May 262020
 


G. G. Bain Temporary footpath, Manhattan Bridge 1908

 

8,000 Additional Deaths In Mexican Capital As Coronavirus Rages – Study (R.)
Brazil Surpasses US In Daily Coronavirus Death Toll (R.)
WHO Halts Hydroxychloroquine Trial For Coronavirus Amid Safety Fears (G.)
Tail Risk Of Contagious Diseases – Cirillo/Taleb (Nature)
44% of Republicans Think Bill Gates Will Use Vaccine To Implant Microchip (BI)
China’s Coronavirus Campaign Offers Glimpse Into Surveillance System (R.)
Chinese City To Score And Rank Its Residents Based On Health, Lifestyle (CNN)
PBOC Lowers RRR For China Financial Institutions To 9.4% (Xinhua)
Hong Kong Homebuyers Walk Away, Forfeit $1.5 Million In Deposits (SCMP)
Why Joe Biden Can Do No Wrong (Turley)
The Unspooling (Kunstler)
Bill Barr Calls Action of Mueller and Rosenstein “Abhorrent” (CTH)
Michael Moore Film Planet of the Humans Removed From YouTube (G.)
Time for a Selective Debt Jubilee (Willem Buiter)
Debt, Liberty and “Acts of God” (Michael Hudson)

 

New cases in:

• US + 19,790
• Brazil + 11,456
• Russia + 8,946
• India + 6,589
• Chile + 4,895

 

 

 

 

Note: only 1,300 deaths worldwide in 24 hours?!

Cases 5,609,654 (+ 88,909 from yesterday’s 5,520,745)

Deaths 348,322 (+ 1,300 from yesterday’s 347,022)

 

 

 

From Worldometer yesterday evening -before their day’s close-

 

 

From Worldometer

 

 

From SCMP:

 

 

From COVID19Info.live:

 

 

 

 

Few certainties, but important research, that every country and city should do.

8,000 Additional Deaths In Mexican Capital As Coronavirus Rages – Study (R.)

Mexico’s capital registered 8,072 more deaths in the first five months this year than the average from the same period over the past four years, an analysis by independent researchers showed on Monday, suggesting a possible surge due to the coronavirus. Health officials have reported 1,655 deaths from the virus in Mexico City, out of 7,394 deaths nationwide. They have also acknowledged that the true death toll is higher, but difficult to estimate due to a low testing rate. Software developer Mario Romero Zavala and economic consultant Laurianne Despeghel, whose analysis was published in Mexican magazine Nexos, tallied 39,173 fatalities this year through May 20 by extracting data from Mexico City’s online database of death certificates.


Over the prior four years, they calculated just 31,101 deaths on average during the same period, using the same database. Mexico City’s official count of deaths from the coronavirus represents just over 20% of the study’s “excess mortality” – a term used by epidemiologists to estimate the increase in deaths, versus normal conditions, attributable to a public health crisis. Excess mortality is difficult to calculate in Mexico because the most recent data on fatalities from the national statistics institute is from 2018. Despeghel said the analysis was only a first step to measuring the virus’ impact. “While studying excess deaths allows us to identify a higher mortality rate during the COVID-19 crisis, it is not sufficient to attribute it directly or solely to the virus,” she said.

Read more …

But the US will come roaring back. Note that Sweden is in second place after the UK over the past week.

Brazil Surpasses US In Daily Coronavirus Death Toll (R.)

Brazil daily coronavirus deaths were higher than fatalities in the United States for the first time over the last 24 hours, according to the country’s Health Ministry. Brazil registered 807 deaths over the last 24 hours, whereas 620 died in the United States. Brazil has the second worst outbreak in the world, with 374,898 cases, behind the U.S. with 1.637 million cases. Total deaths in the U.S. has reached 97,971, according to Reuters tally compared with Brazil at 23,473.

Read more …

I kid you not, they call it a “solidarity trial”. Do keep providing it for malaria and lupus, but, because of ONE article in the Lancet, not for COVID19.

WHO Halts Hydroxychloroquine Trial For Coronavirus Amid Safety Fears (G.)

The World Health Organization has said it will temporarily drop hydroxychloroquine — the malaria drug Donald Trump said he is taking as a precaution — from its global study into experimental coronavirus treatments after safety concerns. The WHO’s director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in light of a paper published last week in the Lancet that showed people taking hydroxychloroquine were at higher risk of death and heart problems than those who were not, it would pause the hydroxychloroquine arm of its solidarity global clinical trial. “The executive group has implemented a temporary pause of the hydroxychloroquine arm within the solidarity trial while the safety data is reviewed by the data safety monitoring board,” Tedros said on Monday. “The other arms of the trial are continuing,”

He said the concern related only to the use of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine for Covid-19, adding that the drugs were accepted treatments for people with malaria and auto-immune diseases. Other treatments in the WHO’s solidarity trial, including the experimental drug remdesivir and an HIV combination therapy, are still being pursued. Hydroxychloroquine has been licensed for use in the US since the mid-1950s and is listed by the WHO as an essential medicine. There are numerous trials under way of the two drugs against coronavirus but neither is a proven treatment. The US National Institutes of Health is also running a clinical trial to establish whether the drug, administered with the antibiotic azithromycin, can prevent hospital admissions and death from Covid-19.

A controversial French doctor who has promoted the use of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine for coronavirus said on Monday he stood by his belief the drugs could help patients recover. He also rejected the Lancet study of the records of 96,000 patients across hundreds of hospitals. “How can a messy study done with ‘big data’ change what we see?”, Prof Didier Raoult asked in a video posted on the website of his infectious diseases hospital in Marseille. “Here we have had 4,000 people go through our hospital, you don’t think I’m going to change because there are people who do ‘big data’, which is a kind of completely delusional fantasy,” he said.

