Donald Trump just bet all of America on virus roulette

Did you ever wonder what it’s like to be Donald Trump gambling billions of debt even as you skirt bankruptcy? Well..now you know.

Gottiboff writes today along similar lines to me this morning. It is worth reiterating:

The huge rise on Wall Street — the biggest since 1933 — was no accident.

US President Donald Trump called major investment houses to tell them that he planned to take on the medical establishment and ease the clamps in the US economy after Easter. At the same time the massive US stimulus bill looked like passing the Congress and the US Federal Reserve was out there printing money by buying US bonds, including corporate bonds.

Trump first declared that he wanted the US economy to reopen by Easter.

…Then Trump and Vice President Mike Pence arranged a call with Wall Street’s top investors and hedge funds, including Third Point, Blackstone, Vista Equity, Intercontinental Exchange and Paul Tudor Jones, hedge fund manager and co-founder of JUST Capital.

…At the end of the call, the “buy, buy” signal a went out and Wall Street surged. And once it started to move, computer-driven “buy signals” appeared from all directions.

This is not just a gamble on the US presidency. It is a gamble with tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of American lives. It is entirely and unforgiveably insane.

If the US is the next Italy then Donald Trump has just committed economic, social and political suicide on behalf of his nation. To my mind, he just lost election whatever the outcome, simply by placing the bet in the first place.

Worse, Italy is exactly where we see the US going. Consider for a moment that the US has done 200k virus tests now to produce 50k infected. 1 in 4 are testing positive:

The current rate of infections is doubling every 2-3 days:

The US should be entering total shutdown. At this rate, we will see 6.4m infected Americans by Trump’s Easter reopen. That would push 1.3 Americans into hospital and clearly skyrocket the mortality rate.

At that point it is impossible to stop the pandemic and it could infect the entire nation within another three weeks.

This is not going to happen. The private sector and states will rebel. The US population is also quite spread out so that will help. There will be some curve flattening.

Even so, thanks to Trump, the US will register by far the worst Wuhan flu outcome globally.

David Llewellyn-Smith
Latest posts by David Llewellyn-Smith (see all)

Comments

  1. The USA will have this the worst of any country when it is all said and done. Politicians over there seem unable to work together, even in times of major crisis and they were super tardy when it came to testing. It is not a place I would like to be living for the remainder of this year. Must give Labor some credit here – they have been constructive in this time, even though some of Morrison’s messaging has left a lot to be desired at times.

    • Brazil and India would like a word. Closer to home Indonesia is going to show how things are done.

    • Barry Unlike others on this post I agree ALP deserves credit for not playing political games for now. Scomo still looks like a L plate PM and he seems to be not going hard enough quickly enough e.g border closures but he butters up and seems at least not make the same stuff up twice. Except for school closures … and closing the borders with the US who dropped the ball and sent us cases and are going to be the biggest source of new cases globally if Trump goes through with his Easter Pollyanna garbage.

  2. Not what US biotech analysts are telling me. And I speak with them for a living.

    The schadenfreude is palpable again, but you are going to be wrong. It’s going to be bad, but not Italy bad.

      • I spoke with probably 8 of them in the last two days. They’re basically saying that Cuomo is taking over New York over the orange one. That the cases will rise exponentially, but that the death rate is nowhere near that of Italy. The tests are being ramped up exponentially. The major urban center hospitals have a surge. The isolation of the rust belt and the youth of the population is probably going to curb the death rate. Corporates are making huge donations. Medical equipment is being manufactured where it hasn’t happened before. Drugs for other indications are having some efficacy for people in serious conditions. Momenta et al are working 24/7 on a vaccine.

        Basically they are saying it will be worse that the denials of the politicians, but nowhere near the doomsayers here. The political system might be broken, but there are a lot of people who know what they’re doing who are working on this. But don’t buy the rally.

        • Thanks for sharing, appreciated.

          I personally hope that’s all right, no joy in endless suffering for people.

          • I live in Australia, but Australian anti-Americanism is sometimes too much. I remember ABC forums cheering the WTC disaster 20 minutes after I watched the second tower fall from the street.

          • I remember watching in stunned silence knowing that people like me worked every day in those buildings. And the scale of those towers was enormous. To see them come down and how they came down was mind-blowing. To see people cheering that is beneath contempt.

        • God, seriously what an absolutely absurd post.

          I spoke with one of Melbourne’s leading respiratory specialists two weeks ago who said this entire thing is a massive over reaction. Guess what – they are desperately trying to shut down every moving thing now and openly admit they couldn’t have been more wrong.

          Who cares if Cuomo takes over New York – so what ?

          .That the cases will rise exponentially, but that the death rate is nowhere near that of Italy.

          Why wont they be as bad as Italy ? Are Americans special ? They have a FAR worse health index than Italy (one of the best in the world), Americans are fat, high blood pressure, rampant diabetes, smokers, vapers, plus marijuana – their overall health falls behind almost every single OECD nation.

