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This Is The Big Bad Wolf

A report from the Oregonian. “Tenants who still have a source of income are finding that rents are flattening, to their benefit. And some apartment managers, hoping to fill units in a market that had a recent flood of new buildings, are offering incentives and move-in specials. Harrison Tower near Portland State University, which is beginning its gradual reopening, will deduct up to $1,200, waived a pet deposit and application fees, and charge a $100 security deposit for new leases.”

The Silicon Valley Business Journal in California. “The San Jose metro area saw a 71% increase in the number of apartment properties watchlisted by loan servicers between mid-March and mid-June, with 12 multifamily properties flagged this month with total outstanding loan balances of $237.6 million. The nation’s months-long struggle to regain its economic footing amid the Covid-19 pandemic is stretching consumers to a breaking point, with the latest signs of distress flaring in the U.S. apartment market.”

“A Business Journals analysis of construction and mortgage data identified a significant pullback in multifamily building permits and building starts since February, when the initial coronavirus shocks hit the U.S. economy. The retrenchment foreshadowed pain and, in some circles, opportunities to come. As of June 15, the Business Journals identified 4,966 multifamily properties around the U.S. flagged by loan servicers for issues threatening their operations and financial health, a 46% increase over the 3,403 given the same ‘watchlist’ status in March.”

“While concerns ranged from low occupancy levels to maintenance needs, the vast majority of issues cited among the newly minted watchlist properties were related to Covid-19, according to dozens of loan servicer notes reviewed for this story. The reports are posted monthly by analysts who track commercial mortgages securitized and sold to investors ranging from large mutual funds to pension plans to retirees.”

“Overall, the San Francisco metro area saw an 11% jump in the number of watchlisted multifamily properties between March 15 and June 15, with loan balances on 119 such properties totaling more than $1.9 billion. To the south, the San Jose metro area had 12 multifamily properties flagged by loan servicers as of this month, with total outstanding loan balances of $237.6 million, marking a 71% increase in the number of watchlisted properties since mid-March.”

From Socket Site in California. “The weighted average asking rent for an apartment in San Francisco has now dropped to $3,825 a month. While that’s not exactly cheap, it’s nearly 7 percent ($275) cheaper than four months ago, 10 percent ($450) cheaper than at the same time last year and 14 percent ($625) cheaper than a 2015-era peak of around $4,450 per month. At the same time, offers of complimentary rent are on the rise, driving effective rents down even more.”

“The number of apartments listed for rent in San Francisco jumped again this month and there are now nearly twice as many apartments being advertised for rent in the city than at the same time last year.”

The Commercial Observer on New York. “The owner of a NoMad building sued flexible workspace provider Knotel for skipping out on its rent payments during the coronavirus pandemic, court records show. Knotel allegedly owes $169,040 to 25 West 26th Street Inc. — which property records tie to Brooklyn-based Noam Management — after it stopped paying rent from March until June for its 10,000-square-foot space at 25 West 26th Street, according to the lawsuit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court.”

“The suit, which names Knotel CEO Amol Sarva directly as the defendant, said that Knotel signed a 10-year lease for the entire third through sixth floors of the seven-story building in 2017. While Knotel paid its $39,776 monthly rent for the space in January and February, it stopped paying in March, according to the suit. It’s at least the second suit Knotel has faced over missed payments during COVID-19. Earlier this month, the owner of a San Francisco building sued Knotel for about $55,636 in missed rent, the San Francisco Business Times reported.”

“Knotel and the flexible office space market has been reeling during the pandemic as its members were forced to work remotely. Knotel has said that one-third of its members are looking for rent breaks, The Real Deal reported. In March, Knotel laid off 30 percent of its 400 employees and furloughed another 20 percent while 10 people on its management team slashed their salaries to cut costs, as Commercial Observer previously reported.”

The Associated Press. “Hotel owner and developer Danny Gaekwad survived steep drops in business after the 9/11 attacks and the recession of the late 2000s, but nothing prepared him for the revenue tailspin that followed lockdowns and travel restrictions in March to stop the spread of the new coronavirus.”

“At one hotel, a Holiday Inn in Ocala, Florida’s horse country, revenue last April was $38,000, a drop of almost 90% from the previous April. His problems were compounded by the type of loan he took out for the hotel — a $13 million loan that was bought by Wall Street investors. Commercial mortgage-backed securities loans like the one Gaekwad has for the Holiday Inn are packaged in a trust. Investors then purchase bonds from the trust using properties like a hotel as collateral.”

“The loans are attractive to borrowers because they typically offer lower rates and longer terms. About 20% of hotels across the U.S. use these loans and they represent close to a third of all debt in the hotel industry, according to the American Hotel and Lodging Association. Representatives of the bondholders often charge expensive fees to negotiate with the borrowers. They also have their own real estate portfolios and don’t mind acquiring new ones, so there’s less incentive to negotiate with borrowers compared to banks, which don’t want to be in the real estate business should a loan go bad, experts say.”

“‘This is the Big Bad Wolf. You have no idea what devastation CMBS loans will have on us,’ Gaekwad told Vice President Mike Pence last month during a forum on Florida’s tourism industry in Orlando. ‘If you don’t put it in a cage, it will finish us.'”

The Hartford Courant in Connecticut. “The drawings were beautiful and the promises so big and emphatic. The 58-acre former campus of the University of Connecticut in West Hartford would be rebuilt into a high-tech hub with a $400 million investment, transforming life in the region. You probably knew Fintech Village was another grandiose economic development fantasy.”

“Ideanomics, the parent company of Fintech Village, decided it would rather manufacture electric vehicles, and it was not going to do that in Connecticut. The West Hartford property is beset with hazardous substances, including PCBs and asbestos. All the players knew that when the project burst into public view in 2018 as a late gasp of the outgoing administration outgoing administration of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.”

“West Hartford’s dose of reality comes at a perilous time. It’s cheaper for the employer and saves employees the time and expense of commuting. A coronavirus vaccine many not change that. This would be a particularly bad moment for West Hartford to place a hefty wager on developing the site for business, as commercial real estate enters a period with what a real estate broker might call an oversupply of space.”

“When reality overtook fantasy on those empty acres where a dream factory would never be built, local officials trotted out a plan for a technology park and solar farm. Replacing one bad idea with two masqueraded as sound public policy until it became clear that no one was interested in building a technology park or a solar farm on the prime site by I-291. Today, a Home Depot distribution center is being built on what was to have been the new home of entertainment magic.”

“Economic development is drudgery, not performance art. The bigger the press conference announcing a plan, the higher our eyebrows should rise. Restoring jobs and opportunity in Connecticut will happen one company at a time, starting with someone who has an idea and decides this is the place it can thrive. It requires no elaborate drawings to dupe politicians and distract the public.”

This Post Has 176 Comments
  1. ‘The San Jose metro area saw a 71% increase in the number of apartment properties watchlisted by loan servicers between mid-March and mid-June, with 12 multifamily properties flagged this month with total outstanding loan balances of $237.6 million’

    I told rental watch this was going to happen.

    ‘This is the Big Bad Wolf. You have no idea what devastation CMBS loans will have on us’

    I’m staying at a Holiday Inn in Stockton right now. Nice place. Empty.

