as they are given the okay to buy the dipps.


    Anybody remember The Vapors circa. 1980, the year Reagan entered stage right? Quite the coincidence…

    “I’m turning Japanese, I think I’m turning Japanese, I really think so
    Turning Japanese, I think I’m turning Japanese, I really think so
    I’m turning Japanese, I think I’m turning Japanese, I really think so
    Turning Japanese, I think I’m turning Japanese, I really think so…”


    I and everyone I know want to sign up for that crash course in politics. It’s a given that politicians lie habitually. But none has ever lied as much as this president. Anyone who denies that should put down the Kool-Ade. We who need that crash course want to be taught how it is that we can be calmed and reassured by someone who is literally unable to tell the truth. I give him the benefit of the doubt – he can’t help himself. That’s the gift of a true conman – lying comes easier than telling the truth.

    In today’s Times, David Leonhart details the trove of lies that the president has fed us in filling his role of reassuring us. No one needs to read that however – it’s all been published before. If you have been paying attention, and hadn’t taken that course or become intoxicated by the Kool-Ade, you couldn’t possibly deny that his first priority always is his own survival. How do you make excuses for the man who said, “I like the numbers where they are”, as his reason for leaving infected and yet to be infected passengers on a cruise ship?

    You have said repeatedly that where Italy is now is where we will be in the near future. So it doesn’t make sense to compare our numbers to theirs and use that in the president’s defense. Maybe that will be in the course, because that’s exactly what he would do, make irrational comparisons to put himself in a good light, comparisons that look like sound reasoning to people who are too lazy to think for themselves.

    And what is the “work” you imagine him to be doing while he reassures (lies to) us?

    Dr. D

    Hey, I’ve got an idea: let’s give this to the government; more government saves everything!
    Second idea: let’s print money; money saves everything!

    Third idea: Let’s give money to my friends; that fixes everything!

    Meanwhile, back in the real world…money grows on trees, masks and wheat do not.

    I am still missing something important about it all. Don’t get lost in the thick of thin things.
    Question: how can we have 100,000 cases and no one has solid parameters of how it works, what it is or isn’t yet? At first, sure, but after we’ve seen it for 90 days and a billion people? And China lying doesn’t help. We all know it wasn’t 3k cases there, would you like to tell the truth now? 300k? 1M? Nope. Anything but truth.

    Okay, why these specific few places? Each just about to protest? Iran, Christian Wuhan, France? Or not? Why NOT Japan? They are doing nothing especially useful. How do we have apparently two diametrically different fatality rates?

    There’s a lot more going on here, and nobody’s telling the truth, most of all the WHO and CDC. I’ve got an idea: let’s give it to government and trust them! Always worked before! That’s how we got here!

    Again, in other news, this is exactly the emergency we knew would happen, should have happened in ’99 and ’08, and was already happening in Sept ’19. What a clever thing that the virus is here to do to the markets and economy what was happening anyway? And give us all national emergency powers, including the National Guard in NY from Cuomo to Trump, a day I thought I would never see?

    Now since we’re in the monetary reset that was ALWAYS coming, since Economist 1988, ALWAYS 40 years from 1971, here we are. Surprise!

    You’ve got yourselves worked up. The death rate is still near statistical zero. Unless China wants to ‘fess up. We’ve gotten above vending machine crushing and into lightning strikes (US)? It’s not a jolly party but 1M in 1968 on a far smaller region no one even remembers. Like terrorists, you’re going to scare yourselves to death more than anything. Even in Italy, the death rate right now is 0.003% (1,800 / 60M) The economy can kill more than 1800 in a weekend. They sure did in Greece! They probably lose that many from medieval diseases in California.

    We’re going to reset the economy and the currency. We always were. It wasn’t working and was killing more people than any virus. Here we are, ready to fix things anytime you want to stop.

    Listen to the experts, ignore the morons”

    Geez, the experts ARE the morons if you haven’t noticed. Remember the “experts” up until now, the WHO saying China was awesome, Martensen was an idiot, banning him off the internet, mocking GOP Congressmen who took it seriously, presidents who had borders, repatriated supplies, and shut off air travel? Yeah THOSE experts. Who have been wrong 90 days running now, while of us on the internet with no special information except “logic” have been right. Cuomo only yesterday shutting ONLY New Rochelle, a city that lives by commute on the NY Subway, and there only the buildings. Experts. Advised by other experts. Any idiot from W. Virginia could see that was the world’s biggest cartoon fantasy since Fantasia.(1940)

    Right now the experts don’t know more things about this than I can name, but varying fatality, quarantine time, spread rates, surface life, and accuracy of any test they’re providing should keep us busy enough for now.

