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If I Were To Sell, I Would Sell Now, Like Tomorrow

It’s Friday desk clearing time for this blogger. “Mortgage firms are bracing for a wave of missed payments starting April 1 as borrowers lose their jobs as a result of the coronavirus epidemic. The firms, which collect money from borrowers on behalf of investors, are concerned they will have to come up with tens of billions of dollars on short notice, a daunting task since most are nonbank firms that don’t have access to emergency lending from the Federal Reserve. In a worst-case scenario, the servicers could shut down en masse. ‘If they’re all having financial difficulty, where do you move the servicing to,’ said Ted Tozer, who ran Ginnie Mae for seven years after the financial crisis.”

“‘There is a big risk to our servicers from borrowers not sending in payments as they would still need to meet their obligations to investors,’ said Tendayi Kapfidze, Chief Economist, Lending Tree. ‘This is especially acute for non-bank lenders who do not have sufficient reserves in place. It was disappointing that the bill did not directly address this risk.'”

“The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic is likely to weigh on the profitability of US homebuilders. But will lower demand, even though low mortgage rates are supportive, result in a supply glut of new homes? Fitch Ratings says that ‘the surge in spec building activity by homebuilders in recent quarters could result in excess inventory of new homes if demand drops meaningfully in the near term.’ This could mean increased discounting, again hitting homebuilder margins.”

“On March 16, Angelo Acquista and his wife closed on a $19.5 million penthouse atop 252 East 57th Street, a luxury new development. Their agent Marina Bernshtein said her buyers got a great deal regardless of the pandemic, paying 48% off the apartment’s original listing price of $37.5 million in 2017. Agent Lisa Lippman of Brown Harris Stevens said she is working on three deals this week, including two where she already has accepted offers. ‘In all three cases, the seller is taking less than they hoped to get, but that’s not really a change from the past few months anyway,’ she said, referencing the recent softness in the New York luxury market. ‘And the possibility that we have a recession coming was already baked into New York City prices.'”

“Adam Leitman Bailey, a New York real estate attorney who helped buyers wriggle out of contracts in the last financial meltdown using an old federal statute, said he’s already faced a barrage of calls from buyers looking to get out of condo contracts—and sellers looking to enforce them. For buyers who signed contracts for new development units in New York over the past several years, they’d risk losing deposits of 20% to 25% if they reneged, said appraiser Jonathan Miller.”

“In Los Angeles, agents said they haven’t yet seen buyers try to renege on deals already in contract, but sellers are already more willing to negotiate on price. Ben Bacal, an agent with Revel Real Estate, said he’s received calls from buyers looking for discounts on major listings. ‘Typically, I would never approach my sellers with these offers but now, a handful of my sellers are open to them,’ he said.”

“Rick Cunningham, who owns 27 real estate agencies in California and Hawaii from his base in Santa Monica, California, says that some sellers want their agents to show their homes and hold open houses, despite the governor’s order. Some buyers are also calling in attorneys. ‘We’re still closing business that was in the pipeline. Some buyers have tried to get out of deals, and sellers are trying to hold them to it,’ says Cunningham.”

“Here in the Piedmont Triad area, experts say the market is pretty steady. ‘We have had a pretty good market for a while we always knew eventually it would turn back to a buyer`s. We just didn’t expect it to be in the form of a pandemic,’ said Carmicia Booth, CKG realtor. It’s a change in the market homeowner Chris says he’s even seen in the past seven days. ‘I get these alerts where it says price reduced by 15,000, price reduced by 8,000 and I’m like wow this is just happening within the past week,’ said Wallace.”

“National mortgage application volume fell 29 percent for the week ending March 20 compared to the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Rodney Anderson, branch manager and residential mortgage lender of Supreme Lending in Plano, said any decline in the number of applications in North Texas would not be that sharp. ‘We’re starting to hear from people that buy investment properties that they’re getting their cash together because they think there’s going to be a wonderful opportunity over the next 30 to 60 days to go buy some nice properties cheaper than they would otherwise be.'”

“The Royal Bank of Canada moved Wednesday to unload hundreds of millions of dollars worth of commercial real-estate debt seized from clients in recent days, trying to protect itself from pain spreading through the mortgage market. Mortgage bonds of all kinds have tumbled in value in recent weeks, even those that had top ratings from credit agencies. Investors are worried borrowers will default en masse as the economy slows to a halt. That has prompted margin calls from banks that lend against these bonds. Borrowers can either try to sell the debt themselves at fire-sale prices or post more collateral to buy time—or the lender can seize the bonds and try to sell them itself.”

“A Toronto-area real estate market that started the year by revisiting the market euphoria of 2016 abruptly feels like it’s reliving the financial market meltdown of 2008. ‘A couple of weeks ago it felt like 2016 – now it feels like right after the crash,’ says real estate agent Rochelle DeClute. Some property owners are afraid – not just financially but afraid for their family members, says Robin Pope of Pope Real Estate Ltd. in Toronto. ‘If I were to sell, I would sell now. Like tomorrow,’ Mr. Pope says. ‘I certainly believe the situation is going to be worse in two or three months.'”

“Trading at two of Ireland’s biggest homebuilding companies suggests investors think house prices could drop by up to 20 per cent, Davy stockbrokers has said. Glenveagh’s share price has dropped by about 40 per cent since the start of March, while Cairn’s has fallen by 44 per cent over the same period. Davy said the sharp fall in both companies’ market capitalisation, or overall value, implied that investors ‘have priced in falls of close to 50 per cent in land values at these levels.’ Such a drop would be the most dramatic movement in house prices since the financial crisis.”

“Property owners in Rosh HaAyin are not the only ones now lowering their expectations. A check of 14 cities by Yad2 analyst Nir Chen found that in comparison with the corresponding period last year, the number of cases in which people advertising properties are willing to lower the prices of their properties was five or six times as great. ‘Many thousands of people are crowding into the mortgage banks now, each for his or her own reasons. We have received calls from property owners who have realized that their tenants will have trouble paying the rent, and whose economic model was to use the rent they get to pay their mortgage,’ says AMG Mortgages CEO Amit Kaminsky.”

“Hundreds of luxury apartments overlooking Tokyo Bay that were due to be converted from the athletes village have already been sold — just one of the many headaches caused by the historic postponement of the Tokyo Olympics. Tomohiro Makino, an expert on Japanese real estate, told AFP that developers faced a ‘double whammy’ of a falling market generally and image problems with the Olympic Village project. ‘There is a concern prices could drop. If excitement and anticipation (about the Olympics) fades away, the situation will be severe for the selling side. For now, cancellations are a critical problem for them,’ said Makino.”

“‘Luxury homes will be more vulnerable as the sector largely relies on buyers from the mainland, where the economy has definitely been hurt by the Covid-19 pandemic,’ said Joseph Tsang, chairman of JLL in Hong Kong, adding that luxury home prices may drop by at least 20 per cent this year. Home prices had already declined by 5.7 per cent between January and a peak in June 2019, amid the city’s protests. Rising unemployment also poses a threat to the Hong Kong property market. This has forced more people to sell their homes at losses. A 1,588 sq ft home changed hands for HK$21.3 million in late January when the coronavirus broke out in Hong Kong at a loss of HK$10 million, agents said.”

“China Vanke, the country’s second-largest property developer by sales, said the coronavirus pandemic is taking a toll on its business and surviving could become a real issue for the company and the industry as a whole, according to chairman Yu Liang. ‘Survival is a real issue now,’ Yu said. He added that when the company adopted ‘to survive’ slogan during the annual staff meeting in 2018, he never thought it would become a major issue as the coronavirus threatens the survival of the industry.”

“As job losses continue to rise because of shutdowns in place to fight the coronavirus crisis, the number of Australians struggling to repay their mortgages is expected to lift to higher levels than seen during the global financial crisis. Digital Finance Analytics’ Martin North, who analyses data from household surveys to predict where mortgage defaults could end up, said about 32 per cent of people with mortgage were already struggling.”

“But now Mr North believes that figure could worsen in the coming months. ‘I wouldn’t be surprised to see over 40 per cent of households in mortgage stress, which would take that figure up to about 1.5 to 1.6 million households in mortgage stress,’ Mr North said. ‘We look at money in and money out — have you got enough money to meet all your spending needs, including your mortgage repayments?'”

“The stock of rental properties in Australia is the sector most at risk. A large share of housing in Australia’s capital cities is leased to the hundreds of thousands of foreign students in the country. With fewer foreign students around, some of those homes are empty. Some landlords may be forced to sell. Other landlords may find their tenants are suddenly out of work and unable to pay rents. During the 2018-19 house price dip, the nation’s economists came to a surprising revelation – the real estate industry is a bigger part of our economy than we realised.”

“The Reserve Bank of Australia was quite willing to let house prices bounce back quickly and enjoy the rebound in economic growth. But now prices are set to fall for reasons beyond any central bank’s control. That will only add to the vicious cycle affecting Australia’s economy.”

This Post Has 254 Comments
  1. ‘The Reserve Bank of Australia was quite willing to let house prices bounce back quickly’

    I’m calling BS on this. It was a full court press by the central bank, the treasury, and most of all the gotdam REIC media in Australia to stampede the sheep back into a bubble. But it should be noted that the average Joe gulped down the kool-aid willingly.

    ‘The stock of rental properties in Australia is the sector most at risk’

    How’s that negative gearing working for ya Australia?

          1. This stuff is weird. So they’re going to stiff the landlord until further notice. Will the landlord file for eviction? Are they even allowed to? Certainly the unpaid rent will still be owed.

          2. I wonder how many of them are in dying malls? I’ve only eaten at a CKF once, and the food was forgettable.

      1. The Wall Street Journal
        Short-Term Yields Go Negative in Scramble for Cash
        One-month and three-month Treasury bills sported negative yields for the first time in more than four years
        By Caitlin Ostroff and
        Paul J. Davies
        Updated March 26, 2020 5:09 pm ET

        Yields on the safest, short-term Treasurys have settled into negative territory for the first time in more than four years, as investors continue clamoring for cash and safe dollar assets even as some markets show signs of normalization.

        The one-month Treasury bill yield closed at minus-0.112% and the three-month bill ended at minus-0.072%, both even lower than Wednesday when they settled below 0% for the first time since late 2015, according to Tradeweb.

