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[Politics] Ohio Lawmaker Threatens Charges Against Trump Over Unproven Drug Ohio state Rep. Tavia Galonski vowed on Twitter that she will make a “referral for crimes against humanity” over President Donald Trump’s endorsement of the drug hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for coronavirus. Published:4/6/2020 10:34:04 AM
[Hardware] Researchers develop emergency ventilator based on resuscitation bags used in ambulances The need for innovative solutions to address shortages in crucial medical equipment is greater than ever, and a new initiative from a global team of biomedical engineering experts is a perfect example. The team developed a way for resuscitation bags – common pieces of equipment carried by ambulances and paramedics around the world, and typically […] Published:4/6/2020 10:34:04 AM
[America] Trump Fires IG Atkinson; He Deserved More

On Friday, Donald Trump fired the Intelligence Inspector General Michael Atkinson, calling him a “disgrace to IGs.”  Atkinson was the IG who sent the Ukraine complaint to Adam Schiff declaring it to state a matter of “Urgent Concern.”  That set off months of House Star Chamber-esque hearings and then impeachment

The post Trump Fires IG Atkinson; He Deserved More appeared first on Bookworm Room.

Published:4/6/2020 10:34:04 AM
[Featured News] Watch Live: Coronavirus Task Force Holds a White House Press Briefing – 4/6/20

By R. Mitchell -

Coronavirus task force press briefing Mike Pence

Members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force hold a briefing Monday to update the nation on recent developments. The briefing is scheduled to begin at 5:00 p.m. EDT. Live Stream of Coronavirus Task Force Briefing Content created by Conservative Daily News and some content syndicated through CDN is available for ...

Watch Live: Coronavirus Task Force Holds a White House Press Briefing – 4/6/20 is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more.

Published:4/6/2020 10:34:04 AM
[Politics] Former Intel community Inspector General releases statement on his firing, suggests it was politically motivated… Now former intel community Inspector General, Michael Atkinson, released a statement last night on his firing by Trump, suggesting it was politically motivated: THE BLAZE – Michael Atkinson, the former inspector general . . . Published:4/6/2020 10:34:04 AM
[Markets] "...More Still To Endure, But Better Days Will Return..." "...More Still To Endure, But Better Days Will Return..."

Authored by Bill Blain via,

It took less than 5 minutes for Her Majesty to put us right last night:

“..we may have more still to endure, better days will return, we will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again, we will meet again.” 

As is becoming normal, the coming week holds out the prospect of good and bad news. 

Despite the crisis point of virus being upon us over the Easter Break, authorities sound increasingly confident. Lockdowns look to have worked. It’s likely the numbers have peaked in Spain and Italy, and may even be topping out in London and New York. Over the next few days the narrative is going to start to shift from the immediate crisis to recovery. We will start to hear talk about relaxing lockdowns, selective reopening, and easing social distancing to start economies working again. 

That’s the hope. 

There is the likelihood of exuberant markets on the improving outlook – there is already a feeding frenzy going on in corporate debt on the back of the billions of Central Bank monetary QE infinity. There is a story in Bberg about accounts switching wholly into investment grade debt: Top Fund Manager is “Hoovering Up” Hugh Amounts of Cheap Credit.  

The fiscal support packages announced by Governments are creating the illusion anything can be done to maintain the status quo. On top of them – markets are likely to read any positive news on containing the virus as a screaming buy signal. 

Authorities acted fast to preserve jobs, keep the structure of economies together, avoid bankruptcies deepening the shock and addressed the many of the consequences of the shock including economic slowdown and individual misery and misfortune. There will be problems and delays in policy deliverables, but it was a fine effort by government. 

However, the reality of the virus tragedy seems to have become completely detached from the euphoric world of financial assets. And that can’t be a good thing. 

Despite the negative newsflow from overcrowded hospitals, and still rising death tolls, the market is likely to accentuate any immediately positive news while ignoring the long-term economic consequences of 10 million unemployed Americans? Massive job losses and slowdowns across Europe? Companies ending the stock buybacks that drove the last 8 years of rally? Dividends stopped around the globe? Rising risks around EM economies? Oil prices? Whole sectors of the global economy stopped?

Any rally at this point will simply be markets arbitraging the policy interventions and gorging on ever greater amounts of government support.

Cynical, but that’s pretty much what markets do now. Fundamentals don’t count when policy speaks louder and offers opportunities. 

If all that monetary policy interventions have done is keep markets artificially high, and kept investors from suffering losses, while maintaining massive income inequality – then you have wonder if they are the right policies...

Someone in government might just realise...

Fire up the helicopters. Time for a new approach…. 

Going back to the virus and the real world: How quickly can we reopen?

The reality of how quickly economies reopen depends on what (often inadequate) testing shows, the experience of second wave infections, and how politicians respond to the changing public mood. 

I suspect there will still be loads of assumptions made, but these will switch from a slowing the virus bias, to getting economies functional again. For instance, don’t be surprised if the UK decides to assume far higher infection levels occurred in the general population despite our lack of random testing, and makes assumptions such as UK rates being in line with observed rates in countries, like Germany, that did test.

Also expect more reliance on anecdotal data. A few weeks ago my Economic modeller chum, Robert Hillman of Neuron Capital asked why can’t the government mobilise a mobile phone app to get a better idea of the infection spread? If the nation can vote for X-Factor and Strictly on our phones, then why act on reported symptoms widely across the networks. (I understand apps are there to do so, but they are not being pushed at the population through mainstream media like the BBC.) Apps to improve contact tracing are also likely to come to the fore, despite civil liberty concerns.

There will still be virus trouble ahead. The threat of second waves remains, it has re-emerged in guest-worker dorms in Singapore, and the rising doubts about how honest China is being sharing data – whatever really happened in China, it does look like they got the transmission rate down close to zero. 

Whatever the CIA accuse China of doing, the real picture in The Middle Kingdom is probably one of balancing a cautious reopening against an urgent imperative to get the economy open again, but leaving all the mechanisms in place to quickly test, isolate, contact track and quarantine any new blooms quickly (and quietly, to demonstrate the party’s wisdom).

Whatever the Chinese are, they ain’t daft. 

Let’s be brutally honest:

we’re getting away with strict social distancing in the West because the public has been persuaded its virtuous. If the mood changes, in the light of further testing delays, how the news flow develops, then perhaps the mood changes. The very last thing the Authorities need will be a warm hot summer while the lockdown continues.  

European Sovereign Credit

Back in 2010 the World Bank produced a report on sovereign debt to GDP. It theorised that a “tipping point” existed around 77% debt to GDP, where additional point of debt would cause a fall in growth. Low debt equals higher growth. At some point rising state debt starts to strangle real growth. 

If you believe in Modern Monetary Theory, then that’s not going to be a problem. Countries should just print more and more money – with the important caveat they have to be able to print money. 

All around the globe, we are going to see Debt to GDP levels rise in coming months. Most countries will deal with the crisis by printing money – playing off the threat of rising inflation against the massive deflationary shock the virus has caused. They will then hope to demonstrate growth and credibility to avoid money printing degenerating into a debt crisis or hyperinflation. 

It’s not so simple in Europe  

Members of the Euro don’t have that fundamental right to print money. They don’t hold the keys to the Euro printing presses. The ECB can collectively decide to allow members to borrow (but is effectively a political body), and has reluctantly agreed some effective transfers, but for all the talk of “ever closer union” there is no prospect of debt mutualisation or joint and severality for ECB borrowers. Even the much heralded Coronabonds now look unlikely to find agreement. 

The ECB is buying members’ debt at incredible rates, but largely pretending it’s just market, and not de-facto money printing.

Despite the ECB dither, European Debt To GDP levels are going to rise dramatically in coming months. 

  • Italy   – 2019 Debt/GDP 135.6%.  Estimate for 2020: 157%

  • Spain  – 2019 Debt/GDP 96%.  Estimate for 2020: 113.5%

  • France  – 2019 Debt/GDP 99.2%.  Estimate for 2020: 114.4%

  • Germany  – 2019 Debt/GDP 59.2%.  Estimate for 2020: 68.3%

Germany can afford to borrow (not print) more, which could help rest of Yoorp. The rest are clearly in trouble. How will Spain recover when 12% of its economy depends on tourism? Italy looks headed for a social bustup.

Let’s spice it up with European banking weakness. There is a great article by Elisa Martinuzzi of Bloomberg: Bankers are Sitting on a Vast Mountain of Risky Trades. It examines the billions/trillions of dollars European banks are holding in highly risky, unclear and illiquid lending. Is that a story you have heard before? Read the story, and figure out just how wobbly European banks are…

Put the following factors together and decide if you are a buyer of European debt: Rising Debt. Rising Unemployment. Banking System in Crisis. Reliance on Someone Else’s Currency. Prospects for Growth. Political Stalemate. 

Do I have to spell it out? 

OK then. 

European Sovereign Debt crisis looming. 

Tyler Durden Mon, 04/06/2020 - 11:20
Published:4/6/2020 10:34:04 AM
[Entertainment] Leslie Jordan is our feisty quarantine uncle The viral Instagram videos of 64-year-old actor Leslie Jordan have become a premier source of comic relief amid the coronavirus pandemic. Published:4/6/2020 10:34:04 AM
[Markets] Investors should prepare for a coronavirus-induced ‘vicious spiral’ more than twice as bad as the financial crisis, says J.P. Morgan There is a significant chance the global economy experiences “a vicious spiral, which is typical of recessions, between weak final demand, weaker labor markets, falling profits, weak credits markets and low oil prices.” Published:4/6/2020 10:34:04 AM
[Markets] Metals Stocks: Gold aims for highest finish in 7 years amid grim outlook on the spread of coronavirus Gold futures move sharply higher Monday as a grim outlook on the spread of coronavirus supported investor appetite for the haven metal, even as U.S. benchmark stock indexes climb on hope that fatalities from the pandemic will soon reach a peak.
Published:4/6/2020 10:34:04 AM
[] The Morning Rant So below is the lede of a recent NY Times op-ed piece that encapsulates pretty much everything that is messed up about the progressive/SJW left. The first is how they wear their self-importance like a heavy, cloying perfume. Everything they... Published:4/6/2020 10:34:04 AM
[] Trump inspires David Frum to change his mind about use of wartime analogies for COVID-19 (shot/chaser of the day) Published:4/6/2020 10:04:40 AM
[Politics] Navarro Confirms Argument With Fauci Over Hydroxychloroquine White House Trade Advisor Peter Navarro Monday confirmed reports of a heated argument between himself and Dr. Anthony Fauci over the weekend concerning the use of hydroxychloroquine while continuing to push for the use of the drug in the fight... Published:4/6/2020 10:04:40 AM
[91008ef4-c1f4-564e-bd83-3920e29e2aac] Jimmy Failla: Coronavirus — To help beat this, drop 'Me society’ and join 'We society' on social media Time to acknowledge that the superficial wars we’ve waged on social media the past few years mean nothing in the overall scheme of things. Published:4/6/2020 10:04:40 AM
[TC] Economists haven’t throw out the models yet (but they will) There are many things that are in short supply these days, but one of them is cognitive flexibility. Humans are used to confronting the extreme complexity of our modern world with some mélange of data, modeling, heuristics, and “gut instinct.” We can’t know everything about everything, and so we have to truncate our perspective to […] Published:4/6/2020 10:04:39 AM
[Entertainment] Peter Weber and Kelley Flanagan Fuel Romance Rumors With Full House-Inspired TikTok Video Peter Weber, Kelley FlanaganPeter Weber is living in a Full House. The Bachelor star took to Instagram on Sunday and shared a video of himself social distancing with Kelley Flanagan and Dustin Kendrick in Chicago...
Published:4/6/2020 10:04:39 AM
[Opinion] The Chinese Communist Epidemic

By Jim Clayton -

The more I think about this virus the more suspicious I get about the reporting of it. I still think this is all driven by the media and Dems to destroy Trump any way they can since everything they’ve thrown at him has failed. This flu has not been the ...

The Chinese Communist Epidemic is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more.

Published:4/6/2020 10:04:39 AM
[Markets] Dow's 964-point surge highlighted by gains for American Express, Raytheon Technologies Corp. shares DOW UPDATE Shares of American Express and Raytheon Technologies Corp. are trading higher Monday morning, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average soaring. The Dow (DJIA) was most recently trading 964 points, or 4. Published:4/6/2020 10:04:39 AM
[worldNews] Migrant workers fear massive Singapore dormitory lockdown is coronavirus time bomb Migrant workers living in vast Singapore dormitories cut off from the outside world due to the coronavirus outbreak fear their cramped and squalid quarters are fast becoming a hotbed for infection.
Published:4/6/2020 10:04:39 AM
[5ad3a01a-1daa-592d-9a11-caa3e3bcc3e8] Louis C.K. jokes about his sexual misconduct in controversial new comedy special Disgraced comedian Louis C.K. has returned with a surprise stand-up special, after admitting to several accounts of sexual misconduct in the 2010s. Published:4/6/2020 10:04:39 AM
[Markets] Rabobank: "There Will Be Attempts To Go Back To Normal After This Crisis, But It Will Be Impossible" Rabobank: "There Will Be Attempts To Go Back To Normal After This Crisis, But It Will Be Impossible"

Submitted by Michael Every of Rabobank

The Grand National-ists

The weekend’s world-famous UK horse race, the Grand National, was won by Potters Corner, trained in Wales and ridden by Jack Tudor, at 18-1. That’s a little unusual – but not as much as the fact that this was all a virtual race run on a computer because the actual Grand National was cancelled for the first time since WW2 due to COVID-19.

I mention this because there is a lot of Grand National-ism about at the moment due to this virus. After all, Germany accused (then apparently retracted, to far less attention) claims of ”piracy” as 200,000 face masks in Bangkok destined for it ended up in the US instead: this is normally called “gazumping” in the UK, and in healthier times is seen as perfectly natural – which says something about how we used to operate. The US is also refusing to send medical gear to Canada. Germany itself had of course previously refused to send ventilators and masks to Italy when asked, and France requisitioned private-sector stocks weeks ago. Meanwhile, China has placed strict controls on the export of personal protective equipment (PPE), masks, and virus test kits – which is a problem given it is still the world’s bulk producer - though the Czechs, Dutch, Spanish, and Turkish have all reportedly returned such gear for being faulty, and one news report alleges Pakistan received a shipment of masks clearly made of women’s underwear.

In terms of medicine, there is also a struggle to access virus testing chemical reagents – Israel has had to scale back its testing as Germany has nationalised one of the chemical producers and South Korea has been forced to close one of its plants due to the virus itself. The US is trying to persuade India, the world’s bulk producer, to lift an export ban on hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug that some trials and one US president regard as having huge potential in fighting COVID-19. China still remains the bulk producer of the ingredients for many other drugs the whole world relies on, and is at least getting its supply chain slowly back in action – though the political good will is where other fears now lie.

The point is that suddenly, and in a crucial area at a vital time, free trade has collapsed. Borders are closed. Planes aren’t in the air. Key goods either aren’t available along supply chains, or national governments are stepping in to hoard or redirect supply for home use – and crucially there is no way politically any government is going to emerge from this crisis saying “Let’s get back to BAU and rely on global supply chains for XXX because its 2% cheaper.”

Yes, local production will take time and be more expensive and will often mean redundant capacity - but that is called crisis preparation. Just look at the human body. Why do we have two lungs? Two kidneys? Will those who preach efficiency donate (or sell) one of each pair – they won’t ever need them, after all. No takers? I thought not. No, for ourselves we take a more defensive stance.

So much is going to change. In oil, for example, the US and *Canada* are apparently in serious discussion about imposing tariffs on foreign oil in order to protect their own domestic industries if the Saudis and Russia cannot agree to sit down with the States and agree on a huge output cut. The fact that the date for that latter decision has been pushed back from today to Thursday has seen energy slump in the Asian session – but also underlines the risk that the US (and *Canada*!) will protect their own industries and workers regardless of what free-trade doctrine tells them to do.

That’s just one key example, but there is a growing recognition of what we already argued would be the case weeks ago in “28 Weeks Later”: yes, there will be an attempt to go back to business as usual after this crisis, but in many key respects this is likely impossible.

We were all stunned by Thursday’s 6.6 million US initial claims number, which was twice as bad as the previous week’s 3.3 million. Then on Friday we got a print in US payrolls just over -700K. If one cannot see the new political imperatives wrapped up in that kind of wrenching socio-economic disruption then perhaps one never will. But please don’t take my word for it. Listen to the serious and/or financial press:

  • Bloomberg argues “This is The End of Western Capitalism as We Knew It”;

  • The Atlantic argues The Revolution is Under Way Already”, drawing historical parallels with the US today and the build-up to 1789 in France;

  • A Financial Times editorial argues we need radical reforms that reverse the policy direction of the last 40 years: governments must play a larger role in the state; public services must be seen as investments rather than liabilities; labour markets re-regulated; redistribution included on the agenda; and wealth taxes and universal basic income included in the mix; and

  • Spain’s Prime Minister has written an op-ed arguing that “Europe’s future is at stake in this war against coronavirus”, arguing “either we respond with solidarity or our union fails.” Fiscal solidarity, that is.

True, the ‘talking heads’ and politicians do like to talk. Yet it is very hard to imagine how, once we all finally get back to life as normal in X weeks or months, people will accept the status quo ante of unsustainable structural imbalances in the economic and financial system; of asset bubbles over salary; of lionising tech disruptors over their hard-working and insecure delivery drivers; and of economic resources always being steered towards the needs of “GDP” and business and/or finance, not to doctors, nurses, public transport, society, or even science. Add in the need for local production to allow a spare lung and kidney, and the global economy and markets will surely look very different. Of course, this is not even considering how we will deal with the massive new debt we are about to build up. Do we pay carry it like an albatross around our necks? Or do we default one way or another? The implications are enormous, whatever we decide.

Of course, it’s unclear what markets will look like a lot sooner than that. One wonders how long until we only have virtual markets to play with in AI computer simulations like the recent Grand National. (Then again, it might do less harm to the economy in the long run if all speculative cash just played a giant on-line game– while actual productive capital was ploughed into the real economy and social needs!)

Tyler Durden Mon, 04/06/2020 - 10:50
Published:4/6/2020 10:04:39 AM
[Markets] Apple supplier Foxconn sees 7.7% drop in March sales Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Ltd., better known as Foxconn, disclosed Monday that March sales dropped 7.7% on a year-over-year basis to T$347.7 billion ($11.5 billion). Though the Apple Inc. supplier's revenue was down from a year earlier, it rose roughly 60% from February, indicating that the company is beginning to see some recovery from COVID-19 disruptions. Wells Fargo analyst Aaron Rakers called the performance a "strong [month-over-month] snapback as the company returned to full seasonal manufacturing capacity." The report comes after Apple Inc. indicated in February that it would miss its March-quarter forecast due to negative impacts from COVID-19. Apple shares have lost 14% so far this year as the Dow Jones Industrial Average has dropped 15%. Published:4/6/2020 10:04:39 AM
[Markets] Need to Know: ‘The worst is behind us’ — with the most attractive risk-reward in years, it is time to buy stocks, Morgan Stanley says It’s a Monday but there is optimism in the air. Tentative signs that the coronavirus spread may be slowing have encouraged investors.
Published:4/6/2020 10:04:39 AM
[Uncategorized] Study Found CNN Barely Paid Attention to Wuhan Coronavirus During Trump Impeachment Trial ABC, CBS, and NBC jumped on the coronavirus story right away. Published:4/6/2020 10:04:39 AM
[ABR] Forget About The Rule Of 72, For At Least 90 Days Published:4/6/2020 9:33:57 AM
[worldNews] Rockets land near oil district in southern Iraq; no casualties Rockets landed near a district in Iraq that houses workers for foreign oil companies on Monday, including U.S. oil service company Halliburton, but caused no damage or casualties, oil and police sources said.
Published:4/6/2020 9:33:57 AM
[Entertainment] The MAC Cosmetics x Selena Collection Will Make Your Heart ''Bidi Bidi Bom Bom'' E-comm: MAC x Selena CollectionWe love these products, and we hope you do too. E! has affiliate relationships, so we may get a small share of the revenue from your purchases. Items are sold by the retailer, not E!. The...
Published:4/6/2020 9:33:57 AM
[Entertainment] Anne Tyler’s ‘Redhead by the Side of the Road’ is light on drama. Not that we could handle more drama now anyway. Micah Mortimer is a milquetoast protagonist with a predictably quirky family. Published:4/6/2020 9:33:57 AM
[Markets] Coronavirus Stock Market Rally: Dow Jones Surges 1,000 Points On Slowing U.S. Virus Cases; Zoom Video Plunges 15% The major stock indexes surged higher Monday morning on slowing U.S. coronavirus cases. Amazon and Netflix approach new buy points. Published:4/6/2020 9:33:57 AM
[Politics] WATCH: Peter Navarro gets into it with CNN host over hydroxychloroquine dispute… White House Trade advisor Peter Navarro was on with CNN this morning to discuss hydroxychloroquine and a dispute he reportedly had with Dr. Fauci over the effectiveness of the drug. According to . . . Published:4/6/2020 9:33:57 AM
[Politics] WATCH: Peter Navarro gets into it with CNN host over hydroxychloroquine dispute… White House Trade advisor Peter Navarro was on with CNN this morning to discuss hydroxychloroquine and a dispute he reportedly had with Dr. Fauci over the effectiveness of the drug. According to . . . Published:4/6/2020 9:33:57 AM
[ba107276-715c-5c0f-94b9-d280e6c5bfc0] Meghan Markle's real name leaves fans stunned: 'Mind blown' Even though Meghan Markle has officially stepped down a royal family member, she's still making headlines. Published:4/6/2020 9:33:57 AM
[Markets] 'Ugly Choices' Will Have To Be Made... Very Soon 'Ugly Choices' Will Have To Be Made... Very Soon

Authored by Sven Henrich via,

I had a lot of time away from screens this weekend which is probably a good thing. Always good to get to step away and get a different perspective away from the constant bombardment of news, opinions, and, dare I say, conspiracy theories.

People never lose their collective shit more than during times of crisis and uncertainty.

But I’m not here to talk about conspiracy theories, rather I just wanted to offer some perspectives. And feel free to disagree with them. We’re all working with an evolving set of data points (health, macro, interventions, etc.) and lots of global emotions ranging from ignorance to hysteria during a time of great uncertainty.

But here’s a few thoughts to consider as we collectively navigate through this mess.

First off, this is not a drill, and everybody’s lives are affected in one or the other, many severely, many are losing their lives and it’s a horrid tragedy.

Yesterday I actually ventured on the roads here in England in earnest for the first time in a couple of weeks. It was not by choice, but as I had mentioned on twitter we had an unexpected house-guest. Not somebody we ever met before, but it was someone’s elderly mom who got stranded in Heathrow as the South African government shut down all flights. With hotels on lockdown she literally had nowhere to go and after a frantic phone call from her daughter in the US we agreed to take her in.

