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People Are Detaching From What They Paid And Looking At What The Market Is Like Now

It’s Friday desk clearing time for this blogger. “Auction.com reported in January that experts predict foreclosure and REO inflow will increase in 2020, with most of the influx coming for government-insured loans. ‘Most in the default servicing industry expect government-insured loans to be the primary source of increased foreclosure inflow in 2020, even in the absence of a widespread recession or housing downturn,’ said Jesse Roth, SVP of Strategic Partnerships and Business Development with Auction.com. ‘That’s a rational conclusion given the rising risk profile of FHA-backed loans originated in the last five years.'”

“The housing market, which is being curtailed by fewer buyers out looking at houses, took another blow this week as mortgage rates soared. ‘Under normal circumstances, we would see the bond market improve as stocks plummet, but we are not in a normal market,’ said Elizabeth Rose, certified mortgage planning specialist at AmCap Home Loans in Plano, Tex. ‘Stocks are taking a beating but instead of money flowing into bonds — thus rates improving — investors are selling bonds to cover margin calls. The government will have to finance the stimulus, which they do by selling Treasurys. Although the Fed has committed to purchasing Treasurys and mortgage bonds, an oversupply will flood the market, which will push mortgage rates higher.'”

“The MBA released its mortgage credit availability index (MCAI) that showed credit availability decreased in February. A decline in the MCAI indicates lending standards are tightening. ‘Mortgage credit supply decreased in February, as both conforming and jumbo segments of the market saw a decline,’ Joel Kan, an MBA economist, said in a statement. ‘Last month’s activity was the calm before the storm.'”

“The world-wide pandemic has upended the lives of every New Yorker and countless others. ‘I have been in business for 40 years, and this looks like a cross between 9/11 and 2008,’ said Manhattan luxury real-estate agent Donna Olshan. ‘We might see a period where things come to an absolute halt,’ said Michael Graves, a New York agent with Compass.”

“‘More concerning to people is the fact that oil prices have crashed,’ said Paige Martin of Keller Williams in Houston. ‘The implication of this crash is that nearly all oil-and-gas companies will need to make sizable personnel cuts. While most of those cuts haven’t happened yet, a good number of individuals in the industry are concerned for their jobs.'”

“In some markets, deals are starting to fall through, with some buyers citing losses from the stock-market plunge. Others are expressing concerns about where home values will be after the virus subsides. ‘There are going to be layoffs,’ said Janice Corley, CEO of Re/Max Premier Properties in Chicago. ‘This has a big effect on our buyers because they’re the owners and CEOs of these companies.'”

“Shana Rohde-Lynch, an agent with Compass in Marin County near San Francisco, was on the verge of closing a deal for a six-bedroom home listed for $3.77 million in the tony Belvedere area. It had been in escrow for nearly a month. On Sunday night—the day before the financing contingency was due to be removed—the buyer’s agent called and said the buyer pulled out of the deal. The down payment was supposed to come partly from stock sales the buyer no longer wanted to make, given the decline in the stock market and uncertain times.”

“Ms. Olshan said she had a contract signed on a studio apartment in New York’s Greenwich Village on March 12 but the buyer, who was funding the purchase in part with money from her parents, called the following day to say they could no longer afford to buy. Developers are likely to be among those hit by the crisis, according to people familiar with the market. In New York especially, where an oversupply of luxury condos has stymied prices over the past few years, developers, some of whom are already under pressure from their lenders to sell units, are now having to close their sales offices indefinitely.”

“‘We are living in unprecedented times.’ That’s how Meyers Research Chief Economist Ali Wolf opened her ‘COVID-19 Update: The Housing Market’ webinar. ‘Consumers make up 70% of the economy – they are the backbone of the economy.’ Wolf reported a slowdown in luxury sales and the 55 plus market since the pandemic hit the U.S. ‘It really comes down to fear versus affordability,’ Wolf said. ‘There are some great affordability opportunities right now, and it’s important to communicate the longer-term benefit of homeownership.'”

“That said, things are bound to get worse. ‘There will be layoffs and bankruptcies and bailouts,’ she said. ‘You will see them, and those numbers will be dramatic and bad.'”

“Yesterday, Inman reported on the halt of the iBuyer business model by Opendoor and Redfin, two large real estate operators. According to Mike DelPrete: ‘There are already early signs of a slowdown in the Phoenix market, the birthplace and epicenter of iBuying. Whether driven by inventory shortages, global market uncertainty, or iBuyers mitigating their risk, significantly less homes are being bought each month in Phoenix. Total iBuyer purchases in Phoenix for February are down 30 percent year-on-year; Zillow in particular is down 63 percent from the same time last year.'”

“Townhouses in South Calgary generally fetched between $500,000 and $700,000, and infill homes between $900,000 and $1.2-million, late last year. This detached house has been updated and is located across from a park, but with just one bedroom – two shy of the norm in the area – it was listed with a price at the lower end of the scale. Though buyers admired its loft-like design, the lack of bedrooms was a serious drawback and the house needed two price reductions before a bidder came forward.”

“‘When the offer came lower than what we hoped for, my client was great to … look at all the facts and not be emotional,’ said agent Christina Hagerty. ‘People coming into 2020 are detaching from what they paid for [their property] and looking at what the market is like now.'”

“Hundreds of thousands of small investors were marooned in commercial property funds as the £15 billion sector scrambled to ban redemptions with the blessing of regulators yesterday. The moves will reopen the debate about the wisdom of open-ended funds with illiquid assets offering daily redemptions, a business model that Mark Carney, the former governor of the Bank of England, said was ‘built on a lie’ after the gating of Neil Woodford’s equity income fund last year. This is the fourth big shutdown of property unit trusts since the last financial crisis.”

“It leaves investors unable to access their savings at a time when they may desperately need them. Anyone with money in a property unit trust now has the agonising wait to find out what their investments may be worth when they finally reopen.”

“Taking away a landlord‘s ability to remove tenants on 90 days’ notice is a major concern and could lead to landlords selling up, Marlborough property managers say. First National Marlborough senior property manager Mariette Knudsen said removing landlords right to evict tenants on 90 days’ notice was the ‘biggest loss’ in the proposed changes. Knudsen said it could mean landlords look to sell their properties as they become too hard to manage. ‘They [investors] are saying ‘OK, this is too hard for us now’ and they’re trying to get out of the market and selling.'”

“The Reserve Bank’s dramatic $90bn boost for the financial system will not be enough to save the housing market from a possible crash as Australia heads into a coronavirus-driven recession. But with transactions likely to dry up amid a creeping nationwide lockdown, the long boom in the housing market faces its biggest test for more than a decade. Tom Panos, a Sydney auctioneer, said he had noticed more vendors rushing to ‘cash out.’ His view was supported by buyer’s agent Pete Wargent, who said he had noticed investors with multiple properties were looking to sell.”

“‘The reality is that monetary stimulus won’t help the housing market. Confidence in the property market is now very low, as is consumer confidence generally, and until that recovers we won’t see many transactions,’ he said. ‘Some might try to sell but whether they can find a buyer, I don’t know. Open homes and auctions could be cut and one thing’s for sure, transactions are going to drop off a cliff. No vendor wants to sell for a price lower which is less than they think their property is worth. But there is a fear now that prices could be lower in six or nine months’ time. So they’re thinking, ‘let’s get the deal done’ and that cascades into lower prices.'”

“Damien Klassen, of the Melbourne-based fund manager Nucleus Wealth, said the RBA had used up all its ammunition in recent years by cutting rates to already record-low levels so there was little impact for housing from Thursday’s measures. The spectre of rising unemployment was the most important factor in the delicate housing market equation. ‘I’m sure they’ll try to pull something out of the hat because generally the government will do everything it can to save the housing market,’ he said. ‘But once unemployment starts going up – and I can’t see how it won’t – people will be forced to start selling and prices will fall.'”

This Post Has 255 Comments
  1. I could post dozens of crater, but you get the idea.

    ‘Most in the default servicing industry expect government-insured loans to be the primary source of increased foreclosure inflow in 2020, even in the absence of a widespread recession or housing downturn,’ said Jesse Roth, SVP of Strategic Partnerships and Business Development with Auction.com. ‘That’s a rational conclusion given the rising risk profile of FHA-backed loans originated in the last five years.’

    This is from a distressed property/foreclosure biz site. They’ve been ringing the bells from the auction market for months, and anybody that goes to these auctions, like me, knows the sh$t has hit the fan. If you want to buy a foreclosure, send me an email.

    So about this rising risk profile. Five years. That’s when Mel Watt put the “pedal to the metal”. Lending standards have been sinking so bad that now the FHFA tells us loans are crappier than last decade. Yes, this bubble is built on terrible borrowers and fraud.

    1. Yes, this bubble is built on terrible borrowers and fraud.

      Yep. You can’t actually have a housing bubble like this without fraud, because prices are totally detached from incomes. I’d add in GREED, too.

    2. It’s Friday desk clearing time for this blogger. “Auction.com reported in January that experts predict foreclosure and REO inflow will increase in 2020, with most of the influx coming for government-insured loans. Most in the default servicing industry expect government-insured loans to be the primary source of increased foreclosure inflow in 2020, even in the absence of a widespread recession or housing downturn,’ said Jesse Roth, SVP of Strategic Partnerships and Business Development with Auction.com. ‘That’s a rational conclusion given the rising risk profile of FHA-backed loans originated in the last five years.’”

      – Some comments/observations/opinions (is there a difference?):

      – Just like in housing bubble 1.0, towards the end of the run-up, the REIC was desperate to keep the game going longer and started scraping the bottom of the barrel of the potential buyer/sucker pool yet again via reduced FICO scores, lending standards, down payment requirements (e.g. 100%+ LTV), increased DTI ratios (e.g. 50%+), etc. This was pre-Wuhan, China virus pandemic. The housing market was already turning down in ’18, until the “Fed cave” in Jan.’19, which temporarily stick-saved the economy yet again, and included falling mortgage rates, which boosted home sales in ’19.