Read more …

Every decision maker should take an in-depth crash course in risk.

Tail Risk Of Contagious Diseases – Cirillo/Taleb (Nature)

The central point we wish to convey is the following: the more fat-tailed a statistical distribution, the more the ‘tail wags the dog’. That is to say, more statistical information resides in the extremes and less in the ‘bulk’—the events of high frequency—where it becomes almost noise. Under fat tails, the law of large numbers works slowly, and moments—even when they exist—may become uninformative and unreliable5. All this makes EVT the most effective and robust approach for risk management purposes, even with relatively small datasets like ours. The presence of a fat right tail in the distribution of pandemic fatalities has the following policy implications, useful in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.


First, it should be evident that it is not appropriate to compare fatalities from multiplicative infectious diseases (fat-tailed, like a Pareto distribution) to those from car accidents, heart attacks or falls from ladders (thin-tailed, like a Gaussian). This remains a common (and costly) error in policy making, and in both the decision sciences and the journalistic literature. Some research papers even criticise the wider public’s ‘paranoia’ with respect to pandemics, not appreciating that such a paranoia is merely responsible (and realistic) risk management in front of potentially destructive events. The main problem is that those articles—often relied upon for policy making—consistently use the wrong thin-tailed distributions, underestimating tail risk, so that every conservative or preventative reaction is bound to be considered an overreaction.

Read more …

Have you seen Bill Gates lately? That’s the guy that all these tough -formerly- Americans are so afraid of.

Are these people still using Microsoft software, further enriching Gates?

44% of Republicans Think Bill Gates Will Use Vaccine To Implant Microchip (BI)

A new survey by Yahoo News and YouGov has found that 44% of Republicans believe that Bill Gates will use the COVID-19 vaccination to implant a location-tracking microchip into the vaccine recipient, a conspiracy theory that has gained traction among fringe groups and conservative pundits. The survey also found that 26% of Republicans do not believe the false microchip vaccine narrative, while 31% remained undecided on the topic. Half of the people surveyed who use Fox News as their main source of TV news also believe the debunked theory. However, the poll also noted that 19% of Democrats, 24% of Independents, and 15% of people who use MSNBC as their source of TV news also believe the microchipping myth.


For the survey, YouGov conducted an online interview of a “nationally representative” group of 1,640 US adults who were a part of YouGov’s opt-in panel between May 20 and 21. There is about a 3% margin of error. An earlier Yahoo News and YouGov poll also found that only 55% of Americans surveyed would want the coronavirus vaccine when it becomes available. The rest were either unsure (26%) or did not plan on receiving the vaccine (19%). President Donald Trump has said that he is “very confident” that a coronavirus vaccine will be ready by the end of the year, while experts have predicted that the vaccine development could take up to 12 to 18 months to prepare.

Read more …

You’re right, maybe this is all Bill Gates too. Maybe he bought the Forbidden City.

China’s Coronavirus Campaign Offers Glimpse Into Surveillance System (R.)

The coronavirus outbreak in China has given unprecedented glimpses into how an extensive system of surveillance cameras works, as monitoring stations are rebranded epidemic “war rooms” helping to check people’s movements and stifle the disease. China is trying to build one of the world’s most sophisticated surveillance technology networks, with hundreds of millions of cameras in public places and increasing use of techniques such as smartphone monitoring and facial recognition. This year, cities and villages across the country have used the system for what the government has labelled “an all-out people’s war on coronavirus”.

While authorities have primarily used mobile location data and ID-linked tracing apps to flag people coming back from abroad for quarantine, the camera surveillance system has played a crucial role, according to officials, state media and residents. The network has been used to trace the contacts of people confirmed as infected with the virus, and to punish businesses and individuals flouting restrictions. “This is a war situation,” said a civil servant surnamed Wang in Tianjin city, who was involved in tracing thousands of people linked to a coronavirus cluster at a department store. “We must adopt war-time thinking.” Despite the hi-tech ambitions of the system, it is heavily dependent on a lot of people watching footage on screens. Known as “grid members”, they sit in monitoring rooms or squint over smart-phone feeds from the networks of cameras.

“This type of surveillance is far more human driven than it is tech driven, said James Leibold, associate Professor at Australia’s La Trobe University, who researched similar systems in China’s far-west Xinjiang. State media, officials and local governments have given accounts of the system in action in the campaign against the coronavirus. In Donghan village in Hubei, the province where the coronavirus emerged late last year, grid member Liu Ganhe saw six villagers gathering without masks, so he called the authorities. “Village cadres rushed to the scene to disperse the crowd and educate the people,” media said, praising the “wartime restrictions” the system was able to enforce.

Read more …

There are really people who could see this happening in the west?!

Chinese City To Score And Rank Its Residents Based On Health, Lifestyle (CNN)

Imagine a smartphone app that has access to your medical records and assigns you a daily score based on your preconditions, recent checkups and lifestyle habits — how much you’ve drunk, smoked, exercised and slept on any given day can all affect your points total, boosting or lowering your ranking. That “health score” will be embedded in a digital QR code accessible on your phone, ready to be scanned whenever needed. This is what the city government of Hangzhou in eastern China has envisioned for its more than 10 million residents, inspired by a “health code” system it adopted during the Covid-19 pandemic to profile people based on their risk of infection.

