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There Has Been A Concern That Many Markets Are Oversupplied

A report from Crain’s Chicago Business in Illinois. “If you are in the hunt for distressed apartments on Chicago’s South Side, you have a lot of choices. You’ll have even more in the coming months. Dozens of buildings in neighborhoods like South Shore and Washington Park are hitting the market, the aftermath of an alleged $135 million Ponzi scheme by EquityBuild, their Florida-based owner. Another landlord, the Better Housing Foundation, could flush about 1,000 more apartments into the market after the nonprofit defaulted on more than $84 million in bonds it used to pay for them.”

“While their demise creates opportunity for investors who seek out distressed real estate, the story is more complicated than that. It also produces collateral damage, potentially undermining neighborhood stability as buildings deteriorate and property values fall. The city has cited Better Housing Foundation buildings for 6,002 code violations. Most of its apartments sit empty, unavailable to residents who need affordable housing.”

The Hartford Courant in Connecticut. “A New York real estate owner and developer, which has established a major presence in downtown Hartford in the past five years, has purchased the historic, yet decaying ‘Flat Iron’ building on the northern edge of downtown. Shelbourne Global Solutions LLC, of Brooklyn, N.Y., acquired the building at 529-543 Ann Uccello St. for $300,000 and a neighboring lot at 525 Ann Uccello St. for $100,000, city records show.”

“Shelbourne’s acquisition follows a recent, failed plan for new apartments in the building by a development partnership from Brooklyn, N.Y. Those plans by Brian Corriette and his business partner, Omar Wala, who operated under the name The ZAACO Group, failed to get off the ground, They lost the building in a foreclosure in 2018, court documents show.”

The South Florida Business Journal. “A pair of apartment buildings in Bay Harbor Islands have been targeted in a $5.1 million foreclosure lawsuit. Avatar Capital Finance filed the lawsuit against Bal Harbour Investments LLC, along with loan guarantors Yoni Ramras Nula Shala and Jack Saljanin. It concerns the apartment buildings at 1080 93rd St. and 1060 95th St.”

“According to the Jan. 13 complaint, Avatar Capital provided the mortgage to Bal Harbour Investments in February 2019. The borrower allegedly missed payments starting Oct. 2, 2019, and owes $5.1 million in principal, plus interest and fees. The four-story apartment building at 1080 93rd St. totals 30,017 square feet with 24 units. It was built on the 22,500-square-foot site in 1965. It last traded for $4.1 million in 2008. In 2016, Executive National Bank filed a $1.9 million foreclosure lawsuit against Bal Harbour Investments. That lawsuit was voluntarily dismissed in 2019 and the loan was declared satisfied shortly after the new mortgage was obtained from Avatar Capital Finance.”

The Detroit Free Press in Michigan. “A failed luxury condominium development in downtown Birmingham has a new owner and will be converted into one-bedroom apartments. The apartment conversion represents a dramatic change for the still-new building. The Forefront opened in 2017 on the site of a former art supply store, offering 10 condos with prices starting at $1.7 million and sizes ranging from 2,500 square feet to 5,100 square feet. But only two of those condos sold.”

“The building fell into receivership in December 2018 after the project’s original developer, Joseph (Joey) Jonna of Jonna Luxury Homes, defaulted on a $7.3 million construction loan.”

The Express News in Texas. “A San Antonio bankruptcy judge Friday OK’d a plan for a Los Angeles nonprofit to buy four complexes here as part of a deal valued at almost $42 million. The deal includes a total of 770 apartment units. The sale of the complexes was part of the reorganization plan presented by partnerships affiliated with San Antonio’s Terravista Corp. The partnerships entered bankruptcy in May to stop foreclosure proceedings by the lender at the time. A Terravista official had said a dispute with the lender erupted while the company was attempting to refinance the loans on the properties.”

From Bisnow. “The steady aging of America’s population brought many developers into the senior housing sector after the end of the recession, and fueled a boom in new construction. But that activity slacked off throughout much of 2019, and in the coming year closely watched occupancy figures will show whether the slowdown will last, or was just a slight hiccup. ‘There has been a concern that many markets are oversupplied, and investors and lenders, both the debt and equity sides, are aware of that, so there is a lot more caution,’ National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care Chief Economist Beth Burnham Mace said.”

From Skilled Nursing News. “As nursing homes’ operating margins dwindle due to insufficient Medicaid reimbursements, one state task force is encouraging lower performing facilities to simply shut down — and make more room for the remaining properties to grab a piece of a shrinking pie. The Nursing Facility Task Force of Massachusetts released a report declaring that the state is oversaturated with smaller nursing homes unable to properly care for residents, and suggested that they should close so that the fuller, better equipped facilities could better utilize limited available resources.”

“Among the group’s policy goals was a call to reduce the state’s bed glut by targeting ‘chronically low quality facilities…with negative median total margins of -6.2% compared to the industry’s median total margin of -3.2%…[which is] not sustainable,’ according to a task force study presented on January 31. At the heart of the task force’s argument is that Massachusetts simply has too many nursing home beds: Out of the 366 nursing homes that contract with MassHealth, the state’s Medicaid program, 16% remain in business with less than 80% occupancy.”

“‘One in six nursing homes now operates with occupancy under 80%; facilities with low occupancy rates are not sustainable,’ the task force stated.”

From Commercial Property Executive. “As labor slows down, so will the development of self storage properties in 2020, according to the report. In 2018, the industry saw a record 67 million square feet of storage space delivered before slowing down in 2019. And developers weren’t just building from the ground-up, as conversions of big-box retail spaces into self storage were a prominent trend. Overall, self storage development will likely continue to dip in 2020 due to the previous years’ strong new-supply pipeline. With so many projects in the works, the self storage market will likely have to adjust by lowering rents due to competition and oversupply, according to the report.”

From KTVU in California. “Despite a narrative that housing construction in the Bay Area is going gangbusters, the number of units built last year was nearly 10,000 shy of the year before, according to preliminary data from the Construction Industry Research Board and assembled Friday by Bay City News Service. In San Francisco, the number of units built fell by 1,841, the most behind Santa Clara County and Alameda County. The drop in Santa Clara County was 3,333 and in Alameda County 2,455.”

“Dan Dunmoyer, CEO of the California Building Industry Association said that statewide, 7 to 8 percent fewer units of housing were constructed in 2019 than in 2018. It’s the first year the numbers have been down since the Great Recession, he said. ‘It’s interesting and profound,’ Dunmoyer said.”

From Mansion Global on New York. “Basketball star Carmelo Anthony is asking $12.85 million for his New York City condo, a five-bedroom spread overlooking Manhattan’s High Line park. Mr. Anthony has owned the Chelsea home since 2015, when he bought the new construction condo for about $11 million, according to listing agent Michael Graves. Mr. Graves said he believes the apartment is priced to sell, and that his client is aware of the challenging market in Chelsea, which has an oversupply of new condos. ‘He understands that, to be successful, you have to price right,’ said Mr. Graves.”

From Reuters. “Asset management firm T. Rowe Price Group Inc has called its investment in WeWork a ‘debacle’ that caused the firm ‘outsized headaches and disappointments’ and left it holding shares worth just a fraction of their original value. In a rare public comment on its experience with a specific investment, the U.S. fund management group said in a Feb. 12 filing that it had invested in the startup in 2014 on the premise that WeWork’s management would focus on developing a more sustainable business strategy and slow its pace of growth.”

