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Homeowners Have Been Quick To Offload Units At Steep Losses

A report from the Huffington Post on Canada. “The COVID-19 pandemic has taken the steam entirely out of Toronto’s housing market, with home sales falling by 76 per cent in the week ending April 5, new data shows. In terms of home sales, ‘it is certainly the biggest drop we have ever seen in Toronto,’ said Doug Vukasovic, a prominent Toronto real estate agent who released the data. The average detached home fell 9 per cent to $1.25 million, while the average condo price dropped to $613,403, a 4 per cent decline from a year ago.”

From CBC News in Canada. “Canada’s real estate industry appears to be heading into a deep freeze despite the warming spring weather. Vancouver real estate agent David Hutchinson thinks April ‘is just going to fall off a cliff.’ Hutchison is worried values will fall along with the number of transactions. ‘We don’t know where prices are going to go. I mean, why would you buy something now if you perceive prices are going to go down in the future, which may very well be.'”

The York Region in Canada. “As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt modern society and crash the global economy, the once-soaring real estate market in York Region is expected to brace for a hit — for an indefinite period, an real estate expert says. Drawing on past experiences, Romana King, director of content at Zolo said, the market will start to see an increase of mortgage defaults and panic selling and those who own property as investments will be the ‘first casualties’ in the coming financial woes. ‘The biggest take-away’ King pointed out is that homeowners don’t have to ‘crystalize the loss’ if they don’t need to during this temporary situation.”

The Times of London in the UK. “The proportion of homes bought by landlords has fallen to a record low as a combination of Covid-19 and tax changes drives buy-to-let investors from the market. According to Aneisha Beveridge, head of research at the estate agency, a combination of these tax changes starting to bite and the Covid-19 pandemic have led to a fall in landlord purchases. ‘We started to see landlords pull away from the market in February. People expect property prices to fall, and rents to fall or level off.'”

From The NL Times. “After years of skyrocketing prices and ever increasing home sales, the coronavirus and measures to curb it will be a blow to the Dutch housing market. ABN Amro expects that the number of households in trouble will rise less rapidly than during the credit crunch. But, the bank warned, ‘if house prices fall further in the coming years, for example because the economic downturn is taking longer than expected, more homeowners will be flooded by their mortgage.'”

From Edge Prop Malaysia. “FMT reported Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents President Lim Boon Ping saying agents had been receiving calls from property owners who were keen on selling them. ‘Homeowners say they don’t mind giving 20% to 30% discounts to buyers,’ he added. Property valuer Huan Cheng Kee told FMT he expected the prices of apartments to drop because of a ‘massive oversupply.'”

From Outlook India. “Over half the number of luxury homes launched in India over the last three years remained unsold reflecting a muted demand for such homes in the real estate market, a recent study has found. According to data collected by PropTiger.com, a total of 1,131 housing units, priced over Rs 7 crore, were launched in India’s nine prime residential markets during the three year period between December 2016 and December 2019. Of these, 577 units or 51 per cent remained unsold as of January 2020.”

“In terms of absolute numbers, the financial capital of India, Mumbai, has the highest number of unsold luxury units (30,015), followed by India’s pharmaceutical capital Hyderabad (8,554) and the Silicon Valley of India, Bengaluru (5,794) in third place, according to the report.”

The South China Morning Post. “The Covid-19 pandemic, which has pushed Hong Kong’s unemployment rate to a nine-year high, will put further pressure on housing prices in the city after they took a hit from the social unrest last year, according to market observers. ‘Even before the outbreak, home prices were already seeing a downward trend as a result of the social unrest in the city. The coronavirus is a very strong catalyst’ which has sped up the drop in home prices,’ said Alva To, head of consulting for Greater China at Cushman & Wakefield.”

“Homeowners have been quick to offload units at steep losses. A 2,047 sq ft villa at The Beverly Hills in Tai Po sold for HK$20 million this week compared to the original purchase price of HK$28.5 million 10 years ago, according to Century 21. Some 70 per cent of the 130 listings at the estate are being offered at a loss, according to Land Registry data compiled by Ricacorp Properties.”

From Stuff New Zealand. “Taupō rental property managers are predicting definite downward pressure on rents as homeowners, who may have previously listed on the likes of Airbnb and Bookabach, chase a diminishing clientele. A number spoken to this week had noted a burst of enquiries from owners previously offering short term rentals as restrictions pertaining to Covid-19 were being instituted.”

“Property Brokers property manager Joy Hoera, said whether they would all come through once movement restrictions were eased was another question but with an expected fall off in tourism generally she was expecting downward pressure on rents. However she expected a number of Airbnb type operators would be looking to rent out homes for at least six months and dropping prices as ‘some rental income was better than none.'”

From Domain News in Australia. “Rents across Sydney are tipped to fall and more properties are expected to be left vacant, as economic uncertainty takes its toll on the market. A return of short-term holiday rentals to the longer term rent market, a change in tenant circumstances and a drop-off in migration are all behind the jump, according to Domain senior research analyst Nicola Powell. Meanwhile Sydney’s vacancy rate rose 20 basis points in March to 2.7 per cent. There were an estimated 14,528 vacant rentals at the end of the month – 845 more than the previous month, with some landlords already slashing rents by hundreds of dollars a week to try get tenants through the door.”

“Maria Carlino, the national head of property management at The Agency, has seen the number of rental listings across the eastern seaboard jump about 30 per cent in recent weeks. At the same time, property inquiries from potential tenants has dropped about 35 per cent and days on market have increased.”

The Sydney Morning Herald in Australia. “Auction clearance rates have fallen off a cliff as buyers and sellers abandon the market in droves. Hayden Dimes and Felicity Emmett, economists at ANZ bank, say the shutting down of auctions and home opens has seen both both buyers and sellers evaporate. ‘As buyers and sellers dry up, we think properties that do trade through this shut-down period will see price falls,’ they say.”