    Note: if the tests are still near 50/50 random, we don’t know anything, and more flawed data will make our expert decisions WORSE, not better. They are super-mad Cheeto won’t accept totally random tests that statistically will say 50% of the people have it in a population that has NONE. Wouldn’t that be a kicker? Instead he’s creating his own tests, ones that WORK and are under our control. That takes time, sorry. But going in the back and giving you a coin flip from the CDC won’t help. We also have a dozen “cures” which can be used, but they need to be tested, and things are in a rush, and would also scale. They keep picking on the “hot weather” but these things will happen by April.

    Whatever. I’m going back to looking for that crucial thing I’m missing. Some part of it is still a snow job, but I don’t grasp it yet. Don’t get snow-blinded. Keep your eyes on your work.

    #Work Ha! Forgot we don’t do that anymore, just criticize and complain.

    Doc Robinson

    DIY Face Mask Instructions

    “All of the materials succeeded in blocking at least 49% of virus particles. Our mask has 2 layers of cotton or cotton/poly and so it seems like it would do as well or better that that.”


    CureVac would only develop vaccine “for the whole world”, Spahn said, “not for individual countries”.

    The corporation as a legal entity is charged with maximizing profits for its shareholders. The concept of a revenue level playing field is ludicrous. A big part of escaping the world of Mammon is legally re-defining what a corporation can be….with enforced anti-monopolistic and externality regulations at the top of the list.


    But now the numbers are rising quickly

    South Africa has had the American syndrome: no covid-19 test, no illness. Denial, incompetence and deliberate obfuscation rolled together.

    Dr D Rich

    I’m firmly insistent with Dr. D on this mass hysteria. The BS just doesn’t jibe with the data bring fed us.
    Telltale signs of collective delusion:
    1. Coughing in public, oh hell, for that matter in your own home elicits disdainful looks from both family and strangers.
    2. Verbally, openly disagreeing with the agenda imposed on the entire world’s mass of people results in a vicious rebuke or sideways glance. (Look askance)
    3. They closed the gyms AND bars.
    4. Banks need free money more than individuals without jobs or access to their workplace.

    Dr. D

    Hey, Doctor, aren’t they supposed to listen to the “experts”? Medical professionals? M.D.s?

    N O P E ! ! !

    Not if it doesn’t confirm collective hysteria and bias. Regardless of who says it: P A N I C ! ! !

    Because that always works out best.

    (Data please? What’s with 1B people involved now and STILL no hard data?)


    How the system works
    Everyone needs an income to pay for food and to pay the bill collectors who insist on getting his pound of flesh.
    Now is the time for the capitalist to live or die without the gov. aid. Opsss, so now you want to join the communist, the socialist, be first on the corporate welfare list, even before the poor and the street people.
    That how it works.
    Remember, be good to your servants. You don’t want them to cough on your toys.


    “Why NOT Japan?”
    Good question. A country that literally had a travelling revolving door with China and has an average age of 103.
    “1. Coughing in public, oh hell, for that matter in your own home elicits disdainful looks from both family and strangers.
    2. Verbally, openly disagreeing with the agenda imposed on the entire world’s mass of people results in a vicious rebuke or sideways glance. (Look askance)”
    Reminds me of criticizing the Iraq invasion/wmd thing. Back then the frightened sheeple bought all the duct tape.
    Raul, don’t know why Italy got slammed and Japan and other places haven’t but something stinks…really bad.


    The new word for curfew is “shelter in place”. That order will be used long after the virus.
    Never let a disaster go to waste


    The roller coaster’s headed down.
    The world’s all tilt-a-whirl.
    They didn’t want to panic you-
    Now sit. Now stay!
    A squirrel!

    The voices of the dem candidates last night changed when they talked about The Virus, and I thought: They’re programmed! Just like the people in the press conferences; just like the media folk; just like all the politicians, local to national.
    I wondered: do the numbers match the reaction? Would I buy a lottery ticket whose odds were the same as me catching The Virus? Nope.
    The Virus is the perfect terrorist (a nod to “Ellis Medavoy”). Anyone can become a victim. Anyone could be the ticking bomb. We are about to have a year with summer beckoning to us, and we are stuck indoors like it’s winter.
    The above post at 3:47 is one of Dr. D’s best.
    Would the bad guys of the world let loose a bunch of squirrels to distract the watchdogs while the global economy (cough) reconfigured?
    Of course they would.
    Something ominous is afoot, and it scares me more than SARS-CoV-2.


    I tried to buy a freezer today at Home Depot. The sales clerk told me that the whole chain sold out of freezers a week ago and new orders are not a given but would not come in until May.

