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How Many People Are Desperate To Sell And Are They Willing To Accept A Lower Price?

A report from the Wall Street Journal. “The central bank’s decision to buy a nearly unlimited supply of government-backed mortgages has helped calm skittish markets and ensure that 30-year home loans remain available. But the market for loans in which the government doesn’t shoulder the risk is coming undone. Investors are abandoning that market, starving the lenders that extend mortgages to borrowers who don’t qualify for conventional loans. Borrowers already are struggling to line up financing that was readily available just weeks ago.”

“The mortgage market seized up in March when a glut of refinancings collided with a broad selloff across a range of asset classes. Investors suddenly demanded more yield to own mortgage bonds after accepting paltry returns for years. Nonbank lenders, which originate almost 60% of U.S. mortgages, rely on lines of credit from banks and others to fund their loans. These warehouse lenders, as they are known, recoup their money when the mortgage lender sells the loan to an investor. But warehouse lenders often pull back as times get tough, and right now they are being more choosy about which loans they will fund.”

“The market turmoil has battered investors that loaded up mortgages that lack government backing, known as nonagency mortgages. Fund managers have faced withdrawals, forcing them to sell assets to raise cash and reducing the pool of buyers for these loans. Mortgage real-estate investment trusts—publicly traded companies that typically use leverage to boost returns—had been a growing presence in the market for mortgage-backed securities. Now their banks are asking them to put up additional collateral for their loans in margin calls.”

The Salt Lake Tribune in Utah. “Last month, prominent business leaders announced a $20 million investment into refurbishing 100 affordable homes. Part of that could be converted to short-term rental stabilization, but it also may be even more important long-term if landlords can’t make ends meet and have to start selling properties. None of these ideas will alleviate the problem, but they could keep it from spiraling into something much worse.”

“‘We need to do everything we can,’ said Howard Headlee, president of the Utah Bankers Association, ‘to keep this contagion from getting into our real estate market and housing market.'”

The Missoula Current in Montana. “‘We’re seeing a few more instances of sales coming apart due to various reasons,’ said Brint Wahlberg, a director with the Missoula Organization of Realtors. ‘It seems like there’s a higher amount of failed sales, and they’re putting houses back on the market. In some cases, it sounds like it’s due to the pandemic and in other cases, it’s economic concerns.'”

“Mike Nugent, the managing broker at Berkshire Hathaway Home Services in Missoula, said other aspects of the housing market continue to function, including lending, though there may be signs of nervousness there, especially regarding loans targeted to buyers with a lower down payment. For qualified buyers, Nugent said, the lending process may be getting a little easier, though options for buyers with a lower credit score may be fewer than before.”

From DS News. “‘The housing market came into this turmoil in a strong position, with a very low supply of homes for sale and record levels of home equity,’ said Redfin Lead Economist Taylor Marr. ‘Home equity can function as a rainy day fund. Homeowners can weather a storm of falling home values without the pressure to walk away from their home. They can also better handle a loss of income if they can tap into their equity with a home equity line of credit (HELOC). This stabilizes the market, preventing an influx of supply from foreclosures, which would further cause prices to fall in a vicious cycle.'”

“Los Angeles, Miami, and San Diego have the highest risk, based on a late March 2020 analysis by Redfin economists. Those that are hit the hardest overall are also likely to be more at risk of a real estate downturn.”

“‘Some cities have factors that make them more susceptible to losing their footing and are likely to be hard hit,’ continued Marr. ‘Amidst rapidly rising layoffs, it will be especially difficult to sell a home in these markets, and yet buyers will likely find limited options as sellers delay listing, leaving the housing market in a standstill. Federal support will help cushion the fall, but in these areas it will take significantly longer to recover.'”

The Real Deal on New York. “It’s sink or swim time for the Pool House. Six Sigma’s West Chelsea condo project that’s been treading water as its partners splashed about is heading for bankruptcy auction. A federal bankruptcy judge in Manhattan last week gave the green light for the sale of the boutique conversion project — where each unit will include a pool — at 435 West 19th Street, court records show. Court records show the project has a projected sellout of $55 million. The site’s secured creditors have claims against the property totaling $40 million.”

“The developer, headed by founder Jason Lee, first filed for bankruptcy in the summer of 2018 after his lenders, Soho-based Churchill Real Estate Holdings, filed to foreclose on the site. Churchill principal Justin Ehrlich told The Real Deal his goal is to be made whole by the auction. ‘We are just the lender. I hope we are paid off in full,’ he said.”

The Globe and Mail in Canada. “A stillness has descended on the real estate market of Toronto and surrounding areas as citizens confront the COVID-19 pandemic. Andre Kutyan, a real estate agent with Harvey Kalles Real Estate Ltd., says sales volumes have been on a steady slide. But he has listed three properties in the past week because the owners, for various reasons, need to sell. ‘The reality is that people are not listing unless they have to.'”

“‘I think this is different. I think it will be a longer-term recession,’ says John Lusink, president of Right at Home Realty Inc. ‘As people get laid off, that’s a different kind of financial crisis. They won’t qualify for a mortgage.'”

“Mr. Lusink is also keeping an eye on sales agreements that have been signed in recent weeks but have not yet closed. He expects banks and other lenders to scrutinize deals carefully. If they become concerned about the security of the buyer’s income, the lender may not be willing to provide a mortgage, he says. Things also get tricky for highly-indebted consumers who have purchased a new home but then run into trouble if they can’t sell their existing one or an agreement falls apart.”

“‘Not many buyers can hold two mortgages or qualify for a bridge loan,’ Mr. Lusink points out.”

“Duncan Fremlin, a real estate agent with ReMax Hallmark Realty Ltd., is informing his clients that a recent snapshot of the market showed listings rising as sales dropped. The number of sales above the asking price also declined during that window. ‘For the first time in decades in Toronto, selling a house in a good neighbourhood within a reasonable period of time is not a given. The risk factor is high,’ he says. Mr. Fremlin adds a grim warning: ‘with so much uncertainty in the world, the bank appraisals may not match what the buyer paid.'”

From Swiss Info. “The Covid-19 crisis could spell an end to the previously rosy situation for Switzerland’s real estate investors. Investors in residential property look back on a successful 2019 both in terms of value increase and of returns. Forecasts for the current year were optimistic until recently, for both property owners and renters.”

“The Swiss National Bank’s negative interest rate policy led to a surplus of apartments and other rented out office space, which in turn drove down rents. Then the coronavirus crisis turned everything upside down. ‘All the economic forecasts were wrong,’ Donator Scognamiglio, chief executive of the Zurich-based real estate consulting firm, IAZIexternal link.”

The Daily Mail on the UK. “David Cox, of ARLA Propertymark explained how tenants and landlords are facing ‘financial ruin’ amid the virus crisis. Mr Cox told MailOnline Property: ‘Tenants face financial ruin amid mounting rent arrears and crippling debt if they fall through the gaps of the Government’s current provisions. This is particularly the case for those who work in the gig economy or who are self-employed. ‘The knock-on effect of this is that landlords are not receiving their rent and are falling into financial ruin, which ripples out across the economy.'”

“It means everyone in the property chain is affected if a tenant is unable to pay their rent, from the tenant to the landlord who may not be able to pay their mortgage if no rent is coming in. Mr Cox explained that by stepping in early on, it means everyone in this chain can benefit. For everyone’s sake, the Government needs to pay people’s rents if they are impacted by the coronavirus. It is what the welfare state is there to do and the Government needs to do the right thing.'”

The Vietnam Express. “Landlords are reporting plunging revenues as occupancy drops and struggling tenants seek discounts over coronavirus impacts. For almost two months, Ha has been losing VND40 million ($1,700) a day from the 30 serviced apartments she rents out in HCMC. This month, she has no tenant despite lowering prices to half or a third of the price tag before the novel coronavirus epidemic hit.”

“Last year, her apartments were almost always fully occupied by a variety of Vietnamese and foreign tenants, but the situation began to change towards the end of January when Vietnam started recording its first coronavirus infections. ‘I am helpless. All I can do is to be patient and wait for the pandemic to pass,’ she said.”

“Nguyen Loc Hanh, CEO of HCMC-based real estate firm Ngoc Chau A, estimated that rent revenues are falling by an average of 50 percent in the market, and the figure could go up to 70-80 percent if the pandemic persists. Landlords who have borrowed money to invest in apartments will be hurt the most as cash flow drops, and the best solutions for them is to accept discount proposals by tenants to avoid zero revenue, he said. ‘It’s better to lose some than to lose all,’ he said.”

The South China Morning Post. “Hong Kong home prices recorded their steepest drop in 15 months in February, and are expected to decline by up to 20 per cent from a peak in June 2019 by year-end amid the coronavirus pandemic. Derek Chan, head of research at Ricacorp Properties, added that the downtrend will persist into the second quarter. ‘In late February and early March, the turnover edged up because more homeowners slashed prices. So the drop will be even bigger,’ Chan said.”

The Sydney Morning Herald in Australia. “The news from CoreLogic that residential property values continued to climb in March looks positive at first blush but a deeper delve shows signs are starting to emerge that this market is running out of steam – and fast. The bottom line is that all bets are off when it comes to predicting what will happen to house values over the coming year. Until a month ago economists were looking for gains of between 5 and 10 per cent in values this year. At best this will evaporate. At worst prices could fall 20 per cent, according to AMP chief economist Shane Oliver.”

“‘Prices are likely to fall as unemployment rises, triggering debt servicing problems for some against the backdrop of very high household debt levels and high house prices in Australia and depressing property demand even for a while after the shutdowns are relaxed,’ Oliver says.”

“Additionally those small to medium sized company owners who are typical residential property investors will be looking for liquidity. They will also be feeling the pinch if their rental tenants are unable to meet monthly payments. And after six months they will need to start paying interest again. Bank largesse won’t continue indefinitely.”

From Stuff New Zealand. “There could be 20 per cent fewer residential properties sold this year than in 2019, Corelogic predicts – and real estate agents could drop out of the industry as a result. Sales have largely gone on hold during the level four lockdown period but commentators say it is unclear what will happen when the restrictions lift. Corelogic head of research Nick Goodall said there was a spike in new listings of properties for sale just before the lockdown was announced.”

“He said that could be a sign that people had already realised there would be an economic impact from Covid-19 and were worried about how their jobs and income would hold up. There could be more listings again when the lockdown finished, he said. ‘The key question is are there the buyers out there to purchase the property?'”

“He said it seemed that prices would drop but it was hard to predict the extent of the fall. ‘When we come back to some sense of normality and the economy is getting going again, how many people are desperate or keen to sell the properties and are they willing to accept a lower price?’ The longer Covid-19 disruption continued, the more nervousness there would be, he said. There was likely to be downward pressure on rent prices, too, he said. ‘People who bought recently would have bought at relatively high prices and have a lower equity position.’ He said it seemed likely that some small-scale property investors might look to sell off one of their properties to raise some money.”

This Post Has 286 Comments
  1. ‘People who bought recently would have bought at relatively high prices and have a lower equity position’

    Let’s watch the REIC quickly accept responsibility for the millions of FB’s they persuaded to snap up a shack loan.

    1. “Have a lower equity position.”

      Perhaps they aren’t FBs. For a small amount of money they could end up with housing for a considerable period of time. And good luck getting a deficiency judgement in the emerging political climate, especially if the virus wipes out some more of this generation of pols.

      It’s F someone else.

      1. ‘Perhaps they aren’t FBs’

        Oh right, all this carnage isn’t happening. There were tens of thousands of foreclosures rolling in every month before this thing hit. Take New Orleans: tourism, gig jobs – fooked. Flagstaff: super-expensive second shacks everywhere, relies on college students and tourists who aren’t there anymore. Fooked.

