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A Spectre That’s Loomed For Years—An End To The Wealth-Creation Machine Known As The Housing Market

A report from Macleans in Canada. “An unprecedented one million Canadians applied for unemployment insurance in just one week in March. Officials are bracing for four million applicants. We have moved with alarming speed past the question of whether Canada will endure a recession, and must instead now ask: How bad will it be, how long it will last and, perhaps most importantly, what comes afterwards? ‘For a long time we’ve talked about what could pop a housing bubble,’ says Frances Donald, chief economist with Manulife Investment Management.. ‘You could pull back on the amount of people who want to buy a home, you could pull back on the amount of people who are able to buy a home, or you could see job losses. What we’re seeing now is that almost every element that could pop a housing bubble is now in place in Canada.'”

“‘The economy is a big beast and it will take at least six months to a year to get everything back onto some basic footing, whatever that normal will look like now,’ says Scott Terrio, manager of consumer insolvency at Hoyes Michalos. ‘But for people’s personal budgets, financial time is still the same—everything is monthly or bi-weekly, or your truck payment is weekly. That doesn’t stop.'”

“At the insolvency firm where Terrio works, the vast majority of clients who come seeking debt relief during normal times are people who rent their homes, typically accounting for 93 per cent of filers. That’s dramatically shifted. Now half of those reaching out to the company are homeowners. It’s an extension of a trend Terrio began to see towards the end of last year, as the number of insolvency filings jumped 13 per cent annually, the fastest pace since the end of the Great Recession.”

“‘For many years Canadians have been binging on debt, and rising insolvency numbers were showing that was caving in on people,’ says Terrio. ‘[COVID-19] has just poured kerosene on it and compressed everything that was going to happen over the next two years into a sudden crisis.'”

“‘Think of all the people who bought a condo in the last two years at sky-high prices with five per cent down,’ says Terrio. ‘There’s going to be a lot of people going underwater, because they were so maxed out. They don’t have to sell their house just because it’s underwater, but it’s going to freak a lot of people out because their mindset was all about the free equity generated by rising prices.'”

“Before most Canadians had even heard of Wuhan or the emergence of a new coronavirus, Canada’s economy was flashing warning signs. Households were buckling under their debt loads, exports were weakening and businesses were retrenching—in the fourth quarter of 2019, the last before the novel coronavirus began to spread, Canada’s economy eked out growth of just 0.3 per cent. ‘Canada’s economy was running at stall speed even before this,’ says economist David Rosenberg of Rosenberg Research in Toronto, who adds the recent collapse in oil prices alone would have tipped Canada into a mini-recession.”

“That is going to put Canada’s eventual recovery even more at risk, and it raises a spectre that’s loomed over Canada’s economy for years—an end to the wealth-creation machine known as the Canadian housing market.”

From Domain News in Australia. “Landlords are slashing rents by hundreds of dollars a week and some are even temporarily cutting asking prices in half, in a bid to get tenants through the door as demand slows amid the coronavirus pandemic. Offers for two weeks’ free rent, seen during the market downturn, are marking a rapid return in Sydney – not only in areas with lots of new apartments, but citywide. Other properties are being advertised with significantly reduced rents for periods ranging from one to six months.”

“‘No one wants to [reduce rents], but it’s better to get something coming in,’ said property manager Rebecca Kleiner of LJ Hooker Bondi Junction. ‘A vacancy is your biggest expense at the moment.'”

“While some landlords had decided to ride out the current pull-back in renter demand, Ms Kleiner said, most were willing to reduce prices to meet the market – which was expected to feel more downward price pressure as investors put Airbnbs up for longer leases, and rentals were vacated by those who’d lost income and could return to the family home. ‘A lot of our properties are a bit reduced at the moment,’ she said. ‘You just have to meet the market otherwise it will sit there.'”

“‘It’s very, very tough to rent property at the moment,’ said Sally Gillman of Shields Gillman, who has reduced the price of a two-bedroom Chatswood unit by $170 a week – for the length of the fixed term agreement which was up for negotiation. It’s still available. ‘If I had [the rent] at $580 12 months ago, I would have had 15 applications and people banging down my door,’ said Ms Gillman. ‘As soon as I dropped [the price] I had five inquiries, but we’ve still had it for 10 days at that price and no one has taken it.'”