    1. You might ask, hold on Svengali, how did you see this coming in 2014?

      No crystal ball. I could see these guys were buying to flip. They were losing money on operations.

    2. Probably the first time in many moons that anyone said, “nice place,” inside the Stockton city limits.

  2. “Representatives of the bondholders often charge expensive fees to negotiate with the borrowers. They also have their own real estate portfolios and don’t mind acquiring new ones, so there’s less incentive to negotiate with borrowers compared to banks, which don’t want to be in the real estate business should a loan go bad, experts say.”

    Let’s take a look at this:

    The bondholders buy the bonds backed by the hotels thus they take on the risks. The hotel owners need the representatives of the bondholders to negotiate but they won’t because they themselves are in the real estate business hence they have an incentive for the hotel owners to default because then they can buy up the hotel on the cheap. Plus, if the representatives of the bondholders do choose to negotiate with the bondholders they will charge the hotel owners some heavy fees.

    So who is the winner here? I would say it is the representatives of the bondholders. The bondholders take on a risk, the hotel owners take on a risk, but the representatives, the guys in the middle, do not have any risk at all: Instead what these guys have is servicing income paid by extracted money from handling the bonds and an opportunity to put the squeeze on the hotel owners.

    Needless to say, I like it.

      1. “No one could’ve seen this coming…no one.” — Every policymaker, regulator, enforcer, and Real Journalist when our financial system implodes under the weight of its own fraud and avarice.

      2. Those CMBS loans sound quite systematically risky and too-big-to-fail. Bailouts may be needed to protect the global financial system from all-out collapse.

        1. Bonds News
          April 16, 2009 / 3:30 PM / 11 years ago
          Fed considers 5-year CMBS loans through TALF-WSJ
          3 Min Read

          WASHINGTON, April 16 (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve is considering offering longer loans to investors in commercial mortgage-backed securities as part of a plan to help jump-start the market for commercial real estate debt, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

        2. Here Comes the Commercial Bailout
          May 4, 2009, 9:26 am
          By Diana Golobay

          After months of watching from the sidelines, there are two newcomers to the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF) playground. The Federal Reserve on Friday announced commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) and securities backed by insurance premium finance loans as of June are eligible collateral for TALF participation. The additions are aimed at stimulating lending in the commercial real estate and small business sector by allowing private investors to purchase securities with a matching government investment. “The CMBS market came to a standstill in mid-2008,” Fed officials said in a media statement. “The inclusion of CMBS as eligible collateral for TALF loans will help prevent defaults on economically viable commercial properties, increase the capacity of current holders of maturing mortgages to make additional loans, and facilitate the sale of distressed properties.”

          1. Pandering for bailouts must be an interesting and lucrative livelihood.

            Real Estate
            ·6 min read
            Fed Stimulus Expansion Could Rescue Commercial Mortgage Market on Brink of Collapse
            Franco Faraudo · April 12, 2020

            For the first time in history, the world has voluntarily, simultaneously slammed the brakes on the giant economic train that we have created over the last few centuries. Businesses are closed, public places are off-limits and millions upon millions have been ordered to stay at home. The good news is, this seems to be working to help our medical system deal with the coronavirus we have all come to know as COVID-19. The bad news is, while we have demonstrated that we can stop the engine of the train, you can’t do the same with the other train cars that are lashed behind it. If this temporary stoppage goes on too long, we risk seeing the world’s financial baggage, unable to break under its momentum, come crashing into us, sending us into a financial crisis that would cause widespread recessions and all of the suffering that goes with them.

          2. Stealing the future of the children to make the reckless whole on their bad bets. Until this looting stops, the country cannot heal.

        3. Fast forward eleven years…

          Coronavirus business update
          Get 30 days’ complimentary access to our Coronavirus Business Update newsletter
          Capital markets
          CMBS investors seek relief from the Federal Reserve
          Yields on private-label deals have moved higher in recent weeks, sparking anxiety

          The MGM Grand hotel-casino: MGM got a $3bn loan from Citigroup in February. City Deutsche Bank, Barclays and Société Générale, have tried to sell $1.9bn of the loan to investors in the CMBS market.
          © REUTERS
          Joe Rennison in London and James Politi in Washington March 26 2020

          Investors in securitised products backed by commercial mortgages on hotels, casinos and malls are calling on the Federal Reserve to come to their aid, after a severe sell-off driven by the outbreak of coronavirus.

          The US central bank has already committed to injecting trillions of dollars into debt markets, buying up Treasuries, real estate mortgage bonds issued by government agencies such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and — for the first time — corporate bonds.

          But investors in commercial mortgage-backed securities, which take loans and slice them up into layers of debt with various levels of exposure to the default of the underlying asset, are calling on the US central bank to go further.

          The Fed has said it will purchase agency-backed CMBS, but that excludes vast swaths of “private-label” debt issued by hotel operators, casinos and other property owners that have come under pressure in recent weeks.

          “The market is very nervous,” said Gunter Seeger, a portfolio manager at PineBridge Investments. “The Fed should go further. Can you imagine they have a bailout for everyone under the sun — except the hotel industry? I find it hard to believe.

          The highest-rated triple A tranches of US CMBS have blown out to a yield of 3.6 percentage points above benchmark swap rates, from below 1 percentage point at the start of the year, according to data from Trepp. Lower-rated, triple B tranches have risen from less than 4 percentage points above swaps, to over 11 percentage points.

          The debts of hotels, casinos and retail properties have come under particular strain owing to their exposure to the economic fallout stemming from Covid-19, as countries descend into lockdown and consumers retreat into their homes.

          One B-rated tranche of a CMBS deal backed by a Hilton hotel in Honolulu has fallen from over 100 cents on the dollar at the start of the month to about 43 cents on the dollar on Thursday. “Clearly no one is going to a hotel at this point unless they have to,” said John Sim, an analyst at JPMorgan.

        4. Whistleblower: Wall Street Has Engaged in Widespread Manipulation of Mortgage Funds
          Securities that contain loans for properties like hotels and office buildings have inflated profits, the whistleblower claims. As the pandemic hammers the economy, that could increase the chances of another mortgage collapse.
          by Heather Vogell
          May 15, 7 a.m. EDT
          A whistleblower complaint accuses 14 major lenders, including Wells Fargo, one of the country’s biggest CMBS issuers, of widespread manipulation of mortgage funds. (Noam Galai/Getty Images)

          ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Sign up to receive our biggest stories as soon as they’re published.

          Among the toxic contributors to the financial crisis of 2008, few caused as much havoc as mortgages with dodgy numbers and inflated values. Huge quantities of them were assembled into securities that crashed and burned, damaging homeowners and investors alike. Afterward, reforms were promised. Never again, regulators vowed, would real estate financiers be able to fudge numbers and threaten the entire economy.

          Twelve years later, there’s evidence something similar is happening again.

          Some of the world’s biggest banks — including Wells Fargo and Deutsche Bank — as well as other lenders have engaged in a systematic fraud that allowed them to award borrowers bigger loans than were supported by their true financials, according to a previously unreported whistleblower complaint submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission last year.