          1. Who said all was well? The massive liquidity being sucked out of the system is reminiscent of the tides suddenly being sucked out in Thailand before the monster tsunami hit. And then like now, stupid people rushed down to the beach to pick up all the pretty sea shells, before the huge waves roared in to sweep them away.

          2. It is a tsunami market, as evidenced by today’s otherwise inexplicable selloff on no news, following three straight days of stimulus-induced euphoric stock market moves.

  2. ‘concerned they will have to come up with tens of billions of dollars on short notice, a daunting task since most are nonbank firms that don’t have access to emergency lending from the Federal Reserve. In a worst-case scenario, the servicers could shut down en masse. ‘If they’re all having financial difficulty, where do you move the servicing to,’ said Ted Tozer, who ran Ginnie Mae for seven years after the financial crisis’

    But they’ve got lines of credit Ted? The debt markets will support them, right?

    Oh…

    1. “It’s my job to get this ship safely to port. Not all of you will be kept aboard.”

      CEO of a former employer of mine addressing employees, heading into an economic downturn.

      1. “…Not all of you will be kept aboard…”

        Oh, come on Mr. CEO, walking the plank is so 14th century.

  3. ‘A Toronto-area real estate market that started the year by revisiting the market euphoria of 2016 abruptly feels like it’s reliving the financial market meltdown of 2008. ‘A couple of weeks ago it felt like 2016 – now it feels like right after the crash’

    Another phony bubble reflation effort blows up.

    ‘Some property owners are afraid – not just financially but afraid for their family members, says Robin Pope of Pope Real Estate Ltd. in Toronto. ‘If I were to sell, I would sell now. Like tomorrow’

    Easy peasy Robin. You can always sell!

    1. I wonder how things are working out for the FIRE Millenials, with their passive income, 4% rule, and tiny houses. You gonna keep yourself afloat by forgoing the daily $5 SBUX?

      (BTW, last time I went into an SBUX, I searched carefully for those mythical $5 drinks that are driving everyone to the poorhouse. I don’t think anything was $5. Maybe the venti-size frappe-sugar things. But a normal cup of coffee? Nope.)

      1. One of my sons works at the local SBUX. A few weeks ago he told me he wanted to quit because he was worried about getting COVID-19. I told him not to worry about it and keep working, because jobs could soon get scarce.

        Now that they have gone to a drive-up-window only operation, he’s no longer worried. And apparently business is brisk!

          1. Prepaid debit cards are being debated in Congress, for Amazon, McDonalds, and Starbucks…given directly to the people each month.

      2. I tried to buy a cup of coffee a couple weeks ago. They were out of traditional decaf but could do some other drink and add water. (A decaf espresso maybe?) I asked how much before I order and it was $3.80. Said no thanks, so she offered to make it for me at the cost of a regular cup of coffee. How much? $3.00. Ummm, no thanks. I don’t think a frappuccino at $4.50 is a bad deal, but a stupid cup of coffee for $3. Nope. So I bought a bag of hazelnut coffee for $5 and made it at home. 🙂

        1. Those frapps are mostly water. It’s just ice in an blender with some sweetener and a couple shots of espresso. Insofar as ingredients go, it’s probably cheaper than a venti coffee.

          1. Those frapps are mostly profit.

            You got that right. About 15 years ago I used to go to the same coffee shop every morning, right around the corner from my house. It was a standalone drive-thru staffed with a bevy of cute, friendly gals who could really turn on the charm, and they always had my drink ready when I got to the drive up window. Let’s just say the owner did an excellent job of hiring.

            At any rate, one day I sat down and crunched the numbers on what I had spent there in the past year. It was then that I ordered a $500 espresso machine and started making my own. Ten years later, after making my own every morning, I did some more math to see how much I had saved, and I forget what it came to but it was A LOT.

            Still making my own morning coffee these days, but I will buy one out if I’m on vacation.

        2. One nice thing about having a family member employed at SBUX is a steady supply of free beans.

          1. One nice thing about having a family member employed at SBUX is a steady supply of free beans.

            But it’s still Starbux 🙁

      3. “…I don’t think anything was $5…” SBUX

        Couple of things I would like to have cleared up before I leave this earth:

        1) Why do people pay $5++ for junk sugar drinks @SBUX?

        (You loose your $ and your health all in same transaction)

        2) Why do people overstock/horde Toilet Paper during a panic?

        3) The mystery of the Great Pyramids.

      4. I can brew a cup of Peets, which is better than Starbucks IMHO, for about $.18, so why would I bother patronizing a “woke” company?

    1. They are talking about the possibility of Canadian oil sands oil going negative. It seems they have to keep running and delivering or the whole shebang “freezes up” as such they would rather ship you oil and $ than let it freeze. Not forever of course and presumably the government of Canada will step in to provide the $$

      1. Many industrial processes are highly complex relying on “just in time” energy, labor, materials, transportation, etc., to produce the end-product in a profitable manner.

  4. Been thinking of buying some physical gold. Any suggestions on where I could get some?

    1. Markets
      Gold Heads for Biggest Weekly Advance Since 2008 After Squeeze
      By Ranjeetha Pakiam
      and Swansy Afonso
      March 26, 2020, 9:04 PM PDT
      Updated on March 27, 2020, 12:48 AM PDT
      – Disruptions in the physical bullion market have roiled trading
      – Gold-positive conditions aren’t over, RBC Capital Markets says

      Gold headed for the biggest weekly advance since 2008, rallying along with risk assets including equities, as investors weighed up the impact of massive monetary and fiscal stimulus for virus-hit economies and disruptions in the physical bullion market that have roiled trading.

    2. Miles Franklin says they will beat anyone’s online price. Use code Arcadia in the email subject line to get the deal.

    3. May have to wait for the frenzy to mellow down and people with physical gold realize they cant eat it. On a side note i have my eyes on some potential profitable stawks MNRA and USO. But of course both are risky and a gamble

      1. I would say, we may have to wait for the frenzy to die down and for investors and banks with physical gold realize they can’t use it to pay interest on dollar-denominated debt. The best to buy is when they’re fire selling. But that will likely be a short window. After that, expect hyperinflation.

        1. Do we have a mechanism to create hyperinflation (USD)? We’ve had a big inflation already and it was built on debt. When debt defaults, is that hyperinflation?

          When the price of gold crashed around 1980, it stayed down at $350 or $400 for 25 years.

          1. 1) Printing press
            2) Lend out money at zero rates to firms in the business of propping up asset prices
            3) Use printing press money to directly purchase assets with above market bids

          2. QE and artificially low rates are deflationary. Zombie corporations lower profits for everybody, increase supply and lower prices. See the oil biz.

          3. If the debt does not get retired through bankruptcy, then we will have zombie companies just like Japan. These companies will do business and will service the debt because of low interest rates, but the debt will either never be paid down or paid down at snail pace. Salaries will not rise.
            The world will look more and more like Japan unless someone (several in a row) who gets elected has the courage to let business, especially bad financial ones, go bankrupt.

        2. And when is it that we can expect this tripling or quadrupling of income?

          Glendale, CA Housing Prices Crater 17% YOY As SoCal Economy Tanks On Crime Wave And Rising Unemployment

          https://www.zillow.com/glendale-ca-91205/home-values/

          *Select price from dropdown menu on first chart

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

      2. May have to wait for the frenzy to mellow down and people with physical gold realize they cant eat it. On a side note i have my eyes on some potential profitable stawks MNRA and USO.

        Hang on a sec. So, on one hand you say “you can’t eat gold”, but then talk about buying stocks, which…you also cannot eat, which presumably invalidates your criticism.

        Did I miss something?

        1. “Did I miss something?“

          Good point and i hope no one follows my gambling minds thought process. Its all risk right… I was not offering any sound or well thought out investment advise, rather just reflecting on my personal thoughts on where i would potentially consider wagering some of my Fiat paper monies as it seems many are looking to do. Real estate, stawk, PMs, TP, alcohol, collectables, ?? Hard to know whats safe these days but our gov wants us to spend and buy something!

    4. Copied from another site don’t know how true it is ?

      Everything is going for a premium right now. Pre-64 US silver is going for 14x-17x face amount on eBay right now; American Eagle rolls are going for around $480 / $24-25 per coin. Spot prices would be around 11x and $15.

    5. You are in San Diego if I remember correctly. I know people who had favorable dealings with Liberty Coin in Del Mar but I don’t know If it is still there. The online dealers are cleaned out of inventory and there will be a delay in delivery. I’ve heard JM Buliion reputable.

      1. JM is pretty good. Right now if you’re willing to pay a ~$130 premium/ounce, they have some gold eagles. IMO it’s too late for silver.

      1. Here is a snapshot of mine closures world wide.

        https://www.mining.com/worldwide-mining-disruptions/

        https://www.nsnews.com/chile-mine-construction-halted-peru-silver-mines-suspended-amid-virus-fears-1.24100560

        https://www.nsnews.com/chile-mine-construction-halted-peru-silver-mines-suspended-amid-virus-fears-1.24100560

        The mythical “failure to deliver” that gold bugs and silvertards have been squawking about for a decade may actually happen. You don’t just shut down a mine and then start it again without a lot of additional work. All the on line bullion dealers are cleaned of inventory and refiners and miners are shutting down operations.

      1. Too young for that…although for what I paid for some of my dental work, I feel like the dentist should have left behind some gold in my mouth.

        1. I remember when gold crowns were cheaper than the ceramic ones. Now it’s the other way around. I have two gold crowns on some molars. They are over 30 years old and have held up very well. All my other crowns are ceramic.

  5. The Bloomberg article I posted yesterday was a bomb-shell. I can think of three others in the past two years as significant. This one also from Bloomberg:

    May 25, 2018

    “In his corner of American finance, where hard selling meets hard luck, Angelo Christian is a star. Each time Christian sells a home loan, the company he works for, American Financial Network Inc., takes as much as 5 percent. Many of Christian’s customers have no savings, poor credit, or low income—sometimes all three. Some are like Joseph Taylor, a corrections officer who saw Christian’s roadside billboard touting zero-down mortgages. Taylor had recently filed for bankruptcy because of his $25,000 in credit card debt. But he just bought his first home for $120,000 with a zero-down loan from Christian’s company. Monthly debt payments now eat up half his take-home pay. ‘If he can help me, he can help anyone,’ Taylor says. ‘My credit history was just horrible.’”