        “Are there buyers” up above. The fact is all these paper profits everyone thought they were sitting on depends on some sucker getting a loan and handing it over. Can’t they just bring some money to the table to get out? Take New Zealand: these beauties only cost a million pesos! This bubble is huge and global. It’s difficult to name a country that isn’t involved. What happens when it all comes apart at the same time? We’re about to find out. I am confident in one thing: this is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

        1. The carnage is happening, but we know from the last crisis the FBs can stay in their houses for YEARS without paying. That was in the prior political climate. How about now?

          It may be the mortgage holders are going to be F_d. It may be future taxpayers who are going to be F_d to bail out the mortgage holders. It is going to be very hard to get people with no money and no prospects to honor pieces of paper that say others are entitled to the proceeds of their future work — if they can get work.

          1. “The carnage is happening, but we know from the last crisis the FBs can stay in their houses for YEARS without paying.”

            Rarely did that happen. By 2012, the 25 million defaulted houses were empty and have been ever since.

          2. ‘it is going to be very hard to get people with no money and no prospects to honor pieces of paper’

            I took several courses in business law and real estate law. I worked in the foreclosure biz for many years. Those papers are the basis for everything. I’ve never understood why people get so caught up on the few stories of people squatting. The vast majority are told to GTFO. Seeing so much of the process, I can say most people just leave. What is more common is the lender runs them off and drags out the liquidation. That process was reversed in recent months. When people walk away, they leave. In recent months I’ve documented here fraud cases, like last decade, where a shack suddenly sells for way more than asking and immediately goes into default. Remember the phenomenon last decade where an FB buys another shack (cuz it’s way cheaper now) and stops making payments on the first?

          3. ” … we know from the last crisis the FBs can stay in their houses for YEARS without paying. ”

            Yeah, I kept a client in her house for over three years without paying. The assholes who had ripped her off finely had to pay her $75,000 to vacate.

          4. “I’ve never understood why people get so caught up on the few stories of people squatting.”

            It’s DonkeyTalk is all. Pure and simple DonkeyTalk.

          5. Here’s an idea: all you people who want to live free go move into a vacant shack. Or stop paying your mortgage/rent and refuse to leave. Come on, it’s just pieces of paper, think of all the free livin’ you’ll do!

            I’d bet not one of you will do it. Why’s that?

          6. “Able or not, people will not pay when they discover it’s a money losing proposition.”

            +1 Small business owners and other smart borrowers were among the first to exercise their option to a strategic default when housing collapsed in 2007-08. “Nothing personal, it’s just business.” —jingle mail

          7. Yeah, I kept a client in her house for over three years without paying. The assholes who had ripped her off finely had to pay her $75,000 to vacate.

            So let me get this straight – she was stiffing them by not paying on the agreed contract price, yet they’re the assholes?

        2. “depends on some sucker getting a loan and handing it over.”

          This is so true. The gov’t can push out an infinite amount of conventional loans, but that doesn’t mean people will take them.

          1. Nope. I’ve posted some crazier than hell speculative blow-outs in NK, especially on the border. FB’s galore, the whole thing.

          2. July 14, 2016

            “Nearly five years after construction began on the new $338-million suspension bridge linking Dandong to Sinuiju across the Yalu River, and close to two years after it was due to open, China and North Korea remain silent on what – if anything – will happen to the project. Meanwhile, Dandong’s New District – a multi-billion dollar area built from scratch on the back of promised trade with North Korea – faces economic meltdown.”

            “When construction of the bridge began in October 2011, China paid for everything. New development around the bridge had already been planned on a vast scale, according to published details. Fast-forward five years and Dandong’s New District is suffering economic free-fall. The driving factor for this slump remains the city’s New District, a giant building site where huge developments lie abandoned while ‘for sale’ and ‘for rent’ signs dominate almost every building, wiping millions of yuan off investments for each day the new bridge fails to open.”

            “The bulky 25-storey Guomen Tower, the first building visiting North Koreans would see if they ever get to drive over the bridge, lies finished but empty. On the opposite side of the street, the enormous New Yalu River Bridge Port Center has held some exhibitions, but mostly lies disused. The entrance was blocked off and manned by a lone security guard on one recent visit.”

            “Foreign investors here have seen initial optimism they would be on the front-line of North Korean economic development slowly turn to despair. The South Korean chaebol SK Group has invested in three operations in Dandong’s New District: a logistics unit, another for manufacturing and sales, and a real-estate development. ‘There is the potential that this area could grow as rapidly as Macau,’ an SK source had told South Korea’s Dong-a-Ilbo newspaper back in mid-2012.”

            “Today the firm’s 19-storey prime office space SK International Tower remains unoccupied, with the lower floors used to store building equipment and supplies. Eight adjacent apartment buildings are all but empty. Other South Korean investors in Dandong’s New District are understood to have packed up and left months ago.”

            http://thehousingbubbleblog.com/?p=9688

          3. October 1, 2017

            “International sanctions on North Korea have helped sustain a housing glut in China’s border city of Dandong, through which most trade with the North flows, in contrast to falling inventories in much of the rest of China, sales data showed. Dandong, with a population of around 860,000, has accumulated more unsold housing inventory than much larger cities. ‘North Korea’s constant talk of war has meant Dandong property prices have never gone up,’ said local resident Xiao Tengfei, who along with other family members purchased several apartments in Dandong’s New Zone seven years ago.”

            “Xiao said she never moved in when her building was finished in 2013 due to a lack of surrounding facilities and was now struggling to find buyers to offload her investment. ‘My money has been tied up in here for years now.’”

            http://thehousingbubbleblog.com/?p=10218

          4. October 31, 2017

            “Following an unprecedented period of growth, North Korea’s real estate market is experiencing a downturn following the adoption of international sanctions. In addition to fluctuating prices in the general markets, the value of major new apartment developments as well as smaller housing projects have seen a sizable drop in recent months. ‘The disruption in trade with China has led to market instability, which in turn has affected housing prices in the main districts of Sinuiju. While units were being sold for tens of thousands of dollars (USD) just last year, prices began to drop this past spring, and have only continued to fall since then,’ a source in North Pyongan Province informed Daily NK on October 23.”

            “‘Other cities are experiencing a similar shock to their housing markets as well. The value of homes in Pyongsong and Sunchon were skyrocketing before the latest crisis, but have dropped significantly in recent months,’ a source in South Pyongan Province explained. ‘In Pyongsong, an apartment near the train station was going for $60,000 just this past January, but the value has now dropped to $50,000. Even homes outside the city that were once being sold for $5,000 are now going for around $3,200. Buyers are becoming more emboldened while sellers are losing their leverage, and prices continue to drop as a result.’”

            http://thehousingbubbleblog.com/?p=10244

        3. “I am confident in one thing: this is a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

          I think back to the last time I remember you saying something similar, in 2007 or 2008, when you told people to keep their eyes open as there will be opportunity if you want it. (This blog isn’t just a place to b!tch about housing prices, though it’s good for that, too.)

          It stood out then and does so now. I agree(d). For me, the difference this time is I have the means to take advantage of it.

      2. All I can say is that here in NY, when housing is sold, “delivered vacant” is a big selling point. We don’t know where the politics of this country are going. They may not be going left as in being willing to pay more in taxes for more government. They may be going left in no longer being willing to pay for anything.

        1. “All I can say is that here in NY, when housing is sold, “delivered vacant” is a big selling point.”

          Yeah, really don’t need that urn with grandpa’s ashes.

          1. They aren’t talking about stuff. They are talking about not having a tenant that YOU, the new owner, has to get some court to evict.

          2. Oh, I get it. These ghetto rent-control cities have a labyrinth process of eviction rules that seem to reset back to the start if you forget to dot an “i.” Longtime rent control tenants sometimes sublet to others at a profit, and if those “others” have kids and it’s winter outside, you’re phuc’d. But that’s the price of doing business in ‘da hood.

        2. “They may be going left in no longer being willing to pay for anything.”

          In the long run, no pay equates to no production.

          Exhibit A: Venezuela

          1. The old Soviet saying…”As long as they continue to pretend to pay us we’ll continue to pretend to work.”

          2. Wonder if our cratering dollar value will be used as realtors excuse as to how values ALWAYS go up!

          3. “The old Soviet saying…”

            Seems like everything that can happen has happened to the Russian people.

          4. Seems like everything that can happen has happened to the Russian people.

            There has been a lot of despair in Russia. The high rate of alcoholism among young men especially is a symptom.

          5. ”As long as they continue to pretend to pay us we’ll continue to pretend to work.”

            A story I heard many years ago, which I had always assumed true based on the source, was that the Soviet farmers who worked on the large collective farms were also allowed to grow crops on a small backyard plot of their own land.

            Any guesses about where productivity was highest?

          6. It’s hard to overstate the difference between having WWII fought across the ocean (USA) versus on your own soil (USSR). And then there was the matter of having Stalin as their leader, with knocks on the door in the middle of the night to take citizens off to the gulag. The Russians are a very resilient people, who have suffered much in modern and historic times.

        3. delivered vacant

          The first thing I did with my new home was to secure it by putting locks on the doors. I did this the day my offer was accepted, before the closing.

          Short sale, the house was left unlocked for 6 years and there was zero vandalism.

  2. ‘The Swiss National Bank’s negative interest rate policy led to a surplus of apartments and other rented out office space, which in turn drove down rents’

    QE and artificially low interest rates are ultimately deflationary.

    1. AirBnb in Seattle now has short term rentals for less money per day than you would pay per day (doing the math) for a long term rental – with few takers.

      1. I read another discussion board last night with Airbnb owners arguing with people who want sane housing pricing restored. Some airheads (lol!) were saying it was no big deal and that they would just switch to long term rentals. Theyre going to be very disappointed with the money they get, if any, as I don’t think there is much demand. People are locked down and many are without jobs or at risk for job loss. Truly a perfect storm.

    2. “QE and artificially low interest rates are ultimately deflationary.”

      Sure, but only at the endpoint when it all blows-up. Until then, it drives inequality with higher asset prices rewarding the “haves” at the expense of the “have-nots” who are pushed yet further away from ever becoming a “have.”

      Technology is deflationary. The bricks and mortar stores cannot compete with an Amazon warehouse. Blockbuster couldn’t compete with Netflix streaming. Ma Bell’s landline cannot compete with a Smartphone that has access to Skype and other voluminous free content. I bought my house without a realtor sourcing a conforming mortgage through Countrywide. Looking further back, the industrial age brought about the end of the great land barons.

      1. And part of the reason those bricks and mortars cannot compete with Amazon is the real estate bubble. Amazon benefited hugely from all the rent increases in cities and towns across the US. High real estate prices and the associated high rents destroy business.

      2. Debt is inflationary. This is particularly true in a plutocracy, which leans toward bail-outs rather than write-offs. It is easier to service debt with inflated currency, so the tendency for QE has a higher probability of occurrence. In the beginning this works like magic, but toward the end the compounding aggregate debts become too large, and it ends in a revolution (Venezuela?) or war.

        1. and it ends in a revolution

          We won a skirmish in the last presidential election, without violence.

          1. “We won a skirmish in the last presidential election, without violence.”

            Sure since we enjoy durable property rights, SNAP food cards, Medicaid, Metropass, etc., to palliate inflation’s theft.

      3. Not really.

        QE destroys markets by eating away at demand. Housing demand is a perfect example.

        It goes back to that (in)famous expression, “I can ask $50k for my run down 10 year old Chevy pickup but where is the buyer at that price?

        So it is with all rapidly depreciating asset like houses.