The Sydney Morning Herald in Australia. “The real estate industry has warned the coronavirus situation facing tenants, landlords and agents is ‘a mess’ as cash-strapped residents struggle to pay rent and owners face mounting costs. Real Estate Institute of Australia president Adrian Kelly said the residential industry was hoping for a rent assistance package after billions of dollars in subsidies were delivered to tourism and other coronavirus-hit sectors.”

“‘There’s nothing specifically for real estate industries,’ he said. ‘The easiest way to fix this problem from our point of view is to keep rents flowing. It’s a mess and it’s yet to play out.'”

“The residential situation has left tenants, agents and landlords exasperated as residents attempt to negotiate their rent while owners wait for government direction before granting any concessions. Mr Kelly warned real estate agents could also be on the brink as commissions taken from rental payments dry up and property managers are let go. ‘The problem is we have eight million tenants in three million rental properties. This is not going to be a small problem.'”

This Post Has 97 Comments
  1. ‘For many years Canadians have been binging on debt, and rising insolvency numbers were showing that was caving in on people,’ says Terrio. ‘[COVID-19] has just poured kerosene on it and compressed everything that was going to happen over the next two years into a sudden crisis.’

    Again, this was all in place prior to the CCP virus. The Macleans piece, as usual, is worth reading in full.

    1. They don’t have to sell their house just because it’s underwater

      No, but they have to refinance every few years. Good luck neighbors!

    2. Canadian oil can’t get to the world markets because environment wackos shut down the pipelines.

      With world oil at $20…what else does Canada got?

      Oh yeah…selling houses to each other.

      1. what else does Canada got?

        Lumber. oops, no good
        cars. oops, no demand for those now.

        maple syrup?

  2. ‘Real estate agents across the country are swapping tips on how to keep their renters paying top dollar, including tricks to drive them in circles when they ask for rental relief. In secret Facebook group seen by The New Daily, real estate agents have been sharing tips on how to turn down tenants asking for a rent decrease after suffering financial hardship because of the coronavirus.’

    ‘Many voiced frustration tenants were asking for a decrease. “Seriously over getting these text messages,” wrote one agent from Melbourne, who posted a screenshot of the text. “Hi, I just letting you know that I lost my job and can’t pay the rent anymore. How do I go about this situation,” it read.’

    “Following up the government regulations at the moment this makes me eligible to not be evicted and rent to be waived.”

    ‘In response, one agent from New South Wales wrote: “Could they at least word it better.”

    “This makes them sound like a spoilt brat kid and says to me ‘I’m an entitled twit, and I deserve to not pay rent and there’s nothing you can do about it because the government said so’.”

    ‘Another wrote: “Am I the only one who hasn’t had any sh***y tenants expecting to live rent free for 6 months. How lucky am I’.’

    ‘The discussions indicated agents were reluctant to enter into rent negotiation as dropping the rent is covered by some landlords insurance.’

    “I understand having compassion and all, but ensure you protect your rights as a landlord too, especially if you yourself are experiencing financial hardship,” wrote one agent.’

    ‘Some members of the 11,000-strong group shared different templates for financial hardship forms that requested the tenant take out their superannuation to pay rent. On Saturday, most of those posts had been deleted, or admin had made it clear no one was allowed to offer financial advice, after ASIC said they would crack down on the practice.’

    ‘Some agents were upset with the announcement, with one arguing: “Saying you can access your super is hardly financial advice. That’s like saying to someone you should buy that house/car.”

    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/2020/04/04/coronavirus-rent-agents/

    1. Wonder how that 14 year old kid who purchased a million dollar house in Australia is doing….

      1. I think you are referring to Akira Ellis in Melbourne.

        While looking for an update about him, I came across this gem:

        “In June a father concerned by Sydney’s housing affordability crisis bought his children, aged ten and seven, a $1.5million home as a ‘safety net’.

        Project manager Mathew, who declined to give his surname, purchased a three-bedroom terrace home in Marrickville, Sydney’s inner-west for $1,555,000.

        He told Daily Mail Australia the house is for his daughters Ivana, ten, and Yolanda, seven, who he is worried will be priced out of the market when they are older. ”

        https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5668689/Mystery-millionaire-buys-daughter-2million-terraced-HOUSE.html

        That was just one of many. Apparently these rich parents were all in on the belief that real estate only goes up! I wonder how any of them feel now?