      – But, the Fed’s luck has run out. No more stick saves. The virus has popped “The Everything Bubble”, revealing the fake economy and those who were swimming naked as the tide now goes out. The virus didn’t cause the economic contraction, but rather accelerated it, since it was caused by extremely low rates (ZIRP), QE (Fed balance sheet U.S. Treas. + MBS buying = debt monetization), and all other variety of alphabet soup polices, interventions, machinations, aided and abetted by the housing GSEs and Mel Watt’s FHFA. The downturn was already “baked into the cake” from the wildly loose monetary and fiscal policies of the last 12-odd years.

      – The housing market depends on cheap credit/low rates and now that the unconventional buyers (foreign buyers, flippers, specuvestors, etc.) are stepping back, housing once again depends upon the shelter-buyer, who generally use a conventional mortgage. It’s pretty clear that employment is contracting, as is typical for late economic/credit cycle behavior. Note: Asking the States to withhold reporting ain’t gonna change things. Shelter-buyers need jobs to pay the mortgage nut. Mortgage rates are rising due to huge and increasing U.S. Treasury debt needed to pay for all of the new stimulus, bailouts, free-stuff, helicopter $, etc. Check out the Fed balance sheet. New record, and only just beginning. Guess what happens to housing sales in 2020?

      – Summary: The Fed as financial socialism agent for the Government, has indeed extended the economic/credit cycle by pumping obscene amounts of printed $ into the economy, along with a host of other interventions and machinations. This has predictably led to gross malinvestments and extreme excesses in the economy, just as it has done in the previous two asset bubbles in 2000 and 2008-09, and in fact, since the inception of the Fed. The financial chickens are now coming home to roost for this cycle. The tide of easy $ is now going out after the longest, and largest, artificial economic expansion in the history of the world. We will reap what (the Fed) has sowed. May you live in interesting times.

      “They sow the wind,
      And reap the whirlwind.
      The stalk has no bud;
      It shall never produce meal.
      If it should produce,
      Aliens would swallow it up.” – Hosea 8:7

      1. We essentially went through what could be described as “Roaring Twenties 2.0.” Stick a fork in it.

      2. “now the FHFA tells us loans are crappier than last decade. ”

        NOW they accept it. Anyone with eyes and ears could see this as soon as 2009.

        Jesus! Do people ever learn?

        1. Do people ever learn?

          Not when their livelihood is at stake. Actually producing something instead of skimming a bubble is a tough slog in comparison.

    3. As a Chinese friend said to me last week, “big house, so down”.

      Kind encapsulates it.

      I am wondering why the markets are still open. The borders with Canada and Mexico are shutdown. CA and NY are on lockdown. Everyday they are shutting down huge swaths of the economy. Chase Bank just shutdown 1000 branches. Shutting down the economy by government edict and leaving the stock market open just seems like a recipe for disaster.

      1. The southern border is not shutdown….the food supply chain depends on it being wide open.

        Then again, I guess we’ll have plenty of help in the fields come summer time, so stay tuned.

    4. “…bubble is built on terrible borrowers and fraud…”

      FRAUD, GREED and the REIConplex who served as the Nuclear detonator.

      We (HBB readers) all knew that this puppy was going to blow up big time.

      We all just didn’t the exact timing or method.

      Gotta say, never expected a mushroom cloud quite like this one, but here we are…..

  2. ‘‘We are living in unprecedented times…Consumers make up 70% of the economy – they are the backbone of the economy’

    I was paying attention when the globalists set us out on this road. In 10 short years the US went from a manufacturer and the worlds leading creditor to offshoring tens of thousands of factories and becoming the worlds largest debtor.

    ‘There will be layoffs and bankruptcies and bailouts,’ she said. ‘You will see them, and those numbers will be dramatic and bad’

    All those luxury apartments, ridiculous cap rates, “prices are rising faster than incomes” crap, looks pretty stupid now.

    1. I love being an under-consumer.

      With all the money I saved by not buying an overpriced used house, I could survive *years* of unemployment.

      Yes, you heard that correctly: years.

      Underwater loanowners deserve everything they’ve got coming, be sure to Facebook Live all your belongings being dragged out to the curb, loosers.

      1. Imagine having just lost your job and feeding a $2k per month alligator of a house, a $1k truck payment, a $300 credit card bill on top of insurance, healthcare and all the necessities of life. Loosers.

        1. Did these people learn ANYTHING from 2008?

          Yes, there will be suffering and incalculable losses. But for the willfully ignorant, the deliberabately overleveraged, zero sympathy.

          We live in a technological era of almost unlimited, free information.

          Suckers for marketing, the lies of lying Realtors (amplified by complicit lying Real Journalists), and the dopamine hit of getting likes on social media for bragging about their unsustainable debt fueled lifestyle, these loanowners deserve Z.F.G.

          1. “Did these people learn ANYTHING from 2008?”

            – No. Next question. But the MSM said it was all ice cream an unicorns. Say it ain’t so.

          2. “Yes, there will be suffering and incalculable losses. But for the willfully ignorant, the deliberabately overleveraged, zero sympathy.”

            I am afraid they will get bailed out. This whole corona beer thing is being used to bailout the banks/corps/fob’s. The corona hysteria doesn’t match the reality.

          3. Did these people learn ANYTHING from 2008?

            We intentionally made sure that almost nobody did. Oh…except one thing…BTFD.

        2. “…feeding a $2k per month alligator of a house, a $1k truck payment, a $300 credit card bill on top of insurance, healthcare and all the necessities of life….”

          And those are the *lucky* ones.

          Too many stories (acquainted with a few myself) with very solid 6 figure salaries and *still* (even before the meltdown) are living paycheck to paycheck.

          Debt and over consumption are going to kill off (figuratively) more people than any virus floating around.

          1. One of my husband’s tenants, who habitually pays his $4,800/mo rent late, tried using the coronavirus as an excuse for this month rent. Then, he had the audacity to ask for a rent reduction in light of recent events forgetting that my husband knows what his still employed wife makes as a district attorney.

          2. Sounds to me like it might have been prudent to charge a little less rent and be pickier about the tenant. Although I suppose it’s always possible for that type to slip through the screening…

          3. My husband’s a property manager. This property is in La Jolla with a million dollar view. The tenant is being opportunistic.

          4. On the other end of the spectrum, another set of tenants legitimately lost one source of income. The person was employed in adult day care.

          5. “One of my husband’s tenants, who habitually pays his $4,800/mo rent late…”

            Wow, what kind place is this? Helipad?

          6. what kind place

            Extremely dated (1970s) single-story ranch. It’s ALL about the view.

        3. a $1k truck payment

          That one really makes me shake my head. Talk about a depreciating asset. Even during bubbles trucks depreciate, but during a crisis you can’t give them away, not even with 7 year, 0% interest loans.

          When I saw those shiny new SUV’s at the dealership on Tuesday, all I could see was a big monthly payment. 7 year loan? Will they even last that long (7 years x 15K per year)? I can just see all these current model year vehicles needing new turbos and CVTs before they’re paid off. I wonder how much it would cost to replace the lane assist modules and sensor when they go bad. You won’t be able to buy those parts at AutoZone.

          Anyone remember when dealerships flat out stopped taking trucks in for trade ins?

          1. “Anyone remember when dealerships flat out stopped taking trucks in for trade ins?”

            Yeah, wasn’t that long ago either!

        4. I know a young couple who have about $70k in toys (truck, dirt bikes, ATVs, trailer) and are sh!tting bricks right now. thousands of dollars in loan payments each month on the toys, and one lay off away from getting it all taken away at a loss.

          1. Well-deserved, in my opinion. They drove up the price of everything for the rest of us.

      2. The loan owners will not be paying their mortgage moving forward…you will, by having your savings devalued so they can stay put.

    1. I just checked the CA FTB’s site and they’ve also extended to 7/15 for every class of filer. I assume that other states are making their moves in lockstep with the IRS.

  3. Fairfax, VA Housing Prices Crater 10% YOY As Northern Virginia/Washington DC Emerges As Ground Zero For Mortgage Fraud Epidemic

    https://www.zillow.com/fairfax-va-22031/home-values/

    *Select price from dropdown menu on first chart

    A distinguished economist quipped, “Why buy a house when you can rent one for half the monthly cost. Buy it later after prices crater for 70% less.”

    1. I for one stand in awe of your ability to stay on message no matter what is happening around you.

      His not to make reply,
      His not to reason why,
      His but to do and die.
      Into the valley of Housing Prices Crater
      Rode Mafia Blocks .

  4. “People Are Detaching From What They Paid And Looking At What The Market Is Like Now.”

    Are you sure? In the financial markets, which one would expect would adjust faster than the real estate market, current prices are still far in excess of what they ought to be based on historical measures. And yet the government is stepping in.

    And The Donald has asked state departments of labor not to release initial unemployment claims data.

    I get the same feeling I got in 2008 — they are trying to keep things together long enough for someone else to take their loss.

    1. long enough for someone else to take their loss

      It’s tricky guessing what someone’s motivation is.

    2. And The Donald has asked state departments of labor not to release initial unemployment claims data.

      Do you have a link to this?

        1. Quote with emphasis added:

          President Donald Trump’s administration has asked state labor officials to temporarily withhold releasing the number of unemployment claims they are receiving, the New York Times reported Thursday.

          What Happened

          The United States Department of Labor sent an email to state officials asking them to only use loose terms like “very high” or “large increase” when talking about unemployment rates and not mention specific numbers, according to the Times.

          The email shared with the Times by a state governor’s office said that the financial markets closely monitor the unemployment reports, and therefore, should remain embargoed until the federal government releases its next numbers on March 26.