  3. “We need to do everything we can,’ said Howard Headlee, president of the Utah Bankers Association, ‘to keep this contagion from getting into our real estate market and housing market’

    Howard, meet the barn door. Barn door, Howard.

      1. Living through the 200X-2005 bubble, the 2007-2009 recession and its subsequent recoveryless recovery, is how I learned.

        Debt is slavery.

      2. worshiping at the altar of real estate?

        By eliminating government sponsorship of it as the official state religion?

        1. You mean an official state religion. Because we have more than one. If you don’t know what they other ones are, just turn on the TV and watch any current TV show on the major networks.

          We are a polytheistic state now.

          1. I disagree, we are still monotheistic but for many their god is themselves.

            Which could also be viewed as technically polytheistic 😉

          2. If you worship each dollar on its own, then yes.

            “Brisk men, energetic of movement and speech; the dollar their god, how to get it their religion.”
            — Mark Twain, ‘Life of the Mississippi’ (Ch. 39)

          3. I don’t have a TV.

            Me neither, now going on 15 years and not missing it a bit.

          4. I still own a tv, but it has not been turned on in over 4 years. It is a flat screen purchased around 2008, so I’m sure it’s a dinosaur as well.

      3. How can we stop our entire society from worshiping at the altar of real estate?

        Reduce the rewards of such worship and increase the rewards of more productive pursuits. It’s early in the game, but it seems like we might be on our way…

    1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=772&v=5pIMD1enwd4&feature=emb_title

      Folks can poke around themselves. There is something very wrong with this situation. There is another video of a guy going to all the major hospitals in Rhode Island. All empty. There is one from a guy in Arizona going to the major hospitals in his area. Nothing, nobody anywhere. They used video from Italy in NYC and Miami claiming it showed local crowded emergency rooms. They used footage from another event in Ecuador claiming it was body bags in NYC containing CV victims. They used footage in Italy from drowned migrants from a capsized vessel in 2015 claiming to show body bags of CV victims. People are surfacing on social media saying their relative the media is reporting died from CV died from something else. One guy reported dead in FL from CV turned out to be alive and well. I have no idea what’s going on but I’m beginning to think we might have been bamboozled again. I don’t know, man. I really don’t know. But there is another part to this story we are not getting told.

      1. Not very odd at all. It’s happening everywhere that’s not a “hot spot.” The people who used to go to the hospital for a slight case of the sniffles or a small booboo don’t want to catch the Kung Flu, so they’re staying far away. That has led to an eerily quiet situation in a lot of ERs across the land.

        As far as being “bamboozled,” you really think Trump fell for some massive hoax, or is in on it? C’mon, man….

        1. It’s happening everywhere that’s not a “hot spot.”

          Obviously you didn’t watch the video. Those are the exact hospitals in NYC that are supposed to be overrun. Nothing. Crickets. Explain that. NYC is supposed to be the epicenter.

        2. Putting aside the matter of what Trump knows or doesn’t know or how much of what the media is telling us is true, maybe I can rather suggest that this is a good time to turn to the Bible and pray for discernment. Certainly, I don’t have any explanations that will provide clarity or resolve anyone’s misgivings.

      2. “I have no idea what’s going on but I’m beginning to think we might have been bamboozled again.”

        I imagine that it’s critical in the larger cities where space is at a premium and they’ve built upward. The multi-ethnic communities where people don’t trust the authorities are likely more difficult to control.

  4. ‘Home equity can function as a rainy day fund. Homeowners can weather a storm of falling home values without the pressure to walk away from their home. They can also better handle a loss of income if they can tap into their equity with a home equity line of credit (HELOC)’

    ‘the market for loans in which the government doesn’t shoulder the risk is coming undone. Investors are abandoning that market, starving the lenders that extend mortgages to borrowers who don’t qualify for conventional loans. Borrowers already are struggling to line up financing that was readily available just weeks ago’

  5. This is the headline from the WSJ article:

    ‘In the Coronavirus Economy, the Only Safe Mortgage Is a Government-Backed One’

    Yet we were told just months ago by the FHFA chief that gubermet backed loans were crap, and the GSE’s will fail. And that’s the safe ones? Recall what he said their leverage was?

    1. I guess the point is that the Fed is selectively supporting a subset of the mortgage sector?

      Buy what the Fed buys…sell what they don’t.

    1. The rich stock market guys can’t even handle a couple of months of paper losses. Why is that?

      1. “…The rich stock market guys can’t even handle a couple of months of paper losses…”

        Me thinks. Because they weren’t really rich to begin with?

        Note: Possession of a fancy car and fancy house and fancy hot women does not automatically classify one as ‘rich’.

      2. It’s not the stock market declines they can’t handle, so much as the margin calls.

        1. It’s really not much different between HODLers of devalued risk asset portfolios facing margin calls and underwater subprime mortgage loan owners who suddenly can’t afford to sell or to pay their mortgages.

          Both groups are fooked.

  6. who is going to follow Uhaul rates SF to Phoenix and back?
    Will a lot of those unicorn employees move back to Kansas with their parents?

    1. Maybe this isn’t really happening?

      ‘New Residential Investment Corp., a real estate investment trust focused on housing, is selling a portfolio of debt with a face value of $6 billion, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The REIT, managed by an affiliate of Fortress Investment Group LLC, has been selling the non-agency debt over the past week to a range of institutional investors, with the transactions expected to be finalized Tuesday, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the deals are private. A New Residential representative declined to comment.’

      ‘The loans were sold at a discount, said one of the people. The exact pricing couldn’t immediately be learned. New Residential, which has seen its stock sink more than 65% this year, has a market value of about $2.2 billion. Earlier Tuesday, the New York-based REIT said it would cut its quarterly dividend 90% to preserve liquidity. The U.S. mortgage market has been roiled by the coronavirus pandemic, leading firms to quickly unload billions of dollars in mortgage-backed securities to meet investor redemptions and manage liquidity issues. While the Federal Reserve is buying up mortgage debt, the effort is focused on securities consisting of so-called agency loans that were created with help from the federal government — different from New Residential’s non-agency debt.’

      “Conditions created by the Covid-19 pandemic have greatly impacted the mortgage REIT industry,” Chief Executive Officer Michael Nierenberg said in a statement. “Market dislocations have put significant downward pressure on asset values. In light of these events, we have made a number of decisions to de-risk, increase liquidity and protect our book value. We continue to focus on growing liquidity as we navigate the market during this time.”

      ‘The company said its book value has declined about 25% to 30% since the end of last year.’

      https://finance.yahoo.com/news/fortress-managed-residential-selling-6-162338781.html

      Or maybe it is happening.

      1. VEREIT, Inc. (VER)
        NYSE
        3.9700-0.9200 (-18.81%)

        ‘VEREIT is a full-service real estate operating company which owns and manages one of the largest portfolios of single-tenant commercial properties in the U.S. The Company has total real estate investments of $14.8 billion including approximately 3,900 properties and 89.5 million square feet. VEREIT’s business model provides equity capital to creditworthy corporations in return for long-term leases on their properties. VEREIT is a publicly traded Maryland corporation listed on the New York Stock Exchange.’

        52 Week Range 3.5600 – 10.1800

        https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/VER/profile?p=VER

      2. “The REIT, managed by an affiliate of Fortress Investment Group LLC, has been selling the non-agency debt over the past week to a range of institutional investors, with the transactions expected to be finalized Tuesday, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the deals are private.”

        Is there any way to obtain the details of who bought and what they paid using money borrowed from whom?

    2. A Marriott opened recently in the downtown area of my little burg. The first thing I wondered was (and this was during “good times”) why did they build that? There is no shortage of chain motels here. Are they really expecting people to stay there? I tried to check their current prices, but it says no rooms are available, so I’m assuming it’s closed.

      Anyway, I’m sure the Marriott was financed with borrowed money. A loan that can no longer be serviced.

      1. They put up a giant hotel in downtown Flagstaff too. Anybody that’s ever been there knows there are dozens of large and small hotels around.

      2. Having spent a ton of time in Marriott properties in the last 6 years, I have a couple of ideas. First being that if you don’t know the town, you can definitely trust what you’re going to get much better if you just pay a few extra bucks to stay at the Marriott. The local places contain hidden gems and also contain horror stories. The other factor is if you are in any sort of vacation area lots of people have lots of points to burn if they do a lot of business travel. So they want to see Marriotts everywhere.

        After my divorce Marriott shampoo still smells like freedom to me.

        I assumed they were corporate owned and the decision to build was based on corporate numbers and projections. Are they franchised?

        1. I get it, it’s like eating at Wendy’s or even MickeyD’s when on a road trip: you know what you’re gonna get.

          But we already have a ton of chains: Hotels here: La Quinta, Hampton, Holiday Inn, and Embassy Suites (that one also puzzled me when they built it 10 years ago), etc. During the summer they do decent business as Estes Park is about 30 minutes away and lodging there can be very pricey in the summer, but during the rest of the year they are pretty empty.

          But what do I know?

  7. ‘On Monday Mrs. Pelosi told the New York Times she wanted Congress to “retroactively undo SALT.” In the 2017 tax reform, Republicans limited the state and local tax deduction to $10,000.’

    ‘According to the Tax Foundation, the cap raised almost $33 billion in 2018 from those earning more than $1 million per year and had little impact for those earning less than $100,000.’

    ‘When Democrats next complain that Republicans want to cut taxes “for the rich,” remember that Mrs. Pelosi wants to cut them too—but mainly for the progressive rich in Democratic states.’

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/pelosi-pitches-a-blue-state-bailout-11585697310

        1. There are a lot of Chinese living here in the US who have those same anti-American views. My question is this: WHY THE FAWK ARE YOU HERE?

          1. As far as I can tell most Chinese who arrived here in the last few years know they could have made more money if they stayed in China. Some are here for clean air and schools that they think will help their kid get into an American college. Some are here because they are hiding from something back home such as the govt. But there are a bunch who have been here quite a while and this was the better place to make money back when they made that decision. Their friends back in China are laughing at them now, though. They say you can always tell the ones that went to America when they come back to China. Great teeth but language is poor, clothing is out of style, and no money.

          2. I’m talking about the ones that hate the US. But yeah, many are here for different reasons. But if you’re here as a political refuge, I don’t get why you would hate it here.

    1. There is another alternative. Increase the federal share of Medicaid in Blue States to the same level as in Red States. Or decrease the federal share in Red States to the same as in Blue States.

      Of course two points about this need to me mentioned.

      1) Nixon offered a national health care finance system. The Democrats turned it down because they said it wasn’t good enough. A few decades later they settled for half-ass Obamacare.

      2) Reagan offered to have the federal government fund Medicaid entirely if the states would cover cash welfare. Democrats turned it down because they said it wasn’t good enough. A few decades later cash welfare has nearly disappeared, and Medicaid has exploded.

      1. “Nixon offered a national health care finance system. The Democrats turned it down because they said it wasn’t good enough.”

        Interesting historical tidbit. We don’t really need national health care, we just need national health care finance. Then simply publish prices publicly for all drugs and most standardized procedures and let customers shop around, like they do for anything else.

      1. Best sausage I’ve ever had was from goat. Friend who is a bowhunter gets goat regularly as more areas are open to them.

      2. Heck, it is a game in parts of the world. Look up “Buzkashi”. Spit-roast goat is like ham on Easter for Afghanistan-types.

      1. With the millions of hungry realtors deemed “essential” workers on the loose, these rats dont stand a chance

    1. I’ve been wondering if wild critters might become a more common sight in urban areas during the various “lockdowns”, etc. There’s my answer!

      1. Yep. Makes me wonder about whether it’s a good idea to hike too far into our surrounding mountain lion habitat during the months-long quarantine. Traditional territories may quickly be reclaimed while the human inhabitants go into hiding.

