Mar 072020
 
 March 7, 2020  Posted by at 10:53 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,


John Vachon Trucks loaded with mattresses at San Angelo, Texas Nov 1939

 

How America Can Beat COVID-19 (Galbraith)
Don’t Test, Don’t Tell: The Bureaucratic Bungling of COVID-19 Tests (Ben Hunt)
Coronavirus Matters, The Stock Market Doesn’t (IC)
Not Enough Face Masks Are Made In America To Deal With Coronavirus (NPR)
US Excludes Chinese Face Masks, Medical Gear From Tariffs (R.)
Virus Concerns Drag Down Wall Street, But Indexes Eke Out Weekly Gains (R.)
Americans Divided On Party Lines Over Risk From Coronavirus (R.)
21 People On Grand Princess Cruise Ship Test Positive – Pence (NBC)
China January-February Exports Tumble, Imports Slow (R.)
Romney To Vote For Subpoena Seeking Hunter Biden Ukraine Records (Pol.)
Biden Racks Up Endorsements As Sanders Goes On The Attack (R.)
Ethiopian Draft Report Blames Boeing For 737 MAX Plane Crash (R.)
Starting A Nuclear Conflict Now ‘A Political Option’ For US – Moscow (RT)
Ceasefire In Syria’s Idlib Comes At A Cost For Turkey’s Erdogan (R.)

 

 

 

Cases 102,544 (+ 3,616 from Tuesday’s 98,928)

Deaths 3,501 (+ 111 from yesterday’s 3,390)

 

In my view, this from Worldometer last night contains the most relevant information. If China is phase one, South Korea, Iran (+25% cases) and Italy are phase 2. Their increases in cases and deaths continues unabated. Which countries will be phase 3? We’ll know next week.

Some countries look odd. We’ve seen before that South Korea has a relatively low death rate and a very low recovery rate. The US has a lot of deaths compared to its cases, which appears to point to many unreported cases. Germany has zero deaths with 692 cases. Not overly credible.

Overall death rate is 3.5%, that will go down further. If only countries would get serious about their testing. But if you don’t test, you don’t find cases. Tempting.

 

 

 

From SCMP:

 

 

From Worldometer:

 

 

From COVID2019.app:

 

 

 

 

He makes it sound much easier than it is. America comes together only for war. Not for disease.

“After Pearl Harbor, the US banned the sale of rubber tires overnight in preparation for the war effort. With the #COVID19 crisis bearing down, James K. Galbraith calls for the same type of rapid response.”

How America Can Beat COVID-19 (Galbraith)

When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, the United States was surprised and unprepared, but it was quickly freed of its illusions. The same does not hold true for the COVID-19 epidemic. The attack is underway and our defenses are down – but so far our illusions remain intact. That will soon change as the infection rate and death toll rise, while the stock market sinks. Global supply chains have been disrupted by events in China, and India has just banned the export of certain generic drugs. Medical masks are already in short supply, and everyday items such as hand sanitizer have become difficult to find. The heavily globalized, consumer- and finance-driven US economy was not designed for a pandemic.

The country’s medical system has it even worse. America has vast health-care capacity, but millions of people are uninsured, underinsured, undocumented, or simply reluctant to go to the doctor or emergency room, owing to the cost of co-payments, deductibles, and uncovered fees. In a pandemic – where every infected person is a threat to the entire population – this is a formula for disaster. Everyone must be able to come forward, get tested, and receive free treatment without fear of consequences – including the very poor, the homeless, and the undocumented. US medical personnel are not equipped, and facilities are not designed to manage a potential explosion of people needing isolation and specialized care.

Hospital beds and quarantine units may be required where outbreaks overwhelm local capacity, and moving sick, infectious people over distances to available open beds is a risky policy. Effective training for those caring for the quarantined is critical; otherwise, the virus will spread among support staff. Medical supplies such as test kits and hazard suits must also be delivered where and when they are needed. [..] the government must empower the Centers for Disease Control and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to tell Americans precisely what is happening and to give clear, credible instructions. Direct, regular mass communication from competent scientific professionals, rather than from politicians and the media, can help to maintain calm, promote low-risk behavior, and avoid panics.

Furthermore, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services should be authorized to cover the full costs of testing and treating COVID-19 cases, with no exceptions and no legal risks. Making tests and treatment “affordable” is not enough; the disease cannot be isolated by economic class. In a pandemic there is no acceptable alternative to making care universal and free of cost.

Read more …

This is a global issue, not an American one.

Don’t Test, Don’t Tell: The Bureaucratic Bungling of COVID-19 Tests (Ben Hunt)

As I write this essay on March 5th, there are more confirmed coronavirus infections in Harris County, Texas (five) acquired by Americans who traveled to Egypt than there are confirmed cases within the entire country of Egypt (three). Why? Because Egypt has only tested a few hundred people in this country of 100 million. There are more confirmed coronavirus infections in the city-state of Singapore (three) acquired by Singaporeans who traveled to Indonesia than there are confirmed cases in the entire country of Indonesia (two). Why? Because Indonesia has only tested a few hundred people in this country of 265 million. With the exception of South Korea and Italy (and perhaps Australia and the UK), pretty much every nation in the world has adopted some form of Don’t Test, Don’t Tell.

The offenders include rich countries like the United States and Japan, vast countries like Indonesia and India, communist countries like China and Vietnam, theocracies like Iran and Saudi Arabia, oligarchies like Russia and Nigeria, social democracies like Germany and France. Don’t Test, Don’t Tell knows no geographic or ideological boundary. And so you might ask: is this a difficult or expensive test to make? Is there some fundamental reason of technology or economics why a country might find itself forced to pursue a policy of Don’t Test, Don’t Tell? Nope. It’s a relatively simple test to develop and administer in vast quantities. There are probably half a dozen university and industry labs in Jakarta or Nairobi, much less Moscow or Chicago, that could crank out a few thousand test kits per week if they wanted to. Or rather, if they were allowed to.