Across the globe, governments have stepped up the collection of personal data in their fight against the novel coronavirus, which has killed more than 345,000 people and infected close to 5.5 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University. But there are also fears that some of these extraordinary measures could be here to stay even after the public health crisis is over, posing a long-term threat to privacy. That concern was amplified among Hangzhou residents when their municipal government announced Friday that it was planning to make permanent a version of the “health code” app used during the pandemic.

Since February, the Chinese government has used a color-based “health code” system to control people’s movements and curb the spread of the coronavirus. The automatically generated quick response codes, commonly abbreviated to QR codes, are assigned to citizens on their smartphones as an indicator of their health status. The color of these codes — in red, amber or green — decides whether users can leave home, use public transport and enter public places. The health codes can also serve as a tracker for people’s movements, as residents have their QR codes scanned as they enter public places. Once a confirmed case is diagnosed, authorities are able to quickly trace where the patient has been and identify people who have been in contact with that individual.

Hangzhou, a coastal city about a hundred miles southwest of Shanghai, was among the first cities to use the health code system to decide which citizens should go into quarantine. But now, the city government says it wants the “health code” to be “normalized” — meaning it could be here to stay well beyond the pandemic.

Read more …

Two years ago, the reserve requirement ratio was 14.2%, now it’s 9.4%. But Chinese banks haven’t shed risk. So this is dangerous. The RRR, simplified, is a gauge of the bad debt they hold, and I bet you it’s way more than 9.4%.

PBOC Lowers RRR For China Financial Institutions To 9.4% (Xinhua)

The average reserve requirement ratio (RRR) for financial institutions stood at 9.4 percent on May 15, down 5.2 percentage points from the beginning of 2018, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) said. The PBOC has lowered the RRR 12 times since 2018, releasing about 8 trillion yuan (about 1.12 trillion U.S. dollars) in long-term funds to bolster the real economy. Of the total, four RRR cuts in 2018 released 3.65 trillion yuan, five RRR cuts in 2019 released 2.7 trillion yuan and three RRR cuts in the first five months this year released 1.75 trillion yuan. The RRR cuts have led to the contraction of the balance sheet of the PBOC, but this will not cause the tightening of money supply and is contrary to the balance sheet reduction of the central banks of the developed economies such as the U.S. Federal Reserve to reduce the bond holdings, the PBOC said.


The contraction has a strong expansion effect and the main reason is that lowering the RRR means commercial banks will have less money locked up by the central bank and more money for free use, the PBOC said. The RRR cuts have helped meet the liquidity demand of the banking system, boost support for small businesses, cut the social financing cost, promote the market-oriented and law-based debt-to-equity swaps, the central bank said. The cuts have encouraged the rural financial institutions to serve local entities, supported the epidemic prevention and control as well as enterprise work resumption, and played a positive role in bolstering the real economy, the PBOC said.

Read more …

The protests will pick up again.

Hong Kong Homebuyers Walk Away, Forfeit $1.5 Million In Deposits (SCMP)

Nineteen Hong Kong homebuyers who put down deposits for flats at the height of a market rally around June 2018 have walked away from their purchases, forfeiting as much as HK$11.83 million (US$1.53 million) and HK$12.4 million in two instances over the past month. Nine buyers walked away from Hong Kong developer K Wah International’s Solaria project in Tai Po district, forfeiting the HK$11.83 million on Friday, according to the project’s Register of Transactions. The second instance, of 10 forfeitures, was reported from Solaria on April 29. Altogether, more than 100 homebuyers have walked away from their purchases so far this year, according to reports.


Hong Kong’s economy has taken a battering since the heydays of June 2018. The year-long US-China trade war, the city’s anti-government protests and the novel coronavirus outbreak have all taken their toll, pushing the city’s economy into recession over two quarters of economic contraction. The proposed introduction of a new national security law by Beijing, announced at “Two Sessions” last week, has added to the turmoil by sparking fears about market stability.
Centa-City Leading Index, Centaline’s timelier price index for used homes, has declined about 5 per cent between June 2018 and now. It has dropped about 6.8 per cent since June 2019.

Read more …

What exactly is the game? Is CNN supporting Trump?

Why Joe Biden Can Do No Wrong (Turley)

Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on special dispensation given Joe Biden by members of Congress, commentators, and the media. We previously discussed the muted media response to false legal comments from President Barack Obama and other Obama officials on the Flynn case. The pattern of media avoidance is more glaring with recent Biden controversies. Notably, the column ran when Biden gave his interview on the radio show “The Breakfast Club” that “if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.” This weekend, I was critical of segments on CNN and NBC’s Meet the Press which quoted Biden but cut off the line where he falsely claimed to have received multiple endorsements from the NAACP.


CNN’s John King derisively referred to controversy as something people are “trying to make hay” out of and then played the interview. However, CNN clipped the tape to leave out the next line where Biden declared “The NAACP has endorsed me every time I’ve run. Come on, take a look at my record.” Despite that invitation to look at his record, CNN and other media routinely cut out the false statement and also omitted any discussion of the false claim linked to the NAACP. On a story about Biden’s claim that all black voters must vote for him (or not be truly black), it would seem material that he also falsely claimed endorsements from the leading organization in the African American community. However, it was routinely omitted from the tape and Biden has not been asked to respond to the rebuttal from the NAACP. It is precisely the type of crafting of the coverage to confine damage for Biden that is discussed in the column.

Read more …

Once Emmet Sullivan gives in, Michael Flynn will be free to speak.

The Unspooling (Kunstler)

What “the Resistance” really fears more than anything is General Michael Flynn’s mouth. He’s been under a judicial gag order since his case went before Judge Emmet Sullivan’s federal district court. Understandably, Gen. Flynn wasn’t eager to complicate his unjust plight with a contempt citation. Judge Sullivan’s recent shenanigans have one object: to keep that gag order in force as long as possible. The moment Judge Sullivan confirms the DOJ’s move to dismiss the charges, as he is duty-bound to do, General Flynn will be free to offer his views to the public. That might be inconvenient in an election season.