“Among the world’s most valuable startups a year ago, New York-based WeWork abandoned its attempt to launch on the stock market last September after seeing its valuation collapse due to concerns over its mounting losses and leadership. ‘They (WeWork’s management) took our advice for a few months, but new investors soon arrived who convinced management to put its foot back on the accelerator,’ T. Rowe, which manages more than $1.2 trillion in assets, said in the report.”

“‘While it’s possible that WeWork’s new management will improve operations somewhat, we are ready to declare this a terrible investment,’ T.Rowe said.”

This Post Has 191 Comments
    1. And its only getting worser! Good thing we have “sound lending” for “qualified” buyers…

      I sure hope this round of buyers dont get the delayed eviction / GTFO process as they did last time. I see why these shacks were held off from foreclosure before as they likely knew of all this appreciation that was going to take place but now RE has hit a ceiling, not much room to go up without collapsing the value of our dollar. Foreclosure homes are a depreciating asset not an investment, might as well put that money in a dutch bank account. NOW is the best time to sell, get those shacks on the market asap or chase the market down

    2. I’m wondering what the trends and trajectories are showing, especially if downward velocity starts accelerating.

      1. “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

        ― Upton Sinclair,

    3. Even more amazing is how defaults and foreclosures are piling up against the backdrop of record low unemployment and interest rates. How is this going to play out if the Goldilocks economic conditions ever end?

  1. What’s gonna pop this sucker?

    Black swan event or seeing the forest through the trees?

    Doesn’t seem like it can stay inflated too much longer…

    1. Didn’t they just start running out of buyers at the last crash. The secondary market stopped buying and places like Countrywide got stuck holding the bag on billions in loans that were junk.

      Than Mozillo started screaming that the Government had to do something. Than the Government bail out of the fraudulent loan market.

  2. ‘Among the group’s policy goals was a call to reduce the state’s bed glut by targeting ‘chronically low quality facilities…with negative median total margins of -6.2% compared to the industry’s median total margin of -3.2%…[which is] not sustainable,’ according to a task force study presented on January 31. At the heart of the task force’s argument is that Massachusetts simply has too many nursing home beds: Out of the 366 nursing homes that contract with MassHealth, the state’s Medicaid program, 16% remain in business with less than 80% occupancy. One in six nursing homes now operates with occupancy under 80%’

    Recession proof.

    1. These facilities will always be chronically low quality because their wage scales for caregivers mean they tend to attract or retain employees who are indifferent at best toward the olds under their charge and lack any kind of work ethic. A friend’s wife works as a speech therapist in a higher-end elder care facility that pays relatively good salaries, but even there most of the employees are poorly paid, unmotivated minorities with high turnover and constant disciplinary problems or violations of state codes. The facility management has turned over twice in the past four years, with each one stressing profitability over patient care, but they’re bleeding more money due to cuts in what medicare will pay. The professional staff is stressed out due to overwork and the frustration of dealing with a management that is solely focused on cost-cutting, and having to rely on surly, lazy, unmotivated low-wage employees.

      1. When my mother was rehabbing in an assisted living facility and I went to visit her, I found her crying when I arrived. She told me she was scared because when it was time to change her clothes they sent a guy to help her who looked like he just got out of prison, with tattoos all over the place. I spoke to them and asked WTF was going on. They sent a female after that.

        1. guy to help her who looked like he just got out of prison, with tattoos all over the place. Modern girls who have never been to prison, often have tattoos all over the place.

      2. “A friend’s wife works as a speech therapist in a higher-end elder care facility…”

        Seems like speech therapy is a service for people who still have some productive years ahead of them?

        1. When you pass the age of 80, verbal communication with your family members becomes increasingly important. Speech therapy can make a huge quality of life improvement for seniors struggling with speech issues.

      3. speech therapist

        For anyone with kids who haven’t figured out what they want to be when they grow up, speech and occupational therapists should have good job prospects for many years to come.

  3. The Forefront opened in 2017 on the site of a former art supply store, offering 10 condos with prices starting at $1.7 million and sizes ranging from 2,500 square feet to 5,100 square feet. But only two of those condos sold.”

    The two buyers must feel like geniuses right about now.

    1. I posted about this story a few days ago, but unfortunately the Crain’s link I had was behind a paywall.

      My guess is that the biggest problem for The Forefront was that its location didn’t justify the prices. For $1,000/ft, you really need to be closer to the* downtown, and preferably north of Maple and close to “Little San Francisco”.

      There are luxury condos on North Woodward that are not as ridiculously overpriced as this one was, and appear to be faring better presently:

      https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/369-N-Old-Woodward-Ave-407-Birmingham-MI-48009/2090509699_zpid/

      * — Realtors, being the liars they are, love to refer to everything in 48009 as downtown Birmingham, or a short walk to it.

      1. luxury condos

        Are these for rich retirees or DINKs? What jobs support these prices? I can’t imagine raising kids in one.

        1. I think you’re right, rich retirees and childless adults mostly, I believe is who they’re targeted to. We have an abundance of doctors and lawyers in the area that are supported by the domestic automotive industry — a lot of health care in this area has been nurtured by serving the UAW rank and file over the past century. There is some higher-end financial activity here as well.

  4. ‘which manages more than $1.2 trillion in assets, said in the report…’we are ready to declare this a terrible investment’

    Yellen bucks going to money heaven.

    ‘Despite a narrative that housing construction in the Bay Area is going gangbusters, the number of units built last year was nearly 10,000 shy of the year before. In San Francisco, the number of units built fell by 1,841, the most behind Santa Clara County and Alameda County. The drop in Santa Clara County was 3,333 and in Alameda County 2,455’

    ‘statewide, 7 to 8 percent fewer units of housing were constructed in 2019 than in 2018. It’s the first year the numbers have been down since the Great Recession, he said. ‘It’s interesting and profound’

    From the article:

    ‘Outside of California, developers pay about $6,000 to $15,000, while the cheapest fees in the Bay Area are $45,000 to $50,000’

    OK, so what? Your airbox and shack prices are double or more than most places. How does 30-40k stop you?

    1. Seems like the HBB should start a go fund me effort to build a fitting memorial to all the trillions of Yellen Bux that have perished in the rampant malinvestment and fraud since 2008. It could double as a public toilet.

  5. “‘While it’s possible that WeWork’s new management will improve operations somewhat, we are ready to declare this a terrible investment,’ T.Rowe said.”

    There there, T.Rowe. It was only Yellen Bux gambling money.

    1. we are ready to declare this a terrible investment

      Water under the bridge. But you might want to take a hard look at what you’re currently holding that might be next year’s “terrible investment”. Seems like a better use of your time at this point.

  6. “A failed luxury condominium development in downtown Birmingham has a new owner and will be converted into one-bedroom apartments. The apartment conversion represents a dramatic change for the still-new building. The Forefront opened in 2017 on the site of a former art supply store, offering 10 condos with prices starting at $1.7 million and sizes ranging from 2,500 square feet to 5,100 square feet. But only two of those condos sold’

    ‘The building fell into receivership in December 2018’

    Last decade I found an obscure Miami website/paper with an article about a condo reversion. Within a couple of days it was big news in the NYT and WSJ. Nowadays, they don’t say boo.

