Macro Afternoon

See the latest Australian dollar analysis here:

Macro Afternoon

Well it’s been a fun ride this week and it continues with another 3-4% selloff across the board today as fear turns to panic. Gold remains relatively steady but other safe havens are seeing bids with bond yields dropping and Yen soaring higher. This is indeed correction territory.

The Shanghai Composite is playing catch up and is currently down near 3.5% to 2890 points while the Hang Seng Index is off by “only” 2.5% to 26108 points, matching January’s low:

Japanese share markets continue to steeply selling off due to a big increase in Yen buying with the Nikkei 225 falling over 4% to 21054 points in a major rout. The USDJPY pair is falling through the floor, flopping to the 109 handle and a new monthly low:

The ASX200 can’t escape the carnage, down 3.5% going into the close at 6433 points as the depressed Australian dollar makes another daily/weekly/monthly/yearly low, almost hitting the 65 cent level:

Eurostoxx and S&P futures continue to sell off sharply with the four hourly chart of the S&P500 showing no buying at all, with the nearest support level still far away at the 2019 low at 2700 points:

The economic calendar finishes the week with German unemployment and CPI prints for February followed by the US advanced good trade balance and PCE Core expenditure for January, but will likely be all overshadowed by the continuing fear over the coronavirus.

Have a good weekend and stay safe – don’t cough on each other!

Latest posts by Chris Becker (see all)


  1. So, the Olypmics… Possible they go ahead but we just run them like the Para’s, where you compete against the similarly afflicted? The 100-metre Sniffles, the 100-metre Chesty Cough, the 100-metre Drowning in your own fluids…

  2. I just got back from Coles – there is actually some panic buying going on. I haven’t seen this since the Brissy floods in ’11.

    Oh well, best join in, fcken.

      • Yes. It was mobbed – tins of everything in trolleys. I dunno – may be it was the time of day, maybe the local population just got larger by orders of magnitude. I nearly stormed out – it was chaos.

        • Wow – scary.

          Canberra Coles was sublimely calm. Entirely normal. Only one weirdo prepping with a few extra tins of stuff to top up the existing stash, and a bunch of medical supplies.

          (Yes it was me).

          • Yeah, Cairns no panic yet, plenty on shelves, just some shut ins like me doing a quiet prep, just in case.
            Your post suggests I should go out again tomorrow.

          • Yes forgot to mention I also have all the tinfoil now. Limit 23 per customer but like a Chinese milk powder mum I went back three times!

            My wardrobe is complete.

          • Coles Gunghastly was quiet orderly mid afternoon today. Some stuff, mainly medical, looked like it was striped but could have been removed by staff to limit supply.

          • It’s one of those things – everyone likes to think it’s better to look cool and calm but uncertainty is very high so preparation is definitely the way to go. Maybe it works out for the non-preppers and they can bore everyone at the next BBQ about how only the idiots panicked, but when you have mouths to feed at home, better to stock up and sleep well.

            There was an armed toilet-paper heist in Hong Kong recently – that’s all you need to know. Things can deteriorate very rapidly and before you know it, it’s too late.

    • Which one? I’ve been to my locals the last few days and haven’t seen muich out of the ordinary, except now red capsicum is apparently being affected by heat and growing wierd and is more expensive

    • BoomToBustMEMBER

      The wife was at Costco Ringwood Monday, just normal busy, was there this afternoon and is was the busiest anyone had ever seen, all the staff were commenting they had never seen anything like it.

      • Sounds like you live in a neighbourhood where people can’t read or understand English – takes a little longer for the news to filter through 😉

        • Drink me some woobla

          Nah, not everyone is a delusional prepper permatard. You’re probably gonna catch the virus and die anyway. Why postpone the inevitable?

          • You sound like a person who’s had plenty of experience with tards – probably spent your formative years in the same house with a few. How about a big shot like you buys a membership and earns the right to vomit your thoughts on these threads. Even better, do something useful and get a job.

    • Well, that’s enough for me! I’m off to Dan Murphy’s first thing tomorrow to stock up on canned and bottled goods. You can’t be too careful.