          Whereas the fraud during the last crisis was in residential mortgages, the complaint claims this time it’s happening in commercial properties like office buildings, apartment complexes and retail centers. The complaint focuses on the loans that are gathered into pools whose worth can exceed $1 billion and turned into bonds sold to investors, known as CMBS (for commercial mortgage-backed securities).

          Lenders and securities issuers have regularly altered financial data for commercial properties “without justification,” the complaint asserts, in ways that make the properties appear more valuable, and borrowers more creditworthy, than they actually are. As a result, it alleges, borrowers have qualified for commercial loans they normally would not have, with the investors who bought securities birthed from those loans none the wiser.

          ProPublica closely examined six loans that were part of CMBS in recent years to see if their data resembles the pattern described by the whistleblower. What we found matched the allegations: The historical profits reported for some buildings were listed as much as 30% higher than the profits previously reported for the same buildings and same years when the property was part of an earlier CMBS. As a rough analogy, imagine a homeowner having stated in a mortgage application that his 2017 income was $100,000 only to claim during a later refinancing that his 2017 income was $130,000 — without acknowledging or explaining the change.

          It’s “highly questionable” to alter past profits with no apparent explanation, said John Coffee, a professor at Columbia Law School and an expert in securities regulation. “I don’t understand why you can do that.”

        5. Pressure Builds For A CMBS Bailout
          June 23, 2020 | Dees Stribling, Bisnow International

          A group of 105 members of Congress from both parties are asking the Federal Reserve and the Trump administration to bail out the faltering commercial mortgage-back [ sic ] securities market

          1. Yes.

            And this article is only accessible to Bisnow subscribers. If you find any MSM articles on the bipartisan Congressional CMBS bailout coalition, please post.

    1. “… there’s less incentive to negotiate with borrowers compared to banks, which don’t want to be in the real estate business should a loan go bad, experts say.”

      So common sense should tell the borrower that he should borrow from the bank instead of these Representatives of the Bond Holders because the banks have an incentive for the hotel borrowers to succeed while these Representative guys have an incentive for the hotel borrowers to fail.

    2. “Commercial mortgage-backed securities loans like the one Gaekwad has for the Holiday Inn are packaged in a trust. Investors then purchase bonds from the trust using properties like a hotel as collateral.”

      More yield chasing insanity brought to you courtesy of the Fed goon squad.

      1. With the availability of Unlimited Quarantinive Easing, it should be no problem to cobble together a bailout to resurrect dead-as-a-door-nail hotel CMBS.

  3. “charge a $100 security deposit for new leases.”

    Yeah, that’s gonna bring out the quality tenants…

    1. we are following some Oahu real estate. And for kicks Maui

      Basically, they are hoping that rich west coasters and japanese start to buy houses and condos so that they dont have to stay in the hotels.

      Apparently (rumor – have not seen the facts), there are a few $5M luxury homes that are getting ready to be sold on Maui for these rich techies.

      Who the hell knows? If i were a rich man — i would rent a fancy place for the few months that I needed/wanted … and buy later (2022, 2023)?

      1. The whole state is in cr8r mode, with Maui the tip of the spear and the county with the highest unemployment in the country. I finally realized that almost all the homes coming on the market had granny units – owners were using them as STRs.
        Carlos Santana is selling his mansion for 4m that he apparently bought last year February for 3.7. I see nicer places in better areas for half that.
        Also saw a condo come on the market, bought same time Carlos did for 600k, the jackhole is asking 900k. That guy must be a colossal drag.

        The mandatory 2 week quarantine for travelers is supposed to end August 1, you have to test negative 72 hours prior to your flight. I’m dubious widespread testing will be available by then. I think the only reason the state is opening is because uncle sugars extra money is running out and the corrupt idiotic government here doesn’t want the focus on them after the high wears off. Long established businesses are closing for good and the scum pols just voted to give their puppet master unions raises. Insanity.

        1. They must be counting on a D landslide in November, and the mother of all bail outs to follow.

          If that doesn’t happen there are going to be a lot of sad pandas on the islands.

          As for reopening, without tourism I don’t see how that will make a difference. When the extra $600 a week expires next month, things could get ugly there, and fast. They might have no choice other than to let anyone visit, no tests required. And even then, who’s gonna go?

        2. Let us know if you figure out how the 72 hour window is supposed to work. Sounds like another insane policy that may fail to allow visitors.

    2. 17 octogenarians with COPD and diabetes died from a flu like virus In Hawaii a couple of months ago so the only rational response is to prevent anyone else in the 14+ million population not getting a steady government paycheck from being able to support themselves for the foreseeable future. Seems perfectly logical to me.

      1. And death number twelve didn’t die of the covids but was marked as death by covid anyway. I did a double take when I heard it on the radio.

        And this was a soft travel ban since the feds control the airlines. Interestingly, military were exempt. We’ve had national guard at all airports, even the small private ones for months.

        The state claims they are close to signing some sort of contract with CVS to provide testing. Supposed to run $160, 1400 locations. Not sure why the hospitality industry isn’t kicking in a few bucks, they’re the ones hurting the most but with the uncle sugar money it seems most are content to surf, fish, hunt, etc. Fresh fish is incredibly cheap right now.

        1. “Fresh fish is incredibly cheap right now.”

          Must reflect a larger drop in demand (tourism) than supply (fresh fish are still in the water, and fisherman are still catching them).

    3. Seems like the the two weeks quarantine requirement on visitors to Hawaii had about the same effect as an outright ban on visitors. Their tourism industry seems to be dead in the water.

        1. A 95% accurate test assuming an even split of negative and false positives still gives 2.5 false positives in every 100. That’s 25000 out of every 1 million. There is no reasonably achievable level of accuracy in these tests at the scale they are testing that will allow the economy to reopen if every time a few people test positive an entire community goes on lockdown. Life on earth is hazardous. It always has been. The medical/pharmaceutical/health insurance industrial complex is not going to change that aspect of the human condition. Drugs, better tests, vaccines are not going to rescue us. Eat healthy, get plenty of fresh air and exercise, and cultivate a healthy mental attitude and take reasonable precautions. That’s the answer.

          1. A 95% accurate test assuming an even split of negative and false positives still gives 2.5 false positives in every 100.

            The way the CDC discusses this in their pre-Covid papers on the type of testing that is being used is 20% false negatives / 10% false positives. This uncertainty only gives a statistically useful result when the true rate of infection is much higher than 10%. (40%?) Guidance on the population, not so much on the individual. The voices of authority don’t talk about this, they apparently want us to be and stay hysterical, and the whole world that watches our “cases” numbers as our number of tests explodes.

          2. “…if every time a few people test positive an entire community goes on lockdown. Life on earth is hazardous. It always has been.”

            Hawaii has been consistently on the extreme precaution end of the COVID-19 response spectrum, resulting in a low case count and a collapsed economy. Seems like they could get a lot more economic activity to return by incurring just a little more risk.

          3. If General Patton were alive today, I don’t think he would hide in his basement afraid of an invisible virus. Looking at you, Joe Biden.

          4. Biden is now getting out more, just as all of us are. I still want to know who his VP is going to be. She will be the one running the country.

          5. Biden is now getting out more, just as all of us are. I still want to know who his VP is going to be. She will be the one running the country.

            If it’s Kamala Harris, you can kiss this country goodbye, if it’s not already too late.