          1. Markets hate uncertainty, and tend to sell off more strongly when uncertainty increases.

  5. ““Yesterday, Inman reported on the halt of the iBuyer business model by Opendoor and Redfin, two large real estate operators. According to Mike DelPrete: ‘There are already early signs of a slowdown in the Phoenix market, the birthplace and epicenter of iBuying. Whether driven by inventory shortages, global market uncertainty, or iBuyers mitigating their risk, significantly less homes are being bought each month in Phoenix. Total iBuyer purchases in Phoenix for February are down 30 percent year-on-year; Zillow in particular is down 63 percent from the same time last year.’””

    BUT but but NAR said sales best in a decade? Olick-chick article

    https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/20/february-home-sales-jump-to-highest-in-over-a-decade-but-big-drop-expected.html

      1. coronavirus fiscal stimulus

        We may not have a medicine for the virus, but we can fiscally stimulate the heck out of speculators.

      2. Today’s front-page headline at Marketwatch was amusing.

        “Dow skids 300/600/700/900 points lower Friday as stocks suffer worst week since 2008”

        They kept the headline and just changed the number as the day went on. And I don’t think the California lockdown has quite sunk in yet. NY is on “essential only” but I suspect they’ll go to lockdown soon too.

        1. How about an Illinois lockdown order, for good measure?

          Chicago MSA = 9.5 million people

        1. > For those who didn’t live through it, 1991 was at the tail end of a nasty recession.

          I remember it well – my roommate lost his job, but opted not to tell me that, or the fact that he didn’t make his half of the rent payment until I came home and asked ‘where the TV and VCR go?’

          At that time, the news went on and on about “middle management” being laid off in Corporate America, which of course was a deliberate over-simplification of what was actually happening.

          1. At that time, the news went on and on about “middle management” being laid off in Corporate America,

            I remember that. News footage of dazed middle aged guys with a cardboard box leaving the building.

          2. I remember that. News footage of dazed middle aged guys with a cardboard box leaving the building.

            At least we got “Falling Down” out of it :-).

          3. @Redpilled Redhead – she’s doing better, not great, but ok. We’re keeping a closer eye on our condition.

            Just got a fingertip blood oxygenation monitor from Amazon for about $30 and added it to the first aid supplies – in the even we do get hit hard by c19 or something similar, it should be a useful way to gauge when stuff is getting serious enough to seek help.

            @In Colorado – that was still a time when we didn’t have much beyond the “official” news reporting. That was a wave of layoffs that I don’t know if (as a nation) ever truly recovered from, even during the dot-com boom. It reminded me of watching all the plant closings around SE Michigan in the late 70s.

            @Carl Morris – indeed we did, but the creators of the movie were a bit afraid to go the whole way exploring the protagonist’s loss and sadness at being made irrelevant, and got sideways with the supremacist/racism plot angles. Of course now, the SJWs really want to denounce it…

        1. Down 66% in one year.

          Which, due to an asymmetric quirk in the maths of percentage change, requires a 200% price increase* to return to the initial level.

          Oof!

          * (1-0.66)* (1+2) = about 1

        2. Just got a fingertip blood oxygenation monitor from Amazon for about $30 and added it to the first aid supplies – in the even we do get hit hard by c19 or something similar, it should be a useful way to gauge when stuff is getting serious enough to seek help.
          Not a bad idea. Check everybody a few times to get the baseline. Sanitize if possible or wash hands when testing more than one person. Normal values of “O2 sat” change with elevation. Mostly likely if your value falls, you will probably already feel quite ill. Even holding your breath doesn’t make it drop much.

          1. Yeah, we did that this morning. Oxygen @ 98-100%. Pretty nifty device – also measures pulse rate.

            No one wants to go to the hospitals right now – that’s where all the sick people are 🙂

            Something like that gives an objective measurement to say “you need serious medical help” or “you’re ok enough to stay put” for both the person needing to go in, and for the doctors/ER/triage that controls admitting.

          2. “No one wants to go to the hospitals right now – that’s where all the sick people are”

            Totally! And why I seldom visited docs, even in the pre-COVID-19 era (no offense intended, tresho).

      1. This is why it’s silly to treat the stock market as if it’s the economy. It’s not. It’s time to let this speculative orgy die. Wall St. has been very bad for the country, and so have publicly traded companies. It’s time for them both to go to the back of the line.

        1. Headless Banker,

          Boy do I agree with your post right above me.

          I remember before Casino Nation, back in the good old days in USA, Wall Street was more designed for 10 per cent investment with slow long term growth.

          The problem is the greedheads in Wall Street felt limited by that. They got the Politicians to get rid of Glass/Stegal Act in 1989. Than Wall Street was off to the races with World Wide Ponzi Schemes.

          You combine this with the
          Globalism that gutted USA jobs, which made the Globalist richer, it screwed up USA big time.

          Also the price fixing monopolies have disrupted prices that should of fallen. It’s so rigged right now that it’s not really capitalism.

          Also, the press keeps trying to make a big deal out of the fact that we are not able to test 360 million USA people within a week. The press that hates Trump is absurd.
          You would never test the entire population.

          1. Yep, huge mistake to make ‘muricans retirement dependent on fraud street banksters. Now everyone’s fate is tied to the phony casino that is the stock market and everytime it hiccups the mafia that runs the vig machine gets a check from the fed reserve and a pat on the back. Truly disgusting.

            I’m seeing some sellers reduce their prices in the past week, but prices are at least 30% or more too high still. I think some of the reductions might be due to people who thought they could Airbnb it or rent it out long term but with the job market frozen that (infected) ship has sailed.

        2. So long as the paint tapers can get the DOW back above 20K by today’s close, everything will be just fine.

          1. All of these numbers – “levels” – are arbitrary and stupid. 20,000 is no different than 19,800, for all intents and purposes. “Psychological level”……please….

            Again, it’s time to move on from this garbage. The stock market has no effect on ordinary peoples’ lives, yet the Wall St. pigs clamor for bailouts and such as if the world’s ending. NEWSFLASH: it’s not.

            Further, has anybody noticed that in a couple weeks time we have almost every publicly traded company crying for a bailout? These guys can’t even last through a couple weeks of rough seas? Says a lot. I say it’s time to let each and every one of these corporations stand on their own. If you have to go BK, then that’s why we have bankruptcy laws. Let somebody else come in and buy all the assets on the cheap. They will be starting from a more sustainable position.

          2. “So long as the paint tapers can get the DOW back above 20K by today’s close, everything will be just fine.”

            – Closed below 20K. “Hakuna Matata.”

            “Hakuna matata roughly translates to “there are no troubles” in Swahili. The phrase was popularized in English by the 1994 Disney movie The Lion King, where it’s translated as “no worries.” It has a connotation of not worrying about things outside a person’s control.”

      1. They haven’t even made a decision whether or not they’re sending checks, and for how much and to whom if they even are.

        1. Coronavirus
          Published 20 hours ago
          Last Update 16 hours ago
          McConnell’s coronavirus stimulus plan would provide payments of $1,200 per person, $2,400 for couples

        2. “They haven’t even made a decision whether or not they’re sending checks, and for how much and to whom if they even are.”

          Pelosi wants her portrait on the checks.

          1. Pelosi wants her portrait on the checks.

            Many will be so desperate to get one that they could have a picture of her keister on it and they wouldn’t mind.

          2. Pelosi wants her portrait on the checks.

            Ewwww. In that case, direct deposit, please.

  6. “Amidst the current market slowdown, both Redfin (which has a $1 billion market cap) and Opendoor (which is valued at $3.8 billion, according to PitchBook) have stopped operations until further notice. Opendoor, which is backed by a vast number of well-known VC firms in Silicon Valley (including Fifth Wall, the largest proptech fund, and SoftBank Vision Fund), was a pioneer in the space, thanks to the efforts of Keith Rabois. Opendoor has now temporarily suspended homebuying, as the company’s priority is “the safety and well-being of [its] customers, employees and the general public.”

    Is Opendoor (or should we call them ClosedDoor) WeWork 2.0? What happen to that 3.8 billions valuation???

    1. Big Brother is watching your movements.

      For those unfamiliar with California geography, Chula Vista is a community in south San Diego County, slightly to the north of the Mexican border.

      The Financial Times
      California
      California police to use drones to patrol coronavirus lockdown
      Chula Vista to mount loudspeakers and night vision cameras on new drones
      Chula Vista police has bought two $11,000 drones made by DJI ©
      Patrick Mcgee in San Francisco and Kiran Stacey in Washington 2 hours ago

      A police department in California plans to use drones equipped with loudspeakers and cameras to enforce a coronavirus lockdown.

      Chula Vista police bought two $11,000 drones made by the Chinese company DJI, doubling the size of its small fleet, and plans to rig them up with speakers and night vision cameras.

      “We have not traditionally mounted speakers to our drones, but . . . if we need to cover a large area to get an announcement out, or if there were a crowd somewhere that we needed to disperse — we could do it without getting police officers involved,” said Vern Sallee, one of the city’s police captains.

      “The outbreak has changed my view of expanding the programme as rapidly as I can,” he added.

        1. I’d think #2 or BB shot would be OK. Think “goose”. Also, you’ll want a good blind…

  7. An article in 2017.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/24/technology/opendoor-start-up-home-sales.html

    “But Opendoor’s costs are also high, calling that goal into question. An analysis by Mr. DelPrete and another real estate analyst, Sib Mahapatra, estimated that because of the high costs of owning and maintaining each house for about three months, Opendoor makes only about $8,000 in profit on an average home it sells in Phoenix. It also relies heavily on appreciation; on average, it sells each house for about 5.5 percent more than it paid for it.

    Business must be booming in 2017? Must be dooming now!

    1. “Finally, there’s the nightmare scenario: a real estate crash. Part of the reason Opendoor is expanding to new markets is to avoid the vicissitudes of the business. Opendoor’s biggest liability is all the houses it owns; if some kind of disaster were to befall Phoenix and home sales cratered there, Opendoor would find itself holding hundreds of houses it couldn’t sell. By operating in several markets, Mr. Wu said, the company could insulate itself from local crashes.”