          .The tests are being ramped up exponentially.

          .

          False. They are increasing at a steady pace – absolutely not exponentially – do you know what that word means ?

          . The isolation of the rust belt and the youth of the population is probably going to curb the death rate.

          .

          False. The rust belt is no more isolated that the regional towns of Italy sorry. Unless those towns go into total lock down like Vo in Italy then they are screwed. And they are not doing that. “The youth of the population” – what ? Are you drunk ?

          Corporates are making huge donations.

          Pretty sure everyone agrees money will not stop this virus….just WTF ?

          Medical equipment is being manufactured where it hasn’t happened before

          Yes – because America has possibly the worst ratio of equipment per capita in the OECD. Worse than many emerging countries. Literally the US is a user pays system with almost no state facilities. They are in desperate need – a war time footing might get them to the most remedial levels. They have been desperately trying to buy stuff from other nations including Korea.

          Even then – the ramp up will take weeks – and it has no effect on the critically ill. Nothing – they will die either way.

          Drugs for other indications are having some efficacy for people in serious conditions.

          There is scant evidence of this – one Doctor pointed to some hope – and the Chinese have alluded to it the Parkinsons and Malaria drugs you are talking to have very limited effect overall and very few successful use cases – so absolutely no.

          Momenta et al are working 24/7 on a vaccine.

          12-18 months away at absolute best. Human trials have started – and very unlikely to be approved (this company has had every single drug rejected) – and if it was – 12 months minimum.

          You might as well have said “Donald Trump said it will be alright”.

          I get that you are looking for hope – but don’t speak with such authority – you have nothing on your plate – not a scrap.

          • It isn’t absurd at all. I’m talking with actual experts every day. You know chunt all about what’s happening in the US, like the vast majority of Arsetralians. But do carry on. You are providing my only laugh of the day.

          • A million tests from a few thousand isn’t exponential. Take your meds and watch your soaps.

          • IB, Koiak is not one for thinking. From recollection he loves the anti-science Orange Jesus.

        • Yeah the biotech analysts are not at the coalface and their incentives are not those of the medical profession.Their opinions although interesting are not necessarily correct.In about a week let’s get someone to talk to eight intensive care doctors and see what they are saying then.I will make a educated guess that because of significant obesity poor management and inadequate health services the situation in USA will be worse than Italy.Hope the am wrong

        • I’m talking with actual experts every day.

          Really ? Pandemic specialists, doctors, medical professionals, military ?

          US biotech analysts are telling me.

          Soooo – literally – arsehats.

          You know chunt all about what’s happening in the US,

          No, but I am able to access information and data on what is happening around the world, the facts and science regarding the spread of this virus and compare that to the reasons you posted for this not being as big a deal in the US as elsewhere and your rationale is laughable – literally clueless.

          How about you put your self adulation aside and actually consider what has been posted – you are so far out of your depth and refuse to even listen to sense – Bhagdad Ali.

          • I’m talking to people who are talking to them. As opposed to your ridiculous speculation. Chunt. You aren’t able to access anything except commondreams. Wanker. I’d put you in touch with them if it didn’t waste their time and my reputation.

        • Arthur Schopenhauer

          I have heard the same. The ramp up in industrial capacity is astounding.

          The US isn’t the White House. Australians don’t understand just how capable the US is, nor how powerful individual states are.

          • Yeah the US broadly speak our language but 2016 proved their political system alien. And they have not lost their WWII abilities to move and focus large quantities of resources at speed, benefit of their scale. China if anything more awesome in that regard re building hospitals but US can do it in high tech also.
            What you are saying is Trumps 15 days is trying to set the states up to wear blame for not achieving his bullshit target. Just political games the same as he does with the FED. And he does not want blame for economic shutdown either. No visible sign of leadership then.

        • Thanks for the post. One of the advantages of being late in the response is that one can learn from others research. The US has the capability that few others have in taking advantage of this accumulated knowlege

      • Look above. I’ll answer anything more specific if I can remember what I’ve been told.

    • There are good reasons to do as Trump is proposing. If we isolate the people who are considered to be at risk then many of the rest of the population can have two weeks of disease and be through it while largely remaining productive. We are otherwise betting on the development of a vaccine or drug and dragging the process out.

      • So what you want to do is isolate around 60% of the population. In AU, anyway. Oldies, chronic diseases (1+ morbidity). Actually, it’s probably higher than 60%. Then there’s pregnant, immuno compromised, cancer patients.

        Does someone know the numbers?

      • darklydrawlMEMBER

        Not to mention the logistical issue of *HOW* to isolate them. Old and sick folks don’t live in walled enclaves – they are diseminated throughout the community. They also need support and care from external folks. It’s a nice idea on paper, but practically unworkable in the real world (IMHO of course).