    “Christian can do this kind of deal because he is, in effect, making the loan on behalf of the federal government through its most important affordable housing program. It’s a sweet deal: He gets his nearly risk-free commission. Taylor puts no money down. If things go south, the government ultimately bears the risk. Many borrowers ‘are living paycheck to paycheck and, if they lose their jobs, they go into default immediately,’ says John Burns, a housing consultant.”

    http://thehousingbubbleblog.com/?p=10443

    And the Bloomberg article on bay ayran speculators taking an a$$-pounding. Around two years or so the Wall Street Journal reported on Dallas area builders slashing prices. Of course, we’ve known about these things because I slog through thousands of obscure industry reports like this:

    The Rock Stars Of The Real Estate Recovery And The Emerging Third Wave Of Distress
    December 12, 2019

    A report from DS News. “Foreclosure auction inflow data points to a third wave of post-recession distress building in late 2019 and early 2020. A total of 43,232 residential properties nationwide were referred to Auction.com in Q3 2019 for a potential future foreclosure auction, up from the previous quarter and a year ago to the highest level since Q1 2017. The characteristics of the increasing foreclosure auction inflow are distinct enough to label it a third wave of distress emerging in the wake of the Great Recession.”

    “The first and largest wave comprised primarily risky loans originated during the 2004-2008 housing boom. The second post-recession wave of distress emerged in 2018 as the result of a series of devastating natural disaster events—primarily hurricane-related—in 2016 and 2017 in Florida and Texas. The emerging third wave of post-recession distress is showing up in parts of Florida and Texas, but it is also showing up in markets far removed from Florida and Texas (see below for some more geographic details). That’s because this wave is less characterized by geographic concentrations of distress and more characterized by concentrations of distress based on loan type and lender type.”

    “More to the point, the emerging third wave of distress is primarily driven by a rising undercurrent of defaults among government-insured loans and privately held loans. Two sub-categories within the overall government-insured space stand out: VA-backed loans with a 31% increase and FHA-backed loans serviced by mid-market lenders—many of them so-called nonbank lenders and servicers—with a 17% increase.”

    “The Black Knight report shows that the delinquency rate at six months after origination is trending higher for loans originated in 2018 and 2019, with a more extreme upward trend among Ginnie Mae-securitized loans—primarily comprising VA- and FHA-backed loans. The report shows that 3.3% of Ginnie Mae-securitized loans originated over the past 12 months were delinquent at six months, up from 3.1% for loans originated in 2018 to the highest level since 2009.”

    “Among all loan originations, the delinquency rate six months after origination was 1% for loans originated in the first quarter of 2019, up from 0.9% for loans originated in 2018 to the highest level since 2010.”

    “Among 2,410 counties with foreclosure auction inflow into Auction.com in Q3 2019, 870 counties (36%) posted a year-over-year increase in foreclosure auction inflow, including Maricopa County (Phoenix), Arizona; Miami-Dade County, Florida; Los Angeles County, California; and Bexar County (San Antonio), Texas. Also posting year-over-year increases in foreclosure auction inflow in Q3 were all three counties in the Seattle metro area: King, Pierce, and Snohomish; and three counties in the Denver metro area: Denver, Arapahoe, and Adams.”

    “‘Some of the markets with the biggest inflow increases in the third quarter may be surprising given they have been rock stars of the real estate recovery of the last seven years,’ said Jesse Roth, SVP of Strategic Partnerships and Business Development at Auction.com. ‘But those markets may now be victims of their own success, with an unsustainable run-up in home prices pushing the limits of affordability for many homebuyers in recent years. Those financially stretched borrowers now have less equity cushion to protect against foreclosure, particularly if they are in a government-insured loan that came with a low down payment and down payment assistance.’”

    “The inflow geographic trends align with recent foreclosure start data released by ATTOM Data Solutions, which shows that U.S. foreclosure starts in the first nine months of 2019 increased in 14 states and 80 of 220 metropolitan statistical areas analyzed (36%). Among larger metro areas, those posting year-over-year increases in the first nine months of the year included Atlanta (up 23%), Orlando (up 24%), Jacksonville (up 7%), San Antonio (up 8%), Seattle (up 7%), and Denver (up 3%).”

    “Given no other shocks to the economy or housing market, this emerging wave of distress will likely be the smallest of the three that have materialized in the wake of the Great Recession. However, if dangerous rip currents develop in the housing market (think widespread and sustained home price depreciation) or in the larger economy (think recession), this distressed wave could pack a bigger punch.”

    http://housingbubble.blog/?p=2713

    The bubble had already popped. And it was a bubble built on fraudulent subprime loans. The MSM will touch on it here and there, but readers here are way ahead. And to inform myself is why I put this blog together every day.

    1. ‘Those financially stretched borrowers now have less equity cushion to protect against foreclosure, particularly if they are in a government-insured loan that came with a low down payment and down payment assistance’

      It’s risk layering. (Same as last decade). Stretched from the get-go, allowed to borrow too much money, with no skin in the game. Debt to income, loan to value, low or zero down have all been combined to keep this thing going. Remember near the end of last year I found a report on zero down, no-doc loans? And it was a retail FHA lender, not some specialized loan for a high-asset borrower.

    2. That American Financial Network Inc. article never gets old.

      When you eliminate debt from your life, it is the most free feeling you will ever know. I am seriously considering quitting my job and taking a few months off from working, because I can…

      1. taking a few months off from working, because I can…

        It might be prudent to continue working until Mr. Market takes your job away.

        I remember back in 2008 that a lot of contractors were busy hustling, accepting jobs they would have laughed at a few months before and doing the work themselves instead of having Jose and Juan do them. Of course, they had hungry F-350’s that needed to be fed every month.

        1. “hungry F-350’s that needed to be fed every month”

          #ClownCars for #ClownWorld.

          In my life I have driven a ’85 Celica, a ’86 Camry, a ’91 Camry, a ’99 C-RV, a ’08 Civic (I really miss this one, it was a greedy time in my life when I thought I needed two vehicles for recreational, non-work reasons), and a ’12 Impreza.

          If I ever bought a second vehicle again, maybe a Ford Transit van and pimp it out with a ladder rack, shelves, and a rat pack.

          The Kinks — Got To Be Free (1971):

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7qChiEGugE

        2. I have a couple house projects that I need to have done. I figure I’m going to wait until the dead of winter or possibly next spring. If the COVID thing calms down by then and we’re still in a deep recession, maybe I can get a good price.

      2. “When you eliminate debt from your life, it is the most free feeling you will ever know.”

        My co-worker said his divorce was incredibly expensive, but it was worth every penny as it removed a huge dead weight from his life. When the office hired some new hotties I mentioned them, and he said, “I can afford to live on half but not a quarter.”

        1. “I can afford to live on half but not a quarter.”

          Priceless!

          When I was married I lived on 10%. When she left I lived on 20%, the kids on 30% and the bank on the other 50%. When the kids and the bank were satisfied, I lived on 30% and saved the rest. Those were years of HUGE increases in my standard of living.

          A few women since then have been shocked that I wouldn’t accept their suggestions of marriage. My line was “Darlin, I still wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat from a dream that I’m still married!”

          Trust me, I would have written a different story for myself, but the epilogue has been satisfactory.

    3. I share this article with all friends and family members who tell me that lending and standards are tight.

  6. “Adam Leitman Bailey, a New York real estate attorney who helped buyers wriggle out of contracts in the last financial meltdown using an old federal statute, said he’s already faced a barrage of calls from buyers looking to get out of condo contracts—and sellers looking to enforce them. For buyers who signed contracts for new development units in New York over the past several years, they’d risk losing deposits of 20% to 25% if they reneged, said appraiser Jonathan Miller.”

    It was still cheaper than renting!

    1. Very cool and technology like this is what helped china get ahead of the curve. They are now using smart watches and an app to also determine infections and locations via heart monitoring. Use what works!

    2. Interchange “Ft. Lauderdale” with “Walmart” and you can track your local infections.

  7. “…We have received calls from property owners who have realized that their tenants will have trouble paying the rent, and whose economic model was to use the rent they get to pay their mortgage,’ says AMG Mortgages CEO Amit Kaminsky….”

    Oh, Let me guess. A fast talker from the REIConplex convinced his client to HELOC themselves into oblivion to come up with enough cash to make minimal down payments on “income” rental properties.

    “That’s how to get rich”. “You can become a rich person in no time at all” said the REIConplex agent. (Wolf dressed as a sheep).

    1. “We have received calls from property owners who have realized that their tenants will have trouble paying the rent, and whose economic model was to use the rent they get to pay their mortgage.

      Bold strategy there, Cotton.

      Seriously, what’s the alternative? Sweet, sweet equity will allow them to sell at profit before it’s foreclosed on?

      1. “Sweet, sweet equity will allow them to sell at profit before it’s foreclosed on?”

        That was yesteryears mentality. I would like to think this pandemic will serve a lesson to speculators and those whom do not view housing as it was designed for and its intended purpose. Hopefully thins out the heards and corrects the price we have to pay to aquire it.

  8. ‘Profits at China’s industrial firms slumped in the first two months of the year to their lowest in at least a decade, with the mining, manufacturing and power sectors all seeing sharp falls, as a virus epidemic battered China’s economy.’

    ‘The weakness in profits was in line with broader pressures on Chinese factories. Manufacturing output plummeted at the sharpest pace in three decades in the first two months as the virus outbreak interrupted normal production, while factory gate prices fell more than expected in February.’

    ‘Citing a survey by a major Chinese recruitment website, Capital Economics said findings suggest that close to a quarter of firms had stopped paying wages by last week. A further half of firms had cut or delayed pay.’

    https://www.theepochtimes.com/chinas-industrial-firms-post-steepest-fall-in-profits-in-a-decade_3287874.html

  9. ‘But will lower demand, even though low mortgage rates are supportive, result in a supply glut of new homes? Fitch Ratings says that ‘the surge in spec building activity by homebuilders in recent quarters could result in excess inventory of new homes if demand drops meaningfully in the near term.’ This could mean increased discounting’

    Wa happened to my shortage? Again, Fitch forecasts something that’s been going on for well over a year.