Now that doesn’t mean that you can’t screw up the coronavirus test if you really set your mind to it. And in fact, that’s exactly what the CDC did in January, when they rejected the World Health Organization’s proposed test panel for SARS-CoV-2 (the official name for this particular novel coronavirus which causes the disease COVID-19) in favor of a gold-plated test panel of the CDC’s own design. After all, why just test for SARS-CoV-2 when you could also test for other SARS and MERS viruses? Unfortunately, with complexity came error, and these initial CDC triple-test kits had a flaw in one of the multiple tests, ruining the entire test. Now the CDC is producing a solo test for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, but this fiasco set us back weeks in test-kit supply.

So if it’s not a difficult or expensive test to make, why are so many countries pursuing a policy of Don’t Test, Don’t Tell? The answer, of course: to maintain a political narrative of calm and competence.

Read more …

Don’t tell Rick Santelli.

Coronavirus Matters, The Stock Market Doesn’t (IC)

Before a new strain of coronavirus began sprinting around the world, all these problems with the stock market may have seemed abstract. But they are now extremely concrete. Think about what we could have done to prepare for this moment, if we’d been less mesmerized by little numbers on screens and paid more attention to the reality right in front of us. One aspect of reality is that some diseases are extremely contagious and can kill you. That’s why everyone in America would be far better off right now if we had robust, universal health care, even the people who had to sell some of their shares in Apple to help pay for it. Likewise, scientists have been warning for decades about exactly this kind of infectious disease.

One of their suggestions was for the U.S. government to help pay to improve the public health infrastructure in poorer countries. We may all quite soon regret not doing this, even if it would have required making Amazon pay a tax rate greater than 1.2 percent and hence denting their stock price. And if we’d been less transfixed by what corporations were doing, we could have realized what they can’t do. In the imaginary world of economic textbooks, a huge pharmaceutical company would have poured tens of billions into developing the capacity to more quickly perfect and manufacture vaccines in huge volumes, so that the omniscient stock market would reward them for their prescience. Here on Earth, the stock market would have punished any company that took such a big risk with an uncertain payoff.

Yet we couldn’t see that the only way to better prepare for the new coronavirus would have been with much greater government action. And there are pernicious effects of our stock market love affair that are even more subtle. When deciding what to do with their lives, young people learn what to value from adults, and what adults have been telling them is that what’s valuable is corporate wealth. Imagine how much better we’d all feel now if 1,000 of America’s smartest financial engineers had heard instead that the most important, respected thing they could do was become an epidemiologist. But instead of investing in genuine wealth, the kind of wealth that keeps us alive, we preferred to chase the phantom wealth of the stock market. Now as the phantom wealth dissolves, we may come face to face with our decision to be poor in what truly matters.

Read more …

“The surgical mask supply went from being 90% U.S.-made to being 95% foreign-made in literally one year..”

Not Enough Face Masks Are Made In America To Deal With Coronavirus (NPR)

Mike Bowen’s been a very busy man. He’s executive vice president of Texas-based Prestige Ameritech, one of the few manufacturers of respirators and surgical face masks still making them in the United States. “I’ve got requests for maybe a billion and a half masks, if you add it up,” he says. That’s right — 1.5 billion. Since the coronavirus started spreading in January, Bowen says he’s gotten at least 100 calls and emails a day. “Normally, I don’t get any,” he says. [..] His company simply can’t keep up with demand. 3M — one of the biggest mask makers — is in the same predicament. It says it’s stepping up production at its factories around the world, but it can’t fulfill all the new orders.

The World Health Organization this week warned against hoarding and panic-buying of critical protective gear. “Without secure supply chains, the risk to health care workers around the world is real,” WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. “Industry and governments must act quickly to boost supply, ease export restrictions and put measures in place to stop speculation and hoarding.” Concern about shortages of face masks used by doctors and nurses is prompting hospitals around the world to clamor for medical supplies as the coronavirus continues its infectious spread. In response, the Trump administration is looking at ways to rapidly expand domestic production, but the economics of the face-mask business makes that difficult.

This is a cycle familiar to Bowen. During what he calls “peacetime,” when there are no outbreaks, there are few buyers of masks. During an epidemic, there’s suddenly limitless demand. [..] Prestige Ameritech, for example, owns a limited number of machines that assemble, sew and shape the masks. A decade ago, it ramped up production in response to the swine flu outbreak by buying more machines and hiring 150 new workers. “We made a really big mistake,” Bowen says of that decision. It took about four months to build the new machines, which are as long as a school bus and cost as much as $1 million. By the time they were ready, the swine flu crisis had ended, demand vaporized, and Prestige Ameritech almost went bankrupt.

“One day — and it is literally almost like one day — it just quits. The demand is over, the phones stop ringing,” Bowen says. To make matters worse, the hospitals and medical supply companies suddenly had a glut of masks; they stopped buying for months. That was a business headache. But the recent shortages also show how a lack of steady orders can create a sudden national security risk. The seeds of that problem, says Bowen, can be traced back 15 years. That’s when many mask factories moved overseas, where masks could be made at a fraction of Bowen’s costs. Most notably, he says, Kimberly-Clark, which used to be one of the industry leaders, moved its operations. “The surgical mask supply went from being 90% U.S.-made to being 95% foreign-made in literally one year,” Bowen says.

Read more …

Makes sense if 95% comes from China.

US Excludes Chinese Face Masks, Medical Gear From Tariffs (R.)

The U.S. Trade Representative’s office in recent days granted exclusions from import tariffs for dozens of medical products imported from China, including face masks, hand sanitizing wipes and examination gloves, filings with the agency showed on Friday. Many of the exclusion requests for medical products appear to have been expedited amid the rapidly spreading coronavirus outbreak, with approvals granted just over one month past a Jan. 31 application deadline. Requests to exclude other products from President Donald Trump’s Section 301 tariffs on Chinese goods have taken months.


