Mar 172020
 March 17, 2020  Posted by at 11:00 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Edwin Rosskam Shoeshine, 47th Street, Chicago’s main Negro business street 1941


A View From Italy’s Coronavirus Frontline (G.)
The UK Only Woke Up “In The Last Few Days” (BF)
Julian Assange’s Mother Calls For His Immediate Release Over COVID19 Fears (ES)
Americans Get a Taste of Life Under Sanctions (MPN)
De Blasio Urges ‘Nationalization’ Of Key Industries (Fox)
Spain Takes Over Private Healthcare Amid More Lockdowns (G.)
Mitt Romney’s Coronavirus Economic Plan: $1,000 To Each American Adult (Vox)
Chinese Scientists Find Infected Monkeys Developed Immunity (SCMP)
New Zealand Launches Massive Spending Package To Combat COVID-19 (G.)
What The ECB Must Do To Save The Euro Zone Economy (SCMP)
EU Calls For 30-Day Ban On Foreigners Entering Bloc (G.)
Things Have Changed (Kunstler)
DOJ Drops Charges Against Russian Troll Farm for 2016 Election Meddling (L&C)



As the potential and existing economic and political disruption sinks in, everyone comes with their own re-inventions of the wheel. Predictable behavior. The US and UK can still stumble their way towards a worse outcome than necessary, but Italy no longer has such freedom. They made their big mistakes a few weeks ago.

And as politicans get measures, supplies and treatments wrong, they still have room left for gigantic mistakes is responding to economic consequences. Stuck as they may be bewteen the 2-3 weeks they tell you this will last and the many months they say it will.

Unless someoe stops them real soon, they will spend, trillions this time, bailing out banks and large companies that only exist to a large extent because they were bailed 12 years ago as well, and let the people rot away. But then, who are the main campaign contributors?


Cases 184,133 (+ 13,281 from yesterday’s 170,852)

Deaths 7,182 (+ 656 from yesterday’s 6,526)


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



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)



From (New format lacks new cases and deaths)





Steve Keen



What it will look like.

A View From Italy’s Coronavirus Frontline (G.)

There are the elderly couples who died hours apart and without their families around them. There is the 47-year-old woman who died at home, and who remained there for almost two days because funeral companies refused to collect her body. There are the doctors who lost their lives after assisting their infected patients. Among the 2,158 people to have been killed by the coronavirus pandemic in Italy as of Monday, the oldest was 95 and the two youngest were 39. “The reality is this virus is spreading like wildfire. Death is not certain, but the contagion is real,” said Luca Franzese, whose sister, Teresa, 47, died at home in Naples on 7 March. “My parents are heartbroken, they are destroyed..”

Teresa, who lived with her elderly parents, sister, brother-in-law and their two children, suffered from epilepsy but was otherwise in good health. A week before she died, she came down with the flu. “My parents called her doctor but they refused to come to the house despite knowing she had a disability,” said Franzese. “She went into a coma on 7 March, we tried to call the emergency hotline, they arrived after 40 minutes. In the meantime, I tried to give her mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.” Teresa tested positive for the virus postmortem. Franzese spoke of his family’s frustration at being “abandoned” by the authorities after his sister was left to die at home.

It was only after he made an appeal for help via Facebook that a local funeral company eventually came to collect her body. But as with other coronavirus victims, she was buried quickly and without ceremony to mitigate the risk of infection posed by her corpse. Her parents, who have underlying health issues, tested negative for the virus, as did Luca and a nephew. The rest of Teresa’s immediate family of seven have tested positive. [..] not all of the dead had other health issues, at least as far as is known. Luca Carrara lost his father, Luigi Carrara, 86, and mother, Severa Belotti, 82, within a few hours of each other. He told the Italian press they were in good health. “I was unable to see my parents, they died alone, that’s what this virus is,” he added. “The truth is this is not a banal flu and if you end up in hospital, you leave either alive or dead.”

Read more …

Actual headline (way too long): The UK Only Realised “In The Last Few Days” That Its Coronavirus Strategy Would “Likely Result In Hundreds of Thousands of Deaths””

Richard Horton, editor of The Lancet, tweets: “It said it took a study from Imperial to understand the likely burden of COVID-19 on the NHS. But read the first paper we published on COVID-19 on Jan 24. 32% admitted to ITU with 15% mortality. We have wasted 7 weeks. This crisis was entirely preventable.”

The UK Only Woke Up “In The Last Few Days” (BF)

The UK only realised “in the last few days” that attempts to “mitigate” the impact of the coronavirus pandemic would not work, and that it needed to shift to a strategy to “suppress” the outbreak, according to a report by a team of experts who have been advising the government. The report, published by the Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team on Monday night, found that the strategy previously being pursued by the government — dubbed “mitigation” and involving home isolation of suspect cases and their family members but not including restrictions on wider society — would “likely result in hundreds of thousands of deaths and health systems (most notably intensive care units) being overwhelmed many times over”.

The mitigation strategy “focuses on slowing but not necessarily stopping epidemic spread — reducing peak healthcare demand while protecting those most at risk of severe disease from infection”, the report said, reflecting the UK strategy that was outlined last week by Boris Johnson and the chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance. But the approach was found to be unworkable. “Our most significant conclusion is that mitigation is unlikely to be feasible without emergency surge capacity limits of the UK and US healthcare systems being exceeded many times over,” perhaps by as much as eight times, the report said. In this scenario, the Imperial College team predicted as many as 250,000 deaths in Britain.