Her job and life is in South Africa, now she was in a foreign country with no place to go. Her job likely gone at this point. There are many horror stories like this. So we took her in and she stayed with us for 10 days with still no visibility as to when she can return home. A family friend agreed to take here in, but they live in Northern England and there was no practical way to get her there other than by car and I’m not going to drop a grandma off at the train with all the health concerns that come with it.
So we drove. And a trip it was.

I posted some impressions yesterday, just amazing to see the motorways so desolated for long stretches:

So while I hear and see news reports that people are not taking lockdowns seriously, my experience on the road was quite a different one. That bridge in the video is Dartfort Crossing, it’s usually packed all the time. Hardly a car on it. So it was eerie.

Which brings me to a larger point: Most people we know here are seeing their livelihood in jeopardy. I see business owners seeing their operations blow up. Workers get furloughed and believe me: They are all saying government assistance is not enough.

You all know that to be true all over the place. For years we’ve been posting news items about how a larger portion of the population either live paycheck to paycheck or don’t even have enough savings to cover an emergency.

I even highlighted this again last year:

And now we are finding out the hard way that the consumer is indeed in terrible shape despite a long running bull market driven by cheap money. Why? For many reasons, one of which of course was that wages did not keep up, poor paying jobs in many cases, yet housing prices skyrocketing by the very cheap money that again made housing unaffordable for many and of course the same sins as in every cycle, but perhaps worsened by this last cycle: The illusion that things will always be good and that with cheap money and low rates all kinds of debt can be sustained.

Take your pick or desired combination: Many people were incredibly vulnerable and are now paying the price.

Which brings me to the difficult decision part. How long can shutdowns be kept up, hence my tweet a few days ago:

Twitter being twitter my tweet prompted me being accused of calling for “racial cleansing”:

You can’t make this up. I despair sometimes at the utter stupidity thrown around sometime.

But that’s neither here nor there.

What is here are parents out of jobs or furloughed, dependent on government assistance with their kids out of school for months to come. This creates all of sort of stresses that go beyond just the financial component, but also to the mental health of children. Sure you can keep this up for a few weeks but not months on end. Zoom only goes so far as a social replacement. I suppose we are lucky to have these tools today, but it’s not a substitute in the long term.

Which brings me to the virus. We are now finally beginning to get some encouraging news of slowing of death rates and infections out of hard hit areas such as Italy and Spain.

A few comments on this: First generally my impression is that countries that have invested more in their medical infrastructure and are more quick to test appear to be able to manage this virus much better. Germany and South Korea come to mind. I’m not saying they are handling it perfectly, but it suggests that the virus can be managed better then it currently is or has been in other places.

The world is waiting for a vaccine which by all accounts (including Bill Gates) may still be 18 months away, a dreadful long time in a current period of need, but also super fast considering the historicity of developing vaccines to new viral agents. But there are no guarantees either.

But while we may be now getting good news on slowing infections and death rates in some cases how much of this is really the virus dying down versus just our social isolation efforts contributing to the slowing in growth? If it is really just the latter then we may be faced with a much more difficult task.

While there is still hope about seasonality such as the flu, the fact that this virus is global in many different climate zones raises the question whether it really is seasonal. We simply don’t know.

What I do know is that the pain and burdens on families are real. And on companies. The longer these shutdowns go on the more severe the long term damage and the long term consequences:

Workers currently furloughed may find out that for some, or many of them, the jobs will no longer be there when the lockdowns end.

The hope for a full and quick recovery may well be displaced. I can’t say of course, but we are facing this crisis with a financially vulnerable population, a globe already massively indebted and now adding more debt at a faster clip than ever before.

None of this is sustainable in the long term. The debate about the consequences will come once the immediate crisis is managed, but the solutions employed today may set the stage for the next crisis already.

But the really tough decisions for this crisis will come much sooner than that. When and how to get back to normal without a vaccine. Is it possible without seeing the virus flare up again and risking more lives?

Frankly one concern I have: I see more and more reports of younger people succumbing to the virus. Even people without underlying health conditions. And there are no clear explanations that I have seen. Why does the virus hardly affect some people but is so devastating in others? Science hasn’t been able to provide a definite answer which suggests many aspects of Covid-19 remain unknown.

This raises the concern that a return to normal anytime soon may be prohibitive from a medical perspective, but not to return to normal is economically and emotionally not viable either. Yes, we can all talk about adapting, but that’s easier said than done for millions without jobs or income other than government assistance which doesn’t make them whole.

Entire businesses can’t sustain themselves with crushed revenues and ongoing fixed costs. It’s impossible.

So tough decisions will have to be made and all of them will come with a heavy price tag. On a human, financial, economic, emotional and psychological level.

The longer this drags on the higher the probability that many jobs will not come back making this eventual recovery, while sharp at the beginning, also destined for a lower trajectory recovery as then the full consequences of the damage will come apparent.

Underneath it all there are again lessons crystalizing that were once again ignored: Those that saved during this cycle are able to withstand the shock, those that didn’t or couldn’t can’t. While this business cycle was the longest it didn’t magically extend. It was paid for with cheap money and constant central bank intervention. These very central bankers that once again are intervening at a new record pace created the illusion that they are all powerful. In 2019 there was even fantasy talk by people who should know better that recessions could no longer occur, that the boom and bust cycle had been eliminated. It hasn’t. The bust is here in a big and unexpected way. And it’s here to say.

So yes, hope for the best, take comfort in a slowing of a infections and deaths, take an optimistic view of human ingenuity finding ways to combat the virus, find relief once market rally again, but don’t lose sight of the long term damage inflicted and the short term damage that will be felt in consumer and business pocketbooks for years to come.

Spending plans once made will be reduced, hiring plans once made will be scaled back, budgets once in order are no longer. This shock will reverberate for years to come.

And also don’t lose sight of the fact that none of the tough decisions that will have to be made are clear, easy or consequence free. All have negative side effects.

*  *  *

For the latest public analysis please visit NorthmanTrader. To subscribe to our market products please visit Services.

Tyler Durden Mon, 04/06/2020 - 10:20
Published:4/6/2020 9:33:57 AM
[Politics] Cuomo Ties Biden for Presidential Nomination Among Democrats

Joe Biden may be sweeping the traditional primary system, but Democrats are evenly divided when asked if New York Governor Andrew Cuomo would make a better challenger against President Trump in November.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 46% of Likely Democratic Voters still believe Biden would make a better presidential candidate for their party this fall. But just as many (45%) opt for Cuomo instead, even though he isn’t even in the race. Nine percent (9%) are undecided.

Among all likely voters, it’s Biden 38%, Cuomo 38%, with 24% not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted April 2 and 5, 2020 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Published:4/6/2020 9:33:57 AM
[] Reporter to Trump: Why haven't you closed the grocery stores and pharmacies, too? Published:4/6/2020 9:06:11 AM
[e3b02559-7eb4-5ae9-8d2a-589d3bca5266] Rita Wilson returns to singing after coronavirus recovery with national anthem performance Rita Wilson gave her first performance following her and her husband, Tom Hanks, recovery from the coronavirus.  Published:4/6/2020 9:06:11 AM
[Entertainment] 90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days Had a Breakup, Blackmail and Breast Molds 90 Day Fiance: Before the 90 Days, YolandaWe need to talk about Yolanda. One of the 90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days season four stars, Yolanda met her man, Williams, via Instagram. He presented himself as an incredibly fit...
Published:4/6/2020 9:06:11 AM
[Markets] Dow up more than 800 points in Monday's opening minutes Dow up more than 800 points in Monday's opening minutes Published:4/6/2020 9:06:11 AM
[worldNews] Spain's pace of coronavirus deaths slows, easing of lockdown pondered Spain's pace of new coronavirus deaths slowed for the fourth day on Monday as the government contemplated a gradual easing of a lockdown in place since mid-March in the nation with the second highest death toll from the global pandemic.
Published:4/6/2020 9:06:11 AM
[Politics] Has President Trump Risen to the Challenge? Ask the Polls By Brian C. Joondeph

Some say adversity creates character, but in reality adversity reveals character. At the highest levels of leadership, today’s challenges are massive with economies and lives riding on every decision. These are not the times that make great leaders but instead reveal them.

Published:4/6/2020 9:06:11 AM
[Fundings & Exits] Equity Monday: Hunting for green shoots amidst the startup data Good morning friends, and welcome back to TechCrunch’s Equity Monday, a short-form audio hit to kickstart your week. Before we jump into today’s show, don’t forget that the long-form Equity that we’ve done for more than three years still drops on Friday. Last week’s was a particular delight, so make sure you’re caught up. Ready? Let’s […] Published:4/6/2020 9:06:11 AM
[Markets] United Airlines slashes threshold for Premier status, extends time to book cancelled flights United Airlines Holdings Inc. said Monday it was reducing thresholds to qualify for Mileage Plus Premier status for 2021 by 50% for each status level. Current 2020 Premier status members will have Premier status extended to Jan. 31, 2022. The air carrier said as part of a promotion from May 1 to Dec. 31, 2020, it is doubling Premier qualifying points (PQP) for United Explorer cards and quadrupling PQP for the United Club cards. And those with travel certificates, as a result of having travel plans disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, will now have two years drom the date issued to book a new flight, and an additional 11 months to travel. The stock fell 0.6% in morning trading, while the Dow Jones Transportation Average rose 4.5% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied 994 points, or 4.7%. Published:4/6/2020 9:06:11 AM
[Markets] Germany Announces "Limitless" Aid Program For Small Business: SBA Are You Listening? Germany Announces "Limitless" Aid Program For Small Business: SBA Are You Listening?

To anyone who fell asleep some time in early February and woke up today, it will come as a shock that Germany - which until very recently was perceived as the fiscally stingiest nation in Europe, if not the world - is fast emerging as the most generous provider of government stimulus, and this morning we got confirmation of that when Angela Merkel’s government announced a new "limitless" aid program for small- and medium-sized companies (note: not a bailout of Germany's mega corporations) as part of an effort to support Europe’s largest economy in the coronavirus pandemic.

Merkel's government will provide guarantees of as much as 100%, German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz announced at a joint press conference with Economy Minister Peter Altmaier Monday, Bloomberg reports, adding that loans of up to 800,000 euros ($862,000) that will pay out very quickly will be available.

The existing program only provides for an 80% to 90% loan guarantee and banks have been reluctant to take on new risk as the economy falters. Private lenders have thus pressed the government to expand the existing program by guaranteeing 100% of the loans, which it now appears to be doing.

So... SBA are you listening? In light of the very strict limits on a similar program in the US where funding is limited to 2.5x the average monthly payroll of small and medium businesses, assuming it is disbursed which as we just reported it isn't with BofA reporting just 100 loans have been actually funded, it is certainly time for the Trump administration, which unlike Germany has the benefit of the world's reserve currency, to consider a similar "unlimited" program especially with the US economy rapidly sliding into depression.

The program for loan guarantees is the latest in a range of measures introduced by the German government, which said the economy might contract even more this year than the 5% drop caused by the global financial crisis in 2008 and 2009.

Of course, the question is whether companies will use the money to actually pay down debt/fund employment, or simply use it for stock buybacks. Indeed, so habituated is the market to stock repurchases that the news sent the DAX to session highs, some 5% higher.

Tyler Durden Mon, 04/06/2020 - 09:55
Published:4/6/2020 9:06:11 AM
[Quick Takes] Harvard Law Students Want to be Licensed Without Taking the Bar Exam “emergency diploma privilege” Published:4/6/2020 9:06:11 AM
[Markets] Key Words: Trump again touts unproven drug to treat coronavirus: ‘What do you have to lose?’ President Donald Trump on Sunday again strongly backed hydroxychloroquine to treat patients with COVID-19, despite scant scientific evidence that it’s an effective treatment.
Published:4/6/2020 9:06:11 AM
[World] Only 9 of the world’s top 100 billionaires have gotten richer during the pandemic — and all are Chinese In just two months, the masters of the economic universe have lost more than $400 billion.
Published:4/6/2020 9:06:11 AM
[] Why Bernie's still running Published:4/6/2020 8:34:09 AM
[] 'Less accurate than EVER' --> Brit Hume shares tweet showing another huge University of WA COVID-19 model FAIL Published:4/6/2020 8:34:09 AM
[Politics] Trump Bashes Media, Then Tries to Spread Hope President Donald Trump ripped the "lamestream media" Monday morning and then pivoted by saying there is "light at the end of the tunnel" regarding the coronavirus crisis.Trump mentioned Fox News commentator Gayle Trotter in two tweets aimed at the... Published:4/6/2020 8:34:08 AM
[Aerospace] Myriota raises $19.3 million to expand its IoT satellite constellation Internet of things satellite connectivity startup Myriota has raises a $19.3 million Series B funding round, led by Hostplus and Main Sequence Ventures, with additional funding from Boeing, former Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull, Singtel Innov8 and others. The company has now raised $37 million in Funding, and has four satellites on orbit already, with a […] Published:4/6/2020 8:34:08 AM
[Entertainment] Anne Tyler talks Baltimore, her new book and social distance Anne Tyler’s new novel is both familiar and different Published:4/6/2020 8:34:08 AM
[worldNews] China sees rise in asymptomatic coronavirus cases, to tighten controls at land borders Mainland China reported 39 new coronavirus cases as of Sunday, up from 30 a day earlier, and the number of asymptomatic cases also surged as the government vowed tighter controls at land borders.
Published:4/6/2020 8:34:08 AM
[Entertainment] Blake Shelton Pokes Fun at Himself Over "Say Stace" Mishap During ACM Special Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani, ACM Our Country SpecialBlake Shelton has a special message for everyone: "Say Stace." On Sunday, The Voice coach became the Internet's most memeable moment when he stumbled over his words during...
Published:4/6/2020 8:34:08 AM
[Markets] Tesla Stock Is Rising After an Upgrade. Postcrisis Sales ‘Could Fare Better Than Luxury Peers.’ Tesla caught an upgrade Monday morning, sending shares up about 4.5% in premarket trading. Still, questions remain about how Covid-19 will impact electric-vehicle demand. Published:4/6/2020 8:34:08 AM
[Markets] The Tell: After $18 trillion global stock market wipeout, emerging markets have never been cheaper relative to U.S. The global financial rout triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic wiped $18 trillion off global equity markets in the year to date — and emerging markets, in particular, have been beaten down relative to the rest of the world.
Published:4/6/2020 8:34:08 AM
[Markets] "This Is The End Of Western Capitalism As We Knew It..." "This Is The End Of Western Capitalism As We Knew It..."

Authored by Garfield Reynolds via Bloomberg,

The sheer speed of the coronavirus crisis means investors are way behind the curve in assessing its long-term impact on economies, companies and stock market valuations.

The global business environment is being transformed - we are all socialists now.

This is about more than just the failure of earnings estimates to keep up with the virus impact - investors need to disregard projections that an end to the crisis will restore the pre-outbreak status quo.

Decades of pushing government out of business are being reversed in mere weeks, with policy makers telling companies where, how and if they should operate - whether they can pay dividends, buy back stock or fire employees.

In other words, governments are almost fully taking over free markets, with the profit principle dethroned as the key business driver.

This changes the rules of the game for investors.

Look at crude oil for example, where U.S. companies that were on the way to going bust amid last year’s supply and demand shocks could end up surviving as Washington intervenes to prop up all businesses.

Once governments start deciding wholesale which firms live or die, how do you roll that back?

The same goes for the massive ramp up in what has been derided at times as the “nanny state.” Welfare and increased spending on health care will likely become a larger part of most economies.

The massive public borrowing to fund this - and the surge in stimulus programs - will take years to go away. The world is going to be awash with debt that will limit governments’ room for maneuver on things like infrastructure spending and tax cuts.

Companies are also busy taking on more debt, and that will constrain them going forward - funneling profits to paying it back or rebuilding cash reserves rather than dividends, buybacks or, heaven forbid, expansion.

The recognition of the role lower-paid workers are playing in keeping supply chains, supermarkets, delivery systems etc. running will likely fuel a renewed call for increases to minimum wages, further pressuring margins.

And calls to keep production closer to “home” will lead to an overhaul of supply chains that won’t come without cost.

Companies will likely emerge from this downturn with a permanent hit to their long-term potential margins - one that is not yet reflected in analyst valuations.

Any investor who assumes that the business models of December 2019 will work just fine in December 2020 faces a very rude awakening.

Tyler Durden Mon, 04/06/2020 - 09:30
Published:4/6/2020 8:34:08 AM
[Politics] Daily Presidential Tracking Poll

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Monday shows that 44% of Likely U.S. Voters approve of President Trump’s job performance. Fifty-three percent (53%) disapprove.

The latest figures include 33% who Strongly Approve of the job Trump is doing and 44% who Strongly Disapprove. This gives him a Presidential Approval Index rating of -11. (see trends).

Regular updates are posted Monday through Friday at 9:30 a.m. Eastern (sign up for free daily email update). 

Now that Gallup has quit the field, Rasmussen Reports is the only nationally recognized public opinion firm that still tracks President Trump's job approval ratings on a daily basis. If your organization is interested in a weekly or longer sponsorship of Rasmussen Reports' Daily Presidential Tracking Poll, please send e-mail to

Published:4/6/2020 8:34:08 AM
[] Mid-Morning Art Thread Le Pont Des Arts Maurice Boitel... Published:4/6/2020 8:34:08 AM
[] Never drink and tweet! Rep. Tavia Galonski using The Hague to threaten Trump with 'crimes against humanity' ends BADLY Published:4/6/2020 8:05:51 AM
[cddfae7f-39c7-56a0-8657-7d64bdc1233f] 'Aliens' actor Jay Benedict dead at 68 due to coronavirus complications Actor Jay Benedict, known for his roles in “Aliens” and “The Dark Knight Rises” has died at age 68 due to complications from COVID-19.  Published:4/6/2020 8:05:51 AM
[Politics] Newt Gingrich: US Must Get Ready for Second Wave of Virus The United States must prepare for a second wave of coronavirus, and that means much more investment in tests and therapies, and devising a "methodical approach" that looks at individuals rather than huge populations, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said... Published:4/6/2020 8:05:51 AM
[Markets] Wall Street star money manager says S&P 500 could plunge to 1,500 in worst case, with coronavirus fallout lingering for years Scott Minerd is looking for opportunities to dip his toes into the coronavirus-stricken market. However, you may not find him wading into equities soon if current market trends hold. Published:4/6/2020 8:05:51 AM
[Entertainment] Celebrity birthdays for the week of April 12-18 Celebrities celebrating birthdays during the week of April 12-18 include country singer Chris Stapleton, talk show host David Letterman, actress Claire Danes and soul icon Al Green Published:4/6/2020 8:05:51 AM
[Markets] Japan's Abe to declare state of emergency in Tokyo and other prefectures Japan's Abe to declare state of emergency in Tokyo and other prefectures Published:4/6/2020 8:05:51 AM
[worldNews] ILO annual gathering of labour ministers postponed for a year An annual gathering of the world's labour ministers will not take place this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, but will convene in June 2021, the International Labour Organization (ILO) said on Monday.
Published:4/6/2020 8:05:51 AM
[Markets] NewsWatch: ‘The worst is behind us’ — with the most attractive risk-reward in years, it is time to buy stocks, Morgan Stanley says It’s a Monday but there is optimism in the air. Tentative signs that the coronavirus spread may be slowing have encouraged investors.
Published:4/6/2020 8:05:51 AM
[Uncategorized] Wuhan Virus Watch: U.K. PM Boris Johnson Hospitalized Bronx Zoo tiger tests positive. Australia receives defective masks from China. Germany accuses the US of 'piracy' as a stash of American-made masks diverted back to states. Published:4/6/2020 8:05:51 AM
[Markets] Here Comes Round Two: China Just Report The Most New Covid Cases In A Month Here Comes Round Two: China Just Report The Most New Covid Cases In A Month

Last week we reported that even as the world's attention had shifted to the new global coronavirus outbreak epicenters of New York, Italy, Spain and other western nations, China - which rushed to restart its economy at any cost as the alternative was too dire to even consider - had put a major county on lockdown after a new cluster of coronavirus infection had emerged. To wit, last Wednesday we learned that in post on its social media account, Jia county - which has a population of about 600,000 - said that no one can travel out of Jia county without proper authorization after one person tested positive.

This new cluster emerged just days after China once again revised its virus reporting methodology to also include asymptomatic carriers of the disease, which naturally begged the question why China wasn't reported his subset of infections previously.

We got the answer overnight when Mainland China reported 39 new coronavirus cases as of Sunday, up from 30 a day earlier, and the number of asymptomatic cases also surged, as Beijing continued to struggle to extinguish the outbreak despite drastic containment efforts.

China's National Health Commission said in a statement on Monday that 78 new asymptomatic cases had been identified as of the end of the day on Sunday, compared with 47 the day before.

Of the new cases showing symptoms, 38 were people who had entered China from abroad, compared with 25 a day earlier, although how China keeps track of this on an instantaneous basis is unclear. Also it's odd to blame "imports" as China also closed off its borders to foreigners, though according to Beijing most imported cases involve Chinese nationals returning from overseas.

Separately, one new locally transmitted infection was reported, in the southern province of Guangdong, down from five a day earlier in the same province. The new locally transmitted case, in the city of Shenzhen, was a person who had travelled from Hubei province, Guangdong provincial authorities said.

As Reuters reports overnight, imported cases and asymptomatic patients, who have the virus and can give it to others but show no symptoms, have become China's chief concern in recent weeks after draconian containment measures succeeded in slashing the infection rate.

This means that whether asymptomatic or not, imported or domestic, Hubei-based or not, on April 5, China reported the most new Coronavirus cases in a month as slowly the disease appears to be reestablishing itself in the world's most populous nation.

As a result, the Guangdong health commission raised the risk level for a total of four districts in the cities of Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Jieyang from low to medium late on Sunday.

In its panicked scramble to reboot the economy, China has been reporting that daily infections have fallen dramatically from the peak of the epidemic in February, when hundreds were reported daily, but new infections continue to appear daily. Despite a miraculous rebound in China's latest PMIs, the truth is that China's economy has been very slow to recover and by some metrics - as shown below - appears to already be double dipping.

Mainland China has now reported a total of 81,708 cases, with 3,331 deaths. The real number is likely orders of magnitude higher, and what's worse, a rebound in cases likely means that round two of the pandemic may just be starting.