      Wu….meet the Wuhan virus. Wuhan virus…. meet Wu.

      1. hundreds of houses it couldn’t sell

        Don’t be silly. If you can’t sell the houses, someone else can.

    1. The Housing Bubble
      Mortgages
      Federal Reserve buys more mortgage bonds as rates rise above 4%
      US central bank accelerates purchases to stabilise market for securities backed by home loans
      (FILES) In this file photo taken on June 20, 2018 a house for sale sign is seen in Alhambra, California. – Fewer Americans filed for home loans last week as the coronavirus hit, according to industry data released on March 18, 2020, in the latest disruption caused by the pandemic that’s transformed the US economy.That could have implications for a US housing market that was steaming hot before the virus hit, with government data for February showed homebuilding continued at a solid pace, sharply higher than a year ago.
      (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP)
      Mortgage rates have risen because of turbulence in the market for mortgage-backed securities © AFP via Getty Images
      Robert Armstrong and Colby Smith in New York and Joe Rennison in London
      28 minutes ago

      The Federal Reserve accelerated its purchases of mortgage bonds on Friday after earlier interventions failed to calm the market for mortgage-backed securities or reverse a rise in home-loan rates for American consumers.

      “It is not a pretty sight what is going on,” said Walter Schmidt, a managing director at FTN Financial. “Even with the Fed announcing all their mortgage purchases, MBS securities have struggled to find a bottom.”

      The Fed’s New York branch bought $36bn in mortgage bonds on Friday, after purchasing more than $14bn on Thursday and $17bn between Monday and Wednesday.

      The purchases were part of a plan, announced on Sunday, to buy at least $200bn in mortgage-backed securities over the next month. The Fed said that it “stands ready to conduct more purchase operations . . . to promote smooth market functioning”.

      Despite the Fed intervention, mortgage-backed bonds remained under acute selling pressure. The difference in yields between mortgage-backed bonds and comparable Treasury securities topped 1.3 percentage points on Thursday, the highest seen since 2009. A month ago the difference was 0.44 percentage points.

      Difficulty in selling mortgage bonds has been reflected in the rates lenders offer customers. The national average rate for a 30-year mortgage rose to more than 4 per cent over the past week, a rate last seen in May, according to Bankrate.com.

      1. Source: The Financial Times

        (Was talking to my wife when posting, and my Freudian slip was showing…)

    2. Meanwhile, long-term Treasury yields posted a large, and under-reported, drop today, while stocks CR8R’d.

      Daily Treasury Yield Curve Rates
      Date 1 mo 2 mo 3 mo 6 mo 1 yr 2 yr 3 yr 5 yr 7 yr 10 yr 20 yr 30 yr
      03/18/20 0.04 0.03 0.02 0.08 0.21 0.54 0.66 0.79 1.08 1.18 1.60 1.77
      03/19/20 0.04 0.04 0.04 0.06 0.20 0.44 0.53 0.66 1.00 1.12 1.56 1.78
      03/20/20 0.04 0.05 0.05 0.05 0.15 0.37 0.41 0.52 0.82 0.92 1.35 1.55

      1. 12 bps drop on the 3-year, 20 bps drop on the 10-year, 23 BPS drop on the 30-year…ignored by the MSM, which is myopically focused on stock market losses.

        1. PS Today’s estimated daily gain on a thirty-year Treasury = 3%.

          Why don’t the Marketwatch people celebrate like crazy when HODLers of long-term Treasurys make bank?

  8. My friend closed on the house, a decision I am sure he will live to regret. If last meltdown is any indication, he overpaid by as much as $375,000. They make good money so I suppose they can weather it, but that’s a lot of coin to throw down a rathole.

  9. ‘The lockdown should have been wider and stricter earlier, Palù believes, rather than just focusing on the 11 communities initially placed in the red zone, and it should be tighter now. “We should have done more diagnostic tests in Lombardy where there was a big nucleus. There is no sense in trying to go to the supermarket once a week. You have to limit your time out, isolation is the key thing.” He says the Italian government lagged at first. It was “lazy in the beginning… too much politics in Italy.”

    “There was a proposal to isolate people coming from the epicenter, coming from China,” he said. “Then it became seen as racist, but they were people coming from the outbreak.” That, he said, led to the current devastating situation.’

    https://edition.cnn.com/2020/03/18/europe/italy-coronavirus-lockdown-intl/

      1. One thing I would like to see die with the virus is the fake racism narrative.

        It’s clear that any false narratives are rooted in money and control being the true issue. GREED and money has always been at the root of most evil .

        1. 1 Timothy 6:10

          For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

    1. – Here’s a great article for those who want to better understand the importance of early social distancing, isolation, quarantine, shelter at home, and lockdowns during the Wuhan, China virus global pandemic of 2019-2020 (aka COVID-19). f

      – South Korea and Singapore got the response right. China did to some degree, despite their totalitarian government. Need isolation, testing, and tracking. Start early. I don’t really know how the U.S. is doing. Italy did it wrong.

      – Sidebar: Viral outbreaks are typically named for the site of origin of “patient zero.” In this case it was Wuhan, China. I’m following that naming convention, even if China doesn’t like it. Facts are facts. Whether or not this is a natural bat virus mutation or an escape from a Chinese bioweapons lab, it started in Wuhan, Hubei, China. Not trying to be politcal here, just calling it like it is. Viruses observe no political party, no race, no boundaries. Just knock it down ASAP.

      https://medium.com/@tomaspueyo/coronavirus-the-hammer-and-the-dance-be9337092b56
      Coronavirus: The Hammer and the Dance
      What the Next 18 Months Can Look Like, if Leaders Buy Us Time
      Tomas Pueyo
      Mar 19 · 27 min read

      This article follows Coronavirus: Why You Must Act Now, an article with over 40 million views translated into over 20 languages describing the urgency of the Coronavirus problem. If you agree with this article, consider signing the corresponding White House petition. Translations available in 4 languages at the bottom.

      Summary of the article: Strong coronavirus measures today should only last a few weeks, there shouldn’t be a big peak of infections afterwards, and it can all be done for a reasonable cost to society, saving millions of lives along the way. If we don’t take these measures, tens of millions will be infected, many will die, along with anybody else that requires intensive care, because the healthcare system will have collapsed.

      – Stay well everyone. Stay at home if you can.

  10. New York State just joined the mandatory economic shutdown movement. CA + NY = 59 million people…roughly the population of Italy and obviously a disproportionately large share of the U.S. economy.

    Makes me wonder how all the money printing underway will balance out against economic production going over a cliff.

    Cuomo orders all non-essential New York workers to stay home
    By Veronica Stracqualursi, CNN
    Updated 12:38 PM ET, Fri March 20, 2020
    NY governor tells non-essential workers to stay home

    Washington (CNN) All workers in non-essential businesses across New York state are required to stay home in an effort to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced at a press conference Friday morning.
    The executive order takes effect Sunday evening, Cuomo said, and comes a day after California Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered the state’s nearly 40 million residents to stay home. The two states have a combined population of nearly 59 million people, meaning the two orders affect nearly 1 in 5 Americans.

    Cuomo acknowledged that his actions “will cause disruption. They will cause businesses to close. They’ll cause employees to stay at home. I understand that. They will cause much unhappiness. I understand that also.”

    But, he said, “I accept full responsibility. If someone is unhappy, if somebody wants to blame someone, or complain about someone, blame me. There is no one else who is responsible for this decision.”

      1. “Are We There Yet?”

        – No. “We’ll get there when we get there.”

        – DJIA closed below 20K. Ruh Roh Rhaggy…

        – Still, I expect a bounce in the near-term. That’s what bear markets do. A few months of a strong bear market rally will convince (some) to jump back in. Then, the next leg down lower. Classic bear market behavior. I don’t think “it’s different this time.”

        1. I’m trying to understand why anyone would jump in until we have more clarity on what to expect with this virus. I could see a rally if the numbers slow.

    1. Does the lock down of New York mean they close the Stock Market?

      It might be warranted to do this. After all this is a National emergency.

      1. close the Stock Market

        Aren’t they working from home? Let’s not interfere with the Melt Down.

    2. Heard a local radio program today, one of the guests has a son in NY and his friend there is in ICU, 30 years old.

      Also heard that the dems – I think Schumer – wants employees who lost their jobs to get their full salaries until they are employed again. If that happens, I’m retiring. I work from home, so I’m working through this shutdown but to see all my neighbors frolicking outside on full salary while I toil – aint gonna happen. I don’t begrudge them unemployment, suspension of loans, etc. but full salary until who knows when is my cue to head to galts gulch.

        1. Just heard theres a convoy of cars on Oahu protesting the states’ response to covid-19. They want all tourists to leave, flights to shut down, and special benefits including health care costs covered for those in the hospitality industry. Getting spicy. Oahu has yet to impose a curfew – half the islands have, half haven’t.

          I read the website that handles unemployment claims crashed repeatedly this week.

          1. Live by the tourist dollar, die by the tourist dollar.

            The Free Sh!t Army is going into overdrive.

          2. Can you stow away to Niihau? Might be the only safe place in the US 😀

            Seriously though, Hawaii is going to get hit hard, and it will be absolutely brutal. I’m not talking about the virus either.

            The violence and crime there will prevent an entire generation from wanting to visit.

      1. Also heard that the dems – I think Schumer – wants employees who lost their jobs to get their full salaries until they are employed again.

        How much is that gonna cost? Even the $1000 a month deal is promising to break the bank.

  11. Statewide, 14,846 unemployment insurance claims were filed during the week that ended last Saturday. That’s more than double the number from a week earlier, according to department figures released Thursday.

    Claims have surged even faster since Sunday, when Gov. Jay Inslee mandated closures of many public-facing venues, including gyms, entertainment venues, and many bars and restaurants.