  3. Housing prices were cratering long before Chinese Flu Panic

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

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

    *Select price from dropdown menu on first chart

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

  4. As someone with a (unused) CA real estate license I’m starting to get emails from places like Chase saying that they’re getting a sudden spike in the number of delinquencies in the last 30-60 days. I assume they really mean the payments that should have come in a week ago. They are inviting all agents to register with them to start receiving emails on what’s going to be available. Seems a little early to me, so I’m thinking it might just be hype at the moment. But it’s interesting because I’ve never seen it before.

    1. If you are right, they must be speculators.

      Foreclosing on an actual household is hard, on a family is harder.

      Foreclosing on an investment property that was described in mortgage documents as a personal purchase? Perhaps Chase believes from the gleeful reaction to the problems of AirBNB to think that may not be a problem.

    2. Unpossible…

      This stuff just started three weeks ago…

      How do you get 90 days behind so quickly?

    3. Realtors and other self employed individuals can get PPP forgiveable loans.

      The rollout has been less than efficient but BofA will start funding loans this week apparently.

  5. Major bummer.

    The Financial Times
    Coronavirus
    UK government admits Covid-19 antibody tests don’t work
    Ministers had hoped tests would pave way for an easing of lockdown restrictions
    Government plans had included at-home antibody testing kits, though the medical community had questioned this approach
    © Ciro Fusco/EPA/Shutterstock
    Camilla Hodgson and George Parker in London
    13 hours ago

    The UK government has admitted that none of the 17.5m antibody tests it ordered in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic work well enough to be used.

    Ministers had high hopes that the arrival of the tests would give a much clearer picture about how many people had been infected by Covid-19, paving the way for an eventual easing of lockdown restrictions.

    The failure of the tests is a significant setback and suggests Britain may be further away from being able to launch an effective programme of mass testing.

    The government is working with nine companies that have developed coronavirus antibody tests, which screen for whether someone has recovered from the disease and is likely to be immune. The tests are being assessed by researchers at Oxford university — but each one has so far proven unreliable.

    “Sadly, the tests we have looked at to date have not performed well,” wrote Professor John Bell, Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford university on Monday.

    “We see many false negatives (tests where no antibody is detected despite the fact we know it is there) and we also see false positives. None of the tests we have validated would meet the criteria for a good test as agreed with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency. This is not a good result for test suppliers or for us,” he said.

    1. Like Oxy says, medical science is moving at lightening speed.

      Just not forward.

      Remember when the real scientist in India told us it was a Frankenstein hybrid between the flu and HIV?

    2. ““Sadly, the tests we have looked at to date have not performed well,” ”

      Sounds like a good candidate for 100 billion ipo.

  6. I finally figured out how to overcome my weekend shopping woes: Head out on an unseasonably cold, stormy night in the middle of a virus outbreak. I completed roughly the same amount of shopping as on my trip of last weekend in well below half of the time, thanks to no forced social crowding outside of the stores. I was able to replenish my alcohol supply, increasing my optimism about making it through the remainder of the Stay at Home order.

    And I think I counted two others besides myself out of maybe 100 people I saw not wearing masks, down from a 50/50 mix two days ago.

    1. To say that more clearly, only about 2 out of 100 people I saw did not have on a mask. It was a couple, and the guy looked like one of those rebellious old guys (I probably made the same impression on them). The wife had a mask around her neck “just in case” but her mouth and nose were uncovered.

      Nobody coughed or sneezed within earshot during my entire 30 minutes of time inside of two stores.

      1. “ To say that more clearly, only about 2 out of 100 people I saw did not have on a mask”

        Guess we are out numbered my friend…

        1. Nested on the wrong post. This was for “ Do you know how many grocery workers there are in the entire country”

    2. I’ve been hitting a smaller Wal Mart for our shopping needs. The Kroger I usually go to is crowded, they may or may not have handiwipes to clean the cart, poorly stocked, etc.

      The Wal Mart has the mandatory line out front but I go at 630 am (can’t buy beer until 7 am) when there’s no line. They have an employee cleaning carts and controlling the # of people going in etc. Apparently this week they started doing one way isles, etc.

      Perhaps it’s an over reaction but with an immunocompromised wife i’d rather be safe then sorry.

      1. To their credit, our area stores have quickly adopted great precautions to keep shopping safe for the immunocompromised in the face of great uncertainty about the true case rate in the general shopping public. My grumbling over the inconvenience is somewhat in jest, as until more Californians are tested, erring towards precaution seems warranted.

  7. It seems like cruises have been especially problematic during the COVID-19 outbreak, particularly with respect to mass exposure at the point of disembarkment.