Apple’s requests for exclusions on products from AirPod headphones to the HomePod smart speaker filed on Oct. 31 are still pending. Medline International Inc has already received exclusions on 30 products ranging from surgical gowns to face masks and medicine cups, most of which the company applied for at the end of January. A number of the exclusions were granted on Thursday, USTR documents showed. The products were included in a fourth round of tariffs on Chinese goods imposed by Trump on Sept. 1, 2019, amid heated U.S.-China trade negotiations.

Read more …

The PPT looks old and tired.

Virus Concerns Drag Down Wall Street, But Indexes Eke Out Weekly Gains (R.)

U.S. stocks fell on Friday as fears of economic damage from the spread of the coronavirus intensified, though Wall Street’s major indexes ended well above their session lows. The S&P 500 posted its 10th decline in 12 sessions as moves to contain the virus crippled supply chains and prompted a sharp cut to global economic growth forecasts for 2020. Since its record closing high on Feb. 19, the benchmark index has lost more than 12%, wiping out $3.43 trillion from its market capitalization, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices. Even so, for the week the S&P 500, along with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq, posted a modest gain as stocks on Friday pared losses late in the session.

Comments from Federal Reserve officials about the possibility of using other tools in addition to interest rate cuts to blunt the economic impact of the coronavirus helped stocks ease declines, said Alicia Levine, chief strategist at BNY Mellon Investment Management in New York. Nonetheless, “it’s very unclear what the economic impact will be,” Levine said. Yields on long-dated U.S. Treasuries fell to record lows as investors fled to bonds, whose prices move inversely to their yields. The drop in Treasury yields weighed heavily on shares of financial companies, which tumbled 3.3%. The S&P 500 banks index dropped 4.7%, bringing its total decline for the week to more than 8%.

Shares of cruise operators Carnival Corp and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd slid after Reuters reported that the administration of President Donald Trump was considering ways to discourage U.S. travelers from taking cruises. Carnival shares fell 2.6%, and Royal Caribbean shares dropped 1.2%. “The decline today is all about the efforts to contain the spread of the virus,” said Emily Roland, co-chief investment strategist at John Hancock Investment Management in Boston. “The measures being taken could dampen commerce and consumer activity, and markets are responding to that.”

Read more …

These days, it’s as American as apple pie.

Americans Divided On Party Lines Over Risk From Coronavirus (R.)

Americans who now find themselves politically divided over seemingly everything are now forming two very different views of another major issue: the dangers of the new coronavirus. Democrats are about twice as likely as Republicans to say the coronavirus poses an imminent threat to the United States, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted this week. And more Democrats than Republicans say they are taking steps to be prepared, including washing their hands more often or limiting their travel plans. Poll respondents who described themselves as Republicans and did not see the coronavirus as a threat said it still felt remote because cases had not been detected close to home and their friends and neighbors did not seem to be worried, either.


“I haven’t changed a single thing,” Cindi Hogue, who lives outside Little Rock, Arkansas, told Reuters. “It’s not a reality to me yet. It hasn’t become a threat enough yet in my world.” Many of the U.S. cases that have been reported so far have been in Washington state and California, more than 1,000 miles away from Arkansas. Politics was not a factor in her view of the seriousness of the virus, Hogue said. Other Republican respondents interviewed echoed that sentiment. But the political divide is nonetheless significant: About four of every 10 Democrats said they thought the new coronavirus poses an imminent threat, compared to about two of every 10 Republicans.

Read more …

19 crew members, 2 passengers. There are over 1,000 crew aboard.

21 People On Grand Princess Cruise Ship Test Positive – Pence (NBC)

Vice President Mike Pence said Friday that 21 people aboard a cruise ship that’s being held off the coast of California have tested positive for the coronavirus. The California Air National Guard had delivered 46 tests to the Grand Princess, which has been offshore since Wednesday. Of the 46 passengers tested, Pence said 21 people, 19 employees and two passengers, had tested positive. Twenty-four tested negative, and one was inconclusive, Pence said. There are over 3,500 people on board the ship, which is anchored near San Francisco. All passengers will be brought into port in the U.S. over the weekend and tested, said Pence, who is leading the Trump administration’s response to the outbreak.


“Those who need to be quarantined will be quarantined. Those who require additional medical attention will receive it,” he said. Officials said crew members are likely to be quarantined aboard the ship, while passengers could be quarantined at military bases. Pence spoke shortly after President Donald Trump, touring Centers for Disease Control and Prevention headquarters in Atlanta, told reporters that he’d rather people be kept on the ship because otherwise they’ll add to the country’s coronavirus statistics. “I like the numbers being where they are. I don’t need to have the numbers double because of one ship that wasn’t our fault. And it wasn’t the fault of the people on the ship either, ok? It wasn’t their fault either and their mostly Americans,” Trump said. But, he added, he would abide by what Pence and his team of “great experts” decide.

Read more …

The word “tumble” makes it sound almost light. The incredible lightness of collapse.

China January-February Exports Tumble, Imports Slow (R.)

China’s exports contracted sharply in the first two months of the year, as the fast spreading coronavirus outbreak caused massive disruptions to business operations, global supply chains and economic activity. Imports also fell but were better than analyst expectations. The gloomy trade report is likely to reinforce fears that China’s economic growth halved in the first quarter to the weakest since 1990 as the epidemic and strict government containment measures crippled factory production and led to a sharp slump in demand. Overseas shipments fell 17.2% in January-February from the same period a year earlier, customs data showed on Saturday, marking the steepest fall since February 2019.


That compared with a 14% drop tipped by a Reuters poll of analysts and a 7.9% gain in December. Imports sank 4% from a year earlier, better than market expectations of a 15% drop. They had jumped 16.5% in December, buoyed in part by a preliminary Sino-U.S. trade deal. China ran a trade deficit of $7.09 billion for the period, reversing an expected $24.6 billion surplus in the poll. Factory activity contracted at the fastest pace ever in February, even worse than during the global financial crisis, an official manufacturing gauge showed last weekend, with a sharp slump in new orders. A private survey highlighted similarly dire conditions.

