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This Is Getting Real In A Hurry, I Wonder If It’s Too Late?

It’s Friday desk clearing time for this blogger. “California home prices and sales are likely to fall as a result of the coronavirus, according to the California Association of Realtors. Kalena Masching, a Redfin agent in Silicon Valley, saw a sudden shift in the market this week. Last Thursday, on March 5, she listed a home for sale in Mountain View. On Sunday, her client got three strong offers, all over asking price with no contingencies. On Monday two buyers withdrew their offers. The sellers accepted the third offer, which was all cash. On Thursday, that buyer withdrew and stands to lose the earnest-money deposit, Masching said. The homeowners have already moved out and are renting a place, which they can do for a few months to see if the market settles down, but not all sellers can afford two homes at once, she said.”

“Masching said many of her buyers who were planning to make offers last week have pulled back. Most are using stock to fund the down payment ‘and don’t have the purchasing power they had two weeks ago.'”

“Across South Florida, residential, as well as commercial agents say they are concerned about how coronavirus will affect the market and ongoing deals. ‘It is literally the perfect storm for real estate that is not good for the market,’ said Douglas Elliman agent Bill Hernandez.”

“Sales increased in January and February compared with a year earlier, as home sellers dropped prices and bargain-seeking buyers closed deals, brokers said. The median closed sale price was $906,250 in the fourth quarter, about 9% lower than a year earlier, and the number of sales increased year-over-year by 11%, the most recent report from the brokerage Douglas Elliman and the appraisal company Miller Samuel shows.”

“Luxury homes — that is, the top 10% of sales by price — sold for a median of $6.8 million, down more than 13% from a year earlier, the report shows. ‘We’ve bridged the gap; we’ve seen homeowners come down to market value, and that’s all our buyers want, they want to pay market value,’ said Todd Bourgard, a manager and associate broker with Douglas Elliman, based in Westhampton Beach and Bridgehampton.”

“COVID-19 and the economic fallout that has come with it are putting some home buyers and sellers in the Twin Cities on edge. ‘This is getting real in a hurry,’ said Jerry Hall, who was planning to sell his house in Woodbury next year but has decided to get his house on the market as quickly as possible. ‘I wonder if it’s too late,’ he said.’ he said. ‘It will be interesting to see how the dominoes fall on housing.'”

“Houston-area home sales experienced another double-digit gain in February as buyers came out in droves to take advantage of low mortgage rates. But with the local economy in peril amid plunging oil prices and disruption from the coronavirus, sellers are starting to worry the busy market won’t last. Real estate agent Jessie Singh said the owner of one of her listings in Rice Military instructed her to accept an offer he had declined before the oil and stock markets plummeted on Monday.”

“‘He literally sent me a text that said: ‘Accept this offer,’ said Singh of JSingh Homes.”

“‘Craziness’ was on Realtors‘ minds Thursday, the day after the World Health Organization first called the outbreak a pandemic and the global crisis hit as close to home as could be for Oklahoma City. ‘My concern isn’t so much the virus itself, it’s the overwhelming disruption it is and will continue to cause,’ said agent Erik Love. As the virus spreads, more and more places will quarantine, which will lead to missed paychecks, and less overall spending, also potentially leading to DTI (debt-to-income ratio) being thrown off, causing buyers to become less qualified to purchase. I do expect to see a reduction in home sales and prices even after this has passed for some time.'”

“Realtors on Facebook Thursday were bracing for impact. ‘I’m not panicking but I do believe we are about to experience a big shift in the market. I’ve already had several out-of-state buyers cancel trips,’ one posted. The oil price collapse hit harder than the prospect of disease, some Realtors said on a Facebook page. ‘We personally put our house hunt (or building plans) on hold because I’m straight commission and my husband is in the oil field,’ one said. ‘The economy is struggling right now. For now my husband’s pay is the same. But I have buyers who are scared they won’t have a job here soon, or will have a job with reduced pay.'”

“The conversation: ‘I work with a lot of out-of-state investors. I haven’t had anyone back out because of ‘Corona,’ but I had one decide not to buy right now because of the uncertainty with the oil sector. He doesn’t feel like now is the right time to start investing in Oklahoma. His thought is that we could be at the beginning of a huge crash. He’s wants to to wait and see whether home prices will drop.'”

“‘And by doing that he is contributing to a crash. Haha.’ ‘Yep. It’s wild.'”

“With turmoil in financial markets pushing many key interest rates to record lows, why are mortgage rates going … higher? The economic damage from the global coronavirus outbreak has freaked out financial markets and caused most interest rates to plummet. However, this week real estate saw a hiccup. What should have been an added boon to the real estate market, even cheaper mortgages, didn’t materialize.”

“The gap between what lenders are charging and what the bond market is saying is historically wide. When I put into my trusty spreadsheet a half-century’s worth of rate data, I found this week’s gap between these two key interest rates — what’s loosely a big part of mortgage-making profit — at 2.82 percentage points. How big is that? It’s the largest gap in 12 years. Since 1972 — years that included numerous periods of double-digit mortgage rates — this gap has been wider only 4% the time. And over 48 years, this spread between mortgage rates and Treasury yields has averaged 1.7 percentage points.”

“‘Somehow, someway, mortgage rates actually moved higher this week, touching their highest level in almost a month despite immense volatility in the markets and Treasury yields falling and remaining near all-time lows,’ wrote Zillow Economist Matthew Speakman. ‘So, what’s the deal?'”

“Municipal-bond prices plunged to record lows Thursday amid a selloff in stocks and other assets, as investors dumped even gold-plated debt. Yields jumped 58% from Tuesday through Thursday on 30-year bonds, according to Refinitiv, the biggest three-day increase since the firm began keeping records in 1981. The S&P Municipal Bond Index experienced its biggest one-day drop in more than a decade. Bond yields rise as prices fall.”

“‘Today was the weakest day on record for the muni-bond market and prices fell faster than they ever have before,’ said Matt Fabian, a partner at Municipal Market Analytics. ‘To the upside, we’ve gotten rid of some of the pricing excesses of 2019.'”

“Adam Weigold, who manages $5.5 billion in municipal-bond mutual funds at Eaton Vance, said he was surprised to see so many funds selling bonds in response to outflows, rather than using cash to reimburse investors. ‘I would have thought there would have been more cash out there,’ he said.”

“A gyrating stock market is seizing headlines as the coronavirus threatens corporate profits and economic growth. Yet it’s in the normally temperate bond market, where companies go to borrow money, where the gravest dangers may lurk. The numbers are enormous.”

“Having binged on borrowing, companies that are outside the financial sector owe $9.6 trillion in the United States — up more than 50% in a decade. Worldwide, companies have issued $13 trillion in bonds, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. That’s twice what they owed in the financial crisis year of 2008. Corporate debt in China alone has soared from virtually nothing to $590 billion.”

“Add in what companies owe banks and other creditors, and their debts come to $75 trillion worldwide, up from $32 trillion in 2005, the Institute of International Finance says. Companies had been selling tens of billions in new bonds each month. That pace ground to halt in late February. Companies started canceling sales as investors balked at buying corporate bonds. In the last week of that month, no U.S. company sold new bonds, according to S&P. That’s virtually unheard of outside of a holiday or an emergency like the financial crisis.”