From Bloomberg on Australia. “Thuy Pham has run two jobs for much of her working life, and a little over two years ago all that effort paid off when she realized a dream of buying her own home. As the coronavirus shutdowns have deepened, that’s started to unravel: first she was stood down from one job, then the other, and now she’s registering for welfare to help meet mortgage payments.”

“Like many in the workforce, Pham has never really experienced recession due to Australia’s enviable record of almost 30 years without one. But that has come with a less desirable record of highly indebted households and sky-high property prices. This raises the risk that the recovery could taker longer and could increase financial stability concerns if people can’t cover their loans.”

“‘I’m scared,’ said Pham, who found out she was among the rapidly swelling ranks of unemployed people on the very day she was due to meet her mortgage broker to take advantage of lower interest rates. ‘Everyone is saying it’ll be six months, but it could actually be longer.'”

This Post Has 165 Comments
  1. ‘I’m scared,’ said Pham, who found out she was among the rapidly swelling ranks of unemployed people on the very day she was due to meet her mortgage broker to take advantage of lower interest rates’

    But those rates are low Thuy!

        1. I see the Rimba Orangutan Ecolodge Borneo has air-conditioning as well as modern showers and toilets. I might have to reconsider visiting.

      1. Gotta love the matter-of-fact honesty of this reporter.

        “The prices would decline as apartment owners and real estate developers would offer more lucrative deals to tenants and buyers amid sluggish demand, while the office and retail property market had started to see decreasing rents, according to a report by property developer Colliers International Indonesia.”

  2. Over half the number of luxury homes launched in India over the last three years remained unsold reflecting a muted demand for such homes in the real estate market

    I wonder just who was supposed to buy them? I ask because I have colleagues in Bangalore who live in tiny flats with their family, even though they have titles like “Principal Software Engineer”

  3. It is still fooking insane…

    “The average detached home fell 9 per cent to $1.25 million, while the average condo price dropped to $613,403, a 4 per cent decline from a year ago.”

  4. Coronavirus outbreak
    ‘A disastrous situation’: mountains of food wasted as coronavirus scrambles supply chain
    Farmers are seeing produce rot in fields and dairy wash down drains as they rush to find areas of demand and prevent closures
    Susie Cagle
    Thu 9 Apr 2020 06.00 EDT
    Last modified on Thu 9 Apr 2020 21.09 EDT
    Jim Husk, farm manager, walks through a tomato field on DiMare farm in Homestead, Florida.

    Billions of dollars worth of food is going to waste as growers and producers from California to Florida are facing a massive surplus of highly perishable items.

    As US food banks handle record demand and grocery stores struggle to keep shelves stocked, farmers are dumping fresh milk and plowing vegetables back into the dirt as the shutdown of the food service industry has scrambled the supply chain. Roughly half the food grown in the US was previously destined for restaurants, schools, stadiums, theme parks and cruise ships.

    1. restaurants, schools, stadiums, theme parks and cruise ships.

      That right there is pretty funny. On average half of all Americans are in school, out to lunch or on holiday?

    2. stadiums

      That must be a lot of hot dogs. I recall reading that Disney was donating all unused food at its theme parks to food banks. Considering that on a normal day about 200,000+ people visit their parks in Anaheim and Orlando, that is a lot of food.

      1. Didn’t have to take the deeth.👾.germ$ to cause tho$e generou$ donation$.

        Di$ney.”$tand.in.line$”.land could’ve done tho$e charitable act$ since the 1990’$

    3. What pains me is that our food industry doesn’t have the infrastructure to at least can the meat or make cheese. Yes, Americans are living off their frenzied buys from last month. But when that runs out an people go back to the store, there will be another empty spot in the pipeline. I am seriously debating going out again to stock up even though I don’t need to, to prep for the coming hole that’s coming down the pipe 2-3 months from now.

      1. actually we are flooded with cheese our gov. stockpiles are at max, cheese has been on sale here all year

  5. AFAIR, someone here was interested in the Las Vegas rental market, video by former realtor:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wkgtres6xd8
    ———
    Bad week. I have been sick (not virus, all specialists closed or booked, only alternative is ER and like Jack Benny, I’m puzzling – my money or my life – not up for that kind of bill.)

    Right in the middle of the day one of the electrical outlets in a bedroom burst into flame. It was on the brink of getting completely out of control, but we managed to get it out. Firemen disappointed, we were chastised 🤮 Been without power for a week.

    Packed my daughter off to my brother’s where he’s showing off for her (chef); so glad she’s out of here. One of my cats ran away. Pics of fire:
    https://files.catbox.moe/1xgmfp.jpg
    https://files.catbox.moe/vab5u5.jpg

    Owner’s provided a generator. It’s been raining periodically, so we have to keep turning it off. Power’s supposed to be turned back on tomorrow.

    1. One of my cats ran away

      Sorry for your inconvenience. It could be worse. One of my good friends ran back into a house inferno to save her dog. She didn’t.

    2. Sorry ’bouts yer cat (they sometimes return) … my 15yr “lion.king” found his way the the “great.tall.grass.savanna” last week.

      The bird.brain community hath wasted no.time in celebrating on the “free.range” terra.firma.

    3. Cat’s a bit of a ho. He’s run away before; a woman up the block feeds him and he stays in her garage so I’m not as worried as I usually would be. Very handsome tuxedo cat, very sweet.

      1. The cat my sister used to “own” would make its rounds of her neighborhood getting Fed. I wonder how many of her neighbors considered it to be “their” cat?

          1. Another misconception: Human owners train their cats. My MIL’s cat had her trained to feed it canned tuna one day, premium cat food the next. The penalty for noncompliance? The cat went on a hunger strike.

    4. Jeez bad week.

      That looks like it was on the verge of getting completely out of control, in fact it looks like it was out of control and you guys saved the place.