      • I’ve got 2 slabs yesterday: one coopers, one some germanian beer retailing for $42 a slab… A few weeks ago I tried a slab of red peroni, which was meh, acceptable, but not to write home about.

        Shall grab some meats tomorrow from the butcher. The freezers and fridges are now well and truly cold. We’re good!

        • Cooper’s is definitely a good drop – Pale Ale my pref. Ironically, and no joke, my usually preferred lager is TsingTao which is a great, crisp, clean mouthful. Paranoid to avoid it for a while? You tell me.

          • I quite like Wild Yak too, but it seems to have hits and misses… some batches are really nice, others are … faded taste-wise. Come to think of it, Coopers green also seems to have its moments… maybe it’s just me. Hmmmmmmm!

        • Mining BoganMEMBER

          I grabbed that red peroni on special a few weeks ago. Lovey said the bottles were nicely shaped and it’s for girls. Told her she was sexist. Orright for a drink after work but nothing special.

      • Dan’s got Taylor’s Clare Valley at 13 bucks a bottle. Bought a case of the Cab Sauv, the cardonnay, a case of Coopers green, large Ballantynes and 700ml Tanqueray.

        Now when my Amazon order of a gross of left handed mouses, a case of QV lotion and a small bottle of capers comes, I’ll be set for a big corona shutin weekend.

      • I was in 1st Choice last night and EVERYTHING was on special. Pile on or wait for the discounts to get larger? Tough call.

        I bought some beer 30% off but I think there’ll be bigger bargains soon. Some nice reds would do nicely to see me through the apocalypse.

    • GunnamattaMEMBER

      I’m here to tell you the Highton (Geelong) Aldi was nothing out of the ordinary a few minutes ago when I loaded up on those cake mixes they are palming for 2.99, and a six pack of their Krormbacher pils. I did notice they were down on their 2.99 family meatlovers pizzas though – which would indicate a certain section of society looking to avoid going out

      • Supports my case that word hasn’t leaked out to the regions then. Am more concerned that the $2.99 Aldi meat lovers might be preferred to a ‘fresher’ Dominos at $4.99. Times must really be tough. More to the point, what the hell is on Aldi and Dominos’ meat lovers at those prices?

    • Dom, I’m catching up on MB. I know this is not my stoush, but try and ignore the keyboard coward – old maxim – never argue with an idiot. He’s just a nasty piece of work. Fair enough if there is genuine disagreement,like you and others elsewhere, or me, other readers can still read the debate and make up their own mind . But this slime is best ignored. I like your work even if I don’t always agree with it.

      • Thanks Ginger, I really appreciate your support – I arc up at these drop-ins who attack you without providing any structured argument. The best medicine is to ignore but every now and again I take the bait.

  3. It’s just occured to me that if Australian cities experience a China-style containment lock-in, we’ll really get to see what high demand does to our beloved NBN and wireless networks…

    • Mining BoganMEMBER

      Want to know what the big inconvenience will be? Folk having to look after their own children instead of handing them over to child care or family members to raise.

      Some of these over-achieving superparents will be dead in a week.

      • And just watch the meltdowns. Quite a few of those parents haven’t spent enough time with their kids either- it works when the kids are happy;wait until the kids are bored, and they don’t know how to manage.

          • Just watch question time. Sure, it isn’t as intellectually stimulating but you get to see petty people who hate each other throw hissy fits because marriages if conveniences undertaken to stroke their own egos are falling apart in a highly manufactured public forum.

  4. I FCKEN put my keys down when I got home after I left them in the door while unloading daddy’s medicine and now I can’t find them anywhere.

    I took them out of the door and put them down in a safe place and they are on no surface FCKEN.

    For FCKNE fvcks sake daddy wants some medicine.