      • The best case scenario for Australia in this situation would be around 750,000 people dying.

        Alternatively flattening the curve would see around 50,000 people dead.

        America would lose close to 10 million people with your suggestion mate. You are literally the text book definition of a psychotic.

      • I agree, except for the timing. You need to consider people who work in aged care facilities, people who live with or associate with those people, their school-age children, etc. It is not a simple matter and it will take 6-12 weeks to sort it out rather than 2 weeks (especially in New York, where the virus is already widespread).

    • broadly speaking, I’m with you on this kodiak, especially your observations as to the persuasive anti-US sentiment that underpins so many sections of Oz society …

      some long term readers of this site might recall I’ve been posting here from the US years ago. Now back in Oz settled in Brisbane after my stay till late January in Alabama/Florida panhandle area…

      point I would add is that –
      1. we are beginning the economic reset that was inevitable once the QE responses to the GFC were indulged in by every substantive economy around the world (if anyone here is interested in what I mean by the ‘reset’, lookup Macrobusiness.com and listen to Eric Townsend’s recent reports & interviews, especially last week’s)

      2. the economic consequences of the reset are part 1. Part 2 is the social dislocation that cannot be avoided. Both the US & Oz have huge sectors of our respective societies that simply won’t cope with this. While here have noted that the rates of depression etc will spike I have yet to see anyone give proper recognition of the inevitable levels of increased violence that will come as the reset manifests …

      in Oz, our selfish greed based on perceived exceptionalism having dodged the GFC and material consumption based on prostituting ourselves to China and the CCP together with the mindless adherence to multiculturalism, has created a fragmented collection of people looking out for no.1 rather than a citizenship prepared to work together for the greater good. Our much touted ‘economic growth miracle economy’ that, apparently almost all think is real (positively embarrassing if it wasn’t so pathetic) has resulted in 2 generations of self indulgent morons who wouldn’t know how to dig a hole, ‘led’ by a class of older parasites who are characterised by complacent, entitled, arrogant stupidity at a level that verges on incomprehensible ….

      In the US, the advances of ‘progressives’ have embedded identity politics across the country. The degree to which ‘swamp dwellers’ are willing to turn a blind eye to the stoking of racial politics has been frightening to behold. When the hyenas in US society twig to what’s going on they will, literally, run riot – think Watts was something, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

      That said, unlike Oz, a significant part of US society is fundamentally patriotic and they believe in the Constitution and will fight for their rights and for the betterment of the country. It’ll get messy but eventually the underlying strength of the US economy and the cohesiveness of normal, average patriotic US citizens will win out …

      Go long USD …

      • NoodlesRomanovMEMBER

        I disagree with one point – we know how to dig holes. We know little else, but houses and holes are where it is at.
        Houses and Holes. I’m going to see if that username is taken…

      • Peachy Bagholder

        absolutely, the FEE programming has almost run its course in the states. They will dig in and at least attempt to create a more empathetic state. or they’ll just run a dementia patient against in-hock realestate agent.

      • lolololol ‘fight for the betterment of their country….”. Where have they been the last 20 odd yrs lolololol.

    • Lets see now, Wuhan was shut down after 17 deaths, and that resulted in the importation if 15 cases to Aus. Us still hasn’t shut down despite 20 times more deaths, and has imported 350+ cases to Aus so far, despite US visits being half that of china. So US is already 20 times worse than Wuhan where deaths increased 100 fold post shutdown.

  3. I’m no Constitutional expert, but isn’t the problem that Trump has the “Land of the Free’ bit?
    The whole ethos of their society and the Bill of Rights and untold amendments etc is that “No one can tell a free American what to do; no one, least of all The State” – lest it become tyranny.
    Americans can make the choices that they need to as individuals.
    I don’t know what else they can do? What is The State going to do? Shoot people if they leave their homes? And with the armed citizenry, they have – good luck with that!

      • C.M.BurnsMEMBER

        liberty should always be everyone’s friend. But it should also always be accompanied by responsibility, by the private citizen as well as companies and the state. In an ideal world…

      • ‘Liberty’ alone is unworkable as means different things to different people.
        For a society to ‘move as one’ while staying ‘free’, in order to deal with something like a coronavirus, people need to share ‘agreed values’. Practically this means people are prepared to suspend exercising their rights and preferences for the betterment or welfare of others. Unfortunately, where the only agreed values are monetary or prosperity, there is no sound basis for this.

  4. Older people would rather die than let Covid-19 harm US economy – Texas official

    Lieutenant governor Dan Patrick tells Fox News: ‘Do we have to shut down the entire country for this? I think we can get back to work’

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/24/older-people-would-rather-die-than-let-covid-19-lockdown-harm-us-economy-texas-official-dan-patrick

    Coronavirus: Senior citizens should risk being infected to save US economy, says Texas official

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/coronavirus-dan-patrick-texas-fox-news-tucker-carlson-us-economy-trump-a9420341.html

      • Not as many as you will see it if hundreds of thousands of old people die in the US.
        I suspect it will follow him forever.