      Bad things supposedly happen in threes, so you got that covered. Now I hope you feel better, your power comes back on tomorrow and your cat comes home.

      1. LOL, I hope not; worn out for the week.
        I had my face in the fire, looked up and saw my next door neighbor. I waved – she waved back – so funny. My husband was behind me screaming that we had to go, the smoke was getting very thick, but I was like hell no. Another neighbor dropped a hose through the window and that polished it off.

          1. That’s up there with the floating plastic milk container ac extension outlet for use in the swimming pool.

            Search for images.

            (Usually guys smiles on their faces & beers in their hands)

      2. “looked up and saw my next door neighbor. I waved – she waved back – so funny. My husband was behind me screaming that we had to go, the smoke was getting very thick, but I was like hell no. Another neighbor dropped a hose through the window and that polished it off.”

        Now that’s a story!

        You need to sell that to Tom Hanks or whoever wrote Grumpy Old Men.

    5. What was plugged into the outlet that made it get so hot ? High current x resistance and the resistance is a small wire or partially broken wire.

      The current is what was plugged in and pulling the power OR was the house built faulty ? There is so much crappy stuff out there now electrical too.

      1. I’ve seen outlets so worn out that tenants use a stick propped against the appliance’s plug at a 45-degree angle to keep it from falling out. When the appliance is running you can hear a sizzling sound and the outlet is hot to the touch.

      2. An electrical fire put out with water?

        I used to own a restaurant and we had a few fires over the 25 years. I know what you’re supposed to do for different types of fires. The fire didn’t continue up inside the wall due to the fire break (fire stop).

        There were boxes of papers nearby (the room is used for storage.) No, not against the outlet which, by the way, was not being used. The boxes were on fire. I grabbed a few blankets to smother it, then we started with the water.

        My nerves are frayed, otherwise I’d just brush comments off. I usually hestitate to post on here, due to the gratuitous nastiness, oneupsmanship and smugness of some posters. Not all the time, but often enough. Cheers oxide, redpilled redhead.

        1. My nerves are frayed

          Just a thought Tarara, when your nerves settle down consider having an electrician look over your distribution panel (circuit breakers) and maybe take the covers off some of the other outlets. It shouldn’t cost much.

  6. The Financial Times
    Coronavirus business update 30 days complimentary
    Coronavirus
    Asia struggles to find coronavirus exit strategies
    Border closures, lockdowns and rising infection rates frustrate economic plans in Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea
    Singapore introduced a near-total lockdown after a sharp rise in locally transmitted cases
    © AFP via Getty Images
    Edward White in Wellington, Kathrin Hille in Taipei, Stefania Palma in Singapore and Nicolle Liu in Hong Kong 2 hours ago

    For months Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea were lauded for their deft handling of the coronavirus.

    Death tolls were low and economically-crippling lockdowns avoided, in stark contrast to China, Europe and the US, which were accused of responding too slowly.

    The region’s mix of responses — mass testing, high-tech contact tracing, early border closures, social distancing and mask wearing — became the international standard in containment.

    Over recent weeks, however, the threat posed by new waves of infections has prompted a series of policy U-turns with lockdowns, border restrictions and extended isolation campaigns.

    The moves have dashed hopes for quick returns to normalcy for the public and economic recoveries. They have also raised questions over the countries’ exit strategies until a vaccine, treatment or prophylactic for Covid-19 is available.

    Singapore’s local infections spark lockdown

    Singapore this week became the starkest example of the region’s challenges.

    After stemming a wave of imported cases, officials are wrestling with a sharp rise in locally transmitted infections. A new outbreak hit its network of foreign worker dormitories, in which tens of thousands of migrants live in crowded conditions. Total infections in the city-state jumped more than 80 per cent in the past week to 1,910.

    The city-state of 5.7m people has now introduced a near total lockdown for a month. Schools and most workplaces are closed and social gatherings banned among people living in different households.

    Gan Kim Yong, health minister, conceded the country would have to continue tightening measures “from time to time” to slow down infection rates and maintain sufficient capacity in the healthcare system.

    Lawrence Wong, minister for national development and co-head of the coronavirus task force, warned: “We have to find measures that can slow down the virus in a way that is sustainable . . . all the way through until the end of the year,” he added. “We are in this for the long haul.”

    Hsu Li Yang, associate professor at the National University of Singapore, said: “We were definitely caught on the back foot.” He described the latest escalation in distancing measures as an “effort to jump one step ahead of the virus and try to bring it under control”.

    1. Meanwhile, the Washington Compost is publishing article after article after article after article (it just doesn’t stop) of how bad things are getting. It’s their vehicle to blame the entire thing on Trump and get him out of office. I think Trump is a goner anyway, but the agenda-pushing is annoying.

      The refrain — over and over and over — is that Trump could have stopped this virus. I really don’t believe he could have. When asymptomatic carriers can spread virus just by singing at them, when even the sick can spread the virus for 2 weeks both before and after symptoms, when it can travel through an AC system… there’s no stopping this unless you put the entire world into a coma for two months.

      I think we’re going to beat this with masks, treatments, and aiming for low inoculation to produce mild cases. Stock up on Tylenol, Benadryl, and zinc.

      1. I’m not a but Trump guy, but I agree that any sitting president, democrat or republican, would have a damn hard time stopping this. I doubt a democrat would have shut the entire economy down in February either just based on some CIA book report that “it could maybe be really bad.”

        The fact that the CDC screwed up the initial tests is not Trump’s fault.

        In my opinion the worst thing Trump did was try to downplay the severity of the virus, e.g. calling it the flu, which could have made people too complacent. But, it seems like in the end that didn’t hurt too bad. So on that subject all’s well that ends well, I guess.

        Yeah, WaPo really is horrible. And so is NYT. I mostly read Reuters these days.

        1. I believe the worst thing they did was to tell people that “masks don’t help,” and then do a 180 and say masks do help, and try to force people to wear masks. There is just no excuse for that. I think that even the dumbest Americans would have been able to understand if the CDC was just honest that they needed the masks for the health care workers.