  8. Trumpy: “eye’$ demanded! (0%) zero % rate$ from “jerk.off.jerome” & now everything gone$ to $hate, ↘️📉↘️📉⬇️📉🚮🚾… $ad.

    Market$
    $upercharged Debt Bet$ Unravel$ and Expo$e Wall $treet Risk$

    Bloomberg / By Sally Bakewell, Sridhar Natarajan, and Nabila Ahmed / April 1, 2020

    In 2008, the culprits were real e$tate $peculators, investment% bank$ that fueled the bubble while leveraging book$ about 40 to 1, and investors who failed to conduct their own due diligence. A wave of default$ caused that $ystem to come cra$hing down.

    This time, another long period of rock-bottom interest rates, most recently cheered on by President Donald Trump, has let companies go into record debt while showering cash on shareholders. The enabler$ are bank$ eager to facilitate deal$ and investor$ de$perate for higher return$. They borrowed to multiply profits on mortgages, junk debt and municipal and government bonds. The leverage means lo$$es are getting amplified too.

    After years of relatively sedate markets, trades are suddenly getting tested by the Covid-19 pandemic. Emergency measures to contain the virus’s spread are slamming the brakes on commerce, shutting businesses and leaving millions of Americans jobless. The economic downturn is raising the prospect that consumers and companies will fall behind, defaulting on loans.

    A slump in prices for risky debt is putting pressure on investors to pony up collateral or unwind leveraged trades. That feeds a vicious cycle, with rapid liquidations depressing prices further, potentially triggering more margin calls and sales. It’s contributed to violent drops in the market.

    There are few if any public disclosures outlining the magnitude and structures of many leveraged trades. Market insiders and people with knowledge of transactions that unraveled agreed to describe what they have seen on the condition of anonymity.

    $wap$:

    Citigroup and Truist Financial Corp. had to sell off hundreds of millions of dollars in risky credit known as leveraged loans, after prices on the debt collapsed to 10-year lows. The loans were behind total-return swaps, a type of derivative that gives investors amplified exposure to a debt’s performance.

    CLO$:

    The drop in prices for leveraged loans is also hitting investment vehicles known as collateralized loan obligations that are packed full of them. The vehicles sell an equity slice and interest-paying bonds so they can buy up loans. But to get the deals off the ground, managers kick-start them with borrowing, typically drawing on a form of bank financing known as warehouse facilities. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. recently sent out demands to some managers of the deals to put up more cash a.gainst those warehouse lines after loan prices fell.

    The Carnage De$truction$ continue$ on in this article.

    1. It almost seems like the bailout authorities didn’t anticipate the inevitable debt collapse due to the long-term consequences of never having ended the period of extraordinarily accommodative interest rates following the 2007-2009 crisis. Now an avalanche of debt is crashing down the mountain following the coronavirus trigger.

      And nobody could have seen it coming!

  9. “…These mortgage borrowers will be ‘the first canary in the coal mine’…”

    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/these-mortgage-borrowers-will-be-the-first-canary-in-the-coal-mine-for-a-coronavirus-fueled-foreclosure-crisis-regulator-says-2020-04-01

    “…Calabria said most servicers would be able to make it through the crisis if it lasts only two or three months. He added that forbearance requests have “overwhelmingly” come from borrowers with strong credit scores who had never been delinquent on their home loans…”

    So Mark Calabria, are you telling us that ‘Subprime is contained’?

  10. “But the market for loans in which the government doesn’t shoulder the risk is coming undone.”

    Here are two of the few listings this week in the n’hood I watch, where a 2-bedroom anything would definitely not qualify for a conforming loan:


    Listing A (apartment) –
    3/30/2020 Listed $1,599,000
    2/22/2017 Sold $1,200,000
    5/21/2012 Sold $630,000

    Listing B (townhouse that I believe was listed at $1.1m before the virus) –
    3/30/2020 Listed $1,425,000
    12/17/2013 Sold $800,000
    1/14/2013 Sold $545,000

    1) It’s a long way down from here
    2) Denial ain’t just a river
    3) In a few years, some people might feel pretty stupid for buying after prices doubled in 5 years, pushing already-inflated but ordinary apartments into the totally unaffordable “luxury” tier

  11. Santa Clara, CA Housing Prices Crater 10% YOY As One Bay Area Broker Conceded, “Sellers Are Willing To Take A Loss Just To Escape From Bay Area”

    https://www.zillow.com/santa-clara-ca-95051/home-values/

    *Select price from dropdown menu on first chart

    As a noted economist stated, “A house is a rapidly depreciating asset that empties your wallet every day it owns you.”

  12. https://news.yahoo.com/airbnb-250-million-hosts-lost-220050544.html

    “Even before the pandemic sent the global travel industry into a nosedive, Airbnb faced financial challenges. In the last three months of 2019, it lost $276.4 million excluding interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, compared with a loss of $143.7 million a year earlier, a person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg. Revenue increased 32% in the period to $1.1 billion.

    Airbnb had at least $2 billion of cash earlier this year, a person familiar with the matter said. The company is also considering raising more money from investors, people familiar with the matter have said.”

    Losing $274 millions in the last 3 months of 2019. This is when the times are GOOD! How long will the borrowed $2 billions last?

    1. How could AirBNB lose money? They are basically a real estate brokerage service, collecting from users and paying providers.

      It sounds like Zillow. Was AirBNB speculating and buying properties too?

      1. “How could AirBNB lose money? They are basically a real estate brokerage service, collecting from users and paying providers“

        allocating all the profits towards marketing and top of the ladder waged staff. If they want to stay solvent that will have to change yesterday

    2. How could AirBNB lose money?

      SillyCon Valley magic and brown envelopes to get certain people not to enforce zoning laws/regulations.

  13. Continuing to pull on what I think is a loose thread…

    According to the CDC website as of yesterday:

    “Number of specimens tested for SARS CoV-2 by CDC labs (N=4,769) and U.S. public health laboratories* (N=153,078)”

    Number of confirmed cases in the USA according to the Worldometer = 184,487.

    The similarity between the Wuhan Virus and the Housing Bubble is that the maths do not work.

    1. OK, that was stupid. Under the heading of Covid-19 and the graphic is labeled SARS. Apples and oranges. It wasn’t the statistic I was looking for.

      1. Rather, SARS Cov-2 and Covid-19 are the same thing actually so it was what I was looking for.

        1. From the CDC website: SARS-CoV-2 is the virus strain. Coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 is the disease.

      2. SARS = Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome

        It is a potentially ambiguous reference, as it can describe the symptoms currently experienced with COVID-19, or the historic coronavirus outbreak from 2002-03.

    2. At some point, China allowed doctors to diagnose a COVID case by “clinical methods” instead of a specific test — chest x-ray or MRI, I guess. Does anyone know if the US is allowing? That’s still a lot of ex-rays.

    3. My understanding is that private labs have processed a lot of the C-19 tests in the US. Perhaps that is the missing piece?

  14. “Not many buyers can hold two mortgages or qualify for a bridge loan,’ Mr. Lusink points out.”

    There were many, many people here who, rather than selling their starter home, moved up to a bigger house anyway and kept the starter home as a rental.

    1. “News Anchor: Let’s turn to Ben Jones, of The Housing Bubble Blog. What could potentially happen?

      Ben: You guys are fooked.

      News Anchor: Thank you Mr Jones.”

  15. There’s so much cratering everywhere, where does one begin?

    Bothell, WA Housing Prices Crater 11% YOY As Vancouver, BC And Seattle Housing Markets Post Double Digit Price Declines In 2018 And 2019

    https://www.zillow.com/bothell-wa/home-values/

    *Select price from dropdown menu on first chart

    As one broker conceded, “Everyone in our business is lawyering up due to all the mortgage and appraisal fraud.”

  16. The Sydney Morning Herald in Australia.
    “‘Prices are likely to fall as unemployment rises, triggering debt servicing problems for some against the backdrop of very high household debt levels and high house prices in Australia [THE WORLD AT LARGE] and depressing property demand even for a while after the shutdowns are relaxed,’ Oliver says.”

    From Stuff New Zealand.
    “He said that could be a sign that people had already realised there would be an economic impact from Covid-19 and were worried about how their jobs and income would hold up.”

    ‘The key question is are there the buyers out there to purchase the property?’”

    ‘…how many people are desperate or keen to sell the properties and are they willing to accept a lower price?’

    – Great smorgasbord of national and global housing market cratering. Common theme is employment anxiety and high debt levels throughout the known world (with the exception of the poles and possibly some desert islands).

    1) Denial (some say a river in Egypt)
    2) Anger (stamping of feet, both large and small)
    3) Bargaining (try that with your lender, if they don’t go BK/belly-up first)
    4) Depression (lender says “no way.”)
    5) Acceptance (rinse and repeat)

    – For housing, I think we’re only at stage (1), but just like with housing bubble 1.0 over 10 years ago, there’s no putting the toothpaste back in the tube. Stick a fork in it. Funny how we didn’t learn anything from the last go-round…

    – Most everyone saw this as another bubble, but they all envisioned themselves getting rich (again), and to be Wile E. Coyote, super geniuses; knowing exactly when to get out ahead of all the other super geniuses, just before the crash. Judging from the articles and comments here, maybe that didn’t work out so well, even though it’s always “different this time.”

  17. Looks like another PPT fail. The S&P 500 is down to 2,470.5 from 3,400. That’s one way to look at it.

    Another is that at the AVERAGE ratio of total stock market value to GDP from 1971 to 2019, it would be at just 1,800. And at the average ratio of stock market capitalization to GDP from 1940 to 2019, it would be at 1,450.

    For a number to be average, it has to be below average some of the time.

    1. – This article is a classic and keeps paying dividends. Recap.: The current economic contraction was already baked into the cake by extreme Fed policies since the GFC. The virus/pandemic is only compounding and accelerating it. Note the date on this article.

      Bubbles and Hot Potatoes
      hussmanfunds.com/comment/mc181128
      John P. Hussman, Ph.D.
      President, Hussman Investment Trust
      November 28, 2018

      “Put simply, the extraordinary and experimental policies of quantitative easing and zero interest rates have not been “good” except in the myopic sense of encouraging a short-term burst of very bad choices and misallocations of capital.”

      When easy money works, and when it doesn’t

      The completion of this cycle will be challenging for conventional wisdom. One of the dangers of the recent speculative episode is that investors have come to believe that Fed policy and easy money always supports the financial markets. They forget that the Fed eased persistently and aggressively throughout the 2000-2002 and 2007-2009 collapses, both which cut the stock market in half.

      The fact is that while yield-seeking speculation is a powerful force, it only operates when investors are actually inclined to speculate. See, creating a mountain of zero-interest money works only if safe, low-interest liquidity is viewed by investors as an inferior holding compared to riskier securities like stocks and long-term bonds. If investors are instead inclined toward risk-aversion, safe, low-interest liquidity is a desirable asset, not an inferior one, so creating more of the stuff does nothing to encourage speculation.

      -That being said, I’m still expecting occasional, but powerful, bear market rallies as prices head lower over the next couple of years.

    2. How can stocks still be dropping with Unlimited QE in force? I am starting to doubt that stock market protection is in place.

      In case not, what’s holding up the market?

      1. I think they call in “anchoring.” The market has been above most measures of value for so long that many actually believe that S&P 500 at 3,400 is real, and therefore think this correction has been a big one.

        But as I’ve said, it still has to go down another 20 percent just to get back to where it was when Donald Trump said it was overpriced an in a bubble back in 2016.