Tyler Durden Mon, 04/06/2020 - 09:00
Published:4/6/2020 8:05:51 AM
[Volokh Conspiracy] [Eugene Volokh] Juvenile Court Files May Be Sealed, But Juvenile Case Can Still Be Talked About and the media can still ask school officials about them—"if the statute is broadly applied in an attempt to bar the Media Defendants' right to question sources, then the statutory language assuredly violates the First Amendment." Published:4/6/2020 7:33:00 AM
[Entertainment] Watch Lin-Manuel Miranda and the Hamilton Cast Surprise a Young Superfan Lin-Manuel MirandaIn need of some quality Hamilton content? Just you wait... On Sunday, Lin-Manuel Miranda made one lucky Hamilton fan's day with an epic surprise. After learning that Aubrey, a...
Published:4/6/2020 7:33:00 AM
[Markets] Nearly a Third of Americans With Covid-19 Are Hospitalized. Here Are the Latest Numbers. U.S. hospitalizations continue to grow. But slowing new case numbers in America has buoyed investor confidence Monday. Published:4/6/2020 7:33:00 AM
[worldNews] Migrant workers keep picking Swiss asparagus amid coronavirus curbs Migrant workers drawn by attractive pay are keeping Switzerland's asparagus supplies moving during the coronavirus crisis despite fears they could be kept out by border restrictions.
Published:4/6/2020 7:33:00 AM
[Apps] Lydia lets you donate to hospitals and charities Fintech startup Lydia is the dominating mobile payment app in France with most of its 3.3 million users in its home country. That’s why the startup has been working hard over the past ten days to ship a feature that was originally planned for this summer — donations to charities and hospitals. Starting today, Lydia users […] Published:4/6/2020 7:33:00 AM
[Markets] U.K.-listed companies rush to raise equity to help steer them through the coronavirus crisis Coronavirus-hit British companies raise cash to shore up their balance sheets and navigate through the pandemic.
Published:4/6/2020 7:33:00 AM
[Markets] ?COVID-19 "Changes Everything" - Mark Cuban Welcomes "America 2.0" ?COVID-19 "Changes Everything" - Mark Cuban Welcomes "America 2.0"

Mark Cuban appeared on Fox News' "Watters' World" on Saturday night to discuss how he would approach the bailout of America a little more different than the current administration. Cuban said after the virus clears, "everything" will fundamentally change about this country. 

Cuban calls President Trump's bailout of America "a good program," but says he would have done things a little bit differently: 

"I would have set up overdraft protections for every single business," Cuban told host Jesse Watters. "The way we're doing it now, and trying to have everybody apply for a loan, that just adds friction to the process."

"And the same with the $1,200 stimulus checks," Cuban continued. "It's not that it's a bad program. It's a good program at this time. But if I would have done a little bit different. So effectively, if you have a small- or medium-sized business, we would just cover all your checks and then the Fed would reimburse your local bank for anything that you bounce."

"That way, you could keep all your employees employed, pay all your bills, pay your mortgage, pay your rent and utilities, and things can continue, somewhat at least, as normal," Cuban said.

Mark Cuban appearing on Fox News' "Watters' World" 

Cuban said once the virus is eradicated, "everything" about this country will change. He referred to the transformation process as "America 2.0." However, he doesn't elaborate on the duration of this transformative period – but adds that there's no better place in the world to be than America when it comes to being an entrepreneur.   

"When we get to the other side, you know, I've been calling it America 2.0. We're going to see what's in front of us," Cuban said. "We really don't know what to expect, what's on the other side. But what I do know is that in this country, all the entrepreneurs that you referred to, all the capitalists that exist here ... there is no better country."

"There's no other country I'd rather be in. Because I know whatever we find out there, companies are going to be invented. Entrepreneurs are going to adapt. United States of America, our people are going to adapt."

As for socio-economic changes, the transformation of America is going to start with consumer choices. At least 67% of the economy is services-based, and much of that will be reconstructed as people opt to stay home more and avoid large crowds.

In a post-corona world, the days of going to large social gatherings, such as sports games, casinos, and or even restaurants, are over for the time being. Cuban makes this point in the interview. 

As we've also noted, the exodus from cities has already started. Many will want the comfort of home and land where they can protect their families, instead of riding out months-long lockdowns in a 550 square foot studio apartment in a dirty city filled with viruses. Another big trend that will continue to push people out of cities is that many employers have just found out that much of their workforce can work remotely. And as long as there's an internet connection, employees can work just about anywhere, even in rural communities. 

And while Cuban did not put a timing on when this public health crisis would end. Harvard's top scientist at the T.H. Chan School of Public Health published a recent paper that describes how the US could see "intermittent" lockdowns through 2022. 

We noted over the weekend that Goldman Sachs does not see an earnings recovery until 2023, which could mean the economy is crashing into a depression for the second quarter has done enough damage that will lead to lower and slower growth for the next several years. 

And if you really want to know the most significant change that Cuban did not mention in "America 2.0," that is the virus crisis has been the perfect cover for governments and corporations to usher in a surveillance state that will rival China's.

Tyler Durden Mon, 04/06/2020 - 08:30
Published:4/6/2020 7:32:59 AM
[Markets] U.S. was not adequately prepared for pandemic: Jamie Dimon of J.P. Morgan U.S. was not adequately prepared for pandemic: Jamie Dimon of J.P. Morgan Published:4/6/2020 7:08:41 AM
[Asia] Uber partners with Flipkart and BigBasket in India to deliver essential items Uber is resuming some services in India as it looks to help other firms deliver grocery and other essential items in select parts of the country, nearly two weeks after New Delhi ordered a three-week lockdown for its 1.3 billion people. The American firm said on Monday that it has partnered with Flipkart to deliver […] Published:4/6/2020 7:08:41 AM
[Entertainment] Mandy Moore Singing "Only Hope" From A Walk to Remember Will Give You All the Feels Mandy Moore, A Walk to Remember, Shane WestSing to me the song of the stars! Mandy Moore just performed "Only Hope" for the first time in years! On Sunday, Moore took to her Instagram Live to perform an acoustic set with...
Published:4/6/2020 7:08:41 AM
[Markets] Outside the Box: 3 ways to ensure SBA aid for small businesses helps those who need it most The reality: There’s not enough money in the Paycheck Protection Program to even cover what could qualify for loan forgiveness.
Published:4/6/2020 7:08:41 AM
[Markets] Dow Futures Are Soaring on Optimism About Covid-19. Travel Stocks Are Rising. Stocks are set to open a holiday-shortened week in the green as investors focus on the rate of growth of new cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus. Published:4/6/2020 7:08:41 AM
[Quick Takes] Michigan State University Says ‘Novel Coronavirus’ is the Only Acceptable Term to Use “Hate Has No Home Here” Published:4/6/2020 7:08:41 AM
[Markets] JPM CEO Dimon Warns US Faces "Bad Recession" In Annual Letter To Shareholders JPM CEO Dimon Warns US Faces "Bad Recession" In Annual Letter To Shareholders

Sounding a markedly more somber note about the global economy than he has in the past few years, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon released his annual 'investor letter' Monday morning, warning the world that, from Dimon's vantage point, at least, the US appears to be on the verge of a "bad recession" that could be exacerbated by "financial; stress similar to the global financial crisis of 2008."

Though, leaving off on an optimistic note, he warned that while the challenge ahead might be great, he believes the US economy can emerge from it "stronger" than in the past.

"We have the resources to emerge from this crisis as a stronger country," Dimon said in the letter. "America is still the most prosperous nation the world has ever seen."

This, after sell-side banking analysts have spent the last two weeks telling CNBC's audience that the banks are much better capitalized this time around (though excessive corporate debt is keeping some up at night).

"At a minimum, we assume that it will include a bad recession combined with some kind of financial stress similar to the global financial crisis of 2008," Dimon wrote in the letter to shareholders. "Our bank cannot be immune to the effects of this kind of stress."

The fact that the CEO's 23-page letter is his shortest in more than a decade (since March 2008, just months before the global economy nearly collapsed) is hardly a surprise: Dimon suffered a sudden 'heart tear' requiring him to have sudden, emergency surgery earlier this month. The letter is roughly one-third the length of last year's screed, where Dimon laid out his vision of a more 'responsible' and 'equitable' iteration of American capitalism, while also warning that 'democratic socialism' was not the way to go.

As far as JPM is concerned, Dimon reminds us that the bank's 2020 submission to the annual Fed stress tests indicate that even in an "extremely adverse scenario," JPMorgan can lend out an additional $150 billion for clients. The New York-based bank had $500 billion in total liquid assets and another $300 billion in borrowing ability from Fed sources, he added.

Notably, while JPM "will participate in government programs to address the severe economic challenges, we will not request any regulatory relief for ourselves," Dimon added, echoing language he used during the financial crisis.

Because of his illness, Dimon hasn't weighed in publicly about the virus since late February, during the bank's annual investor day.

Read the full letter below:

Ceo Letter to Shareholders 2019 by Zerohedge on Scribd

Tyler Durden Mon, 04/06/2020 - 08:03
Published:4/6/2020 7:08:41 AM
[topics:in-the-news/global-health-security] Coronavirus Q&A: When will there be a vaccine and when will testing kits be available? Our expert answers your questions  Published:4/6/2020 7:08:41 AM
[World] Bond Report: U.S. government bond yields follow stocks higher on coronavirus hopes Treasury yields rise sharply on Monday as a global rally in risk assets drew demand away from government paper on hopes that the spread of the COVID-19 disease was beginning to slow in the U.S. and Europe.
Published:4/6/2020 7:08:41 AM
[] The Morning Report - 4/6/20 Good morning, kids. Another grim milestone as we begin yet another day and week with our nation held hostage by the Peking Pox Panic. There really isn't all that much to say that I haven't been saying for over... Published:4/6/2020 7:08:41 AM
[Energy and Environment] Carbon tax – an idea whose time has come

I was sitting in a hot tub in Leningrad in the summer of 1990 when I realised the Soviet Union would fall. There were five of us, in our backpacking hostel’s back room, in a makeshift tub. The hot water poured in ceaselessly and poured out over the edge. Brought up in a household where … Continue reading "Carbon tax – an idea whose time has come"

The post Carbon tax – an idea whose time has come appeared first on Institute of Economic Affairs.

Published:4/6/2020 6:33:14 AM
[BIL] 8 Great Recession-Proof Stocks That Are Perfect For Times Like These Published:4/6/2020 6:33:14 AM
[Markets] JPMorgan's Dimon: Earnings will fall 'meaningfully' JPMorgan's Dimon: Earnings will fall 'meaningfully' Published:4/6/2020 6:33:14 AM
[Volokh Conspiracy] [Josh Blackman] Today in Supreme Court History: April 6, 1938 4/6/1938: United States v. Carolene Products argued. Published:4/6/2020 6:33:14 AM
[1fba49ff-e22c-525a-88e3-78195ab6ecfc] RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel: Democrats' coronavirus voting plan – this is the way to undermine democracy After failing with their first left-wing laundry list disguised as coronavirus relief, Democratic leaders are already plotting their next attempt to use the pandemic for political gain.   Published:4/6/2020 6:33:14 AM
[Coronavirus] Coronavirus in one state (5) (Scott Johnson) Yesterday the Star Tribune featured Jeremy Olson’s 1,300-word page-one story “Minnesota’s COVID-19 response shows promise in helping to slow virus.” Subhead: “Walz said he will be looking this week for updated modeling and any signs of the infection ebbing before deciding on extend his stay-at-home order.” Olson had previously reported on the model underlying the current shutdown ordered by Minnesota Governor Tim Walz. I checked in on that story in Published:4/6/2020 6:33:14 AM
[97b356ec-b645-523c-8f6a-003bd65389ec] Canadian actress Shirley Douglas, mother to Kiefer Sutherland, dead at 86 Canadian actress and activist Shirley Douglas, known for her work alongside acclaimed directors such as Stanley Kubrick ("Lolita"), David Cronenberg ("Dead Ringers") and winning a Gemini Award for her performance in the 1999 TV film “Shadow Lake,” has died at age 86. Published:4/6/2020 6:33:14 AM
[Markets] These Dow charts suggest there could still be many bears waiting to sell When the stock market’s trend is clearly down, the question investors should try to answer isn’t where buying might emerge, because it isn’t likely to last, but where the next wave of selling will come from. Published:4/6/2020 6:33:14 AM
[Markets] Cops Break-Up Crowd Of Lockdown-Ignoring Mourners At Brooklyn Rabbi's Funeral Cops Break-Up Crowd Of Lockdown-Ignoring Mourners At Brooklyn Rabbi's Funeral

After a week of an exponential rise in confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths across five boroughs of New York City, Sunday figures showed growth rates in cases and deaths are slowing. However, that doesn't mean social distancing rules are to be relaxed, as the New York City Police Department (NYPD) busted a large group of Hasidic Jews on Sunday in violation of the state's social distancing rules. 

The incident unfolded on 55th Street and 12th Avenue Borough Park, Brooklyn, where mourners gathered for at least one funeral, several other reports indicate there were multiple. 

New York Daily News said a funeral was held for Rav Yosef Kalish, 63, who was hospitalized with the virus and died over the weekend. 

A video posted on Twitter shows the NYPD arriving to break up the large crowd, in violation of the state's and city's social distancing rules. For fear of contracting the virus, police officers stayed inside the vehicle and played a prerecorded message that said:

"This is the NYPD. Due to the current health emergency, members of the public are reminded to keep a safe distance of six feet from others while in public places to reduce the spread of the coronavirus."

New York Daily News said the crowd eventually dispersed. 

According to the New York Post, funeral attendees asked the NYPD for more time to grieve for their recent loss. Officers on the scene gave the mourners five additional minutes.

It was evident in the video that many Hasidic Jews were violating the government enforced social distancing rules. Some attendees were wearing surgical masks, but many were not. Not one person was wearing a 3M N95 mask nor goggles or a face shield. 

Last month, Hasidic Jews violated social distancing orders by hosting Brooklyn weddings, as the fast-spreading virus was silently ravaging the city, mostly because test kits were lacking. As test kits have become available in recent weeks, confirmed tests have exploded. As of Sunday night (April 5), there are 123,160 confirmed cases and 4,159 deaths.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo last month banned crowds of 50 or more, and President Trump advised Americans to avoid groups of more than 10 to mitigate the spread of the virus. 

Cuomo recently said any resident who breaks social distancing rules would be subjected up to $500 fine. 

Tyler Durden Mon, 04/06/2020 - 07:25
Published:4/6/2020 6:33:14 AM
[topics:things/you-are-not-alone] Coronavirus positive: good news round-up - videogames to the rescue  Published:4/6/2020 6:33:14 AM
[c63b6c60-2154-5baf-8730-6dc37978b0cf] Johnny 'Joey' Jones: Afghan vet's coronavirus advice – here's how we'll all get through this Having spent the last few weeks at home in quasi-quarantine with my family, I woke this morning with a sense of epiphany. I’ve been here before. Published:4/6/2020 6:02:57 AM
[Markets] COVID-19 case tally reaches 1.28 million COVID-19 case tally reaches 1.28 million Published:4/6/2020 6:02:57 AM
[Markets] Dow Jones Futures Jump As Virus Cases Slow; Why This Stock Market Rally Is More Dangerous Than The Coronavirus Market Crash Futures rose Sunday. The choppy market rally is riskier for active investors than the coroanavirus stock market crash. AMD, Nvidia, Amazon and Microsoft are stocks to watch. Published:4/6/2020 6:02:57 AM
[worldNews] Vietnamese hat seller turns to homemade face shields in virus fight For nearly three decades, Quach My Linh has sold hats at Ba Chieu market in Vietnam's bustling Ho Chi Minh City.
Published:4/6/2020 6:02:57 AM
[structure:news] What coronavirus tests is Boris Johnson having in hospital? Published:4/6/2020 6:02:57 AM
[Markets] COVID-19 Is Being Used To Scare You Away From Using Cash COVID-19 Is Being Used To Scare You Away From Using Cash

Authored by Nick Hankoff via The Libertarian Institute,

Cash has been the target of the banking and financial elites for years. Now, the coronavirus pandemic is being used to frighten the masses into accepting a cashless society. That would mean the death of what’s left of our free society.

CBS NewsCNN, and other mainstream outlets are fearmongering again. Alarmism is nothing new in the media world, but this time, it’s not about triggering panic buying or even pushing a political agenda.

The war on cash is about imposing a new meta-narrative. As economist Joseph Salerno explains, the cashless society forces all payments to be made through the financial system. It doesn’t end with monopoly control over transactions, though.

Being bound to computers for transactions kicks the door wide open to hardcore surveillance of personal activity and location data. Being eternally on the grid means relentless taxation and negative interest rates, which the Federal Reserve is already gearing up for.

None of this bothers the well-heeled boosters of a cashless society or their lackeys in the media. They want Americans reading about the threat of coronavirus cooties on their cash, which is absurd.

Germs, of course, can loiter all over credit and debit cards, smartphones, ATMs, and every other cash alternative device. Too bad implanted microchip technology isn’t further along, the banksters must be thinking.

In another CNN article, readers are practically shamed for withdrawing cash to save during a crisis. Every sentence, every word, every letter of the article is nuts.

It begins by reassuring the reader that their bank account is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). There’s no mention of moral hazard from CNN. The fact that the federal government guarantees every bank account up to $250,000 encourages reckless financial and banking behavior. Not worth mentioning, CNN?

Prior to the end of World War II, there were $500, $1,000, and $10,000 bills in wide circulation. This cash was dissolved by the Federal Reserve in the name of fighting organized crime. This same argument is now being made against $50 and $100 bills by Harvard economics professor Kenneth Rogoff.

In the Wall Street Journal, Rogoff also wrote that a cashless society would offer such benefits as “greater flexibility for the Federal Reserve to stimulate the economy when necessary.”

He wrote those words in 2017. And these too:

“The Federal Reserve should be able to implement negative nominal interest rates vastly more effectively in the absence of large bills, which could prove quite important as a stimulative tool in the next financial crisis.”

Prophetic. And indeed, negative interest rates would require the assistance of outlawing cash, so that banking customers don’t cheat by simply drawing out on their accounts.

Pardon the pun, but it’s absolutely sick how COVID-19 is being used now as a launching pad for this cashless agenda. There’s nothing to fear about using cash during this time of social distancing.

Wash your hands after handling cash, but don’t give up your moolah. Preserve your health, your privacy, and your liberty.

And just in case you wondered what all this fearmongering has done for that dirty cash in circulation - Americans are grabbing it at at the fastest pace since the Y2K liquidity scare...

Another unintended consequence of government intervention.

Tyler Durden Mon, 04/06/2020 - 07:00
Published:4/6/2020 6:02:57 AM
[Uncategorized] Branco Cartoon – Bedside Manners Wishful Thinking Published:4/6/2020 6:02:57 AM
[worldNews] British PM Johnson in hospital for coronavirus tests but said to be still in charge British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was undergoing tests in hospital on Monday as he is still suffering coronavirus symptoms 10 days after testing positive for COVID-19, but the government insisted he remained in charge.
Published:4/6/2020 5:32:33 AM
[Entertainment] Why Eminem Is a Proud Dad: Inside Hailie Jade Scott's Life Now Hailie Jade Scott, Hailie MathersBetween the contentious lyrics, the many public beefs, the random Oscars appearance and, it bears mentioning again, all the edgy lyrics, it's hard to think of Eminem as just a regular guy....
Published:4/6/2020 5:32:33 AM
[Entertainment] 5 tips to spark your creativity while working alone, from artists who do it all the time The "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" author, a "Peanuts" studio creator and others explain the ways they're staying creative during a pandemic. Published:4/6/2020 5:32:33 AM
[Markets] Dow futures rise 800 points as Trump administration signals that coronavirus outbreak may be stabilizing Stock-index futures rise sharply Monday morning as investors appear eager to focus on a glimmer of optimism coming out of the White House about the potential for stabilization of the rapid spread of the worst viral outbreak in generations. Published:4/6/2020 5:32:33 AM
[Markets] "Immunity Certificates" Are Coming - COVID-Survivors To Get 'Special Passports' Enabling Return To 'Normalcy' "Immunity Certificates" Are Coming - COVID-Survivors To Get 'Special Passports' Enabling Return To 'Normalcy'

Update: Even more prophetically, billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackman tweeted about his "optimism" and the need for

"...Hydroxychloriquine and antibiotics appear to help. There is increasing evidence that the asymptomatic infection rate could be as much as 50X higher than expected.

If this is true, the severity and death rate could be much lower than anticipated, and we could be closer to herd immunity than projected. Highly accurate antibody tests are scaling production and distribution which will definitively answer this question hopefully soon.

One could imagine a world in the next few months where everyone is tested and all but the immune-compromised go back to a socially distanced but more normal life. 

We wear bracelets or carry a phone certificate which indicate our status, and track infections where they emerge..."

Yay, let's all cheer for antibody-based freedom.

*  *  *

The rollout of immunity certificates across the world will likely be government-issued to first responders and citizens who have developed resistance to COVID-19.

People who have contracted the virus and have recovered, normally develop antibodies to fight the virus, could be their golden ticket to escape regions that have strict social distancing measures and or lockdowns. 

Just imagine, immunity certificates granted by governments to people who have recovered or have developed resistance to the virus could be considered special passports that will allow them to freely travel across states, countries, and or the world — while everyone else remains hunkered down in their homes or doomsday bunkers

Some of the first talks of this has originated in the UK. The government could roll out immunity passports to Britons who have already contracted and recovered from the virus so they can reenter the economy, reported The New York Times.

"(An immunity certificate) is an important thing that we will be doing and are looking at but it's too early in the science of the immunity that comes from having had the disease," health minister Matt Hancock said at a Downing Street press conference.

"It's too early in that science to be able to put clarity around that. I wish that we could but the reason that we can't is because the science isn't yet advanced enough," Hancock said. 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson's spokesman said Britain was completing due diligence in how feasible immunity passports would be.

Hancock said a blood test was in development that could test whether people already had the virus or had the antibodies that would make them resistant to the infection.

In Germany, researchers are preparing a study that would see if people already immune to the virus could reenter the workforce and be granted immunity passports. 

In Italy, the conservative president of the northeastern Veneto region has proposed an immunity passport for people who possess antibodies that show they are resistant to the virus. 

The former prime minister, Matteo Renzi, has called it a "Covid Pass" for the uninfected who can return to their normal lives. 

Immunity passports and "intermittent lockdowns" could become a reality in the months, quarters, or at least in the next several years – as the virus could be sticking around a lot longer than many have anticipated. 

Talk of these special passports surfaced in American politics last week when House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Stewart called on Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee to implement an "Immunity Certificate" for first responders and healthcare professionals. 

Stewart said first-responders who have the antibodies and are immune to the virus should be shifted onto the frontlines.

"We need to get the resources in place to test all of our healthcare workers so we know which ones can work without fear of COVID-19 and which ones need maximum protection against the VIRUS," Stewart said.

And for more confirmation that immunity passports are going to be the next big thing in the Western world, or maybe across the globe. Here is Bill Gates on March 24, giving a 50-minute interview to Chris Anderson, the Curator of TED, the non-profit that runs the TED Talks.

Right at 34:14, Gates discussed how the future in a post-corona world would be. He said:

Eventually what we'll have to have is certificates of who's a recovered person, who's a vaccinated person...

...Because you don't want people moving around the world where you'll have some countries that won't have it under control, sadly.

You don't want to completely block off the ability for people to go there and come back and move around.

