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A Market That’s Already Struggling With An Oversupply Of Homes And Falling Prices

A report from Oregon Public Broadcasting. “Calls are mounting in Portland for elected officials to temporarily ban evictions, as the coronavirus pandemic throws the ability of low-wage workers to make their next rent payment into question. To protect renters, lawmakers in Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco are pressing for temporary eviction bans. Miami’s police say they won’t help landlords remove tenants while the city’s in a state of emergency. San Jose is poised to enact a monthlong eviction ban for renters who can show their loss of income is related to the virus.”

“Deborah Imse, the head of landlord trade group Multifamily NW, urged city and state leaders to provide ‘meaningful, financial relief to renters and housing providers alike’ over the next two months, but stopped short of supporting a ban on evictions, which, she said, would make ‘no sense’ if it ‘leads to a wave of foreclosures on rental properties.'”

“City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly’s cousin, a stage manager at a local music venue, will be out of work for the next month, and will fall behind on mortgage payments as a result. A family member who owns a cafe in North Portland is seeing sales cut in half. Her friend Jim Brunberg, who runs three local music venues including Revolution Hall and Mississippi Studios, has shut down operations. Eudaly said the coronavirus has cost Brunberg about $2.5 million in economic activity already and forced him to lay off 179 employees. ‘This is just one example of the economic devastation that’s coming,’ Eudaly warned.”

From Realtor.com. “For current homeowners who might find themselves in financial straits if they lose their job, lenders may offer forbearance and payment deferral programs to help them stave off a short sale or foreclosure, says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. ‘They’ll be very understanding,’ Zandi says of lenders, particularly of government-sponsored loans through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and Federal Housing Administration loans.”

“Booming markets that grew very quickly with big price gains could also experience a bit of a slowdown. Metro areas like Denver, Salt Lake City, and Boise, ID, could potentially be affected, says Moody’s Zandi. These markets, which have growing tech scenes, have become popular with retirees and priced-out folks from California in recent years. ‘You might see some price declines in the Western markets that got very juiced up, very speculative,’ he says.”

The Los Angeles Times in California. “Even before, some agents were seeing signs of caution creeping in. One potential concern for home shoppers going forward is what happens to the money they were counting on for a down payment. Stocks, bonds, gold, bitcoin — assets are falling in value across the board. John Underwood, who manages Redfin’s L.A. office, said he had a buyer pull back an offer for a roughly $700,000 three-bedroom house in Lakewood because ‘most of his down payment was tied up in the stock market.'”

“Luxury home builder Toll Bros. has also had a handful of delayed closings because buyers from China had ‘transportation or other logistical challenges … such as closed banks or offices in China,’ said Christine Sciarrotta, the company’s vice president for brand management.”

The Dallas Morning News in Texas. “Jim Gaines, chief economist for the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, isn’t so sure that historically low mortgage rates will outshine economic fears with consumers. ‘Right now, we are not 100% sure housing will win,’ Gaines said. ‘We are a little bit dubious about the housing market.'”

“In Texas, the steep slide in oil prices will negatively affect metro areas including Houston and Midland-Odessa, which have large oil and gas sector workforces, Gaines said. ‘Dallas’ main concern is what the national economy does,’ he said. ‘It’s going to slow down — no doubt about that — but nobody knows how long or how deep it will be.'”

From Crain’s New York Business. “An open house for a Manhattan apartment draws no visitors. A buyer backs out of a condo deal after the stock market plummets. Another jumps at a purchase when mortgage rates reach irresistible lows. Coronavirus is spreading in New York City. But when it comes to real estate, fear of contagion only slightly trumps fear of missing out on a deal. Buyers are sorting through what a pandemic might mean for a market that’s already struggling with an oversupply of homes and falling prices.”

“Sellers who do list aren’t seeing much traffic. The virus has already had a tangible impact on some would-be buyers. One who was set to sign a contract for a condo near the Brooklyn waterfront will probably walk away from the deal because she was relying on pulling money from her stock portfolio, now in decline, to cover a down payment, said Melissa Leifer, a broker with Keller Williams.”

From Bisnow on Washington. “As recently as the end of February, Seattle bustled. Finding a parking spot on the street was a futile quest. Today, there is plenty of parking to be had. No one knows when the coronavirus outbreak, which has its American epicenter in Seattle, will subside and streets will refill with people and commerce, but in the meantime, small businesses are taking the brunt of this sudden economic hit.”

“Every time a ship docks, 5,000 tourists flood Seattle’s streets. But yesterday, the Port of Seattle canceled the April 1 and April 5 port of call sailings of the 2020 cruise season, temporarily ending the one-day stopovers in Seattle. Most sailings at the Port of Seattle are homeport sailings, which generate $4M each for the local economy. The cruise season typically generates $900M of business activity in Seattle and supports 5,500 jobs.”

“CRE leaders in other states hit hard by the virus have been urging the commercial real estate industry to continue doing business as well as it can. Barry Broome, president and CEO of the Greater Sacramento Economic Council, said the best thing the commercial real estate industry can do to support the economy during this time is to keep going forward. ‘If health officials do a good job handling the public health side, we can get through this in six to 12 months,’ Broome said. ‘If you plan on building a 500K SF office building or a 250K SF multifamily building, just keep building it. There may be a small drop in the price of construction material prices. The interest rates are low.'”

“The biggest impact will be on the small businesses, and the residual effect will be fewer taxes collected, he said. Wall Street is panicking, but it’s resilient, he said. There aren’t too many places that exhibit a bubble. Banking is strong. The housing market is strong. ‘The builders need to keep building with confidence,’ he said. ‘This isn’t 2008. This is more like 2001. People will eventually see this as a blip on the radar screen.'”

From Yahoo Finance. “Bankruptcy veteran Dr. Edward Altman sees trouble brewing in corporate credit, with mass ratings downgrades and company bankruptcies on the horizon as the coronavirus outbreak shakes the global economy. Altman, who is a professor emeritus at NYU Stern School of Business added that even before the virus, the fundamentals of companies and markets were already showing ‘a lot of warning signs.’ A lot of companies kept afloat by cheap borrowing costs could be in real trouble. Altman contended that many of them should actually go bankrupt, because ‘they are zombies and have been kept alive’ by historically low rates.”

“‘That’s a very important thing — downgraded to high yield. If that happens, then you have problems in that market depending on the amount,’ he said — adding that his model suggests the situation could be far worse than that 10% figure.”

“‘We ran our tests looking objectively at the health of BBB companies at the end of 2019 when everything was going great, and we came up with more than 30% looked vulnerable to a downgrade, in fact, looked like non-investment grade companies even then,’ Altman told Yahoo Finance. ‘And that’s going to happen, maybe not 30%, because we don’t do the rating change. But it does happen, and when that happens, a lot of marginal companies are going to be forced out of business,’ he added.”

This Post Has 298 Comments
  1. ‘For current homeowners who might find themselves in financial straits if they lose their job, lenders may offer forbearance and payment deferral programs to help them stave off a short sale or foreclosure, says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. ‘They’ll be very understanding’

    Ho Chi Zandi is still at it.

    ‘stopped short of supporting a ban on evictions, which, she said, would make ‘no sense’ if it ‘leads to a wave of foreclosures on rental properties’

    Wa? You mean money isn’t free?

    ‘a stage manager at a local music venue, will be out of work for the next month, and will fall behind on mortgage payments as a result’

    But lending air tight?

    1. “City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly”

      I’m not saying they should do this or should not do this, but how did I know her name would pop up as I began to read this story?

      I’ll do my part in November to ensure her removal from office, she being of the “rent control” and “fee per unit to pay for more bureaucracy” school of governing.

      1. I was thinking the same about the Seattle eviction ban. I don’t think these folks realize they’re enacting policies that are going to deter future rentals/availability.

        1. In nov 2018 a bunch of landlords sold off due to a similar renter rights measure (measure J or M? here in santa cruz.). Even though it didn’t pass, the local RE was flooded with competing inventory and fearful sellers. If this passes i would expect the same

          1. A departure of small, local landlords and the arrival of large corporate landlords exacerbating the issue.

            On a recent trip to San Jose, during which I stayed in Santa Cruz, they were discussing this on local radio with a local landlord and a “citizens’ rights” activist, the latter retreating to his corner to overstate his position.

            Incidentally, I did inject some $ into the local Santa Cruz economy by buying an Ibis mountain bike.

          2. “Incidentally, I did inject some $ into the local Santa Cruz economy by buying an Ibis mountain bike.“

            Better than getting “injected” with this towns heroine junkie needles.

    2. So they’re going to give everybody a thousand a month. And they’re going to defer debt payments. And they’re going to throw trillions at the banks and stock markets. And they’re going to give all businesses loans. And they’re going to give emergency unemployment benefits. Gee, this is great. They are going to prop up the entire economy. Where in the world is all this money coming from?

          1. If all this money is frely available for the giving, then why not hand it out all the time?

            Why wait for a crisis before making everyone richer?

          2. If all this money is frely available for the giving, then why not hand it out all the time?

            I think the idea is that once this starts, it won’t go away. Get ready fir a 15-20% VAT that will quickly morph from “temporary” to “permanent”.

            Anyway, I really can’t see Trump signing off on that. Also, given how slow and lethargic the FedGov is, the pandemic would probably be over before the first check is issued.