“The canceled sales coincide with perilous times for many companies. Oxford Economics has warned that nearly $4 trillion of U.S. corporate bonds will come due within five years — a ‘massive wall of maturities,’ it calls it. Corporate America has used new bond sales to pay off old bond holders, akin to homeowners during the housing bubble paying off their mortgages with proceeds from new mortgages. Now, the corporate refinancing cycle is shuddering.”

“Money manager Marilyn Cohen is telling her clients with bonds to stay calm and ride out the storm and not force her to sell in a market with so few buyers. But not everyone is listening. ‘One lady said she wanted to sell, and I said, ‘To who?’ Cohen recalled.”

“Stocks of the nation’s homebuilders are tanking, on pace for their worst day since Dec. 1, 2008, when the subprime mortgage crisis brought the whole housing market to its knees. In addition, Bank of America downgraded Lennar, Toll Brothers and NVR, saying that while they are still bullish on housing, ‘We would be remiss to assume no impact on end-market demand from COVID-19.'”

“Names like D.R. Horton and Pulte are down double digits on the day and well off 52-week highs. Toll Brothers in particular, a luxury builder, will likely be impacted by the massive drop in the stock market. Shares of Lennar were down more than 10%, while Toll Brothers shares had shed more than 13%, and the stock was down almost 50% from its 52-week high.”

This Post Has 268 Comments
  1. Email:

    27 New Foreclosures in COCONINO County, AZ

    No room for international crater. I’ll catch up this weekend.

  2. “Municipal-bond prices plunged to record lows Thursday amid a selloff in stocks and other assets, as investors dumped even gold-plated debt.”

    Gold plated? NY has run up massive debts and pension obligations. My view is that people under the age of 60 have a very limited moral obligation to repay those debts, as we didn’t make the decisions and got only a small share of the past benefits. Those under the age of 40 have NO moral obligations to those debts.

    It’s similar elsewhere. Some places have less in debt and pension obligations, but those same places have less willingness to pay taxes and a something for nothing mentality. So it’s only a question of why default, not whether.

      1. The Boomer generation has done more than any generation in our history to tear down public morality and virtues. It would be poetic justice if that came back to bite them hard before they shuffle off this mortal coil.

          1. No they over promised cheese they did not have while asking others to pay for said cheese who had no part in the negotiations.

          2. speaking of cheese we are flooded weekly with great cheese sales , maybe its time to give out cheese to Food stamp recipients again….

  3. ‘This is getting real in a hurry…I wonder if it’s too late’

    Sir, this is a Wendy’s.

    1. When I was in college, there was a Wendy’s near campus. It was a favorite spot for me and my buddy Dennis. They made great burgers back then.

      I watched Trump news conference. Sounds like to get tested you will enter your information on a google page and be directed to a Walmart parking lot for testing. Maybe I’ve listened to Alex Jones too many times, but this arrangement seems like a foreshadowing of something not so benevolent.

      Also heard talk of more bail out bolshevism. This time for the cruise industry. Why don’t they have insurance for this? Seems like such an event would be the first thing you’d get insurance for.

      Hoping to see some specuvestors puke up some overpriced vacation rental property this summer after tourism industry hits bottom. I’ll be bargain hunting.

      1. You’d think the government bailout authorities would realize they have devastated the private insurance industry in areas where bailouts are routinely trotted out in troubled times.

      2. Las Vegas RE seems like it might end up being the epicenter of the corona crater. Was already ripe for an implosion. With 90% vacancy rates a lot of mortgages payments are Not going to be being made.

        1. “…a lot of mortgages payments are Not going to be being made.”

          Servicing debt will likely get moved downward on the priority rankings as paychecks dwindle with employer closings.

  4. ‘The conversation: ‘I work with a lot of out-of-state investors. I haven’t had anyone back out because of ‘Corona,’ but I had one decide not to buy right now because of the uncertainty with the oil sector. He doesn’t feel like now is the right time to start investing in Oklahoma. His thought is that we could be at the beginning of a huge crash. He’s wants to to wait and see whether home prices will drop.’”

    ‘And by doing that he is contributing to a crash. Haha’

    Gallows humor – check!

    ‘I haven’t had anyone back out because of ‘Corona,’ but I had one decide not to buy right now’

    Contradict yourself, you do – Yoda.

    1. “He’s wants to to wait and see whether home prices will drop.”

      Deep down, he knows home prices “should” drop, but what he really wants are guarantees from Powell and Mnuchin.

  5. ‘instructed her to accept an offer he had declined before the oil and stock markets plummeted on Monday…‘He literally sent me a text that said: ‘Accept this offer’

    Don’t screw up the comps!

  6. ‘many of her buyers who were planning to make offers last week have pulled back. Most are using stock to fund the down payment ‘and don’t have the purchasing power they had two weeks ago’

    If you a asking me to predict the housing market, you are asking me to predict the stock market – bay aryan broker.

  7. ‘Somehow, someway, mortgage rates actually moved higher this week, touching their highest level in almost a month despite immense volatility in the markets and Treasury yields falling and remaining near all-time lows,’ wrote Zillow Economist Matthew Speakman. ‘So, what’s the deal?’

    Yip yip yip yip yip yip yip yip
    Sha na na na, sha na na na na
    Sha na na na, sha na na na na
    Sha na na na, sha na na na na
    Sha na na na, sha na na na na
    Yip yip yip yip yip yip yip yip
    Mum mum mum mum mum mum
    Get a job, sha na na na, sha na na na na

    1. “…Somehow, someway, mortgage rates actually moved higher….

      Cut from Article in MarketWatch. [1]

      “So, why then did mortgage rates increase? That comes down to a lender’s capacity. Experts had warned that most lenders did not have the staff to handle an increase, in part because lenders had been letting go of employees in 2018 and 2019 in anticipation of higher rates causing lower demand for loans”

      I don’t work in the financial industry, but this explanation doesn’t pass the smoke test for me. Seems to be yet another REIConplex bogus story.

      [1] Here is link to original article

      https://www.marketwatch.com/story/mortgage-rates-increased-this-week-despite-the-coronavirus-turmoil-heres-why-you-havent-missed-the-chance-to-refinance-2020-03-12

      1. In this country debt = money. I wonder if the money supply is shrinking.

        Specifically, has anyone heard anything about Fannie and Freddie in the pasts few days? With all the other news…

        I could see the housing market locking up for months, followed by a couple of years when only forced sellers sell. Followed by the Baby Boomer selloff.

        1. “…In this country debt = money….”

          That was Robert Kiyosaki’s (Rich Dad, Poor Dad) sales pitch.

          Guess he plum forgot to tell his faithful followers, that the knife always cuts both ways.

          Wonder where the “dad” is these days?

          Probably laying low and ‘social distancing’ himself from those who got snookered by his ‘teachings’ and also have anger management issues.

          1. “But where the Fed has catastrophically failed, is in addressing the most important task facing it this moment: easing the unprecedented dollar shortage which is getting worse by the minute.