So eventually there will be this digital immunity proof that will help facilitate the global reopening up.

Tyler Durden Mon, 04/06/2020 - 06:30
Published:4/6/2020 5:32:33 AM
[World] Why Donald Trump's hydroxychloroquine fixation drives White House lynch corps nuts

It was hard not to think of President Trump as the Queen of England delivered one of the most moving speeches imaginable in this difficult coronavirus-plagued time.

The 93-year-old Elizabeth II did it to perfection.

"I hope in the years to come, everyone will be able to take pride in ... Published:4/6/2020 5:04:41 AM

[Evergreen Topics] The US-Canada Relationship: An Enduring Partnership of Free-Market Economies

Canada and the United States have a profound and multifaceted partnership and alliance, strengthened by shared values and interests. The bilateral cooperation between the two... Read More

The post The US-Canada Relationship: An Enduring Partnership of Free-Market Economies appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:4/6/2020 5:04:41 AM
[worldNews] Malaysia reports 131 new coronavirus cases; 3,793 in total, with one new death Malaysia on Monday reported 131 new coronavirus infections, raising the country's total to 3,793 cases, the highest in Southeast Asia.
Published:4/6/2020 5:04:41 AM
[topics:in-the-news/uk-coronavirus-lockdown] How does a coronavirus antibody home test kit work, and how do I get one? Published:4/6/2020 5:04:41 AM
[Markets] "We Borrowed From The Future & Now It's Over..." "We Borrowed From The Future & Now It's Over..."

Via Greg Hunter’s,

Investment advisor and former Assistant Secretary of Housing Catherine Austin Fitts says, “We’ve been printing massive amounts of dollars, and if you look at all the things we did to stop high speed debasement and unprecedented inflation, we’ve kind of run out of tricks..."

"...Inflation is really sneaking up...

My question:

Is basically shutting down the small businesses and the small farm economy at high speed the way they have done, is that protecting us from going up a frightening inflation? Are we at Weimar Republic kind of inflation rates?

I have been telling my subscribers to plant, plant and plant because the price of food is going to go through the roof. Another one of my questions: What’s pressing for war?   Is the debt spiral up and the inflation spiral up, is that more than they can handle?”

Fitts also says the covert war going on now is about the U.S. dollar and countries who want to stop using it for trade.

If the dollar is used less, it will be worth less and maybe much less. Fitts says,

“We have tried to keep all the oil sales in the world going through the dollar. Of course, that’s put everybody back into our jurisdiction. The world doesn’t want to do that anymore. They want to be free to trade.

You are seeing more and more central banks around the world doing swap lines and direct relationships between central bank to central bank to try to do what is called de-dollarization.

So, you have the world wanting to move outside our channel, and you have the Anglo American alliance trying to protect the dollar syndicate. That is part of the economic war that is going on.

Fitts says, “Whatever happens on the global stage, it means the days of the subsidy that kept the game inside America is over..."

"...So, how do you radically reduce the size of the financial footprint that stops inflation from going wild?  

How do you take the subsidy away from the American middle class without a major civil war?...

What we did was we did the China trade, and now it’s over, and everybody in America said fine, we will go along. Well, this is the price. You have borrowed from the future and now it’s over.

Why the sudden record gun buying in America? Fitts says,

They understand that the rule of law is steadily being diminished. They see all sorts of behavior... that is lawless...

They see people in poverty say if anything goes for the big guys, then anything goes for us...

Part of what is happening is we are dealing with a spiritual war, and there are serious demonic and occult forces at work. There is nothing they would love more than to stop the churches and stop people from getting together and praying and inviting in the divine and angelic hope every Sunday. I am with the President. I think stopping the churches from gathering is a very, very terrible idea.”

Fitts also still thinks gold is a good investment that will “outperform most other investments in 2020.”

Join Greg Hunter of as he goes One-on-One with Catherine Austin Fitts, publisher of “The Solari Report.”

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Tyler Durden Mon, 04/06/2020 - 06:00
Published:4/6/2020 5:04:41 AM
[Markets] Peter Morici: Congress should send everyone a $1,200 check every month Massive fiscal stimulus is needed to save the real economy.
Published:4/6/2020 5:04:41 AM
[Politics] Elizabeth II: 'We Will Succeed' Queen Elizabeth's address to her subjects in respect of the corona virus stirs our republican spirits. It's not that she unloaded a lot of information that Britons, or Americans, were heretofore lacking. It's hard to reckon that she had much more of a briefing than a newspaper editor could get. Nor was it her eloquence, though her remarks were well-enough crafted. Published:4/6/2020 5:04:41 AM
[Asia] India’s Swiggy raises $43M to expand to new businesses Indian food delivery startup Swiggy has bagged an additional $43 million as it looks to expand to new businesses. Ark Impact, Korea Investment Partners, Samsung Ventures and Mirae Asset Capital Markets provided the capital to finance Swiggy’s ongoing Series I round. In February, the Bangalore-based startup had raised $113 million as part of the current […] Published:4/6/2020 4:32:46 AM
[topics:in-the-news/global-health-security] How many coronavirus cases are in your area? Use our tool to find out Published:4/6/2020 4:32:46 AM
[topics:in-the-news/uk-coronavirus-lockdown] Coronavirus cases in Birmingham and the Midlands, mapped Published:4/6/2020 4:04:53 AM
[Markets] Next Avenue: Anxiety, depression, OCD—how to cope with mental health issues, and symptoms to watch for There’s a good chance even if you’ve never experienced serious mental health issues, you could now.
Published:4/6/2020 4:04:53 AM
[Markets] China Prepares To Close "Oil Deal Of A Lifetime" In Iraq China Prepares To Close "Oil Deal Of A Lifetime" In Iraq

Authored by Simon Watkins via,

Over the past week or so, China has eased quarantine measures in Wuhan – the city in which the global coronavirus pandemic began – with the entire lockdown scheduled to end on 8 April. With China’s President Xi Jinpiang having visited the city just a few days ago, the industrial economy across China as a whole is back working and operating at levels even above the pre-coronavirus rates, although the service sector remains more cautious.

For the oil industry, this means that China is back and busy taking up where it left off in terms of exploring and developing new field opportunities.

This is at a time when the U.S. is just beginning to see the full onset of coronavirus mayhem.

There has been no clearer sign of this move by China than last week’s awarding of a US$203.5 million engineering contract for Iraq’s supergiant oil field, Majnoon, to the little known China Petroleum Engineering & Construction Corp (CPECC). 

With the U.S.’ focus increasingly on fire-fighting the coronavirus outbreak at home, Beijing has good reason to believe that it has largely a clear run at target country Iraq, provided that it does not stick it too much in the U.S.’ craw. This specifically means continuing to develop oil and gas field opportunities in geopolitically ultra-sensitive areas, such as Iraq, on the basis of rolling contracts for specific work undertaken by companies that are not top of the U.S.’ radar, like CPECC.

This method is also being used by Russia, and the focus of it right now is Iraq and Iran, two countries that are right in the centre of the Middle East and vital to both China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ multi-generational dominance strategy and to Russia’s ongoing attempt to sequestrate the entire Middle East.

Majnoon is a key focus in Iraq because it has so much oil that its very name in Arabic means ‘insane’, to signify the insane amount of oil that has always been present there. Before the U.S. noticed that China was stealthily acting hand in glove with Russia to provide the money where the muscle had been put in place, the ever-fractious senior Iraqi politicians had offered China a stunningly lucrative deal for the development of the Majnoon field. Specifically, the terms of the deal were that China would obtain a 25-year contract but one that would officially start two years after the signing date. This would allow China to recoup more profits on average per year and less upfront investment.

Also enormously beneficial for Beijing was that the methodology for working out per barrel payments to it would be the higher – the Chinese would choose - of either the mean average of the 18 month spot price for crude oil produced, or the past six months. Additionally, China would receive a discount of at least 10 per cent for at least five years on the value of the oil it recovered.

And oil there is aplenty. Located around 60 kilometres to the north east of the main southern export terminal of Basra, the Majnoon supergiant oil field is one of the largest oil fields in the world, with an estimated 38 billion barrels of oil in place. Due to the legacy of both the Iran-Iraq War and the U.S. incursions, from when the licence on the field was awarded on 11 December 2009 by the Iraq government to Shell Iraq Petroleum Development (SIPD) – in conjunction with its Malaysian partner, Petronas, and Iraq’s Missan Oil Company – it took nearly 18 months simply to clear 28 square kilometres of land of explosives, prior to constructing and opening the first well. Production was then formally restarted on 20 September 2013 and, within a very short timeframe, the consortium had already managed to boost output to the 175,000 barrels per day (bpd) first commercial production target (also the threshold for cost-recovery payments for Shell). 

By the end of the first quarter of 2014, the field was churning out an average of 210,000 bpd, according to figures from Shell and Baghdad. Indeed, the first shipment of crude oil to Shell Trading occurred on 8 April that year and, despite the floods that hit the fields in early 2019, the longer-term original production target figures designed for the Shell-led consortium still stand: the first production target of 175,000 bpd (already reached and surpassed), and the plateau production for the site of 1.8 mbpd. 

The International Energy Agency projected output of 550,000-950,000 bpd production by 2020, and 700,000-1 million bpd at some point in the 2030s, although due to the flooding and recent political upheavals – plus the effects of the coronavirus – the timing has slipped. Even with these caveats, though, China’s part of the deal – which also remains in place – is to shore up the site from future potential flooding and to increase output to at least 500,000 bpd by the end of May 2021. 

The details of the early 2019 flooding damage might make worrying reading for some developers. The rain that caused the initial flooding had only fallen on both sides of the Iraq/Iran border for just 35 minutes in total, which then caused the Hiwiza marshes to overflow into farmland in the nearby Al-Qurna district, cutting through the safety berms and the rising level of water caused the Jahaf dam to collapse. By 15 March, the water level rose sufficiently to force itself through a second safety berm to the edges of the Majnoon oil field. 

The details do not worry the Chinese, though, for two key reasons.

  • One is that China has extensive knowledge of dealing with floods across its own country, both natural and man-created (via the damming that has occurred for decades), so it has the expertise and engineering capabilities to effectively deal with such eventualities.

  • The other is that, in line with its aforementioned encroachment into Iran, China can work on both sides of the border, as the Majnoon reservoir in the Iraqi side extends across the Iran border into the massive field known as Azadegan. This, in turn, is split into the North Azadegan and South Azadegan oil field developments.

For years, structural damage has been done to the area by the erosion of subsoil across over one million hectares of forest and brush land by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a result of building programmes. This has been worsened by the redirection of many of the natural water flows through the building of dams and again by Iran’s irrigation systems that have been sending clean and waste water into Iraq for decades.

A 2011 study by the University of Basra warned that the infrastructure was not able to handle Iranian inflows, with the danger zone concentrated in an area where the Majnoon oil pipelines feed the gas-oil separation station. However, as a senior source who works closely with Iran’s Petroleum Ministry told last week: “The IRGC invited China into Iran and Iraq and the IRGC is entirely at China’s service.”  

This strategy of gradual encroachment is a Chinese classic, of course, currently being employed very notably where possible across the Asia-Pacific region as well as the Middle East. The modus operandi is:

offer lots of money to cash-strapped countries (which most emerging economies are) that are tied in to future project developments, then leverage this into the building out of on-the-ground infrastructural projects (that have employment and revenue benefits for the host countries as well), and then turn the screw by inveigling the host countries to give China extremely preferential terms on something it wants (in the Middle East it is oil and gas and land transit routes, and in Asia Pacific it is other natural resources and international port usage).

Although in the Middle East, China is still partly trying to cover its intentions by using non-headline companies on ‘contractor-only’ specific work projects – just like CPECC – it does not take much digging to find the real interest. 

Not only is CPECC a subsidiary of Chinese oil behemoth, China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), but also it was the very same company that was recently awarded exactly the same type of contract (US$121 million for ‘engineering work’ that time) for Iraq’s supergiant West Qurna-1 oilfield, also located very close to Iraq’s principal oil hub of Basra.

“At some point the U.S. is going to wake up and find out that it has lost the entire Middle East, including Iraq and Saudi,” concluded the Iran source. 

Tyler Durden Mon, 04/06/2020 - 05:00
Published:4/6/2020 4:04:53 AM
[ff6636ea-b10f-5a54-86dc-e41df0af96f8] Liz Peek: Pelosi's partisan coronavirus investigation – expect this reaction from crisis-weary voters It is almost inconceivable that Nancy Pelosi is launching yet another investigation aimed at undermining President Trump. Published:4/6/2020 4:04:53 AM
[LK] Lessons From Luckin Coffee's Recent 80% Crash Published:4/6/2020 3:32:58 AM
[Markets] Tesla Has A "Bulging Demand Problem" That Has Nothing To Do With COVID-19: Gordon Johnson Tesla Has A "Bulging Demand Problem" That Has Nothing To Do With COVID-19: Gordon Johnson

As most people following the Tesla saga already know, the company reported 88,000 deliveries for Q1 on Thursday night, leading many people to think that the company had "beat" estimates. Tesla stock soared after hours on Thursday, at one point rising almost $90 from the prior close, before returning to some semblance of reality on Friday and closing the week out around $480, up 5% on the day.

But as analyst Gordon Johnson reminds us in his latest report, these delivery estimate numbers had already been significantly walked back. He also reminded anyone willing to listen of the drastic measures Tesla has taken to increase supply:

After walking analysts ests. down (our opinion) from ~93K on Fri. to ~80K this past Monday and ~105K for the Cons. est. just two weeks ago, TSLA reported 1Q20 deliveries yesterday (i.e., Thurs) of 88.4K, leading many to claim victory, with some even saying TSLA "crushed" the 1Q20 delivery est. (link). While the stock is up in pre-market trading, at risk of stating the obvious, we disagree with the optimism being lauded on the car company today by many media outlets, & sell-side analysts alike.

More importantly, however, over the course of 3Q18-to-1Q20, we note that TSLA: (1) Launched a New Factory in China, which is said to be producing 3K cars/week, or ~36K cars/quarter (link), (2) Completed rollout of Model 3 AWD/AWD-P in N. America, (3) Launched Model 3 MR (Since Discounted), (4) Launched Model 3 SR+, (5) Launched Model 3 in Europe/UK (All Variants), (6) Launched Model 3 in China/SEA (All Variants), and (7) Launched Model Y AWD/AWD-P in the United States. 

Despite supply side improvements, TSLA sales were "essentially flat".

He made the argument that even though the China factory was up and running for most of Q1 and even though the Model Y was available for purchase, the company still posted a lackluster number for deliveries, up just 5.5%. He notes that it is the "second lowest level of TSLA cars sold over the past 6 quarters" and says compared to VW, Tesla's valuation remains unjustified: 

Yet, as detailed in Ex. 1 below, over this same timeframe, despite its China factory being fully functional for the lion's share of 1Q20 & its Model Y all-wheel-drive ("AWD") and Model Y all-wheel-drive-performance ("AWD-P") cars being available for purchase, as well as the introduction of >6 other new car variants 3Q18-to-1Q20, TSLA's total cars sold grew from 83.7K to just 88.4K 3Q18-to-1Q20, or up 5.5%.

In fact, 1Q20 marks the second lowest level of TSLA cars sold over the past 6 quarters.

Consequently, with TSLA currently valued at ~$98bn vs. $59.5bn for VW, despite the fact that VW sold ~10.5mn cars last year vs. 367.5K for TSLA, TSLA needs to see exponential growth to justify its valuation.

"Competition is killing TSLA in Europe..." Gordon Johnson says.??

Johnson also reminded people that Tesla's battery range is "not what it seems", even sourcing pro-Tesla website InsideEVs for his data.

Finally, Johnson explained that consensus estimates for 2021 have already started to come down and that the revisions have "nothing to do with COVID-19". 

Based on the lion's share of TSLA pundits saying demand will surge in 4Q20/2021, we think it's fair to say any impact from COVID-19 is expected to be fully behind TSLA by 1Q21. Despite this, however, as detailed in Ex. 2 below, since 2/13/20 the Cons. 2021 adjusted EPS est. for TSLA has fallen from $15.23/shr to $12.18/shr, or -20%. When considering this is the est. professional investors use to value TSLA shares, as this figure moves lower thru 2020, we would expect TSLA's share[s] to come under more intense selling pressure.

"Numbers don't lie, and, as we've stressed, TSLA has a bulging demand problem," Johnson concluded.

Tyler Durden Mon, 04/06/2020 - 04:30
Published:4/6/2020 3:32:58 AM
[worldNews] British PM Johnson still in hospital with persistent coronavirus symptoms British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was in hospital in London on Monday suffering persistent coronavirus symptoms 10 days after testing positive for the virus, but Downing Street said he remained in charge of the government.
Published:4/6/2020 3:04:49 AM
[Markets] Europe Markets: European stocks rally on data showing slowing growth in coronavirus spread European stocks climbed in early action Monday on tentative signs the spread of coronavirus is slowing.
Published:4/6/2020 3:04:49 AM
[Markets] A New World Order & "The End Of Capital Markets As We Have Known Them" A New World Order & "The End Of Capital Markets As We Have Known Them"


The following letter was sent by Bob Rodriguez to his friends and colleagues yesterday, as well as to Bob Huebscher. Bob Rodriguez has graciously allowed us to publish it.

Robert L. Rodriguez was the former portfolio manager of the small/mid-cap absolute-value strategy (including FPA Capital Fund, Inc.) and the absolute-fixed-income strategy (including FPA New Income, Inc.) and a former managing partner at FPA, a Los Angeles-based asset manager. He retired at the end of 2016, following more than 33 years of service.

He won many awards during his tenure. He was the only fund manager in the United States to win the Morningstar Manager of the Year award for both an equity and a fixed income fund and is tied with one other portfolio manager as having won the most awards. In 1994 Bob won for both FPA Capital and FPA New Income, and in 2001 and 2008 for FPA New Income.

The opinions expressed reflect Mr. Rodriguez’ personal views only and not those of FPA.

Dear friends and colleagues,

Though the virus pandemic has been tumultuous, challenging and with little precedence, from a capital market perspective, this market collapse was quite predictable.

Capital market excesses became pervasive in ways that were also unprecedented. Zombie companies, corporate operating strategies that elevated financial risk to extreme levels and consumers who also became highly leveraged were the accepted actions of the day. Prudence was an extremely rare virtue. Many times I expressed the opinion that I thought the various equity markets were at least 40-60% over valued. Recent events would tend to confirm my assessment.

Back in 2009, in my Morningstar speech, and then after I returned from my 2010 sabbatical, I argued that, if we did not get our economic house in order, we would experience a crisis of equal or greater magnitude than the 2008-2009 period and that this would take place after 2017.

With the passage of the 2017 omnibus bill and the 2017 tax cut, along with a continuation of unsound and insane monetary policies, this speculative excess period was able to be extended. We knew there would be a pin that would prick this unbelievably speculative bubble but we just didn’t know what it would be. Now we do.

Our economic and financial market systems were not prepared with appropriate “rainy day reserves” to withstand an exogenous shock. Balance sheets were stretched in all economic sectors. The shock to the US economy by the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the beginning of WW2 was more traumatic and of greater magnitude than what we are experiencing now and it would also last longer. However, after 12 years of Depression, the financial system was cleansed of speculative excesses that allowed for a financial re-leveraging of the economy to fight the war. After the carnage was over, the economy was able to grow out of an extreme leverage position. In contrast to then, this is not the case today, given that the economy is already extremely leveraged prior to the onset of the crisis. My worst fears have materialized.

Since 2013, I have been preparing for an economy of monumental excess, where debt and deficits do not appear to matter, along with Fed and other central bank monetary policies that totally distort the fundamental elements of the Capital Asset Pricing Model. With the events of the past three weeks, the perversion and conversion to a dystopian capital market and economic system is virtually complete.

As for me, with the Fed's announcement of unlimited QE and its “will buy or support almost anything,” along with the pending passage of a $2-2.5 trillion stimulus package, this is the end of the capital markets as we have known them.

We have now entered unlimited QE and MMT where there is no escape.

It is the Roach Motel all over again.

In Chairman Bernanke‘s 2010 Washington Post op-ed, he argued that QE would lead to a virtuous economic cycle; therefore, the Fed would eventually be able to exit from its QE operations. I argued that once initiated, a reversal would be impossible. It would be like the Roach Motel, “You can check in, but you cannot check out.”

With the initiation of the Fed’s complete takeover and control of the US financial economy, there is now absolutely no accurate pricing discovery in the capital markets and we have entered a period of total manipulation. In light of this, the only markets I have an interest in are those where the heavy hand of government is not involved or only minimally involved. This leads me to rare commodities and collectibles. The public equity and debt markets are now nothing more than greater fool markets that are led by the greatest fools of all, the Fed and the Congress. US capital markets, RIP!

Despite my having avoided 100% of the market carnage and also being profitable, I have to shed a tear for the passing of a capital market that has benefitted the real and financial economy so well for decades. In 2008, when I wrote, “Crossing the Rubicon,” I argued we had crossed over into a new economic order and system. Little did I know that within twelve short years this transformation would be virtually complete. We have entered into a far more dangerous environment where normal rules of analytics will likely not apply.

When everything is essentially socialized as to risk, a return vs risk evaluation is essentially meaningless since the risk side of the equation has been truncated.

Over a period of time which I cannot estimate yet, I will continue my preparation for a far different economic and financial environment.

Capital deployment strategies will likely have to change from what has been the norm in the post WW2 environment. We are in a New World Order.

I hope I am wrong in my assessment, but I doubt it.

Good luck,


Tyler Durden Mon, 04/06/2020 - 04:00
Published:4/6/2020 3:04:49 AM
[worldNews] 'We'll meet again': Queen Elizabeth invokes WW2 spirit to defeat coronavirus Queen Elizabeth told the British people on Sunday that they would overcome the coronavirus outbreak if they stayed resolute in the face of lockdown and self-isolation, invoking the spirit of World War Two in an extremely rare broadcast to the nation.
Published:4/6/2020 2:32:04 AM
[Markets] European stocks jump at start on slowing rate of new virus cases and deaths European stocks jump at start on slowing rate of new virus cases and deaths Published:4/6/2020 2:32:03 AM
[structure:news] Monday morning news briefing: PM in hospital with virus Published:4/6/2020 2:04:15 AM
[worldNews] Running out of beds and gear, Tokyo medical staff say Japan's 'state of emergency' already here As Japan faces a fresh wave of coronavirus infections and the government prepares for a state of emergency, medical staff say a shortage of beds and a rise in cases linked to hospitals are pushing Tokyo's medical system to the brink of collapse.
Published:4/6/2020 2:04:15 AM
[Markets] Sweden Beset By New Crime-Wave Of "Humiliation Robberies" Sweden Beset By New Crime-Wave Of "Humiliation Robberies"

Authored by Judith Bergman via The Gatestone Institute,

A new kind of crime is making the headlines in Sweden, in Swedish known as förnedringsrånFörnedring means "humiliation" and rån means "robbery." The victims of these "humiliation robberies" are almost always children or teenagers. As previously reported by Gatestone Institute:

"The number of children who rob other children has increased by 100% in only four years, according to a new study by Swedish police... In 2016, there were 1,178 robberies against children under 18 years of age. In 2019, the number had increased to 2,484. The number of violent crimes where the suspect is a child under 15 years of age has also gone up dramatically: In 2015, there were 6,359 reported violent crimes where the suspect was a child under 15. In 2019, that number had increased to 8,719 reported violent crimes".