    3. Since FHA requires 3 months of cash reserves for home owners and 6 months of reserves for investors, no homeowners will need a bail out. This whole thing will pass in a couple months and lending standards have been so high that almost all homeowners have the savings to get through it. Right?

  2. ‘many of them should actually go bankrupt, because ‘they are zombies and have been kept alive’ by historically low rates’

    Dry cleaner effect. All this central bank mumbo-jumbo just makes the economy weaker. These zombies (and it’s worse globally) just suck up capital and lower returns for everybody. Hands up for a self-driving car now? Something that isn’t even needed.

      1. We actually do. But it’s really a helicopter. You have to have a helicopter license etc. And it costs over half a million bucks.

        I rode in a helicopter a couple of times. Made me queasy real bad.

        1. News of Kobe Bryant’s untimely demise doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in personal flight as a commute mode.

    1. Hands up for a self-driving car now? Something that isn’t even needed.

      Funny how the media rarely talks about this anymore. A few years ago it was “imminent”. Now the focus has switched to all electric cars.

      1. the focus has switched to all electric cars

        That seems to be quiet too at the moment. Nothing like an economic speed bump, lower gas prices and the Wuhan Flu for a reality check.

        1. I wonder if this is a good time to get a deal on a new car? Not that I’m interested, as the current one is paid for and purrs like a kitten. Not to mention that anything I would like is at least $30K and my trade in’s value would be negligible.

  3. ‘Right now, we are not 100% sure housing will win,’ Gaines said. ‘We are a little bit dubious about the housing market’

    Now he tells us. Oh well, those people who bought $700,000 mcmansions won’t walk away Jim…

    ‘Dallas’ main concern is what the national economy does…It’s going to slow down — no doubt about that — but nobody knows how long or how deep it will be’

    When the cheerleaders get on the bus, the game is over.

  4. “Stocks, bonds, gold, bitcoin — assets are falling in value across the board. John Underwood, who manages Redfin’s L.A. office, said he had a buyer pull back an offer for a roughly $700,000 three-bedroom house in Lakewood because ‘most of his down payment was tied up in the stock market.’”

    He would have been much better off parking the downpayment in government bonds. If so, he’d be sitting pretty right now.

        1. Those properties.. well, I don’t understand California houses. They are so different from the eastern-style colonials, ranches, and split levels that I’m so accustomed to.

      1. Who would pay $700,000 for Lakewood, CA

        Right next door to Compton.

        I knew some folks who used to live in nearby Downey, which back in the 1980’s seemed like an OK place. They sold and moved to Mission Viejo a long time ago.

    1. “….‘most of his down payment was tied up in the stock market…”

      Markets down as of this moment ~20%.

      If this gentlemen has to scuttle his down payment because markets are off just 20%, then he is running to close to the edge anyway.

      Of course, his REIConplex agent would never tell him the truth.

    1. The Wall Street Journal
      Markets
      Breakdown of Bedrock Relationship in Markets Tests Investors’ Nerves
      The late-week selloff in Treasurys concerns many accustomed to bond-price gains when stocks fall
      By Karen Langley
      March 15, 2020 5:30 am ET

      Investors wading back into tumultuous markets this week face an unusual challenge: playing unruly stock indexes while cracks are visible in the world’s largest market for interest rates.

    1. This toilet paper thing shows a bunch of this is loopy. Yesterday I needed to go to the store for some curry ingredients. Onions had been cleaned out.

      I haven’t had one cart driver go by my house saying “bring out yer dead!”

      1. “…Onions had been cleaned out….”

        Exact ditto as we speak at my local Ralphs here in Irvine. (Alton and Jeffrey).

        Do onions have magical properties?

        Maybe if you hang a large yellow onion around your neck it keeps away the evil spirits. ( I am sure it would keep away your neighbors)

        1. Garlic and onions — especially the onions — are said to have antibacterial properties. Load up on honey too.

          1. OK check that. It’s the GARLIC that is antibacterial. In fact, if you are going in to be tested for ulcers, GI docs tell you stop taking garlic supplements a few days beforehand. They know that the garlic will suppress bacteria and produce a false negative.

          2. AIA, and I realize this is quite a bit off topic, but can anyone point to a few really great recipes using onion and garlic?

          3. a few really great recipes

            If you could be more specific with regards the meat you are preparing, I’ll check in my Poacher’s Field Guide.

          4. recipes using onion and garlic
            Try ingredient searches on these two sites:
            allrecipes.com
            epicurious.com

      2. I went yesterday and I couldn’t even get a cart to put stuff in. Every cart was taken. I had gather things up and hold them precariously in my arms. The fresh meat section was cleaned out except for a few packages of hamburger. Milk and water were gone. Empty shelves everywhere. No potatoes. The asian grocery store across the street was also cleaned out of rice and potatoes.

        1. Milk and water were gone

          I absolutely don’t get the water bottle hoarding thing. Everyone still has water flowing at their tap, right? Fill up some containers for practically free and forget about it.

          Even a very fancy Rubbermaid 2-Gallon Beverage Cooler is only $4.00.

        2. How quickly things change. Stores were full (except for hand sanitizer and cleaners) as recently as Wednesday night.

          1. Things were still close to normal here yesterday. Already stocked up, could easily go 3-4 weeks without shopping. I did notice today that we’re a little low on dishwasher pods, but I couldn’t be bothered to go out and get some; but now I’m curious.

          2. but now I’m curious.

            Just got back. Some things picked clean: potatoes, onions, eggs, flour, plain sugar. Plenty of meat (they were business restocking the counter). Not very busy. This was Safeway, I didn’t bother with King Soopers, which I figured would be a zoo.

            From the Colorado Dept of Public Health:

            “Office of Communications Gabi Johnston, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment AGENCY
            View larger photo
            IMPORTANT COVID-19 UPDATE:
            Anyone who has been in Eagle, Summit, Pitkin, or Gunnison counties in the past week should minimize all contact with other people, whether or not they are experiencing symptoms.
            County public health and emergency management agencies will provide more detailed guidance for residents and visitors within their communities. The general guidance from CDPHE is as follows:
            🔴If you live in Colorado and are leaving one of these communities, you should minimize contact with other people for 14 days and watch for the development of symptoms like cough, fever, and shortness of breath.
            🔴If you are visiting Colorado from out of state and do not currently have symptoms (cough, fever, and shortness of breath), you can return home and practice social distancing there.
            🔴If you have symptoms, stay where you are, isolate yourself from others, and call a health care provider or nurse line before seeking care. Do not fly. Do not use public transportation or ride-shares.”

            Note: those are counties with ski resorts.

          3. After last Wednesday I vowed not to go out again and luckily I can stick to that. By now there are likely dozens of cases in every aisle of the stores, all of them incubating, asymptomatic, and contagious.

      3. My onion cartel is cornering the market. We’re going after the bell peppers next. Resistance is futile.

  5. Things change fast in Folsom. About mid week people starting making big Costco runs and clearing the shelves of soap and toilet paper everywhere. My company implemented a work from home policy, church as cancelled, and by the end of the week school was cancelled through mid April. We’ve seen it coming for 6+ weeks now so no big deal.

    For me the big decision at this point (once I could work from home and school was closed) was whether to head back to Wyoming where my big stash of supplies is. We talked about it and decided not to. Thought I might pick up a firearm here…hah. If you don’t have a California driver’s license forget about it. And what I wanted isn’t even legal here anyway. So I bought a few more supplies including a couple of big cans of bear spray at REI and we had a little backyard training yesterday while it was raining and nobody would need to smell it. So now we sit at home fat, dumb, and happy and just hoping the water and internet keep flowing.

    1. So I bought a few more supplies including a couple of big cans of bear spray

      Interesting thought. Any idea how that would play out in a closed environment (say inside a house)?

      1. Interesting thought. Any idea how that would play out in a closed environment (say inside a house)?

        I’m thinking it would be a stinky mess. But would still beat the alternative of letting someone who had just entered uninvited have their way. Mostly I look at it as a way to make sure the odds are in my favor if things got ugly. I don’t know how anybody could fight after getting hit directly in the face with that stuff. And I got enough for everybody in the house to have some.

        1. Makes sense. I would just think everyone would be negatively affected, but agree the person hit directly in the face probably the most so.

    2. a couple of big cans of bear spray at REI and we had a little backyard training yesterday

      Does bear spray have a use other than for bears? I’m more of what you might call a city girl. Poway is as rural as I get. 🙂

      1. “a use other than for bears?”

        As we trail-folk like to say, it’s more the two-legged creatures you get it for, not just the four-legged ones.

        It’s also a substitute for those who aren’t fond of carrying.

        1. If you’re facing two-legged predators with bear spray, your self-defense planning failed big-time.

          1. Guessing it has to do with spray getting in the face of the user in the case of a close encounter, which is a valid concern. Though at close range with a surprise attack none of the above are especially helpful, regardless of the attacker’s number of legs.

          2. your self-defense planning failed big-time.

            And/or you live in California. This is a good run through if I’m going to be here for a long time, though. I’ll get the firearm problem solved this year…I just didn’t expect to need one here.

    3. “whether to head back to Wyoming where my big stash of supplies is. ”

      Pre-stocked bugout?? We’re not worthy… we’re not worthy…

    1. Our local K-12 schools are worried about the hot meal program since many children here get their “three squares” at school despite their parents having SNAP cards. Familial responsibility isn’t in the agenda.