        • It’s the schadenfreude that I have a problem with. Aussies take too much joy in American misfortune.

          • Good to see that in a crises you’re targetting first order issues like … how some anonymous poster on mb is disrespecting another country.

          • Yes I really do enjoy US misfortune. After years of American hypocrisy and corruption cloaked as “American Exceptionalism” what would you expect from us? Lets talk in a week and see how well your biotech mates have predicted this.

          • Peachy Bagholder

            well WE have a problem with your g-damn lobbies (FEE) and media control. Get back to us when California removes prop 13. They infect everyone. edit. yeah im a dick.

      • Half the comments and half the posts on this site are from Zerohedge and Reddit. Make of that what you will.

    • Ronin8317MEMBER

      If members of Congress and the US President gets infected, are they going to forgo respirators so that the young can live? Most of them are over 60 after all.

    • It’s true older Americans are queuing up to die. They can’t wait to do it.
      Ahhhh American politics in the morning. Was there ever a more clear display of moral bankruptcy?

  5. While tens or hundreds thousands may die from coronavirus, this can also turn to be a right decision. Keep in mind that almost 3 million people normally die every year in USA. Always put numbers in a perspective

    The real problem is that he has no balls so once 3k die in a day he’ll reverse hia decision and shut everything down

    • Yes, with that sort of logic, it must be remembered that leaving the schools open would result in approx. 500-600 children dying, so that’s a sacrifice that Americans are willing to make to keep the economic cogs turning.

      • Over 3000 school age kids commit suicide every year in usa.
        Suicide rate doesn’t have to jump much to offset number of dead kids from coronavirus

        • Plus, there’s a certain amount of school kids that get shot on a fairly regular basis.

        • 1% of cases are people under 20 years of age dying.

          Estimates of 70% of the USA being infected (231 Million) would mean 2,310,000 school kids will die.

          So the suicide rate would have to increase by a factor of 770 times.

          So yeah – when you say “doesn’t have to jump that much” – I presume you mean like a small jump being from earth to Alpha Centauri ?

          • you just invented this out of nowhere
            0-9 years of age no kid died so far anywhere
            10-19 age bracket had 0.2% mortality according to Chinese data, 0% in Italy (no death recorded) and 0% in Spain and all of the cases probably with high comorbidity. Due to high percentage of asymptomatic cases among young and testing policy to test only people with symptoms worst case mortality among 10-19 kids is likely to be much much less than one tenth of the Chinese number (somewhere around 0.02%)
            so the worst case scenario with 60% of kids 10-19 in US getting infected (40 million kids) and 0.002% of dying would produce 4800 deaths mostly among sick kids. While this number is scary it should be noted that over 20000 kids in this age group die in USA every year.
            https://www.thelocal.es/20200324/men-suffer-more-than-women-what-we-know-about-the-coronavirus-cases-in-spain

    • Ronin8317MEMBER

      The virus already mutated into 5 strains, and it’ll mutate even more as more people become infected. People who get it can be reinfected, so without herd immunity. The worse case scenario is 100k dying every month ad infinitum. You think a society can survive that?

      • There are 3 million births and one milion deaths every month.
        100k additional deaths every month of mostly elderly will make very little difference on average. Life expectancy will drop just slightly
        Btw Virus mutations among people cn only make virus weaker (less deadly)

        • 100k deaths each month would be great !

          But these deaths will be in the space of weeks of each other – not months. Thats the problem champ – oh and it will be hundreds of thousands extra each month if you know anything about this issue at all – which you don’t.

          Hence why the system gets overwhelmed.

          And with no action 70% of the population infected is 231 Million Americans – death rate of infected 3% 6.9 Million

          No idea mate.

      • It has not mutated into 5 strains.

        And if it has – then that negates your other points regarding herd immunity. How moronic can you get ?

    • Death toll will be in the millions. More than likely well above 5 million. Your attitude is perverse.

      The death toll is not relative to normal deaths – it is over and above – so the base line is zero.

      • Even 5 million deaths is just 13% above usual number of deaths.
        Baseline is not zero, because people die anyway, sometimes more sometimes less. It’s not that people who die from corona would live forever otherwise. Most of them would die in a year or few anyway.

        Since it mostly affecs elderly corona will just bring some deaths forward so we can expect less deaths in years after.

        • God you have no idea – you really don’t.

          Your argument is exactly the same as saying World War 2 wasn’t that bad because people die anyway. Its so ridiculous.

          The base line for societies death rate – the BASE LINE – is the normal death toll on average per year. This is zero. The Base Line. Do you know anything about maths or stats or anything at all ?