  10. Shake$peare: “A mid.$ummers day nightmare”

    A $hort rece$$ion @ end of Act l, followed by a $wift depre$$ion.

    “Lovers and madmen have such seething brains,
    Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend
    More than cool reason ever comprehends.
    The lunatic, the lover and the poet
    Are of imagination all compact:
    One sees more devils than vast hell can hold,
    That is, the madman: the lover, all as frantic,
    Sees Helen’s beauty in a brow of Egypt:
    The poet’s eye, in fine frenzy rolling,
    Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
    And as imagination bodies forth
    The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen
    Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing
    A local habitation and a name.”

    1. We’ll know that times are tough when even the brogrammers get laid off and can’t find another job.

  11. Remember$ the quote from Mr.Thorn.in.yer.$ide.bergz:

    “No job$ lo$$e$, … no HB.B ll Debacle$!

    Pre$cient!

    pre·$cient
    /ˈpreSH(ē)ənt/
    adjective

    having or showing knowledge of event$ before they take place.
    “a pre$cient warning$”

    $imilar:
    prophetic / predictive

      1. Hope the 👾 … (xaoh.knob/handle.death.germ$) doe$n’t find it’$ why to Boeing.
        They have enough i$$ue$ a$ i$!

        1. Just now: Boeing will be manufacturing face shields and providing numerous planes for supply distribution.

  12. Jonesy, I’m thinking you’re going to need to wheel out of Rage Cage or maybe even a straight jacket.

  13. Reckon ag.dannyboy is still “train.spotting” pa$$ing coal.car$. … $ad.

    Poor mB$, poor Putain, … $ad.

    Market Extra$:

    The world is running out of tank$ to $tore oil as coronaviru$ and price war$ lead to flood of crude

    MarketWatch/ By William
    Watt / Published: March 26, 2020

    A fa$t-ri$ing tide of crude oil — courtesy of a plunge in demand due to the global COVID-19 pandemic and an ill-timed price war between Ru$$ia and $audi Arabia — is filling up $torage tank$ around the world and putting a $train on the global refining $ystem.

    $oaring $torage cost$ will leave producer$ no choice but to $harply $lash production, analyst$ said.

    Oil prices have plunged, with West Texas Intermediate crude CL.1, -5.841%, the U.S. benchmark, down more than 48% in the month to date after hitting a more-than-17-year low. Brent crude BRN.1, -7.175%, the global benchmark, is off more than 41% this month.

    Meanwhile, a price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia after Moscow rejected a Saudi-led effort to increase existing production curbs in response to the pandemic has contributed to the plunge. The existing production limits expire at the end of the month.

    1. By far this is the weirdest Black Swan event I have see in my lifetime ,being a World wide pandamic.

      So hard to predict what is going to happen. Some positive might happen for the opportunity for a reset of corrupt systems. Who knows at this point.

      1. So hard to predict. Well, the commenters at the Washington Post have it all figured out. Every cough is Trump’s fault for not welding people into their homes on New Year’s Day.

        1. You need to look at his actions and comments starting in January…He rolled the dice betting that it was not going to be serious…Its a Hoax…..Don’t let the ship come ashore because it will increase the numbers…Doctors say it will just go away…He rolled the dice and rolled “Snake Eyes”…

          1. He rolled the dice betting that it was not going to be serious

            Except he didn’t realize it was one of those 20 sided D&D dice any anything less than 20 meant eating crow.

          2. He rolled the dice

            Ask not for whom the dice roll,
            They roll for thee.

            Not thee specifically.

          3. Nice adaptation of Donne. And as you suggest, his “thee” means all of us. We are all coronavirus victims now, even if we don’t catch it.

        2. January20: I know more about viruses than anyone.”
          January 22: “We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China. It’s going to be just fine.”
          February 2: “We pretty much shut it down coming in from China.”
          February 24: “The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA… Stock Market starting to look very good to me!”
          February 25: “CDC and my Administration are doing a GREAT job of handling Coronavirus.”
          February 25: “I think that’s a problem that’s going to go away… They have studied it. They know very much. In fact, we’re very close to a vaccine.”
          February 26: “The 15 (cases in the US) within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero.”
          February 26: “We’re going very substantially down, not up.”
          February 27: “One day it’s like a miracle, it will disappear.”
          February 28: “We’re ordering a lot of supplies. We’re ordering a lot of, uh, elements that frankly we wouldn’t be ordering unless it was something like this. But we’re ordering a lot of different elements of medical.”
          March 2: “You take a solid flu vaccine, you don’t think that could have an impact, or much of an impact, on corona?”
          March 2: “A lot of things are happening, a lot of very exciting things are happening and they’re happening very rapidly.”
          March 4: “If we have thousands or hundreds of thousands of people that get better just by, you know, sitting around and even going to work — some of them go to work, but they get better.”
          March 5: “I NEVER said people that are feeling sick should go to work.”
          March 5: “The United States… has, as of now, only 129 cases… and 11 deaths. We are working very hard to keep these numbers as low as possible!”
          March 6: “I think we’re doing a really good job in this country at keeping it down… a tremendous job at keeping it down.”
          March 6: “Anybody right now, and yesterday, anybody that needs a test gets a test. They’re there. And the tests are beautiful…. the tests are all perfect like the letter was perfect. The transcription was perfect. Right? This was not as perfect as that but pretty good.”
          March 6: “I like this stuff. I really get it. People are surprised that I understand it… Every one of these doctors said, ‘How do you know so much about this?’ Maybe I have a natural ability. Maybe I should have done that instead of running for president.”
          March 6: “I don’t need to have the numbers double because of one ship that wasn’t our fault.”
          March 8: “We have a perfectly coordinated and fine tuned plan at the White House for our attack on CoronaVirus.”
          March 9: “This blindsided the world.”
          March 13: “National emergency, two big words.”

          1. 👾 … (xaoh.knob/handle.death.germ$) … Eye’m trying to dial in Ra$h.Limpbaugh$ progno$tication.$tation on my analog world.band$ radio to verify his updated remedie$!

            dtRumpsis $elf.proclaimed “nom de plume”: “👑💸📉🚽” 👏

          2. hail, “thee.🍊.jesus” “True.Believer$” has entered thee $tage.right: Mafia Blocks

          3. January20: I know more about viruses than anyone.”

            Where’s the video clip of this one? $50 to Ben if it exists.

            March 6: “I don’t need to have the numbers double because of one ship that wasn’t our fault.”

            This one I know was misconstrued. Another $50 to Ben if I’m wrong.

      2. Top three stories on ZeroHedge right now are utterly surreal:

        Hubei Residents Riot After Quarantine Lifted; Police Beaten With Their Own Shield, Cop Cars Overturned

        Rhode Island Orders Forcible “Quarantine” of Travelers from NY: Live Updates

        President Trump Invokes Defense Production Act To Force GM To Produce Ventilators

        1. But here’s the fourth:

          Stocks Soar To Best Week Since The ’30s As Dollar & Bond Yields Crash

    2. We’ll be seeing the pictures of fully loaded oil tankers sitting in port on Zero Hedge in 3…2…1

    1. is alot of money ??

      Wait until the combination of deficit spending and GDP tanking the tax revenue shows up in the next budget….

    1. The biggest nightmare is the medical system was not set up for this level of flu outbreaks.

      Interesting how after the 1918 Spanish Flu died down the USA went into a boom cycle for a decade, leading into the great Stock Market Crash of Oct. Of 1929.

      Anyway, the current conditions here couldn’t of been worse in terms of rigged systems, bubbles and faulty lending in all realms. The USA was riding on empty and the corruption was at a max peak.

      I’m just thinking that it is possible for some good things to happen, but I’m not holding my breath, just hoping I guess.

      1. a boom cycle for a decade, leading into the great Stock Market Crash

        This time we reversed things and had the credit explosion first. Now we can enjoy the credit implosion and the health panic at the same time.

      2. In the late 40s and 50s, we had a boom right along with full-blown epidemics of measles and polio.

        Think maybe that the end of a war contributed a little bit more than the end of an epidemic?

        1. 1920-1929 was boom following Spanish Flu, and 1945-1975 was boom, that followed WW2.

          What in the heck could happen now unless we become a highly productive Country with more jobs and more manufacturing than before. Don’t know what else could work.

  14. $omething about life, 🍋🍋🍋🍋🍋’$ & 🍋aid$

    EARN
    Bartender is offering $6 virtual cocktail-making classes during the pandemic—and strangers are sending him money

    CNBC / Published Fri, Mar 27 2020 / By Kathleen Elkins

    “Right then and there I’m thinking: Alright, how am I going to actually make money?” Scensny tells CNBC Make It. “Things were rolling in my head of what I can actually do online.”

    He decided to offer cocktail-making classes over Skype and teach people how to make their favorite drinks from home. He posted the idea on Facebook, asking people to Venmo him $6 for a virtual class.

    About an hour after Scensny uploaded the post, someone shared it on a bartending Facebook page and it took off.

    “It just blew up. There were 200 likes, then 400,” he says. “It started off as a joke. I didn’t think 30,000 people were actually going to like and share this.”

    Next, he checked his Venmo account. Sure enough, strangers were sending him money: “People were actually sending $6. Some were $10, $20, $50.”

    As of Thursday, March 19 — two days after he found out he was out of work — Scensny says he received $1,500 in Venmo payments, the biggest one being $75. None of them even asked for a virtual class, he says: “These people that are actually Venmoing me the money, they just said they wanted to help me out.”

    He plans to use the extra cash to pay bills and help out his mom, who he’s living with in upstate New York.

    His advice to other bartenders and people losing their jobs during the pandemic is to take action and brainstorm creative ways to start making money right now. “There’s always somebody that’s going to be in need of something,” says Scensny, who also started delivering groceries. “There are ways to actually make money, you just have to put your mind to it.”

    1. On another note, the checks will be direct deposited into existing IRS accounts. Which means that almost NO illegal immigrants will get a check.

      1. Nor will the 1 million homeless people lining the streets and alleyways of US cities, or the 50 million out of work adults who are not counted as “unemployed.”

        1. 50 million out of work adults

          That is not my understanding. Even people receiving SS will get Cheese Checks.

          1. When I read the bill, they were referencing individuals who had filed taxes in the past 2 years, and any dependents of theirs. It seemed to leave out all of the poor people who never file and also those who paid taxes but never bothered to file.