The "humiliation robberies" have recently caused much consternation in Sweden. In Gothenburg, a criminal gang of youths forced their victim to kiss the gang leader's feet, while they filmed him. After that, they stomped on his face until he passed out.

In Stockholm, two 16-year-olds robbed, punched and kicked their 18-year old victim for hours. At the end of the ordeal, they took him behind a church where one of the perpetrators urinated on him while they called him names such as "fucking Swede". They then forced him to take his clothes of while laughing mockingly at him, the victim, only known as Liam, told Swedish TV. The two 16-year-olds filmed the incident and spread it on social media.

The parents of one of the perpetrators came to Sweden six years ago from an unspecified African country, according to Swedish TV, who interviewed them in February. The parents both work and said that their son lacks for nothing. The mother wore a hijab during the interview.

Although Swedish media rarely publish details of the ethnic origins of gang members, some media research has shown that gang members overwhelmingly are either foreign-born or children of immigrants. In 2017, the Swedish mainstream media outlet Expressen did a report about the 49 criminal networks in Stockholm. The report showed the networks consisted of between 500 and 700 gang members: 40.6% of the gang members that Expressen surveyed were foreign-born; 82.2% had two parents who were foreign-born. Their main country of origin was Iraq, followed by Bosnia, Lebanon, Somalia, Syria and Turkey.

"It is a way to show your power. They want to dominate places. They do that by putting fear in other youths," said Thomas Petterson, an analyst for the Gothenburg police, in August.

"When it comes to these kinds of young people, they get a kick out of the deed, rather than going after possessions," said criminal prosecutor Linda Wiking.

However, little is apparently new about this form of crime. The only truly novel aspect of it is that the crime has become extreme to the extent that even Swedish mainstream media can no longer ignore it.

As early as 2007, four academics (Ingrid Björkman, Jan Elfverson, Jonathan Friedman and Åke Wedin) wrote a book, Exit Folkhemssverige ("Exit the Swedish Welfare State"), which received little to no attention in mainstream media at the time. The book contains much information about gang robberies, including the humiliation of the victims that they often entail:

"Since the early 1990s, gang robberies, where young people rob other young people, have been a marked feature of juvenile delinquency. From being a metropolitan phenomenon, the robberies have now spread across the country. Several reports, including an extensive BRÅ survey in 1999 of Malmö and Gothenburg, as well as interviews with police officers, give a coherent picture of the youth robberies. The increase is dramatic. In the Stockholm and Malmö regions, police reported robberies doubled in 1999, and the police are talking about a 'youth epidemic'. 80 - 90% of robbers have an immigrant background. The majority are 15 - 17 years...The victims are Swedish children and young people, primarily 'Swedish guys from rich men's schools', as one robber put it. The robberies are mostly carried out in the daytime and despite the fact that there are adults nearby. The surroundings rarely intervene... The robberies usually follow a certain pattern: A group of immigrant boys approach a selected victim and convey a clear threat with their actions. A common scenario is that one of the robbers holds a knife pressed against the victim, while the others rob him of mobile phone, bank card, money. The victim... is frightened and dare not [do anything] but give up the requested items... If he doesn't give up, he'll be beaten, often very brutally. Humiliation of the victim is not infrequently included in the picture. If it is a boy, it is about breaking his self-esteem. He is forced to cry, give up his shoes, even undress naked, kneel and plead for his life, etc. For the girl victims, sexual humiliation applies. They get their clothes ripped off, the robbers grab them and call them "whores". However, the robberies are rarely combined with rape. When the girls manage to get away, the robbers laugh out loud and let them run. Even little girls aren't safe... The gangs have gained respect, as it is called. This means that they have taken over certain neighborhoods, with the result that Swedish young people are restricting their freedom of movement...The teenage perpetrators behave like Mafiosi, police say. The robberies are a demonstration of power. If the robbers are caught, they laugh at the police, because the penalties for the crimes are so insignificant due to the young age of the perpetrators." (From chapter 5.)

The authors continued:

"The fact that it is a question of showing their power is confirmed by the immigrant youths themselves... 'The Swedes must become like us foreigners. Otherwise, they won't make it,' says one immigrant... 'You don't rob your own. And then it becomes immigrants against Swedes'. 'If you get to know them and pretend to look up to them, then you don't get robbed,' explains a Swedish 14-year-old. The defense mechanism is called conscious identity change. A sociological study at the University of Gothenburg by John Järvenpää has dealt in detail with the phenomenon of immigrant youth and robberies...The crucial motive for the choice of victims was ethnic. No one could imagine robbing someone of their own nationality. First, 'it's about respect.' Second, they would be severely punished by their compatriots. 'I'd get killed,' says one. 'The family would have killed us,' says another. That the robbers focus on Swedes is mainly because Swedes are afraid and therefore easy prey..."

Exit Folkhemssverige also has a section about gang rape, which the authors present as a different kind of humiliation crime:

"Previously, gang rapes were virtually unknown in Sweden. But since the 1980s, they have steadily increased. Since 1995, they have quadrupled. In 1999, 35 gang rapes were recorded in Stockholm alone. Today, the media reports every week or every two weeks on such violent crimes. The usual pattern is the same as in the gang robberies. First, the ethnic relationship is the same: the victims are Swedish and among the perpetrators, the immigrants are greatly over-represented. For example, a study on sentencing practices shows that out of 24 perpetrators convicted of gang rape in 1989–91, 21 were foreign nationals. Whether the three Swedish citizens were ethnic Swedes or immigrants is not accounted for. Second, both perpetrators and victims are getting younger. In August 2001, for example, two 13-year-old girls in Malmö were raped by six immigrant boys aged 11 to 14. The case received widespread media attention, resulting in 17 rape reports against the same gang being filed with the police in the following days... The term 'whore' for Swedish women was launched by Muslim immigrant men from the Middle East. The concept has since been adopted by male immigrants from other cultures and now seems established..."

Exit Folkhemssverige was based, among many other sources, on the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention's (Brå) report "Youth who rob youth in Malmö and Stockholm" which was published in the year 2000 -- evidently at a time, when Swedish authorities still published details about the ethnic backgrounds of perpetrators. According to the report, 70-75 % of the victims of youth robbers were Swedes born of two Swedish-born parents, whereas:

"Between 1995 and 1999, the proportion of suspected perpetrators born in Sweden to Swedish-born parents fell in both Malmö and Stockholm, from 21% and 36% respectively, to 10% and 15% respectively... In Malmö, foreign-born young people made up more than half of all suspected perpetrators in 1995. By 1999, this proportion had increased to 69%. In Stockholm, young people born abroad accounted for about 40 % of the suspected perpetrators in both 1995 and 1999. Foreign-born young people were severely over-represented among the suspected perpetrators..." (page 27)

Twenty years after Brå's report about youths who rob other youths, Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, blamed the most recent and widely publicized "humiliation robberies" on the former liberal-conservative government, which Löfven took over from in 2014:

"For a long time there was a policy, during eight years of the former conservative government, of tax reductions and welfare cuts. That will not do. Now we have changed that policy, we will invest more in welfare".

Löfven might benefit from learning the history of gang violence in Sweden. He might start by reading Brå's 20-year old report.

Tyler Durden Mon, 04/06/2020 - 03:00
Published:4/6/2020 2:04:15 AM
[Comedy] hydroxy moron

One who preaches the miracle nature of hydroxychloroquine sulfate that has nothing to do with the business degree they hold or the virus they're trying to cure.

Donald Trump, the proud holder of a store-bought degree in business from Wharton School of Business, waded in to the COVIC-19 discussion by suggesting hydroxychloroquine sulfate might be a miracle intervention with absolutely no foundation, making him, in medical vernacular, earning the title "hydroxy moron".

Published:4/6/2020 2:04:15 AM
[Podcasts] Second Amendment Rights During Coronavirus Pandemic

States all over America are mandating that nonessential businesses close, which is forcing lawmakers to decide which businesses should be deemed “essential.” In states such... Read More

The post Second Amendment Rights During Coronavirus Pandemic appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:4/6/2020 2:04:15 AM
[Markets] India Bans Exports Of Trump's "Game Changer" Anti-COVID-19 Drug India Bans Exports Of Trump's "Game Changer" Anti-COVID-19 Drug

After initially declaring that he wouldn't use the DPA because American companies were doing the right thing and accelerating production of ventilators and other critical supplies on their own - Trump said that with a straight face while Elon Musk turned in a batch of Tesla-made "ventilators" that turned out to be CPAP machines - President Trump became embroiled in what has become by all accounts a nasty feud with 3M, a Dow constituent and pillar of American industry.

After Trump accused the company for being "unpatriotic" and risking American lives by choosing to honor contracts promising deliveries of critical medical supplies to customers abroad instead of turning them over to hospitals in the US, its CEO appeared on CNBC Friday to try and explain why its decision would save more lives in the long run because it would surely prompt other countries to respond in-kind. And given 3M's complex, international supply chain, this could jeopardize the company's ability to continue providing its products to the US.

Many of Trump's critics blasted the president for appearing to scapegoat a vital American corporation for the administration's flat-footed response to the outbreak, and repeated some version of the argument outlined above. And while their arguments are certainly based on a reasonable foundation, they've neglected to mention one critical fact: Other countries are already doing the same thing to the US. Many Chinese factories have stopped delivering products from masks and gloves all the way to widely used drugs. And now, after earlier restricting its export to purely "humanitarian" grounds (as if there was any other reason for the use of medicine), New Delhi is banning export of hydroxychloroquine, a malaria drug that Trump once touted as a “game changer”, and which has recently proved effective at combating some of the virus's deadliest symptoms.

According to Bloomberg, exports of the drug and its formulations are now being prohibited "without any exceptions" and with immediate effect, according to India’s Directorate General of Foreign Trade. The statement is dated April 4.

Trump raised the issue of India's decision to restrict export of the drug up during Saturday's press conference. He claimed that he had appealed directly to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for already-ordered shipments of the drug to be released to the US

India is giving his request “serious consideration,” the president said.

Trump says the federal government is stockpiling millions of doses of the drug to make it available for coronavirus patients. And fortunately, it's not the only drug that has shown to be effective in treating COVID-19. Japanese PM Shinzo Abe recently ordered apanese drugmakers to ramp up production of Avigan, a drug Abe believes to be quite effective. Antivirals like Gilead's Remdesivir have also shown effectiveness and are also being studied.

Tyler Durden Mon, 04/06/2020 - 02:30
Published:4/6/2020 1:32:06 AM
[structure:news/world-news] What is coronavirus, how did it start and how big could it get? Published:4/6/2020 1:07:06 AM
[Markets] How Generals Fueled 1918 Flu Pandemic To Win Their World War How Generals Fueled 1918 Flu Pandemic To Win Their World War

Authored by Gareth Porter via,

Just like today, brass and bureaucrats ignored warnings, and sent troops overseas despite the consequences.

The U.S. military has been forced by the coronavirus pandemic to make some serious changes in their operations. But the Pentagon, and especially the Navy, have also displayed a revealing resistance to moves to stand down that were clearly needed to protect troops from the raging virus from the start.

The Army and Marine Corps have shifted from in-person to virtual recruitment meetings. But the Pentagon has reversed an initial Army decision to postpone further training and exercises for at least 30 days, and it has decided to continue sending new recruits from all the services to basic training camps, where they would no doubt be unable to sustain social distancing.

On Thursday, the captain of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, on which the virus was reportedly spreading, was relieved of command. He was blamed by his superiors for the leak of a letter he wrote warning the Navy that failure to act rapidly threatened the health of his 5,000 sailors.

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper justified his decision to continue many military activities as usual by declaring these activities are “critical to national security.” But does anyone truly believe there is a military threat on the horizon that the Pentagon must prepare for right now? It is widely understood outside the Pentagon that the only real threat to that security is the coronavirus itself.

Esper’s decisions reflect a deeply ingrained Pentagon habit of protecting its parochial military interests at the expense of the health of American troops.

This pattern of behavior recalls the far worse case of the U.S. service chiefs once managing the war in Europe. They acted with even greater callousness toward the troops being called off to war in Europe during the devastating “Spanish flu” pandemic of 1918, which killed 50 million people worldwide.

It was called the “Spanish flu” only because, while the United States, Britain and France were all censoring news about the spread of the pandemic in their countries to maintain domestic morale, the press in neutralist Spain was reporting freely on influenza cases there. In fact, the first major wave of infections in the United States came in U.S. training camps set up to serve the war.

Abundant documentary evidence shows that the 1918 pandemic actually began in Haskell County, Kansas, in early 1918, when many residents came down with an unusually severe type of influenza. Some county residents were then sent to the Army’s Camp Funston at Ft. Riley, Kansas, the military’s largest training facility, training 50,000 recruits at a time for the war. Within two weeks, thousands of soldiers at the camp became sick with the new influenza virus, and 38 died.

Recruits at 14 of 32 large military training camps set up across the country to feed the U.S. war in Europe soon reported similar influenza outbreaks, apparently because some troops from Camp Funston had been sent there. By May 1918, hundreds of thousands of troops, many of whom were already infected, began boarding troopships bound for Europe, and the crowding onboard the ships created ideal conditions for the virus to explode further.

In the trenches in France, still more U.S. troops continued to be sickened by the virus, at first with milder illness and relatively few deaths But the war managers simply evacuated the sick and brought in fresh replacements, allowing the virus to adapt and mutate into more virulent and more lethal strains.

The consequences of that approach to the war became evident after the August 27 arrival in Boston harbor, when visitors brought a much more virulent and lethal strain of the virus; it quickly entered Boston itself and by September 8, had appeared at Camp Devens outside the city. Within ten days, the camp had thousands of soldiers sick with the new strain, and some of those infected at the camp boarded troops ships for Europe.

Meanwhile the lethal new strain spread from Camp Devens across the United States through September and October, ravaging one city after another. From September onward, the U.S. command in France, led by Gen. John Pershing, and the war managers in the War Department in Washington, were well aware that both U.S. troops already in Europe and the American public were suffering vast numbers of severe illnesses and death from the pandemic.

Nevertheless, Pershing continued to call for large numbers of the replacements for those stricken at the front lines, as well as for new divisions to launch a major offensive late in the year. In a message to the War Department on September 3, Pershing demanded an additional 179,000 troops.

The internal debate that followed that request, recounted by historian Carol R. Byerly, documents the chilling indifference of Pershing and the military bureaucracy in Washington to the fate of American troops they planned to send to war. After watching the horror of lethally-infected soldiers dying of pneumonia in the infected camps, acting Army Surgeon General Charles Richard strongly advised Army Chief of Staff Peyton March in late September against sending troops from the infected camps to France until the epidemic had been brought under control in the surrounding region, and March agreed.

Richard then asked for stopping the draft calls for young men heading for any camp known to be already infected. March wouldn’t go that far, and although the October draft was called off, it was to resume in November. The War Department acknowledged the heavy toll the pandemic was taking on U.S. troops in October 10, informing Pershing that he would get his troops by November 30, “if we are not stopped on account of Influenza, which has now passed the 200,000 mark.”

Richard then called for troops to be quarantined for a week before being shipped to Europe, and that the troopships carry only half the standard number of troops to reduce crowding. When March rejected those moves, which would have made it impossible for him to meet Pershing’s targets, Richard then recommended that all troop shipments be suspended until the influenza pandemic was brought under control, “except such as are demanded by urgent military necessity.”

But the chief of staff rejected such a radical shift in policy, and went to the White House to get President Woodrow Wilson’s approval for the decision. Wilson, obviously recognizing the implications of going ahead under the circumstances, asked why he refused to stop troop transport during the epidemic. March argued that Germany would be encouraged to fight on if it knew “the American divisions and replacements were no longer arriving.”Wilson then approved his decision, refusing to disturb Pershing’s war plans.

But the decision was not carried out fully. The German Supreme Command had already demanded that the Kaiser accept Wilson’s 14 points, and the armistice was signed on November 11.

The disastrous character of the U.S. elite running the First World War is clearly revealed with the astonishing fact that more American soldiers were killed and hospitalized by influenza (63,114) than in combat (53,402). And an estimated 340,000 American troops were hospitalized with influenza/pneumonia, compared with 227,000 hospitalized by Germans attacks.

The lack of concern of Washington bureaucrats for the well-being of the troops, as they pursue their own war interests, appears to be a common pattern—seen too, in the U.S. wars in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq. Now it has been revealed once again in the stunningly callous response of the Pentagon to the coronavirus pandemic crisis.

In the 1918 war, there was no protest against that cold indifference, but there are now indications that the families of soldiers put being at risk are expressing their anger about it openly to representatives of the military. In a time of socio-political upheaval, and vanishing tolerance for the continuation of endless war, it could be a harbinger of accelerated unraveling of political tolerance for the war state’s overweening power.

*  *  *

Gareth Porter is an independent journalist and winner of the 2012 Gellhorn Prize for journalism. He is the author of numerous books, including Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare (2014), and The CIA Insiders Guide to Iran (2020),  co-written  with John Kiriakou.

Tyler Durden Mon, 04/06/2020 - 02:00
Published:4/6/2020 1:07:06 AM
[Entertainment] What to watch on Monday: ‘Broken Places’ on PBS Monday, April 6, 2020 | “Deadwater Fell” on Acorn TV. Published:4/6/2020 12:32:11 AM
[Logan Kane] The Coronavirus Pandemic Could Be The End Of The Middle Class Published:4/6/2020 12:01:55 AM
[Markets] "Meet The Global Robot Army That's Been Deployed To Fight COVID-19 "Meet The Global Robot Army That's Been Deployed To Fight COVID-19

In addition to the selfless human heroes who continue to fight the unprecedented global pandemic on its front-lines, there has also been a lesser covered group of virus-fighters, dutifully going about their daily tasks to help battle the virus.

We're referring to the global robot army that has been deployed to fight the virus.

Robots worldwide are doing everything from bathing surfaces with radiation, sanitizing floors, scanning for fevers, spewing anti-microbial gas and enforcing mask wearing, according to the WSJ. Many of the robots are being put to work in areas where humans haven't tread yet, especially in areas like hospital cleaning.

For example, at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, there's a robot that disinfects and dispensing germ-killing fluid from its tanks. The robot weighs 1,050 pounds and is equipped with AI and a bank of cameras and sensors. Similar robots are already being used en masse at Changi in Singapore.

When the outbreak happened in China, UBTech Robotics, based in Shenzhen, China, developed a program to modify its robots to battle the virus. They attached a disinfectant sprayer to their Atris outdoor robot, which allows it to spray in public places. 

They have also modified two other models, the Cruzr and Aimbot, to be able to take people's temperature using thermal cameras. The robot's object-recognition algorithms allow them to also determine whether or not a person is wearing a mask.

Other robots are using UV light in indoor spaces to disinfect. UVC lights have long been used in hospitals to disinfect and sanitize rooms. Since the lights are harmful to humans (but also lethal to microbes), no humans can be in the room while disinfecting is taking place.

UVC lights can clean an entire room in anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour, depending on the strength of the bulb being used. They can also reach surfaces often missed by human cleaners and kill airborne microbes - a feature that could come in hand if the coronavirus is spreading by people breathing in particles in indoor spaces.

Companies like UVD Robots, launched in Denmark in 2014, are working to try and implement these lights in a safe way for humans, on top of robots that can wander public spaces. Demand for UVC disinfecting robots has "exploded" by 2x to 3x since December of last year, CEO Juul Nielsen says. They are being considered for places like warehouses, prisons and offices and are operating in a manner similar to the way robots are used in areas like melted down nuclear power plants.

Some of the outlook for the industry remains unclear and it is possible that the idea of autonomous robots that clean may lose some of its glimmer after the coronavirus fades. They may also turn out to not be cost effective, compared to traditional manual labor which can easily clean tough to reach surfaces, like door handles.

But Jenny Lee, a 15-year veteran of venture-capital firm GGV Capital, thinks that the focus on robots now will translate to a broader focus on automation going forward. She hopes companies will continue to work on robots with smaller form factors and more autonomy. 

Benjamin Tanner, chief executive of Austin, Texas-based Microchem Laboratory said: “There are manufacturers who have done no testing of their own, and it’s a little bit of buyer beware on the UV market.”

John Rhee, general manager of UBTech Robotics North America concluded: “We talk about flattening the curve, but the need to be vigilant and have increased monitoring and have measures in place to decrease transmission are things that organizations both public and private will have to take seriously for a very long time.”

Tyler Durden Mon, 04/06/2020 - 01:00
Published:4/6/2020 12:01:54 AM
[Markets] Asian markets gain on glimmers of progress in battling coronavirus Asian shares and U.S. futures rebounded on Monday as investors grasped at threads of hope that the battle against the coronavirus pandemic may be making some progress in some hard-hit areas. Published:4/5/2020 11:31:47 PM
[structure:news] Prime Minister Boris Johnson in hospital for coronavirus – everything we know so far Published:4/5/2020 11:31:47 PM
[worldNews] Virus-hit Carnival cruise ship docks in Australia as country's death toll hits 39 Carnival Corp's troubled Ruby Princess cruise liner, the biggest single source of coronavirus infections in Australia, docked south of Sydney on Monday to get help for sick crew members requiring urgent medical treatment.
Published:4/5/2020 11:21:13 PM
[Entertainment] WrestleMania 36: John Cena Loses to The Fiend, an Epic Boneyard Match & So Much More John CenaA WrestleMania so big, it required two nights! With everyone busy social distancing and staying inside amid the coronavirus pandemic, WrestleMania 36 proved to be the perfect distraction...
Published:4/5/2020 11:21:13 PM
[structure:news] Duffy reveals details of rape ordeal to help others Published:4/5/2020 11:01:36 PM
[worldNews] Boris Johnson hospitalised for tests after persistent coronavirus symptoms British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was admitted to hospital for tests on Sunday after suffering persistent coronavirus symptoms 10 days after testing positive for the virus, though Downing Street said he remained in charge of the government.
Published:4/5/2020 11:01:36 PM
[Markets] UK Rejects Assange Release Request Amid COVID-19 Crisis, But Frees Thousands Of Others UK Rejects Assange Release Request Amid COVID-19 Crisis, But Frees Thousands Of Others


Imprisoned WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange is not eligible for an early Covid-19 release from prison with other inmates because he is not serving a criminal sentence, the Australian Associated Press has reported.

British Justice Secretary Robert Buckland said Saturday that some low-risk inmates, weeks from release will be let go with monitoring devices to help avoid a further outbreak of Covid-19 in the nations’ prisons.