          Fluctuations above this reflect the variation. ALL of our systems are set up for maximum efficiency based around normal variations – a 3% rise would overwhelm almost everything – let alone a 13%.

          Here’s another way of considering things – that is 13% of the population who were killed needlessly – how do you not understand that ?

          • So you just confirmed my previous statement that base line is not zero but the averagel number of deaths per year and and rebuffed your silly statement that base line is zero

            during WWII there were countries that lost 5% or 10% or 20% of population so death rates were 10 or 30 times over the baseline, also during WWII mostly younger people were dying, who would otherwise live 50 or more years longer – so not comparable at all

            In Italy for example half of those who died are over 80, in Spain over 77. Large majority of these people would have die in next few years regardless. So yes, variation may be in the worst case few percent this year and than minus few percent over the next few years. Whether system can cope with this is problem of the system that is not designed properly
            what if an earthquake hits and kills tens of thousands – over a few year period in early 20th century hundreds of thousands people in Italy died from earthquakes so system should be designed to cope since probability of such events is not any lower now.

        • In one region near the epicentre of the outbreak in Italy, 164 people died in the period March 1-15, 2020, compared to 56 deaths in the same period of 2019. Only 30% of these additional 108 deaths were tested for covid-19 and included in the official figures, but the others were very likely due to covid-19 as well. Admittedly, the median age in that area was relatively high. So, the death rate could end up being double or triple that of a normal year in some places (which is not the end of the world, but it is much larger than a 13% increase).

          • stats are bad in some cases in italy due to hot spots being in smaller towns with elderly population
            this is especially the case if you look into stats over the short periods of time

        • Doc, If in a noramal year 3 million americans die and if this year and if 5 million die this year due to nCoV then 5 million divided by 3 million expressed as a percentage is 167%.
          Not 13%
          I hope you don’t write prescriptions!!!

    • No, Trump will not back down. After all, the demographic of his support base is younger, healthier, geographically more spread out and more religious than his opponent’s in November.

      • Sauces? (I suspect the more geographically spread out comment might be based on that map which showed that Trumpy triumphed in areas where there were few people but lots of acres, which is a little deceptive).

  6. Maybe Churchill was wrong about Americans? “You can always count on Americans to do the right thing – after they’ve tried everything else.”
    Or maybe we still have to wait a bit before they do the right thing. You know, like adopt Medicare for All, or actually reign in Wall Street, or maybe like they did after Sandy Hook and enact gun control legislation or like how after the Iraq/Afghan wars they reformed the military/industrial complex?
    Oh wait…

    • I guess Churchill was speaking about a different generation of Americans. Today they are mostly fat and lazy and irresponsible. Not that different to most Aussies actually…

    • It doesn’t help that a major contributor to this site is so reflexively anti-American. At least some of you have the introspection to look at Australia’s negatives, of which there are a great many. Look no further than the bush fires, your supporting of asset holders over the young and the general handling of this crisis. You are not our moral superiors.

      • The entire planet are the USA’s moral superiors.

        No undiagnosed psychopath would refute it.

        • Sure they are. You eradicated the natives.You made slaves of the islanders. You’ve been living off third world labour for how long. You’re have lend of it, wanker.

      • Arthur Schopenhauer

        Australia is a nation of grown children. Something encountered in the Aussie business world everyday.

        If the nation could admit that our ancestors (sometimes even our grandfathers) deliberately eradicated the original inhabitants of the nation, we’d have a much stronger culture.

        I’m not arguing it was good or bad, only that it happened and if the country truly acknowledged the fact we could embrace it and become an adult nation.

    • So I can’t criticise the American culture because I am part of the Australian culture?
      OKAY.
      How about the fact I’m half American? So I should only say the good things about America and the bad things about Australia? I have family in the ‘States….should I only send them prayers but no thoughts?
      How about the fact that I’ve been railing against Australian culture (financial, climate change, bureaucracy, politics, class war etc etc) for nearly 10 years here?
      Confirmation and recency bias is not a good way to deal with facts.
      But I’ll leave it at that. Thanks for your time. Chris.

      • You’re not half-American anymore than I’m half pregnant. You put this kind of shit out all of the time and you’ve been doing it for years. No introspection at all.

          • Why? I’m just highlighting the hypocrisy of Australian anti-Americanism. And it is absolutely full-on. Who the feck are you people kidding?

          • drsmithyMEMBER

            Get your hand off it. This country worships American culture (Exhibit A: Chevy badges on Commodores) and our politicians have been trying to turn it into America 2.0 for decades (and isn’t that causing problems now…).

  7. entered today on BBUS after the 15% drop thanks to overnight S&P gains.