Read more …

What on earth is he up to now? Anyway, Hunter will be a major issue.

Romney To Vote For Subpoena Seeking Hunter Biden Ukraine Records (Pol.)

Sen. Mitt Romney will vote in favor of a subpoena seeking records about the work Joe Biden’s son Hunter did for the Ukrainian energy firm Burisma, a spokeswoman for the Utah Republican said on Friday. Romney’s decision comes after several days of expressing dismay over the Senate Homeland Security Committee’s investigation targeting the Bidens, even suggesting on Thursday that the panel shouldn’t even be looking into the issue. But after securing certain commitments from the committee’s chairman, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Romney has decided to support the subpoena when the panel votes on it next Wednesday — all but ensuring it will be issued. “Senator Romney has expressed his concerns to Chairman Johnson, who has confirmed that any interview of the witness would occur in a closed setting without a hearing or public spectacle,” Romney’s spokeswoman Liz Johnson said.


“He will therefore vote to let the chairman proceed to obtain the documents that have been offered.” Romney has said in recent days that the committee’s investigation into the Bidens has the “appearance” of being politically motivated, given Biden’s resurgence in the Democratic presidential primary. Romney was the only Republican who voted to convict President Donald Trump in his impeachment trial last month, saying he believed Trump violated his oath of office when he pressured the Ukrainian government to investigate the Bidens. “There’s no question the appearance is not good,” Romney told reporters on Thursday, later adding: “I would prefer that investigations are done by an independent, nonpolitical body.”

Read more …

The Trump campaign would be willing to spend bigly to make Biden the Dem candidate. But they get him for free. Then again, the Dems can’t be dumb enough to run with him, can they?!

Biden Racks Up Endorsements As Sanders Goes On The Attack (R.)

Two former presidential rivals endorsed Joe Biden on Friday in the latest sign that the Democratic establishment is coalescing around the former vice president to stop the candidacy of Bernie Sanders, who ratcheted up attacks on his rival ahead of crucial contests next week. Former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and John Delaney, a former Maryland congressman – both onetime 2020 candidates – backed Biden, as did a slew of other Democratic officials in states soon to hold nominating contests. Sanders, who is desperate to regain some momentum after Biden’s strong ‘Super Tuesday’ showing this week, launched a full-throated attack on his rival, assailing Biden over his record on trade, abortion, gay rights and Social Security.

The pair contest six Democratic nominating contests on Tuesday, including the big prize of Michigan, with 125 of the 1,991 delegates needed to win the nomination at stake. Sanders, a U.S. senator from Vermont who was until recently the front-runner in the party’s race to face Republican President Donald Trump in November, now trails in delegates. A big win for Biden in Michigan would deliver another major blow to Sanders’ hopes of becoming the nominee. Ahead of Michigan’s primary, the state’s lieutenant governor, Garlin Gilchrist II, backed Biden, as did part of the state’s United Food and Commercial Workers Union, and former U.S. Senator Carl Levin. Four other states will hold primary elections on Tuesday: Idaho, Mississippi, Missouri and Washington state. North Dakota will hold caucuses.

At a news conference in Phoenix, Arizona, on Friday, Sanders dug deep into Biden’s 40-year record. He criticized Biden for having opposed the rights of gay people to serve in the U.S. military and for voting against federal funding for abortions, stances the former vice president has since rejected. “I was there on the right side of history, and my friend Joe Biden was not,” Sanders said. Sanders also lambasted Biden for supporting trade deals he said had been “a disaster for Michigan” and accused Biden of trying in the past to cut Social Security, the government-run pension and disability program. Biden, who denies ever advocating cuts to Social Security, snapped back in a tweet on Friday: “Get real, Bernie. The only person who’s going to cut Social Security if he’s elected is Donald Trump. Maybe you should spend your time attacking him.”

Warren’s exit meant that what had been hailed as the most diverse field of candidates in U.S. history narrowed to a race for the nomination between two white, septuagenarian men. Tulsi Gabbard, a congresswoman from Hawaii with virtually no chance of winning, is the only other remaining Democratic candidate. On Friday, the Democratic National Committee, which oversees the party’s presidential debates, released new qualifying thresholds for the next debate in Arizona on Mar. 15. Candidates will need at least 20% of delegates awarded so far, essentially excluding Gabbard, who has won less than 1 percent.

Read more …

No report will be accepted that doesn’t call the crew incompetent. If they had been American, they’d be labeled heroes.

Ethiopian Draft Report Blames Boeing For 737 MAX Plane Crash (R.)

A draft interim report from Ethiopian crash investigators circulated to U.S. government agencies concludes the March 2019 crash of a Boeing 737 MAX was caused by the plane’s design, two people briefed on the matter said Friday. Unlike most interim reports, this one includes a probable cause determination, conclusions and recommendations, which are typically not made until a final report is issued. The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board has been given a chance to lodge concerns or propose changes, the people said, declining to be identified because the report is not yet public.

[..] According to Bloomberg News, which first reported the contents of the interim draft, the conclusions say little or nothing about the performance of Ethiopian Airlines or its flight crew and that has raised concern with some participants in the investigation. The Ethiopian interim report contrasts with a final report into the Lion Air crash released last October by Indonesia which faulted Boeing’s design of cockpit software on the 737 MAX but also cited errors by the airline’s workers and crew. Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 crashed in an open field six minutes after take-off from Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, killing 157 passengers and crew. The Boeing 737 MAX has been grounded worldwide for nearly a year after the two fatal crashes.

Under rules overseen by the United Nations’ Montreal-based aviation agency, ICAO, Ethiopia should publish a final report by the first anniversary of the crash on March 10 but now looks set to release an interim report with elements that would normally be included in the final report.

Read more …

Russia prohibits itself from a first strike. The US does not.