    Dr D Rich

    I agree and I said the same several days ago about parallels to the run up to the Iraq War in 2002/2003.
    Here’s a vital question. Is this “candor and dissent” to the dominant narrative being monitored by Canary Mission?
    I paid the price 18 years ago while the silent “assenters” and cheerleaders were promoted, often handsomely rewarded.
    Will that aspect of the record be repeated also?


    The broom has only swept a couple of years of gambling from the DOW.

    When I see that the airline industry is asking for $50 billion, and that Nancy P. is putting off coming back to vote on changed made by the senate to her bill, which therefore, means A DELAY ON HELPING THE WORKING POOR with no paycheck, I therefore realize her priorities.

    The hotel industry is being ask to tell the gov. the number of vacant room that they can rent for sequestered virus patients. How many millions of $ will they receive for reserving those empty rooms.

    I keep checking the border crossing cameras. No line ups. Nobody travelling. I’ve never seen this before.

    From other news
    Coronavirus: Philippines quarantines island of 57 million people
    For daily wage earners, no work means no pay ‘so no choice’ and social distancing is impossible, critics say.

    Pakistan’s spike in coronavirus cases raises quarantine concerns
    Some of those quarantined after returning from Iran question lack of doctors, hygiene issues at camp.

    Palestinian struggle continues with coronavirus
    Thirty-seven of the victims were infected after a Greek religious tourist group carrying coronavirus visited Bethlehem.

    V. Arnold

    Sunday and Monday we went shopping at two large stores; Tesco and BigC; no shortage of anything as far as I could see. Basically normal.
    Most venues are being shut down including major holidays, universities, schools, etc. Anything inviting large gatherings. Even my wife’s meditation classes at our local Wat (Bhuddist Temple) have been cancelled.

    Yes, the numbers are scarry until one pulls back to see the big picture; when comparing with 7 billion humans presently inhabiting the Earth, they’re not large at all.
    Kudos to Dr. D and Dr. D Rich for their sobering posts of reality…

    Figmund Sreud

    OK, … please forgive me if following was posted here before, … most scary stuff:

    How to treat Coronavirus infection COVID-19
    Interview with the member of the Russian Academy of Science Alexander Chuchalin

    How to treat Coronavirus infection COVID-19



    John Day

    I think the 10 second breath-hold test seems useful. I tried it out on a bunch of people at work today, including a coworker with asthma, who didn’t think she could, and got to 9 seconds, but everybody else did comfortably. I sure think that anybody on the phone, talking to a nurse, who can’t hold breath 10 seconds needs immediate medical evaluation where thy can do bloodwork and a chest x-ray. Gotta go to bed now. I posted really early yesterday morning, but somehow it did not get through.
    Here’s a blog snippet from yesterday:
    I first had good enough information about the novel coronavirus to post some details and projections in Year Of The Rat Fink, 1/25/20 ​
    That information was fleshed out to it’s present form by 1/28/20 post, Viral Valentine ​

    ​Viral spread has been keeping up with basic predictions of epidemiological models, and the US is set to have a worse time of this than Italy, though Wuhan had it worst of all. Each of us lives in a community, and some are reacting better than others. I have been pleased that Austin has reacted a little ahead of what I expected.
    At People’s Community Clinic, I have been forwarding information and discussing it with other doctors for over a month. Tomorrow morning we set up our new respiratory evaluation protocol, having already had a change in screening and flow for this whole past week. We could not test until Wednesday, though, with a 4 day turn-around, so… I expect a lot of news in Austin tomorrow, and further restrictions. I will know the whole community is on-board when the strip-clubs shut. Really.​
    My eldest daughter, Holly Day MD is a hospitalist in Internal Medicine at a major Texas hospital.
    Thursday she volunteered to take all of the suspected “COVID-cases” on her hospital service. All arrangements are haphazard so far, and she has been forbidden to treat even sicker patients empirically with safe, and available medicines, until tests come back, which the San Antonio Health Dept. only runs Monday through Friday.
    Holly is working very hard and long, is a patient person, voted “most compassionate” for all 3 years of her residency program. The obstructionism of the hospital bureaucracy, with injunctions against any patient care until given permission, with no mechanism or expertise to create permission, is a Catch-22 for her and for every patient with this virus, getting sicker, while awaiting a test result.
    This is “normal”. This is your vaunted “finest health care in the world”. Take good care of yourself. Take vitamin-D, 5000 units per day if you have been taking it awhile, but 10,000 units/d until June if you have not been taking it and you are not an outdoorsy nudist or surf-lifeguard. Avoid crowds, especially indoors. Wash hands with soap and water before after touching things. Avoid touching people, things they touch, your nose and your mouth in creative ways.