I’m sure he has a lot to say. Gen. Flynn was head of the Defense Intelligence Agency for two years (2012 – 2014) under Barack Obama, and he knows a ton about every crooked operation Mr. Obama presided over, including the Benghazi fiasco, the Ukraine regime change op, and especially Mr. Obama’s hijacking of the NSA supercomputer surveillance database known as “the Hammer,” which was set up originally to track terrorists and then used by DNI James Clapper and CIA chief John Brennan to spy on Americans, most particularly Mr. Obama’s political adversaries. It’s rumored that Mr. Obama took the database with him when he left the White House, and it is said to contain great gouts of usefully damning information about just about everyone in government, including senators, congressmen, and Supreme Court justices.

Gen. Flynn became an antagonist to Obama & Co. when he objected to the nuclear deal they were cooking up with Iran and when he spoke out against the CIA’s 2013 Timber Sycamore op to arm and give money to Isis terrorists opposing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Mr. Obama canned Gen. Flynn in 2014. What really sealed Gen. Flynn’s fate was when he started publicly complaining about the politicization of John Brennan’s CIA. The New York Times quoted him saying, “They’ve lost sight of who they actually work for. They work for the American people. They don’t work for the president of the United States. Frankly, it’s become a very political organization.”

Read more …

There’s a major battle coming, but I don’t see Bill Barr playing a major role in it.

Bill Barr Calls Action of Mueller and Rosenstein “Abhorrent” (CTH)

For well over a year we’ve been saying AG Bill Barr’s biggest challenge is not investigating the soft-coup but rather managing through what We The People are already aware of. With that in mind; and with congress moving to put former DAG Rod Rosenstein and former Special Counsel Robert Mueller under a microscope; it is interesting to note AG Bill Barr recently conceding his two friends were corrupt.

[Transcript] …”Now what happened to the president – and I’ve said this many times – what happened to the president in the 2016 election; and throughout the first two years of his administration was abhorrent. It was a grave injustice and it was unprecedented in American history.” “The law enforcement and intelligence apparatus of this country were involved in advancing a false and utterly baseless Russian-collusion narrative against the president.” The proper investigative and prosecutive standards of the Dept of Justice were abused, in my view, in order to reach a particular result.” ~ (AG Barr, May 18, 2020)

How can AG Barr say the DOJ/FBI conduct during the first two years of the administration “was abhorrent” without specifically implying his two friends, Robert Mueller and Rod Rosenstein were complicit in the “grave injustice” he outlines? It is interesting that no media (of any disposition) has ever questioned AG Barr about Rosenstein and Mueller considering his words that outline their behavior as abhorrent.

Read more …

4 seconds.

Note: it’s not a Michael Moore film, his name was used only for publicity. And now the detractors use it too. Is that wise?

Michael Moore Film Planet of the Humans Removed From YouTube (G.)

YouTube has taken down the controversial Michael Moore-produced documentary Planet of the Humans in response to a copyright infringement claim by a British environmental photographer. The movie, which has been condemned as inaccurate and misleading by climate scientists and activists, allegedly includes a clip used without the permission of the owner Toby Smith, who does not approve of the context in which his material is being used. In response, the filmmakers denied violating fair usage rules and accused their critics of politically motivated censorship. Smith filed the complaint to YouTube on 23 May after discovering Planet of the Humans used several seconds of footage from his Rare Earthenware project detailing the journey of rare earth minerals from Inner Mongolia.

Smith, who has previously worked on energy and environmental issues, said he did not want his work associated with something he disagreed with. “I went directly to YouTube rather than approaching the filmmakers because I wasn’t interested in negotiation. I don’t support the documentary, I don’t agree with its message and I don’t like the misleading use of facts in its narrative.” Planet of the Humans director Jeff Gibbs said he was working with YouTube to resolve the issue and have the film back up as soon as possible. He said in a statement: “This attempt to take down our film and prevent the public from seeing it is a blatant act of censorship by political critics of Planet of the Humans. It is a misuse of copyright law to shut down a film that has opened a serious conversation about how parts of the environmental movement have gotten into bed with Wall Street and so-called “green capitalists.” There is absolutely no copyright violation in my film. This is just another attempt by the film’s opponents to subvert the right to free speech.”

Planet of the Humans, which has been seen by more than 8 million people since it was launched online last month, describes itself as a “full-frontal assault” on the sacred cows of the environmental movement. Veteran climate campaigners and thinkers, such as Bill McKibben and George Monbiot, have pointed out factual errors, outdated footage and promotion of myths about renewable energy propagated by the fossil fuel industry. Many are dismayed that Moore – who built his reputation as a left-wing filmmaker and supporter of civil rights – should produce a work endorsed by climate sceptics and right-wing thinktanks. Several have signed a letter urging the removal of what they called a “shockingly misleading and absurd” documentary. Climate scientist Michael Mann said the filmmakers “have done a grave disservice to us and the planet” with distortions, half-truths and lies.

Read more …

Buiter is your typical career insider. His opinions are pretty useless.

Time for a Selective Debt Jubilee (Willem Buiter)

Across most advanced economies, much of the additional private debt accumulated during the crisis will likely end up being owned by public entities, including central banks, and most of it will never be repaid. To protect their independence and political legitimacy, central banks should not act as fiscal principals. And yet, in the case of small and medium-size enterprises, it is simply obvious that COVID-19-related debt will have to be forgiven. The national Treasury will need to compensate the central bank for any losses it incurs.For publicly traded companies the debt held by public creditors should be turned into equity, in the form of non-voting preference shares, which would minimize the impression that the pandemic had inaugurated a new era of central planning.