    A Florida man dies days after hundreds of people exposed to coronavirus walked around the world’s busiest airport
    By Faith Karimi and Dianne Gallagher, CNN
    Updated 8:09 AM ET, Fri April 3, 2020
    (CNN) Kevin and Ryan Sheehan will never know whether their father heard them say goodbye on speaker phone.

    Tom Sheehan, 68, was fighting for his life in Sarasota, Florida, with what he thought was bronchitis, but turned out to be Covid-19. He was hospitalized on March 21, a day after he returned from a cruise on the Costa Luminosa.

    What was supposed to be an adventure of a lifetime started with a coronavirus outbreak at sea and ended with him and hundreds of others on a chartered flight to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. After hours of prolonged exposure with infected people, health officials cleared hundreds of passengers, leaving potential patients moving freely in the world’s busiest airport.
    Some of the passengers who got on flights all over North America said they feared they’d exposed others to infection.

  8. They don’t have to sell their house just because it’s underwater, but it’s going to freak a lot of people out because their mindset was all about the free equity generated by rising prices.’”

    Embrace the suck, greedheads.

  9. “Landlords are slashing rents by hundreds of dollars a week and some are even temporarily cutting asking prices in half, in a bid to get tenants through the door as demand slows amid the coronavirus pandemic.

    Love watching these greedy bastards who had their way with renters so long in a desperate race with other greedy landlords to snag the pool of decent creditworthy renters.

  10. ‘As soon as I dropped [the price] I had five inquiries, but we’ve still had it for 10 days at that price and no one has taken it.’”

    Get to sawin’ and slashin’ like you mean it, then Ms. Gillman. It’s a thing of beauty to watch true price discovery lay waste to greedhead dreams of funding their retirement on the backs of renters.

  11. Doesn’t Wyoming have sufficient social distancing without a government decree? The only place I recall seeing a crowd during my visits there was inside of Yellowstone National Park during tourist season.

    Jackson Hole News
    Wyoming one of 9 states refusing to issue stay-at-home order
    Buckrail 11 hours ago Wyoming
    Wyoming one of 9 states refusing to issue stay-at-home order
    Wyoming has plenty of wide open spaces where cows outnumber people. Photo: Nick Sulzer // Buckrail

    JACKSON, Wyo. — Social distancing? Wyoming has been doing that for over a century, Senator John Barrasso told Fox News.

    Wyoming leaders including Governor Mark Gordon—the man who would ultimately make the call—have come under media scrutiny and pressure to establish a formal stay-at-home order. The Cowboy State is one of nine who still have not done so. A recent story in USA Today noted those states have one thing in common: they are all governed by Republicans.

    Wyoming is different, though, argue Gordon and Barrasso. The state’s wide-open spaces and low population means its residents don’t often come into close contact with one another without some real effort.

    “Wyoming doesn’t need a formal stay-at-home order in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic because people in Wyoming have been social distancing for 130 years,” Barrasso says.

    1. “because people in Wyoming have been social distancing for 130 years”

      Cowboy + Cowgirl + haystack = non.social.distancing. 🤔🙄🤠

      (Barrasso’$ been ridin’ up on “Broke.Back.” mountain fer to long a spell eye reckon.)

  12. Real Estate Institute of Australia president Adrian Kelly said the residential industry was hoping for a rent assistance package after billions of dollars in subsidies were delivered to tourism and other coronavirus-hit sectors.”

    Good luck with that. The outrage when Airbnb tried to get a bailout tells you how politically popular it would be to bail out greedy landlords who have been gouging tenants for years thanks to the central bankers’ asset bubbles.

  13. Mr Kelly warned real estate agents could also be on the brink as commissions taken from rental payments dry up and property managers are let go.

    Die, speculator scum.

  14. FAUCI loves him some Coronavirus Vaccine

    FAUCI AND BIRX BOTH HAVE BIG-MONEY BILL GATES CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

    APR 4, 2020

    Here is what Gates said regarding Chloroquine in a Reddit Ask Me Anything session:

    “There are a lot of therapeutic drugs being examined. This is one of many but it is not proven. If it works we will need to make sure the finite supplies are held for the patients who need it most. We have a study going on to figure this out. We also have a screening effort to look at all the ideas for Therapeutics because the number being proposed is very large and only the most promising should be tried in patients. China was testing some things but now they have so few cases that that testing needs to move to other locations,” Gates said.