            At any rate, my 50 million number is hardly scientific. There are close to 100 million adults in this country who do not work for one reason or another. Retired, disabled, in school, taking care of family, etc. Some of those are on Social Security and SSDI, which is why I reduced it to 50 million because the people already getting checks from the government every month are already on their radar.

            Anyway, it will be interesting to see how the whole thing is administered.

      2. No one whole files their 1040 with an ITIN # will get a check, or so we are told. AOC is having a hissy fit over this.

  15. “Mortgage firms are bracing for a wave of missed payments starting April 1 as borrowers lose their jobs as a result of the coronavirus epidemic.

    Not an April fools joke, either, lenders. The cascading defaults and delinquencies are going to bring down the Fed’s financial house of cards.

  16. This is especially acute for non-bank lenders who do not have sufficient reserves in place. It was disappointing that the bill did not directly address this risk.’”

    Translation: these asshats will be asking for a bailout, along with everybody else who was reckless and greedy and must now pay the price. The policymakers, regulators, and enforcers who allowed these non-lenders to create systemic risks to the financial system should be flogged with a cat-o-nine-tails, then thrown into the Florence, Colorado Supermax along with every senior member of the Wall Street-Federal Reserve Looting Syndicate.

  17. ‘Typically, I would never approach my sellers with these offers but now, a handful of my sellers are open to them,’ he said.”

    What Ben means is that his sellers are experiencing involuntary bowel movements as they watch the onrushing cratering of the Everything Bubble and are desperate for even lowball offers.

  18. It’s a change in the market homeowner Chris says he’s even seen in the past seven days. ‘I get these alerts where it says price reduced by 15,000, price reduced by 8,000 and I’m like wow this is just happening within the past week,’ said Wallace.”

    Us patient renters are looking more like geniuses every day. Keep slashin’, greedheads – I’ve got all the time in the world. Unlike you.

  19. Mortgage bonds of all kinds have tumbled in value in recent weeks, even those that had top ratings from credit agencies. Investors are worried borrowers will default en masse as the economy slows to a halt.

    The Keynesian fraudsters at the central banks can’t print nearly enough money to head off the global financial crisis they caused with their “accommodative” monetary policies.

  20. Some property owners are afraid – not just financially but afraid for their family members, says Robin Pope of Pope Real Estate Ltd. in Toronto.

    These “property owners” are going to find out the hard way who really owns the property – and it’s not underwater debt donkeys. I hope every single FB who make housing so unaffordable for the prudent and responsible ends up being a cautionary tale.

  21. For two weeks, the COVID-19 deaths in the US have been doubling every 3 days. We will be over 1,500 deaths today. If this doubling trend continued for three more weeks, we would see over 192,000 dead in the US. That would be very bad, and the numbers get even more grim if that trend continued.

    Considering the fact that the medical community does not expect things to peak for another month, does this mean the death trend will remain on the same pace or even rise until then? I know they are all working off models, but I’m starting to wonder if those unofficial reports out of China talking about hundreds of thousands dead are accurate.

    1. I’m starting to wonder if those unofficial reports out of China talking about hundreds of thousands dead are accurate.

      I think it’s a safe assumption that the real numbers were maybe 10x the reported numbers. Too many suspicious things happened that suggested that long ago.

      1. the real numbers were maybe 10x

        In a country where 10+ million people die every year, that still wouldn’t merit a footnote in their statistics.

        1. Sure…but I think they noticed pretty quickly in January that if they didn’t do something radical very quickly it was going to end up being much more than a footnote. So they did what they had to do…and suppressed a lot of information it would appear.

    2. This is why I want to stay mostly at home for a few months.

      If it’s a nothing burger, then I went to bed hungry. If it’s Black Plague v2.0, then I will likely survive, and perhaps infect X number less other people by not working on crowded commercial jobsites.

    3. We just started curve-flattening quarantines last week. Not sure when it will result in a slower case count growth rate.

      1. 14 days, probably. Remember we’re still discovering cases that were contracted at Mardi Gras. The Spring Break hump is next. After that I think we’ll see a reduction.

        I’m more worried about exiting these quarantines too early. I firmly believe we should all quarantine until somebody has made a billion masks. Then we’d wear them everywhere for about a month. That would stop the spread enough to possibly beat this virus.

        1. until somebody has made a billion masks. Then we’d wear them everywhere for about a month. That would stop the spread enough to possibly beat this virus.

          I don’t think so. I’ve seen and heard of plenty of ridiculous behavior recently. E.g., people sewing masks thinking they need to go through multiple washing machine cycles with bleach; a woman in a grocery store taking off a glove, reaching into her purse, handing the checkout clerk her debit card, putting it back in her purse then putting the glove back on. All this does is give people a false sense of security if not used properly.

          1. What’s wrong with going through multiple wash cycles with bleach?

            How would I handle a debit card? Maybe use bare hands for stuff that is yours (debit card), and put on the glove on for stuff that’s not yours (touch screens and punch keys). Or just use bare hands for it all and douse your hands with alcohol afterwards.

          2. Multiple wash cycles with bleach is overkill. Taking gloves on and off is asking for cross-contamination.

        2. Or quarantine until enough testing has been done to establish case rates and hot spots.

  22. I came to here to make sure our republic doesn’t die by unanimous consent in an empty chamber, and I request a recorded vote,” Massie said on the House floor before his proposal was rejected.

    “I am not delaying the bill like (House Speaker) Nancy Pelosi did last week,” Massie wrote on Twitter earlier. “The bill that was worked on in the Senate late last week was much better before Speaker Pelosi showed up to destroy it and add days and days to the process.”

    Everybody hates this guy. I like him.

    1. Eye’s don’t “hate.em” … He spoke his feather. That’s what’s allowed in the good.ol’ USA! 👏

      (Don’t think he’s ever gonna get a chance to sit on Donnie’$ golden.🚽)

  23. Glenveagh’s share price has dropped by about 40 per cent since the start of March, while Cairn’s has fallen by 44 per cent over the same period.

    Die, speculator scum.

  24. A 1,588 sq ft home changed hands for HK$21.3 million in late January when the coronavirus broke out in Hong Kong at a loss of HK$10 million, agents said.”

    Is HK$10 million a lot?

  25. ‘I wouldn’t be surprised to see over 40 per cent of households in mortgage stress, which would take that figure up to about 1.5 to 1.6 million households in mortgage stress,’ Mr North said.

    As inconceivable as it sounds, the RBA outdid even the Fed in enabling and encouraging reckless speculative excesses, while Australian regulators and enforcers were even more egregious in perpetuating fraud and faulty construction and marketing practices than our own.

    1. Might bee a “bidne$$” opportunity:

      Free 👾 (xaoh.knob/handle.death.germ$) sterilization @ e$crow clo$ing!

  26. This from Yahoo Finance:

    “We are seeing some pretty amazing last-minute negotiations happening,” said real estate agent Jeff Anderson, who works across Southern California.

    One seller offered to hack the $730,000 sales price of a two-bedroom Culver City condo down to $650,000 so the buyer wouldn’t cancel escrow. It wasn’t enough.

  27. Talk about great timing Pier1 going broke, its totally empty not even a chair or fixture in the place.

  28. Eye Reckon Boris is knot Welsh …

    (Long.live.Thee.King.of.Wales!)

    BBC News:

    Coronaviru$: England-only priority online shopping ‘ridiculous’

    People forced to self-isolate have expressed frustration at not being included in a programme to help prioritise food deliveries for those unable to leave the house.

    Supermarkets have access to a UK government database of 1.5m vulnerable shoppers in England.

    Philip Pearce from Bridgend said he was vulnerable and it was “ridiculous” he could not sign up.

    The Welsh Government said it was urgently working to resolve the issue.

    Mr Pearce said: “I tried to shop at Sainsbury’s this morning and because I am classified as vulnerable, I thought I’d be able to register quite easily.

    “I went onto the UK government’s web page but found I couldn’t sign up because I live in Wales.

    “It’s ridiculous. How am I meant to get my shopping delivered now? I have always had it delivered but now I’m expected to pick it up. This can’t be right.”

    He says he also went on the Sainsbury’s website to register as vulnerable but it directed him to the UK government page which asked if he was living in England.

    “It’s ridiculous and frustrating and I’m not the kind of person who isn’t familiar with being online,” he said.

    Retired nurse Beverly Harrison-Wood, 63, from Cardigan, Ceredigion, told BBC Wales the earliest delivery slot she has been offered with any of the major supermarkets was mid-April.

    Mrs Harrison-Wood, who has rheumatoid arthritis, lives with her husband, 69, and her 85-year-old mother, said they had about a week’s worth of food left.

    She said: “There’s no chance at all of getting a delivery…

    “Unfortunately we can’t [sign up for priority] as it’s available to England but not to Wales, which is annoying.”

    “We ask that any customer who has specific circumstance due to coronavirus lets us know in the ‘other information’ section whilst placing their order.”

    BBC Wales understands Tesco is examining how it can best make such deliveries to all parts of the UK.

    A Welsh Government spokesman said: “We are working with retailers, through the Covid-19 retailers forum and retailer associations, to resolve this issue as a matter of urgency.

    “People with certain long-term health conditions are being advised to stay at home and adopt a series of ‘shielding’ measures for at least 12 weeks.

    “They will receive a letter setting out the steps they need to take.

    “We will make sure this group of people can get food, medicines and other essentials.

      1. I’m thinking if somebody asks you not to hoard you probably better hoard a little, and if they order you not to hoard you may already be too late. The Mormons had this one right, make a stash when times are good and if you end up throwing some away over the years think of it as insurance you didn’t have to make a claim on.

  29. This online toilet paper calculator will tell you just how long your supply will last
    By Leah Asmelash, CNN
    Updated 3:10 PM ET, Sat March 21, 2020
    Howmuchtoiletpaper.com calculates just how long your stash of TP will last you during a quarantine.

    (CNN)As households continue to stock up on toilet paper — emptying shelves across the country — a new website is attempting to answer the question: How much TP do we really need?

    More than 2 million people have used the tool, the website says, and the average user has a whopping 500% more toilet paper than they need for quarantine.