      • found them.

        like a genius i retraced my steps, this time with the last bag of groceries in my mind’s eye

        I had put them on top of the knife rack for safety


        • Last time I had to the retrace-my-steps thing, I found them in the outside garbage bin, in a plastic bag, among some veggie scraps and packaging from supermarket sh!t I had bought. Exactly where I had put them

  5. Zoono reported today that their sanitizer and surfacesheiks kills Covid 19. It’s the only reason why I’m a bit up today
    I ordered some of their product on sat night last week. It left the warehouse in nz today
    Get it while you can
    That should be surface sheild, not sheiks

  6. TheRedEconomistMEMBER

    Just gone long AMP, MCR and OSH.. call me stupid .. just think it is getting overdone ..

    Falling knife maybe .. but just think it is time to throw some cash back in the game ..

      • TheRedEconomistMEMBER

        We will see…

        5 or so massive down day’s …

        Traders closing weekly and monthly positions…

        ScoMo calling pandemic on a fkn island and shitting his pants again like Engadine maccas ..

        Just a gamble in the end and I am half pissed after luncheon at the Luna Park with the Big Sport Breakfast.

          • TheRedEconomistMEMBER

            That is half my thinking .. I could well be closing out these position by Tuesday or Wednesday..

        • There’s a bounce coming but I would be inclined to not be greedy. There could be a long way down from here. It’s the uncertainty that should keep you on the side-lines. At least, don’t bet the house.

    • No blood on the floor yet. Just starting to come off a debt-fuelled super high. Could well go a whole lot further south. Dry powder time

      • Yep, people wetting themselves over a 10% fall. Big deal. There’s plenty of downside potential. The uncertainty means the risks are skewed too heavily to the wrong side for punters to contemplate a cheeky long. The bubble is egregious still. The buy-the-dip crowd have this reflexive thing going on though which needs to be eradicated by some heavier falls.

    • talking about overdone.. gold stocks were trading today at levels when gold was $1350 and aud 75c. fckn.
      did buy NCM (which I sold 2 days ago), ALK (more), RRL (which I sold 2 days ago) and few WSA (nickel).

      Only now gold price fell $20 but still above $1600usd. Looks like flight to USD is on until FED cuts and starts bigger temporary repo thingy as no bank will be lending to other bank now.

      • ALK crushed and SAR too. What’s going on with gold miners, I thought they’d do ok in these circumstances.

        • They were overbought at the same time the broader stock market was. A sell-off in those circumstances is totally normal. It’s a case of sell what you can to raise cash to fund margin calls / liquidity. The weaker hands will be gone in a while and another leg of the rally can begin. Be patient and be ready for a bit more downside.

        • I think that if it’s a real risk off event, then people will liquidate assets (including gold) and money will go home (USD), which will further crush gold…and basically everything…

        • I think margin calls play big part in this. Once margin calls clear many of these stocks will up by 30-40% if gold price stays above $1550usd. But, it will take few days.
          RRL has PE of 11.12, Div Yield of 4%. It’s not Telsla, iut actually has no debt, plenty of cash and pays dividends.
          NCM has PE 19.27 and massive potential to grow by improving Chris Red which is easy for them to do. Chris Red is very similar to Cadia so NCM are very familiar with the operation and the geology which means they can extract short term synergies in the first 24 months and bring AISC down ~20% and long term ~40%. None of this is priced. Their Haverion discovery is not priced at all.
          My only mistake is that I did not wait until Monday – my thoughts.

          ALK is all dependent on asssays from next hole which I do expect to be good and see it as low risk – but risk nevertheless. Observing yesterday’s and today’s action I think there was some buying with very strong support at 85c and 75c today. My take is that was insider buying as I suspect (no prove but just gut feeling) LAB is leaking intel and assays will be very good and should be out and about by next Wed.

    • I tend to agree but haven’t got the balls to throw money in, just leave what I have in, in. ;). That’s how I got her pregnant anyway. The wife that is.

        • Love your work mate. When you playing in CBR next? I’ll buy the band a round if you play any Bon Scott era AC/DC song.

          • May I think. The Basement back bar.

            I am trying to get the lazy fvckers to learn TNT. If we get it right you can come up and do the “Oys”. And the singalong chorus to 500 miles.

            I keep threatening to quit because the bass player doesn’t do any work (not my band so can’t sack him).