    Gates Is Funding Coronavirus Vaccine Candidates That Would Compete With Chloroquine, And Dr. Fauci’s Agency Is Co-Partnering On The Project

    https://yournews.com/2020/04/04/1548319/fauci-and-birx-both-have-big-money-bill-gates-conflicts-of/

      1. If all you need is a week’s rest and pop cheap and readily available pills, expensive vaccination would be a moot case.

        As I understand seasonal flu vaccination is still a big business.

    1. The Financial Times
      Opinion Markets Insight
      Markets still too sanguine about coronavirus threat
      Path to reopening US economy will be long and marred by stops and starts
      Not all US states have issued ‘stay at home’ orders © Bloomberg
      Matthew Harrison yesterday

      Markets have been buoyed by the extraordinary actions of central banks and the hope that although the Covid-19 pandemic has spread, the US has not reached crisis levels.

      But we believe that optimism will be shortlived, as the reality sets in that the path to reopening the US economy is going to be long, and marred by stops and starts. It will be fully resolved only when vaccines are widely available in spring 2021, at the earliest.

      Our research suggests that early social distancing is the best way to avoid a painful path to peak cases, or a sustained decrease in day-on-day new diagnoses. But with 20 states still not issuing “stay at home” orders prior to April, we worry that the US could face one of the longest periods to peak globally. The market is underestimating the midterm risk to the economy from a delayed US peak and the likely volatility that could cause for risk assets.

      South Korea took around 10 days from lockdown to peak, while China took 15. Our models suggest that Italy will take roughly three times South Korea. The market seems to assume the Italian experience is the right proxy for other western countries, but the data suggest US cases are growing at a faster rate than Italy’s.

      Further, we question the ability of the US to ramp up the extensive testing that was effective in controlling the spread of the virus in South Korea. In particular, the city of Daegu, which has around 70 per cent of all Korean cases, tested twice the amount per capita compared to New York. We estimate the US will need testing capacity of around 1m a day — or 10 times its current capacity. We do not expect that until May. This lack of investment will further delay the US recovery.

      However, we do believe the US can start to come out the other side by late April. This would put the initial US peak at around three times longer than China’s and as much as 1.5 times Italy’s. However, as the US contemplates an initial reduction in social distancing to allow an economic restart, coastal governors will face the risk of imported cases from central states. Thus, we believe the overall peak in the US could be as much as four times China and two times Italy, implying an initial US reopening in mid-to-late May.

      Moreover, investors should appreciate that this will not be a “normal” reopening. The US can confidently return to work only after there is adequate capacity in hospitals; a broad public health infrastructure to support testing; robust contact tracing to curtail “hotspots”; and widespread availability of blood testing to see who is immune. We see this happening in waves starting in the midsummer.

      1. Yesterday I looked into getting an antibody test at the local blood bank where I donate. They don’t anticipate having them for a few more weeks.

        1. Perhaps try the Scripps Clinic Rancho Bernardo (across from Costco Carmel Mountain).

          1. Might be worth calling Quest Diagnostics or similar medical testing establishment…

      2. the markets are going crazy high right now. Dow futures up 750 this morning in addition to the 7% up on monday.

        The algos assume that 10% unemployment, rent deferrals, small business losses will have no impact.

        There was a moron on CNBC about 30 minutes ago – saying that S&P would be back to 3400 this year.

        I wish i could understand this stupidity

          1. Another consideration: Is the news getting better worse? Seems like there has been a major revision downwards in the protected 100,000+ deaths that were recently forecast to occur in the U.S., which were factored into last week’s stock market valuations. The recent dollar vacuum, margin calls, and new wave of subprime collapse are all forgotten in the race to buy the crater.

          2. “When profits crash…”

            Maybe Mr Market’s severe myopia will temporarily be disrupted, maybe a well-timed liquidity flood will enable Mr Market to overlook the predictable bad news, or perhaps Mr Market has already priced in predictably bad Q1 profits. If you and I already know profits will dip, doesn’t it seems like other market participants are also aware of this?

          3. “Is the news getting better worse? Seems like there has been a major revision downwards in the protected 100,000+ deaths…”

            Did you switch to decaf?

  15. The U.S. is hardly the only country with containment challenges.

    The Financial Times
    Anna Gross 8 minutes ago
    Russia sees record new cases dashing hopes of effective containment
    Henry Foy in Moscow

    Russia confirmed a record 1,154 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, the first time a daily addition has been over 1,000 people, damping hopes that Moscow has curbed the spread of infections.

    The country’s death toll rose to 58 after 11 people died overnight, the country’s coronavirus taskforce said.