          6. It’s already too late.

            But if I were making a bet, I’d put money on Harris. She’s a black female, making her a preferred candidate by Democratic vetting standards.

          7. It’s already too late.

            Even if Trump manages to hold on, it’ll be just four more years until the communists finally take over. And when that happens the housing bubble will the least of our worries.

          8. “If it’s Kamala Harris, you can kiss this country goodbye…”

            Or how about a Transgender VP on the ticket? They’ve already lost the silent majority, so it’s just another modern tragedy to keep the plebs awake.

          9. She’s a black female, making her a preferred candidate by Democratic vetting standards.

            How is a whoring daughter of Indian and Jamaican immigrants married to a Jewish Caucasian supposed to appeal to the African-American community?

          10. How is a whoring daughter of Indian and Jamaican immigrants married to a Jewish Caucasian supposed to appeal to the African-American community?

            LOLZ.

  4. In their latest financial results Nike is reporting a net quarterly loss of $790 million…. That’s a big deal. However, given the defensive excuses over the COVID-19 shutdown, that loss alone isn’t the big story. Their year-over-year sales are down 38%, which tells us the downward spiral has been happening for a lot longer than a quarter.

    How bad were their results? To give you some perspective most financial analysts in the industry were looking for a profit target around seven cents per share. The result Nike reported was a loss of 51 cents per share. That is a massive disparity.

    In my opinion, having tracked MAGA and Anti-MAGA companies and effects, what Nike was doing in much of last year was hiding and deferring income losses due to sales declines. They did this because the larger goal was to hide the impact of their branding shift. Nike didn’t want people to know how much backlash they faced, so they used every mechanism possible including inventory manipulation to avoid showing losses.

    However, as with all revenue and profit hiding schemes inside large corporations (and there are many that can be used) eventually you run out of ways to hide profit losses as a result of top-line collapses. Eventually inventories are trued up; eventually supplies need to be replenished; eventually extended -and or renegotiated- vendor payments need to be made; eventually it’s going to catch up to you. In my opinion, this is what’s happened.

    Total revenue was down 38% to $6.31 billion from $10.18 billion a year ago. Sales in North America were down 46% ( link)

    Nike saw the COVID-19 economic contraction as a way to hide a top-line and bottom-line collapse that has very little to do with the coronavirus.

    COVID-19 is their cover, not the principle cause.

    Evidence to support my review found in the action that Nike takes after releasing their $790 million profit loss. Remember, this bottom line loss is the direct result of the top line collapse. The raw material doesn’t cost more (it’s actually less); inflation didn’t chew up their import pricing (it’s actually less); they are buying in dollars which are actually stronger; energy costs are not higher (they are actually less) and Nike has not been hurt by tariffs because Chinese devaluation of currency (beyond the tariff cost) has actually helped raise the profit equation for many importers. This loss is all about the top line.

    Nike immediately responds by saying (emphasis mine):

    Nike CEO John Donahoe announced in a company-wide email on Thursday that the brand will soon be “forced to make some difficult choices” that will “likely result in a net reduction of jobs.“

    The email, viewed by Complex, comes after Nike posted a net loss of $790 million in its latest quarterly earnings report on the same day. The company attributed the loss in part to the strain COVID-19 placed on its business globally.

    […] Donahoe ensured that the reductions in staff would “not be done for cost reasons.” The CEO also said they were not a response to the coronavirus pandemic.

    Instead, he wrote, the restructuring is a remedy to the “overburdened matrix” the company has become. He said the planned cuts are meant to simplify how Nike works and increase speed and responsiveness.

    The email offers few details with respect to who among the brand’s thousands of employees will be affected.

    It mentions that workers at Nike’s retail stores, distribution centers, and manufacturing facilities are not expected to be cut. But Donahoe also wrote in it that Nike does “not yet know how many jobs will be reduced, nor who will be specifically impacted.”

    The layoffs are scheduled to happen in phases, the first one concluding in late July and the last one in the fall. ( more)

    Notice how everything in those statements seems to contradict itself and provides no clarity as to why such a stunning loss would be recorded? Again, my hunch is that Nike has been playing ‘hide the loss’ ever since their stupid business decision to rebrand as apparel only for social justice warriors.

    Nike purposefully cut-out half the population of their largest market in order to virtue signal to their leftist peers and retain cocktail party invitations. Consequences from those painfully stupid -and brutally political- mistakes cannot be avoided forever. That’s the larger background.

    ……………………………………………

    Next up Gillette? Or maybe the Housing Bubble? “Hide the losses” can only be played so long.

    1. I see Under Armour is also trying to get out of its stadium deal. Must be hard times in the high end sports apparel business.

      1. Yes, i think so too.

        Watching sports used to be an enjoyable escape for me. However, with their pandering and virtue signaling to SJWs, i’m done watching professional sports.

        Amazon started promoting BLM so i down voted all their promotions. Every single movie or tv show they recommended.

        1. I guess when you worry about how to pay the mortgage, taxes, insurance and depreciation knowing your losses are mounting, the last thing on your mind to buy is a $40 polo shirt.

          1. All of these pro sports are digging their own graves. I don’t think they’ll recover. Their revenue is going to absolutely plummet.

            Here is my prediction:

            The management in the different sports will suddenly brown. Once the takeover is complete, they will demand that the networks and their advertisers keep paying full freight for broadcast rights, even if broadcast ratings collapse (they will of course be falsified). Any corporation who tries to back out from advertising will be labelled as racist. All will comply.

      2. Must be hard times in the high end sports apparel business.

        I guess when you worry about how to pay the rent, the last thing on your mind to buy is a $40 polo shirt.

        1. Unless you’re a truly serious athlete, you can get by with shorts and T-shirts from Wal-mart or Kohls. No need for expensive mall stuff. These companies were on their way out for years before COVID hit.

          1. I’ve met people (athletic types) who refuse to wear under armor knock offs, even though they were broke.

          2. Very true. When you are a serious athlete, the cheap stuff from Wal Mart simply doesn’t last. You end up replacing shorts each year.

            A good pair of athletic shorts can last years. They are worth the money if you are serious and use them often.

      3. Per WSJ in November 2019, federal authorities were investigating Under Armour’s accounting practices in a probe examining whether the sportswear maker shifted sales from quarter to quarter to appear healthier.

    2. In my opinion, having tracked MAGA and Anti-MAGA companies and effects, what Nike was doing in much of last year was hiding and deferring income losses due to sales declines.

      I remember when the SJW’s claimed that Nike was doing great and that pandering to the anthem protesters was actually helping the bottom line. So much for that lie.

      And now that countless mom n pop sneaker retailers have be KO’d by the lockdowns and the looting, they won’t be ordering new inventory, ever.

      It always struck me as hilarious to see poor people paying $200+ for a pair of sneakers. On the rare occasion when I buy a new pair, my criteria is:

      1) Comfortable
      2) On sale, preferably under $50
      3) Not ugly or garish
      4) Brand is irrelevant.

          1. I buy much of my clothing at Kohls but I seem to be out-of-touch.

            Despite my shirts, pants, and short purchases after trying them on in a clean comfortable environment (and using my 30% off coupons combined with 50% off sales and my Kohls cash), Kohls stock continues to decline.