  7. TheRedEconomistMEMBER

    That is half my thinking .. I could well be closing out these position by Tuesday or Wednesday..

  8. I’ve got an itchy eye.

    I’ve got CORONA EYE FCKEN.

    If I go, I bequeath my collection of left handed mices (slightly used) to the MB diaspora.

  9. Couple of relevant obs. Sold my 50g gold bar yesterday, which I’d bought as an investment pre xmas 2018 – need it to pay trades and timber for a deck… got 3800 for it, so pretty happy – get some more later…

    Been prepping for… something … this week too, just some extras to counter our just in time way of shopping, a few weeks worth… and went for first specialist appt today after my 6 rounds of chemo last year. Had been deferred as doc was unwell earlier in week. He shook my hand and we had ‘close’ discussion about me. I asked him about his illness and he shrugged it off, just a cold, I was a bit sick, touch of pneumonia…. wtf I asked him if he’d been tested, but he didn’t seem to understand what I was asking and his non answer said no…

    Couldn’t get that hand sanitiser on me quick enough. Even did more after I signed the form

    Off to get some more wine and beer in the morning, perhaps a bread maker…oh and petrol, batteries and fish food, shit dogs too…

    Most of us wouldn’t last a week

  10. TailorTrashMEMBER

    Just watched Channel 9 news …ASIO is recruiting
    ….minimum Requirements ….need to be Australian citizen and have a bachelors degree ……why are they not just setting up a stall at Sydney University ..( like Oxbridge for MI5/6) ..plenty of soon to be Australian citizens and bachelor degrees there …….or are they the wrong sort of chaps one would want in the intelligence services ?

    Talk about an out of balance Society

    Getitintaya straya !

  11. SnappedUpSavvyMEMBER

    So screw baked beans I went to my local polish deli and stocked up on her gerkins, sauerkraut, frozen dumplings and what ever else they had pickled in jars. Also cleaned out the Woolworths of confit duck legs, they last forever
    May also look at getting an old fashion deep freeze, the ones big enough for a body

    • Shapes are half price at the local Woolies. I’ve grabbed a few boxes. They probably won’t be kept aside for a time of quarantine. In truth, they probably won’t last the weekend.

        • Being the sophisticate that I am I may match the pizza shapes to a particularly cheap and nasty Pinot noir that I have around the house. To enhance sensory the experience I shall stimulate the other senses with an episode of Ink Master or Buffy the Vampire Slayer. (A rewatching has highlighted that much like Jim from the Office, Xander is the most detestable character in the show. On first viewing their little jibes and constant complaining about what seem to be bothersome things is amusing and justified. One can get it. Put it all together and they are cruel and insecure bullies that hide behind their blandness while picking on easy targets. Other rewatching observations:
          – Sarah Michelle Gellar and Seth Green both played their roles better than I gave them credit for.
          – The dialogue holds up far better than I thought it would.
          – The Bronze is the most unrealistic thing about the show. There’s no way that a venue like that could survive in real life.)

          • The Traveling Wilbur

            Agreed on all of the above. Also add Boreallofus really can’t act at all. Not that he needed to, to be fair.

            The Bronze was, a total gimmick. And they were upfront with that. I miss the bands. Great format. SBS stole it for their Set show.

            And there’s no excuse for having a dirty Pinot round the house. Not unless she can cook too anyway.

          • Couple of buckets then a box of bbq shapes. Oh, and a big glass of whatever. Trying to shove 10 plus shapes into one’s gob requires a liquid compliment.

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        Look I’m supposed to be a heath freak, stop exposing me. After the South Curly cafe addiction satisfier (sic) got the munchies and relented on the shapes. Not my fault she buys them not me. I never buy junk food. Nope she never hides them. Not my fault, hers.

    • I tried to do some panic shopping at Aldi but came home with 3 dishwashers, an induction cooktop and some kingsize bedsheets.