  7. From the Mansion Global article: “Listing pictures also show Mr. Anthony’s extensive art collection, including a set of Mickey Mouse-type figures in masks.” WTH!

  8. Unoccupied and empty apartments = neighborhood stability????

    Cheap and easy money does that. And “nonprofit” corporations that take advantage of the cheap and easy money.

    “It also produces collateral damage, potentially undermining neighborhood stability as buildings deteriorate and property values fall. The city has cited Better Housing Foundation buildings for 6,002 code violations. Most of its apartments sit empty…”

  9. No. I don’t think he understands it at all…

    “Basketball star Carmelo Anthony is asking $12.85 million for his New York City condo, a five-bedroom spread overlooking Manhattan’s High Line park. Mr. Anthony has owned the Chelsea home since 2015, when he bought the new construction condo for about $11 million, according to listing agent Michael Graves. Mr. Graves said he believes the apartment is priced to sell, and that his client is aware of the challenging market in Chelsea, which has an oversupply of new condos. ‘He understands that, to be successful, you have to price right,’ said Mr. Graves.”

    1. Per google search his net worth is $120M, and based on “his client is aware of the challenging market in Chelsea” it sounds like that number is going to drop. Still, I would be happy to have 1/10 of his net worth.

    2. “He understands that, to be successful, you have to price right,” said Mr. Graves.

      It’s simple: buy low, and sell high; no calculus required!

  10. It never made a profit in the past.

    It doesn’t make a profit now.

    It has no hope of making a profit in the future.

    You gambled on the greater fool theory of “investing” and lost.

    “‘While it’s possible that WeWork’s new management will improve operations somewhat, we are ready to declare this a terrible investment,’ T.Rowe said.”

    1. I read the other day that the Softbank CEO spent about an hour with the wework dude before deciding to back him. A few months ago they were calling this CEO a “mastermind.”

  11. What if rent strikes start becoming a thing? What happens if corporate Democrats who have been working hand in glove in their FIRE sector donors start getting bilged by AOC clones angered over unaffordable housing and corporate greed? Some of the vulture funds snapping up distressed housing in the expectation of gouging renters or holding shacks off the market until prices improve may have to revisit their profitability assumptions.

    ‘Either I Pay the Rent or I Eat:’ These California Tenants Are On Strike Because Their Rent Is Too Damn High

    https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/8845p3/either-i-pay-the-rent-or-i-eat-these-california-tenants-are-on-strike-because-their-rent-is-too-damn-high

    Half the tenants living in an apartment building in Oakland’s historic Fruitvale neighborhood haven’t paid rent in months — all in an effort to get the attention of the landlord they hope will consider selling them the property.

    The tenants, who’ve been on a rent strike since October, say that if they can get the property under their control, they’ll be able to keep rent steady, in a city that’s gradually become synonymous with the country’s affordable housing crisis. Many of them are low-wage workers and told the local Mercury News that their rent has increased from $750 to $1,550 over the last decade or so. The tenants also allege that the building is rife with problems, including cockroaches and broken doors, and it’s legal in California to withhold rent due to property mismanagement, according to the Mercury News.

    “To this point I’ve been able to pay, but next year I’ll be looking for somewhere under the bridge to move out,” Francisco Perez, one striking tenant, told KNTV. “Either I pay the rent or I eat.”

    1. told the local Mercury News that their rent has increased from $750 to $1,550 over the last decade or so

      And it’s worth remembering that a $750 rent was once considered onerous.

        1. 45 years ago my mother was renting an apt. in Boston. The A/C broke down in a very hot summer. Management was notified, they did nothing but continued to collect her rent. She contacted the local housing regulatory agency, was told she could put her rent in escrow with them to pressure management to do what was right. Laws at the time protected her from eviction or any sort of retaliation by management. After two months of rent going into escrow, her A/C was suddenly restored to normal operation, and management got their rent after that delay. She continued to live there a few years without trouble.

    1. Bloomberg’s life insurance called to cancel his policy. The consideration of Hillary as a potential VP completely blew out their actuary tables for calculating the odds of his potential demise.

      1. Bloomberg’s documented health history, IMNSHO, would prevent any sane life insurance underwriter from selling him a policy, not that he would really need one.

  12. I can’t help but wonder about the possible effect of a public health emergency declaration on real estate demand.

    Coronavirus
    San Diego County Officials Declare Precautionary Public Health Emergency Amid Coronavirus Cases
    Supervisor Nathan Fletcher announced the city declared a local emergency and a public health emergency. County officials will hold a meeting next week to decide to either extend the declaration or not
    By Brenda Gregorio-Nieto, NBC 7 San Diego Staff and Jackie Crea
    • Published February 14, 2020
    • Updated on February 15, 2020 at 7:16 am

    1. Given the activity John, Mike and I are seeing, probably not much. Buyers appear to be oblivious to credible threats like asset bubbles popping or viruses downplayed by the WHO.

      1. How high will the stock market go if the supply chain collapse reaches critical avalanche?

        The worse news, the higher.

        1. The worse the real economy functions, the more quantitative easing will be deployed to ensure that the stock market always goes up, no matter what.

          1. “… the more quantitative easing will be deployed to ensure that the stock market always goes up, no matter what.”

            Invariability:

            adjective. not variable; not changing or capable of being changed; $tatic or con$tant.

            😷 … 🚁💰💉💲💹🎉 …⚡🎈⌛🆘📉

      2. falling over and dying from corona virus People have been dropping dead for millennia before COVID-19 was discovered. Super easy to make a video someone “dropping dead” and posting it on the internet. What the actual cause was proven to be somehow never gets publicized if indeed any cause was actually found.

    1. World
      Fear and Boredom Aboard the Quarantined Coronavirus Cruise Ship
      U.S. State Department to evacuate Americans and their families aboard the Diamond Princess
      By Suryatapa Bhattacharya
      Updated Feb. 14, 2020 9:26 pm ET

      TOKYO—The pools, hot tubs and bars of the Diamond Princess emptied out on Feb. 5, when authorities quarantined the luxury cruise ship at a Yokohama dock. Instead of overflowing buffets, staff in surgical masks deliver boxed meals and snacks, about 11,000 a day.

      Life has taken a turn for the nearly 3,500 passengers and crew aboard the $500 million vessel who entered a second week of quarantine for the coronavirus.

      1. “…staff in surgical masks deliver boxed meals and snacks…”

        Stupid is as stupid does.

        Phenomenon
        Why Face Masks Are Going Viral
        As the new coronavirus epidemic spreads, more and more people are wearing surgical masks—despite their questionable effectiveness. An anthropologist explores the reasons why.
        Gideon Lasco / 7 Feb 2020

        1. I bought a huge box of them before they were a “thing.” I will wear them if/when the virus spreads here.

      1. Luckily for me, my wife agrees with you. We did run into a travel agent we know at a wedding reception last night who mentioned she could get some good deals on cruise tickets. 😉

      2. I don’t like large crowds, small quarters, confinement, getting drunk, gambling or buffets, so you’d have to pay me a lot of money to endure a cruise ship. And, I could probably only last 2 or 3 days until I was at my breaking point.

        1. Right, so he will be in contact with innumerable people until he shows up positive at which point it’s impossible to figure out who he may have infected. With the long incubation time, it’s impossible to contain this virus. It will run its course.