            Perhaps my completely full cart that comes out to $20 has something to do with it.

            Perhaps too many people are using the 50% off sales with 30% off coupons and Kohls cash and it is hard to make a profit with $20 for a cartful of stuff.

            I asked once and they told me they make it up in volume.

            Macys has the same model.

        1. New Balance 608s for me. Good general shoe. They’re consistent from year to year so I don’t have to try them on anymore.

      1. people paying $200+ for a pair of sneakers.

        It’s ALLLL about reputation. I remember the Timberland brand as being a rather low-key outdoorsy company, like LL Bean. Their boots had a little tree logo; their T-shirts had a little tree logo on them. About 15 years ago, for some reason Timberland became very popular in diverse city environments. Suddenly, those Timberland boots and T-shirt suddenly acquired huge tree logos. On the boots, the logo was embossed on the entire tongue, meant to be seen when the tongue was stuck out of the shoe instead of laced up. On the t-shirts, the tree took up the entire chest (on an XXXL , that’s a lot of ink).

        The only reason I could think of for this is that the new Timberland clientele wanted those tree logos to be recognized from a block away. Customers were willing to pay a higher price for this reputation.

    3. I’m a jogger that used to like the Nike Free Run shoes for street jogs. I have some shorts and shirts that have lasted me a decade and thousands of miles.

      I switched to a different brand when I got new trail shoes last year. I won’t go back to Nike. When I replace shirts and shorts I’ll look elsewhere, too.

      The hypocrisy of running Asian sweatshops while signaling support for the oppressed in America was too much for me.

      1. The hypocrisy of running Asian sweatshops while signaling support for the oppressed in America was too much for me.

        Exactly. These virtue-signaling pukes are absolutely despicable.

    4. Couldn’t of happened to a better company! Too bad their employee and not the executives will bear the burden of their decision.

  5. The movie studio proposal that was going to turn South Windsor into Hollywood East lingered for years.

    Jennifer Granholm peddled this same bullshit here about a decade ago, and it ended pretty much the same way.

  6. “The drawings were beautiful and the promises so big and emphatic. The 58-acre former campus of the University of Connecticut in West Hartford would be rebuilt into a high-tech hub with a $400 million investment, transforming life in the region”

    Anybody remember the SCOTUS case that allowed a municipality In CT to seize private property and demolish people’s homes to hand the property over to a private party, Pfizer that was going to build a site? After the land was seized and the homes were demolished, Pfizer decided they didn’t want the site after all.

    1. Small college to close in Denver:

      https://kdvr.com/news/local/johnson-wales-university-to-close-denver-campus-next-year-after-opening-20-years-ago/

      Johnson & Wales’ Denver campus is located at 7150 E. Montview Blvd. in the South Park Hill neighborhood. It is approximately 25 acres and has 13 buildings on it, according to the school’s website.

      Johnson & Wales owns the real estate. It purchased the eastern half, the 1985 N. Quebec St. parcel, in August 1999 for $8.46 million, according to public records. Two parcels that make up the campus’ western half, both shown in city records as 1800 N. Oneida St., were added in July 2003 for $22.17 million.

    2. The 58-acre former campus of the University of Connecticut in West Hartford would be rebuilt into a high-tech hub

      LOL! That was the plan for the old Hewlett Packard campus in Loveland, Colorado. There was a lot of hoopla when it was announced that it was going to be redeveloped into an entrepreneurial campus that would attract start ups.

      Nothing of the sort happened. The campus is mostly a ghost town, with only a few tenants.

      http://rmcinnovate.com/

      Their website boldly proclaims that 810,000 sq ft of space is available.

        1. FWIW, it was already built, in the 1960’s I believe. The city bought the property from HP for $5M, mostly for the water rights, then sold the carcass to a developer. The campus has been kept up, but its emptiness is eerie.

    1. Then there is the “classic car” bubble. When those old guys get old and die, no one is going want their Chevy Biscaynes.

      1. When those old guys get old and die, no one is going want their Chevy Biscaynes.

        I remember when perfectly restored Model Ts/As were thought of as special. Eventually the 50s/60s stuff will also head for the museum. Boomers got to feel special for a little longer because it took a while for the new cars to eclipse their high water mark cars, but it’s a done deal now and has been for a while. A new base model Vette on 91 octane will beat an L88 at the strip now even with modern tires and race gas. Once that happens the cars are no longer dream cars for younger generations.

        1. Problem is most younger guys aren’t trained in or have any interest in the mechanical arts. There’s no app for that, as they say.

        1. Saw a new Ford GT (bronze color) driving in the mountains of northern California yesterday. I was surprised to see it. But yeah, I have no use for high dollar slow rolling car shows/auctions. I do still like small town cruising where people try to figure out who is faster. These days any car could have anything in it…all those bubble dollars sloshing around have allowed for some very creative hobby builds that can sometimes be very fast. To me it’s a fun time.

          1. So many crate engines to choose from.

            And junkyard motors. A cheap Chinese turbo on a junkyard LS van or truck motor will outrun all the traditional high dollar normally aspirated stuff.

    2. I have to wonder if something similar is happening or on the brink of happening in the rare violin market. With orchestras around the world sidelined, it must be a tough time to pay off the debt used to purchase a rare Italian violin.

      Couldn’t find any articles to back this up…either don’t know the right search terms, or they have yet to be written.

  7. “‘This is the Big Bad Wolf. You have no idea what devastation CMBS loans will have on us,’ Gaekwad told Vice President Mike Pence last month during a forum on Florida’s tourism industry in Orlando.

    Mike Pence will get right on that.

  8. All the players knew that when the project burst into public view in 2018 as a late gasp of the outgoing administration outgoing administration of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.”

    Dannel Patrick Malloy chaired the Democratic Governors Association from 2016 to 2017. In other words, he was the most corrupt of the corrupt. And “investors” didn’t realize this grandiose vision would be riddled with graft and fraud?

  9. How long before The BLM run city council mandates free rent for everyone in Portland? Well maybe not everyone just certain groups with the right amount of victimhood.

  10. You have 3 to 4 generation’s of consumer type spenders.
    Are people going to jump right back into spending or did covid 19 change them?

    1. I think that the spending has changed. Malls are out, so are department stores.

      But are people going to spend less? Changing demographics, lower incomes and high unemployment say yes.

  11. Politicians Demand John Wayne Airport Changes Name Over Actor’s Racist History
    https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/politicians-demand-john-wayne-airport-191222654.html

    (snip)

    Submitted by Ada Briceño, chair of the Democratic Party of Orange County, along with Chapman University professors Fred Smoller and Dr. Michael A. Moodian, the resolution “condemns John Wayne’s racist and bigoted statements,” calling them “white supremacist, anti-LGBT and anti-Indigenous.”

    (snip)

    “It is widely recognized that racist symbols produce lasting physical and psychological stress and trauma, particularly to Black communities, people of color and other oppressed groups, and the removal of racist symbols provides a necessary process for communities to remember historic acts of violence and recognize victims of oppression,” the resolution states.

    1. They should rename it after a corrupt and racist former Mexican President. Or better yet, name it the AMLO International airport.