          1. Using coronavirus-free delivery people?

            Are the cooks virus free? Since they are unlikely to get sick pay, I have been avoiding takeout anyway.

          2. delivery people

            My husband delivers for Meals on Wheels. He’s been wondering what’ll happen with it. Given that many recipients aren’t ambulatory, I’m guessing more precautions with food preparation and doorstep delivery with gloves and face masks.

            I imagine the school district will likewise exercise more precautions with food preparation but have a drive-thru pick-up situation. I’ll report back if we get that far.

  6. “Gov. Jared Polis on Saturday night issued an extraordinary executive order requiring all Colorado ski resorts to close, an announcement that came just hours after operators across the state preemptively said they were shutting down, many of them indefinitely, in response to the new coronavirus.

    The order is set to last one week, though the governor’s office said Polis “may amend this executive order accordingly.”

    https://coloradosun.com/2020/03/14/jared-polis-executive-order-ski-resorts/

    We were supposed to ski Monarch next weekend but they’re closed for the season 🙁

  7. Professor Bear
    March 15, 2020 at 8:53 am
    Is this a panic? There seems to be quite a bit of debate on that.

    I used to take the train from Old Greenwich Connecticut into Grand Central Station in New York City to attend Ranger games and concerts etc. The last train car on the way home at 1 am was the party car but that’s a story for another day. The train came from New Haven and made frequent local stops including New Rochelle all the way to Grand Central.

    Point being if this is going to be what is being pushed by the MSM the cat is already out of the bag. Coronavirus is in every state but West Virginia and has been delivering commuters from New Rochelle, a town that has had the National Guard called out into Grand Central which has 750,000 people pass through every day.

    This Is What Life Looks Like Inside The New Rochelle Containment Zone

    Kate Bubacz
    Posted on March 13, 2020,

    https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/katebubacz/inside-new-rochelle-quarantine-photos

    Now with just what is being posted here like “Has anyone seem this” estimates of 100,000 in Ohio and…

    “Americans could contract the disease over as long as a year. Based on mortality data and current hospital capacity, the number of deaths under the CDC’s scenarios ranged from 200,000 to as many as 1.7 million.”

    and the wall to wall 24/7 MSM coverage I would clearly say it;s a panic or what I would like to call a crisis that was too good to waste.

    Will lots of people get sick? Yes

    Will the vast majority recover? Yes

    Could 10,000 mostly elderly and infirm people die? Not to downplay it but maybe.

    I am basing this on what I have seen the last couple of weeks from the MSM and quite frankly posters right here and a similar event we all lived through a little over ten tears ago.

    If I am right six months from now the people behind what is happening today will say … if we had not acted it would have been 10 million not ten thousand, it all will swept under the rug, forgotten and they will move on to the next thing as easily as they did from Russia Russia Russia to impeachment to Coronavirus.

    1. Six months from now, Creepy Joe will say that none of this would have happened if we had adopted his plans.

          1. The question is, the other day when he was threatening to beat up the auto worker he was going to take the AR-14 from, was he carrying Corn-Pop’s rusty straight razor blade?

        1. I didn’t watch any of the Democrat debates, but I do hope the coronavirus outbreak is contained in time for the Trump-Biden debates to happen.

          1. By that time I think they’ll have speedy testing set up. They can re-test Trump, Biden, the moderator, and a couple camera guys, and just run the debate with a skeleton crew in a disinfected safe room.

      1. Part of a funny comment I saw about Biden:

        “Jolly Joe Biden will likely drop out once his family has him committed. I think we’re only weeks away from an incident, like Joe coming to the dinner table at a family gathering in nothing but his birthday suit and a big smile. The story will be that Joe had to drop out for personal reasons and then Bernie will be the nominee with the most delegates…”

        1. The story will be that Joe had to drop out for personal reasons and then Bernie will be the nominee with the most delegates…”

          No way…they’ll do “Weekend at Joe’s” first. Joe’s success will lead directly to Hillary or his VP pick (assuming they aren’t the same person). The whole point of Joe is not-now-not-ever-Bernie.

      1. “Is this referring to the Trump administration, which just made an emergency declaration on Friday?”

        No it’s referring to the people who say everything including the spread of Coronavirus is Trump’s fault anyway.

      2. I haven’t seen Gavin Newsom and his Cheshire Cat grin in the news lately. Figured he’d be out doing the bantam rooster act by now looking for another 15-minutes in the spotlight.

        1. “I haven’t seen Gavin Newsom and his Cheshire Cat grin in the news lately. Figured he’d be out doing the bantam rooster act by now looking for another 15-minutes in the spotlight.”

          Well, there’s this …

          “The state of California is empowered to take over hotels, motels, and medical facilities in order to quarantine, isolate or treat coronavirus patients, per a multi-pronged executive order released by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday.”

          California has power to take over hotels for coronavirus quarantines
          https://www.desertsun.com/story/news/2020/03/12/california-has-power-take-over-hotels-coronavirus-quarantines/5037215002/

    2. “10 million not ten thousand”

      I’d like to understand how US simulations are coming up with these numbers, given the numbers from China. 70,000 in Seattle vs 80,000 cases in a country of 1.5B? Do we believe the numbers out of China? Does lock down Wuhan-style limit Seattle to 200 cases? There are already 600+ in WA with most of those in the Seattle area.

      1. Do we believe the numbers out of China?

        According to them, they have essentially no new cases and no new deaths, only recoveries. Oh, and it’s all America’s fault.

        1. One way or another, this will likely be over in 2-3 years. We’re either going to have a treatment, a vaccine, or most of us will be dead. After that, let’s see what the world thinks of China. Few believe the story that the virus is American. The wet market story is more plausible. I suspect that Belt and Road is going to suffer heavily.

          1. The stories coming out of Italy say that half their ICU patients are under the age of 50. Who knows what’s going on in Iran or even China.

          2. or most of us will be dead

            Good heavens, get a grip on yourself. This is clearly not Spanish Flu 2.0. Sorry to disappoint those who, perversely, seem to be wishing for something like that. Deadly as it was, even the Spanish Flu came and went without a vaccine AND without killing the majority of people.

  8. ‘If you plan on building a 500K SF office building or a 250K SF multifamily building, just keep building it. There may be a small drop in the price of construction material prices. The interest rates are low.’”

    The self-serving dissembling of these amoral REIC touts is retch-worthy.

  9. ‘If health officials do a good job handling the public health side, we can get through this in six to 12 months,’ Broome said.

    Sure. And if only Margot Robbie would return my obsessive phone calls, she’d go out on that first date with me and be struck helpless with lust and longing, as indeed all women are in my presence.

    1. I must be getting old, because I can’t tell any of these generic ladies (or men) apart from each other.

      1. I must be getting old, because I can’t tell any of these generic ladies (or men) apart from each other.

        Margot Robbie portrays Harley Quinn (the Joker’s moll) in live action movies.

          1. Alternative definition: a woman prostitute

            Both nouns. Thought I’d save others having to look it up.

        1. I looked her up, out of her Harley costume. She looks like an ugly version of Brooke Shields. Or was it Michelle Pfeiffer. Or whatever.

          1. She has symmetry in her face making her an ideal cosmetics cover girl model. I can’t stand hair coloring, and I can survive without the golden globes, but I’m partial to longer limbs, shorter torso ladies. Lastly, I can’t live with the energy requirements of more than one lady at a time.

          2. Or whatever.

            Yeah, she’s just another generic starlet, hence why she’s best known for portraying Harley.

          3. “She looks like an ugly version of…”

            She’s neither generic nor ugly, and she interviews really well, quick and witty. Look at those natural eyebrows, full lips and wide shoulders! She’s thriving in a business overflowing with Weinstein types. I’m sure her family is beyond proud of accomplishments.
            https://imgur.com/a/LnK6wy8

          4. She’s neither generic nor ugly

            I agree that she isn’t ugly, but I have to admit I wouldn’t recognize her when not dressed as Harley, so I guess she is “generic”, in a good looking way. Nevertheless, even if Harley is the pinnacle of her career, she’s done better than most of her peers.

    2. go out on that first date with me

      Maybe I’m misremembering, but I thought you had a wife and kids? Not that that stops some men.

  10. Wall Street is panicking, but it’s resilient, he said.

    It’s easy to be resilient when the Fed and middle class taxpayers will cover any and all gambling losses.

  11. But it does happen, and when that happens, a lot of marginal companies are going to be forced out of business,’ he added.”

    Yes, but if marginal businesses would just put “blockchain” in their name, they would cease to become marginal. Problem solved.

    Biden should be calling me any day now to ask me to be his economic czar.

  12. “‘We ran our tests looking objectively at the health of BBB companies at the end of 2019 when everything was going great, and we came up with more than 30% looked vulnerable to a downgrade.

    Gosh, looking at all those vulnerable companies, I sure hope no one vulners them.