    Russia’s total of 7,497 cases of Covid-19 is fewer than other major European countries but is steadily growing.

    The Kremlin has ordered all citizens to take a holiday for the whole of April and Moscow has imposed an almost total quarantine.

  16. I guess historians will keep calling it the Spanish Flu, even though it started in Kansas.

    Updated: Mar 27, 2020
    Original: Mar 11, 2020
    How U.S. Cities Tried to Halt the Spread of the 1918 Spanish Flu
    Dave Roos
    Apic/Getty Images

    In the late summer of 1918, the devastating second wave of the Spanish flu arrived on America’s shores. Carried by World War I doughboys returning home from Europe, the newly virulent virus spread first from Boston to New York and Philadelphia before traveling West to infect panicked populations from St. Louis to San Francisco.

    Lacking a vaccine or even a known cause of the outbreak, mayors and city health officials were left to improvise. Should they close schools and ban all public gatherings? Should they require every citizen to wear a gauze face mask? Or would shutting down important financial centers in wartime be unpatriotic?

    When it was all over, the Spanish flu killed an estimated 675,000 Americans among a staggering 20 to 50 million people worldwide. Certain U.S. cities fared far worse than others, though, and looking back more than a century later there’s evidence that the earliest and most well-organized responses slowed the spread of the disease—at least temporarily—while cities that dragged their feet or let down their guard paid a heavier price.

  17. Here’s one for Ben:

    —————
    Grocery workers are beginning to die of coronavirus; At least four people – who had worked at Walmart, Trader Joe’s and Giant – have died from covid-19 in recent days

    By Abha Bhattarai
    April 6, 2020 at 3:06 p.m. EDT

    …A Trader Joe’s worker in Scarsdale, N.Y., a greeter at a Giant [local grocery chain] store in Largo, Md., and two Walmart employees from the same Chicago-area store have died of covid-19,

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/04/06/supermarket-workers-deaths-coronavirus-/
    —————-

    Largo isn’t that far from my neck of the woods. I’ve never seen a “greeter” at a Giant before. It seems like the absolute worst place to be.

      1. Michigan Rep. Karen Whitsett credits hydroxychloroquine, President Trump for her recovery from COVID-19

        10 hours ago .

        DETROIT – State Rep. Karen Whitsett (D-Detroit) found out she had tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) the day her friend and House colleague died from it.

        Her health was deteriorating fast and she prevailed upon her doctor to get hydroxychloroquine for her.

        “I thank God the president of the United States mentioned that drug because it did save me,” Whitsett said.

        An Executive Order issued by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer made it harder to come by the drug and as of yet there is no science that definitively proves it works.

        https://www.clickondetroit.com/news/local/2020/04/07/michigan-rep-karen-whitsett-credits-hydroxychloroquine-president-trump-for-her-recovery-from-covid-19/

      2. Big warning: HCQ appears to have a major interaction with metformin, a diabetes drug — at least in mice. If this translates to humans too, that would be pretty bad news. Diabetes is a huge risk factor, and those with diabetes are probably taking metformin. So the people who get sickest with COVID can’t even take the most promising drug. 😕

        https://www.forbes.com/sites/victoriaforster/2020/04/05/researchers-warn-that-covid-19-treatment-touted-by-trump-may-be-toxic-when-combined-with-diabetes-drug/#17fb4eb555f8

        1. The 7 people out of 1000 sick COVID-19 patients who died in the hydroxychloroquine study Dr. Oz talked about on Laura Ingraham’s show last night probably had some underlying illness.

          But I’m willing to bet the 993 sick COVID-19 patients who survived weren’t all marathon runners either.

    1. “At least four people – who had worked at Walmart, Trader Joe’s and Giant – have died from covid-19 in recent days”

      Do you know how many grocery workers there are in the entire country, and how many have died recently of other causes, such as seasonal flu? Taken out of context, numbers like these are hard to assess, as are most of the COVID-19 data that have been cited in the MSM.

      1. “At least four people – who had worked at Walmart, Trader Joe’s and Giant – have died from covid-19 in recent days”

        These headlines are aways off from the kind of headlines you were posting a few weeks ago that helped shut the economy down and send the masses home to cower in place.