        2. The problem is that Team D is running a “Benjamin Franklin Presidential Practice Professor” with a history of unclear statements and gaffs. I expected more – this is headed the direction of Idiocracy and President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho. Perhaps we’ll get one of these Team D governors to step up to the plate. Time will tell.

        3. It’s also not Trump’s fault that the CDC saw “no evidence” of asymptomatic transmission until it was too late. Not to mention the WHO was asleep at the wheel. For all their BS about “this is not the flu,” they sure as hell treated it like the flu by issuing the same tired flu advice that is decades old: wash your hands, stay home if you’re sick. DOESN’T WORK, dumbos.

          There’s even some evidence evidence that 6-foot social distancing is not enough. Which is a great help to all those businesses who are setting everything up based on 6-foot distance.

          1. It’s also not Trump’s fault that the CDC saw “no evidence” of asymptomatic transmission until it was too late.

            Maybe. Lots of people in China were saying it January to anyone who would listen.

  7. Does it seem like there are more too-big-to-fail entities this time than in 2008?

    Wall Street
    Too Big to Fail, COVID-19 Edition: How Private Equity Is Winning the Coronavirus Crisis
    Private equity has made multibillionaires of executives like Blackstone’s Steve Schwarzman (net worth: $17.5 billion) and Apollo’s Leon Black ($7.5 billion). Thanks to the $2 trillion bipartisan bailout bill, the industry’s coronavirus losses will belong to all of us.
    By Bethany McLean
    April 9, 2020
    Too Big to Fail COVID19 Edition How Private Equity Is Winning the Coronavirus Crisis
    By Patrick Semansky/AP Photo (Mnuchin); By Mark Wilson (Pelosi), Jason Alden (Shwarzman), Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg (Black), by Johannes EISELE/AFP (stocks), by Christina Horsten (tents), by John Nacion (ambulance); All from Getty Images.

    Ever since Congress voted to hand out $2 trillion in taxpayer money to those hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, American businesses have been scrambling for a piece of the action. Airlines, hotels, and restaurants—all of whose revenues have cratered in the wake of sweeping stay-home orders—have engaged in Hunger Games–like lobbying to cash in on the CARES Act, making their case for a share of the disaster relief. But among those angling for a federal handout is one of the wealthiest sectors of the American economy: private equity. These firms not only have a record $1.5 trillion in cash on the sidelines, waiting to be invested, but their CEOs are among America’s richest executives. So why should they be permitted to raid the federal Treasury in a time of crisis?

    The reason is as simple as it is galling: while great private fortunes, such as that of Blackstone’s Stephen Schwarzman (net worth: $17.5 billion and Apollo’s Leon Black ($7.5 billion), have been made from private equity’s march through the world, its losses, to a remarkable degree, will belong to all of us. That’s because some of the major investors in private-equity funds are public pension plans; at Blackstone, roughly one-third of the firm’s money comes from retirement plans set up to provide for over 30 million working-class Americans, according to someone with knowledge of its portfolio. So if Blackstone’s investments crater, the teachers, firefighters, and health care workers who are counting on those investments to generate the returns necessary to pay their pensions will suffer. Think of private-equity firms as the banks of the corona crisis: They are, for better or worse, too big to fail.

      1. First of all, public pension recipients are not the working class, they are the political/union class. A class that like the executive/financial class has become richer and richer relative to the serfs.

        https://larrylittlefield.wordpress.com/2017/11/26/the-executive-financial-class-the-political-union-class-and-the-serfs-redux/

        Can you imagine what it will be like if five years from now, the executive/financial class and the political/union class end up even better off, and the serfs worse off, yet again?

        1. Who does the working class call when they’ve ingested too much Oxycontin? That’s right, they call those trained union guys. 🙂

  8. OPEC+ deal to curb oil production held up by Mexico: report
    Published: April 9, 2020 at 8:41 p.m. ET
    By Mike Murphy

    Mexico is holding up a deal by the world’s largest oil producers, including Saudi Arabia and Russia, to curb production, Bloomberg News reported late Thursday. A tentative agreement to cut 10 million barrels a day in May and June was reportedly reached by the OPEC+ nations earlier in the day, apparently ending a months-long price war, but Bloomberg reported Mexican officials refused to go along with the proposed cuts to its production, and walked out of marathon videoconference negotiations. Delegates told Bloomberg they hope to convince Mexico in further talks Friday. The proposed deal required all parties to cut production by 23%, Bloomberg said. Crude prices (CLK20, -7.57%) sank Thursday after investors worried the deal wouldn’t be enough to offset a sharp drop in demand due to coronavirus-related shutdowns around the world.

      1. Last eye looked it was x1 U$D $1.00 = x24 Pesos

        $audi$ + Ru$$is & OPEC+ + U$A

        (- Venezuela + – Libya + – Iran + – Mexico) = thee ab$olute end$ to “Demand$.De$truction!”

        Vanqui$hed!

        mB$ & Putain 🎉

    1. A friend now tells me he is getting three weeks to the gallon. I’m not quite at those levels I’m probably only getting just over a week to the gallon.

      1. Funny. 🤑

        ($ome would argue it$ never been a better time to own a Te$la!)

        All charged up & nowhere’$ to go!

  9. Any bits of a country economy that are reliant on Chinese tourists, Chinese student’s or Chinese property buyers had better hibernate for the foreseeable future, they ain’t coming back till a vaccine is rolled out.

    1. How about the entire west coast housing market? Wasn’t it driven to unprecedented heights by all-cash Chinese investors? How many of those folks are still out and about, driving prices up at double-digit annual rates?

    2. University of California charges a very high premium for crazy rich Asians and other out of country students. Mostly crazy rich Asians according to my oldest . Smoking cigarettes and driving 100K cars around and sometimes going to class. All gone ?