  13. The Financial Times
    Coronavirus
    White House coronavirus expert warns US ‘could get as bad as Italy’
    Number of cases jumps while travel ban causes chaos at airports across country
    (FILES) In this file photo taken on March 13, 2020, a passenger arriving from Brussels wearing a mask to protect himself from the new coronavirus looks for his relatives in the International arrivals zone at Dulles airport outside Washington,DC. – Chaos gripped major US airports March 15, 2020 as Americans returning from coronavirus-hit European countries overwhelmed authorities attempting to process the surge. Frustrated passengers complained of hours-long lines, crowded and unsanitary conditions and general disarray in the system for screening people for symptoms of the virus.
    (Photo by Eric BARADAT / AFP) (Photo by ERIC BARADAT/AFP via Getty Images)
    A passenger wearing a face mask arrives from Brussels at Dulles airport in the US © AFP via Getty Images
    Aime Williams in Washington and Josh Chaffin in New York 2 hours ago

    A leading White House coronavirus expert has warned the US “could get as bad as Italy” if proper measures were not taken to limit the spread of the disease, including staying at home if possible.

    Anthony Fauci, head of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said life “is not going to be the way it used to be” in the US for a period, as he urged people to avoid unnecessary public outings.

    “I don’t think we’re going there [down the path of Italy, which has the largest number of cases outside China] if we do the kinds of things that we are publicly saying we need to do, we need to be very serious about,” said Mr Fauci, speaking on CBS News.

    “For a while, life is not going to be the way it used to be in the United States. We have to just accept that if we want to do what’s best for the American public.”

    When asked by a reporter if hundreds of thousands of Americans could die from the disease, Mr Fauci replied: “I say that, and it sometimes gets taken out of context, but we have to be realistic and honest. Yes, it is possible.”

    “Our job, our challenge is to try and make that not happen. But to think, if we go about our daily lives and not worry about everything, that it’s not going to happen, it could happen. And it could be worse.”

  14. I hope none of the travelers making a hasty retreat from coronavirus hot spots in Europe and elsewhere has COVID-19, as social distancing while waiting in line for screening is not happening.

    1. US citizens returning from overseas say they are waiting hours for coronavirus screening at airports
      Paul P. Murphy and Hollie Silverman, CNN • Updated 15th March 2020

      (CNN) — As Americans are being urged to keep their distance from one another, travelers returning on flights from Europe say they are being made to wait for hours in close quarters at US airports to get screened for coronavirus.
      When they arrived in Dallas, Chicago and New York, they faced long lines and confusion, several travelers told CNN. At one New York airport, two travelers said they were alarmed when officials suggested they should share pens to fill out customs and medical forms.

  15. How many national leaders have family or people in their inner circle who have COVID-19?

      1. Given that part of the life of a politician involves meeting lots of people I suspect that many others are infected, but don’t know it yet.

  16. Like clockwork, the “End of Oil” people are speculating that the price crash means that all-renewables is just around the corner. Too bad renewables are not a cost effective substitute for hydrocarbons.

    1. Without massive government subsidies, would renewables even exist?

      The Financial Times
      Opinion Oil & Gas industry
      Oil crash only a foretaste of what awaits energy industry
      The end of hydrocarbons as a lucrative business is a real possibility
      Pierre Noel
      Oil men work on a new oil rig at sunset in the desert oil fields of Sakhir, Bahrain, Sunday, Aug. 3, 2014. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)
      The shale revolution and renewables have eroded oil industry profitability © AP
      Pierre Noel
      8 hours ago
      The writer is a senior fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies

      The oil-price crash of March 2020 will probably not last long. As in 2014, when the oil price dropped below $50 from $110 in a few weeks, this one will trigger a temporary collapse of the US shale industry. Unless the coronavirus outbreak causes Armageddon, cheap oil will also support policymakers’ efforts to help the global economy.

      But there will be at least one important and lasting difference this time round — and it has major market and geopolitical implications.

      The oil price crash is a foretaste of where the whole energy sector was going anyway — and that is down.

      It may not look that way at first. Saudi Arabia will soon realise, as it did in 2015, that its lethal decision to pump more oil is not only killing US shale but its public finances as well. Riyadh will soon knock on Moscow’s door again. Once American shale supplies collapse, Russia will resume co-operation with Saudi Arabia.

      With the world economy recovering from the Covid-19 crisis by then, moderate supply cuts by both countries will accelerate oil market recovery. In time, US shale producers will return too.

      Yet this inevitable bounceback should not distract from two fundamental factors that were already remaking oil and gas markets. First, the shale revolution has fundamentally eroded industry profitability. Second, the renewables’ revolution will continue to depress growth in demand.

    1. It might help if there was something worth seeing. Of course, all you have to do now is wait and it will eventually be on Netflix, Disney or some other streaming channel.

  17. Here comes the big bazooka.

    Economy
    Federal Reserve cuts rates to zero and launches massive $700 billion quantitative easing program
    Published Sun, Mar 15, 2020
    5:00 PM EDT
    Updated Moments Ago
    Steve Liesman
    This is breaking news. Check back here for updates.

    The Federal Reserve, saying “the coronavirus outbreak has harmed communities and disrupted economic activity in many countries, including the United States,” cut interest rates to zero on Sunday and launched a massive $700 billion quantitative easing program to shelter the economy from the effects of the virus.

    Facing highly disrupted financial markets, the Fed also slashed the rate of emergency lending at the discount window for banks by 125 bps to 0.25%, and lengthened the term of loans to 90 days.

    The Fed also cut reserve requirement ratios for thousands of banks to zero. In addition, in a global coordinated move by centrals banks, the Fed said the Bank of Canada, the Bank of England, the Bank of Japan, the European Central Bank, the Federal Reserve, and the Swiss National Bank took action to enhance dollar liquidity around the world through existing dollar swap arrangements.

    The banks lowered the rate on these swap line loans and extended the period for such loans. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell is scheduled to hold a press conference via telephone at 6 pm eastern time. The actions by the Fed appeared to be the largest single day set of moves the bank had ever taken, mirroring in many ways its efforts during the financial crisis that were rolled out over several months. Sunday’s move includes multiple programs, rate cuts and QE, but all in a single day.

    The quantitative easing will take the form of $500 billion of treasuries and $200 billion of agency-backed mortgage securities. The Fed said the purchases will begin Monday with a $40 billion installment.

    The Fed cut rates to a new range of 0% to 0.25% from 1% to 1.25% and said it would remain there “until it is confident that the economy has weathered recent events and is on track to achieve its maximum employment and price stability goals.”

    1. Central bankers working on a Sunday. Now I’ve seen everything. Powell goes full-costco.

      BTW just got back from a grocery chain. Potatoes all gone along with onions and most of the celery.

      1. “BTW just got back from a grocery chain. Potatoes all gone :

        Me too.

        Picked up TP, paper towel, 4 New York strips, Broccoli and cheese but I’m going to have to skip the baked potato and have those mashed potatoes from the freezer section with my Weber grilled steaks, Broccoli and cheese.

          1. We’re doing chicken quesadillas tonight. Anniversary is on Wednesday, so hoping we can still pick up some nice steaks in a few days for a nice dinner at home (and if we’re lucky, some potatoes!)

          2. Mmmm… they were good. USDA Prime, super tender. And we have potatoes, which I bought earlier in the week, Yukon Golds, which I prefer over Russets.

          3. This is the time of year when seafood companies on Chesapeake Bay start whining for more H2-A immigrants to harvest the crabs and oysters. Maybe this year they should give the poor crabs a break and leave ’em right in the Bay.

    2. The natural experiment in using demand stimulus to fight a supply shock is now underway!

    3. Guess I’ll keep that CD that just renewed for 5 years at 1.85% APY. (There’s a 10-day grace period and I wasn’t sure what I would do.)

      I’d say negative rates just became possible, if not likely.

      1. Good call, but I believe that they’re just getting started. Widespread consumer defaults are looming, e.g., mortgages, autos, revolving credit, etc., probably worse than 2008 since there’s so much leverage throughout the private sector, corporations and all levels of government.

        1. Yep. The battle of the ad hoc bailouts versus ongoing economic collapse looms. Winners and losers are about to be created on the fly in spectacular fashion.

        2. defaults are looming

          Perhaps from their lofty ivory tower, those PhDs in pin-stripe suits can see the tsunami coming before everyone else?

          I don’t believe this action by the Fed is warranted by a shortage of TP.

          1. Because the SHTF last fall in the way of a liquidity crisis, no different than in the last meltdown, where banks stopped trusting each other and didn’t want to lend, leading to a spike in overnight rates approaching 10% or whatever. The FED’s had 6 months to try to remedy that and never could, and then everything just fell apart recently. Their goose is cooked, both them and all the big banks. We’re right back in the soup again.

    4. Despicable. We need to burn it all down and start over. Throw every single politician out of office and put all central bankers in prison. RIP, USA.

          1. By cash you mean silver? If the system truly breaks we’ll be burning greenbacks for firewood.

          2. No. I mean cash side gigs that I can just put directly under the mattress. These jobs pay in $100 bills.

          3. burning greenbacks

            The country is not going to go down the drain. Some of this mountain of debt may get washed out to sea and we’ll be much stronger and stable for it. Greenbacks are performing very well vs silver at the moment. Don’t burn them just yet.