Again, the national Treasury will have to indemnify the central bank for any losses it incurs. An equitization option should be attached to all newly issued public debt. The resulting equity instruments could represent claims on part of the government’s primary budget surplus, or their interest rates could be linked to GDP growth. But poorer countries will not have this option. According to the Brookings Institution, emerging markets and developing countries already owe about $11 trillion in external debt and face $3.9 trillion in debt-service costs this year. In April, the World Bank and the IMF offered a modicum of debt relief to many of these countries, and the G20 agreed to a temporary payment standstill for official debt, which paved the way for hundreds of private creditors to do the same.

Yet these forms of assistance offer too little, too late. The fact is that most of these debts never should have been issued in the first place. Grants are the proper way to transfer resources to low-income countries. After World War II, the Marshall Plan involved only grants; today, the case for “corona grants” to low-income countries could hardly be stronger. Under the IMF and the World Bank’s 1996 Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative, some 36 countries received full or partial debt relief. It is time to return to that idea, starting with a comprehensive round of debt forgiveness for the world’s poorest countries. This selective jubilee should include debts owed to the IMF, the World Bank, other multilateral lenders, national sovereigns, official bodies like state-owned enterprises, and private creditors.

Debt is a dangerous instrument. For far too long, the world has used it to avoid awkward but unavoidable decisions. In the midst of an unprecedented global crisis, something will have to give.

Read more …

I don’t think many people understand how bad the situation will be during and after the virus. Recovery and return to normal are pretty much empty terms now.

Debt, Liberty and “Acts of God” (Michael Hudson)

Western civilization distinguishes itself from its predecessors in the way it has responded to “acts of God” disrupting the means of support and leaving debts in their wake. The great question always has been who will lose under such conditions. Will it be debtors and renters at the bottom of the economic scale, or creditors and landlords at the top? This age-old confrontation between creditors and debtors, landlords and tenants over how to deal with the unpaid debts and back rents is at the economic heart of today’s 2020 coronavirus pandemic that has left large and small businesses, farms, restaurants and neighborhood stores – along with their employees who have been laid off – unable to pay the rents, mortgages, other debt service and taxes that have accrued.

For thousands of years ancient economies operated on credit during the crop year, with payment falling due when the harvest was in – typically on the threshing floor. Normally this cycle provided a flow of crops and corvée labor to the palace and covered the cultivator’s spending during the crop year, with interest owed only when payment was late. But bad harvests, military conflict or simply the normal hardships of life occasionally prevented this buildup of debt from being paid, threatening citizens with bondage to their creditors or loss of their land rights. Mesopotamian palaces had to decide who would bear the loss when drought, flooding, infestation, disease or military attack disrupted economic activity and prevented the settlement of debts, rents and taxes.

Recognizing that this was an unavoidable fact of life, rulers proclaimed amnesties for taxes and the various debts that were incurred during the crop year. These acts saved smallholders from having to work off their debts by personal bondage and ultimately to lose their land. Classical antiquity, and indeed subsequent Western civilization, rejected such Clean Slates to restore social balance. Since Roman times it has become normal for creditors to use social misfortune as an opportunity to gain property and income at the expense of families falling into debt. In the absence of kings or democratic civic regimes protecting debtor rights and liberty, pro-creditor laws obliged debtors to lose their land or other means of livelihood to foreclosing creditors, sell it under distress conditions and fall into bondage to work off their debts, becoming clients or quasi-serfs to their creditors without hope of recovering their former free status.

Read more …

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Home Forums Debt Rattle May 26 2020

This topic contains 16 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Geppetto 6 months, 1 week ago.

Viewing 17 posts - 1 through 17 (of 17 total)
  • Author
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  • #59222

    G. G. Bain Temporary footpath, Manhattan Bridge 1908   • 8,000 Additional Deaths In Mexican Capital As Coronavirus Rages – Study (R.) • Brazil Su
    [See the full post at: Debt Rattle May 26 2020]

    #59223

    John Day
    Participant

    http://www.johndayblog.com/2020/05/origins-of-covid.html

    Is This Controlled Demolition all over Again?​ Gilad Atzmon​
    ​ ​For years Eco-Enthusiasts, both activists and scientists, have been telling us that the ‘party’ will come to an end. The planet we are stuck on can’t take it for much longer, it is getting too crowded and unbearably warm. Most people didn’t take any real notice of the situation and for a reason. This planet, we tend to think, isn’t really ‘ours,’ we were thrown onto it and for a limited time. Once we grasp the true meaning of our temporality, we begin to acknowledge our terminality. ‘Being in the world’ as such is often the attempt to make our ‘life-time’ into a meaningful event.
    ​ ​It occurs to me that what we may be seeing is a controlled demolition all over again. This time it isn’t a building in NYC. It isn’t the destruction of a single industry or even a single class as we have seen before. This time, our understanding of Being as a productive and meaningful adventure is embattled. As things stand, our entire sense of livelihood is at risk.​..​
    ​ ​It doesn’t take a financial expert to realise that in the last few years the world economy in general and western economies in particular have become a fat bubble ready to burst. When economic bubbles burst the outcome is unexpected even though often the culprit or trigger for the crash can be identified. What is unique in the current controlled demolition is the willingness of our compromised political class, the media and in particular Left/Progressive networks to participate in the destruction.
    ​ ​The alliance is wide and inclusive. The WHO, greatly funded by Bill Gates, sets the measures by which we are locked down, the Left and the Progressives fuel the apocalyptic phantasies to keep us hiding in our global attics, Dershowitz tries to rewrite the constitution , big Pharma’s agenda shapes our future and we also hear that Moderna and its leading Israeli doctor is ready to “fix” our genes. Meanwhile we learn that our governments are gearing up to stick a needle in our arms…
    ​ ​I believe that it was me who ten years ago coined the popular adage “We Are all Palestinians” – like the Palestinians, I thought at the time, we aren’t even allowed to name our oppressor…
    https://gilad.online/writings/2020/5/22/is-this-controlled-demolition-all-over-again