Starting A Nuclear Conflict Now ‘A Political Option’ For US – Moscow (RT)

The US is expanding its nuclear capability with new types of low-yield weapons, and Moscow believes US strategists now consider launching a nuclear strike as a viable option in a conflict. The US has made adjustments to its nuclear posture and has been introducing low-yield nuclear warheads to its arsenal, including those that can be launched from submarines. Russia sees such developments with great concern, the spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova told journalists on Friday. The developments make Moscow believe that the American leadership “has made a decision to consider a nuclear conflict as a viable political option and are creating the potential necessary for it.”


She rejected US justification of the upgrade by pointing the finger at Russia, and called on Washington to adhere to nuclear non-proliferation and reduction goals, saying that the path of “unrestricted growth of military strength,” which it was pursuing, was “a road to a dead end”. Unlike Russia, the US never made a formal commitment not to be the first to use nuclear weapons in a conflict. Russia’s nuclear doctrine says it may use nuclear weapons in response to a conventional attack that threatens the existence of Russia as a sovereign state, but otherwise the nuclear option would only be used in response to an attack with weapons of mass destruction.

Read more …

Erdogan aims to use his Russian contacts against the US, and vide versa. He now lost Russia, Putin will never allow him his Idlib sanctuary for terrorists. So expect him to fly to Washington soon.

Ceasefire In Syria’s Idlib Comes At A Cost For Turkey’s Erdogan (R.)

After six hours of talks with Vladimir Putin, a somber Erdogan announced an accord which cements territorial gains by Russian-backed Syrian forces over Turkish-backed rebels. Returning from Russia, Erdogan said his deal with Putin will lay the ground for stability in Idlib and protect civilians who could otherwise become refugees in Turkey, after months of fighting that has displaced nearly a million people. “The ceasefire brings about important gains,” he said. The agreement, if it holds, does stem the advances of forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, easing Ankara’s greatest fear – an influx of Syrians fleeing bombardment in Idlib and clamoring to cross its border and join 3.6 million Syrian refugees already in Turkey.


But by freezing the front lines, and agreeing joint Russian-Turkish patrols on a major east-west highway running through Idlib, the deal consolidates Assad’s recent battlefield victories and allows Russia to deploy deeper into Idlib than before. “The Syrian army was stopped, but not repelled. That is perhaps Turkey’s biggest loss,” said Ozgur Unluhisarcikli of the German Marshall Fund. Assad’s progress in weeks of fierce combat includes taking full control of the other main highway running through Idlib, the north-south road linking the capital Damascus to Aleppo and other important Syrian cities. In Moscow, Thursday’s deal was widely seen as a triumph for Putin and Assad at Erdogan’s expense. “The agreement is unexpectedly more favorable to Russia and Damascus…,” said former pro-Putin lawmaker Sergei Markov. “Russia is winning on the battlefield and that’s why it’s winning on the diplomatic front.”

Read more …

 

An odd couple for many. But Tucker, other than RT, is the only one talking to Roger Waters.

 

 

 

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Home Forums Debt Rattle March 7 2020

This topic contains 39 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  Doc Robinson 7 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #54900

    John Vachon Trucks loaded with mattresses at San Angelo, Texas Nov 1939   • How America Can Beat COVID-19 (Galbraith) • Don’t Test, Don’t Tell: T
    [See the full post at: Debt Rattle March 7 2020]

    #54901

    V. Arnold
    Participant

    John Vachon Trucks loaded with mattresses at San Angelo, Texas Nov 1939

    Mattresses! A scam, as American as apple pie; over priced, poorly made, and sold to the hilt as the American dream…literally…
    Long ago I discovered the futon; honest, well constructed (for centuries), and heaven on earth for sleeping really well…and cheap by comparrison…

    #54902

    V. Arnold
    Participant

    Mattresses! A scam, as American as apple pie; over priced, poorly made, and sold to the hilt as the American dream…literally…

    For those historically challenged: Sealy Posturepedic; Simmons; and brands and names long forgotten…
    Just one in a litany of lies…

    #54903

    V. Arnold
    Participant

    An odd couple for many. But Tucker, other than RT, is the only one talking to Roger Waters.

    Yes, how about that?
    People just don’t get it!!!!!
    Assange is the marker/place holder, for the total loss of freedom of the press!!!!
    You, me, and every man jack one of us is responsible!!!!
    Shame, shame, shame,……….
    …with death to follow!!!

    #54905

    Dr. D
    Participant

    “Death will follow.” Yes, we won’t just walk away from this.

    “This is the most frightening disease I’ve ever encountered in my career.”

    Wow, this guy lacks both imagination AND knowledge. Ebola? Smallpox? So far the ordinary flu? Nice way to say “DON’T PANIC!!!!!!!!!!!!” “PANIC!!!!!!!!! DON’T, I MEAN. It’s almost certainly the end of human life on earth, but, Stay tuned, keep obeying my every word and don’t buy masks or stay home or anything.”

    Uh-huh. Very helpful. IF you want to crash the world economy, kill millions from THAT instead, and start a world war that then kills Billions. Aside from that, very irresponsible. Type II diabetes kills more people, and will. No one cares. California was filled with 3rd world diseases, many that were transmissible pandemics. No one cared. Now with 11 it’s a state of emergency? Yes, Docktor, 11 is now ermigerwdweallgonnadie! That’s 2 hours in NYC, ONE city of thousands in the U.S.

    “US banned the sale of rubber tires”

    Wow, such genius. So farmers can’t get tractors into the field and miners can’t get ore from the mines. Genius! We’re winning now! Central Planning forever! It’s a PR stunt, meant to make people care. What ever has happened in life that you do not assume every time they say anything, it’s a lie meant to manipulate you? And that was just after they solved hunger in the Depression by dumping milk and plowing under crops. Our hero! Man of the people!

    Not Enough Face Masks Are Made in America to Deal With Coronavirus (NPR)”

    It’s almost like shipping all production overseas in service of globalization is a national security nightmare that would end national sovereignty. Ain’t that right, NPR? Wait, weren’t YOU telling us we were dangerous backward idiots who needed to “learn to code” in re-education camps while defending Clinton, Bush, Obama and their ruthless murdering Globalism of the working class for the last 40 years? And that’s why Trump won? Nope. Not anymore. We have always been at war with Estasia. Just ask us.