    5. Take it from a Kansan.

      Market Extra
      Exclusive: Fed is ‘throwing money in the wrong place,’ says Sheila Bair, former top banking regulator
      Published: March 15, 2020 at 10:37 p.m. ET
      By Joy Wiltermuth
      Financial help needs to go to ‘small businesses and people already losing their jobs’
      Former FDIC Chair Sheila Bair speaks in 2018. Getty Images

      Sheila Bair, a top U.S. banking regulator during the 2007-’08 global financial crisis, said the Federal Reserve needs to quickly shift its focus to getting credit flowing to U.S. businesses crippled by the spreading coronavirus and workers losing their jobs.

      “They are throwing money in the wrong place,” Bair said of an unprecedented move by the Fed on Sunday to slash benchmark rates to zero and start a $700 billion Treasury- and mortgage-bond buying program.

      “This isn’t a financial crisis — at least not yet,” she told MarketWatch on Sunday evening following the Fed’s announcement, which drops the target U.S. benchmark rate to zero and aims to shore up liquidity for banks and investors in the $15.6 trillion Treasury and $8.5 trillion agency mortgage bonds markets.

      “Lowering interest rates to zero doesn’t help if businesses can’t pay their loans back and they don’t have cash flow,” she said. “We need to get help out there, especially to small businesses and people already losing their jobs.”

      1. Yup. At first I speculated that the DOW would soar in summer if/when the virus temporarily subsides, but now I think that there’s going to be too much overlap between the corona-caused crisis and the debt-caused crisis. We might not 29,000 for a couple years. I guess the only thing to do is to wait for the crash and buy at/near the bottom.

      2. How can futures be dropping when the Fed just fired its biggest bazooka shot, ever?

        Will they start intervening in stocks to protect Wall Street interests?

          1. Yes. They own a printing press. And everyone is happy to sell to them if it reduces a loss today. Eventually they may own virtually all the stocks and houses in order to support prices and the solvency of whoever really owns them.

    1. Didn’t work lol. Futures down 900. If there was ever a time for the famous bubble blog quote:

      “This sucker could go down”

    1. Via my realtor, “[b]uyers are canceling because they’re worried about their jobs and sellers are canceling because they don’t want anyone in their house. Our manager gave us scary numbers at the office meeting Wednesday. She said it was the most fall-out she had seen in her 20 year career. It’s a shame because interest rates are under 3.”

      1. “It’s a shame because interest rates are under 3.”

        And they will be even lower in the next week. Its a blessing for that potential FB

  18. New CNBC breaking news headline: “Dow futures fall 600 points even after Fed slashes rates to calm markets amid coronavirus outbreak”

    Actually down 888 points ATM.

    Oops!

      1. “Stock futures plummet — hit ‘limit down’ — even as Fed slashes rates; Dow futures off 1,000 points”

        DOH!

        1. Their policies have absolutely destroyed the markets. Why can’t we get a Ron Paul type president. You know, somebody who “gets it?”

          1. I’m afraid our system is now broken beyond repair.

            We theoretically could get back to a free market economy, with a smaller federal government in general, little or no welfare state, solid fin/banking regulations, a reasonable tax code, a generally balanced budget (temp deficits during slowdowns, tilting back toward a surplus during good times), etc. (Dare I dream about the gold standard?!) But it would require a generation of pain and upheaval to accomplish.

          2. “But it would require a generation of pain and upheaval to accomplish.”

            This is something that requires an exogenous event such as the current one because it would be impossible for anyone to move forward with such a plan.

        2. Dow futures off 1,000 points

          Wasn’t it +2000 this morning? That would be down 3000 in a certain perspective. Not that it means anything to me personally.

          1. It seems like the Fed is inadvertently signaling panic and ammunition depletion with their interim bazooka blasts.

  19. Working from home. CA goes full Costco. This is going to be a sharp steep crash probably worse than 2008 but may not last as long ?

    1. Remember the poster a couple of weeks ago?

      “Stop talking about the virus!”

      I don’t recall his/her point. Was it that the virus was a nothing-burger?

      Good thing the stores are out of crow…

      1. IIRC, the point was that coronavirus was not a big deal and that it would have no effect whatever on real estate, which always goes up, no matter what.

        1. it would have no effect whatever on real estate

          Local cancellations are up. See my post above.

        2. There’s never been a better time to buy!

          How the coronavirus is affecting the local real estate market
          Posted: March 14, 2020
          Updated: 2:09 PM
          KUSI Newsroom

          SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Louie Ortiz from The Louie Ortiz Group joins KUSI to tell us why right now may be the best time to buy or refinance a home.

          The way that the coronavirus has affected the local real estate market has left tremendous buying opportunity with potentially fewer competing offers and low interest rates. Some investors are even looking to real estate following the uncertainty with the stock market.

          1. “Louie Ortiz Group joins KUSI to tell us why right now may be the best time to buy or refinance a home”

            Do they have a real estate school for inmates program in the san diego jail? They sure take the realtor lying up a notch down in SD.

  20. Who knew COVID-19 = Bailout for rich folks?

    Only in America. Never let an opportunity to waste.

      1. Or not…

        Treasury futures rally as stock futures slide on Fed emergency actions
        Published: March 15, 2020 at 6:52 p.m. ET
        By Sunny Oh

        Futures for the 10-year Treasury note rose 1.17% to $137.27 on Sunday night, after the Federal Reserve announced a raft of measures to improve the flow of credit, increase bank lending and to restore the functioning of U.S. bond markets. The U.S. central bank also lowered interest rates to a range between zero to 0.25%. Futures for the S&P 500 (ES00, -4.784%) fell their daily limit, down 5%, on Sunday night.

        1. “$137.27”

          Does that represent a 37.27% gain over the base level, or am I misinterpreting the number?

    1. The Financial Times
      Capital markets
      US stocks head for slide despite Fed intervention
      Investors fear banks are out of ammunition to fight coronavirus-induced downturn
      A man wearing a facemask amid concerns over the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, walks past a stock market display board showing movements of the Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index at a shopping mall in Bangkok on March 15, 2020.
      The world markets were sent into meltdown by fears over the coronavirus outbreak that has threatened to plunge the global economy into recession. (Photo by Romeo GACAD / AFP) (Photo by ROMEO GACAD/AFP via Getty Images)
      News of the spreading virus over the weekend has undercut the effectiveness of the Fed intervention, according to some analysts
      © AFP via Getty Images
      Katie Martin in London, Robin Wigglesworth in Oslo and Colby Smith in New York 27 minutes ago

      US stocks headed for another slide as Asian trading got under way on Monday, despite an aggressive package of measures to support markets from the Federal Reserve and other major central banks.

      Futures markets pointed to a 4 per cent decline in the benchmark S&P 500 index when it starts trading later in the global day, even after the Fed said it would slash interest rates effectively to zero and kick-start a fresh programme of bond buying in response to the deepening crisis over the coronavirus pandemic. At one point the futures were limit down, suggesting a 5 per cent fall.

      “The Fed has thrown everything at this. If we are now facing the end of central bank action, it means we are on our own,” said Seema Shah, chief strategist at Principal Global Investors. “There is a fear settling in the market, investors are terrified that this was all that was left.”

    2. Futures & Commodities
      Published 2 hours ago
      Dow futures tumble 1,000 points after Fed takes emergency action
      The Fed slashed interest rates to near zero and announced $700B of asset purchases
      By Jonathan Garber FOXBusiness
      Fox Business correspondent Edward Lawrence discusses the fed’s decision to lower interest rates amid the coronavirus pandemic.

      U.S. equity futures plunged limit down after the Federal Reserve took emergency action on Sunday evening.

      Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were lower by 1,040 points, or 4.5 percent, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite were down 4.4 percent and 4.6 percent, respectively.

      Sunday evening’s losses come after the Fed slashed its benchmark interest rate by 100 basis points to a range between zero and 0.25 percent and said it will buy $700 billion worth of Treasury securities in a new asset-purchase program.

        1. One trick pony.

          We’ve underestimated the depravity of these crooks more than once already.

    3. It doesn’t seem like liquidity injections are making stocks go up any more.

      The Financial Times
      Capital markets
      Asian stocks fall despite Fed cutting rates to zero
      US futures drop as investors’ fears grow over coronavirus-induced downturn
      Shares in China fell despite moves by the country’s central bank to inject more liquidity into the financial system
      © AFP
      Hudson Lockett in Hong Kong, Katie Martin in London, Robin Wigglesworth in Oslo and Colby Smith in New York an hour ago

      Asian stocks and US futures dropped on Monday despite aggressive measures from the Federal Reserve including cutting rates to near zero for the first time since the global financial crisis.

      In Asia-Pacific markets, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index dropped 7.4 per cent while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 2.5 per cent and China’s CSI 300 shed 1.4 per cent.

      Futures markets pointed to a 4.8 per cent decline in the benchmark S&P 500 index when it starts trading later in the day. Futures at one point were limit down, suggesting a 5 per cent fall. The 10-year US Treasury yield fell 29 basis points to 0.6682 per cent.

      Japan’s benchmark Topix was up 0.5 per cent after the central bank announced it would hold an emergency policy meeting. The Japanese yen, a haven during times of uncertainty, rose 0.6 per cent to ¥107.91 per dollar.

      On Sunday the Fed delivered its second emergency rate cut of the month and announced sweeping measures to address the turmoil that has swept across financial markets. The US central bank slashed its main policy rate by a full percentage point to between 0 and 0.25 per cent — a level last seen in 2015.

      It unveiled at least $700bn in asset purchases aimed at easing strains in the US Treasury and mortgage markets, as well as the expansion of dollar swap lines with other central banks.