            Despite the barrage of central bank actions meant, more than anything, to ease bank fears that dollars will not be available when needed to rollover trillions in maturing debt, the dollar has seen a relentless surge higher, with today’s move shocking in its severity and consistency.”

            Sounds like a good time to have some cash savings!

  8. So much for the false theory that housing would hold up just fine while stocks cratered.

    Happy Friday the 13th!

          1. Apples and oranges

            Not so much. A cautionary tale. How about in the US after the roaring ’20s blowout?

          2. I see the similarity of a liquidity trap, but not much else. I’ll reconsider when the price of land in the U.S. starts falling.

        1. I bought that dip when I was young and naive in the early 1990s. Cashed out a few years later after abandoning all hope in the face of nonstop deflation.

          1. I’ve heard predictions of deflation. I’ve heard predictions of hyperinflation. I have no idea what to do.

          2. I applied to government jobs for a reason. I lost my job in the last recession and I hope to not lose my job in the next. I’m in a much better position now, thankfully.

          3. You did good, oxide. You even bought your house at a great time. You took a lot of flack for it, but after rents hyperinflated your decision in hindsight was golden.

    1. Real Estate
      New York real estate hit by coronavirus, market decline
      Published Thu, Mar 12 2020 1:08 PM EDT
      Updated Thu, Mar 12 2020 2:23 PM EDT
      Robert Frank
      Key Points
      – Sellers are now even more reluctant to list their homes, fearing falling prices and the risks of having strangers touring their apartments as the coronavirus spreads.
      – Would-be buyers are also postponing decisions, according to Halstead.
      – Manhattan real estate was already in a two-year slump.

      Plunging stocks and coronavirus fears are starting to hit the New York City real estate market.

      Forty-four open houses had zero traffic last weekend, according to Fritz Frigan, executive director of sales and leasing at the New York residential real estate brokerage Halstead. Those 44 empty open houses represented 13% of all open houses, up from 9% two weeks earlier.

      The average attendance at open houses in New York fell 27% to an average of 4.1 people per event from an average of 5.6 on Feb. 23, before the virus was reported in New York.

      “With nervousness about their decimated stock portfolios comes insecurity about real estate valuations,” Frigan said. “If buyers feel that values of real estate will further depreciate because of the virus and financial instability, they will postpone their decisions to buy.”

        1. “So far this is exactly October 2008,” Nicholas Colas, former hedge-funder and author of Datatrek’s newsletter, wrote Thursday morning.’

          ‘But the thing is, the market has realized the exact same thing, which is changing the dynamics from the 2008 model. Essentially, it has become paradoxical: Because this is like 2008, everyone has realized that it’s like 2008. That makes it different from 2008.’

          “We’re dropping faster than at the start of the financial crisis because everyone knows that playbook and are trying to run ahead of it,” Colas told Yahoo Finance.’

          https://finance.yahoo.com/news/so-far-this-is-exactly-october-2008-veteran-hedge-funder-160637071.html

          1. Sylvester Turner (Mayor of Houston)

            ‘The world is not coming to an end. But if it is all that bottle water and toilet paper you are buying will not get used.’

            A reply:

            ‘How about fixing our roads!?!?!?’

      1. “Plunging stocks and coronavirus fears are starting to hit the New York City real estate market.”

        NYC RE been dropping like a turd in the well since 2015.

        “Forty-four open houses had zero traffic last weekend, according to Fritz Frigan, executive director of sales and leasing at the New York residential real estate brokerage Halstead. Those 44 empty open houses represented 13% of all open houses, up from 9% two weeks earlier.”

        Where are the money launders from China? Oops they are dead.

        1. “Oops they are dead.”

          This is why i urge all my sellers NOW IS THE BEST TIME TO SELL! Sell before your buyers are dead! Buyers, NOW IS THE BEST TIME TO BUY! buy before YOUR dead! RPR thats you!

          1. RPR thats you!

            Encinitas house is almost ready to list. We moved more stuff yesterday in the rain expecting more rain next week and anticipating school closures. There’s been no response to my interest letter mailed one month ago. I’m hoping the volatility in the stock market and this pandemic change their minds.

          2. change their minds

            I suspect that in short order lots of people will have a changed mood, if not a changed mind.

          3. “Encinitas house is almost ready to list.”

            Smart! hope it all goes smooth for you. IIRC you dont HAVE to buy as you are renting your current shelter. might work out in your favor to unload this one at what i would think is the absolute peak of this bubble (of course i could be wrong and it could keep bubbling up…) and then let this cervesa sickness play out, panic sellers sell at more reasonable prices and get you in your ideal shelter at a good / better than the over inflated now price!

          4. IIRC you dont HAVE to buy as you are renting your current shelter.

            Our current shelter is a rental. Between rent, a mortgage and now storage, I’d prefer that this not drag out too long. For a 1031 exchange, we need to identify a replacement property within 45 days. Hence, my needling the owners of the house I’ve had six months to ponder.

  9. Given the silver price crash, I have been considering making another purchase. But I just saw my local coin shop jacked the premium to $4 over spot on American Silver Eagles. WTF? That’s $.75 more than I paid last time, which was already a bit rich.

    1. Yeah, that’s exactly the thing to watch with these dealers. You want to do business with somebody who is consistent with their pricing. Scratch that guy off the list.

    2. I was going to sell some silver, but procrastinated and now the price has dropped too low.

      I wonder if the palladium bubble will reinflate? It was over 2700 three weeks ago, then crashed to below 1600. ATM, on Kitco, the bid-ask spread is $150, LOL.

    3. It’s been a rough week for The Precious. What do you all think of the theory that gold owners have been selling to raise cash in order to cover losses elsewhere?

      1. It’s pretty interesting how quickly stock market losses morphed into gold losses!

        Gold futures suffer biggest weekly loss in over 8 years
        Published: March 13, 2020 at 1:54 p.m. ET
        By Myra P. Saefong

        Gold futures fell sharply on Friday for a fourth session in a row, posting a weekly loss of more than 9%–the largest since September 2011. “It seems that investors have been selling gold in order to cover losses elsewhere,” said Caroline Bain, chief commodities economist at Capital Economics, in a note. “Ample liquidity in the gold market means that the sale of gold holdings is a relatively quick and seamless way to raise cash in times of need.

    4. The US Mint just ran out of American silver eagles. Now dealers are expecting that shortage to ripple into further runs on physical as customers turn to mints from other countries. Last year the Perth Mint had its best year ever. They must be really humming now.

      1. Yeah, I’m getting the “shortage” schtick from the dealers. I decided to call around. One guy said “I’m not buying or selling right now, I am waiting for the market to settle down.”

        Oh well. I’ve got enough silver. I don’t need to pay some ridiculous premium over spot, especially when prices could very well continue falling. I wouldn’t be surprised if silver fell under $10. What’s to say it won’t?

        1. $4/ounce premium on a coin is 27%. If you buy a 10-ounce bar, it can be as cheap as 7.5% premium. If silver goes to $10, I’d buy kelo bars, at a premium of 2.7%.