    “Democrats are about twice as likely as Republicans to say the coronavirus poses an imminent threat”

    As above, how times change. Only last week, we were super-dumb anti-science because we said it WAS real and WAS a threat. Now it’s not a big enough threat. It’s almost like they only act emotionally and run around with their hair on fire. So… Reuters, anything on how the Republicans DID think it was real MONTHS ahead of the media, and STILL think it’s real, but the Republic probably won’t collapse over it? Nope. It’s a million degrees or negative zero. You’re an idiot when you say yes, and an idiot when you say no. Conservatives are always, always idiots. Like when Trump quotes some NYT news article, then they immediately come out and say it used to be true, but now that HE said it, it’s totally dumb and NOT true. At least monthly. Hair on fire. If you follow chickens running randomly around the barnyard squawking, you’re going to get killed. That’s the only thing they know how to do: everyone NOT running around randomly in #AntiLogos is the mortal enemy. Pick a side.

    Romney To Vote For Subpoena Seeking Hunter Biden Ukraine Records (Pol.)”

    Ah, the revolutionary act of acting questions. Ordinary, normal ones they’re after me for every day (Tax season). And if he’s innocent, won’t they find nothing? That’s what they tell me when they tap my phone, mail, car, TV, and accounts. But No! We cannot ask questions! All facts are the #Enemy.

    “If they had been American, they’d be labeled heroes.”

    Quite true. Because CNN/The Guardian: “We Make S—t Up!”

    Russia prohibits itself from a first strike. The US does not.”

    So weird. Russians sure are tricky to install EVERY U.S. President and EVERY candidate, yet still nuke themselves without warning. Just shows how crazy * They * are. We of course, are beautiful innocent little golden-curled children who never did nothin’.

    #54906

    anticlimactic
    Participant

    BIDEN

    Apart from his questionable actions in Ukraine there are claims of dementia. I don’t understand how anyone could vote for him. He certainly seems to be damaged goods.

    I did not understand why the DNC would try and get him elected when it does not seem he would be capable of being president. Then I thought perhaps that was the point! The US would be electing the VICE president as president.

    A great way of making a president without all the hassle and expense of a campaign AND bypasses the nuisance of democracy!

    #54907

    zerosum
    Participant

    MATRIX RERUN/RELOADED for the umpteen time

    Don’t Test, Don’t Tell?
    There is no proof of wrong doing – Biden
    —–

    21 people infected, everyone stay in your cabin. 19 infected servants will serve your meals and will not re-infect the infected two passengers.
    The USA will not allow the passengers to disembark in the USA because it will increase the infected numbers.
    Since rich people go on a cruise, therefore, they can afford to pay for the convirus testing and their lock down.
    The crew, (philippinoes) and non americans, (250 candians), will need to make sure to find way of paying before getting any service from the capitalist american system.
    —–
    SURVIVORS WILL MAKE A NEW BRAVE NEW WORLD OR ANOTHER MATRIX RELOADED
    Survivors of the convirus will be the INHERITORS of the next reload of the matrix which will happen after the decomposition of the crap on the street the the decomposition of the uncollected bodies.
    (Unless you believe, this time it will be different, the weak will inherit the world.)

    #54908

    The US would be electing the VICE president as president.

    Yeah, the Hillary play. Except that Biden won’t be elected. He’ll be ground to pulp with just what is available on YouTube right now. His lies about his past are second to none.

    Biden looks like a surefire way to get Bernie the nomination. Is that the intention? Or do we go as far as Trump?

    #54909

    zerosum
    Participant

    ———
    (Insert your favorite country)
    Inability for rapid and effective testing, in ______ as well as alleged lack of transparency especially in the early weeks of the outbreak, means we will likely see numbers explode exponentially as has already been happening over the past days.

    #54916

    WES
    Participant

    Raul:. The DNC’s election theatre director is Hillary.

    Hillary hired over 20 clowns to run for president since she lacks the stamina.

    Maddow recently let it slip that Bernie was ruining 2020 for Hillary like he did in 2016!

    #54917

    zerosum
    Participant

    convirus probable victimes
    Present line of succession
    No. Office Current officer
    1 Vice President Mike Pence (R)
    2 Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi (D)
    3 President Pro Tempore of the Senate Chuck Grassley (R)
    4 Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (R)

    #54918

    boscohorowitz
    Participant

    “This is the most frightening disease I’ve ever encountered in my career.”

    I don’t think he’s hyperventilating. I think he’s merely being accurate, which of course sounds weird since we’re used to being lied to so much. I think he’s being honest, and it scares us.

    Cornonavirus<>Spanish Flu

    #54919

    WES
    Participant

    Zerosum:. Obviously I need to add Canada to your list of favorite countries!

    China sits at the top of your list.

    However Iran really takes the cake for it’s true 3 monkeys approach! They just announced that 40% of Tehran’s 12 million population will have the flu in 2 weeks! Probably the only true thing they have said in decades!

    With Iranians dropping dead like flies, their religious leaders are too busy praying to Allah.

    P.S. One day while driving on the main highway in Morocco, between Marrakesh and Casablanca, I saw an old man riding on a donkey. Just before the donkey stepped out onto the highway, right in front of me, I saw him lift his head to the sky, probably saying “Praise to Allah”.

    Never once did the man look either way to see if any traffic was coming on the highway! He was quite content to leave the driving to his donkey, which never lifted it’s head, but steadily kept on walking across the Sahara desert, highway be dammed!

    Yes, I had to stop from going 100 km/hr to avoid hitting him and his donkey! Despite my screeching brakes, he never once glanced at me!

    That is the mentality of the people running Iran!

    #54920

    boscohorowitz
    Participant

    “Democrats are about twice as likely as Republicans to say the coronavirus poses an imminent threat”

    One assumes this is because of mainstream media giving them the signal. The Republican side will soon surge ahead in conronavirus concern.