  12. It’s time for the next meeting of the Executive Committee of the People’s Popular Democratic Revolutionary Front for the Liberation of Canberra via Peaceful Use of Automatic Weapons (aka MB shut ins in Canberra)

    The agenda will include the utterance of tremendous oaths and curses, drinking beer, and general foul abuse of politicians and the MSM.

    Anyone up for it?

    • Count me in.

      I have been rehearsing my oaths and curses.

      The abuse of politicians and drinking of beer comes naturally.

    • I already signed up for the Popular People’s Democratic Revolutionary Front ………… damn you splitters!

      • The Committee is examining the provision of a teleconference facility for the use of remote brothers on the night.

        Note that The Committee is currently an all male organisation, but we are considering affiliation with a ladies auxiliary. Unfortunately, we’re currently having trouble finding ladies (apart from Dykes on Bikes) who are into uttering tremendous oaths and curses and drinking beaucoup beer.

  13. Scomo actually said “we have got this”. I feel a lot safer now. A bit like the sheep being led by a Judas Goat.

    “This is about staying prepared, this is about assuring people that we have got this, we are prepared for it, so you can go to the footy, you can go out to the Chinese restaurant – in fact I encourage you to,” Mr Morrison said.

    • TailorTrashMEMBER

      Why can no Australian politician ever utter 4
      sentences with out saying China or Chinese…

      …chaps … your country’s gone …..

    • “This is about staying prepared, this is about assuring people that we have got this, we are prepared for it, so you can go to the footy, you can go out to the Chinese restaurant – in fact I encourage you to,” Mr Morrison said.


  14. boomengineeringMEMBER

    Very easily led and influenced. Shes off to the shops for prep cans of food Plus side if not needed can be used at a later date.
    She didn’t want to do it as spoiled her first weight loss idea.

  15. MB shutins are like a writhing mass of hyper puppies!

    Prediction: 200 before weekend links
    600 weekend links
    300 supplementary links

  16. boomengineeringMEMBER

    Late to walk Jack as he can’t jump in her car anymore, means hope I wake up in time for the morning ride. OK lets go.

    • That’s a ridiculous yield – it won’t last. Inflation will eat that and spit it out. The only way that’s sustainable is if the RBA conducts yield curve management exercises. Then watch the AUD flush.

  17. reusachtigeMEMBER

    Heard that awesome 60s hippy song tonight “Hello Lisa Brown” and it reminded me of better times.

  18. boomengineeringMEMBER

    Sitting here with Winnie waiting for Jack to catch up.
    Missus taking a leaf out of Ermo’s book, reckons she’s only only gunna buy baked beans. Wtf are they stinking.

      • For dog’s sake… get dry beans! They keep, better energy density in storage and you have control over the cooking process …

          • Taste? If it doesn’t taste good, You’re doing it wrong!
            And hassle? WTF else do you have to do staying at home in self quarantine? Beating off only takes so much of your time in a day… 😛

        • Red and green lentils

          Added bonus of not eventually maybe causing anaphylactic reaction

    • I bought a bottle at the HK/China border crossing once – farck this is great value!

      Never enjoyed a drop of it given the suspicion …

    • Might have an Ardbeg this evening now you mention it.

      Tastes like a fisherman who drowned in the North Sea and was then set on fire. Fantastic.

    • What sort of capital gain (%age) are you looking at on those nice 2 yr bonds? I find trying to figure out the likely gains in advance hard, especially with short durations…?

      • The Traveling Wilbur

        You’d make a trawlerman cry. 😝

        (fishing reference) 😉

        As I mentioned earlier re bonds, just looking for a couple of percent over a couple of weeks. At best. About halfway there atm.

        Zero capital gains to worry about. 🙌

    • No, mate, supply shocks are DEflationary — no, really, I’ve been schooled by a couple of identities on this blog about it.

      • I’m not aware of anytime in history where we have had so much debt and a house of cards starting to crumble under its own weight and then throw a global killer pandemic on top of it. Markets are not going to perform in the same manner they have previously in my opinion. I think internet rates will start to rise shortly one the supply chain shock hits home and prices start to rapidly rise on global shortages

        • Yes, it’s the combination of barely unserviceable debt with a situation in which a lot of it is totally unserviceable that is going to unleash a house of cards. There are a LOT of people out there who either cannot imagine such a cataclysmic situation can unfold or wouldn’t know how to respond. This will be ugly in a way many cannot fathom.