Belmarsh Prison in London, file image.

So far 88 prisoners and 15 staff have tested positive for the virus in British prisons. More than 25 percent of the nations’ prison staff are quarantining themselves. 

“This government is committed to ensuring that justice is served to those who break the law,” Buckland said in a statement. “But this is an unprecedented situation because if coronavirus takes hold in our prisons, the NHS could be overwhelmed and more lives put at risk.”

The Ministry of Justice told the AAP that Assange won’t be among those released because he isn’t serving a custodial sentence

WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange leaves Westminster Magistrates Court in London.

Britain will release about 4,000 nonviolent inmates from their prisons to help curb the spread of the coronavirus, the country’s Ministry of Justice announced Saturday.

The ministry described prisoners eligible for release as “low-risk offenders,” noting those convicted of violent or sexual offenses will not be considered.

Inmates will be tracked electronically and required to stay home, officials said. — The Hill

In other words, because he has not been convicted of a crime, and is instead only being held on remand pending the outcome of the U.S. extradition request, he must remain in Belmarsh prison with high-risk inmates–the most serious and hardened criminals

WikiLeaks Ambassador Joseph Farrell released this video:

The Daily Maverick reported this week that there is one other prisoner on remand in Belmarsh, who would presumably also be left to rot in the jail as the virus spreads throughout the British prison system. 

Tyler Durden Sun, 04/05/2020 - 23:50
Published:4/5/2020 11:01:36 PM
[worldNews] Japan's PM Abe to declare state of emergency as soon as Tuesday: Yomiuri Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will declare a state of emergency as early as Tuesday in a bid to stop the coronavirus spreading across the country, the Yomiuri newspaper reported, as the cumulative number of infections topped 1,000 in Tokyo alone.
Published:4/5/2020 10:31:41 PM
[Markets] Peter Navarro Explodes At Faucci In Heated Showdown Over Hydroxychloroquine Peter Navarro Explodes At Faucci In Heated Showdown Over Hydroxychloroquine

White House economic adviser got into a massive argument with the coronavirus task force's Anthony Fauci over the doctor's ongoing resistance to the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19, despite reports of the drug's widespread efficacy.

Via Axios:

  • Numerous government officials were at the table, including Fauci, coronavirus response coordinator Deborah Birx, Jared Kushner, acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf, and Commissioner of Food and Drugs Stephen Hahn.
  • Behind them sat staff, including Peter Navarro, tapped by Trump to compel private companies to meet the government's coronavirus needs under the Defense Production Act.

According to the report, towards the end of the meeting Hahn began a discussion of the commonly used malaria drug hydroxychloroquine - which was recently rated the 'most effective therapy' for coronavirus according to a global survey of more than 6,000 doctors.

After Hahn gave an update on various trials and real-world use of the drug, Navarro got up and dropped a stack of folders on the table to pass around.

According to Axios's source, "the first words out of his [Navarro's] mouth are that the studies that he's seen, I believe they're mostly overseas, show 'clear therapeutic efficacy,'" adding "Those are the exact words out of his mouth.

Fauci - who's not got his own Twitter hashtag, #FireFauci - began pushing back against Navarro, repeating his oft-repeated contention that 'there's only anecdotal evidence' that the drug works against COVID-19.

Navarro exploded - after Fauci's mention of anecdotal evidence "just set Peter off." The economic adviser shot back "That's the science, not anecdote," while pointing to the stack of folders on the desk, which included the results of studies from around the world showing its efficacy.

Here's what unfolded next, via Axios:

Navarro started raising his voice, and at one point accused Fauci of objecting to Trump's travel restrictions, saying, "You were the one who early on objected to the travel restrictions with China," saying that travel restrictions don't work. (Navarro was one of the earliest to push the China travel ban.)

  • Fauci looked confused, according to a source in the room. After Trump imposed the travel restrictions, Fauci has publicly praised the president's restriction on travel from China.
  • Pence was trying to moderate the heated discussion. "It was pretty clear that everyone was just trying to get Peter to sit down and stop being so confrontational," said one of the sources.
  • Eventually, Kushner turned to Navarro and said, "Peter, take yes for an answer," because most everyone agreed, by that time, it was important to surge the supply of the drug to hot zones.
  • The principals agreed that the administration's public stance should be that the decision to use the drug is between doctors and patients.
  • Trump ended up announcing at his press conference that he had 29 million doses of hydroxychloroquine in the Strategic National Stockpile.

According to a source familiar with the coronavirus task force, "There has never been a confrontation in the task force meetings like the one yesterday," adding "People speak up and there's robust debate, but there's never been a confrontation. Yesterday was the first confrontation." 

Meanwhile, 37% of 6,227 doctors across 30 countries felt the drug was the "most effective therapy" out of 15 options in treating coronavirus, according to a poll reported by the Washington Times.

The drug has been prescribed in 72% of cases in Spain, 49% in Italy, 41% in Brazil, 39% in Mexico, 28% in France, and 23% in the USA. Overall, 19% of physicians have prescribed the drug for high-risk patients, and 8% for low-risk patients.

More from the Sermo poll (via the Washington Times)


Sermo CEO Peter Kirk called the polling results a “treasure trove of global insights for policy makers.”

“Physicians should have more of a voice in how we deal with this pandemic and be able to quickly share information with one another and the world,” he said. “With censorship of the media and the medical community in some countries, along with biased and poorly designed studies, solutions to the pandemic are being delayed.”

The survey also found that 63% of U.S. physicians believe restrictions should be lifted in six weeks or more, and that the epidemic’s peak is at least 3-4 weeks away.

The survey also found that 83% of global physicians anticipate a second global outbreak, including 90% of U.S. doctors but only 50% of physicians in China.

On average, U.S. coronavirus testing takes 4-5 days, while 10% of cases take longer than seven days. In China, 73% of doctors reported getting rest results back in 24 hours.

In cases of ventilator shortages, all countries but China said the top criteria should be patients with the best chance of recovery (47%), followed by patients with the highest risk of death (21%), and then first responders (15%).

Tyler Durden Sun, 04/05/2020 - 23:25
Published:4/5/2020 10:31:41 PM
[Politics] GOP Tax Cuts Help Low Income Areas Across the Country Published:4/5/2020 10:01:42 PM
[Markets] Key Words: Wall Street star money manager says S&P 500 could plunge to 1,500 in worst case, with coronavirus fallout lingering for years Scott Minerd is looking for opportunities to dip his toes into the coronavirus-stricken market. However, you may not find him wading into equities soon if current market trends hold.
Published:4/5/2020 10:01:42 PM
[worldNews] South Korea reports fewer than 50 new coronavirus cases for first time since Feb. 29 peak South Korea reported fewer than 50 new coronavirus cases on Monday for the first time since its Feb. 29 peak as daily infections in Asia's largest outbreak outside China continued to trend downward.
Published:4/5/2020 10:01:42 PM
[Markets] COVID-19 & China's Colossal Cover-Up COVID-19 & China's Colossal Cover-Up

Authored by Giulio Meotti via The Gatestone Institute,

We have been paying dearly for China's lies.

"This is one of the worst cover-ups in human history, and now the world is facing a global pandemic," said Rep. Michael T. McCaul, the ranking Republican member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, before the US intelligence community concluded, in a classified report to the White House, that China has concealed the origin and extent of the catastrophic global coronavirus outbreak.

The Chinese Communist Party's "failure has unleashed a global contagion killing thousands", wrote Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, president of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences, on April 1. "As we survey the damage done to lives around the world, we must ask who is responsible?"

"... there is one government that has primary responsibility for what it has done and what it has failed to do, and that is the CCP [Chinese Communist Party] regime in Beijing. Let me be clear — it is the CCP that has been responsible, not the people of China... Lies and propaganda have put millions of lives around the world in danger... In recent years, we have seen an intense crackdown on freedom of expression in China. Lawyers, bloggers, dissidents and civil society activists have been rounded up and have disappeared."

One more person has just disappeared: Ai Fen, a Chinese physician who was head of the emergency department at Wuhan Central Hospital, had worked with the late Dr. Li Wenliang. Ai, who claimed that her bosses silenced her early warnings about coronavirus, appears to have vanished. Her whereabouts, according to 60 Minutes Australia, are unknown. The journalists who saw what happened inside Wuhan have also disappearedCaixin Global reported that the laboratories which sequenced the coronavirus in December were ordered by Chinese officials to hand over or destroy the samples and not release their findings.

"If I had known what was to happen, I would not have cared about the reprimand, I would have fucking talked about it to whoever, where ever I could", Ai Fen said in an interview in March. Those were her last recorded words.

There is no record at all, however, about how this pandemic began. Wet market? A cave full of batsPangolins? Or a bio-weapons laboratory? No foreign doctors, journalists, analysts or international observers are present in Wuhan. Why, if the virus came out of a wet market or a cave, did China suppress inquiries to such an extent? Why, in December, did Beijing order Chinese scientists to destroy proof about the virus? Why did Chinese officials claim that US soldiers brought the virus to Wuhan? Why should it be scandalous that a US President calls a virus that began in China a "Chinese virus"?

Who announced on January 11 that Wuhan's wet market was the origin of this epidemic? The Chinese regime. It was later discovered that the first known case of coronavirus traced back to November 17, 2019.

The same Chinese regime later claimed that this coronavirus "may not have originated in China". What respected scientist or institution can now trust anything that comes out of China?

Many leading scientists have dismissed the claim that the Covid-19 virus was an engineered pathogen. This conclusion was seemingly based on the fact that Wuhan has two major virus research labs: the Wuhan Center for Disease Control and Prevention, which is apparently less than a mile from the market, and the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a biosafety level 4 (BSL-4) laboratory, handling the world's most deadly pathogens, located just seven miles from the market. The story was immediately and emphatically trashed as a "conspiracy theory".

Those scientists claim that the virus likely originated among wildlife before spreading to humans, possibly through a food market in Wuhan. They say that, through genetic sequencing, they have identified the culprit for Covid-19 as a bat coronavirus. End of story? Science, thankfully, begins by asking questions and then seeking answers.

Bats were not, it seems, sold at Wuhan's wet market. The Lancet noted in a January study that the first Covid-19 case in Wuhan had no connection to the market. The Lancet's paper, written by Chinese researchers from several institutions, detailed that 13 of the 41 first cases had no link to the market. "That's a big number, 13, with no link," commented Daniel Lucey, an infectious disease specialist at Georgetown University. So how did the epidemic start?

"Now it seems clear that [the] seafood market is not the only origin of the virus, but to be honest we still do not know where the virus came from now", notes Bin Cao, pulmonary specialist at Capital Medical University, and the corresponding author of the Lancet article.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said that China's Communist Party is withholding information about the coronavirus.

If we do not know, it is necessary be open to all possibilities.

"Less than 300 yards from the seafood market is the Wuhan branch of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention" wrote David Ignatius of the Washington Post.

"Researchers from that facility and the nearby Wuhan Institute of Virology have posted articles about collecting bat coronaviruses from around China, for study to prevent future illness. Did one of those samples leak, or was hazardous waste deposited in a place where it could spread?".

"Collecting viruses" presumably does not exclude the possibility of a "leaked virus". Worse, if China is not able to protect its laboratories, it needs to be held accountable and made to pay for the devastating global damage.

"Experts know the new coronavirus is not a bioweapon. They disagree on whether it could have leaked from a research lab", stated The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Professor Richard Ebright of Rutgers University's Waksman Institute of Microbiology, and a major biosecurity expert, agreed with the Nature Medicine authors' argument that the coronavirus was not manipulated by humans. But Ebright does think it possible that the Covid-19 started as an accidental leak from a laboratory, such as one of the two in Wuhan, which are known to have been studying bat viruses:

"Virus collection or animal infection with a virus having the transmission characteristics of the outbreak virus would pose substantial risk of infection of a lab worker, and from the lab worker, the public."

Ebright has also claimed that bat coronaviruses are studied in Wuhan at Biosafety Level 2, "which provides only minimal protection" compared with the top BSL-4.

"We don't know what happened, but there are a lot of reasons to believe that this indeed was a release of some sort", China expert Gordon Chang said to Die Weltwoche.

"No one has been able to study it. How can you say it's not a release from a lab if you can't go to the lab? Indeed, we have seen Beijing do its best to prevent virologists and epidemiologists from actually going to Wuhan. The World Health Organization team went to Wuhan for like half a day with only part of the team."

That is another major problem. The potential major investigator of the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic's origin, the World Health Organization (WHO), is now accused of being "China's coronavirus' accomplice". As late as January 14, the WHO quoted Chinese health officials claiming there had been no human transmissions of the coronavirus within the country yet.

China poses a biosecurity risks for the entire planet. One year before the first coronavirus case was identified in Wuhan, US Customs and Border Protection agents at Detroit Metro Airport stopped a Chinese biologist with three vials labeled "Antibodies" in his luggage. According to an unclassified FBI tactical intelligence report obtained by Yahoo News:

"Inspection of the writing on the vials and the stated recipient led inspection personnel to believe the materials contained within the vials may be viable Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) materials."

Why is China trafficking in dangerous viruses in the first place?

According to Yanzhong Huang, a senior fellow for Global Health at the Council on Foreign Relations:

"A safety breach at a Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention lab is believed to have caused four suspected SARS cases, including one death, in Beijing in 2004. A similar accident caused 65 lab workers of Lanzhou Veterinary Research Institute to be infected with brucellosis in December 2019. In January 2020, a renowned Chinese scientist, Li Ning, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for selling experimental animals to local markets".

In February, Botao Xiao and Lei Xiao, from Guangzhou's South China University of Technology, wrote in a research paper:

"In addition to origins of natural recombination and intermediate host the killer coronavirus probably originated from a laboratory in Wuhan. Safety level [sic] may need to be reinforced in high risk biohazardous laboratories".

Xiao later told the Wall Street Journal that he had withdrawn the paper because it "was not supported by direct proofs".

Chinese laboratory mistakes have happened before. By 2010, researchers published as fact: "The most famous case of a released laboratory strain is the re-emergent H1N1 influenza-A virus which was first observed in China in May of 1977 and in Russia shortly thereafter". The virus may have escaped from a lab attempting to prepare a vaccine in response to the U.S. swine flu pandemic alert.

In 1999 the most senior defector in the US from the Soviet biological warfare program, Ken Alibek, revealed that Soviet officials concluded that China had suffered a serious accident at one of its secret biological plants, causing two major epidemics of fever that had swept China in the late 1980s. "Our analysts", Alibek stated in his book, Biohazard, "concluded that they were caused by an accident in a lab where Chinese scientists were weaponizing viral diseases".

In 2004, the World Health Organization disclosed that the latest outbreak of "severe acute respiratory syndrome" (SARS) in China involved two researchers who were working with the virus in a Beijing research lab. The WHO denounced Chinese breaches of safety procedures, and director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Li Liming, resignedScience magazine also stated that "for the third time in less than a year, an outbreak of SARS seems to have originated from a failure in laboratory containment".

Moreover, three years ago, when China opened the laboratory in Wuhan, Tim Trevan, a Maryland biosafety specialist, told Nature that he worried about the safety of the building because "structures where everyone feels free to speak up and openness of information are important." Free speech and open information: exactly what Chinese regime fought against in December and January.

A Chinese video about a key researcher in Wuhan, Tian Junhua, which was released a few weeks before the outbreak in Wuhan, shows Chinese researchers handling bats that contained viruses. In the video (produced by China Science Communication, run by the China Association for Science and Technology), Tian says:

"I am not a doctor, but I work to cure and save people... I am not a soldier, but I work to safeguard an invisible national defense line".

Tian is also reported as having said:

"I can feel the fear: the fear of infections and the fear of getting lost. Because of the fear, I take every step extremely cautiously. The more scared I feel, the more care I take in executing every detail. Because the process of you finding the viruses is also when you can be exposed to them the easiest. I do hope these virus samples will only be preserved for scientific research and will never be used in real life".

For a month, the Chinese Communist Party, instead of fighting the contagion, did everything possible to censor all information about the Covid-19 outbreak. After President Xi Jinping declared "a people's war" on the epidemic on January 20, Chinese security services pursued 5,111 cases of "fabricating and deliberately disseminating false and harmful information". The Chinese Human Rights Defenders documented several types of punishment, including detention, disappearance, fines, interrogations, forced confessions and "educational reprimand".

After that, China lied about the real number of deaths. There are photographs of long lines of stacked urns greeting family members of the dead at funeral homes in Wuhan. Outside one funeral home, trucks shipped in 2,500 urns. According to Chinese official figures, 2,548 people in Wuhan have died of the Covid-19. According to an analysis by Radio Free Asia, seven funeral homes in Wuhan were each handing out 500 funeral urns containing remains for 12 days, from March 23 to the traditional tomb-sweeping festival of April 5, a time that would indicate up to 42,000 urns, or ten times higher than the official figure.

In February, it was reported that Wuhan crematoriums were working around the clock to cope with the massive influx of infected bodies. Wuhan's officials are apparently pushing relatives of the victims to bury the dead "quickly and quietly".

"Natural virus" does not exclude its fallout from a laboratory where pathogens are collected and studied. The Nature Medicine authors "leave us where we were before: with a basis to rule out [a coronavirus from] a lab construct, but no basis to rule out a lab accident", Professor Ebright commented.

"Debate may rage over which center it is, but at this point it seems undeniable that a center has been directly involved with research on viruses, although not necessarily on the creation of a virus" wrote Father Renzo Milanese, a longtime Catholic missionary in Hong Kong.

"In other words, the virus passed from a research center in Wuhan early on. More importantly there is also no question that the authorities were aware of the dangerousness of the virus, that they did not inform anyone and that they tried to keep the facts hidden".

US Senator Josh Hawley has introduced a resolution calling for an international investigation into China's handling of the spread of the virus. According to Hawley:

"The Chinese Communist Party was aware of the reality of the virus as early as December but ordered laboratories to destroy samples and forced doctors to keep silent. It is time for an international investigation into the role their cover-up played in the spread of this devastating pandemic".

Admitting a fault, as the Japanese did after the Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011, might be one way for a country to be accepted again by the international community. Censoring, denying and covering up, as China is doing, will not.

"China claims that the deadly virus did not escape from its biolab," said a China specialist with the Population Research Institute, Steven W. Mosher.

"Fine. Prove it by releasing the research records of the Wuhan lab".

Tyler Durden Sun, 04/05/2020 - 23:00
Published:4/5/2020 10:01:42 PM
[MSFT] Microsoft Proves Why Cash Is King Published:4/5/2020 9:31:09 PM
[Politics] Atheist Richard Dawkins is using coronavirus deaths to dunk on Christians and God I have to admit I kinda dislike it when Christians try to say that a natural disaster is God’s judgement on this or that. Outside of where we’re literally told it happened . . . Published:4/5/2020 9:31:09 PM
[structure:news/world-news] Irish taoiseach Leo Varadkar to work as doctor to help fight coronavirus Published:4/5/2020 9:31:09 PM
[Markets] Japan To Declare State Of Emergency On April 7 Japan To Declare State Of Emergency On April 7

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has decided to declare a coronavirus emergency, according to the Nikkei, as new cases in the capital surged at a record pace. And while the Japanese publication notes that the government will hold an unofficial meeting of a panel of experts and start preparing for the declaration, Kyodo reported moments ago that Japan will declare a state of emergency on April 7, which would take effect on April 8.

An emergency declaration gives governors in the areas covered formal powers, such as issuing requests that people stay home; Tokyo and surrounding areas, as well as Osaka, are expected to be affected by the declaration.

Abe has been criticized for not having already declared an emergency - a hesitance thought by many to stem from a strong desire to hold the Olympics this summer in Tokyo as originally planned. The International Olympic Committee decided in late March to postpone the games to 2021 after consulting with the prime minister and others.

And yet, a conflict is set to emerge almost instantly because Japan's constitution does not permit the government to demand that individuals stay home, owing to civil liberties concerns. Is Japan - which already buys billions in stocks just to avoid a market crash and preserve social order - about to also have a constituational crisis?

In any case, we find it strange that there were almost "no cases" in the weeks leading up to Japan's reluctant decision to postpone this year's Olympics, only to see a sudden record surge afterwards as Japan's cases "mysteriously" soared, demonstrating once again that the coronavirus - or rather the tracking of its case and death toll - is first and foremost a political priority.

Abe met with parties including Health Minister Katsunobu Kato and Yasutoshi Nishimura, the economic and fiscal policy minister, on Sunday to discuss the spread of infections.
"If necessary, we will decide [to declare an emergency] without hesitation," said Nishimura, who heads the government's coronavirus response, on a show of public broadcaster NHK on Sunday. "We are looking for signs of an overshoot," he said, referring to an explosion in cases, and noted that the atmosphere has grown extremely tense. On the same program, Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike called on the central government to issue an emergency declaration promptly.

Tyler Durden Sun, 04/05/2020 - 22:13
Published:4/5/2020 9:31:09 PM
[Markets] Market Extra: These Dow charts suggest there could still be many bears waiting to sell When the stock market’s trend is clearly down, the question investors should try to answer isn’t where buying might emerge, because it isn’t likely to last, but where the next wave of selling will come from.
Published:4/5/2020 9:31:09 PM
[Politics] Biden Endorses Another Tax Hike on the Middle Class Published:4/5/2020 9:01:54 PM
[Entertainment] Carrie Underwood Is Even More Relatable After Performing ''Drinking Alone'' on ACM Country Special Carrie UnderwoodCarrie Underwood virtually performing "Drinking Alone" while sitting on the couch with a glass of wine in one hand is a whole mood. The country superstar performed on the ACM...
Published:4/5/2020 9:01:53 PM
[topics:organisations/retail-and-consumer-industry] What essential shops are open during the coronavirus lockdown? Published:4/5/2020 9:01:53 PM
[Markets] Food Banks Overwhelmed As America's "Working Poor" Starve During Lockdown Food Banks Overwhelmed As America's "Working Poor" Starve During Lockdown

America is crashing into a depression. In just two weeks, 10 million people have claimed unemployment benefits. This has put unprecedented stress on food bank networks across the country, a new investigation via The Guardian shows

The US labor market is in free fall – the increasing lockdowns across major US metropolitan areas have forced millions of people out of work and into a hunger crisis. 

The Guardian shows demand for food aid in some regions of the country has surged eightfold in recent weeks as's Lance Roberts warns the unemployment rates in the US could spike to levels not seen since the "Great Depression," or about 15-20% in the second quarter. 

The National Guard has been deployed for a variety of reasons: One is to support local area hospital systems, another is to maintain social order, and now soldiers in Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Phoenix have supported food banks to ensure shortages do not materialize, mostly because that would trigger social unrest among the working poor. 

"I've been in this business over 30 years, and nothing compares to what we're seeing now. Not even when the steel mills closed down did we see increased demand like this," said Sheila Christopher, director of Hunger-Free Pennsylvania, which represents 18 food banks across 67 counties.