      1. These phony people with their phony money washing up on our shores, and ultimately with their disease, has done irreparable damage to this country. Why are we inviting our enemies here again?

      2. a very high premium

        AFAIK having attended two UC institutions as recently as 2017, there is only a distinction between CA resident and non-resident students meaning that foreign nationals pay no more than out-of-state students. For 2019-2020, nonresident undergraduates pay an additional $29,754 in nonresident supplemental tuition.

      3. Smoking cigarettes and driving 100K cars

        Eurotrash at Boston University circa 2000.

    1. The Hopkins COVID-19 graphs for India are looking very bad. Their curve is still climbing, even on the logarithmic scale. This virus clearly does not stop with hot weather. (That would make sense considering that our bodies have to run up a 104 temp for days to kill it.) India doesn’t have the option of working at home or socially distancing. Even the substandard sewer systems are enough to spread this. I suspect this is going to run its course before a vaccine can be developed.

        1. Not really. This just tracks confirmed cases. They aren’t trying to model morbidity rate or total untested infections.

        2. It’s the only data we have. Just don’t take it at face value, like MSM reporters do.

        3. One of the greatest modern economists was Kenneth Arrow. During WWII he served as a weather forecasting officer in the U.S. Army Air Corps, assigned the difficult task of producing month-ahead weather forecasts as the date for Omaha Beach approached. A thorough man, he had his team review the accuracy of his forecasts: they confirmed statistically that they were no more accurate than random rolls of dice. So he cabled the High Command to be relieved of this seemingly futile duty. Arrow’s recollection of his superior’s response was priceless: “The commanding general is well aware that the forecasts are no good. However, he needs them for planning purposes.”

          1. “The commanding general is well aware that the forecasts are no good. However, he needs them for planning purposes.”

            Exactly!

      1. A devastating toll in populous Third World countries certainly is one concern. Another is that the virus may evolve to other versions to which those who already had it are not immune. This is believed to have occurred in the battlefields of Europe in WWI, leading to the deadliest 2nd U.S. wave of the 1918 flu pandemic outbreak when the mutant strain returned home with the troops.

          1. “2 mutations per month” seems to be an incomplete metric, unless one reveals the number of cases per month assumed.

          2. I’m considering that a month of the virus propagating through the population of India is different than a month in Luxembourg.

          3. Coronavirus appears to mutate roughly one-third to one-half the rate of the influenza virus

            This relativity. I’m seeing a lot of conflation of this coronavirus and influenza viruses.

          4. This sounds like a double edged sword. I thought that viruses usually (not always) mutated to something less virulent, not more. In which case a higher mutation rate would be better.

          5. The Logic of Life
            Author: Francois Jacob

            Also by Francois Jacob Sexuality and the Genetics of Bacteria ( with E. H. Wollman)

            (Eye’d recommend starting @ page 201 chapter on “Birth of genetics”)

            (Statistics & mutations & all that fascinating stuff. Good rainy day book.by.a.fireside read.) ☕ …🍷

            https://epdf.pub/the-logic-of-life.html

          6. usually (not always) mutated to something less virulent, not more

            Mutations are replication errors. They’re not purposeful.

          7. “…usually (not always)…”

            Let’s say “evolved” in reference to mutations that survive in the population. It’s often the case that virulent strains evolve into something more benign, as the most severe cases quickly become fatal, reducing transmission opportunities relative to more benign cases which linger*.

            However, COVID-19 is somewhat unique in its wide range of effects, from asymptomatic to lethal, and its ease of transmission. Set loose in a densely populated country lacking in modern sanitation infrastructure, it could evolve into something worse through many rolls of the genetic dice over a short period of time, with the advantage of limited social distancing among people who need to work in the community in order to put food on their tables.

            * I first heard that from a dinner guest who was a medical researcher and an adult piano student of my wife. She’s now a VP of a pharmaceutical company.

          8. conflation of this coronavirus and influenza viruses.

            It’s easy to get confused. One has an innie and one has an outie.

          9. It’s easy to get confused. One has an innie and one has an outie.

            So what happens when they get together? 🙂

          10. what happens

            Please, no! People have a hard enough time with mutations from replication, understanding that viruses are chains of nucleic acids not steel links as well as an underappreciation of our immune systems that have served us well for quite a long time.

  10. ‘We don’t know where prices are going to go. I mean, why would you buy something now if you perceive prices are going to go down in the future, which may very well be.’

    I think you answered your own question. Now bend over and pull your pant down

  11. The Financial Times
    Opinion The FT View
    The Fed’s radical policies are uncharted territory
    Untangling the distortions to free market capitalism will take time
    The editorial board
    Jerome Powell, chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, waits to begin a Senate Banking Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020. Powell came close to acknowledging that the central bank may not have the firepower to fight the next recession and called on Congress to get ready to help.
    Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg
    Fed chairman Jay Powell: in contrast to the rest of US bureaucracy, the central bank has been unshackled
    © Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg
    The editorial board 19 hours ago

    A joke doing the rounds has it that on confronting an alien invasion, the first thing the US would do is cut interest rates. The gag is only moderately unfair: an absence of political leadership, and the White House’s undermining of American bureaucracy, have left the Federal Reserve as the first defence in the face of economic crisis. This may help in the short term. But socialising risk on the balance sheet of the central bank stores up problems for the future.

    The scale of measures partly reflects lessons learned during the 2008 crisis. Moves to stabilise the financial system that took months to be instigated then were launched much more rapidly in response to the economic disruption caused by coronavirus. Swap lines with foreign central banks were introduced almost immediately, quantitative easing programmes were restarted and the Federal Reserve has intervened directly in money markets and corporate financing to take the burden off banks in a time of stress.