        • You’re missing the issue here: at some point interest rates become irrelevant – particularly when they’re administered rates. Only the ‘market’ knows where true rates reside. You can’t create money out of thin air and assume that the purchasing power of the currency will be maintained in the process.

          • one of the regular MacroVoices dollar gurus (Jeff Snider maybe ?) puts it succintly: the Fed can control the price of money, or the quantity of money, but it can’t control both.

            (substitute Fed for any CB and the point still holds)

          • @Burnsy
            That’s it – in a nutshell. Nothing could contradict that statement. If everyone understood that statement we’d have arrived by now.

          • I am slightly concerned at how long the Chinese seem to be getting away with both though.

            Is it going to break soon?

          • @arrow. They’re pretty much at that point now. That’s the reason they’ve been reluctant to stimulate – or can’t stimulate. Obviously the virus means they may have throw caution to the wind and take what comes. China, I think, are rooted. They need a wholesale reset – the financial system is insolvent. They can be a relatively powerful economy but they won’t challenge the US in my lifetime IMO.

      • But it’s not just a supply shock – there’s a debt-based demand shock, too…

        And I’m not trying to ‘school’ you, just sharing my opinion…I’m really more than happy to have you and others debate me, as I’m not fixed in my opinion…

        • I completely see your position here but buying day-to-day consumer goods is ultimately funded from salary. The major debts are couched in mortgages and auto loans so there is no debt-based demand shock except in those high value items.

  19. Fvckin hell daughter and missus gone to bed finally.

    Now can have a daddy cigarette with my medicine.

  20. So that was exciting … little one starts vomiting at school. Picked up and continues to vomit at home. One class mate just back at school from 3 week isolation after visiting fam in Beijing. Family GP tells us any suspected COVID-19 symptoms should go straight to emergency. Looks like food posioning, but the weekly shop tomorrow will be suspiciously heavy in canned and dry goods.

  21. TailorTrashMEMBER

    At home watching Friday night Anglo TV with the Memsahib…….
    ( how long before it is in mandarin one wonders )

    Setting house dinner ,…..

    Desert ?

    Yes dear

    prunes ?

    Oh Yes dear

    …….With cold custard ?

    How long before strayans lose touch with their very precarious roots ?

    • “The majority of Australians are now paying the price of a policy that is eager to please each ethnic minority at the expense of the great majority. If the people of each minority should have the right to establish here a way of life familiar to them, is it not equally right – or more so, in democracy – for the majority of Australians to retain the way of life familiar to them?” – Geoffrey Blainey, 1984.

  22. A thousand comments and no mention of the AUD. I admit I only skim read to get here so maybe someone did raise it already but still!

    Will it break into the 64 ‘handle’ overnight? Will the RBA start a different kind of panic buying? What will become of my US ski trips?

  23. Arthur Schopenhauer

    Does the Pope have Corona?

    If this is the Rapture and the Pope dies, does this mean:
    a) He did too much politicking and too few good deeds
    b) God is sending the Catholic Church a message
    c) Catholicism is not Christianity
    d) Christianity is not God’s preferred religion

    • e) none of the above.

      Talking about religion is akin to talking about MAFS, it just provides grounds for the unjustifiable* through the persistence of attention upon a non existent thing.

      * MAFS is rather justifiable. It’s a TV network with a dearth of brains and a desire to produce cheap and nasty eye candy attracting people who, in the most part, seem to want a bit of attention. Nothing that relies upon faith has such solid footing to stake its claim as a necessary point of reference for either ethics or metaphysics. The joke that is MAFS is at least founded upon the truth of the existence of the created compact of marriage. Religion hits turtles far before MAFS ever does. MAFS also has a far better record when it comes to abuse of those trapped in its clutches. That’s before we get onto the cruelty inflicted upon those outside of whichever religion you choose to pick. Yeezus. Imagine losing the moral high ground to MAFS. For all their theological and philosophical sophistication they are unstuck by the eternal truth of Shakira, the hops don’t lie, and the hips of religion should have been shatter and ground to dust long ago to prevent the atrocities undertaken in its name.