        The worst-case scenario estimates 1.7 million deaths in US due to coronavirus

        New York Times|Last Updated: Mar 14, 2020, 11.17 AM IST

        Read more at:
        https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/international/world-news/the-worst-case-scenario-estimates-1-7-million-deaths-in-us-due-to-coronavirus/articleshow/74623030.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

        1. I don’t write the headlines. I merely post what seems relevant to the discussion here. Early this year, trolls showed up to b!tch that the virus news was off topic to housing, while some geniuses predicted that housing would go up even as stocks were cratering.

          Nowadays it’s a challenge for Ben to keep up with the flood of coronavirus-related housing market crater news.

          The Wall Street Journal
          World
          White House Projects 100,000 to 240,000 U.S. Coronavirus Deaths
          ‘This could be a hell of a bad two weeks,’ Trump warns, urging Americans to continue social-distancing measures
          White House Presents Data Projecting Up to 240,000 Coronavirus Deaths
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          White House Presents Data Projecting Up to 240,000 Coronavirus Deaths
          White House Presents Data Projecting Up to 240,000 Coronavirus Deaths
          Dr. Deborah Birx presented data Tuesday, used to extend federal social distancing guidelines through April, projecting the death toll could be as much as 100,000 to 240,000 even with mitigation efforts.
          Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images
          By Alex Leary,
          Jennifer Calfas and
          Chong Koh Ping
          Updated April 1, 2020 3:26 am ET

          1. mystery of where it originated

            The beloved IHME model. I refer you to my “$hit input, $hit output” comment further down this thread.

    2. “A Trader Joe’s worker in Scarsdale, N.Y., a greeter at a Giant [local grocery chain] store in Largo, Md., and two Walmart employees from the same Chicago-area store have died of covid-19“

      This is the best they could do… so 4 grocery store workers in the entire U.S of A have died from this flu? How many people do we have in the US? How many workers at grocery stores? I have a feeling doing the math the odds of this flu mortality in grocery store workers will come out looking quite minimal

      1. It seems to me that contrary to the Narrative, we were not unprepared. Unlike China, which had stories of people being turned away from overwhelmed hospitals, even hot spot NYC was able to handle the load of patients, even though our official infection numbers dwarf China’s. Heck, NYC’s numbers are bigger than China’s and they’ve been able to handle it just fine.

        1. Heck, NYC’s numbers are bigger than China’s and they’ve been able to handle it just fine.

          Believing China’s numbers was your first mistake.

          1. Believing China’s numbers was your first mistake.

            Of course. I’ve said in other posts that their numbers are at least an order of magnitude more than they will admit.

          2. I’m still thinking those numbers that their website was showing for very brief periods that were approximately 10x the numbers that showed most of the time were probably their best data at that time.

  18. Mr. Market believes the federal government will succeed in re-inflating asset prices to the benefit of older generations and the rich, even as tens of millions of ordinary people face a further ratchet down in the diminishment of their lives and future — when they will be presented with the bill for all of this.

    Again.

    Can they do it? Is there anyone else willing to say they shouldn’t, that an asset price collapse that shows older generations, the rich, and the financial sector that they can’t continue to take more and more if everyone else is poorer and poorer, would be better for our society in the long run?

  19. The following numbers are from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) as of the end of the 3rd quarter, 2019:

    Total credit to the non-financial sector (core debt), % of GDP

    Greece – 294.1
    Canada – 303.2

    https://stats.bis.org/statx/srs/table/f1.1

    The following BIS chart shows Canada’s total credit to its non-financial sector (core debt), as a percentage of its GDP from 1990 to the end of the 3rd quarter of 2019:

    (In 2006 it was 213)

    https://stats.bis.org/statx/srs/tseries/CRE/Q.CA.C.A.M.770.A?t=f1.1&c=&p=20193&i=6.10

      1. I think it means that Canada is in worse shape than Greece. And a few years back Greece was constantly getting their debt restructured by the ECB.

      1. Remember the Mexican debt crisis of the early 1980s? That country is less than 100% of GDP! I guess we borrowed money to buy all that stuff from Mexico.

        We may regret Trump’s wall if this keeps up. Americans may be trying to sneak across the border in the other direction.

  20. So when will all the fire sale /garage sales/storage unit sales start. i could use a newer mac mini and a macbook air, cheeeeeap!

  21. Word is starting to get out, that COVID-19 deaths are being drastically undercounted. There were plenty of people who blasted China for doing so, but it isn’t easy, unless you want to waste scarce tests on corpses in the middle of a crisis.

    https://gothamist.com/news/surge-number-new-yorkers-dying-home-officials-suspect-undercount-covid-19-related-deaths

    “As of Monday afternoon, 2,738 New York City residents have died from ‘confirmed’ cases of COVID-19, according to the city Department of Health. That’s an average of 245 a day since the previous Monday. But another 200 city residents are now dying at home each day, compared to 20 to 25 such deaths before the pandemic.”