    2. The prospect of seemingly healthy people spreading the disease is scary!

      News
      American diagnosed with coronavirus after being cleared to leave cruise ship
      By Melissa Klein
      February 15, 2020 | 1:12pm
      Passengers departing the MS Westerdam cruise ship in Cambodia.
      CHINE NOUVELLE/SIPA/Shutterstock

      An elderly American stuck on a cruise ship that was repeatedly refused port amid coronavirus fears was diagnosed with the illness after she and her fellow passengers were deemed healthy and allowed to head home.

      The 83-year-old woman, one of more than 2,200 people stuck for weeks aboard the MS Westerdam before they were allowed to disembark Friday in Cambodia, made it to Malaysia before the illness was discovered, Bloomberg reported.

      The unidentified woman was said to be in stable condition in isolation at a hospital. Her husband, 85, tested negative but was put under observation.

      1. That kind of shoots a hole in the 2 week quarantine idea.

        I’ve got two friends that were on that boat. They’re probably on their way to New Zealand by now.

  13. So much for the racist hypothesis that only Chinese people are susceptible to lethal cases of coronavirus…

    1. Coronavirus
      Coronavirus updates: First coronavirus death outside Asia reported in France
      As U.S. plans to evacuate Americans from the quarantined cruise ship, France reports the first death outside of Asia.
      Image: The Diamond Princess cruise ship remains docked after passengers were confirmed to have coronavirus near Yokohama, Japan, on Feb. 7, 2020.
      Carl Court / Getty Images
      Feb. 15, 2020, 1:13 AM PST / Updated Feb. 15, 2020, 7:22 AM PST
      By NBC News
      • American from cruise ship docked in Cambodia tests positive in Malaysia
      • First coronavirus death outside of Asia reported in France
      • U.S. to evacuate Americans from quarantined cruise ship
      • Coronavirus cases, deaths continue to increase
      • San Diego County declares health emergency
      • Egypt confirms coronavirus case, 1st in Africa

          1. Posting the word Obama in front of AlbuquerqueDan’s eyes is like waving a red cape in front of a bull. Don’t get him going…

        1. Posting the word Obama in front of AlbuquerqueDan’s eyes is like waving a red cape in front of a bull.

          If you question the veracity of China’s official statistics, he reacts like Rain Man when he didn’t get his eight fish sticks.

      1. “Mishaps with the 2003 outbreak of SARS, which sickened 8,098 people and killed about 800 over nine months,…”

        What’s the Wuhan coronavirus death toll by now, six weeks since the first confirmed cases were announced?

        CNBC TV
        Health and Science
        The White House doesn’t trust China’s coronavirus numbers — here’s why
        Published Sat, Feb 15 2020 2:11 PM EST
        Berkeley Lovelace Jr.
        William Feuer

        Key Points
        – The coronavirus that emerged from China’s Hubei province over a month ago and has spread to two dozen countries is already fueling mistrust from the U.S. government on whether China can provide accurate information.
        – U.S. mistrust of China goes as far back as the 1950s, when national authorities set unrealistic production quotas that led local officials to inflate data.

        The coronavirus that emerged from China’s Hubei province over a month ago and has spread to two dozen countries is already fueling mistrust from the U.S. government on whether China can provide accurate information about the epidemic.

        The White House said this week it does “not have high confidence in the information coming out of China” regarding the count of coronavirus cases, a senior administration official told CNBC. Meanwhile, China has reportedly been reluctant to accept help from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and has reportedly suppressed information about the outbreak from scientists that it deems alarming.

        U.S. officials’ mistrust of China goes as far back as the 1950s, when national authorities set unrealistic production quotas that led local officials to inflate data. Mishaps with the 2003 outbreak of SARS, which sickened 8,098 people and killed about 800 over nine months, and discrepancies in reporting of economic data over the past two decades has only hardened the U.S. government’s belief that China cannot be trusted, experts say. White House advisor Peter Navarro has even called China a “disease incubator.”

        1. 1,527 confirmed deaths have been reported so far, and within the next week, the total will exceed nine months worth of SARS fatalities by a factor of two.

          New cases are growing rapidly, so this is merely the tip of the iceberg.

          1. “Uh…why don’t you catch up on the discussion here and get back to us.”

            Uh, why don’t you explain what this has to do with the US housing market. It’s a simple flu virus that will run it’s course and end up in the dustbin of history next to SARS, Swine Flu, Avian Flu, Mad Cow, Ebola and all the rest of all of “pandemics”

            Give it a rest, the outbreak you are hoping for is never gonna happen.

          2. OPINION
            Published 3 hours ago
            Lew Olowski: Coronavirus worse than reported – here’s how China is catching up to reality
            Lew Jan Olowski
            By Lew Jan Olowski | Fox News
            China reports explosive spike in new cases of coronavirus

            Chinese officials say the jump comes down to the methodology used to diagnosed new cases; Benjamin Hall reports from London.

            China’s novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has killed and infected more people than officially reported.

            Consider the latest numbers. In one day, total reported infections and deaths increased 44 percent and 23 percent, respectively. But not “because of any change in the shape of the outbreak,” which is nonetheless growing near-exponentially. Rather, it was merely because “the government changed the criteria by which it tracks confirmed cases.”

            The official tally has been an underestimate and is still catching up to reality. As of Saturday, more than 1,500 people had reportedly died of the virus, with more than 69,000 cases reported worldwide. About 99 percent of the cases have been reported in China.

          3. “Uh, why don’t you explain what this has to do with the US housing market.”

            Sure. Do you remember those all-cash Chinese investors who were outbidding everyone else in west coast housing markets? My guess is that these folks have left the game, but it won’t show up in backward-looking market statistics for many months.

        2. “The White House doesn’t trust China’s coronavirus numbers”

          And I don’t trust White House coronavirus numbers.

        3. “Some people just take a pride in being dumb and stupid.”
          –Obama

          He must have been discussing why people would support his reelection. Mr. 1.9% growth per year despite hitting the sweet spot in the economic cycle. Always best to take office after a recession has been going on for a year.

        4. U.S. officials’ mistrust of China goes as far back as the 1950s, when…

          the CCP sent 30 million to starve to death in the mountains.

          Is this no longer part of history?

          1. the CCP sent 30 million to starve to death in the mountains.
            Is this no longer part of history?

            Do you have to ask? It’s un-PC to disclose anything defamatory about Commies.

  14. Negative interest rates turn saving, borrowing upside down
    AP Feb 14, 2020
    Christine Lagarde president of the ECB before making a speech during the annual report 2018 of the ECB, before the European Parliament’s economic and monetary affairs committee at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, Tuesday Feb. 11, 2020. Lagarde warned that the world’s central banks have little room to stimulate growth in the economy as interest rates and inflation are already very low. (AP Photo/Jean-François Badias)

    FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Imagine a mortgage that pays you the interest, not the other way around. Or a savings account where it’s the bank, not the saver, who collects interest.

    Welcome to the upside-down world of ultra-low and negative interest rates that is taking hold in many parts of the world where economic growth has been sluggish. Now more than a decade old, economists think it could be a feature of the global economy for years to come and change the way people save and invest.

    “This will mean that we must save more, work longer, and expect less,” said Olivia Mitchell, an economics professor at the Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania.