      “The Fed has thrown everything at this. If we are now facing the end of central bank action, it means we are on our own,” said Seema Shah, chief strategist at Principal Global Investors. “There is a fear settling in the market, investors are terrified that this was all that was left.”

    4. The Financial Times
      Markets Briefing Capital
      Wall Street stocks plunge 10% despite sweeping Fed intervention

      European markets also dive amid deepening angst over economic disruption caused by virus
      Traders work during the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on March 16, 2020 at Wall Street in New York City. – Wall Street trading halted after the opening bell on deep losses.
      (Photo by Johannes EISELE / AFP) (Photo by JOHANNES EISELE/AFP via Getty Images)
      Traders work during the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange © AFP via Getty Images
      FT reporters 25 minutes ago
      Line chart of Blue-chip index trading at lowest level in nearly a decade showing London’s FTSE 100 tumbles

      US stocks plunged by 10 per cent on Monday after sweeping central bank intervention failed to prop up investors’ confidence or staunch the wave of volatility that has shaken global markets.

      The S&P 500 index lost a tenth of its value in early dealings on Wall Street. The fall came even after a ‘circuit breaker’, meant to ease panicky selling, kicked in and paused trading for 15 minutes.

      The FTSE 100 tumbled more than 7 per cent as a burst of selling rippled through stock markets despite a one percentage point rate cut by the Federal Reserve before markets opened overnight. The London blue-chip index has fallen to its lowest level since 2011 as losses this year spiral to more than 30 per cent.

      The declines were even more severe across continental Europe, as Germany’s Dax and France’s CAC 40 each lost around a tenth of their value. The Stoxx Europe 600 index, a barometer of the region’s largest companies, fell 10 per cent.

    1. Wouldn’t it be terrible to come home to escape a coronavirus hotspot, only to catch it while waiting at the airport to be tested alongside fellow travelers, some of whom have COVID-19?

      1. health & fitness
        Coronavirus Screening At LAX Causes Delays, Long Lines
        The new COVID-19 screening at LAX Airport caused long lines Saturday that some feared could increase the risk of spreading the virus.
        By City News Service, News Partner
        Mar 15, 2020 10:15 am PT
        LAX, which had been largely deserted for most of Saturday, was later jammed with travelers waiting to be screened while trying to beat new flight restrictions from 26 European countries.
        (Shutterstock)

        LOS ANGELES, CA — Long lines were reported Sunday morning at Los Angeles International Airport, which has been designated as one of 13 airports that is screening Americans and their immediate families returning from a list of restricted countries for the coronavirus.

        Similar bottlenecks were also noted late Saturday and early Sunday at other U.S. airports, most notably at Dallas Fort Worth Airport and Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport,…

      2. Wouldn’t it be terrible to come home to escape a coronavirus hotspot, only to catch it while waiting at the airport to be tested alongside fellow travelers, some of whom have COVID-19?

        Reminds me of a time when I was at Heathrow waiting for a flight home. Suddenly someone behind starts coughing up a storm. I get up to look and its a women wearing a sari.

        I immediately moved as far as I could.

    1. US moves nearer to shutdown amid coronavirus fears
      By TERRY SPENCER and TERESA CRAWFORD
      26 minutes ago

      CHICAGO (AP) — Officials across the country curtailed many elements of American life to fight the coronavirus outbreak on Sunday, with governors closing restaurants, bars, and schools and a government expert saying a 14-day national shutdown may be needed.

      The shutdowns came as the nation sank deeper into chaos over the crisis. Travelers returning home from overseas trips were stuck in line for hours at major airports for screenings, causing them to be crammed into just the kind of crowded spaces that public health officials have been urging people to avoid.

      In a sign of the impending economic gloom on the horizon, the Federal Reserve slashed its benchmark interest rate to near zero. President Donald Trump sought to calm a jittery nation by declaring that the government has “tremendous control” over the situation and urging people to stop the panic buying of grocery staples that has depleted the shelves of stores around the country. Gun stores started seeing a similar run on weapons and ammunition as the panic intensified.

      Parts of the country already look like a ghost town, and others are about to follow as theme parks closed, Florida beaches shooed away spring breakers, Starbucks said it will accept only drive-thru and takeout orders and the governors of Ohio and Illinois ordered bars and restaurants shuttered. California’s governor asked the state’s bars and restaurants to do the same, but didn’t order it. New York City, New Jersey and elsewhere are considering similar measures.

      “The time for persuasion and public appeals is over,” Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said. “This is not a joke. No one is immune to this.”

      His decision came hours after Dr. Anthony Fauci, the federal government’s top infectious disease expert, said he would like to see a 14-day national shutdown imposed to prevent the virus’s spread.

    2. The CDC recommends organizers cancel or postpone events with 50 people or more for 8 weeks
      By Madeline Holcombe and Dakin Andone, CNN
      Updated 8:47 PM ET, Sun March 15, 2020

      (CNN) The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Sunday recommended that no gatherings with 50 people or more take place for the next eight weeks in an effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

      The agency said these gatherings include conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings, and other types of assemblies.

      “Large events and mass gatherings can contribute to the spread of COVID-19 in the United States via travelers who attend these events and introduce the virus to new communities,” the CDC said in its new guidelines.
      The CDC recommended organizers “cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the United States.” The recommendation does not apply to some organizations like schools or businesses.

        1. Events with 50 people or more includes most workplaces and cubicle farms.

          Where I work everyone was given the choice to work from home. From what I have heard, our campuses are almost empty.

    1. We just went to zero. It very may well continue, depending upon the effects of this virus. However, there is no lower now. We will now see what “pinnacle peak pricing” is. It can only go down after that. There is no more interest rate housing heroin.

        1. No stopping this

          It doesn’t matter what the bankers do with their cute interbank overnight lending interest rates. What matters is when you not only stop borrowing money from them, you all stop repaying what you previously borrowed.

          The cascading defaults must already be well underway, or we wouldn’t be hearing of Zero. I’ve got a feeling Powell briefed Trump before he made his speech Friday.

          1. “What matters is when you not only stop borrowing money from them, you all stop repaying what you previously borrowed.”

            Yes.

  21. But what about all those 401K millionaires I was reading about last month ? Fidelity was crowing about thousands of 401K millionaires..

    Hope they had some Bonds…

  22. Biden just promised a female VP running mate and a black female Supreme Court justice. Sanders being pressed to do the same.

          1. At least they were funny. I loved that show! I think I have the VHS collection somewhere.

    1. Nothing shuts up identity politics like a good Depression. This happened in the late 90s too — with metrosexual guys going out into the woods to read Iron John and find their inner child. All that crap slowed down after the dot-com pop, and whatever was left came to a screeching halt after 9/11. We are seeing that again now.

  23. “A Market That’s Already Struggling With An Oversupply Of Homes And Falling Prices”

    Everybody loves falling prices…..

    Dallas, TX Housing Prices Crater 12% YOY As Rental Rates Plummet

    https://www.zillow.com/dallas-tx-75230/home-values/

    *Select price from dropdown menu on first chart

    A noted economist stated, “If you have to borrow for 15 or 30 years, you can’t afford it nor is it affordable.”

  24. MGM Resorts and Wynn are closing their Las Vegas properties. I’d imagine that Caesar’s Resorts and all others will soon follow.

    I live fairly close to the airport, at least it will be a lot quieter.

  25. I decided to watch the debate live online. It just so happened to be CNN. When the debate was over they started a recap, so I listened for a few minutes. Totally 100% in the bag for Biden. Their masters clearly told them how to spin it. Meanwhile, back in the real world, Bernie was slaying Joe as usual.

    1. PS – Bernie talked to that cuck Anderson Cooper for a few minutes after, and had a salient point: It’s the olds who are turning out for Biden, and most young people are completely disaffected and don’t even want to show up to primaries. But in a general, they would overwhelmingly show up and support Sanders over Biden if he ran against Trump. I wholeheartedly agree.

      1. The real question is whether Bernie’s olds would show up to vote for Biden. That’s how Trump was elected. Bernie Bros stayed home, POC’s stayed home. Would they stay home again?

  26. Check this video out from Wuhan, supported by the date and time stamp on the phone that the Chinese citizen alertly provided. These are the ways that the Chinese people are trying to show the world what is really happening. Wuhan isn’t “back to normal.” Wuhan has no hospital beds at all, and they’re turning people away.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ag5KQ_L8p4w

    1. So much for the fabricated story that a hospital in Wuhan recently discharged its last COVID-19 patient.

  27. ‘Bearmageddon’ for stocks appears to be upon us, strategist says
    Published: March 15, 2020 at 11:22 p.m. ET
    By Tomi Kilgore
    Investors may be concerned of Fed’s impotence, says JonesTrading’s Mike O’Rourke
    Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell Getty Images

    The stock market’s worst-case “Bearmageddon” scenario appears to have occurred, said Mike O’Rourke, chief market strategist at financial brokerage JonesTrading.

    He has described Bearmageddon as when the economy rolls over at a time of “maximum level” of easy monetary policy, while asset values like stocks are still expensive. “That combination of events becomes toxic because investors begin to express concern that the [Federal Reserve’s] monetary policy has become impotent,” O’Rourke wrote in a note to clients.