  18. New meaning$: “Welcome to Lo$t.Wage$!”

    The Silver State recorded its large$t percentage jump in weekly unemployment claim$ in more than three decade$ just a few days before Sisolak’s initial call for the closure of the state’s casino$ and non-essential busine$$es.

    The $pike in $tatewide claims is unprecedented, reaching a level more than 10 time$ that seen during the Great Rece$$ion.

    Statewide, more than 92,000 people sought unemployment benefit$ last week.

    The unemployment rate in the U.S. could reach a $taggering 32.1% in the second quarter as 47 million worker$ are laid off amid the coronaviru$ 👾 outbreak, according to USA TODAY.

    That would be the highe$t joble$$ rate on record$ dating to 1948 and easily top the 25% rate during the Great Depre$$ion.

    Ed Komenda writes about Las Vegas for the Reno Gazette Journal and USA Today

  19. Seems a lot cheaper to just let every business and entity fail that is going to, and focus on spending the money on unemployment for all the jobless so they can eat and pay a bit for shelter. Once this whole situation has run its course, let an organic recovery take place.

  20. Eye thoughts that mB$ & Jared were like be$te$t buddie$? … $ad.

    MARKET$

    ‘The other bomb’ — Cramer’s warning as first $hale company file$ for Chapter 11

    CNBC / PUBLISHED WED, APR 1 2020 / By Pippa Stevens

    On Wednesday oil moved lower as Saudi Arabia increased its oil production to more than 12 million barrels per day, according to a report from Reuters, flooding the market during a time of unprecedented demand loss.

    KEY POINT$:

    U.S. shale producer Whiting Petroleum filed for bankruptcy.

    “The oil patch is falling apart,” CNBC’s Jim Cramer said

    “You want energy self-sufficiency. You do not want to get us back to where the Ru$$ians and the $audis want us, which is to be enslaved to them in terms of national security,” Cramer said.

    1. “On Wednesday oil moved lower as Saudi Arabia increased its oil production to more than 12 million barrels per day, according to a report from Reuters, flooding the market during a time of unprecedented demand loss.”

      Somehow I didn’t believe they would go through with it.

  21. The 2020 Autumn future$ Pen$ion $tatements might$ bring some $tunning $hockers to owner$ eyeball$!

    Finance
    Pension Fund$ Will Take a Big Coronaviru$ Hit

    Retiree$ will have to accept $harply reduced benefit$ that are more in line with what they would get from Social Security and Medicare.

    Bloomberg / By Aaron Brown / April 1, 2020

    One major financial crisis that may hit later this year or early in 2021 is the ever-looming collapse in state and local employee pension funds. Although the problem has been growing for decades, the virus may have been the event that pushed it over the edge.

    Decline$ in the financial markets may have co$t the fund$ as much as $1 trillion in a$$ets, or about 25% of their total, according to Moody’s Investors Service. That would bring the aggregate funding ratio—value of assets divided by actuarial value of liabilities—from 52% based on the last report by the Census Bureau down to perhaps 37%.

    Will these events trigger Illinois or some other state to default? It’s plausible. Will that cause other states and municipalities to follow? That’s likely, mainly because creditors will stop lending to states with big unfunded pension liabilities. Will that provide the cover for every state except maybe Utah and Wisconsin from seizing the opportunity to renege on promises? I’d bet on that as well.

    The basic terms of the fix are obvious. Pension payments will be capped, probably at something like the Social Security maximum of $3,011 per month for someone who retires at age 65. Tax the benefits, again probably like the rules for Social Security (50% of benefits for single filers with total income between $25,000 and $34,000, 85% of benefits for higher income individuals). Make healthcare plans more Medicare-like, with lower provider payments. Employee contributions to be directed either to Social Security/Medicare or individual retirement accounts rather than underwriting payments to retired workers.

    This will provoke fierce fights. First to accept the inevitable and second to set the precise terms. How will police officers be treated versus teachers versus Division of Motor Vehicle clerks? Will all state and local plans be put in one bucket, or will employees from more prudent states do better than employees from profligate ones? How will scarce funds be directed to pensions versus health benefits? How much will taxpayers and creditors kick in? These fights will take place in legislatures, courtrooms and union elections. It won’t be pretty or fun.

  22. Traffic at Denver International Airport down 90%+

    https://www.denverpost.com/2020/04/01/coronavirus-denver-airport-traffic-security/

    The pandemic has added new budget pressures for DIA to sort through just as billions of dollars in expansion projects are underway at what is normally the nation’s fifth-busiest airport.

    And a big portion of that spending is on a huge and utterly unneeded remodeling project in main terminal (the part under the tent). And to add insult to injury, there was a dispute with the contractor who was fired and the remodeling came to a grinding halt with the terminal still torn apart.

    So they sold billions in bonds and now it’s likely that traffic levels (and the fees they generate) won’t recover for years. The other part of the expansion is adding gates for United and Southwest. I guess that will be put on ice; but the main terminal is a disaster right now.

    Could a bond default be waiting in the future?

    1. “The pandemic has added new budget pressures for DIA to sort through just as billions of dollars in expansion projects are underway at what is normally the nation’s fifth-busiest airport.”

      NY is going to build a multi$billion connector from a brand new terminal for LaGuardia and a parking lot.

    2. Lived in Denver when the original design for DIA was headed up by Fentress. Original design did not have the tent roof over the terminal.
      I actually represented the roofing material manufacture that was the original spec. Left Denver for greener pastures ( no pun intended on the
      lack of greenery around the airport). Leaving Denver was the best decision I made. Now living at the tropical beach

    3. Are they putting in any new creepy NWO art? I always thought it was strange that Obama didn’t sign the last bail out bill right away. Waited a few days and had a signing ceremony at the Denver Airport. Even though we were told the bill had to be done NOW and there wasn’t even time to read it. But once it passed there was no hurry to sign it. I am of the mind that these events have a significance to the elites of which we are unaware. Somehow it seemed like a foreshadowing of some other planned event somewhere down the line.

      1. Are they putting in any new creepy NWO art?

        Who knows what it will look like when it’s finished?

        Other than the weird murals, I thought it was fine the way it was. It still looked far better than most airports in the US. Not up to the level of some of the megabuck airports in Asia. but really, who cares?

        The overwhelming majority of passengers at DIA make connections and never set foot in the main terminal. It’s pretty obvious that the whole project was just a big pork barrel and I wouldn’t be surprised if many fat brown envelopes exchanged hands.

        Anyway, the soonest they hoping to complete this boondoggle is 2024:

        DENVER (CBS4) – Denver International Airport CEO Kim Day said Wednesday, “There will be some pain” ahead for DIA travelers. It’s as airport officials said they are hoping the Great Hall Project is completed before the end of 2024 — three years behind the original schedule.

        https://denver.cbslocal.com/2019/11/06/great-hall-construction-update-denver-international-airport/

        Three years behind schedule! And this article is datelined November last year, before the pandemic and the economic crash that will follow. I can only imagine what the final cost will be, and how many more brown envelopes will be delivered.

  23. Where did all the bulls go?

    The Financial Times
    Markets volatility
    Coronavirus sell-off leaves investors keeping their distance
    ‘It’s too late to sell and too early to buy,’ says one fund manager
    The violent phase of the adjustment has passed, many investors think, but the perils to investments have not
    © AFP via Getty Images
    Katie Martin 12 hours ago

    Many investors still reeling from the brutal first quarter of 2020 are reluctant to believe it is safe to dive back into risky bets.

    Key benchmarks including the S&P 500 in the US have bounced strongly since the coronavirus pandemic first tore through markets in late February. Starting from their low point in late March, US blue-chip stocks have soared by 17 per cent.

    The rebound is one of the biggest since the aftermath of the Wall Street Crash in 1929, but still leaves stocks down 20 per cent so far this year. The recovery largely reflects the firepower deployed by central banks to calm a financial system that was brought to a sudden halt by lockdowns of cities and countries around the world.

    But while calm has been restored, many investors think it simply marks a new phase in the markets’ struggle to adapt to a rapidly shrinking global economy stung by both the virus and a collapse in the price of oil. The violent phase of the adjustment has passed, they say, but the perils to investments have not.

    “The way we put it is: it’s too late to sell and too early to buy,” said Kasper Elmgreen, the Dublin-based head of equities at Amundi, Europe’s largest asset manager. “I’m pretty sceptical of the current bounceback that we have seen.”

    1. It’s too late to sell

      The gettin’s still awfully good at DOW 21,000. This greedhead is going to ride it down to the bottom.

    2. The Financial Times
      Coronavirus
      Market recovery will unravel as coronavirus fallout mounts, warns Oaktree’s Marks
      Specialist in distressed debt investment says bounce reflects ‘too much optimism’ and predicts further falls
      Oaktree Capital founder Howard Marks: ‘There will be a point where there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. I’m afraid the headlines are going to get much uglier in this regard’
      © Bloomberg
      Robin Wigglesworth
      11 hours ago

      Howard Marks, one of the best-known specialists in distressed debt investment, has warned that the recent global market recovery will unravel as the toll from the coronavirus pandemic mounts, the economy slides into a deep recession and corporate defaults spike.

      Despite falling back again on Tuesday, the FTSE All-World index has climbed more than 14 per cent since its nadir in late March, after aggressive action from central banks and governments to ameliorate the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

      But Mr Marks, the billionaire investor who founded Oaktree Capital Management to capitalise on market dislocations caused by economic downturns, cautioned in his latest memo to clients that the bounce “reflected too much optimism”.

      The 73-year-old investor, whose regular client memos published over the past 30 years have become popular reading among investment professionals, predicted that markets had further to fall given the severity of the economic and financial shocks that the coronavirus pandemic has triggered.

      “The negative case encompasses rising numbers of infections and deaths, unbearable strain on the healthcare system, job losses in the many millions, widespread business losses and mounting defaults,” he said. “If these things arise, investors are likely to shift from the optimism of last week to the pessimism that was prevalent in the rest of March.”

    3. it’s too late to sell and too early to buy

      Makes sense. So what’s missing that needs to happen during that waiting period? Sounds like seller pain to me.

      1. “it’s too late to sell and too early to buy”

        $omeone i$n’t doing their home.work. … $ad.
        📰👀🎢🎡🎪♻️

      2. What’s missing … is time. Time for April 1 debt and rent payments to be paid, partially paid, or promised/begged. Time for May 1 debt and rent payments to not be paid and promises not kept. Time for employers to stop hanging on and finally lay off employees. Time for the $2 trillion package to be spent. Time for fund managers to run out of profitable assets (i.e. paper gold) to sell so they can longer cover margin calls. Time for regular folks to realize that they can’t live on unemployment’s half pay and have to really cut back. Time for small businesses to file Chapter 11.

        I give it about 4 months. That’s about when every person who isn’t working and company who isn’t operating will run out of reserves and max out all their credit cards and family favors. Then you’re going to see things crater like never before.

        Those with jobs or substantial savings will survive on their own. The gov will take care of basic industries: electricity, water, agriculture. Everyone else will simply have to go on some kind of UBI dole to buy food.

        And we’re a STRONG country. Compare the US to places like India or El Salvador or Mexico or anywhere in Africa. They are a month behind the rest of the world, but it looks like the hot weather won’t save them from the virus. They live hand-to-mouth. Work that day; eat that day. They can’t quarantine, and they live so packed together that social distancing is impossible. Not to mention the medical care. They are in danger of significantly depopulating.

        1. I already received my income tax return, and I have paid my annual property tax and insurance, six months of our auto insurances and Spring college tuition for both kids. The pantry, fridge and garage freezer have roughly two months supply of healthy diet. Occupying my time looking for some tough guy toyz, latest top-shelf electronics and keeping an eye out for RE blood in the streets of Bellingham.