    The only outcomes i see are:
    -forced shutdown with thousands dead. Markets tank
    -rapid test kit, mass produced and distriubuted. Lets people get back to work where everyone entering a premisis gets tested – containment and mitigation
    -hail mary vaccine developed, clinically tested, mass produced and rolled out; 6month timeline is super optimistic; erradication and cure

    prob a mix of all three….but ALOT of short term pain.

    All trump is doing is letting his mates and the 1% exit th emarket this week with some profits at the expense of the taxpayer and public lives

  8. DelraiserMEMBER

    Trump reminds global financial parasites that regardless of the impact of the virus, they can’t lose……

    This is why this virus doesn’t represent a “reset” opportunity at all; we’ll just plod on again til the next crisis. These fuckers produce nothing of value whatsoever but are lauded by our lunatic governments as the creators of wealth.

    We are truly rooted

      • I know you’re real busy yelling the star spangled banner at everyone – but hopefully you will get at least one post right today – I mean quantity over quality right, the USA way !

        They, the USA, are one of the largest importers and reliant on foreigners through them being the primary proponents of globalization. No doubt they are right up there in the top ten – no doubt about it.

        China, Russia are way ahead. Would put the EU ahead by miles as well. Especially China since its the worlds largest manufacturer by a HUGE margin.

        China manufactures most of the worlds drugs now days.

      • Yep. And if the survivors aren’t looked after the health problems and increase in crime will also cause great damage. It’s a health issue, not an economic one. Solve the health issue and then sort out the economic side. All economic rules are made up. They are changed all the time. Reform with the broad community in mind. It was done after WW2 and it can be done again if the will is found to do it.

        • darklydrawlMEMBER

          “All economic rules are made up”. How true. “We cannot afford to increase the newstart payment!” to “We have doubled the Newstart payment” (and for many more people) is just one example of this statement. Good call Footsore.

      • It would be attributable to the Feds making half the country unemployed. Businesses are shutting everywhere.
        I don’t think the feds or that dopey Dan understand that most small businesses are a day to day proposition. Surviving by the will of the proprietor and nothing else. Now they have broken him.

        • That’s fair.

          But would it also have been the inevitable economic depression resulting from the popping of Australia’s housing bubble on its own? What about the same triggered by a global shock , which could not have been far away anyway?

          I’m not sure it’s fair to put this onto the govt too much – they are trying to protect lives – it’s their #1 job, even more than the economic side of things.

          Despite the claims of people to the contrary, I think letting the virus run free would have killed many, many people (and may still do so, even under lockdowns), and would have smashed people’s businesses anyway…

          I think blaming the govt is poor logic, as if people would have been OK financially if they hadn’t acted the way they did. It’s the virus that’s at fault, and it popped a world of economic bubbles, which includes the livelihoods of many, many, people in the world, doing ‘fluff’ jobs that really only exist to the degree that they do because of all the bubbles…

      • it will be hard to say if Covid pandemic exacerbated suicide rate or the response onto the pandemic

    • Suicides of kids under 20 in USA – 5,000

      Potential death toll with 70% infection rate 2.3 Million.

      So – absolute rubbish.

      • your 2.3 million kids number is complete rubbish
        best case scenario based on Italian and Spanish data is no kid under 19 will die (no kid died outside of china so far)
        the bad case scenario (60% gets infected) is more like 5000
        the worst case scenario based on chinese data assuming almost all kids who get infected get symptoms is 48000

  9. Also, obesity is one of the major factors for death from corona. Doesn’t bode well for a low death rate in the US…

    • PalimpsestMEMBER

      @Mike Yes there’s been the observation that the mortality rate in younger Americans appears higher than Italy. That could be real – perhaps related to poor diet, exercise and obesity, or it may be just a reflection that it has, until now, been an almost impossibility to get tested unless ill (selecting for only the most ill young people in the sample and distorting the figures).

  10. … UPDATE … CORONAVIRUS … KEEPING PERSPECTIVE …

    ‘We’re going to be fine’: Nobel laureate biophysicist who said China would get over the worst of coronavirus outbreak far sooner than leading health experts now predicts same for rest of world … Milly Vincent … Daily Mail

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8146913/Biophysicist-said-China-coronavirus-outbreak-sooner-predicts-world.html

    • Michael Levitt, calculated how China would be affected by COVID-19 in January

    • His predictions, lower than other experts, have proven true, with 3,245 deaths

    • Nobel laureate has now said analysis is suggesting a similar outcome for world

    • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?
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    Michael Levitt … Wikipedia

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Levitt

    • Don’t Expect Millions To Die From Coronavirus, Says Richard Epstein … Reason TV / YouTube
      … h/t PH …

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCnT2owc1Z8&feature=youtu.be

      How many people worldwide will die from COVID-19, the disease caused by a novel coronavirus? Estimates range into the millions, but New York University law professor Richard Epstein says such guesses fail to take into account all the actions that are already taking place to contain and suppress the pandemic.