    This week, every day, the new claims we are receiving are at the level of the peak weeks during the 2008/2009 recession,” said Employment Security Department commissioner Suzan LeVine.

    https://www.seattletimes.com/business/washingtons-unemployment-system-flooded-with-claims-as-coronavirus-fallout-grows/

  12. Hospital workers in Washington state have been making protective medical gear out of office supplies and other run-of-the-mill materials as they deal with a severe shortage of equipment needed to care for patients who may have COVID-19.

    Among the supplies coming in handy: clear vinyl sheets.

    “We are very close to being out of face shields,” said Becca Bartles, executive director of infection prevention at Providence St. Joseph Health, a 51-hospital system. “Masks, we’re probably a couple of days away” from running out, she said.

    To buy time, Providence infection control and quality experts designed prototype face-shields with off-the-shelf materials: marine-grade vinyl, industrial tape, foam and elastic. Monday night they bought supplies at craft stores and Home Depot.

    https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/health/hospital-workers-are-making-masks-from-office-supplies-because-the-coronavirus-pandemic-has-caused-a-shortage/

    1. the “Deep State Department”

      – If the shoe fits! Almost wet my pants on that one! 🙂

    2. This is the side of Trump I like. I wish he would forget about the stock market and focus on talking more about bringing manufacturing back in light of this current situation. I think this is the perfect opportunity to end globalism and strengthen the American economy for the long haul. It is an opportunity for him to put his name and face to one of the biggest transformations of our country in its history.

      Tweeting about stock market moves and relishing in its highs will not bring voters, it actually turns them off. Actions which engender hope for those who are experiencing household budgetary restraints or are in financial straights right now will. IMHO.

      1. Lots of problems with the globalized supply chain are coming to light RIGHT NOW. For instance, heavy reliance on cheap Chinese labor as a substitute for U.S. workers. When their economy shuts down, so does their labor market.

        1. We are done with China, and our children will be better off for it. This is going to be absolutely devastating, but necessary.

        2. “Lots of problems with the globalized supply chain are coming to light RIGHT NOW.”

          It’s the lack of warehouse space because the $/sq-ft is too high, and the money tied-up in goods resting on the shelf should be invested in the markets. The name of this game is, “Just in Time Supply Chain.” On paper it makes sense, but in reality it is difficult to achieve.

          1. An example: Your car out on the driveway sits most of the time, and once you drive to work it also sits in the parking lot. ZipCar tries to alleviate the ownership dilemma by sharing the car between multiple subscribers. Optimize everything around you, and you’re likely to just get off the train in Willoughby.

          2. On paper it makes sense

            It might make sense when your suppliers are in the same city or state, but not when that are on the other side of the world.

  13. I foresee a lot more nature hikes and time spent outdoors during this “shelter in place” time period, which now appears to be indefinite.

        1. Well, so much for that plan…

          “I’m sorry, Mr Officer. Been out here for a month. I had no idea…”

    1. Cheap gas won’t last, they’ll start a war to bring oil prices back up and “revive” the economy. Enjoy it while it lasts…

  14. Pennsylvania has joined the lockdown club.

    Notably, all Real Estate Sales offices are considered non-essential and are to close.

    Fortunately, liquor stores are considered essential and will remain open.

    1. Why is a liquor store considered “essential?” I’d like to see the explanation for that.

          1. I actually thought a little bit more about it and realized that there are probably hundreds of thousands of people who would actually die if they were cut off from alcohol, since they are physically addicted. So, yes, “essential” fits the bill.

  15. I kept looking at Marketwatch during the last 15 minute of trading. There were some wild swings, and it closed at the low.

    1. I am not a Wall St. gambler, but I have heard that it’s difficult for the market to close higher on a Friday when facing bad news.

    1. Another update with 1,925 more confirmed and another 11 deaths for a total of 18,563 and 227 deaths in the US. Curious to see if they update it again later this evening.

      1. Not sure how good these numbers are, but I am seeing

        Total U.S. Deaths 262
        Total U.S. Recovered 147

        SO…(drumroll, pleaze):

        U.S. Death Rate Among Resolved Cases =

        262/(262+147) X 100% = 64%.

        I realize the data are bad, my calculation is wrong, I’m extrapolating, etc. etc. etc. …

          1. “Maybe I am incapable of expressing this in simple enough terms? Anyone care to help?”

            All eye knows about statistics, eyes learned from my father. He said he knew a 6’5″ man who drowned in 3″ of water.

            Bill Russell, … Boston, … Celtics.

        1. 262/(262+147) X 100% = 64%.

          First off, let’s help you get within maths conventions.

          “x 100%” mathematically means x 1. Percent means per 100. 100% = 100/100 = 1. Your equation should read:

          262/(262+147) X 100 = 64%

          If you want to have more fun, account for the suggestion that half the deaths to-date due to the virus were undiagnosed! Then you can calculate a mortality rate >100%.

          BTW, you were doing OK until you invoked Adan…

          1. Uh…no.

            % means “× (1/100)”.

            Thus 100% = 100 x (1/100) = 1.

            And 262/(262+147) × 100% =
            (262/(262+147) × 100) × 1/100 = 64%.

            Grouping matters in maths!

            And what do you have against Adan?

          2. No wonder American kids are not interested in learning math. Sorry but I can’t blame them if a simple concept is made complicated.
            What is wrong with 0.64 = 64/100 = 64% ?

          3. (262/(262+147) × 100) × 1/100 = 64%

            Not at all sir.

            262/(262+147) = 0.64

            262/(262+147) × 100 = 64%

            It is elementary my dear professor. I am fortunate in that the percentages have always been with me.

            Adan is a caricature of the known unknown presented as a known (only to him) known. Just my opinion.

          4. “262/(262+147) × 100”

            My calculator must be broken, because the answer I get to this is
            64.0586797, with no percentage sign included.

          5. “Adan is a caricature of the known unknown presented as a known (only to him) known.”

            Well stated!

            And kind of you to not add that what he thought was known (only to him) often turned out to be wrong.

          6. My calculator must be broken

            You must be more than a math expert. You must be a math master, knowing the order of magnitude of things intuitively. This was the magical skill of the slide rule in the days of old, knowing where the decimal point belongs.

            Let me illustrate:

            262/(262+147) = .64

            262/(262+147) x 100 = .64 x 100

            .64 x 100 = 64% (percent meaning parts per hundred)

            Therefore
            262/(262+147) x 100 = 64%

            Because you throw in the 100 on the left just to move the decimal place, you must compensate with the % sign on the other side of the equation.

            Maybe I am incapable of expressing this in simple enough terms? Anyone care to help?

            I suppose it doesn’t matter. PB and his calculator congratulate each other.

          7. “Anyone care to help?”

            Realize that at least 1/3 on this board would write, “You must be more [then] a math expert,” but you also know difference between than and then. You’ve obviously made the ascent up Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. You don’t need any help.

      2. Johns Hopkins keeps updating. Now they are showing 19,624 confirmed and 260 deaths. The numbers are really climbing fast now. Over 5,000 added in a day, and 55 deaths.

        1. But but….flu

          80K deaths a year with flu!

          80,000 / 365 = 219

          219 > 55

          Flu is what you should be concerned with!

  16. We finished the last of the medical tents today, after getting stuck down south and staying in a hotel last night because of the blizzard.

    Expecting a press release from the State of Colorado once all the computers and medical equipment are hooked up and ready to roll…

  17. Another one bites the dust…

    Associated Press
    Illinois governor’s ‘stay at home’ order set to take effect Saturday
    Published: March 20, 2020 at 4:46 p.m. ET
    By Associated Press
    State and local officials joined Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, at rear, at a Friday afternoon news conference announcing the state’s new shelter-in-place, or “stay-at-home,” policy. WGN

    SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Friday ordered all state residents to remain in their homes except for essentials, joining similar dramatic efforts in California and New York to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

    Pritzker’s order, which takes effect Saturday, still allows the state’s 12.6 million residents to seek essentials including groceries and medicine.

    The Chicago Tribune was the first news outlet to confirm the impending state shutdown.

    On Thursday, Pritzker sought to reassure residents and discourage panic buying.

    “Grocery stories, pharmacies, gas stations, these sources of fundamental supplies will continue to operate,” he said. “There is no need to run out and hoard food, gas, or medicine. Buy what you need within reason. There is enough to go around as long as people do not hoard.

    “We will never shut these services down.”

    1. You cut the quote short. Plumbers and electricians in Illinois are essential. Hairdressers no, so much for that new weave.

    2. “Another one bites the dust…”

      Washington state hasn’t pulled the trigger yet; wondering why not?

      We have a church near us undergoing a full rehabilitation. The used to be four 10-hr days, off Friday. I think they are pulling a 12-yr day today, and I fully expect to see them here this weekend too!

    1. In theory , if 20 percent of population is high risk to the C-19 virus and 80% of population has minor symptoms , than the 20% should be locked down, not the 80% IMHO.

      Look, usually the elderly stays home a lot anyway. The Seniors usually have retirement income or at the least Social Security. They aren’t losing a job usually.

      The 80% need to develope herd immunity and get back to their jobs.

      I think after a couple of weeks the shut down should stop.

      There might be a few areas that need a little longer shut down to help the medical system like San Francisco, LA, New York ,etc. This is because they have a higher
      percentage of high risk.

      We are so lucky that C19 isn’t like the Spanish Flu of 1918. The Spanish Flu killed 50 to 60 million World wide and it took the young and healthy.

      They think the Spanish Flu came from a swine on a farm in Kansas.

      Apparently World War One was still going on so Woodrow Wilson still sent out the troops worldwide. They think this is why that flu spread worldwide. I’m beginning to hate Woodrow Wilson more than any other President the more I read about him.

      What is interesting is that Wilson had the highest education of any President.
      Wilson was a Ivory tower elitist who thought we should have big government with people like him making all the decisions. Wilson was the guy that enacted the Federal Income tax. He got the Federal income tax by faking out the people that it was only going to be a rich man tax.

      It’s weird that he ended up getting a stroke in office, but they covered this up and his wife did his duties.