“In the UK, this conclusion has only been reached in the last few days,” the report explained, due to new data on likely intensive care unit demand based on the experience of Italy and Britain so far. “We were expecting herd immunity to build. We now realise it’s not possible to cope with that,” professor Azra Ghani, chair of infectious diseases epidemiology at Imperial, told journalists at a briefing on Monday night. As a result, the report — which its authors said had “informed policymaking in the UK and other countries in the last weeks” — said: “We therefore conclude that epidemic suppression is the only viable strategy at the current time.”

A suppression strategy, along the lines of the approach adopted by the Chinese authorities, “aims to reverse epidemic growth, reducing case numbers to low levels and maintaining that situation indefinitely”. It requires “a combination of social distancing of the entire population, home isolation of cases and household quarantine of their family members”, and “may need to be supplemented by school and university closures”. An “intensive intervention package” will have to be “maintained until a vaccine becomes available (potentially 18 months or more)“, the report said, painting an extraordinary picture of what life could be like in the UK for the next year and a half.

Read more …

And in a country as screwed up as Britain, jail is the last place to be.

“An Iranian judiciary spokesman says the country has temporarily freed about 85,000 prisoners, including political prisoners, in an attempt to prevent the spread of coronavirus.”

Julian Assange’s Mother Calls For His Immediate Release Over COVID19 Fears (ES)

The mother of imprisoned WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has appealed for his immediate release from Belmarsh Prison over fears he could catch coronavirus while behind bars. Christine Assange’s plea came after a leading prison boss warned last week that the worsening Covid-19 epidemic will kill inmates throughout the UK, describing the conditions inside jails as a fertile breeding ground for the virus. Coronavirus cases have surged throughout the UK in recent days, with 14 more deaths confirmed on Sunday.

More than 1,500 people nationwide have tested positive for the virus since the outbreak began, but officials say the true figure of people with the disease is likely to be far higher. In a series of posts on social media, Ms Assange described her son as being “weak from chronic illness” and implored Britons and Americans to push politicians into action over his case. Those with underlying health conditions are more at risk of contracting the virus.

Read more …

Be kind.

Americans Get a Taste of Life Under Sanctions (MPN)

Across fifty states, Americans are collectively bracing for the incoming COVID-19 pandemic to hit. In the face of the virus, people are resorting to panic buying, stocking up on vital foods and goods, leading to pressing shortages of key products like hand sanitizer and toilet paper. Perhaps more concerning, however, is that health experts all agree that the country is ill-equipped for the coming medical emergency. “We are not prepared, nor is any place prepared for a Wuhan-like outbreak,” said Dr. Eric Toner of Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. “And we would see the same sort of bad outcomes that they saw in Wuhan – with a very high case fatality rate, due largely to people not being able to access the needed intensive care.”

Chief among the problems is a lack of ventilators, a crucial machine to help critically ill patients breathe properly. New York City, for example, has barely one sixth of the ventilators it would need for a critical outbreak. If things get truly bad, the city has drafted laws to compel prisoners at Rikers Island jail to dig mass graves. One of the principal reasons why the U.S. is so unprepared is that it spends so little on public health in comparison with what it spends on war. The U.S. military’s projected budget is $934 billion per year, the Pentagon’s is $712 billion. In contrast, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) costs the taxpayer only $6.6 billion. At a time of crisis, many Americans are reassessing which organization they feel is truly protecting them from danger. While increasing the military budget, President Trump has consistently argued for cuts to the CDC. Amazingly, the Trump administration confirmed last week that it intends to slash funding from the body, even as the country begins reeling from the impact of COVID-19.

The crippling shortages, inability to move and the likely overwhelming of medical services will give Americans a taste of what it is like to live under sanctions that it imposes on a number of countries worldwide. U.S. sanctions on Venezuela, declared illegal and a “crime against humanity” by the United Nations, are conservatively estimated to have killed more than 40,000 people between 2017 and 2018 alone. Diabetics, for example, have been unable to get insulin because of the embargo, leading to mass deaths. The Cuban government estimates that the American embargo has cost it over $750 billion. Meanwhile, Iran, wracked by the virus that has caused more than 850 confirmed deaths, has been decimated by Trump’s increased sanctions.

The Iranian rial lost 80 percent of its value, food prices doubled, and rents and unemployment soared. Because of the sanctions, patients with conditions like leukemia and epilepsy have been unable to get treatment. After the coronavirus hit it, no country would sell the Islamic Republic basic medical supplies like masks, fearful of reprisals from the world’s only superpower. The shortages are so bad that doctors are being forced to share facemasks with other hospital staff. Eventually the World Health Organization stepped in and began supplying Iran directly. The Iranian government also invented an app to deal with COVID-19, hoping to share information with its citizens to help fight its spread but Google removed it from its app store citing the sanctions that prevent it from promoting anything Iranian-made. The effect of the sanctions in helping spread COVID-19 across Iran and beyond is immeasurable.

Read more …

Why is it taking so long? Could it be because these industries pay for campaigns?

De Blasio Urges ‘Nationalization’ Of Key Industries (Fox)

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is arguing that the best way to tackle the coronavirus outbreak is for the federal government to take over critical private companies in the medical field and have them running 24 hours a day. The mayor, who made multiple media appearances over the weekend, said that the current situation calls for drastic measures which include nationalizing certain industries. “This is a case for a nationalization, literally a nationalization, of crucial factories and industries that could produce the medical supplies to prepare this country for what we need,” de Blasio told MSNBC’s Joy Reid on Saturday, calling for “24/7 shifts” during what he called a “war-like situation.”