    Chloroquine phosphate disappeared from pharmacy shelves by early March, here in the US, after 500 mg dose twice per day for 10 days was recommended for coronavirus disease.
    Here is today’s GOOD NEWS:
    I just got information from Michael-the-communist that hydroxychloroquine/Plaquenil 200 mg twice per day, is just as effective in treating novel coronavirus, maybe even a hair better. This is available, used long term in some forms of arthritis and autoimmune disease, but would only be used short term for this.
    Good Rx Coupons show #60 of hydroxychloroquine 200 mg costing about $20 to $60 at area pharmacies. That would be 3 X 10 day treatments of 200 mg twice per day.


    Dr. D asks the question: How do we have apparently two diametrically different fatality rates?

    Part of the answer might be hereditary immunodeficiency that affects some ethnic groups more than others. From the former head of the Korean Center for Disease Control:

    “A lot of people in the medical community do not know about such an issue, but Iran has a lot of hereditary immunodeficiency patients, and many Korean companies export antibodies to Iran,” Professor Jung Ki-seok at Hallym University Sacred Hospital said during a recent interview with MBC Radio. “It is necessary to look at such ethnic characteristics.” While Korea does not have many people with hereditary immunodeficiency, those who have this problem need to be doubly cautious about coronavirus, he added.


    >Take vitamin-D, 5000 units per day if you have been taking it awhile, but 10,000 units/d >until June if you have not been taking it and you are not an outdoorsy nudist
    Exactly right,, also
    Get brazil nuts, for the selenium, 2 nuts/day, more if sick (don’t go wild)
    For me, it is the 2nd go-around, not so severe this time (so far)


    John Day:. Thank you for the 10 second breath holding test feedback.

    Today my 19 year old daughter came down with a fever and runny nose. She just came home from University as they are going online now. So some concern here.

    There is very definitely community spread here in Toronto since the Fed and prov governments here have followed the doomed Don’t Test, Don’t Tell procedure. Cases doubling every day now.

    No tests are available even if you have the coronavirus!


    The BBC had this pegged back in Sept 2017.

    They even have an app for it:

    The BBC Pandemic App could be key in preparing for the next pandemic outbreak. In order to better understand how an infectious disease like flu can spread, researchers need data about how we travel and interact.

    The data collected between September and November 2017 was used to simulate the spread of a highly infections flu across the UK and predict how many of us might die – the results are revealed in Contagion! The BBC Four Pandemic. The data collected between December 2017 and December 2018 will contribute to this new gold-standard data set for use future simulations and in wider Pandemic research.

    BBC 4 Contagion Simulation 2017

    I’ve not yet watched it, but I wonder if “Herd Immunity” is the preferred option…


    At 17:30 NZDT (4:30 AM GMT) I made some predictions based on magnitude increases for the worst hit European countries. Dates are close of the countries reporting day.

    Italy 19 March 100,000 total cases, 24 March 10,000 deaths

    Spain 23 March 100,00 cases, 22 March 1,000 deaths, 30 March 10,000 deaths

    US 18 March 10,000 cases, 29 March 10,000 deaths

    France 18 March 10,000 cases, 25 March 100,000 cases, 24 March 1,000 deaths

    All these countries as of 16 March have a 10 fold increase time of between 6 and 9 days.

    All care but no responsibility.

    Dr. D

    Orlov, “Closing the ‘Collapse Gap’ with the Soviet Union”

    “Of course, if you happen to live in a country that was about to collapse anyway, this coronavirus could very easily do it in, but so could any other cough or sneeze. The first stage of collapse, out of a total of five stages, is called…


    Oh, and in case you are wondering, running out and stocking up on toilet paper in response to a coronavirus threat is a symptom of an entirely different disease which can very well turn out to be fatal. Most curiously, it seems to affect the cerebral cortex via the rectum.”

    Dr. D

    So Japan: ally, safe
    China: enemy, hit
    Iran, enemy, hit.
    Africa: millions of Chinese, no systems at all, apparently bypassed. Que?
    Italy? Ally, hit. But only the anti-EU, rebelling north? Apparently no one visits Sicily anymore?

    How about this: however this started in China, we quickly sent in drones and sprayed down the Iranian leadership with plausible deniability. Denying things is toxic like that.

    Subtext: we could not do that without access to a known and certain cure. Yet the Iranians are not medically different (enough) otherwise. Iran is closed, but not so closed Turkey and Pakistan wouldn’t follow IMMEDIATELY.

    The other sites are the defused Type II virus. Italy remains to be explained.

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