          1. The bid/ask spread went stupid today. When things like that happen, I step back. What I’ve found is these gold and silver dealers are making hay both ways. You would think since there’s a “shortage,” that they’d be chomping at the bit to buy, and the bid would have gone up to, right? Nope. In fact, one dealer didn’t even want to buy any. These guys just want a massive cut.

        1. A cascading debt default situation drives prices of real assets lower, as they have to be sold to cover cash obligations. They say that PMs hold their purchasing power in a deflation, but I think that is code for cash is king in a deflation.

          1. But with the Fed pumping in liquidity, we don’t really have that. Rather we have massive volatility and uncertainty about market value.

  10. Interesting stuff. Here in my neighborhood in Folsom a couple of 3br, 500k-ish houses went on the market a couple of weeks ago and both have sold signs on them now. It’ll be interesting to see if the owners get out under the wire or if they fall through.

    1. Interesting. I’d think that all potential buyers would be busy standing in line at Costco waiting for TP.

        1. Yes there is. It’s the end of Cavit Drive, close to where Bidwell crosses Lincoln Highway. There’s a Sam’s Club too.

      1. “…standing in line at Costco waiting for TP.”

        I was at Costco in Wenatchee, WA yesterday afternoon. Not a single roll of toilet paper to be seen, and I bought the last 8-pack of Kleenex tissues. Then I went to Lowe’s hardware on the other side of the river, and there stood a island of 3M N95 masks near the cash registers, 10pc per box, one box per customer. But still no hand sanitizer or germ wipes!

  11. Capitol Report
    Coronavirus stimulus package ‘remains elusive’ as Washington is focused on ‘disaster relief,’ analysts say
    Published: March 13, 2020 at 11:47 a.m. ET
    By Victor Reklaitis
    ‘Investors should be aware that this package is the “disaster relief” and [that] the fiscal stimulus that Wall Street is hoping for remains elusive’
    All public tours at the U.S. Capitol are suspended until the end of March due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Getty

    While Republican and Democratic leaders say they’re close to a deal on a coronavirus bill, analysts are stressing the latest legislative effort isn’t designed to deliver a big boost to the economy or markets.

    The bill — which the Democratic-led House was expected to pass on Friday — is aimed at providing paid sick leave for people affected by the novel coronavirus causing the disease COVID-19 and free testing for the disease, among other measures. A key sticking point has been how to structure any paid sick leave, with Republicans insistent on a temporary program.

    “Investors should be aware that this package is the ‘disaster relief’ and [that] the fiscal stimulus that Wall Street is hoping for remains elusive,” said analysts at Beacon Policy Advisors in a note Friday.

    1. “A key sticking point has been how to structure any paid sick leave, with Republicans insistent on a temporary program.”

      Presumably Coronavirus will be a temporary disease; for example, less the five years. So if you tie the sick leave to coronavirus, then the aid will be temporary too. I’d bet that the Dems are trying to sneak in language that would apply to aid to any sickness, thus making the sick leave permanent.

  12. Los Alamitos, CA Housing Prices Crater 10% YOY As Orange County Housing Market Turns Toxic On Skyrocketing Mortgage Defaults And Collapsing Demand

    https://www.zillow.com/los-alamitos-ca/home-values/

    *Select price from dropdown menu on first chart

    As an noted economist said, “With 25 million excess, empty and defaulted houses out there, there is no need to build more.”

  13. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/12/coronavirus-new-york-real-estate-hit-by-market-decline-virus-fears.html

    “Sellers are now even more reluctant to list their homes, fearing falling prices and the risks of having strangers touring their apartments. Early spring is usually a prime selling season in New York, yet listings for this year barely increased, up 2%, while last year’s listing growth during the same time period grew 9%, according to real estate appraiser Miller Samuel.”

    And speaking of contradiction, can’t you guys even lie straight?

    https://www.movoto.com/brooklyn-ny/market-trends/
    https://www.movoto.com/long-island-city-ny/market-trends/
    https://www.movoto.com/new-york-ny/market-trends/

  14. Notice from PUSD: Nearly all school districts in San Diego County are closing for the next few weeks. Coupled with rain, I may need to raid Costco’s wine section.

    1. Good luck! It’s a good time to have all of your kids past PUSD attendance age. (Though ours may soon be coping with adjustment to online college class format…)

    2. I may need to raid Costco’s wine section.

      This is why I keep a few hundred bottles stashed at home…just in case! 🙂

        1. It’s a sickness — but it has freed us up to focus on buying food to go with our wine hoard 🙂

  15. DOW is back up. It’s as if they’re trying to wish this all away. Wait until the test kits start arriving, if they ever do.

    The stores were busy in a normal way on Wednesday night, but friends tell me they are very crowded today. Everyone became triggered when the schools were closed. As usual, they are buying water and toilet paper, but not cough drops or meat to freeze.

    1. My daughter is out shopping and freaked out about the line out the door (at Trader Joe’s). Had to call her mom for reassurance…

    2. Wait until the test kits start arriving, if they ever do.

      We’ve all had the sniffles since my boss brought something back from Japan a couple weeks ago. My wife understandably wanted to get us tested. Called the PCP, they said DON’T COME IN, we’ll interview you on a video call. So we all talked to them this morning and they decided we were unlikely to have it so they won’t recommend testing yet. So that’s how they keep from using up all the kits. However they assured us that they do have kits if we get a fever and start hacking stuff up. In the meantime they want us to just stay home and do the same thing we would do if we did have it. Hmmmm.

    3. “meat to freeze”

      My freezer is full of meat, frozen vegetables, and two loaves of bread. Was just at the local Walmart and it was a zoo, need to go back at 6am tomorrow to add some more canned goods, pasta, rice, etc to the hoard.

      1. HBB started off as an intelligent board. The regular posters probably got here by the same route I did: I saw that something was wrong with house prices and went googling for answers. I’m pretty sure this place has made me smarter, and certainly started me on my money and banking “journey.”

        So of course all of us would know that viruses are not something to be toyed with, that 100 cases can turn into 1000 cases very quickly, and that it’s never too early to prep.

  16. “Wait until the test kits start arriving, if they ever do.”

    Ah the federal government. Is it good at anything other than bombing other countries?

    1. The whole test kit snafu sounds exactly like something a bureaucratic government agency would do. All wrapped up in red tape.

      1. But the thing is if we were to bomb a country, we would be ready in a moment’s notice.

        Sad pretty sad.

        1. if we were to bomb a country ??

          Its what we do best…Look at the military ad’s…They are all about war and killing because that’s what sells to a teenage mind…

  17. Was thinking about COVID-19 and the high infection rate on the cruise ships. There’s talk that it is airborne, and can also linger in the air, which would lend credibility to the idea that the virus was being pumped through the ventilation systems on the ship.

    If that is true, it would stand to reason that the spread is not just from sneezes and coughs from one person to the other, but that you could catch the virus merely breathing contaminated air inside a small space such as an office or a small store, etc. This would mean that you don’t have to be in close contact with an infected person, but could just happen to stop into a place where infected people had been previously and get sick yourself. Does this seem like a reasonable explanation as to why it’s so contagious?