The following day, de Blasio reiterated this message, telling CNN that “the federal government needs to take over the supply chain right now.” He specified the need for companies that make ventilators, surgical masks, and hand sanitizers to be taken over and made to work around the clock. New York state already has started producing hand sanitizer in response to shortages and price gouging. The city itself has also taken drastic steps to deal with the crisis, forcing restaurants to limit themselves to takeout and delivery service, and closing many establishments to prevent the spread of the virus through crowds. The mayor predicted that coronavirus will continue to be a problem “for at least six months.” Sunday evening, it was announced that New York City schools will be shutting down until at least April 20, a measure de Blasio previously had resisted, despite facing pressure to do so.

Read more …

Temporarily, but better than nothing.

Spain Takes Over Private Healthcare Amid More Lockdowns (G.)

In Spain, where the coronavirus toll climbed to 309 on Monday with 9,191 confirmed cases, the government announced sweeping measures allowing it to take over private healthcare providers and requisition materials such as face masks and Covid-19 tests. The health minister, Salvador Illa, said private healthcare facilities would be requisitioned for coronavirus patients, and manufacturers and suppliers of healthcare equipment must notify the government within 48 hours. The Spanish government declared a state of emergency on Saturday, placing the country in lockdown and ordering people to leave their homes only if they needed to buy food or medicine or go to work or hospital. The transport minister, José Luis Ábalos, said it was “obvious” the measures would be extended beyond the planned 15-day period.

Read more …

Romney is but a follower. Tulsi Gabbard started this. House Resolution HRes 897.

Mitt Romney’s Coronavirus Economic Plan: $1,000 To Each American Adult (Vox)

On Monday, Sen. Mitt Romney, the Utah Republican and former GOP presidential nominee, called for $1,000 cash payments to every American adult as coronavirus measures to keep people in their homes threaten to put millions out of work. “While expansions of paid leave, unemployment insurance, and SNAP benefits are crucial, the check will help fill the gaps for Americans that may not quickly navigate different government options,” Romney argued in a press release. This, to be clear, is not the same as Yang’s proposal. Yang wanted monthly checks as a regular government policy, while Romney is supporting a one-off $1,000 check as an emergency measure. In that context, $1,000 might not be enough:

Former Obama chief economist Jason Furman has proposed payments of as much as $3,000 per adult and $1,500 per child. But the fact that a conservative Republican is proposing unrestricted cash payments during a GOP administration – in which even heavily regulated government programs like food stamps are under attack – is notable. And Romney is not alone in this. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), one of the most conservative members of the Senate GOP and a likely future presidential contender, went on Fox & Friends on Monday morning to call on Congress to dispense with complicated mechanisms like tax credits and instead put “cash in the hands of affected families”:

Some Democrats not in leadership have also been pushing their own versions of this idea. There is already a cash bill in the House from Democratic Reps. Tim Ryan and Ro Khanna that would give at least $1,000 to every American making under $65,000, and as much as $6,000 to some families with children. Harvard economist Greg Mankiw, who served as chief economist to President George W. Bush, has argued that cash payments are needed not so much to stimulate the economy as to help people whose jobs are impossible to perform due to social distancing. It’s a humanitarian measure, not a stimulus measure.

“Financial planners tell people to have six months of living expenses in an emergency fund. Sadly, many people do not,” Mankiw writes on his blog. “Considering the difficulty of identifying the truly needy and the problems inherent in trying to do so, sending every American a $1000 check asap would be a good start. A payroll tax cut makes little sense in this circumstance, because it does nothing for those who can’t work.”

Read more …

Interesting for 2021, perhaps. Not now.

Chinese Scientists Find Infected Monkeys Developed Immunity (SCMP)

Scientists who infected monkeys with the coronavirus that causes Covid-19 have found that those that recovered developed effective immunity from the disease – a potentially important discovery in the race to develop a vaccine. But the researchers also found that the animals could become infected through their eyes, which means wearing a face mask may not be enough to protect people from the disease. Scientists around the world have been racing to develop a vaccine and the first clinical trials could be held in China and the US within a month. But a number of cases, where people who had tested negative for the disease and were discharged from hospital only to give a positive result a few days later, have cast doubt on the process.

The rate of reoccurrence ranged from 0.1 to 1 per cent nationwide, according to China’s state media reports. However, in some provinces such as Guangdong up to 14 per cent of the discharged patients had reportedly returned to hospital because of the test results. If it turns out that these patients had been reinfected by the same virus, then vaccines will not prove effective. But the monkey experiment carried out by a team from the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences may help dispel that fear. [..] after tests returned negative results and X-rays showed their internal organs had fully recovered, two monkeys were dosed with the virus through the mouth. The scientists recorded a temporary temperature rise, but other than that everything appeared to stay normal. Autopsies were performed on these two monkeys about two weeks later, and the researchers could not find a trace of the virus in their body.

[..] Professor Zhong Nanshan, a leading government scientist, said in Guangzhou last week that they had found a strong presence of antibodies in recovered patients, which meant the virus could no longer use them as a carrier again. “Now the question everyone cares about is whether the close contacts and family members may be infected because [the patient] tested positive again. So far I have not seen any evidence,” Zhong said.

Read more …

People first, not businesses. Wage subsidies for companies is not the way to go. Give people the money, so companies don’t have to pay them, move the salary burden from their books.

New Zealand Launches Massive Spending Package To Combat COVID-19 (G.)