  24. The Traveling Wilbur

    Oh. God. We’re there y’all.

    “LGBT-plus community”. Courtesy of your ABC.
    I’m pretty sure that isn’t going to end up meaning what they meant it to mean.

    • I do gain a lot from contrapoints. Not actually being any of the traditional acronym must make me a plus. And I embrace it. I just don’t won’t to be beaten up when I go home from a fun night out, or have to deal with hostile parental units who can’t hand the fact that there little biological experiment didn’t match expectations, or put up with the tired talking points of the 1980’s being rebranded as some sort of conservative “Gothca” moment when it is the intellectual equivalent of having to take part in a debate with 13 year olds and geez I’m glad that I’m a hetro white guy. It really just does make things simpler in the long run.

  25. New York Times columnist Ross Douthat on the relatively muted response in the US to the coronavirus:

    “The curious absence of hysteria probably reflects an interplay between polarization and ideological preconceptions. The political right would normally react to the menace of a viral outbreak in a major geopolitical rival with demands for quarantine and a zealous government response. But with a nationalist Republican president enjoying the benefits of a long economic expansion, there has been a strong partisan incentive to play down or ignore the seriousness of the virus’s threat to supply chains, the Dow, the country’s gross domestic product.

    Liberals have partisan incentives that run the other way, toward emphasizing the White House’s unpreparedness in the face of a clear and present threat. But these incentives have so far been outweighed by liberalism’s ideological bias toward global openness, its anxiety about saying or doing anything that might give aid and comfort to anti-globalization forces, its fear of ever sounding too, well, Trump-y in the face of foreign threats. Thus the liberal instinct toward minimization: It’s not much worse than the flu, panicking makes things only worse, don’t spread conspiracy theories about its origins, racism toward Chinese people is the real danger here.

    As of this week, with the virus finally infecting the stock market, this bipartisan minimization looks like a serious mistake. The coronavirus is not a civilization-ender, not Stephen King’s Captain Trips come for us at last, but it’s increasingly obvious that we do have a lot to fear from it, both medically and economically — and the American response seems to lag substantially behind where we should want to be right now.”

  26. “As more cases are confirmed across the globe, there are concerns Australia’s already burdened health system won’t be able to cope with the increased pressure placed on it when the worst of the pandemic hits the country.

    “Our health care system is already running on edge – We have hospitals running on code black,” Western Australia’s AMA President Dr Andrew Miller told 9News today.”

    Our hospitals are in crisis even before coronavirus hits. Thanks Population Ponzi!

  27. Managed to get the Tesla coil working, finally, by tweaking the primary winding. 5 – 7 mm arcs to an object and about 10 mm into the air, so somewhere near 30,000 V discharge. Good Friday night in.

      • If only I had that kind of power! Oddly enough, it seems to cause our NBN connection to drop out. Not that that is much of an achievement, all things considered.

          • That thing already exists, but apparently strapping a politican into an electric chair, throwing the switch and then walking away isn’t something you can patent. They told me, “Yeah, everyone wants to do that; it’s just common sense. You can’t patent things that are so obvious.”

            Back to the drawing board!

        • Well done. Electrical arcs cause broadband EM discharge so the NBN dropout is not surprising. Imagine it would wipe out AM and FM radio reception also.

          • If you’re doing it right, GPS is up the creek without a paddle too.

            I had a mower with a leaky spark-plug lead. Every time I was mowing along the phone pit, the ADSL would kick the bucket. I could hear the neighbor’s kids going ‘maaaaa! The net is down!’. . . He he he he

        • At one point I had considered taking up rocketry… especially in the vicinity of the T#lst#a pillar responsible for the sh*t ADSL link I had many years ago. You know, the kind of rockets which unwind a thin copper wire from a spool and which you launch into the clouds to draw lightning strikes…