The Guardian provides a snapshot of the unprecedented demand hitting food banks: 

  • In Amherst, home to the University of Massachusetts' largest campus, the pantry distributed 849% more food in March compared with the previous year. The second-largest increase in western Massachusetts was 748% at the Pittsfield Salvation Army pantry.
  • The Grace Klein community food pantry in Jefferson county, which has the largest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Alabama, provided 5,076 individuals with food boxes last week – a 90% increase on the previous week.
  • In southern Arizona, demand has doubled, with pantries supplying groceries to 4,000 households every day – double the number supplied in March 2019. "We saw an increase during the federal government shutdown but nothing as rapid, massive or overwhelming as this," said Michael McDonald, CEO of the Community Food Bank of South Arizona.
  • A helpline set up by the Greater Pittsburgh community food bank has received more than a thousand calls in the past two weeks, 90% of which came from newly unemployed people. Here, pantries ordered 50% to 60% more food for March and April than usual.
  • The Lakeview pantry in Chicago is on track to provide food for as many as 2,000 individuals this week – compared with 1,100 before the coronavirus crisis.
  • The north Florida food bank, which relied heavily on contributions from retailers, has seen donations drop by 85% to 90% as shoppers bulk-buy, leaving shelves empty. But donations from restaurants, golf tournaments and even Disney World have increased, so the food bank is switching to ready meals, paying furloughed chefs to cook for thousands of senior citizens in housing facilities.
  • In Las Vegas, the Three Square food bank has increased weekly food distribution by 30%, from 1m to 1.3m lbs of food. New drive-thru distribution centres have been set up across the valley as 170 of its 180 distribution outlets have been forced to temporarily close due to CDC social distancing guidelines. "Every line at every distribution centre exceeds the amount of food in our trucks," said chief operating officer Larry Scott.
  • The Kansas City-based Harvesters food bank, which serves 16 counties in north-east Kansas and 10 in north-west Missouri, sent out 12,000 boxes to pantries on Monday 23 March – a 140% rise on the 5,000 boxes typically ordered. "It was the largest distribution day in our 40-year history," said its communications manager, Gene Hallinan.

Feeding America spokesperson Zuani Villarreal said the surge in job losses "is a perfect storm impacting food banks." 

The evolution of the virus crisis could be social destabilization across low-income areas of inner cities. As we've been warning for a while, many adults have no emergency savings and insurmountable debts. Most people don't have enough funds to bridge their finances for three months, which brings us to our piece from last week that shows cars lined up to receive food from a food bank in Duquesne, Pennsylvania.

"First, we saw people who lived paycheck to paycheck, got laid off and didn't know where the next meal was coming from, followed by those who had a couple of weeks of savings. Now, people who knew about us because they donated or volunteered are coming in for food," said Jerry Brown, media spokesman for St Mary's Food Bank in Phoenix, Arizona. "The 2008 recession doesn't touch this. It's a different ballgame."

So, what happens when tens of millions of jobless Americans become hangry? Is social unrest next? 

Tyler Durden Sun, 04/05/2020 - 21:45
Published:4/5/2020 9:01:53 PM
[Politics] Atheist Richard Dawkins is using coronavirus deaths to dunk on Christians and God I have to admit I kinda dislike it when Christians try to say that a natural disaster is God’s judgement on this or that. Outside of where we’re literally told it happened . . . Published:4/5/2020 9:01:53 PM
[] Alyssa Milano, Markos Moulitsas, Julia Ioffe and others fall for satire article saying Pat Robertson blamed coronavirus on oral sex Published:4/5/2020 8:31:29 PM
[Coronavirus] Boris Johnson hospitalized as his conronavirus symptoms persist (Paul Mirengoff) British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was admitted to the hospital for tests today, ten days after testing positive for the Wuhan coronavirus. The word from Downing Street is that Johnson was hospitalized because he hasn’t shaken the fever that typically comes with the virus. Johnson’s case seems similar to that of a friend of mine who has this virus. For about a week, my friend experienced coughing and a persistent Published:4/5/2020 8:31:29 PM
[Politics] Ahead of COVID-19 ‘Peak,’ Trump Touts ‘Light at the End of the Tunnel’

President Donald Trump has warned the week ahead could be the worst yet in the COVID-19 crisis, but he and other administration officials also shared... Read More

The post Ahead of COVID-19 ‘Peak,’ Trump Touts ‘Light at the End of the Tunnel’ appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:4/5/2020 8:31:29 PM
[Markets] Market Snapshot: Dow futures rise as Trump administration signals that coronavirus outbreak may be stabilizing Stock-index futures rise sharply Sunday night as investors appear eager to focus on a glimmer of optimism coming out of the White House about the potential for stabilization of the rapid spread of the worst viral outbreak in generations.
Published:4/5/2020 8:31:29 PM
[Entertainment] Clare Crawley Explains Why She Kept Her Dress From the Juan Pablo Galavis Breakup Clare Crawley, Bachelor, BacheloretteThere's a revenge dress and there's a breakup dress... It's safe to say that Bachelorette star Clare Crawley had one of the most memorable breakup dresses in Bachelor Nation...
Published:4/5/2020 8:31:29 PM
[worldNews] China reports increase in new coronavirus cases on April 5; one death Mainland China reported 39 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, all but one of them imported from abroad, up from the 30 reported a day earlier, as the number of asymptomatic cases also surged.
Published:4/5/2020 8:31:29 PM
[Uncategorized] Trump nominates two more Court of Appeals judges Expect a brutal fight over nomination of Kavanaugh defender and McConnell protégé Justin Walker to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Published:4/5/2020 8:31:29 PM
[Markets] Futures Surge As Trump Touts "Glimmers Of Hope" In Italy & New York Futures Surge As Trump Touts "Glimmers Of Hope" In Italy & New York

Officials in New York and Italy reported notable declines in new cases and deaths on Sunday, helping to inspire the most positive reaction in futures to kick off a new trading week since the 'rona rout.

Futures surged out the gate as President Trump struck an upbeat tone during Sunday evening's press conference (even as his critics continued to urge the mainstream press to drop coverage of the president's briefings). Riffing off the data reported out of New York and Italy, Trump and Pence noted what appears to be the first "glimmers of progress."

“We are beginning to see the glimmers of progress,” Pence said at a White House news conference on Sunday. “The experts will tell me not to jump to any conclusions, and I’m not, but like your president I’m an optimistic person and I’m hopeful.”

After three straight days of "pain", "hell" and more gloom and doom from Trump, his decision to rapidly embrace some of the first encouraging signs of progress in months was apparently exactly what traders needed to hear, considering that they completely ignored another record jump in new cases reported out of Tokyo (Japan's nationwide death toll just broke above 100) and an NYT report claiming 1000s of deaths in the US may have gone uncounted.

Trump bundled this with the typical rundown of various federal government plans, partnerships and deployments, as expressing that "we hope we're seeing a leveling off" in the coming days.

"We'll see what happens," he added.

ES was up more than 3% at one point, and Japan’s benchmarks climbed more than 2%, snapping a five-day losing streak even as PM Shinzo Abe reportedly prepares for an emergency declaration.  The yen dropped along with Treasuries as haven demand receded. Crude oil prices slumped as uncertainty remains over a proposed meeting of supplier nations that is planned for April 9.

And an old favorite gif made a resurgence on twitter to mark the occasion.

Tyler Durden Sun, 04/05/2020 - 21:21
Published:4/5/2020 8:31:29 PM
[Markets] Dow Jones Futures Jump; Why This Stock Market Rally Is More Dangerous Than The Coronavirus Market Crash Futures rose Sunday. The choppy market rally is riskier for active investors than the coroanavirus stock market crash. AMD, Nvidia, Amazon and Microsoft are stocks to watch. Published:4/5/2020 8:31:29 PM
[topics:places/london] Where in London have coronavirus cases been confirmed? Published:4/5/2020 8:31:29 PM
[] Sunday Overnight Open Thread (4/5/20) Hoping You Get Your Moneys Worth Edition (Lake Superior, Saxon Harbor, WI) *** The Quotes of The Day Quote XXII "This unanticipated shock to our business has been acute, forcing us to make difficult decisions to ensure that Under Armour is positioned to participate in the... Published:4/5/2020 8:31:29 PM
[World] Adrian Vermeule’s Moral Madness

One can critique the limits of freedom and excesses of libertarianism without echoing the nihilism of totalitarians.

The post Adrian Vermeule’s Moral Madness appeared first on The American Conservative.

Published:4/5/2020 8:31:29 PM
[] Jake Tapper hounds GOP Gov. Edwards for not canceling Mardi Gras on Feb. 25, fails to ask why Dem Gov. Pritzker left the bars open for St. Patrick's Day on March 14 Published:4/5/2020 8:01:54 PM
[Entertainment] Duffy Shares Heartbreaking Details of Her Past Rape and Kidnapping Experience DuffyNote: The following story contains sensitive information that may not be suitable to all readers. Duffy is speaking her truth. Back in February, the 35-year-old songstress shared...
Published:4/5/2020 8:01:54 PM
[Politics] White House Sees Potential 'Leveling-Off' of Pandemic Crisis President Donald Trump expressed hope on Sunday that the United States was seeing a "leveling-off" of the coronavirus crisis in some of the nation's hot spots, saying Americans were starting to see "the light at the end of the tunnel." Published:4/5/2020 8:01:54 PM
[TC] Apple has sourced over 20 million protective masks, now building and shipping face shields As it mobilizes its supply chain, employees, and partners to provide personal protective equipment to medical workers and others working to stop the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic, Apple has sourced over 20 million face masks and is now building and shipping face shields, according to a statement from chief executive Tim Cook. Apple is […] Published:4/5/2020 8:01:54 PM
[Syndicated Posts] President Donald Trump’s Schedule for Monday, April 6, 2020

By R. Mitchell -

President Donald Trump will have lunch with Vice President Mike Pence. Later, the White House Coronavirus Task Force will hold a briefing and the president has often participated. Keep up with Trump on Our President’s Schedule Page. President Trump’s Itinerary for 4/6/20 – note: this  page will be updated during ...

President Donald Trump’s Schedule for Monday, April 6, 2020 is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more.

Published:4/5/2020 8:01:54 PM
[Markets] Despite Soaring Body-Count Across The Nation, Americans Continue To 'Resist' Lockdown Orders Despite Soaring Body-Count Across The Nation, Americans Continue To 'Resist' Lockdown Orders

President Trump reiterated warnings from the last several press briefings on Saturday, indicating that the country should brace for the "toughest week" yet, as confirmed cases and deaths continue to rise on an exponential curve.

And despite the more than 308,000 cases and 8,407 deaths, Americans continue to defy the stay-at-home government enforced orders that cover 90% of the country. 

Traffic analytics firm INRIX transportation told The Washington Post that daily traffic nationwide remains around 60% of normal levels. The highways are still filled with vehicles as many resist public health lockdown orders:

"In California, where a stay-at-home order took effect March 19, daily trips statewide remain at 58% of normal levels, according to Wejo, a British company that collects data from sensors in some passenger vehicles.

On Wednesday - two days after the District of Columbia, Virginia and Maryland enacted stay-at-home orders - daily car trips in the region remained at 51% of normal in D.C., 53% in Maryland and 59% in Virginia, according to Wejo, which does not include trucks or other commercial vehicles.

Washington state officials announced a stay-at-home order March 23. More than a week later, distances traveled on Seattle roads remained at about 55% of normal, according to INRIX, a Kirkland, Washington-based traffic analytics firm that crunches data from vehicle navigation systems, cellphones and other devices," reported The Post. 

With traffic halved across major metros and along many highways is unprecedented – it's becoming evident that plenty of Americans are still on the roads despite strict stay-at-home public health orders across the country. 

"Some of the remaining traffic, experts say, stems from motorists heading to and from the many worksites that have been deemed "essential": health-care facilities, supermarkets and liquor stores, construction sites, banks, dry cleaners, hardware stores, pet stores, government facilities, and auto and bicycle repair shops, among others. The Washington region's orders also exempt plumbers, electricians and others needed for home repairs," said The Post.

The resistance to shutdown states and or even certain geographical regions has been evident by lawmakers in the Southern US and Rust Belt.

Kay Ivey, the Republican Gov. of Alabama, said now is "not the time to order people to shelter in place." 

"Y'all, we are not Louisiana, we are not New York state, we are not California," Ivey said, suggesting that Alabama would not be a hard-hit area of the country. 

In Missouri, Republican Gov. Mike Parson has been late to the game in issuing a stay-at-home order, that will go into effect on Monday. Parson was recently heard stating that he will not "make a blanket policy," adding, "It's going to come down to individual responsibilities."

Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has also been late in issuing a stay-at-home order, which was finally put forth last week amid rising deaths and cases across the state. 

Tampa-area megachurch Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne defied a local order on banning of mass gatherings last weekend by holding a church service – was arrested by authorities on Monday. 

Over the last month, President Trump has shifted his rhetoric on the virus from calling it "hysteria" and a Democratic hoax, to now announcing the outbreak as a national emergency and urging all Americans to work from home and avoid public spaces. However, a large swath of Americans still believes the virus is "fake news," and are not letting the virus affect their daily lives, which suggests containing the virus might be even more difficult than expected for government agencies, and why stricter lockdowns could be next. 

As for more stringent lockdowns that could be ahead, take note of what happened in Panama last week, as the government issued a gender-based lockdown limiting male and female from traveling to the supermarket on certain days. There's even rumor in Mid-Atlantic/ Northeast states, that tighter lockdowns could be ahead as National Guard troops position around major metros. 

And with many Americans resisting lockdowns, we noted last week that "intermittent" lockdowns and "widespread surveillance" to mitigate the virus spread could be the norm through 2022. 

Tyler Durden Sun, 04/05/2020 - 20:55
Published:4/5/2020 8:01:54 PM
[] Video has emerged of the Venezuelan patrol ship that sunk itself after ramming a cruise ship (not a typo) Published:4/5/2020 7:31:36 PM
[36106ab7-55d9-57d7-b7bd-f5d9f90a671b] Matt LeBlanc recalls 'weird' thing that happened to him while starring in 'Friends' When "Friends" was airing on television, Matt LeBlanc was one of the biggest names in Hollywood. Published:4/5/2020 7:31:35 PM
[Politics] Lincoln Chafee Ends Libertarian Run for President Former Rhode Island governor and U.S. senator Lincoln Chafee has ended his run for president as a Libertarian.Chafee said in a Facebook post on Sunday that he looks "forward to helping other Libertarians seeking office." He said his campaign was changed by the coronavirus... Published:4/5/2020 7:31:35 PM
[Markets] What Comes After COVID-19, Freedom Or Despotism? What Comes After COVID-19, Freedom Or Despotism?

Authored by Richard Ebeling via The American Institute for Economic Education,

The coronavirus crisis that has enveloped the world has brought about calls for society and economy-wide action on the part of governments that has been matched by the imposing of radical shutdowns and compulsory mass quarantining as tens of millions of people are told to not to go to work and to stay at home instead.

Governments have also been redirecting essential medical and related supplies in some places. In the United States, direct governmental commands for companies and industries to change what and how they produce has been declared to be in the executive hands of the president of the United States, when it is deemed necessary to meet the needs of the health crisis.

President Donald Trump’s recent order for the automobile manufacturer, General Motors, to shift its production potentials to the manufacturing of ventilators for those stricken severely by the virus, under the authority of a Korean-war era piece of legislation, is merely an especially high-profile example of the central planning powers that governments have been asserting the right to implement.

Fundamental to everything that governments have been doing is the presumption that the crisis can only be handled and solved through a comprehensive system of political command and control. The chorus of voices making this case, along with their own proposals as to what should be the ingredients of “the plan,” has been deafening.

The Deafening Chorus of Voices for Central Planning

John Cassidy, writing for The New Yorker (March 28, 2020), insists that “the most effective stimulus policy is doing whatever it takes to get some control over the virus’s trajectory.” He praised the bipartisanship of the Democrats and Republicans in successfully passing the $2 trillion spending package to “stabilize” the economy in the face of various levels of government ordering people to stop working and, therefore, to slow down or stop the flow of various goods and services from which come the streams of income dependent upon supplies being produced to meet market demands.

Over at “Project Syndicate,” Harvard University professor Carmen M. Reinhart says “the lockdown and distancing policies that are saving lives also carry an enormous economic cost,” and insists, “Clearly, this is a ‘whatever-it-takes’ moment for large-scale outside-the-box fiscal and monetary policies.”

Also writing for “Project Syndicate,” economists Roman Frydman (New York University) and Edmund S. Phelps (Columbia University and Nobel Prize winner) declare that, “the possibility of millions dying as the economy is crippled justifies substantially scaling up the extent and the scope of government action . . . citizens and governments should be prepared to pay what might appear an extravagantly high premium.”

Among the government actions that Frydman and Phelps propose are the government redirecting the existing productive capacity to meet health care equipment shortages; financially supporting business firms to supply “essential” goods and services; supplying the needed quantities of money so people have the financial means to continue buying the goods and services they need; and a program to cover home and other mortgages of those no longer able to meet their regular financial obligations.

They want government “helicopter money” to be ongoing rather than a one or two-shot affair to meet the financial requirements of virtually everyone’s buying needs. To meet the needed production requirements to manage health demands from the virus, they say that the private sector cannot be trusted to do the job on its own; thus, the government must determine and direct what firms produce, for which purposes, in what quantities, and with government funding to make sure the job gets done.

To prevent price gouging for such products and failure to pay reasonable salaries to the workers doing these jobs, they also basically calling for price and wage controls to assure “reasonable wages” and prices for the products at “pre-crisis levels.” If we can get it all just right, the coronavirus will be defeated, they are saying, and the world will be saved from disaster. We just need the right central plan designed in its details just the right way.

Planning Political Paternalism in the Post-Coronavirus Era

Of course, others are already looking beyond the coronavirus crisis to what lessons will have been learned for enlightened and “rational” intervention to guide human conduct away from its just-too-human follies and foibles. James Kirkup, the director of the London-based Social Market Foundation, therefore, asks, “Will the Pandemic Kill Off Libertarianism?” (March 25, 2020).

He criticizes rational choice theory in economics because it assumes that human beings are “rational” calculating machines who dispassionately weigh the implied costs and benefits from their actions, including the knowable and objective probabilities of the risks from following one course of action instead of another. Then each of the social and market agents makes the more or less “correct” decision concerning what to do and in what directions.

But when James Kirkup looks around, he finds that real human beings operate very far from such a benchmark of rational conduct and decision-making. Every reasonable person, fairly early on once the implications of the coronavirus were publicly known, should have stopped going to pubs or their local gym; they should have no longer socialized in common areas like public parks or in the shoulder-to-shoulder everyday marketplace.

People just would not do the reasonable and rational things to assure their own health and safety as well as all those around them, including friends and family members. The critics of traditional economic theory were, once more, shown to be right – people are not rational calculators of the reasonable courses of action to follow. They are shortsighted in their thinking, they are illogical estimators of dangers and risks to themselves and others, and, therefore, they follow misguided notions of their self-interest that not only harms themselves but the rest of society as well.

Or as Kirkup suggests, “If people aren’t rational about a situation that risks tens of thousands of lives and deep damage to our society and economy, how much weight should we put on the idea of rational actors in future? . . . Put it another way: once you’ve closed pubs and banned people from going outside, imposing, say, a tax to deter people from consuming sugary drinks is going to seem like a very small thing indeed.”

Critics of Personal Choice, Old and New

So here we have a very interesting intellectual and ideological twist of fate. For more than 150 years, critics of the market disdained the economist’s emphasis on individual choice and pursuit of personal gain, especially reflected in the businessman’s quest for profit.

These critics insisted that there was more to life than self-interest and material betterment; that man was a social animal connected with others outside of just himself that transcended personal profit and loss. There were the deeper attachments and senses of shared belonging of “blood and soil” and the transcendent community into which one was born. In addition, the “rational economic man” model in economics was also condemned by these earlier critics for assuming such rationality when, “clearly,” man is guided in reality by illogical and irrational views, values, and visions of what is good or bad, and reasonable or reckless.

Now we find among the latest generation of critics of the free market the argument turned around, with it being said that precisely because humans are not these rational economic calculators of costs and benefits, and of personal and social gains and harms, the government must radically intervene in various and sundry ways to make people’s actions consistent with conduct that would reflect such rational economic calculations, if only human beings could be trusted with the freedom to act in such ways!

The post-coronavirus world, according to Kirkup, will have to be one of extended and extensive political paternalism to reduce the impact of human imperfection in people’s thinking processes and actions, in both great and small ways, that do not represent the “right choices” for themselves or others in society.

In other words:

“I’m with the government, and I am here to make you live your life and act in ways you should and would want to, if only you were as reasonable, rational, and logical as those in government who have been assigned the task of designing policies that will ‘nudge’ you in the directions that you will or should be thankful for, regardless if you realize it right now or in the future.”

The Hubris of the Political Paternalism

Herein lies both arrogance and hubris. There is the presumption of having found and distilled the correct and objective standards of judging and weighing alternatives on the basis of which the most rational choice would be made, when properly and accurately considering the relevant costs and benefits and degree and forms of risk facing each and every individual.

Who knows the logically correct and factually accurate data in the context of which a person should be making his decisions and choices? Clearly, the implied social engineer, the political paternalist, the economic “nudger” who will either directly command by requiring or prohibiting forms of conduct, or who will influence the terms of trade-offs “indirectly” through taxation, subsidy or regulation to move people into the proper courses of action.

This implies two ideas:

first, that the planner and nudger knows the optimal or more desirable social outcome as a whole to which all the actions of the particular individuals should be moving the society; and,

second, that the actions commanded or influenced by such government interventions are really “right” for the individual.

Behind this type of thinking, whether admitted to or not, is the belief that the social nudger assumes himself to be so far above and superior to others in his theoretical understanding, factual information, and valuational understanding of what is good for mankind and for all the individuals who make up humanity that he freely takes upon himself the authority and power to mold the shape of society and the destinies of all in it into the form that he considers the best.

Unintended Consequences of Human Action and History

Over 250 years after the Scottish moral philosopher Adam Ferguson (1723-1816) published his Essay on the History of Civil Society (1767), is it necessary to remind people of the reality of the limits to our knowledge and understanding of ourselves, others, and all the unanticipated and unknowable outcomes from the multitudes of mankind’s members interacting? Or that attempts to direct people in ways that they find undesirable only sets the stage for various forms of social conflict? Said Ferguson:

Mankind, in following the present sense of their minds, in striving to remove inconveniences, or to gain apparent and contiguous advantages, arrives at ends to which their imagination could not anticipate . . . He who first said, ‘I will appropriate this field: I will leave it to my heirs’; did not perceive, that he was laying the foundation of civil law and political establishments . . .