New Zealand’s government has announced a spending package equivalent to 4% of GDP in an attempt to fight the effects of Covid-19 on the economy, in what ministers called the most significant peace-time economic plan in the country’s modern history. It includes covering wages for people who are required to self-isolate but cannot work from home, or those caring for relatives who are sick with the virus, even if they are not sick or do not test positive for Covid-19. “This package is one of the largest in the world on a per capita basis,” Grant Robertson, the finance minister, told reporters at New Zealand’s parliament on Tuesday. On Tuesday, authorities began spot checks on travellers, with two people arriving from south-east Asia already facing deportation for failing to self-isolate.

Stephen Vaughan at Immigration NZ said: “This kind of behaviour is completely irresponsible and will not be tolerated which is why these individuals have been made liable for deportation.” The NZ$12.1bn stimulus includes wage subsidies, bolstering the healthcare sector’s response to the virus, more money for low-income families and those on social welfare, and changes to business tax. New Zealand has only eight confirmed and two probable cases of Covid-19. But a decision to impose strict travel restrictions on the weekend – requiring almost all travellers arriving from anywhere to self-isolate for 14 days – is expected to wreak havoc on business, especially in the country’s tourism sector, New Zealand’s biggest export earner. Businesses hard-hit by the virus – experiencing more than a 30% decline in revenue compared to last year – will be eligible to receive wage subsidies to keep paying staff.

Read more …

Disband itself.

What The ECB Must Do To Save The Euro Zone Economy (SCMP)

It doesn’t take much to expose the flaws in the euro zone economy but the coronavirus epidemic has already ripped asunder any hope of getting back to sounder growth for a long time. Europe is clearly heading into recession as the pandemic takes a heavy toll on consumer demand, business activity and financial market confidence. We are heading into uncharted territory with the national lockdowns in Italy and Spain foreshadowing bigger trouble ahead for Europe’s largest economies, Germany and France, with plenty of negative spillover likely for the rest of the region. Just how deep the recession descends depends upon how effectively Europe’s policymakers respond. Judging by the official response so far, it’s no surprise markets are panicking.

Europe’s bond and credit markets are definitely showing the strain. It’s not so much that Germany’s yield curve has turned negative on safe-haven and flight-to-quality flows, but that bond spreads for riskier markets have started to surge. The bellwether 10-year spread of Italian government bonds over equivalent German yields has exploded out to 2.34 per cent in recent days as investors have fled for cover. Talk about Italy’s “doom loop” has resurfaced again, with deepening recession risk, the fragility of the Italian banking sector and the potential threat of future credit default combining to put the wind up the markets. It hasn’t helped that the European Central Bank seems to be turning its back on the bond market’s plight.

Read more …

27 countries, 27 different policy sets. What EU?

EU Calls For 30-Day Ban On Foreigners Entering Bloc (G.)

The European commission has proposed a 30-day ban on foreigners entering the bloc as EU governments imposed closures and lockdowns rarely seen outside wartime in a continuing effort to curb the rapid spread of the coronavirus outbreak. As the head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, urged countries to “test, test, test” for the virus, saying it “cannot be fought blindfolded”, the commission president called for an end to all non-essential travel to Europe. “The less travel, the more we can contain the virus,” Ursula von der Leyen said. “We think non-essential travel should be reduced right now in order to not spread the virus further, be it within the EU or by leaving the EU.”

Von der Leyen said the restrictions – which would not apply to UK nationals – should last for 30 days initially but may be extended if necessary. Permanent EU residents, family members of EU nationals, diplomats, doctors and coronavirus researchers would also be exempted, she said. Officials said the move, which could be approved by leaders in a video conference on Tuesday, was aimed mainly at removing the need for national controls at borders between the 26 members of the passport-free Schengen zone. Germany, which has recorded 5,813 cases and 13 deaths from Covid-19, introduced border controls with Austria, Denmark, France, Luxembourg and Switzerland on Monday, allowing through only those with a valid reason for travel such as residents, cross-border commuters and delivery drivers.

In line with a growing number of EU countries, the federal government and state leaders also agreed to close almost all shops except food stores, banks, pharmacies and petrol stations, ban religious gatherings, shutter hotels and restrict visits to hospitals and care homes. Schools in most German states were closed and Bavaria declared a disaster situation to allow the state’s authorities to push through new restrictions faster. The German president, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, urged citizens to limit their social contacts. “Restrictions on our lives today can save lives tomorrow,” he said.

Read more …

“Something old and played-out is limping offstage, and something new is stepping on. Aren’t you glad you watched all those debates?”

Things Have Changed (Kunstler)

Where does this all lead? Eventually, to a land and a people who operate their society in a very different way at a much more modest scale. The task of reorganizing our national life is immense. (There will be plenty to do, so don’t worry about that.) You can forget about the grandiose techno-narcissistic visions of electrified motoring and a robotic nirvana of perpetual sex-crazed leisure. Everything we do has to be downscaled, from whatever manufacturing we can cobble back together to rebuilding commercial ecosystems at a finer grain from region to region — in other words, what we now call small business, geared locally.

Expect giant AgriBiz to founder on a shortage of capital, especially, and expect smaller farms to organize emergently, worked by more humans working together. That is, if we want to keep eating. Expect the small towns in the well-watered parts of the country to revive while the groaning metroplexes spiral down into entropic sclerosis. Consider the value of our vast inland waterway system and the opportunities to move goods on them, when the trucking industry unravels. Consider lending a hand at rebuilding the railroad system in this country.

There will be economic roles and social roles for all those willing to step up to some responsibility. Young people may see tremendous opportunity replacing the wounded economic dinosaurs wobbling across the landscape. It’ll be all about going local and regional and making yourself useful in exchange for a livelihood and the esteem of others around you — aka, your community. Government has been working tirelessly to make itself superfluous, if not completely ineffectual, impotent, and rather loathsome in the face of this crisis that has been slowly-but-visibly building for half a century. Something old and played-out is limping offstage, and something new is stepping on. Aren’t you glad you watched all those debates?