      I like to think that God gave Wilson a stroke to stop him from doing more damage.

        1. Among the younger generations diabetes is the aggravating factor, and it’s rampant these days.

          Damn good point. I never went there when thinking bout younger people dying.

      1. “I think after a couple of weeks the shut down should stop.”

        That’s not gonna happen. Case counts have been growing exponentially, but testing has not. Therefore, with the sudden advent of testing, the case count growth is going to appear to grow at more than an exponential rate for the next few weeks.

        1. “…the case count growth is going to appear to grow at more than an exponential rate for the next few weeks.”

          This!

          At some point the asymptotic tsunami is going to strike, and I hope that the 24/7 ramp-up in medical preparedness and supplies are ready.

          1. Germany is testing, as did South Korea. Only 0.3% fatality rate in Germany vs 8% in Italy. The more they test, the lower the fatality rate will become…and the overreaction will become apparent

          2. Only 0.3% fatality rate in Germany vs 8% in Italy.

            Saw a story saying one reason the numbers are so bad in Italy is that they are counting everyone who dies while testing positive as a coronovirus death, while everyone else is counting them only if that was the only reason they died.

      2. Look, usually the elderly stays home a lot anyway.

        Some maybe, with dozens of visits from family. If you and your cohort just want to get their immunity on, let the 80 year olds travel with the herd until they drop back for the wolves.

        1. Come on, I said the high risk should be locked down and protected, and that should go on as long as necessary.

          Ok, eventually the 80% developes immunity and the virus burns itself out.

          Look, it would be great if alot don’t get it by hand washing and social distancing.

          I’m in the high risk group, I don’t want this. bug.

          1. I’m in the high risk group

            Me too. I don’t think the younger people are so much low risk as they imagine at this point.

    1. I think brazzers has some “late mortgage payment” skits in their porn selection. Modern peonage!

      “There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.” —John Adams

  18. One would think this would have been headlines across the country not shutting cities down, ordering body bags and hospital ships.

    hydroxychloroquine and a Z pack

    Hell, I took a Z pack for pneumonia years back worked great.

    How deep is the state that says sure…”all six patients who were treated with both hydroxychloroquine and the antibiotic azithromycin tested negative for the virus after six days.” then says… “That’s a drug that the president has directed us to take a closer look at as to whether an expanded use approach to that could be done to actually see if that benefits patients.”

    WHAT IS HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE? DONALD TRUMP ASKS FDA TO INVESTIGATE MALARIA DRUG AS POTENTIAL CORONAVIRUS TREATMENT

    BY ARISTOS GEORGIOU ON 3/19/20 AT 12:50 PM EDT

    Hydroxychloroquine—a common derivative of the closely-related drug chloroquine—is used to treat malaria, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads around the world, scientists are scrambling to identify treatments that may be effective against the disease. Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are among those touted by some experts as being the most promising.

    “A drug called chloroquine, and some people would add to it hydroxychloroquine… now this is a common malaria drug,” Trump told reporters at a press conference. “The nice part is, it’s been around for a long time, so we know that if things don’t go as planned it’s not going to kill anybody. When you go with a brand new drug, you don’t know that that’s going to happen. It’s shown very very encouraging early results.”

    “We’re going to be able to make that drug available almost immediately, and that’s where the FDA has been so great. They’ve gone through the approval process, it’s been approved. And they took it down from many, many months to immediate. So we’re going to be able to make that drug available by prescription or states,” Trump said.

    But FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn cautioned soon after the president’s comments that chloroquine and its derivatives had not yet been approved for the treatment of COVID-19.

    “[Chloroquine] is already approved, as the president said, for the treatment of malaria as well as an arthritis condition,” Hahn said. “That’s a drug that the president has directed us to take a closer look at as to whether an expanded use approach to that could be done to actually see if that benefits patients. And again, we want to do that in a setting of a clinical trial—a large pragmatic clinical trial—to actually gather that information and answer that question that needs to be asked and answered.”

    “We want to make sure that this is done well and right for the American people,” Hahn said. “The president is right. With an off-the-shelf drug, we do have a lot of information about the side effects of the drug. So that really helps, in terms of expediting. But I want to assure you that we’re working as quickly as we can. I don’t want to speculate about a timeline at this point.”

    Between early and mid-March, Raoult and his team treated 20 of these patients with 600 milligrams of hydroxychloroquine daily in a hospital setting. Depending on their symptoms, an antibiotic known as azithromycin was also added to the treatments. This antibiotic is known to be effective against complications from bacterial lung disease. The 16 remaining patients were not given the drug as a control.

    In the study, the scientists observed a “significant” reduction in viral load in the patients treated with hydroxychloroquine, and that the effect was reinforced by azithromycin, Medscape reported.

    In fact, after six days, 70 percent of the treated patients were considered cured, meaning that the virus was no longer detected in samples taken from them, compared to 12.5 percent of the control group patients. Furthermore, all six patients who were treated with both hydroxychloroquine and the antibiotic azithromycin tested negative for the virus after six days.

    https://www.newsweek.com/hydroxychloroquine-malaria-drug-coronavirus-fda-1493293

    Z-Pack is a form of the brand-name drug Zithromax, which contains the antibiotic azithromycin. Azithromycin is an antibiotic that can treat strep throat, though it’s not a common choice for this infection.

    https://www.healthline.com/health/strep-throat/z-pack

    1. Fake news?

      When reporters asked Tony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, whether the drug hydroxychloroquine was effective at preventing coronavirus, he said simply: “The answer is no.”’

      1. We’ll have to wait and see.

        My daughter says that these common drugs are now in secure controlled lockup at her hospital.

    2. I would believe Dr. Jean Mulcahy-Levy

      CU professor weighs in on malaria drug that may help treat coronavirus

      Posted: 11:06 PM, Mar 19, 2020

      BOULDER, Colo. — On Thursday, President Trump touted that chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine could help treat the novel coronavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19. The drugs have been used for decades to treat malaria.

      Dr. Stephen Hahn, the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, said they are preparing for a large clinical trial to study the drug. At this time, however, no drug has been approved to treat the new virus.

      According to Dr. Mulcahy-Levy, when cells are under stress or infected, they have to recycle proteins and energy to survive. She says viruses can hijack the process to use the proteins to build more copies of themselves.

      “[What] chloroquine is doing is blocking the recycling program and therefore blocking building supplies essentially for cancer cells or infected cells or arthritis cells,” Dr. Mulcahy-Levy said.

      Chloroquine is being used to treat patients in China and several other countries, but Dr. Mulcahy-Levy said it’s unclear if and how it’s helping treat the novel coronavirus.

      “You are still probably looking at 6-12 months until you have very solid clinical information, and unfortunately, we just can’t move faster than that and be safe at the same time,” Dr. Mulcahy-Levy said.

      https://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/coronavirus/cu-professor-weighs-in-on-malaria-drug-that-may-help-treat-coronavirus

      1. I’d believe Dr. Fauci. He’s too old to care about getting fired.

        How about if we agree to stop posting on this for a couple of weeks, but then compare notes? 🙂

        1. IIRC, Dr. Birx said is a previous press conference that DJT had asked the team to identify potential treatments along a timeline: immediately; 30-days; 6-months; 1-year; and, beyond. Obviously, information evolves.

          1. I’ll note that the CDC has been conspicuously absent from ALL of these press conferences.

          1. “if we agree to stop posting on this”

            What’s the disagreement? Both Fauci and Mulcahy-Levi are pumping the brakes on what was implied: “We’re going to be able to make that drug available almost immediately…”

    3. Can you comprehend the difference between:
      1. A. “ED.A.CATED GUESS
      VERSES
      2. AN INFORMED DECISION

  19. Keep this quote handy as you try to help those in your close community work through their politically inspired fear:

    The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

    — H. L. Mencken

  20. Apparently the Illinois shutdown wasn’t yet announced when this story posted.

    The Financial Times
    Markets Briefing Equities
    Wall Street takes late tumble as US shutdown widens
    European and Asian shares rallied but calmer mood did not last
    Mandatory Credit: Photo by MARKIIAN LYSEIKO/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock (10589085c) Communal workers clean and disinfect a street in the Western-Ukrainian city of Lviv, Ukraine, 20 March 2020. Due to the ongoing pandemic of the COVID-19 disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, all shops and catering facilities are closed in the country since 17 March. All trips between the city of Kiev and other parts of Ukraine are limited. Cultural, sporting, social, religious and other events implying mass attendance have been suspended. Supermarkets, pharmacies and gas stations will remain open. Ukraine announced nationwide quarantine measures over coronavirus pandemic, Lviv – 20 Mar 2020
    Jennifer Ablan and Mamta Badkar in New York, Philip Georgiadis in London, and Daniel Shane in Hong Kong
    7 hours ago

    Wall Street failed to record two consecutive days in positive territory, succumbing to a late sell-off that sent the S&P 500 down 4.3 per cent on Friday and left the index nursing a 15 per cent decline for the week, even as equity markets elsewhere staged a recovery.

    While another flurry of central bank support provided investors with some heart, particularly in the eurozone, it was countered by the decision by Andrew Cuomo, New York governor, to order most of the state’s workforce to stay at home, to check the spread of the coronavirus.

    That order, on top of a similar move to enforce sweeping social distancing measures in California the previous night, threatened to exacerbate the financial and economic consequences of the virus, which already seems certain to plunge the US into recession.

    Goldman Sachs on Friday warned US gross domestic product would decline at an annualised rate of 24 per cent in the second quarter due to the pandemic. The group also said the disruption caused by the outbreak suggests jobless claims could hit more than 2m, an unprecedented level, in the next weekly report on Thursday.

    “The avalanche of economic sudden stop news hitting the markets reached a tipping point, triggering another wave of forced selling despite central bank expanding some of their circuit breakers,” said Mohamed El-Erian, chief economic adviser at Allianz.