    1. Imagine a mortgage that pays you the interest, not the other way around. Or a savings account where it’s the bank, not the saver, who collects interest.

      Everybody would just take their money out of the bank. Nobody’s going to PAY the bank to hold their savings, at least nobody in their right mind.

      1. We’ve been building up our stable of musical instruments over the years. It’s good to have some real assets on hand when central bankers are playing with fire on interest rate policy.

        1. Come on, now, you’ve been building that stable forever! I hope you have good insurance, though. Mine only covers musical instruments up to $1,000. My Gibson J-45 Custom is like 3x that but I never looked into special policies.

          1. I’ve only filed one claim on our policy, which we have maintained for decades. When our children were small, a hole mysteriously appeared in the side of my Italian viola. I never figured out to this day how this happened.

            It cost $700 to repair, and the insurance covered it in full.

          2. I asked insurance agent a while back in a fire will $10,000 of Ethan allan furniture be treated the same as $10,000 in records and cd’s…only Travellers said yes…

          3. The interesting thing about guitars is that for under $3000, you can get one that would cost upwards of $25,000 for a violin of comparable playing quality.

          4. The interesting thing about guitars is that for under $3000, you can get one that would cost upwards of $25,000 for a violin of comparable playing quality.

            Yeah. I’m a big fan of the newer Gibson stuff. It sounds great. The vintage gear is in a massive bubble.

          5. When our children were small, a hole mysteriously appeared in the side of my Italian viola. I never figured out to this day how this happened.
            I suspect mice. They will gnaw their way into any space that might contain food. Twice critters have gnawed their way into the dirty side of my Elantra’s cabin air filter, which tends to collect small airborne seeds. I have taped over their mousy doorways twice so far in 8 years.

  15. Please use the sharing tools found via the share button at the top or side of articles. Copying articles to share with others is a breach of FT.com T&Cs and Copyright Policy. Email licensing@ft.com to buy additional rights. Subscribers may share up to 10 or 20 articles per month using the gift article service. More information can be found at https://www.ft.com/tour.
    https://www.ft.com/content/a7a8bf98-4f12-11ea-95a0-43d18ec715f5
    The Financial Times
    The Big Read Coronavirus
    China: an economy in quarantine
    If lockdown remains and infections continue to rise, the shock to rest of world could be significant
    © Kevin Frayer/Getty Images | Beijing’s business district is empty as coronavirus keeps people off the streets and businesses closed
    Tom Mitchell and Don Weinland in Beijing and Brendan Greeley in Washington yesterday

    This was the week that Chinese industry and commerce was supposed to stir back to life after an extended new year holiday triggered by the rapid spread from Wuhan of the highly contagious coronavirus.

    But Lü Hua, who owns a factory making car parts in the southern city of Shenzhen, is still waiting for local government approval to reopen the plant, which exports 95 per cent of its output.

    “We have prepared everything based on government guidelines — masks, hand sanitiser and so on,” he says. “But one day before reopening, we got a notice from the government that the policy changed. We need to fill a bunch of new forms and apply again. The government will then send an inspection team.”

    1. There’s simply no way to safely restart their economy with this virus going ’round. It will run through every single workplace, etc. China has not been able to stop the spread, and by sending everybody back to work you just exacerbate it.

    2. “the shock to rest of world could be significant”

      What shock? If China ‘closes’ another month, the stock markey will go up by another 20%. Guaranteed!

  16. I was reading the comments sections on an article about the swelling new car inventories on dealership lots, and a few people said “they’re never going to lower the prices. They’ll recycle the cars before they do that.” Considering how they move the goal posts all the time in this sham economy, I’d have to say I agree. They are desperate to keep prices up on everything.

      1. Easy – you run a cash for clunkers type scam, this time paying manufacturers money to scrap them.

          1. With the exception of German “Luxury” cars, which are designed to last the life of a typical lease, why would think cars today are not as well built as cars from 15-20 years ago?

          2. 3 reasons:

            1) GDI engines
            2) Use of turbos
            3) CV Transmissions
            4) The use of stop/start to save on fuel

            Today’s powertrains are designed for fuel efficiency, not durability

  17. The Financial Times
    US presidential election
    Biden events leave NY donors with sinking feeling

    Wall Street dealmakers hand over cheques but doubt the former US vice-president’s chances

    1. Incoherent proposals fuel suspicions.

      The Financial Times
      John McTernan
      The left must decide which Green New Deal they want
      Some see the environment as a way to save capitalism and others as a back door to socialism
      4 hours ago

  18. Here’s a fun read …

    Demanding Answers: Business Owners In Grand Central Terminal Say Homeless Population Is Taking Over – CBS New York
    https://newyork.cbslocal.com/2020/02/13/grand-central-terminal-business-owners-homeless/

    (here’s a snip)

    “Germanotta owns Art Bird & Whiskey Bar, one of the restaurants in the lower-level dining concourse of Grand Central Terminal. He says the overwhelming homeless problem has him on the brink of closing. He’s already cut staff.”

    (here’s another snip)

    “Germanotta says he pays about $50,000 a month to the MTA.”

    Bahahahahahaha … This guy is screwed. The system is screwed.

        1. ‘I Cannot Remain Silent’
          A brave voice in China cries out about the regime’s mishandling of the coronavirus.
          By Nicholas Kristof
          Opinion Columnist
          Feb. 15, 2020, 2:30 p.m. ET
          When Dr. Li Wenliang warned about the coronavirus outbreak, he was attacked as a rumormonger. He died from the disease.
          Credit…Anthony Kwan/Getty Images

          China’s mishandling of the coronavirus outbreak has imperiled itself and the world because it is a land of 21st-century science and 19th-century politics.

          Scholars in China predicted a year ago in an article in the journal Viruses that it was “highly likely” that there would be coronavirus outbreaks, calling it an “urgent issue.” Once the outbreak occurred, other Chinese scientists rapidly identified the virus and sequenced its DNA, posting it on Jan. 10 on a virology website for all to see. That was extraordinarily good and fast work.

          Meanwhile, the Communist Party instinctively organized a cover-up, ordering the police to crack down on eight doctors accused of trying to alert others to the risks. National television programs repeatedly denounced the doctors as rumormongers.

          One of those eight doctors, Li Wenliang, caught the virus and died — causing public outrage. Some Chinese make the point that if Li had been in charge of China, rather than President Xi Jinping, many lives might have been saved.

          “The coronavirus epidemic has revealed the rotten core of Chinese governance,” a law professor in Beijing, Xu Zhangrun, wrote this month in an online essay that was immediately banned. “The level of popular fury is volcanic, and a people thus enraged may, in the end, also cast aside their fear.”

          Xu certainly cast aside his own fear, predicting that he would face new punishments but adding, “I cannot remain silent.”

          He called on his fellow Chinese citizens to demand free speech and free elections and urged: “Rage against injustice; let your lives burn with a flame of decency; break through stultifying darkness and welcome the dawn.”

          Xu is now incommunicado, but it is remarkable to see the groundswell of anger online toward the dictatorship. Citizens can’t denounce Xi by name, but they are skilled in evading censors — such as by substituting President Trump’s name for Xi’s.

          It’s difficult to know where this goes, but this incongruity between 21st-century science and 19th-century politics is what a Marxist might call a contradiction. This creates long-term challenges that are growing with a swelling middle class (now larger than America’s) that is impatient with the corrupt, thuggish and narcissistic leadership.