    ​Medcram Update on COVID-19: Vitamin D (and internet) “Academic Censorship”
    (Medcram has been repeatedly YouTube censored for discussing medical research papers on treatment trials including unapproved “unproven” treatments, and finding that there is actually good data to analyze. All their other lectures remain, though.)
    ​https://www.medcram.com/courses/take/coronavirus-outbreak-symptoms-treatment/lessons/13092783-update-74-vitamin-d-covid-19-academic-censorship

    U​niversity​ of L​ethbridge​ scientists develop new medical cannabis cultivars that show promise in combatting COVID-19 virus​ (Some cannabidiol might help a bit​. A​ppears harmless, too)
    https://www.uleth.ca/unews/article/u-l-scientists-develop-new-medical-cannabis-cultivars-show-promise-combatting-covid-19-virus#.Xsc4x0RKjtQ

    ​Bush Doctor
    ​https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XcBnaA3LpZ4

    #59224

    Dr. D
    Participant

    More in explaining high cases in Democratic and Resistance districts:
    “Tens of Thousands of Coronavirus Tests Have Been Double-counted, Officials Admit”
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/science-and-disease/tens-thousands-coronavirus-tests-have-double-counted-officials/

    Wow, 10,000 mistakes, and they all go the same way! Always! But I do not find that suspicious at all. I believe everything I’m told by experts, even though it is directly opposite to experts who spoke just a moment ago.
    Since this thing is so boring and so obvious, let’s go look at something important:

    “We are Headed into War”
    “the Democrats have nothing to stand on but the virus for the 2020 election. They used the Russians for the 2016 election and this time they are using China. They seem hell-bent on creating World War III simply for political gain which they may think will not come to blows – in that they are wrong!”

    The phrasing blames the DNC as if they are alone, which is wrong. All power-brokers including or especially Cheeto want this to happen, and I believe very few think it will be an open conflict. Genius timer Armstrong suggests they are wrong, and I find the chance of miscalculation between our cultures much more likely. China is fighting for her survival, we aren’t. So they may move far, far stronger than we believe or are ready or capable of responding to. It’s China’s back yard, and they know it: that’s why they call it the “China” Sea. If they want Hong Kong, or even Taiwan, we have nothing that can stop them. If they wanted Okinawa, or even the Philippines, we’d be lucky to slow them down. Like 1939 Japan, they could leap out into the Pacific rim and tell us to go do … naughty things. And then what? We fight a world war to push them back in a hypersonic nuclear age? We don’t even NEED nukes anymore, the kinetic blow of hypersonics can easily level Seattle and Chicago in minutes. China has demonstrated they can just lob ship-sized objects like artillery throughout the seas. So then do we retreat instead? Then what?

    Everyone’s distracted with garbage, nonsense, non-events while this goes on. Like the impeachment, engineered for a distraction that didn’t happen.

    China is not kidding. But we are a joke. Both as a military and as a culture. We can’t tolerate the stress of watching Netflix while people with actual work and bravery delivered Cheetos to you on the couch while whining and complaining about them DOING that work for you. But so it goes with Tytler’s cycles of decadence.

    They have tried to start WWIII (or IV) like 10 times in the last 3 years. Their avowed goal and religion is to reduce the population by a few billion and reduce the footprint on earth. While they get rich on the effort. Try to pay attention and take it with the gravity it deserves. Since the entire West is wallpapered with nothing but lies, I doubt this is possible, but I can say it.

    Speaking of new ways to kill millions or billions – beyond the millions now likely to die in the 3rd world, like Chile, commodities producer for a shuttered planet – they can’t stop/won’t stop killing people by shutting off the power and fuel that keeps us alive.

    Diem
    https://d33wjekvz3zs1a.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/5-2020-Economist-Seize-the-Moment.jpg

    These are the same guys who got every model wrong for 30 years, and just got all the pandemic models wrong that will kill a million or two with poverty and unemployment.

    “Florida loses approximately 200,000 people a year to all-cause mortality. New York, which has a roughly-comparable population, loses about 150,000. This is not surprising; Florida’s population has an older median age and thus you’d expect more people to die for all manner of ordinary reasons.
    New York has had roughly 23,000 covid-19 deaths recorded. That’s 15% of all-cause mortality, a very significant impact and enough to scare the living Hell out of a significant percentage of the population.

    Florida, on the other hand, has had about 2,200 covid-19 deaths. That’s approximately 1.1% of all-cause mortality, a completely-insignificant percentage — in fact, a rate lost in the ordinary year to year statistical noise of the all-cause rate of death.

    Tennessee has had about 300 deaths, and usually has about 70,000 all-cause deaths a year. That’s under 0.5%, again, an utterly-insignificant impact and again lost in the ordinary statistical noise.