      1. “Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right”

        1984 George Orwell

      2. There’s a war on the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which doesn’t include a protection for property damage of speech you dislike.

  12. Is Blackstone too-big-to-fail? I’m somewhat surprised that they are skipping debt payments, given their prowess as one of the world’s leading investment firms. Maybe they are trying to signal the Fed that some bailout cash could come in handy?

    1. I’m personally fine with companies taking risks like Blackstone and its wealthy clients did with these hotel purchases, so long as they are willing to assume the risk of losing money if the investments don’t pan out. But no bailouts, please…

      The Financial Times
      Blackstone Group LP
      Blackstone skips payment on $274m hotel loan
      World’s biggest alternative asset manager pledges to work with lenders on ‘best possible outcome’
      The debt is secured on four hotels in Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston and San Francisco that Blackstone acquired in 2016
      © Bloomberg
      Mark Vandevelde and Eric Platt in New York yesterday

      Blackstone has skipped a payment on a $274m hotel loan, joining the ranks of leading real estate investors that have fallen behind on debt during the coronavirus crisis.

      The debt is secured on four hotels in Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston and San Francisco, which the US private equity group acquired in 2016 from Club Quarters, a membership-based hotel network that continues to operate the properties.

      Blackstone made contact with the loan administrator in April to request “various modifications and forebearances”, according to a report distributed to credit market investors, which added that the properties were closed, and the loan was delinquent.

      On Friday, Blackstone characterised the hotel deal as “a very small investment that had been written down prior to Covid-19 as a result of unique operational challenges”. It added: “We will continue to work with our lenders and the hotel management company to create the best possible outcome under the circumstances for all parties, including the employees.”

    2. The Wall Street Journal
      Markets
      Blackstone Moves Out of Rental-Home Wager With a Big Gain
      Firm sells the last of its stake in Invitation Homes, the company it created after the housing crisis to scoop up foreclosed properties and rent them out
      By Ryan Dezember
      Updated Nov. 21, 2019 5:03 pm ET

      Blackstone Group Inc. has closed the door on its giant rental-home gambit.

      The investment firm late Wednesday sold the last of its stake in Invitation Homes Inc., the company it created after the housing crisis to scoop up tens of thousands of foreclosed single-family properties from the courthouse steps, spruce them up and rent them out.

      Blackstone began whittling its position in March through a series of bulky stock offerings. The last, on Wednesday, was for nearly 11% of Invitation’s shares and brought back about $1.7 billion. Including dividends paid before and since Invitation’s 2017 initial public offering, Blackstone reaped about $7 billion in all, according to securities filings. That’s better than twice what the firm invested.

      Blackstone’s wager was that last decade’s historic collapse in home prices and advances in cloud computing and mobile technology would enable it to buy enough suburban houses to achieve economies of scale and then to efficiently manage tens of thousands of far-flung rental properties thereafter. To do so would be to tame the final frontier in real estate for institutional investors and gain a toehold in the largest asset class in the world: the U.S. single-family home.

      “The hardest part wasn’t buying the homes, it was building the business,” Blackstone President Jonathan Gray, who headed the firm’s real-estate business when it launched Invitation, said in an interview. “We created a company from scratch. It was created on a yellow pad. It was an idea. Now it’s a real business.”

      1. Are you saying that Blackstone has sucked all of the remaining profits from all of the foreclosed properties from the 2008 RE crash?

        I wonder if they are waiting for round 2 of a RE crash to do it again?

        Their crystal ball must be working to predict the Covid crisis back in 2019. Or maybe they correctly saw a peak in RE in 2019 and wisely started divesting until round 2.

        1. The Financial Times
          Coronavirus pandemic
          Covid-19 cases hit new records in US states
          Officials begin closing venues and beaches again as coronavirus surges
          People stand in queue to enter a restaurant on Ocean Drive in Miami Beach, Florida on Friday.
          © AFP via Getty Images
          Patrick Temple-West in Tampa 27 minutes ago

          The number of new daily coronavirus cases hit records in several US states on Saturday, as officials started closing venues they had recently reopened and workers demanded new safety protections.

          Florida’s cases increased by 9,636 to 132,545, the state’s health department said Saturday. The state, the third-largest in the US, reported 8,942 new cases on Friday. South Carolina and Nevada also reported record numbers of new Covid-19 cases on Saturday.

          1. 7 reasons the stock market may face a severe bout of turbulence next week and beyond—only one is rising coronavirus cases
            Published: June 27, 2020 at 3:37 p.m. ET
            By Mark DeCambre
            Getty Images
            Referenced Symbols
            DJIA
            -2.83%
            SPX
            -2.42%
            COMP
            -2.59%
            TMUBMUSD10Y
            0.647%

            Buckle up, Wall Street investors!

            The ride from here could get a lot bumpier after the Dow registered its worst one-day loss since June 11 on Friday, knocking the blue-chip index to its lowest point since May 26, and at least momentarily knocking the wind out of equity investors who may be gradually losing their bullish thesis as U.S. COVID-19 infection rates climb higher.

            Over the past week, the acceleration of the daily rate of new coronavirus cases in several American states has prompted investors to re-think the uptrend that has taken the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -2.83% and S&P 500 index SPX, -2.42% roughly 35% higher from their late-March lows and the technology-laden Nasdaq Composite COMP, -2.59% more than 40% from its recent 2020 nadir.

            The U.S. recorded more than 45,000 cases Friday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, far exceeding the record 39,972 cases reported Thursday and further injecting doubt into upbeat projections for a speedy economic recovery from pandemic that stalled business activity for nearly four months.

          2. Florida’s cases

            How long until you also report to us that the percentage of those tested were positive has dropped?

          3. How many are sick and how sick are they? Here’s the South Florida COVID-19 hospitalization data the state won’t show you.
            By Cindy Krischer Goodman
            South Florida Sun Sentinel |
            Jun 25, 2020 at 5:32 PM

            As new COVID-19 cases in the state hit record highs daily, hospitalizations climb and intensive care beds fill, leaders are becoming increasingly anxious about whether the infection will overtax the local hospital system. But Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration isn’t showing Floridians all they know about how the virus is playing out in its hospitals.

            The Sun Sentinel has obtained COVID-19 hospitalization information for South Florida from Florida International University where researchers from the university’s Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work have launched the Miami-Dade COVID-19 Trend Tracker, a website dedicated to monitoring the long and short term trends of COVID-19 and its impact on Miami-Dade hospitals. The data is significant because, unlike publicly available state data, it focuses solely on COVID-19 patients and it does so in far more detail.

          4. Coronavirus
            Florida shatters record for new COVID-19 cases; hospitalizations rise in Central Florida
            By Naseem S. Miller
            Orlando Sentinel |
            Jun 26, 2020 at 6:41 PM
            Lil Indies, at 1036 North Mills Avenue and Dirty Laundry, at 1042 North Mills Avenue, on Tuesday, June 23, 2020. Numerous restaurants in the Mills 50 district have closed again due to the coronavirus. (Ricardo Ramirez Buxeda/Orlando Sentinel)

            Florida reported nearly 9,000 new coronavirus cases Friday — shattering its previous daily high just two days earlier — as hospitalizations of COVID-19 patients continued to rise in Central Florida.