    The whole point of the tool is to reduce the toilet paper shortage around the world, which has begun as folks panic-buy rolls out of fear of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

    “Not everyone is able to get to a store and stock up on toilet roll. Don’t be selfish,” the website says bluntly.

  30. I$ the Easter.bunny job/suit still available? Is Sean Spicer still employed as a journalist?

    BUSINE$$ NEW$ |MARCH 27, 2020 / UPDATED 35 MINUTES AGO

    Almost one in four Americans lo$t job or furloughed because of coronaviru$: Reuters/Ipsos poll

    Reuters | By Chris Kahn

    The March 26-27 opinion poll, released Friday, also showed that the public is much more likely to heed the advice of doctors and local government officials than President Donald Trump.

    Trump, who predicted in February that the virus would quickly disappear “like a miracle,” has communicated an uneven level of concern for the disease, which has infected more than 85,000 people in the United States and killed more than 1,200.

    The president took a hardline approach earlier this month when he urged people to gather only in small groups. Later he appeared to change course, telling reporters that he would like businesses to reopen by Easter, on April 12.

    The poll showed that most Americans do not want that.

    Eighty-one percent said the country should continue social distancing initiatives, including “shelter at home” orders, “despite the impact to the economy.” This includes 89% of Democrats and 70% of Republicans.

    The commitment to social distancing comes at a time when many Americans are feeling high levels of concern about the economy. Only 30% of Americans said they felt that the U.S. economy was headed in the “right direction,” the lowest level of confidence in polling that goes back to February 2018.

    Twenty-three percent said they have already lost their jobs because of the coronavirus, or that their employer was forced to close and “I no longer go to work, but I am still employed by them.”

    Many economists expect the U.S. unemployment rate will surpass the 10% level that the country experienced more than a decade ago during the Great Recession. St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said it may rise as high as 30%.

  31. Please use the sharing tools found via the share button at the top or side of articles. Copying articles to share with others is a breach of FT.com T&Cs and Copyright Policy. Email licensing@ft.com to buy additional rights. Subscribers may share up to 10 or 20 articles per month using the gift article service. More information can be found at https://www.ft.com/tour.
    https://www.ft.com/content/80aa0b58-7010-11ea-9bca-bf503995cd6f

    in New York, which is fast becoming one of the global epicentres of the disease, the city’s emergency The Financial Times:

    On Thursday (March 26, 2020) NYC emergency “services received more medical calls than they did on September 11 2001.”

    1. Edit fail!

      Just meant to pass on this tidbit:

      On Thursday (March 26, 2020) NYC emergency “services received more medical calls than they did on September 11 2001.”

      1. If and whatever pieces of 9/11 victims were found after the buildings collapsed went to the makeshift morgue. Entirely different situation.

  32. The Atlantic … has removed pay.wall on any 👾 … (xaoh.knob.handle.death.germ$) related articles.

    Hope others follow $uit.

    1. Ah yes, the New New Avengers. Comic critics have been laughing over this for days. Get a load of Trailblazer with the magic backpack, and Screetime with the experimental internet gas. No, I am not making this up. And if you want even more fun, check out the writer’s previous work: “Santa’s Husband.”

      1. It’s like they are trying to kill comic books.

        Our local comic con was growing like a weed, reaching attendance in excess of 100K. Then it got woke and attendance has been dropping. They used to release attendance numbers to the local media, crowing about their growth. Once they began to drop, the press releases came to a screeching halt. I suspect it will be cancelled this year due to the pandemic.

  33. The Financial Times
    Coronavirus
    Deaths spike in Italy, Spain, New York and UK as pandemic shifts west
    Authorities warn peak has not been reached yet while western hotspots see record fatalities
    A pedestrian in a protective mask crosses an empty street in Rome. Cases have increasingly spread outside Italy’s north, where its outbreak began © Bloomberg
    Miles Johnson in Rome, Joshua Chaffin in New York and Bethan Staton in London 6 hours ago

    Fatalities in the west’s most-infected regions rose sharply on Friday in the clearest sign yet that the centre of gravity in the global coronavirus pandemic has shifted from Asia to Europe and the US.

    The grim tally was led by Italy, the first major hotspot outside Asia, which recorded the biggest single-day death tally anywhere in the world since the outbreak started in China late last year, with 919 people succumbing in the last 24 hours.

    Although Italy has long produced the most alarming coronavirus totals in the west, other European and American regions on Friday reported death rates that were not far behind.

    Spain saw a sharp spike in deaths, announcing 769 fatalities on Friday, while New York state also reported its highest single-day total with 134. The UK, which until now has been spared the worst of the pandemic, reported a sharp increase in its death numbers, rising 181 in the last 24 hours.

    “That is going to continue to go up, and that is the worst news I that could possibly tell the people of the state of New York,” said Andrew Cuomo, the New York governor who has emerged as a national spokesman for the virus’s impact in the US. “It’s bad news, it’s tragic news, it’s the worst news, but is not unexpected news either.”

    The Italian figures were particularly worrying for authorities hoping that the imposition of strict lockdowns would lead to a plateauing of cases; Italy has been under a nationwide quarantine for almost three weeks, but the number of cases continue to climb, rising 7.4 per cent on Friday to 86,498 — making it the second country after the US to overtake China’s total.

    While Italy’s daily growth rate of diagnosed cases has fallen over the past week, officials fear the pandemic is not near its peak, with new cases rising in regions outside the north, where the country’s outbreak began. The southern region of Campania, for example, has recorded 1,454 cases and has registered 98 deaths.

    In a nationally televised address on Friday night, Italy’s President Sergio Mattarella called coronavirus “a threat to Europe” and asked the EU to take co-ordinated action to overcome “the dramatic conditions in which our continent finds itself”.

    In Spain, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez convened an emergency cabinet meeting amid signs the pace of new cases and deaths was rising faster than in Italy or China. Spanish authorities have expressed hope in recent days that the country was reaching its peak in new cases, though hospitalisation and deaths — and the economic effects — will peak later.

    1. Ruh Roh

      That French scientist that cured 6 out of 6 just ran another study with 80 hospitalized Coronavirus patients with the drug combo Hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin that Trump touted and got flamed by the MSM.

      Results 79 out of 80 cured.

      The guy that didn’t make it was 86 and had pre-existing conditions.

      Another one I didn’t catch where cured 5 out of 5 what they said were morbidly ill Coronavirus patients.

      1. Do you have a good link for this, Jeff? I found a couple references but nothing verifiable. I’m hoping to see some dependable data out of New York City soon.

        I wonder if the “mild” cases — the people in crappy shape but still sent back home — would benefit from a Z-pack and some zinc, and possibly a tiny dose of hydroxychloroquine.

        1. “Do you have a good link for this, Jeff? ”

          No, I will have to admit to and take the rocks that will be thrown because I heard it from Dr. Oz on the Laura Ingraham Fox show last night.

          Now, although I heard him say the words and he said he had ust got these results when I found her web page it had all her guests from last night in videos except Dr. Oz

          Now either Dr, Oz is flat out lying or someone doesn’t want anyone to know there is a very effective combination of cheap and readily available drugs available to save very sick people with coronavirus.

          How Dr. Oz Became a Regular Coronavirus Pundit on Fox News
          3 days ago
          https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/how-dr-oz-became-a-regular-coronavirus-pundit-fox-news-1286263

          Over three days this week, Fox News promoted an antimalarial drug treatment for coronavirus over 100 times
          22 hours ago
          Fox’s promotion of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine as possible treatments downplays the risk of the disease
          https://www.mediamatters.org/fox-news/over-three-days-week-fox-news-promoted-antimalarial-drug-treatment-coronavirus-over-100

          Inside Media Matters, the Left’s Biggest “Propaganda Machine”
          Jul 9, 2019
          https://www.playboy.com/read/inside-of-media-matters

        2. I wonder if the “mild” cases — the people in crappy shape but still sent back home — would benefit from a Z-pack and some zinc, and possibly a tiny dose of hydroxychloroquine. A huge number of people are already taking daily full doses of hydroxychlorquine, e.g. those who need a certain kind of protection from malaria, some of those who have lupus erythematosis. Haven’t read any news articles for years about all the deadly and horrible complications of this drug, cheap, simple to make, and available for many decades now. I wonder how many of the patients already taking this drug will ever contract COVID-19. If hydroxychloroquine is used the way you suggest, it will probably be at the full dose level, but not indefinitely as it would be for the ones I mentioned.

          1. a certain kind of protection from malaria

            For my dad, it was to suppress outbreaks of malaria he had had for decades. Picked it up in the South Pacific while on a holiday called WWII.

            Caution, may cause loss of vision.

  34. Gov. Andrew Cuomo Admits Stockpile of Thousands of Unused Ventilators

    CHARLIE SPIERING27 Mar 2020

    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo acknowledged Friday the state did have a stockpile of unused ventilators, despite his complaints the federal government was not sending enough.

    Cuomo responded to a comment from President Donald Trump on Twitter that there were thousands of ventilators in New York not being used.

    “Yes, they’re in a stockpile because that’s where they are supposed to be, because we don’t need them yet,” Cuomo said. “We need them for the apex, the apex isn’t here, so we’re gathering them in a stockpile.”

    Cuomo’s comments demonstrate there is not an immediate shortage in ventilators in the city, despite alarming reports.

    “We don’t need them today, because we’re not at capacity today, that’s why they’re not deployed because they’re not needed,” Cuomo said.

    https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/03/27/gov-andrew-cuomo-admits-stockpile-of-thousands-of-unused-ventilators/

    1. It’s hilarious watching them continue trying to demagogue and politicize this for personal gain, and faceplanting every time they do.

  35. Is the stock market guaranteed to go up from now on, now that we Unlimited Quantitative Easing?

    1. Was this a good week for dips to buy?

      The Financial Times
      Capital markets
      Markets draw comfort from ‘maximum’ central bank stimulus
      Recent gains have put US stocks on track for best week in at least a decade
      Billionaire investor Bill Ackman has started ‘redeploying our capital in companies we love at bargain prices’
      Laurence Fletcher in London 11 hours ago

      Bargain-hunting investors are growing increasingly confident that the past month’s chaos in markets may have thrown up buying opportunities of a lifetime.