    Illustrating investors’ anxiety over the impact from the pandemic, the Cboe Volatility index — known as the market’s “fear gauge” — remained elevated at the 65 level. That’s down from its year-high of 85.47 but far from its year-low of 11.75. The yield on the US 10-year Treasury bond fell 0.26 percentage points to 0.88 per cent.

    “People are frightened going long equities into the weekend,” said Mark Grant, chief global strategist at investment group B Riley FBR. “People are holding on to as much cash as possible, following all of the lockdowns news . . . Nobody knows when we are getting out of this.”

  21. Are you sheltering in cash during the market storm?

    The Financial Times
    Markets volatility
    Investment veterans try to get to grips with ‘broken’ markets
    Simultaneous collapses in stocks and government bonds are a radical break from norms
    Tommy Stubbington in London and Colby Smith in New York 11 hours ago

    The early stages of the coronavirus shock to markets followed a familiar script: stocks fell hard while the government bonds that investors crave in times of stress shot higher. It was painful for many fund managers but a standard response to the risk of a looming global recession.

    But that pattern has begun to break down, with big slides in safe assets at the same time as historic drops in equities. This week that intensified, creating a “sell everything” mindset that stunned industry veterans.

    Central banks have been compelled to provide backstops for fixed-income markets, which have arrived at dizzying speed. After the Federal Reserve’s announcement of at least $700bn of asset purchases last Sunday failed to calm markets, the European Central Bank followed with €750bn on Wednesday and the Bank of England with £200bn on Thursday.

    The recent losses for government bonds have called into question their traditional role in investors’ portfolios, where they typically serve as a counterweight that rallies as riskier assets fall.

    “The value as a hedge is just not there,” said Rick Rieder, BlackRock’s chief investment officer of global fixed income. He said he had sold US government bonds over the past two weeks even as stock markets were melting down, judging that there was little potential upside in owning them — but plenty of room for declines.

    With the Fed cutting rates to near-zero and relaunching bond purchases, 10-year Treasury yields look attractive based on valuations, but the volatility is off-putting, Mr Rieder said. “Now it makes sense to just own risk assets in smaller sizes and nothing else. The best hedge in our portfolio is cash.”

    The world’s largest asset manager is not alone in this dash for liquidity. Investors pulled a record $109bn out of bond funds in the week to Wednesday, according to data from EPFR Global. Money market funds, which invest in cash-like short-term debt, have had record inflows. Treasury bills, which mature in one year or less and are seen as more akin to cash, have been in such high demand that yields turned negative this week.

    Despite the recent rises, government borrowing costs in the big developed economies remain low by historical standards — largely thanks to central banks’ efforts. Bonds recovered some of their losses on Friday, although they did so together with a steadying of stock markets. The true test of bond markets’ solidity will come if and when there is a renewed dive in equity markets, analysts say.

    One sign of investors’ frayed nerves is that volatility in the US Treasury market implied by options prices remains close to its highest level since 2009, according to an index compiled by Bank of America.

    Within the past week, people have seen swings that “statistically speaking, should only happen every few millennia,” said Guy LeBas, chief fixed-income strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott. “Perhaps financial markets are a little broken.”

    1. “Are you sheltering in cash during the market storm?”

      Yes, but salivating at the prospect of Dow 17K, S&P 2000 at which point I’ll start dipping in, though I’m coming around to the thought that 50-60% off is possible. Balance that against likely announcements of even more stimulus and Fed interference than has already been announced. Moar cr8r!

      “pulled a record $109bn out”

      Why do they always word it that way? Weren’t there buyers in those transactions?

      1. Somebody was buying at firesale prices. Maybe some cornmeal bank with an electronic printing press?

        And regarding X% off sales, tread lightly, bearing in mind that it dipped all the way down to 90% off in GD1, and that the Nikkei average remains 56% below its peak circa 1990 in nominal terms.

        1. Don’t know why or how my spellchecker turned “central bank” into “cornmeal bank”, but I like it.

  22. Question for anyone:

    Which event will produce a bigger crater:

    The supply shock of the Saudi oil dump, or the simultaneous supply and demand shocks of shutting down the states of California, New York, and Illinois within the same 24 hour period?

    1. Robber with a gun: “your money, or your life!
      Long pause …………..

      Robber: “well bub!” (Pokes him with the gun.)

      Jack Benny: “I’m thinking, I’m thinking!”

    2. According to El-Erian, the global economy will suffer lasting damage from a simultaneous shock to both supply and demand.

  23. The Financial Times
    Coronavirus
    US escalates global travel warning for citizens
    State department tells Americans to return or be prepared to remain abroad indefinitely
    The area for TSA screening of travelers at JFK airport’s Terminal 1 is relatively empty, Friday, March 13, 2020, in New York. The coronavirus outbreak is hitting the airline industry hard. President Trump banned most Europeans from entering the United States for 30 days to try to slow down the spread of the spread of the virus. The new travel ban is likely to further roil the airline industry as bookings decline and people cancel reservations out of fear they might contract the virus.
    (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
    Issuing the advisory against all global travel is a significant escalation in America’s bid to protect its citizens © AP
    Aime Williams in Washington yesterday

    The Trump administration has warned US citizens to avoid all international travel as the coronavirus pandemic continues to threaten people’s ability to safely cross borders.

    The state department on Thursday raised its global travel advisory to level four, the most severe level of warning, advising those already abroad to either return home immediately or be prepared to be stuck overseas for “an indefinite timeframe”.

    While the US has issued level four warnings against specific countries before, including Syria, Iran, Yemen and North Korea, issuing the advisory against all global travel is a significant escalation in America’s bid to protect its citizens.

    “In countries where commercial departure options remain available, US citizens who live in the United States should arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period,” the advisory notice said. “US citizens who live abroad should avoid all international travel.”

    Coronavirus has already caused a sharp drop in global travel, with countries including the US already having largely closed their borders to any travellers who are not their own citizens.

    1. Coronavirus could spark another Great Depression, former Trump adviser warns
      By Matt Egan, CNN Business
      Updated 2:37 PM ET, Thu March 19, 2020
      Small businesses are the tip of the spear in economic downturn

      New York (CNN Business)
      The widespread shutdown of the American economy because of the coronavirus could spark a repeat of the Great Depression, former Trump economist Kevin Hassett told CNN on Thursday.

      The startling warning from a former White House adviser comes as Wall Street banks say the United States faces an historic collapse in GDP and mounting job losses.
      The outbreak has brought the American economy to a near-standstill. Health restrictions have forced retailers, casinos, restaurants and universities to go dark. Once-bustling airports are deserted. Highways and subways are empty. Factories are shutting down.

      “We’re going to have to either have a Great Depression, or figure out a way to send people back to work even though that’s risky,” Hassett told CNN’s Poppy Harlow. “Because at some point, we can’t not have an economy, right?”

    2. $1 trillion deficits and near-zero rates. The worst way to enter a recession
      By Matt Egan, CNN Business
      Updated 9:15 AM ET, Wed March 18, 2020
      Mnuchin: This is not the time to worry about the deficit

      New York (CNN Business)
      Washington rushed to pump the American economy with emergency-style medicine in recent years — even though there was no emergency in sight.

      Now, there really is a national emergency. And there’s a growing realization that Washington blew through a chunk of its recession-fighting ammo long before it was needed.

      In 2019, unemployment was sitting at a 50-year low. Consumer spending was strong. The housing market was finally flourishing. And the stock market had never been higher.

      Yet policymakers decided to inject costly stimulus into what was already the longest economic expansion in American history. The Federal Reserve, seeking to counter damage caused by the US-China trade war, fired off three of its remaining nine interest rate cuts in 2019.

      Worse, Congress and the White House borrowed heavily to pay for spending surges and tax cuts to juice growth. None of it lived up to the hype.

      Now the bill is still coming due. The federal deficit topped $1 trillion in 2019, long before the coronavirus outbreak struck.

      “You’re supposed to have dry powder for the next crisis,” said Kristina Hooper, chief global market strategist at Invesco. “When the history books are written, the government will certainly be faulted for taking on too much debt. The Fed will be faulted for maintaining ultra-accommodative rates.”

  24. Sounds like India faces a similarly bleak picture as that of the U.S.

    The Financial Times
    Coronavirus
    India braces for coronavirus onslaught as parts of country shut down
    Narendra Modi urges people to stay home as disease threatens millions in congested cities
    Students wearing a free facemasks amid concerns over the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus attend tuition at the Footpath School in Ahmedabad on late March 19, 2020. – Kamalbhai Parmar, who started the Footpath School for children of labourers, ragpickers and domestic servants so youths can receive tuition and a meal free of cost, has also given free facemasks to the students.
    (Photo by SAM PANTHAKY/AFP via Getty Images)
    Children at a street school in Ahmedabad wear facemasks as coronavirus starts to spread in India
    © AFP via Getty Images
    Amy Kazmin and Jyotsna Singh in New Delhi yesterday

    On the outskirts of New Delhi, empty apartments are being repurposed as quarantine centres. Schools, colleges, malls, cinemas, restaurants and tourist sites across India — including the Taj Mahal — have been shut down. Hospitals have been asked to defer elective surgery.

    The country is now bracing itself for a wave of coronavirus infections — even as Narendra Modi, the prime minister, appealed to 1.3bn Indians to stay at home as much as possible in the coming days to avert the kind of “explosion” of cases that has overwhelmed far more developed countries.

    “For the last few days we have seen that people think we are safe from coronavirus,” Mr Modi said on Thursday evening in a rare primetime television address. “This is not right. It’s not OK to get complacent.”

    1. “Sounds like India faces a similarly bleak picture as that of the U.S.”

      I can’t imagine riding this one out while in India.