      In an interview conducted via Skype, Epstein, who is also a fellow at the University of Chicago’s Center for Clinical Medical Ethics and a podcaster and columnist at Ricochet, explains his math, which draws on his work dealing with the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s and ’90s.

      He also discusses why the stimulus plans being floated are unlikely to help the economy in the short run but will cause major problems in the long run, why he thinks local and state governments are overreacting by shutting down businesses and schools, and why he expects the crisis to ease up in a few months, as it already has in the Asian countries hit first.

      Interview by Nick Gillespie. Intro by Meredith Bragg
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      Richard Epstein … Wikipedia

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Epstein

      • PalimpsestMEMBER

        While I like to hear what you’re saying, I note the stark difference between how seriously the different approaches seem to be. I was sent this link on FB so sorry about the FB aspects, but it’s the impressions of a young man that went from China to NZ and then back. It just shows what we (I think it applies to Oz as well) versus they, are doing. Admittedly it was several days ago which is ages in COVID terms. https://www.facebook.com/andyboreham/posts/10222265903543063 Let’s hope this gets under control quickly.

      • What is the point? If only 700,000 suffer a horrible death then the spin DR is correct and looks like a hero. This is total nonsense. If we don’t act 100million will die if we do act maybe 100,000 will die.

        The most stupid and dangerous people in the world are professors. Narrow view due to focus on studying one field, superiority complex and often paid to give favourable commentary.

      • Surely the deaths are only mitigated by extreme counter-measures!

        I can’t help but the people saying “Aha! yeah, but, it won’t be bad” are neglecting that deaths anywhere might be relatively low precisely because people identified early enough that it was worth of extreme action, then did extreme actions….not because it was never really that bad…

      • mikef179MEMBER

        OK, so I listened to this guy and he goes on and on about how people will do the right thing by themselves. For example, that bars will start to place people at appropriate lengths, that gyms will start to fumigate and clean all their machines correctly, etc, etc.. and people will do the right thing.

        To which I say BS. We have data that says that is just not true. If it was, the growth rate would already be slowing here not speeding up. It’s more of this rational actor economic crap that just doesn’t seem to apply to the real world. I mean, just try talking to most people before coming up with these theories about humans acting rationally. Or just see what behavioural science or neurology has to say on the subject.

        He also compares it to HIV/AIDS which spread in an entirely different fashion. He pointed out a scaremonger who said 2 billion people would have AIDS by 2006 and told him why he was wrong at the time. But everything he said has no applicability to a flu like virus.

        I do take his point that the millions number that is quoted is too high (probably), but only because of the measures being taken not in spite of them. I also am a bit skeptical of the 6 months number myself, if you have proper lockdown procedures, I’m hopeful that in a month or 2 the measures can be scaled back a bit (maybe even fully, who knows?)

        Overall, I find him to be not that much more credible than the ones who are putting forth the worst case scenarios.

        • mikef179MEMBER

          I also wrote the following in the comments of the video

          I mean, the fact that they did have a very severe lockdown in Wuhan and that eventually slowed the numbers down and he seems to be using that as his point as to why there shouldn’t be a lockdown of the US Economy?? I think he seems to be confused. Or is he saying that Wuhan would have had the same number of deaths without the lockdown?

          Italy. He says they had problems already without ever specifying what they were or where he got his data from. And what about Spain and France? Not to mention all these smaller European countries with now similar numbers (on a proportional population basis).

          I think many of the big numbers that are thrown around are for what happens when no measures are taken and the virus is allowed to spread freely. After all, that’s pretty much what happens with normal flu. Problem is, where on Earth does a normal flu season overwhelm the local health system? There’s a reason why Covid-19 has to be tackled head on and we are seeing it in many places in Europe now, not just Italy any more.

          My prediction is that when the full lockdown measures have been applied, that if they are successful (and I hope they are), this guy will be crowing about how he got it right and ignoring the fact that governments harsh measures were what got the results.

          In summary, fail.

    • For his modelling, did this guy assume that extreme actions would be taken or not taken?

      That is a major, major qualifier…

      Surely it is obvious that without major, very extreme actions, the death toll in Wuhan would have been much, much higher?

  11. Get a grip everybody … the virus is only ‘the pin that has pricked the bubble’

    I’ll re-post mine from above:

    broadly speaking, I’m with you on this kodiak, especially your observations as to the persuasive anti-US sentiment that underpins so many sections of Oz society …

    some long term readers of this site might recall I’ve been posting here from the US years ago. Now back in Oz settled in Brisbane after my stay till late January in Alabama/Florida panhandle area…

    point I would add is that –
    1. we are beginning the economic reset that was inevitable once the QE responses to the GFC were indulged in by every substantive economy around the world (if anyone here is interested in what I mean by the ‘reset’, lookup Macrobusiness.com and listen to Eric Townsend’s recent reports & interviews, especially last week’s)