      Reassured by the US Federal Reserve’s pledge on Monday to buy government bonds in unlimited amounts, along with similar moves from central bankers elsewhere, markets have regained a semblance of calm. A frantic period mid-month saw the S&P 500 drop 9.5 per cent, rise 9.3 per cent and then lose 12 per cent in three consecutive days, as investors struggled to price in the economic damage from coronavirus.

      But gains in recent days have put the index on track for its best week in at least a decade, and have prompted some cheery investors to pile in at what they see as attractive prices.

    2. Are the superrich dudes saying now is a good time to buy merely trying to trick the proles into overpaying for cratering shares?

      The Financial Times
      Markets Briefing Equities
      US stocks suffer late sell-off as stimulus passes into law
      Traders seek safer assets ahead of weekend as economic impact of virus keeps growing
      A surgical mask was placed last week on the Fearless Girl statue outside the New York Stock Exchange, whose trading floor has been closed due to coronavirus © AP
      Colby Smith in New York, Philip Georgiadis in London and Hudson Lockett and Daniel Shane in Hong Kong
      8 hours ago

      US stocks snapped a three-day winning streak on Friday as investors refocused on the wide economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic while President Donald Trump prepared to sign a historic US stimulus bill into law.

      The benchmark S&P 500 index ended the day down 3.4 per cent after a sell-off that accelerated into the close, reversing some of the gains from its strongest three-day rally since the 1930s. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fared worse, dropping 4.1 per cent.

      Investors instead piled into safe-haven assets, with the benchmark 10-year US Treasury yield falling 0.16 percentage points to 0.68 per cent. The yields on many Treasury bills, which mature in one year or less, remained well below zero.

      “The demand for cash is still high,” said Gene Tannuzzo, deputy global head of fixed income at Columbia Threadneedle. “There will still be tremendous volatility given that large parts of the economy will be closed for an extended period of time.”

      For the week as a whole, the S&P 500 was up 10.3 per cent. It remains 24.9 per cent below its peak on February 19.

  36. Do you remember a few weeks ago when The OC was trying to barricade its borders against COVID-19?

    Just a few weeks later, the corona eee-bola has established a major foothold in The OC. With a 28% growth rate, the case count is doubling every 2-3 days.

    1. The case count growth rate in The OC is roughly the same as in New Orleans.

      Orange County coronavirus cases

      The Orange County Health Care Agency is reporting where people with confirmed cases of COVID-19 live. Officials note this may not reflect where people contracted the disease or where the illness is currently active, and doesn’t show the true prevalence because most cases probaly aren’t being diagnosed. Circle locations represent a city, not the exact location of a case.

      As of Friday, March 27, 321 Orange County residents have been diagnosed with COVID-19, up 28% from the day before and 394% from a week before. Three residents have died. (More on Friday’s developments in Orange County)

    2. Do you remember a few weeks ago when The OC was trying to barricade its borders against COVID-19?

      Given that on an average day tens of thousands of people enter Orange County to visit Disneyland alone, I don’t see how they had a snowball’s chance in Hades of succeeding. Just like how the ski resorts brought the virus into the Centennial state.

      1. My wife was with one of our kids at Disneyland in February and brought back a dreadful flu, which I caught. We both coughed for weeks on end.

        Hopefully this wasn’t COVID-19, but you never know until you’ve been tested. (And given that we both recovered, maybe I should hope that we did have COVID-19 and are now immune.)

        1. you never know until you’ve been tested. I expect that testing will be done on various subsets of the population to document that, something epidemiologists like to do.

          1. You may know the answer to one of my lingering questions, which is whether it is possible to document whether someone had a past COVID-19 case, perhaps through the presence of an antibody signature, even if they’ve recovered?

            If so, it might be possible to design a retroactive statistical study to figure out how many cases may have occurred which were never tested.

          2. it is possible to document whether someone had a past COVID-19 case, perhaps through the presence of an antibody signature, even if they’ve recovered? If so, it might be possible to design a retroactive statistical study to figure out how many cases may have occurred which were never tested.
            Yes. This is what epidemiologists do after every significant epidemic. After the last Ebola outbreak got so much publicity, the pros found many Africans who had Ebola, never even knew they were ill.

          1. I will self-quarantine unless I think I need hospitalization, in which case I would would consider getting tested. Quite a few companies around the world are scrambling to market DIY test kits that can be mailed direct to you & returned that way. The swabs are not that hard to do for yourself. Med students (and probably nursing students too) had to practice on themselves & each other before we were turned loose on the public. Stay tuned for further developments.

        2. Disneyland in February

          I rescheduled our trip for April 14. I should probably cancel.

          1. Get yourself & family members tested! 🤔… 👾 … Corona.NO! 🙅‍♀️

            Healthcare

            Abbott launches five-minute coronavirus test

            Mar. 27, 2020
            Seeking Alpha / Abbott Laboratories (ABT) / By: Brandy Betz, SA News Editor

            Abbott (NYSE:ABT) announces that the FDA has issued Emergency Use Authorization for its molecular test that can detect a positive coronavirus diagnosis in as little as five minutes and a negative result in 13 minutes.

            The test runs on Abbott’s point-of-care ID Now platform, a portable instrument that can be used in almost any healthcare setting.

            The ID NOW COVID-19 tests will be available next week, and Abbott expects to ramp up manufacturing to deliver 50,000 tests per day by April 1

          2. I suggest you keep postponing. When they finally reopen, chances of contracting COVID-19 on your trip will be minimal (they won’t be able to afford reopening otherwise), you may enjoy an uncrowded Disney experience, due to others’ fears, and your child will get a psychological lift and a bonding experience with you after long days of confinement.

          3. Sorry this 👾 xaoh.knob.handle.death.germ$ critter has me feeling sorta edgy.

            Ya think all the touchable surfaces with bee $terilized when it opens to thousand$ & thousand$ of un.te$ted two.leggeds$?

          4. “Get yourself & family members tested!”

            Does that mean that I have to go to a testing center where people who believe they have it, and the health care providers exposed to them, are congregating? Sounds like an ideal setup for community transmission.

            No thanks…I will self-quarantine unless I think I need hospitalization, in which case I would would consider getting tested.

          5. I rescheduled our trip for April 14. I should probably cancel.

            Especially since it’s closed and will stay closed until the Shelter at Home order is lifted. I know that Disney is saying it might be open by then, but the chance of that is pretty much zero.

        3. Well, reckon being a surviving “innocent” vector is one way “wash yer hands” of exposing others & feeling awful about its distribution.

          1. 4 example:

            Prognosis:

            Dutch Hospital Staff Show ‘Insidious Nature’ of Coronaviru$

            Bloomberg / By Jason Gale / March 27, 2020

            When a handful of Dutch health workers fell ill days after the Netherlands’ first Covid-19 case, it prompted mass screening at two hospitals. What scientists found surprised them.

            Some 1,353 hospital staff in Breda and Tilburg, who recently suffered typical winter coughs and sniffles, were tested for the coronavirus. Of those, 86 — or 6.4% — were positive. Barely half had a fever, and the majority reported working while they were mildly ill.

            The “unexpected high prevalence” indicated hidden community spread, Marion Koopmans, Jan Kluytmans, and colleagues said in a report on Friday. The research is the first to describe clinical effects of the pandemic-causing disease among health-care workers and “confirms the insidious nature” of the coronavirus

            It shows “how mild this infection can be,” Koopmans, head of the viroscience department at the Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, said in a phone interview. “And, therefore, how easily it can fly under the radar.”

            “There is a spectrum of disease that’s still not fully recognized,” he said. “In the beginning phase, there was a strong focus on more severe cases, which we do see also. But now we see that there’s much more.”

            Even if a history of travel to China or northern Italy were excluded from the criteria, 40% of infected health workers identified in the screening still wouldn’t have otherwise been detected, they said.

          2. I’ve asked around, and nobody I know has developed coronavirus symptoms. So either I didn’t have it, or those I know got lucky.

          3. ‘Insidious Nature’ of Coronaviru$ It has been known since forever that some people can contract an illness, spread it to other people, and yet never be aware that they had the bug in the first place. COVID-19 fits right in with that.

          4. But apparently SARS cases were only contagious while symptomatic, helping to explain why the total 2002-03 global death tally was less than US deaths since this past Wednesday.

  37. The Financial Times
    Live
    Coronavirus latest: Businesses and commodities take hit as infections spread
    Oil industry reports sharp drop in petrol demand, while global gold deliveries face disruption. Australia offers $185m more in aid to regional airlines as Airbnb in the US suspends marketing in bid to stem losses.

    1. CR8R alert!

      The Financial Times
      Coronavirus business update 30 days complimentary
      Oil & Gas industry
      Global petrol demand to plunge as US stops driving
      Refineries set to shut as consumption falls to levels from 1970s Nixon era
      A petrol station in Waddy, Kentucky. US drivers are staying at home after shutdowns caused by the coronavirus outbreak
      Derek Brower and David Sheppard in London yesterday
      Global petrol demand is set to drop as much as 50 per cent in some key markets as western economies come to a halt in response to the coronavirus pandemic, analysts warn.

      Oil refineries worldwide are preparing to slash processing rates as petrol becomes the next part of the oil market to become distressed, with traders particularly concerned about the US, the world’s largest petrol market.

      FGE, an energy consultancy, said petrol demand in the US alone would fall almost 5m barrels a day next month, equivalent to a 5 per cent drop in global oil demand. World oil demand is forecast to fall by an unprecedented 20m-25m barrels a day, a quarter of normal daily consumption.

      “It’s like the entirety of Europe, Africa and the Middle East combined stopped driving,” said Cuneyt Kazokoglu, FGE’s head of oil demand, about the drop in petrol usage in the US.

      Petrol consumption in the US is expected to fall to levels not seen since the Nixon administration in the early 1970s, according to Tom Kloza, global head of energy analysis at Opis, a division of IHS Markit.

      The drop in US petrol demand will also mark an abrupt change from recent weeks, when fuel consumption held relatively steady despite the growing coronavirus emergency, as commuters moved from public transport to private cars, shoppers drove to malls to stock up and students returned home from colleges.

      Widespread commercial shutdowns and shelter-in-place orders have since emptied highways, particularly in the north-east, where New York has become the epicentre of the US outbreak. Opis said conversations with fuel retailers pointed to volume losses in recent days of 20-40 per cent compared with last year.