    1. Right now the coronavirus numbers point to an R-not value of 3-4. The most contagious is measles with an R-not of 14-15. So if it’s airborne, it either doesn’t live long or it doesn’t go far. It might just be very persistent on surfaces or in droplets.

  18. On Sunday, her client got three strong offers, all over asking price with no contingencies. On Monday two buyers withdrew their offers. The sellers accepted the third offer, which was all cash.

    But don’t be sad
    Cuz three out of three ain’t bad….

  19. On Sunday, her client got three strong offers, all over asking price with no contingencies. On Monday two buyers withdrew their offers. The sellers accepted the third offer, which was all cash. On Thursday, that buyer withdrew and stands to lose the earnest-money deposit, Masching said.

    But don’t be sad
    Cuz three out of three ain’t bad.

  20. Stocks CRATERING
    Housing CRATERING
    Rental Rates CRATERING
    Crude and Retail Fuel CRATERING
    Gold CRATERING
    Silver CRATERING
    ag Commodity and Retail Food CRATERING

    Gotta love the CRATERING

  21. Most are using stock to fund the down payment ‘and don’t have the purchasing power they had two weeks ago.’”

    To say the very least.

  22. ‘I wonder if it’s too late,’ he said.’ he said. ‘It will be interesting to see how the dominoes fall on housing.’”

    We renters don’t just find it interesting. It’s entertaining as well. Die, speculator scum!

  23. His thought is that we could be at the beginning of a huge crash. He’s wants to to wait and see whether home prices will drop.’”

    “‘And by doing that he is contributing to a crash. Haha.’ ‘Yep. It’s wild.’”

    Gosh, if enough people think that way, it could become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

  24. Yields jumped 58% from Tuesday through Thursday on 30-year bonds, according to Refinitiv, the biggest three-day increase since the firm began keeping records in 1981.

    Is that a lot?

        1. If you knew bailouts were in the works for a firm that is starting to look like a horse at the glue factory, then this might be a good time to snap up corporate debt.

  25. Add in what companies owe banks and other creditors, and their debts come to $75 trillion worldwide, up from $32 trillion in 2005, the Institute of International Finance says.

    Heckova job, central bankers.

        1. I guess something that can go on forever will, huh? It’s great they found a new economic paradigm.

          1. So what is the rationale for buying oil. I guess it makes sense if you assume it is undervalued, or if you want to support its price.

          2. So what is the rationale for buying oil.

            Probably just a little shot at the Russians and Saudis. “Hey, thanks for the cheaper oil. We love it and are going to buy a bunch up.”

          3. Also to help keep our shale producers above water while demand is collapsed and a price war rages…

  26. ‘I would have thought there would have been more cash out there,’ he said.”

    No, Adam. This is what a liquidity crunch looks like. And when credit seizes up, it’s game over for the Fed’s asset bubbles and Ponzi markets.

  27. orporate America has used new bond sales to pay off old bond holders, akin to homeowners during the housing bubble paying off their mortgages with proceeds from new mortgages.

    No, it’s more like Bernie Madoff using new clients to bilk his old clients.

    1. No I thought that Corporate America was issuing new bonds to pay the *minimum payment* on the old bonds, not pay the old bonds off. How many entities pay anything “off” anymore?

      1. to pay the *minimum payment* on the old bonds

        Shouldn’t they be able to do that with their ample profits? My employer released quarterly numbers last week, sales and profit are up, even though we are lackluster in “the cloud” and are still considered to be a “legacy” tech firm.

  28. Is now a good time for dips to buy?

    The Tell
    Where does the stock market go from here after the worst drop since 1987? Here’s what the analyst who called the 2018 rout says
    Published: March 13, 2020 at 2:21 p.m. ET
    By Mark DeCambre
    ‘Fed action is likely to be imminent, swift and substantial. While that will not present a recession, it is part of the bottoming process especially if fiscal policy follows…’ says Mike Wilson
    Michael Wilson Bloomberg
    Michael Wilson, Morgan Stanley’s chief U.S. equity strategist, said that it may be time to jump back into stocks after the stock market plunged into a bear market with the sharpest one-day slump since the 1987 crash.

    “We are now trading slightly below our downside case on the S&P 500 and believe it is time to start adding to equity risk for longer term investors,” analysts led by Wilson wrote in a Thursday note.

    ‘We are now trading slightly below our downside case on the S&P 500 and believe it is time to start adding to equity risk for longer term investors.’
    — Michael Wilson and Morgan Stanley team

    The strategists said that based on their analysis, the recent drop for the S&P 500 (SPX, 2.799%) from its Feb. 19 peak is overdone and represents an outlier that could point to an opportunity for investors (see attached table):

    1. I saw that article on Marketwatch. In the photo, Michael Wilson is a dead ringer for Peyton Manning.

    2. Turns out that dead cats DO bounce, with sufficient encouragement from plunge protection authorities.

  29. Is anybody really a believer in this 1,000 point rally? I think there’s a huge leg down to come.

    1. I believe it. There’s no way they are going to let it drop further.
      This is the ONLY game in town.

      1. I don’t. The Fed is pulling out all the stops, and this is all the so-faux “rally” they get? We’ve entered the end-game, and it’s not going to be pretty.

        1. That’s the problem with a balloon that’s got a huge hole ripped in the side of it. Got to keep pumping more and more to keep it up.

          1. That’s a good way to put it. And if the cases of Coronavirus in the US are anything like in Italy or Iran, we are in BIG trouble over the next week. Not only will this balloon pop anyway, but they will have wasted trillions of dollars on air. They may as well just our money and let the Dow drop another 50% (or more).

          2. It’s like a leaking rear main seal on an engine. At first it’s just a few drops here and there. After a while, you’re adding a quart every 500 miles. Then is starts to get really bad and it’s pushing out a quart every 50 miles. Finally, it’s leaking like a sieve and you can’t even drive it anymore.

          3. Why not let it bottom out, then buy the shares back at fire sale prices? Seems like you could save dollars taking advantage of this approach.

      2. There’s no way they are going to let it drop further.

        They’ll do their best to stop it. But I think it’s going to take more than what they’ve done so far. They pulled the trigger and shot half a trillion into the vortex the other day if I understand correctly and still ended up down for the day.

        1. That is the multi-trillion dollar question!

          If they have the wherewithal to contain this, why didn’t they do anything until 20%+ of crater?

    1. There’s some sense in that. There’s value even in the avoidance of bad press. But April 11 is too soon.

      1. I’ve never heard of suspending operations and going to zero revenue (not just losses, but ZERO revenue) as being bullish for a stock. I guess we are in a new paradigm.

  30. “The people will be crushed under the burden of taxes, loan after loan will be floated; after having drained the present, the State will devour the future.”
    —Fredric Bastiat

    1. Dow Jones Industrial Average

      Last Updated: Mar 13, 2020 at 3:58 p.m. EDT
      22,967.12
      1,766.50 8.33%

      1. If ever there was a sign of market manipulation, today was it.

        Dow Jones Industrial Average
        Closed
        Last Updated: Mar 13, 2020 at 4:06 p.m. EDT
        23,185.96
        +1,985.34
        +9.36%

          1. Helicopter drops that land on Wall Street are crony capitalism Socialism for the wealthy, not communism.

            Fixed it for ya.