    2. the economic consequences of the reset are part 1. Part 2 is the social dislocation that cannot be avoided. Both the US & Oz have huge sectors of our respective societies that simply won’t cope with this. While here have noted that the rates of depression etc will spike I have yet to see anyone give proper recognition of the inevitable levels of increased violence that will come as the reset manifests …

    in Oz, our selfish greed based on perceived exceptionalism having dodged the GFC and material consumption based on prostituting ourselves to China and the CCP together with the mindless adherence to multiculturalism, has created a fragmented collection of people looking out for no.1 rather than a citizenship prepared to work together for the greater good. Our much touted ‘economic growth miracle economy’ that, apparently almost all think is real (positively embarrassing if it wasn’t so pathetic) has resulted in 2 generations of self indulgent morons who wouldn’t know how to dig a hole, ‘led’ by a class of older parasites who are characterised by complacent, entitled, arrogant stupidity at a level that verges on incomprehensible ….

    In the US, the advances of ‘progressives’ have embedded identity politics across the country. The degree to which ‘swamp dwellers’ are willing to turn a blind eye to the stoking of racial politics has been frightening to behold. When the hyenas in US society twig to what’s going on they will, literally, run riot – think Watts was something, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

    That said, unlike Oz, a significant part of US society is fundamentally patriotic and they believe in the Constitution and will fight for their rights and for the betterment of the country. It’ll get messy but eventually the underlying strength of the US economy and the cohesiveness of normal, average patriotic US citizens will win out …

    Go long USD …

    • drsmithyMEMBER

      The only slight glimmer of hope in how the muppets running the country are fvcking up pretty much everything they do, is that their sociopathic incompetence will hopefully overshadow the inevitable attempt to blame the economic catastrophe on “Labor’s legacy” and the “Corona Virus Black Swan”.

    • the virus is only ‘the pin that has pricked the bubble’ – agreed.

      I’m still long USD vs AUD…but the faith is waivering a bit, and I did sell a little USD today….but still very long USD….sigh…

  12. So America decided to have a stronger economy and stronger demographic with a younger, healthier and revitalized herd-immunized population. Good on them!!

    Who will move next to keep the level playing field?

    • SnappedUpSavvyMEMBER

      Trumpo decided that, private enterprise wont follow, how will they get employees to work, this is whats happening in chyna right now, they are trying to open back up and people aren’t coming back to work

      • Are you saying the CCP cannot force, I mean persuade, people to start working again?

        • When people have a real chance of dying by going back to work, there is only so much “persuasion” that can be applied.

        • SnappedUpSavvyMEMBER

          what bj said, also, in chyna they live in packed onsite dormitories, massively risky for the spread of wuflu

  13. Reminds me of the day he won the election, sharemarket tanked until he called the money in and told them he was actually on their side after all and only pretended to the the people’s champ. I’m wondering about the narrative. Keep the masses happy, everything under control here, we’ll be back in business in 15 days. Is he/they thinking that if everything stays shut down, on we go to depression/recession. His chances of reelection are way lower, plus his ego would not cope with being the President that oversaw the depression. Remember this is his economy, his sharemarket. No, take the punt, get back to work and hope everything works out. I suppose he is the hero then….but if he/they are wrong? Wow…

    • mikef179MEMBER

      It certainly is high stakes. Hard to know what the odds of success are. Trying to balance out all the factors is hard.

      Fortunately though, Easter is not far away. So it won’t be too long before we find out.

  14. drsmithyMEMBER

    Per MiBo’s point the other day, we need some rich/famous/powerful people to die before it gets taken seriously.

    Peon deaths won’t be a significant influencing factor until they become large enough to start affecting labour availability, or maybe body storage/disposal facilities.

    • Nah, any rich/famous/powerful people who might die will have done so, not because of some imaginary coronavirus but because they are not Trumpian enough!!

  15. RoberttexasMEMBER

    Did anyone here about the medical trials in France that had a 100% recovery in 5 days. This study is the basis of New York City starting trials on 10,000 people on Tuesday, and the ramp up of hundreds of million tablets of the solution. The share market went up due to these developments. Listen to this “A dose of reality” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-KsSet1ZN4

  16. Trump will be proved correct.
    So what if the US loses 10 million or so aged or sick as a social burden.

    1919 -20 Spanish flu reshaped the demographic by removing millions of young unemployables with no jobs anyway post WW1 demobilisation.
    Then the roaring 20’s followed & good times for those left.

    So today this Chinese bio weapon removes the aged & sick & weak. And impacts the third world overpopulated s/holes with zero health care & no cultural personal hygiene far more than any advanced economy.
    US 10 million dead.
    India & China 100 million dead.
    Trump is correct.
    Let it rip & think forward.
    Trump will easily win the 2020 election.
    No viable or even electable Democrat candidate.
    Biden & Bernie will probably cark it before then anyway.