    On Sunday, the Fed cut its target range for the federal-funds rate to zero to 0.25% from 1.00% to 1.25%, and has now cut the rate by 1.5 percentage points since March 3. The move comes in response to the coronavirus outbreak, which has disrupted economic activity.

  28. It kind of seems like Treasury yields are going down.

    Market Extra
    These are the dysfunctions in the U.S. bond market that will lead the Fed to buy at least $500 billion of Treasurys
    Published: March 15, 2020 at 7:29 p.m. ET
    By Sunny Oh
    ‘I’ve never seen anything like it’, says veteran bond trader
    MarketWatch photo illustration/iStockphoto

    Amid frenzied trading over the past week, the $18 trillion U.S. Treasury market showed cracks that raised eyebrows across Wall Street, and finally led the Federal Reserve to announce a range of measures on Sunday night including purchases of hundreds of billions of U.S. government bonds over the coming months.

    Market participants say the cost to trade Treasurys with virtually identical terms but which differ in maturities by a few months has diverged sharply last week as traders struggled to buy and sell bonds in a hurry. This worrisome phenomenon underlines how volatility across Wall Street has seen trading volumes for older Treasurys slump even in the U.S. bond-market which is advertised as the deepest and most liquid safe-haven asset in the world.

    “I have never seen moves like this in 35 years of trading. I’ve never seen anything like it. At this point, the market will get absolutely exhausted,” said Tom di Galoma, managing director of Treasurys trading at Seaport Global Securities.

  29. Are you ready for oil at under $10 a barrel? I hear it is going to be replaced soon by renewables, anyway, so why worry?

    1. Oil prices may drop below $US10 a barrel in market mayhem
      Angela Macdonald-Smith Senior Resources Writer
      Updated Mar 16, 2020 – 12.58pm, first published at 10.40am

      Oil and gas stocks took another pummelling on Monday as investors braced for a wave of capex cuts amid warnings that crude oil prices could sink below $US10 a barrel for the first time in over 20 years.

      Oil Search sank a further 20 per cent to $2.79 as Woodside Petroleum and Santos saw falls of 14-18 per cent, extending last week’s bloodbath.

      Prices in the $US20s a barrel for Brent are “already looking almost certain”, and the prospect of single-figure prices – last seen in 1998 – “is now pretty inevitable in the coming months unless there are signs of an end to the current stand-off between Saudi Arabia and Russia,” London-based FACTS Global Energy advised clients.

    2. “Are you ready for oil at under $10 a barrel?”

      Think I read that they can’t survive for long under $40 due to infrastructure, red tape, etc., but I don’t really know. Anyone?

        1. it costs a pittance to drill pump.

          These days the big cost of anything is servicing the debt.

    3. Futures Movers
      U.S. oil plunges below $30 a barrel as emergency Fed moves fails to reassure traders on economy
      Published: March 16, 2020 at 8:39 a.m. ET
      By Barbara Kollmeyer

      Crude prices tumbled on Monday, in step with cratering global equities after an emergency Federal Reserve interest rate cut did nothing to stem the panic among investors triggered by the rapidly spreading coronavirus.

      West Texas Intermediate crude for April delivery (CL.1, -7.690%) on the New York Mercantile Exchange fell $2.34, or 7.2%, to $29.39 a barrel. May Brent crude (BRN00, -10.369%) dropped $3.16, or more than 9%, to $30.69 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe.

      Oil cratered last week after Russia and Saudi Arabia began a global crude price war following the breakdown of talks on production cuts.

  30. Markets
    Plunging stock market futures hit ‘limit down’ — Here’s what that means
    Published Sun, Mar 15 20207:10 PM EDT
    Updated Sun, Mar 15 20207:20 PM EDT
    Yun Li
    Key Points
    – Contracts on the S&P 500 dropped 5%, reaching a “limit down” band made by the CME futures exchange to prevent further losses.
    – No prices can trade below 5%, only at higher prices than “limit down.”
    – The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures plunged more than 1,000 points, also triggering the limit down level.
    GP: Trader reacts as markets continue to soar
    A trader reacts as he works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on January 10, 2020 in New York City.
    Kena Betancur | Getty Images

    Stock futures tanked in overnight trading on Sunday, triggering “limit down” levels to reduce panic in markets.

    Contracts on the S&P 500 dropped 5%, reaching a “limit down” band made by the CME futures exchange to prevent further losses. No prices can trade below that threshold, only at higher prices than that down 5% limit.

    Dow Jones Industrial Average futures plunged more than 1,000 points, also triggering the limit down level. The halt occurs during non-U.S. trading hours — that is before the 9:30 a.m. ET open of regular trading.

    The brutal sell-off in the futures market came even after the Federal Reserve cut interest rates to near zero in an aggressive bid to save the U.S. economy from the coronavirus fallout.

    The limit down rule has been tripped multiple times in the past few weeks as investors exited the market with the coronavirus outbreak disrupting global supply chains and fueling fears of a recession. The stock market has tumbled into a bear market, or down more than 20% from their recent highs.

    If the sell-off accelerates on Monday during the regular trading hours, the so-called circuit breakers could kick in once again.

  31. Was this the BOOM in the case case cluster cluster BOOM scenario oxide mentioned the other day?

    Here’s what could really sink the global economy: $19 trillion in risky corporate debt

    “Companies have spent the years since the global financial crisis binging on debt. Now, as the coronavirus pandemic threatens to push the world into recession, the bill could come due — exacerbating damage to the economy and feeding a meltdown in financial markets.

    Looking to take advantage of low interest rates, companies have rushed in recent years to issue bonds whose proceeds could be used to grow their businesses. Corporate debt among non-banks exploded to $75 trillion at the end of 2019, up from $48 trillion at the end of 2009, according to the Institute of International Finance.”

    $75 trillion, is that a lot?

    “As the coronavirus spreads — touching off a plunge in oil prices and a collapse in travel, and shutting factories from Italy to China — there is increasing alarm that companies in the energy, hospitality and auto sectors won’t be able to make their bond payments. That could trigger a spree of ratings downgrades and defaults that would further destabilize financial markets and compound the economic shock.

    “Debt is an automatic destabilizer,” MacAdam said.”

    Now he tells us.

    1. Looking to take advantage of low interest rates, companies have rushed in recent years to issue bonds whose proceeds could be used to grow their businesses.

      Wasn’t most of that money used for stock buy backs?

      1. For example: Boeing was buying back billions in stock, rather than designing a replacement for the 737.

        1. The big banks were also buying back their stock to jack the price up. Now they’re getting bailed out again.

      2. “Wasn’t most of that money used for stock buy backs?”

        This is what I’ve been trying to explain to the “VTSAX and chill” crowd when they come with the “stay the course” stuff.

  32. Oh my…

    The Financial Times
    Coronavirus
    Chinese economy suffers record blow from coronavirus
    Industrial output falls while urban unemployment rises
    Mandatory Credit: Photo by ALEX PLAVEVSKI/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock (10584108u)
    A man sits in shop at the Shenzhen Electronics Market in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, China, 13 March 2020 (issued 16 March 2020). China’s value-added industrial output, an important economic indicator, fell 13.5 percent year-on-year in the first two months of 2020 as the coronavirus outbreak hurt activities, according to a report issued by the National Bureau of Statistics on 16 March 2020. Coronavirus and COVID-19 outbreak has negative effect of China’s economy, Shenzhen – 13 Mar 2020
    Retail sales in China have plummeted, with some analysts predicting coronavirus will have a deeper impact on the Chinese economy than the global financial crisis
    © ALEX PLAVEVSKI/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
    Don Weinland and Xinning Liu in Beijing yesterday

    China’s industrial output fell to its lowest level on record in the first two months of this year and urban unemployment hit its highest rate ever in February, as the coronavirus brought the world’s second-largest economy to a standstill.

    The official data — some of the worst official figures ever reported by China — suggest President Xi Jinping’s attempts to expedite an economic recovery in late February have not yet had the desired effect.

    Industrial output tumbled by 13.5 per cent in the first two months of this year and the urban unemployment rate surged to 6.2 per cent in February, the bureau said on Monday.

    The latest economic data also showed that China retail sales plummeted by 20.5 per cent year on year in January and February and fixed asset investment fell by 24.5 per cent, down from 5.4 per cent growth when the data were last reported.

    The numbers were far below analysts’ expectations with many China experts expressing surprise that government officials were willing to report such devastating figures.

    “The latest activity and spending data were much weaker than expected and point to a far deeper downturn than during the Global Financial Crisis,” Capital Economics said in a note on Monday.

    1. Too much crater to fathom…

      The Financial Times
      Capital markets
      European stocks tumble even after aggressive Fed intervention
      Asian shares and US futures drop as BoJ launches new policy measures
      A pedestrian wearing a protective mask walks past an electronic stock board outside a securities firm in Tokyo, Japan, on Friday, March 13, 2020. Japanese stocks tumbled, headed for their worst week since 2008, as government and central bank plans to counter the coronavirus impact offered the markets little comfort. Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg
      Japanese stocks fell after the central bank said it would aim to double its purchases of exchange traded funds
      © Bloomberg
      FT reporters 26 minutes ago

      European stocks tumbled on Monday, as sweeping central bank intervention failed to staunch the wave of volatility that has shaken global markets.