          2. Helicopter drops

            Speaking of which, a lot of people are going to find themselves with greatly reduced incomes: hospitality, tourism, airline, retail, etc. employees.

            I’ll bet not too many people will be kicking the tires at car dealerships in the next few months, or buying big ticket items, unless their hand is forced.

            They could all use a “helicopter drop”, but won’t be getting one.

          3. “Socialism for the wealthy”

            It seems like a primary goal of socialism is wealth redistribution, while these policies tend to further concentrate wealth on the wealthy and well-connected…kind of the opposite, really.

        1. The DOW went from 21,807, straight up to the closing number – a 1,300+ point moonshot in the final hour of trading.

  31. It was so nice to spend the the last couple of days in the real world talking to people who understand what’s going on and why.

    1. Working as a commercial service electrician, every day is a day in the real world talking to people who understand what’s going on and why.

  32. This is a good one, we just canceled a contract we had for a home in Oceanside. There were 4 other offers, 1 other cash, we won by going 5k over, inspection came back all the wood is termite infested and the large pine tree hanging over the home from the neighbor is a fire hazard, can’t be insured, and the roots are lifting the patio and will soon be at the foundation. Our counter was lower the price $30k ($549,000 listed price) and ask neighbor to remove tree. So we canceled and the listing realtor went ballistic accusing us of submitting a high offer just to negotiate during the contingency period… well YES why wouldn’t we! We are the 2nd people who walked form this house over the tree during inspection.

        1. You only have to disclose what you know. 77 y/o women prolly had no idea the exterior of the house was infested but just sticking your finger in the eves and it crumbled. I’m told most 30y/o So Cal houses have this termite damage.

          I have a friend who bought a house and the inspector missed a sagging beam holding up the roof (big $$$) and another who had pipes leaking under the slab (also big $$$) . They each had zero recourse.

          1. You only have to disclose what you know.

            Wouldn’t that include the inspection from the previous offer that fell through? There’s no putting that genie back in the bottle.

    1. When somebody starts to get emotional in any deal, I bail. I don’t have time for those types.

      1. Is there a blackmail story coming next?

        Or maybe he’s gonna announce that he’s very ill.

  33. Bureaucratic red tape in health care cut for the national emergency. Dems may have a hard time arguing to retie it tighter.

  34. “Only Idaho, Alabama, West Virginia and Alaska remained with no reported cases, according to those states’ health departments.”

    I think it’s only West Virginia that remains case-free.

      1. K-12 schools now closed in Washington state. I just saw my first glimpse of panic style hoarding at our local Safeway. Canned goods shelf nearly picked clean; shopping carts filled to the top, heaping. And I’m in flyover land, population 7,500.

        1. I haven’t seen that kind of hoarding here, and I was at King Soopers (Kroger) yesterday, picking up some stuff. I have been slowly buying stuff the past few weeks, and both fridges are pretty packed. Anyway, not too many shelves were picked clean. There was plenty of meat, produce and canned food. Pasta was hit hard, but there was plenty of spaghetti sauce. No TP, of course. The canned soup shelves were kind of bare, but most of the aisles looked normal.

          1. My daughter just texted from WinCo foods in Bellingham, canned goods and pasta isle picked clean. No disinfectants or toilet paper too. Signs are out saying they’re closing early to restock the shelves; it’s likely going to be a riot there in the morning with customers lined-up at the doors.

    1. DOW went up 9+%, BTC up 3+ %.

      BTC is definitely a dead cat if it can’t even keep up with the DOW. I don’t think BtC will go away entirely simply because of the inherent value of the the blockchain tech. But forget about using it for speculation.

      1. “…simply because of the inherent value of the the blockchain tech.”

        It’s irrelevant, since there are no barriers to entry in the cryptosphere.

    2. Nothing goes straight down forever. I foresee another major leg down, probably to somewhere around $1,500.

    3. I find it interesting that stocks and bitcoin move in synch. Both are risky gambles encouraged by the Fed’s massive ad hoc bailout.

      1. Still No Widespread COVID-19 Testing, But the Fed Has a $500 Billion Bank Stimulus
        The government is forking over a grand total of $1.5 trillion to…nudge the stock market.
        By Luke Darby
        March 12, 2020

        Last week, in his first public address on the COVID-19 outbreak, Donald Trump announced that “anyone who wants a test can get a test.” That’s a far cry from reality. The U.S. is lagging behind most other countries in testing, both per capita and in raw numbers, with less than 10,000 people tested and 1,400 confirmed cases in 45 states. In comparison, South Korea has developed a network of 96 public and private labs that is testing up to 20,000 people each day, and the blood of recovered patients is being used to help develop a vaccine.

        On Thursday, Trump remained upbeat and congratulatory, despite these facts, saying, “Frankly, the testing has been going very smooth. If you go to the right agency, if you go to the right area, you get the test.” There’s no telling what Trump thinks he means by “the right agency” and “right area,” but Republican senators aren’t nearly as optimistic or unrealistic as Trump. After a closed-door briefing with U.S. health officials, senator James Lankford of Oklahoma told POLITICO the U.S. is still two weeks away from widespread COVID-19 testing, and senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee—who single-handedly shut down an emergency paid sick leave bill on Thursday—said the U.S. is clearly “not the best equipped nation in terms of testing.”

        1. Still No Widespread COVID-19 Testing, But the Fed Has a $500 Billion Bank Stimulus
          The government is forking over a grand total of $1.5 trillion to…nudge the stock market.

          Just a despicably disgusting display of where the priorities lie. Repulsive to the max.

    1. Meanwhile, some really wonky things going on with that Johns Hopkins coronavirus tracker. They reversed yesterdays infected numbers out, as well as deaths in Florida and Georgia. Then they just updated it today to show a massive increase in confirmed infections, and added more deaths in WA and CA but did not re-add the Florida and Georgia deaths.

        1. Neither do I. In fact I saw an article in the past few days that they reinstated a quarantine in one of their provinces. That doesn’t suggest success.

          1. I saw a story about a Wuhan hospital celebrating they had just discharged their last Covid patient. Does anyone actually believe that?

          2. Did the hospital staff have party favors, e.g., blowouts, noisemakers, party hats, etc., and celebration decor?

    1. I posted that a couple of days ago. But I was a little surprised to see Fox News reporting on that tonight, after watching Hannity try to downplay the coronavirus outbreak for many days on end.

      1. Hannity

        An obnoxious surrogate for the administration but given MSM’s bias worth stomaching.

        1. Sara Carter and John Solomon are good. I followed them on Circa News before Hannity started publicizing them.

        2. One can choose to simply keep the boobtube turned off. I only encounter Hannity’s frenzied gesticulations because Fox is always on in view of the Precor Elliptical machines at the gym where I work out.