    It could be more COVID-19 deaths. It could also be people who would have died in a hospital otherwise, of other causes, so no net gain. And it could be people who would NOT have died of other causes, if they had been willing or able to get to a hospital.

    The real data will eventually be presented after the fact, when it can be tabulated. It will be based on the change in the death rate, compared with the expected death rate.

    https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2020/04/03/covid-19s-death-toll-appears-higher-than-official-figures-suggest

    “Official death tolls for covid-19 may exclude people who died before they could be tested. They also ignore people who succumbed to other causes, perhaps because hospitals had no room to treat them. The latter group has been large in other disasters. For example, when Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico in 2017, America recorded only 64 deaths. A study later found that the surge in total deaths was close to 3,000. Many occurred in hospitals that lost power.”

    “Journalists and scholars have crunched their own numbers. L’Eco di Bergamo, a newspaper, has obtained data from 82 localities in Italy’s Bergamo province. In March these places had 2,420 more deaths than in March 2019. Just 1,140, less than half of the increase, were attributed to covid-19. “The data is the tip of the iceberg,” Giorgio Gori, the mayor of Bergamo’s capital, told L’Eco. “Too many victims are not included in the reports because they die at home.”

    1. I think it may be over counted in western world imo. People could be dying of other diseases, but since they tested positive with covid, “Yep it’s the Coronabeer!”

      We will never know the truth I guess.

      1. “I think it may be over counted in western world imo.”

        +1

        Going to be real tough to keep people obeying their “stay at home order” if they don’t.

        1. Going to be real tough to keep people obeying their “stay at home order” if they don’t.

          There were a few guys out this way impersonating cops, pulling people over and asking why they weren’t staying home. They never got caught, but apparently stopped doing it. The minimum sentence here for impersonating a cop is 12 months in prison.

          I went out to get a take and bake pizza yesterday evening. The street traffic was noticeably down. I preordered it and it was ready when I got there. The lone dude running the place was wearing a mask. I prepaid on the website so I was in and out of there in about 20 seconds.

      2. Expected deaths, based on past rates, could be compared with actual deaths. That will tell us about the extras.

      3. http://www.healthdata.org/covid/faqs#length%20of%20the%20epidemic

        Why are your estimates different than those produced by other organizations? How are yours different?

        Our model is designed to be a planning tool, and is informed by the shape that other COVID-19 outbreaks are taking, in terms of deaths, around the world and across the US. Other models may use other approaches, such as assuming a population where everyone was equally likely to interact with everyone else, and model different scenarios such as the absence of, or different levels of, social distancing. These models are useful for motivating action to prevent such worst-case scenarios, while our model is designed to specifically address the planning needs of hospital administrators and local governments. (emphasis added)

        TL;DR: $hit input, $hit output

    2. Too many victims are not included

      If the official C-virus death toll in the US reaches 100,000, it will not be a statistically significant number. Roughly 3,000,000 die every year +/- 300,000.

  22. Centreville, VA Housing Prices Crater 32% YOY As One Fairfax County Broker Conceded, “There Is Fraud In Every Transaction”

    https://www.movoto.com/centreville-va/market-trends/

    *Select price from dropdown menu on first chart

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

  23. We’re running out of oil…tanker ships, that is!

    Markets
    The Most Profitable Trade: ‘Oil All Over the Oceans Right Now’
    By Javier Blas
    and Alex Longley
    April 3, 2020, 9:00 PM PDT
    – Crude oil tankers booked in droves for floating storage
    – Donald Trump: “Every ship is now loaded to the gills.”
    – Trump Pushes for OPEC+ to Reach Deal on Oil Cuts

    To outsiders, the oil trade of the day is so astonishing that even President Donald Trump sounded flabbergasted when he described it.

    “There’s oil all over the oceans right now. That’s where they are storing oil; we have never seen anything like that,” Trump said this week from the podium of the White House. “Every ship is now loaded to the gills.”

    With oil demand in freefall, traders are resorting like never before to using the world’s fleet of supertankers as temporary floating storage facilities, filling them with millions of unsold barrels until better times. It’s an unusual trade, but one that’s among the most lucrative around right now, just when everyone on Wall Street struggles to make money.

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