          Ordinary Chinese see through government propaganda and realize that the mishandling of the coronavirus is only one example of the regime’s ineptitude. Xi’s government also mishandled a swine fever outbreak that began in 2018 and has now killed almost one-quarter of the world’s pigs.

          Earlier, China fumbled SARS. And at the beginning of the 2000s, it covered up an AIDS outbreak spread by government-backed blood collection efforts. Vast numbers of impoverished farmers and workers died, for the government response was not to help those infected but to punish doctor whistle-blowers. I will never forget a woman then who tried to give me her 4-year-old son because she was dying of AIDS and her husband had already died.

          Granted, we Americans must have some humility in critiquing the regime, for it’s a tribute to China’s progress that a baby born in Beijing today has a longer official life expectancy (82 years) than a baby born in Washington, D.C. (78), or New York City (81).

          Still, the progress came from China’s technocrats, doctors and scientists, the result in part of opening one new university a week for years. The peak of that technocratic, pragmatic approach came under Prime Minister Zhu Rongji in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

          More recently, Xi has tugged China backward, stifling social media and journalism while cultivating something approaching a North Korea-style personality cult around himself. Xi’s propaganda apparatus extols him for personally directing the efforts against the virus and claims that the World Health Organization sent experts to learn from China’s wise handling of the coronavirus.

          China’s economic and educational success has created a savvy middle class that feels betrayed when the government spouts nonsense and targets doctors rather than a coronavirus. Doctors on the front line are working almost around the clock with limited supplies, taping up masks, using goggles made of plastic folders and eating only one meal a day or wearing diapers so as to go to the bathroom less often (for that means removing protective clothing that can’t be replaced).

          So far, more than 1,700 medical workers have been infected and at least six have died.

          The contrast between heroic doctors and bumbling political leaders could not be more stark.

          Xu’s take is harsher, and his essay is reverberating around China through surreptitious copies. “Faced with this virus, the Leader has flailed about,” Xu wrote. “Although everyone looks to The One for the nod of approval, The One himself is clueless.”

          “Regardless of how good they are at controlling the internet,” Xu added, “they can’t keep all 1.4 billion mouths in China shut.”

          1. “There was truth and there was untruth, and if you clung to the truth even against the whole world, you were not mad.”

            “In a world of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

            ― George Orwell, 1984

        2. China has a propaganda network actively active on the web. It’s a decent job for an English Language major in the PRC.

      1. How many deaths outside of China? Yes, the Chinese are paying me to say they are to blame for an accidental release of a virus from a biowarfare lab and then lied about it. Wow that is a real Mensa accusation.

        1. You have the God-given right to believe whatever conspiracy theory you choose. But coronavirus seems to fail as a weapon in at least three respects:
          1) As you point out daily, it isn’t very efficient at killing people.
          2) It isn’t easily targeted.
          3) So far it’s pretty much only killed those who you claim developed it…rather like shooting one’s self in the foot.

          Emma Grey Ellis
          Culture
          02.04.2020 04:13 PM
          The Coronavirus Outbreak Is a Petri Dish for Conspiracy Theories
          — In times of crisis, a combination of heightened emotions and lack of information combine to create the one thing nearly every conspiracy needs: fearful minds.
          — A woman wearing a medical face mask walks through the courtyard of a palace in South Korea
          Photograph: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

          Misinformation about a new, deadly coronavirus has gone viral. Conspiracy theories and wild claims have been spreading across the global internet since Chinese officials first announced, on December 31, that a mysterious pneumonia was sweeping through the city of Wuhan. A little over a month later, the coronavirus—a respiratory illness that has killed at least 360 people and infected thousands more in over 20 countries—has become a chief concern of not just the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention but for tech companies like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and TikTok. Real human life is at stake, and information channels are clotted with hysteria and falsehood.

          ‘Twas ever thus. Conspiracy theories have dogged disasters and outbreaks of illness probably forever. While the Black Plague ravaged Europe in the 1300s, people became convinced that their Jewish neighbors were furtively poisoning good Christian wells for … reasons. Conspiracy theories about the Wuhan coronavirus, which range from believing the disease is a bioweapon to the result of eating bat soup, are playing an ancient chord. As always, it sounds anxious, racist, and distinctly out of tune with reality.

          1. 1) As you point out daily, it isn’t very efficient at killing people.
            2) It isn’t easily targeted.
            3) So far it’s pretty much only killed those who you claim developed it…rather like shooting one’s self in the foot.

            1, Maybe it was designed to sicken and not to kill. You would want that if you intended to use it against your own population such as in HK to end the riots.
            2. Bioweapons are never easily targeted that is the downside of using them
            3. No one is saying it was intentionally released in Wuhan, we are suggesting it might have been accidentally released while it was being developed before it was deployed on the intended target.

          2. Maybe it was designed to sicken and not to kill.

            It’s like the TV news coverage when not much actual information is available. The talk is relentless. Maybe this, maybe that. Here’s someone who doesn’t know anything actually but has opinions.

    1. This doesn’t make sense.

      “According to the message forwarded to Taiwan News, ‘It’s highly possible to get infected a second time. A few people recovered from the first time by their own immune system, but the meds they use are damaging their heart tissue, and when they get it the second time, the antibody doesn’t help but makes it worse, and they die a sudden death from heart failure.’” (emphasis added)

        1. Perhaps lockdown works better across millions of citizens than on cruise ships?

          LIVE UPDATES
          Coronavirus Live Updates: Xi Began Fighting Virus Earlier Than Known
          Chinese state media released evidence that the country’s leader, Xi Jinping, issued internal orders about the coronavirus epidemic in early January, about two weeks before his first public remarks.
          Right Now
          France announced its first death and its 12th case.
          Here’s what you need to know:
          – Xi began fighting the virus earlier than previously known, a newly published speech indicates.
          – The U.S. says it will evacuate Americans from the cruise ship quarantined off Japan.
          – France announces the first coronavirus death in Europe and its 12th case.
          – China reports more than 2,000 new cases and 139 deaths, most in Hubei.
          – Africa rushes to train health workers.

          1. Given that the Wuhan coronavirus is already spreading outside China, it’s not clear how this lockdown policy can contain the outbreak.

            World News
            February 14, 2020 / 3:31 AM / a day ago
            Under China’s coronavirus lockdown, millions have nowhere to go

            (Reuters) – Around 500 million people in China are currently affected by policies put in place restricting movement, to contain the COVID-19 coronavirus.

            That’s more than the entire population of the United States and is equivalent to roughly 6.5% of the world’s population.

            As of Friday, at least 48 cities and four provinces in China have issued official notices for lockdown policies, with measures ranging from “closed-off management”, where residents of a community have to be registered before they are allowed in or out, to restrictions that shut down highways, railways and public transport systems.

          2. hinese state media released evidence that the country’s leader, Xi Jinping, issued internal orders about the coronavirus epidemic in early January, about two weeks before his first public remarks.

            Pure cult of personality BS. China’s propagandists are going back and fabricating a history that makes the Xi and the CCP look proactive, when the culture they created of suppressing bad news is a prime factor behind the initial spread of the virus and silencing of truth-tellers.