    In total, these policies will extend the reach of the central bank much further into the US economy than ever before. Analysts at Bank of America forecast that the Fed’s balance sheet will reach $9tn by the end of the year, or about 40 per cent of US national income. Proportionally, that will bring the Fed roughly in line with the European Central Bank, though still far below the Bank of Japan, whose assets amount to more than 100 per cent of national income.

    1. “But socialising risk on the balance sheet of the central bank stores up problems for the future.”

      Didn’t this already happen in the response to the 2007-2009 financial crisis? So far, so good.

    2. “Analysts at Bank of America forecast that the Fed’$ balance $heet will reach $9 Trillion$ by the end of the year, or about 40% per cent of US national income.”

      Poor, aq.dannyboy is gonna have to dig through 8 looooong years of B.Hussein’s data $earching to find a “$aving.grace” number to show how thee.🍊.jesus’$ 2020 U$ deficit$ is far better$ than the tike.from.Kenya.

      $ad.

  12. Hidden toilet paper stash leads to violent fight between California family members

    https://www.mercurynews.com/2020/04/09/california-family-members-get-into-a-fight-when-one-accuses-the-other-of-hiding-toilet-paper/

    A family in California experienced firsthand the effects of the toilet paper shortage — but their experience turned violent in their own home.

    A 26-year old Saugus resident was arrested and charged with battery Tuesday after a dispute over the family’s stockpile.

    Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Shirley Miller told CNN deputies responded to a Saugus home around 3 a.m. Monday for a family disturbance. The sheriff’s department said a man allegedly punched his mother.

    “This is the first arrest I’ve heard of that started out over an argument over toilet paper,” Miller said.

    The son accused the mother of hiding the toilet paper. The mother admitted to it and told deputies it was because her son was using too much, Miller said.

    The mother declined medical treatment, Miller said.

    ***

    Wow, fighting for toilet paper at the store can be dangerous, but who knew hoarding “white gold” can be hazardous even after you take it home…

    Interestingly enough last year I bought a piece of land in Saugus (Santa Clarita) at the LA County a tax deed auction for $3700 (20000 sq ft lot).

    1. “deputies responded to a Saugus home around 3 a.m. Monday for a family disturbance.”

      What can one “infer” from this sentence.

      “Watson, the game is afoot!”

      1. What can one “infer” from this sentence.

        A family disturbance call-out is among the most dangerous.

        1. 3 a.m.

          (Perhaps toilet paper is knot alls theys was storin’!) 🍾🍷🍸🍹🍺🍻🎉🎉

  13. The Financial Times
    Fund management
    Coronavirus fight helps lift global equity funds
    Second straight week of inflows as investors switch back into stocks
    Colby Smith and Eric Platt in New York yesterday

    Global equity funds notched their second straight week of inflows after suffering from a string of outflows, as nascent signs emerged that the spread of coronavirus was being curtailed in parts of the US and Europe.

    The shift by investors has helped support an intense 25 per cent rally in US stocks off their March lows, including the best weekly gain by the benchmark S&P 500 since 1974. The inflows followed repeated intervention by policymakers to stabilise financial markets and stimulate economic activity.

    Portfolios investing in global equities pulled in $18bn for the week ending Wednesday, more than double the $8bn in inflows seen in the previous seven days, according to EPFR Global data.

    For the five weeks ending March 25, investors yanked a cumulative $94bn from global equity mutual funds and exchange traded funds, as volatility erupted across financial markets and the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak began to take shape. Investors instead flocked to short-term government bonds and other cash-like products, fuelling record inflows into money market funds.

    The equity inflows preceded the Federal Reserve’s announcement on Thursday that it would provide an extra $2.3tn in loans to support small businesses and municipalities struggling because of the coronavirus outbreak. As part of the plan, the central bank also expanded its involvement in corporate debt markets, giving itself the authorisation to buy riskier junk bond exchange traded funds.

  14. Total deaths 95,758
    Confirmed cases 1,603,330

    Death rate in confirmed cases
    95,758/1,603,330 = 6%

      1. NY deaths 7,062
        NY confirmed cases 161,807
        NY death rate = 4%

        The first problem with a calculation of this sort is the denominator. At this point “tests” are being done at a couple dozen different labs in NY and nobody is offering a total number of test done statistic. Let’s take a wild guess at 1,000,000. Let’s also take an educated guess at the accuracy of the test and call it 15% false positives. That makes the number of confirmed cases 161,807 +/- 150,000.

        The second problem is the numerator. The new CDC guidelines on Vital Statistics, even idiopathic deaths are registered as COVID, just because.

        One might as well pocket dial on their smartphone calculator, and if they get 6%, show +/- 6% immediately following. (maybe +/- 94% ?)

    1. Total deaths

      At 17,927 COVID-19 deaths in the US as of this morning, we’ve blown well past the Swine Flu deaths of 2009-2010, which was being used as an example early on of something much more deadly than this. It took over 60 million cases of H1N1 to kill 12,469 people, while less than 500,000 cases of COVID-19 have taken many more lives. That’s why our entire economy is shut down.

      1. “17,927 COVID-19 deaths in the US”

        It’s a little hard to take this number seriously when slip-and-fall fatalities are being counted as COVID-19 deaths, such as this one:

        https://www.lehighvalleylive.com/coronavirus/2020/03/2nd-coronavirus-patient-dies-in-lehigh-valley-he-was-61-and-from-warren-county.html

        Excerpt: ” Lehigh County Coroner Eric Minnich confirmed the patient died Friday night at St. Luke’s University Hospital in Fountain Hill. He said the primary cause of the man’s death was a head injury from a fall at home, but that the virus was listed as a contributing factor to his death.”

        Or how about this:

        https://www.citizensvoice.com/news/first-coronavirus-death-reported-in-nepa-1.2610554

        Excerpt: “A 79-year old man from Lackawanna County became the first Northeast Pennsylvania resident to die from the coronavirus… the man died of pneumonia … and had *several other serious medical conditions that contributed to his death*” (emphasis added)

        1. The CDC guidelines say if COVID then that is the cause of death.

          Also learned that there is a big Medicare payout to the hospital if the patient is COVID.