  24. COVID-19 recession to be deeper than that of 2008-2009
    https://ihsmarkit.com/research-analysis/covid19-recession-to-be-deeper-than-that-of-20082009.html

    The world has been stunned by this latest Chinese Horseshoe bat plague, the second in 17 years. The notion that China can brush this one off and sustain the status quo going forward is laughable. It’s over. I can hear the supply line stampede out of Guangdong from here.

    When politicos domestically discover the seething resentment of millions of newly-unemployed about what’s happened to them, the media’s fashionable coddling of the China CCP era will be over. It will be over in China also, not long after.

    We’ve fed the Chinese CCP dragon for 42 years; It just bit us…again.

    1. “I can hear the supply line stampede out of Guangdong from here.”

      I hate when people proclaim such a nonsense every time a major event occurs.

      China will agree to buy another 10 billion dollar worth of farm products, promise to allow US tech companies in limited capacity, and all will be forgotten.

      1. I hate when people proclaim such a nonsense every time a major event occurs.

        China will agree to buy another 10 billion dollar worth of farm products, promise to allow US tech companies in limited capacity, and all will be forgotten.

        Why, because you said so? I don’t think so. We are in a situation that nobody alive has ever experienced, in many ways.

    2. the media’s fashionable coddling of the China CCP era will be over

      Are you kidding? They’ll blame it all on Trump, while continuing to carry water for the CCP. As Apt 401 says, it’s all about controlling the Narrative.

      1. I visited City Lights Bookstore in SF last year. They were publishing unpopular, censored, counter-narratives before most of the sheeple even knew there was a narrative.

        1. before most of the sheeple even knew there was a narrative

          I think many still don’t know there’s Narrative. If that nice fella on the evening news says something, it must be true.

      2. Colorado, I have to agree. Blaming Trump for everything makes them feel so good. Grandma died? That’s because Trump didn’t close up the US on New Year’s Day, not because the Chinese ate bats and hid their epidemic.

        I’ll ask folks here: how well they think Hillary would have done? If she followed the CDC and WHO, she would have done as badly as Trump.

      1. Perhaps the global savings glut that is the only world anyone seems to remember, even though it was inconceivable before 1995, is disappearing.

  25. Regarding a coronavirus vaccine, please consider:

    https://www.theepochtimes.com/federal-court-case-reveals-cdc-lacks-evidence-to-claim-vaccines-dont-cause-autism_3270994.html

    “ICAN’s victories against federal health agencies regarding vaccine safety include getting the Department of Health and Human Services to concede that it couldn’t provide a single vaccine safety report to Congress as required by the Mandate for Safer Childhood Vaccines in the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986. The nonprofit also got the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to concede that it doesn’t have any clinical trials to support injecting the flu shot or DTaP vaccines into pregnant women, getting the National Institutes of Health to concede that the Task Force on Safer Childhood Vaccines has not made a single recommendation for improving vaccine safety during the period at issue, and got the FDA to produce, via FOIA request, the clinical trials it relied upon to license the current MMR vaccine, which revealed that these clinical trials had in total less than 1,000 participants and far more adverse reactions than previously acknowledged.”

    https://childrenshealthdefense.org/news/dr-fauci-and-covid-19-priorities-therapeutics-now-or-vaccines-later/

    Read and/or watch the 5:37 video.

    1. My understanding is that the CDC owns patents on a very large number of the popular Vaccines and that they are a conduit for $4 billion per year in royalties.

      1. Wouldn’t surprise me at all. Huge profits for those shielded from legal liability while taxpayers foot litigation costs and damage awards.

    2. The sad part is, even with everything you are saying being true, the alternative is.. POLIO!!!!
      Vaccines may mess you up with 1 in 1,000,000 chances of side effects. Polio will mess you up with a 1 in 3 chance or something.
      If there is one thing humans are statistically bad at understanding, its statistics.

      1. People are particularly incapable of conducting cost-benefit analysis when probabilities or, worse yet, uncertainties (“unknown unknowns”) are involved on both sides of the equation.

      2. We’re not talking about polio now though are we? We’re talking about a coronavirus vaccine using a new technology being rushed (no animal testing, Phase 2 in China) and pushed by the same people stoking fear.

    1. Too late…. Not a buyer in sight for a fraction of what the suckers paid for it.

      Donkeys were warned…. Donkeys stepped off the cliff anyways.

    2. That’s where I live now, off Fairview and Cole. I’ll be waiting at least a couple years before I buy anything up here, as prop values rocketed an insane 100% in the last 8 years from the 2012 bottom.

      Whole lot of bozos up here bought at all-time highs, just like everywhere else. Sure there are people moving here, but not enough to warrant the stupidity seen here. Me thinks there will be a lot of inventory at discount very soon.

        1. Whatever. Are they hawking dried food? I’ve never seen so many pop ups as that crap-hole.

      1. Zero Hedge is swirling the drain. It’s getting really bad. Not sure how good it ever was.

    1. The reason these companies are hated is because they turned out to be Trojan Horses.

      “1) AirBnB was originally designed as a way for people to rent out their home (or parts, like individual rooms) when not in use.”

      Good idea. This has gone on in NYC forever. Those with apartments in Manhattan often financed part of their vacation by renting out their homes while there were gone, and the state housing codes specifically allows households to take in borders. This made it easier.

      “2) AirBnB hosts then realized that you can take out a mortgage to buy a 2nd property with very little money as a down-payment, then rent it out on AirBnB and make enough to both cover the mortgage payment, and make a small profit.”

      An abuse of the neighbors, and the regulations. You have created a hotel where you do not live. Obviously you will be less concerned with what goes on that in a place you do live.

      “3) Hosts also realized that you can long-term lease a home (house or apartment), and again rent it out on AirBnB and also cover your monthly rent and make a profit (but this time, with even less money down..just 1st months rent and security deposit).

      4) Then Hosts got really greedy, and did this many times over…taking a significant % of housing supply off the market, and converting it all into make-shift hotels. These are AirBnB “super-hosts.”

      Insane.

      Now think of Uber. It was initially presented as a way for people with other jobs to make a few bucks taking people along on trips they would have made anyway, thus reducing traffic…

      1. I question whether they “got” greedy, or if acquiring a windfall from disruption of (among other things) the hospitality industry was the game plan from Day One.

        It should be readily apparent that the Uber and Lyft business models were built on the assumption of availability of autonomous vehicle technology, and the folks participating in the pseudo taxi cab side hustle were all just short term useful idiots to bridge the companies to it. That venture capital was never intended to pay for human careers.

        But seeing all of those “super hosts” get tossed on the ash heap of history will be immensely gratifying. That there are as many homeless on the street as there are now in this country, why you, with a decent job, can’t afford a decent, modest home for your family in a safe neighborhood with good schools — all of that can be put squarely at the feet of these individuals, who were by far the worst out of all of them for having the attitude of “**** you, mine all mine” as they wrecked the lives of so many others in this country.

  26. Serological/antibody testing (evidence of and recovery from previous infection) should be coming online this month. This has the potential to increase the denominator, lower the CFR and better inform our national response.

          1. Got it. In particular, knowing how many people have it in different locales, including asymptomatic cases, is crucial for knowing when it is safe to relax quarantine measures.

            For instance, p. A6 of today’s San Diego Union-Tribune shows SD County confirmed cases by zip code. But without knowing how many people of each age group were tested in each zip code, how many of each age group tested positive, and how many haven’t been tested, we can only guess how widespread the outbreak is.

    1. Now that winter is over, it’s wonderful to see the bears coming out of hibernation.

      The Tell
      Co-founder of George Soros’s legendary Quantum Fund warns of the ‘worst bear market of my lifetime’
      Published: April 1, 2020 at 2:01 p.m. ET
      By Shawn Langlois
      Jim Rogers, chairman of Rogers Holdings. AFP/Getty Images

      Jim Rogers has been sounding the bear alarm for a while, and now that the market finally seems to be cooperating, the Rogers Holdings chairman is turning up the volume.

      “I expect in the next couple of years we’re going to have the worst bear market in my lifetime,” he told Bloomberg in the wake of the worst first-quarter loss in the Dow’s history.

      Why so glum? Rogers explained that it’s a combination of the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on the economy, high-debt levels and lowly interest rates that will inflict damage when they start rising.

  27. Don’t try this at home, kidz.

    Engineer Intentionally Derails L.A. Train Near U.S. Navy Hospital Ship: Feds
    April 1, 2020 7:15 PM EDT

    LOS ANGELES — A train engineer intentionally drove a speeding locomotive off a track at the Port of Los Angeles because he was suspicious about the presence of a Navy hospital ship docked there amid the coronovirus crisis, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.

    The locomotive crashed through a series of barriers and fences before coming to rest more than 250 yards (228 meters) from the U.S. Navy Hospital Ship Mercy on Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a release.

    Nobody was hurt.

    Eduardo Moreno, 44, was charged with one count of train wrecking, prosecutors said. It wasn’t immediately known if he has an attorney.

    Moreno admitted in two separate interviews with law enforcement that he intentionally derailed and crashed the train near the Mercy, according to the criminal complaint.

    “You only get this chance once. The whole world is watching. I had to,” Moreno told police, according to prosecutors. “People don’t know what’s going on here. Now they will.”

    Moreno said he was suspicious of the Mercy and believed it had an alternate purpose related to COVID-19 or a government takeover, an affidavit states. Moreno stated that he acted alone and had not pre-planned the attempted attack.

    In an interview with FBI agents, Moreno stated that “he did it out of the desire to ‘wake people up,’” according to the affidavit.

    “Moreno stated that he thought that the U.S.N.S. Mercy was suspicious and did not believe ‘the ship is what they say it’s for,’” the complaint said.

    1. Stock Market Today
      Dow Jones Futures: Keep Your Distance From This Coronavirus Bear Market; Study These Charts
      ED CARSON
      11:01 PM ET 04/01/2020

      Dow Jones futures rose late Wednesday, along with S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq futures. The Dow Jones and other major indexes tumbled Wednesday as new coronavirus cases in the U.S. and worldwide hit record highs yet again. A stock market rally attempt continues, but for now it’s still a coronavirus bear market.

      Shopify (SHOP) pulled 2020 guidance, even as brick-and-mortar retailers pivot to online during the coronavirus shutdown. Meanwhile, Zoom Video Communications (ZM) extended losses on privacy and hacking concerns.

      Amazon.com (AMZN), Dexcom (DXCM), Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Nvidia (NVDA) and Microsoft (MSFT) are all worth watching. So is Apple (AAPL), though for different reasons.

      Optimists can point to a stock like DocuSign (DOCU), which held its ground Wednesday, despite the latest stock market pullback. Zoom Video stock is still a big coronavirus crisis winner. But the vast majority of stocks will fall when the market slides.

      Dexcom stock, Nvidia stock, AMD stock and Microsoft stock fell Wednesday, even with their relative strength lines at or near record highs. Relative winners are usually absolute losers in a bear market.

      Shopify stock, which looked promising just a few days ago, sold off sharply Wednesday. After the close, Shopify stock fell toward its 200 day as the e-commerce software maker pulled guidance.

      Zoom Video stock fell modestly in late trade, after retreating for a third straight day. The videoconferencing company, which is seeing huge growth during the stay-at-home coronavirus trend, is under fire for its data privacy and security.

      Meanwhile, Apple stock retreated and its RS line has been starting to wilt.

      In such circumstances, investors should maintain social distancing from the coronavirus bear market. If you go shopping for stocks, you’re taking a risk. And unlike groceries, you don’t actually need to buy stocks every few days.