Read more …

But don’t worry, the New York Times already runs an article entitled: “Can Russia Use the Coronavirus to Sow Discord Among Americans?”

How can anyone continue to read that rag?

DOJ Drops Charges Against Russian Troll Farm for 2016 Election Meddling (L&C)

And after all of that, the Russian troll farm’s American lawyers have the last laugh? The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia led by former William Barr aide Timothy Shea has filed a motion to dismiss the case against Concord Management and Consulting LLC, which has often been referred to as the Russian troll farm defendant. Concord Management was one of many people or entities charged in a Feb. 2018 indictment by then-special counsel Robert Mueller during his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Thirteen Russians and three companies were charged in the indictment. Federal prosecutors now want to dismiss their case against Concord Management.

“The United States will continue its efforts to apprehend the individual defendants and bring them before this Court to face the pending charges, but because substantial federal interests are no longer served by continuing with the proceedings against the Concord Defendants, the government moves, respectfully, to dismiss with prejudice Count One of the indictment as to them,” the filing said. The Department of Justice alleged that Yevgeniy Prigozhin, a Russian oligarch nicknamed “Putin’s chef,” and Concord bankrolled the troll farm as part of a massive conspiracy to interfere in the 2016 election.

Read more …




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Home Forums Debt Rattle March 17 2020

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    Edwin Rosskam Shoeshine, 47th Street, Chicago’s main Negro business street 1941   • A View From Italy’s Coronavirus Frontline (G.) • The UK Only
    [See the full post at: Debt Rattle March 17 2020]


    Raul, this is something you wrote in 2008- And after reading the room (there was a knife wielding in a supermarket over toilet paper) I reckon the trust horizon is shrinking so damn fast that I thought we could all have a re-read :

    We have lived through a time of unprecedented affluence, and we have seen it as normal, and told ourselves we deserved all of it, that we are entitled to what it has given us. But it’s over, and it will be no more, nor will it ever return in our lifetimes. If we are to live in a functioning society in the years to come, we will have to share much of our riches, and we will have to find out how to be fulfilled with much less material wealth. If we don’t, our societies will collapse, and we will lose that wealth regardless. But looking around me, I see little hope that we will do all these things before it’s too late. It you don’t volunteer to share, the difference in wealth between you and your own children’s generation will become so glaring that they will come and take it away from you.

    An era is over. We have been the last of the affluent, the carefree and the innocent. Not that we’re really all that innocent, mind you, it was all just pretense all the way, many millions of people have died for our affluence. We just never told ourselves their life stories. They will be our stories soon.

    Are you now ready to fight in the streets, to protect your family, to share your meal with the hungry? It’s not about being a leftie, or a softie, and I certainly am neither. It’s about survival. It’s about being smart enough to read the world you live in. The model of the nuclear family will die with the affluence. It’s never been but an aberration. You will, like your ancestors before you, need your family, your friends, and your neighbors.

    Life itself is about to come calling.



    Very interesting article about how fresh air and sunshine was used to combat the flu in 1918. With fresh air and UV acting as disinfectants it could reduce the spread. It also suggests that the best kind of hospital could be a MASH unit. These would be easier to set up and be very flexible as to location.

    We know that being confined in a tight space with many others helps the spread, whether it is a ship’s cabin or a hospital. Tent based hospitals could be quickly built in quantity. The main issue would be power supply and mobile oxygen and ventilators [and staff].


    Since I published this:

    Iran: +1,178 cases +135 deaths
    Spain: +1,337 cases +155 deaths

    Dr. D

    Another day, another day China doesn’t ‘fess up and claims no one died. Everyone plays along more completely and slavishly than Google and the NBA.

    they will spend, trillions this time, bailing out banks and large companies that only exist to a large extent because they were bailed [out]”

    Yes, but it will dissolve the parasitic system they depend on with the dilution of money and financial reset. Live by the sword and die something something… Ending that is a GOOD thing. How do you end the powerful? Feed them rope. “”Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad” –Longfellow 1875

    I mean, clearly fighting more powerful enemies head on hasn’t worked. In fact, it’s quite obviously stupid.

    “Pray for Italia” And their 0.003% death rate? I mean, okay.

    “Richard Horton, editor of The Lancet, tweets: “32% admitted to ITU with 15% mortality.”

    That’s not what China says. Where did you get your information? Or are you keeping two books, not telling us, and saying we must trust you? According to China, with 1.2B people, if Britain got all 3,000 of their deaths, it would STILL be a 0.0045% death rate. Not sure if that rates above or below vending machines but maybe being attacked by a Channel Halibut. Want to come clean now or is the drama and panic too intoxicating?

    A suppression strategy, along the lines of the approach adopted by the Chinese authorities,”

    China says it’s done and over, they’re cleaning up. Now no one believes them, but if so, why are you citing them as a source? Also next line, we already have at least two solid “cures” (treatments). So what’s with sticking to the idea of a vaccine that can’t come in time, and from SARS is already proven not to work but probably wound? You just like stupid or are you illiterate too? (Shuddering to ask if he’s also on the “14 day quarantine” still.)