    It’s like they take turns.

    #54921

    WES
    Participant

    Bosco:. I believe he is telling us what he believes is the truth!

    Of course we have already seen lots of bits and pieces of the coronavirus story here on the TAE, so this isn’t a complete surprise to us. Since we are older, we have more than a passing interest!

    But for many people, they are still in total denial.

    Some it is just a flu, so no big deal! Some still believe it affects only Asians. Last time I looked, Italians and Iranians don’t look very Asian to me and hundreds of them have already died!

    #54922

    WES
    Participant

    Bosco:. To be honest, many Republicans expressed concerns back in January. I remember the big up roar from the Democrats and media when President Trump stopped direct flights from China! They were more concerned about hurting China’s feelings than the safety of their fellow countrymen!

    I suspect saying anything about the coronavirus back then, just made one feel unwelcome. So you just learn to keep your worries to yourself.

    The media are experts of seemlessly switching their positions 180 degrees and anointing blame!

    #54923

    zerosum
    Participant

    I just read
    https://www.zerohedge.com/health/all-hospital-beds-us-will-be-filled-coronavirus-patients-about-may-8th-according-analysis
    If we are lucky, (read the odds), we will still be here this fall
    I must repeat what I think.
    (Insert your favorite country)
    Inability for rapid and effective testing, in ______ as well as alleged lack of transparency especially in the early weeks of the outbreak, means we will likely see numbers explode exponentially as has already been happening over the past days.

    Survivors will make a civilization modeled on “the Matrix, or “The Brave New World” or “The Avatar”
    (Maybe my circle of life will not consider me “disposable)

    #54924

    zerosum
    Participant

    Name the New kinds of Cold virus that you can catch.
    S, L, Con, and Cosco, Panic, Prep,
    🙂

    #54925

    zerosum
    Participant

    Military still does not have test kits.
    Hehehehe
    Guess who can get test kits before the rifraf

    #54926

    Dr D Rich
    Participant

    Dr. D,
    I figured out the apt analogy. No need to thank me.
    You’re the Tenth Man that semi-saved apartheid Israel in Brad Pitt’s World War Z.
    Keep on countering the panic, propaganda and hysteria.

    #54927

    lasttwo
    Participant

    Today a health offical in Washington state said that blood donations are way down and because of the virus there will be a need for more blood.
    So I am thinking that we have not heard much from Africa. but when the virus gets percolated in the dark continent. we may have a new virus and you are hearing it here first

    The CORONABOLA VIRUS

    #54928

    zerosum
    Participant

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/6-new-covid-19-infections-announced-in-b-c-1.5489921
    6 new COVID-19 infections announced in B.C.
    Care home in North Vancouver site of a coronavirus outbreak after worker infected
    Jon Hernandez · CBC News · Posted: Mar 07, 2020 10:41 AM PT | Last Updated: an hour ago

    #54929

    Dr D Rich
    Participant

    “we will work aggressively with government to further develop and strengthen all necessary protocols for prevention, for detection and for care”
    Good leadership, soothing words from Carnival Cruise Lines

    #54930

    Dr D: (From last night)
    I have become somewhat familiar with Armstrong (not the other two) but Cathal was MY first intro to the concept of “The Reset”. He didn’t mean a cyclical reset, however. He meant the end of the world as we know it, kind of like Martenson’s viewpoint, but much, much worse unless the psychopaths can keep the plates spinning.
    I don’t know much about The Market, but it looks to me like that’s where inflation is “hiding”. I expect the latest developments will bring it closer to home, but it won’t look like the 80s when interest rates were so high. I can’t wrap my head around negative interest rates, but I’m sure it doesn’t bode well for my digital “wealth”. History would suggest war will become much more personal, soon (if it hasn’t already done so with these viruses).

    #54931

    Dr D Rich
    Participant

    Don’t trust sh*t from UW Medicine, King County Public Health, or WA DOH. They as self-annointed experts will follow the standard gameplan of blaming one or two workers in the trenches.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/its-awful-situation-washington-moves-take-over-nursing-home-epicenter-outbreak

    #54932

    Oh- and my kudos to Cathal were for his Feb 20th marker. I’d say things changed that day, because the 21st was a real surprise.
    I just have a soft spot for the guy. You, too, Dr D. (smiley emoji face)

    #54933

    Doc Robinson
    Participant

    “The coronavirus panic is dumb” (Elon Musk, yesterday)
    “Saying the coronavirus panic is dumb is dumb.” (Nassim Taleb, today)

    If the word “panic” means “exaggerated” reaction, could be so at the individual level but NOT at the collective one.
    We MUST reduce connectivity for 20 d to avert a serious problem.
    We have survived for zillion years thanks to “irrational” “panics”.

    Why it is SELFISH to not worry more about the virus than other sources of risk even if it does not affect you as much.

    Individual precaution does not scale to collective precaution.
    [Adding to PRINCIPIA POLITICA]

    Nassim Nicholas Taleb
    https://twitter.com/nntaleb/status/1236319814576214016

    #54934

    Dr D Rich
    Participant

    Dr. D, you are genius intimating this hysteria reflects something is going on quite other than coronavirus.
    Now police are following orders of public health officials to force a neighborhood to shelter in place while keeping the residents subjected to home detention in the dark as to the reason.

    “The Placer County Health Department issued a brief statement shortly after the police presence, stating: “Law enforcement partners are currently responding to enforce a health officer’s order. We cannot share any additional information to protect patient confidentiality.”

    #54935

    Dr D Rich
    Participant

    #54936

    boscohorowitz
    Participant

    “Bosco:. To be honest, many Republicans expressed concerns back in January. I remember the big up roar from the Democrats and media when President Trump stopped direct flights from China! They were more concerned about hurting China’s feelings than the safety of their fellow countrymen!”