  25. Goldman sees unprecedented stop of economic activity, with Q2 GDP contracting 24%

    https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/20/goldman-sees-an-unprecedented-stop-of-economic-activity-with-2nd-quarter-gdp-contracting-by-24percent.html

    (snip)

    “Goldman Sachs economists forecast a historically sharp and swift recession, with second-quarter GDP sinking a stunning 24% after a 6% decline in the first quarter.
    The economists had expected a decline of 5% in the second quarter, after a flat first quarter but they said social distancing measures have affected many sectors of the economy and will hit the first and second quarter hard.
    The economists still expect a spring back in the third quarter, of 12%, but they see unemployment peaking at 9%.”

    (snip)

    “In the past week, schools, public buildings, restaurants and stores across the country have shut down.

    The state of California issued a stay at home order for its 40 million residents, and on Friday morning, New York state said it was mandating 100% of the workforce to stay home, excluding essential services.

  26. And when he finished speakin’
    He turned back toward the window
    Crushed out his cigarette
    And faded off to sleep
    And somewhere in the darkness
    The gambler he broke even
    But in his final words
    I found an ace that I could keep

    You’ve got to know when to hold ’em
    Know when to fold ’em
    Know when to walk away
    And know when to run
    You never count your money
    When you’re sittin’ at the table
    There’ll be time enough for countin’
    When the dealin’s done

  27. Obviously similar issues face live performing musicians in the U.S.

    The Financial Times
    Travel & leisure industry
    Venues fall silent in the month that music died
    Summer festival season all but cancelled as coronavirus crisis takes its toll on performers and gigs
    In this Sunday, June 30, 2019 file photo, revellers react to Kylie Minogue as she performs at the Glastonbury Festival, Somerset, England. One of Britain’s biggest summer music events, the Glastonbury Festival, has been canceled Wednesday, March, 18 2020, because of the coronavirus pandemic. Organizers say the festival, due to take place June 24-28, will be postponed until 2021 (Photo by Grant Pollard/Invision/AP, File)
    The UK’s live music sector employs 190,000 people and is facing a struggle to survive © Grant Pollard/Invision/AP
    Nic Fildes in London 55 minutes ago

    The huge C2C country music festival, which in 2019 drew 70,000 fans across Europe and was due to kick off this month, was closed down last week as many American artists were unable to travel to London’s O2 Arena because of the coronavirus pandemic.

    Yet across town in the west of the capital, Elvis Costello was playing to a nearly packed house — albeit adding the song Hurry Down Doomsday (The Bugs Are Taking Over) to a set that had an end-of-days feel. Assuming it might be their last night out in a while, fans stayed after he left the stage to continue dancing, some with face masks on.

    The UK’s live music sector has been struggling to react to changing government advice on mass public gatherings over the past week. It has warned that the lack of clarity has left an industry that employs 190,000 people facing a “hammer blow” it will struggle to survive.

    1. I’m starting to get nervous about all these proposed bailouts by the Gov., as well as National shut downs.

      I’m in California and the whole State has been shut down. There is panic and the grocery stores still has long lines and crowds that kind of blows the social distancing idea.

      1. People are behaving irrationally. The chain store I visited that was out of onions and potatos had them stacked 3 feet high the last time I went. Yesterday at Sprouts the cashier wiped everything down in between each check-out. The only thing I’ve found consistently out of stock is facial tissue. So I got online and ordered some.

        1. Yesterday our local store started rationing eggs and loaves of bread. No problem getting a ribeye steak though.

          1. ‘Global uncertainty resulting from the rapidly changing COVID-19 pandemic has caused all financial and commodity markets to struggle. The cattle markets have not been excluded from this as we have watched the fed cattle price plummet in recent weeks. The fed cattle cash average is $141.54/cwt, which is $22/cwt lower than the high achieved early in the year, and is $13.29/cwt under the same week a year ago. While prices have been steadily decreasing, the basis is actually much stronger than it was a year ago, with the cash-to-cash basis -$10.48/cwt. This compares to -$15.21/cwt. a year ago, indicating that the Canadian spot market remains strong relative to the U.S. market.’

            ‘Efforts to slow the virus’s spread have shifted consumer behaviours. Travel bans, school closures and gathering limitations as well as restrictions for restaurant operations have led to reduced food industry beef movement and an increase in retail or grocery store sales. For the beef market, this means different cuts of beef will be more in demand. An increased demand for end cuts and grinding and trim products has been steady, while demand for middle or more expensive steak-type cuts has been lighter.’

            https://www.canadiancattlemen.ca/livestock/beef-cattle/covid-19-pandemic-sees-cattle-markets-plunge/

            ‘Prices for the boxed beef that meatpacking companies sell to retailers are strong, but the contracts farmers are getting for selling live cattle at a future date have fallen to a 10-year low. Deppe says the recent government payments to compensate Iowa farmers for trade losses did not include cattle producers and his industry needs federal supports now, “so they can live in fight another day and they can live to supply such a great product and feed the United States and others around the world.”

            ‘In addition to the price drop, cattle producers are concerned they may not be able to get enough feed for cattle without some sort of federal assistance. “Our producers are telling us that it’s absolutely needed to maintain their seat in the chair,” Deppe says. There are more than 25,000 cattle producers in Iowa and on January 1st, there were nearly four million head of cattle in the state.’

            https://www.radioiowa.com/2020/03/20/iowa-cattlemen-face-price-drop-seek-federal-assistance/

          2. ‘U.S. energy producers responded to one of the worst weeks ever for oil prices by pumping as much crude from the ground as they ever have before. While the price of oil plunged 23% last week, U.S. crude output hit 13.1 million barrels a day, the U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates. That matched a record set in February and belies a swift reversal by domestic oil producers, who have scrapped the drilling plans they drafted at the start of the year, when crude prices were three times higher than they are now. That was before Russia and Saudi Arabia promised to flood the world with cheap crude in a battle for market share and the coronavirus pandemic sapped demand for fuel.’

            ‘A lot of companies still don’t break even at those prices. The average cash cost price per barrel among 48 North American producers was $21.10 late last year, according to Bernstein Research analysts. The firm tallied about $13 billion in 2020 budget cuts among those companies, or about 30% of what had been planned.’

            https://www.wsj.com/articles/what-price-collapse-u-s-producers-keep-pumping-11584627605

            ‘The price of Mexico’s export crude plunged almost 23% on Wednesday to its lowest level in 18 years. The price for a barrel of Mexican crude closed at US $14.54 on Wednesday, a decline of 22.6%, or $4.24, compared to Tuesday. Some analysts have said that the decline in oil prices places additional pressures on the already ailing finances of Pemex, Mexico’s heavily indebted state oil company, and could affect its credit rating. Its bonds are already rated as junk by Fitch Ratings.’

            ‘Wednesday’s closing price for Mexico’s flagship crude is 73.6% lower than the price just two months ago, when a barrel was selling for $55.15. Pemex based a cost-benefit analysis for future extraction at the Perdiz onshore field in Veracruz on the latter price but the oil sector regulator, the National Hydrocarbons Commission, has warned that the project will not be economically viable if crude prices remain low.’

            https://mexiconewsdaily.com/news/mexican-crude-plunges-23-to-lowest-price-in-18-years/

          3. ‘The federal government is preparing a multibillion-dollar bailout package for Canada’s oil and gas sector that is expected to be unveiled early next week, sources say. Federal and Alberta government insiders are saying little about the details – citing the sensitivity of the options under discussion – but the oil and gas sector can expect to get more access to credit, especially for struggling small and medium-sized operations, and significant funding to create jobs for laid-off workers to clean up abandoned oil and gas wells.’

            ‘Alex Lindsay, a civil engineer who has worked in the oil patch for six years, told The Globe that he would like to see governments backstopping debt to prevent a slew of bankruptcies in the patch. “But as long as oil costs less than a bucket of chicken, we’re in trouble,” he said.’

            ‘While it’s quite usual for sector activity to ramp down around this time of year for spring breakup, Mr. Lindsay said he is seeing an unusually widespread shutdown across the sector. “I don’t think I could even get a job on a service rig right now, and you could always get a job on a service rig. I’m not even seeing the ads for those any more, which is crazy. I mean, I got a job on a service rig in 2015 when everyone thought the world was coming to an end,” he said, referring to the oil-price dive that kicked off Alberta’s recession.’

            https://www.theglobeandmail.com/politics/article-ottawa-prepares-multibillion-dollar-bailout-of-oil-and-gas-sector/

          4. cattle producers are concerned

            We didn’t hear a word from these fed cattle speculators when the price of beef on the hoof doubled during the last decade. They don’t seem to mind the falling price of corn either.

          5. The “China pours 100 years of concrete in 3 years” thing strikes again. Ultimately, QE is deflationary.

          6. Pork products seem to be harder to find than beef products right now around SoCal. IIRC, most pork comes from out of state so the supply chain will take longer to respond.

          7. “Federal and Alberta government insiders…”

            For clarification, are these both Canadian entities?

          8. “U.S. energy producers responded to one of the worst weeks ever for oil prices by pumping as much crude from the ground as they ever have before.”

            In what universe does that even make sense?

      2. “…has long lines and crowds…”

        Nothing like standing around in a densely packed line for over an hour to avoid close proximity to other humans once inside the establishment.

  28. World News
    March 21, 2020 / 10:06 AM
    Spain’s COVID-19 cases jump 25 percent in one day
    By Sommer Brokaw
    Barcelona’s Marina Street is nearly empty Saturday as Spain faces the seventh day of national lockdown in an effort to slow down the spread of the coronavirus.
    Photo by Andreu Dalmau/EPA-EFE

    March 21 (UPI) — New figures released Saturday show that the number of coronavirus cases in Spain jumped 25 percent in 24 hours.

    The number of COVID-19 cases increased by almost 5,000 in one day and more than 300 people died from the virus in the same time frame. That brings the total number of cases in Spain to 24,926, with 1,612 people in intensive care and 1,326 deaths, the Spanish government said.

    Compared to Friday, the figures represent a 25 percent increase in the number of cases, a 40 percent increase in the number of people in intensive care and a 32 percent jump in the death toll.

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