    Experts: Okay, in “Today’s lambasting of ‘experts’” the Herr Docktor Cooking Channel, the “experts” all advised last month NOT to shut down air travel to China. Trump overruled them, and the screaming, always the screaming… This came out when it was just cited like yesterday as an example of how “unscientific” the administration is. …Because he did the right thing that any idiot with a lick of common sense would do, but Harvard and Yale couldn’t figure out. And tried to kill us all. A G A I N . And this is a BAD thing, apparently? They want to advertise this? Whiskey Tango

    So…Lancet…hey aren’t you the guys whose editor said maybe half of your papers were false and unrepeatable? Trust us. We’re the Experts™. Who tried to kill you and your family. Only yesterday.

    “Americans Get a Taste of Life Under Sanctions (MPN)”

    Apparently Americans have never had anything real happen to them and this for sure isn’t going to break through either. Had a guy I know yesterday go to the grocery store, just ‘cause, you know, lunch, a bit peckish, why not go out instead of stay home, and wanted to know why the salad bar wasn’t open. Are you for real kidding me right now? When I told him, hey, you know that news you read every day, all your facebook friends, memes, full access to apple news, etc, he said “how long is this bs going to last?” I dunno, sir, between 30 days and forever?

    But you know from how everyone has endless time for complaining and drama that t’ain’t nothing going on here yet, y’all. Whine, complain, b—h, blame, surrender, couch. ‘Cause I sure ain’t going to leave my couch and DO anything while I’m still have a breath to whine and complain instead. Especially about that salad bar. Have we no standards??? Think of the humanity! Iceberg ahead!

    “the federal government needs to take over the supply chain right now.” -deBlasio

    Translation: AOC’s full-communism for Green Policy failed, so we’re going to try for full communism again with the next plausible excuse. P.S. we’re so mind-bendingly stupid, and such blinding blood-crazed zealots, that we didn’t notice if you nationalize all things on earth Donald J. Trump with have complete control over everything as a Stalinist dictator. Over us. And apparently we want and demand that. Right now. Tzzzzt, tzzzt, calling all synapses, fire!

    “Spain Takes Over Private Healthcare Amid More Lockdowns (G.)”

    The same government who didn’t do anything and didn’t see it coming and was too late? I’m sure when it’s your case in the hospital room they will push your doctor aside as they did Dr. Day, won’t do anything, won’t see it coming until it’s too late. That’s just #Logic! I want MOAR! Thank you sir, may I have another?

    Ah, but there’s a solution: moar CDC, more experts, more government, even in the #SameSentence as we say Cheeto and the government f’d it all up! Right deBlasio?

    And you wonder how my keyboard wears out typing #A.n.t.i.L.o.g.o.s., the opposite of all Logic.

    “Mitt Romney’s Coronavirus Economic Plan: $1,000 To Each American Adult (Vox)”

    Well if you want instant retail commodity inflation in toilet paper, that’s a good idea. Not that it matters much: we’re about to do a monetary reset anyway. Beats a #Monopoly bailout.

    “I believe in my brother and friend Xi Jinping, and I believe in Chinese help.”

    Says a guy about to be taken over by China instead of by Brussels. Paging Serbia: it’s Hungary on the phone who says they still want to exist as a nation and a people.

    “EU Calls for 30-Day Ban on Foreigners Entering Bloc (G.)”

    But, but, that’s a hateful, racist, Nazi war crime death bad think forever! Borders, rules = bad. No rules, no consequences, every man for himself = good. No rules you can’t tell me what to do reality is optional: That’s our god!

    Can Russia Use the Coronavirus to Sow Discord Among Americans?”

    No, but the DNC and media will. RussiaRussiaRussia! Forever and ever, until Baron’s grandchildren are accusing Chelsea’s great-grandchildren, and Russia is in Alpha Centuri and hasn’t had to lift a finger in 100 years.

    DOJ Drops Charges Against Russian Troll Farm for 2016 Election Meddling (L&C)”

    Golly gee, because they had to post a lick of evidence? Kind of like Flynn, they “accidentally” “lost” “all” the “evidence”? But don’t worry, they will just keep saying it forever and ever, RussiaRussiaRussia, under my bed, shutting off my heat in Fargo, even here. Newsflash: Russia is the size of New Jersey. I think we can take them.


    Also, John Day et al, a study at PubMed:

    In Vitro Antiviral Activity and Projection of Optimized Dosing Design of Hydroxychloroquine

    Where do we order it?

    Dave Note

    Interesting bit from Kark Denninger yesterday as relates to Hydroxychloroquine :

    South Korea had a materially lower fatality rate. Not a bit lower either — close to an order of magnitude less, depending on where you’re comparing against. Why?

    We’re not sure but they used a cheap, off-patent anti-malarial and apparently it was effective enough to severely limit progression.

    Look folks, if you get to the point of needing a vent, you’re odds off to live. Period.

    Therefore the goal has to be preventing that, not having a lot of vents, assuming the intent of the strategy is to actually keep people alive instead of maximizing the amount of money the medical system extracts from the economy.

    The second is extremely important. Why aren’t we recommending that any person at elevated risk who can tolerate said anti-malarial take it right here and now? If it takes a zero off the serious case and fatality rate of this disease among that population and it appears from the data in South Korea that it might then using it as a prophylaxis may well take this virus from a serious public health problem with the potential to overload the medical system to nothing significant at all…”


    “The Federal Reserve gave it one final blast Sunday night — while everybody else was counting their rolls of toilet paper — and the effect was like blowing hot air into a shredded Zeppelin.”

    Kunstler deserves honorable mention for that simile.


    @ oxymoron
    Raul, this is something you wrote in 2008….

    Today is tomorrow

    Here is a simple truth/concept that is complicated when trying to apply it in reality.
    Its not socialism. Its not capitalism. Its not D or R.

    Everyone will need a revenue that is sufficient to be able to eat enough to live for another day and to pay the rent collectors.
    The first part has already started by using MMT.