    Aye, and as you describe, much of their perspective on the virus is driven by political strategy/ideology rather than genuine concern about the virus. Plus, these are all *expressions* of concern. When it comes to decisive, timely, functional action, one Republican’s ass looks like another Democrat’s forehead et vice-versa.

    Nobody’s done anything for shit. Who cares who’s crying when about whose sky will fall? I want a bigass umbrella, and I want it yesterday.

    The Weather Channel

    As for neighborhood lockdowns and a tendency to abuse the authority this gives the, er, authorities: I suspect we’ll just have to get used to it. That playbook has little variation. Form a local gangster network soon or submit entirely to at least a period of draconian cops’n’block-watchsters.

    As for talk of Hillary gaining accerss to the Oval Orifice: The majority of people, it seems to me, hate her more than they hate Donald Trump and Joe Biden, and people hate those two a lot.

    Also, for the first time in my life, I see a very large chance of this election being postponed, something both parties would welcome, since neither can get what they want from the electoral process, which has transformed into something they don’t understand just as they desperately need to lest they all go to jail, to quote the Lady Rodham.

    I think this is going to be the most unique passage in American history as any, and as paradigmatically changeful as the Civil War. Unless America gets super lucky and the infection vectors are mostly contained (it’s possible; so is winning the lottery), we’ll see something that lookas more like martial law than not, and maybe even more like martial law than martial itself.

    Last summer, I had a stoplight speak to me as if I were a dog. The light was red, the big No Go orange hand was flashing, and the robovoice from the cross-switch was saying, “wait… wait… wait….” like I was a dog going for a a walk with Steven Hawking.

    One wonders what it will be like when the first American wears a de facto burkha and other Americans understand immediately that this person isn’t a Muslim, just someone being smart and using their head to do something other than spread or inhale dangerous pathogens.

    #54937

    zerosum
    Participant

    I’ll repeat myself
    Yesterday is gone.
    Tomorrow is for the survivors of the convirus.

    #54938

    boscohorowitz
    Participant

    ““US banned the sale of rubber tires”

    Wow, such genius. So farmers can’t get tractors into the field and miners can’t get ore from the mines. Genius! We’re winning now! Central Planning forever!”

    The word “indiscriminate” needs to be placed between “the” and “sale” in the sentence above. Yes, they continued selling tires throughout the war. I would think there was also a brief perioed when sales of rubber tires were placed on gubmint hold until they got their distribution schematics down. We grew a lot of food during WWII, and I suspect our mining during that period hit a new, even dramatic peak, for the USA.

    Actually, I think the idea of the virus/economic depression/social agitation serving as Eastasia Common Enemy is plausible. Sell it right, it should work.

    But first, you need a real body count. Kind of a Kung Flu Pearl Harbor. San Diego<>Los Angelos seems almost destined to be the locale for such an “event” (statistical accumulation).

    Keep us focused on the War at Home. After all, we has met the enemy and him is us.

    #54939

    WES
    Participant

    Bosco:. Canada also banned the sale of rubber tires!

    The reason I know this is my Grandfather, who lived in Meota, Saskatchewan, had an old car that he could not afford to keep running.

    One day a man came around and asked if he could buy the four tires! Grandpa said yes, but only if he bought the whole car!

    My Dad said the guy didn’t dither for one second, paying Grandpa his price, cash on the spot! Clearly he was running booze and needed the tires!

    #54940

    zerosum
    Participant

    Hahahah!
    What are the young one going to do without our great stories.

    #54941

    WES
    Participant

    Bosco:. Another thing I remember was the authorities put purple dye in the gas farmers used to try and prevent them from selling gas on the black market.

    The police would check your vehicle’s gas tank to see if there was any purple dye in it!

    My other Grandfather, living in Ontario, was a farmer so he got purple dyed gas for the farm. What used to really piss him off were the people who would come around at night to steal the gas from his car because it wasn’t purple gas.

    For his car, he of course had to get by just like everybody else using their gas ration coupons. I believe he then greatly increased the number of farm dogs but even that didn’t stop the problem! I think the thieves just fed the dogs!

    #54942

    WES
    Participant

    Dr. D. Rich:. Talking about cruise ships, today one of Canada’s health officials, said they would really encourage Canadians to think twice about taking a cruise! Rare honesty!

    Especially since passengers could easily get quarantined in some 3rd world country and there would be nothing they could do for them.

    #54943

    WES
    Participant

    I noticed oil prices have suddenly taken a dive to about $40.

    I don’t think OPEC liked it when Russia said no!

    #54944

    TonyPrep
    Participant

    I’m not sure why you think the death rate will go down further. If you add the number of deaths to the number of recovered cases, you get the total of resolved CoVid-19 cases. The death rate is then the number of deaths relative to the total resolved cases. In the portion of the table above, this comes out to just under 6%. This seems to gel with the way the apparent death rate (deaths divided by total cases) has been creeping up (it was about 2% in the first few weeks). Eventually, when most cases are resolved, just dividing the deaths by the total cases will give a fairly good estimate. I would expect the apparent death rate to go up, not down.

    Of course, we don’t know how many cases are not reported but that is the only unknown that would reduce the death rate. As we can’t use an unknown number in any calculation, we should assume that the death rate is over 5%.

    #54945

    V. Arnold
    Participant

    On a lighter note: The rush to buy toilet paper is emptying the shelves leaving those without in a quandry.
    Not so here in Thailand; we use the “bum gun” (water spray) to clean after using the toilet. Much better… 😉

    #54946

    Doc Robinson
    Participant

    All the unreported and undetected cases could be really skewing the calculations for fatality rate. Looking at resolved cases outside of China, the Case Fatality Rate (CFR) is currently calculated to be 13.9%.

    CFR = deaths / (deaths + recovered)

    which, with the latest data available, would be equal to:

    3,600 / (3,600 + 60,190) = 6% CFR (worldwide)

    If we now exclude cases in mainland China, using current data on deaths and recovered cases, we get:

    503 / (503 + 3,107) = 13.9% CFR (outside of mainland China)

    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/coronavirus-death-rate/#correct

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