        1. Selection bias. You practically have to prove you have it in order to get a test. I’m surprised the number isn’t higher. Right now the only numbers I trust are South Korea.

  35. Heading out to the movies tonight, after dining out. Restaurant is busy, but theater is empty. They have the box office closed and are selling tickets through the concession stand to save on staff costs.

    Translation:
    Local recession now.

      1. No patrons = no coughs. All the coronavirus victims are coughing at home, while trying to enjoy Netflix.

    1. Now in the theater. With FOUR other people. No problem here with social distancing.

      The economic implications are unfavorable.

      1. I’m quite concerned about the survival of businesses that depend upon foot traffic, such as movie theaters, restaurants, and airlines. I’m going to try to do my part to keep patronizing such establishments over the coming months, as if everyone goes into hiding, these firms shut down.

        1. The REITs that operate strip malls are already in trouble with consumers leveraged up to their eye teeth. Many shop owners have better odds selling their wares on-line.

        2. I’m quite concerned about the survival of businesses that depend upon foot traffic, such as movie theaters, restaurants, and airlines.

          Restaurants around here are either closing temporarily, or offering delivery, changing to a more take-out model, etc. Those that are remaining open seem to be emailing offers (credit towards purchase, buy one/get one, etc)

    1. Ah the good ole money rinse technique. Good commissions to be made their!

  36. The Financial Times
    Markets volatility
    Risk parity funds suffer worst week since 2008
    Popular strategy was poleaxed by the decline of both equities and US Treasury bonds
    Richard Henderson in New York and Robin Wigglesworth in Oslo 3 hours ago

    Risk parity funds, automated investment vehicles pioneered by the hedge fund manager Ray Dalio and designed to do well in almost any market environment, were among the big casualties of financial markets’ wild week, suffering their worst performance since the depths of the credit crisis and the second-worst on record.

    The sharp losses came because one of the central ideas that underpins these funds broke this week: the prices of equities and low-risk US government bonds both went down, instead of going in opposite directions. When investors are selling risky assets such as stocks they are usually buying low-risk ones.

    The most widely followed S&P 500 risk parity index tumbled 9.6 per cent over the five days, its steepest loss since 2008. The index goes back to 2004.

    “It’s been a painful structure over the past few days,” said Scott DiMaggio, co-head of fixed income at AllianceBernstein, pointing out that a surge in volatility across financial markets triggered selling across all asset classes in risk parity funds, from government and corporate debt to stocks and commodities. “This cocktail is very bad.”

    Pioneered by Mr Dalio’s Bridgewater Associates, risk party funds and trading strategies have exploded in popularity over the past decade.

    1. The Financial Times
      Coronavirus
      China goes on the offensive to control global coronavirus narrative
      Official points finger at US army as Beijing tries to shift blame on to Washington
      In this March 2, 2020 photo released by Xinhua News Agency, renowned Chinese respiratory specialist Zhong Nanshan attends an oath-taking ceremony via video connections for two new probationary Communist Party members in Wuhan to take the oath of joining the Communist Party of China, in Guangzhou, southern China’s Guangdong Province. As the rest of the world grapples with a burgeoning virus outbreak, China’s ruling Communist Party has turned to its propaganda playbook to portray its leader as firmly in charge, leading an army of health workers in a “people’s war” against the disease. (Deng HuaXinhua via AP)
      Zhong Nanshan, the Chinese doctor leading the fight against the outbreak, suggested that the virus did not originate in China
      © AP
      Don Weinland in Beijing 6 hours ago

      It was nothing more than a far-fetched rumour circulating among conspiracy theorists until a Beijing diplomat tweeted that the US military had planted the coronavirus outbreak in China.

      “It might be US army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan,” Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson for China’s foreign ministry, wrote on Twitter on Thursday, in response to an admission by America’s Centers for Disease Control that its counting of coronavirus cases was faulty. “Be transparent! Make public your data! US owe us an explanation!”

      It was unclear whether the spokesman’s suggestion that the US was behind the outbreak in China represented the view of the Beijing government but on Friday state broadcaster CGTN tweeted Mr Zhao’s allegations.

  37. Coronavirus outbreak
    Unprepared America wakes up to coronavirus, gradually then all at once
    When the nation’s sporting leagues shut down it was clear the US faced a new reality – but raised the question: who is in charge?
    Ed Pilkington
    Fri 13 Mar 2020 10.52 EDT
    First published on Fri 13 Mar 2020 09.44 EDT
    A pedestrian wearing a face mask stops in Times Square, Thursday, March 12, 2020, in New York. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday he will announce new restrictions on gatherings to halt the spread of the new coronavirus in the coming days. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms. For some it can cause more severe illness.

    It was a moment made for live cable TV. Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York state, warned on CNN on Wednesday night that coronavirus was “here, it’s much more prevalent than we know, you’re going to see the numbers go sky high – and if the American people aren’t ready for it, we are going to have a problem”.

    Suddenly, CNN’s primetime anchor, Cuomo’s younger brother Chris, butted in. You could see the frown of disapproval flit across big brother’s face: what was the youngster doing interrupting him like that?

    “Hold on,” said Chris Cuomo, who was being fed information via his earpiece. “This is happening in real-time. The NBA has just suspended its season.”

    There it was.

    The magnitude of the coronavirus threat to America, this invisible danger that nobody appears able to quantify or fully comprehend, came into blazing view. It was written across the brows of the Cuomo brothers, their split-screen expressions unified in utter disbelief that the basketball season, that national sporting institution, was off.

    The US has finally woken to the uncomfortable truth – this is happening. And it’s happening in a country of 327 million people who are in varying degrees overwhelmingly, totally, largely or partially not ready for it.

  38. Coronavirus outbreak
    Why Washington state is at the center of the US coronavirus outbreak
    High numbers can be attributed in part to the fact that the state reported the first case in the US and jumpstarted testing
    Hallie Golden in Seattle, Washington
    Sat 14 Mar 2020 04.00 EDT
    Last modified on Sat 14 Mar 2020 04.09 EDT

    Since January, when Washington reported the first case of coronavirus in the US, the state has been the central focus of the American outbreak.

    On Saturday, Alexandria, 22, was struggling to breathe, so she called 911 and was rushed to an isolation unit at a Seattle hospital.

    She had had a fever for days and was tested for the flu and strep throat, and given a chest X-ray. But, she said, the doctors told her she would not be tested for coronavirus because she hadn’t traveled to China and was not in the at-risk age range.

    After being discharged with a diagnosis of a viral infection, with no recommendations about home isolation, she was escorted out of the hospital, where she waited on the street for her partner to pick her up.

    It took four days before another physician heard her symptoms, sent her in for coronavirus testing, and she was diagnosed positive.

    Since January, when Washington reported the first case of coronavirus in the US, the state has been the central focus of the American outbreak, documenting the most cases and deaths associated with the infection in the country. Its position in what has now been declared by the World Health Organization as a pandemic can be attributed to everything from individual missed opportunities for diagnosis and state funding gaps to restrictive federal guidelines for testing.

    But at the same time, those high numbers can also be attributed to the simple fact that the state diagnosed its first case before the rest of America and was forced to jumpstart its testing and surveillance response.