    Michigan has had ~5,200 Covid-19 deaths; the state’s all-cause mortality is right around 99,000. That’s 5.25%, or ten times Tennessee’s rate. Now that is a figure that is quite material. Maybe not enough to scare the living Hell out of everyone (it’s 1/3rd of NY’s rate, after all) but it is high enough to scare plenty of people.
    Illinois had 4,715 Covid-19 deaths; their all-cause mortality in 2018 was 110,000. That’s 4.29%, or about ten times that of Tennessee and approximately four times that of Florida, which has an older population than Illinois. Again, quite material
    .”

    http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=239376

    Explain? Apparently viruses are political, follow legal borders, and can vote. What’s the science for the Blue Flu?

    “US still going down slowly due to decline in top states, NY, NJ, IL, MA,”

    “This isn’t speculation; as I pointed out at the end of March every single state that I looked at had its infection rate (not case count, rate of expansion) peak on or before the day the lockdowns were enacted.

    Since it takes five to ten days from infection before you are symptomatic enough to go seek treatment this means the lockdown orders could not have caused the curve to collapse because the mitigation was put into place after the event occurred.”

    Yaneer doesn’t notice cause and effect. No science for us!

    “Every decision maker should take an in-depth crash course in risk.”
    “Tail Risk of Contagious Diseases – Cirillo/Taleb (Nature)”

    Yes, they should. Because clearly nobody’s paying attention right now. To science, statistics, data, math, or tail risks. Taleb’s ‘Tail Risk” would have us in our basements for 1,000 years because there is ALWAYS comet-striking-earth tail risks to everything. Every. Day. Yet this, which according to their stats, should happen, never does, while 6 Sigma events in human affairs, like market crashes, should never happen, but occur constantly. No one adjusts their math. They just tell reality it’s wrong and they’re right, as the ego drives them into ever-more delicious delusion. Everyone cheers the wrong where the only enemy is the truth.

    “Are these people still using Microsoft software, further enriching Gates?”

    Sure they are! It’s essentially impossible to do otherwise. That’s why we installed government mandated-and-protected monopolies! They have to to keep a back-door on every chip and software to the NSA and therefore to China and everybody else. This is literally true: go look at Intel chip exploit and software is naturally far worse. They just bought WayBack machine to destroy competition, and use monopoly and bank/market rigging defended by the SEC to fund it all. So no more truth and history for you! We’re firmly installed in 1984, Winston will be editing and re-editing all those pages just like they told you they would. …But of course although they said it for 60 years and did nothing but promote this the whole time, they were only kidding and I’m just crazy. Being right for decades is all just an accident and I’m wrong and making it up this time.

    “China’s Coronavirus Campaign Offers Glimpse into Surveillance System (R.)”

    I’m also crazy that this is happening worldwide, everywhere but here, just as they said they would, openly destroying journalism, protest, discussion, dissent, and all institutions that don’t strictly adhere to violent Stalinism that killed 100M in the 20th century. Join today! I, Karen, demand it! If we can save even ONE life by killing every bison in Yellowstone it’s worth it! Public safety brownshirts will expand their patrols from Antifa and Karen to the Bobbies arresting you for wrongthink online, which has been happening regularly. That’s how you know it’s good! Everyone’s much safer now that you can be arrested for anything, or even NOT arrested and held in Belmarsh for life without trial. Yay virus! We join today!

    #59225

    anticlimactic
    Participant

    The virus has so far killed 0.00446% of the global population! Up from 0.00445% yesterday! The horror!

    Governments panic!

    ———————-

    WHO – Gosh, the side-effects must be awful if they are worse than gasping for air, organ failure and death!

    #59226

    zerosum
    Participant

    In the absence of kings
    • WHO Halts Hydroxychloroquine Trial For Coronavirus Amid Safety Fears (G.)
    ???? Safety FEAR or Liable FEAR or the pursuit of profit motive
    ——–
    • PBOC Lowers RRR For China Financial Institutions To 9.4% (Xinhua)
    No bad debt in Japan with the gov. owned companies
    ———-
    • Why Joe Biden Can Do No Wrong (Turley)
    Only political insiders know what, where, when, how
    “…. the type of crafting of the coverage to confine damage for Biden that is discussed in the column.”
    ———
    “Buiter is your typical career insider. His opinions are pretty useless.”

    • Time for a Selective Debt Jubilee (Willem Buiter)
    With trillions of dollars …… Its a modern jubilee for the elites
    It is time to return to that idea, starting with a comprehensive round of debt forgiveness for the world’s poorest countries. This selective jubilee should include debts owed to the IMF, the World Bank, other multilateral lenders, national sovereigns, official bodies like state-owned enterprises, and private creditors.
    ——-
    • Debt, Liberty and “Acts of God” (Michael Hudson)
    “…. creditors to become a wealthy class rivaling the power of palace rulers and seeking gains by impoverishing their debtors.”
    Only the debts of the elites are being forgiven with trillions of dollars.
    ———

    #59227

    WES
    Participant

    I see Bill Barr is busy doing nothing! He excels at this!

    Nobody has been charged with anything since he became AG!

    None of those who have been falsely charged have been acquited.

    Their version of the law remains solidly in place.

    #59228

    WES
    Participant

    Isn’t it nice to now learn that the Wuhan Lab was designed and built with Chinese help by France!

    Yes, the French designed the lab!

    It was supposed to be a partnership but the Chinese kicked the French out right after it was built!

    French intelligence warned French leaders this would happen but they ignored the warning!

    French intelligence also warned about how sloppy China was about safety protocols too!

    All of their warnings came true.

    But of course the French leaders were socialists just like the ones who enabled Hitler to effortlessly over run France in 1940!

    #59229

    WES
    Participant

    Willem Buiter is more than useless! He is an idiot!

    Our entire monetary system is built on debt!