        2. China: “We just shut down our transportation networks, education system, and most factories. Shut up and stop being racist”

      1. Are you doubling down on the debunked conspiracy theory?

        One person says its not true and its debunked. I posted several weeks ago about how in the former soviet union biological weapons escaped. Harvard experts at the time “debunked” the conservative theory that a biological accident had occurred. After the fall of the Soviet Union those same experts admitted they were wrong and found conclusive proof that the “conspiracy theory” was correct. The theory is no more debunked than the theory that Hunter Biden with his father’s and Obama’s knowledge sold influence. Just because someone on the left says something is not true does it mean that it is not true. Right now on the left China is good because it fights Trump and Putin is evil because he hated Clinton. Their belief does not make it so. Putin is a nationalist who the globalists could not control, he is ruthless but just because he does not support gay rights and wants to restore the Russia Orthodox church is he this country’s enemy. Xi wants to destroy Christianity in China perhaps that is the other reason the left likes him. The world really is turned upside down when Russia promotes Christmas and its Christmas tree and Obama always referred to it as a holiday tree and refused to call it the Christmas season. That is the other thing about globalists, they are also very anti-Christian. They want Christianity driven from the public square everywhere.

    2. So many things about this article are suspicious: message forwarded; virus “outsmarted” everyone; false negatives. It sounds to me like damage control ahead of bad news.

        1. Exactly. Now it might be possible to catch it again many months after the first infection, coranavirus immunity is loss pretty quickly but that is even more support for the theory this virus has been loose for much longer than we have been told.

  19. This is from the WHO. It’s 40 minutes long. Warning, there are some disturbing scenes, including a man dying in a hospital and violence.

    Coronavirus Outbreak in China 10 Times Worse Than Reported?
    Premiered 21 hours ago

    ‘On Feb. 12, Hubei health authorities announced an additional 14,840 cases of the coronavirus. It marks the largest single-day rise since the epidemic began and is almost 10 times the number of added cases from the day before. Health authorities said the spike was due to the inclusion of “clinically diagnosed cases” in Hubei. Others suspect the true reason is because of a recent change in top leadership in Hubei province and Wuhan city, as these two Xi Jinping appointees seek to avoid taking responsibility for their predecessors’ incompetence and concealment of the epidemic. To decode these events, Zooming In did a thorough case study of one of China’s most popular media outlet’s coverage of the coronavirus epidemic. We also did a preliminary calculation of the infected population and death toll in Wuhan based on an exclusive investigation by the Epoch Media Group into one of Wuhan’s funeral homes. From there, we will explore the truth of the epidemic, how Chinese leadership view it, their plan going forward and most importantly, what it means for you if the epidemic in China is 10 times worse than reported.’

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-nv7j9HEgY

    1. They certainly are acting as though the situation is far worse than the official numbers indicate. If it does turn out to be ten times larger, the expectations shock will be an epic black swan.

      1. People have been saying for weeks that there were 100,000 cases several weeks ago, how could that be considered a black swan? You know wishing something is true does not make it true. It is baked into the market. That is why it is not even impacting the oil market anymore which is logically the first place it should be hitting. Of course, if I had a car in China, certainly, I would be using it instead of using mass transportation so maybe it makes sense that even oil is not being hit any more. People are going back to work except in Hubei.

        1. ‘People are going back to work except in Hubei’

          No risk there.

          You know, I’m not going to spend hours everyday moderating your virus stuff.

          1. Seriously. Any virus-related articles or comments should have some demonstrable link to housing or the global economy.

          2. I don’t mind posters discussing things of the day. But bring some new information, or make your point.

          3. It will be a while before the MSM catches on to the link between coronavirus and housing.

            The Observer
            ‘Black swan’ coronavirus casts its shadow over the global economy
            Airlines have grounded flights, banks have sent staff home. In China and worldwide, the virus has taken its toll
            Jasper Jolly, Gwyn Topham, Zoe Wood and Kalyeena Makortoff
            Sat 15 Feb 2020 11.00 EST
            Hyundai cars awaiting shipment from its giant Ulsan factory, which suspended operations this month.

            With the coronavirus outbreak spreading far beyond its source in China, companies are braced for a hit on profits as demand slumps and production is disrupted in the world’s second largest economy and beyond.

            Executives face weeks of uncertainty over how many people will catch the virus worldwide and what the full impact will be. Daniel Zhang, the boss of China’s biggest listed company, Alibaba, described the coronavirus outbreak as a potential “black swan” event that could derail the global economy.

            Here are some of the main industries affected so far.

        2. “That is why it is not even impacting the oil market anymore…”

          Ok, boomer.

          CNBC TV
          Oil
          Global oil demand set to see first quarterly decline in over 10 years, IEA says
          Published Thu, Feb 13 2020 4:00 AM EST
          Holly Ellyatt
          Key Points
          — Global oil demand is now expected to see its first quarterly contraction in over a decade, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), as the new coronavirus and widespread shutdown of China’s economy hits demand for crude.
          — Demand is now expected to fall by 435,000 barrels a day (b/d) in the first quarter of 2020, down from the same period a year ago, and marking the first quarterly contraction in more than 10 years, the IEA said in its monthly oil market report Thursday.

          Global oil demand is now expected to see its first quarterly contraction in over a decade, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), as the new coronavirus and widespread shutdown of China’s economy hits demand for crude.

          Demand is now expected to fall by 435,000 barrels a day (b/d) in the first quarter of 2020, down from the same period a year ago, and marking the first quarterly contraction in more than 10 years, the IEA said in its monthly oil market report Thursday.

        3. Coronavirus
          Published February 13
          ‘Black swan’ coronavirus to slam economy 10 times harder than hurricane
          Chinese lockdown slashed work hours by 40 billion

          By Jonathan Garber FOXBusiness

          The accelerating spread of the coronavirus is taking an unexpected toll on the global economy, making it a black swan event, according to Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang.

          The number of new cases surged by more than 15,000 to at least 59,804 Thursday after Chinese authorities began using a new reporting method. Additionally, the death toll climbed by 254 to 1,367.

          “The outbreak is having a significant impact on China’s economy and may potentially affect the global economy,” Zhang said on a company earnings call, explaining his use of the term “black swan,” popularized in Nassim Taleb’s book of the same name about catastrophes so unlikely they are completely unforeseen.

          “The temporary hit from the virus outbreak should be about 10 times as large as the disruptions from a major U.S. hurricane,” wrote Zach Pandl, a strategist at Goldman Sachs. He says the virus’ outbreak, which has paralyzed economic activity in China, will reduce annualized global output by 2 percentage points.

          The disease has already led to the lockdown of more than 60 million people in China, and caused Beijing to extend the Lunar New Year holiday break for scores of state-owned enterprises, resulting in at least 40 billion missed hours of work, according to Pandl.

    2. Warning heeded. My take away after the last few weeks:
      WHO is incompetent; CCP is fraudulent. What a combo!

      1. “My take away after the last few weeks:
        WHO is incompetent; CCP is fraudulent. What a combo!”

        I know it is like watching the Presidential debates of the Democrats.

    3. You have to hope there are many more people infected, with only mild symptoms Because otherwise, that 2 percent death rate among those they know about is horrible. Imagine one out of 50 people you know, know of, work with gone, over and above those who would have died anyway.

      Unless they can conclusively test everyone in that province, there is no way to know at this point. You have to hope many got what they thought was a cold and recovered.

      BTW, don’t assume our government and society would be doing a better job with this than China’s.