          1. Also learned that there is a big Medicare payout to the hospital if the patient is COVID.

            Did somebody post a link to this? I missed it but would like to read it. It’s something that definitely needs to be investigated. The reality is that we have two “sides” to this thing. One is reporting that the deaths are underestimated. The other is reporting they are overestimated. My hunch is it’s politics as usual. Blech.

        2. Right. And then we have the articles talking about the hundreds upon hundreds of COVID-19 deaths which are not being counted because coroners don’t have the test kits.

          The reality is that it’s the only number we have. Do you have a better source? If so, post it.

          1. the hundreds upon hundreds of COVID-19 deaths which are not being counted because coroners don’t have the test kits.

            Can you see a logical disconnect in that?

            People know your numbers are BS, but they need them for their calculations?

          2. People know your numbers are BS, but they need them for their calculations?

            MY numbers? Surely you jest.

          3. Sounds like a blame game.

            Are you saying you don’t think there’s a shortage of test kits and supplies?

          4. MY numbers

            No, not YOUR numbers. More of a general “you”. You-uns as they say in Western Pennsylvania.

          5. shortage of test kits

            Why would you allocate a relatively scarce resource at this point in time to diagnose after death when presumably anyone sick enough to die from COVID-19 would presumably have been previously seen and/or treated? Not snarky.

          6. Why would you allocate a relatively scarce resource at this point in time to diagnose after death when presumably anyone sick enough to die from COVID-19 would presumably have been previously seen and/or treated? Not snarky.

            I am not a coroner, so I don’t know why. But coroners across the country are complaining, so I’m sure they have their reasons. Do they have an agenda? Again, I do not know.

          7. Do I have a better source? No, it’s not my job to come up with one. I’m not going to just accept numbers that are obviously bogus because I don’t know the actual numbers. The burden of proof about the victim count is on those pushing to end human civilization in order to “save lives”.

          8. “Cambria County Coroner Jeff Lees says his death investigations have so far resulted in four negative coronavirus results with two pending.”

            Not a hot spot. Four negative results thus far. Not where you’d send a relatively scarce resource at this time. Yes, everyone would like more testing. At the same time, there seems to be an over-reliance on it. This epidemic/pandemic has exposed the weakest and arguably antiquated link in our national response: the CDC. I would expect changes regarding the CDC and our response after this but all in due course.

          9. Not a hot spot. Four negative results thus far. Not where you’d send a relatively scarce resource at this time.

            I wasn’t saying it was a hot spot, it’s just that coroners the country over are whining about a test kit shortage, hot spot or not.

          10. The WHO certainly did not impress either.

            We donate more money to the WHO than any other country, and they turned around and kowtowed to China as if the US didn’t exist. Trump was right – we should completely cut all funding to them.

    1. That’s one reason why the Case Fatality Rate statistics that are reported are likely an undercount, though it has been pointed out that calculating it as
      (deaths)/(deaths+recovereds) is likely pessimistic until after the outbreak, as recovery takes longer on average than the alternative.

      1. And all the points about the bad data are taken, although I’m less pessimistic about the degree of badness than some (i.e. I think some interpretation with the recognition of possible inaccuracies beats burying your head in the sand and hoping for the best).

  15. The Dutch economy has been greatly supported by the ever increasing
    home prices and the flip/rehabilitate industry. It is not the slam and bam like in Florida, Vegas etc. But there are a ton of regular folks doing this in the NL. this was all predicated that they have 4-6 months to rehab the property and by the time it was done – the prices will have gone up

    ————————-
    “After years of skyrocketing prices and ever increasing home sales, the coronavirus and measures to curb it will be a blow to the Dutch housing market. ABN Amro expects that the number of households in trouble will rise less rapidly than during the credit crunch. But, the bank warned, ‘if house prices fall further in the coming years, for example because the economic downturn is taking longer than expected, more homeowners will be flooded by their mortgage.’”

    1. “There aren’t many happy financing stories these days”

      The lender knows the odds of repayment are stacked against them, and the borrower realizes that all of their previous efforts will have been for naught. The broker, however, has collected their full commission when the deal closed.

  16. We can break even at $25 a barrel, says Enquest boss

    ‘Amjad Bseisu, the chief executive, said it needed prices to average $33 in 2020, and the higher prices seen in the first quarter left it able to withstand low prices for the remainder of the year. “We are positioned for a low oil price; We are assuming the worst, which is we are going to continue in this $25 scenario, and in that scenario we would be very well positioned,” he said. Enquest expects its cashflow to break even at an average of $27 a barrel in 2021.’

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/business/we-can-break-even-at-25-a-barrel-says-enquest-boss-drdhmm62s

    1. $ynchronized Global $lowing i$ a $ocial.media digital$ di$informational myth!

      “Demand$ De$truction?”, never heard$ of it, where’s you from Peoria?

    1. “Don’t fight the Fed.”

      Wait$ until they $tart purcha$ing Te$la equitie$, the howling$ from the repubican “tea.party” members will bee deafing!

    2. Weird I don’t get ? Oh well don’t fight the FED. I think the age of free market Capitalism is over . We are watching it die right now.

      1. I think the age of free market Capitalism is over . We are watching it die right now.

        It took a hard hard hit 11 years ago from which it has been in hospice ever since. The coronovirus has arrived dressed as Dr. Kevorkian.

    3. Can you imagine what it will be like in another five years if the C-suiters, the retired, and some other members of the political/union class have once again gotten richer off a crisis that once again left everyone else poorer?

      Can you imagine what will happen if there is any suggestion that anyone will lose anything as a result of the national debt?

  17. It’s been raining cats and dogs all night towards the end of one of the wettest San Diego rainy seasons since we’ve lived here. I’d love to visit a favorite seasonal waterfall nearby this weekend, but am afraid I might get arrested.