      The FTSE 100 fell 4.7 per cent at the open, taking losses so far this year for the London blue-chip index to more than 30 per cent. The sell-off was widespread across Europe: Germany’s Dax and France’s Cac 40 were 4.6 per cent lower.

      The Federal Reserve cut US interest rates before markets opened on Sunday and joined forces with other central banks in a bid to prevent a more severe economic downturn and market dislocation caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The Fed slashed its main policy rate by a full percentage point to between zero and 0.25 per cent — a level last seen in 2015. It also unveiled at least $700bn in asset purchases.

      Despite the central bank action, which is without parallel since the financial crisis, S&P 500 index futures fell as much as 5 per cent, triggering exchange circuit breakers and tipping heavy falls when Wall Street begins trading later in the day.

      “The Fed has thrown everything at this. If we are now facing the end of central bank action, it means we are on our own,” said Seema Shah, chief strategist at Principal Global Investors. “There is a fear settling in the market, investors are terrified that this was all that was left.”

    1. The Financial Times
      Fund management
      World’s three biggest fund houses shed $2.8tn of assets
      Global sell-off signals end of boom years for asset managers
      Pedestrians pass in front of BlackRock Inc. headquarters in New York, U.S., on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. BlackRock Inc. is scheduled to release earnings figures on January 16.
      Photographer: Gabriella Angotti-Jones/Bloomberg
      BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street Global Advisors have all seen their assets under management fall sharply
      © Bloomberg
      Peter Smith in London yesterday

      The world’s three biggest fund managers have seen their assets shrink by an estimated $2.5tn this year as a global sell-off in financial markets heralds a decisive end to the industry’s golden era of growth.

      BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street Global Advisors have all seen their assets under management fall sharply as a result of the recent market chaos, during which US stocks fell into bear market territory after more than a decade of gains and the FTSE 100 suffered its worst one-day drop since 1987.

      BlackRock’s assets hit a record of more than $7.4tn earlier this year, spurred by its iShares exchange traded fund arm. But that figure has now fallen bynearly $1.4tn to $6tn, according to FT calculations, as global equities crashed, including the S&P 500’s 20 per cent drop since its February peak.

      Shares in BlackRock have dropped 28 per cent since their February high, cutting the New York based group’s market value to $64bn. The company declined to comment.

      Vanguard’s assets reached $6.2tn in January, fell to $5.9tn by the end of February, and are now tracking at about $5.4tn based on recent market falls. Vanguard said assets had dipped in March but it was “still seeing positive cash flow”, including net investor inflows of more than $77bn in the first two months of the year.

      Tim Buckley, Vanguard chief executive, advised investors this month to “stay the course”. He added: “In my 30 years in the business, I’ve seen many market storms. Repricings are inevitable, sometimes violent, but never predictable. Panic and rash action aren’t your ally.”

  33. This, in a nutshell, explains why COVID-19 is a much more wicked containment problem than SARS was.

    Infected people without symptoms might be driving the spread of coronavirus more than we realized
    By Elizabeth Cohen, Senior Medical Correspondent
    Updated 10:22 PM ET, Sun March 15, 2020

    (CNN) New studies in several countries and a large coronavirus outbreak in Massachusetts bring into question reassuring assertions by US officials about the way the novel virus spreads.

    These officials have emphasized that the virus is spread mainly by people who are already showing symptoms, such as fever, cough or difficulty breathing. If that’s true, it’s good news, since people who are obviously ill can be identified and isolated, making it easier to control an outbreak.
    But it appears that a Massachusetts coronavirus cluster with at least 82 cases was started by people who were not yet showing symptoms, and more than half a dozen studies have shown that people without symptoms are causing substantial amounts of infection.

    1. Out on a job site this morning and an electrician asked me…

      Have you heard the first Coronavirus joke?

      I said no and he replied…

      You won’t get it.

    2. Maybe if we started testing lots of people, we could have answers instead of guesses and speculation.

    1. The Financial Times
      US banks
      Eight big US banks suspend share buybacks
      The ‘systemically important’ companies cited ‘unprecedented challenge’ of pandemic
      NY Attorney General Files Lawsuit Against JP Morgan Chase Over Bear Stearns Fraud…NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 02: People pass a sign for JPMorgan Chase & Co. at it’s headquarters in Manhattan on October 2, 2012 in New York City. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has filed a civil lawsuit against JPMorgan Chase alleging widespread fraud in the way that mortgages were packaged and sold to investors in the days that lead-up to the financial crisis. The allegations, which were filed in New York State Supreme Court, concern business that transpired during 2006 and 2007 at a now-defunct Bear Stearns, the failed Wall Street firm which was purchased in 2008 by JPMorgan Chase. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
      The share buyback announcement was aimed at instilling investor confidence in America’s biggest banks
      © Getty
      Laura Noonan in Dublin and Robert Armstrong in New York yesterday

      Eight of America’s biggest banks are suspending their multibillion-dollar share buyback programmes until at least July, citing the “unprecedented challenge” from the coronavirus pandemic.

      The Financial Services Forum announced the move by Bank of America, Bank of New York Mellon, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, State Street and Wells Fargo on Sunday evening, hours after the Federal Reserve cut rates by 1 percentage point and unveiled a range of other measures to boost the economy and banks’ liquidity.

      The banks are the eight US institutions deemed to be “globally systemically important” by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.

  34. Seems like the scenario planners screwed up.

    Markets
    Coronavirus crash is a true ‘Black Swan’ as Goldman thought the economy was nearly recession-proof
    Published Sat, Mar 14, 2020 10:54 AM EDT
    Al Lewis
    Key Points
    – Goldman Sachs analysts declared the U.S. economy all but recession proof – it wasn’t.
    – The problem with economic forecasts is that they can’t anticipate unforeseen events like the coronavirus pandemic.
    – Economists debate whether the U.S. is truly headed for a recession, but economic pain is already here.
    Premium: Black Swan 1
    PENGGG | Getty Images

    Goldman Sachs’ economists declared the U.S. economy all but recession-proof at the dawning of 2020, but now it appears a coronavirus-induced recession may have begun just a few months later.

    The analysis didn’t account for a “Black Swan,” a term for an improbable and unforeseen event. Instead, it explored the idea of a “Great Moderation,” which is characterized by low volatility, sustainable growth and muted inflation.

    “Overall, the changes underlying the Great Moderation appear intact, and we see the economy as structurally less recession-prone today,” Goldman economists Jan Hatzius and David Mericle wrote.

    The economy, they argued, would settle gently after 11 years of growth.

    “While new risks could emerge, none of the main sources of recent recessions — oil shocks, inflationary overheating, and financial Imbalances — seem too concerning for now. As a result, the prospects for a soft landing look better than widely thought.”

    All the risk assessment and economic modeling in the world is futile if it can’t anticipate the one variable that matters most — particularly if it’s a pandemic.

    1. The economy, they argued, would settle gently after 11 years of growth

      This is how you know everything was in a bubble.

    2. “Black Swan”

      I was wondering when this term would start gaining traction again. Mark Cuban was the first I heard use it a week ago when interviewed at the Mavs game last week, which would turn out to be the last one played.

    3. In a way, they were right. The economy is recession-proof, in the sense that we no longer have an actual functioning free market economy with normal business cycles.

  35. “When I asked if I could wear a mask, they said it might not be a good idea because ‘we don’t want to scare the guests,’” McLucas said.

      1. No unemployment if you quit , there is a usually a penalty of 8-12 weeks before you can file, so hopefully he has a nice cash reserve. I have never quit a job just for that reason alone. I think we all have been fired and told to leave the building yet still can ollect UI.

        1. State laws may vary. In TX, if an employee is fired for cause, there’s no UI. I terminated a secretary, she filed for UI like 18 hours later. I was thinking if she had showed that much motivation in doing her job she wouldn’t have gotten fired!

          1. Yes fired for cause has different rules then voluntarily quitting your job or asking your company for family leave. . So i wonder if the Pelosi AOC Biden Government will quickly pass laws and make it easier to collect UI right away if someone in your family is not sick yet? Or will they still deny you benefits if your job can be done at home and you refuse?? Questions we really never thought of before.

  36. Mexico holds big music festival despite coronavirus concerns

    BY BERENICE BAUTISTA ASSOCIATED PRESS
    MARCH 15, 2020 12:38 AM

    Thousands cheer the Vive Latino festival in Mexico City, Saturday, March 14, 2020. On Friday afternoon organizers confirmed that the 21st edition of the festival will go on as planned. CHRISTIAN PALMA AP PHOTO

    Some acts backed out, but tens of thousands of music fans flocked on Saturday to the first day of the festival, which still expected Guns N’ Roses, Carlos Vives and Zoe to be among its headliners. Organizers said more than 70,000 tickets had been sold for each of the festival’s two days.

    Santiago Ayala was accompanied by his wife and his 9-year-old daughter, Regina, who wore a Guns N’ Roses T-shirt to her first Vive Latino.

    “In the end we thought that at any moment we could catch it here, in the pharmacy in the tortilla line. We decided to take the risk and come,” Ayala said, adding that they brought along antibacterial gel and tissues and didn’t plan to push into crowds.

    https://www.charlotteobserver.com/entertainment/music-news-reviews/article241207126.html

    1. This has caused some controversy in Mexico; which seems to be in denial. It seems that the big subway collision last week has more media coverage down there.

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