    Dr Scott Lindquist, the Washington state epidemiologist for communicable disease, explained that Washington is not at the country’s center of this outbreak, but rather at the “leading edge”.

    “We are leading the rest of the country,” he said. “They are using all our experience… as they’re finding the same amount of activity in their state.”

  39. News
    Coronavirus pandemic
    Spain declares state of emergency over coronavirus
    Spain, which has second-highest number of cases in Europe after Italy, joins other countries in declaring emergency.
    18 hours ago

    Spain will be in a state of emergency for the next 15 days to better combat the coronavirus, a dramatic increase to the policy response that will allow authorities to confine people and ration goods.

    The state of emergency, which Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced on Friday and will formally be decided by a cabinet meeting on Saturday, will give the government power to take wide-ranging measures, including temporarily occupying factories or any other premises except private homes.

    Spain has the second-highest number of coronavirus cases in Europe after Italy.

    The current Spanish tally stands at 4,209, up by about 1,000 cases from Thursday and seven times as much as on Sunday. About 120 people have died.

    “The government of Spain will protect all its citizens and will guarantee the right life conditions to slow the pandemic with as little inconvenience as possible,” Sanchez said.

    “Unfortunately, we cannot rule out that over the next week we could reach more than 10,000 infections.”

  40. Denver update on King Sooper’s (Kroger) this morning:

    No chicken.
    No bananas.
    No ramen.
    No TP, obviously.
    No bleach, sanitizer, wipes.

    Very little beef or pork.
    Very little bottled water.
    Very little fresh produce.

    Some soup, canned veggies.
    Some eggs, butter, cheese.

    Plenty of boxed cereal.
    Plenty of candy and packaged snacks.
    Plenty of cakes, pies, cookies in bakery.

    They opened at 5am, I was in there at 5:30 to 6:00. Very quiet, social distancing in effect. Alot busier by the time I left…

    1. Just got back from Safeway. TP was nowhere to be found, of course. But everything else seemed decently stocked, though the cheap eggs were gone (plenty of the pricier cage free stuff). The meat counter was well stocked.

      Safeway is pricier than King’s, so that might be why. Hoarder’s still want to spend less.

          1. You won’t need it. The crazed TP hoarders will soon run out of storage space, at which point Costco and Walmart will catch up.

            If Costco and Walmart close due to coronavirus transmission concerns, you can ignore this post.

          2. If Costco and Walmart close due to coronavirus transmission concerns, you can ignore this post.

            For now, Costco in Kirkland WA is limiting the # of customers in the store at a time.

            It’s unclear if it’s their own measure, or due to the rules set out by the WA governor. But the line at 11am extended the full front of the building, with people spaced every 4-6 feet.

            They wouldn’t let me just pop in to pick something up from the pharmacy, sadly, and I have no interest in standing in line with all the panic hoarders.

      1. “denied in the same breath that there is a state of emergency in Mexico:”

        He understands there was no need to close the border for this either.

        Weekly U.S. Influenza Surveillance Report

        Key Updates for Week 10, ending March 7, 2020

        CDC estimates that so far this season there have been at least 36 million flu illnesses, 370,000 hospitalizations and 22,000 deaths from flu.

        https://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/index.htm

        1. 22,000 deaths in 36 million cases is a case fatality rate of 0.06%. About 1 in 1600 cases are fatal.

          By comparison, the John Hopkins University coronavirus site reports 5,789 deaths and 72,587 recovered among resolved cases, which means that 7.4% of resolved cases, or about 1 out of 14 resolved cases so far, have been fatal.

          The high death rate and very contagious nature of COVID-19 make it potentially more harmful over the course of the outbreak than the seasonal flu.

          However, there’s also the possibility that stringent quarantine measures currently being adopted may ultimately result in a lower societal impact, though at much greater economic cost.

  41. WHAT IS ‘BOOMER REMOVER’ AND WHY IS IT MAKING PEOPLE SO ANGRY?

    BY ANDREW WHALEN ON 3/13/20 AT 11:42 AM EDT

    oomer Remover,” a mean nickname for the novel coronavirus COVID-19, began trending on Twitter early Friday.

    The term has appeared in more than 65,000 tweets and references the higher mortality rate among older people infected with COVID-19—particularly among people over 60, including the Boomer Baby age cohort approximately between the ages of 56 and 74.

    The nickname is most often touted by teenagers, with adults then sharing the term on social media, as in this early viral example of the trend:

    https://www.newsweek.com/topic/baby-boomers

    1. With 2177 cases, according to the John Hopkins University site, I guess something like 43% of tests have come out positive. I know the tested sample of 5000 people has an unrepresentatively high case rate compared to the 327,000,000 Americans who have not yet been tested, but it’s still a shockingly high infection rate.

      1. “but it’s still a shockingly high infection rate.”

        Since the CDC didn’t know (and still doesn’t) the umber of those infected and killed by the 2009 – 2010 H1N1 virus, I was wondering how you and the people you are quoting already know the infection rate and death rates of the coronavirus?

          1. Something like 2177/5000 = 43.54% of Americans tested so far were confirmed to have it.

            I agree this number is upwardly biased as an estimate of the infection rate in the entire U.S. population, because those tested so far primarily include people who recently got off cruise ships, returned from outbreak countries, or who were actively displaying symptoms. So the infection rate in the remaining 327,000,000 Americans is some number strictly between 0% and 43%. Until a lot more testing is done, we won’t have a good idea of the actual population case rate. I certainly wouldn’t suggest basing the estimate on a sample of 5000 people who are more likely than average to have it.

      2. a shockingly high infection rate

        “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” – Inigo Montoya, The Princess Bride.

        “Infection Rate” implies that the entire population is in the denominator, not simply the few who have already gotten a clinical diagnosis to qualify for a rationed test. It might be more logical to say that only half of those who look like they have a bad case of it test positive.

        1. “It might be more logical to say that only half of those who look like they have a bad case of it test positive.”

          What kind of panic could you get out of that?

          Talking like that you couldn’t get one school closed much less call out the National Guard to shut down New Rochelle.

          1. I certainly wouldn’t say that. The descriptions I have seen suggest that COVID-19 symptoms are nearly indistinguishable from those of seasonal influenza, suggesting that a COVID-19 test is necessary to have a reasonable certainty about whether or not someone has it.

        2. For clarity, let’s call the 43% number the sample infection rate, and agree the population infection rate is a known unknown, which is some number strictly between 0% and 43%.

          1. And to further ground this discussion, 1% of 327,000,000 is 3,270,000 cases — quite a few more than the 2,177 reported so far.

          2. some number strictly between 0% and 43%.

            We could, for clarity sake, admit that we have no idea what the infection rate is in the general population. The place that 43% came from is not a sample of the general population at all.

          3. “No idea” seems like too strong of a statement. We can see what’s happening in places where they have already tested alot, such as South Korea* or Australia. Certainly there’s some relationship between what our eventual case rate will be and what has transpired elsewhere.

            * 7,979 confirmed cases in 240,668 tested is a rate of 3.3% among those tested in South Korea.

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