      The price of regular petrol in the past week averaged $2.051 a litre across the US, according to the Automobile Association of America, or almost a quarter less than a year ago. Wholesale prices have gone much lower, but will take time to feed through to the pumps. RBOB gasoline, which is traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange and delivered into New York Harbor, fell below 50 cents a gallon earlier this week.

      1. This C-19 flu spreads like wildfire. They don’t talk about Africa to much yet ,but they might have a hard time if it takes hold in those lands.

        The health care does matter. This Malaria drug is looking better and better all the time. I read that’ it’s better for short term use and people with heart problems might fare better on a different drug.

        100 years ago penicillin was discovered that was a big game changer in medicine. Maybe something like that will come out of this. If it’s a cheap drug that’s even more exciting.

      2. With Chicago gasoline futures cratering to under $0.25 a gallon, how long will it be until we pay under $1 a gallon at the pump? I have plenty of fuel in my gas tank, and am not driving much, so can hold out for that price before refueling.

        CNBC TV
        Market Insider
        Consumers could spend $20 billion less for gasoline this April as prices collapse in futures market
        Published Mon, Mar 23 20206:14 PM EDTUpdated Mon, Mar 23 20207:00 PM EDT
        Patti Domm
        Key Points
        – Prices for gasoline in the wholesale and futures markets dropped on Monday as more states told residents to stay home to stop the spread of coronavirus.
        – The dip in prices in those markets is a harbinger for lower prices at the pump, which could quickly fall 20% and ultimately reach under $1 in select markets.
        – The U.S. refining industry is already gearing up to cut back and could shut down about 30% of its capacity.
        RT: Gas station attendant 200313
        Julio Barrios attends to one of the few customers at a gas station in Scarsdale, New York, March 13, 2020.
        Jessica Resnick-Ault | Reuters

        Gasoline prices in the wholesale and futures markets crashed on Monday as more states issued stay-at-home orders, severely dampening demand for fuel.

        Some spot cash prices around the U.S. were down 40% or more Monday, and futures prices for gasoline in New York Harbor lost 24% for gasoline due for delivery in April. As a result, the prices drivers pay at the pump could fall by as much as 20% in a matter of weeks and in some areas, could reach a low below $1 a gallon ultimately in select markets.

        “The reason is clear. No one is driving,” said Daniel Yergin, vice chairman IHS Markit. He said demand for gasoline could fall by about 50% during the coronavirus response period. About a dozen states have required residents to stay home to stop the spread of coronavirus, since California first issued its statewide order Thursday.

        Wholesale spot prices for gasoline in New York Harbor on Monday fell to 31 cents per gallon, down 19 cents from Friday’s level. Gasoline in the spot market in Chicago fell to 24.5 cents, down 20 cents. RBOB gasoline futures for April fell 24.5% to $0.45 per gallon.

        “This is the most dire I have ever seen it for refiners,” said Tom Kloza, global head of energy analysis at Oil Price Information Services.

        Gasoline prices in the spot market were about $1.50 per gallon in January, Kloza said.

        The market has already been crushed. Gasoline started falling with oil prices early in the year, starting with the loss of demand when China shut down its cities to fight the virus. Then prices fell even more dramatically, when OPEC failed to reach a production deal with Russia.

        “It’s beyond a crash,” said Kloza. “It’s unprecedented, but that word is being used a lot.” Kloza said refiners could be forced to cut back capacity by 30%.

        At the pump, consumers were still paying an average $2.12 per gallon nationally for unleaded gasoline Monday, according to AAA, but Kloza expects prices to fall sharply. The lowest prices in the U.S. could ultimately be below $1 gallon in some areas, he said.

        “I expect that the national retail average for gasoline will be below $2 a gallon by April, and I believe we’re on our way to $1.70 as the national average by the middle of April, and we could go lower if this continues,” said Andrew Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates.

        Lipow said he believes demand has already dropped by about 25% nationally for gasoline. “Colonial Pipeline, starting tomorrow, is reducing its shipments of gasoline by 20% and a number of refineries are reducing their production by 20%,” he said. “The trend [of demand destruction] is only going to continue to grow as more states and municipalities require the consumer to stay home.”

        Kloza expects global oil demand to drop by 12% to 15%, at a time when the world has been adding refining capacity. The U.S. used 9.7 million barrels a day of gasoline last week, and that could fall to about 5 million barrels a day, Kloza said.

        1. Regular gas was $1.619 at my nearby Sam’s Club yesterday. It isn’t much fun to drive around when there is almost nothing open along the way. I wonder if some gas stations will close for lack of business.

  38. The Coronavirus Crisis
    Mystery In Wuhan: Recovered Coronavirus Patients Test Negative … Then Positive
    March 27, 2020 9:28 AM ET
    Emily Feng at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C., March 19, 2019. (photo by Allison Shelley)
    People in Wuhan, China, line up at a facility that tests discharged COVID-19 patients as well as individuals who had been held in isolation.

    A spate of mysterious second-time infections is calling into question the accuracy of COVID-19 diagnostic tools even as China prepares to lift quarantine measures to allow residents to leave the epicenter of its outbreak next month. It’s also raising concerns of a possible second wave of cases.

    1. I’m thinking that there might be a certain percentage of relasp of this flu with some people. I’m thinking this might mean that a person that recovers still needs to isolate for a while.

      1. How would your thinking change if you assumed that 20% of the test results are false positives and that 10% are false negatives?

        Please realize I am making these numbers up. Nobody knows the actual accuracy, but it is pretty safe to say it’s not 100%. Previous versions of such testing did have the suggested accuracy.

        1. BlueSkye,

          That would be a bad problem if those tests are that inaccurate. Contrary to what you might think I have been thinking about that.

      2. Did they say anything about the severity of the case? I needed two mild cases of chicken pox to build immunity. My sister’s case was worse, but she got it only once.

        1. mild cases of chicken pox to build immunity

          Hate to break it to you, but having had chicken pox does not make you “immune”. You simply have it for life. It can manifest in later years as what is called shingles. I’m told there might be a shot for this, not sure about the details.

          1. Ugh, what goes around, can comed around, … again!

            (Sorta like the HB.B ll over.priced.$helter.$hack$ Di$ea$e.)

          2. Ok, chicken pox comes back in the form of shingles 50 to 70 years after you got chicken pox. A lot of seniors never get the shingles. They have a expensive vaccine you can take if you want.

            I have known seniors that got a mild form of shingles and a couple who got a severe case.

          3. My wife had a shingles outbreak during one of her pregnancies. The situation was reminiscent of the curses of Job.

    2. A spate of mysterious second-time infections is calling into question the accuracy of COVID-19 diagnostic tools even as China prepares to lift quarantine measures to allow residents to leave the epicenter of its outbreak next month. Occasional findings like this one are part & part of the defects of testing. Perhaps the Wuhan patients who were tested as negative for COVID-19, after being positive, were actually never negative in the first place, and just had a very long bout with the disease. The tests are not perfect.

  39. https://futurism.com/neoscope/half-coronavirus-carriers-no-symptoms

    We have been sheltering in place for over a week now, but yesterday we went to pick up a grocery order in front of the store — on the way there, we saw several people out walking, running, and biking, in a way that had you not read or listened to any news at all for the past two months, it would look no different.

    It goes a long way in explaining why the U.S. leads the planet in cases now.

      1. Not by much. In fact, I would guess the negative effects of cratering risk assets and skyrocketing pension liabilities, due to Unlimited QE, will far outweigh any reduction in pension liability due to COVID-19 mortalities.

        1. Isn’t that when they trot-out someone like Sam Waterston to remind everyone that, “Past Performance Is No Guarantee of Future Results?”

          In addition, I don’t believe the “Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation” has a history of guaranteeing “at par” benefits.

          1. If the PBGC takes over your pension, you are SOL.

            As it should be, IMO.

            Sucks for the pensioners, but the gov’t shouldn’t be in the business of making people whole because a business was run poorly — folks should be responsible for holding their company accountable to fund pensions, or work somewhere else that does.

    1. on the way there, we saw several people out walking, running, and biking, in a way that had you not read or listened to any news at all for the past two months, it would look no different.

      We are under Shelter at Home, yet after a trip to the grocery store car traffic was the same as ever. I have no idea where all these people are going, as many businesses, schools, the library, the cinemas, etc. are closed. If they are traveling to visit for social purposes, then we are gonna get it good. We already have about 70 confirmed cases in the county, which makes me think that hundreds are already infected, and soon could be thousands.

      At this point if I have to go out, I will wear a mask, even though the “experts” say it won’t protect me, and nitrile gloves.

      1. “…I will wear a mask, even though the “experts” say it won’t protect me…”

        I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard that line.

        1. I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard that line. / I didn’t either. Right away I knew the “experts” were trying to prevent a mass panic / hoarding spree on face masks by the general public. They were actually lying to the general public and losing credibility. There was a recent article I found online discussing this in great detail, don’t recall where at the moment. I ransacked my garage yesterday & found 2 N95 masks made by 3M in their original packaging that I bought years ago. They seem to fit snugly & work. I have already been professionally fitted for this kind of mask years ago when I worked ER. I got them when I was doing a lot of sanding. They also work well for my house dust allergy. I also found a nice pair of lab goggles with capped vents on them. I wear them when I work under my car, particular when changing gas line filters. Don’t ever get even a tiny bit in gasoline in your eyes!
          I decided to wear both the goggles & mask whenever I go out shopping.
          Think of this: You’re in a store. Someone passes by you, closer than the 6-foot limit. Your eyes open a little wider at them, you open your mouth to reprimand them, then they sneeze uncontrollably right into your totally unprotected face. You have just been inoculated with whatever virus they happen to be spewing at the instant. Goggles & mask would have given you great protection, but nooooo , you listened to the ‘experts’.
          My mother & I both contracted a bad cold at the exact same time years ago when we were at church due to this scenario. 12 hours later we came down with the first symptoms of a URI. 24 hours later we had temps 101 – almost exactly the same. We had airline reservations for a trip to see mother’s first great grandchild get christened, to leave at the 36 hour mark. I cancelled them. I wasn’t going to take an 80 year old with that kind of acute ailment on a flight. We were almost back to normal by 7 days.
          Your mileage may vary.

  40. Nece$$ity, the mother.of.invention$!

    (Hope is does knot require any widget part$ from over.$eas!)

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