    The second part will come next.

    There are only two ways for a person to receive a revenue.
    A simple Example

    Edwin Rosskam Shoeshine, 47th Street, Chicago’s main Negro business street 1941

    1. Do something for someone that they cannot do and that they are willing and capable to pay you to do it for them.
    2. Do something for someone that they do not want to do and that they are willing and capable to pay you to do it for them.

    Dave Note


    200mg 50 tablets $40.16

    Hey, you need a prescription, but cheap. In quantity the bulk price would be lower.

    Will it be uswd widespread? Hell no.

    None of Us is as Dumb as All of Us

    None of Us

    Dave Note

    Watched an interview with a guy who headed infectious disease task forces over the decades, the big bad ones ebola etc…

    He said SPEED

    Don’t be afraid to be wrong because epidemics are almost ALWAYS faster than human decision making.

    You have to try and keep in front of the wave like a surfer on a 100′ breaking wave.


    Most ‘over reactions’ after the wave breaks on a community look like pitiful too little too late UNDER reactions.

    So to the US political and apparatchik class, grow a pair.

    On the plains of hesitation lie the blackened bones of countless millions who at the dawn of victory lay down to rest, and in resting died.

    Adlai Stevenson

    Adlai Stevenson


    My fear, it doth envelop me
    ‘Til what I fear is all I see.

    I keep swinging back and forth between “This thing is terrifying” and “We’re in a simulation”.
    It could be both or neither, I suppose, but I know that when I think it is terrifying, I’m numb.

    Oxymoron: I am optimistic. I think people will find that a shared purpose and a sense of community are pretty good substitutions for materialism.
    Forced- for a while- to communicate by screen, and prohibited from contact, we will long for the good old days of face to face interactions. They will return.


    Wow, Oxy, 2008. I didn’t remember. And that was about the financial crisis, the one we can ow look forward to 12 years later, just 12 years worse.


    And happy St. Paddy’s of course. Since leaving Montréal I don’t know anymore what day it is.

    Maxwell Quest

    “Mitt Romney’s Coronavirus Economic Plan: $1,000 To Each American Adult (Vox)”

    The elites are in full blown panic mode. Their great big wonderful centrally-planned non-organic non-fault-tolerant global wealth extraction machine is seizing up before their very eyes. What’s a leader to do? Why, pour a gallon of nitro in the tank and push the pedal to the floor. That should do it. Idiots!


    Yesterday, Trump had a group of 12 people on the stage for the White House corona press briefing, telling America to avoid gatherings of more than 10 people. Someone must have pointed out the irony. Today there are 8 on that stage.


    Sorry Raul- Oxy was quoting you. My apologies.


    “The elites are in full blown panic mode. ”
    They think that the gov. printing presses are destroying their way of life. (global wealth extraction machine)
    They are forgetting

    If you kill all the sheep, you will not get any more wool.
    The old story, golden goose, golden egg.

    Dr. D

    Uh-oh, they declared war on Corona. Hope that goes better than the War on Poverty, the War on Drugs, the War on Terror, the War on War…

    Maxwell Quest

    “Uh-oh, they declared war on Corona. Hope that goes better than the War on Poverty, the War on Drugs, the War on Terror, the War on War…”

    LOL!! You’re killing me!


    A two year war on the virus is going to destroy the infrastructures
    I saw that more than 23K retailers have closed their door.
    Retailers are closing their stores to try to survive because consumers are not buying.
    If closures last past the due date for paying the rent then will the store inventory be seize by the bank, the landlord or …..
    Employers are helping their employees how to fill the forms to get fed unemployment insurance.
    The online sites are crashing .
    Don’t forget
    All of these problems happened in China.
    The mfg. in China, are not getting purchase orders from stores that are closed.
    Therefore, no mfg of products. Therefore, unemployment problems still continuing.
    No income no purchasing.
    No sheep no wool.
    How many weeks can everything stop. Never to go again.


    I saw on the Guardian a banner

    Life in the time of Corona…


    People with no income cannot pay bills.

    Businesses with no income from customers have no income to pay bills.

    What bill!!!!.
    taxes, municipal,provincial, federal

    help help help help


    The quote from Raul I posted was more for interest sake and review but re-reading some of their primers from way back reminded me of the value of this type of analysis. Raul, Nicole and David Holmgren amongst others have put their necks out with commentary and information sharing for a long time now and I for one am just so much better positioned during this Monetary reset and cultural chaos period because of them.
    Life goes on (maybe not for the bazillion species now lost to history from our industry). Let’s keep digging people. There is a lot of bullshit to wade through.

    Oh and the Primer “40 ways to lose your future” – scary.


    Today is an interesting day for my family of four.

    Yesterday my daughter, 19 years old, just back from the now closed university in downtown Toronto, came down with a fever. She showed all the symptoms of the coronavirus. Today she says she feels better.

    My son, 23, works as a GE wind turbine technician, called in sick today due to his sister’s illness, just to be on the safe side, considering what the government is saying. He is only allowed 3 sick days a year. After that he doesn’t get paid.

    We were discussing at supper how Ontario is not testing people anymore, now that they have lost the battle to contain the coronavirus. In the last 3 days, the total number tested in Ontario has fallen sharply, from 42, 32, to just 13 yesterday.

    We know of 3 people who likely have the virus! Brother-in-law is quite sick and went to the hospital but they just X-rayed him, gave him a prescription, and sent him home! No test of course! We will see how he does.

    So the virus numbers out of Ontario now are 100% fake! Just like China! They do not want to know if you have the virus! It is Don’t Tell and we won’t ask! Not even Stalin is counting now!