      1. Nothing like “Chaotic Decision$” to help $truggling damaged USA busine$$es!

        dtRumpsis chaotica trantrumois

        POLITIC$

        Trump says he’s considering halting dome$tic flight$ between certain coronaviru$ hot spot$

        CNBC / PUBLISHED WED, APR 1 2020
        By Tucker Higgins & Leslie Josephs

        KEY POINT$:
        President Donald Trump said Wednesday that his administration is considering halting some dome$tic flight$ and rail line$ between coronaviru$ “hot spot$,” or citie$ where COVID-19 has hit hard.

        “I am looking where flights are going into hot spots. Some of those flights I didn’t like from the beginning,” Trump said at a White House briefing on the pandemic.

        Asked about rail travel, Trump said it was a “similar thing.”

        Airline$ have $lashed thousand$ of flight$ in a race to shrink to meet paltry demand and some executives have been forced to consider the chances of a broader shutdown of U.S. flights.

        The worst of the U.S. coronavirus outbreak has been centered in the New York metropolitan area, though the virus has rapidly spread throughout the country. New Orleans, Seattle, Detroit and other major hubs — in addition to smaller cities and rural areas — have also been hit hard by COVID-19.

        Trump did not name any cities or routes in particular.

        1. Just in case it comes to this, remember that most Americans own an automobile, the freeways are clear, and gasoline prices are cratering. We’ll still find a way to get from point A to point B.

          1. We’ll still find a way to get from point A to point B. You are assuming that point B’s facilities are still open for business.

  28. USA get$ x1 plane of 1950’$ ob$olete Russkie medical $upplies, Trumpy let’s Czar Putain keep Crimea. Art.of.thee.deal!

    WORLD NEW$: MARCH 31, 2020

    Ru$$ian plane with coronaviru$ medical gear lands in U.S. after Trump-Putin call

    Reuters / By Andrew Osborn, Polina Devitt, Steve Holland

    “Trump gratefully accepted this humanitarian aid,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was cited as saying by the Interfax news agency on Tuesday. Trump himself spoke enthusiastically about the Russian help after his call with Putin.

    The State Department said that following the call between the two leaders, the United States “has agreed to purcha$e” needed medical supplies, including ventilators and personal protection equipment, from Russia and that they were handed over to the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Wednesday in New York City.

      1. Inconceivable!

        (Putain’$ gesture to visit USA on a “goodwill” Monopoly community che$t card.)

        Peace? (from a Crimea Nation $quatter, laughable! If knot fir it being $o Ukranian … $ad.)

          1. Isn’t it ironic that both “hatred” and “love” are blind?

            Well…both tend to be irrational. So I guess not.

  29. As total confirmed cases approach 1 million, the 5% death rate is stubbornly persistent.

    Confirmed deaths = 47,261

    Confirmed cases = 937,783

    Death rate as a share of total confirmed cases =
    47,261 / 937,783 = 5%.

    1. It’s bedtime. Will have to check this article out in detail tomorrow.

      Tomorrow is another day.
      — Katie Scarlett O’Hara

      April 01, 2020 – 12:30 PM EDT
      Coronavirus: It’s time to get real about the misleading data
      By Keith Naughton, opinion contributor
      The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the view of The Hill

      So how many have likely been infected in the United States?

      Estimates range from a few hundred thousand up to just under 2 million with a median of 362,000 as of March 26.

      In a Reuters poll 2.3 percent of respondents claim they have been diagnosed as having the virus — that’s 4.8 million adults. Now, that is people at least in part making a self-diagnosis, but the experts in behavior and statistics who spoke to Reuters consider the survey results a much better approximation of the true level of contagion than the “confirmed cases” statistic.

      Deaths are also likely underestimated. Since most deaths are linked to additional health conditions, that leaves multiple options for official cause of death. Further, overwhelmed hospitals set a priority on care, not on data collection. That does not mean deaths are 10 times higher, but the number of actual deaths from the virus is likely higher than the number of reported “confirmed” deaths.

      Bottom line: It’s worse than the numbers suggest.

      It’s not just the United States. One study estimates that infections in China in January were over six times higher than the official reports. Which brings us to the second point…

      China is lying

      On March 10, Chinese President Xi Jinping made a triumphant victory lap at the origination point of the pandemic. China started reporting no new local transmissions soon after the Xi visit. Does anyone really believe this?

      The timing is too tidy, and there’s mounting evidence to be skeptical.

      In a closed society with a pervasive surveillance state, getting at the truth is a major challenge, but media sources from Hong Kong and Japan as well as The Guardian have pieced together enough independent sources to cast serious doubt on China’s claims. International media sources not under the thumb of the government indicate a much higher number of cases and continued local transmission — whether by refusing to test even symptomatic patients, manipulating data or outright undercounting.

      Again, the same holds true for reported deaths.

      Given the Chinese government’s refusal to allow entry and access to outside observers, its expulsion of journalists from America’s top news outlets — the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post — and its utter lack of external independent accountability, we will likely never know the true toll of the virus on China.

      The only thing we can safely conclude is that China’s numbers are fraudulent.

      1. PS 5% of 2,000,000 = 100,000

        (just playing with my calculator…don’t overinterpret my numbers)

      2. Estimates range from a few hundred thousand up to just under 2 million with a median of 362,000

        Never let someone who doesn’t understand Significant Figures Rules school you on things math.

        1. Perhaps the editor didn’t want to bamboozle their readers by showing them all the significant digits included in “just under 2 million”.

          1. all the significant digits included in “just under 2 million”.

            Just how many significant digits are there in that?

    2. Yesterday, Peak Prosperity on Youtube looked at some of the more mature countries, for example South Korea. If everything goes perfectly, he calculates an optimistic rate of 1.8% or so, without treatments.

      But the death rate is not absolute or inherent to the virus. It’s a function of how flat the curve is, how sick the population is, how old the population is, and probably the initial viral load. If you have a country full of young, thin, healthy people (South Korea) who pick up a tiny amount of virus from a contaminated surface, the cases will be mild. If you have an area of old, fat, sick people breathing huge virus loads all over each other (Italy), the cases will be more serious and the death rate higher.

      1. the initial viral load

        Suggest study subject: The Fibonacci Sequence.

        It’s a study in how things double in natural systems and has been understood for thousands of years. Sometimes referred to as the Golden Rule in art and architecture.

        This concept is why some of the graphical representations of death counts put all data sets in the context of incidence 1 or incidence 100 to compare their progression vs time. The same concept should apply to the number of infected cells in the body. You can start with one or one hundred. In a very short time you can’t tell the difference.

        I’m not being snarky.

        1. How does Fibonacci compare to exponential or logistic growth? (Perhaps this inquiry could be a new avenue of diversion while trying to survive the quarantine…)

          1. For sure. I play music every morning when I get up for this reason. And so much is available now online — historically great recordings of every genre and artist imaginable. We live in an era with an embarrassment of readily available musical riches online.

          2. I realized after my post that your “it” probably meant the Golden Ratio (haven’t had any coffee yet). The first place I would look for that is in the music of J S Bach, who was very skilled at embedding mathematical motifs into his compositions.

          3. a new avenue of diversion while trying to survive the quarantine

            Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid

          4. Thanks for reminding me that I have a so-far unread copy of that book on my bookshelf!

        2. “You can start with one or one hundred. In a very short time you can’t tell the difference.”

          You model describes how the disease would progress if the virus is allowed to multiply in the body unchecked. However, the immune system and will attack the virus when detected.

          For example, if you are infected with one virus particle (for example, from a contaminated surface), it takes days for that virus to multiply enough for to show symptoms or become dangerous. During those days, the body has time to mount a defense. But if you start with 100 particles (for example someone sneezes in your face), the starting point for multiplication is much higher, and so the virus can multiply to dangerous levels much faster, leaving the body much less time for defense. A low viral load buys TIME, and may be the difference between a mild case and a serious case.

          It might also explain why even young healthy people are getting serious cases while old Prince Charles and Rand Paul had mild cases, even controlling for co-morbidities. The youngsters could have gotten a face-full viral load, while Paul and Charles touched a door handle. And that 34-year-old eye doctor in China who died… eye doctors get very close to patient’s faces. He may have inhaled uncounted billions of particles from Patient 0.

          1. You model describes how the disease would progress if the virus is allowed to multiply in the body unchecked. However, the immune system and will attack the virus when detected. ”

            I was going to say something like this but you said it better

          2. He may have inhaled uncounted billions of particles from Patient 0. Not to mention Patients 1 through whatever that he saw right after that.

    1. What about the coronavirus outbreak makes people feel so desperate about hoarding toilet paper and cash? Come on people…are we really running out of either!?

      The Financial Times
      Fund management
      How the coronavirus threatens Asia-Pacific’s $7tn pensions market
      Sector across region hit by fears of panicked mass withdrawals due to pandemic
      The strains on Japan’s pensions have been building for decades, accentuated by the country’s ageing demographics
      © EPA
      Jamie Smyth in Sydney, Edward White in Wellington and Leo Lewis in Tokyo yesterday

      The coronavirus outbreak has piled pressure on Asia-Pacific’s multitrillion-dollar pensions industry, with the pandemic raising fears that retirees could make a panicked dash to withdraw their investments.

      The sector manages about $7tn in assets, according to research group the Thinking Ahead Institute. But investment funds and policymakers across the region have been forced to reassess how they provide for ageing populations.

      The challenges come as equity markets emerge from their worst quarter since the global financial crisis and economists warn of a global recession.

      “It is not inconceivable that the community anxiety which has resulted in panic buying of groceries could see similar behaviour played out in [pensions] and cause a ‘run’ across the whole system,” according to a letter recently sent by pension industry groups to the Australian government and seen by the Financial Times.

      Early calls on funds

      Australia has the world’s fourth-largest pension market with more than $2tn in assets. The government has allowed people in financial distress to withdraw a maximum of A$20,000 (US$12,160) from their superannuation accounts over the next six months to help tide them over.

      Canberra has forecast up to A$27bn in emergency withdrawals, which would amount to less than ­­­­­­1 per cent of the overall pool. But the pensions industry says it was not consulted on the scheme and has warned total withdrawals could be more than double the government’s forecasts.

      The industry also faces potential liquidity problems for the worst-affected schemes, a severe reduction in members’ retirement savings and pressure on stock prices as groups are forced to sell equities to meet cash withdrawal requests.

      Most funds could withstand this level of withdrawal requests. But those with members concentrated in the worst affected sectors — such as hospitality and retail — could encounter liquidity issues that would force them to sell assets at the bottom of the market.

      “Were there to be any instances of funds unable to meet the claims, this would be very damaging to public confidence in the financial system, which would impact all players,” the Australian pension industry groups’ letter said.

  30. Green shoots?

    Futures Movers
    Oil prices surge nearly 10% after Trump says Russia-Saudi feud can be resolved
    Published: April 2, 2020 at 2:22 a.m. ET
    By Barbara Kollmeyer
    Photo taken on October 14, 2019 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to that country with Prince Salman Bin Abdelaziz.
    Reuters

    Crude futures surged on Thursday, after President Donald Trump expressed optimism that a damaging price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia can be resolved.

    West Texas Intermediate crude for May delivery CL.1, 9.503% surged nearly $2, or 9.6%, to $22.80 a barrel, after slipping 0.8% to settle at $20.31 on Wednesday. June Brent crude BRNM20, 10.469% climbed $2.57, or 10%, to $27.30 a barrel, a day after the contract plunged 6.1% to $24.74 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe.

    The first quarter has been punishing for financial markets, with oil especially punished by a Russia-Saudi price war that is flooding the market with supply and demand destruction from the global economic shutdown due to the coronavirus outbreak.