    1. “Environmental scientist Dr. Jorge Emmanuel was cited by Health Care Without Harm as saying the burning of medical supplies releases a number of pollutants, including “fly ash; heavy metals such as arsenic, chromium, copper, mercury and lead; acid gases such as hydrogen chloride, hydrogen fluoride, sulfur dioxides, and nitrogen oxides; carbon monoxide; and organic compounds. ”

      So this part of the story is consistent with a large amount of medical supplies being destroyed as they are contaminated with the virus. That makes sense with the large numbers of patients and the need to safely dispose of things like the masks on a daily basis.

    2. A staffer from a funeral home in Wuhan, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak, claims the number of bodies she and her co-workers have had to transport and cremate each day is four to five times higher than the usual amount. Based on the account of the Wuhan funeral home staffer, the daily average number of bodies suspected of being coronavirus victims is estimated at 225, or 4,725 bodies, at a single Wuhan funeral home since Jan. 22.

      There are eight registered funeral homes in Wuhan. If the account of the funeral home staffer is true, this would mean there are 1,628 deaths per day in the city and 34,200 over the past 21 days…

      This is probably closer to the truth than what the CCP is reporting. Who rushes to build hospitals and puts half a billion people on lockdown when a virus had killed less than 50 people (when they first quarantined and broke ground)?

  20. Oh dear. The oligarchy is panicking as its anointed favorite, Joe Biden, is rapidly losing ground to Bernie Sanders. While Biden has trumpeted his alleged support from black voters – based on what, I haven’t a clue – polls show Sanders is gaining ground among African-Americans, who appear to be belatedly realizing they are worse off due to Obama, Biden, and their slavish enabling of crony capitalism.

    https://www.breitbart.com/2020-election/2020/02/15/poll-bernie-sanders-doubles-support-in-texas-ahead-of-super-tuesday/

    A University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll of Democrat voters in the state shows that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has doubled his support ahead of Super Tuesday on March 3.

    The poll shows that Sanders has 24 percent of the self-identified Democrat primary voters, up from 12 percent in October.

    The Tribune reported on the poll, which reflects the changes of the candidate field since the October poll:

    1. “Unfortunately, it quickly became apparent that the Agent also had other effects. About one week after the retardation set in, our subjects developed major anxiety and panic attacks. Eventually they developed symptoms akin to those of paranoid schizophrenics”

      I thought he was going to blame the lab for TDS.

    1. Sanders is a hippie bum loser con artist. He reminds me alot of Karl Marx.

      How could this guy rise to this level to be the front-runner. I’m just shocked .

      1. How could this guy rise to this level to be the front-runner. I’m just shocked .

        I’m not shocked one bit. I expect this when you have the wealthy absolutely raping the rest of the country financially, thanks to the FED and their asset pumping crimes.

        1. I’m not shocked one bit. I expect this when you have the wealthy absolutely raping the rest of the country financially, thanks to the FED and their asset pumping crimes.

          Exactly. I think we’re a small minority who have a good idea exactly who is to blame for this. The masses have no idea and therefore have concluded that all capitalism is crony capitalism. It’s all they’ve ever known.

  21. Already past 2X the 9 months cumulative SARS death toll after only six weeks since the first cases were reported. But our resident expert sez it’s all contained, so no need to worry.

    CNBC TV
    Health and Science
    Coronavirus updates: China death toll at 1,665, cruise operator waits for new test on passenger
    Published Sat, Feb 15 2020 7:15 PM EST
    Updated 13 min ago
    Joanna Tan
    Key Points
    — China’s National Health Commission reported that there were 2,009 new confirmed cases and 142 additional deaths as of Feb. 15.
    — That brings the total number of cases in mainland China to 68,500, and the total deaths so far to 1,665, according the latest statistics from the commission released Sunday.
    — The cruise ship operator for MS Westerdam, the ship that docked in Cambodia last week, said it was waiting on results from a new test to see if a passenger who flew to Malaysia had the virus.
    — China sends more than 25,000 medical workers to Hubei, state-owned Xinhua reported.

  22. Stop having babies to end the climate crisis, says controversial professor
    https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/why-professor-climate-crisis-solution-rankling-twitter-155305526.html

    (snip)

    “An academic is adding her voice to the rising chorus of climate-crisis alarm bells with a newly published manifesto that has been attracting widespread attention for its radical ideas — particularly ‘antinatalism,’ or the end of reproduction as a way of phasing out of the human race.”

    Phasing out the human race.

    (There goes the housing market.)

    (Bummer.)

    1. Unless people like her gain control through fascist governance, the main effect of this kind of proposal is to decrease the future share of people like her in the population.

      1. “… the main effect of this kind of proposal is to decrease the future share of people like her in the population.”

        Is this a form of Darwinism? Should she and her followers be presented with Darwin Awards?

        1. Actually population and pollution is a topic worth talking about. How do you get certain Countries to want to take this seriously.

          I think these sort of issues are worth talking about as opposed to Climate Change.

          I don’t really know how many billions of people are sustainable on this Earth, but I don’t think it’s unlimited. But, it’s best if people volunteer to limit offspring rather than it being enforced on them.

          I know that after the book the Population Explosion came out years ago it convinced a lot of people to have less children. It’s so expensive these days to raise a child in the US that that in itself no doubt is curbing births.

          1. What tends to happen is the rich countries, where the population explosion is a widely known concern, thanks in part to illuminating diatribes by such as the aforementioned professor, tend to collectively fall on their swords, by reproducing at bellow the replacement rate. However, third world countries have a birth rate that more than makes up for the first world baby dearth.

            Until the third world baby boom slows, population growth will remain net positive, with an increasing share of the overall population represented by the third world.

        2. Should she and her followers be presented with Darwin Awards?

          No. If they haven’t already figured that out, we don’t want to alert them to it.

  23. Ideas
    A Coronavirus Quarantine in America Could Be a Giant Legal Mess
    America’s defense against epidemics is divided among more than 2,000 individual public-health departments, which makes implementing a national strategy very difficult.
    7:00 AM ET
    Polly J. Price
    Professor of law and global health at Emory University

    For observers in the United States, it was shocking enough when, in January, the Chinese government effectively sealed off Wuhan, larger in population than New York City. Officials shut down public transportation and blocked highways, confining residents and visitors alike in an attempt to stop the spread of the new coronavirus.

    But in the weeks since, the measures have become more drastic still. The quarantine-style lockdown has since been extended to include more than 50 million people elsewhere in China. Officials have ordered door-to-door checks in Wuhan to round up the infected for further isolation. Anyone who hides infections, one official said, “will be forever nailed to history’s pillar of shame.”

    Putting aside the question of whether such radical measures are even effective, China’s government generally has much more authoritarian control over its population than the American government has over its. If a fast-spreading, deadly epidemic should threaten the United States, could the U.S. government do the same? The answer is yes: American government officials do have extensive authority to implement public-health measures to stop an epidemic, as the Americans on the Diamond Cruise ship in Yokohama, Japan, are now learning. According to The Washington Post, they were told on Saturday that following their two-week quarantine aboard the ship they would face an additional two-week quarantine back in the United States.

  24. The Financial Times
    Coronavirus
    China’s president knew of coronavirus earlier than first thought
    Communist magazine contradicts timeline that blames local officials for virus spread

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