            “We’re seeing today, obviously, a lot of news saying a huge number of, quote, ‘cases,’” Gov. Ron DeSantis said at a press conference on Friday. “Really, nothing has changed in the past week.”

            But he was forced to acknowledge more people are being hospitalized, just three weeks after he moved the state to Phase 2 of his reopening plan, which allowed bars, movie theaters and other businesses to operate again. The spike on Friday prompted the state to ban serving alcohol at bars, effectively shutting them down.

            Some public health experts say they fear that Florida could be the next Texas and Arizona, where coronavirus cases are exploding.

          5. Anti-Maskers

            Conflating anti-vaxxers with people refusing to wear masks and making them look crazy. Who is NowThis? From Wikipedia: NowThis News is a left-wing, progressive, social media-focused news organization founded in 2012. NowThis News was founded by Huffington Post co-founder and former chairman Kenneth Lerer and former Huffington Post CEO Eric Hippeau.

        2. “Their crystal ball must be working to predict the Covid crisis back in 2019.”

          Maybe with respect to residential rental property.

          Not so much with cratering CRE.

  13. Hedge Funds Are Selling Invitation Homes Inc. (INVH)
    Abigail Fisher
    June 8, 2020, 11:51 AM PDT

    The latest 13F reporting period has come and gone, and Insider Monkey is again at the forefront when it comes to making use of this gold mine of data. Insider Monkey finished processing 821 13F filings submitted by hedge funds and prominent investors. These filings show these funds’ portfolio positions as of March 31st, 2020. What do these smart investors think about Invitation Homes Inc.?

    Invitation Homes Inc. has experienced a decrease in activity from the world’s largest hedge funds in recent months. INVH was in 27 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of the first quarter of 2020. There were 33 hedge funds in our database with INVH positions at the end of the previous quarter. Our calculations also showed that INVH isn’t among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds…

  14. ‘Master Bedroom’ is out FYI. Don’t even refer to your primary bedroom as ‘Master’ going forward.

    1. I remember in electronics class Master controlled everything slave followed the master and secondary was like a fine tuning of the master which the slave followed.

      So i can’t put Master control operator for Court TV (nyc) on my resume anymore ( during the OJ Simpson trial)

    2. Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thought-crime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it.

      —1984 George Orwell

      1. The Stones too?

        Gold coast slave ship bound for cotton fields
        Sold in a market down in New Orleans
        Scarred old slaver knows he’s doing alright
        Hear him whip the women just around midnight

        Brown sugar how come you taste so good?
        Brown sugar just like a young girl should

        The Rolling Stones – Brown Sugar (Lyrics)

        https://youtu.be/DOfDD2OYOZE

          1. Welp, I watched the Kinks video and then a couple of sidebar clicks led me to the Apache Indian video. I went to click out at about 0:20 but the music kicked in at 0:22 and stopped me. I tried again at about 0:45 but it was like a car accident at that point, I couldn’t look away. I escaped at about 2:30 but I’m warning you, enter at your own risk.

            Apache Indian – Boom Shack-a-Lak

            https://youtu.be/QtEjGgdZhc4

          2. “i used to play this with apache indian ElGeneral..”

            Another catchy tune, although lacking the double whammy hard to look away qualities of the Boom Shack-a-Lak video.

          3. I went to click out at about 0:20 but the music kicked in at 0:22 and stopped me. I tried again at about 0:45 but it was like a car accident at that point, I couldn’t look away. I escaped at about 2:30 but I’m warning you, enter at your own risk.

            I’m waiting for the rms review.

    3. Henceforth all separate bedrooms will be collectivized into one large communal bedroom. Workers of the world unite!

  15. Speaking of mortgage-backed securities, two trust attorneys on Avvo.com agreed that big banks won’t lend to irrevocable trusts because there isn’t a secondary market for them. They suggested I try a smaller or local bank that keeps loans in house. I’m still waiting to hear from Chase. Their legal department is reviewing the trust documents, which unambiguously state that I have the power to encumber trust property. The private “hard money” lender I spoke to this week only lends for short periods of time at 8.95%. If I can’t find a bank to lend to the irrevocable trust, I may need to create a new revocable trust and quitclaim deed the property to the new trust.

    My situation would make a great law school property exam question. Forget the rule against perpetuities. Sigh.

    1. And my 2 cents: I have never been more unimpressed by a group “specialists” than I am with mortgage brokers. Ghosting you because you’re not a W-2 employee. Freaking out at anything out of the ordinary and/or requiring a modicum of thought. Glorified paper pushers would be a more appropriate title.

        1. It might be useful to think in terms of ROI – Return On Investment. In the case of these mortgage brokers you are referring to the investment they make is measured in terms of time.

          If it is discovered that a prospective customer’s ROI will be low then it would be prudent for the mortgage broker to move on down the line to the next prospective customer. If you are the customer that offers to him a low ROI then you should anticipate being ghosted.

          1. With one exception, I’m dealing with mortgage brokers working for banks with whom we’ve had decades of a supposed relationship and/or not insignificant cash with them. It’s bad customer service.

          2. If the mortgage broker is working for commissions or points or whatever then the incentive is for him to drum up as much easy money as possible. It may very well be that the reputation of the bank suffers from his lack of enthusiasm for low ROI customers but from his point of view this would be an issue with the bank and not with him.

          3. A lot of businesses, a lot of banks, have bought into the Six Sigma style of management and rate each employee’s value to the bank based on generated numbers (think Wells Fargo). If the employee generates good numbers he gets an atta boy. If his numbers fall off then he gets canned. So the incentive is for him to generate suitable numbers

            If customer service is not measured by these numbers then customer service will end up taking a hit.

      1. Most are involved in some type of fraud but due to their moral composition, they’re not even aware of it.

  16. Right, I would say it is the representatives of the bondholders. The bondholders take on risk, the hotel owners take on risk, but the representatives, the guys in the middle, do not have any risk at all: Instead what these guys have is servicing income paid by extracted money from handling the bonds and an opportunity to put the squeeze on the hotel owners.

  17. Nothing quite as enjoyable as seeing the distress of virtue-signaling limousine liberals when the “fundamental transformation” they’ve been pushing on the rest of American, at the behest of their globalist masters, ends up encroaching on THEIR secure gated enclaves. Good thing these 2nd Amendment hating celebrities all have well-armed security details.

    https://www.dailywire.com/news/black-lives-matter-group-storms-beverley-hills-residential-area-eat-the-rich-abolish-capitalism-now

    1. I guess the reopening started around eight weeks ago? Which suggests that the effect of the policy change on growth rate of new COVID-19 cases took about a month to show up.

      Coronavirus outbreak
      Florida’s Covid-19 surge shows the state’s reopening plan is not working
      As counties end the second week of Governor Ron DeSantis’ ‘safe, smart, step-by-step’ policy, the state marks a record high in daily cases
      Richard Luscombe in Miami
      Sat 20 Jun 2020 06.00 EDT
      Last modified on Sat 20 Jun 2020 10.49 EDT
      Ron DeSantis, Florida’s governor, has refused to slow the state’s reopening. “We’re not shutting down. You have to have society function.” Photograph: Michele Eve Sandberg/Rex/Shutterstock

      It has been seven weeks since Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis, took a coronavirus “victory lap”, pressing ahead with a swift reopening program while berating the media for a “doom and gloom” approach he said bore little relation to reality.