    The dollar in your pocket is a debt! It is an IOU! More likely an “I Owe You Nothing”!

    Selectively defaulting on just some debt, which only he gets to decide, is like pulling out a brick at the bottom of a wall, and then wondering why the whole wall fell!

    Nobody is willingly going to volunteer to be the first to lose their IOU! If you decided to do so, then you are also deciding the fate of all those to whom you owe debt to too!

    Our Ponzi scheme Central Bankers can’t ever let that happen! It is what they fear the most!

    #59230

    WES
    Participant

    I remember reading about one hospital dealing with the Spanish flu a century ago.

    They pioneered the sound idea of getting their patients outdoors as much as possible.

    They housed many patients in tents on their grounds. They found that the fresh air and sunshine did wonders towards reducing the spread of the Spanish flu to their staff and helped their patients recover better. Clearly the UV light helped to kill germs on surfaces.

    With the Coronavirus, it will be very interesting to see if being outdoors more actually increases the spread of the virus. My guess being outdoors will not be as bad as groups of people being indoors.

    My reasoning is this. In Ontario there has been a spike in cases likely due to more people visiting family to celebrate Mother’s Day. The weather was cold not good for being outdoors at all.

    But now warmer weather has finally arrived allowing people to be outdoors much more.

    The virus seems to be better suited to spread indoors than outdoors is my guess. If this is true then the number of virus cases shouldn’t rise, with people outdoors more, as much as the health authorities have been warning.

    Then in the fall,as people are slowly forced indoors as the weather cools, the number of virus cases will rise again.

    #59231

    Geppetto
    Participant

    Dr. D you are too kind to the experts that claim to be the smarter and better. Taleb, Norman and the condescending one, Yaneer. It’s a contest. Motivate the little peeps to fall in line with a graph game!. Never seen so much vitriol and hate from they that claim so much virtue. And if they do not claim virtue then they are just mean and elite. Taleb the worst. Your zen inference will never resonate with the only left brained. The “Real World Risk Institute”? Is that what they call the club? Claiming grandpa’s sense as the new way forward? Taleb the lindy grandma plagiarist. .

    The Covid… like a cosmic joke … except the cosmos could give a rats you know what if our little species survives or not. So much hubris. It would be funny if not so sad.

    #59233

    If an elite group engineered a collapse of populations, and they were the only ones left after all hell broke loose, would you say- well at let some humans have survived, and that is a good thing?

    #59234

    “at least”, not “at let”
    jheez.
    The bad guys win and make the new world… is this how it has always been? Is this how we got where we are?

    #59235

    Geppetto
    Participant

    My parents. If it’s about questions, ask some different ones. Relax. It’s not only the ‘elites’ world . It’s your too. Get out there and claim it. Breath it, live it, love it. Like one of those eastern sage guys said ” you cannot control, you can only catch”. Risk can bring reward. Program the left execute on the right. Wax on wax off. Practice makes perfect. Why would one think that as a species we have gotten anywhere along our path? Could be the end or might be the beginning. Hubris…… ego. Leave it, we’ve got real work to do.

    #59236

    Dr. D
    Participant

    Sort of. The people are very laid back and trusting, which is pretty good in a way. However, because they are never suspicious and believe any nonsense they’re fed, they are the victims of any half baked story and transparent con game any villain can cook up. You know, like yellowcake and the Patriot Act. Sadly, I thought people had a brian, morans, and a 5-year-old could see through this. Nope.

    However, they are the great mass and the con men are the minority, so we go twining through history together. Good and evil, in the dividing line of our own hearts. If people want the good, con men can’t touch them. It’s required to be complicit. So their present success says more about us than them. Adhere to the good, to that morality they claim doesn’t exist, doesn’t work, is all subjective and made up, and they will disappear to the corners. The greatest trick the devil had was to make people believe he doesn’t exist. Morality doesn’t exist. Rules don’t exist. Logos doesn’t exist. The only thing that exists is ME, the ego. And the ego is an empire now, and when I act, I create reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, and the reality of yesterday stops existing, and truth becomes whatever I think it is now — past, present, future — until I tell it to change again a minute from now. That’s “Reality”! That’s “Truth”, in the Reality-based community. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reality-based_community A community of cult insanity. Apparently everybody loves it, so who am I to judge?

    #59237

    Dr. D
    Participant

    Ah, and thus why they to buy and shut down the WayBack Machine. How can the ego create reality, have it constantly reverse, “We were always at war with Estasia” when there are still books and records showing otherwise? The pure insanity and chaos cannot be complete.

    ““Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.” ― George Orwell, 1984

    “Power comes from the barrel of a gun”

    If you wanted only to enforce the present truth, to be who you are, to take the true consequences of your actions, what would you need power for? You would never use it. It’s only needed and used to STOP the truth and PREVENT justice. I mean, look at who wants and most desires, most uses it.

    #59252

    zerosum
    Participant

    truth becomes whatever I think it is now
    My thoughts don’t change the universe.
    My thoughts are not the universe.
    Are my thoughts part of your thoughts?
    Are your thoughts part of my thoughts?
    Does it matter?
    Who cares?
    Tomorrow will not be today
    See the probabilities
    Act on the probabilities
    Go with the flow

    #59255

    Geppetto
    Participant

    I’m not sure. I do know plenty of peeps in liberal Cali that are suspicious and don’t believe nonsense. And they have plenty of guns. Very fatigued at being *told* right now. I dreamt of someone hanging from a light pole. Like a helicopter or a 747, thousands of single point failure modes. Have you seen the rain forest reabsorb a car, a plane, a washing machine or…… a body? Sure you have. Cycle.

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