    1. Visit one of the many Indian rez in yer hood, they is “$overeign.Nation$ … La Jolla tribe gas on route 76 is probably @ $2.55 today.

    2. Posted 40 minutes ago
      The National Weather Service in San Diego has issued a

      * Flash Flood Warning for…
      Central San Diego County in southwestern California…

      * Until 1130 AM PDT.

      * At 833 AM PDT, Doppler radar indicated heavy rain falling across
      the warned area. Flash flooding is already occurring in a few
      locations. Additional rainfall of 0.2 to 0.5 inch per hour is
      expected for the next several hours.

        1. It’s an amazing storm, parked right over SoCal and barely moving. Still raining hard, and I just heard thunder…

          1. “…parked right over SoCal and barely moving.”

            Indeed, the storm’s core moved all day other than rotate counter-clockwise, i.e., a low pressure system.

          2. Getting worser…

            Weather Alerts-San Diego, CA

            Flash Flood Statement

            Alert area: Riverside; San Diego
            Posted 5 minutes ago
            …THE FLASH FLOOD WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 730 PM PDT FOR
            RIVERSIDE AND NORTHWESTERN SAN DIEGO COUNTIES…
            At 447 PM PDT, Doppler radar indicated continued heavy rains are
            still occurring across the warned area. Especially at risk are some
            areas in Northern San Diego County and the Southern Inland Empire.
            Partularly heavy shower cells occurring at the this moment in the
            Encinitas area with very heavy bursts of rain. Flash flooding may be
            imminent in these locations!
            HAZARD…Life threatening flash flooding. Heavy rain producing flash
            flooding.
            SOURCE…Radar indicated.
            IMPACT…Life threatening flash flooding of creeks and streams,
            urban areas, highways, streets and underpasses.
            Some locations that will experience flooding include…
            Oceanside, Carlsbad, Temecula, Vista, Encinitas, Lake Elsinore,
            Poway, Del Mar, Mission Beach and Fallbrook.
            Additional rainfall amounts of up to one inch is still possible in
            the warned area.
            FLASH FLOOD…RADAR INDICATED
            FLASH FLOOD DAMAGE THREAT…CONSIDERABLE
            Recommended actions
            Move to higher ground now. Act quickly to protect your life.
            A Flash Flood Warning means that flooding is imminent or occurring.
            If you are in the warned area move to higher ground immediately.
            Residents living along streams and creeks should take immediate
            precautions to protect life and property.

    3. Raining yea so are we still in a perpetual drought ? Before this rain I read the drought was back because they emptied the damns after the early rains of Nov and DEC.

    1. At this rate the economy would be shut down for nearly a year to get to “herd immunity.”

    2. Greatest Country In The World!

      The generations running it now should hang their head in shame.

    3. Open up the economy on May 1st. I can’t stand the Doctors running the World anymore.

      Firstly, this was to shore up the medical system that wasn’t prepared for a uptick in high risk cases. Now it’s going on 20 million laid off.

      When you have some Doctors wanting to shut down until a vaccine is discovered, we could be waiting for years for that.

      Our society was already health care nutty before this virus, along with climate change crazy based on models.
      High risk people need to be more careful no doubt, but can’t shut down commerce because the elderly can die from the flu. Maybe they need moon suits in nursing homes, I don’t know .

      People trapped in their homes watching the death tkcker on the big boards is a good way to create panic .

      Fat chance that in California there will be a return to normal commerce any time soon The Governors call the shots.

      1. Going from 2 months to 18 months lockdown is a big leap there. I was hoping to be on moderate lockdown until the end of June. But that’s because I can afford it. I have a house with a yard and I prepped for food and I can work from home. Most of America can’t do that.

        That said, I might not have a choice. One of the problems with working for the gov is that we follow the gov guidelines. In this case, that means when the CRAPPY excuse for a CDC says I need to go back to the office, I need to go back to the office. I’ll just wear a mask.

        1. oxide,
          Nobody wants to get this bug, but 98 percent of the population won’t get the extreme life threatening result, if the facts they are giving are true.

          I’m in the high risk group because of age. I just need to be .more careful . I don’t expect all commerce to be shut down and 2o million laid off because I’m higher risk.

          It use to be that policy was set based on the majority. Now policy is based on the minority. You can’t merit test in higher education anymore because people who can’t past the test might not qualify. We have to change bathrooms because a very small group thinks they aren’t the sex they were born into.

          This is crazy that the minority rules, it’s just plain nuts. Everybody should get Constitution rights, but where does it say that the majority must give up for the minority?

  18. The more I think of it, the majority has been screwed for the minority.

    Examples;

    One per centers verses the rest of the USA population.

    The Elite verses the private sector workers.

    Big Corporations verses USA workers. Big Corporations that think the World is their oyster. That they should not suffer any penalty for outsourcing jobs and manufacturing to other Countries.
    The USA citizens verses ilegals in which Citizens are expected to give welfare and health care to people who cross the border.

    It’s a strange concept that the majority should suffer for the wants of the minority, or the greed of the minority.

    No doubt that this absurd emphasis on minority groups, which includes the Rich getting favorable treatment, is not working.

    I have always said that the rich and the poor are the parasites eating up the hard working middle..

    The health care system trying to take about 4 trillion a year from the population is about 50 per cent more than it should be. The college costs are insane and real estate is another false price market.

    This is not capitalism. This is the minority rules by price fixing monopolies, in some kind of Globalism that is rigging the deck.

    1. Does it seem curious that the stock market just had its best week since 1974, at the very same moment when a huge share of Americans were newly laid off and most likely not in dip buying mode?

      It doesn’t take much imagination to guess what Unlimited Quarantinive Easing is doing to the U.S. wealth distribution.

      But…crisis!

      There are no atheists in foxholes or ideologues in a financial crisis.

      — Ben Bernanke

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