      “We haven’t seen an explosion of new cases,” DeSantis insisted during a 29 April news conference, a day on which the state’s Covid-19 tally increased by 347.

      This week, however, it became clear that the Republican governor’s garden of roses is wilting fast in the face of a resurgent virus.

      A period that began with Florida’s daily record of new cases below 1,700 saw eight consecutive days above that figure, five of them topping 2,000 and both Thursday and Friday seeing the highest numbers of all: 3,207 and 3,822 cases, respectively, eclipsing the previous recorded high by more than 35%.

      The staggering figures have caused experts at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and University of Pennsylvania to conclude that Florida has “all the markings of the next large epicenter of coronavirus transmission”.

      “Governor DeSantis has lost control of Florida’s Covid-19 response,” said Nikki Fried, the agricultural commissioner and only Democrat elected to statewide office, who has previously complained at being shut out of DeSantis’s recovery taskforce.

      1. Florida
        Scientist produces own Florida Covid-19 count after being fired by state
        Dr Rebekah Jones says she refused to manipulate data
        Florida has reopened despite only one county meeting criteria
        Coronavirus – latest global updates

        Adam Gabbatt
        Mon 15 Jun 2020 11.40 EDT
        Last modified on Mon 15 Jun 2020 12.32 EDT
        The Florida Covid-19 Data and Surveillance Dashboard is seen displayed on a computer screen on 19 May, the day after Dr Rebekah Jones was fired. Dr Jones subsequently created her own coronavirus dashboard. Photograph: Paul Hennessy/Sopa Images/Rex/Shutterstock

        A scientist who was fired from overseeing Florida’s Covid-19 database has created her own coronavirus dashboard – which she says proves Florida is not ready to reopen.

        Dr Rebekah Jones was fired by the Florida department of health in May. She said she was sidelined after she refused to manipulate data regarding the severity of Covid-19, which would have restricted the state’s plan to reopen its economy.

        According to Jones’s own online database, Florida’s Community Coronavirus Dashboard, only one of 67 counties meets state criteria for easing social restrictions.

        Florida recorded record levels of new coronavirus cases over the weekend, ABC News reported. On Sunday, the state health department reported a second consecutive day of more than 2,000 new cases.

        According to data from the Washington Post, in June Florida experienced its highest seven-day average of coronavirus cases since the beginning of the pandemic.

        Jones’s database says Liberty county, in the north-west of the state, does meet criteria for reopening. Other counties do not.

        She has said she was fired on 18 May for refusing to “manually change data to drum up support for the plan to reopen”.

        When I went to show them what the report card would say for each county, among other things, they asked me to delete the report card because it showed that no counties, pretty much, were ready for reopening,” Jones told NPR.

        And they didn’t want to draw attention to that.

        A spokesperson for Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis, denied that Jones was fired for refusing to manipulate coronavirus data. The state health department said she had “exhibited a repeated course of insubordination”.

        1. It is a mistake for engineers and scientists not to purchase professional liability insurance and annual membership in a professional society.

    2. Check out the figure showing daily numbers of new COVID-19 cases in Florida.

      So does this mean that Universal in Orlando will close again? Will Disneyworld’s planned July 11 reopening be scrubbed?

      1. Governor DeSantis has lost control of Florida’s Covid-19 response

        Two weeks ago the percent positive of those being tested had dropped to 4% and since then I have been objecting to the news coverage saying cases were soaring. What was soaring was the number of tests.

        Now I have to shut up about this as the tests have been returning at 15% positive this past week. Looks ugly.

        The number of deaths in Florida hasn’t gone up, but like they say, we’ll know something in two weeks.

        1. Have you noticed that you question every news story that suggests cases are spiking?

          Not to suggest that you are politically biased…

          1. Have you noticed

            Yes of course.

            Say you have 300 million marbles in a jar. Some of them are pink and some of them are purple. 10% of them are purple. Every day you take an hundred and sort them out. 10 are purple. So the first day you have 10 Purples. The next day you have another 10 so there are 20 Purples! Then you start taking 200 out to sort and you suddenly have another 20 Purples. Now the total is 40!

            This is dishonest, and very math illiterate, but the people eat it up. Have you noticed that you serve this dish every day?

            I have to halt exposing this travesty as the number of Purple marbles per 100 is rising (in Florida anyway). If infections are really on the rise now it is a moot point. If deaths don’t increase the whole issue is irrelevant. They haven’t BTW. In two weeks we’ll know I guess.

            Is looking for the truth necessarily politically motivated? Maybe, but always worthwhile. A very dismissive comment by the way. My primary political interest is when can I cross the border into Canada to see my partner of 15 years.

          2. Good thing you are sharing your objective news sources here to offset my biased ones.

            The Gateway Pundit
            From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
            Political blog
            Owner Jim Hoft

            The Gateway Pundit is an American far-right news and opinion website. The website is known for publishing falsehoods and spreading hoaxes.

            The Gateway Pundit expanded from a one-person enterprise into a multi-employee operation that is supported primarily by advertising revenue. During the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign, the site received over a million unique visitors per day.

          3. objective news sources

            I never claimed it was objective. It’s biased in the opposite direction. I would have linked to the original tweet from Katie Hopkins about typing any 3 digits followed by “new cases” in a search engine to get COVID-19 fear porn but this article put it in context.

            The Gateway Pundit is an American far-right news and opinion website. The website is known for publishing falsehoods and spreading hoaxes.

            Citing . . . wait for it . . . CNN! Wikipedia is as manipulated as the MSM and social media sites.

          4. If you’re counter-narrative, you’re a conspiracy theorist. Wikipedia uses sources pushing the narrative, hides those sources in footnotes where most people won’t look, and perpetuates the narrative. See how that works?!

  18. Breaking | 57,281 views | Jun 26, 2020, 10:48am EDT
    The Great Coronavirus Rollback: Texas, Florida, And Nine More States Abandon Reopening Plans Amid Record Coronavirus Surge
    Sarah Hansen, Forbes Staff
    Markets
    I cover breaking news.
    Updated Jun 26, 2020, 12:43pm EDT
    TOPLINE

    With a record 40,401 new cases of the coronavirus reported in the United States on Thursday alone—and many parts of the South and West now facing alarming spikes just weeks after beginning to reopen—these states are now hitting the pause button.

    1. Coronavirus: Florida and Texas reverse reopening as US cases pass 2.5m
      1 hour ago
      Texas has tightened restrictions again and warned that hospitals could soon be overwhelmed

      Coronavirus infections across the United States have passed 2.5 million, with record numbers of cases reported in the states of Florida and Texas.

      The surge in cases in southern states comes after businesses were allowed to re-open in recent weeks.

      On Saturday, Florida reported more than 9,500 new cases, up from almost 9,000 on Friday, the previous record.

      The spike has led state officials to tighten restrictions on business again – as Texas also did on Friday.

      The leading US government adviser on coronavirus, Dr Anthony Fauci, said last week that the country had a “serious problem”.

      More than 125,000 Covid-19 patients have died nationwide – more than in any other country.

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