    The U.S. benchmark lost 66.5% in the first quarter, the largest quarterly percentage loss based on records dating back to March 1983. Global benchmark Brent slid 65.6% for the quarter—the largest quarterly decline based on records dating to June 1988.

    1. Mover$:
      “afterTrump $ays” = “thee.go$pel.truth.has.been.$poken!”

      (aq.danny.boy ha$ been redeemed!)

      Poppie$ in Afghanistan De$troyed

      Middle.Ea$t peace $olved

      Oil Demand.De$truction vanquished!

      Market$ are going to 🚀

    1. The Financial Times
      Coronavirus business update 30 days complimentary
      Equities
      Europe and Asian stocks slip following sharp drop on Wall Street
      Global oil marker Brent crude jumps 10%
      Japanese stocks fell on renewed concerns over the coronavirus pandemic
      © AFP via Getty Images
      Philip Georgiadis in London, Hudson Lockett in Hong Kong and Leo Lewis in Tokyo
      9 minutes ago

      European and Asian stocks slipped even as oil prices rallied on Thursday, as investors grappled with the global economic fallout from the intensifying coronavirus outbreak in the US.

      In London the FTSE 100 was unable to hold on to opening gains and fell 0.2 per cent within the first hour of trading, while the composite Stoxx Europe 600 was down 0.4 per cent.

      Investors have suffered a tough start to the second quarter of the year after global stocks plunged by about 20 per cent in the first three months of 2020.

      Economists and traders are trying to gauge how long the current lockdown of activity across the developed world might last, and how bad the economic damage will be. Companies have cancelled dividends and cut earnings guidance across Europe on a daily basis as the corporate impact of the pandemic mounts.

      Overnight on Wall Street, stocks tumbled as the scale of the humanitarian and economic cost in the US became clearer. President Donald Trump has warned that up to 240,000 people could die, while vice-president Mike Pence said it could take until June for normality to return.

  31. Debt donkey. This term inspired me to search the net. Here’s what I found:

    The pain of being a middle-class donkey – Kalaiarasan – Medium
    https://medium.com/@kalaiarasan.it/pain-of-being-a-middle-class-donkey-2848ba8adbef

    (some snips)

    “For the first 2 years of my professional life, I slaved away at the first company who hired me and believed in my potential, because I am loyal, hard-working and too inexperienced to do smart work. As years passing, I could not come out of routine from my 12–14 hour per day work cycle, I worked really hard instead of trying more to work smartly. I even work on weekends without realizing how miserable my life has become. It’s not all bad though, when I release a feature or learn something while working, I felt excited about that time and again. I was considered above average by my managers based on my ratings. I have seen a few people, who work the same hours as I am, but are happier. I thought to myself, that they were more passionate about their job than I am. Then I wonder, how could I be as passionate as them.”

    (snip)

    “I only have the luxury to have one passion which is to get rich. Increase my monthly revenue without quitting the job that I sometimes love, some time hate and most of the time feel nothing towards it. In addition to paying my house mortgage, I also have to provide for my family’s social expenses. If I even propose to cut those expenses in half and spend it on prepaying loans, I would have to deal with emotional sentiments from my family which I have to understand.”

    (snip)

    “Debt is the heavy load self-imposed by a deep desire of wanting things that u are not ready for yet. Instead of increasing my passive income to meet my/my family’s desires, I opted for house loan debt which turns out to be draining my happiness I feel from other things. Our so-called ‘System’ always favors the rich, unpaid debts will be waived off if any rich businessmen announce bankruptcy for his business. The middle class has to pay their debts otherwise their securities like their home, land(bought with Life long savings) will be seized.”

    (snip)

    “If you load 1 rice bag, on top of a donkey it will carry it smoothly. If you load 2 or 3 bags it will struggle but will carry it to the end with pain. If you load any more than that, it will be too much for it to even breathe let alone carry it. For the duration of the journey from place A to B, it will endure the pain of living. Poor and Middle-class people with huge debts are the donkeys with more than 3 rice bags. They will regret that part of life when they carry those debts, which is very very long. I myself am a donkey struggling but managing somehow to reach the destination.”

    Bottom line: His behavior is powered by his dreams. He works his ass off then send huge chunks of his earnings to people such as myself.

    I like it.

    1. The post war (wwii) generation bought homes during a time of prosperity, and their incomes steadily increased along with asset inflation, so their debts were settled with cheaper dollars; debt and inflation worked for them. Fast forward to the early 70s, and their children bought the same things, but their income didn’t increase with asset inflation; enter the debt donkey.

    2. Hi pseudo-philosophical complaining reminded me of Casey Serin. Always jealous of the rich, always scheming for how to join them, never understanding it’s a club he will never be a member of no matter how much misguided effort he exerts.

  32. hello, neumann….

    SoftBank Group has called off its offering of up to $3 billion worth of shares in office-space rental venture WeWork.

    The Japanese technology company remains committed to its $5 billion bailout of the financially troubled company.

    The company said Thursday that the option not to close the offer was part of the initial deal if certain conditions were not met by an April 1 deadline.
    The main loser in the offer’s failure is WeWork founder Adam Neumann, who quit the company last year, but owns about half the shares that were up for offer, according to SoftBank.

  33. Prepper says it will take a long time for asset prices to correct.

    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/bear-market-survival-tips-from-an-analyst-who-spent-years-warning-of-a-bubble-2020-04-02?mod=home-page

    “Anyone who thinks that the largest asset bubble in history, which formed over 11 years, is going to simply resolve in a mere 3 weeks, is completely delusional.”

    So I guess it’s a long series of dead count bounces for stocks, a long period of Fed suppressed interest rates for bonds, and a long period of no housing market sales, as housing units (including those foreclosed) are kept off the market instead of sold at affordable prices.

      1. “Jesse Colombo” is his trade name….33 year old ghost writer.

        Another empty-pocketed know-nothing.

        1. You would think the since he’s been writing about the everything bubble for some time, his pockets would be full of cash right now.

          1. Industry ghost writers get paid per article…. and it’s not much.

            Typically for people who can’t do anything else but come up with fables.

          1. I’ve talked with him a little on twitter. He’s doing ok for 33. He’s just starting to see how much bigger it is than just the bubble du jour. He’s good at noticing patterns but grew up ignorant of the history. He says he’s got some sort of mild autism/aspergers that made him fascinated with this stuff as a kid right after the last crisis.

  34. I’ve been a “Prepper” all my life. Legacy of “Last Boy Scout” type parents. It is now interesting to observe the unfolding of a consumer emergency (such as it is).

    First, fearing certain death the late preppers rush to buy toilet paper.

    Then eggs. Three weeks ago Large eggs were $1.38/doz. Then they were 1 doz to a customer. Now they are $3.00. There’s plenty.

    Cambells Cream of Mushroom soup. $0.56/can in 12pk on sale. Now $4/can if available.

    1. I’m about to inherit a friend’s family stash of toilet paper today. Can’t wait!

    2. The Great Evil started about 20 to 25 years ago.

      The USA got a taste of the evil in the 2008 crash. They bailed out the crooks and didn’t correct the cause.

      Thank our bought off Politicians for selling us out.

      At least after the Stock Market crash of 1929 they sought to correct the cause of the crash. They enacted the Glass Steagal Act in the 30’s to put Wall Street and faulty lending in it’s proper place. . Best Bill ever written ,but they got rid of it in 1998. The money people finally got to the Politicians and they got rid of a Bill that served the USA well for over 70 years. It only took about 7 years for it to blow up and they never corrected it, and the bail outs to the crooks took place instead.

      They knew about the possible pandemic potential for a long time now, but greed and political false narratives prevented making it a priority.

      The virus was the great threat, not bogus Climate Change and identity politics.

      Bogus false markets and faulty lending and unsustainable debt was the great threat .

      Now you have all the evil trying to cover their a__ and blame anything but themselves.

      So, how do you like big nanny Government now?

    3. After the initial panic run ended, the local stores seem well stocked. They even have TP.

      1. I just got back from the chain grocery store. The last 3 times I went they have a dedicated guy outside cleaning cart handles. Just think, 3 times I went outside and I’m not dead! And the other shoppers weren’t dead either. Employees were most wearing masks for the first time. I see them every visit and they aren’t dead either, and they are there every day! How can that be?

        Anyhoo, lots of veg, food, hamburger, lots of rice, onions, potatoes, canned meats, eggs, dairy. The parking lot had fewer cars than I’ve ever seen.

        1. Eye went for a “amble” in the canyons of East “Thee.O.C.!” just an hour ago, no sirens, no fallen 2 legged bodies, birds still a singin’, flowers still a bloomin’ … & eye don’t have to even drive to a deeth👾.vectoring.social.spacing.grocery.store! On accounts some good canyon folks set up a free table.pantry @ the local park. Toilet paper, paper towels, tissue, soup, condiments, soaps, even a 2000 piece puzzle box … Free!

          (Talk ’bouts lowering yer carbon.footprint, 👣 wowsers)

        2. they are there every day! How can that be? Because dead people don’t work at grocery stores & don’t patronize them either. All they are good for in this world is voting for Democrats.

      1. Inconceivable!

        $audi & OPEC+ + USA

        It’$ a Cartel CON$piracy!

        Demand De$truction$ … Vanqui$hed!👊

        1. If I were an oil trader, I’d consider dumping some HODLings on this supply restriction euphoria, then buy back once the reality of demand destruction comes back into focus.

          1. ” thi$ $upply re$triction euphoria”

            =

            “Don’t do a$ eye’ll say eye’ll do, do a$ eye don’t do” … or $omething like that.

      2. “Energy $tocks $oared Thursday, after President Donald Trump tweeted that he expect$ …”

        dtRumpsis’$ mixed.me$$ages.thumb.media.di$tribution$ + “…expectation$”

        =

        “uh oh, maybee it ain’t nece$$arily $o!”

        (Let’$ review AFTER thee Market$ clo$e.)

    1. There are some “short stories” pay sites utilizing raster text pages with ads that have violent adult related stuff that would make Genghis Khan blush.

  35. Le$$on of the day:
    Di$tributing $6+ Trillion$ i$ knot being “generous”.

    (Can y’all remember that?)

    FEDERAL RE$ERVE:

    Fed’$ Ka$hkari says, ‘We need to err on the $ide of being generou$’ with re$cue program$

    CNBC / PUBLISHED THU, APR 2 2020 / By Jeff Cox

    KEY POINT$:
    Minneapolis Federal Reserve President Neel Kashkari called for policymaker$ to be generou$ when deciding who get$ funding from economic re$cue program$.

    Kashkari was an architect of the Troubled A$$et Relief Program that helped the U.S. economy through the financial

    In seeking how to distribute the more than $400 billion allocated to TARP, Kashkari said those making the decisions were “too targeted” as they wanted to avoid the appearance of bailing out people who didn’t deserve it.

    “We didn’t end up helping many homeowners,” the central bank official said during a webinar Thursday in which he endorsed a more aggressive approach now that would pay off once the coronavirus crisis is contained.

    “We need to err on the side of being generous, helping as many small businesses, as many small profits as we can to retain their workforce,” he said. “It’s much better to keep workers attached to their businesses so that when the crisis is behind us, we can then turn the economy back on as opposed to have to reorganize the economy.”

    The Fed has authorized myriad programs, many originating from the financial crisis, to stabilize markets and support the economy. One new effort has been a special focus on getting money to Main Street businesses that are particularly vulnerable to the economic shutdown resulting from social distancing practices.

    Kashkari pointed out the government has a hi$tory of helping mo$tly big busine$$es. In this crisis, it is using bank$, which were re$cued during the previou$ downturn, to being the conduit$ of funding.

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