    Ontario assessment centers are saying don’t come, stay at home! We don’t want to see you and we will not test you even if you have the coronavirus! Basically, please don’t bother us, we are too busy!

    If my son stays home, then GE will test him and if he doesn’t have the coronavirus, they won’t pay him! And neither will the government!

    The end result of all of this shit, is my son will be going back to work tomorrow! Virus or no virus!

    My daughter works at a golf courses’s Sunday brunch. She has to give 2 weeks notice before hand if she will miss work. Since it is this Sunday, I can only hope the government or the restaurant decides to close first! Otherwise, she has to work or she will lose her summer job!

    Some pretty choices, eh!

    As for my wife and I, we have been hibernating all winter anyways, its Canada after all, so self isolating isn’t much of a life style change. We still have patches of snow and ice on the ground. I haven’t worked for 19 years. So I am just a useless bum with a home! One dwarf Dutch rabbit and her chipmunk friend are dependent upon my pet welfare! The mice get peanut butter!

    (Bosco – how are your pet crows doing?)

    My daughter is mostly staying in her room, going online to keep up her business course work, as the university has switched to 100% online.

    I am interfacing with my daughter, cooking all the meals for everybody (as I have been doing for decades plus food shopping), so my more vulnerable wife can keep her distance.

    I wash my hands more frequently too. I have upped my UVB light therapy from 5 to 10 minutes to increase my skin’s vitamin D. I will probably put my wife on it too.

    So life continues!


    Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia took perhaps the most drastic step among its neighbors in the Middle East and ordered all private sector workers to stay home for 15 days. The kingdom has already barred foreigners and cancelled Muslim pilgrimages.

    They forgot to send the USA troops home


    More countries are also imposing emergency measures across the Middle East, with Syria having days ago shuttered universities and many public spaces – despite not reporting any official confirmed cases, and Jordan Tuesday banning gatherings of more that ten people.

    But Iran has taken the most drastic measures as the virus’ spread has continued unabated, with daily rising numbers. Tehran says it’s now temporarily sent some 85,000 prisoners home to ensure the pandemic doesn’t rip through the nation’s overcrowded prisons and jails.


    Thanks for the link to Steve Keens Interview. He is exactly right.

    The only analogy close to what the USA is facing today is if the Great Stock Market crash of 1929 occurred later in March 1932 due to the reappearance of the Spanish flu. FDR hadn’t had two years to make a name for himself fighting unemployment. The Herbert Hoover second term at least would have acknowledged the suffering even though he did nothing. Donald J. Trump doesn’t care who dies nor know how to save the USA from the consequences of a pandemic and depression at the same time. My governor, Larry Hogan, is trying the best he can but he will not be sworn in as President in 2021.

    Capitalism is dead. Only governments can close borders, fight the pandemic, and save lives. Only government can give money to out of work, broke Americans. Department of Defense can manage and man their logistic system to feed families isolated at home where private delivery companies have collapsed. Only government shelters the homeless and ill; keep internet providers, electricity and water utilities working.


    WES, it is disheartening to hear the situation in Ontario. It seems that Sweden, Norway and Denmark have decided to follow the “stop testing” path. Their recent numbers look wrong — most countries near the top of the list have been growing at 10-20% per day. That was true of Sweden, Norway and Denmark until a couple days ago. But now suddenly low numbers…. very suspicious.

    I suppose this is inevitable? Once you give up on containment, testing loses a lot of its value. Once you have throw up your hands, it makes no difference if your daily total is 1,000 or 1,000,000. There are other tasks competing for attention, like building more ICUs and recruiting more doctors and nurses as fast as possible. Not that I see enough of that either . . .

    Dr. D

    “Capitalism is dead.”

    Does that mean I can’t work and make stuff anymore? I can’t trade it with my neighbors? The government has the time to come down here and stop me?

    No. The government isn’t going to do jack. That means there’s nothing BUT capitalism, as I help my neighbors while governments run around with their hair on fire and try to obstruct me. THEY aren’t going to provide food, because they do jack all day, don’t make food, and have never done anything productive in their lives. –I– do. And we’ll keep doing it, as always, regardless of what they spout off, pretend to control, regardless of whether it’s legal or they make us criminals in the black market, we will always produce and share with our neighbors. With free exchange. One that gives us resources for charity. They won’t. They will do what they always do, what they do best: steal stuff and kill people.

    If they vanished, I’d hardly notice. If they did, we’d all be so localized the virus would quickly vanish. So go ahead and ask THEM for your food, for your help, for your test, instead of me. They’ll tell you to get lost: we’re busy eating your food and providing NO services, as per Toronto.

    I’ll be here, illegally if necessary, with all the things you need to get by, at considerable work and risk to myself. Decide who’s the villain here and which system you prefer.

    John Day

    Just catching up on inbox and this blog last night and this morning. Hydroxychloroquine, Plaquenil is a prescription medicine, used every day by people with autoimmune disease, not expensive as an ativiral treatment, but requires a prescription in the US. Most of the side effects are seen with long use and/or high doses. Do check for interactions with any medicines you may already take.
    Show the articles to your doctor, maybe print them up.
    This information is not coming to me through medical bureaucracies. I am sending it out.
    This is not a healthy system.


    @ Dr. D
    My opinion will not change anything.
    Gov. means having rules and regulation so that our social and economic structures can function.
    The enablers, lawyers, accountants, are the right hand men of those politicians.
    Things are changing. However, it wont be to the advantage of the blue collar worker.
    Enablers will be there to make sure that the changes are to their advantage first.

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