Men, in general, are sufficiently disposed to occupy themselves in forming projects and schemes; but he who would scheme and project for others, will find an opponent in every person who is disposed to scheme for himself . . .The crowd of mankind, are directed in their establishments and measures, by the circumstances in which they are placed; and seldom turned from their way, to follow the plan of any single projector.

Every step and every movement of the multitudes, even in what are termed enlightened ages, are made with equal blindness to the future; and nations stumble upon establishments [institutions], which are indeed the result of human action, but not the execution of any human design . . .It may with more reason be affirmed of communities, that they admit of the greatest revolutions where no change is intended, and that the most refined politicians do not always know whither they are leading the state by their projects. (p. 122)

Or as Austrian economist, Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973) concisely expressed it in Theory and History (1957):

The historical process is not designed by individuals. It is the composite outcome of the intentional actions of all the individuals. No man can plan history. All he can plan and try to put into effect is his own actions which, jointly with the actions of other men, constitute the historical process. The Pilgrim Fathers did not plan to found the United States. (p. 196)

These presumptuous political paternalists, claiming to know what is best for every individual and optimally good for the society as a whole, show an indefensible hubris in asserting that they can step out of the very society and historical processes of which they are a single participant and know with necessary and sufficient certainty how the destiny of humankind should be directed, to be nudged into the best of all worlds?

This was emphasized by another Austrian economist, Friedrich von Wieser (1851-1926) in Social Economics (1914):

The economy is full of social institutions which serve the entire economy and are so harmonious in structure as to suggest that they are the creation of an organized social will . . . Such a social institution is illustrated by money, by the economic market, by the division of labor . . . finally by the economy [as a whole] itself, which is the greatest of these institutions, and includes all the others . . .

How could any general contractual agreement be reached as to institutions whose being is still hidden in the mists of the future, and is only conceived in an incomplete manner by a few far-seeing persons, while the great mass can never clearly appreciate the nature of such an institution until it has actually attained it full form and is generally operative? (p. 162)

Imperfect Would-be Paternalists are Closet Despots

Do these would-be nudging paternalists not get up each morning and put on their pants one leg at a time like the rest of us? Do they not sometimes give into everyday temptations and desires that their social scientific objectivity tells them is not always in their best interest? Are they not subject to the same imperfections and limits of knowledge like you and I are in often having retrospective thoughts on the errors and mistakes we have made? In other words, are they demigods to be trusted with the future of each and every one of us and the general society in which we all live? I will go out on a limb and suggest, probably not!

If they are correct that human foibles are too serious to be left up to the free choices of the individuals who make them, then how can those same imperfect and irrational individuals be trusted with the democratic right to vote for those who will be elected to government office? Not always knowing where their true interests lie, might they not elect wrong-thinking politicians who fail to appoint these very political paternalists to the policy making positions, without whose help society and the individuals in it could be doomed to disastrous consequences?

Is there, here, the faint scent of ideological and political despotism? Do these paternalists not have an inkling that as would-be government policy nudgers they are really societal noodges, political pests, irritatingly telling people how they should live, when those poor, irrational people – yes, you and me – would rather decide this for themselves?

And this gets us around to the earlier writers who we mentioned, above, those who consider a free, competitive, decentralized marketplace of supply and demand the wrong place to place trust in to solve the problems of a societal plague such as the coronavirus.

Comparing the Market to How Government Really Works

A good number of years ago, UCLA economist Harold Demsetz (1930-2019) pointed out the not infrequent tendency of critics of the market economy to compare markets as they work in the real world with a hypothetical ideal of a perfectly informed and only public interest-minded government, the latter being what he called the “the nirvana viewpoint.” It is then deduced that there are “market failures” all around us in contrast to a world in which that ideal government, manned by all-knowing, and perfectly “rational” politicians and bureaucrats, were put in charge instead.

Demsetz said that the working of real markets should be compared to how real governments operate. It would soon be seen that the society suffers from an abundant quantity of “government failures” in contrast to a vibrant and highly successful market economy.

When these critics who doubt the effectiveness of the market economy in a crisis such as the coronavirus suggest turning to the government to manage the problem, they suffer from the nirvana viewpoint that Demsetz challenged. The media has been full of stories about the failures of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in both thoughtfully preparing for such a dangerous health risk before it arrived, and then their bureaucratic rigidity and attempts at protecting their monopoly turf in failing to allow developments of private testing techniques for the virus, or the operation of independent labs performing the tests to speed up results, or in not permitting the manufacturing and supplying of essential medical equipment by private producers not completely under their regulatory thumbs.

What could be better examples of government failure, failures that are inherent in the way bureaucracies operate in top-down central planning structures of regulatory control and command. Information has to be collected and digested at various local points, then passed on up through the bureaucratic control chain to different levels of evaluation and summary until it reaches a high enough level of policy decision-making that an actual plan concerning a course of action may be designed and ordered to be implemented.

At each level is the “human element,” not just in the sense that people may make mistakes and poor judgments. But, also, in that the people at each level have their own implicit motives and agendas relating to their department’s authority and budget that influences how those responsible for evaluating and passing on information to the next higher level consider what is or is not “important” and relevant and consistent with the procedures and rationales for what each in the bureaucratic hierarchy is doing. This is the real world of government, not some hypothetical utopia of magical, wand-waving government that is ready, willing and able to solve all the problems of the world.

Allowing People to Use Localized Knowledge of Time and Place

In the meantime, people “on the ground” often are limited or restricted in their ability to use their own knowledge and judgments, based on their own skills, experiences, and abilities, to solve part of the problem, if they only had the liberty to try.

To give just one instance, Wales Online recently told the story of a Welshmen who devised a way to design and quickly construct a ventilator that can serve as a highly workable device in place of the more scarce and more costly traditional ventilators used in hospital ICUs. Dr. Rys Thomas designed it in three days drawing upon his military and civilian experience with the use of anesthetics and resuscitation; he began manufacturing in partnership with a small private enterprise. It was allowed to be produced with little red tape, fortunately, by the Welsh government. But if Dr. Thomas had had to submit documentation, proof of testing and trials, and a lengthy approval process according to the usual FDA procedures here in the United States, people might have died that are being helped to breathe right now in Wales.

This is the type of discovery and adaptation to changing circumstances that Austrian economist Friedrich A. Hayek (1899-1992), had in mind, I would suggest, when in his famous article on “The Use of Knowledge in Society” (1945), he referred to the special and local knowledge of time and place possessed by individuals “on the spot.” By people having the latitude and liberty to not only see an opportunity but the discretion and freedom to try to use it in advantageous ways, we all benefit from what other individuals, whom we know nothing about, may do that will end up benefiting us in ways we could not have originally imagined.

This all highlights, in my view, why the emphasis upon and calls for the concentration of centralized decision-making and planning by government in meeting the challenge of the coronavirus is completely wrong-headed. It should be exactly the reverse. We should not want to restrict what people are able and could do to one overarching and imposed leadership team meant to guide and coordinate all that is going on in society to overcome the health crisis through which we are all passing.

The whole purpose of competitive markets and the price system is to have an institutional setting in which each individual in his own corner of society and the social system of division of labor may freely utilize what he comes up with and sees as possible answers to various aspects of the problems constantly popping up in different places, in different ways, with different features and requirements, given the way the virus is spreading and impacting different areas and communities.

The continuous changeability and adaptability of a competitive price system serves to indicate to any and all interested or potentially relevant fellow members of society where demand is greatest for various items and services, and what supplies are available in which quantities to meet those shifting needs in different parts of the country, and, indeed, around the world. Prices and wages are the best rationing guide for people to economize “here” as best they can, until some supplies relatively more abundant and less urgently needed “there” can be transported and transferred from one part of the country to another.

Don’t Short-Circuit the Price System with Controls

That very much ridiculed and condemned profit motive acts as a wonderful incentive mechanism for people to more accurately anticipate the patterns of future market demands for these health-related products and to adjust to changes when they have not had perfect forethought in a world in which the future can never be perfectly known.

The last thing that should be imposed are price and wage controls, like Roman Frydman and Edmund Phelps and others have been calling for. This short-circuits the institutional mechanism that enables the coordination of more people who know far more than any one or handful of minds can ever know to best utilize what everyone can contribute to solving any one problem and those other problems that are in competition for the scarce resources and labor services of the society.

Through the price system, we all contribute through our demands and our abilities to supply to compositely determine what should be produced, where and how it should be produced, and for whom at any moment of time and over periods of time in changing circumstances. No other economic and social system of human association and cooperation has ever been found to better improve the condition of humankind, both in sickness and in health, and in “normal times” as well as in serious emergencies and crises, as the competitive, price-guiding market economy. (See my article, “Price Controls Attack the Freedom of Speech”.)

Finally, this also brings us back to James Kirkup’s presumption on the claimed irrationality of real human beings and the need to paternalistically nudge us all into the direction of choice-making based upon a postulated model of “rational economic man.” It is not a secret that we all, in hindsight, make numerous mistakes and misjudgments in our choices. I know this certainly applies to me; just ask my wife, who never tires of reminding me of my follies and foibles!

But I would suggest that often what the political paternalist, with his model of supposedly objective, rational behavior, is missing is the fact that much of what is criticized and condemned as illogical or irrational conduct needing “nudged” correction are often reasonable and rational choices, if only looked at in the context of the local knowledge and circumstances that only that individual may possess and fully appreciate concerning the situation, opportunities, and costs as he sees them during and over any given period of time.

What we need, in general, concerning our fellow human beings is a humility that we do not and cannot really know enough to tell others how they should live and for what purposes. Furthermore, none of us, even the self-appointed social engineers, know enough to plan the direction and destiny of human society.

As Ferguson and Mises and Wieser reminded us, social and historical processes are far too complex, multifaceted and unknowable to plan the destination of mankind. This all is no less true when needing to call upon and coordinate the knowledge and abilities of millions to confront a health crisis like the coronavirus. Liberty remains the best means of saving and bettering mankind.

What is the underlying premise behind all of these arguments, whether focused on the immediate coronavirus crisis or looking beyond to the world after the crisis is behind us?

It is that freedom does not work or does not work as effectively as the critic thinks it should if this health crisis is to be successfully grappled with. It is once again considered to represent a “failure of the market” that can only be compensated and corrected for by turning command and control over to the government and to the guiding judgments and decisions of those holding high political office and the presumed “experts” manning the bureaus, agencies and departments that make up the government.

Tyler Durden Sun, 04/05/2020 - 20:30
Published:4/5/2020 7:31:35 PM
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[World] Coronavirus and the decline of the conservative sensibility

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[Volokh Conspiracy] [David Kopel] Bleg for Vermont Local Counsel Vermont Surpeme Court case this week Published:4/5/2020 7:02:23 PM
[Politics] Wisconsin Mayors: Don't Allow Voting at Polling Station For Tuesday's Primary Mayors representing Milwaukee, Madison and other cities in Wisconsin are demanding that state health officials prevent people from voting in polling stations and instead hold a mail-in-only election for Tuesday's primary due to the coronavirus crisis, Politico reported. Published:4/5/2020 7:02:23 PM
[Coronavirus] Data Suggest Masks Matter, Tests Don’t (John Hinderaker) We have posted several contributions by our friend Brian Sullivan. Brian is a serial entrepreneur who founded and now runs a cutting-edge cancer research company. He is an exceptionally able man in several respects; among other things, he understands mathematics. Unlike, apparently, every journalist in the United States. Brian has been analyzing international data on COVID-19 and has come to some striking conclusions. One month ago, the coronavirus pandemic’s impact Published:4/5/2020 7:02:23 PM
[Markets] On The Precipice Of Martial Law On The Precipice Of Martial Law

Authored by Matthew Ehret via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

In my recent paper Why Assume There Will Be a 2020 Election?, I took the opportunity of today’s multifaceted crisis in order to revisit an important Wall Street funded coup d’état effort of 1933-34.

As I explained in that location, this bankers’ coup was luckily exposed by a patriotic general named Smedley Darlington Butler during one of the darkest moments of America and profoundly changed the course of history.

The Deep State Plot Against JFK

The danger of World War and a military coup arose again during the short lived administration of John F. Kennedy who found himself locked in a life or death struggle not with Russia, but with the Military Industrial Complex that had become dominated by the many Dr. Strangeloves of the Joint Chief of Staff and CIA who fanatically believed that America could win a nuclear war with Russia.

Kennedy’s valiant efforts to achieve dialogue with his Soviet counterparts, move towards peace in Vietnam, support of colonial liberation, promotion of space exploration and advocacy of a Nuclear Test Ban treaty made him a target of the Deep State of his time. During this period, this effort was led from the top by JFK’s two most powerful American opponents: Allan Dulles (director of the CIA) and General Lyman Lemnitzer (head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff), both of whom were proponents of pre-emptive nuclear war, architects of the Bay of Pigs regime change trap and advocates of Operation Northwoods (an ultimate “inside job” precursor to 9/11 which JFK subverted).

As historian Anton Chaitkin recently reported:

“Lemnitzer had displayed what his faction viewed as his qualifications for this role back in August 1960, when, as Army chief of staff, he announced that the Army was all ready to “restore order” in the United States after a nuclear war with the Soviet Union—to bring back normalcy just as the military does after a flood or a riot”

This plot was detailed in a quasi-fictional book written by investigative journalists Fletcher Knebel and Charles Bailey published in 1962 entitled Seven Days in May and swiftly made into a famous film with unprecedented support by JFK himself who gave the film crew and director John Frankenheimer full access to the White House, advisors and materials for the film which he believed every American should see.

In the story, a patriotic lieutenant discovers the plans for the coup which is scheduled to take place during a vast military drill whereby a President who is close to finalizing a de-armament treaty with Russia will be incapacitated in a bunker while a military regime takes over America.

Tragically, where the lieutenant is able to expose the plot and save the nation in the story, by the time of the film’s 1964 release, JFK had been deposed by other means.

Now 56 years later, history has begun to repeat itself with distinctly 21st century characteristics… and a viral twist.


The Stage is Again Set for Martial Law

Another President resistant to regime change and nuclear confrontation with Russia and China finds himself today in the White House in the form of Donald Trump.

As in 1933, today’s financial collapse threatens to rip the social and economic fabric of America to shreds, and just as in 1963 a powerful military industrial complex and private banking system manages a web of power which is devoted to overturning the 2016 election (and 1776 revolution) by any means.

The biggest difference today is that a global coronavirus pandemic threatens to be the catalyzer used to justify military dictatorship in America and broader nuclear confrontation with Russia and China.

Instead of names like “Dulles”, or “Lemnitzer”, today’s coup directors feature such names as “Pompeo” and “O’Shawnessy”… both Deep State assets highly positioned in 3rd and 4th place to take over the Presidency at the drop of a hat.

Terrence O’Shawnessy: The Man Who Could Be President

Having slipped silently under the radar four weeks ago, the American Government passed a new emergency protocol into law which vastly expands powers and procedures of Martial Law under “Continuity of Government” which must be taken very seriously.

These new protocols deal at length with the triggering of Martial Law should the nation become ungovernable through a variety of foreseeable scenarios that COVID-19 has unleashed, such as “unwanted violence” caused by “food shortage, financial chaos” or also if the President, Vice President and Secretary of State all become incapacitated for any reason.

Even though this act was classified “Above Top Secret” a surprisingly in depth March 18 Newsweek report by William Arkin documented how the “Combat Commander” of U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM) will immediately take power as a part of the “Continuity of Government” procedures which took on monstrous dimensions under the control of Dick Cheney in the wake of 9/11. According to Newsweek, the new regulation drafted by the Joint Chiefs states that the military may take control where “duly constituted local authorities are unable to control the situation” even when “authorization by the President is impossible”. Arkin describes the new protocols for “devolving” leadership to second-tier officials in remote and quarantined locations.

General O’Shawnessy, (former Deputy of UN Command in Korea) currently doubles as the head of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and has devoted his past 14 months to the promotion of a military confrontation over the Arctic which he has described as “the new frontline of our homeland defense” against Russia and China who are “determined to exploit the region’s economic and strategic potential”.

NORTHCOM went operational on October 1, 2002 as part of the Neocon takeover of America. This neocon coup which came to full fruition with 9/11 was governed by a manifesto entitled the Project for a New American Century  which laid out a Pax Americana of police state measures at home, regime change abroad and containment of a rising China and Russia under a religious belief in a unipolar world order.

This continental organization interfaces closely with both FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security, and was given a wide jurisdiction embracing not only the USA but also Mexico, Canada, Puerto Rico and the Bahamas, acting as “primary defender of an invasion of America”. NORTHCOM interfaces closely with the deep state by hosting personnel from the FBI, CIA, NSA and Defense Intelligence Agency in its headquarters and is responsible for the protection of the President, Vice President and Secretary of State.

Most recently, RT has reported on March 28 that O’Shawnessy has ordered teams of “essential staff” deep into vast bunkers 650 meters below the surface in Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado to “wait out the COVID-19 crisis”. Announcing this secretive mission, the General tweeted “Our dedicated professionals of the NORAD and NORTHCOM Command and control watch have left their homes, said goodbye to their families and are isolated from everyone to ensure they can stand watch each and every day to defend our homeland.”

Other military personnel have been banned from travelling and commanded to stay near their bases ready for action and as of March 30, over 14 600 National Guard forces have been deployed to all 50 states. Although they cannot currently engage in policing due to the 1878 US Posse Comitatus Act, Martial Law would render that provision null and void.

It is also noteworthy that only one day after the Coronavirus was labelled an “international public health emergency” by the World Health Organization on January 30, Defense Secretary Mark Esper approved nationwide pandemic plans and warned NORTHCOM to “prepare to deploy”.

This author doesn’t believe it to be a coincidence that patriotic voices who would typically be opposed to such a Martial Law agenda have been taken out of public life due to chaos emerging from the Coronavirus with Senator Ron Paul’s March 22 COVID-19 diagnosis forcing him into quarantine and the politically naive Tulsi Gabbard’s dropping out of the presidential race in order “to be prepared for the national guard duties”. It isn’t very hard to imagine a COVID-19 diagnosis, real or fabricated to take the President and other members of the government out of office at a moment’s notice.

Time is running out for America and only bold, decisive action taken courageously and swiftly can change the course of self-annihilation upon which the republic now finds itself.

Presidents Xi Jinping and Putin have opened their arms to welcome America and other western nations into their new multipolar system which is built not upon a worship of money or militarism, but rather cooperation and creative mutual growth. Project Airbridge collaboration between China and the USA has begun as a part of the Health Silk Road bringing millions of medical supplies to America.

Meanwhile a brilliant coalition of former Latin American heads of State called for the creation of a new just economic order and debt jubilee as a response to the failure of the neoliberal system which shines a principled light out of the current threefold danger of economic collapse, war and Martial Law.

Tyler Durden Sun, 04/05/2020 - 19:40
Published:4/5/2020 7:02:23 PM
[Jim Sloan] A 'Little Ice Age' Is Upon Us: Take Note And Be Ready To Change Your Thinking Published:4/5/2020 6:32:05 PM
[] Newsweek's WH correspondent accuses President Trump of hijacking 'everyone's televisions' with Sunday night coronavirus briefing Published:4/5/2020 6:32:05 PM
[Politics] WATCH LIVE: Sunday edition of coronavirus task force with President Trump now [live streams] They’re having the coronavirus almost-daily press conference right now. Here’s how you can watch it live: Fox News: NBC News: PBS: CNN says this wasn’t on Trump’s public calendar, so there might . . . Published:4/5/2020 6:32:05 PM
[Politics] WATCH LIVE: Sunday edition of coronavirus task force with President Trump now [live streams] They’re having the coronavirus almost-daily press conference right now. Here’s how you can watch it live: Fox News: NBC News: PBS: CNN says this wasn’t on Trump’s public calendar, so there might . . . Published:4/5/2020 6:32:05 PM
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[Entertainment] LL Cool J, Thomas Rhett and Others Perform at Richard Weitz's Star-Studded Zoom Party LL Cool JWhile you're Zooming with your family while social distancing, many celebs may also be doing the same with their famous friends, and one Hollywood agent has turned his star-studded gatherings...
Published:4/5/2020 6:32:05 PM
[Markets] Surgeon General: Next Week Will Be Our 'Pearl Harbor And 9/11 Moments' Surgeon General: Next Week Will Be Our 'Pearl Harbor And 9/11 Moments'

Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams told NBC's "Meet the Press" that next week's national coronavirus situation would be "our Pearl Harbor moment," adding "It's going to be our 9/11 moment."

Responding to a question on state-specific stay-at-home orders, Adams said "I talked to many of these governors, and here’s what I say to them. Here’s what I would say to them right now. The next week is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment. It’s going to be our 9/11 moment. It’s going to be the hardest moment for many Americans in their entire lives, and we really need to understand that if we want to flatten that curve and get through to the other side, everyone needs to do their part."

Adams says that "Ninety percent of Americans are doing their part - even on those states where they haven't had a shelter-in-place." He then asked governors to give the Trump administration at least a week - if they can't give them 30-days, "so we don't overwhelm our health care systems over this next week," adding that they would reassess at that point.

"We want everyone to understand; you have to be Rosie the Riveter. You have to do your part."


Adams has also been backpedaling bigly on his February 29th recommendation to "STOP BUYING MASKS" - as he claimed they "are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus."


To cover his tracks, Adams told MSNBC "Here's what's changed. We now know that, uh, about 25% and some studies even more, of COVID-19 is transmitted when you are asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic."

Except we've known about asymptomatic transmission since at least January; as we wrote on January 27th: "Incubation is asymptomatic, contagious, and can be as long as 14 days."

Meanwhile, several counties around the country are now mandating face coverings in public - and the CDC has considered recommending that people wear face masks all the time.

More Adams clips:

Meanwhile, the latest as of this writing:

Tyler Durden Sun, 04/05/2020 - 19:15
Published:4/5/2020 6:32:05 PM
[Markets] Futures Movers: U.S. oil heads 7% lower as Monday meeting of major producers gets delayed Oil futures head lower Sunday evening in electronic trade after a key meeting between oil giants Saudi Arabia and Russia was tentatively moved to Thursday instead of Monday.
Published:4/5/2020 6:32:04 PM
[] U.S. Surgeon General: This week is our Pearl Harbor moment Published:4/5/2020 6:01:35 PM
[worldNews] Tripoli forces hit eastern Libyan cargo plane near capital An eastern Libyan military plane was hit on Sunday by forces allied to the internationally recognised government near the capital Tripoli, both sides said.
Published:4/5/2020 6:01:34 PM
[Featured News] Watch Live: Coronavirus Task Force Holds White House Press Briefing – 4/5/20

By R. Mitchell -

Coronavirus task force press briefing Mike Pence

Members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force hold a briefing Sunday to update the nation on recent developments. The briefing is scheduled to begin at 6:34 p.m EDT. Live Stream of White House Coronavirus Task Force Briefing Content created by Conservative Daily News and some content syndicated through CDN is ...

Watch Live: Coronavirus Task Force Holds White House Press Briefing – 4/5/20 is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more.

Published:4/5/2020 6:01:34 PM
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